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Why UO Player Want Rewards

Discussion in 'UHall' started by GalenKnighthawke, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. GalenKnighthawke

    GalenKnighthawke Grand Poobah
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    It's really more than just simple greed, at least most of the time.

    In short, it's that unlike single-player games, we are in effect playing our characters' daily working lives, and people work for tangible rewards, even when they like their jobs.

    In an MMO fantasy game, unlike a single-player fantasy game, we are with the character(s) pretty often. In a single-player game, we are mostly with them for the extraordinary moments. A single-player game is usually some great quest. (Find the Holy Grail; Slay the Dark Lord; Free the King.)

    But in UO (same could be said I suppose about any MMO, but we'll keep it UO-focused, as we're all current UO players here!) we are with the characters all the time. Our characters go out and slay evil beasts, or whatever they do, for all kinds of reasons, some of which may be purely altruistic or religious. But, at the end of the day, food needs to be put on the table, and slaying evil beasts (or whatever your characters do), regardless of what the characters' other motives might be, does the trick.

    In other words: We are in UO to a very great degree most of the time playing out our characters' everyday working lives. Whether you are PKing for insurance money; doing BODs; Imbuing to sell in your shop; or, in the case of my main character Galen, finding interesting antiques to sell; you are playing your character's daily job.

    UO, contrary to popular belief, does have players who go out and kill low- to middle-end monsters for reagents, a little gold, basic items, etc. I've recently had occasion to wander Britannia and I've met them. I have to say I was a little surprised, but it also made me quite hopeful about the potential future of UO. Those are causal players who play a few hours a week. They are doing the same kind of things we who play often enough that we find it necessary to post on Stratics do. They are just doing it less often and focusing on things that are easier to kill and offer appropriate rewards with comparatively less time and effort.

    So when we players say we like rewards? It isn't just greed. Sure there's an element of greed in some players, including myself. But, at the end of the day, the characters have to eat and survive and prosper and pay property taxes (off-stage property taxes of course) and stuff.

    There are some times where it may be appropriate to expect us to do things with no tangible reward, or at least with only glory. Or, I suppose, to battle the chance of having the world permanently changed in a negative way. (To keep Yew from being permanently infested by the Plague of Despair, for example, or to ensure Magincia has a chance in Hell of being habitable again.)

    Plenty of people fought against the Blackrock Golem/Demon attack on Britain before they realized there'd be a reward. Plenty of people went to the EM events on GL before items started to be handed out again (after an incident on LS which I witnessed, no items were handed out at all for awhile and recognition was the only reward). Even now that items are handed out sometimes, plenty of people go when it's painfully obvious there won't be an item. (The odds of there being an item two weeks in a row seem to be REALLY tiny, and yet I still see the events well-attended the week after an item drop.) Some people would fight against the Virtuebane invasion without a reward, though a lot less, and I think it's wholly appropriate that there are rewards for is. (Indeed, I like the idea of there being event rewards, don't get me wrong, I'm just saying many people would still do them without rewards.)

    But, I suggest that this kind of thing is best kept to events. It's really best to not pretend that every high-level encounter is an endgame, undertaken for some plot-specific endgame purpose. There's nothing wrong with a character fighting, say, Dread Horn solely for ingredients or the chance at a Crimson Cincture to sell. Or with people expecting rewards from the Doom Gauntlet or Corgul or the Scalis Enforcer. The characters have bills to pay.

    As much as you might like your RL job and as much as you might genuinely want to make a contribution, you are also there because they are paying you. As with us, so it is with our characters, and that's wholly reasonable.

    If, say, the Dark Fathers would, if not killed in the Gauntlet, eventually infest the mainland and run about killing people and destroying houses randomly? Then you'd likely see some people down there even without artifacts to get. But honestly, such a thing would be a tad.....lame.

    Having said all this? I've always found UO's reward structures to be fairly appropriate. There's not much reason to kill, for example, lesser hiryus...Save that you can get gold from them at a very respectable rate, and they sometimes have good loot. And that's been reason enough for one of my characters of late, which has been doing quite well fighting them. Ditto for other creatures, for example Dread Spiders. I once knew a guy who got a lot of money by framing, of all things, Crystal Elementals.

    I still see people killing pirates and merchants (or, because the NPC merchants don't cause karma loss, one may RP them as smugglers, as I do), and likely will for some time to come, though the drop off will probably be substantial. But sooner or later, someone will want an orc ship and there will be none for sale. And someone will want the different ales for deco- or RP purposes, and there will be none for sale. And off we go to kill pirates and smugglers.

    If something you're doing isn't working out for you, stop doing it and do something else. It's a veritable guarantee that something will work out for you, in terms of tangible and intangible rewards, sooner or later.

    What all this adds up to is the following.

    1. It isn't all greed when people want rewards for doing things.

    2. Barring events and the like, it isn't reasonable to expect people to do things without any reward.

    3. Indeed under the right conditions people will do things for few rewards, and/or for no reward save recognition, accomplishment, the attainment of RP-only goals, and the like. But please don't expect it to happen all-that-often, because the characters, like RL people, have commitments to meet and bills to pay! Events and Doom Gauntlet runs serve every different purposes.

    4. Despite all that, UO's reward structure is more appropriate, and does the job better, than it is often given credit for. I'd like to see some changes, but if no changes occur, I don't think we're too bad off with the present system.

    -Galen's player
     

  2. Interesting...

    You did forget one thing.

    "Where did you get that... I want one... I have to do what to get it... that is unfair"

    When the reward is the end point for the reward, so to speak... the game has a problem.

    The reward has to be found in the journey.
     
  3. GalenKnighthawke

    GalenKnighthawke Grand Poobah
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    That, I feel, would be the "simple greed" minority.

    ;)

    Though, in fairness, the first 2 of those statements, "Where did you get that" and "I want one" don't have to be connected to the third, "that is unfair." They sometimes are but they don't have to be.

    I've seen plenty of times where the result of the first two was immediately tromping off to get one themselves.

    And in fact I've, on at least like 2 or 3 occasions I can think of, told buyers how to get an item, only to have them purchase mine and then immediately tromp off to get one themselves as well.

    An experience rewarding to both the heart and the bank box.

    Obviously it can't be replicated with EM event items but....Most people seem to accept that if they don't or can't attend the event, they won't get an item, and there's other ways to make money.

    -Galen's player
     
  4. Wenchkin

    Wenchkin Babbling Loonie
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    Something interesting I've noticed...I've had a few discussions recently about the old events with other players. Most if not all have much more interest in items than me. Yet when we talk, items never seem to get mentioned. It's more the spawns we encountered, how they attacked and the guilds/groups we were with. Pouring over old screenshots to see the players we had around us at the time. But seldom, if ever, the items. Because they're not the super new shiny things they once were. At the time we all went crazy for those items, but now? You'd get laughed out of town if you turned up to PvP with a savage spear ;)

    When I look back over years of event items I tend to keep most as tokens to remember things by. They're not "rewards" anymore, if anything they're interesting decor to lock down. So new items to me are going to go the same way as the old ones in time. Realising that pattern I changed my view of those items.

    I actually used to be keen to get a new item, or tame a new pet asap. Oh, and I took screenshots of them too lol. Then over the years that's faded to "do I want to collect this in my stash?" and often I don't bother chasing items. I look instead at the fun or otherwise of killing the spawn and I see items as transient passing fads. That's what they are. The reality is everyone wants shinies when they're fresh, but they're soon forgotten relics.

    To me, "rewards" are things like new friendship and great memories. I might make gold selling items or collect something that gets my interest, but I'm not materialistic in UO or RL enough to simply pursue rewards. There's much more to life than that IMHO.

    And while there are some nice item orientated players, there are an awful lot of greedy ones who can't remember the most basic manners if they see something new to hoarde. To the point where some events make me run straight to check if there's a spawn in Fel devoid of crazy people...So there are two sides to the reward thing. I find item rewards can turn players into ugly bundles of greed and really spoil the enjoyment of the hunt. It spoils the shine on the whole reward deal for me.

    In an ideal world, UO players would see rewards with a balanced mind and act with good manners when new rewards spawn. I'm not a materialistic person in UO or RL, so I tend to see the negative effects of these things more than the positive when I take a step back and look.

    /end ramble

    Wenchy
     
  5. One thing for the events or items is to get you name attached to it.

    Like Acquired by Raven Winterhawk 1/5/2011

    Maybe even make EM events bound to the player or account that gets them.

    Hell make the bound to the shard.

    Why because it does create a cool keepsake about all the value it should have.

    Not the let me get 20 and Xshard them to make 100 million.
     
  6. UOKaiser

    UOKaiser Guest

    Sadly the reward in the journey was random mod loot which we all know how useful that is now, we wanted a bump in the loot for better mods not do away with the system completely. So now it's all about the end game loot.
     
  7. Smoot

    Smoot Grand Poobah
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    Great idea, id love to see something like this implemented if it would be possible. Even a name put on just some items.

    Wonderfully put and thought out post Galen. Yes thats what makes playing our characters fun. Theres a reward, sometimes tangible, sometimes purely one a great victory over a terrible monster, or player. Its still a reward for me (his life) when my crafter with 50 magery gets away or even kills the fearsome gargoyles that spawn around my house.

    I did think of one thing tho, that coincides with Raven's post. Its when these "event items" sell for hundreds of millions of gold, made worth even more by the cross sharders. I dont think anyone would deny that a good percentage of people who do this do in fact turn those billions and billions of gold aquired from item trade into real life money, which takes the character out of Sosaria, and makes that character just a puppet for real life gain. Whether this hurts the game, i dont know, but its something to think about when considering items as rewards.
     
  8. BajaElladan

    BajaElladan Certifiable
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    The Community of Players that IS Ultima Online are a diverse bunch of folks. Many were huge Fans of the Ultima series of PC based single player games. Richard Garriott and his band of Business Partners and Developers created the Ultima series and had the vision to take the Multi-verse of Sosaria to online Folks. What they Created and Launched in September of 1997 was unprecedented. Based upon the initial success of the Beta game and their hope for a Massively growing Community of Players, as well as hardware and internet capabilities of those days, Shards of servers were used to invite world-wide participation in their new adventure.

    The Multi-verse they Created was designed and intended for "Role-Play." One could "play" a male or female, imaginative folks added other species and races, long before Developers followed their lead. It was designed to allow for the ages old battle between forces of "good and evil" along with a system of "Virtues" that both enabled and challenged Players to be introspective about the characters they created.

    In spite of UO's innovations and visions it suffered from the outset from cheaters, hackers, and exploiters, and sadly still does more than 13 years later.

    Some Players are content with the reward of a stable game (few or no crashes). Some are contented by high quality in-game assistance by UO staff such as Game Masters (GM's). Some want in-game story or Event content whether assisted by Dev's (Mesanna) or Event Moderators (EM's). Some desire "solo" play opportunities while others crave player interaction. Some want non-consensual opportunites to slay anything or anyone they may, while most others demand limits on murderers and thieves.

    It is an open debate whether Players demanded special items, or whether Game staff and developers use items to coerce and manipulate Players but I will leve that for a different Thread Topic.

    As a Player I want only an interesting, stable world with continuing and expanding content to keep me, and those I meet, interested and engaged and able to have FUN!.

    While items may be icing on the cake, I come mainly for the Cake.
     
  9. GalenKnighthawke

    GalenKnighthawke Grand Poobah
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    Apologies if I wasn't clear.

    The point of the original post was that it was OK to want and expect a chance at rewards for high-end content.

    I used events, EM events or centrally-planned events or the like, as examples of high-end content where some people would probably still do it if there were not rewards, or if the only reward was recognition or some kind of RP result.

    But I still like the idea of there being event rewards and surely hope there will continue to be.

    I, for one, would still do events, EM events and player events and centrally-planned global events alike, if there were no rewards. But I'd be unlikely to do, say, Corgul, the Doom Gauntlet, or the Scalis all-that-often without a reward. Or without some RP purpose. I think many people share this with me.

    I worry about being seen taken as saying "events shouldn't have rewards," which is not what I'm saying.

    Apologies if I wasn't clear.

    -Galen's player
     
  10. HD2300

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    I think most events should have a reward or memento, but make them all not x-shardable.
     
  11. Restroom Cowboy

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    I suppose that you forgot about an entire community that collects stuff like this? Some people have shard specific collections, but most tend to collect what they like. These items come from various shards...not just one. Your *thoughts* would only lead to damaging an otherwise thriving UO community.

    There are many types of players in this game...I have never been of the notion that any type really doesn't belong...that is aside from greifers, scammers, ect.
     
  12. Smoot

    Smoot Grand Poobah
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    I have to agree that it would be great for UO if event items were non-transferable. Thats an extreme, but having a name on it would at least give recognition to the character who actually got it.

    If the economies on all shards were similar, i would disagree, respecting devoted collectors. But because people can transfer items to Atlantic, sell for at least 3 times the price, it kinda ruins things for other shards. I wonder how many of the event items have ended up on Atlantic or Chessy.

    I just say this because there are events on every shard (sorry siege) so theres no lack of things to collect. And most collectors have more than one account, so can display on multiple servers. I just see characters all the time coming to atlantic, selling off their shards event items, then these same items being resold for 3 times more. I just dont think thats right that only people on a few shards should be able to easily obtain "event deco"
     
  13. Restroom Cowboy

    Restroom Cowboy Visitor

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    You are being obtuse. The collector market is not based on a shard, it centers around them all. Many people take their wares to and from Atlantic because many collectors buy, sell, and trade there. After all it is a busy shard.

    You would be surprised how many of the people who complain about *outsiders* actually do events on their home shards.

    Again...obtuse. You are choosing to see things as you choose to and not as they really happen. People collect things they like, and often these things are not shard specific. In addition, do you have any clue as to how much collectors contribute to the welfare of this game? Guess you forgot about transfer tokens being a source of income for UO.

    BTW, who are you to judge how another person plays the game? If what a person is doing is not hurting anyone, how can you so easily decide how another should play their game? Also, there is nothing stopping people like you from making a char on these other shards to view these museums. Many of them are indeed public...
     
  14. Zosimus

    Zosimus Grand Inquisitor
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    Is stratics ever going to make a forum for "Pixel Crack Anonymous" some time in the future? I want to be the mod :p
     
  15. Gheed

    Gheed Certifiable
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    Bingo! It was actually an event on another shard that prompted me to buy my first xfer token. Then I started cruising the rares forum to see all of the xshard madness that goes on there. I'd love to see the numbers on token sales UO does in a year. I wouldn't be at all surprised if it were a very healthy portion of the bottom line.

    I watched some of these items jump around three or four shards ending up right back on the shard they came from. It doesn't happen with most of them of course. But they do end up (for the most part) in the hands of folks who will will preserve them and their history. There is a LOT of hard work put into tracking event items. And for a lot of folks native to the shard who end up getting the luck of the draw, well they aren't complaining about the money... if they decide to sell.
     
  16. GalenKnighthawke

    GalenKnighthawke Grand Poobah
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    *sighs*

    -Galen's player
     
  17. Smoot

    Smoot Grand Poobah
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    Yeah, this was my point restroom. Items get sold and resold and get to the point where only someone with billions of gold can afford to get a few pixels. Im just saying the game would be cleaner if there werent transfer tokens at all, or if you couldnt take anything but your character with you.
     
  18. Cloak&Dagger

    Cloak&Dagger Guest

    Skipping all the posts after this one, I only want to say that while I can share your sympathies, it does start to get...I will use the word annoying, when every other statement is a complaint about something or another. I personally do not hate rewards, or think there should be none. Not for events, not for high-end content, not for anything, I just simply think people should stop thinking only about the end game, stop stating they have a "50% chance to do this but out of 5 million have not done it once".

    Anyhow I also agree that Shard items should stay on the shard, I am not against them being traded but would be nice if they stayed on their respected shards.

    Also the retort to the transfer token argument is that you can do things on one shard, transfer to another shard, sell everything, and transfer back, with out the price of the two transfer tokens even making you think about it. Perhaps transfer tokens should not be traded in game....that would curb most of that. But I am not really for that idea....just came to mind as I was making my point.
     
  19. Zyon Rockler

    Zyon Rockler Guest

    The problem with the transfer token is, the player using it is caculating how much they will make off of it. So, if you buy one for 80 mill, then you plan to make say, 100 mill. The problem with that is, the money made is item based.

    Do people use tokens to go see their friends or do they buy them to go to an event run by a player? No, because you cannot caculate how much profit you will make. So, if the bottom line is, EA makes money off transfer tokens, is false because the players are making more off the items.

    So, I think it would make more sense to allow people to transfer without paying and just place more items of value. Build ways for people to have a community. That profit might yield more in the long run. If you weigh the damage done by having to pay so much money to do something.

    I always thought that rewards were physocological or part of human nature. If you look under a rock and you see something of interest, then maybe you'll look under another rock, until finally you run out of rocks.

    It's just a matter of making people think that they are being rewarded, not so much what they're given. I think the most basic reward, would just be something that changes, so the outcome of doing something could be the reward. Like, killing a spawn, but that only works once because you've already received that reward. So, my opinion would be, that it's necessary to have some type of affect.
     
  20. Very good point. The past reward was what the monsters held. They loot had relevance.
     
  21. Tinsil

    Tinsil Guest

    I'll agree with a lot of what you said.. but the vendor type handouts of sashes for each event, if only allowed for those who actually were there and participated, and not held open to long, are fine.

    A small memento or item that is handed out is no big deal.

    I will say that I think there would be much less "IM ONLY GOING IF THERES ITEMS GIVEN OUT", if the storylines had way more player involvement, to where votes or something would be held, similar to faction stone style, and then a plan of action decided, that involved the EMs. Also, drastically speeding up the pace these storylines develop wouldn't hurt either.

    Just basic things like this would make people think there are more reasons than just loot.
     
  22. GalenKnighthawke

    GalenKnighthawke Grand Poobah
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    And again, in case this isn't clear....

    For my part, and again speaking only for myself: I don't mind events having items. I don't mind cross-sharding of those items.

    What I was arguing is that it isn't necessarily greed alone that makes people want items from "normal" high-end spawn, such as Peerlesses, the Doom Gauntlet, and Corgul.

    Do some of us go too far with whining about not getting something? Hell yes.

    Are those people annoying? Yes.

    Are there changes I would like to see, myself, in reward-getting? Surely.

    But if no changes were ever made? What we have really isn't so bad. And the issue, at the end of the day, appears to mostly be a messed up Random Number Generator that turns all kinds of things, not just loot, into massive weirdness.

    In retrospect I suppose I shouldn't have mentioned event items at all.

    -Galen's player