Thursday, 15 October 2015

Paying to Win : Drawing a Line in the Sand

Ok, this is a knee jerk reaction to the latest Dev Blog. But I feel strongly about it. I have played a lot of games in the past. Maybe too many. In the past you got them on floppy discs or CD's. Accessibility to the internet allowed patches and fixes to be applied. And then the bean counters stepped in. Monetization opportunities and micro transactions came into play. Paying to Win became acceptable rather than just simply cheating. This fundamentally changed how games were made and played. 

Now I have played these games and I find them cynical and unrewarding. Cynical, because they play on the player's goodwill and loyalty, or even addiction but devalue real gameplay if it doesn't offer a sufficient return on investment. Those that do not engage in war of the wallets become content for the paying whales until they realise the futility of trying to compete. I am not playing a game like that again. It is why I am not interested in Eve Valkyrie. When you see CCP vacancies such as Monetization Manager, you know the direction of travel of that game. Eye candy is not enough to entice me.

Eve, of course, was different. It had already learn't that lesson after Incarna. Vanity items only was the agreement. The new EXPLORING THE CHARACTER BAZAAR & SKILL TRADING dev blog says different. The proposal is to allow the purchase of Skill Points. Pay to Win pure and simple. Already one CSM has spoken against it and claimed this was not what CSMX wanted. If it goes ahead it will be a breach of the Accord. And I am not going to willingly volunteer to be some else's content. Think again CCP


10 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. I believe linking publicly all alts of the same player will do more to limit pay to win in Eve than allowing players exposed to a complex skill system to fix some issues with their skill queue development when it is already possible to buy a highly skilled character from the bazaar.

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    1. I have never liked the bazaar either and have chosen never to use it even that it would have saved me months. Having more than one account is tricky. It is such an ingrained part of Eve gameplay. Your idea is interesting but I wonder what the appetite would be amongst the player base or CCP.

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    2. deleted your comment because it was duplicated :)

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  3. You're not buying skillpoints from CCP, but from other players, who must lose skillpoints in the process. This is just a more granular version of the existing ability to buy characters from other players. How is this somehow more "pay to win" than buying a carrier alt?

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    1. I agree there isn't much of a difference apart from the baggage you get from the Char's history. But I don't like the fact you can buy an trained alt either so agree that is also Pay 2 Win. The fact there is a bad precedent doesn't make this good

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    2. My point was that you imply this is some sort of change in direction or shift, where in fact it's the exact sort of thing CCP has been doing for many years. As to the P2W thing, buying a carrier alt doesn't make you "win" - it makes you a target, unless you actually know what you are doing. SP is something of an artificial time barrier, and regardless, all this can be acquired in game; I bought my carrier alt with isk earned through station trading. Was that pay to win? If paying isk for something is pay to win, then there are bigger issues with the definition.

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    4. @Ouso Borghese Yes you are quite right about the long existence of the bazaar. I was barely aware of it if at all when I joined the game. And it was an ugly accommodation for the RMT problem as CCP has said. I regarded it as a quirk backed up by the Incarna Accord. Today's proposition changes that by formalizing CCP's desire to monetize via P2W. That is essentially what is new.
      As to winning, I think that depends on your personal experience of of Eve. Is it the journey or the destination that counts? For me it is the former. That doesn't make me right or wrong, it's just why I play Eve. Short circuiting the journey would trivialise the game. I've done that in other games and in the end it wasn't rewarding.

      If a carrier without SP is one thing. Buying a carrier and then buying the SP to fit and fly it is another I would suggest

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