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Free Game Time and a Tauntaun PetFollow

#1 Apr 12 2012 at 8:40 PM Rating: Good
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Linky, link, link.

Easier to read link.

Basics:

You get 30 days of free game time if, by today, you had at least 1 level 50 character, had not been banned, and had redeemed a game time card or signed up for a subscription.

You get the Tauntaun pet if you have all of the above, but the level 50 character is not required.


Furthermore:

If you do not have an active account, you can log in anyway from April 13th through the 19th. Will only apply, however, to accounts who had paid for at least one month, and the account must not have been banned.

If you resubscribe by the 21st, you will get the Tauntaun pet.


Genius move on BioWare's part. Of course, people are freaking out over it because the game time is only going to people with a level 50. Because they allegedly only care about people with a character at cap. Smiley: disappointed
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#2 Apr 13 2012 at 5:33 AM Rating: Good
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Rewritten after beating a wall to death.

It's a ridiculous criteria that you need a level 50 character. It's discriminating and stupid, and whoever came up with it needs to know this. A lot of players, myself included, has played this game since launch, or close to launch. A lot of us don't have a level 50, but have stood by the game while people were jumping ship due to lack of end-game content. Because of this, we weren't in a rush to hit end-game and instead focused on leveling up multiple characters.

Instead of taking one character to level 50, I've taken a dozen (seriously, two servers full) to level 20+. Due to a population drop and lack of paid character transfers, I've had to restart on a more populated server after hitting level 25+ on four characters.

The issue here is that BioWare is handing out a monetary reward based on a stupid criteria. They're basically saying that those with a level 50 character are the "valued players" while those with a dozen level 49's aren't.

BioWare wrote:
As a thanks for being one of our most valued players, every active account with a Level 50 character as of April 12th, 2012 at 12:00PM CDT / 5:00PM GMT, will receive thirty (30) days of game time in appreciation for your support and loyalty.


It's discriminating and insulting. I could level a character to 50 in a week if I just spacebar-spammed my way through the content, but how the **** does that make me worth more than the guy who watched all the cutscenes, did all the bonus missions, flashpoints and stuff along the way? If anything, the valued player should be the guy who took the time to experience (and appreciate) the content.

Stupid criteria. Stupid reward. Free game time should be reserved for when BioWare needs to compensate for prolonged downtime, and then everyone should be entitled to the gift.

Edited, Apr 13th 2012 2:58pm by Mazra
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#3 Apr 13 2012 at 6:53 AM Rating: Good
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I disagree, because I think you are missing the point entirely.

This is a direct response to player complaints regarding lack of endgame content from launch up until now, and is probably linked to BioWare's decision to remove ranked PVP from this patch. Players who do not yet have a 50 largely don't because A. they don't care to or B. they are having more than enough fun with the leveling content.

In either case, lack of endgame content hasn't been hurting their TOR experience. For every moment they've logged on, BioWare has delivered a solid, enjoyable gaming experience.

This is very, very different for the other side of things. Granted, plenty of 50s have leveled alts, but there's a significant population for whom that isn't an interest. They got to level 50, but had relatively little to do. Add to the small amount of content small server pops, and their experience has been less than enjoyable. Many of them would go ahead and level an alt at this point, just because they're bored.

While BioWare has actually been releasing content at a praiseworthy pace, players still feel ignored.

This is an attempt to reward that sort of loyalty with something tangible. When one group of players is having fun during all the time they pay for, and another group isn't, but pays because they want to support the game, that's a big distinction. It doesn't make the endgamers "more important," it's because they suffered where the altoholics didn't.

When you complained to Blizzard's customer service and they awarded you some game time in response, it wasn't a sign of favoritism. It was an apology. That's what this is--an apology to the players who haven't had content.

You said yourself that free time should be issued when the server was down for extended period. But, in an odd way, isn't that essentially what has been the case with endgame players? Sure, servers were up. But there really wasn't anything going on they were interested in.

And then there's a whole other line of reasoning on the monetary side. This promotion has two important points. Its cutoff date was the launch date for the patch and it targets endgame players.

Anyone who came back to the game to see 1.2 (before the patch) is now going to get 2 months for the price of 1 to be convinced to stay. That's a HUGE increase in the time limit for BioWare to make their case. And ties right into the free week, and Tauntaun for subscribing bit. It's not about a preferred group, it's about targeting the demographic that left the game that they want back.

Furthermore, remember how much money we are already talking about. "Players who have a level 50 character" is almost certainly less than half of subscribers. So you are saying they should more than double the amount of money they are losing, to make things fair. But we are talking about $500+ thousand dollars in lost subsciption fees if they did so. Are you seriously going to be making that argument? Do you honestly think that choosing one demographic is so vile that it's warranted to demand BioWare sacrifice half a million dollars to give the same reward to everyone?

Remember, this is a calculated promotion. The hope is that, by losing one month of playtime for people who would have paid for one, they'll cement enough subscriptions to make it worth it in the long run.

Furthermore, realize that this promotion is meant to target, primarily, the players who rushed to 50, and then didn't leave. Yeah, some people were lucky enough to subscribe before 1.2, but the cutoff was deliberate so you couldn't just come back and take advantage of it. This definitely isn't just about enticing endgame players back, and has everything to do with apologizing the ones that stuck around.
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#4 Apr 13 2012 at 7:03 AM Rating: Good
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I know why they did it. Doesn't make it less discriminating and insulting, though.

You don't hand out free game time for anything other than downtime. And considering the massive issues they've had with server instability and maintenance since launch, I'd say 30 days for everyone is about right.

Give the ADHD players some in-game fluffy toy in appreciation for their support and loyalty and value and sh*t. See if I care. Just don't give me the whole "they deserve it for being super special snowflakes!" sob story.

Edited, Apr 13th 2012 3:13pm by Mazra
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#5 Apr 13 2012 at 7:12 AM Rating: Good
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It's frankly not insulting at all. You are attributing to the gift something that isn't a part of it (a distinction of relative importance), then calling discrimination for it. That's... crazy.

If you know why you did it, and that reason is as an apology for failing to provide endgame content, then you can't pretend like it's anything other than a reimbursement for their failure towards those players. They don't consider the lower level players less important. They just didn't fail them.

When any company receives a complaint that they delivered a sub par product, they'll usually replace it within reason. This is the exact same thing. Some players, out of the whole, received (from BioWare) an experience that was sup par. This is their way for making up for that lost time.

I see no problems there.
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#6 Apr 13 2012 at 7:15 AM Rating: Good
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Of course you don't think it's insulting, Digg. You're one of their "most valued customers" after all.

Pot, kettle, black (wait, that's not the right one... is it "grass is always greener"?). We could argue this all day and we'd still see it differently. You see it as a reward, which makes you happy. I see it as an insult to a vast majority of the player base.

I don't give a sh*t about the $15 I could've saved, had I been one of the Spacebar monsters who stumbled into end-game a week after launch and thought a completely fleshed set of Operations would be waiting for me. I feel sorry for them. Most of all, I feel sorry for their co-workers, but that's a different story. It's the way they presented this "apology" by calling players with a level 50 their "most valued players."

A lot of players have been stuck with EC1003 and 9000 issues since launch. Do they get a free month as well? What about the people who can't play the game at all due to hardware incompatibility, crashes, stuttering, etc? What about the guy who was unable to play the game for a month because Customer Support didn't reply to any of his messages? There were so many things wrong with this game at launch that rewarding just end-game players is an insult in itself.

If they really wanted to reward those who hit end-game two months ago, they would've imposed a secondary criteria called "you must have been subscribed since launch, yo" and that'd be that. Instead, some guy who subscribed a week ago and is still running off of his free month of game time can get a second month for free for being good at pressing Spacebar.

Therein lies the idiocy and discrimination.

Edited, Apr 13th 2012 3:26pm by Mazra
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#7 Apr 13 2012 at 7:25 AM Rating: Good
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I definitely don't fall into the target demographic. I'm one of the players who has it by chance, realistically. But I'm positive it wouldn't bother me if I didn't get it, because I just don't see it as favoritism.

Maybe you're right and they should have given a free month out to everyone sooner. I never had those stability issues, so I honestly have no clue what other people were facing.

And let's be blunt, like all promotions, this isn't being done as a thank you. It's being done for the same reason a shop gives a little girl a new ice cream cone after she drops her--it's about future profits.

The email they sent me wrote:
You are one of our most active and valued high level players and we know you have been waiting patiently for Game Update 1.2: Legacy. To show our appreciation, check out all the great new features this update has to offer-on us.


Potentially insulting language aside, this really says clearly what they are hoping this will do--help assuage the anger of endgame players by encouraging them to think more favorably about 1.2.

That's really all it is. It's not about their favorites, or loyalty, or anything else. It's a calculated promotion to address the issues of a specific group.

Not saying those with stability issues aren't an important one, either, but that's definitely a small minority of players. Of course BioWare isn't going to give everyone a free month for that--it would be losing a ridiculous amount of money for nearly no return. Plus, you do realize it's somewhat insane to group players who couldn't play because of system issues with those who get a free month, right? That's actually MORE insulting.

And since they have no way to target just those players, it won't happen. Blizz never did it, and I doubt BioWare will either.

[EDIT]

There was an issue on their end where some players downloaded a patch on Wed night that was improper, and borked the game. So you'd have to reinstall. They gave them all 3 days of game time. I have no clue if this is the first time they've done something like that, but it's at least a sign that they care about stability problems that are their fault now.

Edited, Apr 13th 2012 9:32am by idiggory
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#8 Apr 13 2012 at 7:36 AM Rating: Good
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I understand their intention with the reward, I really do. I just think they went about it the wrong way. And as a billion dollar company, BioWare should know how to construct a press release that doesn't insult half their customers.

As for the reward itself, I don't think free game time should be used on select groups of players. It should be for the entire community, or none. Now that they've giving free game time to people who were "cheated out of it" at launch, they'll have to give free game time to everyone "cheated out of it" at launch, which includes disconnects, lack of CSR replies and the likes.

Like someone wrote in the official "complain about the 30 days" sticky:

Quote:
Should have hit 50 and then QQ'd on the forums about it. You get free stuff apparently. I don't have much MMO experience and didn't realise that's how they operated.

But I'm learning fast. Smiley: grin


Edited, Apr 13th 2012 3:52pm by Mazra
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#9 Apr 13 2012 at 7:53 AM Rating: Good
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Free game time has always been targeted in WoW, though, so why's it so surprising here? Yeah, they never just gave it to endgame players, but I can only think of one or two times when they gave free time to everyone to make up for the stability issues that weren't universal. And those were extremely significant minorities.
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#10 Apr 13 2012 at 8:16 AM Rating: Good
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If they're going to use free game time for a select group of players then they need to make sure the restrictions aren't @#%^ing ridiculous.

Their intention was to apologize to those who hit level 50 months back and had nothing to do? Fine, reward those people, don't reward everyone with a level 50. And sure as sh*t don't call them your "most valued players" in the process.

Remove foot from mouth and try again, BioWare.

Another player in aforementioned sticky wrote:
Now here, we have a gesture obviously intended as a "We know many of you at endgame have been waiting for content that we are unfortunately not ready to debut. As a thank you for your patience and an implicit promise that it is coming, everyone sitting at 50 as of April 12 will receive a free month of play time." Instead, they went with a wording that was quite insulting to a large number of players.

I'm curious to see the damage control go into effect. That's largely going to be the deciding factor for a lot of folks. And for the record, yeah, I'm one of them waiting and seeing. Having been here since December, I do find it a bit insulting that I am not as loyal as someone who started a couple of weeks ago.


Edited, Apr 13th 2012 4:18pm by Mazra
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#11 Apr 13 2012 at 8:19 AM Rating: Good
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I think they should have just done it where anyone who has had a paid subscription for over 3 months would get 30 days or something like that. I mean, I get the days because I have a level 50, but I easily could not have one if I decided to level one of the other classes a bit more. I've leveled multiple character to 40+, several more to 25+ and I've been playing since pre-release. I'd be pretty peeved if I didn't qualify.
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#12 Apr 13 2012 at 8:33 AM Rating: Good
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Maybe I'm just weird, but I would have been a **** of a lot more peeved if I didn't get the Tauntaun...
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#13 Apr 13 2012 at 8:40 AM Rating: Good
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I think the problem is twofold, being part discriminating and part insulting:

1. It's discriminating that players are rewarded based on their playstyle (completionist vs altoholic).
2. It's insulting that the players rewarded are regarded as more valued players by BioWare.

I'm all for apologizing and handing out some gifts to those who were wronged over the months, but this is not the way to do it. They've effectively just told every non-50 player that they're not valued. Might as well have told us to **** off.

Edit: The pet is nice, but I'd rather have a monetary reward than a pet (or title) I won't be using anyway. When I read your OP the first time, I actually thought the Tauntaun required a level 50 as well. Hence the beating of a wall to death.

Editedit: If I had a level 50, I'd probably be more excited about the content in 1.2 and a formal apology than a free month. I chose to not rush to level 50, partly because I wanted to experience the stories, but also because I knew end-game wasn't fleshed out yet. I don't need an apology for that, but I don't need an insult either.

Editeditedit: Also, rewarding players for not rolling alts in the "celebration" of a patch that promotes rolling alts is funny.

Now excuse me. I need to go spacebar my way to 50 so I can qualify for any future promotional offer. Unless they intend to reward those who haven't hit level 50 yet in the future. That would be hilarious.

Edited, Apr 13th 2012 4:59pm by Mazra
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#14 Apr 13 2012 at 9:20 AM Rating: Good
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I think you're being as little over the top here Mazra.

You're treating having a 50 and having alts as mutually exclusive. The game is ridiculously easy to level and has been out for 4 months.

I too have been enjoying the journey, 16 of them. I have a 50 and 44,38,38,34,33,32,30,30,26,24,24,20,19,19. To be perfectly honest I don't give a rats **** about a pet. The free month is nice though.

I do agree that the handling of it has been poor. I think "insulting" is a bit strong, more like "inept". Dig is right about the logic. Although I still don't really understand why they need to compensate people for having unrealistic expectations. I mean shock, horror no endgame at launch!!

Frankly it smacks a bit of desperate measures to pull people back.
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#15 Apr 13 2012 at 9:43 AM Rating: Good
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Cobra101 wrote:
I think you're being as little over the top here Mazra.

You're treating having a 50 and having alts as mutually exclusive. The game is ridiculously easy to level and has been out for 4 months.


I don't consider myself a "slow leveler," but I have a tendency to restart characters if something about them annoys me. This is obviously the primary reason why I haven't hit level 50 on a character yet. It's not like I stop at level 20 because I'm afraid of end-game. There just hasn't been enough time for me to hit level 50. If you'd switched server four times and rerolled every character twice at level 10, you'd probably be in the same boat.

All of this is irrelevant, though, as I don't really care about someone with a level 50 getting a reward. It doesn't (or shouldn't) matter what you've done in the four (five) months the game has been out. What matters is how long you've been subscribed to it. BioWare is calling players with a level 50, regardless of how long they've supported the game and the company, for their most valued players. The rest of us are belittled because we chose to spend our time differently.

Again, I don't care that they're getting $15, I care that BioWare has a messed up definition of "loyalty."

Edit: Ineptitude can be insulting. Smiley: tongue

Edited, Apr 13th 2012 5:47pm by Mazra
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#16 Apr 13 2012 at 10:00 AM Rating: Good
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Great, apparently the patch today broke the 1.2 patch, so now the servers are down for emergency maintenance.

12 hours of maintenance in the middle of European prime time. Time to check the forums for some dramaluls.

Edit: Rumor has it they rolled the environment back to 1.1.5 and several characters are stuck in areas that aren't available. Smiley: lol

Edited, Apr 13th 2012 6:10pm by Mazra
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#17 Apr 13 2012 at 11:34 AM Rating: Good
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Not rumor now, at least, because a Dev confirmed that at least certain areas were unintentionally rolled back.

Sucks--I was planning to play TOR all day...

I'll agree that BioWare used bad wording. They were trying to appeal to a specific demographic, and forgot to consider how the rest would take it. But it's certainly not the case that they value endgame players more than others--they've put a lot of energy into making TOR as casual-friendly as possible because they don't just want to cater to the hardcore crowd.

I think that they may not have chosen the best filter for who gets the promotion and who doesn't, but I'm also guessing that it was the result of various statistical testing as to what had the best reward and expected influence on the game.

Losing your hardcore crowd is actually quite painful for an MMO, because hardcore players are the best for free advertising. They're likely to talk about the games online, or in person, which is exactly what you want. Casuals don't. They also are more flighty with subscriptions. While you are going to have far more casual players than hardcore players, you'll gain a much stronger population (and have a much better general social atmosphere in game) overall when the hardcore players are happy.

But that's a serious problem for MMO devs. You can't bias your dev plan in favor of Hardcore players, because you need to be sure to provide content for the significant population. However, hardcore players absolutely have an entitlement complex. If they feel you are catering too heavily to casuals, they will complain. If they feel their specific concerns aren't first on your list, they'll scream. And if the game doesn't give them content at an acceptable rate, they'll move on.

The best compromise is actually to balance your development as you see fit, but skew your language slightly in favor of the hardcore crowd. You want to defend casual content, without a doubt, but it's probably in your best interest to allow them to maintain their egos.

That's what this promotion looks like to me. Poorly done, perhaps. Too strongly skewed, perhaps. But it actually, even with the outcry, an ingenious business move. I guarantee you that this deal will make the game healthier overall. Yeah, it would have been better to figure out a way to do it without angering the casual base (which is also starting to develop its own ego), but yeah. That's the issue for tomorrow's MMOs.

They NEED the hardcore crowd to feel entitled for the game to stay healthy. It's just fact. They can **** off fifty thousand casual players to the point where they'd quit, but if ten thousand hardcore players are happy, the game will probably prosper far more in the long run.

If they changed the promotion to "subscribed for 3 months" they were more likely to leave out a chunk of the demographic the promotion is there to appease (for the good of all, realistically), and losing the "Valued" connotation defeats the purpose entirely.

I can't bring myself to believe this was a bad move on BioWare's part. The very worst I can say is that they could have used slightly softened language. Everything else about it was calculated to specifically invest in one sagging area of the game. Giving it to everyone wouldn't have had nearly the same level of effect, because they NEED that demographic to feel important for the desired result to come about.
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#18 Apr 13 2012 at 12:30 PM Rating: Good
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Quote:
Losing your hardcore crowd is actually quite painful for an MMO, because hardcore players are the best for free advertising. They're likely to talk about the games online, or in person, which is exactly what you want. Casuals don't.


I'd say it was the other way around, but we'd probably need to define 'hardcore' and 'casual' first.

Also, this reward wasn't for the hardcores, it was for the ones who chose to take a character to level 50 before April 12. As Cobra pointed out earlier, you can be casual and still do that. I'm guessing that the hardcore players left the game back in January and are back to playing whatever game they came from. Maybe some of them returned after hearing about 1.2 and, having not helped fund any of the content updates, are now enjoying a month of free play after which they'll quit again.

This is all kinds of bad.

And if you think the hardcores are the vocal ones, I invite you to check the 230-page "why didn't I get free game time?" sticky on the official forum.

Edited, Apr 13th 2012 8:32pm by Mazra
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#19 Apr 13 2012 at 12:52 PM Rating: Good
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Losing the casual population hurts a lot, but they aren't generally the risk factor. Losing casuals won't destroy your hardcore base, but losing your hardcore base will cause you to lose the casuals.

And, regarding that thread, it's kinda my point. Before now, casual gamers were generally quiet, because they didn't have any kind of collective ego like hardcore gamers did. Now, they are developing one. This really means that PR is about balancing the casual and hardcore ego, where before it was largely about not **** off the hardcore gamers while trying to attract casuals.
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#20 Apr 13 2012 at 1:02 PM Rating: Good
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You make it sound like hardcore players and casuals (still need a definition on those) live in some kind of symbiosis.

Quote:
Losing the casual population hurts a lot, but they aren't generally the risk factor. Losing casuals won't destroy your hardcore base, but losing your hardcore base will cause you to lose the casuals.


Why would loss of hardcore players cause you to lose the casuals?
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#21 Apr 13 2012 at 1:54 PM Rating: Good
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Primarily because hardcore players actually advertise the game, which is incredibly important for growing your subscription base to include casuals in the first place. Once you have a deep-set population, like with WoW, they aren't going to leach away that easily. But, while TOR has a sizable population, BioWare needs to work to keep that going.

Hardcore players are usually the ones that keep MMO economies running and, without them, it tends to stagnate surprisingly fast.

They are generally the source of educative materials that casuals make use of. Even casuals will go to elitist jerks for build advice. They won't, however, take part in TCing.

Hardcore players are guaranteed subs for the company, where casuals bounce back and forth even month to month (more likely, for instance, to use game cards than Hardcore players are). This makes hardcore players more valuable on a one to one basis.

Casuals, as a rule, are more dependent on the server community than hardcore players (SOLELY due to the fact that endgame guilds generally evolve into largely self-sufficient microcosms). A loss of a hardcore base keeping various activities moving is a big, big loss for casual gamers. Quick example: Weekly raids in WoW. How many of these were led and organized by casual players? Very few. How many casual players took part if they could? Definitely a decent number.

Casual guilds generally don't exist to help service all their member's needs. You'll have occasional PVP/PVE activities, not regular ones. You aren't sure to have skilled crafters, or a stocked guild bank, or representative players for every class. You probably won't have people to help teach you, or a highly active player base.

And I say this as someone who has played MMOs casually for years. Granted, I'm closer to the hardcore demographic than most casuals, but still.

We are generally great money for an MMO, and hugely important for keeping it going. But the loss of the hardcore playerbase definitely spells slow death for an MMO, particularly if its so close to launch. This is essentially why the F2P model is doing well now. Pretty much every game that goes F2P failed to gain and keep a sizable hardcore player base, which made life hard for the casuals that weren't so critical. The F2P model lets you play without paying, but includes a huge number of options that essentially let you customize your experience, via cash. That attracts back many hardcore players, but more importantly allows for a money-based replacement for the services typically dependent on them (like a stocked economy, if they let you buy goods directly).

The two groups DO maintain a symbiotic relationship. Losing either is disastrous. But losing the hardcore group is much easier.
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#22 Apr 13 2012 at 2:08 PM Rating: Good
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What's a hardcore player and what's a casual player in your book?

In my book, a hardcore player is a player who dedicates a lot of time to the game while a casual isn't. I've put just as many hours into this game as someone with three level 50's and no low level alts.

If Player A has spent just as much time in the game as Player B, but spent that time on fewer characters, then Player A will hit level 50 before Player B. How does that make Player B casual? How does that make Player A hardcore? Why does Player A deserve to be rewarded while Player B doesn't?

Yes, the gift was meant as a band aid for those who hit end-game and had nothing to do, primarily because Ranked Warzones wasn't released as promised. What about those who will hit end-game tomorrow? Or next week? Or any point between now and the implementation of end-game content? Don't they deserve the same band aid for not having end-game available to them?

BioWare should have just said it like it was: They want end-game players to stick around until they can implement the content, so they're bribing them to stay. They should never have started the whole "because of your loyalty and support" bullsh*t.

Edit: And for the record, I consider myself a hardcore player. The reason I don't have a level 50 has nothing to do with the amount of time I spent on the game and everything to do with how I chose to spend it. I've done more for this game at level 1-30 than someone who rushed to level 50, but I'm being devalued because I failed to reach an arbitrary benchmark.

Edited, Apr 13th 2012 10:12pm by Mazra
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#23 Apr 13 2012 at 2:20 PM Rating: Good
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In other news, the unscheduled maintenance seems to have ended, some three hours before the ETA.

Time to make that $15 count!
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#24 Apr 13 2012 at 3:20 PM Rating: Good
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In this context, I'm using it to mean players who are primarily concerned with advancement in endgame as the core aspect of their MMO experience (be that PVP or PVE).

And do you honestly think it's, in any way, wise for a company to acknowledge that the reason for their "gift" is completely selfish? It's kinda self-defeating, since the goal is to gain the trust of the promotion's demographic.

And is it? Nice. Now I have to debate between finishing Ostagar and killing some Justicars...
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#25 Apr 13 2012 at 3:37 PM Rating: Good
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At least we're all getting a free day of sub time. Luckily I was at work so I didn't even have to suffer any inconvenience for it.
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#26 Apr 13 2012 at 4:51 PM Rating: Decent
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While I can understand where Maz is coming from, I'm inclined to side with Digg on this matter, and I think Cobra has a good point too. My experience has been that the stories are so engrossing I have to literally pull myself away from the computer for fear of finishing them too early and losing the ability to pvp on that character in the lowbie bracket with friends. So for me, it's a bit unfathomable that I could have tried all of the stories available and not been so struck by one that I stayed until fifty. It so happens that I choose the Sith Warrior story first, and as a Juggernaut, fell in love with the pvp. By chance and circumstance, Huttball was the main form of pvp I engaged in, and in an effort to be as good as I could be at it, I wanted Intercede ASAP. So my desire to kick **** as a Huttball runner combined with the epic story of the Sith Warrior led me to hit 50 pretty quickly. It was all just so good!

So yeah, I'm biased in that regard, but given that the game is out for 3+ months and I managed to hit 50 in ~two weeks after early access, playing rather hardcore the first week and much more casually the week and a half after....I just can't fathom how a person wouldn't have stuck with one character long enough to just finish off the story. But then again, I'm the kind of guy who gets a new book and doesn't put it down until he's done with it, which has resulted in a number of 12+ hour reading marathons.
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#27 Apr 13 2012 at 4:58 PM Rating: Good
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
And do you honestly think it's, in any way, wise for a company to acknowledge that the reason for their "gift" is completely selfish?


Why not? We all know why they're really giving away free game time. It's not like it's a mystery why that specific group of players received it and others didn't. By disguising it as a "show of appreciation" for being "loyal, supportive and a valued player," they only managed to conjure up a PR **** of unprecedented proportions.

Lying to your customers is always a bad idea. The truth eventually comes out, usually because, believe it or not, we're not idiots.

If they'd worded this as a "sorry, we promised rated warzones and you didn't get them, here's 30 days if you stick around" apology then I'm betting none of this would have happened. Instead they went the "we just think you're so awesome and amazing and totally not like those others guy who didn't level to 50, so here's a free month" route and unintentionally insulted a bunch of people.
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#28 Apr 13 2012 at 5:22 PM Rating: Good
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Quor wrote:
I just can't fathom how a person wouldn't have stuck with one character long enough to just finish off the story.


I would have had several level 50's if I had picked a server and stuck to it. You could argue that I wasn't forced to switch server, but when there are 25 players in the Fleet during prime time, the experience sort of drops a tad. I'm glad I didn't stick it out on my old server, though. I'd have a lot of level 50's floating around on a dead server.

Jumped ship and started over on a new server about a month ago. Managed to mess up some characters that had to be redone and leveled a Juggy to the high teens (remember my post about it?) before deleting him so I could use the name for an Assassin. Leveled that Assassin to 31 before getting fed up with the voice actor bouncing all over the place during conversations.

Part of the reason why I don't have a level 50 is due to the lack of end-game content. Knowing that I don't have to rush to "make the cut" like in WoW, I've taken my sweet **** time choosing classes and such, and I've restarted characters over small things. Yesterday, before learning of this promotional offer thing, I started a Smuggler on my new server and leveled him to 10 in three hours and 10 minutes. I then realized that his face wasn't the one I wanted and remade him. Right now I'm leveling a Marauder because I'm not feeling like doing Ord Mantell for the third time in a row (also leveled up a Trooper last week).

I've never been able to do the single class run to cap. Back in WoW, my cousin and I started together at launch (pre-ordered collector's edition, yo). He made a Rogue, I made a Druid. He played his Rogue to level 60 (and subsequently 70, 80 and 85) while I was still trying to figure out if I liked the Hunter, Rogue, Druid or Paladin the most. I'd choose a new "main" character every week. It was like that all the way up to Cataclysm end-game. I'm just an altoholic at heart and while it has its negatives, I feel the positives outweigh them. Because I'm leveling so many classes at the same time (and researching each while playing), I build up a pretty extensive knowledge of them and how they interact with each other.

It's not that I don't spend a lot of time on the game, I just spend it differently than someone who spacebars to 50. I'm estimating I'll hit level 50 before they release the rated warzones and whatnot, so I'll be stuck in the same boat as all those who hit level 50 yesterday. Only difference is they'll have a free month and I won't.

Edited, Apr 14th 2012 1:25am by Mazra
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#29 Apr 13 2012 at 5:29 PM Rating: Good
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I don't think it's a smart advertising tactic in general, but particularly in this case. Because BioWare wasn't in the wrong. They're trying to appease a signficant group of people who felt entitled to content they had no right expecting. BioWare's developing their endgame faster than WoW does post expansion, let alone a new game.

What does it mean, then, if they "admit" that this was an issue, and that it was their fault?

It means that they'll have pretty much have set that standard. Next time they release an expansion with a standard amount of endgame content, players will be angry and feel justified in being so. Patch is delayed a month? May god have mercy. Etc.

They are trying to appease an important group of people who are important specifically because the game is brand new. When we hit the expansion level, they won't need to worry about that--players will be committed. The goal right now is to attract that group.

It would be **** for them to set a precedence of it being a failure to launch with only lower-level endgame content available.
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#30 Apr 13 2012 at 5:30 PM Rating: Good
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Well, now you just need to be Legacy level 6 by April 22 to qualify for the 30 days.
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#31 Apr 13 2012 at 5:34 PM Rating: Good
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Just need to finish Chapter 1... when does Chapter 1 end again, because my Assassin is on Tatooine... Oh hell, it might be faster to just grind out those 20 levels. Signature has never been more true.

Sweet Jesus, the first chapter isn't done until level 35-ish? What the hell, how do they cram in two more chapters in 15 levels?

Edited, Apr 14th 2012 1:37am by Mazra
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#32 Apr 13 2012 at 5:45 PM Rating: Good
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I was level 50 long before I finished Chapter 3.

[EDIT]

Examples of how to reach Legacy 6:
Quote:
A pair of characters Level 45 and 42
A trio of characters of Levels 45, 32 and 32
A bunch of characters Levels 35, 33, 31, 29 and 20
A single 50th level character that has enjoyed the endgame for a brief time


It's from their statement.

Edited, Apr 13th 2012 7:48pm by idiggory
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#33 Apr 13 2012 at 5:49 PM Rating: Good
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D'oh. And I suppose leveling up your Legacy rank takes a while as well - once you unlock it?

**** it, I'm just gonna level up however I want. Not going to let $15 turn the game into a chore.

Edited, Apr 14th 2012 1:49am by Mazra
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#34 Apr 13 2012 at 5:53 PM Rating: Good
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Yeah, you start at legacy 1. Getting that character to 50 will get you to 5, and finishing chapter 3 should get you to 6.

In other news, using Companion Dance with Nadia out is hilarious. It's like my Sage has included this really corny dance routine in her training...
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#35 Apr 13 2012 at 5:59 PM Rating: Good
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Wait, I'd have to level a single character to 50 and complete Chapter 3 to get to Legacy 6?

What's the point of letting people get the offer at Legacy 6 then? They'd hit level 50 before they'd unlock rank 6 anyway...
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#36 Apr 13 2012 at 6:06 PM Rating: Good
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Mazra wrote:
Wait, I'd have to level a single character to 50 and complete Chapter 3 to get to Legacy 6?

What's the point of letting people get the offer at Legacy 6 then? They'd hit level 50 before they'd unlock rank 6 anyway...


Because you *can* hit legacy 6 through alting. You can unlock your Legacy on your highest character, then never touch them and level a 7 alts on that server all to 20 and you'll make it far past legacy 6.

Essentially they're saying "Hey, look, you guys are right, we kinda did word/employ that wrong, so here....if you're at least legacy 6, then have a month on us."

Now, I don't care how altoholic you are, but if you don't have at least the first chapter done on at least one character then....I don't know what to say.
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#37 Apr 13 2012 at 6:19 PM Rating: Good
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I had to jump servers a couple of times. I've currently got:

Trooper: 22 and 16
Consular: 28 and 21
Inquisitor: 31 and 11
Knight: 24 and 15
Hunter: 23
Agent: 20
Warrior: 18

And that's not including the ones I've deleted:

Warrior: 18
Inquisitor: 13
Knight: 14, 12, 10
Smuggler: 16 and 10
Agent: 11 and 10
Hunter: 21 and 12

Those are the ones I remember. Most of those were deleted due to lack of an in-game barbershop. I'm pretty OCD about my characters being the right gender, race and having the right face/haircut/eye color.

Had I known that Legacy wasn't unlocked until well into the 30's, I probably would have played my Assassin a bit more and I'd likely be eligible for the offer now. Alas, I didn't know.

Edited, Apr 14th 2012 2:20am by Mazra
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#38 Apr 13 2012 at 6:19 PM Rating: Good
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"A bunch of characters Levels 35, 33, 31, 29 and 20 "

That will get you legacy 6 *if* you went up to 35 on the first character before starting the others. But, as you can see, it's not hard to hit 6.

But if you've leveled a bunch of characters to the point of finishing chapter 1, but haven't, you've wasted a lot of potential experience.
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#39 Apr 13 2012 at 6:24 PM Rating: Good
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So I'm **** regardless.

Meh...
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#40 Apr 13 2012 at 6:46 PM Rating: Good
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Well, while I find your personal situation to be unfortunate, I think that Legacy 6 is a fair requirement. I think they could have gone with a "paid sub for x amount of time" route, but all in all I think this is fair.

You could try a letter to CS explaining your situation.
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#41 Apr 13 2012 at 7:58 PM Rating: Good
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Yeah, the objection was that the promotion was being denied to people who had played an equivalent amount but, due to the fact that they spread out their game time, they didn't have any level 50s. Making Legacy level 6 the goal essentially just means they added an "or equivalent" clause.

It sucks that you hopped around servers and never unlocked your legacy, Maz. But I definitely think this is a reasonable change.
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#42 Apr 13 2012 at 7:59 PM Rating: Good
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Nah, I think the Legacy 6 thing is more than reasonable. I was just unaware of how the Legacy stuff worked, but that's my fault, not theirs. The important part, to me, is that they acknowledged it and took steps to remedy it.

"An error doesn't become a mistake until you refuse to correct it."
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#43 Apr 13 2012 at 8:38 PM Rating: Good
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I'd still write to customer service.
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#44 Apr 13 2012 at 8:38 PM Rating: Good
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I'd still write to customer service.
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#45 Apr 13 2012 at 8:38 PM Rating: Good
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I'd still write to customer service.
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#46 Apr 13 2012 at 9:58 PM Rating: Good
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Man, you really, really would...
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#47 Apr 13 2012 at 11:07 PM Rating: Good
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Spoon would write the sternest of letters.
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#48 Apr 14 2012 at 4:11 AM Rating: Good
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I wouldn't even know how to formulate such a letter.

"Dear BioWare, I totally messed up on the Legacy thing and can't be **** leveling a toon to 50 within the next week. Can I has free month anyway? Sincerely, Maz."

Not sure it'd work.
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#49 Apr 14 2012 at 6:57 AM Rating: Excellent
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"Dear Sir/Ma'am,

Recently it has come to my attention that you have expanded the requirements for the free 30 days of subscription time to include players who are Legacy 6 or higher. While I greatly appreciate the widening of scope of the promotion, I feel that I have been left out, even though I have put in much of the same time as those who would qualify.

As you can see if you check my account history, even though I have not reached the end of Chapter One on any of my characters (in order to create my Legacy and begin earning Legacy Experience), I have logged quite a bit of playtime across many characters. I currently have 11 characters over level 10, including seven characters over level 20. And that is not to mention the many characters I've deleted to restart on, including at least one character above level 20. Most of those were deleted due to lack of an in-game barbershop. I'm pretty OCD about my characters being the right gender, race and having the right face/haircut/eye color.

Had I known that Legacy wasn't unlocked until well into the 30's, I probably would have played my Assassin a bit more and I'd likely be eligible for the offer now. Alas, I didn't know. Is there any way you would be able to extend eligibility to me, considering that I've put in as much time, if not more, than most regular players who would have their Legacy leveled to 6 by now?

As an appreciation for your time, here is a picture of Darth Vader riding a kitten.

Thanks again for your time,
Mazra"

Though, I'd actually post the picture. Unfortunately, my Premium ran out so I can't upload it.


Edited, Apr 14th 2012 8:58am by Spoonless
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#50 Apr 14 2012 at 7:26 AM Rating: Good
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*slow clap*
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#51 Apr 14 2012 at 7:52 AM Rating: Good
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Smiley: lol

I like how you constructed parts of the letter from my previous posts. And the Vader on a kitten picture nailed it. What could go wrong, right?
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