Ah, I remember thisMay 6, 2008
(via Penny Arcade)
It looks like a Chinese MMO has rediscovered the secret to CCGs. That is, most games, you have play to earn in game currency to get equipment, power, etc. In this game, you can pay cold, hard cash if you don’t want to put in the time. (For CCGs, it was this mythical idea that people would really support a trade economy instead of buying out the fucking booster boxes. This would only work in closed drafts in practice…).
As a design, it’s a smart move. Human nature loves instant gratification. Also, it allows you to not worry about having a suck beginning (as many videogames these days do), you just need to set the buy-in to the “sweet spot” at a rate most people are willing to pay. And, there’s also the other part of human nature which is about keeping up with the Jones’es.
On the other hand, it is taking people’s general worst tendencies and making them into videogame format for profit. (see also: Myspace when they added the “Top Friends” thing = mad internet drama, = more time on the site, = more advertising profit.)
From the article, though, my number one objection would be the “reorganization” bit about the peaceful kingdoms. It’s one of those things where you have to wonder how much bandwidth these folks were really eating up compared to the competitive side, how much it was “costing” them to let them play their game, the way they wanted to, and makes me think of bullshit like the EVE online guys hacking up their own resources or WoW breaking up GLBT guilds.