One More Yacht 2009-08-04 15:19:42 CST
Stoke the fire, by Seritaph
2009-08-04 17:25:24 CST
I'm in your camp about this Julie.

So they're not good because they want your money?, by Beauturkey
2009-08-04 22:11:57 CST

For someone that constantly quotes the wisdom of other people, you should be more realistic. This is nothing new, and is nothing evil or wrong. They are still allowing you to get the same things in game. Even if not, why worry about it? Nothing any of those MT players will have will effect you in any way, shape or form.

Pay the sub, ignore the MT's. It's done in quite a few games and for quite a long time and quite successfully. Or, of course, act as though you are forced to do either. That way, you can blame the developers.

You know what MY Grandma used to say: "Quit whining."

Remember, this argument is several years too late.


Stirred your pot eh?, by Julie
2009-08-04 22:59:36 CST
Stirred up your pot have I Beau...

The simple fact is that this is about greed and sticking it to the commuinity. Don\'t like what I have to say? Easy solution...

Don\'t read the column. I am not going to stop writing the column because someone doesn't like it. The proposed plan set forth for Champions online is about greed no matter who likes it or not...even you.


On the other hand, by Julie
2009-08-04 23:08:43 CST
It's always nice to have my own personal troll...

Ok, ok., by Beauturkey
2009-08-04 23:31:30 CST
a) How would I know if I don't like it unless I read it? That's what happened here.

b) Where did you get that I was suggesting that you stopped writing a blog? I said "Stop whining" not "Stop writing." Granted, I should have known, being that you are pretty damn good at taking something small and turning it into a HUGE deal. You like the buzz of "controversy" (if that's possible in an industry that manufactures fantasy). That's cool, I like it sometimes too.

c) Right, it's about greed. So, you make your money and buy YOUR things out of necessity only? It's about a company wanting to get your money. Why do you act surprised? Have you not been around the block like myself enough times to know that companies do things like, you know, try and make money?

d) Troll? So, as soon as someone suggests, in the type of language that YOU use all the time, to stop worrying about something like this, I am a troll? Easy solution for you, I guess.

See, you seem to think that I CARE if they are greedy. They aren't going to FORCE you to do anything, but they are going to give you options. Spin it how you want, but it's simply about you making an issue where there is none. Have you not noticed that many games have been doing this for a long time, without much protest? You are about 6 or 7 years late to the party.

If you feel as though this will be forced on you, just say it. Do you or do you not feel as though they are FORCING you to pay for micro-transactions?


Pimple on a pimple, by Yoh
2009-08-05 00:01:08 CST
Well, after mulling around with this blog post and subsequent comments in the shower for 20mins, this is my conclusion.

I almost completely agree with you Julie, but not completely. While on the face of it, it looks like Cryptic are trying to have their cake and eat it too, it first depends on their implementation of said MT system, and second, this is nothing new. (however, this is not to say it's acceptable behavior)

Micro transaction in my experience can go one of two ways, with some middle ground.
A, They implement everything that you could buy in their online store in game, as to which they are just there so you can get them 'quicker' than normal.
B, They kneecap your options, esp ascetic options, attempting to make the game as dull as possible in order to force your hand to buy something.

Now, in the case of Champions, I would imagen, based off of what they have announced, that they are in the middle somewhere, leaning towards the first option. But even in that case, they seem they want to have their cake, and eat the icing. Also known as greed.

But this is where I have my main point of contention with you Julie. Is if you want to talk about greed, you need not go any further then WoW. I mean they charge you for damn near everything.
They charge for the box.
They charge for subscription.
They charge for expansions. (or at least, they used to. not sure if they did with wrath)
They even seem to charge for micro transactions, which aren't so 'micro'.

So by compression, Cryptic with Champions seems mildly greedy. But still, in this day and age, that shit won't fly far with most people.
And despite what BeauTurkey said, I think it is still a valid criticism worth stating. It's not whining. (abet, maybe a tad overboard)

I found my favorite business models tend to be the ones that try to give the customer as much bang for their buck. In this case, Guild Wars and EVE Online.

Guild Wars did something completely different then the norm, by working like a singleplayer game cost, in which you buy the box and later expansions (which in the case of GW, worked as standalone games as well), and then you could play till you hearts content.
No subscription necessary.
This makes it very flexible for the players, so that they can come and go as they please.
This means even if someone doesn't like it right off the bat, they can still potentially get them in the long run, as there is nothing stopping them from pop in once in awhile to see if they game is better then they remember it was.
Hell, even I go back to it once in awhile. But if I were paying a subscription for the game, there is no way you could get me back in it. It's that simple.

Also, for the longest time, they didn't really even have MT either. You could buy the expansions thru the store, and a few other things that you didn't need to play the game at all, and that's really about it. Although, in recent times they have added a few more MT like things such as character makeovers. But that's probably because their scrounging for cash to make GW2.

Now in EVE's case, it's almost the inverse of GW. They only charge for subscription, and that's it. It's free to download, free to play for two weeks on a new account, and have free expansions, with no MT at all. (i think)

This makes EVE very accessible. And due to their unique expansion means, they can evolve the game out in all directions, and even if you didn't like it at first, it will eventually get there, and you can always check in on its progress without it costing you any.

Now if only Guildwars and EVE were to mate and have babies, I would be interested in that certainly.

Btw, I felt I was your personal troll..... that happened to agree with you most of the time..... yeah......stop talking...... I know.


When did Cryptic join the PRC?, by Gnova
2009-08-05 02:25:14 CST
Given the massive amounts of money it is taking to develop MMOs that the fickle WoW jaded crowd won't whine about on day three of launch it is only understandable that companies are looking at more ways of getting a return on their investment.

I am all for this business model if it will improve the games I play, or provide me with more varied options of what to play. Hell, let some compulsive shopper pay for a pile of microtransactions that will allow a few more developers to be hired to add and tweak content.

Microtransactions are already evident in WoW, EQ2, and EQ1. The people that play those games did not sign up to play a MT game when they bought the boxes, at least Cryptic is being upfront about it and telling people it will be in the game well before launch.
Now WoW not only has microtransactions (hidden behind a TCG farce), they have officially legalized RMT gold buying. You can but TCG cards with good ol' $$ until you get a mount loot card, bind it to your account, and then sell it legally ingame for gold either in channels or on the broker.

Let me say this about that..., by Julie
2009-08-05 12:41:32 CST
As business models goes my hat has always been off to ccp. Of all the companies I think they do it best (issues with dev involvement in the game aside) as well as handle the issue of RMT. Where the collectable card game is concerned, while I am not a fan of the WoW collectible card game there was a time I used to spend hour upon hour playing games like magic with friends in my favorite coffee house in Chicago. If you are willing to spend the dollars getting box after box in hopes of getting a mount loot card I would say you almost disserve the mount.

I will certainly agree that Activision/Blizzard has become greedy as well. In fact one of my comments in regard to the marketing campaign at Activision/Blizzard on show 40 was that it left me feeling that they should just leave the money on the dresser and not bother to call me in the morning.

P.S. Yes Virginia there is a world of difference between someone who discuss and comments (see Yohs comments above about how long they were thought out...which he is always welcome to come on the show and express) and simply "stop whining". Stop whining is just a comment by a troll - on the other hand knock yourself out. Thats what the thread is for.


"Lifetime" membership eh?, by AnkleBiter
2009-08-05 15:05:42 CST
I actually considered going for Champions' offer... I know I've probably spent $200 on EVE, and I've only been playing for a year and a half (iirc my 6mo subs are ~$75 or $80). From day 1 with EVE, I would have jumped at that.

I've been eagerly awaiting Champions (used to pen & paper that one), and the thought of getting a 1 time payment forever was appealling... until I start seeing the MT's getting thrown in the mix, my $200 suddenly doesn't seem to be getting me so much anymore...

Lifetime offers, by Julie
2009-08-05 15:54:52 CST
As far as lifetime offers are concerned I am not against them. In fact where Lord of the Rings Online was concerned I availed myself of the deal...on the other hand Turbine has a bit of a better track record. But more importantly where the deal itself is concerned I had a chance to try the game rather than be expected to buy the lifetime deal sight unseen.


Torn, by DragonDawe
2009-08-11 04:00:52 CST
I wish I had gotten on the boat for Turbines LOTRO . . .but I needed a anger vent

So I bought a lifetime of Hellgate and joyously blasted away. Sadly they meant the lifetimepof the company, not my lifetime.

Do I begrudge or complain (well, yeah, a little)

Have we had any word FROM Cryptic vis a vis the RMT and lifetimers? Perhaps there is some middle ground where the Lifers get some of the RMTs as a matter of course? (I doubt it but ya gotta ask these things)

I played and ran Champions campaigns back when PnP was all we had. Loved the game then, loved doing character design . . . looking forward to this a lot.

Which brings me back to Sis Julie. I fear my fanboy anticipation closely resembles a nun who goes Waaaaagh. The game may be good, but will it ever be what I was hoping for? Cryptic does nice work, but can they make my old dreams live again? (On the bright side, I haven't painted armies)

Sis, please do not deny yourself a game based on partial announcements or billing schema that you dislike. To do that means Wow will also go, as they RMT and sub. OF COURSE the companies want to have every opportunity to get into our wallets. I will try to limit their access, but I still want to play the games


ps, Cryptic? Really hard to ask me for two hundred without letting me even see the game. Pig in a poke . . . no

If you don't want to pay, by Maess
2009-08-17 17:22:39 CST
don't play. It's pretty much that simple. Seems to me you are whining about nothing just to hear yourself yap, but that's pretty much par for the course...

Interesting..., by Julie
2009-08-17 19:35:44 CST
"It's interesting how many people feel that if you don't agree with their opinion it constitutes "whining"...

Just call me "Billy Goat Gruff"

Not whining, ranting..., by sleepysam
2009-08-17 19:53:27 CST
Well, I appreciate this topic as a rant rather than a whine. I've listened to several episodes, and read several blog entries - I read and hear very little whining.

I do read and hear some very entertaining commentary, whether I agree or not.

Yall never cease to get me to smile while listening.

All that said, I can't imagine blowing $200 on a game prior to release, regardless of how many other transaction models are involved.

Timing..., by Julie
2009-08-17 20:09:31 CST

Entertaining is the we will discuss with Total Buscuit on an upcoming show (scheduled for show 43 so far) I may not always agree with him but he is one heck of an entertaining guy.

As far as the $200.00 it is more the timing of the thing than anything else. I had a chance to play Lord of the Rings Online before making the decision to pay $199.00 for a lifetime subscription and I jumped at the chance - and it has more than paid for itself.

If they were duplicate this effort with Star Trek Online but allow the timing of the thing so players could try the game for a bit first, then (assuming it is all that is hoped for) I would probably go for the deal.


Lifetime Sub, by Gnova
2009-08-17 22:58:36 CST
I paid the $199 for the LOTRO lifetime sub and while I think it was a decent deal, I\\\'m not convinced it will end up saving me money in the long run.
Lotro doesn\\\'t have enough \\\"meat on the bones\\\" to make me play it month after month.
I really like the game and jump back into it for a month every few but it just doesnt have enough to keep me there once the renewed novelty wears off.
It makes a great 2nd MMO for me though. Whenever I need a break from the main one I am playing atm I can jump into it for a few hours or days and not worry about the sub.

If I was to look at it seriously though I would say that I would end up subbing to it for about 3 months per year every year. It will take a long time to pay for itself at that rate.

MMOs are being designed more and more with the casual player in mind and don\\\'t have the ability to be the only thing you play anymore. With that in mind lifetime subs are probably less of a deal for the customer and more of a deal for the company.

Outrage? What outrage?, by SurfPenguin
2009-08-20 00:12:16 CST
No offense sisters, but I can't disagree with you more about this issue. If you're having a metaphorical bird over Cryptic Studios running their games on both a subscription AND cash shop model, where's the outrage against Paragon Studios, that have pretty much been doing what Roper and Emmert have described for the past year and a half? As a matter of fact, they've set things up so that there are costume options and minor powers that are unavailable UNLESS you use the cash shop? Where's the outrage about that?

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A double helping 2009-08-02 17:20:07 CST
I'll be blunt..., by Jmo
2009-08-03 02:44:37 CST
First - The "Booth Babes" scheme was pathetic. All it did was give some sexist pigs a chance to actually get rewarded for being horny and acting on it in public. What a pathetic excuse for a contest. Personally, I usually have a good sense of humor for some of these contests out there, but that one was just plain stupid. Whoever thought it up needs to be fired. EA hired these girls already as Eye Candy, knowing full well they would be harassed to no end, but then decided it would be a good idea to make everyone WANT to harass them? Who thinks these things up.

Secondly, on the subject of the "Podcast Patent" - Fuck Volomedia. They're just hoping that no one will be vocal enough about it and that they will earn an easy buck. Well, they're in for a rude fucking awakening. Did they not realize they just fucked with one of the most vocal communities in the gaming world? Have they no clue the can of worms they just opened? PodCasters do it for Free, they're not going to pay an addition fee above what they already pay for hosting, just because some dumbasses decided it would be a good idea to "Patent Podcasting." As Sr. Julie says, Volomedia "can prepare to kiss big behind."

Mark my words, Volomedia, should they try to enforce this "patent", will cease to exist in a few months. The podcasting and gaming community will tear their upper management limb from limb until there isn't a spec of evidence left. Good job on pissiing off the wrong people assholes. Do they not realize how many "Hacking/Cracking" podcasts there are out there? I hope they weren't stupid enough to leave all of their data on computers, especially ones with even a remote internet connection. They're fucked. Plain and simple. I hope they have a good backup plan in place for revenue, because trust me, they won't know know what hit them should they try to go forward with this.

Anyway, enough of my incessant ramblings. I just came from a Roast of a good friend of mine and the language filter (or alcohol stream) hasn't been shut off yet. But seriously, what idiots think they can patent, and then charge, for podcasting rights? Dumbasses.

Jmo out!

Tell us how you really feel, by Yoh
2009-08-04 01:02:55 CST
I second that emotionally charged comment by Jmo.

Booth Babes...... I mean, I'm a guy and I find this to be insulting my intelligence. It's not funny, it's not witty, it's just plain fucking moronic.

And while I'm not a podcaster, I do listen to a lot of podcasts, and I can see that Volomedia's actions equating to hitting a hornets nest with a stick, times a thousand or so. They are just fucking looking for trouble.

And besides, everyone and their grandma can get a patent nowadays. Their practically free with cereal. And as such, they have no real value or meaning. They just don't have any teeth, and can't be enforced. So good luck trying you stupid son-of-bitches.

But what can you do, there's a damn lot of fucking morons in this world.


I must admit..., by Akely
2009-08-04 09:32:43 CST
I find myself so damn old I feel sorry for the Booth Babes. I also find it insulting that someone thinks that I'm so damn stupid and horny that seeing some flesh will make me more favorable to their product. Newsflash: Since I, and other people, recognize the ploy it does not work that effectively. Furthermore, since many companies over here hire the babes and let them be the sole representation at the booth it is impossible to get decent information. There there because the look good, not know anything about the product.

Patent podcasting... heh this will be fun. I wonder how much legal money they will spend on protecting their so-called patent.

Fun indeed, by Julie
2009-08-04 10:51:32 CST
@ Akely and Yoh: It will indeed be fun to see where a "patent on podcasting" gets them but it is relatively easy to see where they are headed and that is to try and take a bite out of Apple (they can TRY as Fran and I discuss on our next show).

@ JMO Greed drives people to do many odd thing, such as encouraging sexual harrassment of "booth babes" (a term I hate to start with) and, apparently in Cryptic's case, trying to have their cake and eat it too...the subject of the next article.

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So help me Rudy 2009-07-28 18:05:47 CST
If only...., by Yoh
2009-07-28 21:58:44 CST
Yeah, I supose it would be nice if WoW didn't exist, so that people could compair other games to it. But even if it didn't, there would be something else in it's place to compair to, and there will always be stupid people in this would.

But it will die eventually, so we only hope and dream of that day to come.
(I'd bet something will come along in the next 5-7 years to knock it, and almost every MMO of this generation down...... as soon as I get into an development studio ^^)

However, I wouldn't bank on the corperate shills that is Blizzard with coming up with anything treribly original. I foresee the future of MMO's to become increasingly social, and Blizzard are not exactly social, putting it mildly.

I'd expect more from smaller, more passionate development studios, esp if they are a indy.
Where it is not just about the money.

ergh, by Token
2009-07-29 07:04:21 CST
The last time I subbed WoW it was out of extreme boredom, and I only played it for 1 hour in that 30 days. It's so completely stale it needs to be thrown into the trash to make room for a fresh product. Lets see if WoW is innovative enough to justify it's existence. World PvP addicted me, raiding occupied me (unfortunately), BC arenas defined my time there, Lich King added absoloutely nothing, nah it's time it went in the trash.

War(craft)...what is it good for...obsolutely nothing (say it again)..., by Seritaph
2009-07-29 17:19:43 CST
Sing along. Remember that song? Anyway, I have some comments about World of Warcraft. Whether or not anybody likes it (whether or not Blizzard even likes it) WoW has transcended from being a game, and has turned into a cultural/commerical phenomenon. I compare it to the pet rock, Beanie Babies, and the iPod. Yes there are other rocks, you can find one anywhere. Stuffed toys, well they've been around forever. MP3 players...dozens of them. So what makes these things so special? Are the original? No. Are they important? Obviously.

Like it or not, agree or disagree, bored or enamored, World of Warcraft is one of the most influential and important titles in gaming. I don't think it was planned that way, but Blizzard does have a knack for hitting the ball out of the park every time they come to the plate. Just like Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth's record, such will be the fate for WoW...eventually.

In the meantime, we have to suffer through the knock-offs, the me-too products, the game itself becoming long in the tooth and distorted, and everything else. Still, I wouldn't get rid of it.

Seritaph, by Token
2009-07-29 17:45:57 CST
I agree with you that WoW is a cultural phenomenon, but all that means is it's importance has become hugely over inflated. I'd throw Beanie Babies, the original ipod and Pet Rocks into the trash after I was sick of the sight of them, I don't see how WoW is any different. I love Blizzard, but their WoW development team are not innovating and have become an obstacle for other developers.

Glass ceilings and throwing stones, by Seritaph
2009-07-29 19:41:49 CST
I see your point too Token. I am not a fan of Rap/Hip-Hop music, but to wish it'd never existed (throw it in the trash, as you put it) and say it's an obstacle in music innovation is just not true. If anything, I think along with the tidal wave of inflated pop culture lies an under current of inspiration to go another direction. It's somewhat of a symbiotic relationship that forces change. It's like a bad thing happening to someone, but eventually something good comes out of it and they grow. Perhaps I'm getting a little too existential, but that's how I see it. So even if WoW has set a barrier it's a ultimately a good thing, because barriers that don't exist cannot be broken. Does this make sense? I even confuse myself sometimes, lol! :D

One last thing..., by Seritaph
2009-07-29 20:10:31 CST
I think Yoh, Token, Dr. Bartle are ahead of the curve. Dr. Bartle in fact is so far out there, he's on another plane of existence. I don't think the mainstream audience gets half of what he's talking about. The dude is out there. So, I can see the frustration, the dislike, the need to throw things into the trash. It's perfectly understandable, and I just wanted to acknowledge and validate that point.

Just like..., by AnkleBiter
2009-07-29 20:50:27 CST
Do they make the best burgers around?... No
Do they make the cheapest burgers around?... No
Do they provide a chic/hip/trendy atmosphere in their "restaurants"?... No
Do they have a massive marketing budget (ie: brainwashing)?... AHA!!

Same with the iPod, and any number of other products that the masses lap up that are in fact not as good as a competing product with a smaller advertising footprint.

I'm sure Fran would agree, being in graphic design and having to have dealt with (slimy) advertisers (well, I guess they can't _all_ be bad).

I'll bite., by Seritaph
2009-07-29 21:12:26 CST
So I am to believe that even though I don't like seafood, an advertisement for seafood is going to make me buy something I don't like. Brad McQuaid has stated on his blog that he thinks Vanguard could make a comeback if SOE would put some marketing dollars into it. Could this be true? That if SOE piled loads and loads of money into advertising the hell out of Vanguard, that we'd all succumb to the power of advertising and be spellbound in to buying and playing the game? Probably wouldn't hurt.

Yes, advertising will aid in influencing our decisions, but it's not some Jedi mind trick.

I Won't Bite, by Yoh
2009-07-30 00:30:56 CST
I feel like the odd one out. For some strange reason, advertising has zero effect on me.
In fact, I no longer even watch TV, because ads drove me irreversibly mad, and I can watch everything I want to watch online. TV is going the way of the dodo.

Maybe it's because I'm just too critically minded.

And I agree with your comment about WoW being a barrier the needs to be overcome Seritaph (see, we can agree on things ^^).
Because what it, and these copycat/painting the turd MMO's are doing, is perpetuating an experience that we have already had, the status quo if you will, and thus we grow very tired and frustrated at the lack of innovation.

This atmosphere is perfect for true innovation to grow, kinda like compost for plants. Everyone increasing shows dissent and disinterest in the status quo, somebody will pick up on this and push for actual innovation, and when a game that is truly new and innovative arrives, everyone and their dog will flock to it. To which we could expect the WoW phenomena occur all over again.

I just hope I'm the one driving these innovation when that time comes.
(attempting to get work at CCP)


I Won't Bite, by Yoh
2009-07-30 00:31:02 CST
I feel like the odd one out. For some strange reason, advertising has zero effect on me.
In fact, I no longer even watch TV, because ads drove me irreversibly mad, and I can watch everything I want to watch online. TV is going the way of the dodo.

Maybe it's because I'm just too critically minded.

And I agree with your comment about WoW being a barrier the needs to be overcome Seritaph (see, we can agree on things ^^).
Because what it, and these copycat/painting the turd MMO's are doing, is perpetuating an experience that we have already had, the status quo if you will, and thus we grow very tired and frustrated at the lack of innovation.

This atmosphere is perfect for true innovation to grow, kinda like compost for plants. Everyone increasing shows dissent and disinterest in the status quo, somebody will pick up on this and push for actual innovation, and when a game that is truly new and innovative arrives, everyone and their dog will flock to it. To which we could expect the WoW phenomena occur all over again.

I just hope I'm the one driving these innovation when that time comes.
(attempting to get work at CCP)


wow gold, by Rockstarbabu
2009-07-31 06:39:02 CST
wow gold--wow gold

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