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ClockworkOrange

Tomes P2W Model

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On 9/22/2017 at 5:02 PM, KrakkenSmacken said:

As someone who had to deal with this when building a bingo/lottery site, this is a fairly simple to implement stall tactic to break down rampant use of multi accounts.

It can go much further, up to and including forcing registrants to identify themselves with picture ID's, but that would be overkill in the extreme for this type of game.

Properly designed, the limit can start at two, and if someone were to say want 3 or 4 because of children etc, it's rather trivial to push those players through a vetting process and then modify the limit for their accounts. There is also the issue in some parts of the world of communities sharing a range of IP addresses.  When I was doing this, there was one neighborhood of people who had no relationship with each other, that had about 25 IP addresses mixed in among 50 or so players, that swapped almost at random, sometimes in mid session. It was a real pain in the arse.  

One thing ACE has going for it, is the install. So each install could be given an serial number. If you want to run multi accounts, you would need to have multiple installed clients, and start/stop them.  I can guarantee you that 99% of the guys that would try this, would screw up at some point and log in with the wrong serial number.  Watching for a week or so, and them compiling the behavior, you could probably connect the dots to as many accounts as they owned. You don't tell them how you are checking, and you don't lock them out immediately.  You let is cook for a while so they never know for sure what method got them caught.

Take it a step further.  If you do this and get caught, you are immediately kicked FOREVER from the campaign in question.  You can play other campaigns, but each time you are caught, you lose EVERYTHING you may have gained from doing so.

ACE seems to think multi account can't , or even shouldn't be stopped, but in reality it can. It can at the very least be discouraged by increasing the number of flaming hoops you have to jump through to bypass limitations.

PUBG just had a similar problem with Bot's farming free BP by just joining games they had not intention of playing in. Drop from the plane, wait to die from the zone, and collect your BP for doing absolutely nothing. (BP can sometimes translate into very expensive cosmetic items worth hundreds at auction) One simple fix, making it so you had to pick up "anything" from the world before getting points, stopped what feels like 99% of the bots. 

It's just a question of how rampant it is and how important ACE thinks it is, and how much a catch like this will be necessary to protect the integrity of the game from this sort of thing.

I mean look at PUBG's games.  They last less than an hour, with over 10 million players your odds of ever facing the same cheater twice are almost effectively zero, there are no real permanent things you can take from any one game, and you expect to die, quickly, and just jump in again. So of all the games out there, running into a cheater impacts an individual so little in that game, and yet they ban in droves. 

I suspect with import/export and Thrall slots being limited to accounts, ACE is going to find out the hard way just how much that sort of behavior can screw with things. Just imagine playing risk vs a guy who is playing three of the five teams.

ACE is going to have to take it seriously at some point.

Some interesting ideas here that I wish were being discussed more. I also just heard that apparently Dofus is getting a mono-account server. Not a game I've ever played but an interesting idea nonetheless. From what I can tell they're doing a few things, but aside from IP restrictions they're requiring players on this server to register their cell phone number (and they get text verification, etc.). It seems really obvious to me now so I don't know why I haven't seen this discussed much before, but that's a great way to limit people - as an addition to other efforts - because nobody is going to buy numerous permanent cell phone numbers just to have numerous accounts.

That brings me to another question - do required security keys prevent this problem? I know a lot of games have optional keys, but would requiring an app download or phone number text verification help prevent multi accounting? I mean assuming each account would need a different registered app or number and would need to access that phone upon every log in - am I missing something or does that make sense?

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19 minutes ago, Leiloni said:

Some interesting ideas here that I wish were being discussed more. I also just heard that apparently Dofus is getting a mono-account server. Not a game I've ever played but an interesting idea nonetheless. From what I can tell they're doing a few things, but aside from IP restrictions they're requiring players on this server to register their cell phone number (and they get text verification, etc.). It seems really obvious to me now so I don't know why I haven't seen this discussed much before, but that's a great way to limit people - as an addition to other efforts - because nobody is going to buy numerous permanent cell phone numbers just to have numerous accounts.

That brings me to another question - do required security keys prevent this problem? I know a lot of games have optional keys, but would requiring an app download or phone number text verification help prevent multi accounting? I mean assuming each account would need a different registered app or number and would need to access that phone upon every log in - am I missing something or does that make sense?

You are right about the cell phone to a degree.  If you watch any scam baiters on youtube, like hoax hotel for example, they make new phone numbers at will so they can annoy scammers and call them incessantly without being blocked. Also some systems are susceptible to key cloning problems etc.

It is always a cat/mouse game, with developers trying to keep one step ahead of the "cheaters". The real trick is to make the flaming hoops not worth jumping through for 99% percent of people, and then ratchet down and ban the 1% that think they are slipping through the cracks. 

The problem is ACE has very publicly stated in live streams and by specific staff members that owning multiple accounts is something they "hope" doesn't happen, but that they are not designing systems to deal with it if it does, nor have any intention of enforcing one account per player.

Can't very well ban someone for doing something you have basically authorised them to do.

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"diminishing returns" - yea....but how diminishing.

tomes do make this game step into P2W with more than just a toe. there will be a market for tomes, but most everyone who backed this game will have 30 days VIP.

although i don't see why i would make a tome to sell as the deeper down a skill tree, the more time is needed. i would gladly buy tomes.

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1 hour ago, dpad said:

"diminishing returns" - yea....but how diminishing.

tomes do make this game step into P2W with more than just a toe. there will be a market for tomes, but most everyone who backed this game will have 30 days VIP.

although i don't see why i would make a tome to sell as the deeper down a skill tree, the more time is needed. i would gladly buy tomes.

How it is currently envisioned, is that after you have 1% of a tree trained, you get 99% of the value of the tome, all the way to the other side of 99% of the tree, you get 1% of the value of the tome.

Since that is based on total tree time, and each pip costs progressively more that the previous pip in the same node,  Tomes should be good to get you to 3 pips in the tree where you can advance without fully completing a node, and then after that become more prohibitively expensive. 

It would take 3X the hours in tomes to take you from 0 - 95% (That final 5% is just stupid long on conversion). In a 30 day long tree 720 hours of training would cost you to 2160 hours worth of tomes.

That's the current diminishing returns plan.

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1 hour ago, KrakkenSmacken said:

How it is currently envisioned, is that after you have 1% of a tree trained, you get 99% of the value of the tome, all the way to the other side of 99% of the tree, you get 1% of the value of the tome.

Since that is based on total tree time, and each pip costs progressively more that the previous pip in the same node,  Tomes should be good to get you to 3 pips in the tree where you can advance without fully completing a node, and then after that become more prohibitively expensive. 

It would take 3X the hours in tomes to take you from 0 - 95% (That final 5% is just stupid long on conversion). In a 30 day long tree 720 hours of training would cost you to 2160 hours worth of tomes.

That's the current diminishing returns plan.

I just think the diminishing returns is poorly thought out. Someone will craft a recipe online on the ideal P2W plan based on diminishing returns and all top level players will use it.

The catch up mechanic is no longer a catch up mechanic due to diminishing returns. Plus a new player has to drop a significant amount of money or have a large social group who will assist him.

If they put a skill cap and erased the diminishing returns it would be a much better catch up mechanic and would get rid of a lot of the P2W aspect. This doesn't fix the problem that there is a larger barrier to entry (monetarily) for a new player who wants to catch up.

Scrapping the tome system and rethinking it isn't a bad start....

A mentor system is a better catch up mechanic that creates social interaction and gives new players reason to quickly join a guild, but ACE doesn't get money.

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I'm not a fan of the tome idea.  If they really wanted it to work without having a P2W aspect, the trees need to be reworked a bit.  To start the diminishing returns could be kept, but the time to max a tree would have to be MUCH shorter (a month or two, rather than years).  Shortening the time it takes to reach the cap on a tree would be needed.  It would allow new players to catch up, but not surpass veteran players since the skills max  in a much shorter duration.  Provides a catchup mechanic without enabling people to dump a bunch of money in to get a years worth of training over someone else.  The problem can be solved by shortening the duration of training because once you are maxed out, who cares if a guild buys their way to max level, you are already there and probably just made some in game coin off of it.  To take it a little further, they could only allow the tomes to be used for the first 50% in this scenario since the training duration would be so much shorter.  Idk just some thoughts.


 

Formerly known as - AmazingTacoBurito

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On 9/27/2017 at 7:25 AM, dpad said:

although i don't see why i would make a tome to sell as the deeper down a skill tree, the more time is needed. i would gladly buy tomes.

Yea, the player market also factors into it. Some other player has to be willing to sell their "power" to you, you can't buy them directly from ACE.

I'm not too worried about tomes for now - ACE will have months of post-launch skill training data to analyze before tomes are implemented, and they have already stated they are willing to put in caps or whatever might be necessary.


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4 minutes ago, miraluna said:

Yea, the player market also factors into it. Some other player has to be willing to sell their "power" to you, you can't buy them directly from ACE.

I'm not too worried about tomes for now - ACE will have months of post-launch skill training data to analyze before tomes are implemented, and they have already stated they are willing to put in caps or whatever might be necessary.

Isn't that the whole argument about whales, they buy extra accounts to feed their main or multiple other accounts.  Buying 10 accounts, to have 2 playable accounts and 4 feeder accounts per playable, would be a drop in the bucket compared to what other things have been done monetarily in games.


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The question is how much more power would that $500 investment realistically buy you? ACE has always said the intention is for a  "shallow power curve" with "diminishing returns". That's what I want to see first before I worry about the impact of tomes.

In a game like Archeage, money does make you an individual superpower.


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1 hour ago, miraluna said:

The question is how much more power would that $500 investment realistically buy you? ACE has always said the intention is for a  "shallow power curve" with "diminishing returns". That's what I want to see first before I worry about the impact of tomes.

I understand this point and there is obviously a wait and see factor to how big of an issue tomes are.

My problem with the shallow power curve statement is if this really is a very minor improvement of my character, why are you locking this behind months of training? If this is such a shallow power curve, why do we even care about getting tomes in the first place?

Simply - If the power curve is so shallow that tomes do not create a real P2W advantage, I feel they missed they ball on the passive training as it will become more of an annoyance than a player benefit or specialization of any type.

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1 hour ago, ClockworkOrange said:

If this is such a shallow power curve, why do we even care about getting tomes in the first place?

If the system is designed right, as a Day 1 Launch player you should NOT care much about getting tomes. Tomes should mainly benefit players that join 6+ months after launch that want to catch-up to the current playerbase in skill training (even if it's a shallow power boost), or players that want to "reset" their path. The secondary use of tomes should be for veteran players that are not gaining much benefit from training any longer, yet want to turn those minutes into something of value (tomes) that can help their guildmates or can be traded for resources.


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17 hours ago, miraluna said:

If the system is designed right, as a Day 1 Launch player you should NOT care much about getting tomes. Tomes should mainly benefit players that join 6+ months after launch that want to catch-up to the current playerbase in skill training (even if it's a shallow power boost), or players that want to "reset" their path. The secondary use of tomes should be for veteran players that are not gaining much benefit from training any longer, yet want to turn those minutes into something of value (tomes) that can help their guildmates or can be traded for resources.

Clear and concise. Because people are people, no amount of succinct explanations will stop *everyone* from complaining about this - some people are still claiming that the ability to buy the farmable cosmetic engrams in Destiny 2 is pay to win - but this is still an excellent summary.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_release_life_cycle#Pre-alpha <--this is where we are. If your complaint is that the game don't not works good, come back later.

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18 hours ago, miraluna said:

If the system is designed right, as a Day 1 Launch player you should NOT care much about getting tomes. Tomes should mainly benefit players that join 6+ months after launch that want to catch-up to the current playerbase in skill training (even if it's a shallow power boost), or players that want to "reset" their path. The secondary use of tomes should be for veteran players that are not gaining much benefit from training any longer, yet want to turn those minutes into something of value (tomes) that can help their guildmates or can be traded for resources.

Since no one wants to address an obvious part of why this is a terrible catch up mechanic, I will only talk about that in one post. APE brought it up and I really haven't seen anyone combat this obvious point of why Tomes are such a bad catch up mechanic.

New players have to DUMP additional money into the game to be able to use this catch up mechanic. You don't just join the game and people are like "Can I give you a bunch of tomes so you can catch up".

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2 minutes ago, ClockworkOrange said:

Since no one wants to address an obvious part of why this is a terrible catch up mechanic, I will only talk about that in one post. APE brought it up and I really haven't seen anyone combat this obvious point of why Tomes are such a bad catch up mechanic.

New players have to DUMP additional money into the game to be able to use this catch up mechanic. You don't just join the game and people are like "Can I give you a bunch of tomes so you can catch up".

...source?


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_release_life_cycle#Pre-alpha <--this is where we are. If your complaint is that the game don't not works good, come back later.

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15 minutes ago, ClockworkOrange said:

Since no one wants to address an obvious part of why this is a terrible catch up mechanic, I will only talk about that in one post. APE brought it up and I really haven't seen anyone combat this obvious point of why Tomes are such a bad catch up mechanic.

New players have to DUMP additional money into the game to be able to use this catch up mechanic. You don't just join the game and people are like "Can I give you a bunch of tomes so you can catch up".

WHAT?!!!  That's standard twinking, and done by piles of people in pretty much every game that has trade, since forever.

I would definitely dump a bunch of tomes on a friend I got into the game, and gear, and vessels, and ....

With the simple math that 3 days of training can get you 4 tier one skills to three pips, of course I would give up that to have a new friend play the game.

Now, the fact that training takes so damn long, that people may be reluctant to do such things, is a different matter, but that is an effect of how long training takes, not that tomes allow training to be moved from one person to the next.

Edited by KrakkenSmacken

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18 minutes ago, KrakkenSmacken said:

that training takes so damn long, that people may be reluctant to do such things, is a different matter, but that is an effect of how long training takes, not that tomes allow training to be moved from one person to the next.

Could be fixed by shortening the time it takes to cap to be short rather than super long.  But by doing this they might have to rework how much of the trees you can train, otherwise after a year someone might have most of their characters completely maxed out.  I can see having a time bank, but it should stay to that character only.  Rework the trees so there is still the decision that needs to be made when creating a character, rather than shotgun blasting the entire tree until its full.


 

Formerly known as - AmazingTacoBurito

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2 hours ago, KrakkenSmacken said:

WHAT?!!!  That's standard twinking, and done by piles of people in pretty much every game that has trade, since forever.

I would definitely dump a bunch of tomes on a friend I got into the game, and gear, and vessels, and ....

With the simple math that 3 days of training can get you 4 tier one skills to three pips, of course I would give up that to have a new friend play the game.

Now, the fact that training takes so damn long, that people may be reluctant to do such things, is a different matter, but that is an effect of how long training takes, not that tomes allow training to be moved from one person to the next.

Not everyone has a lot of friends that have tomes waiting for them. Standard twinking is giving a buddy some starter gear and maybe a decent weapon so he can compete. These Tomes sound like they will have significantly more value then some random gear. Standard twinking is not sharing items that passively increase the strength permanently of a character. I do not know of any such example that I would consider "standard twinking".

Again lets use EVE as our comparison here. EVE lets you directly buy PLEX and use in game currency to sell and then buy skill injectors. Since Crowfall does not have an easy market system to do this, I expect the value of Tomes to be greater than the value of skill injectors on EVE.

So this catch up mechanic is for those with money or those with a large social group. Casual players without a guild (talking about guilds that go from game to game with known people) or friends are the ones who need the most help to "catch-up". With this system it doesn't sound like a great "catch-up" mechanic. I have 0 incentive to give a tome to "Random guy who just joined my guild and could quit in a week" as I would feel burned every time they quit and took my skills and resources with them.

Casual players without social groups will not consider this a great catch up mechanic. I understand that they can trade for things of value, but new players will need everything they have. They will not have some excess resource to trade for something that potentially could be worth a decent amount of real life money.

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