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[UO Herald] Producers Update - 9/3/10

Discussion in 'UHall' started by UO News, Sep 3, 2010.

  1. UO News

    UO News RSS Feed
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    The answer to the question of the ages will finally be answered: Pirates v. Ninjas … brought to you by Ultima Online.


    Subjects covered in this update:



    • The new booster pack and what the booster concept means for Ultima Online
    • The “Call to Arms” and new player myths …
    • The Town Hall


    More...
     
  2. Hildebrand

    Hildebrand Certifiable
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    Thanks Cal for giving an honest peek at what was and will be.
    Now I'm excited!
     
  3. Storm

    Storm UO Forum Moderator
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    Glad you clarified things. Many people where making assumptions that just were not true ! I to am Excited about the things to come!!
     
  4. puni666

    puni666 Slightly Crazed
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    -Also, while we are on the topic of PvP … the overarching goal of changes to the game are not to emphasize PvP. Changes we’ve made to the game … treasure maps, bard changes, and even earlier this year with improving Mysticism are about keeping Ultima Online open to whatever playstyle you choose.-

    Then why did you over emphasize with Mysticism in PvP if PvP wasn't the main reason for the Mysticism changes?
     
  5. Zodia

    Zodia Guest

    No update on how the Classic Shard decision is coming along?

    :sad2:
     
  6. Coldren

    Coldren Sage
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    They aren't doing one in the immediate future, or no plans to anyway.

    They are focusing everything on the booster pack.

    All about the bling, bling, ya know.
     
  7. Tazar

    Tazar Guest

    The have said over and over we'd hear about it at the end of the year...
     
  8. Zodia

    Zodia Guest

    Umm, everyone knows they aren't doing one in the immediate future, but Cal's last producer letter (3 weeks ago) said they were discussing the Classic Shard and they'd decide by the end of the year. Cal said on 8/13:

    I was wondering if Cal had any update on this Classic Shard "focus team", and what they have come up with in terms of options and features.
    Thousands of deactivated accounts are waiting patiently. :)
     
  9. Coldren

    Coldren Sage
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    I think that fits well within the parameters of "in the immediate future" or "no plans to", don't you?

    They haven't even decided if they're going to do one, and at that, they won't be saying until the end of the year if we're lucky. And after Cal's statement about being pulled into the office by Jeff after SA released, we know why he wasn't going to get to it this year... The plans for the boosters started then. You can be fairly sure they know what they're planning to do for the next one too.

    So.... So far..

    No plans, just discussion. Not any time soon, end of the year at best. Focusing on the booster, and future boosters (Money).

    Am I still inaccurate?
     
  10. Dermott of LS

    Dermott of LS UOEC Modder
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    ...

    Given that new development is focused on the High Seas booster and that you have general bug fixing and live content left in terms of team focus, I would think that it would be fairly obvious (or at least reasonably easy to read between the lines) that a Classic Shard is a ways down the list.

    I'm sure they are discussing it (in the same way they're discussing many things), but until something is announced, I don't think that asking the same question over and over again is going to get a different answer.

    Isn't there a popular definitions of a term that basically covers that?
     
  11. AesSedai

    AesSedai Guest

    - incessant inquisition?

    (just because I wanted to say: nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!)

    rapid reverberation

    (what I like to do re: cheating in UO, is what I'm reminded of by those that want Classic..)
     
  12. SixUnder

    SixUnder Legendary Assassin
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    hahaha

    when has anyone everbitched and moaned about boats? maybe the fishing skill but never boats.

    and i like how they say not focusing on the pvp aspect of felluca. please when is the last time you did anything for a murderer.

    useless.
     
  13. SixUnder

    SixUnder Legendary Assassin
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    thank you thank you thank you...its been changed twice now allready, spell plague needs a immedite nerf just the same as other instances in the past with other spells and or abilities.

    CAUSE ITS ALL ABOUT THE BENJAMINS AND THE TRAMMIES FOLKS:grouphug:
     
  14. Taylor

    Taylor Former Stratics CEO (2011-2014)
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    During the Town Hall last weekend, he said that there was still no movement toward creating a classic shard.
     
  15. TheBlackCobra

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    People have been asking for ships to be improved since uo.com hosted the official forums. It's been asked for on and off ever since. The forums were flooded with excited questions about it when the marketing survey about pirate content went around (prior to Mondain's Legacy).

    Possibly you haven't noticed this because it's not of interest to you (which is fair - everyone likes different things). I have to admit I recall seeing more posts asking for Forensics being buffed than asking for anything for reds, but reds don't interest me - so I don't read those posts.
     
  16. G.v.P

    G.v.P Stratics Legend
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    Why do people keep asking for a classic shard? Cal and the team have said countless times that it isn't a priority until a business model shows that it is profitable. UO needs to evolve, not devolve.

    What EA needs to do is make a new MMORPG based on the Dragon Age engine. Classic UO, like everything else, was a fleeting moment in time. It's over. On to the next one.

    I'm with Six on the top half. Since '99 I can't say I can remember a strong contingent asking for better ship movement. MIB loot and pirates and other stuff like that, yeah, but not movement. Shrugs. I used to be up on the Ideas Den religiously, and remember ideas for chariots and all kinds of stuff like that though.


    Anyway, Cal, thanks for slideshow and the extra notes :) was a great Town Hall!
     
  17. RaDian FlGith

    RaDian FlGith Babbling Loonie
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    Not that I wish to provide the Classic Sharders with any more ammo than they need, but they have said "at", "by", "around the", "before the" and "later this year."

    One can hardly fault them for Mythic's misuse of adverbs and modifiers.
     
  18. RaDian FlGith

    RaDian FlGith Babbling Loonie
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    Maybe you haven't, but that doesn't mean it hasn't happened. Personally, I'm going to go with, "Since about October 1997."
     
  19. Alvinho

    Alvinho Great Lakes Forever!
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    I honestly feel that we are being bull****ed, The booster is "updates to current items in game" with a few added items, Basically saying that if we want to play a part of the game smoothly, that boats should be a free "fix" to get rid of the tiled choppiness, they made the sailing smoother so to play a smooth game we must pay extra?

    Since these "Booster packs" are going to cost us to update the current content with little added content, the game should just go free to play with the booster packs unlocking the new content period, otherwise we will have to pay 15 dollars each time anything in the current game is "fixed to work properly" I think this booster pack idea sucks period, we pay to play this game and making the current content work correctly and calling it a booster pack is unreal and asinine.
     
  20. Alvinho

    Alvinho Great Lakes Forever!
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    what is a felluca? Do you mean Felucca?
     
  21. Lady Storm

    Lady Storm Crazed Zealot
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    If you read it carefully Cal said IF he had time and IF things worked out he would let you know before the year is out yes or no.
    Its quite plain, its not top priority but he is thinking of it.
    Give the man a break, as a boss he covers alot of territory and time is ...well not his friend and alot in Mythic is under his fingers.
    Yes I know you want it badly but so do hundreds of other players want things as well.
    Cal is doing his best in saying give me till end of the year to see if we can... I'll let you know no matter what the outcome is.
    To me that is plain english.

    I like the giggle of he and his team pilfering our ideas as their own for our benifit. It's good to see a Dev team so willing to listen to us. We are UO's think tank... just dont get too huffy if your idea gets shot down... Who better to give ideas but the people who play the game in the first place.
     
  22. Schuyler Bain

    Schuyler Bain Lore Master
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    They stated at the Town Hall last weekend that EVERYONE, purchasing the booster or not, will receive the upgraded boat movement. As I understand it it is an all or nothing upgrade to the core of the game.

    Just thought you should know...
     
  23. MalagAste

    MalagAste Belaern d'Zhaunil
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    What he said and maybe a whole bunch of you should go back and relisten to the Townhall and re-read the last letter from Cal.

    And I don't want to be picking up any pom poms or anything but good grief get over yourselves and quit the bitchy whinefest... because quite frankly it's pitiful and if I were them reading all this crap with your whining about classic shard this and classic shard that... I'd just say forget it... no classic shard ever and be done with all of that.

    And finally... the one thing I noticed. No mention of upcoming publish. No mention of 13th anniversary coming up... and no mention of my beloved favorite UO holiday that is quickly approaching was far more disturbing to me than not seeing anything about classic shards.

    So... without whining about when I'm going to hear about those things... I'm going to try to remain hopeful that I'll soon hear about them. Be thankful for the update on things I did hear about. And I'm going to be happy that I have a new booster to look forward too that's going to be something fun, new and exciting. Which I know is going to add not only to the RP experience but it'll add to the PvP experience.
     
  24. Coldren

    Coldren Sage
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    Because people WANT one? Not everyone agrees that you "evolved" in the right direction. We want an evolution on a different path.

    And well, there would be profit in it.. I guess the lackluster freeshards will keep taking that donation money while people play an inferior product to what EA could provide, if they chose to.

    Couldn't agree more. UO with the DA engine would be fantastic.

    There are quite a few popular freeshard UO servers that are classic. Just like there are classic DAoC servers that people play.

    Apparently a great many people like what there was, and find ways to keep it alive. If people want it, they'll find a way to do it, weather EA wants teh money or not.
     
  25. longshanks

    longshanks Guest

    screw the classic shard.

    i'd rather them allow a form of housing on seige.

    and get rid of faction gear on seige to boot.

    i think the new booster looks good. that champ with the lobster
    claw looks cool.
     
  26. Evlar

    Evlar Guest

    Personally, I've no faith whatsoever that there will ever be an "official" classic option. There's been enough discussion over recent years, that the developers were bound to react to it at some point. Fair play to them for doing so and looking at the potential options, but ultimately, it's not their call as to if the idea goes ahead or not. It's that of EA and the bean counters.

    I believe that with the "booster" concept rolled out for the three Mythic stabled MMO's, you've pretty much seen EA's take on things. Unless the same sort of "booster" concept can be some way built into a classic option, I don't think any business plan Cal and the team may present, will get very far. Even if they did manage to combine the concepts of "booster" and "classic" somehow (unless as a one-time, initial buy-in plus subscription), it wouldn't be classic if stuff was being changed every six months.

    The "booster" concept will undoubtedly generate additional revenue from the existing player-base, but I doubt that it will bring in many new or returning players. That doesn't necessarily mean the game will die out any quicker. It's a bit of a slap in the face for multiple account subscribers for sure, unless a very good discount scheme is offered, but I don't think it will cause a great exodus.

    More so, I see these "boosters" as a way to keep things ticking over and generate revenue from three games, which haven't been a resounding success in recent times and are realistically in steady, if slow, decline. They're not likely to pull the plug on them either, for the simple reason that it would send the wrong message out to prospective players of the new "flagship" Star Wars MMO.

    Also interesting, is that regardless of the fact that the classic discussion has probably drawn the most attention to UO of late, to Stratics (as the un-official "official" UO gathering point) and other forums, is that Stratics has pulled the sticky topics relating to "classic".

    Given Stratics is considered the main forum where people can interact with the developers these days and gather up-to-date information regarding UO in general, was that solely a Stratics decision, or were they asked to try to dampen "classic" interest? I'm not particularly one for conspiracy theories, but it does seem rather convenient that the "booster" concept is pushed out there, whilst at the same time, the "classic" sticky posts are un-stickied.

    Personally, I'm hoping that one suggestion that was presented a couple of weeks back is explored. This was to outsource the "classic" option, pretty much as the "new" NetDragon 3D UO version has been.

    In the meantime though, even if I was happy with "current" UO, I certainly wouldn't be happy with the "booster" concept, insofar as what it represents to current subscribers. Supporting the game is one thing, whilst being milked for your loyalty, is entirely something else.

    As it stands, it's not just because I prefer the idea of a classic option that I'm not currently subscribed to UO. Each new expansion, change to the game or the clients, have brought their own problems and flaws. None of those have been sufficiently balanced, completed, fixed or maintained to play as fully intended. Customer service has deteriorated, rather than improved, even though subscription prices increased to allegedly improve the "service".

    Simply put, I preferred the game before much of the current things were added. I have to wonder though, would I have liked them more, had they been implemented or properly finished in the first place?

    For their part, I don't think the current team can be apportioned much blame here. Clearly any team (and UO has seen many...) will have different views on how to do things. Indeed, this current team have brought many good things to UO, in the context of what they picked up to work with. Sadly, much of the problems I and other "classic" supporters have with the game, go beyond their efforts.

    Is it fair that we now ask this team to provide us with the Holy Grail* of a "classic" option? Probably not, but they are one of the first to acknowledge that there is indeed interest. Where it goes from here, is anyone's guess. But given the essence of what the "classic" option is really about, although the Mythic guys may be genuinely interested to explore the options, I just can't see it fitting into EA's grand scheme of things.

    *Consider the "classic" option, our shrubbery... ;)
     
  27. Cal_Mythic

    Cal_Mythic Guest


    On the 13th Anniversary we already have this planned. It was mentioned in the Town Hall :) SO yes on this ... !
     
  28. Llewen

    Llewen Grand Inquisitor
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    I did see/hear/read something about that. I think it might have been in the announcement at the Town Hall for the pirates booster pack. 13th anniversary was specifically mentioned (something about moving straight to 14 because they didn't like the number... j/k...).
     
  29. Dryzzid of Atlantic

    Dryzzid of Atlantic Journeyman
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    I think I like the concept of the Developers Team concentrating their efforts on currently active ingame systems than worrying about creating a devolved shard for jaded ex-players. I believe that is what the free shards are for.

    I like what I've read about the booster system. Breaking the game down, focusing on certain aspects, improving those aspects, and moving on to another game system. I want the stuff I see everyday ingame to be better. Every system in the game could use an update now and again.
     
  30. BajaElladan

    BajaElladan Certifiable
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    Hail Folks,

    I have played UO continuously since Sept of 1997 and have played Baja since it was added as a Shard. Over the years I added additional accounts, sometimes to accommodate a new character idea or concept, sometimes for housing, sometimes for both.

    Occasionally I have "adopted" a friends account rather than see it go dormant, hoping for the return of the friend.

    I liked least UO's early days of lag and "Felucca only felons." My play in number of hours per week and in enjoyment of every hour increased tremendously upon the creation of Trammel. I understand this is my experience, and not that of others, yet it is my belief far more continuing players share this view.

    While players have always, or I think almost always, had to pay for new "Expansions," I accepted this along with my monthly subscriber fees. Over time, in game content and aid was reduced as Seers, Counsellors, and Companions were eliminated and GM's responded less and less in character/person, and more and more with canned, often useless, responses.

    Though EA guards subscriber numbers like our government guards Fort Knox, I know of no player on any shard who believes the current number of players hasn't greatly declined. Likely, so has the number of Payers.

    Others have speculated that the "Booster Pack" concept is being adopted by EA to "milk" additional cash from current Players INSTEAD of a strategy to INCREASE subscribers and thereby increase EA revenue from subscription fees. I also share that view.

    My situation may be different from many, perhaps different from most, I don't know. But I can not afford to buy 2 or more booster packs per year, per my multiple accounts, while also maintaining my number of accounts.

    I disagree, on philosophy and principle, with EA's new approach. I am convinced this new approach will be "the beginning of UO's end" that many have been predicting for many years. UO has an aging player base. Fixed incomes, economic hard times, illness and death in real life, are all eating away at UO's players. Unless the loss of those players is offset by a steady infusion of new players, UO's eventual demise is guaranteed.

    I believe EA's management team is well aware of these realities. I believe that team has determined to draw as much cash from existing players as possible prior to UO becoming financially unsustainable.

    While I would like to be wrong, like to be proven wrong, and hope I am wrong, this IS what I currently believe.

    EA is clearly revealing that they either cannot, or will not, fix bugs, eliminate cheaters, and add content based only upon subscriber fees and sales of specialty items, tokens, and codes through their Stores. Multiple Booster Packs per year per account is the new business model they are adopting!!!

    I simply cannot afford to follow them down that road.

    To that end, for me I will close every account I do not deem essential to my play and enjoyment, and will likely see my content become Static where it is.

    I suspect far more than most realize, though EA's management may realize, will take similar action.

    This decision by EA saddens me, because I have from the launch of Ultima Online, believed it had the capacity to be endless, properly run and managed. Perhaps that was always a "pipedream," though I believed differently.

    These are my views on the current announcements by Cal and his team.

    I share them hoping they are wrong, and that someone will honestly answer them.

    Respectfully,

    Lord Elladan of Trinsic/Baja
     
  31. Evlar

    Evlar Guest

    That sadly will be a big problem BajaElladan.

    I suspect that the large majority of UO subscribers these days, have more than just the one account. Obviously I have no figures to prove this, but from my own experiences in game and on forums like this, most people I know of have at least two accounts. The fact that most shards seem well populated in housing, if not individually apparent players, is enough to suggest that's the case.

    At my own playing peak, I had four, which dwindled to two, then none. That's small change compared to some of you though, I know.

    The people I really feel sorry for, are those who still have lots of active accounts and characters they would want to use with the "booster", but are divided amongst those different accounts. I'm sure the decision to purchase multiple "boosters" will be a tough one for many of you.

    Indeed, were it not for people having more than one account, I really don't think the game would still be around after all this time. People observe the low population and it's true, the number of individuals has fallen a great deal from it's heyday. The fact remains though, that people having multiple accounts has probably kept the Reaper from the door. Those people are the core of the game's client base today.

    Forcing them to make difficult decisions is not a good thing to do and potentially will have an adverse effect. Show respect to your clients and they will show further loyalty and satisfaction.

    ...I forget though, this is EA we're talking about. :(
     
  32. Tina Small

    Tina Small Stratics Legend
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    I currently have 19 UO accounts that are "inactive" and one that has about two months of time left on it (I overlooked pulling the billing info off it in early July when I did that to all my other accounts that were active at the time). Like Elladen, several of those accounts are ones I adopted from friends who quit playing.

    Although I've posted a couple of times here in the last week or so, I'm still not contemplating a return to UO. As much as I'd sometimes like to, I just don't ever want to let myself fall back into it so deeply. And I think that the way the game is currently set up, it would be far too easy to once again spend too many hours each day or each week playing, whether I limit myself to one account or a handful or reactivate them all!

    I am glad I never fell into the trap of collecting rares or EM items. And I'm glad I never set my heart on owning a castle. Unfortunately for me, though, once the guild I belonged to when I first started playing UO almost six years ago fell apart in early 2007, I no longer wanted to play on Baja, where we had all been most active. It no longer felt like "home." Neither did GL, Atlantic, or Sonoma, the shards I tried after that. No shard ever again really felt like "home," although I tried a heck of a lot of them and built up a battalion of half-finished characters in the process.

    If I played nonstop for the next five years, I doubt I would ever finish the skills on all those characters or get their gear up to the level that most other players in UO seem to expect these days. Why? Because UO is heavily weighted these days in favor of the collectors and people who have no qualms about buying gold and game items from brokers. Pick any of the less-populated shards and try to find power scrolls and stat scrolls on a vendor. It was difficult to do a year ago, but with the advent of scrolls of binding, its become almost impossible. And what new player has the gold to buy only 120 scrolls? By the time they make enough gold in-game through their own efforts to do that, they will have GMd their skills and been stuck for weeks/months at that level while they labor to scrape together gold to hand off to another player. If they don't quit in disgust by that point, they end up buying gold from a broker and probably ask themselves what have I gotten myself into?

    Also, if they dare to ask a question in the chat channel that shows their ignorance, more than likely they'll be told by someone to quit or go play on Atlantic or some other shard. It's almost as if some players on less populated shards feel threatened that someone new has showed up to compete with them for event items. If those new or returning players do decide to follow the suggestions of many others to play on Atlantic, they will be lucky to find housing with a decent amount of storage unless they buy gold outside the game and/or use a broker to acquire a bigger house. They face the dilemma of playing on a less-populated shard and having a decently-sized house and not being able to acquire power or stat scrolls and other "useful" items, or playing on Atlantic, using broker services, and having to share or give up playing at or being harrassed by griefers at many spawn locations.

    It's a real mess. A lot of old-timers are okay with playing on the less-populous shards because they don't have to worry about building new characters very often and all they have to worry about is whether or not their castle(s) will hold more junk...err....rares and event items. If they rarely get off their shard, or if they do but they take a caravan loaded with items with them when they do, I don't think they really notice just how wide the gap has become between themselves and someone who has just started out with virtually nothing.

    I know there are many who feel that the merchant lifestyle is the answer for these newcomers. Yes, yes, I've read way too many "get rich quick" idea threads. I know you're all out there with your tips on how to do that. But merchanting isn't or shouldn't be UO's salvation. If the game continues to be one where the only way you can actually "finish" a character is to spend too many hours playing to be healthy for your or your family, or buying gold from brokers, I think the game is doomed to die. If the disparity between vet players and new players continues to grow, the game will die. EA can advertise all they want and try to bring in new players, but something has to change so that brand new players and returning players don't end up giving up in disgust in six months because of how greedy and extravagant most of the "vet" players seem to be.

    I know there are many "vet" players who do their absolute best to help the few newcomers and returning players that UO gets. But they are few and far between. And I'm not sure even they can help new or returning players to overcome the feelings of inadequacy they must feel when they go looking to build a house and in Trammel (and Fel) encounter areas of land populated with nothing but huge castles and keeps.

    No, I think a number of things about the game really do need to change so that newcomers and returnees who don't want to let themselves become totally sucked into UO as a time and money sink can actually get through the critical first year or two of playing and feel like they are a vital part of the community and not just another supporting player in someone else's big "race to the top of the heap" greed-fest.

    I honestly don't know if it's possible. I stand back and try to look at UO from an arm's length and I always come to the conclusion that at its core for most people who don't role play, the game is about acquisition, i.e., GREED. Plain and simple. Whether you're playing it for items or playing it as I was to make more and more characters, all you're really doing is acquiring more of SOMETHING. When I started playing, in the first few months, maybe just learning to play was most important. But forever after, the real motive of the game seemed to always come down to MORE skill or MORE something else. MORE MORE MORE.

    At some point for some people, I think, that theme just doesn't cut it. We see it too much in "real life" and, at least for me, it just simply isn't okay any longer to waste much of my time on a game where that is also the theme. Whether it's "get more skill," "build more characters," "settle on more shards," "get more items," or "get a castle," it's all just really about acquiring things. Maybe I've just reached the point in life where "less is more" and "simple is better" have really come to mean something to me. (Obviously I haven't learned to write with any real economy though.) Maybe not. Maybe I just got tired of feeling like a hamster stuck in a wheel and going nowhere fast.

    Later, 'gators!

    D.
     
  33. Pinco

    Pinco UOEC Modder
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

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    Sorry tina, but we are all human, is our nature to try to be stronger, richer, better than other and try to get more and more... that's the life :)
    if you don't do what's the point? wake up, work, eat and sleep?
    there is an old quote that says: life is great void between born and death.
    So why don't fill it with rares? :D
     
  34. Uriah Heep

    Uriah Heep Grand Inquisitor
    Stratics Veteran Alumni

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    Along the lines of what bajaElleden and Tina were saying, I too fall in that category.
    I'm not mentioning numbers, but there are a lot of accounts I have access to. (Nowhere near Tina, wow!!!) :) I only bought the SA upgrade for one...
    And to be honest, I can only see myself buying the boosters for that one...

    So believe me when I say that in the long run, I'm not sure of the financial plan here. If Cal got pulled into whats-his-name's office, and it was presented as:
    We have 100k subscriptions, lets run boosters at $15, and plan on selling to at least half of em. Yeah that sounds good on the face of it, but the reality is that the 100k subs (and I honestly think that is a generous number) are multiples, and there probably are only 30k REAL PEOPLE involved. Most everyone I have ever met, has at least two accounts, some three, a staggering number 4 or more...
    And I don't think they will all be shelling out a couple of times a year for more than their main. So if this model and the $$ it brings in are what we need to survive, then I am troubled.

    And yes, just pulled all those numbers out my arse to use as an example...so don't be quotin it :p
     
  35. Babble

    Babble Guest

    Too be honest though boosters are not their only weapons to make more money or get new players in.
    Some good marketing ploys for new players could help them too.

    I miss the EA greediness a bit like wow shows as working.
    Buy the pirate expansion and get a special tricorne hat artefact.
    A cutlass of repond slaying... or so on.

    Most players are greedy and gullible if the bait is right :p
     
  36. Merion

    Merion Lore Master
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    You have to pardon him - he's never been there. Just heard from people that it's a twisted scary land full of red monstrous players that rip you apart.

    That's because
     
  37. The most important topic of them all.