The business model of Albion Online gets asked often in the official community. Today, we will discuss about the hot topic.
Truth be told, Albion Online’s business model is buy to play not pay to win. Albion Online’s business model is inspired by Eve Online’s Plex system, which has been working well for years and is generally not considered to be pay-to-win.
Buy To Play
- There is a premium status that can be bought for in-game currency, silver.
- The premium status allows players to progress faster. It does not give any benefits to combat power.
- There is a premium currency, gold, that can be used to buy vanity-only items or as an alternative to buy the premium status.
Player Driven Gold/Silver Market
- Players can trade gold with each other in return for silver.
- There is no direct way to convert gold to silver apart from player to player trading.
- The gold/silver exchange rate depends purely on the player driven market. In particular, if too much gold is bought by players, the in-game value of gold will drop.
- Items in Albion Online are player crafted or dropped by mobs.
- There are no “cash shop” items with the exception of vanity items.
- If you kill somebody in full PvP zones, you can loot their items.
- The gear power curve is very flat, and the risk/reward ratio becomes worse for using higher end gear, as it is very hard to replace when lost. This significantly reduces the power gap between normal and harcore players.
How It Works
The cost of silver to purchase premium time is directly proportional to the going rate of gold. You are, in essence, buying gold and immediately spending it on Premium game time. As the cost of gold rises, so too does the cost of premium in silver. As the cost of gold declines, so too does the cost of premium in silver. What stays static is that gold is always spent at the same rate to get premium time.
This silver costs rises and falls with the going rate of gold on the gold exchange. As people spend gold for premium time, the amount of gold for trading diminishes and it becomes rarer and more valuable on the exchange. When people purchase gold with real money, they can then put gold back into the gold exchange, making more in-game money due to the high costs. As more people do this, prices tend to go down in turn, until the process fluctuates again or levels out.
It’s difficult to expalin whether Albion Online is pay to win while different people use different definitions of the term pay to win.
Not Pay To Win
- There are no cash shop items apart from vanity.
- The premium status can be bought with in-game currency.
- The premium status is akin to soft subscription that you are essentially expected to have if you want to play the game regularly. The main difference to classical subscription games is that you can still play even if you are not subscribed, and use that to get enough silver to get back your premium subscription.
- The gold/silver market is purely player to player, there is no direct way to convert gold into silver, and even if you could, most items that you could buy with it would be fully player made.
- If you buy gear from other players, the fact that the gear power curve is flat and that gear can be looted when you die in full PvP zones means that if you are not careful, other players might see you as a walking loot bag as opposed to a feared enemy.
The biggest thing to neutralize this from being a truly pay-to-win game is the fact that it is full loot. If someone wants to drop hundreds of $ to buy top gear, they risk losing it when they die and get looted.