Last week, Cloud Imperium began teasing a brand-new concept ship for Star Citizen, the Hercules Starlifter and its variants. While most gamers will roll their eyes at paying for pixel ships, a lot of people made the mad dash to buy it because of course they did.
The problem is that thanks to last year’s changes, players can no longer purchase new concept ships with lifetime insurance with store credit, which means you can’t just melt down your old ships and trade them in for the insured Starlifter – you have to pay cash for this one if you want the insurance. And did I mention it runs up to $600 in cash ($700 on credit without LTI)?
So some folks are mad because they’re being discouraged from using store credit, not just “rewarding the use of fresh cash” but “catering almost solely to new cash.” That’s led players – even rather highly placed backers – to argue that CIG is shooting itself in the foot.
“CIG has cut off what was likely a large source of revenue for themselves by dropping LTI from non-Warbond concept ships, all in an effort to drive people to spend new money instead of melting ships and spending credits on the new ones,” one wrote on Reddit. “Warbond discounts were the carrot to drive people to spend new money. All well and good. Removing LTI from non-Warbond concept sales is the stick. It’s not right. I hope that I’m wrong and that it brings them more money in the long run, but it won’t be my money.”
A whole other subset of backers – and a far bigger one – is concerned as much about the bigger picture that the ship promotions are “getting out of control” as more recent ship promos (the Consolidated Outland Pioneer is flagged as one of the worst) are offered up for increasingly high prices at increasingly short intervals without a design document, such that sometimes they sell out for hundreds of dollars before anyone even knows what he/she is buying.
“Warbond ships were introduced in 2017 and they provided an incentive for backers to spend new money rather than melting and using store credit. It started off giving a 10% discount and an extra flair item. With the Hercules it’s evolved into a 20% discount plus a vehicle. But again we’re being sold a $350 to $700 ship without any real details. No specs, no design post or anything. Not only that when people use store credit they don’t get LTI anymore, but that was never communicated to us. If LTI is going to be Warbond only then say it, don’t leave it for us to find out.”
Did you buy the new shiny? Are you also annoyed about the warbond situation, or are you concerned about the way the game is being monetized right now?