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Cancelled or Suspended Projects => WOD MMO General Discussion => Topic started by: PANZERBUNNY on May 13, 2013, 09:41:21 pm

Title: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: PANZERBUNNY on May 13, 2013, 09:41:21 pm
Two words: Weapon. Degradation.

All items. Weapons. Armour. Items of power and use.

Most games let people keep these items until they grind up to better gear.

Most of the more interesting games create a ticking clock on the gear you are using.

What does this mean?

-You aren't using your best items to grind on mobs or chase newbs for punishment.

-It saves those items for events of importance. Makes them cool when you actually see them being used in game.

-Create and stimulates a player economy. Make it so that anything but the basic of weapons is only available through gunsmith,tinkers, forgers etc.

Not sure what they plan on doing with crafting, but making it a vital component of the game would help it stand out amongst the crowd.

-It opens up MANY factions a crafter would need access, to create better ammo and more illegal weapons.

If we can run up to a vendor in an ally and buy an assault rifle, I'll be let down.


So, are people willing to accept item degradation and an alternative form of game play, instead of the status quo?

The old days of Dark Fall come to mind, gearing up with your better, saved gear, for a raid against an enemy city.

I'd like to see full loot and as we already have word of perma death in some form, shouldn't be that much of a stretch.

Perhaps only full loot in certain combat zones or when cities are at war?(if they can war)
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: mouser9169 on May 13, 2013, 10:46:46 pm
1) Please don't write each sentence as a separate paragraph. It makes your posts very hard to read.

2) I've played games with item degradation. It could very well if done right and 'sold' right to the players. Repairs made by player crafters should be better (reduce total durability less) than repairs made by an NPC. Ultimately, you've got to keep selling them that an item should last until you either outlevel it or find a replacement. So 'epic' items should last a very long time, while a broken bottle may only last a few battles.

3) As far as the economy goes: I hate both bind on equip and (especially) bind on pickup items. FFXI had very, very few items that bound to the character. You could usually sell them for close to the price you paid for them, so your gear was sort of like 'investing equity' into your character. It worked out very well. I think they also have the absolute best auction house system of any MMO ever (unless they've changed it), and I'm really, really surprised no one has copied that.

4) Crafters - the devs may not picture 'Vampires sewing shirts', but a lot of players love crafting and playing the auction house/broker. Can you really afford to just shut out that many potential players from the game? And I know this may run against 'conventional wisdom' on this board, but you can bet your last dollar that if the game is not turning a profit in 'sandbox mode' after six months, major changes will come to the game: that's not 'selling out', it's called making smart business decisions.
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: Rick Gentle on May 15, 2013, 09:57:03 am
I could stand to see this done, so long as item degradation made sense. Items should not just flat-out degrade over a period of time, but they should degrade a little when you use them. However, the rate would depend on the quality of the item. As mouse9169 says, a broken bottle may only last for 2-3 uses/hits, whereas a steel sword would last for a couple hundred uses before it had to be repaired*. They would also need to make it so more common items are repaired more easily, but less-common items less so. (I hope that doesn't need to be said, but I did it anyway for security's sake.) So, for example, guns are pretty dang common nowadays; steel swords less so. A gun-cleaning kit and gun shop should be much more common than a whetstone and a sword-smith. (At the same time, however, the sword is probably going to be much more useful against other vampires, so you have to balance the risks and rewards a little.) I don't think I would care to see an economy with the same complexity as EVE Online's grow up around this aspect of the game, but it does make a lot of sense.
I would LOVE to see this done for clothing and armor, though, as long as it was visually represented. I want to see clothes shredded and torn if their wearer gets involved in battle, or dirty and mucky if they wade through unclean water.

*they could also make it so that Disciplines and vampire strengths and weaknesses affected how quickly an item wears down. You may normally be able to use a steel sword 200 times against normal human flesh, but maybe only a few dozen times against an elder Gangrel with Fortitude 5 before the blade gets dull and chipped.
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: Radical21 on June 02, 2013, 05:07:51 am
This Idea is only interesting if it relates to other game-play elements where this affect the way players interact with each-other.
Doing Crafting for its own sake is not interesting because there are only so many combinations you can come up with and since most of these games are very lite on the PvP it means that access to doing better crafting is simply restricted by time spent grinding which is very meta and boring (sorry WoW fans).
Furthermore if the spoils cannot be looted and  are too easy to make they are useless.

Examples of Player run economy you can look at : Mortal Online and EVE Online, but in both games the system has its limits and could've been made more interesting IMO.
For me its really all about how players interact with each-other and the environment rather than economy for its own sake.
The Best games are the ones where resources are scarce enough to make even basic crafing and economy useful and important.

Unfortunately most MMORPGs now are FTP and are all about some disappointing Endgame that you can cheat your way to using cash shop that eliminates the effect of economy almost entirely.. Survival MMORPGs did not survive.
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: Nigama on June 03, 2013, 01:17:27 am
Personally, I'd like to focus on playing the game (roleplaying and affecting/changing the world) and not repairing broken items, but maybe that's just me.

Nigama
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: Nanaloma on June 03, 2013, 01:45:27 am
Personally, I'd like to focus on playing the game (roleplaying and affecting/changing the world) and not repairing broken items, but maybe that's just me.

Nigama

Repairing broken items IS part of the game; requires planning, pre-thougtht, etc.  Besides, it could be handled abstractly with the push of o button. 
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: Nigama on June 03, 2013, 01:53:01 am
Personally, I'd like to focus on playing the game (roleplaying and affecting/changing the world) and not repairing broken items, but maybe that's just me.

Nigama

Repairing broken items IS part of the game; requires planning, pre-thougtht, etc.  Besides, it could be handled abstractly with the push of o button.

Alright..  I guess as long as I can automate it or have my minions do it, I'm fine with that.  But it's not really what I'd like to spend my time in game doing.  If I'm doing any kind of crafting, I'd like to be crafting my ghouls or crafting my herd or crafting my place in Kindred society.


Nigama
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: Valamyr on June 03, 2013, 02:00:44 am
Personally, I'd like to focus on playing the game (roleplaying and affecting/changing the world) and not repairing broken items, but maybe that's just me.

Nigama

I'm leaning towards this, myself.

Doesnt mean there shouldnt be some important resources that need to be considered carefully before use (Like the way Bloodlines handled the Flamer fuel for instance, which forced you to use it strategically) but the main thing I want to worry about not running out of is... blood.  :cometome:

I'm not into full loot either, but it really depends on how they choose to approach items in the game. I hope they can manage to come up with a system better than BoE Longswords of Blood +6 sold in the cash shop and have us run elite instances to upgrade our shoulderpads. I mean I do it in plenty of MMOs and have fun with it, but it's not WODish at all.

My most prized possession shouldn't be my "legendary" gun, it should be something more like a lost relic rumored to have been found at the site where Tremere mages cast their immortality spell. I'd definitely err on the side of making mundane gear mundane (rather than something you keep upgrading with 'extra magic' versions), which then allows them to make these lootable if they wish. That doesn't mean they can't have gear escalation, it needs to be there, but it could be about something else than finding 'even more elite full riot gear that I mysteriously wear under my cash shop designer jeans'.

Of course, whatever form they take, the items were the true power of a characters gear are shouldn't be lootable.
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: Rick Gentle on June 03, 2013, 05:36:47 am
I have a proposition that I'm only 50/50 on myself, but...

"Soulbinding". We've seen it in other games, and it's that thing where an item becomes "bound to character" or "bound to account" and can't be stolen, traded, or destroyed without the player's firm assent. I think we could afford to put a system like this in the WODMMO WITH SOME IMPORTANT CHANGES.
These changes being:
1) Only one item at a time can be "soul-bound" [per character slot].
2.1) In order to soul-bind an item, you must have a thaumaturgic ritual cast upon you and the item (by a player-Tremere/blood sorcerer). You must have this ritual cast again in order to change which item is soul-bound.
2.2) OR you can just pay to have this item become effectively soul-bound. Maybe an insurance company in-game can do the same thing as "soul-binding" - i.e., they give the item back if it gets looted or destroyed without the player's firm assent. You would have to pay to have this item re-insured every time this happens (like updating your clone in EVE Online).
3) No item you freshly loot is automatically soul-bound. This must be a conscious act on the part of the player.
4) Items can be un-soul-bound/uninsured by another conscious act on the part of the player, so that they may be traded or destroyed.

This set-up is sort of like having the "free starter haven" idea, where there's one place in the world where you are safe from griefing and being attacked, but it still forces you to take a risk on other items. In this case, you get one "safe" item. If you go around equipped with Tailored Armor and Dragonsbreath Shotguns and Flamethrowers and Dai-Katanas, then you only get to keep one piece of that awesome gear if you get defeated - so you better pick which one you like the best. It's more fair to the loser if they get defeated, but it's also more realistic and beneficial for the attacker if they succeed, since they can loot all the other awesome gear. This would allow the defeated party to get back into the game a little sooner - you have to replace one less item of gear than you would if you lost EVERYTHING, but it would still slow them down a bit as they would have to replace a lot of other gear in order to be as effective as they were.
The problems with this set-up are that 1) it would mean gear has a lot more importance in combat and player-versus-player competition than I'd like to see, and 2) that it would make Valamyr's and other peoples' idea of having "items of power" floating around the world a little pointless, because somebody could just make the item of power their "safe" item, and thus immune to being stolen or otherwise acquired.
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: mouser9169 on June 03, 2013, 11:15:33 am
I don't doubt that gear will have some importance in the game. More than you like? Maybe - but CCP needs to go with what most players will like and players want to be able to improve their character. Once the stat sheet is maxed out, gear is the only way to keep doing this. You've got to keep the timesinks going or people simply stop playing (and stop paying).

Personally, I hate 'soulbinding' but I do understand why it exists. The main reason for 'bind on pickup' items is to prevent 'farmers' from monopolizing content and preventing others from playing the game. I've seen this happen in FF XI where a few major questlines involved opening chests that could contain very good items. The farmers had these things locked down 24/7. The only way to complete the quest was to pay them enough to let you loot the chest when it spawned.

Bind on equip is sort of the answer to 'gear degradation'. Players hate the idea of 'losing' their gear, but you need a way to take the items out of the economy. BoE is the solution that devs have come up with that players will put up with. Personally, I think gear degradation can work, but it would take a lot of 'selling' by the design and marketing team to get players on board. Without that, you need 'soulbinding'. Otherwise you simply get too many items floating around - where everybody has everything, so nothing is worth anything.
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: Nigama on June 03, 2013, 04:26:01 pm
I don't doubt that gear will have some importance in the game. More than you like? Maybe - but CCP needs to go with what most players will like and players want to be able to improve their character. Once the stat sheet is maxed out, gear is the only way to keep doing this.

So then let's make it so you can't max out your "stat sheet."  Just have increasingly small gains for exponentially larger costs.


Quote
You've got to keep the timesinks going or people simply stop playing (and stop paying).

But I want to play the game, not waste time.


Nigama
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: mouser9169 on June 04, 2013, 01:37:20 am

But I want to play the game, not waste time.


Nigama

Well, you'll probably be able to buy XP boosts from the cash shop...

But seriously, MMO's probably aren't your thing. Games have an ending - a point where you 'win'. MMO's go on forever, and you've got to give people something to do to occupy them at least ten hours a week month after month. Gear grinds, XP grinds, faction grinds, questing grinds - obviously you don't want to call them that and you want to dress them up as pretty as you can, but that's the heart and soul of an MMO. That and interacting with other real players.

Story, lore, 'plots', even PvP to an extent are all the icing on the cake. It's the timesinks that make up the cake itself.
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: Radical21 on June 04, 2013, 02:29:47 am

You've got to keep the timesinks going or people simply stop playing (and stop paying).

I'm more likely to quit a game that eats too much of my time without getting anywhere.
Also I don't consider doing repairs or economy related chores to be something that interesting so being forced into spending more time of these elements that do not generate any story and do not generate any interaction with other players is very likely to drive me off from the game faster than even I-Win XP boosts.

What keeps players loyal to the game and want to stick with it? Their involvement with other players and an ongoing emergent story in the game world... In that respect Economy either drive players into conflict like in EVE or it becomes this annoying hassle players can't wait to get out of (only to find after a while that they will never get into that comfortable spot where it isn't annoying)
 
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: Nanaloma on June 04, 2013, 03:21:43 am
In a game like this, isn't winning surviving and thriving?  Couldn't permadeath work if, upon death, a new vampire moves into town at the same level (perhaps with some player tweaking) with a new name and contacts gone?  Perhaps some sort of severe penalty for revealing that you are the same player as before?  Maybe not, but I'd play a game like that. 
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: Radical21 on June 04, 2013, 10:33:17 pm
In a game like this, isn't winning surviving and thriving?  Couldn't permadeath work if, upon death, a new vampire moves into town at the same level (perhaps with some player tweaking) with a new name and contacts gone?  Perhaps some sort of severe penalty for revealing that you are the same player as before?  Maybe not, but I'd play a game like that.

Everyone should be able to define their own character's "winning" conditions, much like in RL.

For Example Beckett and Lacroix have entirely different winning conditions from one another, if you can even say that it is about winning or losing..(you can't have winners without losers)
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: Nanaloma 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). 
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: Radical21 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 (http://: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.


Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: mouser9169 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.
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: Radical21 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..

Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: mouser9169 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.
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: Rick Gentle 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.
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: Radical21 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) .


Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: Nanaloma 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. 
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: mouser9169 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.
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: Rick Gentle 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?
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: Radical21 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 (http://www.mangareader.net/naruto/602/8) 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
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: mouser9169 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.
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: Rick Gentle 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.
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: mouser9169 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.
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: Rick Gentle 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.
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: Radical21 on June 08, 2013, 03:17:57 am
Seriously Rick, you are wasting your breath, even if your words were super logical he wouldn't agree,  he said it himself: Perception (or rather Deception in regards to f2p model)
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: Rick Gentle on June 08, 2013, 07:35:06 am
You say that like I don't have enough breath to spare...  :justabite:
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: Frothy on June 09, 2013, 03:47:12 am
Here mouser, I'll make your post for you:

NO YOU'RE WRONG AND IF THE GAME DOESN'T DO EXACTLY WHAT I WANT IT TO DO IT WILL FAIL
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: Rick Gentle on June 09, 2013, 04:55:19 am
I'll be honest with myself: I have that attitude about NOT including cash-shops, Frothy. I would have an extremely dark and doubtful attitude about the WODMMO's longevity if they put in a cash-shop with things like XP buffs or shortcuts. I haven't played any game that has such a cash-shop that either became extremely popular or has lasted for more than a few years with such a system. World of WarCraft doesn't have one; EVE Online doesn't have one; Star Wars Galaxies didn't have one (but they had a whole slew of other issues with the "Combat Enhancements"... *sigh*).
On the other hand, Dungeons and Dragons Online has one, but that game wasn't the most popular MMO to begin with; now the only people who play it are the buff-buyers and additional-content-unlockers, because the game and its players are... unwelcoming to anybody who isn't buying those things. Even I gave in and bought a bunch of upgrades for one of my characters...  but it turned out to be less than worthless because the game cheated me due to an erroneous ability description. Not only that, but I would've had to keep paying the subscription to unlock one more kind of class (and it's acknowledged as one of the most over-powered classes in D&D - the Monk). If they have a similar system for the WODMMO ("Unlock the "Blood Brothers" Bloodline, a fourth Discipline slot, and +50% Blood Points gain for only $15 a month!")... I'm sorry, but I'd have to drop that game like it was a rabid face-eating badger, and I would absolutely HATE to have to do that to a White Wolf product/World of Darkness product. It's one of my all-time favorite settings, but I think that such a system would completely ruin the game [for me]. I would also have serious doubts about any company that put such a practice into their game, making me less likely to buy any of their products in future.
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: Radical21 on June 10, 2013, 08:12:31 am
These games survive by the fact that nothing in their power mechanics hold any significance in that game world, any PvP content is reduced to Arena play and kicked to the curve so that less people care if some players are better than others because the game is too simple for that so they focus on easy to write crappy PvE story modules.

Star Trek Online is a prime example of that, I think its only as popular because fans are literally starved for new star trek content which the reboot movies do not provide. (Thanks to Jar Jar Abrams)
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: Frothy on June 10, 2013, 02:48:03 pm
I've been playing Neverwinter, a F2P game with a cash shop.
There are three forms of currency.

Gold
Astral Diamonds
Zen

Zen is the currency you pay money for.
You can buy Zen off of other players with Astral Diamonds.

Theoretically, you can get anything that anyone who buys Zen can get.
So far the items in the cash shop are non-game influencing things.
Mounts, different weapon/armour models, and that sort of thing.
Mounts are $40 USD currently.

There are some game influencing things you can get as well, but they're not directly related to the item shop.
Respeccing your talents costs $6
More bank space is $6
More backpack space is $6

I don't really have a problem with this.
These are just things that provide convenience(Barring talent respecs, but if you do some research you can find out what talents are good or bad).

If the WoD had a cash shop like this, I wouldn't be bothered by it.
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: Nosferatu Numbers Station on June 10, 2013, 05:14:04 pm
As where I've been playing Everquest 2.  It's adopted Turbine's methods, LOTRO specifically, with tier membership and A LOT less restricted than it once was.  Indeed, less restricted than LOTRO in that you don't need to buy the expansions up until Chains of Eternity and the Age of discovery packs (the latter is convenience and not mandatory).
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: Rick Gentle on June 10, 2013, 09:05:38 pm
Mounts are $40 USD currently.
That's the OTHER thing about cash-shops... they never know how to properly, realistically PRICE the damn things! I was looking at the special pre-order pack on Perfect World's site, and I just shoot my head at the ridiculous prices they were asking. I think it went up to $100 for a mount, a pet, and some Astral Diamonds. Basically, you turn your character into Drizzt Do'Urden for two or three times what the game box costs.

EDIT
SHOOK my head... Though now that I think of it, maybe it was just a Freudian slip...  :suicide:

The ONE good thing about ZEN and Perfect World's system for it is that you can actually earn ZEN "for free" by going to their site and filling out some sponsored surveys. That's how I've gotten all my ZEN for Blacklight: Retribution. If there were free ways to earn the company currency like this... It wouldn't turn out as badly as other cash-shops. It's still a cheap move, but in this case you're only trading time for a chance at a tiny amount of company currency.
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: Frothy on June 10, 2013, 10:23:13 pm
It's $40 for a "unique" mount, you can get a standard one for 5 gold.
I don't mind them charging idiots $40 for to be a special snowflake.
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: Nosferatu Numbers Station on June 10, 2013, 10:38:15 pm
EQ2's mounts are like 10-20 bucks, ground and air. 

Aion's wing skins are like 5 bucks but the actual wings you can get in-game (good luck finding a group for those though) for like 50 bucks.  Swear one was higher than that.

Speaking of which, get this:  4000 ncoin for a character transfer to another server.  4000 ncoin = 50 bucks.  50 FUCKING BUCKS.  God damn NCsoft.
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: Rick Gentle on June 10, 2013, 10:43:16 pm
Off-topic: How's the rest of Neverwinter? I was hoping for another massively single-player game, but the trend seems to be to turn EVERYTHING into an MMO nowadays...
The Elder Scrolls Online? Really? Really? I hear they're working on Fallout Online, too! Ye gods, people!
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: Radical21 on June 10, 2013, 10:58:08 pm
Off-topic: How's the rest of Neverwinter? I was hoping for another massively single-player game, but the trend seems to be to turn EVERYTHING into an MMO nowadays...
The Elder Scrolls Online? Really? Really? I hear they're working on Fallout Online, too! Ye gods, people!

Just cause its an MMO doesn't mean you play it with other players, 90% of the content is content that players engage in by themselves and its nothing fancy compared to a real single-player game.
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: Nosferatu Numbers Station on June 10, 2013, 11:17:24 pm
I thought fallout online hit the bucket after interplay got said bucket slammed into their faces...and the bucket was full of horse shit.  Pretty sure Bethesda merely wanted the rights just so they can cover their bases.

As for ESO, I heard you start the game killing rats.  Cliche anyone?  Hopefully they make a more suitable introduction than killing rats in some old woman's basement, unless it's a twist to it like oblivion since it wasn't killing rats but killing the predators killing said rats.  I can see it working, but the sad thing is I'm betting it's going to be another 'WoW killer'.  I'm getting tired of those 2 words put together, and the former of them even more.
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: Rick Gentle on June 10, 2013, 11:19:52 pm
That's why I don't like the trend to turn everything into an MMO. Why not just make more massively single-player games like the normal Elder Scrolls or a sequel to Bloodlines?? Ship out some DLC packs like Saints Row III does, or expansion content like for Skyrim and Fallout: New Vegas and you can still make plenty of money!  A lot of the time I've spent in MMOs has been alone; the times I've grouped up with people is usually only because I HAVE to, not because I want to. The player doesn't lose much in a massively single-player game.
It's all cheap hax, man. Cheap hax.
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: Nosferatu Numbers Station on June 10, 2013, 11:44:44 pm
Likely because devs want to get in with the times, unaware that if there are too many MMOs out there your not likely to get a return investment.  Sure you can steal away players from other MMOs if you do a good job at attracting them, but an MMO is like a trend as where a single player game is more of an essential part of video gaming.  MMOs practically feel like single player games ever since they started resorting to group finders.  You skip the social aspect when you do that, and that means the game isn't as social and your friends list is that much emptier (meanwhile your ignore list has probably increased depending on whether the group finder is cross server or not).

So yeah, a bloodlines sequel or another elder scrolls single player with a mulitplayer function that is more akin to inviting another player over instead of being in a world full of them would be a better choice.

Though that last idea would be too conflicting now that I think about it, think of all those errors that would pop up because one person has a mod the other does not.  All those exclamation points, god damn.
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: Frothy on June 11, 2013, 12:36:53 am
Off-topic: How's the rest of Neverwinter? I was hoping for another massively single-player game, but the trend seems to be to turn EVERYTHING into an MMO nowadays...
The Elder Scrolls Online? Really? Really? I hear they're working on Fallout Online, too! Ye gods, people!

Neverwinter is basically a singleplayer game, other than instances.
It's quite good actually.

The combat requires you to pay a lot more attention than something like WoW, and you can actually dodge most of the attacks if you're fast on your feet.

If anyone wants to give it a shot.
My user name is "@rottrevore", feel free to add me.
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: mouser9169 on June 11, 2013, 03:16:37 am
Likely because devs want to get in with the times, unaware that if there are too many MMOs out there your not likely to get a return investment.

Devs (and more importantly the corporate leads) are well aware of the risks of "too many MMOs". But there's really not as much risk to it as you may think. Consider how much shelf space a B&M store devotes to PC titles vs console titles. PC games are being sold by download - which means the customers have a stable internet connection, so why not take advantage of that?

Some are going more the D3 route rather than a full fledged MMO, but the concept is similar. It gives you a portal to sell your customers more stuff for the game they are playing, whether DLC, items, expansions, whatever.

They're also looking ahead to the next gen of consoles which will close the gap between what a console can do vs a PC even further. The money in single (or small multi)  player PC game titles is in a few established franchises at one end, and the Big Fish Games HOPA's at the other. Yes, there's exceptions mixed in here and there, but that's where most of it lies.

And back to the thread title: a player-run economy is one of the things distinguishing an MMO from a cRPG (Diablo 2 being a notable exception). To not have that part of the game fully developed would be foolish. Maybe the game can succeed without it, but why make life harder for yourself when you're trying to break into a well-established market?
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: Rick Gentle on June 11, 2013, 07:26:39 am
Consider how much shelf space a B&M store devotes to PC titles vs console titles.
I read that as "BDSM" store the first time 'round, and I thought, "Hmmmmm..."

You don't need a cash-shop to have a robust player economy, though. Look at Star Wars Galaxies (at least, what it used to be) and EVE Online. I don't think I would call Diablo 2 a player-run economy. Big trading system, sure, and some mods and player-introduced items (and I'm sure you know how THAT was abused). Nothing nearly the scale of EVE or SWG, though.
What we do need is control over resources, production, and buying/selling. Basically, a strong player-run economy in an MMO a baby of Marxism and capitalism. I can't imagine a cash-shop, good or bad, becoming a substitute for a strong player-run economy. There are some crossovers (EVE players being able to sell shop-bought monocles for in-game currency), but not a substitute.
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: Radical21 on June 11, 2013, 10:54:58 am
That's why I don't like the trend to turn everything into an MMO. Why not just make more massively single-player games like the normal Elder Scrolls or a sequel to Bloodlines?? Ship out some DLC packs like Saints Row III does, or expansion content like for Skyrim and Fallout: New Vegas and you can still make plenty of money!  A lot of the time I've spent in MMOs has been alone; the times I've grouped up with people is usually only because I HAVE to, not because I want to. The player doesn't lose much in a massively single-player game.
It's all cheap hax, man. Cheap hax.

The best MMOs are PvP MMOs like EVE that engage players against each-other.

Doing another Bloodlines game might be nice but to be honest we already have the PnP game to accommodate that form of pre-scripted storytelling
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: PANZERBUNNY on June 13, 2013, 06:22:56 pm
Personally, I'd like to focus on playing the game (roleplaying and affecting/changing the world) and not repairing broken items, but maybe that's just me.

Nigama


When it came to items degrading, yes as they are used the number ticks down, but when it hits zero it's gone. No repairing.

I can see some people instantly going "BOOOO", but again, gear is replaced through interacting with others or learning what you need to have a supply of the items you regularly use. Mobs also drop equipment and yes, mobs should drop certain items you can only get from them. Perhaps even used in crafting tiers to upgrade other items.

Also, it breaks up the monotony of having the same gear over and over until you find better. You may actually find it more worthwhile to use lesser gear because you don't want to waste the few high tier swords you have kicking around in your vault. Making all items useful, especially if there is some form of player loot system and I wouldn't write that off, because we're getting permadeath in some capacity, even if it's very hard to make happen.

Maybe a skill could break down what remains of the broken item to be used to make others, but I was thinking more like Darkfall.

Players make all the items apart from mobs drops with degradation already. Guilds/Covens/Whatever they call it NEED people creating the equipment needed to consistently participate in PVP or if in a large group, running raids or whatever runs they may have.

Also, who says all of crafting NEEDS to be your vampire physically working on the item? This is where influences can come into the game. This fits firearms very well. You have your influence in Underworld. You go to the contact. Use your influence. You lose the ability to use it for a certain amount of time. You get your chosen item. A tinkering ability could then be used on those items obtained trough influence to tweek them ever so slightly.

That motivates player interaction, because many people don't have the patience to work their way through the levels of crafting and influence needed.

How can people say crafting has little place in a vampire game when potence has a lvl 6 discipline specifically for that purpose?

Melee weapons need to be specially crafted not to break apart while using potence. Fortitude, yes, that should degrade an item faster.

Essentially we could have a crafting system that not only needs that crafting expertise ranked up, but also a discipline combination to get specific results or even learn the ability to craft certain items.

I don't believe in the traditional method of only knowing 1 or 2 crafting methods. I do agree in gating certain methods from each other so people can have a diverse range they have chosen to focus on and make sacrifices for the ability to craft more prestigious equipment.

As was stated, they shouldn't ignore the gigantic crafting player base that is floating around the internet looking for a game where crafting actually means something.


Being able to gear up your guild mates for the latest run at the enemy, for a price, is a great feeling that your efforts in the game are respected by the designers and the players.

I'll be honest with myself: I have that attitude about NOT including cash-shops, Frothy. I would have an extremely dark and doubtful attitude about the WODMMO's longevity if they put in a cash-shop with things like XP buffs or shortcuts. I haven't played any game that has such a cash-shop that either became extremely popular or has lasted for more than a few years with such a system. World of WarCraft doesn't have one; EVE Online doesn't have one; Star Wars Galaxies didn't have one (but they had a whole slew of other issues with the "Combat Enhancements"... *sigh*).
On the other hand, Dungeons and Dragons Online has one, but that game wasn't the most popular MMO to begin with; now the only people who play it are the buff-buyers and additional-content-unlockers, because the game and its players are... unwelcoming to anybody who isn't buying those things. Even I gave in and bought a bunch of upgrades for one of my characters...  but it turned out to be less than worthless because the game cheated me due to an erroneous ability description. Not only that, but I would've had to keep paying the subscription to unlock one more kind of class (and it's acknowledged as one of the most over-powered classes in D&D - the Monk). If they have a similar system for the WODMMO ("Unlock the "Blood Brothers" Bloodline, a fourth Discipline slot, and +50% Blood Points gain for only $15 a month!")... I'm sorry, but I'd have to drop that game like it was a rabid face-eating badger, and I would absolutely HATE to have to do that to a White Wolf product/World of Darkness product. It's one of my all-time favorite settings, but I think that such a system would completely ruin the game [for me]. I would also have serious doubts about any company that put such a practice into their game, making me less likely to buy any of their products in future.

I don't know. I think you are looking at things from a fairly anachronistic point of view. Hanging onto the economic models of past games that simply doesn't exist in the current market of gamers.

If it was between them putting in a cash shop and slowing down or stopping development of the game, because not enough cash was coming through the door....put in the cash shop. I have faith they could do it and not ruin the game. Indeed, knowing full well they may need that revenue down the road, why not dump it on us from the start?

Remember, the gamer market that played those games are older now and in many cases have large disposable incomes. I hope they'll go the way of LOTRO and be F2P from the start with Premium subs with benefits and VIP subs with benefits.

F2P RESTRICTIONS AND BENEFITS:
-Can't hold positions.
-Restricted character count.
-Can't craft.
-Quest restrictions
-Restricted Vault
-Restricted currency cap
Anything else that would let people get in the game, try it out and instantly decide on a sub package without giving people the means of abusing free accounts?

PREMIUM OR VIP BENFITS:
-Full access to game material.
-If there is a store, the different tiers of sub can offer their game currency every month as an allowance. LOTRO does this and I like it. VIP grants 500 Turbine points. You can save them or use them. You can even buy the expansions with your saved up points, so this is good for the people on a budget who invest in the VIP annual deal, but don't want to spend more on the game for that year.
I'm sure they can think of some other benefits.

 

Going F2P saved LOTRO and at first I hated the idea of their cash store, I may not agree with all they do on it, but it is a good idea.

Who cares if someone buys a crafting tome or skill tome to speed up their development. Some people enjoy the ride and other don't have the time to keep up with their friends due to real life obligations.

This is where the cash store steps in and reaps a terrific reward.

For all we know they are porting over the Skill development method from EVE where you train even while offline and some of the store item ideas won't fit, but many can and you better be sure that they are weighing the options, paying attention to all the other games magnetizing money to their face with it.

Unless the play experience is truly unique, I don't see subs keeping this game alive for a long haul. It's exceptionally difficult to keep games running on subs alone with SO many options out there.

Also, regarding Bloodlines being in the store to be unlocked for use. DO IT! It would fit the lore not having everyone and their dog running around with them. IF not the store, I would go so far as to do a similar unlock process as Star Wars Galaxies with Jedi. Not exactly like that, but I think you understand what I'm saying.

Even if it's a long, hard, drawn out quest line to unlock that privy, but again, why would they put so much dev time into a few Bloodline only to make it exceptionally difficult for people to enjoy? Bloodlines in the store doesn't sound like a half bad idea.
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: Rick Gentle on June 14, 2013, 07:23:33 am
F2P RESTRICTIONS AND BENEFITS:
-Can't hold positions.
-Restricted character count.
-Can't craft.
-Quest restrictions
-Restricted Vault
-Restricted currency cap
Anything else that would let people get in the game, take it out and instantly decide on a sub package without giving people the means of accomplishing anything with free accounts?

PREMIUM OR VIP BENFITS:
Pay-to-win
That set-up is arguably even worse than the "XP potions" idea. At least with XP-potion analogues you have to log on and do the quests to get the base experience amount. Restricting quests from free-to-play players is depriving them of not only the actual content of the game, but the much-needed access to experience and other gains that would allow them to being to compete with the buff-buyers. Take away those quests and additional content for the non-buff-buyers, and the game will settle into three categories very quickly: the mortals, the thin-bloods, and the Methuselahs (where the non-buff-buyers are the thin bloods and the buff-buyers are the Methuselahs). That's just about only one step removed from buying a stronger character from the start.
They did this in DDO (EDIT - Sorry, that should've been "Become a V.I.P. Member, get access to the full game!" /EDIT) and it has ended up being that if you don't pay for a V.I.P. Membership, you can barely do half the game (and the lower half at that), and the only way to reach the level cap within a couple years is to spend as much money in the cash-shop as the V.I.P. Content people do for a year's worth of subscription. In this case, not only are you depriving the general population (or as they will become known, the "have-nots") of PvE content (quests), you're making it pointless for them to engage in PvP, since they can never seriously benefit from it if they can never take a city position. So if there's no PvP and no PvE for them to do, why should they play the game at all? If they are truly that desperate to simply socialize with people, then they're probably better off playing Second Life or joining a chat room.

The player economy you describe is a system similar to that of Star Wars Galaxies, only they had the added step of hunting resources instead of buying from a contact. (But you had a resource skill tree that would let you get more resources faster, so they still had a progression system for it.) This did not lead to player interaction so much as player exploitation, because it didn't even cost the sellers time to produce all their crafts. (Everything could be automated, from resource harvesting to production, even to selling the goods via a vendor.) The only real option aside from wasting all your hard-earned money on a single piece of good armor was to become a merchant yourself and produce the goods you wanted. This was a valid option - you could be a Carbineer/Chef, which gave you a bunch of short-term but powerful buffs, or a Rifleman/Weaponsmith, which let you produce your very own custom-made rifles. The downside of being a successful merchant was that that became the entire game for you, using up all your available skill points. The downside of going into business for yourself, as it were, was that you'd only ever produce enough for your character alone; if it wasn't the very best, no-one would buy it, so you couldn't even sell off your hand-me-down gear when you upgraded it. I think this exactly the situation the developers of the WODMMO want to avoid by not putting in a crafting system.
The only reason this system works in EVE Online is because EVE Online is all about money anyway. Money = success, whereas in a more exciting MMO, there are some other things to do, like have fun.

Putting in a cash-shop can't speed up the development of the game anymore than a subscription model could. (Assuming we're talking about post-launch support and expansion content, here, not actual development of the base game.) A cash-shop is a dangerous proposition, because you could actually lose more money than you needed. A subscription is a nice, stable price for both players and developers, whereas in a cash-shop system, there might be a few people who spend $100 a month on upgrades, but most players probably only buy a few things a month, spending in the $5-10 range.
Your concept of the cash-shop seems to hinge on the idea that only players who NEED it will use it. The players who don't have the time to pour hours into the game and get ahead the slow-but-sure way. I can assure you that is never the case. The only deciding factor in a cash-shop is who has more disposable income and the will to use it. Some people put in long hours at work or school and are still scraping by each month. Some people have oodles of spare time AND a large income, so they will pull head exponentially faster (since they can dedicate both time and money) than our poor player who might use the game as their primary source of entertainment, because they can't afford anything else. I have been the poor player (I guess I still am), and I can tell you: the game is not going to be any fun if I feel like I'm making no progress, or whatever progress I'm making is pointless because somebody with more money bought their way to the top of the game, even if the game is free-to-play.
If we assume any given player has $20 a month to spend on games, and that they do, then the difference will be time spent playing. That's about as fair as you can get without putting in an even more broken cash-shop that says: "Oh, Player X has only spent 5 hours this month playing the game. They get a 50% discount on cash-shop items so they can pull ahead!" IF there is a cash-shop in a game, then the same bonus should cost the same for any given player.
Now let's say a player has $0 to spend on a game in a month. Then free-to-play is great for them - but the cash-shop isn't. They still cannot compete with the buff-buyers whether those are the buff-buyers with an average amount of time to play the game, or the buff-buyers who have oodles of time to play the game. I've already shown how buying a buff screws up balance either because
1) The buff-buyer and non-buff-buyer devote the same amount of time to the game, where the buff-buyer pulls head by the amount of buffs they've bought, or
2) The non-buff-buyer has a lot more time to spend on the game, but the buff-buyer only has a few hours (your scenario). In this case, the buff-buyer will buy their way through all the hard work that the non-buff-buyer spent on this game, achieving the same ends for a fraction of the effort. That's efficient. That's quick. That's cost-effective. It's also a bribe and a shortcut.

What game or sport can you think of where bribing and taking shortcuts is legal and fair?
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: mouser9169 on June 14, 2013, 09:36:15 am
Putting in a cash-shop can't speed up the development of the game anymore than a subscription model could. (Assuming we're talking about post-launch support and expansion content, here, not actual development of the base game.) A cash-shop is a dangerous proposition, because you could actually lose more money than you needed. A subscription is a nice, stable price for both players and developers, whereas in a cash-shop system, there might be a few people who spend $100 a month on upgrades, but most players probably only buy a few things a month, spending in the $5-10 range.

Wall of text crits you for 10,000 damage. You die from pain and suffering...

1) Cash shop or not has nothing to do with the crafting system - whatever form it ends up taking. I'm not sure why that is even getting discussed in a thread about the player economy.

2) A cash shop is not a 'dangerous' proposition at all. It may have been when DDO did it, but since then many major MMO's have moved to that model, and are doing well. There's now a LOT of market data on how it works, who buys what, how much they spend, etc...

3) Quest limits are generally how many you can keep in your quest log at once. It's an annoyance, but you can still play the game. Remember though - we don't want players actually playing the game for free. That's just a drain on resources by people who aren't putting anything back into the game. So there need to be some compelling reasons to put some money up: a trend I see now is that some of the restrictions are permanently lifted once you spend five dollars in the shop. It at least gets people to check the shop out and pull out their card.

4) Most FTP games have some sort of 'subscription' option available. They may call it something else, but the idea is always the same. Hell, CityVille has a monthly subscription option available now, and quite a few people are using it.

Now for the player economy - do you go with the traditional different crafting professions to choose from? This has the advantage of one player not able to do everything, so it 'encourages' player interaction. How time consuming do you make crafting? Is it automatically successful or can you lose your component due to a failure? Do you use an auction house or a broker system, or some other in game marketplace for goods. Do ghouls actually help out, or do you end up working for them a la the EQ II 'apprentices'?

How good do you want crafted loot to be? If it's not good enough, no one will bother buying it, so crafting fails. Crafters need adventurers more than adventurers need crafters. Make it too good and people start bitching about looted gear not being good enough.  You're going to make a lot of people unhappy no matter what you do, really.
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: Rick Gentle on June 16, 2013, 06:10:43 pm
You could've rolled to dodge... Not my fault you died in pain and suffering.  :justabite:

The closest I've been able to find (in about ten minutes of websearching) of actual purchasing statistics for the Turbine-run cash-shop in DDO are reviews -

a more positive review of the game and the cash-shop ( http://www.tentonhammer.com/ddo/second-look (http://www.tentonhammer.com/ddo/second-look) ) -

and a more negative review ( http://www.mmorpg.com/gamelist.cfm/game/163/feature/7261 (http://www.mmorpg.com/gamelist.cfm/game/163/feature/7261) ) -

so if you can find some more hard numbers, I want to take a look at them.
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: Radical21 on June 16, 2013, 09:33:08 pm
1)I'm not sure why that is even getting discussed in a thread about the player economy.

2) A cash shop is not a 'dangerous' proposition at all.

Am I the only seeing the contradiction here?
You either want to talk about it or you don't , saying you think its off topic and then proceeding to challenge Rick about it..
so as the GM of this little forum combat you are running against Rick , You fail!..
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: xxbxx on June 27, 2013, 08:15:09 am
F2P is a failure, simple, MAJORITY of these F2P players end up not paying, and you need money to sustain the game, so, in the end, paying minority is forced to pay much more in F2P game to sustain it, and F2P is an excuse for devs not to release additional content. There are just a few MMOs on the market that arent complete failure, both financially, and as entertainment software - most of those F2P MMOs end up on life suport with little additional content added, except cash shop items. Thats what F2P proponents dont say!

I honestly hope WOD MMO will use subscription model, or I'm not gonna play it. Its a matter of integrity of the game and even playing field - I wanna know that other guy have the same stuff I have and he's not disadvantaged. Thats important for PvP.
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: mouser9169 on June 28, 2013, 12:02:55 pm
F2P is a failure, simple, MAJORITY of these F2P players end up not paying, and you need money to sustain the game, so, in the end, paying minority is forced to pay much more in F2P game to sustain it, and F2P is an excuse for devs not to release additional content. There are just a few MMOs on the market that arent complete failure, both financially, and as entertainment software - most of those F2P MMOs end up on life suport with little additional content added, except cash shop items. Thats what F2P proponents dont say!

Most MMO's "fail" and end up being run on life support, regardless of their financial model.
Hell, most games end up in the bargain bin within six months.

If FTP (which generally includes a subscription option) is such a failure, explain why SOE migrated all of their games over to that model after running separate FTP and subscription servers for EQ2. Do you think they may have noticed that one group of servers was more profitable than the other? It sure hasn't slowed down their content any - they're still releasing expansions like clockwork and are releasing new content for games that hadn't gotten so much as a hotfix in years.

Here's what you're missing: the "freeloaders" cost the gaming company almost nothing. They purchased a copy of the game, so the company has already gotten some revenue. After that the servers and network need to be kept running 24/7, regardless of the number of players (to a point - extra servers cost some money, but even that is a one time expense). Most of the costs are "fixed" - like a store needing pay rent and lights: those don't change based on the number of customers.

The flip side is the freeloaders bring something of value with them - more players for the paying customers to interact with, making it a more enjoyable game for them, which translates into them sticking around longer and paying more money.

As to "hard numbers" (very late reply, sorry Rick), you'd have to dig through annual reports, P&L statements, and anything else released. Many of the numbers (all if a private company) would be internal and most too small to be line items anyway, which is why networking is so important in an industry like this.
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: Rick Gentle on June 28, 2013, 05:00:34 pm
Because Sony Online Entertainment makes sucky decisions for their games?
Or at least the one I actually cared about and wanted to do well?
It's not personal.
Really.
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: Radical21 on June 28, 2013, 06:22:49 pm
Heh I can't believe you guys bite on that obvious troll

Not that I like F2P models but even I wouldn't go as far as calling it a failure.
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: xxbxx on June 30, 2013, 01:52:42 pm
It wasn't trolling (I firmly believe what I said is true, I didn't post just to provoke comments)!

Those freeloaders cost actually. More people you have, more servers you need. Also, because they aren't paying usually they're restricted (in gold or assets they can get), so they don't contribute to the economy too.

The only good F2P model is WoW one, free to some extent, so you can experience quests pvp and dungeons, but nothing more. Also EVE/Tera model is acceptable too (with game subscription item that can be sold in game), or combination of these two.
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: mouser9169 on June 30, 2013, 04:21:29 pm
Because Sony Online Entertainment makes sucky decisions for their games?
Or at least the one I actually cared about and wanted to do well?
It's not personal.
Really.

If you're talking about Star Wars Galaxies, as much as I hated what happened to that game (both the NGE and the closure), I can't really blame SOE for either of those events - I think they were driven by the Lucas Arts end of things [the way they were handled, on the other hand... Although LA may have 'gagged' them on that as well].
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: Rick Gentle on June 30, 2013, 11:42:58 pm
Completely off-topic, but this has something vaguely to do with guns and weapons and items. This struck me as I was playing Mount and Blade: Warband with the Floris modpack:
Free-targeting AND mechanical targeting! I'm also fairly certain this idea was already proposed, but the weird arrow physics in this mod made think of it [again].

So free-targeting is what we see in most FPS games. You aim the mouse and click the button and it shoots. You don't need to select a target.
Mechanical targeting is what we see in a great deal of MMOs - you have to select [one] target and the computer locks onto it for you. You can't use most attacks unless you have something targeted.

Free-mechanical targeting is this: You can usually shoot wherever and whenever you wish, but when the mouse is hovering over a given target and you fire, the computer targeting takes over and executes the attack for you. You don't need to lock on, and you need to keep the crosshairs on the target - thus making it "free" - but the attack is handled all by the computer, meaning that character stats actually have an effect  making it mechanical. This would allow for both player skill - keep the crosshairs on-target like a normal FPS - but make sure that the actual attack and damage depends on character stats instead of solely on player skill. (They could even make it so that at higher levels of Firearms there is a more and more accurate auto-aim function.)

They could make it so that there are different effects for hitting a character in a certain part, "called shots". The shooting player could toggle whether they just want a basic attack, or aim for the head, or aim for the legs, etc. Shooting someone in the head is harder, but obviously deals more damage (or Lethal damage in the case of vampires); shooting someone in the legs slows them down; shooting someone in the arm makes them less effective at attacking - can't hold two-handed weapons, etc.
The computer would still be handling the mechanical attack based on whatever ruleset the developers choose (ex: you can hit the head only on a mechanical roll of 8+, or on a roll of 90-100 on a percentage roll, or whatever), but the player gets the choice of both the target (and they can switch targets as quickly as they can move the mouse, instead of having to tab-select), and gives them the choice of specifying targets, but all players are still using the same rule base!

They had a system like this in post-"New Game Enhancements" SWG, where you could ONLY shoot if you had something under your crosshairs, but this is more like true free targeting. You could even hit an Obfuscated character if you wanted to go around shooting randomly. (Which is what some people might be driven to.) Stealth would be overpowered if you always had to select the target, but is less effective with free or free-mechanical targeting, since you can just unload.

The drawback is that it probably takes much more processing by the server to determine where everybody is, how far away they are from one another (ranged penalties), bullet trajectories, etc, in an open-world format, as compared to selection/pure mechanical targeting. However, I've played plenty of MMOs where they have free targeting where it does calculate every aspect of this (distance, bullet spread, trajectory, bullet speed, shotgun scatter, etc), and I don't think it's any real problem. The only real difference is that those tended to be instanced games instead of open-world.
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: mouser9169 on July 02, 2013, 10:32:14 am
The drawback is that it probably takes much more processing by the server to determine where everybody is, how far away they are from one another (ranged penalties), bullet trajectories, etc, in an open-world format, as compared to selection/pure mechanical targeting. However, I've played plenty of MMOs where they have free targeting where it does calculate every aspect of this (distance, bullet spread, trajectory, bullet speed, shotgun scatter, etc), and I don't think it's any real problem. The only real difference is that those tended to be instanced games instead of open-world.

You've stated the problem and the solution.

The reason those games are instanced is to limit the amount of calculations required. Trying to keep track of everybody in an open world is too herculean a task - character position and movement is usually handled client side with periodic 'checks' by the server. There's probably an exception or two floating around out there: you can make your game do anything if you make it the focal point of the game, but it always comes at a cost to something else.

Games are moving to thinner clients as time and technology moves on, but we're not at a point where completely 'dumb' terminals are feasible yet. The other obvious problem with 'free' targeting is network and client side lag. SWG used a form of free targeting in space combat. Once the ping was high enough combat was practically impossible, since you were shooting at where a ship was, instead of where it is. You might get lucky with large NPC ships that followed predictable paths by 'leading' them, but that would never work against a skilled player ship.
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: xxbxx on July 02, 2013, 08:37:42 pm
In free targeting system there's a problem of handling friendly fire as well, while games that don't have free targeting can omit it, so IMHO the latter is better, at least for a MMO, where you aren't supposed to shoot players and NPCs that belong to your own faction.
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: Nosferatu Numbers Station on July 02, 2013, 09:35:13 pm
In free targeting system there's a problem of handling friendly fire as well, while games that don't have free targeting can omit it, so IMHO the latter is better, at least for a MMO, where you aren't supposed to shoot players and NPCs that belong to your own faction.

Ah but there lies in a problem that is most prominent in a game called Team Fortress 2: What is to stop one from doing so anyways if they want to check if the ally is really an obfuscated person with mask of a thousand faces?  Shooting people as a way to say hello comes across as too peculiar for a proper greeting, let alone a means to uphold the masquerade if there is gunfire in the middle of the streets.  Yes I know we have auspex, but not all kindred will have that ability.

So, anyone have any proper work arounds for that as a means of engagement?
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: mouser9169 on July 02, 2013, 11:31:40 pm
What is to stop one from doing so anyways if they want to check if the ally is really an obfuscated person with mask of a thousand faces?

I think the blue name floating above their head will be a pretty good clue...
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: Rick Gentle on July 03, 2013, 03:34:43 am
The good news is that in order to run an open-world game, the world can be broken down into zones that are individually loaded by whoever is using them at the time - I don't know what it's called, but it's not quite instancing, and it's not quite separate servers*. I've seen this in big open-world games like SWG, where every square kilometer was a separately-loaded zone, and in Skyrim. Instead of reading the entire world all the time at once, it would just need to calculate things in a given zone, or across the invisible walls separating loaded zones.

*on the note of different servers, I believe the developers did mention they were going for different instances of each zone like we see in Dungeons and Dragons Online, with freedom of movement between them. That should reduce the burden on the server while still letting people all exist in the "same" world.

If they do have a free-targeting system, there should be friendly fire. There aren't neat little clear-cut lines between sects, or between members of the same sect, as there are in most other games. The World of Darkness isn't Red vs. Blue, it's dog-eat-dog, with every vampire fundamentally out for themselves. The closest thing that comes to "a team" is your coterie... and the bullet you just fired doesn't care that a coterie member got in the way.
Anyway, if they put in the mixed system I remembered/proposed, the computer could check whether the target you are hovering over is nominally an ally and simply not fire - or fire but just not damage them. That's just as much of a "gimme" as tab-selection targeting is, though.

"Shooting people as a way to say hello comes across as too peculiar for a proper greeting"
I dunno - I do exactly that if I think there's a Spy around. But if we allowed friendly fire, there would be no way to tell whether the person is actually an enemy or not, since you'd damage them either way. It may be a little cruel, but it's also more realistic and keeps the stealth system alive. If somebody is just randomly shooting into corners hoping to hit a Nossie, there is no reason the game should register the hit on the shooter's screen, or splash blood, etc. (If the Obfuscation holds, it should cover blood splatters as well as the actual Nossie.) The Nossie would still take damage, but the shooter would never realize it. Only if the Nossie attacks would the Obfuscate be sure to break.
On the other hand... in the politically-complex World of Darkness, shooting somebody in greeting tells them that you don't trust them, and that has its own repercussions. It would be especially rude/antagonistic if you actually dealt damage, thus (hopefully) making fewer people go all loose-cannon on everybody they meet. It might just be your Ally, who is no longer your Ally because "WTF, man?! You just shot me!"
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: Valamyr on July 03, 2013, 08:53:53 pm
On this topic, regarding what theyve told us about not wanting Kindred to craft stuff themselves but instead have and cultivate underlings for that: that's great, I loved it in theory.

But I've seen a 'system' like this implemented in the new Neverwinter, really poorly. Like, Zynga games bad. You just click on repetitive tasks and a task bar slowly progresses and at the end you get a bit of 'craft xp' and some coins or stuff. The crafting game revolves around logging in very often to maximize usage of your 'craft slots', no strategy nor feeling of accomplishment, no ties to any physical element in the game world, and to add insult to injury, you can use RMT to 'auto complete' your "crafting" load bars...

So as cool as the theory sounds, its possible and even easy to REALLY screw up implementing that :p I'm hoping they're planning on designing something a little more solid than this.
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: Nanaloma on July 04, 2013, 12:47:50 am
Maybe one should use brain power and the social aspect to determine friend/foe/neutral rather then crude gimmicks. 
Title: Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
Post by: Rick Gentle on July 04, 2013, 02:17:23 am
It sounds like they did that exact same crafting system in The Old Republic, Valamyr (with the ability to purchase shortcuts). Sure, it was convenient, but it wasn't nearly as involved as crafting systems in other games, and it didn't feel at all satisfying to complete an item.

I think in most games, the point of a "crafting" system is really to collect the resources. The actual "crafting" is waiting to fill up a progress bar over the course of a few seconds, minutes, or hours. I'm awaiting the game where the crafting stage has a purpose - maybe like outfitting a ship in EVE Online, or modding a gun in Blacklight: Retribution, but the ship/gun turns out to be the product. The resources are much less scarce, but you can combine them in slightly different ways to make a more specific kind of product.
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