The overall setup of the game is a bit awkward. Charging for Vanity is acceptable, as is charging for convenience. IE: boosts, stickers, color pallets, ship slots, etc.
Pretty much everything we buy is instant. A good way to get people to burn standards is to introduce some waiting. buy a new ship? ok, you just commissioned it to be built. you don’t’ get it instantly, you have to wait for engineering to finish building it. The same could be done of weapons. if you want things for free, you’ll have to be patient. or you can support us and pay for it.
Things like this are acceptable, and almost expected. heck, throw in some ‘crafting materials’ that are required from specific game modes to add additional time cost, and add an option to buy ships outright with standards. Charing players to start a guild/corp is also understandable. convenience fees like this are very acceptable and understandable by almost everyone.
Things that will turn off players and alienate the player base in terms of P2W and F2P is that currently you can buy more powerful weapons and ships with standards. This is a hugely negative experience in almost any game. With the exception of exclusive content (Steam DLC, Seasonal items, or founders items as an example) and vanity options, all content should be accessible for free. it might take a long time to gt it for free, but it should be obtainable for free. Seasonal items act as a reward for loyalty. As do DLC/Founders items. Giving these players a little extra power is acceptable, provided it’s not too over the top.
Charging for more powerful weapons and ships will only hurt the game in the long run. it will force it into a niche market spot. if the developers want the game to be more than that, you cant’ restrict power or basic services (such as playing with friends) with pay options.
Almost no-one will invest in the game immediately. most people will try the game out, for like say a week, and then decide ‘this is worth my investment of time. I can put some cash down.’ if you can hook a group of 3 or 4 people, that’s better. but if a group of 3 or 4 friends hops in, and sees they are forced to pay to play with eachother, they will move on and find a game that will actually let them try the game before they make the investment. Essentially the game is a lost cause because it outright refuses to facilitate and support its own players.
Furthermore, The competitive nature of the game is lost. If you pay money, you will always have an advantage. While you might argue that IRL competitive sports you can buy better equipment, this is different. as gamers are equipment is our setup that runs the game. Our mouse, keyboard, etc. we’ve already made these purchases. Buying power within the game is similar to buying off the ref/umpire or taking steroids. all of which is highly illegal in the competitive world. As competitive gaming and e-sports has evolved, you can see that these kinds of features are not implemented. There’s a reason for this. Adding these kinds of features dooms the game to a niche market. no matter how good it is, it will never be able to break out of that niche.
Now, I understand perfectly that Gaijin Entertainment is not a large development company. It’s not like Riot games or other companies that have investers and what not. it’s essentially an indy game. However this is not an excuse for poor player support and poor business modeling. if anything, it means you need to be smarter and more dedicated to attract players away from the larger studios. Much like real-life, you can’t rely on hardwork alone. your reputation and word-of-mouth will bring you more success on average than just being good at what you do.
There is one major pattern in the successful F2P cash market games. The game supports the players. Understanding this, the players will want to support the game.
The model of selling power and basic services in cash shops is Archaic. it worked several years ago, but the market has evolved too much for this to be feasible outside of a niche market. This removes both the casual and competitive nature of the game, and therefore reduces the playerbase. Right now when I look at the pay options, it’s for powerful items and what should be basic services. so the game is Pay to Win. These games have not been successful outside of niche market positions for a long time.