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#2204211 [Video] Guild Wars 2, Nine Months Later

Posted El Duderino on 20 May 2013 - 09:58 PM

View PostKrakenAZ, on 20 May 2013 - 09:40 PM, said:

If the game disappoints so terribly, find another that scratches your itch.  At this point you're just flapping your jaws (or fingers as it were) just to hear your own voice and get patted on the back by other people that supposedly hate the game too (yet continue to devote time to posting on forums dedicated to it).

That's the funny thing, I could give a shit about every other ctappy game out there. In fact, I've never been so negative in a forum ever. The problem is that I really cared about this game. I waited for it. I was never more excited for a game ever. And it was about the biggest colossal failure ever.  The worst problem is there is no other game that makes up for it to divert my attention. Show me a game that matches GW1 except made for 2013 and Ill gladly go away...

There isn't one. The closest thing we have is GW2. As such, I will, as a consumer, continue to point out it's problems as I see fit. It is my right to do so. If you don't like it find a forum that scratches your itch?

#2204128 Consortium is Nexon/NCSoft?

Posted Feathermoore on 20 May 2013 - 07:02 PM

Stop with the off topic rants please.

#2203635 Consortium is Nexon/NCSoft?

Posted ExplosivePinata on 19 May 2013 - 10:45 AM

Gratz on having this post closed by a mod over on the official forums.  Thats unusual, closing a thread over there, they almost never do that :P

#2202992 Consortium is Nexon/NCSoft?

Posted ben911993 on 17 May 2013 - 01:29 PM

This idea came up several months ago with the release of Lost Shores. I can't remember all of the points made, but it was pretty convincing. Among the "evidence" behind the theory was the jumping puzzle named "Under New Management," a suspected reference to Nexon and Cristin Cox working their grubby claws into the game with purely profitable measures. As well, there was the suspicion of a symbolism between karka and the lionguard. It was theorized that the karka represented Nexon, coming into the Lionguard's (ANet's) territory, and tearing down the lion statue in LA, symbolic of Nexon stripping ANet of their former relatively non-greedy stance with a cash shop in GW1.

I'm normally not big on conspiracy theories, but I don't think it's any coincidence that in the interim between GW1 and GW2, Nexon purchased some 15% of the shares of NC Soft (or was it ANet themselves?), and ANet hired Cristin Cox to oversee the monetization of GW2, and now GW2 is a significantly more cash driven game than GW1. Cristin is already well known for having ruined Maplestory, and I wouldn't be too surprised if it were actually at NC Soft's "suggestion" that ANet hired her. Why would a company that had such a successful model with GW1, with a very limited cash shop, suddenly go overboard with it in GW2?

I have to agree with Duderino: it seems NC Soft forced GW2 out early in an attempt to rescue a sinking ship. And now they're taking the lifeboats with them. GW2 is only just in the past 2-3 months starting to head in the right direction with content and updates, but it's still far too gold/cash-centric than I care for.

I was in a thread in the videogame generals section of 4chan yesterday (no, /b/ does not comprise all of 4chan; there's more to it than that), and someone jokingly posted something along the lines of:
"Just $15 a month and you can be a premium GW2 member, receiving benefits such as:
--800 gems per month!
--early access to new content!
--free costumes/cosmetics from the Black Lion store!
--a monthly package of boosters and other consumables!"
And a few other benefits.

It's scary just how believable that post was. GW2 is being ruined by its cash driven stance. I much preferred the system of GW1 where I could just pay $7 and get the costume I want, no rng, no gambling, just me playing dress-up with my characters.

#2202566 My Beefs w/ GW2 & ArenaNet

Posted Captain Bulldozer on 16 May 2013 - 04:01 PM

I can't help but agree with most of what you're saying OP.  I guess at this point, though, I wonder what you're trying to do here.  These issues are not new, nor are you the first to post about them.  If you're really that unsatisfied with the game, why not just stop playing?  YOu could even try asking for a refund and including the text from your post as a reason for why you deserve one.  Pointing out these issues to other players, most of whom are already aware of them, will do very little to get Anet to change anything.

The unfortunate truth is that while GW2 is a still a good game, it really is a completely flawed game that abandoned much of its promise for mediocrity. At this point, there are so many things to fix that is really only a matter of time (I'm guessing a few years, tops) before Anet throws in the towel and announces they'll be working on designing GW3 for the next 6 years instead of maintaining GW2.  Anet is a great company that suffers from a fatal flaw in the long term: they refuse the remember the lessons they've learned in the past and keep making the same mistakes.  This was true in GW1 and its true in GW2.

#2202803 On Lottery (RNG) Boxes

Posted Fizzypop on 17 May 2013 - 12:48 AM

View Postdannywolt, on 16 May 2013 - 11:54 PM, said:

We obviously run with two very different groups of GW2 players. I spend most of my time with the hardcore element that is willing to drop a ton of wealth (in-game or real life) on a skin that means something to possess. Even if they don't constitute a huge portion of the player-base, these 'whales' are important to the survival of a cash shop MMO as they provide the bulk of the revenue. Rift is subscription-based and has no need to turn a constant profit from skins.

I can understand that skin scarcity doesn't appeal to a casual player. Relevant to this discussion, how would you classify yourself and the people you play with? Approximately how many gems would you estimate you have spent on gem store items and unlocks since GW2 launched (either purchased for RL money or converted from gold)? And if skins were sold at a flat rate of 800 gems per skin, how many would you buy?
Obviously we do run with different people. The hardcore element isn't important to gaming as they make themselves out to be. Games can survive without them just like walmart survives without rich people buying their items. Those hardcore players are also the same players who aren't likely going to derive joy from gambling chest, but in-game actual unique rewards for their effort. Heck they may not even be buying these chests with real money, but gold which they have either farmed for or illegally bought. If anything the crowd you are talking about is more likely to be a guy with a lot of spare cash to throw at the game. Probably addicted to doing just that. Kind of like the person who spends way too much time ebaying and realizes after winning an item they could've gotten it for cheaper at said walmart.

No, it doesn't appeal to most humans in general because most people really aren't going around looking to make sure they are in the super duper special club. I've given plenty of examples. It's just not something that's necessary. It caters to a small crowd and once more it can easily be done without the lock boxes I've given a few examples of a way to achieve this for those players who really get a nut off with unique rare items. I think those options are best while still catering to the rest of the players who only want what they paid to get. Do you see what I mean?

As far as who I play with? I play with a group of people I've known for years. Some of them IRL and others I only know online through various games. We've all had raiding backgrounds. Myself at least I'm casual. Not all of those I play with are, but mines out of necessity. As far as money spent well easily over $150 if you count the box without the box at least $100. Only on items that I got what I paid for so character slots, bank tabs, etc etc. I haven't bought anything since the new year since nothing at all has interested me and now I don't even log in. If they revamped their costume system and made the game better I'd buy plenty of their new skins. I have no problem supporting a good game. Problem is it has to be good.

Rift is going free to play in June. So far they haven't announced any RNG chests for their shop. If they keep it that way they've got a customer.

#2202669 On Lottery (RNG) Boxes

Posted Gabrial Heart on 16 May 2013 - 08:12 PM

View PostStrawberry Nubcake, on 16 May 2013 - 07:59 PM, said:

Would now be a bad time to mention that EA jumped on the bandwagon a while back and offered these boxes for The Sims 3?  Yes.  I'm talking about boxes you buy with real money and in exchange you get random stuff for your game.  You know... because the money raked in from the base game, 17 expansion/stuff packs + 2 on the way, and a few cash shop sets every month isn't enough to keep one of the best selling single player game franchises alive.  Poor EA!  They are just trying to make ends meet and provide more content for players!  Silly people like me are hating on them for it.  ;)

This could be every game in a few years.  MMOs have been going down that path for years and I think it's going to get worse.  The reality is that our wallets speak louder than words and very few people, myself included, are able to totally stop spending.  The problem for me is that I don't mind buying items when they are reasonably priced and walking away with nothing but trash isn't an option.  I can't say what I went through to get Festivoo a few months ago was my idea of fun.  It actually reminded me why I eventually hated the games I played while waiting on GW2.

"Awesome new content added to the store!"
*checks store*
"Awesome Pack.  Contains many awesome items ranging from some awesome trash the merchant doesn't even want to a super rare account bound item that you probably won't get even after spending $1000!  Try your luck today! 1 box for $1 or 10 for $9"

♥♥♥♥ that noise.

It's not that bad in GW2... yet... but it's never fun when you spend money and walk away feeling disappointed because you ended up with stuff that wasn't even remotely worth what you spent.  Anet wants money?  What's wrong with straight up offering the items and eliminating this RNG crap?  Saying they would make more off fools that want to gamble seems like a valid argument until you remember that some people aren't spending money at all because the items they want are in those boxes.  Those are potential customers that would probably be spending money if the risk of walking away with nothing except trash wasn't there.  Using gems instead of real money is an option, but a single box is worth over 4g right now.  Saying I would be pissed off if I got nothing but crafting materials or some other booby prize would be an understatement.

I like that Anet decided to let the supply crates drop in game, but I'm like many others and I haven't looted even one.  It's like RNGception.  A chance to get a box that gives a chance to give something you want.  Meh!  At least it gives me the option of making some gold and maybe getting Barbie and Ken for my collection without needing to spend anything.  It's a step in the right direction, but I would still prefer to see the RNG boxes die in a fire!

FYI, even evil EA has changed thier DLC structure based on the way people viewed them, so there is hope that this type of outcry will show ANet how silly and crappy this stuff is.

#2202665 On Lottery (RNG) Boxes

Posted Draino on 16 May 2013 - 08:10 PM

People are free to make choices. In lots of ways, vendors are free to supply the goods chosen. So far as I know, no laws are being broken here.

But there's a catch...a person looks at the populace surrounding them, and identifies a pathological tendency or need. The person identifies that supplying that need will generate a good return, and so goes into business selling the desired good or service. The person identifies that the damage is directly done by the user, to the user, and thus refuses ethical responsibility. I'm certain you can think of tag names for this type of business enterprise; some are illegal, some legal, some straddle the line.

So, is the bookie responsible for the hungry children in Jed Gamblingaddict's house? Not directly. But the question still hangs: is it a good thing for the bookie be enabling Jed's problem, for profit?

If the bookie isn't breaking the law, fine, let's remain civil to him, but I will think less of him for exploiting a common weakness in his neighbor, when his intelligence and industry could be directed to earning profit in a way that is not exploitative or injurious. Pandering is not a social good, and it is not ethically blameless, even if it is legally so.

So the plethora of MMO companies doing this cash-for-a-chance biz are allowed to do it, I suppose; I just don't have to admire them for it, and it makes me more inclined to reduce or remove any trade I give them.

It's funny: I never thought I'd miss the subscription model.

#2202595 On Lottery (RNG) Boxes

Posted nerfandderf on 16 May 2013 - 05:17 PM

View PostAzure Skye, on 16 May 2013 - 02:23 PM, said:

Yes but Anet is willing to try new things when it doesn't work in the place not other companies which stuck in pattern but we have to wait and see and stop buying these RNG boxes in the firstplace.

Please show me proof of this. They will exploit this and its predatory nature as much as they can. wish I had a ban hammer for them. Every bit of content released in the last while has been more or less focused on driving the gem store and a lot of the limited time commodities. Buy now buy, now going fast. Gone mini here mini there anywhere a mini mini?

It truly is disgusting to see a game fall so low. If this is the price for crap content then it is way way way too high.

had they kept the loot drops right and not screwed with everyone making gold then I would be a lot easier for them but you cant even transfer gold in game to gems. the payback is far devalued. once again buy gems going fast. Coincedence.

They cant charge a sub for this game because if they could they would. Frankly the saddest thing I can say is that I derive more pleasure on the forums then I do in game.
What happened to anet and GW2? It was awesome for the first few months now now just meh.

The only way this will change is if an advocacy group/ government online regulates this. How many places can you walk into and gamble without knowing the odds of winning? Seriously. It will only take a few bad press events in seattle or USA since anet is there and bang there you go intervention.
I guarantee you that threat alone would fix a lot of the issue.

And for those saying you get something back.
How many people buy the chests for the boosts? if the answer is 99% fine but if it 1% - issue

#2202550 On Lottery (RNG) Boxes

Posted El Duderino on 16 May 2013 - 03:09 PM

View PostLordkrall, on 16 May 2013 - 03:02 PM, said:

That would of course depend on which country we are talking about.
Here in Sweden you don't get kitten if you lose, and the definition used for gambling here is spending money on a CHANCE to get something back. Might be different in other parts of the world though.

I'm done with the continued persistence to change the subject of this thread to what is and is not gambling.

There is no definition that states that gambling doesn't exist if you happen to get rewarded with items that have less value than the amount you gambled, regardless of whether that is in game gold or not.

If you gamble 50 gold on the boxes to get a skin and you come away with 25 gold worth of Karka Shells, you still lost. And it is still gambling.

You don't need to walk away with nothing to constitute losing, that is a false premise.

#2202410 On Lottery (RNG) Boxes

Posted NerfHerder on 16 May 2013 - 01:55 AM

RNG boxes do seem to prey on those more susceptible to gambling. The sad part, and this isnt just Anet, is that they could make just as much or more money if they would put stuff in the gem store that we actually want. The only RNG in my games should be part of the  combat mechanics like critical hit chance, and I can manipulate those odds.

#2202373 On Lottery (RNG) Boxes

Posted NuclearDonut on 15 May 2013 - 10:30 PM

Manzinger, is it possible for you to throw this on the official forums? I'm sure it'll get nuked right away, but it's worth a shot to get more attention. This is probably the most professional explanation of why this practice needs to stop. I don't want to see ANet fall, and I also agree with the person that pointed out Kristin Cox. ANet would have never done this cash shop nonsense in GW1, the cash shop items were always up-front and honest. I don't want to see ANet fall any lower, something has to change.

#2202369 On Lottery (RNG) Boxes

Posted Jairyn on 15 May 2013 - 10:14 PM

View Postdannywolt, on 15 May 2013 - 09:46 PM, said:

This again... please stop hating on Crystin Cox. Do you honestly think she came into A-Net and imposed her way of doing things against their will? A-Net hired her because they wanted her approach. Hate the corporation if you want, but not the individual.
Sorry, but I recently acquired a tinfoil hat and think Nexon's 15% share of NCSoft had perhaps more to do with it than legitimate desire.

Even so, the lockboxes are kind of her thing since the previously mentioned MapleStory so why they brought her on notwithstanding, they are "her" idea and a rejection of it (fantasizing here, obviously) coinciding with her sacking would not be uncommon in the business world. New monetization scheme = new monetization manager.

In the interests of civility it is, however, likely better to focus on the ideology than the person. Further railing against Crystin Cox will do little, but if people want a name for who's at fault, Cox and Nexon should probably be the first in line.

#2202363 On Lottery (RNG) Boxes

Posted Baron von Scrufflebutt on 15 May 2013 - 10:02 PM

Well, they need to destroy those "free" gems somehow.

View Postdannywolt, on 15 May 2013 - 09:46 PM, said:

I don't think that limited-time RNG boxes are ideal, but I have yet to hear a reasonable alternative plan that maintains scarcity and high appeal for skins. Even in GW1, the desired items were prohibitively expensive for the average player. Would pricing skins at 2400 gems ($30 or 75g) be acceptable or would this discussion simply be how A-Net was ripping-off everyone with the gem store? I don't see a perfect solution, so which necessary evil do we choose? That's a matter of personal preference.

The difference being that GW1 skins were in-game items (at least the ones you are talking about), whereas GW2 skins are cash shop items: high-end skins in GW1 were something you played for, "high-end" GW2 skins are something you pay for.

#2202319 On Lottery (RNG) Boxes

Posted MazingerZ on 15 May 2013 - 07:32 PM

Posted to GW2 Forums, I don't expect it to last.  Please comment there as well.

TLDR: Points are boiled down here, but I encourage you to ready the body.

The Right to Make Money

No one is arguing against any individual or company’s right to make money.  What is generally a point of contention is how that money is made.  If oil was a clean, safe resource to produce, with absolutely no environmental impacts and operated in more of an open market than say, OPEC, there would be very few people who could complain about how they do business.  If the market crash had not occurred due to irresponsible lending and selling of securities, no one would have an issue with how much money the banking industry makes.

What this piece attempts to do is describe how poorly these practices are for consumers (ie: you) not just in terms of yourself, but for the game as a whole, and your fellow players.

More Money than a Flat Rate?

The product could in theory be sold on the  Cash Shop for a flat rate, especially if they are already being offered for a limited time.  The question becomes, why not?

There are various reasons.  The return on investment (ROI) of the lottery boxes is higher than that of a flat rate.  The cost of a flat rate in order to equal the return that the lottery boxes provide, a flat rate would appear to be too expensive, with too large of a price tag to pay in one expense.  This goes towards the wedge of individual experience, further below.

If it were a flat rate, you could determine whether you liked the product enough for it to be worth the flat rate quoted.  Or you could consider the product to be worth no money at all, at which point the company has lost your sale and has to make up the difference from a user who wants the product.

The drop rates are unknown until someone bothers to invest and do the research, either by grinding a lot of boxes or buying them outright, the latter of which is a net-positive for the company.  And by the time the results are recorded and posted, the company has already seen sales from consumers assuming that the drop rate cannot be that bad.

The Wedges of "Individual Experience" and "Personal Responsibility"

Divisiveness is the greatest weapon of any entity against a collective to shield from its greatest weakness. You want the populace to be split on issues because if a high percentage of the body every aligns itself against you, you will feel its effects.

The randomness of these boxes creates a variable experience.  However unlikely it is, it is possible for a lucky person to get the products he needs by opening a mere ten boxes.  Suddenly, his experience is “this is the best thing EVER.”  For another individual, they could open box upon box upon box and spend a large amount of money without getting a single claim ticket.

Since experiences vary, its harder to reach a consensus on drop rates.  There will be people satisfied with their experience and others who feel as if its unfair.  Some will be accused of merely being “unlucky.”  Some will engage ad hominem, attacking other consumers for buying so many boxes irresponsibly, despite that being the intent of the company.  Strife ensues and its much harder to direct blame against one specific entity as the customers squabble amongst one another.

It is therefore much harder to get consensus on implementation than if the product had a flat rate.

They benefit from these wedges to keep their customer-base from coming to a consensus on anything, even as far as debate the value of the implementation instead of the value of the product being offered for the price.

Instilling Urgency Artificially: Limited-Time Offers

If you could just grind these out through normal activity (gameplay), there are always going to be those who stick with the grind over the shortcut of buying the product outright.  So to convert even a tiny percentage of those people (a net positive for the company), the company has a limited time offer on the product.  That is greed.  The limited time offer on the product is nothing more than a trick, to artificially give a sense of urgency.

In games like Tribes: Ascend everyone can get access to everything.  If just takes time.  You can choose to grind it out or you can buy it outright.  There is no limited time offer.  There are sales to incentivize a period where you would like to see more income, but a gun in Tribes: Ascend is never going to disappear because you did not buy it this month. It is a psychological trick meant to make you spend more money, and is an anti-consumer practice.

This operates much like the Disney Vault, in which Disney only releases a movie for a limited time every seven years or so on home media.  This increases the scarcity of the movie and instills urgency to purchase the movie when it eventually becomes available.

Worse than Gambling

Gambling can be viewed as an experience. You play the game and the money is the barrier for playing the game, with more money as a reward for winning.  One usually goes in knowing that you will likely lose money, but there's also a chance you could come out of ahead.  It can get impersonal, such as with video poker machines or slot machines, but generally, it's an experience at playing a game of chance.

Common wisdom is that the results are stacked in the house's favor, and there is generally a poor outlook on people who think they can regularly come out ahead by playing, or in other words, playing to win.

Or going to a Dave & Buster’s (or Chuck E. Cheese’s).  Sure, you may be attempting to win tickets for a particular prize, but you are usually paying as much for the experience of playing the games themselves.  You get the experience.  It is a poor value and poor sense to play at these places just to win tickets and win prizes, especially without a particularly good run of luck, you would end up buying the prize outright than trying to win it with tickets.

But these lottery boxes are different.  You are not paying to gamble for the experience, generally.  There is actually no experience, or at least less of one.  The similarity is very much like buying a box of cereal you hate because it has an item you really want.  At that point, you are just ripping open the box, pouring out the cereal for the product and potentially getting nothing for your trouble.  Rinse and repeat ad nauseum until the limited time offer (artificially created sense of urgency) expires or you get the prize you want.

The Company’s Gamble

The company has its own gamble going.

It is relying on the obfuscated nature of its game of chance, with its accompanying ability to change the odds at their leisure, to keep its customer base arguing and speculating over the factual details as much as the subjective details.  If you knew all the details, it would be much easier to base an argument for (or against) purchasing the product outright and there would be less coloring and argument from individual experiences.

It is relying on the artificial sense of urgency to push people into buying the product without spending a lot of time thinking about it, as well as pushing those who attempted grind it out to ultimately buy into the lottery boxes from the Cash Shop at the eleventh hour.

It is relying on human nature.  There are people out there who are gullible, naive, have little foresight and in some cases, an addiction to gambling.  These people with a clinical lack of self-control who will hand over money to engage in this process in hopes of getting the rush of a win.

Defending the Indefensible

The fact of the matter is that there will always be people attempting to defend these practices.  Usually, the sum of the arguments is that the company has a right to make money.  But why?  Why are these practices worthy of money?  And why do these people, who can only benefit as a consumer if these practices were revised to be less abusive, defend them?  Why implement these practices over a flat rate, offered through the Cash Shop, unless this lottery box implementation makes more money.

I tend to look towards a rather quotable piece of TotalBiscuit:

What the hell happened to gamers looking out for each other?  When did that suddenly fall by the wayside in favor of being an unemployed PR representative for a company that has been milking you for money?  When did this happen? Was this with the advent of the Internet?  Is this a recent thing?  I can’t exactly pinpoint when it happened, but fanboy culture has gotten to the point of being actively detrimental to video games.  It benefits nobody whatsoever other than the companies in question.

It’s wonderful that they’ve got a small little army of people that are willing to actively suppress dissent.  Actively lie about the game.  Actively try to character assassinate people.  Engage in ad hominems.  Slam them over social networks.  Downvote videos.  Lie in the comments section.  It’s wonderful if they’re willing to do that, if you happen to be [the company] or any other company that has people like that.  It’s terrible for the rest of us.  It’s really really bad.

Gamers don’t look out for each other anymore.  And that’s really depressing.  The last thing that should be happening is gamers actively trying to mislead other gamers because they want to feel better about their purchase.  Or because they want more players in their game, even though the game is clearly not up to spec.  Where do you get off doing that?  That is morally bankrupt.  That is ethically unsound in the worst possible way.  It sucks, and you suck for doing it.

People who defend these practices want the games they play to succeed regardless of how the company in question behaves, because they have some investment.  They either want the game to have more players, be more successful so it will stick around for a long time, get more development, release expansions, etc, etc.

TLDR: Ultimately, it boils down to the idea that the lottery boxes offer a better return on investment than just simply slapping a flat rate on the product.  It adds nothing to the product itself and is just a method for increasing profits, without doing anything.  It is a form of predation on consumers, it should not be tolerated, but there will always be people willing to defend a company’s decision either out of apathy, a belief it does not nor will ever affect them or some other selfish reason.

Edit: I lost a ton of formatting moving from Google Docs, and I'm adding it back in.