Included this week are the Nano changes documents for both the Engineer and the Soldier professions. We have already made significant changes to these documents based on feedback from your professionals and look forward to feedback from the community at large.
As some of you might have missed, last Friday we announced the addition of a new Item Store as it was posted in a separate thread. A reasonably complete set of the items available will be coming to TestLive at some point today...but will still be unavailable for purchase by general testers due to limitations of the billing systems (we don't want people to spend their real points on TestLive).
As discussed in the thread the focus will be on social and convenience type items. We will not be selling rare loot or equivalent items...you will not be seeing an ACDC and/or equivalent item in the store. That being said under certain circumstances some items we will be selling may potentially contribute to relative player power, as by selling items that "save time" players that purchase some of these items will be more powerful than players who have not yet invested the time to procure the same result. In my previous thread on the subject I stated that "power" was not for sale and I was speaking in terms of finished end-game or twink setups. There will not be any items that will give additional benefit to a character who already has the best possible configuration; these items will not require said players to spend money to remain competitive (like for example "better heal stims"). If my explanation of this in the previous thread caused any confusion I apologize as it was not my intention to deceive anyone on the subject. It is already possible to generate a great deal of this "advantage" through the expenditure of credits in-game and I'm certain we can all admit where some of these credits are coming from...this is a much more secure alternative for everyone.
In addition to 100's of social and fun items I believe that these are probably some of the examples that will generate the most discussion:
Token packs will be available from the shop in different amounts. This is an item that has been long requested by the community as it represents a very significant time investment to most players. The end-game boards themselves will not be available and will still need to be obtained in the normal fashion.
A great many people enjoy PvP, while at the same time a great many people do not. Points will be available in the shop for those who would rather avoid the experience altogether. At the same time Basic OFAB armor pieces (not upgraded) will become Yes-Drop so can be sold by players with large surplus amounts of VP.
Experience Constructs will be available in the shop for those who want to progress quicker and enjoy the game at their own pace. This is another item that has been long requested by the community. The best benefit available from the store will top out at 20% for 4 hours. These will not stack with previously available Anniversary buffs.
This is the overwhelming number one request we have had from the community for years and as such is available in the store. (These are also available for VP, Credits and Loot in other areas of the game and as such their presence in the store is a convenience option.)
Past Social Items and Veteran Items:
Limited time social items from the past will be available in the store as "replica" items. Players who want the look of, for example, the Hockey Mask but were not present at the time of their release will be able to obtain the appearance of these items without actually owning the "real" status icons of the past. Most of these items were available free to veterans present at the time of their release...future players who want these will have to invest points to get them.
Items not available NOW...but planned for in the future:
Time Limited Access (passes) to expansion content for free players.
Level packs (Boost to 50, Boost to 100, Boost to 150, Boost to 199). These items will only be available to accounts that already have a 220 Character as an option for those who want to play another profession at end game but do not have the time or inclination to replay the lower level end of the game another time.
Pre-packaged 'buff' items which can be used for twinking purpopses. These are already available in today's Testlive patch, but will not be going into the shop until we have additional code support for their use requirements. These buffs are designed to be used for twinking purposes only and will consist only of buff nanos you could already receive in-game from other characters (IE: targeted-cast nanos from professions).
The "Old" Phasefront Vendors and the Points already in-game
The "Old" vendors currently in-game will remain in-game and will not be removed. You will still be able to buy previously released vehicles etc from the old shop on any subsequent characters you create with the points you have already transferred in. The points that will be used in the "new" store will come directly from your Account and will not need to be transferred into Anarchy Online to purchase items. This is in part due to us starting to share a new "Funcom Points" currency with the rest of the Funcom games and the intention is for or customers to be able to use their points in any current and future title we have. In getting into the new currency sometime during the next week all the points in your account will be multiplied by 1.2 to get in sync with the new "value" of the points...so don't be alarmed/surprised to see more points in your account.
As I mentioned in the previous "Store" thread the new Store is essentially an in-game browser. Currently it will be locked to only the store pages until we can take care of some stability and security concerns we have but we are looking forward to the many different uses we can put this technology to. I can't wait to offer a poll to the users currently in-game...or to have the customer service functions taking place in this browser...or even to have a giant Alien advisory board in major cities to warn of ongoing events. It is going to be great...but security and stabilizing the browser has to be first.
I'll be popping in to take part in this discussion as it unfolds. As I said before there is likely to be a great deal of opinion on this matter and we look forward to your feedback on the subject.
Have a great weekend everyone!
Kintaii Edit! Links to the Balance Discussion threads for the new nano documents:
Engineer Nano Changes Discussion Thread
Soldier Nano Changes Discussion Thread