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View Full Version : Dice Rolling for Ability Scores



bjlinden
10-02-2009, 03:31 PM
Somebody actually came up with an awesome suggestion in the Please just add 50 point builds to the DDO store (http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=204648) thread, but as it was buried in an obvious troll thread, I had a feeling the devs would never actually see it, so I figured I'd make a new thread for the idea.

Basically, the idea was for Turbine to implement the old die-rolling method of determining ability scores, and make people pay for it. I think that's an awesome idea, and could be a veritable gold mine for Turbine.

The specifics of how it would work were being debated in the other thread (amidst the random anti-store-bought-32-point trolling, of course) but here's my take on how it should work:

It would use the "roll 4d6, take away the lowest die, repeat six times" method because it became the official "standard" method in 3.0-3.5, and because it tends to create non-gimped but non-uber characters.

Then, Turbine would charge a small fee, probably somewhere around 50 Turbine Points (possibly as high as 100) for EACH roll.

This is a proven business model. Just look at how many people sit around for hours, just throwing money into slot machines at a casino. This would be essentially the same thing, though, since you're not winning any money it would be perfectly legal. The possibility of big rewards (in this case, an uber character, as opposed to a jackpot) make people naturally willing to risk money on the deal, and as such Turbine could make TONS of money with this method.

On top of that, they'd be giving people who really want to spend tons of money to get a maximized character the opportunity to do so, AND they'd be preserving the classic D&D feeling of actually rolling up your character. It's a win/win situation for everyone involved!

What does everyone think?

Mercules
10-02-2009, 03:40 PM
I think it is a very bad idea. Casinos operate under very strict laws with Compliance Officers making sure they follow those laws. Why? because of Gambler's Fallacy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gambler's_fallacy).

If Turbine does this what will happen is that someone will decide that since they have rolled poorly X rolls they are due a good roll soon and just keep spending Turbine Points. They will then raise a holy stink stating that Turbine's randomizer is not true or random, or even worse they will accuse Turbine of cheating. Since turbine isn't monitored by an outside auditor they have no way of assuring their customers that this is untrue. That is NOT a good business practice.

Borror0
10-02-2009, 03:49 PM
No, just no. That's basically gambling with RWM to have a character better than what is currently possible.

Arianrhod
10-02-2009, 04:48 PM
Well, yeah, it would be a slot machine (except for winning virtual goods, not real money). So it would have to follow whatever laws there are for slot machine-type games.

If it would cause too many real-world headaches to have something like this, there's always the option of putting in some kind of random generator for an ingame money sink...maybe a "beauty salon" where you spend some plat and have the game push the "random" button for your new appearance... ;)

Impaqt
10-02-2009, 04:59 PM
Great idea for the next great MMO that is released based on TSR's V1 Advanced Dungeons and Dragons.

bjlinden
10-04-2009, 01:07 PM
I think it is a very bad idea. Casinos operate under very strict laws with Compliance Officers making sure they follow those laws. Why? because of Gambler's Fallacy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gambler's_fallacy).

If Turbine does this what will happen is that someone will decide that since they have rolled poorly X rolls they are due a good roll soon and just keep spending Turbine Points. They will then raise a holy stink stating that Turbine's randomizer is not true or random, or even worse they will accuse Turbine of cheating. Since turbine isn't monitored by an outside auditor they have no way of assuring their customers that this is untrue. That is NOT a good business practice.

It seems to me this could be addressed fairly easily by simply making the source for whatever RNG they use public. Sure, they have no way to prove that's what they're actually using, but I don't think it would really matter. Between the people who say "haha, I got an uber character on my first roll" and the more levelheaded folks who understand the Gambler's Fallacy, I have a feeling that people who make those kinds of accusations without some really hard evidence will be looked on as quacks and conspiracy theorists. There have already been similar accusations made about the drop rate of leveling sigils, and nobody's taken them seriously, have they?

I suppose one could argue that this could open up doors for people trying to take legal action against Turbine, but I don't see any of these ever even getting off the ground. You're not "gambling" for money, or even a vague representation of money, like Turbine points, and that's what gambling laws cover. There's no court in the world that would recognize an 18 charisma as legal tender.


No, just no. That's basically gambling with RWM to have a character better than what is currently possible.

Yeah, that's the beauty of it! You see, I'm not advocating this idea because I think it's a more efficient method of character generation, or that it would have a particularly positive impact on gameplay in and of itself. Heck, I know I wouldn't do it myself, except possibly for one or two quick rolls for good luck when I go to make a new character. I'm advocating it because it would make Turbine tons and tons of money. And more money for Turbine equals more money they can THEN spend on making the game better for all of us.

Perhaps they could fix it so that the highest you could get would be a 17? I think that would fix any game balance issues that something like this would bring up. Like people have been saying in all the 32 point build threads, a few extra ability points aren't going to make or break a build.


If it would cause too many real-world headaches to have something like this, there's always the option of putting in some kind of random generator for an ingame money sink...maybe a "beauty salon" where you spend some plat and have the game push the "random" button for your new appearance...

While a die-rolling system isn't NECESSARILY the best way to implement this, (even though I like the idea) I wouldn't attach it to something completely cosmetic, either. Nobody would ever use it, and thus it would defeat the purpose of making Turbine money.

Most games that I can think of with a microtransaction model use some sort of lottery, after all. Admittedly, my experience with them is fairly limited and I'm mostly thinking of facebook app style games, but some sort of lottery with a chance to win a very powerful item is hardly a new idea, and could still make Turbine a lot of money.


Great idea for the next great MMO that is released based on TSR's V1 Advanced Dungeons and Dragons.

I would totally play the heck out of that, btw.

Visty
10-04-2009, 01:09 PM
or we could all start with 18 in all stats, would be the same as there will be ppl who reroll till they get the 6x18 and there is nothing you can do about it

and ofc then the complaint of the others will come

Borror0
10-04-2009, 01:13 PM
I'm advocating it because it would make Turbine tons and tons of money.
You are assuming that such a change won't **** off most of the playerbase by proposing a new type of gameplay they are not interested into.

You are very most likely wrong.

I think that would fix any game balance issues that something like this would bring up
No, obviously not. Having 17 everywhere is the equivalent of a 78 points build.

Most games that I can think of with a microtransaction model use some sort of lottery, after all.
Most games with microtransaction aim at a completely different type of customers than DDO.

DDO aims at casuals to make a profit while most RMT games try to get the hardcore players to spend tons of dollars.

bjlinden
10-04-2009, 01:17 PM
or we could all start with 18 in all stats, would be the same as there will be ppl who reroll till they get the 6x18 and there is nothing you can do about it

and ofc then the complaint of the others will come

Heh. If somebody wants to pay Turbine hundreds (possibly thousands) of dollars to get this result, more power to 'em! They might have just boosted the development budget enough for us to finally get half-orcs and druids!

Cleitanious
10-04-2009, 01:43 PM
This would likely turn off more players form the game than it would attract. It would turn into a much smaller group of players who spent absurd amounts of money on overpowered characters.

Hafeal
10-04-2009, 01:52 PM
It's a good idea but it needs some tweaking. I think we should change it to 1 roll for each stat of 3d6. And here's the best part - you roll the dice, video tape your rolls, send your video into Turbine, assuming they approve it - they open up a character for you in a week or so.

Visty
10-04-2009, 02:04 PM
Heh. If somebody wants to pay Turbine hundreds (possibly thousands) of dollars to get this result, more power to 'em! They might have just boosted the development budget enough for us to finally get half-orcs and druids!

ah sry, forgot that your suggestion is about paying for each try

well, then we can turn it around:
have fun with your chars with 3 in all stats which you just paid for :p

bjlinden
10-04-2009, 02:59 PM
You are assuming that such a change won't **** off most of the playerbase by proposing a new type of gameplay they are not interested into.

You are very most likely wrong.

Would you quit playing because of it?

I'm not trying to present an ultimatum-style challenge by saying that, I'm genuinely curious. Because that's what it would take for a change like this to fail to make Turbine a significant amount of money.

Personally, I don't think too many people would quit over it, because its the kind of change that doesn't effect you personally unless you let it. The old 28/32 point builds would still be effective, they just wouldn't be the most powerful things possible. It's not like, say, the first attempt at the attack speed change, which hit everybody at low levels. (Note, I'm not trying to rag on you with this; now that they've fixed the speed at low levels I think the BAB/attack speed was a positive change and reflects the intent behind BAB in the first place. It's just an effective illustration of the other type of change. If it wasn't fixed, it would have effected everybody, and people very likely would have left.) Implementing this wouldn't really effect you at all, unless you decided to cough up the dough to sit around and roll up a character yourself.

I suppose I can see the argument that it might be potentially too imbalancing, (though I personally believe this could be offset by both the cost and a few other tweaks) but you really can't argue that Turbine would LOSE money by implementing this.


No, obviously not. Having 17 everywhere is the equivalent of a 78 points build.

True, but how often would that actually happen? If someone is either incredibly lucky, or actually has thousands of dollars to spend on a game, you might find one or two of those on an entire server. You might see a 17 or two, and then nothing else below a 10 or 12, which would still be significant, but not game-breakingly so. But all 17s would be rare enough that you could just pretend they don't exist.

And even if it did happen, there's a lot of builds out there that don't need their tertiary ability scores all that much. It would be amazing for, say, a paladin or monk, but for the most part all you'd get out of this are some casters who aren't quite so squishy at the lowest levels, and some melee who can get combat expertise without having to use any tomes.

Perhaps a better way to balance it would be to make it so that you can't control which stat each roll is placed in? I like this a lot more, actually, and the more I think about it, it simulates the old school die rolling experience a lot better. They'd have to get rid of the "4d6, remove the lowest" method and make it a straight 3d6 roll, too. And even then, it still might be a good idea to save 18s as a perk for people willing to use points and take a hit to their other stats. I still think it would make tons of money.


Most games with microtransaction aim at a completely different type of customers than DDO.

DDO aims at casuals to make a profit while most RMT games try to get the hardcore players to spend tons of dollars.

Okay, you've got me here.

Still, DDO needs to do its best to make the microtransaction system work for them, and what microtransactions work best for is getting a handful of people to spend lots of money. It's just the nature of the system. As such they need to find a good balance between the two.

I have a feeling that in another couple months, after the newness of the DDO store wears off and most people have the adventure packs, races, and classes they want, profits from the store will start to dry up quite a bit. Something that'll keep premium accounts coming back for more will be necessary to keep it afloat, and I think a system like this could do just that. XP, speed boosts, rez cakes, and the like are nice, but a lot of people don't like to spend money on something that won't have a lasting effect, like adventure packs and races/classes.

Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't want it implemented without some serious testing. Perhaps it WOULD be too imbalancing. I don't think it would, but you never know.

The more I think about it, some sort of weekly lottery with a significant reward (huge bags, raid level loot, etc. Anything that would give permanent results without imbalancing the game) might fulfill this function even better than a die-rolling ability score system. Plus, it would throw VIPs a bone as well, as I'm sure they'd get a free ticket every week, or something along those lines. But frankly, chance-based rewards and the microtransaction system have an amazing synergy with each other, and Turbine would be throwing away money by not trying to use that to their advantage.

Personally, I think that rolling for ability scores would be a good way for them to do it, as it has the sort of flavor that fits into a D&D based game, but even if that wouldn't work, they should definitely find some other way. Maybe they could even give those worthless gambling NPCs in the harbor a real job to do?

Lorien_the_First_One
10-04-2009, 07:47 PM
You would just keep rerolling all day until you got something you liked/overpowered. Bad idea, very unfun. There is a reason that 28pt builds are the standard used at many official WoTC endorsed events.

Uska
10-04-2009, 07:59 PM
You would just keep rerolling all day until you got something you liked/overpowered. Bad idea, very unfun. There is a reason that 28pt builds are the standard used at many official WoTC endorsed events.

Not with the system he listed it would cost 50-100 tp a roll which would limit most people they would have to give a limited number of rolls for free though for people to start with. Not saying its a good idea but it wouldnt be like what your thinking.

Borror0
10-04-2009, 08:00 PM
Would you quit playing because of it?
Indubitably. It's not the kind of gameplay that I am interested in.

I love DDO but, at the point, I'm sure that another triple A MMO can satisfy my needs.

[...] because its the kind of change that doesn't effect you personally unless you let it.
The same argument can be used to object the importance of game balance. Yet, game developers still balance.

True, but how often would that actually happen?
That is completely and utterly irrelevant. It would still be unbalancing.

Still, DDO needs to do its best to make the microtransaction system work for them, and what microtransactions work best for is getting a handful of people to spend lots of money. It's just the nature of the system. As such they need to find a good balance between the two.
That's a baseless claim. Don't get me wrong, it sounds really good to sell an idea but so are many other things (http://programmerjoe.com/2009/09/20/50things/).

In reality, it's just a theory and there are many arguments against it.

The biggest counterargument is that DDO is the first MMO that I am aware of to deliver content in the way it does. Most of the industry rest on the four models: F2P with RMT, F2P with ads, F2P with content reserved to subscribers and P2P with subscription and a free trial. DDO adds another option: F2P with content that can be bought by RMT or by subscribing.

As a result, the claim that "X works better" is unproved because DDO is the first one to try this approach. It is too early to claim X is better than another approach.

The other point that I have to make is that your argument ignores the fact that humans have different needs.

For example, the design of World of Warcraft caters to the masses the best. It is more than excellent into converting non-gamers into subscribers. Really, there is no better design for that purpose and it's extremely lucrative. Thus, the same line of reasoning could be applied to game design than the one to applied to microtransaction: all games should be like WoW because that's the best approach.

However, there are many players that are simply not interested by WoW. A lot of players have tried WoW and did not feel like it matched their needs. As a result, you have different kinds of MMOs that try to meet the needs of those who do not want to play WoW. Likewise, many different business models appeal to different people. Arguments saying that X is better fail to comprehend that Y will be more appealing to certain people and, when you already have an existing base of customers, it's important to realize what their needs are.

Even more so when a business model would have a direct impact on gameplay, like this one would.

Case in point, you'll notice that the DDO Store does not sell uber l00t even if many thinks it is more profitable.

I have a feeling that in another couple months, after the newness of the DDO store wears off and most people have the adventure packs, races, and classes they want, profits from the store will start to dry up quite a bit.
As Tolero explained before, putting out new content will be a prerequisite for them to make money. That much is obvious.

I don't see, however, how that is a problem because putting out new content would still be a prerequisite for them to make profits. (Studies have demonstrated that the lifespan of a game increases when there are additions and rule changes to it than where there is none.) So, it's no different.

Arianrhod
10-05-2009, 07:57 AM
While a die-rolling system isn't NECESSARILY the best way to implement this, (even though I like the idea) I wouldn't attach it to something completely cosmetic, either. Nobody would ever use it, and thus it would defeat the purpose of making Turbine money.


The /random appearance suggestion was a tangent - spending ingame money, not real money. Just a money sink with a random component to it. Sort of like the early days of the casino in AC, when people would dump loads of pyreals trying to get that golden gromnie pack toy.

Mercules
10-05-2009, 08:35 AM
It seems to me this could be addressed fairly easily by simply making the source for whatever RNG they use public. Sure, they have no way to prove that's what they're actually using, but I don't think it would really matter. Between the people who say "haha, I got an uber character on my first roll" and the more levelheaded folks who understand the Gambler's Fallacy, I have a feeling that people who make those kinds of accusations without some really hard evidence will be looked on as quacks and conspiracy theorists. There have already been similar accusations made about the drop rate of leveling sigils, and nobody's taken them seriously, have they?

Actually they have taken them seriously. There is a thread tracking the drop rate of Sigils on this forum. The honest truth is that people who pay money for Re-rolling stats will be ****ed off if someone they know gets decent stats on the first roll and they spend $15 and still have worse stats than their friend.

In addition it doesn't matter if we think they are crackpots, the people who don't play the game but might someday try it likely won't if it is being badmouthed by some "sour grapes" former player who states that Turbine charges for rolling stats and then cheats at it so you waste more money. I've dealt with those types in the past who swear such and such a product/service is bad because they personally had a bad experience once.

There is a reason 3.5 went to a point spend system and most people(in my experience) use it. Everyone starts off with the same potential which means no hard feelings. Adding a COST on top of it means that people will be sour about those with uber stats assuming they simply "bought" them.

No offense, but it is simply a stupid idea because of the discord it would cause among players AND the "Turbine stole my money." ideas it would place in some people's head.

Shaamis
10-05-2009, 08:50 AM
I think it is a very bad idea. Casinos operate under very strict laws with Compliance Officers making sure they follow those laws. Why? because of Gambler's Fallacy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gambler%27s_fallacy).

If Turbine does this what will happen is that someone will decide that since they have rolled poorly X rolls they are due a good roll soon and just keep spending Turbine Points. They will then raise a holy stink stating that Turbine's randomizer is not true or random, or even worse they will accuse Turbine of cheating. Since turbine isn't monitored by an outside auditor they have no way of assuring their customers that this is untrue. That is NOT a good business practice.

Never heard of gamer's fallacy, but it makes total sense, and it's true what you say after: electronically generated numbers are NOT random (just watch the d20 when you are attacking) and you'll realize this wont work, because the first official (i.e. lawyer involved complaint) will revert it back to what it is; a static number to build your character.

its a nice though but destined to /fail

Shaamis
10-05-2009, 09:49 AM
It seems to me this could be addressed fairly easily by simply making the source for whatever RNG they use public. Sure, they have no way to prove that's what they're actually using, but I don't think it would really matter. Between the people who say "haha, I got an uber character on my first roll" and the more levelheaded folks who understand the Gambler's Fallacy, I have a feeling that people who make those kinds of accusations without some really hard evidence will be looked on as quacks and conspiracy theorists. There have already been similar accusations made about the drop rate of leveling sigils, and nobody's taken them seriously, have they?

I suppose one could argue that this could open up doors for people trying to take legal action against Turbine, but I don't see any of these ever even getting off the ground. You're not "gambling" for money, or even a vague representation of money, like Turbine points, and that's what gambling laws cover. There's no court in the world that would recognize an 18 charisma as legal tender.



Yeah, that's the beauty of it! You see, I'm not advocating this idea because I think it's a more efficient method of character generation, or that it would have a particularly positive impact on gameplay in and of itself. Heck, I know I wouldn't do it myself, except possibly for one or two quick rolls for good luck when I go to make a new character. I'm advocating it because it would make Turbine tons and tons of money. And more money for Turbine equals more money they can THEN spend on making the game better for all of us.

Perhaps they could fix it so that the highest you could get would be a 17? I think that would fix any game balance issues that something like this would bring up. Like people have been saying in all the 32 point build threads, a few extra ability points aren't going to make or break a build.



While a die-rolling system isn't NECESSARILY the best way to implement this, (even though I like the idea) I wouldn't attach it to something completely cosmetic, either. Nobody would ever use it, and thus it would defeat the purpose of making Turbine money.

Most games that I can think of with a microtransaction model use some sort of lottery, after all. Admittedly, my experience with them is fairly limited and I'm mostly thinking of facebook app style games, but some sort of lottery with a chance to win a very powerful item is hardly a new idea, and could still make Turbine a lot of money.



I would totally play the heck out of that, btw.

These are all well thought-out arguments for doing it, and 90% of the DDO population would agree this could work, but it's not the 90-99% that accept it that I'm worried about.

I'm worried about the 1% that gets ticked off after spending 10,000 points for all 17's, doesn't get it, and says to himself: "hey, my brother is a lawyer, i'll file a class-action lawsuit on turbine for "cost" and "pain and suffering"
next thing you know, $10,000s of dollars and missed release dates put DOD in a hurt locker, all because someone got hurt their e-peen couldn't be as big as POSSIBLE.

sorry, i still see it as bad.