After reading this post on KTC and hearing others talk about Allods and it’s free to play model, I wanted to clarify something:
If you expect to play Allods Online and never spend a dime, you are incorrect. Period.
And, really, why should you feel that way? Astrum Nival has to make money, ya know? They have bills to pay, mouths to feed and mortgages to meet. Just like you. While I am sure they enjoy making the game, it’s not a hobby for them and they expect to collect a paycheck at the end of the week for the work they do.
I see many people asking if they will be able to play the game, never use the cash shop and still compete with those who do. The answer is: Why should you be able to?
Why should you, never spending a dime to support Astrum Nival, be able to play with the same advantages as someone who does support them? Simple answer: you shouldn’t.
I think the correct question, the one that everyone should be asking, is: Does someone who spends $100 dollars a month have a substantial advantage over someone who spends $15 dollars a month?
I mean, that is the important question is it not? I don’t expect to get the same game play experience if I play for free as I would if I paid some money but, at the same time, I do not want the amount of money I spend to determine my success in game.
That is the real trick, that is what Astrum Nival is going to have to carefully balance. Making the cash shop enticing enough to use but not overpowering enough to abuse for in-game advantage.
I have every intention of supporting Astrum Nival with my money. I will budget $15-$30 dollars a month to play Allods Online. I figure, since I did not have to pay for the game, I could budget a little higher than the standard $15 dollars a month subscription cost. At least initially. That is about the limit for me. It is a fun game so I have no problem paying for it.
However, if I see that I am going to have to spend even more to compete, then you will see me leave the game. That is the tightrope Astrum Nival is going to have to walk. But that is up to them.
I just tire of seeing people gripe about the cash shop, tired of hearing them say “Well it’s supposed to be free but now they expect us to pay a dollar for this and thirty cents for that!”. Well, of course they expect you to pay something!
Balance it so that I want to pay but the more I pay doesn’t equate to in-game success, THAT is the key.