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PlanetSide 2 Shelving Paid Implants

John Smedley tweets that SOE is shelving plans to add microtransaction-fuelled player buffs to PlanetSide 2 after player outcry, saying: "After reading through your comments we have decided to go back to the drawing board on implants." Massively explains what they were considering: "Implants were cheap consumables designed to offer specific abilities or bonuses over a short span of time."

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5. Re: PlanetSide 2 Shelving Paid Implants Jul 18, 2013, 19:06 NewMaxx
I think the real issue is the concept of consumables within the framework of PVP-based MMOG's. I remember back in WoW (I quit when TBC came out) I would run raids then do PVP afterwards with buffs, flasks, stacks of consumables, etc., and generally steamroll if the other side wasn't in the same situation. So you get a bit of a "cold war" effect that somehow people now call "pay to win," despite the fact it existed even in a subscription-based game.

You needed resources to get that edge but not a small amount of people purchased gold and even characters to get that bonus, especially for PVP. This was way before PVP was really popular and implemented in WoW, too; I have no doubt it increased as an issue after I left. However a person with enough effort and time could achieve the same results for free, and really that's the basis of F2P games nowadays: the exchange of time and convenience for real-world work.

It's quite possible to have perfect balance in such a game, although that is a difficult endeavor. The reality is people want differentiation, they want these bonuses, edges, and individual perks, and are even willing to pay for them. Among those that complain are a fair share who wouldn't mind that themselves if they could get it for free. So it's important to not equate "terrible idea according to entire player base" with "terrible idea that could be re-worked to be generally acceptable."

I guess I could take this further and bring up World of Tanks, a game I played a lot in the past. It was quite noteworthy for its consumables and quite frankly, pretty much anybody after a certain level of play in the very least used the basics like tread replacement. Yet it was expensive enough that if you didn't think it would be worth the cost, you could suck it up...and really that's the way it should be.
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