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Old 01-05-2006, 07:53 PM   #181
Anitra
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DonathinFrye is far from alone in his opinions. Several of us have similar feelings, but I guess that without a poll among the Forum members and guests it would be hard to get an idea about how many. (Also, as someone pointed out, and as the list itself is an example of, polls can very easily be manipulated).

We are really discussing two things here, and both of them have ethical aspects.

1. The first is the play-for-perks idea in itself
2. The other is the intentionally misleading way of some commercial muds to present their games as free when in fact they are pay-for-perks.

Here are my own opinions on both:
1. Pay for perks
We all have our preferences. I would never choose to play a Mud with a pay-for-perks system myself, because the idea of buying success for real money, in what should be a skill game, offends my idea of fair competition. I wouldn’t go as far as calling paying for in game benefits unethical. But it is not my idea of a fair game.

However, if other players like the concept, this is of course their privilege. It is apparently a very popular system, judging from the amount of players those types of muds have. But in a way it reflects the general down-going standard of mudders. Today’s players are a lot more impatient and a lot less inclined to put down much time and effort in exploring and learning the mechanics of the game they play. Many of them prefer almost instant success, and if the easiest way to get that is to pay real money for it, that is what they’ll do, provided they can afford it. As a result real gaming skills no longer count in the way they used to. It’s a rather sad development, but it is one that we all will have to learn to live with, because it reflects a general shallow trend in the community.

2. ‘Free’ versus ‘commercial’
Another trend in today’s society, (and one I particularly loathe), is the aggressive and often devious way in which certain companies market their products. Telephone marketing, where you are tricked into accepting something that you don’t really want, is one example of this. Another is the often used scam to fool the potential customers into believing that they are getting something for free that in reality is going to cost them money. Book Clubs sometimes use this marketing strategy. They offer to send you a book for free, just as a ‘sample’ of their product. If you accept this, they send you the book, but at the same time you realise that you also accepted an ‘offer’ to buy one book a month from them, unless you specifically send in a coupon to cancel the purchase. A lot of the people that fall for this scam forget to cancel in time, which is of course what the company is counting on. There are other tricks that these companies use too. For instance to hide the information about the costs in the small prints section, and to make it as complicated as possible to cancel a book, and even harder to opt out of the system once you got roped in. The sad thing is that people actually fall for this kind of scam, I’ve done it myself a couple of times too.

Some commercial muds use similar tricks.
The ultimate goal for a commercial mud is to get as many players as possible to pay as much as possible as often as possible. That is the reason why they go commercial in the first place.

To achieve this goal, and lure as many new players into the system as possible some commercial muds market their game as ‘FREE TO PLAY’. They even put this in their promotion blurbs on the site. They defend this desinformation by claiming that you actually can play for free, and even be successful doing it. To prove this they offer the example of a couple of players that got to the top without paying, while at the same time carefully avoiding to mention the hundreds of others that failed.

The information that the game is actually far from free, if you want to have any chance of competing on equal terms with those that do pay, is a lot harder to find. I took the trouble of checking out the website of Achaea, and discovered that they had disguised the info pretty well, under the heading 'Credits', which to most mudders means something totally different. It took me quite some time to find, even though I was specifically looking for it, because that wasn’t the obvious place to look. The ‘small prints’ trick once again.

To me methods like those are unethical, especially when large parts of the target group are under age. I think that a large, commercial company like IronRealms should be above using cheap tricks like that. It sends a bad message to the community. And it also reminds me of some other shady methods that Achaea has used in the past.

I think the reason why this subject keeps popping up on TMS about once a year is that there is a general resentment among most of the members against unethical methods. Just as the community shuns obvious rogues like Medievia, most people also react negatively to methods that are perceived as unfair, or even unethical.

I think that if TMS, TMC and other Mud list sites would implement the filter and colour code for commercial/non-commercial muds that several people have asked for, it would be a great improvement to the search engine and the list. It would also be much appreciated by a majority of the mud players and mud owners.

For the players of pay-for-perks muds it shouldn’t matter at all, since they have already consciously chosen the system. It might even help them to find other muds of similar type to the one they like to play. (Once you have got use to paying for advancements, it is probably hard to go back to a pure skill-and-time system). So for them too it should be valid and valuable product info.

However, certain owners of commercial muds that label themselves as free vehemently object to the idea. Why? After all, the pay-for perks system obviously is a popular one. So if you believe in your system, why pretend to be something else? Why not market yourself as what you really are, and leave the FREE label to the muds that actually are 100% free? The only reason I can see for the objection would be that the scam actually is a lot more successful than they like to admit, and gets them far more new players than they would have if they labelled themselves correctly.

Once again: It is not the P2P that people react against, it’s the sneaky way in which certain muds pretend to be something that they are not.

So I am asking Synozeer again; please give us a system that actually distinguishes between free muds and commercial ones.

If you decide not to do it, it's of course your privilege as List owner. But at least do us the courtesy of telling us yourself. And please motivate your decision to us. We would prefer to hear it from you, not the_logos. After all, you own the site, not he. Right?
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Old 01-05-2006, 08:04 PM   #182
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Not to be blunt, but there's really very little reason for Adam to consider switching to that system, given that it would probably negatively impact the traffic his site received.

However, if I'm wrong and you have a good reason as to why it would, in fact, benefit Adam as the owner of the site to switch to the system, rather than just as a perceived benefit to those who already bring a minority share of the traffic, I'm sure there would at least be some minutely greater amount of attention paid to the value of the argument.
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Old 01-05-2006, 08:30 PM   #183
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I just wanted to say that i had no idea about TMS before i found Achaea, nor that it rated one of the top spots, when i was looking for online gaming, i was looking for quality, and thats what i found, and for the longest time afterwards I played the game without purchasing anything, cause it wasn't needed to enjoy the experience. As i see it, the reason the Achaea holds one of the top positions is because it has gained and kept so many players through its consistant high quality, not because its a commercial MUD, simply because it is not a vital aspect of the game, which in turn causes its voters to vote for the site, I do, thinking that i want to share the experience i have and am still having, with every potential MUDer out there.
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Old 01-05-2006, 08:56 PM   #184
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Every MUDer has his(or her) own cup of tea that they prefer. I just prefer to know what cup of tea I am drinking before I buy it. Some players play Achaea/etc without spending money and still enjoy it - it is statistically unlikely that they enjoy success as others do, but I am always glad when they enjoy their favorite MUD.

Some of us aren't huge fans of IRE MUDs - for instance, I've played them all and not really enjoyed any of them, besides Aetolia(slightly). If I am looking for questing, there are better quest-oriented MUDs. If I want a large world, there are plenty of them. If I want staff-sponsered events, they are all over the place. If I even want solid mob-bashing, I can *still* do better than IRE. If I want PvP, I can certainly do better... all in my opinion.

Not all of us enjoy the IRE MUDs, but that's not important - what is important is the impact some sketchier large MUDs have on the rest of the community. This forum is a perfect example; the owner is not able to choose what should be an obvious improvement to the current system, because his most wealthy clients are large commercial MUDs opposed to giving non-commercial MUDs an equal chance on the listings page(we're not talking about giving them free advertising banners, which you pay for with cash).

----

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However, if I'm wrong and you have a good reason as to why it would, in fact, benefit Adam as the owner of the site to switch to the system, rather than just as a perceived benefit to those who already bring a minority share of the traffic, I'm sure there would at least be some minutely greater amount of attention paid to the value of the argument.
The most obvious answer(of several) to your challenge is that Adam switching to a split system would improve the quality of the site, in relation to what it advertises itself as. "A One Stop MUD Resource". If you're creating the best MUD Resource you can, it behooves you to include as much variety as possible. Which brings me to my next point;

Why should Adam lose traffic? The top MUDs on the listing are commercial(largely), and they are competing with each other for the top spots. They would continue to vote and bring in traffic, as they do currently. Also, a second list would mean that smaller MUDs that feel like voting is pointless because they could never buy the playerbase Achaea has to vote for their MUD... those MUDs would all of a sudden have a reason to vote again, and there would be more competition in the secondary listing. If anything, this improvement could increase traffic.

The only reason Adam could lose traffic is, as Matt says, by "alienating" his most traffic'd MUDs. This is basically short-hand for Matt saying that if non-commercial MUDs are given their own list, he(or others) will send less traffic to the site in retaliation. Sounds like financial strong-arming to me, and is just another notch on the list of reasons to disapprove of certain companies/admins.
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Old 01-05-2006, 09:18 PM   #185
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Quote:
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The most obvious answer(of several) to your challenge is that Adam switching to a split system would improve the quality of the site, in relation to what it advertises itself as. "A One Stop MUD Resource". If you're creating the best MUD Resource you can, it behooves you to include as much variety as possible. Which brings me to my next point;
Improve the quality of the site for whom? Such qualitative judgements are purely subjective. I certainly wouldn't consider the site higher quality if it pandered to the loudest voice rather than doing what was best for its own growth. As for the fact that the site is advertised as a MUD resource, I don't think there's any dispute to that. But there's no greater "variety" in what is listed on the site under one system or the other.

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Why should Adam lose traffic? The top MUDs on the listing are commercial(largely), and they are competing with each other for the top spots. They would continue to vote and bring in traffic, as they do currently. Also, a second list would mean that smaller MUDs that feel like voting is pointless because they could never buy the playerbase Achaea has to vote for their MUD... those MUDs would all of a sudden have a reason to vote again, and there would be more competition in the secondary listing. If anything, this improvement could increase traffic.
You are assuming that they would continue to vote. Where are you going to place these new rankings? If they are on the front page, with the commercial below the non-commercial, then the exposure is reduced and the desire to vote for the vastly greater number of players of commercial MUDs is decreased, far outweighing the number of new voters from smaller MUDs who might now find themselves inspired to frequent the site. If the commercial were placed above the non-commercial, almost nothing would have been accomplished by this as the amount of exposure for the larger non-commercial MUDs would decrease as well.

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The only reason Adam could lose traffic is, as Matt says, by "alienating" his most traffic'd MUDs. This is basically short-hand for Matt saying that if non-commercial MUDs are given their own list, he(or others) will send less traffic to the site in retaliation. Sounds like financial strong-arming to me, and is just another notch on the list of reasons to disapprove of certain companies/admins.
As I explained above, the incentive for the supplier of most of the site's traffic to continue to vote would decrease under the proposed system. Call it what you will, it would be bad business to continue to support the site if it was intentionally designed to limit your exposure, and that would be a disservice to the playerbase. This isn't unethical by any means, it's being more responsible to the people who are playing your game than to others who have no interest in their entertainment.
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Old 01-05-2006, 09:51 PM   #186
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Anitra @ Jan. 05 2006,19:53)
Today’s players are a lot more impatient and a lot less inclined to put down much time and effort in exploring and learning the mechanics of the game they play.
I believe there's more to it than just that.  I really don't think players are any less patient now than they were five or ten years ago.  On the other hand, there is no question that the average age of computer gamers (and, I'd assume, mudders as well) is going up.  A result of this:  more players with full-time jobs and/or families who perhaps prefer games in which the key element to success is not the availability of ridiculous amounts of time in which to play said games.  For these players, buying shortcuts isn't laziness, it's very likely seen by them as conducive to their enjoyment and essential to their ability to compete with their college-aged fellow gamers.

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Telephone marketing, where you are tricked into accepting something that you don’t really want, is one example of this. Another is the often used scam to fool the potential customers into believing that they are getting something for free that in reality is going to cost them money. Book Clubs sometimes use this marketing strategy. They offer to send you a book for free, just as a ‘sample’ of their product. If you accept this, they send you the book, but at the same time you realise that you also accepted an ‘offer’ to buy one book a month from them, unless you specifically send in a coupon to cancel the purchase. A lot of the people that fall for this scam forget to cancel in time, which is of course what the company is counting on. There are other tricks that these companies use too. For instance to hide the information about the costs in the small prints section, and to make it as complicated as possible to cancel a book, and even harder to opt out of the system once you got roped in.
Out of curiousity, what do these examples have to do with anything?  Nobody has suggested (until now, I guess) that IRE or any other commercial games listed on Topmudsites actually scam their players into paying for things they didn't want.

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The ultimate goal for a commercial mud is to get as many players as possible to pay as much as possible as often as possible. That is the reason why they go commercial in the first place.
Yes, that's what is generally known as "a good business practice" TM.  Just about every good or service you have ever purchased was probably sold to you by people operating or attempting to operate in accordance with similar practices.

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To achieve this goal, and lure as many new players into the system as possible some commercial muds market their game as ‘FREE TO PLAY’.
Yes, another "good business practice."  Provide potential customers with a free sample so that they will purchase goods and services from you later.  This is a completely above-board practice that is well-understood by consumers who generally view it as a convenient way to test drive what they might soon be paying for.

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They even put this in their promotion blurbs on the site. They defend this desinformation by claiming that you actually can play for free, and even be successful doing it.
First off, if I can play a game for free, it is not "desinformation" for the game to advertise itself as free to play.  "Free to play" means just that: I can log in and play for free.  It doesn't mean will enjoy purchaseable perks.  It doesn't mean I will get to take shortcuts available to people who pay for those shortcuts.  I means I can play the game and not pay to play it.  How hard is that to understand?  It's as valid a use of the word "free" as would be "Buy one, get one free" (even though this is really just buying two of something at half-price) or "Get one month of X for free" (even though your free month of X is being subsidized by the other customers of the company that is offering X).  These are all senses of free that are clearly understood by consumers.  No reasonable person takes advantages of such offers and then argues that they've been scammed because further enjoyment of the products or services made available through these offers will now cost money.

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I think the reason why this subject keeps popping up on TMS about once a year is that there is a general resentment among most of the members against unethical methods.
Before IRE was advertising here, people were whinging about other commercial games with straight-forward subscription models.  Before that, in the earliest incarnation of this site, people were whinging that Realms of Despair was dominating the mud list because it was a rank, unimaginative dikurivative that appealed to the lowest common denominator in order to garner a huge playerbase.  I think ethics have always had less to do with such complaints than have sour grapes.
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Old 01-06-2006, 12:05 AM   #187
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You are assuming that they would continue to vote. Where are you going to place these new rankings? If they are on the front page, with the commercial below the non-commercial, then the exposure is reduced and the desire to vote for the vastly greater number of players of commercial MUDs is decreased, far outweighing the number of new voters from smaller MUDs who might now find themselves inspired to frequent the site. If the commercial were placed above the non-commercial, almost nothing would have been accomplished by this as the amount of exposure for the larger non-commercial MUDs would decrease as well.
Well, I was thinking they'd look cute together side-by-side, actually. There is no reason to ellevate one above another. And if the commercial MUDs are at the same "height" of the website, then they haven't really lost their promotion space. There's just more promotion space, another slot to support the non-commercial games. Again, if you did it correctly, the implementation of split-lists would only increase voter-turnout, inspiring more competition amongst the non-commercial MUDs. This would get Syno more traffic, and therefor more money. The only reason that the site would lose traffic is if the commercial MUDs resented having to be on a seperate list(which does not harm them, and only helps non-commercial MUDs), and encouraged their players to vote less. That is the leverage being used by some to help influence control over the site.

---

And Atyreus; sour grapes? Nah. I've staffed MUDs that have reached a hundred to a couple hundred players before. I feel more accomplished with other projects than those - I don't dislike RoD, though I agree that it might play down to the common denominator. I don't even dislike some commercial MUDs and even get involved with some such projects. What I dislike are admins and companies that use misleading advertising and use money to strong-arm themselves into a dominant position in the community... when infact, they are most concerned with finding ways to maximize money-made, and not interested in ways that could help promote the other MUDs of the community as much as possible.

That's all. There are a very select few that fall into such category, but it really burns me and many other players around here.
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Old 01-06-2006, 02:01 AM   #188
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Is there really any other reason to put seperate lists than to give smaller muds larger exposure? I don't think so, maybe other than sour grapes. If you can knock a few muds off the the top of your list, maybe you can get a couple new players next month. All this BS about commercial muds being unethical and now perhaps scamming is just plain dumb.

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The only reason that the site would lose traffic is if the commercial MUDs resented having to be on a seperate list(which does not harm them, and only helps non-commercial MUDs), and encouraged their players to vote less. That is the leverage being used by some to help influence control over the site.
I don't know much about business/marketing/advertising but if I came to this site as a new comer and saw on one side "FREE MUDS" and the other "COMMERCIAL MUDS," I would definitely pick from the side labeled "FREE." So yes, to me, it seems like that would harm them. But we don't care of course, just make sure we get the smaller muds up in rank!

And what do you mean by commercial muds having leverage to help influence control and strong-arming themselves? Seems like encouraging their players to vote less will hurt their own mud much more in the long run than it would affect TMS. And for ads, I thought all muds had the equal opportunity to buy them, it's just that they were seized by others first...correct me if I'm wrong. (which of course you all won't hesitate to do
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Old 01-06-2006, 03:21 AM   #189
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I don't know much about business/marketing/advertising but if I came to this site as a new comer and saw on one side "FREE MUDS" and the other "COMMERCIAL MUDS," I would definitely pick from the side labeled "FREE."
So are you saying there is something wrong with commercial MUDs listing themselves as commercial? Are you suggesting that commercial MUDs should get the perks of being commercial without having to announce upfront that they are, indeed, what they are? That is an example of misleading information - case in point.

Seperating the lists would help aid non-commercial MUDs(which is important for the community as a whole), could even help Syno get extra traffic by igniting more competition, and it would only hurt the commercial MUDs if their admins stopped encouraging their players to vote. It has been said before, Aethia(for example) players vote for Aethia because they love the game oh-so-much, and have ingame/website reminders to help encourage voting. That, coupled with a large playerbase produces their high number of votes. If the admins of IRE/other-commercial-MUDs changed nothing about that approach, they would still bring in the votes and achieve top site listing. Syno would still have his traffic. So why the veiled threats at "alienation"?

As far as banner advertising goes - that's not even a made issue here. Yes, commercial MUDs tend to buy most of the ad-space for an obvious reason. I don't see that as a problem, they paid their money - they get their adspace. Better IRE than seeing some porn-bar up there. : p
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Old 01-06-2006, 04:23 AM   #190
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Yes, another "good business practice." Provide potential customers with a free sample so that they will purchase goods and services from you later. This is a completely above-board practice that is well-understood by consumers who generally view it as a convenient way to test drive what they might soon be paying for.
The problem is that it's not quite a free trial, but more like getting a demo version that's gimp'ed but you weren't told. As I've said, it not the cost, or the pay-for-perk/play that is my primary gripe. It's that players are never told the absolute truth of the costs--they have to figure it out themselves.

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First off, if I can play a game for free, it is not "desinformation" for the game to advertise itself as free to play. "Free to play" means just that: I can log in and play for free. It doesn't mean will enjoy purchaseable perks. It doesn't mean I will get to take shortcuts available to people who pay for those shortcuts.
There are two ways to look at this. Your (and IRE's) way, and as a "bait and switch" tactic. In most states it illegal to market an inferior product cheaply in order to hook the customer into buying a better product at a better profit for you. I'd say this comes close.

And, like I keep saying, it would be 100% OK from an ethical standpoint if they were just very upfront with telling new players how it works. Disagreeing with pay-for-perk is not relevant here.
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Old 01-06-2006, 09:32 AM   #191
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As I've said, it not the cost, or the pay-for-perk/play that is my primary gripe. It's that players are never told the absolute truth of the costs--they have to figure it out themselves.

First of all, I have no association with Matt or IRE, and really wouldn't care if they vanished from the face of the planet.

That said, the above gripe is just silly - you're basically complaining that IRE doesn't act as a person's brain to comprehend what the availability of purchaseable perks means. It's on par with warning labels that tell people not to do stuff like dropping a running hairdryer into a tub of water, put a metal can of pressurized chemicals next to an open flame, or drink antifreeze.

Do you really have such a low opinion of the average mudder that you think they can't puzzle through something like "If somone buys these instant powerups, they'll be stronger than me unless I spend a lot of time or buy some too"?

And, like I keep saying, it would be 100% OK from an ethical standpoint if they were just very upfront with telling new players how it works. Disagreeing with pay-for-perk is not relevant here.

Maybe i'm just strange, but I tried Achaea about a year ago, and I knew full well about the existence of the whole credit system before I started playing.

There's a link right on the main homepage that leads to a listing of how much the credit packages cost, how you can pay for them, and a quick overview of what they're used for.

To quote - A 'credit' is an in-game currency that may be purchased on this page. Credits may be spent on a variety of enrichments, such as extra lessons for skills, amazing items of power, a pet, houses in which to live, and so on.

The memory escapes me at this point, but I imagine there's plenty of in-game help on the subject as well.

Seems to me that the possible problem is not so much players not being told how the system works, but rather players not bothering to read all the basic information about the game before they start.

In most states it illegal to market an inferior product cheaply in order to hook the customer into buying a better product at a better profit for you. I'd say this comes close.

This is even sillier than your first comment. I guess my cellphone and cable companies are on the edge of being illegal, along with Microsoft's XBox Live Marketplace, Nintendo's upcoming new console and game purchase service, grocery stores, electronics stores (like Best Buy), and basically anywhere else that gives away free samples or sells a cheap(er) no-frills product in hopes of getting you to purchase add-ons or something more expensive in some way.
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Old 01-06-2006, 11:07 AM   #192
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (PhoenixFlare @ Jan. 06 2006,09:32)
That said, the above gripe is just silly - you're basically complaining that IRE doesn't act as a person's brain to comprehend what the availability of purchaseable perks means. It's on par with warning labels that tell people not to do stuff like dropping a running hairdryer into a tub of water, put a metal can of pressurized chemicals next to an open flame, or drink antifreeze.

Do you really have such a low opinion of the average mudder that you think they can't puzzle through something like "If somone buys these instant powerups, they'll be stronger than me unless I spend a lot of time or buy some too"?
If it is so obvious, what is wrong with color-coding MUDs by their business plan? Accurate labeling is all people are asking for. If it's obvious, an accurate label is harmless.

(Obvious answer: It's not obvious. It's concealed well.)

I'm not asking IRE to label the game "perks make you more powerful". Everyone knows why they sell perks-- it's an instant leg up. Heck, I'm not asking IRE to do anything.

I'm asking TMS to flag MUDs by business model. No separate lists. No visibility differences. Just an icon or color code that lets players know whether paying for in-game content is disallowed, optional, or possible.
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Old 01-06-2006, 11:41 AM   #193
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If it is so obvious, what is wrong with color-coding MUDs by their business plan?  Accurate labeling is all people are asking for.  If it's obvious, an accurate label is harmless.

Nothing's wrong with it. In fact, I think adding another filter to the database the same way you can search for size, average players, PK status, etc. would be a wonderful idea. Certainly better than the idea being tossed around about creating two seperate lists.

Seems to me there's two seperate debates going on here - whether muds that offer paid perks are deceiving their players somehow, and whether things should be made "fair" by seperating the lists into free and pay-for-perks.  

I was arguing about the first, not the second - the second issue should be a no-brainer to anyone with a modicum of common sense.

I'm not asking IRE to label the game "perks make you more powerful".  Everyone knows why they sell perks-- it's an instant leg up.  Heck, I'm not asking IRE to do anything.

Exactly, which makes it so baffling why Zhiroc and others are griping that players somehow don't know what they're getting into if they play an IRE (or other pay-for-perks) game.  Not exactly rocket science to anyone that's purchased something with optional services available before.

I'm asking TMS to flag MUDs by business model.  No separate lists.  No visibility differences.  Just an icon or color code that lets players know whether paying for in-game content is disallowed, optional, or possible.

I would be in complete and total agreement with this.
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Old 01-06-2006, 02:48 PM   #194
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I don't see the need for two lists, but color coding or some kind of denotation of a game's business model or lack thereof makes sense to me.

There's a lot of ways to phrase it if people think "free" vs "commercial" is inappropriate or "subscription pay" vs "feature pay" vs "free" is too slanted or whatever. Honestly, it all depends on how you spin it. There are plenty ot instances outside of MUDding where consumers prefer a pay product to a free one, and plenty of instances where they prefer to pay for things in different ways. The are reasons that all-inclusive vacations sell, yet don't totally dominate the travel market -- some people prefer to play a flat free up front, others to pay only for what they use, etc.
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Old 01-06-2006, 06:26 PM   #195
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Zhiroc @ Jan. 06 2006,03:23)
snip

There are two ways to look at this. Your (and IRE's) way, and as a "bait and switch" tactic. In most states it illegal to market an inferior product cheaply in order to hook the customer into buying a better product at a better profit for you. I'd say this comes close.

snip
So, what you mean to say here is that it is not posible, from the help files and the web sites for the different IRE games to figure out what you will need to play?

Suppose you play for a week, 1 hr a day, would 7 hrs be enough to skim through those help files if they even exist?

Should I go out and sue the guy in the computer shop for selling me this nice LCD screen, because I came home and nobody told me I also happened to need a CPU, a mouse and a keyboard for it to work?
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Old 01-06-2006, 07:09 PM   #196
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Valg @ Jan. 06 2006,17:07)
If it is so obvious, what is wrong with color-coding MUDs by their business plan?  Accurate labeling is all people are asking for.  If it's obvious, an accurate label is harmless.

(Obvious answer: It's not obvious.  It's concealed well.)

I'm not asking IRE to label the game "perks make you more powerful".  Everyone knows why they sell perks-- it's an instant leg up.  Heck, I'm not asking IRE to do anything.

I'm asking TMS to flag MUDs by business model.  No separate lists.  No visibility differences.  Just an icon or color code that lets players know whether paying for in-game content is disallowed, optional, or possible.
I'd be happy just to see the Feature list of each database entry include "Pay-for-perks" as well as the current "Pay-per-play".

Failing that, I'd rather see the "Pay-per-play" removed entirely.  At least that way people would know they had to look the information up, rather than rely on the listing.  No information at all is better than misleading information, IMO.
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Old 01-06-2006, 07:55 PM   #197
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Originally Posted by
That said, the above gripe is just silly - you're basically complaining that IRE doesn't act as a person's brain to comprehend what the availability of purchaseable perks means.
You'll note in all of the above that I have not been talking about artifact purchases. Those are pretty clear and documented, and from the start by reading the docs you can decide whether the credits are worth the artifacts or the play.

You'll note, however, that in my previous posts, my complaint is with the fact that the credit system provides the bulk of the skill learning system. After maxing out at 100 levels, you can only achieve about 60% of the lessons needed to max out only 1 skill class. So, unless you count skills as a perk, this is a little more than just pay-for-perks (the question about how you can manage to win/work for credits aside for now).

The next observation is that no where in either Achaea's online manual or in Aetolia's help system will you find documentation as to how many lessons it takes to max out a skill. Without this, you have no idea to begin just how much money you are looking at to buy the credits needed. Luckily, my guild documented it, or I wouldn't know to this day. The answer is about 294 credits worth of lessons (somewhere around $100 if you buy them, more or less, depending how many you buy at once).

And that's why I think it is not entirely up-front.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Exactly, which makes it so baffling why Zhiroc and others are griping that players somehow don't know what they're getting into if they play an IRE (or other pay-for-perks) game. Not exactly rocket science to anyone that's purchased something with optional services available before.
Like I said, only if you think skill advancement is an optional perk. Perhaps the fact that in your limited time playing there (if I understood you correctly) that you hadn't connected just how not-optional credits would be to advance your character proves the point.
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Old 01-06-2006, 09:59 PM   #198
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(the question about how you can manage to win/work for credits aside for now)

Buying credits directly with your own money may be the quickest way of getting them, but that doesn't make it the only option - and the alternate ways of earning credits seem to be pretty clearly laid out in Achaea's help files.

I've seen it in plenty of other game discussions - if some people can't do something the most efficient way possible, suddenly it's like the slower alternatives don't exist....Which just isn't true.

Like I said, only if you think skill advancement is an optional perk. Perhaps the fact that in your limited time playing there (if I understood you correctly) that you hadn't connected just how not-optional credits would be to advance your character proves the point.

No, I think the ability to directly buy credits with cash (what you've been complaining about) is an optional perk. Again, one can clearly infer this from the help files before even making a character.

That's about as clear as I can be, and this is quickly getting to the point where it's difficult to care anymore, so I wish you luck in finding someone else to argue with - I don't seem to have much chance of changing your mind.
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Old 01-07-2006, 07:08 AM   #199
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (PhoenixFlare @ Jan. 07 2006,03:59)
Buying credits directly with your own money may be the quickest way of getting them, but that doesn't make it the only option - and the alternate ways of earning credits seem to be pretty clearly laid out in Achaea's help files.
Throughout the 20 pages of discussion here, the only way I've heard that people can consistently and repeatedly earn credits is by buying them, or getting them from someone else who has bought them. If there is another way (other than actually working for the mud) I've yet to hear about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
No, I think the ability to directly buy credits with cash (what you've been complaining about) is an optional perk.
Not if you want to play competitively. We've already established that without credits, a character is going to be severely weaker than characters who have had credits spent on them - hardly irrelevent for a mud which promotes itself as focusing on PvP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Again, one can clearly infer this from the help files before even making a character.
Assuming that someone who connects to a mud labelling itself as "free" considers that, yes. It's for this reason that I'd rather see the "pay-per-play" option removed entirely if no "pay-for-perks" option is going to be added - at least then the player knows it's up to them to look the information up, rather than assuming it's free based on the entry (and yes, there have been players who have done this).
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Old 01-07-2006, 09:11 AM   #200
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Kavir, were you a lawyer in a past or present life?
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