Back in February, Portalarium raised eyebrows when with Shroud of the Avatar’s release 62 it added a controversial cash shop item: a buff for buying stuff. It was part of the studio’s push to modernize its cash shop as it was brought inside the game; naturally, developers wanted to incentivize its use, so anybody who bought anything of any value got a day-long buff, up to three at a time. But dedicated players still set off the “pay-to-win” alarm and wanted to know why the buffs weren’t attached to just logging into the cash shop. (For the record, company reps then argued it wasn’t a cash shop at all because the intermediary cash-shop currency can be purchased with in-game currency in addition to real money. You know, like Guild Wars 2’s cash shop.)
At the time, developers said the bonuses might not last forever – that they’d “remain in place for at least two months but possibly longer.” But even so, I suspect you’re as surprised as I am to find that two months later, Portalarium is disabling the system. In a hotfix yesterday, the studio announced the removal of the buffs:
“Crown Store purchase random buffs have been expired and turned off.”
And that’s that. No more fuss.