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What can EA and Mythic do to earn more of our money?

Discussion in 'UHall' started by Harb, Aug 14, 2008.

  1. Harb

    Harb Guest

    In an odd stroke of “oh gees, where did that thought come from,” it dawned on me that this is a question that should be near and dear to the dev team, yet one I’ve never seen asked. If you ask the right question to the right people, you might get the right answer. The thought actually stemmed from wondering if I’d ever reopen any of our closed accounts, and my answer wasn’t anytime soon based on where I see our game today and tomorrow. Apologies up front to anyone reading, this will likely be a lengthy post.

    Today, EA is on track to earn about $300 a year from the wife and me, around $240 in subscription fees for our two remaining accounts and a couple new boxes should SA and its successors ever hit store shelves. Compared to what we spend entertainment dollars for outside the game, this is actually a small % for something we spend much more time with. As an example, we spend a little more than $1000 yearly to a satellite company for television service, which is on (and often not watched) maybe 1/3 as often as we actually play UO. That said, do I “want” to pay more to EA to play – no. My thought process runs just the opposite, more along the lines of how do I spend less on everything, but I will pay if motivated to do so. And that should be important to everyone who works for EA.

    Before talking about things to motivate, let me first delve into some of the things that will have the opposite effect. OK, new boxes are always required to enjoy new content; we’ve been conditioned to accept this, which we do as a result of the industries insistence, without actually liking it. For both of us to stay current, there’s at least $60. But for me, conditioning ends there.

    Subscription fees seem from afar to be the primary source for EA to encourage us to give them our money, and that means active accounts. I don’t want to have to reactivate accounts to fulfill character requirements, if say for example SA required characters to become gargoyles to do or gain anything. Another example, and there are many, I never want to see a return to the days where additional accounts were required to generate any hope of success in BODs. The point is simple, for UO to succeed for EA, motivate and do not agitate. We’d probably reactive at least two of the closed accounts were there some account based incentive. An example might be to allocate additional stats and skills to an account, but not each character on said account. On a 6 character account, allow 30 extra skill points and say 12 additional stats, which could either be spread among the characters or consolidated on a single one. On a 7 character account, make it 35/ 14, or something along those lines – you get the idea. Another method might be to really look at the skills available and consequent character classes. While much more difficult to design/ implement, a need for characters 8, 9, etc, would serve as an appropriate motivator. I do fear however that this is more than the dev folks are now or likely to be adequately resourced to accomplish. But encourage us to begin reopening accounts, and the $240 can become $480 very quickly. Force it, and risk negative response.

    The last category is items and/ or tokens. I’ve never seen any actual numbers, but would guess legacy tokens, with soul stones for more experienced players and chargers for newer ones, probably are a success. They would have been more a success had you been able to order more than two before the website blocked further sell and said you had to wait a month, but that’s a different story. You’ll see posts often recommending EA sell all in game items directly; personally I’m not such a big fan of this, again for a variety of reasons. But I’m not averse to EA encouraging me to spend money on things that specifically work for specific characters; in fact I’m very certain I would, if the items are “right.” Item sales are both a dilemma and opportunity for the provider to continually get more of our dollars, as characters tend to change and evolve over time. The dilemma for them, with the variety of characters coupled with all the items that are present within the game, is exactly what would constitute the right stuff? The easy answer is to let us decide, and tailor as we see fit. Sell us a token that allows us to decide what a piece of equipment will be, jewelry, armor, a spellbook or weapons. The let us decide what properties will be on it. Dev could probably allow for 5 properties on jewelry and armor, and 3 on a spellbook, all at 100-125% intensity. Weapons get a little more tricky; the max # of properties must be looked at closely before implementation (3, 4, or 5), as a weapon with 5 properties including leechers at 100% could be rather ugly from a balance perspective. Is something like that (even a weapon with 3 properties) worth $10-20? It is for me, and despite success in equipping all 14 remaining characters very well, there’s some room for improvement on each of them.

    Anyhow, these are some ways EA can encourage me to spend more entertainment dollars with them. What would motivate you?
     
  2. Blesh

    Blesh Sage
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    Sell us a token that allows us to decide what a piece of equipment will be, jewelry, armor, a spellbook or weapons. The let us decide what properties will be on it.


    .... Wouldnt that put blacksmiths, tinkers, scribes, and tailors out of work?
     
  3. hawkeye_pike

    hawkeye_pike Babbling Loonie
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    That, to my opinion, is a very bad idea. Increasing stat and skill caps will completely change the game balance, will completely take out the challenge of building a character, and will destroy the diversity of characters (which only exists because each template has to make a compromise concerning skills and stats).

    Not being able to make the "perfect character", but having to accept a little "weakness" in each template, no matter how you build it, is the salt in the soup of character building. Take that out and every PvPer will have a Samurai-Necro-Fencer with Parrying. You'd kill the diversity!
     
  4. hawkeye_pike

    hawkeye_pike Babbling Loonie
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    Again, a bad idea, to my opinion. The randomness in the crafting business is vital to the community and the economy (or what is left of it). What you are asking for, is a possibility to completely control success (be it crafting or fighting) by spending money. You'd take away from this game what just makes it interesting and special: The individuality of the players, the diversity, the portion of luck you need to achieve something.

    I understand that being able to controll crafting results better and being able to have 1-2 skills more on a character would make things more easy and comfortable. But it would also take the challenge out of the game. And a game without a challenge is... dead.
     
  5. Harb

    Harb Guest

    It would impact, but I would add no adjective to the word impact (not "major," not "minimal"), when taken as a whole. We've owned vendors for spellbooks, armor, and weapons, and except for a few items the market doesn't exist as it once did, at least on our shard. Tinkers really aren't so much in the equation, though looted jewelry at the highest end of the range can still sell. For us, it's a fairly thin line, we have quite a few pieces of jewelry well over the 400% threshold, and some armor that actually exceeds the 500% threshold due to skill and material bonuses, but we play a lot and I don't know how common or uncommon this is. The new thing nowadays seems to be samauri arms, which appear made from high end runic hammers - you can form your own opinions regarding this. I'd also add that just because under such a proposal, EA would offer superior items for direct purchase, not everybody is going to pursue that course. It's just a different route.

    Honestly, I'm not strongly advocating anything proposed here, I was only trying to answer my own question, "what can EA and Mythic do to earn more of our money?"
     
  6. Harb

    Harb Guest

    Hawkeye, thanks for the responses, well thought and sincere. In some ways I agree, in others not so much so. Again, the thought behind the post is the question, “what can EA and Mythic do to earn more of our money?” I’m not so much attached to any of the ideas, but do feel attached to the question itself as it holds central to our game’s lifespan. The ideas per se are things that will work with us, but certainly not everyone. And I firmly believe it absolutely vital that everything Dev does, in the interest of advancing the game or to generate additional revenue, must be done to motivate and NOT to irritate (history shows they do try to do the first, sometimes with mixed results, but also shows they often inadvertently miss the latter).
     
  7. Emil Ispep

    Emil Ispep Sage
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    Put a KR box in the stores for starters..
     
  8. Lady_Mina

    Lady_Mina Guest

    LOL seriously...KR sucks too much to be put on the shelves.

    It still has way too many bugs to call it 'decent'.
     
  9. Otis Firefly

    Otis Firefly Slightly Crazed
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    turn the em events back on
     
  10. Emil Ispep

    Emil Ispep Sage
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    hehe, i tried the download, but i cant get it to work. Rather than sit and dl 2 more gigs, ill just buy a coaster =).

    If they ever do put a box out, maybe itll be patched and fixed.. but i think thats asking too much.
     
  11. 3 step program:

    1. Fix UO ( as bug / hack free as it can)
    2. Put out a great expansion.
    3. Market UO

    It would be amazing to see EA sink a million just to fix and market our game.
     
  12. Dicimiie

    Dicimiie Guest

    I was just talking about this with my wife the other day, and my answer is really very simple. I would give EA my money again if they did away with repair deeds and created a repair gump, allowing me to interact with other players rather than blank scrolls to do repair work. I really do miss the days when I hung out at the forge with friends, just chatting and repairing armor.
     
  13. Harb

    Harb Guest

    I do believe KR offers insight into the roadblocks dev experiences in providing us what we want. They gave us a more modern engine, one that in theory can be more efficient to maintain from their worldview, and at least in theory reducing the likelihood of future bugs/ issues/ etc. It has some neat features, but forces abandonment of the things most of us found so pleasing about UOA. Where I believe they erred the most, was in making the mistake of trying to determine "how" we played/ interfaced with the client, albeit with good intent. One of our posters, far more computer savy than I, tried to explain in another active post why we'd all actually like to hit "enter" before typing text. Not only did I disagree, I know I don't like it, and I know I couldn't understand his sincere, heartfelt and technical explanation as to why I should. The easy fix there isn't a focus group, it's legacy play options, item by item, from top to bottom in terms of interface. Clean up the graphics by sharpening images and abandoning the blurry theme distasteful to so many, and KR is suddenly a success. Regardless of what they do, from a resource perspective, KR difficulties impact all of us, so the sooner it gets fixed the sooner assets can be focused toward moving us forward opposed to cleaning up what's behind - a more significant issue than most of us on our side of the debate tend to acknowledge.
     
  14. dukarlo

    dukarlo Seasoned Veteran
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    From a pvp standpoint why would anyone wanna give EA more money? The game is very close to unplayable for anyone not running the well known speedhack in which EA refuses to take action against. Perhaps you should rephrase the question too What would keep you from quitting uo? If EA was serious about fixing UO, subscription numbers would take a serious hit. Its no exaggeration that EA has allowed shenanigans long enough now that a very good chunk of the player base is illegitimate and to a large degree the game sucks because of it.
     
  15. Harb

    Harb Guest

    :) Too many viewpoints, and undoubtedly a can of worms in the extreme!!! What isn't debatable -one of the "gates" that any/ all changes/ modifications should pass through internal to dev is exactly this though, "what is the irritant potential?"
     
  16. Haddy G

    Haddy G Journeyman
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    Well they will get more money from me when Warhammer is released :)
     
  17. yanaki2

    yanaki2 Sage
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    market the expansions and restore order to the game, personnaly id like to see the following done in game :

    1. make weapons and armor break again, if it gets to 0 it breaks end of story. otherwise.
    if a repair goes horribly wrong let the item break. all armor and most weapons do now is either be used on a charicter or take up space in there house. make them needed again.

    2. return felucia back to the state it was before all these changes i.e make it look like it did before you cahnged the landscape into dead trees and gravestones. right now its ugly.

    3. remove the double resources in felucia.

    4. eliminate non consentual pvp in felucia , replace it with a different system for pvp, like having factions controll pvp. the only ones who pvp are faction members. if you in the faction you cannot easily get out of it.

    5. if you place a plot and deed it, you do not get money refunded, you just lose it. who builds a house decides it doesnt look right and gets it demolished just to ask the construction workes for his money back?

    6. reduce the amount of gold on creatues to 1/10th of what it is now. reduce the amount of other items to 1/2 to 1/4 of what it is now. have certain creatures drop nothing and have others only drop resourses.

    7. remove the one house per account rule. i hate that we have to choose only 1 shard especially if you like seige. theres plenty of room now.

    8. increase the price of insurance to 1k per piece.


    thats my speil for now, improving the game will help bring in fresh blood.
     
  18. Harb

    Harb Guest

    Agreed, new players help generate revenue. Man I'm having trouble getting you guys to say what would cause YOU to reward EA with added funds!! Maybe I should have picked a fight earlier when I disagreed with the merits to early responses/ arguments :)
     
  19. Dermott of LS

    Dermott of LS UOEC Modder
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    ...

    Get back to work on completing, fixing, and improving KR so that they can put a box on store shelves with graphics that are newer than 11+ years old.
     
  20. Wraith One

    Wraith One Guest

    Ok, you ask a perfectly logical question. I would say a decent one to start with, but your suggestions would change a lot of balancing systems in the game. That would not be a good idea. However, if EA really wants to get more money out of us there are 3 major things that should be covered. Customer Support. Now, I don't know about their customer support line by phone (never tried it), but their website and their in-game paging system needs a massive revamp. The GM's really need to be kept up to date, and actually take more initiative. Good customer service leads to better business. Second thing, consistently cleaning up all major bugs, exploits, and cheats. No one wants to play a game thats got more loop holes, bleeding code, and exploits. Lastly, put something on the shelves. Now, I know some of this may sound harsh, but its true. Without these 3 factors people are discouraged rather than encouraged to continue. I also understand that these 3 factors require a lot of time and manpower, but in the long run it makes a bigger difference.
     
  21. Lady_Mina

    Lady_Mina Guest

    I don't think UO : KR would convince a WoW/DaoC/EQ/Lotr/AoC player to start playing UO...

    They see the graphics and think 'wtf is this? 16 dollars a month for this?!'

    Those graphics look like Nintendo 64 graphics.
    Wich is not enough to lure 'new' people who are used to hardcore 3d graphics.

    I'm used to 2d...

    Third Dawn was ok.
    Kingom reborn isn't.
     
  22. Harb

    Harb Guest

    I really didn't want to debate the "eaches," thus my earlier avoidance of specifics with Hawkeye, but since it appears it'll be a running topic either way, here goes. I agree with everyone else, balance is always a concern, and thus always a requirement. My problem with many balance arguments, is that the balance back/ forth that arises isn't really an issue of any magnitude in the worst, and no concern at all at it's best. Let me explain, and again, I'm not hung up on the numbers, I'm just tossing out a thought of what would motivate the two of us to reopen at least two closed accounts. Our bards, tamers, crafters, gatherers, thieves, and specialty types would derive no benefit from additional stats or skills. With the numbers in the first post, on each active account, there could be no more than 35 additional skill and 14 stats to either spread among, or consolidated, on any given character per account, but again please don't focus so much on the numbers themselves. For us, all thats left are the dexxers and mages. The dexxers could use the stats, as we try to get dex high enough to drop an additional "tick," that .25 seconds that does matter to dexxers, not so much in how fast they swing (it's capped at 5 ticks), but more toward picking up one speed level of weapons at the max speed rate. But remember, it takes 30 additional dex to do so, 14 doesn't quite make half that requirement. So what we're reallt talking about, for example, is trying to max swing on say a 2.5 speed weapon at 150 dex opposed to 2.25 speed at 120 dex, excluding any SSI bonus. As for the skills, both dexxers and mages could use them when in 7 skill mode, to shore up some of the supporting skills. The reason we'd activate two accounts, is that to derive any skill effect and keep both our mages and dexxers balanced to whatever opposition they may encounter, is that we couldn't do both on single accounts each. And that competitive balance would be needed, as this is a change for everyones account to be supplemented equally, so once applied, there is no true or perceived imbalance based on player decisions. I hope I explained that clearly, but doubt it :(

    Agreed on all points, but other than the box, I don't see where they take a larger share of my entertainment dollar. The dupe fix is of the highest priority, as is cleaning up KR to get the next box out. For your own sanity, don't try telephone support if unhappy with what you have already seen, we'd love to keep you in the community!
     
  23. Uriah Heep

    Uriah Heep Crazed Zealot
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    1. Shelf presence, a simple cheap cd in a jewel case in the discount rack would be better than what there is currently.

    2. Support, any support.

    3. Communication from Mythic on the boards. Real communication.

    4. Fix the damned account pages where those of us who want to can create a new account. There's post after post about it over the last 6 months.

    5. Oh yeah, did I mention comm and support?
     
  24. Jahira-Tor

    Jahira-Tor Lore Master
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    What can they do to earn more of my money? Bring back EM's.
     
  25. Lady_Mina

    Lady_Mina Guest

    Word !

    I do miss those old events...

    I saw Lord Brittish himself and Lady Minax. (and several other whoms name i forgot)
    How many people can say that?

    Not to mention the legendary ''Al'Cedra''...an EM shaped as a dragon.

    Wich is something totaly diffirent then an event with robot NPC's controlled by...noone.
     
  26. Manticore

    Manticore Babbling Loonie
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    EM events are what glued me to this game every week. Not the same shard-wide turn it on and leave it there for 3 weeks kind of stuff but thought-out well planned events on a weekly basis that is different on every shard. Those were the best 3-4 years IMO ever.

    I had to constantly fight for computer rights at my house. Sigh, those were the fun days. Its the anticipation of something new that keeps bringing me back. I met new players from many shards.
     
  27. Ah considering I closed 1/2 my accounts because the game lacks.


    Put in my ideas. Ill open more accounts.

    1. Exploration. Random encounters when you walk in any direction.
    2. An untamed world. Complex rewards fully randomized. No insurance. No housing. Just a place for adventure. Very large. No choke points.
    3. Add 1000's of things to be discovered (THROUGH exploring)
    4. Quests boring.
    5. Add in huge gold sinks. Get rid of some of this gold. Stop listening to whinners saying its not fair.
    6. Better communication around cheats and dupes and consequences.
    7. Magencia EVENT outstanding. More stuff like that
    8. Current EVENT. Ruined with ease of 25k tickets. And now its dragging.
    9. RANDOM events. Yeah Ill keep saying it.
    10. Stop candy assing the game down to, you can have everyhing in 20 minutes.

    11. Get rid of xsharding but 1x month per account.
    12. Get rid of soultones but 1x month.
    13. Get some dingalings around everything having to be safe and insured.
    14. Add in games of chance. Get rid of the gold.
    15. Get rid of 15 day accounts. Its an outdated idea. They are abused. Let any new player sign on with limited limited limited play. Bank box holds 20 items, player holds 20 items,


    Thats enough.
     
  28. phantus

    phantus Stratics Legend
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    Provide a decent expansion in less than 3 year intervals.
     
  29. Emil Ispep

    Emil Ispep Sage
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    Mee ;)

    *hugs*
     
  30. deadite

    deadite Sage
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    Excellent list dude. You can add my name to it.
     
  31. Loqucious

    Loqucious Guest

    I'll pay $30 right now for a second house or I'd pay an additional couple bucks a month for the house. But I refuse to pay for an entire account that I will not use.
     
  32. Harb

    Harb Guest

    Thats a good one, I didn't think of that. Not that the other ideas presented aren't equally valid, this is simple, universal, easy to implement, and addresses the actual question better than I posed it. Thanks!