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News & Features Discussion  » Neverwinter: Velasquez on Module 2, Lockboxes & More

15 posts found
  SBFord

Associate Editor - News Manager

Joined: 6/28/10
Posts: 13273

 
OP  9/25/13 5:43:40 PM#1

Massively has a great interview with Neverwinter's Andy Velasquez where he takes time for some retrospective evaluation of the game and controversial subjects including lockboxes. In addition, Velasquez speaks about the Foundry and what players might expect in Module 2.

Our discussion turned to the "necessary evil" (as we posited) of lockboxes. Velasquez admitted that lockbox keys are top sellers, although he put a big asterisk by that when he observed that what the players are really buying is the chance for a rare mount or companion. The value of those mounts and companions is backed up by the straight-up sale of such items in the store.

So, are lockboxes necessary in the free-to-play model these days? "Yes and no," Velasquez said. "They're not a universal truth."

Ultimately, the studio wants lockboxes to have appropriate perceived value so that players don't feel bad spending money to open them -- and don't feel bad avoiding them altogether.

Read the full interview at the link above.


Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

  Torvaldr

Elite Member

Joined: 6/10/09
Posts: 5670

9/25/13 6:07:11 PM#2

I have a devoted cleric just under level cap. I think the game is still fun and they did do action combat very well.

I sort of lost interest as I neared cap because any real progression is just dungeon gear treadmills and that's boring. Also, the companions in the cash shop are insanely overpriced in my opinion and so I haven't spent anything after my initial Zen purchase. Like I said, the progression is very limited and respeccing costs money - that's not very fun for me either. I don't mind running some foundry missions every once in a while because there really are some fantastic modules out there.

The lockboxes need to be much more rewarding before I'll try them again. It's fun to open stuff and get goodies, but it needs to be worth it. The same with lock box store promos - where you buy something (like crafting resources) and get a sort of lockbox bonus when you open them.

The PWE unified launcher, Arc, really sucks. I haven't reinstalled the game since I replaced my hard drives because that launcher is such a piece of clunk.

Anyway, I'll be stoked if they add a new class and will play it to (or near) cap. If they want me to spend more money than I have, then they need to offer their interesting items at a more reasonable price and make their lockboxes rewarding.

 

I think a mind wipe so people could play an mmo like it was their first time again, would be easier to build than a new mmo people here would actually like. - DamonVile

  Alverant

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/12/07
Posts: 306

9/25/13 7:31:57 PM#3
I agree. The keys cost a dollar and a quarter each. I bought some when they were on sale and enjoyed opening them even though I didn't get anything really good. If they dropped the price to $0.50 then I'd be more tempted to buy them.
  Zzad

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/14/11
Posts: 1285

9/25/13 8:03:38 PM#4
My biggest problem with Neverwinter is their currency sistems... FSF I hate those Astral Diamonds BS.... I want to play a fun game not a currency exchange game... It just got over my nerves and stopped playing at a very low level because of it. I understand it's a FTP game and they need to get some revenew but all the Neverwinter system felt too intrusive for me.
  gatheris

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/09/06
Posts: 982

9/25/13 8:31:57 PM#5

Would probably be still playing this if it was subscription  - but as it is, the game is completely ptw unless you are able to play 16 hours a day

 

  DoomsDay01

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/14/08
Posts: 785

9/25/13 8:58:31 PM#6
I dont know the exact amount, but I spent over $200 in the game and never got a rare mount. Granted not all of that was spent on keys, probably about 75 bucks worth in keys. They want to tell me what dollar amount they are putting on these "rare" mounts? I mean, if $75 bucks cant even get you one, then how much do you have to spend, $100,$200, more? Sorry. I really enjoyed playing the game with my DC and got to max level, but I grew tired of the constant push to spend more and more money on what is more or less a racket when it comes down to those stupid keys.
  zzx81

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/06/08
Posts: 51

9/25/13 11:02:54 PM#7
If you wanna talk about currency conversion hassel and P2W aspect, look at Age Of Wushu, that's a real P2W I can say ROFL
  Dakirn

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/16/04
Posts: 360

9/26/13 2:02:59 AM#8

I'm sure their "healer focused" companions are going to be in the lockbox, just like everything else worth using (or some astronomical price in the C-Store).  It seems like nothing good is earned anymore.. it's all purchased.

 

The game is just full of nickle and diming everywhere.  It got really, really old.. especially once you hit 60 and it's time to grind grind grind for gear that makes very little difference (except to help you grind for more gear).

  Talonsin

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 7/19/06
Posts: 1040

9/26/13 10:09:01 AM#9

The issue with the game is that it goes way beyond nickle and diming.  The stuff you want like the good companions and faster mounts you cant buy.  You have to gamble with lockboxes.  No one wants to pay $20 in lockbox keys and NOT get what they wanted.  If they would just let you have the option of buying what you want OR gambling with lockboxes, I would be inclined to spend some money.  As it is, I'm not paying a buck fifty to have a minute chance of getting something I want. 

 

I would be overjoyed if lockboxes were phased out of the MMO genre entirely.  I cant tell you how greedy a practice I think this is.  Its like going to some third world country and charging starving kids a dime for a box that has a 1% chance of having food and a 99% chance of having a paperclip in it.

  Po_gg

Elite Member

Joined: 5/12/10
Posts: 2000

9/26/13 10:49:47 AM#10
Originally posted by Talonsin

No one wants to pay $20 in lockbox keys and NOT get what they wanted.  If they would just let you have the option of buying what you want OR gambling with lockboxes, I would be inclined to spend some money.  As it is, I'm not paying a buck fifty to have a minute chance of getting something I want. 

I agree, I've never bought any lockbox (lootbox, etc. in other games) keys either. I wrote numerous times against that scam.

On the other hand, it seems many players do want to pay for that chance sadly. Your idea (of a purchase option) will never happen because that's exactly what drives the afforementioned players to buy keys in hundreds, chasing the 1 item which is only available through the box gamble... And Massively Justin is wrong with "Cryptic obviously loves its lockboxes", it's PWE. There were no boxes in their games before PWE.

 

As for the game, I'm just like Torvaldr, playing the Foundry and the festivals only. Not interested in the lame endgame gear grind :) and yep, Arc is a shady move, there are threads about it in the STO section of mmorpg as well... so far one can still install the games without Arc luckily, we'll see how hardly will PWE forcing it (if you check the games' own perfectworld forums, most of them have a few threads against Arc, with polls and stuff :) )

 

Edit: well, with the patch today they introduced a rewritten launcher in both NW and STO, seems a bit chrome-y... I hope it's not a first step toward the hinted lame, Origin-esque "you can launch the game only through Arc, in your browser" thingy.

  Mondo80

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/11/04
Posts: 175

9/26/13 11:08:13 AM#11
Originally posted by Talonsin

The issue with the game is that it goes way beyond nickle and diming.  The stuff you want like the good companions and faster mounts you cant buy.  You have to gamble with lockboxes.  No one wants to pay $20 in lockbox keys and NOT get what they wanted.  If they would just let you have the option of buying what you want OR gambling with lockboxes, I would be inclined to spend some money.  As it is, I'm not paying a buck fifty to have a minute chance of getting something I want. 

 

I would be overjoyed if lockboxes were phased out of the MMO genre entirely.  I cant tell you how greedy a practice I think this is.  Its like going to some third world country and charging starving kids a dime for a box that has a 1% chance of having food and a 99% chance of having a paperclip in it.

You can easily play the game without spend cash if you plan things out, paying zen makes it easier but I don't see anything that is pay to win.

  Talonsin

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 7/19/06
Posts: 1040

9/26/13 1:48:56 PM#12
Originally posted by Mondo80
Originally posted by Talonsin

The issue with the game is that it goes way beyond nickle and diming.  The stuff you want like the good companions and faster mounts you cant buy.  You have to gamble with lockboxes.  No one wants to pay $20 in lockbox keys and NOT get what they wanted.  If they would just let you have the option of buying what you want OR gambling with lockboxes, I would be inclined to spend some money.  As it is, I'm not paying a buck fifty to have a minute chance of getting something I want. 

 

I would be overjoyed if lockboxes were phased out of the MMO genre entirely.  I cant tell you how greedy a practice I think this is.  Its like going to some third world country and charging starving kids a dime for a box that has a 1% chance of having food and a 99% chance of having a paperclip in it.

You can easily play the game without spend cash if you plan things out, paying zen makes it easier but I don't see anything that is pay to win.

I dont see the words "pay to win" in the post you quoted.  I simply said paying for a CHANCE at something you want is not my cup of tea.  I would rather pay $20 and get the companion that heals the most rather than spend $30 in lockbox keys and NOT get what I want.  You are right, the entire game can be played for free but the game can be played easier and faster if you get better heals and have a faster mount, both of which you have to pay for. 

Notice I did not say pay to win.  

  Deivos

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/14/04
Posts: 1703

Iarð skal rifna, ok upphiminn.

9/26/13 1:55:32 PM#13

It's hiding things you want behind a gambling mechanic so that on average you'll pay out more to obtain the thing you desire.

 

I ,like others, find it annoying and would much rather be provided the ability to buy such things directly rather than blow money gambling unpredictably on whether or not I'll get the thing I'm paying to try and get.

 

Not an issue of pay to win, just an issue of feeling swindled.

As the size of an explosion increases, the number of social situations it is incapable of solving approaches zero. - Vaarsuvius

  SpottyGekko

Elite Member

Joined: 9/26/04
Posts: 2866

9/26/13 2:04:04 PM#14
Originally posted by Deivos

It's hiding things you want behind a gambling mechanic so that on average you'll pay out more to obtain the thing you desire.

 

I ,like others, find it annoying and would much rather be provided the ability to buy such things directly rather than blow money gambling unpredictably on whether or not I'll get the thing I'm paying to try and get.

 

Not an issue of pay to win, just an issue of feeling swindled.

Unfortunately, lock boxes are very good at what they do, so it's highly unlikely that any F2P game will avoid using them. If anything, they're all hard at work on finding creative ways to extend the "lockbox" concept to as many areas of the game as is feasible...

  Deivos

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/14/04
Posts: 1703

Iarð skal rifna, ok upphiminn.

9/26/13 2:26:38 PM#15

Well yeah. If they can get you to pay them without necessarily having to give you anything of consequence, then it's free game I guess.

 

Didn't say it wasn't a valid or successful mechanic. It's based on the same principle that playing an MMO in the first place tends to contain (randomized frequency of rewards to incentivize continued play), just that in this case, it's inserting money almost directly to have a gamble on the payout.

As the size of an explosion increases, the number of social situations it is incapable of solving approaches zero. - Vaarsuvius