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Old 09-02-2007, 09:57 AM   #1
Xerihae
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What Does "Fair" Mean?

I feel this is related to the discussion "What does 'Free' mean?" and yet not completely on-topic, hence the new thread.

It seems a lot of peoples argument against games that have pay-for-perks advertising themselves as free to play comes down to their view of what is fair. The people against pay-for-perks argue that the game favours people with money, the people for pay-for-perks argue it stops the game favouring people with time.

So, what is fair in an online game these days? I'm not talking about what is successful (lets face it, a fool and his money...) but what in your view creates a level playing field for a game and whether this is desirable.

Personally I don't agree with pay-for-perks unless said perks don't affect the ability of a player to compete with other players. For example I have no problem with people paying for re-strings of equipment. This does not affect the gameplay or playing field. I do have a problem with people being able to buy the leet armour of doooooom that is better than anything normally available in the game, as it gives them an advantage over other players.

Why don't I agree? Because the one thing everyone in the world has is time. Not everyone has money. If you choose to spend most of your time on your job and family, then you can't really expect to be able to compete against someone who does nothing all day except play games. This is the same as me being unable to compete against professional sports players who spend most of their time playing their sport when I spend very little in comparison. It's the way competitive endeavours work. If I put in the time and effort to be really good at something, I don't expect someone else to be able to come along, pay a hefty fee, and be the same or better than me just because they earn more money than me in the real world.

Opponents of my point of view will no doubt point out that there's nothing anyone can do to stop third-party selling of things so no game can be completely free of it and fair. This is perhaps true, but why not lead by example? Rule-breaking will happen no matter what we do, but just as it's unacceptable to drive over the speed limit "because other people do it anyway and you'll never stop all of them" I don't see why the argument of "You can't stop it affecting the game" is a good defense for supporting it.

I should point out here I have no problem with games that charge a monthly fee to play and then no perks, as they at least try and adhere to the "money doesn't affect the playing field" approach. You have to pay to get into the game, but once in it doesn't matter whether you're playing against a minimum-wage worker or Bill Gates, as time is the great equaliser and not how much wealth you have.

By the way, I'll be watching this thread closely. Please try and refrain from personal attacks against other members. I know this sort of discussion is an emotional one and something a lot of people feel very strongly about, but that's no excuse for dragging it down into "You suck" arguments
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Old 09-02-2007, 10:09 AM   #2
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Re: What Does "Fair" Mean?

The reason I personally avoid the pay-for-perks model in competitive games is that it always seems to devolve into an arms race. Player A has a sword. Player B buys a Shiny Sword. Now, player A buys a Shiny Sword because he's tired of losing to all the Player Bs of the world. From a business perspective, the administration notices "Shiny Swords are very popular. What if we offered an Especially Shiny Sword?" So player B buys an E.S.S. Player A, despite having spent money, is back at their original competitive disadvantage to Player B.

The problem gets worse if the game involves any sort of PvE challenge-- if Scary Dungeon is balanced to be a challenge for the guy wielding an Especially Shiny Sword, it's often too hard for a regular player to adventure in. If a lot of dungeons share this trait, the game further devolves into de facto pay-to-play-- either you buy the perks, or else you sit in the introductory areas and miss out on all the 'cool' stuff.
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Old 09-02-2007, 10:16 AM   #3
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Re: What Does "Fair" Mean?

I don't believe there is any way to be totally and completely "fair" - if you are talking about equitable investment in your game-playing. People who don't have time to play, will never get the real-world experience of playing, that people who -do- have time to play. People who can't afford to pay for perks, will never get the perks that people who can afford to pay for them. In free games, *someone* always has more time than others to flesh out their character, train more with their skills, learn the terrain - etc. Someone will always have that OOC advantage. In pay-to-play games where there are no "extra" costs, it'll be exactly the same. Someone will always have paid for more time than someone else, simply because they have more time to spend for the money they paid.

Even limiting the time you're allowed to play doesn't work; here's why.

GameX gives each player 6 hours per day, and can carry hours over for up to 60 hours maximum. Joe is unemployed and lives in his mom's house. He has a light load at high school and he's a straight A student with little-to-no need for homework. He has 6 hours to blow every day on GameX, which he does. He gets involved in the RP plotlines, people know his character well, and he's always included in the game-world's big parties. Sue is a new mom and a graduate student of medicine, with an enormous workload. She can play on weekends, and once in awhile, she can add an hour mid-week while her newborn daughter is sleeping. Not many people know her character. But the ones who do, take ALL her time in the game for RP, because they know that her time is scarce. So Sue rarely if ever gets to go out and explore the game world, because she's always stuck in the game's tavern being caught up on what everyone else has been doing all week.

This is a pretty typical situation in games; someone will -always- feel left out, and someone will -always- get to do all the neat stuff. It's a matter of timing, and no game admin can do anything about it, no matter how they charge, or if they charge.
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Old 09-02-2007, 10:26 AM   #4
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Re: What Does "Fair" Mean?

In my view, a level playing field is primarily one where the players can compete on equal footing, with the same in-game power level. Ideally this would be one where everyone pays the same amount (i.e., nothing, or a fixed monthly fee), but that doesn't have to be the case.

For example, suppose you had a PK mud where it took 100 hours or $100 to reach maximum potential (or some combination thereof, with $1 being the equivilent of 1 hour of play). While I wouldn't be overly fond of such a system, I would still consider it reasonably "fair", because players could reach exactly the same level of power with a realistic investment of either time or money - and then they'd be on equal footing with each other.

On the other hand, I wouldn't consider a game "fair" if you can purchase bonuses that are unavailable to non-paying customers - for example, in some muds the best equipment in the game is only available via payments, and is locked to your character (so you can't even trade with paying customers; if you don't pay, you can't compete).
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Old 09-02-2007, 10:48 AM   #5
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Re: What Does "Fair" Mean?

I have to agree with KaVir, which is probably why I ended up in IRE games for so long.

I never had much money to spend (things are different now, but don't play as much either) and hence I stayed away from pay-to-play games. I had tried a few pay-for-perks but it really felt like if I didn't pay I wouldn't get much enjoyment out of it. Achaea was different as I was able to get their pay-for-perks currency IG and it worked for me.

I played free games for a long time, but things got boring as it rarely changed (the game I played, not saying all free are like that as I know they are not) and went looking for something new. One advantage the commercial games have over most, notice I didn't say all, free games is the staff to keep things changing and evolving.

To each their own though, to me a balanced pay-for-perks is good but to others it isn't.
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Old 09-02-2007, 10:59 AM   #6
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Re: What Does "Fair" Mean?

(Note: "you" is rhetorical)

MUDs are no different than any other facet of life and they will never be completely "fair" for every single person as long as "fair" means "allowing the exact same experience for all players in all situations." That's impossible to achieve, and, honestly, I don't see the problem. If a game offers the same opportunity to all players, what's the issue? That people with more time or money can advance their characters faster and get more cool stuff? Why's that different than with any other product on the market? I guess I'm a capitalist at heart and don't understand why the MUDding commuity needs to be a socialist society. If more people were willing to pay in a month's time what they spend to go see a movie, renti a few DVDs, buyi a couple books or a couple weekends-worth of beer, this wouldn't be nearly the issue it has become. It's about priorities, and MUDs seem to be low on the list.

I realize that the issue is the fairness of in-game perks for real-life cash, but I don't see why they are different than any other available commodity. If you don't have the money to spend on a game to maintain the experience to your satisfaction, don't play. The only issue I have with this model is calling the games that use it "free," but that's a discussion for another topic.
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Old 09-02-2007, 11:15 AM   #7
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Re: What Does "Fair" Mean?

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Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
For example, suppose you had a PK mud where it took 100 hours or $100 to reach maximum potential (or some combination thereof, with $1 being the equivilent of 1 hour of play). While I wouldn't be overly fond of such a system, I would still consider it reasonably "fair", because players could reach exactly the same level of power with a realistic investment of either time or money - and then they'd be on equal footing with each other.
As a player I completely agree with this one. There was a time when I could play MUDs all day long and would not have "paid for perks" in a MUD. Money was more valuable to me than my time. Not that it would have stopped me playing that game at all, depends on the model.

Life moves on. For me personally I have a wife, a 3 year old daughter, a home to maintain and a number of contracted projects to complete. You could argue that I "choose" to do those things so shouldn't expect to compete with someone in a game that has 12 hours a day free. I'd argue the point on "choose". It is the equivalent of arguing that those with no money could "choose" to make more money and buy perks so they have just the same options as anyone else.

Regardless, if the only way I can be relevant in a game is to "choose" not to do those things it is time to find a new hobby. Time is more precious than money to some people. Money is more precious than time to some people. I'm all for a good compromise that allows both groups of people to enjoy the same game.

Last thought, what about someone who has a lot of time and a lot of free money? Well good for them, with everything else equal they're always going to be better at whatever it is they decide to compete in, online or offline. That is not the group you want to balance a game for.
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Old 09-02-2007, 12:41 PM   #8
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Re: What Does "Fair" Mean?

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Originally Posted by Xerihae View Post
Why don't I agree? Because the one thing everyone in the world has is time. Not everyone has money.
But most people, if they have access to a computer and time to spend online, either will have the money to finance online game play or have the time and ability to work at McDonald's to earn the money to do so. In this sense, everyone who is even in a position to consider spending/wasting time playing games potentially has both the time and money to do so. Both time and money are limited assets which someone may be unwilling to invest in a game. For high school and college students it's more likely to be the former. For working folks with families, it's much more likely to be the latter (this is, after all, the gamer's curse - when we have plenty of time to spend on games, we often don't have huge sums of money to invest in gaming, when we finally have the money, we often no longer have the time).

As for "fair," the only meaningful criteria really is transparency. If the players know how the cards are stacked they can decide for themselves whether or not a particular game will present them with a worthwhile experience that is worth spending time and/or money on.

An unfair situation would be more along the lines of an admin who is secretly receiving payments from players in exchange for in-game perks. In a situation such as this, there is a lack of transparency - most players involved in the game will not be aware that they are playing by a set of rules that are other than those which they have been led to believe they are playing by.

You (the indefinite "you") might not want to compete with people who can pay to power themselves up, but this doesn't make that system unfair. It just makes it a system which isn't amenable to your style of play or your willingness to invest in the game financially or your personal feelings about whether or not games should seek financial compensation from players. Some other players might find a game which (like many games) hugely benefits people who don't work eight hour a day disagreeable. Again, such a game wouldn't be unfair on this basis alone. It just might not provide the most enjoyable experience for certain classes of players.

Everyone who chooses to play such games will understand the rules and, by playing them, have tacitly accepted these rules as fair even though they may advantage some players over others. This is no different from me choosing to play chess against someone I know is much better than me. I may have no chance of winning, but no one would really consider such a match to be unfair. If he keeps really whupping my ass, I might decide that playing him is no longer fun. But this decision has nothing to do with fairness.
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Old 09-02-2007, 12:43 PM   #9
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Re: What Does "Fair" Mean?

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Originally Posted by Jazuela View Post
I don't believe there is any way to be totally and completely "fair" - if you are talking about equitable investment in your game-playing. People who don't have time to play, will never get the real-world experience of playing, that people who -do- have time to play. People who can't afford to pay for perks, will never get the perks that people who can afford to pay for them. In free games, *someone* always has more time than others to flesh out their character, train more with their skills, learn the terrain - etc.
nobody talked about %100 fairness (with the existance of possible ooc connections, lagging problems etc.) i can't remember but that's really %2 part of the whole discussion if you ask me and sometimes fun part of it.not a problem in the long run.

i couln't yet find an in-character explanation of getting in-game benefits with the assistance of RL money.and i couln't hate ones who have more free time.if he has put more time investing his character than me then it's his right to get ahead in the competition.i don't care much WTF he is in OOC.

but that competitive perspective also not a problem for me cause i prefer less-competitive, level-less rpgs these days.i can try roleplaying a beggar if need be..

yes, as you can see i have a crappy english(my third language). thus iam slow in emoting,pmoting and that kind of stuff ( plus; looking up at dictionary many times to catch the humours)

is this fair?

Last edited by rendekar : 09-02-2007 at 12:51 PM.
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Old 09-02-2007, 01:19 PM   #10
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Re: What Does "Fair" Mean?

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Originally Posted by Xerihae View Post
Why don't I agree? Because the one thing everyone in the world has is time. Not everyone has money. If you choose to spend most of your time on your job and family, then you can't really expect to be able to compete against someone who does nothing all day except play games. This is the same as me being unable to compete against professional sports players who spend most of their time playing their sport when I spend very little in comparison. It's the way competitive endeavours work. If I put in the time and effort to be really good at something, I don't expect someone else to be able to come along, pay a hefty fee, and be the same or better than me just because they earn more money than me in the real world.

See, I disagree with this statement completely. NOT everyone has time. If you have children, you MUST care for them unless you are some evil degenerate person. If you don't, you can get thrown in jail or have them taken away from you. That's really not a choice you can logically ask a decent human being to make. It's also often not about COMPETING. It's about progressing at a decent pace compared to your fellow gamers. Most "in-the-basement-tons-of-time" people tend to hang out together. They don't exactly welcome others who can't put in the time with open arms. That's really not a problem. People with the same gaming habits tend to game together.

In my opinion, what is "fair" is equal opportunity. As long as everyone in the game as the same METHODS of progression available to them, then you have the most fair system possible. Thus, I honestly believe almost all systems are "fair" unless the admin is just picking people out of the aether to reward or there's a really gray/shady system set up where the bonuses are not defined for your contributions. It's just up to the players to decide which MU* works best for how they want to progress. Ultimately, I think in this day and age, most players choose their game based on gameplay, not on the payment model, but to the people who choose based on payment model, that factor happens to be extremely important to them.

Time will probably ALWAYS be the most important resource in playing any game, but I don't think it's unfair for it to be the only resource. I think it's very "easy" to just decide time is the equalizing factor when it is often NOT. To call caring for your children and family a "choice" makes me very worried about what we accept as human beings.
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Old 09-02-2007, 02:22 PM   #11
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Re: What Does "Fair" Mean?

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See, I disagree with this statement completely. NOT everyone has time. If you have children, you MUST care for them unless you are some evil degenerate person. If you don't, you can get thrown in jail or have them taken away from you. That's really not a choice you can logically ask a decent human being to make. It's also often not about COMPETING.
Everyone has time. Not everyone can spend it playing a game. This is a choice, and if you choose to spend your time raising a family then I say more power to you (it's one I'll get around to at some point hopefully, and I'll come down heavily on the side of raising a family). Some people choose to spend their time on a career, some on a family, some on both. The question becomes one which is being asked increasingly in the gaming community (I think): Is competitive gaming a sport? If it is, then my example stands and you can't expect to compete with someone who dedicates their life to playing the game when you've made the choice to raise a family, just like you can't expect to wander down to your local golf course and be on the same level as Tiger Woods. If it isn't and it's just a hobby, then why are you so determined to be on an equal footing with people who have more time than you? Playing games online is a hobby of mine. I don't spend a lot of time doing it compared to some people, so I'm not as good as them at it. Why should I be able to spend money (which someone else may not have) just to be on an equal footing with them? Does that not devalue the time and effort those people have put in? What is it about society today that demands everyone become equal at everything? These are the questions I find most interesting, and it's good to read all your replies thus far
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Old 09-02-2007, 02:44 PM   #12
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Re: What Does "Fair" Mean?

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In my opinion, what is "fair" is equal opportunity. As long as everyone in the game as the same METHODS of progression available to them, then you have the most fair system possible. Thus, I honestly believe almost all systems are "fair" unless the admin is just picking people out of the aether to reward or there's a really gray/shady system set up where the bonuses are not defined for your contributions. It's just up to the players to decide which MU* works best for how they want to progress.
I think that I agree with that most - as long as the rules are clearly stated and followed (by game staff as well as players), I think you're pretty close to a fair system. If you look at it from the big picture, a player can always choose another game ahead of time, if they see a feature that they don't like. For example, if a MUD offered to make any character invincible for $100, a boon that can't be gotten any other way. I'd agree that it's a bad move, but not really unfair - as long as it is clearly stated and followed (i.e. the admin doesn't give free invincibility to his friends). A player who chooses to play that game knows what they're getting into. Perhaps they even like being at that disadvantage. Whatever the reason, they could easily choose to play a different game and have lost nothing.

What would be unfair would be if the goalposts are moved during play, or are uncertain. If someone starts playing a game and the policy of $100 invincibility is so well hidden that they only find out 6 months later, that's unfair. It means that should they choose to leave, they've lost 6 months of their time because they weren't given pertinent information at the beginning. Likewise, if a MUD is totally free for a long time, and suddenly decides to offer $100 invincibility without compensating existing players, that would be unfair - people have played in good faith, and suddenly something that changes the game dramatically appears.

The game-master is always right, and the players can always find another game. What's unfair is when the game-master strings the players along until the players have so much time/effort/money invested in the game, that this is used as a bargaining piece in order to get more out of them.
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Old 09-02-2007, 02:55 PM   #13
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Re: What Does "Fair" Mean?

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Everyone has time. Not everyone can spend it playing a game. This is a choice, and if you choose to spend your time raising a family <snip>
By this argument, though, you can argue that everyone who has time can have money as well. We are discussing what people can invest into the game, whether it be money or time, not what people just HAVE. For example, I think that my statement that you don't get to CHOOSE to spend time on your children, you HAVE to, would be equivalent to people saying "I can't spend MONEY on a game. I have to EAT." It's a matter of how much money you have to spend on a game or how much time you have to spend on a game.

The other problem I have here is that COMPETITIVE gaming may be a sport, but are MU* all competitive? My belief is that they are not. ASPECTS of MU*s may be competitive, but most games have a very cooperative element to them as well. Most MU*s strive to be newbie friendly. You can argue that that would be the opposite of competitive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xerihae View Post
Why should I be able to spend money (which someone else may not have) just to be on an equal footing with them? Does that not devalue the time and effort those people have put in?
Again, I think this is a question best answered by the question "What do you look for in a game?" For me, SKILL is the most important factor in a game that I choose to play whether it be skill at RP, skill at using abilities to kill mobs, skill at crafting the best items, etc. I want to see skill rewarded, and I want multiple ways to see various skills rewarded. I've got no interest in logging into a game where I just put time in. I want to see progress that is in my hands. Unfortunately, most game systems reward sheer time. Granted, time will always be a factor, but ultimately, being able to make an impact by using my own RL skills is what I enjoy best. (Even if it's just the skill of, "HEY! I can mash this button faster than you!" I always always a big fan of whack-a-mole.)

In the end, ALL games that I've ever played reward time more than anything else, but the games I stay with reward skill as a close second. Perks barely make a dent in anything and is hardly the equalizing factor that we're making it out to be on these forums. Also, most people in the game have the perks because we understand that it's more of a "donation" system where we get a minor reward as thanks. I prefer for perks to be in the hands of the admins of the game rather than from third party re-sellers because they don't actually care about spamming you or annoying you. (I think I'm tangenting now, so I'm going to wrap it up.)

Ultimately, I choose gameplay over everything else, and as long as the admins aren't doing any backroom dealing ("Hey, give me $10 and I'll see what I can do for you"), I'm pretty much happy with any pay system they use. It's "fair" as long as all players have the same options. Granted, I have to say that I live in fear of games being sold to bigger companies (Neopets), having a pwipe, or shutting down (Darkwind, I miss you!). Thus, I prefer to play games that have been around for a long time, have had the same head admins for a while, and are somewhat commercial (have a professional site, have monetary investment, etc.).

Last edited by Milawe : 09-02-2007 at 10:54 PM. Reason: Fixed a bad quote!
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Old 09-02-2007, 06:30 PM   #14
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Re: What Does "Fair" Mean?

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Why don't I agree? Because the one thing everyone in the world has is time. Not everyone has money.
I think you started off with a false premise.

You are treating time as an absolute (if you have ANY time, you "have time") but you do not apply the same standard to money. To the extent that everyone has time, everyone also has money. To the extent that not everyone has money, not everyone has time either. What you really said is:

Everyone has at least some time, but not everyone has a lot of money.

Well it isn't fair to compare them in that way.

Everyone has SOME time and SOME money (or else they couldn't even get online). The difference is, some people have a lot of one and not as much of the other.

For some reason, most games seem to have no problem with unfairness that benefits people with a lot of time. The grind model of advancement and the growing trend of no (or a very small) death penalty just make this worse. When dying does not set you back, skill is even less of an asset and sheer time becomes even more the only thing you need to get ahead. At least in older games, incompetent players would die a lot and lose levels frequently. This would give better players with less time an opportunity to "catch up."

I see no real difference, from a fairness perspective, between rewarding time vs. rewarding money. They are both scarce resources, and they frequently exist in inverse proportion to each other. Best of all are games that reward both, so people can use whichever they have an excess of (time or money) to stay relatively equal.
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Old 09-02-2007, 06:38 PM   #15
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Re: What Does "Fair" Mean?

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You are treating time as an absolute (if you have ANY time, you "have time") but you do not apply the same standard to money. To the extent that everyone has time, everyone also has money.
I'm afraid I'd have to disagree with you there, and I'll even use myself as an example. I'm currently unemployed, have no income because of this, and am living at my parents house whilst I look for work. They pay for the internet connection which is how I get online. I have plenty of time, but no money. Literally. I'm sure I'm not the only one in this position, and whilst it's possible for me to get work what do you do about people who can't for medical reasons and are in my position? What about people playing from libraries for free because they have no money and/or home? Disabled people unable to work?

This is why I say that time != money. Everyone starts off with time, but not everyone starts off with money.

I would agree, however, that systems which reward grind are not brilliant. A system should reward time spent playing the game because it increases the players skill just like in any other sport, not because someone could sit there for 8 hours pressing a button.
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Old 09-02-2007, 06:40 PM   #16
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Re: What Does "Fair" Mean?

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Last thought, what about someone who has a lot of time and a lot of free money? Well good for them, with everything else equal they're always going to be better at whatever it is they decide to compete in, online or offline. That is not the group you want to balance a game for.
That is a good point that is related to the powergamer thread Mina created. It takes a mature, experienced developer to know that you can never balance a game by focusing on the extreme. People that have tons of time and tons of money are just blessed. You can't balance for such lucky people.

Two people make a similar point:

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Originally Posted by Atyreus View Post
As for "fair," the only meaningful criteria really is transparency. If the players know how the cards are stacked they can decide for themselves whether or not a particular game will present them with a worthwhile experience that is worth spending time and/or money on.

An unfair situation would be more along the lines of an admin who is secretly receiving payments from players in exchange for in-game perks. In a situation such as this, there is a lack of transparency - most players involved in the game will not be aware that they are playing by a set of rules that are other than those which they have been led to believe they are playing by.
and:

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Originally Posted by Mina View Post
In my opinion, what is "fair" is equal opportunity. As long as everyone in the game as the same METHODS of progression available to them, then you have the most fair system possible. Thus, I honestly believe almost all systems are "fair" unless the admin is just picking people out of the aether to reward or there's a really gray/shady system set up where the bonuses are not defined for your contributions. It's just up to the players to decide which MU* works best for how they want to progress. Ultimately, I think in this day and age, most players choose their game based on gameplay, not on the payment model, but to the people who choose based on payment model, that factor happens to be extremely important to them.
I think those two people really hit the nail on the head. Fairness in any other context is an unattainable fantasy. The only type of fairness a developer can reasonably achieve is fairness of opportunity. Let everyone know the rules in advance, give everyone the same access to the paths of advancement, and then let people decide how much time and/or money they want to invest.

Also, as Mina noted, I'd much rather buy perks from the developer than from third parties. At least the developers won't spam me all day, compete with me for access to content, hack people's accounts to get gold to sell, or all manner of other things third parties do that are FAR worse than having a developer sell perks. Furthermore, if the developer is getting the money, at least some portion of that will go back into the development and maintenance of the game I enjoy.
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Old 09-02-2007, 06:43 PM   #17
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Re: What Does "Fair" Mean?

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I'm afraid I'd have to disagree with you there, and I'll even use myself as an example. I'm currently unemployed, have no income because of this, and am living at my parents house whilst I look for work. They pay for the internet connection which is how I get online. I have plenty of time, but no money.
I am very uncomfortable with this situation being made personal. I think it was better left in the purely hypothetical arena. Talking about people's personal employment or financial status gets sticky.

But the truth is, if you have time, you can use that time to get money. So it isn't fair to say people have time but not money, because if you have one you can get the other. And furthermore, should ANY game be designed to lure people onto it who have such a serious situation in RL that they have NO MONEY? I mean actually, I would rather such people NOT be playing my game if their life is in such a state of flux.
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Old 09-02-2007, 06:48 PM   #18
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Re: What Does "Fair" Mean?

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I am very uncomfortable with this situation being made personal. I think it was better left in the purely hypothetical arena. Talking about people's personal employment or financial status gets sticky.

But the truth is, if you have time, you can use that time to get money. So it isn't fair to say people have time but not money, because if you have one you can get the other. And furthermore, should ANY game be designed to lure people onto it who have such a serious situation in RL that they have NO MONEY? I mean actually, I would rather such people NOT be playing my game if their life is in such a state of flux.
It might if it were anyone but me, but you're free to comment on my life if you want. I learned long ago not to let other peoples opinions of how I live my life bother me

Yes, you can use time to get money, but therein lies the entire argument. Everyone already has time, but to get money you have to use some of it. Plus you didn't address situations where the person literally can't go work.

And I agree completely that if you have no money you shouldn't be playing pay-to-play games. That's why I waste my time lazing around here on TMS Unfortunately, many games developers/big companies don't care if they lure people in as you mention. All they're interested in is the money, which is a sadly prevalent attitude these days.
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Old 09-02-2007, 07:18 PM   #19
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Re: What Does "Fair" Mean?

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Originally Posted by Xerihae View Post
Yes, you can use time to get money, but therein lies the entire argument. Everyone already has time, but to get money you have to use some of it.
Therein lies the argument. Time and money are often interchangeable assets. This is especially true when what we are discussing is discretionary time use (which would cover time spent gaming). Someone with twelve hours a day to spend on online gaming is most likely in a situation where they could easily spend four hours of that delivering newspapers or mowing lawns in order to obtain the money that would be required to compete in most pay-for-perks games.

Quote:
Plus you didn't address situations where the person literally can't go work.
Aside from the obvious misfortune of such an individual's position, how is it any different than the situation faced by a working gamer who only has two hours a day to game because the rest of the day is spent working (to afford things like food, rent and an internet connection) and sleeping? Not that it really matters. We don't declare graphical MMORPGs unfair because they aren't readily accessible to blind players, or because some people still do live in areas without broadband access.

If you don't have money to spend on games, don't play games where that inability to spend money will put you at a disadvantage. But don't call such a game unfair just because it has a set of rules that inconvenience or disadvantage you. Just find a game with rules more to your liking.
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Old 09-03-2007, 04:38 AM   #20
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Re: What Does "Fair" Mean?

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Originally Posted by Xerihae View Post
if you choose to spend your time raising a family then I say more power to you (it's one I'll get around to at some point hopefully, and I'll come down heavily on the side of raising a family).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xerihae View Post
I'm afraid I'd have to disagree ... I'm currently unemployed, have no income because of this, and am living at my parents house whilst I look for work. They pay for the internet connection which is how I get online. I have plenty of time, but no money.
I can't wait to see your opinion if the first part should come true.

Time is not an equalizer, especially in games, because we all don't have the same amount overall. Yes, we have ALL have the same amount of time in a day - but that doesn't make a level playing field. Most people don't play games for only a few days or months. If your own example of how much time you have right now doesn't bring that fact into sharp focus, then look at how circumstances have changed for most of us OG's (old gamers ) here. I'll bet most of us started gaming when we had "more" time than money ... but I'll bet for most of us that's changed now.

You seem to only see the finite. How much time you have RIGHT NOW. How much money you don't have RIGHT NOW. Because both of these will change throughout your gaming history (hopefully), it is not fair to say one is more "valuable" than the other. If you think players who have more money than time shouldn't be allowed to spend cash to increase their characters, then why should you be able to spend more time on your character just because you have more of it?

That's not very fair. Even using your own "sports" example - pros don't just spend large amounts time to get where they are at, they also spend money. Just using your example of Tiger Woods - do you think he would be as good as he is today, if he couldn't have afforded the costs of green fees, or training when he first started? It's not like he won the PGA the first time he picked up a club.

As someone else said - the only thing fair to discuss (especially for the sake of games) is opportunities.
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