If i want an item i will pay money for it if i know the cost. Some people get a rush off of gambling, but i don't. You'll get plenty of money from some people i'm sure, but 100% of the time you offer some crappy grab bag i won't bite. Why should i shell out real life money and for all intents and purposes take the chance of getting nothing? By nothing i mean that i already have the hortas, don't really need the xp boosts and the ship items are already worse then the gear i have on my ships so in essence its a gamble for the ONE actual item that i COULD use being the ship.
I had a few facebook games i liked to play and once in a while i'd put money to get me some digital shinies but as soon as they started going with a random chance loot kinda crap i stopped giving them money all together.....but thats just me because i think gambling is near to the dumbest thing a person can do. I have no inclination to prove the saying "the house always wins" is true.
If the ship is never released via direct sale well thats too bad i don't need it bad enough to put an unkown amount of money down in an attempt to get it.
feel free to gamble away, just letting them know my point of view. I expect they will offer lots more items via the gambling method because i'm SURE they raked in a tonn of cash. I can only hope that at some point down the road these items will be offered via the normal method as i do like to collect just about everything i can.
IF that is not the case then more then likely i won't be sticking around for long because while i don't mind spending my entertianment money on digiatal goodies i start getting ticked off when games take the approach that you can only get certain items via randomness and said items are never sold DIRECTLY. Some games offer it via random at first and give people 3-6 months to have the new cool item before other people can buy it via non random means which is fair. they get the gratification of having their new cool shiny FIRST and get to use it, usually to an advantage, for a period of time before the playing field is balanced for those who do not have an endless stream of green to throw into the slot machine.
Massively wrote an article about it being a scam... at least the CO version... but I think both of them are the same. And Bob is technically right, its not gambling because you are getting something. It might be consumable junk items, but you are getting something. It's why Cryptic can get away with it.
If it was basically a slot machine where you put in your dollar and you double click the gift for a chance of getting something, but stand a bigger chance of getting nothing. Then Cryptic would have to jump through a lot of legal hoops for a gambling license.
Grab bags are not gambling. Gambling as I mentioned is you giving a machine money with the hope of getting whatever amount of money it contains in return. Grab bags ALWAYS contain something in it. There's just no guarantee that the bags contain anything valuable.
I can see why you would say its gambling because youre betting a dollar against the bag for a chance to get the ship; but it contains more than just a tiny chance of you getting a ship.
Currently the way that Cryptic has it, I stand a better chance of getting hit by lightning than I do of winning that ship.
Basically, legal issues come if the prize is removed and there is no value at all. If Cryptic removed the Dominion Fighter from the grab bag odds, they could still the them as they now stand. You are still getting about 100CP worth of stuff in each bag, even if it isn't want you want.
Edit: Plus, if you honestly believe "Everything goes to the C-Store eventually," then be patient and wait for it. Spending any extra money is on you. But this is equivilent to putting a fish pole over a blanket at a carnival. 99% of the time, you will be a lollypop. But every now and then, someone will get a Beanie Baby.