This is how I recommend the game store be changed, with explanations as to why.
Information for pricing was taken from Koromac’s compilation of requirements: [http://forum.star-conflict.com/index.php?/topic/29823-economy-required-resources-for-all-secret-project-ships-and-destroyers/](< base_url >/index.php?/topic/29823-economy-required-resources-for-all-secret-project-ships-and-destroyers/)
Monocrystals: Monocrystals should be available for purchase individually for 30GS, Bulk packs of 50, 100 or 500 Monocrystals should be available, costing 1,250GS, 2,500GS and 12,500GS respectively.
Neodium: Neodium ore should be priced at 10GS each.
Beryllium: Beryllium ore should be priced at 20GS each.
Premium Ship Parts: Ship Parts for the Archelon, Stingray and Brokk should be priced at 30GS each. Bulk packs of 50, 100 and 200 should be available, costing 1,250GS, 2,500GS and 5,000GS respectively.
Now for the why the materials are priced as they are:
Secret Projects: Secret Project ships average at around 450 Monocrystals each. Assuming bulk purchasing, this gives them a price of 13,750GS, which is higher than standard T5 Premiums. This is justified given their enhanced customisation.
Destroyers: This pricing puts the Rare Ore and Mono costs for Destroyers at 8,800 GS for a Rank 8, assuming the player takes advantage of bulk buy discounts (based on a requirement of 220 Monos and 320 Neodium Ore). For a R11 destroyer (260 Mono 200 Neo 320 Beryl) this gives us a cost of 12,450GS. These prices put the T3 Destroyers slightly above T4 Premiums, and T4 Destroyers above T5 premiums - justifiable given their power.
Premium Ships: This pricing, assuming bulk purchases are used, puts the ships at 5K, 10K and 15K GS respectively - slightly higher than their standard Premium equivalents, but justified due to their specialist natures.
So why take this approach? Because this is a pricing model that fits everyone. Rather than being forced to pay for junk they didn’t want, this approach lets players make informed purchases and obtain exactly what they need. Single item purchases are available for players who just want a little help finishing a project, and bulk purchases speed up acquisition for those who want to go from scratch.
Fixed prices and guaranteed acquisition makes future purchases easier to plan, and lets players budget effectively.
Ship costs map nicely to available GS bundles, especially the Premium Ships - all three of which can be obtained with two 15K bundles!
Most importantly, this model is a genuine micro transaction model. 10 GS is the equivalent of approximately 3 pence - a trivially small amount of money! The fact that such small amounts of money can be used to purchase in game goods makes the marketplace seem less threatening and demanding. Players can see clearly that they have the option to only invest small amounts of money at a time, which in turn makes them more comfortable with moving up to larger purchases.
The buy-what-you-need model is also more appealing to players who would normally obtain the content in a free to play fashion. Whereas the random nature of the loot chests can leave them feel cheated, and thus alienate them from future purchases, the fixed price, fixed reward nature of this model enables them to experiment with in-game spending without any negative repercussions. This in turn may lead to them spending more regularly in the future.
Supporting Change - Rare Item drop rates:
To support this change, I would suggest the following change is made to the drop mechanics for Premium ship parts, neodium and beryllium - hereafter referred to as “rare drops”.
Rare Drops should be, as the name suggests, rare - perhaps as low as 2 or 3% chance.
However, the drop rate for Rare Drops should initially be set much higher - 20% or even 25%. This rate should remain until a player obtains five or more Rare Drops, at which point it reverts to the default. It will then remain at default until the next day’s login, where it will reset to the artificially high rate.
Why do this? Because this establishes a reasonable timeframe to obtain the ships in question without relying on spending money. For the Premium ships, for example, this model allows a typical player, earning 5 parts per day, to acquire the Archelon in 40 days, the Stingray in 80 days, and the Brokk in 120 days. This makes the free to play approach reasonable, if time consuming, while also increasing the appeal of using the store.
How? Because players who don’t feel pressured into spending will not resent the paying option. If a player feels that the free route is viable, and that the paying route is simply there if they would rather invest their time elsewhere, this positive reception will encourage them to spend more. By contrast, an overly harsh drop rate will make them resent the pay route, and convince them it is nothing more than a pay-to-win scam intent on forcing money out of them.
I hope this suggestion will be taken seriously and passed on to the appropriate people involved.