“Coining” is the term used to describe the practice of using in-game “coins” to speed up repairs, builds, research, etc. Since these coins are purchased with real-world money, which not every player can afford to do, it is a divisive subject. Some frown upon the practice and use the term as an insult (“don’t worry about him; he’s just a coiner”), while others see no problem with coining (“no need to worry, I’ll just coin it back”). Here are some thoughts on the subject to help you, dear reader, to make up your own mind on the subject:
- Coining is economically necessary for large-scale software development: While some people may rant and rave and rail at the “freemium” business model of software development (free to play, cash required to unlock advanced content), it is ultimately fair to all parties; players get to enjoy the game for free (remember the days of spending $50 on a game only to find that you didn’t like it and cannot return it?), with the rich and well-to-do effectively subsidize the game for the rest of us who are either unable or unwilling to buy coins.
- Coining is not necessarily cheating…: Large-scale coiners are often accused of cheating. It is easy to understand why: you just survived an epic battle and have vanquished your enemy… and suddenly there he is again, his fleet fully-repaired and ready for battle. It just doesn’t seem fair!
- …but sometimes it is: From time to time you will see folks in chat discussing “coin generators” or “coin hacks”, ways to get coins without paying for them. Just say “no”. If you have to cheat to win, it is not much of a victory.
- Coining is often a refuge for the rich, the impatient and the incompetent: It is often said that Coining is a tax on the impatient. Don’t want to wait? Spend some money. But it also allows less competent players to rule over better, but more penurious ones – at least until the money runs out. If a coiner attracts the ire of a powerful alliance, he will be forced to run through a huge number of coins in order to stay in the fight. I have heard tell of players who spent hundreds of dollars over a few days in order to play this game. Hope it was worth it for them.
For those who really hate coining, or choose not to do so, it is eminently possible to play the game without ever spending a single coin. But spare a thought for those who do; they make the game possible.?
A personal opinion:
I am a low-volume coiner. When I first started, I purchased the $2 one-time introductory offer. I recommend this, as 500 coins plus three ships for $2 is an exceptional value – normally the coins alone cost $5.
After that, I purchased couple of $5 tranches of coins at monthly intervals. But Kixeye made it too easy to accidentally spend large quantities of coins – by design – and as a result I stopped buying coins… until, many months later, they made me an offer that I could not refuse…
On Black Friday, Kixeye offered 3600 Coins for the price of 2000, plus a free Apocrypha cruiser, all for $20. To coin the cruiser by itself would have cost over $30, so I made the purchase. Nearly two months later, I still have those coins.
As a rule, I try to live within the means generated by my Level X Commerce center, which produces 20 coins per day. I rarely, if ever, use coins, which is strange, as a value my time highly in most respects, but I will waste three minutes of my time rather than spending a coin that costs less than one cent. Economically speaking, that makes no sense at all, but for me, it is a matter of pride.
Coining is a shortcut, nothing more. But it is a shortcut that allows the developers to get paid. We don’t have to like it, but it is the reason that this game can exist.
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