What ever happened to the planet "partner" vision?

Chrome

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Several years ago, I was quite content playing a (new to me) online sci-fi game with a real cash economy based on a single planet called Calypso. After a couple of years, MindArk announced that it planned to diversify the game by creating a "Universe" and adding other planets to the game.

Here is an original quote from almost four years ago in Sept. 2008 <bold red added>:

Dear Entropia Universe Participants,

A few notes regarding Planet Partners:

As Entropia Universe gears up for the implementation of the new CryENGINE2 graphic engine new partners are being accepted to build their own planets. Each partner we hope will introduce new exciting and diverse content to cater for all types of Internet users, i.e. gamers, social networking, entrepreneurs, entertainment, news, culture, sports, etc.

The partners are chosen for different reasons, for the content they can bring to Entropia Universe, for the contacts in entertainment areas we don't have etc, but we believe the diversity of the partners will allow Entropia Universe to attract a wider range of Internet users.

The Entropia Universe platform was built to allow partners the freedom to build their own planet with very little interference from us; this is the only way to really bring diversity into Entropia Universe.

We understand the frustration of our users not knowing all of the future plans for Entropia Universe & Mindark, but important information must be released at the right time, Official information can only be found on www.entropiauniverse.com or www.mindark.com

Regards

David

I found this fascinating, as it seemed MindArk was looking to partner with other companies, expand the universe, and hopefully expand the playerbase.

Too good to be true?


As I assume most people are aware, MindArk had planned to sell Planet Calypso to SEE. This would have allowed the various Planet Partners (partnered in business with MindArk) to compete with each other for our business as players/customers. A small survey here on PCF last year (Feb. 2011) confirmed that most people (90%) believed these planets would be competing against one another:

Planet Partners or Planet Competitors?


Obviously Calypso was not sold to another company, and MindArk retains control of the most prosperous, well established planet in the platform.

How can the other Planet "Partners" possibly compete for business with a planet (Calypso) owned by the very company (MindArk) they are partnered with?



To make matters worse, MindArk decided to offer Calypso Land Deeds so that players/customers could invest money in Calypso (MindArk) in return for an estimated annual return on investment based on Planet Calypso revenue.

I understand that in the future, other planet partners may have the opportunity to offer their own version of land deeds, but this certainly doesn't help the "partners" currently trying to earn money now. They weren't even given the opportunity by MindArk, who is supposed to be in business with them.


Lastly, MindArk employees running the Calypso "planet partner" are now in charge of making decisions for rebalancing missions for the entire platform?!?

In the end this means that some missions will have their rewards increased while others will get decreased.

Also, this is a MindArk decision that all planet partners has to follow...
Me as a planet partner am in charge of this re-balancing project...
:eyecrazy:



What ever happened to the planet "partner" vision?
 

XeroX2

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No clue where the connection between that plan and todays reality could be...
I feel really sorry for those who put a lot of effort into becomming a PP or trying to become one. I don't think all blame goes to MA though... some bad decisions\poor preparations by the first PP certainly shaped the programm into what it is now as well. :rolleyes:
 

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Too good to be true?
Not for me.

Huge flaw.

The business model of MA creates a niche game. Very few are going to 'play.' The only thing planet partners are going to do is compete against other planet partners for the same decay generators. Growth is too slow to build a planet from the ground up.

The real thing is MA gets their cut regardless of where a player spends their time. So MA doesn't care if there is 100,000 players on 1 planet or 100,000 players on 10 planets. So MA will be the last to go financially. You'll see planet partners drop first and my guess is Calyspso will be the last one standing.
 

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I understand that in the future, other planet partners may have the opportunity to offer their own version of land deeds, but this certainly doesn't help the "partners" currently trying to earn money now. They weren't even given the opportunity by MindArk, who is supposed to be in business with them.
hm there was a interview once on normandie radio with a another planets CEO who said honestly that he can get money cheaper elsewhere. and indeed is right. land deed cost in future after return of investment.

such things like deeds alot companies do. even sportclubs like european soccer / football clubs do such things. alot times they do when they have no concept which can convince a money institute to give money or when situation of company is too unstable to get money from external sources cause of high possibility of agreed payback plan cant be guaranteed.

so the own employee, fanbase, people base is asked to give as they wont be that organised to fight back when a agreement is not match. they be maybe disappointed but keep sitting and wait for payback. alot never ask what is done with the money they just are happy that they have the feeling that they could help the institution which they like very much. often deed terms are written loose and a return of investment in a certain time is more promised than really guaranteed. 5 years turn into 10, turn into 15 or so.

if the mountain is climbed and it turns out good for all player is nice in the end.

but to get back to the planet system yeah is a little too much to have same rules for all. is like someone regulate the competition down. other way it could also speed up things as the PPs can work more targeted on a thing without getting negative answer to a change request and loose time then.

arkadia was meant to be the planet with treasure hunting. but treasure hunting will be for all planets indeed. so that speciallity is also out. at least nice to use the skills on every planet but somehow another things which dont keep word that planets keep something special.

having more and more planets is good if theres a open competition.
but not if they just have different looks. is like VU content update is bringing a short term trend cause of new items but after 1-2 weeks the effect is over. waiting for the new VU update then. that spiral can be never ending then. competition in loot return is also not. loot balance is MA.

foma has a racetrack. why is there no official race championship system on the asteroid where people can register at the start of the year as driver and battle one year in races for championship. could be different leagues. valky which can shoot each other while driving and such. decay, ammo used, oil, welding wires, rk tools... hoverpod league. for people who dont like pvp races.

why is there no type of universe sport like the space football in starship troopers the societies can take part to battle for planetary and interplanetary sportchampionship each year. like if you enter the arena a special sport mode turns on and gogogo. attributes of players could come into place here. like agility to run, strength to tackle each other or throw the ball, stamina for doing sprints over a certain time the cryengine can deliver such... good reward in the end for the champions... the place of game change each time so societies can travel together to away games and such... what in the world keeps them from implementing such entertaining stuff which dont cost alot to take part but offers a possibility for societies who can organise themselfs in a good way to win a championship which last for a complete year? imagine what fun the socs would have alone on teamspeak while fighting for the win.

is the landgrab still worth the afford?

they let single persons imp behind others for 15 ped extractors in space... no possibilities to customize a spaceship to make it at least a blast to do that. -_-

crysis 2 has been elected to best game now in germany which has been very astonishing that a shooter game manages that cause the politicians made voice to not let a plain shooter game win. but the judges stood against the wind cause they called it best entertainment. the developers should be a great support if someone needs help with their engine...

but to get back to the planets...

1st may we see what going on. end of year also.

then one day interplanetary trade with the habit that every planet has resources another planet need be maybe good. resources could get more valuable in MU. but mostly cause people will charge their flycost into it. crafters put it onto the items MU then. the hunters get asked for cash again =) as if hunters dont pay enough yet. with 10 ped per fly in MS maybe crafters fly for a planet themself and buy the resources then. or mine themself. activity comes.

i really hope the loot system gets rebalanced and the PP plus platformholder make themself thought how to seriously get money into the thing from outside playerbase to refinance cost per play.

eu is on facebook now. they must move now. =) all possible. takes only a decider and the will to do such stuff...

best whishes for that.
 
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Chrome

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Thanks for the post uni, I'll comment on two things that stood out for me:

arkadia was meant to be the planet with treasure hunting. but treasure hunting will be for all planets indeed. so that speciallity is also out. at least nice to use the skills on every planet but somehow another things which dont keep word that planets keep something special.
I so wanted Arkadia to have unique features, but as you said (and if I understand correctly) treasure hunting will most likely be implemented across the entire universe in some form.


... what in the world keeps them from implementing such entertaining stuff which dont cost alot to take part but offers a possibility for societies who can organise themselfs in a good way to win a championship which last for a complete year? imagine what fun the socs would have alone on teamspeak while fighting for the win.
I think MA discourages low-cost play (so they can make money), which is why we'll never see things like you suggested officially supported as game features implemented by MA.



As far as the projected ROI for CLD's, I won't even go there on this thread. Only time will tell what will really happen to all that money players sunk into the company.
 

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I know Mindark don't have many employees, and I know they have had a huge amount to deal with on their plate migrating from one graphic engine to a superior one as well as many unsung improvements (autotool? summon claim? waypoints? coords on radar? ... the list is long if you think about it)

But with the "scanner gate" debacle last year and now the "mission gate?" mess I think they need to take a more "regulatory" stance with regard to what competing planet partners are up to.

Lets face it, the PP are in competition for the numbers of players and will attract them with competitions, promotions and missions with very attractive rewards. That is to be expected.

Sadly I dont think enough attention has been paid which has now resulted in missions that have existed on Calypso for 2 years now needing to be "rebalanced" which for older players (like myself) will be a nerf but for newer players may well be a boost. I say maybe, ask me on August 22nd. ;)

In summary, MA please can you scrutinise what PP implement - I thought you had final approval of any changes?
 

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Lets face it, the PP are in competition for numbers of players and will attract them with competitions, promotions and missions with very attractive rewards. That is to be expected.
This is the very thing that I find disturbing about the current state of Entropia...

The company making all the decisions also runs the oldest, most established planet.
 

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This is the very thing that I find disturbing about the current state of Entropia...

The company making all the decisions also runs the oldest, most established planet.
I thought we (the players) recently bought it with CLD and will have voting rights in future.

Will the voting booths look like they did in VU 9.4 days?
 

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I thought we (the players) recently bought it with CLD and will have voting rights in future.

Will the voting booths look like they did in VU 9.4 days?
If folks holding CLD's are lucky and MA follows through with their proposal, they will have some sort of voting rights for CALYPSO, not for other decisions MindArk makes about the platform.

People who gave MindArk money for CLD's did not buy Calypso, they own nothing.
 

uni_corn

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Thanks for the post uni, I'll comment on two things that stood out for me:



I so wanted Arkadia to have unique features, but as you said (and if I understand correctly) treasure hunting will most likely be implemented across the entire universe in some form.

ye it was in a normandieradio interview. treasure hunting will be implemented for all planets. so the skills wont be just usable on one planet.

that takes the unique feature of arkadia planet...


cyrene will have their mission / storytelling theme. they got a tool from mindark to implement sound speech to NPC and such but its not planned yet to get into use to make storytelling via speech come real.

http://cyreneforum.com/threads/storytelling-with-sound-speech.317/
 

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If folks holding CLD's are lucky and MA follows through with their proposal, they will have some sort of voting rights for CALYPSO, not for other decisions MindArk makes about the platform.

People who gave MindArk money for CLD's did not buy Calypso, they own nothing.
I'm wondering how voting will go.

We had the "hit noise" increased, there were complaints, and it was reversed. I personally liked it when I could actually hear when I was hit by a mob. If I could have voted, I'd either have left it increased or a compromise 50% reduction, but now I'm back to how it was before.

There was a thread very recently requesting nighttime be abolished or an option.






I worry about this voting thing, especially with one player holding over 40% of the voting rights. Imagine the topics that could be posted - "Make Eudoria lootable PVP Y/N?"

I hope it doesn't come to that.
 

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Its been well documented that MA has a lot more power and can do a lot more when they want to. Its funny how Ark cant have Tresure hunting, But Calyspo have becons. How Kim can change the growth of a spawn of a mob when he wants too. Even now players talk about how on RT how you was able to get 2 stamina points in a row, but to to do that you had to grind a through over 15k of zombies and do it again with big cats, but on Calyspo you can do several missions to get skills (even 1 stamina point) with out even firing a gun. I beliove Calypso are the only ones who do give out free skills like this.
 

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To make matters worse, MindArk decided to offer Calypso Land Deeds so that players/customers could invest money in Calypso (MindArk) in return for an estimated annual return on investment based on Planet Calypso revenue.

I understand that in the future, other planet partners may have the opportunity to offer their own version of land deeds, but this certainly doesn't help the "partners" currently trying to earn money now. They weren't even given the opportunity by MindArk, who is supposed to be in business with them.
personally I'd think the PP would be mad to offer Land Deeds. Sure they'd get a big cash injection but at the expense of half their future income, something that MA doesn't have to worry about as they hold all the deposited cash.

Think about it, if it were to become 50% for MA, 25% PP, 25% players. The 25% in $ that would have gone to the PP and now goes to the players stays in MA's hands if the 25% given to the players isn't withdrawn. In $ terms it could becomes 75% to MA and 25% to a PP.

For a PP to get their income back to where it was before a LD sale they'd have to double it.

With Calypso this doesn't apply as I stated before, MA holds all deposits.
 

Charlie|MindArk

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Quote Originally Posted by Charlie|Calypso View Post
Me as a planet partner am in charge of this re-balancing project...
Nice, taking a small part of one post out of several posts in a thread taking it completely out of context.
Obviously I am in charge of the mission re-balancing project on Calypso, following the new guidelines set up by MindArk for all planet partners to follow.

How you manage to think this is something that benefits Calypso is beyond me, since it just means a ton of extra work and angry players and almost only affect Calypso. The whole point of the re-balancing is to make sure that no planet is favored by having missions that are easier/give better rewards for the same effort.

bigdaddy trim

Its been well documented that MA has a lot more power and can do a lot more when they want to. Its funny how Ark cant have Tresure hunting, But Calyspo have becons. How Kim can change the growth of a spawn of a mob when he wants too. Even now players talk about how on RT how you was able to get 2 stamina points in a row, but to to do that you had to grind a through over 15k of zombies and do it again with big cats, but on Calyspo you can do several missions to get skills (even 1 stamina point) with out even firing a gun. I beliove Calypso are the only ones who do give out free skills like this.
The RT mission you are refering to had nothing to do with the 2 stamina points. If I recall correctly that mission gave 1 Agility, 1 Strenght, 1 Psyche, 2 Stamina and 160PED athletics for killing the equivalent of about 1000-1500 Atrox young. This is without killing a single zombie.

As for Arkadia "can't" have treasure hunting I suggest you head over to their forum instead and ask their devs why they don't have it yet.
 

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personally I'd think the PP would be mad to offer Land Deeds. Sure they'd get a big cash injection but at the expense of half their future income, something that MA doesn't have to worry about as they hold all the deposited cash.
That is a valid opinion. However, the PP's didn't even have the option to compete with Calypso and offer their own land deeds at the same time. As a business, Calypso had an unfair advantage over the opther PP's.

Also consider this... all of the funds from CLD sales could potentially be lost income from the PP's from decay. Instead of cycling a few thousand ped, players on any other planet partner could have instead purchased CALYPSO CLD's, especially since the CDL's were offered on global auction, available EVERYWHERE.
 

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As for Arkadia "can't" have treasure hunting I suggest you head over to their forum instead and ask their devs why they don't have it yet.
May be you should ask the MA programmers first as it's MA that has held it up as PP's aren't allowed to change the programming of the engine only the graphics and scripted missions.

If it's due to them not employing MA to develop it which considering every PP will be able to use it and it not being a unique system to Ark is hardly surprising but why were all the finders and mining systems changed to accommodate it way before development on the system has even begun?
 

Fredy Olafson

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Charlie|Calypso;2932014 Obviously I am in charge of the mission re-balancing project on [B said:
Calypso[/B], following the new guidelines set up by MindArk for all planet partners to follow.

rebalancing missions i am sure is not an easy task, but how about going deeper after mission adjustments, to the core of RCE in rebalancing loot. and i am not asking this time more TT return , but more MU . have you thought of tighting more crafters with miners and hunters, in both ways to make them more dependent on each other? for example in crafting to be used ZERO matterials bought from tt, but from miners and hunters. such rework of loot system i haven't seen before missions were introduced , and no , tier system didn't help much , but that's just my opinion.
 

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Me as a planet partner am in charge of this re-balancing project...
Nice, taking a small part of one post out of several posts in a thread taking it completely out of context.
Obviously I am in charge of the mission re-balancing project on Calypso, following the new guidelines set up by MindArk for all planet partners to follow.


Sorry, Charlie... I read the entire thread the quote is from, and the way it reads is not out of context at all. You are a MindArk official, running a planet... yes? There is a mission re-balancing project proposed, and it reads that you are in charge of it. (For what it's worth, your second quote listed above is much more concise. As I'm sure you are aware, communicating clearly is important in public relations.)

If you are a MindArk official, and the guidelines are being set up by MindArk, then it might be easy to misunderstand who exactly is setting up the guidelines for all of the planets.


So, if I may ask, who exactly from MindArk is setting up the guidelines for all the planets?


(EDIT: Also staying on topic RE: thread title, what happened to the planet "partner" vision?)
 
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Charlie|MindArk

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Sorry, Charlie... I read the entire thread the quote is from, and the way it reads is not out of context at all. You are a MindArk official, running a planet... yes? There is a mission re-balancing project proposed, and it reads that you are in charge of it. (For what it's worth, your second quote listed above is much more concise. As I'm sure you are aware, communicating clearly is important in public relations.)

If you are a MindArk official, and the guidelines are being set up by MindArk, then it might be easy to misunderstand who exactly is setting up the guidelines for all of the planets.


So, if I may ask, who exactly from MindArk is setting up the guidelines for all the planets?
I am not a MindArk official, I am not employed by MindArk, I am a Calypso official. Yes I know my forum logo is confusing here and I will have to change that, thats there from how this account was set up.
SpikeBlack
No seriously go ask them instead.
 

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As for Arkadia "can't" have treasure hunting I suggest you head over to their forum instead and ask their devs why they don't have it yet.
Because of mindark merged mining tools and did't give treasure hunting tools for arkadia development team, so they can't implement it yet
 

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I am not a MindArk official, I am not employed by MindArk, I am a Calypso official. Yes I know my forum logo is confusing here and I will have to change that, thats there from how this account was set up.
Thanks for clearing up that confusion. You didn't set up your own account here, and whomever did set it for you thought you were a MindArk employee / MindArk official. :laugh:
 

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Some partners had visions that were just too big... I suspect that many of them had to scale back on their dreams. Remember this old story, lol:

http://www.thestandard.com.hk/news_...5&sid=13861345&con_type=1&d_str=20070601&fc=8
"We are extremely happy both to present the Entropia Universe to the Chinese market and also to have found such perfect partners in CRD," Behrmann said. "The Chinese market is huge and we believe that the safe system that we have with Entropia is a very suitable fit."
CRD chief executive David Liu predicted that the virtual worlds will generate approximately 10,000 jobs in the mainland.

"An important aspect for this project is also the positive effects on our environment that we foresee," Liu said. "People will actually be able to work from home inside Entropia Universe, as many people do today, even from rural areas, thereby decreasing the amount of pollution generated by travel."

Liu said Entropia provides a secure operating platform for trade, business transactions, cultural exchanges and other activities.
 

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Thanks for the post uni, I'll comment on two things that stood out for me:



I so wanted Arkadia to have unique features, but as you said (and if I understand correctly) treasure hunting will most likely be implemented across the entire universe in some form.


When a planet partner creates a new/exciting feature, MA swoops in and implements it on Calypso.

How does this promote creativity? There is no incentive to design something new on a new planet if MA puts it on hold until they can deliver it on Calypso at the same time!
 

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I do agree with what some have said here, there does appear to be a conflict of interest when the planet partners are essentially in competition for player base and player income with the very same company that provides the basic platform from which they all operate.

It would be in everyone's best interest if MA sold control of Calypso. MA could then spend it's time and resources better concentration solely on providing a stable platform and new content.
 

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Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

And it is MA that holds all the real power.....

Arkadia - "We're going to have this thing called Treasure Hunting, no-one else has it, it's our USP!!"

MA - "mmm, Treasure Hunting? we can 'sell' that to other planet partners"

Arkadia - "But that was OUR USP! you've destroyed our business model"

MA - "and....? WGAF?"
 

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I so wanted Arkadia to have unique features, but as you said (and if I understand correctly) treasure hunting will most likely be implemented across the entire universe in some form.
I don't understand why everyone is excited about whatever Treasure Hunting might involve. To me it sounds like a euphemism for increasing the bomb size and devaluing current skills, i.e another means of losing Ped faster.

As for Arkadia "can't" have treasure hunting I suggest you head over to their forum instead and ask their devs why they don't have it yet.
We don't know if Arkadia have the tools to implement Treasure Hunting, but we do know that the Mining Finders have been bugged since the redesign, nearly a year ago now, and that is definitely a Mindark responsibility. It takes 2 extra clicks to change bomb type now, and Treasure Hunting would a real pain unless that is fixed.
 
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MA has ALWAYS run this entire thing with a "Keep it in the family" structure. They have their own agenda that serves them and ONLY them. There are sooooooooo sooo mamy things MA stated they would never do because it would hurt the community and the over all buisness. To date they have done the exact opposite of EVERYTHING they announced as a boon to the game. The only boons went directly into the MA coffers.

This planet partner thing is now wayy outta hand. EVERY thing a planet partner has come up with to move their planet forward has been implemented on Calypso under the guise of it being a test planet. If it wasnt implemented on Calypso there was a counter addition to the game mechanics to keep the "Keep it in the family" thing secure.

All of you thinking you will have a vote in what happens ...wow I feel sorry when the alarm clock rings and you are rudely awakend. At BEST the only vote you will every get is a choice of several things MA wants to impliment already.

This crap of who has control of and who works for Calypso is all smoke and mirrors as it has always been. Its just more confusing now as they are "communicating" with us. They say one thing and when someone finds the real happenings and shows it they post even more smoke to confuse the subject and guide it somewhere else to keep the real issues out of the spotlights. With all this changing hands of Calypso it just makes it easier for money to slowly funnel away from its intended and publicised use.

This is and will ALWAYS be the history of EU as long as the people running it continue in the positions they hold. This is why the game will simply cycle players at various levels maybe growing a little bit maybe not but all who come learn the SOP quick enough and either live with it or leave.
 

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I don't understand why everyone is excited about whatever Treasure Hunting might involve.
I was excited about it, for the very reason stated in the quote by David in the OP:

Each partner we hope will introduce new exciting and diverse content to cater for all types of Internet users...

I wanted Arkadia to have different gameplay features frmo Calypso, and unfortunately I don't think that is the direction MA is taking the platform.
 

Chrome

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This crap of who has control of and who works for Calypso is all smoke and mirrors as it has always been.
Yeah... you gotta love how the head of "Planet Calypso" had MINDARK OFFICIAL plastered all over their PCF account. That is, until someone actually noticed.


 

Neil Stockton

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It would be in everyone's best interest if MA sold control of Calypso. MA could then spend it's time and resources better concentration solely on providing a stable platform and new content.
They did and they are. You must have missed it, but Charlie and his crew of Calypso developers are not working for Mindark any longer. They work for a company called AR Universe, which is the Planet Partner for Calypso.

The confusion comes from the fact that at least some of them used to work for Mindark and Calypso still enjoys a few benefits above the other Planet Partners. For example, the Calypso developers got the tools to develop instances (beacons) much earlier than other Planet Partners. It's my understanding that they are available now to everyone, but this is the reason why treasure hunting on Arkadia was delayed so long compared to beacons. Confusion also arises from certain AR Universe employees having special access to Mindark (most notably Kim), so that certain changes can be made immediately (mob spawns, loot, etc) that a Planet Partner would need to apply for changes to be approved and wait weeks while they were implemented. I could be wrong but right now, I don't think it's possible for other planets to have invasion events like the one going on now.

So, Mindark IS working to make all planet partners more equal but there's still some way to go. Give them some time, they've had to deal with a lot of fundamental changes over the past year and a half as EU expands hugely each time a new planet is released.

The rebalancing of missions here is just another step in the right direction. They needed to define mission rewards for all planet partners, including Calypso. David Dobson said over on PAF that, at first look, the new guidelines will make it easier for them to develop new missions, because they don't have to go through a lengthy approval process while Mindark decides if their proposed rewards are "balanced". Missions take a long time to develop and faster development of missions can only be a good thing.

And one final note... I think people have been expecting each planet to have its own unique abilities, that the treasure hunting system should only be allowed on Arkadia, for example. I disagree--I think it's better for each planet to have all the same tools, that way all skills are portable and Mindark only has to develop one system. How would you like it if Mindark had to spend 3/4 of their time developing cool systems that could never be used on Calypso? If you look at the seven destinations we have now (4 planets, plus FOMA, CP, and space), they're all very different, and do appeal to very different types of players. Which is a good thing, since EU as a niche game can fill more niches with each new planet.
 
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