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EVE Online's Incarna Cosmetic Item Prices Spark Controversy

Posted Wed, Jun 22, 2011 by Martuk

The community is a little worked up over the pricing of new microtransaction items introduced with Incarna. Some corporation leaders like Pandemic Legion are even calling for a ban on the recruitment of players that buy the new cosmetic items.

At the heart of the controversy is CCP's pricing of the new cash shop items, which in many cases actually out price their real-world counterparts. The in-game ocular implant monocle, which appears to be the most popular item, is purchased with a new currency called Aurum, which players can create 3500 of with one PLEX (roughly $19.95 USD) or by converting in-game ISK to PLEX. The monocle is priced at what equates to around $70 USD. There's even a thread on the EVE forums currently that names off several real-world items that you could buy for the same amount.

EVE is not the only game to run into item pricing issues with microtransactions. Last year gPotato riled up fans with the cash shop prices for their MMORPG Allods Online. But despite community dissatisfaction with the prices, players never threatened to blackball others for buying the items. What do you think about the item pricing and Pandemic Legion's movement to ban players that purchase them? Tell us what you think below.

Sources:
EVE Online Forums - Aurum Pricing
EVE Online Forums Pandemic Legion's Call for Bans
Massively

It is not just the cost of the items. It is the whole expansion. Captains Quarters is absolute rubbish. But if you turn it off you get an ugly picture of a door. You can't even see what ship you are in. This latest expansion can only really be compared to the NGE for Star Wars. It hasn't killed EVE yet but the playerbase and the developers are clearly going in opposite directions.

CCP has committed multiple grievous errors in the last 24 hours. This is quite possibly one of the worst course of events for any gaming company in our generation.

I hyperbole you not ladies and gentlemen, CCP is facing some real serious problems about the future of Eve, and it's projected new releases World of Darkness, and Dust.

This is a serious hitch in CCP's giddy-up, I am curious to see how, if, they are able to work it all out.

EVE gained its e-reputation by being an MMORPG with a dark element. A game where your choices have consequence, and as such attracted a certain kind of player who was prepared to invest money, time and effort in building up their characters. Over the last year or so CCP have been moving EVE to gain the mass market appeal other games enjoy. The current Incarna expansion and the publishing of a CCP internal document (Yet to be verified, and yet to be denied) has upset a lot of the more vocal playerbase.

One of the main problems reported is the resource required to run the new "Captains Quarters" feature. Many users have reported overheating on both their CPU's and GPU's to an extent where the game is unplayable. This problem seems to be made worse if you run an ATI Graphics card. The majority of players run more than one account and are struggling to cope with the new requirements.

The "Captains Quarters" features released in the initial deployment do not offer the player much in new functionality and as such many players are turning it off. The prolem is that by deactivating the new content they are left with less functionality than they had before. Many players are dismayed that the increased resource requirements do not seem in relation to the new features available. For example, it is being reported that you use less resource running BF2BC at its highest level than watching your avatar scratch its head when doing nothing in EVE.

I have to agree with comments that the playerbase and CCP in general are on a journey of differing routes and we are reaching a point where we will see who flinches first.

What especially seems to be the case is that for all we know, CCP never actually even brought up the finer details of CQ to the CSM's attention. This leaves us as players in a situation where CCP has left the players to inflict the wrath a series of VERY bad decisions with poorly explained details due to the communications vacuum that has been created.
In less than two weeks, CCP has managed to pull the biggest controversial combo to date:
- Microtransactions with regards to ships.
- Yearly priced 3rd party app 'fees'
- Incarna, along with it's severely overpriced vanity items, fluffy turrets (they look awesome, but one of their main features: deploying, is only ever seen in 5% of their brief existance. ie. when warping or offlineing them), and reduced functionality (who the hell had the bright idea of ignoreing the eve lore and forceing the capsuleer to leave the safe comfort of their pod every. single. time. you dock?!)

All in all, and with even the CQ feature being less than 25% completed (we only have the minmatar CQ) - not to mention the lack of a proper trailer; and with players hardware burning to bits, this expansion rivals the Trinity boot.ini incident.

Well done CCP, you've really smashed the hornet hive this time. I can predict a lot of ragequitting players, and some, like me, who will just sit patiently and only log on to change skills until this whole 'accident' is over.

Well, reading the artical and the comments posted I have to say I disagree. Personally I love the new expansion and the new touch and feel of EVE.

I enjoy the new undate and look forward to how CCP plans to further change the EVE in the rest of 2011. It is simply amazing how quickly CCP has modified EVE and has been able to keep it up to date making some new games look old by comparision.

As for the item shop, yes the items are too expensive for me but lets be honest so what. I personally never planed to buy any of these items. As the items don't give the players who buy them any reall advantage, such as a high rate of learning skills as is the norm in other games, I don't care. Should there be players out there who want these items do as you feel, isn't that what EVE is really all about?

As for PL's call for black balling these players? Well, this is very much about how EVE is today and the people who play EVE. If PL doesn't have anything better to do then please go ahead. :)

I fully support Shadoo and Pandemic Legion's decision. I have a feeling it may be more pronounced than just their Alliance banning folks for it.

The rolling out of Incarna seems to have been a major misstep for CCP. The prices are just to high for vanity items, especially since no one but you can see them. After all your toon can't interact with other toons yet. Some items would appear in a snapshot other players can see like the monocle but others like the skirt etc wouldn't show that way, and you could even hide the monocle if you adjusted lighting etc.

I'm not sure what CCP was thinking but really I can't see many folks buying these things at these prices. I hoped on shortly after serverup and checked the store I had wanted to see what new clothing was available. Not only were the prices very high, but the selection was very limited. I'll just save my isk for ships and such. No need to waste it on this.

It is not only about Incarna, although I have to admit it is close to the top of idiotic things CCP has done. Fact is the CCP has for several years been doing everything to disconnect from the veteran base of players and appeal to a younger and more vane crowd. If that is where the money is, well fine. Any conglomerate ends up looking down the bottom line and that is to maximize profits.

The sad part is though that Incarna follows a longer time of arrogance and complete disconnection from the player base. CCP's approach to its paying customers is rude and diminishing and has been for a while. Its hard headed approach in the EULA, it's condescending and sometimes right out patronizing tone on the forums, it's disrespect for the 3rd party developer base, has become the CCP company culture. Incarna is just the ultimate example of that.

EVE was always unique, an almost pure PVP game with an in-game economy that no other MMO could ever reach in intricacy, and with an open-ended game play that no other can rival. The strength of EVE, the game thy themselves created, is also what CCP never seemed to ever comprehend. Patch after patch in the past 3-4 years showed that eye candy was always the priority, and now eye candy for hard cash. CCP was always on top of pursuing the ISK for money traders, making a big deal out of banning players, even managing to be instrumental in E-bay taking character trade off, but ended up dividing the same market into a cartel instead, first with GTC's and later with PLEX. As a commercial endeavor, it would make Friedman proud, but as a moral ditto it is at best purely shady.

Deep down remains all the old issues. Node crashes, arcane map and market system, outdated API, and much more. Things that we all, that have played this game for years, addressed every single new patch. Maybe CCP hopes for the veteran player base to become so small that nobody remembers anymore what this game used to be, and what it could have become.

It is no longer about the uselessness of CQ, or about vanity items or even MT. It is about the arrogance with which CCP has treated its player base for years. No matter of what one have to say about WoW, the only real major competitor to EVE, fact is that things work in WoW. You can play all the way into lvl 85 without buying a single item, and still enjoy the game play. There are few technical glitches and as for graphical contents, it is far superior. The major updates in WoW did bring an additional dimension to the game play. A big such! But most importantly, CCP should go to the official Blizzard forums and see how GM's interact with their player base. It's night and day compared to EVE Online. As a long timer player of EVE, I can only say that these are sad times!

It's been a bad week for CCP

Alliance Tournament 9 was rigged and ended with an embarassing shame, to the point to fanfare or excitement has rolled over from the event.

Followed by Incarna, which for content is an amazing step, but with micro-transactions being thrust forward it's incredibly naive and poorly managed.

Followed by a damning magazine leak which basically outright states that their lead designers are essentially interested in selling non-vanity items to the EVE public - when most support the game with other tangible means, such as buying PLEX, running multiple accounts, and so on.

And Finally, charing ridiculous prices in the MT market, Noble Exchange (laugh), on the order of real world items or more - making a single monocle worth more than a brand new off the shelf top end video game.

And all of this? before we can even get together and do multi-player events together.

They have a new lead producer and some new community managers in place, and frankly it's clearly showing in their lack of action - they're stunned, in shock and unable to make a functional arrangement to clean up the mess. I have no doubts the last set of producers and managers learned the hard way from their arrangements with the EVE Community - these guys are just learning from the mistakes even harder and getting thrashed for it because this isn't EVE 7 years ago anymore, this is "EVE is Real".

They're going to get a few more beatings before they figure it out.

It's really a perfect storm for them atm.

Prior to this expansion, I was easily able to run three game clients at maximum graphics w/o running into CPU/GPU processor heating problems. Now... before this patchTHREE clients (on minimum graphics) had less of a memory, cpu and gpu footprint than ONE client running minimal graphics does today. Docking times, load times etc have all increased. The Mem/CPU/GPU footprint while docked is so outrageous that even gaming systems are heating up, and there have been reports (unconfirmed, but posted on the EvE-o forums) that the new expansion has cooked a couple peoples computers.

Myself. One old client on minimum graphics while docked:

GPU Memory Usage: 123mb
GPU Processor usage: 11%
GPU temp: 42c
CPU usage: 27%
CPU Temp: 38c
Memory Usage: Under 1 gig with all machine resources being considered.

Now with one client:

GPU Memory Usage: 343 mb
GPU Processor Usage: 58%
GPU Temp: 70c
CPU usage: 87%
CPU Temp: 45c
Memory Usage: 1.7 gig

This is ONE CLIENT on minimum graphics. Running maxxed graphics and the footprint more than triples.

Try running multiple accounts on low graphics and docking. Before it took less than 15 seconds to dock three clients at the same time. Now... 1.5 minutes before all three clients become functional, and more than 2 minutes for the interiors to load.

The WiS bit was ALWAYS promised to us by CCP to be OPTIONAL, and their own demo videos show having a decant button from the old hanger view. Since then they have stated it will be MANDATORY and the current option to disable the CQ with a static picture is only temporary and only added due to player outrage and demands. They have lied to us repeatedly.

The Vanity items... grossly and unrealistically overpriced. Not to mention they are ugly as sin, whatever clothing designer they hired to design them... wouldn't make it past day one of Project Runway). What really has people in an uproar where the vanity items is concerned is CCP has stated that the MT items would NEVER be game changing and yet the leaked (and now confirmed by CCP Pann) internal document shows their intent is to do just that by new ammo's, ships etc.

~Zora'e -3 accounts

CCP its a corporation and corporations do business, sell products or services in exchange of money.
What the hell are you guys thinking ? Its all about money !
I dont like the this expantion I dont but its the first step of several steps until Dust debut.
If its made for those who are new to the game and want a more visual experience they are on the righ path
the veterans who run 3 to 4 accounts... they have a problem. Somehow CCP its shifting from a Solid veteran client base with 2 to 3 accounts to a hipotetical broader client audiance with visual needs.
They are trying to bring more clients. I dont blame them for this objective after all its a business like any other it has to be lucrative or else... !
will EvE survive ? sure as long as "they" keep coming... and they will.
This game its not for everyone. I'm guessing by the numbers they publish EvE has only like 150 to 175 k paying clients...do the math this represents a big lump of Euros.
Now compare CCP with Blizzard :) its a laught !

BTW i'm just waiting to the day CCP announces another server with another universe inside its just a matter of time.

CCP its a corporation and corporations do business, sell products or services in exchange of money.
What the hell are you guys thinking ? Its all about money !
I dont like the this expantion I dont but its the first step of several steps until Dust debut.
If its made for those who are new to the game and want a more visual experience they are on the righ path
the veterans who run 3 to 4 accounts... they have a problem. Somehow CCP its shifting from a Solid veteran client base with 2 to 3 accounts to a hipotetical broader client audiance with visual needs.
They are trying to bring more clients. I dont blame them for this objective after all its a business like any other it has to be lucrative or else... !
will EvE survive ? sure as long as "they" keep coming... and they will.
This game its not for everyone. I'm guessing by the numbers they publish EvE has only like 150 to 175 k paying clients...do the math this represents a big lump of Euros.
Now compare CCP with Blizzard :) its a laught !

BTW i'm just waiting to the day CCP announces another server with another universe inside its just a matter of time.

Another server? Have you ever seen any of EVE's advertising? One of their biggest selling points is that everyone's on the same server. It's a persistent world game with a single universe, that's pretty much the whole point of EVE. I don't even know why you'd think that - it's not like it's too crowded or anything, the universe is massive. And nobody's mad that they're doing the whole cash shop thing for vanity items - the real anger is coming over the internal memo that would seem to suggest they're considering making real, gameplay affecting items available in the cash shop. That's what most players are angry about, and that's not a move aimed at bringing in more players. Rather, that's a move targeted at the long-term, multiple account-holding players who would actually be in need of any new items.

Yes they are in this to make money.

Some MMO's make money by their sub's.
Others make money by charging real money for in game items.

CCP is doing BOTH. This is the essence of the problem, along with not fixing real gameplay problems for years and ignoring/insulting their own community.

the price of vanity items is NOT the issue. The issue is intent to make gameplay changing items available with for real world currency. SAY NO TO PAY TO WIN, SPREAD THE WORD, BURN IT TO THE GROUND.

A couple of things.

'Pay to win' is simply another way of expressing the concept of a two tier player-base -the 'those who will have and those who will have not' if CCP get their way. Other On-line multi player games out there have that model in practice and it's not a re-assuring experience for those who are short on real life wealth -and now it would appear CCP would like this model inflicted. All this in the midst of a very shaky western economy from which it draws it's subscribers.

As for the in-game Corporations who intend on blacklisting those who 'do have' gameplay-affecting items -isn't this some kind of virtual fascism? Perhaps, perhaps not -but CCP wanted a true sandbox where anything goes -so this brown-shirtery is coming back at them hard in a way they perhaps did not intend.

When all is said and done, though, it's the ridicule that is being heaped upon them from all quarters that might cause a re-think. We'll see -isn't there a Big new Franchise space-kid on the block shortly? Perhaps it's fair to assume that the new kid is already smiling wryly at these shenanigans, from a Galaxy far, far, away.

Interesting times.

I've played Eve for two years, I've two accounts. I am 39 years old, have a family and a job. I am deeply worried that my two years of playing is going to waste because of the latest patch and the introduction of microtransactions (MT).

This is the problem with Incarna:

By introducing MT it means that for me to continue to play Eve to its full extent, I have to spend A LOT more dollars.

In essence, CCP have in one fell swoop increased the cost of playing Eve manyfold, the price is potentially infinite as it is possible to buy as many items through microtransactions as one like.

Such a price increase is - even though in principle it is optional - is an outrage! Because in practice it is not optional. The social mechanics between people make that sure.

If CCP one day includes non-vanity items to be a part of the new MT-store, I wil quit playing the game.

What the players currently worry about, is this:
- If I continue to play Eve and CCP one day introduce non-vanity items in the MT-store, I will have wasted my precious time. Shall I quit playing now, or continue and hence risk wasting my time?

Yours sincerely,
Player In Disbelief

i keep seeing people talking about how ccp will handle this

well i will tell you that a second leaked memo from CCP HILMAR
said just wait em out stay they course.... ETC

meanwhile eve burns and those that saw the slap in the face and have real concerns over it are either trying to lag the game to oblivion or they are like me and dropped all 7 accounts or how ever many they have ( i have been paying since 2007 )

ccp zulu didnt make it anybetter when he was so condesending about high end pants and what not when page after page asked this one question he nor and one else at ccp would answer

WILL CCP EVER START SELLING NON VANITY ITEMS ON NEX(SUCH AS FACTION ITEMS, STANDINGS AND OTHER CHARACTER ADVANCEMENTS)? YES OR NO
"SAY IT AINT SO JOE "

this is all we want to know and we keep getting stonewalled and talked down too and their silence on this issue speaks volumes
it almost feels like this
eve subscribers : we want the truth !!
ccp response :you want the truth ? you can't handle the truth!!

sad times indeed

The idea itself is out of hand, and whatever Hilmar said about his 'ever so god-like' adviser is a load of rubbish. The players aren't cash cows, and some of us play EVE as a hobby.

Yet the real outcry is the P2W - Pay2Win, where the skills, standings, ships, ammo and everything else, that is bought in-game using in-game currency, will be able to be bought by real money, with a credit card - taking out the whole aspect of skill, as someone who is a week old player - will be flying around in a supercap, blasting rainbows out of their golden turrets. Thus destroying the game for all.

Still, really - think about it. I can buy myself 3-4 months worth of EVE for some monocle.

Oh, and Hilmar - good job on selling 52 monocles. Hope they pay for Zulu's boutique Japanese jeans.

Pandemic Legion is setting the right example, and a great solution to solving this ridiculous problem. It will discourage players from buying anything for AUR and the decrease in subscriptions will impact CCP hard, and Hilmar should take his head out of his ass, and finally realise that he is a arrogant, stupid and uninformed moron.

-2 subs.

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