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RMT : Value for Money

Posted in Gaming

Gaming
Gaming

Continuing from my recent post regarding RMTs (maybe worth reading before this post), I wanted to determine if players gain value for money when purchasing optional extras.

The term “Value for money” remains different for each gamer, after weighing up the cost versus their need to purchase. What is acceptable to some may seem extortionate to others, sometimes people don’t even use these account options and others like teenagers don’t have the disposable income for such purchases.

Micro-transaction isn’t a term that can really be applied to a lot of these extras due to the amount of cash in question. Taking this into consideration where does the line between micro-transactions and real money translations start and end?

Micro implies a small amount so perhaps it’s more in the region of £3 or less, once it gets close to half the price of one months sub it starts

So armed with a little more knowledge regarding this I’ll review the topic from the last post but attempt to avoid covering the same content as before.

Server Transfers
Server Transfers

Server Transfers

Our Villains SG was bolstered in numbers when member of our Hero evening decided to move their villain characters from the Defiant server to Union. To the best of my knowledge everyone thought it was a value for money purchase, as they moved to a more active server.

Our recent adventures in LoTRO has prompted me with the option of transferring  my previous character to the new primary server. I decided against doing this for 3 reasons:

  1. I really enjoy the gameplay content at early levels
  2. Post Christmas froogle-ness taking hold
  3. I finally don’t think that £11.99 is truly value for money, costing more than one month of subscription fees.

Rename
Rename

Character Rename

Well as we seen character rename purchases seems to be fixed at around the £6 mark, a cost that could be considered steep, the reasoning behind that could be to avoid player renaming their character multiple times. A trick that could be linked to mis-selling or just griefers.

That said if the number of times it could be used on a character was limited could the price be reduced to reflect this?

Extra Slots
Extra Slots

Character Slots

As I mentioned in my last post I’ve purchased additional slots for my City of account, I believe that the offer was good value for money if you purchased the 5 slots rather than the 1 or 2 options. Each new slot works out costing around £2.40, which when you think of the character information that is stored server-side, in the long term this works out as a rather nice deal.

Perhaps purchase of these slots is down to the extent of Altitis that us gamers suffer, in a game were avatar customisation is detailed then offering extra slots is good business sense. I expect to see this feature on both Champions Online and DC Universe on or shortly after launch.

As yet I’ve avoided purchasing additional Guild Wars slots, but with new slots added with each linked game, I’ve never really got to the point were I’ve run out of slots. I think for the hardcore GW gamer the price isn’t that high for a non-subscription game, considering that all the characters information will need to be stored on their servers in the future.

Conclusions

Transferring character information from one server to another shouldn’t be too taxing on the player, there is not much additional cost for storage of character data that is already in existence, prices for this vary for each game and with valid reasons could be good value.

Also this appears to be the case for character renames, this almost fixed price seems to be higher to avoid people abusing the system, but the rename of a character isn’t going to be that taxing for a game company, perhaps the future will bring cheaper renames for players, increasing in price for additional renames later on.

Without the aid of a large scale gamer poll it’s not that clear how people felt about these prices, there will be those that object on forums and website and those that just purchase the required item without too much drama.

Have you purchase any extras in MMOs?
Do you feel the pricing was right?

3 Comments

  1. Great logic employed here. The only ‘extra’ I’ve purchased was a server transfer, to a lower horde population server in the EU WoW realms. Due to a lower horde population, my healer was in much greater demand, and herbs were much more abundant, thereby allowing my herbalism/alchemy leveling to skyrocket. All in all a great value for the money.

    A thought – why not plug a survey via surveymonkey into your sidebar and take a 1 month sample of this ‘value for the money’ data?

    January 13, 2009
  2. Generally I feel that RMT’s are worth it. If its something cool or shiny then i am happy to pay on top of my sub to add value to my game.

    I do have a beef with character transfers though as I feel you are often over a barrel with this one. The developers must know that when people form groups there will be a number of people on the ‘wrong’ server and they have already invested time in the game.

    You should maybe get 1 or 2 free character transfers, if you are worried about the implicvations of character swapping for PVP or economy on a server then limit it to once every 6 months or something, dont put a hyped up cost on the thing.

    January 13, 2009
  3. For my sins I have purchased a couple of character customisations in World of Warcraft. I’m one of those people who really likes their character to look ‘right’, and although it wasn’t going to stop me playing them, it was nice to have the option to tweak them into a more appealing aspect.

    I’ve also purchased names changes and server transfers in both City of Heroes and World of Warcraft.

    Whether they were value for money, it’s hard to say. I’m obsessive-compulsive enough that when something isn’t ‘right’ on a character, or I feel something could be better, then it really starts to bug me, probably not enough to stop playing, but enough to lessen my enjoyment of the game.

    If you compare the cost of these services with the other option, which is to re-roll and start the character again, the amount of my free time taken to re-level the character is probably worth more to me than what these companies charge for the service of letting me do it instantaneously. Obviously it doesn’t cost them anywhere near the amount they charge to make the change, but I find that if I think along those sort of lines I wouldn’t end up purchasing anything ever.

    It would be nice if these things were cheaper, but they are obviously aiming it about right, because there are plenty of OCD people like me out there who are already paying the current premium.

    January 13, 2009

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