Oct 302012


Photo-Receptor Focus on: The Cartel Market

By Maer

If you haven’t been on the test server yet, I highly encourage you to do that. Bioware needs to hear from the player base. Let them know what you like and don’t like and report bugs. On my recent trip to the PTS, I played around with the Cartel Market. Today I’ll discuss my reaction to what could be a good idea.

More after the jump…

Since I’m a subscriber, I first looked at what this was going to do for me. I was excited to hear about this new speeder that was colorful and shiny. Bright and colorful items, gear and vehicles are where TOR is weakest and that lack of visual color variety is something I’ve mentioned many times. So, the news that there was something I’d want was pretty exciting.

I had quite a few test coins – about 4500. I started buying the Crime Lord Packs at 360 coins each. I got a pet right off, which was cool. But I also got companion gifts, which were not as welcome. Then I hit a dry spell and got many companion gifts, a lot of Red Polychromic Crystals and a few Upari Crystals.

Pack after pack was bought and mostly I got things I didn’t need or want and would probably end up putting in the guild bank or vendoring. By the time I was done, I ended up with four pets. One was actually very cool – a droid, but the others were Bioware’s usual drab colors. I had two supposedly different colors of one -a Golden Lizard Bat and a Mountain Lizard Bat. However, I sure couldn’t tell that there was all that much difference between them. There were some very subtle shade changes, but hardly worth wanting a second one.

The other items were mostly things I couldn’t use or didn’t want and I had quite a few duplicates. What I didn’t see? Not a shiny, colorful vehicle in sight.

Keep in mind, this was with Cartel Coins I’d been awarded, so I spent no real money. Now, some people like the idea of gambling and so this doesn’t bother them. Gambling doesn’t bother me (hey, I live in Nevada), but spending hard-earned real life cash on maybes in an online game does. I’d much rather take that money to a casino and spend it there, than on virtual maybes that are less than thrilling.

So, I’m one of those who will not buy additional coins, unless Bioware lets me know what I’m buying in advance. That thrill that some people get from “opening a present” doesn’t work for me in any game. At least, not if it involves real money.

Don’t get me wrong, the idea of coins is a great one. What I don’t like is the unknown factor of these packs. I’d much rather Bioware put the pets, vehicles and other cool items up on the market, so I can buy them and know what I’m getting.

If Bioware wants to keep the packs for those who like that sort of thing, that’s fine, but they need to also put these items up on the market, even if it’s at a much higher rate.  That way, those of us who don’t want to slog through pack after pack are not wasting our time and/or real life money.

Bioware has used this pack model before with those event packs we had in the Rakghoul event and I disliked it there, too. I ended up with a lot of stuff I couldn’t use on any character. It made me feel I’d wasted a lot of time and I don’t like that feeling. Games are supposed to make me happy, not irritated.

So, my final conclusion on the Cartel Coins? Good idea, but bad application of that idea, if it stays as it is on the test server.

Again, I encourage you to get to the test server and give Bioware your feedback – good or bad.

That’s my two credits. What’s yours?


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