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Wouldn't you help zOMG! if you could?

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Starshine's avatar

Magical Gatekeeper

Kalon Ordona II

Gaians spend money on items, not content.

What I've been saying all along. Just because they can't strictly calculate the revenue gained through avatar customization in zomg, they call it a hidden cost and don't take it into account. x_x
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Tarot Rune
I have to admit that I admire your thread.. but too lazy to read the entire thing. sweatdrop

There are a lot of us here that have a passion for zOMG! and its community. Believe me when I say this, I've seen and even taken part in many attempts on and off the net to save zOMG! and fight for it to be all that it can be. There is only so much we can do.. and HQ clearly has no intentions of returning to zOMG!.
g

I'm here, and i'm going to be around as long as zOMG! remains playable. But my current course of action is not to spend a penny on GC, which has been remarkably easier than I had previously thought. I'm not online nearly as much as I used to be either.. But i'm here, watching the community that I love. If HQ so much as hints that it might be interested in doing any real work on zOMG! again, you'll definitely see me posting again and encouraging zOMG! to grow.

Tarot Rune
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And my Axe.. Bow.. Cannon?... Nuke!


Sword and a Nuke. Now we've got their attention. biggrin

It would be very sad if zOMG! never achieves its destiny. Because the problem is, for someone to try to make a zOMG copy, they would need a community like Gaia.

I don't know about anyone else, but I've been coming back to Gaia largely because of zOMG. Judging from responses here it looks like at least a few others feel the same way. It's a user net! It brings in the users, who then spend money on Gaia. Gaia makes the money, not zOMG, but zOMG brings in the Gaians who spend the money.

Cutting off the hand that feeds it. <.<

It's both awesome and very, very sad to hear about a bunch of efforts in the past to revitalize zOMG. Gaia has had ample warning of this situation, it sounds like.

I'm hoping a plea to let Gaians help the staff will satisfy the "revenue" concerns.

Gaia has an amazing niche!
Seems like they're throwing it away just to grasp at the scraps from facebook's table.
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Kalon Ordona II

Sword and a Nuke. Now we've got their attention.

It would be very sad if zOMG! never achieves its destiny. Because the problem is, for someone to try to make a zOMG copy, they would need a community like Gaia.

I don't know about anyone else, but I've been coming back to Gaia largely because of zOMG. Judging from responses here it looks like at least a few others feel the same way. It's a user net! It brings in the users, who then spend money on Gaia. Gaia makes the money, not zOMG, but zOMG brings in the Gaians who spend the money.

Cutting off the hand that feeds it. <.<

It's both awesome and very, very sad to hear about a bunch of efforts in the past to revitalize zOMG. Gaia has had ample warning of this situation, it sounds like.

I'm hoping a plea to let Gaians help the staff will satisfy the "revenue" concerns.

Gaia has an amazing niche!
Seems like they're throwing it away just to grasp at the scraps from facebook's table.

Indeed. I myself was on the verge of quitting Gaia just before zOMG! was in the works. Its solely what has kept me coming back every single day. Not to mention has been the reason I spend any money on items.. I don't care about looking cool here on the forums, I want to look cool while saving the world! Since zOMG!'s being put into maintenance mode, my cash input has halted completely and log-in count has decreased dramatically. *Dare I say i've gone a couple days in a row without logging in.

There are.. or at least were some brilliant minds around here in the z!F, we've come up with ideas for more revenue, easier implementations, and simple tweaks here and there that would just make zOMG! more amazing than it already is.. if thats even possible. HQ just turns a deaf ear. At least we were lucky enough to have devs as passionate as they were. They did everything they possibly could.. I'm sure HQ had to pry them from their work with the jaws of life a few times. But in complete honesty, zOMG! was going down hill years ago when the original lead director for the project, Qix, left. He saw HQ's intentions for zOMG! a LONG time ago.
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Kalon Ordona II
It would be very sad if zOMG! never achieves its destiny. Because the problem is, for someone to try to make a zOMG copy, they would need a community like Gaia.

I don't know about anyone else, but I've been coming back to Gaia largely because of zOMG. Judging from responses here it looks like at least a few others feel the same way. It's a user net! It brings in the users, who then spend money on Gaia. Gaia makes the money, not zOMG, but zOMG brings in the Gaians who spend the money.

Cutting off the hand that feeds it. <.<

It's both awesome and very, very sad to hear about a bunch of efforts in the past to revitalize zOMG. Gaia has had ample warning of this situation, it sounds like.

I'm hoping a plea to let Gaians help the staff will satisfy the "revenue" concerns.

Gaia has an amazing niche!
Seems like they're throwing it away just to grasp at the scraps from facebook's table.

It's not something we bring up regularly, but you're absolutely right; while zOMG! could be emulated mechanically elsewhere, the fact that it was crafted for a pre-existing community is a defining feature of the game. Even if it were reproduced perfectly elsewhere (also note that avatars would have to change some), I'm not sure there is a comparable environment that would actually make it 'the same'. I feel that zOMG! really is something that only Gaia could do correctly.

The problem with your argument, though, is that Gaia does track the users that zOMG! 'brings in' - they track which users come in and join through the zomg.com landing page, and they track how often their existing users play the game. If zOMG! were actually driving a significant number of Gaians to the site, they'd probably notice; indeed, that has always been a goal that zOMG! just hasn't quite met. I think it could, of course, and there are some small ways in which it does (zOMG! has an international userbase disproportionate to Gaia as a whole; that is, it's more attractive to international users), but currently they simply don't know what to do with the game to make it succeed in that regard.

And honestly, that is their problem in every regard - they simply don't know what to do with it. Gaia - as a Forum - may have had the unique opportunity to bring zOMG! to a pre-existing community, but that also marks a pretty heavy burden; because Gaia - as a Forum - doesn't really know how to run an MMO. Over the years they've tried a few of their 'best guesses' for how to improve the game, but nothing's worked out quite like they've hoped. I agree that Gaia is one of the few places that could do zOMG! right, but I also have to admit that Gaia's one of the places were doing it right would be hardest - that's just the position zOMG! was born into...
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Wonderful Topic! heart

I have to admit that there have been a few dark moments here and there, where I felt that zOMG! was done; that Gaia simply wanted it (and by extension, us) to go away, and forget it ever happened.

But those moments have always passed, and I've ultimately returned to the position of believing that zOMG! not only should survive, but will survive.

When Maintenace Mode was announced, I was positive it was the end, but boy was I wrong! blaugh

Perhaps our repeated ATA Raids proved to Gaia once and for all, that zOMG! has a devoted and passionate user base. Perhaps the continued additional revenues that DMS is generating got noticed on the balance sheets.
I don't know, but you can't help but notice that things have been happening for zOMG! since Maintenance Mode began, and I couldn't be happier about it.

Let's hope that things continue to get fixed, and that people continue to join up and stay, because I'd hate to see this Community dwindle and scatter.

I think it goes without saying, that you've got my support for whatever venture(s) you decide to embark upon.

***EDIT*** P.S...WTH is with the friggin Down Vote?!?!? scream
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Red Kutai's avatar

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I suppose I should go back and address the thread as a whole; I didn't mean to jump into the middle of things. sweatdrop
Kalon Ordona II
Gaians spend money on items, not content.

To be fair, Gaians - like all people - spend money on what they consider valuable. By virtue of being 'Gaians', yes, we are inclined to value items - but that's simply because the system in place encourages us to. The fact that zOMG! doesn't make effective use of that system is troublesome, but I don't think that means it shouldn't be an expectation. If other games can make money, zOMG! is not so inherently bad that it can't as well.

What zOMG! needs, in this regard, is something that Gaians actually feel is worth their money; currently, the game doesn't offer much. It's an 'if you build it, they will come' scenario - if you offer something people want, they will buy it; the fact that the latter has yet to happen on a large scale implies that former simply hasn't been satisfied. Figuring out what your audience values is a major part of being successful in any business.
Quote:
zOMG! should be known to the internet at large.

They did try - the internet at-large simply didn't want to hear about it. sweatdrop

They attempted a full ad campaign shortly after zOMG! came out, which wound up returning about 20% of the money investment. At that point they deemed that running another such campaign would simply be wasteful, and decided against it. And zOMG! simply hasn't been widely advertised, since.

Furthermore, there are a couple of key problems with the notion that zOMG! is good for bringing in players. Firstly, as I pointed out, it's consistently failed at offering players anything they're willing to spend money on - the game is bad at turning players into profit. Thus, zOMG!'s advertising would need to be exponentially more successful than that for other games, to achieve comparable profits; exponentially more successful advertising tends to be exponentially more expensive. Until the game converts players into profit efficiently enough to warrant it, they can't really afford to convert profit into players.

The second issue is that zOMG! tends to attract users who aren't altogether attracted to Gaia - this exascerbates the first issue quite a bit, particularly if we're relying on Gaia-side sales to make up for zOMG!'s lack. Some who come for zOMG! will integrate into the community, and become full-on Gaians; many, however, just want to do what they came here for. Unless zOMG! can do something worthwhile with those players (at this point, the game doesn't even do a good job of educating them into strong players, so their contribution to cooperative play is often minimal), there's really not much point in spending time and money to attract them.
Quote:
zOMG! has that level of potential.
zOMG! is amazingly unique, intriguing, and fun.
zOMG! is worth it.

zOMG! is amazingly unique, yes; its design is intriguing, and as a game it's obviously fun. Without some pretty significant changes, though, "worth it" might be a stretch. redface

I love zOMG! as much as - perhaps more than - anyone else. But the fact is, the game must figure out a direction to go that's worth investing in, before I'll honestly consider it wise to invest in it. The game has spent too long already making gambles, and it's really no better off for it. zOMG! has been put in the position, time-and-time-again, to be 'saved' by the community - and it's worked, each time. But what I want is less for zOMG! to be 'safe', and more for it to be healthy - and it won't be truly healthy until it can support itself. Rather than just preserving the game, I want to see it thrive. And that simply won't happen until we understand how to make it do so.
Quote:
Fix the bugs.
Advertise.

I'd argue there's a good deal more to fix, beyond just bugs. As an example, you point out zOMG!'s strong customisation aspects a few times, but always referring to the Avatar System; zOMG!'s real customisation tool, though, is the Ring System. I understand your not mentioning it, though, because it's not really doing its job at the moment - there's not enough balance or synergy to make the system truly expressive. zOMG! has some great innovations, but the implementation of those innovations isn't really serving the game well; address that, and we might just have something worth advertising. Unfortunately, what we're referring to is a pretty deep "that". sweatdrop
Quote:
We can do it!
Gaia, let us help zOMG!

This, however, I agree with absolutely; and I even think you're going about it in roughly the right way. 3nodding

The first step, importantly, is understanding that zOMG! does have shortcomings; the second, of course, is understanding that we can help address those. In my experience, zOMG! has an overwhelmingly creative community - we come up with lots of ideas. zOMG! has problems. Gaia has shown that it doesn't know how to address them. That's where we come in; a few-hundred heads are better than one, after all. If we can help them come up with viable, practical ideas for removing the obstacles to zOMG!'s success, then the decision to invest becomes an easy one. Currently, it's just a matter of greating to there, from here... sweatdrop
rebe-chan's avatar

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I was thinking about what I could do to help Zomg...
maybe i could draw art and post it all over DA so my watchers can see what it is (unless they already play).
Kalon Ordona II's avatar

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Red Kutai

I suppose I should go back and address the thread as a whole; I didn't mean to jump into the middle of things. sweatdrop
Kalon Ordona II
Gaians spend money on items, not content.

To be fair, Gaians - like all people - spend money on what they consider valuable. By virtue of being 'Gaians', yes, we are inclined to value items - but that's simply because the system in place encourages us to. The fact that zOMG! doesn't make effective use of that system is troublesome, but I don't think that means it shouldn't be an expectation. If other games can make money, zOMG! is not so inherently bad that it can't as well.

What zOMG! needs, in this regard, is something that Gaians actually feel is worth their money; currently, the game doesn't offer much. It's an 'if you build it, they will come' scenario - if you offer something people want, they will buy it; the fact that the latter has yet to happen on a large scale implies that former simply hasn't been satisfied. Figuring out what your audience values is a major part of being successful in any business.
Quote:
zOMG! should be known to the internet at large.

They did try - the internet at-large simply didn't want to hear about it. sweatdrop

They attempted a full ad campaign shortly after zOMG! came out, which wound up returning about 20% of the money investment. At that point they deemed that running another such campaign would simply be wasteful, and decided against it. And zOMG! simply hasn't been widely advertised, since.

Furthermore, there are a couple of key problems with the notion that zOMG! is good for bringing in players. Firstly, as I pointed out, it's consistently failed at offering players anything they're willing to spend money on - the game is bad at turning players into profit. Thus, zOMG!'s advertising would need to be exponentially more successful than that for other games, to achieve comparable profits; exponentially more successful advertising tends to be exponentially more expensive. Until the game converts players into profit efficiently enough to warrant it, they can't really afford to convert profit into players.

The second issue is that zOMG! tends to attract users who aren't altogether attracted to Gaia - this exascerbates the first issue quite a bit, particularly if we're relying on Gaia-side sales to make up for zOMG!'s lack. Some who come for zOMG! will integrate into the community, and become full-on Gaians; many, however, just want to do what they came here for. Unless zOMG! can do something worthwhile with those players (at this point, the game doesn't even do a good job of educating them into strong players, so their contribution to cooperative play is often minimal), there's really not much point in spending time and money to attract them.
Quote:
zOMG! has that level of potential.
zOMG! is amazingly unique, intriguing, and fun.
zOMG! is worth it.

zOMG! is amazingly unique, yes; its design is intriguing, and as a game it's obviously fun. Without some pretty significant changes, though, "worth it" might be a stretch. redface

I love zOMG! as much as - perhaps more than - anyone else. But the fact is, the game must figure out a direction to go that's worth investing in, before I'll honestly consider it wise to invest in it. The game has spent too long already making gambles, and it's really no better off for it. zOMG! has been put in the position, time-and-time-again, to be 'saved' by the community - and it's worked, each time. But what I want is less for zOMG! to be 'safe', and more for it to be healthy - and it won't be truly healthy until it can support itself. Rather than just preserving the game, I want to see it thrive. And that simply won't happen until we understand how to make it do so.
Quote:
Fix the bugs.
Advertise.

I'd argue there's a good deal more to fix, beyond just bugs. As an example, you point out zOMG!'s strong customisation aspects a few times, but always referring to the Avatar System; zOMG!'s real customisation tool, though, is the Ring System. I understand your not mentioning it, though, because it's not really doing its job at the moment - there's not enough balance or synergy to make the system truly expressive. zOMG! has some great innovations, but the implementation of those innovations isn't really serving the game well; address that, and we might just have something worth advertising. Unfortunately, what we're referring to is a pretty deep "that". sweatdrop
Quote:
We can do it!
Gaia, let us help zOMG!

This, however, I agree with absolutely; and I even think you're going about it in roughly the right way. 3nodding

The first step, importantly, is understanding that zOMG! does have shortcomings; the second, of course, is understanding that we can help address those. In my experience, zOMG! has an overwhelmingly creative community - we come up with lots of ideas. zOMG! has problems. Gaia has shown that it doesn't know how to address them. That's where we come in; a few-hundred heads are better than one, after all. If we can help them come up with viable, practical ideas for removing the obstacles to zOMG!'s success, then the decision to invest becomes an easy one. Currently, it's just a matter of greating to there, from here... sweatdrop


Thank you so much for taking the time to address all this, point by point!
See? I didn't know quite all that.

I am glad that the solution remains the same. There are great minds on Gaia; we need to pool them together somehow. Ideally, Gaia should spearhead the effort and unify everything.

It is rather disheartening to hear about the lead developer leaving. That explains a lot.

It's frustrating. We can't force the staff to work on it, but our efforts will be severely handicapped if we can't get their attention for something like this, to make a workable system that can produce visible results.

We don't even need the banner ads and things, really. If we can at least put zOMG! into all the websites that list MMORPG's, that would be enough to start. We can then supplement that with user efforts.

My my concept of "Fix Bugs. Advertise." is what seems to me to be the necessary first step. It's the bare minimum that we need to get the ball rolling again, as far as I can see. We can't tell people about it if there are bugs. But once the bugs are gone, we need people playing it. Then we can figure out what to do with them. The existing system works well enough that it can handle that much until we can fix the next batch of problems, I think.

If we were to make a to-do list, what do you think of this?

1. Fix Bugs.
2. List zOMG! in MMO sites and engage users in advertisement.
3. Fix Tutorial.
4. Create zOMG! user development assistance area and associated systems.
5. Implement user ideas on an ease and piority basis, with transparent process.
6. ????
7. Profit. biggrin
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Well, one thing that I believe everybody agrees on is that zOMG! needs to make money.
Another thing we agree upon is that zOMG! does not have a huge amount of direct means of doing that.
That being said, I think the following graphs show that, to steal an oft-used phrase, if they build it, we will buy.

User Image - Blocked by "Display Image" Settings. Click to show. User Image - Blocked by "Display Image" Settings. Click to show.

User Image - Blocked by "Display Image" Settings. Click to show. User Image - Blocked by "Display Image" Settings. Click to show.

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It's pretty obvious that there was a significant increase in Sales of zOMG Powerups coincidental to the time of DMS's release. It's also pretty obvious that those Sales have not slowed down to any extent, fully 6 months afterwards.

I think this more than proves that players will spend money to advance in the game, so what Gaia needs to do, is to create more of this type of product.
One thing immediately comes to mind, and one that I find surprising in it's absence, is a Double-Shorb Powerup.
Another product that I know I would buy, is a Loot Doubler; a Powerup similar to the Double-Shorb, that would double any drops received in DMS for the duration of it's use.

The last 6 months have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that people will pay in order to progress more quickly, if given the opportunity.
All Gaia needs to do to profit from this, is to provide us with the products.

One last note on this subject, you may have noticed the 3-400% increase in Revive sales earlier this month. I don't think it takes much to figure out that the bump coincides with the Easter Event in zOMG! which, to my mind also proves the revenue and increased Player potential of zOMG! Events.

I love having hard statistics. blaugh
Red Kutai's avatar

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WideEyed
It's pretty obvious that there was a significant increase in Sales of zOMG Powerups coincidental to the time of DMS's release. It's also pretty obvious that those Sales have not slowed down to any extent, fully 6 months afterwards.

I think this more than proves that players will spend money to advance in the game, so what Gaia needs to do, is to create more of this type of product.
One thing immediately comes to mind, and one that I find surprising in it's absence, is a Double-Shorb Powerup.
Another product that I know I would buy, is a Loot Doubler; a Powerup similar to the Double-Shorb, that would double any drops received in DMS for the duration of it's use.

The last 6 months have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that people will pay in order to progress more quickly, if given the opportunity.
All Gaia needs to do to profit from this, is to provide us with the products.

One last note on this subject, you may have noticed the 3-400% increase in Revive sales earlier this month. I don't think it takes much to figure out that the bump coincides with the Easter Event in zOMG! which, to my mind also proves the revenue and increased Player potential of zOMG! Events.

That spike, I believe, represents a single day in which a disproportionately large number of Revives were purchased - why someone would buy so many all at once, I don't know. However, considering that Easter Eggs don't actually deal any damage, I think it's hard to ascertain any reason that Revive sales would be impacted at all by the Easter Event. I'd consider that an anomaly. sweatdrop

What intrigues me more, immediately, is that there seems to have been a rise in every Powerup's sales during July of last year; each graph shows it, surrounded by a lull until DMS was released. Since the game obviously wasn't releasing content at the time, and I don't believe we had any Events around that time (as late as Easter was, I think this is after that), I can't recall what would spur people to buy more Powerups. It's obviously not as significant as the DMS spike, but I'd be interested to know what it was, regardless.

But DMS certainly had a sizable effect: from my surmisal, Ghi Amps doubled in sales; Ghi Amp Deluxes tripled, on average; Supercharger's saw a 50% increase; Supercharger Deluxe sales about tripled; and Revives maybe doubled from the preceding lull (though they're no higher than they were in the preceding July). It's worth noting that some of the graphs do show a slight downward inclination since DMS, but I'm not sure whether that's meaningful; the data is a little scattered, making it hard to read. Still, the area under the curve is considerably larger than it was before, meaning that it's DMS has certainly helped move those items.

I think it's valid to ask: would players have bought Powerups similarly if DMS had been just as hard, but not as slow? Would they have done so if it had been just as slow, but not as hard? That is to say, are more players buying them because they need them in order to advance, or because advancing is too tedious without them? Even more, are either of those goals that we actually want to pursue? Is it good for the game to deny players the ability to win without playing? Is it good for the game to bore them into submission? Both could make a game money, I suppose; but neither make a game fun...

EDIT: I just realised... Do we really move an order-of-magnitude more Revives each day than we do of other Powerups? Is that data right? eek
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That spike, I believe, represents a single day in which a disproportionately large number of Revives were purchased - why someone would buy so many all at once, I don't know. However, considering that Easter Eggs don't actually deal any damage, I think it's hard to ascertain any reason that Revive sales would be impacted at all by the Easter Event. I'd consider that an anomaly. sweatdrop

What intrigues me more, immediately, is that there seems to have been a rise in every Powerup's sales during July of last year; each graph shows it, surrounded by a lull until DMS was released. Since the game obviously wasn't releasing content at the time, and I don't believe we had any Events around that time (as late as Easter was, I think this is after that), I can't recall what would spur people to buy more Powerups. It's obviously not as significant as the DMS spike, but I'd be interested to know what it was, regardless.

But DMS certainly had a sizable effect: from my surmisal, Ghi Amps doubled in sales; Ghi Amp Deluxes tripled, on average; Supercharger's saw a 50% increase; Supercharger Deluxe sales about tripled; and Revives maybe doubled from the preceding lull (though they're no higher than they were in the preceding July). It's worth noting that some of the graphs do show a slight downward inclination since DMS, but I'm not sure whether that's meaningful; the data is a little scattered, making it hard to read. Still, the area under the curve is considerably larger than it was before, meaning that it's DMS has certainly helped move those items.

I think it's valid to ask: would players have bought Powerups similarly if DMS had been just as hard, but not as slow? Would they have done so if it had been just as slow, but not as hard? That is to say, are more players buying them because they need them in order to advance, or because advancing is too tedious without them? Even more, are either of those goals that we actually want to pursue? Is it good for the game to deny players the ability to win without playing? Is it good for the game to bore them into submission? Both could make a game money, I suppose; but neither make a game fun...

EDIT: I just realised... Do we really move an order-of-magnitude more Revives each day than we do of other Powerups? Is that data right? eek


Actually, to my eye, there appear to be three data points in the Revive Graph, which might well correspond to the one weekend that the zOMG! Easter Event was running, and while it's true that Easter Eggs deal no damage, the Animated are still out and about.
Any Newbies trying to collect eggs would be easy prey for the Animated in higer areas, and with Revives being relatively cheap, the spike may be valid rather than an anomaly.
I was also somewhat surprised by the sheer magnitude of revive sales, but the graph comes directly from Gaia's own resources, so I have to trust it.
The only supposition I can offer for sales being so brisk last July would be Summer Holidays for the school kids.

And as for the motivation behind buying Powerups, well mine is so I can move more quickly when I play.
As you point out, DMS is both difficult and time consuming.
Whereas in previous areas, I could always eventually get strong enough to breeze through, I'm about as strong as I'm going to get now, and DMS still takes a brutally long amount of time, so where I had never availed myself of Powerups before, I now go through them at an alarming rate, just to try and "pick up the pace" as it were.
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