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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » The REAL Problem Nobody is Talking About: Service Cancellation

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60 posts found
  Beatnik59

Elite Member

Joined: 11/23/05
Posts: 2233

"Playing things I shouldn''t be playing since 1977."

 
OP  1/05/13 7:20:03 PM#41
Originally posted by Souldrainer
Originally posted by Beatnik59

See, this is the reason why peer-to-peer matchmaking games like Diablo III and Torchlight II have an advantage over MMOs:

You have clearly NOT played Diablo 3.  The #1 complaint about the game is that it uses the exact server setup you complain about, and is not peer-to-peer at all.

Actually, I've been playing it for a few days now.  I didn't know about this though...but yeah.  I'd see why people would be mad at that.

__________________________
"Its sad when people use religion to feel superior, its even worse to see people using a video game to do it."
--Arcken

"...when it comes to pimping EVE I have little restraints."
--Hellmar, CEO of CCP.

"It's like they took a gun, put it to their nugget sack and pulled the trigger over and over again, each time telling us how great it was that they were shooting themselves in the balls."
--Exar_Kun on SWG's NGE

  madazz

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/07/03
Posts: 1309

1/05/13 8:35:44 PM#42
Originally posted by erictlewis

 


Originally posted by maplestone
All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.

 

Wow talk about a blade runner moment in time. Am I the only one who got that.

Even with the comic posted above that referenced it, it still didn't click until you mentioned it lol.

  Matticus75

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/18/05
Posts: 393

1/05/13 9:14:05 PM#43

I think the current business model is relativistic, meaning the presentation of "getting more" is really , "getting the basics" instead.

 

Example, in the past you pay 49.99 for any game, a few months later an expansion comes out and you pay for it to "expand" the game, so we can be safe to say your getting more than the base game.

Now it seems we get a partial game, at 49.99 and then your presented to buy the rest of the game as an expansion.

F2P is a concept of generating increased revenue, probably a spinoff idea from WoW gold spammers. instead of selling gold outright, gaming companies sell items that you would normally get for "free" as part of regular content updates, maybe in the beginning you could get those "same" items for free or with in game gold, and so the extra cool stuff is what you would have to pay for. Now its a few really basic items with pretty much all new content at charge (again, now your being charged for the basic and cool stuff now)

So people may argue "its a F2P game to begin with and you have to pay for more access, and you have a choice of what content you want and not want" thats all good IF we still have the same level of content in the past, with extras, not buying the basics!  but I want to play a game with a one time charge, sub fee, good quality and not have to worry about a devlopment enviroment that is at a reduced staff, spending the majority of their time making items and content you have to pay for.. STO is an excellent example, most of the content is "new C-Store" items, and lock boxes, other development content moves at a snails pace.

On the other hand I would also be ok with, if because of the increased revenue the development team makes a "better" game BUT they ususally do not, most of the F2P games are low budget or low content.

IF SWTOR has moved to the F2P model then why is content still comming out so slow? I dont really belive that if F2P boosts their revenue they are going to inverst it back by  having more staff on hand to speed up content creation.

 
  jimdandy26

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/28/12
Posts: 559

1/05/13 11:06:10 PM#44
Originally posted by Beatnik59
Originally posted by Torvaldr

Everything is temporal and has an end.  Eyelolled explained why end dates aren't announced above and it should be common sense.  Do you tell your boss (or employees if you're in the other position) how long they'll last?  Do you even know?  Just like gamers are taking a risk when they participate in the service, so are studios and publishers when they launch a game.  It's ludicrous to imagine they know when their game will end.

I haven't done any research about hosted solutions for single player games such as hosted servers for FPS or multi-player, but I would think there have been some service somewhere where they don't provide the full online features anymore.  Just because you can host locally, play offline, or host p2p doesn't mean, if they're providing servers to meet on, that they will always provide their online component.

This isn't a problem just with gaming, but like pointed out above all digital media and services hosted by others.  Microsoft has shuttered many technologies as has Google.  What happens to my digital media bought through Amazon if they stop hosting and providing it?  What happens to a club membership when that club closes?  What happens to a favorite community business when it ends?  People grieve and experience loss, but there are very few guarantees in life.  That's why I'm an opportunist and take advantage of opportunities when they arise because you never know if and when it will ever present itself again.

Like you said, 99% of all this stuff remains operational, so the premise that we should fear the next closure right around the corner is an unrational call to fear, uncertainty, and doubt.  You're trying to paint the doomsday scenario over everything when it only applies to that 1% consistently.  I guess the trick is trying to figure out what that 1% is and avoid it if its demise will cause you distress.

I do agree that this is a reality though, that eventually all will have their end day.  I just disagree that we should fret and worry that our games will be next on the chopping block.  Enjoy what you have while you have it and understand it won't be there forever.  Even if there is a stand alone client doesn't mean that OS and technology changes won't kill off your game or software.  There was a huge time period between DOS and some XP games being re-worked to function in a virtual environment.  Maybe someday the industry will figure out a way to monetize and re-publish some of those titles.  That is a good goal to shoot for and support, but I'm not going to stop gaming just because the current situation is less than ideal.

Torvaldr, isn't it good to "worry" at times?  To be a little cautious?  Worrying prevents people from making bad decisions.  Look at the games and how their item stores are integrated.  They make it very easy to keep a credit card on file, log into there, pick up a ton of small ticket items that adds up to a lot when it's all said and done.

They abstract the process by listing the items with some sort of proxy currency, like gems or aurum.  It is not unlike buying casino chips as the gambling medium; the extra level of abstraction allows someone to part with their money more easily.

People have been known to spend hundreds--if not thousands--of dollars in these games.  They spend countless hours doing impressive things, like building beautiful structures, creating fansites and creating beautiful narratives for their characters.  They do it because they take the advice of "enjoy what you have," but without the understanding that "it won't be there forever."

And the reason they don't is because of what you, I, Eyelolled and everybody else in this thread tacitly admit: the game publishers have no real incentive to inform players that their ownership isn't ownership, it's the illusion of ownership.  They don't have the incentive to tell them that their persistence isn't persistence, but the illusion of persistence.

On the contrary, game publishers have every incentive to put forth the illusion that the things they pay for are real and legitimate things.  Like I said, they cannot tell the players it won't last, even if they know that the end is near.  Rather, they push the concept that the things they do and buy in MMO land are "persistant," that you can "fly free, forever."  Given how the games push the image that their worlds are built to last, don't you think that a word now and then from someone who tells the truth is a good thing?

It is not unlike the casino business, if you think about it.  Philosophers from Hunter S. Thompson to Jean Baudrillard have said that Las Vegas is a place where you can get the illusion of love, the illusion of success, the illusion of fame; all kinds of illusions are there if you have the money.  But once the money runs out, there is no crueler place on earth.  Las Vegas is designed to separate a man from his money, giving him nothing lasting in exchange.

MMOs are like Vegas without the slots: it gives you compelling illusions but, in the end, you are left with nothing.  Perhaps there is no better evidence of this similarity than when a Vegas casino owner decides his casino is no longer separating enough wealth to be useful: it's blown up, as if it never existed at all.

It's just like when MMOs are used up, isn't it?  The publishers tear down the MMOs and everyone and everything that was there.  It was built to seem real but, in the end, nothing that went on there was ever "real"...that is, except the money that the players gave to it.

It makes me wonder why, exactly, we feel the need to brush off this longevity issue.  Don't we have enough people in the industry, with huge budgets for public relations, to do that for us?  I think it is much better to offer the alternative: to "check yourself before you wreck yourself."  Perhaps if people would think a little into the possibility that their games might close, they might save themselves from a purchase or experience they might regret.

I heartily disagree. There is a rather large gap between putting forth illusion as you put it and not reminding players at every turn. You are describing it much more malicously than it really is. Buying another form of currency for example is not there for obsufcation purposes (though it may provide that as a benefit) but to get around laws that force refunds. Its simple protection for them. You know up front that you are buying a digital good. You are paying for entertainment, just like with every other media service. You are left with the ideas, friendships, and memories of that experience, again, just like every other media service. Waxing lyrically about it will not change it.

I did battle with ignorance today, and ignorance won.

To exercise power costs effort and demands courage. That is why so many fail to assert rights to which they are perfectly entitled - because a right is a kind of power but they are too lazy or too cowardly to exercise it. The virtues which cloak these faults are called patience and forbearance.

  Grunty

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/06/04
Posts: 6832

1/05/13 11:22:58 PM#45

It's a service. I subscribe to a service and can cancel the service. The service provider also can cancel the service. The service is access to a game.  Those options of cancellation are given in the license agreement I accept when I subscribe to the service. If I don't accept those options I don't subscribe. 

Don't like that it is a subscription service? Don't subscribe.

The first on-line game I purchased access to was Asheron's Call. It took me at least 2 months after learning about the game that I decided to play it because I knew it was a subscription and I could lose access to it at a future date. I played it for about 4 years.

I knew it was a service when I got it. I know they are a service now. Services get cancelled by either party or by both.

  Beatnik59

Elite Member

Joined: 11/23/05
Posts: 2233

"Playing things I shouldn''t be playing since 1977."

 
OP  1/06/13 11:51:43 AM#46
Originally posted by jimdandy26

I heartily disagree. There is a rather large gap between putting forth illusion as you put it and not reminding players at every turn. You are describing it much more malicously than it really is. Buying another form of currency for example is not there for obsufcation purposes (though it may provide that as a benefit) but to get around laws that force refunds. Its simple protection for them. You know up front that you are buying a digital good. You are paying for entertainment, just like with every other media service. You are left with the ideas, friendships, and memories of that experience, again, just like every other media service. Waxing lyrically about it will not change it.

I'm not sure exactly what there is to disagree with, except that--perhaps--I'm bringing up issues that make people around here uncomfortable.

Neither you, nor I, dispute the basics: that people spend time and money in online games, online games get taken away from the player for any reason the publisher sees fit, leaving people with nothing to show for it.

Now I guess if you want to "wax lyrically" about it you can say that people have the memories of all the great things they paid for, but are now gone.  But that's rather weak, isn't it?  It's saying that a person shouldn't care if their car disappears, because they'll always have the good memories of the car.  But the person who has good memories of the car doesn't want the memories.  He wants the car.  The memories of the car are no substitute for the car.

Of course, this digital stuff isn't like a car, but this digital stuff isn't like a resturant (the example brought up before) either.  Like you said, we buy "digital goods," but what does this mean?  The best real-world correlation I have found is that a digital good is like a casino token: something that works within the casino, but has no use outside of it.  Buy it and use it fast, though, because once the owner blows the casino up, those who buy casino tokens are SOL.

If it's entertainment we buy, what kind of entertainment is it?  Well, you can rent a 90 minute feature on Netflix.  You know it's 90 minutes, you know when it'll be over, and if you want to watch it again, you can watch it again.  But a digital "thing?"  It might be available for two decades or two months, whenever the service provider wants to yank the service away.

Again, probably the closest analogy is the casino: you take your chances.  Just like in the casino, and like you implied with the virtual currency, the house protects itself.  It'll always win, but the user?  "Let the buyer beware." 

Now there was a post on this thread, a few pages ago, which asked if this is a worthwhile hobby, compared to...say...horseback riding or model trains.  And probably the best I can say is that it has a recreational value the same as, or slightly better than, a trip to the casino.  It's immersive.  It works on your senses powerfully.  But it is also a place where you can get into deep trouble if you go in there with low impulse control, without fully realizing what it is.

Because--perhaps sooner than you think--"all those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain."  Just like in Vegas, you buy the illusions, but you end up with nothing.  Given the similarity between Vegas and online gaming, is it any wonder why Zynga is wanting to branch out into online gambling?  MMORPGs are pretty much there.

__________________________
"Its sad when people use religion to feel superior, its even worse to see people using a video game to do it."
--Arcken

"...when it comes to pimping EVE I have little restraints."
--Hellmar, CEO of CCP.

"It's like they took a gun, put it to their nugget sack and pulled the trigger over and over again, each time telling us how great it was that they were shooting themselves in the balls."
--Exar_Kun on SWG's NGE

  Novusod

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/30/09
Posts: 866

1/06/13 1:46:49 PM#47

The closing down of games has some paralels in the auto industry. It is common practice in the auto-industry to only produce a car for a certain number of years usually about 3 to 5 years but in the early days the auto makers did not make spare parts for dis-continued models. If you needed a replacement part for your 1970 cammro in the year 1980 you were out of luck. Your only alternative was to rummage through junk-yards. Then consumers started to get politically active and demanded laws be placed on the books that required automakers to keep selling parts to their old models. Now I think the auto makers have to make replacement parts for 20 years after they discontinue a model.

 

It is becoming clear similar laws will eventually be needed in the MMO industry. This really became evident during the closing of CoH. Paragon studios had a large development staff and was just about ready to release an expansion NCSoft dropped the bomb on them. Nobody saw this coming because this was large company with a loyal player base and now they were all just left hanging. One closed game is not enough to start a political movement though but this is how it starts. The next closed game will add to the discontentment and so will the one after that until it builds a groundswell that can enact real change as part of the consumer protection acts.

If a law were passed it would be fine they closed down a development studio and said they were not patch the game anymore but the company would now be required by law to keep a legacy server system up. It can be a pay service but they have to provide something that keeps their products playable after the end of MMOs lifecycle.

  Cephus404

Elite Member

Joined: 2/27/08
Posts: 3697

1/06/13 7:51:50 PM#48

I get so sick of looking at the entitlement happy people think that someone OWES them a  game.  You buy a game.  You pay a fee month to month.  Nobody owes you a damn thing beyond the month that you paid for.  If you buy a lifetime sub, you get to play for the lifetime of the game, not your lifetime.  When the game goes away, it goes away and nobody owes you a thing, beyond any paid for/unplayed time which should be refunded to you.

Don't like it?  Stop playing the damn game.

Played: UO, EQ, WoW, DDO, SWG, AO, CoH, EvE, TR, AoC, GW, GA, Aion, Allods, lots more
Relatively Recently (Re)Played: HL2 (all), Halo (PC, all), Batman:AA; AC, ME, BS, DA, FO3, DS, Doom (all), LFD1&2, KOTOR, Portal 1&2, Blink, Elder Scrolls (all), lots more
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  xpowderx

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/09/05
Posts: 4249

Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts. Richard Feynman, Nobel-prize-winning physicist

1/06/13 7:59:01 PM#49
Originally posted by Matticus75

I think the current business model is relativistic, meaning the presentation of "getting more" is really , "getting the basics" instead.

 

Example, in the past you pay 49.99 for any game, a few months later an expansion comes out and you pay for it to "expand" the game, so we can be safe to say your getting more than the base game.

Now it seems we get a partial game, at 49.99 and then your presented to buy the rest of the game as an expansion.

F2P is a concept of generating increased revenue, probably a spinoff idea from WoW gold spammers. instead of selling gold outright, gaming companies sell items that you would normally get for "free" as part of regular content updates, maybe in the beginning you could get those "same" items for free or with in game gold, and so the extra cool stuff is what you would have to pay for. Now its a few really basic items with pretty much all new content at charge (again, now your being charged for the basic and cool stuff now)

So people may argue "its a F2P game to begin with and you have to pay for more access, and you have a choice of what content you want and not want" thats all good IF we still have the same level of content in the past, with extras, not buying the basics!  but I want to play a game with a one time charge, sub fee, good quality and not have to worry about a devlopment enviroment that is at a reduced staff, spending the majority of their time making items and content you have to pay for.. STO is an excellent example, most of the content is "new C-Store" items, and lock boxes, other development content moves at a snails pace.

On the other hand I would also be ok with, if because of the increased revenue the development team makes a "better" game BUT they ususally do not, most of the F2P games are low budget or low content.

IF SWTOR has moved to the F2P model then why is content still comming out so slow? I dont really belive that if F2P boosts their revenue they are going to inverst it back by  having more staff on hand to speed up content creation.

 

The question is:

Due to the time frame you want ,"X" service is putting out content too slow?

WOW's ffirst expansion was 2 years after it first came out. Would you consider that slow?

MUST WATCH: http://vimeo.com/105072944

  Paradigm68

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/24/11
Posts: 880

1/06/13 8:05:58 PM#50
Originally posted by erictlewis

 


Originally posted by maplestone
All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.

 

Wow talk about a blade runner moment in time. Am I the only one who got that.

No, you're not the only one

  Torvaldr

Elite Member

Joined: 6/10/09
Posts: 5825

1/06/13 8:11:38 PM#51
Originally posted by Paradigm68
Originally posted by erictlewis

Originally posted by maplestone
All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.

Wow talk about a blade runner moment in time. Am I the only one who got that.

No, you're not the only one

The real problem no one is talking about is whether Deckard really was or wasn't, you know...

Curse you AquaScum!

  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12323

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, Project Gorgon, and Combat Arms

1/06/13 8:21:54 PM#52
Originally posted by Beatnik59    Knowing that the games are going to be taken away breaks Castronova's "magic circle," it makes the whole exercise of playing an MMO pointless.

That reality has always been there even back when MMOs started. Actually, it's a reality for any and every service or establishment that has ever been created. Enjoy it while it's here, have fond memories when it's gone.

Somewhere out there is a legion of therapists that are going to be rolling in cash the day Facebook closes.

"And wikipedia is as accurate as Britannica. Wikipedia is very reliable. You would be hard pressed to find a more reliable source for these kinds of things." -fivoroth

  MurlockDance

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/20/10
Posts: 1221

1/06/13 8:41:26 PM#53

Good OP. I admit that the possibility of service cancellation is one reason why I do not buy cosmetic items or any other fluff in cash shops. I only have ever bought unlocks and that is it. I would feel like I have egg on my face if I spent 100s of dollars on fluff stuff in order to look cool ingame rather than unlocking more enjoyable content only to have the game close on me.

Playing MUDs and MMOs since 1994.

  GreenishBlue

Novice Member

Joined: 5/27/12
Posts: 266

1/06/13 8:47:47 PM#54
that's suppose to be the permadeath; very hardcore, since one can't re-roll a new character

  jimdandy26

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/28/12
Posts: 559

1/06/13 9:23:54 PM#55
Originally posted by Beatnik59
Originally posted by jimdandy26

I heartily disagree. There is a rather large gap between putting forth illusion as you put it and not reminding players at every turn. You are describing it much more malicously than it really is. Buying another form of currency for example is not there for obsufcation purposes (though it may provide that as a benefit) but to get around laws that force refunds. Its simple protection for them. You know up front that you are buying a digital good. You are paying for entertainment, just like with every other media service. You are left with the ideas, friendships, and memories of that experience, again, just like every other media service. Waxing lyrically about it will not change it.

I'm not sure exactly what there is to disagree with, except that--perhaps--I'm bringing up issues that make people around here uncomfortable.

Neither you, nor I, dispute the basics: that people spend time and money in online games, online games get taken away from the player for any reason the publisher sees fit, leaving people with nothing to show for it.

Now I guess if you want to "wax lyrically" about it you can say that people have the memories of all the great things they paid for, but are now gone.  But that's rather weak, isn't it?  It's saying that a person shouldn't care if their car disappears, because they'll always have the good memories of the car.  But the person who has good memories of the car doesn't want the memories.  He wants the car.  The memories of the car are no substitute for the car.

Of course, this digital stuff isn't like a car, but this digital stuff isn't like a resturant (the example brought up before) either.  Like you said, we buy "digital goods," but what does this mean?  The best real-world correlation I have found is that a digital good is like a casino token: something that works within the casino, but has no use outside of it.  Buy it and use it fast, though, because once the owner blows the casino up, those who buy casino tokens are SOL.

If it's entertainment we buy, what kind of entertainment is it?  Well, you can rent a 90 minute feature on Netflix.  You know it's 90 minutes, you know when it'll be over, and if you want to watch it again, you can watch it again.  But a digital "thing?"  It might be available for two decades or two months, whenever the service provider wants to yank the service away.

Again, probably the closest analogy is the casino: you take your chances.  Just like in the casino, and like you implied with the virtual currency, the house protects itself.  It'll always win, but the user?  "Let the buyer beware." 

Now there was a post on this thread, a few pages ago, which asked if this is a worthwhile hobby, compared to...say...horseback riding or model trains.  And probably the best I can say is that it has a recreational value the same as, or slightly better than, a trip to the casino.  It's immersive.  It works on your senses powerfully.  But it is also a place where you can get into deep trouble if you go in there with low impulse control, without fully realizing what it is.

Because--perhaps sooner than you think--"all those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain."  Just like in Vegas, you buy the illusions, but you end up with nothing.  Given the similarity between Vegas and online gaming, is it any wonder why Zynga is wanting to branch out into online gambling?  MMORPGs are pretty much there.

I disagree because you have grown attached to digital products that you should not have grown attached to. Much like the lonely boy who grows attached to a stripper. Your subscription only ever buys you access to the server, and any additional money payed is increase your enjoyment there-in, and only have the value that you yourself deem them to have. That is the entire reason why those are optional. You cannot compare them with things like cars because beside the fact its physical ownership versus renting, cars provide far more than just entertainment.

Originally posted by Novusod

The closing down of games has some paralels in the auto industry. It is common practice in the auto-industry to only produce a car for a certain number of years usually about 3 to 5 years but in the early days the auto makers did not make spare parts for dis-continued models. If you needed a replacement part for your 1970 cammro in the year 1980 you were out of luck. Your only alternative was to rummage through junk-yards. Then consumers started to get politically active and demanded laws be placed on the books that required automakers to keep selling parts to their old models. Now I think the auto makers have to make replacement parts for 20 years after they discontinue a model.

 

It is becoming clear similar laws will eventually be needed in the MMO industry. This really became evident during the closing of CoH. Paragon studios had a large development staff and was just about ready to release an expansion NCSoft dropped the bomb on them. Nobody saw this coming because this was large company with a loyal player base and now they were all just left hanging. One closed game is not enough to start a political movement though but this is how it starts. The next closed game will add to the discontentment and so will the one after that until it builds a groundswell that can enact real change as part of the consumer protection acts.

If a law were passed it would be fine they closed down a development studio and said they were not patch the game anymore but the company would now be required by law to keep a legacy server system up. It can be a pay service but they have to provide something that keeps their products playable after the end of MMOs lifecycle.

No company would let that type of legislation pass. It would be far too expensive for them. Again, renting a service is very different from buying a product.

I did battle with ignorance today, and ignorance won.

To exercise power costs effort and demands courage. That is why so many fail to assert rights to which they are perfectly entitled - because a right is a kind of power but they are too lazy or too cowardly to exercise it. The virtues which cloak these faults are called patience and forbearance.

  Razperil

Novice Member

Joined: 9/13/04
Posts: 307

Everything has it's time and its place, know yours?

1/06/13 9:36:59 PM#56
Originally posted by jimdandy26
Originally posted by Terranah
I wish there was some legitimate option to service cancellation open to players.  I would love to be able to at least access Precu SWG and maybe have some means to unlock things and experience the world, if only for my own pleasure.  It was such a huge play ground, so many vistas that i will never see again.  Seems a shame to lose it all forever.

There are pre cu servers. Go figure that they are not very popular at all. Behold the power of rose colored glasses.

Says you? Right, we'll just let that be your opinion. By the way, I think you "need" to smell the roses on those colored glasses. (Yeah, I most likely over-stepped those forum rules. Go figure).

  jimdandy26

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/28/12
Posts: 559

1/06/13 9:44:30 PM#57
Originally posted by Razperil
Originally posted by jimdandy26
Originally posted by Terranah
I wish there was some legitimate option to service cancellation open to players.  I would love to be able to at least access Precu SWG and maybe have some means to unlock things and experience the world, if only for my own pleasure.  It was such a huge play ground, so many vistas that i will never see again.  Seems a shame to lose it all forever.

There are pre cu servers. Go figure that they are not very popular at all. Behold the power of rose colored glasses.

Says you? Right, we'll just let that be your opinion. By the way, I think you "need" to smell the roses on those colored glasses. (Yeah, I most likely over-stepped those forum rules. Go figure).

Sorry, I should say server, and its never capped. 2k players does not rate "popular" in pretty much any arena. If it were anywhere near as good or beloved as the Swg players have always stated there would be more than .9% of its original playerbase taking an interest.

I did battle with ignorance today, and ignorance won.

To exercise power costs effort and demands courage. That is why so many fail to assert rights to which they are perfectly entitled - because a right is a kind of power but they are too lazy or too cowardly to exercise it. The virtues which cloak these faults are called patience and forbearance.

  Beatnik59

Elite Member

Joined: 11/23/05
Posts: 2233

"Playing things I shouldn''t be playing since 1977."

 
OP  1/07/13 12:10:40 AM#58
Originally posted by jimdandy26
Originally posted by Beatnik59
Originally posted by jimdandy26

I heartily disagree. There is a rather large gap between putting forth illusion as you put it and not reminding players at every turn. You are describing it much more malicously than it really is. Buying another form of currency for example is not there for obsufcation purposes (though it may provide that as a benefit) but to get around laws that force refunds. Its simple protection for them. You know up front that you are buying a digital good. You are paying for entertainment, just like with every other media service. You are left with the ideas, friendships, and memories of that experience, again, just like every other media service. Waxing lyrically about it will not change it.

I'm not sure exactly what there is to disagree with, except that--perhaps--I'm bringing up issues that make people around here uncomfortable.

Neither you, nor I, dispute the basics: that people spend time and money in online games, online games get taken away from the player for any reason the publisher sees fit, leaving people with nothing to show for it.

Now I guess if you want to "wax lyrically" about it you can say that people have the memories of all the great things they paid for, but are now gone.  But that's rather weak, isn't it?  It's saying that a person shouldn't care if their car disappears, because they'll always have the good memories of the car.  But the person who has good memories of the car doesn't want the memories.  He wants the car.  The memories of the car are no substitute for the car.

Of course, this digital stuff isn't like a car, but this digital stuff isn't like a resturant (the example brought up before) either.  Like you said, we buy "digital goods," but what does this mean?  The best real-world correlation I have found is that a digital good is like a casino token: something that works within the casino, but has no use outside of it.  Buy it and use it fast, though, because once the owner blows the casino up, those who buy casino tokens are SOL.

If it's entertainment we buy, what kind of entertainment is it?  Well, you can rent a 90 minute feature on Netflix.  You know it's 90 minutes, you know when it'll be over, and if you want to watch it again, you can watch it again.  But a digital "thing?"  It might be available for two decades or two months, whenever the service provider wants to yank the service away.

Again, probably the closest analogy is the casino: you take your chances.  Just like in the casino, and like you implied with the virtual currency, the house protects itself.  It'll always win, but the user?  "Let the buyer beware." 

Now there was a post on this thread, a few pages ago, which asked if this is a worthwhile hobby, compared to...say...horseback riding or model trains.  And probably the best I can say is that it has a recreational value the same as, or slightly better than, a trip to the casino.  It's immersive.  It works on your senses powerfully.  But it is also a place where you can get into deep trouble if you go in there with low impulse control, without fully realizing what it is.

Because--perhaps sooner than you think--"all those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain."  Just like in Vegas, you buy the illusions, but you end up with nothing.  Given the similarity between Vegas and online gaming, is it any wonder why Zynga is wanting to branch out into online gambling?  MMORPGs are pretty much there.

I disagree because you have grown attached to digital products that you should not have grown attached to. Much like the lonely boy who grows attached to a stripper. Your subscription only ever buys you access to the server, and any additional money payed is increase your enjoyment there-in, and only have the value that you yourself deem them to have. That is the entire reason why those are optional. You cannot compare them with things like cars because beside the fact its physical ownership versus renting, cars provide far more than just entertainment.

So you don't disagree with my posts.  Frankly, I'm trying to figure out exactly what I say that you don't say, besides the accusation that I've "grown attached to digital products," which is itself really rich.  (How can one accuse someone of growing attached to something when the person he accuses keeps reiterating how pointless it is to grow attached to the something?)

Except, perhaps, that I am right...and it bothers you for some reason.  Do you have a stake in this business, by chance?

__________________________
"Its sad when people use religion to feel superior, its even worse to see people using a video game to do it."
--Arcken

"...when it comes to pimping EVE I have little restraints."
--Hellmar, CEO of CCP.

"It's like they took a gun, put it to their nugget sack and pulled the trigger over and over again, each time telling us how great it was that they were shooting themselves in the balls."
--Exar_Kun on SWG's NGE

  Four0Six

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/18/11
Posts: 1098

1/07/13 12:18:19 AM#59
Originally posted by Beatnik59

That's what we have now, Eyelolled.

But here's the thing that's really confusing.  If these games are, as you said, "not a commodity," how is it that the industry has been, for the better part of a decade, "commoditizing" them in the form of offering items for sale and services?

They do it because they wish to create the illusion that the player has a sense of ownership of something.  But this sense of ownership is, in the end, highly dependent on the perception that the game will last.  As soon as the "magic circle" is broken, that the things people pay money for will disappear, people don't throw money into the thing as readily.  A $5.00 jacket for your characters looks like a good deal if you have it forever.  It looks like a really dumb thing to do if you only "own" it for two months on a lame duck service.

I don't think these games are marketed as "entertainment," or places you visit, like Disneyland.  They aren't developed to slam them in one night like a prostitute.  They are marketed as things you live with, like a steady girlfriend or a wife.  They are places you can live.  And the reason I say this is because they encourage behaviors that only make sense if players are confident they'll have access to the game in perpetuity.

These games offer choices in how a person should spend his or her time.  There are activities, like building and decorating a guild headquarters, that require the individual to forego content.  These activities take a considerable amount of time and expertise.  But you only take the time to learn these things and do these things on the presumption that you'll have the time to do all the other content.  And you could extend this to many activities, like receiving a matching set of some loot, or helping guild mates.  You only do these things under the presumption that the game will last a long time.  You don't do these activities if it all goes away in a few months.

Now the reason why I say the longevity issue is a problem is that it is starting to affect how players are looking at these games.  For example, I know of a lot of people who are rather skeptical about Wildstar right now because of what NCSoft did with City of Heroes.  And I can't say I blame them.  Why throw good money and good time into something that might go *poof* for reasons not under your control?

That's a big problem.  It's one thing if players are avoiding your game because they are afraid they'll like it too little.  It's another thing if players are avoiding your game because they are afraid they'll like it too much, and it'll be taken away. 

 

 Not me, no skeptics here. Why be skeptical? No reason, since I wont play another NC game again.

  WereLlama

Hard Core Member

Joined: 2/13/12
Posts: 211

1/07/13 9:39:30 AM#60

I think the idea that a game will only be perpetually hosted if it is 'successful' will speed up the tipping point  of failure.

Which, to me, means players will be super sensitive to all news and follow the flock out (and quit) if the game has the following two characteristics:

1. Is so big that it is expensive to maintain.

2. Bad reviews

If both are true, people will soon quit immediately and not invest, and maybe not invest at all unless proven otherwise.

This leads me to a possible future where almost all MMOs start tiny (low cost to maintain) and slowly grow their playerbase, like EVE / Tibia did.

-Blitz

 

 

 

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