Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Déjà vu

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me. 
Fool me three times?
("that word you keep using...") 
Introducing the Nightmare pack for Halloween. Lord help us now they're seasonal.

Hmm anyone else having Déjà vu?
"  ...I think adding a feature like this into the game is not .... healthy. If any of you can remember WAY back to when there was the big backlash over wishing wells (Here's a TFN post talking a little bit about it) well I was painfully reminded of that when DH packs came out. The only difference is the fixed price and the way they package it. Basically it's gambling. ...You aren't guaranteed anything but spending money. Who's the one winning? KI! Right. They want to make money, that's reasonable, they are a company and it's part of how you keep the game running. But there are alternatives. What they could do is have a DH or WH pack and then offer select items from the pack in the crowns shop so someone who just wanted that really cool sword, or bone dragon mount could get it. But of course at some expensive cost, so that the DH/WH packs would still be appealing. "Ooh I have a chance of getting something for only 399 crowns instead of 7,500! I guess I'll buy one!" But obviously they don't want to do that. They want to make as much money as possible with the DH/WH pack system. (I seriously hope they prove me wrong here.) Also did anyone else notice that they, just happened to not release it on the test realm, they saved that surprise for live? Are they so worried that they will get so much backlash that they won't even let people test this feature?
Well until something gives here there will be no more Wyvern's Hoard packs in Heatherville. Because as the old saying goes: "Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me." "

That was "On How KI Drives me Cukoo for Coco-Puffs Somedays" August 19th, 2011. (Is it just me, or are they increasing in frequency? Ruuuuuuun! They're multiplying!)
Okay. Unfortunately KI is just living up to my worst expectations. Not only did they add another new (seasonal! YIKES!) pack, they have not made anything available for straight up purchase. And once again they bypassed the test realm-- even though there was content up there that they realized as well!

As usual, we (ze #twizard community (twitter wizards)) exploded. There were split camps. I'm just going to adress some highlights from what was said there, because some of it is really interesting food for thought:

@witchwarrior said: @LukeGoldHorn I agree with you to a point. These packs would work better if they made them a little cheaper and less random.
<-- Alric pointed out that they are actually 100 crowns cheaper than the usual, and he did get a nightmare mount on the first try.

@AlricRavenWiz went on to say: @LukeGoldHorn It's only gambling when you don't have the will to stop. If you can't stop buying a pack then you can't stop playing the game.In part thats not only gambling crowns that gambling life and time for kids who become addicted. So should [there] be no more games?

<-- I rebutted: @AlricRavenwiz Gambling in Merriam-Webster as defined as: to bet on an uncertain outcome 2: to stake something on a contingency take a chance ... All of the hoard packs live up to that definition. ...I was just saying that "gambling" and "gambling addiction" are [two] different things and you *can* have one without the other.

For me this is disappointing. I remember us being pretty vocal about Wyvern Hoard Packs when they came out mid-August. I really love Wizard101 and I don't see how this feature enhances the game in a positive way. It just make people like me go "OH NOES!" and have heated debates about crazy things like gambling addictions. It's actually comical! Wow this a game and it's supposed to be fun! Good grief Charlie Brown. We all (yes KI too) need a bit of a reality check. New mantra-- Games are fun.

To end this on an upbeat: I don't have anything against people who buy the packs. Have fun! I hope you get all the awesome swag! (I cannot join yous since I have exactly one crown. Hehe.) I love you guys no matter what. Group tackle hugs!

So... what do you think the mystery pet that we're going to get will be? And what do you hope it will be?



  1. *headdesk* NOT ANOTHER! I'll try just a little... They do like kinds cool... STILL!

  2. I got one and will probably gift one to Stormy. Truthfully, I'm much more interested in spending my crowns on MegaSnacks. Yes, I know people think that's a waste of crowns. And truthfully, they are a gamble in themselves because it's so unpredictable what pet talents will be. At any rate, let's include the Boss Chests ("Would you like another treasure? Throw in crowns!) in this discussion.

    My issue is with people connecting dots from buying the card packs to gambling (which can be an addiction), and then that stain spreading somehow to gaming in general.

    It really irks me when people start equating gaming with addiction. Addiction is programmed into a person's DNA. People who have this affliction might find it manifesting via a myriad of behaviors, typically those that give some sort of thrill/reward or numbing/soothing. A few examples are smoking (nicotine is more addictive than cocaine), alcohol, drugs, gambling, eating, and yes, gaming.

    To say that these card packs encourage gambling in youth is, in my opinion, a huge stretch. If a youngster goes out of control buying them (or throwing crowns into a boss chest), it signals that this youngster needs more parental supervision. It's nothing to be blamed on KI. Should we blame the Keebler Elves for a child being obese?

    As for the idea of KI positioning the premium card packs for maximum revenue...I will try to tread lightly here: KI not only launched Wizard101 during the most economically dreadful time period in our nation's history since the Great Depression, they garnered 20 million players in less than three years. They achieved that not only because it is a great game, but with the strategies of some of the best business minds in this or any (in my opinion) industry. And, as the very wise Sierra Starsong pointed out to me after the Dragon's Horde pack came out: more revenue means more more capital to invest in game servers and content. And let's not forget that KI is working on a new family-friendly game for 2012. It takes money to make money.

    So, while I might wish that the packs were coming out a little less frequently and that the holiday themes weren't also in the mix to tempt me, I can't find it in myself to criticize KI. There are are lots of vanity pets I'd like to have for World of Warcraft, and some very pretty cosmetic items I'd like to have for my LotRO toons. But I can't afford them, and I have to govern myself accordingly. And when I'm not gaming, I have to remind myself that just because I can get approved for a loan for a new car, it would be irresponsible to buy one. So I don't.

    I really wish I had some intelligent way to bring this in for a landing, but I don't. I really want to thank Heather for taking the time to write this up and for letting me post this long-winded comment!

  3. I thought about boss chests. I put them in a different category because the items you can get from a boss chest are also available from the boss you just farmed. Unlike the Wyvern Hoard/Dragon Hoard/Nightmare packs where the items are exclusive. Yes they are gambling. But I think they're more acceptable because there is more than one option available.

    I personally, don't link the gambling packs to "OH NO! BAD GAMES, BAD!". It's only a feature. It's an unfortunate feature that I don't like, and would like it to go away, or (more realistically) be less emphasized.

    Funny that you should bring up behavior genetics. My mother is actually a geneticist! Behavior genetics is a very fuzzy field full of science that people are unable to recreate, and therefore making it very hard to say anything for positive. Behavior is multifactorial and IF (big time IF) there is any link between gambling/addiction and DNA it is doesn't necessarily mean that person will be addicted to XYZ. It's only a factor. Just like environment, societal norms, and economics are factors that can contribute to behavior.

    I think also that one should note that peer pressure is also a huge factor. If you're buddy just got a super cool Nightmare mount, you'll probably want one to and I can see how that would quickly lead to extreme spending.

    Yes. Money is needed for anything. I totally understand that. I believe that there are multiple options that KI had not explored yet, and I would love to see them try out.



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