Putting the macro back in micro-transaction.

The introduction of a cash shop into EVE Online has had more than the usual share of controversy. The introduction of the game’s cash shop was bad enough, but it seems they sorta missed the micro part of the word micro-transaction. None of the vanity items available can be purchased for the equivalent of a single PLEX (which is around $15), and the ocular monocle implant would cost a whopping $68 of real world cash. My in-game dreadnought would cost less (minus fittings) if I bought one using PLEX.

There’s also a leaked in-house document showing some of the other ideas they’ve tossed around, such as offering ships and ammo in the store to be purchased outright. Now, since the game already provides a RMT method of purchasing ships and ammo outright, this may not sound like a big deal. It wouldn’t be if it wouldn’t have a devastating effect on the in-game economy. It’ll set a bar as to what a player can charge for those items. It would be difficult for someone to manipulate the market or take advantage of wars or events going on.

Not every game needs a cash shop. Why couldn’t those vanity items have been available as drops, or better yet, as manufactured items? How awesome to kill a Gurista rat and find a blueprint copy for a special Gurista-designed shirt with a small manufacturing run? Wouldn’t that have a better chance of getting more players into the game?

I’m very disappointed in CCP. It won’t stop me from playing EVE, but I honestly can’t see myself spending a dime in the store. And the day I’d need to in order to be competitive is the day I unsubscribe.


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