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Monday, July 18, 2011

"Cover Charge" in Dust 514 = NeX seeding.

I've been playing around with Google Plus and have an Eve Online "spark." It delivers some interesting articles like this one from eurogamer.net. This one pertains to Dust 514 but grabbed my attention as it spoke of Dust's cost structure and game credits. Here is the link so you can read it yourself:

Dust 514's "Cover Charge" Revealed

You pay this "cover charge" up front and what do you get? You get in game credits. Does anyone out there want to bet against me that the "credits" Dust players get issued will be Aurum? If you bet me 1,000,000 ISK that they won't be Aurum, I'll pay 10 to 1 odds if I'm wrong. Any takers?

Here is another portion of the article that caught my attention. This quote is attributed directly to Hilmar of email flame fame.It seems to speak to CCP's twist on the free to play concept.
"We might go fully free-to-play down the line, but in the beginning we have a cover charge just to manage the initial launch of it."
Can this statement explain the attitude behind the NeX's initial pricing? Is CCP trying to "manage the initial launch" by some obscure principle of piss-the-player-base-off? How many $70 monocles does it take to manage a launch? Evidently not the number he mentioned.

Later, CCP's CTO Halldor Fannar goes on to explain that the reason CCP went with PS2 rather than Xbox is that Sony allowed them to use their own systems. These wouldn't happen to be the systems in a London data center would they? The ones that newly have 3d avatars and the NeX?

I remember back through the entire recent debacle how CCP seemed to maintain two conflicting stances on NeX. They were:

  • NeX would have no items that would affect Eve game play.
  • CCP would not rule out that non-vanity items would be for sell in NeX.
In CCP Zulu's own words,
"The investment of money should not give you an unfair advantage over the investment of time. Saying never, that puts me in an awkward position. EVE has been running for eight years now, hoping, we do our jobs right it’s going to be running for 80 more. I don’t want to put the person doing my job 80 years from now into a position where I’ve promised something. I don’t see it as part of the core philosophy of being able to buy an unfair advantage with money, that’s not something I see work for EVE."

He could have just as easily meant whoever would be his counterpart in Dust 514. Also, if you take his very first sentence and parse it in Dust 514 terms, it doesn't compute. Dust 514 is a first person shooter. The time investment is non-existent compared to the Eve training model. There is no "investment of time" to gain an unequal advantage over. This tells me clearly that CCP will have game affecting items for sell in the Dust 514 section of NeX. I've got another 10 to 1 odds bet for that one too, if anyone has a spare million ISK to put on the line. I'll even cover all bets, how's that?

What does this do for CCP's credibility and their promise to not affect Eve game play through the NeX? Nothing. I see no problem in them handling Dust 514 players differently than Eve players. They are two completely different gaming models. Logic dictates that CCP must handle them differently. An Eve player might be able to see the mega laser cannon a Dust 514 mercenary could buy but s/he could no more use it than the merc could fly a Raven. In terms of mathematics, the sets have no join.

I'm okay with it.

Unless Aurum can be transferred from an Eve alliance to a Dust 514 alliance allowing them to buy their mega laser cannons and thus allow the eve alliance to more easily gain planets. That would affect Eve game play so...

Fly careful CCP.

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