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Reader Comments (14)

Posted: Jul 11th 2011 6:07PM Doran7 said

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This is apples and oranges.

Posted: Jul 11th 2011 6:17PM (Unverified) said

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@Doran7 RoM is so damn cash shop based that this isn't even a fair comparison, I'm going to have to agree with Doran here.
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Posted: Jul 11th 2011 6:20PM jeremys said

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@Doran7 Many people like to lump RoM's cash-shop in with any cash-shop on the block but it works completely different than others and is unique.

If I could find anything currently in the industry that even comes close it would be EVE and they way PLEX work's.
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Posted: Jul 11th 2011 8:41PM Scuffles said

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@Doran7

At the end of the day a cash shop is a cash shop whether it is run by the company in question of whether the company gives its players the illusion of running it.

If I wanted to sink enough money in Plex I could as easily twink out my space ne'er-do-well, just as one could cash shop out in RoM. Tho I don't think Froggster has any game mechanics set in place that can potentially let people steal your Diamonds or worse allow the game to simply erase them from existence if your horse exploded.

So at worst its like comparing two different types of apple.
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Posted: Jul 11th 2011 6:17PM Bartlebe said

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I don't play either of these games but even I know they're two totally different situations.

You "lose stuff" in a lot of different games.

Posted: Jul 12th 2011 2:03AM Space Cobra said

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@Fire Walk With Me

I'll take your "off-topic" and raise you another insight.

Generally, that is a good thing, but it is also a precarious balance of "getting it right" with Cash Shops. Balance between the players with "too much time on their hands" and this mechanic of "Players with cash on hand and no time". There are currently ways to workaround with cash, so why not embrace it and balance it with those who have the time resource?

IMO, it can be hard to accept that a gaming hobby has such RL issues. We all just want to play and have a fair mechanic for our gaming commitment. In many years, while I've seen an initial reluctance to accepting subs (since, at the time of introduction, the Internet was "free" and how dare a company makes money on something created by the government and used by college students/professors) it is now an accepted part of online-gaming. I feel that this "gaming reluctance" is still around in various forms that are not too obvious: I mean, we all want a "free game" or a "good deal", right? We all want our online work, even in-game to mean something, either for PvP or PvE. For ourselves and possibly others. When the "business side" intrudes on our "fun", be it legal or illegal, I bet at least a small part of us shakes our heads. I mean, it's true of inflation and life, right? When the Coke we used to buy for 75 (and less!) cents is now about $1.25, we shake our heads and continue to buy...or don't, but wish for the better deal.

I guess another similar thing would be the odd "contest" to do something to win a life-time supply. Like, spend time sitting outside on a flagpole suspended high for a period of time and you win a lifetime supply. While, this would be cool, the guy with a job and family wisely continues to go to work, because that flag sitting that could give him a discount forever on a product (like Coke, for example) is not going to pay the immediate bills if he has a job. Sure, he could really use a free-lifetime supply, but he could also use the money to pay for rent/food.

Posted: Jul 12th 2011 6:08AM avidlurker said

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Hi Jeremy.
It's funny that you should pick exactly the only two MMOs I have played for this comparison.

I agree to the apple and oranges bit Doran mentioned.

RoM is linear, there is pretty much only one way to be competitive.
Ok, maybe three ways if you count PvE, open PvP on such servers and Siege War. But all three more or less need the exact same thing: power in your items. The items and stats of choice may change but it's the same principle.

EvE is much more a virtual world. What does competitive mean there? Also you can have tons of fun there being a weakling.

Competitive on an alliance level is a completely different beast to being a successfull small low-sec outfit.

You can have fun in a mildly modded Vigil, just zooming around trying to salvage other peoples battlefields. With maybe covops (still very cheap on the grand scale of things) you could be a scavenger rat scurrying even alliance level battlefields for loot and salvage. I have read of people doing similar things even with a Hyena ewar frig (ignoring the ewar bit and just having a semi-disposable fast garbage collector).
Or just ignore all that hubbub and mess around low-sec a bit, do exploration (possibility of really good bucks there for a rather low investment)

If you are creative, in EvE you don't need to be rich to have fun, even to be able to randomly harass other people in some ways.

Compare that to a RoM random group for a lot of dungeons.
"You don't have the diamond weapon +16 yet? Go look for some other lowbie party *kick*"

Posted: Jul 12th 2011 8:30AM blackcat7k said

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While I don't think this comparison is completely valid it does bring up something that I hope Massively, along with other sites that review MMOs go into:

There needs to be an thorough look at what the F2P amenities are for the games they're reviewing. Too many times that aspect of the review is glossed over.

Now that the whole industry has seemingly lost all reason and is holding up the golden calf cow called "F2P", there needs to be more pieces like this where comparisons are made between F2P cash shops.

Posted: Jul 12th 2011 11:28AM Rodj Blake said

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@Fire Walk With Me

PLEX has prevented RMT in Eve in the same was as legalising mugging in RL would lower the crime figures.

Posted: Jul 12th 2011 12:56PM SgtBaker1234556 said

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@Fire Walk With Me

Apropos PLEX combating RMT in EVE:
Ask Vuk how much ISK his new flat cost.....

Posted: Jul 12th 2011 4:18PM Digestivo said

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This comparison was kinda clumsy. You can't compare EVE's player driven economy, seamless meta-game, deep industrial system and social interaction with RoM's linear progression, game-driven meta game and limited crafting.

PLEX might speed up the process but it doesn't guarantee a "win". In EVE, young character + top tier stuff = Loot Piñata.

However, in RoM the amount of money you can expend empowering your character is unreasonably high; Every cent contributes to your character's strengthening in a permanent way. Lower tier expenders become obsolete when facing an higher tier expender.

Posted: Jul 12th 2011 5:04PM jeremys said

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@Digestivo There are, no doubt, many differences between these games. They are different games to begin with and they are even on opposing ends of the sandbox/themepark genres. An article talking about the differences would be far to lengthy.

Diamonds don't guarantee a win in RoM because all items have to be utilized in actual gameplay. A player buying $400.00 worth of Purified Fusion Stones can wind up with weaker armor than another player spending the same amount. A non-paying player with more time(or ambition) could end up with much better armor than a player spending thousands of dollars. It's a really great aspect of how RoM works. The players have to play the game, find the drops, buy or trade for stats and use the Arcane Transmutor properly to create the armor.

PLEX and Diamonds are trade-able commodities that seamlessly flow back and forth and are priced in accordance with all the items in the game. Many traditional cash-shops don't integrate real-world money like EVE and RoM does. They tack on the cash-shop and throw in items that don't become gameplay as much as gameplay enhancements. In that regard, Diamonds and PLEX transcend those other cash-shops. Real Money Transaction(RMT) exist in RoM and EVE and it functions similarly between the games.

While these games will never be exactly the same, a player can draw similar conclusions(based on how one might play the game) between many different genres of games.

We know that RoM is a more linear Themepark – like WoW, LotRO and many other Thempark MMOs – where you level and get better armor in a linear fashion, but RoM's cash-shop is intergrated into the gameplay to bend a lot of those rules. You can skip dungeons by insanely modifying gear. It is mainly a linear uphill climb, but it bends traditional rules of Themepark MMOs.

The nature of gear-modding is not one that's always a straight uphill climb that can accurately measured based on how much someone spends. Among other things, gear resetting is constantly being done. Creating new armor from scratch over and over to deal with newer or higher level of content happens continuously.

While a person can jump in and linearly play the game differently than EVE, it doesn't mean PLEX and EVE don't operate the same and it doesn't mean the the results between dying in PvP aren't the same.

If EVE were to add a cash-shop in the future, it would probably function exactly like RoM's does now. And if it didn't, it should, because it would allow for everything in the game to be obtainable with time, only provide short-cuts and be integrated into the gameplay. In addition, it would work even better for EVE because of the differences between the MMOs.

EVE allows for newbies in small ships to join forces and become a powerful force against those that spent tons of money to get “better” ships and/or equipment. The only way for RoM to equate to that style of gameplay is to quickly amass better armor and only venture out in zones with a large group of friends. If EVE adds on a cash-shop that would operate similar to RoM's, you'd have people more quickly attaining ships, weapons and amassing fortunes, but you'd still have EVE's innate ability to allow players to form corps and wipe out giant ships with many little ships.

The only thing that could upset that is if EVE created new items, only attainable via the cash-shop. Players have referred to “golden bullets”. But even if they started selling golden bullets, it doesn't upset EVE all that much because PLEX would allow for anyone to buy those “golden bullets” and anything else CCP could put in the cash-shop. It would be best if CCP didn't do that and instead took a tip from Runewaker - and only used items that are also obtainable in the game. Or if they did start using specialty items, that they closely regulated them with EVE's unique style of gameplay and only sold specialty items that were less unbalancing to it's robust economy.
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Posted: Jul 12th 2011 8:37PM Digestivo said

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@jeremys


"PLEX and Diamonds are trade-able commodities that seamlessly flow back and forth and are priced in accordance with all the items in the game.

[...]

A non-paying player with more time(or ambition) could end up with much better armor than a player spending thousands of dollars."

That's the point which genuinely marks the difference between the two games, and you need to omit EvE's economical and industrial aspects to give meaning to your comparison. In a sandbox each player sets their own goals, expectations, activities and so on, and the PvP or the PvE aren't more important than the industry in EVE.

RoM, Allods and other f2p MMOs work with the illusion of reachability of their cash-shop content by their free-players and low tier expenders, but the amount of time needed to climb through paying tiers grows exponentially.

What I'm trying to say is that the main difference between RoM and EVE is that EVE offers content to reach the tradable commodity that the PLEX is in a wide variety of choices. If you're talking to strictly PvPers the comparison between RoM's cash shop and EVE's PLEX may make some sense, but I hope you understand that for me as a sandbox player this comparison may seem absurd. In fact, my metagame consists on making enough virtual currency to buy PLEXs and play for free.
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Posted: Jul 12th 2011 9:10PM jeremys said

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@Digestivo I'm not sure every aspect of how EVE plays needs to be so scrutinized to draw a comparisons between PLEX and Diamonds. It does make for some great conversation and could reveal multitudes of information.

Many peoples meta-game can consist of making enough virtual currency to buy diamonds and continue to play free in RoM. It's a rather big part of RoM. Whether it's utilizing raw material, the pet system, dungeon running or mini-games, many players bulk of enjoying RoM is continuously taking part in a wide variety of activities to earn enough virtual currency to buy Diamonds and play for free. They can use those diamonds to modify gear, decorate their house or other activities. As far as competition goes: utilizing the currency to modify gear is the big one.

One aspect of RoM is that it does not cost more and more money to continue to progress in the game via the ability to easily trade Diamonds with in-game gold. In fact, the conclusion that many players can spend much less at high-level can be made.

Gold can be much easier to come by, and at a faster rate to offset the buying of cash-shop items(that only speed up progression) to obtain more power. If we place the importance of RoM or EVE on less mainstream activities, we could say that it's more expensive for people who want to maintain a large, fully decorated house. I've played with people who go through millions of gold a day just to maintain house rent and to be able to obtain awesome weapons, then stat and upgrade those weapons, purely for the special F/X you get. They can then have really cool weapons, armor and shields hanging on the walls in their house that are cool and glowy.

I'm totally fine omitting EVE's economical and industrial aspects for my comparison. It's a comparison about PLEX and Diamonds not strictly how the two games play, although there's many aspects of how PLEX is involved in EVE's gameplay and many aspects to how Diamonds is involved in RoM's gameplay.

The crux of the article is how PLEX and Diamonds are similar and how structurally and/or fundamentally these two forms of currency are integrated into the game in the same manner. Different gameplay will result because they are two very different games.

And you are right: EVE offers content that works very well with PLEX. That's why I say in the article that the stickler in me would point to RoM needing to steer it's content in a more EVE-esque direction.

I think that RoM is a unique animal separate from F2P MMOs and separate from sub-based MMOs. It's the first of its kind to be a Eastern game built entirely from scratch with a proprietary engine and utilizing a healthy dose of western mechanics. It also uses a large amount of horizontal content that primes it for a lot of sandbox-type gameplay within a predominantly linear Themepark. And, finally, it utilizes this unique aspect of how Diamonds function within it's society(that is different from EVE's society and gameplay) that is similar to how PLEX works for EVE.
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