Please take note that everything written down in this article may change before the official release. Steam Economy isn’t the sole feature to come up in the next few weeks but this article only focuses on this aspect.
For those who missed out on one of the latest articles on UWE front page, the NS2 development team has grown in size with a new CDT member: Skyler “Remi” Clark. From that moment on, we had to figure out why this person in particular was hired until we find out one of the most exciting stuff that should pop up on NS2 in the next weeks: Steamworks Economy (see the Trello card). As you may notice, this card has been moved onto the Done section of the Trello board.
But what does this mean concretely?
It means that we are going to blessed with a new NS2 market through Steam. So far, we’ve experienced a couple of DLCs which were created for various financial reasons, aiming to support CDT funds or work of individuals (minus Steam and UWE direct levies):
A new DLC is coming this way. The Tundra Storm patch which should come around patch B285 if everything goes as planned.
Alongside this patch, UWE plans to upgrade NS2 to Steamworks which basically means there will be new ways of purchasing items, trade them or even sell them potentially. Right now, beside the usual Trading cards, NS2 doesn’t provide any items tradable but this is going to change shortly and hopefully, with B285 and the release of the Tundra Storm DLC.
Team Fortress 2 or even CS:GO players are already used to this kind of system. NS2 will offer free items to regular and active players, that you can earn à la Rocket League. The more you play, the more you earn those items. Therefore, there will be many unique and free items along from just paying for the Tundra Storm DLC. To make it fair but also to make it gainful for UWE, you should be able to acquire some items but not all of them. For instance, you get a shotgun skin, you don’t like it and you wanna trade it to get a Skulk skin. You can do that. Obviously, there will also be dedicated packs that anyone could buy. You’re not patient or you didn’t get the item you were looking for, and you don’t want to trade one of your items? There’s a solution, purchase one of the many packs that will be on the market.
As for the items themselves, they shouldn’t impact the game itself or the balance as any other skins or DLC already available, they are purely cosmetic. They will also stick with the NS2 universe. Those items will be all different but only cosmetic, so skins apparently. Not all items will be tradable but some of them should be.
Since Marines skins are easier to make, we’ll probably see more of them but Aliens won’t be ignored fortunately. Sadly we don’t have any concrete pictures to show you.
Going through DLCs only wouldn’t be much help for UWE so implementing a Steam economy and a real market will offer the possibility to create content and will be financially profitable. However, some items will most likely not be tradable, again, we don’t really know which ones, we’re only certain about the Beta Black Armor source of numerous controversies.
Those items wouldn’t work if you were not able to customize your player. I can’t imagine how you could customize your Alien but doing so regarding Marines should totally be doable. You can actually do this already but the customisation options are highly limited so depending of how this market goes, we might see more options later on.
To make it work, there will be a need of having enough goods and items so we’ll see how it turns out. To help getting those DLCs and other items through packs, some specific buttons will be added via the ingame menu.
And you, what do you think?
Not all of this article is speculation. So let me enlighten you with what is pretty sure.
Even if it might happen in a later date, the random drops will not be implemented yet. To be more specific, it might happen depending on how go the interest level in the new skins and the trading/marketplace ecosystem and then more random drops and items might pop up. Tundra patch should be released next week, hopefully.
As with any update, it can be delayed (so the time is far from being 100% certain) but should come up with B285 either way. This B285 will only include the Tundra patch therefore, no more other items and as for the Steamworks system, it’s been implemented with the latest B284. So everything is settled to make it work soon.
More info, disregard what follows:
The previous DLCs (Reaper, Kodiak and Reinforcement) will be removed from Steam store and you will only be able to trade/sell the items formerly included in those packs to other players. So basically, the only DLC that you could still purchase will be the brand new Tundra patch. In other words, no other way to purchase the former 3 DLCs but if you bought them before, their content will be tradable or salable. Everything you currently own will be marketable apparently.
However, there’s still the question of the Black Armor. Although it won’t be tradable or purchasable at the very beginning, the current dev team still considers this possibility and nothing is set in the stone yet. They also consider how to make it “special” in some way. This question launches a debate.