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Nosgoth is free-to-play but not pay-to-win, says Square Enix

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Players who make in-game purchases in Nosgoth, the upcoming free-to-play multiplayer title set in the Legacy of Kain universe, won't be buying items that are better than free items, said publisher Square Enix in a blog post today.

"Nosgoth is a free-to-play game — but it's not pay-to-win," said George Kelion, community manager at Square Enix London Studios, in a post on the game's website. "One of the key goals has been to create a fair experience that doesn't penalize players who don’t spend money in the game — as such Nosgoth doesn't include items, weapons or abilities that are inherently better."

Square Enix refers to the items that players can buy as "sidegrades" as opposed to "upgrades." Kelion explained that the paid items will be better in some respects but worse in others: For example, the Fullbore Cannon is stronger than the standard Hand Cannon, but can carry fewer rounds.

As in many free-to-play titles, there will be two different currency systems in Nosgoth. Players will earn Gold for completing battles, with more Gold being handed out for better performance. Users also have the option to pay real money for Rune Stones — bundles go from $4.99 for 1,000 RS to $79.99 for 20,000 RS — which will give access to items before they've earned the Gold or XP to unlock them.

Rune Stones will be the only way to acquire Chest Keys and Boosters. Chest Keys are used to unlock the chests that are randomly given out at the ends of some matches; they contain random rewards that are different from the typical end-of-match loot that players receive. Boosters temporarily increase the rate at which players earn Gold and XP.

Square Enix will shut down the closed alpha for Nosgoth at 3 a.m. ET on Feb. 24, and will launch a closed beta soon afterward. The game is being developed by Psyonix.