Magic Legends lays out its ZEN market, broker system, and battlepass tracks

    
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Anyone who has played a Cryptic game probably is well-acquainted with its slightly convoluted business model. Basically, the studio has a cash shop (the ZEN Store) with all of the really good stuff, but players can buy and sell the currency for that store using a special in-game currency.

If it works — works for the studio, at least — why change it? And so it will be for Magic Legends, as explained in the game’s latest dev blog. For the upcoming multiplayer title, the special currency in question is Aether, which can be earned from various activities and then swapped for ZEN on the global market.

Cryptic also talked about its auction house system (the Broker), which can be used to trade spells, enchantments, and and booster packs.

And if you were hoping there’d be some sort of seasonal pass (what kind of monster are you?), Magic Legends will indeed offer a battlepass that offers 50 levels of both free and premium rewards.

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Neurotic

Eh, if the game is fundamentally good, non-Magic heads will spend the money, and the Magic heads will also spend the money because they like the IP. Speaking as both a D&D player and a Star Trek fan who really enjoys playing both STO and NW, I must say that I have spent quite a bit of money on those two over the years. :D

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Zuldar

It’s a Perfect World game. As long you are an extremely patient person, have a high tolerance for inconvenience, and only plan to play fairly casually you’ll have a fun time playing it for free. Otherwise expect to have to drop a lot of cash to have a good time.

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Peregrine Falcon

I hate to sound like I’m defending Cryptic Studios, but you all do realize that they are a wholly owned subsidiary of Perfect World, right? Perfect World sets up ALL of the monetization, Cryptic just builds the games.

This isn’t Cryptic’s store or Cryptic’s business model, it’s Perfect Worlds’.

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Bruno Brito

Cryptic already had bad monetization issues before PWI came.

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Hikari Kenzaki

Yes and no.

The 3 currency system was the basis of Neverwinter Online’s “Free to Play from the Beginning” system. A rare thing in 2013 when most games were still converting from subscriptions. It was retroactively applied to CO and STO (though they had similar systems) when those titles went free to play.

This was several years after the Perfect World acquisition.

Like was said, if it has worked for them on 3 other games, why would they change it?

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Johnny Quantum

I think the intellectual property owners are an influence as well. Star Trek Online and Neverwinter are both Cryptic/PW games, but I find STO to be far more generous with stuff that can be earned in game, more accessible – less time and gear level gating etc.

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Kevin Smith

If you are going to make store only classes in the future then prepare for the backlash that comes with that. No problem with putting things in the store, but your conversion rates to buy them have to be better than other Cryptic games. I say this as someone who plays other Cryptic games. I buy things in the stores with actual money if the game is good, usually on monthly basis to show support. Lately though I have seen games that are locking free players out of things or making exchange rates so high that they would have to make playing the game a job to get that one item from the store they were looking forward too. Overall cash shops should never have things like classes in them for a game based on classes.

Tyler F.M. Edwards
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Tyler F.M. Edwards

It’s worth noting the final reward for the free battlepass is a trait. This is actually kind of a big deal, because normally traits are only rewarded for getting a class to max level. One of the big concerns around the plan to sell classes in future was that free players would be locked out of earning new traits beyond those for the initial five classes. This shows that won’t be the case.