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What The Hell Do You Spend Your Station Cash On? January 18, 2013

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Sony Online Entertainment, Vanguard SOH.
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As mentioned previously, in writing about eight years of EverQuest II last week, I got all nostalgic for the game and went back and played for a bit.  Such is the power of the blog.

And in going back I did go visit some places, added about 10 levels to a character, and generally did the tour.

And then the tour petered out, as these nostalgia ventures usually do, I unsubscribed and went off to other things.

But when not subscribed, SOE sends me a monthly Station Cash account balance message via email.  I am not sure why they don’t do this when I am subscribed.  Maybe they want me to stay subscribed and are afraid that bringing attention to themselves will remind me to unsubscribe?

Anyway, the last one I got said I had more that 9,000 Station Cash on my account.

Some of this was left over from a triple value event back when EverQuest II Extended was fresh and young, along with the 500 SC you get every month when you have Station Access, which I tend to subscribe to when playing SOE games.  (And then Station Access became SOE All Access, because if marketing can’t change the names of things every so often, they might as well just go home I guess.)

500 SC a month doesn’t seem like much, but it adds up when you never spend it.

And no matter how I got it, it seems like a lot of Station Cash to have hanging around.  Theoretically, that has a cash value of $90, though my actual out of pocket investment is probably $20 at the most.  Having that big of an asset sitting around seems wasteful, so I started to poke around in the to see if there was anything worth buying.

Well, you cannot buy expansions with Station Cash any more.

And you cannot buy a subscription with Station Cash.

You cannot buy any of those shiny Krono.

And you certainly cannot simply buy the in-game currency.  Not that I expected to be able to do so, but looking at my actual in-game currency balance, I might have gone that route had it been an option.

You cannot buy armor, or weapons, or crafting materials, all of which you could buy during the EverQuest II Extended experiment, when Smed was calling them “convenience” items.  I imagine a Wand of Obliteration would be very convenient to have around now and then.

One shot, one kill, no longer available

You can buy account services, but I think I have done my fill of transfers, renames, and the like.  And I have too many characters already, so I do not need any more character slots or race or class unlocks.

I might be tempted by experience boosting potions if I did not already have a giant stack of those sitting around on every character from veteran rewards.  And if I ever used them.  I don’t like the “timer” aspect of them, as they make me feel like I need to save them until I am going to be in an hour of constant combat or crafting… which is almost never.  I much prefer the way Turbine does some of there boosts, where it matches you gained exp for a given amount of exp over however much time it takes you to earn it.

Which sort of leaves cosmetic aspect of the game.  That includes cosmetic gear.

And I did buy a rabbit hat once.

Who you calling, "fuzzy?"

Who you calling, “fuzzy?”

But so far that is the only cosmetic appearance item that has appealed to me.

There is housing.   And while SOE has some stunning housing options, my housing needs are pretty simple.  I did buy that first player created housing item, the chest, just to support the person who made it.  And it looks good.  But it doesn’t do anything and it doesn’t have any particular meaning to me, so I doubt I will go down that path again.

And then there are mounts.

The setup to a "frog in a blender" joke

~sigh~

Let’s just skip over mounts before I start ranting on the many variations of ugly that SOE seems to have discovered.

Which leaves me with… what?

Well, there are bags.  I did buy one of those.  And I unlocked all the bag slots on Sigwerd so I could play him when not subscribed.  But with the removal of weight as an aspect of the game, he has that single 44 slot bag and some storage crates that give him more storage on his person that I think any three of my WoW characters have in total.

And I did that already and still have all that Station Cash.

There are some things I would pay for in Station Cash if I could.

I would pay the weekly Guild Hall fee now and again to have access to that.  That Guild Hall rent isn’t bad in currency… I think it is 4p a week… but it does eat up a lot of status, and I haven’t earned much of that in ages.

I might consider paying for access to the broker, though not via the current “per item” method SOE currently has.  Though since there is a back door way to sell without that, and selling is 99% of what I do with the broker, they could easily make that one over priced.  Still, I would be interested in buying broker access for a week as opposed to for 10 items.

One thing SOE has on its side is that you can use Station Cash in all of their games… or all of them that aren’t on FaceBook or on the PlayStation 3 at least.

So I could spend Station Cash in EverQuest… except that the choices are even more limited, the cosmetic items more grim, and the mounts even uglier.   Oh, and I am not actually playing EQ.  Details.

Likewise, PlanetSide 2 is an option.  I do log into that now and again, though my recent World of Tanks revival has eaten up all of my shooter mental bandwidth.  And I did buy an experience booster once… I think… when I was playing PlanetSide 2 early on.  It was hard to tell.  There were a lot of options and boosts and weapons and unlocks and other crap on screen which were difficult to distinguish or compare, all of which got me to skip the whole thing and just go out and die while trying to shoot at some people.

But given how freely I can spend gold at times in World of Tanks, PlanetSide 2 seems like it might be a place to spend my Station Cash some day, once they rationalize things a bit.

And, really, there are no other SOE games I play right now.  I said I might look into Vanguard at some point this year, but I suspect that the Station Cash store there will look like its EQ and EQII brethren.  So I am pretty “meh” on my Station Cash prospects.  Not that that is a big change.

Which makes me pretty much “not a customer” in SOE’s eyes, no matter how much Station Cash I have, since I do not spend it.  Idle currency has no influence.

So what should I do with 9,000 Station Cash?

(And no, I am not going to just give it to you.)

Comments»

1. HarbingerZero - January 18, 2013

I logged into Vanguard last night and poked around – and I noticed two things in their shop that they need to export to the other games like EQ2. One was a backpack with an insane number of slots (80 I think it was) that also gave a permanent 20% bonus to XP gained from adventuring. There were also 10% and no bonus versions (and crafting ones as well). How great is that? Much better than potions on a timer and such.

The other thing is costumes for yourself and for pets that have no timer. You can make yourself look like a zombie, werewolf, treant, or turn your pet into a fairy, a fire elemental…lots of things. Again, no timers. Fun stuff.

But that backpack…that’s genius.

So to (not) answer your question – I have no idea. I think that’s why my leftover balance from EQ2 is currently sitting at 2500. :-p

2. wizardling - January 18, 2013

All I can ever find to do with my 500 Station Cash per month are five experience potions. Or very rarely a pet for a new toon – obviously a one off purchase, and only if the class doesn’t already have a pet or familiar (side note: why doesn’t EQ have separate mini-pets?).

I did buy Hero’s Forge for my main on Fippy, but since I think all the HF armour sets look like rubbish, it was only to be able to wear a seasonal hat ornament – a Santug helper’s hat – I thought looked really cool. Sadly it turned out my half-elf’s hairstyle pokes _through_ the back of the HF seasonal hat, making it look dumb as hell. So I never even ended up using the HF feature I bought. Good job SoE!

I guess when SC mounts are unlocked on Fippy I’ll buy one of those, assuming I don’t already get one via in-game means. And I do make extremely rare regular server toons to play around with, and there are some SC items that add minor benefits that are worth having for very new toons. But again – a one time only purchase. Likewise extra merc slots once Fippy gets mercs – also one time only.

So yeah – it’s pretty much XP pots to help with the AA grind, 99.9% of the time.

Still – given I never much liked the SC store from the beginning (I far prefer to find and trade for items in-game), it doesn’t really bother me that I’ve so few uses for it.

Maybe it’s time to splurge on those pricey level III XP pots? Or perhaps SoE could allow users to buy games and xpacs (again) with SC? That would encourage users with excess SC to try other SoE offerings and buy the Station Pass to support playing them.

3. wizardling - January 18, 2013

HarbingerZero – yeah, but it’s still just another one time only per-toon purchase, and frankly sounds a bit OP to me. Either way it’ll never eat through many players hefty SC balance, unless it’s super expensive.

4. DSJ - January 18, 2013

I took advantage of the triple station cash option in December for PS2. With the 9000 you have you should look at unlocking 3-4 of the advanced weapons for your toon.

You should pick up a better Sniper Rifle, Carbine, Shotgun, and maybe the Battle Rifle. With the sharing between the classes for certain weapons you will have a comprehensive upgrade for every class. That should run you 3000-4000 unless you check out and take advantage of the daily deals. The starter packs they sell are good value also.

If you want to invest more look at unlocking the better weapons for your vehicles. I spent about 12000 SC and have about everything I could ever want.

Don’t spend the money on the cosmetics — in some instances they make a game play difference but not so you’ll notice.

The boosts like increased resource gain are worthless IMO. You won’t spend what resources you are getting on a consistent basis without heavy play. The XP boosts really come into play when you can use them on a double XP weekend. I used the SC to buy the 7-day 50% XP boost during the holiday Double XP bonus week — super value.

5. bhagpuss - January 18, 2013

I’ve had to train myself not to buy Station Cash any more, even on the Triple SC sales. I have around 10k one account and a few thousand on another and several hundred on all the rest.

Best thing I ever bought was the wings but I only need one set of those. Bag space, got oodles of that. Houses, got more than I will ever have time to decorate including two rent-free special ones from LoN packs. Etc Etc.

I just leave my SC where it is in case they ever add something I want. I can always use it in EQNext.

6. Green Armadillo - January 19, 2013

If you are high level (~85+) in EQ2 and playing without a subscription, you will need gear unlockers for each item on your person (which is an above average number of items in EQ2 compared to other MMO’s due to all the different kinds of jewelry). This is a non-zero cost because every solo quest reward in the game since F2P now has to be legendary or better quality to ensure that nonsubscribers pay something occasionally. Unfortunately, this will help you sink hundreds of excess SC, not thousands.

If you are actually sitting on that many SC with nothing to spend them on, you could probably afford to splurge on some broker credits. I know, I’d rather not pay per use either, but you have SC to burn. Personally, there are only a handful of things that I put on the broker to begin with (harvesting rares, Master spells), so my out of pocket costs if I did buy broker credits would probably be a few dollars per year. Again, though, this will help you get rid of hundreds, not thousands, of SC.

One recent change is that you can supposedly now pay SC to instantly upgrade your spells through the UI that formerly required the intervention of a research assistant NPC and waiting for as long as 30 days (still an option, subject to the need for a token if you want to get up to Master level as a nonsubscriber). This is mostly relevant at max level if you plan to continue onto endgame though, as you outlevel spells too quickly to have it be worth spending real money on them at mid levels. This will, at least, sink multiple hundreds of SC per upgrade, so you could make a major dent in your 9K SC balance if you really wanted to.

Beyond that, I couldn’t tell you. When they had the half off sale in August as compensation for removing the ability to spend SC on anything that would traditionally be worth paying for in MMO’s (content or game time), I bought up all of the DCUO DLC’s that had been released, knowing full well that I would probably never use any of them, just because that was still more useful than the SC I have in my wallet.

7. Dejara Thoris - January 20, 2013

Done anyone know if DUST 514 will integrate in any way with the SOE network and the station cash?

8. Wilhelm Arcturus - January 20, 2013

@Dejara Thoris – I do not imagine there will be any mix between Station Cash and Dust. Currently, if you play SOE games on the PS3 I believe they get monetized differently. For example, I do not think if I wanted to play DC Universe Online, I would have access to my pile of SC. There is a different login and network that is controlled by SCE as opposed to SOE.

9. Green Armadillo - January 20, 2013

@Wilhelm: You are correct on DCUO. They even went so far as to confirm that there is no technological reason why the two platforms should not have been interoperable. Two divisions of the same company could not reach an agreement on how to split the pie, so players were asked to pick between platforms or pay twice and repeat all of their progress.

10. Wilhelm Arcturus - April 30, 2013

Hrmm… in EQ, maybe buy your own zone.


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