I've been having a lot of fun in Allods. I've been playing for close to a month now. Based on simple general goodwill, I have reached the point where I would usually spend money in a FtP MMO. In fact a few hours ago, I spent some time digging through the cash shop to see if there was anything I could justify spending cash on. There wasn't anything I was willing to buy. After some reflection, I realized it basically came down to one thing:
Cash shop items in Allods Online add value to a character, rather than an account.
In the past I've happily spent cash in a lot of FtP MMOs. In Kingdom of Loathing I spent a little cash mainly to donate to the cause (a great great game), but as a side effect my account became permanent whether I actively play or not. In Wizard 101, I bought access to new zones once I gunned through the newbie areas. They became permanent content added to my account, accessible to all of my alts. In Dungeons and Dragons Online, I bought access to a race that had better starting stats for a mage type then the regular races. I understand that I could have earned the race just by playing if I were patient enough, but I'm not. Regardless, I can now and forever start as many Drow elves as I feel like.
The theme among those purchases, all of which I am very happy with, is that they added something to the value of my account rather than to a particular character. A character I might lose interest in once I get to know a game better (basically any character I start) is not worth investing a lot in.
What does Allods offer? Bag and bank slot expansions that apply only to a given character that purchases them. If you get to level 25 and decide you hate the class you are playing, tough luck...you just set your money on fire. There are also chests that have randomly generated rare items which are highly unlikely to be useful to any given character that you buy them for. Finally, my understanding is that at the higher levels you are forced to buy consumables to be competitive at PvP and raiding.
The problem with the last option is that I hardly ever hit the cap in any MMO. I've done so in less than a dozen that I've tried over the years. I also hated the endgame of all but two of the MMOs I did hit the cap in, and promptly quit. I don't know how many other players like me there are out there, but if I'm anything like normal their strategy for earning cash from their players is next to insane. Hope that (A) players make it to the endgame in the first place, and (B) they like it so damn much they are willing to start forking out cash to participate in it. Either they have the best endgame on the face of the earth, or they are utterly delusional and need to change their strategy fast before a fairly enjoyable game crashes and burns.