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Old 01-08-2006, 06:35 PM   #241
Atyreus
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I was recently surprised to receive a "free" subscription to Entertainment Weekly. It's not a magazine I'd normally go out of my way to purchase or read, but it was nice to get a chance to look it over without having to pay for it.

Only now, I find that I've been RIPPED OFF!!! Those magazines haven't been free at all. Rather, they have only been coming to me for "free" because there are apparently a whole bunch of other people out there who are willing to pay for this magazine. This is an OUTRAGE!!! I can't believe that Entertainment Weekly can get away with calling this a "free" subscription.
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Old 01-08-2006, 07:15 PM   #242
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Hadoryu @ Jan. 09 2006,01:32)
Someone has to pay money for you to play for free.
You're failing to grasp the point. It's not just "someone" who has to pay - it's the target audience of the advert (the players) who are paying, yet they're also the ones who are being told that the game is "completely free".

I have to pay a hosting fee for my mud, yet I still advertise it as "free" because there are no costs for the players - and they are the audience for my advert. The company I pay for my hosting doesn't advertise itself as free, because I am their customer, and there are costs for me to pay.

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Credits are, in most cases generated by cash. That however has no bearing on the fact that you can play for free.
You can play the game 'for free' if you don't mind being at a severe disadvantage. You can also play many pay-to-play muds the same way (eg by creating a new account each month, or by missing out on various gameplay options).

But it order to play competitively, you need credits, which can only be consistently and repeatably gained through the expenditure of cash. Yes, you can trade with other people who have bought credits so that you don't have to pay personally - but the same is true of any pay-to-play mud, whereby you could get someone else to pay your fee in exchange for services rendered.

Obviously TMS isn't going to add a "pay-for-perks" option to the mud database, but your argument would be a good basis for most of the pay-to-play muds to claim that they are also "free". So perhaps the whole "pay-to-play" option should be removed, so that players are encouraged to look the information up for themselves rather than rely on misleading advertising.
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Old 01-08-2006, 07:23 PM   #243
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Atyreus @ Jan. 09 2006,01:35)
I was recently surprised to receive a "free" subscription to Entertainment Weekly.
Magazines are not competitive games. Would you feel the same way if you were invited to play a "free chess competition", only when you turned up you discovered that you only had a king and 8 pawns, and the rest of the pieces cost $X each? For those who didn't want to spend cash, there would be the option of performing "favours" (polishing shoes, doing the laundry, fetching the shopping, etc) for other contestants, who would then give you a playing piece in return. That'd still be a "free competition", right?
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Old 01-08-2006, 07:32 PM   #244
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Hadoryu @ Jan. 08 2006,17:21)
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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Originally Posted by
And not everyone possesses the same amount of time either.
And everyone needs to eat, hence that's the same choice for all.  Everyone does indeed possess the same amount of time, it's merely dependent upon their priorities and lifestyle.  If someone stays "in college" they're not going to have money to do that forever (and if they did, they probably resort to using that money to buy credits) so your hypothetical competition vanishes after a short while.  And maybe you haven't been to college, but it actually does take time.  And if someone's not serious about their classes, the same lack of responsibility can apply to those who are working.

Face it, you're wrong and grasping at straws (and exhibiting some bitterness toward college students too).

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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.
That's a circular means of achieving what is available through other currencies, hence creating an advantage for those who purchase credits.  You can't see that?

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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.
Killing those rats does not guarantee you will be able to buy credits. Using your credit card does.

And that's not how it is "in any other MUD out there".  Is English your first language?  After the following, I'm inclined to believe it isn't.

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Originally Posted by
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
Then let's go back to your statement...

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Originally Posted by
...I've yet to see a fighting system this capable of allowing skill to trump stats.
So in fact you were lying when you made this statement or simply don't have the English skills to understand that if you have "yet to see" something, it's impossible to claim that "skill goes an extremely long way in IRE PVP and usually compensates for any statistical disadvantages" because you've yet to see that happen.  How can it usually compensate when you've yet to see a system which allows for such a thing?

Instead, start using phrases like "in my limited experience" and "in my uninformed opinion".  It will help when you post things like the following:

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Originally Posted by
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).
No it's not because spending money on some MUDs actually ruins the experience.  This is where your lack of knowledge shines through brightly.  Not every MUD operates in the limited fashion you seem to generalize as the only way.

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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.
It's not new.  But it's also not standard as you seem to believe.  And it definitely does not mean it is "free" if this is a requirement for success.

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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.
Everything takes time.  Everything doesn't take money.  If you accept money, you're hardly "devoting" your time, you're being compensated.  And the Time = Money comparison isn't completely accurate.  If it were, why doesn't every player that plays for long periods of time receive the same thing every time?  The player that uses money gets guaranteed success.  The player that toils isn't assured that same result.  Hence Time != Money but rather Money >= Time.

So, there are really two games going on in Viagra MUDs.  On one hand, there's a game enjoyed by people who pay nothing.  Some of them can achieve success with lots of work, and not all probably care to.  The other game is one where money is required to achieve success.  They both inhabit the same game however and interaction occurs regularly.  Unfortunately, by claiming that the latter are paying only for "perks" instead of "success", the former are decieved into believing that with time and effort, they too can achieve the same thing.  They're not realizing that chance plays a role as well.  And chance is not something one can control.

Jason
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Old 01-08-2006, 07:48 PM   #245
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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.

I'm not against creating a tag that determines a game's focus(PvP, H&S, RP, etc) - That is easily added also. I would be all for it, as a matter of fact. That does not change the fact, however, that whether a MUD is 100% free or whether it is commercial(P2P/P4P) is also relevant information that, obviously, many players think is important to show on a MUD resource.
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Old 01-08-2006, 07:53 PM   #246
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If "pay-for-perks" is a superior business model due to its flexibility in allowing players to trade money for time/skill, what is the objection to labeling the game accurately on this site?

No one's trying to ban pay-for-perks with pitchforks and torches. Only a couple of people still want multiple lists. (I'm not one, and I don't think I ever have been.)

The idea that is resonating with more people is some method of knowing what business model each game uses. Color-coding the names (or placing a small icon next to each name, etc.) does nothing except tell the browsing player what it is.

If IRE doesn't conceal this information from its players (the contention fo the IRe staffers on this thread), what's the problem with it being displayed on TMS?
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Old 01-08-2006, 08:42 PM   #247
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Kavir, you consistently refer to MU*s as 'competitive games'. I am not familiar with IRE's particular offerings myself, but many games on the TMS list do not fit that label.

This is most likely where much disagreement about the 'pay for perks' model springs from. In a directly pvp game where it's all about the competition your statements about 'pay to succeed' may be accurate. In more RP oriented games or games focused more on social or exploration aspects, it's less about competition.
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Old 01-08-2006, 08:48 PM   #248
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Originally Posted by
This is most likely where much disagreement about the 'pay for perks' model springs from. In a directly pvp game where it's all about the competition your statements about 'pay to succeed' may be accurate. In more RP oriented games or games focused more on social or exploration aspects, it's less about competition.
IRE universally advertises all of their games as "high quality PvP", "intense PvP", or other such terms. They purposefully try to draw PvPers into a system where competition requires credits to be bought. It's capitalistically savvy, but not entirely ethical considering that they make themselves look as free as any other free MUD out there. I believe that is KaVir's point.
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Old 01-08-2006, 10:11 PM   #249
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Letrus Abbot @ Jan. 08 2006,21:42)
Kavir, you consistently refer to MU*s as 'competitive games'. I am not familiar with IRE's particular offerings myself, but many games on the TMS list do not fit that label.

This is most likely where much disagreement about the 'pay for perks' model springs from. In a directly pvp game where it's all about the competition your statements about 'pay to succeed' may be accurate. In more RP oriented games or games focused more on social or exploration aspects, it's less about competition.
Viagra MUDs (ie, pay-for-perks) are specifically competitive. That's the whole premise behind buying the so-called perks. They're advantages that allow one to get a leg-up on the competition, whether it be in PKing or in just keeping-up-with-the-Joneses.

That's why games that concentrate on RP aren't usually (if ever) pay-for-perks. OOC influence, as determined by one's purchasing power IRL, ruins the RP atmosphere.

Take care,

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Old 01-09-2006, 12:24 AM   #250
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Valg @ Jan. 08 2006,20:53)
If "pay-for-perks" is a superior business model due to its flexibility in allowing players to trade money for time/skill, what is the objection to labeling the game accurately on this site?

No one's trying to ban pay-for-perks with pitchforks and torches.  Only a couple of people still want multiple lists.  (I'm not one, and I don't think I ever have been.)

The idea that is resonating with more people is some method of knowing what business model each game uses.  Color-coding the names (or placing a small icon next to each name, etc.) does nothing except tell the browsing player what it is.

If IRE doesn't conceal this information from its players (the contention fo the IRe staffers on this thread), what's the problem with it being displayed on TMS?
Why do you find it necessary to label games based on their business models when people can find that information out for themselves? I can go to any game and find that info out for myself. I can tell you right now that the IRE games are play-for-perks, while a game like Threshold RPG is a combo of pay-to-play and play-for-perks (a minimum $50 is required to play, then you can pay for more perks if you wish) . I aslo can tell you that InfernoMUD is a pay-to-play game that has a monthly subscription customers need to pay.

I found all that information out on my own by either visiting each MUDs' websites or by logging into each mud. None of these MUD's were vague about their business models and none of this information was hard to find. So what's the point of having MUD's on TMS labeled? The information is already out there!
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Old 01-09-2006, 12:28 AM   #251
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (KaVir @ Jan. 08 2006,19:15)
You're failing to grasp the point. It's not just "someone" who has to pay - it's the target audience of the advert (the players) who are paying, yet they're also the ones who are being told that the game is "completely free".
It is true that in a game like those IRE runs someone has to be buying credits for the credit-economy to work. This means that there would not be credits available for people to buy for gold if there simply were no people buying credits at all. In this, you are totally right.

It is also true that it is clear, for anybody who visits their websites that the game has an in-game type of currency called credits which are things that can be bought with real-life money.

It is also true that it is clear that IRE games are a commercial enterprice, and that anybody who is able to legally use a credit card (this should be only people 18 yr old or older in the US, where the games are hosted), can readily find this by skimming through the web-pages of their websites (all of them mention the credits and the fact that you can buy them, and the fact that they can be used whithin the game).

If we accept the above, we might considering accepting that a person who would be able to use money for advancement in these games (ie. 18 yr old or older, with a credit card account), regardless of whether they were planing or not to spend money in the games, would understand that the games would cease to be a commercial entreprice, or cease to exist if nobody bought credits. This is obvios, I hope.

Now, with this background, we could accept that someone playing these games, with some very basic understanding of economy (reading CNN or other news resource every now and then should be enough is my guess) would realize that there has to exist a continuous influx of credits into the game via people buying credits (regardless of how wealthy these people are), and as such, this translates into a constant availability of credits to be exchanged for other types of game currency or service, be it gold, items, body-guarding, etc ... If this was not true, then the commercial MUD would cease to be profitable, and as such, it would soon cease to exist.

I believe that IRE advertises their games to be free and that it is posible to have continuous advancement without having to spend money because of two things. First, their game economy, driven both by in-game-goods as well as ooc-obtained credits has reached a balance on which there is always a certain amount of credits available for the public. This is probably something you cannot set as a game designer, it is something that you just observe happening, and you probably can later adjust credit prices or credit market tax or whatever you wish, to fit your game needs for money influx. Since we are talking about a somewhat stable system, it is sensible to believe that unless they mess up very badly, the market should not drastically change, and this means they can safely say that a player can join the game, play for free, enjoy everything for free (except for buying credits *duh*), making it a free game for them. They have all the options identical to all other players, except that they have to obtain credits through the player-driven market.

Now, I argue that if a game like any of the IRE games increased the cost of credits, or opened some kind of infinite advancement option through credits that made credit usage more important and credits more scarce -> more expensive, so that the rl-hr-playing time now equals less number of credits obtained, it might come to a point where the game is really what you do describe, something that forces you to buy credits and that makes the experience without buying credits a miserable one, etc. On the other hand, if IRE has found a balance point, where the rl-time-playing cost of a credit is something players are willing to accept, then the experience might be just that of playing a free game, on which I have to sweat hard if I want to advance fast, but on which I can do things at a slower pace, and still enjoy the game.

Now, I know many people here, sometimes myself included, doubt things said by Matt, for different reasons, but many times before he has said that many of the players on IRE MUDs have not bought credits, which means, many of these people are playing IRE MUDs for free.

So, what I am trying to say is that you bring an important point at saying that someone has to buy the credits at some point, and while it is true, the success of games like these which have a large player base does not solely depend on the rich-CEO-son type of player who has access to an infinite source of dolars via on of his many credit cards but more on a larger part of the population spending small amounts with certain regularity (probably similar to what a person would donate to a game who requests such donations from players to keep their running costs), and this would mean that the large majority of the people who actually buys credits do so in small amounts and not at the "1 max skill a day" rate many people pretend to picture. This is probably the case, and if I am too deviated from the real picture I would love to be corrected, but then, in such a system, a balance could be reached where you can actually still enjoy the game without the need of paying for it.

Regardless of all of the above, the game would in any case be a free one; in some extremes a player might be forced to spend an insane amount of time for a small benefit and would probably not be liked by players not willing to spend money; in the other extreme, where there is no real advantage on buying credits because there are so many efficient ways of producing this currency with bots/playing time/etc the commercial venture would just probably fail and the game would cease to exist. I believe IRE games must be in the middle of the two, and if it is true that players can enjoy/play without spending money, I would guess they have it balanced so that these people find it worth-while to put in more playing time in exchange for the credits they will need to advance.

I hope to have made sense with this.
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Old 01-09-2006, 01:50 AM   #252
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Why do you find it necessary to label games based on their business models when people can find that information out for themselves? I can go to any game and find that info out for myself.

It would make the website more useful to players as they search for MUDs. It isn't necessary, it would just be an improvement as it would increase the usefulness and specificity as this website as a "One-Stop MUDing Resource".
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Old 01-09-2006, 03:18 AM   #253
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Originally Posted by (Letrus Abbot @ Jan. 09 2006,03:42)
Kavir, you consistently refer to MU*s as 'competitive games'. I am not familiar with IRE's particular offerings myself, but many games on the TMS list do not fit that label.
Indeed many do, but I don't know of any pay-for-perks muds which don't - which isn't really surprising, as competitive activities are probably one of the greatest incentives for players to invest.

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Originally Posted by
This is most likely where much disagreement about the 'pay for perks' model springs from. In a directly pvp game where it's all about the competition your statements about 'pay to succeed' may be accurate. In more RP oriented games or games focused more on social or exploration aspects, it's less about competition.
But check the description for Achaea:

"The flagship MUD from the #1 new text MUD company in the last 10 years, Achaea is a fully original world focusing on depth, roleplaying, and most importantly, PvP and Group vs. Group action of all kinds"

The other IRE muds have similar comments - they pride themselves on the quality of PvP action they provide, and rightly so.

But that doesn't change the fact that they are no more 'free' than most of the pay-to-play muds, and I'd rather see the TMS database simply avoid mention of payment method entirely rather than providing misleading information.
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Old 01-09-2006, 03:53 AM   #254
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And everyone needs to eat, hence that's the same choice for all.  Everyone does indeed possess the same amount of time, it's merely dependent upon their priorities and lifestyle.  If someone stays "in college" they're not going to have money to do that forever (and if they did, they probably resort to using that money to buy credits) so your hypothetical competition vanishes after a short while.  And maybe you haven't been to college, but it actually does take time.  And if someone's not serious about their classes, the same lack of responsibility can apply to those who are working.

Face it, you're wrong and grasping at straws (and exhibiting some bitterness toward college students too).
I find the last tid-bit to be extremely humorous. I'm grasping at straws, when you have to compare potential time to real money? Did you know that there's a 'cap' on how much money you could ever possess too? And that that cap is equal for everyone as well? It's the worth of all the currency on the planet earth at the given time and you have the exact same chance to get it all as you do to have 24 hours of time in the day to do as you wish with.

You have to get up pretty early in the morning, no pun intended, to fool someone into thinking that this is a valid line of reasoning.

As for your 'maybe you haven't been to college' and 'exhibiting some bitterness toward college students too' quips - I happen to be a university student presently. One that has to work to support himself. According to you, it's MY best interests that you're defending.

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That's a circular means of achieving what is available through other currencies, hence creating an advantage for those who purchase credits.  You can't see that?
It's the lesser way to get credits, yes. And I also don't have to pay out of my pocket. You still don't seem to think that money has any value  whatsoever to a person.

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Killing those rats does not guarantee you will be able to buy credits.  Using your credit card does.
Using my credit card doesn't guarantee I'll be able to get credits either. What if there's an earthquake? Chances of that are the same as the credit market going dry.

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So in fact you were lying when you made this statement or simply don't have the English skills to understand that if you have "yet to see" something, it's impossible to claim that "skill goes an extremely long way in IRE PVP and usually compensates for any statistical disadvantages" because you've yet to see that happen.  How can it usually compensate when you've yet to see a system which allows for such a thing?
Poor wording on my part, I suppose I should be more careful lest I be accused of lying. That should probably be "...I've yet to see another fighting system this capable of allowing skill to trump stats."

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Is English your first language?  After the following, I'm inclined to believe it isn't.
No, it isn't. You're right. This is the first time I've been chastised for it though. I do hope you manifest that attitude selectively.

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Originally Posted by
No it's not because spending money on some MUDs actually ruins the experience.  This is where your lack of knowledge shines through brightly.  Not every MUD operates in the limited fashion you seem to generalize as the only way.
Personal attacks aside, 'the experience' is a something that varies from player to player. Some players happen to dislike 'gold farming' or 'eq farming' or 'level farming' or whatever. The majority of MUDs out there are based very heavily on these activities. I hope you're not trying to bring RPIs into this again.

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Originally Posted by
It's not new.  But it's also not standard as you seem to believe.  And it definitely does not mean it is "free" if this is a requirement for success.
Spending money isn't a requirement for success in IRE games. That's been said so many times that the only way you could've missed it is by purposefully ignoring it.

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Originally Posted by
Everything takes time.  Everything doesn't take money.  If you accept money, you're hardly "devoting" your time, you're being compensated.  And the Time = Money comparison isn't completely accurate.  If it were, why doesn't every player that plays for long periods of time receive the same thing every time?  The player that uses money gets guaranteed success.  The player that toils isn't assured that same result.  Hence Time != Money but rather Money >= Time.
Not everything takes time. You can avoid spending time doing something if there are alternative ways of doing it - i.e. paying money. You're right that the time = money comparison isn't completely accurate - it doesn't have to be because we're not trying to prove them completely equivalent. The only thing that matters about time and money in this discussion is that one can be substituted for the other in this case. It's irrelevant exactly how much money time translates to and vica versa.

The paying player doesn't get 'success'. Provided of course that you mean 'success' as in, winning fights, being respected in MUD society and or getting a high level. None of these things can be achieved through credits. If you have some home-cooked version of 'success' that differs from mine, do spell it out next time. As for "money>=time", I can only say that you haven't been short on personal time before if you believe this to be true. People spend huge amounts of money to be able to make up SOME free time for themselves. Think about it if you ever buy a plane ticket instead of a boat ticket.

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Originally Posted by
So, there are really two games going on in Viagra MUDs.  On one hand, there's a game enjoyed by people who pay nothing.  Some of them can achieve success with lots of work, and not all probably care to.  The other game is one where money is required to achieve success.  They both inhabit the same game however and interaction occurs regularly.  Unfortunately, by claiming that the latter are paying only for "perks" instead of "success", the former are decieved into believing that with time and effort, they too can achieve the same thing.  They're not realizing that chance plays a role as well.  And chance is not something one can control.
So the entirety of this paragraph is based on the assumption that at some point, you might not be capable of purchasing credits for gold in some remote instance? When a possibility is too small, it's irrelevant. That's the case with your argument. The credit market has been steady and the gold return of quests and ratting has been just as steady for years now. Hypothetical situations are worthless in a discussion unless there's a reasonable probability of the occuring.

I do hope you have more to add next time you post, Jason, so I don't have to sift through recycled arguments and fresh insults.

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Originally Posted by
IRE universally advertises all of their games as "high quality PvP",  "intense PvP", or other such terms. They purposefully try to draw PvPers into a system where competition requires credits to be bought. It's capitalistically savvy, but not entirely ethical considering that they make themselves look as free as any other free MUD out there. I believe that is KaVir's point.
PvP is fairly optional. It's a means of solving conflict, but it's not mandatory for your play. A vast amount of players don't PvP at all actually and concentrate on RP, trade and levelling. You can enjoy the game quite fully without PvPing at all.

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It would make the website more useful to players as they search for MUDs. It isn't necessary, it would just be an improvement as it would increase the usefulness and specificity as this website as a "One-Stop MUDing Resource".
The point is, would that information be more important potential players than any other? Do you need a complex system of color coding if that information is already easy enough to find on the site of the MUD in question?

There also appear to be negative preconceptions of what 'pay-for-perks' is so the suggested color coding would probably be negative for the MUD owners, I'm sure everyone is acutely aware of that already and I'm getting the feeling that it's the result desired by several posters (incidently owners of competing MUDs).

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"The flagship MUD from the #1 new text MUD company in the last 10 years, Achaea is a fully original world focusing on depth, roleplaying, and most importantly, PvP and Group vs. Group action of all kinds"

The other IRE muds have similar comments - they pride themselves on the quality of PvP action they provide, and rightly so.

But that doesn't change the fact that they are no more 'free' than most of the pay-to-play muds, and I'd rather see the TMS database simply avoid mention of payment method entirely rather than providing misleading information.
PvP is a big feature of IRE games. And you can compete without paying real money. So the point is moot. Pay-for-perks aren't pay-to-play any more than MUDs that accept donations are pay-to-play. (Donations are needed from the target audience - players.) You have ways to substitute the investment of money with an investment of time.

If the point didn't come accross after Spoke's post, I doubt it ever will.

=======================
I think we've come to the point where we're discussing hypothetical situations with low probability - a sign that real arguments are exhausted. If anyone feels like adding something to the discussion which is realistic enough to be a probability, please do so. The real things I have supporting my statements are the facts that:
1) Players can play for free. (Meaning, paying money is optional.)
2) Players can get ahead without paying real money for credits.

These are facts. They are supported by evidence - i.e. people who have done it and are still doing it. Myself included in the first group.
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Old 01-09-2006, 04:29 AM   #255
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Pay-for-perks aren't pay-to-play any more than MUDs that accept donations are pay-to-play.
Muds that give rewards for donations are indeed pay-for-perks - and in cases where those perks are things that can only be bought with 'donations', and which give advantages that cannot be gained without payment, I would argue that the same logic applies - they are effectively pay-to-play unless you want to play as a lower-class citizen who can never match the power of a paying player.

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The real things I have supporting my statements are the facts that:

1) Players can play for free. (Meaning, paying money is optional.)
However we've already established that players cannot play competitively if they play for free.  Without credits they will be at a severe disadvantage - even you have admitted that there are many things that cannot be earned without credits, and Zhiroc also gave a breakdown of the amount of credits required to buy skills up to competitive levels.

Is a game "completely free" if you can only play it in a limited fashion without money?  If so, doesn't that mean that commercial muds which give you the first month free can also advertise themselves as "completely free"?  After all, there's nothing stopping you from creating a new account each month.

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2) Players can get ahead without paying real money for credits.
But there are many things they cannot do without credits, and the only way that players (as a whole) can consistently and repeatable earn credits is with cash.

Your argument for 'free' seems to be based around the fact that players can trade credits with each other.  However you've still not addressed the fact that this same argument could apply to every other commercial mud out there - you could play Gemstone or EverQuest for free as well, if another player will pay for you in return for services rendered.  Does that mean that Gemstone and EverQuest should advertise themselves as 'completely free'?

You can't have it both ways.  Based on your logic, all muds are 'free'.
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Old 01-09-2006, 05:47 AM   #256
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Muds that give rewards for donations are indeed pay-for-perks - and in cases where those perks are things that can only be bought with 'donations', and which give advantages that cannot be gained without payment, I would argue that the same logic applies - they are effectively pay-to-play unless you want to play as a lower-class citizen who can never match the power of a paying player.
The bolded part is untrue. It's been said many many times before. You can substitute money with time and still get access to everything in the game. I don't mean 'time' as in working for the game either.

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However we've already established that players cannot play competitively if they play for free.  Without credits they will be at a severe disadvantage - even you have admitted that there are many things that cannot be earned without credits, and Zhiroc also gave a breakdown of the amount of credits required to buy skills up to competitive levels.
We've never established that. One of the very first examples you were given was of a player with full skills and at the top of the rankings without having paid anything. The opportunity for advancement is there and it's very real. You're right that paying money gives you an advantage, but it gives you an advantage in precisely the same way that investing more time does.

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Is a game "completely free" if you can only play it in a limited fashion without money?  If so, doesn't that mean that commercial muds which give you the first month free can also advertise themselves as "completely free"?  After all, there's nothing stopping you from creating a new account each month.
It doesn't say 'completely free' anywhere. It says 'free to play', which implies that there is something you CAN buy for money - but it isn't the ability to play. It's also a system that allows you progress, unlike the free first month example you gave. You can't substitute money for time in it.

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But there are many things they cannot do without credits, and the only way that players (as a whole) can consistently and repeatable earn credits is with cash.
You can consistently quest for gold and you can consistently get credits for gold. Repeatably too.

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Your argument for 'free' seems to be based around the fact that players can trade credits with each other.  However you've still not addressed the fact that this same argument could apply to every other commercial mud out there - you could play Gemstone or EverQuest for free as well, if another player will pay for you in return for services rendered.  Does that mean that Gemstone and EverQuest should advertise themselves as 'completely free'?
IRE advertises as 'free to play', not completely free. And playing is indeed - free. No player has to pay anything for you to play.

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You can't have it both ways.  Based on your logic, all muds are 'free'.
Based on your logic you could make the statement that all MUDs who accept donations aren't free. A MUD needs to finance itself in order to stay afloat. Whether it's financed by the MUD owner or by optional player payments makes no difference how free the MUD is to play.
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Old 01-09-2006, 06:45 AM   #257
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Originally Posted by (Hadoryu @ Jan. 09 2006,12:47)
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Muds that give rewards for donations are indeed pay-for-perks - and in cases where those perks are things that can only be bought with 'donations', and which give advantages that cannot be gained without payment, I would argue that the same logic applies - they are effectively pay-to-play unless you want to play as a lower-class citizen who can never match the power of a paying player.
The bolded part is untrue. It's been said many many times before. You can substitute money with time and still get access to everything in the game. I don't mean 'time' as in working for the game either.
Earlier you posted "Credits are used to buy items and skills which aren't available through any other currency."

So which is it?

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We've never established that. One of the very first examples you were given was of a player with full skills and at the top of the rankings without having paid anything.
I bet there are EverQuest players who have played for years without having paid anything, too. But their account still needed to be paid for by one of EverQuest's customers - just as the player in your example had to have money invested into their character by IRE customers.

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It doesn't say 'completely free' anywhere. It says 'free to play', which implies that there is something you CAN buy for money - but it isn't the ability to play. It's also a system that allows you progress, unlike the free first month example you gave. You can't substitute money for time in it.
Of course you can - you could spend time performing services or gathering items in Ultima Online, then give them to another player in return for that player renewing your account.

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You can consistently quest for gold and you can consistently get credits for gold. Repeatably too.
Not from the game itself you can't - only by trading with other players who have bought them with real cash. You can do the same in most MMORPGs.

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IRE advertises as 'free to play', not completely free. And playing is indeed - free. No player has to pay anything for you to play.
As long as you don't mind playing a weak character in a mud which advertises itself as focusing on "most importantly, PvP and Group vs. Group".

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Based on your logic you could make the statement that all MUDs who accept donations aren't free.
If the players get bonuses in return for those donations, then yes, I'd agree - that would be pay-for-perks.
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Old 01-09-2006, 07:17 AM   #258
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Earlier you posted "Credits are used to buy items and skills which aren't available through any other currency."

So which is it?
It's actually both. There are items and such that can only be bought with credits, however you can buy credits for gold. This was relevant to the notion that people who buy credits are avoiding the competition for limited resources which isn't true because credits can not be used to 'generate' such resources but instead to only buy some unique items and skills.

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I bet there are EverQuest players who have played for years without having paid anything, too. But their account still needed to be paid for by one of EverQuest's customers - just as the player in your example had to have money invested into their character by IRE customers.
You're right, there probably are players like that. The difference is this - they have to do something or to have someone pay for them to play. In IRE that isn't the case, because playing is free. No player has to pay anything for you to play.

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Of course you can - you could spend time performing services or gathering items in Ultima Online, then give them to another player in return for that player renewing your account.
I was rather speaking of the example you gave of someone just making new accounts every month.

If you can get someone to pay your subscription for you, more power to you. Your playing time still has to be paid for, which isn't the case with IRE games.

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Not from the game itself you can't - only by trading with other players who have bought them with real cash. You can do the same in most MMORPGs.
Hence my comment that most MUDs out there support a pay-for-perks subculture of some sort. You can consistently buy credits from the credit market - a game feature which is fueled by player bought credits. Yes. I'm going to get back to this poit shortly. (*)

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As long as you don't mind playing a weak character in a mud which advertises itself as focusing on "most importantly, PvP and Group vs. Group".
You don't have to pay to make your character stronger. You don't have to pay to play. If you don't pay money, it will take an investment of time to develop the character.

I think we're mixing up two discussions at this point. One seems to be 'Pay-for-perks MUDs can't be free' and the other is 'the playing field isn't levelled in pay-for-perks MUDs'. Here is where I return to my previous point (*). IRE games are free to play. They are pay-for-perks, but free to play. They are free to play in the meaning of the word where you're not expected to have to pay money. You, nor anyone else, has to pay for you to play an IRE game. That is a different issue from the issue about the 'fairness' of the game.

Your last quote addresses the fairness of the game and isn't connected to the fact that you can play for free. If somebody invests more money than you in an IRE game, they will have an advantage over you. Analogically, if someone invests more time than you in an IRE game (or in most other MUDs), they will have an advantage over you. The pay-for-perks model allows time to be substituted with money. Credits aren't 'free' in the full sense of the word, but you can get them by investing your time instead of your money. If you don't buy credits in an IRE game and wish to compete in PvP, you're going to have to invest a significantly larger amount of time gathering gold to buy credits with than somebody who has simply bought them with money. The question isn't IF you can continue to advance in the game, it's HOW you can advance in the game.

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If the players get bonuses in return for those donations, then yes, I'd agree - that would be pay-for-perks.
The question isn't if you'd call them 'pay-for-perks', but if you'd call them 'free', and it makes no difference to that distinction whether they get bonuses from donating.
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Old 01-09-2006, 07:41 AM   #259
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Personally I feel that any game which offers the OPTION of paying money in exchange for in-game benefits should not advertise itself as free. Reason being, there will always be players who use that option - and for those people, it is not free.

A free game is free, no pay for perks, no monthly fee, no hourly fee, no quest fees, no fees for anything involving game play. Offering mousepads for $10 to alleviate the costs of the server isn't involving game-play. Offering in-game credits that a player can use to buy somethingfor their character involves game-play. That some games offer credits for sale, or quests for sale, or weddings for sale, or whatever - means the game isn't *exclusively* free.

Either it's free, or it isn't. Pay-for-perks means not free. And time only equals money when you're working. Gaming isn't working (unless you're one of the admins). The entire notion of time=money doesn't even apply to this discussion. My free time is - you guessed it - free. It isn't costing me a thing to use my free time however I choose to use it. My free time has no value to anyone but myself, and I don't pay myself money for it, therefore it has no monetary value at all.
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Old 01-09-2006, 07:43 AM   #260
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I bet there are EverQuest players who have played for years without having paid anything, too. But their account still needed to be paid for by one of EverQuest's customers - just as the player in your example had to have money invested into their character by IRE customers.

You're right, there probably are players like that. The difference is this - they have to do something or to have someone pay for them to play.
No, they could just create a new account each month. They wouldn't even have to discard it - they could bring it back out of stasis once they got another player to pay it for them.

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If you can get someone to pay your subscription for you, more power to you. Your playing time still has to be paid for, which isn't the case with IRE games.
In both cases, in order to play the game fully you need cash invested into your character.

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You don't have to pay to make your character stronger. You don't have to pay to play. If you don't pay money, it will take an investment of time to develop the character
If you don't invest cash into your character, you will not be able to compete with other players. For a mud which focuses on PvP combat that is a pretty severe handicap. The fact that you can get other players to invest that cash for you doesn't make the game 'free'.

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I think we're mixing up two discussions at this point. One seems to be 'Pay-for-perks MUDs can't be free' and the other is 'the playing field isn't levelled in pay-for-perks MUDs'.
No, I believe pay-for-perks muds can be 'free', but not if some of those perks can only be reliably obtained via cash, as is the case with credits. Whether you pay it yourself, or get another player to pay it for you, the fact still remains that in order to play the game competitively you need to invest cash into your character.

According to Zhiroc, it takes around 294 credits to max out a skill. In the example he gave, with 8 major skills and 4 mini-skills, it would take him 3528 credits to max them all. Subtract the 166 you get for playing your way up to the top level and that leaves 3362 credits which someone needs to buy, costing $1022 (enough for 7.8 years of subscription costs for Zhiroc's favourite MMORPG).

That's over a thousand dollars per character, and it has to be paid for by the same customers who are being told that the mud is 'free'. Over 95% of that character's skills will have been trained with cash, funded by customers of the mud. Less than 5% of the character's skills will have come from the player working their way up to the maximum level.
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