Tencent is apparently continuing to tweak its monetization for Tarisland in response to player angst as it continues charging through its second closed beta test here in the west. The company’s latest missive in Discord essentially apologizes for miscommunication and confusion about pay-to-win and promises clarity. Essentially, Tencent says its idea of pay-to-win was selling statted gear in the cash shop – something Tarisland does not do.
“We have seen many games that offer a poor gaming experience to players due to the sale of equipment and items in their official stores that affect character stats or game balance,” the studio says. “As a result, we aim to create a fair MMORPG and have decided not to sell such items in our official store, considering this model as non-P2W. Through this test, we have discovered that our understanding differs from the community’s perspective, and we will be more cautious in our future descriptions of monetization. Our initial intention in designing this monetization model was to provide players with a smoother growth experience and establish a healthy in-game ecosystem. In the current design, all items circulating in the Auction house are directly provided and priced by players, allowing players to gain benefits from transactions. At the same time, we have restricted player-to-player trading to minimize the proliferation of offline transactions and player losses caused by gold farming studios and bots. Our goal is to provide players with a fair gaming experience and a secure trading environment. We strive to create a stable MMORPG that offers a fair and classic experience for everyone.”
However, the P2W that players have complaining about most loudly is centered on the Vigor system, which is an unfortunately standard energy-gating mechanic for mobile MMOs that also exists in many MMORPGs spanning from Albion Online and ArcheAge to MapleStory and Villagers & Heroes. The idea is that certain activities – usually crafting and gathering – are limited by a time-based energy count that shuts free-to-play players out of continuous engagement with them. Such systems are annoying, but they’re also considered P2W by many MMOers because you can often just swipe a credit card to bypass them to some degree.
Tencent doesn’t address player annoyance with the Vigor system, but it does say it’s going to continue working on the optimization model – and it’s also apparently started removing the phrase “non-P2W” from some of its social media platforms.
“Through the community’s feedback, we have also realized many shortcomings in this test. We will take every player’s feedback seriously, adhere to the principle of not selling character-enhancing items or equipment in the official store, and continuously optimize our monetization model to ensure a fair gaming environment and a positive gaming experience when the game officially launches.”
MOP’s Chris streamed the game for a first-impressions look earlier this week; he didn’t get to explore the game’s monetization, but he found the gameplay itself more engrossing than he expected it for someone neutral on WoW.