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QUESTION OF THE WEEK : Pay to Play or Play 4 Free

Postby Triadian » Sun Apr 01, 2012 6:41 am

Greetings,

So one of the questions that came up in the Ask Theelord Q&A was how do we plan on getting paid for all our hard work...

To be honest we don't actually know, half of us think a monthly subscription based around the $5 to $8 mark is a good idea, the other side of the camp think if we allow people to pay for free and donate us money or pay for non game breaking items then its fairer and we have a possible chance to increase our monthly earning, however there is also the chance that you lot are tight and our monthly earnings stay as they are now.

So to this week's question : whats the best payment method you think we should adopt, now heres the only rule we have,

IF your one of those people who wants companies to go free to play but tells them you would pay $$$ every month - yet you know in your heart there is no way on earth you would ever spend a dime on it - don't tell us its the best way, PLEASE we beg of you tell us the truth!!! and if you a person like that ( we wont get upset or treat you any different honest ) tell us what if anything would make you more inclined to hand over your hard earned cash.


Now please note: we wont choose the option that will rake us in the most money... were not here for the money, we will no doubt choose the option that seems fairest to both us and you. so let us know whats fair and what isnt

Now before you all post your answers lets make one thing clear :

REGARDLESS OF PAYMENT METHODS NOTHING WILL EVER BE PAY 2 WIN !!!!

it's not an option so don't shoot it down.
"it would separate this project from others because the devs are cool and have a clue :-)"
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Re: QUESTION OF THE WEEK : Pay to Play or Play 4 Free

Postby RockSauron » Sun Apr 01, 2012 12:57 pm

In all honesty, I'm not sure that I'd be willing to pay a monthly fee because I'm a cheap bastard. Then again, when this game comes out maybe I'd actually have the money to do it.

Anyway, as for a Cash Shop, I think that NOTHING in this game should be non-Player made- even if it is only aesthetic. In my opinion, purely asthetic stuff should also be player-made only.

So, in my opinion, the only real way to get money without betraying the core principle of the game would be a monthly sub. That said, don't make it 15 dollars a month- something you've already seemed to grasp. Make it relatively cheap, and a price to pay to enter the world. Paying real money for anything, even if it is aesthetic only, would disrupt the players-make-everything thing you've got going here.
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Re: QUESTION OF THE WEEK : Pay to Play or Play 4 Free

Postby Triadian » Sun Apr 01, 2012 1:04 pm

as an example of some of the things we considered for the "cash shop" would be like a different style of clothing but this would only be a 1 time use item.

Imagine this theoretical scenario:-
a blacksmith learns how to make a sword, upon creating his 4th(random) sword he is awarded a new style of sword its exactly the same mats and exactly the same stats as the previous one only the blade is more curved and has some etchings in it.

The neighbouring blacksmith sees this new style of sword and instead of waiting for that lucky rng he decides to pay say $3 from the "cash shop" for the rights to make this new style sword.
"it would separate this project from others because the devs are cool and have a clue :-)"
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Re: QUESTION OF THE WEEK : Pay to Play or Play 4 Free

Postby RockSauron » Sun Apr 01, 2012 1:21 pm

Again, it would be better if the second blacksmith has to pay the first blacksmith himself for the rights to that sword.

I'd prefer paying an entry fee, and then anything from that point forward is not impacted- IN ANY WAY- by the outside world.
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Re: QUESTION OF THE WEEK : Pay to Play or Play 4 Free

Postby Triadian » Sun Apr 01, 2012 5:11 pm

the first black smith could train the second ( using any form in-game negotiations )
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Re: QUESTION OF THE WEEK : Pay to Play or Play 4 Free

Postby Tony » Sun Apr 01, 2012 8:51 pm

If the game is subscription based, at 5-8$ like you said, that would be cheaper than runescape. I have no problem with subscription based games as long as I dont get forced into auto recurring payments, like xbox live does. If i want auto recurring, I would turn it on haha. Personally when games have cash shops I don't spend a dime, because it just doesn't feel like Im really get anything for my money.
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Re: QUESTION OF THE WEEK : Pay to Play or Play 4 Free

Postby RockSauron » Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:56 pm

Honestly, I think either completely free or pay to play are the only ways to go. And since I want you to get money from this so you continue working on this full force, that would be P2P. You pay a monthly fee, and you get full access to everything.

As long as you're smart and have the monthly fee be at a reasonable level- 15 bucks a month is out of the question, for example- then it seems like the best path.

That said, you could also have a trial, probably could be longer then most games due to the fact that this game is focused on the long term. Anything to get more people playing, as this game will only be as good as the playerbase.
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Re: QUESTION OF THE WEEK : Pay to Play or Play 4 Free

Postby DOTDOTDOT » Sun Apr 01, 2012 10:27 pm

Well if this game is that successful, you wouldn't need pay to play. You could have advertisements in the game, including the sidebar advertisement (in the future maybe). But if you guys arnt that much successful, then you would've scared off much of new players. So considering that a free game wouldnt hurt the game, unless you guys are absolutely sure you dont want mini advertisements in the forums and the homepage, then i'd say Free.
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Re: QUESTION OF THE WEEK : Pay to Play or Play 4 Free

Postby Triadian » Mon Apr 02, 2012 5:36 am

DOTDOTDOT wrote:Well if this game is that successful, you wouldn't need pay to play. You could have advertisements in the game, including the sidebar advertisement (in the future maybe). But if you guys arnt that much successful, then you would've scared off much of new players. So considering that a free game wouldnt hurt the game, unless you guys are absolutely sure you dont want mini advertisements in the forums and the homepage, then i'd say Free.


if we wanted to milk that cow - we would have started ages ago. while were gonna reserve the right to do so in the future, we can't see us doing it for a long while
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Re: QUESTION OF THE WEEK : Pay to Play or Play 4 Free

Postby TheeLord » Mon Apr 02, 2012 4:59 pm

This is my personal opinion and not the direction factions will take, but wouldn't the sandbox community be willing to pay more per month for a quality game with exactly the features they want? Why do I hear so many people saying $15 a month is too much, we are talking about a small portion of the MMO market which wants a hardcore sandbox game, to support a development team for such a small customer base there needs to be higher per player revenue it would seem.

Let the "mass market" games have their $5, $10 and $15 month subscriptions, they have enough players and don't need to charge more obviously and $15/mo is probably very greedy by them. Don't be afriad to pay $20/mo or $100 for a single payment for the game you really want to play. I think until gamers realize they will have to pay a larger premium for a more specific game and developers are not scared to make the huge investment, the niche gamers may never get what they want.

To put it in to perspective.. Mortal Online which is a pretty quality game kind of close to Factions in ideas only has around 1,000 subscriptions, compare that to WoW's 8,000,000 and you will begin to see what I am referring to.

The video game business and consumer needs to learn this fact of supply / demand just as most every other industry has.
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Re: QUESTION OF THE WEEK : Pay to Play or Play 4 Free

Postby RockSauron » Mon Apr 02, 2012 5:25 pm

I'm saying you should have a lower cost because you are a small team who doesn't need to pay off a huge company or whatever, just a few people. Plus you want to have people want to play your game, and many people are having trouble finding a point to pay 15 bucks a month, let alone more.

Yes, you have a unique game here- however, you don't want to scare people off, now do you?
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Re: QUESTION OF THE WEEK : Pay to Play or Play 4 Free

Postby Triadian » Mon Apr 02, 2012 5:36 pm

while i agree to the concept in principle, lets convert it to a real life scenario.

you come out of the pub on a rainy night and goto the local tacobell, the guy explains that due its location the store doesn't get many customers as such your taco's are now 12 for $20 instead of the usual 12 for $10.

surely the value of something should be based on its quality not its quantity of users ? how could you expect someone to pay $20 for a half polished indepth game like factions when blizzard are pushing out a mostly polished very indepth game albeit a very easy and shallow gameplay like warcraft at $15

it just doesnt hold up in my eyes
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Re: QUESTION OF THE WEEK : Pay to Play or Play 4 Free

Postby TheeLord » Mon Apr 02, 2012 5:55 pm

Again, this is not the approach factions will be taking.

And you're right about the quality which is why Factions should not use this business model. This is sort of the crux of my argument. If players want a 100% polished hardcore sandbox game or any other AAA title that is out of the mainstream they had better be ready to pay a premium for it. Until then, only indie teams will be able to approach these concepts and the results will unfortunately never be as good as if the big boys had done it.

Please keep the input coming on cash shop vs monthly payment, I would love to get more opinions on this.
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Re: QUESTION OF THE WEEK : Pay to Play or Play 4 Free

Postby DOTDOTDOT » Mon Apr 02, 2012 6:11 pm

I truly believe that if you install cash shop other then a monthly payment or a payment to play the game at all, that you'll attract more players and you might even produce more revenue for the further development of the game.

Now im not suggesting that installing a cash shop would be the ideal situation, you still need to figure out what to include in the shop itself. And with a game like this, there are unlimited things to put a cash tag by it. You can sell dragons (or any random encounter..encounteriier?) that other users would have to band up and hunt down, You could include some gold ( but then again, this would put a price to the coin). Or an excaliber that would have to be forged upon the hills of mithrall. Lol.

Anyway, i'd perfer P4F then P2P :/
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Re: QUESTION OF THE WEEK : Pay to Play or Play 4 Free

Postby Tony » Mon Apr 02, 2012 6:31 pm

What about a one time fee with a subscription after? As mentioned, this isn't a AAA game, but I would be willing to dish out a 30$ or 40$ at the start, if given a chance to get in game and look around for a while. Then after you buy the game say you get a month or two to play it, and after that you start paying a small fee every month, say 5$ or so. Given the amount of content and vast amount of things possible, I would be willing to pay :D
That's just a personal preference of course, Not sure how other peoples financial situations are.
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Re: QUESTION OF THE WEEK : Pay to Play or Play 4 Free

Postby Talinguard » Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:14 pm

Personally I have never, nor will I ever play a game where you can purchase in game items with real money.

As far as what you should charge...Look at what it would cost you to run your game, bare minimum....Servers, bandwidth, development tools and keep your audience informed. Let them know what your doing and ask for feedback like your doing now. Your creating a game that is in a very narrow niche and your core players are going to be fiercely loyal. Keep these folks in the loop, because they are going to be your advertising.
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Re: QUESTION OF THE WEEK : Pay to Play or Play 4 Free

Postby TheeLord » Wed Apr 04, 2012 5:22 pm

Thanks Tallin
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Re: QUESTION OF THE WEEK : Pay to Play or Play 4 Free

Postby Triadian » Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:14 pm

Talinguard wrote:Personally I have never, nor will I ever play a game where you can purchase in game items with real money.


talin you said you've played wow.. thats your above point blown...
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Re: QUESTION OF THE WEEK : Pay to Play or Play 4 Free

Postby RockSauron » Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:42 pm

Triadian wrote:
Talinguard wrote:Personally I have never, nor will I ever play a game where you can purchase in game items with real money.


talin you said you've played wow.. thats your above point blown...


He could have played it before they added the cash shop?

At any rate, I strongly advise against adding the Cash Shop to this.
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Re: QUESTION OF THE WEEK : Pay to Play or Play 4 Free

Postby Talinguard » Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:54 pm

Triadian wrote:
Talinguard wrote:Personally I have never, nor will I ever play a game where you can purchase in game items with real money.


talin you said you've played wow.. thats your above point blown...


When I played WoW you couldn't buy items in game with real money....Point saved...
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Re: QUESTION OF THE WEEK : Pay to Play or Play 4 Free

Postby Talinguard » Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:57 pm

RockSauron wrote:
Triadian wrote:
Talinguard wrote:Personally I have never, nor will I ever play a game where you can purchase in game items with real money.


talin you said you've played wow.. thats your above point blown...


He could have played it before they added the cash shop?

At any rate, I strongly advise against adding the Cash Shop to this.


I agree...It's not that Sandbox and cash shops are mutually exclusive, but I'd be willing to bet that most sandbox advocates are more "purists" and cash shops, albeit arguably, are part of a recent trend that most purists dislike...
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Re: QUESTION OF THE WEEK : Pay to Play or Play 4 Free

Postby Thaliost » Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:09 pm

I wouldnt mind paying a monthly fee. I have done so for WoW, AoC, Darkfall and Eve.

Darkfall which is similar to Mortal Online (and Factions), charged 15euros. I'm assuming Factions won't have the same graphics and such so 10 euros would sound fair.

To complement these earnings, you could still add a fluff shop. I don't like games where you can pay to get better stuff, but if it is only cosmetic stuff, I don't mind.
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Re: QUESTION OF THE WEEK : Pay to Play or Play 4 Free

Postby Rhadamanthos » Wed Apr 04, 2012 11:56 pm

if we did have a cash shop, it would strictly be cosmetic. We are already agreed upon not having a Pay to Win cash shop.
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Re: QUESTION OF THE WEEK : Pay to Play or Play 4 Free

Postby RockSauron » Thu Apr 05, 2012 12:14 am

And again, I must insist upon no cash shop, even if it is only cosmetic.

After all, isn't everything in this game supposed to be player made and run? If the player wants to have, say, a useless hat... shouldn't said need to be made by a player? Any cash shop at all seems to contrast with the notion of the complete sandbox, as it is something not run by the player.
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Re: QUESTION OF THE WEEK : Pay to Play or Play 4 Free

Postby TheeLord » Thu Apr 05, 2012 12:18 am

Would still be made by the player somehow, we will never stray from that.
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