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K.I.C.K.S.T.A.R.T.R. an alternative to flat monthly fees

Discussion in 'Gaming Arena' started by Ohoni, Aug 25, 2013.

  1. Ohoni

    Ohoni Cupcake-About-Town

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    This idea came up during the discussion about CREDD, and basically how it was good to have a flat subscription because that was the best way to pay for major updates like raids and stuff. But what about players that don't do raids? Why should their monthly fee go into developing content that they have no interest in? So that's where I thought of the idea to micro-fund each aspect of the game.

    Basically, it would work like this, you could give them a dollar, and for a dollar, you would get 100 "Funding chits." There could also be a flat monthly rate available of $15 per month, for which you'd get your 1500 chits, and maybe some bonus ones, like another 250-500. You would then be able to use an in-game interface to dump these chits into various features that you want to see them develop further. Do you only raid and only want them to make more raids? Dump all your chits into the "New Raid" pool. Do you only work on building your house? Dump them into the "more housing options" pool. Do you play all aspects of the game? Split your points 50 here, 100 there, whatever, or perhaps they could just have a "general" pool you could dump points into, which means they develop whatever they like.

    If you really want to see a certain feature expanded, and have plenty of money to burn, you could buy an infinite number of chits, so go to town. If you don't have a lot of free cash but enjoy the game you bought for $60 and don't need anything more from it, then don't worry about it, just keep playing and having fun.

    As milestones are met and new features are added, they could choose to give them to all players, or they could choose to restrict them, at least temporarily, to those that chipped in, for example if they released a new raid due to the raid pool overflowing, they could restrict it to only those who put in at least $5-10 to make that happen, and then a few months later open it to all. Of course if you got there and the raid had already started before you could help fund it you would still be able to spend your $5-10 and get immediate access.

    For those that really like a monthly fee that works exactly like WoW's does, then very little would change for you. Just pay your $15, dump your chits into the general pool, and move on. For those that like a monthly fee but would like a little more control over the future of the game, buy your $15 in chits and put them to work on the project that would improve your gaming experience. If you don't like a monthly sub, that's fine too, chip in what you can, when you can, where you care to and it's all good.
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  2. AnotherJaggens

    AnotherJaggens Cupcake-About-Town

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    There is a system like this already working in mmos, where you pay for content directly. It's called f2p/b2p+microtransactions.
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  3. Kataryna

    Kataryna Super Cupcake

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    no gaming company the size that makes a triple A mmo is going to be able to make anything like this work.
    the people vote for "insert-random-idea-here"
    devs attempt to figure out how it'll work.
    devs decide there's no possible way in HELL to make "insert-random-idea-here" fit into the game or even WORK in any way.
    people are pissed off about their money they paid to make the feature is wasted and don't pay for anything anymore.

    the Sub model makes it so the devs say "hey we're working on 'THIS'!! it's cool and we think you'll like it!!" if you like whatever "THIS" happens to be then you can give them money so that they can continue to develop that. if you don't like "THIS" then you stop playing because you obviously don't like the direction the game is going.
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  4. lusciifi

    lusciifi Cupcake-About-Town

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    There is a reason why every democracy in the world is representative and not direct. If you agree with carbines philosophy you "vote" for them by paying a sub and they decide how to spend the money. I still am not convinced the majority knows what they want when it comes to mmos.
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  5. Cogburn

    Cogburn Cupcake-About-Town

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    Actually a Republic is representative ( United States ). Democracies are majority rule.

    But I do agree with Kat. Carbine says "Hey we're making this game and if you like it come play!" and if you don't like don't spend your money on it.
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  6. Saybel

    Saybel Cupcake

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    Wildstar is deffinitly a game that was made with the intention of making a good quality game. With that point being made you must not forget there are people that work there, went to college, a company that expects profits, etc... What I'm getting at is yes you don't do everything but you can and If you don't like the rate they charge you I think DDO has a system like you are talking about. In all honesty I'm not trying to be rude but people forget that this is still a bussiness and they deserve to see profit and if they are collecting profit from there sub then they won't start money grubbing and pushing micro transactions and <REDACTED> down our throat. Which I truly think they don't wanna do. I fully support the sub system backed through C.R.E.D.D. I'm sure in time you will as well.
  7. Ohoni

    Ohoni Cupcake-About-Town

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    I haven't seen any though where you pay in advance for features you want. In GW2, you pay into the cash shop, and that funds future content, but you cannot determine which future content you'd like them to pursue. Likewise, in DCUO, you pay for DLC packs, and presumably if a DLC pack focused around a new raid sells better than one focusing on PvP, then they would put more of their effort into the next raid pack rather than PvP, but that's still paying after the fact, and you're still paying, I believe it's $15? In any case you're paying a set fee. If you enjoy raids but don't want to pay $15, you cannot pay any less, and if you love raids and could throw hundreds of dollars at it without noticing you don't have that option either.

    This system would allow you to specifically calibrate your support, adding as much or as little as you care to, towards specific features you'd like to see developed.

    Oh, no, that would be a nightmare, I agree. Players would be incapable of nominating features, only on voting on the available nominees, which would all be determined entirely by Carbine. If they don't want to develop a certain type of content then they wouldn't put it up in the first place. But as an example, let's say that in a given month you are given these choices:

    A. A new 40-man raid
    B. A new 20-man raid
    C. A new PvP feature
    D. A new set of weapons and armor
    E. A new open world event chain

    There could be more or less, whatever the devs reasonably feel like working on. Each would have a target goal, some higher than others, and once met, work could begin on that feature. Of course they would be working on previous months' features while waiting to see what happens with the current ones. You could put as much or as little into each of those categories to reflect your interest in them. They would not add anything to the list that they were not already planning to develop, and if a given feature does not get funding one month, it might roll over into the next, or retooled and re-offered, or abandoned completely. I imagine that like with regular kickstarter, if you put chits into an idea that is abandoned completely, you'd get those chits back and could spend them on a different feature.

    Yes, but it's a very vague and broad thing. Like what if you love the new PvE content, but have no interest in the PvP content? How do you "vote" that? Or what if you hate every bit of the new content they've put out over the past few months, but still love some of the existing content and would like to continue playing that, while not giving the impression that you approve of the new stuff? This allows you to make much more direct purchasing choices.

    MMOs are VERY complex beasts, and "ima throw money at you!" is a very poor way of conveying feedback.

    Why not?
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  8. Emissary

    Emissary New Cupcake

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    This sounds like you're suggesting people can pay as much or as little as they like. I would be very surprised if that lead to an increase in revenue for the developers!

    Where is the money coming from to maintain GMs? Who is paying for balance patches and people to analyse the data coming out of PVP? Where will they get the money to run the servers themselves?

    If everyone was happy with the game as it was, then the game would have to shut down within a very short space of time.

    And the biggest problem with this system: those people who do not want new content are unlikely to be those people who keep playing a game. This brings back the problem of Free-to-play sponging from Pay-to-play.


    However, the idea of giving subscribers a vote on what they want sounds great. It would be interesting if each time your payment went out you were asked what new content you want. That part of your idea actually makes sense.
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  9. lusciifi

    lusciifi Cupcake-About-Town

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    Ill give you the same example from the other thread. 90% of players wouldn't have voted for new raids and yet xmog runs of those raids is one of the most popular activities in the game. And besides, having a defined philosophy for the game is better then basing things on the whims of the players. CoD is the most popular fps but not every game or even every fps should try to listen to the majority and be more like CoD.
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  10. Kataryna

    Kataryna Super Cupcake

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    How do you vote? By playing the content type that you like. I'm pretty darn sure that Carbine will keep numbers and statistics that say "this number of people played this type of content this many times each and this often for this long, etc etc." If they put out a PvP centered content patch one month, they're most likely not going to put out another PvP centered content patch that next month though, because they want to appease the people that play Solo, or Dungeon, or Raid content as well. So month one is a new dungeon and gear to go in it AND Solo Content. Month two is a new 40man Raid with the gear to go into it AND Solo content. Month three is a new PvP map with new gear to go with it AND Solo Content (because solo players ARE 60%+ of the players!). Month four could be a new 20man raid AND a new Dungeon.
  11. Isarii

    Isarii Cupcake

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    I don't see this as a value adding system to develop. A large part of long-term MMO success (especially with regards to player retention) rests on the shoulders of fluff features - what I call collectibles and non-combat progression, and so far Wildstar has done a really great job of developing those systems by including housing, vanity pets, collectible mounts, armor reskins, achievements, etc...

    Players of subscription MMOs are the major consumers of these types of features, as subscription MMOs are almost always the dominant leisure activity for their players. You feel compelled to play the game while you're subscribing, and you need things to do in addition to standard progression content like dungeons, raids, and PvP. With the news that Wildstar is going P2P, the continued development of these fluff systems (in addition to the core systems, obviously) becomes very important.

    But would these be the features people put their money towards? Probably not, because, to be blunt, most players have no idea what's good for them. Hell, I probably wouldn't either (sign me up for the RvR Fund we'll never get).

    There's also a large cost in developing this system - not just in the interface and tracking systems, but also in the accounting and reporting costs of taking in fund-restricted revenues (especially if it were tracked in pennies like the OP is suggesting - which it wouldn't be). Would the company be liable if money were put towards features they aren't developing? What about overhead costs? These are regular issues for not-for-profit entities, but no for-profit company would voluntarily bring this kind of complication on themselves.

    I do think the idea of "kickstartering" features is an interesting idea *pre-launch*, but applying that concept to the subscription itself is a horrible idea, and a recipe for disaster both in terms of players making stupid decisions, and in the unnecessary costs it would create.
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  12. Ohoni

    Ohoni Cupcake-About-Town

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    That basic model has been more profitable than a subscription model on any game that's tried it so far. . .

    Basic operational costs would come off the top of anything they bring in, just as in a cash shop that sells weapon skins not all of that money goes directly into paying the modelers. All the basic upkeep of the game would be funded before the new projects, just as happens with a monthly subscription.

    Then the developers should keep making interesting stuff. If the game is perfectly good out of the box and players have no interest in expanding it further, they why should they be paying a premium on top of paying for the box?

    This would only be within the game though, CoD players would have no say in the matter, unless they were paying into Wildstar. If 90% of the players don't want new raids, then either the 10% that do want them would have to chip in more, or maybe they shouldn't make those raids because 90% of the players don't want them. Emissary seems concerned about F2P players "freeloading" off P2P players, but if 90% of the paying customers don't want raids, then why should raiders be allowed to "freeload" off the other 90%?

    And that sort of thing can still determine what features are even offered as candidates, but it's a bit vague and a bit after the fact. This would be far more precise and fair.

    First, it wouldn't track pennies, it would track virtual currency. All the accounting would be done in the conversion of dollars into chits. Once that's done, there is no accounting involved. You would buy the chits in ideally $1 increments but perhaps $5 or $10 at a time, no smaller than that though. Once they are in the game, they are not currency, they are "points", as used in any number of games, and could be spent however you like without having to track them for tax purposes or anything like that. Plenty of games and companies already use similar mechanisms for micro-transactions.Managing the system should be no more expensive than any ingame cash shop, and they already have on in terms of the CREDD system.

    And like I said, like with kickstarter funded programs, if a given category ends up never meeting its funding goal, they can just refund the chits put into it, and you can recast them elsewhere.
  13. lusciifi

    lusciifi Cupcake-About-Town

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    I feel like you are responding without reading my posts at all. 90% of players dont think they want raids and yet xmog runs through those same raids they didn't want at the time are insanely popular. This is just one example, there are plenty more examples of people asking for x when they would be happier with y. My point wasn't that CoD players are going to flock wildstar. If millions of CoD players went to ARMA and complained about the lack of regenerating HP it wouldn't be the right move to add it. If millions of WoW players moved to wildstar and asked for LFR it doesn't make it the right move to add it.

    Popular opinions DON'T always make for good games.
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  14. Azzizabiz

    Azzizabiz Cupcake

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    I can appreciate your intentions behind this idea, but being the spouse of someone who works in the gaming industry (that has been a part of the pre-launch team of 2 AAA MMO's and post-launch of 1), I have enough of a window into the process behind the scenes to know that this is not a sustainable idea for the MMO sector of the industry. This is for two major points.

    First, as mentioned numerously above: "Players don't know what they want". Perhaps that's an in-elegant and simplified statement, but it's reasonably accurate. Players will focus on what they enjoy most "I'm a hardcore raider! Solo content is pointless!", but don't realize they spend hours every week performing various activities (that they often enjoy in my experience) that happen to be solo content. Many recurring players of MMO's are actually very consummate in their consumption of the game (meaning they do a little of everything), but for some reason they don't see it that way. Also, we're talking about internet communities, which are nothing if not susceptible to irrational (and often immature) mob rule by the vocal minority. A population that is not known for making good choices, yet so frequently drives the narrative.

    Second, it assumes that the active / prospective player-base are in their own right worthy game designers. These studios have large teams of often experienced designers and developers, that have (through previous projects) seen what works and what doesn't. They are seeking an end result that has been collaboratively conceptualized by their creative team, with a very specific goal in mind. Behind the scenes, they know what they want to have as the focus of the game, or have a plan as to how they maintain the balance of their pillars of gameplay (PvP, group PvE, and solo content). To me, it is overly presumptuous to think that a player-base should be permitted to forcibly compel the studio to alter their system of balance, by funding specifically what they want.

    On an extra point, MMO creators are working on material WAY in advance of what you see presently in the game. The player-base can say "We want another 40-man raid", when there's already 2 raid patches in different stages of development, not to mention a team already working on an expansion that conceivably makes those new raids obsolete, all on a pre-determined schedule. You would be trying to directly fund (and control content) that is 8 - 15 months beyond the time that people would be putting that funding in. I don't know many online players known for that kind of patience.

    All this said, the studio that engages their community, and exhaustively takes and works with solid player feedback, is the game that will ultimately do better. However, there are miles between taking feedback seriously, and permitting direct funding only towards the content that specific players want.
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  15. Ohoni

    Ohoni Cupcake-About-Town

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    I guess it's because you didn't explain what an "xmog run" was so I really had no basis for commenting on it, but if the players do value that feature then they'll support it, and if they don't, then the developer needs to do a better job of highlighting why they would want to support it.

    Why not, if they were willing to pay into that feature? And again, players would have no power to force any changes against Carbine's will, there would be no way for player to nominate new features, it would only be a way of prioritizing the changes that Carbine already intended to get around to eventually.

    No, but they do make for better games than unpopular opinion. Again, it's not about "if they do this, then they have no chance of failing," nothing can offer that certainty, but it does give them the best possible odds.
  16. Ohoni

    Ohoni Cupcake-About-Town

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    Players may not know what they want, but developers often don't have any better idea, regardless of how much they might believe that they do. It's all sort of random what works and what doesn't, and numerous "long term industry professionals" have been completely blindsided by going way out on a limb with feature they're absolutely sure the players will love, and the players don't care at all. Or they just throw out some random little feature they had no faith in and it turns out to be a player favorite.Players might not know what they want, but they've got at least as good an idea as anyone else, if you bother to ask them.

    They can be up front about the project. It wouldn't need to be a vague "more raids," they can say "we've got two raids in the pipeline for a release within 6 months. This will determine whether we start on a new one or refocus on the one's we've got." If no money goes into the raid funding, then maybe they pull a few developers off that project and slow ball it, refocusing them to something else. It would still come out, but maybe a few months later than originally intended and the next one would be a lower priority. If a ton of money goes into that project then maybe they dump more developers on that project and speed it up, and start brainstorming the next one.

    In GW2 they recently had an election, in which players were able to vote (using an ingame resource, not cash) for two candidates, each promised to add a different new fractal dungeon. The winning dungeon will be completed, while the losing one will not (although personally I wish that both would be finished eventually because the losing one sounded more interesting). Players were made aware that regardless of which won, the map would not be available for months yet.

    Even so, an 8-15 month turnaround is WAY too long for new content. They might be developing art assets and that sort of thing that far in advance, but the bulk of development should have more like 6 months for a single content element, if that. GW2 is turning out Super Adventure Box worlds on a roughly 6 month cycle.
  17. lusciifi

    lusciifi Cupcake-About-Town

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    Well maybe you should have said something to begin with instead of ignoring the point. An xmog run is doing an old raid either solo or with a small group to get the armor for xmog (appearance gear).


    No, even then they shouldn't. Not every game should be homogenized into what the majority wants. There's room on the market for both arma and cod. Just like theres room on the market for wildstar and wow. Players should have no way to directly influence content. Carbine will be tracking the statistics themselves. If they feel like not enough people are doing raids to justify making more then that's their call, not the players.

    I really couldn't give 2 <REDACTED>s about public opinion. you don't need 10mil players to keep a game running.


    If they don't know what they want, whats the point of asking them in the first place. It would be like polling the general public on advanced quantum physics, you would get a result but it wouldn't really tell you anything meaningful. If the devs have as good a chance at the players at "guessing" what they want, whats the point in asking.


    What game has a 8-15 month turnaround on content. Every game i have played save tor has had big content updates at least every 3 months and a new raid tier every 6.
  18. BonusStage

    BonusStage Well-Known Cupcake

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    What the OP dosent seem to understand is that a MMO has several designers, programers, and many other types of staff members.

    Subscription means that every sector is getting a even ammount sustainable work and is paid according to it. your sugestion make it so that some sectors might end up having no work at all, or some might get overloaded.

    this changes how they manage their staff and it would be really complicated to manage that buisness model.

    Not to mention that your sugestion also splits the comunity into 2, creating a hate-hate relationship within the game.

    And i dont want to pay so free loaders can enjoy the game, part of the Subscription model advantages is to weed out the people who do not want to be as invested in the game as people who are willing to pay.

    on a last note, this should not have been a thread on it's own, this should have been posted on the CREED thread, and the way this discussions have been going lately both threads will be closed soon and this matter will once again become a taboo on these forums.
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  19. EtherealOmega

    EtherealOmega Cupcake-About-Town

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    I thought the sub was going into the group/solo bi-weekly rotations and the group/solo patch content.
    As a raider why should I pay for your solo content or pvp content?
    Answer.
    Because it makes the community better.
    I've no issue supporting development for things I'm not going to use all the time.
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  20. Tribe

    Tribe Well-Known Cupcake

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    Landsgemeinde

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