• 53 results
  • 1
  • 2
Edited 1 year, 1 month ago

Poll: Pay-to-Win? (96 votes)

I love pay to win! 9%
Leave this crap out of the game! 61%
I don't care! 29%

Hello duders!

Thanks to Vinny i got reminded that this game still is getting made, but some of the details he mentioned did sound quite.. odd.
Selling ships for hundreds of dollars, additional million dollar stretch goals and so on. So i decided to check it out again, i haven't done that since they started their Kickstarter.

And this game suddenly went from "must-have asap!" to "i don't really know anymore.." for me.
I imagined this to be kinda like a "next gen" Wing Commander Privateer/Freelancer with added FPS combat and an MMO like multiplayer, basically the "perfect game" I've always dreamed about and always wanted.

But the details about all this are giving me a sour taste. In the MMO portion of the game you can simply buy in-game currency for real money, giving anybody with enough spare cash an unbeatable advantage. They are selling an "Idris Corvette" (some really powerful ship) for real money that's supposed to be limited in quantity, can't buy any of those on the website so i guess they are already sold out. In essence: The game ain't even out yet and there are tons of people who have a hangar full with nearly a dozens ship, each of them best suited for certain tasks.

While Joe-average-gamer with his $35 pledge starts out with the most crappy ship there is and he is gonna need dozens of hours just upgrading that one ship and possibly hundreds of hours to buy another one (ships are specialized for certain tasks). What makes this whole situation worse: There is perma-death, your ship gets destroyed is gone.

Now the game ain't out yet, but tbh knowing all this i can already see this happening: You spent 100+ hours working your way up to the next "better" ship from the $35 starting ship, that's a lot of hours. Along comes some guy who just bought the game and dropped down additional $100 on the "Awesome Frigate", the next thing he's gonna do, is blow you out of space and thus you lose your shiny new ship, that you spent 100+ hours on getting in the first place.

That sounds horrible, it does not sound fun at all and it certainly does not sound like the Privateer/Freelancer games i know and love.
The whole point of these games has always been to work your way up to the really awesome stuff, the joy comes from how you work your way there.

But what's the whole point in all of that, when you can just dump down the $ bills and get all the awesome stuff from the very beginning? Even worse: Spending that money allows you to outclass any non-paying player, giving you an advantage and thus allowing you to ruin their day, preventing them form every getting anywhere.

On the official forums there is already a really big thread regarding this (with more details as to why it's bad) plus some of Chris Roberts quotes on this issue and i don't know what to say about them. He considers LoL a pay-to-win game, his sole definition of pay-to-win boils down to "it's pay-to-win when there are things in the game you can only buy with real money", that's idiotic and flawed to the core.

So what are your guys opinions on this? Do you think pay-to-win is okay in such a game? Does it matter to you?

tdlr version: This game makes the worst possible choices you can do in terms of microtransactions, no matter how much time you gonna spent on it, somebody who spends money is always gonna come out on top of you. People spending a lot of time and money gonna be unbeatable.

#1 Edited by noizy (705 posts) -

Don't pre-order games.

I hope it turns out good, but if it's micro-transaction heavy which it apparently already is, I'm no longer interested. I'm no longer interested in F2P games almost entirely, pay-to-win or not, as it almost always affect game design.

#2 Posted by AlexW00d (6386 posts) -

The more I hear about it the more it just sounds like a pay-to-win EVE with direct control.

People should just buy X: Rebirth instead.

#3 Posted by mosdl (3242 posts) -

The game offers insurance, and they need a way to fund their MMO part without monthly subs. So I think it would be better to wait and see how things shape up before panicking too much.

#4 Edited by ColonelRick (114 posts) -

@noizy said:

Don't pre-order games.

I hope it turns out good, but if it's micro-transaction heavy which it apparently already is, I'm no longer interested. I'm no longer interested in F2P games almost entirely, pay-to-win or not, as it almost always affect game design.

The only microtransactions in the game will be cosmetic items and starter level weapons. They recently dropped the prices on the cosmetic items after feedback from the community, but prices on the weapons remain kind of prohibitively high. You have to exchange money for credits to buy stuff, and they've imposed both a total amount limit, and a limit on how much credits you can buy in a 24 hour timespan to prevent abuse. Not to mention that the developers have repeatedly stated that the in-game prices for ships will go up once the game goes live.

OP, your example of the Idris is kind of flawed. They will be super limited (couple hundred out of a quarter of a million users, not to mention NPCs) and you'll need 10 people to effectively man one. They can hypothetically be used by a single player, either on their own or with bots, but the combat capability of the ship in that scenario ranges from severely diminished (bots will be bad, compared to human players) to sitting duck (with a single player)

A comparison to the more common dedicated fighters like the Hornet ($100 dollar level) or even the $225 Constellation is more grouded, but also still flawed; you're flying a ship that does not do combat well, so you shouldn't expect to win from someone that has a ship that is kitted out for combat. The ships all have a niche where they perform best, and players should stick to that range. The Aurora is not going to be some monster dogfighter, but it IS cheap to buy, cheap to maintain (commonality with other RSI ships, such as the Constellation) and it has an excellent amount of modifier slots (more cargo capacity, stealth upgrades, engine upgrades, you name it) for a ship its size.

The Hornet is a bruiser, but it carries next to no cargo. Fit it so it can carry more cargo, and it loses a significant part of its weapons. Similarly, the Constellation is fast, well armed, and carries a decent amount of cargo, but it is a jack of all trades and probably uses a horrendous amount of fuel to power those huge engines. The community (and I can assure you there are a LOT more people with Auroras than there are Constellation players) weighs every single statement made by the devs, particularly when it comes to ship design. If it isn't right, the devs won't hear the end of it. See for example the discussion on the Freelancer's cockpit or it's cargo ramp.

#5 Posted by phampire (289 posts) -

It's all about balance at the end of the day which is hard to judge until the game comes out. I do agree that these are some potentially serious concerns. The obvious answer (to me) is to make those real money purchases purely cosmetic and nonessential.

#6 Edited by Nethlem (436 posts) -

@noizy said:

Don't pre-order games.

I don't know if crowdfunding really counts as "pre-ordering", but i won't spent any money on this, at least right now, because it looks way too monetized at this point. I want to have faith in this, i want this to be a great game, but everything about this smells money-grubbing. On their store page they try to sell you the hottest garbage (a buggy to drive around in your hangar, only $15!!) and they never leave out an opportunity to mention how you are "showing it to the big publishers" by giving them way too much money for some model of a ship or a buggy.

I would understand all this if the game would be F2P or something, but it's not F2P. In addition to all this "buy the most powerful ship with real money" crap they even offer monthly subscriptions. Those give access to "unique ship addons you won't find anywhere else", one of their subscriber perks is "getting the catalog for the merchandise store (opening soon!!1) first!". What kind of "perk" is that? Spent money so you can spent even more money?

Like i said: I want to have faith in this, i want this to be a great game. But this has "money grubbing" painted all over it. What is the point of "showing it to the big publishers" when now the developers make crappy game-design decisions in favor of monetizing the game? It's the same problem, just different perpetrators!

@mosdl said:

The game offers insurance, and they need a way to fund their MMO part without monthly subs. So I think it would be better to wait and see how things shape up before panicking too much.

And how are you gonna pay for that insurance? With in-game currency, which can be bought for real money! So the problem still remains: Non-Paying player spends hours earning money for an insurance, pay-to-win player just buys unlimited insurance. Down the line, who is gonna win this race? Hint: Time is limited, money is not.

The only microtransactions in the game will be cosmetic items and starter level weapons. They recently dropped the prices on the cosmetic items after feedback from the community, but prices on the weapons remain kind of prohibitively high. You have to exchange money for credits to buy stuff, and they've imposed both a total amount limit, and a limit on how much credits you can buy in a 24 hour timespan to prevent abuse.

That's quite an bold thing to claim, when you can already spent thousands of dollars on ships. Ships that are clearly advertised as having an advantage in this or that. And trading limits over a 24 hour period? That's gonna slow down real-currency spending like... a little bit? But i doubt it's gonna slow it down too much, all this does not really look like they want to cut down on peoples ability to give them money, it looks quite the opposite: They are constantly looking for new things they can monetize on.

#7 Edited by SamStrife (1286 posts) -

@alexw00d said:

The more I hear about it the more it just sounds like a pay-to-win EVE with direct control.

People should just buy X: Rebirth instead.

No multiplayer in X: Rebirth :(

The allure of a massively multiplayer space game with direct control is like nothing else but all the directions Star Citizen is heading (at least in regards to buying ships and stuff) is a massive turn off.

#8 Posted by noizy (705 posts) -

@nethlem said:

@noizy said:

Don't pre-order games.

I don't know if crowdfunding really counts as "pre-ordering".

Technically it's not. I get the whole angle of "if people didn't fund development, the game may never get made". From a consumer perspective, you are still putting money up sight unseen, you can still end up with a stinker.

Not every Kickstarter are the same, but a lot of them are developers trying to get funding they would otherwise need to get from publishers or other forms of investor that will take a cut on the back-end. If it gives developer the independence they want or need, that's great; from a consumer perspective do you really need to give them thousands of dollars for a product. I don't actually believe that the vast majority of people who Kickstart think of it as a donation, they see it as getting "early adopter perks". If Star Citizen turns out rotten (and I honestly hope it doesn't as I would buy a flight stick and track IR for a game like that) then whoever kickstarted it have no right to complain, even if they make it a 60$ box game plus monthly subscription plus microtransactions. It's RSI's game.

Don't pre-order or kickstart if you are worried how a product will turn out.

#9 Posted by ColonelRick (114 posts) -

Also, I really don't get why people are complaining about the stretch goals. The developers need money. Roberts has been clear from the get go that this game would cost around $21 million to make. At first, he planned to raise money on their site and on kickstarter as a sort of seed fund to show investors that there is still a market for space games. When the counter blew past that amount and just kept going, he realised that the more money the community could raise, the less he would need from developers, thus giving him more control over development. At a certain point, the developers realised that if the trend kept up (and it has) they could fully crowdfund the game, which is why they have kept adding stretch goals.

Adding is probably not even the right word for it. All the stretch goals until 23 million (they have overhead due to operating costs, physical packaging for the pledge packages and the cut kickstarter received, so the 21 mil in development funds won't be reached until 23 mil overall) were planned out in advance of the campaign. They are the game as Roberts says he envisions it. Anything AFTER 23 million is additional to the core game, and will probably not be ready at launch.

#10 Posted by Karkarov (3229 posts) -

@alexw00d said:

The more I hear about it the more it just sounds like a pay-to-win EVE with direct control.

People should just buy X: Rebirth instead.

No multiplayer in X: Rebirth :(

The allure of a massively multiplayer space game with direct control is like nothing else but all the directions Star Citizen is heading (at least in regards to buying ships and stuff) is a massive turn off.

Screw multiplayer. I play space sims for the exploration, the building of my own ships and empire, and the actual well.... simulation. None of that requires multiplayer. Meanwhile I looked into star citizen because of all the hype it got myself... and it just screamed pay to win online gank fest that makes me have flashbacks to early days of online muds. It is just going to be a new age gank fest mmo where you better sub and buy the best stuff or you are just at everyone's mercy.

#11 Edited by ColonelRick (114 posts) -
@karkarov said:

@samstrife said:

@alexw00d said:

The more I hear about it the more it just sounds like a pay-to-win EVE with direct control.

People should just buy X: Rebirth instead.

No multiplayer in X: Rebirth :(

The allure of a massively multiplayer space game with direct control is like nothing else but all the directions Star Citizen is heading (at least in regards to buying ships and stuff) is a massive turn off.

Screw multiplayer. I play space sims for the exploration, the building of my own ships and empire, and the actual well.... simulation. None of that requires multiplayer. Meanwhile I looked into star citizen because of all the hype it got myself... and it just screamed pay to win online gank fest that makes me have flashbacks to early days of online muds. It is just going to be a new age gank fest mmo where you better sub and buy the best stuff or you are just at everyone's mercy.

There is a single player portion to the game where you play as a military pilot. Besides that, you can run your own 'server' if you want to, and pretty much play offline, though some aspects of the persistent universe will obviously not be available. There's also Elite Dangerous, which gives you even more control over player interaction (you'll still be online, but you can set it so that you don't meet anyone else but NPCs)

Reading your post, however, it sounds like you pretty much just want to play X games ;)

@nethlem It sounds to me your interpretation of the facts is a little selective. Like I said, and you said yourself; ships are specialised. The Idris is a moving guild/squadron bases in essence, but it requires multiple people to operate it. It's just going to be a thousand dollar paperweight otherwise. Regarding insurance, it's going to cost an irrelevant amount of money. You'll easily be able to cover that with your in-game activities. Think insurance costs in EVE.

Regarding subscription: You get a freaking skin, some subscriber's only swag, and your name somewhere on some kind of in-game monument. That's it. Oh, and the monthly Jump Point magazine covering development (which gets put on reddit instantly) and the Wingman's Hangar show everybody gets to see. If you want to attack the game, that's fine, but the subscriptions are not an effective argument. It doesn't offer any in-game advantage.

To be honest, I think you didn't do a whole lot of reading about the game design itself and just went for the real money aspects of it. Aside from a game package, you don't HAVE to buy anything. I bought my package (Freelancer), a skin, and that's it. If people are crazy enough to spend thousands of dollars on it, that's fine by me. If it turns out that the game is not balanced to where I can reasonably earn my stuff in-game, then I will criticise the developers for it, but at this point there is neither evidence to sugest that they're going to make it super easy or super hard, so exploding about it makes no sense. We will get the first glimpse of real gameplay in December, when the dogfighting module releases, and accusations of pay-to-win may or may not hold more water then.

#12 Posted by Nethlem (436 posts) -

@colonelrick: Yes ships are tailored to specific tasks, so there is supposedly some kind of "rock-paper-scissor" scenario at work. But what use is that when "pay-to-win" players just stock up their hangar with the best ship for each task from the very beginning (like many have already done), while non-paying players have to spend dozens of hours just getting one of them?

The problem arises because these players will be in competition to each other in nearly all tasks, so the guy with the most specialized ship for the task at hand always wins. What's the point of having "unique bosses" or "unique jump points" when people who spent $500 on the game can instantly discover those with their task-tailored ships, while basic pledgers are still fucking around with the starting ship and are 100+ hours of gameplay away from even having the possibility to discover these things?

By the time "non-payers" get their ships in a state to reach these regions, the regions will already be discovered/farmed empty/whatever by those players that bought task-tailored ships with real money.

I admit that you seem to know a lot more about the game, at this point, than i do. I haven't looked around too much, mostly because it's kind of messy. But what I've seen so far has stopped me from spending money on this. And tbh one of the biggest reasons for this being this shitty interpretation of "pay-to-win only applying when there are things you can only buy with real money" and thus "LoL being Pay-To-Win". Reading statements like this from the lead-developer makes me question his understanding of the current gaming landscape and how pay-to-win can seriously fuck up game balance.

#13 Edited by SamStrife (1286 posts) -

@karkarov said:

@samstrife said:

@alexw00d said:

The more I hear about it the more it just sounds like a pay-to-win EVE with direct control.

People should just buy X: Rebirth instead.

No multiplayer in X: Rebirth :(

The allure of a massively multiplayer space game with direct control is like nothing else but all the directions Star Citizen is heading (at least in regards to buying ships and stuff) is a massive turn off.

Screw multiplayer. I play space sims for the exploration, the building of my own ships and empire, and the actual well.... simulation. None of that requires multiplayer. Meanwhile I looked into star citizen because of all the hype it got myself... and it just screamed pay to win online gank fest that makes me have flashbacks to early days of online muds. It is just going to be a new age gank fest mmo where you better sub and buy the best stuff or you are just at everyone's mercy.

Something about space sims make me want to play with others. I fully appreciate that a lot of the things you can do in the X games couldn't be done multiplayer...Damn now you've said that, maybe I don't want multiplayer...maybe I do want to build an empire and properly influence the world.

#14 Posted by Nethlem (436 posts) -

@samstrife: But wouldn't building an empire and influencing the world, be way more fun in multiplayer? That way you can "share" your empire with other people! I just love the idea of me and a buddy cruising around in our own ship and boarding fools all over the place, reenact our own Firefly, that would be insane fun :D

#15 Edited by Jayzilla (2571 posts) -

I don't agree with paying real world money for a virtual item that can be destroyed by another player. The only reason people don't just walk up to your car that you paid real money for and destroy it is because there are laws and those people go to jail if caught. If someone can destroy the virtual ship of a "Star Citizen", then shouldn't the person responsible for destroying said ship have to spend a few years in jail in the game if caught? That seems to me to be the balanced way to handle it. Chris Roberts and team will come up with some hokey thing like EvE's cloning tech if you die, but property that they are going to make money on hand over fist can be destroyed with no long term repercussions. Players won't lose years of gaming time in this universe for committing a crime as heinous as destroying something that would be worth billions of currency in that universe? That to me would be the balanced way to handle it. I think EvE should handle it that way as well. You want to be a space pirate? Fine, but if you get caught, your character in game stands a chance of being locked up for literal years in prison. The only reason this won't happen is they WANT you to destroy each other's things so that you have to buy more ships afterwards. I get that it's a business and they need to make money, but so many people are treating this as if it's some realism machine. It isn't. It's a money making machine for Chris and his team and its players are the pig at the luau.

#16 Edited by AlexW00d (6386 posts) -

@nethlem said:

@samstrife: But wouldn't building an empire and influencing the world, be way more fun in multiplayer? That way you can "share" your empire with other people! I just love the idea of me and a buddy cruising around in our own ship and boarding fools all over the place, reenact our own Firefly, that would be insane fun :D

Then play EVE, cause that's exactly what EVE is. Minus the boarding.

#17 Edited by Nethlem (436 posts) -

@alexw00d: Already tried that a couple of times. I could maybe suffer trough that brick wall of an leaning curve, if the game at least had real direct controls. But not having direct controls and the other part of the game feeling like an excel calculation, did not really deliver a "fun time" for me. That's why i'm kind of bummed out about Star Citizen, i thought that could finally be "my EVE" :/

#18 Edited by SamStrife (1286 posts) -

@nethlem said:

@samstrife: But wouldn't building an empire and influencing the world, be way more fun in multiplayer? That way you can "share" your empire with other people! I just love the idea of me and a buddy cruising around in our own ship and boarding fools all over the place, reenact our own Firefly, that would be insane fun :D

The problem is building an empire and influencing the world in such a way becomes increasingly more impossible the more players you add. Eve is the closest to nailing that aspect but it's still got a fair amount of work to put in before they nail it...and that game has been out a decade now.

#19 Edited by ColonelRick (114 posts) -
For those of you worried you'll be competing with players that have put in more money, watch this:
The economy will be the source of most (basic) missions. Given that players will be outnumbered by NPCs, something Roberts has stated he wants to prevent playes impacting the economy too much as in EVE, there will always be something for you to do and earn money with, whether that's sourcing and delivering resources, or protecting those shipments from pirates (AI or otherwise).
Combined with the security zones in the galaxy, I think this will make it possible for all players to experience fun gameplay. Yes, people with a bigger ship may be able to haul more cargo or shoot more pirates, but the little guy in the aurora will still be able to earn his way through the game, progressing from the high security zones to the more dangerous parts of the galaxy, if that's your thing.
Regarding the jump points: I'm skeptical about this as well, but developers have said they'll be hard to find, so let's hope for the best.
#20 Posted by Karkarov (3229 posts) -

@jayzilla said:

I get that it's a business and they need to make money, but so many people are treating this as if it's some realism machine. It isn't. It's a money making machine for Chris and his team and its players are the pig at the luau.

Well said.

Reading your post, however, it sounds like you pretty much just want to play X games ;)

You are right, I am much more interested in the X-Games. Like I said, I like Space Sims, not Space MUD's. I always found it funny people thought this type of gameplay and multiplayer model was okay in EVE (at least EVE takes certain measures to help players) but if you tried it in something like... Elder Scrolls Online that games death knell would be heard in a matter of days. As a guy who has been very deep into the MMO/Online stuff for pretty much since it first existed I will let you in on a secret... The power gamer/loves pvp and "meaningful death" player is in fact an EXTEME niche, probably smaller than any other niche that plays MMO's. That is pretty much the only audience that Star Citizen sounds attractive to, and I am willing to bet that the closer it gets to release one of two things will happen. It will turn out to not be so popular as people thought it would be, or it it will change it's tune and you will see a lot of alterations to the F2P model and how things play out in game.

MMO's are not judged on how well they were regarded before release, or how well they sell in month one. They are judged by how many people are playing 6 months later. With the current model of Star Citizen.... I don't think it is going to be that many people.

#21 Posted by RenegadeDoppelganger (423 posts) -

I think all those people with $10,000 hangars are really just making themselves targets for griefing. Think GoonSwarm in EVE.

Also the amount of people spending thousands of dollars on this game are going to be VASTLY outnumbered by the people who only chipped in $35-$60. You'll mostly be competing against these players and not the select few with big frigates. Sure they'll probably gobble up resources faster but unless all the 'whales' decide to form a guild, I doubt a few isolated big ships will make much of splash in the economy.

#22 Posted by ColonelRick (114 posts) -

Bigger ships will also take longer to replace (all ships aside from presumably your starting ship have to be produced) ;) It's looking kind of unlikely that they'll offer frigates to pledgers, as we're nearing the 21 million mark even without the last three brochures for pledge ships (Hornet, Freelancer, Constellation) having been released. Each of those events seperately will rake in a lot of money, so I don't think they're worrying about raising enough funds to cover the final stretch.

#23 Posted by Nethlem (436 posts) -

@renegadedoppelganger: What bums me out is that they advertise with all kinds of "unique one-time" events, where the players that come first get served first and everybody that comes after gets nothing. Ranging from unique bosses, jump points to a limited number of space stations that players can occupy. And on the other hand they add these micropayment options that can clearly be considered "pay2win". This looks like the people spending money gonna have an huge advantage in experiencing that unique content first and thus removing it for the, much slower progressing, non paying players.

@colonelrick:Regarding that video: As somebody who as at least some rudimentary understanding of economics, this sounds all kinds of.. broken? So on one side they have this "limited resource" system where planets can get blockaded and thus cease production, on the other side you have the ability to drop down real money and just materialize "goods" out of virtual thin air.. erm vacuum into existence, that sounds kinda of counter-productive.

I imagine this could work out balanced in some way or other, but it's really hard to imagine.

And i don't understand how ships have to be produced first, when bought trough real-money. So those people who have full hangars already, they gonna have to wait for all their ships to be produced first? Or does that only apply to ships bought trough real money after the launch of the game? But wouldn't that just another layer of "paid advantage"? That of "people who spent more money earlier, having an advantage over people spending money later"?

It just feels so opposed to everything these games always stood for, at least to me, so it's difficult to wrap my head around it. I'm just hoping for the best right now, but I'm still all kinds of bummed out since i discovered some of the specifics on the microtransacitons.

#24 Posted by ColonelRick (114 posts) -

@nethlem said:

@renegadedoppelganger: What bums me out is that they advertise with all kinds of "unique one-time" events, where the players that come first get served first and everybody that comes after gets nothing. Ranging from unique bosses, jump points to a limited number of space stations that players can occupy. And on the other hand they add these micropayment options that can clearly be considered "pay2win". This looks like the people spending money gonna have an huge advantage in experiencing that unique content first and thus removing it for the, much slower progressing, non paying players.

@colonelrick:Regarding that video: As somebody who as at least some rudimentary understanding of economics, this sounds all kinds of.. broken? So on one side they have this "limited resource" system where planets can get blockaded and thus cease production, on the other side you have the ability to drop down real money and just materialize "goods" out of virtual thin air.. erm vacuum into existence, that sounds kinda of counter-productive.

I imagine this could work out balanced in some way or other, but it's really hard to imagine.

And i don't understand how ships have to be produced first, when bought trough real-money. So those people who have full hangars already, they gonna have to wait for all their ships to be produced first? Or does that only apply to ships bought trough real money after the launch of the game? But wouldn't that just another layer of "paid advantage"? That of "people who spent more money earlier, having an advantage over people spending money later"?

It just feels so opposed to everything these games always stood for, at least to me, so it's difficult to wrap my head around it. I'm just hoping for the best right now, but I'm still all kinds of bummed out since i discovered some of the specifics on the microtransacitons.

Ships you have purchased will appear in your hangar the first time. If you lose insured ships, replacements will have to be produced. The specifics of this aren't known yet, but I imagine the insurance will either send you a new ship or wire you the credits so you can go get a new one. Either way, the supply will have to be produced. The bigger the ship, the longer it takes. TBH this will probably be somewhat negligible for smaller ships, but they have said production time on a corvette will be lengthy. Basic insurance covers your ship and all the weapons that come with it. Cargo and upgrades will require additional insurance.

#25 Posted by TheManWithNoPlan (5900 posts) -

I'm really interested in paying the final game, but I'll be damned before I start spending exorbitant amounts of money on fake space ships, digital content, etc.

#26 Edited by TheHT (11674 posts) -

I'd love to see groups of players hunt down and destroy all those bigger more expensive ships on launch day.

#27 Posted by Turambar (6846 posts) -

@nethlem said:

@alexw00d: Already tried that a couple of times. I could maybe suffer trough that brick wall of an leaning curve, if the game at least had real direct controls. But not having direct controls and the other part of the game feeling like an excel calculation, did not really deliver a "fun time" for me. That's why i'm kind of bummed out about Star Citizen, i thought that could finally be "my EVE" :/

Since empire building is far more administration and numbers than anything else, maybe that's just not something you're actually interested in.

#28 Posted by ColonelRick (114 posts) -

I've got more detailed writing on the economy from a issue of Jump Point, and I believe it was covered on the site as well. I was a bit hesitant to post it, considering it's from a paid-for subscription, but it's all over the internet anyway. Will post soon.

#29 Edited by Zurv (452 posts) -

this game looks amazing... it also isn't an MMO so the little headstart people get is already the wrong way of thinking. I think of this as freelancer 2014 :)

the game wouldn't be made if not for ppl willing to put money in (for the record i put in about $300 already). I don't expect to keep the ships i got for every long (i also have life time insurance on them so i you want to shoot down my Constellation - you can try :)

This game would not have hit 21 million with small pledges - the breakdown is about $80 per person.

grats to those people that got the small cap ships (they where EVERY few and cost $1000 (a bit crazy :) ) - those also don't help you do very much. Other than being kinda cool. They also don't logout of the server so it could be attacked when you are offline.

I would hope there is a strong limit on what $ can get you once the game is out - i don't care if people want to spend to win, but that would take the point out of this game. Why haul rock when you could just buy the credits.. but then .. what is the point? you aren't gearing up to kill the lich king or something.. it is the playing that is important.

You also can't buy ships once the game is out - it is only for backers

#30 Edited by ColonelRick (114 posts) -

https://robertsspaceindustries.com/comm-link/engineering/13128-The-Star-Citizen-Economy

EDIT: Editor does not want to play nice with the pics, sorry about that.

Meet the Economy

One of the most frequently asked-about systems in Star Citizen is the game’s economy. Today, we’d like to give you a brief introduction to that system and how it works to make the game richer, more immersive, and more fun.

Star Citizen is, at its heart, a vast living world that combines a remarkably detailed space combat simulation with an equally in-depth model of the economy of a star-spanning empire.

This article will shed some light on the engine that makes the economy go.

DISCLAIMER: As with all early releases of design information, this is a work in progress. Particularly with the economy, which is a very volatile system and will require the most careful balancing, systems and data are subject to change.

The Machine

In order to create a fairly stable economy, and yet one that is still able to be affected by player actions, the economy in Star Citizen is built to represent millions of entities (whether players or NPCs) that work together to move resources and finished goods from one end of the galaxy to the other. Miners and other resource gatherers work to extract basic resources from the available supply, traders collect those goods and deliver them to other places, escorts protect those convoys from harm (while pirates attempt the opposite), refineries turn the raw goods into processed goods, and factories collect these processed goods to build the finished products that are in demand on worlds throughout the Star Citizen universe. These goods are not assigned an arbitrary fixed price at each location. Instead, we are creating an organic system that keeps track of how much of everything is available, how much it is needed, where it is needed, and what individuals are willing to pay to get it.

Because the simulation reflects a real population going about their business, if a player is not available to carry ore from Ellis to Terra, an NPC cargo hauler will step in and run the route. If escorts are needed, and players are unavailable to escort that transport, then NPC pilots will escort the vessel. Pirates, too, might be NPC or player ships.

Meanwhile, the nodes that are producing, refining, and consuming these goods are run by non-player characters, as well. As players progress in the game, they may choose to purchase some of these facilities and take over the day-to-day oversight.

Business goes on, and players step in wherever they wish to take part.

It’s all about the Nodes

The Star Citizen universe is made up of literally thousands of nodes that drive the economy. A node is an abstract entity that accepts one or more types of input goods and outputs one or more types of output goods. The most basic nodes are “atomic” entities, meaning that they cannot be subdivided further. These atomic nodes are then combined to make up larger nodes that behave in the same fashion as the atomic nodes – requiring certain inputs and producing certain outputs. When these nodes operate together, they are able to handle some portions of their business in a self-contained fashion, while other needs must be met by external entities whether NPC trade routes, or player-run missions).

How a Node is Constructed

Each node is made up of several parts:

  • Node Inputs

    Inputs are the types of things that a node requires to operate. If too little of any given need is supplied, the node will lose productivity and alter prices and processing capacity in reaction to the shortage.

  • Node Storage

    Storage tells how much of each thing a node can have on hand at one time. If the node’s storage for a particular desired item is full, the node will stop requesting that item until quantities diminish. Conversely, if a node’s storage is nearly out of a desired good, then the node will raise prices and spawn additional missions in an attempt to rectify the shortage.

    Output items also take up storage space until they are sold or transported elsewhere. Again, if there is too much of a produced item on hand, the node will slow down production and reduce prices until demand increases sufficiently. If too little is on hand, prices will increase until production can catch up.

    As a node grows, it can buy additional warehouse space to expand storage capacity.
    Node Processing Capacity.

    A node’s processing capacity is determined by the number of workers in that node, their current happiness, and the quality of processing equipment that is currently installed. As a node grows, it can upgrade existing equipment or add additional space/equipment in order to accommodate more production.

  • Node Outputs

    When a node has the necessary raw materials, it produces output based upon its production capacity. That output is then stored in the warehouses until it can be distributed. The equation for node production will look something like this:

    • Production per cycle [P] = the number of units produced per “tick” of the economy
    • Worker morale [M] = number of workers / required workers * morale (%)
    • Equipment percentage [E] = size of facility * (quality of equipment / max quality)
    • Material co-efficient [MC] = minimum percentage available of all required construction units
    • P = M * E * MC

Types of Nodes

While there are many different varieties of each node, there are a limited number of general types of nodes. Each has a particular function, and requires varying amounts of the same types of inputs to create categories of outputs. The node types can be found in Table 1.0.

People are abstracted into population nodes so that every other node in the game does not have to track the basic needs of its workers in addition to its other inputs. That way, nodes other than population nodes will not need to track anything other than whether they have enough workers to determine their effectiveness on the human side. If a group of settlers arrive on a previously uninhabited planet, a population node is created first.

Every inhabited area will consist of, at the minimum, a single population node, an entertainment node, and a landing node. For outposts and other small colonies, a raw materials node will generally round out the landing zone, perhaps with a reseller for basic supplies. Some planets will have only a single cluster of nodes, while others will have much larger clusters in several different planetary locations.

Taken as whole, a planet can also be looked at as a single macro-node, as it still has a set of resources that it needs, and a set of resources available to trade.

If the people are happy and productive, then nodes will continue to grow, enabling further nodes to be added to take advantage of the additional labor. When that now-thriving colony needs to increase its production – both to satisfy its own needs and to grow trade – perhaps an entrepreneur will decide that a nearby plot of land would be perfect for a new casino to keep those workers happy.

Table 1.0 Node Types

Let’s see it all put together in a very basic example:

This sample could be a single small outpost or a network of several worlds – or even systems.

The Production Chain

The simple example above is far short of the actual complexity of the production chain, as the list of nodes indicates. You don’t just turn a lump of ore into a spaceship. Instead, there are many steps and many actors involved in the creation of just a single Aurora.

Very large amounts of raw resources must be combined into the necessary basic materials to build the ship’s frame, cockpit, electronics, HUD screens, seats (don’t forget the leather!), and other building blocks. Meanwhile, other manufacturers are building the guns and missiles that will be added to the finished ship.

Manufactured goods are not unlimited. If nearby missile factories suddenly have a shortage of necessary components, escorts who come in from an extended firefight to restock may find missile prices very high – or stocks depleted entirely.

For the biggest, most complex products, production can take a very long time. If it takes Aegis a month to produce an Idris, and there has been a recent run on corvettes, you might find yourself waiting for a while to pick up a shiny new ship from their shipyards.

Keeping Resources Flowing

Heavily-populated systems (as far as nodes are concerned) will often have very consistent needs for resources, as well as having fairly constant exports available. Systems that can meet one another’s needs may set up regular trade lanes, which will cause transport missions to be launched at a regular frequency to deliver needed goods to a constant buyer. If these lanes go through more dangerous space, they may be diverted to take longer routes, or request escorts to accompany the missions.

In such a case, players who own larger transports or are interested in escort duty can step in to take over these missions, provided that they are well-known to the corporations or organizations in question.

At any point where expected production levels have not been reached, freely-available trade goods will become more limited. Regularly-established trade routes will be the last to suffer from shortages.

Nodes where buyers have less need and nodes that are farther away from protected space, will request resources on a less frequent basis, and missions of this sort will generally be given to the lowest bidder, although relationships might be established with traders who perform frequent services for the client.

For emergencies – where deliveries have been disrupted, or some sort of major event has caused a sudden shortage of resources, higher-paying missions will be sent out on a first-come, first-served basis. Similar missions will be generated when a location that is typically self-sustaining with regards to some resources experiences a change in conditions, such as drought, riots, or other events that cause a temporary shift in that area’s ability to provide for its own basic needs.

Whatever route players choose to trade along, there will always be places for traders of any means to make a living throughout the Star Citizen universe.

Making Your Name as an Industry Giant

Even players who start out with the most humble beginnings may eventually grow vast trading empires. Starting with small on-demand cargo runs, players can grow their wealth, acquire larger ships, build their reputations with the biggest corporations, and establish their own trade lanes that span the galaxy.

Players and organizations who amass enough wealth can take control of individual production nodes and begin building an industrial empire. The most aggressive entrepreneurs may take over whole sections of a supply chain and begin producing their own goods for sale on the open market – if they can keep the resources flowing. But be warned – some large corporations don’t appreciate competition!

While you are running your mine, refinery, or factory, you will be interested in more than just the raw materials that it needs! If your production node slows down because it doesn’t have enough workers, or their morale is low, you will need to help support the local population node or make sure that there are enough entertainment nodes to keep your workers happy and productive.

What’s in it for me?

The Star Citizen economy is certainly a vast undertaking. In addition to making a massive space combat simulation, we are also building a simulation of the economic universe in which the characters live. We offer players the ability to participate as much (or as little) in the economy as they desire. As new worlds are discovered, colonies are born, and new cities grow on the frontier, each type of player can be a link somewhere in the economic chain.

However much your character is driving the economy, the economy is helping to drive your play experience.

#31 Edited by Nethlem (436 posts) -

@turambar: Like i said: I would have no problem dealing with an excel calculation and a massive learning curve, if the ships would offer actual direct control to offer a nice contrast to the "excel gameplay". But all the ships also control in a way that's more reminiscent of an excel calculation, than an actual dogfight, so it ends up being a total turn-off for me. But that's okay, not all games are for all people and i guess if i would have started playing when EVE first launched, all this might not even be an issue for me now.

@zurv said:

I would hope there is a strong limit on what $ can get you once the game is out - i don't care if people want to spend to win, but that would take the point out of this game. Why haul rock when you could just buy the credits.. but then .. what is the point? you aren't gearing up to kill the lich king or something.. it is the playing that is important.

That is about my only fear, i get that they want to make money, but the way they are going at it just seems kind of odd and like it's gonna actually promote "spending money". After all Chris Roberts is not shy about explaining that he wants this stuff in the game so people with "less time" can compete with those players that "spent 40 hours a week". This makes it sound like you either need to spent 40 hours a week, or spent money to stay competitive. But this completely ignores the players that gonna spent 40 hours per week playing, in addition to spending tons of money, and those players do exist. Applying above logic, of microtransactions balancing out the edge that "hardcore gamers" have due to time invested, this would mean that players who invest time and money, will end up being pretty much "unbeatable", unless you outspent them on one of the two while matching them on the other.

@colonelrick: Thank you very much for sharing this! But it actually does not really help to "solve the issue", because nowhere does it mention how the microtransactions are gonna play into all of this. They have this sophisticated economy system that's based on supply&demand, that's all fine and working. But nowhere does it mention how it's gonna handle the "infinite supply" that microtransactions gonna add to that economy. A supply&demand based economy only works properly when both are limited to a certain degree. But if you give players the option to simply by supply with real money, that's gonna destabilize the whole chain, potentially ruining the whole economy.

Now there are probably ways around this, but i can't think of many that would leave the "payers" in a very nice position. Artificially slowing down the supply of "microtransactions goods" is one of those options, but i consider it highly unlikely that they gonna piss-off people that give them money along the lines of "Oh thank you for your money! Your ship will be ready in 2 weeks! If you would have bought this item with ingame currency it would have been done in 1 week!". That won't fly with the "paying playerbase", after all people pay money so they don't have to wait in the first place, the whole system would be counter-intuitive.

Maybe they themselves haven't all of this figured out yet, because they are too busy showering in the moneyrain and increasing that rain (nothing wrong with that). It just feels like this whole thing is a disaster that's just waiting to happen.

#32 Edited by TheHumanDove (2523 posts) -

Biased poll. No option for 'it's not pay to win, you're wrong'

#33 Posted by GrantHeaslip (1662 posts) -

I know very little about the game, and it's not at all in my wheelhouse, but the stuff Vinny was talking about on the Bombcast sounded insane.

I'm down on Kickstarter in general. I don't think people should be dropping money on promises, especially in an industry so full of unfulfilled promises and development disasters. But dropping $35-$10,000 on pre-orders of individual destructible ships in a game nobody seems to fully understand is utter madness.

Why not wait until it comes out and decide to spend your money once you understand what you're even buying? For that matter, why spend money on something that very well could never come out, or be nothing like what it was talked up to be.

I guess I understand the sentiment that without donations the game could never have been funded, and that for some people it's a dream game, but I suspect that fact is preventing some from having realistic expectations and managing financial risk appropriately. These guys are still running a business in which they have all the power, and the way Kickstarter encourages feelings of charity toward companies makes me really uncomfortable.

#34 Edited by Dasbag (2 posts) -

I have been following this project since the start and will try to clear up some misconceptions because tons of people have the wrong idea. If I miss anything ask a question and I can try to clear it up when I get home from work tomorrow.

As a start this game has no subscription fee, as a result in order to further development and maintain servers they are adding a micro transaction store, with that being said it is OPTIONAL. You can buy everything from there ingame. Also theoretically if a rich player wanted to buy everything through the store they intend to put a cap in so you couldn't literally buy yourself into power. You wont be able to buy a ship thru it only credits and ships will cost tons making it a discouraging affair.

As for the Idris corvette that was offered in limited quantity, as far as I know there are around 500 purchased at the moment. Take into consideration that 265,086 people have flocked to the site so these numbers will be insignificant and not enough to make a difference. Also the fact its a larger ship wont make it a auto winning asset as there will be cheaper ships that can essentially kite it with anti capitol ship torpedos. This is to make the use of fighter escorts a necessary thing for these ships. As for the buying into winning by pledging for a ship this is also nonsense. You may own an Aurora but just because I own a freelancer or 300i does not mean you cannot hurt me. Skill ultimately plays into this, each ship will have its flaws such as the larger ships needing a crew of 4 to operate normally. Ships will be modifiable so that cheap Aurora can be modded with better powerplants and engines to turn into a fast interceptor or tuned down for fuel efficiency. While some ships are designed specifically for combat there are other variants for other roles and you can modify each ship to serve a need.

unfortunately ships need to cost something. People pledging for them is what has brought this game here so far. Making money for a newer or different ship model is not intended to be a hardcore grindfest, it will take a few days of casual trading and other activities that will scale up depending on the ship size but it is to be expected. Most of these posts kind of irk me because its people making wild assumptions and taking everything to its extreme when Chris Roberts has been completely open on what his plans are and how he is going to avoid the pay to win model. You wont find this information by reading a bandwagon chain of posts stating the same negative non researched statements however.

Yes I pledged into this game on faith but Chris is a well known developer who has delivered consistently good quality games, they also recently released the hangar module with no delays which also goes a long way in showing they have the skills vision and credentials to make this.

For those who skipped this text, having money doesnt buy you skill and that is a flawed way to guage a games quality as each ship will have its own advantages and disadvantages. A cheap ship isn't necessarily a bad ship.

#35 Posted by Nethlem (436 posts) -

@thehumandove: Granted that i chose those answers in an hurry, just wanted to have a poll, they are fun! I consider this question in more of a general context, not just applied to Star Citizen but the general opinion on "pay2win", because Chris Roberts makes it sound like it's something valid to have in the game, to balance out the discrepancies between hardcore players that can spent a lot of time and people who can't spent a lot of time. If you don't believe that Star Citizen does have "pay2win" mechanics, than the answer of "no pay2win" should reflect your opinion at least to a certain degree. This is not about me being right or wrong, this is about clearing up how the microtransactions work in Star Citizen and if they could be considered "pay2win".

@dasbag said:

As a start this game has no subscription fee, as a result in order to further development and maintain servers they are adding a micro transaction store, with that being said it is OPTIONAL. You can buy everything from there ingame. Also theoretically if a rich player wanted to buy everything through the store they intend to put a cap in so you couldn't literally buy yourself into power. You wont be able to buy a ship thru it only credits and ships will cost tons making it a discouraging affair.

As for the Idris corvette that was offered in limited quantity, as far as I know there are around 500 purchased at the moment. Take into consideration that 265,086 people have flocked to the site so these numbers will be insignificant and not enough to make a difference. Also the fact its a larger ship wont make it a auto winning asset as there will be cheaper ships that can essentially kite it with anti capitol ship torpedos. This is to make the use of fighter escorts a necessary thing for these ships. As for the buying into winning by pledging for a ship this is also nonsense. You may own an Aurora but just because I own a freelancer or 300i does not mean you cannot hurt me. Skill ultimately plays into this, each ship will have its flaws such as the larger ships needing a crew of 4 to operate normally. Ships will be modifiable so that cheap Aurora can be modded with better powerplants and engines to turn into a fast interceptor or tuned down for fuel efficiency. While some ships are designed specifically for combat there are other variants for other roles and you can modify each ship to serve a need.

unfortunately ships need to cost something. People pledging for them is what has brought this game here so far. Making money for a newer or different ship model is not intended to be a hardcore grindfest, it will take a few days of casual trading and other activities that will scale up depending on the ship size but it is to be expected. Most of these posts kind of irk me because its people making wild assumptions and taking everything to its extreme when Chris Roberts has been completely open on what his plans are and how he is going to avoid the pay to win model. You wont find this information by reading a bandwagon chain of posts stating the same negative non researched statements however.

Yes I pledged into this game on faith but Chris is a well known developer who has delivered consistently good quality games, they also recently released the hangar module with no delays which also goes a long way in showing they have the skills vision and credentials to make this.

For those who skipped this text, having money doesnt buy you skill and that is a flawed way to guage a games quality as each ship will have its own advantages and disadvantages. A cheap ship isn't necessarily a bad ship.

You see, the problem is that they are releasing conflicting information themselves. You claim that people can buy everything with ingame assets, that people could buy with real money. Yet one of the subscriber perks is advertised as having access to a shop that offers unique ship modules, you can only find in that shop. But to access that shop you need to pay real money, for the subscription, in the first place.

Even by Chris Roberts logic of what makes an game "pay2win", this would easily qualify as "pay2win". After all his definition of "pay2win" goes along the lines of "when there is content in the game you can only get trough real money".

The same applies to "buying ships costing a ton of money" it does not matter if it's an discouraging affair, as long as you can buy in-game credits with real money and use those in-game credits to pay ships, weapons, modules or whatever else, you essentially have the option to buy "infinity supply" into the game by just trowing real money at it. People won't and don't care if it's discouraging or inefficient, people only care about having an advantage over others and some people are willing to pay a ton of money for that advantage. The same will apply to any artificial slow-downs they gonna introduce to that system, like daily limits on how much in-game currency people can buy with real money. Yes it will slow them down, but only for a limited time and systems like these are prone to abuse, people gonna figure out ways around this, even if it means having multiple accounts so they can increase their daily "real money to in-game currency" yield.

Skill is all fine and dandy, but in a situation where real money can buy you an advantage, regardless of how small it is, skill won't matter. Two people of equal skill meet, one got a minor advantage trough paid content, the other does not: Guess the outcome of that battle.

Granted: A lot of this stuff seems like a work in progress, maybe that's why a lot of the information regarding this seems kind of conflicting with each other. Guess only time will tell for now, but they certainly don't make it easy to figure out how all this is gonna end up once the game is done. And as of right now i'm having a really hard time believing that people who start out with like 6 ships won't have an advantage over people starting out with only 1 ship, i just can't imagine any scenario where this won't end up as an advantage in some way or another.

#36 Posted by Capum15 (4963 posts) -
@alexw00d said:

The more I hear about it the more it just sounds like a pay-to-win EVE with direct control.

People should just buy X: Rebirth instead.

Man, I am looking forward to X: Rebirth so much right now. Spaaaaaaaaaaaaace.

#37 Edited by WinterSnowblind (7617 posts) -

The information available at the moment is definitely confusing, but nothing they're doing sounds pay to win. All of the bonuses available at the moment are things that you'll be able to get ingame later on and are just being offered as rewards for the people dropping insane amount of money on the games development. Admittedly, this might create an initial skill gap when the game launches, but after a few weeks/months, the original backers aren't going to have anything that gives them an advantage and remember, the game isn't exactly focused around PVP.

They seem to be following the Guild Wars 2 model. MMO, no subscription, with a cash shop but no pay-2-win. Everything you can buy is either trivial cosmetic items or temporary boosters that have no affect at the max level and don't work for PVP modes. If Star Citizen can stick to that model, there's nothing to worry about.

#38 Edited by Funkydupe (3321 posts) -

I'm just interested in knowing more about the finer details surrounding LTI. I know there are some catches to it, like how effectively it'll cover your losses will be diminished if you abuse the insurance/die very often, or if you're outside UEE controlled space or something like that you might have to wave the right because of the obvious risks associated with the player's actions.

What we don't want is for LTI or Ship/life insurance in general in-game to make players reckless and not fear the consequences of death nor item losses. It if doesn't sting even a little to suffer a defeat/accident/loss it'll take the edge away from a game like this, in my opinion.

Buying a ship doesn't make you invincible in this game and it doesn't protect you in open space where players can and most probably will gang up on you.

#39 Edited by ColonelRick (114 posts) -

@funkydupe said:

I'm just interested in knowing more about the finer details surrounding LTI. I know there are some catches to it, like how effectively it'll cover your losses will be diminished if you abuse the insurance/die very often, or if you're outside UEE controlled space or something like that you might have to wave the right because of the obvious risks associated with the player's actions.

What we don't want is for LTI or Ship/life insurance in general in-game to make players reckless and not fear the consequences of death nor item losses. It if doesn't sting even a little to suffer a defeat/accident/loss it'll take the edge away from a game like this, in my opinion.

Buying a ship doesn't make you invincible in this game and it doesn't protect you in open space where players can and most probably will gang up on you.

I don't think LTI will ever NOT apply, considering it's a perk for people who backed the game early (or it was, originally, before CIG extended it to assuage complaints from later pledgers) but the supply/demand caveat still applies. If you lose your ship and have to wait a couple of hours or more for it to be replaced (definitely more for capital ships) which I suppose will dissuade a lot of people from ganking tactics.

Regardless, the advantage the free hull insurance (LTI insurance is basic; it only covers the hull and any weapons that come with it) offers is minimal, as they've said repeatedly that insurance costs will be fairly minimal. The manufacturing caveat was set up partly to combat suicide tactics, I suspect.

Moreover, there are NO arbitrary in-game skills in Star Citizen. You might be rich enough to plonk down several thousand dollars worth of ships, but if you suck as a pilot, you're going to feel it.

@nethlem: You talk about this secret subscribers only shop, but i've not seen it, and I have a centurion subscription. There are three 'stores' on the SC website. One is for game packages and add-ons. another is Voyager Direct, for credits and the flair items. The last one isn't even a reality yet as far as I know, but is a thread by community manager Ben Lesnick, asking subscribers what kinds of subscribers' only merchandise they would like to see. They'll be selling t-shirts, mousepads, spaceship models,etc. Doesn't exactly sound like selling exclusive upgrades to me.

The primary selling point of Subscription are a number of perks, if you will:

For the Centurion subscription:

  • The ability to participate In live monthly team “show and tell” sessions with the LA office (pending launch.)
  • Jump Point, the monthly digital magazine of Star Citizen. A lengthy monthly newsletter including updates from the team, new in-universe fiction and behind-the-screens information about the game.
  • Access to “The Vault,” a collection of Star Citizen artwork that would otherwise never be seen, including ‘paths not taken’ discarded concept art for the true collector.
  • An exclusive catalog of Star Citizen subscriber merchandise, available when we launch our goods store.
  • Your name in the game! We can’t tell you where you’ll find it, but if you subscribe for at least twelve months your name will be located somewhere in the Star Citizen world.
  • Centurion decal for your ship.

For the Imperator subscription:

Imperator Prime Subscribers will receive access to:

  • The ability to participate In live monthly team “show and tell” sessions with the LA office (pending launch.)
  • Jump Point, the monthly digital magazine of Star Citizen. A lengthy monthly newsletter including updates from the team, new in-universe fiction and behind-the-screens information about the game.
  • Access to “The Vault,” a collection of Star Citizen artwork that would otherwise never be seen, including ‘paths not taken’ discarded concept art for the true collector.
  • An exclusive online catalog of Star Citizen subscriber merchandise, available when we launch our goods store.
  • Your name in the game! We can’t tell you where you’ll find it, but if you subscribe for at least twelve months your name will be located somewhere in the Star Citizen world.
  • Get a single-use 15%-Off coupon for the store. (see note below)
  • Get VIP admission to all future RSI Fan events.
  • Your name on the wall-of-honor at Cloud Imperium HQ if you subscribe for at least 12 months.
  • Imperator and Centurion decals for your ship.

Note : The 15%-off Coupon will be awarded starting August 1st 2014, to anyone who has accumulated at least a year of Imperator Prime time. The coupon will be single-use, on any transaction in the store, capped at a maximum discount of $100 USD.

None of this mentions subscriber only in-game items. In fact, most of the perks listed here have not materialised yet; the draw for most of us is Jump Point, but it keeps getting leaked out to places like Reddit anyway...

#40 Edited by Funkydupe (3321 posts) -

Yes, CIG said the capital ships could take a week or even several weeks to a month+ for a ship-yard to rebuild it for you; similar to how it would be handled if you ordered a new one; that's in real time. They're looking at possibilities of the player helping to build it by for example supplying expert engineers (NPCs) or materials. You have to order it and go to the location where you placed the order and pick it up. Those ships aren't manufactured through assembly line methods or sold at dealerships like some smaller more common fighters will be.

I think the dog-fighting alpha is going to make or break this game for a lot of people. Even if the game is almost two years out, it'll be judged by what it delivers in this upcoming alpha module.

#41 Posted by ColonelRick (114 posts) -

Yes, CIG said the capital ships could take a week or even several weeks to a month+ for a ship-yard to rebuild it for you; similar to how it would be handled if you ordered a new one; that's in real time. They're looking at possibilities of the player helping to build it by for example supplying expert engineers (NPCs) or materials. You have to order it and go to the location where you placed the order and pick it up. Those ships aren't manufactured through assembly line methods or sold at dealerships like some smaller more common fighters will be.

I think the dog-fighting alpha is going to make or break this game for a lot of people. Even if the game is almost two years out, it'll be judged by what it delivers in this upcoming alpha module.

People should keep in mind that it'll still very much be a WIP product, not a demo, such as the CoD 'betas'. Regardless, from the sounds of it, they've had some sort of multiplayer running internally for a number of months now, and I suspect they've set themselves a clear goal as to where they want the dogfighting gameplay to be by the end of the year. As you say, it will be the first real opportunity for people to see the real meat of future SC gameplay, and no dout an important marketing tool as well.

#42 Edited by Nethlem (436 posts) -

@colonelrick: It's in the text description from the subs:

"If you’re interested in going above and beyond to support Star Citizen’s development, there’s no better way than a development subscription! Subscribers get a variety of unique addons available nowhere else, which are created using the money paid into subscription fees. Products like Jump Point and Wingman’s Hangar could not happen without our generous subscribers!"

Maybe it's just a funny way to word it and they are only talking about the perks listed below that text. But to somebody not familiar with the tons of terminology used around the game it's not really obvious what they mean. Is an addon not the same as an module? In other games an "addon" usually means added content akin to an expansion pack.

It's stuff like that where i get suddenly get careful with my money, because i don't want to buy the "wrong" stuff and end up missing out on something. Same applies to the descriptions of the Ships that come with the different packs. The Scout pack has the Aurora, which gets advertised as "Utilitarian to a T, with ample of upgrade room". The Bounty Hunter pack comes with the Jumpworks 300i, it's description lacks anything of substance in that regard, expect for the mention of "particle guns" and "dogfighting".

So when i buy the Bounty Hunter pack and get the Jumpworks 300i, am i gonna be stuck doing only "dogfighting missions" because it lacks the upgrade/cargo room compared to the Aurora? Or are the differences in potential for those two ships only minor? Tbh things like that should already be somewhat fleshed out, regardless of how early WIP this all is.
They can't expect everybody to be a Wing Commander buff, who knows all the ships designs and weapons from all the past games from the back of their head.

I guess that's also part of the reason why i'm so bummed out, i went to their site ready to spent some money to get in. But seeing all those spending options, some of them feeling like you are missing out if you don't go there, just discouraged me from spending any money at all. Do i buy the Aurora? Or would i rather want the fancy looking 300i? (I like fancy looks but not at the cost of performance) Maybe i ought to find a buddy and we share the cost for the Constellation? Maybe spending all that extra money is pointless and you can use the Aurora to earn an 300i in a couple of hours? So many options, so little explanation of what they actually boil down to in the end :/

#43 Posted by Zurv (452 posts) -

Subscribers get a variety of unique addons available nowhere else

Only LTI on the ship hulls they got via the pledge and landing fee at the starting zone. Unimpressive stuff.

If you get the "wrong" ship that you are a dumbass.. but you can always get the starter ship like everyone else that buys the game.

having a ship from the pledge is nothing more than the head start people get in MMOs when they pre order or get deluxe editions. In many games i'll have maxed leveled before most people even can play. This isn't a big deal.

#44 Posted by ColonelRick (114 posts) -

The wording is odd, but I think that refers to pledge add-ons, which is what they call small (physical) stuff you can add to your pledge package in the store.

#45 Edited by Dasbag (2 posts) -
@nethlem said:

@colonelrick: It's in the text description from the subs:

"If you’re interested in going above and beyond to support Star Citizen’s development, there’s no better way than a development subscription! Subscribers get a variety of unique addons available nowhere else, which are created using the money paid into subscription fees. Products like Jump Point and Wingman’s Hangar could not happen without our generous subscribers!"

Maybe it's just a funny way to word it and they are only talking about the perks listed below that text. But to somebody not familiar with the tons of terminology used around the game it's not really obvious what they mean. Is an addon not the same as an module? In other games an "addon" usually means added content akin to an expansion pack.

It's stuff like that where i get suddenly get careful with my money, because i don't want to buy the "wrong" stuff and end up missing out on something. Same applies to the descriptions of the Ships that come with the different packs. The Scout pack has the Aurora, which gets advertised as "Utilitarian to a T, with ample of upgrade room". The Bounty Hunter pack comes with the Jumpworks 300i, it's description lacks anything of substance in that regard, expect for the mention of "particle guns" and "dogfighting".

So when i buy the Bounty Hunter pack and get the Jumpworks 300i, am i gonna be stuck doing only "dogfighting missions" because it lacks the upgrade/cargo room compared to the Aurora? Or are the differences in potential for those two ships only minor? Tbh things like that should already be somewhat fleshed out, regardless of how early WIP this all is.

They can't expect everybody to be a Wing Commander buff, who knows all the ships designs and weapons from all the past games from the back of their head.

I guess that's also part of the reason why i'm so bummed out, i went to their site ready to spent some money to get in. But seeing all those spending options, some of them feeling like you are missing out if you don't go there, just discouraged me from spending any money at all. Do i buy the Aurora? Or would i rather want the fancy looking 300i? (I like fancy looks but not at the cost of performance) Maybe i ought to find a buddy and we share the cost for the Constellation? Maybe spending all that extra money is pointless and you can use the Aurora to earn an 300i in a couple of hours? So many options, so little explanation of what they actually boil down to in the end :/

I am a subscriber. The exclusive content no one else gets is that we are given news and concept art information months before normal members and our own forum.If we subscribe for a year we also will get a printed jumpoint magazine and an ingame title. Not that pay to win if you ask me.

Also the Voyager Direct store is optional, of course you cant earn the stuff ingame because there is no game. You don't have to purchase those guns and the stuff available in the store is not unique to subscribers.

Im sorry but the whole reason I made my post is because I got tired of reading people with zero knowledge or misinformation absolutely blasting it. If you have all these negative thoughts and lingering suspicions why dont you go to the forums and actually ask for it to be clarified instead of being negative and perpetuating things that arent true.

https://forums.robertsspaceindustries.com/categories/question-answer

#46 Posted by Nethlem (436 posts) -

@zurv said:

If you get the "wrong" ship that you are a dumbass.. but you can always get the starter ship like everyone else that buys the game.

having a ship from the pledge is nothing more than the head start people get in MMOs when they pre order or get deluxe editions. In many games i'll have maxed leveled before most people even can play. This isn't a big deal.

Uhm when the descriptions lack any information of value, how makes that people a "dumbass" if they buy the "wrong" one? These descriptions do not have any comparable stats at all, how is anybody supposed to figure out how the ships compare? And "just getting the starter ship" amounts do an additional $25 one would have to pay or spend additional playing time to make up for a "wrong" purchase in the beginning.

When it's so easy: Could you do me a friendly favor and point out the differences between the Aurora and the Jumpworks 300i, to aid my buying decision?


I've also "no-lifed" my fair share of MUD's and MMO's, that is exactly the reason why some of this stuff looks worrisome. It isn't a simple "deluxe edition headstart" when the real money to in-game currency shops stay in the game. Things like that, tend to have a way heavier long term influence on the overall economy and balance compared to a mere "deluxe headstart". Stuff like that already has ruined quite a few other promising looking games, many of them not even remotely as ambitious as Star Citizen.

But i guess no amount of discussion is gonna change anything about that, right now we can just wait and see how all this is gonna end up.
Thanks to everybody who added to this discussion and helped shedding a little bit more light into all of this! And sorry if i came across a little bit thick headed on some of these issues, better be save than be sorry ;)


#47 Edited by OldCrow (2 posts) -

I very much doubt that the current model of payment will continue past Star Citizen's release. It's set up right now for people who want to fund the game's development and get something for themselves at the same time, that's why there have been limited time offers and all that other 'money-grubbing' stuff.

As for pay-to-win and free-to-play as a whole, it really all depends on how it is executed or how 'gross' it is. And because I'm lazy and the 'grossness' of a payment model is largely subjective I will just list some examples of games I think do it right, or at least they get close. Planetside 2, War Thunder, and World of Tanks.

#48 Posted by ColonelRick (114 posts) -
@nethlem said:

@zurv said:

If you get the "wrong" ship that you are a dumbass.. but you can always get the starter ship like everyone else that buys the game.

having a ship from the pledge is nothing more than the head start people get in MMOs when they pre order or get deluxe editions. In many games i'll have maxed leveled before most people even can play. This isn't a big deal.

Uhm when the descriptions lack any information of value, how makes that people a "dumbass" if they buy the "wrong" one? These descriptions do not have any comparable stats at all, how is anybody supposed to figure out how the ships compare? And "just getting the starter ship" amounts do an additional $25 one would have to pay or spend additional playing time to make up for a "wrong" purchase in the beginning.

When it's so easy: Could you do me a friendly favor and point out the differences between the Aurora and the Jumpworks 300i, to aid my buying decision?

I've also "no-lifed" my fair share of MUD's and MMO's, that is exactly the reason why some of this stuff looks worrisome. It isn't a simple "deluxe edition headstart" when the real money to in-game currency shops stay in the game. Things like that, tend to have a way heavier long term influence on the overall economy and balance compared to a mere "deluxe headstart". Stuff like that already has ruined quite a few other promising looking games, many of them not even remotely as ambitious as Star Citizen.

But i guess no amount of discussion is gonna change anything about that, right now we can just wait and see how all this is gonna end up.

Thanks to everybody who added to this discussion and helped shedding a little bit more light into all of this! And sorry if i came across a little bit thick headed on some of these issues, better be save than be sorry ;)

I agree they should do a better job of communicating, particularly to people who haven't backed or that don't visit the site that often. There's been some discussion about this, particularly in the Subscriber's Den, so who knows, maybe the devs will pick up on it.

Regarding choosing ships: You can melt packages down for store credit and buy something else. I think this will be the case until the cut-off date for funding. So, if you come to the conclusion you don't like how 'your' ship plays in the alpha, you could trade it in and put that money towards something else, effectively.

@oldcrow said:

I very much doubt that the current model of payment will continue past Star Citizen's release. It's set up right now for people who want to fund the game's development and get something for themselves at the same time, that's why there have been limited time offers and all that other 'money-grubbing' stuff.

As for pay-to-win and free-to-play as a whole, it really all depends on how it is executed or how 'gross' it is. And because I'm lazy and the 'grossness' of a payment model is largely subjective I will just list some examples of games I think do it right, or at least they get close. Planetside 2, War Thunder, and World of Tanks.

They recently did a poll on their website where they asked what they should do with the funding ticker when they reach $23 million ($21 million in development funds) and people voted to keep it open. Additional money will go towards supplemental stretch goals they haven't shed light on yet, but it's safe to assume they'll implement a cut-off date at some point in order to lock the features of the game down. That is, if these additional goals will even be ready by the game's release.

#49 Posted by Bell_End (1208 posts) -

this whole pay-2-win shit is a myth.

my 80 year old grandma bought all the best weapon and stuff in battlefield and the best cars in forza yet i can still smoke that bitches ass with just the normal weapons and cars.

see what the old cow can't buy is the talent or experience to actually play the game. to learn that she has to spend dozens and dozens of hours practicing and getting good at the game

#50 Edited by Vade (393 posts) -

@bell_end said:

this whole pay-2-win shit is a myth.

my 80 year old grandma bought all the best weapon and stuff in battlefield and the best cars in forza yet i can still smoke that bitches ass with just the normal weapons and cars.

see what the old cow can't buy is the talent or experience to actually play the game. to learn that she has to spend dozens and dozens of hours practicing and getting good at the game

Can you beat a clone of yourself who bought the best stuff with just the normal gear?