Greedy Goblin

Friday, June 17, 2016

The Ghillie disaster

In the most recent patch notes there is a tiny line "Name Tag will be displayed even if players equip Ghillie suit in node, siege and red battle field." This is a disaster for two reasons. In case you are unfamiliar with it, "Ghillie suit" or "Treant costume" is a cash shop item priced around $30 (depending on what pearl packs you buy) that gave a huge advantage in PvP: hid your nameplate, forcing your enemy to identify you in the battlefield, instead of just looking at a big nameplate.

Update: The price of the Ghillie was refunded!

First thing first: if they don't give a refund at least in pears, I will stop playing instantly and a "Don't play BDO!" goes right to the permanent pages. Selling an expensive power item and then nerfing it into useless vanity is flat out scamming, even if they can lawyer themselves out at court (Note: lawyering doesn't stop me from believing that they act in bad faith, stop dealing with them and warn my readers from ever dealing with them). Imagine a car dealer selling cars and then announce that you can't use them on the road.

I made a mistake when I didn't stop playing EVE in the instant CCP Falcon went publicly Goon-supporter and dragged myself in a game I no longer liked for half a year. Not again, I won't stay wishing and hoping that things get better. They never do. A refund in pearls is bad enough, but it kind of fits to the "we give only coupons as refunds/compensations to customers" from the business world. So here is what I'll do. After this goes up - unless there are automatic refunds - I open a ticket and demand refund. If it's rejected or not answered in 2 weeks, I stop playing and create a "Don't play BDO" page to warn my readers against scammers.

Don't get me wrong, I was never happy that BDO has a cash shop, but the clear results show that customers value in-game power over game access. I had to accept that only by selling items can an MMO stay profitable and decided to spend the usual $180/year ($15/month) on the game I'm playing.

Now the second problem: aside from being a cash shop item, I think Ghillie suit is the best thing that happened in MMO PvP for a long time. I always considered nameplates largely immersion braking and something that makes "target calling" mandatory. Focusing fire on the weakest or most important opponent is obviously the right choice in group combat. Nameplates remove the decision making from players and let a "fleet commander" make the decision, rendering the rest of the group nothing more than bots. In EVE, this was literally the case when players just set their ship to orbit the commander, assigned him their drones and went AFK, allowing the commander to control the movement and fire of 254 other (non-)players. Due to nameplates, individual player skill is secondary to mere obedience. This of course preferred by those who are better in obeying orders than thinking for themselves.

Putting nameplates back to node wars and sieges would make a project-making much harder. If my guild become the #1 in sieges, it would only prove that "Gevlon is a good leader and has awful lot of obedient minions". Thank you, no one cares about my bragging and "be minions" is not something I want to preach. Before you ask, "nameplates" weren't a problem in EVE, because the act of PvP was meaningless. The battle was decided before the first shot, mostly by economy and planning, so it didn't really matter if the players were in AFK Dominixes. If the BDO battles will be similarly economy-based (gear-based) than I can have a project. If it's about "who calls the names of the enemy wizards first" contest, not much.

Of course I'm still hoping that things will go well: they retract the change or they refund Ghillie buyers and the battles will be about planning and organizing and not about target calling. But I am realistic and got enough disappointments already from shady/corrupted devs, so I draw the line here, mostly for myself to avoid another half year of making up excuses why do I play a game I know to be bad.

PS: as it is currently, I like the game and play happily. I could adapt to the other changes already, for example I figured out what to do with my energy no longer needed for processing:


Hanura H'arasch said...

So, assuming the worst, what game will be next?

Gevlon said...

I have no idea.

Anonymous said...

I am enjoying your posts, but can't get that interested in BDO. Why try to be Dagny when Wesley Mouch's Bureau of Economic Planning and National Resources is protecting the public from the evils of an unregulated AH? IDK if I find the AH too anti-crafting, anti-capitalist or just too strange, but it still looks like a deal breaker for me personally.

GL however it turns out.

Shivaro said...

In the case of the ghillie suite, the devs would gladely kept it the way it was.this suit is major money maker for them and nerfing it in game make no sense. The reason of the change is like a lot of changes in bdo is the devs caving to the community.

Anonymous said...

don't people use brains anymore. The ghili nerf was a matter of "WHEN it will happen" not "IF it will happen". It was the first thing going through my mind reading its description! I bought it knowing that it will only last a few month maybe a year. they should have made it a 30day item like oh so many KR mmo cash shop items.
I don't expect refund.
Also it will not impact my game that hard, sure some nuke/sucide-pvp gets harder ... but I did that kind of pvp for the last decade in a handful of mmos ... so I don't care really and of all the people you shouldn't too.
red-bf is a zerg and will be after nerf. absolutely no change there, rly, my gameplay doesn't change much and I do the same thing like you only with a witch.
nodewars/siege. nukers, if ghilied or not, have to be dealt with no matter what. so if you actually need to call them by their name you play with mindless idiots. if nukes flank you call "nukes flank! sqauds x,y!" that should be more than enough. gw2 wvw, aion siege, vanilla wow openpvp city zergs ... as lead you never called names ever. your squads know what to focus even w/o marks. Maybe this is a EVE thing but you seem smart you will adept.

"Devs are all shady". gaming industry is a high risk adventure. so only the special kind of sharks go into it and flourish. if you don't see that by now, why bother making this blog? Are there exceptions? yes there are and all these game projects failed.

Gevlon said...

@Anon: they either give refund or they will get some bad publicity (and no more spending of course). I don't really see it a good business to scam people for $30 when they willingly spent $100.

Anonymous said...

Again "Devs are all shady". A cash shop is a scam. You buy stuff witch should have been build into the game from the start. "you can -enjoy- the game without spending more than 30 bucks." - yeah right. Is it false advertisement? no not really it is very grey tho. To have a cash shop is already bad PR. They don't care, other publishers/devs don't care so why should a kr f2p shark?

That is what I mean. You know it, I know it and there should be no surprise here. but it reads like it. nothing in a game is set in stone, absolutely nothing no matter if you spend 12k+$ or nothing at all.
Is it bad? Of course, no denying that!

Kurtizzle said...

Also Gevlon, just remember why you bought the suit and how you commented on how broken Ghillie suits were and how you viewed them as pay to win, before you eventually made the purchase.

maxim said...

Frankly, i didn't expect you'd even stay in BDO as long as you did.
I guess there is a little bit of a solo-player virtual farm manager in all of us :D

seanas said...

this just in: Ghillie suit refund to anyone who asks who purchased it between 18 May and 14 June:

" Why did you change the Ghillie suit ?

After consideration we have decided to offer a refund to anyone who purchased the Ghillie suit between the 18th of May and 14th of June. To do so simply contact our support team."

Gevlon said...

@Kurtizzle: I simply realized that the only way devs get money if they offer weak content for free and get the "subscription" from selling power items. It's nasty, but it's not their fault but of the players who'd rather pay for power than for the game.

@maxim: BDO economy is full of interesting options. It's a very good game and not like the "press button receive farm item" Facebook crap.

maxim said...

I'd be interested in reading in a bit more detail what is it you think makes BDO stand out from the usual "execute procedure to get resources" economy games.
From what you described so far, it just seems like a more elaborate version of Hay Day (with combat items for your character instead of boat crates)

Anonymous said...

nothing in a game is set in stone
called it!
And here goes BDO again. caving to western softened filth. absolutely no surprise. It seems I'm getting to old, actually beating "hard" games and having fun doing that. fuck p2w ... these new tablet gaming generation loosers have socialmedia and invented the new hotness: w2w - whine2win, nag the devs till you get your toy(s)/nerfs/buffs.
And sure we can argue game design and the amount of risk taking to go online with certain unfinished systems.

revamping skill system
Let me take an educated guess. *sigh*

that's it, fuck m, I go full PK till they nerf CC grieving to the ground. why can't they wait till legion comes so the mmo plague drifts away to their wow safespace ..... those idiots.

Kines Pavelovna said...

The only MMO I can think of atm is Elder Scrolls online... Any interest in playing a non-MMO?


Hanura H'arasch said...

@Gevlon: do you consider the limited refund acceptable? Still somewhat shady I suppose, but then again it's better than nothing.

JackTheManiac said...

There is Final Fantasy 14 ARR/Heavensward.

It plays like TBC but it's a gear tiered with nerfs to catch up every patch. Doing the story is mandatory, it's like a single player JRPG. Not for everyone, more enjoyable if you enjoy it.

jstk said...

How can this games economy be interesting when everyone is self sufficient and there's literally no way of trading whatsoever outside some arbitrary prices which aren't even close to their real value most of the time? I mean, even most activities (except for workers and node) are almost like Facebook games that force you to be online all day. The game is actually extremely shallow in most regards and just has this nice pretend cover over it. I'm surprised you haven't realised this yet.

Gevlon said...

@jstk: everyone SHOULD be self sufficient, but most are poor. Seeing regulation methods at work (and fail) is a much more interesting (and real-worldy) economic simulation than free market utopias.

You don't have to be online, your computer is. Also, I find "give command and see it unfolds" more interesting and decision-based than "grind mobs/dance around boss".

Prothseda said...


I'm curious. When did you purchase the Ghillie suit? They state on their official posts: After consideration we have decided to offer a refund to anyone who purchased the Ghillie suit between the 18th of May and 14th of June.

I attempted to get a refund for the one I purchased ages ago anyway but was refused.

I'm curious to know if you purchased yours before the 18th of May, and if so would you mind if I referenced this blog post in a follow-up refund request.


Gevlon said...

I got it exactly on 18 May. Since between 18 May and 14 June there isn't a full month or 30 days, I have this crazy suspicion that they got scared of my post and made sure I got refund.

Prothseda said...

Yes, I was having the same thought. But, on the 18th and a few months before it a pretty different situations so I probably still don't have a leg to stand on. Oh well. Thanks for the info! :D