Tobold's Blog
Thursday, February 03, 2011
PvP business plan

Rohan from Blessing of Kings has an interesting business plan for a PvP game: Let the people who are being ganked play for free, but charge those who want to attack other players. And charge even more for protection from being attacked. Brilliant!
I.e if you want to do well, you have to pay. Hmm... Nope. Quite happy with things as they are thank you very much!

(Thinking on that one. 1) you can only gank if you are OP compared to your prospective gankers. 2) ganking is either a design decision or it doesn't happen. 3) only way to gage a ganker vs a norm is to 'gearscore' them and charge accordingly. (even if you do this via areas, e.g. pay double if you are double the top gearscore or level in an area))
I can already see people insulting others to get ganked. The way you described it, this is populist rubbish, imho.
Perhaps its a pay model but if you turn on PvP you get credit for each time you are ganked?
The posts already have misunderstood teh model. You play for free but can't attack other people. You pay and you can attack others. You pay more and no one can attack you. So the idea is that the so called 'PvPers' are really only interested in ganking people but don't want to actually fight so they'll pay more. That company would make millions. LOL
Leave it to WoW player to fix PvP in an MMO.

The active targets pay to not play, the ones who pay to play have no one to play with, and the ones who don't pay at all don't care/count. That's sustainable.
Wouldnt work at all. PvP players are usually a lot more savvy then PvE players since they are aware of threat, vs the common WoW player (your aunt, uncle, grandmother, pre-teen), not that you would find any of the above in a UO or Darkfall type game.

So the savvy players would just skillup for free and wait for another player to make the first move.

Also there are ways to get another player to flag himself. PvP flags are fail as has been proven for years.
I think it's a great idea as much as prisons are great ideas. Get all the deranged psychopaths who like this kind of thing out of the general population and well away from me.
Absurd idea. while I can see this as a valid business model for a game, this would certainly be the most immersion breaking game I know.
'Now you can't attack, and now you can.' I don't think so.

I'm slightly more enthusiastic for the second part - the PVP protection, but I am a subcsription fan at heart.

If you want to discuss business models, get this: Pay for a character upon creation, and play for as long as she dies, then buy a new one and start from scratch or restore him for cash. It would be very difficult to truly kill a character (Like ship vs pods in EVE, or rather unconscousness vs death in Gothic) but possible. Plus you could probably earn extra lives (like destiny Points in the old WFRP game) during gameplay. This would be highly immersive and, methinks make the game closer the original PnP RPGs.
There would need to be compelling PVE content to want to play in the first place. Is that in the model?
Is this not stretching the concept of F2P a bit much?

If this is not another "tongue in cheek" post, then I can only assume that both Tobold and Rohan have gone off the deep end, and should buy themselves Wii's.

Seriously though, all this would do is create an abhorrent atmosphere where ones wallet would determine the "winnar!!11".

So free players can't defend themselves?

Free players either quit or pay for protection. Paid PvP players have no one they're allowed to gank. Paid PvP players leave. Server is now PvE.
Jezebeau, I stated that a player could fight back. People would pay for the ability to "initiate" attacks on other players.
Rohan, no self-respecting PvPer (those who would pay) would start a fight he can't win. That's not how MMO PvP works in 'real' PvP MMOs. If you got yourself into a fair fight, you did it wrong.
Hmmm, why did open-ID change to

That's not right...
Well how about you guys dont talk about pvp since you know next to nothing about it

This plan is nothing new and is was implemented long time agon in korean f2p mmos. Wildly popular they are. NOT
I'm not sure if this business plan would work. I think the only model that would work came from one of the comments I read on this blog: A PvP game could work only if the castles that someone wishes to build can be prevented from being taken down by others.
I shall once again jump into your strawman by taking it seriously, I mean at face value. If sociopaths want victims, why not hire some victims for them in game?

The way I thought this could work was EVE Online losec. Mining and transport ships could get insurance that would more than replace their ship, fittings and some cargo. I.e., remove the risk to the carebear. If I can smuggle something out, great profits. If I am caught, the usual case, I lose my time or make a slight profit. The predators are not looking for a good fight; there are other places and games for that, so they would be happy. You could even have the AI give the sociopath predators their emo tears. It could automatically generate some complaints in chat purporting to be from the prey while the carebear is already fitting out a new smuggler.
Are some people not reading Rohan's post at all? It feels like a lot of people are misunderstanding the entire concept.

The core game would be a PvE game, something fun, and would be based on a microtransaction model. One of the things you could buy is the ability to initiate PvP against unwilling targets (IE - The ability to gank, and both the enjoyment and rewards therein).

The vast majority of players who have no interest in ganking people don't feel compelled to buy it, and ultimately even if they are ganked, they aren't paying a game maker for the right to be ganked. All they put in was their time, so they can't complain as extremely about the gankers ruining their game.

The small minority of sadists (You know, people who like to gank) enjoy ganking so much that they ARE willing to pay for it. They get to enjoy their PvP game that costs them money but is full of sheep, something they want and can't get from an actual PvP-centric MMO which has obviously withered to an environment full of no sheep, only wolves, as well as having a smaller playerbase.

Of course, if you enjoy the PvE aspect enough you too can pay to protect yourself from gankers so now you have PvErs who pay for the game, PvPers who pay for the game, and PvErs who don't pay but take risks in doing so.

Also, you don't have to assume this is the ONLY payment model in the game guys. Obviously there would be other standard fare for microtransaction games available and it would function more or less like any of them do now as far as sustainability.
I don't see how Rohan's model could be considered more ridiculous than the alternative of getting people to pay for *being* ganked, which is what free-for-all PvP games with a subscription model are.
That sounds horrible.

I understand where its going, but translate it to the real world and you have some serious issues.
The model is nonsense.

Starting from the unbearable immersion breaking dividence of players into castes that would have no in-world explanation, through the fact, that it would attract minimal numbers of players, as the free account list of features does not include 'fun' as an item, to the point where it creates a sick dependency between the status of your RL wallet and the social class you belong to.

All multiplayer games MUST create the illusion of equality at least at the start of the game. Otherwise they are not games at all.
That's absolutely silly Bezier. You seem to be assuming for some reason that the game isn't a wildly fun PvE game.

If Blizzard lowered my subscription by $3 a month whilst taking away my ability to attack other players with the ability to buy it back for $3 a month I would be THRILLED at the reduced cost of a month of wow.
I barelay ever changed the walpaper background of my PC at work, but when the IT forced a policy that disallows users from making these changes more then a half of the office was enraged.

F2P altoghether is chopping a game to tiny little pieces and selling each piece at a seperate price instead of just selling the game. It's more like paying for every little thing you want to do instead of just paying for the game and then enjoying it. And this model simply introduces a way of charging people for being able to interact with other players. I can imagine this to be an ecnomically valid plan, but I am certain that it is not a *good* development if ever implemented.

What I'm saying is that in a way it's just an evil thing to do - to expect me to pay for my way to fight back.
I think that the most important detail of what Tobold and Rohan are missing is when they forgot to ask themselves "what type of community would establish itself under this type of revenue generation model?".

The community ultimately establishes the "right way" and the "wrong way" to play any game, and once the community has established itself, the burden of balance and of maintaining the "magic circle" falls squarely on the shoulders of the developer.

I wonder what kind of friction would occur between a group of real life friends should they attempt to play Rohans game?

How long would it be before deep pocket books established all powerful guilds or corporations of players whose sole intent was to control the server and the playerbase?

I can see it now:

You dont travel through this(read "our") area without paying a tax. Failure to pay the tax results in your player being killed and your corpse looted. Of course you can always whip out your wallet and pay substantially more than me to prevent this from happening. Just think, your wallet determines your level of enjoyment from the game.

Dont like this?

Too bad.

Blame the developers, not me.

Wallet based ganking. Who'd have thunk it?
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