Forums » General Pantheon Discussion

A Cash Shop is Being Considered

    • 1964 posts
    January 13, 2021 2:37 PM PST

    I don't see it working in this circumstance. 

    A cosmetic cash shop attracts people who care about looks and dressing their character and/or decorating their house etc.

    A challenging game harkening back to old school mmos with some updated systems doesn't necessarily include that ^ type of player.

    A Venn Diagram that shows the people who want a challenging, old school type experience and who also care about cosmetics has got to be a tiny sliver of a demographic to target within that diagram.

    I'm guessing VR would end up chasing more people away with a cosmetic cash shop than the amount of money they would make in the long run.


    This post was edited by philo at January 13, 2021 2:48 PM PST
    • Moderator
    • 9214 posts
    January 13, 2021 3:20 PM 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 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 is not correct at all mate. A lot of things happens behind the scenes that we don't bring to the public for privacy and legal reasons. In this day and age though, to survive with enough revenue to keep the server hampsters fed and watered plus enough staff to manage and maintain the game for years to come and all of the overheads that come with such a big game, some kind of cosmetic shop is almost expected, yet we are completely against any kind of pay to win system.

    I know other games have stated this in the past and lied, I've been personally affected too and my trust levels diminished severely after companies say one thing, hook you in and then go back on their word but that is not what Visionary Realms is about, we're gamers that have been hit by this and are completely against that type of behaviour and we also know our community a lot better than most other companies and know that if we pulled a stunt like that it would most likely cripple us.

    We continue to view a subscription model as the best option for us and our community, IF we need to implement a cosmetic shop we will do so with it being as unintrusive as possible but still enabling people who really enjoy fashion in their MMORPG experience to support the game while the rest of our player base can pay their sub and play the game their way without utilising the cosmetic store.

    This has come up a few times now so I wanted to address it, it was just brushed over quickly because we have no hard set plans for one but we need to keep our options open if we lack the subscription revenue to survive, it will be an option to keep the game alive for you all to play.

    On that note, I'm going to close this down as it's all speculation and assumptions at this point, we are a long way off even considering this.


    This post was edited by Kilsin at January 13, 2021 3:21 PM PST
    • 97 posts
    January 19, 2021 5:12 AM PST

    Hey all, just wanted to respond here as well. I don’t normally reopen threads but given the attention of the topic on other platforms, I’d like to give you an opportunity to continue the discussion here as well after my responses, as long as we keep it constructive and on point, and try to avoid assumptions and conjecture.

    Everything that Kilsin said above is true. Fact is, we don’t yet know if we are going to need to consider a cosmetic shop. We may need to, so we cannot rule it out. It certainly isn’t a priority for us right now though and we would need a lot of data before we made such a decision. But if it came down to additional revenue or closing the doors, I think the choice is obvious.

    Without having had any in-depth internal discussion about it, since it is currently not something we are focused on, it is difficult to make any kind of statement on what a theoretical shop would look like. What I can say with complete confidence though, is that, like I said on the stream, it would not be a pay-to-win shop.  In the brief moments it has come up, some have suggested that if we went that route, there be a toggle to switch off purchased cosmetics so you wouldn’t see any of them show up on anyone in game. That’s about the extent of everything we have discussed internally on it.

    Ultimately our top priority is making a game that we can all enjoy, and I think we all know that a revenue is needed. As this is clearly a very sensitive issue with some, if the time comes, we will open it up to discussion to let you know an additional revenue is needed and to get you ideas on what that could be.

    But for now, although a cosmetic shop is not ruled out, please do know that under no circumstances do we intend to force something on our players that they don’t want.  


    This post was edited by BenD at January 19, 2021 5:14 AM PST
    • 205 posts
    January 19, 2021 5:54 AM PST

    Obviously any of us would prefer there not be a cash shop, but if it's the difference of the game surviving years past launch, or tanking in the first two months, there are much worse things VR could do to Pantheon than add a cash shop.

    • 77 posts
    January 19, 2021 7:17 AM PST

    I guess I still got a bitter taste in my mouth when the same thing was said over at vanguard, and then suddenly the cash shop was p2w.

    • 97 posts
    January 19, 2021 7:34 AM PST

    torveld said:

    I guess I still got a bitter taste in my mouth when the same thing was said over at vanguard, and then suddenly the cash shop was p2w.


    Many of the dev team experienced the same thing in that and other games, which motivates us even more to avoid that kind of situation.

    • 77 posts
    January 19, 2021 7:39 AM PST

    I think the problem there was that they weren't in control of whether or not that decision was made. It was easy to say we don't want that in our game but then when the people who own the game expect more profit they kinda got forced into that situation. Is there a world where the team is no longer in control of such decisions and has to cave in to the owners of the game? (i dont know who owns what piece of this game or how much)

    • 223 posts
    January 19, 2021 7:47 AM PST

    BenD, thank you for addressing this issue. Torveld brings up a good point, the answer to which would hopefully put this to rest.


    This post was edited by Nekentros at January 19, 2021 7:49 AM PST
    • 117 posts
    January 19, 2021 8:14 AM PST

    I think as long as VR maintains Creative Decision Making Rights, we will all be safe and fine, whichever route they end up going regarding not having, or having, a cash shop.

    • 298 posts
    January 19, 2021 9:01 AM PST

    While Im not in favore of cash shops theres no denying that they work.

    But for the love of all the gods please dont do random loot boxes, if im spending real cash I want to know what I'm buying.

    • 30 posts
    January 19, 2021 9:04 AM PST

    Olympeus said:

    What are your thoughts on a Cash Shop for Pantheon?  Was this news to you or had you already heard?  If you hadn't heard officially, did you expect it to happen anyway or were you surprised?

     

    I've expected it for some time now.  I don't exactly recall how long ago (and I won't name names), but probably in the realm of 1 to 1.5 years ago, on the Discord fan server, a VR representative said something along the lines of "Our stance hasn't changed: we are committed to never selling items in an in-game cash shop that will affect gameplay."  That's not an exact quote, but it was something like that.

    Reading between the lines, that was the first time I ever felt entirely convinced they were going down the cash shop route.  Now, I'm not one of those people who are utterly convinced that "cash shops will ruin the game" or that they're my deal breaker.  I don't LIKE them, but that stems from two major irritations with how they've been implemented in past games, which are 1) Selling items that affect actual gameplay in ANY way, and 2) CONSTANTLY BADERING ME EVERY TIME I LOG IN OR LOG OUT TO LOOK AT AND BUY STUFF FROM THE CASH SHOP

    As for point #1, I fully trust VR not to make this blunder.  And as for point #2, I'd HOPE that this doesn't become a thing, ESPECIALLY if I'm paying a subscription fee.  Put access to the cash shop as a UI element, fine.  But don't effing give me pop ups every single time I log in, reminding me that "HEY THERE'S STUFF ON THE CASH SHOP YOU CAN BUY."

    If I'm paying a sub fee, I don't want to be badgered about the cash stop AT ALL.  So long as those two things are carefully navigated by VR, I don't mind a cash shop at all.

    • 117 posts
    January 19, 2021 9:54 AM PST

    Gintoki88 said:

    While Im not in favore of cash shops theres no denying that they work.

    But for the love of all the gods please dont do random loot boxes, if im spending real cash I want to know what I'm buying.

     

    Agreed, I am a SWTOR player and while I make use of their cosmetic shop...I hate the "gambling boxes"  You never know what you are getting if you buy those.   I am pragmatic and realize that a cosmetic cash shop may be a necessity and I am ok with that.  Ben thankfully has stated that there will be no p2W.

    • 514 posts
    January 19, 2021 10:21 AM PST

    I have thought allot about ways to have cosmetics in the game and not impact the game. Mount skins would be one. Also if a costume tab was added and costues could be earned in game and on a cash shop this would be fair. MAke it so costumes are only seen in safe areas and cities that could be used for RP and Machinima would add allot to the game. Or you could have costumes show up everywhere with players having a toggle to turn off everyones costumes. Would be fun to have even things like crafting costumes like Chefs outfits, blacksmith etc. For people who like to RP while crafting. Im sure people could come up with other ideas that would lower the impact to the game if one was ever needed to keep the doors open. 


    This post was edited by Nanfoodle at January 19, 2021 10:22 AM PST
    • 342 posts
    January 19, 2021 10:56 AM PST

    In an ideal world, subscriptions alone would carry a game these days. But realistically, given how game development and upkeep has changed over the years, I don't think it's realistic. A cosmetic-only cash shop, despite its negative connotations, is a practical and almost necessary thing these days to keep an online game running. Its impact, for positive or worse, is truly entirely in the hands of the developers. A lean cosmetic-only cash shop could provide the $$$ necessary to help build out the full potential of a game like Pantheon.

    Full armor sets, mount skins, weapon skins, etc aren't even necessary for this. A cosmetic-only cash shop could focus on other things, for example town clothes, some housing items, or armor dyes. As long as these items have versions that are somewhat close in look acquirable in-game, these cash shop items would probably still generate enough revenue to have a positive impact without completely ruining armor and weapon identity (although I still think appearance slots with an option to disable is the right route to go).

    • 514 posts
    January 19, 2021 11:05 AM PST

    Sicario said:

    In an ideal world, subscriptions alone would carry a game these days. But realistically, given how game development and upkeep has changed over the years, I don't think it's realistic. A cosmetic-only cash shop, despite its negative connotations, is a practical and almost necessary thing these days to keep an online game running. Its impact, for positive or worse, is truly entirely in the hands of the developers. A lean cosmetic-only cash shop could provide the $$$ necessary to help build out the full potential of a game like Pantheon.

    Full armor sets, mount skins, weapon skins, etc aren't even necessary for this. A cosmetic-only cash shop could focus on other things, for example town clothes, some housing items, or armor dyes. As long as these items have versions that are somewhat close in look acquirable in-game, these cash shop items would probably still generate enough revenue to have a positive impact without completely ruining armor and weapon identity (although I still think appearance slots with an option to disable is the right route to go).

    If they added housing and you could earn items in game and by a cash shop, that would be epic and also a selling point to get my wife to play. VR would make boat loads off me from what my wife would buy to have the in game house she dreams of. 


    This post was edited by Nanfoodle at January 19, 2021 11:30 AM PST
    • 475 posts
    January 19, 2021 11:41 AM PST
    While I understand the reasons, I hope the option comes after begging.

    Try to sell out of game stuff like forum emojis and avatars. Add that to a subscription+ tier. Subscription+ gets access to beta test new expansions as well. Other stuff could fit as well potentially, like character slots or queue jumping if there is a login queue.
    • 202 posts
    January 19, 2021 12:11 PM PST

    I think fundamentally it is this...for many of us who share the old EQ style mentality that we are seeking in this game, cosmetics are a part of the magic.  It has been said before...when you saw someone with a piece of gear or armor etc from somewhere in EQ, it MEANT something and said something about that character.  That is an essential part of the game and the experience.  Allowing any kind of cosmetics to be purchased destroys that very fundamental part of the experience for a lot of us and nothing will change that.  It does not matter that they are not P2W (although that is a MASSIVE problem with any cash shop regardless of whether you plan on them becoming P2W ever) because fundamentally we don't want people to be able to buy their look.  You earn it, and that is an integral part of the experience.  Also, I don't care if I can turn it off, and not see other people's cosmetic crap they bought for $5.  At that point, we start having a bifurcated system where there are real players and "imposters". 

    I get selling stuff like server transfers, extra character slots, etc but just like others, I have to say at the end of the day I am a hard hard no against any kind of gear being sold, cosmetic or not, and it goes without saying any kind of stuff that impacts your power in game.  I will pay to avoid that.  Honestly, if you desperately need that so badly for revenue at some point, I propose the following...a server that does not allow any kind of cash shop items at all.  I will pay to be on that server.  I will pay a small amount more even.  Make the game $20 a month and I will pay $25 for the no cash shop server.  Then if you have to, let other servers have the "cosmetics only, no P2W (until it inevitably infects the model, which it always does regardless of intent or firm statements) shop".

     

    Also, a side note. Good form opening this back up.  It really does not help the already absymal rep these forums have on other places where this game is discussed always closing everything down when a whiff of negativity begins to float in the air.  Take the discussion, good and bad and let it run its course.  Until people start screaming curses, insulting each other, etc, I think you should let the base talk and talk and talk.  It costs nothing but shutting stuff down definitely takes its toll, way more than it creates in positivity.  People know.  They see threads before they magically vanish.  They stop coming and posting when they know stuff just gets shut down. At the end of the day, that does not increase engagement.  People just don't bother anymore. 


    This post was edited by antonius at January 19, 2021 12:15 PM PST
    • 1964 posts
    January 19, 2021 12:44 PM PST

    antonius said:

    I think fundamentally it is this...for many of us who share the old EQ style mentality that we are seeking in this game, cosmetics are a part of the magic.  It has been said before...when you saw someone with a piece of gear or armor etc from somewhere in EQ, it MEANT something and said something about that character.  That is an essential part of the game and the experience.  Allowing any kind of cosmetics to be purchased destroys that very fundamental part of the experience for a lot of us and nothing will change that.  It does not matter that they are not P2W (although that is a MASSIVE problem with any cash shop regardless of whether you plan on them becoming P2W ever) because fundamentally we don't want people to be able to buy their look.  You earn it, and that is an integral part of the experience.  Also, I don't care if I can turn it off, and not see other people's cosmetic crap they bought for $5.  At that point, we start having a bifurcated system where there are real players and "imposters". 

     

    According to VR, players will be able to toggle off cosmetic visuals so you will still be able to see their actual gear if you want.  That is a non-issue.

    Granted, having that toggle will make some people not care about cosmetics when they realize other people can't see it.  Which is another reason why having a cash shop will likely drive more people away from this community than money it will make in this type of game over the long run.

    Maybe the people they would lose if a cosmetic cash shop was added would be replaced by players who are  fans of a cosmetic cash shop?  Maybe they don't have to because the cash shop makes up for a smaller community?  Unsure if this is the game for that...?


    This post was edited by philo at January 19, 2021 12:48 PM PST
    • 514 posts
    January 19, 2021 1:06 PM PST

    philo said:

    antonius said:

    I think fundamentally it is this...for many of us who share the old EQ style mentality that we are seeking in this game, cosmetics are a part of the magic.  It has been said before...when you saw someone with a piece of gear or armor etc from somewhere in EQ, it MEANT something and said something about that character.  That is an essential part of the game and the experience.  Allowing any kind of cosmetics to be purchased destroys that very fundamental part of the experience for a lot of us and nothing will change that.  It does not matter that they are not P2W (although that is a MASSIVE problem with any cash shop regardless of whether you plan on them becoming P2W ever) because fundamentally we don't want people to be able to buy their look.  You earn it, and that is an integral part of the experience.  Also, I don't care if I can turn it off, and not see other people's cosmetic crap they bought for $5.  At that point, we start having a bifurcated system where there are real players and "imposters". 

     

    According to VR, players will be able to toggle off cosmetic visuals so you will still be able to see their actual gear if you want.  That is a non-issue.

    Granted, having that toggle will make some people not care about cosmetics when they realize other people can't see it.  Which is another reason why having a cash shop will likely drive more people away from this community than money it will make in this type of game over the long run.

    Maybe the people they would lose if a cosmetic cash shop was added would be replaced by players who are  fans of a cosmetic cash shop?  Maybe they don't have to because the cash shop makes up for a smaller community?  Unsure if this is the game for that...?

     

    Many today dont like their chars in a constant state of looking like a newb. You dont feel much like a hero when your bracer is green and looks like plate and your Breastplate is yellow and looks like chainmail. Games have spoiled many with costmetic features. I do like WoWs where you can look like anything you have earned and ESO where you can look like anything you can craft. Now ESO also lets you buy sets and I am not a fan of that. I think there is something to say about how Pantheon could add cosmetics without upsetting both sides of this. I personally think a costume tab would be the best idea. Maybe even letting you pick from items you have earned and not wearing to be whats visable, would make the drop it wear it look people. For the cosmetic fans make their cash shop items be obvious they are not drop items skins. They could have their own unique look. Maybe inspecting someone would show what they are really wearing to the viewer. 

    • 209 posts
    January 19, 2021 1:48 PM PST
    VR has been an extremely innovative company so far! Can we innovate around the cash shop?!

    If a cash shop becomes a must, maybe attach it to in-game accomplishments/levels/raids etc, instead of a stand alone shop? (My non innovative ideas attempt).

    For example, every 10 levels one can unlock cosmetic skins, titles or whatever.

    Obtain a rare unique item? You can unlock a few different skins/colors/sparkles on that item.

    Discover 100 unique places? Unlock items in the shop that show you are the discover master!

    The idea would be to keep accomplishments and gear important but to give the player the opportunity to customize and look different b/c of their hard work. I would just prefer to not see cosmetic items compete with in game items.

    I'm sure someone can think of a better idea along those lines but just brainstorming. Or maybe that idea has already been done.

    • 127 posts
    January 19, 2021 1:50 PM PST
    Cash shop=Bummer imo. I hope that they would increase subscription price by 5$ or so before they implement a cash shop. I hope that a cash shop is only implemented when the game is on the decline of peak players, like 3-5 expansions into the life of it.
    • 385 posts
    January 19, 2021 2:48 PM PST

    Do $24.99 a month and keep the cash shop closed. 

    no one is going to pay $30-40 a month outside of a hundred fanboys. $24.99 is $10 a month higher than normal subs and that should keeps cash flow for development. 

    i was sad to learn that only 8000 people are signed up for alpha. i think alpha could be had for $50? back in the day. 

    What's the pop going to be on this game 60 days after launch. 50k?  3 servers. 2 PVE and 1 PVP? 

    • 2402 posts
    January 19, 2021 3:45 PM PST

    If there would be a cash shop I wonder if they might consider a server option with higher subs and no cash shop?

    I don't think it would need to be as much as $10 extra.  Surely cash shop spending doesn't average out to anything *near* $10 a month per person?

    I would hope less than $5 a month would make a cash shop unneeded.

    Hope they consider it.  Cash shop cosmetics basically diminishes the worth of player earned items.  It just does.  It doesn't ruin it completely, but diminishes it for sure.  It's one of those 'old-school' things that has a surprising amount of meaning.

    • 3274 posts
    January 19, 2021 3:53 PM PST

    Olympeus said:

    On today's stream Cohh Carnage asked if there would be a Cash Shop for Pantheon Rise of the Fallen.  

    The response from Ben Dean was that if there was a Cash Shop it would be "cosmetic only."

     

    So we have confirmation now from the development team that a Cash Shop is being considered.  Maybe this is old news to some diehard followers, but it was certainly news for me as I thought one of the tenents of Pantheon extended to no cash shops.  The devs ARE considerng a cash shop, now I wonder how long they have been considering a cash shop?  Especially considering previous threads on cash shops have been deleted or closed by the forum moderator on the basis of speculation.  You can see an example of this here: https://seforums.pantheonmmo.com/content/forums/topic/10174/a-cash-shop-is-now-being-considered.

     

    Now that the consideration for a Cash Shop has been confirmed by the dev team, and as recently as the Cohh Carnage stream, let's dicuss.  It's been years since we were able to discuss this topic as the forum moderator has been shutting down the threads; however, now that it is official we should be able to discuss without interference from the Mod. 

     

    What are your thoughts on a Cash Shop for Pantheon?  Was this news to you or had you already heard?  If you hadn't heard officially, did you expect it to happen anyway or were you surprised?

     

    Personally, this is news to me.  There are alot of high quality MMORPGS out there that have "cosmetic only" cash shops, but no high quality MMORPGS with no cash shops (I think FFXI is the only one?).   This was one of the ways for me that Pantheon could differentiate itself, but if they are going to sell items in a cash shop I don't see what advantages they hold over any other high quality MMORPG out there.  

     

    This is news to me.................................pay to win?   Doesn't that go against what we have all been discussing since early 2014.    Are we going to ignore the general consensus from back then........oh hey how about kronos....real money to buy ingame items.       Don't fall from the pedestal I have you on VR...........pretty sure this isn't what Brad wanted.               Cana

    • 1964 posts
    January 19, 2021 4:47 PM PST

    CanadinaXegony said:

    This is news to me.................................pay to win?   Doesn't that go against what we have all been discussing since early 2014.    Are we going to ignore the general consensus from back then........oh hey how about kronos....real money to buy ingame items.       Don't fall from the pedestal I have you on VR...........pretty sure this isn't what Brad wanted.               Cana

    Just for reference, here is what was said in the old FAQ before the recent webpage overhaul:

     

    19.0 What is Pantheon’s Revenue Model? Will the game be pay to play, free to play, freemium, or what?
    We are considering either using the traditional subscription based model, or a model where the player buys the game and then has the option of purchasing mini-expansions or ‘modules’ after launch. Either way, the game’s world will continue to expand, more content will be added, as well as new features and mechanics. Visionary Realms strongly believes that the revenue model of an MMO needs to match the game’s target audience. Because of this, Pantheon will not be ‘freemium’ or have ‘cash shops’ --


    This post was edited by philo at January 19, 2021 4:48 PM PST