Wednesday, September 12, 2012

time has no time for us anymore

[Broadcast] Hostillian: For the record, Lord Recluse was going to conquer Paragon. Just an FYI for all of you.

Well, at least we know.

Skipping from City to random Champions conversation...

[Zone #3] DarkFire@mattcus1: Would anyone be able to sell me Fire Flight Travel Power?
[Zone #2] Janie@kagetsuwamono: You can't sell travel powers.
[Zone #3] Demon Princess Lucretia@Aesirgard: Uh... Fire Flight is a standard power.


So, this is the breakdown for the uninitiated. In Champions Online, there are travel powers, essentially different ways superheroes can use to get around the city. Things like flight, super-jumping, super-fast running...In Champions they get occasionally more arcane: things like traveling around as a puddle of ooze, or dissolving into a stream of black scarab beetles and using their multiple legs to move you places. There's also a fire flight power, which is what it says it is--flight, while on fire.

[Zone #3] Network@-The-Mighty-One: I will sell you that Flight tp, just give me your name, bank details.. credit card.. etc..
[Zone #3] DarkFire@mattcus1: For gold yes


He still seemed to be missing the point. It's a travel power, it can only be unlocked at a certain level, or purchased from the C-Store with the in-game token currency, the Zen.

[Zone #3] Gloom Beast@misterhammermk1: I"m gold, just got the mission to come here, and it's empty
[Zone #2] Janie@kagetsuwamono: There's no gold in this game.


Now, this was a fairly random comment, with something that doesn't make much sense as a response. But just to differentiate: there are two levels of player, since Champions went free-to-play: silver (which is everyone who doesn't subscribe) and gold (which indicates the subscribers). Gold, obviously, gets more benefits--they get a monthly Zen stipend, they get certain for-pay abilities for free, they have more costume options and more travel powers available.

[Zone #3] DarkFire@mattcus1: Subscribers
[Zone #2] Janie@kagetsuwamono: There are resources, Questionite, Zen, and recognition.
[Zone #5] Skcarkden@Skcarkden: holy crap... a technicality nazi, and he still gets the context wrong


He does seem to be, yes. But I'd also point out that beyond the simple subscribers notice, there is gold in the game--of a sort. Beyond the Zen (which has to be purchased with large amounts of Questionite, earned through missions, or from the cash shop, for actual RL currency), there are various forms of "recognition" points--for those who play City of Heroes, that's similar to the various forms of "merits" handed out--as well as Questionite (earned through completing boss-level fights), and the three trade currencies.

[Zone #4] Core@Ashlocke: Gold, Nilver and Loppers

Yeah, that's the somewhat amusing thing. There are three listings for in-game coinage: G coins (which are called gold, and are gold-colored), N coins (which are silver) and L coins (which are copper). Rather than make it something simple and understandable--gold/silver/copper--they went with gold as gold, silver as N coins, and copper as L coins. Hence, gold, nilver and lopper. Well, what else are we to call them?

[Zone #5] Skcarkden@Skcarkden: gold as in gold sub, as in NOT silver, was the context
[Zone #3] DarkFire@mattcus1: So i guess no ones selling me FireFlight
[Zone #3] Demon Princess Lucretia@Aesirgard: Because it's not possible.
[Zone #4] Deep Cut@preachmore: u cannot sell travel powers apart dark speed wich is a device


Well...yeah. Because Dark Speed is a device that makes the hero run fast, it's not a travel power, per se; it's a device assist.

But DarkFire still doesn't quite seem to understand.

[Zone #5] J.C Deeplove@Fishtoad: I reckon somebody would if they could, but you can't trade powers.
[Zone #3] DarkFire@mattcus1: i'm trying to get questionite
[Zone #5] Skcarkden@Skcarkden: By that response, would seem like you were 100% oblivious to gold being a subscription term, hence the correction would be moot anyway


I suppose that's sort of fair, at least--why bother to separate out what he's trying to say, when what he is saying, understandably, is wrong in the first place?

Still, now it gets even more confusing: he's trying to buy a travel power he'd have to pay Zen or subscribe as a Gold player to get, with gold or Questionite? Really? Does he even know how Questionite is given out in the game?

[Zone #3] DarkFire@mattcus1: most of the surveys you have to pay for anyway
[Zone #3] Shen@Disarmed: Half of them put a nice virus on your computer.
[Zone #3] DarkFire@mattcus1: I did one free one but didn't get any zen
[Zone #5] Skcarkden@Skcarkden: the surveys are a joke
[Zone #3] DarkFire@mattcus1: yesh


On that, at least, we're in agreement: the current survey structure through Peanut Labs seems to be less than reliable. Think this through: Questionite in game currently goes for between 165 and 180 Questionite, per Zen. It's vastly inflated, which is odd, because Questionite is occasionally annoying to get. One would think there'd be a switch in priorities--more Zen given per Questionite, because Questionite can really only be earned by completing a series of daily missions, most of which require either time or moderately high levels to beat.

Unfortunately, that's not the case, because regardless of how annoying it can be to earn, Zen can only be "earned" by being a Gold subscriber, or by paying actual RL funds to get it. So, Zen becomes the premium acquisition.

Bring this back to Peanut Labs. Peanut Labs goes by the perimeters given by the game. The only other game I've dealt with that uses them was Runes of Magic. And, in Runes, it was fairly clearly stated up-front which offers would give what amounts of diamonds, but I only remember a couple of times where an offer said they'd pay out, and then didn't.

Contrast this with Champions Online, who seem to have given Peanut Labs no controls to operate within. Thus, there's a lot of offers that are bugged--id est, that say they're going to pay out Zen, and never do. There's even more offers that are thinly disguised (and sometimes not so thinly disguised) attempts to gain as much personal information as possible from the player--while still never paying out Zen for the cack-handed attempts. At this point, when the surveys are discussed in world, seasoned players generally advise new players not to do the surveys.

[Zone #5] Skcarkden@Skcarkden: You have to give them answers they want to be given the zen

True, which is the case with most surveys, but in the case of Peanut Labs, it's not even that. It's still more that the "surveys" offered are actual scams, and they won't get you Zen, they'll simply get you hacked.

[Zone #2] Janie@kagetsuwamono: Not every offer actually gives you the zen it's supposed to. Which sucks.
[Zone #3] Shen@Disarmed: they put it that way so u have to pay...more
[Zone #2] Janie@kagetsuwamono: But they only give you 3-5 zen...
[Zone #3] Shen@Disarmed: 3 zen?
[Zone #3] DarkFire@mattcus1: still better than no zen
[Zone #2] Janie@kagetsuwamono: For videos, yes.
[Zone #2] Janie@kagetsuwamono: ANd that's worth 3 zen to you? Do you know how many 15 second videos you'd need to buy a costume pack?


Again, let's break this down. A standard speciality costume pack costs 475 Zen. Watching video offers (mostly advertisements for services or commercials for products) gains you 3 to 5 Zen per each video watched--and that's if you get an offer that pays out.

Assume that all video offers pay out that 3 Zen standard. You'd have to watch 158 separate videos (and all videos run between 30 seconds and a minute and a half on average). That works out to, what, about two days of video time?

It's cheaper all the way around just to buy the damned Zen.

[Zone #4] Network@-The-Mighty-One: play the video, turn the volume down low. (not on mute or it won't count) and play C.O.
[Zone #5] Skcarkden@Skcarkden: i really don't get why companies are "trolling" for advertising schemes
[Zone #4] Network@-The-Mighty-One: It makes you want to buy points
[Zone #4] Network@-The-Mighty-One: Which they then make money
[Zone #5] Skcarkden@Skcarkden: you only watch an ad by choice, for a few coins, and they're the bad guys?


In a limited sense, yes. Because Cryptic/Perfect World Entertainment put no restrictions on the types of offers they wanted to be associated with their game, they get a mish-mash of advertising vids, surveys wherein the survey taker must pony up financial info, or actually purchase something, just to finish the survey, and outright graft for player info.

Peanut Labs is not an ethical company. But they do (reasonably) curtail their obvious bids for player data if told by the hiring firm paying their service fees. So yes, I do think Perfect World is at fault for not specifying these controls.

[Zone #2] Janie@kagetsuwamono: Okay, wise guy. How many videos are up at a time? 5, maybe 6? A day.

That's the other problem. We can't simply take a day, watch thirty videos, then get on with our lives--pushing aside the simple time sink that would be, they never put that many videos up at one time, because they want to drive players to the payout offers, over the 30-second commercial ones.

[Zone #2] Janie@kagetsuwamono: That's 32 days.
Accounting for a standard five videos per day, yeah. Again, it's far cheaper to just buy Zen in the cash shop.

[Zone #3] Shen@Disarmed: Yea i sure have the patience and time to watch those stupid videos
[Zone #4] Network@-The-Mighty-One: Because it -WILL NEVER- be fixed. They are focusing on PWE games and they are updating sto.. Why? because STO makes money.
[Zone #3] Demon Princess Lucretia@Aesirgard: Hands up anyone in this conversation besides me that was part of the Beta.
[Zone #4] Network@-The-Mighty-One: This game doesn't make as much money as STO. e.g. why they don't really give two craps about this game atm.
[Zone #3] Shen@Disarmed: Who cares if youve been playing since beta?
[Zone #3] Demon Princess Lucretia@Aesirgard: Well, anyone who cares about accuracy in the context of what it was before PWE?

I find this fascinating--remember, these aren't the new players to Champions, these are established players, some subscribers even. Yet while in City of Heroes, there's a built-in respect for people who beta-tested the game, in Champions, that seems to be the set-up for instant contempt on the part of the player base, or at least scattered bits of the player base. Why?

[Zone #5] Skcarkden@Skcarkden: CO has has bugs forever, even before PWE took over
[Zone #5] Skcarkden@Skcarkden: people just tend to notice the bugs more, because they never get fixed to it's everwhere and not just in few places now


Can anyone say, Second Life? I knew you could.

[Zone #3] Demon Princess Lucretia@Aesirgard: Here's a thought: if you hate it so much, go play DCUO. All you're doing here is polluting bandwidth.
[Zone #3] Shen@Disarmed: No one said u have to buy em, duh
[Zone #5] J.C Deeplove@Fishtoad: Well I think our trolling has kept Shen from his delightful game of Fanwankery: The Sony Edition.

[Zone #5] Skcarkden@Skcarkden: Well i would suggest every player that wants CO improved write a letter and send it a copy to PWI HQ and Cryptic head office, writing a letter still has more impact to date
[Zone #3] Shen@Disarmed: They dont listen, skrcarkden
[Zone] Nicole@sngl8: Wait, what's this "writing" and "letter" thing?
[Zone #3] Demon Princess Lucretia@Aesirgard: Well, they certainly don't listen to people complaining in Zone about it.

Rarely if ever.

[Zone #3] Shen@Disarmed: Im opening your eyes, not complaining
[Zone #3] Shen@Disarmed: and Im telling you my opinion
[Zone #3] Demon Princess Lucretia@Aesirgard: No, you're suffering from confirmation bias.


It's possible, but it's more likely he's just saying Cryptic and Perfect World are as disconnected as the Lindens are.

[Zone #5] J.C Deeplove@Fishtoad: No you're complaining bro.

That too.

[Zone #5] Skcarkden@Skcarkden: Well just one person sending a letter def won't mean much
[Zone #3] Shen@Disarmed: The freedom of speech, ever heard of it?


Okay, again, for the folks in the cheap seats--it's a privately-operated virtual server running a game. There ARE no "free speech" issues, because there is no free speech preservation for a video game.

Okay? Okay. Moving on.

[Zone #2] Janie@kagetsuwamono: Nicole, it's an ancient method of transfering data wherein one person scratches graphite onto a piece of paper, and then sends it to another, who reads the scratches.
[Zone #5] Skcarkden@Skcarkden: but if lots of people do it, they might take more notice


True, which is what we're hoping with City of Heroes. (To that end, more fun news--today, we gave the entirety of the Paragon Studios former staff dinner out. And there's more activities in-game planned for later in the week, and the week after.)

[Zone #3] Demon Princess Lucretia@Aesirgard: You're free to your opinion. Just like I'm free to point out when you're ignoring everything that contradicts it.
[Zone #5] J.C Deeplove@Fishtoad: Yes the freedom of speech allows all people the right to voice their opinions freely, but you lost your credibility when you started comparing Champs to DCUO.
[Zone #2] Janie@kagetsuwamono: Only the truly ancient, or anyone over the age of 20, remembers writing letters.


Well, I guess I fit both at this point--hells, I was ancient at age eleven--but come on, has letter-writing fallen that much out of favor? Why?

[Zone #3] Shen@Disarmed: why? is it bad to compare
[Zone #5] J.C Deeplove@Fishtoad: The reason why CoD and ME's fanbase age average is 12-14 is because they're susceptible to the aggressive advertising. That includes - but isn't limited to - bribing reviewers, hiring employees to -
[Zone #5] J.C Deeplove@Fishtoad: - censor bad comments left on their videos, giving their employees the right to lash out at consumers who complain.
[Zone #3] Shen@Disarmed: COD Has a...meh community
[Zone #3] Shen@Disarmed: like idk. its like all the retards are gathered in one game


Well, but that's mostly just the player base. What "Deeplove" is talking about is actual employees that are hired to run interference for Call of Duty's shortcomings.

[Zone #5] J.C Deeplove@Fishtoad: In short, they control the media that is centered around their game and effectively lead what they believe is a fanbase.
[Zone #3] Shen@Disarmed: That is corruption, my friend

Actually, no, that's closer to aggressive marketing. Corruption would be when they started killing players who spoke out; but it's still possible to say negative things about Call of Duty, or the studio employed to run it.

[Zone #3] she-woman@blackdarknesz: HELLO GUYS
[Zone #3] she-woman@blackdarknesz: DO U SPEAK MY LANGUAGE?
[Zone #3] Skcarkden@Skcarkden: No
[Zone #3] Dragonstorm@Crashbang: I can't read caps


Brilliantly well put, Dragonstorm. Kudos to you.

[Zone #4] Light cygnus@frodo56140: DO you have any problems?
[Zone #3] she-woman@blackdarknesz: yeah i have a problem
[Zone #3] Dragonstorm@Crashbang: yes, a keyboard that cant spell


Eh, I think that's more user error, really. Don't blame the keyboard.

[Zone #3] she-woman@blackdarknesz: dragonstorm nobody does da proper engalish in internetz
[Zone #3] she-woman@blackdarknesz: righting proper grammar is for english homewor


"Homewor"? "HOMEWOR"??? You're too lazy even to end words properly??

[Zone #3] Skcarkden@Skcarkden: you don't write grammar, you use it

EXACTLY.

[Zone #3] she-woman@blackdarknesz: i dont talk like i type

Thank God.

[Zone #3] she-woman@blackdarknesz: fingers and vocal cords not same thing

I give up. Because obviously she's missed the point of the entire conversation BEING WRITTEN DOWN, WITH NO ONE SPEAKING...

[Zone #3] Skcarkden@Skcarkden: who said anything about you talking? when it was all written

HA! I wasn't the only one to notice that!

[Zone #3] she-woman@blackdarknesz: bunch of grammar grandmas

I'm sure you meant that as an insult, dearie, but I take it as a mark of pride.

[Zone #3] Blackjack@Inspektor_Herring: Is there a superhero based on semantics anywhere?
[Zone #3] she-woman@blackdarknesz: wat is semantics
[Zone #3] she-woman@blackdarknesz: alt tab and google it for me
[Zone #2] Reaper@ReaperOxide: This is a chat, not a phone. You can at least try.


Yeah, because at this point, she's sounding almost too lazy to breathe in and out.

[Zone #3] she-woman@blackdarknesz: no reaper
[Zone #3] she-woman@blackdarknesz: I won't.
[Zone #3] she-woman@blackdarknesz: No.


So...not just lazy, but actively embracing being stupid? Go her. Proud day for the advancement of feminine intelligence, people.

And then, one day later:

[Zone #3] Azarath@Akizia: Oh no...shes singing again
[Zone #3] Azarath@Akizia: someone shoot her
[Zone #2] Storm Hawk@kbit08: She's singing for YOU!
[Zone #3] Azarath@Akizia: I have the gun if someone has the bullets


I'd insert something in here about how violence against women begets little beyond more violence, even in the virtual sense, but...she's a really, really bad singer. It's hard not to agree.

And...

[Zone #1] Rough and Tumble@Cronicle: It is getting wto wheere a redheaded Cyber girl cna't get a dany descent girl talk in this game!!*pouts*

Well, if that's how you talk normally, I don't imagine so. More from the trenches later.

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