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  1. To prefix this, this is primarily a discussion page to talk about various ways to monetize this beloved game called Dual Universe, while weighing pros and cons. Considering many people don't understand why things are done, or perhaps the business people within the company haven't thought of a few of the ideas perhaps to be mentioned in this total thread, here it goes. None of any posts in this thread are considered the whole picture, more as a combination of all the thoughts given, including this initiation post To start, we are going with the backer method from pre-alpha/alpha. This method was to kickstart/crowdfund the game. There were 60, 120, and 180 USD packages, which gave increasing in value rewards in game. Pros: Good for the players, they only have to pay once, and have various ways of supporting if they want to Gives some nice benefits for choosing different packages Cons: Requires constant intake of players to maintain the game, especially the immense server costs and dev pay Might give way to the hated micro transactions Might be considered pay-to-win, even if it is minor The second method is similar to the first method, but with jacked up prices to make each player "support the game for more". Packages for example could be + 20-40 USD. Pros: Supports the devs more Players only have to invest in the game once Gives some nice benefits for choosing better packages. Less likely to create micro transactions (unless the upper management gets greedy that is) Cons: Still requires constant intake of players to maintain the game, especially server costs and dev pay. Might be more considered pay-to-win Costs a LOT Current subscription method, without DACs implemented. (7 USD a month, 21 USD packages) Pros: Keeps development going much longer maintains server costs per player (each player chips in for what data they are changing on the server VERY unlikely to create micro transactions (unless management are extremely greedy) Cons: the HATE for subscriptions No bonuses for pouring in extra money Upkeep that nags at the back of your mind, reminding you to not enjoy Dual Universe, but to pay up so you don't loose access to potentially play the game Becoming the joke of the space sims (bad PR) Current subscription method, WITH DACs implemented. Same subscription model, but when you buy subscription have the choice of redeeming them as in game items which can be traded using in game markets. Pros: You can "unlock" subscription time by GRINDING cash, depending on the demand Helps the person who's selling them get some in game cash Emerging "gameplay" Keeps development going longer because it's still subscription based. Cons: Pay-to-win still a subscription model UPKEEP (as previously mentioned) Still horrible PR, now for the pay-to-win aspect Enforcing the Elite Dangerous mentality "Grind is Gameplay" (not true btw) Hybrid model of DACs and subscriptions, or you can pay expensive package once to get permanent access. Pros: Players can choose to pay a limited time subscription to try out the game, without dropping an OBSCENE amount of money If you want to go subscription method, you can "unlock more subscription time". Potential to increase the income per person monthly for continued development Cons: Confusing business model Still subscription based PR might get confusing, but less negative Still kinda pay-to-win Hybrid model 2.0, but instead with more lenient subscription model. Includes DACs in this scenario, however, the pros and cons of them could be removed if taken out of the equation: Account subscription only ticks down while logged onto the server, encouraging players to make the most of their time spent, while also having a player-determined time bomb on their account. Pros: Each person's subscription lasts longer Only counts down while in game Encourages players to put less strain on the server from logging in Players can use the time they are spending in game extremely effectively, by grinding DACs using in game money. Encourages developers to optimize the heck out of the player data and voxel storage method (more in the cons) Cons: Less effective for dev-income DACs still exist subscription method, while less bad, still exists "Meh" PR Server needing upkeep for storing players' data and constructs, while them not paying for having it on the server That's what I have for now, I do plan to update this now and again depending on if people have new ideas, and/or if I think of something else.
  2. So I'll cut straight to the chase here. Why is there no single month sub plan? I can understand wanting a bit more money or perhaps supporting players who only want to play maybe 2-3 days a week. But as someone who is incredibly skeptical of any Dev who operates outside of a distribution platform that has well known purchase security it bothers me that I can't test drive the game for a short period to determine if it hits that itch that attracted me in the first place. If I may offer a suggestion, if you are so inclined to not have a recurring 1 month subscription then perhaps consider offering a "once per account" 1 month trial subscription so people like myself can determine if the quarterly sub is worth it or not to us. I'm not asking for a freebie, merely suggesting a more enticing approach to bringing in more cautious consumers like myself. Until there is something like this or a solid monthly subscription I can't (currently) in good conscience buy into this service.
  3. The gaming world appears to be moving away from monthly fees for games. Perhaps a flat fee would be better with payments for ENTIRELY non gameplay items like decorative elements, element skins or paying to import your own models/skins from Blender (subject to review before acceptance) etc? Edit: title fixed
  4. In the time I've spent reading these forums, I see this topic come more than a handful of times on DAC's and DU's subscription system. It's something to be expected, a merchant goes "hey I got a nice product, pay me xyz dollars", then the consumer goes "how can I get this for the best value for my money?". This is a quite normal thought process. I think of it every time when looking at goods and their prices and especially before I check out my products. We value our money because we put time and effort into earning it, and want to maximize our potential with it. Our time on Earth is fairly limited. We'd much rather spend it doing the things we enjoy. Being among family and friends, playing a favorite game or watching a pleasurable TV show, producing something we know others will find value in, enjoying a good drink, or relaxing someplace nice. Our money is also fairly limited. Bills and utilities need to be paid, food stocked in the fridge, insurance for the car, books for the college student, the oldest child needs to borrow $20, again... the list goes on. The means with which we acquire said money is also relatively limited. Businesses are open certain hours, shifts are only so long, and our work is only so interesting before we must devote that remaining days time to the above mentioned. Insert Dual Universe. For those of you that are currently not in the Pre-Alpha tests, you've seen the videos (some more than once) and read the news, you're excited. Pre-Alpha testers are not only excited but are also able to experience this new game and bring some of their dreams to virtual life for others to enjoy. Mind, blown... Everything seems awesome until you meet "subscription" and "Dual Access Coupons". Upon closer inspection, this is, indeed, a subscription-based game... oh no... For those of us that have followed along for a while, we know that a subscription will fall somewhere around $10 to $13 a month, while DAC's will be a bit more expensive at $15 to $20 a month. Not a big deal right? For some, it isn't, but for others, it's a major hurdle. Maybe you've been a free2play player all your life and can't imagine the thought of paying, or perhaps you simply can't afford it. Well friends, hurdles are made for jumping over, sometimes three at a time. and jump we will... If you can't afford a months subscription time, let's dig into this thing called 'our life' and examine what we can do to afford a months worth of game time. If you don't have time to read, I'll cut this all down to a paragraph for you at the very bottom of this post! ------------------------------------------------------- First off, what is the difference between a subscription and a Dual Access Coupon? What even are they, to begin with? Have you ever been to a fair? For those who haven't, the rides are fun, and the food is more than questionable. From sugar overload to dipped in oil to stuff you've never seen before and never will again... How do you get access to that fair though? You can do two things: Buy an all-day wristband at the gate. Unlimited rides from now until closing time. One person only, or... Buy tickets. The ferris wheel is one ticket, bumper cars are two, etc. You can split it among friends. You go for the wristband and wander in. At the fair, there are those booths filled with games that are statistically near improbable to win but among the prizes, you notice that there are tickets, with a grand prize being a roll of 1000 tickets. With some time, you luck out and score that 1000 ticket roll but you have an all-day pass, what do you do with it? You sell it to the kids that need more tickets and make back what you paid for on your all-day pass. Short analogy, lets work with it... All new accounts will start with a free trial. Think of this as being outside the fair, yet still able to see all the rides that are inside. You can enter the game environment and get an idea of what you can do inside of it, but there are limits like skill restrictions, construct sizes and the number of elements that can be placed for example. You can see the rides, you just can't ride them. In Dual Universe, let's say that this all day wristband is the subscription that you buy from the gatekeeper, NovaQuark. It's yours and can not be taken from you in-game. You get thirty days to play, after which your subscription will end and you can either pay for another month or end up unable to play. Dual Access Coupons are like the tickets. You can also get them from NovaQuark and spend them in the game environment however you like. Be it hiring out another players services, using it to fund your own time, or you could give it to a friend. If you put in your own services into the in-game environment, you can get paid in DAC's as well. Since DAC's are not as secure as a subscription and present as an item in the game, you also run the risk of having them taken from you with force by another player. You can buy a subscription, pay for the game, and be perfectly fine. You can also buy Dual Access Coupons or earn them inside the game to also pay for your game. Both achieve the same goal, but what's the difference? A subscription is purchased from NovaQuark and tied to you, it can't be taken in-game, and it can't be sold in-game. A Dual Access Coupon can also be purchased from NovaQuark, unlike with a subscription, however, it is only associated with you. What this means is that the DAC can be stolen from you in the game since it is an in-game item. It can be purchased in-game from another player, and likewise sold as well. Now that we've defined what a subscription and DAC is, as well as the differences between them, let's go about discussing how we can pay for our game time. Since DAC's are more versatile, in-game items, I will be referencing them in the place of subscriptions. Be sure to also keep in mind that DAC's are a few dollars more expensive than a subscription. ------------------------------------------------------- Let's assume for simplicity sake that a single DAC is $15 and expand it over a years time. $15 x 12 = $180 Starbucks --- Caffe Latte - Tall (Small) - $2.95 $3 x 5 days = $15 15 x 4 weeks = $60/month --- Not including saved gas money or 1/3rd of a year's DACs Now that you lasted a month, maybe you want to cut Starbucks out of your life entirely? $60/month x 12 months = $720 720/180 = ... 4 years of DAC's Dropping your coffee habit alone could pay for a year of time playing Dual Universe, AND that of three friends! Xbox Live --- 12mo = $60 or 1mo x 12 = $120 or 1/3rd to 2/3rds of a years DACs No job --- If you don't want to give up your console gaming and aren't old enough to hold a job, go shovel snow, rake yards, mow lawns, wash cars, trim bushes etc. $60 is a good weekends worth of work, it's also good exercise too! Additionally, if you're still a kid and you get an allowance from your parents, you are now on my hit-list because I never got one and I'm super duper jealous of those that do. You can put that towards your subscription. If you get paid for doing chores around the house, you are also on my hit-list because I never got paid for doing chores, insanity I say! A roof over my head, food in my stomach, and clothes on my back were payment enough. Now, if you can hold a job... Yes job --- How long would you have to work to fund a year's worth of gameplay? Not as much as you might think... Not including tips or lunch breaks --- 180 / 7.25 (US federal minimum wage) = ~25 working hours or just over three days at eight hours/day 180 / 10 = 18 working hours or a little over two days 180 / 15 (some state-mandated minimum wages) = 12 working hours, a day and a half's work, or for some, an all-day shift Phone plan --- If you have a phone payment plan through a major wireless carrier, you are messing up, hardcore! Consider looking at a non-major wireless carrier and you could save big. Verizon: 4 lines - Unlimited talk, text, data, high quality streaming for $160/mo = $1920/yr *MintSim: 1 line - Unlimited talk, text 10G high-speed data (per mo) then unlimited throttled - $25/mo (if purchasing 1yr bulk package = $300/yr) x 4 lines = $100/mo = $1200/yr 4 lines on MintSim over 4 lines on Verizion makes for a savings of $720/year 4 years of DACs *This is strictly for comparative purposes, I do advocate nor am I paid to on behalf of MintSim, this is strictly for comparison reasons, please don't hurt me. **MintSim runs on the T-Mobile network so you may or may not have coverage in your area. Cable TV --- I can only compare this to myself so bear with me. Basic Cable = 20 channels = $20/mo 12mo = $300/yr TV antenna + coax cable = 9 channels + 6 sub-channels $40 - one time cost until something breaks Money saved on TV each month could easily pay for your DACs if you're on a limited TV plan or live in a metro area with lots of TV antennas. If you're interested in this, the US FCC has a barebones guide on antennas in your area with only a zip code needed. Of course, this all depends on your immediate controllable environment like the antenna location+height vs trees, other buildings, and things more or less out of your control like a mountain between you and the antennas or living down in a valley, even the weather can be against you. Renters might want to check their building codes when mounting an antenna on the roof or on a mast. College Books --- If you're buying them outright (from your college bookstore) and not renting them (also bookstore) that's also another issue... Get them, and rent them online, the savings can be massive! Abnormal Psychology 8thEd - Oltmanns and Emery College bookstore: $278 Amazon: $247 (purchased, new) Amazon: $35 (rented) Amazon: $10 (purchased, new, international edition) Savings of $268 off one book for one semester 17.5 months of DAC Bigwords is personally recommended for their comparison services. Transportation to and from college --- Let say you live in a modest town of and college is all the way across town so you drive five miles like I would have to do every weekday, then five miles back home. Your car gets 30mi/gal on an 8gal tank. 240 miles per tank. Gas = $2.55 for the state of North Dakota One tank = $20.40 Your car can make 22 round-trips + 1 for stop/go + 1 for gas if it's strictly for this use. Most colleges will offer students a free or discounted pass on public transportation. Let's say that isn't offered and you're stuck paying regular fares. My local bus service charges $1.50/ride for an adult without a student ID, and rides are free with their ID. In this case: $1.50 x 2 rides/day x 22 round-trips = $66 One tank = $22.40 In this case, driving yourself is more economical than riding the bus. A trip to campus from home for me is 30 minutes so I spend an hour on transportation each day. So considering my student pass makes transportation free, it becomes a value question? What do you value more, your time, or your money? Don't forget that a vehicle needs to be insured so that costs additional money and there are so many variables I won't even bother spelling it out but it is worth remembering. Savings of $43.60 if you drive as opposed to riding the bus 2.75 months of DACs $66 not spent if you can ride for free 4 months of DACs Mobile Options --- Yes, you can use your phone to make money. Some will pay you for installing and trying out various apps. Maybe you have to install it and have a look around, or perhaps you have to achieve a particular objective or rise up to a specific level? Others will pay you to view ads. I'm only familiar with ones that show lock screen ads which only take a fraction of a second to slide away, but there might be other options available too. If you have an Android (not sure about iPhones) and haven't heard, Google Opinion Rewards is a great place to start. The only catch is that you can only spend your credit in the Google Play store. Digital Currency Mining --- I have absolutely no experience in this so forgive me if this is short. By now I'm pretty sure that everyone and their mum have heard of the Bitcoin. If you haven't, what kind of rock have you been living under and can I get one too? Aside from the Bitcoin, there are various other coins out there that hold "value" and are obtained through a process of "mining". Mining involves crunching numbers and verifying the results. This can be a slow process although it can be sped up with more powerful hardware that if bought for the sole purpose of mining, brings the process of Return on Investment (RoI) into play. For individuals, this could be a zero-sum game. While Bitcoin has increased in value over the years, so has the difficulty in mining. Basically, where you could score say once every hour a couple years ago, you'd be lucky today to do so every week, month, quarter, I really don't know. Additionally, more people are mining the currency so that ups the factor now that the Bitcoin pie is being split among more people. Aside from paying off your RoI which could take months, there is also the cost of electricity you need to consider. Sure you could be mining coins, but that money might just be going to your electric company in exchange for the additional power you are consuming from running your equipment 24/7. Not to mention any applicable wear and tear associated with the constant use or pushing your components beyond safe limits. Lets also not forget to talk about the climate that's around you. Since your components need to be kept cool in order for them to work, if you can pull in cool air and exhaust out hot air, you'll be peachy. If you're pulling in already warm air, however, your cooling setup will need to work a lot harder to keep your components from overheating which again you'll also need to consider your electric prices. Did I also mention that you are competing against warehouses of GPU's and CPUs (that sometimes catch fire)? It should also not need mentioning that digital currency is extremely volatile. Indeed, something that might be worth $20,000 one day, might easily be half that the next. Above all, digital currency is a gamble, not an investment. That said, there are various digital currencies that can be mined through CPU's and GPU's, although I recently (3/27) just heard about a new currency, Burstcoin, that can be mined using your digital storage devices. If you're so inclined, it might be something worth looking into. Work in-game --- If none of the above is an option and you have a good deal of spare time on your hands, do some work in the in-game economy. Let me explain how this works: There are often two types of people: Those who have a lot of money but not much time, and those who have a lot of time but not much money. Someone will buy a handful of DAC's and exchange them for Quanta, you put in some work and after being paid for your work, you can then use that Quanta to turn around purchase your DAC's in the game environment and be set for another 30 days. Mine, refine, haul, build, design. The only limit to the possibilities is you. Not enough in-game time, no outside money --- What kind of pickle are we in here? A big, juicy, fat one. Let it be known on the record, I hate pickles... You have plenty of online and mobile options to choose from but be wary, these can be fairly hit-and-miss. From having a minimum required balance to withdraw to not being able to withdraw in your desired method, these are only the start of your issues. "Get Paid To..." websites are exactly what they sound like. You'll be paid for various things like giving your opinion on surveys, watching videos, and completing tasks. The greatest source of income can be had through purchasing sample packs or getting an item for a discount on the basis that you get a few extra dollars in return (spend 5, get 7). Depending on the website and activity you choose, however, you could be fraught with risks. Are you comfortable with giving your demographics to surveys so they can confirm or deny your participation based on their desire to hear from a subset of people (male, 30s, part-time job, birthday, college educated, married, etc), do you trust your credit card details online in exchange for sample products? A couple of other risks entail spam. Although I had received very little spam in my email inbox prior, that certainly ticked up after I started earning through this method. I haven't received any physical spam in the mailbox, but it's been years since I used this service so things may have changed. Additionally, if you truly value your time, this might not be the best option. While doing surveys, I can not tell you how many times I was booted at the very end because the survey reached their participation goal, my demographics were undesirable, or a question I answered had screened me out. Having spent, in some cases 30 minutes, it is very rage inducing. The fact that you may not even get a few cents in compensation for your time that is now wasted is one major reason why I would not endorse this, although being a teenager with no income, I muscled through. I could go at this activity all day and sometimes not even break a dollar, although, on a good day when I was blessed by the gods, $10 was mine for the taking. Of course, if you have a job then you'll be guaranteed payment for your time, whereas here, you obviously have no such thing which is one of the reasons why you won't find me doing this. All that said, I consider myself a personal success story, having earned almost $600 in the time I spent doing this which I think is no small feat, although there are some who have gone on to earn thousands (yes, plural) over an extended period of time. https://snag.gy/tbLmMC.jpg If you recognize this website, please do not speak of it by name. I broke away after they implemented their 3-month timeout mechanism that locks your earnings which I wholly protest, so I can not, and will not endorse them. Yes, this is one such feature you might have to put up with... I won't promote any single site by name but if you google around, finding one should not be an issue. With all this in mind, this really is a last-ditch effort which is why I have moved this to the bottom of the stack. ------------------------------------------------------- Now, this is all strictly an example, it obviously won't fit everyone. There are so many things you can either do without or adjust your spending on when it comes to saving money that it really is a no-brainer when it comes to paying for your game time. Sure when you look at $120 to $180, it can be a big number all by itself, but when you do a bunch of small things over the course of time, it really starts to add up. Hey, isn't that a saying somewhere? Why do I bring this up when $10 isn't a big deal like I said in the intro? Because it is a big deal. Again, little savings do add up over time when compared to societies current habit of spend spend spend, swipe swipe swipe. Do you really need to go out for dinner every other night at the corner restaurant when a homemade meal can cost a fraction of that and still take just as much time to prepare as it would driving to the restaurant and waiting? Do you really need that thousand dollar iPhone when your current model is just fine? Need more storage, buy an SD card or use the cloud. Need more battery life, buy a power pack. Need a faster phone, drop Apple and take a bite out of a $480 OnePlus5, it's got six gigs of ram and SD 435 for its CPU. Yeah, that's right, it's an android. Bite me you expensive fruit, cheap candy is the way to go! Yeah, it's nice to splurge those savings on something once in a while when you feel like you deserve it, case-in-point, I'm a ruby founder. Also, pay with cash over using a credit card, it's an easy way to visualize how much you're actually spending in between paychecks. ------------------------------------------------------- In closing, yes, you can afford a DAC, you can afford tons of them, you just don't know how to do so. Luckily now you do. These few examples are just ones I pulled off the top of my head that I have either seen or experience in my personal life, I'm sure folks can come up with so much more to add here so I'll just leave it at that to get you started! Please suggest something and I'll add it to this post! Hope this helped! ------------------------------------------------------- If you skipped all the way to the bottom and didn't bother to read everything I laboriously took the time to write, here's what you can do to afford your Dual Universe subscription. Cut out Starbucks, stop playing on Xbox Live, mow lawns, wash cars, shovel driveways, re-evaluate your phone and cable TV plans, rent your college books online, consider using public transportation to and from college if your pass makes it free to do so, do some in-game work, or consider looking for ways to make money doing things online.
  5. Edit: This post does not mean that I endorse this system, this is meant to be a discussion about the trial period. I will be adding peoples suggestions to the applicable pro/con list below Edit: THIS thread is proof that we can discuss a controversial topic in a constructive and respectful way, I love what I'm seeing from this discussion. DU will definately have some sort of trial period, however I haven't seen a dedicated discussion for what that trial period might/should look like yet. I've heard that Eve switched to a F2P system that includes a skill cap of some kind, so here are my thoughts If the skills were sorted into tiered groups where the 1st tier allows the player to participate in that activity on a basic level, then a character could have their skills locked to 1st tier when their trial period ends or when their subscription laps. Let me define what I mean by lock. If a Locked Skill is higher than 1st tier, it can no longer increase. The skill can still progress up to 1st Tier, however it will not go beyond it. If your skill was higher than 1st when it became locked, you won't lose your progress. You will simply be "stuck" at a low level until unlocked by renewing your subscription. Advanced skills that are 2nd tier or higher might be rendered unusable while locked, such as "advanced mining". This means a new player could continue to play at a basic level once their trial ends, but would not be able to mine, scan, fly, etc beyond a very basic level. This would apply too for a player who's subscription lapses, they might be unable to fly their ship, might be unable to use certain ship systems, might be unable to build with an advanced polymer, or use their gun if the skill required becomes locked. If implemented, players might still need a limit to how long they can play while locked. If the full free trial is 2 weeks for example, the player might be able to continue playing with skill caps for another month afterwards. This locked status could also be a fallback specifically for lapsed subscriptions, to allow a player to consolidate and liquidate assets in order to earn a DAC. This system wouldn't be perfect, but worth discussing and going over the pros and cons. EDIT: At the moment the Cons seem to be way outweighing the pros. Pros: Working Class: This could bulk up the player count with redshirt level players. Evil empires need the storm-trooper equivalent now and then, big projects Demand for DAC's: Players will have ways to earn DAC's beyond the trial period, and would have a chance to sell off ships or materials for a DAC while locked if they return from a long break. More demand means a better Quanta price for DAC's, which means players with expendable income will have more incentive to shell out. More money for NQ makes a better DU. Higher Demand for Economy Ships: If building a basic ship takes a long time or a lot of infrastructure as the Devs have implied, then there will be a higher demand for Low-tier ships/tools. Any items that can't be made by locked players, but can still be used by locked players will have a high rate of consumption. This would incentivize orgs to mass-produce efficient constructs and brand-names could emerge. Could be a good marketing tool: It is hard to say if a capped play experience after the trial period would add much, but the frustration of trying to play while locked AFTER having the full experience might motivate subscription renewal. EDIT: Suggested by mrjacobean - Less currency lapse: since players can still buy/sell after their subscription lapses, it doesn't cause currency to vanish with them. Cons: Server Load: The servers might bet bogged down by stat-locked players. Solution: auto-kick locked players during high traffic. Prioritize subscribed players first, followed by players that are in the trial period, followed by locked. Gold Farmers: This opens the door for players attempting to farm for DAC's. This could be a bad thing. Undesirable Players: Yeah I said it, players with less to lose are more likely to be a negative influence on the community. If creating a trial account is easy enough, we are more likely to get skummy players and trolls. If they can stay longer, there will be more of them and create a toxic environment. Slavery: We see this behavior emerge in Rust, where large orgs take advantage of freshly spawned players and force them to grunt work. If orgs can take advantage of locked players without breaking the rules, it might make the game a worse place to be. EDIT: suggested by captaintwerkmonger - Turncoat Nakeds: players using an alt to masquerade as newbies and sabotage a ship. Solution: Make trial-period characters labeled in an obvious way, do the same for locked characters. Edit: Suggested by Shyrnas - Resentful Parasites: allowing players extremely limited access for free creates a resentful class of player. This resentful class could be a serious PR problem for the game, causing more damage than the option would be worth. Thoughts?
  6. greatings. yea, i am one of those who did kickstart the game in such an hurry (because i had the feeling this could be huge) that i did not got that there is a subscription system attached. no, i am not happy with that ... but well ... at least i can play it for two month. since i will have to plan pretty carefully when to play my two month (playing with a family in the background is something thats not so easy. 2 month playtime translates for ppl like me into 20Hours) .. when does the time start to tick? best of luck
  7. Here is an email from Novaquark about the topic of subscription. Hopefully this can elevate the beat to death debate of sub and pricing. Posted by Novaquark (Creator) Hi guys! Already 135,354€ and 27% covered! This is amazing! We can’t thank you enough guys, thank you for your support! So, this is the first update, and we wanted to bring some light on one important point. There has been a lot of discussion recently about the monetization of Dual Universe, and the question of the subscription model. Let us clarify here what we have in mind, so that you can see all the options we will offer: Free to Try “trial” access: there will be a free to try access to Dual Universe, with limitations on things like how much skill, money and/or space you can access to. The details of the limitations are not yet defined precisely, but it will be made such that you can enjoy the game and have a taste of its large scale potential. Pay to Play “premium” access at a price at launch that we will keep in the range of comparable products on the market (typically around $10-$13/month or 10€-13€/month depending on the country), decreasing when bought in large bundles: this is the full scale game, with no limitation. DAC access: Dual Access Coupons are items that you can buy on the in-game markets with the in-game money you make while playing, and that you can turn into one month of Premium play time. You can also buy a DAC from Novaquark to sell it on the in-game market in exchange of in-game currency. DACs will have a price of $18/€18 at official release (for reference, items similar to DACs used in other MMORPGs are priced around $20/€20). Alpha/Beta access: no subscription involved. As you can notice, the real money price of a DAC will be higher than the normal price of one month of subscription, which may have caused confusion as some people, quite understandingly, assumed that the monthly premium sub would cost as much as a DAC. This is not the case. We hope this helps clarify our future business model. The reasoning behind the choice of a Pay to Play premium access has been discussed in detail in a devblog post about monetization that we made in April. We believe this model is the best to ensure both a high quality of playing experience and the best possible support for our customers. Remember also that Dual Universe is meant to become a massive MMO experience: if we are successful we will have to run a large and costly cluster of servers, especially since we have this unique continuous single-shard approach. Again, the team at Novaquark wants to thank warmly all the 1700 backers that have supported us so far! Don't hesitate to spread the word and get everyone on board!
  8. Hello there, I have recently been following the developments of DU, as a french entrepreneur in IT myself, and living in Paris, I feel very concerned by the developments of this game :-) So I was looking at the monetization problem and how Novaquark found out their solution from a comparison of detailed pros and cons. I agreed on most pros and cons, but some points might have been overlooked, and I wish the developers can change their mind about the P2P subscription model. First things first, I think that a P2P subscription is perfectly viable for Early Access. In general, my opinion is that players should never be given Early Access for free or for no extra-free over the finished product. I think that a lot of developers miss that point, the market is doing it wrong and the "standard" Early Access model we have today (pay once for all) is actually negatively impacting the sales and cashflows of the developers on the long run, as well as the reviews of the game from the public. Now, about running it long-term, I think that a P2P subscription model past the official release would be a drastic paywall that seems to contradict what I understand the developers want the project to be. If I got it well, the developers want this single shard universe to be propelled by the activity of thousands of players. The entire philosophy promised here revolves around that. I heard the interview in which it was hoped that ships would be able to sustain hundreds of people onboard as well as having projects such as the 'death star' that could involve hundreds of people as well. But how many of those projects or communities will you have, with a paywall upfront? You will probably need all the hands you can possibly need to make this community live for the expectations it hoped for, otherwise the deception might be huge, and even those having paid for several months will eventually leave the boat... My opinion is that the final product should be a single-purchase mid-to-high price with licence key, that solves most problems regarding cheaters and malicious users as explained in the Pros/Cons. A high price would kick the companies revenues on start and would give opportunity for occasional sales events in the future, all by maintaining interesting sales/revenues ratios. It is also perfectly fine to get paid for what you deliver, so it is not refraining people to purchase and join the game. After that, it seems to me that Novaquark might have overlooked another battle-hardened way of actually maintaining a steady amount of cash flow into the machine. And this was compatible with another of their modjo, which I am going to explain later. This solution is simply a model similar to server renting, privatization of in-game space. Game server renting has proved itself quite successful, even creating its own economy as a niche market. It all started with the Counter-Strike boom and nowadays we cannot count the legitimate amount of successful games where a lot of player-rented servers are available online, sometimes with the hosting capacity vastly surpassing the number of concurrent players, to the point players go on forums to advertise their server/community in hope of driving traffic in. So, another Novaquark's modjo for this game is that they want the most dedicated players to improve the game for the less dedicated players, and that is absolutely fine, the community loves that, both sides. So why not applying this to the monetization? Most players will want to create alliances, or even control their own solar system. Give them that: their own social space, entirely protected and governed by the rules of the administrator of this space. Give them tools to manage their clan, change the settings of their controlled area, kick/ban players or have password locks, or create events there. Get innovative on how to make that still realistic and immersive in the single shard and then rent those places in the universe just as you would have done for any dedicated server, except the trade-off is that the cluster server is operated by Novaquark to satisfy the computation power of everyone else and is not something people can actually connect to or decide to reboot/log-on. The server could even be not rented at all, with all the revenues kept for other purposes: it would not be cheating the customer and offers flexibility in the revenue allocation. Add on top of that the margin you require to pursue the developments and support, in-between sell hats in the shop, and it could actually turn out you have a steady amount of cash flowing in, all while ensuring you the largest community possible :-)
  9. I know I'm setting myself up for some vitriol here, but I just have to say that I hate the idea of SG Probes being the "preferred" method of interstellar exploration and travel. Hear me out, because I love the idea of Stargate Probes in general, it's just that one little word that gets under my skin. Preferred. Seems benign, I know, but it's actually a pretty significant word that we will come back to shortly. To start with, let's look at what SG Probes are, because they're pretty dang cool. A Stargate Probe is a freaking automated factory attached to a powerful FTL drive that travels through deep space before entering a distant star system and building a giant stargate that will (presumably?) connect back to the stargate that had previously been built in the home system. Some sort of mechanic wherein we build a Stargate somewhere, and then build a probe and launch it, and then wait for the first Stargate to turn on. Which is really cool, no matter how you slice it. Especially when you add in the fact that they're probably going to make us LUA script the whole thing, all on our own. This will be an epic player achievement, make no mistake. ...now let's get back to that word, preferred. Especially in the context of a subscription-based sandbox MMO. I have to say that I am disappointed to hear that the developers of a subscription-based sandbox have a "preferred" method of travel for players that includes months-long waiting periods. And, yes, the devs have stated that these probe might take months to reach their destination. I know that it's a bit gauche to bring up something like this, but I've always had a fascination for elephants that are just sitting in the middle of the room, doing nothing in particular. Let's say this game costs $11.99USD per month, for argument's sake. Let's say, also for argument's sake, that you took on the challenge of a crewed interstellar ship. You've done the calculations on fuel and energy, and spent some time building the appropriate ship. You know the journey will take months (2 months=$23.98USD, 4 months=$47.96USD, 8 months=$95.92USD!), but the devs said it was possible, so you had to try. You point your ship at the star you want, and......what? Seriously though, what comes next? Do we just log off, pay our subscription for a few months, and hope we don't get the message that our characters have died and re-spawned back at the Arkship? Why does interstellar travel have to take months? Is it punishment for not playing the way the devs want? Every moment that I'm paying for a subscription to something, I'm asking myself why I'm paying for a subscription to something. And when it comes to subscription-based video games, that answer had better be "It's really fun and entertaining." There is nothing fun and/or entertaining about traveling through deep space for months. Also, what happens when one of these gates is destroyed? Everyone gets cut off from that star system for the next year of subscription time while new probes are constructed and sent? Talk about a divided player base. If this game was a one-time purchase, I wouldn't feel this way about such a mechanic.
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