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laladibla

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Another letter to OOO that I'm sure probably won't be read

Dear OOO

I am a retired player. I was very briefly in the beta, but left for a while then returned. I've played Y!PP on a few different accounts since maybe 04-05, but I finally quit full time puzzling around 3 years ago, and have since gone into semi retirement, logging in to speak to my friends etc. Not too short of a month ago, I quit entirely, and I don't really intend to log on again (unless something pretty incredible happens).

So I just thought I'd give you my two cents on what I think you have done horribly wrong, and I know I am not the only loyal player to have quit as of late.

1. Population:

OOO, you have collectively made quite a large misjudgement about the effect that both releasing Y!PP on steam and on iPad would have. Indeed, apart from regular updates to the limited edition ships collection, and would you believe it, expanding the capacity of each server (why on earth would you need that at this stage?), I don't think anyone has really seen any evidence of you actively trying to prevent the drain of players from your game.

SOE shut down boutique MMO The Matrix Online when the population averaged at about 500 players or less on the two or three servers that they hadn't closed down. Now I'm pretty sure that meridian is dipping below that borderline significantly now, and I can only imagine that Emerald will follow (Cerulean has long been dead in terms of activity), so why even bother keeping Y!PP alive if you can't even be bothered to retain the players?

2. Interaction:

Apart from responding to trivial matters, or censoring the comments of players frustrated about Y!PP on the forums, OOO seems to have too little interaction with the players/fanbase.

Of course, there will always be people willing to play Y!PP, but by being so tight lipped about everything you have lost the trust and respect of the players.

Is it any wonder people are quitting if they don't feel that they can even petition a developer to give them an adequate response about the changes that are being undergone in the game?

I have been members of forums of games yet to be developed which have a (dare I say) larger and better community that Y!PP, and that is because there is more interaction with the people who are making it. New players always have questions about a game, and nothing is more thrilling than having said question answered by a developer him/herself, and I think that this level of interaction between players and devs is a good way to retain interest. These devs actively post on the forums, occasionally sneak in hints about the game, and actively try to engage with their audience. Why doesn't OOO?

I remember in beta there was a LOT MORE interaction with you devs and such like, I even had a few of them on my friends list. I know that there doesn't need to be so much after a game is released, but where is that all now, when Y!PP in its state as a cash cow is rapidly drying up and whose community could use invigorating?

Your advertising scheme is even worse? It looks like an advert for some kind of pirate themed childrens crèche! Moreover, you stopped advertising several years ago as I understand it, presumably because of the cost, but look how the playerbase has declined as a result!

The impression that this gives us is that OOO don't care about the game, and are more interested in the money to be made, which is understandable yes, but how do you think the players might interpret that?

3. Economy, product consumption, inflation and deflation.

I am currently studying a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics (sounds pretty dull huh), so I'm just going to go through a few things that really frustrate me about the way the Y!PP economy for just about everything has been screwed over, although I'll try and keep it simple.

The Y!PP economy at the moment looks as if it has been engineered by some gimps. There are some things that just don't make sense.

There are a significant amount of Dub Buyers, which are almost single-handedly supporting the game, however, by buying dubs and transferring it into PoE, they are increasing the amount of PoE in the game. Repeat this over a period of 8 years (approx. the amount of time any dub ocean has been running), and you've got some serious hyperinflation on your hands.

The value of the money over time has decreased rapidly, and as such, the price of the goods available to buy rises in order to balance out that decrease, as well as ensuring the supplier a return on his investment. Now this is ok and manageable, but one fatal flaw in this is that the levels of PoE recieved for doing some of the most basic activities that EVERY pirate has to start off with, has stayed the same.

There is no return on invested time and energy there, which means that most people who pillage and do labourwork at the "lower end", of Y!PP's industries are not really being very productive with their time, and aren't really making any money either. This can either drive people to the high stakes (and easily exploitable) poker tables and inn activities, and drives them off of the lower paying naval activities, except maybe the odd HS,SMH, CI or Citadel Run, which are vaguely profitable for those who run them. But only those who run them. Because of the exclusivity of SMH/HS/CI/Cit, the vast majority of pirates are left to try and find alternative puzzling opportunities, such as pillaging. But with nobody pillaging, what do they do next to earn their keep? They either buy more dubs, or try their hand at high stakes poker, driving pirates into parlour gaming but not actually doing what they should be in a pirate game and pillaging and plundering the high seas.

I can't vouch that this is what happens every time, but I have seen it repeat over and over, mainly because I used to play on Malachite.

So the question I'm going to ask here is why has OOO not done anything about the economy, when it is clearly in a difficult situation?

There is also the issue of too many tournaments and opportunities for familiars being brought into the game. They were supposed to be an item that everybody wanted, but only a select few could have, which resulted in their super-high price. However, as of late, you can buy familiars for under 600k. This shows that the market has been saturated. There is too much supply for the demand, so why hasn't OOO done anything to solve this? Their only answer seems to have been to introduce yet more familiars but with fancy colours. Really. That didn't help.

I see the same issue with the shipping industry. Why do players even need to be able to buy a Grand Frigate any more? It's not as if anyone will ever use them in the foreseeable future with such a small player base. There appears to have been no effort by OOO to try and streamline the Y!PP economy into something more...viable

I suppose spending all the money on gold boxes and black boxes might have counted once, but that just introduces more useless clutter into the game. Anyway, I could yonk on about the economics of Y!PP for much longer, but I think I ought to conclude this argument before even the players who will read this will tl;dr. I already suspect the OMs will.

4. Summary:

So, OOO, although you have had the best of intentions for Y!PP, although it lasted for a while when there was enough population to keep it afloat, you have effectively turned off its life support. Now I'm not saying there is any clear way to solve any of the problems I've listed, but at least we'd like to hear some kind of response from you that the game is dying or that it might go into auto-mode and not be updated any more like Guild Wars 1, but now it just comes across as if you are using us, and not even thanking us for throwing the money at you.

So, OOO, I'm going to say this plainly and clearly;

What the hell have you been doing?
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Visionary/Visionarye - Coming soon to an ocean near you!

Mitchiie wrote:

 
"Yes. Snowwman is weird and Boyk is weird. They're definitely siblings. I just have to figure out who the sister is."

[Sep 30, 2013 10:51:35 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
EmpressTamar

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Re: Another letter to OOO that I'm sure probably won't be read

I agree with some of what you've said here, but I feel compelled to comment on a few of your points.

 
Now I'm pretty sure that meridian is dipping below that borderline significantly now, and I can only imagine that Emerald will follow (Cerulean has long been dead in terms of activity)

Cerulean is dead, I won't argue with you on that. OOO doesn't direct greenies to the subscriber ocean because not only do new players generally want a "free to play" game rather than one they're obligated to pay $10 a month for, OOO also gets a lot more money from the doubloon oceans. Also, when a player begins to understand enough about the game to explore past their original ocean they often feel loyal to that ocean and/or have friends and belongings which cannot be transferred.

Emerald and Meridian on the other hand are still alive. They're experiencing a sharp population decline right now because school has started for all the younger (22 and below) audience drastically reducing the amount of time they have available to play, and some of the older members (22+) also cut back on their play time during the school year. There have also been some server problems lately which could cause some people to take a break from the game until they know it's fixed for sure.

 
so why even bother keeping Y!PP alive if you can't even be bothered to retain the players?

OOO is obviously making money from the game. Every doubloon that gets spent at the palace shoppe (think badges and pets), those hefty delivery fees required to buy anything from swords to ships, opening stalls, and bi-monthy gold box releases has been purchased by someone at roughly 25 cents each. I don't even nav/sink ships and yet I use up 500 doubloons a month just in badges, not to mention a few hundred more from delivering clothes, furniture, potions, and portraits.

The players who have spent the most money and time in a game will remain its most loyal fans because of the investment they've put into it. Were I a new player or someone who has only played casually throughout the years I might have given up with YPP during the server problems, but I continued pressing the login button every couple of minutes. (Maybe more often than that, but shhh.)

 
Apart from responding to trivial matters, or censoring the comments of players frustrated about Y!PP on the forums, OOO seems to have too little interaction with the players/fanbase.

While I do experience delight in using the petition function in game to receive a guarenteed response from an OM, I'll agree with you in that it would be wonderful to have them more active on the forums. Perhaps not so much in ocean parley and bazaar, but having more feedback in Game Design would be lovely.

 
Moreover, you stopped advertising several years ago as I understand it, presumably because of the cost, but look how the playerbase has declined as a result!

Yes. Puzzle Pirates absolutely needs more advertisement. I was brought to this game back in 2005 (I'm sixteen now, don't ban me!) by a banner ad from another gaming site. Perhaps it was Neopets? I don't quite remember. Regardless, without advertising the only new players this game will have are those we directly introduce to the game. I convinced my dad to start playing YPP poker a few weeks ago and while I wish he'd play some of the other puzzles it's fun to have him so interested.

 
There are a significant amount of Dub Buyers, which are almost single-handedly supporting the game, however, by buying dubs and transferring it into PoE, they are increasing the amount of PoE in the game.

I feel a lot of players don't understand the doubloon exchange. I cannot say this enough times, the doubloon exchange does not spawn poe. It is similar to blockade pay and poker in that no new poe is brought into the game. The doubloon exchange only enables players to exchange poe and doubloons among each other. By using the market, doubloons and poe are neither taken out of the game nor brought into it. They're distributed.

Regrettably I'm not majoring in economics so I may misunderstand a lot of things about the YPP economy. HOWEVER, it is my opinion that the introduction of Atlantis, and particularly citadel runs, are what is causing inflation. An average jobber might make 15-20k an hour on a cit run while the navigator makes a few hundred thousand. That is a significant increase from the 3-5k an hour that same jobber or navigator might make from pillaging.

I'm not saying that Atlantis payouts should be reduced, although that is one possible solution. Rather, other payouts need to be increased. Pillaging and HS (poe only, keep the items rare) are the most needed, I'd also love a bit more incentive to CI. Also, does there really need to be a blockade pay cap? It was introduced back when OOO could not imagine anyone paying more than 9999/segment. I've seen many blockades reach this point and as you've said, money is worth less than it used to be. Perhaps that cap could be increased/removed?

 
There is also the issue of too many tournaments and opportunities for familiars being brought into the game. They were supposed to be an item that everybody wanted, but only a select few could have, which resulted in their super-high price.

I'm going to quote Bia where she says:
 
Familiars are, unfortunately, too rare. Even with the greater frequency of familiar events over the past several months, the ratio of familiar owners to overall player numbers keeps going down. As one of the visible "goals" in the game, we need to ensure that enough familiars are being offered to allow players even an outside chance of winning one.

Why do familiars need to be for the richest few? Maybe the rarest familiars (Black SH, OCL) but is it really hurting anything to let those poor greenies have an atlantean SH for 300k?

 
Their only answer seems to have been to introduce yet more familiars but with fancy colours. Really. That didn't help.

Those fancy familiars are rare (1/1000 chance of getting a toucan from a gold box, for example) and because of their rarity it brings the price up. Isn't that what you want? I'm seeing contradictions in your argument.
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Empresstamar of Emerald.
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[Sep 30, 2013 12:21:39 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Notsizzly

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Re: Another letter to OOO that I'm sure probably won't be read

While I agree and disagree with the two posts above, here's my two cents.

I personally know players who can put a significant amount of real life money into purchasing dubs (and then use it on whatever it is they use it) and players who don't put any real life money into it. They get their dubs using the exchange (and zoumg yes, that thing doesn't spawn poe) and are happy with it. Wasn't it posted somewhere by a Ringer that 90% of all the players are 'free players'? Which is fine since this is a gaming model that requires those too - anyone arguing that should stop and think about what would happen if the game wasn't open to play completely free if you so wish.

Considering that and the fact that there are /some/ costs to keep the game alive, Three Rings must be making enough money for them not to shut it down completely (or to stop support whatsoever). There's nothing wrong with that, it's a business but it doesn't justify lack of development - I guess it comes down to anyone to decide if they're getting their money and/or time worth from it?

Now when it comes to the payouts from the poe fountains in the game... Even though some items have become cheaper (like fams) and some have become more expensive (only dub oceans I assume?) I find it hard to believe that there are so many players with such a wealth that they can fund gazillion fams, massive fleets, houses, furniture, expensive pets, blockades, you name it. I might be exaggerating a little but constant blockades with 5k/seg pay (and srsly, 9.9k/seg is not *that* rare either) must be a sign of something. I guess I'm asking if it's a sign of 'too easy to make poe in-game' or 'not that many players, all the poe goes into the hands of few' or something else that I can't put my finger on now?
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~ Sizzly of Emerald ~
Avatar by Aerecura <3
[Sep 30, 2013 12:55:52 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
marundel

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Re: Another letter to OOO that I'm sure probably won't be read

 
Cerulean is dead, I won't argue with you on that. OOO doesn't direct greenies to the subscriber ocean because not only do new players generally want a "free to play" game rather than one they're obligated to pay $10 a month for

New players get a "free to play" game on Cerulean just as they do on the green oceans. Until a player has earned a few thousand PoE on a green ocean, they aren't able to do any of the "subscriber only" activities anyway... so for a few weeks or even a few months (depending on activity levels) there is no difference on green or blue oceans.

In addition, no one is obligated to pay $10 a month to play on Cerulean. Doubloon players can "doub-scribe" for 42 doubloons and get all the benefits of a paid subscription... and those 42 doubs can be paid for with earned PoE on the exchange - just like they are if the player stays on the green ocean. Also, quarterly and annual subs significantly reduce the "per month" cost (about $6.25 monthly for annual subs.) Add to that the benefit of being a long-term player when the long-term discount kicks in... I only pay $4.16 a month per account.

There are a number of reasons put forth by OOO as to why a third of the oceans only gets a tenth of the greenie spawn. The first is some questionable story about the rules for linking in from miniclip or Steam (questionable, since I came in from miniclip and spawned Blue.) Among them all, though, is what I believe to be the main reason: return on investment. A doub player will (directly with cash or indirectly on the exchange) provide about 8 times as much income to the company as a sub player will generate. In short - although the blue oceans have a very loyal player base and have been a cornerstone of the game for years, the company prefers to abandon that base in exchange for "A Few Dollars More".
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Pizzahutpete on the Cerulean Ocean
Prince, Super Awesomeness
SO, Boochin' Drunks

Pizzahutpete everywhere, thanks to the merge
[Sep 30, 2013 5:07:16 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://www.thehomebrewstore.com    meadbrewer [Link]  Go to top 
Mulan227

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Re: Another letter to OOO that I'm sure probably won't be read

P.S. Half the player base has been banned and isn't allowed to come back ^_^
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A Viridianite at heart...
[Sep 30, 2013 11:50:53 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
xelto

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Re: Another letter to OOO that I'm sure probably won't be read

 
In addition, no one is obligated to pay $10 a month to play on Cerulean. Doubloon players can "doub-scribe" for 42 doubloons and get all the benefits of a paid subscription... and those 42 doubs can be paid for with earned PoE on the exchange - just like they are if the player stays on the green ocean.

I still think you guys need a sub exchange. And/or an alternate subscription setup that runs on login days rather than calendar days.
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Gurndigarn on Emerald Ocean
"Oh, come on. You jobbed onto a ship called the Cursed Isle Raider and you expected *refined*?"
[Oct 1, 2013 4:14:52 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
KoshMom

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Re: Another letter to OOO that I'm sure probably won't be read

EmpressTamar wrote:
 
Cerulean is dead, I won't argue with you on that. OOO doesn't direct greenies to the subscriber ocean because not only do new players generally want a "free to play" game rather than one they're obligated to pay $10 a month for, OOO also gets a lot more money from the doubloon oceans.

 
...I use up 500 doubloons a month just in badges, not to mention a few hundred more from delivering clothes, furniture, potions, and portraits.

 
I was brought to this game back in 2005 (I'm sixteen now, don't ban me!)

 
Regrettably I'm not majoring in economics so I may misunderstand a lot of things about the YPP economy.

Obviously you're not majoring in economics, because if you use 500 dubs a month in badges plus more, that comes to $125 just for badges A MONTH. Plus more to deliver items. But you don't want to be "obligated to pay $10 a month for Cerulean?" (gotta wonder who has been paying your $125+/month bill since you were 8 years old)

I'm wondering if the same sort of logic is in use by legislators in Washington, DC....
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Avasta, Past Governor of Namath, captain of Ye Hardy Mates, of the flag RIOT
[Oct 1, 2013 8:27:49 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
wrs1864b

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Re: Another letter to OOO that I'm sure probably won't be read

 
Obviously you're not majoring in economics, because if you use 500 dubs a month in badges plus more, that comes to $125 just for badges A MONTH. Plus more to deliver items. But you don't want to be "obligated to pay $10 a month for Cerulean?" (gotta wonder who has been paying your $125+/month bill since you were 8 years old)

I'm wondering if the same sort of logic is in use by legislators in Washington, DC....

Obviously, you don't understand economics/accounting.

if you are good enough on dub oceans, you can play completely for free, by buying dubs off the exchange. Almost certainly, most of those 500 dubs being spent on badges are being spent on labor badges, which can turn a nice profit PoE wise. The people playing $125/month are people who either aren't good enough to earn PoE themselves, or have enough RL money that it is easier for them to work an hour and not have to grind for their PoE.

On sub oceans, no matter how good you are, you can't play the full game for free.
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Algol can not assert the truth of all statements in this post and still be consistent.
[Oct 1, 2013 8:40:02 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
KoshMom

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Re: Another letter to OOO that I'm sure probably won't be read

 
 
Obviously you're not majoring in economics, because if you use 500 dubs a month in badges plus more, that comes to $125 just for badges A MONTH. Plus more to deliver items. But you don't want to be "obligated to pay $10 a month for Cerulean?" (gotta wonder who has been paying your $125+/month bill since you were 8 years old)

I'm wondering if the same sort of logic is in use by legislators in Washington, DC....

Obviously, you don't understand economics/accounting.

if you are good enough on dub oceans, you can play completely for free, by buying dubs off the exchange. Almost certainly, most of those 500 dubs being spent on badges are being spent on labor badges, which can turn a nice profit PoE wise. The people playing $125/month are people who either aren't good enough to earn PoE themselves, or have enough RL money that it is easier for them to work an hour and not have to grind for their PoE.



Obviously, you don't put much value on your time. Economics are defined as "financial considerations", thus this is an economics exercise.

The person in question states in their sig that they are on the Emerald ocean. Right now you can buy dubs for about 2120, but I like to play the market, and often I see it at well over 2200-2300, so I'll put the price to buy dubs with poe at an average price of 2200 for the sake of this argument.

500 dubs at 2200 = 1,100,000 poe. The original person said she also spends more in delivery fees for other items as well, so the amount is much more than that.

Divide that 1.1 million by 30 days. That's 36,667 poe a day. Since this person is obviously in school due to her age, and likely has to do homework, eat, sleep, and pretend to have a life outside of the game, I'll say that she has about 4 hours an evening to play the game. I'll also say 10 hours a weekend day. So that's 40 hours a week. So she has to make 917 poe per hour just to afford the dubs to buy her badges. This does not include the poe to buy dubs for delivering the other items she says she uses, as well as the poe to actually buy the items before the dub delivery fees.

Those are the numbers. Economics. Now do you think that this person has been doing this for 7 years without someone paying some real life money to buy dubs?

 
On sub oceans, no matter how good you are, you can't play the full game for free.


Yes you can, if you dubscribe, which is explained elsewhere in this thread. 42 dubs a month. 92,400 poe on the Emerald exchange. However, this person likely can take advantage of the $49.95/year long term subscriber's discount, which is $4.16 a month, or approximately equal to 17 dubs A MONTH.

Is it likely that this person buys more than 17 dubs in a month? If so, it's more economical to subscribe on the Cerulean ocean.
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Avasta, Past Governor of Namath, captain of Ye Hardy Mates, of the flag RIOT
[Oct 1, 2013 10:16:56 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Nick1825

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Re: Another letter to OOO that I'm sure probably won't be read

Empress can afford all those dubs cause she has a sugar daddy... me
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Icyman/hadesx
[Oct 1, 2013 10:44:08 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
EmpressTamar

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Re: Another letter to OOO that I'm sure probably won't be read

 
But you don't want to be "obligated to pay $10 a month for Cerulean?" (gotta wonder who has been paying your $125+/month bill since you were 8 years old)

First of all, I never claimed to have been spending 500 doubloons a month for the past eight years. I started doing that a few months ago. I also never said that I don't want to be obligated to spend $10 a month.
 
new players generally want a "free to play" game rather than one they're obligated to pay $10 a month for

And yes, I realize it's far less expensive to play on Cerulean. I've acknowledged that OOO gets more money from the doubloon oceans, obviously for them to get more money from it the average player would need to pay more than the average subscription cost. I subscribed to Cerulean for a few months and loved how cheap it is to deliver items and the players seemed quite nice and mature compared to other oceans. However, I like a larger player base which is why I play on Emerald.
 
Almost certainly, most of those 500 dubs being spent on badges are being spent on labor badges, which can turn a nice profit PoE wise.

Uh yes, the majority of them are labor badges. I don't spend that many doubloons on officer badges. They more than pay for themselves which means I'm putting that poe back into the doubloon market to buy more badges, I'm not spending $125 of real money for them.
 
Yes you can, if you dubscribe, which is explained elsewhere in this thread. 42 dubs a month. 92,400 poe on the Emerald exchange.

I'm curious here, can you play Cerulean for free just by using poe earned on Cerulean? It is my understanding that Cerulean does not have a doubloon market, which is why you gave the Emerald exchange quote. I'm guessing the answer is no, which means you need to play and earn money on another ocean to pay for your Cerulean subscription.
 
Empress can afford all those dubs cause she has a sugar daddy... me

Hehehe I can buy my own stuff. Thank you, Casey. <3
 
it's more economical to subscribe on the Cerulean ocean.

It definitely is, I will not dispute that.

[edit]
 
Again, you fail to understand the value of things. Playing on another ocean, where none of your friends play on, greatly reduces the amount of fun. You are being penny wise and pound foolish.

This, exactly. Thank you for articulating what I was trying to say.
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Empresstamar of Emerald.
Yppedia page

Gorgeous avatar by by Cattrin <3
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[Edit 2 times, last edit by EmpressTamar at Oct 1, 2013 11:51:26 AM]
[Oct 1, 2013 11:03:32 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
wrs1864b

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Re: Another letter to OOO that I'm sure probably won't be read

 
Obviously, you don't put much value on your time.

If you are doing something to have fun, then how you value your time is different than if you are doing something to earn PoE, or RL money, or other stuff. Putting a lot of time into a game may well return lots of fun per hour.

 
 
On sub oceans, no matter how good you are, you can't play the full game for free.


Yes you can, if you dubscribe,

No, you can't. That's playing on both dub and sub oceans.

 
Is it likely that this person buys more than 17 dubs in a month? If so, it's more economical to subscribe on the Cerulean ocean.

Again, you fail to understand the value of things. Playing on another ocean, where none of your friends play on, greatly reduces the amount of fun. You are being penny wise and pound foolish.
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Algol can not assert the truth of all statements in this post and still be consistent.
[Oct 1, 2013 11:18:53 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
KoshMom

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Re: Another letter to OOO that I'm sure probably won't be read

 
No, you can't. That's playing on both dub and sub oceans.

 
Again, you fail to understand the value of things. Playing on another ocean, where none of your friends play on, greatly reduces the amount of fun. You are being penny wise and pound foolish.


You've answered your own question: If you want to play for free you play on both oceans.

Again, you fail to understand the value of things. You apparently have 3 choices:

- You can make new friends.
- You can explain your economic case logically to all your friends, and you can all move to Cerulean (with maybe a "Tuesday evening Dubscription pilly on Emerald"?)
- You can continue to act in an economically wasteful way and simply complain.
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Avasta, Past Governor of Namath, captain of Ye Hardy Mates, of the flag RIOT
[Oct 1, 2013 12:03:28 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
laladibla

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Re: Another letter to OOO that I'm sure probably won't be read

 
 
There are a significant amount of Dub Buyers, which are almost single-handedly supporting the game, however, by buying dubs and transferring it into PoE, they are increasing the amount of PoE in the game.


I feel a lot of players don't understand the doubloon exchange. I cannot say this enough times, the doubloon exchange does not spawn poe. It is similar to blockade pay and poker in that no new poe is brought into the game. The doubloon exchange only enables players to exchange poe and doubloons among each other. By using the market, doubloons and poe are neither taken out of the game nor brought into it. They're distributed.


There were a few things I forgot to factor in here/ may have said wrongly (sorry, was a bit preoccupied at the time of writing).

PoE itself is not being brought into the game, however its value does change depending on the amount of Dubs brought into the game.

I'm just going to use some past data off of the top of my head. In 06 and 07, I can recall that the price of doubloons was vastly lower than it was today. They were worth around 700 PoE each (if I remember correctly, on Hunter).

Of course, this was before the Credit crunch, where a lot of people cut back on spending money on things that were not necessities. During the Credit Crunch period, I think Dub prices began to skyrocket and that was purely because of the effect of the real world market on the YPP economic climate. You may notice, that since the economies of most countries are only just beginning to stabilise, the Doubloon market should in theory stabilise as well.

However, we can clearly see that this is not the case, as I reckon today that Dub Prices on Meridian or Emerald are about 5 times as much, around 3k. I could be wrong though, as I haven't logged into the game in a while. Indeed, the 3k levels of Dub prices have stayed roughly the same for at least 2-3 years now, and that is due to the steady decline of the playerbase.

With less people buying dubs, the PoE market becomes more competitive, driving higher and higher prices, and balancing out the effect of the re-stabilised economy, keeping the prices at a high level. However, this is just my theory.

Now, I will get onto the reasons why this is effecting the amount of PoE in game.

The worth of PoE on Doubloon oceans is dictated by the value of the Dubs themselves, and here is why:

With the current PoE prices of 3k, Dub buyers may feel they are getting good value for money by exchanging some of it for PoE. Now I'm not saying all dub buyers do that, because often the dubs get sunk on badges, and delivering clothes and ships etc.

However, often, (unless we're looking at badges or other goods from the palace shops), you can find a better deal in the Inns for, let's say, a sloop, than by going to a ship yard and ordering a new one. I've seen sloops sold for 42k, maybe less? But what I do know is this: 9-10k Ship price + 15 (is that right?) dub delivery fee, totals at around 54-55k, which is at least 10% more expensive than if you were to try and find a bargain in the Inns.

With this in mind, anybody who has dubs, common sense, and wants to spend as little as possible, is probably going to want it all in PoE. Which is where the exchange comes in.

Although the amount of PoE/Dubs in game at any one time may roughly stay consistent, considering that there are more advantages to having PoE, and considering the ratio of 1 dub: 3,000 PoE, you can see that there is VASTLY more PoE in game than Dubs, which has driven the value of it down.

I can remember days on early Viridian when having 2.5-3 million PoE was enough to blockade a large island (not that there were many though at that point). Now, I don't have any "current" experience of cading, but I reckon that might just about stretch for an outpost that nobody wants, maybe? Or perhaps you could spend it on a fam.

You can clearly see the difference. PoE has inflated massively, and thus the payouts you receive for the more "menial" of activities are no longer viable.

TL;DR?
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Visionary/Visionarye - Coming soon to an ocean near you!

Mitchiie wrote:

 
"Yes. Snowwman is weird and Boyk is weird. They're definitely siblings. I just have to figure out who the sister is."

[Oct 1, 2013 1:31:55 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Notsizzly

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Re: Another letter to OOO that I'm sure probably won't be read

Dubs on Emerald are at 2k+ - they seem to steadily hit 2.5k when gold boxes come available and then go back to 2.3kish. The reason they're down now seems to have something to do with the latest attack and choco box availability combined (the latter was continued because of the difficulties of logging on for several days) but are slowly climbing back again since the gold boxes will soon be out.

Sloops in the inn on Emerald go for...45-50k, that's far more closer. You might be lucky if you catch those two poker players who'll sell them for 40k twice a week but don't rely on that.

No idea what that has to do with anything posted above really, other than that I do wish that Three Rings indeed would consider priorities and changes and all that.
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~ Sizzly of Emerald ~
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[Oct 1, 2013 2:13:05 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Lordchicken9

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Re: Another letter to OOO that I'm sure probably won't be read

Sloops were like 50k-55k during the summer..even though they cost about 54k in stalls.. people sure are weird/lazy
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Chickenlord on Emerald

Helen Keller once said: The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart.
How would she know XD?

Captinary did the avatar :o with my recommandations on the
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BobJanova

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Re: Another letter to OOO that I'm sure probably won't be read

 
You've answered your own question: If you want to play for free you play on both oceans.


But if you're playing on Meridian or Emerald for enough time to earn 42 dubs a month (that's about 100k poe so about 20 hours of income generating activity), why wouldn't you just keep playing on that ocean? Particularly near the beginning when you probably aren't spending 42 dubs a month anyway (if you log in every other day, that will keep you in SO, bravery, labour badges, a 20 dub outfit, a decent bludgeon and sword and let you buy a ship, house, expensive furniture item etc every couple of months) ... and then when you start doing so, you already have the contacts and whatever on the green ocean.

You really need a subscription exchange if you want blue to be tempting to free players.

With reference to the original post, the problem is that the game works as a pyramid scheme: every experienced player who wants to run stuff needs 5-50 new players prepared to job for them. And we just aren't getting the new player involvement and retention to make that work, so people get frustrated that they can't load and stop playing. We're reaching critical levels where people get so sick of not being able to load pillages that there actually aren't any pillages for the few new players we do get, so there's even less chance they'll stay.
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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)
[Oct 1, 2013 3:32:26 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
KoshMom

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Re: Another letter to OOO that I'm sure probably won't be read

 
 
You've answered your own question: If you want to play for free you play on both oceans.


But if you're playing on Meridian or Emerald for enough time to earn 42 dubs a month (that's about 100k poe so about 20 hours of income generating activity), why wouldn't you just keep playing on that ocean? Particularly near the beginning when you probably aren't spending 42 dubs a month anyway


The reason you don't keep playing on that ocean is because dubs/things are just Too Dern Expensive (doubloon-wise) and you actually get a better value for the game by playing on Cerulean. You can think about it as the time on a dub ocean "pays for" your time on the sub ocean.

On the other hand, remember, if you start to find yourself spending more than $5 in cold, hard cash a month, it's better to just spend it with a long-term discount on the sub ocean. Heck, even if you're a newish player and don't qualify for the long term discount, the $75/year sub fee is only about $6.25 a month. That's the same cost as 25 dubs. Still cheaper than 42/month on the "monthly dubscription plan".
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Avasta, Past Governor of Namath, captain of Ye Hardy Mates, of the flag RIOT
[Oct 1, 2013 3:43:25 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
wrs1864b

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Re: Another letter to OOO that I'm sure probably won't be read

 
On the other hand, remember, if you start to find yourself spending more than $5 in cold, hard cash a month, it's better to just spend it with a long-term discount on the sub ocean.

The number of people who pay $5-$10/mo on the dub oceans isn't that large..

According to Cleaver, 90% of all dub players will never buy any dubs from OOO period. Those players will be better off on the green oceans.

Of the remaining 10%, many just buy once in order to get protection for their pirates.

Another large chunk of the 10% are spending *lots* of RL money because they want PoE, which is easier/quicker to do on dub oceans. (Yeah, there are a bunch of people on sub oceans that pay RL money to get PoE by immediately selling rogue marks, monthly rewards, etc. and get more by foraging/labor alts, but usually people who who have the most RL money are short on time and using the dub exchange is quick an easy.)

Another portion of that 10% play intermittently. Sometimes they play a lot, some times only on weekends, sometimes not at all for a while. When these players come back, their badges haven't aged, they can still use their high-end sword and their fancy clothes, you can hop on your ship and run a pillage, etc. It isn't like sub oceans where if you don't play, you are wasting money and if you come back after your sub has run out, you get thrown into rags and a stick. Even though I've used the 'old timer's discount" sub plan for years, I've probably paid close to $10/mo of actual play time.

In short, sub oceans is cheaper for certain classes of players, but it comes with a very real risk of wasted subscription time and for the vast majority of YPP players, it is worse.

Edit: (D'uh, I forgot to complete my post)

This breakdown of different types of dub ocean players can have a large impact on the dub exchange rate. A small change in the number of "large dub buyers" can dramatically change the number of dubs on the ocean.
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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 Oct 1, 2013 4:53:33 PM]
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KoshMom

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Re: Another letter to OOO that I'm sure probably won't be read

wrs1864b: I agree with your post on most points. However, I do want to comment on one.

 
It isn't like sub oceans where if you don't play, you are wasting money and if you come back after your sub has run out, you get thrown into rags and a stick.


I stopped playing for a couple of years, and recently returned. My clothing was in condition "good" and my weapon and bludgeon (a fish!) were still intact. Clothing, weapons, bludgeons, Drinking cups - items that are personal in your booty, don't age if you don't log in. Heck, furniture doesn't age unless you put it into a scene and then move it around or remove it from a scene.

But I did "lose" or "waste" my subscription until it ran out. I was kicked down to swabbie level, but I still could own and run my stores as long as I didn't have to move any ships or shift things from ships I didn't have the deed to.
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Avasta, Past Governor of Namath, captain of Ye Hardy Mates, of the flag RIOT
[Oct 1, 2013 6:08:29 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
SailinTony

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Re: Another letter to OOO that I'm sure probably won't be read

So, first things first, the original post was on it's way to being constructive, which I appreciate. I've seen a lot of disillusionment with, and snide comments directed at, OOO lately. Mostly vague "OOO doesn't care" deals, so it was nice for me to see specific complaints.

The three points were:

1) Population,
2) OM-player interaction, and
3) the economy.

I agree that 1) seems to be a problem, but is too complex for me to think about at the moment.

Let's start with 2). Most of us have held a job before where we've had to deal with customers. Think about dealing with an irate customer. Are they pleasant to deal with? Do you help them more happily the angrier they are? So, if you were an employee of OOO, how would you feel simply reading the title of this particular thread? I personally would feel attacked before reading word one of the actual content. As stated, you've actually expressed specific areas for criticism which is a good thing. Just keep my point in mind: if I were a paid employee, I personally would not feel eager to touch this thread with a 10 foot pole, given the moderately aggressive title you've given the thread. I'm pretty sure that OOO has, technically speaking, filled their end of the deal by keeping the game online and giving us the subscriptions/doubloons for which we've paid. I feel the rest has to be dealt with cooperatively.


That said, I would probably have made my open letter subtitle "I truly care about Puzzle Pirates" because let's face it: those of us on the forums tend to find the game endearing enough to not only play, but discuss with all prospective players and employees. YPP was the first (and only one of 2) online games I've really played. So it will always hold a special place in my heart. As such, it is only natural to want the game to succeed so that OOO can succeed financially given the enjoyable game it's made, as well as increase our enjoyment by growing the player base.

As a segue to point 3), I'll comment on the only other online game I've seriously played. It's called Kingdom of Loathing (hereafter KoL), and is a super bare-bones pseudo text-adventure game that's also free to play (I've even seen a Pastamancer running around Emerald so I know there are others out there).

Now, KoL is unique because it really is quite homemade and runs on Javascript through a browser only. So, during its infancy, certain players could exploit programming bugs, introducing enormous amounts of currency into the game in a matter of mouse clicks. These bugfinders single-handedly introduced so much currency into the game and destroyed the economy that the game was almost "rolled-back": restored to the previous night's data. However, the development team decided against this, and introduced unique currency sinks. These came in two flavors. The first kind were generally useless items that were incredibly expensive, essentially status-signifiers, sold through via in-game store run by the game developers. The second was a donation oriented, and something the whole player base had to cooperate and kick in as much currency as they felt comfortable giving (these were massive bugs, roughly equivalent to 20billion PoE appearing out of thin air; everyone got their hands on some of it). The reward: donators were listed in the Hall of Legends with highest donations listed first. So I can, to this day, look and see the meager funds I kicked in. My name is out there; I was a part of the game history.

The moral of this story is that if we're worried about the economy, I would really like to see some variant of these ideas implemented. I think the pet PoE sinks aren't for me because I don't want to kick in any dubs: I wouldn't mind a 100k elephant, but simply won't cough up the 100 dubs. Of course pets that cost doubloons bring in revenue for OOO, but I also think making pillages more viable would help retain the 'average' players, also bringing in revenue. With respect to a donation fund, who wouldn't want to be known as the most philanthropic pirate in Emerald, or, better yet, be part of the most philanthropic crew, or flag? Or, sport an "I paid 100k to save the sardines" trophy or something.

When it comes down to it, I feel that players do enjoy status signifiers and this does open up possibilities for PoE sinks.

So, a related question: has anyone ever been able to "work" for OOO, for free, in a sort of advisement roll? We clearly have some well-meaning and intelligent pirates out there who know the player experience quite well. Would OOO be open to getting a band of trustworthy scallawags together to think about, for example, the economy? I realize we have moderators (and whatever Faulkston is :P) out there, but I don't think this is their role. These players would be in closer communication with the OM/Devs (weekly or monthly group emails?) because it seems unlikely they OOO can pay someone to respond to even 5% of questions/suggestions posed on the forums. These players could be more "in the know" than the average player. So, OOO could say to these select few "Sorry mates, we've got our hands full dealing with XYZ issue right now; we'll talk next month." Then, us average pirates could hear from a well-informed pirate "Trust me, they've got their hands full at the moment" without releasing any more details than OOO would like released. Or, conversely, these select few could hear first hand that "This is definitely and important, but complex issue. We'll toss ideas back and forth" or, "Hey, that's pretty brilliant and sounds managable; we'll get back to you after some more thought".

That last thought was particularly rambly, but perhaps something similar could be worked out. Or not; again, we're really only entitled to so much. Or, perhaps it already exists in some form and I'm simply unaware.

Final thought, how has nobody kept a consumer price basket of sorts; tracked the prices of sloops, WBs, CBs, rum, doubloons, falchs/skull daggers, etc, perhaps the average prices on the ocean's capital island? The stuff players constantly use so we can definitively say "Yes, inflation has certainly happened at an average of x% since 2011" etc. I think we, the players, are clearly capable of tracking and recording this information. Also, if it exists, I would love to see this data. I know Algol is super awesome at population stats, but those only say so much.
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Long-dormant Sailintony , Midnight.
Actively Carlbert, Emerald.
[Oct 1, 2013 9:00:44 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Randomite

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Re: Another letter to OOO that I'm sure probably won't be read

Without addressing too much that's already been said, I'd like to add in something else. The game feels like it's dying. That in itself turns off players. Who is going to invest serious time and effort into something that they feel will soon be gone? I stopped playing as actively a while ago, and this is the only reason why. I don't want to go and spend time making money or getting blockades to happen if it's a pointless exercise. Unfortunately a pointless exercise is the feel that everything on the game is starting to have at the moment.

I played YPP actively for longer than I care to remember. The release of newer, shinier games would always be fun and a distraction but I'd still come back to YPP because it was fun to play. The problem is, I don't see where the fun is anymore. YPP created something great for the game in blockades, but nobody wants to blockade if there's no point to it, and with a declining player-base and fewer people to blockade against than there used to be, there isn't much hope for retaining those players that are left. The harsh reality is, a lot of the people who are "active" are actually social players, not YPP players.

Nobody wants to give money for the sake of giving money. There has to be a reason behind it, and right now, YPP simply isn't giving a good enough reason. Halt the constant decline, and this game could still live on. But no amount of krakens or third party releases is going to solve that. Advertising a broken game does not make people want to play it.
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Disengaged.

Dexade tells ye, "i m not talking to you and dont want your cookies!"
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by Randomite at Oct 2, 2013 4:32:24 AM]
[Oct 2, 2013 4:30:21 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Notsizzly

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Re: Another letter to OOO that I'm sure probably won't be read

I don't think it's a good practice from any company to ignore customers that are complaining - even if they're more raging than offering a well-constructed and positive feedback. In fact, the negative feedback is what we should listen the most since those are the areas that need improvement from the outsider's point of view (vs. the view from inside such as the employees of the company).

No, customer is not always right and frankly, quite rarily they are. However, it doesn't mean that they or their issues should be ignored or overlooked - it's part of good customer service to have the ability and skills to deal with them and to do your best to find a solution where everyone can be as happy as possible.

Transferring this straight into these issues and/or PP is somewhat against what I always preach (making direct comparisons between the real world and an online-game is silly) and I still think it's fine to ignore the player who complains about his ban and how it is unjustified, even after told the proper ways to handle his problem - but I don't see why Three Rings should (and more importantly, why WOULD they) just close their eyes from this thread and the problems that have been discussed in it, just because the tone or the title of the OP isn't necessarily positively constructive.

Rant end and yes of course I know everything. Also buying stuff.
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~ Sizzly of Emerald ~
Avatar by Aerecura <3
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by Notsizzly at Oct 2, 2013 11:52:23 AM]
[Oct 2, 2013 11:51:21 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
laladibla

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Re: Another letter to OOO that I'm sure probably won't be read

 


The three points were:

1) Population,
2) OM-player interaction, and
3) the economy.



Let's start with 2). Most of us have held a job before where we've had to deal with customers. Think about dealing with an irate customer. Are they pleasant to deal with? Do you help them more happily the angrier they are? So, if you were an employee of OOO, how would you feel simply reading the title of this particular thread? I personally would feel attacked before reading word one of the actual content. As stated, you've actually expressed specific areas for criticism which is a good thing. Just keep my point in mind: if I were a paid employee, I personally would not feel eager to touch this thread with a 10 foot pole, given the moderately aggressive title you've given the thread. I'm pretty sure that OOO has, technically speaking, filled their end of the deal by keeping the game online and giving us the subscriptions/doubloons for which we've paid. I feel the rest has to be dealt with cooperatively.


Now, get me if I'm wrong, but in any of these threads or letters to the OMs other than mine, some of them full of sincerity and others completely fuelled by rage, I think that we have HARDLY EVER had a completely satisfying response from an OM, which is why we assume that they are not properly reading our arguments and points.

It may be against their job contracts to respond to letters like these, but that defeats the point of a community manager's job? Who is meant to be in charge of that anyway? Last time I checked, it was Eurydice. Now, I don't know much about how running a game development company works, but surely positive interaction with your community is sure to appease inquisitive players.

By treating us and our complaints with contempt like this I don't think anything will get solved. Indeed, I think realistically Y!PP is beyond saving, and their best measure would probably be to recoup whatever profits they had left, set the game into auto-mode (like Guild Wars 1), and perhaps focus on something else....maybe even a Puzzle Pirates II, but fixing the problems of the old game.

OOO has proved they can make successful games and listen to their community in the past. I mean, we have players (such as my friend Emmett), who have designed game assets. Someone on the forums rightfully suggested that Puzzle stats had no sensible order and the OMs changed that. Spiral Knights, which I think most of their staff are currently allocated on, is doing very well at the moment, getting quite a lot of people playing it every day.

That shows that their innovation hasn't run out. Although YPP may be in too niche a genre to be able to justify a second incarnation, I would sooner hedge my bets on that rather than the OOO saving the game anymore, after all it's inevitable, and don't you think 10 years is actually a pretty impressive time length for a game?

I just feel the Devs ought to be a bit more open with us, and allow our opinions to properly be considered. There are so many things from Y!PP which were just added in and left pretty much to rot (like Imperial Outposts)....I honestly thought that could lead to discovery of a "mainland", away from all of our achipelagos, or even a new BK under the guise of "The Empire". But there are plenty more which I don't need to go into details of right about now.


IN ANOTHER NOTE: A fellow KoL player! I am a former pastamancer myself, heh.
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Visionary/Visionarye - Coming soon to an ocean near you!

Mitchiie wrote:

 
"Yes. Snowwman is weird and Boyk is weird. They're definitely siblings. I just have to figure out who the sister is."

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Cybertox

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Re: Another letter to OOO that I'm sure probably won't be read

I wrote nice idea how to attract new players to the game. And know what? They suspended my game account and force wrote [blarney] about how I agree to their rules bla bla bla....

I regret only one thing, I pay them for account not to be deleted. It just the same as flush that money in closet.
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by Eurydice at Oct 3, 2013 10:38:30 AM]
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Karnisov

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Re: Another letter to OOO that I'm sure probably won't be read

Cybertox wrote: 
I wrote nice idea how to attract new players to the game. And know what? They suspended my game account and force wrote [junk] about how I agree to their rules bla bla bla....

I regret only one thing, I pay them for account not to be deleted. It just the same as flush that money in closet.


OOO is certainly good at burning bridges with their players.

I'm under a similar suspension currently, for calling Cleaver out on his bad decision making and ignoring player feedback. No profanity was used in the thread, but apparently that doesn't matter.

No wonder their game is dying. Glad I'm not riding the PP bus anymore, because Cleaver and friends are doing their best to drive it off a cliff...
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Karnisov
flinging poo on the forums because its more fun than playing your broken game
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by Eurydice at Oct 3, 2013 10:41:28 AM]
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SailinTony

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Re: Another letter to OOO that I'm sure probably won't be read

Point taken, Sizzly and Visionary. I didn't meant to suggest that you took an overly agressive tone, or that even if you had then you shouldn't. I merely meant to suggest that, were I an employee, it would sort of feel like walking into a fight right from the start. Of course the players have every right to voice their opinions.

So it seems complicated. Hopefully it gets settled in a way that makes the most die hard of YPP fans happy. I did see the poster after me took a similar idea to Game Design (on a phone, cannot attribute proper credit, sorry) so maybe something will happen there.

I still want to see some cool meat-- er, PoE sinks. Nothing advantageous for the super loaded folks, just something that we could voluntarily dump PoE into. Possibly tied to your "mainland" idea, that we would get something out of, if only pride.
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Long-dormant Sailintony , Midnight.
Actively Carlbert, Emerald.
[Oct 3, 2013 9:56:14 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
BobJanova

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Re: Another letter to OOO that I'm sure probably won't be read

To be fair, Karnisov, you're a self-proclaimed forum troll (see, for example, your sig) and you're deliberately pushing boundaries. It's a sign of how nice forum moderation is that you're still here, frankly.
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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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xelto

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Re: Another letter to OOO that I'm sure probably won't be read

 
I'm under a similar suspension currently, for calling Cleaver out on his bad decision making and ignoring player feedback. No profanity was used in the thread, but apparently that doesn't matter.

Given the very aggressive tone you've used to criticize them-- repeatedly-- in the last several years, I can't say I'm surprised.
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Gurndigarn on Emerald Ocean
"Oh, come on. You jobbed onto a ship called the Cursed Isle Raider and you expected *refined*?"
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by xelto at Oct 3, 2013 1:12:50 PM]
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Randomite

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Re: Another letter to OOO that I'm sure probably won't be read

 
 
I'm under a similar suspension currently, for calling Cleaver out on his bad decision making and ignoring player feedback. No profanity was used in the thread, but apparently that doesn't matter.

Given the very aggressive tone you've used to criticize them-- repeatedly-- in the last several years, I can't say I'm surprised.


He's not the only one commenting though. But nothing's been done to solve it. Just because a few state it in ways that aren't what would make them comfortable doesn't mean that the massive amount of people who have been calling for similar things for years should be ignored, like they have been.
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Disengaged.

Dexade tells ye, "i m not talking to you and dont want your cookies!"
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