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Old 06-01-2005, 05:02 PM   #81
Valg
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Originally Posted by (the_logos @ June 01 2005,16:24)
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It doesn't only target the company you work for
Hardestat doesn't work for us last time I checked.

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Originally Posted by
Why the resistance to an honest label?  If it's such a freedom to be able to invest cash instead of time, why not advertise it loud and proud?
Because it's a stronger freedom to be able to play for free in a commercial game, which is precisely what players can do in our games.
1) Hardestadt has previously identified himself as CTO for a Rapture-based MUD, which is a license proprietary to IRE. I don't have your org chart or anything, but he seems like at least a business partner to IRE. Such a connection means a vested interest in defending the Pay-for-Perks model. You can nitpick technicalities, but he's not Joe Citizen either. (Nor am I, but I clearly identify my ties in my sig.)

2) In this thread, you're claiming that Pay-for-Perks is superior to a free or subscription system, precisely because it allows a player a way to accelerate their in-game development without spending time playing the game. More options, therefore more enjoyment. My question stands: If Pay-for-Perks is such a superior model, why denote IRE's MUDs as "free", instead of loudly trumpeting them as "Pay-for-Perks"?
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Old 06-01-2005, 05:06 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by (Valg @ June 01 2005,16:43)
No matter how you frame it, a game where (experience + money) determines rate of progress is inherently more difficult on newbies.
Naah, it's only inherently more difficult on newbies who don't want to spend money. And I'm completely fine with that.

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Old 06-01-2005, 05:08 PM   #83
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Was going to quote a bunch of posts, but lemme sum a few things up.

1) I never said to have players vote on TMS. Clearly you misunderstood what "voting" was suppose to be. I simply said it as an example of something one could do in exchange for a "perk".

2) None of the posts here have been inflamitory at all. I thank those who have kept it civil, and urge you to not make assumptions so quickly.

Now...

I really didn't agree with what Valg said, because it seems very one-sided. Those aren't the only ways to handle a system like this. If I were to implement one when/if I bring my game to a live-play status, it would definately be something at least open. I don't like MUDs that hide it, and I'll not do that to my players. If I go with anything, it'll be Traithe's or KaVir's ideas as presented thus far. Making it binary would definately be the way to go.

Oh, one last thing from Sinhue... (spelling?)

There are easy ways for any admin to monitor the use of such newbie modes. I don't care if they're gritting their teeth on the other end while helping newbies, all I care about is them providing newbies with an involved, complete, and equal introduction to the game. From there, answering questions on a newbie channel would also be required. Through the use of logging and careful watch, one can easily detect what "helpers" are doing a sub-par job and remove them from the position. One good MUD that I really hope to enjoy more again someday is Federation (Now it's Federation II). On original Fed, you were able to get your account free by being a Navigator. Navs were player-helping people who also did very minimal rule enforcement. We were suppose to be tour guides, not police officers. Due to the excellent management there, issues about Navigators abusing powers were never brought up. If anyone did, it was delt with promptly. What you seemed to describe are a bunch of leechers who get the tag, and do nothing except soak up the free "points" or "credits". Please don't think a developer such as myself would be stupid enough to put in such a system without proper checks and balances.

I think that last line goes for most of this. The arguments I've been seeing are based upon poorly implemented pay for perk systems. Granted, it's easy to do that. Granted, it's been done before. However, I'm giving enough credit to you all to take your opinions as coming from educated and well thought perspectives. Please extend the same in return.

Now I bring up another question...

Aside from Pay to Play, and Pay for Perk, and the binary system introduced by Traithe... are there any other ways a MUD can generate income? Re-read my first post before replying as I mentioned a few in there. I'm looking for fresher ideas. It seems that no matter the route, people are going to disagree with a pay for perk system. So now I ask those of you who disagree, or anyone for that matter, is there something better that you feel would work out well in the end?

One more question...

How much do you feel a text-based game, let it be a normal text-only or a hybrid text/graphical, should cost per month in a pay for play system?
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Old 06-01-2005, 05:12 PM   #84
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Originally Posted by Valg,June 01 2005,17[img
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1) Hardestadt has previously identified himself as CTO for a Rapture-based MUD, which is a license proprietary to IRE.
Uh, ok, I guess if I buy/license (actually license, since you don't really buy software) MS Word I'm an employee of Microsoft? That's pretty odd thinking.... Rapture is a piece of software. That's it. Further, Rapture has nothing to do with "pay for perks" or whatever you want to call it any more than C++ has to do with subscriptions in a C++ coded subscription MUD.

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In this thread, you're claiming that Pay-for-Perks is superior to a free or subscription system, precisely because it allows a player a way to accelerate their in-game development without spending time playing the game.
Is it so hard to understand that not everybody thinks there is only one right way to do things? Pay-for-perks is superior for some players. Subscriptions are superior for some players. Non-commercial is superior for some players. PK is superior to non-PK for some players. No RP is superior to RP for some players.I don't believe in 'superior' for something as qualitative as a game when applied universally. I believe there is only "superior in person X's view", and person X's view may differ widely from person Y's view.

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Old 06-01-2005, 05:18 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by (the_logos @ June 01 2005,17:12)
Pay-for-perks is superior for some players. Subscriptions are superior for some players. Hobbyist is superior for some players. I don't believe in 'superior' for something as qualitative as a game. I believe there is only "superior in person X's view", and person X's view may differ widely from person Y's view.
I happen to agree. I'm just curious why you don't label your Pay-for-Perks games as such, given how different they are from free ones. As you've stated above, the learning curve is significantly steeper (compared to the free model) for newbies unless they want to spend money. Shouldn't they be aware from the start that it's part of the equation?
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Old 06-01-2005, 05:18 PM   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Valg @ June 01 2005,16:43)
8-->
Quote:
Originally Posted by (the_logos @ June 01 2005,16[img
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Originally Posted by Valg,May 31 2005,21:14
On a pay-for-perks MUD, the existing players will still have every thing you outline above (practice, skills, equipment, know-how). The difference between that and a subscription or free MUD is that they can also have additional perks which they bought. The gap is larger, not smaller.
Apparently you seem to be repeatedly misunderstanding this, so let me explain again. In many pay-for-perks MUDs, everything is obtainable, completely for free. I'll repeat that: Everything is obtainable completely for free. The players who don't pay have the opportunity to get -anything- simply by putting in time. Huh. Sounds a lot like most MUDs where time is the major factor, doesn't it?


--matt
Apparently, you seem to be repeatedly misunderstanding me, so I'll explain again:

New player: Enters with nothing.
Free MUD established player: Has edge in practice, skills, equipment, know-how.
Pay-for-perks MUD established player: Has edge in practice, skills, equipment, know-how, and previously invested money.

The pay-for-perks scheme means the new player has to invest an amount of money (equal to that spent by the average established player) to reduce the gap to the same magnitude encountered in a free game.

This remains true even if your MUD has an implicit rate of dollars-to-time conversion, as you claim IRE does. Example, using arbitrary numbers:

Starting conditions:
1) Average player on Free MUD: 100 hours of experience.
2) Average player on Pay-for-Perks MUD: 100 hours of experience, plus $50 invested.

The new player, in order to be "even" on the Pay-For-Perks MUD cannot do so by only spending 100 hours of play. They either have to spend some combination of:

1) 100 hours and $50, or
2) (100 + X) hours, where X is the amount of hours needed to accumulate perks equivalent to what $50 gets you.

You repeatedly point out that the new player can accelerate their development by spending money, but repeatedly ignore that everyone else has access to that same acceleration (and has had that access for longer), which only means that new players are starting behind faster-moving established players.

No matter how you frame it, a game where (experience + money) determines rate of progress is inherently more difficult on newbies.
I wanted to quote this, because this is exactly where I disagree.

The major reason I don't go "MUD-hunting" anymore is because I hate being a newbie. No matter what game you go to, unless it's a brand-new one, there are people in the game with an advantage over you. That's the whole point of being a "newbie".

It takes hard work, time, and effort, to get your character up in level and skill. As long as a pay-for-perk system doesn't make the former obsolete, then your argument doesn't have much weight.

I could walk into any free MUD and say the same thing, except replace the $50, with 50 days of play time. If I actually had money to blow on MUDs, no doubt I'd be in a pay for perk, paying for my perks, because I spend so much time outside of MUDs doing things like college, or writing scripts and applications for profit, or even for free.
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Old 06-01-2005, 05:25 PM   #87
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Originally Posted by (Valg @ June 01 2005,17:18)
I happen to agree.  I'm just curious why you don't label your Pay-for-Perks games as such, given how different they are from free ones.  As you've stated above, the learning curve is significantly steeper (compared to the free model) for newbies unless they want to spend money.  Shouldn't they be aware from the start that it's part of the equation?
Because in the minds of most newbies, 'free' as in 'I'm not going to get kicked out for not paying' is the operative word. Our games are free in every way. It's no different from saying "This apple is free. It's at the end of the block. Go get it. I'd be willing to get it for you from the end of the block for $1 though."

And I didn't say the learning curve is significantly steeper. The learning curve is exactly the same. We don't sell 'knowledge.' A newbie not willing to spend money will just have to spend more time playing the game if he wants to have exactly the same set of skills and items that someone who spent $500 has. Such is life.

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Old 06-01-2005, 05:27 PM   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Valg @ June 01 2005,17:18)
Quote:
Originally Posted by (the_logos @ June 01 2005,17:12)
Pay-for-perks is superior for some players. Subscriptions are superior for some players. Hobbyist is superior for some players. I don't believe in 'superior' for something as qualitative as a game. I believe there is only "superior in person X's view", and person X's view may differ widely from person Y's view.
I happen to agree. I'm just curious why you don't label your Pay-for-Perks games as such, given how different they are from free ones. As you've stated above, the learning curve is significantly steeper (compared to the free model) for newbies unless they want to spend money. Shouldn't they be aware from the start that it's part of the equation?
And now you post something I agree with. Make up my mind already!

Yes, I agree that pay for perk MUDs should have it noted from the outset. Alright, so you can let people play for free, but I have to admit - he's got a point. If it's such a huge market, why wouldn't you use it as an advertising ploy?

I honestly think we're going to see more and more pay for perk games. I mean look at Magic: The Gathering Online. The whole game is pay for perk if you think about it. You have to pay to keep upgrading your deck. It's not pay to play, because it's not subscription-based (I think there IS a subscription, but I never had to pay it for some reason). The fact is, the person with more time and money to build their deck is going to have an advantage over someone who has less time and/or money. However, there's one more variable here, which is what I've been trying to say all along. I... SUCK... at Magic: TG. People wanted to buy my deck off me outright because of the cards I had.. and I still NEVER won a game. Never. Why? Because I had the money at the time, but lacked all the skill in the world. I never knew how to play my cards. It wasn't the cards that were at fault, it was me. I had everything you could want, too...

Eventually gave all 700 virtual cards to a friend, since selling anything for real life money is against the EULA.

I really think that games that have an active pay for perk system are going to be the ones that gain in popularity in the future. No doubt free games will always have some level of popularity because the world isn't rich, but I think SOE's StationExchange speaks for me on this.
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Old 06-01-2005, 05:37 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by (Xorith @ June 01 2005,17:18)
It takes hard work, time, and effort, to get your character up in level and skill. As long as a pay-for-perk system doesn't make the former obsolete, then your argument doesn't have much weight.

I could walk into any free MUD and say the same thing, except replace the $50, with 50 days of play time.
The difference is that on the pay-for-perks, you're spending the $50 just to keep up with the Joneses- they've been there for a long time, and bear all the fruits of their previously spent money. In order to be "ahead of the pace", you need to outspend all of the money the median player has ever spent on their character.

The model creates an illusion of progress- you spend $50, and your character develops more rapidly than it would if you spent $0. However, you aren't developing any faster than the other players who spent $50. If spending $50 is common, you effectively get nothing besides the ability to play without a handicap. The arms-race mentality drives both competition and profits.

It's also untrue that total time invested is the only variable in catching up on a free game. All mortal characters in Carrion Fields age, and eventually die to old age or violence. (This is true of many games, most notably RPIs, or various business models. I'm not claiming novelty here.) The most veteran players eventually begin anew, without the accumulated skills, equipment, roleplay rewards, or reputation of their previous character. While they have a significant edge in know-how, this is true of all established games. It's still unquestionably better as a new player than a game where you have to compete against veterans who have that edge in know-how and equipment and skills and previously invested RL dollars.
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Old 06-01-2005, 06:21 PM   #90
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Originally Posted by (Valg @ June 01 2005,17:37)
It's still unquestionably better as a new player than a game where you have to compete against veterans who have that edge in know-how and equipment and skills and previously invested RL dollars.
No it's not. It's better for a certain type of new player, ie those not willing or able to spend money. For those able and willing to spend money, it is not better. I am one of the latter. I won't even play MUDs/MMOs for very long if I can't buy my way out of at least some of the required time investment without breaking the EULA or TOS.

You're also making the assumption that these types of games are inherently competitive for all players. They're not. I know if all I'm interested in is leveling, I don't have to care at all what pace other players are advancing at (especially as I tend to solo, due to time restrictions). What do I care if they have bought their equipment with money and I bought mine with time, or vice-versa? It's the same thing from my point of view. Either way they have the thing and either way it's completely irrelevant to my playing experience.

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Old 06-01-2005, 07:32 PM   #91
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Lets just say this, no matter how long this goes on, IRE is still a commercial business. Which means that the_logos and his people at IRE are out to get as much money as they can from as many players as they can. Do you think theyd actually want to tell people that their mud is almost futile to play unless you either have as much time as the laziest person in the world or start handing over cash? You tell me...
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Old 06-01-2005, 08:40 PM   #92
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Originally Posted by (Daedroth @ June 02 2005,05:32)
Lets just say this, no matter how long this goes on, IRE is still a commercial business. Which means that the_logos and his people at IRE are out to get as much money as they can from as many players as they can. Do you think theyd actually want to tell people that their mud is almost futile to play unless you either have as much time as the laziest person in the world or start handing over cash? You tell me...
We have a new Queen of conspiracies! Molly has abdicated her throne, and now we have an heir! Hail Queen Daedroth!

Heh.

If you think that is what corporations are about then I pity you, your world must be a very scary and paranoid one. When you grow up and get a job(hopefully) you'll learn that companies aren't evil by nature, I expect.

Thats not to say there aren't evil companies out there, hehe.

-H
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Old 06-01-2005, 08:55 PM   #93
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Originally Posted by (Valg @ June 01 2005,22:08)
But above, the_logos (correctly) points out that it is a commonly-used model in the industry. It's easily defined, and distinct from "Free" and "Flat Fee" services. It doesn't only target the company you work for-- Materia Magica and other games use similar models, and they have nothing to do with IRE.
I never said it targets IRE, who I don't work for. I work for Persistent Realms LLC, which is an entirely different entity. Saying I work for IRE is like saying you work for SCO if your mud runs on a unix system.

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Why the resistance to an honest label? If it's such a freedom to be able to invest cash instead of time, why not advertise it loud and proud?
I can't speak for IRE, but I expect its for the following reason.

You don't advertise things that may scare away a potential player before they even try your product.

This is basic common sense. None of the successful commercial muds on this list loudly advertise that they are in fact commercial, for good reason. Noone goes to something commercial if they think it'll cost them money, they'll go to something free, unwittingly going to what is a substandard product(most of the time) when they could have enjoyed the benefits of the quality of a commercial mud without paying a dime.

-H
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Old 06-01-2005, 08:59 PM   #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Valg @ June 02 2005,02:43)
8-->
Quote:
Originally Posted by (the_logos @ June 01 2005,16[img
http://www.topmudsites.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif[/img]8)]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valg,May 31 2005,21:14
On a pay-for-perks MUD, the existing players will still have every thing you outline above (practice, skills, equipment, know-how). The difference between that and a subscription or free MUD is that they can also have additional perks which they bought. The gap is larger, not smaller.
Apparently you seem to be repeatedly misunderstanding this, so let me explain again. In many pay-for-perks MUDs, everything is obtainable, completely for free. I'll repeat that: Everything is obtainable completely for free. The players who don't pay have the opportunity to get -anything- simply by putting in time. Huh. Sounds a lot like most MUDs where time is the major factor, doesn't it?


--matt
Apparently, you seem to be repeatedly misunderstanding me, so I'll explain again:

New player: Enters with nothing.
Free MUD established player: Has edge in practice, skills, equipment, know-how.
Pay-for-perks MUD established player: Has edge in practice, skills, equipment, know-how, and previously invested money.

The pay-for-perks scheme means the new player has to invest an amount of money (equal to that spent by the average established player) to reduce the gap to the same magnitude encountered in a free game.

This remains true even if your MUD has an implicit rate of dollars-to-time conversion, as you claim IRE does. Example, using arbitrary numbers:

Starting conditions:
1) Average player on Free MUD: 100 hours of experience.
2) Average player on Pay-for-Perks MUD: 100 hours of experience, plus $50 invested.

The new player, in order to be "even" on the Pay-For-Perks MUD cannot do so by only spending 100 hours of play. They either have to spend some combination of:

1) 100 hours and $50, or
2) (100 + X) hours, where X is the amount of hours needed to accumulate perks equivalent to what $50 gets you.

You repeatedly point out that the new player can accelerate their development by spending money, but repeatedly ignore that everyone else has access to that same acceleration (and has had that access for longer), which only means that new players are starting behind faster-moving established players.

No matter how you frame it, a game where (experience + money) determines rate of progress is inherently more difficult on newbies.
Only if you compare raw newbies only to the very best players/characters in the game. Ultimately, in an established game newbies will never do well against them.

Have you ever tried playing within the model, Valg? No offence, but your arguments make it seem that you have no experience with it, or you're trying your hardest to make it look bad.

-H
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Old 06-02-2005, 01:26 AM   #95
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Originally Posted by (Hardestadt @ June 01 2005,20:59)
Only if you compare raw newbies only to the very best players/characters in the game. Ultimately, in an established game newbies will never do well against them.

Have you ever tried playing within the model, Valg? No offence, but your arguments make it seem that you have no experience with it, or you're trying your hardest to make it look bad.
Actually, I'm comparing newbies to the average player, which is the whole point. The argument becomes much stronger if you start thinking about how far behind the "top end" players a newbie is in a pay-for-perks system. My point is that they're extra-far-behind the median player, relative to a subscription or free system.

I looked into playing games of that kind (both as a prospective player and as an administrator seeing what ideas were out there), but ultimately the uneven nature of the playing field kept me from spending a dime, and I found a superior product for my tastes that was both free and fair. I think I understand the nature of the business model very well from browsing the discussion boards of games where it is used.

Ultimately, I'm more concerned with what I see as mislabeling, which you touch on in your other post. If the pay-for-perks games labeled themselves accurately, I could really give a crap what business model they used.
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Old 06-02-2005, 08:45 PM   #96
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Originally Posted by (Valg @ June 02 2005,01:26)
Actually, I'm comparing newbies to the average player, which is the whole point.  The argument becomes much stronger if you start thinking about how far behind the "top end" players a newbie is in a pay-for-perks system.  My point is that they're extra-far-behind the median player, relative to a subscription or free system.
Funny, this is exactly why I don't play WoW. I don't have the extra time needed to come anywhere close to the median players. Let alone the "top end" ones. (Assuming I actually liked WoW that is. I find it pretty boring.)

Also, thought I'd point out this from your earlier post:
Established 'free' mud player: eq/skills/knowhow/etc + >>> TIME INVESTED <<<
Established 'perk' mud player: eq/skills/knowhow/etc + perks bought

You leave out the key part to the whole argument. Time IS money, man. It just is. You can argue about the relative values of them, but the equivalence is still there.

Now, you're going to say "but what about the person who has both time and money?" Heh, well, I'd say the number of people who are independently wealthy in this world is pretty few. Thankfully too, since they can make life feel pretty unfair sometimes, to say nothing of any game they may choose to play.
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Old 06-02-2005, 10:29 PM   #97
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Originally Posted by (Valg @ June 02 2005,01:26)
Ultimately, I'm more concerned with what I see as mislabeling, which you touch on in your other post.  If the pay-for-perks games labeled themselves accurately, I could really give a crap what business model they used.
Carrion Fields advertises itself as having "16 balanced classes." I don't buy that for a second. I've never, ever seen a game of any sort that had 16 balanced classes unless they were all just the same class. And balanced for what? Balanced for combat? Balanced for sneaking? Balanced for earning money? What you view as balanced another person may very legitimately not view as balanced. Do you explain any of that instead of just saying 'balanced?' No. Why? Because it'd be silly to. Balanced is a more powerful way of labeling your game than saying "We have 16 classes that are kind of balanced if you're talking about 1 vs 1 combat, but not so balanced in 3 vs 3, and not at all balanced in terms of ability to sneak."

Now I don't actually see any legitimate argument as to how a service that is provided 100% for free isn't free, but my point is, again, that the world is full of different views and different viewpoints. If you want to look at a service that can be played forever for free and say it's not free, that's fine, but you need to accept that this is your viewpoint and that your viewpoint is contrary to how an ordinary person views the word 'free.' What you seem to want to be saying is that our games are not "equally accessible to those who don't pay and those who do pay." I agree on that. Those who don't pay are going to have to spend a lot more time to get the same stuff. But what the heck does being able to be competitive have to do with free? We've never said, "Play the same amount of hours as anyone who has spent real money and you'll be just as powerful." We've said that our games are free, and they are. Go play them. You'll never be charged for playing them. You'll have access to absolutely every single thing in the game, for free, forever. That's free.

Anyway, if you're looking to distinguish your version of free from our version of free, there's nothing stopping you. Pick a new term to use to describe YOUR game, but we're not going to change the way we do things just because you object.

--matt
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Old 06-02-2005, 10:42 PM   #98
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Originally Posted by (Valg @ June 02 2005,01:26)
I think I understand the nature of the business model very well from browsing the discussion boards of games where it is used.
I really don't mean any offence by this, but no, you don't understand it very well. You wouldn't have used the chess tournament analogy where the only way to get bishops was to spend $20.

--matt
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Old 06-03-2005, 05:53 AM   #99
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Originally Posted by (Aeyr @ June 03 2005,02:45)
Quote:
Originally Posted by (Valg @ June 02 2005,01:26)
Actually, I'm comparing newbies to the average player, which is the whole point.  The argument becomes much stronger if you start thinking about how far behind the "top end" players a newbie is in a pay-for-perks system.  My point is that they're extra-far-behind the median player, relative to a subscription or free system.
Funny, this is exactly why I don't play WoW. I don't have the extra time needed to come anywhere close to the median players. Let alone the "top end" ones. (Assuming I actually liked WoW that is. I find it pretty boring.)
And the point Valg is making is that if you could buy your way up, so could they. The median player would be even further ahead of you (while others who invested more money that you would overtake you).

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Also, thought I'd point out this from your earlier post:
Established 'free' mud player: eq/skills/knowhow/etc + >>> TIME INVESTED <<<
Established 'perk' mud player: eq/skills/knowhow/etc + perks bought

You leave out the key part to the whole argument. Time IS money, man. It just is. You can argue about the relative values of them, but the equivalence is still there.
For some people, time is money. But we're talking about muds where money replaces skill, and that's a different thing entirely. I enjoy pitting my skills against other players, but not against their wallets.
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Old 06-03-2005, 06:03 AM   #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (the_logos @ June 03 2005,04:42)
Quote:
Originally Posted by (Valg @ June 02 2005,01:26)
I think I understand the nature of the business model very well from browsing the discussion boards of games where it is used.
I really don't mean any offence by this, but no, you don't understand it very well. You wouldn't have used the chess tournament analogy where the only way to get bishops was to spend $20.
For many pay-for-perks muds his example is pretty much dead-on - in such muds the only way to earn the top equipment is by spending money.
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