Massively OP Podcast Episode 175: Virtual heartbreakers

On this week’s show, Bree and Justin get a little bit crazy and weird as they date MMO NPCs, throw themselves into the middle of studio fights, take a ride on the delay/launch whiplash train, and more!

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

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sophiskiai

Bree’s cynical snark mode is an absolute joy to listen to :)

To add my tuppence to the monetisation comments, as somebody on a tight budget I’d also like to support the games I love but can’t justify spending £5-£20 on something like a skin or mount. I’m sure the companies have done the sums and worked out that they make the most money by selling stuff at those price points, but I’d like to see at least a few cheap items (which aren’t pointless consumables) in cash shops for those of us who don’t have much money to spend but would still like to buy something.

This is one of the many things I think Warframe does right with its monetisation – there are items in its store for many hundreds of Plat, but just this evening I was able to buy a glyph I liked the look of for only 20 Plat. And given that I waited several months (till I had a 75% discount on buying Plat from a random daily login reward) to stock up on some of the currency, I think that works out at something like 20 pence? So everybody wins – I get to buy a shiny, Warframe gets me used to using the cash shop making me more likely to make other purchases, and they may not make much money on that one sale but across thousands of customers even tiny purchases like that add up!

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TomTurtle

I’ve never given thought to romance mechanics in an MMO until now. I find that odd considering how I’ve played some of BioWare’s games.

I know there have been wedding systems in place for players, but that’s more of a tool than an explicitly designed mechanic. I definitely feel like an MMO would remove a lot of the novelty of a romance system since players would talk about who they date and you end up with situations where you find out how multiple players are dating the same NPC. It wouldn’t feel as personal at that point.

And this thought process hasn’t even touched about doing romance well, which is a huge undertaking in of itself, as you made mention of on the podcast.

I still find interest in how successful cash shops can be as monetization techniques. That a game like GW2 can stabilize itself so well in between paid content updates thanks to optional things like cosmetics in its cash shop is remarkable.

Oh and I lean towards the idea that ArenaNet’s limited availability tactic works better for impulse purchases. I feel that a good number of players make purchases that they probably wouldn’t have made otherwise.

I’m not praising that tactic, mind you. I’d love full-time availability too. It’d just have to come with a better UI as well considering how many items there have been made for GW2.

Bree Royce
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Bree Royce

I think you’re probably right about. Unfortunately, the type of people who play an MMO like GW2 are probably the type of people who go for those purchases on the whole.

But I just don’t shop that way. I make 10 lists and I sit on my lists and I plan for days or weeks before buying stuff. If I still want the thing after sitting on it a while, then I get it. And sometimes the urge passes. So I’m looking for a cash shop (and game!) I can plan around, you know?

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McGuffn

You can tell Justin isn’t an addict. He got he highest score in Secret World so he’s over it, He’s begging to be monetized but doesn’t find anything to pull the trigger on….

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Bionicall

Crio is an OTTER. Not a weasel, or an alpaca. As someone who plays Black Desert regularly, and listens to the podcast, I am often struck by things that this game does that you are mentioning other games should (like charge more for costumes, *sigh*), and is constantly adding content that isn’t end-game focused. I personally am not interested in the NPC dating thing, or in any of the costumes, but there is nothing in-game that is bound to them – you are not missing out by ignoring them. I am not proselytising for the game, but just find it a dichotomy that in the same podcast you mock one system, yet cry out for different ways to play later?

Bree Royce
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Bree Royce

Thanks for correcting us on fantasy otters. :D

I believe we made the point that NPC interactions a la SWTOR really enrich the game and we like systems like those. BDO’s dating system, unfortunately, is basically just a leaderboard attached to a gold sink.

Yes, Glitch needed to charge more than a a few cents for costume pieces. That doesn’t mean games charging $20+ per costume are doing it right.

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Bionicall

I think most costumes in BDO are $30, which I feel is a bit pricey.
The dating system looks to be tied not just to gold but an existing “amity” system, which is to say not just a pure gold sink. Still as far as new systems being added to games go, it is at least a new system. It seems that BDO’s attitude is to throw stuff out and see what sticks. The monetisation seems to be working for them (at least they have enough revenue to generate new ideas/ports).

Bree Royce
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Bree Royce

I agree on that – they are one of the very few MMOs pumping out some sort of novelty every single week. They definitely get props for that. I didn’t think they could sustain it, but they keep on.

Minimalistway
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Minimalistway

For Classic WoW, the base is 1.12, but not necessary the content, i’m expecting they will release the content in patches, it wouldn’t be wise to release all the content in first patch.

“Bree’s Buttcape Specials” sounds like a great band name … thanks for the laugh Justin :-D

Zulika Mi-Nam
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Zulika Mi-Nam

I would be concerned that after I got attached to a BDO NPC that they would reveal to me that they were actually Trahearne is disguise due to some sick cross promotion.

Also this podcast now has 100% more Spotify !!!

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McGuffn

Maybe i misheard but I think it’s so strange that you get the Heartbreaker title for romancing 10 people. If they all leave you after a week for someone richer you should be Heartbroken. Maybe Penniless too.