Friday, February 19, 2010

Allod of fuss over a bit of cash

The European office of Gpotato the distributors (if that is the word) of Allods online is in my home town of Dublin so I more or less felt obliged to give it a go. I have only played for about two hours so I won't dream to offer a review except to say that it seems very polished for a free to play. I personally am not at all ready for another mmorpg so I doubt I will be playing for much longer.

In fact I probably wouldn't have posted about it except to note the kerfuffle among US players over the recently opened US cash shop who's prices appear to be somewhat inflated. $20 for a small bag expansion and some rune costing over $6000 apparently. I am pretty sure this is a mistake, cash shops are all about micro-transactions - little and often is the way to go to milk maximum revenue out of players. Players will make a bunch of $2 purchases on impulse but a single $20 purchase raises a mental barrier that has to be overcome.

Anyway the thing that surprised me was the absolute apoplexy this has sparked in the fanbase. This thread is fairly typical. The game has only been running for a few days and yet people are acting as if its the end of the world. I know some people played the closed beta before but their characters were wiped so they have really just started again. How could they be so hyped up as to explode like this particularly given that it is probably an error. It is as if years of playing mmorpgs and having to put up with non responsive developers has conditioned people into completely over-responding the moment anything happens.

Anyway the whole things seems to be a PR disaster for Gpotato if nothing else. I predict a grovelling apology will soon be forthcoming but of course I could be wrong.

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