Recent posts by StuartK on Kongregate

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Topic: Time World / Low percentage!!!

Originally posted by waraxe:

So now we’re making assumptions… Substantiate claims first before saying it’s unfair, developers cannot help the occasional anecdote which makes it an impossible task, unless you rig it upwards.

We cannot tell because we don’t have the necessary information. So this isn’t a claim – it’s a grey area that will remain a grey area until light is shed upon it. There is no way for us to get that information except with a large cash investment, to methodically test the odds to some degree of certainty, or better, some kind of objective, independent review (do Kongregate do anything here and can they be objective?) And, if we conclusively prove it’s ‘fair’ at a certain point in time, what about the next day/week/minute? The only way to tell would be to re-test. And this is just a single free to play game available through Kongregate – what about all the others that have similar gambling options?

I’d much prefer a simple price for each upgrade. There’s an obvious attraction for the developer of the gambling interface i.e. increased profits through taking advantage of customers addictive natures, but it leads to messy complications, as we see in this thread.

 
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Topic: Time World / Low percentage!!!

I didn’t say rigged, just unproven that it’s fair. How can we really tell? The only ways to test would be to put in a large amount of cash and to record the results, or else examine the server side code, or the transaction history. And, as the calculations can be changed without notice (all that’s being returned to the client is ‘win’ or ‘lose’) none of these methods would really prove anything, after the point of testing.

Beyond that, the developer has to develop and maintain a reputation for trustworthiness.

http://lawofthegame.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/free-to-play-its-addictive-should-we.html

 
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Topic: Time World / Low percentage!!!

Oops – 20 purple items, when they come up at auction – 562 gold or $30.15 each. 20 would be $603.00 (based on the current gold price, if you buy in bulk)

Also while I’m here – hidden in (mainly) two ways.

Firstly, and not unique to any MMO, the ingame currency – this is always disassociated with real cash. $ > kreds > gold i.e. twice removed. Three times if you also include the payment method to get kreds e.g. gamestop tokens or whatever they’re called. It’s very much easier to spend when the cost is ‘10 points’ a pop instead of the actual value (unless you have cash to burn to start with) This is why it’s a useful step to work out what you’re really spending on an individual upgrade (as above) & keep that in mind. And keep track – when has a free to play MMO given you access to your transaction history (even though you know it’s there, and used for data mining purposes)?

Secondly, those gambling percentages hide the real cost of what you’re ‘buying’ with your cash/kreds/gold. It’s true that 3% doesn’t mean 100/3 books to upgrade an individual skill. Across multiple (40+) skills, it will however be on average around 100/3 books to upgrade skills (provided the random number generator Playmage uses is fair, which is unproven) Using this average value it’s possible to get an estimate of the actual cost of the upgrade. This gives you the ability to make a rational choice about how much you’re willing to spend on an upgrade. So, why aren’t you just given a simple gold cost next to an individual upgrade? Obviously, because it’s more profitable if the overall cost is hidden behind that percentage chance.

 
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Topic: Time World / Low percentage!!!

Gambling psychology is a little more complicated than that. If you’ve created an addictive gaming scenario, you’re (I’d say cynically) exploiting your customers with your game design, especially where the costs are hidden upfront. This has been heavily discussed elsewhere. Basically, free to play MMOs have turned into a highly profitable, and unregulated gambling industry.

This is not to say that there can’t be good game design and overall happy customers, but I’d say the balance in Time World is rather too much towards the (disguised) cash grab. This isn’t a good starting point for any kind of dialogue with Playmage, if he’ll even entertain the idea of talking with his customers about it.

 
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Topic: Time World / Low percentage!!!

7 fails in a row at 50% chance should happen 1 in 128 times, i.e. fairly often across the customer base, unless Playmage have less than 100 customers.

It’d sweeten the pill if we got something for such failures e.g. an increased success % for the next try, as was done for Dream World.

 
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Topic: Time World / Low percentage!!!

I was considering putting together a price list for this game, to help people understand what they’re getting into before they spend the cash.

Starting point is how much does Time World gold actually cost, using the current discount price for gold, 1000 kred=1600 gold;

$         kreds  $/kred    1600 gold  1 gold
$500.00 5825 $0.0858 $85.84 $0.0536
$250.00 2900 $0.0862 $86.21 $0.0539
$100.00 1150 $0.0870 $86.96 $0.0543
$20.00 225 $0.0889 $88.89 $0.0556
$5.00 50 $0.1000 $100.00 $0.0625

So that’s a minimum of $0.0536 per gold if you buy your kred $500 at a time.

Using the % values from Cristians post, upgrading a single skill to level 10 will be on average approx 1723 gold, or $92.44 if you buy kreds in $500 lots. That’s on an individual skill, less if you’re lucky, possibly up to about double that if you’re really unlucky, but since you have 40 skills to upgrade across all combat heroes, that’s what you should see overall.

40 skills, that’s 1723*40=68920 gold, $3697.42 for all 5 combat heroes to have l10 skills across the board.

l50 purple combat items with war and command all upgraded to l10 will be on average 1056 gold, $56.65 per stat, per item. 20 items, 2 stats each = $2,266.09

If you don’t want to wait for items at auction, or heroes from taverns, or skills from mbooks, you have some other expenses too.

5 purple heroes – 850 gold or $45.60 each. 5 would be $228. If you want more for WoH, multiply up.

20 purple items, when they come up at auction – 532 gold or $28.54 each. 20 would be $570.82

40 good combat skills – auction or magic books. I don’t know the drop rate from magic books, but the most expensive skills are 700 gold a pop at auction if you don’t have the credits. 700 gold or $37.55 each. 40 would be $1502.15 but that’s an extreme upper limit. I don’t know what the gold cost at auction is for the optimal skill set. Magic books are $0.64 each which begins to sound like an err bargain, so maybe a few hundred of them to start with to see if you get lucky with the skill drops (a good place to get your Skinner box reward feedback)

We haven’t mentioned WoH yet ($100+ per purple card I think, though gems are a little easier to come by now) or other things we spend gold on e.g. levelling heroes up, speeding up building or research, buying extra AP, etc etc etc.

http://www.cracked.com/article_18461_5-creepy-ways-video-games-are-trying-to-get-you-addicted.html

 
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Topic: Dream World / Re: Why is kingk not responding

Undo option.

 
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Topic: Time World / Feedback and Suggestions

In PvP, WoH needs leagues/tiers to split players of different deck strengths/skill levels up. At the moment it’s hopelessly unbalanced.

This would be difficult for 2v2 or 3v3 unless requirements for entry are somehow lowered/made easier, to generate more activity there.

 
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Topic: Time World / WoH is Misleading and Sabotaging new players

The only reason I’m here is WoH – I tried the main game months back and decided it was quite forgettable.

Yet, I see alot of new players who can only be put off and driven away by being annihilated in WoH. At its best it’s a fine sub-game, just embarrassingly unbalanced most of the time. I’d actually be apologizing to many of the people I come up against if there was any way to contact them in-game.

As to the main game, it has a horrible plot, embarrassingly bad dialogue (who wrote this crap and do they still have a job?) the game design itself, to put it kindly, leaves a lot to be desired. And we have to play it to be good at the other game? How much pain must we endure to be able to do the thing we like?

 
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Topic: Kongregate / New Profile rolling out to everybody

Kongregate 2: The Shittening

 
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Topic: Kongregate / New Profile rolling out to everybody

It’s like facebook, except worse because it’s not facebook. Or better. I don’t know. Stop trying to be like facebook, it makes you sad and pathetic.

Also jeez, that’s alot of unnecessary junk on my feed.

 
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Topic: Clash of the Dragons / Bugged Draft

Similar happened here. First round my opponent won first two matches, then it was displayed that the game was at 2-1, and we were in the 4th round. After this the game suddenly skipped to my next opponent, and the game was frozen on his turn. After waiting a bit I filed a bug report and conceded. A couple of times I refreshed the game the same match popped up again (at which point I conceded again)

The next draft I played went fine.

I didn’t note down draft ID or bug report ID :(

ign: Aname

 
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Topic: Clash of the Dragons / Suggestions

After hitting the 30 second deadline twice in a row in brawl, you’re probably afk. Autopilot should then be enabled for the rest of the battle.

This is a big problem in public brawls – inconsiderate players are wasting lots of peoples time.

 
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Topic: Dream World / Magic Pick and Puzzle Decoder

I wonder if there is a way for a bot to detect an animation on the screen before submitting an automatic keypress or mouse click?

Bots have more patience than people. In your history of badly thought out ideas, this one ranks fairly highly, kingk.

 
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Topic: Clash of the Dragons / Thrown out of server while drafting

A few random (unannounced) server restarts due to ‘maintenance’ today and yesterday.

If it’s maintenance surely it can be planned ahead and done properly i.e. with ingame notification, countdown timer etc?

 
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Topic: Call of Gods / Enthusiastic March, Crazy COG

Is hiring someone who speaks the english language fluently just too expensive? Good grief, computers can automatically spellcheck. CoG continue to underestimate the effort required to put out decent content, or at least content that isn’t just plain embarassing to read.

 
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Topic: Dream World / Issue resolved! We like award! Lock Thread! :)

I thought kingk was a time expert. this has been way more than two minutes.

 
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Topic: Dream World / Issue resolved! We like award! Lock Thread! :)

you know it’s a ploy – Game Plays: 17,309,321

 
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Topic: Call of Gods / 3 Elites and 3 Senior We need more !!

The only thing elites can do that’s remotely interesting is invite new members. I don’t really see any downside to having the option to make everyone in an alliance ‘elite’.

 
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Topic: Dream World / Petition to remove Keys from Mboxes

Originally posted by Goontra:

Every good game should have some element of frustration in it….

The reason to keep these losses is to increase profits through basic gambling psychology. Players seeking a shortcut to a reward based high will spend 5 gems (about $0.50 to $1) and get absolutely nothing for it. That’s a waste, so to combat that down they buy another. Same as pumping quarters into a slot machine, except you don’t even get a real cash reward at the end of it to offset against your losses, lol.

DW isn’t so much a game, as a procrastination tool with gambling elements.

 
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Topic: Dream World / I just sold my weapon

Sell – yes – sell – yes – sell – yes – sell – yes – sell – yes – sell – yes – err i mean no.

Confirmations are only a partial solution – you learn to automatically click yes on any confirmation, particularly if you perform an action often – in this case confirmations are actually a bad idea.

A different prompt if an item has a significant number of enchants, or an undo option, are two potential solutions.

If it’s the difference between continuing playing and quitting, you could contact kingk – he might help, or if enough people do the same thing he might be bugged enough to improve his interface design.

 
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Topic: Kongregate / New Kongregate Version: New Homepage Split Test

How about top games of last week/month/arbitrary time period? If I’ve been concentrating on something else for a while I’d like to browse through what I’ve missed.

 
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Topic: Dream World / Petition to make fallen more accessible and funnier.

The main reason for a top player to hack away at fallen is the exp bonus, likewise with Mystic, and of course invasion. No reason not to dominate in all areas, to the detriment of anyone else who is new to the content. We thought with the introduction of mystic this might provide some distraction, but the reality is this didn’t happen, and it just turned into another checkbox to be ticked.

 
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Topic: Dream World / Petition to make fallen more accessible and funnier.

Setting a cap on the total bonuses would work as well. Having all the mystic bonuses, fallen bonuses, invasion and everything else, stack without limit means the top players do a tour, and dominate everything in sight.

At what point will the players/guilds at the top ‘graduate’ from doing the lower level content?

 
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Topic: Dream World / Guild "War Rooms"

Create alts and put them in a new guild? You’ll get a brand new wall.