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Member Since 14 Dec 2010
Offline Last Active Apr 17 2014 04:51 PM

#2313497 Pay-to-win

Posted Arkham Creed on 02 April 2014 - 10:25 PM

A lot of the pay-to-win arguments I’ve seen lately stink of what I call “subjective advantage.” It was summed up best in a recent thread I shall link at the end of this post. In a nut shell the purposed “essence” of pay-to-win was “the personal victory conditions” of each individual player; those personal goals we all set for ourselves within the game such as collecting all the skills, gaining map completion, or crafting a legendary weapon. It was said that any form of “pay-to-complete my personal goals” is a form of pay-to-win. This is a logical error to an extreme degree. You see as an MMO the game has to cater to one degree or another to a majority audience, and as such major changes and monetization should appropriately be based on majority preference. The problem is that these subjective advantages, or “personal victory conditions” are not uniform, and apply only to each individual. As such it is literally impossible to come to a uniform or even majority consensus on what constitutes “pay-to-win” when dealing solely in these subjective opinions and personal goals.

As such these types of definitions are rightly based on objective advantages. That is to say paying real money for an undeniable statistical advantage in an officially competitive play mode. Because of this, to put it simply, paying to have stronger weapons in PvP would be pay-to-win, but paying to acquire a legendary skin slightly faster in PvE is not. This is regardless of the value any individual player places on the speed of acquiring these skins and their place within said player’s “personal victory conditions.” Once again, it is factually impossible to reach even a majority consensus on what is a “fair” or “unfair” rate of PvE cosmetic accusation to dollars spent ratio.

Some players just won’t care about buying skins. Others, like myself, draw the line at paying for specific reward skins but care little about gems-to-gold conversion allowing faster material gathering. Some would reject the concept of any form of impact real world currency might have on the system, and others still would feel that some degree of monetary support of the game should be required for the most prestigious rewards or in-game perks. It is simply not possible to reconcile these differing, yet each equally viable, subjective opinions. And as such high impact monetization decisions that affect the entire game and all players needs to disregard all of these opinions equally; instead basing such decisions entirely upon objective statistical advantages in officially competitive content types only. The only way to be fair is to have every subjective opinion matter equally; not at all.

In the specific case of Guild Wars 2 nothing in the gem store is pay-to-win because nothing therein provides any degree of statistical advantage in a competitive game mode. You could argue this statement based on the gradual cross contamination of PvE and WvW, but WvW is confirmed and designed to be “unbalanced” and by that nature “unfair” to begin with. The only strictly and officially competitive game mode is sPvP, and the gem store has zero impact on it from a statistical perspective. As such Guild Wars 2 is objectively not pay-to-win regardless of the opinions of individual players based on their “personal victory conditions.”

In the end it falls to each player to make the decision if any given game’s monetization system is right for them. And if their subjective desires are not being met, or being contradicted, by that game’s system then it is best for them simply to leave the game rather than unfairly and selfishly requesting these systems be changed to suit their subjective view. And in doing so, it is also only fair, that they acknowledge the difference between a game that is actually pay-to-win, and a game that simply involves monetary systems they don’t like for purely subjective reasons. Put simply saying Guild Wars 2 is “pay-to-win” when what you actually mean is “I don’t like the gem system because people with more money can craft statistically irrelevant skins faster” is not only inaccurate, it is a boldfaced lie.  

The thread that inspired this tangent can be found here;

My post starts at the top. If you don't want to read you shouldn't be on an internet forum. Stop being lazy.

MOD EDIT I haven't changed anything in this post, but I just wanted to say this is the best TL;DR I have ever read. Well played good sir and thank you for voicing the mindset needed on a discussion forum.

#2215757 Neverwinter

Posted Kysio on 01 July 2013 - 09:35 PM

Why do you bold random parts of sentence anyways?

#2255246 Are RPGS and Casual Gamers Really Compatible?

Posted Captain Bulldozer on 06 November 2013 - 04:01 AM

I actually think its much MUCH easier to design games for casual players, by your definition.  Casual players don't need vertical progression, bi-monthly updates, shiny new toys, etc. the way many hardcore players do.  The standard content in most RPGs/MMORPGs is often enough to last casual players for quite along time.  For example, getting 100% world completion in GW2 takes somewhere around 150-250 hours of playtime (we can quibble about the number, but we should all be able to agree that it is at least more than a hundred).  There are players that might put that amount of time in in 2-3 weeks of playing, but a casual player is likely to spend 3 or more months to accomplish the same thing. Getting a legendary weapon might be something hardcore players do in a month (or less), but casual players might take a year (or more).  

Casual players are not generally the part of the player base that complains and demands new content, since often they haven't even come close to finishing the existing content.  Casual players generally like relatively linear, soloable content more than complicated group required content, so long as each step can be done in a single play-session (something hard core players might view as being "too short".)

Really, I've heard a lot of complaints from the peanut gallery over the last year about how GW2 is too much designed for casual players... but when I look at the game as it currently stands, I'm not sure that's right.  I think many of the updates and additions (especially recent ones) have been much more targeted at the hardcore crowd.  In my opinion, that is a mistake.... not because I am a casual player (though by some definitions I am) but because ost of the truly hard-core players got bored with GW2 and left a long time ago... what I see is that generally the casuals are still playing (though many of those have left also) and many of them don't particularly care for hardcore-targeted updates.

I don't really feel GW2 is friendly to both groups (and perhaps not particularly friendly to either in certain ways)... When I compare GW2 back to GW1, which I can't help but do (even if by now I fully recognize that may not even be appropriate) I can't help but feel that GW1 managed to strike a pretty fine balance in that there were a lot of things for the hardcore crowd, yet it was still very casual friendly.

#2272184 Reddit X-Post CDI: Character Progression Dev Responses

Posted Feathermoore on 17 December 2013 - 01:51 PM

View PostFeatherman, on 17 December 2013 - 05:36 AM, said:

Quote on time gates from Izzy.

What's interesting about this, I think, is that it's written from a perspective where rewards are driving factor for gameplay, but that probably makes sense because he's talking about the importance of spacing out rewards and power. It's a shame that MMOs in general have to go through so much hassle to prevent saturation of power and assets to retain players. Given GW2's the level and hard power cap, though, I personally don't think it would have been much of an issue for the players (not necessarily the game) if they were allowed get ascended as quickly as possible.

This is just me speaking, but I don't think that "mass" should be so highly rated when the amount of interaction between its constituents is low. I also dislike his reasoning that more mass equals more fun, or at least not in the manner he's saying it. Aside from maybe map zerging (for those who enjoy it) what activities are more fun after you've gotten a full party anyway?

0.o How can the pressure to complete a time gate be a negative for people who have a lot of time because it feels like they never get to what they want to do, and a positive to the people with less time because it encourages them to log-in every day and might turn into playing with friends? If the people with lots of time feel like they don't get to the gameplay they want to, there is no way the people with less time who log in for the time gates would ever get to do anything other than the time gates.

This is why I completely ignore all the time gated material. I can't participate in it. I don't have the time to do that even though I would do it if it wasn't gated. I don't know if he just has the statements backwards (with respect to which group of people it is a pro/con for) or if it is an attempt to spin time gate as being friendly to people with limited play time. Because it definitely isn't.

#2270621 Ascended Armor Design

Posted Phineas Poe on 12 December 2013 - 09:01 AM

View Posttypographie, on 11 December 2013 - 07:13 PM, said:

Sigh. Okay, I'll bite. What makes you think GW1 has objectively better texture quality than GW2? That doesn't even make sense.

Guild Wars 1 armor looks like this.

Guild Wars 2 armor looks like this.

I don't understand how anyone could possibly think that GW1 textures look better than GW2 textures unless they're running the game out of a cereal box. At maximum settings (I agree with Featherman on the subject of shaders, though) GW2 blows GW1 out of the water. With everything. Including the water. And armor. You can even watch your beautiful armor textures reflected in the water.

I don't think that the ascended armor skins are totally hideous. If anything, I find it kind of nice that they come out with medium armor that isn't a trench coat and light armor that isn't a robe. Even though they're not skins I would gear onto my characters, I think they do provide an alternative to all the trench coats and robes that scholar and adventurer classes are stuck with right now. And even though I may not wear the full set, I might find use for one or two pieces to mix-and-match with others.

#2270708 Update Notes for December 10th

Posted El Duderino on 12 December 2013 - 01:15 PM

View PostLordkrall, on 12 December 2013 - 01:07 PM, said:

So basically not that massive game-changer and forced grinding that people have been shouting about.

If you mean that a 20% increase in effective damage isn't a big deal, then u guess you are right....

#2270345 Update Notes for December 10th

Posted Illein on 11 December 2013 - 07:04 PM

View PostLordkrall, on 11 December 2013 - 06:40 PM, said:

Lets make a comparison shall we?

If you were to buy bank-slot extension to get the same amount of extra slots that we got with a single purchase of this upgrade you would have to buy 15 tabs.

15 tabs * 600 per tab which would suddenly become 9000 gems instead of 800. So yes, I would say that it is indeed quite cheap compared to what the alternative would be.

That's an elementally flawed comparison.

If we want to compare apples with oranges though, let us!

You might just as well say, I really get 445 slots of inventory (the size of the collection tab) with 1 purchase of that collection expander for 800 gems, while two bag slots for the same price would only give me 40 with two 20 slot bags on them! Woohoo!

So theoretically, that thing should really cost 8.900 gems for the amount of space it frees up!

It explains why you think it's cheap though, if you feel like the adequate price of the damn thing should be 110 € worth of gems.

Then yeah, it's quite the bargain, Lordkrall. Quite the bargain! It's basically a 70% WINTER SALE on bag space! ANet has to feel really generous with Christmas approaching. :rolleyes:

#2270438 Good job on the new healing skills /sarcasm

Posted MazingerZ on 11 December 2013 - 09:51 PM

View Postdavadude, on 11 December 2013 - 09:44 PM, said:

The skills are not enabled in Player versus Player for obvious reasons (some are pretty damn powerful), and any skill not available in PvP cannot be equipped in hard of the mists.  If you want to test them, use the dummies in the Fields of Ruin at Ebonhawke.


How is it narrow minded?  Completing any level-80 or meta boss event nets you 1/3 to 1/2 of your experience bar.  Killing an enemy at your level nets you 1/50 of your experience bar.  Killing a champion or Elite enemy nets a 50% chance (according to GW2W user research) of an instant level-up item with retaining of your current experience for the level.  Gaining skill points is easy no matter what your play style is.

First, lol... so one healing skill is more powerful than the rest in PvP?  Balance much?

You're missing the point of the second point.  It's not how easy it is to get a skill points at 80, we're talking about the worth of the skill versus the others, especially since it costs almost as much as a tier 2 elite.

#2270393 Good job on the new healing skills /sarcasm

Posted Arkham Creed on 11 December 2013 - 08:27 PM

So I fully support adding more skills to the game, and even support Arena Net’s reasons for starting with healing skills. However I have a problem with their current implementation. Two problems, actually.

1; Why in the ‘effing eff can’t I slot the skills in the Heart of the Mists and test them out like EVERY OTHER SKILL AND TRAIT IN THE GAME? I’m not going to invest that many skill points into a new skill just to see if I might like it and might be able to work it into a build.

2; Why does this thing cost 25 skill points? Are you honestly trying to tell me that Water Spirit is as valuable as a tier two elite skill? I get that the point cost is no big deal for some people, that is exactly the kind of narrow-minded thinking that I am against. It seems to me that this skill’s point cost is just a way to help all the level 80s out there dump some of their hundreds of unused skill points. Nicely done. Unfortunately that makes these skills just one big middle finger to new players, players who took a break and are coming back, and players trying to raise alts. Good job Arena Net. What, are you under the impressing that you just don’t have any new/returning players to worry about?

#2255426 The Nightmares Within - November 12th update preview

Posted Illein on 06 November 2013 - 03:39 PM

Seems someone got his shit together and gave the video the epic song it actually deserved. Bravo!

#2257316 Bring Back Inactive Players With Gems?

Posted Illein on 11 November 2013 - 01:46 PM

If all the game offers are achievement points and every once in a while a unique one-time reward (however shitty it might be) you miss basically EVERYTHING the game has to offer, if you don't play.

There is not much beyond that, there just isn't. So either you stay in the game and do your routine achievement hunt every 2 to 4 weeks, or you hop off the train and likely never look back again unless the entire way content was delivered for well over a year now - radically changes. Especially as you can't ever catch up again in GW 2.

So yeah, in my opinion - it's not as forgiving for people who take a break, than the payment model might lead you to believe.

#2257247 Bring Back Inactive Players With Gems?

Posted Senatic on 11 November 2013 - 10:59 AM

View PostLady Rhonwyn, on 11 November 2013 - 10:11 AM, said:

I don't think there's a single solution to bring players "back" to the game.   You might lure some people back, for a short while, by giving them some free gems, but I doubt they stay, if their original problem with the game wasn't removed.

Having some sort of real competitive end game might be a good start. Cus currently there is none and that is the main reason so many players left GW2 in my estimation. Casual direction less content only holds people so long.

I'm really starting to tire of the 2 week skinner box rotation myself. Grinding for better gear or grinding for meaningless achievement points every 2 weeks it's pretty much the exact same thing.

#2254559 Why you Can't Ignore Ascended Gear

Posted El Duderino on 04 November 2013 - 05:14 PM

View PostKymeric, on 04 November 2013 - 05:04 PM, said:

People want to play these games six hours a day, seven days a week, for years.  There's simply no way any developer is going to be able to provide content for that.  People want to engage in an addict relationship with the game, so developers have to provide a drug-like product if they intend to keep that portion of the player base.

And yet... Guild Wars 1. How do you account for the success of that game given it didn't have a gear treadmill?

It can be done. It has to be done through the mechanics of a game. It has to be done in other avenues where people can replay the game and have new and different choices each time.

For example, classes were so diverse in GW1, that just making new alts and replaying the game was enough to make that experience new and different and challenging. In GW2, classes just aren't that different in what they can do, so alts aren't that exciting because it is more of the same.

GW1 had farming, it has desirable skins, it had lots of things to keep people playing - all without a gear treadmill.

A gear treadmill simply isn't necessary. Yes, some skinner box stuff is required. But, the ways in which GW2 goes about it does not, in my opinion, enhance the game. And more attention is paid to making GW2 based around skinner box style tricks than by actually making an interesting game that is inherently replayable.

#2250803 Toxin; the anti-zerg?

Posted Arkham Creed on 27 October 2013 - 01:59 AM

So I was watching Guildcast and early in they started discussing the new cross-profession healing skill coming with the next patch. And naturally this lead to speculation of what exactly this strange new “condition” called toxin could end up being. Now obviously it is going to be some manner of hindrance if not a direct damage condition, but between all the other options we have what kind of DoT is left for us to deal with (and hopefully start working into our builds)? Then it hit me; disease.

For those who didn’t play the original Guild Wars, or who may have simply forgotten, disease was a simple damage dealing “degeneration” condition in the same family as bleed, poison, and burning. As far as damage goes it was at about the same level of damage as poison. However there was a catch. Something about it that made it awesome, and something that made the disease applying cross-profession skill “Signet of Infection” a mainstay of my DPS ranger build; disease was contagious.

Not only could it “jump” to adjacent or nearby enemies (be they PvE mobs or PvP players) but it could actually jump back. It could essentially re-infect mobs or players who just cleansed it if an infected ally got too close. Not only could this skill decimate entire swarms of foes, but it required careful skill and coordination to use in PvP or when facing “human” adversaries in PvE because it was entirely possible to inadvertently infect your own party and cause a wipe.

Imagine if this condition made its way into Guild Wars 2. Just think of its impact on WvW or world bosses. Players needing to spread apart and play skillfully together because a single diseased player could wipe an entire zerg; starting a chain reaction of infection and reinfection that can’t be dealt with by uncoordinated groups. And those same uncoordinated groups wiping themselves with careless use of the condition. So what if one guy can cure himself; it will just keep bouncing back to him, perhaps even stacking higher and higher as the infection spreads and gets applied and reapplied by an ever increasing number of infected. Not even AoE condition removal would help; as there would inevitably be players who don’t recognize what is happening and wander out of the area; preserving the condition and spreading it anew.

I can’t say with any degree of certainly that this is what toxin will turn out to be, but I sure as hell hope so.  What about you?

#2248940 Why you Can't Ignore Ascended Gear

Posted nerfandderf on 22 October 2013 - 07:31 PM

View PostHawkengrey, on 22 October 2013 - 01:38 PM, said:

This.  Exactly.
Sorry they didnt screw anything up. If you believe that I have a bridge to sell you. They introduced ascended because the locusts hit 80 and maxed everything out like they were suppose to. Then they qq all over the forums that there is nothing to do and no gear to grind.

Anet was bleeding people fast - 2 months in and the population was going down fast and hard. So the stop gap measure was a treadmill. This was to add cohesion to the game and have retention.

They followed that up with dailies and laurels and guild missions and 1 per day loot boxes. All meant to retain and give players things to grind out along with the gear.

What they should have said was goodbye to the locusts and stuck to their guns and development philosophies. They didnt.
There are tons of quotes out there especially colin about how by time you hit 80 you should have all the best gear.
This was to facilitate alts and make them worth while. They killed that along with WXP - grind it out on all your toons now! bonus feature.
Dont believe me check out taugrim or any of the insiders they will tell you.
I feel had they stuck to their guns and went with what was promised the game would have been significantly better. Both design and $ wise. 1 direction for the company not 100 trying to please everyone. and with a happy base the $$ comes in.

There would have been no manifesto - anet lied - grind - ect ect that is the forum every day because they wouldnt have done it. Anyone who did complain about no endgame ect would have been told you know what you bought.
But now it is the opposite people dont know what they bought!