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pomfret

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Hybrid Ocean... Again! Reply to this Post
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I have done a search but could not find any thread specifically addressing how a hybrid ocean may be made to work despite using just "hybrid" as the keyword. There were posts here and there, but I could not find a consolidated thread.

With the opening of yet another dub ocean, and more lamentations of where are sub oceans heading, I thought I would revive this discussion in a dedicated thread.

I recall one major obstacle that was mentioned in earlier posts is, "what about delivery costs?" That is a good question. But it is a dub-based hybrid ocean model question, for which nobody seem to have an answer to. I propose a sub-based hybrid model instead.

Essentially, the philosophy is:
(a) people pay RL money for access to parts of the game, by way of badges.
(b) all badges are log-in days based, lasting a standardized 30 login-days.
(c) subscribers pay a subscription to have access to all parts of the game, ie. essentially an "Everything Badge".

Examples of specific implementation (the figures here are only intended for illustrating the philosphy, the actual dub cost of course have to be tweaked to be balanced)

Political Badges
Royalty Badge (20 dubs) - To access royalty privileges. Royals are rich! So, there... And if your badge dusts, your title becomes "Pauper King/Queen/Prince/Princess of". :D
Governor Badge (20 dubs) - To access governership privileges. Yeah... yeah, if you are going to be a royal and a governor you might as well subscribe. :p "Ex-Governor" for a badgeless governor sounds mildly entertaining.

Rank Badges
Captain (20 dubs)
Senior Officer (12 dubs)
Fleet Officer (10 dubs)
Officer (8 dubs)
Pirate (2 dubs)

They are similar in nature to the ones currently in dub oceans.

Merchant Badges
Manager Badge (9 dubs) - Allows access to shoppe/stall management functions. Also allows 24 hour/day of offline labor, which can only be expended on shoppes/stalls that the holder is a manager or owner of. But... but... but how is a dub merchant supposed to compete with a subscribed merchant? Simple, don't think of dub costs as your business cost. They are RL money cost for playing the game.
Crafting Badge (5 dubs) - Allows access to crafting puzzles.

There is no Labor Badge. Only subscribers can provide off-line labor. To satisfy demands from non-subscribers, each subscribed account will be able to provide 24 hours of offline labor per pirate. Subscription has its privileges! And we don't want labor and foraging armies, do we? Well, at least non-paying ones.

Other Puzzle Badges
Bravery Badge (8 dubs)
Parlor Badge (8 dubs) - Access to all parlor games, except poker.
Poker Badge (8 dubs) - :O

Command Badges
These are required to command vessels of certain classes. They are required in addition to rank badges. Thus, an officer without a command badge do not have access to officer privileges on any ship despite having a valid officer badge.
Sloop Badge (4 dubs) - Access to officer privileges on dhow and smaller vessels.
Brig Badge (8 dubs) - Officer privileges on war brigs and smaller vessels.
Frigate Badge (12 dubs) - Officer privileges on all vessel classes.

Equipment Badges
Sword Badge - Required in order to equip certain swords. May be divided into 3 classes, costing 1, 2 and 3 dubs respectively, with the swords they be used for corresponding for simplicity's sake to swords lasting 30, 60 and 90 days with the exception of the backsword, foil and stick which require no badge. A falchion wielder whose badge dusts will end up fighting with a stick he picked up from the ground until he buys a new Sword 3 badge.

Bludgeon Badge - Same philosophy as sword badges.

Mug Badge (2 dubs) - To equip any mug.

Clothing (Laundry?!) Badge - Same general philosophy as Sword and Bludgeon Badges, but say cost 2, 4 and 6 dubs instead (vanity costs!), and correspond to clothes lasting 45, 60 and 90 days. If the badge dusts, what you wear that requires a corresponding badge will look like, um... dirty rags.
Gold Clothing Badge (3 dubs) - To wear black or gold clothes. Badge dusts and these color will turn a dusty tan until you buy the requisite badge.

Housing Badges
Think "rent" for non-subscribers. Unless the owner has paid the rent by having a valid badge of that class or higher, neither the owner nor room-mates will have access to the house. Everybody is locked out! :D

Cabin, bungalow and Cottage (3 dubs)
Row House and Town House (6 dubs)
Manor (9 dubs)
Villa (12 dubs)
Mansion (16 dubs)
Estate (24 dubs) Yeah, yeah. If you want to be royal and maintain an estate you might as well subscribe. :p

There can even conceptually be a "Pet Owner Badge" but I am not going down that route :p

While similar in some ways to dub oceans, the economy of such an ocean is likely to be very different because dub cost is associated with "use" instead of "acquisition". A major difference is there is no delivery fee. Instead, there are Equipment, Command and Housing Badges. Thus badges are generally more expensive in dub costs than in pure dub oceans.
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Pomfret of Midnight Cerulean and Most Oceans
Except when I am Scroogie or somebody else

Stupid merger made me change my signature...
[May 11, 2008 11:54:48 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
nunny_45

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Re: Hybrid Ocean... Again! Reply to this Post
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Sounds kinda pointless...... expecialy since if dub players want to play a sub ocean they only need 45 dubs for a month rather then all the costs in your idea, which basicaly makes it benifit only Sub players.
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Nunny
[May 12, 2008 1:46:36 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
pomfret

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Ahem. You forgot about the masses who do NOT want to spend $9.95 or even 42 dubs a month, but who contribute to the game by their presence, like the people who man the "ultra elite super duper blockade fleets", who may only spend 10 dubs or less a month with a pirate badge, or a parlor badge etc - and who are always in rags.

And yah. Getting more super-ultra, credit card swiping, egotistical, elite players to sink an additional 42 dubs a month regularly in order to play on a hybrid ocean is a large part of the idea. And they have to, because if they are not there, they are lily-livered landlubbers who can't make it out of their own green ponds.

Thus, if it sounds to you like, "How to get more dubbers to subscribe and more subscribers to buy dubs"...that's it! You've got the whole point in a nutshell!
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Pomfret of Midnight Cerulean and Most Oceans
Except when I am Scroogie or somebody else

Stupid merger made me change my signature...
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[Edit 2 times, last edit by pomfret at May 12, 2008 3:36:53 AM]
[May 12, 2008 3:17:52 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
nunny_45

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Re: Hybrid Ocean... Again! Reply to this Post
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You forgot about the masses who do NOT want to spend $9.95 or even 42 dubs a month, but who contribute to the game by their presence, like the people who man the "ultra elite super duper blockade fleets", who may only spend 10 dubs or less a month with a pirate badge, or a parlor badge etc - and who are always in rags.


They have Dub oceans for that. Pluss it will still costs more dubs for them to play on your Hybrid ocean then they pay on Dub oceans, and they get more for there buck.
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Nunny
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[Edit 2 times, last edit by nunny_45 at May 12, 2008 3:43:40 AM]
[May 12, 2008 3:34:55 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
pomfret

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Pluss it will still costs more dubs for them to play on your Hybrid ocean then they pay on Dub oceans, and they get more for there buck.

Your logic is impeccable, but unfortunately is not empirically supported. If logic has its way, nobody would be playing on dub oceans because it is cheaper to play on sub oceans.

Fact is, whether they get more for their buck on dub, sub or hybrid oceans would depend on their style of play. And where they play does not always depend on where they can "get more for their buck" because this is so subjective.

Examples:
(1) Someone who only likes a particular kind of puzzle, for example, parlor or crafting puzzles, may find dub oceans give more bang for their buck.
(2) The same someone, but who also likes to decorate a lot and buys lots of furniture, may find a hybrid ocean cheaper, since they do not have to sink dubs for each piece of furniture.
(3) Someone who dabbles in all the puzzles, will prefer a sub or hybrid ocean.
(4) That same someone, who prefers not to play against credit card monarchs, may prefer a pure sub ocean.
(5) Someone who likes to dress up A LOT, will likely find a hybrid ocean provide better value than either a dub or sub ocean, since they do not have to sink dubs for each item of clothing, or pay for a full sub for puzzles he or she don't play.
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Pomfret of Midnight Cerulean and Most Oceans
Except when I am Scroogie or somebody else

Stupid merger made me change my signature...
[May 12, 2008 4:34:20 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
rhandom

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I like it. Eliminating the delivery cost aspect of dubs in favor of an "access cost" is perfect.

A couple of minor changes:
Things that are subscription-free to access on sub oceans remain such.

I'd rather not see command badges for sloops.
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Hahvahd on Cerulean, Rhandy everywhere.

Once the pin is removed, Mr. Grenade is no longer your friend.
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dan1701

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Really nice concept. I'll give it greater thought at home. I do concur with Rhandom about the currently free on sub things, and probably the sloop bit aswell. A hybrid model like you've propsed could well be a great way to "save" the subscriber concept, and also add to OOO's income. I for one would move over from Midnight if the new ocean gained the popularity and thus activity that Midnight lacks.
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[May 12, 2008 6:05:59 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Fiddler

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Re: Hybrid Ocean... Again! Reply to this Post
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My "Micro-sub" idea: http://forums.puzzlepirates.com/community/mvnforum/viewthread?p=1384913#1384913
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tanonev

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Is this intended to replace the current model on sub oceans, or is it intended for use on new servers? If the latter, will doubscription remain an option on the old subscription servers? If so, is there sufficient motivation to play on a hybrid ocean instead of using a doubloon ocean to farm doubloons and doubscribing onto an old subscription ocean for your main play? If not, will there be a way to access Ice without using real money?
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Tanonev on all oceans; currently exploring Meridian.
Puppetar by Tilinka
[May 12, 2008 1:38:11 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://www.alpha-slash.com [Link]  Go to top 
nunny_45

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Maby turn current sub oceans into hybrids. That way they can have all the dub side effects of a dub ocean as mass amounts of poor jobbers but still not bother anyone with a new ocean.
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Nunny
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Mr_Monkey_12

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Im a person who is still pissed about Parlor Badges, I remember when they came out, no one in the inn could stop tarting about them, making these badges will only make life harder on greenies and not a very good start for them.
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Mrmonkey (Only comes in Hunter flavor)
 
If one writes a book about failer, and no one reads it, does it succeed?

Sorry if my spelling/grammar is bad/incorrect English isn't my first language.
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pomfret

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Is this intended to replace the current model on sub oceans, or is it intended for use on new servers? If the latter, will doubscription remain an option on the old subscription servers?

I expect that something like this will ultimately be a commercial decision.

There could be various possibilities:
(1) Introduce on a new ocean/server to see how it works out;
(2) Introduce into current sub-oceans;
(3) If on a new hybrid ocean, will current subscription on sub oceans extend to it, or will it be necessary to purchase an additional or supplementary subscription?
(4) Likewise, can dubs on dub oceans be usable on a hybrid ocean?
(5) It does not even preclude dub delivery fees (payable by everyone) for some items, but I suspect that this will be highly unpopular amongst subscribers.

No doubt some will lead to much tarting and HWFO. But ultimately it has to be commercially viable, ie. attractive enough that enough people will pay to play there without being put off by the cost.

But the first question still is: Is this do-able conceptually?
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Pomfret of Midnight Cerulean and Most Oceans
Except when I am Scroogie or somebody else

Stupid merger made me change my signature...
[May 12, 2008 9:17:55 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Sporktacular

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If logic has its way, nobody would be playing on dub oceans because it is cheaper to play on sub oceans.


Spank me and call me illogical, but I don't get that at all.

I may be looking too simply at it, but dub oceans are effectively free.

If you meant that buying dubs with real money isn't as cost effective as subscribing, that may be true, but when you buy dubs you are also effectively buying poez.

I don't mean to disagree as such, just asking for clarification.
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Kintoki, Captain of the Funkonauts. Viridianite.
[May 13, 2008 7:17:59 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
BehindCurtai

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I haven't taken a good look at this yet, and I don't like the first glance at the costs.

Keep in mind the two things that make dub oceans work:

1. People with more RL cash than time are willing to spend RL cash to get game cash, to make up for the lack of "grind time" to earn game cash in-game.

2. In order for the value of a dub to be constant amoung low-income players/characters and high-income players/characters, the dub cost of playing has to scale up with income, and is probably best measured as scaling up with expenses.

3. High-wealth players need a way to spend wealth without spending dubs -- at the extreme high end, dub costs have to increase slower than game cash expenses.

#3 is the only place where YPP fails (housing, portraits, furniture, pets, etc), and even at that, running a pillage costs nothing (balls, rum, and no ship decay), and dropping a warchest costs nothing.

#3 is the real oddball, btw. It does imply that part of the popularity of poker is that it doesn't take dubs to make use of large amounts of poe.
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"We're trying to find the error bars on that number"

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pomfret

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1. People with more RL cash than time are willing to spend RL cash to get game cash, to make up for the lack of "grind time" to earn game cash in-game.

RL cash can still be exchanged for game-cash in the dub exchange. This will also allow people who do not want to spend RL cash access to potentially all aspects of the game in return for "grind time", and thus contribute to the "buzz" of an ocean.
 
3. High-wealth players need a way to spend wealth without spending dubs -- at the extreme high end, dub costs have to increase slower than game cash expenses.

On the assumption that dubscription will still be available, dub costs can be capped by simply subscribing. Furthermore, spending game-cash per se will not increase dub costs because there are no delivery fees for most items. Whether there should nevertheless be dub delivery fees for "high-end" stuff (thereby allowing scaling) remains an open question but the model is flexible enough to accomodate it.

Running a pillage on dub oceans currently costs at least an officer badge or 8 dubs per 30 log-in days.

In a nutshell, the primary difference between this model and the current dub model is: (a) absence of dub delivery costs; (b) as a trade-off, more kinds of badges required and perhaps higher badge costs.

The removal of dub delivery costs makes it possible to marry both the sub and dub elements in one ocean.

The subscription element is still commercially important because there are also many people who are willing to spend RL cash to avoid the nickel and dime-ing involved in spending dubs. Marrying the two elements means this group of customers won't have to be kept separate from the rest in purely sub oceans.

I am ambivalent about dub delivery fees for high end items because a high-end subscriber who needs say 100 dubs to buy a white elephant can just go to the dub exchange. On the other hand, needing a badge (which decays by 1 log-in day every time you log in) in order to play a puzzle is, well... just annoying.

Don't ask me how something like this will impact both dub and sub oceans. For this reason, if something like this is to be introduced, I would prefer it is done in a brand new ocean.
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Pomfret of Midnight Cerulean and Most Oceans
Except when I am Scroogie or somebody else

Stupid merger made me change my signature...
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by pomfret at May 14, 2008 12:56:53 AM]
[May 14, 2008 12:42:51 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
BehindCurtai

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Essentially, the philosophy is:
(a) people pay RL money for access to parts of the game, by way of badges.
(b) all badges are log-in days based, lasting a standardized 30 login-days.
(c) subscribers pay a subscription to have access to all parts of the game, ie. essentially an "Everything Badge".


Part of what makes subscriptions work is "pay per wall time". You know that you are going to pay $X per month, regardless of how muc or how little you use it.

An "everything" badge that decays on login days runs counter to this whole issue.

Consider, as an example, cell phones with "$X per month" versus "$Y as you use it". Now, granted, that's not a good comparison. The $Y as you use it plans are almost always more expensive ... err, what was I saying? :-)

Now, before I go any farther: How do you intend to solve the furniture and housing issue? How do you deal with one person subscribed, delivering furniture, and then trading it to someone else, or placing it in the houses of the crewmates?

Heck, how do you deal with "I have a furniture alt; I only log him on when I want to deliver furniture or move stuff around; his one badge will last me half a year or more"?

Your model of "If the owner doesn't have a valid badge, no one can access the house" doesn't work for the house owned by the alt that rarely logs on.

On dub oceans, housing and furniture seems to provide a good revenue stream to three rings, by being a source of demand for dubs by high-wealth people, in turn supplying a good part of the "RL cash will get you game wealth" factor.

On this ocean, it looks like you will never need to spend more than a subscription, unless you want to trade money for game cash; hmmm...

I think I'm getting insight into the B!H model here... Your subbers never need to deal with gold, and your golders never need to deal with subs. (The "town pass" being cash, not gold. That's basically a mixed model.)

This would limit the amount spent by heavy players to the cost of a sub; beyond that, the only additional revenue to three rings would be money spent to let free players trade for time. It reduces the amount of dubs that they need; this reduces the demand for dubs on the exchange. This means less dubs sold, and the dubs selling at slightly lower poe prices. (Less demand for dubs => prices drop, fewer are sold, prices go up slightly.)
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"We're trying to find the error bars on that number"

Dylan wrote: 
Why buy sham poo when real poo is so readily available

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pomfret

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An "everything" badge that decays on login days runs counter to this whole issue.

True. The analogy is not quite correct is a subscription runs on calendar days. So a subscription is essentially an "everything" badge that decays on calendar days.
 
Your model of "If the owner doesn't have a valid badge, no one can access the house" doesn't work for the house owned by the alt that rarely logs on.

This is a valid point. Perhaps housing badges should decay on calendar days. The furniture is in the house and the house is "occupied" regardless of whether anybody logs on.

Which brings to mind the Merchant badge should perhaps also decay on calendar days.

So scrap (b). Most badges will decay on log-in days, but some on calendar days.
 
On this ocean, it looks like you will never need to spend more than a subscription, unless you want to trade money for game cash; hmmm...

Hmmm... indeed. Which is why I am not suggesting this model as a way to "convert" sub oceans because there are many subscribers who want to keep this out of their oceans.
 
This would limit the amount spent by heavy players to the cost of a sub; beyond that, the only additional revenue to three rings would be money spent to let free players trade for time. It reduces the amount of dubs that they need; this reduces the demand for dubs on the exchange. This means less dubs sold, and the dubs selling at slightly lower poe prices. (Less demand for dubs => prices drop, fewer are sold, prices go up slightly.)

Fewer dubs needed -> less demand -> lower dub poe prices -> more free players -> greater demand -> Argh!
I'm not even going to predict what the poe price for dubs are going to be on such an ocean. I guess that will depend a lot on how many people want to trade money for game cash and how many people want to trade game time for free play. It will find its own level somehow, which could possibly be a lot lower or higher than they are on dub oceans.
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Pomfret of Midnight Cerulean and Most Oceans
Except when I am Scroogie or somebody else

Stupid merger made me change my signature...
[May 14, 2008 11:33:27 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
HiimEric2001

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I think you're close, but there are an awful lot of badges and costs. I think such an ocean can be simplified into:

Have a doubloon exchange

Do not have delivery fees

Have the following basic badges:
1. Wear nice clothing badge
2. Use good weapons badge
3. Play parlor games badge
4. Go on sea monster hunts / adventure islands badge
5. Sail ships / access holds / be an officer badge
6. Provide labor badge
7. Arrange furniture / use special furniture (game tables, storage, etc.) [in houses] badge

Have the following multi-feature badges:
1. Monthly subscriber badge
2. Quarterly subscriber badge
3. Yearly subscriber badge
4. Long-term player subscriber badge

I'm sure the Ringers could make the decay times work properly.
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Cire
Purple Squid Brigade, Inglorious Fandango

 
Nemo says, "Cire has figured me out..."

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[Edit 1 times, last edit by HiimEric2001 at May 15, 2008 9:33:30 AM]
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Lonehwolf

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As far as I'm concerned, the OP overthought it. Just make a common dub ocean, and add a special badge, name it what you want. To acquire this, you need to pay real life cash. It will open everything for you.

Or just forget about this hybrid idea alltogether. It totally seems to put people in a disadvantage if they can't buy the badge. They'd me MUCH better off on a dub ocean, no matter how you tweak your logic.
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[May 15, 2008 1:42:11 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
pomfret

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Much easier to over-elaborate and pare down than the other way round.
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Pomfret of Midnight Cerulean and Most Oceans
Except when I am Scroogie or somebody else

Stupid merger made me change my signature...
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