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Old 01-10-2006, 05:48 PM   #321
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Mina @ Jan. 10 2006,18:41)
Here's a good indicator as to why having random people list what kind of mud you are is a bad idea.

Threshold is not pay-to-play. We're listed that way because that's the only option right now on TMS. We're pay for perks.
Could you explain how your system works? Apparently, what I and probably a lot of people had heard was in error and I'd prefer to not inadvertantly misrepresent you.
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Old 01-10-2006, 05:52 PM   #322
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I'm not quite sure why DonathinFrye lumped IRE and Threshold together, but after 30 pages the conversation had become somewhat diluted.
People could just call me Don - Donathin Frye's my real name and it feels weird to have it referred to it like it were a MUD name.

As far as why I lumped them together - I lumped them together not because I consider them the same, but because I've heard all of the arguments from their sides, and was interested in hearing some critical input of the color-coding idea from other players besides theirs. That's all - I don't consider them to be the same thing at all. As a matter of fact, I applaud Threshold's honesty, even though their main admin kind of gets on my nerves sometimes. But that's not an important issue. :-p
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Old 01-10-2006, 05:59 PM   #323
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Sure!

You get approximately 100 hours of gameplay before you are told to review help register (which is a file you must read before you finish creation). Between 300-400 of game time, you get a mailed reminder from the admin to register your character.

"Registering" to us means that you pay a one-time fee to the game, and you receive certain perks for this as well. What happens if you do not? Your account eventually gets frozen as we assume you have no interested in paying for the game. Players know from day 1 that this registration is required, though they can work it out with the admins how long it will take and how they will pay it.

After that, we have perks that you can pay for. I won't bother to list them here since it will mean nothing to the people who do not play our game.

We experimented with attempting a yearly payment system, but we decided against it eventually since our players were very attached to our current system. Thus, we have no recurring fees.

Hope that helps.

(I'm really out of practice. This is the 4th time today that I've accidentally tried to create a new topic instead of replying.)
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Old 01-10-2006, 06:00 PM   #324
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (The_Disciple @ Jan. 10 2006,18:48)
Quote:
Originally Posted by (Mina @ Jan. 10 2006,18:41)
Here's a good indicator as to why having random people list what kind of mud you are is a bad idea.
Threshold is not pay-to-play. We're listed that way because that's the only option right now on TMS. We're pay for perks.
Could you explain how your system works?  Apparently, what I and probably a lot of people had heard was in error and I'd prefer to not inadvertantly misrepresent you.
Agreed there. I can't find the information on Threshold's web site any more, but I could swear it used to cost $50 to register a character.

Anyway, I wasn't proposing that random people like me decide what flags your game gets. It would be self-identification, like the current flags are.

If anyone lied, it wouldn't be long before someone would try it, see the misrepresentation, and report back to TMS.
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Old 01-10-2006, 06:07 PM   #325
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Mina @ Jan. 10 2006,18:59)
"Registering" to us means that you pay a one-time fee to the game, and you receive certain perks for this as well. What happens if you do not? Your account eventually gets frozen as we assume you have no interested in paying for the game. Players know from day 1 that this registration is required, though they can work it out with the admins how long it will take and how they will pay it.
Well, that's a mandatory fee, which would get filed under "pay-to-play". Unlike IRE, there's no way to dodge it, even if you're willing to accept slow development.
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Old 01-10-2006, 06:09 PM   #326
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I seriously think part of the problem here is the vaguaries of these terms.

To me, pay-to-play are represented by games where if you stop paying, you stop getting to play. For example, tons of games out there have monthly fees. You pay anywhere between $9.99 a month to $30+ a month to play some of these games. If you stop paying your monthly fee, you can't log on with your characters/account anymore until you've gone and paid the gaming company. That's definitely not how Threshold operates.

What do you call a mud that has a 1 time fee (that also gets you perks) and then it's pay for perks from then on? Basically, think of going out and buying The Sims 2 and then paying for a bunch of different outfits or an uber house or something. That doesn't seem to be the same as pay-to-play to me.
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Old 01-10-2006, 06:12 PM   #327
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Valg @ Jan. 10 2006,19:07)
Well, that's a mandatory fee, which would get filed under "pay-to-play". Unlike IRE, there's no way to dodge it, even if you're willing to accept slow development.
Well, regardless of what I personally believe, we put ourselves under what is closest explaining what we have to most of the players out there. I hate to think that we're doing this at our own disadvantage, since we DO NOT have a monthly fee.
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Old 01-10-2006, 06:17 PM   #328
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I seriously think part of the problem here is the vaguaries of these terms.

To me, pay-to-play are represented by games where if you stop paying, you stop getting to play. For example, tons of games out there have monthly fees. You pay anywhere between $9.99 a month to $30+ a month to play some of these games. If you stop paying your monthly fee, you can't log on with your characters/account anymore until you've gone and paid the gaming company. That's definitely not how Threshold operates.

What do you call a mud that has a 1 time fee (that also gets you perks) and then it's pay for perks from then on? Basically, think of going out and buying The Sims 2 and then paying for a bunch of different outfits or an uber house or something. That doesn't seem to be the same as pay-to-play to me.

Threshold is odd in the way that it is more akin to a game like Guildwars than a MUD. Most MUDs don't have one-time registration(or "buying") fees. I would lean towards calling this pay-to-play, just because you are required to play in order to be able to play... but again, I go back to an old analogy I used before.

Shareware versus Freeware. Shareware gives you part of the product, requiring payment for the most complete version. In real life, you can get keycodes from other players, get hacks, etc and therefor play for free - however this does not make shareware the same as freeware, which is always completely free without penalty for not-paying and only accepts money in the form of donation.

Threshold and IRE would be shareware. Threshold identifies itself as such(it's difficult to fit it into pay-for-perk or pay-to-play categories completely, though I again lean more towards calling it pay-to-play). IRE does not. Either way, this website would be more 'resourceful' if it had a tag that distinguished for the players.
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Old 01-11-2006, 02:14 AM   #329
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Ok lets ask you this simple question. Could you, if you wanted to, play any IRE game as many hours as you wanted to without having to cough up a nickel?

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And common sense says that when a game is free-to-play, that means it's free-to-play in every aspect. IRE games are not free-to-play in every aspect since credits are required to unlock some aspects of the game, the most necessary aspects for success.

This is why IRE's advertising of their MUDs as "free-to-play" is not honest or accurate. It's deceptive. It's an attempt to lump themselves with MUDs where any player can achieve anything without any monetary spending. They may describe themselves as "free-to-play" or "pay-for-perks" but in the end they're "pay-to-succeed". And regardless of how they spin it, they're not free since you can not play to the same level as someone who does pay, even if you want to, unless money is exchanged by you or someone else in your favor.
No.. free to play means free to play. The term doesn't imply anything else besides simply telling you that you can play something for free. Again, could you play any IRE an unlimited amount of hours without having to pay?

Even though credits are required for certain things, it still doesn't change the fact that it is free to play, because again you can play that game without having to pay.

Now if the IRE games were to label themselves as "free" (with no "to play" addendum) then I would have a bone to pick with them as they are indeed not free. But as you see the IRE administrators have carefully added the "to play" addendum so as to not mislead you as to the game being absolutely free. Again I see nothing wrong with the way IRE advertises themselves.

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I'm curious how you define "out-of-touch". How does that term apply to me? Examples?
That's an example of being out of touch. Adding extra meaning to terms and phrases where no such extra meaning exist. It is very apparent that you are twisting the mean of the term "free to play" to make it fit your agenda. Yes your communist (we'll leave out the bull**** this time around to play nice) propoganda of trying to make all MUD's equal.
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Old 01-11-2006, 02:20 AM   #330
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Originally Posted by (Mina @ Jan. 10 2006,18:59)
Sure!

You get approximately 100 hours of gameplay before you are told to review help register (which is a file you must read before you finish creation). Between 300-400 of game time, you get a mailed reminder from the admin to register your character.

"Registering" to us means that you pay a one-time fee to the game, and you receive certain perks for this as well. What happens if you do not? Your account eventually gets frozen as we assume you have no interested in paying for the game. Players know from day 1 that this registration is required, though they can work it out with the admins how long it will take and how they will pay it.

After that, we have perks that you can pay for. I won't bother to list them here since it will mean nothing to the people who do not play our game.

We experimented with attempting a yearly payment system, but we decided against it eventually since our players were very attached to our current system. Thus, we have no recurring fees.

Hope that helps.

(I'm really out of practice. This is the 4th time today that I've accidentally tried to create a new topic instead of replying.)
I will add something to this.

Even though ThresholdRPG does not have recurring fees, the administrators do send out notices to customers that have not added to their registration total in over a year asking them to send in more money to add to their overall registration.

I can provide an example of such a letter if asked for.

I believe this does indeed make Threshold a pay-to-play MUD.
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Old 01-11-2006, 02:26 AM   #331
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Originally Posted by (PinkFloyd @ Jan. 11 2006,03:20)
Even though ThresholdRPG does not have recurring fees, the administrators do send out notices to customers that have not added to their registration total in over a year asking them to send in more money to add to their overall registration.
OH MY GOD! THE HORROR! NOT A *shudder* *quake in fear* NOTICE! ACK!

You mean we actually want to stay financially solvent so we can stay in business?

The fact that you felt the need to specifically mention this in a "gotcha" manner is hilarious.
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Old 01-11-2006, 04:06 AM   #332
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (PinkFloyd @ Jan. 11 2006,03:14)
Even though credits are required for certain things, it still doesn't change the fact that it is free to play, because again you can play that (emphasis mine) game without having to pay.

Now if the IRE games were to label themselves as "free" (with no "to play" addendum) then I would have a bone to pick with them as they are indeed not free. But as you see the IRE administrators have carefully added the "to play" addendum so as to not mislead you as to the game being absolutely free. Again I see nothing wrong with the way IRE advertises themselves.

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Originally Posted by
I'm curious how you define "out-of-touch".  How does that term apply to me?  Examples?
That's an example of being out of touch. Adding extra meaning to terms and phrases where no such extra meaning exist. It is very apparent that you are twisting the mean of the term "free to play" to make it fit your agenda. Yes your (sic) communist (we'll leave out the bull**** this time around to play nice) propoganda (sic) of trying to make all MUD's equal.
You're not playing the same game as someone who's paying for credits.  It may be played in the same world, but it's not the same game.  It'd be like playing 2-on-5 basketball.  So no, it's not free-to-play if you want to play the same game as those buying credits.

All MUDs aren't equal and I have no intention of trying to make them so because it's impossible.  For example, trying to make the quality of RP on a Viagra MUD consistently equal to that of an RPI would be a hopeless task because the system's just not set up for RP.  The ability to use outside factors to affect in-game performance destroys the RP environment.  Likewise, it's not set up for player-skill-based PvP since the credit system can be used to gain advantage beyond one's abilities (see the above 2-on-5 basketball game).  Nothing that can be done will make all MUDs equal so long as there are niche types.

I don't care to waste my time trying to achieve that which won't happen.  For example, in the case of my own MUD, we're not trying to create a MUD that will appeal to as many people as possible.  We're concentrating on developing a comprehensive world with a social structure that is as functional and accurate as we can get it to the historical model we're using.  We know this won't appeal to the average MUDder at all and even the average RPI MUDder may find it less than attractive at first.  We're fine with that because we're trying to cater to those players that concentrate on character development and total immersion into the social setting and culture rather than those who take a casual approach toward RP consistency.  Therefore, we won't be advertising ourselves as anything but what we are.  The problem with most MUDs though is that they try to advertise themselves as everything to everyone.  And for people using this site (and has been pointed out, regardless of a few commercial MUD owners' opinion, this is more than a traffic exchange), honesty would be nice when trying to find what they want, rather than what the MUDs themselves want to sell you.

And finally, your continued misuse of the word "communism" indicates one of two things, if not both:  your poor vocabulary and/or your close-minded, paranoid fear and protectionism of your prefered MUD.  Try learning a bit about terms you don't understand before you use them.  You'll come across a little more intelligent.  And while you're learning the definition of communism, take a little time to learn how to spell propaganda correctly.  Then you won't look like you're both ignorant and illiterate.

Take care,

Jason
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Old 01-11-2006, 04:12 AM   #333
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (PinkFloyd @ Jan. 11 2006,09:14)
No.. free to play means free to play. The term doesn't imply anything else besides simply telling you that you can play something for free. Again, could you play any IRE an unlimited amount of hours without having to pay?
Yes. Guild Wars and Threshold are also free to play (just not free to buy/register), and you'll see Guild Wars advertising itself as such. Many of the large monthly-fee commercial muds also allow you to play for free (as long as you don't mind creating a new account each month).

The problem is that if you use the term 'free' to mean only 'free to play' and nothing more, then most commercial muds would have good grounds for arguing that they fall into that classification. I think this could get very confusing for prospective players.
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Old 01-11-2006, 12:04 PM   #334
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Originally Posted by (PinkFloyd @ Jan. 11 2006,03:14)
Yes your communist (we'll leave out the bull**** this time around to play nice) propoganda of trying to make all MUD's equal.
Okay, the joke is up and I'm on to you. No one could write that sentence in all seriousness.

Oh noes! The commies is coming to get us and wash our brainses! Awesome, man. Just awesome.
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Old 01-11-2006, 01:46 PM   #335
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Originally Posted by (Threshold @ Jan. 11 2006,03:26)
OH MY GOD! THE HORROR! NOT A *shudder* *quake in fear* NOTICE! ACK!

You mean we actually want to stay financially solvent so we can stay in business?
(Note: It got confusing talking about both Threshold (the game and business entity) and Threshold (the forum poster who owns it), so I'm referring to the latter as Mr. Threshold.)

Heck, we ask our playerbase on our forums to donate if they can, maybe once or twice a year. We don't send them anything beyond a thank-you, and it doesn't do anything to the gameplay (we don't even know what characters are associated, since donations arrive with the player's RL name, which we don't track). Completely voluntary requests like that don't make you a commercial enterprise, and I don't think anyone would confuse us with one.

Threshold is pay-to-play because there's a mandatory fee up front. It's what they advertise, and I agree with Mr. Threshold's philosophy that it probably saves them heartburn to make it clear up front.

I'm not some crazy hippy railing against the Corporate Man. At my day job, people pay me a generous salary for my services, and those people and I get along swimmingly. If I didn't like it, I could leave. Mr. Threshold gets paid for his services, doing whatever he does on a daily basis to keep the MUD running. If he didn't like it, he could leave. If his customers didn't like it, they could leave. There's no difference there- all the relationships are mutually agreed upon.

I'm also not pretending I have no stake in this. I've stated a number of times that what I don't like is that TMS uses the same word ("Free") to describe both Carrion Fields-type games and IRE-type games, even though we use very different business models. I enjoy my game, I've taken on the responsibility of advocating it here, and that's part of it. I think that my agenda (accurate labeling) is beneficial to my game. I also honestly think it is beneficial to players who are looking for a game to play.

If I had a "hidden agenda", as some posters have implied about people on this thread, I wouldn't be signing every one of my posts with my "MUD name", my affiliation and title, and the CF logo waving away in the upper left corner. I sign them that way in the interest of accurately labeling myself as well.
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Old 01-11-2006, 01:56 PM   #336
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Threshold @ Jan. 11 2006,03:26)
Quote:
Originally Posted by (PinkFloyd @ Jan. 11 2006,03:20)
Even though ThresholdRPG does not have recurring fees, the administrators do send out notices to customers that have not added to their registration total in over a year asking them to send in more money to add to their overall registration.
OH MY GOD! THE HORROR! NOT A *shudder* *quake in fear* NOTICE! ACK!

You mean we actually want to stay financially solvent so we can stay in business?

The fact that you felt the need to specifically mention this in a "gotcha" manner is hilarious.
And am I chastising you for writing such a letter? No.

However, Mina stated that Threshold is a pay-for-perks MUD rather than a pay-to-play MUD,. I was just using this to counter her sentiment that she views Threshold more as a pay-for-perks. That's all.
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Old 01-11-2006, 02:04 PM   #337
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Originally Posted by (KaVir @ Jan. 11 2006,05:12)
Yes.  Guild Wars and Threshold are also free to play (just not free to buy/register), and you'll see Guild Wars advertising itself as such.  Many of the large monthly-fee commercial muds also allow you to play for free (as long as you don't mind creating a new account each month).

The problem is that if you use the term 'free' to mean only 'free to play' and nothing more, then most commercial muds would have good grounds for arguing that they fall into that classification.  I think this could get very confusing for prospective players.
But do you have to recreate a new character every month for an IRE game? Can you play an unlimited amount of hours on an IRE game without having your character deleted because of non-payment?

I am not using the term "free" to mean "free to play". I am using the term "free to play" to mean "free to play". There is really nothing ambiguous about it really. As long as you allow a player to play a game without forcing them to pay anything means that said game is free to play. The fact that said game might allow you to enhance your character into an uber-man by allowing users to pay for it is irrelevant. They don't force your character to become uber-man, it's your choice to do so.

As I said, I would have a problem with IRE if they did label their games as "free" only.
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Old 01-11-2006, 02:19 PM   #338
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Originally Posted by (prof1515 @ Jan. 11 2006,05:06)
You're not playing the same game as someone who's paying for credits.  It may be played in the same world, but it's not the same game.  It'd be like playing 2-on-5 basketball.  So no, it's not free-to-play if you want to play the same game as those buying credits.

All MUDs aren't equal and I have no intention of trying to make them so because it's impossible.  For example, trying to make the quality of RP on a Viagra MUD consistently equal to that of an RPI would be a hopeless task because the system's just not set up for RP.  The ability to use outside factors to affect in-game performance destroys the RP environment.  Likewise, it's not set up for player-skill-based PvP since the credit system can be used to gain advantage beyond one's abilities (see the above 2-on-5 basketball game).  Nothing that can be done will make all MUDs equal so long as there are niche types.

I don't care to waste my time trying to achieve that which won't happen.  For example, in the case of my own MUD, we're not trying to create a MUD that will appeal to as many people as possible.  We're concentrating on developing a comprehensive world with a social structure that is as functional and accurate as we can get it to the historical model we're using.  We know this won't appeal to the average MUDder at all and even the average RPI MUDder may find it less than attractive at first.  We're fine with that because we're trying to cater to those players that concentrate on character development and total immersion into the social setting and culture rather than those who take a casual approach toward RP consistency.  Therefore, we won't be advertising ourselves as anything but what we are.  The problem with most MUDs though is that they try to advertise themselves as everything to everyone.  And for people using this site (and has been pointed out, regardless of a few commercial MUD owners' opinion, this is more than a traffic exchange), honesty would be nice when trying to find what they want, rather than what the MUDs themselves want to sell you.

And finally, your continued misuse of the word "communism" indicates one of two things, if not both:  your poor vocabulary and/or your close-minded, paranoid fear and protectionism of your prefered MUD.  Try learning a bit about terms you don't understand before you use them.  You'll come across a little more intelligent.  And while you're learning the definition of communism, take a little time to learn how to spell propaganda correctly.  Then you won't look like you're both ignorant and illiterate.

Take care,

Jason
You are playing the same game. When you log into the MUD the world is identical for each player. You have access to fight the same mobs, the same shops, the same guilds or whatnot.
It's not trying to play 2-on-5 baskteball, it's more like facing a team that has superior players to yours.

Still, your team is allowed to pay for free while the superior team has to pay up for a lot of upgrades. It does not change the fact you can play an unlimited amount of hours without being bothered to pay. That's free to play. You are mistaking the term with something along the lines of "free to play, but not equally".

Oh and I find it funny that you chastise me for misspelling one single word. Calling me illiterate even? Well congratulations sir, you have shown qualities of being a mighty fine proofreader. Must make you feel so superior by pointing it out and then using it to denigrate me. Enjoy the ego boost.

Furthermore, the definition of illiterate is being unable to read and write or showing a lack of formal education. The definition does not make any references to misspelling a word. In that case I guess you are as illiterate as I am for the misuse of a word.
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Old 01-11-2006, 02:30 PM   #339
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (PinkFloyd @ Jan. 11 2006,21:04)
Yes.  Guild Wars and Threshold are also free to play (just not free to buy/register), and you'll see Guild Wars advertising itself as such.  Many of the large monthly-fee commercial muds also allow you to play for free (as long as you don't mind creating a new account each month).

The problem is that if you use the term 'free' to mean only 'free to play' and nothing more, then most commercial muds would have good grounds for arguing that they fall into that classification.  I think this could get very confusing for prospective players.


But do you have to recreate a new character every month for an IRE game? Can you play an unlimited amount of hours on an IRE game without having your character deleted because of non-payment?
However "free to play means free to play. The term doesn't imply anything else besides simply telling you that you can play something for free."

Even though there might be a registration or initial payment fee, and even though with some commercial muds you might have to recreate a new character each month, "it still doesn't change the fact that it is free to play, because again you can play that game without having to pay".

As I stated before, the problem with the arguments you use is that they can be applied equally well to most other commercial muds.
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Old 01-11-2006, 06:25 PM   #340
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (KaVir @ Jan. 11 2006,15:30)
Even though there might be a registration or initial payment fee, and even though with some commercial muds you might have to recreate a new character each month, "it still doesn't change the fact that it is free to play, because again you can play that game without having to pay".
Again you are ignoring critical distinctions. IRE can honestly and ethically claim that their games are free to play because they have made the games available to everyone for play at no charge. No payment, or even promise of payment, is ever required of such players in order to play the games. Any reasonable person can accept "free to play" as a fair description of such a game. Note what "free to play" does not say: it does not say that you will get all the advantages of a paying player; it does not say you are guaranteed to enjoy the game as much as paying players; it does not say that you won't have to devote extra time for certain achievements that other players can perhaps purchase. It just says that you can log in to the game and play it without paying for it and without ever being expected to pay for it.

Threshold does not make its game available for free to everyone. They allow you a trial period to decide whether or not to become a paying player (IIRC, their helpfile states that you can play for 100 hours for free after which you are expected to pay). If you decide not to, your character will eventually be deleted. Furthermore, unless things have changed since I played there, you cannot just create a new account without permission from the game administration. It's pretty safe to say that the only way you could play Threshold for free is to violate their game rules and constantly re-create accounts under the guise of someone who is actually considering paying for the game.
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