Give me monocles or give me death!
Who hasn't looked at their character and thought, "What this bad boy needs is a monocle?" or "Snakeskin boots, that's where it's at!" Hell, who hasn't looked at their ship and wished it had racing stripes or was full-on chromed. Seriously!
Well, you're probably not getting any of that.
What I'm driving at is that a lot of people want to be able to customize their characters, ships or surroundings to either make themselves stand out or because they like pretty things or maybe they just like playing dress up. I don't know and I'm not one to judge.
The problem with customizability, however, is the amount of time and resources needed to produce unique items and variations. Bear in mind that our HQ is a renovated fish processing plant, not the Wonka factory, and we're fresh out of Oompa Loompas to build these incredible things. So we're left with the question of how to give you the customizability and uniqueness you want without simply raising the subscription rate.
Enter virtual goods sales.
Click image to enlarge.
We want to balance the creation and production of such variations and customizability against the actual demand for it. The best way to do that is by having a direct connection between income of these items bought and how many we produce. To put it extremely bluntly; we will be providing these vanity items through direct sales from in-game.
So how will it work?
There will be a store, and it will have all kinds of stuff for sale: clothes and accessories for your character, custom paint jobs or logo placement on your ships or a fishtank/stripper pole for your Captain's Quarters. You'll browse through the list of items available and, when you're ready to make a purchase, you'll use a new currency called Aurum (AUR).
Where can I get some Aurum?
Aurum is created by breaking up a PLEX. Each PLEX gives you a bunch of Aurum that you can spend in the virtual goods store. If you don't want to spend Aurum on these vanity items, you can always wait for someone else to do so and then buy it off them for ISK. Oh yeah, I should have probably mentioned that earlier. Items bought in the virtual goods store will be transferrable between characters, just like PLEX is today.
The below image demonstrates how Aurum will be acquired and used:
My PLEX prices!
If you're concerned at this point that this will in some way impact PLEX prices then we're ahead of you there. We'll be monitoring the PLEX market extremely closely and making sure certain equilibrium is maintained in pricing. We have various tools to ensure that, but the most important one is keeping Aurum as a separate currency with set conversion from PLEX.
So this thing is vanity items only?
Yes. We will start out with a rather limited number of items initially, carefully measuring the demand and how it impacts the economy. As time progresses, we'll gradually introduce new items and revise our strategy. We've also discussed this issue in depth with the Council of Stellar Management and will both consult with them and keep them up to date every step of the way.
So what's the TL;DR?
We're going to start selling vanity items for a new currency called Aurum (which is created from PLEX). We hope you enjoy it but, if you don't, you're in no way forced to take part in it. This will launch within the next couple of months.
More exact details on items for sale, conversion from PLEX to AUR and item pricing will be coming soon.