Concerned about P2W

punkbuzter#6186

D-Gater
Ark Liege
Jan 6, 2021
98
145
33
Sweden
#1
Yesterday we had a Chief Chat where Grummz explained claims would be bound to the subscription. Grummz then went to explain that it isn't P2W because claims are purely cosmetic. But that is only half the answer...
First, we got to remember that claims was presented as a free part of the game, aside from the buy2play wall, then a loud minority had arguments, basically 2-3 people having constant arguments on Discord, and some in the low 20's who expressed themselves in forum. May I remind the devs that there's constantly over 2k users online on Discord and over 30k members on forum that never said anything. Grummz, if you're reading this, you need to go with your gut-feeling on this one, and not the loud minority.


With all of that out of the way, let's talk about the topic in the headline.

Claims, OK you can claim a spit of land somewhere where you can build your custom base, but how does this scale to base-building out in the battlefield? Is frontier base-building gonna be subscription locked too? If paying is the only way one could place a base down at the front of the battlefield then that IS pay2win.

How would the playerbase respond to a 2nd paid wall (buy2play plus subscription) when people have already bought the game? The original idea of actually buying a game is to own it and have access to all the gameplay content within. Most of everyone has already accepted some content being paid for as a one-time purchase but putting entire mechanic or part of the game behind a monthly paid wall is troublesome. I know most people have forgot about that detail, guess it's only natural. Also, what would happen to claims if say, a player chose to take a short break because a new launch?

Idk if putting claims behind a 2nd paid wall is a good idea since it is apparently going to be a big part of the game... Maybe put "some content" within base-building subscription locked or as a one-time purchase but not the actual claim or basics of building.
I like what they did in PoE, you can get your hideout and every tool/station and extra decorations from just playing the game, and have some "fancier" decorations and effects being paid for.

Another thing I discussed with Aeri on Discord is how these bases could be exploited as a way of fast-travel to either the action, or areas with high-value end game resources, or both. Then you actually pay for instant action and/or direct access to both currency and progression.

I don't feel the vibe from claiming areas in the open world, first of all it's gonna be a race of who gets to pick first, and people joining at a later date could end up having trouble finding real estate, not to mention the struggle the later joining players gonna have against each other where someone just claimed a land they've been eyeballing for a time, I'd be very upset if that was me.

The dynamic of the claims (if they'll be put in the open world) is gonna play a very important part on how this all's gonna turn out, because nobody wants to get to the world-border just to find a claim, and nobody wants to lose their claim because of being inactive... That's punishment for a returning player, and a returning player should be highly valued.
You don't wanna give a returning player the middle finger and say they'll have to start from scratch because they're not allowed to take a break.

-

This is a reconstruction from not knowing enough, there's multiple concerns and all that comes from both bad experiences in other games, and well established well known game critics explaining how some of what has been discussed here in a clear and logical way that I agree with.
I don't want this thread to be discouraging to the developers, quiet the opposite... I love the idea of claims, I just don't like the execution and the way of obtaining such a feature. I had a few concerns from the previous Chief Chat, and I've asked people not to jump to conclusions and wait for an actual build before complaining, so I'm kind of arguing against my own standards here... But, I've also said I'm against P2W and I'll not be idle if there's rising concerns about it.


(no bonus actions this time)
 
Last edited:
Feb 10, 2020
17
14
3
#2
Claims, OK you can claim a spit of land somewhere where you can build your custom base, but how does this scale to base-building out in the battlefield?
IIRC, Grummz mentioned this already. The piece-by-piece building system with a pre-fab saving option would allow them to more rapidly build buildings using the in-game engine, decorate it with Dev-Only, I assume, RTS Base interactibles and other things and then save it and move it to a spot where the players who decide where to put buildings can spawn the prefab that the devs premade.

Battlefield base building is only going to be pre-fab.

How would the playerbase respond to a 2nd paid wall (buy2play plus subscription) when people have already bought the game?
Idk if putting claims behind a 2nd paid wall is a good idea since it is apparently going to be a big part of the game...
It's not a good idea. It sets up a system of second-class citizenship where you don't deserve this because you aren't paying. It will also relegate the system to cosmetic only as he mentioned; at which point the entire system is just going to be vestigial, where sure you can have a pretty house but its functionless outside hanging out with friends and maybe crafting, but you could do that in a warzone base at this point.


I don't feel the vibe from claiming areas in the open world, first of all it's gonna be a race of who gets to pick first, and people joining at a later date could end up having trouble finding real estate
At that point you could add instancing, letting others pick the same hex and you load in one at random when you need to.
There was a comparison to the size of the earth. 1/10th according to the VOD. 1/10th of Earth's surface area is 51 million square km.

If you were able to divide that up and give every single player on the server a single hex with 10 sq km to its name. thats 5.1 m claimstakes on a flat featureless planet.

If you wanted to reserve 3/4 of the surface of the planet for water bodies, mountains, startup zones, and future expansion that leaves you with 12.75 million sqkm. Basically 1.275m claimstakes each with 10 sq km buildable area PER SERVER. If i am even mathing right.

After some quick searching, I came up with some crazy numbers related to WoW stating 120m total separate accounts. I don't know if its true, but its the highest number I found. I also found that they had 226 servers in 2019. For the sake of ease, if we assume they are evenly spread and are all actively playing... That is 530,973 players on each server; less than half of all 10sqkm claimstakes.

If we assume a cleanup system where if you are inactive for i dunno.. 3 months, they return the resources put into your base building to your inventory so you don't actually lose anything and also free up your plot... I don't think Em8er is ever going to hit dangerously low numbers of claimstakes.
 
Oct 27, 2020
6
15
3
#3
My guess is that Grummz wouldn't actually do that and that it's some sort of bluff, but I am also against a paywall. The initial backlash came from just a few people and some of those few people were only against it because of small details or because the concept is simply and obviously poorly understood, since we know too little about it.

I am of the conviction that claimstakes could be a great and popular feature, as long as they are presented and integrated well. Who doesn't like to have their own place, after all? Not everyone will be equally excited about furnishing it and whatnot, but people who absolutely hate the idea of having any place of their own in the game surely must be a rarity.

Either way, until further notice I refuse to believe that Grummz is seriously considering the paywall all of a sudden, just because a few people strongly opposed the claimstakes idea when it was first presented. Why should people who have less money get punished because a few people, regardless of their owned packs, don't like a certain feature? I also don't believe anything should be changed so quickly based on kneejerk feedback from a dozen people - and I say this without meaning to belittle anyone. Kneejerk responses happen easily when you are presented with something that, at least at first glance, seems to be very different from your expectations and hopes.
 

Sy

Well-Known Member
Nov 16, 2018
303
580
93
sya.li
#4
...people who absolutely hate the idea of having any place of their own in the game surely must be a rarity.
what.

People who play games like playing games, not tinkering with virtual doll houses and inviting their e-friends for a tea party.

As Grummz has convinced me, there will be enough people interested in tea parties that the feature will more than pay for itself and will lead to more people I can play with outside their doll house.
 

Wyntyr

Omni Ace
Ark Liege
Jul 26, 2016
6,314
11,541
113
Florida
#5
I believe that the claim stakes could be the 3rd level, most beneficial to crafting, and the most involved in regards to time being put into it by a crafter. They should not be visible on the main open world map, only visit-able by friends of the particular claim stake holder, and not part of a subscription.

The sub, IMO, should be for the cosmetic store...i.e. you pay per outfit and always have access to it and/or pay the sub which grants you access to every cosmetic item except uniques but when not paying you only have access to your previously purchased items.

What I mean by 3rd level crafting. Level one are those that craft but only use the color codes not caring too much about the actual number within said code. Basically I put blue resource 1 and blue resource 2 together to craft my weapon/ability. Level two would be those that pay attention to the resource value within those colors. Resource 1 is 849 and resource 2 is 825 to craft said gear. They also will care about those numbered differences for gear specs (what resource at what number affects what spec and by how much). Basically working up the in-depth charts of crafting. Now level 3 would be setting up your own work shop so to speak and by doing what is needed to set that up. As that is advanced, added to, updated, then the crafted gear has slight bonus' that the other 2 crafting levels do not. It's not p2w since the claim stake isn't paid for and the bonus' should be slight but it adds to the crafting system a bit more.
 

Nightallen

Lieutenant
Aug 26, 2016
19
25
13
#6
[QUOTE="Wyntyr, post: 68792, member: 69" Now level 3 would be setting up your own work shop so to speak and by doing what is needed to set that up. As that is advanced, added to, updated, then the crafted gear has slight bonus' that the other 2 crafting levels do not. It's not p2w since the claim stake isn't paid for and the bonus' should be slight but it adds to the crafting system a bit more.[/QUOTE]

I vehemently disagree, there should absolute ZERO stat increases between paid for crafting and non paid crafting, that is the very definition of PTW. That should be true of ALL cash shop items. Its limit should be cosmetic only . Allow for zebra stripe paint job or cool looking hightech rails or optics that are there just in comsetic form sure all day long you want to make it look like an organic weapon that shoot exploding blobs instead of grenades cool im all for it. As long as the everything else function and stat wise is the same. For a game touting horizontal progression, it should have a hard line stance against paid for stats even in fractions of a percent on any item.
 

Pandagnome

Kaiju Slayer
Fart Siege
Welcome Wagon
Happy Kaiju
Jul 27, 2016
7,055
9,519
113
Island of Tofu
#7
the bonus' should be slight but it adds to the crafting system a bit more
there should absolute ZERO stat increases between paid for crafting and non paid crafting
Could that be crafting speed or number of simultaneous crafting done in one go?
If that is the case it would be pay for convenience rather than pay to win in my opinion.
 

Wyntyr

Omni Ace
Ark Liege
Jul 26, 2016
6,314
11,541
113
Florida
#8
I vehemently disagree, there should absolute ZERO stat increases between paid for crafting and non paid crafting, that is the very definition of PTW. That should be true of ALL cash shop items. Its limit should be cosmetic only . Allow for zebra stripe paint job or cool looking hightech rails or optics that are there just in comsetic form sure all day long you want to make it look like an organic weapon that shoot exploding blobs instead of grenades cool im all for it. As long as the everything else function and stat wise is the same. For a game touting horizontal progression, it should have a hard line stance against paid for stats even in fractions of a percent on any item.
My recommendation for this level 3 claim stake crafting is available to everyone and not behind any paywall. I know reading is hard...
 
Feb 10, 2020
17
14
3
#9
People who play games like playing games, not tinkering with virtual doll houses and inviting their e-friends for a tea party.
Then the obvious parallel is the group kids with army men who only sit in a circle yelling "Pew pew pew." all day basically going over to a kid with army men in a small little base he made himself and kicking sand in their eyes and yelling "YOUR BASE IS STEWWWPID, WE HATE IT"

Then going back to their circle where they have a cookie cutter barbie mansion set up to use as a communal base.

...If we're all going to be that irreverent, of course. Which we shouldnt be, because that's not productive.

If that is the case it would be pay for convenience rather than pay to win in my opinion.
The only definition of P2W I subscribe to is paying for ANY technical or functional benefit over a non-payer. It's the only one that doesn't try to rationalize out factors arbitrarily.

P4C is a subset of P2W. It generally is considered less egregious, but it still is.
P2W doesn't have to only be taken as derogatory, it just is.
Its just become another ratings metric like Graphics and Story, much as I hate it.

---

Anyway, this all just makes be believe no one pays attention to what is said, and is just malding over what is heard. Which is what matters, I suppose.

AFAIR, The claimstakes were supposed to be a homebase where you do your crafting and tech'ing up. It was basically going to evolve as you killed stuff, gaining more and more machines to craft with as you progressed though the game and allow you to build better and better gear. Take it as a physical representation of your progression in the game. Like how certain games change things based on where you are in the story. The latest I can come up with is Tiny Tina's Wonderlands, where when you kill major bosses the Tavern will display taxidermy trophies of them. Except these trophies have direct implications on what you can construct.

The shooty guys said we hate this and then they mentioned prefabs to appease them. The problem is the shooty guys seem to hate anything that could potentially give a player reason not to be in their firing squad or a functional benefit to a player who engages with the system over one who chooses not to.

---

In the Paywall CC, it was mentioned that the entire thing would just be cosmetic and vanity in that case. The evolving custom base would become vestigial and they'd have cookie cutter refineries and manufactories that players have to pile into and use to do the crafting stuff. Maybe the house will still have crafting stuff in it. I am not sure.

Basically you just plop Refineries and Manufactories right in the middle of the mining defense bases, get them built, and hope they doesn't get destroyed. We don't know if they are tech-level based or not. If they are then your progression is just tied to what you kill and how long it takes you to get to a base that currently has the right buildings for you. If not, then any base with the building will do.
 
Oct 16, 2019
11
26
13
#10
The shooty guys said we hate this and then they mentioned prefabs to appease them. The problem is the shooty guys seem to hate anything that could potentially give a player reason not to be in their firing squad or a functional benefit to a player who engages with the system over one who chooses not to.
This isn't quite true. The original way Grummz described claimstakes, it had sounded like they were going to be a major part of the intro to the game, and *everyone* was going to have to interact with them, and it was going to take a fairly long amount of time to get passed this part of the game. It wasn't until the second, clarifying CC that he said he was imaging it to be more of only like 10 minutes till players got to the shooty bits.

This is kind of one of the major factors in the whole discussion: the original "Vision" CC game us a high-level view of what he wanted, but there were really no specifics given for anything at all, so all anyone had to go on for feedback was guesswork. The second CC gave most people a lot of answers to things, and cleared up a significant portion of the issues people had with claimstakes. From what I saw, outside of a couple issues from only a few people, Grummz mostly resolved everything that people were originally worried about, and were much more positive about the feature.

Somehow, even after that second CC, he still had the idea that the majority of people were against the idea of claimstakes, though, which is where we're at now.

In the Paywall CC, it was mentioned that the entire thing would just be cosmetic and vanity in that case. The evolving custom base would become vestigial and they'd have cookie cutter refineries and manufactories that players have to pile into and use to do the crafting stuff. Maybe the house will still have crafting stuff in it. I am not sure.

Basically you just plop Refineries and Manufactories right in the middle of the mining defense bases, get them built, and hope they doesn't get destroyed. We don't know if they are tech-level based or not. If they are then your progression is just tied to what you kill and how long it takes you to get to a base that currently has the right buildings for you. If not, then any base with the building will do.
I brought up a couple points in Discord along with Zingo about how even a claimstake that was supposed to be "cosmetic-only" could end up as still having some P2W aspects if behind a paywall.

Depending on the restrictions on placing/moving a claimstake, if it has any sort of crafting/repairing features in it, then that can basically give players a close position during fights to go repair/craft stuff, without having to go all the way back to a major base. Storage could also be used in the same manner, to have people resupply without having to go to a major base.

Methods to enter/exit the claimstake could possibly give players a fast-travel point to high-end resources, or to/from the battle front.

There are likely other ways it could potentially give an advantage to players, so if it's behind a paywall, it could be considered P2W.

Grummz has, a few times now, described it as being "cosmetic only like the FF14 housing." Unfortunately, housing in FF14 is most definitely NOT cosmetic-only. You can make a LOT of gil using the gardening plots available at houses - just as an example, using my own house in game, I can pull in roughly 200-300k gil *per day* just by growing shards and selling them, and there are vastly more profitable setups that can be done.

In addition, while teleporting isn't really expensive in the game for most players - and you can easily get to the point where you never pay for a teleport at all, with only like 10 minutes of gameplay every month or two - they also give a player with a house an addition reduced-cost teleport option. Not a huge feature, but the point is, FF14 housing isn't cosmetic-only.
 

Pandagnome

Kaiju Slayer
Fart Siege
Welcome Wagon
Happy Kaiju
Jul 27, 2016
7,055
9,519
113
Island of Tofu
#11
P4C is a subset of P2W. It generally is considered less egregious, but it still is.
I understand that p4c can make it quicker but how is it winning exactly?
E.g.

Player A: Crafts potato Chips 1mins
Player B: Crafts potato chips 30 seconds

As you can see Player B crafts quicker
If this was to do with pvp then i could understand how it could affect someone from making something faster to beat the other player.

In a PvE game i don't think its a big issue you could even gain the same benefit of the crafter if you got it crafted by that particularly crafter(s) so that helps others out too.

Reminds me of the % xp in firefall where you could also raise your % xp playing with the player with that boost or was it in the area too i can't remember exactly.


Depending on the restrictions on placing/moving a claimstake, if it has any sort of crafting/repairing features in it, then that can basically give players a close position during fights to go repair/craft stuff, without having to go all the way back to a major base. Storage could also be used in the same manner, to have people resupply without having to go to a major base.

Methods to enter/exit the claimstake could possibly give players a fast-travel point to high-end resources, or to/from the battle front.

There are likely other ways it could potentially give an advantage to players, so if it's behind a paywall, it could be considered P2W.
That would depend on if the Claimstake is public access or private and if its the location near active warzones then i believe public access claimstake would be more suited. Private one's would be located further away such as beach areas etc etc

If the claimstake of the public access gives everyone the same opportunity of transport then i don't see any issue.

The things that could be paid is the skins, effects to change the style.
 
Feb 10, 2020
17
14
3
#12
As you can see Player B crafts quicker
If this was to do with pvp then i could understand how it could affect someone from making something faster to beat the other player.
My definition of P2W doesn't care about PVP. It all is, competitive or not.
Again, im not using it derogatorily.

Anyway, say potato chips are worth a stable 500 moolahs in a theoretical Freemium game and they are a food that gives good buffs and sell very well.
This game also sells a perma 50% crafting speed buff for say 20 bucks or its folded into the subscription.

A can craft 1 potato chip in 1 minute
B buys the buff can craft 2 potato chips in 1 minute.

Who is making more money?
More crafting XP?
What happens when B levels up 50% faster than A in crafting?

He can now make SALTED POTATO CHIPS which are worth more. He's making more money now, and getting more crafting XP per craft.

Even if they only had the same amount of resources to craft says 100 total potato chips, B is done when A is halfway through his materials. He can now go hunt down more mats either by fighting for them or buying them or he can start blasting through SALTED POTATO CHIPS.

In general your earnings are related to your level.
Even with just a crafting speed bump, B can raise his combat level faster, as it only takes him half the time to craft the same stuff as A. B has more uptime than A's uptime, making his play more productive in general.

And...
Selling things -IS- competitive. Because you are fighting against everyone else selling the same or better things on the market. A may get his goods on the market board before B sells all of his, but then its only a matter of time before A's goods sell out and B makes the rest back. Most likely at the same or less of a price than Bs if he undercut.

Keeping them -IS- competitive. Now we have buff foods that we can use in hunting. B spent 50 minutes crafting while A spent 100 minutes crafting. B is now food buffed up and can spend the next 50 minutes hunting with them while A is still on the crafting benches. Sure, they're on the same team in the grand scheme of things, but A is performing WORSE than B.

B levels faster than A in crafting and combat with the same amount of playtime between them.

A is basically a second-class citizen because he didn't pay and the game treats him that way until he does.
 
Likes: Pandagnome
Feb 10, 2020
17
14
3
#13
This isn't quite true. The original way Grummz described claimstakes, it had sounded like they were going to be a major part of the intro to the game, and *everyone* was going to have to interact with them, and it was going to take a fairly long amount of time to get passed this part of the game. It wasn't until the second, clarifying CC that he said he was imaging it to be more of only like 10 minutes till players got to the shooty bits.
Yeah, I appreciate the clarification. I always viewed it as tutorial land, though. In all actuality, i think he maybe shaved off maybe 10 minutes.

Walking you through your first build, which is probably a 2x2 or 1x2 shack. Now can be a prefab for less clicks I guess.

Sample hand mining for token resources A La: oh no, your issue frame drop malfunctioned! get the mining laser to dig out the pieces and rebuild it! Or even hit a couple of these nodes a few times to get resources to build your own shiny new frame. Maybe you use the mining laser to blast a kneebiter or two.

Building your first crafting station and then your frame.
Then...Thumper combat sample, then to MP battlefields.

Doesn't seem to me like it'd take long at all. And that tutorial is basically... Build 1 prefab or 10-16 pieces, Mine and potentially combat as pilot, Build 1 workbench, combat as frame, taxi to MP.

This way you get intro'd to building, progression, and combat all in a short time frame.
Tutorials tend to suck, but KISS is king there. I don't know if that would all even take 30 minutes even if you include a fancy cutscene for you talking to the NPC giving you your claimstake.

Grummz has, a few times now, described it as being "cosmetic only like the FF14 housing." Unfortunately, housing in FF14 is most definitely NOT cosmetic-only. You can make a LOT of gil using the gardening plots available at houses - just as an example, using my own house in game, I can pull in roughly 200-300k gil *per day* just by growing shards and selling them, and there are vastly more profitable setups that can be done.
If this were part of the "Original" CC, yeah, I wouldn't fault you that. You earned that money by buying seeds, putting time into setting them, then harvesting and finally putting it on the market. And buying the house in the first place. I still don't own one personally, though my guild has one. Using the farm there kinda sucks; we have to coordinate and I can't wait for Island Sanctuaries.

This is why my main worry of the Paywall Claim being mostly vestigial or parasitic; because there's nothing to do there except socialize. There wouldn't be room for anything but in a cosmetic deal.

I'm making no judgements below here because I am talking to "Original" and not "Paywall", but I do see issues with "Paywall" being pay to win if TP is included.

As far as physical travel is concerned, he only ever mentioned drop-podding to and from, IIRC. I can see where proximity and travel times is an issue, but for that you just alt-tab and look at your own choice of poison. This would also be mitigated by having multiple battlefields across the planet. Someone could choose to go to the closest, which would actively encourage battlefield communities simply because they are closer to X battlefield instead of Y and trade between X and Y. Assuming the battlefields have equivalent and not necessary equal resources. Someone could also spend the 5 extra minutes driving to Y instead of X. Either way you are going to have to travel, so i'm not sure how big a deal it's going to be until we get details. A system could be set up where you could get bonus materials for a time if you have to spend a good deal of time in transit (auto-travel only, not you driving a dropship yourself). Not really sure how i'd handle that though.

TPing to and from yeah, that could be an issue; but he didn't say anything about that that i recall, and if its both ways, then you'd have to hope someone's home is public nearby.
To Claim only would only balance out long travel times and make it so you can get to your "Home" Battleground faster or another after travelling to another.
From Claim would make it so everyone could get to any BG instantly from their/ a public house.
 

Sy

Well-Known Member
Nov 16, 2018
303
580
93
sya.li
#14
Then the obvious parallel is the group kids with army men who only sit in a circle yelling "Pew pew pew." all day basically going over to a kid with army men in a small little base he made himself and kicking sand in their eyes and yelling "YOUR BASE IS STEWWWPID, WE HATE IT"
Maybe I was too nuanced or you cherry picked a quote.

I was responding to this:

...people who absolutely hate the idea of having any place of their own in the game surely must be a rarity.
A rarity? No. It is not a rarity for people to absolutely hate the idea of having any place of their own in the game.

Maybe it is common, maybe it is uncommon, but it is not rare. That's where my post was coming from.


The shooty guys said we hate this and then they mentioned prefabs to appease them. The problem is the shooty guys seem to hate anything that could potentially give a player reason not to be in their firing squad or a functional benefit to a player who engages with the system over one who chooses not to.
You either weren't there or weren't paying attention.

I was the guy that brought up this perspective and I was directly addressed live in that chat.

Even though uninteresting, or outright offensive, mechanics might be implemented in a game, when those features bring in more players they will pay for themselves and end up giving me more players. As long as it's optional or low-friction content I'm happy. What "optional or low-friction" means is a separate discussion, but it isn't currently relevant since no development time has been spent on the topic .

I brought up a perspective, he read it. He told me his perspective, I conceded. The conversation ended.

It ended on Discord.

And since this thread is about P2W I'll end it here because this is off topic.