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To profit or not to profit, that is the question

Discussion in 'EA Land/The Sims Online Stratics Forums' started by Guest, Jan 12, 2008.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    So as not to completely derail the "Just a thought" thread about skill objects giving kickbacks and to expand on the discussion a bit more, I've started this thread.

    It’s been suggested that only those living in the money or store category in game should expect to make a profit. Those living in other categories should be able to cover their costs, but over and above that they should go to a money lot to earn their money.

    Money lot=earn money
    Skill lot=earn skills
    Entertainment lot=entertain people(without earning money)
    Etc. Etc. Etc.

    Back in March Luc asked us

    “Today we were looking at all the jobs (like real jobs) that users might want to do in the new city. Our goal is to find what might be missing from the game to help any of those jobs to work better. Let me give you a simple example of what we mean: some users are really good at creating houses for others, and can be rewarded, or paid for it. That job could help our future economy”

    I’m pretty sure he wasn’t asking to come up with ideas for new job tracks, he was asking how people can earn a “sim living” in TSO and what features would they need to add to help this. In another post he talked about not being able to delete or sell back items with a view to creating a kind of junkyard/salvaging business.

    Custom Content is obviously one of the main features that will allow people to make money in game.

    In an environment where people can buy and sell back excess simoleans and effectively make RL money from the time they spend in game, in an environment where enterprise is being encouraged by the developers, should we still expect to “get everything for nothing – or next to nothing”. Should we expect others to provide places for us to spend time at at their own cost with little contribution from ourselves?

    If someone opens an entertainment lot – it’s usually a place for others to go to party – to hang out and dance on the dancefloor. The owner isn’t necessarily "the entertainer" – they’re the person who has invested time and effort into building a property, buying all the equipment necessary and opening it. As in RL bars and clubs don’t open simply to entertain us – they do so with a view to making a profit.

    Its often been said that in the future we'll be able to own more then one lot. In a world where we can live in a private residential lot and still have a nightclub as our "business", will we be doing so with a view to making a profit?

    Should we expect skill houses to be there just to enable us to skill? Should we expect skill lot roomies, who work just as hard as those living on a money lot who both spend a lot of time hosting and keeping the property open for us to visit, do so out of the kindness of their hearts? Or should we expect them to host in between working a sim job or visiting a money lot so that they can earn money to buy better items for us to use when we visit their lot?

    Just because "we" go to a skill lot to gain skill, does not mean the owners/roomies run it in order to gain their own skills - anyone that has been on a skill lot with one roomie and 35 guests, will know that the roomie spends very little time actually skilliing and most of the time looking after the guests. Some would call it a full time job ! Why is it then, that these sims shouldn't be able to make money or turn a profit for the service they are providing?

    It costs a lot to buy, expand, furnish and maintain a property. Previously property and sim bonuses were seen by many as a fair payment to those that spend the majority of their time keeping their lot opens. Sometimes it covered the cost of always preparing food and repairing items, sometimes it didn't.

    In the brave new world and with little starting funds, will you still want to provide these services for nothing but the cost of food? Are you thinking of charging a cover fee to enter your disco or your gym?

    Will you still expect to receive these services for nothing? Would you pay to visit an entertainment or a skill lot? If not, why not?

  2. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Thanks for the separate topic Polly [​IMG]

    For me the issue is complex, and at some of the things you asked I'd go "Yes, I'd agree" whether I'd thought about it that way or not, but others I'd go "HELL NO"....so formulating my answer is gonna require Notepad, but I wanted to post now so nobody would think I was ducking the issue.

    Yes KIR, I'll be making another 'book' post, but this original post here was that length, so the response is deserving of the same time and thought that Polly obviously put into this [​IMG]

    Will post tomorrow early afternoon (cuz won't be on in the morning) at the latest with my full thoughts and response....maybe this afternoon if I have enough time to formulate it after doing the things that have to be done before hubby takes the puter tonight [​IMG]
  3. Keep It Real

    Keep It Real Guest

    Ok, I'll wait for the book to come out. Can I have a signed copy of the first printing? [​IMG]
  4. Guest

    Guest Guest

    You make some excellent points Polly.

    I always thought we should expect to make a profit by providing a service of any kind in game. Unfortunately back in the day other players decided that bonuses made it worthwhile to provide services for free. Back in beta it was pretty normal to pay for buffet. I remember the first time I saw a house that had a pay door for food. Players totally freaked out on the guy for having the nerve to charge for HC. When we first got the shaman job players with the right skill charged for services. But that didnt last long. We got totally spoiled on free food and other services. The fact is players were rich enough to not charge for things since forever.

    We wont be in EA Land, at least not right away. Players will stock up on full fridges and buffets for the merge. Pre merge folks might charge for services, once they start tho all bets are off. Will they pull out those full buffets and offer free food or will they charge so they wont be so broke in EA Land. Many players will merge with high skills, will they charge for reviving?

    One thing is certain we cant force anyone to play differently if they choose not to. If given the choice players will gravitate to payouts and free services every day of the week. I dont know if its possibe to change this mindset after 5 years. Like we discussed in the other thread the rules have changed, the question is will we still try to make the old ways work? Will players buy simoleans so they can still offer payouts and free food? We know they will, they've been doing it for years.

    So how can things be changed at this point in time? I'm not convinced they can be. It will be interesting to watch at any rate. No matter what the little guy who tries to charge for things will be swallowed up by the big guy who offers free services. The solution would be if everyone charged some fee, but of course we cant make them do it.

    As I was writing this I had a thought. What if EA gave us the ability to put an entry fee on the house. Before landing a box could pop up saying the cover charge for this house is $10 do you still want to go there? I would love to see a day when instead of popular houses offering free services, they can actually charge more to get in. So the little guy trying to get ahead could offer say $5 but the house thats always full and getting IM's asking for a jumper could charge $20. If folks want to go there bad enough they will pay it. To expand this a bit further, someone had suggested the owner have the ability to limit the guests to less then 35. How about if we could charge for tiers. So $5 for 1-10 guests, $10 for 10-20, $15 for 20-30 and $20 for 30+. This would make it worth the hosts time to offer services to bigger groups. If this were possible would people use it? Maybe I'll write it up for the wiki.

    I like this topic Polly thanks. [​IMG]
  5. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Now that there is no bonus for being at the top of the category, one has to wonder why anyone would want to actually spend their rl money to buy simoleans to give them away as payouts, but I'm sure some will.

    I love the idea of a cover charge being set that way - it would make it much easier for those that wanted to charge a flat fee for entering. Of course some will opt out of paying before they arrive, just in case they don't like what they see when they get there - or arrive to find just a bunch of boxes and traffic cones all over the place !! Hmmm yeah, nice little money earner !!

    Players could still use pay doors to enter certain areas of a lot, that way you can see what is there before you pay. I remember when times were hard in Dragons Cove, someone getting a morrocan bed and getting ppl to pay to use the one good greening item they had on the lot as a way of recouping their money.

    Also thinking about it, if everywhere set a cover fee then the poor new players/free account players wouldn't be able to visit as they start with nothing. We can tell them to go to a money house to earn some money, but we all know that you earn more money with skills and you're supposed to start skilling before you make money.

    Like you say it will be very interesting to see how the new world evolves.


    edited to add:


    Many players will merge with high skills, will they charge for reviving?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Great sideline, hanging about at the front door of the factory waiting for workers to die. Charge a nominal fee, revive them, serenade and hustle them green so they can go back in at continue work at the next shift !
  6. Guest

    Guest Guest


    Great sideline, hanging about at the front door of the factory waiting for workers to die. Charge a nominal fee, revive them, serenade and hustle them green so they can go back in at continue work at the next shift !

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Great idea!
  7. Guest

    Guest Guest


    Also thinking about it, if everywhere set a cover fee then the poor new players/free account players wouldn't be able to visit as they start with nothing. We can tell them to go to a money house to earn some money, but we all know that you earn more money with skills and you're supposed to start skilling before you make money.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I haven't formulated my full response to the original post, but this is a good point that doesn't require as much time to respond to. [​IMG] Also, free players as I understand it won't be able to earn money *at all* unless that's been changed, other than buying it for RL cash from EA, so even if they took time to skill before entering the 'fun' places, they couldn't use those skills to make money.....which is why I've always wondered why that would even be put on free players at all. I can understand not being able to earn money *as fast* as premium players, and receiving no weekly bonus, but not being able to earn money IG at all seems a bit extreme to me, so I really hope this has been changed. I admit to not taking time to read the TSO-E blog since I've returned from my comp failure, I've only been able to be here besides catching up on all the other stuff that went undone in that 3-4 week period, so if this has been addressed there, then I did indeed miss it.
  8. I believe anyone that opens a house that is not in a residential catagory builds and creates what they think will become a business venture. I expect 90% of the new players that open a service lot believe they can create a resturant and actually attract paying customers to their diners. How many times have you met someone building a hotel and wanting to charge guests to sleep?

    There are players that just want to host a house and have it full all the time in order to meet lots of new people. Two years ago I investigated payout money houses and found many that owned them did purchase simoleans for the sole purpose of maintaining a high level of traffic thru their place because they simply enjoyed it.

    In those days there was no cash out feature for many though. You have to wonder how many people will be interested in squandering those simoleans that could add up to real cash if they earned and cashed out instead of paying out all the time. When 1k of meals served for free is costing you a real life dollar you could be cashing out, will you still be paying for all those meals for the free loaders?

    I like the idea of a cover charge to get in a place only if it has already reached a certain number of people in house. Perhaps the first 18 are free then a cover charge from 18-35. This would help spread out the money conscience players to other places and still allow the crowd seekers a way to pay to be in the crowds and lag. If someone with many accounts fills their house up with 18 just to attract the door pay, many will figure out real soon that an afk house full of 18 is not nearly as fun as meeting 12 real people in a smaller atmosphere.
  9. Guest

    Guest Guest


    If someone with many accounts fills their house up with 18 just to attract the door pay, many will figure out real soon that an afk house full of 18 is not nearly as fun as meeting 12 real people in a smaller atmosphere

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Some people will, but I fear that many more people will have the same attitude they do now.....they don't care whether the owner is semi-afk all the time or not, as long as he puts food out. If I'm going to pay a skill house owner/roomie enough that he turns a profit from my being there, then I want to know that he actually IS there, as in actively interacting with guests, checking in regularly to make sure room scores in skilling areas are good, doing serenades in whatever intervals they need to be done in....etc. That's real hosting and should be rewarded. My main beef with allowing skill house owners across the board to make this profit is that some of them think that they've earned it just because they open their house and put a sign on the house bio or in the front entrance where you can't miss it saying "I'm afk doing other things, so if you really need my attention be sure to PM" and then when you do PM their que is full because they haven't answered the first 3 people who asked them a question or requested something 30-45 MINUTES AGO (meaning they are obviously overriding timeout somehow). Yes, *I* can boycott those houses, and encourage others to do so, but if enough people had that mindset that hosting is actually hosting, then players wouldn't still be doing those practices because they'd find themselves with no guests.....just like AFK store owners would find themselves with a lot full of inventory not being sold because people are fed up. Some are fed up, but not enough to stop it obviously or it wouldn't still be going on in the epidemic fashion that it is.

    That's why I'm such a fan of tip jars.....we can reward owners/roomies who REALLY do deserve it, and show the slackers that yeah we might use their house cuz its the only one open, but damned if they will get rich, turn a profit, or even break even. Might sound mean, but yeah I think those sims having to eat (no pun intended) the cost of that food because they decided to take the path of least resistance is just desserts. If someone did that in a RL job they'd be fired quicker than they could turn around.

    Hmm....that brings something else to mind that I might have to figure out how to formulate it well enough to make a Wiki page. Speaking of firing, what if there was a rating system visitors could give owners/roomies, and if your rating was at a certain level, and stayed there for a number of days or weeks, you'd be forced to change lot categories if it was the owner who had the low rating, or you'd be auto-kicked from the house and not allowed to live in another house in the same category for a set number of days, thus simulating the 'firing' aspect like it would be in RL. I know there's potential for abuse with it, like people who have personal beefs with someone just downrating their house not based on real reasons but because they got booted/banned for something that was actually justified by the roomie/owner to kick them for. I don't know how to safeguard against that, which is one reason I'm not ready to Wiki it yet. But if there was something like this in place, that would actually make hosts have to BE hosts instead of just basically door props to keep their house open, then I think we'd see a good weeding out of those who really are in it for the challenge of being the best host they can be, and those who are just in it for what they can get out of it.
  10. I didn't read most of this. Large blocks of type frighten me however, I am for keeping categories from bleeding into each other. I liked money lots and feel stores took over their area. If you wanted cash you had to buy/sell. I miss my gnomes.

    Whatever can be done to help the categories be useful in their own right would be a step towards rebuilding a game that can last.