Phew. It’s been quite a news-heavy day for WildStar today. First, we found out that all box copies of WildStar were removed from the shelves in Australia.
And that sent the internet into a frenzy of, well, a picture is worth a thousand words.
Yep. So, after a Twitter rant, and an un-posted blog post, I calmed myself down, and realized that there’s no official announcement yet, and what really aggravated me most about the whole thing is (1) my standards on online reporting are way too high and (2) I fucking hate people that will jump on a bandwagon of “Doomed! [From the start.]” and “I’ll play it if it’s FTP”.
Just… /sigh. Completely different rant for a completely different day and post.
A few hours later, it was announced that there will be three different items you can get if you buy a hard-copy of the standard edition of the game. Once purchased, you will get 30 days game time, and a box which contains one of three items. You can collect all three as they will not be soulbound, but you have no guarantee of what you will get. Also, if you collect all three, you’ll get a snazzy title.
Again, the internet blew up.
I admit. I got a bit worried, too. But after conversing with some folks (again), I hopped out of the entitlement car (yeah, I started to get into the Gamer Entitlement Car…), and looked at it objectively.
A company doesn’t just do this on a whim. Things are planned out months in advance. They removed boxes from the Australian stores because they must not be eligible for the offer currently running on box sets.
They might not be giving anything to current subscribers, but really, we’re paying for a CREDD plus we get one of three neat items if we decide to go out and buy a box. (Or, if you’d rather, paying for our sub and $5 towards one of those three items.) It’s honestly not that much more than a month subscription, plus there’s cool things.
This, however, is where the F2P/B2P arguments started showing up. I kind of tuned them out, as the rational folks kind of realized it will more than likely happen with a move like this (Buy out the current stock to re-stock with the new model, anybody? It seems logical.). So, instead, we were productive, and started tweeting each other conversations of what we’d like to see if/when the game does change models, and also including the main WildStar Twitter to make sure they know what we want.
But 140 characters isn’t enough to talk about what one truly wants out of an MMO in-depth.
So, what do I want whenever WildStar inevitably changes their model?
- I want it to be B2P, not F2P. This helps keep a bunch of the “Freeple Trolls” out of the game. You know them. Those folks that join a game just to ruin the community? If they have to drop cash up front to troll, they more than likely, well, won’t. And the ones that do? They’ll be ostracized by the community so damn fast. It’s not like we don’t all talk, y’know.
- Continued subscription model on top of financial model changes. I love this game so much that yes, I do want to keep subscribing to it, and helping to pay the amazing developers for the time, effort, dedication, and pure love and joy they put into this product. Of course, if I do subscribe, I would like a few things that other games have implemented. More on that in a minute.
- Cash shop. Yes, I said it. A cash shop. I would drop so much money on things like mounts, dyes, mini-pets, costumes,
and even things like potions of experience, prestige and renown. (EDIT: Ellias reminded me about the guild buffs that you can turn on for these things. I always forget about them, because the officers usually end up putting these up before I get to it.) Just so long as it does not go pay-to-win. GuildWars2 has a pretty great example of what a cash shop should be. And bonus? They’re also owned by NCSoft, so there’s a framework in place to bounce off of. A note: Housing items SHOULD NOT be included in the cash shop. Why? Because it is a completely different version of “end game” in this game. People make an in-game living off of this. Gating housing items in a cash shop is essentially telling the creative masses that they have to “pay-to-win”.
- Bonuses to subscribers. Hear me out–this isn’t entitlement. It’s a “thank you” to the people who are subscribing monthly (and more than likely still buying things out of a cash shop on top of it). Many games do it (ESO, TSW, EQ2, and SWTOR come to mind). In particular, a chunk of cash shop credits every month for your subscription seems to be the way to go. The Secret World even goes so far as to have two different types of cash shop credits: Veteran Points (provided for each months’ subscription and unable to be purchased) and Funcom Points (purchased with cash, and a stipend of these called “Bonus Points” provided to subscribers on top of their Veteran Points). There are items that are pretty awesome that you can only get with Veteran points that have made me look hard at subscribing for a few months to get them.
So, if you play WildStar, what things do you want to see when the model changes? If you don’t, and you’d play B2P, what else would you like to see?