WildStar will be a subscription-based MMO…kind of
WildStar is going to require its players to pay a subscription. However, players can also purchase game time using in-game currency. Prepare for hacking, scams and general economic collapse.
The game is going to retail for $59.99 and comes with one month of access as well as three “guest passes” for friends and family to get a week’s worth of free play. After that, players can sign up for a subscription at $14.99 a month, or a reduced rate if they buy months in bulk (3, 6 or 12 month subscriptions).
Alternatively, players can spend their in-game gold on “CREDD”, which stands for Certificate of Research, Exploration, Destruction and Development (references to the four player paths) and adds 30 days to your time. CREDD can be purchased on Carbine’s website for $19.99, after which players can sell it on the in-game exchange for gold – they can set their own price, which is intended to make the economy fluctuate from server to server based on supply and demand.
Executive Producer, Jeremy Gaffney, explained that there were two types of players that they were seeking to satisfy:
“Player number one is, they don’t want to pay a sub. They just want to play the game. Well, okay, they can buy CREDD using in-game gold from other players in the Commodities Exchange, like a stock market.
“How does CREDD enter the economy? Well, there’s another class of player. They are happy enough playing the game, but they want to make a little extra in-game gold. What they can do is buy a little CREDD, they get an item they can now trade on the Commodities Exchange for someone else’s gold. What this does is let the free market … basically be the way people can trade their time for money with other players, because some people are time-rich, and some people are cash-rich.”
It’s an interesting model, but I’m not sure how well it will work. Essentially, if you’re willing, you could sign up for a year’s subscription, and then spend a fortune on CREDD which you’d sell off in the commodity exchange for a ton of gold, and then run around with all the money because you have real-world money. What about people who just want to play the game, but maybe can’t afford a monthly subscription? They, like peasants, will be forced to grind for hours on end in the hopes of earning enough gold to buy some CREDD so that they can be allowed to grind some more. Yay?
Also, as we’ve learned from past experience, none of these servers are really and truly secure. Blizzard’s Diablo III auction house was scammed, and just about every development house or distributor has been hacked in the last year. If Carbine’s gets attacked, people could end up losing real money as their CREDD is stolen – what a way to lose your street cred.
I suppose we’ll have to see how it all pans out. WildStar looks like a cool game, I’m just not sure I’d pay $15 a month for any game anymore, especially after paying for the original game itself. After paying approximately R600 for a game, I don’t want to pay an additional R150-R200 for the privilege of continuing to play. And I certainly won’t give some rich guys (other than the game distributors) my hard-earned in-game cash just so I can continue to play!