Greedy Goblin

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

BDO Ingot madness: maybe it's pay to win

I wrote that if I can buy shards and sell ingots, someone is a moron. The reasoning is simple: processing ores to shards needs the exact same effort as processing shards to ingots and the second action has much higher profit. Therefore if someone makes the shards and sells them instead of processing them all the way up to ingots must be a moron.

An alternative explanation hit me when I was thinking about how to hide the hideous processing costume. BDO makes lot of money selling stripper outfits to lonely young "men". They are mostly optional and cosmetic but some has serious function. Here you can see the original Venecil costume (perfect workwear for a medieval smith) and what I could make of it by repainting the damn thing:

So I was thinking how could I make it disappear, when it hit me why I'm wearing this prime example of sexism: because it's a powerful pay-to-win item. I didn't get it by chance, I paid $21 for it, that was the only way to get it. It makes it possible to take raw materials from the warehouse while processing. The products still fill up my backpack and processing stops when I reach weight limit. With +weight clothes, subscription ($15/month) and another $50 spent on weight limit increasing pay-to-win items, I can hold 4200 ingots next to my essential things. As creating 2.5 ingots take 12 seconds, I can process 5.6 hours straight, so my character is busy most of the time while I'm sleeping or working.

Without the Venecil costume, one must place all the raw materials to the backpack. As 4 shards are needed for every ingot and the weight of ingots is the same as the shards, I could place 2500 shards into my backpack if I didn't buy any pay-to-win and subscription, creating only 630 ingots in 50 minutes before filling up. So creating ingots is a no-go for someone who doesn't spend on pay-to-win. 2 ores are needed for 1 shard, so if someone creates shards, he can make 1260 without pay-to win over 1.6 hours. I can make 4200, so here he has a comparative advantage.

The moral of the story: it's very easy to forget and dismiss the effect of pay-to-win and consider other players "n00bs" who "fail" or "morons" for not doing something that we can only do because we paid. Despite I write a blog about rational thinking, the only reason I realized the above problem is that the visuals of the costume annoyed me. Pay-to-win is so powerful because it's so easy to ignore it and attribute success to skill instead.

Processing costume $20


maxim said...

This is more like an admittance fee to a serious competition.
You don't automatically win by wearing the suit, you just get more options available for you (which you can still screw up).

This all implies, there is such a thing as "serious competition" in BDO, though. If there is not, then what exactly are you winning and from whom?

Anonymous said...

a lot of p2w is admittance fee.
KR games are full of it. 100% enchants, huge HP pots on seperate cooldown, some candy with seperate buffs (for example, +5% runspeed). and the list goes on.
but even with a weapon of asomesauce from the p2w shops and guaranteed 25% more damage as compared to the nolife grinder that never stoped botting/playing since beta ... that still is a attendance fee and no press-one-button-win item.

Anonymous said...

You've just discovered the class form of privilege blindness. (Seriously), congratulations.

Randomus271 said...

@maxim - That is why I hate the term "Pay to Win" - people read it literally...and *of course* the literal act of paying to win doesn't exist in any successful game because it is ridiculous. Any game that let you literally pay to *win* the game outright would run out of players instantly as they would all "win" and go away...

People really should just start calling it what it is, despite the fact that it doesn't sound as catchy: "Pay to Gain a Competitive Advantage"

However, since P2W will never go away, I guess we'll just have to read what people *mean* by it rather than trying to take it literally...

maxim said...

If people are morally outraged by what they call pay-to-win, then they certainly don't just mean "Pay to Gain a Competitive Advantage". At the very least, they also mean that the advantage you get wins you the game automatically. Which is almost never the case in notable titles, as you have said.

Gevlon said...

@Maxim: in League of Legends, if you pay, you get free win. Literally.

Also, competitive advantage correlates well with winning, so those who pay win more than those who don't. So it's "pay to likely win"

maxim said...

Saying that "if you pay, you win next LoL game 100% of the time" is factually incorrect. So no, not literally.

Also, you will find that "Pay to likely win" is a far worse clickbait than just "pay to win".

Ultimately, the thing about victory is that victory is binary - you either win, or you do not win. "Correlates well" is simply not good enough.

Gevlon said...

@Maxim: it is good enough for all the "skillz" people who spend lots of time practicing moves just so their chance to win increase a bit.

Anonymous said...

Manos Golden Coral Belt gives + 100 LT basic and +300 LT @ III level.

belt + trader outfit @ +3 gives 600 LT.