ANNOUNCEMENT Arx FAQ

Oh, heaven forbid FD give us a route that allows us to get stuff for free but might require a little elementary maths to calcuate the cash value of things.
That's a false equivalency. It's good that Frontier is giving ARXs for playtime (farming ARXs here I come), but that has no bearing on whether it's better to be told what something costs, rather than having to work it out. Two separate issues.

Surely even idiots can see that? ;)
 
Arx FAQ

How do I get Arx?
Arx can be earned by simply playing the game! We won't ask commanders to change how they play, simply being an active player and engaging with the game is all that's required. Additionally, players are also able to purchase packages of Arx through the platforms' respective stores (Frontier Store, Steam, PlayStation Store and Xbox Marketplace).

What can I spend Arx on?
As mentioned above, Arx can be spent on Game Extras such as Paint Jobs, Ship Kits, Bobbleheads and more!

Can I gift Arx, or Game Extras purchased with Arx, to another player?
At this time, it will not be possible to gift Arx or Game Extras (purchased with Arx) to other players.

Will Arx replace Frontier Points?
Yes, Arx will replace Frontier Points and players who have any outstanding balance of Frontier Points will have them converted into Arx appropriately.

Can I spend ARX on in-game items, such as commodities and materials?
No, Arx are only spent on Game Extras (such as Paint Jobs, Ship Kits, Bobbleheads and more!).


We will release more information on how you can obtain Arx in-game closer to the release of the September Update.

Well, MY worries start with the "earning" of these ARX, a direct representation of real world CASH! Has the team not researched the problems of "gold farming" and the harm they did in poorer communities, when online gaming first appeared? Do some research before FDev disappear down THAT rabbit hole! FDev already have problems with hackers and "bots", and these are the favoured tools of "gold farmers"! The financial gains of these "sweat shops" (often using child labourers!) have been known to fund criminal organisations across Asia and Africa! Some reasureance that this is IMPOSSIBLE would be needed BEFORE IMPLEMENATION of such a feature!
 
Well, MY worries start with the "earning" of these ARX, a direct representation of real world CASH! Has the team not researched the problems of "gold farming" and the harm they did in poorer communities, when online gaming first appeared? Do some research before FDev disappear down THAT rabbit hole! FDev already have problems with hackers and "bots", and these are the favoured tools of "gold farmers"! The financial gains of these "sweat shops" (often using child labourers!) have been known to fund criminal organisations across Asia and Africa! Some reasureance that this is IMPOSSIBLE would be needed BEFORE IMPLEMENATION of such a feature!
As you can't gift ARX to other people (pretty sure they have said that) I can't see how gold farming would work in this respect. And the fact that ARX can only buy cosmetics, I really can't see the issue. Also why buy from an ARX farmer when you can buy ARX on the FDev store.
 
Oh, heaven forbid FD give us a route that allows us to get stuff for free but might require a little elementary maths to calcuate the cash value of things.

Did Idiocracy already happen?
This stuff isn't implemented for our benefit. Like I've said further up, it might make it easier and more convenient for us to access the cosmetic items store - but that's to FDev's advantage because it makes it easier and more convenient for us to access the cosmetic items store. That means we're going to spend more money.

And in the end, yes, it's easy to say this is a mutually beneficial arrangement and players can simply choose not to make purchases - like I said I've always felt FDev were much less aggressive than many games companies in terms of monetisation, and I appreciate that. But a step like this still warrants caution. It's still a move towards strategies that are widely used in the industry in a much more openly exploitative way.

Putting items in front of players, offering sweeteners in the form of a slow trickle of free currency units, time-limited exclusive items to provoke fear of missing out... These are the ways in which less ethical companies play on players' hangups and vulnerabilities. And that might not apply to you - but it doesn't need to apply to all of us. Most people will have the right change for the parking machine. But enough people won't that it'll make no-change-given/overpayment-accepted a profitable enough setup.

And again, I'm not saying frontier are doing this with this in mind. But changes like this need to be viewed in light of the fact that where microtransactions are concerned, making them easier for us makes them more profitable for FDev.
 
This stuff isn't implemented for our benefit. Like I've said further up, it might make it easier and more convenient for us to access the cosmetic items store - but that's to FDev's advantage because it makes it easier and more convenient for us to access the cosmetic items store. That means we're going to spend more money.

And in the end, yes, it's easy to say this is a mutually beneficial arrangement and players can simply choose not to make purchases - like I said I've always felt FDev were much less aggressive than many games companies in terms of monetisation, and I appreciate that. But a step like this still warrants caution. It's still a move towards strategies that are widely used in the industry in a much more openly exploitative way.

Putting items in front of players, offering sweeteners in the form of a slow trickle of free currency units, time-limited exclusive items to provoke fear of missing out... These are the ways in which less ethical companies play on players' hangups and vulnerabilities. And that might not apply to you - but it doesn't need to apply to all of us. Most people will have the right change for the parking machine. But enough people won't that it'll make no-change-given/overpayment-accepted a profitable enough setup.

And again, I'm not saying frontier are doing this with this in mind. But changes like this need to be viewed in light of the fact that where microtransactions are concerned, making them easier for us makes them more profitable for FDev.
It's completely optional. And mtx store was always there, iirc. Nothing much is changing. You may unlock the odd cosmetic in-game in the future.
 
It's completely optional. And mtx store was always there, iirc. Nothing much is changing. You may unlock the odd cosmetic in-game in the future.
Oh, yeah. I agree it's optional. And for most of us that's all there is to it. We'll use it when we want something, spend as much as we're willing to spend and just get on with stuff.

And like I said, I get the impression Frontier is generally pretty fair with their players.

But my point is we should always look at the profit motive behind everything a company does. The games industry as a whole shows what lengths firms will go to, and what tactics they'll use, to manipulate people into spending money - including some people for whom this stuff isn't as optional as it might be for the rest of us.

If you haven't already seen it I'd strongly recommend watching Jim Sterling's video on where these mechanics can - emphasis can - end up in terms of manipulation and maximising profit at the players' expense, and the harm they can do for the specific subset of players that are primarily targeted (that may not be you or me).

Again, FDev may be a long way from this - but it's worth keeping these things in mind when we're assessing any development in the long-term monetisation of a game.

Source: https://youtu.be/7S-DGTBZU14
 
Oh, yeah. I agree it's optional. And for most of us that's all there is to it. We'll use it when we want something, spend as much as we're willing to spend and just get on with stuff.

And like I said, I get the impression Frontier is generally pretty fair with their players.

But my point is we should always look at the profit motive behind everything a company does. The games industry as a whole shows what lengths firms will go to, and what tactics they'll use, to manipulate people into spending money - including some people for whom this stuff isn't as optional as it might be for the rest of us.

If you haven't already seen it I'd strongly recommend watching Jim Sterling's video on where these mechanics can - emphasis can - end up in terms of manipulation and maximising profit at the players' expense, and the harm they can do for the specific subset of players that are primarily targeted (that may not be you or me).

Again, FDev may be a long way from this - but it's worth keeping these things in mind when we're assessing any development in the long-term monetisation of a game.

Source: https://youtu.be/7S-DGTBZU14
Ye, I know Sterling. I recently heard what they pull off in CoD - they sell lootboxes with lootboxes in them, lol. It's becoming quite ridiculous.
 
Personally I'm in favour of games that give you a trickle of their premium currency and give you the chance to buy the premium currency for real cash. I get a lot of free games/features and all it takes is a bit of patience.
All things being equal I would agree with you. I've enjoyed a couple of FTP Star Trek games on mobile where I haven't felt pressured into purchasing any more content than that achieved by a combination of gameplay and patience. I've also played a couple of FTP games where I've caved in and bought a pack of thingium to act as a sort of booster to get me going, and have enjoyed subsequent free play. I've also come across games where that initial booster serves only to get you to the next choke point, where the pressure to buy another pack becomes that little bit stronger. As a cynical, tight-fisted old duffer this is the point at which I abandon such products (if I ever bothered in the first place; reviews are often enough to tell me which way the wind blows in terms of funding models).

Clearly ED isn't going to go down that route wholesale because it's not that sort of game and progress isn't measured in anything that can be bought in the store. But cosmetics are a really important revenue stream for FD and their partners, and you can bet your bottom arx they'll be doing whatever they can to maximise that stream.

Until we can put values on the "trickle" of premium currency and the real cash conversion rate, any numbers are just speculation. But the principle applies, and so far FD have been very cagey when it comes to giving out that sort of information (although to be fair, they may not have decided themselves yet). What we do know is that what facts they have verified -- such as removing the ability to pay with real cash, only selling arx in packs and not being able to gift arx -- seems to be straight out of the freemium playbook.

So, you have a bit left over. Then that goes towards the next purchase, perhaps you will make up the difference through in-game ARX.
Perhaps. Or perhaps the accrual rate of arx will be capped at such a level that it's taking just that little bit too long, and maybe you should just pay for the next block of arx, because after all you do have some left over from last time, and you got the thing you really wanted last time so it's almost like free money at this point. And yes, you'll have to buy a whole pack of arx because even the smallest pack won't quite make it up to the level you need, but the pack above that is better value for money and then when you have the thing you want now you'll have twice as many "spare" arx in case you ever want anything else. Which you know you probably won't, because you'll be more than happy with the thing you want now, right...?

You see how this works?

Not with everybody of course, and I suspect the combination of intelligence, education and... how can I put this diplomatically... "life experience" in evidence on these forums may skew our demographic towards those less likely to be manipulated into parting with more money than they intended to. But in aggregate these techniques do work and they work really well. There's a reason so many companies adopt this model, if not wholesale then at least in part.

Isn't all this just a storm in a teacup.
I'll let you know when I see how much water the teacup holds. ;)

At the end of the day things will be cheaper as long as you play the game.
Things may be cheaper the longer you play, but how many things will you buy over a given time frame compared with how many you would have bought using the old cash store? Only you can answer that (speculatively for now, more solidly once the system has been in place for a while) and only for yourself.

I see that someone has already pointed you to the FD post stating that direct cash purchases are being knocked on the head. You might want to think about why FD would make that decision. If players could get stuff cheaper by playing the game for arx, or get it immediately by paying more for it in real-world cash, why would FD want to remove the latter option? Surely it would be more profitable to allow players the option to occasionally pay "full price" for something they really desired? Unless of course it's more nuanced than that...

That's entirely up to you. I'm not going to buy stuff that i don't want.
Me too, mostly. I don't have the level of confidence to state with absolute certainty that I'll never cave to the desire to have something right now. Drop the right ship kit at the right time and I might have to bite the bullet and stock up on arx, including the extra ones that will sit in the arxhole taunting me. But you and I are clearly edge cases to varying degrees, and these systems aren't designed with the edge cases in mind. They're designed for all the low sigmas in the middle of the distribution, where they are provably effective.
 
I suspect the combination of intelligence, education and... how can I put this diplomatically... "life experience" in evidence on these forums may skew our demographic
...not to mention innate tendency to be suspicious of everything everyone does at all times and never attribute to generosity or goodwill anything that could plausibly be explained by an ulterior malicious motive.

Although I concede that might just be my terrible personality. 😬
 
If Online time gathers Arx then I guess we will see a lot of afkers.
Good for the player count at board meetings but bad for the game and environment.
 
If Online time gathers Arx then I guess we will see a lot of afkers.
Good for the player count at board meetings but bad for the game and environment.
As a permanent Solo player I'm not sure it'd affect my environment all that much. And if they're AFK they're not interdicting anyone or messing with the BGS, so I'm not sure how they'd negatively impact Open/PG either. I guess unless they all stay docked and clog up all the pads, but there's lot of other places to sit AFK than stations. :unsure:
 
So, you have a bit left over. Then that goes towards the next purchase, perhaps you will make up the difference through in-game ARX.

The only way i can see this being a problem is if you make one purchase only and never again make another purchase. I think that is pretty much edge case.

I mean, you can almost guarantee there won't be such granularity you can always purchase exact amount. The only way FD could do that would be to offer packs of 1 ARX for sale so you could make exact amount purchases.

So they will offer (for example) 500 for $5, 1200 for $10, 2600 for $20, and you buy whichever you want, keeping in mind you get better value for money with the higher packs and consider your budget and your expectations for purchases in the future.

If you need 600 ARX you might get the 500 pack and earn 100 in game, or just buy the 1200 pack and have the remainder left over for your next purchase.

In Fortnite i can make their currency, vBucks in a number of ways. Obviously by purchasing packs of vbucks with increasing value the more you spend. Through Battle Royale by gaining levels (with battle pass only, cost vbucks), or through Save the World missions with vBucks, daily quests, and occasionally other quests.

Plenty of routes to get the currency without spending any real cash.

Isn't all this just a storm in a teacup. At the end of the day things will be cheaper as long as you play the game. It will be easy to evaluate the cost of paintjobs or whatever using the base package currency as a baseline and in-game activities lower the cost.

Example:

Asp Explorer ship kit currently in store for $10.

ARX price is 1000

Cheapest pack of ARX is 600 for $6

So you spend $12 on 1200 ARX

You spend 1000 ARX on the ship kit.

You now have 200 ARX left over worth $2 for your next purchase.

Equivalent cost of ship kit is $10.

How do you know if FD are creeping up the price? By watching the price for ARX and the cost of cosmetics in ARX. If they go up, then you know things are getting more expensive in real money.

Also, maybe this has been answered and i didn't see it, but i don't see anything saying that the Frontier Store would do away with making direct purchases for cash or that they would no longer display the cash value of cosmetics. They said that it would replace the Frontier Points system on consoles. So, if this is the case, then people will still be free to make direct purchases using cash, presumably though no mixing/combining ARX and cash payments.

If they did mention this, please provide the relevant quote.
My hope is that FDev would not go into fixed amounts of ARX, but go for custom amount. It is easy enough to do.

ie. if you have 100ARX and doodad what you want to buy costs 1000ARX so you only need to buy 900ARX, so it is your choice if you how many ARX you want to buy.

As for discounts if you buy more.. easy enough to integrate them too in the store item, it just needed to communicated clearly.

As for selling ARX in packages... I feel that is slighty predatory practice. There are many worse practises that game companies do, but somehow it does not feel that honest to sell premium currency in packages.
 
My hope is that FDev would not go into fixed amounts of ARX, but go for custom amount. It is easy enough to do.

ie. if you have 100ARX and doodad what you want to buy costs 1000ARX so you only need to buy 900ARX, so it is your choice if you how many ARX you want to buy.

As for discounts if you buy more.. easy enough to integrate them too in the store item, it just needed to communicated clearly.

As for selling ARX in packages... I feel that is slighty predatory practice. There are many worse practises that game companies do, but somehow it does not feel that honest to sell premium currency in packages.
They have already said that it is packs only and we can save up any extra ARX for future purchases.
 
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