Tag Archives: Conspiracy Theory

EVE Online Gets Daily Login Rewards Starting with Free Skill Points

Do you realize that fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous Communist plot we have ever had to face?

-Gen. Jack Ripper, Dr. Stangelove

Daily login rewards are pretty much a staple of free to play MMOs these days, a little incentive to get you into the game in order to make their active user statistics look better, with a possible chance of maybe getting you to play.  From the Hobbit presents in Lord of the Rings Online (including on the Legendary server) to boosters in War Thunder, free games that don’t play that card are few and far between.  It is certainly an aspect of Black Desert Online, if you want to continue to stoke that concern.

And now CCP seems to be getting on board with that idea…  again.

You may remember two and a half years back, in May of 2016, CCP tried putting a daily into the game.  Those were called “recurring opportunities” and awarded players with 10K skill points if they would just undock and shoot an NPC.  This “thrill of the hunt” plan turned out to be not all that thrilling, because CCP pulled it a month later, citing little change in logins.

The mistake made, it seems, was requiring a player to undock and do something.  That was the old CCP, which really wanted players to get out and blow stuff up.  But real MMOs just hand stuff out for merely logging in, so the new Pearl Abyss owned CCP is going to try it that way now.

Sure, it seems like a simple event, a one-off to celebrate the Onslaught expansion released earlier this week.  It is only a weekend of double skill points.

How can double be bad?

I am going to get side tracked for a bit on how muddled the message of this campaign is.

That graphic, which they are using everywhere for this campaign, including in an email blast to players, which surprisingly went out in a timely manner, makes it sound like your skill training speed will be going 2x.  So if you are training at 2,700 SP per hour, it should be going 5,400 per hour from today until November 19th hits, right?

Wrong.

Nothing is being doubled here, any more than your ISK is getting doubled in Jita.

Instead, if you log in two of the next three days (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday), you will get some skill points applied to one of the characters on a given account.  You get 25K SP if you have an Alpha account and 50K SP if you have an Omega.

What you see when you log in… with obligatory push to go Omega

That is nice.  I never turn my nose up at free skill points.  But that is “double” for very specific definitions of the word.

For example, your default Alpha character trains skills at 900 SP per hour, which only gives them 21.6K SP per day.  So the 25K SP they get is actually more than double for a day, but with only two gifts over the three days, actually less than double over the course of the event.

And don’t get me started on what double would actually mean to an Omega with implants, attributes optimized, and a cerebral accelerator running.

But double sounds good, and I guess “double speed” sounded even better in a conference room somewhere.  It isn’t something to get mad about, but it is an eye rolling opportunity.

And using that terminology managed to get at least one gaming site to declare that your training speed would be doubled AND you would get free SP for logging in as well, which led to a grumpy comment from me as I had provided the tip, taking pains to describe what the event actually entailed.

Anyway, you have to click the claim button when you log in, after which you get one or two 25K SP items in the redemption UI.

This little bit at the bottom of the screen

You just drag those on to whichever character you want and the skill points go to them.

Be warned, you don’t get a skill injector or such in game.  These skill points go directly into the “unused skill points” pool for the character you select.

Just do that on two of the next three days and you’ve got your free skill points.  Enjoy!

Which may leave you asking why I am suddenly on about daily login rewards becoming a thing.  This is just one event, right?  CCP has done this before, right?  I mean, we had to log in every day for how many days to collect gifts from the Yule Lads for Yoiul that one year, remember?

While CCP has in fact handed out gifts like this on multiple occasions, even making us log into the game daily at times, up until now they haven’t bothered to add an element to the UI in order to support this sort of thing.  And so I would like to present Exhibit A:

Exhibit A

There it is, stuck to the Neocom bar, annoyingly close to where I like to keep the notifications button, a specific UI element for “Daily Login Campaigns.”  It is the box with little boxes at the corners and an X though it, with another little box in the center… which I am pretty sure is the Illuminati symbol for “trap them within presents” or “boxes of depth” or “I can’t find the circle tool in my drawing program.” Fnord.

It is also on the lower left of the character select screen as well!

So this is your Friday conspiracy theory.  CCP is now serious about jumping on the login rewards bandwagon.  You don’t add a UI element and name it “Daily Login Campaigns” if you aren’t serious about running daily login campaigns.

Now, maybe it won’t be an every single day thing, like Hobbit presents or whatever.  But they will be a regular, recurring thing from now on.  You can bet on it.

Others on about this campaign or the idea in general:

 

Quote of the Day – CCP Picks Winners

Goons were untouchable until they failed to deliver the $150K. Then they became outcasts overnight and the IWI RMT block became above the law – until they met with real life gambling law. Then IWI got banned overnight and the devs found their next “winner”: whoever controls the trillions-for-nothing Perimiter citadels.

Gevlon, You can’t compare reality with a dream

So there you have it, the Imperium lost the Casino War because it failed to raise a $150,000 payoff for CCP.

Signs of a vast Goon conspiracy

I love me a good conspiracy theory, and here is Gevlon continuing to justify his leaving EVE Online… so long after he left that you have to wonder who he is really addressing here… the goblin doth protest too much methinks… by claiming that CCP picks winners.  It also seems to invalidate his claim that he beat Goons by funding Mordus Angels.   If CCP picked the winner, then I guess he didn’t really enter into it.  After the failed Kickstarter, Goons were doomed already.

This is especially timely as the CSM 12 elections are going on right now and CCP is working to try and get the non-null sec part of the game to actually give a shit and vote.  CCP isn’t actively campaigning against null sec.  But getting out the vote clearly works against null sec sweeping the election yet again.  Is this how one picks winners? (Cue “CCP could be doing more!” comment)

I would actually like to put Gevlon’s conspiracy up against Dinsdale Pirannha’s, because the Din/Vin spin is that Goons run CCP and that every thing they do is strictly to benefit them.  In his world, Goons were slated to win the war (quote on record), banning IWI was just removing an RMT competitor, and Goons really own whatever citadel is making money one jump from Jita. (Also something about fellatio now and again because Din is so angry he has to personify the imagined collusion into a sexual relationship.)

My own observation of the current “winners,” which is anecdotal, but which has persisted over months, is that citadels one jump from Jita do not have all that much impact on the market.  I extract and sell a skill injector every week at the Caldari Navy Assembly Plant at Jita Planet IV moon 4, and the prices listed in Perimeter have no bearing on what I can get for the injector.   I look at the market, sort the prices low to high, scroll past all the low ball Perimeter listings to where the Jita price stands, list in that range, and the injector sells within hours despite being priced as much as 20% above the Perimeter citadel price.

I am sure some people buy in Perimeter.  I would if it were my ISK.  But clearly the habit and the implied safety of Jita 4-4 is strong enough to be worth a bonus.  Plus it is still the place to buy everything else.  Perimeter is really only trying to corner the PLEX and skill injector market.  Nobody is hauling all of their production to a third party citadel.

And those citadels are not even that safe.  A reader sent me a PLEX in game for answering some questions, contracted to me from a citadel in Perimeter. (Thank you, btw!)  Only when I went to collect it, I found it was in the safety tab of my assets window with a timer before it would appear in an NPC station.  The citadel it was in had been destroyed.  Oops.  Now I have to wait until I can buy it out of hock.

Anyway, this sounds like a classic choice of malice over ignorance.  Do you think CCP is picking winners?  Is CCP just bad at predicting consequences?  (Or believing when players point them out in advance?)  Or is this just along the lines of Malcanis’ law (another Gevlon favorite), where anything aimed at helping newer players ends up helping the entrenched older players even more so?

Looking forward to the inevitable Gevlon and Dinsdale comments on this.

The Further Diminution of Station Cash and Additional Intrigue

Daybreak Games announced yesterday that they would cease selling physical game cards for Daybreak Cash (which I am going to call Station Cash from here forward out of habit/tradition) or All Access membership effective last week.  The cards should have been pulled from stores as of September 26.

Soon to be gone

Soon to be gone

Naturally, in the grand SOE tradition, ads for these cards are still all over the various Daybreak game web sites despite the order to pull them from shelves.

Probably not coming to Target now...

Probably not coming to Target now…

Should you find such a card still on the rack at your local WalMart, because there is always somebody who doesn’t get the word, their ability to be activated will cease on November 8, 2016.  After that date they will just be colorful bits of plastic.

If you have an activated card, you can still redeem it for the foreseeable future, likely in part because California state law does not allow companies to expire or invalidate gift cards that customers have paid for.

The timing of this is… if not interesting, at least worth a moment of thought.

Daybreak sending out the word to pull Station Cash cards off the rack a full week before they announced to customers that the cards would be going away was not accidental.  They clearly wanted to get at least some of the cards off the rack before they told people.

But why?

There are downsides to such cards.

The cards have a bit of a checkered history, being one of the sources of Station Cash that helped devalue the currency back in the day with “Triple Cash” deals for redeeming cards and the inevitable bonus cash that WalMart demanded its customers get.

TripleSC01

Triple your take!

As a revenue source, Daybreak has to share a cut with the retailer and the card processor so, as Blizzard would rather you buy digital direct so they don’t have to share the loot, so Daybreak no doubt wishes you would just buy straight for them and leave them with the cut the middleman would otherwise take.

Then there is the accounting annoyance of such cards.  When a customer buys the card you cannot claim it as revenue until it is actually redeemed.  You have to carry that money on the books as an obligation.  In one of those way that accounting goes from measuring reality to becoming reality, you get the money and can spend the money, you just can’t claim the money towards revenue or profit.  But that likely doesn’t apply if Daybreak straight up sells you the Station Cash, because that transaction is done and you have your virtual good and/or service right away.

On the upside, those cards were low effort sales.  Somebody else has to ship them, put them on the shelves, ring them up and so on.  Daybreak just has to redeem codes and keep the accounts at their end.

And, of course, these cards are how players who do not have credit cards can buy Station Cash and All Access for their accounts.

So why kill them off?  If they were not selling enough, removing them from the shelves THEN announcing they were going away doesn’t make a lot of sense.  Doing it the other way around might have gotten them an injection of cash as people who wanted/needed to use them rushed out to pick up a few before they were gone.

And killing them off doesn’t end the accounting hassle.  That goes on for a while because you already have  this ecosystem of cards and some percentage always go missing and never get redeemed.

For this, I think we have to go back to a bit of news almost two weeks in the past, the announcement that one of Daybreak’s games, H1Z1: King of the Kill, was no longer going to use Station Cash and would be getting its own virtual currency with the generic name “Crowns.”  Not “Daybreak Crowns,” just “Crowns.”

So while Connor over at MMO Fallout attributes this to possibly more Daybreak financial woes, I wonder if this portends further changes at the company.  They have cut one of their games out of their Station Cash herd and now they are shutting down a somewhat passive revenue stream without trying to give it a final, farewell milking.

Are we looking at the start of some sort of splitting up of Daybreak into smaller, perhaps more saleable parts?  The Crowns announcement started people wondering that.  Does the retail card cut further that?  Is this another preparatory move, or just Daybreak trying to simplify their business?

Anyway, the announcement and brief FAQ is available here.

Today’s Conspiracy Theory – The WoW 5.0.4 Patch

I love a good conspiracy theory.  For me few things beats fanciful speculation based on cherry-picked facts and impossible to prove or disprove motivations.  It makes for grand entertainment.

For example, it seems to be almost a given in certain quarters that Blizzard’s decision to drop the WoW 5.0.4 patch today is an attempt to distract attention away from the Guild Wars 2 launch.

Evil pandas are EVIL!

If you ignore the fact that major patches and launches always happen on Tuesday in the US, that there are only so many Tuesdays between now and the Pandaria launch (which itself had to launch before the WoW year long subscription deal started to expire), that Blizzard always drops this sort of new content about a month before an expansion launch, and that it is a freaking patch that really only impacts people who are already playing WoW… with all of that irrelevance out of the way, you can clearly see the conspiracy unfolding.

So let us look at what the evil masterminds at Blizzard have deployed to spoil the Guild Wars 2 launch!  What bits of candy and other tasty tidbits will become to WoW in this spoiler patch.  The patch notes tell all!

Details after the cut to protect the young children from these stunning and graphic revelations!

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