NW Dev gives an insider's view

nighttriumph#5952
nighttriumph#5952 Member Posts: 13 Arc User
edited May 2019 in General Discussion (PC)
Xavier (https://twitter.com/XCK3D) only a few days ago (May 17) shared lengthy tweets about how NW developers keep the money flowing. Moderator edited rule violation out of first paragraph.

Xavier's Tweets from May 17, 2019:
"I worked on Neverwinter, the free-to-play MMO that came out several years ago. Many F2P game systems are lifted directly from the gambling industry, so let me give you an idea of what supporting that means for video games, gamers, and developers.

Loot boxes in games are a familiar topic for a lot of people, but they often discuss the wrong angle. Most gamers comment on how annoying they are, but few people address how harmful they are.

First, to deconstruct what a loot box is for those who don't do F2P games: It's a package you open that has a % chance you'll receive one of a number of cosmetic or gameplay-altering rewards when you open it. You pay for the privilege to open the loot box.

This pay-for-potential-rewards structure is lifted directly from casino gambling — slot machines in particular. In fact, most of the win rates and feedback systems for loot boxes are lifted directly from slot machine design. Here are some aspects that are similar:
Pay-to-play
Sounds and visuals designed to heighten excitement and anticipation
Low initial investment
High accessibility
Intentionally stingy rewards
Highly broadcast high-end rewards
Let's break these down.

Pay-to-play means you're locked out of content until you drop some money, and that does some weird psychological things I'm not qualified to talk about. Regardless, it sets a barrier to entry, but it's designed to be low enough (penny slots, anyone?) that anyone can play.

Sounds and visuals play a huge part in making loot boxes. They have a specific cadence built into them which increases tension over a short time, and then they flash pretty lights and play exciting sounds. Slot machines perfected it, and now video games crank it to 11.

Low initial investment is incredibly important for gambling because it tricks your brain into thinking you're not spending much money, even if you end up spending dozens or hundreds in the end. This ties in well with the intentionally stingy reward cycle, which I'll get to.

Accessibility in slot machines is walking up and popping a penny in, but accessibility in loot boxes is even more insidious; you spend some time playing the game, you get a free taste, and then you have to pay to play once you get that initial adrenaline rush.

Intentionally stingy rewards keep people coming back, and spending more money over time by constantly teasing the possibility of a greater reward. You see this with slots, and you see it with the possibility of winning a sweet new skin, only to end up with ugly HAMSTER.

Highly broadcast high-end rewards are things like the bright flashing lights, loud bells, and other aspects of winning you see from slots. You get the same thing for free in video games because people want to show off their shiny loot, and they even make videos about it.

So. What all these reward systems do is give you a trickle of excitement with the occasional punctuation of winning a little bit, and that system is incredibly addictive for many people. Let me give a couple of examples.

You hear about people with gambling addictions blowing thousands of dollars at a casino. These people get addicted to the risk/reward cycle of gambling; it literally makes happy juices squirt into their brain. The EXACT same happens with loot boxes, and there are metrics.

Those metrics aren't just "this person is spending X." No. When I was on Neverwinter, I heard a conversation about one of our highest spenders who was a single mother of 3-4 kids in Kentucky. The people making the game knew who this individual was and how much she spent monthly

That may not sound super terrible, until you hear that this single mother was spending over a thousand dollars a month on in-game items, people knew her salary range, and could literally stick a pin in a map with her physical address.

It's important for people running these games to have metrics and info like this so they can tailor the experience to you. This is where video game loot boxes are actually more insidious than casino gambling; they don't just take your money, they tailor your personal experience.

Companies who produce games with loot boxes tailor your experience so that the amount they make off you is maximized. For most people this is pennies per month, but for some people they're literally tailoring the game to take advantage of your gambling addiction.

The killer thing is that, without whales — without the people with gambling addictions — these systems fail. If you've ever done any reading on how airline ticket pricing works, it's a similar business model. A small number of high spenders keep the whole thing afloat.

So, to get back to the Unity link: Supporting the gambling industry is lucrative, but also INCREDIBLY unethical. You're supporting a system designed to literally, not figuratively, LITERALLY prey on the addictions of a relatively small number of people.

All those talks at GDC a few years ago about monetization? Preying on addictions.
Loot boxes in Overwatch, Apex Legends, Fortnite? Preying on addictions.
Monetization and marketing experts? Preying-on-addictions experts.

Interestingly, this is the same system Valve uses to exploit artists who make skins and items for TF2 and DOTA2. A few "lucky" people get their items selected (by a black box selection process) which strings others along to keep creating free content for them.

They pay for none of the labor involved in making skins for DOTA characters, but reap 70% of all profits, which equates to millions of dollars per year. Good times.

Anyway, this is why I'll never work on another F2P game again, and this is why seeing Unity openly talking about how they're supporting the gambling industry makes me never want to touch Unity's tools again."
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Comments

  • tribbulater
    tribbulater Member Posts: 180 Arc User
    Not hard to see the potential harm here, but the issue is not actually "ooh gambling addiction pandering, BAD!" black and white.

    At one time I developed a multiplayer online game, back in the day when 'online' meant modems and 'multiplayer' meant numbers in the dozens, not tens of thousands. It was pay-for-play, straight hourly rate. Standard "RNG rolls for monsters you run into, RNG table rolls for loot they dropped" stuff. You wanted X, you went and hunted down monsters of type Y until it dropped, or you trade for it with another player who did the same.

    What happened? You still had addiction. You had people who need to be doing other things, or sleeping, staying up all day/night to play. You had people who could only afford X hours buying 4X hours. You had people buying hours for other players who would then promise to 'farm item X' for them. You had people paying other people to level their characters. After a while a direct cash market for character trading and item trading occurred - and people paid more cash than they could afford for things the game 'made them want'.

    Do some people watch television addictively? Yes. Do some people social media addictively? Of course. Do some people have gaming addictions that cause damage to their life, regardless of money spent or not spent? Many do. Do some people read addictively, or indulge in other forms of 'escapism'? Of course they do!

    Picking one segment of potentially harmful addiction (I'm sure most gamblebox openers can afford their box keys) to focus on does not really achieve anything. Humans have addiction issues. So long as they do, it's not a question of what focus their addiction takes, but rather, how damaging is this? Is there a way to limit the damage? Is it better that they do this addictive activity rather than that one? (Is the stay-at-home mom in the OP not better off gambling a limited $1,000/month from home, with her children at hand, than heading to a casino to gamble greater amounts at night while leaving the kids with a sitter or asleep?)

    Rather than going full SJW on the latest "Oooh I identified this and it's actually gambling!" topic, it would be better to steer interest toward having any gambling/addiction oriented businesses paying a fee towards addiction related services. Unfortunately, we all know just how ineffectively/wastefully government fees/taxes are used to support the area they are supposedly targeted on... but perhaps a better solution exists.
  • nighttriumph#5952
    nighttriumph#5952 Member Posts: 13 Arc User
    edited May 2019

    Not hard to see the potential harm here, but the issue is not actually "ooh gambling addiction pandering, BAD!" black and white.

    So I guess preying upon the game addiction of a single mom with 4 kids who spends over 12k per year on in-game items makes this all ok?

    American Addiction Centers say this about gambling:

    Gambling is one of the most insidious of human vices, as it presents the illusion of easy money yet can quickly lead to financial ruin. The odds are never in your favor whether it is poker, blackjack or anything else; gambling is a successful industry because the house always wins. Read on to find out about the symptoms, causes and effects of gambling addiction.

    Are There Different Types of Gambling Addiction?
    Gambling is a diverse activity, so different types of gambling addiction exist as well. It is not always obvious when someone is addicted to gambling. Contrary to popular belief, the act of gambling is not restricted to slot machines, cards and casinos. Purchasing a lottery ticket, entering a raffle or making a bet with a friend are also forms of gambling.

    Gambling addiction can occur when a person feels that they are in financial ruin and can only solve their problems by gambling what little they have in an attempt to get a large sum of money. Unfortunately, this almost always leads to a cycle in which the gambler feels they must win back their losses, and the cycle goes on until the person is forced to seek rehabilitation to break their habit.

    Another type of gambling addiction results when a gambler plays the games and makes risky bets to experience the emotional high associated with taking huge risks that occasionally pay off. In both cases, the person affected by this addiction must have the desire to stop the behavior, not just to please family and friends. If you, or a loved one, want to stop gambling but don’t not know where to begin, call our hotline at for the resources necessary to start the recovery process.

    What Causes an Addiction to Gambling?
    Many factors can contribute to a gambling addiction, including desperation for money, the desire to experience thrills and highs, the social status associated with being a successful gambler, and the entertaining atmosphere of the mainstream gambling scene. Unfortunately, once a gambling addiction takes hold, breaking the cycle is difficult. Severe addictions can take hold when someone feels desperate financially and wants to make back what they have lost. Once the person finally wins, while they may end up collecting a massive amount of money from that win, it is rarely enough to cover what has already been lost. Most gamblers never even come close to breaking even.


    @tribbulator What you said is like saying, 'smoking crack is ok. I know it's an addiction, but everything can be an addiction. it's not the drug dealers fault.'
  • tribbulater
    tribbulater Member Posts: 180 Arc User

    Not hard to see the potential harm here, but the issue is not actually "ooh gambling addiction pandering, BAD!" black and white.

    So I guess preying upon the game addiction of a single mom with 4 kids who spends over 12k per year on in-game items makes this all ok?

    American Addiction Centers say this about gambling:

    [...snip...]

    @tribbulator What you said is like saying, 'smoking crack is ok. I know it's an addiction, but everything can be an addiction. it's not the drug dealers fault.'
    I would rebut, but when someone shows this level of disconnection with the actual topic (video games vs. crack), plus the inability to read beyond the first sentence of someone's post... well that level of hide-bound SJW tunnel vision just isn't something that allows for debate.

    You're either with the crusade, or you need to be hung I guess.

    Kind of makes you wonder how the guy can continue to play the game.

  • mebengalsfan#9264
    mebengalsfan#9264 Member Posts: 3,169 Arc User
    kreatyve said:

    Kreatyve, I thought you didn't work for Cryptic or PWE. As a forum moderator, how could you validate Xavier's comments? I know you are very protective of Cryptic, which is what a moderator needs to be. But that's quite the blanket statement to say none of what Xavier just posted 4 days ago is relevant to the game today.

    If any of what he is saying is true, shouldn't people be made aware of it?

    He hasn't worked at Cryptic since Alpha testing. He was an art dev, not a systems design dev. That information is verifiable through his LinkedIn. The game and lockboxes have gone through a great many changes in the 6 years since that guy worked at Cryptic. Therefore, none of what he thinks he knows is relevant today, as it's all changed.
    The psychological aspect to persuade those who are more prone to gambling addiction has not really changed all that much. The odds seem a bit better but the fact that we still get the flashing encouraging gambling addiction behavior in the game has not gone away. You know when someone wins a epic or legendary award; also there is still the sound when you win an epic or legendary award as well.

    In fact I would argue that the game has added more psychological tools to get more players to spend money on the game. Coupons and sales are focused towards shopaholics that are prone to spend when they see a sale. Placing items on sale through a coupon or having a big in game sale making the announcement right when you log in are both psychological tools that prey on a different addiction.

    If the game starts attacking the younger audience and than it becomes a concern. If the game starts to release cute critters for companion and mounts that do not line up with the D&D world than we can bet that Cryptic is focused on getting the younger audience to spend their parent's money unwisely and if they do this than they have crossed a line.

    It does not surprise me one bit that a game like NWO that is F2P games uses gambling tactic to get players to spend money; it also shows that they are more concern about about generating money than on delivering a good product forits customers. Mod 16, Zax changes and a new LB shows me where their focus is on. Getting us to spend more instead of actually improving the game. I already made points on the extra cost that mod 16 brings to us as players and that is one reason I am not happy about mod 16.

    You don't need to tell me but think about how most F2P games are designed; they go after those with a weak will.






  • tribbulater
    tribbulater Member Posts: 180 Arc User
    edited May 2019
    Just to point out, that American Addiction Centers' own definition of 'gambling' focuses on the financial/monetary reward variety. Gambling for real-life, monetary gain is a very different activity (and addiction) than taking a chance on in-game RNG for what amounts to 'attractive bling', and not a necessity of life.

    You are really talking here about 'limited cost, risk-taking behaviour, for the excitement/payoff'. In that same vein you might as well place extreme sports, mountain climbing, martial arts competitions, playing in any game-related event (Magic the Gathering tournaments, or Chess tournaments with prizes), or heck, driving fast.

    Try to keep it in perspective.
  • hawkeyel
    hawkeyel Member Posts: 389 Arc User
    While the game is F2P, Cryptic or any other gaming company is not a non profit. People love the sound of free. So it is as much the gamer's mindset as it is the developers that play along with that. I always liked the games that had a different way in which to turn a profit. As is happening in the US and in the EU it will become increasingly more difficult for the F2P model to turn a profit .I hope this means that they will then return to a different model that I like better. Keeping in mind that they have said this game would always be F2P . So if they kill that, they will kill this game.
  • dheffernan
    dheffernan Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 212 Arc User
    MMOs need to return to the subscription-based model and abandon microtransactions as a primary means of monetization.

    City of Heroes appeared to have implemented a viable non-exploitave F2P model but since the game was shut down about a year later that would seem not to be the case. This "experiment" needs to end, through federal legislation if necessary.
    @Venture-1 @Venture from City of Heroes if you remember that far back. Yes, *that* Venture. Yes, I probably trashed your MA arc. For me it was Tuesday.
  • tribbulater
    tribbulater Member Posts: 180 Arc User

    MMOs need to return to the subscription-based model and abandon microtransactions as a primary means of monetization.

    City of Heroes appeared to have implemented a viable non-exploitave F2P model but since the game was shut down about a year later that would seem not to be the case. This "experiment" needs to end, through federal legislation if necessary.

    Seriously? Do you guys even think at all before you go full SJW? First of all, Neverwinter is subscription based, and microtransaction, and is still not overly profitable.

    Second of all, if subscription-based was generally viable, MMOs would not have left that model in the first place.

    Thirdly, because a small percentage of players have trouble managing their own behaviour, and spend perhaps more than they should on a game, for various reasons (not all of them exploitation by risk-taking/payoff seeking behaviour) is absolutely no reason whatsoever to remove the option from the majority of players who are capable of managing their own behaviour responsibly. If you need to target someone, target the people who can't control themselves.

    You don't like the system buddy? Then vote with your feet, not mine.
  • johonxgalt
    johonxgalt Member Posts: 93 Arc User
    It is not about people who are not capable of managing their responsibility, it is about setting up a system that exploits that vulnerability by flashing winner banners and dropping the lockboxes in your inventory so often).

    In lockbox games the only way to get some of the most wanted loot is from lockboxes, there is no other option to just straight out purchase it. One player may be able to get it from the auction house but only after another player won it. I saw Fortnite mentioned earlier but do not see it as the same model.

    Fortnite sells you the item you want, Lockbox games sell you a "chance" at getting what you want but without stating the odds of actually getting that item.

    If an in game item has value, players will purchase it. If the only way to get it is purchasing chances at it it will inevitably feed those with gambling additions.

    One country (china I think it is) required gaming companies to publish the chances on lockboxes. The US should follow suit but it may not be enough.

    Recovering gamblers are able to tell local casinos not to let them gamble in their establishments, to help them during times they are weak. The same should be allowed with in game gambling.
  • tribbulater
    tribbulater Member Posts: 180 Arc User
    edited May 2019

    It is not about people who are not capable of managing their responsibility, it is about setting up a system that exploits that vulnerability by flashing winner banners and dropping the lockboxes in your inventory so often).

    [...snip...]

    Lockbox games sell you a "chance" at getting what you want but without stating the odds of actually getting that item.

    If an in game item has value, players will purchase it. If the only way to get it is purchasing chances at it it will inevitably feed those with gambling additions.

    One country (china I think it is) required gaming companies to publish the chances on lockboxes. The US should follow suit but it may not be enough.

    Recovering gamblers are able to tell local casinos not to let them gamble in their establishments, to help them during times they are weak. The same should be allowed with in game gambling.

    Guys, listen, get some perspective here. Clothing stores put their fashions and sales in the window, on nicely shaped mannequins, to attract your interest. Restaurants and food packagers put lovely perfectly shot photos on menus and packages to entice your eye. Food producers use salt and sugar and aromas and color to entice you to eat their product.

    Making a product noticeable and attractive is not the same as "exploiting a gambling addiction". Lootboxes are not "gambling". There is no monetary prize, there are no necessities of life to be won.

    Other than a hearsay comment from an obviously biased person about around-the-water-cooler talk at a company he hasn't worked for in years, there are no facts in this discussion. No data on whether this issue has enough impact to even be worth talking about.

    I've gamed for years. And years. I've been through the "Evercrack" phase, the "World of Walletcraft" days, the "Star Wars the GOLD Republic" craze... there is always somebody spending too much money on their games. If they didn't spend it on lootboxes they would spend it on game time to grind mob X until item Y drops. They would buy the 'limited desirable' items on RMT/gold farmer sites and risk identity theft and credit card fraud.

    Really, what you guys are saying amounts to "People should never be allowed to spend too much money on something they want that I consider foolish. In fact, everybody needs to lose the option to spend money on things I don't approve of because a few people spend their money foolishly."

    Rolex watches? Waste of money, they use social status and attractive design to make you want to buy them! OFF THE MARKET! Expensive shoes? No way José, that's just marketing ploys suckering you. Beer? You only want it because the commercials put attractive visuals and models in the ads, NO BEER FOR YOU!

    List the odds? Fine. I'm all for consumers making informed purchases. Put a graduated limit in place so that a first or second-time buyer can't pick up more than $500 in game currency? Yeah sure. Give players the ability to place a 'spending limit' on their account, and then need to do something in order to increase or remove that later? Sure, as long as the restrictions are reasonable.

    Those are all reasonable ways to address an issue that gives consumers reasonable controls without removing their ability to choose or a company's ability to do business. "This model must go!" is not.
  • zimxero#8085
    zimxero#8085 Member Posts: 876 Arc User
    I suppose this is shocking to .... "no one" except the self-shocking. All of it is psychology 101, with the only addition, that the OP is anti-gambling. As long as players are getting value for their money, their is no exploitation. On an ethical level, I suppose a game could "LIMIT" the amount a user is allowed to spend per month... but why should they? Does McDonalds limit your Cheeseburgers per month for your own good? I believe the responsibility of a game does extend to ensuring that players receive value for their payments, and in Neverwinter that is happening for the most part. Their are a number of items on the Zen Market that are "over-priced" by a factor of 10 because you can buy them in-game for cheaper. Those types of items should be re-evaluated by Cryptic. Any new player that buys one of those items to get a head-start, will be very angry when they realize they wasted their money. Aside from this... I have no complaints of any kind. Long live lockboxes.
  • wylonus
    wylonus Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 2,376 Arc User
    Belgium just already ban all form of online games that deals with gambling "lockboxes" format.
  • zimxero#8085
    zimxero#8085 Member Posts: 876 Arc User
    edited May 2019
    I believe in freedom of choice, measured against security. Belgium is doing what is wrong for their people to satisfy a highly media-cized political situation.

    As far as Pay for Play. Their is another really important factor from a gamer's perspective. How much of the "pay" part is required in order to be a successful player? If its a lot... and repetitive.. it truly is pay to win. A good Pay for play model emphasizes paying to save play time, to gain convenience, and to attain cosmetic items... and de-emphasizes (but does not need to completely eliminate) items and services that provide competitive advantages.
  • wylonus
    wylonus Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 2,376 Arc User
    what they did for Belgium, to prevent underage minors to gambling. not sure why, but that all i know.
  • quickfoot#7851
    quickfoot#7851 Member Posts: 488 Arc User
    edited May 2019
    Man, this reminds me of marijuana legalization and how politicians always start to talk about heroin addiction when the topic is marijuana. I think it's kinda funny to say, because half the people preaching against LB's and the f2p model, probably smoke pot.

    Anyways, I think yeah, LB's may be a little sketchy, but I don't think we need freakn government regulation regarding the issue, at least not as far as outlawing it outright. Ensuring drop rates are within reason is something I wouldn't oppose in the slightest.

  • kemnimtarkas
    kemnimtarkas Member Posts: 831 Arc User

    Man, this reminds me of marijuana legalization and how politicians always start to talk about heroin addiction when the topic is marijuana. I think it's kinda funny to say, because half the people preaching against LB's and the f2p model, probably smoke pot.

    Anyways, I think yeah, LB's may be a little sketchy, but I don't think we need freakn government regulation regarding the issue, at least not as far as outlawing it outright. Ensuring drop rates are within reason is something I wouldn't oppose in the slightest.

    I wouldn't compare it to the pot industry.

    I think a better comparison would be with the cigarette industry. And how Big Tobacco invested millions in 'marketing research' focused on developing the absolute best way to market cigarettes to pre-teens and teens to get them to try cigarettes - because they knew, based on their research, that a set percentage of all teens who tried it would become lifelong addicts - and pad the company's bottom line in the process.

    But then again --- any legislation geared at controlling lockboxes as a form of gambling will likely run afoul of the gambling industry. Any law that even hints at limiting things like slot machines or their virtual equivalents is likely doomed. Not because it's a bad idea - but because the folks with a vested interest in the status quo have a lot of $$$ to donate to political campaigns, if not the moral high ground.
  • quickfoot#7851
    quickfoot#7851 Member Posts: 488 Arc User


    Man, this reminds me of marijuana legalization and how politicians always start to talk about heroin addiction when the topic is marijuana. I think it's kinda funny to say, because half the people preaching against LB's and the f2p model, probably smoke pot.

    Anyways, I think yeah, LB's may be a little sketchy, but I don't think we need freakn government regulation regarding the issue, at least not as far as outlawing it outright. Ensuring drop rates are within reason is something I wouldn't oppose in the slightest.

    I wouldn't compare it to the pot industry.

    I think a better comparison would be with the cigarette industry. And how Big Tobacco invested millions in 'marketing research' focused on developing the absolute best way to market cigarettes to pre-teens and teens to get them to try cigarettes - because they knew, based on their research, that a set percentage of all teens who tried it would become lifelong addicts - and pad the company's bottom line in the process.

    But then again --- any legislation geared at controlling lockboxes as a form of gambling will likely run afoul of the gambling industry. Any law that even hints at limiting things like slot machines or their virtual equivalents is likely doomed. Not because it's a bad idea - but because the folks with a vested interest in the status quo have a lot of $$$ to donate to political campaigns, if not the moral high ground.
    Anyone lobbying for the tobacco or gambling industry certainly does not have the moral high ground, on the contrary, the only reason they are able to move up the hill, is because of money that trumps any moral arguments made from opponents.

    And here we go again, finding the most harmful comparisons to support the position that X is bad and should be banned. PWE/Cryptic are so bad at advertising and promoting Neverwinter, I really don't see how the tobacco industry comparison applies anyways (not to mention that lockboxes won't give you cancer).

    I've always seen Lockboxes more like Circus attractions than slot machines personally. We all know the game is rigged, the bottles are glued down, but people play anyways.

    Really what it boils down to is some people feel the need to attempt to legislate and regulate what other people do with their lives, and I don't agree with that in any form.

    I'm reminded of a "Truth" commercial I saw recently, not talking about smoking cigarettes, but vaporizing, the message of the commercial was that vaporizing is bad for the environment because it leaks heavy metals into the ground and oceans. I know there aren't any heavy metals in the E-Liquid that people are consuming so that's not the health issue they were talking about, but rather the batteries used in vaporizers do. While that may be true, so do batteries from smartphones, laptops, and every other electronic device which uses batteries that has been around since the battery was invented. If you can't see how much of a fallacy the argument that was being made is, I don't know what to tell you.

  • silvertail
    silvertail Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 97 Arc User
    Lock boxes are gambling and yes some people might put to much money on NW because of this. However I like the free to play model since I don't always have the extra money every month to pay in order to play a game. If I put money on NW thats my choice AS AN ADULT. If this game had more children in it stealing their parents credit cards then yes that would be a problem.
    You can't control every adult out there and save them from themselves.
    You don't tell the candy company's that they have to limit how much candy they sell to someone just because people are getting overweight or how much fast food someone can buy. At some point people have to be accountable for their own actions. Company's want to make money so they try to advertise to people who will spend money.
    How many people got HBO just to watch Game Of Thrones since everyone kept talking about it? How many times do you buy a drink at the super market since it's next to the check out line. The reason company's do this is because it works. If you stop buying then maybe they will stop However they would just find way to sell their product.
    I may not like loot boxes and that may be because since I started playing this game in 2013 I have never won a big prize from one. It could be said that it's Crypic's fault or just that I have really bad luck. However that also means that I will never buy keys just to play with loot boxes. On another note though there are other things in loot boxes other then that legendary mount that can be useful to your char or sold on AH.
    stealth is survival skills (and not tanking skills, that is really different)
    stealth is damage
    stealth is mobility
    stealth is everything
    everything is stealth
    Stealth make TR OP, but lack of stealth make TR useless.
  • zimxero#8085
    zimxero#8085 Member Posts: 876 Arc User
    I think you can compare online games to Golf or Fishing. An outside analyst might diagnose them as addicted to their sport. Lots of Sportsmen spend thousands... even tens of thousands on their hobby each year. Afterwards, all they have is the memory. If the government would try to ban their sports or put price controls on their industries... all hell would break loose.
  • quickfoot#7851
    quickfoot#7851 Member Posts: 488 Arc User
    edited May 2019
    People may not like lockboxes, and that's fine. I don't like em, I've spent $20-$30 on keys and learned my lesson. But people really need to learn how to fight the wars they want to fight. People too often want to go to the government and use that as a tool to enforce their vision. I'm going to a bit of an extreme here, but it makes the point very clearly. Take "Pro-lifers", they are anti-abortion, and that's fine, life is good, babies are cute, etc, etc... But, it's a very freakn bad idea to give the government authority over a woman's pregnancy. Look at China for example and the One-Child policy they implemented, what happens in the future if the government decides to enforce abortion because of population control? Well, dumbies in the 21st century already set the precedent that the government has authority on a woman's fetus. The point is, if you don't like lockboxes, don't buy them, fight your war that way. If you are "pro-life", promote adoption. But for the love of god, don't give the government more power over our lives than they already have.

  • sandukutupu
    sandukutupu Member Posts: 2,284 Arc User
    Topic has gone off the rails...




    Loot box is gambling as long as it delivers a random prize. Take away the random prize and you won't have a gamble. Another way to "spin doctor" the loot box, would be to have a major "fixed" prize and other random items. But in the end, the gaming industry will have to fight it out in courts if the loot box laws are passed. Most will just cave in and throw in the towel when that day comes.
    wb-cenders.gif
  • thevampinator
    thevampinator Member Posts: 307 Arc User
    edited May 2019
    Not sure how true this is. But china might have new regulations that might make much more sense.
    https://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/HenryFong/20190507/342062/Loot_Box_Design_20__Complying_with_Chinas_New_Rules.php
    Here is the thing I believe it should be a middle solution.
    Not banning pay to win per say but requiring it not to be the main focus of the game and also allowing players to get the same items in the game itself. To many games would fall under some form of pay to win. But lockboxes something does need to be done to prevent the exploiting for dollars thing companies are doing now. For one allowing only online multimultiplayer games to use the lootbox model. Second setting a limit on chance to at least 15 percent with increase in chance with each lockbox opened. Can still make money off them and I imagine companies would release more items to them. To get people to keep spending for the lockboxes but they wouldn't be spending thousands of dollars maybe 40 or fifty or even twenty to get the things they want to get. They would still make money off of these they just wouldn't make billions maybe a few million or even a hundred million depending on how popular the lootboxes are.

    Here the thing once gaming companies saw the money companies were making off of these things mmo companies in america starting doing it with a free to play model going on microtransactions and lootboxes and wanted in. Sto and Lord of the rings online I guess were the first two free to play mmos to start doing this in the west. According to the wikipedia.

    Companies made lots of money off it but they got too greedy, to exploitative with these types of systems and then the practice started getting worse and worse and spreading to the point of them being included in single player games. But it should have been regulated a long time ago. They can make money they should not be able to do full on casino exploitation. Like Cyptic is doing now and many other gaming companies using the lootbox type system. I do think it should be heavily regulated to the point where it would not really be gambling as you would be set to get the item you want. If they force a lockbox chance limit on jackpot items like legendary mounts to a 15% chance while forcing the chance to improve with each one opened. Then it would be random chance just not as costly to families and people who are gambling addicts. You got players that are rich or use creditcards to buy hundreds of dollars worth of lockbox keys. Possibly spending thousands or hundreds to get a lockbox mount. Companies should not be able to get away with that. They can make money just not in a exploited way and there is many ways they can make lockboxes work without extorting players for hundreds of dollars just for the new shiny mount.
    Games can even be successful without lootboxes.
    Here is the thing if that bill passes, it would really hurt cryptic/perfect worlds bottom line. They would have to change the whole system for Sto, For one to get rid of all the pay to win stuff. Then they would have to get rid of lockboxes and I can imagine them transitioning to a forced subscription to play or you have to buy the game to play. I think they would transition out of free to play because they would have to find another way to income it. Worst case scenario they just shut down their mmos and no more Neverwinter, Champions Online, Star Trek Online.

    This guy does have a point on this, I don't see it going too well and also even though he is against both pay to win transactions and lootboxes. It could have far reaching consequences and there is other ways to handle things.
  • thefiresidecat
    thefiresidecat Member Posts: 4,486 Arc User
    you can't save people from themselves. if they need professional help their friends and family will have to be the ones to drive that. complusive spending is going to happen one way or another if someone is prone to it. imo it's not a lot different than someone spending 1000 a month on shoes or clothes. it's all equally valueless. you can't tell people how to spend their money. the lockbox system is doable for getting out addictive or alternatively ocd behavior without spending a dime. it's great for me. I love the lockbox system and I've never spend a dime of real money for one.
  • dheffernan
    dheffernan Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 212 Arc User
    edited May 2019
    Seriously? Do you guys even think at all before you go full SJW?

    I have no truck with or use for the "SJW" movement. I consider myself a conservative, an independent one since 2016.

    First of all, Neverwinter is subscription based, and microtransaction, and is still not overly profitable.

    NW has no subscription model. VIP is not a subscription. As for how profitable it is, I really have no idea. It's still running so someone must think it's worth keeping it that way.

    Second of all, if subscription-based was generally viable, MMOs would not have left that model in the first place.

    Some of them didn't.

    If you can prove to the beancounters who run things that switching models from subscription to F2P will make more money they will do it, even if subscriptions were "viable".

    Thirdly, because a small percentage of players have trouble managing their own behaviour, and spend perhaps more than they should on a game, for various reasons (not all of them exploitation by risk-taking/payoff seeking behaviour) is absolutely no reason whatsoever to remove the option from the majority of players who are capable of managing their own behaviour responsibly.

    It is, if the system only works because of those players. That would be a textbook example of exploitation.

    I believe the government should in general stay out of peoples' lives and let businesses attend to themselves, but it is indeed a function of the government to regulate predatory and exploitative business practices. Businesses, whatever some doofuses in black robes may say, are not people. They don't have a conscience or any moral center. When they behave like sociopaths it is the government's duty to step in and stop them.

    Post edited by dheffernan on
    @Venture-1 @Venture from City of Heroes if you remember that far back. Yes, *that* Venture. Yes, I probably trashed your MA arc. For me it was Tuesday.
  • demonmonger
    demonmonger Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 3,350 Arc User
    edited May 2019
    > @tribbulater said:
    > It is not about people who are not capable of managing their responsibility, it is about setting up a system that exploits that vulnerability by flashing winner banners and dropping the lockboxes in your inventory so often).
    >
    > [...snip...]
    >
    > Lockbox games sell you a "chance" at getting what you want but without stating the odds of actually getting that item.
    >
    > If an in game item has value, players will purchase it. If the only way to get it is purchasing chances at it it will inevitably feed those with gambling additions.
    >
    > One country (china I think it is) required gaming companies to publish the chances on lockboxes. The US should follow suit but it may not be enough.
    >
    > Recovering gamblers are able to tell local casinos not to let them gamble in their establishments, to help them during times they are weak. The same should be allowed with in game gambling.
    >
    > Guys, listen, get some perspective here. Clothing stores put their fashions and sales in the window, on nicely shaped mannequins, to attract your interest. Restaurants and food packagers put lovely perfectly shot photos on menus and packages to entice your eye. Food producers use salt and sugar and aromas and color to entice you to eat their product.
    >
    > Making a product noticeable and attractive is not the same as "exploiting a gambling addiction". Lootboxes are not "gambling". There is no monetary prize, there are no necessities of life to be won.
    >
    > Other than a hearsay comment from an obviously biased person about around-the-water-cooler talk at a company he hasn't worked for in years, there are no facts in this discussion. No data on whether this issue has enough impact to even be worth talking about.
    >
    > I've gamed for years. And years. I've been through the "Evercrack" phase, the "World of Walletcraft" days, the "Star Wars the GOLD Republic" craze... there is always somebody spending too much money on their games. If they didn't spend it on lootboxes they would spend it on game time to grind mob X until item Y drops. They would buy the 'limited desirable' items on RMT/gold farmer sites and risk identity theft and credit card fraud.
    >
    > Really, what you guys are saying amounts to "People should never be allowed to spend too much money on something they want that I consider foolish. In fact, everybody needs to lose the option to spend money on things I don't approve of because a few people spend their money foolishly."
    >
    > Rolex watches? Waste of money, they use social status and attractive design to make you want to buy them! OFF THE MARKET! Expensive shoes? No way José, that's just marketing ploys suckering you. Beer? You only want it because the commercials put attractive visuals and models in the ads, NO BEER FOR YOU!
    >
    > List the odds? Fine. I'm all for consumers making informed purchases. Put a graduated limit in place so that a first or second-time buyer can't pick up more than $500 in game currency? Yeah sure. Give players the ability to place a 'spending limit' on their account, and then need to do something in order to increase or remove that later? Sure, as long as the restrictions are reasonable.
    >
    > Those are all reasonable ways to address an issue that gives consumers reasonable controls without removing their ability to choose or a company's ability to do business. "This model must go!" is not.

    Um when they remove the mobility factor from dark enchantments and remove the mobility from my artifacts plus lower the mobility all around on my character... legendary mount is necessity... I used to run fast as these mounts, now I need to ride one to not feel anxiety when traveling in the game. So I bought one. 200.00 bucks after my gamble attempts.
    Post edited by demonmonger on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    I hate paying taxes! Why must I pay thousands of dollars in taxes when everything I buy is taxed anyways!