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   Forums-->General game forum-->

Project LordsWM - Now A Paradox?


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AuthorProject LordsWM - Now A Paradox?
Hiya all,

I have read with interest the comments made by many on many threads and obviously they are a great deal of reaction to the recent updates.

I'm not here to talk about any particular update, but some of the recent changes as a whole, in relation to the game of Lordswm as a whole.

I'm NOT here to question the updates, nor the any of the admins decisions. Just stating my persoanl observation, and the main point I'm getting at will be revealed near the end of this post.

Ok, let look at some of the changes,

1) To give a TGI only once (at TG5), rather than twice (TG2 & TG4) previously. And more importantly, the new rule that forbids renting of TGIs. A player can only enter the TG either by buying a TGI or buying diamonds. Since the majority of players won't have the 350-450k gold needed to buy a TGI with gold, they'll have to buy diamonds to do TG.

2) The change to enchanting rule that basically rules out most new players from getting anything enchanted. Let's face it, if you are an active player who plays the game as it is intended (fight frequently in hunts, quests, PvPs etc), then there's basically no way the majority of players can afford to do even 1 max art (someone calculated and said you would need to get. Let alone 4-7 pieces of max enchanted arts like some of the older players possess.

You would need 240 elements to do 1 4*10% weapon enchanted. Someone calculated and said it would take 1200 successful quests to get 240 elements. And that would require you getting to MG5, at least. Even for the senior players, how many of us have MG5 and above? --> Less than 2% of all players in the game. And that's assuming they get their share of moonstones, tiger claws, which is only unlocked at higher MG levels. To summarize it -> Impossible.

Only solution to compete with players of the same level, who joined the game way earlier? Buy diamonds.

I could go on, but I believe these examples would suffice for now.
Now to the crux of the matter. In the main log-in page, it's stated -

"LordsWM is an non-commercial project, it is a free online service from gamers, for gamers. Every player is able to improve this free online game."

wikipedia definition:
Non-commercial (also spelled noncommercial) refers to an activity or entity that does not in some sense involve commerce, at least relative to similar activities that do have a commercial objective or emphasis.

Commerce is a division of trade or production which deals with the exchange of goods and services from producer to final consumer. It comprises the trading of something of economic value such as goods, services, information, or money between two or more entities. Commerce functions as the central mechanism which drives capitalism and certain other economic systems.

thefreedictionary definition:
noncommercial - not connected with or engaged in commercial enterprises

While it's fair to say most online games require real cash payment from members to offset some of the operating cost, isn't all these recent changes driving and compelling more and more players to pay with real money to compete with other players on an equal footing?

Not to mention driving away new players who find the changes now makes it hard even to do battles at early stages of their character development. Typical example -

https://www.lordswm.com/forum_messages.php?tid=1868739

How many more donít even bother to post, or those that wish to, but donít write or understand English enough to even contemplate posting in the forums, and just leave.

Yes, some of us may say there are remedies to some of the changes, but letís not assume that all members of this great game know and understand English well. I believe thereís at least 10-30% of people playing this game who are non-English speaking, and hardly/never visit the forums.
..a free online service from gamers, for gamers.

Really? Unless you are hard-core and really love this game, it seems to be driving more and more gamers away, if you ask me.


Every player is able to improve this free online game."

Well, thatís all good and well, but while I have seen tons of great ideas and suggestions in the forums, how many are actually implemented?

Most of the changes I have seen in my time here donít seem to have originated from there. In fact, I wouldnít be far off when I say, for some of the changes, the only people who will eventually benefit from it are the developers - the increased cash they will probably get, from players buying diamonds.

Donít get me wrong. I love this game. In fact, thought I have played many online games in the past, I have never spent as much time on those as I have on this one. For me at least, the recent changes donít make me like this game less. I will still continue to play this game, till I can move forward no more, or when I canít compete on an equal footing with players of the same level as me.

Not for myself, but for all the low-level, silent players who love this game, I say to the developers (and not to the admins or mods, who in my humble opinion, are generally doing a great job), please, it would be great if you could remember those immortal words you placed in the main page of this great game Ė

"LordsWM is an non-commercial project, it is a free online service from gamers, for gamers. Every player is able to improve this free online game."
You are right - all changes definately seemed to be designed to get the players to spend actual money (diamonds).

Its hard to comment if this is justified or not.

I assume there are a lot of costs involved in running LordsWM and I have no idea about the Cost to Income ratio.

Somehow I don't think the LordsWM designer are getting rich here...
yeah even estates fish out money from your pockets
This is an ancient story, Jedi-Knight. You discovered the hot water.

Things are only getting worst, but it always been like this. Take the first survival tournament, for example: players were allowed to deploy diamonds upgraded troops, to compete with players who don't have them. It was a great push to the diamond market.
Take the roulette: for every person who win , there are 1 hundred people losing their cash. People failing at roulette are pushed to buy diamonds, to refill their treasure chest. Roulette is actually a way to make diamonds.
AP rule: ridicolous; it was presented as the solution for the economy balance. Problems are still here, but lords have to spend more money on them, also for the most insignificant fights. And so on.
It's alway been like this. I accepted this long time ago, because i think is natural, for the developer, to try to make money from their spare time.
And thinking about this question, there are also other games in which there are some ways to became stronger than the other players using real money.
It's normal, in this type of games.
Otherwise, you are not forced to do a single donation, you can also enjoy the game without the help of diamonds. For example i've never donated anything, and I'm not surely one of the most lucky at roulette. Just a little bit of organization.
1) I bought my TGI for 500,000 gold at level 7, I knew quite early that I want to buy one planned accordingly and managed to raise the money. Itís not impossible and now they are even 30% cheaper.

2) If you want a 4x10 enchantment itís inefficient to put it all on one item if you spread between two items (4x6 + 4x5) you only need 164 elements and if you spread between 3 items (4x4 + 4x4 + 4x3) itís only 128. In addition element prices dropped since the implementation of this change.
dude that was a very nice complaint, most people just seem to moan with no real points but that was different, structured and everything. Kudos to you sir.
You know when I first get my 3%9+10% enchanted sword? at lvl 12. So I thinks this is good change because otherwise it will be like everyone will have enchanted except new fast lvl up players.

At lvl 8 - 9 I done my first enchanted dagger 2*6% and I was happy :)
Now the prices for elements will go down and new players will easy get 4*4% enchantment (what will cost 24 elements). And it will still be good. They will be able to buy elements. Now prices dropped already by 30% and they will go down more.

And dont forget - the new MG quests what will provide about 20-30% increase in-game elements
first of all i think those rule changes are based on .ru and the economic situation there is somewhat different than the one here. Imagine half of the player having recieved 2 thief guild invitations and no one is buying TGI anymore. It was definately one of the main sources of developers income on .ru but due to too much TGI on the market (and therefor lower prices) no one needs to buy one anymore. So to make buying more attractive (and increase the value of the TGI that was suffering great inflation) they decide to slowly drain TGIs out of the game.
the very same may go for the enchanting rule. Imagine about 500 people above lvl 6/7 leaving .ru each month (or starting from the very beginning). They all may have done about 300-500 mercenary quests each. Due to their fast playing style (level as fast as you can, enroll only when necessary) and their lack of gold (for arts for battles) they just sell their items recieved at mercenary guild. With that much elements floating around same thing as with TGI happens. Also every second high-level guy has only full enchanted weapons (which can be considered luxury items). That was definately too much for the developer (since if everyone has 4*10% enchantments anyway many will cry out for better enchantments (which are strong anyway)), so they decided to lower the standard instead of giving better options. And to make sure it's luxury (and to drag some money out of the game) they made it cost much more too.
So those "upgrades" are based on .ru's economy and can be completely wrong for lordswm. BUT there were no updates here during the last 6+ months, arctic (and maybe some other silent background guys) wanted to give us the best they could (which was everything they could get) so we got all what was available. Sure there are still a lot of good enchanted weapons in the hands of top players here (and will be until they can't be repaired anymore which will take some time) but i bet on .ru it's the very same. It is an unfair trasfer period of time which everyone of us has to go through. There are still people with really high faction skills but low combat level because they abused no-exp-high-fsp-battles. There always are and always will be. But time can flatten hills :)
#8

Thanks for the ermm.. compliments, if you meant it. :)

But I reiterate, it's not a complain. I'm lucky enough, and might I say, have a little foresight, to get enough of my arts enchanted before the rules were implemented.

I have also already got my TG level to TG5, so ambushing is something I do when I feel like it, and not something I'm compelled to not be a disadvantage with other players of my level. (Believe me, that bonus 5% Initiative makes a world of difference in PvPs/GBs against other players, esp fellow knights who have low TG levels.)

So generally, the changes don't really affect me much overall. Yes, the nerfs on knights are tough, but I like challenges anyway. If I don't like playing the game the hard way, I would have switched to DE a long time ago (no offense to De players), and with the sheer number of ambushing I have done, I would easily be at TG6-7 by now. So these changes just means the road ahead is harder, that's all. So no, I'm not complaining. :)

I'm just curious about that 3 little short sentences in the main page of the game - so appealing, so simple to understand, yet so full of contradictions to how the game is becoming.

Just a lonely voice who's concerned about the fate of low-level players and new players joining this great game in future.
[Post deleted by moderator FaithBringer // Flooding]
[Player banned by moderator FaithBringer until 2009-11-25 13:51:00 // Flooding.]
[Post deleted by moderator FaithBringer // Don't go off-topic and calling names.]
[Player banned by moderator FaithBringer until 2009-11-25 14:40:29 // No name calling.]
Just a lonely voice who's concerned about the fate of low-level players and new players joining this great game in future.

You know, human being is considered to be highly adaptive. Do not get concerned about the low level players as they won't have any other point of reference (like us, older players) to be able to complain about. They will adapt. :)
Sorry, the above was cutoff... continuing here...

This is where my thoughts dovetail with yours, Jedi-Knight. It seems there is a push to increase the usage of diamonds in-game. However, the paradox is that by decreasing the value of diamonds, and thus real-world currency, there will almost inevitably be a reduction in the amount of diamonds purchased. To offset this reduction, demand has to be increased. There are two basic ways to increase demand: Increase consumer base, or increase spend per consumer. It would appear that the decision in this case is to increase spend per consumer. The LG changes, coupled with the increased element requirements, will likely force players to either reduce their gaming time and activity, or spend diamonds to maintain the same activity level as before. At least some will start buying diamonds just to maintain playing as they did before.

Anyway, to echo your thoughts, I really enjoy this game. The above thoughts are not an indictment of the admins or developers, they are merely my personal observations and analysis. I will continue to play the game, however I will probably be hesitant to purchase diamonds in the future given the drop in value I experienced when I bought 80 of them for my TGI. Burn me once, shame on you, burn me twice, shame on me.
There is a key part of the non-commercial definition that is, perhaps, being misunderstood here.

at least relative to similar activities that do have a commercial objective or emphasis.

If you compare, for example, commercial television to the Public Broadcasting Service. PBS is not totally free, it still requires funding to operate. Commercial television obviously derives most of it's income from activites such as selling advertising space in it's broadcast.

So they both actually require money to operate. The major difference is that PBS requires enough money to pay salaries, buy/maintain equipment, have programs to air, etc. Presumably it doesn't seek money significantly more than is required to maintain it's operations with perhaps a little extra to expand it's operations.

Commercial television, however, seeks to earn enough money from it's activities to not only pay for all these things, but also to earn extra money (profit) for it's owners/shareholders. In fact it generates quite a lot of money for it's owners.

So just because it is a non-commercial doesn't mean that it can do completely without money. Now obviously the server capacity has to be paid for, but what else? Well, the admins are seeking to improve the game, which requires many hours of programming by people skilled in such things. Relying on people to charitably donate their time is all well and good, but to have a game that evolves and changes may need prolonged attention from people that could make lots of money working for software developers. To retain such skilled people would require a modest wage for those involved, otherwise the game could be left to stagnate.

Nobody playing this game in *required* to pay money (as happens in so many other games out there). But without some form of income, eventually there wouldn't be anough to cover server costs, let alone paying people to improve the game.

Perhaps they could have let the server hobble along without any updates and left things as they were. But then again, perhaps they could invest time and resources and actually have the game improve. But with the extra time and resources invested, surely there would also be higher costs involved in keeping the game running. So the admins may have made some changes that could be anticipated to encourage players to donate for diamonds. Certainly the changes still do not *require* donations to play the game. Perhaps the problem here is that people are feeling tempted to donate to get the benefits from doing so, but don't want to actually pay money to do so.

The game is free if you want it to be, so it fits that definition. And it also still fits the definition of a non-commercial project, because non-commercial projects generally require *some* funding to operate. It just doesn't *require* the "user pays" funding model that most online games employ.

Have Fun

Grunge
Grunge,

Excellent points, and an important distinction between non-commercial and "free". You are absolutely correct that just because the game is non-commercial does not mean that it is free of operating expenses that must be covered in some manner.

My points, which I may not have articulated as clearly as I could have, were that while some of the changes introduced may have the intention of increasing the funding, and may appear to do so if you look at hem individually, the ultimate outcome could in fact be a reduction in funding. It's quite difficult to predict economic outcomes in a complex system, but if you look at the changes holistically and their interactions, it certainly seems that there could be unexpected negative outcomes which will result. This in turn, could drive further changes to push more players toward diamonds, further devaluing the value of diamonds and driving yet more people away. It's a very classic, and well documented, downward economic spiral.

That is not to say that this will happen here, it's merely to put out for discussion that players need to look beyond the immediate impacts of a change they see as beneficial toward longer term, downstream impacts that may not be beneficial.
to post #15

This equated to: TGI x 2 + Thief Artifact x 4
TGI Value (at that time) = 350k
Thief Artifact value = 30k (just an arbitrary average)
350k x 2 + 30k x 4 = 820k

Yes it`s looks like good investment but the problem was that everyone generated 2 TGI and none bought TGI by diamonds.

Actually they could solve this problem like this:

80 diamonds costs "Membership" of theft guild and when you get to TG2 and TG4 then you can get invitations to invite somebody to this guild.
The players who get invited in to guild dont get invitations at lvl 2 and 4 because they are not a "Members" of guild.

Then this investment could work.

This equated to: TGI x 2 + Thief Artifact x 4
TGI Value (at that time) = 350k
Thief Artifact value = 30k (just an arbitrary average)
350k x 2 + 30k x 4 = 820k

As i suggested then TGI will be in constant demand and some of the players will have to buy TG membership invitation by diamonds.
The changes made to the LG were implemented to stop low-level players from just enrolling and nothing else.

is that really true? Since low-level player are the easiest to get a sure win, i doubt this phrase
in fact, it looks to me like it was much more implemented to stop one-sided playing styles in any case.
the fact that for high-level player there is no real hunt/MG option to get in an easy win is a total different case i think (and it looks like it is intended so force those player to play vs humans. That's why Kiaune left this game too, remember?)

and there sure are downsides when people only accumulate gold: Further, what harm did the people "abusing" the enroll system do? ...
a) first of all they draw gold out of the mines. Economy breaks down since they don't battle (therfore no art upkeep cost), the gold doesn't flow back put stays in their pockets (or worse, roulette gets it all). If they would buy arts they would at least have to let a part of their gold flow back. This may be the crucial point of the workaholic "upgrade"
b) they can keep the prices up/control the market. Not that all the gold-hoarding people are the ones doing this but from what i saw so far many of them try to make more gold with the gold they already have. What harm may it do? Please ask enchanter (who enchanted for the past half year) for this
c) they try to create huge advantages. Try to win on high levels vs someone who can afford best arts + all enchantsments any time he wants to (compared to you not having them). It definately can ruin your fun. It sort of is like getting fsp without exp.

and i completely agree with Grunge (although i have my own explanations for the TGI rule change, read post #10 if interested)
This topic is long since last update and considered obsolete for further discussions.
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