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funnybones

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Doubloon Oceans Reply to this Post
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I don't know where to ask this so I figured I'd just post it here.

Why do you guys think the doubloon model has been so successful?

I've never understood the attraction unless you're at the level where playing is free, because I feel like anyone who's not extremely casual wants to spend more than 42 doubloons every month.
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The Dread Pirates Robinson & Barthes, LLC

The poor complain; they always do. But that's just idle chatter.
Our system brings rewards to all. At least, to all who matter.

[Apr 14, 2010 6:56:47 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Dylan

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There are simply enough people who want to spend real money to get ahead in the game (supply) as well as those who know it is a great game but can't or won't pay cash.

I'm not talking credit-card captains, but rather the player with a family and full-time great job who doesn't have a problem dropping $50 every so often to "ensure their lifestyle".
[Apr 14, 2010 7:18:12 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
SirCarl67

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Because of there flexibilty they are more popular and it becomes a circle. I spend about the same real money on doubs as I would on a sub. I go through slightly more doubloons than I buy with cash (I exclude the doub I buy to make paint I sell dockside as I then get the poe back to recycle), but probably far less than the average blue ocean players lifestyle would require. I only have one outfit at a time, I don't have any housing apart from my shack (what little furniture I have bouught is on my ships or stalls).

As a reasonable skilled player I can live with this lifestyle for free but I like to support OOO my surplus has been spent donating to crew/flag funds and prizes for a couple of events I have run.

I did sub for a couple of months to try the blue oceans but found the lack of activity affected my game style.

On the green oceansyou have a choice of vessels to board, blockades are more fun as they have more ships with larger influence so moves are less predictable.
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[Apr 14, 2010 7:32:48 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
wrs1864b

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Green oceans let you try the full game for as long as you want for free. There isn't anything scary like "you need to pay $10 to become an officer or use a better sword", neither of which new players will think is worth $10 right way. Blue oceans look like a dead end, and many new players leave the game before the discover the depth of YPP. By the time players are willing to sink RL money into the game, they have already made strong connections to their oceans, even if green oceans cost more for their play style, they won't move to a blue ocean.

Actually, for most players who have "expensive" play styles on green oceans, where they buy lots of ships and such, those players can afford to play for free by using the dub exchange. So, even though a WF costs $15-19 each, a SMH bnavver won't be paying that cost, they will earn enough to buy off the exchange.

Being able to play the full game for free via a sub exchange I think would help blue oceans a huge amount.

Edit: You can also move between green oceans a lot easier, so if you don't like Hunter, you can move to Sage and keep most of your stuff via the dub exchange. Doing the same thing between cobalt and midnight will theoretically get you banned for cross ocean trading.
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Algol can not assert the truth of all statements in this post and still be consistent.
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by wrs1864b at Apr 14, 2010 7:40:20 PM]
[Apr 14, 2010 7:35:48 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
funnybones

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Thanks to all of you. There are a lot of issues I hadn't considered.

I know that the first night I played was enough to make me subscribe, but the environment was very different then. Not to mention that if I didn't subscribe I could only play 10 times back then. On the other hand, I don't think I would've downloaded it if it hadn't been recommended by a friend.

 
I did sub for a couple of months to try the blue oceans but found the lack of activity affected my game style.


This is the problem I'm facing now. I'd like to get back into the game but with subscribers thinly spread across two oceans and 11 archipelagos, I don't feel like the game is active enough on subscription oceans. I feel like the doubloon model makes payment a distraction: if I'm thinking "well I'd like to hop in for 5 minutes, but I'm not really going to get my money's worth" I don't want to decay my badges.

Probably, though, I overestimate how many doubloons I would spend in a month. I see a War Brig and think 'Jeez, that's more than a month's doubloons,' but I don't exactly go out and buy a war brig very often.

I guess I would probably be willing to try out a one time purchase of 42 doubloons and if it gets me through a month I'd be willing to give it a go. Is the old reputation about green oceans still valid for jobbing off the board and things? EDIT: Apparently its a craps shoot. Had a great pillage then jobbed aboard a brig being floated without rum.
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The Dread Pirates Robinson & Barthes, LLC

The poor complain; they always do. But that's just idle chatter.
Our system brings rewards to all. At least, to all who matter.

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[Edit 1 times, last edit by funnybones at Apr 14, 2010 11:11:39 PM]
[Apr 14, 2010 9:01:15 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
starrarose

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Why do you guys think the doubloon model has been so successful?


Because apart from a labour badge - you can play today, and then not play for another month if life gets too busy and not actually "lose money" on your badges.

I subbed the first time I played as well pretty much, I wandered over to Viridian when it opened to try it and see. For the style of play I had THEN it was expensive - blockading is a lot more expensive on a doubloon ocean than it is on a subscription ocean purely because of the fees on ships - always has been. For the style of play I have now? It's a lot cheaper. Yeah, I maintain 2 characters on Viridian - one that's an officer and one that does sinking stuff - for both the badge decay rates and because I don't feel like buying injury removal potions for my "main character".

But it really is a big success due to the ability to play casually without feeling like you're losing money for not logging in.
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IantheKorean

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If you can maintain reasonable stats or are good at poker, you can succeed very easily on a doubloon ocean. Over the past two weeks I've made about 120 doubs (about 2k apiece) just from jobbing onto CI trips at a rate of one or two a day. That's not much of a time investment, 4 hours a day max, and easily covers your badge expenses with plenty left over.
[Apr 15, 2010 3:47:48 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
KingGoob

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Why do you guys think the doubloon model has been so successful?


Because apart from a labour badge - you can play today, and then not play for another month if life gets too busy and not actually "lose money" on your badges.


Pretty much exactly how I feel. I had a great couple of years subscribed, but by now I've played enough that it can never hold my attention for long but I do like to check in every now and again. I think I'm just about to dust my officer badge I bought in July. Green oceans are much better for me than paying for a month every time I get a hankering to play for a week.
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[Apr 15, 2010 6:27:12 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
satin11

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Doing the same thing between cobalt and midnight will theoretically get you banned for cross ocean trading.


Banned? Really? Last I knew, the Ringers didn't support the practice, meaning that if you did it and got taken they wouldn't help you, but it certainly wasn't bannable- or even really against the rules. When did this change?


I don't log on every day, but I like my offline labor. I don't mind subbing even if I'm not playing regularly. Dub oceans are too expensive.
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I think this is the first thread I've seen that claims there aren't enough 'donkeys' in the game. Maybe you're hanging out with the wrong pirates.

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Talisker

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Doing the same thing between cobalt and midnight will theoretically get you banned for cross ocean trading.


Banned? Really? Last I knew, the Ringers didn't support the practice, meaning that if you did it and got taken they wouldn't help you, but it certainly wasn't bannable- or even really against the rules. When did this change?

It's been against the TOS for quite awhile. TOS 7.9 states, in part, "Similarly in order to preserve distinct Ocean economies, trades between Oceans are forbidden. We will terminate accounts that we believe have violated this policy." That being said, I don't think I've heard of anyone being banned for it.
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[Apr 15, 2010 7:26:23 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
wrs1864b

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Doing the same thing between cobalt and midnight will theoretically get you banned for cross ocean trading.

Banned? Really? Last I knew, the Ringers didn't support the practice, meaning that if you did it and got taken they wouldn't help you, but it certainly wasn't bannable- or even really against the rules. When did this change?

Soon after Cobalt/Viridian were opened up, there were ringers that basically said "meh, we can't enforce it, don't complain if you get scammed while doing it." A year or so back, I petitioned and got a public response from an OM that said something along the lines of "yes, this is a bannable offense, don't do it."

Apparently, OM policy has changed in the last 5 years. Mind you, I still have never heard of the OMs ever enforcing this rule, but that's a different subject.
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[Apr 15, 2010 8:56:01 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
satin11

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Kinda sucks for blue oceans then.
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I think this is the first thread I've seen that claims there aren't enough 'donkeys' in the game. Maybe you're hanging out with the wrong pirates.

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cmdrzoom

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Yes, it does.

As for the green ones, I'd say that the appearance or hope of being able to play for free is very attractive. (The reality is rather different, of course, but by then many players are interested enough to badger their parents for "just a few" doubloons, and the micropayment model keeps stringing them along for just a few more - assuming they don't ragequit or get cut off by said parents as soon as they have to pony up some real money. Or find something else that's shiny to occupy their magpie-like attention.)
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[Apr 15, 2010 11:53:07 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
funnybones

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I think your bias is showing. :P

I remember the first month of Viridian. I think on Midnight I'd have done better last night than 2/4 ships being run by a competent (not necessarily skilled) commanding officer, but it's come a long way from that cesspool.
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The Dread Pirates Robinson & Barthes, LLC

The poor complain; they always do. But that's just idle chatter.
Our system brings rewards to all. At least, to all who matter.

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Fiddler

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I think I'm just about to dust my officer badge I bought in July.

I have one pirate that I play so infrequently that I've still got the same outfit I was wearing during the first Halloween competition back in 2005.
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BobJanova

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They're popular because they cater to two common groups of gamers:
- Poor people with lots of time (students, unemployed, schoolchildren in holidaytime) who want to be able to play for free and can play enough hours to collect their dubs off the exchange so they can do so.
- Rich people who are lazy and want to be able to 'buy themselves ahead' in the game, and can afford to pay much more than a subscription ($50-$100/month maybe) in order to get the PoE they need to do what they want right now.

For both of those groups, things are better on a green ocean, and they're a lot more common than people with a steady income who are prepared to subscribe for a game.

Then there is the issue with ocean activity, which is self-reinforcing, and the problem of 'wasted days' of a subscription if you don't play every day. You quote 42 dubs/month, and think about adding up your badges, clothes, sword etc ... but if you only log on at weekends, or every other day, your badges last around 3 months, but the subscription still only buys you a month.

And finally the point about the 'hook' ... it's much easier to get established on a green ocean, because it's easy enough to buy an Officer badge and a sloop without dropping real money (in many crews you don't need a ship, as there are unlocked ones available). To 'get into the game' on a blue ocean you need to pay real money, and that's a much bigger hurdle to get over when you really can't have a deep game experience as a free player there. (Depending on what you like, that would either by driving ships or running a shop ... and that requires trading on a ship, as well as being able to provide labour, so even if a non-sub can open a stall, they can't realistically run it.) Once you've been 'hooked' on one ocean, there has to be a really good reason to move, particularly if you can't take your assets with you (as you can't from green to blue). I have several stalls and a shop, many ships and quite a bit of PoE and dubs on Viridian/Malachite ... if I were to try to become a blue player, I'd be starting from 0 poe. With a subscription exchange or using my dubs to dubscribe, it might be a little cheaper for me, but nowhere near enough to justify losing all my assets.
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Bobjanova on Viridian and Malachite
Shops and stalls with fair and profitable wages for all: Jubilee, Napi, Chelydra
Stripped/Barely Dressed (Malachite)
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[Apr 16, 2010 4:50:07 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
wrs1864b

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Bob, most of the things you list as being better on green oceans than blue are a result of the dub exchange and so a sub exchange would help a lot.

As far as those who have said they play so casually that they still have badges that are from months ago, I don't think that is anywhere near as significant in the game as it is on the forums. (And, of course, clothes/swords don't age on blue oceans either, that's not an advantage for green oceans.) Forum posts tend to be experienced players, ones who already know what the game has to offer and can hop on a sailing station and do far above average even if they haven't puzzled in months.

Brand new players don't play that casually, if they play only once or twice per week for an hour or two, they will never learn the game or get hooked. Instead, brand new players jump in and play a lot. What they don't have is commitment to the game. Even if they have played 20 hours this week, they don't know if they will be playing at all next week, they don't know if YPP has any depth to it.

Once they decide they want something bad enough to buy dubs, they aren't thinking "is this enough dubs to last me a quarter or even a year?", they are planning on using those dubs today, tomorrow and *maybe* next week, and if they decide to stop playing, they can blow the whole wad very quickly on some fast fun. There isn't a long term commitment when buying dubs.

A subscription, on the other hand, is asking them to buy stuff that they really don't know if they will use for an entire month, let alone a quarter of a year or more. And, if they decide they are going to stop playing, they can't just blow it all quickly on some fast fun, they will be force to pay a company for stuff they will never use and that doesn't sit well with most people.

Again, a subscription exchange would help here.

Edit: I'll go further on the "commitment" thing. Behind every purchase, people have to mentally justify it. Often, they have to explain (justify) it to parents, spouses, friends, etc.

For green oceans, it goes like this: Me: I'm spending $50 so that I can buy a bunch of ships and equipment on this online game. Friend: isn't that a lot? Me: not really, you spend that much on a PS3 game that you play for a week.

For blue oceans, it goes like this: Me: I'm spending $50 so that I can play this game for a year. Friend: You need to be committed, you have a serious problem with game addiction.
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Algol can not assert the truth of all statements in this post and still be consistent.
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by wrs1864b at Apr 16, 2010 5:37:08 AM]
[Apr 16, 2010 5:30:47 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Ex_Kaiho

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They're popular because they cater to two common groups of gamers:
- Poor people with lots of time (students, unemployed, schoolchildren in holidaytime) who want to be able to play for free and can play enough hours to collect their dubs off the exchange so they can do so.
- Rich people who are lazy and want to be able to 'buy themselves ahead' in the game, and can afford to pay much more than a subscription ($50-$100/month maybe) in order to get the PoE they need to do what they want right now.


Don't forget the group of people who don't want to spend real money on a game that they feel isn't worth it, regardless of their socio-economic situation.
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StuManchu

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They're popular because they cater to two common groups of gamers:
- Poor people with lots of time (students, unemployed, schoolchildren in holidaytime) who want to be able to play for free and can play enough hours to collect their dubs off the exchange so they can do so.
- Rich people who are lazy and want to be able to 'buy themselves ahead' in the game, and can afford to pay much more than a subscription ($50-$100/month maybe) in order to get the PoE they need to do what they want right now.


Don't forget the group of people who don't want to spend real money on a game that they feel isn't worth it, regardless of their socio-economic situation.


With PuzzlePirates this hypothetical group of people is too stupid to be worth remembering. For the price of a new Playstation I've gotten SIX YEARS of memories and new real life friends out of this game, it's unquestionably worth whatever method you choose to pay for it.
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[Apr 16, 2010 12:41:02 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
BobJanova

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I think those people are in the first of my categories, actually, and are likely to play for free by buying dubs through the exchange. True, though, I should have mentioned that it was 'poor people or people with an objection to paying real money for online games'. I'm actually rather in that category myself, I hate subscribing to things (not just online).

 
Bob, most of the things you list as being better on green oceans than blue are a result of the dub exchange and so a sub exchange would help a lot.

This is true (it would allow the time-rich and money-rich people to exchange their gifts as we have now through the exchange), though transferring assets will always be harder unless the sub exchange is effectively just a dub exchange but you can sink 42 dubs for a month's sub. The reason that's possible on green oceans is that you can sell the items for PoE on one ocean and then, through the medium of dubs, transfer the PoE to another. Unless 'sub months' acted like dubs (available on one account on all oceans) and could be traded on this exchange (both bought and sold, not just offered and used) that wouldn't work. There was a big GD thread about sub exchanges a while back so I won't get into that too much here.

 
(And, of course, clothes/swords don't age on blue oceans either, that's not an advantage for green oceans.)

Your ability to wear/use them does ... not much point having a scimi if you aren't allowed to wield it! Also, the costs are far higher on a green ocean because at the current dub rate the dub cost is well over half of the total cost (i.e. larger than the PoE cost), and in the case of clothing it can be much more than half (the dub cost is much more than the PoE).
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Bobjanova on Viridian and Malachite
Shops and stalls with fair and profitable wages for all: Jubilee, Napi, Chelydra
Stripped/Barely Dressed (Malachite)
Phantasm/Reign of Chaos (Viridian)
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funnybones

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As I recall I would've had the opposite problem people describe. I wouldn't feel like I was "wasting days" not going on every day: the 1 day a week I went on would be worth the cost. On the other hand, when I go on because I feel like playing a particular puzzle once or twice, I'd feel like I was wasting a day's worth of badges.

I think a subscription exchange would be an interesting model and one I think I would like to try. I'm playing on the green oceans right now under the name Barthes, but I don't like the anxiety doubloons add to each in-game purchasing choice.

I also want to endorse what Stu said. I think this game has flaws, but it's one of the best games ever made, and it's worth every penny you can afford to spend on it.
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The Dread Pirates Robinson & Barthes, LLC

The poor complain; they always do. But that's just idle chatter.
Our system brings rewards to all. At least, to all who matter.

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[Edit 2 times, last edit by funnybones at Apr 16, 2010 5:37:46 PM]
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satin11

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Clothes and swords do age on blue oceans. Unless they are in a wardrobe or on a rack, just like green oceans.

At least, they both used to. Clothes still do, I know, but it's been so long since I've bought a sword (thank you, backsword) I can't say for sure that hasn't changed, though I really can't see that it would. Every ironmonger on a blue ocean would have had a fit.
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~Satin~
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Nem wrote: 
I think this is the first thread I've seen that claims there aren't enough 'donkeys' in the game. Maybe you're hanging out with the wrong pirates.

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funnybones

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Egads there has been a lot of misunderstanding each other on this little thing. I'm almost certain that everyone in this thread understands how item decay works and that it works the same on both oceans. BobJanova was making a point about subscriptions versus badges, probably with a confusing choice of words.
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The Dread Pirates Robinson & Barthes, LLC

The poor complain; they always do. But that's just idle chatter.
Our system brings rewards to all. At least, to all who matter.

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[Edit 2 times, last edit by funnybones at Apr 16, 2010 6:10:16 PM]
[Apr 16, 2010 6:08:44 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
BobJanova

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Clothes and swords do age on blue oceans

Check the bottom of my last post ;) ... of course, I am aware of this, but your ability to use the sword/clothes/etc does 'dust' after a month on a blue ocean, even if you haven't logged on (and everything's still new).

 
As I recall I would've had the opposite problem people describe. I wouldn't feel like I was "wasting days" not going on every day: the 1 day a week I went on would be worth the cost. On the other hand, when I go on because I feel like playing a particular puzzle once or twice, I'd feel like I was wasting a day's worth of badges.

Indeed, there is this feeling too. For me, and judging by ocean numbers I suspect a majority of pirates), the wasted days on subscription oceans for not playing are a bigger mental issue than wasted badge days for a five minute shop check.

The difference is though that you can do a five minute shop check, or hop on to do a puzzle, on an unbadged alt, and it costs you no badge days. At the moment I alternate 'real playing' on Viridian and Malachite, and I don't like to 'use' a badge day on both oceans for the same day, but I have alts that I can use to play without using up a day. Some people have separate alts for each badge type (X tells ye, "Invite my alt, no bravery badge here") and only log on to each one if they need that badge today.

 
don't like the anxiety doubloons add to each in-game purchasing choice.

I just think of them as increasing the cost of items by the exchange PoE equivalent ... in fact I usually immediately place a buy order on the exchange so my doubloon buffer remains the same size. This leads to the major negative point of green oceans ... 'everything costs more', particularly clothes, furniture, sloops and whisking potions.

I suspect the issue with a sub exchange would be that the people who move to blue and use it would be those who currently sink a lot of dubs. For example in the last couple of months I've opened two stalls (20 dubs), delivered several orders of paint (16 I think), bought a bagh (38) a sloop (20) and a WF (75), as well as my badges, sword and clothes (which all age slowly at the moment due to me not having a lot of time to play or log on each day). That's not typical but it's still around 170 dubs, or $35-40 that someone paid to OOO to put those dubs into the system ... far more than two months of subscription. If I could subscribe for two months for 84 dubs on a sub exchange, paid for with Midnight or Cobalt PoE*, then I would be causing less money to be indirectly paid to OOO on my behalf.

*: This is the reason why I don't just buy dubs on the exchange and dubscribe: in order to get 42 doubs a month I have to play on a green ocean enough to earn 80-100k PoE, and if I'm playing that much on one ocean I might as well stay there the rest of the time too. If one could buy/sell dubs on a blue ocean, or subs in a similar type of way, so that a month was 100k PoE or less, then with my current level of play (fooling around in sinking environments and running shops) I would consider playing more seriously on blue, and I guess others would too.

Edit: I know there is a black market in PoE for /gifting, though I don't know who the people are that one would ask about it. How much does a subscription usually go for in blue ocean PoE at the moment?
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Bobjanova on Viridian and Malachite
Shops and stalls with fair and profitable wages for all: Jubilee, Napi, Chelydra
Stripped/Barely Dressed (Malachite)
Phantasm/Reign of Chaos (Viridian)
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by BobJanova at Apr 17, 2010 9:24:59 AM]
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Squashbuckle

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How much does a subscription usually go for in blue ocean PoE at the moment?


How much is a permanent ban worth to you? That's what it'll cost you to buy or sell.
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wrs1864b

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How much does a subscription usually go for in blue ocean PoE at the moment?

How much is a permanent ban worth to you? That's what it'll cost you to buy or sell.

Care to point out a single time that the OMs have *ever* enforced this part of the ToS?

To answer Bob's question, the last I heard, it was about 50k/month, but that was a long time ago. Ever since I butted heads with the OMs about this kind of thing, I've tried to stay far away from even gray areas.
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funnybones

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That must be a long time ago because it's less than 30 doubloons on every green ocean.
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TheRack

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Why do you guys think the doubloon model has been so successful?

If people are happy to sell their sole to Zynga for an extra 30 clicks of fun, it's fairly reasonable to assume that people are happy to hand their money over for something as in depth as YPP.

/e looks forward to 2012 when its revealed that once you strip out the venture capital getting pumped into the company, Zynga is running at a massive loss and will therefore be folding...
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[Apr 18, 2010 2:13:22 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
BobJanova

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To clarify, I'm not trying to solicit a black market subscription, just asking for pricing information to see if a subscription exchange which converged on the current black market price (as it's likely to do I would think) would be comparable to the cost of dubscribing off the green ocean exchange now (which is about 80-100k depending on ocean).
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Bobjanova on Viridian and Malachite
Shops and stalls with fair and profitable wages for all: Jubilee, Napi, Chelydra
Stripped/Barely Dressed (Malachite)
Phantasm/Reign of Chaos (Viridian)
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Epiphonelp

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I think it's much easier to play on a doubloon ocean, without paying money in real life, and that's how I played it.

Secret technique: pillage your ass off until you get enough to afford a bravery and a parlor badge (eventually, your stats will raise and this will make you able to go on elite pillaging / CI). If you can be online and pay attention to the game, do some tournaments in whatever, and you'll eventually win some and make money from others (including familiars), and you'll raise your skills at parlor games even if you are retarded (I don't mean anyone can't be Ultimate at everything, nor am I, but I went from Able to Legendary Swordfigthing just from practice and without any help from anyone, and being Leg SF ensures that you'll win some crap 5k-10k tournaments, at least), or simply CI. If you can't afford to pay much attention but can be logged for 2 hours, you can go SMH and defend, without using your spacebar or using it when you see it's gonna be a tough fight.

Doing this system earns me around a million a month as most little money I've done without paying a single dollar, and most of this money comes from SMH and CI trips, because staying on so many of them makes you sure you'll hit at least some atlantean furniture or clothing once a week.

And with this much money, you can afford to buy all the badges you want.

A friend in Viridian tried to do SMH everyday for 1 hour and a half without even defending. He made 150k at the end of the month, this being planked much times. So there are easy ways to make money without spending real money in Y!PP. I myself haven't ever bought a single doubloon, and unless I'm desperate I don't think I will.
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