Undecember is the latest addition to the action RPG hack-and-slash games in the same vein as Diablo and others. However, it is a free-to-play game and you are not really required to plop any money at the start or later down the line. But as the reviews for the game started to roll out, more and more people started putting Undecember in the Pay-to-win category. Is this true or not, let us find out.
Although, you are not forced by Undecember to pay any money while playing and can get by simply relying on your grind. But the sad fact is that this game is very much borderline pay-to-win.
Undecember has a sinister plan of creating problems for the player and selling convenience or solutions for actual money.
How is Undecember Pay-to-Win?
As mentioned before, Undecember employs a lot of shady practices in the overall game design to kind of force you to spend money. Basic quality-of-life conveniences are hidden behind paywalls and the fact that to progress quickly and efficiently you will inevitably have to swipe your credit card. Let’s look into some examples of these Pay-to-win inclusions in Undecember:
We won’t be covering the prices of each aspect of pay-to-win as it’s a regional thing. Most of the prices are in Diamonds which is the premium currency in Undecember.
Paying for Storage
This has become one of the most talked about and hated features in Undecember. As you progress through the game and start to pile up your inventory with the plethora of items in the game, you will very soon run out of space to store them. There are different types of storage within this game.
On character, the storage bag is the inventory you carry around with you. From the start you are given just 100 slots of storage in here, this is egregious considering how quickly you fill it up with normal gameplay. To put insult to injury, you have to spend real-life money just to expand this inventory bag.
On top of the previous storage, there are other storage types in Undecember like General Storage, Charm Storage, Essence Storage, Alchemy/Material Storage, and Chaos Card Storage.
All of these storages follow the same pattern of giving you a measly space by default and asking money for upgrading it. Some are not even given from the start and you will have to spend money to unlock them.
For such a simple inventory system and considering the rate at which it fills up, it surely hides a lot of trappings to swindle you out of your hard-earned money. Not to mention, you kind of require all this inventory since there are so many branching ways of boosting your character.
Alchemy provides all kinds of benefits to the player like combining and crafting items and upgrading potions. Sadly, as you can see above, only one spot of Alchemy Production is given from the start, and to unlock the other four, you will have to spend money for each slot.
If you don’t do this, you will essentially be progressing at a snail’s pace hence not being able to stay competitive.
In the same Alchemy station, the Brewing section has similar monetization of unlocking additional crafting benches. One slot is given by default and others have to be unlocked by money.
Here, there is an added advantage of accelerating your brewing with the slot unlock. This a perfect example of creating a problem and selling fixes.
Pets are companions that follow you around and provide some passive benefits like Auto-Loot. Since enemies will be dropping a ton of items all the time, you will find it a hassle of collecting every item strewn about on the ground.
So having this pet’s ability is a godsend. The funny thing is that this ability is timed and for you to extend this time you have to spend in-game currency.
Although you can buy it using the Red Ruby currency that you can get from playing the game but it only provides 7 days’ worth of ability. For a month, you will have to spend Diamonds which are considerably more expensive. Adding the continuous monthly expenditure on this convenience makes it even more saddening.
Oh boy, the Cash Shop in Undecember is a motherload of pay-to-win items. Although, many of the items in the shop can be acquired by playing the game. The issue arises from the fact that players can just dump a bunch of money to skip the work that others have to work for. If this is not pay-to-win then what is?
Some of these items are:
- If you want to trade items you will have to buy Trading Keys.
- If you want to identify an item then you will have to buy Identification Scroll.
- If you want to revive yourself after death then you will have to buy Resurrection Scroll.
- You can buy all of the Gear Essence i.e. crafting supplies from the cash shop. You can level up your gear by spending money on it rather than grinding.
- Rune Essence i.e. crafting items for the skills are all ready to buy from the store. Considering the convoluted mechanic behind this, the appeal of just buying these items becomes even more enticing.
- Since every item has a Diamond price tag, they are also available in the cash shop in bundles and the prices are quite over the top.
- You can even exchange Diamonds for Ruby currency and the exchange rate is outrageous.
This one is a doozy and the biggest reason why Undecember is pay-to-win. The Auction House in the game is where any player can put any item on sale for others to buy. These items are bought using Rubies and since you can buy them for real-life money, it gives the player who can spend the most to get the best items early on in the game.
As mentioned before, the Diamond to Ruby exchange rate is pathetic. This not only makes these temporary items needlessly expensive but also benefits those with no control over their wallets.
Undecember is on the surface a free-to-play game and the game doesn’t have any hard pay-walls that stop you in the tracks.
However, the way they designed the game to make things a little bit difficult for the player and blatantly asking for money to fix the problem they have created amongst other things, makes it one of the most intolerable pay-to-win inclusions in gaming.