Just Mucking About

Life begins at 60, and ends soon after

I’ve put my Dekaron character on hold whilst I was touring the United Kingdom last month, and I’ve only started playing it again, like, a couple of weeks ago. Well, I think I made great progress with 3 level ups in 4 days. That’s not bad, eh? I mean, considering the amount of REAL work I’m actually dealing with, I’d say that’s pretty good. My Vicious Summoner’s now able to call upon Tentator, which is an awesome summon to have. Tentator has an area damage which is pretty useful considering that medium level monsters are moderately aggressive. It has a range attack as well, so I’m pretty happy using it.

the economics of it all

I left the Philippines (and mobiusgames), a couple of days before they went commercial, so, last time I actually played Dekaron prior to going on rollercoaster, rockstar tour of the UK (spanning 9 cities in 4 weeks!), I was enjoying highly modified EXP rates and no commercially available in-game items yet.

When I got back, I found it jarring to go on a rampaging murderous spree of Rock Pressures and Valkyries and BARELY, BARELY gain a pathetic amount of experience. It was so disheartening. It felt like one of those levels of hell in Dante’s Inferno where you are trapped in eternity to do a series of repetitive tasks for no purpose or end goal.

So, I decided to buy a Veteran’s Amulet. The veteran’s amulet is a cash item that grants its bearer 20% additional experience for every monster slain, and as an added incentive, it allows you to auto-fish as well. The Veteran’s Amulet is on sale for 20php a day. That’s NO WAY cheap, but all things considered, THAT’S NOT BAD. 20php a day = 20% EXP + Auto-Fish… Not bad at all. Especially for my gaming lifestyle, which isn’t as immersive and as intense as the young folks’ are.

Usually, what I do is go on a “gaming binge”. I schedule a ‘gaming day” in my diary/organizer/planner, and I do nothing but play games the whole day. This satisfies my inner child for most days. Which is why, I was all praises for my former colleagues’ initiatives to retail Rakion Power User Cards at daily rates of 15ePoints. That was a brilliant plan, that is. I’m glad they did the same strategy for Dekaron.

Although, having said that, I am terribly disappointed at discovering the one of my favorite games of all time, EVE Online, has gotten so bloody unaffordable. 60-day timecards now cost 1,650 ePoints each, and for a game that does not require you to be online for long periods of time, that is bloody ridiculous. For 1,650php, I can sniff grade A cocaine smeared on the eyelids of a dead whore, and I bet I would enjoy that more.

Another useful cash/commercial item in Dekaron are the auto-pots. Auto-pots are automatically consumed potions that come in bundles of 1,000’s and 5,000’s. Although you just have to pay attention to your health and mana gauges to survive any mmorpg adventure, it’s great that you don’t have to lug around potions in stack of 5’s (maximum stack of potions brought with in-game currency). Not only does buying auto-pots save you the hassle of dividing your attention, it also frees you some inventory space.

So, to sum up, if you’re a light gamer like me, and you don’t play the game for hours everyday, a budget of 300ePoints a month will keep you happy like a puppy in heat dry humping a plush toy. That’ll tide you over for a couple of level ups. To be honest, I think the costumes, the pets, and the mounts are not that necessary for your survival and enjoyment.

some suggestions

I think Team Dekaron should seriously reconsider their pricing scheme. In Ran Online, you can get an entire costume set for as low as 5php a day, and the rosaries sells for 25php (a mere 5 pesos difference) for 5 hours, but that’s 2x the exp (or an increase of 100% compared to the 20% being offered by the Veteran’s Amulet).

Game theory involves a lot of psychological insights. It’s an actual branch of study, and there’s a lot of very interesting reads out there about this subject. I wish local professionals in the gaming industry would take the time to READ books on this subject to gain a better understanding of their audience/target market. In the age of globalized economy, it’s no longer about the product, but about the audience, the people, the consumers. (Which is because Mac’s and PC’s are so at par with each other, their campaigns are now focusing on demographics and not on their products’ statistics; people are now either “a Mac” or “a PC”, as if being branded is an integral part of one’s identity).

What I’m saying is, local gaming professionals should factor in the social context of their niche in order to serve their customers better. Who are your players? Are they the sort of consumers whose purchasing judgement relies on comparative utility of the product or more on its competitive pricing? Does the sense of being rewarded diminish with continous purchase? How does your brand aim at building loyalty through the various income brackets and classes of gamers? What language are you addressing them in, and is that helpful in communicating your marketing messages?

Remember, a satisfied customer will tell 1 friend about your excellent service, but an unhappy customer will warn 3 PEOPLE about you. Don’t aim at satisfying your players, GO FOR IMPRESSING THEM.

in conclusion

Dekaron is a great game, and I’m not saying that because I was associated with it in the past. As it is now, it’s reasonably marketed considering it’s free to play, and the quality of services being delivered is unremarkably, consistently, OK. It’s such a great game, and it has all the potential of being the greatest adult-oriented mmorpg title in the region of Southeast Asia.

I think I may have spent 300php on the game in the past week, and I don’t feel cheated. That’s great. That means I’m satisfied with my purchases. But I don’t feel impressed with it, either. I wanna be compelled to RAVE about the game and BLOG about it because I’m truly, deeply WOW-ed by it and not just because I’m bored, and my blog needs content. I think I’m sticking by it for now because I’m insanely optimistic that way, but I don’t think most players have the same sense of loyalty like I do, though. I believe that with a more aggressive push and a more competitive pricing scheme, it can hack-and-slash the competition to bits.

My Vicious Summoner demonstrates how big his manhood is while the Tentator looks on quite unimpressed.

My Vicious Summoner demonstrates how big his manhood is while the Tentator looks on quite unimpressed.

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Dekaron: Halloween Promo

Shit. I just got news that DEKARON, the game that puts the “mother” in “the most bad-ass motherfuckin’ gory video game of all time”, has a special Halloween Treat (what no tricks?) for its players.

From October 8 to October 15, monsters will randomly drop rice cakes which are blessed by Trieste herself with magical attributes to grant additional stat boosts. The amazing thing about it is that these CAN STACK WITH YOUR CASH ITEMS!

So, that’s like TURBOCHARGING your character when you pump yourself with CASH ITEMS and then consume these rice cakes regularly!

WAAAAAH. I wish I can play Dekaron NOW!!!!

For more information, click here.

Dekaron OBT – It’s a date!

I was with Arnold, our Project Manager for Dekaron, on my way up to the office this morning, and I asked him if I can start announcing when the OBT’s for The Most Motherfuckin’ Bad-Ass Anticipated MMORPG of the Year starting, and he said, “Why not?”

So, ladies and gentlemen, if you had been reading The Dekaron Blog for quite some time, let me just confirm to you that YES, the OBT’s going to start this September 3 (well, if things go as planned, of course. I’ll tell you IN ADVANCE if there’s any change in this).

And NO, there will be no character wipe after the OBT.

Mark your calendars, kids. Mark it with your own blood. Coz Dekaron‘s comin’ back, and this time there’ll be hell to pay.

Dekaron is The Most Anticipated MMORPG of the Year, and has been hailed all over the world as an international bestselling game title for its visually stunning graphics and extreme action gameplay.

Dekaron is FREE for the Philippines, Singapore, and Malaysia courtesy of mobiusgames, and GameHi.

Dekaron on Open Beta begins September 3, 2008.