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Penny Arcade - Comic - The Policy

DogDog Registered User, Administrator, Vanilla Staff admin
edited March 22 in The Penny Arcade Hub
imagePenny Arcade - Comic - The Policy

Videogaming-related online strip by Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins. Includes news and commentary.

Read the full story here

Unknown User on
H3KnucklesAndy JoeKoopahTroopahTofystedeth

Posts

  • RingoRingo He/Him Bury me at Lone Tree DenRegistered User regular
    The heist is off, apparently

    Sterica wrote: »
    I know my last visit to my grandpa on his deathbed was to find out how the whole Nazi werewolf thing turned out.
    Edcrab's Exigency RPG
    Rhesus PositivecB557zepherinKoopahTroopah
  • Anon von ZilchAnon von Zilch Registered User regular
    edited March 22
    Ringo wrote: »
    The heist is off, apparently

    That was just a pitch, much like Lookouts, Automata, Sand, and Nightlight once were. They'll probably do more if it gets a good enough response.

    Anon von Zilch on
    H3KnucklesAndy Joe
  • ironzergironzerg Registered User regular
    edited March 22
    So having kids has really changed my thoughts on freemium. It's really hard to play a game side-by-side with your kids. I learned this playing the D&D Idle Champions. My kids (10 and under) and I play a lot of games together. And we play a lot of single player games together in parallel.

    They saw me playing Idle Champions, thought it was cool and wanted to try it. Since it was free, why not?

    But then they started asking me, "How did you get that?" or "Or that guy is awesome, how'd you get him"...and also knowing that I threw a few bucks a month at it to help "speed" things along, my gear was always way better than theirs.

    So at this point, I had to explain to my spawn that in fact, you dad is not just better at this game than them. He's a dickless wallet warrior who can progress way faster than you because of this magic metal rectangle numbers I punch into the game, giving me an advantage they'll never overcome. It really slapped me in the face with how much of a gap there really is in games where you can spend money to "progress faster"...which is a nicer way of telling us it's not just P2W.

    Magic looks cool. It's maybe even a game my kids would enjoy. But I know it's going to suck if you're not spending even a small amount of money, something my kids just don't have access to. And they now understand how it all works...it doesn't stop them from playing freemium games, but they drop them quickly once they hit the "not fun unless you pay" wall. And so does dad.

    Note that the same thing happened when I picked up Genshin Impact, after this place was going bananas for a hot second about how good of a game it was. I thought it might be another good game to play with the boys...multiplayer BotW? Sounds awesome. Thirty minutes in and I'm being hit with 11 different confusing and complex currencies, all of which is pointing me towards opening up loot boxes, or complete daily quests...all while being assured that I absolutely don't need to spend money to have fun, but just in case here's all the ways you can spend money. It was bullshit and I never turned the game on again.

    Anyway, at the end of the day I know they have a business model, and I know it's "fair". Everyone deserves to be paid for their time and talent. But I know these games don't work unless at the very least you're open to paying that not-required-but-required monthly tithe to the developers. Or you're one of those guys who insists they get everything by just playing the game, but whose hours online infer that his best gaming buddy is some botting software, and not the flesh bags he use to enjoy playing games with.

    ironzerg on


    SmrtnikRingo
  • OctoberRavenOctoberRaven Plays fighting games for the story Skyeline Hotel Apartment 4ARegistered User regular
    aww, no heist or future pizza that is surely still better than the abomination that is Hawaiian.

    Currently Most Hype For: VTMB2, Bayonetta 3 (Bayonetta With A Vengeance)
    Currently Playing: No Man's Sky
  • BropocalypseBropocalypse Registered User regular
    edited March 22
    Gabe's plan is what my parents did, except that instead of the elder sibling teaching the younger, the elder sibling gets a free ride education to a prestigious art school and the parents pressure the younger into paying for their own education while expecting them to become an accountant.

    Bropocalypse on
  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    It's OK for game developers to get paid, but there's a gap between "getting paid" and the "our monetisation system would make a schoolyard heroin dealer blink" setups that many of these games have.

    Older members may remember the Lootbox thread in D&D. Oh boy there were some opinions in there.

    RingoMan in the Mists
  • BropocalypseBropocalypse Registered User regular
    edited March 22
    Freemium games only add a randomization aspect to their purchases in order to get you to pay more for things you don't want. If they wanted to make more honestly, they'd simply let you buy the thing without ambiguity and for a higher price. Instead, they say "well, you MIGHT get it, and MIGHT only get it for two dollars :)" When you really have only a one in fifty chance of getting it so statistically you end up paying a hundred dollars.
    It preys on the human instinct of "determination to get what you want" and turns it into "maybe now you'll get lucky, so keep forking over the dough." They made the systems this way on purpose. They're exploiting your own reasoning and feeling of enjoyment to squeeze the audience out of much more wealth than the thing is actually worth by creating artificial scarcity.
    One may make the argument of "Well, then don't do it." But they've constructed this system to whittle away at that reasoning. By virtue of its past successes it's a proven way to eat at the parts of our animal brains that aren't reasonable. And many people, especially children, don't have the scar tissue built up to withstand it.

    Bropocalypse on
    RingoH3KnucklescB557
  • DelzhandDelzhand Hard to miss. Registered User regular
    There's also the deeper issue that a lot of freemium/gacha games trade HARD on "look at this character's TITS! Don't you want a jpeg/live-animation/3d model of these TITS?"

    Steam|FFXIV|Switch SW-3472-4893-0802
    Red RaevynH3KnucklesMan in the Mists
  • dennisdennis Executive Peasant Registered User regular
    V1m wrote: »
    It's OK for game developers to get paid, but there's a gap between "getting paid" and the "our monetisation system would make a schoolyard heroin dealer blink" setups that many of these games have.

    Also, how often have these exploitive lootbox games (that are actually the popular ones) really paid the developers, versus the money just going to fund some executive's third house? Because I don't notice developers saying they love these mechanics because of how well they get paid when they implement them. I feel like any company that's okay with putting out a game like that are also okay with wringing every cent out of their payroll.

    V1mH3Knuckles
  • YoungFreyYoungFrey Registered User regular
    edited March 23
    Freemium games only add a randomization aspect to their purchases in order to get you to pay more for things you don't want. If they wanted to make more honestly, they'd simply let you buy the thing without ambiguity and for a higher price. Instead, they say "well, you MIGHT get it, and MIGHT only get it for two dollars :)" When you really have only a one in fifty chance of getting it so statistically you end up paying a hundred dollars.
    It preys on the human instinct of "determination to get what you want" and turns it into "maybe now you'll get lucky, so keep forking over the dough." They made the systems this way on purpose. They're exploiting your own reasoning and feeling of enjoyment to squeeze the audience out of much more wealth than the thing is actually worth by creating artificial scarcity.
    One may make the argument of "Well, then don't do it." But they've constructed this system to whittle away at that reasoning. By virtue of its past successes it's a proven way to eat at the parts of our animal brains that aren't reasonable. And many people, especially children, don't have the scar tissue built up to withstand it.

    Statistics correction: Given a 1/50 chance, if you try 50 times, you are far form guaranteed to see it. It works out to about 64% to get it 1 or more times. 100 tries is only 87%. You're looking at 228 tries to see a 99% chance. Which sounds like a certainty too, but given the number of people playing these games, a number of players will roll those dice and still not get what they want.

    And that is only if the game doesn't cheat.

    YoungFrey on
    RingoH3KnucklescB557
  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    YoungFrey wrote: »
    Freemium games only add a randomization aspect to their purchases in order to get you to pay more for things you don't want. If they wanted to make more honestly, they'd simply let you buy the thing without ambiguity and for a higher price. Instead, they say "well, you MIGHT get it, and MIGHT only get it for two dollars :)" When you really have only a one in fifty chance of getting it so statistically you end up paying a hundred dollars.
    It preys on the human instinct of "determination to get what you want" and turns it into "maybe now you'll get lucky, so keep forking over the dough." They made the systems this way on purpose. They're exploiting your own reasoning and feeling of enjoyment to squeeze the audience out of much more wealth than the thing is actually worth by creating artificial scarcity.
    One may make the argument of "Well, then don't do it." But they've constructed this system to whittle away at that reasoning. By virtue of its past successes it's a proven way to eat at the parts of our animal brains that aren't reasonable. And many people, especially children, don't have the scar tissue built up to withstand it.

    Statistics correction: Given a 1/50 chance, if you try 50 times, you are far form guaranteed to see it. It works out to about 64% to get it 1 or more times. 100 tries is only 87%. You're looking at 228 tries to see a 99% chance. Which sounds like a certainty too, but given the number of people playing these games, a number of players will roll those dice and still not get what they want.

    And that only only if the game doesn't cheat.

    "Ah but I have tried so many times and failed so logically THIS time I'm sure to win" <-- how human brains see games of chance

    H3KnucklesTofystedeth
  • YoungFreyYoungFrey Registered User regular
    V1m wrote: »
    YoungFrey wrote: »
    Freemium games only add a randomization aspect to their purchases in order to get you to pay more for things you don't want. If they wanted to make more honestly, they'd simply let you buy the thing without ambiguity and for a higher price. Instead, they say "well, you MIGHT get it, and MIGHT only get it for two dollars :)" When you really have only a one in fifty chance of getting it so statistically you end up paying a hundred dollars.
    It preys on the human instinct of "determination to get what you want" and turns it into "maybe now you'll get lucky, so keep forking over the dough." They made the systems this way on purpose. They're exploiting your own reasoning and feeling of enjoyment to squeeze the audience out of much more wealth than the thing is actually worth by creating artificial scarcity.
    One may make the argument of "Well, then don't do it." But they've constructed this system to whittle away at that reasoning. By virtue of its past successes it's a proven way to eat at the parts of our animal brains that aren't reasonable. And many people, especially children, don't have the scar tissue built up to withstand it.

    Statistics correction: Given a 1/50 chance, if you try 50 times, you are far form guaranteed to see it. It works out to about 64% to get it 1 or more times. 100 tries is only 87%. You're looking at 228 tries to see a 99% chance. Which sounds like a certainty too, but given the number of people playing these games, a number of players will roll those dice and still not get what they want.

    And that only only if the game doesn't cheat.

    "Ah but I have tried so many times and failed so logically THIS time I'm sure to win" <-- how human brains see games of chance

    It has a cute name and everything: The Gambler's Fallacy.

    RingoV1mH3KnucklesMan in the MistsMoridin889Donnicton
  • HevachHevach Registered User regular
    edited March 22
    YoungFrey wrote: »
    Freemium games only add a randomization aspect to their purchases in order to get you to pay more for things you don't want. If they wanted to make more honestly, they'd simply let you buy the thing without ambiguity and for a higher price. Instead, they say "well, you MIGHT get it, and MIGHT only get it for two dollars :)" When you really have only a one in fifty chance of getting it so statistically you end up paying a hundred dollars.
    It preys on the human instinct of "determination to get what you want" and turns it into "maybe now you'll get lucky, so keep forking over the dough." They made the systems this way on purpose. They're exploiting your own reasoning and feeling of enjoyment to squeeze the audience out of much more wealth than the thing is actually worth by creating artificial scarcity.
    One may make the argument of "Well, then don't do it." But they've constructed this system to whittle away at that reasoning. By virtue of its past successes it's a proven way to eat at the parts of our animal brains that aren't reasonable. And many people, especially children, don't have the scar tissue built up to withstand it.

    Statistics correction: Given a 1/50 chance, if you try 50 times, you are far form guaranteed to see it. It works out to about 64% to get it 1 or more times. 100 tries is only 87%. You're looking at 228 tries to see a 99% chance. Which sounds like a certainty too, but given the number of people playing these games, a number of players will roll those dice and still not get what they want.

    And that only only if the game doesn't cheat.

    And the clever games will cheat in an especially insidious way. There was an infamous series of talks leaked about "turning players into payers" and one of the tricks is to detect losing streaks and break them with something highly rated, but also old and largely out of the metagame. So the person who's opened 100 boxes finally gets a 5 star hero, but it's some shit noob hero and everybody who paid $15 during the special event got a 6 star hard counter to him months ago.

    It's enough to make your brain think it's making progress without actually giving you what you're chasing.

    Hevach on
    V1mRhesus PositiveH3KnucklesMan in the MistscB557
  • TrueLinkTrueLink Registered User regular
    Delzhand wrote: »
    There's also the deeper issue that a lot of freemium/gacha games trade HARD on "look at this character's TITS! Don't you want a jpeg/live-animation/3d model of these TITS?"

    Hey, that's not always the case. Sometimes they are 900 year old dragons that conveniently look, talk, and think like 12 year old girls. Now if you would excuse me, I have to throw up.

  • DelzhandDelzhand Hard to miss. Registered User regular
    edited March 22
    TrueLink wrote: »
    Delzhand wrote: »
    There's also the deeper issue that a lot of freemium/gacha games trade HARD on "look at this character's TITS! Don't you want a jpeg/live-animation/3d model of these TITS?"

    Hey, that's not always the case. Sometimes they are 900 year old dragons that conveniently look, talk, and think like 12 year old girls. Now if you would excuse me, I have to throw up.

    I leveled Halloween Nowi in FEH up to 40 in public and the whole time I was trying to skip the level up animation for fear that the cops were going to pop out from behind a fern and arrest me

    it was embarrassing but she was the only red tome flier at that point in the game, so you do what you gotta do

    Delzhand on
    Steam|FFXIV|Switch SW-3472-4893-0802
  • HevachHevach Registered User regular
    edited March 22
    TrueLink wrote: »
    Delzhand wrote: »
    There's also the deeper issue that a lot of freemium/gacha games trade HARD on "look at this character's TITS! Don't you want a jpeg/live-animation/3d model of these TITS?"

    Hey, that's not always the case. Sometimes they are 900 year old dragons that conveniently look, talk, and think like 12 year old girls. Now if you would excuse me, I have to throw up.

    While looking for a naval ship game I had on an old phone, I discovered an entire genre of gacha game where real warships, planes, tanks, or guns are embodied by anime waifus. Like, the screenshots literally show a girl in a gray schoolgirl uniform with yellow lines, a backpack that looks like a carrier island, and little planes flying around her head, with the caption, "USS Kittyhawk," and I don't know how to process this into long term memory.

    Presumably the storyline clarifies that Kittyhawk is 21 and only looks young and she's only technical your step sister.

    Hevach on
    PreacherRhesus Positive
  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    edited March 23
    Hevach wrote: »
    TrueLink wrote: »
    Delzhand wrote: »
    There's also the deeper issue that a lot of freemium/gacha games trade HARD on "look at this character's TITS! Don't you want a jpeg/live-animation/3d model of these TITS?"

    Hey, that's not always the case. Sometimes they are 900 year old dragons that conveniently look, talk, and think like 12 year old girls. Now if you would excuse me, I have to throw up.

    While looking for a naval ship game I had on an old phone, I discovered an entire genre of gacha game where real warships, planes, tanks, or guns are embodied by anime waifus. Like, the screenshots literally show a girl in a gray schoolgirl uniform with yellow lines, a backpack that looks like a carrier island, and little planes flying around her head, with the caption, "USS Kittyhawk," and I don't know how to process this into long term memory.

    Presumably the storyline clarifies that Kittyhawk is 21 and only looks young and she's only technical your step sister.

    It might be a ripoff, but Kantai Collection was actually pretty well reviewed. Never played it, my preference is anime battleships embodied as real girls.

    MichaelLC on
    Jokerman wrote: »
    If sigs were still a thing this would be mine.
  • cckerberoscckerberos Registered User regular
    MichaelLC wrote: »
    Hevach wrote: »
    TrueLink wrote: »
    Delzhand wrote: »
    There's also the deeper issue that a lot of freemium/gacha games trade HARD on "look at this character's TITS! Don't you want a jpeg/live-animation/3d model of these TITS?"

    Hey, that's not always the case. Sometimes they are 900 year old dragons that conveniently look, talk, and think like 12 year old girls. Now if you would excuse me, I have to throw up.

    While looking for a naval ship game I had on an old phone, I discovered an entire genre of gacha game where real warships, planes, tanks, or guns are embodied by anime waifus. Like, the screenshots literally show a girl in a gray schoolgirl uniform with yellow lines, a backpack that looks like a carrier island, and little planes flying around her head, with the caption, "USS Kittyhawk," and I don't know how to process this into long term memory.

    Presumably the storyline clarifies that Kittyhawk is 21 and only looks young and she's only technical your step sister.

    It might be a ripoff, but Kantai Collection was actually pretty well reviewed. Never played it, my preference is anime battleships embodied as real girls.

    Definitely a ripoff. Kantai Collection was never released in English and, although they eventually released an Android frontend, was always meant to be played on a computer.

    I played it pretty religiously for three years or so, and the game was surprisingly reasonable from a monetization standpoint. There were no gachas and even a serious player would probably only spend like $5 a month.

    MichaelLC
  • ironzergironzerg Registered User regular
    Here's what gets me in Freemium games:

    https://www.playmagiclegends.com/en/news-article/11485203

    Here's an excerpt:
    Buying/selling items on the broker requires the consumption of a Trade Token for each transaction. Beginning in Open Beta, you gain 10 Trade Tokens per day, and can hold a maximum of 30 at a time. Specific to Spell Page transactions, upgrading the Aetheric Core in your realm will allow you to trade more stacks of spells per single trade token used.

    The Broker buy/sell prices for each listed item have established floors and ceilings and will fluctuate between these values based on supply and demand – with some monitoring for exceptional circumstances. The Broker functioning this way allows you to continually sell items like page stacks for a spell you have maxed out – or don’t currently use – and continually get gold to put towards another spell’s pages, or other items on the Broker that suit your needs.

    Because of the freemium model, 17 layers of bullshit have to be stacked on top of the game to manage the monetization. Now as far as freemium goes, Cryptic tends to be more friendly to players than most blood-suckers, but I'm stressed out just reading this page. After a long day of work, managing all sorts of shit, the last thing I want to do is come home and have to whiteboard out my video game strategy for the little time I get to play at night.

    Maybe it's what makes me just say, "Fuck it" and pull out my credit card, because it's a lot easier to just punch in 16 digits and an expiration date and play the game, versus the dealing with the sinking feeling that I'm doing something wrong or less efficient, and thus inherently devaluing my play time as I try to survive here.

    It makes it so not fun.

    I want to ask Cryptic if they can just set up a separate server that's locked to people who are just going to give them $60 up front for the game to have this layer of unnecessary and stressful bullshit removed, where I can just focus in immersing myself in the world for a few hours a week.



    H3Knuckles
  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    Why would they let you play for basically nothing though?

    H3Knuckles
  • HevachHevach Registered User regular
    Cryptic is pretty friendly but they still plan to vacate your build niche from the meta right around the time the next infinity lockbox drops.

  • dennisdennis Executive Peasant Registered User regular
    It's like saying your loan shark is more forgiving than most loan sharks.

    H3KnucklesRingoV1mMoridin889
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    Gave it a shot. That's a whole lot of gacha for not a whole lot of new game concepts.

    What is this I don't even.
  • Steel AngelSteel Angel Registered User regular
    ironzerg wrote: »
    Here's what gets me in Freemium games:

    https://www.playmagiclegends.com/en/news-article/11485203

    Here's an excerpt:
    Buying/selling items on the broker requires the consumption of a Trade Token for each transaction. Beginning in Open Beta, you gain 10 Trade Tokens per day, and can hold a maximum of 30 at a time. Specific to Spell Page transactions, upgrading the Aetheric Core in your realm will allow you to trade more stacks of spells per single trade token used.

    The Broker buy/sell prices for each listed item have established floors and ceilings and will fluctuate between these values based on supply and demand – with some monitoring for exceptional circumstances. The Broker functioning this way allows you to continually sell items like page stacks for a spell you have maxed out – or don’t currently use – and continually get gold to put towards another spell’s pages, or other items on the Broker that suit your needs.

    Because of the freemium model, 17 layers of bullshit have to be stacked on top of the game to manage the monetization. Now as far as freemium goes, Cryptic tends to be more friendly to players than most blood-suckers, but I'm stressed out just reading this page. After a long day of work, managing all sorts of shit, the last thing I want to do is come home and have to whiteboard out my video game strategy for the little time I get to play at night.

    Maybe it's what makes me just say, "Fuck it" and pull out my credit card, because it's a lot easier to just punch in 16 digits and an expiration date and play the game, versus the dealing with the sinking feeling that I'm doing something wrong or less efficient, and thus inherently devaluing my play time as I try to survive here.

    It makes it so not fun.

    I want to ask Cryptic if they can just set up a separate server that's locked to people who are just going to give them $60 up front for the game to have this layer of unnecessary and stressful bullshit removed, where I can just focus in immersing myself in the world for a few hours a week.

    Read through the link.

    The first part sounds like a system like Guild Wars 2 where players can buy premium currency via in-game resources as well as convert premium currency into in-game resources. The exchange rate depends on how much players are doing one over the other. How much reason there is to do the latter remains to be seen.

    The broker is just an Auction Hall-like system but with prices dictated by algorithm instead of players trying to game the economy. There's a limit to how many transactions you can make a day that can probably be bypassed with the game's funbucks. On the other hand you don't need to worry about things like players cornering the market by buying up all the butter and relisting it at a higher price, a thing that actually happened in Guild Wars 2.

    Nothing about those two systems reads specifically as trying to drain your wallet in and of themselves. That's going to depend on things like drop rates for items you might need to trade for or what you buy with the premium funbucks.

    Big Dookie wrote: »
    I found that tilting it doesn't work very well, and once I started jerking it, I got much better results.

    Steam Profile
    3DS: 3454-0268-5595 Battle.net: SteelAngel#1772
    H3KnucklesMoridin889
  • ironzergironzerg Registered User regular
    edited March 24
    Hevach wrote: »
    Nothing about those two systems reads specifically as trying to drain your wallet in and of themselves. That's going to depend on things like drop rates for items you might need to trade for or what you buy with the premium funbucks.

    You got me. I actually understand this system at an incredibly deep level, having gone very deep into it during my days playing Neverwinter.

    The Zen Exchange is driven by cash purchases. If you want to exchange in-game currency for Zen to purchase cash shop items, it only happens when someone is willing to trade in-game currency for Zen. This system sounds nice, but it's a trap.

    Ultimately what happens is that the Zen exchange caps at it's maximum amount. In Neverwinter, that was 500:1. Or 500 Astral Diamonds for 1 Zen (basically, $0.01). And the exchange operated on FIFO. First in, first out. Meaning that you had to wait your turn once putting in a bid for Zen. When I left the game, because of the Zen backlog, it could take days to weeks for you to actually be able to purchase Zen. Which meant that if something went on sale in the Zen shop, and you didn't already have the Zen on hand, or they released a limited time only item, you were out of luck unless you wanted to actually buy money.

    On the flip side, however, the Astral Diamonds (in-game currency) kept piling up, making it less and less valuable (and the rate a "normal" player could earn in game was capped). When I stopped playing, it was 32k diamonds a day. Now smart players could find ways around that cap, either legitimate or not...but it didn't really matter as the game economy continued to pile up diamonds, which then raised the prices of in-game items sold via the Auction House.

    So you had a situation where it was nearly impossible to actually exchange in-game currency for cash shop bucks, and on the flip side your cash shop bucks actually continued to devalue if you wanted to exchange them for currency to buy stuff off the AH.

    One example, was an drop box "legendary" mount item. The only way to acquire it was from a loot box. At one point, it cost about 6 million diamonds on the AH. At the 500:1 currency exchange, that was about $120. Or if you were trying to earn it in game with the 32k diamond cap, about 200 days of play time. Now that problem was as the Astral Diamonds deflated, and the Zen cap remained, plus you could factor in supply and demand, as well as speculators (playing the AH was a great way to get rich in Astral Diamonds), the price rose to 10 million AD (astral diamonds), then 20 million...and by the time I stopped playing, about 26 million AD. Or (if it was even possible, over 800 days of play time) or exchanging zen for $10/500,000 diamonds. Or about $520.

    Essentially the system locked out "free" players. You couldn't earn AD fast enough as a casual player to keep up with the Astral Diamond inflation of power players, nor could you actually exchange out your tiny sums of AD for Zen in a timely manner. Because keep in mind that the power players with huge stockpiles of AD would also have bids in the exchange for millions and millions of diamonds, which contributed to the days to weeks worth of waiting (keep in mind that your AD isn't available for you to actually use while you're waiting in line to exchange Zen). And if they had the Zen, they could buy the cash shop items, (especially limited time items or sale items), and resell them on the AH to make a tidy profit on their AD, thus giving them even more control over the exchange and AH economy...

    At a certain point, you were basically forced to start buying Zen to keep up. Or you just got to the point where you were at peace with never being able to have nice stuff via the Auction House, or actually earning anything from the cash shop without paying.

    I'd be shocked if the currency exchange in Magic doesn't quickly accelerate to the cap, which is going to be exasperated by the inevitable early game exploit, botting, or hack that attacks a vulnerability in the in-game currency.

    EDIT: As I re-read that article, too...
    Our goal has always been for Magic: Legends to be fully playable and equally fun for all players from beginning through the endgame without the need to spend a dime.

    This is impossible in the freemium model. Cryptic, you're a business, not a charity. If you're not incentivizing cash purchases, how are you staying in business. This sets off alarm bells left and right for me.

    If you really believed this, you wouldn't opt for a freemium model. You know that it's better to have a million people try it, 995k quit, but the other 5k to funnel cash in the game, versus selling 50-100k copies at $30 each, and then charging $10-20 for expansion content. Or something to that effect.

    I mean, shit...looking at a game like Valheim. It was fun, well-crafted, and got great reviews out of the gate..and indie title that's sold over 6 million copies with a one-time buy in of $20.

    "Fully playable" and "equally fun" are the same platitudes that exist on the opposite side of the "sense of accomplishment" lootbox coin.

    ironzerg on


  • Steel AngelSteel Angel Registered User regular
    ironzerg wrote: »
    Hevach wrote: »
    Nothing about those two systems reads specifically as trying to drain your wallet in and of themselves. That's going to depend on things like drop rates for items you might need to trade for or what you buy with the premium funbucks.

    You got me. I actually understand this system at an incredibly deep level, having gone very deep into it during my days playing Neverwinter.

    The Zen Exchange is driven by cash purchases. If you want to exchange in-game currency for Zen to purchase cash shop items, it only happens when someone is willing to trade in-game currency for Zen. This system sounds nice, but it's a trap.

    Ultimately what happens is that the Zen exchange caps at it's maximum amount. In Neverwinter, that was 500:1. Or 500 Astral Diamonds for 1 Zen (basically, $0.01). And the exchange operated on FIFO. First in, first out. Meaning that you had to wait your turn once putting in a bid for Zen. When I left the game, because of the Zen backlog, it could take days to weeks for you to actually be able to purchase Zen. Which meant that if something went on sale in the Zen shop, and you didn't already have the Zen on hand, or they released a limited time only item, you were out of luck unless you wanted to actually buy money.

    On the flip side, however, the Astral Diamonds (in-game currency) kept piling up, making it less and less valuable (and the rate a "normal" player could earn in game was capped). When I stopped playing, it was 32k diamonds a day. Now smart players could find ways around that cap, either legitimate or not...but it didn't really matter as the game economy continued to pile up diamonds, which then raised the prices of in-game items sold via the Auction House.

    So you had a situation where it was nearly impossible to actually exchange in-game currency for cash shop bucks, and on the flip side your cash shop bucks actually continued to devalue if you wanted to exchange them for currency to buy stuff off the AH.

    One example, was an drop box "legendary" mount item. The only way to acquire it was from a loot box. At one point, it cost about 6 million diamonds on the AH. At the 500:1 currency exchange, that was about $120. Or if you were trying to earn it in game with the 32k diamond cap, about 200 days of play time. Now that problem was as the Astral Diamonds deflated, and the Zen cap remained, plus you could factor in supply and demand, as well as speculators (playing the AH was a great way to get rich in Astral Diamonds), the price rose to 10 million AD (astral diamonds), then 20 million...and by the time I stopped playing, about 26 million AD. Or (if it was even possible, over 800 days of play time) or exchanging zen for $10/500,000 diamonds. Or about $520.

    Essentially the system locked out "free" players. You couldn't earn AD fast enough as a casual player to keep up with the Astral Diamond inflation of power players, nor could you actually exchange out your tiny sums of AD for Zen in a timely manner. Because keep in mind that the power players with huge stockpiles of AD would also have bids in the exchange for millions and millions of diamonds, which contributed to the days to weeks worth of waiting (keep in mind that your AD isn't available for you to actually use while you're waiting in line to exchange Zen). And if they had the Zen, they could buy the cash shop items, (especially limited time items or sale items), and resell them on the AH to make a tidy profit on their AD, thus giving them even more control over the exchange and AH economy...

    Guild Wars 2 avoided this situation through a number of systems. I think the big one was that in-game currency always had a use because legendary equipment required so many crafting materials that there were always people that were willing to convert real money to in-game gold to bypass needing to collect all the materials or in-game money themselves. As a result, the exchange rate never went to either extreme. It would sometimes spike towards a worse gold to gems exchange rate if a new cosmetic people wanted was released but then drift back down. If there isn't an actual reason to want to exchange in both directions then this system can easily break down.

    Another big factor was that there was a fixed maximum power level and premium currency didn't let you bypass it. The stuff in the cash shop was mostly cosmetic. Things with in game effects were for things like character slots, bank space, sharing an inventory slot between characters, etc. The game had a goal of not doing the loot treadmill MMOs usually did so item levels had a hard cap early on. New content might have new stat distributions you could find on items but weren't necessarily (and usually weren't) better than what already was available. But they did introduce new weapon and armor skins for transmog. Even the legendaries weren't any stronger than the tier of gear below them, they just had really distinctive skins and visual effects and the ability to swap between stat configurations at will. Fashion was the endgame, not power. Elder Scrolls Online also has done a similar thing with capping gear level despite several expansions/DLC (though they do have item set bonuses so new gear may be stronger based on that but it's hardly guaranteed) but I'm not sure how many games out there want to do that kind of thing.

    Big Dookie wrote: »
    I found that tilting it doesn't work very well, and once I started jerking it, I got much better results.

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  • shadowysea07shadowysea07 Registered User regular
    jeez what's with the book reports in the comments section?

    Anywho I will admit in the past to having paid money for a gacha. I regret that decision in the longrun. Though I was top of the leaderboards/players in that game.

  • TofystedethTofystedeth Registered User regular
    jeez what's with the book reports in the comments section?

    Anywho I will admit in the past to having paid money for a gacha. I regret that decision in the longrun. Though I was top of the leaderboards/players in that game.

    The comments section isn't just the comments visible under the comic. It's a thread in the forums proper, so many people actually view the comments in there, where long form posting is much more the norm.

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  • Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    jeez what's with the book reports in the comments section?

    Anywho I will admit in the past to having paid money for a gacha. I regret that decision in the longrun. Though I was top of the leaderboards/players in that game.

    The comments section isn't just the comments visible under the comic. It's a thread in the forums proper, so many people actually view the comments in there, where long form posting is much more the norm.

    Until now I didn't realize the comic HAD a comments section, I just sort of mentally skimmed over that button

  • RingoRingo He/Him Bury me at Lone Tree DenRegistered User regular
    I believe the comments section displays as "most recent post" first which probably makes all of this look like complete gibberish

    Sterica wrote: »
    I know my last visit to my grandpa on his deathbed was to find out how the whole Nazi werewolf thing turned out.
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    Tofystedeth
  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    As is traditional

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