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Gaming The Microtransaction Investigation

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by arcticstoat, 19 Sep 2011.

  1. MrCraigL

    MrCraigL New Member

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    I don't disagree, and I know (as a non-EVE player) that there is a lot that CCP and EVE has to answer for to their playerbase - my concern though is that it's beyond the scope of this article to go into it in that much depth.
     
  2. crowd

    crowd New Member

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    Heh. No. A big part of the outrage was due to the internal communications of CCP that leaked (newsletter, global mail, etcetera) confirming a mindset which signalled not just an utter contempt for CCP's customers. But worse, a complete absence of understanding of basic planning, development and research. On the challenges of game development for Incarna, and what CCP called "milking the cash cow" by means of microtransactions.

    While CCP tried to downplay the matter by emphasising the newsletter being nothing but a random internal blurb with no value and shifting the attention away from the other leaks, the newsletter was pretty quickly confirmed for value and internal signifinance as an instrument of policy and strategic direction (where the newsletter is one of the instruments used by CCP to provide understanding of both & related to employees) by multiple present and former employees.

    The topic of resource allocation for EVE Online has been a major issue for several years now.

    It would be quite interesting to do some further research by means of the CSM member blogs as well as related EVE Community blogs in all this. It is an interesting year for CCP, a year where its own grand plans are demonstrated to have cost them dearly, flatlining the product and demonstrating the importance of never neglecting your core gameplay. Like any company CCP wants to expand and that is fine, but the big lessons are to never ******** customers, never take the core attraction of your game for granted and never delude yourself with unrealistic plans when you have built up a history of never being able to follow through on any plan whatsoever in a meaningful manner.
     
  3. jrs77

    jrs77 Well-Known Member

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    Microtransactions are not a problem by default. It all depends on what kind of items you can buy in the cashshop and if the players can enjoy the whole game without beeing forced to spend real money in the cashshop.

    When we're forced to buy something from the cashshop, then atleast there should be the possibility to pay for these needed items with ingame money. Look at Runes of Magic for example, where you can either buy most of the stuff needed from the auctionhouse or purchase diamonds (cashshop-currency) with ingame gold by trading with an NPC or other players.
    Other games with a cashshop tend to force you spending real money tho, with no possibility of this "gold-trading" and this is where things get ugly.

    I'm more interested in 100% P2P-models where there's no cashshop and microtransactions at all, besides server-transfers. Even name-changes shouldn't be there, nor should there be any vanity-items being sold that I can't get by other means ingame. I want access to the whole content at a fixed monthly subscription.

    The reason why I want a pure P2P-model is, that I'm interested in competitive gameplay. Competition is destroyed tho, if players can use real money to buy stuff that others either need to grind for or don't have access through other means at all. Especially in PvP-games this is a huge gamebreaker for me and I don't play PvP-games, where there's a cashshop setup in this way.

    EvE Online recently added a cashshop for Incarna and aslong as they don't start to sell anything that influences the spaceship-part of the game it is basically all well, but still I don't support this crap and rather see it removed alltogether again. These kind of vanity-cashshops only show that the developer is greedy, trying to milk even more money from their playerbase.
    I simply can't support such things.

    So. There's only two payment-models that will ever see 100% support from my side: 100% P2P or B2P.
     
  4. nukeman8

    nukeman8 New Member

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    Fair enough.
    1 thing i dont agree with thou is your definition of a microtransaction. I always assumed it meant low cost, not a single item. Thou gotta admit your way makes alot more sense.
     
  5. DaBigDog

    DaBigDog New Member

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    I'm feeling your pain on the data collection MrCraig, my bugbear isn't with the article, it's with the industry's use of the term, it sets expectations that more often than not that are false.

    I don't blame bit-tech for using the term in the article more the developers/publishers who believe it is an appropriate term for the value of transactions used.

    How about we all agree to use the term "in game transaction" as opposed to Micro-transaction, just because the industry sets a misleading term, doesn't mean we all have to use it ?

    If you don't like something - do something about it :)
     
  6. Bungletron

    Bungletron Well-Known Member

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    This line really reminded me of a profound truth that I have grown fond of recently, that for anything you do not pay for you are the product, not the client. Basically all the free players are there so they can get pwned by freemium players, what a joke!

    Since the quality of these games is dubious and falling daily, my conclusion is at some point in the future all free players will begin to actually be paid token sums of money so that there are always a steady supply online ready to get bum raped by freemium players, it will probably be cheaper than designing bot ai.
     
  7. Plastic_Manc

    Plastic_Manc Member

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    Tiger Woods Online is another game changer through the need to purchase drivers in order to hit certain greens in 1-2. As was mentioned, you're still only renting them too! With a game where 1 shot can make a real difference, it just kills the enjoyment of a level playing field.
     
  8. thehippoz

    thehippoz New Member

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    is there other things tiger can buy in the country club
     
  9. paisa666

    paisa666 I WILL END YOU!!!

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    At times it worries me more how this micro-transactions can affect the mod community, but then I realize that many of this items are present mostly if not only in online games, wich ofc need to be something like "mod free".

    Myabe you guys know about any atemp with micro transactions on single player games? that would be awful
     
  10. sotu1

    sotu1 Ex-Modder

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    Interesting - go to Asia and all the MTX games are based on the fact that if you don't pay you won't progress.
     
  11. IronDoc

    IronDoc New Member

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    It's actually an interesting thought. Even a few years ago, I'm sure suggesting letting people play your game for free would've sounded absurd, so we recognise that the ideal price of a game (for the developer) isn't necessarily positive. But there isn't any real reason why it couldn't be negative. If you were being payed to play you'd probably be willing to put up with a hell of a lot more advertising and I'm betting the audience would be huge. The prohibitive cost is probably the servers required to support the enormous playerbase you'd need.

    @paisa Horse Armour was single player wasn't it? There are probably other examples like that for consoles, since there's no real question of modding it.
     
  12. rollo

    rollo Well-Known Member

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    star trek online has alot of pay items in its C store but the ships on offer are not better than there earnable counter parts and you can buy them ingame if you save up along time ( 3-4 months give or take) but the game is going free to play soon so that might change a few things in that regard
     
  13. Skutbag

    Skutbag New Member

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    Hats off to you for doing some good ol data crunching research. It makes for interesting reading amid a sea of blog-tastic churnalism
     
  14. docodine

    docodine killed a guy once

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    TF2 is not 'pay to win' in any way. The best you get by paying is slightly easier access to sidegrade weapons..
     
  15. metarinka

    metarinka New Member

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    My only issue with games like World of tanks is that you end up paying for features that should be in the game for free. Like the ability to play with friends ( I think they have changed that or are changing that soon?). Or the painfully slow grind if you don't use premium account.

    So in the end you pay a subscription game price just to get up to the content a normal one-time buy game would have... and you have to pay it every month. If you load up on WoT premium account and nothing else, it ends up being close to $15/month same price you pay for WoW, but tons less content or variation.

    I love the game and still log on every once and awhile, but when I see the 100's of games I need to grind just to hit the next tier I get demotivated, the fundamental gameplay is good, but they haven't built enough content around it, and it doesn't come quick enough.
     
  16. thil

    thil New Member

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    Plus a million. Yup, well-researched, clear and concise. The writer actually got off their arse (metaphorically speaking) and put in some work, as opposed to sitting at their desk and waiting for a publisher to ring him up and offer a PR-filtered press release to copy-paste on the front page or a business class ticket to the launch of their new game in Las Vegas.

    That's why I love Bit-Tech. This is proper games journalism. Writing endless blog-style posts about that one time you played Civ 3, like, all night ("LOL, where did the time go, LOL?") or got pwned by a noob-tuber in COD get old, fast.
     
  17. KenshinH

    KenshinH New Member

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    Nice write up!

    Well researched in most regards, except for the fact that the EVE Online items "Permanent Addition/Effect" are flagged as "True" in the excel sheet.
    If you are wearing your £60,00 monocle when your pod gets shot by other players, you lose your monocle and all other micro-transaction items that you happen to be wearing at that time. Although there are ways around this, it is entirely possible to lose your bought items.

    Other than that, nice piece of journalism and an enjoyable read.
     
  18. MrCraigL

    MrCraigL New Member

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    Yeah, we never said it was. In fact, we even expressed this in a giant graph.


    To everyone else: thanks!
     
  19. greypilgers

    greypilgers New Member

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    I quite like the idea of a game being pay to own/play for a period of time, say, until development and publication costs have been recouped, along with a reasonable amount of profit to make the venture worthwhile, followed by the game being made free to play, and future support/development funded by the use of a sensible system of microtransactions - kinda like what I understand TF2 to be like?
    I think it's a good idea and a potential way forward for some games?
    :)
     
  20. sotu1

    sotu1 Ex-Modder

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    I think we have to be careful about the phrase 'pay to win'. I've won many many BF Heroes shoot outs and even come top of the tables with out spending a penny.

    I lie.

    I spent some money on being able to run around in my pants. Hardly 'pay to win'.
     
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