A plea

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Ulskanine, Nov 22, 2019.

  1. kaeshiva

    kaeshiva Avatar

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    I don't have problem with the philosophy behind heritage items - more affordable items that you buy for yourself to use and enjoy, rather than as an 'investment' for reselling.
    I think this is good.

    However, this isn't what is happening. As pointed out in the op, the items aren't more affordable, and frankly, the prices for some of the items particularly items that are pot-only are beyond ridiculous. Lately prices in general for things (looking at you, mannequin debacle) have just been greedy, greedy. The entire removal of the web shop was based on trying to minimize the poor PR of things costing a fortune, and, here we are with things costing a fortune.

    Like the OP, I'm heavily invested in this game with no regrets, its been my main source of entertainment for years. But also like the OP, I'm finding it harder and harder to justify purchasing things whose price tags are just getting silly. Throw in the heritage tag - the inability to ever sell/trade it for something else - or even give it away if I get tired of it - and it makes the items worth significantly less to me.

    But that's not even my main gripe. I could deal with the no-trade. If it makes the game better and means that Catnip gets my money rather than a reseller - great.
    But heritage items have other issues aside from being no trade:

    - Cannot store them in containers.
    As an avid decorator, I have my deco organized in boxes by type/category. Even on my own property, I can't store these items in a box. Which means that if I buy them, especially a seasonal item that I wouldn't necessarily want 'out' all the time, the only place I can stick it when not in use, is my bank. And I do not want to clutter up my bank with a bunch of unorganized crap. I know they don't take up 'space' now, but that's not the issue. Its not being able to put trees in the Landscaping box or chairs in the Furniture box, meaning any deco project I will have to shove a bank device around - not to mention it making my bank take longer and longer to load. No thanks. I cancelled subs on my other accounts when I started getting "no trade rewards" because if I can't give them to my main account, there was simply no point in having them sitting around languishing in the banks of characters I don't play often.

    Recommendation: We need some sort of container, even if its a special heritage container, that can store heritage items so they can be organized. Else we need to be able to put them in boxes. The storage problem is the #1 reason (other than silly pricing) that I am not buying these.

    - No gift-ability
    I have a lot of friends that play this game, and particularly now that its around the holidays, its fun to sometimes get people a little something.
    Somehow, putting 400 cotos in a bag with a note that says "buy yourself xx, I was thinking of you" just isn't the same as them opening a gift box to find a shiny thoughtful gift.
    For things that are sold in packs with several items, there was always the possibility to pass on / give to a friend the extras (like when things are sold in 3-packs, and my OCD demands that I have things in even numbers for symmetry). Now, I'd have to put the odd one in the ever growing clutter of my bank or - what's been happening - just don't buy it to begin with.
    I understand that making it so we can give things away also makes it so we can sell them, and that the purpose of heritage is to stop the reselling, but you're definitely losing sales, at least from me, because I'm stuck with the stuff.

    I've had three separate people try to buy me a cat spawner, for example, only to find that - nope, can't do that. And just handing me cotos isn't the same.

    Recommendation: Being able to 'send a gift' from the store interface would mitigate this somewhat. Not with split packs, but it would be something. Perhaps make it so when you buy a heritage item or set of items, it/they comes in a sealed bag, that is tradeable -until it is opened-. Example: A 3-pack of lamps, when purchased, gives me "3 sealed lamps" that, once unsealed cannot be traded but, if I wanted to give one to someone because I don't need three, I have the option.

    - Makes cooperative deco / event deco a huge hassle
    Not being able to pick something up and stick it in your inventory because its "not yours" definitely puts a cramp in the decorating. Sometimes you just need to pick it up, especially if its something big or you're working in tight quarters or awkward angles. After fighting with this functionality we've just decided not to purchase heritage items because they were too much of a pain in the butt to work with. The deco palette ameliorates this somewhat but its still just unnecessary inconvenience - far better to use items that don't have this problem.

    Recommendation: This is a tough one, because if someone picks something up...well, they can take it. I suggested having an interface similar to the ransom interface where you could 'reclaim' heritage items from anywhere if they were bought on your account . It would prevent things from being sold (since you could just yoink them back) but would make the items far more userfriendly.

    If these three issues were addressed, it would remove a lot of pain/hate around the heritage system from someone who has no intention whatsoever to resell the things.

    Lastly, please consider the pricing on some of these digital items. I know there's an up front cost to creating them, but this isn't manufacturing, once they're made, they're made.
    If you made teleporters that were more compact (like the new compendium teleporter in size) and sold them at a $5-$10 price point, and made them lot-placeable, I can guarantee you that there's customers out there who would buy every single one you released in order to build a teleport hub. Even better just make one item and let players attune it to anywhere they can zone-scroll-bind. I'll buy 20 of them straight away without hestitation, heritage or no. At 45 bucks a pop, no way, its just nonsensical.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2019
  2. Alley Oop

    Alley Oop Bug Brigade – Bug Hunter

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    that's the plan, per discord

     
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  3. kaeshiva

    kaeshiva Avatar

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    Excellent, standing by with wallet!
     
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  4. Violet Ronso

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    This is my main issue! I like to buy things, a darn pack of X is annoying to me, I want to be able to spend on a whim, see an item I want, and buy it... Instead, I always look at things, and ask myself, do I really want to spend 5-10-15$USD (which costs much more for me due to exchange rate and what not), to get 2 or 5 extra items, that either I can sell for a loss, keep and clutter, or in terms of heritage packs, simply overpay for my needs... I buy probably 10x less in the crown shop for 2 reasons : 1, packs/prices are too high for me, Heritage cheap sale would fix this for me, if they sold things 1 at a time, and 2. I want patterns... There is not enough good looking patterns, and anyways they sre sold in 6 packs so I always get 5 extra that I dont need... sell units, and I will buy so many more (once they make more...)
     
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  5. Vladamir Begemot

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    I don't even look in the store anymore. The value of everything dropped to $0 when Chris said they wanted to kill RMT a few months back. I had been happily building a giant pile of stuff, but suddenly the King was looking at my pile and saying that some day he was going to make sure it wasn't worth anything. The game went from something that was a store of value, an exciting way to build up an empire, to "just a game", at that moment.

    It is sad for me, I think they missed the memo on what was funding the game in the first place. They made a strategic move to be like every other game, lowest common denominator, not realizing that is a saturated market. They removed the niche that pulled in the money to be like everyone else. Then didn't lower the prices to follow.

    "Never lower your prices, you can't raise them again" was one of the two big lessons I got from my first marketing class. The other being "Don't change your packaging, every time you make your customer reconsider their choice, you lose customers."

    Welp. One major mistake (forcing people to decide every month if it is worth their money) with the promise of the second soon to come (lower prices, seems good to us but lower prices aren't going to be good for them unless ten thousand players show up).

    All while turning the items from a store of value into non-tradeable non-giftable digital fluff.
     
  6. Steevodeevo

    Steevodeevo Avatar

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    It is just a game Vlad, for me anyway and probably many others and the design spec. Whilst (as you may or may not know) I am usually giving you a 'thumbs up' as I tend to agree with almost all your stuff, I wholeheartedly am discomforted on the above statement and hence post on it.

    SOTA to me is not a way to practice advanced RMT economics within a gaming wrapper. It is not an alternative 'soft' version of crypto income generation within a 'fuzzy warm' interface, it is an MMO. Players, in my view, should aspire to play the game well, become immersed, absorbed, and de-stressed from the real world and not give a hoot about RMT or any such non game related stuff, that from what I can gather (quite possibly wrongly) is a legacy from UO which seems also to be 'one' of the origins of Max/Min-ing from what I see of the community here.

    Happy to be put straight on all this.
     
  7. jschoice

    jschoice Avatar

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    I remain torn on the issue, many of today's games make items purchased in a shop account specific. A decision to change course this far into a project is a hard pill for many players to swallow.

    I do cringe when I hear people talk about investment. Especially If people expect something that will increase in value. Game items even rare ones are worthless if the game shuts down. If I collect art, baseball cards, stamps, coins, antiques, or another collectible it is a tangible thing I possess.

    I do wish there was a way to gift nontradeable items to someone for IGG or some other controlled method.

    Just some random thoughts
     
  8. Barugon

    Barugon Avatar

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    Heritage items do not count against bank space.
     
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  9. Sentinel2

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    As I understand it, Heritage items no longer take up a bank slot. One of my concerns gone, presuming that's working :D

    I did notice no trade items the other day no longer took up a bank slot either. Thank you @Chris

    Sometimes they come out for use. Other times they go back until the season is upon us again. This was a big issue for me until now :)
     
  10. Sulaene Moon

    Sulaene Moon Avatar

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    I’m sorry that people spent money, time, and energy when they thought a video game was a good investment. Video games don’t have a finite life span nor have the devs or game company modeled a game around guaranteed income.

    it should have been very apparent when player numbers never materialized that it wasn’t a good idea to keep spending in hope to make a profit.

    video games are made for entertainment not a business tool. Portalarium never signed business contracts with players to assist them in helping their RMT businesses. Their number one priority was to make a profit for Portalarium, employees and shareholders and NOT players.

    So don’t be mad at the devs, players, or game. Times change and priorities do as well.
     
  11. Mishikal

    Mishikal Avatar

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    Heritage items essentially ended the last bit of SOTA that was useful/of interest in this household, after my wife and I gave up on the combat & crafting side of things.

    From the start, one of the main draws to SOTA for my wife was the housing system/deco system. She loves to decorate our lots and spends hours doing so. But heritage items have really killed this off. The issues with it grow every time we try and do anything:

    We have 5 accounts between us, which have purchased various things and also gotten various login & subscriber rewards, most of which are heritage now. Issues we hit are:

    a) Before, it never mattered who was doing the decorating. Now, we have to switch accounts multiple times to decorate. Utterly obnoxious
    b) Before, it never mattered who was storing items. Now we can't store the items in our 2 rooms dedicated to storage at our primary house. Even if any given account could store them, a different account couldn't grab them to go decorate with
    c) We can't just use a single account to clear a lot anymore, because we have to bring on the accounts that placed the heritage items to pick them back up into their inventory (No, we don't want it getting all sent to the bank, etc)
    d) We can no longer go and cruise player vendors and pick up items for igg that came from the crown store because they're heritage. This used to be how we got many of our decor items.

    In essence, all heritage items have done is make the one last feature of the game that was "fun" become a steaming morass of pain. It also means that Catnip/Port is *losing* money, at least from us, because we will not invest in buying the (still ridiculously priced) heritage items as they are for us, useless.
     
  12. evillego6

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    Same, but I understand it. When the developers are referring to in game rares and real estate as investments, I can't begrudge players that view them as such.
     
  13. Mishikal

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    Oh, an addendum to my bit above ... It would be one thing if players were limited to a single property, and the game, from the start, had made all decorations soulbound. But that isn't the game they created or sold to (initially) its backers and later to anyone else who was playing. With 16 different properties spread across 5 accounts, what was once easy is just hassle, and that's a serious problem.
     
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  14. Mishikal

    Mishikal Avatar

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    Oh, and another problem with Heritage items is that now SOTA seems to be 100% dedicated to putting any and all new decor in the crown shop. In the past, there was at least a pretense of giving players new items to be able to craft for decorations, even if some of it looks like the handiwork of a 9 year old (craftable bookshelves I'm looking at you...). Now they don't even bother with that.
     
  15. Barugon

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    Yup.
     
  16. Omegaflux

    Omegaflux Avatar

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    Uls, thank you for the OP and exercising the forum venue for our Shroud community to share thoughts and opinions about the current and future state of the game. After all, the players are the game.
    I will try to keep my reply succinct and in line with your topic however, I do not intend to take a firm stand on whether I agree with making items Heritage/No-trade or not. My apologies if I stray off a bit... I have accepted that at any point the game would be changed in a fashion where it no longer captivates my interest as a primary hobby.

    That being said, I will mention some of the things I have enjoyed about Shroud as a moderate investor and conclude with an additional suggestion.

    1) I have thoroughly enjoyed the character development, crafting/creativity and community building.
    2) I bundled in on multiple accounts and found a passion for "rare" collecting through bartering and trade. There is something special about collecting those items that only a few are able to attain and show off (whatever their perceived value may be to different people). Since I bundled in after the pledges expired, the only way for me to collect some of the "truly-rare" and coveted items was by trading with other players.
    3) Most of all, I enjoyed the excitement and wonder of new things and content. Once I built up my own means and capability, I loved to share in the excitement of new players by helping them out with crafted gear or a special deco item. I could spare some of the semi-rare items and display/share the truly rare items I collected.

    In summary, much of #1 still remains in Shroud however, due to some changes such as vault and heritage, I am no longer interested in #2 or part of #3. This leaves me with one final interest in Shroud and brings me to my suggestion:

    * One aspect of Shroud that has always been lacking for me is the quality of rewards in the loot system. Acknowledge efforts to improve this, one of which was developing a system so items sold by players to NPC vendors were dropped into the loot tables. Very cool in concept however moderately lame in results. I want to be able to use this same system (in a non-profit manner) to clear out ANY of the items in my bank/storage and at the same time bring that sense of excitement to some players when they search the corpse of the adversary they worked so hard to defeat and see something unique.
    Catnip team can figure out the mechanics and balance; that's why they get a paycheck and we get to play.

    Caveat: Acknowledge this in no way would resolve the loss of rare items in the game; what's done is already done there.

    Sincerely and for the fading love of Shroud, Omega.
     
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  17. Vladamir Begemot

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    Thanks for the lectures on how my viewpoint is wrong.

    If some of you don't understand collecting, hording, aquiring, trading, etc, that's fine. But it was a large part of what Shroud was built on. With that gone, so go the collectors, horders, traders.

    The majority of my real money trades have happened since the "war on traders and collectors" began. I could have happily kept building up for 5 episodes.

    Yes, there are still good collectible, and supposedly the idea is that they will be even more valuable since they are the last collectibles that will ever be made. So for some people that's cool. For others, it took the wind out of the sails (sales) of the whole system, so some of us aren't into collecting (much) anymore. That being said I immediately got one of the new libraries. So I'm still a sucker for cool stuff I guess.
     
  18. Steevodeevo

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    For me there is a significant difference (and not even a fine line) between what you describe and 'the other' RMT' approach:-

    1 - You describe in your last missive a concept of collecting, trading, acquiring, to establish a viable in game business to enable assembly of an amazing home, maybe a museum, a gallery, an art collection. Even using RMT I guess if the player wishes to commit that deeply, as this approach feeds back resources into game development and serves to enrich the gaming environment, economy and the community. For me this seems commendable and sounds awesome fun.

    2 - The other: RMT to establish a real world income outside of the game, maybe with a non endorsed commercial website, taking Dev income from the game perhaps, which doesn't require you to play the game other than to acquire and sell. This approach doesn't serve to enrich the gaming environment and may contribute to inflation in the economy and therefore exclusion of casual players from some of the opportunities to play in the collectables unique and fun element of SOTA.

    I believe I have read enough from Starr and Chris to see that it is the latter type of RMT (2) they are trying to kill off - not for a moral crusade - but because they consider RW RMT (2) to siphon off money spent by players into the pockets of individuals in RL and prevent it recycling back into game Development (and the company's bottom line).

    There are numerous debates about the robustness of this argument, but it is increasingly clear that the measures undertaken by Port and now Catnip to kill of RW RMT fall into the 'this is why we can't have nice things' category, and it would appear that it is severely curtailing true Gamers from acquiring amazing, unique, rare collectable stuff who embark on these virtual businesses as an aspect of their fun in gaming and not for real world personal gain. Mishikal puts it really well above in his points a to d, as does Vlad in his points on in game collecting above in my view.
     
  19. Sulaene Moon

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    @Steevodeevo said it a lot more eloquently than I did. He's right, if you want to hoard and trade fine, but when you want "RW" value for what you have and sell it for $ then there's an issue that affects the devs and economy.

    What's the happy middle?
     
  20. kaeshiva

    kaeshiva Avatar

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    This here^
    I want to believe it, and I think its a sensible approach if its the case, but I ponder why actions/behaviors up to this point seem to fly in the face of this philosophy:

    "Expirations" - intentionally removing items from the game, items that have already been created digitally and could be sold again, or another 100 times, are mysteriously and inexplicably forced into "rare" status by their permanent removal from the shop. Making something rare essentially just forces players who want said item to go to the secondary market. And the secondary market jacks up the price because "oh, no longer available rare collectors thing!" I see absolutely no upside for the devs to expire anything, except perhaps a few last minute sales before its gone which is effectively shooting oneself in the foot for years to come and basically throwing away thousands in created assets that will never be sold again.

    The intentional creation of deliberate "rare" status items that were both a) pledge/bundle only obtainable and b) completely tradeable absolutely encourages the buying/selling of such.
    That was the deliberately established precedent and now we're backpedalling. Vendors & Crafting stations - meant to be exclusives - now sold on the cheap. For everything else we have the overpriced vault, because "devs promised these items wouldnt come back so we can't sell the same things but we found a loophole and are going to capitalize on it." **Still cheaper than buying the original from the secondary market. The whole thing turns sour for a lot of people, on either side of the coin - sellers, frustrated buyers who spent too much buying from secondary market because that was the ONLY way to get it, and then a week later devs turn around and sell what -was- a $150 vendor for $20, et cetera et cetera. What happens is that players - both buyers and sellers - no longer trust in the value of anything.

    This is a paradigm shift from the original state of the game, and while I personally think that divorcing "real life value" from in game items is a positive step forward, as it ensures that the thousands of dollars changing hands are going into the devs pocket to make the game better instead of being someone's day job - I can understand the frustration of someone buying a product and the next day its completely changed: I bought a watermelon and when I opened the fridge this morning, it was a pineapple. Now, maybe I like pineapples and its fine, but ...well, that's not going to be the case for everyone. Maybe I hate pineapples and I've just wasted a load of money and I'm angry at the grocery store.

    I can't tell you how many times someone's come to one of my houses, seen something and said, wow, that's really cool, where do I get one of them? And well, I say, you can't...not unless you want to pay a high cash price through a third party. The result is almost always bafflement - why would they do this? This person had their wallet out and was ready to buy one for themselves, and if it was on the shop, it woulda been a done deal. Instead, now they're just frustrated that they can't get the house they want - ever - unless it randomly pops up on the vault and is a lot more expensive. To me this push toward heritage is an attempt to alleviate this and stop losing these sales.

    I run a town of all shogun-styled buildings, do you know how much $ port would get if we could still just pop onto the store and buy the appropriate house? If heritage means that things will be cheaper, forever available when wanted, without having to deal with 'vault' and 'reseller' and"seasonal rare" nonsense and the rest of it, and steps are taken to address the problems these items cause (as in my previous post re: giftability and storage) then great - I'm on board. Sadly, I don't think that's going to be the case, as devs seem to be stuck in this mindset of spending a lot of time and effort creating an asset and then doing everything they can to discourage people from buying it, either through misguided pricing or artificial rarity obstacles, seasonal availability, etc. ((Nothing's more frustrating than seeing something you'd probably like to buy because you just like it, but because it says "2016" on the end of it, it costs 4x as much and you have to hope it rotates its way in to the vault.)) That's how things were done in the beginning, when you created 'rarity' to fuel the 3rd party market, but supposedly, we don't want to do that anymore?

    If a player wants to buy a snowman in June, for whatever motivations they may have - TAKE THE MONEY. They might not still be playing in November when it gets 'round to coming to the store.

    Is heritage the answer to this? Or is it just another obstacle to keep people from buying stuff ? I guess time will tell
     
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