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DevBlog: Monetization, player happiness and economic viability

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I have an intense interest in this game, and I'd like to play it as soon as possible, but let me just say right now that I will not play it if it is Pay to Play. I much prefer the pay once model. It's simple, direct, and I don't feel like I'm being nickle'd and dime'd out of my money.

 

My suggestion would be to use either a buy to play system as I would personally prefer as I like being able to have an option to pay once and then be done with it. Or a free to play system wherein players can use real money to buy ships from the market place (verses direct purchase of resources which would give players with money an unfair advantage) and as far as responsibilizing players I would suggest using a system where players have certain features locked until they reach a certain level or spend enough time in the game that way trouble-making players can't do that much damage and if they keep returning blocking their mac address is usually an option and let me just say that I can think of good examples of anti-cheating in both the free to play model and the pay to play model as to the free to play model I would suggest looking at the game Planetside 2, they have an exceptional anti-cheat system despite being pay to play mostly due to the extremely vigilant community. Pay to play ruins games for me, because it take them from being something I do for fun and turns them into something I'm obliged to do, if I have to reach a certain cash quota every month just so I can keep playing, it stops feeling like a game and instead becomes a chore, I want to be able to enjoy myself, and do what I want to do, without having to worry about whether or not I can keep playing for another month.

 

And as I said I am very interested in this game and if you can deliver on half the stuff you've promised at launch I will be willing to pay 60$ for this game, however I would not be willing to pay a monthly subscription. Simply doing the basic math shows that one is easier on my wallet than the other. For example, let's say I pay 60$ at launch, well now I own a game that I can play whenever I want for the life of that game (let's say 4+ years), so I've payed for 60$ for 4+ years of game. Now let's take the same example and apply it to the pay to play model, let's say for arguments sake the subscription cost is 5$ (any more and you'll be decimating your player base) if over the course of 1 year I've spent 5$ a month during that year I've spent 60$ which means I'm spending 60$ a year on this game, so basically I'm paying 4+n times as much as I would have if I had the option to just buy it in the first place. To put it in math terms (60(1) = g) or ((5*12)*(4+n) = g) So arguable you're actually making the paywall harder to overcome, not lessening it. I'm saying this as someone who live of of a very tight budget (I don't know when I'm going to have cash to spend from one day to another) to me it is far easier to pay once for something and then simply have it than it is to continue paying for that thing, if I really want it I can save up for it, but if I have to put it into my budget, than there's a good chance I simply can't afford it.

 

As to customer support the quality really depends on the team and I'd like to point out that a subscription model is more likely to lead to real money item trading which in turn will lead to far more customer support claims. As for generating enough revenue to keep customer support going I would suggest some sort of small cash shop that sells non-exclusive items which with a large enough player base should be able to generate enough revenue to keep customer support paid. Alternatively, you can stick a "tax" onto the player market and give the option to buy items with real money on it in order to generate continuous revenue without building your game around the need to do such a thing as you would with a free to play model.

 

I'd like to point out that in recent years the pay to play model has dropped in popularity due to the simple fact that it doesn't work as well as the other two in 2014, 4 of the top 5 grossing MMOs were free to play. Ultimately the biggest factor in the success of an MMORPG is the size of the player base, and the subscription model tends to limit that base far more than the other two. Free to play will generate more revenue and subscription will give better game-play and I think the best middle ground is a buy once system. It also occurs to me that you are trying to model your monetization system after Eve-Online when you really should be looking at (and forgive me for saying this) Second Life or (again forgive me) Roblox due to the creative nature of your game I believe that the most objective monetization system to implement would be the option to purchase ship blueprints with real cash thereby generating some small amount of revenue however if you combine this with a large player base that small revenue can become large quickly. I however am still in support of the Buy to play model as I believe that will produce the most balanced results for both both game play and player accessibility.

 

Finally let me just say that it seemed to me as if you had decide on the Pay to Play model already and then made that post to try and justify it to yourself and the community. This is not a criticism it is simply the impression I got from reading you post. I urge you not to use a pay to play model as it will keep dedicated players like myself from enjoying your game.

Goodbye then to you sir. The rest of us who want a game of quality and not a free-to-play crap, will pay to play the game. Your "recent years MMO free-to-play" are WoW clones that failed because they are WoW clones and WoW can't be reinvented. Go back to your WoW clones, the rest of us will pay for a game with so much innovative things going for it. 

 

 

You might think Servers run of wishes, but they don't. Go play w/e Free-To-Play  or should I say, Grind or Pay-2-Win, heavily instanced games you've played. Leave that kind of trash away from DUAL.

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I have an intense interest in this game, and I'd like to play it as soon as possible, but let me just say right now that I will not play it if it is Pay to Play. I much prefer the pay once model. It's simple, direct, and I don't feel like I'm being nickle'd and dime'd out of my money.

 

My suggestion would be to use either a buy to play system as I would personally prefer as I like being able to have an option to pay once and then be done with it. Or a free to play system wherein players can use real money to buy ships from the market place (verses direct purchase of resources which would give players with money an unfair advantage) and as far as responsibilizing players I would suggest using a system where players have certain features locked until they reach a certain level or spend enough time in the game that way trouble-making players can't do that much damage and if they keep returning blocking their mac address is usually an option and let me just say that I can think of good examples of anti-cheating in both the free to play model and the pay to play model as to the free to play model I would suggest looking at the game Planetside 2, they have an exceptional anti-cheat system despite being pay to play mostly due to the extremely vigilant community. Pay to play ruins games for me, because it take them from being something I do for fun and turns them into something I'm obliged to do, if I have to reach a certain cash quota every month just so I can keep playing, it stops feeling like a game and instead becomes a chore, I want to be able to enjoy myself, and do what I want to do, without having to worry about whether or not I can keep playing for another month.

 

And as I said I am very interested in this game and if you can deliver on half the stuff you've promised at launch I will be willing to pay 60$ for this game, however I would not be willing to pay a monthly subscription. Simply doing the basic math shows that one is easier on my wallet than the other. For example, let's say I pay 60$ at launch, well now I own a game that I can play whenever I want for the life of that game (let's say 4+ years), so I've payed for 60$ for 4+ years of game. Now let's take the same example and apply it to the pay to play model, let's say for arguments sake the subscription cost is 5$ (any more and you'll be decimating your player base) if over the course of 1 year I've spent 5$ a month during that year I've spent 60$ which means I'm spending 60$ a year on this game, so basically I'm paying 4+n times as much as I would have if I had the option to just buy it in the first place. To put it in math terms (60(1) = g) or ((5*12)*(4+n) = g) So arguable you're actually making the paywall harder to overcome, not lessening it. I'm saying this as someone who live of of a very tight budget (I don't know when I'm going to have cash to spend from one day to another) to me it is far easier to pay once for something and then simply have it than it is to continue paying for that thing, if I really want it I can save up for it, but if I have to put it into my budget, than there's a good chance I simply can't afford it.

 

As to customer support the quality really depends on the team and I'd like to point out that a subscription model is more likely to lead to real money item trading which in turn will lead to far more customer support claims. As for generating enough revenue to keep customer support going I would suggest some sort of small cash shop that sells non-exclusive items which with a large enough player base should be able to generate enough revenue to keep customer support paid. Alternatively, you can stick a "tax" onto the player market and give the option to buy items with real money on it in order to generate continuous revenue without building your game around the need to do such a thing as you would with a free to play model.

 

I'd like to point out that in recent years the pay to play model has dropped in popularity due to the simple fact that it doesn't work as well as the other two in 2014, 4 of the top 5 grossing MMOs were free to play. Ultimately the biggest factor in the success of an MMORPG is the size of the player base, and the subscription model tends to limit that base far more than the other two. Free to play will generate more revenue and subscription will give better game-play and I think the best middle ground is a buy once system. It also occurs to me that you are trying to model your monetization system after Eve-Online when you really should be looking at (and forgive me for saying this) Second Life or (again forgive me) Roblox due to the creative nature of your game I believe that the most objective monetization system to implement would be the option to purchase ship blueprints with real cash thereby generating some small amount of revenue however if you combine this with a large player base that small revenue can become large quickly. I however am still in support of the Buy to play model as I believe that will produce the most balanced results for both both game play and player accessibility.

 

Finally let me just say that it seemed to me as if you had decide on the Pay to Play model already and then made that post to try and justify it to yourself and the community. This is not a criticism it is simply the impression I got from reading you post. I urge you not to use a pay to play model as it will keep dedicated players like myself from enjoying your game.

 

While I can't say that I agree with this post (for reasons explained in the endless sea of monetization threads) I can at least respect your perspective. Wall of text or not, you at least put some effort behind your reasoning and delivered it clearly, and without being brash about it. Thank you. 

 

That said, you are right about one thing - Free To Play games are currently generating the highest amount of revenue in the MMO scene right now. Do I believe it provides a better gameplay experience than a Pay-To-Play model? Absolutely not. If your end goal for developing a game is to make money off of your cash shop, you start focusing on the cash shop rather than the game. Why provide new, rich content when people are going to pay for trivial crap for little effort on your end?

 

I would not be against a buy to play model however. I believe a great example of this pay model is Guild Wars 2, which has exactly what you suggested. While the game has fallen from it's glory, it is still a great game to play with a solid community.

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And as I said I am very interested in this game and if you can deliver on half the stuff you've promised at launch I will be willing to pay 60$ for this game, however I would not be willing to pay a monthly subscription. 

 

$60?  thats how much a good single player game goes for, that if you halfheartedly play, will beat, and be done playing in 2 months or less.  This game is not a single player game, or one that the vast majority of the players will be done with after 2 months.  So for a one time fee idea, I would want you to pay, $540.....

Thats $15 a month for 3 years.  No i don't need to break it down as a math problem either. 

 

I would love to know, what computer you are going to play this game on, living on a limited budget.  If you really had a limited budget, you would have spent computer money on food, and other necessities of life.  please don't portray yourself as something you are not.  This game IF $15 a month, is the same as giving up going out to eat once or twice a month, or a couple of trips to a starbucks.  Or giving up Coke, and switching to drinking water.

 

I for one, am glad its going to be Pay to play, and will send in that cash every month if this game is as good as it looks.  Not only that but if my kids want to play it, I will give them their own accounts as well.  AND yes I live by a very strict budget, and am willing to make a SMALL sacrifice for a great game that I love to play.  It will not hurt the company to lose people to cheap to pay, because I bet you are here on launch day like the rest of us.

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I wouldn't mind a subscription service as long as it isn't a matter of spending 30 days doing nothing but grinding only to get an extra 30 days to repeat

That's the devs job, to make the economy work right.

 

 

Also, PvP in games like EVE and DUAL, costs you in-game money, from repairs to resupplying, to an entire ship :P

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i would love for this game to be a b2p. i know some people cant fork out a lot of money at once. b2p could work in 2 ways one straight up buying the game to play and 2 a loan like system where you pay installments each month for those people who can not just give a load of money out at once.

 

in short i feel that we as the players should be paying for content. if there is nothing new why should we pay you ( yes i know server upkeep and support ). i just think DLC and cosmetic buys would be the better way to go for the player while still giving the devs financial support.

 

i love the concept to this game game and the way it is looking and i would hate for the payment method of the game to put me off.

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I too would have loved this game to be b2p rather than p2p....but definitely not f2p. The problem with p2p as has been mentioned before is that it's a dying model, I have lost count at the number of games that started off p2p but eventually had to convert away from that model. 

 

I know some of you will say well those games went that way because of the amount of flaws they had but by nature mmo's are never going to be flawless. Which leads me onto the second point in that people are less forgiving of those flaws if they are spending a monthly amount.  When you are charging a monthly fee for something it better be good and run well because if it isn't people aren't going to hang around when it's costing them money each month.  

 

For me I see b2p games like GW2 and BDO which are nowhere near perfect yet still making a tidy profit and despite having teething pains still managing to retain a healthy player base. Then I see games like Wildstar and ESO which where p2p only and have had to alter their models because the p2p only route was not good enough for them to survive.....why not do what ESO has now and have b2p but provide a optional p2p which gives additional benefits. 

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I just read the first post and just wanted to express my opinion. After having played subscription games like World of Warcraft and then turning to buy to play games like Guild Wars 2 - I just cannot support subscription games any longer. I understand the difficulties in keeping a game running but there's good ways and bad ways to go about it. I urge you to look at Guild Wars 2's payment model.

They started out as buy to play and they have excellent aesthetic/convenience only store. They even have a currency exchange system where you can use real money to buy gems in exchange for in-game currency and vice versa but you don't need to do so if you don't want to. It doesn't affect the game experience at all. It's the most player friendly payment model I've ever encountered and it really helps keep players happy and more likely to invest in buying the store items because they aren't required to do so to play.

Since the expansion came out they made the base game free to play and the expansion buy to play allowing access to a lot of new players that were on the fence or wouldn't have even looked at it before who might then buy the game eventually. They put in a lot of good systems to keep the paying player base protected. I wish all games used their system, it works so well and the game is both high quality and active without burdening the player which feels punishing.

I'd rather pay a one time high fee and then have optional store items than subscribe to gain access which just feels bad to me. It feels like you then HAVE to play or its a waste of money and then when you stop playing for a while but then want to play again for a weekend you then have to pay for a whole month, that's more like a job contract.

It's not just me. More and more, people are turned off by subscription models. New games that come out with it nowadays don't last on this model for long. To me, when a company still tries to use subscriptions required to play system they just appear to put themselves unto a pedestal like they believe they're so much better than all those other pretty decent games that tried but crashed and burned.

The higher the pedestal the higher the expectations and I just don't believe that's a realistic standard to set for yourself unless you have the kind of money Blizzard does. Especially with how ambitious this game in particular already is, it's already less likely to fully deliver or be perfectly polished and if you're going to use subscriptions you're going to be under a microscope even more so.

It's better to have your player base on your team to start with and then maybe adding a VIP/optional type subscription system at a later date or at least not make it a requirement to play, the buy to play option is better, you could just do a combination of all payment models. One that players would feel good about supporting. The investment shouldn't end at launch but maybe a few months/year after the game launched so you can establish a foundation that people would be willing to invest in. People have lost faith in promises and are tired of feeling like they're being sucked out of every last penny before even seeing the product fully materialize and settle down into a more bug free experience.

I know that you need to make money to keep developing but I just wanted to say to be careful about how you implement things. I would be sad to see that happen to this game. There has to be a better way. Just whatever you do, don't copy Archeage, it's the most abysmal model I've ever had the misfortune dealing with and please don't make subscriptions required to play.

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(Posted Friday 8th of April 2016 on the DevBlog
 
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! :)
 
The Novaquark Team.

 

 

I haven't really been happy with P2P games for quite some time, and don't think I've actually done so since I invested something like 3 years into Lineage 2 a decade+ ago. That being said, I am actually REALLY happy to see the route the devs are deciding to go with this. Having a free-trial (especially one the length being suggested) will give everyone a fare shot to try before they buy and decide if this is the game for them. This also eliminates the pay-wall that has been mentioned by so many that might deter someone from even giving the game a shot. IE - help consumers (it is a business after all) have a sense of confidence without having to shell out $60 for a product that may not meet their expectations *cough cough, No, cough cough, Mans this cough*. Ultimately giving access to more people, hopefully winning them over with the quality of their product (and community - hint hint), bringing in more money, longevity, and prosperity for the server/game. It might also help to get people who feel they've been burnt in the past by B2P/P2P games, interested and onboard. As for the cosmetics cash shop, I have no problem dropping cash on that as well if it 1) quality vs. cost seems worth it to me 2) items can be acquired in-game with time/credit investment. 

 

Just so we are all clear on my stance; if the game is everything I hope it to be, I would happily B2P and then P2P it, but first I want to try it. I would also like to ask that the dev team make payments available via multiple currencies possible for those of us who live outside the USD & Euro bubble :P

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Freeloaders everywhere, thinking in guild wars and paid expansions, cause you know , procedural games can take expansions-- oh wait, they can't, you essentially pay subscription for the devs to add new features, instead of new skins on the cash shop...

 

 

Freeloaders... ts ts ts...

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I don't know why this is an issue.  Everyone who downloads the game will get a free trial period in which to try out the game.  Even if it's a 2 week period, that's more then you get to decide if you like a game you bought on steam (you get 2 hours on steam).  NOBODY WHO DOWNLOADS THE GAME IS IN ANY WAY OBLIGATED TO PAY A DIME.  Many of us on this forum enjoy going to the theater to see a movie now and then.  Movie tickets these days cost anywhere from $8 to $15 and of course you then buy the refreshments, and you probably are going with someone, so you end up spending about $40 for at most 3 hours of entertainment.  Now if you spend $15 a month on a game, you have to play less then half an hour a month to get the same value for your entertainment.  Don't complain that you can't afford to pay a subscription if ever go see a movie in the theaters.  Hell, you could probably make your subscription money by going on craigstlist and gathering scrap metal from the free area and taking it to a recycler.  Or just put 50 cents a day in a jar and deposit it in your bank every month.  If you can't spend 50 cents a day to play a game for as many hours as you like in that day then you really don't want to play any games and you should probably go join a monastery somewhere and take up Gregorian chants as a hobby instead.

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I just hope the devs implement a payment system that is needed for the game to fit their vision. I am fine with a pay to play system as long as the devs and the community manager outline why a pay to play system is needed. A review into the technology that is needed to make this game possible and the comparison in costs to a standard mmo. Pay to play games are very hard to trust cause so many have failed to deliver on features and promises and the company is taking money the whole time. It creates a very negative opinion on pay to play. Being open and honest with the community about why pay to play is needed is all I ask for if pay to play system is going to be implemented.

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Well you lost me. The reason I never have or will play is the P2P model that I will not abide. I have no problem with the buy-to-play model at whatever price is fair. I love the game concept and would gladly pay $100 American if it panned out as nice as put forward, but as it is, I will never go beyond the trial period.

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Well you lost me. The reason I never have or will play is the P2P model that I will not abide. I have no problem with the buy-to-play model at whatever price is fair. I love the game concept and would gladly pay $100 American if it panned out as nice as put forward, but as it is, I will never go beyond the trial period.

Apparently, you need to be paid once and then being worked to death, to figure out why programmers are people too and they need to eat. You are 15, I get it, you probably have no idea how the world works, but the truth is, you'll pay a subscription to play the game, if the devs end up making the game a smooth experience.

 

Also, Buy-2-Play, works only when a game can have expansions. Explain how expansions can work in a game without instances. Subscription is the only way to guarantee consistent updates and new features added into the game, let alone servr maintenance, because, guess what young one, servers do need maintenance.

 

Now go play whatever Korean Pay-2-Win Free-2-Play game you were playing already. Go pay money to buy energy points to walk 3 steps.

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I think that the PLEX based system tied with P2P has to be based around how scarce some resources are which create supply and demand in the games economy. Eve works well with this because everything is created via the players and universe market is created. The game needs something like this to have the sub model with this economic in game model for the plex system to work. Not enough info about the games economy is known yet for me to put my opinion in one way or another. 

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I think that the PLEX based system tied with P2P has to be based around how scarce some resources are which create supply and demand in the games economy. Eve works well with this because everything is created via the players and universe market is created. The game needs something like this to have the sub model with this economic in game model for the plex system to work. Not enough info about the games economy is known yet for me to put my opinion in one way or another. 

That's DUAL's goals as well. Player-driven economy. And the way they go about it, it also sounds like the job of a planet scout may be an actual thing, as one planet is mined dry of its minerals.

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[ Not to small ] Article about Monetization in MMORPG games.

 

 

Hello All

 
[Prologue]
 
I want express my point of view on this subject, I hope it reaches some one of Novaquark.
I will write in form of an article and  will try to not be repetitive with all of already said before. Continuing where devblog have stopped.
Also will not let my personal preference as a player influence on the analysis
Speaking as an analyst, I'm not a hater of any of this methods they are all ways to do business.
(as player i have my preferences, since I've been in a lot of serves with different ways of monetization)


 
[ The Analysis]
 
P2W - Serious players will never tolerate it, simply because its unfair, so i will ignore this one at this time.
Just a mention to take in consideration: P2W is a valid method and still a very lucrative one,
used in special by the mobile game developers, and yes it works for their public!


 
F2P - The 1st Big MMO company to adopt a true F2P, breaking the paradigm of P2P on their games was NCSoft, that once notice that almost 50% of ppl that was playing their most successful  title "Lineage2"(P2P), were not playing on their servers, most of serious players were preferring to play on open source private servers. The main reasons: F2P, Bot-protection, faster leveling up. Some well administrated (few bugs, Not P2W, ant-cheat) international servers had about 5k+ active players on 2006. NCSoft took about 5 years of study players style and desires and learn from their mistakes, when they announce that Lineage2 would open its new version remade from scratch and complete F2P it produced a commotion on the MMO market, they delivered a game that was not only F2P but done based on players desires, and with this they got back all players and put an end to the private serves era. Now they use the same method to almost all their games.
Following NCSoft, experience many companies have changed to F2P, but not all of them manage it to well.
F2P can keep your game alive for long time always bringing new players to the pool,
MMO games are all about to interact with others and make friends, this new players not only replace ones that left but make the old players want to stay in, once a player reach the end-game, they get bored easily, and use to act like: "since I'm already on a nice position let me try this new game" and soon he lose the interest and move on to the new game that has new things to explore and challenges him again, specially if our game is P2P,  few ppl i know would pay for 2 games at once.
One of the things that most keep the players inside the game are the newcomers that can be one friend or relative you call to join you or a random new player that you become friend, and by helping this guy will keep the player away from get bored and leave the game.
 
Conclusion:
F2P is a valid method if well implemented.
It's totally possible to run a F2P game server without  become a flat crappy or P2W.
But need an advanced administration strategy and close follow up by the dev studio, what is a hard thing do to.


 
B2P - Method Used by many games like ESO (and Minecraft but that's a different story)
To start in the game the company can let the player insinde for about 2 weeks, just to get ride of refund requests by those that doesn't enjoy/can't run the game well on their hardware.
Most players will love this method because its the easier one for those that can afford, if one loved the game and think will have fun for a long time he will agree on purchase from about $50 to $300 since he would only pay once. For the company is a nice way to get the invested money fast and move on.
Sadly this method only works for real on single player games, not for MMOs that need to be kept alive for years paying the server and crew and also finance the next game years later. There is a high chance that the server will run out of players and die fast, because no matter if you have an in-game store selling stuff for real money, since few new players will join the game from 10 months later the launch.

And obviously the players will have to face 2 obstacles just at the beginning, the price itself that its not cheap for many gamers, specially for those who depends on parents to pay for his game. And payment method that many times require and international credit card that most ppl don't have. (the so called pay wall)
 
Conclusion B2P is a great method for a single player game that development ends few days after the game launch. Not for MMORPGs.



 
P2P - The most classic MMO charge method of all, and still been used by some of the "big fish" like WOW and EVE.
The company/studio will always love this one!!.. Because its the easiest for the company! Its like have your house rented,
The money will keep coming monthly, and for a game, its almost an automated management, The crew can focus on their specialty, develop games! Not waste their brains and time on complex marketing planing.
Business administration was always one of hardest and vital jobs on any company, specially on MMOs game market where most of "Business Master Degree" professionals has zero know-how and zero experience, so how can the software house will find the right man for the job ? how to keep a game server on and fun and alive and lucrative ? the easy way is pay to play a monthly fee...
 
As its notorious by reading the community posts that many players agree with this method,
because they look trough a customers optics, not  of a business:
"If the company provide a good service, and can afford for it, I'm OK on paying the price its charged".
So P2P is the best and viable method to work right ?
 
On a basic analysis, it seems to be, but a company must look forward and deeper.

If you do study a little deeper the P2P method you start to find out why its considered obsolete and most of companies stop to use it
and the few who still using it had implemented some workarrounds technics to keep things running.

 
As start, since it is a payed service it also recommended to give a free limited period to players test the game, the customer seems with good eyes and once more works to avoid lots of refund requests and some legal issues.

But lets analyze  some drawbacks of P2P method:
Players once leave the game to "test" other games  will rarely be back.
Players with low budge will include the game as "superfluous" on their monthly house accounting and have unconscious inclination to think hes not suppose to be paying for the game, its not the game price itself, but it's how the mind assign priorities. Like when you pay for play at a private tennis court, when the budge get tight you stop paying and cross the city to play on public  tennis court.
 
The "Pay Wall":
Its way higher than it seems to be in the begging! Lets calculate. Game Companies use to charge $15 USD per month.
I heard many times the argument: "the player can chose to not go the Mc'Donalds once a week and pay for the game, so its cheap and healthy".
But, Lets pretend You start to play the game today, its great! So you girl that hate you playing FPS games, just like this one because its a creative one and she seems herself more an artist than a gamer girl, and obviously your son will want to play with you and your nephew that you always had purchased games because your boring brother think games are a waste of money. ... Ops! you just notice you end up with 4 subscriptions $60 USD per month! How long you can afford for it ?
I knew and still know many ppl on this situation in games like WOW and ESO when they were on P2P model .
 
Second very important situation that many international game server and studios haven't notice yet! (or don't care, what i don't think so):
Not all countries have USD or EUR as currency! What brings us to some big problems described below:
 
1st The Price:
This time using myself as example: I live in Brazil, (that's considered one of the biggest game market in the world)
if I decide to play EVE today, i have to play $63,84 BRL for the 1 month PLEX!.  Its almost as high than my energy bill, higher than my water bill, double than my internet bill, enough to pay for 1 month cooking gas, and so on. When i start the game I will have my consciousness and my family over me every month trying to convene me to stop to play this expensive game, it will be a matter of time for me to drop out.
 
2nd Loneliness:
When a player join a new game, he use to bring many of his friends to start a guild/company and play competitive. With this pay wall, many players will be alone inside, simply because his friends can't afford for it. (I felt that on 1st ESO year).
Since MMO are all about team work and friendship, the player friends will be together playing other game, and soon he will drop out to join them.
 
3rd Payment Method:
Many times price isn't the problem, example, Bethesda (ESO) only accept international credit card before start sell ESO on Steam, most potential players, that spend hundreds of dollars per year with games, still don't have international credit cards, nor paypal accept national cc for international purchases. Teenagers, College students, low budget workers and freelancers, rarely will be able to pay for play an international monthly fees.
 
4th Pay to Win:
Most ppl think since a game is P2P its impossible to become P2W, that's not true IF:
The player can buy items or PLEX with real money and resell inside for game money.

Its unfair and unbalanced like selling bazookas on server store! Lets use the situations above as subjects: Suppose a player living in UK pay £ 15 EUR, for his monthly fee and buy one more PLEX to sell for game money. while a Latin American player if uses Brazilian Real (BRL that is the strongest LA currency) must pay $ 55 BRL for his monthly fee and more $ 55 BLR for a PLEX to sell.  The UK player spent 30 buck while the Latin player 110 bucks. Not only Latin America currency is lower than USD and EUR, in fact may international community currency are.
 
At the initial months of the game a player could sell any "Buyable-Only-For-RL-Money" item like a PLEX, Cosmetic, Pet, etc... For about 1k game money or less. but after the server achieve more than 1 year, the players will be heavy monetized one of those items can easy reach 1kk+.

Now imagine that End-Game TOP PVP gear that can wipe entire planets, are you afraid?! A new player starting today with $ 1000,00 USD to spend can start the game today, buy a lot of items/PLEX on the game store and resell ingame becoming an instant millionary and full heavy equipped, Overpowering many hard work players and unbalancing the game like in any other P2W game server.

 
At same time other MMO economic phenomenon (that must times is worse than overpowers heavy cached players).  Is, that ALL ingame market will be balanced in real world money, bringing big advantage for strong currency and rich players, the best items will be priced in real money even when only could be purchased from other players by game money.
 
Sell items for real money that can be resold inside the game is a very well known technic used by private server owners to mask the P2W unbalanced situation of his game. The store and website says: "We don't sell items that interfere on game competitively"  but once you start to play the game you will notice that all powerful ingame items are overpriced and referenced on real world money like: The top weapon cost 1 billion, or 10 items that can only be purchased with real money. Normally no one can get this 1 billion with out buy items and resell them ingame. Also a big black market use to grow fast selling game  items and weapons out of the game for real money, in sites around the web what makes the game more P2W.
 
I could tell more details but is enough for now.
 

Short Answer:
P2P its viable and easy for the software studio manage, but is the worse method for the players, so that's why its obsolete.
It goes against the modern business paradigm where the company to become successful in the market MUST take the customer satisfaction as main priority, in this case the players are the customers and the service is entertainment and fun play time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

[My Personal Opinion]
 
I don't know the gold formula, but pondering about what was posted at developers blog, and my own analysis about many game companies.
 
The best monetization method is a Mix of smart use of many technics at once, that as any other company must be well administrated and followed closely. What will not work is any method that company turn ON and think it will work as a static wheel.
 
To play the game players must buy a "coin" (as COIN read: pass, Access Level, token, etc..)
That will be available in different types and prices.
Coins can be purchased and sent as Gift to an other account but once received its untradable.


My Example of modern MMO monetization system:

Free "Coin":
This allow the player join the game for real, not a 2 weeks demo. The free player can enjoy the game with restrictions, this restrictions MUST be well explained, in a video, not in small font inside an EULA, know exactly how nice are the features they are missing will make them want to buy the payed coin every time they have the money to spend. Many free players will spend a lot of money on the game when they have it in hand, and also will fell safe and well satisfied in the months they can only pay for their internet.
 
Free players also will keep the server full and alive, and always recycling, there is not worse than a ghost server for a new player, if you join Bethesda ESO today, you have a big chance to close and ask for refund. They created a state of art game, beautiful and hand made in every single detail, but as its an expensive B2P, there is almost no one there to see their work, all the players are at end-game zones and unless you are expecting a single player game you will find yourself running from one ghost city to an other populated only for NPCs.
Its notorious that what makes a game alive for years is a fun and populated server it will keep the old players and attract new ones, its a circle.
 
About the restrictions: Free player can have less inventory slots, less space to protect for his base, less access fast mining tools, no automated mining / crafting equipment while they are off line, no access to the (untradable) engine fuel for fast travel on the same system taking half an hour to reach a place that could be reached in 2 minutes with that engine that can only be purchased at game shop, no free warp drive to a free player could only warp to other side of the universe trough warp gates ruled by other players and charged by ingame money.
Also free players can be asked to watch a full advertisements before login and fill surveys sometimes and other off game methods of publicity to keep their free access and bring more player for the game.

 
Low price "Coin" (something around 5 to 10 bucks)
For the casual players and low budgets, it will simply give access to more game features, faster mining, use of local auction system to sell items while his off line, more area to protect for safe base creation, and very few credits to buy untradable items on game shop like cosmetics, pets, slots, fast engine fuels etc. If a player purchase this "coin" 2x during 30 days he wins a bonus color/mark/medal/hat/ship-logo  etc... and few more credits to expend.
 

High cost "Coin" (about 15 bucks)
This coin is the P2P method under other skin! And suppose to have the same price of a P2P subscription, this coin technically unlock all features of the game, automated mining, off line sells, few more credits to buy on game shop, probably a anti-material fuel that only runs out 'mysteriously' when the player pass more than 30 days with out buy this coin, than the player must buy his fuel with his left credit on the game shop.
This player can use his credits to buy exclusive untradable cosmetics that others cant.
Also this Coin if purchased every month, could allow the player create one warp gate and set an ingame fee for those who want to cross, and one more portal each 3 months eh keep buying this. In other words, if you like P2P this is your method !
 

 
Special coin (about 50 bucks)
This coin is for those who works hard to have a stable budget but no time to waste on farming and mining. The player gain the same benefits of "high cost coin" and also lots of raw mats and some tier 1 parts, probably a free combat ship (that he will destroy in battle). Special Pet at 3rd time the player purchases this. Exclusive cosmetic and ship parts also possible. Experience multiplicators fast leveling skills also possible to.
What the dev studio must be aware all time is that this IS NOT a P2W coin, so it can give a free ship, but never with simple mid-game weapons and equips, One thing must be clear while defining the kit of advantages of this coin, focus on make things fast but never stronger the normal players.
 
 
Credit coin (5 bucks)
This coin gives no advantages, it only brings ingame credits to use as currency on game shop. this must also be untradable ingame as all coins are. Many players including the free players will be buying a lot of this type of coin every month.

 
The Game Store (where player can spend the credit they get when buy coins)
you can sell all kinds of items that not impact on game balance, like the cosmetics and character modifications, fast engine fuels, space ship visual 3D parts, pets, ships and vehicle with no default weapons. The Key here is sell many different consumables, good ones so players will purchase them many times and always need more. Like: Fuel, best mining tool that breaks after mining a determined mass amount, energy packs, medicines, buffs and potions for the player character, shield generator for ships that breaks after determined amount of damage received, scanner with limited time of use and not rechargeable etc..
As many consumables as possible must be available, they must have ingame craftable versions but the one you purchase on the store must always be strong and last longer than its craftable versions. like any one can craft a tier 1 shield generator for his ships, but the game store shield generator absorbs 10% more damage and take 300% more before it breaks. the 10% its not to much to unbalance a fight and the durability makes you don't need to expend hours on mining and crafting a lot of shields for one PVP day.
 
Also the store must provide limited period items, and promotions that will make the players behave like "Black Friday" customers.
Also random 3 hours discounts that will make the players always want to buy coins have some credit on hands to don't lose good consumables at cheap prices.
 
IMPORTANT not a single Item of the game shop can be tradable ingame or it will unbalance the economy.
Most of them are account bound others are character bound.


 
OFF Game Market
This is a website where players can sell the items that they craft ingame for Real money and Game money. It works with a license system, a player that buys a "low price coin" will gain a low level access license to sell his items on the site for other players for game money only, a player that brought the "high price coin" will gain a high level access license and can sell for game money and real money. All transactions are taxed by the intergalactic game studio developers the ones with game money have low tax (10~20%) and send the gold back for the player in 24 hours after the transaction, the item goes to the buyer account as a package delivery instantly, but money must have a configurable delay.
Transaction with real money have heavy taxes (40~60%) and the money only goes to the player twice per month via pay pall account.
this works like a PlayStore. If game modding are present modders can also sell their mods here following the same rules.
The dev studio can add some off game items to sell here to, like T-shirts, hats, plush pets, 3d printed ships models, and all other geek gamer stuff relates the the game.


 
[Final Consideration]
 
In this long article provided some personal research of monetization with a different point of view that i think can be interesting for any dev team or server administrator, but also i hope serve as instructive reading for any one that want understand more about game monetization.
 
I also hope I can help the Novaquark managers to refine their strategy
because I really believe that they are developing a great game for us all to have fun.

 
 
I also want to thank you very much for your time reading this very long and not perfect text. And home the Big text don't makes forum ppl hate me. See yah!

 


-W. Lynkx
:lol:

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[ Not to small ] Article about Monetization in MMORPG games.

 

 

HUGE POST :D

 
[Final Consideration]

 

In this long article provided some personal research of monetization with a different point of view that i think can be interesting for any dev team or server administrator, but also i hope serve as instructive reading for any one that want understand more about game monetization.

 

I also hope I can help the Novaquark managers to refine their strategy
because I really believe that they are developing a great game for us all to have fun.

 

 

 
I also want to thank you very much for your time reading this very long and not perfect text. And home the Big text don't makes forum ppl hate me. See yah!

 

 

 

-W. Lynkx

:lol:

 

 

The thing is, Lineage 2 had 90% of its player on private/pirate servers. NQ has the tech behind their servers, it's not an "off the shelves" kind of server tech.

 

 

Then, they got a NEW type of MMO, with zero instances, for which to work, you need their server tech, which, they own.

 

 

So, why go free-to-play? They are not anothe generic MMO. They are like EVE and Landmark had a baby with all the best both sides can offer.

 

 

This kind of promising quality, is WORTH the Pay-to-Play model. They are not NCSoft and w/e MMO they crank out for the Free-toPlay grinders who will eventually start paying for "ease of use" since the grinding becomes real.

 

 

Without a Pay-to-Play model, you look at loot crates and shit, which, in my opinion, are legalised gambling robbing you blind. And if they can't go loot crate due to laws (we are in Europe after all) they will have to start selling super-duper rare items or materials for cash, which pretty much screws the in-game economy hard.

 

 

 

Buy to Play is not even an option, as Buy to Play works only by selling expansions, which can't be implemeted in a game like DUAL without instanes and a procedural universe. But to Play, would also need a cash shop for items and the average "month to price" per expansion if they go for a 60 USD expansion a year, would be at the minimum, 5 dollars a month, with the possibility for you as a consumer, to actually pay more than the standard 15 USD per month subscription if you were to buy things off the cash shop.

 

 

 

IMO, the older MMOs can't apply to DUAL's case. Its server tech COSTS (like, a lot). They can't rely on free-to-play withou going pay-to-win, but a subscription + PLEX model guarantees their operating costs and a profit for the company to keep updating the game itself.

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sorry friend, but go to ESO and take a look the desert that is inside, what makes a server alive are the players, player come to a game that is easy and welcome to join.



if server have 10k+ online the game shop will pay and be way more lucrative than subscription method, 
i hope you have read the  P2P part of my article, i know its huge, but i think the explanation is clear about why P2P don't prioritize the costumer and  are very unbalanced because of different currency's of real world, plz analyse as a company not as a player, and it turns P2W to if a player can sell those PLEX

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sorry friend, but go to ESO and take a look the desert that is inside, what makes a server alive are the players, player come to a game that is easy and welcome to join.

 

 

 

if server have 10k+ online the game shop will pay and be way more lucrative than subscription method, 

i hope you have read the  P2P part of my article, i know its huge, but i think the explanation is clear about why P2P don't prioritize the costumer and  are very unbalanced because of different currency's of real world, plz analyse as a company not as a player, and it turns P2W to if a player can sell those PLEX

Well, like it or not, the game has a lot of information to ship around the world. ESO, is heavily instanced, DUAL has no instances, which is why it can't avlidate its subscription. Plus, a cashi shop will destroy the in-game economy if you were to buy items off of it.

 

If you can't see their difference and why DUAL needs a steady subscription income, to keep both the servers running and the devs paid, while keeping the sandbox free of pay-to-win, then I can't do anything more to convince you.

 

If something is good, people will pay for it. DUAL is not another generic Korean MMO but ESO is another Korean MMO, even if it was not made in Korea. It's the same grindfest that forces you to pay-to-win.

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Well, well, well.

 

In this game is it all about giving the players freedom to create whatever they like, isnt that right?

 

With big factions, nations, companies will the world of DU rise and fall. Over and over again, untill DU is over and we have found us a new game to play, or we do not play PC games at all enymore. Who knows? You will very soon expirence that some players gets richer than others, that the wealth float to others hands. Then will you work, then will the nations grow, the companies, the factions! And so will desulation come. Ther will be war. And after the war. New life, new empires, through the universe!

 

But who do you think will mine all day, who do you think will take the HARD work on their backs! Who do you think will fight as soliders in the wars. Who?! Those who is not often online, they will meet up when the sound of cannons breaks the world, they would stand there and collect resources. One by one. Bit by bit. Not much as one but enourmous as one. They, and not just they will be the backs in wich the sosicity lays on.

 

I suggest that you use Both. versions

B2P and P2P in that way would we not only support those who would play all day. But also they who just needs a timebreak, huge events or just play with their friend sometimes. You say that B2P comes with people who can destroy the game. Well we all can! One by one, or in a group could you easely destroy the game for many people. But hey! How could you destroy a game where you are free to do what you want! (Yeah I see the problem with hackers, but what do we have admins for!) If you do not feel safe for griefers. Dont you see what a nation could do for you in this place. Loalty and taxses against protection and law. Booom! I just solved the problem. Ther! Ther! Do you se. It is the gold, ready to get collected. YOU GET THAT, IF I GET THIS. Thats how it works in real life. Thats how it works in minecraft kingdomes. And that how it should work in DU. I could say as much as this about it. I creats history, fun and tears.

 

I suggest that you could use B2P as an kind of option to P2P for those with money but not that much of time. I show you an exemple.

 

50-100$ for B2

X$ for P2P

 

Then those who wish to could easelly just buy the game for a high price and just have it forever with the same rights and services as they who use the P2P. In that way do we take care of everyone instead of just one faction of people. (Ok we lose the F2P guyes, but thats for another day)

 

I want realy to play with my friends on DU. Make it great. Make it shine. For this idea, is what I was aiming for the first time i looked at steam.

I found the bullet in DU.

 

Lets go and make history guyes,

And as always. Stay cool..

 

- [ ] The Titan

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Well, well, well.

 

In this game is it all about giving the players freedom to create whatever they like, isnt that right?

 

With big factions, nations, companies will the world of DU rise and fall. Over and over again, untill DU is over and we have found us a new game to play, or we do not play PC games at all enymore. Who knows? You will very soon expirence that some players gets richer than others, that the wealth float to others hands. Then will you work, then will the nations grow, the companies, the factions! And so will desulation come. Ther will be war. And after the war. New life, new empires, through the universe!

 

But who do you think will mine all day, who do you think will take the HARD work on their backs! Who do you think will fight as soliders in the wars. Who?! Those who is not often online, they will meet up when the sound of cannons breaks the world, they would stand there and collect resources. One by one. Bit by bit. Not much as one but enourmous as one. They, and not just they will be the backs in wich the sosicity lays on.

 

I suggest that you use Both. versions

B2P and P2P in that way would we not only support those who would play all day. But also they who just needs a timebreak, huge events or just play with their friend sometimes. You say that B2P comes with people who can destroy the game. Well we all can! One by one, or in a group could you easely destroy the game for many people. But hey! How could you destroy a game where you are free to do what you want! (Yeah I see the problem with hackers, but what do we have admins for!) If you do not feel safe for griefers. Dont you see what a nation could do for you in this place. Loalty and taxses against protection and law. Booom! I just solved the problem. Ther! Ther! Do you se. It is the gold, ready to get collected. YOU GET THAT, IF I GET THIS. Thats how it works in real life. Thats how it works in minecraft kingdomes. And that how it should work in DU. I could say as much as this about it. I creats history, fun and tears.

 

I suggest that you could use B2P as an kind of option to P2P for those with money but not that much of time. I show you an exemple.

 

50-100$ for B2

X$ for P2P

 

Then those who wish to could easelly just buy the game for a high price and just have it forever with the same rights and services as they who use the P2P. In that way do we take care of everyone instead of just one faction of people. (Ok we lose the F2P guyes, but thats for another day)

 

I want realy to play with my friends on DU. Make it great. Make it shine. For this idea, is what I was aiming for the first time i looked at steam.

I found the bullet in DU.

 

Lets go and make history guyes,

And as always. Stay cool..

 

- [ ] The Titan

Your points are broken. The Devs go for a PLEX system essentially, other people buy your subscription and they sell it to you for in-game cash. Add a salary system in there and you will see how soon those "not-often-online" people start playing essentially for free.

 

Plus, you won't be online 24/7. That's a fact. I want subscription and I have a social life on the sides. I won't be sitting at home 24/7 to make the most out of my subscription.

 

 

So, your B2P model, will kill the game or force the Devs to make the game unbearable as of the grinding required and force you to buy "ease-of-use" packages for real cash. That's how this type of market works. Or, add pay-walls EVERYWHERE. You know, game cancer.

 

P2P is the best solution. It is worth its subscription because it is unique. Space Engineers is a joke compared to DUAL's scope and Star Citizen is a heavily instanced simulation with no creative and building options.

 

And if you claim there are people who can't spare 15USD a month but can buy a 100 USD game, then you are out-right lying. And you would have to buy the game anyway before the subscription model, cause cheaters.

 

 

When I was 14 and played one, I used to get like 30 Euro a month as pocket money, cause my family wasn't at he best of financial conditions. Was I some sort of Jedi and figured out I had to manage my money to pay for the subscription? Or was I a jedi for saving up money in general?

 

 

Stop with the borderline silly arguements people. Quit being freeloaders.

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 The Devs go for a PLEX system essentially, other people buy your subscription and they sell it to you for in-game cash.

I really hope the Devs reconsider it !!

 

I think i have showed that ANY item that can be purchased by real money, and sold in-game for game money is P2W!!! 

Since a Rich guy with 1000$+ to spend, can start in the game today, buys a lot of sellable plex, and become a millionaire ingame tomorrow,

and use all this ingame money to buy everything he needs to finance his guild / company / army of destruction. (including hire mercenaries with those Plex)

 

And he will be unstoppable simply because you wipe his armada today just to see him replaces his ships and items using his real money to convert in game money

selling those Plex, while you need to have all your guild members mining to try to repair yours,

 

Also soon you will see that all important items in the market will be priced by real money comparison not game currency.

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