Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Random Shots: The Cryptic Store, Untangled

  • The time has come and microtransactions have arrived in Champions Online in a big way. When Bill Roper said (somewhere) that they weren't going to launch the store until they had enough content to offer, he wasn't kidding. So let's take a look at what's available and whether it might even be worth it.

  • First off, we need to discuss conversion factors. Cryptic is following the Microsoft model by making one dollar worth 80 points. The hilarious thing is that they also followed the Microsoft model by pricing just about everything in multiples of 80. Do that many people (especially MMO players) really have trouble doing that kind of math in their head? I don't get the point.

  • The first (and, by far, the largest) section of the Cryptic Store is called Costume Enhancements. Here we get the much anticipated additional costume sets. As is fitting the season, the primary offering is Halloween themed. There are a few other options available, though. Cryptic seem to have settled on three dollars per costume pack and one dollar per emblem pack. And as you can see, buying the three Holloween costumes together will save you a dollar.
    Halloween Costume Set 640 CP/$8.00 comprised of:
    • Skeleton Set: 240 CP/$3.00
    • Web Set: 240 CP/$3.00
    • Head Set: 240 CP/$3.00

    Cyborg Beast Costume Set: 240 CP/$3.00
    Epic Samurai Costume Set: 240 CP/$3.00
    Bestial Emblem Pack: 80 CP/$1.00
    Sci-Fi Emblem Pack: 80 CP/$1.00
    Weapons Emblem Pack: 80 CP/$1.00

  • The second section of the store is Character Enhancements. Here we get the account service options that other companies also offer. I'll throw in some comparisons where I have data.

    • Additional Character Slots: 1200 CP for 4 slots/$3.75 per slot
      (Guild Wars: $9.99)

    • Full Retcon: 1000 CP/$12.50

    • Character ReName: 280 CP/$3.50
      (Guild Wars: $12.50)
      (World of Warcraft: $10.00)

    • Additional Costume Slots: 400 CP for 2 slots for all characters/$5.00

  • Looking over all these prices, I believe they are all quite resonable. I wonder what it is about Champions that they can offer such character services so cheaply in comparison. (I'd love to know what other games charge for similar services. List them in the comments and I'll add them to my post.) The only price I have any issue with is the Full Retcon token. $12.50 is so out of line with everything else, I don't know what to make of it. As Blue Kae mentioned in the game last night, it will make for great nerdrage on the CO forums.

  • For me, I can see myself buying some of those costume sets. I'd hate to miss that sale and be out a dollar. At the least, they'll make for great nemeses.

© 2009 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.
If you're reading this on a site other than Bullet Points, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.


  1. I really like the costume pieces, so I might fork up the C-creds for those.

    But tell me that after looking at those that they would look great on a villain? One of the better things Cryptic did was make a villains side game, maybe they will do the same with Champions someday.

  2. The costume pieces I can definitely see paying for. $12.50 for a retcon is insane. It only reinforces the observation that retcons are far too expensive in game (is this why, so they can sell them to us in their store?), and that the character development system is arcane enough that almost any new player will make mistakes in their build.

  3. @ Jayedub - I can see them going that route. I can't say why, but playing on the villain side doesn't really appeal to me, though I know CoV was very popular. I would like to play my Nemesis every once in a while.

    @ Yeebo - For your consideration:

    The Price Of Retcons, A One Act Play

    Scene One

    Chorus: You nerfed our characters! We demand free retcons!
    MacCryptic: But you can retcon in the game already. Is that not enough?
    Chorus: The economy sucks, so retcons are too expensive!
    MacCryptic: There does seem to be a lot wrong with our game. Free retcons for everyone!
    Chorus: Hooray!

    Scene Two

    Chorus: We nerfed our characters because your game is hard.
    MacCryptic: Behold, the Cryptic Store. You can purchase your own retcons.
    Lade MacCryptic: with maniacal laughter And you thought they were expensive before.