Cosmetic cash shop, RMT and p2w.


  • TF#9 - FIRST AMBASSADOR

    While discussing about another game, I just realized that a cosmetic cash shop may lead to p2w. Sure that may seem weird for the most of you so please bear with me.

    SWTOR (which I have played for 3 years) has a cash shop which has; a) cosmetic items and b) items used by non subscribers, such as raid passes and the like. So, SWTOR's cash shop per se is not p2w. As most of these cosmetic items are behind an RNG wall (aka lootboxes), some are very popular and rare and as such cost a lot of in-game currency. As such a person who spends a lot of real money into these cosmetic items may make a fortune of in-game currency. And here comes the tricky part.

    SWTOR doesn't have a player driven economy, or in other words, the best gear comes from the game either as loot (directly) or through tokens and the like. As such the cash shop doesn't have p2w "implications" either. But what would have happened if SWTOR had a player driven economy and the best gear was coming from the players/crafters?

    In that case we would have the following paradigm;

    • Real money --> [...] --> in-game currency --> gear with stats.

    When you start with "Real money" and you end up with "gear with stats", regardless how many stages you have gone through, you end up having p2w.

    Sure, a number of assumptions have been made and things are more complex, but none of these assumptions or complexities will change the end result of the game ending being p2w. It may be "more" or "less" p2w or p2w in "this" case and not in "that" case, but it will be p2w.

    So, is a purely cosmetic cash shop always p2w? NO!

    It isn't the cosmetic cash shop per se, neither is a sub token (see EVE's PLEX) per se p2w, what is p2w is the combination of;

    • RMT + player driven economy

    To put it simply, if the cosmetic items of the cash shop can be traded in the game you have RMT, if you don't allow these cosmetic cash shop items to be traded in-game you won't have RMT.

    No RMT means no p2w.

    And here comes a very important question;

    Will it be possible to trade in-game Fractured's cosmetic items or not?


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    I don't consider 3rd party p2w because it's beyond the developers control, outside of allowing trading. Any game that offers player trading can/may have 3rd party RMT. Allowing cosmetics to be traded gives people who will never pay a dime a way to acquire them. And cosmetics aren't inherently p2w either.

    Even if there is no trading, it's possible for companies to have account services. IE you need rank 200 of something and you're at 150, that next 50 ranks will take 36h of continuous play time, you can pay a company to do it. I've seen services offered in Diablo 3, reaching certain paragon rank, plus all of the legendaries that come with it.

    If Fractured has certain x,y locations that give skills, then there will be services offered to get you those skills.


  • TF#10 - CONSUL

    P2W means that there are items in the cash shop that are better than you can find in-game and the only way to get them is to pay real money.
    Buying cosmetics with real money, selling them for in-game money and then buying gear with that is not P2W. It's just taking a shortcut, because you can do just the same by putting more time in and farm in-game currency to get the same item without having to pay any real money.

    So no cosmetics only cash shop with perhaps some convenience items will never be P2W.


  • TF#10 - CONSUL

    @evolgrinz said in Cosmetic cash shop, RMT and p2w.:

    P2W means that there are items in the cash shop that are better than you can find in-game and the only way to get them is to pay real money.

    I totally agree - this is the definition of p2w.


  • TF#10 - CONSUL

    Another thread about p2w issues. And again that's not pay to win. p2w is when you can buy powerfull equips that are not aviable in the game (or extremly rare like 0,01 chance). Cosmetic does not give any advantage. About shop money to exchange we discussed about it already 😉


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    @dybuk said in Cosmetic cash shop, RMT and p2w.:

    @evolgrinz said in Cosmetic cash shop, RMT and p2w.:

    P2W means that there are items in the cash shop that are better than you can find in-game and the only way to get them is to pay real money.

    I totally agree - this is the definition of p2w.

    Ok, now you've got me curious!
    If you can purchase 'units' in a strategy game, but these units can be 'created' over time as well, that means it wouldn't be 'pay to win' according to your definition, right?
    Despite the fact that the person who bought 1000 offensive troops could likely raid me into the ground on day 1, where I had zero chance to have a comparable army to defend myself, unless I spent real life cash as well?


  • TF#10 - CONSUL

    @logain rts is a different game based on match. All players joining that match will play the same time. You can't compare it to a mmo.


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    @finland said in Cosmetic cash shop, RMT and p2w.:

    @logain rts is a different game based on match. All players joining that match will play the same time. You can't compare it to a mmo.

    a) I'm not talking about RTS, there's plenty of games like that. I'm going to provide you a quick example: Tribal Wars 2
    b) You are only partly correct, if you play an MMO as PvE only, yes, you can only compare that to an extent, but even then. Trivial example, it takes time to regenerate mana and health in a game, but you can purchase 'potions' to fill up either/both. Now the person who doesn't invest money has to wait for regeneration, whereas the person spending cash can simply swallow potion after potion, killing creatures at a much faster pace. If there's progression, that person has a considerable edge over you, or else why would people consider 'botting'/buying progress?
    Now, if we're talking PvP, that is even more of an incredible advantage. You expressed and experienced it yourself, the more warriors you can keep constantly on the battlefield, the better your odds.


  • TF#10 - CONSUL

    @logain said in Cosmetic cash shop, RMT and p2w.:

    Tribal Wars 2

    Strategic browser game that's not a mmo imho 😉

    @logain said in Cosmetic cash shop, RMT and p2w.:

    b) You are only partly correct, if you play an MMO as PvE only, yes, you can only compare that to an extent, but even then. Trivial example, it takes time to regenerate mana and health in a game, but you can purchase 'potions' to fill up either/both. Now the person who doesn't invest money has to wait for regeneration, whereas the person spending cash can simply swallow potion after potion, killing creatures at a much faster pace. If there's progression, that person has a considerable edge over you, or else why would people consider 'botting'/buying progress?
    Now, if we're talking PvP, that is even more of an incredible advantage. You expressed and experienced it yourself, the more warriors you can keep constantly on the battlefield, the better your odds.

    Dunno in wow the progress was battlegrounds and raids. Without skill you couldent achieve that so botting was just something to use time when you where not a pc due work/school/hobby. Skill > above everything. Those who were not botting were getting money/itmes from the guild. But you may be right in a open PvP contest could make too much difference. At the same time could be something to fight nerds playing h24 7/7


  • TF#10 - CONSUL

    @logain said in Cosmetic cash shop, RMT and p2w.:

    b) You are only partly correct, if you play an MMO as PvE only, yes, you can only compare that to an extent, but even then. Trivial example, it takes time to regenerate mana and health in a game, but you can purchase 'potions' to fill up either/both. Now the person who doesn't invest money has to wait for regeneration, whereas the person spending cash can simply swallow potion after potion, killing creatures at a much faster pace. If there's progression, that person has a considerable edge over you, or else why would people consider 'botting'/buying progress?
    Now, if we're talking PvP, that is even more of an incredible advantage. You expressed and experienced it yourself, the more warriors you can keep constantly on the battlefield, the better your odds.

    Usually potions are not only available to buy for real cash - if they are, then it goes to the definition @EvolGrinZ provided: "P2W means that there are items in the cash shop that are better than you can find in-game and the only way to get them is to pay real money."
    If what you wrote is about normal potions, that can be bought for in-game currency or even be crafted by yourself, then I wouldn't consider it p2w. Of course, it may give a 'money spender' a slight advantage in speed of progress, but it doesn't mean he 'wins' with you. There is nothing limiting you from buying the same potions and using them. It is your choice if you want to buy them or save your in-game cash and wait for regeneration.
    In PvP - as I mentioned above, if the same potions are available for in-game cash, there is nothing stopping you for using them yourself. Usually potions have some cooldown time, so there is a limit how many one can use during a heated battle. You should be able to defeat a person using them, it may just be a bit more difficult or time consuming.


  • TF#8 - GENERAL AMBASSADOR

    @dybuk At that point you might as well have items that have stat advantages. Your point doesnt make sense because the person who used real money has now got a time advantage over you. There is still an advantage because they have a lump sum of cash they didnt 5 minutes earlier. In a game where money is used for everything, thats an advantage, and to call it otherwise makes no sense. Also P2W is anything that gives someone who used money an edge over anyone else who doesnt. Its not only if the item cannot be achieved other than by using money. Its paying to win, you win because you had a bunch of money that I didnt to get gear I wasnt able to purchase as quick as you, therefore progressed quicker and ultimately beat me, therefore won. If you say well thats just PvE, then what does it matter if the items have stat boosts? You are stating it makes no difference because well, you just take your time without the stat boost. And in PvP, that money you gained to buy stronger gear in 5 minutes that the other person wont gain for 2 weeks is a massive advantage. The only reason people realistically can argue this point is if they dont plan on spending any money but they want to play the fashion game. And that is just plain annoying for everyone else who would rather have a fair playing field over not having to spend $20 on a cosmetic they want.


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    @dybuk said in Cosmetic cash shop, RMT and p2w.:

    (...)If what you wrote is about normal potions, that can be bought for in-game currency or even be crafted by yourself, then I wouldn't consider it p2w(...)

    It's all about what you consider 'win'. Concrete example, this one guy and his league/guild A are playing Albion Online, they are fighting with another league/guild B for a respawn or territory. Both have 10 members online, both are roughly equal in skill and equipment, it's a fair fight and 5 of the members of A drop (being looted), 5 of B drop (being looted). Now the 5 members from league/guild A do not have spare equipment and hence can no longer return to the battlefield. Whereas the 5 members of B have a next to unlimited stockpile of spare equipment and instantly return on the field. At this point, the fight is 5 vs 10.

    Who 'wins'?


  • TF#10 - CONSUL

    @logain wins the guild that nerds more (h24) to grind more money. That's bad because money should not influence so much (it's a game). Skill vs skill should win the one tha will not fail like moba/fps. Anyway in Albion they could contrast it by buying currency to exchange for silver and buy equips. Fair! I don care if people want spend time or money. I just hate players selling gold/currency. Anyway the equip will not influence the combat like other games aka Albion or WoW or similar so money should not influence that.


  • TF#8 - GENERAL AMBASSADOR

    @finland said in Cosmetic cash shop, RMT and p2w.:

    I don care if people want spend time or money. I just hate players selling gold/currency.

    Thats what we are saying Finland, if you can buy a cosmetic item and sell it for gold, your buying and selling gold. Just indirectly.


  • TF#10 - CONSUL

    @miffi that's fine lol. The problem occur when a player sell in-game things (not things on the shop) for real money. That's the only case I dislike. If people can buy cosmetic items with real money and want sell them for gold (the in game money) is free to do it. I don't see problems.

    What can you tell me about the gatheres/merchants who get rich and then sell the gold to the players in exchange for real money? This should be punished and not people selling shop thingy for in game money.

    Anyway we discussed those things already in another thread.


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    I've seen games with cash shops that couldn't trade items and those you can. In Warframe, you can trade plat then use that to buy market items. One reason I like that system is because everyone has access to the items in the cash shop you just have to trade things.

    @Miffi the gold has a limit though because only so much can be created via the game (assuming gold isn't sold directly via the cash shop). On the one hand it allows a player to buy gold on the other hand it allows a f2p to buy cash shop items, which means everything is accessible to all play types.

    I'd prefer a system where players can trade (shop currency/sub time/etc) for gold to give cash shop access to everyone.


  • TF#9 - FIRST AMBASSADOR

    @jetah said in Cosmetic cash shop, RMT and p2w.:

    I don't consider 3rd party p2w because it's beyond the developers control,

    Who is 1st party, who is 2nd party and who is 3rd party?

    In my view, 1st party = developers, 2nd party = players, 3rd party = gold sellers.

    I don't consider any exploitation by gold sellers p2w either, but what I am describing doesn't involve a third party, it involves the developers and the players.

    So, yeah, it is p2w.


  • TF#9 - FIRST AMBASSADOR

    @evolgrinz said in Cosmetic cash shop, RMT and p2w.:

    P2W means that there are items in the cash shop that are better than you can find in-game and the only way to get them is to pay real money.

    Not really.

    This may be your definition of p2w but it is neither an objective definition neither it is accepted by most MMO players.

    Objectively what you consider p2w can be seen as;

    • Real money --> gear with stats (from cash shop)

    In a game with a player driven economy and RMT you will have;

    • Real money --> [something, e.g. cosmetics] --> in-game currency --> gear with stats (crafted from a player).

    In the end in both cases you have;

    • Real money --> ([....]) --> gear with stats

    If anything the RMT + player driven combo is more p2w, because when the gear with stats comes from the cash shop there is an infinite supply of such gear. When you have the RMT + player driven economy combo though, you have a finite supply of gear. That means that a whale (or a guild) can remove all best gear from the game just because they opened their wallet, which means that you won't be able to;

    "get the same item without having to pay any real money", as a matter of fact, you won't be able to get the same item at all.


  • TF#9 - FIRST AMBASSADOR

    @finland said in Cosmetic cash shop, RMT and p2w.:

    Another thread about p2w issues. And again that's not pay to win. p2w is when you can buy powerfull equips that are not aviable in the game (or extremly rare like 0,01 chance). Cosmetic does not give any advantage. About shop money to exchange we discussed about it already 😉

    Pay attention, no-one said that cosmetic items give an advantage per se. The thread is not against cosmetics, the thread is against RMT.

    Whether you use cosmetics or a sub token or whatever to achieve RMT is irrelevant. The point is that;

    • RMT + player driven economy = p2w.

    Whether you say "this" or "that", it doesn't matter. Objectively it is at least the same as buying a sword with stats from the cash shop. Actually it is worse (see above comments). Subjectively, the majority of MMO players consider RMT p2w, as expressed via numerous polls at various sources, a MassivelyOP poll that was conducted lately among others.

    Now, the solution is simple; Make cosmetics bind on pickup.

    This way you won't have RMT.


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    @phaethonas

    P2W definition has changed but still being accepted from any cash shop to paywalls to top gear in the store. The other form is if it takes more time to acquire the item than is reasonable is p2w. Different generations of gamers have different definitions of p2w. It’s mostly what the person is willing to accept. Some will say any form of trading can be p2w because there’ll always be a means to use cash to obtain something. Even some games without trading can have account services being sold.


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