Black Gold plans to charge dollars for rare mats and equipment
Black Gold's monetization plan has been revealed and it does away with the traditional subscription and cash shop model.
Instead, Black Gold fans must pony up for rare materials and high-level equipment that drop during their adventures and dungeon runs.
Under what developers described as the "Optional Time-based Monetization Model", the game will record your playtime data, showing materials and equipment looted in that specific timeframe. Players will then have a choice to purchase that specific save file if the materials and equipment that dropped are worth the purchase.
Developers noted that basic materials and equipment will still be looted free of charge, but the most powerful and rarest drops in the online rpg will be whisked off behind the pay wall.
Save files last for 24 hours before becoming erased, and fans have to option of setting save files at 1/2/4/6 hour timeframes. It is not clear whether 6-hour save files will cost more to purchase than 1-hour save files, but it is very likely since the former will be able to contain more items than the latter.
For those who have not been able to follow along, developers gave a concrete example.
Under a 1-hour auto save, SaveFile1 covers the play session from 14:10~15:10, during which he acquires a rare gun and a couple basic materials. Then SaveFile2 covers the playtime from 15:10~15:40, during which he then loots a rare material. The fan now has a choice of purchase SaveFile 1 to obtain the rare gun, or SaveFile 2 for the rare material, or both if he can't live without either. The basic materials are harvested free.
While the specifics of the system are not yet finalized or even available for testing, the monetization scheme seems quite convoluted even for MMO veterans.
How this is better for fans? Will it end up costing less for fans than if there was a cash shop? How is this better than subscriptions?
Here's Mr. Shi Hai, Founder of Snail Games giving some insight: “We decided to introduce an innovative monetization model based on player habits and overall gameplay time. Unlike a micro transaction model requiring the player to frequently shop for items, or a subscription-based model where players pay a monthly service, our model allows players to dictate their own gameplay progression,” he concluded.