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RCE loot, How should it be balance?
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Dino
post Feb 22 2007, 08:28 PM
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I was reading over on <deleted - rule # 86> that Pham is cashing out. Or at least trying to sell his things and cash out. He stated the reason was that he couldn't make money anymore. Now if even Pham with his skills and equipment can't make a profit hunting that raises interesting questions.

In a RCE how should loots work? Isn't the attraction of a RCE the fact that you can actually make money? (Except for Rex of course (IMG:http://virtualmindhive.com/forum/style_emoticons/default/lol2.gif) ) If so, then shouldn't the top skilled people be able to make at least a small profit? Haven't they (theoretically) lost enough money skilling their way up to balance out what they make?

Or is it just the illusion that you can make money?

And should loots be based on skills at all or should they work the way most of us long time PEers think, that skills make hunting more efficient so it's cheaper to get the loots and therefore you make more money.

Or should it work like a true lottery / gambling model where n00bs really can get the UberHoFs just like Vets (the way mining has always and seems to still work)?

This isn't a gripe against how MA is doing it, I'm just trying to hypothosize what would be the best way to distribute loot in a RCE
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Epictetus
post Feb 22 2007, 09:23 PM
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Excellent thread Dino. I have been thinking about these issues every time I log in to EU lately and sometimes in between.

My opinion is that a RCE should reward time and monetary investments. This is called "paying your dues." Up until the last VU I had paid my dues for two years and felt a great sense of accomplishment and pride. I felt my reward was coming and now I do not.

Why was skilling changed to reward higher level mobs and higher decay equipment when the loot distribution was going to subsequently be stripped away from those high level mobs (including the fact that "always loot" mobs no longer do)?

Is this intentional or a case of the hand not knowing what the foot is doing?

This post has been edited by Epictetus: Feb 22 2007, 09:36 PM


--------------------
He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.

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RexDameon
post Feb 22 2007, 11:40 PM
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lol funny thing dino is i'm in profit margin and all i've ever done in EU is try to have fun and waste my 100 PED a month i deposit having fun.

As for Pham not profiting i think he just means not at the level he expects or wants to play at. I think at any level in EU there is a way to make your time and money worth it. The problem however is sometimes that way is not always enjoyable. Much like real life.

that said though i would much rather go on 20 hunting runs and get 80% back everytime then getting 120% one time and 20% another. I'd just like to see profit range from 80% to 120% and be stable.

but it's realy hard to say without knowing the facts only balancing manager could realy tell.
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Burnsey
post Feb 23 2007, 02:38 AM
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Well the problem is, if you see it like you say, that the more skilled you are, then you deserve to make more... we have a pyramid scheme.

But if it's not like that, then we have gambling...

Which way is better?

I for one know of a skilled avatar with 10/10 on a non-limited weapon that lost 14k peds over 1 month on a certain big mob :(
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Dino
post Feb 23 2007, 03:43 AM
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Hmmm... I thought I worded my post better. I'm not here to bash MA's system. I've long given up on them listening to me on how to run things and I don't enjoy complaining about it. (I do like teasing Marco though (IMG:http://virtualmindhive.com/forum/style_emoticons/default/spruce_up.gif)

I'm not really looking at PE as much as I'm wanting to discuss the theory of how to do loot in a RCE. I mean, is the main goal for the player just to profit? If so, doesn't it have to be either lotto/gambling returns where everyone has the same chance or pay your dues and higher skilled player have better chance?

And should the main goal in an RCE be making more? Or should it be structured as a pay-as-you-go fun as opposed to a metered rate payment system; i.e. you shouldn't really expect to make money, you should just expect to be able to control how much you spend by how you much you play? (and if so, why hasn't someone come up with a true metered system where you play by the min?)

And shouldn't coffee and chocolate be offered in any RCE?
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Noggin
post Feb 23 2007, 03:59 AM
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Like the post Dino, and I've spent quite a while formulating a post which partly discusses that very thing.. As I keep writing it then deleting it half way through, I might as well get that point in my mind out of the way!

I tend to look at the EU economy from a game design point-of-view, mainly because that's what I do for a (part of my) living. The PE model has intrigued me since I found out about it, and still is to this day.

Now, even with all the nuances in the different professions inside the game, one thing remains constant throughout the game: In order to get any money or 'entertainment value' out, you need to spend a lot of your time and/or money to get any return.

If we forget for one moment the fact that many people play for fun, and not to make money, it makes it a little easier to analyse some of the thinking behind the design.

Forgive me for emphasising the complete obvious here, but I think it aids my simple view on this... EU is a pay-to-play system. You either pay in time or money. If you have the time and patience to do the horrible stuff nobody else wants to do, you could scrape together enough cash to actually play the 'pay' parts of the game. Otherwise, like most people, you deposit some cash. It's a free choice - or more precisely - an illusion of choice MA give you to give you more of a sense of freedom within the game.

This 'time and effort' factor is one of the most debated things in the game. Most people are of the opinion that, by rights, the more time and effort they put into the game (and usually money), the more they deserve to make inside the game. A fair assumption, and I'm pretty sure that's exactly what MA want you to think.

I think there's reasonable evidence to support this theory, although to a very small extent. Whilst having a bunch of skills, spending lots of time and effort AND understanding the game gives you the upper hand, the other 90% of it is CHANCE and nothing more.

EU is an elaborate gambling machine which coaxes you into thinking that because of the above factors, you SHOULD make money from it. In reality, I very much doubt it sways the chances more than a few percent, but people believe that it's way more, simply because it seems logical to do so.

So effectively, the noobs do line the pockets of the ubers, but to a far lesser extent than most people seem to believe.

Now, the difference in levels I liken to a line of slot machines. Imagine a room of $0.10, $0.50, $1.00 and $5.00 per pay slot machines that share one central jackpot. If you're a noob with a small amount of cash, likelihood is that you're going to go for the 10 cent machines for a bit and see how it goes. Your chances of losing big are smaller, as are your chances of winning big, though there's still a chance of getting the big one.

As you progress up the ladder, find your experience, start to know which machines are going to pay out, you progress to the bigger ones. There will always be more people on the low-end slots than the bigger ones, while they try out their gambling hands. This makes the jackpot bigger, and funds the smaller prizes.

Then you have the hardened gamblers - the 5 bucks-a-pop guys who've been around the circuit a few times. You also get the rich, to whom money does not matter as much. High stakes, slightly higher chances.

Sound familiar yet?

EU is a bit more balanced than that - it also has many more factors thrown into the mix (the equipment, etc). It's just another way of swaying your chances and giving you more of an illusion of choice. Depth of gameplay is another thing, but essentially you have this big machine with a series of cash prizes and a very, very diverse array of gambling machines.

The Casino always needs to make a profit, but can't be seen to be too greedy and unfair toward it's customer base.

The great thing with EU is, it keeps you involved for long enough that even if you count every penny, you can usually justify your spending one way or another. If you profit, you're mostly lucky, but probably shrewd and have spent a lot of time there. There is such thing as a professional gambler you know.

I suppose my real point is, the so-called RCE of EU is nothing more than a huge gambling machine - something many people have drawn parallels with before. If you add all the other 'investment-type' stuff into the mix, it gives it yet another layer of complexity which brings on yet another game to the gambling table. It also allows EU to expand more quickly than it would do otherwise.

MA always seem to be doing a balancing act... Making sure that the money going into the system far exceeds the money going out, whilst at the same time trying to make it all seem fair to the players. Some win, more lose. This way of running a game (to me) is almost flawed in it's brilliance. There's a moving target, but nobody ever knew for sure what they were aiming at, and MA don't have to answer to anyone.

At the end of the day, you're relying on a bit of skill, a lot of time and a lot of luck to come out of EU on top. You're not using your creativity, your intelligence, resourcefulness to generate income. It's not even a game of skill; more a game of chance. Any idiot can shoot random monsters, but few can paint a picture, write a poem, fix a car.. you get the idea..

Until EU is truely (human) skill based, I think it will always remain one of the worlds most complex gambling establishments!

Apologies for my rambling :)
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King Buzzo
post Feb 23 2007, 04:00 AM
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QUOTE (Noggin @ Feb 22 2007, 07:59 PM) *
Like the post Dino, and I've spent quite a while formulating a post which partly discusses that very thing.. As I keep writing it then deleting it half way through, I might as well get that point in my mind out of the way!

I tend to look at the EU economy from a game design point-of-view, mainly because that's what I do for a (part of my) living. The PE model has intrigued me since I found out about it, and still is to this day.

Now, even with all the nuances in the different professions inside the game, one thing remains constant throughout the game: In order to get any money or 'entertainment value' out, you need to spend a lot of your time and/or money to get any return.

If we forget for one moment the fact that many people play for fun, and not to make money, it makes it a little easier to analyse some of the thinking behind the design.

Forgive me for emphasising the complete obvious here, but I think it aids my simple view on this... EU is a pay-to-play system. You either pay in time or money. If you have the time and patience to do the horrible stuff nobody else wants to do, you could scrape together enough cash to actually play the 'pay' parts of the game. Otherwise, like most people, you deposit some cash. It's a free choice - or more precisely - an illusion of choice MA give you to give you more of a sense of freedom within the game.

This 'time and effort' factor is one of the most debated things in the game. Most people are of the opinion that, by rights, the more time and effort they put into the game (and usually money), the more they deserve to make inside the game. A fair assumption, and I'm pretty sure that's exactly what MA want you to think.

I think there's reasonable evidence to support this theory, although to a very small extent. Whilst having a bunch of skills, spending lots of time and effort AND understanding the game gives you the upper hand, the other 90% of it is CHANCE and nothing more.

EU is an elaborate gambling machine which coaxes you into thinking that because of the above factors, you SHOULD make money from it. In reality, I very much doubt it sways the chances more than a few percent, but people believe that it's way more, simply because it seems logical to do so.

So effectively, the noobs do line the pockets of the ubers, but to a far lesser extent than most people seem to believe.

Now, the difference in levels I liken to a line of slot machines. Imagine a room of $0.10, $0.50, $1.00 and $5.00 per pay slot machines that share one central jackpot. If you're a noob with a small amount of cash, likelihood is that you're going to go for the 10 cent machines for a bit and see how it goes. Your chances of losing big are smaller, as are your chances of winning big, though there's still a chance of getting the big one.

As you progress up the ladder, find your experience, start to know which machines are going to pay out, you progress to the bigger ones. There will always be more people on the low-end slots than the bigger ones, while they try out their gambling hands. This makes the jackpot bigger, and funds the smaller prizes.

Then you have the hardened gamblers - the 5 bucks-a-pop guys who've been around the circuit a few times. You also get the rich, to whom money does not matter as much. High stakes, slightly higher chances.

Sound familiar yet?

EU is a bit more balanced than that - it also has many more factors thrown into the mix (the equipment, etc). It's just another way of swaying your chances and giving you more of an illusion of choice. Depth of gameplay is another thing, but essentially you have this big machine with a series of cash prizes and a very, very diverse array of gambling machines.

The Casino always needs to make a profit, but can't be seen to be too greedy and unfair toward it's customer base.

The great thing with EU is, it keeps you involved for long enough that even if you count every penny, you can usually justify your spending one way or another. If you profit, you're mostly lucky, but probably shrewd and have spent a lot of time there. There is such thing as a professional gambler you know.

I suppose my real point is, the so-called RCE of EU is nothing more than a huge gambling machine - something many people have drawn parallels with before. If you add all the other 'investment-type' stuff into the mix, it gives it yet another layer of complexity which brings on yet another game to the gambling table. It also allows EU to expand more quickly than it would do otherwise.

MA always seem to be doing a balancing act... Making sure that the money going into the system far exceeds the money going out, whilst at the same time trying to make it all seem fair to the players. Some win, more lose. This way of running a game (to me) is almost flawed in it's brilliance. There's a moving target, but nobody ever knew for sure what they were aiming at, and MA don't have to answer to anyone.

At the end of the day, you're relying on a bit of skill, a lot of time and a lot of luck to come out of EU on top. You're not using your creativity, your intelligence, resourcefulness to generate income. It's not even a game of skill; more a game of chance. Any idiot can shoot random monsters, but few can paint a picture, write a poem, fix a car.. you get the idea..

Until EU is truely (human) skill based, I think it will always remain one of the worlds most complex gambling establishments!

Apologies for my rambling :)


Holy lots of words batman. I will have to come back to this one.... Looks like things just got real interesting!
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Com
post Feb 23 2007, 05:02 AM
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Excellent analysis, Noggin.
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Erasmus
post Feb 23 2007, 05:21 AM
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Oh! Great thread. I have a lot to say on the subject. There are other ways to look at it than from the casino angle.

But not tonight honey ... I have had some nice wine and a couple Cognac :rolleyes:
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Aziphirael
post Feb 23 2007, 09:34 AM
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Excellant post Noggin!

I think the other thing that got me thinking is how do you prevent people to withdraw because this is a direct deduction from MA's revenues (Again looking at the accounts where we see deposits minus withdrawals being MA's revenue stream).

So again the Casino analogy comes to minus. Casino's generally are designed to make easy to come in but very hard to come out again. Everything is designed to attract you to gamble again and to prevent you from walking out with your winnings.

Now I do wonder whether some of the large sales like Malls and Land Areas aren't necessarily about getting more deposits but more about locking in the profitable players or high worth players from cashing out their winnings. IE Would MA be more worried if someone like Deathifier or ND sold up and cashed out, because that would be quite substantial payout.

This post has been edited by Aziphirael: Feb 23 2007, 09:34 AM
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Einstein
post Feb 23 2007, 10:31 AM
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QUOTE (Aziphirael @ Feb 23 2007, 10:34 AM) *
Now I do wonder whether some of the large sales like Malls and Land Areas aren't necessarily about getting more deposits but more about locking in the profitable players or high worth players from cashing out their winnings. IE Would MA be more worried if someone like Deathifier or ND sold up and cashed out, because that would be quite substantial payout.

But on the other hand, don't these huge investments usually have a very high and fast return rate? Neverdie, Deathifier and Neomaven got their investment back in a reasonable fast time and are earning alot of money these days, and i doubt they reinvest everything in EU. They might withdraw more than they invested.
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Einstein
post Feb 23 2007, 10:32 AM
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QUOTE (Aziphirael @ Feb 23 2007, 10:34 AM) *
Now I do wonder whether some of the large sales like Malls and Land Areas aren't necessarily about getting more deposits but more about locking in the profitable players or high worth players from cashing out their winnings. IE Would MA be more worried if someone like Deathifier or ND sold up and cashed out, because that would be quite substantial payout.

But on the other hand, don't these huge investments usually have a very high and fast return rate? Neverdie, Deathifier and Neomaven got their investment back in a reasonable fast time and are earning alot of money these days, and i doubt they reinvest everything in EU. They might withdraw more than they invested.

Perhaps a system that might work for an RCE is a system comparable to online poker. You have all kind of tables with high or low stakes, and with good skills and a bit of luck you can make money in the long run.
If you play on low stakes tables the risk will be smaller and the gains will be lower. If you play on high stakes tables to gains might be high but the losses might be too. If you have no skills but are incredibly lucky you might win bigtime with the high stakes but in the long run you'll probably loose.

I do think skilled players should be rewarded in EU, not every single run but certainly in the long run.

This post has been edited by Einstein: Feb 23 2007, 11:15 AM
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Erasmus
post Feb 23 2007, 12:43 PM
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QUOTE (Aziphirael @ Feb 23 2007, 04:34 AM) *
... Would MA be more worried if someone like Deathifier or ND sold up and cashed out, because that would be quite substantial payout.


As long as they sold out for more, or about the same, as they paid in, it would be a wash as the new owner would make a deposit roughtly equivalent to the withdraw the previous owner would then make.

It would be a concern if a big property was to sell for far less than its original purchase price. Except for the malls of course, as they would certainly sell for less than the original price once the shops are sold. But there too, it's not a problem as long as the sell price + the shop prices exceed the original total.

I think it was a mistake for MA to setup the malls shops as condominium property rather than rental property (to the mall owner). The malls would have sold for a higher price and would have the potential to increase in value from the original total price rather than the residual value.
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TheLoneRanger
post Feb 23 2007, 12:51 PM
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QUOTE (Dino @ Feb 23 2007, 04:43 AM) *
And shouldn't coffee and chocolate be offered in any RCE?


definitely, maybe pizza too (IMG:http://virtualmindhive.com/forum/style_emoticons/default/lol2.gif)

I think a loot system in a RCE would work something like you can indeed make some money. Maybe not become rich, but certainly enough to finance hunting ( i.e. ammo, weapon-, armor-, fap-decay, tp-ing, etc. ) and then have some left for saving up for better equipment.

That would be a real attraction for me. I'm not someone who's very fond of the illusion of making money and actually losing it. I'm too realistic for that, and besides that, my CC bill will point that out to me at the end of each month.

I think whether or not a mob ( or mining ) loots should not be based on skill. That's either pure chance, or something calculated ( which everything programmed on computers is, there is no such thing as random chance on a computer ! ) by the amount of mobs killed, hours played that session, or whatever. I'm not sure on my thoughts on how this would have to work in a perfect RCE game.

Then let's say the mob has a certain value of loot. When you're not skilled, you'll only be able to retrieve a very small percentage of that total value and when you're superbly skilled, you'll be able to retrieve a very large percentage ( maybe 100% ) of that value of loot.

Then you'll have revenue.

Then when it comes to profit. With low skills, you're much less efficient in using weapons ( and it will cost more to kill the mob ) and with very high skills you'll maybe able to kill the mob with 1 shot ( since you can use heavier weapons and be very efficient with them ).

This way, you'll have profit.

Then loot distribution, higher level mobs are harder to kill and carry a higher potential loot. Low level mobs will carry a lower potential loot and there is even a way to implement that if the level of the player is too high for a mob, no loot at all will be paid out.


For me, the real goal of this kind of game would not be to make money, but to be able to play it to the fullest extend and have enough money left ( in the game ) to better my equipment and pay for a house and decorate it and have some nice ingame items. If it would be possible to actually make a good living... where do I sign up ? (IMG:http://virtualmindhive.com/forum/style_emoticons/default/lol2.gif) seriously my real life job pays enough and I have fun doing that. I'm sure if I could really make a good living in a game, I'd be very alone...
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RexDameon
post Feb 23 2007, 02:01 PM
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To me how it's supposed to work is your always loosing a bit but gaining skills and the more skills you gain the bigger mobs you can kill and the bigger the mobs the grander the items and loot you should get. With Molisk Young dropping Angel though this does not make a whole lot of sense.

It should increase your chances of looting bigger items but enable you to loot bigger items. So to me all mobs should loot kinda consistently in the 80%-120% range but the bigger the mob (i.e. more dangerous ) the bigger the item's that you could loot and small creatures should not loot big items or insane 5K+ loots but distributed better.


there is also one proboem many are not thinking about. Remember Noggin when i first met you tearing up exo's with a V1. There are some ppl that just go nuts and buy big gun and go kill stuff with little conern or understanding about economy hunting or money they spend. where do they fit in? are they mabey the ones that are making these 5+k newb loots possible? how do we know how many are out there?
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Erasmus
post Feb 23 2007, 04:37 PM
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QUOTE (Erasmus @ Feb 23 2007, 12:21 AM) *
Oh! Great thread. I have a lot to say on the subject. There are other ways to look at it than from the casino angle.

But not tonight honey ... I have had some nice wine and a couple Cognac :rolleyes:


Okay, coffee was good this morning (IMG:http://virtualmindhive.com/forum/style_emoticons/default/lol2.gif)

The question of EU, or any other RCE, being more chance or gambling than a real economic system being a defining question for anyone looking into starting a virtual business in any RCE, this was going to be one of the cornerstone articles in OnEntropia.com ... don't go look for it, it's still not there because the usual 400 words format was blown away before even scratching the surface.

There will be a whole section on the subject instead.

The synopsis being that EU may not be intended to be a game of chance, but the missing pieces of the RCE mechanisms are made up by random generators. So it looks like a game of chance in many respects.

Examples:
- Crafting is currently a slot machine with some RCE variables such as skills and time.
- Hunting is like rolling dices because the shooting/damage process is not refined enough to reflect hit locations on the mob.
- Looting is ... non-sense in its current implementation!

It is not a bad thing in itself, it is design costs, processor capacities AND the minuscule size of the economy that makes it impractical or difficult or too expensive to make it more real AT THIS TIME.

There are also key elements in the original design that MA is kind of stuck with that became weaknesses or obstacles today. Not faulting MA for that at all, they were the pioneers who had to figure it all out. They got most of it right the first time, but not all of it.

A fundamental flaw is the way MA removes money from the economy, through decay instead of through a tax system.

Decay is like a casino taking a share of the bets before returning the wins.
Tax is like a fee on transactions without reducing the face value of the transaction.

The loot system could be a neutral zero sum mechanism where gains and losses only occurs between players. Instead of decay, MA could tax transactions, such as purchase of ammo, weapons, etc. Sale of materials, etc. It would not be all that difficult to implement. It is already built in the auction and the shops. They would only need to add a VAT mechanism to anything being removed from one's storage or carried. So, the VAT is paid when players trade directly with each other ... or try to avoid paying the tax by dropping items on the ground for someone else to pick up.

They could set an "income" tax on loot, much like the percentage paid to landowners.

That would leave MA entirely out of the loot loop and eliminate the emotional bias we tend to have toward MA when loot is bad.

But it does not solve the problem of removing randomness in loot. That's a different problem altogether that has to do with coding complex RCE elements into the process.

I believe they can make it happen once the size of the economy is large enough that natural inefficiencies can replace code generated randomness without risk of exploits and manipulation.

This post has been edited by Erasmus: Feb 23 2007, 04:38 PM
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Dino
post Feb 23 2007, 04:56 PM
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QUOTE (Erasmus @ Feb 23 2007, 08:37 AM) *
The synopsis being that EU may not be intended to be a game of chance, but the missing pieces of the RCE mechanisms are made up by random generators. So it looks like a game of chance in many respects.

That's an interesting thought. I'll have to think about that a bit.

QUOTE (Erasmus @ Feb 23 2007, 08:37 AM) *
It is not a bad thing in itself, it is design costs, processor capacities AND the minuscule size of the economy that makes it impractical or difficult or too expensive to make it more real AT THIS TIME.

Thanks Erasmus. This is the angle I was looking for. We are all looking at it as gamers, for obviously reasons. What I was trying to do was to look at it as a designer. If we made a game, how would we do it.
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RexDameon
post Feb 23 2007, 05:13 PM
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one fact people seem to be missing is that if your a newb and grab a Opalo or a RockJacker ME and go and hunt spiders you will loose lots of money. If you have skills to go with the RJME you WILL loose less money. This is how MA says that EU is not gambling. But i guess you could argue that poker isn't either then.
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Aziphirael
post Feb 23 2007, 05:19 PM
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The other thing that also perhaps needs to be considered is the black market as well, in some sense this market does impact an RCE, because its cash that dosen't really enter the system. In the UK its the times when you pay your builder in cash because he can give a discount (as he will avoid VAT and income tax).

QUOTE (RexDameon @ Feb 23 2007, 05:13 PM) *
one fact people seem to be missing is that if your a newb and grab a Opalo or a RockJacker ME and go and hunt spiders you will loose lots of money. If you have skills to go with the RJME you WILL loose less money. This is how MA says that EU is not gambling. But i guess you could argue that poker isn't either then.


Interesting enough that argument about poker has just gone to court and the conclusion was that it is still a gambling game therefore illegal to do in any establishment without a license. Although there is a skill element it is still a game of chance.

This post has been edited by Aziphirael: Feb 23 2007, 05:21 PM
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Svetlana
post Feb 23 2007, 06:14 PM
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If we were to make an RCE ourselves, how would we balance it? This is a difficult question- not only for us, but for MA and any other company in the RCE business. We must consider what we already see in this very thread- that there are a variety of participants, each with their own ideal visions. Some play strictly for entertainment and will gladly spend some money each month without withdrawing it. Others are in it to profit.
Therefore, an RCE needs to embrace both of these ideologies and everyone in between. No easy task. :black eye:

Noggin I like your analogy to casinos. I've always stayed away from most casino analogies b/c I still see a direct difference between EU and casino's, or other RCE's and casino's for that matter. Indeed, there is some math going on with regards to skills. To compare it to poker, this is our 'poker face'. As any player can tell you, poker is just as much about bluffing as it about getting lucky. Certainly, a RCE is no different- it must contain elements and variables that the participants have direct control over. In EU, this is done by actual skilling statitistics and equipment. This things take the element of pure gambling down a notch- we aren't just playing the lottery in the purest sense. We are doing things to hopefully increase our chances, and then playing it.

So, from a balancing perspective, this is an interesting dilemma. They must assess how much of the player-base has no intentions of profiting. Of those, they must discover how many wish to break-even and withdraw at one point in time and how many are more than happy pissing it all away and taking nothing when the fat lady sings.

They must also assess who is in it for profits. Obviously, an RCE must make profiting a difficult thing to do. With regards to some truly uber players not being able to make it, we must ask what their idea of 'making it' is. Is it to actually pull a profit? Or is it to continue hunting (or another activity) in their same way without needing to worry about adjusting to new balances? I think for most it's probably the latter- and that's the difficulty w/ EU and the beauty of it. No one, regardless of their skills or time, can ever be sitting on top of it all- everyone must make adjustments in a true economy. Even the oldest, wisest and wealthiest on earth are always having to ensure that their wealth is protected and working for them. Therefore, this also must be the case in an RCE. The difficulty, w/ regards to say EU, is that it's also entertainment. While many highly skilled players do it with some intention of cashing out eventually, they also do it for fun. To adjust to balancing fluctuations is no easy task b/c it may restrict that fun element.

To create an appealing and lucrative RCE, a company must appeal to as broad a cross-section of the participant-base as possible (imo). By creating a 'virtual economy' that is relatively free of direct constraints by the company, participants begin to create their own wealth. I think this is MA's intentions with EU from the malls and banks down to the crafting system. Give ppl skills and professions to develop their trade, and then have everyone mingle to make their chosen professions work.
Of course, there is a downside to this. Predominantly, that if not carefully balanced, one profession can suck the lifeblood out of others, thus making the RCE less appealing to more ppl. In EU, things like loot distribution can directly fix many of these problems I think.

Azi- your question about the black market is excellent. Black markets are usually created when there is some sort of power vacuum and the wealth does not get evenly distributed (ie the communist party in the USSR held the wealth of the nation). This in turn makes everyone else at the peril of the black market system essentially. In an RCE, ideally the company should work to ensure no such power vacuum can exist. This is done by little things such as expediting withdraw processes to larger things such as ensuring that various professions can exist and that no one area takes precendence over another (if that makes sense).

This post has been edited by Svetlana: Feb 23 2007, 06:18 PM


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