Opinion: Item Shop

This is a highly controversial topic about this game. When discussing this topic, PLEASE try to keep it civil. We only posted it because it is a highly talked about topic.

In Russia, the latest patch the cost to talk in zone chat was removed. :]. It is now free!

A lot of players are mad at Astrum Nival, aka the developer of the game because of their item shop. Currently only the Russian Open Beta has an item shop. I have personally been on the Russian forums with my trusty Google translator, and talked to the Russian community and even answered some questions about the NA version of the game.

It seems the Russians are fleeing to the EU and NA versions of the game, and dealing with the language barrier. They think Allods Online is great game, but the Russian team is ruining it with the item shop with such things as:
– Water of Life and Death (talents/skills reset) cost too much real life money.
– Death debuff lasts 30 minutes to 60 minutes, where you’re a sitting duck basically. You can only remove it with an item from the item shop.
– Charge real life money to talk in zone chat.
– Because it costs real life money to talk in zone chat, zone chat is dead, and groups aren’t being formed. The game feels ‘single player’.
– Item shop items are giving players too much of an advantage. Such as potions that GREATLY increase the stats of a player, that is unmatched unless the opponent coughs up real life money.

The Western media really seems against these. It seems that most are in favor of vanity items, and minor advantage items from the item shop. A lot of people would even love to buy a vanity/noncombat pet to be at their side. Even some dress up armor!

A few players on the EU forums did bring up a good point. Russia would probably make up less then 10% of the profit the Western media would (EU and NA). EU and NA however will have many more players. If the item shop is kept reasonable Allods Online has the potential to become one of the most known games around. However, if the item shop is brought down to the level of the Russian’s item shop, this game would never lift off of its feet.

Many seem okay with the bags and bankspace in the item shop, as well as vanity armor.

Alexnt from the EU forums posted this:

Come to think of it, it’s not the Item Shop itself, but rather the atmosphere around the latest updates in Russian OBT which causes so much disappointment among the players there.

The perception of “being milked for money” is really very strong there.

Here’s a small account of the events during the last month:

DEVS: Hey guys, sup? We have this new cool patch for ya all. You will now be able to buy RUBIES from the ITEM SHOP! \o/
DEVS: Hm. Ok, we’ve reconsidered about the Rubies… But now all messages to the Zone Chat are for RL cash!!!
PLAYERS: o_O You must be kidding.
DEVS: Not at all. This is done “to prevent senseless spam”, we are acting in your best interest!
PLAYERS: Yeah, sure…

*1 week passes*

PLAYERS: Everywhere’s silent! It feels like singleplayer! How are we supposed to find a party for minibosses FFS!!??
DEVS: Oh, don’t whine. We’re increasing the radius of regular talk (white) from 20m to 100m {a mage can typically shoot to 40m, if anyone’s interested}
DEVS: … also, you can now buy Ancient Chests from the ITEM SHOP, in which you can find RUBIES!!! \o/ \o/ \o/

*somewhat later*

DEVS: We have a New Year’s Eve content patch for you, including 2 lame quests, several imbalanced items and a couple of stupid minigames.
PLAYERS: Did you, by any chance, happen to fix the xxx and yyy critical bugs?
DEVS: Um… no. But! We have the new cool ‘Fear of Death’ feature. Now when you die, not only you have to wait in the Purgatory, but you will also recieve a debuff, which will make you completely useless for up to 52 minutes!!! Of course, you can always get rid of it by pouring more cash into our ITEM SHOP!!!
PLAYERS: Yeah….. *haha, idiots! Using astral sphere teleporters removes the debuff free of charge*

*one day later*

DEVS: We have an extra urgent, super-important mega-hotfix!
PLAYERS: \o/ Bugs xxx and yyy fixed?
DEVS: No! But the Fear of Death will no longer be removed by using the astral sphere teleporters! A-a-and it will persist between logouts, so that not a second of your precious Fear of Death is now wasted if you log off for an hour. Allow us to remind you, that you can use our great ITEM SHOP to be not afraid of Death for a whole 1/2 hour for a meager $0.15!
PLAYERS: We hate you.
DEVS: Also, now you can only have one treasure chest per day, unless you visit our ITEM SHOP.

To summarise. Take every whine from Russian OBT players with a grain of salt. They are very angry at the company’s pricing methods atm.

YOU GUYS the readers of The Novograd Times ARE the community. I really suggest you make your suggestions and opinions about the item shop now. Get in discussions. Friendly debates. Don’t get carried away or bash though. How can the gPotato EU and NA team make the item shop better for you? What can they do to get your business, but not be a pay to win game?

They do have to keep the item shop. It is a free to play game, where the item shop is not ‘required’.

Remember, western media developers often times listen to their customers. We are the western media, we are the buying force of the world, don’t forget that.

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    • tylerbee
    • February 7th, 2010

    They won’t listen. They think they’ve created a hit, but they’re milking it too much.

    This game won’t take off at all, unless they remove FOD, remove health % from pots, remove flagging system.

    These are all homo changes noone wanted. It sucks.

    • Hateful
    • February 6th, 2010

    Urgh, reading comments backwards. XD Anyway, I do hope that they remove FoD before OB, as well as do something about flags. As I have argued on the EU boards, they are basically trying to have it both ways, getting both the PvE crowd and PvP with this stupid flagging system.

    But in the end, PvE don’t want to be ganked, and PvP don’t want to farm for items to PvP, or wait for players to slip up and get flagged in some stupid way like attacking a opposing NPC.

    The item shop of course ties into all this, and anything that allows a player with more money to be supreme to other players in PvP will turn me off this game. I played RoM long enough.

    • Hateful
    • February 6th, 2010

    Or Allods EU for that matter.

    • Preston
    • February 6th, 2010

    Why no mention of PvP? We want PvP flagging removed in the Holy Lands too!!!

    • Fstmir
    • February 6th, 2010

    Yeees, and the best thing is that when You get ganked by other Players and die , You will receivr awesome FoD deBUFF

    • byk
    • January 24th, 2010

    You’re talking about all these changes made to the RU item shop that had a negative impact on the game, well why limit it to the item shop?

    RU servers introduced a flag system and RU players complained about how it gave them one less thing to do while playing. Essentially if you don’t have a ship yet you’re limited to daily dungeon and then… nothing.

    Changing core mechanics on the fly didn’t work out on RU servers. I’m curious as to why you don’t mention this… is it because you’re not a fan of PvP?

    • I like PvP, but not just all the time. I’m more into watching it though. I have prefer role play however.

      And the PvP and flag system is another article, not in the item shop. I don’t know enough about it for an opinion piece on the flag system.

  2. The fact that one pays for in game items with real money is fine with me because every other game does it whether we pay gold farmers or the company itself. I’d rather pour money into the game developers themselves so they can continue to create GOOD items and content rather than some third world no-name gold farmer. I personally have never bought gold or items with real money, however items in the Auction Houses that are farmed by 5-10 LAN playing, gold farmer groups, that get rare and hard to find items then sell them for thousands of gold have been bought by me because I’d like to at least have equal footing during PVP. So I guess if the items were received through the in game shop and bound on P/U..would be nice, since they (gold farmers) cannot re-sell them. I would like to see a reward program for gold farmer turn-ins/reports so we can keep ALLODS gold farmer free. I said something to the fact that a certain item in WAR (Warhammer tm) was too much gold and got the reply well, “it’s the best of it’s kind in the game and should be that expensive.”
    Ok, then make it BOP not re-sellable. Players aren’t here for real life commerce, we are here to play a game and forget about real life.

    In my perspective of a perfect game world players could not sell anything for more than 1 gold per their level or level of seller.

    All NPC vendors could mark up items or mark down items as per demand having a level cap of course. All items PCs create via skills are sellable to either other PCs or vendor NPCs for current price. PCs could “improve” items given to them with their particular weapon smith or armor smith skills and charge a fee and have to give it back to the customer. Again charging no more than 1 gold per level of smith skilled PCs level.

    This would create a need to adventure to collect items for crafting, a need to deal with the NPC vendors, as well as allow for items to be bought from the item store on-line for those that did not want to “find” that rare BOP item.

    I just wished these game companies would stop catering to the rich and start catering to the normal gamer who just wants to have fun. There are rich gamers and they will invest into their hobby. WotC/TSR and now Hasbro have all tried to change their game to make more money rather than to keep a fan base(they lost us older gamers). They figure that if they change the hobby they’ll get “new” hobbyists, that seemingly feel that the company is selling a “new” game and need to invest into that one now. That has failed, older gamers get the word out about the “new” game not being so new and the changes, are crap….

    Make a game fun to play, easy to afford, add good ideas, interact with the fans, do live events for everyone periodically,Have good items that can be named/colored/or otherwise customized as wanted. Have toons that don’t look too cartoony (sp). Periodically have boss monsters stats change so as not to allow for boring same methodology as to how to defeat them. Allow for NPC groups to be programmable so one doesn’t have to “find” other players who have their own agendas to attack a boss or complete a quest. The NPCs can be hired or convinced through diplomacy to help the character complete the quest. Have live GMs online 24-7-365 to help with graphics problems/tech issues…etc. Have real world items to buy for the game genre which also advertises the game. Have adult sites for the game so us adults don’t have to dumb down and play with mindless youths who have homework they should be doing. Have level restrictive areas so high levels cannot go into low level areas and ruin the fun for the low levels there I mean levels 1-2 levels above the highest mob in that area, not up to 8-10 levels higher..or cause the items the high levels have as well as the skills they have to match the highest PC/NPC for that area till they leave then the items /skills return to their normal ranks.Allow for buying of places to store ones items (houses/apartments/castles) or even building these places. Have trainable mounts, mechanized mounts,ability to name ones mount/coloring ones mount. Airships with small escape vehicles,landing zones for mounts that can fly.

    Finally interactive games should be invented, I can take my PC/items to another complete game world that complies with the one I left. Either through magic portals or time machines..w/e.

    Just some ides and concerns.

    Earl Lothar Loc’Nar

    • Zattaltin
    • January 23rd, 2010

    I really hope that allods doesn’t go that way. I have been watching for this game for a really long time and have a few friends that are stoked for the release. If it because whoever has the most cash wins game it will lose interest quickly with the constant exploitation of money.

    One suggestion that I have is that people should be able to trade some in game items in for item shop cash. This may already be intact and I don’t know because I don’t play a lot but I think that would help balance things out a little bit.

  3. I read somewhere about the NA version being changed from the RU version because of certain things (like the grind) being something NA players do not like in their games. There was also something about those megaphones that you havet obuy for chat not affection the zone but I cant find the article to show my sources.

    I really do not mind the idea of an item shop if it remains practical. Not being able to get rid of the death penalty unless paying for it in a PvP game seems a little dumb as in PvP…EVERYONE dies a lot and that IS just milking your player base.

    I pulled up the shop in game and some of the stuff i saw (bigger bags, costumes) i would definitely spend money on.

    Armor dyes would be a great item, name changes, race changes (to your class), faction changes would also do well.

    If they add land mounts, they should add a generic to each side, then add a different model(s) to the shop that changes the appearance of them (if they set a limit on that, it better not cost too much).

    Items that you can add to your ship (sails colors/emblems would be a great item) would also sell well.

    The thing about an item shop in the NA, is that ANYTHING that grants a buff to the player with it over the pure free player without the funds, ruins the game for us.

      • BluestarNEO
      • January 23rd, 2010

      I could really get behind the ideas you have Poxus. Armor dyes, different mount skins, cosmetic ship cusomization features, name changes, and race changes are all items that I can only hope will be supported in the future. Items like these would be a valid option for me and hopefully others to support Allods well into the future.

    • BluestarNEO
    • January 23rd, 2010

    For me, the cash shop is a touchy subject, and the main reason I generally stay away from this type of mmo. I would almost prefer Allods to be a pay-to-play rather than a free-to-play.

    My biggest gripe is giving the players with the most money the advantage in almost any given situation, especially pvp. I am ok with the cosmetic items, bags, bank vaults, and even gold (to a lesser extent). However, the addition of better buff potions, extra chests, and reduction on death penalties is something that is a bit of a turn-off.

    The zone chat item seems a bit much, as I can see it killing any form of a larger community on a server, especially with new players and grouping. I wish they would make the game where zone chat is open, but if you abuse zone chat, then your account is flagged and you have to buy the megaphone to speak in zone chat as a penalty. I am fine with the world chat item.

    That being said, I realize that they need to make money at the end of the day, and not just a one time purchase. They need to have a viable model that allows for repeat business in lieu of a pay-to-play plan. I am more than happy to purchase and support what could possibly be the next great game. I just don’t want it to ruin the experience where money buys power. I’ve got the real world for that =P.

  4. I sincerely hope this isn’t the future of Allods NA…

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