The Multi-box Thread: How it ruins the game.
Hello. My name is Shady C.
There seems to be a lot of discussion about multi-boxing and why it ruins the game. I thought it would be best to gather up all of the details into a single OP, and let people discuss it from there. I would also hope for a response by GGG, quite simply stating that they are working on a better fix to the issue. But we can't always get what we want, I suppose, can we?
Go into trade chat. Try to buy a decent item. We'll say a Maligaro's. Now, it's been your experience over your years of playing this game that they've always been a steady 1 Exalt in price. Maybe 2 Exalts if 50% crit damage.
Well, you're noticing now that everyone wants 2 Exalts for their 43%'s. And god forbid they're selling a 49%, which is one off from perfect (!!!) - they'll want 3 Exalts or more, and claim their c/o's of 4 in equivalent.
"Well this is strange," you think to yourself, recalling your years of economic experience in Path of Exile. Not only has Maligaro's always been a stable 1 Exalt, but even if it's going up from supply & demand adjustment, it definitely is going up too high, let alone at too fast of a rate.
Now go try to buy an Exalted Orb. Again, your years of PoE economic experience tells you that, although sometimes they may go for more, they've always been a steady rate of 15 Chaos, or 5 GCP.
Well, after advertising your WTB in trade chat for several hours, you've only been ignored by everyone you've offered 15 Chaos for. You offered one guy 5 GCP, and he responded saying you're c/o, but then he whispered you back asking if you can beat the new 5.5 GCP c/o. You're also noticing people advertising in trade that they're buying Exalts at 1:20 Chaos ratios. The same people have been spamming their advertisement for the same several hours you have been, so you imagine that perhaps they're having a hard time buying Exalts at even their ratio 5 Chaos higher than your own.
Lots of other people are advertising that they aren't accepting anything but GCP's and Exalts for their items, while other people are specifically requesting no Chaos offers.
"Strange," you think to yourself. "This doesn't make any sense! I know that the Chaos vendor recipe has been nerfed extremely hard. But yet, it feels as if Chaos Orbs have been deflated in value by a large amount!" You rub your head and think back to everything you know about economics. What can possibly cause this? "Well," you sigh as you go back to the basics, "perhaps there's an issue with the supply & demand of Chaos, GCP's, and Exalts, as well as the intake of quality items that players want to buy."
While you assume there's simply a shortage of high-tier items being found, and that Chaos Orbs must be dropping a lot more frequently than other Orbs, you remain ignorant to the real cause of the issue.
I will be going back and grabbing quotes from other threads as I see fit in order to portray the overall point.
And this quote is a common misconception going around.
The example scenario in the segment above is not a result of quality items being low in supply. Trust me, quality items are plentiful. You just don't see them because other people are buying them out too quickly.
And to explain that point further, I'm going to need a couple sub-segments here.
There is a reason items are being bought out too quickly.
There is a reason Exalts and GCP's are inflating while, against all economic rules, also being thrown around by buyers in the masses.
There is a reason you are being immediately "outbid" in every item you "bid" on.
The reason is simple. The reason is this picture:
This is a single page in the stash of a multi-boxer. (Courtesy of that other thread on the issue.)
When you bid on items, you are bidding against this guy.
When you offer Chaos Orbs to a seller of an item, you are offering them to this guy.
You cannot outbid him.
He does not want your Chaos Orbs.
And most unfortunately... This guy is many. The multi-boxers are legion. Anyone who calls them a small percentage of the game doesn't really know what they're dealing with. At all.
The problem with multi-boxers is that they run the economy. And-
Well, actually, let me get a new segment for this...
I'm going to level with everyone here so that I can show that I am not talking out of my ass.
I have experience in other games on the Power Creep issue, from the other end of business.
My first example is a blast from the past, and probably one person on the entire forums will know what I'm even talking about.
Cartoon Network's "Orbitz" game (if I remember the name correctly).
It was a game they had on their website. You collected points, and used these points to buy and trade for these "cards" (more like orbs, I guess) that you put in your deck. Your deck consisted of 10 cards, but you would only use 7 in any given game. You played 4 cards first, and each card had a point value. You could mix cards up with effects to get more points. Then on the second turn (the last turn) you played 3 more cards, and that was the game. It was deck construction, as well as some strategy because if you played the same card as your enemy, both cards cancelled out. So what I did was, I ran a mid-tier deck that nobody really ran, then I ran the key cards in the high-tier decks to cancel out their entire combos. I scaled the ranks to top 10 in just a couple days.
But these cards weren't free. They required tons of points, TONS. Points that I don't think I coulda got if I grinded for several months at a time.
But I exploited. When you made a new account, you got a decent amount of points to start you off. So, quite simply, I just made tons of accounts and dumped the booster points on my main account via trade. In just a few hours of doing this, I could afford absolutely any card in the game with ease. Now that that was out of the way, I was able to move on straight to the competition. And with good strategy, I got myself to the top 10 list. Along the way, there were many "bad players" who may not have been necessarily bad, but their decks were horrible because they clearly didn't have many points to spend. In other words, they didn't exploit the system. And they were left in my dust. And then there were those who obviously also exploited the system, and had the ultra-expensive top tier decks - and I either beat them with my strategy, or my counters to them were among the 3 cards you never get for the game, so I'd lose.
Now here's my second example. Diablo 2.
I used to play way back in the day, blahblahblahblahblahal.........
I came back to it a little over a year ago, and I decided, fuck this. I'm not going to make a new char and start MF farming, and all that garbo. I'm going to buy Jsp forum gold and kick-start this adventure. So, I did. I put a lot of money into forum gold purchases. And in no time at all, I had a top-end Necromancer that I designed myself, with gear sets that varied from 2.5k hp and huge spell damage, to over 275% cold resistances to negate even Cold Mastery + Facet penetration, to maximum block chance + damage reduction to trivialize Barbarians and get a good chance against Amazons. My character worked really well, and I was in an extremely good place. I could join a pub and stomp every legitimate player. (Granted, the reason D2 isn't worth coming back to is all the people who use actual hacks, but that's a different story entirely.)
The underlining point in both of these experiences is that I was able to cut out the bullshit steps that nobody likes, and get right to the part that matters. And it was a power creep that I could feel. It was oppressive. It was as if I, and everyone like me, was pushing down on the other gamers, saying, "no! You stay down there! Let the Big Timers like me do all the important stuff! You guys just keep squabbling over your horrible item trades, and your low-budget PvP that I could 7v1."
And that... is exactly what's going on in Path of Exile. When you are sitting on a stash page with actual hundreds of Chaos Orbs, over a hundred GCP's, and - well, frankly, who cares about Exalts at that point, but even still having something like 30 of those as well - it's the exact same power creep that I describe in my above examples. It shoves the legitimate players down and down, cramming them into a little jar where nobody of importance has to hear them squabbling over their "vendor trash for 1 Alch each" trades.
Which does, of course, bring me to this next segment. As brief as it will be.
Yes. This is a thing.
I understand why a lot of you will say things like...
The reason is simple. You guys play casually. You just hop on, solo through a few zones and enjoy the sound + animation it makes when you crit something, and then you log off and go to the gym.
This is a perfectly acceptable way of playing a game. In fact, it would be most reasonable to argue that this is the overall intended way of playing any game at all. To have fun!
But the complications begin when a LARGE percentage of gamers only have fun when they're being competitive (win or lose). For the competitive half of this game's playerbase, any one of them will tell you. It is a literal impossibility to compete with the multi-boxers. Especially by the time the PvP is introduced. All of the high-end players will begin their real oppression of the legitimate ones, once PvP comes in at full-throttle.
(Yes ladies, I'm single.)
No - but really...
As I've stated before, even a small amount of multi's have the power to completely wreck an economy. But what people aren't understanding is that there's actually a large amount of players who multi.
Anyone who has played WoW can tell you. Think of all those multi-boxing Shamans running around, dropping a thousand totems and insta-shocking down anything that breathes. There was a lot of multi-boxers in World of Warcraft! Probably even more these days, I'd imagine.
Now... You think people don't have the requirements to multi Path of Exile?
It's basic math, really.
(People who would cheat if they could) * (The easily-available multi exploitation) = X
Solve for X.
If your gaming experience has not been ruined by the insanely-inflated economy that the multi-boxers have created for themselves, then you are most likely playing casually and not competitively. And while that is fine, it is not your place to dismiss the issue for those that play the game competitively.
While it's not my job to think of exactly what the proper fix would be, it is my job as an open beta player to give suggestions. One popular suggestion would be to at least give everyone the IIQ bonus potential by adding the "/player X" command, where you make the game think there's additional players in your party. I don't fully agree with this, because multi's still get the DPS of 5 other characters. But it would cut the gap in players by a decent percentage.
But I do strongly suggest an announced currency wipe. Give players time to craft, time to make last minute trades... Then wipe all currency Orbs, so that the game can have a stable economy once again. The recovery time with this method will be a LOT faster than by letting multi's continue to each throw 700+ Chaos's, GCP's and Exalts into the pool. The announced wipe would let RNG even things out, so that the currency is sinked properly by being consumed and creating tangible results, but not necessarily giving gigantic profits to the multi's.
But ultimately, in closing... We understand it's difficult to come up with a big-time fix to the issue. But, we'll ALL be much more comfortable simply hearing that GGG is fully aware of the issue and working on it, rather than no word on it except every now and then some kind of subtle patch note that slaps multi's on the wrist.
I hope I covered everything I intended to cover... Although I usually forget something :P
Last edited by ShadyC on Mar 26, 2013, 8:46:37 PM
Actually you raise some good points, in amongst far too much irrelevant text.
Multi boxing does effect you, because of inflation.
This was one issue I raised regarding the F2P model, the entry fee for multi-boxers is ZERO
Last edited by Yxalitis on Mar 26, 2013, 8:15:28 PM
I'd imagine a lot of the text is irrelevant to you because you already understand my points. I try to use as much description as possible for each point, so that there's little room for posts that don't really understand what I'm saying.
At any rate, I'm a little disappointed that people are turned off from reading the thread because of its length.
How many of this "legion" of multiboxers have you met? or seen personally, not by someone else' testimony but yourself.
I'm a sceptic when it comes to multiboxers. I know there are some people doing it, but its not like a lot of people even can do it. A lot of good hardware is needed to run 5-6 clients at the same time.
So I sincerely doubt that there are "legions" of multiboxers in this game. Unless you got some proof that there are thousands of these people of course. If you do then please show me.
Also this economy system is a barter system. You can charge whatever you fucking want for anything. And its controlled by supply and demand. (look it up if you dont know what it is)
So having a stable price for everything is retarded, different people will pay less or more for the same thing. At least that is my experience in this game.
Its always in the last place you look
an interesting read.
i kind of like the idea of a currency wipe, it goes along with the whole crafting_mats_as_currency thing in the first place. maybe it could be seasonal too, where you would literally be forced to craft away all your stashed orbs every few months.
however, one would have to consider dev's long term pov on this.
should they today decide to disallow multiboxing and make it punishable to discourage it, the currency thats left will eventually be either used or redistributed down to less wealthy players. this isnt painful for anyone. a curreny wipe though, would probably make a bunch of players really angry -- the less wealthy ones the most.
also, i find it funny how alch orbs are thought to be so worthless, while in reality they are quite the opposite. lets say an exalt is selling for 40alch these days. if u alched 40 prismatics/onyxes, you would probably get one that would sell for over and exalt, or at least a few that would sell for a total of over an exalt. on top of that youre left with a bunch of rings for the chaos recipe. alch orb, best orb.
IGN Pamila / Pfily, CET zone
on Mar 26, 2013, 8:34:09 PM
Even if multi-boxing is very isolated, it has profound effects starting from the top.
Your point about supply and demand would be good if it took into account that exploitative behaviour actually affects supply and demand, which would contradict your non-issue with it.
The worst part about exploitative behaviour (though it can be hard to make a distinction between intended rules or law and unintended or broken design) is really about intent and practical results, there are lots of shitty (imo) things you can do to get ahead. Does it add any value to the game (and gameplay experience) or community?
Anyway, even HC is already like default legacy league with zero meaning to me.
on Mar 26, 2013, 8:36:17 PM
The combination that leads to Chaos Orb inflation is multiboxing + Chaos Orb vendor formula. This leads to decreasing value of Chaos Orbs.
The game mechanic that prevents efficient multiboxing of Exalted Orbs is the lack of Exalted Orb formula. Thus, no efficient multiboxing of Exalts, and Exalts become immune to inflation.
There are three ways to solve the problem:
The first is virtually impossible and way too idealistic.
The second would have devastating effects on the endgame map system.
The third is the most Machiavellian, while also the most realistic and the only one that stands a chance of working.
When Stephen Colbert was killed by HYDRA's Project Insight in 2014, the comedy world lost a hero. Since his life model decoy isn't up to the task, please do not mistake my performance as political discussion. I'm just doing what Steve would have wanted.
Last edited by ScrotieMcB on Mar 26, 2013, 8:43:09 PM
on Mar 26, 2013, 8:38:38 PM
I have to disagree, the mechanic that makes multi-boxing possible is the significant, unnecessary (imo) party drop bonus, recipes can just make it far more lucrative.
on Mar 26, 2013, 8:42:26 PM
An announced currency wipe would make no sense it does not solve the problem. It simply puts the problem at bay for a period of time (few months or whatever).