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Old 01-08-2006, 08:26 AM   #221
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Hadoryu @ Jan. 08 2006,08:11)
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 lpoimited 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.

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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.
"Opinions are like assholes.  Everybody has one."

And the points I raised were not irrelevant, though obviously beyond you.  Let's look at your points then shall we?

1.  "...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."

There is a cap time-wise to how much you can achieve in a day.  Unless a day is longer, the amount of time in it is the same for everyone.  True, some people have access to more time in the day to do things, but that's ultimately a choice for them.  Some people value their time differently, but ultimately the cap for how much time can be spent is the same for all.  You simply make choices to prioritize what you want to do with it.  You choose work.  That's your call (and a good one).  Your brother could just as easily have the same or less time if he prioritized his education to a greater degree than he obviously does.  He chooses not to, affording him greater time to MUD by choice.  Money, on the other hand, is not as easy to simply generate by choice.  Sure, you can go without eating, but if you don't have the money, you can't simply create it out of thin air.  By contrast, everyone has the ability to choose how to spend the same amount of time.

2.  "There isn't (the same limit money-wise)? I'm fairly sure there's a limit on how much money you can spend - it's the amount of money you possess."

And not everyone possesses the same amount of money.  Thanks for making my point.

3.  "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."

And those credits are used for what?  They're used to purchase that which you'd otherwise be limited to in access or people wouldn't buy them.  With credits, one is able to bypass the limitations in-game because credits are not determined by in-game accessibility.  Instead, they're determined by one's bank account IRL.

4.  "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."

And there's someone else out there that did nothing but type in their credit card and purchase ten times as many credits.  You were limited by the time it took to run the quest, the amount of rats you had available to kill, the number of others competing for those same rats.  They just typed in their credit card number.  So you aren't really playing the same game as them unless you spend real money.  Because so long as there's a discrepancy in what you can achieve, it's not an equal footing.  They game isn't free if you want to succeed like they can simply by spending their RL cash.

5.   Curiously...

"Skill goes an extremely long way in IRE PVP and usually compensates for any statistical disadvantages."

"...I've yet to see a fighting system this capable of allowing skill to trump stats."

So which is it?  Skill trumps stats or skills can't trump stats?  You say both in the same paragraph.


6.  "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."

Then they're not leveless.

7.  "And a system that doesn't at all depend on stats would undoubtedly be a very boring one."

"Every MUD out there that was worth playing has seen players advance through the use of money."

Again, I question your experience since these statements are far from accurate.  The first is an opinion, not one shared by all and the second is a sign of your lack of experience since there are plenty of MUDs where real money simply wouldn't gain you any advantage. Maybe it's true with H&S games like IRE's, but not of all types of MUDs. And yet, you state "every MUD out there that was worth playing" as an absolute.

8.  "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 (sic)."

You've been playing for free but not with the same opportunity for success as those who pay.  That's the point.  As for enjoying the game you play, that's fine.  But it doesn't imply that you're getting an equal opportunity at succeeding in the game or that the game itself is up to par with honestly-free games.  Without experience playing other games, 2-3 years or even 23 years is irrelevant.

Jason
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Old 01-08-2006, 09:07 AM   #222
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Hadoryu @ Jan. 08 2006,00:37)
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.
So you keep claiming - but yet again, you still don't say how.

As I stated originally:

1) In order to play competitively, you need credits, and:

2) The only way to consistently and repeatedly earn credits as a player (rather than as an employee) is by buying them, or by getting them from another player who has bought them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Credits need to be bought just in the way free MUDs need someone to pay for the hosting
Once again you're listing moot examples which have already been discussed. Could you please read the thread? Because this isn't going to go anywhere if I keep having to repeat myself every few pages.

See here:

Quote:
Originally Posted by
I'm talking about costs for the players though. The players (as a whole) have to pay money in order to be competitive. The fact that some of them will pay for others does not, in my opinion, make the game free.

To apply the same logic to your example, we'd be talking about a mud hosting service that advertised its hosting as "100% free" - but then you realised that in order to have sufficient resources to run your mud for more than a couple of players, you'd need to either pay the hosting provider, or get the admin of another mud to pay it for you (perhaps in exchange for doing coding or building work on their mud).
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Old 01-08-2006, 10:52 AM   #223
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Feel free to host a chess tournament. Advertise it as "free". Then casually mention at the tournament that players can buy back captured pieces for $5 each.

If a player complains that the tournament is unfair, remind them that they have the same opportunity to buy back pieces, but they could play in the tournament for free. After all, with a sufficient gap in skill, they could just keep capturing pieces until their opponent's wallet is empty.

A player may show up who didn't intend to spend money. (After all, the tournament was advertised as "free".) He may perceive that he has no chance to compete, even though he is a skilled player, and his opponents aren't. Just remind him that he spent the resource of "time" learning to be a skilled player, and it's unfair to the other players, who just started playing chess yesterday. You're just allowing them to invest a different resource ("money"), in order to allow people win win in other ways than, you know, actually playing the game.
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Old 01-08-2006, 11:06 AM   #224
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Touché!
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Old 01-08-2006, 11:40 AM   #225
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Valg @ Jan. 08 2006,11:52)
Feel free to host a chess tournament.  Advertise it as "free".  Then casually mention at the tournament that players can buy back captured pieces for $5 each.

If a player complains that the tournament is unfair, remind them that they have the same opportunity to buy back pieces, but they could play in the tournament for free.  After all, with a sufficient gap in skill, they could just keep capturing pieces until their opponent's wallet is empty.

A player may show up who didn't intend to spend money.  (After all, the tournament was advertised as "free".)  He may perceive that he has no chance to compete, even though he is a skilled player, and his opponents aren't.  Just remind him that he spent the resource of "time" learning to be a skilled player, and it's unfair to the other players, who just started playing chess yesterday.  You're just allowing them to invest a different resource ("money"), in order to allow people win win in other ways than, you know, actually playing the game.
To make this analogy more accurate, though, you'd need to allow players to have access to some form of fake money with which they could also purchase back lost pieces, and some means to acquire that fake money during the game. In fact, to make this analogy accurate, you'd need a game that was significantly more detailed and complex than chess. You'd need a game that looked more like, say, a mud perhaps?

Nevertheless, the above-mentioned tournament remains "free to play." The free play may very well not be worth it. I wouldn't consider such a tournament worth bothering with unless I had (a) a lot of money to waste, or (b) some sort of garauntee that none of my opponents intended to purchase lost pieces. I suspect most other people would feel the same way. Similarly, with an IRE style pay-for-perk system, some people may look at their system and decide that since they don't intend to actually spend money, that they'd rather not play in a game where players can gain advantages by doing so. Other players may (and apparently do) look at such a game and decide that they feel that they can compete effectively enough without paying to make the game worth playing. For both type of players, the game is free. The only difference is that for the former type of player, it is not the type of free game they are likely to be interested in playing.

I'll second the thoughts of a previous poster, though. I find it somewhat bizarre that such a basic concept as "free to play" even needs to be explained. This is a concept that most consumers, even those who are mudders, understand. Just like most consumers understand that "free stuff" is paid for somewhere by someone.

As an aside, the freeware and shareware analogy does not hold either. "Freeware" and "shareware" have specific understood meanings that are not interchangeable. "Free" and "pay-for-perks" or "free" and "commercial" are not likewise mutually exclusive. A mud can be commercial and have a pay-for-perk system or some other model for turning a profit, and still be free to play. Believing that such a system is unfair doesn't change the meaning of the word "free," nor does it make a claim of "free to play" any less true than it is.
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Old 01-08-2006, 01:12 PM   #226
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How to respond to this?


Quote:
Originally Posted by
"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.
Time is not money to all people. I provide a lot of my services for free, as do many many things in this world. While time may be money for a business man, what percentage of people who MUD are business men, compared to the % that are either working class or still in highschool or college? Time is not always money to the players, and to say that it is, and that IRE is giving them a gift by requiring money to be spent instead of time used is absolutely insane. Most people who spend money in such games do not do it because "time is money", but because it is easier and required for success in competition.


Quote:
Originally Posted by
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.
You disagree with my rant about PvP, but do not really counter-argument it. If you want a list of MUDs where skill is more important than stats, ask me; I'll give it to you. If you want a list of MUDs that utilize truly level-less systems; I'll give it to you. You cannot claim that IRE PvP relies more on ability than credit-bought skills, as you cannot even master that many skills without obtaining credits. PvP MUDs that don't care about level playing fields are never preferred to most PKers, whether its cash-credits being necessary for advancement, unbalanced classes, staff/player cheating, rampant bug abuse, or anything else of the like.


Quote:
Originally Posted by
Every MUD out there that was worth playing has seen players advance through the use of money.
Absolutely not. There have been so many extremely wonderful 100% free MUDs it is ridiculous. This comment is so extremely demeaning to the community as a whole - after saying things like this, is it any wonder many people get a bad taste in their mouth when they think about Midievia or IRE? I've worked on both commercial and non-commercial MUDs, and I have nothing against the commercial setup(unless it is misleadingly advertised to make it look 100% free). However, to say that there have been no 100% free MUDs worth playing, ever, is ... yeah, what I said before; insulting. I'll avoid going further than saying 'shame on you', as flame wars are never fun, and this topic seems to teeter that way anyways.
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Old 01-08-2006, 01:22 PM   #227
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Originally Posted by
As an aside, the freeware and shareware analogy does not hold either. "Freeware" and "shareware" have specific understood meanings that are not interchangeable. "Free" and "pay-for-perks" or "free" and "commercial" are not likewise mutually exclusive. A mud can be commercial and have a pay-for-perk system or some other model for turning a profit, and still be free to play. Believing that such a system is unfair doesn't change the meaning of the word "free," nor does it make a claim of "free to play" any less true than it is.
You're getting hung up on definitions, so I'll(again) make it simple for you;

There is right and wrong, ethically-speaking. I won't venture to say what "right" is, but I will say that it's wrong to cleverly and purposefully disguise your MUD to appear to be 100% free to most gamers, by using terms that gamers are used to seeing in only 100% free MUDs. If you are willing to use a pay-for-perks model to achieve profit, have the decency to call yourself a "free-to-play, pay-fork-perks MUD", instead of trying to hide it in the back of your website's pages. Also, if you are willing to use the model, don't throw around threats and run intervention when the community calls for MUDing resources to easily identify pay-for-perk models on their resource-lists, which is a tool that should be available for any gamers to use in order to make the best choice possible(for them).

You can argue against the analogies by getting hung up on definitions, but you can't argue against the energy of the argument, which is to improve awareness community-wide for all players, allowing them to know exactly what kind of model a specific MUD is. What's there to hide?
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Old 01-08-2006, 01:28 PM   #228
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Atyreus @ Jan. 08 2006,12:40)
To make this analogy more accurate, though, you'd need to allow players to have access to some form of fake money with which they could also purchase back lost pieces, and some means to acquire that fake money during the game.  In fact, to make this analogy accurate, you'd need a game that was significantly more detailed and complex than chess.  You'd need a game that looked more like, say, a mud perhaps?
No, you wouldn't. Just tell the player that they can still be competitive by just repeatedly capturing their opponent's pieces. You don't have to purchase a single piece to win. (But it sure does help! How fortunate for the wallets of the tournament organizers!

How well would that go over if the tournament was advertised as "Free"?

I don't care that pay-for-perks MUDs exist, or that people play them. I care that they are not labeled as pay-for-perks. Why the resistance? Afraid of honest disclosure for some reason?
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Old 01-08-2006, 01:38 PM   #229
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I thought I'd stay out of the discussion to not prolong it unnecessarily, but as it seems to be going on its own... I also warn you that this is a long post as it provides an analysis of the game to support my position.

As I've said, my issue is disclosure. I do not debate the pay model chosen.

I've just taken a fresh look at Aetolia, which I played extensively for about 3 or 4 months starting about a year ago. OK, maybe that's not long...

First, I will presume that everyone agrees that Aetolia is a "credit-to-succeed" game. You can't gain any but the most basic of skills without gaining credits to convert to lessons. It isn't necessary to consider other aspects of the credit system which could in fact be considered just perks, like artifacts.

So the first question is: does the game even try to document this fact?

If you look at TMS, the only clue about the pay model is the "Free to play!" tag on the ranking description. If you go to aetolia.com, the only reference to spending money is through the Credits link on the sidebar. It says:
Quote:
Originally Posted by
While Aetolia is free to play, we hope that the experience provides you with enough entertainment value that you will eventually opt to enhance your character's life through credits. 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.
Well, the word "extra" while perhaps accurate, tends to connote "optional" to most people, and it is not, unless advancement is considered optional. Unfortunately, the online help system has been broken for a number of days, so you can't inquire further from the web site.

Using the in-game help, "help credits" will tell you only about the credit-to-lesson conversion factor. "Help Skills" only tells you how important skills are. In "Help lessons" you will be told:
Quote:
Originally Posted by
Gaining lessons can be done in one of three basic ways:

1) Reaching a new experience level. Everytime you gain a level, you will gain some lessons [which is 10]. Conversely, however, if you lose that level, you will lose those lessons. Simply gain the level back to get the lessons back.

2) Purchasing credits and then converting them to lessons [which is 6]. See HELP CREDITS.

3) Being awarded lessons for various things by the Gods. For instance, winning certain competitions might bring lessons, or building an area that is judged worthy, etc. This covers a broad range of possibilities.
That's it. No mention of how many lessons it takes to learn a skill (1767, or 294.5 in credits, if my guild's reference doc is right). Without this information, you can't discern just how paltry the 10 lessons/level you get is, and how much you require the credits. Nor, of course, do you get an idea of how many credits you'll need over your lifetime.

So, I fault the game for not documenting the credit-for-success system at all.

Next, the question is: is Aetolia a pay-for-credit system?

Obviously, the most straightforward way to obtain them is by paying RL money to IRE.

Next, there is the credit market, where you can buy and sell credits for in-game gold. By the way, the only reference to the credit market that I saw was the "See also" reference to "Help creditmarket" in the "Help credits" help. While the text mentions buying and selling to others, it doesn't really mention that there is an open market for it.

If I look at the credit market, there are currently 337 credits for sale. The average price is over 3000 gold per credit. (I'll note that the game tells me the avg price is 2779, but that is lower than the lowest listed price, so something is broken.) If this is to be considered a viable way for a player to play the game, there would need to be enough credits available at a price that is attainable.

The amount of credits currently available are only sufficient to max out 1.15 skills for one player. This brings into question how many players could be supported through this mechanism. The cost is around 800K gold for the 294.5 credits one needs to max a skill. That is probably doable if you work at it. (Someone familiar with cash accrual might be able to say how long it takes to do this.) However, if more players went this route and dried up the market, where would the prices go, and would there be any credits available at any price? (Though higher prices might produce more credits for sale--but one wonders how many would turn their RL cash into game cash.)

From a wider perspective, the credit market might still be considered a "pay-for-credit" system as it still requires the playerbase as a whole to be funding the game with RL money, even though it may be that an individual player need not do so. This depends on your perspective.

Methods like winning contests, events, or lotteries, can't really be considered as general credit mechanisms, due to the uncertain nature of it, at least to my mind.

Credits earned by doing work for the game as a builder or a coder cannot be considered general enough as well, as it is both "sweat equity" as well as requiring a player to basically apply for the job.

It has been said that being a guide can pay in credits. Can anyone apply and be accepted? And what is the rate of pay? This one is hard for me to evaluate at this moment.

From the above, my conclusion is that the general game mechanism is pay-for-credit, and therefore, the game is "pay-for-success".

For those who defend the "free-to-play" label, I ask this: you obviously have no problem with this credit model (and like I've said, neither do I from the mechanics point of view). So what is the harm in explicitly laying the above out on the web site (including the so-called "free" ways of gaining credits)? If the answer is that this would hurt recruitment of new players, are you saying that new players would consider this to not be play-for-free?
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Old 01-08-2006, 02:07 PM   #230
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (DonathinFrye @ Jan. 08 2006,14:12)
While time may be money for a business man, what percentage of people who MUD are business men, compared to the % that are either working class or still in highschool or college? Time is not always money to the players
Why do you suppose "working class" people spend their time working? You seem to be under this impression that labor exists because members of the labor class enjoy toiling alongside their comrades for the sake of the communal good, with no feeling of ambition or desire for self-betterment, which is as demeaning as it is naive

I have been following this whole debate, without commenting, but you repeatedly skirt around a "limousine liberal" mindset that poor people are poor because they are too stupid/naive to realize that "business people" are evil and taking advantage of them. This sort of snobbery, while couched in liberal/pro-labor/communist/"whatever you think you are" terms is in fact rather demeaning of the "working class" you are apparently trying to champion.

Most adults, whether they be "working class' or "business people" or both (imagine that), are perfectly capable of deciding for themselves whether to spend money on these games, when and if the opportunity presents itself. I daresay nearly ALL working class people spend their time working because doing so gives them MONEY, despite your belief to the contrary. Frankly, I find your underlying supposition that IRE is run by a businessman preying on the fact that working class people are stupid to be EXTREMELY offensive.
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Old 01-08-2006, 04:15 PM   #231
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Why do you suppose "working class" people spend their time working? You seem to be under this impression that labor exists because members of the labor class enjoy toiling alongside their comrades for the sake of the communal good, with no feeling of ambition or desire for self-betterment, which is as demeaning as it is naive
I'm working class. I have ambition and goals and plans of self-betterment. However, my gaming time is rarely considered money to me. Gamers do not consider time to be money, they consider it to be fun. The phrase "time is money" itself is a business phrase, which was my point.

I am poor. I paid my own way through college and deal with constant debt and lower class issues that most unsupported american college graduates go through. I don't consider poor people to be stupid, nor have I ever suggested it. I would be insulting myself, and most of my friends. I do consider misleading advertising to be unethical, though - whether it's here, or anywhere.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
I daresay nearly ALL working class people spend their time working because doing so gives them MONEY, despite your belief to the contrary. Frankly, I find your underlying supposition that IRE is run by a businessman preying on the fact that working class people are stupid to be EXTREMELY offensive.
Work equals money. Time spent playing a game is not the same as time spent working, however, and should not be looked at as the same. To say that calling misleading advertising unethical means that I look down on "poor" people(myself, for instance), is rather backwards. The most offensive things going on in this thread are people defending unethical advertising, and posting ignorant flame messages.
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Old 01-08-2006, 04:21 PM   #232
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There is a cap time-wise to how much you can achieve in a day. Unless a day is longer, the amount of time in it is the same for everyone. True, some people have access to more time in the day to do things, but that's ultimately a choice for them. Some people value their time differently, but ultimately the cap for how much time can be spent is the same for all. You simply make choices to prioritize what you want to do with it. You choose work. That's your call (and a good one). Your brother could just as easily have the same or less time if he prioritized his education to a greater degree than he obviously does. He chooses not to, affording him greater time to MUD by choice. Money, on the other hand, is not as easy to simply generate by choice. Sure, you can go without eating, but if you don't have the money, you can't simply create it out of thin air. By contrast, everyone has the ability to choose how to spend the same amount of time.
Untrue - you could call working a 'choice' if eating was 'a choice' too. It happens to be a pretty vital activity though. By the same token, you have the 'choice' of robbing a bank to generate money.

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And not everyone possesses the same amount of money. Thanks for making my point.
And not everyone possesses the same amount of time either. That's a fact.

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And those credits are used for what? They're used to purchase that which you'd otherwise be limited to in access or people wouldn't buy them. With credits, one is able to bypass the limitations in-game because credits are not determined by in-game accessibility. Instead, they're determined by one's bank account IRL.
Credits are used to buy items and skills which aren't available through any other currency. Meaning, credits don't generate much of anything that you would normally have to compete for to achieve. You can however buy credits for gold in the game.

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And there's someone else out there that did nothing but type in their credit card and purchase ten times as many credits. You were limited by the time it took to run the quest, the amount of rats you had available to kill, the number of others competing for those same rats. They just typed in their credit card number. So you aren't really playing the same game as them unless you spend real money. Because so long as there's a discrepancy in what you can achieve, it's not an equal footing. They game isn't free if you want to succeed like they can simply by spending their RL cash.
The rats are always abundant. And yes, it took me the time to do the quest. Funny, but that's exactly the same way it works in any other MUD out there - the difference is that somebody can invest money that they've spent time making. If you think killing rats is somehow a more 'balanced' and 'fair' way of spending your time to advance in a MUD, I'm going to have to leave you alone in that reasoning.

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So which is it? Skill trumps stats or skills can't trump stats? You say both in the same paragraph.
I tend to think they both mean the exact same thing. If it wasn't clear, I'll do my best to simplify: player skill>character stats

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Again, I question your experience since these statements are far from accurate. The first is an opinion, not one shared by all and the second is a sign of your lack of experience since there are plenty of MUDs where real money simply wouldn't gain you any advantage. Maybe it's true with H&S games like IRE's, but not of all types of MUDs. And yet, you state "every MUD out there that was worth playing" as an absolute.
Every MUD worth playing, as in, every MUD that would be worth spending time on to get things. If a MUD is worth spending time on(to get things), it's worth spending money on(to get things). Some players pay other players to spend THEIR time and deliver the goods to the paying players. If you really find this notion to be new or foreign then I'm going to have to question YOUR experience.

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You've been playing for free but not with the same opportunity for success as those who pay. That's the point. As for enjoying the game you play, that's fine. But it doesn't imply that you're getting an equal opportunity at succeeding in the game or that the game itself is up to par with honestly-free games. Without experience playing other games, 2-3 years or even 23 years is irrelevant.
You seem to disregard the fact that the people who pay money are actually investing something in the game that I am not. It's natural that they would have an advantage, isn't it? Just in the exact same way that in the MUDs people say are 'more free' players have an advantage when investing more time.

It's not worth it trying to claim that money and time are somehow not comparable investments - that's simply torturing logic. You should know if you've ever accepted money for devoting your time.

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So you keep claiming - but yet again, you still don't say how.

As I stated originally:

1) In order to play competitively, you need credits, and:

2) The only way to consistently and repeatedly earn credits as a player (rather than as an employee) is by buying them, or by getting them from another player who has bought them.
I've posted how I got to where I did. Check my previous post.

1) To play competatively, you need credits and:

2) getting credits for in-game gold is a very reliable way to acquire them.

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Originally Posted by
Once again you're listing moot examples which have already been discussed. Could you please read the thread? Because this isn't going to go anywhere if I keep having to repeat myself every few pages.
Perhaps you didn't read the entirety of my post then? I specifically pointed out MUDs that accept donations - a direct monetary cost to players.

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You're just allowing them to invest a different resource ("money"), in order to allow people win win in other ways than, you know, actually playing the game.
Untrue, you're allowing them to invest in order to acquire an advantage over those who haven't invested. It isn't an assured win by any standard. Skill isn't substituted with credits. Credits matter less and less the more you spend, actually.

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Time is not money to all people.
And money doesn't have a meaning to ALL people either. That doesn't mean the majority isn't concerned with it.You have to invest time or money - it's an investment either way. If a student's time is worth less than the money he'd need to get credits, the student is free to make do with that. What you're seeking to prove is that a student is somehow more justified in having an advantage than a businessman is and oddly enough you do it with the reasoning that there are more students that play these games.

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You cannot claim that IRE PvP relies more on ability than credit-bought skills, as you cannot even master that many skills without obtaining credits.
There's a base line that isn't that difficult to reach. Anything beyond that is an extra advantage. Something that enhances your ability instead of making up the majority of it. And you can obtain credits without paying money.

No combat system is perfectly balanced, a good combat system is the one that lets you make up for disadvantages with skill and from my experience - IRE games have precisely such a system.

As for a list of MUDs, I'd ask you to go ahead and post it if it was somehow significant to the discussion.

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Absolutely not. There have been so many extremely wonderful 100% free MUDs it is ridiculous. This comment is so extremely demeaning to the community as a whole...
I'm afraid you misunderstood me - I didn't say they weren't free MUDs - the ones worth playing that is. I merely pointed that if a game was worth spending large amounts of time on - it was worth spending a comparable amount of money on. De facto non-pay-for-perks MUDs are subject to money-vs-time transactions, even if not sanctioned by the administration.

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but I will say that it's wrong to cleverly and purposefully disguise your MUD to appear to be 100% free to most gamers
And I would agree with you, but that's not the case. If MUDs are 100% free, as you put it, implicitly then a MUD advertising itself as 'Free to play' would imply that there's something about it that isn't 'free' in the sense you describe. It's a perfect heads up to anyone who doesn't want to play a MUD where spending money gets you something. The information that there's something to buy with money in IRE games is made completely obvious in the very intro to the game - you can't really miss it. The reason you don't see ', but buying credits is done with money' in the advertisement is the same reason you wouldn't put 'We don't give out free beer' in the ad for your MUD. You advertise with the things that are attractive - that's very basic common sense.

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No, you wouldn't. Just tell the player that they can still be competitive by just repeatedly capturing their opponent's pieces. You don't have to purchase a single piece to win. (But it sure does help! How fortunate for the wallets of the tournament organizers!

How well would that go over if the tournament was advertised as "Free"?

I don't care that pay-for-perks MUDs exist, or that people play them. I care that they are not labeled as pay-for-perks. Why the resistance? Afraid of honest disclosure for some reason?
The problem with your example is that chess doesn't have rules in it that could possibly apply this sort of model. You aren't playing chess if you can buy pieces back. Otherwise the comparison is fairly apt. The conclusion I can't agree with though - do you think that the money people invest in credits are somehow magicked into the wallets of the buyers? Money has worth, it doesn't appear spontaneously in the pockets of lucky people. They work for it. Money is an investment just as viable as time. As for why they don't advertize as pay for perks, I addressed that just above. They've never hid the fact that they're pay-for-perks mind you, they just don't advertise with it, which is merely common sense.

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If I look at the credit market, there are currently 337 credits for sale. The average price is over 3000 gold per credit. (I'll note that the game tells me the avg price is 2779, but that is lower than the lowest listed price, so something is broken.) If this is to be considered a viable way for a player to play the game, there would need to be enough credits available at a price that is attainable.
If a store only has 20 loafs of bread in storage, that doesn't mean that it'll only supply 20 people with bread. The credit market is constantly fueled and there are always new credits avaialable.

And that average number isn't actually broken, it's actually a nice feature telling you the average price at which credits have been bought (not the average of the price they're currently being sold at). They should probably clarify that somewhere, I know.
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Old 01-08-2006, 04:32 PM   #233
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It isn't truly the advertising themselves as free on their website that bothers me - indeed, a MUD's website should make it as attractive as possible. What bothers me is that there is no move to implement some kind of color code or some kind of way for players using MUD resources to see which MUDs are pay-for-perks and which are 100% free. I think the community deserves that feature, and I think that the threats to pull advertising/etc made by some MUDs only show that their interest is in luring players in with misleading information(or lack of specific information). It's happened here and on TMC, and it's not right.

I may not agree with the efficiency or fairness of the IRE system, but it is their MUD and their call. However, the community should be able to see in black-and-white, using MUD resource websites, whether IRE is pay-for-perks or 100% free.

That is, ultimately, my goal of this argument; a goal that was birthed out of the denial of creating two seperate lists(one for P4P and one for Non-Commercial). I don't think it's too much to ask, and would only improve the site. As some have suggested, a simple color code on TMS would take care of this feature for the common gamer.
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Old 01-08-2006, 04:56 PM   #234
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The advertising isn't misleading at all. Like I said, 'Free to play' actually implies that there is something that you might need to pay for - but not playing.

As for there not being a movement to implement said color coding - is there actually a strong reason to do it? What it would accomplish is merely turn away players that might have previously given the game a shot. There are apparently also negative connotations to pay-for-perks systems (baseless or not) and as such that would be something negative for IRE games.

If you're concerned about the players, I really don't think you should be. IRE makes it very clear what sort of system it works with so any player not wanting to play can just quit five minutes into the tutorial.
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Old 01-08-2006, 04:56 PM   #235
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Originally Posted by (Valg @ Jan. 08 2006,11:52)
Feel free to host a chess tournament. Advertise it as "free". Then casually mention at the tournament that players can buy back captured pieces for $5 each.
To really make this example like an MMORPG or traditional "grind game", you also have to say:

You can also show up early and press a button on a skinner box for 40 hours in order to have 10 extra pieces to start the game with.
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Old 01-08-2006, 05:03 PM   #236
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Originally Posted by (Hadoryu @ Jan. 08 2006,23:21)
As I stated originally:

1) In order to play competitively, you need credits, and:

2) The only way to consistently and repeatedly earn credits as a player (rather than as an employee) is by buying them, or by getting them from another player who has bought them.


I've posted how I got to where I did. Check my previous post.
Once again you're claiming you've already posted it, instead of providing a cite. Please provide the page number of your post and the appropriate quote.

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1) To play competatively, you need credits and:

2) getting credits for in-game gold is a very reliable way to acquire them.
But only by getting them from other players, who in turn have paid for them! Can't you see that, following that logic, every mud on TMS should be listed as "free"? You could get someone else to pay for your skotos account or your Gemstone subscription in return for services rendered, too! Might as well start advertising EverQuest as 'free', as well...

Yet the fact still remains that the only way for the playerbase as a whole to consistently and reliably gain credits is with cash. And while (as you pointed out previously) "You can invest money instead of time", the same is not true the other way around - without cash, you will not be able to compete.
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Old 01-08-2006, 05:04 PM   #237
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As for there not being a movement to implement said color coding - is there actually a strong reason to do it? What it would accomplish is merely turn away players that might have previously given the game a shot. There are apparently also negative connotations to pay-for-perks systems (baseless or not) and as such that would be something negative for IRE games.

If you're concerned about the players, I really don't think you should be. IRE makes it very clear what sort of system it works with so any player not wanting to play can just quit five minutes into the tutorial.

There is strong reason to do it - it would increase player awareness when they are scanning through. Some players may see the commercial or P4P color and think, "Oh, this MUD is probably held to a higher standard than most other 100% free MUDs". Some might see it and say, "I don't want to compete with people in a game where credits can be bought with cash." Either way, the players deserve to know as much as possible about the MUDs they are looking at on a -resource website-.

Whether or not IRE is clear in the first five minutes of its system(and I disagree that it is), we have to ask the question; are we protecting IRE? Is that the purpose of TMS? Or is the purpose to be as informative and helpful to players as absolutely possible. It seems that all of these debates, at the core, come down to this. If TMS is meant to be as helpful to players as possible, then it's obvious what should be done. If it's meant to protect IRE's interests - than that should be public knowledge as well.
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Old 01-08-2006, 05:20 PM   #238
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I don't see why I have to quote myself, KaVir, but if it will get the point accross more easily, here we go:

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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.
It's on page 23.


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But only by getting them from other players, who in turn have paid for them! Can't you see that, following that logic, every mud on TMS should be listed as "free"? You could get someone else to pay for your skotos account or your Gemstone subscription in return for services rendered, too! Might as well start advertising EverQuest as 'free', as well...

Yet the fact still remains that the only way for the playerbase as a whole to consistently and reliably gain credits is with cash. And while (as you pointed out previously) "You can invest money instead of time", the same is not true the other way around - without cash, you will not be able to compete.
Did you perhaps completely ignore my point about MUDs who accept Donations and incidently couldn't operate unless players paid cash to keep the hosting bills paid? Somebody, somewhere is always paying something if you're playing a MUD for free.

You can, infact, invest time instead of money. That's precisely what I did.


Donathin, I could agree with you that TMS is meant to inform future players about the games that it features. The information it gives out needs to be significant though, to avoid uselessly complicating the design. The color-coding might be a useful feature for players, but then again it might not be. Why would going through the trouble of implementing color-coding be significant for players though? Instead of perhaps using color-coding to for instance illustrate if a mud is PK oriented, RP oriented or H&S? I'd say that has a lot more bearing on the choice of MUD a new player might make.
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Old 01-08-2006, 05:41 PM   #239
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Originally Posted by (Hadoryu @ Jan. 09 2006,00:20)
I don't see why I have to quote myself, KaVir, but if it will get the point accross more easily, here we go:

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Originally Posted by
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.
But that didn't counter my point, which was

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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.
You got credits from other players, but those other players bought them. You could have done the same thing on Threshold or Gemstone - should those muds be listed as 'free' as well?

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Did you perhaps completely ignore my point about MUDs who accept Donations and incidently couldn't operate unless players paid cash to keep the hosting bills paid?Somebody, somewhere is always paying something if you're playing a MUD for free.
And did you perhaps completely ignore my point (which I then repeated for you) about your example being flawed? If the mud is advertised as "free" to the players, then that implies it is "free" for the players. If the mud rewards donations then that is "pay-for-perks", if it just accepts donations for nothing then I suppose it would be classified as "pay-for-nothing".

But the fact that "someone" has to pay for it is irrelevent unless that person is the one who's being told it's free - such as the 'mud hosting service' example which I've already posted twice for you, whereby the service is advertised as 'free' but where it's not usable unless the mud owner pays for it, or convinces another mud owner to pay for it.

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You can, infact, invest time instead of money. That's precisely what I did.
Yet you yourself have admitted that "Credits are used to buy items and skills which aren't available through any other currency", and that "people who pay money are actually investing something in the game that I am not. It's natural that they would have an advantage, isn't it?"

It seems clear that credits are required in order to compete. And it seems equally clear that the only way for a the playerbase to consistently and repeatable gain credits is through the expenditure of cash.

You keep trying to dance around the issue, but have failed to provide anything which actually counters those points.
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Old 01-08-2006, 06:32 PM   #240
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You're the one skirting the issue, KaVir. Donations or credits, it doesn't matter. Someone has to pay money for you to play for free. Some MUDs sustain themselves through asking for donations, others through selling IG services/items/currency/whatever. You're trying to twist login in such a way to separate the two when they are very much the same so far as 'free play' is concerned. I got credits from players, by PAYING them with IG gold. I spent time making gold so they don't have to and I got credits in return. Nobody sponsored me, as you so tenaciously seek to imply.

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Yet you yourself have admitted that "Credits are used to buy items and skills which aren't available through any other currency", and that "people who pay money are actually investing something in the game that I am not. It's natural that they would have an advantage, isn't it?"
And you constantly forget that you CAN get credits in the game.

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It seems clear that credits are required in order to compete. And it seems equally clear that the only way for a the playerbase to consistently and repeatable gain credits is through the expenditure of cash.
Credits are, in most cases generated by cash. That however has no bearing on the fact that you can play for free. You can get them from other players by offering services to them. The fact that someone in the total playerbase has to eventually pay something is utterly irrelevant because of the simple fact that if they didn't, the game wouldn't function at all.
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