Author Topic: So, about book piracy.  (Read 24545 times)

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EjoThims

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Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #20 on: June 20, 2008, 09:21:04 AM »
On the music piracy issue: There are songs and artists that I downloaded, and now fully intend to buy, but I can't because they aren't stocked in Australia. I never would''ve picked up my latest musical obsession (Nerdcore rap) if it weren't for online availability.

Yea... I've spent infinitely more money on music since I started downloading it first...

Mainly because until I started pirating music I never heard any that I considered worth paying for.

Sunic_Flames

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Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #21 on: June 20, 2008, 02:28:20 PM »
Book prices are simply absurd. 30-40 a pop. Now let's put this into perspective:

You want to run a game. PHB, DMG, MM. 90-120 dollars + tax. Just the basics there.

Now as anyone here knows, most core only stuff isn't playable. You can certainly make a full caster (cleric/druid/sorcerer/wizard) work, and maybe a rogue or something. The rest? You need non core stuff. Say you want some variety, and not having a group that is Tier 1/Tier 1/Tier 5/Tier 5 or so. That third number may be off, I forget where Rogues were.

Again, 30-40 a pop. Say you want a Fighter that doesn't suck. Minimum CW, PHB2, ToB. Now we're at double cost.

Rogue? Add several more books. Ranger? Add a few more.

The cost easily gets well into the triple digit figures just to play what you want to play. Now, good luck justifying that cost on a cost/benefit analysis. It quickly starts getting to where you can just buy a console game system, an MMO, whatever save money, and still get entertained (provided you're into those things) with less hassle (as much as I enjoy D&D, you have to admit getting everyone on the same page to play is a hassle which is why tabletop sessions tend to be 1-2 times a week for a few hours each time as opposed to those options which are whenever you have a moment and want to, no setup time required).

This assumes all books are high quality. These days, most products made are actually low quality and are rarely worth the full (inflated) sticker price. Many of the books you'd need to play the character you want to play and not suck for example are rather lackluster. They just happen to have the right feats in them. Some however are quite good.

As a result... bittorrent for the win. I have a double digit GB figure of PDFs on my harddrive and no physical books for exactly this reason, and the fact I only play PbP anyways. If I found a tabletop game I might consider investing in used copies of the good books in a physical format for that purpose as then it would at least be somewhat justified. Of course, given that 4.0 is out, I have less than no interest in 4.0, and its existence means there will be an ever decreasing number of 3.5 games available the window has already passed.

Now compare to a computer game, namely Titan Quest. I was interested in this game, got the demo, played it through, but results were inconclusive. Now, Titan Quest is a computer game. As such, it is not available for rental, and once purchased cannot be refunded due ironically to that whole piracy thing. Between that, and the even lower quality of computer games on average it is necessary to ascertain the cost is worth the benefit before making it, otherwise it is yet another case of being ripped off by a shoddy product. If I knew someone else in my area that owned the game I could ask to borrow it for a few days and get a more extensive look at the game that way. The demo covers perhaps 1% of the game, this would give more like 5%. Being an 'RPG' (used loosely, still applies) that makes a big difference, as the beginning of said games is often different than the middle and end.

So I pirated it, got my test, and realized it got better from there. As such I purchased a physical copy of the game and its expansion and went from there. Were I not impressed with it, I would not have bought it. They lose nothing. I lose nothing.

The company that made it eventually went bankrupt due to the fact 75-90% of people playing it had pirated it due to a series of circumstances and had not done as I did and purchased a physical copy. I will say this though. If they had an official online thing that blocked pirated copies, they would have sold more due to the fact that'd force them to go buy it to play there. But it didn't, so nothing was lost. This is part of the reason why computer game quality is so low on average, though it is a chicken and egg type question. *shrugs*
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altpersona

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Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #22 on: June 20, 2008, 03:15:21 PM »
i got my phb/dmg/mm for like 40 bucks total... new... :)

what i saw that torqued me abit was that bsg book that they want 45 dollars for.. wtf.. for one rpg book, hell no...
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Irthos Levethix

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Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #23 on: June 20, 2008, 04:17:15 PM »
I bought several books, just because I like actually flipping pages.  3.5 books have been on sale, since 4e came out, so thats handy.  Also, used book stores kick ass.  My girlfriend bought me the Players Handbook and the DMG for christmas from a used book store, that's what started my collection.  Other than that though, bittorrents are the way to go.  Like a few people have said, there's alot of books that pretty much suck, but happen to have some good feats in there.  I haven't been able to find the Dragon Compendium on pdf, though.  Anyone wanna send me the file?  :)
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Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #24 on: June 20, 2008, 04:39:17 PM »
Likewise. I find physical books much preferable to digital copies.

I could usually get books for €25-30, but when I went on holiday to the UK, I found some old stuff for £3! :o
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Irthos Levethix

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Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #25 on: June 20, 2008, 05:27:35 PM »
There's just something much more satisfying about having 10 books laid out in front of you, using each other as placeholders, while you pore over class abilities and levels and items, looking for synergies.  Plus, it really tells your friends "Hi, I'm being geeky, please leave me the fuck alone, thanks."
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SixthDeclension

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Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #26 on: June 20, 2008, 10:01:15 PM »
There's just something much more satisfying about having 10 books laid out in front of you, using each other as placeholders, while you pore over class abilities and levels and items, looking for synergies.  Plus, it really tells your friends "Hi, I'm being geeky, please leave me the fuck alone, thanks."
That is fun. Its how I tell the world that I dont want to see it. But on topic, I bought 3.0 books when I first got into the game. Just core, mind you. I didnt even know there were splatbooks then. Then I heard about this absurd 3.5, and I didnt even bother sinking money into it. By then I was into the internet and knew how to get books. It just wasnt worth it. Some books are nice to have around. Core, MIC, SpC, your favorite class type's complete book. Other than that, I just use my handy dandy pdfs.

By the way, I love ebay. I bought a set of 3 different 2E PHBs and a 3.0 and 3.5 for 25 bucks. I was happy when they came.
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jameswilliamogle

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Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #27 on: June 21, 2008, 10:49:35 PM »
In the past I've always bought my books second-hand from Amazon a month after release.  The prices are reasonable.  With the 4.0, I plan on doing the same... but it hasn't been a month yet.

I do it, but I don't like that I do it.  Being in a proprietary business myself, I know the kind of economic hardship that this sort of thing causes.  At the same time, in economically depressed times like these, I totally get it.

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Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #28 on: June 22, 2008, 05:08:00 AM »
In general I think that gaming books are reasonably priced for what you get out of them.  Of course I invented our rating system to address the differences in peoples buying habits.

I will say though that d20 has offered a number of what I would deem unreasonable books, even those offered by wotc.  And not even in price, but in content. 

If a book is going to offer a new system it should offer a complete and comprehensive take on that system.  That is one of the reasons Magic of Incarneum is good. 

The PHB2 offers a similar function in that it covers what it does comprehensively. 

A book that falls over is Heroes of Horror.  I do not feel like it comprehensively covers the horror genre I also belive that the other subjects are also covered too superficially.  Necromancy and taint for example.  It seems like they just start up those ideas and then just fall over.
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Rev

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Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #29 on: June 23, 2008, 05:18:01 PM »
If a book is going to offer a new system it should offer a complete and comprehensive take on that system.  That is one of the reasons Magic of Incarneum is good. 
<Snip>
A book that falls over is Heroes of Horror.  I do not feel like it comprehensively covers the horror genre I also belive that the other subjects are also covered too superficially.  Necromancy and taint for example.  It seems like they just start up those ideas and then just fall over.

I'd strongly have to disagree. Magic of Incarnum did nothing particularly new or interesting - while heroes of horror was one of the few WotC products I've genuinely been impressed with. It's no Call of Cthulhu but it's an interesting read & written to a far higher quality IMO.

I guess I object to system for systems sake. Different strokes for different folks.
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Kuroimaken

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Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #30 on: June 24, 2008, 03:49:38 AM »
And you guys get it good. I mean it. You know why?

When I bought my Oriental Adventures, for instance, the book was 90 bucks (in current terms, about US$ 60). When I bought my first edition Star Wars, the book went for 120 (roughly US$80).

And those were the imported books. As mentioned, the national ones are more expensive.
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Straw_Man

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Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #31 on: June 24, 2008, 03:54:06 AM »

Try living in Asia - the 3.5 books were around a $120 dollars. Had to DL them then.
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Sunic_Flames

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Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #32 on: June 24, 2008, 04:34:41 AM »
Maybe that's why piracy is so rampant in Asia?
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Sunic may be more abrasive than sandpaper coated in chainsaws (not that its a bad thing, he really does know what he's talking about), but just posting in this thread without warning and telling him he's an asshole which, if you knew his past experiences on WotC and Paizo is flat-out uncalled for. Never mind the insults (which are clearly 4Chan-level childish). You say people like Sunic are the bane of the internet? Try looking at your own post and telling me you are better than him.

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Straw_Man

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Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #33 on: June 24, 2008, 05:17:13 AM »

Probably part of it, other part is that the goverment doesn't make enough money on import taxes for them to care.
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Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #34 on: June 25, 2008, 12:56:26 AM »
For me, it depends on two things.  How much will I use it?  and Will I actually read it?

If I'm going to use it a whole lot, then I'll probably buy it.  Especially if I like the producer or the material.

If I'm not going to actually read something, then I'll generally not buy it.  (Most supplements fall here)  I'm better at picking out a page with the search feature of Adobe or with Ctrl-Shift-N on Adobe (brings up the page finder).
If I'm going to be picking out a few things and ignoring the rest, then I'll most likely not buy it.

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Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #35 on: June 25, 2008, 06:22:33 AM »
Music --> Anything I listen to seriously I have a copy of on CD or DVD Audio ("hey listen to this!" tends to be via torrents) --> this leaves with 100's of CD's btw
Novels --> Bought by the truckload
Games/ Software --> Bought 99% of the time
RPG stuff --> I get digital copies of everything (Carrying a Laptop is 100x more convenient for me as I dont get to go home before my sessions) when I go and buy anything I use more than ~10% of.
Wargaming -->If I use to actually play rather than for comparison usage...

Rest follows a similar thought pattern

Kuroimaken

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Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #36 on: June 25, 2008, 03:05:39 PM »
Quote
Try living in Asia - the 3.5 books were around a $120 dollars. Had to DL them then.

Oh, the kicker is that books of any kind are tax-free around here.

That's right -- the prices I stated included no tax.
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Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #37 on: June 26, 2008, 10:06:25 PM »
I DL books now because I'm mad at WotC.  Before that, it was because I was a high school student in a debt-ridden family who had no supplemental income.

Also because a lot of books I got (7th Seas, Deadlands, both of which original and not d20) are completely out of print.
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Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #38 on: June 26, 2008, 10:29:47 PM »
I don't think hardcover books are overpriced, at least not in general. If I get a high quality hc full-color book from the wizards for ~20-30 € (yes, they are way mor expensive in germany then in the US), I'm fine with this - and I don't have that much spare money.

The whole "overpriced books"-thingy really only hurts, if you really want all books. Even the bad ones, like Complete Psionic. If you're really into playing fighters and get the most important books, you'll need to invest about ~60-80 € over the course of some years. Heck, if you do not need the book 24/7, buy them with your whole gaming group - it gets much cheaper this way.

The biggest complain I've got to make: The *.pdf-versions of the books are way, way, way too overpriced! You pay essentially the same prices as the hc-versions. You do not have to print, ship or store pdf's, so why the fukc do I have to pay the same prices? If those would cost one third of the original price, piracy would be much less of a problem (?).

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Re: So, about book piracy.
« Reply #39 on: June 28, 2008, 05:48:32 AM »
The biggest complain I've got to make: The *.pdf-versions of the books are way, way, way too overpriced! You pay essentially the same prices as the hc-versions. You do not have to print, ship or store pdf's, so why the fukc do I have to pay the same prices? If those would cost one third of the original price, piracy would be much less of a problem (?).

EJ

Where do you get your .pdfs? The ones me and aftercrescent have we got for free. And then we printed them out at our university's library (which has free printing) and put them into binders. I think I've spent about 30 bucks on binders, but other than that, it was all free.
You'll have to ask aftercrescent where he got all of his books from... it might've been from a friend...

As far as pirating goes... My attitude is more towards the "If they didn't want me pirating it, then why'd they make it?" 

To be fair though, I don't pirate that much. Mainly because I've downloaded from sketchy sources and infected my poor computer with all sorts of stuff.  So now, I leave the pirating to my friends... and ask them for copies.  :D

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