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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 23
12-20-2011, 09:06 AM
Originally Posted by Katic View Post
The following is based off my own observations and knowledge of marketing and psychology, I have no inside information, nor any privileged information regarding Cryptics PR philosophy.

Within corporate culture, Orwellian “doublespeak” has become a common way of disguising poor service. Unnecessary grinds introduced to encourage micro-transactions are relabeled "opportunities" for Players to avoid those very same micro-transactions.

PR people and the Devs are most likely aware of the western cultural bias towards “self-determination” (IE individualist self-control). They most likely know we’re more likely to yield to their persuasions if we believe we’re personally in control and not being coerced, as when we sense coercion we respond with resentment and resistance. They thus make frequent use of self-determining words and phrases (EX: “opportunity”, “incentive” and “adding challenge”) most likely as tools of resentment management.

The technique is to let you believe you have a free choice. When, in fact, all you have is a dilemma. A “free choice” implies at least one favorable option; a dilemma means each option is unfavorable, such as the "choice" of whether to grind (bad), pay (bad), or stop playing (bad).

The language of the typical MMO PR is saturated with self-determining words, which hide coercion by disguising dilemmas as choices. In such environments, Players may actually come to believe they are performing repetitive, mindless tasks out of personal choice, rather than economic dilemma (grinding to avoid paying), or taking a bad game being better than not playing at all.

The decreasing returns in currency conversion are mitigated by the "gift" of Holiday Tickets, the anger that rightfully comes from exclusive items in Lotto Boxes is deflected by the miniscule chance of getting it through the repetition (grind) of a Holiday Daily. The sheer crass commercialism of the Dilithium Economy and lack of content in favor of C-Store releases is softened by the Dilithium Exchange (which shifts the real-world costs to someone else) and the "opportunity" to do the same missions over and over and over again for weeks. The Nerf of Crafting is softened by the introduction of Unreplicateable Materials, which is essentially the same Nerf, just with the possibility of having the grind shifted to someone else.

All of this, combined with the subset of the playerbase that is wholly taken in with this sort of doublespeak vocally parroting the very doublespeak employed, combines to keep most players consciously unaware of how badly they're being treated.

Resentment management is a subset of “damage limitation”. Damage limitation most likely plays a massive role in Dev-Player relations, not for selling the game to new players, but for deflecting some of the hostility, suspicion and anxiety the existing playerbase feels towards them.

Again and again, we're given the same three bad options, grind, pay, or quit, and told it's a free and clear choice, when it's really a dilemma, choosing the lesser of three evils.

Is this the way we want our game run?
This is A FANTASTIC post, extremely well said!