collapse

Author [EN] [PL] [ES] [PT] [IT] [DE] [FR] [NL] [TR] [SR] [AR] [RU] Topic: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths  (Read 7166 times)

Offline Nanaloma

  • Antediluvian
  • *****
  • Posts: 1003
  • Reputation: +549/-4
Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
« Reply #15 on: June 05, 2013, 07:23:00 AM »
The thing is, if a person "wins" under the traditional sports sense, then that's it, the person quits playing, and everybody loses (in the sense that it hurts profits). 

Offline Radical21

  • Antediluvian
  • *****
  • Posts: 3023
  • Reputation: +-1344/-52
Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
« Reply #16 on: June 05, 2013, 11:49:03 AM »
The thing is, if a person "wins" under the traditional sports sense, then that's it, the person quits playing, and everybody loses (in the sense that it hurts profits).

You are contradicting your earlier argument that the game is about winning. In that case evidently that is not what  the game isn't about winning or losing, consider that people who play LARPs or Tabletop RPG often "win" and still they come back, pretty obvious where F2P MMORPGs go wrong in that sense and that people quit playing because they uncover the deception in a game that doesn't let its players lose.
There is an ancient old saying that 'Every-time someone asks GRRM about when is he going to release the next Song of Ice and Fire book, he kills a Stark'... well you could say that the makers of F2P are the polar opposite of that, your character has nowhere to go but up, so if the game is like that of course you will grow to find the game boring and very predictable at some point which I assume is what you are referring to, at the very worse scenario your character can be slowed down to a standstill.
Most of us hope WoDMMO won't be like that.

And on a related note I recently happened upon this incredibly stupid 'exclusive' article on Gamastura with its misleading title :http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/193520/Wargaming_kicks_paytowin_monetization_to_the_curb.php
I say misleading because they simply transitioned to doing something like what Sony does with Planetside 2  which still ensures P2W under a "different" scheme of 'Pay to win' economy, which is essentially the same thing only more deceptive.
The conclusion is simple, as long as a game follows a free to play model(even if you try to relabel it 'free to win' like in that article) any economy you establish will be rigged to make the paying player's interests untouchable.



Offline mouser9169

  • Methuselah
  • ****
  • Posts: 289
  • Reputation: +7/-10
Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
« Reply #17 on: June 05, 2013, 08:09:04 PM »
The thing is, if a person "wins" under the traditional sports sense, then that's it, the person quits playing, and everybody loses (in the sense that it hurts profits).

You are contradicting your earlier argument that the game is about winning. In that case evidently that is not what  the game isn't about winning or losing, consider that people who play LARPs or Tabletop RPG often "win" and still they come back, pretty obvious where F2P MMORPGs go wrong in that sense and that people quit playing because they uncover the deception in a game that doesn't let its players lose.

How many table top campaigns go on for years and years with the same characters?

Wizards did a large scale survey when they started D&D 3rd edition and found the 'average' length of a campaign was six months, so they tailored their game to take a player from level 1 to 20 (where the core rules ended) in about six months of typical playing. After that, players would start a new campaign with new characters.

In an MMO, most people stick with the same main characters for their playing 'career'. They may roll a few alts - but they will still stick with one or two as their 'mains'. If the main character has beaten everything there is to beat, they stop playing - at least until a new expansion comes out.

As for 'pay to win', I don't see it as that big a problem in MMO's. Most MMO's do have a 'subscribe to win' type of policy, which basically encourages people to pay the $15/month that has been the standard playing price of MMO's for about forever (inflation hasn't even touched it). I haven't played or heard of any MMO's that give that much of an edge to a cash-shopper over a subscriber - at least not one that can't be overcome with a bit more time (notable exception: unlocking certain races or classes).

The cash shops thrive on time savers and cosmetic or decorative items - not elite gear.
Either that or gear unlockers that wouldn't be there if the player chooses the subscribe option.
Insanity Mod: If you're not dying, I'm not trying.

Offline Radical21

  • Antediluvian
  • *****
  • Posts: 3023
  • Reputation: +-1344/-52
Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
« Reply #18 on: June 05, 2013, 08:34:20 PM »
The thing is, if a person "wins" under the traditional sports sense, then that's it, the person quits playing, and everybody loses (in the sense that it hurts profits).

You are contradicting your earlier argument that the game is about winning. In that case evidently that is not what  the game isn't about winning or losing, consider that people who play LARPs or Tabletop RPG often "win" and still they come back, pretty obvious where F2P MMORPGs go wrong in that sense and that people quit playing because they uncover the deception in a game that doesn't let its players lose.

How many table top campaigns go on for years and years with the same characters?

Wizards did a large scale survey when they started D&D 3rd edition and found the 'average' length of a campaign was six months, so they tailored their game to take a player from level 1 to 20 (where the core rules ended) in about six months of typical playing. After that, players would start a new campaign with new characters.

In an MMO, most people stick with the same main characters for their playing 'career'. They may roll a few alts - but they will still stick with one or two as their 'mains'. If the main character has beaten everything there is to beat, they stop playing - at least until a new expansion comes out.

As for 'pay to win', I don't see it as that big a problem in MMO's. Most MMO's do have a 'subscribe to win' type of policy, which basically encourages people to pay the $15/month that has been the standard playing price of MMO's for about forever (inflation hasn't even touched it). I haven't played or heard of any MMO's that give that much of an edge to a cash-shopper over a subscriber - at least not one that can't be overcome with a bit more time (notable exception: unlocking certain races or classes).

The cash shops thrive on time savers and cosmetic or decorative items - not elite gear.
Either that or gear unlockers that wouldn't be there if the player chooses the subscribe option.


And your point about starting new characters being?

Thanks for illustrating how stupid cash shops and pay to win is, "time savers" as you call them exist because designers intentionally gear the game towards give people the feeling of wasting time, so instead of calling them time savers lets call these what they are.
For the rest it sounds like you didn't play many MMORPGs or you are an avid cash shop customer that never really explored the other side of things..


Offline mouser9169

  • Methuselah
  • ****
  • Posts: 289
  • Reputation: +7/-10
Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
« Reply #19 on: June 05, 2013, 11:00:29 PM »
The thing is, if a person "wins" under the traditional sports sense, then that's it, the person quits playing, and everybody loses (in the sense that it hurts profits).

You are contradicting your earlier argument that the game is about winning. In that case evidently that is not what  the game isn't about winning or losing, consider that people who play LARPs or Tabletop RPG often "win" and still they come back, pretty obvious where F2P MMORPGs go wrong in that sense and that people quit playing because they uncover the deception in a game that doesn't let its players lose.

How many table top campaigns go on for years and years with the same characters?

Wizards did a large scale survey when they started D&D 3rd edition and found the 'average' length of a campaign was six months, so they tailored their game to take a player from level 1 to 20 (where the core rules ended) in about six months of typical playing. After that, players would start a new campaign with new characters.

In an MMO, most people stick with the same main characters for their playing 'career'. They may roll a few alts - but they will still stick with one or two as their 'mains'. If the main character has beaten everything there is to beat, they stop playing - at least until a new expansion comes out.

As for 'pay to win', I don't see it as that big a problem in MMO's. Most MMO's do have a 'subscribe to win' type of policy, which basically encourages people to pay the $15/month that has been the standard playing price of MMO's for about forever (inflation hasn't even touched it). I haven't played or heard of any MMO's that give that much of an edge to a cash-shopper over a subscriber - at least not one that can't be overcome with a bit more time (notable exception: unlocking certain races or classes).

The cash shops thrive on time savers and cosmetic or decorative items - not elite gear.
Either that or gear unlockers that wouldn't be there if the player chooses the subscribe option.


And your point about starting new characters being?

Thanks for illustrating how stupid cash shops and pay to win is, "time savers" as you call them exist because designers intentionally gear the game towards give people the feeling of wasting time, so instead of calling them time savers lets call these what they are.
For the rest it sounds like you didn't play many MMORPGs or you are an avid cash shop customer that never really explored the other side of things..

I've played Everquest (I+II), WoW, LotRO, SWtoR, Vanguard, Warhammer, and a few others.

My point is that 'subscribe to win' is the way it should be. Pay your $15/month and you get the artificial limitations removed. Players who don't contribute any money to the game should be hampered in their ability to play in some way so they are encouraged/compelled to contribute to maintaining the game.

I don't think specific combat statted gear should be sold via cash shop or other gear or equipment that surpasses (or even comes close to really) what you can get in game. A little faster mount, cuter clothes, decorations for your haven - all perfectly fine. XP potions don't give you anything you couldn't have gotten anyway - you're just trading money for time: hardly 'pay to win'.

The 'timesink' factor has absolutely NOTHING to do with 'free to play' vs. 'subscription based' vs. any other system. It's the inherent nature of these games. When you design a game that you want people to spend literally upwards of a thousand hours playing, you've got to put in a lot of thing to eat up that time. It's just the nature of the beast.

The alternative is a game that moves at the pace of a cRPG; one that people will play through in a month then quit.
Insanity Mod: If you're not dying, I'm not trying.

Offline Rick Gentle

  • Gangrel Playboy
  • Antediluvian
  • *****
  • Posts: 3057
  • Reputation: +595/-19
Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
« Reply #20 on: June 06, 2013, 01:26:25 AM »
Too long; don't wanna read: Subscription is better than "free"-to-play cash-shop. At least you know what you're paying for.

My point is that 'subscribe to win' is the way it should be.
I'm all for supporting games I like - I am willing to both purchase the box of the WODMMO and pay a subscription if it turns out to be what I hope it to be - but THAT is UTTER bullshizzdribble.
I am not in favor of artificial - stress on artificial - limitations in any game. I played Dungeons and Dragons Online, which had exactly the kind of set-up you two are talking about here. There is the base "free"-to-play game that gives you about 50% of the content for free. You get access to most of the classes and can progress up to the level cap like everybody else can.
But then you pay a subscription for access to the best stuff. If you don't subscribe, you don't get access to the Druid Class, Monk Class, nor many quests and zones suitable for all levels*, and you forego a lot of smaller benefits like a monthly cash-shop stipend and higher loot tiers as quest rewards.
There is no good reason not to include this content besides milking the game's population for money (money they already got; see below). It imposes extremely artificial and BLATANT limitations on the game for no reason than as another avenue to advertise their cash-shop: in a given zone, there are three or four entrances to dungeons and quests that can only be accessed if you're a subscriber or Premium Member (and just imagine how many customers that Big Shiny Title draws in). There are doorways and archways and sewer grates galore just out there waiting to be explored... except if you try to enter one, it pops up with a dialogue box saying "Sorry, you can't access that content unless you pay us money. Here's a handy link to our cash-shop/subscription registration!" The only thing stopping you from playing this "free" game is an invisible wall and about $50 or $15/month.
Now, this set-up is particularly annoying when you consider that DDO used to be a subscription model. If you didn't pay, you didn't get ANY of the game. That was fair. It was grubby and greedy and just about the same as every other MMO of the time, but it was fair. It was normal, and it was intuitive (at least in a capitalistic system). It was expected.
Then they went "free"-to-play... only as I detail above, you could only play a certain amount of the game for free. The whole game cost money. You didn't get to play The Game for free, you got to play 50% or less of The Game for free. If you didn't pay, you didn't play. If you didn't play, you couldn't "win". If you couldn't "win", the game was just a time-waster until you hit the artificial and blatant caps and restrictions the developers put in because they wanted a slightly nicer public image by taking up the same buzzwords the rest of the MMO community is going with nowadays.
My "point" is: I don't care for companies that take up the next shiny-new buzzword. I expect more from the developers of the WODMMO. I don't want the WODMMO to become a cheap "free"-to-play game that abuses all the meanings of the word "cheap". Subscribe "to play" is equal opportunity. Subscribe "to win" (through "compelling" players?! Really?!) is utter and complete bullshizzle.

*and without these additional zones, you have to keep farming the same content over and over, which gives you diminishing returns, making it just about impossible to consistently level without purchasing additional content through subscribing.


Your system would be self-defeating in at least two ways, mouser9169. In the first way, XP potions and all the little "buff" items would completely break a PvP or co-operative based game. In a PvP game (which the WODMMO will allegedly be), the players who take all these shortcuts will steadily climb ahead of the players who don't - by 5%, 10%, 20%, 50%... Their power level will be significantly higher, enough so that they can utterly dominate anybody who doesn't pay for the same "harmless" buffs. In a PvP scheme, they will do everything in their power to keep other players down - because the goal of any PvP scheme is "to win" at the expense of other players. Even in a more co-operative system, there will be a huge divide between the co-opers who pay for the buffs, and those who don't. The guilds will only want to hire the people who pay for the buffs. The buffers will pull ahead of the non-buffers, segregating the game's community into the "haves" and the "didn't-want-to-waste-the-moneys-because-we-can-'get-ahead'-through-time"... not counting the fact that the whole time they're grinding up their levels, the buffers are still buying buffs, and the game developers are putting in additional level caps and raid bosses and everything else they need to keep their cash-shop in business, so the "didn't-want-to-waste-the-moneys" will never actually catch up "to win".
The second way the system is self-defeating is eventually the buffers do hit a level cap. Maybe the developers have hit a month-long snag by not pumping out the next level cap or raid boss or gear set. Now there's nothing left for the buffers to do. No reason for them to continue buying things from the cash-shop. Probably the only thing to do is grind PvP battles in hopes of finding a challenge... but the only challenges out there are all the other buff-buyers who use all the same exploits our group of buff-buyers use, and so PvP is a big standstill. If there's nothing left for the buffers to do, they will stop playing the game because - at some point - even they will realize the cash-shop is a waste of time if they're not getting any advancements for it. Even when the developers crank out the next expansion, one or both of the cycles above repeats, stagnates.
And before you say this is exactly how the biggest and most popular games like World of WarCraft work... it's not. WoW's current version of a cash-shop is limited to server transfers, faction, race, or appearance changes, and name changes - pretty much cosmetic stuff. I think we also still see a HUGE turnover rate in WoW players, so any given player is probably only spending a few hundred hours on a game that the developers want everybody to spend thousands of hours on. Somehow they've managed to continue as the biggest and most popular MMO in the world with a subscription model. Coincidence? Maybe.
Maybe not.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2013, 01:33:35 AM by Rick Gentle »
Remember: It's not the size of your fangs that matters; it's what you stick them in.

Offline Radical21

  • Antediluvian
  • *****
  • Posts: 3023
  • Reputation: +-1344/-52
Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
« Reply #21 on: June 06, 2013, 02:12:29 AM »
The 'timesink' factor has absolutely NOTHING to do with 'free to play' vs. 'subscription based' vs. any other system. It's the inherent nature of these games. When you design a game that you want people to spend literally upwards of a thousand hours playing, you've got to put in a lot of thing to eat up that time. It's just the nature of the beast.

The alternative is a game that moves at the pace of a cRPG; one that people will play through in a month then quit.

That's absolute non-sense, though I can see where your coming from with your first MMORPG being EverCrap which I found to be fairly boring aside from the fact that I could create a lizard character that swimms..

Proof: I could count on one hand the number of quests Asheron's call had back in the day, it was subscription based an every month the developers added new content or locations to the sandbox game-world, the rest of the time was filled with exploration, guild stuff and PvP. There was alot of dungeon crawling but what kept players in the game was definitely interaction with other players which barely happens in other MMORPGs because everyone are too busy grinding and only care about their XP/s factor.

You are probably going to claim that WoW is a record breaking MMORPG with the largest player-base ever etc, but lets get real, even players who swears by it quit because of that very timesink stuff..

So yes its better to have a honest Subscription system than trying to trick people into thinking they could be satisfied with a free-to-play model by claiming that a game isn't P2W, because its all about player's expectations and I'm naturally going to be upset if I was lured into a game under false presumption that it would be fair to non-paying gamers (the so-called 'True F2P' or 'F2W' whatever).
You say players should pay for the games they play, absolutely true, but  there needs to be upfront policy that states that the game is P2W and Developers need to be able to justify the amount of money they charge.
(For example Releasing a gun model(seems made from recycled kitbashed model parts) and some bugfixes per month on Planetside 2 seems insulting to the player-base considering the amount of pay they milk in that game, needless to say that I don't play it but I still check out their monthly newsletter in my spam folder) .



Offline Nanaloma

  • Antediluvian
  • *****
  • Posts: 1003
  • Reputation: +549/-4
Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
« Reply #22 on: June 06, 2013, 04:53:40 AM »
The thing is, if a person "wins" under the traditional sports sense, then that's it, the person quits playing, and everybody loses (in the sense that it hurts profits).

You are contradicting your earlier argument that the game is about winning

Not really but, I really am loath to go into detail on what I'm thinking and your not (at least I don't think you are) a mind reader.  In short, everyone wins if they survive and are doing things that keep their interest in the game intact.  If there is a sports style win, ie, I win, you lose - game over, everyone loses. 

Offline mouser9169

  • Methuselah
  • ****
  • Posts: 289
  • Reputation: +7/-10
Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
« Reply #23 on: June 06, 2013, 07:38:30 AM »
Now, this set-up is particularly annoying when you consider that DDO used to be a subscription model. If you didn't pay, you didn't get ANY of the game. That was fair. It was grubby and greedy and just about the same as every other MMO of the time, but it was fair. It was normal, and it was intuitive (at least in a capitalistic system). It was expected.
Then they went "free"-to-play... only as I detail above, you could only play a certain amount of the game for free. The whole game cost money. You didn't get to play The Game for free, you got to play 50% or less of The Game for free.

So, your argument is that giving away 30-50% of the game (varies by title) for 'free' makes them greedy? What they actually give away varies a bit from one game to the next, but the fact is they are giving away content and bandwidth without charging a dime for it.

If you don't pay for a subscription, anything you get is a bonus, including just being able to log on and run around zones and talk to people, because as you correctly note - in a pure subscription model, if you don't pay, you get nothing. Technically, WoW is a FTP game: you're just limited to the first 20 levels (and probably some other restrictions to deter spambots and the like).

The second way the system is self-defeating is eventually the buffers do hit a level cap. Maybe the developers have hit a month-long snag by not pumping out the next level cap or raid boss or gear set. Now there's nothing left for the buffers to do.

Again, cash shop and buffs are completely irrelevant to this. Both 'buffers' and non-buffers will hit the 'level cap' regardless. If one group burns out, so will the other. One may burn out a wee bit sooner than the other, but the cap is the great equalizer. In a PvP game, that's where all the players who paid for time-saving buffs are suddenly equal to all the players that didn't. Once you're at the cap, everybody is the same (meaning XP buffs no longer matter).

In fact, the stronger the PvP component, the more the maxim "The game begins at the endgame" is true.

I AM against combat enhancing buffs being sold, as that is a 'pay to win' situation.
Insanity Mod: If you're not dying, I'm not trying.

Offline Rick Gentle

  • Gangrel Playboy
  • Antediluvian
  • *****
  • Posts: 3057
  • Reputation: +595/-19
Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
« Reply #24 on: June 06, 2013, 08:44:49 AM »
I'm pretty sure I called the part where you paid money to play the game the "greedy" part...
But, hey, it's capitalism. Greed is a virtue in this system. I think I also implied that they weren't any more greedy than any other MMO-producing company of the time.

I haven't met an MMO yet where "the game begins at the endgame". [Good games begin... at the beginning of the game.] All I've seen so far is "the game begins to stagnate at the endgame" - until they put in a new level cap, dungeon, raid boss, etc, etc. The cash-shop system might be irrelevant to the mechanics, but that doesn't make it a good idea for any system. The cash-shop remains self-defeating because it fundamentally doesn't need to exist, assuming there are caps on progress. Eventually people - those few who stick around after getting squished, stomped, and otherwise abused by the buffers - will reach the same level as the buffers. So, at this point, the buffers just wasted a hell of a lot of money for a month or two's smug satisfaction of getting there first. For the whole slog of progress up to this point, though, the non-buffers get f*cked over. Where is the value in this?
(For players, I mean. The value for the cash-shop owners is obvious.)

If they did somehow manage to make a game with infinite progress - sort of in the vein of EVE Online, where I think it IS technically possible to learn EVERY skill in the game - as long as you don't mind waiting a year to gain a single dot in a new skill - then cash shops might have a point for existing. But I am forced to wonder at the point of a game with infinite progress. The developers would just have to keep adding in and adding in and adding in and adding in, and sooner rather than later, anybody joining the game would never be able to catch up, so the whole game would keep existing for the benefit of the buffers. (We are already seeing this happen to World of WarCraft, where the new joiners can't even get to the maximum level anymore before they get tired of the game; the only ones who keep playing are the ones who are at the level cap and safe and snug in a PvP or raiding guild.) If the game is existing for the benefit of a smallish group of players, and you HAVE to keep buying things to have a chance at succeeding... what is the effective difference between that system and a subscription?
« Last Edit: June 06, 2013, 08:46:25 AM by Rick Gentle »
Remember: It's not the size of your fangs that matters; it's what you stick them in.

Offline Radical21

  • Antediluvian
  • *****
  • Posts: 3023
  • Reputation: +-1344/-52
Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
« Reply #25 on: June 06, 2013, 11:22:24 AM »
The thing is, if a person "wins" under the traditional sports sense, then that's it, the person quits playing, and everybody loses (in the sense that it hurts profits).

You are contradicting your earlier argument that the game is about winning

Not really but, I really am loath to go into detail on what I'm thinking and your not (at least I don't think you are) a mind reader.  In short, everyone wins if they survive and are doing things that keep their interest in the game intact.  If there is a sports style win, ie, I win, you lose - game over, everyone loses.

When did I say I was talking about e-sports?

here maybe this page will put it in perspective for you since I think Kishimoto really painted an interesting scene there, and even though its not the WoD universe, it is definitely not about E-sports
« Last Edit: June 06, 2013, 11:33:53 AM by Radical21 »

Offline mouser9169

  • Methuselah
  • ****
  • Posts: 289
  • Reputation: +7/-10
Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
« Reply #26 on: June 06, 2013, 07:40:41 PM »
what is the effective difference between that system and a subscription?

Perception.

Most "Free to Play" systems also have a subscription option. But those who want to play for "free" can, and even if they buy a few things along the way, they still consider playing the game "free" - even if they pay $20-$30/month - they're just paying for some extra things that they want.

As to the buffers/non-buffers, remember also the line you're making only holds true for the first two weeks of the game. After that, plenty of non-cash shop players will have made it to the 'cap', while plenty of 'buffers' will not. For later players joining, xp pots just make the journey to the top a little quicker.

When the gap from start to finish becomes too large, you have to do something to help new players. EQ II gave two tokens with the purchase of their latest expansion to help you get two characters from the old cap to the new one. I understand Everquest has also been doing things to help newer players earn their AA's faster. WoW has used five man dungeons and the dungeon finder to make it easier for players to complete the dungeons without having a bunch of other guildmates online.

To bring this full circle to the original topic: this is why you need things like a robust crafting system. So what if you don't think vampires sew shirts? Plenty of other players enjoy that part of the game. The more you give players to do besides kill stuff to get better at killing so you can kill more stuff, the longer players will stick around, and the more potential players you'll have to draw from.
Insanity Mod: If you're not dying, I'm not trying.

Offline Rick Gentle

  • Gangrel Playboy
  • Antediluvian
  • *****
  • Posts: 3057
  • Reputation: +595/-19
Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
« Reply #27 on: June 07, 2013, 03:23:32 AM »
Having other things to do than shoot the next guy in line is a good idea for any MMO; for the WODMMO, this should encompass a lot of player-on-player action... but not all of it has to be physical combat. EVE Online has a robust player-interaction system, from fully co-operative and friendly guilds to pirate-hunting in null-sec. But EVE Online does not have a buffing cash shop, and I think this is the reason why:
It is because there are so many other things to do. If they tried to put in a cash shop that increased player production rates ("Sew three shirts for the price of one!"), or gave them selling bonuses ("Earn another 10% on every sale!"), would do to the rest of the game what your average buffs (+10% XP, +10% reputation gain, access to restricted classes, etc) do to PvP: it would mean the buyers are just plain better than everybody else. They make more money, they can sell items more cheaply because they produce more of them, they get to new zones faster because they have travel bonuses, etc, etc. This would drive all the non-buffing players out of business pretty quick. Probably in those same two weeks it would have otherwise taken the non-buffers to catch up. The discrepancy grows when you consider that all the buffer people will probably buy buffs for EVERYTHING - combat, social play, travel, economy - whereas the non-buffers will have to dedicate themselves to one particular aspect of the game to keep pace with the buffers, much less surpass them. That means they lose out on a lot of the rest of the game; alternately, they never even approach the level of a given buffer if they try their hand at multiple aspects.

Let's do a little math, here (just about the outer limit of my math-doing skills.)
1000 hours. That's the goal the developers are shooting for that players spend in the game.
There is a buff-buyer who buys a single XP buff. A measly 5% boost. If he keeps this buffing going for all 1000 hours, he shaves off 50 hours of his grind. It'll only take 50 hours of playing for another player to catch up. If somebody plays the game about 4 hours a day, that would take them two weeks to catch up.
But let's consider MMOs in their own timeframe. Two weeks in an MMO can mean the collapse and dissolution of a guild. It can mean the introduction of another boss or dungeon. It can mean the severe drop in price of an important in-game resource - or huge increase in price. For the buffer, it means another two weeks of over-production and pounding on the people who did not buff. That is more than enough time for a dedicated player to either decide the game isn't worth their time any more, or for a new player to decide the game isn't worth the frustration in the first place. Especially if they've been having to deal with the buffer players the entire time they've played - the previous 950 hours. If a player makes their decision about whether or not to continue a game in their first month, half of that time is basically wasted because somebody bought a buff.
And this isn't even including any changes made to the game's mechanics by the developers or huge population drops or anything that would warrant a justified, reasonable quit. It only gets worse the more and stronger buffs you put in.
Remember: It's not the size of your fangs that matters; it's what you stick them in.

Offline mouser9169

  • Methuselah
  • ****
  • Posts: 289
  • Reputation: +7/-10
Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
« Reply #28 on: June 07, 2013, 08:14:24 PM »

Let's do a little math, here (just about the outer limit of my math-doing skills.)
1000 hours. That's the goal the developers are shooting for that players spend in the game.
There is a buff-buyer who buys a single XP buff. A measly 5% boost. If he keeps this buffing going for all 1000 hours, he shaves off 50 hours of his grind. It'll only take 50 hours of playing for another player to catch up. If somebody plays the game about 4 hours a day, that would take them two weeks to catch up.
But let's consider MMOs in their own timeframe. Two weeks in an MMO can mean the collapse and dissolution of a guild. It can mean the introduction of another boss or dungeon. It can mean the severe drop in price of an important in-game resource - or huge increase in price. For the buffer, it means another two weeks of over-production and pounding on the people who did not buff. That is more than enough time for a dedicated player to either decide the game isn't worth their time any more, or for a new player to decide the game isn't worth the frustration in the first place. Especially if they've been having to deal with the buffer players the entire time they've played - the previous 950 hours. If a player makes their decision about whether or not to continue a game in their first month, half of that time is basically wasted because somebody bought a buff.

*Sigh*  I forget the name of this fallacy, maybe somebody can put that in.

You're correct in your math resulting in 'buffs' saving 50 hours over the course of the game. The problem is you then act as if those two weeks come all at once at the start of the game. What you are describing would be as though one group of players got a two week 'early launch' window. It doesn't work that way.

You're also ignoring existing players. There will be plenty of players that just plain put in more time. If Player A puts in 10 hours a week with an XP buff and Player B plays 20 hours a week without, Player B comes out solidly ahead. Also, after the first month ALL new players are going to have to deal with the 'established' players already at the level cap.

As long as they have a subscription option and keep the cash shop reasonable - I think SOE has actually done something right with theirs so far: XP potions, lots of house items, prettier mounts (with _very minor_ stat boosts), some nicer housing, and a race to unlock that really isn't "better" than any of the others, just different looking, it should work out well.

If they start selling buffs that improve stats or otherwise tilt combat one way or another... that's a horse of a different color.
Insanity Mod: If you're not dying, I'm not trying.

Offline Rick Gentle

  • Gangrel Playboy
  • Antediluvian
  • *****
  • Posts: 3057
  • Reputation: +595/-19
Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
« Reply #29 on: June 07, 2013, 11:48:00 PM »
Finish reading the paragraph. I am already accounting for other "dedicated" players, and those who have also spent 1,000 hours in the game. (In fact, that would probably make the situation even more annoying, since they've spent all that effort and still can't pull ahead because they didn't care to buy a buff.)
I don't ever say this has to come at the start of the game... In fact, the examples I give would lean towards a given 2 weeks well into the game's lifespan. Guilds have to form before they can dissolve; people have to find out which resources are valuable before the price can fluctuate strongly. This situation CAN happen at the start of a game, or for a player who just joined (the "start of the game" for that player). I don't honestly see what difference that makes to the example. Somebody can get frustrated with the game months in almost as easily as they can two weeks in. I played World of WarCraft for YEARS before I got too frustrated with it to continue.
The buffs of a cash-shop merely increase discrepancies based on real-life wealth, not in-game mechanics or in-game wealth - and yet the buffs are affecting those in-game mechanics and in-game wealth. This is "pay-to-win", or at least "pay-to-get-ahead-to-the-extent-that-a-player-can-win". ("Pay-to-win" is a contraction of this, I believe, because I don't think there's any game that lets you actually give them money and then You Win.)

What I am describing here is a condensed version of what happens between a buffer and a non-buffer, assuming they play roughly equal hours. (In all honesty, I think playing 4 hours a day is a hell of a lot for most people, who generally either have schools or jobs, so it's more likely we're talking about 2 hours a day, for a full month of extra effort on the part of the non-buffer.)
The smallest kind of buff I've seen is 5%; if we increase this to 10% or 20%, the problem only grows more severe over a shorter period of time. Any bonus given can have a direct impact on player-versus-player combat, especially if player-versus-player combat includes more than slinging warhammers or fireballs at each other. I shall give an example. I would like to stress that this is in a paradigmic system; I'm stealing the level progress from World of WarCraft in this example.
In the average MMO paradigm, a difference of 2-3 levels can have a noticeable impact on performance; a difference of 5 levels or more becomes just about insurmountable without help. XP leads to a gain in levels - I think the way it normally works is the more XP you get, the quicker you progress. +5% to XP is not a game-breaking bonus - but it is a noticeable bonus. In a level range of 1-20, our buffer is already at level 21. That most likely means a new slew of powers, damage and health increases, and access to new gear.
Continuing to level 40, the buffer is already level 42. To level 60, they're level 63 with a clear advantage over our non-buffer. The longer this goes on, the greater the discrepancy given by one tiny buff. This level advantage directly translates into a combat advantage for however long it takes our non-buffer to catch up to our buffer. One week, two weeks, a month? Long enough for our buffer to get better gear (let's not forget that a lot of dungeons have a minimum level requirement; the time our non-buffer is spending getting to level 60 is the same time our level 63 is spending going on raids and picking up set items), or for a guild to dissolve, etc, etc - possibly putting them even further ahead of our non-buffer. Things in MMOs can change overnight, and the greater player interaction, the faster things can change. Look at what happens in a week in EVE Online. Even in World of WarCraft, I heard of a gnome who ground up from level 60 to level 70 in about two days - thanks to aid from his friends. If that gnome had an XP buff, it would've gone even faster, thus putting him ahead for days, weeks, or compared to an average player like me, about two months. If an average player like me took the buff instead, that would have negated some of the hard work and team-work that gnome and his friends put in. That is basically bribing the developers for an unfair advantage because somebody has more disposable income and the will to use it. That is a factor outside the game*, but it is one that can be controlled by the developers, simply by not adding in a cash-shop that adds buffs to gameplay mechanics.
I do not wish to punish player-characters for acting within the game. That gnome and his friends did good. They did exactly what they're supposed to do in a co-operative MMO. They did not buy buffs, and I assume they did not find cheats or exploits. From what I hear, there were multiple other groups right behind the gnome and his friends in the race to hit level 70 first. The gnome and his friends might've won by a bare 5% - but that would be because they found in-game ways to win the race, not because they bought buffs. If I had really wanted to, I could've gotten together a group of my friends and joined the race.
You may ask the question "What's the practical difference between finding an in-game way to grind up faster, and buying a buff?" The answer to that is: Finding in-game ways to grind faster (a noble goal in and of itself) requires nothing more of me than I am already giving the game: my time and comradeship (and the same monetary cost every other player is paying). However, buying buffs is asking more of me, and is asking for an out-of-game factor.

*so's amount of time available to play the game, but that's not really something that can be controlled by the developers. To me, a game is supposed to be designed with fairness in mind. If the characters end up being unequal, that's fine - as long as they did it within the bounds of the game and its mechanics and rules. But this inequality should not occur because of outside factors that can be easily controlled. This is why I am in favor of the great monetary leveler, the subscription system.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2013, 07:40:10 AM by Rick Gentle »
Remember: It's not the size of your fangs that matters; it's what you stick them in.

 

SimplePortal 2.3.7 © 2008-2020, SimplePortal