Rift – Controversial Fae Yule (Opinion Piece)

Rift, there are some controversies and a few small issues this Fae Yule season I would like to speak about directly and address.  Readers, please understand that this is purely an opinion piece!  I know there are multiple sides to the conversation and argument, each of which have value.  This is mine.

UPDATE! The Orphiel’s Mount Crate has been removed.  My opinion still stands.  I have posted about it here.

First, the good.  I appreciate that there is a seemingly renewed commitment to quality of life improvements, such as adding the “Captured Intel” currency to more activities in the world.  I appreciate that there are no exclusive cosmetic items for Fae Yule hidden away in the mount lockbox.  I appreciate that the credit packs have additional goodies as bonuses, and that a year of patron time is on sale for 25% off.

 

Thank you for listening to our feedback and implementing changes!

 

However… The additional packs that are being sold during Fae Yule are, to be blunt, borderline absurd.  We have a $250 pack you can purchase once, 2 different $100 packs, and 2 different $20 packs.  In addition to this, we have the Captured Intel packs that, until this past Saturday, could be purchased for credits, but these are still available in the $250 pack and one of the $100 packs. The $20 packs are reasonable, I’m not going to argue those or the contents within.

 

Captured Intel Controversy

First, let’s back up, and address the controversy around the Captured Intel (CI) packs.  These packs are the first clearly pay to win store item in Rift.  You could previously purchase a few Best in Slot pieces that were  sold during the holiday events, but you could also earn those through normal play.  

 

These CI packs, however, bypassed the weekly cap of 47,000 CI per week.  Now, you could only buy one of these packs per day, and at 3 packs providing 1k, 5k, and 20k CI, you could net 26k CI in one day.  Granted, it will cost you nearly $100 to do so.  This effectively allows you to purchase 186,000 CI per week, which is almost 4 times the amount you could obtain from the 47,000 weekly cap that has been in place since 4.2 landed.

 

Now, on the surface, that doesn’t sound pay to win.  However, “Best in Slot” (BiS) Jewelry costs 15,000 CI.  This is the only way to obtain it.

 

Rift had defined Pay to Win in 2 ways over the years (both old, and recently).  First, it was defined as “Best in Slot” gear or power boosts.  Convenience or non BiS gear was fine, if pricey. (source: https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/357574754460368898/388714758133645322/no-bis.png link: http://webcdn.triongames.com/addons/…ransformed.zip

https://www.gdcvault.com/play/102038…ubscription-to.) Second, the “key definition by common agreement (of the audience, not the panelists) has always been that as long as a power-linked item is available for TIME investment in game as well as for direct purchase, it is not P2W.” (source: https://www.reddit.com/r/Rift/comments/7i9dyf/boycott_new_p2w_packs_and_caches/dr074ut/ )

 

I argue that these CI packs violate BOTH of these notions.  First, it violates the idea of “No BiS for credits”, since it effectively allows you to purchase enough Captured Intel with credits to buy Best in Slot jewlery gear.  Second, it violates the idea of “Power linked items should also be available through TIME investments” because the CI packs allow someone that pays to exceed the weekly cap by almost 4x, which is such a significant lead over the 47k per week cap that is normally in place, that it effectively puts the Time investment players behind by an entire month in just one week.

 

Fortunately, these CI packs were removed from the store (offical post here: http://forums.riftgame.com/general-discussions/news-announcements/500654-official-feedback-thread-collected-intel-packs-currently-off-store.html), but I believe that the damage has already been done (see: http://massivelyop.com/2017/12/08/rift-puts-an-endgame-currency-out-for-real-money-sales/ ).  This is a significant blow to the trust players have in Rift and Trion as a whole.

 

Special Box Pricing

With the December 13th hotfix (http://forums.riftgame.com/general-discussions/patch-notes/500735-rift-4-3-hotfix-9-12-13-2017-a.html), we recieved a few more requested fixes/updates, and the Captured Intel packs are gone from the store, which is great! This patch also addresses the issue with granting loyalty to those who were gifted the $250 and $100 bagling packs, which is good to see as those are the single biggest draws to those packs for players (despite also providing Captured intel).  

 

However, this patch also brings us “Orphiel’s Mount Crate”, which costs $99.99 and gives you one of 42 premium mounts.  One of 42.  For $100. This same chance at a premium mount is included in the $250 pack, as it provides you with one of these crates.  Fortunately, this mount crate is purely cosmetic, provides no additional power, and the only reason to buy it is if you want any one of those mounts.

 

This price point is so prohibitively expensive, that I cannot understand who the target buyer is.  At this price point, purchasing it to sell the premium mount is not worth it.  At least not on the NA servers.  See, on the NA servers, most of these premium mounts go for 10-15k platinum, while REX is worth 2.5-3k, but only costs $10.  Thus, for $100, you can purchase 10 REX, and sell them to make 25k-30k plat, nearly double for the mounts.  

 

Finally, the minimum you can spend to get every mount from this crate is $4,200. However, since this is a lockbox, and has RNG with it, you are not guaranteed to have all 42 mounts by spending $4,200, that is just the minimum.  It is quite likely you will spend far more than this to obtain all 42 mounts. I believe this fact makes the pricing a bit insane.

 

I do not appear to be alone in this thought.  See: http://massivelyop.com/2017/12/14/rift-would-like-to-sell-you-a-random-mount-for-100/ and even a Jim Sterling video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBNck-QAoxg .

 

I want to support Rift, and I have through this site and Datamining.  I feel like I’m flip-flopping on this.  On one hand, I get it, and I can’t blame them for the price.  On the other hand, I see no justification for the price, especially knowing that some of those mounts are easier to obtain through other means in-game and knowing that you get only one of 42 mounts for $100.  I cannot figure out how they arrived at this price point.

 

Final Thoughts

I believe that the pricing model for this mount box, alongside the sale of Captured Intel, is dramatically harming the trust players have in Rift and Trion.  That trust, I believe, is worth a lot.  That trust, when eroded, is difficult to get back.  That trust, I believe, is crucial to maintain to keep a game growing, and keep players happy. 

 

If you are going to spend money on Rift, and want the best bang for your buck, here are the best things you can buy.  Please show your support for sale content such as this buy purchasing them this Fae Yule season.

Ascended Essentials Pack – This $40 pack unlocks all of the major features you would want as a player, including all the souls, the entire Primalist calling, more bag space for your entire account, and more character slots for each shard.  At $40, this is easily the best bang for your buck.  This pack was ON SALE FOR $20 DURING THE FALL STEAM SALE! I wouldn’t be surprised if itw as $20 during the Steam winter sale as well.

http://store.steampowered.com/app/623530/RIFT__Ascended_Essentials_Pack/ or https://rift.trionworlds.com/products/view-product?code=RIFT_ESSENTIALS_EDITION_2017&request_locale=en_US&flow=spotlight-tags&affiliateId=520

 

Mummified Power Pack – This $20 pack gives a mount, but most importantly it gives 15 days of Patron time and 3000 store credits.  This combination for $20 is actually a really good deal compared to attempting to buy all of it on it’s own.

 http://store.steampowered.com/app/724840/RIFT__Mummified_Power_Pack/

 

Steam Starter Pack – $5 pack, 7 days patron, a mount, some earrings for your alts, and a 32-slot bag.  This is provided to all characters on your account.  At $5, it’s a steal.

http://store.steampowered.com/app/602450/RIFT_Starter_Pack/

 

5 comments

  • I think the definition of p2w needs to be redefined. This transaction model is not pay to win, but rather to gear. You can buy gear, but if you suck as a player, then what are you winning? Since Rift isn’t a competitive MMO platform, the only ‘win’ is in defeating end game bosses. If p2w was really a thing, then things like giving you ability advantages during play in raids would justify that definition. Even now, in order to ‘win’ you need to do the end game raids and achieves. Buying the gear doesn’t help you to become a better player, that would have been defined a long time ago by your play style.

    One other thing, I’m not sure why this opinion piece is centralized about how much things cost to acquire. You can still spend zero and do all the things in the game that you lament about Trion offering people who don’t want to do those things, a shortcut to them. It’s their money, let them choose how they want to spend it or when or why. That’s not for you to say. Lest anyone think I’m white knighting Trion, I’ll remind you that I was permabanned by them in game during the whole Apotheosis video debacle and forum banned because when I came back, i chose the same name on another server and the system banned me for it. So i’m not their biggest fan. Do they do things right sometimes? Yes. But mostly they are getting a lot wrong and one of those things is that they are not heeding the voice of the customer and it shows.

    So creating these pay packs doesn’t alleviate that symptom in my mind because there are some real structural issues Trion needs to address that they choose to ignore because the cost for them is all centered now around generating revenue as quickly as possible. Things like PVP, class balance, bugs, QoL, content and fixing them once they are released is not a high priority. Don’t believe me? Look at the patch notes for a long while back. Look at the forum issues that players care about, dimensions/wardrobes and how devs are quick to jump on them. Look at the forum suggestions and tell me how many of those have been implemented? Then tell me Trion is doing the right things. They are on the wrong track in my humble opinion.

    I love this game. I play it more than any other. I love the content, I love the mythos, I love the character development and how beautiful it is overall. I just don’t like seeing it used in the way it is right now.

    • I am using the Trion provided definitions of “Pay to Win” for my point. In my opinion, Captured Intel for Credits that also allows you to go past the weekly cap on the currency, AND allows you to purchase some “Best in Slot” gear pieces, violates both past and present definitions of “Pay to Win” provided by Trion.

      I understand that there are other views that believe that this is alright, because it has no impact on your skill and gear doesn’t always translate to being good at your calling and trying to clear content. However, it is my opinion that Trion should be held to their own standards and definitions of “Pay to Win”, and they should be consistent about it. If they want to change things up, or shift their stance, then I would rather they do so publicly then put out things like the Captured Intel packs.

      I agree with you that other things need to be addressed, like QoL, content, PVP/Class balance (number of viable builds for all content levels). I agree with you that the game is not completely on the right track. I also think the game is not on the right track regarding how it is selling things like this, hence my reaction.

  • Oh, one other thing I neglected to mention. Trion’s RNG algorithm, their loot tables, and item weightings are a giant failure and have been for years. Some will say, well, RNG is RNG. That is 100% not true. There are various types of RNG and various ways to derive and manipulate it. Until Trion is transparent on how they determine RNG on a per character basis, I’m convinced that they actually control RNG on a per account or per toon basis. I had a talk with someone last night about how CP lessers are so non-existent for me doing VP RR’s while their character(s) have been getting rained on with CP lessers. So much so that, they had to make other toons just to use them instead of dump them. I’ve talking to many other who experience the same issues and I’ve formulated a hypothesis that top players are getting top drops while the rest of us are not. This would imply or mean that there is RNG manipulation on Trions back end and until Trion comes clean about their odds/RNG formulations, then this controversy will persist. I’m not the only one who holds this view either.

  • I think it’s also worth mentioning that they add in storm cell requirements to accessories to prevent people from buying their way there on top of removing the caches off of the store. That’s the step in the right direction, but the next thing they need *need* to address is the drop rate of said storm cells as you only get 3 shots at a week at them and they have the same drop rate as tenebrean engines.

    The difference with engines of course is that we have two T1 raids + LFR which allows you to use individual reward charges through each run after your first 2 free ones to have that many more chances at them. RNG still isn’t a good system though.

  • I love you Clowdad

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