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TOPIC: Ghosting proposal for smaller conventions

Ghosting proposal for smaller conventions 3 years 1 month ago #97

Harlax wrote:

Bob Chasan wrote:

Steve wrote:

lazlo_hollyfeld1985 wrote: using actual people at the smaller cons, could get them hooked into playing. That is why some people still by the whole slot and bring newbies free of charge. I know a few did at origins. The "new" players liked it. Some I actually saw come back through later without the ticket buyer(they went and bought another ticket on their own)


^^THIS!!!

I do this every year at GenCon. This year I added 19 new players into our pool. (one spouse that didn't get to go on our run .. but wanted to) These were people who couldn't get tickets (22 minute sell out .. seriously .. what new player is going to understand THAT?!), and were more than happy enough to try the game for free. *EVERY* single one told me they would play next year if they could get tickets. (One group worked so well together, they are already *organizing* for next year!) I really work on organizing them ahead of time, and making sure *everyone* gets to participate and has a good time. I saw *EVERY* single player from my two 'noob' (zombie?) runs last year in the dungeon this year .. most of them made it a point to say hi, and introduce me to people *they* dragged into an adventure.

I'm going to be atypically blunt here :

I spent $1240 on tickets for total strangers this year. (that doesn't include the cost of tokens I bought from people in this thread to tweak builds for these runs.) I also gave away at least 50 or 60 rare and uncommon tokens from the treasure boxes in PUG runs. I've always been open and honest that I use the treasure pulls from New Player runs to justify the cost of paying for them (to myself anyways).

I received 362 treasure pulls for those runs. I did not get $1240 worth of treasure from those tickets. . If anyone has a problem with me doing 'zombie' runs .. please .. explain to me how much *you* spent out of pocket to get new players involved this year. If anyone feels that I have somehow 'taken advantage' of either True Dungeon or New Players, step up and put your proverbial Wang (or wallet) on the table and show me the path of righteousness.

I pulled over 1300 treasure this year .. and I got (at least according to Jedi's spreadsheet) the *lowest* average of 'stuff' out of anyone. (Edit: I should have said 'the lowest average out of the larger sample sets.) If I was doing 'zombie runs' for 'profit' .. I'm fairly sure *THAT* would be my incentive to stop doing them. Thankfully .. I don't do them for profit, I do them because I like introducing new people to the game. Years working in the gaming industry taught me one *very* important lesson : your company lives and dies on 'new blood'.

True Dungeon is no different.

So .. is the conversation about making sure people can play? Or is the conversation about how some people shouldn't get more treasure than other people (even if they own some $16,000 worth of Treasure Enhancers). Because if the conversation *ISN'T* about making sure new people can play .. then it feels like folks have an agenda.


Steve, I agree 100% It should be about the new players. I posted this earlier in the thread but it didn't seem to generate much talk.
OK So here's the Crazy guy out of the box thinking.
GenCon - keep ghosting rules the same as far as treasure and all of that. Sell 5 additional Ghost ONLY spots per run. Keep the actual run tickets for real people. In essence, there could be 10 people and 5 ghosts per run.
TD gets the revenue for 15 tickets while allowing more spots for actual people to get their tickets. I have been playing for quite a while and every year is a struggle to get tickets. There were even several years in which my entire group got shut out and had to stand by with Generics hoping to get in on runs.

Other Cons - I like Kirk's idea of limiting the tokens to the same approximate value so 10 max token pulls. Same exact scenario with ghosting tickets.

The only problem I see is newbies purchasing Ghost tickets because they didn't read the event description. The solution (albeit not a great one is to have them wait for the next available run with open slots)

So having read through some later posts, I have a few items to add I believe Jeff to be a far greater business person than some of you have given him credit for being. The particular instance I am speaking about is that Ghosting could potentially cost TD money.
I am sure that Jeff has figured out exactly what an extra ticket costs and what one is expected to pull from the treasure boxes and has designed it so that he is not losing money when one buys a ticket and pulls treasure.


New players. I'll say it again. Chances are slim that new players would be offered spots in those runs. The sponsor has all 10 tickets, the new players are not Nightmare equipped, the new players won't have the treasure enhancing tokens to bring the party to full treasure (they could be loaned out of course).

Now if some of us start shifting runs to the smaller Cons, that will do more to open spots at GenCon.


Well, for anyone that was buying ghost tickets for the purpose of farming, maybe they would recruit and equip new players to fill those slots if they couldn't fill them with ghost players. Or maybe there are some slots they'd not buy at all if they couldn't do farming with them.

I do agree that if some people shift their runs to other conventions that might free up some runs. It would be neat if True Dungeon at those other conventions grows to the point of demand equaling or exceeding supply as well. It will be interesting to see how the ticket sales evolve over a few years.

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Ghosting proposal for smaller conventions 3 years 1 month ago #98

Mike Steele wrote: Raven, I certainly didn't mean to give offense, you are totally real people. :)


S'okay... I didn't take direct offense.

But it's very easy to fall into the trap of thinking that ghosting is being done by nebulous "others" who are doing it for malicious reasons of greed and personal profit. Anyone who invests several hundred dollars in TD tix and several thousand in TEs is Real People and - I'll hazard a guess here - also loves True Dungeon.
That doesn't mean Ghosting can't be controlled or curtailed, but that we need to look at a lot of factors and not just leap to "punishing" people for doing something which we imagine is hurting the game.

I'd never heard of someone ghosting and doing half the runs as a result. Do the other four people you run with do the same thing?


I run with a variety of people, and can't speak for all of them, but:

* My friend Fox used to run 4 runs with me, now he just does a couple. He also loves DoubleDowns.

* Brian has a very tight Volunteer schedule as an AC. While he might not play twice as much if he couldn't ghost the second slot, I know that DoubleDowns let him make more efficient use of his "off-shift" time.

* Valetutto and crew have been shifting towards more DoubleDown runs, and fewer runs overall, in as much as I can recall. (I know that we have talked before about how hard it is to get in all the runs you want around a heavy volunteering schedule.)

*Kim often joins me for DoubleDowns. She's probably one of the people who would not pick up more tickets if ghosting wasn't an option. But she does invest in extra tokens to do the runs with me. In fact, she coordinates an 8K Pooling group for token purchases every year. (And while you could argue that a newbie might otherwise take her Ghost slot, I doubt a newbie would be coordinating an 8K order every year)

That leads into another point which people have raised before:

When people talk about Newbies being "The Life Blood of TD" they mean that we need new blood coming into the game, buying tokens, joining the volunteer pool, and maintaining enthusiasm - all of which are very important! Especially as older players leave the game, don't have the energy to volunteer, or their enthusiasm wanes, that pool of new blood is critical.

But when you have current players who are still enthusiastic, volunteering, and investing heavily in tokens, do you want to push them out to make room for newbies who may do a couple runs, drop a whopping $20 bucks on tokens, and maybe think about volunteering some year in the future?

It's a very difficult line to tread. I get that. This year's newbies may be next year's $250 token buyers, and 5-years from now, the 8K buyers who also volunteer Full Time.

But when that time comes, do you want to make them feel like they're the bad guys for using TE's in the dungeon or ghosting slots so they can still collect cool stuff while maintaining a busy volunteer schedule?


Please: Look at who is ghosting. Listen To Them. Ask them why they do it, and what their incentives are. Know that there's a variety of reasons, and trying to "solve" something which may not even be a problem can hurt others at the same time. Trust that the people who Ghost want the same things you do: a healthy, vibrant, TD community. Also, Trust Jeff to do what's best for his game.


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Last edit: by Raven.

Ghosting proposal for smaller conventions 3 years 1 month ago #99

Raven wrote:

Mike Steele wrote: Raven, I certainly didn't mean to give offense, you are totally real people. :)


S'okay... I didn't take direct offense.

But it's very easy to fall into the trap of thinking that ghosting is being done by nebulous "others" who are doing it for malicious reasons of greed and personal profit. Anyone who invests several hundred dollars in TD tix and several thousand in TEs is Real People and - I'll hazard a guess here - also loves True Dungeon.
That doesn't mean Ghosting can't be controlled or curtailed, but that we need to look at a lot of factors and not just leap to "punishing" people for doing something which we imagine is hurting the game.

I'd never heard of someone ghosting and doing half the runs as a result. Do the other four people you run with do the same thing?


I run with a variety of people, and can't speak for all of them, but:

* My friend Fox used to run 4 runs with me, now he just does a couple. He also loves DoubleDowns.

* Brian has a very tight Volunteer schedule as an AC. While he might not play twice as much if he couldn't ghost the second slot, I know that DoubleDowns let him make more efficient use of his "off-shift" time.

* Valetutto and crew have been shifting towards more DoubleDown runs, and fewer runs overall, in as much as I can recall. (I know that we have talked before about how hard it is to get in all the runs you want around a heavy volunteering schedule.)

*Kim often joins me for DoubleDowns. She's probably one of the people who would not pick up more tickets if ghosting wasn't an option. But she does invest in extra tokens to do the runs with me. In fact, she coordinates an 8K Pooling group for token purchases every year. (And while you could argue that a newbie might otherwise take her' ghost' slot, I doubt a newbie would be coordinating an 8K order every year)

That leads into another point which people have raised before:

When people talk about Newbies being "The Life Blood of TD" they mean that we need new blood coming into the game, buying tokens, joining the volunteer pool, and maintaining enthusiasm - all of which are very important! Especially as older players leave the game, don't have the energy to volunteer, or their enthusiasm wanes, that pool of new blood is critical.

But when you have current players who are still enthusiastic, volunteering, and investing heavily in tokens, do you want to push them out to make room for newbies who may do a couple runs, drop a whopping $20 bucks on tokens, and maybe think about volunteering some year in the future?

It's a very difficult line to tread. I get that. This year's newbies may be next year's $250 token buyers, and 5-years from now, the 8K buyers who also volunteer Full Time.

But when that time comes, do you want to make them feel like they're the bad guys for using TE's in the dungeon or ghosting slots so they can still collect cool stuff while maintaining a busy volunteer schedule?


Please: Look at who is ghosting. Listen To Them. Ask them why they do it, and what their incentives are. Know that there's a variety of reasons, and trying to "solve" something which may not even be a problem can hurt others at the same time. Trust that the people who Ghost want the same things you do: a healthy, vibrant, TD community. Also, Trust Jeff to do what's best for his game.

PS, Brian: You are an awesomesauce Wizard, too!


Just to clarify, I'm not calling anyone bad for doing ghost runs for treasure chips. Currently at GENCON it's allowed within the rules up to five per group, and perfectly legit. And I wasn't suggesting banning Ghosting, just treating it like at the smaller conventions, where you are free to have Ghost players, but they don't get treasure coins or completion tokens. And I was actually suggesting giving it some compensation such as sealed token packs, so if someone did choose to Ghost (or was forced to have a Ghost due to someone not showing up) they could get some level of compensation. There is nothing there that would stop anyone from doing a doubledown run, although I do understand not getting treasure chips from the ghost player might be a disincentive for some to doing so.

I see a benefit to True Dungeon in freeing up some number of tickets from token farming for people to buy. I also understand that such a decision might negatively impact others. Jeff would have to weigh that (both at GENCON and the smaller conventions) to see if he wants to loosen things up at the smaller conventions and/or tighten things up at GENCON.

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Ghosting proposal for smaller conventions 3 years 1 month ago #100

Thanks Raven.

Sadly, it feels like some people have their minds made up and won't hear a word you said. It's a shame, really. But I'm sure Jeff will.

The newbie thing has me thinking. Maybe we've attracted too many too fast. We put roadblocks out for farmers and STILL sold out in hours instead of the weeks it took before we regulated them. I mean, I brought in a party of newbies, Steve brought in a few parties... who else recruited new folks? We might be the problem.

We may have this all backwards. Maybe we're trying to solve the wrong problem, and discouraging ghosting will make things WORSE, like it seems to have done between 2016 and 2017.

Perhaps we should recruit fewer newbies, not more, at least until the satellite cons gin up to provide more capacity to handle them.
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Ghosting proposal for smaller conventions 3 years 1 month ago #101

+1 to what raven said.

So here's the deal.
I outfit a group of 10 players, I buy 10 of what i can afford and i'm considered a "large token buyer."
If all 10 of my players don't want to play that year I ghost. I take advantage of my TEs to offset the ticket cost.
I've been doing this for a while and it does direct my purchasing habits. I don't typically sell my tokens so in that aspect i'm not in it for profit. I don't run a store and I only do some limited trades for what I need or what others might need if they seem to be in need of help. So no profit there either.

Why do I do it? Simple. I like control of the group. Way back in the day, 6 people was all it took to do it. I liked that. I understood they wanted to cram more people in and needed more money but I just don't have fun in a group of 10 people that aren't all my friends. I like seeing all the content so each year i buy exactly 4 runs. That's the minimum needed 5th if you add in grind which I do. As of late I've realized I like TD way more than most of my other friends but I have a core of 4 of us that like seeing it all. So typically I have 2 runs with 7-9 players and 2 with 5 or 6.

I like getting to choose my class without being an ass and turning up late and fighting over it.
I like running on nightmare and hate feeling like a ass pushing it on people that don't want it.

Groups with fewer than 10 people need to be allowed to continue.

Pre-built pre-bought smaller groups are easier and more efficient to deal with especially when volunteering is in the mix. All of my crew has vol'd at some point and 2 of us regularly vol. I usually open my "doors" to other vols as well.

I don't feel like i'm blocking people from playing TD and I certainly don't feel like I block new players out of TD. But i do tailor my TD experience so that I optimize my fun which keeps me coming back each year and heavily investing my time and money into it.

As for other cons, after I have seen the TD content I still play but its FAR less. At TDC i think I went on the adventure twice, once each day and mostly just to have something scheduled. At Gamehole con i think i'll probably play each run once on Friday if I can I've not even bought tickets yet.

So do what you will but know that some of us that Ghost don't really do it for the tokens. We've grown accustom to getting them but that's not the core reason.
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Ghosting proposal for smaller conventions 3 years 1 month ago #102

I said it before. I'll say it again. And this is my version of "tact goes out the window" because people aren't listening.

I am passionately opposed to treating ghosts, zombies, and humans differently when it come to treasure. Unless you can read people's minds and know their motives, than any punitive measures against ghosting is more likely to punish people like Raven and Valettuto and Kim than it is to impact an "evil farmer," whatever that even means.

The only fair thing is treat every ticket equally. Cap everyone's loot, stop making URTEs, change the treasure mix: do whatever you have to do to make farming less profitable overall, but don't change the ghost policy. The negatives are huge.

Reducing the enthusiasm or driving away long-term supporters in favor of zombies who may or may not become supporters in the nebulous future is lunacy. Who's going to bring in these precious newbies if you piss off the veterans?

We argued about this in the "2017 Ultra-rare" thread. You told us to shut up about loot and we had to keep printing TEs. So that's what happened.

Read it. It's very interesting, though I'm not necessarily proud of losing my cool a couple of times. People were saying that a $54 ticket should support a loot cap of 50. That implies we should cap loot at the satellites at 40. 10 is way, way too low based on the discussion in 2016,

But now the cap is 19, and suddenly the sky is falling, even with $62 tickets. Because NOW farming for profit is a thing and allegedly squeezing out new players (which is debatable.) But it wasn't even a credible concern two years ago.

I'm telling you straight up, and Raven and Val are telling you much more tactfully, you're wrong now if you think capping loot for ghosts will solve anything overall. You're not thinking through all the consequences of that suggestion.

I'm begging you. For the good of TD.

Leave. GenCon. Alone.

As for satellites, which is where this thread started - it's my understanding that GHC had many unsold tickets. But the TE abuses were addressed at the Celebration and Origins, and there were still lots of unsold tickets.

So, seriously. I hear lots of solutions flying around, but what is the problem we're trying to solve? How can we possibly pick one over another, or decide to do nothing, without a clear metrics-based problem statement? There probably is one buried in here somewhere, but I have no clue what it is anymore.
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Ghosting proposal for smaller conventions 3 years 1 month ago #103

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For what its worth I agree with you Brad.
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Ghosting proposal for smaller conventions 3 years 1 month ago #104

In answer to your question, I think the problem we are trying to solve is unsold tickets at satellite conventions.

Whether this is actually a problem for Jeff or not is not 100% clear.

I am less passionately opposed to treating ghosts different from "farmers" or "zombies," especially since we already do that by allowing one at not the other at the satellite cons. I would be in favor of treating every con like gencon.

Whether the right thing to do is to allow ghosts at the satellites and cap loot for "ghosts" is definitely up for debate. There are arguments on both sides.
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Ghosting proposal for smaller conventions 3 years 1 month ago #105

I had asked that the IS Nugget be kept from being equipped with the CoA. It could have been printed and used as a 'bridge' between the players pulling 3-4 chips and those of use that were pulling 17. Probably too late now, the ship has sailed. Getting 17-19 chips for the cheaper ticket at smaller cons is going to really tempt people to farm treasure, if it hasn't been happening already. I would love to crunch the numbers from all of the party cards filled out at each con.

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Ghosting proposal for smaller conventions 3 years 1 month ago #106

Wade Schwendemann wrote: In answer to your question, I think the problem we are trying to solve is unsold tickets at satellite conventions.


Thanks, Wade. If that's the case, then we certainly went down a rabbit trail with the whole non sequiter loot cap thing.

Not that we ever digress here :)
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Ghosting proposal for smaller conventions 3 years 1 month ago #107

Well, the idea and intent of the ghost loot cap was to allow ghosting at satellites, but maintain a cap so that it would not be encouraged.

This way the tickets could be sold, and the players that bought them would not lose all the $$.

I don't know if we know Jeff is counting on this revenue, or if it would be a bonus to him or what.

Either way, I think it is an interesting idea.

Would people buy "ghost" tickets if instead of 10 treasure tokens they got 6 token 10 packs? What if it was 8 or even 10 token 10 packs?

Do we want people to buy unsold tickets?

Do we want to encourage specialty runs at satellite cons, or at least make them economically viable?

Lots to think about for sure.
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Ghosting proposal for smaller conventions 3 years 1 month ago #108

Wade Schwendemann wrote: Would people buy "ghost" tickets if instead of 10 treasure tokens they got 6 token 10 packs? What if it was 8 or even 10 token 10 packs?
.


I think if they wanted 10-packs, they'd just buy 10-packs, not a ticket, and TD wouldn't have to give the Con a cut.

If ghosts had a much lower treasure cap at the satellites, but also had the option of getting a refund in credit towards tokens, then I don't have anything to say about that. If capped loot were the only option, I probably would.

Satellites are "on sale," I assume, to attract new players. That's going to skew things until we reach a steady state.

As long as supporters of the game who get bailed on aren't getting screwed out of the price of a ticket... That would be my big concern.

The next question is how to allow DoubleDown at satellites. Maybe that waits until TD goes to four dungeons, like GenCon
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