Forums » General Pantheon Discussion

A Cash Shop is Being Considered

    • 154 posts
    January 11, 2021 12:43 AM PST

    MauvaisOeil said:

    After watching the Stream, I do belive "considered" is quite wildfire here. Close to exact words beeing :

     

    "It's not planned but if it was to be, cosmetic only."

     

    exact exact quote : 

     

    Cohh: "Will there be a cash shop?"

    Ben: "If there is it would be cosmetic only. But, it's not - any pay to win - or anything like that."

    Cohh: "Gotcha"

     

    I don't think 'considered' is unfair.

     

    Aanwenae said: As a whole, I'd prefer NO cash shop at all. However, if one is implemented for whatever reason, it is my hope that it would be limited to cosmetic/fluff items only. And those same items are also obtainable through game play. And let's keep those items true to the nature of the game world.

     

    If there absolutly has to be a cash shop, I highly prefer cash shop items be totally independent of in-game items. Reason being, I want to know whether someone earned it through in game play and not have to guess... did they just buy everything or actually put in the time and effort?

    One means they have experience and are an adventurer, and I would like to differentiate.

     

     


    This post was edited by Kass at January 11, 2021 1:13 AM PST
    • 132 posts
    January 11, 2021 6:19 AM PST

    No cash shop of any sort.

     

    There is no such thing as a cosmetic only cash shop.  Anything that you put on a shop outside of the game that's paid for with real world money affects somebody's game somehow and therefore isn't merely cosmetic.

     

    For example.  Let's say I love to collect companions that do nothing but cutely trail after me on my journeys.  I've scoured every hill and dale, peak and valley, darkest caves and dens of villainous debauchery and have the greatest collection of companions ever known. Then I meet another traveler with a companion that I have never seen.

     

    "Traveler, " I say, "where did you get yon companion?  I must have it to add to my collection!"

    "Yo, it's in the cash shop."

     

    BOOM.

     

    Well, there goes my immersion.  Plus a part of the game that I particularly enjoy has now been placed outside of the game and a monetary value placed on it.  Perhaps you think to solve it by making items available gameside with a quest or grinding of tokens (which I dislike immensely), but then there's still a monetary value placed on my time.  A few hours of questing/grinding vs. a click of Google autofill doesn't seem fair to me.  It creates a class of haves and have-nots based on discretionary income and that's never been the spirit of old school MMORPGs.

     

    I want an immersive world.  I want everything that belongs to the world of Pantheon to come from within it, not bought outside and brought in, no matter how "cosmetic" an item is deemed.  I will say that I did watch the stream and I don't think considering a cosmetic only cash shop is high on the list for the devs.  But if they do ever consider it, the term "cosmetic" might not be so cut and dried.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    • 215 posts
    January 11, 2021 6:33 AM PST

    I think this could work for Pantheon if:

    The cash shop only has

    • Cosmetics for things that don't have impact on gameplay: Custom campfires, cooking pots, logging axes, mining picks, fishing rods, smithing hammers etc (for use in tradeskills/gathering)
    • Hairstyles
    • Guild aesthetic items (Guild flags or banners etc)
    • Mount cosmetics (if there are mounts)
    • Housing items (if there is housing)

     

    The cash shop doesn't have

    • Armor skins
    • Weapon skins
    • Ability skins
    • Mounts (if there are mounts)
    • Name changes

    This post was edited by Ezrael at January 12, 2021 6:40 AM PST
    • 1327 posts
    January 11, 2021 6:54 AM PST

    Sadly it all comes down to economics.  If subs do not cover expenses (both operating and development debt) then the game goes bankrupt and shuts down.  If subs do cover expenses but not enough to continue to develop the game then eventually the game will shut down.  Only if subs can provide a significant profit margin over expenses will Pantheon really thrive with no other form of income.

    A cash shop is a way to augment the sub income to stay out of the first two situations.  I am in agreement with Vjek that having a cash shop can hurt any game long term.  Eventually the financial crutch that is a cash shop becomes the driving form of financing the game and so the company begins to service the cash shop more than the game itself.

    The question becomes one of balancing.  Can a cash shop allow a game to exist that otherwise would not? Is the loss of focus on game quality that drives high subs in favor of focus on things that drive up profit in the cash shop so detrimental that the game is not worth playing any more? 

    I believe there can be a carefully curated cash shop with net positive effect on the game.  In some ways our VIPs are our very own cash shop whales, and their donations have had a profound effect on getting Pantheon to where it is today.  Over time though it will take a great deal of discipline to keep the cash shop as minimal as possible and frankly capitalist society makes that really hard.

    • 3097 posts
    January 11, 2021 8:09 AM PST

    My reaction remains as it has always been. I do not want any cash shop and it is far too easy for a "cosmetic only" shop to become something a lot worse. 

    But my hope for Pantheon has never been for a 100% pure old-school game with no compromises. Life tends not to work like that and if we get a game that is even 50% pure and is a lot better than other MMOs out there we will have more than if the game fails and we get nothing. So VR - do what you need to do. As long as even a somewhat watered-down game is a significant improvement over WoW and LOTRO and SWTOR and ..... I will be happy.

    Pretty clothes and different looking mounts (when and if in the game) and house decorations (when and if in the game) and cosmetic pets are not bad in and of themselves. They are bad because a store is intrusive, it is almost always paired with endless drops of keys or lootboxes (never both, of course, one or the other) and because it leads to worse. Compared to not having the game release at all this is an easy trade-off to approve.

    • 2914 posts
    January 11, 2021 10:25 AM PST

    I imagine if it happens it will be the result of publisher/investor demands and them having no other option. 

     

    Fifteen dollars a month subscription should more than cover costs of running the game unless they get abysmally low player turnout. 

    • 331 posts
    January 11, 2021 11:08 AM PST

    Cash shop of any kind (cosmetic or otherwise) would be a slap in the face of the old school MMORPG niche that this game was trying to fill.

    In-game items/rewards should only be earned through gameplay and socialization. Not by opening your wallet, which is completely immersion breaking.

    If Pantheon needs to open up a cash shop in order to survive, then it's already dead.

     

    NOTE: Account services (such as server transfers, name change, etc) are fine to be paid since they often require CS personnel to be involved, but I don't think they fall under what most people think of for the term "Cash Shop" these days.

     

    • 2205 posts
    January 11, 2021 11:15 AM PST

    If a game must rely upon a cash shop to keep it afloat, then the game doesn't deserve to stay afloat.  If your game can't attract enough players to support it through subscriptions, then it isn't worth staying on the market.

    • 42 posts
    January 11, 2021 11:59 AM PST

    A cosmetic cash shop is NOT AT ALL a deal-breaker for me - as long as you can't purchase power. Cosmetics only, holiday costumes for holidays only ect. no problem for me.

    • 295 posts
    January 11, 2021 12:16 PM PST

    I'm rather indifferent to the cash shop unless it is used as a way for players to buy loot. I would even be perfectly fine if they added xp potions to the cash shop as a way to allow casual players to grind levels quicker. I would love for VR to find alternative revenue streams to supplement what they receive from the subs. The more profitable the game, the more detailed expansions we get. A companion collection card game would be awesome. A companion website that keeps your characters' stats and details (EQ2 had one that was awesome). Cash shops are a hot button issue, but so long as this isn't a p2w setup (and VR has been crystal clear about that) then there isn't anything to worry about.

    Just play the game as you see fit, don't worry about what others are doing. It is the same mentality we should have about being able to toggle off transmogs (if VR goes that route).

    • 209 posts
    January 11, 2021 12:37 PM PST

    The problem with a cash shop is they are going to want that shop to conintually generate profit. Which means they are constantly having to design and implement new cosmetic items to keep the shop profitable. 

    This will immediately compete with and most likely outshine in game items. Resources and man power will probably be prioritized towards the shop.

    A cash shop is antithetical to Pantheon's design goal from my perspective.

     

    Insert Michael Scott meme:

    "NO GOD PLEASE NOOOOOOO"

     

     


    This post was edited by WarKnight at January 11, 2021 1:05 PM PST
    • 2205 posts
    January 11, 2021 1:12 PM PST

    randomrob82 said:

    I would even be perfectly fine if they added xp potions to the cash shop as a way to allow casual players to grind levels quicker.

    XP potions woul also allow hardcore players to XP that much faster, putting the casuals even further behind. Anything introduced to make life easier for causuals only benefits hardcore players even more.

    • 209 posts
    January 11, 2021 1:14 PM PST

    Also, I assume this game's business model has been designed to be sustainable without a cash shop?

    Or is a cash shop a compromise to attract investors to maximize profit?

     

     

    • 96 posts
    January 11, 2021 2:09 PM PST

    WarKnight said:

    Also, I assume this game's business model has been designed to be sustainable without a cash shop?

    Or is a cash shop a compromise to attract investors to maximize profit?

     

    I think you might be onto something here.....

    • 3097 posts
    January 11, 2021 3:23 PM PST

    ((If a game must rely upon a cash shop to keep it afloat, then the game doesn't deserve to stay afloat.  If your game can't attract enough players to support it through subscriptions, then it isn't worth staying on the market.))

     

    I choose not to look at it from the perspective of how worthy the game is. I choose to look at it from the perspective of what is better for us - the potential players. Selfish, I know.

    Best is a game with no cash shop. 

    Worst is no game.

    In the middle is a game with some features we like but also with a cash shop. I have enormous difficulty understanding how anyone could prefer Pantheon to go *poof* rather than to make some compromises that still leave it as a big improvement over what is out there now.

    • 154 posts
    January 11, 2021 4:12 PM PST

    dorotea said:

    In the middle is a game with some features we like but also with a cash shop. I have enormous difficulty understanding how anyone could prefer Pantheon to go *poof* rather than to make some compromises that still leave it as a big improvement over what is out there now.

     

    Again, everyone would rather see a Pantheon game exist with a cash shop than not exist at all (except maybe some really spiteful people).

     

    The issue is, for some of us, it's on the borderline of a complete dealbreaker. We all have lines in the sand of certain features / tenets that must be (or not be) part of the game. This one is kinda a big deal for many - obviously to varying degrees.


    This post was edited by Kass at January 11, 2021 4:13 PM PST
    • 1 posts
    January 11, 2021 4:44 PM PST

    Marilee said:

    No cash shop of any sort.

     

    There is no such thing as a cosmetic only cash shop.  Anything that you put on a shop outside of the game that's paid for with real world money affects somebody's game somehow and therefore isn't merely cosmetic.

     

    For example.  Let's say I love to collect companions that do nothing but cutely trail after me on my journeys.  I've scoured every hill and dale, peak and valley, darkest caves and dens of villainous debauchery and have the greatest collection of companions ever known. Then I meet another traveler with a companion that I have never seen.

     

    "Traveler, " I say, "where did you get yon companion?  I must have it to add to my collection!"

    "Yo, it's in the cash shop."

     

    BOOM.

     

    Well, there goes my immersion.  Plus a part of the game that I particularly enjoy has now been placed outside of the game and a monetary value placed on it.  Perhaps you think to solve it by making items available gameside with a quest or grinding of tokens (which I dislike immensely), but then there's still a monetary value placed on my time.  A few hours of questing/grinding vs. a click of Google autofill doesn't seem fair to me.  It creates a class of haves and have-nots based on discretionary income and that's never been the spirit of old school MMORPGs.

     

    I want an immersive world.  I want everything that belongs to the world of Pantheon to come from within it, not bought outside and brought in, no matter how "cosmetic" an item is deemed.  I will say that I did watch the stream and I don't think considering a cosmetic only cash shop is high on the list for the devs.  But if they do ever consider it, the term "cosmetic" might not be so cut and dried.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Tell me, what will break your immersion more, a cosmetic nameplate, companion pet or the servers being shut off because they didn't explore every revenue stream needed to keep an MMO running in the current environment? Which other MMO can you play that doesn't have one?

    • 352 posts
    January 11, 2021 4:59 PM PST

    #NoCashShopPlzSenor

    • 132 posts
    January 11, 2021 5:06 PM PST

    Ardeso said:

     

     

     

     

    Tell me, what will break your immersion more, a cosmetic nameplate, companion pet or the servers being shut off because they didn't explore every revenue stream needed to keep an MMO running in the current environment? Which other MMO can you play that doesn't have one?

     

    Hmmmm... I'm not sure in what tone you typed these questions so I'm going to answer simply and succintly:  I do not currently nor do I plan to play any game with a cash shop.


    This post was edited by Marilee at January 11, 2021 5:07 PM PST
    • 220 posts
    January 11, 2021 6:24 PM PST

     

    Pantheon is undoubtedly a niche game for a niche audience.

    While I enjoy looking at some of the high rez textures and poly counts the team has been putting out, I've always felt that the time it takes to create such high fidelity content was not in line with the potential return on investment of its niche audience.

    I know VR has made strides in trying to mitigate the asset development time vs potential return on investment issue by using procedurally generated landscape tech and keeping character profiles uniform in order that a piece of armor will scale appropriately to fit any race, but that still doesn’t adequately address the time it requires to create such high fidelity armor, weapons, etc. 

    I've always felt that going down this high graphics fidelity path would likely lead to the repetitive use of limited PC/NPC assets throughout Terminus. 

    There are very few solutions to this problem. Either you implement some sort of gimmicky texture tinting and name variation mechanic to sort of make it look like there are more assets than there actually are or you figure out a way to bring in more money in order to accomodate the time it takes to create more high fidelity assets.

    So I am not at all surprised that this talk of a cosmetic shop is coming to light as it has most likely been a known issue behind the scenes for years now. I think the issue all along has not been whether or not to utilize a cosmetic cash shop, it has been how to gently break it to the community. 

    I understand the predicament they are likely in. 

    Truth be told, I would much rather see a game with more unique assets than one with gimmicky altered variations of a smaller set of base assets. 

    That said, I also can’t stand cosmetic gear and cash shops.

    I get the whole slippery slope argument when it comes to cosmetic cash shops, but given the situation they are likely in because of the level of graphical fidelity they chose to pursue, we are either going have to be content with a limited base set of high fidelity PC/NPC assets or trust that they can keep the slippery slope thing under control. 

    Personally, I will probably jump ship at the outset if there is not at least some way to toggle the cosmetic visuals in the setting menu or preferably have them constrained entirely to separate servers.

     


    This post was edited by Nekentros at January 11, 2021 9:43 PM PST
    • 100 posts
    January 12, 2021 7:47 AM PST
    I dont mind the cash shops as long as its cosmetic only and not game changing. I mean if someone wants to do a hair cut or change character size or shape or facial features cause they get bored with what they originally wanted why not. I do have a problem with changing the looks of armor mostly because in pvp its good to know what your dealing with if your able to camouflage your gear that could change things.
    • 3097 posts
    January 12, 2021 8:09 AM PST

    ((The issue is, for some of us, it's on the borderline of a complete dealbreaker. We all have lines in the sand of certain features / tenets that must be (or not be) part of the game. This one is kinda a big deal for many - obviously to varying degrees.))

    Very true. When I said that I couldn't see anyone preferring Pantheon to go *poof* rather than having a somewhat imperfect game that was "a big improvement over what is out there now" that left completely open the subjective question of what would make it a big improvement. To me its current features combined with a cash shop still leave it a big improvement and worth playing but I can easily see some people feeling otherwise. 

    I also was deliberately oversimplifying. If someone felt that Pantheon with a cash shop was a big improvement but not something that they would want to play - that too is entirely logical. Something I merely dislike is a huge improvement over something I completely hate - but I won't waste time playing it.

    One point I throw out there for consideration is to what extent the nature and design of a cash shop is relevant. 

    Take one extreme. Frequent pop-ups telling us about the shop and encouraging us to use it. Inventory cluttering drops of lootboxes without any way to filter them so that those that do not want to get them do not get them. World chat interrupted with system messages like "Fred just bought a horse - oh what a beautiful horse - lucky Fred." Any resemblance to Neverwinter is by no means accidental. No matter how good the rest of the game is I am likely to be out of there as well. Even if all they sell is cosmetics which in and of itself doesn't bother me.

    Now take the other extreme. Nothing whatsoever but an inobtrusive icon allowing those that want to buy cosmetics with real money. No keys dropping. No lootboxes dropping. No lottery system or other use of random number generatiors. If you want a beautiful purple outfit you buy it for a fixed price with nothing random about it. If VR sticks to that extreme even someone that thinks of any cash shop as a dealbreaker could reconsider. Or not if its a natter of principle to them or they want a long term home and fear the slippery slope.

    • 916 posts
    January 12, 2021 8:52 AM PST

    I'm not against a cosmetic cash shop.  I know some people are, but it doesn't bother me.  However, maybe a way to get around those that don't like people to dress up their dolls too much would be to make them earn it first.

    What I mean is, maybe they (the player) has to have looted the gear they want to display on an appearace slot before they can wear it on an appearance slot.  Secondly, maybe make them pay to unlock the appearance slot.  $.99 to Unlock the Chest appearace slot.  Other wise what you have on as your equipped item is whats shown.  

    This way no one is buying anything they didnt' earn and addtionaly, VR gets money for people buying the right to show off gear.  Every slot on a character could be like this too, or maybe something like $5 for opening up all slot.  Mounts too.

    • 1646 posts
    January 12, 2021 8:57 AM PST

    Realisitically I saw this coming like 2 years ago, it finanically makes sense to have some kind of way to make more income inside the game.  For as long as it is Cosmetic Only and doesn't make people look like White Knights of the Round table or something like that, i would be cool with that, a look like that should be earned not bought.  Than again i still want to choose if i can see transmog or not, but that's a whole new discussion, either way not going to debate it, just checking in after 6 months and bouncing out now, see you in maybe another 6 months.

    • 1690 posts
    January 12, 2021 9:37 AM PST

    Of all the MMOs I've personally stopped playing due to a cash shop adding P2W, all of them started out cosmetic only. YMMV.