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WildStar has subscriptions, but you can buy time with in-game currency

Monday, 19th August 2013 14:29 GMT By Dave Owen

Carbine has revealed that it’s sticking with a subscription model for its upcoming sci-fi MMORPG WildStar. But it’s not completely old-fashioned. You’ll be able to pay in-game gold in exchange for game time. Details after the break.

The system is called CREDD (Certificate of Research, Exploration, Destruction and Development), and players familiar with Eve Online’s PLEX system may well recognise it. The idea is to enable authorised gold buying for one segment of WildStar players and free gameplay for another. Players with plenty of real-life cash but not much time can buy CREDD as an in-game item directly from Carbine, and then sell it for gold through WildStar’s trading system to other players who have lots of time on their hands, but not much real-life cash.

CREDD will be priced higher in real money than a standard subscription so that the system won’t suffer from exploitation, but its price in game gold will be at the mercy of the game’s economy. CREDD can’t be gifted. It can only be bought at an in-game auction house, the Commodities Exchange.

It’s a complicated system, and it’s difficult not to wonder if it might put players off, particularly as outside of the CREDD system WildStar will have a typical subscription model – something that has killed off several MMOs in recent years. The game will be sold digitally and at retail, with 30 days of game time included in the price. After that time has elapsed you’ll need to pay a subscription that will set you back £9/$15 a month. Deals will be available if you buy in three, six, or twelve-month blocks. CREDD will cost £12/$20.

In an age where free-to-play is increasingly prevalent, it seems an odd choice for WildStar. Eurogamer spoke to executive producer Jeremy Gaffney about the decision.

“What we’re doing is launching having designed for the ability to either pay a subscription or earn CREDD in the game if you don’t want to,” Gaffney said. “We’ve let player A play for free without a subscription. He’s stoked, he’s a happy unit. He’s traded in some of his time for the ability play for free. Player B, who sold him the CREDD, is stoked because they basically went and bought an item for money, it was a secure transaction, they’re not getting hacked or scammed or anything, and they traded that to another player for in-game gold pieces. It’s kind of win-win. That’s the answer for me – keeping the player types happy.”

What do you think about the decision?

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22 Comments

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  1. GrimRita

    Yet another MMO pitching itself at the higher end of the subscription market and then probably wondering why everyone left after 30 days, just like SWTOR.

    Why arent publishers thinking – ‘£9 is a little steep in an over crowded market, so lets charge £5 and see how many extra folk come to the table’.

    Speaking of which, SWTOR has a paid model and its Freemium model, where it punishes players for not taking out a sub in the first place(or leaving the game) by throwing up lots of options to buy unlocks to gain extra add-ons and content.

    Most of these can be sold on their version of an auction house and I see this working in the same kind of way. However, SWTOR doesnt yet offer subscription time in this way.

    Why cant these games be simple like Guild Wars 2 when it comes to MTs? Actually FREE to play with MTs in game keeps everyone happy.

    Not sure if I will get this yet because I havent see much about it and for a game due for release this side of xmas, its a worry.

    #1 11 months ago
  2. dsr

    Why they are charging subscription for yet another WoW clone is beyond me. Well, its off my radar now.

    #2 11 months ago
  3. KineticCalvaria

    So basically you’ll have to spend time grinding for in-game gold, in order to buy more time to grind more in-game gold?

    Innovative!

    #3 11 months ago
  4. Phoenixblight

    @2

    If you played the beta you would see that absolutely nothing of this game is a “WoW clone”

    *Housing
    *Can choose to play the game in certain playstyle(Exploration, killer, social, completionist)
    * You have to be constantly moving to fight enemies otherwise be trashed
    *Limited abilities

    The only thing that would be similar to WOW is the fact they went for a stylized approach.

    @1 and 3

    “Basically, players can buy this month-long unit of game time from the WildStarOnline.com website itself, and then turn around and sell it in-game on the Commodities Exchange. Now the CE isn’t going to behave like some sort of bland Auction House. Think of it instead like a stock exchange. ”

    You can sell your game time. SO if you feel you won’t be playing as much as you had planned you can at least profit from it. Not to mention having the option to purchase game time within the game. So if you are smart and wealthy enough you can purchase game time and never have to sub. This is a fantastic idea and I would have enjoyed this with various other MMOs.

    #4 11 months ago
  5. GrimRita

    @4 Not disputing the fact its not a good idea but £9 is still taking the piss. Will it offer value? I can’t say until I get my hands on beta or an open beta event but for game that has shown so little of its hand, can we really expect this before xmas?

    #5 11 months ago
  6. ps3fanboy

    this crap game will crash and burn, they can take their microtransaction and stuff it where the sun dont shine, idiots!!!

    #6 11 months ago
  7. Phoenixblight

    @5

    It won’t be coming out this year. There are still a lot that is not yet implemented and since they have a relatively small team compared to most MMO teams especially TOR wouldn’t expect it earlier. Their Beta events are really cool and actually goad the players to burn up the servers or have them do races to see how far they get before the server is turned off. I have enjoyed the game immensely and can’t wait until its released.

    @6

    http://www.mmorpg.com/gamelist.cfm/game/632/feature/7690/WildStar-Revenue-Model-Revealed.html

    There are no microtransactions. Read the article.

    #7 11 months ago
  8. ps3fanboy

    @7 it clearly says in the headlines ‘you can buy time with in-game currency’… thats called microtransactions mister.

    #8 11 months ago
  9. Phoenixblight

    @8

    I guess if going to their site to buy the only item offered in hopes to sell it for gold.

    #9 11 months ago
  10. GrimRita

    @7 fingers crossed. I really need a decent MMO to play. The last two have been such a waste of time and money. if only GW2 fixed the stupid movement of your toon and added rest xp! lol

    #10 11 months ago
  11. Hcw87

    The game releases in Spring 2014, which the article states.

    #11 11 months ago
  12. hives

    It’s not a WoW clone for sure, I recommend you guys checking out some dev diaries :P Combat system for most skills requires aiming and there is cool Paths system.

    It’s not super innovative next-gen new MMO, but nice variation and mix of good ideas. And it has traditional raids and dungeons <3 And setting is cool.

    #12 11 months ago
  13. GrimRita

    @11 that means reading Eurogamer and thats something I just don’t do.

    @12 raids and pve do nothing for me, as I just love PvP – so I will look forward to see what they throw in the mix for that. Just so long as they don’t go back to 2004 like SWTOR is with Arenas! Outdated and aimed at the completely stupid gamer.

    #13 11 months ago
  14. TheWulf

    I’ll give it six months before it goes free to play.

    But the problem is is that the game design will be shat upon in order for it to be subscription-based, that’s the problem. Unless they’ve very specifically countered that. But unlike The Secret World and Everquest Next, I suspect this will have levels.

    If I see one word about this having levels, it’s off my list forever, because there’s only one thing that vertical progression and a subscription ever lead to. I mean, you have to keep people paying monthly somehow if that’s your business model, right?

    That kind of progression is a cancer, it’s just designed to hook people with addictive personalities, so that they’ll keep paying month after month to repeat the same content over and over, just to see five minutes of new content at the end of it.

    Whereas they could instead spend their subscription money on getting one or more indie/Steam sale/humble bundle games instead, and they’d get so many more hours of new content out of that than they would from their subscription.

    People. *shrug.* The human condition is baffling sometimes.

    #14 11 months ago
  15. Hcw87

    MMO’s without vertical progressions are like cars without engines.

    Seriously though, you don’t understand how MMO’s work.

    All those MMO zombies out there need to have something to do, right?

    #15 11 months ago
  16. TheWulf

    @4

    What they mean with ‘WoW clone’ is the grind-to-grind-to-grind-to-grind-to-grind-to-rewards-to-grind-to-grind-to-grind-to-grind model of WoW. Indeed, if WildStar has levels then that’s exactly what it’s going to be, and that’s the most defining aspect of WoW. Nothing is going to stop people from seeing it as a WoW clone if it has levels and a steep climb upwards to where the game supposedly ‘begins.’ For the vast majority, that’s just not a lot of fun.

    They can put in as many features as they want, but if it has levels and a subscription then it’s screwed from the outset and pretty much everyone is smart and self-aware enough to realise that. It’s infected with WoW-cancer. And people just refer to this as it being a clone, rather than correctly identifying what’s wrong.

    I can see what they mean, though.

    To me, if it has levels leading to that Everest-climb of grinding to rewards, to grind some more, all tied into a subscription? That’s WoW. WoW may not have invented that, but it refined it into a system that nearly everyone seems to want to copy, still.

    #16 11 months ago
  17. TheWulf

    @15

    So, you’re saying that in The Secret World you have nothing to do because you don’t have levels and vertical progression? Well, that explains why a friend of mine played through all the content in the game, and raved about it enough to get me involved.

    Oh, wait.

    All it proves is that you have a very narrow, boxed world-view defined by WoW.

    #17 11 months ago
  18. Hcw87

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKQpCsWyh2A

    This video basically states very well what’s wrong with today’s MMO’s.

    #18 11 months ago
  19. djslickery

    the only thing that will make this work is if the mechanics feel so good that you don’t want to play anything else. it worked for wow for me for awhile, but the floaty disconnected style that all these mmo’s have now from gw2 to swtor to secret world… i just can’t stay with, especially with my backlog piling up by the week and the way pricing for AAA games goes off a cliff after 3 months now.

    #19 11 months ago
  20. DSB

    I could see it flopping. I could also see it being the next WoW.

    Either way I’m pretty sure this will determine the future of the subscription MMO.

    I don’t think I’m the only one who’s been looking for something like this since WoW though.

    Also I hate that Phoenixblight is playing it when I’m not. What does that guy have that I don’t have? No justice! :(

    #20 11 months ago
  21. GwynbleiddiuM

    @DSB Yeah me too, we should raid his house or something.

    #21 11 months ago
  22. noherczeg

    10-15$ would only be worth it for me if the game is so good, like I’d have to ignor anything else besides it. Something like what #14 said before me.

    I still can’t agree with it though. Starting off a brand new IP sub based is a no go even for folks who would otherwise try this this out. That one week access means nothing in an mmo anyway….

    #22 11 months ago