Posted by LadyAce on 07/02
Calling all commentors! Please consider responding to the 4 poll
questions available from the menu you see after logging in and after
I've heard that there's some dissatisfaction with the machine -- and while
I know it's out of date (an update will go in on Friday, hooray), I
would love to hear specifics on what you think could be better about the
machine. I tried to make the polls be the type of questions that I would
be able to take the results and act on them, but if you think there should
be different questions up there, or have other ideas and want to expand
on them, I hope you'll post your thoughts here or via mudmail or e-mail
In the next post, I have the statistics I gathered from the last 2.5 years
of the machine, which helped with some of the poll questions. Read on
for details, or append your thoughts!
Tuesday, June 24 2003, 11:57AM
Here's the data I gathered -- by "OOC", I mean post WWI items and
items that refer to Legend. "Named" items might be in either
2001: 41 different items
Color items: 19
Non-Color items: 22
Items of an IC nature: 37
Items of an OOC nature: 4
(Items with names or initials: 0)
2002: 51 different items
Color items: 23
(names or initials: 6)
2003: 20 different items so far, update going in Friday
(names or initials: 0)
Thanks for your interest!
Tuesday, June 24 2003, 12:01PM
One last intro post -- the philosophy & aims of the machine. I am
absolutely ready and willing to make changes to the machine, but I
only think it's fair to talk about the limitations of change. Since
a token is intended as a "lower-level" prize compared to a coupon,
I can't boost the value of the machine so much it is the same as a
coupon. Likewise, I want to maintain the notion of 'chance' -- that's
part of the thrill of taking a gamble : the possibility of something
great mixed with the possibility of something which is definitely
NOT great. I hope that this makes sense to folks as a limitation --
I'll listen to arguments about the philosophy too, but I want you to
know that that's my standpoint, and shifting the philosophy seems like
a different undertaking than revitalizing and spiffing up the system
as it stands currently.
Also, for reference, please check 'help prize machine'. It has the
current line on the prize machine in more detail. The explanations
contained in it all talk about either how it is or why it is the way
it is. Those topics are more up for discussion than the "philosophy"
-- from my standpoint, anyway.
Tuesday, June 24 2003, 08:09PM
Well, anymore, I just sell tokens I get, because I will invariably not
like whatever I get from the machine, and I can invariably sell the unused
token for significantly more profit--this isn't a flaw in the machine's
design or anything else as much as a consequence of my being a control
freak regarding my strings, since I'd much prefer to make my own, my way,
than resign myself to somebody else's creation. This is even more true
when I don't even have a clue what's inside the machine. So I have two
suggestions: one that might be considered, and one that probably won't.
1) There should be some way we can actually see what's inside the prize
machine at any given time. As I'm assuming this is similar to some sort
of crane game like you find in Wal-Marts, this really makes sense--after
all, I can look through the glass at what's in those. That way, we at
least have some kind of idea what we're shooting for when we drop the li'l
2) Much less likely, a couple of prizes that allow for a bit more custom
work on the part of the player, probably very rare and almost certainly
not as flexible as outright coupons (the thought I have in mind is sort of
"limited coupons" that could only be used for a narrowly-defined type,
such as coupons strictly for containers, weapons, or jewelry, all of which
must be IC by LadyAce's description: no lightsabres from a weapon coupon.)
Just my two thoughts. Feel free to hit the flames, I brought my asbestos
Tuesday, June 24 2003, 10:46PM
The primary reason that I've been reluctant to publish a list of prizes
is that I figure it would lead to people choosing to hold on to their
tokens more of the time, and not put them into the machine. I mean, me
the player ... look in the machine, nothing I want, I'll try again later
... that'd absolutely be my attitude if the list was published (if you're
curious, I just play my tokens if I ever win them...I'm trying to channel
how I'd feel if I were a player not a imm-who-also-has-a-player.
On an individual scale, looking in the machine and deciding not to give
it a go is a very rational decision. But on a mass scale, we end up with
the same sort of problem that coupons have, i.e. hoarding. One of the ideas
with the token machine, to my mind, is that there's not too much incentive
to hoard a token.
But, I think having "some" sense of what's available might really improve
people's satisfaction -- being able to choose from one of 3 machines, for
example, where one was "IC" and one was "OOC" and another was "special
machine of the month" where "special machine of the month" might be
the greatest hits or era-specific stuff for odyssey or chartype specific
or what have you ... well... you see the compromise :)
At any rate, I definitely sympathize with people being very particular
about their strings -- if one is trying to play the sort of character
who would never wear the same thing as anybody else, one simply has to
knuckle under to the char's style. Victims of our own RP, aren't we,
sometimes? :) :)
Wednesday, June 25 2003, 07:19AM
Just curious, but what ACTUALLY is the diff between an
IC and OOC string? Like what are some examples?
From: doesn't like to think too much
Wednesday, June 25 2003, 07:41AM
Personally, I would like to see two machines, one similar to what
we have now and another one that would offer exchanges for tokens
into coupons. One token in the first machine can win you anything from
a louzy prize to a spiffy coupon.. The second machine will give you
say an add a color coupon for 3 tokens, a non color coupon for 5
tokens, a color coupon for 8 tokens. I would not put multi colors
into a token exchange machine myself as they should remain the
ultimate prizes for various reasons. This way you still have a
better chance of getting a lot more for your tokens from the first
prize machine, but if you want to be more character specific, you can
save up your tokens and use them on that coupon you have been wanting.
Just my two thoughts
Wednesday, June 25 2003, 08:24AM
Archaon, an OOC string would be something like "a LegendMUD t-shirt"
while an IC string would be anything from "a silver breastplate"
to "a gold wristwatch" etc etc. Hope that clarifies the difference
Wednesday, June 25 2003, 08:27AM
Also, OOC strings tend not to reflect on the game contents but
rather things or events or anything from real life (RL).
IC strings are game related in one way or another. I could go on
and tie IC strings with RP and OOC strings with NON-RP...but I'm
not touching that with a 10ft. pole.
Wednesday, June 25 2003, 11:46AM
For "OOC" items, I counted the hello kitty pencil case, the
multicolored toe socks, the sled, and the Monet painting from this year.
For IC items, the oak tree, the black doctor bag, mysterious eyes,
the badge of courage, the kneeboots, the toothpick, the shard of
glass, the kohl, the lines of age & worry, the bunny, the gryphon
shield, the beard, the beach towel, the suitcase, the nightgown,
and the throwing star.
Wednesday, June 25 2003, 04:15PM
I've been reluctant to put in an 'exchange' mechanism in the past, but
I'm willing to see what people think of it, and if folks are enthusiastic
I'll definitely consider it.
I think of a couple of drawbacks:
From: hoarding gains an advantage
From: people who are the game-winning type have less incentive to distribute
unwanted items out to people who aren't the game-winning type, since they
can save their tokens for an item they want/expect to use/etc. Being able
to pick your prize makes it less likely you'll share it out. This isn't
the most major of considerations, but it's worth thinking about. There
are some folks who just don't do well at games, and this might well
From: it creates a kind of price-fixing (this is the same reasoning that
makes me reluctant to put in a coupon-exchange type system). Some people
value certain coupons much more than others. To someone with one half-string,
another half-string might be worth a fair bit. To someone without one...
well, it's probably not worth nearly as much :). To someone who doesn't
go in for color too much, maybe they don't have a color client or
they don't like color that much, an add-a-color is worthless. To someone
who has a very particular RP, a mundane might be worth quite a bit, almost
the same as a coupon, or it might be worth far less, depending on how their
RP relates to what we have in the game already.
I'm not trying to dampen debate, here, but I do think that these are all
factors that need to be considered. The machine is an area where the
diverse expectations, attitudes, and styles of the playerbase come into
very direct contact with one another, where all kinds of different people's
needs are in play and the options try to keep that in balance. I want
to find ways to keep the conflicts from causing as much unhappiness as
they seem to have caused, without creating new areas for people to find
their interests in conflict. Maybe this wouldn't be one of those, but maybe
my reluctance makes sense. Or maybe not. Append, tell me what you think!