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    Crate drop system and aftermarket.

    We had a discussion about this at the community event in May, since then I've been thinking about it on and off. We also don't seem to have a general discussion thread about it so here we go. I'm going to outline the general idea as I understand it and pose the benefits and risks; this is all quite wordy but there's a lot to cover. This valve GDC talk about the CS:GO marketplace implementation is really interesting and covers a lot of what I'm going to talk about; it also has some actual statistics but as they are based on the CS:GO implementation they may not translate 100%.

    Also please keep in mind that UT is free to play; but does need to produce a income!

    General Outline
    At the end of each game the player has a chance of receiving a locked crate containing a random cosmetic item from a predefined list. In order to open the crate they must purchases a Key from Epic. Both cosmetic items and crates may be traded between players at will, or sold on the player aftermarket. The exact details of how crates are assigned and what they can contain are up for debate, and can be tweaked.

    Cosmetic items are ranked by rarity; this helps define aftermarket prices. E.g. CS:GO knives are the rarest items, and the most valued by players. Hence they demand a high aftermarket price.

    Developer pros
    • Key sales are a reasonably predictable and measurable revenue source. For every crate given a (questionably sized) percentage of players will immediately buy a key to open it, a large proportion of the remainder will choose to sell their crates to the aftermarket store. Fewer will choose to do nothing, letting them sit in their inventory. If we assume that Epic take a small auction house fee, similar to Valves, then a large proportion of player interaction with crates results in measurable revenue.
    • Receiving a crate is an enjoyable experience for most players. Since crates and their contents persist players often feel they have earnt something extra from their gametime. This is especially relevant for newer players. Once a player owns something which they feel has an intrinsic value they are more likely to use it. This breeds further engagement; not only with that players, but those they play with.
    • This extra engagement extends beyond the crate/economy system and into the game as a whole. As playtime results in more crate drops players are more likely to play for longer, and more frequently in anticipation of a drop. Note; this is an additional intensive, the push for 'one more round', rather than the concept of players grinding for crates. Drops should always feel supplemental to the experience.
    • Both using 3rd party content for crates, and giving those developers a percentage of key sales and/or a aftermarket sale cut would provide further incentive for 3rd party developers to produce content. The income would be lower, but open ended. Writing a royalty system would be a pain, but I'm sure it could be done since you can track what drops from every crate and what get's sold on the aftermarket and assign a proportion accordingly.
    • If done right, spectating crate opening becomes exciting. There are very popular streams where a player spends the majority of their time open CS:GO crates with high viewer retention.
    • As the system is inherently secondary to the experience. Players may choose not to interact with it at all and not have their experience damaged. They may also choose to start interacting with it whenever they wish.


    Developer cons
    • Balancing crate drop chance is very difficult. They are essentially the baseline resource for the economy; too few and it stagnates, not enough players own items for them to feel valued, aftermarket prices either rise beyond what people are willing to pay, or tank though a lack of interest, etc. Have too many crates and you flood the market with both unopened crates, or undervalued cosmetics. CS:GO suffers from this. It all depends on the target baseline price of an average item, and how frequent you want your crate drops to be. Again this effects how players perceive the entire system, either too frequently, or infrequently results in players becoming disillusioned with crates, which can turn people off the system entirely.
    • The big issue with rarity, as valve pointed, is managing how you initially define rarity. In their case they chose to make bright/garish skins, only initially induced to provide a range of finishes, rare as a risk management strategy. If nobody liked them then their would be less in the game world, and if you owned one you would think better of it because of it's rarity. It turned out that these rare bright/garish had both a high use rate, and a high aftermarket sell price; i.e. counter to their exception. I suspect UT would have to do something similar. Making high risk items rare, keeping 'standard' items common and collecting some metrics.
    • Speaking more long term, this system demands high turnover. You are constantly racing against the time it takes for the average player to accrue the cosmetics they want from the limited set. Constantly issuing new cosmetics is the only way to stay ahead of this. However controlling both the raw crate drop rate, and the rarity percentages allows you to manage this timescale. Some players will choose to buy their desired cosmetics direct from the aftermarket, but this is an edge case and is always a net gain for the developer anyway, assuming your aftermarket hasn't crashed.
    • Mixing cosmetic types is difficult. Valve decided early to stick to weapon skins since they had the best risk:reward ratio, however UT is a different beast. We already know we want 3rd party alternatives for almost every aspect of the game. Throwing all these into one crate type won't work; The more you can get out of a crate, the less likely you are to get something you want. Splinting crates into sub classes based on cosmetic type could be a possible route, but this leads to having many crate types, and many key types running concurrently, which could prove to be a player perspective issue. It may also result in some cosmetic types becoming devalued as their relative rarity lowers. For example a full player model and skin with the same drop chance as a weapon skin would be valued higher than said skin as the character model has more visual impact. This trend would encourage 3rd party developers to focus on whatever cosmetic is in high demand at the cost of others. E.g. Everyone wants to make an AWP skin because AWP skins sell like hot cakes, this is less of an issue for CS:GO since it's largely tied to a weapons utility (apart from the deagle). In the case of UT however it could make, say, creating eyewear redundant since the visual impact is low.
    • One of the UT specific issues is defining what conditions (gametype, server operator, anti cheat, mutators, etc) are acceptable to allow crates to drop.


    Player pros
    • Opening a crate is inherently exciting, it's like playing the lottery. You may only get something amazing 1 in 100 times, but when you do it's an awesome feeling.
    • Players who choose to sell crates rather than open them feel like they've got something for free. Sell enough crates and you can buy that cosmetic you want without having to pay anything, and without risk. Making a net profit via the aftermarket creates a similar effect.
    • Owning a cool item gives the player the opportunity to brag about it with friends. Since UT is intended to be a highly social game building in these small additional extras is beneficial.


    Player Cons
    • Opening a crate is a gamble; you pay your money and you throw your dice. Sometimes you're going to get something you don't want, and that isn't worth much on the aftermarket. That sucks and will always suck. Giving the player something they can do to with this unwanted cosmetic is important. CS:GO has a system where the player may trade in 10 skins to Valve and receive one of the next rarity tier. Personally I don't like this method as it assumes that the value of 1 rank 2 rarity item is the roughly the same as 10 rank 1 items, and so on; but this is rarely the case. You also have just as much chance of getting something you don't want from this trade as you do from opening a crate. While valve use set lists to allow players to eventually craft into the top tier item of that set, it still applies an assumed value before those items go live.
    • A badly managed system can create a grinding feeling as players play more and more to attain a crate, only to have it give something undesirable.
    • Players who do not wish to engage with the system may get irritated when they receive crates, there isn't much that can be done about this other than minimizing the required contact to progress. I.e. avoiding 'You won a crate!' popups etc.


    CS:GO notes
    CS:GO adds some extras to the basic concept. Some will work with UT, others not so much.
    • The same system used to generate crates drops is also used to directly give weapon skins at a vastly lower drop rate. It is also calculated separately allowing both a crate and a skin to drop at the same time, however this is unlikely (but awesome) for the player.
    • Valve have recently introduced the concept of levels to CS:GO. These are effectively a controlled drop system designed to encourage players to interact with the economy, and as a further incentive to buy into operations via an increased XP gain.
    • When a weapon skin is vended it has a quality assigned to it. This effects how worn the weapons is. Highly worn skins have lots of scratches and drinks in the paintwork while skins with less ware are more pristine. This effectively widens the design spaces and gives players more scope to trade depending on their preferred look. Generally the aftermarket in CS:GO prefers less worn weapons making the most expensive weapons high rarity, high quality.
    • The wear pattern on each skin is functionally unique making each skin different. The system is designed to identify each skin individually, rather than giving an instance of a generic skin. This has a lot of advantages which only become apparent as complexity is added.
    • StatTrakā„¢ is an additional method used to diversify the design space during crate opening. StatTrak skins come with an LCD display attached to the weapon which increments each time a kill is scored, resetting if the skin is sold or traded.
    • The player may buy a name tag to add to a weapon skin, the name of the weapon is quoted on the opponents killcam, for example 'You were killed by Flak with "PeteNubLovesPonies"'. Again these are removed when sold or traded.


    UT notes and suggestions
    OK, so to the actual point of this thread; here are some suggestions regarding the UT implementation. I'm making the assumption that we implement a CS:GO like system where each item is uniquely tracked, but does not include quality or a StatTrak like option.
    • The purpose of the direct drop system is largely to give players a taste of the weapon skin system. Partly because we have a wider range of cosmetics, and because there isn't much point simulating half of the experience I would remove these in favor of dropping a key. The general idea here is to give new, or hesitant players who possess a crate but have yet to buy a key the opportunity to interact with the system at no cost; it is effectively a free roll of the dice. The effect for players already invested in the system is lessened, but the act of Epic giving a free key to the player improves their goodwill towards the system. Epic would have to factor in the cost of free key drops into their balance however; weighing up the small loss in key sales against the chance that new players will engage the system. I would avoid a leveling system myself; it trends too much towards grinding and farming for my liking.
    • If keys are dropped, then they may also be sold. Since keys have a higher inherent value than crates the market value would likely remain around, if not slightly under Epics base price. This could pose an issue as players will always choose the cheapest key available. You would have to make these keys either have more, or less value over the stock keys; or carefully balance their availability.
    • The best solution I could come up with is; assuming multiple crate and key types, and that the base cost of keys required to open each crate is scaled, the idea of skeleton keys become useful. If we also assume that the only way to acquire skeleton keys is via drops then we can extrapolate that upon receiving a skeleton key players are likely to either buy a crate with the most expensive key from the aftermarket, sell the key on the aftermarket (at a price somewhere within the key base cost range), or use it in place of the most expensive key they require themselves. In all of these scenarios the developer benefits, or at minimum doesn't loose. You are also mitigating the risk of key sales being damage by making it unprofitable to use the key in place of one that is less expensive than the current skeleton key aftermarket price. The risk that the market would be flooded by skeleton keys still exists, but since keys are no value beyond opening crates you could tweak the drop rate and ride out the slight economic bump as the backlog gets used.
    • The existence of a marketplace with a continuous stock devalues a drop system as it confuses the baseline cost of any cosmetic type. Regardless of the actual content you are creating a perceived default price for cosmetic items of that type, which will limit aftermarket prices. I.e why would I pay $10 for a hat when I can get this $5 one?
    • In order to lessen that impact, and to introduce a little more diversity to the design space I propose listing items on the epic marketplace for a limited period, after which they become available in crates. Since all cosmetics are unique and can be referenced individually you could number each issue of that cosmetic as they are sold on the marketplace, (X out of Y). This effectively tiers cosmetics in a similar way StatTrak does without having to have a similar concept that spans all cosmetic types, or specific ones for each type. You would also avoid 3rd part developers needing to take it into account, as it is done on a base level. These 'official' cosmetics would likely sell for more on the aftermarket; you are also likely to see a reverse bell curve in price relative to issue number. Those close to the start or end of a run (X or Y) would sell for more than those in the middle of the range.
    • This has the benefit of giving Epic a good idea of how popular particular cosmetic are, and thus how to rate their rarity for crate opening. It also pre-populates the aftermarket giving a rough starting point for newly opened items.
    • The split system does however muddy the water when it comes to high demand vs rarity. It can be assumed that very popular cosmetics will do well on the marketplace and end up with a high potential aftermarket population, and thus the potential for a low price. However this does not take into account how likely players are to actually list items rather than use them. The preferred state would be popular items selling well on the marketplace, but being retained by the player base in high numbers. This would mean that crate borne versions would still be in high demand and thus would remain at a high aftermarket price. The risk would be the aftermarket being flooded by 'official' versions, making the aftermarket price of crate borne versions being out of sync with their expected cost compared to their rarity. To be honest I wouldn't like to suggest which is more likely, I suspect it would fluctuate between items.
    • It does however open the door to crate only item lists. While they would not have the potential for being enumerated, they would likely be the rarest cosmetics in the economy, and thus worth the most on the aftermarket. Similarly making some items only available on the marketplace, and in fact blocked from the aftermarket would retain a baseline price. Items with an external value benefit from this the most; the money hat for example is a great example.


    So in closing, we should have a crate drop system. Try to keep discussion limited to the how, not the why.
    Last edited by NATO_chrisjm; 08-10-2015, 08:25 PM.

    #2
    We are planning on a crate system similar to CS:GO as you outline above. We're also planning a leveling system, as they don't need to be mutually exclusive, and can actually feed one another (i.e. level up to get free key, or buy one on the Marketplace; gaining higher levels unlock more valuable crates; etc.). Items are likely to be seasonal - i.e. items from the "pre-season" won't be available later on and will therefore become rare items in the economy. Hopefully most, if not all!, of the items in the system will be created by the community, and thus purchasing the keys will mean that you are directly supporting the community that you're a part of.

    This will be a tiered process, and won't release all at once (it requires coordination from multiple angles and departments, not just the UT team); leveling will come first, then likely loot, and eventually trading. We have plans for cosmetic items, skins, and eventually a new character building system for unlocking new character models, but really, anything "Marketplace worthy" could be included if it is desirable and inclusion helps the creators to make some money. The one big caveat is that we DO NOT want any gameplay effecting items in the economy.
    Jim Brown
    @EntropicDev
    Epic Games

    Comment


      #3
      I have actually been working on a weapon cosmetic system, I did tweak the weapons values but thats mainly for RPG mutator styled testing especially earlier before I started modifying the material. Right now the weapon materials need alot of work to bring them inline so that weapon skins work, they need to somehow share a material or be material functions, theres some technical issues with it. I thought I would just share my work

      This Image Was Automatically Resized by using the Screenshot Tag.  Click to view the full version

      I think weapon qualities are a good way to go especially with skins because it adds some perceived value to items which are essentially the same and some people will value certain patterns more than others. TF2s system is quite extensive with Strange Module attachments which count a number of different stats or have special particle effects. What we can do is save a small set of data associated with a more unique skin so we can actually generate more unique items for the higher level things and put them into an item database.

      This Image Was Automatically Resized by using the Screenshot Tag.  Click to view the full versionThis Image Was Automatically Resized by using the Screenshot Tag.  Click to view the full versionThis Image Was Automatically Resized by using the Screenshot Tag.  Click to view the full version

      The rust actually has an amount on the mask so by saving a single 0-1 value it can determine the amount of that material applied and if there is a list of decal materials (as the one in the end) then we can assign a simple int (or byte) for which in the list the weapon is and even add to the list in the future. The good thing about the pattern decal is its a reasonably small material so it doesnt add alot of weight to the overall download and it can be reused across weapons with different levels of paint wear.

      This Image Was Automatically Resized by using the Screenshot Tag.  Click to view the full version

      Gold weapons were used even in Epics own prepurchase and DLC models in the past so its a proved way to get people to lay down cash for prestige without it effecting gameplay too much but there is the issue of readability for the more serious players or the fact players can hide weapons in first person view which is not as common in other FPS games.

      This Image Was Automatically Resized by using the Screenshot Tag.  Click to view the full version

      The way I have it setup is the colour can be randomized but not only that certain patterns could show up random depending and the higher qualities are less likely to show up. The issue I was working on was with the Weapons Bases being clientside when weapon stay is off (I think thats right) so clients skins will show up only for them and only for other clients for the weapon attachment once its picked up.

      This Image Was Automatically Resized by using the Screenshot Tag.  Click to view the full version
      Epic being the highest quality It has a lower roughness so its all nice and shiney with a generated colour, I kinda want to make it more pearlescent though. I have 7 quality levels currently

      Junk - Rusted, Faded Paint
      Antique - Faded Paint
      Ordinary - Stock Paint, No Rust, Slight Dirt and Scuffing
      Genuine - Random Paint Color, Slight Dirt and Scuffing
      Superior - No Scuffing or Dirt, Stock Paint
      Exceptional - More Shiney, Random Colour no Gold
      Epic - Gold/Random Colour, Full Shine

      This Image Was Automatically Resized by using the Screenshot Tag.  Click to view the full version

      I did run into some issues with the material and this is what I was talking about earlier in the post, I ran out of texture samplers and adding them to the array helps but Im still cutting it very close with the more complex shaders. If a weapon were to have layers that wernt really being used it could grow the samplers needlessly especially if all weapons use a unified material so these are things to consider when it comes to a CS:Go styled skin system.

      Overall I think NATO_chrisjm has some great ideas on improvement, the skeleton keys and dropping keys are certainly things that add value for a player. I know I passed on some information to you Entropy about (Aurans) Fury and how drops were given based on your performance, that you got to choose from a list and based on your performance you got a probability (higher if you played better) of getting that chosen drop, I thought that system worked well and wasnt as much gambling style as Valves. I dont mind that drops are random to some degree but I feel as though players who spend alot of time playing, that play well and are generally a positive influence on the community at large deserve to be rewarded
      Last edited by MonsOlympus; 08-13-2015, 11:40 AM.
      Upon release, Unreal Tournament 2004 was met with widespread critical acclaim. Several critics praised the unique, fast-paced, fun and challenging nature of the game as its main selling points, while fans touted the post-release support and extensive modding capabilities.

      Comment


        #4
        The implementation of this system is going to make ut absurdly addictive. I never played cs:go, so I never fully understood the crate system till now, but holy hell I cannot wait!

        This is why it's worth sticking around guys. I know at times the pre-alpha has been rough, but stick it out and reap the rewards later. Keep playing, and when the masses come you may get the recognition you never got in high school! Haha!

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Entropy View Post
          We are planning on a crate system similar to CS:GO as you outline above. We're also planning a leveling system, as they don't need to be mutually exclusive, and can actually feed one another (i.e. level up to get free key, or buy one on the Marketplace; gaining higher levels unlock more valuable crates; etc.).
          Along the lines of Gears: Judgment?
          "Yeah. _Lynx can fire the lightning gun, have the lightning bolt turn a 90 degree corner, stop and ask the closest teammate for directions, confuse the directions and get lost, realize it went the wrong way, make a U-Turn, and get a headshot on the intended target."
          - RenegadeRetard

          Comment


            #6
            Thanks for taking a look Jim! There's a lot of misconception out there about this; I was hoping to clarify some stuff and make it more clear why the dev team are looking at it as a long term plan. As you say, it's really important that this is cosmetic only.

            MonsOlympus: Take a look at the video I linked. They go into some great detail about how they set up the material, especially since all their art was already existent. Obviously they were working from flat textures and the physically based material / paint by numbers system we use will need it's own implementation, but it's interesting if nothing else.

            My issue with performance related rewards is that it implies a required level of skill to access part of the experience. I see the appeal in encouraging players to improve, and rewarding those who do but the risk that new players might feel alienated, that they will never be good enough to attain a crate, is too great for my liking. Some new players will see it as an target to reach but the risk is too great for my liking.

            This might be getting a bit too design focused, but the question you have to ask is 'What behavior are you want to encourage, and thus reward?'. Personally I'd want to breed engagement above everything else. The aim would be to keep players interested and engaged in the experience. Giving crates in a pseudo predictable manner (e.g. you're likely to get a crate every 20-25 games) delivers with less risk than having it skill based (the top players have a greater chance of getting a crate). The big issue is balancing it so most players feel like it's additional reward for playing, rather than a necessary part of the game. Also in theory from a design point of view general player skill shouldn't matter beyond scaling; this like making sure matchmaking works nicely, that maps aren't all bunnytracks etc.

            Comment


              #7
              I'll take a look at the clip when I get some spare time. In regards to making drops partially skill based its to reward people who actively play and not just idle, Im not sure how long you have been part of the Valve styled economy but idling became so prominent Valve had to ban it in TF2 and now there are special servers which allow it for trade, some people would setup matches just to idle and get their drops. Whilst I can see what youre saying about encouraging new players to make items worth something you cant just throw them at everyone, if people actually have to work to attain them then they have some value apart from just monetary and thats whats most important to me as a player.

              In an ideal world there wouldnt be any crates or keys, it would be simply drops, these are usable straight away and dont put an artificial lock on certain content. I liked the premium/exclusive timer idea better as it keeps those valuables completely behind the paywall and makes it so you can pay for what you want not just a chance at what you want. What playing the game does is only give you a chance at what you want, if you play better you are rewarded with a better chance, you play longer you get a better chance, it rewards people for being active and new players could easily get some kind of faster drop rate for a short period of time to entice them to put in more hours. Giving new players the same chance as veterans will just risk alienating the top end to please the bottom, a balance must be struck and the pacing must be fair not at a point where it feels like grind or milking.

              If there is one thing I can say about players, if you give them value they will return in kind but if you try to squeeze them they'll just squeeze back and thats not the best relationship to have. Since its a free game you want the players to be saying, you must download this game, it has all this badass cosmetics you can get <link some screenies>... So it begins
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                #8
                gimme dem skinzzzzz !
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                  #9
                  I just want an opt-out option, this kind of stuff turns me off personally.
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                    #10
                    Originally posted by Wail View Post
                    I just want an opt-out option, this kind of stuff turns me off personally.
                    Okay so abit of a reality check, this game has $0 income because it is free, to run esports events Epic will need to generate revenue. Like Valve, Epic seems to want to use cosmetics of various types to fund not only events but perhaps the development of this game. If you make cosmetics opt-out then you immediately devalue them enormously because people wont use what other people cant see, there is simply no point what so ever. To that end I think the community, casual, competitive and anyone else need to realize features like turning everything on/off clientside, force model etc may not make it in the UT and might have even been detrimental to previous UT games success.

                    The fact of the matter is that it works, drops and unlocks work to add value to the game creating stickiness for players not only getting them in the door on the first place but keep them around for alot longer than acouple of 10 min duels would. I know you might not like all the cosmetics (I dont in TF2) but its up to Epic to ensure some kind of quality bar and that cosmetics fit within the theme (no Dr Suess hats for eg). Its clear to me from the general tone that while UT can be fun for the most part the game is taken more serious than others, especially by more seasoned players.

                    If infact you just meant you would like to opt out of receiving drops, I dont see an issue there but Im not sure why you wouldnt just keep em and not use them, especially if at some point they become transferable to something you might like.
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                      #11
                      Originally posted by MonsOlympus View Post
                      Okay so abit of a reality check, this game has $0 income because it is free, to run esports events Epic will need to generate revenue. Like Valve, Epic seems to want to use cosmetics of various types to fund not only events but perhaps the development of this game. If you make cosmetics opt-out then you immediately devalue them enormously because people wont use what other people cant see, there is simply no point what so ever. To that end I think the community, casual, competitive and anyone else need to realize features like turning everything on/off clientside, force model etc may not make it in the UT and might have even been detrimental to previous UT games success.

                      The fact of the matter is that it works, drops and unlocks work to add value to the game creating stickiness for players not only getting them in the door on the first place but keep them around for alot longer than acouple of 10 min duels would. I know you might not like all the cosmetics (I dont in TF2) but its up to Epic to ensure some kind of quality bar and that cosmetics fit within the theme (no Dr Suess hats for eg). Its clear to me from the general tone that while UT can be fun for the most part the game is taken more serious than others, especially by more seasoned players.

                      If infact you just meant you would like to opt out of receiving drops, I dont see an issue there but Im not sure why you wouldnt just keep em and not use them, especially if at some point they become transferable to something you might like.
                      I meant opt out of receiving drops or level ups or any of the stuff that replaces the intrinsic rewards of playing (fun, relaxation, mastery) with extrinsic rewards (numbers, titles, skins). I understand why having the latter is expected and creates for some people a mechanism that helps them feel rewarded for playing, but there's also my own personal experience (and actual research) that tells me that this stuff reduces my long term interest in a game.

                      I don't really expect I'd get this but can't hurt to ask.
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                        #12
                        I'd say as long as it's done without that "in-your-face" style used by CoD or Destiny (where it's even unskippable), where it displays the progress summary after each match, this is okay. It's not hard to make it that way really. Just add a profile-wide option that would disable any progress-relatd menus and notification that are displayed between and during the games. And in the main menu interface keep that stuff in a separate menu, so that if you don't need it, you ignore it.
                        Last edited by _Lynx; 08-14-2015, 07:01 AM.
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                          #13
                          In CS:GO, at the end of the match you see the final scoreboard, on the right it lists all the drops for all the players. If one is yours it's highlighted in yellow. When you exit to the main menu you will have a 'x new items' notice next to the inventory tab. At no point does it force the player to interact with it. It makes everything visible without being cumbersome.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by NATO_chrisjm View Post
                            In CS:GO, at the end of the match you see the final scoreboard, on the right it lists all the drops for all the players. If one is yours it's highlighted in yellow. When you exit to the main menu you will have a 'x new items' notice next to the inventory tab. At no point does it force the player to interact with it. It makes everything visible without being cumbersome.
                            Not sure if you're responding to me but the point I'm making isn't about it being cumbersome or in your face, but rather that by existing it changes the valence of the feelings you have towards the game. It ends up feeling bad when you're expecting this reward and you don't get it. At the same time, the rational cost-benefit analysis says, "Why are you playing this game hoping for a reward with a value of one penny when you could be doing something meaningful?" That might not be the most logical chain of thought in the universe, but then human decision making processes rarely are.
                            Last edited by Wail; 08-14-2015, 09:25 AM.
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                              #15
                              Not directly replying to you, just giving some more detail.

                              If you're drop system becomes the core reason people are playing your game you've got bigger problems than your drop system. If we reached that point then clearly we have A) very poorly implemented the drop system and B) somehow screwed up the core gameplay to the point that it is not inherently fun to play.

                              I do however understand your point. Maintaining the feeling that these are extras on top of the experience, and not the core aim is crucial. You mention 'feeling bad when you're expecting this reward and you don't get it'. If drops are effectively random, calculated separately for all players and not based on performance or similar then the expectation is minimal. Obviously balance is important, if they come too frequently then you DO end up expecting drops.

                              While the ultimate aim might be to fund UT; the drop system does so via giving players cool items, sometimes you won't like what you get so you have the option to sell it, so you can buy something you like. If we get to the point where "Why are you playing this game hoping for a reward with a value of one penny when you could be doing something meaningful?" is both widespread and meaningful then yes, we have a problem. The reward for playing is the inherent enjoyment of playing, not getting crates. Crates should always be a nice extra surprise, the cherry on the cake etc.

                              Edit: for reference, I'm not sure how I feel about an opt out option. In of itself it's banal, and fine (in the same idea that disabling all cosmetics locally). But when you start looking at intrinsic player value in owning items it becomes questionable. I'd also point out that all servers running with drops on will need to ping an auth server for verification. I'm sure servers will exist that choose not to do so, causing all drops to be disabled on those servers. Yes it limits where you can play, but it's effectively a sever level opt out.
                              Last edited by NATO_chrisjm; 08-14-2015, 10:32 AM.

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