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ChiClyde

Has QONQR Become "Pay-to-Win"?

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Greets to my fellow players and the Qonqr dev team. First this is going to be long. I've had these thoughts for a while and I'm dumping them all here for anybody to read and comment on.

Let me state, first off, I love this game. I love the concept and the back story. I love imagining a secret war of nanobots flying around town. I think the story and hook for this game is brilliant. I've never seen a game quite like this before and I give all props to Silver and his small crew for executing this idea. I further love that the game is, one day, platform agnostic. Brilliant all of it. Thank you Silver and the Qonqr team for making this unique experience. My wife hates you by the way, I'm always looking at my phone. :-P

And to my fellow Legion members, you have all been awesome. I've been involved in many gaming communities, I've had some epic runs, and made great friends. But never, in my decades as a dedicated gamer, have I run into such an amazing, creative, supportive, and positive bunch. Not one Legion player has been a jerk to me. This is the only gaming community that I've experienced that in. I've heard of Legion being jerks to other players in other factions, but I've not met them.

I "get" Legion and Legion "gets" me. I can think of no other faction but Legion.

To Chicago Faceless: we've had some epic brawls, and its been fun, thank you for those good times.

To Chicago Swarm: most of you have been a classy bunch, we've tussled, not much, and we've exchanged friendly words, most Swarm players in Chicago have been honorable combatants. I tip my hat to you.

However, I have come to the inevitable conclusion that Qonqr, as it is now, is a pay-2-win game.

I don't think Silver ever intended this, but the funny thing about gamers is, if you have a game, a good percentage of the players will try to exploit it. Whatever Silver's intentions were with cubes, those intentions have been perverted into a grotesque charade of game play.

Here's the state of affairs in Chicago.

Legion has dominated the city proper for a while now. We started out as a small crew and fought and clawed our territory that we have. We grew a little, not much tho. We have a good and friendly crew to play with as a team. But, in the general population of Illinois players, we've never had the numbers Faceless had then and has now. But, we had GroupMe and we had motivation and we could divide and conquer the opposition.

But now, as of the last two weeks, Faceless with maybe 7 or 8 regular players, have been putting up million bot zones in about 12 hours per zone every other day. And what they're putting up is very exotic stuff. Max Amps, Strengthen on the zone with heavy HL for each player. Lots of absorbers, diverts. And probably 50-100k in deflection and whatever leftover in Seekers, Shock, and ZA from cleaning the zone. And this is in the face of stiff (if outnumbered) opposition. Today they took a zone in the heart of Chicago, and in less than 12 hours built up another 1 million strong zone. Looking at the bots they deployed, they have all the fancy stuff in there. They've had a rate of building one of these zones every two days. No way they can harvest that fast for this stuff and deploy it that fast without serious scope heat issues. We counter attacked the zone and got it down from 410k to 350k and in less than an hour, while we were all radioactive hot, they built it back up like we never did a **** thing. This has been going on for a couple of weeks now.

The rate of deployments and the qcreds of their deployments suggests strongly to me that many cubes are being used to accomplish this.

And then there was the Detroit op earlier this week -- Royal Oak and Ferndale. Royal Oak, when the op went down it had 8.2 million bots. Ferndale had 1.1 million. Legion burned Ferndale down in a few hours with cubes and multi-state (multi-national actually) missiles. Royal Oak took longer, 48 hours, but it fell. I have no idea how many cubes were used on that op, but I know they were used by the buckets because I was in the op channel. It took my breath away how easy it was to cube in Amps and Abs and coordinate missile strikes from all over the Mid-West and Canada. I felt guilty just sending missiles that I saved up for over a few days (I sent around 80 I think). I didn't spend any cubes or buy any cubes at the time. I wondered if others were spending $ to take a zone, should I?

Now, I'll be clear here: I understand that empires rise and empires fall. Is the Chicago empire falling? Perhaps... probably... who knows? Time will tell.

I'm fine with being out played by another player of faction. I'm fine if the oppositions tactics are better than mine, or their numbers are greater, or if there is a pact between two factions and they gang up on the other. I'm even fine with multi-scoping. I'm fine with the GPF and 4th faction and mercs hitting and switching to avoid counter attack. I'm even fine with a dogpile on one guy's zone. I'm fine with faction moles, spies and traitors. I'm fine with players writing scripts to query the API to keep track of zone changes and remove any element of surprise in the game.

But I'm not fine with a game who's mechanics allow players to buy zones like Fontenac, Lisle, Woodridge, Gold Coast, and Royal Oak MI. To name a few, there are more. We have a couple of million zones in Chicago too, but we built them over weeks or months, not hours. Faceless and Swarm had every opportunity to grind them (and sometimes they did) but they've largely let us build them. But we didn't build them over a few hours in a day.

What kind of a game do we have that, with a decent group who understands the game mechanics, can dominate an area (like we Legion have in Chicago) to such a degree that the only choice for the opposition is to grow million strong towers, over night, just to get a toe-hold on things?

Given the monetary investment they've made in building them, I'd expect them to defend with vigor. And they have. We've launched all kinds of counter attacks and have failed. We don't have the faction players, the time, and the money to compete with them.

And the towers Faceless is leaving will be impossible for newbies to grind down. If we stopped playing today, these zones will remain and any new player will have no reasonable chance to make an impact on the map. The only recourse is to wait for them to get bored or sick of sinking money into the game and leave. Silver made a blog post about that last year. But that's no kind of solution in my opinion. And still these towers would remain to be torn down by whatever faction comes long next. That's really boring, grinding a huge tower nobody's defending.

Don't think I'm whining about cubes and being beaten by Faceless, what they are doing is very effective and very difficult to counter w/out spending on cubes given the numbers we have. They have tight communication and coordination and its working really well for them. Props to them for building that. I don't think I'm tipping my hand to say we're understaffed in Chicago Legion right now. If Faceless and Swarm don't know that, then they haven't been paying attention. But we've held Chicago in this way for a year and Faceless only recourse is to build big and build fast with cubes.There is something wrong if that's the way the game is "won" -- buy building giant stacks on zones that nobody but a multi-state op with cubes can take down.

At look at the new player report for "my area" (I don't know what that area is), I see these stats: 8 new Faceless, 4 new Swarm and 3 new Legion. I've watched this for a couple of days, and I just watched the Legion players, and only one is going up in levels, and that one is wavering on the game. I don't know about the status of the other players on the chart. I have to watch them for a while to see if they're advancing or not.

Still, Legion can't compete if we are only getting a trickle of players. I do not why new players shun Legion, maybe its the back story.

I want to give newbie players a chance to affect the game and be encouraged to play. I took a look around Seattle, by the airport on I5 and the surrounding area. Most of those zones are over a million each! That's crazy. I doubt borders change much up there. Its pretty tri-colored up there, so that's good, looks balanced. However, it looks somewhat static given the numbers of bots up there on each of the zones in downtown Seattle.

But, this game has evolved to the point that the top tier of the game involves spending money to stay at the top or crack a zone that's got several million bots on it.

That's not balanced, that's pay-2-win. Cubes have become the gold ammo of World of Tanks. That's the greatest imbalance I can think of in any freemium game.

And if its not, and if I'm wrong about Chicago Faceless' cube habits, the million bot stack to heaven on zones in 12 hours is still grossly imbalanced. That's not based on skill or planning, its about bringing N+1 guys to a zone to own it. Its mob rule and its boring. The minority faction has no choice but to concede the battle field. if that's the case, why give us different bots to deploy?

Again, I'm not blaming Faceless for doing what they are doing, but the game isn't right if this is how its played. That one faction can simply out number the other to win. And that's why the zones in Seattle are over a million each. Or Manhattan, also an endless purple tidal wave of million plus zones, I used to be all Swarm all the time over there. If that's what it takes to hold a zone for a while, something is very wrong here.

I understand Silver's need to monetize the game and keep the lights on, paychecks paid, and families fed. I believe he would be, and hope he is profitable in this enterprise. I like the idea of this game and I want to see it successful, but not in this way.

Qonqr needs balance with cubes, zones and it needs something to do after achieving level 100 and all the upgrades purchased.

Chicago Legion is shedding players right an left, and its not just because of Chicago Faceless' new tactic, or maybe its an old tactic, I've heard rumors elsewhere this is happening. We have been shedding players since we took the whole region and held it for a year. We've lost half of those players out of boredom. Now we're losing the rest because of the zone buying going on, and I'm considering leaving too. Its not Faceless' fault, mind you. Its a legal way to play the game, and if we matched them, cube for cube, the playing field would be level. No, I just don't have the resources to keep pace with that. It gets to the point where I'm wondering why I even bother playing.

Is this "winning" the game? Driving other players out, making it seem futile to bother? (To my Legion brothers and sisters in Florida, I am beginning to understand your pain)

And I'm sure that's what happened to other Faceless players in Chicago that I don't see around very much any more. Maybe they are waiting for a purple comeback, or maybe they've given up on the game. Either way, its broken. Chicago Legion exploited it one way (taking advantage of GroupMe before it was known in the area and exploiting N+1) and how Faceless is doing it now (N+1 and cubes).

But back to the cubes, if you have a mechanic that can ignore the heat on the scope, why even have the heat scale at all? There are players who will abuse that all day, every day. This has a poor impact on the game and not good for Qonqr's bottom line. Over time. Yes cube are being bought, but the loss of potential customers because of cube abuse is very bad in the long run. I am sure Silver is aware of this.

To that I have a few suggestions/ideas for the Qonqr devs and the community. Maybe they are good, maybe they are bad. I would love to see other suggestions or comments anybody has to say about what I've talked about, even if you want to flame me for qq'ing.

Anyway, here are a few suggestions, they aren't all tied together, just individual stand-alone ideas I had for the game. Some I heard from other players. I give them freely to the community and devs.

1) Limit the number of cubes that can be used in a given 24 hour period on refreshes or exchanging for qcreds. Do have an unlimited use of cubes to advance levels and/or buy scope upgrades. In all the F2P games I've played, the game asks players to sink time in the game to play it, then gives you a shortcut, for a fee, of that leveling up process. That seems to work really well. But it doesn't give them a weapon they can have with RL money and then use it to dominate the game.

2) Limit the number of bots that can be in a zone at a given time. This would keep zones from being gigantic towers and encourage players to be aggressive and battle over zones instead of sandbagging zones already in possession.

3) Reset the game world, blow everybody's zones out, and start over. This crazy zone stacking and area dominance is out of hand and against the spirit of the game, IMO. its not unusual for game worlds to be reset in the MMO world and its not unusual for Blizzard to reset ladders every so often. It shouldn't be a big deal for Qonqr either. And its fair to all players.

4) Find a way to fix zones that sit on top of each other. There are a few zones that are stacked on top of each other in Chicago and we have to use weird map tricks to get in them for deployment. Maybe move them over a little bit? We also have these bizarre clumps of zones out in the burbs that look like forests. Yet we only have one zone in the Loop. Does that make sense?

5) Create some kind of huge zone busting weapon that can be used on psychotic towers to level the playing field. Have it be something that requires x number of faction players spending y qcreds for z amount of time to launch the thing. Call it a zone nuke or satellite mega laser or whatever.

6) Introduce career paths and specialties for the player. Say, for example, a "spy" path, were a player changes color, but still has to harvest off their old color, thus keeping their real faction loyalty. And allow them to appear, otherwise a member of that faction and have to attack their own faction. Let a person choose to be merc, but boldly so, give them a new color. And make it so they have to buy/sell contracts in qcreds to launch attacks. Or a demolition path who's good at attacking defenses but weak attacking offenses. or a defensive class that's good for building that kind of bots, but not so good at offensive bots. Players need some kind of depth and endgame beyond "get to level 100 and a upgraded scope" I can go on in this way. Bot medics that can bring "dead" nanobots back to life. A sniper class, a tank class, a R&D class. The possibilities are endless.

7) Find balance to encourage players to be more evenly dispersed in the factions. It looks to me that Faceless is by far the most popular faction in the game as I look around the United States map and at the "NearbyNewPlayers" page on the portal for my "area" If the game keeps the N+1 to win mechanic, then the most populous faction automatically wins. Or remove the N+1 mechanic.

8) Have a decay time for nanobots. Maybe their batteries run down or something, nothing runs forever and has unlimited energy. Even our star will die one day. But have them decay over time and unless a player keeps feeding them energy, or putting new ones in because they'll expire over time.

What suggestions or thoughts do you have?

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1) That reads from the dev side as 'forcibly make less money'. Never gonna happen.

2) There is a limit. I'm sure no one has hit it yet, and it could be in the trillions, but a finite number of bots in a zone is a mathematical certainty.

3) No. Blizzard ladders are seasonal, and everyone knows going into it that the ladder will be reset, so that isn't a fair comparison. Hitting the reset button without making any other changes simply rewinds the clock, and you end up in the same place eventually.

4) I haven't personally run into this, but it does sound like a valid issue that could be manually fixed on a case by case basis.

5) If you try to balance existing mechanics by adding new ones, you're doomed from the outset.

6) I'm all for player specialities, but that's about as far as I'd be willing to address that. There's too many other features I'd rather see first (Hello, in-game chat!)

7) No. Going back to your Blizzard analogy, on some WoW servers the H:A ratios are bananas, and Blizz knows better than to try and influence them. In the end, you can't do it without taking away player choice.

8) Speaking as someone who has bots in lots of zones, that sounds like a micro-management nightmare. I don't want to have to babysit my zones.

Regarding IAP perks, most people will fall on one side of the fence; either the side that doesn't spend money, and often views doing so as 'cheating', or the side that does spend money and sees it as a valid tool provided by the game. Without going into who's right or wrong, the best way to blend the two sides in my opinion is to make earning cubes possible without spending money. There are plenty of ways to do it without taking dollars away from Silver and company; Tapjoy, ads, in-game rewards (that don't involve creating multiple accounts), forum contests, etc. Will some people abuse it? Sure. I'm sure there's many out there right now that consider buying cubes excessively 'abuse'. But once you stop trying to design a 'perfect' system and simply focus on improving the 'good enough' system, the negative impacts will eventually become negligible.

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I feel the real hurdle is a large enough user base. In my area we have mostly non-paying players. The couple of us who can buy qubes (of all factions) ended up being the backbone while the others are the soldiers making the difference. Like everything else it's all about organization.

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I agree that QONQR is a Pay-to-Win game.

However, I don't necessarily believe that it just recently became that way. It has always been that way. Even in the very early days of QONQR, if you played against a person who spent money on Nanobot Refreshes, they'd win EVERY time, and that hasn't changed. However, I'll admit that once upon a time it seemed less skewed. The more specific problem seems to me to be with the current cube purchase bundles, and the variable exchange rates, as QONQR has become a Pay-to-Compete game.

Prior to the implementation of the variable exchange rate, it was less-likely (even considered rare by a lot of players) to exchange cubes for qredits ($1 per missile you say? -No way). At that point cube purchases were made to buy upgrades (which at the start of QONQR seemed more game altering) and were used to buy Nanobot Refresh Packs. -And that was pretty much it for the majority of the players.

Let's face it, even in pay-to-win games, some people will never buy cubes, but those people are commonly being beaten by even casual spenders. Now I'd guess that a large majority of players that buy cubes will also exchange them for qredits. Essentially, the game has become too easy to tilt the field with the use of money, so that's what people do. -Me included.

That's also why people will eventually get to the point of walking away or "taking breaks" from QONQR. They're spending too much money and time on the game. -Me included.

Time for some Star Wars References.

I think at it's inception QONQR was a game designed to be played by people who spend and those who don't more or less equally, with those who spend becoming Sith (taking the quick and easy path to power) while the Jedi toiled away at harvesting Qredits to buy upgrades. But then bills needed to be paid for the game expansions and server upgrades, and it became clear QONQR needed to have at least a couple of full time people just to maintain it, and that those people likely needed a roof over their head, clothes on their backs, and food in their bellies. Thus QONQR needed to make money (Money being the root of all evil-riiiiight?), and so the Quick and Easy path got cheaper and more alluring and a game that only had a few Sith, and a large amount of Jedis has flip-flopped with the quick and easy path being all too quick and far too easy, resulting in a sea of Sith and very few Jedi to plod along at the "normal" rate.

Here's the problem in my opinion. QONQR isn't just Pay-to-Win, it's Pay-to-Compete now. It's one thing for a player who doesn't spend money to be beat by one that does, but once upon a time those players would still feel competitive and get a "moral victory" of: "They had to buy cubes to beat me". Now it's "I have to buy cubes just to have a chance at beating people".

Do I think this should be throttled back a bit? YES.

Do I think QONQR Dev can throttle it back a bit? NO.

I don't see how the QONQR Dev and Maintenance Team can afford to willingly make less money.

However, IF and that's a giant if (just look at it), but IF they wanted to throttle the view point that QONQR is Pay-to-Compete back to a Pay-to-have-an-edge system, I'd do it this way:

  1. Make the top level upgrades significantly useful and make them only accessible by purchase.
  2. REMOVE Nano-Bot Refresh Packs, and Energy Recharge Packs from the game as a purchase item. These items are by far the biggest imbalancing purchase items in the game. You literally are able to Pay-To-Play-More with these items. (I mean: who cares if you have 500 missiles if you don't have the bots to fire them).
  3. Put a limit on the number of Refresh and Recharge Packs any player can have in their inventory. Say 20 of each type Maximum.
  4. Change the Refresh and Recharge Packs to items you can build with Bases instead of Qredits, thus you'd have potentially 3 types of bases, ones that harvest qredits (at the normal rate) ones that make Bot Refreshes (perhaps one Nanobot refresh per 12 hours), and ones that make Energy Recharges (perhaps one Recharge per 6 hours). Thus it takes time to build these imbalancing items and you have a limit to how much you can tilt the playing field.

Personal Notes:

Ideally, I'd like to see Qonqr a game that people spend money on, but that the money spent in total is less than $50. Qonqr's great, but I don't think it should cost more than a console game in total. Having said that, I can tell you, I've spent FAR MORE than $50 on QONQR and I regret it at times when I look back on the total amount I spent and think about how I could of used that money differently. -But that's my problem. Not Qonqr's, nobody twisted my arm and said "buy cubes or else" but it has been easy to get caught up in the game and spend more than I want to. It ultimately results with me putting personal limits on how much allow myself to even turn on the app. I wish Qonqr was a game I could play with more moderation, but that's just not the case, as it's a feast or famine game, so instead of playing regularly, I sign on and play for a bit to have some fun, but then take breaks to avoid spending too much money. Each break I take becomes longer and longer, and eventually I'll just not come back which is too bad, as I enjoy the community, but the game is just too consuming to keep up at with the current game play style.

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To the number of points, I am more or less agreeable to.

However 2: reseting the game world... I felt horribly conflicted about this one. On one hand, I think it needs to be done. It would likely breathe new life into the game, and make playing as a new player rewarding.

But, if zones don't get a population cap, or if a offense/defense balance addressed, that won't solve anything in the long run besides upsetting the players that spent months upon months stacking zones.

To that point, I am in agreement to capping the number of bots in one zone at one time. It would stop us rural folk from building untouchable towers, as well as make absorbers slightly more effective.

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I have also been frustrated by the emergence of P2W players in my area. I can't begrudge them the tactic, but it definitely makes me less interested in the game. I've spent a fair amount of time thinking about solutions and have hit on some of the same ideas. It seems likely that anything that restricts cube usage (i.e. restricts cash flow into the game) isn't going to be a real option for the dev team. So what we need are changes that provide tools to harvest-to-win players. Ideas I like:

  • Zone nukes. If it had to be purchased with qredits and required some in-game prerequisites (like a minimum number of players), it would encourage harvesting and, more importantly, teamwork. One consideration is that the exchange mechanic does allow a player to buy in-game money. To make this work, you'd have to tweak that.
  • Career paths. It wouldn't necessarily have to be that complex. Maybe at level 100, you have the option to unlock one of three new bots: one offensive, one defensive, one support. It would also be cool to level past 100 within a specialty, but that seems like a bigger dev project. Either way, that would also foster teamwork, as people would want to make sure they had a well-rounded team for their ops.
  • Bot decay. Maybe a user's bots don't decay in zones where they have bases or where they actively deploy. This would create some automatic turnover, especially in more rural zones that are grabbed while people travel. Hotly contested urban zones would probably remain unchanged, but it would give players somewhere else to take a toehold

I feel like there ought to be a greater point to bases beyond a simple harvesting mechanic. To that end, I like F3N's idea, and really a lot of other ideas I've heard to give more purpose to the game. But that gets beyond the scope of this discussion.

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You are 100% right F3N, the game has become "pay-to-compete." Take a look at the forum logs, players have been begging for some sort of refresh limit from the start. A majority of the gaming community seems to think that uncontrolled cubing is the biggest issue with the game. But here's the bad news:

The devs are aware, and they don't care.

They already stated that they manipulated the return rate to 9000 at Christmas, why do you think they did that? To manipulate everyone to spend more so they could pay Christmas bills. You used to get free cubes for referring people, gone. You used to get free cubes for downloading other apps, gone.

It's a scam and it's a great one because people (like me) know it's a scam and send their money anyway. They sell something fake to people so that you can change the color of something that doesn't exist. The price keeps going up and the ability to compete without spending keeps going down.

You can't be mad at the big spenders though, they are the targets of the scam and it's working. Silver makes statements like "take pride in the fact that they have to spend to beat you." Translation: I'm using you as a tool to steal this guys money.

That's what it is, you're either a mark or a tool to get a marks money. We all know it, it's up to each individual to decide what they want to do about it because Silver has been clear, it's not getting any better.

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...But here's the bad news:

The devs are aware, and they don't care...

...That's what it is, you're either a mark or a tool to get a marks money. We all know it, it's up to each individual to decide what they want to do about it because Silver has been clear, it's not getting any better.

I hear you Dr_of_Detroit, but I wouldn't go as far as to paint Silver and the fine folks on the QONQR Dev/Maintenance Team with such a broad brush or in such a negative light, -BUT I do understand the main point of what you're getting at and how you feel. I think that much of what you said makes sense and echos what I've heard from a number of other people and groups. You are definitely not alone in the way you look at this -That's for sure.

I wouldn't go as far as to say Silver and QONQR Dev doesn't care; in fact, I'd oppose that view point. I've met Silver and I can tell you that my impression of him was nothing but positive.

From my viewpoint, I'd say that Silver does care about this issue; however, is limited in being able to address it by real world needs.

I don't think the QONQR Dev team makes a lot of money on QONQR. I think QONQR makes just enough money to pay for the cost of keeping their company running and the servers we play on up and working.

I personally don't think that QONQR is trying to get rich off of this game, but rather is just making a business and an honest living based on working on a project they love.

That said; they need to pay their bills to run a business, and to do that, they need revenue. Right now their pool of resources is only so big. We the players pay their bills so we can play the game they made and maintain. I don't think they're evil to be in a business and to try and be friends with their customers while still trying to make money off of that same base of people.

Personally, I like the idea of being a patron to an artist, but while the spirit is willing the resources are limited. I just can't afford to keep attempting to play the game at the level of competition that I've become accustom to. And as such I'll eventually just walk away from the game.

I'm reminded of a gambling maxim: "You can shear a sheep many times, but skin him only once."

I think the current system is flirting with skinning players as opposed to shearing them. -It's not there yet, and the kicker is: the players in this case "skin themselves" but I also feel that if you set up a system that leads to this that you have some responsibility in the matter too.

So yes, I feel the QONQR Team are good people with good motivations, but that they also have a responsibility to try and address this issue in some way.

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I don't think the QONQR Dev team makes a lot of money on QONQR. I think QONQR makes just enough money to pay for the cost of keeping their company running and the servers we play on up and working.

I personally don't think that QONQR is trying to get rich off of this game, but rather is just making a business and an honest living based on working on a project they love.

That said; they need to pay their bills to run a business, and to do that, they need revenue. Right now their pool of resources is only so big. We the players pay their bills so we can play the game they made and maintain. I don't think they're evil to be in a business and to try and be friends with their customers while still trying to make money off of that same base of people.

Personally, I like the idea of being a patron to an artist, but while the spirit is willing the resources are limited. I just can't afford to keep attempting to play the game at the level of competition that I've become accustom to. And as such I'll eventually just walk away from the game.

this is what i've been hearing since I started last year. your point is valid and the argument is just.

people buying ordinance doesn't need to be the only way qonqr makes money tho. it's a wargame and the possibilities in a location based game are nearly endless.

new features require extensive coding especially on multiple platforms so a small team can only do so much. but without advertising and new content people lose interest so, how can this be fixed?

well we've seen it, a handful of hardcore players spend and spend battling each other and you hope that more start that cycle then stop.

people play games for different reasons and each wants a certain type of experience.

they just need a long term goal of catering to each group to get those people to start spending.

i spend, but really now, nano missiles are only "so" enticing when your spending $100.

open up new reasons to spend and you will see many of us open our wallets more often.

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Bot decay is a pain in the *** to implement without **** off a group of players and for every action an opposite will occur so well expect this **** fan to go out of control

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I'm reading this and I'm thinking, ' I don't care if people cube themselves silly to take a few zones or not'. There are some very valid points, but it will all blow over. A short while ago it was multiscoping and absolutely every other player had 15 accounts and used family members phones etc yet the reality is there were more complaints than proven cases. This latest (for want of a better word) 'complaint fad' will also blow over.

Apart from better battle mechanics there hasn't been any fundamental change to the gameplay, since I started playing over a year ago. Why would it change now? It won't.

I'll still play Qonqr, it has some attractions still (uber awards), but I doubt I'll become a 'Supercuber' to get them.

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I'm reading this and I'm thinking, ' I don't care if people cube themselves silly to take a few zones or not'. There are some very valid points, but it will all blow over. A short while ago it was multiscoping and absolutely every other player had 15 accounts and used family members phones etc yet the reality is there were more complaints than proven cases. This latest (for want of a better word) 'complaint fad' will also blow over.

Apart from better battle mechanics there hasn't been any fundamental change to the gameplay, since I started playing over a year ago. Why would it change now? It won't.

I'll still play Qonqr, it has some attractions still (uber awards), but I doubt I'll become a 'Supercuber' to get them.

Leigh, I like your points, and love the term: "complaint fad" -That's great!

However, I don't think this one is going to "Blow Over", here's why:

1: Perspective of Problem Correction: The Multi-player gripe is seen as the fault of the the multi-players and most of them are eventually caught and dealt with; so from a player perspective viewpoint, people get the feeling that the problem is getting better not worse. By contrast: This problem is getting steadily worse, not better, and the perception is that QONQR Dev team has profit to be made from it, so they don't want to stop it; but worse, encourage the problem. The Dev team never once was seen as wanting to encourage multi-scoping, but encouraging spending is something that is hard to shift perception on.

2: This gripe has always been around, but the problems were less frequent because things were so much more expensive earlier. The shifts in Variable exchange rate have spurred this problem on as now spending money on cubes doesn't seem so unreasonable on the small scale. But once you start spending money on the game, it's easier to spend more on it again and again. The problem is related to people getting carried away. Sure, that doesn't happen to everybody, but when you consider the contested zones are all in a 400-mile radius and the game is growing, you run across more and more people "getting carried away" which causes reactive "getting carried away" and so on....

I seriously do not think this problem will just go away...

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The reason I say that they don't care is that there have been a lot of good ideas for solutions to the problem posted by users on these forums and every one is ignored.

How about this:

Standard bot tank - 8200 (free)

Upgrade 1 - 9000 ($10 / month)

Upgrade 2 - 10000 ($20 / month)

Upgrade 3 - 15000 ($50 / month)

Get rid of bot refresh, still sell cubes for ordinances. The devs still make thier $$ and paying players still get an advantage but it's not an infanite advantage capped only by ones willingness to spend.

What's wrong with that idea? Seems pretty simple and the problem is solved.

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I really hope that resetting the game or having caps on bots is not an option - for people like me, who's gaming style IS stacking...this would cause a major issue. I do agree that taking down huge towers of the players that have left the game is not how most of us want to spend our time. I'd like to see an option, for those players that decide to leave, to be able to blow up their bots WITHOUT switching factions. Also to add new life to the game, why not have routine zone cleanses...those players that have not deployed in their home areas in say 6 months, have all of their bots wiped. This seems like a solution that would free up server space and make the game more enjoyable to new and old players alike.

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The reason I say that they don't care is that there have been a lot of good ideas for solutions to the problem posted by users on these forums and every one is ignored.

How about this:

Standard bot tank - 8200 (free)

Upgrade 1 - 9000 ($10 / month)

Upgrade 2 - 10000 ($20 / month)

Upgrade 3 - 15000 ($50 / month)

Get rid of bot refresh, still sell cubes for ordinances. The devs still make thier $$ and paying players still get an advantage but it's not an infanite advantage capped only by ones willingness to spend.

What's wrong with that idea? Seems pretty simple and the problem is solved.

The more I think about this issue the more I realize it comes down to offsetting the lost revenue. I think the level of the problem is underestimated in this solution (and my previous suggestion as well). The people making the game horrible for others are spending waaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaAAAAAAaaaaaaAAAAaaaYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY more than $50 month and the lion's share of the money is spent on Nanobot Refreshes.

Earlier today, in a span of time of less than 1 hour, a single opponent deployed a load of bots. What's a load? well this is the surviving bots after an hour lone skirmish: 60,000 Absorbers, 40,000 Strengthen, and somewhere between 10,000-20,000 missiles, 20,000-30,000 Zone Assault, and 10,000 seekers. And that's a modest estimate. That's over 130,000 bots (probably much more) deployed in one hour while actively being attacked by 5-6 players. That single player won the one the hour long battle versus 6 opponents (3 locals, 3 missile support) and beat all 6 players. By modest estimate he used around 260 nanobot refreshes. That's 52 cubes used in one hour just on nanobot refreshes. -That doesn't count cubes converted into Qredits for ordnance purchase.

And this player ROUTINELY does this. By our estimates this player spent at least $100 in the last two days, probably closer to $200. And this player plays like this all the time. Every spot they take is built to a million bots within a couple of days with full support bots.

Can you imagine the revenue created by these sorts of players?

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In the past 6 weeks previously, there are have been a 9000 exchange rate and two 7000 exchange rates. Plus other high exchange rates. Lots of credits in all the scopes from this! That why so many have missiles to attack Pittsburg, Detroit, Royal Oak and other big zone. It not a lot of money when you make the exchange on big day.

The Galv deployment make zone so strong you need to spend many more credits to kill than to build. That why people use cubes....80,000 credits and you make a free deflector deployment equal to 1000 credit missile in power. 8-10 player can easily build 1 million zone with 8 galvs in two days without refreshes....but enemy needs LOTS more credits to defeat the zone.

I like idea of refresh to only reset "overheat" on my scope....but please then make new deployment to counter big towers. New missile that does 1% damage would be nice. Or Make Galvs like Hard Lettuce and lose power with lots of bots.

DrClaw....scope of 15000 is not worth $50. All you make is overheat much faster. Still limited by same deployment limit until you go bright red.

1 cube to set overheat back to grey? Make it worth while but not able to spam deployments to hurt fingers. Or Pay Monthly for overheat limit of 25, 30, 35 etc deploy in hour maybe?

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During the discussion I've come to a few new view points and thought harder about the issue, and here's what I've reduced the issue down to: I don't think the variable exchange rate is the true problem, but having bot and energy refreshes available by purchase is. Variable exchange and days where you can trade one cube for 7000 Qredits allows you to buy ordnance, ordnance is only good if you have bots or energy to use. Thus the true offsetting aspect is having more bots and energy. More Refreshes and Energy means you can play more/do more.

Story time as the Moderator with two heads argues and plays devil's advocate with himself for your entertainment:

The true pay-to-compete imbalance is wrapped up in the aspects relating to what the kids call "Cubing" (buying cubes for more play ability), and "Cubing" clearly results in discrimination.

What!? Did I just say QONQR, a game app for a mobile device is discriminatory?

Yep, and it hurts me to say this, but it is.

But Why? Fen-Fen the Super-Friend? -Why say such nasty things?

Well, because logic and fact tells me so, and I sometimes I will use harsh truths to get at the seriousness of an issue.

-Well that seems mean.

Well, I can be mean sometimes, but at least I take some pains to attempt to have some comic relief.

-You're not that funny.

I know, but moving on: The game, as it is currently set up is clearly discriminatory, favoring those who can buy more Cubes than those that can't.
In other words, QONQR favors the wealthy over the poor.
A person who has $5-$10 per month of budgeted entertainment funds for games is at a disadvantage compared to the person who has $500-$1,000 per month of budgeted entertainment funds. I'm not trying to say the Dev Team is evil or that they are in to discrimination, they aren't. They're good people. But the game, as it is set up, is in literal point of fact discriminatory.

That sounds bad. Why do you say bad things about Qonqr?

Look, I love Qonqr, but I also won't let my affection for it blind me to the fact that some things just don't seem... "right"

So here's my proof of the discriminatory aspects of Qonqr:

Qonqr functions on a set aspect of game resources. The game itself is a resource game. What you strategically do with your bots and energy. The player or team that uses or has the most resources wins. ALWAYS.

Best used bots and energy = Game Winner

Bots & Energy = Game Resources

Money = Cubes = Game Resources

Thus: Money = Winner. ALWAYS.

That's discrimination that gives players with more money more ability to "Win".

Plain and simple.

Now wait a second! I've heard A LOT of talk about how Cubing is ok.

All of it is logical fallacies, and sometimes logical fallacies are what we use to feel better about things that are harsh and unfavorable.

But what about when people say: "Cubing is good because it shakes up the game"

- False: because your opponent can always outspend you to keep the game the same.

But what about when people say: "Spending a lot of money is the only way to take down a big zone"

-False: because your opponent can always outspend you to restore or defend the zone beyond your spending limit.

But what about when people say: "Cubers can be countered with more recruitment"

- False: because your opponent can recruit at the same rate you can, and even if they don't, they can still spend enough money to match and overtake the resources of players with less monetary resources.

Fine. You win, Qonqr is Discriminatory by favoring the wealthy over the poor. How are we supposed to react to a discriminatory game mechanic?

Option 1: Attempt to make the discriminatory aspect work in your favor (spend more money than your opponents to gain a competitive edge)

Option 2: Be at the mercy of players with more funds than you have.

And?

That's it. Those are the two options of game play.

I'm sure there will be all sorts of arguments that will come up trying to shoot holes in this.

Probably, but the facts are the facts. The discriminatory aspect of Qonqr favors those with funds over those that don't.

Is this justifiable?

Sure it is.
It's capitalism
.

Does it make me a communist to say I don't like the discriminatory aspects of this game?

No, it just means you're probably poor and have sour grapes because you got beat by a rich guy.

-Wait! that's it?

Yep. You're just mad because you don't have as much cash as the other guy who outspends you on a game you play in your freetime.

Well If I just worked in my free time and didn't play Qonqr I'd have more cash, and thus I could beat said rich guy! Ha!

-but that would require free time to play the game, which you won't have if you want to make more money so you can play competitively

whups, I got stuck in a logic circle of "I can't win" didn't I?

-Oh well, that happens.... ;-) Let me sum this up for you: Here's the facts: Until Qonqr is set up with some sort of spending limit (think: salary cap in the NFL) then the game favors the wealthy over the poor (think: no salary cap in MLB -you know there's a reason big market teams with lots of funds always dominate MLB and teams like the Twins have a lesser likelihood of making the playoffs as teams like the Yankees).

Wait a sec, can't Qonqr just implement spending limits?

Well, it's still a fairly new business, and it's small, only able to employ two people full time, has a high overhead for maintenance and customer service (checking for multi-players) and has a long list of expansions and upgrades to complete across three mobile device platforms. -so... I'd guess that the answer is: NO. No matter how much cash is coming in, it is likely that it isn't enough to voluntarily limit revenue with that much overhead and growth needed.

Story time with the Moderator with two heads is now over. The limited entertainment value of this post is soon to evaporate (if there was any to begin with).

So yeah. This is not great. I'd like to be supportive, but unless alternate revenue streams come in, I think I'm stuck loving a game that discriminates against my "not as rich as the guy currently beating me" rear side.

-Hehe, If Qonqr and I were in a relationship, we'd have to be in couples therapy, as most of the time I arrive at a no-win realization I face facts and cut my losses. I don't know, maybe it's time to break up with Qonqr. I'll have to write to Dear Abby about it...

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Wow, just read all of this. Long story short, I want this game to grow, we all see the potential that this game has, with the size of staff it will take awhile and money being used efficiently is the only true way to speed up things.

I like fenroars more recent post but I also see how that could backfire financially, if you cut it from 4 to 1 I think a lit of the big spenders would stop playing altogether or spend less due to the refreshes.

To use an already successful game model as a reference, LoL(League of Legends) they make minor changes weekly mainly bi-weekly and as they create major problems fix those asap. I would say start making minor changes and try to make monthly updates. Shake the game up a bit and announce what the changes you will be making are as LoL does or lets the players figure it out on their own. LoL makes extreme changes at the end of each season(yearly) and basically change the game into something you have to relearn and takes time to figure what works in the new system. I understand the dev team may not be large enough to do this as LoL has hundreds of employees, and is a 100M+/year game with 20M+ active players.

If changes are to be made make them minor in the offset, collect feedback, make more minor changes....im rambling, you get it.

I agree there needs to be an added element, 9 months of playing it, it is starting to get monotonous. I have seen all diff kinds of players, all the diff variations of bot vs bot, Almost of us could teach a player everything us that is most efficient on each scenario, experience and teamwork defines when to employ the expensive bots.

Suggestions:

1. If a reset was implemented. Come up with a formula to reward players for zone leads, zone caps, bot count, bots killed and all those stats that show loyalty to the game and give players a breakdown that appears on their screen of why/what they were awarded at the time of reset as a thank you. Many of us that would even feel a reset necessary, would feel, unappreciated, if they weren't given something in return.

To be continued....

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Hypothetical question: Say QONQR went from 'Pay to Win' to 'Pay to Play'... in other words, became a subscription game. The ability to purchase qubes with real money was removed, and everyone was charged, say, five bucks a month (or equivalent). You could level up to 30 as a free trial, but to progress beyond that you'd need to pay a monthly fee.

Would you still play?

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If you have not seen money all it is a great explanation of the disparity in MLB. (if you love sports, finance, stats this is a perfect movie for you).

2. I like the idea of adding a new bot type, maybe something that works like Hardened Lattices for offense.

3. Shaking things up a bit making minor tweaks to effectiveness without changing the rock paper scissors element entirely.

4. On the topic of bot decay what it if it was on a small percent of the total say .5% of the total if bots aren't added or deducted for a month. Players inactive for three months lose 10% 4th month 25% of the remaining. 5th 50%, 6th 100% of all bots removed, this would help cleaning the leaderboards of inactives. And provide areas for new players to grow, I would also be fine with these number of month being cut in half, personally I dislike the idea of bots "dying" from active players UNLESS the zone is over a set limit say 1 Million, 3 Million then that zone goes into overload and then bots will decay .01-.05% from each player.

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I really like the idea of bases being more versatile. Being able to choose what it will generate. New players would want all qredit bases to get their scope upgrades as quickly as possible, fully upgraded scopes would then need to return to their bases to destroy and rebuild one that makes one or the other type of refresh and balance those with qredit making bases according to how they play. Would allow even the non-paying players to build up a hugely destructive arsenal once a month. So long as they log in to harvest.

The limit should probably be pretty high or non-existent, though. Those willing to buy can easily get around that buying 20 at a time unless they are not available for purchase which seems overboard to me.

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I like that idea of bases being versatile or even have "ZoI" or zones or interest that lend perks where having a base in this zone or controlling the zone gives +5% shields to your bots and having a max stackable amount on those types of zones say 20% max shield boost have them refresh monthly?

I think the logical issue with limiting the bot refreshes is creating a way to replenish lost income for the devs?

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Tiomun brought this point up a while ago so i'll repeat it here since F3nroars' post is about the game being pay to win.

The cube purchases are set up to be more adventageous to buy in bulk. So if you spend $200 at once, that's 1100 cubes for you, vs $1100 dollars for 1100 cubes bought once in a while one at a time.

Long story short, why would F3nroar bother spending $10-$20 a month on cubes only to wind up with 1/3 of the cubes (At Best) that the big spender got for the same price?

This is a mobile game. Some of you are lucky enough to have jobs where you can be around a computer playing with command center and api's and custom maps and all that other jazz, but the gameplay is still comtained soley on your phone (or tablet).

For me, who has an ok job, dropping $100 at once isn't common or feasible at most times, but I will only buy cubes in that amount, because anything less is a waste.

In turn, I rarely buy cubes. If I could spend $20 and get maybe 20% less in ratio of the guy spending $100, i'd be more inclined to buy more often.

Many of my east coast and military colleagues feel the same just fyi, as it has been discussed extensively in multifaction groupmes.

F3nroar is correct, as is Tiomun. If you can't spend competitively, why spend? I dunno about the rest of the community, but the current ratio of cubes per $$$ is offputting. I buy cubes to support the game just like i'll tip a server 25% for being really nice on top of not messing up my order, but if I can't afford to tip nicely I won't go out to eat, just like if I can't get the most cubes for my money I won't buy any at all.

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