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MMOs Are Ruining Kongregate... page 13

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Originally posted by adv0catus:
Originally posted by adv0catus:

Please provide evidence for your accusations.

TheSilenT, I’m waiting.

My evidence is your 30+ some odd posts in these threads all attacking anyone who dares to challenge our glorious MMO overlords. It’s circumstantial, but this is the god damn internet, and you post like you have an agenda. I could just as easily ask you to prove that you aren’t a viral marketer or a developer.

I could see you being a realist who’s tired of responding to stupid kids complaining, but these are legitimate complaints from a good part of the userbase. You’re just dismissing everything, like we should be happy to see Berserk and other shitty games like it on the front page thirty times.

Kongregate has the right to put it on the front page. We have the right to complain or move to another site.

 
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Textiles broke. :-/

My post is too textile (link) heavy to post here, since textiles break. Here is my post, in it’s entirety as I wrote in Notepad. I preserved the code so that I don’t modify my post at all, for my own peace and mind.

 
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Kong got along just fine without this bullshit before Gamestop took over. Not every exploitative tactic can be justified by “it’s just good business”.

Pretty much that.

 
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Originally posted by TheSilenT:

Kong got along just fine without this bullshit before Gamestop took over. Not every exploitative tactic can be justified by “it’s just good business”.

Logical Fallacy, Appeal to Tradition

 
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I’m going to go with Fricknmaniac in this one.
I don’t think it’s directly related to the GameStop deal, since the rest of the mayor portals are following the same path, and those weren’t bought by GameStop.

Facebook idiotic games were already a huge market before the GS thing and it was just a matter of time for that kind of crap to hit other markets and platforms; Kong is just one of many (mobile devices, game consoles, downloadable games) markets which got affected by that and it would have happened with or without GameStop.

These games are just like alcohol, drugs, books or any other modern addiction. As long as there’s a demand, someone will cover it and you can’t blame a business for taking advantage of it. If you want to blame someone, say “fuck you!” to the society as a whole for creating an environment in which many kids need to find shelter in stupid virtual games because it’s easier for their parents to give them the credit card than an hour of their lives.

 
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They’re rated high because the silent majority like them.

I’m actually wondering about that, and all the times I’ve asked this question I never got an appropriate answer: What is there to like about games with:

1. Energy system. The developer is the person who decides when you get to play, how long you get to play, and how long it takes before you can play again. Long building times is another of these “features”.
2. Limited inventory/loot that can only be received by paying. I think this is pretty self-explanatory, you can barely move around without having an inventory full of locked chests that can only be opened by purchasing keys.
3. Pay-to-win. New to the game? Welcome! Prepare to have your town utterly obliterated by our favourite paying player!

Other than for people with deep pockets who can upgrade the MMO into a normal game.

Not all MMOs are like this, but crappy games with crappy features like the above are still featured, and still get good ratings. This isn’t me asking you why you like tower defense, or RPG. This is me asking why you like to be tortured while you play a game. This is me asking why you like “features” that limit or restrict your gameplay, or reduce the fun you can have.

I’ll respect if you don’t know the answer, but if nobody does, then honestly I cannot think the rating of such a game should be respected. Badging the MMOs with such features is fine, of course, as long as we do not get more than a medium. There is nothing “hard” or “impossible” about waiting.

 
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This is all speculation and personal opinion:

Society is becoming more and more about instant gratification. These types of games cater to that with the pay-to-win model, because it makes it so easy to get those warm and fuzzy feelings. The energy system’s purpose is obvious and numerous:

1. It almost forces the player to make purchases to circumvent the limitation.
2. It creates an addiction for the person, so they’re constantly thinking about the game. “Oh, I have full energy in 20 minutes, I have to remember to play the game!”
3. Energy systems drive page views, which in turn drive ad revenue. So the developer wins either way. Either they get a shit tonne of page views and/or they get high conversion for premium purchases.

 
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Originally posted by adv0catus:
2. It creates an addiction for the person, so they’re constantly thinking about the game. “Oh, I have full energy in 20 minutes, I have to remember to play the game!”

That’s a subtle point, but an important one. For me, the “game” in games with energy systems is to optimize how fast I can proceed through the game despite the limitations of the energy system. While some people may go “Oh, I have to wait 20 minutes to play again”, I go, “Oh, I can play again in 20 minutes… better be ready”. Just like how some people like to speedrun/optimize games for fun, I like to optimize energy systems for fun.


As far as limited inventory goes, I look at that the same way I look at demo games: Judge the game as if it was a full game based on what is free, not on what is available if you pay. The games I like provide an enjoyable experience based on what can be obtained for free.

This also applies to the “pay-to-win” aspect… when I play games, I don’t compare myself to paying players. I just try to advance myself, without worrying about anyone else unless it’s in a cooperative setting. Those games where you can be attacked by others—I generally don’t like.


Most people that do like the more egregious paying MMOs, though, are (unsurprisingly) paying players.

 
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First of all, no offense intended. I’m truly interested in answers as to why players would like features like this. If I seem insulting, it is probably because I utterly despise limits and restrictions.

It almost forces the player to make purchases to circumvent the limitation.

This is helpful and wonderful to the developer. I’m asking why on Earth would a player be glad he should pay?

It creates an addiction for the person, so they’re constantly thinking about the game. “Oh, I have full energy in 20 minutes, I have to remember to play the game!”

This is helpful and wonderful to the developer. For players, addiction to the energy system is very different from addiction to the game. I can with 100% certainty say I’ve been addicted to Mardek, playing it a lot. I’ve played several MMOs for a while and I can with 100% certainty say I’ve been addicted to their energy systems. All I did every day was start up the game, rake in the daily rewards and mindlessly click until my energy was gone (usually in a few minutes). This was not satisfaction, it was manipulation. I took myself away from the game and felt happier by the day. I can certainly understand one to like the game itself (disregarding the limitations), but I cannot understand one to like the limitations. (I’ll get to Racefan in a bit.) If the developer truly cared about satisfaction for those who like energy systems, he would have made it optional. Give people the option to disable it.

Energy systems drive page views, which in turn drive ad revenue. So the developer wins either way. Either they get a shit tonne of page views and/or they get high conversion for premium purchases.

This is helpful and wonderful to the developer. The player isn’t even mentioned? My questions are purely focused on the player’s satisfaction, and I’m not seeing enough of that. The best I’ve seen is “we like thinking about when to play again”, which can be solved with an optional energy system. The developer should not be allowed to be the one to tell me when to play and what to like.

For me, the “game” in games with energy systems is to optimize how fast I can proceed through the game despite the limitations of the energy system.

I respect that. What I don’t respect is that this feature is one of those normally negatively affecting the player, through limits and restrictions. I do hope people understand what I mean with this, as the way it sounds now obviously could be seen as arbitrary. An energy system, usually, in no way relates to the game itself. It is purely a random restriction. Tyrant’s missions in no way become better or more fun due to the energy system, and the cost of the energy related to the difficulty does not change the way we play within a match. In other words, it seems like you’re more addicted to the energy system than the game itself. Perhaps you do not share the same feelings, but it troubles me that a game can be liked not over its features and gameplay but over a restriction which causes addiction to outlasting that restriction in the most effective way possible.

As far as limited inventory goes, I look at that the same way I look at demo games: Judge the game as if it was a full game based on what is free, not on what is available if you pay. The games I like provide an enjoyable experience based on what can be obtained for free.

I usually do, but cluttering my inventory with chests which can only be opened by purchasable keys is pure annoyance.

This also applies to the “pay-to-win” aspect… when I play games, I don’t compare myself to paying players. I just try to advance myself, without worrying about anyone else unless it’s in a cooperative setting. Those games where you can be attacked by others—I generally don’t like.

And that is where I wonder. How could a non-paying player like the fact they’ll see their towns destroyed every other day? I think a better example is Berserk: The Cataclysm. I decently liked the game while active. The reason it is fun while active is because you can defend yourself against players. Players are allowed to attack your “territories”, and it takes them one day to capture them. If you defend within those 24 hours, you don’t lose it. It takes a substantial amount of time to take any one territory, including capturing it, so if you don’t log on for a few days and see all of your territories being gone, your savefile is pretty much a lost hope (territories increase your income by quite a bit). If it requires activity to be able to fully enjoy a game (and not be punished), that game loses respect for me.

(By the way, I don’t think these games necessarily ruin Kongregate, just to be clear.)

 
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Originally posted by Pykrete:
Kong got along just fine without this bullshit before Gamestop took over. Not every exploitative tactic can be justified by “it’s just good business”.

Pretty much that.

Also, I can’t speak for anyone else, but I don’t recall ever saying it was “just good business”.

[Edit: Yeah, Darkruler. I went a bit off base, oops. But really, my main point was the need for instant gratification and the developer doing everything they can to exploit that need, while making the game as manipulative as possible.]

 
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Yeah, and that’s my main issue too. I don’t think such behaviour should be rewarded. But my current question is about why players would like such restrictions.

 
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One justification for energy systems is to discourage excessive grinding and play time, and slow discrepancies between players. Of course it also basically locks late-joiners to forever be at a disadvantage unless you have an early cap or some kind of system to protect lowbies.

The thing is, this is pretty much never implemented in a palatable way. WoW’s rested bonus is the closest thing I’ve seen to getting it right. Usually, energy systems are just used as another mechanic to throw money at so it stops obstructing you.

 
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Pretty much every single game out there (not just video games) pits the player against some opposing element of challenge. As an example, Poker pits each player against the others at the table. PvP at its finest, with the better players winning most of the time, and luck keeping hope alive for those that just suck at this card game. ;)

Let’s have another example, this time on Kongregate. I’m guessing everybody here has some sort of experience with Realm of the Mad God which is (plainly speaking) a multiplayer cooperative bullet hell game. This time the element of challenge can be seen as fighting any enemy in your way. It could also be seen as getting better equipment, either from looting said enemies’ dead corpses or from trading (read: merchanting) with other players. A few players might compete for getting a better star ranking, showing just how capable with every class they are. There’s quite a few ways to look at it, but everybody has their own preferred challenges, and thus, different games they’d rather play. Certainly, I’d rather just fight monsters than bother with trading any of the stuff I get from them. But I accept that some people prefer to stay in the Nexus where it’s safe and build their wealth through trades. =)

The same could be said of energy-based games. Yeah, I realize it’s a gimmick commonly used to increase page views (read: ad revenue) and keep people coming back each day for a little bit more progress. But some people see that energy system as a challenge to beat. Each person has a preferred amount of restriction on energy-based systems; most games stick to a relatively safe 5-minute formula for a standard action, though I’ve seen 10 and even 15-minute waits for that same energy to do something. In any case, the question for these players is the same: How do I best go about spending my energy/resources now?


Some examples of energy-based games I’ve played in the past:

  • Tyrant: Starts with 100 maximum energy (can be increased through purchases), regens at 1 per minute. Meaningful actions range close to 20-25 energy at higher levels. Not terribly casual-friendly, and I’d prefer casual games instead of hardcore ones (that’s why I’m on a flash gaming site in the first place =P).
  • Heavens: Starts with 100 maximum energy (not aware of any way to increase the cap), regens at 1 per 30 seconds. Meaningful actions range from 10-15 energy. Staying ahead of the energy is an uphill battle at times, and sometimes it feels like I’ll never rid myself of all of it. Not really what I’d want an energy system to feel like, since I’d feel like I have to be on the game ALL the time to compete.
  • Swords and Potions: Starts with 7 maximum energy (can be increased through purchases), if I recall regens at 1 per 15 (?) minutes. Meaningful actions are 1 energy each. Also somewhat of an uphill battle to stay ahead of the energy regen, similar to the previous entry.
  • Dream World: Starts with 24 maximum energy (can be greatly increased by achievements, certain rings, higher class tiers, and certain premium purchases), regens at 1 per 4 minutes. Meaningful actions can be done with 1-2 energy. As a side note, energy is far less restricting later on as you can earn enough free (coins) currency to buy more energy with to keep going for a while, if not outright infinite looping. If I have to suggest an energy system to model for a game, I’d much prefer THIS one over most anything else I’ve seen since it’s the least restrictive while still posing a challenge to be efficient.
  • Time World: Starts with 10 maximum energy (increased by 2 for completing a chapter in the storyline, and by temporary premium purchases of VIP), regens at 1 per 15 minutes. Meaningful actions can be done with 1-2 energy (possibly 3 energy if hitting a pseudo-PvP area). Time World also includes building construction times, which are in my opinion aren’t really necessary. While it doesn’t have very many things to do with AP in any given session, it’s rather casual friendly due to the long amount of time to go from 0 energy to full.
  • Cloudstone: Originally had an energy system based on 30 maximum energy and regen of 1 per 10 minutes. Still has that system but last I checked it is no longer necessary to play the game, which is pretty awesome. Another way I think an energy system can be done right.
  • (a fair number more that I’m not bothering to list right now, for the sake of keeping this post relatively short)

Overall, I would much prefer energy systems that have a long time to fill up the entire bar — ideally in the range of 10+ hours so I can get healthy amounts of sleep and not feel like I’m missing out on stuff. I also greatly appreciate making energy available for an in-game “free” currency, such as Coins in Dream World (going to an NPC with prices calculated based on your level) or Crowns in Spiral Knights (going to the player market with prices based on what others are buying/selling at).

Anything more restricting than that I generally don’t play for long. I do like to play the efficiency game, but only on energy systems that are casual-friendly. ;)

 
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Overall, I would much prefer energy systems that have a long time to fill up the entire bar — ideally in the range of 10+ hours so I can get healthy amounts of sleep

Doesn’t having to include this show there’s something wrong with this type of restriction?

I get that some people feel challenged by the energy system, but it seems like a game of its own. There doesn’t seem to be a reason to include this in any game other than for the developer’s needs.

 
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MMOs are fine.
Failbook-isms and forced social fluff are ruining it.

 
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I’ll just put this TEDx talk here…

Gamification

 
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Neat.

 
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Originally posted by Fricknmaniac:
Originally posted by TheSilenT:

Kong got along just fine without this bullshit before Gamestop took over. Not every exploitative tactic can be justified by “it’s just good business”.

Logical Fallacy, Appeal to Tradition

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_novelty
???

 
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Originally posted by Bob10110:<

Overall, I would much prefer energy systems that have a long time to fill up the entire bar — ideally in the range of 10+ hours so I can get healthy amounts of sleep and not feel like I’m missing out on stuff. I also greatly appreciate making energy available for an in-game “free” currency, such as Coins in Dream World (going to an NPC with prices calculated based on your level) or Crowns in Spiral Knights (going to the player market with prices based on what others are buying/selling at).

Anything more restricting than that I generally don’t play for long. I do like to play the efficiency game, but only on energy systems that are casual-friendly. ;)

Not sure about you, but I actually do like “resource management” games too. However real time resource is something I despise. Yes it does get less horrible when the full bar regen take more then 12hrs so you do not feel like you have to be sticking to your pc to be anywhere near optimize.

You should try out some of Kairosoft game for mobile if you want to stick to “resource management”

My point is there are lots of artificial resource in any game. No use for making time as a resource. Personally I do not feel anymore fulfilling finding myself being able to manage “time” better then say managing “turn” in a turn base game. Put it another way, it is just another maths formula no matter what the “resource” is.

 
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Originally posted by ohnonooh:
Originally posted by Fricknmaniac:
Originally posted by TheSilenT:

Kong got along just fine without this bullshit before Gamestop took over. Not every exploitative tactic can be justified by “it’s just good business”.

Logical Fallacy, Appeal to Tradition

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_novelty
???

Actually, I hate PBBGs (Persistent Browser Based Games) and I hope they a quick yet painful death. I hope they disappear from Kongregate for good and I never have to acknowledge that they exist ever again. I’m not endorsing PBBGs at all, in any way, shape or form. I’m not saying that the argument for PBBG’s to be around is superior to the argument for wishing they were never around at all.

I’m merely saying that just because Kongregate used to do fine before PBBGs existed, doesn’t mean that Kongregate will continue to do fine after PBBGs exist if they continue to use the same business plan that they did previously. Businesses are all about evolving the business plan to take advantage of the current market. And whether you like it or not, the current market is very PBBG heavy. PBBGs aren’t cutting edge right now, they’re just the majority of the market. The ethics of their tactics are certainly debatable, but they’re simply too entrenched in the market right now to ignore.

 
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I got the medium badge for the Clash of the Dragons cartoonish reskin like a week ago.

And now Im “playing” Ninja Warz. I tried to find something worthy badging there, but I couldnt. There is no gameplay. There is no strategy beyond “bigger number wins”. And, they sell Karma, which you can use to upgrade your army. There is simply no way to compete vs paying players.

Medium badge: torture yourself to level 15. I just stick fighting vs armies I know I can win (like 2 levels under me) to gain 3-5 xp, and reaching level 10 (Im currently at level 9) needs 100xp. Of course, after the fights, my army needs to regain HP (at least its a short time), so you can imagine how interesting is being to play this one. Congrats to Greg and Raw, for creating the most boring medium badge ever. Well, at least before I go to play that Berserk Cataclysm thing (considering the comments I have seen, Im sure is another masterpiece).

But hey! Another week with no MMOs badged xD

(Just in case, Im still looking for MMOs at the “Hot New Games” section to give them 1/5, and suggesting you all do the same.)

 
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You just wish there was some Free to play MMO where premium content didn’t exist, energy was given a miss and it was all about working to get to high levels. Of course that is highly unlikely due to the fact these games cost money to make. But, do single player games have premium content? (ignoring Bezerker studios) Those games cost money to make but do they allow you to buy in game money so you can win? No. Premium and buying of any kind in games leads to one thing: greed. Firstly, the devs have to make sure its worth paying for. For example, why pay 3 euro on a bunch of coins I can get grinding level X? So they become biased, so you get something that would otherwise cost a lot of effort at the cost of a few coins. I recall seeing one game where to complete a story quest you had to buy an item with currency, real money. Hmm, point taken?
About this about this being “business”, what this is inevitably going to do is the market will bleed out when people stop playing them, and for a period of time MMOs will become unpopular. MMOs everywhere will suffer because of a few people trying to make money from MMOs. Kongregate doesn’t have to take all (or most. or any) of these a stick them on the front page. Thankfully, only Tyrant is on the page now, so it seems that point has been taken. I recall ZShadow saying the reason MMOs were always on the front page was because that was the only games being submitted. Funny, that this site is for Free online games, yet they allow games like this on it. (and games by Fizzy, which are neither free nor full games.)
Anyway, to close this post, I’ll just say Pay-to-win, premium content and other money requiring content is going to drag MMOs into a coma. So to all of you money grabbing developers, I say: Kindly take your games and get lost.
edit: One good Multiplayer game that had no premium what so ever is Elements, a card game. Check it out, it ain’t half bad.

 
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The size of the energy bar does matter. I hate games like Card Monsters and Tyrant mainly because of the low amount of max energy. You basically have to play every couple of hours or you lose potential. I cannot stand games like that.

Currently the only two I play are Time World and Clash of the Dragons. It takes 13 hours for my energy to refill on Time World, and over 24 hours to refill on Clash. I do not get a very large amount of play on each game per day, but it takes such a small amount of time that I am not bothered. Besides, I don’t really want to spend hours a day playing a single game anyway. I like variety.

A no energy system would be nicer, but I don’t really know how you balance that without letting everyone rush to end game too fast while also giving people incentive to spend money. It’s not easy to do so a lot of devs are scared to try.

 
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The way to fix people rushing to end the game is to make it difficult enough that is enjoyable yet not too easy. If you strip away the energy system and the game is easily completed, it was never a good game to begin with. Games are supposed to be fun and provide a challenge, not something you spend money on. Also, some people have short attentions spans with gaming. While a person like bobby71983 might like to come back to a game every day for a few hours play, others want will play for a few days, perhaps not fully enjoy the game due to energy, get bored and wander off.

On the subject of the no energy system, to get people to spend… money shudders you’d have to offer something worthwhile while not seeming biased. To be honest, I think paying money for flash or online games should be abandoned. If a game cost some money to make, you put a lot of effort in, don’t gauge what your game is worth with content to be paid for with money or kreds. Let people decide it themselves. You get my drift, Donations aren’t unheard of. The kind of people who dislike premium content are the people who don’t have money to spend on them, the people who like it are those who do. So, by leaving something open for donations, you’ll be getting money (or kreds) given to people by the goodness of their hearts, and you don’t upset the peeps without money. True, you mightn’t get as many donations, but people might pass by and spend a few spare kreds or currency on donations, which in turn can be used to add updates. I play a multiplayer game with a donation bar, and when it reaches a certain point, new content is added. Y’know what the bar goes up to every month? 1,000 euro, and it reaches it or gets close. every month.
edit: another thing to say about energy: Energy might work if the devs didn’t allow people to buy it with currency when others have to wait.

 
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Any pay2win rubbish is bad. It’s just many of them happen to be MMOs.