The Interesting Thing About Krono and the All Access Pass… November 16, 2012Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EverQuest II, Sony Online Entertainment.
Tags: Krono, PLEX, SOE All Access, Station Access
Krono is a new item from SOE, currently available in EverQuest II. The Krono page describes it as such:
When used, this magical krono adds 30 days membership time to the amount of the consuming character. This krono can be used only once.
- Adds 30 days of game time to the account of the consuming character
- Fully tradable and salable
- No expiration date
- Krono only redeemable in EverQuest II
So Krono is, essentially, the same thing as PLEX in EVE Online.
I need to get a new stock PLEX screen shot. That one is out of date. PLEX is now just an object in game like any other and can be destroyed.
Anyway, Krono is an attempt by SOE to thwart RMT currency sales in EverQuest II by giving players a legitimate way to buy something that can be traded in-game for platinum.
And, on the flip side, if you are a player with lots of plat who wants to save some money on their subscription, you can fund your premium access with your game play.
As in EVE, generally a win-win, so long as the market can support such an item at a reasonable price. In EVE the price of PLEX has been rising over time, hovering around 600 million ISK per these days, double what it was two years ago.
We will see how the EverQuest II broker handles it. My own fear, if I were SOE, would be that of low demand and/or low or erratic price patterns. PLEX works in EVE because everybody has to use the marketplace. The same is not true in EQII. In fact, free players are somewhat restricted in what they can access at the broker. As I pointed out when I asked if WoW could support something like PLEX, market participation is a key factor.
I suppose we shall see how it works out. I applaud SOE for diving right in with this. According to the FAQ, if the response is favorable, Krono will be rolled out to EverQuest and Vanguard as well.
Also like PLEX, Krono are priced to be more expensive than a normal monthly subscription. A standard game pass… what SOE calls a subscription these days… is $14.99 a month, while Krono is $17.99 per 30 day unit of time.
Clearly, nobody is going to simply buy and consume Krono just to keep their subscription going.
Unless you happen to subscribe via the SOE All Access Pass.
There is a long history to the All Access Pass, once known as Station Access, which was introduced just about the time EverQuest II launched. In short though, it is a subscription plan where, for a few dollars more, you can have access to all SOE online games.
Pricing has varied over the years, peaking at $29.99 at one point. But once SOE went all-in on free to play (and shed a few games), the price was dropped significantly. Here is where the pricing stands today.
Nice, but what does that have to do with Krono?
Well, deep inside the Krono FAQ, there is a question about SOE All Access.
13. Do Krono work for game memberships as well as All Access memberships?
Yes. When a Krono is consumed, it will add 30 days of game membership time to the account associated with the character that consumed it. If that account has an existing All Access membership, the All Access membership will be extended by 30 days. If the account has a regular game membership, that membership will be extended by 30 days. If the account has no current membership, then 30 days of regular game membership time will be added to the account.
So using Krono will actually extended your All Access subscription.
And, in certain increments, it is cheaper than. Basically, if you subscribe in increments of less than 6 months, Krono is the cheaper route. At 6 months, they are essentially the same price. Only if you buy your All Access subscription in year long increments is Krono more expensive.
Which makes me wonder if this was a deliberate action to help boost the sale of Krono, or if we are seeing yet another case of SOE not quite thinking things through, as happened with the $1.25 worth of Station Cash buying a 30 day subscription situation.
What do you think about that, or about Krono in general?