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Author Topic: 5.X Patchnotes, Updates, Guides, etc...  (Read 8745 times)

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Offline Karmic

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Re: 5.X Patchnotes, Updates, Guides, etc...
« Reply #30 on: 12/09/16, 09:43:57 AM »
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Dawww - sorry Cthulu is not your bag baby - SW is just a great lore/story game.

In any case - relevant to what we were discussing here.  This post over on a Hearthstone (Blizzard) fan site. Keeping in mind again Blizzard has NOT YET said if they are going to comply with this law or what they are going to do.

But this will absolutely effect games that aren't in China.

Quote
http://www.hearthpwn.com/news/2093-new-loot-box-regulations-in-china

1--The law requiring a virtual way to get similar items from the RNG packs - in game for virtual currency - will force this standard across all games (or force games that don't do it to adjust cost accordingly).  At least that's how I read this post about it.  If there are more rules about that exchange/equality I'm curious to know - because this doesn't mean any of the ways to get something in game are practical or fun in terms of gameplay.

I mean take a 20 dollar mount on an RNG Box say.  Putting the mount in game for some high level acheivement/grind doesn't necessarily make it "equal" to what the gambling provides but it does fit the letter of the law in terms of "providing an alternative."

Reminds me of a few of the items on the Secret World Store that are marked down to affordable prices (not even RNG items, actual direct pay outfits) but only during certain times of the year.  The rest of the year outside those events the outfits are STILL purchasable on the store but are now x100 the cost. =D


2--If only one MAJOR (like Blizz or EA major) gaming company start abiding by this law and publishes the RNG drop rates of their stuff - then other games will more probably end up having to follow suit or, again, adjust their price/costs accordingly.

Whatever numbers get known - and depending on how "bad" or how fair they are perceived (oh boy... the internet rage..) - there will be over time a growing standarization of whatever those % are expected to be by the ever-more-educated gaming populace.  And once they can compare those numbers between games (as they will then insist on being able to do whether you're in China or not), they will be speaking with their wallets on which games are worth paying for that RNG % and which aren't.

And which Games may have to find themselves either giving a higher RNG percentage than the established "norm" to keep their piece of the $$ pie, or having to edge down their costs to provide an incentive for a gamer to take a chance on their unknown RNG rate/lower RNG rate - over the RNG rate of another game.

Just like Blizz introducing Flight Paths, Rested XP, Instanced Groups/Content, and LFG changed the "norm" of the MMORPG gaming world from that point forward - and that was before anyone had a clue that they were *about* to change the norm of the genre forevermore.

10 years later and 10 years worth of MMORPG gaming/player trends and how this all works together - China's ruling *could* be a huge shift in what the landscape of f2p/RNG purchases look like in gaming in the next 2-3 yrs.  As this effect will be much faster.

That is of course still dependent on how they enforce it and whether or not any of the big gaming companies comply (or take an entirely other direction with it all).

~~
As for "gambling" points you made Imazi I have to quite agree.  For most of the world gambling may be considered "no big deal".  But I live in a US state that STILL has no Lottery and Gambling is still *very* much Illegal - and the *only* reason this is so is because of conservative religious values.  Where the state governor spent millions (stupidly I say..) last year alone in shutting down back-hole slot-machine dens because gambling is illegal and "against God" here.

Making the overal populace around the world (much less in the US) more aware of just how much GAMBLING this really is could cause some other backlash effects people don't predict.

Not that I forsee the entire Southern United States suddenly trying to pass laws forcing US gaming companies to stop gambling or anything - just saying the growing awareness of the reality of the "RNG" boxes = gambling could play out in a variety of unpredictable ways when it comes to the US and the fact that many still see gambling as a morality/character flaw.

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Offline Imazi

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Re: 5.X Patchnotes, Updates, Guides, etc...
« Reply #31 on: 12/09/16, 11:35:14 AM »
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Holy Cow, if China enforces this they have taken a pretty big chunk out of these companies. They will completely bypass the doging mechanisms I mentioned earlier.

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Online game publishers (who provide virtual goods or services with any form of random mechanisms) shall not directly request gamers to to indulge in such activities through a direct injection of cash or virtual credits.

Then they have to publish far more than odds. They have to spill all kinds of info, like what the exact loot table of a gamble box is.

Quote
They shall promptly and publicly announce information about the name, property, content, quantity, and draw/forge probability of all virtual items and services that can be drawn/forged on the official website or a dedicated draw-probability web page of the game. The information on draw probability shall be true and effective.

Then it will force game companies to prove that their results match the stated odds.

Quote
Online game publishers shall publicly announce the random draw results by customers on the official website or in a prominent spot in-game, and keep records for government inquiry. The records must be kept for at least 90 days.

Also it's is not enough to provide an alternative means to get those virtual items. The game companies have to provide an avenue to trade for those same items. The easiest way is more vendors. Too bad though... Someone said that one of the guys on the stream mentioned they think they have too many vendors already.

Quote
When online publishers are providing virtual goods and services with any form of random draw properties, they shall provide players with an avenue to trade for other virtual goods, either using virtual cash or any other ways to obtain similar virtual goods and services.

Now, here's how I can see some companies handling this, remove old gamble packs and, to the extent possible, old rng mechanics. Make new ones with better odds. This way they don't have to disclose how badly they ripped players off directly. However, players will notice a difference and there will be speculation.

BUT! I'm hoping China pulls this off and enforces it. Go China Go! :cheer:
Check my profile for links my short story and art work threads.

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Offline Orell

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Re: 5.X Patchnotes, Updates, Guides, etc...
« Reply #32 on: 12/09/16, 12:04:00 PM »
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Hrm.

I didn't see the bit about announcing those that won what.

Honestly, that might be a poison pill for the industry in China. There's two major problems I see with it.

1: Announcing the odds? That's just text, something that can be thrown onto a hastily made web page, that's easy to implement. But announcing who won is functionality that is being forcibly included into the game and maybe also the website. It'd also give transparency as to how many of those boxes have sold, and video game companies, well, they don't like that kind of transparency, and they REALLY don't like building out game systems that weren't part of the original plan.

2: It will probably discourage some players from spending money in-game on those boxes. Harassment can be bad enough in games, imagine someone getting spammed with messages for being a P2W SOB?

I've seen it happen in other games plenty of times. It's a nice idea in theory, but it can lead to some bad places.

Hey, I'm in favor of this sort of thing IN GENERAL, I prefer companies not screwing over their customers, and Gachapon... yeah. But law is about specifics, and this seems like a law that could cause a lot of problems even with the good developers.
Character List:

Pub side: Lien Orell, Kyri Orell, Shaantil (possibly Dumas), Norland, Everen (bank alt ATM), Quarashaa (Pub version of the real Quarasha), Merrant

Imp Side: Quarasha, Effet Ornell, Arazel, Zedney, Zhel, Asori-Alnas

Offline SquigglyV

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Re: 5.X Patchnotes, Updates, Guides, etc...
« Reply #33 on: 12/09/16, 12:19:36 PM »
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Great news for some of the world! Here in the US though they'll probably just bribe lobby against anything like that. And probably in a lot of other countries too.

I know Guild Wars 2 has players in China so seeing what Anet does there could be a good way to see how things improve.

Quote
It'd also give transparency as to how many of those boxes have sold, and video game companies, well, they don't like that kind of transparency, and they REALLY don't like building out game systems that weren't part of the original plan.

I don't see why we should care if they like it or not. It wouldn't be necessary if video game companies weren't screwing people over in the first place. I agree that it's pretty excessive but honestly it wouldn't work at all otherwise.

Quote
2: It will probably discourage some players from spending money in-game on those boxes. Harassment can be bad enough in games, imagine someone getting spammed with messages for being a P2W SOB?

If it discourages buying microtransactions, good. It's a horrendous practice that needs to die whether the stuff provides benefits or not.

As for harassment, that unfortunately already happens in lots of games. Especially the ones which actually are P2W and the microtransactions aren't just cosmetic. Hell, the opposite happens constantly in SWTOR. People are assholes and there's not much that can be done to fix it.

Offline Orell

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Re: 5.X Patchnotes, Updates, Guides, etc...
« Reply #34 on: 12/09/16, 01:12:45 PM »
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If it discourages buying microtransactions, good. It's a horrendous practice that needs to die whether the stuff provides benefits or not.

If microtransactions didn't exist, the MMORPG landscape would collapse utterly. Dozens of games would be completely unable to make a profit.

I'm sorry, but you're clearly not getting this. If SWTOR could not have microtransactions, it would have shut down a long, long time ago. So would a lot of games. Your choices for MMORPGs would be World of Warcraft and maybe a handful of other titles that would survive because of the massive collapse of the rest of the market.

The entire point of an MMORPG is those first two M's: Massively Multiplayer. Not that it's a multiplayer game, but it's one with hundreds, thousands, more people that are all interacting in the same space. For that, you need a lot of players, and servers that can handle them. That gets expensive. So, what are the options?

Subscription? Well, that's easy and convenient, but it has two problems: You require that anyone that wants to play ante in, meaning you lose many at the first gate. And you cap the maximum amount of money you can claim from individual players...

Microtransactions are better because it allows for one paying user to effectively pay for numerous non-paying users. Gachapon items raise the amount that someone can realistically spend on the game. And since there's more people playing, because you don't need to collect money from every user, the game's more populated and more fun to play.

I get it, you don't like microtransactions. But they're keeping games alive and profitable and allowing more creative endeavors. You want them to go away, find a better monetization system. Because subscriptions only work with an already massive player base, box-and-no-sub can work but it repeatedly splits the player base and diminishes those M's, and begging for donations has never, ever worked on a large scale.

Hate it if you want. But please think about the bloody economics involved before saying it should die.
Character List:

Pub side: Lien Orell, Kyri Orell, Shaantil (possibly Dumas), Norland, Everen (bank alt ATM), Quarashaa (Pub version of the real Quarasha), Merrant

Imp Side: Quarasha, Effet Ornell, Arazel, Zedney, Zhel, Asori-Alnas

Offline Imazi

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Re: 5.X Patchnotes, Updates, Guides, etc...
« Reply #35 on: 12/09/16, 01:17:03 PM »
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I cut the privacy part of the law. I didn't post everything said, you can check the website link yourselves to see it all. They already thought of that, you don't haven't to post individually identifiable information but you have to come up with a verifiable system that lets them double check your accounting as it were.

Microtransactions are fine, but the law would ban them from what SWTOR does now, gamble box exclusive items. They will not be able to gate content behind gamble boxes anymore, and it doesn't matter if they charge real or virtual money for them. That content will have to be available by other means.
Check my profile for links my short story and art work threads.

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Offline SquigglyV

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Re: 5.X Patchnotes, Updates, Guides, etc...
« Reply #36 on: 12/09/16, 03:37:59 PM »
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I don't see why MMOs can't support their servers the same way that other genres with similar amounts of players do. Which is by, you know, selling the game. And expansions or DLC if there are any. And merchandise if it's popular enough for that. And by treating your customers like actual people so they want to support your company, though I admit that one is pretty unlikely these days.

If microtransactions are absolutely essential then at the very least they should be without RNG and obtainable through other means in-game. Company of Heroes 2 on release was a decent example, you could easily get everything from just playing the game but that doesn't mean people didn't buy skins anyway.

So basically Bioware should make a WWII game to get money.

Offline Orell

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Re: 5.X Patchnotes, Updates, Guides, etc...
« Reply #37 on: 12/09/16, 03:52:45 PM »
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Well, DLC and Expansions are the ways that many companies do it. You have "free" multiplayer in the game, and drop DLC after release to get people who are really invested to keep paying you. But that tends to split the player base.

Think about it this way: Say that your game needs ~2,000 people playing at a time in order to get good matches consistently (as in, balanced, minimal lag, short queues). Below that, people stop playing because they're not having fun, and as more people leave, more and more people leave because we're in the death spiral.

You released the game, and a month after release, you have 6,000 people playing consistently! Great! So, you release your DLC after a bit and half your players buy it.

Now you have two groups: Players without the DLC and players with it. Both are at 3,000 players, so they're still getting good matches, and you release your next bit of DLC.

Well, not many who didn't buy the first round is going to buy the second round, but most of the people who bought the first round, say 2/3rds, will keep buying. So, 2,500 on the full plan, 1,000 on the first round, 2,500 playing the vanilla game.

Players in the first round start to slouch off. They're not having fun anymore. And when the next round of DLC comes, that group on the full plan, well, they might start dipping below that magic number.

It's fine for games with a shorter life cycle. You get the DLC out, get the money from that, and by the time they're all tired of it you have a new game out there to gobble up.

But for longer term games, like MMO's? The more you divide the players, the harder it is to keep populations above the death spiral. That's why most MMO's give the main content away for free, or with a subscription, and use microtransactions to monetize: It keeps the population together and still provides money for further development.
Character List:

Pub side: Lien Orell, Kyri Orell, Shaantil (possibly Dumas), Norland, Everen (bank alt ATM), Quarashaa (Pub version of the real Quarasha), Merrant

Imp Side: Quarasha, Effet Ornell, Arazel, Zedney, Zhel, Asori-Alnas

Offline Imazi

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Re: 5.X Patchnotes, Updates, Guides, etc...
« Reply #38 on: 12/09/16, 03:53:35 PM »
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The reason MMOs can't do like other games is because unlike other games they are in a never ending state of development. There is no point where the game is "done" until it shuts down. That means it has at least continuous costs but most likely increasing costs, especially as players become accustomed to the easy to make content and grow less inclined to spend more money.

I can even see a certain amount of RNG in microtransactions, the problem was that the temptation was too great. They were playing with the dark side there. Once they saw how much money the addicts would drop, greed lead MMOs to start trying to squeeze more than reasonable amounts of money for every item they sold. Once they did that, they slipped firmly down that slope and became dependent on those mechanisms.

At this point, MMO makers could use some addiction help themselves. They need to be weened off of trying to make people pay 100 dollars or more for one item. They need to set more reasonable profit goals, and I'm pretty sure they need to scale back in a lot of places.

I think this video explains where they are messing up with RNG well:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWtvrPTbQ_c&list=PLB9B0CA00461BB187&index=18

I think the Extra Credit people are right, engagement is better than compulsion. However, I don't think RNG is inherently bad. It has it's place just don't abuse it.
« Last Edit: 12/09/16, 03:57:05 PM by Imazi »
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Offline Karmic

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Re: 5.X Patchnotes, Updates, Guides, etc...
« Reply #39 on: 12/09/16, 06:53:12 PM »
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RNG isn't inherently bad.  Gamers have never (really) had a problem with RNG in all drop boxes off of mobs.  Because every mob drop has RNG.

Its the gambling part that China clearly has the problem with; and what they are trying to legislate (morality) in what comes into their country.  Understanding that if this (gambling) is suppose to be wrong/illegal 'no matter what' - then EVERY form of it has to be.  Even pixels in a box for currency.  They dont' want to give their populace the open window to approve of any type of gambling so they don't start down what they see as a slippery slope. 

Its not the RNG itself.

But you very much can have profits from microtransactions and never have an RNG Box for sale.

Its the greed and/or just *needing* the profits that badly (its why Funcom even had the first one - the b2p game you can get for 20 bucks doesn't pay to keep itself developed) that companies - not just gaming companies - go from straight purchase to gambling boxes of some sort. 

Because pure cash stores where everyone gets exactly what they pay for do NOT result in as large a profit, as fast, as it does to just push RNG boxes.  So most games that have a store at all, esp. now - will or have on them when they launch some type of RNG box for a flat fee.  So far Blizzard hasn't - but of all the games I see they're like the only ones.

Because inconsistent reinforcement (gambling rewards) is the strongest, most powerful, fastest to train and hardest to extinguish motivator in the human brain - positive reward system that exists for sentient creatures on the planet.

Mice, or Human, or Jellyfish - if you never give them a reward, or you give it to them 100% of the time, or if you give it to them every 13th time -You will ALWAYS get better results faster, and more self-sustaining (addicting), if they can't figure out when they are going to get the reward.  (RNG it).


~~
Go Google it up. Consistent Reward/Punishment vs. Inconsistent.  Its a rule we've known since the beginning of psychological science.

Anyone who uses gambling as the motivator/mechanism (or any inconsistent reward system) is actively and specifically attempting to manipulate you into an addictive pattern of behavior.  Knowing they are choosing the way that works the best and is the hardest to fight against.  Its not "just cause this works on some people."  Its done to
specifically get you, the customer (or mark), hooked and coming back.  And it works on everyone - you do have to actively fight against *not trying one more time.*  Its part of the reason I fight ever just "starting" to play "that game"(RNG boxes). 

Whether you find that ethical or not for any business is your call. Heh.  The US Government found subliminal messaging in advertising to be illegal - and that's not even scientifically effective (at al).  This is scientifically proven again and again to be a successful way of manipulating people, but in the US its a states rights issue.

China clearly does not feel its an ethical business practice at all (among whatever else it doesn't like) and doesn't want any part of it.
 

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Offline Orell

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Re: 5.X Patchnotes, Updates, Guides, etc...
« Reply #40 on: 12/09/16, 07:38:58 PM »
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Because pure cash stores where everyone gets exactly what they pay for do NOT result in as large a profit, as fast, as it does to just push RNG boxes.  So most games that have a store at all, esp. now - will or have on them when they launch some type of RNG box for a flat fee.  So far Blizzard hasn't - but of all the games I see they're like the only ones.

Because intermittent reinforcement (gambling rewards) is the strongest, most powerful, fastest to train and hardest to extinguish motivator in the human brain - positive reward system that exists for sentient creatures on the planet.

Actually, Blizzard utilizes RNG boxes as monetization in Overwatch and Hearthstone.

As for the reason why Gachapon is so popular? Well, yeah, the gambling aspect is there. But there's a few other reasons:

1: It lets you make some items worth more than others, without actually setting them at that price.

Say you design this really excellent item and you think it's worth $60. Ain't no way someone's going to actually PAY $60 for a virtual item, not on the face of it. EVE Online tried that with the Monocle and it went... poorly: http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2011/07/monocles/

So, with Gachapon? You shove it into a $2.50 random box, and set the odds of getting it to ~4%. You now have a high-value, highly desirable item that players are not going to experience sticker shock when looking at.

See also Senya's Saberpike...

2: Similarish to gambling? But there's a concept about how much people are willing to casually spend and what their reaction is. Most people (for a given value of "most") will drop a couple bucks on a thing and not feel too put out if they don't get a thing they care about. "Oh no, I wasted 5 minutes worth of time at work" goes the thought.

It makes it easier to get someone to START spending on a game. "Eh, I've been having fun with this, why not drop a couple bucks on this random box?"

And once someone spends in a game? They're more likely to keep playing (...yes, sunk cost fallacy), and that inhibition towards spending on the game goes down greatly, because they already have. There's a reason you see most random boxes prices in the $1-5 range.

3: ...it's easy.

You've got 50 things to sell. Some of it more attractive or more interesting or more fun than other stuff. So, you can either try to accurately price all of it, figure out their general attractiveness because the overly analytical players are going to consider all the details, and then put it out there, knowing that you can't ever raise prices without pissing players off...

...or you toss it all into a box, throw some rough numbers on the odds and call it a day.

I'm not going to pretend like the gambling impulsion has nothing to do with it. It's a strong component. I just want to bring up that it's not the ONLY part of it, there are reasonable reasons behind it too.
Character List:

Pub side: Lien Orell, Kyri Orell, Shaantil (possibly Dumas), Norland, Everen (bank alt ATM), Quarashaa (Pub version of the real Quarasha), Merrant

Imp Side: Quarasha, Effet Ornell, Arazel, Zedney, Zhel, Asori-Alnas

Offline Imazi

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Re: 5.X Patchnotes, Updates, Guides, etc...
« Reply #41 on: 12/09/16, 08:47:15 PM »
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All of it still relies on manipulating the human psyche, and I think these companies have proven that they can't resist the temptation to all but weaponize their aims against the player. I don't think they are responsible enough to be allowed to do this freely.  :shifty:
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Offline SquigglyV

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Re: 5.X Patchnotes, Updates, Guides, etc...
« Reply #42 on: 12/09/16, 09:31:40 PM »
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Really I just want hats that don't make me bald. Bioware plz.

Offline Imazi

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Re: 5.X Patchnotes, Updates, Guides, etc...
« Reply #43 on: 12/09/16, 09:39:43 PM »
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Given their reluctance to put in extra effort if they can avoid it, I doubt that would happen. They would have to make at least a few versions of the hat to accommodate different hairstyles. I wish they would stop trying to put everything only in the packs and release more vendors.
Check my profile for links my short story and art work threads.

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Offline Sebrik

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Re: 5.X Patchnotes, Updates, Guides, etc...
« Reply #44 on: 12/09/16, 09:55:01 PM »
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Hahaha.  Hats that don't make you bald....Ha.   When did this game release?  5, 6 years ago?  And they only just added in hair that moves.