Actually, the A/B skill bar system (where you have to pay for the B skill bar) is no recent addition. It's been there since the launch of the game in March 2011. It's also not just "convenience". Some classes pretty much absolutely requires the second skill bar or they can't perform at their max potential. And obviously, in PvP, it's advantageous to have a more versatile skillset.
However, the whole "pay for the second skillbar" thing is only the tip of this pay-to-win iceberg:
-Costumes have pretty hefty potential stats since they have slots. These slots all add up to provide you with around 20% of damage-centric stats (e.g. attack speed, Critical). But to be fair, they do occasionally have events that give free costume pieces (usually weapon, which is up to 6% of that 20%). Of course, the ones from cash shop are better, some of them have set effects.
-Also, there are "rare" costumes that come out of RNG/gachapon/boxes which give greater effects + set effects. These rare costume weapons give 2 slots (so up to 12% extra attack-stats, instead of 6% for regular weapon costumes).
-Always running out of MP? There's the Mana Necklace from the Cash shop that will increase your mana gain rate by 30%!
-Skills not dealing enough damage? You can increase skill levels by using Skill Rings and add skill damage/effects using Skill Notes. Exclusive at the cash shop.
-Want to be a PvE hero? There are pets that help help you in combat (usable in PvE only though). They deal around the damage of a 100MP skill. Also, when you hit a low HP threshold, they will heal you (40% of max HP) and refill your MP bar (around 300MP). The hp heal is extremely powerful, since there is no dedicated healer class in this game. The game does provide you with a free pet in the early levels, but obviously, it's nowhere as good as the cash shop ones.
And then of course, the crowd favorite:
-Come on in and enchant! Test your luck!
The regular max enchant level is +10 (+11 is through special enchanting events)
Enchantments past +6 have a chance to break your weapon (renders it unequippable; requires $7.50 cash shop "scroll" to unbreak it) or reset it back to 0 (prevented only if you use $1.50 cash shop "ore" to enchant EVERY TIME).
You can get +8 through ingame methods, but the +8 amulet is a rare RNG item, and pretty expensive to buy from other players.
+7 is usually where the average player is at.
You have a 1% chance of enchanting +9 to +10, and 30% chance of breaking. Statistically, it would take you about $400 dollars to make that gap alone.
Difference between +7 and +10 is about 50% more damage.
They will occasionally give out ores OR scrolls (rarely both) during events, that expire after the event is over. Of course, that's to entice you to buy the other to spam "free" enchants.
And inb4 "you can buy everything with ingame currency": economy is so borked up. Unless you live to merchant and/or get lucky with drops, you'd be mindlessly farming at about $1-2's worth of gold per hour.
As for me, I was enjoying the game until a few months back, until I realized the choice to progression was either "farm these boring dungeons for 10 hours" or "drop the $10 from one hour of minimum wage".
Any f2p MMORPG with business sense will strive to make you choose the 2nd option.
Last edited by monkeystory; 12-14-2013 at 02:46 AM.
Don't get me wrong, Elsword's not a bad game if you just want to sit down and combo on some monsters. It's actually very fun and addicting in the beginning.
Unfortunately, its payment model falls into the same trap as most other f2p mmorpgs. That said, Elsword's p2w implementation can be called somewhat tame compared to others of its ilk (Perfect World's $Thousands$ for endgame gear anyone?)
Thanks for summarizing their cash shop I always knew the game was p2w but not that bad.. but still the game is popular so they are doing something right ;o
Besides, the average player probably just want to get their fix of side-scrolling dungeoning or pvping.
These cash shop advantages only really matter if you "tryhard".
To be somewhat competitive in pve and pvp, you just need:
$8 for the mana necklace,
$9 for the 2nd skill bar
$7 for a skill ring
$1.50 each for your class' skill notes (around 2 or 3)
$20 for a costume set
Optional but helpful
$6 for the pet of your choice (add $5 for auto pickup)
Comes up to ~$50, which is not too much if you spend it over a couple of months (averages to about the price of a subscription). And you're set for that character's life, assuming that you don't really care about changing your fashion, min-maxing or enchanting your weapon. Though if you want to make another character, you'd have to shell over another $50 to start the "basic" foundation...
Also, I guess the art-style just clicks for some people (myself included).
Last edited by monkeystory; 12-14-2013 at 04:45 AM.
I hope this doesn't only mean 1 class
It only means one class yes. No dark foxy for you yet.
Here's my look at her launch state. Unfortunately Kill3rCombo has me censor a few pieces I was shown but still a good read.
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Cash items give pretty distinct advantages but due to the combo-heavy nature of both games having strong mechanics will overcome most issues.
Your opponent can have as many crazy stat bonuses as he wants, if he cant hit you or hold an effective combo then his hard earned money has just been pissed down the drain.
Both games do a fairly decent job of giving free players love with events that provide gear, etc. as well.
yup. Ara arrives tomorrow with Little Hsien~ can't wait.
(too bad I have my last final tomorrow...guess I'll play once I come back home - hoping my name isn't taken by then )
"When it comes to the past, EVERYONE writes fiction." -Stephen King