The business aspect of Dust 514 sounds interesting, but if they DO charge a lot of money for guns and armor, then it'll probably be worse than having to just pay monthly, in some cases.
From the leaked vids of the beta the 'best' weapons and such are not purchasable with AUR, but different skins of them are.
I just thought of a way a new player can contribute to an experienced team: scouting. I remember hearing that Dust will have a fog of war; you won't know something is there until someone sees it. It would probably be pretty easy to skill for a scout dropsuit, some speed-enhancing modules, and maybe a LAV. A few rookie scouts to race ahead and get the lay of the land for their team would probably be cheap enough and useful enough that their corp will pay for any gear they lose.
The only thing I've found to be "pay-to-win" is the Tucker nades.
A nade that explodes on impact is a huge advantage in cqc, I know, I've used a lot of them. I like them so much that getting grenadier skills up to lvl 3 is probably the first I'll do when the game launches. I've done some caluculations and it seems that spending enough real world money to keep me supplied with Tucker nades won't be a problem at all.
All the rest of the equipment I've seen have an ISK equivalent, but not these nades.
The only other thing I see a point of buying with AUR is the skill point boosters. I'll gladly pay some to shorten the grinding by a third.
So with having a "free to play" and a "micro-transactoin" market place. Are we going to have to pay to get a GOOD weapon, like say an Assault Rifle (as an example)?
Will they milk us for anything that is actually GOOD in teh game?
Sounds like this will go the route of overly expensive...
Will it be a "one-time" activation cost to start up, or a monthly fee to play?
I want to be able to do well, but not have to pay outta my **bleep** in order to do so.
Get my drift?
Right now, the way the beta is in its CURRENT form, yes you have to spend real money in order to get the best of the best equipment @ any current skill point/unlock level.
However, you can get equipment almost as good for free.