Friday, November 7, 2014

Cash Shop: Debacle or Delight?

With the addition of the cash shop in FFXIV, it's been a hotly debated topic on the forums. We definitely have some strong opinions on this. First, let's limit our discussion to subscription based games only. We consider cash shops in free to play (F2P) games a little bit differently, as well as some hybrid models. F2P games need to make their money somewhere.

We are fundamentally opposed to cash shops in subscription based games. There are multiple reasons and yes, some cash shops are more palatable than others, but we are definitely against it in general. 





Pay to Win (PTW)

The FFXIV developers were pretty loud in declaring that there will not be P2W items in the cash shop. That's good, that would have soured us from all of FFXIV. We are vehemently opposed to players having any sort of in-game advantage from spending IRL money. 

Cash Shop Exclusives

We are against any type of cash shop exclusives. We feel if an item is in the game it should be able to be earned from within the game. 

SE started their cash shop with Phials of Fantasia and we believe that there should be some way to earn these in-game, perhaps through quest rewards, retainer ventures, Allied or Grand Company seals. Make it expensive, make it rare, or make it hard, but let us earn them.





Rare Items

We were slightly surprised they didn't add the primal ponies to the cash shop. They had a low drop rate but were available in game and don't have any in-game advantage.

However items designed to have a really low drop rate just to try to sell cash shop items would piss me off. Take Neverwinter and those damn Enchanted Keys. I would get tons of those locked boxes and keys barely dropped so I felt the need to buy keys. I find that barely acceptable in a F2P game and not at all in a sub game.

What Should/Shouldn't be in a Cash Shop

Anything that is advertised as a contest prize, preorder bonus, limited or exclusive item should never be in the cash shop. Things like the moogle cap and the Cait Sith minion should remain exclusive.
  • 1.0 items like Dalamud Horn and White Raven Earrings - NO
  • XP or other boosting scrolls - NO


If they ever add items you can buy on the cash shop that you can sell on the Market Wards, We're probably done. Or we'll be very, very rich in-game and then bored.

Previous Seasonal Rewards

These items bother me the least. If you play the game you have them already. If you started later or just happened to not do the quests you don't. There are no stats, they are only for giggles and its not like we had to work very hard to get them anyway.

See, I actually feel the opposite about this, although I agree it's the least offensive part of the cash shop. It's a special event. I feel like if you can't be bothered to do the event, you shouldn't be able to get the reward. The special events are a way to give people something outside the ordinary to do, and keep people interested, and if you didn't do it, you shouldn't wear it. I missed some of the seasonal events, and I have to suck it up and move on. But it motivates me not to miss any more in the future. If I can buy them, why bother? (Playing devil's advocate here, because finishing the quest and hearing the story is enough for me.)

Prices

Damn, these prices are high. We expected things to be .99 that were $5. $24 for a mount is gross. We don't care that that's what they cost in Wow. We didn't like it there either.

Yelta and Kariri are Huge Hypocrites

We have to have all the things. So yes, we bought the minions and the mount. 




I felt dirty after buying Slepnir. I'll never ride him...I only ever ride chocobos for the most part...so it was simply a matter of owning it and having all the things, which is absurd.

In short (WAY too late!), we don't like the cash shop, but now that it exists, we have some very strong feelings about what is acceptable and what isn't. How are you feeling about the shop? Have you bought anything? Where do you draw the line?