Crafting, Inflation, and Equilibrium

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Sand_Trout
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Crafting, Inflation, and Equilibrium

A persistent buggaboo in MMOs, especially CoX, is the inflation of the economy. From my perspective, the fundamental cause of this is that there is rarely a point of degrading returns that eventually turns statistically negative to the average player.

CoX had many problems with the economic system that included a lack of stuff to buy, infinite currency injected into the system via Mission and Street-Sweeping, and no real currency sinks that simulate the characters reintroducing that currency to the "NPC" economy.

Older MMORPGs addressed this by allowing your character's items to be looted by other players after death. EvE Online in particular achieves market balance through similar predatory behaviors that incentivize targeting "expensive" fits and ships.

While CoT is probably not going to incentivize this sort of player-on-player predation, I do think that the causes of this behavior and its effects can be used to help CoT stabilize its economy.

I will attempt to abstract my assessment of this economic equilibrium:

1) Weaker items are cheaper (potentially up to Free) to keep and maintain (either through repair or replenishment)

2) Better items draw exponentially more from the player to maintain (either through repair or replenishment).

3) The best items in the game are too expensive for the player to maintain perpetually in every item slot.

4) As there is a point where additional power becomes non-profitable to maintain, the player (and community in general) will determine an acceptable point of equilibrium where profit and power are at the appropriate relationship.

In EvE Online, this was generally achieved through the available ships and fits that players could swap between, and most ships did not utilize the top-tier items (officer mods) because these items were too expensive to risk, as they were likely to be lost if the player was killed. The typically accepted equilibrium point for most players and ships was "Meta-level 5" modules.

In the context of CoT, which is likely to be primarily Cooperative and not have the harsh death penalties as EvE, including these sorts of mechanics is more difficult, and this proposal is more of a demonstration of concept rather than especially thorough, but here goes nothing:

1) Along with the XP-Debt penalty seen in CoH, include item damage if they "recall" rather than be raised.

2) Item damage does not affect the item until it is at 0% (I really dislike the idea of making something more difficult for a player because they failed, even if failure should sting a bit)

3) Repair costs increase exponentially with the power/value of the augment/refinement. It is very important that the increase in cost past a certain point is very disproportionate to the increase in power.

4) Players have the option of trading out Augment/Refinement sets (these would still be bound to the base "slotting" of the character, rather than being full rebuilds) more-or-less At Will (probably require them to visit their Lair or some sort of fixed location station)

5) There is a relatively basic and common "main tier" (IE: SOs) that is practically guaranteed to allow a player to maintain positive income and the necessary power to operate at their level.

6) The absolute top-tier items have only marginal benefits over the "Main tier" relative to their cost, as these items should be judiciously selected rather than broadly applied.

Sic Semper Tyrannis

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I recognize the issue you're

I recognize the issue you're trying to address, but I don't think gear-decay is a valid solution. This game will not have 'gear' in the classic sense. Most of the characters in CoT will have Inherent powers, ie their power is derived from their own nature or knowledge, and not due to external 'stuff'. Superman, or Magneto, for instance do not become less powerful if they are defeated, they have no use for money, as regards their powers. Yes, there are plenty of 'super-powered' characters that use the 'power of money' to support their careers, but, for most of them, the money is merely a convenience and not actually a limitation on their ultimate ability.

In CoH, the cycle of Enhancement Replacement and Upgrades did form a significant money-sink, but it wasn't enough, once there were numerous L50s around, creating massive inflation of the money-pool. And flaws in the Auction House and Vendor systems also contributed. Well before Freedom came out, I could create a new character, play the tutorial, arrive in Atlas Park, and with a little time and effort, work up a million-inf nest-egg that would let me buy whatever I needed for the first 20 levels, or more.

Anyway, the one element of this suggestion that I do think might work, is an IGC charge for hospital visits. Even that would have to be balanced very carefully. Perhaps with a level-gate, or with 'universal medical insurance' as a Subscriber perq, and/or it's available for a fee paid in IGC or Stars.

Unfortunately, any sort of gear-decay just wouldn't make sense, when there's no gear involved.

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The devs have already stated

The devs have already stated in previous posts (I think) that gear degradation is very unlikely if not completely off the table already.

That said, hypothetically, if I were going to do something like that as an IGC sink, I would not tie it to player defeats. That just causes people to blame eachother for defeats and adds a lot of finger pointing and hate to the game. I would simply give each Enhancement some finite life span, measured in either real time (days), or in-game time (hours logged in), or my personal preference: XP earned since the item was slotted (or XP you WOULD have earned, if you weren't already at the level cap).

From an economic perspective, I think making these things temporary in some way is good so you need to replace that spent IGC by spending more to replace the items lost. and since level capped toons gain XP faster than level 1 toons, they would burn through Enhancers faster too, which is good, because they make IGC faster as well, one expects.

As far as RP and the "spin" you'd put on it, I'd chalk it up to "long term side effects of being a hero/villain". I mean, look, as you go and fight, you get hit too, sometimes, and even if you don't, punching something can do a number on your fists over time. This is the game's expression of the long-term effects that constant fighting can have on you. You eventually lose some combat effectiveness, in the form of lost Enhancements, over time as you wear and tear your own body/equipment/mind/soul doing the things you do, exerting yourself, etc.

In the real world, in baseball, pitching can have a devastating effect on the pitcher's arm. A career spent sliding into bases takes it toll on your legs. Boxing, football, hockey, etc. Any full-contact sport can mess you up over time, and fighting crime (or committing crimes as a career) will probably do the same, if not worse.

Edit: The other aspect I like about this is that it adds another dimension to the Enhancements themselves that allows you to compare any two Enhancers to each other in multiple different categories of usefulness. how much enhancing does it give me? How expensive is it to get right now (market price)? How long does it last? What kind of set bonuses or whatever can it give me? This adds a new limitation on gear that makes gear more interesting in terms of which items to use when. I like that. I think it adds depth to the character build process. I might want to take a specific power because it can have a very rare, highly coveted "infinite life span, never expires" enhancer put in it, whereas the other power I like for that slot cannot, etc.

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Sand_Trout
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Fireheart wrote:
Fireheart wrote:

Anyway, the one element of this suggestion that I do think might work, is an IGC charge for hospital visits. Even that would have to be balanced very carefully. Perhaps with a level-gate, or with 'universal medical insurance' as a Subscriber perq, and/or it's available for a fee paid in IGC or Stars.

This is an idea I like better than my initial gear-damage method. Thematically, the more specialized and advanced your superhero's physiology/technology/whatever is (which mechanically would be Item Quality), the more specialists have to be hired to patch you back up again. I still think it is important to tie any such cost to the quality of gear.

Radiac wrote:

That said, hypothetically, if I were going to do something like that as an IGC sink, I would not tie it to player defeats. That just causes people to blame eachother for defeats and adds a lot of finger pointing and hate to the game.

This is a good and valid point I had not considered. However, this should be balanced by being able to swap out to your cheaper "suit" of items when you are playing with pickups, while you reserve your expensive, custom tailored "suit" of expensive items when you are confident that your team is not going to leave you hanging.

The fundamental point I'm trying to achieve is that it should be *expensive* to use the absolute top-end items as a means of sinking IGC as well as rewarding skilled play with fewer party wipes, while the "main tier" items are sufficient to participate in all content while posing little risk of going net-negative in terms of IGC from play.

Quote:

I would simply give each Enhancement some finite life span, measured in either real time (days), or in-game time (hours logged in), or my personal preference: XP earned since the item was slotted (or XP you WOULD have earned, if you weren't already at the level cap).

Replacement rate is an interesting idea, but I don't particularly see how that is different than gear degradation. It just seems like a particular implementation of gear degradation.

Sic Semper Tyrannis

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Easiest way to "charge IGC

Easiest way to "charge IGC for hospital visits" is to just do a Countdown To Free Cost. Basic idea is that you don't want to wait for your Hospital Rez, it costs a lot of IGC ... but if you're willing to wait a few/many seconds, the price drops ... and if you wait "long enough" the IGC cost is zero. That way, the Player gets to choose what's more valuable to them ... Time or IGC.

You could even set up such a system to work on an exponential basis, such that it costs X3 IGC based on how long you have to wait until a Free Hospital Rez.

"Instant" Hospital (with 20 seconds remaining until "free" cost) = 203 = 8000 IGC
"Halfway" Hospital (with 10 seconds remaining until "free" cost) = 103 = 1000 IGC
"Free Rider" Hospital (with 0 seconds remaining until "free" cost) = 03 = 0 IGC

Twiddle with the exponent and the starting time delay required (10 seconds? 15 seconds? 20 seconds?) until you can settle on something that meets the needs of the economy as an IGC sink.


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As Rad/Rad Defender in CoX,

As Rad/Rad Defender in CoX, it was bad enough that people blamed my lack of healing (and I only HAD one heal power, and it was a pretty mediocre one at that) for their defeats, but to add an IGC cost tot he defeated would only cause them to try to then turn around and get that lost IGC back from ME, since, in their mind, it was MY fault they got defeated.

For that reason, any attempt to charge people IGC upon defeat is something I'd rather avoid.

And yes, making Enhancements have a finite lifespan for everyone, regardless of defeats is still very much item degradation. I said the devs weren't fond of it, which I believe they aren't, but _I_ would be okay with degradation, if it were done in a way that didn't foment resentment and bad feelings among players. Hence the "time woulds all heels" idea. But the other knock on that is that it causes you to have to keep track of like 100 Augmenta and Refinements and be aware of when they're all going to expire, so as to be ready and have a new one to slot in at the right time.

Another option would be to give players some way that they could get buffs or enhancements or improvements to their gear that would be acquired by, essentially, gambling their IGC away to get it. This could be as simple ad lockboxes that are opened by IGC, or some kind of "wager IGC on a thing, and if it 'wins' you get an upgrade to your enhancement, if not, you get squat." kind of deal, which would presumably be some kind of crafting station that you place an Enhancement into, then give it some IGC, then push a button and presto, you get robbed or you get paid, depending on a RNG outcome. I think one or more devs might be working on something resembling this right now, in fact, but I forget the details.

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I really don't want to see

I really don't want to see 'gambling for game features', particularly not in the middle of an encounter. I'd even say 'no gambling - ever', but I recognize that it's a thing that some people like. So, just put all of your lockboxes and 'card packs', and Gamble-tron the Buff-bot in an 'out of mission' space, and don't force players to play against the RNG, in order to get genuine game-play affecting features.

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Sand_Trout wrote:
Sand_Trout wrote:

Fireheart wrote:
Anyway, the one element of this suggestion that I do think might work, is an IGC charge for hospital visits. Even that would have to be balanced very carefully. Perhaps with a level-gate, or with 'universal medical insurance' as a Subscriber perq, and/or it's available for a fee paid in IGC or Stars.

This is an idea I like better than my initial gear-damage method. Thematically, the more specialized and advanced your superhero's physiology/technology/whatever is (which mechanically would be Item Quality), the more specialists have to be hired to patch you back up again. I still think it is important to tie any such cost to the quality of gear.

Right, but there IS no 'quality of gear' because there is no Gear. There are no 'items' to damage or measure. The only metric you could tie this to is the 'quality' of the Character itself. That means level, or total IGC, or number of badges, or time-played. Alternately, this could be tied to the 'quality' of the Account.

Be Well!
Fireheart

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In CoX, the in-game currency

In CoX, the in-game currency was Influence/Infamy, which is a concept, not an actual currency. Granted, it was as fungible as any currency would be, but the distinction is important for us now. If we peddle our influence for favors, then there would be no need for a currency, our influence is what we traded for whatever services we wanted.

That's also why the loot we got were called things like "inspirations" and not weapons or armor. Because inspirations were never "bought" they came to us they way any other inspiration would, though experience, example, a muse, victory and defeat.

But if we were that guy that did one good thing for someone but kept expecting that someone to give us stuff for free forever, that person would eventually hold us in contempt. That good deed can really only be expected to get a finite amount of services from those whom we have impressed. There is such a thing as going too often to the well. And so, in game terms, services could be expressed in terms of an influence cost. So if you save someone's cat from a tree, you get a free lemonade from the little girl, but that's about it. That's why treating it like a currency worked in CoX and could work in CoT as well.

But that little girl will gladly give you a lemonade today for saving her cat, but if you ask her for the lemonade a year later she won't even remember you. Another real world example is "Sully" that pilot who landed the plane in the Hudson River. After he did that, we was on all the talk shows and people were buying him free stuff and sending him cards and presents and he was a hero. A year later, no one even remembers him. Now Tom Hanks is playing him in a movie and his influence will rise again, but only for a little while. Likewise with our Heroes. If we continue to use influence as our in-game currency, or something similar, I would expect that it has a shelf-life. It depreciates, to use a currency term, at a constant rate.

This would at first appear to have the same feel as inflation because if your influence account depreciated at a rate of 1% per day then it would feel like price inflation because your buying power decreased at 1% per day. However the big difference between depreciating assets and inflation is that with inflation, things can become too expensive for entry level people. While with depreciating assets the actual prices may not inflate at all, allowing even the low earners an opportunity to participate.

I think if we did a depreciation mechanic we would have to account for people who take extended vacation away from the game without penalizing them of all their hard-won gains. So I would only want the game to depreciate assets for only up to a week after last logout, or something like that. Would there be unintended consequences of such a system? Undoubtedly. So there could be influence-perpetuating mechanisms that could minimize depreciation. Here's an example of one that could exist:

Let's say that you were trying to build up a nice nest-egg of influence for some special enhancement set, but it is not available right now or is just out of your price range so you have to carry your massive amounts of influence over from day to day over a long time. You would lose some influence every day by design, making it harder and harder to obtain unless you continue to make up for your losses. But the more influence you have, the more you lose (even 1% of a large number is a large number) so it could be that you get to a point that you have so much saved up, you would be hard pressed to even keep what you have, let alone build it up. By the way this actually becomes a sort of soft-cap for prices, which also helps to keep down inflation. One way we could give players to deal with this unfortunate predicament is to log out at a PR firm or a Film Studio or something like that to minimize influence depreciation or maybe even build it up a little if you don't have much to begin with. This is thematic, right; just think of Tom Hanks and Sully? A hero making a movie or doing the talk-show circuit is keeping his infulence up, but is not getting any other benefits that logging out somewhere else would bring. [are we still intending to do the log-out occupation thing that CoX had?] So someone looking to keep other benefits would have to sacrifice those in order to temporarily hold on to a large amount of un-spent influence.

This is a long answer to just say, maybe if we treat in-game influence like real-world influence, the depreciation of it over time may help us deal with the inflation issue.

I arbitrarily selected 1% as the daily depreciation rate, but the MWM economist would need to choose a working rate and would want to keep an eye on that and may have to adjust it periodically over the life of the game to control the amount of currency in game, inflation and deflation.

Another unintended consequence: People playing the market with invested influence to void losing influence to depreciation (I do not see this as a bad thing because those investments would still have to be liquidated in order to free up the influence for spending. Finding a buyer becomes more and more difficult the higher something is priced, especially with the soft-cap I mentioned earlier).


I like to take your ideas and supersize them. This isn't criticism, it is flattery. I come with nothing but good will and a spirit of team-building. If you take what I write any other way, that is probably just because I wasn't very clear.
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Fireheart wrote:
Fireheart wrote:

Sand_Trout wrote:
Fireheart wrote:
Anyway, the one element of this suggestion that I do think might work, is an IGC charge for hospital visits. Even that would have to be balanced very carefully. Perhaps with a level-gate, or with 'universal medical insurance' as a Subscriber perq, and/or it's available for a fee paid in IGC or Stars.
This is an idea I like better than my initial gear-damage method. Thematically, the more specialized and advanced your superhero's physiology/technology/whatever is (which mechanically would be Item Quality), the more specialists have to be hired to patch you back up again. I still think it is important to tie any such cost to the quality of gear.
Right, but there IS no 'quality of gear' because there is no Gear. There are no 'items' to damage or measure. The only metric you could tie this to is the 'quality' of the Character itself. That means level, or total IGC, or number of badges, or time-played. Alternately, this could be tied to the 'quality' of the Account.
Be Well!
Fireheart

Whether or not you agree to call it "gear", I expect that the game will have items that can be slotted into empty, item-accepting slots in the characters' powers, which items make the powers more powerful in various ways. These items will undoubtedly be for sale in the in-game auction house, and will thus have a measurable IGC value in the game. The very existence of the IGC economy itself is as immersion-breaking as anything else, so at that point, we're firmly in the domain of "it's basically gear" in terms of what it does and how it behaves in the game, like it or not. It's a "walks like a duck, quacks like a duck" type of thing, at that point. Once you accept that IGC exists and items can make powers better, any complaint about how the item degradation works is basically self-interest disguised as "Hey! Don't harsh my RP!", I think. You lose your right to complain about whatever limitations or degradation mechanics the "I Can't Believe It's Not Gear(TM)" has when you slot said gear in your powers. Sure, Superman and Magneto don't need HamiOs, but we're not them. All characters in the game will have powers, all powers will have slots for enhancements (I assume) and as such all players will want items for their powers. The game economy hinges on that assumption. If the game economy needs degradation to stave off inflation, I can't see a general RP objection to that being important enough to overrule the degradation mechanic's implementation. I think that's a place where the game's need for economic stability trumps whatever RP immersivenesss you lose in the exchange. It's a trade off, sure, but hey, if you allowed them to, EVERYBODY would make characters who don't need to eat, sleep, breathe, catch their breath, etc EVER, and that'e way MORE unrealistic than item degradation, to me.

And even if the "gear" is not a physical thing, the basic thermodynamics of the physical universe guarantee that noting is perpetual or permanent. Gear degradation, to me, is a perfectly acceptable metaphor for general entropy and erosion of all things over time. People get worn down over time, knife edges go dull, part's need replacement, Superman needs to get some sun to recharge himself, Magneto's mutant powers take a toll on his mind and body and require him to replenish his inner reserves, somehow, Daredevil needs to train and eat right and heal up after a tough fight, etc.

Edit: But this is just my opinion. I think the devs have basically ruled out gear degradation on the basis that they don't want the game to be too much of a gear grind. Personally, I think one player's gear grind is another players reason to keep playing longer, and thus gear degradation may, for some people, lead to added game play and more repeatability for the game overall. That is, instead of just doing every bit of content just once and then quitting the game when you "run out of stuff to do", you'd actually want to do the same stuff many times to try to get better items. I don't have any huge objection to that on a game play basis, but that's one man's opinion.

Also, even with gear degradation, there should be a way to get ahead and actually make a profit over time, albeit not a really easy obvious one.

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Has it occurred to anyone

Has it occurred to anyone that we're going around town wrecking things all in the name of fun?. Every streetlight we break on someone's head, every car we toss a body into, and every building we scorch will have to be paid for by someone (the insurance in a city of heroes must be ridiculous, but I digress). And even if we won't be using any actual currency to pay for these things, all the damage we do should have a reputation cost of some sort. If you're a hero, the villians will probably get blamed but you still lose the reputation for destroying a whole city block to catch one purse-snatcher. If you are a villian, then you pay because you'll have creditors breathing down your back and because the mob bosses are in cahoots with he insurance companies and don't like making payouts to victims.

In other words, we should all get billed for the stuff we destroy when we play. It could either be instantaneous with each thing destroyed or sent to us afterwards via mail or NPC. Just an idea.

...not sure if this would affect the powers people choose...


I like to take your ideas and supersize them. This isn't criticism, it is flattery. I come with nothing but good will and a spirit of team-building. If you take what I write any other way, that is probably just because I wasn't very clear.
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Huckleberry wrote:
Huckleberry wrote:

Has it occurred to anyone that we're going around town wrecking things all in the name of fun?. Every streetlight we break on someone's head, every car we toss a body into, and every building we scorch will have to be paid for by someone (the insurance in a city of heroes must be ridiculous, but I digress). And even if we won't be using any actual currency to pay for these things, all the damage we do should have a reputation cost of some sort. If you're a hero, the villians will probably get blamed but you still lose the reputation for destroying a whole city block to catch one purse-snatcher. If you are a villian, then you pay because you'll have creditors breathing down your back and because the mob bosses are in cahoots with he insurance companies and don't like making payouts to victims.
In other words, we should all get billed for the stuff we destroy when we play. It could either be instantaneous with each thing destroyed or sent to us afterwards via mail or NPC. Just an idea.
...not sure if this would affect the powers people choose...

Yes, it has been mentioned in conversations going back years. The amount of world-based desctruction is going to be very limited. We aren't using voxel tech or anything else which will allow for large-scale destruction. It would also affect area-effect based powers more (which affects certain power sets more) than others. It would also require a system of capturing how much 'environment damage' belongs to every player character to appropriately 'bill' them. And a very robust system to appropriately weight any faction repulation loss per type of desctuctible item, how faction rep loss is split amongst multiple players involved, etc.

Frankly, the investment involved isn't worth it for what we're going for when it comes to gameplay which is meant to allow players to easily play together and not end up with errant issues because someone on your team smashed a car...

One thing that often gets over looked when discussing the old game and rampant inflation was prevalant from the inception of the economy was that the game was not originally designed with a player economy in mind. The main currency (inf in all its forms) and the rate of generation was not appropriately tuned with an economy in mind. When the economic parts of the game were introduced, players had been accumulating this form of 'wealth' for some time and were suddenly 'rich' and with the generation rate set the way it was, were able to maintain that wealth. There weren't sufficient sinks within the economic model in order to even attempt wrangling the practically immediate inflation that occurred.

Worse still, the decision was to instead introduce additional currencies for different rewards in an attempt to move players away from the old currency system. But instead of making each new currency a unified economic system, they went with instead having multiple 'mini' economic systems which in some cases these systems could be outgrown or offered a very limited supply or in the larger scope of what was offered in other 'mini economy systems', resulted in small demand, meaning the supplies weren't highly valued and as a result, the mini-economic system they resided within were rarely used. Meanwhile the main player-driven economy was still running with earning potential far outpacing item valuation because of these issues.

And for those who really like their MMO history, the original use for inf was more of a stat player characters earned that would change the perception of the NPCs in the world in favor of the character. Which higher amounts of inf resulting in statues of the player character appearing around the city. This inf stat was to also degrade over time, even when logged off. It was later changed for multiple reasons. They range from not being able to make the pc statues and other changes that would occur in the world being able to work out, to the time-based degradation penalyzing what they intended to be their target audience of casual mmo player.


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I think if you can give the

I think if you can give the game some sort of mechanic whereby people can always spend some IGC to get some percieved benefit, then you'll have all the IGC sinking you probably need. I like the idea of being able to gamble IGC for some kind of buffs. You always lose the IGC, sometimes you gain something. Maybe you gain something fairly often and the thing gained is only temporary. Maybe the thing gained is permanent, but is "won" far less often, etc.

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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

And for those who really like their MMO history, the original use for inf was more of a stat player characters earned that would change the perception of the NPCs in the world in favor of the character. Which higher amounts of inf resulting in statues of the player character appearing around the city. This inf stat was to also degrade over time, even when logged off. It was later changed for multiple reasons. They range from not being able to make the pc statues and other changes that would occur in the world being able to work out, to the time-based degradation penalyzing what they intended to be their target audience of casual mmo player.

Now that we know better what to avoid, this could work again with some tweaks.


I like to take your ideas and supersize them. This isn't criticism, it is flattery. I come with nothing but good will and a spirit of team-building. If you take what I write any other way, that is probably just because I wasn't very clear.
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Huckleberry wrote:
Huckleberry wrote:

This is a long answer to just say, maybe if we treat in-game influence like real-world influence, the depreciation of it over time may help us deal with the inflation issue.
I arbitrarily selected 1% as the daily depreciation rate, but the MWM economist would need to choose a working rateand would want to keep an eye on that and may have to adjust it periodically over the life of the game to control the amount of currency in game, inflation and deflation.

No sir - I don't like this. As a casual player it sounds like I'd be getting screwed because I can't log in as often to play.

In any case - I doubt the devs would go for this - if they're not having arbitrary/time-based "gear" degradation - I don't think they will degrade our saved currency in a similar fashion. Much better if they give us something to spend it on. Again - the "inflation issue" in CoX was there because it's economy was poorly-implemented. This issue has been noted by the CoT devs so they are taking that into account.

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Huckleberry wrote:
Huckleberry wrote:

In CoX, the in-game currency was Influence/Infamy, which is a concept, not an actual currency. Granted, it was as fungible as any currency would be, but the distinction is important for us now. If we peddle our influence for favors, then there would be no need for a currency, our influence is what we traded for whatever services we wanted.
That's also why the loot we got were called things like "inspirations" and not weapons or armor. Because inspirations were never "bought" they came to us they way any other inspiration would, though experience, example, a muse, victory and defeat.
But if we were that guy that did one good thing for someone but kept expecting that someone to give us stuff for free forever, that person would eventually hold us in contempt. That good deed can really only be expected to get a finite amount of services from those whom we have impressed. There is such a thing as going too often to the well. And so, in game terms, services could be expressed in terms of an influence cost. So if you save someone's cat from a tree, you get a free lemonade from the little girl, but that's about it. That's why treating it like a currency worked in CoX and could work in CoT as well.
But that little girl will gladly give you a lemonade today for saving her cat, but if you ask her for the lemonade a year later she won't even remember you. Another real world example is "Sully" that pilot who landed the plane in the Hudson River. After he did that, we was on all the talk shows and people wetre buying him free stuff and sending him cards and presents and he was a hero. A year later, no one even remembers him. Now Tom Hanks is playing him in a movie and his influence will rise again, but only for a little while. Likewise with our Heroes. If we continue to use influence as our in-game currency, or something similar, I would expect that it has a shelf-life. It depreciates, to use a currency term, at a constant rate.
This would at first appear to have the same feel as inflation because if your influence account depreciated at a rate of 1% per day then it would feel like price inflation because your buying power decreased at 1% per day. However the big difference between depreciating assets and inflation is that with inflation, things can become too expensive for entry level people. While with depreciating assets the actual prices may not inflate at all, allowing even the low earners an opportunity to participate.
I think if we did a depreciation mechanic we would have to account for people who take extended vacation away from the game without penalizing them of all their hard-won gains. So I would only want the game to depreciate assets for only up to a week after last logout, or something like that. Would there be unintended consequences of such a system? Undoubtedly. So there could be influence-perpetuating mechanisms that could minimize depreciation. Here's an example of one that could exist:
Let's say that you were trying to build up a nice nest-egg of influence for some special enhancement set, but it is not available right now or is just out of your price range so you have to carry your massive amounts of influence over from day to day over a long time. You would lose some influence every day by design, making it harder and harder to obtain unless you continue to make up for your losses. But the more influence you have, the more you lose (even 1% of a large number is a large number) so it could be that you get to a point that you have so much saved up, you would be hard pressed to even keep what you have, let alone build it up. By the way this actually becomes a sort of soft-cap for prices, which also helps to keep down inflation. One way we could give players to deal with this unfortunate predicament is to log out at a PR firm or a Film Studio or something like that to minimize influence depreciation or maybe even build it up a little if you don't have much to begin with. This is thematic, right; just think of Tom Hanks and Sully? A hero making a movie or doing the talk-show circuit is keeping his infulence up, but is not getting any other benefits that logging out somewhere else would bring. [are we still intending to do the log-out occupation thing that CoX had?] So someone looking to keep other benefits would have to sacrifice those in order to temporarily hold on to a large amount of un-spent influence.
This is a long answer to just say, maybe if we treat in-game influence like real-world influence, the depreciation of it over time may help us deal with the inflation issue.
I arbitrarily selected 1% as the daily depreciation rate, but the MWM economist would need to choose a working rateand would want to keep an eye on that and may have to adjust it periodically over the life of the game to control the amount of currency in game, inflation and deflation.
Another unintended consequence: People playing the market with invested influence to void losing influence to depreciation (I do not see this as a bad thing because those investments would still have to be liquidated in order to free up the influence for spending. Finding a buyer becomes more and more difficult the higher something is priced, especially with the soft-cap I mentioned earlier).

You talk about a softcap here but the reality would that said softcap would be personal and depend on ones ability to spend time in the game, especially the amount of time one can "dedicate" to gaining IGC. This would most likely mean that casuals would never be able to save up for even a single highest quality item, thus relegating them to getting those items from drops/rewards or as gifts from others. I do not see that being well received with the player base, nor being good for the longevity of the game.

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blacke4dawn wrote:
blacke4dawn wrote:

You talk about a softcap here but the reality would that said softcap would be personal and depend on ones ability to spend time in the game, especially the amount of time one can "dedicate" to gaining IGC. This would most likely mean that casuals would never be able to save up for even a single highest quality item, thus relegating them to getting those items from drops/rewards or as gifts from others. I do not see that being well received with the player base, nor being good for the longevity of the game.

One would think that. If I could farm influence for twelve hours a day I could build up a massive amount of influence. And the softcap would apply to me. If I could only play a few hours a week, the softcap would not apply. Let me use cold math to make the point, sticking with a 1% depreciation rate as I used in my novella above.

Let's say that the 'average' person generates about 500 influence an hour. If you played four hours a week, playing two hours on day 1 and two hours on day 7, at the end of the week you would have 1921 influence. (1000-10)(-10)(-10)(-10)(-10)(-10)(+1000-19). The depreciation cost 79 out of that 2000 you earned. You can make up that 80 in the first 10 minutes of play, so no big deal. It would not be hard at all to build up a sizeable amount of influence. In fact, that amount of play would level your savings to about 200,000 influence and at that point you would not make much more unless you invested it. But that's real-world appropriate. However, if you quit work, ignored all the calls from your mother and had no friends, you could play 12 hours a day. Thus after a week you would have (6000-60)(+6000-120)(+6000--178)(+6000-236)(+6000-294)(+6000-351)(+6000-411)=40,701 influence. So it would take you about 50 minutes of playing just to make up your losses. But to someone playing 12 hours a day, an hour is not much of an investment, so you keep playing until you reach 600,000 influence, at which point you've reached your level off point. Which is just about the soft cap. But you see an enhancement on the market for 650,000 influence and you say to yourself, who in Titan City could afford that!? There is one way to afford it. You could sell 50,000 inf worth of loot you've picked up playing 12 hours a day for the past several months but it could take days to sell that much. So you place them all on the market and log out at a PR firm to make the rounds, kiss some babies, and do some talk shows, write a book and make a movie, thus preserving your name in front of all your adoring but fickle fans. After a few days of doing this, your items sell and you can afford the 650,000 inf enhancement. You were the only person in all of titan city who could have afforded it, so the person selling it now has 650,000 influence and doesn't know what to do with it because they thought they were pricing it so expensive that no one could buy it. So with 650,000 influence now that person buys a whole bunch of 50,000 influence enhancements and places them back onto the market for sale, hoping to continually roll them over, avoiding any depreciation. As a side benefit, the market thrives with reasonably priced enhancements.

In the example above, I demonstrate that with depreciation, you have effectively put a ceiling on prices. You stated that only those "dedicated" could afford such items. True. But I posit to you, without a cap on prices, what would a "dedicated" person afford? The only limit would be how long the game has been online. Literally. So there is no way a casual player could afford the best things in that scenario either. At least with depreciation, you would rarely if ever see prices above a certain level. And market forces being what they are, all real prices would be forced to stay in more reasonable territory territory that never changes over the life of the game. Even the most expensive things in the game would probably be around 200,000 to 300,000. So someone coming into the game four years after release and playing casually four hours a week would have as much a chance of affording something as someone who had been playing hardcore since open beta. That is the beauty of using depreciation instead of inflation.

And so long as you give people a means of preserving their influence, or mitigating the depreciation of their influence you will allow people to save up for their most expensive purchases. But doing so would mean they are not getting the other bonuses that other occupations would provide.

In fact I can even see a plot thread for low level characters in which a journalist notices the character and starts an exposee and at some point after a particularly tough mission in some neighborhood, the journalist publishes it; thereby unlocking the PR career option for logging out and avoiding depreciation.


I like to take your ideas and supersize them. This isn't criticism, it is flattery. I come with nothing but good will and a spirit of team-building. If you take what I write any other way, that is probably just because I wasn't very clear.
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Radiac wrote:
Radiac wrote:

For that reason, any attempt to charge people IGC upon defeat is something I'd rather avoid.

/em shrug

Step 1: Propose IGC Sink
Step 2: Receive entirely predictable complaint(s) against having ANY IGC Sink of any kind(s)
Step 3: ???
Step 4: Balanced in-game economy with No Inflation!


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Do we even need an IGC? Just

Do we even need an IGC? Just thinking out loud here. I mean could we simply get by with crafting our enhancements, and just having a credit system in the auction house only applicable to those sales and purchases? Or would no other source of "cash" (mission completion, enemy defeats, achievements, awards, etc.) make players TOO vulnerable to the market forces of the Auction House?

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Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:

Radiac wrote:
For that reason, any attempt to charge people IGC upon defeat is something I'd rather avoid.
/em shrug
Step 1: Propose IGC Sink
Step 2: Receive entirely predictable complaint(s) against having ANY IGC Sink of any kind(s)
Step 3: ???
Step 4: Balanced in-game economy with No Inflation!

I know, I know. As I myself have pointed out in previous threads, it would appear as though EVERYONE is pro "good economic practices" UNTIL you tell them the specifics of how THEIR IGC actually gets taken away from them, at which point everyone is appalled at the thought of losing their IGC for THAT SPECIFIC reason reason like "WHAT?!?!? OH HELL NO!!!!!" but I'm not doing that here, I promise. For the record, I DID propose something else, which I honestly believe would sink IGC, to replace the "death tax" idea, so I'm not against sinks, per se, just that particular one. I'm more in favor of "gamble IGC away to your heart's content on buffs that either don't last forever or are very rare" plus the usual crafting costs, costs for costume changes, personal lair costs, SG base costs, etc.

I'm also, for the record, in favor of just making gear subject to wear and tear so that it has to be replaced eventually, and that would definitely be an effective sink.

I'd also like to point out that if the game rolls out with like TOO much IGC sinking and people are all poor because of it and still not able to maintain a personal lair, etc, they can always increase the IGC and item drop rates, with much rejoicing from the players. On the other hand, if they get it wrong the other way and people roll up tons of spare IGC like early-years CoX, we could have the same inflation problem that game had.

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Interdictor wrote:
Interdictor wrote:

Do we even need an IGC? Just thinking out loud here. I mean could we simply get by with crafting our enhancements, and just having a credit system in the auction house only applicable to those sales and purchases? Or would no other source of "cash" (mission completion, enemy defeats, achievements, awards, etc.) make players TOO vulnerable to the market forces of the Auction House?

I like this. Lets see where you can take it.

So long as some crafting supplies will be rarer than others there will always be the need for a market. Unless everyone had the same opportunity and access to the rare supplies. This could be done on a reward system where certain achievements or missions provide certain rewards. There are reputation awards and reputation unlocks, all of which could give us ingredients or crafting capability. I expect we could run certain missions to get crafting NPCs or genetic splicers, or summoned demons to ally with us, us thereby opening up crafting capability or unique enhancements. And we could run other missions to get certain unique crafting supplies.

Do I understand you correctly in establishing a barter system for the market instead of using a currency? If so, it would probably have to be kind of like how DCUO does it, in that all enhancements are made from the same basic ingredients, all of which are common. In DCUO it is the recipes that have rarity and are obtained as RNG loot. Having certain recipes with known prerequisites such as mission rewards, reputation unlocks, etc, would avoid that so long as recipes would not be tradeable. So in this concept the higher power the enhancement, the more raw materials it would take to make it and perhaps the higher prerequisite unlocks would need to be met.

So the only thing tradeable in this hypothetical CoT world would be the raw materials themselves. We could expect to see a market to trade reds for blues for example without a need for currency. But I'm having a hard time with the MMO quandry of how to trade time for money without a currency... unless we open up the cash shop for people to buy raw materials.

Your thoughts?


I like to take your ideas and supersize them. This isn't criticism, it is flattery. I come with nothing but good will and a spirit of team-building. If you take what I write any other way, that is probably just because I wasn't very clear.
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I think if you don't have IGC

I think if you don't have IGC, you end up with a barter economy, which is so primitive and clunky I'd just as soon avoid it. Now, on the other hand, one way to stave off inflation would be to make Stars (the real money backed currency) the only currency that's legal tender in the game. That would pretty much eliminate inflation, as the Stars would have a constant monetary value. Then you could have the cash shop sell Stars for money, and various in-game mechanisms by which Stars get consumed, like crafting, etc. I predict people will HATE that, but while we're throwing ideas around, we could chew on that.

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Huckleberry wrote:
Huckleberry wrote:

One would think that. If I could farm influence for twelve hours a day I could build up a massive amount of influence. And the softcap would apply to me. If I could only play a few hours a week, the softcap would not apply. Let me use cold math to make the point, sticking with a 1% depreciation rate as I used in my novella above.
...snip math and example...

I see that we used softcap in slightly different ways, but both technically correct. Though to be pedantic the "true" softcap would be 1.2 mill with your numbers since there is a possibility of several people running shifts with the same account.

Thinking a bit more I those who would be hit worst by this would be those who have irregular play sessions, that is a few minutes here and there.

Quote:

In the example above, I demonstrate that with depreciation, you have effectively put a ceiling on prices. You stated that only those "dedicated" could afford such items. True. But I posit to you, without a cap on prices, what would a "dedicated" person afford? The only limit would be how long the game has been online. Literally. So there is no way a casual player could afford the best things in that scenario either. At least with depreciation, you would rarely if ever see prices above a certain level. And market forces being what they are, all real prices would be forced to stay in more reasonable territory territory that never changes over the life of the game. Even the most expensive things in the game would probably be around 200,000 to 300,000. So someone coming into the game four years after release and playing casually four hours a week would have as much a chance of affording something as someone who had been playing hardcore since open beta. That is the beauty of using depreciation instead of inflation.

You are forgetting about hardcaps which would essentially have the same "limiting effect" on the prices (outside of the actual numbers) but have the advantage of that the more time-limited players don't not have to become an investment bankers if they want to save up for something more expensive. There are still supply and demand factors involved. I don't know about any MMO where you can store an infinite amount of IGC.

Look, it may be a good system from a technical point but success of such systems is more often more dependent on perception by its users and I just don't think this will be received very well. Personally I think that a diablo-style "gear gambling" vendor would be a better choice so that there is a regular outlet for "excess" IGC.

Quote:

And so long as you give people a means of preserving their influence, or mitigating the depreciation of their influence you will allow people to save up for their most expensive purchases. But doing so would mean they are not getting the other bonuses that other occupations would provide.

Sorry, I know you don't mean it in this way but I am getting flash-backs to when I played DCUO right after it went F2P and how most non-paying guildies regularly turned their ICG into health pots so that they could a reasonable level of "savings". I know that that was an artifact of the extremely low hardcap on usable IGC for non-paying accounts but I fear that using any meaningful level of depreciation will make people go "too far" in that direction.

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Interdictor wrote:
Interdictor wrote:

Do we even need an IGC? Just thinking out loud here. I mean could we simply get by with crafting our enhancements, and just having a credit system in the auction house only applicable to those sales and purchases? Or would no other source of "cash" (mission completion, enemy defeats, achievements, awards, etc.) make players TOO vulnerable to the market forces of the Auction House?

The biggest problem I see here is how the first ever buyer gets those credits in the first place so that they can actually buy something.

If they can be gained through other means then they are effectively the same as normal IGC, just more limited in usage compared to other games.
If you are "assigned" a fixed amount at one single point it brings its own set of problems, and different ones if that assignment is on a per-account or per-character basis. Per-account would create an effective limited pool of credits and thus item pricess would most likely not adhere to a proper supply-demand curve. Per-character would just make it possible to create effectively infinite credits by "draining" a character as soon as they got their allotment (by just buying something) then delete and recreate, rinse repeat as needed.

But as Radiac effectively said, unless they also remove player to player trading such limitations will just create a barter economy which, imo, is worse.

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Radiac wrote:
Radiac wrote:

I think if you don't have IGC, you end up with a barter economy, which is so primitive and clunky I'd just as soon avoid it. Now, on the other hand, one way to stave off inflation would be to make Stars (the real money backed currency) the only currency that's legal tender in the game. That would pretty much eliminate inflation, as the Stars would have a constant monetary value. Then you could have the cash shop sell Stars for money, and various in-game mechanisms by which Stars get consumed, like crafting, etc. I predict people will HATE that, but while we're throwing ideas around, we could chew on that.

If I understand you correctly, what you mention is a common setup. Subscribers get a monthly allowance, and non-subscribers have to pay for it to get it. But to keep the game from being "pay-to-win" you have to give people an opportunity to earn Stars by playing also. (this assumes a F2P business model with subscription option, which is the business model most games have adopted nowadays)
But then you have a problem with gold farmers and real money traders. So you need to introduce a second currency (call them Moons) that is actually earned in-game and is the legal tender for all in-game transactions. So you can only spend Stars on account perks, or you can sell them for Moons in the auction house. This provides an in-game market for real money trading that cuts the rug out from under most illegal real money traders.


I like to take your ideas and supersize them. This isn't criticism, it is flattery. I come with nothing but good will and a spirit of team-building. If you take what I write any other way, that is probably just because I wasn't very clear.
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I'm not going to defend

I'm not going to defend "Stars only" as a good way to do it. For the record, I think Stars and IGC is better. But I don't necessarily agree with your argument above in some ways either. I mean, if you just have Stars as your only currency, and you ONLY allow Stars to be created by buying them for real money, with NO way to accumulate them by playing the game for free, then I think there will be no gold farmers.

As for pay to win, this is a mostly-cooperative, PVE game. If it were mostly a cutthroat PVP game I'd be worried, but it isn't, so I'm not. Some of the PVPers can and will probably spend a lot to kit up like ONE uber toon to PVP with. The easiest way around that is to make all builds public in PVP and let people sort themselves in matches by how good their gear is, like weight classes in boxing. Make PVP matches "X number of rares or less" etc. And then maybe have an "unlimited" weight class too. If the software that drives PVP can do that (that is, look at people's builds and enforce limits based on gear), then I don't think pay to win is a problem, at all. MAtches in CoX already had a set character level requirement, right? This would be like that, only it would enforce parity BETTER by enforcing it in terms of both level and gear, which is a better measure of how closely matched the combatants really are anyway. And then of you want to allow people to pit anything against anything else, they can do that too, if the combatants agree to both have an "unlimited" match from the get-go.

The only drawback to the Stars-only approach is, as you said, players will see it as a greedy grab for cash on the part of the game company, which is why it won't work, in my opinion.

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I have seen where having no

I have seen where having no (viable) currency people will use a stand-in item of known value as a currency. For instance cigarettes in prisons. Candy was used in Greece during a previous economic collapse (according to my german teacher who was there in the 80's?) If there is no currency, someone will make one up, so you might as well make an control that currency.

GW2 has done a terrible job of managing their currencies they have upwards of 15 currencies, probably more than 20, not including RMC and IGC. Which would not be so bad if each currency was used in the wallet that holds just 7-8 of these currencies. The rest are items that must be stored in inventory. Since you can only carry 250 of a given item at a time you'd think 250 or maybe 500 would be the maximum cost of any item using that currency, you would be wrong. It's not uncommon to see "elite" items that are several thousand units in cost plus an IGC cost. This means you probably have to have several slots of inventory and bank space reserved for each currency if you'd like to save up for that "elite" item. Some of these currencies are only droppable during certain events so you'd have to store this currency for years to earn enough. I'm fine with having multiple currencies in game but they should all work through a wallet and not cost inventory space. If I need to collect 10000 haunted carnival tickets to get a haunted clown mini pet that is fine, but store those tickets in my wallet not in my inventory.

Some of the GW2 currencies serve multiple purposes too. Which is their justification for not storing them in the wallet. That is ridiculous. It's either a money or a tool not both. Nobody is collecting 1000 pieces of candy corn to "consume" for the mild buff it offers. There are more efficient methods of getting a buff that is better and lasts longer and doesn't have a "sugar crash" afterwards. /end_vent

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Radiac wrote:
Radiac wrote:

I'd also like to point out that if the game rolls out with like TOO much IGC sinking and people are all poor because of it and still not able to maintain a personal lair, etc, they can always increase the IGC and item drop rates, with much rejoicing from the players. On the other hand, if they get it wrong the other way and people roll up tons of spare IGC like early-years CoX, we could have the same inflation problem that game had.

I'd like to point out that there is a ... virtue ... to be found if the IGC sinks are are a little bit "stronger" than the generators. It means that IGC "remains valuable" no matter how much of it you have, meaning the purpose of it is to spend it, rather than to hoard it.

So far, the biggest economic failure I see in a lot of games is that they have a really hard time hitting that sweet spot of "not too much, not too little" ... particularly once you hit the Level Cap, and especially if you no longer have "expenses" once you've reached the Level Cap. That right there is a recipe for hyperinflation. On the flipside, it's also possible to create NEGATIVE economic pressures that are too strong in order to be able to play the game effectively. Tabula Rasa was guilty of both of these faults at the same time. Spies and Guardians had weapons that didn't consume ammo (Blades and Staves, respectively), which meant they could sell off everything that dropped for a massive profit. Meanwhile, the Sniper class had the opposite problem with their signature class-specific weapon, the Tickles Somewhat Rifle Torqueshell Rifle (TSR). The Torqueshell Rifle used the most outrageously expensive ammo in the game, and the class had trouble making One Hit Kills, meaning it usually took multiple shots to kill something ... and in the end, it simply wasn't economical to use the weapon. It cost you more IGC to shoot the weapon than you'd get back in drops from what you'd kill ... so Snipers in Tabula Rasa were always struggling on the edge of economic insolvency, because their signature weapon was too expensive to use, while other classes had it a lot cheaper and could "make a profit" from battlefield sweeping, and two classes could basically fight "for free" in comparison.

For me, it all comes down to setting things up such that the Players CAN'T HAVE EVERYTHING ALL AT ONCE. You have to pick what's important to you and try and balance disparate factors against each other. In that respect, it's always seemed to me that the way to go is to keep the Players "a little bit hungry" to keep playing, without going too far and reaching the point where stuff isn't viable or you're basically "starving" for resources that you can't afford and/or can't get or maintain.


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Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:

For me, it all comes down to setting things up such that the Players CAN'T HAVE EVERYTHING ALL AT ONCE. You have to pick what's important to you and try and balance disparate factors against each other.

The way I interpret this is that you basically want to play Real Life(tm), but with Spandex.

That's definitely not the game I want. Everything for everyone. Gghf.

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dreamcatcher wrote:
dreamcatcher wrote:

The way I interpret this is that you basically want to play Real Life(tm), but with Spandex.
That's definitely not the game I want. Everything for everyone. Gghf.

Dreamcatcher, I believe you lost some clarity in your desire to be concise. Could you please explain your post for me?


I like to take your ideas and supersize them. This isn't criticism, it is flattery. I come with nothing but good will and a spirit of team-building. If you take what I write any other way, that is probably just because I wasn't very clear.
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In DC's favour, he was brief.

In DC's favour, he was brief. Also his avatar is saving photons.

I haven't been able to absorb most of what is said here, but I do like Huckleberry's concept of heroes being billed for collateral damage. Perhaps not all the time, but as a mission-dependent threat of penalty for failure it could be kind of fun. Perhaps a mayor has promised his constituents something like that to get elected, but then finds he needs to rescue his cat being held hostage at the local sandcastle competition...

It's just a fun premise without necessarily being part of economy tweaking.

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This all sounds like

This all sounds like something a channel on game design covered a while back. Since some of the ideas are floating around stuff they talked about, maybe sharing this could get some insight flowing:

From this example, maybe we could do the "elite trainer" system as an end-game money sink - boost attack strength or resistance to certain elements by a small amount for a truckload of ICG. That, or maybe have role-specific items that can be used in raids, or something like that. Either way, there are options to have money sinks that don't feel like they're there to waste the player's time.

Also, apropos of completely nothing, if the Mighty Sword of Backstabbing seen at 2:01 isn't in CoT, there's a problem. (kidding, kidding)

Here's to fighting, cheating, stealing and drinking! If you fight, may you fight for a brother; if you cheat, may you cheat death; if you steal, may you steal your love's heart; and if you drink, may you drink with me!

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The big thing is that such

The big thing is that such "training" needs to have hardcaps on the amount that can be trained in each attribute or you will eventually get to the characters general hardcaps even without any augments, possibly even without any "powers" (primarily thinking the defensive side). So in essence it just delays it, sure it can be a huge delay but it's just a delay.

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A fair point, but consider

A fair point, but consider how many different avenues can be used for this sort of application. You can train the character, sure, but you can also train each individual power for cooldown, minimum damage, maximum damage, duration, DoT effect, range... There are so many ways to leverage this that the ability to fine-tune character stats and powers that I suspect the theoretical limit for such money sinks is far beyond the practical point by which a player has left the game or completed their experience. The general idea is, I think, similar to the Badass Rank in Borderlands - minor effects that improve performance generally, or improve one facet of a character more notably, but balanced so that upgrading everything to "max" takes far, far more than a player could ever earn.

Here's to fighting, cheating, stealing and drinking! If you fight, may you fight for a brother; if you cheat, may you cheat death; if you steal, may you steal your love's heart; and if you drink, may you drink with me!

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Interdictor wrote:
Interdictor wrote:

Do we even need an IGC? Just thinking out loud here. I mean could we simply get by with crafting our enhancements, and just having a credit system in the auction house only applicable to those sales and purchases? Or would no other source of "cash" (mission completion, enemy defeats, achievements, awards, etc.) make players TOO vulnerable to the market forces of the Auction House?

I actually proposed a completely cashless economy one time. Needless to say, it didn't go over well.

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Grimfox wrote:
Grimfox wrote:

I have seen where having no (viable) currency people will use a stand-in item of known value as a currency. For instance cigarettes in prisons. Candy was used in Greece during a previous economic collapse (according to my german teacher who was there in the 80's?) If there is no currency, someone will make one up, so you might as well make an control that currency.

Not exactly the same thing, but it was interesting to observe and experience all the same: in WildStar there was a system where some talent tree unlocks were world drops that you had to obtain and use in order to be able to buy the talent in your skill tree. Well and good.

Now for one class, let's call it the 'Blaster', a specific DPS setup was by far and away the best build for top-tier content, and you needed one of these drops to unlock the talent that basically made it that good. Now the underlying issue was the perceived necessity of this talent, but leaving that aside, this drop therefore became quite valuable. The class was popular and a strong ranged DPS, so people wanted the talent. However, by design or as a result of bugged code, it was also the rarest talent drop in the game. It quickly outstripped anything else in value, within the first 2 weeks of launch.

There were multiple instances where people bought 'Stars' with real world currency, sold those 'Stars' on the ingame market just to generate cash for this talent; it was almost unaffordable otherwise. So, bad devs/ QA, whatever...

What to me was so interesting was that people started to think in terms of this item being it's own currency. Zone or guild chat was occasionally filled with discussion about farming the item (as you'd expect) and if people acquired one, it was perceived as instant wealth, before they'd even stated whether they intended to sell it or not.

I suppose the moto here is QA properly, for anything that has core gameplay impact, even if indirectly, but I thought it a good anecdote for how the market and the community perception of that market, can be shaped by seemingly incidental events.

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Huckleberry wrote:
Huckleberry wrote:

dreamcatcher wrote:
The way I interpret this is that you basically want to play Real Life(tm), but with Spandex.
That's definitely not the game I want. Everything for everyone. Gghf.
Dreamcatcher, I believe you lost some clarity in your desire to be concise. Could you please explain your post for me?

I can elucidate certainly: I was challenging the preconception that we had to limit ourselves.

The game will have limits; that's just reality; and some of them will be limits placed on the system in order to make it a viable 'game'. I can certainly accept that; mostly because denying it is pointless and doesn't provide me with anything.

Having said all that, though, I see no reason why we as players should actively seek to impose such limits on ourselves. Certainly, I'm not going to do that. The real world is real enough that I don't need my games to emulate it.

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Interdictor wrote:
Interdictor wrote:

Do we even need an IGC? Just thinking out loud here. I mean could we simply get by with crafting our enhancements, and just having a credit system in the auction house only applicable to those sales and purchases? Or would no other source of "cash" (mission completion, enemy defeats, achievements, awards, etc.) make players TOO vulnerable to the market forces of the Auction House?

IGC is essentially a credit system not limited to the auction house. Yes, there must be some other source of this currency because a) Everyone starts out more or less broke by default and b) You need some way for players to recover from financial mistakes.

You can't just give a player starting cash and then say "This is all the money you'll ever need", as this will just encourage a different type of farming (create new toon, buy cheap garbage item from your main toon for all your money, and delete the character). and doesn't provide an in game force to mitigate inflation.

Alternately, what if some poor sop gets scammed and sold some item for well above what its true market value is, or simply doesn't fit his character type. He's stuck with almost no money to fix his build because he can't earn any from sources other than training. That's nominally fine in Eve Online where high-level play is entirely based on trade, but that game is built around its economy and includes loads of sinks for currency relative to the money printing from Mission and Bounties.

With IGC and ways to essentially "farm" it, no player will ever be left penniless and can always eventually buy replacement items or other resources from vendors, even if they just have to farm easy solo missions for a bit.

Regarding the discussion in general, I stand by the point that we need some sort of money sink that scales with the amount of money and resources in the economy at any given time (the higher inflation gets, the more the sink takes out of the economy). Maybe something as simple as buff potions/inspirations/whatever will be sufficient.

Here's an idea I just had: Party organizer. You go to a "Vendor" and essentially rent your own warehouse, DJ, and advertisements for Player-created parties. Entirely optional, potentially extremely expensive, but entertaining for the player spending the money and other players. The more IGC a given population of players has, the less they will be motivated to grind more IGC, but rather will spend it on extravagant parties and social events, kind of like IRL celebrities. Meanwhile, it's an entirely optional activity that cannot be onerous on players.

Another idea is to allow super-groups to Adopt a Street/section of the Map to fly their colors and insignia as a sort of advertising. Allow them to outbid each other month-to-month if there are competing interests for a given piece of real estate. Again, completely optional and gives value of recruiting to those willing to spend the cash.

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I had come up with a similar

I had come up with a similar idea for a real-estate type IGC sink awhile back, not sure if or why I didn't post it. It could also run as a stars "sink" a player or guild could rent out a non-instanced location for their SG to use as an base and recruiting center. These could range from a semi-instanced manhole covered bolt hole with some simple storage for a few hundred IGC(small sum) a month up to a Justice League level building in the center of town with loads of amenities and features. These of course would be extremely expensive and potentially cost a certain amount of stars each month as well as operating costs of IGC. Of course you could flush out a certain number of spaces between those extremes. I would set it up in such a way that an existing SG would maintain rights so long as they are current on payments, but if they miss a payment it would automatically go up for auction. The current SG would then have one month to bid back their hall but would be in competition from anyone else wanting to take over. Whoever wins the auction would then have the guild hall the following month and however long they keep active on payments.

This would not preclude smaller guilds from having a custom guild hall, they just wouldn't have a non-instanced in game landmark of a guild hall.

And if a real world business wanted to come in and use a non-instanced space for advertising and spend real world cash to do so...well that wouldn't be so bad for the game either.

I do like the idea of being able to rent out an in-game space for parties and celebrations and customizing the decorations. Or even rent out boardrooms for SG meetings. Nothing says important meeting like meeting around a gigantic mahogany table at the top of a sky scrapper.

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The more I think about it,

The more I think about it, the best way to go about this is through what I am broadly calling "extravagances". Alternately, these could be termed "Luxuries" or something else.

The basic idea is provide high-level players the ability to show off their influence/power/wealth/whatever we end up using as the IGC by spending it on some showy, but mechanically irrelevant items.

Real-Estate leasing is a good options for larger organizations, while individuals have the aforementioned parties.

Additionally, why not sell billboard space in the Game World? Naturally, these would have to be based on a limited template to prevent obscene/overtly offensive trolling and whatnot, but simply getting your Super-group's name out there, or maybe advertising that you are looking for a super-group provides something of value to the player that is both temporary and potentially expensive (bidding for particular billboards on a weekly/monthly basis?).

In the end, it's about having something disposable to spend the character's disposable income on, isn't it?

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I don't see a reason a single

I don't see a reason a single player couldn't lease an apartment in the city either. There are plenty of Tony Stark influenced character concepts out there that would love to have a "lair" that is an upscale apartment in a tall tower. Or, if they are particularly wealthy, a villa overlooking the city. Or an abandoned subway station. Some of these could be fully in the game world and others could be instanced. It's a big idea and I'm sure there would be a lot that would go into it, but it's something that has been done in other games. Going as far back as SWG. To be clear I'm not proposing that players be allowed to pop-up their own structures. But select from a selection of the thousands of structures that will exist in the game already.

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Any type of thing you want to

Any type of thing you want to add like "design you own art" whether it be for costumes or billboards, etc is going to require someone on the dev side being tasked with vetting it for legal copyright violations, obscenity etc. As such, I think anything like that, if it's going to be implemented post launch, should be able to demonstrate that the thing makes enough money to pay for that vetting process and still turn a real-money profit on top, or else it's a needless drain on resources. I mean, even just character NAMES can be fraught with problems, and unfortunately everyone has to have a name, so you're stuck with that problem, but the other stuff like billboards and designing your own art for various things is a thing that you're just asking for trouble if you decide to do it.

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Grimfox wrote:
Grimfox wrote:

I don't see a reason a single player couldn't lease an apartment in the city either. There are plenty of Tony Stark influenced character concepts out there that would love to have a "lair" that is an upscale apartment in a tall tower. Or, if they are particularly wealthy, a villa overlooking the city. Or an abandoned subway station. Some of these could be fully in the game world and others could be instanced.

I would recommend all lairs are instanced on the inside. Because it would be like the TARDIS, in order to provide viable gamespace for character movement and camera view, the inside would naturally have to be bigger and taller than the outside. At least, it would if you were using city structures.

What would be really cool is if apartments in city buildings were available to players and in order to access them you either use one of the building entrances or go directly into your window or onto a private balcony/landing.

Then, to add to the coolness. When you are inside your apartment instance, looking out your window would actually be a real-time view of the actual Titan City from the vantage point of your window on the building. You could see other plyers flying around, see the insane alien vacationers landing in midtown to give their giant creature pet a pee-break and the costume contest in Atlas Park. This would be an elementary thing to do, and it wouldn't have to be with all the graphics bells and whistles that the player would have when in the actual world. It would be a display taken from a camera placed where the window is on the outside of the building you are in.

For superlative cooltry you could even show the inside of a player's apartment when you are outside looking in. Again, it would be a view of the player's apartment instance as taken from a camera in the window. Obviously, it would look bigger on the inside, because it is bigger on the inside, but I don't think that would matter. I see this being a potential resourse hog, however, because the game engine would have to do a lot of crunching to show the inside of every lair in addition to crunching to display the actual world outside. Thus I don't see this working unless you disable it at distances farther than directly in front of the window. So imagine being inside your apartment watching someone outside looking in watching you! lol. Of course, blinds would have to be an option.

In this way the only limit to player housing would be the number of windows in buildings in Titan City. I think there will be plenty of windows.


I like to take your ideas and supersize them. This isn't criticism, it is flattery. I come with nothing but good will and a spirit of team-building. If you take what I write any other way, that is probably just because I wasn't very clear.
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I disagree with your premise

I disagree with your premise that it *must* be bigger on the inside than the outside. People travel through buildings in games all the time that are no bigger on the inside than the outside, most are actually smaller on the inside.

I also disagree that it's "simple" to add a live window to an instanced map, because the devs in from COH said that this was an extraordinarily difficult thing to do. Essentially to create a live window in an instanced map you have to track and monitor everything outside that window to begin with. Then you have to transmit that data to the instance (which could be on a separate server) and the user (who is definitely somewhere else) who then has to render all of it. It would be much easier to simply keep the apartment non-instanced. There are some tricks you can play with a non-instanced map to prevent it from bogging down everyone by loading every apartment's knickknacks and espresso machines. Really with all the things that you are looking for in the rest of your post, it might as well be non-instanced. MWM has already demonstrated that they plan to have interiors for all or most buildings and that those interiors will be flushed out to some degree. So clearly they've already got some plans for how to handle all of these non-instanced buildings.

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Grimfox wrote:
Grimfox wrote:

I disagree with your premise that it *must* be bigger on the inside than the outside. People travel through buildings in games all the time that are no bigger on the inside than the outside, most are actually smaller on the inside.
I also disagree that it's "simple" to add a live window to an instanced map, because the devs in from COH said that this was an extraordinarily difficult thing to do. Essentially to create a live window in an instanced map you have to track and monitor everything outside that window to begin with. Then you have to transmit that data to the instance (which could be on a separate server) and the user (who is definitely somewhere else) who then has to render all of it. It would be much easier to simply keep the apartment non-instanced. There are some tricks you can play with a non-instanced map to prevent it from bogging down everyone by loading every apartment's knickknacks and espresso machines. Really with all the things that you are looking for in the rest of your post, it might as well be non-instanced. MWM has already demonstrated that they plan to have interiors for all or most buildings and that those interiors will be flushed out to some degree. So clearly they've already got some plans for how to handle all of these non-instanced buildings.

We are not going to do a "live window" to an instanced map, but we will offer an instanced window to the world around, so you can see outside. But it will not be a live view.

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Grimfox wrote:
Grimfox wrote:

I disagree with your premise that it *must* be bigger on the inside than the outside. People travel through buildings in games all the time that are no bigger on the inside than the outside, most are actually smaller on the inside.

Yes you COULD make buildings big enough to support interior navigation, but they would be way out of scale. Just look at the ceiling height of your home or office and compare that to the ceiling height of a game's interior spaces. So for unique structures like fortresses and warehouses and standalone structures that are not next to other structures that are in proper scale, you could do this. But It would completely change the artistic design and scale of the entire world if you wanted to make office buildings, apartment buildings and townhouses the same scale. Now look at the video MWM has already shown us of some of Titan City's neighborhoods and tell me how can we use ANY of those building's as viable interior spaces.
For illustration, World of Warcraft and Wildstar are games that have made their cities of proper scale for interior spaces. If you want that cartoonish level of scale, I think you will be in the minority.

Grimfox wrote:

I also disagree that it's "simple" to add a live window to an instanced map, because the devs in from COH said that this was an extraordinarily difficult thing to do. Essentially to create a live window in an instanced map you have to track and monitor everything outside that window to begin with. Then you have to transmit that data to the instance (which could be on a separate server) and the user (who is definitely somewhere else) who then has to render all of it. It would be much easier to simply keep the apartment non-instanced. There are some tricks you can play with a non-instanced map to prevent it from bogging down everyone by loading every apartment's knickknacks and espresso machines. Really with all the things that you are looking for in the rest of your post, it might as well be non-instanced. MWM has already demonstrated that they plan to have interiors for all or most buildings and that those interiors will be flushed out to some degree. So clearly they've already got some plans for how to handle all of these non-instanced buildings.

You can disagree, but that doesn mean that it's not. You just described exactly what needs to happen and it's not difficult. It might have been difficult ten years ago. You are in effect live-streaming the camera feed into the other instance. Take a look at what is happening on Camelot Unchained. That game being developed by City State Entertainment actually has adjacent islands as separate instances and yet you can target and interact from one to the other. Showing an non-interactive feed inside a windowframe is hardly a challenge by comparison.


I like to take your ideas and supersize them. This isn't criticism, it is flattery. I come with nothing but good will and a spirit of team-building. If you take what I write any other way, that is probably just because I wasn't very clear.
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Real estate as an IGC sink..

Real estate as an IGC sink...intriguing.

If leases can be bartered between players, even more interesting. Perhaps even an auction house for leases? Don't want to fall into the Second Life style, of course, but still interesting. (It would be tricky to prevent this from developing into a parasitic secondary market out in the real world, however.)

Allowing companies to pay real money to advertise ingame has long been an idea I like, especially in a game like this one where the virtual world is styled as a modern city.

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Radiac wrote:
Radiac wrote:

Any type of thing you want to add like "design you own art" whether it be for costumes or billboards, etc is going to require someone on the dev side being tasked with vetting it for legal copyright violations, obscenity etc. As such, I think anything like that, if it's going to be implemented post launch, should be able to demonstrate that the thing makes enough money to pay for that vetting process and still turn a real-money profit on top, or else it's a needless drain on resources. I mean, even just character NAMES can be fraught with problems, and unfortunately everyone has to have a name, so you're stuck with that problem, but the other stuff like billboards and designing your own art for various things is a thing that you're just asking for trouble if you decide to do it.

This is quite true. I think this could be addressed on the large through the "IGC Sink" billboards being limited to a set of templates that use pre-existing assets and character portraits. CoX had Supergroup icons picked from the existing list of designs, and I would assume some similarity in CoX.

For example, a "recruiting" billboard for a Supergroup would have the option of few different templates, then they would pick the colors and maybe the location of a couple elements like the Supergroup name and a Contact picked from the Supergroup Rosters. Someone could hypothetically abuse this by creating an inappropriate Supergroup name, but they could do that already, and it would be relative easy to pick out compared to full freedom of text entry (minus existing filters for profanity).

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Greyhawk wrote:
Greyhawk wrote:

Real estate as an IGC sink...intriguing.
If leases can be bartered between players, even more interesting. Perhaps even an auction house for leases? Don't want to fall into the Second Life style, of course, but still interesting. (It would be tricky to prevent this from developing into a parasitic secondary market out in the real world, however.)

Given the purpose of Real Estate Leases as an IGC sink, I would personally think that placing them on an auction other than open IGC bids when the lease is up would be somewhat counter productive. If all the "good" real estate is bought up, players would need to bid higher, thus creating something of a natural market to sink IGC that will scale up if something causes an increase in the availability of IGC.

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I think the key here is

I think the key here is creating unique locations. A magic themed SG might choose and old Victorian mansion while a large SG would compete with other large SGs for the high rise location downtown. While a small group of friends would be contented with a old coffee shop or a boardwalk adjacent storefront. And a lone wolf might value the extra storage space of a train station locker. As is always the case, location is everything, but location means different things to different people. Creating a lot of unique and interesting real estate options would be key. And providing instanced options at a lower price that would be accessed via the "standard SG teleporter" could sate the appetite of those who really wanted the old victorian mansion but couldn't match another SGs bid for the live game world location.

It also adds to the immersion and "life" of the world to be able to pass by the "Fusion Force" tower. Or gossip about who is still paying the rent on the old "knights" building when no one has seen a "knight" in awhile. Or to pass through a bus station and see a player walk up to a locker and open it. Well lets be honest they'll probably superspeed up to it and then freeze for 10 minutes while they story through and inventory screen you can't see.

Still disagree with you Huck. Average office building has about 4 meters between floors. I think that is enough space to work with for camera usage even when your average character is over 2M tall. You'd only need a tiny fraction of the typical "void" between floors as there wouldn't actually be cables or joists or anything in that space. So you'd have almost the whole 4 meters to work with. If you had to push that up to 5 meters to accommodate max height characters I don't think it's enough to make the world look cartoonish. It's not as realistic but if you have a city where a large percentage of the population was over 6ft tall you'd build to accommodate that. It becomes the norm. Those games you mentioned were made "cartoonish" as a distinct design choice to support their longevity in the marketplace. A cartoonish style doesn't age as quickly. It's not a limitation of the graphics but a design choice. COT is going with a more realistic route. That doesn't mean that there needs to be plumbing in the walls and floor joists that can handle the weight of a 400 pound lizard man doing aerobics. It's a digital world some liberties with design can be taken.

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Grimfox wrote:
Grimfox wrote:

Still disagree with you Huck. Average office building has about 4 meters between floors. I think that is enough space to work with for camera usage even when your average character is over 2M tall. You'd only need a tiny fraction of the typical "void" between floors as there wouldn't actually be cables or joists or anything in that space. So you'd have almost the whole 4 meters to work with. If you had to push that up to 5 meters to accommodate max height characters I don't think it's enough to make the world look cartoonish. It's not as realistic but if you have a city where a large percentage of the population was over 6ft tall you'd build to accommodate that. It becomes the norm. Those games you mentioned were made "cartoonish" as a distinct design choice to support their longevity in the marketplace. A cartoonish style doesn't age as quickly. It's not a limitation of the graphics but a design choice. COT is going with a more realistic route. That doesn't mean that there needs to be plumbing in the walls and floor joists that can handle the weight of a 400 pound lizard man doing aerobics. It's a digital world some liberties with design can be taken.

I can't believe I'm actually engaging in this with you. There is more to interior space than ceiling height. There is the spaces around furniture, the width of doors, etc. You don't want your camera up against a wall every time you turn around. You'd never see where you were going.

And not just cartoonish style games can have cartoonish scale buildings. Just look at SWTOR, another game that has enormous buildings in order to make the interiors usable for gameplay.

But you don't have to take my word for it. Go into games like the elder scrolls online, archeage, SWTOR, and FFXIV to see it for yourself. Move around in the interiors. Notice how much space is dedicated to just moving around between furniture pieces. Notice how wide the stairs are and the doors. All those things. And then look at the exteriors of those buildings and see just how big they are in order to fit all that in there. This is game design 101, man. You shouldn't need me to convince you.


I like to take your ideas and supersize them. This isn't criticism, it is flattery. I come with nothing but good will and a spirit of team-building. If you take what I write any other way, that is probably just because I wasn't very clear.
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I believe we are off topic. I

I believe we are off topic. I suggested non-instanced world locations be used as an incentive to buy more expensive SG bases and lairs to aid vacuuming up excess IGC from the game. I believe this would add a sense of immersion to the game that using a teleporter to enter your base does not bring. It also gives the owners of such a location some pride and sense of ownership that could encourage long term loyalty. And depending on how far the devs are willing to take the idea could result in a more unique game world. I think this is something that is doable, and wouldn't require the generation of highly specialized assets, based on what I've already heard from MWM about their plans for building the world, their intent for mission level design, and what I've read about the Mogul buildings. I believe that it would be easy to take buildings that already exist in the game world and adjust them to be lease-able by an SG or individual. From there it is up to MWM to decide if and how to do it.

I honestly think the camera is the least pressing technical concern they have with this idea. I think a more challenging problems would be managing the permissions for access to the building and the transfer of power from one owner to the next. As far as I know the only games to ever do this were EQ2(?) and SWG. In each of those cases the players built their own buildings out in the wild rather than take up residence in a pre-existing structure. I believe both of those games were run initially by SOE. So it may be that Sony holds a patent on that tech making the very idea legally improbable to begin with.

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If I could have a special

If I could have a special "secret entrance" door that gets me into and out of my personal lair, and if that door could be attached to some part my Mogul building, exterior or interior, I would want that. I mean, it's already "my" building, sort of. Now, whether the interior of the base is public for all players or just for me is a different issue, and one I'm not totally excited about either way. Either way, people would have to be teamed with me to access my lair, I assume. If there is a public interior space for that building, that would be public, but I don't personally want to pay IGC to maintain it. If my Mogul building could be "mine" permanently and only "open to the public" when I've paid the rent and power bills, ok, but I don't want anyone else to be able to buy me out of my lease or buy the building itself out of foreclosure etc.

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Radiac wrote:
Radiac wrote:

If I could have a special "secret entrance" door that gets me into and out of my personal lair, and if that door could be attached to some part my Mogul building, exterior or interior, I would want that. I mean, it's already "my" building, sort of. Now, whether the interior of the base is public for all players or just for me is a different issue, and one I'm not totally excited about either way. Either way, people would have to be teamed with me to access my lair, I assume. If there is a public interior space for that building, that would be public, but I don't personally want to pay IGC to maintain it. If my Mogul building could be "mine" permanently and only "open to the public" when I've paid the rent and power bills, ok, but I don't want anyone else to be able to buy me out of my lease or buy the building itself out of foreclosure etc.

Can you use just one entrance and it pops up a Dialog with all the places you can jump to?
Can you rent it out as a Timeshare? So we see other players enter and exit same building, but you get some IGC if they use your building?
Any way to reuse some of the same spaces/building/etc..., if owner wanted to make something on the side?

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Izzy you are quite the land

Izzy you are quite the land developer. I think the problem there is that it becomes "pay-to-win" you're paying (admittedly a large pile of cash) for access to a in game revenue stream that no one else would be able to access. So I think that is off the table. To address Radiac's concern if it were up to me I would do it so that you would always have access to the instanced version of your mogul SG hall for free, but if your mogul building were used as an in game SG hall you'd have to pay for the in game world version like everyone else. Or maybe you would have priority over access for a year and then after that it would cease to be "yours" and become a MWM asset for them to do with as they please, insofar as allowing others to lease that space. Considering how cool some of the Mogul buildings look I'd say that MWM would have to do something like this as these locations would be incredibly in demand. And some of those buildings are massive. Lothic has said her's is to be similar to Burj Khalifa which has 3.5M square feet of real estate. You could house 10 or 15 SG's in such a building. Anyway I don't think they've gotten around to her's yet so it's yet to be announced. Maybe Mogul buildings would require an additional stars up charge to host an SG, these buildings just keep pulling in the money.

Wonder if anyone chose a yacht as a mogul building...

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<--- Guilty! :D

<--- Guilty! :D

Seriously, If i paid for a building, before the game was made, or after the game launched (if you can get on the list of 20 to 30 top Auction winners that commissioned buildings for that year), then yea.

Instead of just passing by it, i rather players actively use it... so when they take screenshots and the like for Instagram, others will comment what a nice building that is... and other players will mention who that building actually belongs to, and will want to move in. I make more IGC or other monetary gains for me. :D

Sorta like selling real estate on the Moon! ;)

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Grimfox wrote:
Grimfox wrote:

To address Radiac's concern if it were up to me I would do it so that you would always have access to the instanced version of your mogul SG hall for free, but if your mogul building were used as an in game SG hall you'd have to pay for the in game world version like everyone else.
[...]
Considering how cool some of the Mogul buildings look I'd say that MWM would have to do something like this as these locations would be incredibly in demand. And some of those buildings are massive. Lothic has said her's is to be similar to Burj Khalifa which has 3.5M square feet of real estate. You could house 10 or 15 SG's in such a building.

Obviously I can't speak for what every Mogul player wants from CoT but since you mentioned me specifically I wanted to express my thoughts on the matter.

Personally I wouldn't mind if my Mogul building was open to be used by anyone else for their SG bases as long as I have permanent access to the building for my own "Mogul SG" space (regardless of how that's eventually going to work). As you point out if the art Devs make this Mogul anything close to the real-life Burj Khalifa it's going to be a very HUUUUGGGee place floor space wise so the idea that multiple groups might use it was already in my long term plans for it. In fact several of my characters from CoH (that'll be re-rolled in CoT) were related to each other in various ways and I planned that a few of them would stay together in my (the player's) Mogul building in their own individual houses/bases. Assuming the Mogul base thing is only going to be one single interior instance I would still likely "roleplay" that one of my characters lives on the top floors while the others would be spread around on different lower floors.

As far as the potential "landlord" scenario that Izzy suggested goes I will admit it's an interesting idea. I won't lie and say it would not be nice to get a crap-ton of IGC from my Mogul investment. But considering all the pros and cons I believe I would not want other players to directly pay me for the use of my Mogul building. I didn't pay for the Mogul option in the hopes that I would become an in-game landlord. Again as long as I retain "permanent special" Mogul access to the building I wouldn't care if anyone else wanted to link their SG/personal bases to my front door. As we all know these things will be handled as completely isolated instances anyway and it's not like I'm going to be playing the game every second of every day regardless so why should I care if other people are technically using "my" building when I may never know about it?

To be completely clear I'm still going to RP that one of my characters "owns" the building. But in practical terms I don't expect that to mean anything to anyone else as far as their RP or in-game experience is concerned. Basically I paid for a Mogul building expecting to effectively share it with EVERYONE to the degrees the game will allow.

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Grimfox wrote:
Grimfox wrote:

Wonder if anyone chose a yacht as a mogul building...

I know of at least one that was a second choice (for suitably skiffy values of "yacht") but the first choice was chosen. ^_^

Lothic wrote:

To be completely clear I'm still going to RP that one of my characters "owns" the building. But in practical terms I don't expect that to mean anything to anyone else as far as their RP or in-game experience is concerned. Basically I paid for a Mogul building expecting to effectively share it with EVERYONE to the degrees the game will allow.

Likewise, no matter which of my choices would have been chosen.

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To be honest, I'd prefer it

To be honest, I'd prefer it if there was an IGC cost to "rent" an Instance Door to Base inside of Mogul buildings ... so if you want to put your base into the Dizzy Izzy Tower too *you can* ... but then rather than "paying" that IGC rent to the Mogul who ordered up the creation of that building, simply drain that IGC out of the economy entirely and use that rent as an IGC sink. That way, having an SG Door inside of a Mogul's building is more of a voluntary prestige thing, making it a privilege that Players can pay for if they want to.

The actual Mogul account can put the SG Door inside of "their" building for free, since they "own" the building (as it were).

Actually, now that I think about it ... that gives me an idea for a whole new IGC sink.

---

You know how in City of Heroes there was a "SG Door" feature in every non-hazard zone? And you know how we could build Teleporter Pads inside the Base to go to every zone on that "side" ...?

First of all, let me say straight up that the whole Teleporter Pad+Beacons thing always felt more like a programming kludge than it did like a "useful" storytelling vehicle for how the SG Base got accessed.

And then we had Base Rent, which cost Prestige rather than INF, and it was based purely on Base Plot Size. The bigger the Base Plot the higher the Base Rent.

Now, take all of those assumptions and put a kink into them.

Instead of having ready made "universal" SG Doors in every zone that every SG has access to, and making it ONE Door ... have more than one Door available in each District of the City of Titans. That way, rather than using Teleporter Pads to plop you down at a single pre-defined point, instead there are Base Doors (plural) available in every Neighborhood of every District in the city. You enter/exit your SG Base through those Base Doors.

Now for those of you playing the home game, you can probably anticipate where I'm going next with this. Namely, that rather than paying Base Rent on the size of the Base Plot you've got, instead you pay Base Rent for each of the Base Doors that grants entry/exit to the SG Base.

Set things up such that the "first Door" is free (so you can do Personal Housing if you want) ... and then after that it starts costing Base Rent to, in effect, run multiple Teleporter/Beacons (in City of Heroes parlance).

So if you want to have a Base Door in every District of the city, it'll cost you IGC in Rent to have access to all of those Doors. If you want to have a Base Door in every Neighborhood of every District in the city, it'll cost you a princely sum more IGC to maintain (access to) all of those extra Doors.

You could even set up the whole thing as being a sort of checklist of options at the SG Registrar NPC, where you get to pick which Base Door you want from a menu of options, and see a running tally of the IGC you'll pay in Rent to maintain that many access points to your SG Base. All you have to do then is include an SG Base Door location inside of all the Mogul buildings as well and add them onto the checklist of options.

This then creates a situation where, over time, as the game world grows and expands, it could become increasingly expensive (and possibly unsustainable) to have access to EVERY SG Base Door throughout the entire game ... and indeed, that would actually be the POINT of setting things up that way. Why? Because then Players (in this case, SG Leaders) are forced to choose what is more important to them ... IGC or easy access to distant locations via the SG Base. It basically turns into a "Pay For Convenience" system that can sink IGC out of the overall economy. A side benefit of this then becomes the fact that not every SG Base has easy access to the same list of Base Doors, making customization of playing experience and membership something interesting and unique to every SG.

And what happens when Rent doesn't get paid? Simple ... the "extra" Doors into the SG Base "close" and become unavailable. You'll still always have the one "free Door" you can access your Base from, but the extras will close and stop working. That way, your Base's "services" will always remain functional, but access to the SG Base Instance could be hampered and become less convenient if you're a cheapskate ... or if everyone goes on holiday from the game and Rent doesn't get paid for a while. So you'll never "lose" access to your SG Base entirely, but you may lose the "convenience factor" of paying IGC for access to your SG Base from almost anywhere in the city.

Yeah ... that looks like it would be a reasonable way to sink IGC out of the game's economy, particularly since it is entirely predicated upon the "pick your own level of pricing for convenience" such that Players can "tailor" their earnings to their ease of access.

Set things up such that rather than having a single, central Entry Portal Room like we did in City of Heroes, there are specific Door Features inside the SG Base, with each one corresponding to a specific outside world Base Door entry/exit point. To put it in City of Heroes parlance, instead of using the Base Door in Talos Island to enter the Entry Portal in the SG Base and then run to the Perez Park Teleporter to get to Perez Park ... instead you use the Base Door in Talos Island to enter your Base at the Talos Island Teleporter, run over to the Perez Park Teleporter and go to Perez Park. Except that in City of Titans, you aren't necessarily doing that through Teleporters only. It could be through a Teleporter Pad, or a Door on the wall, or it could be through "touching" an Obelisk, interacting with a car in a "garage" ... or whatever Base Items can be used as Doors for entry/exit to and from the Base. That way, the layout of the access points inside the Base becomes yet another design feature for convenience.

Set the whole thing up on a "First Signed Up, Last To Shut Down" basis, so if a Rent payment can't be made in full it's obvious which Doors get closed until Rent is "made" and you're good to go. Since the "first" Door on the list will be "free" you'll always have at least one viable access point to the Base, even if that isn't the most convenient option for fast travel around the city.

Yeah ... that sounds like a viable IGC sink method to me.


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Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:

Set things up such that the "first Door" is free (so you can do Personal Housing if you want) ... and then after that it starts costing Base Rent to, in effect, run multiple Teleporter/Beacons (in City of Heroes parlance).
So if you want to have a Base Door in every District of the city, it'll cost you IGC in Rent to have access to all of those Doors. If you want to have a Base Door in every Neighborhood of every District in the city, it'll cost you a princely sum more IGC to maintain (access to) all of those extra Doors.

That is a fine idea. I like the way you think. It could even work whether you want to assign your base to a physical location in the city or if you want your base to be someplace not represented by a physical location in the city.


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Huh, I don't remember Base

Huh, I don't remember Base Teleporters being ubiquitous. I only remember them being (sometimes inconveniently) placed in the middle of Atlas Park and Galaxy City. What I remember is the personal base teleportation power, which was on a cool-down timer.

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Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:

To be honest, I'd prefer it if there was an IGC cost to "rent" an Instance Door to Base inside of Mogul buildings ... so if you want to put your base into the Dizzy Izzy Tower too *you can* ... but then rather than "paying" that IGC rent to the Mogul who ordered up the creation of that building, simply drain that IGC out of the economy entirely and use that rent as an IGC sink. That way, having an SG Door inside of a Mogul's building is more of a voluntary prestige thing, making it a privilege that Players can pay for if they want to.

I'm not against the idea of "renting" any applicable door (even doors from Mogul buildings) to be entrances for SG bases. I just want reaffirm/agree that the IGC spent for such rentings should be strict IGC sinks - players who technically "own" Mogul buildings should not directly receive any of those rent payments.

To add to your idea I would think that different doors could cost different amounts of rent depending on where they are. For instance if you want a door that puts you somewhere right next to in-game stores, train stations, or other features that make it super-useful that door should cost more rent than having a door that might be miles from anywhere remotely convenient. Obviously I'd let the Devs come up with the rent values involved based on what they think is reasonable. Maybe there could be an extra arbitrary surcharge for picking a Mogul building just so you'd have to pay for that extra "prestige" you mentioned.

Huckleberry wrote:

That is a fine idea. I like the way you think. It could even work whether you want to assign your base to a physical location in the city or if you want your base to be someplace not represented by a physical location in the city.

The physical location of your base would never have to be directly tied or defined to any specific door. That kind of thing would be up to individual players to "roleplay". For instance you could pretend that your base is physically in the specific warehouse where you linked up a door to it or you could "pretend" that your actual base is like a mile underground and that the warehouse door in question just leads to a set of tunnels that lead down to you base.

Just like in CoH the "physical" location of your base could be anywhere you want it to be.

Fireheart wrote:

Huh, I don't remember Base Teleporters being ubiquitous. I only remember them being (sometimes inconveniently) placed in the middle of Atlas Park and Galaxy City. What I remember is the personal base teleportation power, which was on a cool-down timer.

Yeah the CoH Base Teleporters weren't technically "ubiquitous" but Redlynne's idea does sort of solve that limitation. By being able to pick almost any doors you'd want for you bases your entrances could be as ubiquitous as you'd want them to be.

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

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GW2 has something like this,

GW2 has something like this, I think. There are no individual bases (as far as I know) and the guild halls aren't connected to it at all, but the game has Waypoints all over the place, and using them costs like 1-3 silver for each teleport. You look at the map, you can teleport from where you are to any Waypoint you've previously managed to activate for a fee. The cost is so low per use that you don't really notice it. I think I'd run the IGC sinking that way, every time you use it, not as a rent thing.

So like, you have a lair or base, and as long as your rent is paid, you automatically get access to a network of different secret doors, teleporters, helipads, manhole covers, etc all over the city. Then, any time you or any of your teammates uses the base to travel, you/they pay some IGC. So going from one suburb to another might require you to go to the nearest secret door, take that to the SG base, then from there go to the door nearest your intended destination. The game would charge you a small amount of IGC for the trips to and from the base, basically, which is to say it would let you know how much the trip costs and deduct it from your wallet when you click to teleport.

The amounts of IGC this costs in GW2 is akin to like 100-500 INF per teleport, using CoX money. 1000 INF at most.

And as a player, you might have to go to the various secret doors and activate them for your base to be able to use them, possibly by clicking on them or using a temp power to activate them or picking up a crafting component from the location that you then use to make the door active for you, etc, or something. Or maybe have Exploration Badges you have to get to unlock the secret door function. I don't know.

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Radiac wrote:
Radiac wrote:

GW2 has something like this, I think. There are no individual bases (as far as I know) and the guild halls aren't connected to it at all, but the game has Waypoints all over the place, and using them costs like 1-3 silver for each teleport. You look at the map, you can teleport from where you are to any Waypoint you've previously managed to activate for a fee. The cost is so low per use that you don't really notice it. I think I'd run the IGC sinking that way, every time you use it, not as a rent thing.
So like, you have a lair or base, and as long as your rent is paid, you automatically get access to a network of different secret doors, teleporters, helipads, manhole covers, etc all over the city. Then, any time you or any of your teammates uses the base to travel, you/they pay some IGC. So going from one suburb to another might require you to go to the nearest secret door, take that to the SG base, then from there go to the door nearest your intended destination. The game would charge you a small amount of IGC for the trips to and from the base, basically, which is to say it would let you know how much the trip costs and deduct it from your wallet when you click to teleport.
The amounts of IGC this costs in GW2 is akin to like 100-500 INF per teleport, using CoX money. 1000 INF at most.
And as a player, you might have to go to the various secret doors and activate them for your base to be able to use them, possibly by clicking on them or using a temp power to activate them or picking up a crafting component from the location that you then use to make the door active for you, etc, or something. Or maybe have Exploration Badges you have to get to unlock the secret door function. I don't know.

The difference between your GW2-inspired idea and what was being talked about in the last few posts is that the players themselves could choose exactly which entrances they want to use. Your idea would restrict players to have to choose from among a limited set of "predefined" base doors which is not much better/different than what we were stuck with in CoH. I'd rather be able to choose exactly which doors I'd want to use (from among practically ANY door in the game) and I'd be willing to pay for that in fixed periodic amounts rather than having to pay per use. Assuming that the "rent" the game would charge for letting players choose exactly which entrances they wanted to use was reasonable it would probably more than pay for itself per unit time.

Weirdly enough your idea of "pay-per-use" doors conjures up the idea of that characters would be figuratively having to put coins in a coin slot to open a door every time they use it. It's the wrong mental image I want to have while playing this superhero based game. Paying periodic "rent" for these doors abstracts the idea into overall "base upkeep" and makes it not seem like I'm having to directly "pay" IGC to open a manhole cover, a secret bookcase door or whatever.

Think of it this way: Let's say you pick a specific storefront you want to roleplay as the physical location of your SG base. Would you want to have to pay IGC every time you just want to open the front door of that store? I'd rather assume the use of that door comes as a part of the overall cost of maintaining that base to begin with. You shouldn't have to pay per-use "tolls" just to enter your own base.

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To be honest, in GW2 I don't

To be honest, in GW2 I don't think the NPCs ever even acknowledge the existence of the Waypoints at all. I think they act like a deus ex machina that gets you around the world at convenient speeds instead of having to hoof it everywhere, and as such nobody cares how they work, who built them, or why the cost is what it is and how it works. It's clearly in there as a mild IGC sink for convenience and does a good job of that. Is that the sort of thing we'd be willing to live with for the sake of smoother game play at the expense of immersion? Different people have different opinions.

Also, the fact that you'd have to go to your base as a necessary middle step might be a pain too, plus it creates a lot of map loading you don't necessarily want. Would we be okay with just going from one manhole cover to another or whatever without having to actually go to the base map in between?

Lastly, this sounds like the kind of thing that subscribers might get that non-subs maybe would not. I'm not saying to make the non-subs walk everywhere, there should still be monorails or whatever, maybe even buses or something on top of that, but I could see this being paid for by real money in the form of a subscription service that's active when you're paid-up for the month and shuts off when you let the sub lapse. I mean, nobody's going to claim they bought the various doors and they own them now forever, right? So putting in a personal air function that allows you to activate and access various secret doors you might want could be a subscriber thing, I feel. In that case, maybe it doesn't have to sink IGC at all.

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Radiac wrote:
Radiac wrote:

To be honest, in GW2 I don't think the NPCs ever even acknowledge the existence of the Waypoints at all. I think they act like a deus ex machina that gets you around the world at convenient speeds instead of having to hoof it everywhere, and as such nobody cares how they work, who built them, or why the cost is what it is and how it works. It's clearly in there as a mild IGC sink for convenience and does a good job of that. Is that the sort of thing we'd be willing to live with for the sake of smoother game play at the expense of immersion? Different people have different opinions.
Also, the fact that you'd have to go to your base as a necessary middle step might be a pain too, plus it creates a lot of map loading you don't necessarily want. Would we be okay with just going from one manhole cover to another or whatever without having to actually go to the base map in between?
Lastly, this sounds like the kind of thing that subscribers might get that non-subs maybe would not. I'm not saying to make the non-subs walk everywhere, there should still be monorails or whatever, maybe even buses or something on top of that, but I could see this being paid for by real money in the form of a subscription service that's active when you're paid-up for the month and shuts off when you let the sub lapse. I mean, nobody's going to claim they bought the various doors and they own them now forever, right? So putting in a personal air function that allows you to activate and access various secret doors you might want could be a subscriber thing, I feel. In that case, maybe it doesn't have to sink IGC at all.

I think the game is already going to offer a general "mass transit" (waypoint) system that is not directly related to any individual SG. That mass transit system may very well have some kind of "pay-per-use" scheme as you're suggesting here.

But I still believe that even if SGs offer their own kind of quick travel system (via the ability to have a network of access points) that it should not be a "pay-per-use" deal. Yet another simple reason for that is let's say I'm the founder of a SG and I decide to invite a new level 1 character into my SG. Sure as the founder I might have millions of IGC to waste but this new character might be completely broke. It would be kind of annoying if I'd have to give this new character some money just to be able to enter this base I just invited them into.

Any quick travel capability a SG base provides should be supported in the same way the rest of the base is supported, not by single-use tolls imposed on individual members.

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

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I can totally see the train

I can totally see the train as an IGC sink. I'm now envisioning a mass transit system that has one, maximum two, actual train stations or stops in each section of the city, such that, like CoX, you could take the train to Aurora and still have to walk or fly halfway across Aurora in order to get to your door mission. I'm fine with that, it encourages/requires the use of travel powers, which is good. If the personal lair or SG opens up a network of more conveniently-placed options, I'd personally rather see that as a subscriber perk for paying money than an IGC sink. I also think people will naturally tend to gravitate toward the most conveniently-placed doors regardless of their significance in the lore. If there are popular areas near NPCs that do vending etc, many people are going to want to get a door right near them, or as close as allowed.

The idea of letting everyone who pays IGC use any door they want seems like it creates problems similar to the idea of letting people pick their powers a la carte. You end up with almost everyone choosing the doors that are the most convenient to the exclusion of almost everything else. I mean, at the very least somebody will probably come up with a "best solution" to the question of how to get the most convenience out of the least IGC and many people will probably copy it. If the game decided which doors you could and couldn't use, or gave you options from among some doors, but not all doors, you might be better off in the long run. Plus I feel like they'd have to disallow some doors based on lore too.

I like the idea of being able to unlock use of a door by doing content, like a TF or something. Maybe that gives you the door for free for like 48 hours then you have to do it again or pay or something. Or maybe you have to go through a lot of different stuff to unlock a particular door, then you get it forever, or forever, but only while your subscription is paid.

R.S.O. of Phoenix Rising

Lothic
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Radiac wrote:
Radiac wrote:

I also think people will naturally tend to gravitate toward the most conveniently-placed doors regardless of their significance in the lore. If there are popular areas near NPCs that do vending etc, many people are going to want to get a door right near them, or as close as allowed.

I would agree that if the game allowed players to pick which doors they wanted for their SG bases that in the long run people would tend to find which doors are the "best" ones to use. But is there an actual "problem" with that? Remember that CoH only provided one or two main base portals per zone so we were all effectively using the "same" doors anyway. Allowing players to decide their own favorite doors at least lets the players choose instead of being forced to use the only portals the Devs provide.

Also if you applied my idea about "charging more rent to have the best doors" then if the Devs determined that there was a door that like 98% of everybody was using they could arbitrarily make that door super expensive to "encourage" people to spread out to lesser used doors. In effect the Devs could regulate which doors got used by charging different amounts for them.

Radiac wrote:

I like the idea of being able to unlock use of a door by doing content, like a TF or something. Maybe that gives you the door for free for like 48 hours then you have to do it again or pay or something. Or maybe you have to go through a lot of different stuff to unlock a particular door, then you get it forever, or forever, but only while your subscription is paid.

I'd have no problem with having to "unlock" certain doors to be used by SGs. Also I'd already assumed that some doors would be permanently off-limits to SGs (for whatever reasons).

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

Izzy
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Plus, if players are aware

Plus, if players are aware there are underground tunnel, sewers, etc... lore wise, you enter a door above ground at one location, and after the screen fades out to black and back.. you wind up at another above ground location. Its almost like taking the Tram in the same zone.

Granted this can be monetized, but i think this should be withheld from new players, and have it be a veteran type of reward, for sticking with the game all this time. And lore wise, you can say those players have been around and know all the nooks and crannies of the city and get around much faster now. ;D

And Yes, we should be allot more strict with which rewards should be given to Veterans, and gradually over the many years, lower the amount of time it takes to get certain Veteran rewards.

alewolf
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Hmm I love the idea of

Hmm I love the idea of picking doors and being able to move from zone to zone. Although I took the original idea to be more like you could pick from a selection of doors in each zone. Some of the posts make it sound like any door, not sure the labor and the extra code would be worth it. I think most of us would be ok with simply having a couple of choices, I like that they are more subtle than COH

As far as houses etc, I always assumed your character would basically get an apartment and you would pick from a choice of buildings. The interior should match the exterior and if you want to alter it you should pay so IGC sink right there. I would also think you would pay based on sized of space you picked. Most of the games that have dynamic and really cool housing allow you to move to a size you want. I know my DE of EQ and one of my Characters on the light side both had large houses. The DE had the largest available in game, it fit her and I spent logs of time and cash playing with it. Especially finding ways to do odd things like take a little tile piece that had no real value and using dozens of them to make a back space for my bar. Also taking a bunch of paintings and using it to create a visual (not functioning) wall to separate a room and actually have a bathroom.

Radiac
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Here's an idea:

Here's an idea:

In each suburb or defined area of the world map, there will be footstones for Exploration Badges. Once you collect all of the Exploration Badges in the area, you get use of the manhole covers in that area. Then, when you get all of the Exploration Badges in the whole world, you get some more bonus manhole covers which are in, like, better locations.. But this would only happen if you are a subscriber and the manhole covers could only be used to teleport from place to place while your personal lair has its rent paid for. Then you could use IGC to pay rent, or use Stars to buy IGC to pay rent with. You could also have a set of helicopter pads for your personal Super Copter, and a set of reserved VIP parking spaces for your Super Car, unlockable is some similar way. If the helipads are all at the top of hospitals, maybe you have to do the missions for all the hospital NPCs, and if the parking spots are all TCPD enforced (i.e. if the TCPD is responsible for towing cars out of your VIP parking spots) you could make those unlockable via some set of TCPD content.

R.S.O. of Phoenix Rising

Huckleberry
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I think it would be cool if

I think it would be cool if your character used the sewers to travel via manhole covers, then NPCs walking on the steeets would say things like "Oh my! that hero smells like a toilet!" as you pass them by.


I like to take your ideas and supersize them. This isn't criticism, it is flattery. I come with nothing but good will and a spirit of team-building. If you take what I write any other way, that is probably just because I wasn't very clear.
Fireheart
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How about Steam Tunnel Pods?

How about Steam Tunnel Pods?

Be Well!
Fireheart