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Cosmetics (skins/trasmogs)

We were talking about skins and monetization and how in old times if you were good looking you were the boss, but now if you are good looking you are the guy who paid, and how that makes skins obtainable by gameplay may be are not as impressive as purchasable ones what can make old school gamers not feel satisfied, not feel that satisfaction when you get something difficult to get that no everyone can and make "mortals" behold you and ask how did you get it. So i had the idea of making 2 versions of purchasable cosmetics, the basic one (purchasable) and de cool/badass one that you will have to get by gameplay. Let me give you an example:
do you know who mordekaiser from league of legends is? he has a very very dark green armor and mace and his light effects are green with a touch of light blue, same as the necromancer for diablo iv. Well, lets say IS releases a skin with a necromancer theme with this color palette, you can purchase it at ingame store, OR you can get it as an old school gamer through a really difficult to get achievement, and you will wonder "why would i make that effort for a skin i can pay for and help IS to keep the game up?" because you want to show others you could get that achievement, but how will others know you didn't pay for it and you got it like a real PAPI? because it will have some differences that will make it evident just looking at you, like instead of a cape for back gear it is a pair of ethereal demonic wings, skulls at knees and belt buckle, spikes at external side of arms gear pieces (gloves?), and weapons could be more detailed and have more light effects but without overwhelming them. And since it uses the purchasable version as a base IS just would have to make a copy of it and then add the differences.
Now may be you are wondering "why would someone pay for something they can get for free and they do not even have to pray to RNGesus?" because:
1) It would be really difficult to get, you may be need a lot of time or hands or both
2) Casuals don't wanna make THAT effort, but almost everyone, if not everyone wanna look good, so they would prefer pay for something they like and it's not just ok, it's really good (remember it is for pay, really good is the minimum it should be imo), while dedicated players will make the effort to get not just something is better than really good, if not THE BEST.

Comments

  • mcstackersonmcstackerson Member, Phoenix Initiative, Royalty, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    It's already been confirmed that in game cosmetics will be op-par and in some cases more elaborate then store cosmetics: Cosmetics wiki
    smallerLizard.jpg
  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    edited June 22
    I don't agree that in old times, if you were good looking, you were the boss.
    In the old days, way too many powerful character were exceedingly ugly because gamers tend to care about their power; not their aesthetics. So, tons of gamers just wore whatever mismatched gear they thought was META. And the rest of us wanted to vomit when we saw them.
    Which probably also gave them another advantage in PvP.

    Ashes already has gear purchased from the cosmetic shop and cooler versions of that gear that you can only get in-game.
  • Steven seemed to suggest that the purpose of the cosmetic shop will be to cater to those in the casual player base who don't have the time to get almost any decent looking gear of any significant tier, perhaps because of their work/family schedule, but still enjoy a slow progression and some profession content. The shop will essentially offer them some in-game appearances that let them not look like a total pleb compared to everyone else, while simultaneously helping to better fund the maintenance of the game and development of future expansion content. Steven made it pretty clear that he in no way wishes to invalidate the efforts of players who take the game seriously and want to progress through the in-game progression systems.

    It's been stated that the armor, freehold, caravan, ship, mount, and pet models/skins we've seen in the pre-purchase packs were all going to be made anyway as set dressing / fauna content for the world. So you might notice the theming of many of these pre-purchase packs closely resembles certain known zones or racial aesthetics. They'll probably belong to NPCs, be used to fill up space in cities, or populate a given zone. They won't be anything that special in the grand scheme of things. If you're familiar with WoW, it would be the equivalent of getting to buy the Stormwind guard armor or something like that. You'll get to an emulate a cool looking NPC, basically.

    How this will play out as we move past the full release, when they no longer have a rapid stream of new art assets coming out for the base game, remains to be seen. Will they switch to exclusive skins that aren't seen anywhere else in the world just to keep putting new stuff in the shop? In that case, how do they fairly judge whether the new, exclusive shop content looks more or less impressive than the in-game assets? What will the ratio of new ember-shop cosmetic items be in relation to new in-game achievable skins via expansions?

    These are things we just can't say for sure until the game comes out. Intrepid can even claim to have a particular plan, but that doesn't mean it's set in stone. The metrics they process after launch may influence such plans and cause them to change course a bit. For now, however, this is their monetization model, and I doubt they're going to switch over to a box price before the game launches after already promising a sub model to over 20,000 paid backers. So for now, instead of worrying, which really does nothing, I'm instead choosing to be optimistic.
  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Can post the link for that Steven quote suggesting the purpose of the cosmetic shop?
  • Mag7spyMag7spy Member
    Dygz wrote: »
    Can post the link for that Steven quote suggesting the purpose of the cosmetic shop?

    Its liked talked about in a lot of their steams. Cosmetic stuff is actually the assets that are going to be in the world, as well as wanting a way for casuals to get cool looking gear.

    Its a very smart funding design as it allowed them to create a lot of unique assets and rigs.

    Purpose of the cosmetic shop though end of the day is to make money and keep support for the game going.
  • JustVineJustVine Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Mag7spy wrote: »
    Dygz wrote: »
    Can post the link for that Steven quote suggesting the purpose of the cosmetic shop?

    Its liked talked about in a lot of their steams. Cosmetic stuff is actually the assets that are going to be in the world, as well as wanting a way for casuals to get cool looking gear.

    Its a very smart funding design as it allowed them to create a lot of unique assets and rigs.

    Purpose of the cosmetic shop though end of the day is to make money and keep support for the game going.

    I don't think I've seen this being mentioned before on stream, at least not as directly as you seem to be implying. If you have a rough idea of which live stream it was said in I'll take a look. I'd love to add this to my collection of cosmetic dev notes.
    Alkali Witch
  • SengardenSengarden Member
    edited June 22
    This is the interview I was referencing for the first part of my comment:
    Edit: I can't get the time-stamp to work when the video gets embedded, but the relevant commentary begins at 55:09



    Second part of my comment:
    Edit: Again, time-stamps not working properly when embedded, relevant commentary begins at 4:56

  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    edited June 22
    Mag7spy wrote: »
    Its liked talked about in a lot of their steams. Cosmetic stuff is actually the assets that are going to be in the world, as well as wanting a way for casuals to get cool looking gear.

    Its a very smart funding design as it allowed them to create a lot of unique assets and rigs.

    Purpose of the cosmetic shop though end of the day is to make money and keep support for the game going.
    I don't recall Steven say anything about wanting a the Cosmetic Shop to be an easy way for casuals to get cool looking gear, but I will listen to the sound bytes.
    Thanks!

    Hmmmn. I think you're paraphrase is a bit off.
    "Players will still be able to achieve things in game through their hard work from a cosmetic perspective, that other players won't have, either because they don't have the time to do it or they didn't have the skill level.
    Even hardcore time players might miss some Events. Even hardcore challenge players might not be able to defeat all content.
    Which is why Steven doesn't single out casual players when he talks about the purpose of the Cosmetic Shop.
  • I mean, to be fair, I am sort of stretching out the insinuation to a logical conclusion in my own words. Something closer to what he said would be: He wants people who may not have the time or the skill to pursue fancy looking in-game gear, pets, mounts, freeholds, etc, to still be able to have fun in the game and not feel left out.

    It just so happens that these same people tend to have more disposable income if they're working so much that they can't be very competitive in the game, and that money has the opportunity to provide a moderate, horizontal visual boost to that subset of players while simultaneously helping to fund content for the more dedicated player base.
  • In other words, the ember shop won't be a way for people to look better than, or even as good as the top PVP/PVE fighters, craftsfolk, merchants, etc, it will simply be a way for people who're willing to shell out a few bucks to not look like scrubs. In a certain way, if a lot of these skins are actually slight variations of the in-game NPC assets, the people who choose to hand over money for access to them might actually just... blend into the environment somewhat. At least more so than the cosmetics I see in games like GW2 where they make people stick out like a sore thumb.
  • JustVineJustVine Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited June 22
    (Edit: just read your new posts and it sounds like we agree completely @Sengarden feel free to ignore my post entirely therefore. It was a big post since I did the transcription for you and therefore wasn't able to keep up with the speed of conversation on my phone lol.)

    Well I've reviewed your videos and here are the take away quotes I got from it.

    For context the following quotes are from the first video and in context of a discussion on 'cash shops as funding and Steven's experience and philosophy with buyable cosmetics and funding the game.' The time stamp provided by op starts just after Stevens very long explanation about cosmetics in the context of collectibles.

    (Obviously a little paraphrased but I'll try to transcribe to the best of my ability.)
    "Cosmetics on the other hand, I view, as a horizontal difference in how you are representing your character."
    "The way we present our cosmetic purchases is that, they will not be better than the in game achievable cosmetics. As a matter of fact it is quite the opposite... The in game achievable cosmetics will be better than the cosmetics or on par with the cosmetics. And in that sense players will still be able to achieve things in game with their hard work from a cosmetics perspective, that other players won't have because they either don't have the time to do it or the skill level to do it, per say." (bolded the part where I felt you might have gotten your impression from this video.)

    Now, based on the context I think that 'cosmetics are intended to give casuals options to look good' is not necessarily a Steven based take. Not to say that isn't something that is philosophically incoherent. It's a very valid way of you interpreting the FACTS. But I think it does sort of miss the 'spirit' of what Steven is saying here. Steven's conversation in this first video here definitely seems to be more of a philosophical argument for why Ashes' cosmetic store won't be 'pay 2 win from a cosmetics standpoint'. I think it was a very well made argument from him as well. If IS meets this design goal and the cash shop ends up being monetarily successful I think it will force the gaming market to take notice relative to monetization relative to cosmetics.

    So over all thank you for reminding me of this conversation. It's definitely going in 'the document', but under 'Steven's philosophy of paid cosmetics as 'not p2w'' rather than as citation that 'Steven intends the cash shop to be for casuals to have options to look good.' (Which again is a very valid interpretation here so don't take my disagreement to mean that I think you are wrong..)

    I'm less sure what your second video is trying to back up in your argument. That the cosmetics are intended o help flesh out the game? I think basically everyone who isn't a hater accepts this as a fact about Intrepid's approach to monetization. Here is a better quote for you if you need to reference it in the future as evidence for this particular point.

    "We offer cosmetics for players who wish to support the project early. The exclusive nature of the limited availability is something I think collectors value. If you buy cosmetics as an MMO player, I know I enjoyed if the cosmetic is rare and not every girl at the party is wearing the same dress. In addition, these cosmetics are used to populate the world through NPC variants and color/texture changes so their offering aligns with our production schedule. The good thing about these packs is they contain no P2W advantages and there is no box cost, so from a mechanics standpoint you do not need to buy them to excel in the game on launch. And also, there are comparable and subjectively more grand cosmetics achievable in game as well."
    https://ashesofcreation.wiki/images/thumb/0/0c/steven-cosmetics.png/525px-steven-cosmetics.png

    I did want to address one particular part about your argument here though.
    These are things we just can't say for sure until the game comes out. Intrepid can even claim to have a particular plan, but that doesn't mean it's set in stone. The metrics they process after launch may influence such plans and cause them to change course a bit. For now, however, this is their monetization model, and I doubt they're going to switch over to a box price before the game launches after already promising a sub model to over 20,000 paid backers. So for now, instead of worrying, which really does nothing, I'm instead choosing to be optimistic.

    I agree with everything you say here. As you said the plan does not matter until it happens but there is a laid out plan rooted in Steven's philosophical take on 'collectibles'. Essentially Steven plans on having a part of the cash shop that keeps certain cosmetics extremely artificially limited. As far as I can tell there will be 'limited time, limited quantity' sale of cash shop only cosmetics to add an element of 'collectiblity'. So I'm definitely expecting some form of 'timer count down' and 'limited stock act fast there are only x remaining' kind of stuff in the cash shop. Definitely not for everything in the cash shop, but certainly for a slice of the shop. I don't have a particular point relative to giving you all this info other than 'making you slightly more informed about some of the plans for the cash shop,' since you didn't seem to be aware of them.

    Here are some quotes:

    "Cash shop cosmetics will be limited in quantity, limited in time for purchase. "

    "The exclusive nature of the limited availability is something I think collectors value. If you buy cosmetics as an MMO player, I know I enjoyed if the cosmetic is rare and not every girl at the party is wearing the same dress." (Source already cited earlier in this post)
    "I want to incentivize purchase in the cosmetic shop for sustainability of what expansions we have intended, since we are not a box cost. I want to incentivize purchase by offering limited items: limited time, limited quantity, so you have confidence that when you purchase them, they won't be offered later on in some other way."


    There's more evidence for this 'limited quantity' business model, but I'm kind of busy and those were the ones on the top of my file for this including some of the stuff Steven said in that Interview you linked before your time stamp. Over all I'm fairly optimistic about certain aspects of AoC's cosmetic policy, although I certainly have some strong critiques I won't get into on this particular thread since it's not really topic relevant and was mostly just an 'aside'.
    Alkali Witch
  • SengardenSengarden Member
    edited June 22
    Thanks for the extra references! I do have mixed feelings about FOMO tactics in online games. The upside of limited quantity and higher prices, to me, is that there are less people populating the servers with cash shop skins, while Intrepid gets roughly the same amount of income from the shop (less purchases of higher value vs more purchases of lower value).

    Personally, I wish "cosmetics shops" went the route of selling "micro-expansions." There's no way on Earth I'm going to drop half the (or in some cases the full) cost of a AAA game on a single armor skin, or a pet skin, or a boat skin, you name it. One person owning a copy of an individual digital asset is not worth anywhere near that much, and I'm not interested.

    But... Say you charged me half the cost of a AAA game for a micro-expansion where I got to go on a handful of well-crafted quest chains with members of a particular race / guild / alignment / region /etc. that really interest me, have an awesome experience inside of the game, and then be given a handful of relevant cool looking skins, recipes, blueprints, etc as quest rewards / boss loot? Now that is something I might consider paying for, and actually enjoying the products of - not as assets that were airdropped straight to my freehold from the studio, but as real pieces of the game world which I accumulated through my character's efforts and involvement in that world.
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