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Entropia Universe: Are all Planet Partners equal?

Discussion in 'Entropia News' started by NotAdmin, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. NotAdmin

    NotAdmin Administrator

    As most players who have been in the game for more than a few months will know, MindArk started setting up the sale of Planet Calypso a few years ago. This seemed to be a good thing, as it completely separated the company running the Entropia Universe platform from their clients, the Planet Partners.

    Background of the Planet Calypso sale
    The first step in this direction was splitting up the MindArk team into the platform team (continuing under the name MindArk PE AB), and the team managing Planet Calypso, which continued as "First Planet Company AB" or FPC for short. This split occurred in January 2008.

    While FPC was mainly made up of old-MindArkians (including former MindArk CIO Marco Behrmann and Marketing Associate Frank Campbell, as well as various artists), who were still located in the same building as their former colleagues, it was a start on ensuring that Calypso would become a planet run by a company that was not intimately connected to MindArk.

    The second step in the separation process came in October 2008 when MindArk announced that Planet Calypso would now be fully operated and designed by FPC.

    ROCKtropia - Apparently not able to access all existing systems
    In April 2010, ROCKtropia launched as the first planet run by an independent company. NEVERDIE Studios, according to their CEO and spokesperson Jon 'NEVERDIE' Jacobs, did not have full access to all Entropia systems, and thus were unable to launch their planet offering the same functionality as Calypso.

    NDMissingSystems1.

    NDMissingSystems2.

    Source: http://www.neverdie.com/neverdie-studio-news/6817-may-20011-q.html

    Questions about the equality of Planet Partners
    This was the first occasion where questions were raised on whether a MindArk subsidiary controlling Planet Calypso did not pose a conflict of interest in regards to the other Planet Partners.

    After all, if ROCKtropia/NEVERDIE Studios would want to get specific functionality changed, they would have to wait until Sweden's offices opened up, whereas the Calypso team could simply head to the adjacent MindArk offices and get changes done (which, we will see later actually happens).

    At the same time, not only is there the time difference, but apparently, functionality that was existing and available on Calypso (after all, Calypso has long had the option of seeing mobs spawn and a crafting/tailoring system) was not immediately made available to other Planet Partners, thus putting the other Planet Partners at a disadvantage. Again, this is also still taking place, as we will see with the discussion about beacons/instances.

    (Note that we have no possble way to verify whether the claims made by NEVERDIE were accurate. We merely have his word to go on in case of the systems not being available).

    Background of the Planet Calypso sale - Continued
    Then, in June 2010, the MindArk 2009 Financial Report confirmed that First Planet Calypso was intended to be sold off to a third party. The following quote is a translation from Swedish to English by Google Translate:

    Source: MindArk Financial yearly report - 2009. Page 6, 7 - Paragraph 4 under Kassaflöde och likviditet. (translated by Google Translate from Swedish).

    In October 2010, MindArk published its Semi-Annual Report for Jan - Jun 2010, in which the intention to sell off Planet Calypso for approximately 6 million USD was stated again:

    Source: Semi-Annual Report January – June 2010.

    Planet Calypso sold to SEE
    December 2010 - Thorough searching allowed EntropiaPlanets to be the first to break the news that it was SEE Digital Studios who purchased planet Calypso.

    In January 2011, it became official. First Planet Company, and all its IP, including Planet Calypso, had been bought by SEE Virtual Worlds, and would be rebranded into See Digital Studios (SDS).

    Entropia Space
    May 12th, MindArk released a short statement announcing space. It was an introduction note meant to put Space on the map, but did not contain any further specifications of exactly what would be in store.

    Arkadia joins Entropia Universe
    May 25, 2011, Planet Arkadia was launched. Planet Arkadia had been announced first on EntropiaPlanets by David Dobson back in November 2010, and was highly anticipated by a large number of players, as the Arkadia team, since announcing the planet, had taken a highly communicative and professional approach to their Planet. They provided a well-thought out storyline, and actively and regularly interacted with the playerbase, while openly answering even the tough questions.

    All in all, it promised to become a highly succesful planet, including the introduction of a unique treasure hunting system, and refreshing new marketing efforts in order to attract new players. Indeed, when it launched, lots of players, including a large number of former players who had ceased playing, took the trip to Arkadia to see what the team had in store for them.

    On the first day after its launch, Arkadia in fact outperformed Calypso in many ways, including globals scored. Projection of the first day global numbers for a whole month would have placed Arkadia either at the same level, or beyond that of Calypso.

    Entropia Space - PVP
    June 8, 2011, less than 2 weeks after Arkadia launched, MindArk let the cat out of the bag for what was due with the arrival of space, namely full PVP in the entire universe, as well as removal of the planet-to-planet Teleporters offered until then (for a fee of 40 PED - which ensured safe passage to other planets).

    Source: http://www.entropiauniverse.com/bulletin/buzz/ - June 8th: Space is Imminent

    (Initially, the bit about teleporters read: "The space will connect all planets in one universe and you can choose to travel between them in space ships instead of using teleportation." This was later on corrected to the above to avoid confusion).

    Essentially, this meant that the safe and easy way of exploring new planets would cease, and that it would become risky business to actually pack up and move shop to a new planet you wished to call home.

    Termination of partnership with SEE
    A few days later, a new announcement on the MindArk site quietly stated that SEE and MindArk had ceased their Partnership, and that Planet Calypso was once again run by MindArk:

    Source: http://www.mindark.com/partners/

    What is significant in this is that the ties between MindArk and SEE had been broken months prior to the announcement, but it was only published at this time. According to SEE CEO Martin Biallas, SEE decided to cease the partnership with MindArk as early as March 2011. The three months in between MindArk obviously was aware of the decision, but decided not to come out with the news.

    So for several months, MindArk had already, quietly, been operating Planet Calypso, or knew it would be operating Planet Calypso, but decided not to inform the Calypso customers (players), or its partners. While already armed with that knowledge, it seemed at the same time, they were putting in place an infrastructure (space) that would heavily favor planets with a fully working economy and undoubtedly be most beneficial towards planets with a large existing user base (in this case, essentially Planet Calypso).

    The same day, more references were made towards the upcoming termination of the teleporters as a means of safe travel.

    MindArk also ensured that auction systems would be completely separated with the new introduction of space.

    Source: http://www.entropiauniverse.com/bulletin/buzz/ - June 16th: Important Changes.

    At this time, lots of people started traveling back to Calypso, afraid they would miss out on an opportunity to sell their loot. After all, Calypso still had the larger part of the playerbase, and thus it would by far be easier to sell goods there. And with the 20th being the actual date of implementation of space, many took the opportunity to jump back with all of their inventory using the non-PVP teleporter.

    Shortly after that news Entropia Space was released on June 20th.

    The effect of Space on Arkadia
    arkadia - space.
    This graph, taken from EntropiaTracker shows the situation before and after the launch of space. The picture cannot solely be explained by the introduction as space, as a lot of people undoubtedly dropped by just to check the new planet out and ended up going back after the novelty wore off. It would be safe to assume that the prospect of lootable space and the implied risk of losing all one's stackable items formed a major reason for people to use the safe option while it existed, and lso while they had a chance to safely transfer back to the one planet with a proven working economy.

    Further questions about the equality of Planet Partners
    Knowing all of the above, the question arises whether or not the specific way that space was implemented (which seems to favor Planet Calypso) was a move that existing and upcoming Planet Partners were aware of when they signed up to launch their planets in Entropia Universe. Also, whether the specific implementation was an intentional move made by MindArk in order to provide Planet Calypso with a significant advantage over the newer planets, who apparently see numbers of new players attracted by their marketing efforts pack up to Planet Calypso because it is easier to sell their loot there.

    Back to MindArk running Planet Calypso
    If you recall earlier in the article, we brought up the fact that there might be an issue with Planet Calypso being run by MindArk itself, as the MindArk staff has easier access to their own systems. This question was not only raised early on when ROCKtropia launched, but it still remains an open issue, and there obviously has not been any action taken by MindArk on it, as the screenshot below demonstrates (Kim | MindArk is in fact Kim Welter Timkrans, son of former MindArk CEO and main share holder of MindArk Jan Welter Timkrans. Kim currently heads the production of Planet Calypso).

    Are_PPs_Equal1.
    Are_PPs_Equal2.
    Source: http://www.entropiaforum.com/forum/ask-mindark/201627-does-all-planet-partners-have-same-rights-calypso.html

    Note that in the screenshot above, Kim mentions that all Planet Partners work with the same tools. However, this apparently does not apply to the beacons/instances tools (for those who have not heard of them, beacons were a form of instance where a small team would go into a private environment to battle robots). After the re-launch of Entropia Universe using CryEngine, beacons were unavailable. However, they recently were reintroduced to the universe.

    Beacons were announced by MindArk posting a trailer video on Planet Calypso Forum. When participants asked whether other Planet Partners would have these instancing options as well, Kim replied:

    Kim_Beacons.
    Source: http://www.planetcalypsoforum.com/forums/showthread.php?219552-Robot-Beacon-Preview-Video/page3

    So the statement from before, that all tools are available to all Planet Partners was either not entirely true, or MindArk somehow made an exception for the highly anticipated beacons/instance system by letting Planet Calypso be the only one to be able to use it (which provides Planet Calypso again with a big advantage). New systems tend to pull in large numbers of people, and an announcement like this alone would lead to players moving from another planet to Calypso.

    NEVERDIE went into a bit more detail on his forum:
    NEVERDIE_Beacons.
    Source: http://www.neverdie.com/general-rocktropia-chat/10259-beacons-rt.html#post36080

    David Dobson also referenced it during his interview on Atlas Haven Radio:

    Source: The 2nd AHR interview when answering a question (Roughly at 1:26:00).

    In short, not only do the Calypso participants get to perform a test, the system will also just be offered on the one planet Mindark still is intimately involved in. (The test did not go as well as planned, but MindArk neglected to announce this, other than by casually mentioning it in the game to those who happened to be in the right place at the right time. It was left up to players to actually communicate this to other players).

    Land deeds
    Lastly, there is the matter of the Calypso Land Deeds, where participants can buy a share of the Calypso revenue. This is essentially a relisting of Planet Calypso to a new party after the deal with SEE did not work out. The basic gist of the program is that 60,000 deeds of ownership of Planet Calypso are sold, at 1,000 PED (or 100 USD) a piece. Some quick calculation shows that 60,000 * $100 places the total amount at $6,000,000 which is the exact same amount that SEE was to pay earlier.

    In exchange, owners of the deeds will receive a payout (or dividend) consisting of a part (50%) of the gross revenue of Planet Calypso, as well as voting rights (when introduced), and the ability to claim a piece of land on Planet Calypso (for instance for building property on) when that system will be introduced. It might be worth mentioning that the Planet Partners receive 50% of the total revenue from a planet. The other 50% goes directly to MindArk for providing the platform service, unless a Planet Partner made arrangements to increase their take of the revenue.

    This system was first announced by means of a press release, which, apparently, is also how the Planet Partners learned about its existence. The immediate question that arises is whether this is another 'exclusive' to Planet Calypso, or whether any Planet Partner would at some point be able to launch a similar venture. David Simmonds, current CEO of MindArk, clarifies:

    Are_PPs_Equal3.
    This reads as if in due time it will be made available to every Partner, but is rather vague about what criteria should be met. In any case, it sounds very similar to the statements made by MindArk about when/how much land a Planet Partner is allowed to release, where they answered that land can be released based on the amount of participants for a Planet Partner (you will have to excuse the lack of a screenshot, as I really do not recall where/when I read that).

    With that in mind, though, after that was said in the past, players were quick to point out that on Planet Calypso, the amount of land areas that were sold off (for typically thousands of real dollars) does seem to be excessive considering the actual playing population on Calypso.

    It would be interesting to hear whether Planet Partners themselves would have been informed in actual numbers as to how many participants they need on their planet to initiate land area sales or the citizenship program.

    Lastly, apparently the Planet Calypso citizenship news is worthy of a graphical side-banner on the Entropia Universe website. Nothing launched by the other Planet Partners, including NEVERDIE Studios’ Hunt The Thing game was given the same treatment.

    EU_Site.
    Source: www.entropiauniverse.com

    We hope that this long post serves to show that despite MindArk's best claims that there is no preferential treatment going on in their universe, there certainly is room for questions as to whether this is entirely accurate or not. If the conclusion would be that there does seem to be a difference between Planet Partners, the logical next question would be whether this is done intentional or a mere byproduct of trying to fit multiple differently themed Planets into the same Entropia Universe platform.

    We have attempted to highlight some of the questions, without attempting to answer them. We tried presenting our evidence in an objective way, and we will let you, the reader, form your own opinion and draw your own conclusions based on it.
     

    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 6
  2. Objective? :)

    I think Kim replied to wether or not beacons would be on other planets. And not about the possibility to add instances.
     
  3. I think the lootable pvp space are good for the entire universe we lived, of course it will be looks like favor to calypso in short term, but it did encourage Planet Partners to grow its own functional economy in their planet, what you can see from the recent blueprint release of RT and NI, and due to the lootable space, existing players want to craft in new launched planets needs to buying the minerals required to craft in local planets rather than bringing minerals to here from calypso, so you can make sure shared minerals will always has its own market in new planets.

    And if people wants a safe trip between planets then they can use warp speed provided by MS or hangar ship owner. But I did agree that MindArk needs to let all Planet Partners knows what they are doing at the moment, and what they gonna do in the future.

    I think Planet Partner should discuess Land deeds system with MindArk that the payout should be 25% from the gross revenue of Planet calypso( and any other planet in the future) and 25% from the revenue that MindArk gained from planet Calypso ( and any other planet in the future). So Planet partner and Mindark only lost 25% of what they should earned, and the system can be looked like a encourage Planet Partner to grow its own planet as fast as possible to get the big return from their investments, and Planet partner can use this money to further promote their own planet to bring in more and more players. So the overall revenue should keep growing and MindArk can promote this to potential planet partners that this business model is doable. So it would be a win-win-win situation to Mindark and Planet Partner and Players. Mindark has more chance to get more planet partners, Planet partner can earning back what they invested faster and get more free money to doing promotion. Existing players owns a more safe environment that no need to worry about the possibility of bankrupt of Mindark or planet partners.

    And sorry for my bad English :p
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. NotAdmin

    NotAdmin Administrator

    IIRC the question he was answering was whether, when beacons would be introduced, they would be available to all planet partners.
     
  5. Hi,

    whow, respect! A very good article!

    I might add some points that wasn't mentioned:

    1. MindArk, when negotiating with the upcoming planet partners, set the rule that avatars "born" on a specific planet would continue to add to the income of this initial planet, until the end of time.
      I don't know if there's a post showing the certain distribution, but I think to remember something like this:
      50% of the income generated goes to MA.
      25% of the income generated goes to the planet the avatar was "born" on.
      25% of the income generated goes to the planet where the income was actually generated.
      (Anybody can provide a link?)

      This, for sure, will have been another reason for the 6 Mill. they sold Calypso for then - after all with this move all and any older players have been made captives of Calypso, even if they never had a chance to decide. Since it can take years to reach reasonable skill levels in EU, this way all high skilled players (that usually spend quite a sum) will add a certain part of their spent money to Calypso.

      Initiatives (here, or here) to allow even a one-time "birth planet changing", or, better, a yearly "vote" for a certain planet, have been ignored.
      .
    2. Christmas presents - not a big deal at all, but you only get them when you are back on your "birth planet" during a certain time. And strangely enough, now suddenly we get a present that actually has a use, and isn't just decoration. The first present since I play EU that actually has a value - with 498 items in the storage the box is a god-sent gift!
      Worth the travel back - I wonder how many people realizing the need to travel for the gift have not returned? Remember again, any old, seasoned player that meanwhile found another planet more attractive had to fly back.
      .
    3. It's not only the beacons that are Calypso-only. Wave events, Fort events, *) event mobs, mission tokens, to name just a few.
      We don't know if it's MA not giving, or the PP's not asking for. But Calypso is flooded with content these days, while some PP's are still struggling to get their unique selling points implemented - and this has to be done by MA.
    I cannot help but seeing this as a bad policy. I cannot help but seeing this as a very dangerous policy. I don't fear for Arkadia, my new home planet, and I don't fear for Cyrene-to-come. But Cyrene could easily, in the current situation, be the deadly blow to NI, and maybe even hit RT.

    And this would be disastrous. The EU wouldn't survive another planet partner crashing IMHO, the credibility of the platform would be wasted for any potential investors forever, the game-related media would happily use the opportunity to whack on this "big-mouthed ponzi scheme".

    This would hurt our investments. This could be the end of the EU as we know it.
    I might be overly anxious now, but I cannot help to see this danger.

    IMHO MA should NOW concentrate to aid the weak planet partners to prevent further damage, they should offer free TP's to and from NI for instance, they should help to get this planet rolling finally.

    And not flooding Calypso with unique content over and over, actually sowing down the tree they live on.

    Have a good time!

    *) Edit: I have learned that both wave & fort events exist on other planets, too. Please excuse my errror!
     
    • Like Like x 5
  6. narfi

    narfi Lost

    Just to clarify, Rocktropia and Next Island both have wave events as well, so I am pretty sure all planets have that system as an option. (rocktropia also has 2 areas with forts, but they are currently bugged)

    I was talking to ND last night about the new bps, and he told me they had been in the system for 8 months and are just now being discovered.
    Considering how much new planets need blueprints for their economies to work, this amazed me. I am not one to wear a tinfoil hat and I try to look at everything as realisticly as possible, but MA is in charge of balancing and drop rates, and it is sad that something that was needed so badly was already in the system but just not being released.

    narfi
     
  7. I think it's a bit ridicules to think that MA are in someway favoring Calypso much more than the other planets. First of all, if they wanted all the players for themself they should not take in other planetpartners in the first place should they? They have nothing to win from a policy of takeing in new planetpartners, and then move against them to keep all the players for themself. At the sametime, of cource because of their ownership of the planet Calypso and it's the planet with most players, it not strange that they make the new systems avaible for them first.

    It's easy to point the fingers on MA, the truce is that the planetpartners are the one that should provide the content and make a good planet to be on. The biggest problem is not with MA. Arkadia and other planets needs time and resources to build up their planets. I don't think they have the time to use all the systems anyway, Arkadia still lack their own cloth and shops/apartments. You can't blame MA for that.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. GeorgeSkywalker

    GeorgeSkywalker Explorer

    Very good post.

    I think it only appears to look as if MA are favouring Calypso as a side effect rather than anything deliberate.
     
  9. there are some rules in RL where if you have inside info you cannot invest in that business. Some time is not just important to be impartial but also to looks like. In general, without boring with beacons, tools, mob spawn etcetc it should be appropriate that MA and FPC became two different entities. But i guess no one at this moment will invest in FPC, who did it, SEE, decided to no more invest in that (also probably paying a big penalty). It should be nice one day also to know why SEE quit. A tabu discussion OFC.
     
  10. Wistrel

    Wistrel Kick Ass Elf

    "Yes but some planet partners are more equal than others" -;)

    hehe sorry I couldn't resist. Now... to actually read this epic post!

    Wistrel
     
  11. Strange, zero words about mass looting of unlimited native Calypso items on Rocktropia - uber Scanners dropped like Pixie (before Scanners nerf), Tango (not sure about amount but at least one was looted) and as far as I remember several other items.

    And this:

    And also nothing about mass dropping of ESI's in December 2011 on all planets, excluding Calypso (as result even MU slightly went down).
     
  12. Very good artical. Mindark do have certain advantages to other planets people can not dispute that. I remember when the migration happened last year Kim was able to make the mobs bigger when aksed. The androids on ROCKtropia who drop gears for the D-class mineing amp blueprint has been few since last update. Kim was also able to unleash the Atrox queen and other mobs (roborts at P.A.) when he wanted. Where as RT has had Hendrix and Elvis dragons missing for many months now. Rt have also had issues with ores and emmatters unable to be found, most well know is the Hard Rock that is need in so many of the first weapons and armor plates blueprints. Now i am sure if NDS has the power he would of made sure it was easier to find Hard rock. Also players often refer to the scanners that was dropped from Street kings that players paid a lot for. NDS may have the power to say what mob drops what, but do MA have the final say on matters, as they have say if its fair on the other planets. Now RT are having blueprints that NDS has said been stuck in the pipeline for sometime, the question is why now? Ark is a lot younger to RT has so many more blueprints compared to RT and strill dropping. We dont know what power MA has compared to the other planets or even if all planets have the same ammount of tools, but by just looking at four planets their is a big diffrence in them all.
     
  13. correct me if i'm wrong but wasn't there some MA related thingy in Mexico? That might explain differences in quality..(those guys might be more inexperienced)
     
  14. Hi,
    Thank you for this, didn't know. I edited my post.

    It's like muscle oil on Arcadia, used in a lot of BP's, and only 1 single critter looted it (not-so-numerous fishies), for months. It took MA ages to implement muscle oil into the loot of other critters - on Caly this would have been a thing of max. a few days, you bet.

    There might be current financial problems that urgently need a quick cash-flow to solve? Hasn't MA just lost a $6 Mill. deal, and now tries to recover with getting these $6 Mill. otherwise? The more participants are playing on Calypso now, the more attractive the (still not completely sold) Calypso land deeds would be, wouldn't they?

    My words, they even might hurt their own long-term interest doing so (and our investments!). But I imagine an, admittedly strange, picture:
    A farmer somewhere out there had a tornado wasting all of his crops. Nothing left but the seeds for the next season. The hunger rises, children are crying, he certainly will use the seeds to make food, to gain some time.
    If he doesn't eat his seeds, now, he will die, now. If he eats it now, the dieing is postponed for a few months, and there still could be a miracle ...

    As far as we know the Planet Partners have very little possibility to do anything but creating proposals/ templates, sending them to MA, then wait.
    A certain PP seems to have had a "shorter line" in the past, due to close relations, but it seems this has cooled down after several incidents, too. See above, BP's on RT.

    Anything the PP's want to change has to go through the loooong MA pipeline, and has to implemented in a VU.
    The only exception is Calypso, where Kim, both "Planet Calypso Official" as well as "MindArk Official" at MindArk PE AB (both links may require logging in), as well as son of the MA CEO, has all means of just going over to the other office and have a friendly talk to the developer there:

    Kim: "I want you to spawn Atrox Queens on Calypso."
    MA Dev: "Ahhhhh, not allowed without clearance from the balancing team!"
    Kim: "You know who I am?"
    MA Dev: "Well, coords? How many? And do you want ModFaps in them as usual, or would ImpMk.II's do for today?"

    I rather think they spend quite some time kicking their heels, desperately waiting for their stuff getting checked, evaluated, re-checked, approved, developed, re-evaluated, re-approved, and then, maybe if not forgotten by chance, implemented in a VU with not too much bugs ;-)))
    While Kim comes stumbling into the offices at MA any other day, with "much more important stuff" that has to be done immediately, further prolong the PP's waiting time, for the better success of Calypso.

    Only David would be able to tell you since when cloth data and/ or shop locations are readily available in MA HQ ...
    Btw., Arkadia has a few shops since some time, and clothes will be at least previewed in tomorrows VU.


    There's a lot of speculation in this, for sure. We're not blessed with this much information, and even the most communicative PP's are strictly bound with NDA's, you can bet. This makes it a bit hard to judge, and leaves quite some room for wrong conclusions.

    I might be completely wrong, but the position I take is based of reading the relevant forums (fori?) for quite some time, as well as very rare chats with "ppl that should know (tm)".
    But I don't write this to troll, or to get attention - I could mine Arkadia meanwhile and add to my profit, even in small numbers. I'm deeply concerned about the current situation, I'm thinking of the money that I have invested into EU (few enough, lol), and I fear about the future of this unique game, that has hold me longer then any other game I ever played.

    tl;dr:
    Can't help but to see MA desperately munching on the seeds for the next season. This is no good business practice, and will kill the business sooner or later. There will be no cavalry coming in the last moment, this is not a Hollywood movie.
    If there's problems, they should face it, communicate it, and at least try not to fool the participants that payed them for this long now, hoping to use their money to mitigate the fall.
    I'm very sure that an open and honest call for "blood, sweat and tears" from the MA CEO to all participants would work. It would, maybe, create the first game owned by it's players. It would change a lot, but it could work.
    And I might be very wrong with all of this, for sure.

    Have a good time!
     
  15. What a great thread! Thanks. It is a pity that so much of the "problem" is seen as the PVP lootable nature of Space. I often travel in space and have never been attacked. It is so big that once you have left the space station you are very unlikely to meet anyone (in my opinion).

    I have spent a few weeks on Arkadia, and found that the mob variety is not enough. This is something that planet partners need to consider. A planet needs to continue to be interesting, and have enough variety to keep players there. Next Island does have more variety, and I think I may spend more time there - I just wish it was closer to Calypso. Still, the bugged missions, TPs and terminals on NI (and RT and HTT) make the experience not good.

    Calypso will always have the advantage - it was first, and it is bigger. Even if all Planet Partners had the same tools as MA. It is difficult getting into a existing environment and making a success.


    Some ideas and suggestions

    Perhaps MA and PP should agree to have some Free Travel Days - where for a limited time, all planets teleporters are connected, and anyone can go anywhere for free. That could mix things up a bit more, and maybe get more people going to the other planets.

    And how about some interplanetary missions? Like collecting xxx amount of Animal Hide from creatures on each planet - the reward could be a "I've killed animals on 4 planets" t-shirts.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Tass

    Tass Administrator


    I completely disagree.

    1. It's a fact that MA are favourising Calypso. The only question is to what extent they are doing it deliberately.
    2. MA always win, no matter whether they favourising Calypso or not. But it is also a fact that MA are profiting more from players on Calypso than from players on other planets.
    3. It IS "strange" to make systems available for their own planet first. Apart from the severe conflict of interest the fact that it is the oldest or the most populated can't be an excuse for this policy due to many reason. Just one example: Commonly new products of a company get new features first before those are maybe adopted for 'legacy products', and there are good reasons for this too, many of which apply to the situation in EU.
    4. An argument like "they don't have the time to use all the systems anyway" is quite outlandish. Just supply every partner with all systems and let them decide what they want to focus on. The boss of NDS developing Rt and formerly NI as well as the CEO of Arkadia Studios have stated multipe times in public that the lack of abilities compared to Calypso is an issue. CEOs making this kind of statements regarding this kind partnership in public are actually going out on a limb already which could be a hint on how much 'pissed off' they actually are ...


    Even as a mere side effect it is still not acceptable. Similar to me running over a few pedestrians as a side effect of wanting to arrive at my destination as soon as possible.

    And I really think it cannot be considered merely a side effect. For example a MA employess creating and implementing a Calypso Land Deeds banner on the EU.com main page while at the same time not even the launch of a whole planet seems to be worth a similar promotion.



    I think those items are not native to a planet but shared. And in the end it's MA in control of the balancing. Issues like the ones you mentioned have happened many times and probably will continue to happen to the advantage or disadvantage of specific planets completely unrelated to any kind of deliberate favourisation of any planet.



    So... summing it up:

    1. MA are favourising Calypso despite the lack of any substantial reasons other than their very own gain
    2. CEOs involved in the development of all other current planets have confirmed there is an issue
    3. Imo the planet partner concept is totally flawed in many aspects
     
  17. I still stand by my opinion that the problem are exaggerated, yes i agree Calypso have some benefits. I have also never heard anything from the Arkadia team that they are not happy with MA or that they feel misstreated by MA compared to Calypso. I can only think of two system Calypso have that the other planet don't have, instances and the possiblity to "direct control" such as the of spaw of mobs (used by Kim at Calypso), instances will soon, if not already be able to be used for the other planet partners. I am still waiting for Arkadia to launch some own made cloth, so it not like they don't have stuff to do.

    But i agree that they should improve and make it easier for other planets to control diffrent events, like mob spawning and similar features.
     
  18. My very first post here on EP... In terms of the user-base, not all planet planet partners are equal, but then how could they be when Calypso was the first by many years. In terms of functionality and 'something new' to offer, I think most planet partners/planets are more or less equal. For instance, there was a three-four month spell when I was between ROCKtropia and Next Island (before SPACE came about) because they had something unique to offer, but overall I've been on Calypso the most because it has a larger market-base, but the other planets will catch up...
     
  19. Wow... that's quite a bit of information for one little question...

    Short answer?

    Fuck no.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Wistrel

    Wistrel Kick Ass Elf

    I think there is favouritism yes but I don't really have a problem with that and not entirely sure PP's should too. I think it would be daft to expect the company you partner with's own planet not to be used as a bit of a test bed for new features and this may even be an advantage to the PP's as Calypso get to be landed with sorting out the fallout from the bugs and what not and then by the time the PP's get the system things are a bit smoother and also they have the chance to one up the original implementations with better content

    A good example being missions. Just look at how much better they are on other planets compared to Calypso's initial run of them (and even some of the later ones) a nice example being the hunt the thing missions that even had audio!

    Another example being this recent fiasco with the "Boss Mob" not looting. I'm pretty certain the other planets wouldn't want that kind of shit on their hands. FAR better that the fallout lands on Calypso the test planet and everyone else gets refined systems later.

    Another reason why its understandable (if not "fair") that Caly get stuff first is that I imagine like any other code, MA knock up raw versions that are purely "functional" (ie not pretty/documented/distributable to partners) initially and then make fancy "tools" (that interface with these raw versions) to allow PP's to do the same later.

    As for space and the PVP thing - again. I don't have a problem with this and am actually **pleased** we finally have some frontiers in Entropia. I think MA are very very deliberately working on the gradual build up of interplanetary trade. They must be looking at the likes of the EVE trading and thinking "we could do that" but it won't happen overnight.

    A typical example being the space mines that bring mo ships outta Hyperspace. I seriously doubt anyone will be using those yet as its simply not worth it. What MA have done here is simply balance the advantage they have given the large ship transport method. No one will use it YET! but in time they will. Once we are all moving a LOT more stuff between planets and have more BP's that need resources from more than one place. Once we are all getting comfortable and feeling safe about moving our valuables around in that way, THEN the pirates will strike. I additionally expect eventually MA will remove the advantage of logging out while in transit. Something like "if you log out on a moship" your stacks are still lootable till its in safe space

    Just my thoughts

    Wistrel
     

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