People who showed faith in Square Enix's MMO Final Fantasy XIV by pre-ordering the collector's edition of the game are now running around freely in its digital world. And while those users are indeed doing MMO things like hacking at dodo birds and slash-dancing at inappropriate times, they're also learning how to spend their real-life, hard-earned cash in the game. Square Enix waited until servers went live to unveil FFXIV's curious currency exchange system, which operates a lot like Microsoft's Xbox Live points-for-cash system. Unfortunately, Crysta doesn't appear to cater to the user quite as well.
Let's back up. All chargeable services, including content and subscription fees for FFXIV, must be paid with "Crysta" moon dollars, Square Enix has revealed in a press release. One dollar equals 100 Crysta points, the publisher says, but bundles of Crysta have to be purchased in $5, $10, $20, $30, $50, or $100 increments. Also, there's a cap on how much money can be stored in users' Crysta coffers.
It seems simple, and the exchange part is. After all, we've been purchasing Microsoft banana bucks and Wii Shop zoo dollars for game services for years. But, according to users and digital Game Informer, there is a slight annoyance associated with using Crysta.
== TEASER ==Here's the shining example. A monthly subscription is $9.99 a month, while a character itself is $3 per month. That means a normal, one-character user will need to pay $12.99 for the privilege to play the game. Cysta, however, isn't conveniently sold in $13 dollar increments, thus its users will be jammed with overages regardless of how they try to purchase Crysta. Your best bet to avoid a major hassle is to purchase a $10 package and then a $5 package, leaving you with roughly $2 left over. Bummer.
As GI points out, a traditional credit card method of payment is apparently coming via a London-based service called Click and Buy. And while that sounds helpful, it might not be the total savior it could be. There's a small fee associated with use of this regular service, and there's always the chance that some users' credit card companies might not like the foreign transactions.
If Click and Buy turns out to be the dud people believe it will be, then it appears the best (and only) way to pay for FFXIV will be through Square Enix's Crysta system. What will people do with the leftovers? Save it until a rainy day? Purchase wallpaper? This remains to be seen.