Greedy Goblin

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

"Quality of life" = power

I purchased some "quality of life" improvements in Black Desert Online, like more storage slots in Heidel, more weight for my main, more stable slots in Velia and Olvia. I also bought some backpack slots with Loyalty points (which are coming slowly and you can buy instantly with money). I bought lodging practically everywhere, which is equal to buying contribution points. And I bought a horse ranch from contribution points for more storage carts (horse slots are available for money too).

Did any of these directly made me more powerful? No. Did they help me a lot to increase my earning power? Yes, so I get more in-game money now that I have more workers and can do more production without running out of slots. But hey, that's just in-game money and you can grind it, since your time is free! This time I don't argue with this nonsense, because the point isn't what you can grind, the point is that I earn more in-game money after paying real money than I did before. So I clearly became more powerful than I was.

"Quality of life" purchases remove interruptions from play, therefore make you be able to gain power more efficiently. Sure, it's still me who gains the power, but I do it faster now. So such payments are a multiplier. Your power gain is skill_gain*(1+payment_bonus). The first is probably more important, but ignoring the second is delusion. Imagine a drug that makes 1 hour training for an athlete as effective as 1.5 hours of training without it. It's just quality of life, as the athlete still have to train, right? Oh wait, steroids do just that and they are banned from competitive athletics.

Why isn't this obvious? Because of social self-defending delusions. If I'm a paying player, it feels much better to believe that my "skillz" earned my power. It isn't completely wrong, since you need something to multiply. Accepting that I'm progressing faster than Joe can easily be because I'm paying more cuts into my ego, so I don't believe that, I belittle payment as "just some quality of life". Those who don't pay do the same belittling because if they'd accept the truth, their rational options would be "pay" and "quit" and they want neither. On the other hand they are also free to call everyone ahead of them as "wallet warriors", regardless of their actual payment, their skill and the fact that no one forced anyone to play with a pay-to-win game.

I don't delude myself: my payment made me more powerful than an equally skilled but non-paying player. I'm not happy about this, but I have to accept the scientific result. After that my options are "not playing at all" and "playing a P2W game". Of course I can choose a "limited" P2W game, like Black Desert, where you can only spend a limited amount of money and this limit is in the range of 1 year of WoW subscription. In unlimited P2W games you can always buy something that makes you more powerful than the guy who paid a bit less. You can't pay a million dollars on BDO even if you buy everything with any function (I doubt if you can pay a thousand). On the other hand you can pay a million dollars on EVE, probably even get a special deal around $10/PLEX, getting 100K PLEX-es that can be sold for 90T, making you able to destroy two or three undefeatable empires. Or resurrect Goons. Or whatever you want, unless someone spending 1.1M is stopping you.

Talking about buying power:
5M is something that you can get in a day effortlessly from a lazily set up worker empire. Or something that you can grind in an hour or two with a good group in a max level Sausan Garrison node. Who the hell pays $11 for that? If it's a representative goldseller price, than my BDO income already beats my EVE income in goldseller $. I mean I could earn about 2B per hour in EVE and goldsellers sell that for $13. I'm surprised.


Manserk said...

How do they transfer the money ? Wasn't it the point of have a lot of restrictions to avoid this ?

Anonymous said...

The gold seller price is always high at the beginning of a game, when people are impatient and want things.

It drops off after an initial rush. Gold sellers are prominent in new launches, especially grindy games like Archeage and BDO (and until the devs get a handle on it, which in these games takes ages).

Who pays $11 for that? The same people who buy PLEX with $$ to get ISK. You say "You can get that gold in a day, or in an hour or two".....People who have their time valued at higher than $11 per day, or $6-$11 per hour might consider that. (Especially in Eve, where it is perfectly fine via PLEX to spend $ to get eve, the "Best ISK/Hr" is "Any job above minimum wage")

Gevlon said...

They don't. That's why the "1 hr for 1M" and "100% handwork" parts. The idiot gives them their password and they log in to their account to farm silver. Of course they also try the password on other popular services in hope that the idiot is idiot enough.

dobablo said...

Quality of life purchases are the ones that I have the biggest issue with in cash shops. It pressurises the developers to putting fun-blocks into the basic version of the game and hands a sometimes substantial advantage to the buyers. All this while trying to obscure blatant the pay-to-win as a simple convenience item.

Shivaro said...

You can buy silver with item shop with the horse skill reset item.
As in all thing BDO its RNG base (remind me of p2w box scheme with random rewards), but at the end of the day this way you can turn real money into silver.

Anonymous said...

Yes. sure. because there is no real definition there is no point arguing.

but there is subtle difference. do you buy instant power?
- ingame potions only heal 4k the cashshop potions heals 10k on a separate cooldown?
- are there 100% helpers in the cashshop? to reduce RNG for enchanting or slotting or what ever RNG -gear/-skilltree related.
- is there a buff that tops some stats like +movement speed, +1k health, +immune to CC?
- flat out gear that is 20% better in any stat over BiS ingame gear
that is the kind of pay2win the west doesn't seem to want.

convenience, is mostly timers and slots. like 1h xp scrolls, or bank expansion. this kind of p2w is time based and suffers diminishing return over time. sure nolife whales could chain chug 1h % scrolls and grind for months. but whales+nolife is a combination I don't see in games.
In a strict sense of "can you buy what otherwise does not exist ingame" yes .. BDO has that. is it as bad as Aion or lionage? absolutely not!

Lei Merdeau said...

on android tablet

I'm playing Boom Beach, no idea why anyone would bother paying. Faster progression just means bigger predators.

Clash Royale by the same developer (Clash of Clans artwork) which would be painful free, but $8 AU every 2 months makes a huge difference.
Also playing Fantasy Warfare Tactics which has a $5 US/month deal, great value IF you logon every day which you need to do for the daily game credits anyway.
Both of these offer random packs to waste your $ and FWT has $ gated special characters/their gear. I really like the FWT tactical combat altho it has a lot of slot machine like addictive rewards, something to beware.