Players are now limited to just two character slots. On the face of it, two factions, two slots seems quite reasonable, however that doesn’t really take into account the fact that there are two gameworlds per region (4 in all). Its only to be expected that people and friends will get split up across gameworlds so players have the choice, do I join my buddies on both worlds, try out the various factions or just keep deleting. To truly understand the balance of the game, I’d recommend trying out the factions but I can hardly advocate dumping your mates and having to wipe your character on a MMO is a rather daft thing to do, so yeah… only option is to pay up.
I figured that having a Premium account would mean that I automatically have extra character slots and alike, after all I am paying a monthly fee. Alas it wasn’t to be. I still have to fork up another fiver just so that I can keep my two existing characters (Crim and Enforcer) in the Obeya gameworld and still join a couple of mates in the Patriot world. Here’s hoping they stick to one faction… or its another fiver! Personally I find this to be too much, especially as it is those likely to already be making micropayments / subscriptions that they are charging for more than a pathetic two slots. Don’t get me wrong, I fully understand why they are charging for extra slots. Not only is it a relatively simple thing to monetise but storing the assets takes up resources and limits whats available (although only so much). However I think given the four natural character variations (one per faction for each world in your region) that having a limit of two just really isn’t sufficient. Having four slots maybe wouldn’t provide enough demand on extra slots but I feel as though three slots would be both fair to free players, whilst still monetising those who make lots of characters.
Already I get the impression that this is going to be the most expensive free2play game that I’ve encountered. An excellent business model from G1’s perspective for sure and it makes me even that more frustrated that the quite splendid idea behind the original model was so badly communicated as that was great value and flexible. Perhaps there could have been a middle ground, a very basic “free2play” combined with a premium “unlimited” account (well less limited, server sizes require some limit on assets) and then micropayments.
Update: While I’m moaning about purchasing character slots, the in game browser performance is attrocious. It was pretty bad on launch but the “slick” new marketplace just doesn’t load at all. I’m not the only one with this issue either. Out of game I can access it fine, but that doesn’t allow the purchase of premium weapons. Strangely I view micro-transactions that make your character more powerful to be a cowards way, but I feel compelled to purchase some myself. Maybe its just to avoid constantly getting mauled by T3 weapons when my Threat reaches a decent level. My other big gripe is the prices. 799, 499 and 299. Its annoying enough with normal cash but come on, give us proper rounded prices points. Xbox Live doesn’t suffer from using more natural numbers, so why the hell have G1 chose this awful pricing structure?