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Old 01-07-2006, 09:43 AM   #201
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (KaVir @ Jan. 07 2006,07:08)
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.
Hopefully you weren't simply selectively ignoring those things that contradicted your argument, but at the bottom of page 18 I gave a rather specific example of my own experience in obtaining credits at a consistent rate higher than if I was using the same time to work my actual job.
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Old 01-07-2006, 12:54 PM   #202
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Galleus @ Jan. 07 2006,09:43)
Hopefully you weren't simply selectively ignoring those things that contradicted your argument, but at the bottom of page 18 I gave a rather specific example of my own experience in obtaining credits at a consistent rate higher than if I was using the same time to work my actual job.
I guess I was hoping to hear from a few players, not just IRE staff. Something of a conflict of interest there.
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Old 01-07-2006, 01:56 PM   #203
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The funniest thing about the plethora of misinformation about Viagra MUDs are their claims of incredible RP and PvP and such. The whole pay-for-perks (pay-to-succeed as someone pointed out) system is that it defies good RP because nothing you do in-game can consistently prevent OOC influence, through the application of credits not earned through the RP, from altering one's experience. The bum you're RPing helping out today could be a millionaire tomorrow through no action in-game, simply through their OOC purchase of credits. And PvP is hardly fair if one works hard and someone else just comes along and buys their way to a superior position.

It's really an inferior set-up for quality because it defies the efforts of hard work, consistent RP, and dedication in favor of catering to those more intent on "winning" at any cost (literally). Hence my use of the term Viagra MUDs, because no matter how impotent a player may be, they can still feel like they're more than they are through the expenditure of a little cash.

Really can't understand why people play such games. Unless one's willing to spend a lot of money to keep up with the big-spenders, it's got to be even more embarassing than being a non-spender on a Viagra MUD. After all, if you're going to spend money to get ahead in-game, failing becomes all the worse. That's like hiring a prostitute and not being able to get laid.

But really, folks, why aren't Viagra MUDs held to a standard of honesty (hell, for that matter, why aren't all MUDs held to a standard of honesty) in advertising? Many of the MUDs listed on TMS blatantly lie about their features, though admittedly few do so to the degree of dishonesty that the Viagra MUDs claiming to be "free" do (the usual fibs involve "original features" like warrior classes or "original races" like cat-people). MUDs wishing to appear on the voting list should be honest about themselves. If they can't, they ought to make good on their promises. The nature of so many of the MUDs out there projects a bad image on the whole of the community, why not require some ethics and integrity if MUDs want the exposure on TMS? If MUDs like the IRE games are seriously afraid that the truth will hurt, they ought to spend some time making their games quality MUDs instead of spending the same amount (or more) of time trying to spin their deceit on the forums. Then there's no need to spin, to lie, or to deceive.

After all, aspiring to the honesty of examples like Medthievia is hardly a good model for integrity.

Take care,

Jason
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Old 01-07-2006, 02:05 PM   #204
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Galleus @ Jan. 07 2006,15:43)
Quote:
Originally Posted by (KaVir @ Jan. 07 2006,07:08)
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.
Hopefully you weren't simply selectively ignoring those things that contradicted your argument, but at the bottom of page 18 I gave a rather specific example of my own experience in obtaining credits at a consistent rate higher than if I was using the same time to work my actual job.
I read your post - but you didn't describe how you were able to consistently and repeatedly earn those credits, other than that it wasn't from working as an employee.
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Old 01-07-2006, 05:47 PM   #205
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I've followed the conversation thus far and had no intention of actually joining it until the opinion of a player was requested.

The whole issue of the pay-for-perks system.. I'm not sure why it's a matter of discussion in the first place but here we go.

To Valg:
While I haven't really made use of any of the aforementioned lucrative ways to earn credits, I've managed to earn enough to get a full skill and a good ways up in three others. The time I've spent gold-farming has been a good deal less than what I've had to spend on many other MUDs to get to a competitive level - as such the notion that credits are too hard to obtain outside of money purchase is void. Credits are in fact very much available to people who don't spend real money on the game - they just have to invest more time to earn them. They don't have to work for the game either as credits are constantly sold for gold by other players.

To KaVir:
You infact don't need to work as an employee to earn credits. You can buy credits for gold from other players and from organizations. You don't need to 'freeload' off of anyone either.

To prof:
Judging by your response you have some pretty severe preconceptions about what pay-for-perks means in an IRE game. Having more credits than someone else doesn't mean you have an instant advantage over them. There's sort of base-line that you need to achieve and from then on credits are just that - perks. The PVP system is really rather complex and skill is a much larger factor in the outcome of a battle than credits or statistics. Claiming that the playing field is uneven is a fairly useless statement - it's no more uneven than any other game that has a stat-based combat system. In most muds out there you spend hours and hours on the grind to get the better eq, the more levels and more gold and that usually gives you far more of an advantage over other players than credits do in an IRE game.

In conclusion:
I don't see why the attack on the pay-for-perks model is happening in the first place. Every MUD out there is pay-for-perks. The difference is that the millions of gold and rare eq gets sold from player to player without the consent of the administration. A merely academical difference at best.
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Old 01-07-2006, 06:06 PM   #206
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (KaVir @ Jan. 07 2006,07:08)
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 (Hadoryu @ Jan. 07 2006,23:47)
To KaVir:
You infact don't need to work as an employee to earn credits. You can buy credits for gold from other players and from organizations. You don't need to 'freeload' off of anyone either.
We've covered this already.  The credits still need to be bought.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
In conclusion:
I don't see why the attack on the pay-for-perks model is happening in the first place.
It's not an attack on pay-for-perks (which is, IMO, a perfectly valid model).  It's an discussion of misleading mud advertising.  Pay-for-perks might be a valid model, but it's not the same as "free".
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Old 01-07-2006, 06:37 PM   #207
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It is infact free. You can invest money instead of time. That's the perk. I've played for a good while now without buying a single credit or working for the game as an employee - I'd say that very much means I've played for free.

Credits need to be bought just in the way free MUDs need someone to pay for the hosting - if a MUD isn't sustaining itself it will disappear. Saying it's not free because someone will eventually have to pay something for it would mean including every other MUD out there with a 'Donations' link on it's page in the same definition. If credits don't get bought the MUD will stop to exist, so it's a moot point.
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Old 01-07-2006, 06:58 PM   #208
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
The PVP system is really rather complex and skill is a much larger factor in the outcome of a battle than credits or statistics. Claiming that the playing field is uneven is a fairly useless statement - it's no more uneven than any other game that has a stat-based combat system.
This is, simply, untrue. The best PvP systems usually work one of two ways...

A) There is a stat/level limit you can reach via mob-bashing/questing/etc, and once you reach that limit, you are(more-or-less) "maxed" out statwise. The equipment gathered is gatherable by anyone, and it doesn't take a year of consistant gaming to reach your max power(rather it takes a few months for the devote gamer, tops). Then, the skill-based PVP is on a level playing field, because your opponents are, largely, equal to you and it is about using what you've got to win.

B) MOB-Bashing takes little time to reach max, or better yet; the system is a level-less one. You start out(or achieve quickly) with the skills you need to begin PvP, largely, and the rest of them you earn(or buy) through PvP itself. Using either a classic tier system, or pk-range-restrictions keeps PvP from being about who has the most kills and allows all players to consistantly grow. MUDs like Everwar and Utopia utilize this system well.

Pay-for-Perk PvP MUDs, like IRE games, work like this;

C) Reaching a maximum "level" from mob-bashing/questing/etc will only allow you to learn a certain amount of skills, to a certain level of proficiency. After that, it is necessary for someone, somewhere to pay cash in order to buy credits. The exception of winning artistic contests does not nullify this point - you are required to sell the rights of your contest piece in exchange for credits. Credits become the primary way of learning skills, so the people with the most credits become the most powerful ones. The only ones who can compete with the highest buyers are the ones who have played for the longest time. You can say that talent means more than bought skillsets, but this is a silly point. I've played one IRE for a lengthier time period in particular and remember it going something along these lines:

As someone who had a pair of maxed skills(without paying real cash for the credits I'd managed to get), I could indeed defeat people who had used more bought credits and had more maxed skills than me. If they were newbies and untalented PvPers. People who were closer to my own level of ability, who had bought more credits and had more skills/etc than me had an obvious advantage over me, and often-times no amounts of trickiery/talent would allow me to break into the most upper fold, unless I was able to spend innane amounts of time there(or money). I decided to focus on other, more balanced MUDs I was PvPing on at the time.

It's the way the system is set up. It is designed so that people have to buy credits to achieve higher levels of competition. Capitalistically, it is quite savvy - you promote your MUD as being more intense/challenging in PvP than it actually is, use commonly popular features and high asthetics to draw in a large playerbase, then make the aforementioned PvP be competitive only to those who can afford to buy credits. As KaVir has said, it does not matter how you get credits in the game; someone, somewhere paid for them. And the PvP, however asthetically pleasing, is still bland enough that success is largely playerfile-based(again, unless you're a weak PvPer). And the best playerfiles go to the ones with the most credits.

Now, this is not putting down the pay-for-perks model. Honestly, I'd never toot the horn of PvP on a MUD that required cash-bought-credits to be competitive - but, that's just me. The model itself is fine, however, and quite successful. Misleading advertising, and backdooring around voting rules(to drop even a small reference to the thread's actual topic) is not fine. To me, it's close to being on the same level of breaking free codebase licenses. It is the reason why the word 'unethical' is used so much when referring to MUDs focused on in these topics.
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Old 01-07-2006, 07:05 PM   #209
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Originally Posted by
Credits need to be bought just in the way free MUDs need someone to pay for the hosting - if a MUD isn't sustaining itself it will disappear. Saying it's not free because someone will eventually have to pay something for it would mean including every other MUD out there with a 'Donations' link on it's page in the same definition. If credits don't get bought the MUD will stop to exist, so it's a moot point.

It isn't moot at all. Free MUDs require someone to pay for hosting. There is no profit involved. The money some Pay-for-Perk MUDs make off of their system create a fairly large amount of profit. Instance; Matt is currently looking to hire an artist willing to relocate, and then pay them for full-time work on a new MUD project. Vryce on Midievia has used money from the MUD to help him buy homes, nice cars, and other such things. These truths, while not bad, do indeed go far beyond using credits to merely make the money to keep the MUD running. If credits disappeared, there would certainly be less profit to pay staff, buy extreme amounts of advertising/etc... however, the MUD would still bring in enough from donations, I gather, to survive.

You cannot compare an owner of a non-commercial MUD paying for hosting to be the same thing as a Pay-for-Perk owner using credits to keep the MUD alive. The purpose of credits go much further, and are far more capitalistic.
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Old 01-07-2006, 07:25 PM   #210
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Hadoryu @ Jan. 07 2006,17:47)
To prof:
Judging by your response you have some pretty severe preconceptions about what pay-for-perks means in an IRE game. Having more credits than someone else doesn't mean you have an instant advantage over them. There's sort of base-line that you need to achieve and from then on credits are just that - perks. The PVP system is really rather complex and skill is a much larger factor in the outcome of a battle than credits or statistics. Claiming that the playing field is uneven is a fairly useless statement - it's no more uneven than any other game that has a stat-based combat system. In most muds out there you spend hours and hours on the grind to get the better eq, the more levels and more gold and that usually gives you far more of an advantage over other players than credits do in an IRE game.

In conclusion:
I don't see why the attack on the pay-for-perks model is happening in the first place. Every MUD out there is pay-for-perks. The difference is that the millions of gold and rare eq gets sold from player to player without the consent of the administration. A merely academical difference at best.
You've got a lot to learn about MUDs if you believe anything of what you said. Viagra MUDs like the IRE games are pay-for-perks but it could equally be said that they're "Pay-to-succeed" since they do provide an instant advantage. You don't have to spend the time to achieve things in-game, time which can be spent doing other things that gain advantages in-game. That creates an imbalance. Because you could spend 500 hours gaining gold/eq and then 500 hours gaining other less-tangible resources or you could spend $1000 on the credits and only need spend the full 1000 hours gaining the latter. That's an advantage because the credits save you time and that time equates into an advantage. That's why your statement is false. The playing field is not even, regardless of how much you'd like to believe it is.

And not "every MUD out there is pay-for-perks" since some, like RPIs aren't about eq and gold but about RP. Any external advantage is frowned upon (it may occur, but it's policed so aside from information, it's more difficult to attain) since it violates and ruins the atmosphere of the RP. And money changing hands for information is even less likely than for "eq" or "gold" in-game. Now, the main part of this discussion hasn't been about RPIs, but regardless, most non-RPI MUDs tend to discourage out-of-game transactions like the kind you refer to (in fact, the H&S I used to play had a policy of banning anyone caught doing it). Your statement demonstrates a cynical lack of awareness regarding the ethics of the MUDding community or at least demonstrates a curious ethical standard that you hold and have been exposed to.

Take care,

Jason
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Old 01-07-2006, 11:19 PM   #211
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (DonathinFrye @ Jan. 07 2006,18:05)
snip
...
It isn't moot at all. Free MUDs require someone to pay for hosting. There is no profit involved. The money some Pay-for-Perk MUDs make off of their system create a fairly large amount of profit. Instance
...
snip
...
You cannot compare an owner of a non-commercial MUD paying for hosting to be the same thing as a Pay-for-Perk owner using credits to keep the MUD alive. The purpose of credits go much further, and are far more capitalistic.
What does profit have to do with anything? please do not turn this "discussion" into morph of Medievia thread.

The point is, KaViR and you are saying that it does not matter if a particular player may be able to play for free for 5 years, it does not matter if they can max all their skills without spending a dime, what "really" matters is the fact that someone, somewhere, at some point in time, has to be buying credits for that person to be able to access them.

Now, along this lines, the persons argument is valid, every game has then someone, doing a monetary investment somewhere. Most games with a fairly large player base have a donation button, yet they are free. But see, for those players to be able to enjoy their game for free, someone, somewhere, at some point in time, has to sign up in pay-pal, send a few dollars just to keep the game running. And, what if nobody contributed? what if every single player decided they would adhere to your logic and play for free the game that is meant to be for free, with no monetary investment from their part? well, the game would probably have to be moved to a smaller server, something the admin would be able to afford by himself, if he/she is even willing to do it.

Nobody is comparing owners of non/commercial MUDs, because, it is pointless for the discussion. Nobody, not here, not you, not KaViR, goes and monitors the spending of the MUD owners who receive donations for their games, at best I would guess IRE in the US would start checking around if these people do not declare these funds in their tax report, but other than that, nobody here actually knows if all or any of the money "donated" to the "free" MUD admins is actually going there.

I am not saying any of them is not honest or that they are stealing money donated to them, but as you can see, I can only say it because I am a trustful person, not because I can, by any mean, know it for sure.
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Old 01-07-2006, 11:31 PM   #212
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (prof1515 @ Jan. 07 2006,18:25)
Quote:
Originally Posted by (Hadoryu @ Jan. 07 2006,17:47)
To prof:
Judging by your response you have some pretty severe preconceptions about what pay-for-perks means in an IRE game. Having more credits than someone else doesn't mean you have an instant advantage over them. There's sort of base-line that you need to achieve and from then on credits are just that - perks. The PVP system is really rather complex and skill is a much larger factor in the outcome of a battle than credits or statistics. Claiming that the playing field is uneven is a fairly useless statement - it's no more uneven than any other game that has a stat-based combat system. In most muds out there you spend hours and hours on the grind to get the better eq, the more levels and more gold and that usually gives you far more of an advantage over other players than credits do in an IRE game.

In conclusion:
I don't see why the attack on the pay-for-perks model is happening in the first place. Every MUD out there is pay-for-perks. The difference is that the millions of gold and rare eq gets sold from player to player without the consent of the administration. A merely academical difference at best.
You've got a lot to learn about MUDs if you believe anything of what you said. Viagra MUDs like the IRE games are pay-for-perks but it could equally be said that they're "Pay-to-succeed" since they do provide an instant advantage. You don't have to spend the time to achieve things in-game, time which can be spent doing other things that gain advantages in-game. That creates an imbalance. Because you could spend 500 hours gaining gold/eq and then 500 hours gaining other less-tangible resources or you could spend $1000 on the credits and only need spend the full 1000 hours gaining the latter. That's an advantage because the credits save you time and that time equates into an advantage. That's why your statement is false. The playing field is not even, regardless of how much you'd like to believe it is.

And not "every MUD out there is pay-for-perks" since some, like RPIs aren't about eq and gold but about RP. Any external advantage is frowned upon (it may occur, but it's policed so aside from information, it's more difficult to attain) since it violates and ruins the atmosphere of the RP. And money changing hands for information is even less likely than for "eq" or "gold" in-game. Now, the main part of this discussion hasn't been about RPIs, but regardless, most non-RPI MUDs tend to discourage out-of-game transactions like the kind you refer to (in fact, the H&S I used to play had a policy of banning anyone caught doing it). Your statement demonstrates a cynical lack of awareness regarding the ethics of the MUDding community or at least demonstrates a curious ethical standard that you hold and have been exposed to.

Take care,

Jason
I guess this means that most MUDs that declare themselves "free" should have a warning on their first page:
[code] IF YOU ARE NOT A COLLEGE STUDENT NOT VERY INTERESTED IN YOUR STUDIES AND WITH LITTLE INTEREST IN SOCIAL LIFE OUTSIDE OF THE INTERNET YOU WILL BE IN AN UNEVEN FIELD[/quote]
because, certainly, I believe all these college age students are ruining my gaming experience by having more time than I do, I mean, it is really unfair that I, being a professional, with a 5 months old daughter have to compete with these guys with no responsibilities and whose hardest days in life are those Sunday morning hangovers.

Your Viagra MUDs advertise themselves as commercial games, and as such, they are obviously games on which you must be able to get something in exchange of money. You disregard a player opinion because it does not fit your argument, but hey, hello, it might be also true, he might be just speaking the truth.

Having more time than others is an advantage in the type of game you prefer, having money instead of dozens of hours a week to play is an advantage in the type of game other people prefer to play. What is amazing is that everytime this thread pops up we learn about a different player who has had a positive gaming experience and has not spent a penny in these games. Which means, in my opinion, that IRE has somehow found a balance between credit cost/ benefit and rl hour spent/benefit, which I think is a great deed indeed.

Some people dismissed the post by a single player who managed to do it without money, because he is the exception to the rule. I would imagine multimillionaires who spend 5k dollars in a month for an online-text game are also the exception and should be examples dismissed as well. Realistically we would be looking at people who spend a cash amount similar to other RPGs of the likes of WoW etc, so, those multimilliondollarplusafieldofoil-guys might just exist in your imagination.

As for every MUD being play-per-perks, I guess what the writter was trying to counter was KaViR's argument, as explained in my previous post.
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Old 01-08-2006, 12:12 AM   #213
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You can't compare buying ingame perks that are necessary to play competitively against other players to the hosting upkeep costs all MUDs must endure.

Donations are not the same thing as credit-buying. Free-ware computer software gives you a final product, and accepts donations for their service. Share-ware computer software gives an incomplete, or somehow lesser product for free, and requires you to pay to receive the full, flawless product.

IRE MUDs are more akin to share-ware, whereas most MUDs are more alike to free-ware. In this analogy, you can see how it would be misleading to advertise yourself in the same way as free-ware, but to infact be share-ware. To play competitively in IRE(and some other) MUDs, you must buy or barter for cash-paid-credits.
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Old 01-08-2006, 01:09 AM   #214
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (DonathinFrye @ Jan. 08 2006,00:12)
IRE MUDs are more akin to share-ware, whereas most MUDs are more alike to free-ware. In this analogy, you can see how it would be misleading to advertise yourself in the same way as free-ware, but to infact be share-ware. To play competitively in IRE(and some other) MUDs, you must buy or barter for cash-paid-credits.
Even if we were to assume that this analogy were entirely apt, and even if we were to assume (incorrectly) that it was impossible for a non-paying player in an IRE game to acquire, by any means, any of the perks available to paying players, your conclusions still would not add up.  The player would still be getting what he was promised:  free play.  Nowhere in IRE's advertising do they promise you the full range of time-saving advantages that are available to paying customers.  Nowhere in IRE's advertising do they even imply such.  "Free to play" means just that.  If I can log on and play without being charged, I'm going to feel like I got what was delivered.  Whether or not I feel my gaming experience is gimped by my lack of payment for extras is a seperate issue.  If I decide the game is not worth playing for free, that is still a separate issue.  It may be a legitimate issue, and I may feel like I have wasted some time with a game in which I cannot compete as well as I would have liked, but it does not provide me with any reasonable grounds to quarrel with the promise of "free play."

You may not like that definition of "free," but the logic with which you and some others have tried to argue that the use of the word is dishonest is tortured at best.  If I get something without paying for it, I get it for free.  If I get that something for free because someone else paid for it, I'm still getting it for free.  I mean, that's pretty much the marketplace definition of "free," isn't it?  Someone else was willing to absorb the costs so I wouldn't have to.
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Old 01-08-2006, 03:17 AM   #215
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your conclusions still would not add up. The player would still be getting what he was promised: free play. Nowhere in IRE's advertising do they promise you the full range of time-saving advantages that are available to paying customers. Nowhere in IRE's advertising do they even imply such. "Free to play" means just that.

Free means something very specific to most MUDers and gamers. My point(which you missed), is that some MUDs with perk-systems do not announce the way that they work, and most new players are likely unaware of just how exactly important the perk-system is.

I stand by my shareware to freeware analogy. When independent gamers hear the word 'free', it rings a bell. When they hear the word 'trial' or 'shareware', etc, that rings a seperate bell. If a shareware program were to announce itself as freeware, I would consider that shady and misleading. The same goes for commercial MUDs advertising themselves as free, when make profit off of selling perks that are required to be competitive within a game.

My point doesn't involve a nit-picky defining of the words 'commercial' and 'free'. It is over what is obvious misleading advertising. You can bend the english language to serve your argument by attacking definitions - but at the end of the day, it comes down to common sense. Pay-for-Perk MUDs are not free in the same way that totally free MUDs are, and should not purposefully use the same advertising phrases to purposefully mislead players to make them think that they are.

And as Valg says, having a color code on the list would be very helpful to players using this site to find MUDs. It would let them see clearly which MUDs were what degree of "free".
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Old 01-08-2006, 07:02 AM   #216
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I'm sad to see that I apparently "have a lot to learn about MUDs" and find it unfortunate to have to defend my credibility. Anyway, I've been MUDing for 7 years, I've learnt a thing or two about what it means. Every single MUD out there that contains items and currency of tangible value (i.e. they take time or skill to acquire) is de facto a pay-for-perks MUD. Not de jure. What IRE has basically done is say "We know time is money to people - so instead of letting other players profit by providing these services , we'll do it ourselves." Claiming that pay-for-perks is somehow unethical is hypocritical at best. Every MUD out there that was worth playing has seen players advance through the use of money.

I also don't see what RPIs have to do with this at all. Obviously if there's no statistical advantage to gain, pay-for-perks or balance make absolutely no difference.

As for PVP, I can't possibly agree with what's been said about IRE's system. Skill goes an extremely long way in IRE PVP and usually compensates for any statistical disadvantages. The heralded levelless PVP MUDs I've been to usually end up depending on something like power-levels or skill levels instead - few are ACTUALLY levelless. And a system that doesn't at all depend on stats would undoubtedly be a very boring one. The playing field is never level in MUDs - this is once again from experience. If you can invest less time in gaining levels and gold and quest points and so on and so on you'll be at a disadvantage and I've yet to see a fighting system this capable of allowing skill to trump stats.

DonathinFrye, as for the definition of 'free' that you so vehemently insist must not apply to a pay-for-perks system - any MUD out there requires a large investment of time to play. Time is money. Are any MUDs truly free by your definition if I have to invest so much if I want to be competitive?

I've been playing for about 2-3 years now, I think and I challenge anyone to prove to me that I haven't been playing for free or that I haven't been enjoying my time. I'm also not a lone exception by any standart.
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Old 01-08-2006, 07:43 AM   #217
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Spoke @ Jan. 07 2006,23:31)
I guess this means that most MUDs that declare themselves "free" should have a warning on their first page:
[code] IF YOU ARE NOT A COLLEGE STUDENT NOT VERY INTERESTED IN YOUR STUDIES AND WITH LITTLE INTEREST IN SOCIAL LIFE OUTSIDE OF THE INTERNET YOU WILL BE IN AN UNEVEN FIELD
because, certainly, I believe all these college age students are ruining my gaming experience by having more time than I do, I mean, it is really unfair that I, being a professional, with a 5 months old daughter have to compete with these guys with no responsibilities and whose hardest days in life are those Sunday morning hangovers.

Your Viagra MUDs advertise themselves as commercial games, and as such, they are obviously games on which you must be able to get something in exchange of money. You disregard a player opinion because it does not fit your argument, but hey, hello, it might be also true, he might be just speaking the truth.

Having more time than others is an advantage in the type of game you prefer, having money instead of dozens of hours a week to play is an advantage in the type of game other people prefer to play. What is amazing is that everytime this thread pops up we learn about a different player who has had a positive gaming experience and has not spent a penny in these games. Which means, in my opinion, that IRE has somehow found a balance between credit cost/ benefit and rl hour spent/benefit, which I think is a great deed indeed.

Some people dismissed the post by a single player who managed to do it without money, because he is the exception to the rule. I would imagine multimillionaires who spend 5k dollars in a month for an online-text game are also the exception and should be examples dismissed as well. Realistically we would be looking at people who spend a cash amount similar to other RPGs of the likes of WoW etc, so, those multimilliondollarplusafieldofoil-guys might just exist in your imagination.

As for every MUD being play-per-perks, I guess what the writter was trying to counter was KaViR's argument, as explained in my previous post.[/quote]
There's only so much time a person can put into anything meaning that everyone is limited to the same cap time-wise (24 hours in a day and it's doubtful that anyone will do that) and even then, there's a factor of luck to be considered. You're still competing against the other players in that same timeframe to achieve the same things (exp, gold, etc which is limited to what's available in-game at anytime). There's not the same limit money-wise. There may not be any big-gold mob that hasn't already been killed. But with your credit card you can still get the same thing without spending ANY time whatsoever or competing. At any given point, there may be a hundred players competing for the same fifty million experience points available collectively. But you can buy sixty million experience points with your credit card, without competition or regard for the maximum capability if you were playing alone.

You can get something for money on any commercial MUD. That's the definition. The difference between pay-to-play and pay-for-perks is that it's not an even playing field. And in pay-for-perks MUDs that advertise themselves as "free", that creates an advantage for those willing to pay. As for opinions, I dismiss them when they run counter to facts. "Truth" is not the same thing.

As for players that succeed against those odds, we hear stories of these players every now and then minus the details of how they got what they did. Did they achieve it through hard work or because someone gave it to them (or random once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that constitute luck more than they constitute achievement)? IRE makes a lot of money off a lot of players. One or two players that MUDsexed their way to where they're at or actually worked hard don't constitute a significant, to say nothing of relevant, number.

And by stating that "every" MUD is pay-for-perks, they were flat out inaccurate. Speaking of which....
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Old 01-08-2006, 08:11 AM   #218
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Don't you usually have to bring forth the reasoning behind your opinion during a discussion? 'flat out inaccurate' why?

You never addressed any of the points I raised, yet you continue to make counter claims.

The points you did raise were irrelevant, here's a list:
Quote:
Originally Posted by
There's only so much time a person can put into anything meaning that everyone is limited to the same cap time-wise (24 hours in a day and it's doubtful that anyone will do that) and even then, there's a factor of luck to be considered.
That is untrue - people are limited timewise and are in most cases not on equal footing. I'm not limited to 24 hours - I'm limited to 3 hours maximum. My brother who still goes to school is limited to 6 hours. The effect of this is that if we were to both play the same 'fair' MUD, he would have a 200% advantage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
There's not the same limit money-wise.
Pardon me? There isn't? I'm fairly sure there's a limit on how much money you can spend - it's the amount of money you possess. I suppose Bill Gates could own every single artifact a IRE MUD has to offer, but I think we could write him off as an exception. The funny thing is he still wouldn't actually be any good at PVP unless he gets the MS team to code him a fighting system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
here may not be any big-gold mob that hasn't already been killed.  But with your credit card you can still get the same thing without spending ANY time whatsoever or competing.  At any given point, there may be a hundred players competing for the same fifty million experience points available collectively.  But you can buy sixty million experience points with your credit card, without competition or regard for the maximum capability if you were playing alone.
You seem to be implying that competing for resources is somehow relevant to how much of an advantage you can have if you pay for yours. The fact is that you can't buy gold or experience in IRE. You can buy credits and they don't translate to any sort of raw resource.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
One or two players that MUDsexed their way to where they're at
That's really rather offensive. If you're really interested in knowing how I got to where I am I'll be happy to tell you though - I gathered gold by 'ratting' (a quest that lets you kill rodents and exchange the corpses for money) and I bought credits for the gold.
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Old 01-08-2006, 08:21 AM   #219
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Hadoryu @ Jan. 08 2006,07:02)
I'm sad to see that I apparently "have a lot to learn about MUDs" and find it unfortunate to have to defend my credibility. Anyway, I've been MUDing for 7 years, I've learnt a thing or two about what it means. Every single MUD out there that contains items and currency of tangible value (i.e. they take time or skill to acquire) is de facto a pay-for-perks MUD. Not de jure. What IRE has basically done is say "We know time is money to people - so instead of letting other players profit by providing these services , we'll do it ourselves." Claiming that pay-for-perks is somehow unethical is hypocritical at best. Every MUD out there that was worth playing has seen players advance through the use of money.

I also don't see what RPIs have to do with this at all. Obviously if there's no statistical advantage to gain, pay-for-perks or balance make absolutely no difference.

As for PVP, I can't possibly agree with what's been said about IRE's system. Skill goes an extremely long way in IRE PVP and usually compensates for any statistical disadvantages. The heralded levelless PVP MUDs I've been to usually end up depending on something like power-levels or skill levels instead - few are ACTUALLY levelless. And a system that doesn't at all depend on stats would undoubtedly be a very boring one. The playing field is never level in MUDs - this is once again from experience. If you can invest less time in gaining levels and gold and quest points and so on and so on you'll be at a disadvantage and I've yet to see a fighting system this capable of allowing skill to trump stats.

DonathinFrye, as for the definition of 'free' that you so vehemently insist must not apply to a pay-for-perks system - any MUD out there requires a large investment of time to play. Time is money. Are any MUDs truly free by your definition if I have to invest so much if I want to be competitive?

I've been playing for about 2-3 years now, I think and I challenge anyone to prove to me that I haven't been playing for free or that I haven't been enjoying my time. I'm also not a lone exception by any standart.
By claiming that "every" MUD is pay-for-perks, you bring your own credibility into question. Especially when you later ask why RPIs are brought into it. RPIs are MUDs and hence by claiming "every MUD" that includes RPIs.

I didn't claim Viagra MUDs (pay-for-perks) are unethical. I agree with the statement that Viagra MUDs claiming to be
"free" is unethical because they're not really pay-for-perks, they're pay-to-succeed. Commercial MUDs are perfectly legitimate as far as I'm concerned, though I have to note that I've yet to see a commercial MUD that was of a quality comparible to the best free hobbyist MUDs out there. Why people play them is beyond me, but it's their time and/or money to waste. But then again, people are content playing 100% stock MUDs for years on end. Some don't know there's better out there. Some just don't care. Like I said, it's their (and your) time and/or money to waste. Aside from routinely checking them out when I sweep through the TMS 100 listing every year or two, they won't see me there unless they dramatically improve the quality of their games, something they're unlikely to do (and even if they did, they've got a long way to go to catch up to the best honestly-free MUDs).

Jason
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Old 01-08-2006, 08:32 AM   #220
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
By claiming that "every" MUD is pay-for-perks, you bring your own credibility into question.
I really hope you'd elaborate on this. Suggesting that the only way I could know about it is if I was part of it myself is, to put it mildly, naive. People talk - if you've been part of any MUD's community for any length of time you'd start learning about the things that go on behind the scenes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
RPIs are MUDs and hence by claiming "every MUD" that includes RPIs.
RPIs are MUDs, but they have no bearing on the conversation. There isn't a playing field in the sense that we're discussing in RPIs so it's pointless to bring them up as an example.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
I didn't claim Viagra MUDs (pay-for-perks) are unethical. I agree with the statement that Viagra MUDs claiming to be
"free" is unethical because they're not really pay-for-perks, they're pay-to-succeed.
IRE games claim to be 'Free to play' and that is a statement that is undoubtedly true. It means, though it's odd that I'd have to clarify, that you don't have to pay money to play. No more, no less. The fact that you can also 'succeed' without paying is a bonus, they don't make that claim in their advertizement. And you can indeed succeed without paying, there have been many examples brought up as to this happening and there are many, many, MANY others that haven't and won't be mentioned - purely due to the volume. If you'd care to substantiate your claim next time, it might be worth discussing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Commercial MUDs are perfectly legitimate as far as I'm concerned, though I have to note that I've yet to see a commercial MUD that was of a quality comparible to the best free hobbyist MUDs out there. Why people play them is beyond me, but it's their time and/or money to waste. But then again, people are content playing 100% stock MUDs for years on end. Some don't know there's better out there. Some just don't care. Like I said, it's their (and your) time and/or money to waste. Aside from routinely checking them out when I sweep through the TMS 100 listing every year or two, they won't see me there unless they dramatically improve the quality of their games, something they're unlikely to do (and even if they did, they've got a long way to go to catch up to the best honestly-free MUDs).
I have no idea what your personal opinion has to do with this discussion.
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