Category Archives: Microtransactions

Landmark is refunding players for basic material packs

It’s not much fun to play a building game like Landmark if you don’t have the materials to actually, you know, build. This is why the game has made dirt, ice, snow, stone, and sand easier to build with, as these five basic materials no longer have a resource cost associated with them. All well and good, but some players had purchased material packs for specifically these resources in the marketplace, which means that players spent money on an obsolete form of resources. By way of compensation, players who purchased any number of bags or chests will received Orbs of Reclaimed Energy, along with an item that can be traded said orbs for more bags or chests of limited resources like tin, cotton, and plain wood. Players will also be given orbs to compensate for copper purchases, as copper’s functionality has changed, but the material packs for copper are still available in the marketplace. [Source: Builder’s Bundle Compensation]

Entropia Universe adds Arabian planet

Toulan According to scientists, Entropia Universe continues to expand, not contract. The MMO had added a new planet to its galaxy, Toulan.

Planet Toulan draws from Arabian mythology and culture for its makeup, boasting deserts, swamps, mountains, and a post-apocalyptic setting. Players can land on Toulan (which means "extremely mystical and captivating" in Arabic) to colonize and rebuild the ravage landscape.

Toulan was designed by Jordan's Beladcom in cooperation with Entropia Unvierse AB. Beldacom's General Manager Talal Asfoura lauded the virtual planet's launch: "Created by a Jordanian team, Planet Toulan marks a milestone of achievement in the emerging Arabic gaming industry. We've taken the mythology we grew up, mixed in new ideas from science fiction, and can now share it with the world."

[Source: Entropia Universe AB press release]

MassivelyEntropia Universe adds Arabian planet originally appeared on Massively on Wed, 26 Feb 2014 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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ArcheAge F2P today, adds houses and dungeon

ArcheAge F2P today, adds houses and dungeon Last month we learned that ArcheAge was switching payment models in Korea and ditching subscriptions. And now that change has come to pass. If a subscription was all that was holding you back from playing the new sandbox, today's update heralding the transition to free-to-play marks your chance to dive in. If, however, you're stuck in the western world where the game hasn't been released yet, your wait continues.

This update didn't stop at just the move to F2P; reports that XLGAMES also introduced a new 10-man dungeon called Island of Eternity as well as new houses with underwater farms. Additionally, a new coin system has been implemented that will allow players to purchase potions to replenish labor points -- used in the game's non-combat activities -- up to three times a day. This last bit of news could be highly beneficial for the free players, since labor points will not naturally replenish unless an account is paid.

MassivelyArcheAge F2P today, adds houses and dungeon originally appeared on Massively on Wed, 03 Jul 2013 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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EVE Evolved: Does PLEX make EVE pay-to-win?

Several years ago, the subscription model was king and the mere mention of an MMO selling in-game items for cash was almost enough to cause a virtual riot. RMT was the devil, and players who bought swords or spaceships for cash deserved nothing short of a permanent ban. The past decade of development has changed the MMO landscape and brought in a new generation of gamers with different attitudes. Today's players have grown up with and embraced ideas like the free-to-play business model, microtransaction shops, and perhaps even the idea of buying in-game advantages for cash.

In his latest Free for All column, Massively's Beau Hindman tackled the controversial issue of MMOs selling power for real cash, and his points about EVE Online sparked some pretty interesting discussion in the comments. The crux of the argument was that an EVE player can currently take out his wallet and buy his way into a bigger ship or even pick up a pre-trained veteran character. That's certainly true, but is that the same as buying an unfair advantage and does it necessarily make EVE pay-to-win?

In this week's EVE Evolved, I look at why players find PLEX so much more palatable than direct item sales and ask whether the system fits the definition of pay-to-win.

Continue reading EVE Evolved: Do PLEX make EVE pay-to-win?

MassivelyEVE Evolved: Do PLEX make EVE pay-to-win? originally appeared on Massively on Sun, 10 Mar 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The War Z allows cash shop items to be lost forever

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The War Z allows RMT purchases to be lost
Imagine that you're playing the hot new zombie MMO, and you decide to splurge a few bucks on that shiny weapon you've been eying. You get your grubby mitts on it and go to town on a few living undead, only to find yourself over your head and quickly killed. When you wake up, your gun -- and the rest of your stuff -- is gone. Forever.

And the devs are totally OK with that.

This is about to become reality for players of the upcoming The War Z, as even cash shop-purchased items are not safe from being lost due to death. In a recent interview with Gaming Blend, Hammerpoint Marketing Director Alex Josef was unapologetic about that point: "You'll lose what you have in your backpack when you die in both in normal and hardcore modes. And yes, if you bought something using real money, you'll lose that item as well. This is a price you'll have to pay."

According to Josef, this level of item loss was a deliberate decision by the team to cause player to treat the game more seriously. "We've discussed that a lot," he said, "and at the end decided that this will provide a pretty good incentive for players to either be extra cautious while playing or just not spend too much money in the game and instead try to procure all items by finding them in the game world."

MassivelyThe War Z allows cash shop items to be lost forever originally appeared on Massively on Mon, 10 Sep 2012 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Free for All: Comparing the payment models of Glitch and Ryzom

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Ryzom screenshot
I thought it might be a cool idea to do a comparison of free-to-play models for my next few articles. As free-to-play has become more and more popular, cash shops and tiers of service have become much more important to how a player might enjoy or interact with a game. While the standard free-to-play model, the most popular one by far, is one that allows players to download a free client, has no subscription at all, and tacks on a cash-shop, the freemium variant is quickly becoming widespread. Freemium seems to be the model of choice for many Western games that were previously subscription-only.

The problem is that I do not really like the freemium model. I'm old-school, I guess. I enjoy the model that was imported to the States maybe eight years ago. A free client with a cash shop on top is all I need to steer my fun by. I'd rather skip any sort of tiered service as well.

There are exceptions to the rule, of course.

Continue reading Free for All: Comparing the payment models of Glitch and Ryzom

MassivelyFree for All: Comparing the payment models of Glitch and Ryzom originally appeared on Massively on Wed, 08 Feb 2012 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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