Forums » General Pantheon Discussion

A Cash Shop is Being Considered

    • 497 posts
    January 12, 2021 9:57 AM PST

    Riahuf22 said:

    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.

    I expected it. In the best of climates in this day and age you're lucky if a subscription game will even make it to production. And if it does it's usually only a short time before it has to go free-to-play in some way to continue. SWTOR and ESO both if you recall were subscription games at the start but later went on to switch to F2P due to declining numbers. Pantheon was always intended to be a niche MMORPG, and, as said, at the best of times, that can be costly and rare even in a strong economy. But given the pandemic ravaging of the economy, the best of times are not what we're in. 

    As far as cash shops. I'm not fond of them but I understand the business side of it. Doesn't mean I like it. But that said, they could do far worse than simple cosmetics.


    This post was edited by Kratuk at January 12, 2021 9:58 AM PST
    • 114 posts
    January 12, 2021 10:01 AM PST

    Vandraad said:

    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.

    Dark Age of Camelot gave an XP boost for the first hour, or so, when you logged in to your account after being offline for an extended period of time, I'm not sure how long it was, but if you hadn't logged in for around 18 hours, you got a slight XP boost for a limited time, regardless of which character you chose to play. It was designed to help those with limited free time to play the game to keep up with friends and / or guild mates.

    They also introduced camp XP bonuses, in that, if a spawn had not been killed for an extended period of time, you would gain additional XP for killing those mobs, the longer they had been alive, the bigger the camp bonus, up to a maximum amount. Camp bonuses slowly reduced each time you pulled the mobs, so it promoted movement around zones, to explore more, rather than camp a specific area. In essence, if you moved around, found camps / spawns that were not farmed so much, you would level faster.

    I'll stop there because I'm going off topic!

    • 342 posts
    January 12, 2021 10:02 AM PST

    Cash shops generate too much revenue to ignore, they can be a necessary evil. If conceding on this point allows for investor interest that will enable this game to finish, I'm okay with that (as long as no P2W creeps in).

    A fair compromise would be designing all cosmetic items to fit into cosmetic-only gear slots, and to implement an option to disable viewing those cosmetic-only gear slots for players who wish not to see others with cosmetic items.

    • 67 posts
    January 12, 2021 10:06 AM PST

    I've been saying for years there will be a cash shop and have been blasted on these forums for doing so. A cosmetic shop should have no bearing on anyone's enjoyment of the game, especially if a toggle is made. Increasing the sub to $30-$40 dollars is a pipe dream and will never happen.

     

    I personally hope they have a cosmetic shop. I thoroughly enjoyed EQ2's cash shop housing items.

    • 155 posts
    January 12, 2021 10:08 AM PST

    dorotea said:

    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.

    Well explained. This is what I mean when I kept using the term "done poorly". Option 1, I do not play the game. Option 2, I'm not happy about it, but will still be all in.

    As far as the slippery slope, I think VR is genuinely rooted in their tenents and vision and will do their absolute best to stick to them. I don't believe a cash shop will ever give performance boost (I think almost all of us hardcore supports would instantly quit). But to what degree is the cosmetic cash shop, that is the question. I would like to think it would be more along option 2.

    If the game is in dire straights financially it could morph into option 1... Then no sweat, I'm going to quit the game. No regrets for me! My $500 support was well worth the CHANCE of getting the game I've been waiting so long for. There were never any guarentees. I'd be disappointed, but move on.

     

    • 202 posts
    January 12, 2021 11:02 AM PST

    I don't know what game this is, but it is not the one most of us pledged and hoped for...even talking about cash shops, npcs that you can pay to get your corpse, etc.  On top of that, the hilarious thing is all the people who are so desperate to see any shell of this game appear at this stage that they are making all kinds of comments that indicate a willingness to "compromise".  Rationalizing to themselves, well maybe a little cash shop, or maybe just a non intrusive cosmetic one, etc etc etc.  Battles are lost by inches, not by miles.  It is already lost when we are having these discussions.  I get it though.  The desperation to get a publisher to supply the cash to actually make this thing is imperative now, and they are willing to entertain any notion to survive. I mean the developers have families and mouths to feed and bills to pay.  Not a one would rather be unemployed than agree to make some mass market crap MMO that betrays what this was supposed to be, nor should they.  People who expect otherwise are the real fools. 

    People can keep coming up with tortured justifications to explain to themselves why a cash shop is ok...(right right...ONLY IF one is made, etc etc) and other moves that are getting farther and farther away from what the bulk of us really wanted, which was basically a true EQ 3 type experience.  I know that the core of us who had a McQuaid style vision (for all his faults, he shared an MMO vision with a lot of us) would all be willing to pay 20 or 25 a month with no issues for a real, true return to what we want.  The more we move away from that, the more we indulge the modern mmo crowd and world, the more we get those people who will whine, complain, demand etc but at the end of the day, no matter what you give them, they will play a month or two and leave.  That kind of world will also push those in the traditional crowd away, and instead of a steady consistent stream of people like that paying 20 25 a month, you get nothing.  For one, you should definitely be charging 20 a month, not 15. 

    I know some people have been getting themselves super worked up over the "progress" they see lately, etc and that is great for them.  Sadly, nothing has changed the reality of the fact that this game has been in glacial development for eons, and without a major investment commitment is not going to get finished, and that reality is already trending into a openness to ideas that had no business in this vision for financial reasons.  No malice for VR though, since they are just trying to pay their own bills and manage their own lives, and whatever helps keep the work going and be "successful" is what they will go towards.  Just sounds more and more that if they get there, it is not going to be a place I want to end up.


    This post was edited by antonius at January 12, 2021 11:03 AM PST
    • 333 posts
    January 12, 2021 11:55 AM PST

    antonius said:

    I don't know what game this is, but it is not the one most of us pledged and hoped for...even talking about cash shops, npcs that you can pay to get your corpse, etc.  On top of that, the hilarious thing is all the people who are so desperate to see any shell of this game appear at this stage that they are making all kinds of comments that indicate a willingness to "compromise".  Rationalizing to themselves, well maybe a little cash shop, or maybe just a non intrusive cosmetic one, etc etc etc.  Battles are lost by inches, not by miles.  It is already lost when we are having these discussions.  I get it though.  The desperation to get a publisher to supply the cash to actually make this thing is imperative now, and they are willing to entertain any notion to survive. I mean the developers have families and mouths to feed and bills to pay.  Not a one would rather be unemployed than agree to make some mass market crap MMO that betrays what this was supposed to be, nor should they.  People who expect otherwise are the real fools. 

    People can keep coming up with tortured justifications to explain to themselves why a cash shop is ok...(right right...ONLY IF one is made, etc etc) and other moves that are getting farther and farther away from what the bulk of us really wanted, which was basically a true EQ 3 type experience.  I know that the core of us who had a McQuaid style vision (for all his faults, he shared an MMO vision with a lot of us) would all be willing to pay 20 or 25 a month with no issues for a real, true return to what we want.  The more we move away from that, the more we indulge the modern mmo crowd and world, the more we get those people who will whine, complain, demand etc but at the end of the day, no matter what you give them, they will play a month or two and leave.  That kind of world will also push those in the traditional crowd away, and instead of a steady consistent stream of people like that paying 20 25 a month, you get nothing.  For one, you should definitely be charging 20 a month, not 15. 

    I know some people have been getting themselves super worked up over the "progress" they see lately, etc and that is great for them.  Sadly, nothing has changed the reality of the fact that this game has been in glacial development for eons, and without a major investment commitment is not going to get finished, and that reality is already trending into a openness to ideas that had no business in this vision for financial reasons.  No malice for VR though, since they are just trying to pay their own bills and manage their own lives, and whatever helps keep the work going and be "successful" is what they will go towards.  Just sounds more and more that if they get there, it is not going to be a place I want to end up.

    I wish this forums had an "agree" button.

    Well said! I love the part you said about compromise and battles being lost by inches, not by miles. Could not agree more.

    • 39 posts
    January 12, 2021 11:56 AM PST

    I'm on board with the majority of people where I think Cash shops are a slippery slope and going on the tenets of the game take away from that.  Ideally in this "immersive" world, we all start as equals. Level one nobodies with not a copper to their name and that in this world we participate in, the spoils of our endeavors are driven by our skill and time commitment.  Having RL money impede on this gaming agreement of kills that agreement of us starting as equals.  There will always been those outliers where time is an asset that some of us don't have and trying to compete with those no lifers is a different aspect in of itself to worry about.

    When it comes to a lean but mean team that VR has, I would like to think that Cash shops takes away resources from those trying to get the core game done ina reasonable timeframe when we all wish it was out yesterday.  I've learned on another game like Ashes of Creation, they have dedicated people that's sole job is to create more cosmetics to sell and I just feel like that department can grow quickly in a game because it drives the most revenue.  This is something that again I just don't think has a place currently at this stage of development.

    A game in which i found to not be very intrusive on it's cash shop and to have minimal impact on the game is Path of Exile.  I understand it's a different type of game, but one of the principles of it's cash shop would be the only one I would consider in a game like pantheon is it's housing cosmetics.

    Housing from my understanding would be a future, post go-live function of the game that is added.  Given that it could be 2 years out from launch, this aspect would be the only thing i would entertain a cash shop for and that is housing cosmetics.  I think it pulls upon the same principle as the RL money aspects, where in the adventuring world, we are again more viewed as equals as there is no visual or gaming influence from RL money, but if you want within your virtual housing, that quite honestly i'd have no interest in visiting,  to spend money on aesthetics, that would be the only cash shop component i would entertain.  In this sense it would not impact my world, but would appease those that like that part of it much like how path of exile does it in their hideouts.  I've been to some really cool hideouts that looked like hundreds of dollars of spent, but in my gaming experience, it affects me in no way possible.  

    Taking that slippery slope aspect to not occur, this is how I would envision a cash shop could co-exist in pantheon.

    • 342 posts
    January 12, 2021 12:06 PM PST

    The continued development of this game relies on there being enough cash injections to keep it going. VR tried to get subscribers to fund them so they could keep it a subscription-only game, but the Kickstarter failed and they had to move to a pledge system that wasn't providing enough revenue. This project would have failed long ago if it wasn't for the one investor who came in and saved the day early on. That investment + pledges have kept them afloat for a little bit, but it's not enough obviously. We've reached the point where they now have to compromise so that the game can actually launch someday. This is just the reality of business. I'm sure if some investors came along and were fine giving huge $$$ amounts without the need for a cash shop, this wouldn't be a discussion today. Unfortunately, that's not the case. This was clearly inevitable if you've been paying attention to the past couple years of development.

    Edited to fix an incorrect statement.


    This post was edited by Sicario at January 13, 2021 10:14 AM PST
    • 215 posts
    January 12, 2021 11:43 PM PST

    vjek said:

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

    Guild Wars 2 has been buy to play with a cosmetic cash shop only and no subscription since 2012.

    • 85 posts
    January 13, 2021 1:02 AM PST

    It has been said in the past, that you should see, what item the character is wearing. I really liked that statement ... So if a cosmetic cash shop is really coming, please make sure, that the sword of awesomeness still looks like the sword of awesomeness ... and that nobody can buy the look of the sword of awesomeness in the cash shop. 

    You want the look of the sword of awesomeness, you have to get the sword of awesomeness.

    • 333 posts
    January 13, 2021 7:20 AM PST

    Sicario said:

    The continued development of this game relies on there being enough cash injections to keep it going. VR tried to get subscribers to fund them so they could keep it a subscription-only game, but the Kickstarter failed twice. This project would have failed long ago if it wasn't for the one investor who came in and saved the day early on. That investment + pledges have kept them afloat for a little bit, but it's not enough obviously. We've reached the point where they now have to compromise so that the game can actually launch someday. This is just the reality of business. I'm sure if some investors came along and were fine giving huge $$$ amounts without the need for a cash shop, this wouldn't be a discussion today. Unfortunately, that's not the case. This was clearly inevitable if you've been paying attention to the past couple years of development.

    Twice? Can you post a link to their second Kickstarter? I guess I must've missed it...

    • 1242 posts
    January 13, 2021 7:27 AM PST

    Sicario said:

    The continued development of this game relies on there being enough cash injections to keep it going. VR tried to get subscribers to fund them so they could keep it a subscription-only game, but the Kickstarter failed twice. This project would have failed long ago if it wasn't for the one investor who came in and saved the day early on. That investment + pledges have kept them afloat for a little bit, but it's not enough obviously. We've reached the point where they now have to compromise so that the game can actually launch someday. This is just the reality of business. I'm sure if some investors came along and were fine giving huge $$$ amounts without the need for a cash shop, this wouldn't be a discussion today. Unfortunately, that's not the case. This was clearly inevitable if you've been paying attention to the past couple years of development.

    What second Kickstarter?  There has only been one, in 2014.

    • 1887 posts
    January 13, 2021 9:02 AM PST

    I just realized Ben's statement was conditional, not a definite.

    "IF- we were to consider a cash shop, (then) it would be for cosmetics only"

     

    Which, given how fortnite makes its money from cosmetics I can see publishers or investors asking if this will be a thing.

    Regardless if the people or the parents paying for such never "got it" from reading "the emperor has no clothes".  The fact that "the customer is always right" does hold sway in business.

     

    What VR needs is a guy like Dupont in "Foxcatcher" , someone wealthy who is willing to spend a soupcon of their vast assets to pursue their passions in MMO's - but not be crazy.

    • 238 posts
    January 13, 2021 9:53 AM PST
    $30-$40 monthly sub may not seem like a big deal for die hard fans, but for some rando off the street it will be. MMOs need a healthy player base and increasing sub fees is not how you’d do it.
    • 342 posts
    January 13, 2021 10:12 AM PST

    Wellspring said:

    Twice? Can you post a link to their second Kickstarter? I guess I must've missed it...

    Kalok said:

    What second Kickstarter?  There has only been one, in 2014.

    I mis-remembered, they went straight into the pledge system after the original Kickstarter event. They were however only able to continue due to the one angel investor. My point still stands, they've been unsuccessful so far in securing the funding needed to really build out this game.

    • 58 posts
    January 13, 2021 10:29 AM PST

    Not sure if this point has been made, but "cosmetic only" cash shops destroy a big portion of what can make crafting a viable way to make money in an MMO. The best looking cosmetic items should be made by master craftsmen who have put in the years to learn the recipes, gather the materials, and perfect their art. A cosmetic cash shop is like, "sure you could get this cloak designed and stitched by a master tailor, or you could just go on Wish and have a cheap knock off shipped direct from China"; except in the case of MMOs, the Wish crap is even better.

     

    It also seems incongruous with statements about how weapons and armor should be iconic. That a character's gear should say something about the adventeres that they have had.


    This post was edited by Ruinar at January 13, 2021 10:31 AM PST
    • 514 posts
    January 13, 2021 12:19 PM PST

    If you are a real fan of the game, you will have to come to grips with the fact, in this market. MMOs dont make it on subs and box sales alone. A conmetic shop is most likely needed to keep content flowing and the lights on. Freaking out about a cosmetic shop, you really need to give your head and shake and ask. Do I really want to see a game like Pantheon? There is no other game out there like this. This game fails, we have no where to go. 

    • 2238 posts
    January 13, 2021 1:14 PM PST

    Nanfoodle said:

    MMOs

    • 2238 posts
    January 13, 2021 1:15 PM PST

    Nanfoodle said:

    Terrible MMOs created by unskilled developers who don't know WTF they are doing, taking on too complex of a project and believe that 'just good enough' is sufficient knowing they will just cash-shop out for more revenue dont make it on subs and box sales alone.

    Fixed that for you.


    This post was edited by Vandraad at January 13, 2021 1:16 PM PST
    • 514 posts
    January 13, 2021 1:25 PM PST

    Vandraad said:

    Nanfoodle said:

    Terrible MMOs created by unskilled developers who don't know WTF they are doing, taking on too complex of a project and believe that 'just good enough' is sufficient knowing they will just cash-shop out for more revenue dont make it on subs and box sales alone.

    Fixed that for you.

     

    No you just added bias to it. Its a market standard that no smart company would ignore. Costmetic shops can be done in a way that does not take anything away from the game. Sure, there is hate because we see game companies use any time of cash shop to take advanatge of their customers. I am sure VR will be fair and resonable. Better a cosmetic cash shop then a game that shuts its door too soon. 

    • 155 posts
    January 13, 2021 1:55 PM PST

    double post

     


    This post was edited by Kass at January 13, 2021 2:01 PM PST
    • 155 posts
    January 13, 2021 1:55 PM PST

    Nanfoodle said:

    Costmetic shops can be done in a way that does not take anything away from the game.

     

    It's not possible. There is always something lost when a cash shop is added, ecspecially in an MMO.

     

    It's a game where there is a story behind every item. Pain, sacrifice, failure, luck, perseverance, skill...  but, when that story is "I bought it for 5$", then it 100% - unequivocally - takes away from the game for others. That's not an opinion. It's a fact. Source: I'm one of those many players, and I'm telling you how it ruins a game for me.

     

    What Vandraad said isn't bias. There is plenty of evidence. Bad MMOs lose subscribers which leads to alternate revenue being a must. Good MMOs keep and grow subscribers, giving them more flexibility to make the choice that is best. Now, you could say it's 2021, and all MMOs have cash shops... well Pantheon isn't catering to the same crowd, and I think a lot of this crowd has a problem with how cash shops might be implemented.

     

    And since everyone's into this hyperbolic question trend - What's better: an MMO that has a cash shop with no one playing it or an MMO that has dedicated subscribers with no cash shop?


    This post was edited by Kass at January 13, 2021 2:01 PM PST
    • 514 posts
    January 13, 2021 2:22 PM PST

    Kass said:

    Nanfoodle said:

    Costmetic shops can be done in a way that does not take anything away from the game.

     

     What's better: an MMO that has a cash shop with no one playing it or an MMO that has dedicated subscribers with no cash shop?

     

    That question makes it sound like its exclusive but its not. Many MMOs if not almost all of them do and have people subbing and playing. You can also have an active game with people subbing and still close due to not making enough money. Lots of games have. Whats best? A game that keeps it doors open and keeps making content for its fans. We need to give VR wiggle room to make that happen. 

    • 656 posts
    January 13, 2021 2:34 PM PST

    I am staunchly against *ANY* cash shop, even "cosmetic only"

     

    1)   cosmetics are, in fact, a big motivator in the game.  People are proud of showing off their unique characters and looking a certain way.   Back in the day Nathsar leggings in EQ were incredibly desirable simply because they were purple.   Making cosmetics purchasable removes any motivating value they have.   Cosmetics to some is an important reward, as much as levels, stats or tradeskills to another.   Cosmetics are a reward and should never be purchases under any circumstance.

    2) cosmetics start a slippery slope and more and more extreme and absurb cosmetics get added to the shop until its all cartoonishly stupid.

    3) SOE started out promising "cosmetics only"   and it slowly morphed, bit-by-bit into pay to win, even though they said that would never happen.   If you open that door, its only a matter of time until you ruin it

     

    If there is a cash shop, even cosmetic only I would like a refund from my $300 backing donation which was made based upon promises made, if this is renegued I will take my money back and  bid you all adieu.