There is a potentially large disconnect between game production companies (those financing the games) and game players about what in-game transactions should look like. The latest trend to try and wring as much money out of players as possible is to include a large amount of real world micro-transaction exchanges inside a game they may or may not have actually paid for a ‘complete’ gaming experience.
Players, as a general rule, are becoming more and more vocal about their dislike of micro-transactions. Companies are continuing to see money in these in-game purchases and impulse buys or additional downloadable content, so they don’t want to end micro-transactions.
We hope to try for a compromise.
Mystic Riders as currently envisioned does have a two system currency going on. There is Coins, an in-game currency the players can earn through quests and selling items in their inventory, and there is Credits, which is a currency they play real world money for through a ‘credit card/paypal’ transaction. Coins and Credits should have a verifiable exchange rate that makes sense and possibly relate to the real world.
Let players see they are getting their money’s worth in the game and it’s not a completely made up system!
We desire to keep the Credit Only items in the game to an absolute minimum. We want players from lower income families to be able to enjoy the full experience of the game without having to spend more than purchasing the game. In fact, we want to have quests that will let them earn enough Credits to be able to purchase a basic draft horse and basic pony.
Credit transactions would include things like buying the game or buying expansions of the game, extra horses, customizing your horses appearance, and to ‘stay overnight’ which would speed up crafting times and story line quests.
If the player buys a horse and wishes to sell it back to the game instead of trying to rehome or exchange it, then they can sell it back for full price including any markings. A horse that has been trained is technically more expensive than a green horse because the player has improved the horse. So, there shouldn’t be a mark down or punishment of the player for choosing to decide on a different horse.
Buying a new horse means getting a green horse, while exchanging a horse with a breeder or stable means they might get a horse that’s closer to the level of the one they have in the district racing specialty.
Another way to earn Credits is by completing extraordinary achievements such as completing the map, or feeding every animal type in the game.
Credits wouldn’t be used for opening districts in the game, moving the My Farm/My Stable, riding the trains (map travel), stable care, any in-game equipment (clothing) or gear (horse tack), or other in-game items.
Most of the in-game transactions we want to be done with Coins, our in-game currency. There will be a level cap for how many coins the player can carry around with them. Thus, the player should be able to store coins in a ‘bank’ at their My Farm. This bank would have an extra password so only they can access it.
Gear and Equipment come in sets. A full set of gear or equipment shouldn’t cost any more than the Coin cap they can carry around in their inventory. For example, if the Coin cap is 10,000 coins, then a full set of gear (horse tack) at 9 items or a full set of equipment (clothes) at 6 items shouldn’t cost more than 10,000 coins. A full 10,000 coin set would be a high level, high statistic set to make the player and horse have the best combination stats for whatever district or event they’re trying to achieve.
Gear and Equipment with the highest known stats in the game would be items the players would make through crafting.
Coins can also be used to customize their character by changing their appearance through hair styles and makeup, in-game items and extra decorations, buying some of the pets they can’t tame in the wild, and forming clubs.
Hopefully with this system, the players will feel challenged to be able to earn the money they need through playing the game and may only need to pay for extras with credits. Thus, they can learn how to manage their money wisely.