Variant Pay Model.

Discussion in 'Beta Discussion' started by Suno, Dec 20, 2017.

  1. Suno

    Suno Member

    I'm all for supporting the Dev's don't get me wrong I like that you are trying to generate revenue. My only fear is that with everything in the t3/t2 class locked now, new players will feel they are behind a pay-wall from the get go.

    I propose unlocking all t3 Variant models for players this gives people initially a chance to enjoy the game unencumbered. From first look it's going to seem restrictive and pay-to win to the discerning eye who has no idea what this is game about or how it is played.

    Just my 2cence, ultimately I believe the approach taken will lead to some negative results and a greater net loss over time.

    T4+ Is fine, I believe that at that point in the game they have some hours accumulated they are invested and probably more willing to pry open their wallets and give the dev's some hard earned cash. It's all about letting them get their foot in the door and realizing " Hey, this is not so bad, it's a great game! let's support the developers" instead of "Wtf is this shit? i can't play beam orchis?"
  2. Zer0CoolAZ

    Zer0CoolAZ Administrator Staff Member

    I wouldn't be opposed to giving something like that a shot. Players are going to ALWAYS assume pay to win if they see any type of ship with a paywall. This is the unfortunate nature of how gamers are right now. As anyone who logged in during the first hour after the reset could see, it doesn't matter how well explained it is. If they see that "you've gotta pay for this?" it's going to lead to one of two major reactions. The shitstorm that initially happened, or the players who understand that this is an independent venture and see that the monetization of features is intended to keep the game going.

    It seems that very few (outside of those who've been able to speak with myself or Vesuvius) players give thought to the idea that this game wasn't created by a large AAA studio team. There has been a lot of ideas, statements, and suggestions made and we are absolutely ecstatic to see them. The thing I wish for these players to see is that these changes will take time to review, design, and implement. This way there would be more patience and understanding. It would help a lot overall. To get back to the topic at hand, I think that Class III variants being unlocked isn't a terrible idea. Personally I think it's fine as is, but that's my own opinion.
  3. Suno

    Suno Member

    Anyone playing an early access game that doesn't understand this. Needs to learn the definition of Early access.

    On the other topic, either way I think it's a good thing to think about new-player experience. Thanks for the input zero!
    Take anything I suggest with a grain of salt I'm not 100% saying this is how it should be, just one man with an opinion :p. I am Committed to seeing this game succeed after witnessing the passion of the creators + the sheer entertainment value of Space Wars.
  4. Suno

    Suno Member

    Maybe a good compromise would to be starting with the base amount of credits needed to unlock a t3 variant of their choice. After tutorial completion. It's all about giving the new players a chance to get invested.
  5. MLocke

    MLocke Member

    or maybe give them 200 credits so they can unlock a ship (all players to start with 200)
  6. Beernchips

    Beernchips Member

    Just started the game after the patch to see whats going on for new credits prices for ships and wow... I play this game since few days and I like it but 500 creds (aka 4.21€) for a t4?? Even knowing the quality of the game it is quite a shock that makes me wonder if there is any need to play.
    It is understandable that you need money from your game but if you awnt a t3 to start (200 cred) + a t4 (500 cred) + a higher class ship its already minimum 10€ (Because in all honesty most class1 are subpar compared to other version). Expect a lot of negativity about pay2win/pay2play
    Just be careful that 90% of players will just never play the game just because of the costs of ships

    To expand a bit :
    Large majority of games with payment to unlock anything in game make it for 2 things : Cosmetic item or speeding up the access to new content. With the solution in game you have to grind to get LP/HP to buy ship AND pay to play it after. It is a real blocking point for a lot of players.
    In addition, you pay to unlock a ship without possibility to recover your investment in game : The ship you chose is nerfed or not as you expected? Too bad you will have to buy new credits to get another one
    Add to that it completely block the flexibility to use other ships (unless you pay) to try something else or change strategy
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
    petlahk and infested like this.
  7. Gant

    Gant Member

    Whiners and cheapskates...the joy of gaming community...
  8. MungFuSensei

    MungFuSensei New Member

    I am perfectly willing to pay for the game. I just want my purchase to have value. As it is, the value of (hrs played/$) is abysmal. This is why I proposed the "unlock everything" package at around $20. Increase the price to $40 at release.

    By locking all the ships, you have cut the replayability of the game by like 75%. You have even limited the repeatability for customers who wish to pay. If I give you $20 now, what I feel the game is worth atm, that barely covers a few variants up to c6.

    Give away more for less money, and you will have an order of magnitude more customers, and you might actually break even. Keep the current model, and this game will be dead in the water before we hit Easter.

    Edit: Also note, I've been in constant beta tests for over 10 yrs now, it's kind of my hobby. I've seen games try this kind of aggressive monetization early on, and they never last. The f2p model you are trying requires significantly more content for free players to be sustainable. Even with freebies in 4 factions, the content isn't there.

    What you basically have here is a demo mode, not a f2p game. Market it as a demo mode and sell the game in a full package. Customers will respect that and see value in it. No one respects this current f2p scheme.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
  9. Vesuvius_SWIE

    Vesuvius_SWIE Administrator Staff Member

    All tiers are accessible to non-payers, just because variants are locked, does not mean you are inhibited in any way. Instead of slapping generic skins or funny hats onto ships, the thought was to do something different for once, and actually make the ships' playstyle unique with each variant. A little more than skin-deep.
  10. MungFuSensei

    MungFuSensei New Member

    It is impossible to have perfect balance between variants. Balance is a never ending issue. This means some variants will be better than others, all the time. Having variants behind a paywall means they are either pay 2 win, or will never get purchased. Even if they aren't pay 2 win in practice (say, a 1% performance outlier) I, they will be perceived as such.

    Also, as a customer, the goal of the game is "get all the ships". The gameplay is just a framework to do so. Playing is fun, but ships are the reward, psychologically. You've basically removed the reward side of the game.

    Let me be clear, here. The game is your product that you want to sell. Not the ships. It's easy to sell the game. It's impossible to sell the ships (profitably). Sell the game as a package. Sell the separate factions as packages. Sell xp/currency boosters. Sell skins. Do not sell ships. If you want to sell ships, the paid ships have to be less than 10% of the pool of available ships, and they have to be purposefully balanced slightly lower than normally earned ships.

    I mean no disrespect here, I love your game, but please study successful f2p models before going down this route. Your current model will kill your game. Only highly predatory gambling MMOs from asia use this model. It does not work in the West. You have a short window to change this before reviews start killing your game in its crib.
  11. Korsun

    Korsun New Member

    Unlocking skins and cosmetic is where the credits should be used. Now if players need to pay credits to unlock the next level ship, it becomes a P2W game and will turn potential players away:(
  12. MungFuSensei

    MungFuSensei New Member

    Also note, buying a ship effectively locks you from ever playing another faction, as you'll never want to re-roll. Sunk cost (fallacy or not) will keep players in their faction, which will suck if they find out they just don't enjoy the playstyle later on. This would be slightly mitigated by rolling different factions on different servers when they arrive, but even then the player has to justify spending money for 2 factions now instead of just focusing on the one. If the majority of the ships for a faction can be earned without premium currency, the player doesn't have to feel bad about trying other factions.

    On top of that, how the hell can we help balance and testing when we can't even play the majority of the available ships? This soon in early access, you've basically cut off any data you could get in this regard.
  13. Beernchips

    Beernchips Member

    Honestly the playstyle is no different between each version. What is the difference between liverpool 1 (beam frigate) and liverpool 3 (beam frigate)? Well liverpool 3 have more power and removed sides weapons which were not usuable anyway with the low power input of liverpool 1. If you really want to advertize with difference in playstyle you should do more differences like Orchis 1 (scout) and Orchis 4 (beam range) and PERHAPS player will be understandable to pay for variants.

    For today (and I think you know player base well enough) 90% of players will only say : "damn P2w game"
    MungFuSensei summed up pretty well all other factors of risks linked to your economic solution.
  14. Gant

    Gant Member

    ...and he couldn't be more wrong.

    As for the rest if your post, there is only as much 1 man can do. It's something that can definitely wait...
  15. MungFuSensei

    MungFuSensei New Member

    Feel free to elaborate. If you can name a game that used this model successfully, I'd love it hear it. I can think of a few that died trying it. This type of f2p model hasn't been done since the first year or two of f2p games hit the market, and everyone quickly changed to a more lenient model or died off. It is possible to have ships be the primary source of income, but again, you would have to look at something like World of Tanks or Mechwarrior Online to see it done successfully. In both of those games, premium items are a small portion of the total playable items, and they are purposefully balanced lower than normal items.
  16. Varag

    Varag New Member

    Funny Thing though, i allready bought 1000 creds as there were nearly nothing to buy with in the Game.
    But today as i saw the locks on all the ships i just quit the game...
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
  17. Gant

    Gant Member

    You feel the game is worth spending 20$ thus you want everything unlocked for 20$.

    ...what elaboration you need?
  18. MungFuSensei

    MungFuSensei New Member

    The game in its current state is not worth more than $20. The content is extremely limited. I also said that the price should increase at release, towards $40 when all factions are introduced. I am also willing to pay ~$15 to completely unlock a faction. Paying $20 to unlock 4 ships? No. No way I'm paying for that.

    I would spend more than $20 on this game, but I want my money's worth. I've paid for early access hopes and wishes and promises before, I'm not doing that again. I will pay a fair price for what the game is worth at the time of purchase.
  19. petlahk

    petlahk New Member

    In response to everything MungFuSensei and Beernchips have said:

    (Quotes were quoted mostly just to ping these people)

    I agree that the way things are priced now is nuts, and it needs to all be done differently. I just wanna say though that if the monetizing is done differently it needs to be implemented and managed much better than it is now. Giving players free credits isn't gonna convince people to buy them, or make other players feel like the game is fair. Also, steam should maybe keep track of all the credits that players buy if the server's are going to reset often. Meaning that if players purchase credits and spend them and the server resets then they don't lose the spent credits. They get all of them back. Also, the game says "free" on steam, so while I think that the paying for the game outright is the best way to do it, as long as it says "free" on steam it's false advertising. And it's a bad choice to have players pay for all or most of the game then still have micro-transactions as well (See the EA/Battlefront controversy).

    I think that purchasing an extra player slot is one OK way to do it. But I would give players two or three player slots by default. In planetside 2 players are willing to purchase player slots partly because they get the benefit of not having to make another account, and partly because weapons bought with actual money were spread across all the weapons on that account.

    Also based on planetside, you could have a separate faction of ships that every race can use. It could be something like "corporate" or "mercenary" ships. Some of these ships would be ships with interesting playstyles that can bought with just LP for slightly steeper prices. And others would have other interesting play-styles but be locked entirely behind a paywall. This would be similar to planetside. And, if you implemented a system where ships that are purchased with really money are unlocked by default on all of a players captains then it would be fairer and actually be a convincing sale.

    Also, the game really, really needs to be fleshed out more fully. You need more interesting mechanics and more interesting play-styles, and support ships, and heck, even a universe. It's off to a great start but it needs both a much longer balancing period, and the forums needs a suggestions section. The forums needs a suggestions section so that players can suggest things for you all to make the game better and discuss it between ourselves. As the players we are probably going to know much more collectively about what this game is like, what the balance is like, and what could be interesting than you the devs could just by yourselves. Look at starmade for the way they have their forums organized. It's a great way to build community and help the game out.

    You could also implement some sort of rudimentary swappable weapons system on ships. Ships with specific playstyles could be given more versatility with extra weapons choices. You could say, give ships one weapon choice for free, one weapon choice for LP, and one for just a few credits. The credited weapons would probably need to be only like, 5 credits under the current credit prices though. You could do a similar thing with swappable abilities on ships and with special captains or something. Like a captain that has a different set of abilities but that players still need to unlock with XP (Playable on captain creation. Buyable and previewable in captain creation.). But, it would be best if everything that is bought with credits is permanently stuck to the player account, and can be used across multiple captains on the same account.

    I cannot stress enough how much Vesu needs to take a hands-off approach with this game and fix some of the behind-the-scenes issues. He can play it all he wants, plenty of devs play their own games. But he cannot fiddle with this in the really heavy-handed way that he is. It was fine to take a player vote about whether to reset or not. It was not OK to unilaterally decide to do so. He could have upset a bunch of the community with that, and he was lucky that it's the pay walls and not the reset that is upsetting us. Vesu should not be handing out credits the way he did to players in just the top rankings. It's somewhat reasonable to want to implement a system of giving some minor free credits to players who are good players. However, those credits shouldn't outbalance your system of making money, and they need to be fair and not almost arbitrarily assigned. Warthunder gives the RL-Money in game currency (golden-eagles) to players who play consistently daily in the form of the crates that they give out just for logging in daily. If you wanna assign credits to players high on the leaderboard that's fine, but it needs to be all done automatically in the game engine and not tinkered with by humans behind-the-scenes. It needs to be consistent if you want to attract and audience. And, Vesu very clearly tinkering with player accounts behind the scenes might erode player trust. For example, "If Vesu can hand out credits willy-nilly, what's to stop him from taking my credits that I paid for?".

    For a free-to-play online game needs to work balance is one element, but so is consistency. If you want to retain your players you need to be consistent and take a hands-off approach. We're OK with it now because we're your niche original audience and like you, but you won't get new players if stunts are pulled like this.

    Right now you should fix your monetization scheme back to the way it was before the reset. Have maybe one ship in each of the high-tier variants behind a... I dunno, 100 credit paywall temporarily, and then say something like "OK, this game is in beta, balances are actively in progress. We will release a balance patch every week, and the server will reset at the end of every month. Ships bought with credits will stick to the players account and carry over, all credits that players spent on refactoring will be refunded when the server resets. This is temporary until we can code into the game a better monetization scheme."

    Yet another idea that you could do is implement legacy, or golden, or just other ships that have cool skins or backstories or interesting skinned weapons or something. They wouldn't be any better than the default ships, they would just be sorta like playable skins. This would also be similar to the warthunder system of golden planes. They're all sorta bad and low-tier planes, so they don't upset balance, but they're a thing players might be willing to purchase either to have something cool or just to send some money your way. Also, ahev skins and stuff. But, again, in addition to changing your monetization scheme you need to add radically more content in the next.. I dunno, month? This content would partly be your monetization scheme, and partly just be to make the game better.

    ---End of suggestions---

    To Gant. I'm sorry, but this game will die if this is the monetization scheme that they try to go with. I've already made it clear that I won't pay for anything if they go with this scheme. And I think that a few other members of the community would echo that sentiment.
  20. direstorm

    direstorm New Member

    I like the idea of a subscription model, actually, with premium players getting free unlimited access to all ships (within the limit of their researched tech, if you go with a tech tree), and maybe a 15% LP discount, while they're paying the subscription, and if a player has ever given money (subscription or coins) they get VIP access. Suggest a price point in the range of $3 to $5 dollars a month, with discounts for quarterly and annual subscriptions (maybe $5 a month, or $12 for 3 months, or $40 for a year).

    If you go with a tech tree, you could make the best engine and the best weapon in each tier VIP only. Free players get their base ships, and can earn coins to unlock better ships (and maybe coin for the VIP engine and weapons). Paid players are getting a measurable compensation for their money, and free players remain competitive at each tier. You could also implement an LP trade, maybe players can pay 100 coins for 1000 LP or something.

    Also suggest a New Year's Special: $20 for lifetime VIP, plus 10,000 LP, plus some sort of fancy one-off 2017 ship skin. It's a little late to market it in time for christmas, but better late than never.
    Yuka-san likes this.

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