Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Elyria, Fame Inflation and Pay-to-Grief

A couple of second thoughts after my last post on Chronicles of Elyria's amusing take on fleecing its customer base:

The subscription time loss per death ramps up with a player's "fame" which the developers are apparently leaving utterly up to their own discretion. So, as the game wears on and customers get more emotionally invested in the ongoing struggle (and therefore more likely to re-subscribe if they're perma-killed) expect to see inordinate proportions of characters get upgraded to "notable" or "prominent" and higher to speed up their next $30 payment.
Expect it to play out like magic item inflation. Pretty much no-one except complete newbies will be "unknown" after a while, just like no-one uses "common" items past level 3 in a fantasy game. They will likely justify it by telling you you've been involved in the game world long enough that your fame has increased... even if you're Joe Schmoe doing nothing more eventful than killing ten rats.

Assume a 1.5x or 2.0 inflation to your death penalties at the very least, more likely 4x if you're really obsessed with the game and they can be sure you'll come begging for more abuse. Compound that with your 4x death penalty every day you join a PvP battleground, and your elevated "griefer" penalties whenever you decapitate someone, and however else the developers decide to stack the deck against you. They will ensure you don't get more than three months for your $30, if that.

Scratch Elyria not being pay-to-win. It is:
"We recognize that not all players can (or want to) spend the same amount of time per week farming gold for that special armor. We also recognize some people have a ton of free time, but not a lot of money. We're attempting to equalize this by having an in-game exchange market."

Legitimized cheating for the fatcats. Ensure rich players who already don't give a shit about their subscription cost are also the best-geared, empowering them to grief endlessly and with as great an impact as possible, inflicting as many quick perma-deaths on others around them as possible and therefore driving up the community's re-subscription rate as a whole.


God damn. The more I read into this, the more it looks like an outright scam - and the more I want to buy into it just for the trainwreck appeal, just to be there watching innocent teenagers who thought they were buying a year's worth of game time get booted out after one or two months, then spammed with "discounted" re-subscription e-mails. As though a 10 or 20% discount is going to compensate for an 80 or 90% reduction in playtime. Forty bucks so I can witness the most hilariously sadistic MMO scam since Project Entropia. I want to taste that river of tears.

I think I need to play this game. Why? Because I fucking hate myself, that's why.

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