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booster packs!!!!

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notears
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booster packs!!!!

I just finished watching the latest episode of extra creditz ( if you don't know what that is click here http://penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/collectable-games-part-1 ) and they mentioned something that was in COX. Booster packs. Card packs that had a random chance of different benefits such as inf, inspirations and even a rare chance of a costume piece or enhancement you could only get through these packs. A lot of people liked them, and from what I understood, could be wrong so I'm not saying I'm right, is that it was one of the more successful market items. I think we should have these booster packs as well, could be something to give the devs some more money to work with at the start.

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A lot of people were

A lot of people were extremely irritated with them, and there were forum explosions when they were introduced. The idea of having to buy random chances for costume pieces didn't go over well with many that just wanted the costume pieces as direct purchase. Additionally, since random "grab bags" are considered gambling by many states' definition, and many have a moral objection to gambling, they can be rather controversial. (Not illegal-controversial- they're so common now that I suspect their legality has been rather vetted, but objectionable-controversial to those that are fundamentally opposed to gambling).

EDIT: I don't object to them, but I do remember the protests, and I have seen the continued protests in SWTOR. My opinion is that I don't like having things permanently gated behind them. If I'm able to buy the item directly, then I can choose not to participate in the gamble. If its something that's only available via the grab bag, I'd be extremely dissatisfied.

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If its tradeable on the

If its tradeable on the market afterwards (like msot of the stuff from the SWTOR lockboxes), I have less problems with it.

If they are *locked* to you, and only you... I get more worried over it.

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4) I have seen more intelligence from an NPC AI in TR beta, than from most MMO players.

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Personally found the cards

Personally found the cards thing really good fun. Weren't they veteran reward selections or something?
May be thinking of something else but the ones you could flip and get inf/team insps etc were good fun.

Back to retirement.

If people won't pay enough to finance its creation, it is not worth creating.
/Segev

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GH wrote:
GH wrote:

Personally found the cards thing really good fun. Weren't they veteran reward selections or something?
May be thinking of something else but the ones you could flip and get inf/team insps etc were good fun.

They were either puchasable directly from the Paragon Store, or you could use your reward token to get them...

If you were a Tier 9... you might have also had to have been a subscriber, but dont quote me on the subscription part.

Quote:

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2) Not to be used when upset... will void warranty
3) Stoke me a clipper i will be back for dinner
4) I have seen more intelligence from an NPC AI in TR beta, than from most MMO players.

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maybe the rare costume pieces

maybe the rare costume pieces from the booster packs could be pieces from purchasable costume sets. Although the people protesting them before could be a vocal minority. Though having the booster packs be tradeable could be interesting....

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tradeable would be nice

tradeable would be nice
sellable would be nice.

Quote:

1) I reject your reality.... and substitute my own
2) Not to be used when upset... will void warranty
3) Stoke me a clipper i will be back for dinner
4) I have seen more intelligence from an NPC AI in TR beta, than from most MMO players.

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I loved those things!

I loved those things!

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Gangrel wrote:
Gangrel wrote:

dont quote me on the subscription part.

Ok :D

I was tier 9 through a combination of having subbed for almost long enough and then spending some RL cash on the game. Not in order to become tier 9.. just as a side effect of buying stuff.

I remember flipping them with my wife.. or rather her sitting on my knee and flipping them, one of the very few times she showed any interest in my CoX activities unless you count her nodding her head sagely and saying "I agree" to whatever I was ranting about.

Back to retirement.

If people won't pay enough to finance its creation, it is not worth creating.
/Segev

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I liked the cards as well but

I liked the cards as well but it was a gamble. I would much rather have the option to buy an item that i really wanted - black wolf pet, costume parts etc - than feel obliged to spend money on the chance of getting it.

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You could get Vet rewards

You could get Vet rewards tokens to "catch up." You could theoretically become tier 9 on your very first day playing if you purchased enough points for the store.

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The booster pack was that

The booster pack was tha shyyyyyyyttt!, that's how I got my frankenslotted character to Incarnate Godmode, if there were such a thing.

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I rather liked them. I was

I rather liked them. I was mainly into them for the costume pieces and the AT enhancements, but I also found all the littles extras they gave quite nice. They would be stuff I wouldn't buy by themselves, but I did find the one time use things rather fun.

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In one interview Dr. Tyche (I

In one interview Dr. Tyche (I believe) mentioned that they were looking to have something like booster packs or boxes for sale, although the contents would be detailed with only one or two items that were random. IIRC, what those random items could be would also be listed. The way I understand it is that it would be a bit of a gamble, but not of the sort that there are dozens of possible random rewards and a negligible percentage of getting the one or two really cool items (and certainly none of that junk of boxes dropping for which you'd then have to purchase keys).

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I don't mind them as long as

I don't mind them as long as everything in them can be earned or purchased through non-gambling means so that the less gullible of us can still get the stuff.

Spurn all ye kindle.

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Cinnder wrote:
Cinnder wrote:

I don't mind them as long as everything in them can be earned or purchased through non-gambling means so that the less gullible of us can still get the stuff.

Yup. Multiple means of availability would be the move...and fair IMO.

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Catherine America wrote:
Catherine America wrote:

Cinnder wrote:
I don't mind them as long as everything in them can be earned or purchased through non-gambling means so that the less gullible of us can still get the stuff.

Yup. Multiple means of availability would be the move...and fair IMO.

This was the only sticking-point that bothered me about the CoH booster packs. There was no way to get things like the ultra-rare Black Wolf Pet other than through the lottery of the packs.

Now I completely understand why they put those ultra-rare things in there like that because they were the perfect "enticement" to motivate people to keep buying the packs. What made it annoying was that it was a completely random crap-shoot as to how many packs you needed to open to get the ultra-rares thus making it a negative experience for those people who were unlucky.

For instance I knew several people who were lucky enough to get the Black Wolf after opening only 5 or 10 packs whereas there were others who literally opened 300-400 packs before it popped up.

All I would suggest is that they eventually offer those ultra-rare things for sale by other means. I wouldn't mind if they waited say 6 months after a Booster Pack set was released and they made something like the Black Pet cost $50. That way they could still be "exclusive" for a while for the folks who got lucky to get them in the packs but still force the people who wanted to buy them directly to cough up a significant amount of money for the luck-free method to get it. That way the ultra-rares would remain "special" no matter how you got them and would give the game big sums of cash either way.

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012

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Lothic wrote:
Lothic wrote:

Catherine America wrote:
Cinnder wrote:
I don't mind them as long as everything in them can be earned or purchased through non-gambling means so that the less gullible of us can still get the stuff.

Yup. Multiple means of availability would be the move...and fair IMO.

This was the only sticking-point that bothered me about the CoH booster packs. There was no way to get things like the ultra-rare Black Wolf Pet other than through the lottery of the packs.
Now I completely understand why they put those ultra-rare things in there like that because they were the perfect "enticement" to motivate people to keep buying the packs. What made it annoying was that it was a completely random crap-shoot as to how many packs you needed to open to get the ultra-rares thus making it a negative experience for those people who were unlucky.
For instance I knew several people who were lucky enough to get the Black Wolf after opening only 5 or 10 packs whereas there were others who literally opened 300-400 packs before it popped up.
All I would suggest is that they eventually offer those ultra-rare things for sale by other means. I wouldn't mind if they waited say 6 months after a Booster Pack set was released and they made something like the Black Pet cost $50. That way they could still be "exclusive" for a while for the folks who got lucky to get them in the packs but still force the people who wanted to buy them directly to cough up a significant amount of money for the luck-free method to get it. That way the ultra-rares would remain "special" no matter how you got them and would give the game big sums of cash either way.

As a sub who scored multiple BW pets (via plain ol' dumb luck) on each of my three accounts, I can definitely support idea (assuming reasonable price points). While we all are pretty much outliers at this point (i.e., highly enthusiastic fans willing to throw $$$ at MWM), the final KS tally tells me that there will be plenty of folk willing to spend RL currency in-game.

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CoH did Booster Packs all

CoH did Booster Packs all wrong, because even though the worst possible randomized booster pack had items which, if sold separately, were worth more than the cost of the pack, the way they were introduced made it seem like gambling in which you could lose 'money.'

The smart way would have been to have Booster Packs fall as Rare Items. These 'free' Packs would have been enjoyed by the player-base, and then they'd be demanding that the Devs sell them in the cash shop!

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Zombie Man wrote:
Zombie Man wrote:

CoH did Booster Packs all wrong, because even though the worst possible randomized booster pack had items which, if sold separately, were worth more than the cost of the pack, the way they were introduced made it seem like gambling in which you could lose 'money.'
The smart way would have been to have Booster Packs fall as Rare Items. These 'free' Packs would have been enjoyed by the player-base, and then they'd be demanding that the Devs sell them in the cash shop!

O_O...................................................O_O..............................................................................................O_O..................
..........................................................................................................................................................................................
.................................BAGOOOOOOOCK!!!!!

Look at the business savvy on this fella! XD

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The Blizzard business model

The Blizzard business model used with Diablo II was the "addict model" of ... bitter, bitter, sweet ... so that people would keep playing through the "bitter" in the hopes that the NEXT drop they got was the "sweet" they were after.

Look at what happened with the rare drops for Wings when they got introduced to the game. Demand for them skyrocketed and the supply was just constrained by the Loot Drop Rate. Once the demand had been "firmly" established, it would have been possible to introduce a Cash Shop sale of Wings that would have translated that pent up demand in a way that would have supplied $ to the people making the game.


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Truthfully, TOR made me hate

Truthfully, TOR made me hate booster packs. So you tell a sub player, oh hey, want this outfit, you have to buy this RNG Pack that likely won't drop it for you because it's an ultra rare item.

Oh, hey, want to recolor your armor, sub player? Yeah, going to have to buy Dye Packs, but you know those colors most often requested by players, including you the sub, rarest item in the pack!

Maybe have a cash shop that's only available to subs, so they can buy those items directly, while leaving the RNG Packs to the F2Pers to purchase.

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If there is a gamble I will

If there is a gamble I will not buy it and I will lose respect for the company selling it.

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JayBezz wrote:
JayBezz wrote:

If there is a gamble I will not buy it and I will lose respect for the company selling it.

You have to define 'gamble'.

CoH Booster Packs were not gambling because you didn't 'lose' money. The items in the Packs were worth more than the cost, but the contents happened to be randomized.

Random Packs where you pay money and wind up with nothing of value or a trivial item is indeed gambling, however.

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I'll put it this way.. when i

I'll put it this way.. when i walk to the cologne counter for Hermes and they give me 4 bottles of J. Lo saying "It's the same price" I am pissed.. because I asked for Hermes and I will never shop at said store again.

Digital Products work the same way for me. As any company, it may be worth while to alienate the players like me to make cash from the players who don't mind .. but it does not change the fact that said store has lost my patronage.

Let me buy what I want. And by all means, keep selling things I want to buy.

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JayBezz wrote:
JayBezz wrote:

I'll put it this way.. when i walk to the cologne counter for Hermes and they give me 4 bottles of J. Lo saying "It's the same price" I am pissed.. because I asked for Hermes and I will never shop at said store again.
Digital Products work the same way for me. As any company, it may be worth while to alienate the players like me to make cash from the players who don't mind .. but it does not change the fact that said store has lost my patronage.
Let me buy what I want. And by all means, keep selling things I want to buy.

While I hate the RNG packs as well, because they usually just suck, they are however optional things to buy. So, if they offered them, and you didn't like RNG Packs, you just don't need to buy them.

Problem is, TOR really ruined it for me. Oh hey, all those things popularly asked for to be put in the cash shop, are being put into the cash shop, inside a RNG Pack! Oh, and he things you all really wanted, are the rarest!

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Remind me to tell you how bad

Remind me to tell you how bad the lockboxes are in CO. "At worst, you get 25 of the same mod! And they're usually rank 4s/5s/6s! But we all know you want that sexy costume piece..."

Revenge is motivation enough. At least it's honest...

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Lord Nightmare wrote:
Lord Nightmare wrote:

Remind me to tell you how bad the lockboxes are in CO. "At worst, you get 25 of the same mod! And they're usually rank 4s/5s/6s! But we all know you want that sexy costume piece..."

I play CO. Luckily, I've found all the costume pieces in those lockboxes to be terrible. It's the gear that isn't. LTS since day 1 of CO, so I get Free Zen, which usually translate to costume packs or 550+ Global a month (buy keys then sell them on the AH).

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If there are costumes or

If there are costumes or anything besides boosters in the RNG boxes that cant be gotten any other way I will likely not play the game. My all time fav game CoH almost lost me (a from beta subscriber) because of it.

I dont care if things are put into them that are possibly cheaper if you get lucky with RNG, or if things that are to be released (for sure only no maybes) as direct sale in 6 months(or w/e) are put in to them early.

One way to do it fair is to have things exclusive in them, and after you buy an amount (lets say 10) a list pops up on the 11th pack that allows you to choose any one possible item that has not dropped for you yet. This way if I get ridiculous 10 xp boosters but wanted a specific costume piece, I can choose it or one of the other not dropped items from the list of possibles on the 11th try.

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The Bran wrote:
The Bran wrote:

Zombie Man wrote:
The smart way would have been to have Booster Packs fall as Rare Items. These 'free' Packs would have been enjoyed by the player-base, and then they'd be demanding that the Devs sell them in the cash shop!

Look at the business savvy on this fella! XD

We snapped him up to help with this project for a reason. ^_^

I, personally, would also be more interested, from a business standpoint, in exploring 'booster packs' if their contents were tradable on the AH. I will say that this is "interest in exploring," not "plans to do," at this stage. I am unsure it wouldn't have problems I am not yet foreseeing.

Still, these ARE how CCGs make the majority of their money; there must be something to them. So, worth investigating, while keeping our ethos regarding providing service and fun to the players in mind.

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Segev wrote:
Segev wrote:

The Bran wrote:
Zombie Man wrote:
The smart way would have been to have Booster Packs fall as Rare Items. These 'free' Packs would have been enjoyed by the player-base, and then they'd be demanding that the Devs sell them in the cash shop!

Look at the business savvy on this fella! XD

We snapped him up to help with this project for a reason. ^_^
I, personally, would also be more interested, from a business standpoint, in exploring 'booster packs' if their contents were tradable on the AH. I will say that this is "interest in exploring," not "plans to do," at this stage. I am unsure it wouldn't have problems I am not yet foreseeing.
Still, these ARE how CCGs make the majority of their money; there must be something to them. So, worth investigating, while keeping our ethos regarding providing service and fun to the players in mind.

Even with the contents trade-able in a AH I would be very against booster pack with no alternate means of getting items in them. Just look a gw2. That game has any cool new weapon skin ect in lock boxes with what seems like a .001% chance to get the item. The price gets so high in the AH that it becomes a necessary thing to either buy in game currency through the money to gems gems to gold method, or straight though a gold seller. Great for the game getting money, terrible for players.

The reason they make money is because it exploits peoples habit to gamble, and they have exclusive things that people want. The same way a casino makes money. There is NO way to do (traditional) lockboxes "ethically"

Now in another thread I posted a method to do them in a better way.

Have lockboxes, and put exclusive items in them as well as crap stuff no one wants to pay money for like xp boosters ect. After opening 9 lockboxes a list comes up on the 10th that allows you to select ANY one item that is a possible drop from the boxes. This way no one will ever open 500 boxes and never get the item they wanted, thus resorting to gold sellers, or dropping $100.00 in the game store doing gems to gold to buy the item in the AH

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Zombie Man wrote:
Zombie Man wrote:

CoH did Booster Packs all wrong, because even though the worst possible randomized booster pack had items which, if sold separately, were worth more than the cost of the pack, the way they were introduced made it seem like gambling in which you could lose 'money.'
The smart way would have been to have Booster Packs fall as Rare Items. These 'free' Packs would have been enjoyed by the player-base, and then they'd be demanding that the Devs sell them in the cash shop!

It can't be a rare item and stay rare if everyone has them.

What CoH Packs did was have one item that was OMG EXTREMELY RARE (Black Wolf Pet) while having costume pieces, that once you obtained them, you wouldn't double up on them, and your odds got better on the other items.

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While I understand how

While I understand how lockboxes and "booster packs" have certain things in common, I can't help but think that part of the reason "lockboxes" are so hated is that they drop as if they're a reward for doing in-game activities, but you can't access them without paying real money. And then, you only have a random chance of getting something "good."

I think they CAN be sold on the AH, so they're effectively just a rather annoying source of in-game currency for free players.

"Booster Packs" are not disguised as an in-game reward. They are something you spend real money (if, hypothetically, MWM were to use them, you'd pay Stars) to get, and in them is a random assortment of stuff. Totally voluntary. (Though I can certainly see the concern if they have exclusive items; you may as well, at that point, be putting the items up in the c-store. I, personally, never understood the allure of the slot machine. I prefer my games to be playable, rather than just "spend money for a random die roll.")

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While I see there is a

While I see there is a difference, I hate both equally. I hated CoH's(booster packs) just as much as the ones in GW2(lockboxes)...probably hated CoH's even more, though only because I expected more from the CoH devs.

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Brand X wrote:
Brand X wrote:

Zombie Man wrote:
CoH did Booster Packs all wrong, because even though the worst possible randomized booster pack had items which, if sold separately, were worth more than the cost of the pack, the way they were introduced made it seem like gambling in which you could lose 'money.'
The smart way would have been to have Booster Packs fall as Rare Items. These 'free' Packs would have been enjoyed by the player-base, and then they'd be demanding that the Devs sell them in the cash shop!

It can't be a rare item and stay rare if everyone has them.
What CoH Packs did was have one item that was OMG EXTREMELY RARE (Black Wolf Pet) while having costume pieces, that once you obtained them, you wouldn't double up on them, and your odds got better on the other items.

It was that OMG EXTREMELY RARE item in the second round of booster packs which I didn't like. *That* is what makes booster packs toxic for the fan base and much like what CCGs do.

If it were up to me ( and it isn't :P ), there would never be any OER items ever, whether as drops or purchased rolls. I'd make CoT's booster packs like the first round of CoH's booster packs only with the addition of making them also rare drops and everything tradeable. So, in the end, you're just paying for 'unearned' tradeable 'drops.'

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I personally loved the

I personally loved the "Booster Packs" in CoH. I think they were a fun idea. They never had anything in them that was "ZOMG! GAMEBREAKING!!" I'd like to see CoT also include this idea into their system as well. It was a fun little reward for those who subscribed and for those willing to pay for them. And for the record, I never got the Ultra Rare Black Wolf Pet. Nor did I really care that I didn't. I really wasn't into all the little "Pets" CoH had. I mostly loved the costumes and playing with all of my friends.

I got chills! They're multiplyin'. And I'm losin' control. Cuz the power, I'm supplyin'. Why it's ELECTRIFYIN'!!

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oOStaticOo wrote:
oOStaticOo wrote:

I personally loved the "Booster Packs" in CoH. I think they were a fun idea. They never had anything in them that was "ZOMG! GAMEBREAKING!!" I'd like to see CoT also include this idea into their system as well. It was a fun little reward for those who subscribed and for those willing to pay for them. And for the record, I never got the Ultra Rare Black Wolf Pet. Nor did I really care that I didn't. I really wasn't into all the little "Pets" CoH had. I mostly loved the costumes and playing with all of my friends.

Same. I only wish I could have sold or given away the pet, as I got it and was all, "I have no desire for it" and knew plenty who did.

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I'm willing to pay for what I

I'm willing to pay for what I want. Whether I pay CoT directly or pay CoT to buy it from the AH (the * system) I don't care.

I want my character to have the things she needs for her concept. I want to support the game.

If theres to be a "chance to get what you want" item for purchase I will simply not buy it, ever. If the items in said "chance to get what you want" items are exclusively available in that manner AND/OR they are the top tier available I will be upset. If the "get" is not sellable-tradable then I'll be more than upset.

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The wolf was stupid. People

Wanting to buy the stuff only you want for your only character isn't really supporting the game.
Just saying.

Back to retirement.

If people won't pay enough to finance its creation, it is not worth creating.
/Segev

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GH wrote:
GH wrote:

Wanting to buy the stuff only you want for your only character isn't really supporting the game.
Just saying.

If you are only taking that point of view, then the only valid route is by buying EVERYTHING on the store, even if you don't need it.

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Brand X wrote:
Brand X wrote:

oOStaticOo wrote:
I personally loved the "Booster Packs" in CoH. I think they were a fun idea. They never had anything in them that was "ZOMG! GAMEBREAKING!!" I'd like to see CoT also include this idea into their system as well. It was a fun little reward for those who subscribed and for those willing to pay for them. And for the record, I never got the Ultra Rare Black Wolf Pet. Nor did I really care that I didn't. I really wasn't into all the little "Pets" CoH had. I mostly loved the costumes and playing with all of my friends.

Same. I only wish I could have sold or given away the pet, as I got it and was all, "I have no desire for it" and knew plenty who did.

I think the "ultra rare" Booster Pack items (like the Black Wolf Pet) would have been fine as long as they had established the idea that by the time the next set of Booster Packs went on sale the ultra rare item from the last set of packs would go on direct sale as well.

So for example when the second Booster set was released they should have also had the Black Wolf Pet up for sale so you could buy it directly. They could have kept these "former ultra rares" relatively expensive (like say $20) to keep them psuedo-exclusive. But at least for those people who really, really wanted them they could eventually pay a premium price for a guaranteed unlock.

GH wrote:

Wanting to buy the stuff only you want for your only character isn't really supporting the game.
Just saying.

I'd argue that ANY microtransaction where someone buys ANYTHING from the game store would support the game regardless. To me it doesn't really matter if that transaction is for a "lottery ticket" styled booster pack or if it's for a specific direct item - any money the game gets is good.

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GH wrote:
GH wrote:

Wanting to buy the stuff only you want for your only character isn't really supporting the game.
Just saying.

Err, what? Depends on how much you buy, not on what you buy.

If I go out and buy a shitload of kitchen knives worth hundreds of €s from my favourite manufacturere but have no interest in their cutting board or knife-sharpening offerings at all and thus don't get any of it, I am most certainly a splendid supporter.

And when the matter of how much money I sink into somethng is capped due to economical constrains (the standard case), buying something you don't like instead of something interesting is such bad economic practise that one should be forced back to elementary school.

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Let me assure you that, as

Let me assure you that, as one of the devs most interested in the business model side of things, buying anything is supporting the game. If you, in any way, have Stars in your account or have purchased anything with Stars, you have most definitely contributed somewhat to the support of the game. Any Star that exists was paid for with real money by somebody, even if it came to you without you spending a dime. The fact that it came to you means you did something that enticed somebody else to spend money on the game when they bought that Star. And when you buy something from the c-store with those Stars, you reduce the number of Stars in circulation, thus keeping them valuable and making people want to buy more of them to get what they want.

If you "just buy what you want for your character," that's very much supporting the game!

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Lothic wrote:
Lothic wrote:

Brand X wrote:
oOStaticOo wrote:
I personally loved the "Booster Packs" in CoH. I think they were a fun idea. They never had anything in them that was "ZOMG! GAMEBREAKING!!" I'd like to see CoT also include this idea into their system as well. It was a fun little reward for those who subscribed and for those willing to pay for them. And for the record, I never got the Ultra Rare Black Wolf Pet. Nor did I really care that I didn't. I really wasn't into all the little "Pets" CoH had. I mostly loved the costumes and playing with all of my friends.

Same. I only wish I could have sold or given away the pet, as I got it and was all, "I have no desire for it" and knew plenty who did.

I think the "ultra rare" Booster Pack items (like the Black Wolf Pet) would have been fine as long as they had established the idea that by the time the next set of Booster Packs went on sale the ultra rare item from the last set of packs would go on direct sale as well.
So for example when the second Booster set was released they should have also had the Black Wolf Pet up for sale so you could buy it directly. They could have kept these "former ultra rares" relatively expensive (like say $20) to keep them psuedo-exclusive. But at least for those people who really, really wanted them they could eventually pay a premium price for a guaranteed unlock.
GH wrote:
Wanting to buy the stuff only you want for your only character isn't really supporting the game.
Just saying.

I'd argue that ANY microtransaction where someone buys ANYTHING from the game store would support the game regardless. To me it doesn't really matter if that transaction is for a "lottery ticket" styled booster pack or if it's for a specific direct item - any money the game gets is good.

I'd be okay with that idea. Put a premium price on that ultra rare item from a boost pack, and maybe even as a character unlock and not an account wide unlock.

20 Dollars for that ULTRA RARE item!

I'd possibly even buy it if I had a character concept for such an item (though never do that with costume items!)

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Brand X wrote:
Brand X wrote:

Lothic wrote:
I think the "ultra rare" Booster Pack items (like the Black Wolf Pet) would have been fine as long as they had established the idea that by the time the next set of Booster Packs went on sale the ultra rare item from the last set of packs would go on direct sale as well.
So for example when the second Booster set was released they should have also had the Black Wolf Pet up for sale so you could buy it directly. They could have kept these "former ultra rares" relatively expensive (like say $20) to keep them psuedo-exclusive. But at least for those people who really, really wanted them they could eventually pay a premium price for a guaranteed unlock.

I'd be okay with that idea. Put a premium price on that ultra rare item from a boost pack, and maybe even as a character unlock and not an account wide unlock.
20 Dollars for that ULTRA RARE item!
I'd possibly even buy it if I had a character concept for such an item (though never do that with costume items!)

Exactly. At something like an arbitrary $20 premium you'd accomplish several things at once:

1) There'd probably only be a few hundred people willing to pay for it so it would stay relatively "ultra rare".
2) You'd make the few hundred people who really, really wanted it happy to get it.
3) The game would make like 5 or 10 thousand extra dollars it wouldn't have gotten without this option.

It'd be a win-win for everyone. ;)

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012

GH
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Segev wrote:
Segev wrote:

If you "just buy what you want for your character," that's very much supporting the game!

But it isn't is it?
This is where as a subscription based player I see myself, I'm supporting the game.
The guy who buys that ONE item for his ONE character.. that isn't your revenue stream.

Back to retirement.

If people won't pay enough to finance its creation, it is not worth creating.
/Segev

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It depends how you look at it

It depends how you look at it, I guess. I tend to think that the guy who buys one item for his one character probably was a ship passing in the night, anyway, and I'm glad he picked up something from the store while he was browsing. If he sticks around and plays, he will likely still help support the game just by being there. I find it doubtful that, with the options available to access the c-store without spending money, people who stick around and play for a goodly length of time won't pick up a few things here and there. And when they do, that means they've done something to get people to give them Stars. Those who did so spent money to get those Stars, and thus the actions of this player enticed somebody else to spend money. Thus supporting the game.

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I really hate the idea of

I really hate the idea of "big-ticket" items only being available as random-chance. Perhaps if the rule was that these booster packs had a slim chance of awarding you something that was otherwise a more expensive item in the store, that's fine. But I've played a few freemium games that quickly wore out their welcome because I felt like I'd never be playing on the same level of other people unless I kept putting dents in my bank account. No thanks.

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I would say make the limited

I would say make the limited item something that is cool to have, but not necessary for the game. Much like the Black Wolf pet was. Was it cool looking? Absolutely. Did people want it? I'm sure there were many that did. Did it do anything to break the game in any way for those that had it and those that didn't? No. You could even go so far as to put it in the Booster Pack for a month, then remove it and place something else in for the next month, then after a year allow it to be sold from the C-Store. This way people who bought the Booster Packs get the pet for a year of exclusivity before everybody and their mother's uncle is running around with it as well.

I got chills! They're multiplyin'. And I'm losin' control. Cuz the power, I'm supplyin'. Why it's ELECTRIFYIN'!!

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oOStaticOo wrote:
oOStaticOo wrote:

You could even go so far as to put it in the Booster Pack for a month, then remove it and place something else in for the next month, then after a year allow it to be sold from the C-Store. This way people who bought the Booster Packs get the pet for a year of exclusivity before everybody and their mother's uncle is running around with it as well.

Exactly. Allow things like the Black Wolf Pet be "exclusive" for six months or a year and then when you finally sell it directly from the store they could sell it for a premium to maintain its relative rarity. This looks to be the same way they're handling many of the exclusive Kickstarter items - they've already adopted an "exclusive for only one year or four Issues" policy for several of them. Why not have the same policy for virtually any "exclusive" item?

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Lothic wrote:
Lothic wrote:

oOStaticOo wrote:
You could even go so far as to put it in the Booster Pack for a month, then remove it and place something else in for the next month, then after a year allow it to be sold from the C-Store. This way people who bought the Booster Packs get the pet for a year of exclusivity before everybody and their mother's uncle is running around with it as well.

Exactly. Allow things like the Black Wolf Pet be "exclusive" for six months or a year and then when you finally sell it directly from the store they could sell it for a premium to maintain its relative rarity. This looks to be the same way they're handling many of the exclusive Kickstarter items - they've already adopted an "exclusive for only one year or four Issues" policy for several of them. Why not have the same policy for virtually any "exclusive" item?

And I love this idea. I'd have those ULTRA RARE Black Wolf Pets go on the market 6-12 months after initial booster pack release, but put them at 20-50 dollars. Whatever price that says "This will keep it relatively rare!"

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As long as not every new

As long as not every new costume piece(or even very many honestly) gets put in them Im cool with it this way (1 year or 6 months exclusive).

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Segev wrote:
Segev wrote:

It depends how you look at it, I guess. I tend to think that the guy who buys one item for his one character probably was a ship passing in the night, anyway,>

Well no.. that is what one player has said he plans to do. Very specifically.
If I'm not going to sub, that is also what I would do. I think this is what anyone would do.

If enough of us do this you are fine but if I play casually and do this casually then it's not a revenue stream, it's a small revenue puddle. That dries up on warm days. And it's Summer.

And again you are banking on players trading stars. I've already said I wont do this, I've not seen anyone come out and say they will do this.

Back to retirement.

If people won't pay enough to finance its creation, it is not worth creating.
/Segev

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C. jejuni wrote:
C. jejuni wrote:

GH wrote:
Wanting to buy the stuff only you want for your only character isn't really supporting the game.
Just saying.

Err, what? Depends on how much you buy, not on what you buy.
If I go out and buy a shitload of kitchen knives worth hundreds of €s from my favourite manufacturere but have no interest in their cutting board or knife-sharpening offerings at all and thus don't get any of it, I am most certainly a splendid supporter.
And when the matter of how much money I sink into somethng is capped due to economical constrains (the standard case), buying something you don't like instead of something interesting is such bad economic practise that one should be forced back to elementary school.

One what?

It does not depend how much you buy as you can buy everything with in-game currency.
The only thing that matters is how many stars MwM sell.
So if I play casually but want the rocket powered shoes, I spend $3 and buy them.
That isn't keeping the game running.

If you refer back to what I was referring to.. that was the point being made, one person buying the one thing they want for their one toon. There were no hundreds being spent.

If you buy knives at $hundreds, you buy them once. You don't regularly buy them. You have not kept that factory open.

But back to booster packs. I totally loved these, used all my vip points on them and then bought shedloads more on a monthly basis. I had so many ATOs I could have set up shop except everyone had them and they became mostly worthless. Still, the odd gem like the scrapper set. the tank set initially, I forget what other ATOs were useful. And so many merits.. good times.

Back to retirement.

If people won't pay enough to finance its creation, it is not worth creating.
/Segev

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*cough* I hate to break it to

*cough* I hate to break it to you, but your individual $15/month isn't going to keep City of Titans open, either. Not by itself. Not any more than the one guy who buys $100 worth of knives one time is keeping the knife factory open.

But the fact that thousands (or tens or hundreds of thousands) of people spend $15/month, or spend $100 once, or over time rotate through to make many individual purchases...that will keep CoT and the factory open.

Businesses rely on numbers of customers, not one big spender, as a general rule. (Defense contractors being a notable exception.)

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Segev wrote:
Segev wrote:

*cough* I hate to break it to you, but your individual $15/month isn't going to keep City of Titans open, either. Not by itself. Not any more than the one guy who buys $100 worth of knives one time is keeping the knife factory open.
But the fact that thousands (or tens or hundreds of thousands) of people spend $15/month, or spend $100 once, or over time rotate through to make many individual purchases...that will keep CoT and the factory open.
Businesses rely on numbers of customers, not one big spender, as a general rule. (Defense contractors being a notable exception.)

True. That doesn't mean there wouldn't be enough subbers to keep a game going (maybe not CoT, but maybe CoT).

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Oh, certainly not. My point

Oh, certainly not. My point is more that dismissing somebody because "all" they do is spend $10 once, or because "all" they do is spend $15/month, is equally silly.

Companies make their money on sales. Repeat sales are great! But it is quite possible to make substantial amounts just selling one-offs as long as you have enough new "one-offs" coming in.

Now, MWM's model hopes to make repeat customers. That still doesn't mean we dismiss those who make only one purchase as unworthy, somehow. (It does mean we cater to those who make repeated purchases, first, however, if ever there is a choice to be made about how to distribute our resources; we seek to make the experience of the repeat customer better before we seek to make the experience of the one-off customer better. Fortunately, I don't actually think there's a conflict, here: if we improve things for our customers in general, it will improve things for both kinds of customer.)

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First two paragraphs worried

First two paragraphs worried me about the kind of stuff MWM will be focusing on developing.

Last paragraph allowed me to sit back in my chair and sigh contentedly.

Point well made in toto.

Spurn all ye kindle.

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Thanks! I'm always glad when

Thanks! I'm always glad when I can manage that. (It is sometimes hard over the internet.)

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Segev wrote:
Segev wrote:

Companies make their money on sales. Repeat sales are great! But it is quite possible to make substantial amounts just selling one-offs as long as you have enough new "one-offs" coming in.

The danger comes when you lock yourself into a business model in which you "repeatedly" are only making a profit by selling "one-offs" which amounts to essentially a demand for an endless stream of disposable purchases. What I mean by that is the difference between a paper cup or a paper napkin that you use once and then throw away (creating trash) versus using a non-disposable cup (wood, metal, glass, plastic, etc.) or a cloth napkin that is intended to be reused because it isn't a one-off item.

The point I'm trying to make here is that Content Creation is one of the most demanding things on developer resources there is. If your business model "demands" the constant creation of "one-off" items so there's always some new piece of something to sell every week/month/quarter, that drains resources which could have been dedicated towards improving the total quality of the game everywhere. It's essentially a "non-zero load" for the development team to have to carry, and the TIME that those people have available to produce stuff in *IS* a very finite (and precious!) resource.


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Resource budgeting is

Resource budgeting is required no matter where the income comes from.

If story content is the goal (specifically the thing that will keep the blood oxygenated) so the game can thrive long term then it should be the primary account of the resource budget.

But the fact that this content takes a long time to develop means that they usually need to space out the budget.. this is where micro transactions are great. They sell tiny pieces of development at a cost high enough to return a profit on resources. That profit CAN be pooled to fund the primary dev resource budget (in this case, story content).

The issue of resource budgeting cannot be directly conflated with any income model. It all depends on the income over time (Any income, not just subs not just micro transactions) and the production release schedule. And if the income slows then so does the income release schedule.

How companies compensate for this varies and frankly no one really knows the best way to combat the downward spiral of a game that comes at the combination of slowing income and slowing release schedule.

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Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:

The point I'm trying to make here is that Content Creation is one of the most demanding things on developer resources there is. If your business model "demands" the constant creation of "one-off" items so there's always some new piece of something to sell every week/month/quarter, that drains resources which could have been dedicated towards improving the total quality of the game everywhere. It's essentially a "non-zero load" for the development team to have to carry, and the TIME that those people have available to produce stuff in *IS* a very finite (and precious!) resource.

I have to admit, that's a concern I share. After the Freedom release for CoX, every time I saw several new shinies for sale at the store, I always thought, "Gee, I wonder what cool bit of actual content or maybe which bug fix could have been worked on by those devs instead of producing this?"

Spurn all ye kindle.

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Zombie Man wrote:
Zombie Man wrote:

You have to define 'gamble'.
CoH Booster Packs were not gambling because you didn't 'lose' money. The items in the Packs were worth more than the cost, but the contents happened to be randomized.
Random Packs where you pay money and wind up with nothing of value or a trivial item is indeed gambling, however.

The Booster Packs were chock full of things I considered worthless. Consumables with a temporary bonus, for instance, are absolutely not worth money to me. If I didn't get precisely the costume pieces I was after, it was absolutely a loss of money. If it takes me 10 packs in this round to get the costume set I want, but in the next round it takes me 20 packs due to random chance, that's gambling.