It’s been a few days since Wildstar released their business model plans to everyone and I have finally been able to gather my thoughts on it. Initially I was a bit disappointed because I was hoping for a b2p model with an optional sub. The model Carbine has come up with could workout similar to B2P (for some people), but if it works or not is almost entirely out of their control.
Part of Carbine’s plan with CREDD is to undercut gold sellers. How I see this working is people who don’t mind paying a little more for their gold to get it from a safe source will see CREDD is as a good option (assuming enough people are spending gold to buy CREDD in return). The downside is gold sellers probably will be able to undercut whatever the average gold gain per dollar works out to be. Which highlights a glaring issue, the amount of gold you’ll get for you dollars isn’t set. Markets ebb and flow, the result being a player’s choice will ultimately be between receiving a variable amount of gold through legitimate means or getting a specific amount from a gold seller.
Another cause for concern is they keep comparing the CREDD system to the PLEX system in EvE, except EvE didn’t launch PLEX until 2008. The reason this matters is five years into the game there already was a pretty solid player base who had the resources to be able to afford to buy PLEX time from other players in amounts which made the transaction worthwhile. In other words there was a cushion to help PLEX catch on.
When Wildstar first launches we aren’t going to have anything. Sure there will be some people who race through the content and save up their gold… But are those people more likely to be the ones selling CREDD or the ones buying it? My instinct says they are more likely to be the ones selling. If that’s the case is there going to be a price point where lower level people can afford the CREDDs but it would still feel worthwhile to those who are buying them for cash? Additionally if not enough people are spending their gold on CREDD or are willing to buy at a price point sellers are happy with, it might get to the point where no one buys CREDD to sell because there’s to much risk involved.
It’s not all doom and gloom though. I was reading a Blog over at Wildstar Fansand Anhrez brought up an interesting point about guilds and CREDD I hadn’t even considered.
The ideas was bounced back and forth and I have to wholly agree that with what we know about Wildstar guilds now have something to ‘award’ its players more than loot. A good guild will accumulate gold. With unclaimed loot, high end materials that can be sold, etc gold comes to those guilds that are solidly managed. Once guilds have certain bosses on farm status maybe players will hire out for raid boss safari’s and the gold earned goes the the guild to then be shared for CREDD? So besides maxing out your guild bank and guild hall (tbd options for Wildstar) could gold be shared with players to help off set costs of their gaming?
While some of this depends on how easy it is to get gold in game, the basic idea of guilds being able to reward their members with a free month here and there is great. I mean how nice would it be to get a free month of game time from your guild? Though again it hinges on how easy guilds find stocking up on gold to be.
The last bit which sort of rubbed me the wrong way was the fact they won’t say outright there will be no microtransactions; which makes it feel like there probably will be. Now I know the only game out right now which you can sub for and doesn’t also have a cash shop is Final Fantasy XIV. Even so, I still cling to the idea your sub gets you everything in the game. The concept of paying a company the box price, a monthly sub, and then extra for cosmetic things just seems like a crap situation for the consumer. However, the ship has probably sailed on that concept.
Don’t get me wrong I am still really looking forward to Wildstar coming out. I will definitely play. I am just concerned if things don’t go perfectly they’ll be looking at some hard choices pretty quickly. I really hope they are planning for a large drop-off of players after the first month. I also really hope their projections for player base after the first month are sane.