The pros and cons of the Conan cash shop, from the viewpoint of an admitted game whale

Pros:

It’s more stuff – I do like content, and I’m definitely not above paying to support its creation in general.

Cons:

It’s only seven things at a time – In 25 years of online play, this is the single-most limited cash shop I’ve ever seen. The previous record-holder was Frontier Development’s Elite Dangerous.

Lack of heavy hitters – I haven’t seen much on here that would be called a “must-have”, though the apothecary items were nice. Wall paint is a terrible thing to sell. I get that it’s easy, but just because it’s easy to produce doesn’t make it a quality decoration.

Battlepass boost pricing remains dishonest – In order to purchase this, one has to buy the $34.99 Crom coin pack in order to pay the 3000 coin price tag because the $19.99 coin pack doesn’t offer enough coins to cover the purchase (only 2640). Charge whatever you want, but my feedback on that point specifically is that it’s dishonest, to the point of being mildly insulting personally. It’s like saying to me “shut the hell up and just pay it because you’re nothing but a wallet to us”.

You’re trying to appeal to these wallets to support future development and, by extention, paychecks. Try to keep that in mind with the messaging. I’m sure the intent wasn’t to insult the consumer, but it is pretty insulting.

The only way this could be worse is by adding lootcrates. This, to me, is just bad all around. IDK if this company is actually prepared to do microtrans, or if it got forced to and is trying to implement it in a way that creates a greater chance of rejection so that they don’t have to do it anymore.

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This right here is a good piece.

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The prices in the Black Lotus Bazaar are frankly price gouging high. $11 for a single set of armor.

Old DLCs that were $15 to $20 were 3 sets of armor, a full set of weapons and a full building set usually. They are all now $10.

So these are about 300% to 600% more expensive per item and can’t be crafted to be shared.

Funcom, your revenue specialist sure did show you how to gouge your players.

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I’m pretty sure Conan Exiles will be abandoned once Dune launches. This is a last minute cash grab.

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I just recently returned and looked at the bizarre and thought there was some stuff I was interested in. Then I went to buy coins and realized the conversion rate was almost comically low.

This is a game that is priced at $130 dollars for the “full version” four years after leaving early access, now they add FTP phone game style pricing, including their own fake currency

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Sadly the game industry as a whole is aiming on this business model regarding what kind of a product tey are making. I remember some article back in the days (8yrs ago or so), when someone said, that more money goes for market research and than developing the product itself. Marketing is currently the strongest value to gaming industry and when majority of the people will be ok with the model, they will stick to it. Just check mobile gaming … first we all laugh about who will play games on the phone … and today i’s the strongest gaming market on the planet. People are just to stupid to realize that this is a barrel without bottom… More watter you fill … more water will eat.

So… to sum it up, it’s not the market, it’s the people.

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I don’t mind the wall and floor paints. I think it is a cool idea to somewhat implement an official “wallpaper” item like Pippi does.

However,

Do we really need the UI to popup telling us it is a wall paint when we look at it? It covers the entire wall paint…

For the OP, great points and I’ve personally tried to not think about it too much (the insulting factors) of how this shop was implemented.

The CE team are good folks and we all know nobody personally sat around the CE development round table and thought to themselves, “Hey, you know what our games needs? A cash shop!”.

I think the issue here might be comparing the past to the present, instead of comparing the present to the present. We definitely got better deals from DLCs back in the day, on this game and many others. But the model here is a cash shop which is a lot different.

When a DLC is sold, that’s it for work on said DLC except for bugfixes. Nothing new gets added, typically speaking. A cash shop, on the other hand (IDEALLY ANYWAY) is a constantly-evolving a la cart concept that has regular rotations of new things (at least when the rotation feature isn’t broken).

Comparing this to other cash shops might render a more accurate view, though admittedly, one that won’t do much to support the idea of this shop being overpriced by comparison.

With that having been said, prices appear to be in line, if not a little cheaper, than similar cash shop offerings on the likes of FFXIV, WoW, SWTOR, ESO, etc.

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The current system will either generate revenue or not.

If it does not, then the prices will either be adjusted, or the game shelved with the Dune launch.

On a personal level, this one finds the offerings meager.
Incomplete weapon sets, some with no unifying theme.
Half of a build piece set.
Weak.
Adding to that is the less than expressive descriptions of the items being purchased. What weight class is the Aesir set? What sub stat does it boost?
How many slots of storage does the alchemical cabin- oh, wait… “Storage” was flavour text.
The Arcane weapons, how do we channel sorcery thru th- oh, wait… that was also False Advertising.

The prices are what they are. This one finds them a bit absurd. Mind you, we have been spoiled with the generally extremely high value/cost ratios of previous DLC packs.

Now, on the side note of these transactions keep the lights on.
Yes, they moved to a game as a service model.
Which means the game needs to run smoother and better. It needs constant updates and upgrades. When there is downtime, there needs to be explanation and possibly compensation (now that they have in game currency, that’s a fine candidate), rather than passing the buck.

Then again… How is this game a service… when they do not even have control of where it is hosted? GPortal is a fine scapegoat. But at the end of the day, one cannot sale (read:rent out) a service one does not actually provide. It has been stated numerous times that officials are not intended to be the mainstay. That was fine when this was a purchased product. But if this game is a service, then maintaining the ability to play it becomes part and parcel.

What a mess.

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What nonsense are you going on about? The game is not a service, and the cash shop does not change that. The game is the game and the service side of it has been provided to you thus far free of charge, and it still is unless you choose to buy Crom Coins. All of it is optional, and truthfully the entitlement around all of this is bizarre. Did anyone really think a game would host official servers and continue to provide support for a game to infinity without a revenue stream? The cash shop accomplishes this. The problem is, some folks just expect 40 USD to last forever I guess. The game has expanded tremendously since launch and almost all of it didn’t cost anyone anything. Also, let’s assume the cash shop is a success, and they have the options to continue expanding content and improving the game by hiring more staff to provide even more updates. It’s a win win. Instead everyone is just grabbing pitchforks, because how dare they charge this much for this graphic.

As for the uproar about pricing, feel free to browse other cash shops. It’s on par with everything else, from Fallout 76 to New World to Fortnite skins.

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Unfortunately it’s not even a cash shop, you have to buy their funny money at preset levels that don’t match the prices of most things available in the shop. This is a tactic used to try to squeeze more money out of players and has no other purpose. Crom Coins are gross

CE isn’t an MMO or a game as a service, but I do appreciate the fact that they need to make money and happily supported them by buying DLCs. I did buy a battle pass as well because that’s reasonably priced in my eyes (and was priced at a point that allows you to buy the exact number of coins you need)

People are free to buy it all if they want, I’m sure some people happily will and will be satisfied. Hopefully this will lead to more content and better bug fixes and I’ll be eating some crow in six months time

The bizarre won’t make me quit playing or kill the game or whatever hyperbolic comment is cool right now.

When the announcement was made that Funcom has been bought out by Tencent they explicitly refered to the game as a games as a service model.
If you need a link, this one can provide.

The game was not provided free of charge
Something you even acknowledge later in your post.

Genshin is a free to play game
Free to play, they host their own servers.
The vast majority of games as service on mobile are likewise free to play with their own hosting.
All with regular updates

Funcom has moved to a microtransaction model while still requiring an initial buy in and hand wringing that official servers aren’t meant to be a full experience.

The other games you mentioned all maintain servers for full experience of players after initial pay in.

But most importantly…
The game launched in early access.
It was (and still is) an incomplete jank fest.
With the release of Sorcery they have only now fulfilled their states goals from before launch.
Anyone who spent money on this game before did so under the auspice that Funcom was still working on delivering the finished product.

Going Game as Service was a smart move, now the game need never be a finished product.

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Game as a service in this instance is PR talk for “hey guys we’re adding a game shop to get more money.” The game itself is still a product and not a service. But on that point we’re arguing semantics I do believe, and I also believe we’re more or less of the same understanding.

Upfront cost is also not unusual, again, Fallout 76 and New World operate the exact same way. I’m also fairly sure neither has an offline single player component, which would be an argument for Conan having an upfront cost.

You can agree or disagree with the practice at hand, but is neither unusual or greedy in regards to the current landscape of gaming.

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I don’t understand why you all are going on with this argument about game as a service model.

I’ve played about a dozen games that claim to do this and each one did it differently in various forms and degrees. There is no defined industry standard, its whatever the company wishes to make it.

Also providing servers or not in any capacity is irrelevant. I’ve played such games with microtransactions and services that either didn’t support official servers at all, or were entirely singleplayer.

False.

When I purchased the game around 5 years ago, the game I played, even unmodded gave me 800 hours of play. I considered it a completed game once it left early access.

I have dozens of games on my steam library of titles that were really good. Very completed games, many have ceased development for years. Only two others have exceeded 800 hours. Many don’t even get half of that despite being great titles (and much more expensive then Conan Exiles).

For me the product has been finished for half a decade. Every bit of content and features added has been complimentary. None of which I’ve required. I’d still be 5,000 hours into it by now. I’d be 5,000 hours even if they ceased development and support after releasing it.

Games do exist, and are enjoyed after they are ‘done’. One doesn’t need to base their enjoyment on a game based on how much attention it has from its creators.

You were happy with the version released.
That is fine and good.
As were many.
There were also many who would not shut up about the lack of “promised” (this one prefers the phrase vocally intended, but semantics) features such as mounts and sorcery.

In a nod to the latter, there was a persistent statement of continued development coupled with a repetition that previously declared features were in the works or coming soon.

An incomplete game can still be quite enjoyable.
That does not mean it is complete.

This one would love to have a very long discussion group on what constitutes a game as a service as standard practices in that regard. Especially as so many defenders of the current Monetization system love to point to it as a standard business practice…
But, and this is an honest question, is that too much of a tangent on this thread?

In this one’s mind, the monetization systems viability is somewhat linked to the game’s status as a service rather than product. However, this is far from a universal position.

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The biggest issue people have is conflating hyperbole with feedback. They are not one in the same. So I’m going to instruct this thread on how to do proper feedback. Including those who flippantly say ‘don’t buy it if you don’t like the price’. FFS there is a thing called haggling and negotiation.


This is the current bazaar prices of items you can purchase, right now.

Because I don’t believe it is common knowledge, the slashed price is the price you pay if you were to buy the items individually. The price underneath is the price when bought together, also known as the bundled price. Yes FC screwed up showing this, in their own words. And yes they will eventually fix it (laws of physics prevents it from happening sooner, so we’re not going to debate that). And they will have a section where you can buy all items for sale, again when it gets completed.

So now that everyone has a bit more information let’s get into actual feedback.

Gurnakhi Gear: 1528cc
One armor set, two weapon skins, one pet skin.

Rotting Rhino: 1072cc
One Rhino Skin, one saddle

Aesir Armaments: 340cc
One weapon skin, one shield skin

Aesir Accountrements: 1336cc
One Armor set, one pet skin

Wall Paint Pack: 595cc
Seven wall paints

Warpaint Thaumaturgy: 290cc
One warpaint

Those are the items available with their listed prices and contents. So here’s how you give feedback. List the items you’d like at the prices you would buy them at. If its not really an item you are interested in. Then simply say you aren’t interested. I’ll go first:

Gurnakhi Gear: Not really interested.

Rotting Rhino: 600cc (I’m not actually interested in the design, but this is how much I would be willing to pay for the combo of a mount and saddle I would want if offered).

Aesir Armaments: ~200cc

Aesir Accountrements: ~800cc

Wall Paint Pack: Not interested

Warpaint Thaumaturgy: 120cc (I’m actually not interested in the design, but this is how much I would pay for a single warpaint that I would want.)

That my friends, is what feedback looks like (and for some of you its a shock that I actually don’t agree with the prices :exploding_head:). Sure I’d love to see DLC priced item bundles. But I am giving feedback on prices I am willing to pay. If you all only wish to pay DLC prices, then list them. Don’t have to be exact, just say what feels comfortable to you.

If you want a specific weapon skin for the price it would have been on its own in a DLC, you don’t need to list the exact amount. Just what you think feels right. Doesn’t need to be 23cc or whatnot, you can say 20cc if that’s what you want it to be.

This is what FC listens to. If you make accusations towards them, or insults, or hyperbole, they ignore it. So this is how you get feedback and get results, not ignored. Ball is in your courts now people. Now lets put our money where our mouths are, at least hypothetically.

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Agreed.
The bottom line is people got spoiled by the cheap DLC prices that gave three tiers of armor and buildings and weapons.
Also the fact that they could do giveaways to friends family etc and now they cannot.
I have some sympathy towards those that play with friends / family but none for the ones crying about the prices vs the DLCs.
Show me the thread where you thanked Funcom for being so great when they were rolling out the DLCs for practically nothing please.

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What if part of the feedback is in regards to the incomplete nature of the offerings.

For Example, this one is disinterested in the Aesir Axe and Shield at any price point.
However, this one does appreciate the aesthetic, this this one would be interested in an Aesir Shortsword, Spear, Thrown Axes, Double Axes, Javelin and Mace.
Furthermore, this one would be interested in a full Aesir Armaments pack, if that pack included skins for all (or at least most) weapon types. This one would consider taking the uninteresting one handed axe and shield, if they come bundled with more personally pertinent items.

Another point of feedback this one would appreciate polish in articulating.
While this one understands most of these items are destined to just be skins, it would be very nice to know what weight the gear sets are and what stat bonus they would give by default. Before they get thrown on the thaumaturgy bench. This would be helpful in making purchase decisions.

This one is neither mocking you, nor asking in bad faith.
At the end of the day, this one would rather see the game do well and get at least some of this one’s suggestions in edgewise. Being “right in the interweb” is about one of the most useless accolades possible. However, seeing either cost shifts or addition of desired items, or at least a clean up of the presentation is substantial.

Gratitude.

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I purchased the Aesir pack just to get the helm. I have no interest whatsoever in the other armor pieces. I like the shield looks, but it will be illusioned as the stats are average. Same with the axe.

I agree that the information about the items needs to be upfront.

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It is a very nice helm.
It hits that sweet spot between practical and fantasy that this one appreciates in sword in sorcery.
Spangenhelm are so under appreciated, and we had been lacking a winged, as opposed to horned, head piece for some time.

Credit where credit is due, the pieces all look very good for what they are.
That’s the reason this one would very much like to see shortswords and dual axes in that style.
Or the long neglected throwing axes and javelins.

But this one rambles.
This one often rambles…

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