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Tip.It Times - 22nd July 2012

Tip.It Times

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


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#2
ShadyAntics
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Interesting read, especially the article about Jagex and their possible financial problems, never knew that they had so many different failed projects.

The thing is, about the 'Right or Right now' article, the whole point of the G.E is the ease of use, and tbh, I don't think enough of the community care that their materials are coming from a bot to stop using the G.E. A lot of players won't be wiling to spend the time it takes to search the forum for a seller, meet up with them and buy the items they require. The G.E is far too attractive for players.

I also recently started playing again, and this time around I'm using all the materials I get from one skill to increase the level of another (so they go hand in hand) - For example, Woodcutting and firemaking/fletching, Fishing and Cooking etc.

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#3
Arceus
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Let's consider what would happen if a substantial fraction of the traders decided to financing these bots through the Grand Exchange.

The issue with refusing to be a "soft user" of the botting companies (by buying their products off the Grand Exchange) is that it would create a double standard impossible to keep up with. Let's suppose that maple logs are 100 gp each, and people refuse to buy them off the Grand Exchange. This creates a shortage of demand on the Grand Exchange. The botting companies do not care and dump their stuff until the price is 95gp. Meanwhile, the legitimate users running the corporation of non-botted goods decide that they need to cut their prices to 95 gp to keep in line with the obvious competition and the apparent real market price.

The botting companies, meanwhile, continue cutting logs, and dump them on the Grand Exchange. People are boycotting their products for this reason, so they push the price down once again to 90 gp. Reluctantly, the legitimate corporation matches their price.

This cycle continues and prices spiral downward until maple logs hit 50gp one day, half of their original price. Frustrated, employees of the company decide it is not worthwhile to cut logs anymore, and people gradually quit the company. After all, a bot's time is worth less than a RuneScape player's. (Why doesn't everything go to zero? Bots can't crack everything-see high level PvM/bossing.) Queued orders overrun the remaining workers, and people return to the Grand Exchange, causing a massive rise in the price of maple logs and an eventual return to equilibrium. The net change is zero.

The only way such an operation could be salvaged is by price fixing, i.e. "buy botted logs off the ge for 50 gp, or real logs from us for 100 gp." Theoretically this would work and satisfy the thirst of both markets, but in practice this is impossible. No matter how many people walk the walk or talk the talk, integrity comes at a high premium. They may indeed bot logs, or sneak a few off the Grand Exchange that they pass off as their own handiwork.

If the author has another suggestion to fix this problem, I would be inclined to listen. But beyond the players simply refusing to buy gold from these websites no matter how trivial the cost, or Jagex implementing another bot nuke, I see no mechanism that can correct the problem.
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#4
Ruinous Edge
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The thought of being a 'soft user' of botting is an intriguing one, I honestly admit to buying items for quick levels/quest items on the GE for a quick fix mainly for convenience with two young children under 3 to look after. Ways to counter this would be hard though, like Arceus said it would create a viscous circle of undercutting prices, sure it would stop bots eventually but make the items undesirable for players after profit.
Who knows maybe Jagex may come up with a viable option to this solution (probably not seeing as they're too busy releasing RWT updates/content)
EDIT: An idea to avoid making players lose out over bots on GE...put some sort of taxation on GE purchases, but none on player to player.
Example say you sell an item on the GE for 1mil, the buyer pays 1mil for it, but you only get back 900k after paying a 10% GE sellers tax. the spare 100k goes somewhere..unsure where but would encourage more player to player trading.

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#5
The Floating Pen
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Right or Right Now:

The main problem I see is that bots are in direct competition with us. For the sake of argument, let's simplify the world: no Kingdom, no other sources of items, etc. Bots produce 3/4th of the Maple logs and players cut down the remaining 1/4th.
When they cut down that Maple tree, they're cutting down a Maple tree that someone else, a potentially legit player, could cut down. See, all those Maple logs or Dragon bones are simply our items that we never got a chance to produce. The bots beat us to the punch!
In an ideal world, demand is met exactly by supply. Let's say, for example, that 10,000 Maple logs are used up each day, while 10,000 Maple logs are produced each day. It's safe to say there are more producing bots than consuming bots, especially if their goal is profit. The producing bots include bots seeking experience and profit, whereas consuming bots are limited to those who want experience, therefore it is more natural to have more producing bots.
Now, in my example, 7,500 Maple logs are produced daily by bots, whereas 2,500 Maple logs are produced by players. Players use up 10,000 Maple logs each day, but they want to buy from legit players. The result? Demand exceeds supply, since the logs obtained through bots are considered null and void, so the price of true commodities, rather than botted commodities, rises. It's cheaper to buy from bots, obviously.
Maple logs skyrocket and become 6,000 coins each (this is obviously exaggerated), causing many people to cut Maple logs for profit. Unfortunately, they simply can't - the Maple logs are inhabited by bots. That's a fundamental problem of bots - we cannot consider their products to be a separate entity. They are actually our own logs that were 'stolen' from us. Botting and RWT are fundamentally different in this sense. If Jagex offered Maple logs for real life cash, they would be generating Maple logs, but not taking away from the players' supply of Maple logs. Thus, we could effectively boycott their Maple logs without harming ourselves. Boycotting bots harms ourselves because we are cutting off our supply.
I didn't exactly prove anything other than "in an ideal world, bots replace players". Still, it's fun to think about.

Another problem: players cannot be trusted. Even if we were to boycott every single bot product, the inevitable will happen. A botter will simply create a legit account, transfer the logs to the legit account, and advertise on the forums. We believe him to be legit since he's on the forums rather than the Grand Exchange. We have now bought logs from a bot despite our best efforts.

#6
uath13
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The floaing pen beat me to my response, darn it. There's nothing stopping someone from buying items gathred from bots & sold on the G.E. & then turning around to sell it for a mark up claiming it to be legitimatly gathered.

There's no way to control the market to force the bots out. The only options left are to either nuke them, bring back the trade limit ( so people can't buy gp from them ) or somehow convince the cheaters who buy from them to stop.

Personally I seldom if every actually buy anything from the G.E. I've gotten most of my skills into the 90s so if I need something I just make it. My only use for the G.E. is to sell off the surplus goods I make while I skill. Unfortunantly the price of those goods keeps dropping because of the supplies from bots but since it cost me nothing to make I'm not all that concerned. Competing against them for resourses on the other hand can be real annoying.

These days I'm getting more & more worried about the game I've been with for almost 10 years. Jagex's marketing schemes are getting rediculeous. Bots are once again running rampant & from what I've seen of the combat update is scares me. I'm stuck on dial up & the simplicity of the combat is what allows me to actually PLAY Runescape. With the new combat update the reaction speed of my connection puts me at an extreme disadvantage. Then there's the special attacks... I've spent years collecting all the fancy weapons with special attacks & now there's going to be no difference between an AGS & a BGS. :mad:

It's now looking like I may finally get forced out of the game that's been my entertainment for a very long time. :uhh:
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#7
The Floating Pen
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Honestly, I would love to boycott bots and RWT updates (like the SoF) and whatever else is negatively affecting the game. Still, I think that's a little too quixotic for me.

#8
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The thing is, about the 'Right or Right now' article, the whole point of the G.E is the ease of use, and tbh, I don't think enough of the community care that their materials are coming from a bot to stop using the G.E. A lot of players won't be wiling to spend the time it takes to search the forum for a seller, meet up with them and buy the items they require. The G.E is far too attractive for players.

This kind of thing predates the GE, actually. Around the worst period of botting in 2007, it was impossible to buy resources from shops because there was at least one gold farmer buying all of the supplies, and if you went to world 2 you had them selling hundreds of thousands of those items at a time.

Back then, we also had players that liked bots because they didn't cut into their moneymaking methods of choice, and because the deals were much better than any human player could get away with. That mentality is still prevalent today.

#9
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Boycotting the GE would not be effective. The effective solution is to prevent players from buying gold, or to prevent bots from working. The problem of bots remains that there is someone who values paying $ for gp. Without that, yes there would be a few bots who work for "mains", but that is always a lot lower demand than making real world money from runescape goods.

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#10
confusador
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The Thin Line Between Love and Hate

I think you're (deliberately?) missing the point of SoF and Solomon's. You identify the trouble that Jagex is having with subscribership, and with online ad revenue down everywhere it's increasingly difficult to monetize free players on that method alone. This is a common trend among MMOs: at some point they peak in members, and after that reduced revenue makes it difficult to afford to produce new content, which means losing members, etc. The most effective solution so far is to move from a subscription model to microtransaction based one. When Lord of the Rings online did this, it literally saved the game.

At this point, we're one update away from a completely f2p game. Imagine a consumable item that gave you 1.33x XP for a month, for $10. Enough members would probably buy one (if they didn't also have to pay for membership) to maintain their current revenue, and I'll bet a lot of free players would buy one occasionally (when they have the money, or in a month when they're going to be playing a lot), generating more revenue. Right now, the barrier to membership is that it's not worth buying just one month; at the end of the month you get to keep any extra xp, but all your new items become useless. With this system, occasional purchases become useful, especially if they're flexible. Only play on weekends? Instead of buying the month, spend the $10 on a 10 pack of 2x XP for 1 day. Or, dare I say it, 1 item that gives you 10x xp for 1 day.

Yes, it's conceivable that they could get enough revenue from just the cosmetic items. Team Fortress 2 does just that. TF2 doesn't have the same kind of experience system, though, and I think it's unlikely that Jagex would ignore what would be a popular product. And yes, there will be a lot of complaints. It's likely that they will lose some current members, who feel like their accomplishments are now meaningless. That's true of every update that makes xp easier, though (Runespan, anyone?), and the new active players should more than make up for it. If, in the end, it keeps the game viable for years to come? That seems like a worthwhile trade.

Now, I say this as someone who is f2p, and who would benefit most from this change. But this would probably get me to throw a few bucks their way every so often, and I imagine I'm not alone. Since f2p is the majority of players, that's hard to ignore.

#11
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The Thin Line Between Love and Hate

I think you're (deliberately?) missing the point of SoF and Solomon's. You identify the trouble that Jagex is having with subscribership, and with online ad revenue down everywhere it's increasingly difficult to monetize free players on that method alone. This is a common trend among MMOs: at some point they peak in members, and after that reduced revenue makes it difficult to afford to produce new content, which means losing members, etc. The most effective solution so far is to move from a subscription model to microtransaction based one. When Lord of the Rings online did this, it literally saved the game.

At this point, we're one update away from a completely f2p game. Imagine a consumable item that gave you 1.33x XP for a month, for $10. Enough members would probably buy one (if they didn't also have to pay for membership) to maintain their current revenue, and I'll bet a lot of free players would buy one occasionally (when they have the money, or in a month when they're going to be playing a lot), generating more revenue. Right now, the barrier to membership is that it's not worth buying just one month; at the end of the month you get to keep any extra xp, but all your new items become useless. With this system, occasional purchases become useful, especially if they're flexible. Only play on weekends? Instead of buying the month, spend the $10 on a 10 pack of 2x XP for 1 day. Or, dare I say it, 1 item that gives you 10x xp for 1 day.

Yes, it's conceivable that they could get enough revenue from just the cosmetic items. Team Fortress 2 does just that. TF2 doesn't have the same kind of experience system, though, and I think it's unlikely that Jagex would ignore what would be a popular product. And yes, there will be a lot of complaints. It's likely that they will lose some current members, who feel like their accomplishments are now meaningless. That's true of every update that makes xp easier, though (Runespan, anyone?), and the new active players should more than make up for it. If, in the end, it keeps the game viable for years to come? That seems like a worthwhile trade.

Now, I say this as someone who is f2p, and who would benefit most from this change. But this would probably get me to throw a few bucks their way every so often, and I imagine I'm not alone. Since f2p is the majority of players, that's hard to ignore.

I haven't played LOTRO much, only the starting area, so I can't comment on how it got saved by microtransactions. Do you mean it received an influx of players, increasing game population, then a few of them decided to pay for microtransactions? I'm not sure if that will work on RS, as we already have a poorly masked microtransactions model based on chance. Besides, an increase of experience, while worthwhile for some players, will make many more people feel cheated. We tend to base our opinions on other players on how much experience they have, and suddenly offering experience straight up to the people willing to pay for it will change the culture of the game even more than the EOC, making more members leave as "the game just isn't for them".

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#12
Alg
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I haven't played LOTRO much, only the starting area, so I can't comment on how it got saved by microtransactions. Do you mean it received an influx of players, increasing game population, then a few of them decided to pay for microtransactions? I'm not sure if that will work on RS, as we already have a poorly masked microtransactions model based on chance. Besides, an increase of experience, while worthwhile for some players, will make many more people feel cheated. We tend to base our opinions on other players on how much experience they have, and suddenly offering experience straight up to the people willing to pay for it will change the culture of the game even more than the EOC, making more members leave as "the game just isn't for them".

I'm thinking that the biggest problem with Jagex and microtransactions is the way they were introduced. You'll probably find as many players that hate the fact that Yelps is being shoehorned into everything as you will players that hate the concept of buying items as a whole, and all of the game-changing shifts happened in less than a year with no warning (In some cases, days after one of the higher-ups said that it would never happen). They could be saving the game for all we know, but all we can see is the bullshit. It goes back to something that's been thrown around a bit over the last few days; their PR sucks.

#13
Jonanananas
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The Thin Line Between Love and Hate

I think you're (deliberately?) missing the point of SoF and Solomon's. You identify the trouble that Jagex is having with subscribership, and with online ad revenue down everywhere it's increasingly difficult to monetize free players on that method alone. This is a common trend among MMOs: at some point they peak in members, and after that reduced revenue makes it difficult to afford to produce new content, which means losing members, etc. The most effective solution so far is to move from a subscription model to microtransaction based one. When Lord of the Rings online did this, it literally saved the game.

At this point, we're one update away from a completely f2p game. Imagine a consumable item that gave you 1.33x XP for a month, for $10. Enough members would probably buy one (if they didn't also have to pay for membership) to maintain their current revenue, and I'll bet a lot of free players would buy one occasionally (when they have the money, or in a month when they're going to be playing a lot), generating more revenue. Right now, the barrier to membership is that it's not worth buying just one month; at the end of the month you get to keep any extra xp, but all your new items become useless. With this system, occasional purchases become useful, especially if they're flexible. Only play on weekends? Instead of buying the month, spend the $10 on a 10 pack of 2x XP for 1 day. Or, dare I say it, 1 item that gives you 10x xp for 1 day.

Yes, it's conceivable that they could get enough revenue from just the cosmetic items. Team Fortress 2 does just that. TF2 doesn't have the same kind of experience system, though, and I think it's unlikely that Jagex would ignore what would be a popular product. And yes, there will be a lot of complaints. It's likely that they will lose some current members, who feel like their accomplishments are now meaningless. That's true of every update that makes xp easier, though (Runespan, anyone?), and the new active players should more than make up for it. If, in the end, it keeps the game viable for years to come? That seems like a worthwhile trade.

Now, I say this as someone who is f2p, and who would benefit most from this change. But this would probably get me to throw a few bucks their way every so often, and I imagine I'm not alone. Since f2p is the majority of players, that's hard to ignore.


It is undoubtedly true that Jagex can make more money with selling xp boosts and the like. The two basic questions are how much the integrity of the game is important to those in charge and how seriously the danger of too many players leaving is taken. You say LOTRO was saved by these microtransactions (I have no experience with this, will just take your word), yet Maplestory went down the drain. I'm not quite sure where Runescape has to be put on that scale. Until now, players have been pretty lenient with the new features, but the general feeling is quite negative, and you have to keep in mind that the SoF, RaF etc. are not the type of microtransactions for widespread use.

As Alg pointed out, Jagex really aren't good at PR, and if they turn to a full microtransactions model, that may very well turn badly against them.


Also, if it is of interest to anyone: In the FaQ thread in the Solomon Forum, Jagex said they would neither remove SoF nor introduce any stat'd items, xp boost or other advantages to the store. Let's see how long that holds...

#14
Ruinous Edge
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I can't see them ever removing the SOF as long as they keep buyable spins on it. as for introducing items to Solomon that give stats/xp boosts or other advantages, very likely in the very near future, seeing as they've already released alternatives to bonus xp weekends on the SOF.

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#15
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The Thin Line Between Love and Hate

I haven't played LOTRO much, only the starting area, so I can't comment on how it got saved by microtransactions. Do you mean it received an influx of players, increasing game population, then a few of them decided to pay for microtransactions? I'm not sure if that will work on RS, as we already have a poorly masked microtransactions model based on chance. Besides, an increase of experience, while worthwhile for some players, will make many more people feel cheated. We tend to base our opinions on other players on how much experience they have, and suddenly offering experience straight up to the people willing to pay for it will change the culture of the game even more than the EOC, making more members leave as "the game just isn't for them".


LOTRO recieved a huge influx of players, with the result of tripling their revenue (according to wikipedia), even though a smaller percentage of their players were spending as much. I agree that a lot of members would leave, but a larger player base and a lower barrier to entry for purchases might lead to more revenue for Jagex as well. Now, it's certainly not a panacaea, and I agree with everyone's comments that their PR is abominable; that may well kill the effort. If they are having as much financial trouble as the article indicates, though, I think they'd be fools not to try.

#16
tripsis
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The Thin Line Between Love and Hate

I haven't played LOTRO much, only the starting area, so I can't comment on how it got saved by microtransactions. Do you mean it received an influx of players, increasing game population, then a few of them decided to pay for microtransactions? I'm not sure if that will work on RS, as we already have a poorly masked microtransactions model based on chance. Besides, an increase of experience, while worthwhile for some players, will make many more people feel cheated. We tend to base our opinions on other players on how much experience they have, and suddenly offering experience straight up to the people willing to pay for it will change the culture of the game even more than the EOC, making more members leave as "the game just isn't for them".


LOTRO recieved a huge influx of players, with the result of tripling their revenue (according to wikipedia), even though a smaller percentage of their players were spending as much. I agree that a lot of members would leave, but a larger player base and a lower barrier to entry for purchases might lead to more revenue for Jagex as well. Now, it's certainly not a panacaea, and I agree with everyone's comments that their PR is abominable; that may well kill the effort. If they are having as much financial trouble as the article indicates, though, I think they'd be fools not to try.

Well LOTRO's microtransaction model is completely different from RuneScape's.

Current RuneScape: you're F2P and get a "demo" version of the game, or you're P2P and get the entire game. Thusfar the microtransactions are extras, and as decebal said, they're mostly based on chance.

In LOTRO you can pay a pricey subscription fee to get the entire game, or you can literally buy bits and pieces of the game (buy certain quests, buy certain regions, etc.). Sure there's a cosmetic store and other kinds of boosts available for money (microtransactions), but I think what really saved the game and resulted in more players/revenue is the F2P "buy as you go" business model.
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#17
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In LOTRO you can pay a pricey subscription fee to get the entire game, or you can literally buy bits and pieces of the game (buy certain quests, buy certain regions, etc.). Sure there's a cosmetic store and other kinds of boosts available for money (microtransactions), but I think what really saved the game and resulted in more players/revenue is the F2P "buy as you go" business model.

Wizard 101 (my kids got me into it, don't judge :P ) has a similar pay as you go option that allows you to unlock areas whether you're a subscriber or not. In fact, you can permenantly unlock every area in the game for less than the cost of two year's membership. This business model has worked so well for KingsIsle (the makers of Wizard 101) that they're starting a second game. You don't do that if you're losing money.

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