Wednesday, 18 January 2012

What is a Virtual Goods Store?

A point of contention with some EVE players is the difference between items that are spawned into the game by players spending time in the game, versus items that are spawned into the game by players spending money at the game. Virtual Goods Stores are the avenue through which items are spawned into the game by spending real money, or a real money equivalent.

At present in EVE there are two virtual goods stores: the first is the redeeming system which allows in-game items to be spawned through spending real money. Such items include PLEX, Cerebral Accelerators (spawned when subscribing a new account), unique ships, etc. The second is the Noble Exchange which allows the creation of items by spending a real money equivalent (i.e.: Aurum).

One of the recurring themes in the EVE Forums discussion of the Noble Exchange is that "the micro transactions aren't very micro". That's because it's not an MT store, the Noble Exchange is a virtual goods store. You get to buy ridiculously expensive items for your avatar, to show just how immeasurably space-rich you are.

It's a simple enough idea, but there are far too many EVE players who have a sense of entitlement: "This item is available, therefore I must be able to afford it." They'll happily spend real money on PLEX to buy themselves a titan that they don't know how to fly, but if they have to spend the same money on a luxury virtual item, that's suddenly evil and game breaking.

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