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Helping CoT Make Money w/o Pay to Win

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Consultant
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Helping CoT Make Money w/o Pay to Win

CoT needs revenues if we are going to build a new home for our community. Not just revenues from game sales, but ongoing revenues, from subscriptions and from the cash store to pay for continuing expenses. we need to encourage both subscriptions and cash store activity.

The point of this thread is to collect ideas for generating ongoing revenues from the cash store, without falling into a "pay to win" situation.

I have an idea. I think it should be possible to design a character appearance, and then save it as a temporary template. A player could then impose the template for a short time onto other players, TRANSFORMING them. Something like this could cost, say, one buck. But there would be limits, of course, so I will outline one scheme for using such an ability.

First, let me say, transformation would have no effect whatever on the powers of the player transformed, His/her ability to play the game would be unaffected. Only appearance is transformed.

So is this just a cruel joke being imposed as a money-raising scheme? I don't think so.

Consider this: a team or SG might all take a given appearance voluntarily for a special event -- consider an ITF or even a Hami raid conducted by appearance-clones of Supergirl (or by rikti monkeys if that floats your boat). It could be cool!

Some players might be so skilled at costume design that they would become the "Picasso's" of the game, designing special costumes for other team/players/SG's or events, and using the case shop transformation power to deliver them. This is in some respects the equivalent of getting help on the design of your base.

Also, to prevent abuse, there could be several other constraints. For example, subscribers, but not F2P, could get a button that offers three choices if someone attempts to transform them -- accept transformation, reject transformation, and reverse transformation (send it back to the initiating player and transform him, instead of you, with his own power). This creates a certain amount of balance right there, preventing CoT from slagging down into "Rikti Monkeys -- the Game."

Also, I think the cash shop should sell "cures" for transformation for a buck as well. Perhaps one or two should come with every game purchase or character creation.

Perhaps players should be able to "save" the transformed appearance? This could become a mechanism for teams/friends/SG's to share a particular costume look from one account to another, and generate a small cash input into the game.

I've been debating with a couple of other members of the community whether there should be a "cool down" period -- if you are F2P and you've been involuntarily transformed, should you be transformable again as soon as it ends, or should you get a cool down safe period? At least one has said that if you feel you are being transformed into a zombie or a rikti monkey too often, perhaps you need to do a little soul-searching over how you interact with others in the game. :) Or buy a subscription.

Finally, these cash shop items could be for sale in the market, but only at very high prices in in-game currency. We need to generate revenue for CoT, but it is also desirable to add money-sinks to the in-game trading system. This could be a new one.

A famous COH player once told me that for some players, COH was a really costume contest with a game attached. Let's use that to create a completely voluntary mechanic that generates some revenue for CoT, and also allows a new game element to be added.

TDP
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You could take this further.

You could take this further.

Let's say I create a fantastic Gladiator build for soloing and herding, and a perfect pvp version. I might be able to upload my builds for sale to other players and choose for the profits to generate into donations for the game [would be visible on store page], or perhaps to return to my account as money I can spend in the store [also would be visible on sale page]. Either way it's extra revenue generated that goes back into the game. pvp and pve fight stats for the build could also be public to show the builds quality.

Some builds in CoX were very much sought after, so it could be a way for builders to create income for the game. This could turn up as an extra bought alternate build on your character to swap in and out to.

After thought:
I am not exactly sure how this would translate realistically, since high quality builds might be created upon rare enhancements or specific in game drops. This could be the major flaw in the idea, either those would have to be factored into the price of the sale, or maybe this is why the idea wouldn't work ?

day one vet

Gangrel
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Consultant wrote:
Consultant wrote:

I have an idea. I think it should be possible to design a character appearance, and then save it as a temporary template. A player could then impose the template for a short time onto other players, TRANSFORMING them. Something like this could cost, say, one buck. But there would be limits, of course, so I will outline one scheme for using such an ability.

So, giving the ability to grief for taking cash... not a problem. /sarcasm

Consultant wrote:

I've been debating with a couple of other members of the community whether there should be a "cool down" period -- if you are F2P and you've been involuntarily transformed, should you be transformable again as soon as it ends, or should you get a cool down safe period? At least one has said that if you feel you are being transformed into a zombie or a rikti monkey too often, perhaps you need to do a little soul-searching over how you interact with others in the game. :) Or buy a subscription.

Yep, lets make those who have paid for the game (remember, that right now, there is no such thing as a "F2P" player, as everyone would have bought a copy of the game), feel like the lesser class, because they are "more easily griefable". They might not be being changed because they are interacting badly with others, but because someone is being a jerk.

If this idea ever made it into the game, I can imagine that it wouldn't go down well.

Now saying that, there was Secondary Mutation in CoX that did indeed have the chance of changing you into a Rikti Monkey, but it was a *chance* of doing it, and not guaranteed, and it only lasted for a minute... and it only affected yourself.

Quote:

1) I reject your reality.... and substitute my own
2) Not to be used when upset... will void warranty
3) Stoke me a clipper i will be back for dinner
4) I have seen more intelligence from an NPC AI in TR beta, than from most MMO players.

Consultant
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Gangrel, I see your points,

Gangrel, I see your points, but we're balancing contributions and benefits. Let's suppose one model -- everyone subscribes and pays the same money each month. then we are all paying the costs of keeping the game running, and any advantage to one group over another is inappropriate. the same thing applies if we all pay $50 and buy the game and then play it, and there are no subscriptions. Again, preferences are inappropriate.

Unfortunately, neither of these business models works for an MMO with large, ongoing expenses and no revenue streams to support the costs. the Devs of CoT have said there will be subscriptions, and there will be F2P, and there will be a cash shop. I did not make those calls. I'm just working within the system as I understand it today.

There will be preferences given for those players who actually pay to keep the game going. This is FAIR. The subset of us who pay the actual cash that allows everyone else to freeload (and yes, I do intend to use that word exactly) deserve something for our effort. If we all buy the game and spend nothing to sustain it, then this game will die quickly.

That's not what you and I both want.

I'm trying to find ideas that will give players who pay money some benefit, so that ongoing revenues can be generated. I plan to offer a few more ideas.

You don't like this idea? Please offer alternatives. I know from your other posts that you are a very smart guy. Very smart. Put up some ideas that generate money for the game, and don't deliver "pay to win," which I think has been rejected by the community as a principle.

So yes, some griefing could occur from my proposal. And a lot of other benefits would accrue as well. You did not respond to those. Please, come out and either make my idea better, or offer something in its place. I really mean that. Put up better ideas and you'll hear me support them.

But this game is going to need significant ongoing revenue to become the home we are all looking for.

Gangrel
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Consultant wrote:
Consultant wrote:

Gangrel, I see your points, but we're balancing contributions and benefits. Let's suppose one model -- everyone subscribes and pays the same money each month. then we are all paying the costs of keeping the game running, and any advantage to one group over another is inappropriate. the same thing applies if we all pay $50 and buy the game and then play it, and there are no subscriptions. Again, preferences are inappropriate.

So, would you feel that in this situation *something* like you did, would be "fair" to introduce into the game?

Quote:

Unfortunately, neither of these business models works for an MMO with large, ongoing expenses and no revenue streams to support the costs. the Devs of CoT have said there will be subscriptions, and there will be F2P, and there will be a cash shop. I did not make those calls. I'm just working within the system as I understand it today.There will be preferences given for those players who actually pay to keep the game going. This is FAIR. The subset of us who pay the actual cash that allows everyone else to freeload (and yes, I do intend to use that word exactly) deserve something for our effort. If we all buy the game and spend nothing to sustain it, then this game will die quickly.
That's not what you and I both want.

Agreed, I don't want to see this game go down the toilet bowl just like a bad curry... although giving players the *ability* to force a "total appearance change" on others, for anything longer than a minute or two is (in my mind) a "bad move"

Quote:

I'm trying to find ideas that will give players who pay money some benefit, so that ongoing revenues can be generated. I plan to offer a few more ideas.
You don't like this idea? Please offer alternatives. I know from your other posts that you are a very smart guy. Very smart. Put up some ideas that generate money for the game, and don't deliver "pay to win," which I think has been rejected by the community as a principle.
So yes, some griefing could occur from my proposal. And a lot of other benefits would accrue as well. You did not respond to those. Please, come out and either make my idea better, or offer something in its place. I really mean that. Put up better ideas and you'll hear me support them.
But this game is going to need significant ongoing revenue to become the home we are all looking for.

Here are a couple of solutions for what you suggested

1) Make the change last a short period of time. Sure, it messes up your idea of running a TF with everyone looking like Peter Pan, but its an option. Least annoying route if there is no easy solution to dropping the appearance.

2) Make it like Mystic Fortune was, so that a prompt pops up asking if you want the effect to happen to you.

3) Make it *easily* removable (as in "click on effect -> drop effect" ). If the duration lasts for a long time, this would be a good thing to have included.

If none of those solutions appeal to you, go ahead and suggest something!

Personally, for me, I would not sell something on the store that *could* force appearance changes on another player, especially if there was no way for the player to remove it, ESPECIALLY if it lasted a long time (anything more than 60 seconds).

Me, what would I like to see in the store?

Costumes, Power sets, different animations, different power effects, different travel powers. Purchasing of "early unlocks" (so that you can access systems *earlier* on in the character live instead of having to be level X to get it), permanent system unlocks (in case there are any mechanics locked behind a subscription ie Incarnate content that CoX had).

Sure, the pricing of system unlocks would probably be more than the cost of a sub (especially if its something "core" to the game experience)... but at least it gives the player something to spend money on.

What would this leave for the subscriber? If you look at what CoX did... the ONLY thing that was permanently locked out to the "non subscriber" was Incarnate content. You could actually spend *more* money than a sub fee per month, and not get it... but then again, the sub free was the "unlock everything... until you unsub".

MWM have said in their kickstarter blurb

Missing Worlds Media Kickstarter wrote:

As for Subscriptions, yes, the plan is to offer them, but not require them. Once you have purchased the game, you can play the game. You will get a few months of the VIP Subscription with your game purchase off the bat, and will have the option of continuing to subscribe, or to play as a free player and purchase from the cash shop a la carte. The final details of the VIP Subscription are not hammered down, but some areas are settled: At no time will you lose access to something you had access to and VIP Subscribers will get a stipend for the cash shop of greater value than the cost of the subscription.

Now this to me suggests the line of thinking that even *paying* for a month sub, that if this were CoX, just by getting a character to 50 getting an incarnate ability, or even slotting IO's, that I would still be able to use those incarnate abilities, the IO's would still work in my build....

Which is something that CoX didn't do that kicked the former subscribers in the nuts...

Quote:

1) I reject your reality.... and substitute my own
2) Not to be used when upset... will void warranty
3) Stoke me a clipper i will be back for dinner
4) I have seen more intelligence from an NPC AI in TR beta, than from most MMO players.

jag40
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Consultant wrote:
Consultant wrote:

There will be preferences given for those players who actually pay to keep the game going. This is FAIR. The subset of us who pay the actual cash that allows everyone else to freeload (and yes, I do intend to use that word exactly) deserve something for our effort. If we all buy the game and spend nothing to sustain it, then this game will die quickly.
.

Yeah, if this was true per say, then there should be nothing wrong with pay to win.

But yeah, pay to grief is not really a good idea. I think it could work if people could use constraint and joke about it and if they come across people that don't want to be changed they leave them alone. But we all know people sometimes cant resist being a prick with powers and controlling other players. Like Kins and SB that refuse to quit even after the target said they don't want it or need it. Here instead, they control others appearance. It's a gift drop to griefing I think.

I don't think pay to win is as bad as some people think it is. It's no different than having a bunch of in game currency that cant be obtained through normal game play and buying all the goodies or buying in game currency from a gold farmer and then buying a bunch of stuff. The difference is that at least pay to win actually put money into the pockets of development. Because whetehr it's in game currency where someone have billions compared ot have nots or someone have more real cash than someone that barely able to cover their subscription, it still will the haves and the have nots. People in game say, "Well anyone can get more in game currency and play the market". Well in real life people can get more money, save, stop spending so much on unneeded stuff and invest and play the market" and there you have it, more real life money. It's easy. But the having on pay to win with in game currency while damning the real money pay to win is nothing but playing favorites of pay to win system and cutting off a decent source of potential income. If someone is allowed to pay to win simply by large amounts of currency they bought from gold farmers, then why not allow someone who probably actually earned their money by working their butts off in RL to buy items they want too instead of punishing them for not buying from gold farmers or wanting to farm constantly and rather simply play the game and stories and development for the game make some money. Even if the items are simply costumes, enhancements, or some special powerset. Pay to win, haven't been rejected as a principle, because there seem to be no rejection in in game currency pay to win even if the items are out of the reach of the average player and the amount of currency cant be obtain by regular game play. The only side is rejected is the one that do not suit their advantage. Not the principle itself. Because in the end it's best to either have pay to win and stop discriminating against one by saying it causes all types of negative stuff while the pay to win hailed by the same players because they benefit greatly from it, does the exact same thing ,but seem to have no qualms about putting it in. Either get rid of both pay to win system or stop bashing one and letting the other one go when they bot h have the same effect.

But maybe some costume unlocks, or costume powers that do not have the ability to affect other players against their will or force pop ups that they must constantly decline. If people want to design costumes that is fine, but shouldn't be able to have the ability to force others to wear their costumes creations because what is the greatest costume to one is total crappy to another well meaning or not.

TDP
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Having the ability to create

Having the ability to create costumes and then donate them for sale on the store to give income to game development, or to generate in game currency from purchases for the creator seems like a fine idea to me. Alternatively though I do agree that having the ability to force the character design onto other players could be problematic, unless as Gangrel said above there were stipulations.

Perhaps it could be used as a supergroup costume tool ?
As an in game tool that was paid for on the store. Some people may enjoy the idea of having a clone army, or a generic costume design for team members. This may even be part of a supergroups RP when committing to tasks, and a function like this could be a simple way to have the in game possibility to switch immediately. The members could revert back to their initial character design after the trial with a simple click. Then a member who had paid for the tool on the store could design the costume/character, and perhaps even it could be something the supergroup had the ability to group design among themselves, perhaps the owner could give trusted access to edit the costume. It would make the need to have an extra supergroup costume slot unnecessary, freeing costume slots up for your own personal designs. Maybe a maximum applications of a full team at any time, so if you wanted a horde of clones more people would have to own the tool and have the design.

Just trying to think of an example of how this idea could be positively used.

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Here's the way to make money.

Here's the way to make money.

1. Charge X for the game...anyone who buys its get to play that game, sans expansions and add-on content. They may only get X char slots, or Y costume slots, Z auction/bank/storage, etc....some basic reasonable amount. Do not charge extra for the interface stuff (I am looking at you SWTOR).
2. Charge Y to subscribe...$10 - $15 per month tops...to have access to EVERYTHING in the game. Dont charge subscribers for additional content, even if its just fluff stuff. Or if you do charge subscribers...make it well worth it...because in effect, they paid for that content already.
3. Make everything purchasable in the cash shop...perhaps Rare gear, Raid stuff, and anything that is locked behind content...such as outfits for completion of story arcs. This includes all the expansions, all the costume options, any basic gear and/or salvage. Be able to buy expansion based power sets and maybe cool custom/temp powers.

Basically you give the players the option to:

1.) Purchase the base game, plus whatever expansions, and they get to enjoy that content all they want
2.) subscribe and have access to everything all the time...no muss, no fuss.
3.) purchase what they want, when they want ala cart style...this is almost a F2P model.

Then I would not bother with any Free to Play at all.

Gangrel
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captkurt wrote:
captkurt wrote:

1.) Purchase the base game, plus whatever expansions, and they get to enjoy that content all they want
2.) subscribe and have access to everything all the time...no muss, no fuss.
3.) purchase what they want, when they want ala cart style...this is almost a F2P model.
Then I would not bother with any Free to Play at all.

The 1st two parts they have already said (or at least inferred) that they were going to do, although subscription would be *optional*, they have yet to actually reveal fully what the benefits of subscription would be.

Quote:

1) I reject your reality.... and substitute my own
2) Not to be used when upset... will void warranty
3) Stoke me a clipper i will be back for dinner
4) I have seen more intelligence from an NPC AI in TR beta, than from most MMO players.

Zombie Man
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Forcing appearance changes on

Forcing appearance changes on other players will not happen except maybe for special events or games that call for it. It's not for sale.

Selling costumes made from pieces in the Avatar Builder I can't imagine ever working since you can simply see a costume someone else is sporting or posted to the forums and go build it yourself in the Avatar Builder.

What *might* happen (no promises) is open modding that allows 3D artists to make new costumes and sell them with profit sharing at the cash store (with Dev pre-approval). But that might never happen, too. Just something that has been discussed.

Things that wind up in the cash store (and which might be included in a VIP sub) would be the kind of stuff you saw in CoH's cash store.

Pay-to-Win is off the table. Of course, people quibble with what 'Pay-to-Win' means. Some have argued that XP accelerators or auto-leveling Enhancements in CoH were Pay-to-Win. But compared to what other games do that have actual Pay-to-Win, those things were relatively inconsequential.

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Zombie Man wrote:
Zombie Man wrote:

Some have argued that XP accelerators or auto-leveling Enhancements in CoH were Pay-to-Win.

XP accelerators are essentially nothing more than Pay To Skip ... as in skipping over the "chore" of earning XP. Such services do nothing in the way of allowing a specific character to obtain a "unique" advantage which outclasses all alternatives that is only available through spending real money (ie. Pay To Win).


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If anything, XP accelerators

If anything, XP accelerators had the downside of sometimes churning out level 50 characters with players that didn't know how to properly play them.

Has anyone seen my mind? It was right here...

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Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:

Zombie Man wrote:
Some have argued that XP accelerators or auto-leveling Enhancements in CoH were Pay-to-Win.
XP accelerators are essentially nothing more than Pay To Skip ... as in skipping over the "chore" of earning XP. Such services do nothing in the way of allowing a specific character to obtain a "unique" advantage which outclasses all alternatives that is only available through spending real money (ie. Pay To Win).

You also tend to have less credits than usual by max level.

Personally, I'm okay with XP Boosts being for sale.

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Zombie Man wrote:
Zombie Man wrote:

Pay-to-Win is off the table. Of course, people quibble with what 'Pay-to-Win' means. Some have argued that XP accelerators or auto-leveling Enhancements in CoH were Pay-to-Win. But compared to what other games do that have actual Pay-to-Win, those things were relatively inconsequential.

To me any kind of XP boosters imply the presence of something concrete to do at the level cap, whatever the form of that end game. If no such thing exists it's dangerous to encourage people to rush to the level cap.

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Well, the original idea is

Well, the original idea is off the table. Apparently even voluntary transformation so that teaqm/SG members can look alike as part of an RP experience is too, if I understand ZM's comments. Too bad in my view, but the need for having the right items in the cash shop remains.

A fundamental question remains unanswered. If we get to keep everything we gain from a three-month subscription, as long as we play the game, how will the game generate enough cash to survive once the initial cash rush from our enrollment is over?

I have trouble seeing how "Costumes, Power sets, different animations, different power effects, different travel powers. Purchasing of "early unlocks" (so that you can access systems *earlier* on in the character live instead of having to be level X to get it), permanent system unlocks (in case there are any mechanics locked behind a subscription ie Incarnate content that CoX had)" will generate quite enough money for ongoing game operations if there is not a powerful reason to continue the monthly subscription.

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Consultant wrote:
Consultant wrote:

I have trouble seeing how "Costumes, Power sets, different animations, different power effects, different travel powers. Purchasing of "early unlocks" (so that you can access systems *earlier* on in the character live instead of having to be level X to get it), permanent system unlocks (in case there are any mechanics locked behind a subscription ie Incarnate content that CoX had)" will generate quite enough money for ongoing game operations if there is not a powerful reason to continue the monthly subscription.

Indeed it *IS* a problem, but it all depends as to how much it costs the game to run.

Look at what Guild Wars 2 sells on their market:

Weapon skins, dyes, *some* bonus crafting components, PvP finishing moves, costumes, extra bank slots, XP/Magic Find/Crafting boosters, Instant Repair kits, "infinite use" gathering kits. Most (if not all) of these are on a *per character* basis, so if you want all of your characters to have something, you will have to buy it repeatidly.

But nothing that actually changes how you play the game fundamentally.

There is convenience sold.

Oh, and Guild Wars 2 has *no* subscription fee either, just a box price.

If you want to *sell* mechanics, then you could possibly price them higher than a *single month* subscription fee...

The thing is though, is that I myself am worried with that MWM have said that if you get something whilst subscribed, you don't lose access to it *when* your subscription drops...

Will this mean that some content will be "subscriber exclusive" for a period of time before it filters down to the "non subscriber level", or that the non subscriber would have to buy the bonus content ("Who Will Die" story arc for example)? Would this mean that teaming becomes harder for those who sub/don't sub?

I read from ZM's comment that *FORCING* players to look something different (in terms of a player doing it, and not due to a developer coded event), is something that wont happen UNLESS both sides agree to it, but then its not forcing the player to look different...

Quote:

1) I reject your reality.... and substitute my own
2) Not to be used when upset... will void warranty
3) Stoke me a clipper i will be back for dinner
4) I have seen more intelligence from an NPC AI in TR beta, than from most MMO players.

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The "Who Will Die" storyline

The "Who Will Die" storyline was a big storyline changing MMO. Not really a bad thing to sell as additional content, but free to subs.

Yes it made it difficult for F2Pers to team, but part of being F2P is realizing you have to pay extra for certain things. Why not have them pay for that big storyline changing content? It'd be no different than buying a consol game and them having pay for DLC.

Zombie Man
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Consultant wrote:
Consultant wrote:

Well, the original idea is off the table. Apparently even voluntary transformation so that teaqm/SG members can look alike as part of an RP experience is too, if I understand ZM's comments

I didn't say anything about voluntary except that I don't think *selling* voluntary changes would actually bring in any sales when people can copy costume designs themselves for free.

CoH had a means for people in a SG to copy the SG's color scheme. Also, saved costume files could be shared, though not easily. So... putting in an easier-to-share costuming feature isn't totally out of the question. Especially since our Avatar Builder will be coming out before the actual game, such extra niceties might make it at launch time....

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Consultant
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ZM, I would offer the

ZM, I would offer the observation some players are incredible costume (or base) designers. Some of us (me for example) just don't have that talent...but we love the game too.

Anything that makes it easier to transfer a costume from one player to another is, inherently, excellent. But another element of the idea was to allow teams (particularly in RP situations) to transform their appearance temporarily, so that the team could all look similar (or perhaps there would be a couple of looks on a larger team). The point that we could just go to the avatar builder and re-build a look that we liked has two flaws for those of us who are not gifted in this manner -- first we can't do it (likely we'll get a horrible parody of what we saw), and such a procedure doesn't sound temporary.

Gangrel, i like your ideas -- all of that would generate money for the game. The question you pose is right -- how much money will the game need on an ongoing basis?

A question that I have is this: in COH terms, will the equivalent of Hecatomb be for sale in the cash shop? What about Global enhancements?

GH
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Consultant wrote:
Consultant wrote:

The question you pose is right -- how much money will the game need on an ongoing basis

That is indeed the million dollar question, I just hope a million dollars is not also the answer.

Keep costs down, no way in hell would I pay Neverwinter prices for stuff. I'll happily sub forever and buy from the cash shop as I did in CoX, I liked their pricing structure and their offers. Obviously I can't keep the whole game afloat singlehandedly but then look at the amazingness that was the Kickstarter, I reckon with that level of enthusiasm we should be able to get a game that can fund itself.

There will be people who wont pay but who want to play, I don't want to penalise them or leave them behind. My inexpensive goodies should encourage them to use the cash shop, they shouldn't be gated behind content. Except maybe no player made content (AE)

Back to retirement.

If people won't pay enough to finance its creation, it is not worth creating.
/Segev

Consultant
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GH, I agree with you. The

GH, I agree with you. The excitement of the game is enhanced for everyone if the non-subscribing players can perform all of the content that subscribers can perform. I did read an idea somewhere that perhaps subscribers should be the group that gets to participate in the Beta-server tests of new content and new powers...that's a pretty good perk.

I will subscribe, simply because I do not want the game to go away, due to lack of revenue. But I wonder if there are estimates of who will pay subscription after the initial one expires.

It might be worthy of a separate thread to simply ask the question "what do you need to get, to motivate you to pay $20/month on a subscription?"

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Lin Chiao Feng wrote:
Lin Chiao Feng wrote:

If anything, XP accelerators had the downside of sometimes churning out level 50 characters with players that didn't know how to properly play them.

Well, that sometimes could happen even without them (as people who played with me would probably attest ^_^7).

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Consultant wrote:
Consultant wrote:

GH, I agree with you. The excitement of the game is enhanced for everyone if the non-subscribing players can perform all of the content that subscribers can perform. I did read an idea somewhere that perhaps subscribers should be the group that gets to participate in the Beta-server tests of new content and new powers...that's a pretty good perk.
I will subscribe, simply because I do not want the game to go away, due to lack of revenue. But I wonder if there are estimates of who will pay subscription after the initial one expires.
It might be worthy of a separate thread to simply ask the question "what do you need to get, to motivate you to pay $20/month on a subscription?"

As an idea,

40% of CoX's playerbase towards the end of Freedom were subscribers.
20% were "Premium" players (so former subscribers/free 2 play accounts)
40% were "Truely Free 2 Play" accounts.

Now remember, that was with a player base of *about* 100K at the end of the day.

Another interesting tit bit of information:

BEFORE Freedom launched, with a bit of financial report jiggery pokery, we can estimate the player base of CoX to be roughly 50-60K players.

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GH
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The reports were that Freedom

The reports were that Freedom made them a bunch more money.

http://massively.joystiq.com/2012/01/25/city-of-heroes-rejoices-in-f2p-success-even-as-it-mourns-statesm/

You can't put it all down to the f2p influx who then went on to sub / bought stuff from the shop, could well be that an improved shop made subscribers spend more.
Regardless, it does indicate that a game can go hybrid with success. And then close without warning. Still makes me mad. /flings stuff at They-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.

Back to retirement.

If people won't pay enough to finance its creation, it is not worth creating.
/Segev

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GH wrote:
GH wrote:

The reports were that Freedom made them a bunch more money.
http://massively.joystiq.com/2012/01/25/city-of-heroes-rejoices-in-f2p-success-even-as-it-mourns-statesm/
You can't put it all down to the f2p influx who then went on to sub / bought stuff from the shop, could well be that an improved shop made subscribers spend more.
Regardless, it does indicate that a game can go hybrid with success. And then close without warning. Still makes me mad. /flings stuff at They-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.

Truthfully, I went into CoH in i3 already knowing the game could close without warning :/ It's something I believe everyone should go into knowing, when playing any game that needs servers to operate. Though even knowing that, it was still a surprise for sure.

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GH wrote:
GH wrote:

The reports were that Freedom made them a bunch more money.
http://massively.joystiq.com/2012/01/25/city-of-heroes-rejoices-in-f2p-success-even-as-it-mourns-statesm/
You can't put it all down to the f2p influx who then went on to sub / bought stuff from the shop, could well be that an improved shop made subscribers spend more.
Regardless, it does indicate that a game can go hybrid with success. And then close without warning. Still makes me mad. /flings stuff at They-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.

But do anyone have any actual numbers? IS this more success compared to what it was before, success compared to the entire life span aka more than 200,000 people, more success than the month before Freedom?
And how many stayed after the initial wave died down? Because according to the quarterly reports, Freedom didn't light much on fire. In fact it stayed stable and low. But both could be true. Maybe a bunch of people came back, went f2p and stopped spending money and thus while population increased the amount of money spent went downward..

In reality, tidal wave, of people, returning and new, to me personally sound like something I would say when about 500,000 people or so come on in. But tidal wave of people could mean anywhere from 5 people- 1 million people. Just like large success. Even with merely 195,000 people at peak on the graph, some say it was huge success, but in other game worlds 195,000 is terms for closure because huge success is in the millions for them while merely 25,000 people is huge success.

I would think that if it was as huge as they say it's assumed they would be flinging those "huge" numbers every where.

For CoT eventually, they will have to decide what is considered success for them. Maybe they are only aiming for 10,000 players and 9,000 players would be huge for them. Or maybe they are aiming for 100,000 and then 9,000 wont cut it or maybe 1 million where even 100,000 wont cut it. Eventually they will have to figure out what is their target audience and expected sales.

In the MMO world, a game can close anytime any reason it steted it in the EULA agreement. At first I thought everyone knew that but eventually I found out I probably was the only few that actually read it or knew games could shut down anytime for any reason in the MMO world. Sad lesson some had to learn especially with the actually suddenness of it. Usually games are dead in the water for a while before pulling the plug, I mean obviously dead in the water. But each time log in, pressing agree one of those things that was a greed to was "They can shut down the game any time any reason" and many up to that point seemed content on the way that MMO worked in that regards because who would do such a thing? Well the thing is that when it's written and even unlikely as long as it's an option and a choice eventually someone will take that option. Now of course that method is dug in deeper than an Alabama tick and should have been addressed long time ago in the small stage. "Ability to shut down the game at anytime for any reason? What? Nope not having it." and walking. Instead it was "Oh it will never happen to me." and inadvertently giving their consent on that they as the player love the way the system, ability for the company to close down the game any time, judging that they agreed to play and put money into it, some a lot of money into it and thus why would a company take that option off the table when it seems that not only players agree to it, don't mind it, they also put lot of money into a system where that is an option. The only thing that happened was they exercised an option that many agreed too for 8 years without so much of a fuss. Some even called those that tried to point out what could happen if that company used that option doom sayers and flamed the crap out of them. When they did it actually of course it wasa surprise. Because many thought it could never happen to them even though it was written, many people said it could happen, many people been saying "hey lets try and get more people to play since NCSOFT wont advertise before they think of a reason." and got flamed for it. to some this savecoh thing is old stuff. Just that many that jumped on later, looked down their nose on it when it was brought up years ago. when the game was still running. Now that it happened, now some are acting like it was their novel idea when in reality they stole the idea and should have been on it years ago instead of making fun of the people and flaming them for being concerned about the population level and wanting to do something about it. SO yeah for those that didn't pay attention and put more focus on flaming people that showed concern through out the years it was sudden. For those tuned in and listened, and wondering why no advertisement, why did certain servers seem to be getting empty, 2.5 million a quarter isn't much maybe something should be done. Instead, by some of the people that are on the band wagon now threw everything from insulting memes, to saying it was doom saying, to flaming, to trolling people who brought that up and everything instead of simply opening their eyes to the possibility. Hell even the suggestion that NCSOFT is a game killer, prior to COX shutdown, was flamed severely. Now anyone that look like they say NCSOFT is not MMO killer is considered crazy even by some of those that in the past not long ago flamed the messed out of people who even suggested the idea that title fitted NCSOFT.

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GH wrote:
GH wrote:

The reports were that Freedom made them a bunch more money.
http://massively.joystiq.com/2012/01/25/city-of-heroes-rejoices-in-f2p-success-even-as-it-mourns-statesm/
You can't put it all down to the f2p influx who then went on to sub / bought stuff from the shop, could well be that an improved shop made subscribers spend more.
Regardless, it does indicate that a game can go hybrid with success. And then close without warning. Still makes me mad. /flings stuff at They-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.

The financial reports don't actually show that they were actually making all that much more money compred to pre-freedom (exception was the 1st quarter of Freedom release, which came out just a couple of weeks *AFTER* the article you linked to).

I also never said nor *tried* to infer that the conversion was "unsuccessful", just trying to give a breakdown of what *could* be expected between F2P/Premium/Subscribers when the game goes live.

Hell, we already knew that games could transfer from Subscription only to a hybrid method and be viewed as successful... Dungeons and Dragons Online, Champions Online, Lord of the Rings Online... they all swapped over before CoX did, and for the two turbine games, they said that they brought in a *substantial* amount of more money.

I believe that Sony did it as well with DCUO and a LOT of their other titles as well before CoX did the change over.

Of course, this is all for a given value of "successful".

Side note: That report came out *just* after the 1st quarter of Freedom, which *DID* show in the financial reports an increase in earnings (Q4 2011 report was released 15th Feb 2012).

But the later reports showed a drop (or at least a slowing in decline) of earnings as time progressed after the first glory Quarter of Freedom.

Brand X: I did the same with EU release as well... and considering it was my 1st MMO, it was a fear that actually *kept* me away from the genre for a while before as well.

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the idea of being able to

the idea of being able to create a costume and put it on the store for sale to other players would be great idea.
what you could do (and forgive me if this is what you said i just may of miss understood) for example player Bob makes a costume and he puts it on the store for sale to other players then for Bob's troubles he gets some in game curency of some kind or even a nifty box that will give him random things (ie. money, items, costume peices, ect) nothing worth a huge amount but it can build up if bob makes more stuff and posts it on the store.. that way he has an incentive to make more stuff and he gets to maybe later trade that curency once its built up for some stuff on the store.... and dont limit it to just costumes let bob make custom hideout bases, cool story line missions, villian/nemisis concepts, items that he crafted... im sure you can think of more. the point is that if you did that then even Bob can in a way help keep the game going even if he dosnt pay a dime besides the normal base cost of the game cuz the stuff Bob sells on the store will be pure revinue for the game. just an idea on what you guys have already said. Hope you like Bob hes a nice guy

Moogoth!

Brand X
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jag40 wrote:
jag40 wrote:

GH wrote:
The reports were that Freedom made them a bunch more money.
http://massively.joystiq.com/2012/01/25/city-of-heroes-rejoices-in-f2p-success-even-as-it-mourns-statesm/
You can't put it all down to the f2p influx who then went on to sub / bought stuff from the shop, could well be that an improved shop made subscribers spend more.
Regardless, it does indicate that a game can go hybrid with success. And then close without warning. Still makes me mad. /flings stuff at They-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.

But do anyone have any actual numbers? IS this more success compared to what it was before, success compared to the entire life span aka more than 200,000 people, more success than the month before Freedom?
And how many stayed after the initial wave died down? Because according to the quarterly reports, Freedom didn't light much on fire. In fact it stayed stable and low. But both could be true. Maybe a bunch of people came back, went f2p and stopped spending money and thus while population increased the amount of money spent went downward..
In reality, tidal wave, of people, returning and new, to me personally sound like something I would say when about 500,000 people or so come on in. But tidal wave of people could mean anywhere from 5 people- 1 million people. Just like large success. Even with merely 195,000 people at peak on the graph, some say it was huge success, but in other game worlds 195,000 is terms for closure because huge success is in the millions for them while merely 25,000 people is huge success.
I would think that if it was as huge as they say it's assumed they would be flinging those "huge" numbers every where.
For CoT eventually, they will have to decide what is considered success for them. Maybe they are only aiming for 10,000 players and 9,000 players would be huge for them. Or maybe they are aiming for 100,000 and then 9,000 wont cut it or maybe 1 million where even 100,000 wont cut it. Eventually they will have to figure out what is their target audience and expected sales.
In the MMO world, a game can close anytime any reason it steted it in the EULA agreement. At first I thought everyone knew that but eventually I found out I probably was the only few that actually read it or knew games could shut down anytime for any reason in the MMO world. Sad lesson some had to learn especially with the actually suddenness of it. Usually games are dead in the water for a while before pulling the plug, I mean obviously dead in the water. But each time log in, pressing agree one of those things that was a greed to was "They can shut down the game any time any reason" and many up to that point seemed content on the way that MMO worked in that regards because who would do such a thing? Well the thing is that when it's written and even unlikely as long as it's an option and a choice eventually someone will take that option. Now of course that method is dug in deeper than an Alabama tick and should have been addressed long time ago in the small stage. "Ability to shut down the game at anytime for any reason? What? Nope not having it." and walking. Instead it was "Oh it will never happen to me." and inadvertently giving their consent on that they as the player love the way the system, ability for the company to close down the game any time, judging that they agreed to play and put money into it, some a lot of money into it and thus why would a company take that option off the table when it seems that not only players agree to it, don't mind it, they also put lot of money into a system where that is an option. The only thing that happened was they exercised an option that many agreed too for 8 years without so much of a fuss. Some even called those that tried to point out what could happen if that company used that option doom sayers and flamed the crap out of them. When they did it actually of course it wasa surprise. Because many thought it could never happen to them even though it was written, many people said it could happen, many people been saying "hey lets try and get more people to play since NCSOFT wont advertise before they think of a reason." and got flamed for it. to some this savecoh thing is old stuff. Just that many that jumped on later, looked down their nose on it when it was brought up years ago. when the game was still running. Now that it happened, now some are acting like it was their novel idea when in reality they stole the idea and should have been on it years ago instead of making fun of the people and flaming them for being concerned about the population level and wanting to do something about it. SO yeah for those that didn't pay attention and put more focus on flaming people that showed concern through out the years it was sudden. For those tuned in and listened, and wondering why no advertisement, why did certain servers seem to be getting empty, 2.5 million a quarter isn't much maybe something should be done. Instead, by some of the people that are on the band wagon now threw everything from insulting memes, to saying it was doom saying, to flaming, to trolling people who brought that up and everything instead of simply opening their eyes to the possibility. Hell even the suggestion that NCSOFT is a game killer, prior to COX shutdown, was flamed severely. Now anyone that look like they say NCSOFT is not MMO killer is considered crazy even by some of those that in the past not long ago flamed the messed out of people who even suggested the idea that title fitted NCSOFT.

From the playerbase PoV, I think the shock (at least for me) was hearing Paragon Studios saying the game was making lots of money and then it happening. But I had mentioned it before on the CoH forums (quite a few times) the game could end at anytime NCSoft wanted (still didn't think it would be until we were hearing, "We're making no money at all!")

Though I also think people forget NCSoft saved the game from being shut down even earlier.

Personally, not going to let it's shut down have me not play a game just because of the games publisher though :p

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6-7 years ago, NC$oft was a

6-7 years ago, NC$oft was a "builder" of games, with almost a dozen different game lines released or approaching release. They were offering a diversity of gaming products catering to multiple niche markets. Then they went into what can only be described as a divestment and withdrawl mode of consolidating. They practically eliminated NC$oft Europe, closing down their offices there and moving all those functions to North America (which is why Avatea wound up at Paragon Studios in California before leaving in 2012 to go to China). Only a minority fraction of the games that NC$oft supported 6-7 years ago are still live and supported today, and they've all but pulled out of the North American market, with only Guild Wars I+II and Aion (whatever version) as their only remaining offerings of note ... and even then the writing is on the wall for Aion in North America ... plus Lineage II and ... Wildstar ... and who knows how long any of those titles are going to hold out for. Blade & Soul was promised an English localization sometime in 2014, which would put its North American release somewhere between 18-24 months behind its Asian market release, assuming it will still even be happening. A lot of the indications are (from reading the tea leaves) that NC$oft is essentially trying to abandon the North American market, stop being a "worldwide" gaming company, and just consolidate and concentrating itself into the one market they do (presumably) understand ... Korea.

Which is to say that at this point, as far as the North American and European markets are concerned, NC$oft is looking more and more like a "has been" searching for the exits than a competitor investing for the future who wants to be a "player" in these markets. To quote Megatron, "This does not inspire confidence, nooo."


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Just to point out a slight

Just to point out a slight correction: The NCsoft Europe offices are still open.

Sure, they don't have the community staff there anymore, they got shifted over so that it was the *studio's* responsibility for Community staff, instead of them being done via NCsoft (ie Avatea was Head EU CM for Tabula Rasa, but also had French CoX under her; Kerensky was German TR CM, German CoX CM. CoX had Aero and Ghostraptor for English CoX... Ghostraptor I *believe* ALSO had TR when Avatea wasn't around).

Oh, and Aion (EU) is not ran by NCsoft, that got shuffled over to Gameforge around 12-24 months ago (I forget when to be fair). From what I can gather it was far more popular in Germany than other EU countries.

*EDIT* I would like to add, that this "change in responsibility for community", that was put in force by the US guys... who I believe had an Arenanet guy in charge at the time...

*2nd edit* My source for the above information? Talking to Kerensky and Ghostraptor the *DAY* that the layoffs happened in NCsoft Europe.

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Brand X wrote:
Brand X wrote:

Truthfully, I went into CoH in i3 already knowing the game could close without warning :/ It's something I believe everyone should go into knowing, when playing any game that needs servers to operate. Though even knowing that, it was still a surprise for sure.

Yeah... if it had come during the lean years before Paragon Studios was set up it probably would have felt less surprising, but coming in a period where we were getting lots of additions to the game, and without lead-in indicating it wasn't covering its costs, it was much more of a "wait...is this for real?" kind of thing.

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Oh no, it's not what I planned
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It's just where I am"

Brand X
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Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:

6-7 years ago, NC$oft was a "builder" of games, with almost a dozen different game lines released or approaching release. They were offering a diversity of gaming products catering to multiple niche markets. Then they went into what can only be described as a divestment and withdrawl mode of consolidating. They practically eliminated NC$oft Europe, closing down their offices there and moving all those functions to North America (which is why Avatea wound up at Paragon Studios in California before leaving in 2012 to go to China). Only a minority fraction of the games that NC$oft supported 6-7 years ago are still live and supported today, and they've all but pulled out of the North American market, with only Guild Wars I+II and Aion (whatever version) as their only remaining offerings of note ... and even then the writing is on the wall for Aion in North America ... plus Lineage II and ... Wildstar ... and who knows how long any of those titles are going to hold out for. Blade & Soul was promised an English localization sometime in 2014, which would put its North American release somewhere between 18-24 months behind its Asian market release, assuming it will still even be happening. A lot of the indications are (from reading the tea leaves) that NC$oft is essentially trying to abandon the North American market, stop being a "worldwide" gaming company, and just consolidate and concentrating itself into the one market they do (presumably) understand ... Korea.
Which is to say that at this point, as far as the North American and European markets are concerned, NC$oft is looking more and more like a "has been" searching for the exits than a competitor investing for the future who wants to be a "player" in these markets. To quote Megatron, "This does not inspire confidence, nooo."

I still think Wildstar is going to turn out to be a hit (maybe not to the posters on this forum) to the masses (of the NA/EU Market Anyways...no idea on the Asian market). Which is sadly why I fear BnS (though I hope not) might be abandoned for NA/EU market. Crossing my fingers though!

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Brand X wrote:
Brand X wrote:

From the playerbase PoV, I think the shock (at least for me) was hearing Paragon Studios saying the game was making lots of money and then it happening. But I had mentioned it before on the CoH forums (quite a few times) the game could end at anytime NCSoft wanted (still didn't think it would be until we were hearing, "We're making no money at all!")
Though I also think people forget NCSoft saved the game from being shut down even earlier.
Personally, not going to let it's shut down have me not play a game just because of the games publisher though :p

Yeah, the memory of NCSOFT saving the game the first time seemed to went out the window as if it never happened at all in many minds.

I remember them saying the game was doing well after Freedom. But then again "well" is relative and depending on what it is being compared to. A person selling 10 times a day may say that is well and it may be excellent amount of sales but in the upper corporate office they want 20 items sold a day and start handing out pink slips. Sure that is 10 items they may have not sold otherwise, but as usual, there seemed to be a break down in communication of expectations. Which is something I wished I did hear from NCSOFT directly of what is their expected sales then maybe then people would have realized it was time to do something then instead of dismissing it immediately regardless of the numerous signs there.

But year at the rate it was going I wasn't expecting it to happen prior to mid 2014.

To me 2.5 million odd dollars even per quarter is nothing to sneeze at but to another it may not even worth keeping around especially if it was making much more in earlier years. Now and days a lot of companies are not waiting until they lose money on items because then in those cases ya have a bunch of pissed off people in the upper levels questioning why did the head people running things wait until it lost money instead of pulling out prior and heads tend to roll or rather parachutes are handed out. If items are not reaching sale expectation or profit expectation and have limited potential market real or perceived, it usually get cut especially if it on the bottom end of the profit performance meter.

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Meh screw them. They don't

Meh screw them. They don't make a game I currently want to play, they don't have any games planned that I want to play and I probably wouldn't play it on principal anyway.
Here's to CoT, a game for the players, by the players.

Back to retirement.

If people won't pay enough to finance its creation, it is not worth creating.
/Segev

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OK, we will need money, but

OK, we will need money, but we don't know how much. But more is always better. Here's another idea:

Set entrances for the supergroup bases on the city streets, with names and addresses public. so Gangrel might get a location, and then be very disappointed when I moved in next door (or not, I'm a pretty good neighbor IRL). But we could have "locations" sold in the store, and when a player or SG "moves" there would be a fee to the store, as there is in real life.

This doesn't really change too much in the game, except adding a element of permanence, and perhaps a localization to a preferred area.

By the way, I still miss Talos Island...

Anyway, no harm in this idea -- and it could generate some money.

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GH wrote:
GH wrote:

Meh screw them. They don't make a game I currently want to play, they don't have any games planned that I want to play and I probably wouldn't play it on principal anyway.
Here's to CoT, a game for the players, by the players.

That can be shut down by the players if there isn't enough people who come into the game. The only real difference will be that CoT plans to allow you to keep playing in single player mode.

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Brand X wrote:
Brand X wrote:

GH wrote:
Meh screw them. They don't make a game I currently want to play, they don't have any games planned that I want to play and I probably wouldn't play it on principal anyway.
Here's to CoT, a game for the players, by the players.

That can be shut down by the players if there isn't enough people who come into the game. The only real difference will be that CoT plans to allow you to keep playing in single player mode.

Hopefully it wont come down to that but hope that is still the plan.

Because having too much team oriented stuff but not enough players usually don't end well. Trying to join/form a team for hours to do a task sucks.

And only thinking about single players only when things go south usually end up with a lot of work that could have been in the game in the first place with planning. AKA not much if any team gated stuff.

Hopefully all play styles are kept in mind, while the game is live not throw one to the side and only think of them when things go south. The best way to prevent or rather lessen the chance of things going south is to treat all play styles as much as possible with respect, equal respect as paying game customers. Not "well that play style didn't bite, throw the carcass to the other play style now even though they been all but totally ignored up to this point but was glad to take their money." Sloppy seconds.

*No "taxation" without representation* :p

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jag40 wrote:
jag40 wrote:

Brand X wrote:
GH wrote:
Meh screw them. They don't make a game I currently want to play, they don't have any games planned that I want to play and I probably wouldn't play it on principal anyway.
Here's to CoT, a game for the players, by the players.

That can be shut down by the players if there isn't enough people who come into the game. The only real difference will be that CoT plans to allow you to keep playing in single player mode.

Hopefully it wont come down to that but hope that is still the plan.
Because having too much team oriented stuff but not enough players usually don't end well. Trying to join/form a team for hours to do a task sucks.
And only thinking about single players only when things go south usually end up with a lot of work that could have been in the game in the first place with planning. AKA not much if any team gated stuff.
Hopefully all play styles are kept in mind, while the game is live not throw one to the side and only think of them when things go south. The best way to prevent or rather lessen the chance of things going south is to treat all play styles as much as possible with respect, equal respect as paying game customers. Not "well that play style didn't bite, throw the carcass to the other play style now even though they been all but totally ignored up to this point but was glad to take their money." Sloppy seconds.
*No "taxation" without representation* :p

You know, I really never had a problem forming a TF in CoH. I ran all of them pretty regularly. The only ones that showed any sign of difficulty in forming were the Shadow Shard TFs, and some of that was because people were still under the impression that they took forever.

GH
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Brand X wrote:
Brand X wrote:

The only real difference will be that CoT plans to allow you to keep playing in single player mode.

The real difference is that they'll tell us what is going on. That, to me, is worth paying for.

Back to retirement.

If people won't pay enough to finance its creation, it is not worth creating.
/Segev

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GH wrote:
GH wrote:

Brand X wrote:
The only real difference will be that CoT plans to allow you to keep playing in single player mode.

The real difference is that they'll tell us what is going on. That, to me, is worth paying for.

Well, we hope so anyways. Long time between now and going live.

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So a bit too soon for the

So a bit too soon for the doom then?
Good.

/backontopic

I think the problem with launching a shop at launch.. is.. what's it going to have in it that you could possibly want?
You only have 1 character, that means you have enough slots, powers, costumes etc. to start with.
It also means you don't want all that level 30 gear yet.

So what would you stick in a shop at launch that will actually sell and not just be a placeholder for a while?

In-Game
I know when GW2 launched, it was all about the XP boosts.
Team / Super Inspiration-alike packs?
Depending on SG starter requirements, base items?
Unique launch items?
"First!" badge? "First after a redname" badge? Badge could also be costume item, base item.
"Redshirt" base item poster

I'd also like to ask that it's made easy for us to buy stuff for another account.
It annoys the crap out of me that you cannot do this in Neverwinter, the hoops to get AD to your guild leader for base storage is ridiculous.
I'd see this as buying on my account, having it on my character and being able to easily just drop it on your character.
Don't give us too many currencies we cannot swap between ourselves and each other.

Real Life
Are there plans for items like CoX offered? Figures/posters/mousemats?
A commemorative pop-up book of the state of the game at launch would be way cool.

Back to retirement.

If people won't pay enough to finance its creation, it is not worth creating.
/Segev

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Brand X wrote:
Brand X wrote:

You know, I really never had a problem forming a TF in CoH. I ran all of them pretty regularly. The only ones that showed any sign of difficulty in forming were the Shadow Shard TFs, and some of that was because people were still under the impression that they took forever.

Only because some of them did.


Verbogeny is one of many pleasurettes afforded a creatific thinkerizer.
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Aye, the 1st time I did Dr Q,

Aye, the 1st time I did Dr Q, it was an 8 hour marathon... and that was back in 2011.

Quote:

1) I reject your reality.... and substitute my own
2) Not to be used when upset... will void warranty
3) Stoke me a clipper i will be back for dinner
4) I have seen more intelligence from an NPC AI in TR beta, than from most MMO players.

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Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:

Brand X wrote:
You know, I really never had a problem forming a TF in CoH. I ran all of them pretty regularly. The only ones that showed any sign of difficulty in forming were the Shadow Shard TFs, and some of that was because people were still under the impression that they took forever.
Only because some of them did.

And by the end of CoH, that TF was taking 1-3 hours, when they added in the ability to call the contact and all those temp powers.

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Brand X wrote:
Brand X wrote:

jag40 wrote:
Brand X wrote:
GH wrote:
Meh screw them. They don't make a game I currently want to play, they don't have any games planned that I want to play and I probably wouldn't play it on principal anyway.
Here's to CoT, a game for the players, by the players.

That can be shut down by the players if there isn't enough people who come into the game. The only real difference will be that CoT plans to allow you to keep playing in single player mode.

Hopefully it wont come down to that but hope that is still the plan.
Because having too much team oriented stuff but not enough players usually don't end well. Trying to join/form a team for hours to do a task sucks.
And only thinking about single players only when things go south usually end up with a lot of work that could have been in the game in the first place with planning. AKA not much if any team gated stuff.
Hopefully all play styles are kept in mind, while the game is live not throw one to the side and only think of them when things go south. The best way to prevent or rather lessen the chance of things going south is to treat all play styles as much as possible with respect, equal respect as paying game customers. Not "well that play style didn't bite, throw the carcass to the other play style now even though they been all but totally ignored up to this point but was glad to take their money." Sloppy seconds.
*No "taxation" without representation* :p

You know, I really never had a problem forming a TF in CoH. I ran all of them pretty regularly. The only ones that showed any sign of difficulty in forming were the Shadow Shard TFs, and some of that was because people were still under the impression that they took forever.

Out side those shard TFs ran into difficulty myself or been on teams where diffulty were just about any redside SF, Citadel TF, The Katie Hannon one when they cut the reward thing, synapse Usually get one other and no other takers. Positron, Apex, Tin Mage, Eden Trial, Underground Trial, MoM, DD, and a Magi Trial that wasn't farm based (Do the first part quit reset). These are trials that one average took about 1.25-2.5 hours trying to form with no luck or interest. Sometimes it took longer but In the ones mentioned above until people simply got tired of waiting and left.
Victory server and Virtue server.

Which is why I wished those team number requirements would be done away with. Even with the people we managed to get in many of those TF/trials, we probably could have done it but hey cant even go because of as little as one person missing sucks really.

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I think that this highlights

I think that this highlights part of the problem with a split server setup, and no cross server teaming...

Quote:

1) I reject your reality.... and substitute my own
2) Not to be used when upset... will void warranty
3) Stoke me a clipper i will be back for dinner
4) I have seen more intelligence from an NPC AI in TR beta, than from most MMO players.

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Should respecs be in the cash

Should respecs be in the cash shop? I was a very frequent user of respecs...and I recall that the price of the resepc recipe in Wentworths was very high. Perhaps we should mimic the COH system and make respecs hard to achieve via gameplay but purchasable in the cash shop?

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Consultant wrote:
Consultant wrote:

Should respecs be in the cash shop? I was a very frequent user of respecs...and I recall that the price of the resepc recipe in Wentworths was very high. Perhaps we should mimic the COH system and make respecs hard to achieve via gameplay but purchasable in the cash shop?

In game, they weren't hard to achieve, just limited. You could earn three of them, and after that, no more. But yes, I am for making them purchasable in a cash shop and as mission rewards.

My suggestion though, is to make them much more reasonable a cost than CO does. In CO, it's cheaper to buy keys, sell them on the market and then just pay with in game currency to respect.

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Brand X wrote:
Brand X wrote:

Consultant wrote:
Should respecs be in the cash shop? I was a very frequent user of respecs...and I recall that the price of the resepc recipe in Wentworths was very high. Perhaps we should mimic the COH system and make respecs hard to achieve via gameplay but purchasable in the cash shop?

In game, they weren't hard to achieve, just limited. You could earn three of them, and after that, no more. But yes, I am for making them purchasable in a cash shop and as mission rewards.
My suggestion though, is to make them much more reasonable a cost than CO does. In CO, it's cheaper to buy keys, sell them on the market and then just pay with in game currency to respect.

CO respecting was easy and pretty cheap. Simply go up to a trainer and respec. And remove as many or all the powers needed to be removed. With it getting more pricier as a person go up in level and depending on how many powers thy want to change. In a situation like that, there might not be too much of a point putting it in cash shop with expectations to it being a money maker.

Having cash shop respec especially if the recipes are too high priced in in game currency, is good. It gives another way for those that may not have a bunch of in game currency laying about or a group willing to go to do a respec when ever they need to respec. That way, their lack of in game funds compared to the price made by people that have billions upon billions is not a factor in stopping them from playing the game or enjoying the game while maybe making a little on the side for support of the game.

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Gangrel wrote:
Gangrel wrote:

I think that this highlights part of the problem with a split server setup, and no cross server teaming...

Yeah. There probably been at any given moment, a person on Champion, a couple on Freedom, maybe one on Victory, one on Virtue, A couple on Triumph, and etc. that is ready to do just about any TF at any moment ready to go, but they would never cross paths due to the server lines.

Although, I still think it's best to not have much team gated content because populations fluctuate, FoTM TFs changes, and still different time zones and days. Because as the graphs of COX shown, it could be 195,000 players, down to 50,000-100,000 players with only a fraction on at any given time and even less on odd week days during the school year probably, and later in the night CTZ while it's day light in other time zones. And then when the appearance real or imagined is that one TF takes too long to form, then less people will go to that TFand more to TFs that is known FoTM due to that many people don't have hours just trying to get started and another 45 minutes and up or so to do the TF. Thus which make it even harder to form the TF and so on until it's either a TF FoTM farmed and loved or it sits idle even if people want to do it but due to lack of interest even the ones interested cant do it due to team gating.

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jag40 wrote:
jag40 wrote:

Gangrel wrote:
I think that this highlights part of the problem with a split server setup, and no cross server teaming...

Yeah. There probably been at any given moment, a person on Champion, a couple on Freedom, maybe one on Victory, one on Virtue, A couple on Triumph, and etc. that is ready to do just about any TF at any moment ready to go, but they would never cross paths due to the server lines.
Although, I still think it's best to not have much team gated content because populations fluctuate, FoTM TFs changes, and still different time zones and days. Because as the graphs of COX shown, it could be 195,000 players, down to 50,000-100,000 players with only a fraction on at any given time and even less on odd week days during the school year probably, and later in the night CTZ while it's day light in other time zones. And then when the appearance real or imagined is that one TF takes too long to form, then less people will go to that TFand more to TFs that is known FoTM due to that many people don't have hours just trying to get started and another 45 minutes and up or so to do the TF. Thus which make it even harder to form the TF and so on until it's either a TF FoTM farmed and loved or it sits idle even if people want to do it but due to lack of interest even the ones interested cant do it due to team gating.

I think a compromise can be achieved though here concerning the teaming problems.

If you use the LFG interface, you are stuck with having to wait for the team to fill up... bonus though: You get insta ported into the TF/Raid/whatever when the team is filled, and then dropped back to where you were once its completed.

If you want to run it with fewer players than recommended, then you get on over there yourself, and "walk right in".

Side note: If you have a full team (with a different team setup to what is recommended possibly), then I would say that the LFG interface would work for you as well, because then you "submit yourself as a full group")

Quote:

1) I reject your reality.... and substitute my own
2) Not to be used when upset... will void warranty
3) Stoke me a clipper i will be back for dinner
4) I have seen more intelligence from an NPC AI in TR beta, than from most MMO players.

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Gangrel wrote:
Gangrel wrote:

jag40 wrote:
Gangrel wrote:
I think that this highlights part of the problem with a split server setup, and no cross server teaming...

Yeah. There probably been at any given moment, a person on Champion, a couple on Freedom, maybe one on Victory, one on Virtue, A couple on Triumph, and etc. that is ready to do just about any TF at any moment ready to go, but they would never cross paths due to the server lines.
Although, I still think it's best to not have much team gated content because populations fluctuate, FoTM TFs changes, and still different time zones and days. Because as the graphs of COX shown, it could be 195,000 players, down to 50,000-100,000 players with only a fraction on at any given time and even less on odd week days during the school year probably, and later in the night CTZ while it's day light in other time zones. And then when the appearance real or imagined is that one TF takes too long to form, then less people will go to that TFand more to TFs that is known FoTM due to that many people don't have hours just trying to get started and another 45 minutes and up or so to do the TF. Thus which make it even harder to form the TF and so on until it's either a TF FoTM farmed and loved or it sits idle even if people want to do it but due to lack of interest even the ones interested cant do it due to team gating.

I think a compromise can be achieved though here concerning the teaming problems.
If you use the LFG interface, you are stuck with having to wait for the team to fill up... bonus though: You get insta ported into the TF/Raid/whatever when the team is filled, and then dropped back to where you were once its completed.
If you want to run it with fewer players than recommended, then you get on over there yourself, and "walk right in".
Side note: If you have a full team (with a different team setup to what is recommended possibly), then I would say that the LFG interface would work for you as well, because then you "submit yourself as a full group")

Indeed.

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There were always several

There were always several hundred on Freedom and Virtue who would run that TF with you. Always.

The solo player will always find some excuse and I accept that but you cannot design the game around it. Group content will require you joining a group.
This upset a lot of people in GW2 when they realised there was content they could not participate in without joining a large guild.
Confused a lot of people in NW. Your guild has to pick a side for GG what now?

My personal opinion is that the teaming in CoX was superior to anything else I've played since. It was simple, easy to organise and a crapload of fun.
That to me is what CoT needs to re-capture and as it seems to be also what the devs want, I will not preach to the choir.

Back to retirement.

If people won't pay enough to finance its creation, it is not worth creating.
/Segev

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GH wrote:
GH wrote:

There were always several hundred on Freedom and Virtue who would run that TF with you. Always.

Well my experience tell a different story for virtue especially.

Many TFs outside ITF and the first three Incarnate trials, there didn't seem to be hundred lining up to do any TF at any time.

It's not about solo players making excuses. As many solo players are solo players due to circumstances. Although like any paying customer, they would too like to enjoy the game and not have their fun depended on what others are finding fun and or able to do at that particular moment.

From what I gather from what the Devs of CoT are saying, is that there will be something for everyone and as many play styles they can do. I didn't gather from that in what they said was Everyone must love teaming or simply leave.

But that is not getting into people that may actually prefer playing solo. But then again, if each player is contributing member and paying customer then why in a logical sense should only say teaming, be catered to and everything be designed around them and while taking other player's money but nothing is catered to them? If the expectation that "solo" players should not expect anything designed with them in mind, then on the flip side why should team players expect stuff to be designed with team players in mind? AKA Why is it proper for one group to expect something for their money and support and it's illogical for another group to expect the same respect afforded to the other group?
From what I gather also from the devs said, they never said CoT aimed to be only catering to the Team players that know people to team with every time they log on and the rest of COX community can go f themselves.

As you said, you found teaming was superior in COX. Your opinion doesn't mean it is fact and thus every should think teaming was superior and thus that is the only thing should be focus and catered to and everyone should be flapping in the wind and get nothing for their money or time.

I'm saying there is room for both and everything in between not "I like this method of play and this method of play should get catered to because it's superior, everyone should like it and those that don't are making excuses and shouldn't expect anything in their favor because I don't like it."

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Virtue had the highest/second

Virtue had the highest/second highest population and often went full before Freedom did on the login screen.
Between SGs, zone chat, RP channels and just standing in front of the contact, you should have been able to get on anything.

Consultant wrote:

A question that I have is this: in COH terms, will the equivalent of Hecatomb be for sale in the cash shop? What about Global enhancements?

Probably not at launch as there's no need for them but later, sure.

Back to retirement.

If people won't pay enough to finance its creation, it is not worth creating.
/Segev

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Getting back to the idea of

Getting back to the idea of the cash shop: I don't really care what is available there. More important, I don't want to care.

I never spent any money in the cash shop in CoX. What they did get from me was 7 years of continuous loyal subscription. Something they would still have if the game were still alive.

I expect to be a similarly loyal subscriber to CoT. What I expect in return for that loyalty is access to everything without having to pay an extra penny. Sure, maybe I have to earn it through particular achievements of play, a monthly stipend of points, or perhaps via amount of time subscribed (the old veteran reward concept), but I don't want to see anything that can be acquired only by paying for it on top of my subscription. I don't mind if others can get all the same stuff by buying it, but I want my loyalty to be repaid with access to the whole game and everything in it.

Expecting me to subscribe AND to buy a la carte is wanting to have a cake and eat it too.

Spurn all ye kindle.

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Cinnder wrote:
Cinnder wrote:

Getting back to the idea of the cash shop: I don't really care what is available there. More important, I don't want to care.
I never spent any money in the cash shop in CoX. What they did get from me was 7 years of continuous loyal subscription. Something they would still have if the game were still alive.
I expect to be a similarly loyal subscriber to CoT. What I expect in return for that loyalty is access to everything without having to pay an extra penny. Sure, maybe I have to earn it through particular achievements of play, a monthly stipend of points, or perhaps via amount of time subscribed (the old veteran reward concept), but I don't want to see anything that can be acquired only by paying for it on top of my subscription. I don't mind if others can get all the same stuff by buying it, but I want my loyalty to be repaid with access to the whole game and everything in it.
Expecting me to subscribe AND to buy a la carte is wanting to have a cake and eat it too.

So how do expansions fit into it? Or are you willing to wait a certain amount of time before it gets rolled into the base package (Like CoH did with CoV and later on Going Rogue)

Quote:

1) I reject your reality.... and substitute my own
2) Not to be used when upset... will void warranty
3) Stoke me a clipper i will be back for dinner
4) I have seen more intelligence from an NPC AI in TR beta, than from most MMO players.

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Pay to customize:

Pay to customize:

Sure you should have some amazing basic options to make ANY character come to life but for ALL the mechanics that are aesthetic and NOT mechanic in nature I am willing to pay to get my character as close to my vision as possible.

This includes:
Paying for character animations (the way I point, way I fly, my emotes, using new weapons etc)
Paying for FX (I want "Radio Waves" as an FX and am willing to pay for them.. some people want kirby dots, some want flames, some want liquid etc)
Paying for faster leveling (in so much as I can still play ALL playable content competitively at any level)
Paying for ALL ASPECTS of my SG base
Paying for SG Roster Size
Paying for SG Bank Size
Paying for Character slots
Paying for Costume slots
Paying for Costume options
Paying for aesthetic-only Pets (mini-game of virtual pets.. for the woman with 14 cats who needs to steal shiny things)
Paying to create a Nemesis
Paying to create an NPC Ally (could be considered a aesthetic only pet if they stay at the base.. who knows)
Paying for ability to run lairs more times than their scheduled limit
Paying to use player created costume mods
Paying for my friends Game Store purchases
Paying for Contest Space (Auditoriums etc)
Paying for In-Game Recognition (Plaques, TVs, Graffiti, etc)
Paying for In Game Advertisement ( *cough* jaybezz.com )
Paying for holiday items (mistletoe, snowballs, valentines, easter eggs, fireworks)
Paying for Retcons

.. the list goes on.. but the number one rule is NO MECHANICS in GAME STORE

Crowd Control Enthusiast

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Gangrel wrote:
Gangrel wrote:

So how do expansions fit into it? Or are you willing to wait a certain amount of time before it gets rolled into the base package (Like CoH did with CoV and later on Going Rogue)

Oh yeah, good question. I'm happy to pay for true expansions; I bought CoV and GR when they came out, because I felt they were packed full of enough stuff to deserve the name. In contrast, I quit SWTOR when they asked for money for an "expansion" whose content (one planet and increase of level cap by 5) would have been a free issue in CoX.

Spurn all ye kindle.

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Cinnder wrote:
Cinnder wrote:

Gangrel wrote:
So how do expansions fit into it? Or are you willing to wait a certain amount of time before it gets rolled into the base package (Like CoH did with CoV and later on Going Rogue)

Oh yeah, good question. I'm happy to pay for true expansions; I bought CoV and GR when they came out, because I felt they were packed full of enough stuff to deserve the name. In contrast, I quit SWTOR when they asked for money for an "expansion" whose content (one planet and increase of level cap by 5) would have been a free issue in CoX.

CoV was worth it, but I felt a bit gipped by Going Rogue, in that stuff that was going to be in Going Rogue, ended up being in normal issues, and that overall, it was overpriced (for what it gave you compared to CoV)

Quote:

1) I reject your reality.... and substitute my own
2) Not to be used when upset... will void warranty
3) Stoke me a clipper i will be back for dinner
4) I have seen more intelligence from an NPC AI in TR beta, than from most MMO players.

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Cinnder wrote:
Cinnder wrote:

Gangrel wrote:
So how do expansions fit into it? Or are you willing to wait a certain amount of time before it gets rolled into the base package (Like CoH did with CoV and later on Going Rogue)

Oh yeah, good question. I'm happy to pay for true expansions; I bought CoV and GR when they came out, because I felt they were packed full of enough stuff to deserve the name. In contrast, I quit SWTOR when they asked for money for an "expansion" whose content (one planet and increase of level cap by 5) would have been a free issue in CoX.

Well, that expansion was like 5 dollars. But yeah, I do agree, that felt like something a sub should've just gotten for free. Maybe they should've charged F2Pers for it, and subs who didn't sub for a certain amount of time after it came out (ie...it has come out, you've subbed for three months after it came out, it's now free).

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I'd be happy to pay for an

I'd be happy to pay for an expansion. You should be able to use your monthly stipend which I don't believe you could with tor.
And then the expansion turned out not to even be worth it.

The CO model seems to be working out for them, the full game is available to non-subbed players whilst the subbed players still have things in the game shop they can buy.
if there was nothing to buy, the stipend would be a bit pointless.

Back to retirement.

If people won't pay enough to finance its creation, it is not worth creating.
/Segev

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GH wrote:
GH wrote:

I'd be happy to pay for an expansion. You should be able to use your monthly stipend which I don't believe you could with tor.
And then the expansion turned out not to even be worth it.
The CO model seems to be working out for them, the full game is available to non-subbed players whilst the subbed players still have things in the game shop they can buy.
if there was nothing to buy, the stipend would be a bit pointless.

If there was a way for F2P players to earn stipend points (Titan Coin if you want to call it that), that would be good as well.

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At the risk of repeating

At the risk of repeating myself with what I've posted elsewhere ...

I favor a Discounts Model that ultimately produces 100% off discounts on pricing for a very simple reason ... it takes care of a variety of fungibility problems that can occur with what Gangrel so aptly calls Titan Coins. Specifically ... if you're dealing with a stipend award, that creates a system that must be maintained and is one that "creates" currency to be spent, inducing all kinds of balance sheet issues that can ultimately make it harder for a company to track (easily) how many Real Dollars (or Euros or whatever) they are receiving to convert into Titan Coins. Doesn't make it impossible, but it can lead to a variety of tracking issues that generate confusion over the Real Money Economic Health of the game.

The Discounts Model however, with discounts extending all the way up to 100% off (ie. free) has the virtue of allowing Cash Shop Services to be "bought" without simultaneously increasing the supply of Titan Coins ... which could potentially lead to a variety of inflationary pressures. Specifically, I'm looking at the Star Trek Online business model where it is possible to mine in-game resources (in this case, Dilithium) and there is a Commodity Exchange Market where PLAYERS can sell Dilithium for Zen (and vice-versa). Zen are (of course) the Cash Shop Currency for Star Trek Online, allowing you to buy a wide variety of services, which ultimately allows even Free To Play people to obtain Cash Shop Items without spending Real Dollars ... so rather than being Pay To Win there is an avenue of PLAY To Win available as well. As it so happens, the exchange rate of Dilithium To Zen conversion when calculated in terms of Real Dollars weighs in at something on the order of less than $1 per hour of time spent gathering Dilithium, so it's hardly "cost effective" in terms of Real Dollars for Players who live by the Time Is Money axiom ... but for people who have plenty of time to burn, it gives you a lot of activities to do on a daily basis so you never run into a problem of "what am I going to do today?" because there's always an activity you can go and enjoy (or at least, do).

At any rate, my view is that making Titan Coins be created only by Real Money sent to Missing Worlds Media for that specific purpose would give the company a better handle on what sort of cash flow they're getting out of the Cash Shop and its sales, since the demand pressures for Titan Coins will vary with the offerings and follow more of a Demand Spike sort of pattern when new stuff becomes available. By contrast, Loyal Subscribers would have access to everything "for free" in the Cash Shop (at 100% off discount rates) and the money trail for them could be accounted for (easily) as a separate stream, simplifying the bookkeeping. Furthermore, you wouldn't run in the (unfortunate?) situation of having subscribers whose stipends are for whatever reason insufficient RIGHT NAO to purchase whatever offering has just shown up in the Cash Shop today/this week/whenever such that a subscriber "has to wait" in order to be able to buy it ... or worse ... some kind of bookkeeping error messes up a subscriber's Titan Coins accounting and it needs to be taken care of by Customer Service ... or the monthly stipend award is "late" arriving this month ... or whatever the problem is. With a Discounts Model for subscriptions, pretty much all of those logistical problems "go away" once the Loyalty Bonus gets to 100% off discount to everything, because at that point the Titan Coins stop being necessary as a currency to pay for things in the Cash Shop.

Granted, it's a very different economic model, going with the Discounts Model ... but also one that I suspect will "pay for itself" in terms of streamlined and simplified systems, processes, procedures, maintenance, overhead and all around support ... in addition to allowing Missing Worlds Media to more easily track and judge the flow of cash coming into the company in Real Dollar terms.


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So an example of the

So an example of the Discounts Model has the discount on cash shop goods going to some non-zero low point after X months of subscribing or after $Y of cash shop purchases?

I say non-zero because if it reaches zero, what would stop a player form "buying" stuff for free and just giving it away? Or does the discount level go to zero after a certain amount of money is paid into the game, and then rise up to non-zero again after a bunch of free stuff has been taken out of the cash shop?

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Consultant wrote:
Consultant wrote:

So an example of the Discounts Model has the discount on cash shop goods going to some non-zero low point after X months of subscribing or after $Y of cash shop purchases?

Well, like I said, I'd want the discounts to eventually reach the point where everything in the cash shop is "free" to the long term subscriber.

Consultant wrote:

I say non-zero because if it reaches zero, what would stop a player form "buying" stuff for free and just giving it away?

For repeatable purchases and/or cash shop items that can be traded, a Max Discount subscriber could only "buy" those items (for free) on a cooldown basis so as to not be able to "flood" the in-game economy with "free" items. However, if you wanted to buy more faster than the cooldown would allow you to get stuff for "free" that way, you'd still have the option to PAY for the additionals at full price. So if the cooldown is (just for purposes of illustration) 2 days and you want 6 of something ... you could either wait the 10 days (0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10) and get all 6 for free ... or ... you could get your "freebie" today and pay for 5 more Right Now because you have to have all 6 Right NAO! Obviously the "price" to buy is lower if you're willing to be patient, but if you're not ... you have the option to pay more to not have to wait. So on the repeatables, buying on Discount Price would be moderated by a cooldown timer to protect the in-game economy from being "flooded" by excessive acquisitions. How much of a cooldown timer would be "needed" could be determined by Missing Worlds Media Marketing People (ie. their "Black Pebble").

Consultant wrote:

Or does the discount level go to zero after a certain amount of money is paid into the game, and then rise up to non-zero again after a bunch of free stuff has been taken out of the cash shop?

I suggested that the only thing affecting the Discounts Level be the number of months continuously subscribed, and that it ratchet down and ratchet up by -/+ 10% based on whether you stay subscribed or not each month. That way, if you miss a month (for whatever reason) you don't get sent back to square one and "lose everything" all at once for what could have been a mere accounting error or transfer hiccup or whatever. But if you stay subscribed ... everything in the cash shop is "free" to you, because you have (in effect) "already paid" for everything with your Loyalty of being a continuous subscriber.

There are, of course, other ways to organize things, but this is a method that seems simple enough to be easy to manage.


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Not quoting Red's long text,

Not quoting Red's long text, but I think reducing cost to zero would be a recipe for disaster. I have no objection to a much smaller reduction for subscribing and/or a monthly stipend, and/or the requirement that anything bought at n% or less of normal cost is account bound.

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Minotaur wrote:
Minotaur wrote:

I think reducing cost to zero would be a recipe for disaster.

Please explain how.

Note that using the formula I'd stipulated, by the time you reach "freebie" level of discount Missing Worlds Media will already have received 10 months of subscription duration ... which at $10 to $15 per month (I like $10 per month myself) that's $100 to $150 already banked by Missing Worlds Media ... and that in order to maintain the "freebie" level of discounting you have to stay subscribed as a loyal subscriber over time, meaning that Missing Worlds Media would accrue even more money as time goes on from people who keep up their subscriptions.

The basic idea of the Discount To Zero plan is that you've already paid and are demonstrably a Loyal Customer ... therefore you get to reap the benefits of having done so.

Indeed, the only potential flaw that I can see would be in being able to acquire "repeat purchase" items without limit, thereby flooding the economy and creating massive inequalities of distribution. The simple and obvious answer to that is to put a cooldown timer on how often such items can be bought FOR FREE, moderating the rate of their introduction into the larger game economy, in which anything from 1 minute to 90 days between purchases could be Fair Game, depending on how the Marketing & Sales people want to run this particular side of the business. That way Missing Worlds Media still has "control" over how quickly stuff can be "bought" for free (and this can be tweaked and adjusted over time in response to prevailing market trends and to correct for imbalances). Note that additional repeat purchases could be made at normal prices if Players didn't want to wait and were willing to PAY MORE to get their "extra stuff" of repeat purchases they wanted RIGHT NAO(!!!) ... just like everyone else using the cash shop. So if you don't want to wait for your repeatable freebie(s), you can pay for the convenience of purchasing in bulk quantities so you can get them immediately and not have to wait. Time equals money and all that.

I am at a loss as to see how this model of economics would in any way be a recipe for disaster for Missing Worlds Media.


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Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:

Minotaur wrote:
I think reducing cost to zero would be a recipe for disaster.
Please explain how.
Note that using the formula I'd stipulated, by the time you reach "freebie" level of discount Missing Worlds Media will already have received 10 months of subscription duration ... which at $10 to $15 per month (I like $10 per month myself) that's $100 to $150 already banked by Missing Worlds Media ... and that in order to maintain the "freebie" level of discounting you have to stay subscribed as a loyal subscriber over time, meaning that Missing Worlds Media would accrue even more money as time goes on from people who keep up their subscriptions.
The basic idea of the Discount To Zero plan is that you've already paid and are demonstrably a Loyal Customer ... therefore you get to reap the benefits of having done so.
Indeed, the only potential flaw that I can see would be in being able to acquire "repeat purchase" items without limit, thereby flooding the economy and creating massive inequalities of distribution. The simple and obvious answer to that is to put a cooldown timer on how often such items can be bought FOR FREE, moderating the rate of their introduction into the larger game economy, in which anything from 1 minute to 90 days between purchases could be Fair Game, depending on how the Marketing & Sales people want to run this particular side of the business. That way Missing Worlds Media still has "control" over how quickly stuff can be "bought" for free (and this can be tweaked and adjusted over time in response to prevailing market trends and to correct for imbalances). Note that additional repeat purchases could be made at normal prices if Players didn't want to wait and were willing to PAY MORE to get their "extra stuff" of repeat purchases they wanted RIGHT NAO(!!!) ... just like everyone else using the cash shop. So if you don't want to wait for your repeatable freebie(s), you can pay for the convenience of purchasing in bulk quantities so you can get them immediately and not have to wait. Time equals money and all that.
I am at a loss as to see how this model of economics would in any way be a recipe for disaster for Missing Worlds Media.

Because I can buy 99999 different items every n days for free by your method and auction them off. I'd prefer a stipend where you can effectively buy a few free items every month. Your method could be made to work by adopting it at category level (you can have one costume piece a week, one costume set a month, one storage upgrade a month etc).

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Minotaur wrote:
Minotaur wrote:

Because I can buy 99999 different items every n days for free by your method and auction them off. I'd prefer a stipend where you can effectively buy a few free items every month. Your method could be made to work by adopting it at category level (you can have one costume piece a week, one costume set a month, one storage upgrade a month etc).

Technically and theoretically speaking ... yes, that is perfectly possible ... if the people at Missing Worlds Media in charge of the market are idiots (to phrase it politely).

First of all, you're assuming that there will be (as you say) 99999 separate items for sale in the cash shop which can be bought every n days ... and that they can (all?) then be auctioned off in-game somehow.

My operational assumption is that MOST of the offerings within the cash shop would be Account Bound purchases. Things like "unlock Street Justice" (to use a City of Heroes precedent example) would be something that would be Account Bound. Some things could be purchased more than once, such as expansions of personal inventory capacity, but would still be Account Bound.

Because it helps to have a common point of reference for this kind of discussion, here's a link to the Paragon Market for the kinds of services that COULD potentially be available. I'll just go down the line with them.

  • Account Services: Account Bound (obviously)
  • Content: Account Bound
  • Character: Account Bound
  • Crafting / Gear: mix of Account Bound and tradeable Tokens
  • Costumes: mix of Account Bound and tradeable Tokens
  • Powers: Account Bound
  • Buffs and Boosts: tradeable Tokens
  • Super Packs (ie. Lockboxes): tradeable Tokens

So just on a cursory "back of the napkin with crayons" analysis by categories ... you have 4 categories that are Account Bound only ... 2 categories that are tradeable Tokens only ... and 2 categories that are a mix of both Account Bound and tradeable Tokens. Count the mixed categories as being 1/2 each and you get ... 5 categories that are Account Bound and 3 categories that are tradeable Tokens. And by my math, 5 is bigger than 3 ... so the majority of categories are Account Bound.

The task then for Missing Worlds Media is to "be smart" about what sort of cooldown they allow on the repeatable purchases, which pretty much by definition will be the tradeable Token categories of items ... and there are all sorts of ways that can be done ... so as to "moderate" how quickly such items can enter the in-game market at large. So just to give you an example, you can buy 1 Respec Token per 30 days for free ... and that Token could be traded on the open market in-game, or banked for you own use, or whatever.

Unlocks for a Costume Set would be Account Bound, but a tradeable Token for specific Costume Pieces (choose ONE from a list) could be bought every 7 days (164 hours, specifically) for free. You could buy *one* Super Pack every 4 days (92 hours) for free, meaning you could get 7-8 per month for free if you were patient (and dedicated) enough to wait to get them.

So there are ways to bottleneck the flow of Tokens from the freebie subscribers such that they don't overwhelm the in-game market, and at the same time provide a "ready supply" which can make it (more) difficult for any one single Player to "corner the market" and monopolize the supply of any particular commodity to their own PERSONAL advantage and everyone else's detriment. The key point is that the Tokens bought "for free" ought to comprise only a minority share of the Tokens circulating in the market, rather than a majority, in order to ensure the health of the cash shop as a revenue generating opportunity for Missing Worlds Media over the long haul ... and it would be perfectly possible to "tag" the freebie Tokens with a flag not visible to Players to aid the datamining effort necessary to verify that that is indeed the case. How "large" of a minority share that ought to be ... would be up to the people in charge of the Marketing and managing the in-game economy for Missing Worlds Media so as to moderate the "mix" of what goes into the in-game markets.


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One issue I do see, with the

One issue I do see, with the approach of reducing the price of items in the store to zero, is that it removes whales as a potential revenue source. Ideally the game shop should be able to cater to these people, whether they wish to spend an additional €20 per month or €100 per month.

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Darth Fez wrote:
Darth Fez wrote:

One issue I do see, with the approach of reducing the price of items in the store to zero, is that it removes whales as a potential revenue source. Ideally the game shop should be able to cater to these people, whether they wish to spend an additional €20 per month or €100 per month.

Except that, due to an oversight arising from Redlynne's writing the figures on a napkin, the whales are only 80 inches long instead of 80 feet...

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I suspect the plan is that

I suspect the plan is that more things than Redlynne thinks might be tradable due to the "stars" model Segev has outlined in various places, and that is why it's incompatible.

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Oh there's definitely an

Oh there's definitely an enormous factor of dependency on what is actually being offered, what the value of the offers is, etc. Definitely a "devil in the details" kind of thing where you can't make a definitive judgement call until you know the actual "mix" of what you want to be selling (and why and for how much and so on).

As for the "whales" point that Darth Fez mentions ... there isn't anything *preventing* people from spending their entire paycheck in the cash shop every month. The basic tradeoff under my scenario is that you can get things for free SLOWLY ... or you can pay to buy them FAST. In other words, everyone's favorite catch phrase ... Time Is Money. So the "whales" will still exist (and more importantly, *can* exist), but they would be the people who are impatient and don't want to have to wait to get their goodies ... and that's fine.

Besides, let's face it ... anyone willing to drop that kind of money on a game every month will find a way to do so, so long is there is an avenue and opportunity for them to do so and feel like they're getting their money's worth out of the deal.


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Minotaur wrote:
Minotaur wrote:

I suspect the plan is that more things than Redlynne thinks might be tradable due to the "stars" model Segev has outlined in various places, and that is why it's incompatible.

Interesting... I don't remember reading about these stars. Can you point me to somewhere Segev has discussed this, please?

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Cinnder wrote:
Cinnder wrote:

Interesting... I don't remember reading about these stars. Can you point me to somewhere Segev has discussed this, please?

I second the motion. All in favor?


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Quote:
Quote:

The way we enable true F2P experience for every single thing in the game - even stuff locked in the c-store - is also through the AH. If you are one of those who has extra stuff that you don't need that you wish to sale on the AH, you can sell it for in-game currency...or for Stars. Those Stars come from other players, who either earned them the same way or who bought them from MWM. Thus, players who lack the ability or patience to play hard enough to win sufficient in-game currency to buy it on the AH, or to win the "drops" directly, can spend real money to buy Stars and use those Stars on the AH to buy those items.

Source http://www.cohtitan.com/forum/index.php/topic,9523.0.html

It doesn't appear to be on these boards, Segev seems to have stuck it on the titan boards in a reply there.

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Sounds like Segev needs to

Sounds like Segev needs to post some ideas over here so that some "creative destruction" vetting of economic models can be hashed out over here too ...


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Thanks, Minotaur. Not sure

Thanks, Minotaur. Not sure how I feel about that Stars concept. Guess it will depend what the subscription models offer, e.g. a monthly stipend of stars so I don't have to spend on top of my subscription.

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Speak of the necromancer... >

Speak of the necromancer... >_> <_<

Let me preface this by saying that it's not 100% worked out, and that I'm still lobbying for it; it is subject to a LOT of change before anything sees the light of day. Terminology-wise, I have been attempting to coin the term (pun unintended) "Stars" to be what this thread has been calling Titan Coins, as we're "Missing Worlds Media," so dealing in Stars seems fitting in a thematic sense. Also, it lends itself to a nice neat currency-abbreviation. "Ten Stars" could be written as "*10" in much the way "ten dollars" is written as "$10."

But that's aesthetic.

The meat of what I would like to see lies in harnessing natural human behavior - behaviors we have seen repeated over and over in MMOs, and which have oft been dealt with as problems due to the systems being aligned against human nature in small or large ways - to improve the game and keep the cash flow sufficient to not just keep the doors open, but expand and improve on the game as time goes by.

The "problems" that I hope to transform into benefits for all involved are the drives behind gold farming, paying others to level your character "for" you, and pay-to-win mindsets in general. In the spirit of turning these to benefits for all players. This means that I fully support selling in the cash shop only Quality-of-Life (QoL), convenience, and vanity/appearance items. (Note that "QoL" can include a LOT, and much of what I've seen listed earlier in this thread would qualify...possibly including exp-boosters of some variety.) I would thus not want to make the common mistake of the "pay to win" game wherein all the best mechanics-granting items are available in the c-store.

However, I do want to cater to the pay-to-win crowd. The way I look at it, we have three kinds of players: Those with lots of time to play and lots of money to spend, who will likely be our most eager and excited fans; those with lots of money but not a lot of time, who would be "pay to win" players of a healthy variety; and those with a lot of time to play but not a lot of money, who would often be "free to play" players.

The way we do this is through the player-driven market (primarily the auction house (AH)). Players will obviously take items they win in game but don't want or can't use and sell them there to other players who want them. The traditional means of spending in-game currency also won through regular game play will obviously be available, but my plan is to also permit people to put things up for sale for Stars, and to use Stars to buy things on the AH.

The "pay to win" players will thus have an avenue to spend real money - buying Stars - to buy the mechanical gear they lack the time or interest to go out and farm for themselves through gameplay. Whether because they don't enjoy the "grind" they perceive to be there, or don't like the crafting mechanics, or don't want to have to "play the market" to become a mufti-millionaire in in-game currency, these players have the money to spend and may or may not have been tempted to patronize gold farmers and other EULA-violating third parties for their gear and such...but instead, they have a perfectly legitimate way to buy the gear they want.

The money they spend on Stars goes to MWM's coffers; this keeps in line with a philosophical urge of mine not to ever create a Star that is not paid for by somebody.

The Stars they spend on items - effectively paying to "win" in that respect - in the Market go to players who sold those items. The players who sold those items now have Stars they can spend in the c-store. Stars for which they, personally, never spent real money. However, they can take these Stars and use them to buy any c-store items - QoL, content (if any), vanity, whatever - they want.

It's a far more direct, player-driven system than the dilithium-mining, and it doesn't shoehorn into one specific currency to be farmed. The "pay to win" players aren't creating rare items that inflate the minimum-required-equipedness for the game, either; every item they buy that way was still "won" through game-play by somebody, just as if they had used in-game currency to buy it.

We can even cut out gold sellers altogether by letting players sell in-game currency for Stars (or Stars for in-game currency) on the Market, just like any other item.

In this fashion, we harness the natural human behavior of buying what we want if we can afford it, and turn it from a toxic behavior that puts some of our customers at risk from scam artists into a beneficial one which allows even those who have nothing to give to the game but their time and gameplay expertise the ability to access things that are behind the "pay wall."

In effect, pay-to-win players wind up subsidizing the play experience of the free-to-players, while the free-to-players' energy helps the pay-to-winners obtain what they want in order to get the most enjoyment out of the game.

All the while turning real money over to MWM so that we can keep running the company that runs and grows the game.

Again, this is what I hope to achieve. It is likely to see much revision and reworking as we move forwards. But the end goal is to let players truly play for free if they want to put in the play-effort, and to spend the money they would anyway on toxic third-party gold-sellers and the like instead on the game directly, thus keeping it open and enhancing, rather than potentially diminishing, the play experience of their fellows.

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Cinnder wrote:
Cinnder wrote:

Thanks, Minotaur. Not sure how I feel about that Stars concept. Guess it will depend what the subscription models offer, e.g. a monthly stipend of stars so I don't have to spend on top of my subscription.

The subscription models we're looking at should satisfy this desire, but they're not yet detailed enough for me to be comfortable discussing them. Anything I said would be so subject to change, and so nebulous right now, that it would fuel nothing but speculation. Nothing good people speculated could be substantiated, and nothing bad anybody might fear could be alleviated, because it'd be largely guess work.

I will say this: I'm hopeful that we can actually have at least some mechanism where by subscriber benefits can be purchased in Stars. This is a tricky concept, however, because the instinct is also strong to give subscribers a stipend of Stars. Giving people money back as part of a subscription for which they're paying that same money is wonky. I think we have a potential solution, but that's probably another very long post. And making it something that is both simple enough to be attractive to the casual subscriber while fully exploiting the customization I would like to see in it will take significant effort.

But again, this is in extremely early stages of conceptualization, so please don't read too much into it. I'll share more as it becomes more concrete. For now, let me say that we will be striving to ensure that those who pay real money for subscription benefits will have the ability to use that subscription's benefits to access things in the c-store. We don't want to force people to spend money "twice" for the "same" benefit.

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Hmm, so kinda like the Plex

Hmm, so kinda like the Plex system in Eve Online then, where the vast majority of Plex's in the Eve Universe are bought by the players (with the exception of the dev awarded ones as competition prizes).

What is a Plex worth though? Sure, there is an Out of Game price for it ($20 I *think* it is).
What does it give you? 30 days game time once redeemed.
What is it worth ingame? What ever the hell you can want/can get for it.

Sure, a player of the game *cannot* directly buy a Plex from CCP with ingame currency, but they are able to trade ingame items, ISK or anything else that they want with another player to gain a Plex.

Or if you have a Plex, you are able to put contracts up telling people what you *want* in return for one, or just chuck it up on the in-game market to sell for ingame cash.

And yes, some people have taken out of game stuff/services in return for Plex's. I believe that one interesting person actually offers website hosting in return for Plex's.

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Thanks, Segev. Understood re

Thanks, Segev. Understood re: not wanting to say much more about subs at this point if you don't have the details worked out yet. I do get the feeling that you are at least taking my question into account, which satisfies me for the time being.

Spurn all ye kindle.

Segev
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Glad I could help clear

Glad I could help clear things up. The goal of this system really is to enable players to enhance each others' experiences while pursuing the maximum amount of fun for themselves. Rather than trying to deem certain common behaviors "bad" and punish or prevent them, I hope we can permit, channel, and harness them to the betterment of the community, the game, and the company.

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Redlynne
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Segev wrote:
Segev wrote:

The money they spend on Stars goes to MWM's coffers; this keeps in line with a philosophical urge of mine not to ever create a Star that is not paid for by somebody.

That particular goal ... that cash shop currency is ONLY created by cash purchases ... was one of the driving reasons behind the Subscription Discount Model that I've laid out, simply because it offers a way for (long term/loyal) subscribers to "purchase" items from the cash shop without requiring a periodic stipend of cash shop currency be generated for them to spend. Monthly stipend awards are prone to all kinds of mishap events which then require Customer Service to correct and resolve if they aren't awarded "on time" EVERY time, without fault or failure. Sounds easy enough in theory, but even Paragon Studios had their Stipend Awards system causing problems for Users often enough that I'd be delighted if Missing Worlds Media were to avoid the problem of stipends entirely.

Monthly stipends is one of those things that "works great" so long as nothing ever goes wrong ... and becomes a massive headache and nightmare to fix once it does go wrong (and it will, at some point). Stipends are just a system that has some very *ugly* failure modes, and when you're designing a system for handling people's REAL MONEY you really want to be paying attention to not only the "success" side of the transactional equations but also the "failure" side when things go wrong, and Stipends don't have the best track record (in my opinion).

Better to keep Stars as a Microtransaction Currency of the one time variety, rather than as a currency also generated by Subscriptions, as I've said before.


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Cinnder
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Oh, sorry -- meant to comment

Oh, sorry -- meant to comment earlier that Red's discount plan (or something similar) would be fine by me if we wanted to avoid the accounting pitfalls Red so rightly mentions. Either way, as long as continuous subbing is rewarded sufficiently, I'll be happy.

Spurn all ye kindle.

Segev
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I'm having difficulty

I'm having difficulty following how a discount model wouldn't lead to people who are at less than 100% discount feeling they're being asked to "pay twice" for the product, when they pay for the subscriber discount and then go to the c-store to pay still more (but discounted) money there.

The philosophy of never creating a Star that is not paid for by somebody, however, is not incompatible with a stipend. "Somebody" can be a player who buys the Stars directly, or could be a player who has a subscription (with part of their subscription fee going towards paying for Stars that make up their stipend). Or it could even be a sponsor of some sort who has paid for content to be present in the game; content with which players interact in specified ways to get the Stars distributed from it. (An example might be a mission where a rash of car thieves are stealing Lexuses, and the dealer wants your hero to pose as a customer. The cars in question are modeled and some dialog goes over features, and maybe there's a segment where you can drive one around. One of the mission completion rewards is a handful of Stars, and those are paid for out of the "hit" counter on Lexus's sponsored material. A simpler one might be a fast food chain having a number of billboards throughout the town. Collect images of them all for a set of in-game "kid's meal toys" and a small reward of Stars. Or even have coupons show up for clicking on a billboard. If you use the coupon to buy the discounted item, your account is also credited with a small number of Stars equal to the value of what the sponsor pays MWM for your patronage.)

When I say "somebody," I mean that we don't have events that simply generate Stars out of nowhere. You don't have any means to trade in-game items back to MWM for Stars. If any activity seems to be a game-play method of winning Stars without getting them from another player, it almost certainly means that activity is actively supporting MWM by billing a sponsor for your participation.

I will note that marketing of this sort is touchy, for obvious reasons. It will hopefully prove both feasible and enjoyable, but one goal in even beginning to pursue it is to make sure that it is unobtrusive and/or 100% voluntary. Billboards having real products advertised on them are ignorable to those who don't care or don't like them. Actually interacting with them would be voluntary. And anything done along these lines would be done with an eye towards being, you know, still part of the game with a goal of being entertaining. We won't, if I have any say in the matter, ever force people to sit through 30s of "commercial" to "pay" for their chance at fun. It'll be product placement and sponsored content that happens to reference the sponsor. Ideally.

Note, we haven't got any sponsors lined up yet, so this is all "planning" stuff.

But the point of this post is: "somebody" paying for Stars doesn't mean it has to be right at the moment they're generated.

As for difficulty with stipend systems...well, we'll certainly examine the challenges. Have you any examples of horror stories of which we should be particularly aware?

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Redlynne
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Segev wrote:
Segev wrote:

I'm having difficulty following how a discount model wouldn't lead to people who are at less than 100% discount feeling they're being asked to "pay twice" for the product, when they pay for the subscriber discount and then go to the c-store to pay still more (but discounted) money there.

Sounds like a "half empty/half full" problem of perceptions then to me.

The answer to this particular Point Of View issue really can't be answered in the vague abstract, and requires some specifics to work with in order to make the case (either financial and/or rational). However, I do think that you're framing the wording of your question in a biased way which then obstructs your understanding (or "feeling" as you put it). The discount model is oriented around a proposition of You've ALREADY Paid by maintaining your subscription, so that when you buy things in the cash shop You Pay LESS for items than someone who isn't a subscriber ... meaning that so long as you stay subscribed, everything in the cash shop is ON SALE, with the size of the Sale Discount increasing over time until it becomes 100% Off, making stuff "free" when purchased ... because you've remained steadily subscribed over time.

You can twiddle with how fast the discount ramps up and ramps down (I like +/- 10% per month myself since it's easy to remember and calculate), how far it ramps up and down (I like 0% to 100% as specified), how rapidly/quickly you can purchase cash shop items at your subscribed discount rate, and so on. But the way it's supposed to work is as a "permanent" On Sale effect which either grows or decays depending you remain a subscriber. That then makes it possible to Reward subscribers in a way that doesn't generate Stars (or Titan Coins or whatever cash shop currency you wind up using).

To be honest, I never would have thought the "You've Got Sale!" aspect would be all that confusing to anyone actually using the system (as opposed to just noodling it about in our heads in a vacuum).

Of course, if you've got a problem with the idea of going to 100% Off discounting, there's always going with a different discounting structure ... cash shop items are priced (for you) at a level of:
1 / (1 + M)
... where M gets incremented up by +1 after every 30 days in which you're subscribed, and incremented down by -1 after every 30 days in which you're not subscribed. Minimum value for M is zero. That way it builds up slowly, but also decays just as slowly, so that if there's a "hiccup" of some kind or a subscription lapse it isn't an IMMEDIATE problem that needs to be rectified instantly.

Obviously then this would set up a subscribed discount structure of:

  • 0 months = 1/1 (ie. full price)
  • 1 month = 1/2 (50% off)
  • 2 months = 1/3 (67% off)
  • 3 months = 1/4 (75% off)
  • 4 months = 1/5 (80% off)
  • 9 months = 1/10 (90% off)

... and so on. There are, of course, other mathematical curves you could use so that you don't get quite so precipitous an increase in discount quite so quickly. I just picked this one for the simplicity of illustration purposes. The key thing though is that for long term subscribers, the "prices" for items in the cash shop are so much cheaper than they would be for Players who are not subscribers that you wind up with a situation where "your money goes a lot further" when you subscribe than when you don't. Naturally, this sort of structure will never get you to a 100% off discount rate, but after 19 months you'll be at a 95% off discount rate, which is "close enough" as far as I'm concerned. After 49 months (ie. 4+ years continuously subscribed) you'd be at a 98% off discount rate, and paying only 2% of full price ... which once again gets into the "close enough" to being free, especially if Stars are tradeable in-game through the Auction House for multiple other commodities and services.

Standard caveats about allowing too many discounted purchases with too narrow a span of time being a potential problem that I've already addressed more than once with a range of possible solutions still apply.

Segev wrote:

As for difficulty with stipend systems...well, we'll certainly examine the challenges. Have you any examples of horror stories of which we should be particularly aware?

Best one I can give you is City of Heroes itself, although I'd have to spend hours trolling through Zwillinger doing weekly coffee talks to find documentation for you of just how frequently this became an issue (sorry, I have better things to do).


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Brand X
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Give subs 10% Discount +

Give subs 10% Discount + Stipend

Then with every month of being subbed and are currently subbed (we can even say it doesn't have to be concurrent) you get an additional...

1 Month = 10%
2 Month = 20%
4 Month = 30%
8 Month = 40%
16 Month = 50%
32 Month = 60%
64 Month (5 years 4 months) = 70%
128 Month (10 years 8 months) = 80%
end it there. So 90% discount!

So you take a break from subbing at month 7? You lose all discounts. But then you pick it right back up the following month, you're at 8 month mark and now have your 50% Discount (40% + 10% sub discount). Make a reason to keep on subbing, but doesn't hurt anyone if they take a break from subbing as the rewards are only put on hold until you resub).

Segev
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Huh. I must not have hit

Huh. I must not have hit "submit" on this last time. I could have sworn I replied yesterday. Sorry for the delay!

That makes a bit more sense, now that you lay out the way you plan for the subscriptions to have varying discount levels. Doing it by length-of-time subscribing might work. (I was trying to figure out why you'd have multiple subscription levels when all they did was give increasing discounts.)

I assume that the subscriptions under your model would ALSO have perks just for being subscribed, such as (to use an example from CoV) subscriber-only archetypes like Mastermind.

The fungibility of a Star, however, is important to the structure I'm hoping to instill whereby players can spend real money to buy in-game useful items that help subsidize the truely free-to-players' ability to access paywall-locked content (costume pieces, convenience items, quality of life items, vanity base items, possibly special mission or early-access to missions or on-demand access to rotating missions...still not entirely sure what would be locked behind a paywall and we're fiddling with ideas; other than "no pay to win" items back there, at least).

I'm not sure how a discount-instead-of-stipend model would line up nicely with that. It would mean that the subscribers wouldn't have the Stars to use to buy things on the AH if they wanted; they'd only have a discount on the c-store.

Of course - and here's where it gets particularly tricky - if we have all the microsubscriptions cost Stars, we can have free-2-players who get Stars off the AH buying microsubscription packages. But it means that paying subscribers will be expending Stars on their subscription packages. It would be kind-of silly to have a stipend of stars as part of a package you paid for with Stars.

The most straight-forward way to handle that would be to have subscribers buy a big mass of Stars at the front end and sign up for the subscription packages they want. Depending how we structured it, that could be a one-time debit from their Stars for the full subscription period, or it could be a month-to-month debit on them.

Perhaps we even have very simple "recurring debit" subscriptions that debit their real money credit card every [time period] and give them that stipend of Stars based on the debit. Just let people set up recurring payments for their "stipends."

We could possibly incorporate the "discount" idea - not as sharply nor to the full 100%, obviously - in with this recurring payment for Stars plan: the longer you're signed up, the more "bonus Stars" you get each time.

(Again, this doesn't violate "create Stars from nothing" rules because they ARE being paid for. They're just being bought more cheaply. We still would have to monitor it to make sure we're not giving away the store.) And having instead a discount of some sort - again, not 100%, ever - that goes up the longer you're subscribed could achieve a similar purpose without creating more Stars. (Though it wouldn't let them shop more on the AH. We'd have to see how activity there goes.)

This is a lot of brainstorming on my part, here. As ever, it's subject to a lot of change. You're watching me "think out loud" here, bouncing off some of your ideas and toying with problem-solving. There are no new official announcements at all in this.

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