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Loot Boxes (You knew it was coming)

2

Comments

  • vkobevkobe ✭✭✭✭✭
    so is mean rip tera ?
  • vkobevkobe ✭✭✭✭✭
    As was said, this proposal in particular is unlikely to impact TERA because it targets minors specifically, and I think it's more likely that EME would implement stronger controls to restrict access to minors, rather than changing their business practices if this specific proposal were to pass.

    so is mean elin cant play anymore tera ?
  • Ya know, rather than worry about more consumables, they should just re-release their cosmetics at flat-rate, use their rng for the consumable items (where people know they are gambling) and stop splitting hairs between the two. If it's game resources, let it be a gamble, if it's a straight cosmetic purchase, let it be that. Separate the two, that's the easiest way to resolve their "oh, but if we do this for this, then this will do this" argument.
  • edited May 10
    Lilienette wrote: »
    Ya know, rather than worry about more consumables, they should just re-release their cosmetics at flat-rate, use their rng for the consumable items (where people know they are gambling) and stop splitting hairs between the two. If it's game resources, let it be a gamble, if it's a straight cosmetic purchase, let it be that. Separate the two, that's the easiest way to resolve their "oh, but if we do this for this, then this will do this" argument.

    I don't think anyone was really making that argument, actually. (At least I certainly wasn't, and I've never heard EME make it.) It's not like they're in any way prevented from using a flat-rate model for cosmetics regardless of what they do with consumables -- they can do whatever they want in every case. (In practice, they do what they think will make them the most money.)

    The whole reason gacha works (not just in this game but in general) is because it tricks people into spending more by masking sticker shock. It's the same trick arcades, slot machines, etc. have used forever. If you just ripped all cosmetics out of loot boxes and put them all up on the cash shop at the "average price based on previous lootrate odds", they'd make less money -- more people would think twice about dropping $40 or whatever on a single outfit than they do about ~25 chances to win the same. By doing it the way they do now -- occasionally taking things out of lootboxes to put them up for direct sale as a special offer -- veteran players are able to swallow the higher price because of the contrast. A market without that constant contrast/reminder of the lootbox alternative could never sustain a store full of $30-$50+ character-bound costumes as a general rule. All this is basically why I've always pushed for failure caps + posted odds as a more achievable goal, since it can improve customer satisfaction/retention without threatening the whole business model.

    You might still say that they should remove all lootboxes from cosmetics as a matter of principle/ethics/morality, and find a way to go direct sale for all. I'm not opposed to that at all. But, to make that work would require a different approach than just listing all the rares up for $30-$50+ and calling it a day. You'd have to rework the entire cosmetic business strategy from the ground up. It can definitely be done and other games have done it, but it'd have to be approached carefully. And although I would love for EME to undertake that sort of rework due to heartfelt principles and a desire to do the right thing, at the end of the day management will only support it if the new approach will cause them to make the same or more money.
  • ZoknahalZoknahal ✭✭✭✭✭
    You might still say that they should remove all lootboxes from cosmetics as a matter of principle/ethics/morality, and find a way to go direct sale for all. I'm not opposed to that at all. But, to make that work would require a different approach than just listing all the rares up for $30-$50+ and calling it a day. You'd have to rework the entire cosmetic business strategy from the ground up. It can definitely be done and other games have done it, but it'd have to be approached carefully. And although I would love for EME to undertake that sort of rework due to heartfelt principles and a desire to do the right thing, at the end of the day management will only support it if the new approach will cause them to make the same or more money.

    I wouldnt say there would be a need to rework the entire approach of the shop, but more like, copy it from a successful developer that just the other day, got rid of their very last rng shop pack: Digital Extremes.

    If you jump into their game, Warframe, you will notice clearly that nothing, absolutely NOTHING, is sold inside a loot box or behind rng. Everything is sold as it is, directly. That earns the trust of the customer, because the company is not masking anything behind any sort of lower price point, they are simply just giving you, what you want, for the correct price. Some skins come only inside bundles, and the only way to get them, is if you buy the bundle.

    That to me really is the big deal: Be transparent with your sales. If you are gonna have loot boxes, ok, go ahead, place loot boxes in your shop, but release the odds of getting each thing inside the box, that should be a bare minimum.

    Digital Extremes realized what no other Publisher realized before, or maybe did, but never acted on it: They realized their old Kubrow system (pets) was a slot machine, and when they saw someone pull the lever 200 times, they knew they had created a slot machine, so they did what no other did: Removed it. That is unheard of pretty much every publisher in the USA, because slot machines make money, and as long as they keep making money, no matter how evil and how predatory they are, they will keep it.

    Ok, so you want to rework the entire cosmetic business, here are some ideas:

    - Bundles: Bundles always work. They sell a bunch of items together cheaper than they would be when bought separately. Provided the bundle offers a unique item that you cannot get separately, then is a good market strategy.
    - Direct Sales: No need to explain this one, just simply give us everything for direct sale, even the dyables and rares. I would rather spend 30 dollars on each dyable for each of my alts, than spend 100 on loot boxes just to get 1 for my main.
    - Elite needs desperately a rework. If you rework Elite to something that will be worth the money, more people will want the benefits of it. As it stands right now, its pretty much only worth to be elite for the atlas and journal. The other benefits, specially the broker fees, need a desperate rework. Match the preferences of your customers and turn elite into something everyone can enjoy, from new players to veterans.
  • edited May 10
    Zoknahal wrote: »
    I wouldnt say there would be a need to rework the entire approach of the shop, but more like, copy it from a successful developer that just the other day, got rid of their very last rng shop pack: Digital Extremes.

    ...Switching to the approach that a different developer did with an entirely different business model would be to "rework the entire approach." It's not like Digital Extremes did this without testing it out and seeing what worked for their customers. It's also not like copying what they did would work for every single game on the market just because it worked for them (otherwise, every single game developer would already have copied them -- they're all in this business to max their profits).

    You noted yourself that EME actually did a large number of experiments with different sales strategies. They've tried direct sales, bundles, lower prices, higher prices, lootbox failure caps, bonuses with purchase, various discount thresholds, time-limited offers, elite-only items/offers... the list goes on and on. These are all tests to see what actually drives customers to spend money. When a certain strategy performs above expectations, they try to do the same thing again to see if lightning strikes twice. That's the sort of careful approach you take when experimenting with your business model.

    It's great that Digital Extremes found a model that works for them, keeps their customers happy, and doesn't involve any cash shop RNG. (I actually literally have a cousin who works on Warframe, so it's particularly cool to me that they found success after their dicey stretch.) But it'd be a bit naive to assume they can just copy/paste what they did, drop it onto TERA, and suddenly profits go up. Each game and each audience is a bit different, and that's why it requires careful thought and experimentation. Of course, I would like to see them try harder and to see more concrete changes. I still say that posted odds and failure caps are a necessary first step.

    Zoknahal wrote: »
    - Elite needs desperately a rework. If you rework Elite to something that will be worth the money, more people will want the benefits of it. As it stands right now, its pretty much only worth to be elite for the atlas and journal. The other benefits, specially the broker fees, need a desperate rework. Match the preferences of your customers and turn elite into something everyone can enjoy, from new players to veterans.

    People say this, but what exactly do you want that will make it "worth the money" but won't be even more Pay-to-Win? (Broker listing fees I personally think they just the remove for the whole game, F2P and all. But if you do that, obviously, it wouldn't be an enticement for Elite anymore.)

  • WaraxeWaraxe
    edited May 11
    Returning player posting his 2 cents here:

    I dislike any form of gambling, for me personally. I won't demean or condemn anyone for doing so; it's their money, they can spend it on whatever they deem is worthy of their time. Beyond this, however, I straight up disagree that opting out of gambling should require massive expenditure on the part of the player for a single cosmetic item that isn't even the most desirable form (i.e loot boxes for dyeable costumes or costumes with effects vs. plain or solid color costumes).

    Spending money, above and beyond the purchase price (Tera wasn't always free to play), on a game I enjoy is perfectly fine to me, so long as I feel I'm not being ripped off. Being told to spend upwards of $30-$50 dollars for a cosmetic piece or bundle in it's least desirable form, one that isn't even an account wide, multi-character unlock, is a massive rip off. I can buy an entirely different game for that much money.

    I have an entire roster of all the classes, ranging from alts that hover in the 30-40 level range, to several mains at 65, and most of these have some form and quantity of cosmetic items on them, which were purchased both in-game and on the cash shop. I've spent a good $200-$400 over the years, but none of it has ever been a gamble and none of my purchases were ever worth more than $20 at a time.

    I take a look at the cash shop now and I just have to shake my head. Tera is getting away with charging $30 for a single-use cosmetic item on the basis that it grants flight with an additional in-game purchase of a skill, and this isn't even the bundle; that one costs $60. This is just one of a plethora of, in my opinion, egregious examples of greed on Tera's part. But hey, people are clearly buying them as I see the items on a character every so often.

    The point of my rant here is to say this: I have returned, but I will no longer be spending my money on this game, even for elite status, until the methodology behind the cash shop is completely changed. If the idea behind the anniversary items being brought back was designed to be an incentive for me to spend my money, it utterly failed. I hope this legislation or whatever it is the US government is intending puts the devs in a position where they have to rethink their approach to selling cosmetic items.

    At the end of the day, I think the majority of us can get behind the sentiment that a single item, in an intangible and digital environment, that is used purely for cosmetic purposes, shouldn't cost us anywhere near as much as an entirely different AAA-tier game would.
  • I hope it eliminates loot boxes, but who knows. You know its all rigged when they stuff specefic loot boxes with consumables just to stuff the odds against you. Any who defend this current system is most likely a troll or just lying to themselves. Let me spend my money in this game not gamble it away.
  • BallistixzBallistixz ✭✭
    edited May 12
    The premise of the bill is absolutely idiotic. they say its mainly to stop "minors" but its the PARENTS of those minors that lets these kids use their credit card to buy these RNG boxes. think about it. why does a kid who is barely in middle school have access to a credit card to swipe as much as he/she wants? the bill wont pass because of its idiotic mentality of "we merica! we got save kids!" . kids are stupid because mama and daddy allow them to do stupid things. if you are 18 years and older you should have the mental reasoning to buy or not to buy a RNG box.

    not only that, but all this will do IF it gets passed and taken seriously is make devs/publishers release direct buy items at INSANE prices, meaning it will be alot easier for people to pay 2 win a game, which WONT stop little annie from swiping $200 for that magical unicorn that increases DPS by 20%. hopefully you people see how stupid this is and that it will actually be a bad thing for MMOs in particular. People these days have forgotten how bad MMOs cash shops were before the dawn of RNG boxes.
  • Ballistixz wrote: »
    The premise of the bill is absolutely idiotic. they say its mainly to stop "minors" but its the PARENTS of those minors that lets these kids use their credit card to buy these RNG boxes. think about it. why does a kid who is barely in middle school have access to a credit card to swipe as much as he/she wants?

    Just for context on this, the biggest area where this happens is on phones that aren't properly configured with parental controls, since your card information is saved on your Google Play/iTunes account. It can also happen to a certain degree on Steam (where it lets you save your card information for future purchases). But aside even that, kids aren't stupid; they know where their parents keep their wallets/purses/etc. so it's not hard at all to take it when they're not looking if the kids are so inclined.

    What the law is trying to say is that games targeting children shouldn't be designed to encourage this kind of spending model in the first place. But... as you point out, this is naive, because the line between a "game for children" and a "game for adults" isn't always that clear, and no matter what measures you try to put in place as an age check, it's not hard for a determined kid to lie about it. If the law were actually going to make real systematic change throughout the industry, it'd have to be much more broad and forbid all games of chance that involve money (as some EU countries did) -- but, again as you point out, it doesn't necessarily mean that the net result will be "we'll go back to the old days" either.

    Mostly this proposal is a sign to the industry that the government is willing to consider legislation unless they take the matter into their own hands and clamp down on the more egregious practices. So at this point the ball's back in the industry's court (groups like the ESA) to propose some common-sense ways to calm people's fears/concerns a bit.
  • DaewaDaewa ✭✭
    edited May 13
    Fact is, if and when the law is passed, it will signal the end of Tera and a lot of games like them. It's not the player's fault that devs got greedy. The greed caused good games to be turned into less that stellar cash boxes where most of the devs time is spend finding new ways to fleece their customers rather than create good solid content. These games followed EA's lead in a sense. The dollar signs were far too tempting. Now the market is flooded with garbage p2p games. When this law goes through, and make no mistake, it will in one form or another, it will wipe the slate clean. Maybe then we will see a return to quality content. I'd rather see a few good f2p games than the mess we have now.
  • Will this effect TERA too? I do hope so. No more pointless RNG gambling from loot boxes. Just make those loot box items one-time direct purchase from the shop. 3.0 Hopefully this will make more of the player-base happy. :blush: GO AMERICA!

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