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Reader Comments (49)

Posted: Feb 24th 2010 4:13PM (Unverified) said

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Not holding my breathe on this one but I give it a listen.

Posted: Feb 24th 2010 4:31PM (Unverified) said

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Highlighted interview begins THIRTY FIVE minutes in. Skippy, skippy, skippy.

Posted: Feb 24th 2010 4:34PM (Unverified) said

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Good interview for the most part.

.....but fear of death is still one of the most idiotic game mechanics out there. And when you couple it with required RL cash purchases (no matter how cheap or expensive), it just smells like an elaborate scam.

FoD is a game breaker for me.

Posted: Feb 24th 2010 4:52PM Russell Clarke said

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"You shouldn't tax death."

Death and taxes are the only two certainties in the world. It seems gPot have come up with the perfect solution.

Posted: Feb 24th 2010 5:04PM Lobotomist said

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Short version of the interview

1. They will reduce the prices (but not saying how much) but it may take some time to evaluate

2. They dont want lot of people spending small amounts of money, they want less people spending big amounts of money

3. You will need to buy items to play in late game

4. Some double talk about how you can get parfume from daily quests

5. Fear of death and other "must buy items to play" will stay as they are



Posted: Feb 24th 2010 6:32PM (Unverified) said

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They are out of their Vulcan minds.

I can see, actually, deciding to market your game in a manner where you have fewer players who play alot of money. I imagine it is not easy dealing with large numbers of players when it comes to bandwidth and storage. That sort of system needs to be made clear early--like in early beta or even pre-beta. That way you get people used to the idea, the complaining is minimized (relatively speaking) because that way alot of people will not get involved in the first place.

Second, you don't get to charge stupid amounts of money for something like perfume and mount food. That's like me grilling hamburgers and selling them for $30.00 a piece and then being surprised when none of them sell. They must offer exciting items if they are going to do a low customer/high cost system. Mounts, non-combat pets, weapons and armor, etc. Not fricking perfume. That isn't exciting, it isn't really tangible, and it isn't something you can show off or even interact with.

And when I say they *must* offer exciting items, that is not a threat to drop the game--I mean they must do it or their entire effort will fail. They'll price themselves right out of the market.

A very, very bizarre, and in light of this podcast, somewhat underhanded enterprise on the part of Gala Net and Astrum Nival.
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Posted: Feb 24th 2010 6:35PM Eamil said

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"2. They dont want lot of people spending small amounts of money, they want less people spending big amounts of money"

Then they should have done monthly fees.
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Posted: Feb 24th 2010 7:00PM (Unverified) said

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I missed replying to this earlier, but I didn't hear the same things you did after listening to the whole thing, and I consider myself to be highly skeptical of their intentions:

1) Agreed.
2) Wrong! He says that's how they originally priced the game (as if it were similar to their existing games). He even says at the end that this was the mistake that they made with the original pricing
3) Its 1.35/hour to play at end game. This is how it is currently, he doesn't say it right away but he later he does specifically say it will be evaluated downwards.
4) Meh.
5) He actually said that he thought the FoD penalty was too high, but he has to get any changes from the developer because he is just at the publisher.

Did you listen to the whole thing?

Someone at massively and/or allods needs to post a summary or transcript, because few people are going to listen to this entire thing.
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Posted: Feb 24th 2010 9:33PM (Unverified) said

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Still "Evaluating"? The Game may not die before it launches, but it won't be where it should be in the MMO universe. To quote Joni Mitchell, "You don't know what you got 'till it's gone". If Astrum Nival and GPotato had a marketing brain cell between them, they would change this self destructive decision.
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Posted: Feb 24th 2010 10:28PM (Unverified) said

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@Turlagh: He says several times that the prices are too high, but that they need to find a business plan that allows them to actually make money while hosting the game.

I think they should have yanked the CS right away, but they didn't then so it doesn't make much sense to do it now.

FWIW I was about to uninstall after reading Lobotomists post, but after actually listening to the interview in the podcast I've decided to keep playing until I see the final costs are.
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Posted: Feb 24th 2010 5:35PM (Unverified) said

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What this company needs to realize is that probably 80% or more of their customer base for this game are people from Subscription based MMOs. Many of these people have little to no familiarity with Cash Shops. Actually many probably wouldn't have even considered playing a Cash Shop game, if it hadn't been for the amazing quality of the game.

This is exactly why this company needs to realize that they can't use existing historical data from other gPotato F2P games but have to create a completely new economic model instead. One, in particularly, that will bridge the gap and be understandable to Subscription-based MMO gamers. If they can pull this off, they have a huge opportunity to reap the benefits from it because they can introduce other games with a similar economic model, thus enticing more Subscription-base MMO customers to make the leap to F2P Cash Shop games as well.

Some questions.

1) What's up with the daily quest that gives you a 20 perfume kit? This is the first time I've heard of this.

2) FoD, while it was explained in terms of it effects, was most definitely not explained in terms of it usage. He noted the developers only add things to the games for specific reasons that apply to the game mechanics. Please explain the reasons behind FoD relating to the game mechanics. So far, the only reasons for the absurd time frames of FoD that I see are tied to the cash shop (even more so when the russian patch adds FoD to rez'd people).

3) He confirmed that the patches between the Russian version and North American version are one to two months apart. Yet in a previous comment by someone from the company (not sure where I read it, maybe on their site or the forums) they said that the two game were fairly close with regards to patches. Two month is not "fairly close". Something like a week would be close. I mean I realize that two months is necessary for locations but don't just fluff it over and say the games are fairly close.

4) Nothing was mentioned about the dramatic changes in the upcoming patch. These changes are as just as important, if not more, as the high cost of the cash shop. Would like to know if they are still going ahead with it or not? Basically even with the cash shop fixed, the Russian patch could be a deal breaker for a lot of people. Changes like this should not be done within an Open Beta, where only minor bug fixes are normally done. Adjustments that change the dynamics of the game should have been done in the Closed Beta a long time ago.

Posted: Feb 24th 2010 5:45PM (Unverified) said

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There is no daily quest that gives 20 perfumes. There's a 1 time quest at lvl 15 that gives 20 ..then a daily that gives 1 and takes 30 mins to complete. If they're saying there's a daily that offers 20 they're flat out lying their asses off.

Its a shame if they wait 4 weeks they'll never recover what could of been the biggest release of a cash mall game in the west. I think this weekend will be my last if they really are going to evaulate for a few weeks and they're goal is to have few people spending more.

They can pretty much kiss my a** if thats the case.
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Posted: Feb 24th 2010 5:47PM Lobotomist said

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1) What's up with the daily quest that gives you a 20 perfume kit? This is the first time I've heard of this.

This was double talk i mentioned in my post.

When asked how long grind time you will need to solve quest that gives you 1 perfume daily. He instead responded that there is a quest that gives you 20 perfume kit.

Yes there is such quest. It is one time deal at lvl 15.



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Posted: Feb 24th 2010 6:12PM (Unverified) said

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Whoa, ya definitely double talk then as he made it sound like it was a daily. But ya, if it's just that one time quest then no big deal.
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Posted: Feb 24th 2010 9:57PM (Unverified) said

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There are rumors of an influx of Russian players on the NA servers fleeing the evils of the recent Russian patch.
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Posted: Feb 25th 2010 4:18AM Its Utakata stupid said

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They're going to be in for a shock if that's the case, Turlagh.
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Posted: Feb 24th 2010 5:46PM (Unverified) said

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You get only 1 perfume from the in game quest per day! Atm that quest is broken on Empire side!
Theres also a quest that gives you a stack of perfumes at level 15-16 but now people are reporting that one as well is broken on Empire side!
The quest to get the extra 6 slot bag in game is also broken on Empire side.

Even if you could get the 1 perfume a day through quest, youll be hard pressed to do ANY raids with one perfume! You WILL be forced to buy perfumes, and with the incoming patches on their way, you will NEED a hell of a lot more than previously!

If this isnt enough, the new patches brings in mounts. While this sounds great, you will now NEED to buy Item Mall "feed" to make them work properly!

Theres many, many more things in these patches that try to milk the community dry! Its only getting worse and the game as far as a lot of the community is concerned is on its last leg!

If Massively does a little investigating they will uncover that in fact the original team (Nival Interactive) has left to make a new MMORTS entitled Prime World, and they have distanced themselves away form the new owners Mail.RU has 100% control of the company now! Before this transaction Nival made a statement on their website saying that they had MINORITY INTEREST in Astrum and Mail.RU. Once Mail.RU got full control, they took that nfo about being a part of those two companies OFF their website!

Posted: Feb 24th 2010 6:12PM (Unverified) said

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It truly boggles my mind that a company can destroy itself in this manner this quick. I thought what was cryptic was doing in campions online with its new expansion costing money seems like nothing compared to what gpotato is now doing. I know I will not be returning to that game even though I had hopes that they would see the light.

Posted: Feb 24th 2010 6:25PM Scuffles said

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One thing that always strikes me

Non-Tradeable items and huge prices don't just hurt the mid range gamer who might spend some money here or there but frankly its like willingly sucker punching yourself square in the profits.

It always seems like they see the non playing customers as a burden, a necessary evil when in fact they should be looking at them like diligent employees coming in to work every day and earning an honest wage.

"Why" you ask?
"That's stupid" you say?

I'll tell you why, Because its those non paying customers who are going to drive the in game resale market and there will be a resale market when things get settled out.

Yeah there are big spenders who are going to singlehandedly finance your game put your kids through college and pay off your mortgage. Then apparently there are the unwashed masses, If not for whom your game would not have the large playerbase that it does. That 88% 11% 1% thing is probably pretty close to true but I hardly think that 1% that's financing the game are going to stick around for very long when that other 99% leaves.

These players not only serve the company by filling out your "Massively Multiplayer" MMO but they also have a burning need for CS items. Now some of them (that 11%) will buy things here or there but there will also be a lot of trade generated (by that 88%). Your little zerglings diligently gather gold and offer it up at the AH for items that your big/medium fish buy from your CS, ***that they otherwise would not have***.

It all breaks down to transactions.
Yeah they aren't directly contributing to you thought the CS but they are driving indirect sales. That said that money making microcosm only works out if the price is right.

Posted: Feb 24th 2010 6:28PM (Unverified) said

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They used historical data from their other products. Bad move. They should have used fresh data. DDO is making money hand over fist. Majority of players do play for free, its true, but there is a significant percentage which pay, rather than a tiny minority as with many other cash shop games.

Why? Because they don't blackmail players into playing by breaking the game if you don't spend money. They just make sure that the things you buy *add* to the game experience, rather than simply bringing the game experience up to a playable one. You buy stuff and it tends to be account-wide, content based.


Gpotato seem to be saying 'on our other games a tiny minority pay any money at all. This game was expensive to make, so we're going to ask that tiny minority to pay LOTS, and force everyone else to pay SOMEthing.

Wrongwrongwrong. The maximum spend in a cash shop for a single item ought to be about $5. People don't think about spending that if they're serious about the game. $20 for ANYthing for a single character is way, way too much. That's half the price of a full expansion set for most games. That bag should be a couple of bucks at most.

Even having said that FOD isn't really the problem. Its a death mechanic. Its a harsh one, but its just a mechanic. Its the way you remove it that is the problem. Its the way that its CLEARLY designed as a revenue generator, exploiting an oft-occuring event in any MMO - character death.

But... if each character realistically had to spend, say, $2 for a permanent five per day perfume item, probably everyone would buy one. Additional one shot perfumes would be a tenth to a hundredth of that - 2-20c each. People would then, again, not even think about buying them when their 5/day batch was used up in a day. In fact, at 2c each people might just but hundreds of them - regularly. Microtransactions are the ONLY way to make this work but it does rather require a layman's understanding of the word 'micro', not a corporate moneyman's understanding of it.

While spends are 'big', affect only one character and so on people think twice. They think three times. Then they leave for another game.

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