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Why Star Citizen is NOT a "Pay to Win" Game

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A good debate started in the Phoenix thread about Star Citizen being a Pay to Win Game (stemmed from the recent Star Cast Podcast).  Hopefully we can get those post moved to this thread since it is an important discussion that should have its Thread so people can voice their own opinion on it ------ BUT please keep and mind .... and understand what CIG says (quotes and summaries below) about the topic.

 

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Here is one side of concern....

 

Personally I also think it is pay to win if the only chance you have of reasonably progressing through the game means buying UEC/Gems/Etc. so you can upgrade your factory/castle/spaceship in 1 sec instead of having to wait for 2 days or have to save up resources all the while hoping not to get robbed versus using the buy now option.

 

Comet, on 22 Aug 2014 - 12:01 AM, said:snapback.png

I see. Like the cosmetic items in Guild Wars 2. Doesn't give an advantage. Just to make you look cooler.
In your opinion do you think they will sell ships for real money when the final game comes out and if so do you think current prices will apply?

 

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Below is a summary of a 10FTCH comment...

 

 

On the other hand it will be very tempting for them to keep the pledges running even after PU start. So it might be that in two years or so there might be a Letter from the Chairman:

"Hey guys we have realized it is better for the overall health of the game to keep ship pledges even after PU and a recent poll shows this is also what the majority of our backers wants. We realize that we said this won't happen two years ago but with all the developments since then we think it is our responsibility to adapt to the new situation"

or something like that.

Hopefully though I hope it will end after PU.

===================

 

Ben confirmed yesterday in the Star Cast Podcast that they do NOT intend to have Pledge Ship / Packages after the launch of the PU (except for the Aurora Package - this will also probably include a Mustang package = starter ships only)

 

Below is his famous quote :P  (and link to the podcast below)

 

 

"My message to everybody is: If you think Star Citizen is pay-to-win, you suck."

  • Ben Lesnick (August 21, 2014)

Source (at 02:35:40)

 

Below is a Summary of Chris Roberts' view on the Pay to Win Subject (note this is a summary not a direct quote)

 

Star Citizen is NOT "Pay to Win" it is "Pay for Convenience."

  • Some players have a lot of time on their hands and will be able to play the game and obtain items through their dedicated play.
  • Some players do not have a lot of time to contribute to the game like others and may want to spend some real money to help obtain a ship that they want to try out (since you can't buy directly new ships in the game except for starter ships - per above).

 

In addition...Star Citizen is NOT "Pay to Win" it is "Pay to Develop the Game"

  • Many players have the view that they are just pledging for their ship that they want to play to give them an advantage in the game - for the type of game they want to play.
  • The above ^^ maybe partial true but the primary "reason" for pledges is to help to "Develop the Game."  Star Citizen is a "Crowd Funded Game" and would not exist at the level we hope and expect without our pledges (the ships are just a nice "side perk" to our pledges)

Ultimately... There is " NO WINNING " and there is  " NO END GAME " .... in Star Citizen

  • You can't "win" in Star Citizen because it is like Real Life.  In real life you set goals and achieve those goals - and those goals are relative to your current situation.  You can continue to strive for goals that may seem unachievable but that doesn't mean you ever "loose" in life or in Star Citizen.  So... if someone "Starts" the PU with an Idris they can achieve their goals faster and more efficient than a player that starts with an Aurora... right?? -- NO this is WRONG ---- The player with the Idris will have Loftier (more dangerous) goals.... and the Aurora will have easier (less dangerous) goals.  One goal is not "better" than the other... and there is no stat or "status" for having the most UEC or most Ships in the game.  The Goal is to have fun.
  • There is no "end game" in Star Citizen... it continues... there is no "conclusion" or "final raid" like there is in other games.  Even Squadron 42 (that will have 50 missions to start) .... will continue and more missions will be created.

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To be honest it's going to be hard to convice joe blow that his $25 Aurora MR is = to Mr. Shiney pants $1,250 Idris.

 

As to no winning I don't think it will be 'fun' for players to be constantly killed by players with more expensive or larger ships.

 

There is always going to be that stigma of P2W, unless they ONLY sell cosmetic items.

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To be honest it's going to be hard to convice joe blow that his $25 Aurora MR is = to Mr. Shiney pants $1,250 Idris.

 

As to no winning I don't think it will be 'fun' for players to be constantly killed by players with more expensive or larger ships.

Easy solution for the player who has an Aurora (only). They can join the crew of an Idris or they can find protection by setting their PvP slider or find safety in numbers by joining a large Org. .... Like Imperium ;)

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They can but again when the general public start trying the Game after the launch of the PU, your going to always have the 'perception' that it's P2W simply because the general public will be behind grind walls. Right after the PU launches will be a great time to stay off most news sites.

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I'm still afraid that this thing is even a topic.

I mean...it's not a free2play game, it's a game you have to pay for.

Something must be wrong if people really have to discuss this.

Anyway even if you can't beat those big ships by yourself, you still can earn money and get them ingame, too.

Also you can team with other people and beat them (Well, we don't even have this problem since we have plenty of people here).

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The argument is boring. Both sides of it. The game is funded, Chris Roberts is going to get his vision for the game. There's no longer any need to dispel misinformation about the game, because the game isn't in doubt. If people don't want to play SC because they think its too P2W, then let them not play. Bringing more attention to this boring issue is tantamount to clickbaiting backers with sensationalist thread titles. This is the last time I'm going to fall for it. From now on I'll just ignore list those who start these kind of threads.

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They can but again when the general public start trying the Game after the launch of the PU, your going to always have the 'perception' that it's P2W simply because the general public will be behind grind walls. Right after the PU launches will be a great time to stay off most news sites.

I agree ^^ +1   === That is why Ben (and CIG) are asking the player base to dispel this notion of "pay to win" because ... .it is not... and it leaves a bad - ill-informed perception among new players (and may cause some to shy away from the game).

 

 

The argument is boring. Both sides of it. The game is funded, Chris Roberts is going to get his vision for the game. There's no longer any need to dispel misinformation about the game, because the game isn't in doubt. If people don't want to play SC because they think its too P2W, then let them not play. Bringing more attention to this boring issue is tantamount to clickbaiting backers with sensationalist thread titles. This is the last time I'm going to fall for it. From now on I'll just ignore list those who start these kind of threads.

 

This is the exact opposite position the player base (community) should take.  We need to dispel this "pay-to-win" notion...... so people don't formulated an opinion in error and potentially miss out on the greatest MMO currently available (and maybe even for the next decade).  It also gives CIG bad press when people argue that it is "Pay-to-Win" because it's not.  Player should care... because ... more players... higher pledges... = greater game for everyone... lasting many years... and it will allow it to be continued to be developed so we'll play in a dynamic verse and not a static or diminishing verse...

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p2w in my eyes is buying stuff ya can never earn ingame, like golden ammo or guns with much better stats then the stuff ingame

 

but that's not gona happen

 

atm I rather work a Saturday for some mony and pledge at star then to grind my ass off when games comes out ;o

 

 

win win situation, I can spend more time having funn and cig has more mony to make the game :)

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This is the exact opposite position the player base (community) should take.  We need to dispel this "pay-to-win" notion...... so people don't formulated an opinion in error and potentially miss out on the greatest MMO currently available (and maybe even for the next decade).  It also gives CIG bad press when people argue that it is "Pay-to-Win" because it's not.  Player should care... because ... more players... higher pledges... = greater game for everyone... lasting many years... and it will allow it to be continued to be developed so we'll play in a dynamic verse and not a static or diminishing verse...

You can do whatever you want, but from now on, everyone who makes a new "Someone Called Star Citizen Pay to Win and I'm Mad :( " thread is going on my ignore list. You're either being trolled or being asked to be a white knight for a video game that needs no defenders. Either way, I refuse to participate in the foolishness, and further, choose not to listen to those who do participate in it.

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You can do whatever you want, but from now on, everyone who makes a new "Someone Called Star Citizen Pay to Win and I'm Mad :( " thread is going on my ignore list. You're either being trolled or being asked to be a white knight for a video game that needs no defenders. Either way, I refuse to participate in the foolishness, and further, choose not to listen to those who do participate in it.

ok.... :( It's not about being mad though.... It is out of concern for new potential players.... Hopefully you can see that ... Right? ;)

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I actually agree with a lot of this guys points.

 

 

I've noticed some key points people backing this game seem to be missing:

1) CIG in their podcast yesterday, admitted to having issues quantifying how much money people pledge goes to 'making the game' and how much is to ships, so let me clear it up for them: If ships were not part of pledge packages, then they would have a fraction of the money they do today. They might get 500,000 backers, but those people would be backing the $30 or $40 it costs to buy a game pre-release. Nobody is dropping $1,000 to support an unreleased game. Nobody is dropping $300 for an unreleased game. Nobody is dropping $120 for an unreleased game.

Oh, isn't it funny how the dollar-funding meter spikes when they release a new ship? I guess it's just coincidence that whenever they release a new ship, a whole new wave of enthusiastic backers comes out of the woodwork to pledge support. Clearly it has nothing to do with the ships. It must be a wave of space flight-sim nostalgia.

By the way, here's your pledge math. A finished AAA PC title runs about $60. A Hornet package is $125. Basically, you're just dropping $60 for a polished game, and $65 for the ship.

This also means, that the Aurora people should thank their lucky stars they even have a ship. The primary purpose of an Aurora is to prevent their owners from giving out handies in the local starport for starter cash, as their pledge isn't even the real world cost of a AAA PC title.

The Aurora sucks, and will always suck. Most of you won't even keep it when the Mustang is released...and the Mustang also sucks.

2) Paying to Be Great. The argument the 'Everything is earned in game, maaaaan' crowd ignore is this: People with money have multiple ships. Explain to me how someone with a Hornet, Caterpillar and 350r is on EVEN FOOTING with some schlub in an Aurora. I'll wait.

Yes, every ship doesn't do everything well. Yes, it is possible to own multiple ships. Big reveal: People with multiple high-end ships in their hangar, are at a big advantage when the PU launches.

A Constellation Taurus has 1900 cargo units. An Aurora has 16. You would have to make ONE-HUNDRED EIGHTEEN trips in an Aurora, to match what I can do in one trip in my Retaliator.

But of course, you're equal.

A Super Hornet has a T4 powerplant, T4 shield, and a turret to fire 360 degrees. The Aurora lacks a basic ejector seat (which is odd, because that's the one feature Aurora users will be using most.)

But of course, you're equal.

I'd say, that even owning a Constellation and a Hornet, means you have a superior freighter/fighter/explorer/trader depending on the Variant, and anyone in a Mustang or Aurora is going to start the PU way behind the advancement curve.

3) Just because I'm in a better ship, doesn't mean you're somehow magically better at flying. The argument behind why people in Aurora's seem to think they will be OK is as follows: I've seen an Aurora shoot down someone in Arena Commander.

Ok, great. Now imagine that guy in a Hornet.

Just because someone in flying a Hornet, does not mean they're bad at flying. It means they're flying a Hornet, nothing more.

The same percentage of shitty pilots will fly a 300i, Aurora or Hornet, the only difference, is that when a shitty pilot meets another shitty pilot, the shitty pilot in the Hornet has an advantage.

WHEN A GREAT PILOT IN A HORNET, MEETS ANOTHER GREAT PILOT IN AN AURORA, THE GREAT PILOT IN THE HORNET HAS AN ADVANTAGE.

4) When there are no levels, your gear is your level. If your gear is better, then you're 'higher level'. While you're busy earning money for your first 'non-starter' ship, the people in non-starter ships are earning money for their upgrades, meaning their 'level' is growing.

For crying out loud, if the PU is a 24 mile marathon, the better ships mean you start the race at the 13 mile mark. Yes, I'm aware the people at the starting line will EVENTUALLY finish the race, but by the time they get there, the people at the 13 mile mark will have already arrived, and moved onto the next big thing.

It's not Pay 2 Win, because the things we're getting now are available in game. It's Pay 2 Be Great Today, and for people with real jobs, that's just fine.

(Also, people who bought Constellation backers gave them $400 to the completion of the game. People who backed with an Aurora paid $50. Those people are eight times as important to creation of this game, as the people who squeaked in with the bare minimum. They might think they're more important, but money talks. Can't pay bills with enthusiastic forum posts.)

5) If better ships don't equal more money, why don't they release the Banu Merchantman for $50? I'll back an Idris for $30.

 

If ships were not part of pledge packages we would be very very lucky to have hit the goal of $22 million.

 

Not nearly as many people would have given $$ without something else linked to the pledge.

 

And if you say the ships don't matter then imagine the outcry if they removed all ships from everyones account and your pledge was just that a pledge, nothing more nothing less.

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The thing is, I think people concern  comes from the fact that some companies have indeed abused the free 2 play system giving it a bad reputation.

Thankfully some high profile games showed that free 2 play doesn't necessarily mean P2W.

 

Let's face it. A high profile game like Star Citizen will always generate some suspicion. Specially because it's crowd funded.

 

But I do see a communication problem in gaming sites and even in parts of the Star Citizen community.

Many of P2W concerns comes from people that see the pledge options as a means to buy ships instead of what it truly is. A way to fund the game.

Some people simply don't believe that the final economic system will be balanced and allow anyone to evolve in the game and get the ships they want without wasting real money.

 

As Weyoun pointed out in the Phoenix topic : "here is what lots of people fail to realize: The ONLY thing you are 'buying' is a chance to 'me first'.  Only buy ships if you are impatient and/or you want to support development of the game"

 

It's hard to explain to some people that the current pledge system exists while Star Citizen is in development to FUND it's development and will cease to exist near it's release date. 

 

Do people feel like they wont be able to get the stuff on the pledge store on the final game or that it will take a long time to get it?

From the reaction on my gaming sites I think many do. Not people that are following the project closely. Those that watch Starcast, 10 for the chairman, Around The Verse and so on.

 

Gamespot has given Star Citizen some decent coverage and quite frankly journalists there haven't made any criticism to the success of the crowd funding campaign.

But the users comment section is another story.

 

http://www.gamespot.com/articles/star-citizen-reaches-an-astonishing-51-million-in-/1100-6421780/

 

And that's the thing. What can be done to make it entirely clear that the pledge system is for fund raising only and that the final game will be balanced in such a way that you don't need to waste money to enjoy it?

 

In that regard I think Chris made the right choice by moving the stretch goal counter to another page and addressing some of the concerns.

Still, after reading articles and opinions here and on other sites I do think more can be done. A clear disclaimer could be shown in the pledge store informing people that the pledge packages are for development funding only and in no way reflect final prices.

 

If people read the huge amount of information on the site they understand that. But new comers going straight to the pledge store may feel differently. 
Instead of the "I'm going to get the base package as that is the limit I'm willing to spend"...Some are reacting like "what??? a constellation costs this much?"

 

With that said, there are indeed sites that are simply creating sensationalist articles to generate hits.

 

Still, what do you guys think? Do you guys think information is already clear enough for the new comer and the main audience learning about Star Citizen?

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If ships were not part of pledge packages we would be very very lucky to have hit the goal of $22 million.

+1 Agree

 

 

Thanks, works like a charm =)

 

EDIT: Now i also know why i got the feeling some of my posts were ignored a while back =D

EDIT.... :thumb:

 

 

What about UEC, I mean we can buy UEC from the store right? This is not good at all, buying ships/pledges is good, but UEC?

They are going to limit the amount of UEC you can purchase per week (and the amount you can hold on to).  Right now I think it is 25k UEC per day and 125 UEC max.

 

 

The thing is, I think people concern  comes from the fact that some companies have indeed abused the free 2 play system giving it a bad reputation.

....

 

But I do see a communication problem in gaming sites and even in parts of the Star Citizen community.

...

It's hard to explain to some people that the current pledge system exists while Star Citizen is in development to FUND it's development and will cease to exist near it's release date. 

 

.....

 

Still, what do you guys think? Do you guys think information is already clear enough for the new comer and the main audience learning about Star Citizen?

+1 Agree + I also agree that the Star Citizen Community (especially with the Connie fiasco of late)... is falling behind... the real story behind pledging... :)

 

That's why we have to help people ... and point them in the right direction wherever we can :thumb:

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They are going to limit the amount of UEC you can purchase per week (and the amount you can hold on to).  Right now I think it is 25k UEC per day and 125 UEC max.

 

The current upper limit is 150k.

 

I'm looking forward to see how they gonna handle the in-game uec limit.

 

I mean if we plan to buy ships in-game, then we really cannot do with limits such as 150k.

 

A phoenix will cost at least 400k UEC if we just use the exchange rate. And with the 3x multiplier A phoenix might cost as much as 1.2 Mil UEC 

 

Reference to the 3x multiplier in case anyone is new here=)

https://robertsspaceindustries.com/comm-link/transmission/13249-Letter-From-The-Chairman-18-Million

"A $25 Aurora may cost 75,000 UEC in the finished universe!"

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But I do see a communication problem in gaming sites and even in parts of the Star Citizen community.

Many of P2W concerns comes from people that see the pledge options as a means to buy ships instead of what it truly is. A way to fund the game.

Some people simply don't believe that the final economic system will be balanced and allow anyone to evolve in the game and get the ships they want without wasting real money.

 

 

It's hard to explain to some people that the current pledge system exists while Star Citizen is in development to FUND it's development and will cease to exist near it's release date. 

 

Do people feel like they wont be able to get the stuff on the pledge store on the final game or that it will take a long time to get it?

From the reaction on my gaming sites I think many do. Not people that are following the project closely. Those that watch Starcast, 10 for the chairman, Around The Verse and so on.

And that's the thing. What can be done to make it entirely clear that the pledge system is for fund raising only and that the final game will be balanced in such a way that you don't need to waste money to enjoy it?

 

 

It has not been confirmed yet if we will not be able to purchase ships after the game is released with real money. personally if CIG is choosing to go without a subscription based service to cover the costs of server infrastructure and all the support costs associated with running the PU then the only way they will stay in business is to continue some form of purchasing ships beyond the starters.

 

Chris himself has confirmed in many posts how he wants it to be balanced for people who can only play a few hours a week but still want all the cool stuff vs the people who will play 24/7. This means there will be ways to even it out with real world money, which has already been stated and in my opinion is NOT pay2win.

 

Anyone who whines about pay2win is just some selfish dramatic little child.

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The current upper limit is 150k.

 

I'm looking forward to see how they gonna handle the in-game uec limit.

 

I mean if we plan to buy ships in-game, then we really cannot do with limits such as 150k.

 

A phoenix will cost at least 400k UEC if we just use the exchange rate. And with the 3x multiplier A phoenix might cost as much as 1.2 Mil UEC 

 

Reference to the 3x multiplier in case anyone is new here=)

https://robertsspaceindustries.com/comm-link/transmission/13249-Letter-From-The-Chairman-18-Million

"A $25 Aurora may cost 75,000 UEC in the finished universe!"

It's actually 145k UEC that you can buy directly. That last 5k is for the wiggle room when they gift UEC to peoples accounts.

 

I personally would not buy UEC right now for the that fact listed above that ships will be worth x3 UEC in game.

 

IMHO if you want to be ahead a bit then pick up a limited ship or two and sell those later. Don't spend $ on UEC that will be 1:1 ratio.

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Did any of you ever start playing a multiplayer game like BAttlefield long after release? I did, and it is no fun driving a tank/jet with 0 upgrades and getting blown to bits by that same tank/jet with all upgrades for weeks on end until you get enough experience points to finally get the same equipment level as 90% of the rest of the playerbase and get a decent k/d ratio. Why do you think EA sells all those shortcut packs which give you full upgrades for a class for like €7?

People don't like dying over and over ... And over while they gain exp or money to advance to better equipment or ships. They do not mind doing it if their k/d ratio is reasonable but if you die 20 times before you finally kill someone (or finally manage to deliver your cargo ;-)) then people will often rage quit.

It will depend upon how the universe is constructed but like was already stated : a trader that starts of with a BM will be making shitloads of money versus the peanuts an aurora driver will make. The BM driver will probably order his first frigate when the aurora driver is still saving up for a freelancer.

Like someone else said it does not matter because you cannot win in SC : correct, you can live as an aurora pilot shuttling shit to safe pastures on Mars but most people will want to

A) explore the galaxy (which will work better in more expensive ships with more defenses and sensors)

B) dogfight (which works better in better ships/equipment)

C) make shitloads of money trading (for which you need huge ships or fast ships)

If you have enough time then yes you can do anything in SC but my point is that people who bought some nice ships will be so far ahead of the curve that it will be close to impossible for aurora owners to catch up with them (which for some players seems to be important). Myself I don't have to be on any leaderboards or have 10/1 k/d ratios but a lot of competitive players do feel the need to come out on top. For those players I can imagine that they might think it is PTW because they face an uphill battle versus players with a fleet of ships.

Imagine that you are a recruit in imperium after the PU launches and you see all these nice stories about how many 100.000 UEC a BM brought in and how many Vanduul Voa killed with his superhornet, while you can't kill anything with your aurora and only bring in 5.000 UEC in your trading runs. Some of those disillusioned recruits might cry PTW because we did pay money to get a nice headstart on everyone else once the PU launches.

For myself I can justify it because I do not have time to play SC 8 hours a day like some of the kids out there but still want to have reasonable equipment in which I can enjoy myself. I have no doubt that an active player can get my ships in about a months worth of play and I am OK with that. However a very active player with a space marshal pledge will never be caught by anyone starting with an aurora ;-) Some people who want to be the richest/most powerful players in the galaxy might see that as PTW ........ I don't really care as long as the PU is balanced and fun.

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Did any of you ever start playing a multiplayer game like BAttlefield long after release? I did, and it is no fun driving a tank/jet with 0 upgrades and getting blown to bits by that same tank/jet with all upgrades for weeks on end until you get enough experience points to finally get the same equipment level as 90% of the rest of the playerbase and get a decent k/d ratio. Why do you think EA sells all those shortcut packs which give you full upgrades for a class for like €7?

People don't like dying over and over ... And over while they gain exp or money to advance to better equipment or ships. They do not mind doing it if their k/d ratio is reasonable but if you die 20 times before you finally kill someone (or finally manage to deliver your cargo ;-)) then people will often rage quit.

It will depend upon how the universe is constructed but like was already stated : a trader that starts of with a BM will be making shitloads of money versus the peanuts an aurora driver will make. The BM driver will probably order his first frigate when the aurora driver is still saving up for a freelancer.

Like someone else said it does not matter because you cannot win in SC : correct, you can live as an aurora pilot shuttling shit to safe pastures on Mars but most people will want to

A) explore the galaxy (which will work better in more expensive ships with more defenses and sensors)

B) dogfight (which works better in better ships/equipment)

C) make shitloads of money trading (for which you need huge ships or fast ships)

If you have enough time then yes you can do anything in SC but my point is that people who bought some nice ships will be so far ahead of the curve that it will be close to impossible for aurora owners to catch up with them (which for some players seems to be important). Myself I don't have to be on any leaderboards or have 10/1 k/d ratios but a lot of competitive players do feel the need to come out on top. For those players I can imagine that they might think it is PTW because they face an uphill battle versus players with a fleet of ships.

Imagine that you are a recruit in imperium after the PU launches and you see all these nice stories about how many 100.000 UEC a BM brought in and how many Vanduul Voa killed with his superhornet, while you can't kill anything with your aurora and only bring in 5.000 UEC in your trading runs. Some of those disillusioned recruits might cry PTW because we did pay money to get a nice headstart on everyone else once the PU launches.

For myself I can justify it because I do not have time to play SC 8 hours a day like some of the kids out there but still want to have reasonable equipment in which I can enjoy myself. I have no doubt that an active player can get my ships in about a months worth of play and I am OK with that. However a very active player with a space marshal pledge will never be caught by anyone starting with an aurora ;-) Some people who want to be the richest/most powerful players in the galaxy might see that as PTW ........ I don't really care as long as the PU is balanced and fun.

Let them cry as much as they want, or they can use the crying time to earn another 5000 uec

 

It's just part of our life.

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