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Injustice 2 says it isn’t pay-to-win, but it will happily take your money

‘Source Crystals’ buy cosmetic items, but also can level characters

NetherRealm Studios
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Injustice 2 will have a premium in-game currency that players will be able to purchase with real-world cash. Called Source Crystals, a forum administrator for NetherRealm Studios says they will be transferable for cosmetic items and for faster leveling.

“Source Crystals can be purchased using real money but aren’t required to progress or advance in the game and can’t be used to purchase Gear or an advantage in gameplay,” writes GypsyWB. “We value our community and want to be clear — you cannot ‘pay to win’ with Injustice 2.”

That said, NetherRealm added that once a player reaches level 20 with one character, they may use Source Crystals to advance other characters up to level 20. “This is optional and won’t affect gameplay or game progression,” NetherRealm said.

Last month, NetherRealm invited Polygon to its Chicago studio for a deep dive into the Gear system, which includes equipment, shaders and abilities. Equipment like gloves and breastplates affect a fighter’s stats, while shaders change a character’s color palette. Abilities, on the other hand, are new or different moves your character can pull of during a match.

At the time, NetherRealm stressed that options for competitive play would be included in the final game, and for both online and offline modes. Those modes would disallow gear of any kind, and force competitors to square off on an even footing. The description of Source Crystals is consistent with that messaging.

“Source Crystals can only be used to purchase cosmetic adjustments to your fighters, Premiere character Skins with no gameplay advantage, and various Shaders for character costumes,” the forum post said.

Players will also be able to transform gear in their collection using Source Crystals, applying the visual look of one piece of gear to another. In this way, they can unify the look of their fighter while keeping all the stats that come with the very best gear.

“If you have a piece of Gear with your perfect stat loadout but it doesn’t have your perfect look,” the post explains, “you can apply the visuals from one of your other pieces of Gear to it. After using Transform Gear, your Gear piece will have your preferred stats matched with your preferred visuals.”

Injustice 2 will be available May 16, 2017 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Source Crystals will be available for purchase at launch.

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