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Old 01-14-2006, 07:00 PM   #101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (eiz @ Jan. 14 2006,15:29)
Ignorance does not justify further ignorance.
Sure, but there's a difference between misquoting a stat (even though the fact that he was using the stat to demonstrate - that the US trails South Korea in broadband penetration - is true) and saying, effectively, "Koreans are morons who have nothing better to do but work in shoe factories and play Kart rider."

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Old 01-14-2006, 07:27 PM   #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (eiz @ Jan. 14 2006,15:29)
Equating Korea to Japan economically was pretty silly too, considering that Japan's economy is roughly 4 times as large as South Korea's.
Japan's economy is almost four times that of ROK because Japan's population is almost three times that of ROK. It doesn't mean that ROK is uncomparable economically with Japan, the two are pretty much on the same level of economic development, which is evident from GDP per capita of both countries: ~ 19,000 US$ for ROK and ~29,000 US$ for Japan.

To illustrate, the US GDP was 11.75 trln US$ in 2004, while that of Japan in the same year - 3.75 trln, which is over 3x difference. GDP per capita in the US was almost twice that in Japan. Yet the two countries' economies are perfectly comparable, and both of them are classified as "developed". For further illustrations you can compare the economies of Japan and Switzerland, or the US and Luxembourg.

Furthermore, in specialized studies on the economy of Northeast Asia, bundling ROK and Japan economically had become a custom that doesn't even require a justification anymore. Especially when talking about capital and technology sources in the region.

P.S. All data - CIA purchasing power parity estimates.
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Old 01-14-2006, 07:30 PM   #103
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Originally Posted by
That said, I do believe it would be wonderful for a deeper classification system to be created for the MUDs listed on TMS. However, if that is going to happen, it should at least be accurate. My experience with MUDs have largely been with IRE games, and they are indeed free to play. Some characters in Aetolia that I've had, have never once purchased credits, and one or both have gotten to be publically known during their day and age. I was a decent fighter (in comparison to people with as much MUDding experience as I, I didn't expect to be a top ten fighter when I started MUDding), I was well known in the circles I ran in, and most of all I enjoyed playing for free.

†Be a little more realistic Richter. YOU do not have to buy credits to succeed in an IRE game but somebody does. All those credits on the credit market didn't appear out of thin air. Someone bought them. The rare exception is someone who manages to win a large amount of bardic competitions
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Old 01-14-2006, 09:06 PM   #104
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Originally Posted by
So, in summary, there's no reason why we could not have a more in-depth system, but it should accurately reflect what the game really is.

Well, here's something I said back on Page 9;



Quote:
Originally Posted by
No, I think specifying is useful for the average player. As Valg says, their time deserves to be respected.

Matt, you want to have your little blurb and still be categorized with the "free-to-play" MUDs(which are largely, 100% free and not skirting around the edge)? I would not be against a specific system, like this one.

Examples:
Achaea["Free-to-Play, Pay-for-Perks"]
Legends of Karinth["Free-to-Play, Donations Accepted"]
Threshold["Pay-for-Registration"]
Dragonrealms["Pay Monthly, Pay-for-Perks"]

It would take an hour to come up with 4-6 terms that every MUD could find its way into. Then, a simple tag or color-code could be added, with a key/etc for the player to use. It is being made out to seem like drawing the lines in the sand is too difficult a task to be undertaken.

It is not. I agree that the economic-model should either be removed or specified further and made easier to access for the users of the site. I prefer the latter by about 200x more than the former, however. No player is going to feel cheated if you give them more knowledge at their disposal.

Achaea["Free-to-Play, Pay-for-Perks"]

Makes sense to me. Does it not to anyone else?

I believe your defense of IRE only supports my own idea(that somehow got lost and undiscussed amongst more flaming posts).
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Old 01-15-2006, 05:16 AM   #105
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Wow, please tell me you didn't just cite references pertaining to internet technology that are blatantly dated 3.5 years ago? In any case, I'm gonna go out on a limb and say the CIA is a tad more credible than "Spero News".

Oh, and just as a side note, not a single one of your sources claimed the same thing you claimed. One of them even agreed with me *boggle*...


Edit: Just thought I should also point out that nation vs nation internet penetration comparison isn't fair unless you also take into account population and geographic size. If all ~300 million Americans lived in the state of West Virginia, I can guarantee over 75% of them would have broadband too. It wouldn't be too hard to get that kind of penetration if it only costed us the same to wire the U.S. as it did South Korea (probably roughly 1/100th the cost). And if you'd like to compare strictly numbers, the U.S. wins hands down regardless.
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Old 01-15-2006, 06:57 AM   #106
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
Be a little more realistic Richter. YOU do not have to buy credits to succeed in an IRE game but somebody does. All those credits on the credit market didn't appear out of thin air. Someone bought them. The rare exception is someone who manages to win a large amount of bardic competitions.
I'm being quite realistic. I think that if I've been able to be successful, and enjoy myself in my past ventures, then anyone can (unless you account for maturity and common sense, in that case, some people are naturally screwed). I'm not a particularly skilled gamer who spends 24 hours a day in front of the computer either.

But I do feel I've gotten a bit off topic, so I'll try to redirect my post.

Let's say that you join a club, and in this case, we'll use music as an example. You're in a music enthusiasts club, they play music, listen to music, and talk about music. Now, this club costs money to keep it running, as many clubs do. The new members get to listen to some of the music, and play some of the beginner instruments, and as they progress, through time and work, they're allowed to play and listen to more and more, untill finally they have access to everything. This may take years, but it is possible. Some people, however, donate money to keep the club running, and instantly gain access to some of the things that it might have taken other members time and effort to get.

Now the question is, is the club still free? Of course it is. Should it be advertised as such? Indeed.

That was perhaps somewhat of an odd example, but there's my point. It is also 3am, I'm feeling a little bit nutty, and oh... I do believe Koreans can do more than work in shoe factories.
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Old 01-15-2006, 07:28 PM   #107
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This thread has almost as much comic value as former President Clinton asking whoever was grilling him on the stand "Well that depends on what you definition of 'is' is".

Look the word free up in the dictionary and leave it at that.
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Old 01-15-2006, 09:16 PM   #108
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Originally Posted by
I'm being quite realistic. I think that if I've been able to be successful, and enjoy myself in my past ventures, then anyone can (unless you account for maturity and common sense, in that case, some people are naturally screwed). I'm not a particularly skilled gamer who spends 24 hours a day in front of the computer either.
And that is the point Richter. AnyONE can but not EVERYone cane. If every player of an IRE game tried to advance solely by subsiisting off the credit market or winning bardics there would be no IRE games because there would be no credit market.
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Old 01-15-2006, 09:20 PM   #109
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Originally Posted by
This thread has almost as much comic value as former President Clinton asking whoever was grilling him on the stand "Well that depends on what you definition of 'is' is".
Of ourse it is comical it was probably intended to be. It is well known and even stated by admins of his games that Matt enjoys arguing and starting flame contests here.
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Old 01-16-2006, 02:11 AM   #110
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Angry

Quote:
Originally Posted by (Traveler @ Jan. 15 2006,20:16)
Quote:
Originally Posted by
I'm being quite realistic. I think that if I've been able to be successful, and enjoy myself in my past ventures, then anyone can (unless you account for maturity and common sense, in that case, some people are naturally screwed). I'm not a particularly skilled gamer who spends 24 hours a day in front of the computer either.
And that is the point Richter. AnyONE can but not EVERYone cane. If every player of an IRE game tried to advance solely by subsiisting off the credit market or winning bardics there would be no IRE games because there would be no credit market.
So, it would be fair to say that for as long as there is a credit market, these games are indeed "free to play". But, if for some reason everybody at once decided they hated the idea of buying credits and everybody stopped buying credits at once and there was no credit market, well, no problem there either, the game would still be "free to play" (for as long as it remained open).

Quote:
Originally Posted by (Anitra @ Jan. 13 2006,03:33)
the_logos @ Jan. 12 2006,19:18
Quote:
Originally Posted by
This doesn't fit any standard definition of a non-commercial enterprise. There's absolutely no reason a non-commercial enterprise couldn't offer in-game benefits for money if they're not doing it to make a profit but just to stay afloat on server costs and whatnot. What makes an enterprise non-commercial isn't how they obtain money to stay afloat, it's the idea that the money is not being used to realize a profit for anyone.

And there's the problem. How are you going to demonstrate that a MUD is or isn't trying to turn a profit? Again, no public accounting. I mean, I happily proclaim that IRE muds are commercial, but there are definitely MUDs out there that are taking in more than they need to stay afloat while maintaining the illusion of being non-commercial.
That is exactly why the definition is set as 'in game benefits', and not 'making a profit'. Additionally it is how the DIKU licence, which, whether you like it or not, still governs the largest part of mud owners, makes the distinction. And this is a website for muds.

As you say, it is impossible to establish whether a company makes a profit or not, or even if they are aiming at a profit or not. *snip*worthlessflame*snip*

However, I doubt that anyone would get very rich by selling a couple of t-shirts or mousepads with their game logo from their website. The real big money, as you well know, you'll get from selling the in-game benefits, because that is what players will keep paying for.

Again, the definition is specifically chosen because it is practical, easy to track and also makes good sense.

And again, an easy way to separate 'free' muds from 'commercial' ones is what a lot of people would like to see, whether you like it or not.

*snip*attack*snip*
There is a problem with using words to differenciate games on this site by using meanings to those words that are different from the common usage, or that had added meaning to them. We have all seen 20+ pages discussions on the DIKU license, its poor wording vs what it means in a moral sense, why would we want to adopt as a standard a distinction between commercial and non-commercial given by an endlessly challenged license?

What this creates though, is misinformation to those potential players who are not familiar with this site in particular, they would be forced to research among hundreds of discussion pages what do we actually mean by commercial if they wanted accurate information, and at the end, nobody would probably care to find out if TMS-commercial differs on anything from <myworld>-commercial. Does this seem familiar? oh yeah, it is the same problem we are suposedly having now, with the definition of free.

I know admins of a couple of MUDs that are free to play, but they allow players to donate money for maintenance costs. Both of them, when faced with the end of the fiscal year, declare the donations as income, and pay taxes on them. Not being a lawyer or accountant I would fail to explain you why it has to be so, but what I understood is that it would probably be more expensive to try to present the MUD as a non-lucrative entity. So, at the end, they are, legally, getting money for keeping a service open, they go and spend this money on hardware, connection fees, etc, but, so, are they trully a non-commercial enterprice? what difference does it make if they did or did not give their players a pin saying "! 83 1337 |)0n470r"
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Old 01-16-2006, 12:35 PM   #111
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I'm feeling unflamed and unimportant with nobody responding to my straight-forward fix-it approach to the issue at hand. :-/ I guess I didn't sneak in a subtle flame comment somewhere in there and do my forum-posting job well.

*sniff*
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Old 01-16-2006, 01:22 PM   #112
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I totally support your suggestion Donathin, and would really love to see some input from Synozeer about it.
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Old 01-16-2006, 02:45 PM   #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Richter @ Jan. 15 2006,06:57)
Now the question is, is the club still free? Of course it is. Should it be advertised as such? Indeed.
It's really hard to come up with an analogy that works here, because the IRE games have a fairly complex scheme that seems rather unique.

Like I said elsewhere, I can fly airplanes for free by earning miles using credit-cards and frequenting non-airline vendors. In fact, I do this enough to earn the equivalent of at least one if not two flights per year. Anyone want to suggest to the airlines that they should advertise as "free to fly"?

No? OK maybe the analogy is bad. But the essence is that "truth" is not necessarily enough in my eyes--if someone is being "deceptively true" it gets me on my soapbox (maybe that's why I enjoy subscribing to Consumer Reports, because it is not always possible for the consumer to do the research to tell the difference).

So, here is my case that the IRE games are being "deceptively true."

1) They list themselves with the tag "Free to Play", without describing what that means. Given that "free" has a much different meaning to most of the MU*s on the site, this at least warrants one of those dreaded asterisks you see on ads.

2) They refuse player reviews, making it harder for prospective players to read independent opinions about the game, which in this case would likely be about the fee structure.

3) Their web site and their in-game help give you no clue that you will need to get credits for over 90% of the lessons you need to play the game at your character's potential. This is done by never stating how many lessons are required to get to the various skill levels, and by not even allowing a character to see how many lessons they've spent (meaning laborious OOC tracking is needed to figure it out by yourself).

4) They offer a newbie credit bonus, giving you about 30-40% extra lessons on your first credit purchase within 21 days. OK, this is somewhat iffy as "deceptive", but given #1-3 above and the "21-day" requirement, this can be viewed as an attempt to rope someone into spending money quickly before they actually figure out the system and decide to walk away.

As far as I'm concerned, fixing #2 and #3 would put the entire "ethical" question to rest. While I still would like to see some better classification systems on this site, at least the tools are there for someone to do their own evaluation. And please, before anyone says, "You could always ask other players", the point is that you don't know what you don't know. In an XP-levelling MUD, does anybody think they'd think to question an unstated requirement that OOC credits are needed to advance skillsets?

OK, now if you want me to discuss the meaning of "free", I'll simply ask: what percentage of players at level 50 and above have never bought credits? If the answer is 20%, or heck, even 10 or 15%, I'll relent and say it has practical free option.

The most straightforward way of getting credits without money is the credit market. If the answer to the previous paragraph is that there aren't that many really trying to play free, I would question the ability of the market to provide credits at a in-game gold cost that free players could tolerate, if more tried. I'm curious what would happen to the market if 10 or even 5 players started characters with the intent to play "free". It seems like there are usually only between 300-400 credits available this way. To trans 8 skills plus a smattering of mini-skills takes on the order of 2400 credits or 200 credits per month if you wanted to do it in a year. I'm not sure that's realistic as I haven't tried to play at that level. Can the market support a demand of say 1000 credits/month? And if so, what would the price be?
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Old 01-17-2006, 06:35 AM   #114
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I'm feeling unflamed and unimportant with nobody responding to my straight-forward fix-it approach to the issue at hand. :-/ I guess I didn't sneak in a subtle flame comment somewhere in there and do my forum-posting job well.
I believe they are employing the two most common methods of suppressing a message that you donít like. The first is to completely ignore it. The second is to drown it in a flood of unrelated messages. In an attempt to thwart both methods, here is the suggestion of an addition to the search engine again, with thee definitions †proposed earlier by DonathinFry and others:

1. Non-commercial (free-to-play)
Definition: No in-game benefits in any form can be achieved by paying real money.
2. Commercial
Definition: The gameplay will be affected by paying or not paying real money.
A. Paying real money for in-game things allows you to advance your char in various ways. (free-to-play, pay-for perks)
B. Initial fee, free to play after that (pay-to-access)
C. Monthly fee, but no initial fee (pay-to-play)
D. Initial fee, monthly fee after that (pay-to-access and pay-to-play)
E. Time-based fee, based on time spent logged on to the game (pay-for-time) *)
F. Combinations of A+B, A+C, A+D or A+E
*) (not sure if this model exists among muds)


Examples:
Carrion Fields, 1
Threshold 2A+2B
Achaea 2A

This should effectively cover all business methods used by muds. In case I missed some valid category, it could easily be added. (Feel free to suggest additions to the list). The main idea is to keep the categories clean, well-defined, and easy to understand for the user.

And several of us think this would be a great addition to the site, one that would be very appreciated by most people in search of a new mud to play.
We would also like to hear Synozeerís opinions on the system proposed.
But from himself, not from the_logos.
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Old 01-17-2006, 10:20 AM   #115
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I was a little worried about going to more than 3 categories, but I think as long as each one is a link or rollover to a definition, that's a pretty inclusive and clear list. Certainly an improvement on just a "Pay-to-play?" checkbox, which means different things to different readers.
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Old 01-17-2006, 01:56 PM   #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Sinuhe @ Jan. 17 2006,06:35)
1. Non-commercial (free-to-play)
Definition: No in-game benefits in any form can be achieved by paying real money.
2. Commercial
Definition: The gameplay will be affected by paying or not paying real money.
A. Paying real money for in-game things allows you to advance your char in various ways. (free-to-play, pay-for perks)
B. Initial fee, free to play after that (pay-to-access)
C. Monthly fee, but no initial fee (pay-to-play)
D. Initial fee, monthly fee after that (pay-to-access and pay-to-play)
E. Time-based fee, based on time spent logged on to the game (pay-for-time) *)
F. Combinations of A+B, A+C, A+D or A+E
*) (not sure if this model exists among muds)


Examples:
Carrion Fields, 1
Threshold 2A+2B
Achaea 2A

This should effectively cover all business methods used by muds. In case I missed some valid category, it could easily be added. (Feel free to suggest additions to the list). The main idea is to keep the categories clean, well-defined, and easy to understand for the user.

And several of us think this would be a great addition to the site, one that would be very appreciated by most people in search of a new mud to play.
We would also like to hear Synozeerís opinions on the system proposed.
But from himself, not from the_logos.
Your definition of "non-commercial" is not used anywhere, by anyone else. Talk about confusing to potential players! Commercial or non-commercial has nothing to do with whether in-game benefits can be achieved by paying real money. A game can offer in-game benefits and be non-commercial, for instance. A product/company can offer no opportunity to pay real money at all and still be commercial (see network TV).


--matt
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Old 01-17-2006, 03:17 PM   #117
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Originally Posted by (the_logos @ Jan. 17 2006,13:56)
A game can offer in-game benefits and be non-commercial, for instance. A product/company can offer no opportunity to pay real money at all and still be commercial (see network TV).
Umm.. First sentence there makes no sense to me. How?!? If you get in game benefits for paying money, how the %@$%# is that not commercial?

The second one makes even less sense, because a) most places are ending free broadcasting, if not already, then soon, and some of the money you pay to the cable company goes to the networks and b) the networks never the less recieve money from *someone* to keep running, even if it doesn't come out of my own personal pocket (though it does, since the advertising is designed to make me buy stuff I didn't previously know about, from companies I would have never otherwise done business with). I seriously doubt anyone anyplace agrees that TV networks are not commercial entities, or that 90% of the people that watch them can or do get them for free. But even if you stretched it to that extreme, how the heck does sponsorship even equate to pay-to-play? Never mind the obvious question of just how many major corporations you are going to find giving money to MU*s to sell cans of fake Pepsi in the game or place billboard on the roads between the cities. Well? Which ones do that, so we know which category to put them in? lol This is at best a strawman argument against doing anything, not a valid example of what anyone is going to see some place. At worst, it would require category 1 to become:

1. Non-Commerical
A. Completely free to play.
B. Completely free to play. Corporate sponsered.

Its obsurd.

Now, had you suggested that someone might run a pay-to-play mud as a charity, with all except basic maintainence costs going to that, then you might have a point, and would have to add "C. Charity based, may require some payment to play. See sub-category", to the 1 class. Or in other words, something like, "1CA". Gosh! That was just too hard to figure out....
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Old 01-17-2006, 05:28 PM   #118
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Umm.. First sentence there makes no sense to me. How?!? If you get in game benefits for paying money, how the %@$%# is that not commercial?
A non-profit entity may happily sell things in-game while remaining a non-commercial entity. Do you understand what it means to be a commercial entity?

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The second one makes even less sense, because a) most places are ending free broadcasting, if not already, then soon, and some of the money you pay to the cable company goes to the networks
That is why I said "networks" not "cable companies." Plop an antenna on your tv. You can then watch tv free as long as you want without ever shelling out a dime.

You may also want to consider that more than one MUD makes use of advertising as a revenue generation tool already.
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Old 01-17-2006, 05:31 PM   #119
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The point, I think, is that numerous such examples can be made, further splitting the hairs of the system until you're rivaling hex code for letter/number combinations. The proposed "improvements" have been little more than attempts to redefine things in a way that best serves a vocal minority. In the end, the only suitable change (not that I believe one is necessary to begin with) would be to just remove all attempts at classification whatsoever.
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Old 01-17-2006, 06:08 PM   #120
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Originally Posted by (Zhiroc @ Jan. 16 2006,14:45)
3) Their web site and their in-game help give you no clue that you will need to get credits for over 90% of the lessons you need to play the game at your character's potential. This is done by never stating how many lessons are required to get to the various skill levels, and by not even allowing a character to see how many lessons they've spent (meaning laborious OOC tracking is needed to figure it out by yourself).
1. If someone wishes to know how many lessons it takes to advance to the next skill all they need do is ask.

2. One doesnt NEED credits to realize one's potential. Credits are simply the way a way to attain a certain skill level faster. You can use the lessons they give you and be decent at fighting and such.

3. Free to play means at no point before, during, or after game play are you REQUIRED to pay any money for services rendered. Just because there is an option does not mean it is any less free.
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