How many times have you seen a cosmetic you were initially excited about, but ended up deciding to not buy because you didn’t particularly care for the colour scheme or pattern?
A couple of times, I bet. “Man, that cosmetic would be perfect if only it was black and pink instead of green and yellow.”
Yet very few cosmetics have any variations at all. Why not? Providing variations seems like a pretty obvious thing to do. The models, textures and whatever else have all already been created ( Is rigging required for costumes? If anybody knows, please let me know in a reply. ); creating a variant with a different colour scheme or pattern would require minimal amounts of additional labour. A pink and white alternative to a black and red maid outfit. A panther spot pattern alternative to a tiger stripe suit. A sarong bottom alternative to a bikini bottom.
For minimal extra investment, NCSoft could get players on the fence to take the plunge. There’s no reason to get crazy and provide ten variations of every outfit, but put it this way: if for two hours additional work updating one outfit to two new colour palettes would increase sales by 15%… why not do it?
Furthermore, when creating a costume, NCSoft probably expects to generate a certain amount of revenue in return, let’s just say 12k ( so 1k sales ). If two additional variations increase cost to produce the outfit by 5%, but increase sales by 20%, the total end revenue is greatly increased. Instead of being dicks about it, NCSoft could pass those savings onto us, reducing the cost of the costumes, which would encourage more people to buy costumes in the first place, because let’s face it: The costumes are overpriced. Some people would disagree, but all those people are wrong. Hell, with cheaper costumes, some players might even end up deciding that they like both variations enough that they may as well purchase both.
I’m not why this isn’t the way the cash shop is in the fist place because it seems pretty obvious to me… but there you go. Everybody wins. Let’s do it.
This was the first course in a series on the subject of improving the craptastic cash shop taught by yours truly.
While I’m certain NCSoft will have higher quality standards than some amateur, pretty much this.
This should all be tied with a revamp of the wardrobe system that permits transfer of costumes between characters on the same account. There are a lot of great costumes available in game as well, but unfortunately, many of these costumes can take a lot of grinding to acquire. Having an account wide wardrobe would greatly alleviate the tedium of playing an alt, and honestly, there isn’t a good reason against it. You’ve already acquired the cosmetic; you’ve passed the test, proven your mettle. Why force players to waste another ten hours or more doing it all again? That kind of shit rapidly burns players out, and once a player leaves, that player might be just gone.
Destiny, from the beginning, implemented account wide inventories which permitted sharing of EVERYTHING in game. Later, Bungie even implemented vendors and kiosks that would let players infinitely replicate all acquired cosmetic items as many times as desired because even with shared inventories, players were still grinding to reacquire cosmetics and it was burning those players out. That’s western game design for you: generally much more player-centric design, huge support for various playstyles and less hostile business practices.
Anyway, how wardrobe should probably work:
Non-premium players gain access to the wardrobe with limited account wide access. The way it would work is that with this wardrobe, players also receive a limited number of tokens, maybe three to five. Players can consume a token to mark an cosmetic as shared, and can retrieve the cosmetic on another character once the cosmetic has been placed into the wardrobe. This does not replicate the cosmetic, only transfers a cosmetic. Once used, the token has a 12-hour cooldown before it can be used again to mark another cosmetic as shared, unsharing the prior marked cosmetic. Quest / progression related cosmetics, faction related and cash shop cosmetics cannot be shared.
Premium player wardrobes permit sharing of all non quest / progression or faction related cosmetics. Cash shop cosmetics cannot be shared. All costumes are shared, but again, not replicated, requiring no tokens. Furthermore, multiples of the same cosmetic can be stored, enough times as necessary. The idea is that if a player really wants to grind for the convenience of having multiples, they can, to the extend of even establishing a standard uniform.
That right there is part of the reason why I have issues with dyes. Like I like the concept and everything, but the possibility for abuse in implementation is so crazy. They could just let players pick the colour of the dye themselves from like a colour wheel, but knowing NCSoft, that’s not going to happen. For sure, they’ll use preset dyes. Then what if they lock certain dyes to events? And they charge extra? Or what if they start adding dyes to bundles as “additional value,” but are actually just using the dye as an excuse to increase the price of the costume ( like they did with the Valentine’s bundle ). Just too many things that can go wrong. If we can get a good system implemented for dyes, or even just a fair system, then 100% go for it… but what are the chances?
And dyes also don’t solve the problem of some costumes just having silly bits attached to them or perhaps not being in a pattern of your preference.