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DDO's Turbine Partners With Notorious SuperRewards 121

Zarrot writes "In the next step for their Free 2 Play model, Turbine Entertainment, publisher of Dungeon and Dragons: Online, Lord of the Rings: Online, and Asheron's Call, has partnered with notorious 'lead generation company' SuperRewards. Initial testing by forum users shows that just accessing the page without clicking on any offers sends the user's email and game login in clear text to SuperRewards. Reports of new spam and fresh malware infections on test systems are already being reported on the company's forums. Is the Zynga business model the future of Internet gaming?"
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DDO's Turbine Partners With Notorious SuperRewards

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  • Prefetching? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Thalagyrt ( 851883 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @07:50PM (#31840420)

    The post says straight up that simply viewing the target Offer Wall sends your info out.

    Did these idiot devs not even consider that Firefox does URL prefetching and they are, due to the prefetching of their sell-my-information-to-the-devil-wall page, selling information of people who didn't even view the wall but simply viewed a page that links to their offer wall?

    This is shady at best and criminal at worst.

  • Re:The bottom line (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @07:55PM (#31840440)

    you know what ? Not only that this company has been an epic fail and raped d & d of its name online. Players cannot do what they want to do in a world online(comparision to d & d ). Players have to buy extras online now from said company. No open pvp ( my first argument) have to spend x hours in quests or fork over my cc in a micromanagement system. What does this have to do with d & d ? If I want an experience Ill go p & p in a nice group (online or find local people) simple as that. This is another corporate fail, trying to copy a product that is not as good as the original. And yes Wizards of the Coast suck too . TSR was better.

  • Not necessarily (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Moraelin ( 679338 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @08:37PM (#31840698) Journal

    Not necessarily. It seems to me like diming and quartering the users is what's winning outside of the WoW world.

    There are a _lot_ of games which live by selling in-game items for RL cash these days. It has the carrot of being theoretically free to play if you don't want to pay, and you even get a lot of leaway with the quality. People are quick to point out that it's free, even when they run into problems. And you don't need all that many people who go crazy with the purchases to more than make up for those who don't. There are people who spend thousands on having the top mounts, and the top extra enhancements on their PvP gear, and if you don't get them with the PvP, you get them when they get kicked out of endgame raids for not having enough +damage on their sword or +block on their shield.

    And the model is sadly expanding even to paid subscription MMOs.

    E.g., last time I tried EQ2, Sony was already selling a metric buttload of stuff for real currency for it, on top of needing a full subscription, and needing the Station Access expensive subscription if you want more than 4 character slots (total, not per server!), and having to buy the extra mini-expansion packs to get your extra class powers, and so on.

    E.g., STO, much as I love the game otherwise, it's starting to bother me that by now half the playable races can only be bought for "cryptic points" (read: RL money.) And so are any character slots above 3 (4 if you bought lifetime subscription) which isn't enough even to play all 3 classes on both Fed and Klingon sides. And a few more things, not all of them cosmetic. And that bonuses for buying collectors' editions and whatnot include stuff like a purple quality bridge officer, or the only point defense system in the game.

    Heck, even in single player games these days, it's getting to the point where half the content is available only by paying extra, even from day one. We're no longer even talking about expansion packs developped later, but stuff that was planned from the word "go" to be removed from the actual game and sold separately for real cash. E.g., The Sims 3 launched from day zero with more content for sale for extra money on their site, than got shipped with the game. E.g., racing games which ship with hardly any tracks _or_ cars, but you can buy the actual tracks or cars for extra cash.

    Sorry, it seems to me like that's the real direction that the gaming industry is taking, not the direction of spending as much money and manpower as WoW did.

    I guess I can't even blame them. You could spend years polishing a game, hiring people who can do at least the elementary maths to balance it, filling it with more content than the competition... and it still may or may not be a dud. Or you can just quarter and dime the players. Hmm. I can see why the latter is more popular.

    But I can't say I like it one bit.

  • by aapold ( 753705 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @08:42PM (#31840738) Homepage Journal
    You can't establish a star-trek movie wave (alternating good and bad with odd/even iterations) with only two sample points.

    Given just two points, what you can plot from them is a line, and in this case it is a line plummeting downwards.
  • Damn... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jaysyn ( 203771 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @09:02PM (#31840880) Homepage Journal

    Damn that is kinda shady. Oh well, I've been needing to clear of some space on the old hard drive, & that's a really good reason for DDO to go.

  • Re:Prefetching? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by t0p ( 1154575 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @09:07PM (#31840902) Homepage

    So now all would-be players should be advised to give false personal info and a throwaway gmail address when signing up to join the game. Which is a wise SOP anyway IMO.

    I know that isn't an ideal solution. But it is a solution that allows for free gameplay without the risk of compromise. An alternative, and more sensible course of action is to avoid playing these games in the first place. But that's the killjoy's solution.

  • Re:Nope, WoW is (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:30PM (#31841382)

    I highly doubt you are right. You've got three problems with that logic:

    1) Just because something can't reach WoW's level doesn't mean it isn't successful. You don't have to take over the world to have a business worth doing. You just have to make a non-trivial amount of profit. There are plenty of other MMOs out there that have enough players to continue to operate, and develop new expansions. Everquest 1 and 2 are still running and releasing expansions, Eve Online, City of Heros, Dark Age of Camelot, Warhammer Online, etc etc. WoW is by far the biggest, that doesn't mean it is the only profitable one.

    2) That Lineage didn't do all that well doesn't mean that WoW is unbeatable, it means that Lineage is a game that doesn't appeal to the US market all that much. You might notice that it's Metacritic rating is 65%, as opposed to WoW's 93%. Metacritic gives you a good aggregate of how US reviews feel about something. You have to remember that different cultures like different kinds of games. You can see this quite well in US vs Japanese RPGs. The style of games like Baldur's Gate or Ultima are extremely different from something like Final Fantasy or Fire Emblem. So just because the game is wildly successful in Korea doesn't mean it'll do that well in the US. Baldur's Gate was massive in the US and bombed in Japan, despite Japan being big on RPGs.

    3) MMO players seem to be more than willing to try new games. Startrek Online had a million subscribers on day one. That is damn near 10% of WoW's player base and way more than WoW had out of the gate. Doesn't look like they managed to maintain that number, which isn't surprising because the game isn't great. However it seems clear that MMO players are more than willing to give a new game a shot, and would likely keep playing it if they were enjoying it.

    Really what is needed to start beating WoW is a game that is as good as WoW. The game is extremely engaging, and very friendly to new players. It is an exceedingly well designed game. That is why it got so many players. It got people like me who like the idea of MMOs but found that they were way too hardcore (I tried EQ1 and wanted to like it but couldn't). It got people who'd never played MMOs before because they were too complicated. It got people who played other MMOs but were fed up because they felt like work. It gathered all types because it was well made.

    As such another well made, mass appeal game could probably unseat it. However, that doesn't have to happen. You can settle for a smaller part of the market and still make plenty of money. Eve Online never tried to compete with WoW. Eve is hard, it is hostile, it has very different gameplay and so on. It appeals to a hardcore demographic. Not nearly so many of those, you aren't going to get the WoW numbers, but there are enough to pay the bills, keep the devs employed making new content, and generate a healthy profit.

    Not everyone can be the mass market company, not everyone tries to be. The niche market can make you plenty of money. You won't find B&W speakers in Best Buy or Sears. They aren't a brand you find in many homes. None the less they've made a long, successful business out of selling to a niche market. As an even more niche example take SVS, that you find in no stores as they are Internet only. For years the only thing they sold was large subs that look like hot water heaters. However that too has been enough to make them money.

  • by BigSlowTarget ( 325940 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @11:00PM (#31841522) Journal

    Does anyone else have an advertisement for DDO looming large in the upper right corner of Slashdot? Targeted advertising is creepy....

  • by steve buttgereit ( 644315 ) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @12:37AM (#31841928) Homepage

    ...and now that I have your attention let me explain that.

    Look, Turbine is a company. They exist to make profit and along the way they incur costs (taxes, hardware, bandwidth, employees). Finding new ways to monetize their product is the right and proper thing for them to do and, as a customer of their products, I wish them all the success in the world in that endeavor.

    The Offer Wall wasn't actually all that bad of an idea on the face of it... they offered a way for F2P players to get something that many, in these hard economic times, may not have even been able to do on their own... get some quick item store points with out laying out RL coin and doing so in a way that they didn't have to toy with game mechanics. Having said that... they were pretty stupid in the implementation.

    They clearly didn't understand the 'rewards marketing' industry they chose to rely on enough to find a competent partner (if they existed), they didn't put much time or effort into the solution... based on a complete read of the forums it looks very slapped together (an assumption on my part, not having seen it first hand), and they didn't give their customers much credit for thinking very deeply about these sorts of things (and given the complexity of the game, they clearly misunderstand their customers).

    As for me and my wife... we came to DDO because we are short on funds now-a-days and they provide a cheap way to be entertained without resorting to something like TV. We really like their game and the implementation (I'm an old AD&D player... so had to get use to it). We've even bought adventure packs from them. We'll give them a pass on this... that doesn't mean they will get a pass forever if they keep doing stupid stuff or if it's dramatic enough (as I'm sure some takers of their offer might feel). If they continue to fail to respect their customer base repeatedly they will fail themselves.... as well they should.

    In the meantime, I hope they've learned their lesson from this fiasco... and continue to provide a great game.


  • Re:The bottom line (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Miseph ( 979059 ) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @01:03AM (#31842026) Journal

    Thank goodness there's no forced PvP. Some of us prefer not to play games where walking out of the starting town means that some max-level fuckwad will slay us just because they can. I'm all for keeping it limited to tavern brawls or CTF matches (although I've never once been able to actually do one...) and keeping it out of my gameplay. As far as I'm concerned, anybody who cries about the limit on PvP is just upset that they can't randomly kill any other player they happen to see regardless of whether or not they have any interest whatsoever in doing PvP themselves, and they can blow me.

    Anyway... ditto that on PnP, it's definitely the best option. Kids today just don't realize what they're missing by actually being in a physical room with their game friends. I sometimes legitimately fear for the future of the species.

  • Re:Nope, WoW is (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @09:02AM (#31843898)

    WOW had crazy numbers even in beta stages. The reason WOW had such a big launch is because the existing games were all stale and played out. EQ 2 had no pvp to mention.

    But it wasn't just the timing, you heard it again and again on guild discussion forums and the like. This was being produced by Blizzard. A company with a solid track record of killer games.

    It kept them for the reasons you state. When something new and good comes along, WOW will lose its player base just as easily. The fact is that a game that is easy to play, and easy for new players is boring for experienced and skilled players. There is no real high level content and expansions are all the same thing. Every expansion screws over the most dedicated players.

Trap full -- please empty.