Recently Luke Smith of Bungie and"Throw your money at the screen" fame wrote a lengthy blog post detailing the changes coming to the Eververse store this fall. The big things of note are:
- All of the cosmetic armor pieces from the real money store, from launch into the future, are becoming ornaments to be applicable to any legendary armor. This removes the issue of the seasonal Eververse armor pieces could have shit rolls and if, for some reason, you really wanted that piece with a usable roll, bust out the wallet.
- Rebuying Eververse shaders from the collections will no longer cost bright dust (The pseudo "Play to Pay" version of the RL-money-only Silver)
- Bright dust itself will be earned solely from gameplay, and no longer acquired from dismantling unwanted items that were purchased with Silver or earned from bright engrams
I won't lie - this all sounds really, really good. Too good, to be honest. Hot on the heels of the announcement that Destiny 2 will go to a quasi-free-to-play model, these big changes to the microtransaction store reveal more of how Bungie plans to monetize their world without the backing of a publisher. And as an avid microtransaction hater myself, I can't help but look between the lines to see how this will negatively impact the players who aren't as liberal with their wallets on things like this.
Obviously after players buy their one-time purchases of seasons or big expansions, Bungie will want to direct as much interest as they possibly can into the Eververse store. At a base level I'm expecting an influx in armor and weapon ornaments, and emotes, I guess.
The conspiracy theory part of my brain is screaming that the rate at which bright engrams will be earned through gameplay will be cut down to even lower than it already is. I'm also worried about an increase of content designed explicitly for Silver only, and not able to be obtained through bright engrams.
While I've never agreed with the "It'S jUsT cOsMeTiCs" argument about microtransactions, I'd make the case that a shift towards what I've theorized hurts everyone overall. A studio only has so many designers with so many resources and so much time. And it's a simple fact that the more time and resources are sunk into cool armor and ornaments behind the paywall, the less can be spent making new equipment that's earned through actual gameplay. You know, gameplay, the reason we're all here. I'm not saying that people shouldn't support studios through microtransactions, But I am saying that I really wish they wouldn't. We're all playing the same game here, and if studios didn't have all of their coolest stuff behind a paywall, we'd be able to earn it through gameplay rather than have it be restricted to the true fans (with disposable means)
As per usual, I'm only theorizing here and I hope I'm wrong. But at the end of the day, Bungo gonna Bungo so we'll wait and see.