Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Everquest I & II go microtransactions
SOE just announced their newest venture, called Station Cash, offering microtransactions, the ability to buy in-game items for cash. Most are vanity items, but there are also xp potions, which give you a buff that increases the rate in which you level up. Some people like the idea, others give a neutral overview, with a third group not being happy about microtransactions in a game you already pay a subscription for.
Me, I wouldn't mind the vanity items for cash, but am highly critical about those xp and achievement potions. The potions that increase adventuring xp, or achievement points, or crafting xp by 50% for 4 hours cost a whopping $10. Two-thirds of a monthly fee for a potion that only lasts about one typical daily gaming session? Pricey, for what some people will consider to be a must-have item, and which is less good than WoW's free rest xp bonus.
Personally I simply wouldn't buy the stuff, but I'm sure some EQ / EQ2 players will. Somebody playing every day and wanting to be with a 50% xp bonus all the time could end up increasing his monthly bill from $15 to several hundreds of dollars, depending on how much he plays. In a way you could consider that as a tax on the hardcore players, assuming that you'd need to be very dedicated and highly interested in leveling fast to pay that much extra for a 50% boost. And while I personally couldn't care less how fast the player next to me levels, I know that others will feel the need to keep up with the Joneses, further increasing SOE's sales. A ripoff, if you ask me.