Andy's Workshop

Game chat and stories along with some articles probably for the more geeky among us,
all written by me, Andy.

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Saturday 16 February 2013

The Quest for Equal Play

[As usual, all thoughts in this blog are mine and mine alone. They do not necessarily represent the views of the admins or members of Frontierville Express.]

Dear Zynga, we need to talk. Grab a chocolate hobnob, a cup of the beverage of your choice and a seat on the sofa.

It's been confirmed that the different drops of Squeekies from the Cuddly Kitty Corral is predetermined and different for players and that this is programmed.

I have a bit of a problem with this and it's the same as the problem I have with cheating.

People don't necessarily want a quick game or an easy game, all we ask is a fun game and, most important here, a fair game.

We understand that making too much stuff free can impact the game and impact how good it is for you as a business. But on the other hand the ability to get the growth items from the building has helped make a generally disliked game mechanic (the partnering) more palatable for the players.

By creating an arbitrary tiered "class system" for players it makes the game unfair and unbalanced. It causes friction between players and between the players and yourselves.

It's also made one of least popular features even more worse, not necessarily in gameplay terms but just the feeling it's given everyone, even those lucky ones in the top tier (and, full disclosure, I am one of the lucky ones and I'm still vexed).

Often a good feature isn't made or broken by the feature itself but on out feelings ABOUT the feature.

Making people feel players are being treated unfairly in such an extreme way as this, unbalancing the game, will simply add another reason to instinctively hate these partnering missions, whether they're good or not.

If you have to limit it make the building unboostable and give it a 2-4 hour turnaround or make it a random drop. OK, people won't get everything they need but you still get your posts, and at least it gives a silver lining to the Partner Cloud for players.

Make it none, make it one, make it three, but whatever you do make it EQUAL.

I think most players would agree that we expect good missions and bad missions, different strokes for different folks. But, good or bad, we also expect them to be fair and balanced for everyone.