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An alternative to the bot like measures to give us back our game play.

Discussion in 'EA Land/The Sims Online Stratics Forums' started by Guest, Apr 20, 2008.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    There has been a lot of discussion about the measures the devs are taking against bot like behaviour in our game.
    Although not all agree on what these measures will mean to the game, I think we all do agree that our game play will have to change to accommodate these measures.
    Different ways have been discussed on how a player will now have to go about buying things like properties, upsize properties and items for those properties.
    All of which involves going about it in stages or combining the efforts of multiple accounts.
    I think we all agree that unless you are willing to use the ATM, just forming a plan to reach our goals has become complicated to say the least.
    To buy a cheap property would take weeks for a single player to earn the required funds, or a combined effort of multiple accounts would be needed.
    To upsize that property would need to be done in stages by a single player or would take the combined efforts of multiple accounts.
    And no matter how anyone looks at it, furnishing that property would become a major headache.
    No items sold from stores will be able to contribute to our pools including custom content as they could then be used as an exploit.
    For these measures to work, only transactions that go directly back to EA can count towards our pools.
    Gaining funds towards buying items from stores can only be done at a rate of 500 per week per account and EA is not likely to make it much more than that.
    That makes furnishing our properties very difficult and affording expensive items like rares and islands even more difficult.
    I think we all need to understand why these measures are called for.
    We all do understand the need to stop botters from taking advantage of the cash out feature.
    We are all starting to understand that it is also necessary to stop bot like behaviour from taking advantage of cash out as well.
    What is not fully understood is the need to stop single players from doing the same.
    EA can simply not afford to give even single players the ability to be able to cash out more than EA can afford.
    When a player becomes comfortable with what they have in the game, that player can then cash out what ever EA lets them accumulate in extra funds they can make in the game.
    So a cap on our earnings capabilities has to be set at a very low rate, like the 500 they have implemented in TC3.
    No matter what any of us feel towards the cash out feature on if it is needed or not, the devs are determine to implement it into the game.
    Are they prepared to take the losses from the masses that will leave the game because of what they are doing to allow for it, I think they are because they feel they have to.

    There is however an alternative to what they have developed.
    One that will still enable EA to implement the cash out feature with the pool system they want in, but will also allow us to play the game much the way the game was designed to.
    By adding a few extra modifications we could all earn funds towards our goals in a very similar manner to what we are a custom to.
    The difference being to there present plan is that these funds could only be used for game play and not the cash out feature.

    This plan is very hard to explain in text and although using it in game would be very simple it sounds very complicated.
    I have done some art work of changes I feel could be made to different things in the game to allow these changes to work.
    Hopefully using the artwork to aid in explaining how it will work will give people a good understanding of how simple it will be to use.
    I have also spent considerable time finding possible exploits and what is needed to prevent them.

    This plan will involve using the pool and cap they have introduced in TC3 which is needed to restrict people from taking advantage of cash out.
    Each avatar will show 2 balances where the one balance is shown in our control panel.
    These funds I am referring to as Ecash and Gcash.

    [​IMG]


    <u>ECASH USES</u>

    Ecash is where the funds we earn from jobs and money objects will be added and is also the balance where funds from ATM cash in and cash out will be added or deducted.
    Ecash is transferable between players and can be transferred to the Gcash balance.
    Ecash can be used to purchase CC where the seller has marked the CC for Ecash sale only.
    Ecash cannot be used to purchase EA catalogue items from stores, to do so a player would need to transfer Ecash funds to Gcash.

    The pool restrictions will be used very similar to what they have implemented in TC3 to restrict the Ecash we can earn from jobs and money objects.
    The difference is here instead of the pool being replenished from what we spend on costs that go directly back to EA which is very little, the pool will be replenished by the amount we transfer to our Gcash balance.
    This will enable us to build our Gcash total without worrying about payout restrictions.



    <u>GCASH USES</u>

    Gcash is our game cash, it will be used much the same as we have used our in game funds as we have in the past.
    As there are no restrictions to what we can add to our Gcash totals it can continue to build to reach our goals.
    When funds are transferred to our Gcash totals from our Ecash totals that amount will contribute to our earnings pool, which will allow us to continue to build our Gcash totals without payout restrictions.
    Gcash is not transferable between avatars.
    Gcash is used to purchase properties, upgrade lot size, EA catalogue items from stores and CC marked by the seller for sale to Gcash only.
    Gcash cannot be used to cash out.
    Gcash is used to pay for all in game expenses such as gardeners, food and repairs.


    <u>TRANSFERRING FUNDS FROM ECASH TO GCASH.</u>

    When a player reaches there limit on their pool and payouts get restricted, they have the option to transfer funds to their Gcash balance.
    By doing so they add back to their pool and can earn maximum payouts again.
    To do so I have devised the following method, simply bring up the budget window to make your transfer.

    [​IMG]


    After transfer.
    [​IMG]


    <u>PURCHASING ITEMS</u>

    Not a lot of difference here when purchasing standard items, funds will be deducted from your Gcash amount when purchasing standard items.
    Purchasing custom content is slightly different as CC may be sold sold using either funds.
    A distinction will need to be implemented to show which is for sale with Gcash and Ecash. I think a simple color change in the popup would be viable.

    Gcash items.
    [​IMG]

    Ecash items.
    [​IMG]

    Gcash items purchase screen.
    [​IMG]

    Ecash items purchase screen.
    [​IMG]


    Allowing CC creators to sell to either funds will allow these people to gain real cash returns for their efforts, as is what EA wants to happen.
    It will also allow CC creators to supply CC to the game players who wish to by with their game cash funds if that's what they wish to do.
    If CC creators wish to sell an item for Gcash then their Gcash funds will be required to pay the upload fees.
    If CC creators wish to sell an item for Ecash then their Ecash funds will be required to pay the upload fees.


    <u>STORE ACTIVITIES AND TRANSACTIONS</u>

    Stores will be able to buy standard EA catalogue items using their Gcash funds only.
    The funds from the sale of standard EA catalogue items will go to their Gcash total.
    Which type of sale, "which funds will be used" for Custom content will be determined when it is uploaded.
    Custom content uploaded using Gcash to pay for fees will naturally be deducted from their Gcash funds, and funds from the sale will go to their Gcash total.
    Custom content uploaded using Ecash to pay for fees will naturally be deducted from their Gcash funds, and funds from the sale will go to their Ecash total.
    The maximum discount would be required to be no more than about 30%.


    <u>EXPLOITS</u>

    There are several measures that would need to be taken to avoid exploits.
    All items sold would have to have a cap applied.
    I would suggest here that the cap be the retail price as marked.
    The cap would reduce with the ware of the item.
    Custom content would also need a cap applied to both Gcash and Ecash items.
    Rares would also need to have a cap applied, which I think would be the hardest to address.


    <u>OTHER COSIDERATIONS</u>

    I think a system would need to be added to allow the sale of rares and properties for Ecash.
    However I think this should be implemented at a later stage.



    Please review things that you would do in the game and consider how you would be able to do the same using this system.
    Also look for possible exploits that I may have missed covering.
    I have spent a long time developing this and I only ask that you give it some serious consideration before you reply.

    Thank you for reading my very long post.
     
  2. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I gave this a quick read, and I promise to read it more thoroughly later. What I saw is fabulous, did you wiki it???
     
  3. Pkmn_knight

    Pkmn_knight Guest

    I demand you to wiki this, Also we could call the game money Simoleans still and the one that cashes out Ea Bucks, Couldn't we?
    The devs need to do this, what would the transfer rate of e and gcash be?
    Because i think 1 ecash to 2 gcash or 1 Ecash to 3Gcash would be fine.
     
  4. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    I gave this a quick read, and I promise to read it more thoroughly later. What I saw is fabulous, did you wiki it???

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I agree, if you haven't Wiki'd this, you should sometime today if at all possible. You've already formulated it in the correct format, all you'd have to do is fill out the Wiki page with the headings and all.

    This looks good to me, but as you said, complicated and I'm not certain that the code will allow something like this to be programmed in, or how much time it would take to code it in thus taking away from whatever plans they have set in motion on other things besides cashout.....amnesty for instance. Only the devs can tell us the answers to those questions, and/or give feedback on potential issues that they see that we might not see and gives the challenge of how to plug those holes as well. Without this being on the Wiki though, chances are it won't get seen by the devs before it gets lost in the shuffle of posts, so I really hope you get a chance to go over to that site and make a copy of this page there, since we know they read there on a much regular basis than here, and even respond alot. Over all....very good work with it!

    I've been wondering something myself as well. What if as a measure that wouldn't take any extra coding at all most likely except on the paypal page where we cash in (and presumably cash out, EA just limited the amount that we can cash out per month, regardless of how much we make. Say an amount that is equal to no more than $2.50 USD per premium subscription. In this way, EA is still assured $7.49 from each account per month at a minimum, and they can't lose money on it, and those who want to be millionaires in game and not cash out at all could. That too, I think would create a win/win situation, with the only drawback being that anybody who had the ambition of paying for their monthly subscriptions (breaking even) through cash out would not be able to, but it's plain to see that that's not gonna happen no matter what. I have heard alot more people complaining that they can't make enough money in game now than I have people complaining about their ambitions of paying for their subscriptions are now up in smoke. Those who really want to do that are probably already selling player to player now, undercutting the price that EA makes. In order to make my scenario work, it would have to be written into the ToS that undercutting EA's rates is considered to be theft of their property and is at least punishable by suspension or banning from the game, in addition to possibly criminal theft charges filed if the seller makes enough RL money off doing it to make it qualify as petty theft or grand theft.

    BiteMe if you'd like me to help you figure out how to get this idea over to the Wiki, send me a PM, I'll be on after noon EST. I won't transfer it all over there *for* you, but I'd be more than happy to help you figure out how to do it if you're not familiar with the Wiki format and the on-site tutorials don't help you. I can swap messenger IDs with you (I have all 3) and work with you on it this afternoon....just let me know [​IMG]
     
  5. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    I demand you to wiki this, Also we could call the game money Simoleans still and the one that cashes out Ea Bucks, Couldn't we?
    The devs need to do this, what would the transfer rate of e and gcash be?
    Because i think 1 ecash to 2 gcash or 1 Ecash to 3Gcash would be fine.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    It would have to be set up so that if you could transfer money from one type of account to the other that it could ONLY be Ecash to Gcash as its listed in BiteMe's example, but not vice versa. If you could transfer it either way, players could exploit it by making Gcash money without a cap and then transferring it to the Ecash balance. Also, I think that the rate for Ecash to Gcash should be 1:1 (though I realize this is not going to be popular but multiplying it by 2 or even 3 when making it Gcash would result in TOO much money coming into the system, creating the opposite of what we have now....inflation of prices again instead of a borderline recession/depression). There really isn't much reason that Gcash should have a higher value than Ecash....payouts are still going to be the same level of challenge to make as they were before this last couple of payout cuts, and I for one don't want to see things swing too far into the *boring/not challenging* spectrum and create more payout houses where those who don't wish to partake in those houses are forced to save up as long for rares as alot of people now are for *regular* items. Neither extreme is very good but I think that either scenario here, BiteMe's OP or the alternative that I threw out there if the devs say that this is uncodeable, or at least won't be able to be implemented within the next few months.

    I remember when one of the big updates that we got (was it talk of CC? I can't remember) the devs came to us and asked us if getting that big update meant 4-6 months with *no* other updates, would we still want it, and the overall response was a resounding yes. Something to ponder....what if the devs offer that same question with regards to this feature. If we KNEW something like this was codeable but the devs said they'd need months to exclusively work on it, would more people be willing to put up with the cap on a temporary basis without withdrawing their support to the devs and to the game by cancelling their subscriptions until it was implemented. The second part of that question.....would the few who have really closed their accounts (I say really because alot of times 20 people *say* they are gonna quit and take 3-4 accounts with them, when in reality only 10%-20% follow through on that threat) reopen them as a good faith measure to show EA that if they make this modification that you are back on board with them? You already know my answer to the first question, it is a definite <font color="blue">yes </font> but I have a suspicion that if EA doesn't think it will make a significant difference in their numbers that it might not be something that they want to invest the work hours in coding it up.
     
  6. Pkmn_knight

    Pkmn_knight Guest

    Why did you just attack me? I never said anything about Ecash to Gcash.
    And was just asking what the transfer rate would be, i was saying that double it would be fine, of course going higher would be to much and cause inflation.
    But remember they ammount would be for Gcash what can only be spent on game things. i think 1.5 would be a nice transfer rate though...
    I don't want Inflation or depression.
     
  7. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Thank you CB and Niki, it's late night here and I start my rl job very early so when I finish my morning shift I will definitely have a better look at the wiki and how to post on it. That will be about 12 hours from now.
    CB, I to thought about restricting what a player could cash out each month as you mentioned. I think I actually brought it up with Lee at one time, or was there when it was brought up.
    The problem there is that the main reason behind the cash out feature is to luer talented people into creating new content for the game, mainly in the way of coding brand new features like game in game.
    The more these people can make in real money for their efforts the more will take it on.
    From what I got from Lee that is a big part of there planning.
    If restrictions are placed on what can be cashed out each month then there would have to be some other way for these people to gain the sort of returns EA intends for them to be able to make.
    I'm not sure how that could be done.
    What I have tried to do is give these people a means of getting their returns by selling for Ecash.
    Players can still build their Ecash totals with the 500 contribution to the pools each week. And also by buying and selling CC if they don't want to make it themselves. If there were say 20,000 subscribers in the game then 10 million would be contributed to Ecash totals each week.
    On top of that there would be all of what is purchased through the ATM which goes into the Ecash totals as well.
    Even though a large lump of all that would be transferred to players Gcash totals, I think a large lump would also be used to purchase CC as well.
    Even with a player base as small as what we have now, there would be 10s of thousands of real dollars each month available to people wanting to make a living out of adding new content to this game.
    If you look at what the devs have been doing, and consider things they have said, I think that is what they trying to make available.
    And there I have done and still do praise the devs, in particular Lee, for what I believe to be a great plan.
    If they can pull this off then we will have a game where loads of new content is continually added.
    The trick is to keep as much of the old game in tact as possible keeping the player base they have now in tact.
     
  8. Pkmn_knight

    Pkmn_knight Guest

    I agree with you that the devs may have a plan, if they can pull it off. I don't doubt them, but i'm not trusting them either.

    Also i love your idea, i think it will help the game if implemented.
     
  9. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    Why did you just attack me?

    [/ QUOTE ]
    If you feel you've been attacked, please use the Notify Moderator button on the post and explain exactly what you feel is wrong.

    Otherwise, please do not accuse people of attacking you in the thread.
     
  10. Pkmn_knight

    Pkmn_knight Guest

    Why is over reacting to words, Don't worry about that. Just worry about trying to get the devs to read this on either wiki on forum.
     
  11. Oh my word, that is impressive.
     
  12. Purdy

    Purdy Guest

    So the ecash is the money that is going to be monitored and only when it can be verified that it was earned legit, only then can it be transferred to gcash.

    Maybe they need to set up a rl banking system. The gcash is going to be like a savings account or CD where you put money in for a certain amt of time and maybe earn interest.

    Since land is so expensive and hard to save for they can set up some type of mortgage system where we can buy land and make a percentage of what we earn to pay for it, plus add interest to it. This interest we pay on the mortgage pays the interest on the savings accts. Even make it so we can borrow money for other stuff and pay interest. Don't know how well the players will like paying interest but at least we would be able to buy the islands and other expensive lots that we want.
     
  13. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Great idea! I think you should just quit your rl job and devote yourself to coming up with more ideas like this for the game!! j/k!! [​IMG]

    Hopefully the devs will be able to implement this feature in the game. I think it would go a long way towards satisfying those who need/want to earn money to purchase big-money items. One of my favorite things to do in-game is to trash my house and rebuild it from the ground up. Obviously that's something I'm unable to do now with the dynamics of the game (payouts are too low and I get weary of trying to make enough for what I want to do).

    Thanks for putting so much thought and explaining how it works, including pictures, so we can understand.
     
  14. I'm still digesting your plan, (which deserves a standing ovation for the amount of serious thought you've given this issue!) and I have to say my self-interest is piqued by the idea that I might be able to reopen my casino if G money could be implemented. "Casino G-Whiz" [​IMG]
     
  15. jasminemoon

    jasminemoon Guest

    WOW!

    That is a great idea!!
    *standing ovation*

    A solution for both sides of the coin! Those of us that JUST want to play the game and could care less about the cash out and those that want to make some RL money for their CC!! Wow! And those of us inbetween!!

    I love it I love it I love it I love it!

    Now, I wonder if they will have the time and manpower to implement it..*sigh* and if they do you should get an award in game (like an original plaque for your lot) for coming up with something that works so well for everyone!

    Get it over to Wiki you SimWhiz!! *claps*

    Wiki, Wiki! (I've been wanting to do that; it sounds funny when you say it twice in a row really fast *lol*)
    Jasmine
     
  16. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    I'm still digesting your plan, (which deserves a standing ovation for the amount of serious thought you've given this issue!) and I have to say my self-interest is piqued by the idea that I might be able to reopen my casino if G money could be implemented. "Casino G-Whiz" [​IMG]

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I don't think that the casinos will ever be back in game Dali. It is against the law from what I am to understand that gambling is illegal, unless regulated. Which it would not be in this case.

    I personally never went to the casinos, was too busy building and tearing down and building again [​IMG]
     
  17. <blockquote><hr>

    <blockquote><hr>

    I'm still digesting your plan, (which deserves a standing ovation for the amount of serious thought you've given this issue!) and I have to say my self-interest is piqued by the idea that I might be able to reopen my casino if G money could be implemented. "Casino G-Whiz" [​IMG]

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I don't think that the casinos will ever be back in game Dali. It is against the law from what I am to understand that gambling is illegal, unless regulated. Which it would not be in this case.

    I personally never went to the casinos, was too busy building and tearing down and building again [​IMG]

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Casinos are only "illegal" because of the potential for the gaming wins to be converted to USD. (The US government has made it illegal for anyone to participate in online gambling.) We would still have the casino objects in game if the decision had not been made to make "cash out" an option.

    Each to his own taste as the old woman who kissed her cow said. Building was something I do only under duress and for necessity. Casinos, though, they were at the top of my list for what I enjoyed in game.
     
  18. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I like the pics also. Using the screens that have been in the game and never fully implemented, Great Job!

    Basically EA gives us a cap on sellable game money, the rest of our income goes to non-sellable game money. The bots cant sell more $ than EA allows them to sell.

    Great Idea and presentation!

    A design like this would not affect my gameplay in any way.

    ...Steals Katheryne's pom poms.. [pom pom]
     
  19. DGLita

    DGLita Guest

    Bravo Bravo!!! *applauds*

    This woudl solve so may issues in the game, and is the sort of thing we need to see to bring the game back to life.

    This is a great post, whereas so many posts are about the problems (mine included here) this is about solutions.

    PLease please WIki this, and someone, please drag a dev by the scruff of their neck over here, and force them to read it.

    Can I make 1 point, can you edit your original post and break the first section down into paragraphs. I almost didnt read it because I couldnt follow it with so many lines close together. I copied and pasted it into word and did just that so I could read it properly
     
  20. Good job, BiteMe. It's kludgy, but it would actually work. It's the first plan I've seen (besides mine, of course [​IMG]) that has a realistic way of combining money objects and jobs with cash-out. The idea of doing it by "balancing" the economy was delusional from the start.

    If I had one criticism off the top of my head, it would be that transferring funds around $500 at a time while you're in the middle of a robot shift or code session would get old fast. I'll have to look over the security issues in detail, too. Cash-out + money objects is inherently dangerous and makes me nervous. Anything we come up with has to be bulletproof. And robust, too. Something likes Carrie's idea of prohibiting people from undercutting EA's prices is not too good because of needing to be policed all the time.

    BTW, I thought *I* was CB, lol. Every time I see that, I'm thinking "Wut? I didn't say that."

    CherryBomb
     
  21. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Thank you Cherry, lol sorry about the CB thing.
    Yes the idea of cash out and money objects made me nervious to, right from the start.
    I think I have managed to cover all bases there though.
    Caps on the items sold to prevent people from using them to transfer funds is very important.
    They would also need to be careful of the size of the discount they offer stores on buying multiple items, the 60% they use now would be to much and would open a small door to exploiting the system.

    The amount a person can earn would be restricted by the pool size, not the 500.
    When a player transfers funds to replenish their pool they would likely transfer the full 3000, or what ever size the pool is made.
     
  22. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    ...I will definitely have a better look at the wiki and how to post on it.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    If you need any help let me know. [​IMG]
     
  23. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Posted in the wiki under economy.

    Thanx guys.
     
  24. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    BTW, I thought *I* was CB, lol. Every time I see that, I'm thinking "Wut? I didn't say that."

    CherryBomb

    [/ QUOTE ]



    Yeah, I thought of that myself, actually LOL. A few people add the 5 at the end, as in 'CB5', and others call me Carrie since that was my old signature. If there was a way to transfer post count I'd create an ID around the name in my sig now, but I don't think I could bear to start over in post count. [​IMG] Anybody can still call me Frenchee or Carrie when they want to as well.....in addition to all the other ones, since they'd be censored by our filter anyway [​IMG] [​IMG]