Developer Log 4 - Customization and Economy
Welcome back to the Shadow War developer log. As we approach our first public product (and who can guess what that may be?) we’d like to go over the economics of the game - how the system works, our plans for monetization, and how we’re implementing a few next-gen technologies into our stack.
The War Economy
At its core, Shadow War is similar to other games of its genre - we believe a lot of the contemporary titles in the market have good systems, and we don’t feel we need to rock the boat much there. Games of late have gotten a huge amount of resource creep, however - which all only serve to obfuscate just what you’re actually getting. Gems, crystals, tickets, passes, rolls, and a million other currencies are just plain confusing. For Shadow War, we wanted to pull that back into a much more simple system. Shadow War has just a few currencies:
War Bonds: These are free to play currencies you get just for playing the game. War Bonds will let you unlock operatives, customizations, and lots more. Bonds will always come in handy, so be sure to stock up!
Credits: This is the paid currency, and allows you to get cosmetic skins and the like. Not much else to say here.
Shadowcredits: This is a rare currency and will not be purchasable on the shop. You’ll earn Shadowcredits in the game for various activities (as part of season rewards for example) and this prized currency is most useful for acquiring the highest quality of skins.
As mentioned above, Shadowcredits will give folks the greatest cosmetic skins in the game - however, do note that these are only cosmetic. There is no pay to win element in Shadow War, and a free to play player will always be just as strong as a player who purchases items, whether via Credits or Shadowcredits. As for the Shadowcredits themselves, we have some interesting ways to distribute it among both free players and those who want to put up some capital. For free players, you’ll be able to earn Shadowcredits by:
1 - Creating community content
2 - Ending a ranked season with high placing
3 - Winning them via various in-game tournaments and events
Even if you’re a paid player, Shadowcredits will still not be directly available on the store - you’ll have to trade with your fellow players in order to gain access to them. A few ways for paid players to acquire Shadowcredits include:
1 - Acquiring them from other players
2 - Trading Skin Modules for them
3 - Purchasing Arena entries and staking Shadowcredits (more on Arena in a future blog)
We have some other interesting mechanisms for Shadowcredit distribution, which we will outline in a later post.
We’ve discussed the in-game resources; now let’s talk about what you can get with them.
Customization is at the heart of Shadow War. Whether via War Bonds, Credits, or Shadowcredits, players will be able to trick their characters out to their hearts content - as well as the various other features within the game, including loadouts, banners and so on. A limited list of the things you’ll be able to customize include:
Skins are the most central aspect of the game economy - because if you can’t flex, what’s the point? Skin Modules allow you to alter the appearance of your operative in new and exciting ways. Skin Module rarities are:
Rare - Can be bought with War Bonds, Credits, or dropped from loot caches. Soulbound.
Ultra - Can be bought with Credits or dropped from loot caches. Soulbound.
Legendary - Can be bought with Shadowcredits only. Tradeable.
Rares will allow for any player to get some customization for their operatives, and allows for a free to play path to accessing most of the skin system in the game. Ultras and upward have a more unique feel and will push the thematic boundaries of operatives more. Visually, Legendaries will have the same base as Ultras in quality, however they will have various trims and affixes that take them to the next level. The big advantage in Legendaries is that they are tradeable - meaning you can trade them with other players for Shadowcredits, do direct P2P trading of skins, and even hold your skins in your own hardware wallet via our bridge. There's lots more in store for the skin system, which we will dedicate a blog or two towards in the future - look out.
We hope this explained the basics of the game economy - our goals for this were to keep the resource creep low, create a path for free to play players to earn the highest tier of skins and resources, as well as allow for players to own their assets directly, letting them trade with other players without any intermediaries. The skin system should be thought of as something very similar to what gamers are used to - just with a few extra bonuses and benefits that we believe will enable players to make Shadow War their own.
Until next time!