Free-to-play strategy/MMO hybrid Age of Empires Online will be introducing a slight change to its payment method when the game's summer update launches. Currently, players can elect to purchase additional content (such as new civilizations, booster packs, and vanity items) for real-world money. Non-paying customers are, to the best of my knowledge, unable to access this content (though it is by no means necessary to successfully play the game). When the summer update goes live in 5-7 weeks, all the store content will be purchased with Empire Points, not standard credit card transactions.
These Empire Points will be earned one of two ways: players will be able purchase them with their credit cards or earn them in-game. This means that players will be able to choose to buy this additional content completely with money transferred into Empire Points (essentially the same as it is now), or completely with Empire Points they earn by progressing in the game world, or a mix of the two. It's the age-old dilemma of money vs. time, but this time Age of Empires Online will freely let you pool your resources from both into one currency.
If you're an Age of Empires Online player who's paid for additional content already, you might have some concerns. Rest assured that you won't lose anything that you've already purchased. Those DLC purchases will apply to all of your current and future cities. Also, in the off chance that you've already purchased everything that you're interested in purchasing, the summer update will be bringing new items to the game which will be purchasable through Empire Points. So you'll certainly be able to take advantage of this new system as well.
It sounds pretty reasonable to me, but then I'm not an Age of Empires Online player. What do you guys think of this change? Love it? Hate it? Let us know!