June 1, 2013

The Pros and Cons of Pirate Gifting

For as long as I can remember, Wizard101 has offered the option of gifting to other players when dealing with crowns items. Certain items (or most, for that matter) could be bought for crowns on one player's account, but given as a present to another player. As Pirate101 develops, it's inevitable that the feature would reach the game at one point or another, seeing how successful it is. However, are the obvious cons of it worth the feature? Do the abilities of players gained by gifting bypass the beggars that would easily occupy Avery's Court? While what can be changed is little, there is something that can be done to satisfy both needs.


As you look through the community, especially now, you will find that there are a variety of contests going on right now. From blogoversary contests to pet-a-palooza challenges, there's something for almost everybody! When one sees the prizes, there is some change between the Wizard and Pirate prizes. For some contests, Wizard prizes may be in the form of crown shop loot requiring an in-game meetup to be gifted. Pirate contests, however, are limited to prizes obtainable by code. This means a lot of crowns and special codes for official fansites. As the P101 crown shop expands, the need for gifting in this need will grow.

However, with gifting already put in as a feature, Wizard101 faces a few annoyances. Because gifting is such an easy option, some players walk out into the Commons or equivalent area begging for a gift. For many players, this becomes very annoying and disruptive to gameplay. It also forces many to remove friends who have resorted to begging - I know I have. The reason I see so much conversation in Avery's Court instead of begging just might be because of gifting not having reached the game just yet.

Will gifting reach Pirate101? I'm almost sure of it.  Because of how many crowns will be spent on gifting and needed again for areas and non-gifted items, the income from adding gifting will go up. However, the problem at hand is that the beggars might turn players off. While people can simply ignore the people persistently friending for gifts, many complain that it doesn't so anything for the problem. Also with the situation are people who will try to scam others. (Anyone remember the "Cards for Codes" era?) The real question if if the risks are worth it.

See, KI has already put in things to keep players safe while gaming and gifting. One of these is the friend request disabling button available on both games, as you can only gift friends. This way, people won't ambush friend you and ask you for things. Of course, you can always ignore, delete, and report scammers. Because these tools can end the situation, that's why gifting still exists in Wizard101.

Personally, I'm OK with the Court as it is now. However, since codes are getting recycled from contests, gifting will need to be implemented before things just become ridiculous. See, let's say I win a contest and win the code for a new pet. Well, I only have one pirate and my Armadillo Verde, so I pass the code onto another blogger through a contest. That blogger thinks the pet is interesting but values blog traffic more. So, he puts the same pet as a contest prize because it expires the next month.

Here's the thing: If we all redeem codes, then the only sources of contests will be the official sites. While I love the official contests, I know a few non-official sites (quite a few) that come up with very interesting challenges. If we all pass the codes on, however, they will never get redeemed, thus losing their point of getting redeemed. Codes expire, and we're all sad. For the sake of the community, gifting would be invaluable.

If gifting hasn't been released yet, however, have the risks been judged too dangerous at the time? Is there something about P101's crown shop that wouldn't fit the gifting mold? The answer lies in KI. However, once gifting's released, it's up to the players to know the general ethics of gifting, and when they're getting scammed. If we players can prove that, only time will tell.


Keep Traveling!

2 comments:

  1. Interesting thoughts.

    It's crazy how the amount of people begging for things has skyrocketed in Wizard101, so much so that you might call this the "Beggars' Era" because there's just so much. While I don't mind it, it has caused quite an upset on Wizard101 Central.

    Additionally, it goes against a key principle that KingsIsle has used from the start: no trading means no reason to hack another account. Account hacks are very common in other games, but less so in KingsIsle games, because there isn't a lot to gain in hacking someone else's account. But with gifting, if you know a person has many crowns, hacking could be quite rewarding. It's for that reason that KingsIsle never has and never will implement trading of any kind beyond Treasure Cards.

    Seems like something you'd want to avoid. But then, as you mention, blog contests require gifting to offer unique rewards. If not for Legends asking me to help him out by distributing codes, I'd have had to do a lot of gifting in-game for prizes, which is fine, other than the fact that it limits which games people can participate for, and so on and so forth. With gifting in Pirate101, I get to bypass the potential irritations that come with codes, and codes not working, and codes not being received, etc. and directly gift something. For example, 5k crowns codes are pretty common from official contests, but if you offer a companion of choice as a reward, that's pretty enticing. It's something new, and it requires no codes.

    KingsIsle's mindset on this sort of thing is usually "it's optional, so stick it in there" which I'm not fond of, but I won't be disappointed at all if they implement gifting! (I just hope they don't give us ranked PvP!)

    Good post! :)

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  2. On your point on codes/gifting: I admit that by mentioning blog contests myself, I was expressing a little frustration as for my lack of codes. The #1 reason why I'm pro-gifting is because I would love to hold a nice contest; I just don't have enough codes.
    As for the rest of your comment, you hold a very strong point when it comes to the "No Trading, No Hacking" argument. Perhaps it is the one loophole when it comes to my call to action of reporting/blocking.

    Thank you for the comment! :)

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