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Comment Re:the real threat will be government intervention (Score 1) 388

You can get slaves for sale without using force. it depends on what constitutes force or fraud as defined by the government in charge of the free market, as opposed to a universal absolute.

It's entirely feasible, and in fact common, for governments to overlook economic force. For example, the RIAA lawsuits. In many cases the defendants can not afford to defend themselves. What is one government's fraud is another's acceptable business practice.

Comment Re:the real threat will be government intervention (Score 1) 388

I think you're confusing "free market" and freedom. A country that espouses freedom can't have slaves for sale on the market, can't allow contracts with unconscionable terms etc. A free market doesn't care either way, its only concern is what people have to sell, and what people will pay for that product. If people want to buy slaves, and people have slaves for sale, there will be slaves on the market. In fact, there are slaves on the black market even now, though they are sold for purposes completely separate from cotton picking.

The moment you add any regulation, such as courts, into the system the "free" part becomes heavily qualified, and what you really have is a regulated market.

Comment Re:the real threat will be government intervention (Score 1) 388

It's there, it just doesn't get as much attention because the government isn't actively attempting to squelch it.

For example, would we really have cared about potential corruption in the Iranian election for more than a day if it wasn't for the fact that brutal methods were employed to silence dissenters?

Comment Re:Dear Nintendo (Score 1) 189

You're attempting to refute, but if you look at your debate logically his counter-point successfully parries your refutation.

Him: Access to downloadable ROMs reduces the potential of a game on the virtual marketplace by reducing the number of potential buyers.
You: Access to downloadable ROMs makes these games popular, thereby increasing the number of potential buyers.
Him: Nintendo can make those same games popular without downloadable ROMs. Therefore, any popularity gain from downloadable ROMs is effectively nil, and the net loss in potential buyers remains.

I don't believe he misread anything.

Comment Re:Easy fix (Score 1) 253

Let's assume that you're right, that there are plenty of quests to be had if you retread old areas. I can't say because I don't play Aion, and I'm not the GP.

What is there, if anything, to tell players that this is how they should play? What indication is there to let them know that there might be some quests available for them back in that village they haven't seen in 10 levels?

If the player is supposed to just figure this out on their own, I posit that Aion wasn't designed well (at least if it intended to attract WoW's audience). Even if Aion gives some indication, the game might benefit from some system by which the player can know for sure there are quests for them to complete somewhere. That way players don't have to be the kind that can pick up every last secret and item from a game like GTA or Zelda from memory without looking at an FAQ.

I think the idea of retreading zones has merit, but only if its properly supported.

Comment Re:It's not just technical scale (Score 1) 253

Actually, the GP seems very aware of your points. He himself notes that even if an individual could get a Carrier on their own, they wouldn't live for long despite its power, let alone rule the universe.

The key difference here is that anyone can feel like a hero in WoW. In EvE, as you said yourself, in order to be a hero you have to "take risks most players won't". That may be part of the appeal and thrill of EvE, but at the same time it reinforces the GP's point.

Comment Re:Computational Problem (Score 1) 253

There are a few fundamental problems with your idea.

First and foremost, real world demand for resources such as banks, grocery stores and the like is generated based on where people live and work, and the routes in between. In real life, the busy places are those which sit near or on a nexus of these routes and locations. Because only so many people can be fit into a single area, the distribution is largely even, and where it's not competing business will naturally split things up.

In order for the same to be true in most MMOs there would have to be radical changes to very nature of how people travel and live. As it stands, in WoW players bind themselves to a particular Inn and this becomes their home. There is effectively only one inn per faction per neutral city, so all players of a given faction are filtering through the same home. Thus, it doesn't matter how many alternative bank or other resources you spawn, as long as all players enter the city through the same home it doesn't change which resource is closest to home. This resource will always be the busiest no matter how bad it gets.

In order to avoid this you'll have to spawn additional Inns, but this presents its own problems. Players will filter on their own to new Inns, but this requires they're aware of them and willing to put up with relearning where the local resources are positioned. Moreover, the population can quickly expand again, requiring a new inn and players to once again move and relearn their bearings. This continual displacement is neither fun nor productive.

Another issue are the unique locations that can't be duplicated without stretching disbelief. A memorial for an important lore character, the citadel containing the leader of the city, an important dungeon or lore location, all of these things can not be duplicated. Thus, you have to provide a method for players to instantly transport themselves to these vital locations in the city or face the natural inclination of players to plant roots nearest to these important places. The game can keep spawning new inns and resources to its heart's content, but players will avoid the outermost edges like the plague if it increases their travel time these pivotal points.

It's not an impossible problem to solve, and an MMO implementing something along the lines of your suggestion could be interesting, but it isn't a complete solution as it stands.

Comment Re:Champions did it too (Score 1) 253

It's fair to say they're going about it the wrong way, but that brings up an important question: Is the *right* way intuitive, natural, and seamless?

While the method you suggest may certainly be effective, it doesn't strike me as being particularly obvious, intuitive, or easy. The average player's first thought will be "Why do I have to constantly shift like this? I should be able to talk to everyone!" The unnecessary barrier will deter some number of players, those who'd rather just keep playing than spend half an hour shifting around trying to piece together a group.

This is coming from someone who looks up and whispers random strangers through the wowarmory in order to fill group slots when no one answers LFG or Trade chat. While such methods are very effective, the effort involved is more than many players care to invest. You might say "too bad", but developers have to take notice of such quality of life issues.

Comment Re:Maybe not in that capacity... (Score 1) 178

But this happens in real life too, though for different reasons and not in the same volume and scope.

Consider a going out of business or store relocation sale. Almost all goods, except those most easily transported, will likely be sold at a technical loss. The gain, however, is the vast savings on transport costs even if it's just down the street, or even the administrative costs/maintenance costs if it has to be housed in a warehouse.

For similar reasons, you can't assume that just because someone is listing something below the supposed cost of materials, doesn't mean they aren't still making a profit.

Comment Re:So if I were to jump off the cliff... (Score 1) 77

But it's a chicken and egg situation. Blizzard didn't have 10 million players' worth of revenue to spend on advertising when WoW launched. They can afford a much larger budget now, but you have to account for the fact that they didn't start with so many. At some point, Blizzard had to put money into advertising that wasn't backed by domination of the market.

Comment Re:The only form of DRM that works (Score 1) 737

In 11 years (present age of SC), will Blizzard still be running SC2 servers so you can play against your friend next door? I can do that with SC today - pop in the disc & play a few rounds head to head, no trouble.

You're talking about a company that recently patched an 11 year old game to be playable without the CD.

It's about a guaranteed income stream for as long as Blizzard feels like keeping it around, just like WoW. It's not to stop piracy, it's to force people to pay them to use their servers. If anything, you'd expect Blizzard to want people copying the game itself, because they'll subsequently sign up for online play.

Because Battle.net costs money.

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