Pay for premium content model

Or pay 2 win if you’d rather. I think I prefer premium content, because some games have done a decent job of walking the line between pay for convenience v pay for power.

Anyway, I really hope this model goes away. And because this is definitely the most successful pay for premium content model I’ve been interested in I was curious how you all felt. Doesn’t have to be restricted to Star Citizen though. I play a lot of games with this model. From wizard101 with my kids to Star trek online.

I have mixed emotions, because I enjoy the games I’ve played that have it, and have the means where the costs are negligible, but like anything else I feel like I should spend wisely. however, what bothers me most is I feel like the model is doomed to eat itself, and grow to the point where it always self destructs. And by supporting it I’m supporting bad business in an industry I love.

Mudflation + Direct income generation + competition for developer resources between gameplay and compelling pay content = not good

That’s my basic posit, and the reason I’ve stayed out of funding S.C… Anyway, I’m curious to read your thoughts.

I think when you are buying gear and end game gear you are buying yourself out of the game. What is there left to do when you start the game with the best items and play around with those items for a bit? You bypass a lot of game play and good times with friends that would be spent using lower gear and working your way toward the end game.

SC is a major pay to win. I’ll be staring the game with pretty much basic gear and it will take months to work my way toward the bigger ships and additional time equipping those ships vs somebody who is using the end game best ships on day one. If those people stick around. People like progression and if you can’t progress because you paid for progression they may leave the game.

I could be completely wrong, but starting Elite Dangerous with the cutter would have caused me to miss years of fun times working my way to the Cutter. WoW, ESO, LOTR, I basically would have done a Clark Griswald. Start the game with end game gear, look around for a bit, and say OK while walking away.

I don’t know. I bought a Hornet years ago in SC and while buying it I just had a feeling I just paid for myself to skip part of the game. I could be wrong. I’m looking forward to Star Citizen. I’ve touched it once or twice about three years ago and with no game play loops I only stuck around for about 15 mins. I watch vids to keep up to date every know and then. Once it releases we’ll see.

The model makes them so much money I just can’t see it going away after release. I could be wrong, but it is a major cash cow.

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Let me explain. RSI got into this pretzel, wrapped in development at the beginning as a kickstarter. ITs been carried on mostly, in my opinion, because they got addicted to it. It is right now a pay-to get ahead. No MMO ever wins or loses, they just maintain the status quo. This is a gear based game. Yes if you spend 15 or even 25k to get all the ships and vehicles, you still havent learned the star systems. Over a hundred or more to explore. Establish a home base, or build a city. Conquer a solar system to call your own. These things are coming and no matter how much money you spend on gear, your never going to actually know the game itself. We have ship stealing to come. Guild wars and player diplomacy as well. I play like a newbie would with a single starter ship. Its incredibly difficult to do solo. But with a guild to help out you will be in your first capital ship in less than 3 months. Solo it takes about 6, using my experience as the alpha stands currently. It is doeable, and things will change for the better, sometimes worse, but thats MMOs for you. Just my opinion. Also if you have any experience with the really large guilds, you know, the ones with 5000+ members? You then know their basic plan is to get away from any of the games NPC nations and make their own. They always do that.

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Oops, I forgot to add my main point. This is way back and i’m not sure i could even find it, but CR said a long time ago that this was not going to be the business model he was going to use when the game goes live. That was before 2015 and things have changed a lot since then and that may not be the case anymore, so you guys might be right.

I’m glad you used the term “pay for premium content” rather than “pay to win”. It is my firm and oft-repeated position that the latter term is not applicable to Star Citizen because SC has no “win” to pay for.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am not the kind of player who enjoys the grind. Even though I am retired, I am working part-time in an occupation that is more a hobby than a job. I have responsibilities to my family, and I have many non-gaming hobbies and interests that require my time and attention. For these reasons, I appreciate the opportunity to bypass the grind and to enjoy the style of play that really interests me.

I think that those of us who pledge for ships are actually buying game play options. If I am in the mood for low-key solo game play, I can use one of my starter ships to do low-reward missions. On the other hand, if I’m in the mood to experience fleet combat, large-scale commercial hauling, or something similar, I can use one of my larger and more capable ships which would be appropriate for that kind of play.

This should not concern other players, because I am not in direct competition with other players. Star Citizen is not World of Tanks, where 30 players are locked in arena-style combat in which one side wins and the other loses. When I am flying one of my more capable ships, I am not competing for the same contracts as the player flying a starter ship. When Star Citizen generates a PvE encounter for my Polaris, it will be a much different PvE encounter than would be generated for my Pisces.

Let those players who wish to start with only the basics and enjoy the grind do so. Let those players who want more options without the frustration of the grind pay for that opportunity. There is plenty of room in Star Citizen for both approaches.

I always cringe when people mention P2W with SC.

The model is not at all P2W

Not even Pay for Premium content.

I can see where for those not familiar with the game it might appear that buying ships is some form of P2W.
Let me make this clear, it is not. It is not even paying for premium content.

First, NOTHING in SC is behind a pay wall.
Second, the content you can purchase is completely attainable in game with minimal to occasionally moderate effort.
The ships are not the hard to obtain items in this game. The components that you will customize your ship with are the “premium” items and some of those will not only be purchased in game only but also require a significant amount of in game reputation to qualify to purchase.

Owning the biggest ship is just the same as buying an empty guild house in any other game. It doesn’t mean you have any advantage over anyone else.
It gives you a slightly, and I mean slightly, altered starting point. That’s it.

People coming from ED have the HARDEST time understanding SC because ED is a tiered ship game.
SC is not.

Owning the bigger ship does not mean you are better, it means you need more people to operate it.

The ships are not the tiered items, the components in the ships are.

SC is simply NOT pay to win, which has been harder to explain to people than explaining what SC is

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I’m not coming form ED. ED is not the only game I’ve ever played… I’m coming from a million other games and I do like SC. I think it looks great if they ever get it going. I own the Super Hornet. Trying to play SC which didn’t work is what got me into ED.

  1. Bigger ships, bigger shields, bigger hard points, more hard points will destroy smaller ships with smaller shields, less hard points unless there is a drastic difference is skill.

  2. Sorry man, cash for gear is pay to win. Starting with the top PVP ships, top trading ships to influence the market if player driven, etc is pay to win vs somebody like me who will have to spend months getting to the PVP ships and then spending time getting the correct modules for PVP.

Is it what it is and I don’t care. I’ll never buy my progression because I want to play my progression and I’ll eventually catch up. I hope and get the same ships and gear, but man it is pay to win. Or maybe it is more like buying an experience gain pot from an GW2.

This is what I mean.
There is not a top PvP ship. There is top PvP gear and nobody starts with that, you have to get it in game.
Literally any combat ship can be a PvP ship. Right now there is some meta to the game because components are not complete. But you wont be spending any more or less time than anyone else earning the reputation necessary to get the best components.
Most of the people I play with who are heavy PvP own nothing more than a base ship like the Hornet or the Arrow or the Gladius. These are all ships you can earn in the game in less than a month of casual play.

This is the misconception that I keep trying to get people to understand. Everyone who calls this game pay to win seems to be under the same disillusion that you are starting off so far behind everyone else when that is simply not the case.

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Yeah, the Hornet which I own I would think it would be one of the earlier ships a player will be able to afford. I like small Star Wars ships so it made sense to me. There will be a PVP meta. There always is and there will be some people (not me) who can beat that meta with unusual builds, but if you can buy or come close to buying yourself to that meta I see that as paying to win or maybe I’m learning towards an XP boost pot.

It doesn’t matter to me though how people play or how they want to spend as long as we can all work to the same gear in a reasonable matter of time. If the progression at SC live makes it hard or extremely time consuming to get on equal footing (Example: the Elite Dangerous grind) and buying items is a much smarter route, that might become an issue.

Yeah definitely. But it wont so much be a ship but the components in that ship. Already that is becoming the case now, as there are the top shields and power plants to put in a combat ship vs the top quantum drive to put in a cargo ship. So there will always be that Best In Slot stuff to have. But it will rely a lot on components you have and very little on the ship you put them in, within reason of course. Nobody will be effectively dogfighting in a Terrapin or hauling cargo in a Hornet.

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On PVP, I dont like to do it much, I always seem to find the guys who hack/break the game to win. If its truly even, as in your ship, my ship and no suprise, I hit you when you didnt see it coming so i can get an easy kill before you could react type of player.

As far as gear goes, this is a gear based game. We are in the starting area and so i expect the gear to be appropriate to that. The actual game weapons are up to size 5 now. Missiles are getting attention and the games original carrier (Constellation) has gen 1 for ship to ship docking. The pace is slower than I would like, but thats ok, there is progression. I expect they will hold stuff back during the alpha, even the beta. We have not seen the other NPC nations ships or weapons much. They do have their own capitol ships, we just havent seen them yet. Everything we have seen so far is because its in SQ42. So I just enjoy as much as i can.

Thanks for all of the comments. I enjoyed reading them. And I suppose my main point was only partly about where SC is right now, and partly trying to predict how it will go in the future.

Star Trek Online has a model where you buy ships with cash, and they succumbed to the lottery boxes for some of their most desirable ships, but over time they have moved from slight advantages and shortcuts, to including some playstyle defining gear behind hard to reach paywalls.

I feel like that progression is almost inevitable. Once any company is used to a revenue stream they will exploit it. I hope SC can stay true to their vision of “shortcuts” only, but I’ve seen plenty of games start there and end up in whole hog pay for power, even to the point where things are unattainable outside of real money.

I think this happens most often when the content begins to become stale and the player base dwindles. Then the company has little choice but to tap whatever revenue stream they can to keep the game alive.
I don’t think SC will have that problem, but I am not fooling myself either. Any game can go stale for a dozen reasons, especially lack in management. And let’s face it, that has been the one thing that everyone has agreed that SC has suffered from.

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I wonder if you asked 2014 CR if his vision would get to a pre release point where he required millions a year in new revenue by selling in game assets to keep it going, what he would say. I suspect if he said that on kickstarter he would have had less interest so that’s one half of that, but I kind of feel like CR has already given into the allure of all of those stacks of thirsty rich middle aged guys trying to pay to play their dream version of freelancer.

So I think the evidence might already be there.

The problem here is that SC has painted themselves into a corner. Their intent was never P2W, the ships were never meant to mean “win”. 150 systems, open/deep exploration, so much content, so many things to do, multi-crew, fleet operations, etc. Having a bigger ship wasn’t supposed to mean anything, the CONTENT was the game.

And then all of the actual content got deprecated, and the ships are literally the only content. We’ve had what, 2 “official” events? One was “go defeat those ships” and the other is “come look at these ships!” Every single aspect of gameplay is made better by a bigger ship. You mine more with a bigger ship, you kill more with a bigger ship, there is literally nothing to do in the game that having a bigger ship doesn’t help. And given that PvP is literally the only content, big orgs with big ships “win”, in the only sense that matters.

What amuses me about this is that, years ago, I used to come up with all of these complex ways PvP players were going to “game” the system, get around counter measures, ruin everyone’s play in spite of CIG’s efforts…LOL, “efforts”? CIG has leaned into PvP, it’s literally the only content in the game, and they’re doubling down by just releasing military ships from now on, not even bothering to lie anymore by giving us ships for gameplay they’ve no intention of actually adding. Not seen a science, passenger, refining ship in quite awhile, have we? What, 3 years now?

I’d love to say that all my doom saying was right, but honestly I couldn’t have been more wrong. CIG’s efforts to curtail PvP won’t fail, there ARE no efforts, they don’t WANT to curtail it, they LOVE it. Hell, they revel in the stories and tales of salt farming, just like CCP does. Meanwhile CCP is desperately trying to revitalize Eve by adding TONS of PvE content and curtail ganking and PvP, throwing tons of money to try to bring their dying game back to life. CIG doesn’t have to do that, they are “wildcatting” their customers with promises and rolling in the cash.

I posted a year or so ago, that I didn’t see how they could possibly serve folks who have spent thousands and also serve those paying the minimum.

But I also think the allure of more money will always win out. I saw it in STO. I was even tempted to jump in a few times because I’d think, “well this will be the only money I have to spend because I like X playstyle, and this is the best for that playstyle.”

But inevitably they’d do something to make that one less desirable and release a more desirable ship. It’s literally a cash grind. That’s what it has turned into. And I honestly can’t see any business letting a whale off with just what they spent prerelease.

I mean even if you think CR is great and he’d never knowingly screw anyone, he still has competing priorities right? Would he rather lay some people off or add a ship that ruins your purchase?

I was stoked when kickstarter released, but I’ve been pretty doom and gloom since it was clear he needed more ship sales in post kick pre release to keep up his development, and he was clearly spending a lot of energy on making those presales happen.

He has a business to run. I hold no ill will, nor do I suspect anything nefarious. CR did not intentionally lie to or deceive me, or anyone. He genuinely believed what he said when he said it, which is why I backed.

Then the rubber hit the road, the cash started rolling in, and it went from a job to a fantasy. “What else can I shove in here?” And, as long as CIG is “innovating”, no one cares. Oh sure, people bitch, people have always bitched, but the white knights shout them down and they go away. No one can stay “furious” for 8 years. Hell, I’ve not heard from Dr Derek Smart in what, 5 years? I’m not kidding, 5 years from now we will still be having these conversations and SC will still have not launched.

There is no model that allows/encourages people to pay $25k to support the game that can also support the players who pay $25, and there are 2 fundamental truths about the world:

  1. 99.99999% of the players are in the 2nd category
  2. They already have all of the money from the 1st category and are under zero obligation to give 2 shits about them, beyond lip service

All things being equal, which group would you appease? It’s Capitalism, I get it.

My view on my original, and then upgraded, package was for the LTI (Life Time Insurance) on the ship. This was a value I knew I would need. I will crash into things… and explode. I will get shot up… and exploded. Be ;and with no problems… and still explode. So knowing I could get a base version to replace it when needed was worth the extra cost. Granted that was quite some time ago, and lifetime may not mean what it did back then. The other value was when I learned the true size of the ship I had, and learned I could keep the LTI for the upgraded ship that better fit my plans. I do have second thoughts on the overall cost, but have mostly accepted that I invested in SC rather then bought a game.

When SC eventually leaves Alpha, and is in Beta (or Gold) I will have what I invested in. Or if I am no longer alive… someone in my will is getting a SC game account. Wonder what the estate tax on that might be? =P

Wonder if “lifetime” insurance would end then :slight_smile: