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Shadowbane loves your money...but only in advance.
July 26th 2002, 09:39 CEST by Matt Perkins

As see on Warcry, if you don't pre-order Shadowbane, you can't play 3 of the races in the game at the launch.

Yes, the pre-order CD contain a code which will unlock restricted races (all three).

This has to be the worst marketing ploy I've heard of.  If they release a patch near the release of the game, it won't be so bad, but at release I'm going to look at the Shadowbane box and think, "Hey, they are fucking me over if I buy this box, why do I want to?".

This method of marketing may be great for counting your chickens before the launch, but it's really saying, "you aren't hardcore enough to earn our respect, so, average joe, get screwed and don't even know it".  Especially if they make you wait awhile after release.  And if they don't, there will have been no reason to pre-order.  This stinks of some marketing genius that was taking a hit off the crack pipe when they though this up.
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#1 by Matt Davis
2002-07-26 10:01:35
http://looroll.com
Average joe wouldn't get their hands on this anyway for the first few months.

I love marketing!

Ellen Feiss is my stoned goddess
#2 by BobJustBob
2002-07-26 10:02:24
First? First posting drunk?

I don't see a question in the topic, but I agree. This is a stupid marketing ploy that will backfire no matter what. Maybe if I could preorder and then download my copy the moment it goes gold, it would be better.

So there.
#3 by ADoomedMarine
2002-07-26 10:05:09
http://www.planetmaxpayne.com/
Thats a pretty good ploy actually

#4 by BobJustBob
2002-07-26 10:06:29
Denied. Matt Davis shall die.

So there.
#5 by Matt Davis
2002-07-26 10:11:02
http://looroll.com
!quote 24

Ellen Feiss is my stoned goddess
#6 by Desiato
2002-07-26 11:16:23
desiato_hotblack@hotmail.com http://www.spew2.com/
This is the internet.

This is a hax0r.

This is a protected game feature.

Watch hax0r crack key for feature and use the internet for distribution.



(Brought to you by the "Run, Spot, Run!" series of online guides.)
#7 by Matt Davis
2002-07-26 11:23:30
http://looroll.com
As with most mmorpgs the initial batch will probably be pre-order only anyway because people never learn.

Ellen Feiss is my stoned goddess
#8 by The_Joker
2002-07-26 11:51:51
http://www.jackinworld.com
Got wang?

Joker, Ph.D. Procedural Assholian Behaviour, Pedophilosopher
- All your ass are belong to my wang Jafd. Prepare to are penetration.
"I fart in THX." - Sgt_Hulka
#9 by Ashiran
2002-07-26 12:06:35
Only fruitcakes buy a MMORPG in advance anyway. That's why they are doing this. They think that people are scared from preorders with the AO and WW2O expierence.

Don't they realise that most their buyers are not stopped by that all? I mean you have to be in it from the start if you want to build up an account worth $$$.

"Durr, bluh, shoving mini-snickers in my mouth as fast as mom can buy them." - Bailey
#10 by zarathustra
2002-07-26 13:24:01
anti_kre8er@yahoo.com
i think a more interesting topic would have been the splitserver debate among shadowbane's fanbase but then wtf do i know
#11 by Desiato
2002-07-26 13:52:14
desiato_hotblack@hotmail.com http://www.spew2.com/
Spidey!

Green Goblin shot his pixelate ray at you!
#12 by Jamiekin
2002-07-26 14:37:30
As bad as paying $6 to help out the Star Wars Galaxies beta..

I'm from Australia, and I have a crocodile down my pants.
#13 by jafd
2002-07-26 16:04:08
re: hacking

It doesn't matter. Leave the oldthink on your side of the router, okay?

They won't even bother copy protecting these special race files, because, the files are nothing without authorization from the server.

You can download the EQ client from any one of a number of sources -- S.F.W.? Is there rampant piracy of EverQuest? No. Without a valid account key, welcome to shit creek.

I'm pretty indifferent as to the marketing ploy itself -- the likelihood of me ever logging into a Shadowbane server is directly dependent on them paying me to play, and I can't say that I think that is too likely to occur.

As for the 'fairness'... I'm actually in favor of it. I don't see anything wrong with the developers rewarding their faithful with bonus service, and getting access to Teh Mastar Race actually sounds like a decent reward for once. It certainly sounds better than most of the crap that goes into CEs these days. In that, you'd actually get some mileage out of it, compared to the actual game. How many of those two dollar plastic lightsabers are still holding a favored place in JK2 players' hearts?

Hopefully, these races won't give the players an overwhelming play advantage, as that would be... well, actually, I don't know. My brain hurts just thinking about "what would the Shadowbane player base like?" At any rate, props to Wolfpack for having the chutzpah to do something new.

#14 by Desiato
2002-07-26 16:08:25
desiato_hotblack@hotmail.com http://www.spew2.com/
Seeing how hacking is mis-used as a general term I'll clarify the context.

For most people, opening up a .ini file and changing settings is "hacking".

There are degrees, but in the general context I was pointing a finger at and laughing about,
it all amounts to the same thing in the end. Even if they don't post explicit guides and it is
all stuffed into open text files, someone will figure it out. So the pre-pay is effectively
rendered useless.

Oh, and there's a lot more than a router between nodes, but I'll leave that be.
#15 by Duality
2002-07-26 16:13:46
Dualipuff@yahoo.com http://stratoscape.ath.cx/
How many of those two dollar plastic lightsabers are still holding a favored place in JK2 players' hearts?

It was ... til I threw it at my brother and it broke the plastic part of.  Still flashes, though!

-Jon
#16 by Your Friend
2002-07-26 16:27:14

i think a more interesting topic would have been the splitserver debate among shadowbane's fanbase but then wtf do i know


The fact that yet-to-be-released games have a 'fanbase' is very sad but a great argument against the people who would say marketing is meaningless in the industry.
#17 by jafd
2002-07-26 16:29:28
The wanna be hax0r would have to break into Wolfpack's servers and get their non-special account flagged as special, for them to be able to play illegitmately with the special races.

Same as with the expansion packs for EQ... who cares if you have the client? Not the server. If your account doesn't have the key, you don't get the content.

Pre-pay for software bonuses is pretty stupid, I totally agree. But GIPs aren't a software industry, they're a service industry.

#18 by Your Friend
2002-07-26 16:32:25

The wanna be hax0r would have to break into Wolfpack's servers and get their non-special account flagged as special, for them to be able to play illegitmately with the special races.


Eh? All they have to do is convince the server that their CD is of the preorder variety, which very likely does not including 'breaking into the server'.  Since I know nothing of Shadowbane, I can't talk specifics, but your assertion of what they would need to do is pure speculation and even quite unlikely from a technical standpoint.
#19 by Your Friend
2002-07-26 16:35:40
I retract my previous statement.  It is 7:30 AM here.

After having read the original linked statement I see what jafd was saying more clearly about the pre-order keys and its not unreasonable (though I wouldn't say its a forgone conclusion either).

um that's all.

As far as the whole pre-order business, i don't care because I don't play MMORPGs, but if a non-MMORPG pulled something like this, I would boycott it.  Sure, offer preorders a special tin or something, but not more game features.
#20 by "zarathustra"
2002-07-26 16:52:41
anti_kre8er@yahoo.com
The fact that yet-to-be-released games have a 'fanbase' is very sad but a great argument against the people who would say marketing is meaningless in the industry


 I was actually trying to think of another term when i typed that, but it failed as my brain is fairly useless.

 They needed someway to make these chars limited, its part of the storyline/gameplay, im just not sure if thats the best way to do it. o well
#21 by None-1a
2002-07-26 16:58:13
This method of marketing may be great for counting your chickens before the launch, but it's really saying, "you aren't hardcore enough to earn our respect, so, average joe, get screwed and don't even know it".


Things get much much worse, about a month before release they'll be selling a special promo cd with even more special stuff (they haven't said what that stuff is just yet).

Then again I fail to see how this is any different then the mass of games that have had special items available if you where lucky enough to buy/preorder from select places.
#22 by Desiato
2002-07-26 17:15:22
desiato_hotblack@hotmail.com http://www.spew2.com/
jafd - I think we're in agreement that any "special" arrangement will ultimately fail. Makes you wonder about some of the other enterprises that want to involve financials in the actual game world. Wouldn't it be ironic if the next phase of e-commerce came from these games? Once this stuff can be tied to money and the companies backing it aren't trying to prevent trade on their networks for currency, it could get really interesting quick.

Add a dash of encryption, stir in some P2P decentralization planning....welcome to the real new economy.
#23 by Duality
2002-07-26 17:29:56
Dualipuff@yahoo.com http://stratoscape.ath.cx/
Yes, but what does this have to do with Shadowbane?!

Uh ... oh ...

-Jon
The secret ingredient is evil.
#24 by Matthew Gallant
2002-07-26 17:32:44
http://www.truemeaningoflife.com
Ripped from HomeLAN:

Arithmetic Studios' founder Robert Holm sent over a note announcing that his PC action-adventure game W.A.T.E.R. is now on hold "until further funding can be secured". Indeed, the official Arthmetic Studios web site has been totally changed to reflect Holm's new professional interest: performing rap music under the stage name "Chillious".


Coming soon: Heavy B and the Marketing Boyz

Current market value of the Max Payne IP according to a comparison of the market capitalization of Take Two pre- and post- sale: approx. -$284,000,000.
#25 by Bailey
2002-07-26 17:34:28
I gave up on Shadowbane being vaguely interesting about a year ago, so it's hard for me to be motivated about this, although I do distinctly recall Wolfpack promising the hardcores the three forbidden races would only be accessible to those who reached a certain level of accomplishment in the game; taking over a large portion of land, hitting level 60, that sort of thing. I'm sure their pawning off the former "badge of lifelessness" is irritating the hardcores, but it'll probably be a pretty good incentive for the casual players who are interested in the game. And of course, all the hardcores won't want to miss out on the first precious month of "grab, exploit everything" playtime, so it's still a win-win for them.

I cannot tell if everyone in marketing is a polished, professional mormon, or just super-high on the coke dust.
#26 by chris
2002-07-26 17:43:46
cwb@shaithis.com http://www.cerebraldebris.com
The "vocal complexity" of Eddie Vedder?!?

Uh... yeah...

-chris
#27 by "Freak"
2002-07-26 17:45:02
This woulden't be the firs time for this sorta thing: Westwood did the same thing with the release of Emperor Battle For Dune and Red Alert 2. With Dune if you pre-ordered you got three extra units and with RA2 you got a couple of extra multiplayer maps but a few weeks after the release these things were made availebel to every1. These weren't major game features anyway, the units were not important and diden't effect the balacne of the game and the maps were also not really special.

Don't know much about Shadow Bane so i'll ask this: are those 3 races a big part of the game or just a little extra thing?
#28 by Desiato
2002-07-26 17:48:33
desiato_hotblack@hotmail.com http://www.spew2.com/
Duality - Okay, yeah I went on a little mental fieldtrip there. Can't help it though, was re-reading "Heavy Weather" by Bruce Sterling and the passages I was referring to are:


Alex wasn't exactly sure how "currency privitization" had been accomplished, back at the time.


*snip*


Alex was well-to-do, and he had some unlikely friends, so he had the basics down pretty well. It all had to do with unbreakable encryption, digital authentication, anonymouse remailing, and network untraceability. These were all computer networking techniques that had once been considered very odd and naughty. They were also so elementary to do, that once they were in place, they couldn't be stopped without tearing the whole Net down.


And the meaty bit..


Of course, once these techniques were in place, they conclusively destroyed the ability of governments to control the flow of electronic funds, anywhere, anytime, for any purpose. As it happened, this process had pretty much destroyed any human control at all over the modern electronic economy. By the time people figured out that raging nonlinear anarchy was not exactly to the advantage of anyone concerned, the process was simply too far gone to stop. All workable standards of wealth had vaporized, digitized, and vanished into a nonstop hurricane of electronic thin air. Even physically tearing up the fiber optics couldn't stop it; governments that tried to just found that the whole encryption mess oozed swiftly into voice mail and even fax machines.


So, sorry to subject you to my meandering...
#29 by Greg
2002-07-26 18:32:56
Yay! Yet another MMORPG that requires huge time investments to even make you think you are having fun.

Sign me up!

Who is driving car?! Oh my god, bear is driving car! How can that be?
#30 by jafd
2002-07-26 18:35:37
Sure, offer preorders a special tin or something, but not more game features.

Why not? I'd pay extra for a robust /ignore tool, for most activities on the net.

"Hrrrm... demand?" *poof* "Supply!"

On the flip side, a special tin is worthless crap. While access to extra features may well be actually worth the money. (Mind you, this is probably going to end up being a balancing nightmare and a source of relentless bitching, at first, for sure, for as long as the game is extant, maybe.)

What's the problem? That people who don't pay, don't get the goodies? S.F.W.! All cars should come with power steering and A/C standard and ermine-lined glove compartments, too?

#31 by Hugin
2002-07-26 18:37:31
lmccain@nber.org
Desiato...the passages you quote there are, well...full of crap. I mean, really.  Having worked for a business and banking law firm, and currently working at an economics research organization, and living with a custodial/institutional banker...sigh.  I think game economies and virtual money and suchlike are really interesting, but Sterling is engaging in heavy "Wired magazine attention economy"-class flights of fancy here.
#32 by Your Friend
2002-07-26 18:41:59

What's the problem? That people who don't pay, don't get the goodies? S.F.W.! All cars should come with power steering and A/C standard and ermine-lined glove compartments, too?


All of those car features cost the car maker significantly more to add.  Not nearly as much as they mark them up for the end buyer, but still.  An /ignore feature in games such as SOF2 (which seems to be what you're always bitching about the lack of) on the other hand costs almost nothing in terms of development time.  Very simple to add.  I, for one, would be quite disappointed if Raven added that but charged $5 to access it.  

Anyway, I'm not surprised that you think the best game features should be available to the one willing to spend the most cash, considering you are a no-life Magic: The Gathering player.
#33 by Desiato
2002-07-26 18:48:46
desiato_hotblack@hotmail.com http://www.spew2.com/
Hugin - We agree, I never intended them as being prophetic. I work in a financial area as well and I'm well aware of the sudden regulatory and legal problems even taking the smallest steps to this fanciful description.

It's more of a financial "nightmare" scenario, unlikely but compelling in that car-wreck kind of way.
#34 by MCorleone
2002-07-26 18:54:26
Yo, dis be chillious, telling all my peeps out 'der to put da guns down, yo.  

Da precedin' done be a public service bah chillious, yoyo, bling.

I beat the internet.  The end guy is hard.
#35 by jafd
2002-07-26 18:54:50
Do you get what you pay for, or do you pay for what you get?

#36 by HoseWater
2002-07-26 18:55:50
barneyque@hotmail.com
Personally, despite all the other issues being raised here, I think this whole pre-order business is a strange false concept that has no connection to real life need, and is in fact a dangerous habit to get into.

Pre-orders make sense on a certain level where you are competing for a limited time sensitive resource such a a plane ticket. If you need to be somewhere at a certain time on  a certain date, but must make use of a limited resource to get there, it makes sense to insure your travel plans by booking ahead of time.

But games? I suppose on one level you could say pre-ordering shows support to a publisher for a certain product, which encourages them to do a good job, or allows them to predict anticipated interest for production runs, but on another level, you are telling the publisher that you don't care about quality.

I think that it would be better to make them work for your dollar, force them to put a quality product on the shelf before they can even begin to start counting their eggs. Let them fear that if they put a stinker on the shelf, that they are going to take a major bath on it.
#37 by Hugin
2002-07-26 19:01:47
lmccain@nber.org
Yeah, pre-ordering has never made sense to me, when we're talking about a class of product that tens to not actually work on day one anyway. I can't remember ever buying a game the day it came out, or even seriously wanting to. Let alone purchasing sight and bugs and quality-unseen, well beforehand. Heck, I think sometimes there should be a significant discount given to those poor brave fools who are willing to be, essentially, beta testers of the new game.
#38 by Bailey
2002-07-26 20:03:38
The thing to understand about Shadowrun, is the game more or less encourages the land-grab, "go west young man" approach. The players who seize control of the most towns, earlier on in the game, will presumably be rather difficult to remove from power as they build larger towns with more defense, bigger purses, more phat lewts. So while there might not be any empires established in the first month, during which half the jaded population is waiting until about ten major bugfixes go in, there's going to be an awful lot of people getting stronger and forming guilds, ready to seize those reigns of power from the NPC population. Head start in the race, as it were.

That probably registers as jack-shit all importance you or I, assuming you've got some firing synapses, but it drives the kiddiez batshit to think they might miss out on a chance to rule the world. To them, preordering isn't a good idea, it's requisite.

I cannot tell if everyone in marketing is a polished, professional mormon, or just super-high on the coke dust.
#39 by Hugin
2002-07-26 20:54:04
lmccain@nber.org
I got excited for half a second there Bailey, I'd certainly love to try out a Shadowrun MMoG, if someone made one. But I assume you meant Shadowbane.
#40 by BobJustBob
2002-07-26 21:16:20
jafd, your new sig rocks. That is all.

So there.
#41 by Darkseid-D
2002-07-26 21:55:36
rogerboal@hotmail.com
http://www.ebgames.com/ebx/categories/products/product.asp?pf_id=216810

Interesting, EB have started preorders for DukeNukem Forever again, interesting because theyre usually madly wrong about things, but their last couple of preorders have been bang on the money for going gold. Those being Warcraft 3 and NeverWinterNights...

COULD it be ?



Ds

Never argue with an idiot, theyll drag you down onto their level, then beat you with experience.
#42 by Matt Davis
2002-07-26 22:06:14
http://looroll.com
The price is obviously wrong when you compare it to WC3 and NWN, so it can't be true.

Ellen Feiss is my stoned goddess
#43 by Greg
2002-07-26 22:38:23
I'd imagine it could be true. Remember, the prices for NWN and WC3 were (initially) set by the publisher, not the retailer. And both those games were put out by French publishers, those greedy bastards!

Who is driving car?! Oh my god, bear is driving car! How can that be?
#44 by bago
2002-07-26 23:01:49
manga_Rando@hotmail.com
You can always blame the french.

iamelectro
#45 by Matt Perkins
2002-07-26 23:22:02
wizardque@yahoo.com http://whatwouldmattdo.com/
I'm so proud of you guys and gals...you stayed mostly on topic for 40 posts!  monty would be proud.

As the characters races being special or just add crap for pre-ordering:

1.  They were supposed to only be characters you got when you complete Uber quests...then you would have the opportunity to create Minotaurs and the like.
2.  If the class are as powerful as the creators of Shadowbane of mentioned in the past, it will make a huge difference.

(if this is less coherent then usual, take my apology in advance as I worked drywall all day today and I'm dead beat)

I like pretending I can spell.
#46 by "piramida"
2002-07-26 23:44:29
You can download the EQ client from any one of a number of sources -- S.F.W.? Is there rampant piracy of EverQuest? No. Without a valid account key, welcome to shit creek.


jafd, I know I am OT, but there is rampant EQ piracy throughout many countries which ain't USA - free servers with no auth. Yeah, right, those bastards don't get the "normal" content, but 90% or more (out-of-the-ass number, but it should be around accurate) of EQ crowd in Russia still play pirate. That's true for all (that I know of) other "server-authed" games, including D2, Q3, UO, etc - there are free server variants. You can't beat the pirates :(
#47 by Gabe
2002-07-26 23:47:52
http://www.dartpublishing.com
Do people sell their stuff from these hacked servers on ebay?
#48 by Count DuCu
2002-07-26 23:58:38
DuCu@ez2www.com
I speculate this pre-order version doesn't even actually work at all, on any machine, and the people who wanted to get in early will end up having to wait for the fully patched version to come out... a fully patched version which will then allow the players to launch the game and discover a million new bugs...

You know, it's going to be the habitual MMOG-release carnival.
#49 by Terata
2002-07-27 00:24:53
jafd, I know I am OT, but there is rampant EQ piracy throughout many countries which ain't USA - free servers with no auth.


UO maybe, but I'm not aware of a fully working working server emulator for any other MMOG.  I've never even heard of such a thing for EQ, AC, DAoC, etc.  Link?
#50 by Bailey
2002-07-27 00:25:01
Hugin

I subconsciously try to get a rise out of Nova every chance I get.

re: Warezed EQ

Those foreign illicit servers don't have anywhere near the capacity for population, are often rampantly abused by their hosts, and are missing approximately 1/4 of the retail content. In this case, the pirates are beaten. Why would you play an assy ripped version of an already thrice-assy game?

The mind BOGGLES.

I cannot tell if everyone in marketing is a polished, professional mormon, or just super-high on the coke dust.
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