Hangin’ In The C-Store With My Homies

Okay, it’s bad enough that Turbine set up its microtransactions to be funded with something called Turbine Points, without pausing to think that “TP” might not install confidence in the minds of consumers, but instead give them the sense that they’re buying that +1 Sword of Kick Buttery with 1600 rolls of toilet paper.

But on a very fundamental level, Cryptic fails with its marketing of the “C-Store”, something that strikes me as a strained attempt to make a mundane thing (a place to purchase virtual items) into something “hip” and “johnny suave”, as we often saw in the horrid 90’s:

The name's Poochie D. And I rock this telly. I'm half Joe Camel and a third Fonzarelli. I'm the kung-fu hippie. From gangsta city. I'm a rappin' surfer. You the fool I pity.
The name's Poochie D. And I rock this telly. I'm half Joe Camel and a third Fonzarelli. I'm the kung-fu hippie. From gangsta city. I'm a rappin' surfer. You the fool I pity.

Anyway.  The C-Store.  Personally, I would have gone with the “Cryptic’s Crypt” or “Crypt-o-Zoology”, but oh well.  So Cryptic has posted a new bevy of store options on their C-Store page, and I thought it worthwhile to “break it down”, as the kids say.

Costume Sets: Halloween, Cyborg Beast, Epic Samurai

Costume sets were almost a no-brainer with the Cryptic crew, seeing as how costume bundles are a staple of the City of Heroes franchise.  They’re pretty nifty and not too expensive on the whole, although I’m curious if there’s any in game way to earn these (particularly the halloween pieces).  For Karate Kid fans out there, you definitely want to pick up the skeleton outfit so you too can look like the Cobra Dojo on Halloween!

Emblem Packs

The upside: they’re pretty cheap (just 80 Cryptic Points for each set).  The downside: they’re emblems.  Who cares?  I mean, who cares enough to actually pay for a whole pack of costume emblems when your character can wear just about one at a time?  Pass.

4 More Character Slots

The rather meager amount of character slots (8) in a standard Champions account has been rubbing the fan base raw since the game launched, especially considering how altitis is practically a way of life for superhero MMOs.  4 more slots is good, but it comes at a whopping 1200 CP cost (1 CP is a little more than a US penny), which makes the rubbing even rawer.  Nice to have, but too pricey.  And what if you only want one or two more slots?  Why just 4?

Full Retcon

Ooh. Danger, Will Robinson, danger!  At 1000 CP, this is neither cheap nor attractive.  Unfortunately, retcons have been a sore issue with the players since day one of the game, even as Cryptic has handed out two full retcons for different issues.  I expect there to be a bit of bellyaching in the forums over this one above all the others.

Character Re-Name

Pretty inexpensive to do, but then again, it’s pretty easy just to reroll a character as well.  I guess it’s a demanded service, but I could never see myself ponying up for one.

2 More Costume Slots

What I like about this is that it doesn’t just add two more costume slots to one character, but to each and every character on your account.  For 400 CP, that’s a pretty good deal, especially if you like making a wide variety of outfits for your hero.

Action Figures

Cryptic’s idea of non-combat pets are pretty lame, in my opinion.  I have a couple ones that I got for free or through events, and I can’t be bothered to bring them out most of the time.  They’re just a little too… I dunno.  Uncompelling.

9 thoughts on “Hangin’ In The C-Store With My Homies

  1. Dickie October 20, 2009 / 12:21 pm

    The Retcon is what screams out to me as bueno no! Everything else I’m ok with. They’re superfluous and not needed to enjoy the game, but forcing player to pull out cash (or grind endlessly to get in game currency enough) a la F2P games is just not OK by me.

  2. j1000 October 20, 2009 / 12:41 pm

    The worst part about the respecs being in the store:

    Now, every patch, Cryptic gets to make the decision “Are these changes big enough to warrant free respecs for everyone affected, or do we want the fat stacks of cash from charging those people for respecs instead?”

  3. Blue Kae October 20, 2009 / 1:02 pm

    I had the same thoughts regarding paid retcons and forum rage when I saw the announcement last night. From what I’ve seen today, the forums have reacted as expected. I think the real test on this will be if/when a major power change happens and Cryptic decided to or not to offer a free retcon. I’m going to stay optimistic and assume that they will, but it will definitely be interesting to see what happens.

  4. Malfi October 20, 2009 / 1:10 pm

    My issue with the stores is the constant need for companies to create their own “currency” to mask the true cost of items. I find it so frustrating to figure out what I’m paying for my new shiny bit. Whether it is crowns in W101, Station Cash in EQ2, XBox points or these new Turbine Points, it all seems silly to me. I much prefer the way the PS3/PSN store has everything in cold hard cash. Makes it much easier to determine whether or not I think the purchase is worth it.

    I know it is an old argument, and there are tons of reasons behind it, but I still find it frustrating every time I come across it.

  5. Starayo October 20, 2009 / 1:31 pm

    I always have my Foxbat miniature out. Makes the lifetime sub worthwhile.

    Foxbat rules.

  6. Ardua October 20, 2009 / 1:43 pm

    And of course everything on the store cannot be earned via in game methods as it does not currently grant people an advantage over other players.

    Id love clarification from Cryptic on the Costume slot one. If I have bought the four extra slots and say out of those 12, I still only have managed to create one hero (I know, as if), do all 12 slots including the as yet unused ones get the extra costumes?

    Or does it only apply to however many people you currently have existing?

  7. Julian October 20, 2009 / 3:22 pm

    Pay real money to correct mistakes which were allowed to happen by the devs’ own character building system.

    One more that goes into the “I think I’ve seen it all” list.

  8. Jason October 20, 2009 / 5:06 pm

    In my best Comic Book Guy voice…


    Jason (resident drunken idiot of Channel Massive)

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