Blog posts tagged "wow"

Armory Data Mining

March 5th, 2010

“It is time for some truth in advertising. If I will present my thesis adviser with this analysis, she will probably hang me, rez me, hang me again, and then /gkick me out of my PhD program.”Armory Data Mining.

Great, accessible look at population stats.

Micropayments for an Active Fantasy Life

November 22nd, 2008
Did you know you get a new mount when you run those last three ALTERs in the frozen north? – Peter Norby

I’ve been following Andy’s experiments into pricing of Mechanical Turk (MTurk) jobs. He found that he had to pay $0.50 per to get someone to upload a photo of themselves. Which I find both interesting and puzzling given that my day job is largely about coping with folks uploading many (sometimes too many) photos of themselves, sometimes for free, sometimes paying for the privilege to do so.

MTurk therefore seems to create a problematic context for incentivising people, due, we can assume, to the largely unmotivating nature of small cash payments. Within the MTurk context the only way to increase the incentive is to increase the financial reward. Besides being boring, it also overlooks that this is not true in the wider world.

World of Warcraft has proven that people are willing to pour days and days of time into tasks, menial and complex, for significantly less tangible rewards: “gold”, prestige within imaginary organizations, vanity items for paper dolls. For example, a common daily quest might take a skilled player 15-20 minutes each day for which they will receive 10 gold (10g). Calculating a generous exchange rate (which exist only as black market) we get a rate of 0.5 cents per gold. For 15-20 minutes time a worker is receiving 5 cents worth of compensation.

There are a number of possible routes where this thinking could take you, informing how you design reward and compensation systems, and how MTurk should evolve.

But for me what this suggests is that Blizzard’s true business model should be to waive their monthly subscription fee on Warcraft, and instead sell folks with HITs (human intelligence tasks) to be completed the necessary access to manufacture compensation within WoW (gold, items, rep, achievements, and titles), with Blizzard acting as the brokers to control the market, manage inflationary forces, and create gold sinks to keep demand high, and therefore a supply of HIT workers.

The real problem with micropayments is that they’re trying to pay with real money, and money just isn’t as exciting as gold and a murloc costume.

update 2011/4/3: I still want a digital murloc costume, and I’m willing to work for it.

Blizzard calendaring, and email. Next: spreadsheets!

October 15th, 2008

And in calendaring/scheduling news…., originally uploaded by kellan.

Been a while since we’ve had any calendaring/scheduling news here on LM. So I’m fulfilling my calendaring dork credentials by pointing out that with a certain glee, that Blizzard just rolled out a calendaring engine to 15 million people yesterday.

Pictured here with their proprietary mail system, Blizzard is well on its way to building a full PIM/productivity suite for an alternate universe.

Bad internet karma day.

April 11th, 2006

Unscheduled Bloglines downtime, and WoW’s weekly 7 hours of scheduled downtime is pushing 12 with no end in sight. (and they’re homepage is even down)

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Blizzard, So Last Century

April 30th, 2005

Why is Blizzard charging for the World of Warcraft software? Or, barring the need to cover printing and shipping, why disallow me to use a copy I manage to acquire though alternative methods? How can the $40 they collect up front possibly compare the to recurring amount they would receive if they lowered the barriers to participation? Given that a troll pidgin is quickly becoming a viable 2nd language in this house, I’d happily pay $12/month fee to have an account for the occasional play, and I’d probably go on paying even on off months, to hold on to my limited progress.

How long would I let these low level monthly payments go on? It would roll right into my cost of being online without making a ripple, and they’d have already made their money and more. Dumb, or at least short sighted.

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