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Heroes Community > Volcanic Wastelands > Thread: Pay to Win games: a model that thrives off of low impulse control
Thread: Pay to Win games: a model that thrives off of low impulse control This thread is 4 pages long: 1 2 3 4 · NEXT»
Blizzardboy
Blizzardboy


Honorable
Legendary Hero
Elvin's Lightside
posted September 10, 2017 09:01 PM
Edited by Blizzardboy at 21:23, 10 Sep 2017.

Pay to Win games: a model that thrives off of low impulse control

Getting hooked on a pay 2 win game is one of the worst things that can happen to you on the internet. I am in between jobs and I've went underground for the past 2 weeks as I became utterly consumed/absorbed with Star Trek: Alien Domain. I have neglected keeping the apartment clean, sleeping on a regular schedule, getting the mail, etc. because of how rapidly my desire to play overtook me. Now, as suddenly and strongly as it came, my attraction to the game is starting to diminish... which I guess is a good thing because I couldn't think about much else. All of this and for the past several years I haven't really even played video games much. That aspect of my life started to pewter out as I went into my late 20s.

Fortunately I haven't blown hundreds of dollars on it or anything. Just two monthly cards at $10 a piece on two different servers. Some people can't say the same to put it lightly. One guy in my Squadron mentioned a person on another server who spent $1600 to get an officer for their fleet that they wanted. I guess that is all you need for it to be a successful business model; I would be curious to get my hands on their budget to see how the numbers work out. If out of 200 people, 199 people play for free and one mentally/emotionally vulnerable person spends over a thousand dollars, I imagine that is enough to operate in the green for the month.

More than that, I think those games offend the human condition of competitiveness. After all, Olympians that use illegal steroids are universally ostracized and hated, as is anybody that cheats to win. A person that spends a bunch of money in a pay2win game isn't cheating technically, since that is after all how the company sustains its existence, but just the same, the inner human craving for fair sportsmanship cries out against it, and yet such models continue to exist and will continue to exist by safely relying on the equally real human condition to become absorbed in something. A few days ago while I was picking up my laundry, an article of clothing fell from my basket as I was leaving. A woman there said:

"Senor! You dropped your underwear, he he"
"Oops. Thanks."
"Sure. You look tired."



The chemical hurricane is starting to subside and I find myself able to wake up without being compelled to be at the computer in less than five minutes. I actually woke up and brewed coffee and washed my face... a sign that I am regaining control of my attic

Hope you enjoyed the brief monologue.
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Kipshasz
Kipshasz


Undefeatable Hero
Elvin's Darkside
posted September 10, 2017 09:46 PM

Yeah, freemium games are cancer.

But there are some hilarious things to be had.

About 8 years ago or so, one of my cousin's got hooked up on those online mafia games, where the p2w model was to text a code to a specific number to get "credits". and it was like up to 3 euro or so, which back then, when we had our real currency was a decent sum of cash (as in you could buy few days worth of groceries for it, a pack of eggs, bread and cheapest doktorskaja kielbasa, that sort of things). So he proceeded to blow up his phone bill with those purchases, racking about 100+ euros (350 in my true currency), and since he as in his teens, you can bet your hairy caboose that he got his own handed to him.

So once his parent's got the phone bill, the excrement hit the fan, believe you me. The hundred doesn't sound much, yeah, but back then it was like half a minimum wage in my neck of the woods.
My uncle took it easy and scolded the cousin verbally, but my aunt... not so much. She beat the poor sap with nettles and with the cable of those portable heating spiral things You know, one of these. with pants down and all.

And I've seen it happen. It was such a hilarious sight, although I did not do as much as laugh in the presence of the beating. but when I went off to the woods for a stroll with my good friend mr. beer, I did laugh my arse off in expense of my cousin, who quite frankly is a grade A++ male genital head. so bleep him.



But there are way more worse examples of freemium addiction. with much worse consequences.

I tried out several of those.
Travian, and a few others, including those few "HC" games we've had briefly. Didn't find it compelling to waste money on such garbage.
better save up and buy yourself something nice. Like one of those fancy churchwarden pipes.
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NimoStar
NimoStar


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Modding the Unmoddable
posted September 10, 2017 10:23 PM

Pay to win games offer a too slow game progression that requires lots of grinding to the average non-paying player.

That is to say, they expect you to not only pay for the "premium" content, but also for the regular content, otherwise you have to "work" in their game just as if not worse than on real life...

This is scammy.
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LizardWarrior
LizardWarrior


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Age of erwins is over
posted September 10, 2017 10:38 PM

Freemium games and whales pay for my salary. So why are you crying here instead of buying some virtual diamonds to reseed your farms or guns or whatever.

And remember, if parents didn't want kids steal their credit cards to buy pixel ponies or crap like that, then they would have used condoms.

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Blizzardboy
Blizzardboy


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Elvin's Lightside
posted September 10, 2017 10:46 PM
Edited by Blizzardboy at 22:54, 10 Sep 2017.

The entire game is basically a Star Trek themed online casino. You get different items throughout the game where you open them up and randomly get something, with the occasional rare item popping up such as an engine or new weapon. There are "events" you can participate in, where if you spend X credits you get a rewards package, and if you spend X more credits you get more rewards. The events are up for several days and then go down, and to hit the high rewards it is impossible to get that many credits in X number of days in game: you have to buy 40 credits per dollar. It is of course all deliberately designed that way. The entire model is legal but, in my opinion, shaddy. It basically feeds off of human frailty and doesn't even pretend not to. "Samba" is the company. I think the designers were in China and then exported it to an American and European player base.

Normally I don't have time to play games, at least not for hours on end. A lot of the good, mentally invigorating games that I enjoy and generally don't consume my life as badly seem to come out of Sweden or some smaller independent company. My current laptop specs are pretty low (I didn't buy it for gaming) or I would like to try out Tyranny or Magicka. They're made by Paradox. And they're single player so I don't have to sit on computer for 8+ hours to keep pace with other players.
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friendofgunnar
friendofgunnar


Honorable
Legendary Hero
able to speed up time
posted September 10, 2017 10:55 PM

MTG

You only need to get bit once and then you're inoculated for most of your life.

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Elvin
Elvin


Admirable
Omnipresent Hero
Tastes like chicken
posted September 10, 2017 10:55 PM

Welcome back bliz Yeah I know the feeling of wanting to drop whatever you are doing to get back to a quest or just keep playing aimlessly. And yet I have thankfully never spent any money on the few freemium games I've played. I don't think it is wrong to support the team who makes them but the way those games are made make this a slipperly slope. Not that long ago I was keeping a rough estimate of time to log in and get a daily bonus or what not but that turned me off before too long. I've since made it a habit to ignore games putting me in their schedule, it's healthier when it's the other way around.
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Galaad
Galaad

Hero of Order
Li mort as morz, li vif as vis
posted September 10, 2017 11:09 PM

There is only one freemium game that is worth it and you all know which it is.
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artu
artu


Promising
Undefeatable Hero
My BS sensor is tingling again
posted September 10, 2017 11:10 PM
Edited by artu at 23:56, 10 Sep 2017.

Yeah, it's really impossible not to notice how they are all designed like a casino, opening cards for random characters, using energy to roll the dice on getting gear. And everything is on a timer so that you visit the game frequently all day. I've been playing SWGoH for almost like 3 years now, I'm not a whale but I occassionaly pay a few bucks. I guess, in 3 years time I paid more to this mobile game than anything I have on a cd or dvd, and it will all vanish when the game is taken off the servers. Annoying. On reddit, I read a guy talking about how he was not a whale and he just pays about 2000 dollars a year! Remember the times when you got a full game of highest quality for 50 bucks and how you owned all the content instantly...

We have the Creature Quest gang here, it's also the same model. So you can think of Galaad like a drug dealer, trying to lure all of us in.

(I suggest to move this to OSM, btw.)
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Blizzardboy
Blizzardboy


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Elvin's Lightside
posted September 10, 2017 11:30 PM
Edited by Blizzardboy at 23:34, 10 Sep 2017.

This was my first experience with a p2w game. Hasnt taken long for me to recongize it is predatory. I won't be doing another one. If I have kids someday I am definetely going to block them.

I figured I would just play the game as though it were single player. Run through the campaign, have fun, and then be done. You can't even really do that because it takes months upon months to reach level 80, and frankly, after 2 weeks the game isn't even very fun other than the "excitement/thrill" that you get from opening chests and maybe getting special rewards. It is called "strategy" but there really isn't much to it.
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Blizzardboy
Blizzardboy


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Elvin's Lightside
posted September 10, 2017 11:51 PM
Edited by Blizzardboy at 23:54, 10 Sep 2017.

friendofgunnar said:
MTG

You only need to get bit once and then you're inoculated for most of your life.


I have a big box of MTG Cards collecting dust at my parents' house. Probably worth a decent sum of money.

Used to love playing that game during Study Hall.
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Galaad
Galaad

Hero of Order
Li mort as morz, li vif as vis
posted September 11, 2017 12:30 AM

artu said:
We have the Creature Quest gang here, it's also the same model.


The difference is CQ is awesome.
There is few p2w elements and any player with skill can fight his way in PvP. PvE can be played casually but also has great challenges, the grinding is kinda addicting and there is real battle tactics alongside long term strategy. The art is beautiful 2D by lady Iwata, music by King Romero, game is TBS created by JVC and latest patch is in fact an expansion.

So I don't care if the mobile business is corrupted, this game is 'the good stuff', as some say.
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artu
artu


Promising
Undefeatable Hero
My BS sensor is tingling again
posted September 11, 2017 12:37 AM

Well, I like SWGoH as well. (The music is John friggin' Williams!) That's why I've been playing it for 3 years and they usually design these in such a way that a dedicated and motivated player can compete to some degree. Don't be fooling yourself though, no amount of strategy can turn the scale in your favor if you are against a true whale.
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Blizzardboy
Blizzardboy


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Elvin's Lightside
posted September 11, 2017 12:37 AM
Edited by Blizzardboy at 00:41, 11 Sep 2017.

I think if I return to games I'm going to buy a decent but used gaming computer on cyber Monday weekend and buy single player games that I enjoy.

I really want to play "Ori and the Blind Forest" but my computer won't run it.
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NimoStar
NimoStar


Promising
Famous Hero
Modding the Unmoddable
posted September 11, 2017 12:43 AM
Edited by NimoStar at 00:50, 11 Sep 2017.

"any player with skill can fight his way in PvP" yeah if you can have all day doing nothing but that, against a guy that has bought all the stuff with real cash...


Something I hate a lot about Pay-to-Win game is that it is also about real-life status. Before, the only thing that mattered in a game was how good/dedicated you were to it.

Specially if the game was multiplayer, this was big.
You could beat the son of a billionarie magnate and he could do nothing. It didn't matter he was rich, it only mattered which played better.

Now, if someone is rich in real life, they are also rich ingame.

They can level up instantly, get all the premium content, montures, have all the ingame money they want since it's bought with real money anyways, they get acess to exclusive areas, can get all the rare items by buying randomized chests by the dozen or whatever...
This also carries to their mindset and act spoiled (both more in real life and ingame, because they can't "learn from humility" like before.

Class society of real world is reproduced precisely even on our virtual lives. There is no escape. COnversely, if you are poor and have to work all day to make a living on real life,
you are ALSO poor and have to work all day to just get the basic stuff ingame, and still be low level, underpowered, etc...
AND people can tell.

So, that is all pretty mind boggiling stuff once you think about it. Many games are totally based on real world economy and currency, such as EVE online... put a bunch of bucks and buy a giant-ass premium warship. When they blow it up, buy an even bigger one. Everyone will pander to you and you get what you want in the faction, etc.

And this happens in most MMORPGs and other online games, it's not just mobile (but mobile may be said to be worse because kids have acess and it is, as you have noticed, casino-like, so the adicction is chronic and inbuilt - it literally structures your brain)


It gets worse though. The pay scheme discriminates peoples with inflated non-first world currencies. My currency is worth 18 times less than the dollar. If I want to buy anything, I have to disemburse multiple times the Purchasing Power Parity of the dollar... and this happens to most people from the thirld world. It is not so much that the currency is not worth anything - it does somewhat here because of some cheaper stuff, but it loses it internationally on conversion.
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Galaad
Galaad

Hero of Order
Li mort as morz, li vif as vis
posted September 11, 2017 12:44 AM
Edited by Galaad at 00:46, 11 Sep 2017.

artu said:
Don't be fooling yourself though, no amount of strategy can turn the scale in your favor if you are against a true whale.


Well actually, you can beat them in battle, they will beat you in ranking. It doesn't really matter, the rewards are accessible to small fry too, whales just get a bit more.

Blizzardboy said:
I really want to play "Ori and the Blind Forest" but my computer won't run it.



This game is a pure gem, marvelous visuals with awesome gameplay. You will have the remap your controller if you play on PC, check out the Ori HC thread, I recall helping Elvin there with that.

NimoStar said:
"any player with skill can fight his way in PvP" yeah if you can have all day doing nothing but that, against a guy that has bought all the stuff with real cash...


I am talking about CQ, not about pure p2w games. CQ doesn't work this way.
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NimoStar
NimoStar


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Modding the Unmoddable
posted September 11, 2017 12:47 AM

Imagine if Chess would have ever been taken seriously if people could buy extra pieces midgame with their bucks...

"Ha! After all of this carefully planned moves, I got your queen!"

"No matter... I just did a US$20 cell phone transaction and get a new one next turn"

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Blizzardboy
Blizzardboy


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Elvin's Lightside
posted September 11, 2017 12:55 AM
Edited by Blizzardboy at 01:54, 11 Sep 2017.

@Nino:

Money will buy you almost anything, but I'm not sure if the people who spend a lot are actually big earners in real life. I might get chewed out for saying this but the fact is - on average - wealthy people are responsible and have pretty decent impulse control and avoid addictive patterns. If youre the son of an oligarch or political panderer or something, then yeah, that wont be the case. You will more than likely be a brat.

I think it mostly boils down to impulse control, or the desire to be awesome at something and feel superior, and then making profit off of people with such vulnerabilities. Most of these people will be lower or middle class. The lower class tend to suffer more from poor self-esteem, managing finances, impulse control, etc. Life beats them down and then they want to find relief/escape. Of course, you're paying for an ersatz superiority that isn t grounded on achievement, but it still gives them that high. A lot of the people who coined a lot in Star Trek were Russians or other Easterners and more than likely have lower salaries (maybe I'm wrong but in my anecdotal experiences in multiplayer games, Russians are culturally obsessed with winning. I swear some of them would teabag their ballsack into the steel mouth of an electric meatgrinder in the blink of an eye if it meant winning a single round) I could have spent a few thousand in theory but even spending 20 bucks I feel dupped.
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NimoStar
NimoStar


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Modding the Unmoddable
posted September 11, 2017 03:11 AM

That's not impulse control precisely, that's because the majority of "adult and responsible rich people" are more addicted to get real world money than to spend it on fantasy escapism. Most billionaries said they would not be content until they had DOUBLED their fortunes :v - However, this only counts for the mythical "self-made man", and the truth is most rich people are hereditary and many of the young don't have such morals. Look at donald trump, he was born rich and actually isn't such a great businessman - he barely earned money of his own and mostly spent it in golden towers, golden rooms, gold-laced papier mache, mail-order model eastern brides, and financing his own political campaigns.
That is mostly derailment though...
What I meant is that the "impulse control" of rich people is not a given, and on the other hand, the quantities involved for online gaming would be negligible to them. So a billionarie can spend 0,001% of their yearly income on online games and still buy absolutely everything. This is not bad for himself really, and would still be "impulse controlled" (?)... but to everyone else playing the game, it's unfair. People that dedicate thousands of hours can be trumped (pun unintended) instantly by a total big-bucks amateur, and beaten in practically every aspect, including some they can't even afford to buy.

About russians, yes, they have such competitive game mindset. If you look at here, in Heroes community, most "pro" players are Russians, or Poles and such, and are more focused on making tournaments and seeing who is best.
This is not so unhealthy however in a normal game. But in a pay-to-win game, it can quickly become a cash drain.

Also, take into account that while average russians don't earn much and their currency conversion isn't favorable to them... Moscow has the greatest amount of Billionaries in the world, so there are more than enough russian oligarchs and their families too :V
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Stevie
Stevie


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posted September 11, 2017 08:32 AM
Edited by Stevie at 08:38, 11 Sep 2017.

I'll just drop this here:



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