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ClockworkOrange

Tomes P2W Model

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4 hours ago, canvox said:

So instead of screaming into the void of an uncaring system, please try to come up with solutions that are compatible with real life.

Make a game good enough to sustain itself without having to double, triple, quadruple dip into player pockets. Maybe wishful thinking, but to me, a good game will bring players in along with their money without having to jump straight into selling advantage. Clearly they have more experience with such things than I and they are ultimately on the hook, but I'd hope they have enough faith that the game will be good enough to draw in a steady flow of folks paying at least $50, with a percent buying EK and cosmetic fluff, along with VIP providing whatever non-advantage perks.

Heck, simply selling a catch up mechanic from the store is another option. The tome system is basically expecting people to buy VIP and trade it for tomes, why not just sell it directly and make sure it goes to those that "need" it. I'll admit it is hard to build a game and profit from it in this market, but going back to the start, thought they wanted to take a risk and not just be another game doing what others are or have done.

Camelot Unchained and Ashes of Creation are so far avoiding this, but early for all three still.

6 minutes ago, jasta85 said:

Now if your definition of P2W is different, like buying something in game without having actually played to get it or something then that's a different matter.

This.

There isn't one definition of the term.

For me, it is using cash to buy in-game advantage. Doesn't matter if you buy it from devs, bot farming 3rd parties, or other players.

Someone selling goods in-game to others for VIP isn't an issue. They are putting in the time/effort and getting something in return. They are port of the in-game economy and make use of time, effort, knowledge, skill, etc.

If someone farms 1000 logs and trades that for 1 tome of butt kicking, great. Effort = Effort. Spending $15-X for anything used in-game that has any impact on performance is very different.

Those spending cash are doing close to nothing when it comes to effort.

Cash should have no impact on performance besides access to the game if it isn't F2P.

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It would be just better if there were no poor or frugal people, so we can have a subscription model and everybody is exactly the same. Oh well. Move on.

People arguing against P2W hate poor people. Why do you hate poor people? That's racist. Or Fascist? I'm confused. 

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I'm curious how tomes are actually a realistic "catch up" mechanic.

How many tomes or amount of progression will be considered "caught up."

How long will it take for someone not trading in VIP or some other high value currency to be able to obtain tomes?

Without a system in place that separates new/old players, diminishing returns and systems in place to keep things from getting out of hand could just as easily decrease or stop any benefit to new players being able to catch up.

Maybe I missed them talking about this?

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3 minutes ago, DocHollidaze said:

It would be just better if there were no poor or frugal people, so we can have a subscription model and everybody is exactly the same. Oh well. Move on.

People arguing against P2W hate poor people. Why do you hate poor people? That's racist. Or Fascist? I'm confused. 

Hard trying you are.

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11 minutes ago, ironarm said:

The value of the VIP Tickets have to/will be enough to warranty people purchasing them for RL and then turning around and selling them, which usually happens. Having a system where this is a possible outcome is a track for more P2W elements in the game. The cash shop already have items to give buffs and the game isn't even out yet. 

Unfortunately VIP has been part of the design from the start. Seems most didn't care or at least didn't cause a lot of noise beyond "OMG you can train 2 extra ATs!"

While I'm not a fan, at least in-game goods can be lost, degrade, follow import/export rules, etc. There is some potential risk involved in dropping cash down for "best" gear or whatever.

The 1/1/1 extra training seems more of an issue than 2 ATs and tomes without good checks in place come with little to no risk. This side of things could easily be tweaked, redesigned, removed still.

Hopefully they take our "feedback" and update us eventually with actual details not "we think twinking is cool!"

Honestly believe the FAQ and official info available from the main page is a bit disingenuous and could use an overhaul.

The info is there, but might need a once over to spell it out very clearly that cash will impact gameplay beyond pretty castle fluff. Less needing to read between the lines or use common sense which seems to be missing these days. After just experienced Albion Online, clearly people have a hard time figuring this stuff out on their own.

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15 minutes ago, APE said:

There isn't one definition of the term.

For me, it is using cash to buy in-game advantage. Doesn't matter if you buy it from devs, bot farming 3rd parties, or other players.

Someone selling goods in-game to others for VIP isn't an issue. They are putting in the time/effort and getting something in return. They are port of the in-game economy and make use of time, effort, knowledge, skill, etc.

If someone farms 1000 logs and trades that for 1 tome of butt kicking, great. Effort = Effort. Spending $15-X for anything used in-game that has any impact on performance is very different.

Those spending cash are doing close to nothing when it comes to effort.

Cash should have no impact on performance besides access to the game if it isn't F2P.

I see where you are coming from, but I'm honestly not worried too much about people buying leet gear in this game for a few reasons

1. as I said before fights are rarely going to be 1v1, so one person having supreme gear in a group fight where you got 50 vs 50 people is going to have far less effect than in a 1v1 duel.

2. all gear (and items in general) are temporary.  they will break after repeated use and repairing them will lower their max durability until they are gone forever.  Also in some campaigns there is character looting after death so the moment they die that awesome armor set they spent $50 real world money on just walked away with a new owner after they got ganked.

3. Embargo limits what you can take into and out of a campaign.  You can't stock up on 50 sets of the best gear and weapons and bring them all into a campaign with you, depending on the embargo rules you may not even be able to bring one and can just bring a middle tier set of equipment and some crafting materials.  so you can have the best set of gear in the world but it doesn't do much good if it's just sitting in your EK for eternity.

4. gear does not make a player automatically super powered.  You mention that a player can pay real world money to get good gear with no effort.  But if the only way they got any of their gear is by paying for it they're probably a lot less experienced in the game than those people who fought and farmed and grinded their way up to get the gear themselves.  And as mentioned before, dying to more experienced players will either lose them their gear or wreck its durability.

and when it comes to buy skill tomes, they're going to have to wait for the first wave of players to actually reach the higher tiers before they can start buying skill tomes, probably a week for the basic tree, a month or two for the intermediate tree and a year for the advanced trees.  No matter how much money they throw around, before those the first wave of player actually complete those trees no one will be able to buy their way up through them.

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11 minutes ago, jasta85 said:

I see where you are coming from, but I'm honestly not worried too much about people buying leet gear in this game for a few reasons

1. as I said before fights are rarely going to be 1v1, so one person having supreme gear in a group fight where you got 50 vs 50 people is going to have far less effect than in a 1v1 duel.

2. all gear (and items in general) are temporary.  they will break after repeated use and repairing them will lower their max durability until they are gone forever.  Also in some campaigns there is character looting after death so the moment they die that awesome armor set they spent $50 real world money on just walked away with a new owner after they got ganked.

3. Embargo limits what you can take into and out of a campaign.  You can't stock up on 50 sets of the best gear and weapons and bring them all into a campaign with you, depending on the embargo rules you may not even be able to bring one and can just bring a middle tier set of equipment and some crafting materials.  so you can have the best set of gear in the world but it doesn't do much good if it's just sitting in your EK for eternity.

4. gear does not make a player automatically super powered.  You mention that a player can pay real world money to get good gear with no effort.  But if the only way they got any of their gear is by paying for it they're probably a lot less experienced in the game than those people who fought and farmed and grinded their way up to get the gear themselves.  And as mentioned before, dying to more experienced players will either lose them their gear or wreck its durability.

and when it comes to buy skill tomes, they're going to have to wait for the first wave of players to actually reach the higher tiers before they can start buying skill tomes, probably a week for the basic tree, a month or two for the intermediate tree and a year for the advanced trees.  No matter how much money they throw around, before those the first wave of player actually complete those trees no one will be able to buy their way up through them.

 

1. Yes, 1v1s are going to be rare, but you are assuming that there will only be 1 player with supreme gear. Out of the 100 person battle (depending on the guilds involved) there could be 40+ whales in that match.

2. Yes and you are again assuming people won't just turn around and buy the best gear again. Gear will be cheaper because it is temporary, meaning that you can still just turn around and buy 2-3 VIP tickets and get your gear right back <-- That is P2W because you are once again jumping ahead of everyone (aka non-whales) that lost their gear and have to grind more to get it. The player not using RL money will once again be behind, because just like that whale that lost his gear there will be 2-3 non-whales that lost gear as well.

3. Once again, you assume that whales are just a one time thing. People won't just spend $50 to get the best gear and never do it again. Whales go to a new server, sell more VIP tickets once again get the best gear. Spending $50-$200 a month isn't difficult for some people, some can spend even more. I've seen people on AA and BDO spend $300 a month on items.

4. No, gear doesn't make a player automatically super powered, it just puts the advantage in their favor that they don't have to be as good. You are also assuming that people that spend a lot of RL money on the game to get gear are not going to be good at the game, that wasn't the case in AA. I would say at least 50% of the people that went P2W could back it up. Meaning if you have 200 whales on a 800 pop server, 100 of those whales are not only going to be better geared but better fighters.

You didn't answer my question about buying IG currency from the cash shop because "it can be earned in the game" btw.

Also you are assuming a lot of things like whales won't continue to drop money in the game on a monthly bases (3). <--- Isn't true, just use AA as an example. Heck, I have a friend that did it when he was playing AA. Invested $200 a month into the game to get better gear.

Assuming only whales will lose gear and get set behind, not everyone who dies and loses gear (2). <--- Have to account for the non-whales who will lose gear and take even longer to get their gear back now.

Assuming there will only be 1 whale in a 100 person battle (1). <--- Numerous guilds in AA had 20-75% of their player-base as whales (because it made them even stronger because they had more geared players.)

Assuming whales don't have the skills to back up the armor they purchased (4). <--- Once again wrong, Koonkoon (I think that was his name) was a whale in Korea AA that had the talent to back up his purchases and he was only 1 of many.

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14 minutes ago, jasta85 said:

I see where you are coming from, but I'm honestly not worried too much about people buying leet gear in this game for a few reasons

1. as I said before fights are rarely going to be 1v1, so one person having supreme gear in a group fight where you got 50 vs 50 people is going to have far less effect than in a 1v1 duel.

2. all gear (and items in general) are temporary.  they will break after repeated use and repairing them will lower their max durability until they are gone forever.  Also in some campaigns there is character looting after death so the moment they die that awesome armor set they spent $50 real world money on just walked away with a new owner after they got ganked.

3. Embargo limits what you can take into and out of a campaign.  You can't stock up on 50 sets of the best gear and weapons and bring them all into a campaign with you, depending on the embargo rules you may not even be able to bring one and can just bring a middle tier set of equipment and some crafting materials.  so you can have the best set of gear in the world but it doesn't do much good if it's just sitting in your EK for eternity.

4. gear does not make a player automatically super powered.  You mention that a player can pay real world money to get good gear with no effort.  But if the only way they got any of their gear is by paying for it they're probably a lot less experienced in the game than those people who fought and farmed and grinded their way up to get the gear themselves.  And as mentioned before, dying to more experienced players will either lose them their gear or wreck its durability.

and when it comes to buy skill tomes, they're going to have to wait for the first wave of players to actually reach the higher tiers before they can start buying skill tomes, probably a week for the basic tree, a month or two for the intermediate tree and a year for the advanced trees.  No matter how much money they throw around, before those the first wave of player actually complete those trees no one will be able to buy their way up through them.

1. What about 20/50 or 50/50 having cash bought supreme gear? While maybe unrealistic, my guess is more than 2% of the population is going to be dropping cash if it helps them win. Also doesn't' seem likely ACE will even bother making systems like this if there isn't a payoff.

2. Agree some what. Said something similar in post above. However, it does widen the gap when organized, skilled folks already having advantage over others also open their wallets. That gear might go poof, but if it still leads to a win (battle, siege, campaign) fully or partially, still an issue.

3. True, which again why I don't believe buying goods is as much of an issue as VIP and Tome training. Those can't be lost once consumed. There is no real risk. If Dregs players have no import, it comes down to their passive training outside of their personal ability. Those with VIP/Tomes will be stronger soon as they log into the fresh campaign. Can all pretend we are all amazing gamers and our skills will matter most, but they aren't making all these additional power systems just for giggles.

4. Gear might not make us super powered, but it matters. If not, what's the point of using anything besides the basics. While true some without the skill might try to compensate with cash, nothing stopping experienced/good players from doing the same. From my experience, those dedicated that put in a lot of time to learn the game, also have no problem throwing cash for extra advantage.

5. Regardless of when they release tomes, the issue still remains. People will be able to buy power they didn't earn that has no risk involved. Going above and beyond the supposed reasoning for having passive training. It isn't fair that some have lots of time to active train, so passive training it is. Throw that away and now it's who has money to spare. 

If they release tomes a year after launch, plenty will have a year of training, but now those that want can go further with cash. As I asked in a previous post, how is this even a catch up mechanic for new players? How are they expected to earn tomes in-game in a reasonable time frame without having to use the cash shop? 

 

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13 hours ago, Kith said:

My logic process looks like this: Feeder accounts give horizontal progression just like VIP.  I am ok with how VIP works, and so I am ok with feeder accounts.

Out of curiosity what is horizontal progression to you?

Previously this was used to explain that 2 extra ATs weren't an issue because you can only play 1 at a time. While you might have more vertically progressed options available than a non-VIP, you still can only use one like them.

Edit with updated info:

In the new system, 2/2/2, you can double down in two of the three lines or combo between them. This provides more options, but now we will have access to two options at once or one without VIP. This still leads to a "power" difference, even if it isn't dealing with 1:1. Being able to swing a sword and bang on a rock well vs only bang on a rock seems like a obvious advantage to those paying more.

Edited by APE

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1 hour ago, APE said:

Make a game good enough to sustain itself without having to double, triple, quadruple dip into player pockets.

I am not aware of any MMO in history that does not double dip into player pockets, given that even classic MMOs had both a box price and subscription model.  Replacing the subscription with something that's not a subscription would not be necessary if you could sustain a large enough population for a game to function on subscriptions alone, but you can't.  It's not about some absolute metric of quality, everquest 1 wouldn't meet the bar today but it did in 2001.  Games are more expensive, people have less disposable income than they did 20 years ago, and survival shooters are the time sink du jour of teenagers and college students who filled the benches of MMOs 15 years ago.  

Modern MMO business models are about filling the benches so that paying customers can have fun, and structuring your income draw from customers to represent the increasingly-unequal incomes of those customers.  Offering a playable version of the game to people who can't afford a regular purchase is the only way you fill the benches, and taking whatever cash from those willing to hand it over is how you fund the project.  You can call it buying power or whatever but the question is, "is it fun to play the game without a monthly sub, are people who can't afford a sub going to have a good time" and the answer is, yeah.  You get to do the things that are your top priority, you just don't get to do the things that are your secondary priority.  If you find a quarter million people with $180/year to spend on a single game under a rock somewhere or come up with another solution let us know.

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15 minutes ago, APE said:

In the new system, 2/2/2, you can double down in one line. Easy example being Weapons + Armor. VIP player could have both trained increasing offense/defense, while non-VIP either chooses one to go fully in or spreads time into both, making them overall less than the VIP.

This was covered in the Q&A on Tuesday: you cannot do that.

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1 hour ago, canvox said:

Offering a playable version of the game to people who can't afford a regular purchase is the only way you fill the benches, and taking whatever cash from those willing to hand it over is how you fund the project.  You can call it buying power or whatever but the question is, "is it fun to play the game without a monthly sub, are people who can't afford a sub going to have a good time" and the answer is, yeah.  You get to do the things that are your top priority, you just don't get to do the things that are your secondary priority.  If you find a quarter million people with $180/year to spend on a single game under a rock somewhere or come up with another solution let us know.

There isn't only ONE way to do it.

Across semi popular MMOs, there might be a common theme, but they aren't identical.

If CF is going to get in line, why bother with the $50 box? If AAA games can't do it, why will they or is it just a temp thing until it drops or goes F2P?

They will already have the cash shop fluff, optional sub, and incentive to turn cash into game power like many of them, seems odd to also tack on the upfront cost if it is just about filling the benches.

From the start they said they wanted to do their own thing, seems less and less as time goes on.

I don't fault companies having to make such decisions when things don't go as planned, but seems like they aren't even giving themselves or the game a chance.

Part in bold is the question. You might believe it is yes, but we don't know.

Unlike most MMOs, CF lacks all the fluffy side stuff that gets people hooked and spending cash even if they don't get the full experience or slight boosts here and there.

Being a highly competitive game with a lot of potential for risk/loss, knowingly playing at a disadvantage for an extended period might not turn out as well.

Games like ESO/SWTOR started out one way and had the advantage of AAA quality/support, known IPs, and at least an attempt to keep a even pay model. Once they changed, plenty left and bought in. Many were likely invested by that time as well.

If they had said from the start that you can pay more and be 10% better or whatever, I wonder how it would of turned out. In CF's situation, this might be even greater.

I'm not oblivious to the market, but guess I had a bit more faith in ACE sticking with breaking away and doing their own thing across the board.

Will be interesting to see how Camelot Unchained and even Ashes of Creation do down the line as they are going with B2P/F2P + Required Sub models. Maybe they missed the memo.

1 hour ago, canvox said:

This was covered in the Q&A on Tuesday: you cannot do that.

Thank you, missed that. If only they'd update their FAQ or post an official summary. Don't always have an hour+ to catch actual useful info.

Edited by APE

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14 hours ago, Kith said:

Also; socialism can be boiled down to the idea that money shouldn't buy power, which is what you're arguing for.

In Europe it's called democracy, when money should not be able to buy power.

If someone does buy power with money, then it's called corruption, a criminal offence.

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15 hours ago, KrakkenSmacken said:

I really wish they had just gone with a points to spend model every time you enter a campaign world.  This whole EvE style passive training is to me a square peg in a round hole.

I think a refresh / respec at the start of every campaign is the obvious optimal solution that serves the interest of all players except the whales.¹

I deem it possible, that the very confusing and clumsey design decisions of ACE are not a sign of incompetence, but that they are betting, that the tiny minority of the whales will bring much greater profit than to actually make a game which is fun to the big majority of the player base. In my eyes it's not only a risky bet, but even a lunatic bet, since the hard empiric facts show that the most successful games ("League of Legends", "PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds") go a completely different route (addictive fun for a massive playerbase and capitalizing on that through microtransactions for cosmetic items). I don't see whales investing much money into Crowfall like they do in "Entropia Universe", because it's too indie and looks too cheap.

¹
The respec at the beginning of a campaign would include a limit, or unlock another skill point to spend after a set interval of time (like a day).

Edited by Doradur

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13 hours ago, ClockworkOrange said:

I still haven't seen any argument why allowing two mechanics that offer P2W potential is good for anyone aside from ACE (and I argue it is bad for them). Some claim it helps them keep the game open longer, but any P2W potential keeps many people from ever touching the game. I have a group of 5 friends who all ask me about the status of this game. If I were to tell them these P2W mechanics were introduced they would lose all interest immediately. If they truly make a good game, they will have no problem of funding. Overwatch has no monthly sub and has actively continued developing. ACE can add all the cosmetic crap in the world if they need money. Take advantage of the nerds obsession and vanity to make money, don't ruin your gameplay.

 

This is a loaded statement, that simply because there is variances of opinion on what P2W is, and I personally don't think spending money to buy things made by other players is paying to win, in the sense that the developers have locked content behind a paywall of some sort. There have always been, and always will be, players willing to sell things they have earned, to give another player an advantage, for real money.  In any game with trade, this is unavoidable. If you think that can or should be stopped in a game that is supposed to be so socially interdependent, you're basically pushing a rope.

EDIT: Think Willy Wonka and Veruca Salt.  I bet if I wanted to I could hire someone from the third world to personally play an account for me to get all the mats I ever wanted or build parcels for a couple hundred a month.

But let's just assume the model is something that can be classified as pay to win, why is this particularly P2W a good thing for the game? The reasons are interrelated, and based on other assumptions and processes which I personally think are far from ideal, but given the environment we find ourselves in with passive training over time, this is one of the best compromises possible. 

First, the "winning" being done is skill training.  The mechanic prior to the tomes was completely related to age of account.  There was NO WAY to catch up at all in the previous iterations.  If you started six months late, you were forever six months late. So if having greater skill is winning, the entire game used to revolve around old accounts > new accounts, with no recourse.  With mechanics that forever have new players at a significant disadvantage to those that came first, many players will elect to never even try to pick up the game, and you're in the same, and I would argue worse position, than a system that has slight appearance of P2W.  You can point to five friends that you think will not play the game because of P2W, while I am sure I could point to well over 5 other people who after six months would be equally disinterested because of the "no way to catch up" problem.

Second, It substitutes as an active training system.  You can actively and aggressively improve your skills, with only in game activity, if you produce things of value that people are willing to trade passive training for. This means ACE can keep to the idea that you don't have to kill 10,000 rats in order to level, and start "participating" in the game, while still allowing for players to use in game activity to improve their skills.  "Power leveling", now becomes an interaction between players that have training they don't want or need, and players that have time in abundance to create in game things those players are after.   For example, a casual player that only want's to play EK lego, but needs campaign resources, could trade skill tomes for combat that they will never use, for the materials they need in the EK to play the game they like. 

Third, Casual or combat focused players enter the field with value.  Suppose I am a casual player, and only want to participate in combat, can't ever be bothered to swing an ax. I can through selling the tomes from lines I consider extra or am willing to wait to level up, have something to barter for the equipment I want, that does not involve me entering into economic activity, or begging for a job.  I can log in, trade tomes for goods, suit up, and go hit the killing fields, all without ever having to engage in the production side of the economy.

Fourth, Guilds can twink.  One of the biggest problems with starting with a new guild, is being relevant.  With tomes guilds can pool resources to give new players a boost, to get them into fighting effectively quicker, or to help a new player who wants to take an economic position, get the training they need to be useful quickly. It goes hand in hand with a catch up mechanic, but has greater social implications when taken in context with guilds.

Five, and probably most important, you can get EVERYTHING that the people paying can get, without ever spending a nickel, and simply outplaying them in the game.

The bottom line, is that SOME sort of catch up mechanic is required, and catch up mechanics when taken the the extreme always become "reach the end" mechanics. Historically that was only done through grinding XP in the most efficient manner, but with time gated training, the only real way to do that is through trade and exchange.

Seeing as this game is largely about trade and exchange, you can bet the farm that gold farmers are going to show up for their own kick at getting cash for in game assets, be it currency, or becoming the best damned sword makers in the game, which will make it just as much pay to win, but without ACE getting any benefit from it.

Edited by KrakkenSmacken

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6 hours ago, r004cf said:

Pay 2 win will happen anyway, no one can stop a 3rd party trading place to hire mercenaries, buy mats with real money

We all understand that. Why would you want it as a built in system to the game when P2W is generally accepted as a bad thing and harmful to games.

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1 minute ago, ClockworkOrange said:

We all understand that. Why would you want it as a built in system to the game when P2W is generally accepted as a bad thing and harmful to games.

Because I would rather the developers of the game get that cash than chinese gold farmers. With a system built by developers to regulate and manage it, at least is has some controls, rather than none.

Edited by KrakkenSmacken

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9 minutes ago, KrakkenSmacken said:

First, the "winning" being done is skill training.  The mechanic prior to the tomes was completely related to age of account.  There was NO WAY to catch up at all in the previous iterations.  If you started six months late, you were forever six months late. So if having greater skill is winning, the entire game used to revolve around old accounts > new accounts, with no recourse.  With mechanics that forever have new players at a significant disadvantage to those that came first, many players will elect to never even try to pick up the game, and you're in the same, and I would argue worse position, than a system that has slight appearance of P2W.  You can point to five friends that you think will not play the game because of P2W, while I am sure I could point to well over 5 other people who after six months would be equally disinterested because of the "no way to catch up" problem.

I never argued that there shouldn't be tomes, only that they shouldn't allow you to progress past a VIP player who has been passively training since day 1.

Second, as APE pointed out (and I think this point is being completely missed) tomes are one of the worst catch up mechanics possible. Say I am a solo player who wants to play CF. I start 2 years after the game launches and I am at a massive disadvantage. Now I can DUMP money into the game after my initial investment of buying the game to be equal to everyone else (with diminishing returns) so this will cost me a ton of money. It actually got worse because now there are characters who have been trained past the "VIP player who has been passively training since day 1" so I potentially have to pay even more if I want to catch them. You think that is a turn off? I know I would quit.

Second, It substitutes as an active training system.  You can actively and aggressively improve your skills, with only in game activity, if you produce things of value that people are willing to trade passive training for. This means ACE can keep to the idea that you don't have to kill 10,000 rats in order to level, and start "participating" in the game, while still allowing for players to use in game activity to improve their skills.  "Power leveling", now becomes an interaction between players that have training they don't want or need, and players that have time in abundance to create in game things those players are after.   For example, a casual player that only want's to play EK lego, but needs campaign resources, could trade skill tomes for combat that they will never use, for the materials they need in the EK to play the game they like. 

This game was advertised as passive training. I can tell you want active training, but we were never told that is what this game was.

Third, Casual or combat focused players enter the field with value.  Suppose I am a casual player, and only want to participate in combat, can't ever be bothered to swing an ax. I can through selling the tomes from lines I consider extra or am willing to wait to level up, have something to barter for the equipment I want, that does not involve me entering into economic activity, or begging for a job.  I can log in, trade tomes for goods, suit up, and go hit the killing fields, all without ever having to engage in the production side of the economy.

I understand this, but I think the negative of the P2W potential outweighs the benefits of this system.

Fourth, Guilds can twink.  One of the biggest problems with starting with a new guild, is being relevant.  With tomes guilds can pool resources to give new players a boost, to get them into fighting effectively quicker, or to help a new player who wants to take an economic position, get the training they need to be useful quickly. It goes hand in hand with a catch up mechanic, but has greater social implications when taken in context with guilds.

Yes with P2W mechanics you can catch up with enough money. It is still P2W. A mentoring system makes more sense in this where a 100% trained character can impart knowledge on a less learned player with restrictions. A well thought out mentoring system (I think Tinnis proposed one) would be a more interesting dynamic.

The bottom line, is that SOME sort of catch up mechanic is required, and catch up mechanics when taken the the extreme always become "reach the end" mechanics. Historically that was only done through grinding XP in the most efficient manner, but with time gated training, the only real way to do that is through trade and exchange.

Agreed, but as APE has pointed out, this is a terrible one. I think if you think about it you will come to the same conclusion.

Seeing as this game is largely about trade and exchange, you can bet the farm that gold farmers are going to show up for their own kick at getting cash for in game assets, be it currency, or becoming the best damned sword makers in the game, which will make it just as much pay to win, but without ACE getting any benefit from it.

There will always be gold farmers, the games campaign mechanics already discourage it. Saying that you would rather have ACE getting money than gold farmers is a bad argument. If ACE proposed a P2W system in game than maybe 30% of players would take advantage of it. The amount of players that would take advantage of a gold farming system would be significantly lower and I think you know that. I would argue less than 1/3rd.

 

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10 hours ago, APE said:

I'm curious how tomes are actually a realistic "catch up" mechanic.

How many tomes or amount of progression will be considered "caught up."

How long will it take for someone not trading in VIP or some other high value currency to be able to obtain tomes?

Without a system in place that separates new/old players, diminishing returns and systems in place to keep things from getting out of hand could just as easily decrease or stop any benefit to new players being able to catch up.

Maybe I missed them talking about this?

I strongly suspect it depends on the profession, race, class and skill, and will be different in each case.

Combat.  Well in that case you have race, class, and profession combat skills that over lap, so catching up there could be really hard, or a person could feel caught up when they hit 50% through on each.  There are plenty of combinations and relationships we have no idea about until we get our hands on it.

Crafting.  Well once you get the pips' it's a roll of the dice on quality.  We also know that it's possible to get a much better green item than blue/purple/legendary due to rolls. So caught up may well be only half way through the tree, where you get enough pips to maximize green gear for example.

Harvesting:  If they don't change that curve, it will take literally over a year of tomes to get to a point where a person can ditch the discipline and not miss it. Up until that point, the differences in productivity are marginal. 

All of the above will also depend on availability of tomes.  Some tomes may be common (and cheaper), say combat, because the combat players eventually don't want to participate in the economy side of things, and simply crank out that profession, where as end of the line necromancy tomes.. well those could be harder to find than hen's teeth.

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