No Pay-to-Win Policy
IDA Games is committed to keeping Outscape about skill, we are also committed to never becoming pay-to-win. This means that players will never be able to trade real-world money for direct in-game advantages. If a player wins, it should be very clear that it was down to the winning player's talent without question of how much they paid to achieve that goal.
Developer Running Costs
Compared to other MMO games, Outscape is many times more expensive to run for its developers (IDA Games). The reason is that unlike traditional MMOs every player in BD has multiple units, and again unlike traditional MMOs all player units keep operating whilst the player is offline - following orders, defending space, scanning for enemies, delivering supplies, etc. Computationally it's like every player is online 100% of the time, not only that but in Outscape each player doesn't control just one 'character' like traditional MMOs, instead players average 100's units. This means the cost of the server-side infrastructure is several thousand times that of traditional MMO games. But this is what allows us to make Outscape unique. IDA Games are proud to be the first to deliver such a new experience, we are fundamentally built on a passion for fun not profit.
No Pay-to-Win Model
In order to be able to continuously enhance Outscape and afford all of the ongoing compute time required to host the Outscape universe, IDA Games needs a source of funding. Below we outline how we intend to fund the game without becoming pay-to-win.
Things which can be Purchased with Dark Orbs
Dark Orbs can be purchased with real-world currency. They can be spent on the below items but nothing else:
- Owning the game - Buying the game is a one-time cost to the player. The purchase comes with three Game Slots all with 12 months of access.
- Creating a private game - Allows players to customise gameplay parameters and have their own privately hosted universe of any size and shape. The player can control who can join their universe.
- Joining multiple games - The purchase of BD give players three public Game Slots allowing them to join up to three simultaneous games. Players can extend this limit and open additional game slots by spending Dark Orbs, this helps to pay for the additional server-side compute time the developers need to support the Players extra games. Another reason for this decision is that the universe would become a boring place if it was full of abandoned civilizations with not much going on - we don't want players to abandon at the first sign of trouble, or because they didn't like their start-position, and simply open up a new game slot and start again. Because galaxies are persistent it is important that they remain fun.
- Skins & customizations - Items such as skins for ships, which do not affect performance can be purchased with orbs. Once you own the skin you can place it upon as many ships in as many games as you want.
- Continuing from game-over - The BD community have expressed the desire to be able to transfer some technology and units to a new game if they get wiped-out. We agree but we also want to place limits on this. The community requested a Seed Ship, which can re-settle elsewhere in the same galaxy after a game-over event. Using the basic Seed Ship won't require use of orbs, however depending upon what the player wants to transfer over they may need to spend orbs - of course there will still be limits on what can be transferred. Part of the reason for the cost is to stop players losing on-purpose e.g. because the don't like their starting position.
- Expansion packs - It's not confirmed we will do this yet. Expansion packs will fundamentally change gameplay, so new universes will be created with exclusive access for those players who buy the expansion - they will also get additional free Game Slots with the expansion.
- Season Pass (unlikely) - It seems unlikely at this stage we will offer a season pass because we want to continually enhance the core game without making the player pay every time.
We don't imagine charging for anything else at this stage. In other games, players can use currency e.g. to rush production. In BD whilst production can be rushed in some circumstances, there is no way to use real-world currency for this. You must tax you colonists to earn money for this sort of thing. We will always be committed to that.
There is an in-game currency called CryptaCoins and these can only be earned in-game. This is the currency used in gameplay. It is not possible for players to use Dark Orbs for in-game advantages. It is also not possible to convert between orbs and CryptaCoins.