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  1. #1
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    How to make money off the total revamp of class skills?

    I am still puzzled as to why people think that a total revamp of class skills is what this game needs as an investment of development resources. And together with fixing bugs in the first tries and the rebalancing required later we probably look at 18-24 months before things are really stable in the new world order.

    What I'd like to make this thread about is - how does Turbine think it helps them making money? I really want them to make money (after all it pays for the game), I just don't see how it works.

    Sources of money include:
    - new users
    - existing users - casual players
    - existing users - hardcore

    Random thoughts:

    1) we have too many skills per class and it's annoying. But I don't think that helps new users since they get exposed to new skills gradually as they level up. The existing hardcore users probably dump useless skills on their own and I don't know about existing casual users, the game is easy enough that you can just ignore some skills.

    2) you could structure skills so that people from other games feel more at home. That could lead to significant new revenue if it makes more people switch from that other game

    3) directly making money, which probably means various forms of "slots" where you can pile more "things" on your character by placing free-to-earn things into those slots you have to pay for

    4) allowing, or even forcing, more customization of characters, so that there is more motivation to run more characters, even of the same class

    5) maybe smoothening out mounted and unmounted skills so that you don't have to learn an entirely new set and there would be more motivation to do mounted things (which on average cost more)?

    6) dumbing down the game to increase retention of people who casually try it out, especially at low levels


    Thoughts?

  2. #2
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    You have a good point there. But because we dont have any idea (maybe some) how the trees will work its hard to say how they intend to make money from this radical change in overall gameplay.

    I see this as one of those things that will freshen things up... Similar to old map revamps... Its not something that directly brings in revenue but it might attract old players that are curious about the changes and want to experience it for themselves. I know a lot of Lotro players that play 2 or more MMos. This might even shift their preference towards Lotro drastically if done right.... Most revenue, imo, will come from them..... On the other hand, if done badly, you could lose them altogether....

    During RoI and RoR you knew clearly which classes were FOTM in various aspects of the game and with this revamp some other, unexpected classes might get their chance to shine... Just please, no more pvp, small group content, solo god mode classes....aka wardens..

    I have little hopes that raiding will get improved with the new expansion, or PvMP, or even that they will do HD correctly. This class revamp is primary thing im looking forward to in the next expansion.
    And i believe they can get it right....
    Last edited by zagreb000; Jun 28 2013 at 05:17 PM.
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  3. #3
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    All games do this, it is not unique to Turbine. There's always some tweaking that goes on, rebalancing, revamping, redefining, rescaling. I think this makes money because it keeps the players occupied. More players kept occupied then the longer they keep playing and that means more money. More money from subscribers who stick around, and subbing makes more money than the in game store does, and even the premium players who stick around longer will be more likely to eventually buy more TP.

    There are a number of players who make it their primary game to optimize themselves; they need to have the best gear, all the best traits, and their stats in the perfect position for what they do. So if you change the class skills or character stats, then those players will now spend time reoptimizing the characters. Ie, now they need more agility but don't have any agility jewelry, so they now need to hunt down and acquire that new jewelry. This also keeps some crafters occupied, it makes a market for people who run instances, and it all trickles down into keeping lots of players slightly more interested than they had been before the change.

    The drawback is that many players absolutely hate this. They find it a nuisance to keep ahead of the curve and they can't remember what gear they need or where to find it, or when they do get a build they like it gets invalidated overnight.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lohi View Post
    All games do this, it is not unique to Turbine. There's always some tweaking that goes on, rebalancing, revamping, redefining, rescaling. I think this makes money because it keeps the players occupied. More players kept occupied then the longer they keep playing and that means more money. More money from subscribers who stick around, and subbing makes more money than the in game store does, and even the premium players who stick around longer will be more likely to eventually buy more TP.

    There are a number of players who make it their primary game to optimize themselves; they need to have the best gear, all the best traits, and their stats in the perfect position for what they do. So if you change the class skills or character stats, then those players will now spend time reoptimizing the characters. Ie, now they need more agility but don't have any agility jewelry, so they now need to hunt down and acquire that new jewelry. This also keeps some crafters occupied, it makes a market for people who run instances, and it all trickles down into keeping lots of players slightly more interested than they had been before the change.

    The drawback is that many players absolutely hate this. They find it a nuisance to keep ahead of the curve and they can't remember what gear they need or where to find it, or when they do get a build they like it gets invalidated overnight.
    I just don't see how any of the groups you mention will fork out money.

    The optimizers will have a strong allergic reaction if you simply change the rules of the optimization game under their feet. *Especially* if they are fixed in the characters, bound to stats. They might be willing to (or even enjoy) figuring out new skill sequences, but re-grinding content to get different whatever requires grinding - no. Where does paying money come in?

    Casual players will lose strength of some kind. Then if you made the game easier at the same time they don't have to do anything, and if you don't then they will die more often. I don't see how this leads to anything but a frustrating experience. Where does paying money come in?

    New users - well obviously none of the above applies to them.

  5. #5
    Well I would imagine the theory is that the class updates represent content that is accessible to anyone who has ever played the game. Essentially, they are a completely free incentive to get players who have left the game or stopped playing to log back in and try out the changes. Once they are in the game Turbine will hope they get 're-hooked' and go on to buy content/expansions/store-items etc.

    What Turbine have not considered is that such sweeping changes have a great ability to annoy/anger/alienate a large portion of the active player-base... Turbine rarely gets things right first time and I can imagine a number of classes will become out-right broken or lose the feel that made them unique and special to the people who played them... For many this will probably act as the straw that broke the camels back and just leave the game for good.

    I think this is a pretty dangerous game Turbine are playing and it has a far greater potential to do harm than good... I predict an absolute car-crash of an expansion because of it.

  6. #6
    The reason they do this is because they correctly perceive that there are weak minded players who mistakenly think that because their character is getting absolutely stronger, that it is also getting stronger relative to whatever they are fighting. Class updates always result in players getting more and stronger skills. Its an illusion that your character is making progress. We see this mindset in these posts that go like this, "Hey Turbine, can the ____ class get a little love in the next update?" Translation: "I want to be fed the illusion that I am getting ever more Godlike powers the longer I play the game." Just like level cap increases to feed players the illusion that they are a more powerful character because they have more morale and power.

    Its all nonsense because they just increase the relative strength of the mobs to compensate. Nobody is actually becoming more powerful; it just means you have to waste time creating a new subclass because they eliminated your old one. Its still called a Champ or whatever, but its really a different class than the one you used to play, which was removed from the game. More of Turbine's practice of removing perfectly good content from the game (just like they do with instances), never to be played again, no matter how much you enjoyed playing it.

    Its particularly annoying for the most loyal players-- those that have characters in all nine classes.

  7. #7
    I imagine that the main source of revenue in this system will be players purchasing additional trait specs. This is a convenience players have been requesting for years.

    I haven't seen any of the new system in action yet, but I imagine it will closely resemble the selection of mounted combat traits, since the logic and UI for that system is already in place. That makes it fairly cheap to reuse the technology. (As part of this, I expect players might earn generic "character trait points" from any deed they complete. No longer will specific deeds be required for specific benefits.) The really hard part is squeezing the identity and function of each class into trees.

    In order to encourage players to purchase additional specs for different roles or activities, I expect the trait trees to be highly specialized. It probably won't be as easy assemble one configuration of traits that excels at multiple activities. For example, trees that specialize in high damage output will probably lack traits in survivability and healing. Players might really need different configurations to be even modestly effective for solo questing and group play.
    Last edited by Fredelas; Jul 20 2013 at 03:55 PM.

  8. #8
    I'm thinking of this expansion as being similar to the Mines of Moria expansion , where lots of the basics were changed, i.e. traits were revamped, classes were revamped, two new classes even added. A lot of this was done to accommodate new features/mechanisms in the game like radiance and corruptions and the general style of the content and instances.

    Helm's Deep is on a par with Moria and Battle of Pelennor Fields as one of the huge, pivotal moments, and that's why I'm comparing it to MoM as opposed to SoM, RoI, RoR. If new mechanisms are going in with HD, like they did with MoM, then the revamp may be needed or at least desirable to match the classes up better with the new content.

    Since we know absolutely nothing about the new content, other than what general areas it will include, this is pure speculation.

    If this is correct then the class skills revamp is not in itself about money, but rather about it fitting in with the whole package. The worth of that whole package being what is the money-maker.

    btw, another reason for thinking of a Moria comparison is that Moria too was announced early Spring and there too pre-orders and Beta didn't begin until August with a November release; so far the schedule looks more like MoM than any of the subsequent expacs.
    Last edited by MarkoftheRealm; Jul 20 2013 at 04:17 PM. Reason: left out a word

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkoftheRealm View Post
    I'm thinking of this expansion as being similar to the Mines of Moria expansion , where lots of the basics were changed, i.e. traits were revamped, classes were revamped, two new classes even added. A lot of this was done to accommodate new features/mechanisms in the game like radiance and corruptions and the general style of the content and instances.

    Helm's Deep is on a par with Moria and Battle of Pelennor Fields as one of the huge, pivotal moments, and that's why I'm comparing it to MoM as opposed to SoM, RoI, RoR. If new mechanisms are going in with HD, like they did with MoM, then the revamp may be needed or at least desirable to match the classes up better with the new content.

    Since we know absolutely nothing about the new content, other than what general areas it will include, this is pure speculation.

    If this is correct then the class skills revamp is not in itself about money, but rather about it fitting in with the whole package. The worth of that whole package being what is the money-maker.

    btw, another reason for thinking of a Moria comparison is that Moria too was announced early Spring and there too pre-orders and Beta didn't begin until August with a November release; so far the schedule looks more like MoM than any of the subsequent expacs.
    I agree with you. I will add that I suspect things that didn't look broken were broken 'under the hood'. What better time to fix these than when you are going to revamp stuff to 1. make old vets think things are more difficult by making choices have visible consequences (hybrid builds might be less effective, so choosing your role at the beginning will matter), 2. unload some of the database bound load, 3. use the changes to normalize or regularize combat calculations so that updates in the future are more robust, 4. allow mob AI to be revamped to be less brittle, 5. reduce data transmission so that internet connection quality does not cause as much negative impact, and 6. fix some server side bugs that exacerbate lag associated with stressed database services.

    I might be wrong, of course. I see some downsides, for the tree system might make solo life gravitate to dps lines excessively (I say this as a support class type). Still, depending upon implementation details, having the ability to save multiple specs that you can change before you enter an instance, may mitigate that downside some. It is still way to early to know (other than any instances likely will not be open at initial launch).
    "No sadder words of tongue or pen are the words: 'Might have been'." -- John Greenleaf Whittier
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    Indeed, in a world and life full of change, the only constant is human nature (A is A, after all :P).
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  10. #10
    Unless gameplay is seriously broken, making significant changes to it will just aggravate most players who are already experienced with the game. Sony's revamp of their old Star Wars MMO is the classic example of why you don't want to fix something that isn't broken.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    59
    Great post. Hopefully its not a SWG type of revamp. I haven't read anything about it yet, but I think dev resources are better spent on a 64bit client so that they can resolve some of the game play issues. Just my opinion of course.

    Cheers!
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  12. #12
    As a person who leans towards the casual side, I throw out skills that don't seem very appealing when I train them and do just fine in-game. But I don't think that's a problem, we need diversity within the same class or else the game would be really boring, we need some skills that some people like and others ignore.
    As for those ideas at the end of the OP, if Turbine starts charging more for slots, equipment, etc., premium players like me would just quit. Pretty sure they're making enough money already anyway

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lohi View Post
    I think this makes money because it keeps the players occupied. More players kept occupied then the longer they keep playing and that means more money.
    This should answer the OP's question. Was it really such a hard concept to grasp?


 

 

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