Greedy Goblin

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

This is a huge negative for Albion Online

Destabilizator wrote:
Did you hear/know about Albion Online? It's full loot MMO, not that different from EVE, currently in final beta (release eta 3-4 months). What I wanted to point out is that they are currently trying to come up with a system of GvG and meaningful open world PvP and similar systems - it looks to me like you may want to throw your analytics/theory skills into work there. Unique opportunity to make up a system that would get implemented. Thread with some discussion and you can also catch ppl/devs on Discord.
It's clear he wanted to encourage me about Albion Online, but got the very opposite result. I'm much less likely to even give a chance to the game. Why? Because in EVE I learned the hard way that devs working with players is a horrible idea.

On the first look, it's a great idea: instead of just pulling something out of their butt, they are constantly in discussion with the future customers to make the best product for them. Many companies do it with great effect. But games are very different from other products/services. In other fields the different customers have common interests. I want a car as comfortable and safe as the next guy and the more he enjoys riding the car the more like I will. In games we will be competing against each other. The more he'll like the game, the more likely I'll be pwned by him. For this reason he won't lobby to make the game universally better, but to make the game cater to him and to his buddies against everyone else.

To make it worse, no player is as invested in a game as the monetizers: RMT-ers, streamers, ad-riddled blog owners. For them it's not a game, it's a job. So they will not only tell their opinion on every occasion, but will also try to silence others and corrupt the devs, either socially (by becoming their real life friends) or flat out bribe.

We saw how bad this can get in EVE where Goons gained immunity against even the grossest of EULA violations and how they managed to nerf competitive play out of the game to turn it into an "all of our adclickers are Sov-holders" play. Then we saw how blatant RMTers corrupted the devs and gained control over the whole political landscape with their illicitly gained ISK. None of these could happen if CCP followed the good corporate policies and kept the decision makers away from outside influence. The results are devastating: since the last expansion (which flat out catered to the RMT-ers), 1/3 of the players left in 3 months. With this rate EVE will be dead in a year.

I'm afraid this will happen to Albion Online, except they won't even have a chance to start up. The monetizers will get their voice heard and the game will be unplayable for normal players to begin with. The best corporate-community relations I can imagine is "We make the game we want. You play it if you want or play something else if you don't like it." While I'm not happy about the P2W changes of BDO, the way they ignored player protests actually made me more likely to stay with BDO.

Social people are attracted to "open, friendly" groups, ignoring that such groups are open and friendly to their competitors too, turning the system into nepotism/asskissing contest. The only systems we can trust are objective and meritocratic. I want devs to listen to their own expertise and the sales charts instead of to me.

12 comments:

Provi Miner said...

LOL Gobs you crack me up, oh ok I will play. Once upon a time a company knew that a $15 would make their item much safer however the total cost to retool and convert existing items was so high it would push the product out of it price nich. Then the "decisions makers" who didn't ask for input from the "users" made the math decision to forgo the $15 part. They paid off the failures till a whistle blower released the internal communications (and this will always 200% of the time happen eventually) and the "users" went ballistic. Why were we not told, why were we not included, why would you not tell anyone. Blah blah blah end result the company not only paid out the costs to those hurt by the item but then paid out the lawyers to defend themselves, paid the fines, paid the winners court costs, paid to retool the whole system paid to fix existing products. You are nuts if you think in todays modern world decision makers can "not" involve the users in anything. But nice rant none the less. Listen to, inform yes always cater to? no not so much.

Anonymous said...

If you are a dev you hear all players, which is impossible, or you hear none. When you hear only few, you start favouring them. Devs in EVE are corrupted, best friends with largest, most influential groups or ex members from those groups, so they do many things in their benefits - game changes, public promotions, protection from EULA violations. If you are a casual who wants to have fun, make friends, noRMTer then you have no chance - it may bring you fun at the beginning, but you will quit when you see that your group is simply not allowed to grow. Not allowed to grow by streamers, podcasters, ad-riddler blog owners, RMTers who are all part form those groups who control devs. They will do everything to maintain their in-game social status that disappears when they log-off, they also need to keep their RMT going because this is also a job for them and they are fully immersed. EVE will be dead in a year.

Destabilizator said...

w00t I am famous :-)
Albion devs, compared to EVE devs, have fair share of their own wits and basically any proposal gets first counterargumented by Lead Designer.
Eg.: there was obvious P2W discussion, that you can exchange premium currency for ingame currency and... well normally you'd want high-end gear (which you cannot use right off the bat), but there would need to be some on the market at first place. But there was possibility of spending low tier mats + ingame currency to transmute into higher mats. P2W P2W! Well, it got changed, in somewhat sophisticated way and you cannot ram your way with $.

Another point, going vs. RMT in hand is, that ingame currency is sort of not really that valuable and usefull as it is in EVE.

I understand and somewhat agree with your points vs. EVE, but I still think Albion is going better path. Certainly not the one "we do everything that our customers want", as your post might suggest, they say "no" more often than not.

Jafaar Amarr said...

Firstly let it be known that no one man has ever been corrupted by money:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p86IzjXPc_0
....cartoon clowns don't count, even in satire.

As far as EVE online goes i think the actual product they have is just good enough to keep going. I will agree that a few devs are so corrupt you would want them held accountable by law, but there are many members who's only intention is to produce more lasting content and find the bugs and exploits.

"new jita" will die long before eve.

Anonymous said...

> I want devs to listen to their own expertise and the sales charts instead of to me.

And what if their own expertise and sales charts lead them to conclude that interacting with players is profitable?

Eve's success, at least in part, has always been that players feel part of the process, part of the game. Dev fraternisation delivers that. Perhaps it's not the only way to deliver that... but you'd be foolish to think that a company with a bottom line to look after is acting the way they are acting simply because they want players to like them....

Whether you agree with it or not, if by your own standards they are listening to the market and it's leading them to behave in the manner they are behaving, then your conclusions are wrong, right?

Gevlon said...

@Destabilizator: EVE devs say "no" more often than not. The exception is when their "buddies" ask for something. I'm afraid the same will happen in Albion. I can't see into the future, but only if it's quickly increasing revenues and become a hit, I give it a chance. I don't even consider early adopting.

@Anon: by their own results only 10% of the players take part in group/diverse activities, so fraternization with them can't help EVE. EVE lived because of it's "PvE in space" in highsec niche and it's "full PvP" in low/null/WH niche.

Destabilizator said...

@Gevlon: sounds fair

Anonymous said...

Sure 10% interact but those that don't are find the narrative compelling. It's not too much of a stretch to conclude that fraternising with 10% has a greater than 10% impact on their bottom line.

I know of plenty of players who espouse the virtues of the way Eve is but don't actually participate in the grand space opera. The marketing is clearly powerful and working.

maxim said...

@Gevlon
You are being overly ideological. Just because something might go bad doesn't mean it has already had gone bad or will definitely go bad in the future. In fact, it might even go good.

There are plenty of other reasons to not play Albion Online at the moment.

If you said "i don't want to try Albion Online because it is apparently still in beta (official or not) and i don't want to bother with unfinished product", that'd make more sense.

If you said: "i don';t want to try Albion Online because it offers little opportunity for offline progression and thus is not very suitable for my semi-offline playstyle", that'd actually make perfect sense.

P.S: not playing Albion Online atm because no time. Might in the future though, i've been looking for something grindy and brain-dead to occasionally relax in front of

dobablo said...

Players make terrible developers, even those that aren't trying to corrupt the game to their own advantage. As J. Allen Brack said, "You think you do , but you don't"
The overwhelming majority of vocal or frequent requests I see for game developers to "improve" systems would actually result in them being less fun, interesting or challenging to play.
Players are a useful resource for developers, but they need to be used for fine tuning systems with carefully aimed and specific questions in mind.

Anonymous said...

Devs working with players. It usefulness actually depends on game. Competive games, like LoL and shooters, dont get corrupt from players. Only games where wealth gives power have this kind of problems. Secondly, ideas work both ways. Some ideas give reasons why to implement a feature in game, but on same time some ideas give reason why not to implement same feature in a game. Because Gevlon has so good experience in EVE, its a good to place your ideas to test. It actually wont matter if you play albion online or not. Your fight is not to show how this game should be, but to show how those ideas what they propose will not work. If you can change their mind, its victory for you and proof that your idea is useful. You actually got power and respect without your trading empire and wealth. Use it.

Phelps said...

There is one group of players to listen to -- the eLeague types. First, they are monetizing the game outside the confines of it, so they don't have to advance their own "game power" to do it. Second, they are at a high enough level to realize that anything that lets them pwn other people will be used on them by other pro players as good as they are. That means they have less incentive to break the game, and in fact will often tell you exactly how the game is broken (because they want to rely on skill rather than RNG.)

I think that is the real difference between LoL and the others. It has an active pro, media based body that the devs can rely on for input -- even if a lot of that input is implied simply by looking at how they play.

That's the other half of the equation -- devs should spend 10x as much time looking at what players do rather than what they say.