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Star Wars: The Old Republic

Star Wars: The Old Republic 

General Discussion  » EA to release multiple new limited duration gambling packs in the future, citing their implementation is consuming development resources with "long lead times."

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60 posts found
  Karteli

Elite Member

Joined: 7/09/12
Posts: 2704

 
OP  1/17/13 11:00:00 PM#1

Following what appears to be a profitable venture, EA will conclude their current installment of gambling packs with one more pack being released just prior to the Rise of the Hutts content update.

 

Following RotH, Cartel packs will be permamently removed, and replaced by other packs with all new rewards.

 

EA has plans for even more sets with a limited life cycle each.  3 more shipments, each with about 3 packs .. so at least 9 more unique gambling packs coming soon to a Star Wars MMO near you.  Cha-ching!

 

Thread: I'm terribly disapointed by cartel packs.

Q&A Response by Damion Schubert:

http://www.swtor.com/community/showpost.php?p=5738912&postcount=104

 

Do you have a pre-set number of packs and items set up ahead of time for a certain period of time?
We develop a set of these packs (we call them a 'Shipment') at one time. Shipment 1 will have 4 packs associated with them (not counting the cheap pack), with one additional pack coming out before Rise of the Hutts. After that, a new shipment will come out, likely with a new name (instead of 'Cartel Packs', they will be 'Contraband Packs', for example).

Developing a shipment has a long lead time. Most of the art for shipment 2 is already complete, and we are currently in planning stages for shipment 3. This is not to say that we can't slide things around, or pull something forward or get something in a hurry if we see a great idea or if something on the market really sells. But the capacity for this kind of movement is very limited.

We also want these packs to have a reasonable life post-removal. As a result, we philosophically resist actually adjusting the internal math of these packs (i.e. what's in them, at what drop rate) after they've been released, so that the value of the packs is a known quantity. This is not to say we never would do so if there was a serious problem -- but we really don't want to. Short form: there likely will be a time in the future where the GTN is the ONLY place to buy a Skip Tracer's Pack.

 

I'm kind of appalled that gambling packs are successful.  Do people really find them enjoyable, or do people buy them just because they feel they are supposed to?  Or because of the lack of entertaining longterm content..

 

Oh well, needless to say, collecting pets, vehicles, everything else is going to become a very expensive hobby.  Even if they go on sale in the GTN, buyers are eventually going to run out of credits ..

 

He goes on to say:

Are you afraid that greed will corrupt the game?
The cartel market funds the ability for players to play for free, which has allowed a huge number of players who couldn't or wouldn't play the game to do so now. This has resulted in more dev resources, and larger, more vibrant communities. And we've done so while still making market transactions mostly optional. I'm pretty much in the camp that we're on the Light Side on this, so far at least.

 

Red: Hmm.

I don't see this as a sustainable business though.  There was an initial rush because it was new, but if alternate stuff just keeps pouring into the shop, eventually it's going to take in less and less revenue.  Someone will find a cheaper game...

 

Damion did make a peculiar statement later on (same thread, different spot):

http://www.swtor.com/community/showpost.php?p=5738442&postcount=92

It sucks that the Cartel Market/Cartel Packs takes away resources that could be spent on (my pet feature)!
It's quite the opposite, actually. The success of the market (and it has been quite successful) has given us the time and resources to do some ambitious things on Makeb, and plan some very ambitious things beyond. The success of the Cartel Market means that there will be more good stuff for ALL players, paying, subscribers, and free.

 

I thought that was a bit over the top (even assinine), especially since Makeb was being funded by a $10 or $20 sale + subscription fees.   Damion makes it sound like EA has so much overhead that it costs a fortune to do content updates.  If that is why content is so slow to release and so full of bugs, they should consider reorganizing their company (EA Bioware subdivision) .. or something.

 

Well thats the Damion Schubert roundup with commentary (there is some other questions in those links - too much to list here).  Enjoy, lets see what everyone thinks about more gambling packs ... whoop whoop ... yay?

 

Want a nice understanding of life? Try Spirit Science: "The Human History"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8NNHmV3QPw&feature=plcp
Recognize the voice? Yep sounds like Penny Arcade's Extra Credits.

  mrrshann618

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/25/12
Posts: 183

1/17/13 11:10:20 PM#2

STO had lockboxes long before SWTOR had a cash shop. They are essentially the same thing. It is proven to work on other MMO so why not SWTOR? Yeah they may have had longer runs, can be found during normal adventuring however to open them you need keys, and keys are most commonly bought from the online store.

Discusted at SWTOR "gambling packs"? well start looking around and you'll start to get more and more disgusted atMMO's in general. not jsut SWTOR

  User Deleted
1/17/13 11:29:57 PM#3

I'd say that gambling packs are most definetly a sustainable business model. As long as they can keep churning them out, weak-willed individuals will shell out hundreds of dollars, or more, at the chance of winning it big. The trick is to make the stuff in them really desirable and rare. I fully expect to see more items added to these packs that give players a very obvious advantage in game.

I consider myself a pretty thrifty guy. I've never even played a poker game for cash, but years ago, I dropped about $150 on gambling packs in Atlantica Online (in one sitting.) By the time I got what I was after, I didn't even care about the item anymore. A few hours later, my wife ripped me a new ass, and that was the end of my gamblin' days, but they can be extremely effective. I wouldn't doubt for a second that EA is making a truckoad of cash off of them.

  tiefighter25

Novice Member

Joined: 7/30/12
Posts: 949

1/18/13 12:28:01 AM#4

How long and how many resources does it take to reskin gear?

I dunno. Seems skeezy. Paying a sub so a company can devote its resources to develop gear to sell you in the cash shop.

1.7 can't come quick enough. (Actual content, which they have been teasing since August, albeit with a January target date.)

  Po_gg

Elite Member

Joined: 5/12/10
Posts: 1754

1/18/13 3:36:10 AM#5
Originally posted by ezpz77

I'd say that gambling packs are most definetly a sustainable business model. As long as they can keep churning them out, weak-willed individuals will shell out hundreds of dollars, or more, at the chance of winning it big. The trick is to make the stuff in them really desirable and rare. I fully expect to see more items added to these packs that give players a very obvious advantage in game.

It's more than sustainable, sadly, it's highly profitable. Not only in STO, LotRO has lootboxes as well (and a lot of weaker games, browser-based mostly).

I think it's shady and is a steal from the players - not that charging 10-20$ in the store for a few pixels wouldn't be a steal on it's own, but charging 1-100$ for the same (based on luck, but of course they're setting the drop rate...) is far worse. Actually I'm not surprised at all that EA is planning to go the gambling route, it fits their profile perfectly :)

  Renoaku

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/10/07
Posts: 934

1/18/13 3:45:40 AM#6

Another new reason not to play SWTOR because of BioWare/EA.

Unless you want to throw money into a gambling pot I hate games like this I would rather just buy my content straight out if a F2P game Gives me Content, and customization I am looking for at a decent cost + Option to subscribe for that content with good perks then I will do it but when they add gambling content and the game already sucks like SWTOR does its just not worth playing F2P or Pay 2 Play.

  cheyane

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/17/09
Posts: 1882

1/18/13 5:25:21 AM#7

Gambling runs in my family in a bad way so much sadness it has brought and I am unfortunately a possible addict if you go by all the other activities in my life. So I avoid it completely by not participating. I have not bought a single cartell pack for fear I may go overboard. There are many , many people who buy lottery tickets it is the same thing spend a little in the hope you get something. It is not something unexpected it is a huge money maker. If you play you will often hear the boxes being opened. That sound is also tempting me but so far I have only spent coins on opening inventory lines and cargo bays account wide.

 

My husband has bought outfits and weapons.

 

 

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  Swanea

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/25/08
Posts: 2367

1/18/13 5:32:18 AM#8
They just better add the gear in another gear later ingame for us to get, and the crystals able to be crafted (rare drops are fine....)
  JerYnkFan

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/10/06
Posts: 331

1/18/13 5:35:45 AM#9
I personally don't buy the lockboxes, but let's face it like others said other games like STO & LOTRO have them and they are huge source of revenue for the developer.  I don't like them, but if they help bring increased revenue to the game and more content, bug fixes, etc, I'll live with them.
  kabitoshin

Elite Member

Joined: 3/16/12
Posts: 585

1/18/13 5:39:20 AM#10
These Cartel packs are a hit for a couple of reasons 1) Chance of a rare that the buy might really want, 2) The packs themselves sell for quite a bit, 3) kinda same as the first but, items inside will sell for tons of ingame cash.
  Nadia

Elite Member

Joined: 7/26/03
Posts: 10803

1/18/13 5:42:18 AM#11
Originally posted by mrrshann618

Disgusted at SWTOR "gambling packs"? well start looking around and you'll start to get more and more disgusted atMMO's in general. not jsut SWTOR

I agree - these tactics are not limited to SWTOR

 

EQ2 added goblin game ticktets 4 months ago

http://eq2wire.com/2012/08/23/goblin-game-tickets-stationcash-tickets-to-win/

 

  TheCrow2k

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 944

1/18/13 5:49:05 AM#12
Why oh why am I really not surprised... SWTOR was a money pit from day one. Wish it was never made.
  tiefighter25

Novice Member

Joined: 7/30/12
Posts: 949

1/18/13 5:52:33 AM#13

It is bizarre that MMO on line cash shops are neither regulated, nor obliged to give the odds, or rather drop rates of the "prizes"/

They get around this by virtue that there is no physical goods being wagered on. They intentionally  give themselves a futher layer of legal protection by having the gambler first buy tokens with real money, and then spend the tokens (not money) on the cash shop lottery.

For the most part, not even the most deranged gambler would place a bet on a sporting event without knowing the odds.

What makes the latest Bioware blurb on the subject even more disturbing, is that they freely admidt that they alter the drop rates depending on the instant metrics they are receiving on moneies spent on their Cartel Packs.

Not many people spending, raise the drop rates. More people spending, throttle te drop rates back down.

It's three pixel monty.

  meddyck

Elite Member

Joined: 1/18/08
Posts: 1108

1/18/13 5:53:28 AM#14
Since the packs are making them so much money, they could lighten up on some of the F2P restrictions. Allow more warzones and space missions per week. Allow companion customization and hiding head slots. And let F2Pers have access to all of their quest rewards.

Camelot Unchained Founder
DAOC [retired]: R11 Cleric R11 Druid R11 Minstrel R9 Eldritch R6 Sorc R6 Scout R5 Healer

  tiefighter25

Novice Member

Joined: 7/30/12
Posts: 949

1/18/13 6:16:18 AM#15
Originally posted by meddyck
Since the packs are making them so much money, they could lighten up on some of the F2P restrictions. Allow more warzones and space missions per week. Allow companion customization and hiding head slots. And let F2Pers have access to all of their quest rewards.

I doubt they'll do that until player numbers begin to fall significantly, and definitely not until after the Makeb expasion is released.

Many people think the FTP restrictions are so stern because it's Bioware intention to force people to subscribe.

I suspect the converse is actually true. The FTP restrictions are so stern in order to dissuade current subscribers from downgrading to perfered status.

EA has no confidence in the game. They are postulating that the game will not grow in any significant amount to warrant further significant spending. (2.5 million of their key demographic and market tried the game and over 2 million quickly left) From here on out the strategy is to get as much money from the remaining subscribers both as quickly as possible for as long as possible with a minimum amount of expenditure.

Thus a FTP system so restrictive that a subscriber will opt to stay a subscriber and continue paying a $15 monthly fee. A cartel shop of gambling boxes and reskinned and withheld gear. A content update withheld and repackaged as a chargeable expansion.

I believe that SWTOR is a bit of a paradox in that it won't get anymore significant development revenue unless it shows significant growth, and that SWTOR can't grow in any significant way without a significant increase in development revenue.

One can hope that the introduction of the cash shop could make up the shortfall of revenue from the loss of projected revenue from lost subscribers; but by the time the game might climb out of the red and into the black, the game's monetization design would have been so ingrained to probably rule out the possability of the original, standard Pay-to-Play model of relying on monthly subscription fees which are in turn reinvested for a regular streaem of content, which would in turn attract more monthly subscribers. Instead the focus will continue to be to maximize short term revenue on cash-shop purchases. Better to have a higher rate of return on a small group, then a lower rate of return on a large group.

This strategy has some merit from a fiscal point of view, but greatly reduces the potential life-cycle of a game. You can only sell so many shiny baubles without new content, which would cost money to produce.

Damn, I'm grim this morning.

Have a nice day?

  Karteli

Elite Member

Joined: 7/09/12
Posts: 2704

 
OP  1/18/13 7:04:20 AM#16

EA set the date for their next earnings call.  Just under 2 weeks from now.

http://investor.ea.com/events.cfm?list=Future

Future Event
Jan 30, 2013
2:00 PM PT
Electronic Arts Q3 2013 Earnings Conference Call

 

We'll get a glimpse of just how profittable the Cartel Market has been.  I'd give a free wager (har!) that it will be announced as a huge success, with some other spin about new free accounts and monetizing those free accounts to generate revenue.  .. Even though IMO most of the revenue is coming from subscribers spending more.

Want a nice understanding of life? Try Spirit Science: "The Human History"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8NNHmV3QPw&feature=plcp
Recognize the voice? Yep sounds like Penny Arcade's Extra Credits.

  ktanner3

Master

Joined: 3/19/06
Posts: 4103

Trolls will be ignored

1/18/13 8:40:33 AM#17
Originally posted by mrrshann618

STO had lockboxes long before SWTOR had a cash shop. They are essentially the same thing. It is proven to work on other MMO so why not SWTOR? Yeah they may have had longer runs, can be found during normal adventuring however to open them you need keys, and keys are most commonly bought from the online store.

Discusted at SWTOR "gambling packs"? well start looking around and you'll start to get more and more disgusted atMMO's in general. not jsut SWTOR

 

Yep. The Cartel Shop has been very profitable for them. I know players in game and on the official boards who are subscribers that spend lots of money in it.If players didn't buy them companies wouldn't put them in their games. It's how the free market works.

Currently Playing: Star Wars The Old Republic

  superniceguy

Elite Member

Joined: 2/17/07
Posts: 2228

NGE, LOTRO, STO, KOTOR, Lego Star Wars > NGE 2 (SWTOR). SWG>ALL. Above hopefully subject to change.

1/18/13 10:27:39 AM#18
Originally posted by mrrshann618

STO had lockboxes long before SWTOR had a cash shop. They are essentially the same thing. It is proven to work on other MMO so why not SWTOR? Yeah they may have had longer runs, can be found during normal adventuring however to open them you need keys, and keys are most commonly bought from the online store.

Discusted at SWTOR "gambling packs"? well start looking around and you'll start to get more and more disgusted atMMO's in general. not jsut SWTOR

 

Yeah and SWG had it in TCG too, with a $15 sub fee.

Either way I have no intentions on paying anything on any MMO on these things, but in SWG I got 5 free packs each month with the sub, and STO I have a 1 lifetime subscription (which has well paid itself now after 3 years so now is fully free) with a monthly stipend of dilithium, and 1 free account, so over time I can get unlock the boxes without doing anything, and STO has more things worthwhile to do to get more dilithium, whereas SWTOR does not (for credits)

The other thing in STO is, all you have to do is play the game to get the lockboxes from loot drops, you do not buy the lockboxes from the ZEN store (unless it is an in game trade from other players using whatever currency you want), only the keys, so you need to play the game within the limit, to get the lockboxes before a new lockbox is introduced, and you can still hoard the lockboxes away and get the keys when you are ready. STOs way of doing it promotes gameplay, whereas SWTORs way is all Cartel Store.
  baphamet

Elite Member

Joined: 7/05/06
Posts: 2579

110100100

1/18/13 10:29:05 AM#19


Originally posted by TheCrow2k
Why oh why am I really not surprised... SWTOR was a money pit from day one. Wish it was never made.

just don't play it, its really that simple.

  mrrshann618

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/25/12
Posts: 183

1/18/13 11:41:38 AM#20
Originally posted by superniceguy
 and you can still hoard the lockboxes away and get the keys when you are ready. STOs way of doing it promotes gameplay, whereas SWTORs way is all Cartel Store.

So hoarding lockboxes, and buying keys from the cash shop later is different then just buying the "lockbox". Yes yes, you can save em for when you get keys. Having played STO I've dumped more lockboxes than I care to remember as I do not want to spend dil. Yes yes, keys can drop...however I have yet to see one actually DROP from a mob I purchased the only 1 I've used from the AH, and it was a waste of credits.

Why did I drop em? they take up cargo space, and having to buy keys from their cash shop is really no different than simply buying the packs.

SWTOR allows those items that would have been gotten from the cartel packs to be purchased from the GTN. The GTN needs money, money comes from game play, so, in the long run, it promotes gameplay.

So once again. how is buying keys from the cash shop different than buying a Cartel pack? the only exception I see is the time. to me it doesn't matter if I spend $5 today or tomorrow, I still spent $5.

SWTOR's excursion into gambling packs/lockboxes is nothing new, it isn't any different than any other game that has done it. To get in a tissy becuase SWTOR is doing it wrong just admits that ANY game that has a "cartel pack"/lockboxx system is horse crud.

 

ANYBODY who defends their favorite version of the gambling system and attacks SWTOR's version is simply watching the world with rose colored glasses.

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