Basically, you shouldn’t stop ratting in your super carrier

I was reading a post about Guardian’s Gala event in EVE by Wilhelm and kept asking the same question, not understanding why he doesn’t see the problem. It turned out, he did and wrote it himself:

All told, if the odds were ever in your favor, you could bring in upwards of 100 million ISK per hour with optimum drops. But that seems unlikely. Reality is probably closer to 30 million ISK per hour, and that is indirect because you have to schlep back to a market hub to sell your loot.

Basically, you shouldn’t stop ratting in your super carrier to run off and harvest the bounty of Guardian’s Gala. All the SKINs and learning accelerators you want will be on the market in Jita waiting for you and your ISK to show up.

Even my dank 10-18 million ISK ticks in my little Ishtar are a better value as I get that and all the loot and salvage as well.

But as a distraction from whatever you’re doing in New Eden currently Guardian’s Gala probably isn’t the worst thing you could choose.

This is a fundamental problem in EVE and all MMOs that allow free trade of rewards. There is no point doing any other activity than what provides you the best currency/effort ratio and just buy all the rewards from other activities. Back in my days in EVE I was trading implants and boosters and whatnot and never bothered to do ratting myself or run incursions or gank filled freighters, because it would be lower ISK/hour.

Currently the most profitable in supercarrier ratting, just as I predicted 3.5 years ago when I saw the document of shame, the pivotal point of turning EVE into an RMT cashout platform. (I’m pretty smug about how accurate I was in predicting the future)

I just don’t understand one thing. Why does Wilhelm play EVE after realizing its futility himself?

But back to games. This is the reason why free trade must be removed from games, it optimizes 95% of the content out of the game. You either master one aspect of the game and do only that (which is repetitive) or you spend real money (on legitimate token buy or illicit RMT). If you don’t do these, if you actually play all content, you get much less rewards.

Of course having zero trade is bad too, since it forces players to do all activities including ones they hate. On solution is guild-only trade that create guilds that do everything, while players can still somewhat specialize: the guild miners get minerals, guild ratters get ISK, guild missioners get LP items, guild WH-ers get T3 materials, guild industrialists create the ships and guild whales provide the PLEX. The other solution is highly taxed trade, like half of the currency the buyer pays goes away, so if you can get a reward with more than 50% efficiency, you are better off than doing your 100% activity and buying it from someone who created it with 100%. This of course mean that all kinds of trades must be taxed or removed.


PS: more loot box ban news


I need a hero!

Where have all the good men gone,
and where are all the gods?
Where’s the street-wise Hercules,
to fight the rising odds?

OK, back to 2018. I’m progressing in PUBG duos, already at 2170 rating, #250, top 0.03%. That’s nice. But I’m playing less and less, because I find less and less duo partners. Considering that we are winning and everyone who plays with me are also rising in rank, I don’t really understand where have they gone.

Is it a generic PUBG lull? PUBG lost players in the last 30 days, which is the first time since its release. There are many reasons for that, devs aren’t fixing bugs, people generally hate the new, desert map and cheaters are running rampart again, at least in third person view.

But I’m afraid it’s rather with my project. Many players, even competitive players get bored by optimized, but not really “fun” gameplay. Jumping out alone (far from your partner) against duos forces players to not shoot, because even if they get the kill, the other guy will surely kill them. I gets boring after a dozen games. Not for me, the constant increase of rating is enough to make me satisfied and also, I’m reading news on the other screen when I’m hiding in a bathroom and no hostile sounds are to be heard.

I wanted duos this season to fill up the roster to be able to start squads next season, but now it looks like a pipe dream. The duo project this season is already a success, but I definitely want bigger one, getting to the toplist is a reasonable goal, assuming there will be teammates.

So if you are interested in outplaying all the “skillz” kids, join, even as a total newbie! After a few solo games you learn basic movement and after that you are a valuable member of the duo, even if you die before me 90% of the time. The other 10% you save me from a pretty bad rating loss.

Those who participated, just got a bit bored, please remember that the season won’t wait. We must reach high rating before it ends, because it resets again, while old season data will forever be listed.

For myself, it seems I have to start looking for the next game. Even if I can drag enough participants for this duo season, I have to realize that my PUBG playstyle won’t be a smash hit. It’s more likely that those who test it will consider the game “solved” and move on to other games, because staying isn’t fun and the win is already achieved (if you are in the top 0.1%, you can consider the game won). I’m eyeing Life is Feudal.

Streisand effect – Deliverance

Kingdom Come – Deliverance didn’t look like a smash hit. It has no new gameplay or unique ruleset. It’s a dime a dozen story-driven RPG where you walk around, talk to questgivers and townsfolk, fight baddies in a medieval settings. According to the videos and promises it looked decent, but so do a dozen others who used the same CryEngine. Before you’d assume, it’s neither a scam, something that promise the World and deliver nothing to fanatized fans. It provided what it promised, an OK story played through. It was destined to be another RPG that the fans of that genre will buy and play for some hours, probably enough to make it profitable.

No one saw this coming, least the creators. They didn’t struck gold either like PlayerUnknown, since they don’t have any new formula to copy. I guarantee that there won’t be Fortnight: Deliverance.

Or to be more specific, they didn’t create anything unique game-wise. But they did something unique PR-wise. It started that someone (that I do not know) found that this game has no black people in it. Which kind of makes sense, considering it plays in the Eastern European countryside in 1403, where foreigners (even from neighboring countries) were rare. In itself it wouldn’t be news even 5 years ago. But the political left went crazy over the past years. Not long ago, you were only racist when you negatively and stereotypically portrayed groups. Now you are “racist” if you don’t portray them. Because everything must be about social justice. They would probably find the 90-es TV series Friends “racist”. Not kidding.

Anyway, these type of SJWs attack everything they don’t like (and they like nothing, because they are crazy). But – unlike most studios that hope to survive by pandering to them – the lead dev flipped the bird to the ever-encroaching Social Justice Warriors and flat out refused to change the game:

He also made various statements with the obvious purpose to annoy SJWs:

The result? Both liberal and conservative sites wrote about the game. This is how I learned about it. I also checked it out – and found it not my type. But I did check it out, unlike dozen other games. Those games had no chance to even introduce themselves to me. This advertising cost them not a dime. Sure, it wasn’t without cost, it guaranteed that no liberal – not even moderate liberal – bought it. But conservatives, rebel-minded people did. And as practically everyone heard of it, that’s a big base. “About half” of the people (40-60%) votes right-wing in the US and in the EU countries. In some places it’s enough to win an elections, in other places it’s not. But it’s no way a fringe group. It’s about a hundred million people (including non-voting family members) both sides of the Atlantic. They are a market with purchasing power. They can uphold games. I’m sure the liberal side could too, but that side is saturated as practically every product tries to not look “-ist”, ergo if one makes a left-wing product, it’s lost in the competition to everything else. Being left-wing isn’t unique selling point. But being right-wing (even in the hilariously mild way of not putting blacks to medieval Eastern-Europe) is a unique selling point.

I expect many more “right-wing” games to come.

I didn’t realize how old I became

The PUBG reddit had a survey about lot of PUBG and subreddit-related behavior. As always it represents only the 10K redditors who chose to fill out the survey. But it’s probably not far from the larger PUBG community. The survey is available in full.

The most interesting response were the game preference:
The redditors, who are more engaged players (since they bothered to participate in discussions about the game) are more skewed to FPP and duo/squad then the total playerbase:

Otherwise – not like it wasn’t obvious already – it became clear how differently I play from them. They prefer mid range weapons and sniper rifles and avoid close range ones.

But most importantly, I belong to a barely existing age group:

Considering that, my top 0.05% position isn’t that bad. Also, it somewhat explains why they are so hostile to my playstyle. Children!

If they’d try to nail a Cacodamon uphill in the snow in 320×200 resolution with nothing but a double barrel in Doom II, they’d learn some respect! Damn kiddos! Or taking cities with nothing but catapults and archers in Civ I, none of these weaklings could do it. They became soft and weak, not like us who walked the Earth in the age when men had penis and women had vagina.

Nurse, where are my teeth?!

If he is a cheater, so are all the “pros”

There is another debate/whine about cheaters in PUBG. This time the US top 3 duos are accused of cheating.

What’s the problem? I’ve watched all the “evidence” videos and haven’t seen anything that I haven’t seen a thousand times on popular streams. Yes, they always “know” where the enemy is hiding. Yes, they headshot everything in sight. But so do Shroud, DrDisrispect and all the famous “pros”.

I haven’t seen any WGQun123456 level cheating, like killing someone through the wall or shooting into the blind distance and get a kill or headshotting vehicle drivers or speedhacking. All I saw is inhumanly good reflexes and intuition. But isn’t “inhumanly good reflexes and intuition” the definition of “pro play”?

This reminds me to the Geguri incident when a player was accused for cheating because she maintained perfect aim during movement like the aimbot users usually do, but she could clear her name by playing on a clean computer front of audience.

The problem is fundamentally that “git gud” is equal to “get as good as a $5 commercial cheat program”. Players celebrate “skillz”, things that can be easily emulated by some primitive program. Then they get surprised by being beaten by someone using said program. Besides cheats that shouldn’t exist at the first place (the server shouldn’t allow you run faster than possible or pass walls), there is no way to defeat cheats. Proper client-server setup prevents you from see through walls, but nothing helps against a program that simply “plays” the game “fairly”, I mean taking only input that legit players get and performing actions that legit players can do.

Sure, commercial cheats can be analyzed and scanned down in the memory. But custom made or exclusive cheats cannot.

“Git good” necessarily spawns cheating. The only way to prevent it if the game is designed to test intelligence and not hand-eye coordination. For example if in PUBG the player rotation speed would be limited to what a human can do and movement would ruin aim, just like it does in reality, the winner would be the one who plans his actions better instead of the one who rushes in and just headshots everything by spinning and jumping and aiming while doing all these. As long as players value “skillz” that can be simulated by a $5 program, there will be $5 programs.

Being paid for playing games

Raph Koster, drawing charts of game prices came to the conclusion that “Some games will be paying you to play them”

Which is true, except it’s already here. You can buy Blizzard games and game services with farmed WoW gold, making you essentially be paid to play WoW. If I would bother to go through the horrible market system of Steam, I could sell my crates for $100, which isn’t bad considering I paid $30 for the game. Also, many “players” are involved in RMT in many games, gaining money for “playing” the games.

I’ve concluded long ago that players are paying to win, not to play, they value the game access to zero or even negative. From that position, Raph’s revelation is rather inevitable than revolutionary.

This is common in real life “games”. The rafter “player” pays the rafting guide or the hobby diver for the dive instructor. Those people are also on the raft/diving, to an uninitiated they look the same “dudes in the boat”. In reality they are “good players” who are paid by “n00bs” to carry them through the “dungeon”.

This will inevitably happen in video games. RMT (illicit or dev-supported P2W) can bring you stats, not experience. The future is buying a “team” who will play with you instead of just handing you game gold that you can use to be powerful while solo.

I don’t think game companies should try to stop this or monetize it, just like the scuba gear shop doesn’t try to stop you from hiring a diving instructor. Why? Both you and the instructor need gear and gas. While RMT hurts the game, paid “friends who play with you” do not. Game companies should rather create a safe marketplace for these deals, with easy way of payments and writing reviews.

Oh look, I was right again (lootbox laws)

I predicted that politicians will jump on lootboxes like sharks on a wounded target.

Now here is the news that Germany is about to ban lootboxes completely. This legislation proposal in Hawaii wants to ban all randomized rewards.

Oh, and I was also right about the angle of the legislation: save the children. They want to make the games with random rewards 18/21+ (and ban some practices completely). If you are still in disbelief, mark my words: in a year or two, the gaming industry will be just as regulated as Casinos.

It wasn’t a wild guess, politicians regulate everything that has money in it. Why other people (including the executives who OK-ed lootboxes) didn’t see this? Because social people tend to think of the status quo as normal. The internet was unregulated, so it will be unregulated. However this was only true because no one made enough money on the internet to matter. As long as it changed, the politicians changed too.