COMMUNITY - FORUMS - GENERAL DISCUSSION
New EP Store Policies
+108

I was requested to put this in a new fresh thread as opposed to it being buried inside of a thread that has effectively died or turned deconstructive so here goes:

I may be alittle biased, but I would much prefer a more dense player population per server than opening up additional servers. I think that a middle ground can and should be found, and if that means that SBS has to draw back what they were planning to have on the EP store based upon community feedback then that is what should happen.

Personally I was fine with CoE's form of Pay to Win because it was surmountable in game. Yes I can buy a title or two or three, however people who are more coordinated and skilled than I am can compete and take those titles from me. Further, I was fine with base level kits / buildings / things being purchasable from the EP store. So long as people have the ability to build the same things that I can buy from the EP store on day one, that is again something that is surmountable.

The selling of rare / legendary / etc things in the EP store for lots of money, then claiming that specifically the research and buildings are research and buildings that a normal non-paying player would not be able to build / reach for a year - two years is turning a surmountable advantage into an insurmountable advantage. If I am in a Kingdom, or Duchy, or County and I want to be a swordsmith. Then someone else in my Kingdom or Duchy or County purchases a legendary sword blueprint / research. There is no longer any point for me to be a swordsmith because I will not be able to compete with that person, at all. Why come buy my crummy swords when that guy can not only create crummy swords but can also create legendary ones? So now I need to switch gears and I go with armorsmithing.... because why not. Oh look.... someone else in my group purchased a legendary armor blueprint, well crap. Etc and so forth.

It was my expectation of this game that to get higher quality things, and to progress in research would take player skill. With the latest plans for the EP store we flipped that on its head and said that not only will the people with the most money have the most influence / assets available to them when they get in game, but now they will have further access to rare / high quality materials, buildings, research and the like that make them completely insurmountable for a year possibly two years. If the EP store stays as it is, I can not blame anyone for not wanting to be on the same server as Vornair or Ghettomaster. We have all of the potential to grab up the majority of these high quality / rarity cash grabs from the EP store (sorry Caspian I can't see it as anything other than that at this current moment), and snowball all of those insurmountable advantages to be head and shoulders above any other community on our server. I think that is a very poor outlook for those servers, and I hope that the development team can see that moving forward.

Yes, we realize that the game is not meant to be balanced its meant to be a simulation, and in the real world some people are born in the US and some are born in Djibouti. However, simulationist game or not, it is a game and people are all subject to competition. The devs have said themselves that every facet of this game is PvP you against other players. You want to farm your farm is competing with other farms, you want to smith you are competing against other smiths, you want to engage in officially sanctioned PvP you are competing against other official military powers. That means this game is competitive, I would highly encourage that the team decide that that they can not give an advantage paid for in cash an insurmountable edge thus killing that competition. The "it can be taken from you" argument gets invalidated by the amount of advantage it gives being so valuable that it is now required for a community to rally around that advantage and protect it so that the community benefits from said insurmountable advantage. "it can be taken from you" arguments only work when / if the advantage you are being given is reasonably surmountable.

Anywho, I kind of wrote a novel there. I feel strongly about the subject. Anyone who watched the latest episode of the town crier can see our opinions on it fairly clearly. I am hoping that even the champions of SBS's message / vision (which I consider myself to be) can take a pause and understand the ramifications of this version of the EP store coming to fruition. Not just from a competition in game standpoint, but also how many players are going to turn away from this game now. How many people did we just kick in the arse away from this game because they now feel like they cant afford to be competitive and achieve their dreams / win condition for this game simply because they didnt have enough money. "I can never take Adam's crown because he has far to much monies and everyone will rally around that monies to gain all of the advantages they can bring to bear, thus uniting them around that player's wallet even more so than before. My win condition will never happen now so I guess I'll just call it a quits pack up my bags and move on to the next thing." . Surmountable vs Insurmountable. If you think that isnt a discussion that is happening all over the community right now, not just regarding Vornair (which even before now people have been looking at Vornair in that light but again, difference in surmountable vs insurmountable) but regarding any community that has deep pockets in this game or any one who has deeper pockets than you in this game but has the same win condition as you... These conversations are happening, and they are hurtful to this game in my honest opinion. Other companies are capitalizing on it in order to capture a bigger portion of the market share. This is a big deal, we as a community need to realize it, then decide what... if anything, we are going to do about it.

Personally, my suggestion to the community and studio, in the best interests of the game, is to remove any plans / ideas to offer higher quality / rarity items from your EP store pipeline. Those items should be gotten through player skill and work in game, not through how big my wallet is. Leave only things in the EP store that are build able / acquirable within the first month of the game. If I as someone who has spent nothing on EP in the game cant build or start building one of these buildings / items / gather x y z that is available on the store within the first month of launch then you are giving to much of an advantage to that wallet.

From a marketing standpoint to do anything else is to absolutely invite people to look at your game as hugely P2W, which it always has been to an extent but it was surmountable so I accepted the explanation of the studio. Pushing that scale of P2W to insurmountable will not bode well for this game in the current market. The amount of people who have been completely screwed by games going P2W in the past has left a horrid taste in all of our mouths, to the point where this is marketing suicide in this industry.

Additionally the marketing folly that comes back into play is that with limited time rare / high quality items on the store and the ability to gift them, you just asked for a grey market RMT to be set up. We have dealt with fall out regarding this multiple times now, the answer from the devs was that we would create mechanics in the game that deter any point or any gains to be made by RMT, then upon the announcement of what will be available in the EP store the studio literally made the biggest, easiest case for someone to set up a RMT site and make great gains on it. There are only 10 of this item on the store, thanks I'll buy them all and sell them back to the community for 10x the price I paid. Oh and while I am at it I will keep at least one of each of the high quality / rarity research plans so that in the long term I can sell copies of these high quality / rarity items that I am producing in game just to keep money coming my way. It is an RMT site's wet dream, not mechanics that would deter / devalue any use of RMT.

Again, rant over, but these are legitimate concerns that can no longer be answered with a simple "But they can be taken from you." My answer to that is, if things stay this way, good luck trying to take any of the advantages away from a group like mine. I can confidently say that these advantages in the hands of my group will equate to a completely insurmountable Kingdom in literally any and every aspect that we choose to go with. If that is a problem with me, it should be a problem with you too.

Thanks.

TL-DR

And for you folks who use the argument that we dont know exactly what the items do yet so hold your horses.

The root of the issue is this: From the outside (those who havent backed CoE yet, the MMO market perspective) looking in they see something that you are paying 100x more for, either needs to give a level of advantage / value associated with it. Thus Pay to Win. or the only other alternative is that you are paying 100x for something that doesn't give any additional advantage and is more of an aesthetic thing in which case the studio is making a cash grab.

There is no inbetween from the outside looking in. The mechanics of the EP store as they have described them can only be way to far down the realm of P2W or they are making a cash grab. Either way is absolutely terrible for PR / Marketing.

I prefer to believe that this isn't a cash grab, as the studio has told us multiple times that they do not need any additional funding from the community. Therefore its better in the long run for the actual case to be that perhaps the Studio didnt realize or see how far that advantage can be pushed in the right hands, or that they didnt realize the impact those advantages being available would have on the community. Or that it doesnt really give you that advantage and is all for story, however thats not what the market sees.

Now I will also admit it is possible, being a member of this community who is familiar with the Studio, that the studio literally just thought these were cool things to offer to the community and didnt think about how it would be auto assumed that a 100x price means a 100x yield / benefit. Or that it would be assumed that a 100x benefit is clearly a huge overwhelming / insurmountable advantage. Or perhaps the extra cost is associated with just limiting these high quality resources and the like, however due to lack of information there is absolutely nothing we can do but speculate. However, I would hope that everyone here can see that regardless of the intent from the studio this has ramifications in the market and from a PR standpoint that is absolutely concerning to us as a community.

More Clarification

(From page 14)

Nope no King tier information drop. This post as I said before, is me putting together the concerns of 300+ people who have private messaged me 4000+ times over the last week with these exact concerns regarding the EP store.

As a community leader it is my job to represent them and ensure that their concerns are being seen by the Studio.

It is kinda interesting how some people on this post are focusing so closely on semantics instead of looking at the core issue. Which is from the outside looking in the current model for CoE is P2W and continues to move further down the path of P2W. That the current iteration of the EP store, with information currently available looks to give even more advantage to the people with large pockets in the game. Not only can I buy 2 Kingdoms I can buy even more advantages to bundle up to a completely insurmountable community. So not only can I put a strangle hold on the politics facet, I can put the same level of strangle hold on the various industries, religion, culture, military, etc, etc, etc. Just because of how deep my pockets are. That is the concern of the community from the outside looking in, which I have raised here.

Again, personally if the EP store stays as is its not going to push me or my community away from SBS, heck we benefit the most from it. However, the core issue has nothing to do with the current backers of the game and everything to do with how this game is received by the rest of the market and what impact that will have on CoE in the long term. This is a marketing / PR issue, more so than a mechanical issue as many of you have already pointed out that we dont know the specific mechanics. However, what we do know is that this is turning people (lots of people) off from CoE. In this phase of development that is a domino effect.

Other Information

I highly encourage you all to also read this post as it is extremely valid for the folks internal to the community to calming peoples fears. It could help with the outsider's perspective, however, a typical outsider isnt looking at our forums they are looking at officially released information directly from the devs.

Views on EP from a freeloader


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5/15/2017 5:45:29 PM #1
+8

absolutely positively agree - stop the P2W before it starts

5/15/2017 5:48:53 PM #2
-4

I also do support this. They could also make it random so that ppl who spent more money will have a better percentage to get rare or even legendary stuff but ppl who spent less will also have the chance but at a slighlty lower percentage.


5/15/2017 5:51:56 PM #3
+12

100% agree, thanks for posting. This has potential to get really out of hand really fast.


5/15/2017 5:57:22 PM #4
+5

I indeed just finished the Town cryer eposode in question and to a extent i agree that things rare and above should not be sold on the store,

rare crops from a biome is somthing that could be found in the game if u look hard enought so i feel this is ok.

Legendary walls or temples not so much.

but i do feel the idea that some land has more value then others is correct.

so why i cant say i reacted with as much outcry as some that legendry items be for sale i do agree they should be a ingame thing not a pay to get thing.

paying to setup a town is 1 thing paying to have a Mithril Set of armor is quite another thing.

so standardise stuff to be of ether common uncommon and maybe Fine quality then leave it at that.

just dont set limits to how much land we can buy or how many tools or buildings we can buy and i think every one will be fine. specially those like adam and getto who have more EP then any one in server and well would hate them not to be able to spend it.


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5/15/2017 6:04:38 PM #5
+14

(Reposted from original thread)

I have to disagree with my good King on what these additional rare items represent. Let me emphasize my thesis:

Legendary items need to exist in the world, and they are better off in PC hands than NPC Hands; selling them with EP has no greater impact than selling rare noble titles.

Have some bullets:

  • A flat, gray, evenly distributed world does not present inherent challenge or interest.
  • NPCs are frankly no challenge at all to a half-dedicated group of players. Anything they own will be owned by the most active players in short order. Placing NPCs in important positions or holding important items doesn't solve anything.
  • Technology can be stolen just like anything else. The advantage is easily surmountable. Even seeing the product of enhanced technology should be enough to get other players on the path to creating it.
  • A rare item is only as effective as the player wielding it. Just because a player buys up a pile of rare trinkets and epic walls doesn't mean they'll be able to keep either.
  • The cost of these legendary items is immense. That is a true hurdle that ensures these items stay rare.
  • People have to weigh two costs to participate in this game, either an opportunity cost via time spent playing or a financial cost via dollars spent seeding the world.
  • On one hand, the $$ route leads to quick advancement for a very limited window. On the other hand, time in game will inevitably overcome any early established advantage precisely because the world is not an even gradient. Opportunity will be widely spread and come at a variety of risks and rewards.
  • All of this leads to more enriching gameplay over time, not less.
  • Look at all the highly visible wealthy backers. There are a handful of them. Everyone knows who they are and where they live.
  • Now look at all the potential players, hungry to gain fame and fortune. Thousands upon thousands of them.
  • Look back at those highly visible wealthy backers, again. Look tasty, don't they?

Bon appétit!


5/15/2017 6:12:23 PM #6
+24

I agree with this to, the fact you want a pre-built game that felt to the players joining like it has been their for hundreds of years is one thing.

But buying magical object, legendary buildings and such feel unfair. Apart from the fact it gives an advantage to those with important financial meanings it also remove a big part of the game. The interest of many lies in the feeling of accomplishment for being the first to craft an object, to build a legendary monument, to be the first adventurer to find a magical sword in the wild, the first tamer to bring back a Griffon...

I understand that maybe some people bought way to much EPs and to balance it off, selling objects at crazy rates, could have seemed the only solution to get rid of some ridiculous EP amounts. Because you still want people with the basic pledge to be able to buy what they need and not highly increase the general prices.

I don't say I have in mind an elegant solution but I'm sure that one could be found.


5/15/2017 6:13:18 PM #7
+6

Posted By Adam Burrfoot at 1:43 PM - Mon May 15 2017

Personally, my suggestion to the community and studio, in the best interests of the game, is to remove any plans / ideas to offer higher quality / rarity items from your EP store pipeline. Those items should be gotten through player skill and work in game, not through how big my wallet is. Leave only things in the EP store that are build able / acquirable within the first month of the game. If I as someone who has spent nothing on EP in the game cant build or start building one of these buildings / items / gather x y z that is available on the store within the first month of launch then you are giving to much of an advantage to that wallet.

100% agree. I still would like for siege gear to be removed or restricted in some way too.


5/15/2017 6:13:52 PM #8
+6

@Bombastus

i have no issues with players taking a legendary item off a NPC that is infact reward for there adventuring. they had to track down the npc that had it and kill them to get it after all.

asking to reduce the store to below rare level is a reasonable compromise considering the community sentiment.


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5/15/2017 6:14:02 PM #9
+3

Posted By Raziel at 11:12 AM - Mon May 15 2017

I agree with this to, the fact you want a pre-built game that felt to the players joining like it has been their for hundreds of years is one thing.

But buying magical object, legendary buildings and such feel unfair. Apart from the fact it gives an advantage to those with financial meanings it also remove a bug part of the game. The interest of many lies in the feeling of accomplishment for being the first to craft an object, to build a legendary monument, for. Ring the first adventurer to find a magical sword in the wild, the first tamer to bring back a Griffon...

I understand that maybe some people bought way to much EPs and to balance it off, selling objects at crazy rates, could have seemed the only solution to get rid of some ridiculous EP amounts. Because you still want people with the basic pledge to be able to buy what they need and not highly increase the general prices.

I don't say I have in mind an elegant solution but I'm sure that one could be found.

How can you be the "first to craft a legendary object" in a world thousands of years old?

And how does it "remove a bug (sic) part of the game"? Those items wouldn't be in the game if a player hadn't put them there.


5/15/2017 6:18:11 PM #10
+7

i agree here, i think rare items could be bought perhaps but still you are taking a gamble there. But above rare should be only discovered in game. this sentence ''If your character cuts a Master Emerald, worthy of sitting on the crown of the King, it's because your own nimble fingers made it happen.'' always stuck with me when reading about this game. But now this sentence does not realy count for me anymore.

altho this sentence is about jewelry it might has well been about a sword made for the king. and then the sentence could be just as well ''If your character creates a sword worthy to be wielded by the king, its because you bought the blueprints and not figured it our yourself'' kinda sad for the people that planned to learn themself everything and become one of the best blackmsiths ever.

Beeing able to buy rare blueprints wont effect the world that much but above it will. and it shouldnt.


House Storm, part of Kingdom of Nirath

5/15/2017 6:19:42 PM #11
+2

What about "if your player has access to a blueprint of legendary quality it is because it has been passed down in your family for ages"?


5/15/2017 6:21:49 PM #12
+7

Just to present both arguments i thought of reposting this here.

Posted By Hludowig at 06:16 AM - Sat May 13 2017

Here are my two cents.

First, the items of the EP store will have different values so a "legendary forge" in terms of quality and rarity, will be something difficult to obtain. Based on their value, these are things that are thought for kings and nobles.

This is because, based on rarity, there will be a limit to the number of "ultra rare legendary forges". So, if you buy one of the three "ultra legendary forges" in the store for your village, there will be a king out there without said forge that would search it.

And i assure you that, if you use it without restraint, the king will found you.

You will be a target for everyone who wants the "ultra rare legendary forge".

Another thing to note, is that the store will close after exposition. So, it is, as Caspian wrote, a "Pay to Build" approach. They want that stuff in the game. Is more likely that, based on value, the backers with the higher tiers will obtain said stuff.

If a lone wolf or a small independent city obtain such items, it will be difficult for said player or group of players to protect it.

I would say that, the finite properties of the "overpowered stuff that you can't allow to buy" will help balance things. Is the same philosophy that CoE have follow from the beginning. The players can be overpowered, but they will have to fight against everyone else.

We also have technology advancement. A "ultra rare legendary forge" from the store now could be outdated in the future. Or, even if thats not the case, it could be unusable at the first stages of the game.

Imagine that the "ultra fantastic legendary forge" is a relic from the "gods" and, in order to use it, it will be necessary to have a certain level of technology. If a small settlement obtain it instead of a kingdom, they will find that the item is useless in the early stages of the game.

Imagine a car in a medieval world without gasoline. Pretty useless.

Some limitations that i introduced in this post could, perhaps, be interesting to treat the issue.

Anyway, i think we don't have enough information yet about how are the "legendary and mystical" items or what limitations they could have attached.


5/15/2017 6:23:54 PM #13
+9

You make a interesting set of points Bombastus, here is my counter-argument:

  1. A flat, grey, evenly distributed world is inherently challenging and interesting. As players, groups, and nobility enters the game, it gives a relatively even playing field for all players to immediately start competing against one another.
  2. Having NPC's with legendary items is not a problem, as it yet encourages competition between players right away to obtain said items, instead of one player simply having the item.
  3. Technology certainly can be stolen, but just because it can be stolen doesn't mean the academic/militaristic success that technology granted that group can be stolen. These items/kits can and will be the tipping point that causes victories and discoveries. Stealing the tech just puts you on an even playing field, it does not remove the advantage that was bought with real world cash.
  4. Rare items are indeed only as good as the player using them, and as such the items should be won through competition in game play so that the player that receives them already has proven themselves. Your point about NPC's being trivial targets contradicts your point here: wallet warriors with no skill does not provide interesting gameplay or challenges.
  5. It does seem the items are expensive enough they will seem relatively rare. I'm in agreement with you on this point.
  6. The theme has been allowing players to spend money, or time. This EP update does follow that, however it is also a theme in CoE to go with what makes the best story. Presumably, those who have a lot of money have money because they spend time working. This means that on average they won't be as active or online as often as players that have time to spend but not money - meaning that the items may not end up making as many interesting stories.
  7. This point doesn't work out, because before even the game starts, within KoE, the MUD, and even already, the world is not a gradient. Even if it were a gradient, it would cease to be so the moment players entered the game due to competition and conflict.

This is a very interesting discussion, and implore each player to consider the effects of the current EP store and be vocal with points or counter-points in favor or against it. As the king of Vornair mentioned, this will have a significant marketing impact on CoE.


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5/15/2017 6:24:22 PM #14
+1

Posted By Bombastus at 04:19 AM - Tue May 16 2017

What about "if your player has access to a blueprint of legendary quality it is because it has been passed down in your family for ages"?

i do see your point but this should be more of a unknown thing you learn from your father or mother on the deathbed...

so something u get if u are in your family's will...

people like to feel special when they make a epic weapon or armor... they dont wish to feel cheated by seeing people can buy them in ep store for cheap...

i say let them feel special and leave a little more magic for in the game. it is what attracts us about the game after all the things we can do ingame.


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5/15/2017 6:26:50 PM #15
-3

Have to agree with Bombastus


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