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Extended trial period skill cap

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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?

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It sounds like something worth investigating, but those cons are severe. However, another Pro is that portions of the economy would not be locked away when a player unsubscribes since they would still be able to use their money in transactions.

 

My take would be that those on trial would have skills locked to a certain degree (maybe level 2 or 3, depends on how that works) and then will be unable to play for free once the trial ends. Maybe players who used to be subscribed would have their access reduced to trial level until they re-sub (maybe??). Overall, I'm against having an element where you can play for free since that would reduce the income per player (which is important as the more players you have, the more server space you need) and possibly reduce focus on getting new content (and I mean actual content, not cosmetics) or mechanics. The game is not focused around (relatively) large amounts of people, but consistent amounts of people.

 

Maybe when a subscriber ends his subscription, they still get to walk around but have no access to their vehicles (or any meaningful interaction with the game world, which may include chat) and must rely on others to transport them around (maybe for a fee). They would effectively be spectators with a wallet (aka, tourists). This means that people can check up on how things are doing at their base/org without having to re-sub. After they re-sub, they would return to where they were at the end of their sub, so you cant use it for moving across the galaxy. Whether you would be able to get shot in tourist mode is another question (one which I don't have an answer for).

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 Overall, I'm against having an element where you can play for free since that would reduce the income per player (which is important as the more players you have, the more server space you need) and possibly reduce focus on getting new content (and I mean actual content, not cosmetics) or mechanics. The game is not focused around (relatively) large amounts of people, but consistent amounts of people.

You have a point there. Unless the limit on how many locked players can be around before being kicked is very tight, it could have a negative impact on how much resources can be spent on new content. A lower cost/player ratio does lead to less revenue to use on content.

 

On the flip side, if the attach rate for those locked players is high enough, it could generate more new revenue. The trick there would be to test/study it to see if it would have a significant positive impact over a strictly time-based trial (or more realistically, see if the attach rate is high enough where the locked players are not a financial burden). If the locked players end up costing more money than their attach rate warrants though then it might not be worth it on its other merits.

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Not in favor of any kind of locked access or "Free" mode stuff. Pretty sure the idea from NQ was that during the free trial period a player could earn enough in game currency to buy DACs and not spend a single irl dime.

 

Also if a players sub lapses they can't play at all, again no "free" mode, thats some f2p garbage has no place here, IMO. This is a p2p game so not sure where the idea of a free access mode came from.

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Not in favor of any kind of locked access or "Free" mode stuff. Pretty sure the idea from NQ was that during the free trial period a player could earn enough in game currency to buy DACs and not spend a single irl dime.

This may be the case, but depending on what DAC's actually end up going for on the market, the free trial might not be long enough to actually get there. That isn't by necessity a bad thing.

 

If only having acces to t1 skills was limiting enough though, it wouldn't really be anything like a f2p game (where you can always progress, but very slowly). This would be like playing WOW but being stuck at LV5 until you can save up 20 platnum

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Thing is, EVE did this "lower class" kind of thing, but EVE is a very difficult game to get into, so Lil' Timmy or as he goes by XxX_KeemStarFan05_XxX would never get into EVE.

However, as DU is a game about well, "Minecraft & EVE", the game causes a lot of issues if it allows in trolls or teenagers with the whole mental disorder that's called "puberty"   EVE Online has 4 races that it locks newbros into when they role a new character that is an Alpha Clones (the free model). They can only learn on their race's skills and all 4 of them got different bonuses to default into roles. Amarr got Armor and Lazors and can provide mining vessels, while Caldarin have missiles and Large Trading freighters and the other two are a variation of "zerg troopers". DU has those 4 types of "Races" with the Emporium, Alpha and the Artsy and Sciencey "races", that I'm sure many will choose to role as at the start, with the Alphas being combat oriented.

Now see the problem with the following :

1) I roll a new account on the F2P model.

2) I hop onto an enemy faction ship as an engineer / repairman newbro.

3) I start killing people when they not expect it during combat.

Not fun.

Or, durign ground combat, being the group leader with your skill training bonus to your teammates you traiend into Leadership Training for, only for Lilk' Timmy to come and shotgun you to death like a "pro". What? Friendly fire exists, it exists in EVE as well and poeple HAVE done that.

NQ has a very compelling package to sell. They only need to offer free time for people to try the game out, as it's what they want to provide, a Free Trial PERIOD.

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Why do you feel the need for that? Free means cheaters and gold farmer. Free means higher prices on DACs and devaluation on resources for paying players because f2p players will spend their days mining, trying to get a DAC, and having a bad experience while doing so.

And you'd need to lock access to each element, because each on its own can provide some form of gameplay (to manage elements on a multicrew ship, or just to shoot with a rifle, you'd not need to pay), since his game doesn't work like eve in this regard. Then the community would become toxic and a lot of people would abuse free accounts to check markets far awsy, "teleport", spy, and do some other tasks that requires a simple puppet standing somewhere. I only see a lot of bad things, just to please a couple of kids that can't afford to pay 10$/month and that wouldn't contribute much to the game, since their gameplay would be extremely limited and they'll spend their time mining for weeks just to be able to come out from the freemium hell. The business model is decided already, give up with this kind of threads.

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This may be the case, but depending on what DAC's actually end up going for on the market, the free trial might not be long enough to actually get there. That isn't by necessity a bad thing.

 

If only having acces to t1 skills was limiting enough though, it wouldn't really be anything like a f2p game (where you can always progress, but very slowly). This would be like playing WOW but being stuck at LV5 until you can save up 20 platnum

Again this is a p2p game, not f2p. That means no limited access, locked out, free mode.

 

You d/l the game, launch it, play free for 2 weeks or how ever long it'll be and you either sub or you can't play it anymore.

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@Shynras, @Captaintwerkmotor legitimate concerns here. just to make this clear though, I'm not stating that I support a free option for the game beyond the trail period. This is meant to be a discussion of what the trial period could be and the pros/cons of different versions of it.

 

 

Now see the problem with the following :

1) I roll a new account on the F2P model.

2) I hop onto an enemy faction ship as an engineer / repairman newbro.

3) I start killing people when they not expect it during combat.

Not fun.

 

If the Trial Period is just a limit on how long a character can play before paying, this problem might still exist.

 

A potential fix would be... Having trial period players be labeled. That way orgs are going to be more careful about inviting them since they could be alts. The same could occur with Locked characters as well.

Why do you feel the need for that? Free means cheaters and gold farmer. Free means higher prices on DACs and devaluation on resources for paying players because f2p players will spend their days mining, trying to get a DAC, and having a bad experience while doing so.
And you'd need to lock access to each element, because each on its own can provide some form of gameplay (to manage elements on a multicrew ship, or just to shoot with a rifle, you'd not need to pay), since his game doesn't work like eve in this regard. Then the community would become toxic and a lot of people would abuse free accounts to check markets far awsy, "teleport", spy, and do some other tasks that requires a simple puppet standing somewhere.

Yes I've outlined these risk as potential cons. The cons might totally outnumber the pros, hence the discussion

 I only see a lot of bad things, just to please a couple of kids that can't afford to pay 10$/month and that wouldn't contribute much to the game, since their gameplay would be extremely limited and they'll spend their time mining for weeks just to be able to come out from the freemium hell. The business model is decided already, give up with this kind of threads.

We also already know there will be a trial period, and this discussion is about that trial period. Your concerns are a valid contribution to that discussion, but don't mistake this for another "this should be f2p" thread.

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We also already know there will be a trial period, and this discussion is about that trial period. Your concerns are a valid contribution to that discussion, but don't mistake this for another "this should be f2p" thread.

Not the same, but still there's still an enormous amount of problem. You need to consider that f2p players don't usually want (or are able to) to stick with a game and play it for a long period of time (that is how Du should be played), they'd leave and give a bad review about it. A freemium system also, give the chance for them to give a bad (undeserved) review about the game around the internet: they'll say "Oh, that game is P2W you can't do much without paying a subscription", even if it is what the game was supposed to be from the beginning (that way they do not think about the game as a quality P2P game, but as a greedy freemium game). 

You'd need to be careful when parking your ship to avoid being impaled, in the huge jungle of weiners and boobs F2P players will build.

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I think EVE did a good job (prior alpha clones):

 

- free trial for (iirc) 14days with all basic skills available and only higher tiers locked (like stealth, capitals, advanced stuff - you won't get there in <1 year)

- If you unsubbed and no PLEX was in use, you're acc was suspended

- when you wanted to come back you could log in on the website and activate a 4h limited access to your account. Then you could play your char for 4h with no limitations. This was implemented to allow people to get their assets to safety or they could just fly to a market, buy a PLEX, use it and thus having 1 month of gametime again.

 

I like such a system with no F2P element at all (even though that would only be on a very basic level).

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 A freemium system also, give the chance for them to give a bad (undeserved) review about the game around the internet: they'll say "Oh, that game is P2W you can't do much without paying a subscription", even if it is what the game was supposed to be from the beginning (that way they do not think about the game as a quality P2P game, but as a greedy freemium game).

This is definitely a serious risk that should be added to the cons. It would hurt the game's reputation if a large enough percentage of the playerbase were parasitic players.

 

But also too giving it a bit more thought, inflation of the DAC by increased demand would be a compounding problem. The more players that join the game and try to "earn" their sub, the fewer of them will be able to actually accomplish this. Locked players could quickly outnumber the subbed players even if Locked were only available to players who's subs have ended. That could create a great deal of envy and negativity between these two classes of player and it would erode the emergent societal structures the game is shooting for.

 

What if the Locked status were an extention of the free trial, but also had an expiration date? For example, you would have your 2 week trial period, followed by a month with capped stats. At the end of that month, perhaps you can no longer log in, or you can only log in for 1 hour per week or something (to liquidate assets). Once a player subs, if their subscription lapses, they would have another month at capped stats?

 

I'm trying to visualize the kind of player that would be worth having, but that would be unable to pay the monthly sub. Working adults who are already in stable environments like myself have no problem with subscriptions, and are the target audience for additional DAC's to inject into orgs or the market. University students typically have expendable income for games like this as a break from studying, but not always and wouldn't have the time to farm for DAC's except during breaks.

 

The main group I would see wanting to earn DAC's to avoid paying subs, but would still be worthwhile players, are under-employed millenials (this is a big group especially in the U.S. and a year ago I would have been among them). It doesn't seem to me that two weeks would be long enough to reach that if you were also working. Suppose you burn both your weekends, that might only get you the right tools and a ship you need to earn Quanta but not enough to pay for a month. That one month with a skill cap might do the trick.

 

We are still though talking about a small slice of the prospective player basis in one country. If the game comes close to being what it could, it should have no trouble getting players to sub. It could be that a month with a skill cap wouldn't be worth the time it would take to implement as a feature.

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Not the same, but still there's still an enormous amount of problem. You need to consider that f2p players don't usually want (or are able to) to stick with a game and play it for a long period of time (that is how Du should be played), they'd leave and give a bad review about it. A freemium system also, give the chance for them to give a bad (undeserved) review about the game around the internet: they'll say "Oh, that game is P2W you can't do much without paying a subscription", even if it is what the game was supposed to be from the beginning (that way they do not think about the game as a quality P2P game, but as a greedy freemium game). 

You'd need to be careful when parking your ship to avoid being impaled, in the huge jungle of weiners and boobs F2P players will build.

That's an actual issue. Even people who played EVE's TRIAL F2P, went around and said "OMG, diz game's P2W, You can't getz a Titanz unless you pay". Which is missing the point of "bigger is not better" in EVE in its entirety.

 

 

 

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I'm just going to try and consolidate the ideas and run with them. What if the trial period was fairly unlimited (like in eve pre-alpha clones) but after that your account would be suspended unless you used a DAC. Furthermore trial players would be "marked" somehow so that if they applied to a faction the faction could see that it was a trial account. It would be very important to tell the trial player that this was happening and it also might encourage them to subscribe. For players who's subscriptions lapsed however you would get say 1-2 hrs per week for a month. Hopefully allowing you to get to a market and purchase a DAC.

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Hi,

 

I'v found the article I was speaking about on Discord: https://devblog.dualthegame.com/2016/04/08/monetization-player-happiness-and-economic-viability/

 

NQ about the ability to play witout paying in a pay to play model:

 

  • Pay to Play (P2P) thumbs-up-25x25.jpg?w=630
    • This model has evolved through the last decade and yes, it has become possible to play a game for free with a P2P model in its latest form, where the subscription fee can be optional. This evolution have already been successfully implemented by major MMO games, in particular Eve Online (the PLEX system) and it’s the one we are interested in. How is this possible? In any MMO community, there are generally two player categories: those with a small/tight budget for games but a lot of free time and those who have a limited time to play games but a significant budget for them. Many activities in a MMO require a significant amount of in-game money. Acquiring a large sum of in-game money takes time. Players with a limited game time generally want to skip that step if they can. The system offers them to buy a token worth a monthly sub and trade it with  another player for in-game money. Players with a low budget for games can play for free if they invest enough time in the game and gather a large amount of in-game money to buy a token from a player selling one. As there is also a free trial period, a player who is really active may gather enough in-game money before the end, and continue to play without having to spend a cent. Basically, this is the reward for contributing to the in-game Economy. Everybody wins.

 

So what’s the conclusion?

 

We have synthesized a bit all the things that were taken into account, but you have here all the main reasons why we are aiming toward a Pay to Play model. In a nutshell, here’s what we have planned:

  • Free Trial period: between 2 and 4 weeks.
  • Monthly subscription (optional with a PLEX-like system)
  • Possible (cosmetic only) Cash Shop. If deployed, we will make it in order that every month, players who have paid a subscription will be able to get some cash shop items for free.

Of course, we will remain open to discussion on this topic like any other: don’t hesitate to give us your feedback on the Social Media and/or on the forum! :)

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Hi,

 

I'v found the article I was speaking about on Discord: https://devblog.dualthegame.com/2016/04/08/monetization-player-happiness-and-economic-viability/

 

NQ about the ability to play witout paying in a pay to play model:

 

  • Pay to Play (P2P) thumbs-up-25x25.jpg?w=630
    • This model has evolved through the last decade and yes, it has become possible to play a game for free with a P2P model in its latest form, where the subscription fee can be optional. This evolution have already been successfully implemented by major MMO games, in particular Eve Online (the PLEX system) and it’s the one we are interested in. How is this possible? In any MMO community, there are generally two player categories: those with a small/tight budget for games but a lot of free time and those who have a limited time to play games but a significant budget for them. Many activities in a MMO require a significant amount of in-game money. Acquiring a large sum of in-game money takes time. Players with a limited game time generally want to skip that step if they can. The system offers them to buy a token worth a monthly sub and trade it with  another player for in-game money. Players with a low budget for games can play for free if they invest enough time in the game and gather a large amount of in-game money to buy a token from a player selling one. As there is also a free trial period, a player who is really active may gather enough in-game money before the end, and continue to play without having to spend a cent. Basically, this is the reward for contributing to the in-game Economy. Everybody wins.

 

So what’s the conclusion?

 

We have synthesized a bit all the things that were taken into account, but you have here all the main reasons why we are aiming toward a Pay to Play model. In a nutshell, here’s what we have planned:

  • Free Trial period: between 2 and 4 weeks.
  • Monthly subscription (optional with a PLEX-like system)
  • Possible (cosmetic only) Cash Shop. If deployed, we will make it in order that every month, players who have paid a subscription will be able to get some cash shop items for free.

Of course, we will remain open to discussion on this topic like any other: don’t hesitate to give us your feedback on the Social Media and/or on the forum! :)

Yes, I set this discussion up knowing this info. This was meant to hash out the pros and cons of a way to extend that Free Trial period in a limited way, or to set up an option for a previously subscribed player to re-join for a period of time (to liquidate assets and buy a DAC). So far, the cons seem to out way the pros with regard to a capped system beyond the Free Trial period. Some kind of capped or locked character system might be worth considering for returning players with lapsed subscriptions, but that's still debatable.

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Yes, I set this discussion up knowing this info. This was meant to hash out the pros and cons of a way to extend that Free Trial period in a limited way, or to set up an option for a previously subscribed player to re-join for a period of time (to liquidate assets and buy a DAC). So far, the cons seem to out way the pros with regard to a capped system beyond the Free Trial period. Some kind of capped or locked character system might be worth considering for returning players with lapsed subscriptions, but that's still debatable.

 

Go freemium or getting a small free "reconnection abo time" are pretty different.

 

Right now, a basic free access does't seem useful to me regarding a reconnection free time. Because the basic free access limits the opportunities to monetize and maybe threats our goods security, some people probably targeting player during this vulnerability time (depending on the limits featured).

 

Nevertheless, I would like a kind of "holidays mode" than could allow me to custimize my sub consumption on a daily rate or something. I want to avoid to feel trapped in a "must use it" syndrome...

 

Anyway, the subscription with the possibility to earn it ingame seems the most balanced to me.

 

First as a player, because I think these subscriptions could be expensive depending on my income. I want to play when I have runned out of monney, and maybe I want to found the game when I have plenty (more probably sufficiently u_u).

Plus, I understand that good MMO servers are expensive to keep operating. And I don't forget the NQ plans to apply free updates.

And then, I know that freemiums tend to force the devs to create new packs or events to get more monney.

And these kind of packs and events are often skins or make-up upgrades, whom the priority is to justify the players expenses. I prefere the devs aim quality and well thought designs.

 

Secondly as a worker, I prefer to live in a less stressful world, where societies are not depending of a 3 or 2 month deadline. Because, everyone feels better with a predictable income, it drives the comunities to be better. I'm tired of this every day run for competition et consumption...

This is more stricking in MMORPG, but there is quite the same trend everywhere.

 

Finally, as a builder, I think that builders, roleplayers and crafters deserve to be rewarded for increasing the game value. Maybe some gameplay could be found to support and highlight creativity.

I'm fed up with guys thinking they are better because they can or want pay more.

Or just guys thinking that players creations are testing targets.

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