Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Notorious Monetisation

Random thoughts on ways to monetise a Notorious server as we drove home from Mackay. I'm not a fan of secondary economies, but this might be a way to set one up with a clear distinction between in-game and out-of-game interactions.

"The Club"
As the players are ethereal beings ‘competing’ for notoriety in the game world, there exists a number of services for these beings to interact with directly through the ether. Most of these services revolve around trading information. For now I’ll call this “The Club”

-       Provide access to a gem: The club has people scouring the world looking for suitable gems to link to. For a fee they will provide the location of an unlinked gem. Price is dependent on both maximum power of the gem and the closest city size and current dungeon layout. Possible selling methods:
o   Auction system with random gems being placed on there with a price. 15% value to AH for player-listed gems.
o   New gems generated in clumps on the frontier zones, with some generated in more settled locations for people to advance to.
o   Offer a static price to ‘locate’ a new gem. ~$1 for a village level gem to ~$5 for a capital gem
-       Player power graphs: For a very small cost, players can see power graphs of other players. It should indicate long & short term notoriety. From this players should be able to deduce the best time to attack that player. Inactive players should have a fairly regular graph. Active players should show advancement in fits & spurts.
-       Player dungeon layout/minions. For a small fee, players can look up the last known dungeon layout of the target player with possible minion information.
-       Possible black market for minions. Include minions that are already linked with gems. This service provides access to the gem and possibly free teleportation to the home stone. Minions bought this way may or may not know of the existence of the ethereals. New gem keepers can be picked up this way.
o   Player auctions – additional 15% added to them
o   Football manager contract system opening payment goes to either the originating player or the “Club” if newly generated. Once the initial price is agreed upon it allows access to talk directly to the minion to negotiate. Once the 1st negotiation for a minion has been set, give 5 mins for competitive bids.
o   Possible alternative is that once a price is settled upon with the original owner, they give access to the minion’s gem for a non-refundable fee
o   Look at introducing a ‘trade band’ that has a gem inside it specifically for talking to minions to set up contracts. Original owners would then pick up a trade band from The Guild and place on minion. All discussions and memories are then accessible through the new band. The Guild can then use these to monitor the trade, set up filters of likely candidates to accept a trade, and give independent information regarding the minion to the buyer.

Multiple dungeons
An auction house would potentially mean having multiple gems for the player to link to. Look into whether only 1 is active with an interface to select the next active gem or have multiple gems active at the same time.
- If multiples active want so it is beneficial to have gems in better places.
- ways to mitigate gem spamming. If pay a power maintenance cost to link to a gem, maint cost increases by the amt of gems linked to. Eg: an inactive gem 5 power, 1st gem 50 power, 2nd gem 100, 3rd 150, etc.
- potentially have 1st home gem link for free. Look into a base amt of power for characters

Players may have the opportunity to tailor their character toward a certain playstyle:
-       To mitigate the multiple home gem links cost
-       Mitigate multiple gem links to monsters
-       Decrease costs of scanning
-       Decrease hiding/masking costs
-       Raise base power

Information tracking
Use roguelike monster info (observed weapons / damage / HP etc) for what they know about your minions. This will be used in knowledge discovery for the “Club”.

If creatures are resurrected at the home stone with nothing on them, how do they maintain the gem for communication?
-       Make the equipment they are carrying when bound be brought back too.
o   This would be the same as WoW / EVE and expected of the NPCs In the city. Problem with this will be NPC heroes would not bring anything into the dungeon to drop. 
-       Make equipment that has gems attached also returnable.
o   This would give the minions and NPCs a reason to desire gemmed items.
o   Requires the Ethereal to pay an additional fee to link to gemmed items? Maybe a link for returning purposes is not as strong as a link for communication.
o   Look into linking gemmed items to the minion / NPC. This way any binding of the minion / character will also include the cost of the items.
o   If an item can be returned to a home stone, what would happen if another Ethereal managed to establish a link to the item? Could they return it to their own dungeon?
o   Gems allow access to sentient thoughts, so there would be nothing to link to in the items themselves. Maybe a cost to return the item itself is cheaper.
o   Once a link is established with a mind, maybe other close gems can be added to the link for a minimal cost to strengthen the link (allow more power). New items linked this way don’t add to the total gem linking increases, but have an independent power cost escalation. Eg 50 power for original link, 5 power for secondary, 10 for tertiary, 20, 40, 80. Items linked this way must be strong enough in their own right to support the link.

Running a City
-       Have a high amount of NPC Heroes linking to your home stone.
o   Require a different build, with attributes heavily focused on new minion link reduction to cope with the amount coming through. Possibly too much for more than one stone’s worth.
o   Access to NPCs, but virtually no power left to manipulate them.
-        Charge a service fee for the resurrection power that you will need to use to pull them back. This will typically be through a front man, quite possibly a reputable person established in the city, or a gemkeeper working undercover.
-       Use access to NPC heroes to sell dungeon layout / minions back to “The Guild”
o   Offer NPC heroes an in-game reward for information regarding layouts / minions / etc.
o   Offer NPC heroes information on layouts for a fee (miniature version of “The Guild”)
-       Use access to Heroes to sell their links to the club for people wishing to raid targets
o   Make up bounties for certain dungeons with potential upfront payment, confirmed wipe payment and loot division options.
-       Act like the “Adventurer’s Guild”
o   Branding all services as part of a corporate entity provides all players that run individual sites to share the power.
o   New Adventurer’s guilds can be set up in the city by paying for a large enough gem to be moved into place (and secured, they are rather expensive in the game world too. Wouldn’t want anyone walking away with your home base.
o   Run by exclusive members of “The Guild”
-       Power mainly generated from “good” thoughts about the owner. “Good” thoughts ½ as effective as fear thoughts and reputation harder to maintain. Also less amount of population concerned about the service (adventurers) compared to the impact of character actions (whole city/village)
o   Good rep mutually exclusive to bad rep. linear linked scale.