Star Citizen at $73M; Rental Equipment Credits Controversy

A new Letter from the Chairman on the Roberts Space Industries website talks more about the future of Star Citizen now that they've stopped laying out additional stretch goals and talks to backers about their support of the project (for the record, the space combat game has now surpassed the $73 million mark). Chris Roberts also addresses a recent controversy within the game's community over "Rental Equipment Credits," a complicated system of equipment rentals for the game. There's an article criticizing this concept on Ten Ton Hammer that helps an outsider understand what's up with this system, and why this may raise concerns, saying: "you cannot earn REC and then purchase any items or equipment in Arena Commander right now or in this upcoming update permanently. You can, instead, earn REC to rent equipment and ships to try before you buy or, if you are committed enough, to keep playing with as long as you can continue to earn enough REC to pay the rental fee every 7 non-consecutive days of playing." In his post, Roberts acknowledges the controversy, though it's not certain how it will be dealt with:
Finally, I know that everyone is expecting me to talk more about Rental Equipment Credits. I took part in the heated discussion over the weekend and one of our priorities this week was clarifying some of the confusion about the system. I don’t have much to add right now, but I do want to stress: we asked for your feedback because we genuinely wanted it. A sincere thank you to everyone who provided that feedback. I’ll stress: we’re going to create a system that’s fun, not one that hurts players. Like everything else in Star Citizen, we will balance and expand our system to that goal once it launches until it meets our vision, and we will not settle for less.
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Re: Star Citizen at $73M; Rental Equipment Credits Controversy
Feb 23, 2015, 11:21
Re: Star Citizen at $73M; Rental Equipment Credits Controversy Feb 23, 2015, 11:21
Feb 23, 2015, 11:21
 
It gets more baffling by the day that people still have negative things to say about this game.

Atm it's $45 to get a jack of all trades starter ship (Aurora) or a Dogfighter starter ship (Mustang). With that purchase you get a playable game that is being updated at least monthly, new content being shown/discussed weekly, the most recent update brings the game way more into balance with ships like the mustang and Avenger dominating in pvp. (Avenger is $60, Mustang starts at $30 but I think the one owning my ass in pvp is the $90 Delta Version)

It's been a while since I purchased an in game ship but I am tempted by that mining vessel that just got introduced. The multi crew part is what makes me hesitate. I like my ships to be good for solo as well.

As far as the microtransactions / P2W / REC stuff I think it's just par for the course. We were always expecting players to be able to purchase credits in game. (limited per day I believe) The game still needs to be built so I don't think it's unreasonable to give someone a decent ship in the game if they kick in $300.

Considering everything can get blown up and it's gone for good I'm not sure what there is to complain about. A person pledging for $200+ might have a great starter ship for dogfighting but it still goes down pretty quick when it gets shot at. Even if someone has LTI (life time insurance) I don't expect that to mean they can just respawn instantly in the same area and come out in a fully armed ship while someone else can only die once then needs to work up to getting everything back.

Insurance is going to be fairly cheap so whatever the downside is for dying the only difference for a new player and an original backer with LTI is going to be a small amount of credits.

The REC stuff is meant to protect the value of pledging. They could let everyone fly any ship and use any weapon but that is a huge reason people pledge in the first place. When ships come out in Arena Commander it's an opportunity to use them now versus waiting until the full game comes out. REC keeps that in line. No one is going to be buying in at $45 and then earning rec to get all the ships that othered paid hundreds of dollars for.

It's pay to develop at this point, there is no "win" right now. Would the game be better if no one owned any ships other than the aurora / Mustang at the start of the game? Mabye, but then the game wouldn't exist or if it did some publisher would be pushing it out the door complete or not this holiday season and getting ready to build the rest of the game and call it Star Citizen 2.

This game is more fun to be a part of in development than most games are after they are complete and on store shelves. And we've seen games that offer premium high powered vehicles for sale to compete with people who earned them play the game. (world of tanks) Those premium tanks do not dominate everyone. Matchmaking puts them against similar powered enemies and at the high end the paid tanks end up a notch below what a player earning credits and xp from playing the game can get.

CIG is going to continue building newer and betters ships for the game and people will have to earn those in game. In a rather short time I'd expect that everything that was pledged for will be a notch below what you can earn in game.

This comment was edited on Feb 23, 2015, 11:30.
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Re: Star Citizen at $73M; Rental Equipment Credits Controversy