There was also a bit of a kerfluffle over the openning of the cash shop, and CIG came back a day later with an excellent response and explanation of what they were thinking, etc. So overall, life is good.
Do you have any link about that ? Unlike you I have not followed that particular thing...
Sadly I can't get to their website right now. Their response is up on the front page at robertsspaceindusties.com under the $17 million heading.
What happened went something like this:
Hangar launches on Thursday night. Servers suffer, so shock there.
Voyager Direct (helpfully shortened to VD) launches over the weekend with items for purchase. Items are bought with UEC (united earth credits), a few of which are given out to backers so they can check it out. More credits can be purchased at a rate of $1 for 1000 UEC. Most of the items in the store are cosmetic and cost about 5k UEC, everyone has been given 7k. So far this is fine.
Problems: Weapons are also available, ranging from 8k to 12k. Purchases are non-refundable. This leads people to think that they have to pay more money in order to get the weapons that they are supposed to be testing (since this is an alpha), and that any money they spend now will be permanent (which is strange, since this is alpha/beta and usually stuff like that gets reset any time there are major content patches, game release, etc). Also, the hangar buggy which we had thought would be included in the larger hangars costs 20k UEC, meaning you have to pay another $13 for it.
This causes fairly strong knee-jerk reactions, accusations of cash-grabbing, etc. I too was a little irked by it, but mostly by the permanence of decisions made during alpha testing. And by the lack of a buggy in my deluxe hangar.
CIG says "woah there, that's not what we meant, hang on," and then lays out a more complete explanation: They don't actually need us to buy anything for testing, as all the functionality involved can be tested simply by swapping weapons around the ships we have (which causes lols as those weapons are designed for the ships they come stock on and have clipping issues on other ships). And the prices in the store might be a little high ($5 for a poster).
And, most importantly to me at least, there are going to be ways to earn more credits in-game during the alpha (particularly the dogfighting) so you don't have to shell out RL monies to get stuff in the store.
So overall the launch didn't go quite as smoothly as would have been hoped, but they responded quite well and fears of a cash grab have been largely calmed. They are planning to leave in the ability to buy credits with $$ as a way to support the game once it has launched, but they'll be limiting how much you can buy so that it doesn't become imbalancing.
I may have purchased one of the packages earlier last week
Let me know if you want to get lifetime insurance on your ship. LTI probably won't be quite as good as it sounds since it could really break the economy, but it'll still be handy for making sure you don't end up without a ship.