None of the items sold in the game should affect the balance. All players should be in equal conditions. Buy2Win — out of sight, out of mind.
Items in the store should give a speed-up to achievement of the in-game goods and structures building (premium-days, recipes, blueprints), but all this things can also be acquired through playing the game without additional payments.
Premium is really not so important in our game, it does not make you far ahead of the others.Premium is really not so important in our game, it does not make you far ahead of the others.
I get that you want support for your project, but lying about what you have to offer in the cash shop is not good. The cash shop do have buy 2 win elements:
Premium time which give you double resources, makes your building and crafting speed doubled and chances for easier rarer resources. If you think this isn't a p2w thing, you need to think about how this can be used, in all ways. People will use this to get the upper hand against non premium players. If there's a race for a good location somewhere, premium players will win out, especially if that place is in an all out pvp area. They get better equipment faster, which isn't that hard if you keep looking for Godsends. And in PVP, equipment is a huge deal. Basicly; this kind of Premium IS P2W.
I've taken a look at the noble items, compared them with the best items you can craft in game. If you're all decked out in Noble equipment, you will have 11 more armor than the best craftable items in the game currently; Pay 2 Win. The Noble sword is same as a steel sword, which is good.
You write that all these things can be acquired through playing the game without additional payments, how can we get premium in the game? Noble recipees? Without using the cash shop?
Then there is the Noble Dominium. I don't know if it has improved size or not, but it probably has, but it has a lot more protection. A Large Dominium, have 50000 dur and 4000 absorb, vs 70000 dur and 9000 absorb: With just the impoved defensivenes it's A LOT better than what you can get with the second best one. It is P2W.
I'm sorry if I sound entitled, but I want such a game to be good and successfull, without p2w elements.
Why do you think, that we have to spend less money when somebody starts up a private server? May be you misunderstood, we host every server, no matter private or public. And we have to pay for each one.
I didn't know this, but that can be good and bad, depending on who you are. Some people buy server for years at a time, so there is bound to be someone that would want to host this game on their own setup. But I think it's good overall.
Instead of this type of premium, you could do something like Wurm Online, and even WoW are doing. Have the game be free to play (free to test,) but limit what you can do as a free player. Then either choose to have a subscription or have to buy the game to open it up fully. I'm not going to say how much a subscription should be, but an example of another indie game dev did was having three different sub modules, each was 0.99$, less than 3 dollars for the full game experience.
I really want this game to be super successfull, but there are other methods to gain money.