May 27, 2013

WildStar Bucks: Possible Econ PvP conspiracies of a hybrid payment model

WildStar Bucks is our weekly column by the "Econ PvP'er" himself, Anhrez. His weekly topics will cover anything and everything Econ in Wildstar. Be prepared for ideas from outer space!

After a quick reminder from my editor (Arawulf) I did refill my anti-psychotic medication and did get a recent CAT scan. The images were clear and the pill tastes like licorice. What does that mean? Well that means all of the conspiracies I see must be true.

So here we go ….

So Jeremy did an info bomb drive by in the last-minute of the Game Breaker interview….Way to bury the lead Gaffney!

Hybrid - A thing made by combining two different elements; a mixture.

So before I get in the tinfoil spin zone, I wanted to comment on my preference of payment models. Not that if matters to the fiscal bottom line of Carbine and NCSoft, but I would prefer a:

  • Box set options – Collectors and Retail both with in-game, physical items and 3 day head start
  • Electronic download option – In game items
  • Subscription model
  • In game store

For game I enjoy, I am willing to pay a recurring monthly fee for continuous content updates, professional in-game GM monitoring and a competent customer service strategy for issues and concerns of its customer base. Could these items be seen in a ‘hybrid model’? Well I think so, as the definition above talks about mixing various elements of payment systems. I do hope that the media spin machine of Carbine can work to get us information about their vision of payment model in a reasonable time frame. I see my favorite Mechari hottie explaining the payment system in a no-nonsense, blaster drawn, clarity creating video.

“So Anhrez, what does a hybrid payment model mean to Econ PvP style players?” I am glad you asked ….Let the conspiracy rant begin!!!

Conspiracy #1 – Protostar currency (credits)
Wait wait, before you change the channel hear me out. As you listen to people talk in the blogger-verse and patiently parse the videos of Gaffney talking about housing I get the feeling a cash shop will be a guarantee at launch.  So we can ‘guess’ about what our cash shop could be like by deconstructing some of the other cash shop are currently in use.

  • Guild Wars 2 – Allow players to buy ‘gems’ which can be used for buffs, character slots, bank expansions, items, and ….in-game gold.
  • Eve Online – Allows players to buy in-game play time, transferring characters between accounts, re-sculpting your character’s physical appearance, and shift to in-game currency.

See the pattern here? A second format of currency. Lore has us dealing with the mega-conglomerate Protostar for many of Wildstar game needs. So the concept of having a second layer of currency that will impact the game at a different level is nothing new. In my opinion  Protostar credits (trademark pending) are actually more immersively in sync in the Wildstar universe than gem are in guild Wars 2. The concept that the entire universe would use Platinum, Gold, Silver and Copper is a bit ridiculous in you think about it. We are talking about civilized planets with space travel, not the wild west of the America’s of the 1800′s. But what do we know about Nexus? It’s a raw untamed planet, it would make sense that the people of this planet would trade in raw precious metals versus some sort of corporate backed universe bridging script.

Is this good or bad? I am not yet sure.

Conspiracy #2 – Galactic Stock Market
Both Eve and GW2 allow players to move between the two different currencies to generate profit. Playing the shifting values is a mini-game with bank vault filling impact. So will we see the hybrid model enable Wildstar players to shift their hard-earned precious metals into Protostar credits(tm) to try to ride the waves of profit and loss. As we see more non pay to win game enjoyment creating items in the Protostar marketplace there will be opportunities for us merchants to earn on the laziness of the less engaged player.

The question is how will the Nexus Federal Reserve take their pound of flesh for players who are into market speculation.

Sure I know I am just speculating, but it’s what a person does when they have too much free time. So what could be the good and bad of a cash shop that you all see?

WildStar Bucks Disclaimer: “WildStar Fans, its admins, its contributors and viewers can not be held liable by the Nexus Federal Reserve for any rants, conspiracies, suggestions or ramblings of the author of this column”

The Writer: In addition to being a contributor here at WildStar Fans, Anhrez also hosts his own WildStar fan blog, Settler in Exile. You can follow him on Twitter @Anhrez