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Tarantula

Questions asked and answered

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On December 3, 2018, a forumer started to compile a list of questions and he hoped a dev would respond.

https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthread.php?669538-Questions-for-Devs-Cordovan

Today Cordovan responded. Some forumers are really mad about the answers, others white-knight them (surprise, surprise), and others say 'what did you expect'.

I have italicized Cord's responses.

Quote

It's challenging to respond to suggestion-based question lists, particularly when they are followed by demands, but here's my best take on it:

1.    Is it supposed to be WAI that you can only run the most difficult / challenging instances (tier3) once per week and be ‘rewarded’ for it?

(I don’t want to sit here and argue over favoured/unfavoured loot pulls, I think I speak on behalf of all the community when we agree this is a bad system and a LOT worse than what we had under the daily locks in Mordor. It is also very much a slap in the face given how hard we worked on the Bullroarer forums to persuade you to remove daily locks – to instead theoretically be given weekly locks).

It is possible to run the most difficult and challenging instances more than once per week and be rewarded for it.

2.    Are you aware skirmishes are not dropping seals, and the loot that they reward is still level 105 stats / ilevel? Including Helegrod, and other scaled raids, which up until level 120 all used to drop seals.

High level skirmish raids are supposed to be dropping seals. If they are not we will need to look further into it.

3a.    Are you aware that of the 41 instances, only ‘potentially’ 9 (The Osgiliath, Pelennor and Mordor clusters) are dropping ‘useful’ loot?

We appreciate your feedback on the value of loot in Instances.

3b.    Will we ever see a return to similar loot tables such as we had when level 85 was the cap? Or is it now impossible to re-implement/scale those old loot-tables?

(The loot in the other clusters has been totally disregarded by the player base. People love unique loot, people love being able to farm instances, no matter how long it takes for BiS unique loot).

"Will we ever" questions typically require the same response: Nothing is ever permanently set in stone. If we decide to return to older loot tables, we will let you know.

4.    Can we please have more favoured chest pulls per week but offering a reduced amount of loot on the favoured pulls?

(No, this is not the unfavoured system, I don’t want to misconstrue the two, please keep a high drop chance + embers on favoured pulls, but less than they are currently, but allow us MORE favoured pulls). So not 100% chance on the gold pocket item for example, and not giving 250 embers every time (In regard to tier 3), but more like 20/25% chance and around 100/150 embers every time but allow us to complete it 5 times a week, similar for Caverns and Glimmerdeep T3).

At this time we have no plans to increase the number of favoured chest pulls. Appreciate the suggestion.

5.    Is there a revision coming to the ILI system? If so, when? And can you give us anymore information about it?

(Currently it is probably one of the biggest turn-offs for new players, requiring close to 500 Anfalas Empowerment Scrolls, 50-75 Anfalas Star-Lit Crystals, and millions of IXP for TWO new legendary weapons. It is both unreasonable and a joke. Especially for non-instance-based players who are not even likely to get half of the aforementioned items).

We would like to do additional Legendary Item work in the future, but no timeline has been announced.

6.    Can we have a more linear progression on the dps rank on our LI's?

(The dps increase on the ranks we unlocked during Mordor increased our weapon dps rank an extraordinary amount, and made Mordor significantly challenging for the more casual players who were unable to unlock these new ranks due to having relied solely on free-rank unlocks in the past. A more linear dps progression would resolve this).

Thank you for the suggestion.

7.    Will the new raid have ‘Challenges?’ or because of the introduction of tier 3, the only things that are changing in tier 3 are numerical - the morale/damage of the mobs? Or can we expect to see extra mechanics?

The current plan is to continue with Tier 3 instead of the time-consuming older method of T2C. By shifting to a tiered system it allows us to provide more content to you. That said, we appreciate your feedback.

8a.    What was the reasoning behind moving away from class specific set bonuses for raid armour?

I don't have a specific answer, but will speculate that this was due to our wider efforts at both item, class, and game balance, and to have those items have more value to more players.

8b.    Is there a chance for us to have some input on the current set bonuses, or are these set-in-stone?

Yes, you will continue to be able to have input on itemization, including set bonuses.

8c.    Will we see a return to class set bonuses or are they now completely removed?

Another "will we ever". Nothing is set in stone.

9.    In general, what was the reasoning behind re-adopting a currency-based system for bartering raid gear (such as we had during Orthanc and Erebor) as opposed to a coin-based system?

We try to offer the best upgrade path for the content it is being built for, and try to balance everyone's wants and needs.

10.    Can you please limit the amount of lootboxes people can open per week?

(It is pretty much agreed that lootboxes do no longer drop BiS gear, for which we are thankful for, however the amount of ember currency they can drop is still beyond reasonable – why are you allowing people to open endless amounts of lootboxes to acquire Embers, a currency for which and I quote ‘you want to be able to control how much people have, and control the rate of acquisition for, so that embers can be used for a long time’, however only allow people to earn… 3150 embers from completing 24 instances a week? But an unlimited amount from lootboxes?).

No.

11.    We are still missing a deed from Thikil-Gundu, is this intended? Will the missing achievement ‘Where death lies in wait’ be added to the instance with the upcoming update?

No, this is not intended. I am not clear on when this will be fixed.

12.    Do you have any plans to look at Captains or Runekeepers following on from your most recent class changes?

(These classes have pretty much not been touched in 3-4 years. If so, can you give any further details about the potential changes – and if you aren’t looking at these classes, can we please have some information about any upcoming work to any of the other classes that are ongoing?).

Yes. Class work is never done. Next update will have Beorning and Burglar changes.

13.    New crafted Relics. Our current best crafted relics are level 95 in nature, and have not changed since then, the current best ones offer +40 main stat +740 crit +740 mastery OR +370 crit defence +740 phys/tact mitigation. Can these PLEASE be brought into line with our newer stat progressions or enable us to craft new/better ones?

Thank you for the suggestion.

14.    New legendary weapon titles – same issue as above.

Thank you for the suggestion.

15.    Is it possible to have some revision to main stat essences? So that they might be brought into line with the new stat progressions.

(Main stat essences are currently the most UNUSED essences (Except for Vitality) due to your recent changes surround stat/mastery contributions. You would have to slot the equivalent of 6-7 main stat essences to gain the same mastery contribution as a mastery essence).

Thank you for the suggestion.

16.    Are there plans to revisit blue hunter?

(The most-recent changes make the line feel very clunky. Hunters have since reverted to red line. Can yellow-line hunters ever expect to see any changes, many claim the line is currently broken).

See 12.

17.    QoL change – is it possible to allow Anfalas Scrolls of Empowerments to stack beyond 10 (Preferably to 100), and also so that we can apply more than 1 at a time to our legacies?

This has come up quite a bit. Hopefully we can do this someday.

18.    Are you going to introduce a new Level 120 PvMP Audacity Armour set, essence-based or otherwise?

Unknown at this time. Maybe, maybe not.

19.    Can we ever look to expect a new Monster-Player class? Perhaps a Merrevail / Angmarim / Goblin type class?

At this time we do not have plans to release a new Monster Player class.

20.    Can we expect any further upcoming changes to PvMP? Especially of note with regards to War-Leaders healing / buffs, which are somewhat significantly underpowered.

Yes, we will continue to work on PvMP when we can.

21.    Is there a plan to ever implement a new hobby alongside fishing?

This comes up quite a bit on the team side as well, but so far we have not had the time to make it a reality.

22.    Where are we headed after Ered Mithrin? Towards Gundabad? Or are we finally going to deal with Shelob and what remains in Minas Morgul?

We will have more information about our future plans (hopefully) relatively soon with a new Producer's letter.

23.    Legendary item passives did not scale with Mordor, such as on 2-handed weapons, nor did stat legacies - will we ever see a revision to these?

Not sure. If I hear more, I will let you know.

24.    There is also no current way to acquire non-character bound legacy replacement scrolls other than by running Throne of the Dread Terror (Lv105). Can we please have a new way to acquire them?

Thank you for the suggestion.

25.    The amount of materials required to craft current level 120 gear is also relatively high – any revisions to this?

Thank you for your feedback.

26.    Can you please review the loot tables associated with lootboxes? Currently things like ‘Token of overcoming setback’ are being rewarded, which removes dread from defeat, which has not existed for years.

That does sound like something we should look at.

27.    Will there be any more upcoming changes to minstrels to address several of the bugs created with the most recent balance pass?

See 12.

28.    Any plans to address the length of the trash pulls in the tier 3 instances?

(Preferably reduced mob morale but make them more difficult, currently they are seen as too much of a time-sink).

I have not heard of plans to do this.

29.    The current binding status on loot from the new instances, (If you are online when the 1hr fellowship trade timer expires OR put an essence in it, the item becomes bound to account. If you miss the timer or log off – it becomes bound to character?) is this WAI?

This is under investigation.

30.    In one of the recent updates, you reduced the ilevel on scaling instances loot from ilevel 360 to 355, what was the reasoning behind this?

(Are there any planned changes to the essence system we are slowly creeping back to the way the system was under throne with full focus on essences and less focus on actual gear stats (mostly because of the recent main stat changes). In short – is essence gear ‘always’ going to be BiS?).

Again, my speculation is that this is part of our wider balancing work, but if I hear more, I will pass it along.

31.    Can we have a more reliable method of acquiring the lower tier of essences which DOESN’T require 2000/4000 embers, random mob drops, or loot drop from instance chests?

Thank you for the suggestion.

 

The original poster summarized how he looked at those responses:

  •     You didn’t consult anyone else before even attempting to ‘answer’ what was laid out before you.
  •     You remain totally ignorant and oblivious to player feedback on the favoured/unfavoured system.
  •     You are content on pushing the p2w agenda of lootboxes.


Cord later came back and wrote that he had indeed talked about the questions quite a bit in the office.

That leaves us with points 2 and 3 of above list. I think it's safe to say that between point 2 and points 3 we can insert the word 'because'.

It's slowly starting to dawn on more posters that point 3 is the reality and that all of the game is being changed towards microtransactions.

What I find very peculiar is that a lot of forumers seem to think that the direction of the game is upto the devs. I don't think it is. I think that

the dev's follow directions from marketing.

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and this is what is sad.  When presented with info they either shrug it away as "Thanks for the feedback" and it gets tossed into the proverbial bin or make it seem like a good idea, give it to the team to monetize and release it with "Players asked for it"

I have a feeling new LI relics and Titles will be p2w features.  They are not even bothering with a challenge mode on the new raid.  I read it as if it was a joke than realized it is serious.  Especially the line about more content.... where? 

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Very interesting that you bring that up. Apparently the idea of VIP only servers was brought up by a forumer in the summer of 2015...

I really wonder whether they've been collecting player ideas over all those years, only to bring them now, finally, but... only available with $$.

It would actually be interesting to compile a list of in game features/drops/etc. that have disappeared over the years. They have just no longer bothered with upkeep of how rich it used to be. To destroy that, 'streamline' the game, who would have ever thought?

I stick to my view that the game is being remade from the ground up to include monetization at every point.

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8 hours ago, Tarantula said:

Very interesting that you bring that up. Apparently the idea of VIP only servers was brought up by a forumer in the summer of 2015...

I really wonder whether they've been collecting player ideas over all those years, only to bring them now, finally, but... only available with $$.

It would actually be interesting to compile a list of in game features/drops/etc. that have disappeared over the years. They have just no longer bothered with upkeep of how rich it used to be. To destroy that, 'streamline' the game, who would have ever thought?

I stick to my view that the game is being remade from the ground up to include monetization at every point.

I agree completely.  Remember that they introduced a new hire who was brought in a while back to focus on the store.  That person probably asked for a list of all the friendly, fun, free things in the game and started working to get rid of them one by one.  And also gave them an order to start changing things to make it much more store-intensive.

Making the Legendary Server VIP-Only was a master evil genius move, make people pay to see how their new schemes work, and gather metrics to see just where they can tweak things to make it more punishing without the store. 

I can't wait to see what they come up with for LIs. 

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1 hour ago, warspeech said:

I agree completely.  Remember that they introduced a new hire who was brought in a while back to focus on the store.  That person probably asked for a list of all the friendly, fun, free things in the game and started working to get rid of them one by one.  And also gave them an order to start changing things to make it much more store-intensive.

Making the Legendary Server VIP-Only was a master evil genius move, make people pay to see how their new schemes work, and gather metrics to see just where they can tweak things to make it more punishing without the store. 

I can't wait to see what they come up with for LIs. 

To me, 'focus on the store' is marketing = people that pull the strings. Not the devs.

With regard to LS - there is an old video presentation of Paiz, at a game developers' conference, about what is profitable in DDO (it's from 2010). In that presentation he said that if we take VIP as baseline (without store), f2p players spend in the store about 70% of what VIP brings in, but that VIP + store/microtransactions leads to, on average, an increase of 75% over VIP only. Not only do players with VIP/store/mtx spend more, they also play more hours, during more months. That was way back when. THAT is what LS do. Combine that with a house paid with writs and... bingo.

Then there is a presentation (early 2017) from a game developer, at the same conference, who shows how to 'go back' and include mtx throughout a whole game after that game has been running for a while. This is much more profitable than having mtx as icing on the cake. That's what we see in LotrO. 

Punishing is right... all fun en enjoyment are gone.

The only thing that matters = success = sales. Nothing else. 

I am sure they can come up with something that is worse for LIs than what they are now.

 

The irony is: I want to spend money on my gaming. I am going to do that on another game.

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3 hours ago, Tarantula said:

With regard to LS - there is an old video presentation of Paiz, at a game developers' conference, about what is profitable in DDO (it's from 2010). In that presentation he said that if we take VIP as baseline (without store), f2p players spend in the store about 70% of what VIP brings in, but that VIP + store/microtransactions leads to, on average, an increase of 75% over VIP only. Not only do players with VIP/store/mtx spend more, they also play more hours, during more months. That was way back when. THAT is what LS do. Combine that with a house paid with writs and... bingo.

ah what a good opportunity for a nice link...  GDC 2011:

3 hours ago, Tarantula said:

Then there is a presentation (early 2017) from a game developer, at the same conference, who shows how to 'go back' and include mtx throughout a whole game after that game has been running for a while.

i don't know if this particular vid is what you are referring?

but the above faggot is one of the key figures behind the whole industry change & to whom Fernando fellate...  referenced longingly.

if it isn't that video specifically, i'd bet it is from Ben Cousins regardless.  a real special piece of work that one.

 

Battlefield heroes had a real decent player base & while it wasn't earning a high enough revenue per user to satisfy suits, it was far from losing money as this asshat states.  it was still operating in the green, just not enough to siphon off enough money short term.  so they made the change & initially there was a brief bump in revenues, however as things progressed, the user base declined & so do those revenues.

we must inform you, that on Tuesday July 14th 2015 we will be closing Battlefield Heroes for good and stopping the service in its entirety."

so a popular game FTP with micro-transactions was supposed to save, (I can't emphasis enough that the game was not in red territory prior to shift) ended up closing.

the man is cancer.

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41 minutes ago, Papi said:

hmm, looks like SSG lost one of their lead designers...

 

 

Wow this really sucks.  So I guess there are 5 people at SSG now?

Vastin

MadeofLions

Scernario

The 1 GM they have

Cordovan

 

 

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8 hours ago, LasraelLarson said:

ah what a good opportunity for a nice link...  GDC 2011:

i don't know if this particular vid is what you are referring? (snip) (snip)

but the above faggot is one of the key figures behind the whole industry change & to whom Fernando fellate...  referenced longingly.

if it isn't that video specifically, i'd bet it is from Ben Cousins regardless.  a real special piece of work that one.

Battlefield heroes had a real decent player base & while it wasn't earning a high enough revenue per user to satisfy suits, it was far from losing money as this asshat states.  it was still operating in the green, just not enough to siphon off enough money short term.  so they made the change & initially there was a brief bump in revenues, however as things progressed, the user base declined & so do those revenues.

we must inform you, that on Tuesday July 14th 2015 we will be closing Battlefield Heroes for good and stopping the service in its entirety."

so a popular game FTP with micro-transactions was supposed to save, (I can't emphasis enough that the game was not in red territory prior to shift) ended up closing.

the man is cancer.

Neither video is what I was referring to (see below). The first one I have seen many times, first on 'a Casual Stroll to Mordor'. The second one I hadn't - thank you for sharing - all of the videos/slides together give a good idea of how f2p/store/monetization progressed over time. Exactly what SSG is doing: increasing in game prices to drive players to the store AND making it undesirable to level/outfit alts AND changing your game so much that it becomes very difficult to complete components without items from the store. Finally: it's only the bottom line that matters, not forumers.

This is the presentation made by Paiz about Turbine's move to f2p with DDO: https://www.gdcvault.com/play/1012237/The-Future-of-MMO-Monetization

This is the presentation from early 2017 about implementing monetization throughout your entire game, after you've launched it as a f2p game: https://www.gdcvault.com/play/1024692/Prototyping-Your-Monetization-Evaluating-Monetization

That's exactly what is happening in LotrO. Unfortunately it's only the slide show, not the video, which is still only accessible for members of the Game Developers Conference. Key is: going from monetization as the icing on the cake to working that monetization through the dough = the whole cake.

Unfortunately, Battlefield Heroes closed without having been in the red. It's the projected revenue for the investors/shareholders that matters, nothing else. Same with LotrO.

 

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4 hours ago, Tarantula said:

Unfortunately, Battlefield Heroes closed without having been in the red. It's the projected revenue for the investors/shareholders that matters, nothing else. Same with LotrO.

yes, it is all about revenue...  i do not know the actual financials of Battlefield, whether it was in the red forcing closure, or heading too causing a shutter before losses hit. 

here is what i do know about these bullshit artists like Ben Cousins & all these huckster Conferees spewing their bile...  they polish turds.  in the case with Battlefield Heroes, the game launched June 25th 2009 & shuttered completely July 14th 2015.  that is a shelf life of 6 years and almost 3 weeks.

in the video i linked to previously, Ben Cousins uses a period of 2 months, or 60 days highlighting the period just before the transition in the game model to aggressive micro-transactions & selling all kinds of power in game.

image.thumb.png.074b4ee3cf0fa37981e96db80f3e0499.png

now with the above slight of hand graphs, please note this:

* daily gross funding revenue is absent any actual monetary figures.  (approximately double of what from the previous 30 days to the following 30 days?)

* active daily users is missing any actual numbers.  (is it 700 - 900 daily users?  7000 - 9000?  70,000 - 90,000?)


there is one more set of data charts with a slightly longer period of activity:

image.thumb.png.1bacaeeda55574e90b769f6f647ba93e.png

of note:

*  New Monthly Users spike (April 2009 - June 2009 right around the launch on the 25th.) is the betas where they gave invites through various avenues.  there is an immediate drop of new post official launch.

* monthly churn, every time the graph line drops, more people are joining than leaving.  when it goes up, more are leaving than joining.

Ben Cousins argues that this shows player-base stability with normal summer drops and winter upticks, based off what is a severe drop post launch...  but just look at September 2010 - January 2011 on the monthly churn (lots leaving) & the dip of monthly users the last 3 months during winter. 

he is full of shite.

now if the data was still good for the 4 years post this presentation, why isn't it shown somewhere as follow-up?  & why did EA pull the plug in July of 2015?

one thing i do know, user numbers were in the tank by that point.  this game had no actual user number growth post beta, beyond the first few months of milking a diminishing pool of existing players for a higher Average Revenue Per User.  an ARPU not sustainable long term.

4 hours ago, Tarantula said:

This is the presentation made by Paiz about Turbine's move to f2p with DDO: https://www.gdcvault.com/play/1012237/The-Future-of-MMO-Monetization

fucking Paiz...

i hadn't seen this particular video, but no surprises.  Fernando even admits in the video, the Data he is presenting is only from 5 months from the FTP beta & launch.  5 damn months. 

DDO Launched on February 28th 2006 with 14 American servers.  plus 5 EU servers run by CodeMasters.  On July 23rd. 2007 those 14 American Servers merged down to 5. in 2009 the EU servers closed & EU players were able to migrate to the 5 US servers.

  https://ddowiki.com/page/Server_merge

yet when DDO Unlimited launched as FTP it was still the same 5 servers.  so how does one add 1 million new users, get 20% of returning players, but still only need 5 servers?

another bullshit artist.

5 hours ago, Tarantula said:

This is the presentation from early 2017 about implementing monetization throughout your entire game, after you've launched it as a f2p game: https://www.gdcvault.com/play/1024692/Prototyping-Your-Monetization-Evaluating-Monetization

That's exactly what is happening in LotrO. Unfortunately it's only the slide show, not the video, which is still only accessible for members of the Game Developers Conference.

i viewed the slideshow & then went looking for other presentations by Adam Tefler...  i smell a steaming pile of malarkey.  a heaping of bloody obvious, with regurgitation of the same rubbish of the previous 2 carnies.

non of these charlatan clowns have hit the mass market.  yet they talk as if they had. 

...  more the fool who listen?  ;)

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6 hours ago, LasraelLarson said:

I am going to respond in bold between your lines (and remove the images and some text, to keep this post manageable.)

yes, it is all about revenue...  i do not know the actual financials of Battlefield, whether it was in the red forcing closure, or heading too causing a shutter before losses hit. 

here is what i do know about these bullshit artists like Ben Cousins & all these huckster Conferees spewing their bile...  they polish turds.  in the case with Battlefield Heroes, the game launched June 25th 2009 & shuttered completely July 14th 2015.  that is a shelf life of 6 years and almost 3 weeks.

in the video i linked to previously, Ben Cousins uses a period of 2 months, or 60 days highlighting the period just before the transition in the game model to aggressive micro-transactions & selling all kinds of power in game.

now with the above slight of hand graphs, please note this:

* daily gross funding revenue is absent any actual monetary figures.  (approximately double of what from the previous 30 days to the following 30 days?)

* active daily users is missing any actual numbers.  (is it 700 - 900 daily users?  7000 - 9000?  70,000 - 90,000?)

Of course those numbers are missing, it is a business. If it was a scientific presentation, it would be unacceptable (in science you have to show all your data, not pick what suits you best - once you have shown all your data, you can compare smaller samples to show an effect, but you have to spell out that that is what you are doing). But it isn't scientific. And of course he can't (although we want to know) give his competition insight into 'his' numbers. Of course it limits us in the conclusions we can draw, growth of 1% or 10% makes a huge difference. We have some ideas to go of though, they were initially having 1.29% of the player base buying stuff. We also know that if a player spent $20/year, it was considered huge. They were aiming for an average return of 50 cents per player and got 25 cents (for 50 cents/player to be a 'success' you need a vast number of players when only 1.29% of the players is paying). I also guess that, just as we see with LotrO, there will be a peak of spending after a new release, which then tapers off, until a new release happens, cycle repeats. Cousins will not show those cycles, he wants to come across as successful. Coming across as either very successful or very unsuccessful will be what he wants to avoid.

I think that SSG wants to get a more regular (larger) income, hence the monetization of LI's, essences, etc. In this they follow the second, recent, presentation that I linked.


there is one more set of data charts with a slightly longer period of activity:

of note:

*  New Monthly Users spike (April 2009 - June 2009 right around the launch on the 25th.) is the betas where they gave invites through various avenues.  there is an immediate drop of new post official launch.

* monthly churn, every time the graph line drops, more people are joining than leaving.  when it goes up, more are leaving than joining.

Ben Cousins argues that this shows player-base stability with normal summer drops and winter upticks, based off what is a severe drop post launch...  but just look at September 2010 - January 2011 on the monthly churn (lots leaving) & the dip of monthly users the last 3 months during winter. 

he is full of shite.

Ok then, lol, I've broken the quote. Of course he is full of it. He is in marketing... What I found repulsive is how he pulls that emotional string 'we were fearing for our incomes and our families'. As if that is enough ethics to do what he is doing...

Quote

now if the data was still good for the 4 years post this presentation, why isn't it shown somewhere as follow-up?  & why did EA pull the plug in July of 2015?

They have no attachment to a game, to them it's $$$$. Players will move to other games, which means again $$$$

one thing i do know, user numbers were in the tank by that point.  this game had no actual user number growth post beta, beyond the first few months of milking a diminishing pool of existing players for a higher Average Revenue Per User.  an ARPU not sustainable long term.

That is why I write that it's so very interesting to see the development of monetization - they figure it out by leaps and bounds. They've become very good at it. Mind you, I hate it, to me it's completely unethical, but the process is fascinating.

fucking Paiz...   Amen to that

i hadn't seen this particular video, but no surprises.  Fernando even admits in the video, the Data he is presenting is only from 5 months from the FTP beta & launch.  5 damn months. 

At that moment DDO has only been f2p for say 7 or 8 months. I don't find 5 months 'not enough'.

DDO Launched on February 28th 2006 with 14 American servers.  plus 5 EU servers run by CodeMasters.  On July 23rd. 2007 those 14 American Servers merged down to 5. in 2009 the EU servers closed & EU players were able to migrate to the 5 US servers.

  https://ddowiki.com/page/Server_merge

yet when DDO Unlimited launched as FTP it was still the same 5 servers.  so how does one add 1 million new users, get 20% of returning players, but still only need 5 servers?

another bullshit artist.

I have no experience with playing DDO. I assume its servers can handle more than LotrO's can, seeing that 2k players per LS was the max they could handle (?).

i viewed the slideshow & then went looking for other presentations by Adam Tefler...  i smell a steaming pile of malarkey.  a heaping of bloody obvious, with regurgitation of the same rubbish of the previous 2 carnies.

At the same time, what he shows fits what we see SSG do to LotrO to a T.  I am sure SSG got their math straight or they wouldn't keep LotrO and DDO open. I also think that Tefler goes much further than Cousins did.

Quote

non of these charlatan clowns have hit the mass market.  yet they talk as if they had. 

...  more the fool who listen?  ;)

In my opinion, producing fun, exciting updates are what keep players happy in the long run. Both sides of the transaction are happy: players keep paying and the company continues to make profit. SSG does it differently: players have to pay more and more (I call it punishment but those who pay will not, as they keep paying) and the company increases its revenue.

To me, the first transaction will have more longevity than the second. But apparently there is a huge market for the second, punishing, way. Like Paiz said, it doesn't matter what you present to the playerbase, they will eat it.

 

What I found most telling from the Paiz video that I linked: VIP + MTX = the winning combo: VIP players playing much longer and spending much more. Also: the initial Founder's price was what they hoped to make off every player, which was $200. With other words: Lifers shouldn't feel they have taken advantage.

That last point brings me to my last musing this morning. A gaming company feels no attachment to its players. It doesn't care whether long term players leave over monetization, because they most likely have spent more than what the company wants to earn per player. With other words: you have served your purpose. For you at least 1 other, who accepts the monetization. At least, for now. I expect that, at some point, monetization is pushed so far that many players say 'forget it'.

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3 hours ago, Tarantula said:

At that moment DDO has only been f2p for say 7 or 8 months. I don't find 5 months 'not enough'.

if anyone is having trouble viewing this video: https://www.gdcvault.com/play/1012237/The-Future-of-MMO-Monetization  just remember most search engines have a lovely cached version feature that allows you to bypass GDC's draconian viewing restrictions without a sub.   :P

the point i am referring to where Paiz admits this is from 5 months worth of data is roughly at the 54-55 minute mark as he is comparing revenues Vs. subscription models:

Quote

"these are living... living numbers...  right... we always have the model, we update it every month, based on how we are doing, uhmm... this is based on 5 months of results and... and... it looks very good."

Paiz is basically using Data from the FTP beta & the period of 5 months from FTP Launch to update 3 for all of the data he is presenting to compare to Data from the months just before this period...  as percentage numbers, or multiplication factors.  no actual hard numbers used of course, because that would reveal that 10 times & 5 times of an actual number, while being an increase, is still relatively small potatoes for prospective investors.

actual revenue went up for a period of 5 months by a factor of 5X, but 5X of what?  i've seen other places in announcements where it was represented as 3X...  soo there is that.  ;)

 

3 hours ago, Tarantula said:

I have no experience with playing DDO. I assume its servers can handle more than LotrO's can, seeing that 2k players per LS was the max they could handle (?).

here i am going to reference some Lotro timelines to make my point:

*  DDO Unlimited (FTP launch) September 9th. 2009

* Lotro dynamic layering was added with the Launch of FTP in November 2010

* Lotro server virtualization launched with Shores of the Great River 2012.

now as far as server structure is concerned DDO is an instanced based game Vs. Lotro's open world.  DDO has social environments (lobbies) that act as hubs for players to interact, but no massive open world.  so how it handles players isn't exactly the same as Lotro.

that said...  any data i have ever looked at...  DDO's numbers where ALWAYS below Lotro's...  VERY roughly one third too one fifth the population at any given time.

THIS SITE! stopped tracking back in July 2015

image.png.a50b7f4be6ca7d195e04b134f99b161e.png

now there isn't an all time chart for lotro to compare too, but even the yearly...

image.thumb.png.51bc3d518656e053ef6b2796c86b286f.png

8 servers Vs. (at the time 2014/2015 when Lotros numbers were down significantly)  28 servers...  ;)

& of course there is steam:

Lotro

Vs.  DDO

also i seem to recall Aylwen mentioning on these forums Lotro Vs DDO numbers at one point...  regardless, i think it is clear Lotro has drawn significantly more players.

it is also the reason why DDO can get a 3X number post FTP and Lotro only got 2X.  one game has a larger base to start the multiplication from (*hint, it is Lotro)

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1 hour ago, LasraelLarson said:

also i seem to recall Aylwen mentioning on these forums Lotro Vs DDO numbers at one point...  regardless, i think it is clear Lotro has drawn significantly more players. 

had a nostalgic read through that old thread, just thought i'd bring the relevant statements from Aylwen here.

On 3/1/2015 at 5:35 PM, Aylwen said:

Kate and F2P

Kate got lots of attention for the DDO f2p transition. A cynic might suggest that the Paizs had flat lined DDO already and when Ascherons Call's concurrency numbers are beating DDO on a nightly basis, you can only go up from there. LOTRO was certainly ailing when they made the call to go f2p. We all assumed it would happen eventually but not so soon. In March or thereabouts in '10 an email went out from Crowley stating that LOTRO's US subs were down to around 85k (the only time specific sub numbers were ever mentioned even in-house while I was there) and could we maybe ask our friends to try the game? But nobody wanted the f2p thing. It basically said, yeah our game sucks so bad we won't even ask you to pay for it. We knew our community was the best thing we had going for us and knew we were going to substantially lose that when the f2p floodgates were thrown open.

On 3/2/2015 at 1:24 PM, Aylwen said:

How did (and still do) Asheron's Call and DDO stay in terms of playerbase size, compared to LOTRO?.

 

I can't guess at current figures. I do know that prior to DDO f2p, AC was beating DDO's concurrency averages whenever I looked at the boards. AC has an incredibly loyal core of players and we used to envy the little AC team, as they were off the radar and could, it seemed, do as they pleased to keep their players engaged.

On 3/3/2015 at 2:01 PM, Aylwen said:

DDO

 

I can say that nobody on LOTRO, especially the older hands in QA, was surprised DDO was a lame duck. As for the DDO team...Turbine was surprisingly ptovincial; there was a sense of a real rivalry between the LOTRO and DDO teams, probably because of the slender resources we were all vying for. LOTRO tended to view DDO as a flop that was wasting resources better spent on LOTRO. DDO felt they were held back by LOTRO hogging resources.

On 4/2/2015 at 7:07 AM, Aylwen said:

'Crowley refused to reveal the number of paid subscribers to Lord of the Rings and Asheron’s Call, but he said more than 1 million people play Dungeons & Dragons Online.'

 

 

strangelove-wat_zpsf15f9f80.gif

soo yeah...  prior to FTP conversion i don't think it would be overtly cynical to say DDO was not doing well.

& from that, they increased revenues 3 or 5 times depending on which lecture, or announcement you source from.

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