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Why is Wildstar not using a loot system like Guild Wars 2 did?

Discussion in 'WildStar General' started by DKNS, Oct 20, 2013.

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  1. Livnthedream

    Livnthedream Super Cupcake

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    You can look at the revenue reports and see similar. Since the absolutely gigantic launch drop they have had ~20% drops every quarter.
  2. FairyTailisBack

    FairyTailisBack Cupcake-About-Town

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    Where is the evidence for this?

    I know SWTOR topped at like 2 million subs, which means they sold at least 2 million boxes. I also know a lot of people quit, while new players bought the game. Thus, I have no doubts that SWTOR had sales about on par with GW2.

    There is no evidence to support that at all.
    Actually after going freemium, SWTOR has gained back quite a few players.
  3. Ohoni

    Ohoni Cupcake-About-Town

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    I'm not at all shocked by that. It's the trend line I would expect. It was a B2P game, with a massive launch, meaning that a lot of people bought it early, and would not have to buy it later. It also had a number of one-time purchases in the cash shop, like character slots and bank slots, that I would wager a lot of those players would have bought in their first quarter playing the game, and would buy significantly less of over time.

    If I were going to plot a predicted graph of their sales, it would spike way up, drop slowly through the first couple months (when latercomer boxed sales and a trickle of "QoL" shop purchases would be higher than usual), then fall fairly steadily over the next few months, and then level out at some point when the bulk of their sales are in the form of cosmetics. They're keeping track of those cosmetic store sales though, and the data they're getting from those seem to be enough for them, enough that it makes the whole enterprise profitable. If they were not, then their best play would be to give up on the "Living World" stuff and work on a boxed expansion, which would result in another massive sales spike, but they've done just the opposite instead.
  4. Livnthedream

    Livnthedream Super Cupcake

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    LOLwut. That is not what "good" games have a tendency to show, and most certainly not what is expected. Even if you are correct and it is retaining players at some sort of amazing rate (which you haven't offered, even your idea of "everyone playing at once" as being ludicrous makes no sense with how they have released events) any new players they are getting are not paying either. Continued dropped, especially of that size, are bad to terrible. Even terrible games like WAR and AOC kept stable player bases for a year or more before declining again.
  5. Agent Drew

    Agent Drew Cupcake-About-Town

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    Sources?
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  6. FairyTailisBack

    FairyTailisBack Cupcake-About-Town

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    I have come to the conclusion that livingthedream and the others are right.
    It's just a frustratingly huge waste of time, don't bother.
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  7. Jicmonster

    Jicmonster Cupcake-About-Town

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    My last two cents on the topic...

    Upon reflection I've noticed that any time someone asked me about GW2 I had always said "Its ok for a free game." Any complaint or praise I might have had for the game always came with the caveat of it being a B2P title.

    In terms of story SWTOR voice acting was pretty solid and writing was generally what I have come to expect from BioWare. By comparison GW2 voice acting was stiff and the writing was amateur even at the best of times. Had GW2 come before SWTOR I could have looked at their method of story delivery as a step in an interesting direction but with them following SWTOR it just seemed like a fairly weak imitation.

    While I have considerable complaints about SWTOR's long development cycles and subsequent lack of endgame content they did actually have endgame PVE content. GW2 "endgame" "PVE" "content" was extremely limited and offered no actual character progression. In this way the GW2 loot system was fine for the game that it was because endgame content didn't actually produce any meaningful loot to speak of. I remember every run ending with me selling or salvaging everything I had got.

    Ultimately I feel GW2 most redeeming quality was that it didn't have a subscription fee and if that is honestly your greatest strength then it is likely that the game didn't have a fee because the content didn't warrant one to begin with.
  8. Ohoni

    Ohoni Cupcake-About-Town

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    It does if they have that business model. You can't expect a B2P to have the same sales trends as a P2P. It's a hybrid model. Assuming you could make three theoretical games of impossibly "equal" quality, one a standard offline "buy, play, resell" game, one a B2P MMO, and one a sub-based MMO, you would expect the first to have peak sales right away and almost nothing after a month or two, you would expect the latter to have much lower early sales, but a very steady revenue stream as it goes. A B2P had something in between, where it peaks much higher than most sub-games, but then plateaus at a level well above what a single player game would, maintaining a smaller but reasonable profit over time.

    If you can get millions of people to pay you $15 a month then that's definitely the way to go, no doubt. It's just that no company in the last five years has been able to manage that. Its proven to be far more reasonable to maintain a much larger audience of inconsistently paying customers than a much smaller audience of consistently paying ones.

    Well, for comparison, TOR apparently had 350K concurrent players in the month of release, less than GW2 apparently has nearly a year after release. Since TOR had significant server consolidation, I can't imagine that they bottomed out with any more than half that concurrent rate.

    If it were a drop in players, sure. But it's not. It's a drop in profits, and since the payment model is different, a drop in profits has little to do with a drop in players. The player numbers seem to have been fairly consistent since launch, based on what figures we've been told.

    The Internets. I did a bunch of Google searches for "MMO launch sales [title of game]" If you dispute any of them then provide alternate figures, but I have no reason to distrust the answers I found and you can do your own research if you don't believe me. This site seems to have a lot of stats. By their accounting, only six games have EVER had over a million subscribers, most of those only after going completely global (ie China and Korea), and most of them took a while to get there. The only ones to break 3.5m users at once were WoW and Aion.

    I would agree with that, but TOR likely cost at least five times as much to produce, which means that they had five times as much to make back on it. Everyone would like to have everything fully and expertly voice acted and animated, including the developers at ANet if their comments are to be believed, but nobody would be willing to pay enough to make that worth doing. If TOR had been a raging success then maybe more games would invest in single player storylines in their MMOs, but I kinda doubt that will be the going trend now.

    You should probably watch this. I think it does a good job explaining why you're totally right, and why it totally doesn't matter. I've been playing GW2 "endgame" for nine months now and still enjoy it.
  9. Livnthedream

    Livnthedream Super Cupcake

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    I was talking about revenue, not sales. Those trends tend to stay similar between both p2p and f2p, generally corresponding to how well the game is being received. Ie you see quarter to quarter changes based on how many people are subbed vs how many are using your shop. Your assertion does not follow from the line of reasoning you suggest. If you had suggested that revenue dropped one quarter due to the flop that was Super Adventure Box 2, you would have made sense, but you imply that it is perfectly normal for a significant playerbase, who stays steady, to just stop purchasing the product yet continue to consume it. That is quite literally the worst business model ever. In fact that is one of the many reasons why every publisher on the planet dislikes used games, and a significant part of the reason more and more are moving towards a service based environment using micro transactions and dlc.

    Please provide some links that show that continual loss is how b2p is supposed to function, especially with a cash shop.

    Except concurrent users is a almost completely useless figure. Its used in marketing because it sounds great but for the actual survival of the company it means nothing. Look at Eve Online with its average 40k concurrent and its max of 66 that is closing in on breaking 600k subs.

    Even then, you did not address the fact that its players are not paying, which was my original point.

    Except you cannot draw that conclusion from concurrency. However in virtually every other service you can tie loss of revenue to loss of user base. Either way its a moot point. Whether Gw2 is retaining customers or not is immaterial.
  10. FairyTailisBack

    FairyTailisBack Cupcake-About-Town

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    Ohoni if you love GW2 so damn much, then why aren't they playing it? This game has almost nothing in common with that game. Why are you even slightly interested in this game?
  11. Agent Drew

    Agent Drew Cupcake-About-Town

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    So you claim Santa Claus is real and that WE have to prove you wrong? Thank God for them Internetz!



    I'm glad you at least put up a link for a change, sadly I don't see what that has to do with any of the claims you've made thus far. 3 to 6 months for the majority to be leveled and on endgame?

    Or how about this little nugget about GW2

    Now other than the previous link I provided (one that was relative to the topic at hand) all I've found was this. And all that says is that after their post launch decline (however many that was) that they saw a slow and steady increase. For all we know that increase was 1 user a month, because it gives us no numbers whatsoever.

    Now I'm not even sure why it matters as GW2 is tanking at the moment with its servers being on the verge of being shut down permanently. I found it out on the Internetz and have no reason to distrust it. If you dispute that you're free to provide alternate figures.
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  12. Ohoni

    Ohoni Cupcake-About-Town

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    Maybe for the P2W games, where you pay nothing up front and just keep dripping into the system over time, but for a B2P game, you have to pay around $60 up front, so of course they're going to see high revenues up front when everyone has to pay their $60.

    What's with this recent obsession with links? None of you guys post links.

    True, but it does give some indication of how many people are playing, and almost no games give exact "total unique visitors per month" stats. In lieu of better stats, it's something to consider.

    They are paying enough for the developers, at least, otherwise they would be doing an expansion.

    I am playing it, but I also like variety. In the last month or so I've also playing SRIV and Tomb Raider. Plenty of people this board seem to think WoW is made of sexual favors and rainbows, and yes are also interested in what Wildstar might be.

    Hey, I'm secure in the information I found. You're the one that wanted to double check them, why should I do your homework for you? Are you too lazy to do a few minutes of Googling? I even gave you the recipe.

    Here's an interview with the makers of TOR where they assumed players would take 3-5 months to hit cap. Here's a thread where people are talking about how long it took them to hit cap in Vanilla Wow, and while some are saying days or weeks, plenty are saying 3-5 months themselves. There will always be people who rush to cap and hit it within days or weeks, but the bulk of the playerbase do take months to catch up.

    Sure, and if you'd like to assume the worst, you're free to, but I see no reason to do so. It wouldn't match up with my experiences with the game, nor with their Living World mindset. Do you think that if the game were in such dire shape they would take it so casually? If I were running the game and it were imploding as fast as many of you would like it to, I would be rushing to get big ticket expansions for the game that would inject a new flood of capital, rather than providing a ton of free content and asking people to pay for weapon skins and town clothes. Whatever they're doing, it seems to be working for them, so who are we to judge?

    What search terms did you use to find this information? I looked and could not find anything remotely close. I would almost suspect you were making a hyperbolic point, but I don't see the value in doing so.
  13. FairyTailisBack

    FairyTailisBack Cupcake-About-Town

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    But WHY do you want to play Wildstar.

    It has a subscription.
    It is end game related.
    Caters to the 1%.
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  14. Livnthedream

    Livnthedream Super Cupcake

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    Thats the beauty, it does not matter which payment model is used. P2w, p2p, ftp, mobile, browser, social, mmo, it does not matter. Amounts of money changes (arpu, arppu etc) but the trends of the graphs do not. They change over time (mobile games have less of a lifespan, as does p2w in general) but the actual trend of revenue has the same general curve as the rest because they all work off from the same emotional drivers.

    And for once, you are right. I have provided no links applying to this topic in this thread. I did provide an obvious example of why your logic makes no sense, but hey, you want some links I will provide some:
    http://www.gdcvault.com/play/1014682/Beyond-Credit-Cards-Localized-Payment
    http://www.gdcvault.com/play/1015808/Cross-Platform-Games-Monetization-in
    http://www.gdcvault.com/play/1019359/Balancing-Monetization-to-Succeed-in



    We ask for links, or some kinds of source, because what you are saying makes no sense. It sounds suspiciously like you are pulling it entirely out of your behind. Which is what appears to be more likely since you have said on numerous occasions that you are not on these forums for discussion.

    Except it doesn't because its useless. There is a reason I provided Eve as an example. Its max was ~66k and that was 5 months ago. The max in the last 24 hours was ~40k, does this mean the game is dying? I mean that is 2/3 the number! Over a significant period of time, as the graphs show!

    http://eve-offline.net/?server=tranquility

    That logic does not follow from the evidence. Or do you not remember the 370% drop that prompted NcSoft to state that they were doing an xpac? What came of that instead? They doubled down, went to 2 week content updates and continued to get ready to launch in China. By your logic if everything was hunky dory they wouldn't have switched up what they were doing and went to two week dev cycles.

    Even if everything were working as planned as you suggest, its pretty common for businesses to run at a loss from time to time when they are making changing within their company. Look at Apple in the 90's when it ran at a loss for 2 strait years. Its something that NcSoft did with Paragon studios when Coh ran for a year at a negative while they made the switch to f2p.
  15. Ohoni

    Ohoni Cupcake-About-Town

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    Because I don't think it's as bad as its community wants it to be. The subscription thing has got to go, of course, but I have faith that it will. The endgame they've been very unclear about. There will be raids, but they also make a lot of talk about having other things to do. Maybe that's true, and if so, great, maybe it's just spin, who knows? As for the 1% thing, there's no way that's anything more than smoke blowing. How would that make any rational sense? Why would any of you want to play a game like that?
    Setting that stuff aside, it looks like it could be a very fun game. It has the potential for acrobatic combat, which I like, and the telegraph system could work really well to entice movement throughout the combat.The art design is really stylish and engaging, and the sci-fi setting is different than a lot of other games out there (including GW2). It has player housing which could be quite awesome, and should have player flight, which I always love in superhero games but which is relatively rare in the other genres.
    I know that a lot of the people on this board are all about the hardcorz endgame raidings, but I have no interest at all in those things, and I highly doubt most of their potential players do either. I assume that they know this, and that while they'll say all the things they need to get the hardcorz on their side, they won't be so foolish as to alienate the much large 99% players who will actually be paying so that the 1% can play.
    . . .
    That makes absolutely no sense.
    What am I saying that makes less sense than "games with an up front cost and low maintenance fees should show the same revenue curve as games with a low up front cost and high maintenance fees?" I don't see how anything I said is even remotely controversial.
    Yes, but EVE is a very weird game. Any statistics pulled from EVE have pretty much zero bearing on any game that is not very similar to EVE. EVE will do a great many things that cannot possibly be mapped to any other game. It's like saying that mammals often lay eggs just because platypus do.
    Lol, that was the publisher, not the developer. They don't know what's going on. The early plans, from pre-launch to a few months in, was to do a steady expansion list, like GW1 had. After seeing the profits they were getting from the gem store, which would be much less than from the initial box purchases, but were apparently higher than expected, they decided that they could make more money by providing free content and living off the gem store than they could by selling more boxed expansions. This move would make absolutely no sense if the cash shop were not significantly profitable for them. It would be like burning your boat in the middle of an ocean.
    Sure, but neither ANet or NCSoft would want ANet to run at a loss with no plan for recovering it. That's what you're suggesting they're doing here. You're arguing that their cash shop sales are lower than they would need to be considered successful, and yet all they are doing is putting out more free content rather than making any moves to fix the problem. That's no escape plan, that would be akin to a game with falling subscription numbers deciding to double the subscription price!
    If they felt threatened by their current circumstances, the clear "escape hatch" would be to release a new paid expansion, one where players would be forced to pay another $40-60 if they wanted to continue with the game. They have so far resisted doing so, and the only possible justification for that is that they have no need to do so. If you believe I'm wrong about that, then how do you believe ANet is working to "become profitable again?"
  16. FairyTailisBack

    FairyTailisBack Cupcake-About-Town

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    So why not buy the game, get to max level in a month, and then quit playing before you have to pay a subscription?

    You are only interested in the solo/small group elder game, but why should you get that free? You might not want to support the raiding & PvP elder game, but you have to pay for the whole patch regardless. You don't get to pick and choose which updates you want to pay for, in the same way you don't get to pick what your taxes are used for. I don't want to participate in the solo dungeons, but I am not going to complain and ask for a discount, because many people do enjoy those things. It's not all about me, it's not about you, it is about us as a community.
  17. Ohoni

    Ohoni Cupcake-About-Town

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    Because I don't play that fast. It took me about two months to get to 80 in GW2, and by most accounts that's an easy game to level in. If I bought Wildstar, I'd probably want to be playing it for at least a couple months, hopefully for years, so the free month would run out before then (unless like with TOR they start handing out free months like crazy just to prevent a mass exodus). I've just gotten over the idea that if you want to play a game for a year, you're expected to pay $120+ for the privilege (on top of the box fee and whatever shop purchases you want to make). It's just gone out of fashion like per-text texting rates and buying music on CDs.

    And I have no problem with them working on raid content. I totally get that there are lots of things that only appeal to some of the players. I continue to pay my monthly sub to GW2 even though I never use the PvP or WvW features they keep working on. So long as the monthly sub for Wildstar is no higher then I'd be totally fine with offering them the same.
  18. AcidBaron

    AcidBaron "That" Cupcake

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    All i am seeing is that subscription is back in demand for good online games that offer decent updates and services, just to get rid of all the limitations and gamble systems a F2P model introduces.

    Anyhow, it's not going to be F2P here and if it ends up eventually it will be a massively crippled version of wildstar where nobody not even freeloaders win as they get a lite version of the original intended game.

    One can also argue that games that went F2P, had to do so due to a bad start and now are regaining members as they cannot convince anyone to return to pay them in advance due to having no trust in the company.

    For the rest i'm not even going to start to point the amount of misinformation being spread or used to give some power to ones own arguments.
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  19. ArbiterX

    ArbiterX New Cupcake

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    Amen, Also GW2 loot system is terrible I really hope it isn't in the Wildstar. Just go with the usual Need/Greed/Pass System.
  20. Livnthedream

    Livnthedream Super Cupcake

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    Whether it makes sense or not, that is what has been observed.

    Except that is not what either of us has said. Why are you trying to change the subject? I was speaking directly about revenue curves. Of which I am still waiting for some scrap of a source that states its perfectly normal for the b2p business model to churn out content for those who pay less and less for it.

    Nope. I drew no corollary between the games. I was using it as an example of why a concurrent user number is completely worthless. You attempted to say that it was worth consideration because it somehow showed the game still has a strong user base, which its not.

    That depends entirely on the contract actually. More often than not the publisher has the right to make demands on the studio, after all the studio is spending their money. Its why you see so many games with tacked on features that are out of place. Like so many fps games with added multiplayer modes that its clear are not polished. For the modern military shooters like Call of Duty and the like you even see it in the campaign because the vast amount of the time its played is in online multiplayer.

    Do you really think that NcSoft just hands these guys $50m and doesn't check up on them?

    Since you like to ask asinine questions and then attempt to make yourself look good by answering them for them, let me treat you to some of that. The difference being I will draw actual conclusions based on things that have actually happened before instead of from imagination and putting words in other peoples mouths.

    Do companies often tell its players that it is in a bad state?

    Of course not. If they did then so many studios (like 38 Studios and THQ) would not have been a surprise when they announced they were filing bankruptcy. You can take a look at their press releases and they were still positive, boasting of numbers such as the "concurrent users" and sales right up until they said they were closing. Why? Because when it comes to sales, especially of completely luxury goods, image is everything.

    If the game was in a state of peril, how long do you think it takes to make a significant change? Such as "launch an expansion".

    Well, when Coh made the change to f2p the staff had known about it for 6 months before they told the public, which was 3 months before it was scheduled to go live. You see similar 6 month time periods for Swtor and Lotro. Even the reorganization of Anets studio into its current configuration of 4 teams working sequence for 2 week content releases took them 3 months to be put together, much less the extra month it took for the updates to start rolling out. Where are they going to find the people to work on and launch this new expac when they currently have 4 teams busy the game as is, plus another team working on the game for the Asian release? It seems more likely that they are pushing for the Asian release and then plan on moving that team over to creating an xpac and seeing how the Asian market treats it. Especially when said market is currently operating on said 2 week release schedule.

    What is "enough" revenue wise? Is merely being comfortable considered "enough"?

    Lets take a look at the game Star War Galaxies. At the time it was widely regarded that it would be the first mmo in the west to break that awesome 1m sub number. After all it had experienced leadership and a dynamite ip! It was kicked out the door to an opening player base of 250k, which though was profitable (it made back its budget in the first 9 months!) it never reached what was expected of it. No matter though, it was neck and neck for 3rd largest mmo in west, it was profitable, and even more important it was stable. The only real drop it had were those getting tired of waiting for the "other half" of the game that was supposed to be there at launch but got pushed back a year, and once that hit those subs came back! All was good in the land of Swg until Eq2 and WoW hit. All of a sudden the stable game started losing ~28% of its revenue every quarter, almost like clockwork! What were they to do? They had the drastic idea of COMPLETELY REDOING THEIR GAME. The reasoning being, any who left would be replaced by new players who clearly enjoyed this other experience more, I mean WoW had hit that 1m number in its first month!

    So how much is enough? Clearly not just being profitable. A fall of 27% repeated for 3 quarters from a place of stability lead to a company risking destroying their title. I can only imagine how much worry is going on with a consistent 20% fall when the game has yet to stabilize period. Even if they have went with the "gems shall save us" model, its pretty clear that they are poor at either creating whales (what fuels f2p, aka micro transactions) or they are poor at keeping them. Whats more troubling is something generally regarded as great, by players and various outlets both, Super Adventure Box, did nothing to the revenue report. Which is sad because of just how badly Sab 2 flopped. I mean you know its bad when Sab's lead producer goes to his personal blog distraught with how terrible its tracking.

    So to sum up:
    Do I think Anet is going to declare bankruptcy tomarrow?
    Of course not. The sky isn't falling, but it is certainly not a day at the beach with Corona in hand either.
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