Any time a free-to-play game sprouts up, the first question on everyone’s lips is: “Is it pay-to-win?”
PlanetSide 2 Creative Director Matt Higby took to the forums recently in an attempt to assuage people’s opinions on this matter. While admitting that “pay-to-win” means different things to different people, he also stressed that “sidegrades,” rather than direct power upgrades, were the focus of the game’s advancement:
Unlocking a new weapon or ability in the game should never make you straight up more powerful. Rather, a new unlock should give you access to a new gameplay style which has trade-offs. This is the concept of sidegrades, if I spend Auraxium to unlock a Skyguard turret for my Lightning, hell yea it makes me a lot more powerful vs. airplanes, but it makes me a lot less powerful vs. tanks. That’s not a power advantage, it’s a playstyle shift, and each and every thing you unlock in the game should offer similar choices to the player, rather than a undeniable upgrade. This is admittedly not exactly the case in the game right now (a notable example is unlocking secondary weapons for aircraft, these undeniably grant a significant power advantage currently), but we’re working on making this the case in as many areas as possible.
Higby goes on to talk about what is being sold in the game — notably cosmetics and convenience — and admitting that while 50% boosts for members might allow players to accumulate stuff faster and factions to replenish their ranks faster, they don’t actually allow for more direct power.
What do you think of PS2′s approach to real-money purchases? Let us know in the comments below!