Pay Model - The Conclusion

Discussion in 'News & Announcements' started by Brax, Nov 22, 2013.

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  1. Brax

    Brax CoFounder / Creative Director Staff Member

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    The epic pay model saga is coming to a conclusion. Last night we met (yet again) to hash out the details of the pay model once and for all. I know it's been a long journey and some of you are a bit frazzled by the experience. To those who are, I will simply say "welcome to the wonderful world of game development." We purposely opened the doors a bit more than we normally would to give what many of you have been asking for - a closer insight into what goes on at FC. Some of you have called us wishy-washy and waffling, stating that you're losing confidence in me as a leader. I say ... ok. You're entitled to your opinion. Just keep in mind this is the exact same process we used to come up with the features of ToA that many of you have openly stated your admiration and love for.

    In short, things just take time, effort, and sometimes some unintended hurt feelings. If you want a sense of real frustration, you should sit in on some of our more heated design debates. I'm quite sure I've been shot, stabbed, and strangled in Loestri and Varl's minds more than I realize, but we push through it (healing +1!) always keeping the same goal in mind - the customer and the company.

    Enough of all that! Let's get to the pay model. We are calling it ...

    *queue dramatic music*

    Subscription With An Unlimited Time Trial

    It is as straight-forward as it sounds. We want you to subscribe but we want everyone to be able to experience the spirit of the game for as long as they wish. The key phrase there is "the spirit of the game". Trial accounts will be in the same world as the subscribers, experiencing much of the same game as subscribers, but they are on TRIAL (<-- keyword) accounts and will be limited in certain capacities compared to their subscriber counterparts. This removes any barrier to entry for those that wish to try out ToA and lets those that are OK with the restrictions to keep playing forever AT NO COST to them.

    To be clear, we are not billing this as a Free-To-Play model where everyone gets the exact same game, because, well, they don't. It's free to TRY (<-- keyword again) ... in a limited capacity ... for an unlimited amount of time.

    So, what are the differences between a trial account and subscription?

    subs-vs-trial.jpg

    To answer some questions that are bound to come up...

    Why this pay model?
    It's the most fair for you AND us. I'm tired of trying to come up with slick solutions that only turn out to feel underhanded, overly complex, and yucky (yes, I said yucky. I am a man and feel quite comfortable saying yucky! :p). It is the most straight-forward that still allows anyone and everyone to try ToA for as long as they want at no cost while rewarding those that will pay our bills so we can keep the lights on and continue to expand the game post launch.

    It draws a simple line in the sand that I think most will appreciate. Play for free on our dime and accept the limitations that come with that or pony up and enjoy some perks.

    How much is the initial purchase?
    There will be no initial purchase. Download the game and play it. If you want the perks that come with subscription, subscribe.

    What will the monthly subscription fee be?
    We won't solidify this until closer to release, but we would ballpark it in the $12.50/mo range with volume discounting.

    Isn't this Pay-To-Win?
    No, it's pay to play an extended version of the game that we are otherwise letting you play for free.

    What is the exact difference in rate of skill gain between trial accounts and subscribers? Is it 10%, 100%, what?
    We don't know yet. We'll fill in that information as we move closer to launch.

    Why have the raknar been taken out as an option to non-subscribers?
    Humans are the base-line race of TerVarus and that is what you'll be limited to while playing a trial account.

    No ability to rule, own land, or discover an innovation for trial accounts?!
    That is correct. Each of those features are finite. There is only so much land in TerVarus to own, only so many innovations to go around, and only so many settlements/kingdoms to be ruled. We don't want a situation where trial accounts end up controlling most or all of these while those paying us are left out in the cold.

    What does the "Addtional Resurrection Option" mean?
    All cultured races such as humans will be given an additional option to their resurrection choices that includes the treasury where they are a citizen of. Subscribers get this option every time they die. Trial accounts can use this option up to ten times per character. The character must be a citizen of a settlement for this option to be available.

    Can I buy additional character slots or race accesses?
    No. The only way to gain more character slots or access to additional races is by subscribing.

    What is the Loyalty Program?
    The longer you subscribe, the more non-P2W perks you will be given in the loyalty store. These perks will only be accesible via the loyalty store. You can expect to see things like special tattoos, beak types for gryphons, GM event runes, and so on.

    Will there be a cash shop?
    Not at this time. The loyalty program covers many aspects that would otherwise require a cash shop. We will however sell physical items on our website.

    Will you still allow us to purchase Writs of Time (WoT)?
    Yes. They will be roughly $17.95 for one month of game time with a portion of the purchase going to a charity.

    Will WoT's be lootable and stealable?
    Yes to both. Be careful how you handle them in game!

    What about custom crests? Can we still purchase those?
    We are still undecided on this. If we decide to go forward with this, it will be at a premium rate considering the time, talent, and effort required to fulfill each order.

    Do you still love us?
    Depends. How much cash you got? ;)


    ~~~~~~~~~

    EDITS:
    - Added question: "How much is the initial purchase?"
    - Added question: "What will the monthly subscription fee be?"
    - Changed estimated cost of WoTs.
     
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  2. Ildefonse

    Ildefonse Master

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    Wow... another overhaul.. I would hide for a week now, Brax xD

    So essentially we're kind of back to square one: subscription. The only difference, that this time a feature-limited but time-unlimited trial has been added?

    Can you tell us something about the subscription price? Is this going back up to $12-13 ish, or is it going to stay at $10 ish?

    I'm going to let this sink in and then post what I think.
     
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  3. TremaineTyrone

    TremaineTyrone Artisan

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    Looks good!

    However, if I understand correctly, there's no need to buy the game anymore (in other words: EVERYONE will be able to play the ''trial'' version without spending a penny) - right? Don't you think a bunch of people will go out in groups griefing / zerging everything they see?
     
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  4. Brax

    Brax CoFounder / Creative Director Staff Member

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    Yeah, I'm fully expecting to get blasted for the number of changes we've made, but as I've said a million times, that's the way it goes 'round here.

    We're settled on this model. We're going with it. Everyone will have to determine individually if they can live with it or not.

    Not sure on the monthly price point but will update when we make that decision.
     
  5. Lias

    Lias Artisan

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    Um what is additional resurrection options mean exactly?
     
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  6. Ildefonse

    Ildefonse Master

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    Yeah I think that might be my only gripe with it, but I guess you thought it over. If you make it paid, you will no longer be able to call it a trial/try-out, and people will say subscribers get pay-to-win and complain that people who paid to buy the game don't get the full game blabla bal abl abla ok I see why you decided to keep it free ;)

    It's explained a few lines down;

    PS: Good on you guys to deciding to stick with it (for now...)
    Time to focus on the 3rd and final piranha :D
     
  7. Lias

    Lias Artisan

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    Oops missed that thanks
     
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  8. Black Lotus Dragon

    Black Lotus Dragon Social Ninja Staff Member

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    I'll need time to process but I'm sure I can live with this decision.
     
  9. Insanity

    Insanity Artisan

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    Looks good to me... Glad to see that's one check down...
     
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  10. BowenTheKotoc

    BowenTheKotoc Master

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    I was planning to subscribe anyways, so I don't have any problems with this other than the trial character zerg we may see as brought up by some of the previous posters. And even that I am only minorly worried about.
     
  11. Elyssia

    Elyssia Community Manager Staff Member

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    I'm with Bowen here.
     
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  12. neoporter

    neoporter Artisan

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    As someone who might have to be a free player most of the time I really like this.

    Its fair too.
     
  13. Opizze

    Opizze Artisan

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    Take my money. Like now or something. $$$
     
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  14. Black Lotus Dragon

    Black Lotus Dragon Social Ninja Staff Member

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    Will Lords have the option to choose who can spawn at their settlements based on account type?
     
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  15. merwer

    merwer Artisan

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    First, I'll say that I'm on-board for this model, and would have been for any pay model.

    I will caution that regardless of how you word it, any game that has a free play option will be viewed as a free game by many. And once the idea of a free game is established in their head, if there is anyone who benefits by paying money, it instantly becomes a P2W scenario.

    Not saying this is a good/bad thing, just a statement of what I've seen.
     
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  16. Falcon

    Falcon Artisan

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    Not a huge fan, but I'll deal with it. I probably won't subscribe until I run out of storage space, want a new race, or am otherwise blocked from what I want in-game, since the skill loss won't be worth me paying to avoid. On the other hand, if the KS still gives me several months of free subscription, I doubt I'll let that lapse.

    I really like the title "Unlimited Time Trial," that lets me know that I'm going into the game with less than the full experience, and that the game is meant to be played on subscription.

    One question- does this still require an initial purchase? If not, I'm 95% behind this (that's pretty darn good). If so, I'm 52% behind this (not that it matters at this point, nor do I want it to matter).

    I think you're going to get more positive feedback about this than you realize. After all, I'm happy.
     
  17. Brax

    Brax CoFounder / Creative Director Staff Member

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    Great question. We.... have no clue at this point. I'll put it on the agenda to discuss.

    Duly noted. We want to be clear that it is NOT meant to be a free to play game. The trial is very much a limited feature set of the game for an unlimited amount of time. :) Some will call it P2W. I don't see it that way. It's a trial that doesn't happen to have an expiration date.

    I'm quite sure KS perks will include sub time. ;)

    There is no initial purchase required.
     
  18. Falcon

    Falcon Artisan

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    Without an initial cost, are you concerned about lots of free players that may try to take advantage of the model or "grief" the subscriber community? I know that was the initial concern and reason you made the game unplayable without some payment in.
     
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  19. Brax

    Brax CoFounder / Creative Director Staff Member

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    Made some edits to the post. List of edits found at bottom of the original post.

    Griefing is a concern. We are considering a host of options to address it. Nothing set in stone but maybe things along the lines of:
    - Locking out the stealing and snooping skills for trial accounts.
    - Allowing subs to flag trial characters for griefing. A trial character gets too many of these flags in a given time and they are KOS to a settlement, kingdom, world, banned for X days, whatever.
    - Hinting at Black Lotus Dragon's question earlier, giving rulers the option to allow or deny their settlement as a starting settlement to trial characters.

    Lots of ideas, just nothing finalized. We'd love to hear ideas on it (in a separate thread)!
     
  20. CTheRain

    CTheRain Veteran

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    I could see the mass of F2P assholes now. But I'm happy with this model. Stay with this one. :shifty:
     
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