Petition Closed

1. Inefficient anti-cheat protection.

- The promised innovations and improvement to game’s security didn’t prove efficient (lots of players think that they didn’t exist in the first place);
- The number of the players using the third-party software to cheat\hack the game doesn’t seem to dwindle, on the contrary - it seems growing day by day;
- “Massive” wave of bans hit only those who illegally purchased SpeedBoost, leaving in-game cheaters mostly unaffected;
- Most of dev. team’s claims and promises stay unfulfilled;
- Lots of players, namely those who have been in the game for a long period of time and invested considerable sums in NFS World are disappointed with cheaters ruining their gaming experience and decide to leave the game until the issue is resolved;

The game was released nearly 2 years ago and for over 1,5 year community has been asking for effective automated anti-cheat software. Seeing as that had little to no effect on our next step we plan to contact EA management directly, asking them to reevaluate those responsible for security and support of Need for Speed World.

2. Game Content and SpeedBoost prices.

- Over 80 % of game content is SpeedBoost-exclusive;
- Content available for IGC ain't enough to keep players interested for long time;
- SpeedBoost is overpriced in general and prices are unfairly high for some countries in particular;
- Income from SpeedBoost sales ain’t used for game development;
- Players can't fully enjoy the game without buying SpeedBoost, but high prices and regular addition of new items make it impossible to own everything they want, thus leaving players disappointed and unmotivated to play (and pay) further;

Some players even claim that high prices compelled them to use cheats, just to stay competitive with paying players who drive better and highly tuned cars, unavailable to those who can’t invest enough money into the game.

So far requests from community to lower the prices and make more content available for IGC were ignored, and those +25% sales don’t really help players who can’t buy lots of SpeedBoost at once.

We hope that Electronic Arts management will take our petition into account and reconsider price policy and priorities in Need for Speed World development, because that will bring them more customers in a longer run.

3. Car performance and balance.

Need for Speed World is based on older titles, such as Need for Speed Most Wanted and Need for Speed Carbon. They share locations and some cars, but same car performance and behavior doesn’t match in different games.

Need for Speed series used several physic engines, but the one from Need for Speed World seems the most arcade of all.

Community voiced their dissatisfaction with physic model and car balance for a few times, yet it was mostly ignored by developers – in two years only a couple of cars was retuned and general physics remains unchanged. All we hear is that game was meant to be arcade, bugs will be fixed and all balance issues will be solved with addition of new (and SpeedBoost exclusive) parts.

No wonder Electronic Arts won Golden Poo 2012 award for treating their customers poorly and ignoring their demands. Still, we’ll try and contact them directly, if we won’t get reaction from Black Box.

Letter to
Electronic Arts Need For Speed World
1. Inefficient anti-cheat protection.

Game was officially released on July 27 2010. To this day it stays rather popular, claiming over 10 million registered accounts. Still, developers of the Need for Speed World haven't introduced any efficient anti-cheat protection.

Marc and Drew, speaking of behalf of dev. team, declared more than once that anti-cheat system will be added soon. Implying that most of players using third-party software to cheat\hack the game (thus violating ToS) will be banned. However, players who often race in multiplayer events confirm that cheaters are still at large.

Ask Marc – Episode 21 (September 21 2010)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mxD5iWiBBg&feature=player_detailpage

Marc and Drew claimed that anti-cheat software is underway and they pay a lot of attention to this problem, taking feedback from forums and other sources. Future patches are said to more cheat and hack-resistant.

Ask Marc – Episode 26 (November 05 2010)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Dv7daoQC0M&feature=player_detailpage

Marc and Drew announce that Leaderboards will be rested as soon as they implement new anti-cheat protection.

Ask Marc – Episode 40 (July 02 2011)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkFge-H5vzU&feature=player_detailpage

Marc and Drew assure us that they are well aware of rampaging chat-hackers and promise to deal with this issue over the course of next month.
At the same time they mention that hackers are banned on a daily basis, but it takes a lot of time to check their profiles.

Ask Marc – Episode 43 (July 22 2011)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJ5sefVnD4Y&feature=player_detailpage

Marc and Drew say that every week hundreds and even thousands of cheaters are banned from the game, but seeing as the game has over 6 million players, it will take a lot of time the get rid of them all. They won’t tell us exact details, but imply that anti-cheat system has high priority in development.

Ask Marc – Episode 46 (Augustus 13 2011)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=pTtJholT8Fk

Marc and Drew admit that they received feedback about someone hacking chat on weekend, yet they were unable to react in time, problem was solved a few days later. They still stress out that dedicated security team works daily to prevent such occasions.

Ask Marc – Episode 56 (November 26 2011)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=catTPJ6MGL0&feature=player_detailpage

Marc and Drew announce that they have taken drastic measures against people who distribute cheats, going as far as closing over 1000 sites that were promoting cheats and illegal SpeedBoost.
They also inform us that number of players is growing swiftly, surpassing 10 million registered accounts. Keeping such popular MMO stable and secure ain’t an easy task, yet they’re doing their best to get rid of cheaters and keep the servers stable.

Ask Marc – Episode 61 (February 10 2012)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=aixn4R_mH6A

Developers appreciate how players do their best posting information about cheaters on Facebook, forums and other channels. However, given how little info can be taken from a single screenshot they ask us to stop posting them and instead use in-game report function, leaving the judgment to security team. They also note that checking whether player did use some cheats or just caught a bug takes a lot of time, but they have all necessary software and data for cheat detection. Which allows them to ban lots of cheaters every week. Also they hint on massive wave of bans planned for next month.

Ask Marc – Episode 62 (February 17 2012)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=MupK_jyZmMU

Seeing how players keep asking to take measures against cheaters Marc and Drew stress out that dev. team puts a lot of effort into detecting and makes no difference between those who bought SpeedBoost and those who haven’t, confirming that even players who invested a lot of money will be banned if they are caught cheating.

So what do we have today?

- The promised innovations and improvement to game’s security didn’t prove efficient (lots of players think that they didn’t exist in the first place);
- The number of the players using the third-party software to cheat\hack the game doesn’t seem to dwindle, on the contrary - it seems growing day by day;
- “Massive” wave of bans hit only those who illegally purchased SpeedBoost, leaving in-game cheaters mostly unaffected;
- Most of dev. team’s claims and promises stay unfulfilled;
- Lots of players, namely those who have been in the game for a long period of time and invested considerable sums in NFS World are disappointed with cheaters ruining their gaming experience and decide to leave the game until the issue is resolved;

The game was released nearly 2 years ago and for over 1,5 year community has been asking for effective automated anti-cheat software. Seeing as that had little to no effect on our next step we plan to contact EA management directly, asking them to reevaluate those responsible for security and support of Need for Speed World.

2. Game Content and SpeedBoost prices.

Ever since Need for Speed World was released as Free2Play game developers were stressing out that they keep balance between paying and non-paying players and SpeedBoost is meant for those players who don’t want to spend a lot of time but want full access to content.

Prior to February, 2011 over 70% of game content were available with in-game cash (IGC). However, after that game has taken an obvious course for selling lots of SpeedBoost-exclusive content such as new cars and visual customization.

As of today we have about 80% SpeedBoost-exclusive game content that mostly consists of new cars (less than half are available for IGC) and visual customization packs. We still can get most performance parts (except Ultra-grade) and some basic visual customization elements with IGC and lots of grinding. What’s even worse – most on newly added content is SpeedBoost-exclusive as well.

Ask Marc – Episode 40 (July 02 2011)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkFge-H5vzU&feature=player_detailpage

Marc and Drew admit that they didn’t keep their own promise "to add new cars available for in-game cash". They claim that in future players will get at least one IGC car per month, some might be even absolutely new, not a repainted versions of existing SpeedBoost-exclusive cars.

Today we have:

- About 40 cars available for IGC, but 80 % of those are cars that were in the game from the very beginning;
- Each month we get 4-6 new SpeedBoost-exclusive cars and 1 (one) IGC car, and usually it’s a car that was earlier available with SpeedBoost;

Ask Marc – Episode 38 (June 04 2011)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=bj08Mx18RVQ

Marc and Drew comment of lucky draw and confirm that low drop rates of good performance part are part of the balance.

Ask Marc – Episode 42 (July 15 2011)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w60Ig2uMRrw&feature=player_detailpage

Marc and Drew announce introduction of new category-specific Gold Packs, that are guaranteed to have at least one pro-grade part from given category, granting players better chances to get the parts they need.

Today we have:

- Over 30 types of SpeedBoost-exclusive Card Pack's that cover all possible performance and visual customization parts except for body kits;
- 1 (One) Card Pack available with IGC with extremely low chance of getting a good performance part and no visual customization parts;

90 % of products in Aftermarket shop is SpeedBoost-exclusive. Non-paying players have access to limited number of body kits, Rims and License Plates. In Performance shop it’s possible to buy Street Improved and Street Sport parts. Getting anything else will require a few hours of dedicated grinding or extreme luck.

Seeing how SpeedBoost-exclusive cars are generally faster than their IGC counterparts non-paying players are forced to race in underhanded conditions – with weaker car and performance parts. Paying players have distinct advantage.

Thus Need for Speed World is widely considered as Free2Play, Pay2Win game.

Those players who want to have comfortable and sterling gameplay have to buy SpeedBoost. That wouldn’t be so bad if the prices were lower, but let’s see some statistics.

Let’s say that in average you need at least 50.000 SpeedBoost for comfortable gameplay (that includes purchase of new cars and some parts, not nearly enough to max out their stats). At the moment prices are about the same for most countries and you’ll have to pay at least 65 USD to buy that much boost. Majority of players are underage and don’t have a fulltime job, so they have to acquire money from their parents or part-time jobs.

The thing is – relative value of 65 USD varies from county to country. Even you check price of average consumer basket you’ll find out that it ranges anywhere from 50 to 500 USD, depending on average wage and standards of living.

Shouldn’t you lower the prices for some countries to match their standards of living, as it was before?

But even if don’t take that into account – SpeedBoost is overpriced. You’ll need to spend 25.000 (42 USD) in order to buy one car for each tier and put some decent performance and visual customization parts on them. For that money you can easily get two copies of Need for Speed The Run (20 USD each) or Need for Speed The Run, Need for Speed Shift 2 Unleashed and Need for Speed Hot Pursuit (about 40 USD for three games).

And here’s one more question – if the game has over 10 million players, we can safely assume that at least half of them purchase SpeedBoost monthly. Even if they buy only 8.000 that would still be at around 70.000.000 (seventy millions) USD per month or 840.000.000 (eight hundred and forty millions) USD in a year. Of course, you have to pay for server costs and get some profits, but from our perspective it looks like just a tiny bit of those money are spend on game developing, since dev’s repeatedly postpone new features and instead concentrate on adding new SpeedBoost-exclusive items.

As a result:

- Over 80 % of game content is SpeedBoost-exclusive;
- Content available for IGC ain't enough to keep players interested for long time;
- SpeedBoost is overpriced in general and prices are unfairly high for some countries in particular;
- Income from SpeedBoost sales ain’t used for game development;
- Players can't fully enjoy the game without buying SpeedBoost, but high prices and regular addition of new items make it impossible to own everything they want, thus leaving players disappointed and unmotivated to play (and pay) further;

Some players even claim that high prices compelled them to use cheats, just to stay competitive with paying players who drive better and highly tuned cars, unavailable to those who can’t invest enough money into the game.

So far requests from community to lower the prices and make more content available for IGC were ignored, and those +25% sales don’t really help players who can’t buy lots of SpeedBoost at once.

We hope that Electronic Arts management will take our petition into account and reconsider price policy and priorities in Need for Speed World development, because that will bring them more customers in a longer run.

3. Car performance and balance.

Need for Speed World is based on older titles, such as Need for Speed Most Wanted and Need for Speed Carbon. They share locations and some cars, but same car performance and behavior doesn’t match in different games.

It’s an arcade game and we don’t ask to implement real-world characteristics, but you could at least keep it in general balance – some cars are unpopular simply because they are underpowered, others are major hits only because they are overpowered. Players must choose whether they want to drive a slow car that they admire or take something popular to stay competitive. A while ago Marc mentioned that he had a meeting with Nissan representatives and shortly after that we got Nissan Skyline 2000 GT-R. Fast and overpowered 1972 car that easily beats newer Skyline GT-R (R32), Skyline GT-R (R34) V-spec and even R35.

For example, here’s a short breakdown on two Lamborghinis – Gallardo LP560-4 and Murcielago LP640-4

Gallardo has softer handling with slight understeer – takes some time to get a hold of it, but it’s fun to drive. Murcielago has sharper handling, but it’s kind of plain and unchallenging. At the same time it has a huge advantage in acceleration and nitrous power, rendering Gallardo uncompetitive.

Murcielago is fast and reliable, but has no vivid traits and gets boring over the time. If the player decides to switch back to Gallardo, he’ll have a hard time winning the races or even keeping up with the pack. What’s even worse – majority of new SpeedBoost-exclusive are the same, even classic muscle cars have better handling than modern tuners. They’re fast, but lack character and challenge.

Need for Speed series used several physic engines, but the one from Need for Speed World seems the most arcade of all. Here’s some interesting facts.

In real life Murcielago goes from 0 to 100kmph in 3.4 seconds and has a top speed of 340kmph. In game it easily reaches 100kmph in 2.8 seconds (faster than real world Bugatti Veyron), but has a top speed of mere 307kmph. Coupled with aforementioned sharp and easy handling it leaves us with a car that looks like Murcielago, but doesn’t feel like it at all – quite disappointing for players who just happen to be car enthusiasts.

Toyota MR-2 is another good example. In NFS World it has top speed of 218kmph and goes 0-100kmph in 4.27 seconds with nitrous equal to Tier 3 cars that have big and powerful engines. In reality it has 2.0 I4 engine which produces 200 hp, takes at least 7.1 seconds to reach 100kmph and tops out at 240kmph.

Community voiced their dissatisfaction with physic model and car balance for a few times, yet it was mostly ignored by developers – in two years only a couple of cars was retuned and general physics remains unchanged. All we hear is that game was meant to be arcade, bugs will be fixed and all balance issues will be solved with addition of new (and SpeedBoost exclusive) parts.

No wonder Electronic Arts won Golden Poo 2012 award for treating their customers poorly and ignoring their demands. Still, we’ll try and contact them directly, if we won’t get reaction from Black Box.