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Kayi Laa's avatar

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It's not that they can't figure out how much money zOMG is making them, it's that they don't want to.

It's cheaper and easier to keep releasing facebook crap and trying to get a foothold in that market than it is to have to deal with zOMG, and their history of ignoring zOMG while raking in money from it has shown that they don't have to worry about it either.

It's a typical big business strategy. Once you have a self-perceieved monopoly of some kind, sit on it rather than improve it. It's why Windows stagnated and what allowed the hideousness of Vista into the world, it's why Macs can cost 4 times as much as an equally powered PC, and it's why the PSP has always been a steaming piece of crap.

zOMG can obviously improve Gaia's profits if they would use their brains a bit more, we've discussed that side of the issue to death, but these recent announcements have shown simply that they don't care. From their corporate opinion, no matter how much zOMG can potentially make them, it's not worth the investment, and they would rather ride zOMG into the ground, throwing profits from it into the sky and hoping some new project will be able to take off, so they can do the same to that as well.


The harder the community clings to zOMG, the happier the company is, because it proves they made the right decision, and get to enjoy the ride longer. And when we do eventually get sick of it all and abandon zOMG, the Gaia Interactive Inc. just hopes that something else has managed to take flight by then, so they can do the same thing all over again.



tl;dr
It's no longer about if zOMG can turn a bigger profit, it's about riding the fans of zOMG into the ground for every cent we're willing to give, until zOMG finally crashes.

It's a bad business tactic, but one that is used a lot more often than companies that use it want to admit.
Red Kutai's avatar

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Kayi Laa
It's no longer about if zOMG can turn a bigger profit, it's about riding the fans of zOMG into the ground for every cent we're willing to give, until zOMG finally crashes.

Y'know, in most countries that possess such a currency, "bigger profit" usually translates to a greater number cents. Attributing superficially similar but inherently unsound beliefs to another just so that you can deconstruct them is known as a "strawman" argument - and such arguments are specious, at best. redface

The fact is, I've heard the claim that there are myriad simple, obvious, effective strategies for making zOMG! a sound investment many, many times - more times, even, than I've heard examples of such strategies. If anyone has seen suggestions for zOMG! "discussed to death", it's me - and of those suggestions, do you know how many I would actually consider implementing, in Gaia's position? Maybe two, and both of those would still be hard sells. If all of these great, obvious ideas really exist, I must say that people are being awfully quiet about them. whee

Gaia gave the developers an opportunity to attempt profitability - the result of that experiment was DMS. DMS did not meet Gaia's expectations, from which it follows that DMS as a strategy - the best strategy our developers could come up with - was not sound. Gaia took its "best bet" on zOMG! - failing that, it's simply not reasonable to expect them to keep investing in progressively worse bets. So until someone brings a better bet to the table, Gaia's holding its chips. If there really are so many of these great ideas floating around, now would be a truly choice time to cash them in. sweatdrop

We can argue all day over whether zOMG! is profitable, or how profitable, or whatnot - but if Gaia can make more profit investing elsewhere, the whole discussion is moot. I don't believe that zOMG! is a bad game; I don't think it's handicapped in any way. If other games are able to meet Gaia's expectations, then I fully believe zOMG! can too. We - that is, the company, the community, and most importantly the developers - simply don't know how to do that, yet. I have no doubt that zOMG! will survive, because I have no doubt that that is a problem that we can solve; but we'll never have the chance to do that, if we keep looking for ways to justify the belief that the game is fine, as is...
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Red Kutai
Kayi Laa
It's no longer about if zOMG can turn a bigger profit, it's about riding the fans of zOMG into the ground for every cent we're willing to give, until zOMG finally crashes.

Y'know, in most countries that possess such a currency, "bigger profit" usually translates to a greater number cents. Attributing superficially similar but inherently unsound beliefs to another just so that you can deconstruct them is known as a "strawman" argument - and such arguments are specious, at best. redface

The fact is, I've heard the claim that there are myriad simple, obvious, effective strategies for making zOMG! a sound investment many, many times - more times, even, than I've heard examples of such strategies. If anyone has seen suggestions for zOMG! "discussed to death", it's me - and of those suggestions, do you know how many I would actually consider implementing, in Gaia's position? Maybe two, and both of those would still be hard sells. If all of these great, obvious ideas really exist, I must say that people are being awfully quiet about them. whee

Gaia gave the developers an opportunity to attempt profitability - the result of that experiment was DMS. DMS did not meet Gaia's expectations, from which it follows that DMS as a strategy - the best strategy our developers could come up with - was not sound. Gaia took its "best bet" on zOMG! - failing that, it's simply not reasonable to expect them to keep investing in progressively worse bets. So until someone brings a better bet to the table, Gaia's holding its chips. If there really are so many of these great ideas floating around, now would be a truly choice time to cash them in. sweatdrop

We can argue all day over whether zOMG! is profitable, or how profitable, or whatnot - but if Gaia can make more profit investing elsewhere, the whole discussion is moot. I don't believe that zOMG! is a bad game; I don't think it's handicapped in any way. If other games are able to meet Gaia's expectations, then I fully believe zOMG! can too. We - that is, the company, the community, and most importantly the developers - simply don't know how to do that, yet. I have no doubt that zOMG! will survive, because I have no doubt that that is a problem that we can solve; but we'll never have the chance to do that, if we keep looking for ways to justify the belief that the game is fine, as is...


The thing is, they did report an upswing in revenues when DMS opened, through sales of Gems and greater than normal sales of Powerups.
DMS is now an existing part of zOMG!, and assumedly should remain so as long as zOMG! lives.
It's probably safe to say that revenues have fallen from the initial heady days of it's opening, but it's still god awful hard to get through, and I'd imagine that even if Powerup sales have dipped since it's opening, they must still be well up from where they were prior to DMS.
With a few tweaks, DMS itself might prove to be a viable business model for zOMG! going forward.
DMS is now part of the established infrastructure, and will remain part of zOMG! for new players to explore. I shouldn't think that it would increase zOMG!'s maintenance costs at all, and should continue to generate revenue for Gaia as long as it runs.
By leaving it's accessibility as it is now, limited to when the Bar fills and those who have purchased Gems, they could continue to appreciate the "Entry Fee" revenues, and by increasing the Gold drops, which are rather meager when considering the amount of time DMS takes, increasing the drops rates for Epic recipes, and decreasng the ingredient requirements (10,000 is a daunting number for any but the most "dedicated" gamer to collect), they might enitce more people to venture in in the first place.
With the increased leveling requirements and high dificulty level. I would think that a Double Shorb Powerup would be a big seller.

zOMG! could be basically left as is (although the glitches must be repaired), for a period of say, six months, after which a new accounting could be undertaken. If DMS did prove to have a sustained, positive impact on on zOMG! direct revenue generation, it's possible that the model of "Pay to Enter, God Awfully Hard" new content might warrant the addition of a new area, built on that model.

Speculation has been that the "New Hotness" will not play like a Gaia game, meaning no avatars, meaning no reason for people to buy new outfits to play in.
Keeping zOMG! alive, and growing, even at a snails pace, would allow it to get gradually bigger and bigger, and by doing so, keep people on the site, and spending, longer.
Perhaps in time, the Devs might eventually find that zOMG! had, after all, become what they had envisioned when they first set out to make thier MMO.
Perhaps what is needed is just more time and patience.
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The fact is, I've heard the claim that there are myriad simple, obvious, effective strategies for making zOMG! a sound investment many, many times - more times, even, than I've heard examples of such strategies. If anyone has seen suggestions for zOMG! "discussed to death", it's me - and of those suggestions, do you know how many I would actually consider implementing, in Gaia's position? Maybe two, and both of those would still be hard sells. If all of these great, obvious ideas really exist, I must say that people are being awfully quiet about them. whee

Oh please, Red. There was the entire fiasco with the Sewer Rats when the last time we began to discuss the future of zOMG, and there were dozens of ideas created then, ranging from non-limited specialty ring sales, to a wide variety of vanity powerups, to my own suggestions of creating small area, low production cost new zones to keep the appeal of players who have finished standard zOMG, or even ideas such as existing zones being given scoreboards and prizes given out for daily/weekly/monthly high scores, all of which would keep interest in zOMG at a higher level, and most of which would take very minimal time and effort to add to the game, especially since several of these have been shown to be easy enough to add.

It's not a strawman argument, I simply did not want to hash out everything from the top again, since Gaia Inc. has shown they don't care.


DMS was not the best bet, and from day 1, major, major flaws have been pointed out in it, although you will likely accuse this of being a strawman argument as well, so allow me to elaborate ahead of time: DMS was created as a grinding zone to deal with players who have more free time than common sense, the new orbs were set at such a disgustingly low drop rate as to take an unreasonable amount of time to level up rings compared to any other zone in the game, and then the initial 'hump' of DMS was artificially installed by putting enemies 1.0 CL over the players as the first ones encountered, an issue that was a PITA to overcome at first, but quickly enough became a yawnfest as once players figured out how to defeat these enemies, it became a nonstop grindfest of re-murdering the same clusters of enemies over and over again for hundreds of rooms, in a randomly spawning nonsensical maze, all in an attempt to force players to take it slower than they would have needed to in their efforts to beat the area.

Even after all of these obvious FLAWS, DMS is still geared specifically towards a tiny margin of the zOMG userbase with the bloodstone amulets and gems, which were the source of an income drive and the latest "save zOMG" pitch launched by Gaia. A pitch that the community overwhelmingly exceeded, as we burned through the entire "stock" of the gems before Gaia expected it, leaving us waiting for the release when they hadn't finished preparing it yet. This specific targeting ensured that no matter how well DMS did with those who bought the Bloodstones, Gaia could keep the access to the new content to a minimum and always have deniability, insisting that the new users generated was "less than hoped for", since their "hope" would be to actually increase the overall user count in zOMG including areas not associated with DMS, a flawed, if borderlining on mentally retarded, "hope" by the standards of anyone viewing it as an outsider, until one realizes that this was Gaia's backdoor to say what they're saying now.


All of this continues to fly in the face of convention, that advertising in zOMG would be the cheapest and easiest solution, as open advertising throughout zOMG's various zones would draw a steady, solid income, with enough current userbase to allow for at least a continued part time programmer for the project that could add the other ideas as listed above. And while Gaia Inc has claimed previously that advertising in zOMG has done poorly, this is because it has always been added poorly, a single pre-game loading ad is ignored by the vast majority of the population, because we click and forget. As I have personally posed in previous threads, "How many of us know the epic landshark fight picture?" (or various other loading art picture speculations.) With the simplest of questions, the vast majority of zOMG who has gotten to gold beach, and beyond, will nod, it is the ideal place to put advertisements, as players who are eagerly awaiting transfer into a new zone will constantly see these ads every time a new zone is loaded up, giving advertisers the all important factor that people will actually LOOK at the ad that the company paying for it wants them to see, something that most of us have long since learned to ignore when it is simply a side banner or a random block of annoyance sitting somewhere else on our screen.


...

Let's take a step back away from that again now though.

Perhaps I am wrong in how I see the big picture, as I was away when everything began to explode, but from what I understand, Swarf himself has told us that the rest of Gaia has lied to the zOMG userbase, and there is a huge upheaval going on regarding these matters. I am still missing pieces of the conversation, as Gaia has done it's best to silence and delete much of it, but just based on what the reaction posts from Gaia Inc. officially have been, it seems like I've got a fair enough grasp on the situation.

Maybe you could fill me in on the part I'm missing where they haven't purposely steered zOMG into coasting mode so they can ride it into the ground?

Because as far as I can see, that's what's happening right now, and all of the ideas I've put here are purely as fluff to prove that your commentary on my "strawman" argument was false.
Red Kutai's avatar

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Kayi Laa
There was the entire fiasco with the Sewer Rats when the last time we began to discuss the future of zOMG, and there were dozens of ideas created then

There were dozens of ideas created and discussed, yes. However, next-to-none of them significantly changed the model for zOMG! profitability, meaning the vast majority would not have any sort of significant effect on zOMG!'s sustainability as a feature. The fact is, I've seen lots of ideas - but there is a big difference between quantity, and quality. What zOMG! needs are high-quality ideas; things that will turn small investments into large returns. Things that fundamentally change the prospect of profitability in zOMG!. While I agree that the notion of brainstorming ideas - what Sewer Rats was essentially intended to do - is a good one, I think it would be unreasonable to expect every idea from it to be inherently viable.

There are a handful of suggestions from the Sewer Rats that I would actually consider implementing directly, in Gaia's position (and a few more that could use some revision, first) - of those, however, none would reasonably produce the kind of change that zOMG! truly needs. If we believe Sewer Rats really does represent the full range of possibilities for zOMG!'s future, then I'm afraid we don't have very far up to look. neutral

Luckily, I don't believe that for a second; and the sooner we stop assuming that we've already thought of every good idea, the better it'll be for zOMG!.
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DMS was not the best bet

To be quite honest, I don't disagree with that in the least. If it were up to me, I would re-design DMS from bottom-to-top; I think I've made my opinions about the area quite clear in the past, and it doesn't exactly serve very well for me to repeat them, here. redface

But that doesn't change the fact that our developers believed it was the best bet available - and this offers three possibilities: first, that DMS really was the best possible solution, and it failed; second, that better solutions were possible, but that they were not apparent to our developers; or third, that better solutions were apparent, but that our developers were not qualified to recognise them. The former means that zOMG! is doomed, as its best bet was a failure; you, nor I, nor anyone in this Forum believes that, I hope, and thus we can discard it for the sake of discussion. The latter two options can both be addressed by further exploring, discussing, and communicating ideas for the game's future - and it follows that that is the course-of-action I consider most reasonable.
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advertising throughout zOMG's various zones would draw a steady, solid income

I think you vastly overestimate the effectiveness of advertising in zOMG!. While I don't doubt that it would produce some additional revenue for the game, the fact is that the game's limited audience ensures that utilising it as an advertising platform is hardly the money tree you seem to expect. I believe I've seen Panagrammic address this premise on multiple occasions, citing a number of reasons why it wouldn't be a universal answer to zOMG!'s problems, and his points seem entirely reasonable. I suspect that advertising in zOMG! can and likely will successfully occur at some point in the future; but I think it's unreasonable to expect it to save the game.
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Swarf himself has told us that the rest of Gaia has lied to the zOMG userbase, and there is a huge upheaval going on regarding these matters.

Your understanding of the situation is very incomplete, indeed, I'm afraid. redface

Gaia staff made an attempt to address the concerns about zOMG! - they chose to do so through statements given at last week's Ask-the-Admin meeting. Many users were unsatisfied with these responses; swarf, least of all. He made a thread detailing what he felt were the inaccuracies of the claims made in the AtA. A day later, swarf decided that the thread was not an appropriate manner in which to address the issue, and removed it of his own volition; discussions then began among Gaia's developers to determine the truth behind the discrepancies. More recently, a complete statement, underwritten by all of those individuals (including swarf), was released with the aim to clarify any statements made by any of them which might have been misleading.

I feel the fervor inspired by swarf's 'revelations' was premature, and unwarranted; and I think it was best that he remove the thread, in favour of handling the issue in a more civil manner. However, the existence of the thread has still generated a lot of animosity and feelings of distrust - in many regards - that the developers (including swarf) are now trying very hard to quell. All-told, very little has changed since the staff's initial statements, but we all seem to feel much worse about it, now... confused
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Luckily, I don't believe that for a second; and the sooner we stop assuming that we've already thought of every good idea, the better it'll be for zOMG!.

I hardly believe that this is all of the ideas either, but the point I was trying to make is there are a slew of ideas that were not just tossed out, but looked into, and much of the coding already there, only for Gaia to have shrugged, ignored it, and moved on.

While none of these ideas are the amazing zOMG!-saver, many of them could be added with little effort, and give zOMG enough funds to not be dropped into maintenance mode, but instead actually have the financial backing to continue to expand.

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I think you vastly overestimate the effectiveness of advertising in zOMG!. While I don't doubt that it would produce some additional revenue for the game, the fact is that the game's limited audience ensures that utilising it as an advertising platform is hardly the money tree you seem to expect. I believe I've seen Panagrammic address this premise on multiple occasions, citing a number of reasons why it wouldn't be a universal answer to zOMG!'s problems, and his points seem entirely reasonable. I suspect that advertising in zOMG! can and likely will successfully occur at some point in the future; but I think it's unreasonable to expect it to save the game.

The current concepts of advertising being attempted by Pana and the others, and the failure of advertising in preloaders are all very clearly not going to work, these aborted attempts to bring advertising to zOMG are doomed by their very nature. Of course if you keep rehashing old already-failed ideas, then they're simply going to fail again in the future. This is why I posed a completely different approach to how the advertisements are displayed, and something that should be looked into.

Like with TV ads, the idea is you're already watching the TV actively when they come on, so your eyes stay on the ads and you pay attention to them. Preloader ads are largely ignorable because we click, then wander off while waiting for the game to load, either physically, grabbing a drink and a snack, or at least technologically, as we finish surfing forums or other sites in the meantime. However, if ads were placed where our current loading art is, the attention given to them will skyrocket, and this alternate form of advertising can be easily 'sold' to companies that want a more attentive audience, getting more profit per hit than standard advertising, due to the extremely direct nature of users being involved and watching the screen as they wait for the new area to load and continue their game.

It's a next-generation advertising approach that Gaia could effortlessly benefit from if they were to simply make the effort. It's not an overestimation, it's simply that old-school preloader ads and side banners are NOT the way to go, and they're all Gaia will see with their blinders on. But again, it's an issue that would involve the slightest bit of effort on Gaia's part.

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As for the rest, it's simply a mess of fluff surrounding covering over a corporate snafu.

The truth is that we were given unspecified promises of continued zOMG related to the ongoing success of zOMG, as being measured by things like the bloodstone amulet. When we OVERWHELMINGLY exceeded expectations on the amulets, this was a sign, in our opinions, from the PoV of the users, that the game is doing amazingly well in terms of profit and participation, and it should be a clear sign that it must be expanded more.

Gaia, however, released a steaming turd they called DMS, left everyone disappointed, and when the fad of the new area died out (as it obviously was going to with such a badly designed area), it made them jump up and say, "See! This didn't do as good as we hoped! Now we're putting zOMG in maintenance mode."


... So please. Regardless of the "Swarf-Reveal", just based on the raw facts I've put above. Can you tell me who's right? Is zOMG really doing so horribly if we can exceed expectations on a s**t-sandwich like DMS? Or was this all just an excuse to can zOMG?
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Kayi Laa
As for the rest, it's simply a mess of fluff surrounding covering over a corporate snafu.

You can only consider it a 'coverup' if you assume the 'snafu' to begin with - you're assuming that they've done something wrong in order to prove they've done something wrong, which is circular logic. There is a whole world of reasonable, realistic conclusions available when we just stop assuming that everyone else is either stupid or evil. whee
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The truth is that we were given unspecified promises of continued zOMG related to the ongoing success of zOMG, as being measured by things like the bloodstone amulet. When we OVERWHELMINGLY exceeded expectations on the amulets, this was a sign, in our opinions, from the PoV of the users, that the game is doing amazingly well in terms of profit and participation, and it should be a clear sign that it must be expanded more.

The truth is, none of us were promised anything. We were given information as to what zOMG! needed - that information was largely misunderstood, and widely misinterpreted, motivating much of the community to act under beliefs that simply were not reasonable. zOMG! never sold development insurance. zOMG! never accepted donations. Any individual who purchased any item on the premise of future development was sorely mistaken; the only reasonable exceptions one could claim would be Headstart Tickets and Bloodstones, both of which were connected to now-released areas. Everyone has received what they've purchased. How we've come to the conclusion that we somehow deserve more than what we actually paid for, I honestly don't know. Understanding how that came to happen is really the core issue, here.
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Gaia, however, released a steaming turd they called DMS, left everyone disappointed, and when the fad of the new area died out (as it obviously was going to with such a badly designed area), it made them jump up and say, "See! This didn't do as good as we hoped! Now we're putting zOMG in maintenance mode."

Claiming that "Gaia" released a bad area is a misappropriation of blame - DMS was created by our devs, so if you feel its design was part of Gaia's plot to crush zOMG!, then it follows that our devs are duplicitous agents in that plot. While I do agree that the end result was inadequate in numerous regards, I still believe it was a good faith effort on the part of our developers. Treating it like anything else would necessarily impugn the people who have worked the hardest to ensure zOMG!'s future.
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... So please. Regardless of the "Swarf-Reveal", just based on the raw facts I've put above. Can you tell me who's right? Is zOMG really doing so horribly if we can exceed expectations on a s**t-sandwich like DMS? Or was this all just an excuse to can zOMG?

By your own estimation, DMS exceeded expectations only before it was released. What part of that does not sound like "doing horribly"? The sales of Bloodstone Amulets prior to DMS's release was primarily thanks to community interest - they were buying into the premise of zOMG! having a complete new area, at last. Just as the community lifted sales during last January to hit Gaia's ultimatum, the community 'saved' zOMG! once more. In what regard do you feel that makes zOMG! a sound investment?

The more our developers attempt these experiments, the more we find that zOMG! is currently more appealing in theory, than in practice - people are willing to pay for the prospect of zOMG! being updated, much more than they are for the content that actually comes from it. It currently makes no sense for them to invest in content, as players have shown that's not what they really want. If there's anything about zOMG! that's worth investing in, it's the prospect, not the content. That is the position we find ourselves in...
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My account would easily pay for the party for quite a while. mrgreen


But not gonna do it of course, because of banning. xp
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wagnas
My account would easily pay for the party for quite a while. mrgreen


But not gonna do it of course, because of banning. xp



Nice halo. This from buying and selling Fairy Wings in 04?
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Come, come Red, I said snafu, not coverup.

The difference is that one implies a direct attempt to hide internal conflicts that were accidentally exposed, the other simply means that the implied promises made were not being lived up to in any way, and the people in charge are backing out of said unspoken terms.

As for the "truth", it is as I said. We were given information that zOMG may be headed towards what it is now, and DMS was the ticket out, so to speak.

While there were no promises made on paper, the implied meaning was that if DMS did well enough, especially the sales of the bloodstone crap, zOMG would be saved.


Twist the words however you like, claim that's not what was said, wave around a banner of "Gaia isn't lying", but they're walking a fine line here and waving their metaphorical tooshies at us while they do it.

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How we've come to the conclusion that we somehow deserve more than what we actually paid for, I honestly don't know. Understanding how that came to happen is really the core issue, here.


Yes, this is the core issue here. When zOMG was in trouble, DMS was spoon-fed to us as the way to save zOMG. They put up a pricetag for it. 5,000 bloodstone amulets.

We crushed that amount and they had to throw out the gems for the sheer volume of us that were still clamouring for new content and a bigger, better, updated, shiny new zOMG.


The problem we seem to be butting heads with here is that you're under the impression zOMG should be treated like a console game, finished, released, people pay, that's that.

I'm treating zOMG like what it is. An MMO, even if it is a casual one. When a successful MMO pitches a new area and interest spikes, especially triggering huge waves of added sales, and the company behind it suddenly rips the rug out from everyone after taking our money, saying "Oh, and that's all we're ever doing on it now."

... That's when people get annoyed.

I personally had zero hopes for DMS, but bought several of those amulets as part of the whole "save zOMG" thing, because I wanted to see future updates, I wanted to see better areas released, I was looking forward to something that wouldn't be this bland string of caves that leads to Halloween 2k11 part3.

But now we push towards the end of our discussion.

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The more our developers attempt these experiments, the more we find that zOMG! is currently more appealing in theory, than in practice - people are willing to pay for the prospect of zOMG! being updated, much more than they are for the content that actually comes from it. It currently makes no sense for them to invest in content, as players have shown that's not what they really want. If there's anything about zOMG! that's worth investing in, it's the prospect, not the content. That is the position we find ourselves in...


And this is why the developers and Gaia as a whole, should learn to pay more attention to the community they are trying to sell to, rather than constantly going off and doing their own thing.

During the height of our pre-DMS problems, the notion of DMS being one of the next areas released was so far down on the community's list of "do this next plz", that it was a bad joke for DMS to have been bumped to the top of the list like that.

While I agree that for once, some of the blame lies with the developers, DMS sucks, I must still point out that the community *DID* come up with the funds necessary to launch DMS, even with some of us suspecting it would be a steaming load.


The problem, yet again, lies in Gaia's inability to pay attention to their customers.

Cash Shop? - Make every purchase have the userbase suggest where they want their money going towards. While Gaia does not need to follow this suggestion to the letter, also make it public, so that those of us who are buying things can see what the community as a whole is really asking for.

New zOMG content? - Don't just toss a dart at the dart board to pick the new update. Get real feedback, come up with ideas for what can be released, then pose those ideas to the community (as a subbranch of the cash shop voting too), so that we can decide what we want added.



For goodness sake, that whole cookies thing that Gaia did, where certain things got more attention the more cookies it got? I can count how many MAJOR changes were completely overlooked, not because they would be hard, or bad for Gaia, or really any reason other than the bigwigs in charge hadn't deemed that one of "the updates" that would happen, so they were promptly shot down without giving it a second thought.

After spending a few days looking at all the good ideas being thrown in the trash, only to have some guy in charge pull the worst, most retarded, ugliest b*****d of a bad idea out of the scrap heap, that couldn't even get enough cookies to officially qualify for being looked at, and say "hey, this is kinda what we wanted to do anyhow. Let's drag it to the top and do it!" ... well, I got sick of it and never went back there.


And this is the attitude that we see reflected in every decision that Gaia makes. So this whole "coverup" that's going on right now?

Of course I don't buy into the hype, and it honestly doesn't matter if it is one or isn't.

What matters is the acts surrounding it, and the way that Gaia is, once again, trying to push aside one of their largest solid user bases, that actively brings in large amounts of money to their site, on the off chance they can make another failed facebook game that everyone will yawn and ignore, yet again.

(does anyone even play moga still?)
Red Kutai's avatar

Benevolent Codger

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Come, come Red, I said snafu, not coverup.

You said "covering over", dear, which possesses every meaning that "coverup" does. If you did not mean "covering over", that's quite alright - but it's unfair to treat me as if I'm misrepresenting your positions. My telepathy studies have stagnated, of late - I'll only be able to read what you type, I'm afraid. redface
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As for the "truth", it is as I said. We were given information that zOMG may be headed towards what it is now, and DMS was the ticket out, so to speak.

While there were no promises made on paper, the implied meaning was that if DMS did well enough, especially the sales of the bloodstone crap, zOMG would be saved.

Twist the words however you like, claim that's not what was said, wave around a banner of "Gaia isn't lying", but they're walking a fine line here and waving their metaphorical tooshies at us while they do it.

Simply put, I've read every statement that you have - and likely more - and have never felt any such thing implied. The notion that I would "twist the words" not to mean good things for a game and community that I care very deeply for seems nonsensical to me. Everything that the Gaia staff - our developers included - has said to us can easily be interpreted as completely honest and straightforward, and from that the actions they have taken easily follow reasonably. It is only when you assume that they are duplicitous that the argument of their duplicity has any basis, which is know as 'circular logic'.
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The problem we seem to be butting heads with here is that you're under the impression zOMG should be treated like a console game, finished, released, people pay, that's that.

I'm treating zOMG like what it is. An MMO, even if it is a casual one. When a successful MMO pitches a new area and interest spikes, especially triggering huge waves of added sales, and the company behind it suddenly rips the rug out from everyone after taking our money, saying "Oh, and that's all we're ever doing on it now."

... That's when people get annoyed.

My familiarity with console gaming is unfortunately trapped about a decade back. You'll probably have to explain my position to me in terms that I can actually understand. However that makes sense. sweatdrop

What I can discern from your statement, however, appears to be that people want updates - and that's something that I certainly can understand. But I'm confident that even successful MMOs do not release areas, find themselves unimpressed with the returns on that investment, and then agree to repeat the same mistakes - because that sounds very much like the makings of an unsuccessful business model. Like any company that releases a product to underwhelming results, it would make vastly more sense for them to stop investing in an underwhelming product, and begin exploring ways in which they might improve that product for future releases. Continuing to invest blindly in a product while one does not understand how to make it profitable is the equivalent of throwing money into a hole - and most experts agree that that's a bad idea.
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I personally had zero hopes for DMS, but bought several of those amulets as part of the whole "save zOMG" thing, because I wanted to see future updates, I wanted to see better areas released, I was looking forward to something that wouldn't be this bland string of caves that leads to Halloween 2k11 part3.

Then you were driven by a misconception - a common misconceptions, perhaps, but still something that is not, was not, and was never claimed (except by others under similar misconceptions) to be the case. I understand how difficult it can be to accept that something one believes - that one wants to believe - was never truly based in fact; but the ability to recognise and take responsibility for those occurrences is an important part of life.
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During the height of our pre-DMS problems, the notion of DMS being one of the next areas released was so far down on the community's list of "do this next plz", that it was a bad joke for DMS to have been bumped to the top of the list like that.

To be fair, one of the fundamental rules of good design is "Listen to everything your audience has to say." The rule that immediately follows it: "Don't actually listen to everything your audience has to say." whee

The simple fact is, most game players are not game designers - the two have different goals, motivations, values, understandings, and expertise. While it would be throwing away a valuable resource to completely disregard player opinions, it is just as dangerous to overestimate the value of those opinions - DMS is, in actuality, an example of the latter.

Players - that is, the players the developers had most access to; the "squeaky wheels", as it were - routinely requested harder content. That's precisely what DMS was tailored to deliver; it is hard to level, hard to progress, and hard to complete. Everything about the area is hard. The problem? Hard content is not the same as fun content. The notion that harder content is necessarily more fun is a very common c** hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy among gamers, based on experiences with 'hard' gameplay - and it's important for a designer to recognise that.

Simply, the argument that "we weren't asking for it" necessarily makes it a bad idea isn't entirely sound - the whole job of a designer is to listen to what players are asking for, and instead give them what they really want. Curiously, our difference-in-opinion on this subject is that you feel DMS was not giving the players what they were asking for, whereas I feel it - mistakenly - was doing just that. sweatdrop

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Cash Shop? - Make every purchase have the userbase suggest where they want their money going towards. While Gaia does not need to follow this suggestion to the letter, also make it public, so that those of us who are buying things can see what the community as a whole is really asking for.

I'll admit that I fought for that suggestion pretty hard the last time it was posed - the community at-large seemed unreceptive. I'll also admit, that was the time I concluded that Site Feedback was a mite too unwelcoming of site feedback for my tastes, so if the issue's been revived since, I wouldn't know. sweatdrop

EDIT: Seems this is my second time posting that link in this thread - senility strikes again. redface
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New zOMG content? - Don't just toss a dart at the dart board to pick the new update. Get real feedback, come up with ideas for what can be released, then pose those ideas to the community (as a subbranch of the cash shop voting too), so that we can decide what we want added.

Firstly, the notion that they ever dart-boarded for ideas is baseless, as far as I know; they chose what they thought would best suit the needs of the game, and ran with it. Their being wrong doesn't mean they didn't try. Additionally - for the reasons stated previously - giving players too much control over content, at too grand a scale, has the potential to be wildly detrimental to the game's survival. Again, listening to players is good; but allowing them any kind of actual authority is foolhardy. Design is much more a benevolent dictatorship, than a democracy. sweatdrop
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What matters is the acts surrounding it, and the way that Gaia is, once again, trying to push aside one of their largest solid user bases, that actively brings in large amounts of money to their site, on the off chance they can make another failed facebook game that everyone will yawn and ignore, yet again.

(does anyone even play moga still?)

The issue here appears to be that your definitions are not in line with Gaia's - that what you consider "large amounts of money" and "failed" games, they consider relatively insignificant amounts of money, and wildly successful games, respectively. A quick check reveals that MoGa currently has 1.3 million monthly players - which is very easily an order of magnitude more than zOMG! has ever had. Considering that that game is much more oriented around - and therefore much more successful at - converting players into profit, it follows that that order of magnitude more players are producing even more orders of magnitude more money. If only zOMG! could 'fail' like that, we wouldn't be in this position to begin with... stressed
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We should be allowed to sell our accounts provided the revenue goes to zOMG.

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Lol gaian gold has very little value to Gaia.. xd

It would just reduce inflation a little. rofl
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Berryfarmer pre-zOMG.

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Berryfarmer after starting zOMG

Whole world of difference in looks and how cool I wanted to look.
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Red Kutai
Luckily, I don't believe that for a second; and the sooner we stop assuming that we've already thought of every good idea, the better it'll be for zOMG!.

I hardly believe that this is all of the ideas either, but the point I was trying to make is there are a slew of ideas that were not just tossed out, but looked into, and much of the coding already there, only for Gaia to have shrugged, ignored it, and moved on.

While none of these ideas are the amazing zOMG!-saver, many of them could be added with little effort, and give zOMG enough funds to not be dropped into maintenance mode, but instead actually have the financial backing to continue to expand.

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I think you vastly overestimate the effectiveness of advertising in zOMG!. While I don't doubt that it would produce some additional revenue for the game, the fact is that the game's limited audience ensures that utilising it as an advertising platform is hardly the money tree you seem to expect. I believe I've seen Panagrammic address this premise on multiple occasions, citing a number of reasons why it wouldn't be a universal answer to zOMG!'s problems, and his points seem entirely reasonable. I suspect that advertising in zOMG! can and likely will successfully occur at some point in the future; but I think it's unreasonable to expect it to save the game.

The current concepts of advertising being attempted by Pana and the others, and the failure of advertising in preloaders are all very clearly not going to work, these aborted attempts to bring advertising to zOMG are doomed by their very nature. Of course if you keep rehashing old already-failed ideas, then they're simply going to fail again in the future. This is why I posed a completely different approach to how the advertisements are displayed, and something that should be looked into.

Like with TV ads, the idea is you're already watching the TV actively when they come on, so your eyes stay on the ads and you pay attention to them. Preloader ads are largely ignorable because we click, then wander off while waiting for the game to load, either physically, grabbing a drink and a snack, or at least technologically, as we finish surfing forums or other sites in the meantime. However, if ads were placed where our current loading art is, the attention given to them will skyrocket, and this alternate form of advertising can be easily 'sold' to companies that want a more attentive audience, getting more profit per hit than standard advertising, due to the extremely direct nature of users being involved and watching the screen as they wait for the new area to load and continue their game.

It's a next-generation advertising approach that Gaia could effortlessly benefit from if they were to simply make the effort. It's not an overestimation, it's simply that old-school preloader ads and side banners are NOT the way to go, and they're all Gaia will see with their blinders on. But again, it's an issue that would involve the slightest bit of effort on Gaia's part.

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As for the rest, it's simply a mess of fluff surrounding covering over a corporate snafu.

The truth is that we were given unspecified promises of continued zOMG related to the ongoing success of zOMG, as being measured by things like the bloodstone amulet. When we OVERWHELMINGLY exceeded expectations on the amulets, this was a sign, in our opinions, from the PoV of the users, that the game is doing amazingly well in terms of profit and participation, and it should be a clear sign that it must be expanded more.

Gaia, however, released a steaming turd they called DMS, left everyone disappointed, and when the fad of the new area died out (as it obviously was going to with such a badly designed area), it made them jump up and say, "See! This didn't do as good as we hoped! Now we're putting zOMG in maintenance mode."


... So please. Regardless of the "Swarf-Reveal", just based on the raw facts I've put above. Can you tell me who's right? Is zOMG really doing so horribly if we can exceed expectations on a s**t-sandwich like DMS? Or was this all just an excuse to can zOMG?


Lol you contradicted yourself about whether DMS was successful or not.. razz

And as for the preloader ads, many people's computers don't take that long to load.. On my computer, I get to look at the art for barely 2 seconds before the new area pops up, and as for people with slower computers.. well an advertisement would make it take longer to load, so I can understand why they wouldn't do it. xd
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Yes axeing zOMG will probably lead to some "unexpected" loss in profits.. but how much, idk. xp

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