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Tip.It Times - 25th December 2011


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#1
tripsis
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Time for a new release of the: >>>Tip.It Times!<<<

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Visit this thread to learn about how to apply to join the Editorial Panel as an author or editor.

EDITORIAL PANEL DISCUSSION THREAD:
This thread is for discussing and debating the week's articles. If you would like to comment on the overall structure or direction of the Editorial Panel, please use the discussion topic in the Website Discussion forum.

I'd like to remind people of the rules pertaining to Times threads:

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If you spot any typos or mistakes in the article then please PM them to me :)

Enjoy the articles!
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#2
Jonanananas
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GREAT article by Crocefisso - it captured a lot of my feelings about this year, one that could in theory have been great if not for the big amount of blunders on Jagex's side, a lot of them coming from a lack of understanding how the community feels about certain words and actions. Croce took a look at the most significant updates and why they failed, from the "could have been so good" Clan citadels to Marketing stunts that were executed in nearly the worst way possible and of course the infamous blunder with the bots.

We can just hope that with the largest amount of bots gone (And hopefully this will stay that way, although it looks like Jagex again is on the path of ignoring rising bot numbers...) we will see an amount of good updates in 2012, hopefully more gripping and game changing than those in 2011 were (As Master_Smither fittingly pointed out - there really weren't many huge updates in terms of just game content) and maybe an improvement on other parts like communication as well(This actually worked better a few months ago than it does right now, considering the lower amount of JMods on the forums and some idiotic stunts like the FAQ on F2P Highscores that really couldn't have been more *facepalm*)

#3
Crossed_Body
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I liked Crocefisso's article, for once.
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#4
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While I no longer play, I could certainly relate to the majority of the points Cocefisso brought up; a very good article indeed.

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#5
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The articles this week lacked perspective, in that they only discussed one side of each issue. Crocefisso's article discussed how the Clan features were shallow and lacked content--which is already common knowledge. Instead of merely pointing out that which we already knew, why did he not give us his opinion of what changes should be made to fix citadels? Similarly, for the 'marketing' features, again he merely discusses some players' emotional reaction to the updates, without providing any information on what alternative fund-raising efforts were available to Jagex, or any financial data showing whether or not additional fund-raising was reasonable or necessary. Perhaps he could have just titled the article "players' reaction to the updates of 2011, a year in review".

edit: "As I have said time and time again, however, is that the best way to sell an MMO is to make an update that is substantial, that will keep people playing and paying without the need for such gimmicks." So actually this does address some of the points I was complaining about before...I just don't agree with your assertion. In my experience, most of the most profitable MMOs are currently rife with such gimmicks. If I can find a reputable source for a top ten profitable MMO, then I'll post that back here with an analysis of which of them forgo such gimmicks.

Here's a quote describing how company-conducted RWT is better for the bottom line than merely focusing on subscription numbers:

"Starting with the bad -- everyone asks to start with the bad news, don't they? -- World of Warcraft's subscriber numbers are much lower than they were this past May. The company reports that subscriptions have dropped from 11.4 million in May to 11.1 million in June to 10.3 million, representing a loss of 10% of the playerbase. These numbers represent the total worldwide, and Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime said that most of the losses were suffered in the eastern market. No matter where the losses come from, this continues the downward trend of the title during the past year. Blizzard declined to provide a subscriber forecast for the next quarter.

The good news is that the company has whooped expectations by nearly tripling its profit for the quarter over this time last year. During this past quarter, Activision Blizzard raked in $627 million worth of sales, of which $148 million is pure profit. A majority of the revenue -- 62% -- comes from its digital sales."

digital sales = people buying the game online, plus people buying mounts and pets for 10-25$ each, or paying 30$ for a server transfer, etc. Do you really think Jagex is going to look at numbers from the industry leader showing that kind of distribution, and not try to copy it, like every other MMO company out there? I did find another site which listed total revenue worldwide for all MMOs as coming in at about 35% legit RWT, in 2010. Since companies all over are moving away from subscriptions and towards RWT, I would be surprised if that total did not go over 50% very soon, if not already.
This smaller playerbase resulting in a larger profit--kinda reminds me of the F2P hiscore removal. At least you can't accuse Jagex of being inconsistent.


Master_Smither's article I found hard to follow. I couldn't tell exactly what he was saying, if he is accusing Jagex of lying in saying that the bot nuke was very difficult to implement and took up a large portion of development time for 2011, or if he believes them but thinks that the choice to botnuke over doing another 5 quests proves that they are disrespectful to the game in preference for money. I can't respect either of those viewpoints, as he provides no evidence for the first and the second is illogical, considering how the botnuke seems to have cost them money overall. Personally the botnuke is infinitely preferable to me over another 5 quests, and I wouldn't shed a tear if every single player that was against it quit today.

Edited by delapaz, 25 December 2011 - 06:18 PM.


#6
Jiblix
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Well said, Crocefisso. :)

"There is no doubt in my mind that 2011 has been Jagex’s annus horribilis. The sheer size and scope of the mistakes far outweigh their benefits, and the rectification of many of these mistakes will never reverse the irreparable damage done to Jagex’s profile."

^ Especially this.

Jibby

#7
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Re: Crocefusso's Article

Removal of bots and the return of free trade and the like, outweighs the negatives this year brought (Which wasn't very many).

But the last few paragraphs..."VI: Martyrs as Symbols of an Epoch"...Make me laugh -- Not with you, of course.

RIP Michaelangelopolous


#8
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Re: Crocefusso's Article

Removal of bots and the return of free trade and the like, outweighs the negatives this year brought (Which wasn't very many).

But the last few paragraphs..."VI: Martyrs as Symbols of an Epoch"...Make me laugh -- Not with you, of course.

This. i'll remember 2011 because the few negatives were well outweighed by some great decisions, notable FT+W and the bot nuke. And still they managed to put out good, and consistent content.

I'm not an efficienado.


#9
Kaida23
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Instead of merely pointing out that which we already knew, why did he not give us his opinion of what changes should be made...

It's a year in review article, meant to go over the biggest updates/additions of the year and people's reactions to them, not editorialize on what should have been done instead. We have plenty of those every week. :wink:

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#10
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Re: Crocefusso's Article

Removal of bots and the return of free trade and the like, outweighs the negatives this year brought (Which wasn't very many).

But the last few paragraphs..."VI: Martyrs as Symbols of an Epoch"...Make me laugh -- Not with you, of course.

This. i'll remember 2011 because the few negatives were well outweighed by some great decisions, notable FT+W and the bot nuke. And still they managed to put out good, and consistent content.

The bot nuke was long overdue. When a company starts policing its own rules and people think its a good update, you know there's a big problem.

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#11
Carl
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Instead of merely pointing out that which we already knew, why did he not give us his opinion of what changes should be made...

It's a year in review article, meant to go over the biggest updates/additions of the year and people's reactions to them, not editorialize on what should have been done instead. We have plenty of those every week. :wink:


A very poor "Year in review", from a very pessimistic and "Anti-Jagex" user.

If you look through the authors post over the last few months, anything RuneScape related is negative and most posts don't go over 10 words. Not only that, but for a "year in review" and personal experience that's meant to mean something -- it would be beneficial if a note was put explaining the author wasn't an active player (That's what I gather), hasn't been a member for several months (Thus missing out on the majority of updates) and is simply following the upward "We don't play RS, but still wish to hate on it whenever possible because we're bored" trend (Which is very noticeable on this forum - in-game is the complete opposite).

Quite disappointing. I think a review from an active player would be good to go along with this.

RIP Michaelangelopolous


#12
quitthegame
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Instead of merely pointing out that which we already knew, why did he not give us his opinion of what changes should be made...

It's a year in review article, meant to go over the biggest updates/additions of the year and people's reactions to them, not editorialize on what should have been done instead. We have plenty of those every week. :wink:



I can't reply to your post without violating " 3. Off topic posts that do not discuss the content of that week's articles will be removed. This is not the place to discuss the direction of the times, how much you love or hate the times, etc. Off topic posts will be removed." So I'll have to PM you to reply.

#13
Crocefisso
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First off, I'd like to thank everyone who took the time to post their words of praise, however few. In response to criticisms made:

Newb's posts


Newb, as much as you are entitled to an opinion, I felt that your criticisms lacked any real substance.

Your first post about positives outweighing negatives misses the point of reviewing the year - the idea is not to look at what content we have as a result of the year, but to look at how the year actually was at the time. And there is no denying that eight months of this year were an absolute disaster. The Bot Nuke came in October, which you must agree is rather late in the scheme of 2011. The 'negatives not being very many' is your opinion, but I think you'll find that a majority of people do associate 2011 with rather negative things such as bots, and would not say that loyalty programmes and self-referral make for particular wonderful counterbalance. Furthermore, if you found part VI 'funny', I'd love you to have the courage to tell me why.

As for your second post, it does not belong in this discussion thread for the reason that it is unfounded and does not contribute whatsoever to the discussion at hand. Accusing me of an "anti-Jagex" stance is utter nonsense, because I know my own objectivity on the matter of Jagex, and holds no worth whatsoever. I doubt you've looked at a sufficient number of my 1100+ posts, if any, to be able to form such an opinion, and you are instead labelling me "anti-Jagex" because you disagree with me and such a label is a quick attempt to devalue my opinion - except, of course, that my Year in Review was very much based upon observation of the playerbase throughout the course of the year, and is instead an attempt to synthesis the zeitgeist of 2011. Your first post was enough to let me known that you disagreed with the article, further posts reaffirming your view with baseless ad hominem attacks does not add anything else to this discussion.

Instead of merely pointing out that which we already knew, why did he not give us his opinion of what changes should be made to fix citadels? Similarly, for the 'marketing' features, again he merely discusses some players' emotional reaction to the updates, without providing any information on what alternative fund-raising efforts were available to Jagex, or any financial data showing whether or not additional fund-raising was reasonable or necessary.


@ delapaz: The article is called The Year in Review because it is a review of the year primarily from the player's perspective - the Times' audience being players, this seems quite sensible to me - with some consideration for Jagex's being villified and their general reputation. I do not see why an article that sets out merely to look back at things should make itself pointlessly long by adding my suggestions in, especially because it would serve no purpose, nor do I see why I would want to include financial data or go beyond, into the wider MMO market, because it doesn't relate to the article directly and because a vast majority of people don't care.

These are thus valid suggestions for an article, but I don't think a retrospective is in need of them, but rather that a financial or a suggestion-based review would warrant a separate article - after all, my review alone was 2,700 words long.


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#14
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"Returning, But to What?" by Master_Smither

Similar to you, I have also taken large breaks from the game. October 2007 (after wilderness and trade) to May 2009 and bailed again from September 2010 to November 2011. Each time I've returned, the game seemed to hold less of an enchantment on my attention. While I have achieved quite a few 99s, most of the quests, and a large portion of in-game content, Jagex seems to be focusing on social issues currently. I am from the first day of the Miniclip generation of RS2 and much of the time I spent playing was with young pre-teen kids. Those kids, now older teens, are being told by Jagex that they must pay to continue playing. I am increasingly disappointed with Jagex game management - not even directly involved with updates in as much as they handle the reaction of players.
Overall, I just wanted to post my agreement with Master_Smither as well as my alarm as the many recent failures.


I remember when the Kalphite Queen dethroned the King Black Dragon.


#15
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@ delapaz: The article is called The Year in Review because it is a review of the year primarily from the player's perspective


If that were the case then wouldn't the review be more positive? After all, do you really hear anyone complaining that they finally removed bots, or brought back free trade? And yes while these were not the only updates this year, there have been a large number of content brought into the game (or reintroduced) that were met with extreme approval; ignoring the two biggies, there was the minigame reform that tons of people loved, a faster and more enjoyable (on some account) method of training agility, Nex which people love, clan support, RoTM, some big usability updates, and more. To say that their mistakes outweighed the benefits, and then claim that this is reflective of the player's experience, is completely contradictory and hard to take seriously.

Yes, we can look also at the debacle of how the RuneVillage issue was handled, how Jiblix got his 5 minutes of fame and roused the furor of every half-attentive person just looking for another reason to dislike Jagex. Yes, there have been more sneaky micro-actions being put in, regardless of the spin they're given. But I certainly think that the necessary shots were given when they could. It's clear that they won't stop them. And so long as they keep having good content years like 2011 was, they don't really need to unfortunately. If you're going to stand on a mountain and be the concerned citizen for the greater good--and we've all done it from time to time--then maybe this year fits what you're describing in your article...But truth be told, the average player doesn't care.

So that's why most people won't be shouting praises your way. It very much clashes with the overall acceptance of our (the player's) situation and enjoyment out of this year's content.

hzvjpwS.gif


#16
Jonanananas
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@ delapaz: The article is called The Year in Review because it is a review of the year primarily from the player's perspective


If that were the case then wouldn't the review be more positive? After all, do you really hear anyone complaining that they finally removed bots, or brought back free trade? And yes while these were not the only updates this year, there have been a large number of content brought into the game (or reintroduced) that were met with extreme approval; ignoring the two biggies, there was the minigame reform that tons of people loved, a faster and more enjoyable (on some account) method of training agility, Nex which people love, clan support, RoTM, some big usability updates, and more. To say that their mistakes outweighed the benefits, and then claim that this is reflective of the player's experience, is completely contradictory and hard to take seriously.

Yes, we can look also at the debacle of how the RuneVillage issue was handled, how Jiblix got his 5 minutes of fame and roused the furor of every half-attentive person just looking for another reason to dislike Jagex. Yes, there have been more sneaky micro-actions being put in, regardless of the spin they're given. But I certainly think that the necessary shots were given when they could. It's clear that they won't stop them. And so long as they keep having good content years like 2011 was, they don't really need to unfortunately. If you're going to stand on a mountain and be the concerned citizen for the greater good--and we've all done it from time to time--then maybe this year fits what you're describing in your article...But truth be told, the average player doesn't care.

So that's why most people won't be shouting praises your way. It very much clashes with the overall acceptance of our (the player's) situation and enjoyment out of this year's content.


Well, to call 2011 an annus horriblis might be a bit over the top, but generally I don't think he's wrong. Of course this is subjective but I think he has some fair points.

If you are looking at the current situation and compare it to the situation at the end of 2010, it doesn't look all that bad, surely. There are some nice content additions, even if some really aren't as great as they could be. There have been marketing gimmicks and demods, but in retrospect those don't matter that much. There are less bots and free trade. Communication has somewhat improved.

But if you look at the views of 2011 DURING the year, the way the community felt about Jagex etc., you get a whole lot of a different picture. From that perspective, most of the stuff done between the referendum and the bot nuke were probably some of the most disliked stuff Jagex has done since the removal of the wildy and free trade. There was a LOT of discontent going on about multiple issues, not just bots, even though those were the catalyst of course. I don't think the bot nuke rescues much of 2011 - rather, it gives a somewhat hopeful picture of how 2012 is going to be.

#17
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The bot nuke was long overdue. When a company starts policing its own rules and people think its a good update, you know there's a big problem.

It's a "big problem" with just about every other company involved with video games, then. Jagex are hardly alone in being guilty of turning a blind eye to rampant cheating. Clearly, the whole industry has this "big problem". Can you really be that harsh to someone when they're only failing something that's been failed by everyone else who's tried before? At least Jagex have had some success; other companies have had none with their efforts.

It's always easier to criticise than praise though, I guess.

#18
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The bot nuke was long overdue. When a company starts policing its own rules and people think its a good update, you know there's a big problem.

It's a "big problem" with just about every other company involved with video games, then. Jagex are hardly alone in being guilty of turning a blind eye to rampant cheating. Clearly, the whole industry has this "big problem". Can you really be that harsh to someone when they're only failing something that's been failed by everyone else who's tried before? At least Jagex have had some success; other companies have had none with their efforts.

It's always easier to criticise than praise though, I guess.


That's a bit of an overstatement, other games do variously well against bots; in addition, any comprehensive look at the problem should also look at other ways RWT can be funded. (Dicing, staking, etc). Having people hiring gold farmers to manually play one account could be looked at as the ultimate success of anti-bot and anti-RWT measures, sadly.

That said, people keep quoting "There's so much rage in the community", or there was earlier, w/e. None of my ingame friends cared about any of that stuff. Going by the 1% that post in the RSOF is an incredibly biased sample. As kimberly pointed out, the average player doesn't care. (Remember, there's no point asking me or kimberly to back up our claim. That's the fallacy of argumentum ad ignorantiam Until someone provides evidence one way or the other, the question is where it always was-- in the default state of undecided. The onus would be on us to provide the initial evidence if one of us wrote an article making some claims based on the fact that the majority opinion was not rage. ) Any survey done on people's emotional state 6 months ago would be a bit dicey of course, but better than relying on anything so nonrepresentative as the forums. Honestly though, of all the possible things to write about, none of my ideas require that as a prerequisite, so I think I'm safe from having to do that survey :P Plus, any random poster on TIF who did do a survey in a more representative way would face critics that he made it up, perhaps. That's perhaps why I stick to lines of argument that do not depend on the "general opinion". Additionally, if you wanted to include the ppl who quit in the last 6 months over the recent updates, how do you reach them in a representatively accurate fashion? Not an enjoyable task, for me anyway. That's why more commonly you see people go to sub numbers, instead of surveys, to gauge reactions of the players of various MMOs (many other MMOs have historically released more sub number information than Jagex does, although the highscores may now provide such information about RuneScape). Obviously this has confounds also, but often it still seems superior. In this case, the botsplosion and botnuke are such huge confounds, that this option seems fairly hopeless here.

Edited by delapaz, 27 December 2011 - 06:47 PM.


#19
Crocefisso
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Kimberley, I think that Jonanananas effectively answered you as I would have, with the correct emphasis on the word 'during'. My RSOF prowling and Tip.It use, as well as my few friends still on RS, all gave the distinct impression of being highly irritated for the most part of 2011. The players that don't care are always going to be rather indifferent either way, and as such they're not really representative of anything in my mind.


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#20
quitthegame
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Kimberley, I think that Jonanananas effectively answered you as I would have, with the correct emphasis on the word 'during'. My RSOF prowling and Tip.It use, as well as my few friends still on RS, all gave the distinct impression of being highly irritated for the most part of 2011. The players that don't care are always going to be rather indifferent either way, and as such they're not really representative of anything in my mind.



It seems like you're proposing that there's a group of highly idealistic and emotionally volatile players who dominate the forums, and which most of your friends belong to, and then the vast majority of nonidealistic players who you think aren't representative of anything because they're not highly idealistic and volatile.

The fact is, those players are representative of themselves, the majority of the players of RS. They may not matter to you, but I guarantee you that they matter to Jagex.

If that's not what you're proposing, and you think that the highly opinionated forum group is the majority, then I'll look for some 3rd-party surveys on that issue, see what I can find. I definitely recall seeing some surveys for WoW about how only 1% used the official forums there, not sure if I ever saw any for RS. Blizzard has definitely made some statements in their o-forums about how they know how few people use the forums, and that they value the forum input but also take it in perspective. They actually moved their main developer-to-player statements out of the forum and onto a link on the game launcher, because they felt it was nonproductive on the forums. Pretty sure there was a reference by a J-mod to the "echo chamber" effect on the forums, I'll see if I can hunt that down. --nope, didn't see it. apparently can only search by words in title, which was unhelpful.




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