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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. Bnol

    Bnol Cupcake-About-Town

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    They are already doing this, so that is why I didn't address it. I was pointing to avenues of increased player feedback, that is not part of a payment model.
  2. Ohoni

    Ohoni Cupcake-About-Town

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    I responded, but it seems to have disappeared. I do not feel like retyping my response, but rest assured that all of your point were properly addressed, and, where appropriate, refuted successfully.
  3. BlindSear

    BlindSear Super Cupcake

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    Once you've got it all shaken out, the simple answer becomes "yes." Adults go to their job for 8 hours a day because they enjoy what it gives them, not necessarily what they have to do to get what they enjoy, which is food, a home, entertainment, etc. Similarly with kids in school, if they skip school they know they may end up getting in trouble with their parents, or with the school, or whatever else.

    None of this actually matters of course, as heat maps are effective more than just saying X number of players were here for Y amount of time. You can narrow the query results by collecting based on if those players who are there have completed the content and are re-doing it and get a new heat map for that. You could make a heat map based on how many times the content is repeated (on average) by an account, or by a given character. They are a useful visualization and only part of the issue.

    The issue with money is it means the players willing to spend the most money get what they want. Generally those with more money have less time, which means the development will be less towards hardcore player content (hardcore being those who rip through content) and more towards patches which improve quality of life, and ease of progressing through content.

    It does force them to work on whatever was voted on. Why wouldn't they simply just develop all of the content all of the time? You're actually suggesting that Carbine weights their decisions towards players who pay more? This kinda goes against their mantra of, "While we'll listen to your feedback, and may use some of your ideas and will take your concerns into consideration, we know some things about the game that you don't at the moment, so we'll develop the way we think is best."



    Not only do players not read everything that's in the vote, and will simply QQ when it's not what they thought, and demand refunds because they "misread" the development, you now have someone who's a whale that's angry at you for taking their money. "Hey, you're upset, that happens" only works so many times before you run out of whales. Seems like a really good way to get rid of a lot of your income quickly. On the other hand if you have a sub, players know they're getting content for their money, and will be willing to try out other content if something's new, even if they don't like it usually, they may change their mind, or it may not be their cup o' tea. I'm doubting the release cycles are going to be far enough apart for EVERY subscriber's content that they begin quitting the game. That's the whole point of subscription models, that you can keep content pumping out as quick as players are going through it and getting bored of it.

    Also, what happens when guy X goes "I've paid $400 personally to see this get developed, and now they're pushing it back due to iteration, even though it was the most highly voted for. Gah, give me my content now, I've paid for it!" Now they know it doesn't matter really how much they give, or if they give at all, their content could be pushed back regardless.

    You're attempting to come up with a way for the game to be F2P, which is fine, I just think it puts too much power in the hands of the players, and if I've seen anything from games recently, it's that I don't like most other player's ideas for the game. They're generally short sighted, because they don't and can't know what's going on behind the scene business wise. The other issue is that you have to have people paying to get different groups interested in the game. For instance, if WS becomes well known for raiding, it will attract a raiding crowd and therefore raiding community, but let's say for some reason PVP flops at launch. They now have no way to recoup PVP players because they have to spend all their time developing for raiding, this is because no one's playing PVP, so no one's paying for PVP to be developed. Or at least a significantly smaller portion is paying for PVP to be developed.

    I think in game surveys are bad, because it distracts you from the game, instead of actually just playing the game and enjoying the game, you have to think about something else, and focusing that thinking on money is a bad thing. I think the $15 a month gives an egalitarian approach to the game, which allows the developers freedom to make the best decisions at the time they need to make it. Everyone's paying the same amount (generally) so no one has more rights in the game than another. People who have a lot of disposable income already rule the market outside a game, it would feel crappy to be one of the players only willing to spend $15 a month, and having to follow the development musings of these same people in game.

    This is neither fair to those willing to spend some money, but not a whole lot, and that could be extremely loyal customers for a long period of time, which is better for everyone. This is because they are a proponent of the game, free advertising, content within the game, and a source of cash flow. I mean go look at the ideas all over the WSC forums and any other game's forums and I mean ALL of the ideas. Do you really want those SAME people in control of your game? I don't...


    People didn't want to pay subscription fees because it's not worth the amount of money for the content given. So, if you have no endgame content, people don't want to play the game that much, because the end game content doesn't keep them coming back day after day or even every week, so it's not worth the sub to play once a month for them. On the other hand if there was endgame content and not so many issues, and a bad engine that made the game feel choppy, people would have been fine paying a sub.

    So, while players said they don't want to pay a sub, and that's the reason they left. They payed a sub for it at some point, so that's clearly not the problem, the problem is that players weren't getting the $15 worth of enjoyment out of the game.

    Now, for Wildstar, the issue of developing one type of content all of the sudden makes content for everyone, and here's why. If we look at the top of PVE, top of solo and the top of PVP, we see raiding, story content, and Warplots. So, if you make new raids, all of the sudden new materials for crafting come into play, as do new raid bosses to capture and put on the Warplot, as well as housing stuff. Now let's take soloing, you get every player new story and lore, and a lot of the players will go through the solo content for the extra resources it gives you and materials again, which play into the housing, which effects both PVE and PVP.

    I'm not familiar with what a PVP content patch would look like besides a new arena or a new battleground, but if PVP is done correctly in the beginning and balanced well enough, it pretty much keeps itself up for content, so... if you could give an example of how PVP content is developed further at top end that'd be helpful. This is especially because the Warplots will be a big meta-game of changing your own warplot and managing a group of 40 around that strategy and adapting to other's warplots... So, possibly new items for warplots? But those would likely come from mats found in new solo content.

    The point I'm attempting to get at, is that all content in WS ends up flowing together at the top tiers, so any content patch for one of them is good for all of them. I'd imagine solo content patches will come at the greatest frequency, and raiding come at a decent clip, but based on their dynamic raiding systems (changing out sub-bosses and dynamic wings, weekly races to finish the raid, changing trash pulls which are supposed to be puzzle-like, etc.), I'd imagine the actual raids not going stale for a while.

    With all that said, I think you can't really say "this content is just for <data set which is non-inclusive of given person> and not me, so I don't want to pay for it."
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  4. BlindSear

    BlindSear Super Cupcake

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    Yah, I was saying those are the most effective ways of collecting accurate data. If they're doing that, then things like surveys will only cloud that information with unnecessary worries. In the end the players don't really know what's best for the game, they will show what they enjoy by doing it instead of talking about it.

    For instance, some study was done about how many people document their lives on facebook, and how it's perceived. They found that it is a vast minority that actually update on a daily basis, and the majority of people find it weird that they do so. If you looked at facebook at a glance, you wouldn't notice this. So, similarly it is likely that players will play the game instead of talking about the game.
  5. Ohoni

    Ohoni Cupcake-About-Town

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    Exactly. So if you're looking at that system from above, do you decide "well, people sure love to go to work, let's give them more work!" or do you decide "wow, people sure love food, home, and entertainment, let's give them more of those!" You'd never know which unless you actually asked.

    Again though, that tells you very little. It tells you that they are repeating it, but not why. Are they doing content over and over because they genuinely enjoy that content, or because they want more and more of that reward? If you're going to be designing more content, would you design it to play like that content they are repeating, or are you could to design it to have similar rewards? It's impossible to tell which choice is right based only on performance data.

    Maybe, but if the developers have to focus on one group or another, which should they focus on, those that spend the most money on the game, or the freeloaders who expect more of their personal content for less cost?

    Yes, but like I said, why would they nominate something that they didn't want to work on. It would be like an ice cream shop that has a menu that includes chocolate and vanilla, and someone orders vanilla, and they say "we don't want to serve vanilla." If the developers definitely don't want to do another PvP map, then all they need to do is not add "a new PvP map" to the list of things people can vote towards. They should only offer up things that they were planning to get around to either way, all the voting does is prioritize the order in which they do them.

    That's fine, then pay your fair share. If there are, say, ten players in the game, and nine of them want things you don't, then that's fine, but you can't reasonably expect to get more than 10% of what you want. If nine tenths of the players want something different than you, then you've got to reasonably expect that they get nine tenths of the attention. In most systems, you'd have no recourse, and if you had unpopular views, you'd just be SOL. In this system, you at least have some recourse, pay more money. If you have an unpopular view, you could just pay more than the general base. If there are ten players, and nine of them disagree with you, but four of those don't pay anything, then their opinions don't matter much. Then of the remaining five, if they only pay $5-10 in a give month, but you pay $50, then suddenly your opinion matters!

    They should always maintain a discretionary budget for developing whatever projects they want, but realistically, if the PvP game faceplants that badly at launch, then they shouldn't be bothering with trying to salvage it any time soon, their focus should be retaining and growing the audience that already works for them.

    Change that to $0 a month and I would agree with you, but if it's $15 per month then it's only "egalitarian" to those that can afford to pay. It's like portraying a Country Club as an egalitarian ideal.

    And also, if you DO provide enough endgame content, people still don't want to keep paying that monthly subscription, because it's a monthly subscription and they don't want to pay it. The TOR feedback was "don't want to pay the subscription, NOT "not enough endgame content."Don't try to spin it into something that it was not. "Not enough endgame content" may well have been the reason you quit, but it was not the reason most players quit.

    Evidence?

    The exodus began after the first free month, and was already catastrophic before any six-month subs ran out. There's no reason to believe that a significant number of those players were ever committed to paying a monthly fee for any significant length of time.

    Of course you can. I play GW2 regularly, for example. I NEVER play sPvP, and haven't done WvW in months. I also rarely run dungeons. If it were my vote as to new content being added, it would be new open world zones, with new open world event chains, and new weapons and armor, new attack options for each class, things like that. I would have no interest in the addition of new sPvP or WvW features, and only passing interest in the addition of new dungeons, but other people like those features, and they can vote for those. May the best ideas win.
  6. Bnol

    Bnol Cupcake-About-Town

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    I would say that the information from surveys would help with context and the why, which can help developers interpret those maps. I agree with you that players for the most part do not know what is good for the game and how to maximize enjoyment, whether that comes from a short-sighted or narrow focus, or lack of knowledge/experience. However, they can tell you why they are doing something, how much fun they had doing it, etc., and that knowledge is useful. Of course, effectively gathering and applying that knowledge is the trick.
  7. Bnol

    Bnol Cupcake-About-Town

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    Only EA/Bioware has the data as to the primary reason people stopped subbing to SW:TOR. The fact that people stopped playing before their subscription ran out would lead me to infer that the reason for leaving was running out of content or not liking the game rather than not being able to afford or not wanting to pay a sub. If you don't want to pay a sub, why would you even invest in SW:TOR in the first place (yes I know Star Wars/Bioware)? You would especially not drop money on a 3-6 month sub, you might pay the box price and play your free month, or just wait for reviews/feedback. Or maybe, there were actually people who thought the game would turn F2P after the first month.

    What, I believe (and what it seems Carbine believes) happened is that a lot of people were prepared to pay $15 a month for their Star Wars/Bioware adventure, but when the adventure ended (whether solo, group, or raid) there was no longer a point to keep paying.
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  8. BlindSear

    BlindSear Super Cupcake

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    Possibly, but then you'd ask them "do you like money from the work or the actual work?" Then people would just want money, and you have the issue of them appreciating the money less and less, so they get less enjoyment out of it. Eventually once they have enough money they no longer care about the money. This is what I'm saying, even if you give them what their survey says (assuming they actually took the time to think about the survey) you only get what they want, not what's best for the economy or their health. Same for the game, players want things that aren't good for the game a lot of times.

    So, the voting and the survey and such, may be a way to ask them, but a lot of times they don't know what will actually make them happy long term. There's a bit of a break down between what people want and what they think they want, so a survey and a vote only gives them what they think they want at the time they took it. If we based facts on information about what people thought, we'd never get past the stone age, possibly not even TO the stone age. So, surveys are useful... sorta... but not really in the way a data representation could ever be.

    Does that matter? If they keep logging in and keep doing it and keep paying the sub, does it matter if they're doing it because they enjoy it or because they like the reward? Sometimes the fun of the game is the reward, doing something that's grueling and hard and frustrating, but you finally finished it, and the knowledge of finishing it gives a better feeling than an empty welfare epic ever could.

    Carbine does things like invite players to come play their game at Carbine, so they can watch the player while they interact with the world. It's done without anyone coaching them on the game, and just letting the player go play as if they were at home. This allows them to get better insight into how to "manufacture fun."

    In the end as long as it keeps the players logging in and paying the subscriptions, does the reason actually matter?

    If everyone subscribes then no one "freeloads" and the only extra money gained is through the CREDD system, which is more of an offset for players who want to "freeload." Basically it's a really clever system, because anyone who wants to play for free, can (theoretically) do so. The caveat is, someone else has to pay their month's worth of gameplay. So, by the "freeloader" being there, either will be helpful for the game, because the "freeloader" provides a service to the subscriber, which will recoup Carbine's losses for a subscriber for a while assuming there's enough "freeloading." (For every 3 freeloaders, Carbine gains the cost of 1 additional Subscriber.)



    Maybe they didn't know it wouldn't work out until after they developed it? They've done that a lot thus far where they made a system, didn't like how it was working so they scrapped it and re-made it. In the case of something like fishing, it's been scrapped until they can make it fun, so it may never come into the game.

    Also, with your PVP map analogy, that basically makes it so you get to choose out of a list of items they're choosing from. If they're making 95% of the decisions for you, and letting you make the last 5% of the options, it's kinda like saying "Ok, you can buy any car you want as long as it's a ford focus 4 door sedan that's deep blue and automatic, and hey you can give us MORE money if you would like a greater chance of it having grey upholstery instead of tan." Like, you're still giving money either way, but instead of saying, "I want your game to succeed, go make it succeed" you're saying "I want you to spend it specifically on this, even if 99.999999999999% of the other people picked that one and you can only fund my development wants for a day with my money, I'm expecting it to get developed, so here's my money." Like I've said, it's a way to definitely anger a lot of people.

    Two things in actuality will happen, the player will decide it's not worth spending money because their favorite thing in the game will never get developed because it's too unpopular, and stop paying for it, because they weren't getting what they wanted anyway, and then they'll feel slighted because they spent money on something to get developed but it didn't. This is bad, because you've lost a paying customer, you've got an enemy now (because you've wronged them) and you made them feel bad. They're more likely to tell people how the whole thing's a scam, and they just develop whatever they want anyway.

    Again a sub means you're giving money for the game's success and that's all, if they develop content for you specifically awesome, cherry on the cake, but if they don't, it's certainly not personal, they're just doing what they think is best for the game. If you specifically give money to have them do something, you expect it at that point. Is it possible all the content patches will be wrong for a given subscriber? Yes, but unlikely. If it is wrong for them, they'll quit the game, and that's fine because the game was probably wrong for them anyway.



    THEN WHY HAVE PEOPLE PAY TO HAVE THINGS DEVELOPED?! I doubt you're going to get enough money to pay for all your development needs with minor content like a new rowsdower plushie king. If the players are not paying for major content they're not going to be as generous, and at that point just make a cash shop and get your money off of Halloween costumes and flowers. If you are taking their money and simply "misappropriating" it towards developments you actually want to work on... guess what... that's illegal, it's called false advertising. That not only loses paying customers but causes lawsuits...

    egal·i·tar·i·an·ism noun \-ē-ə-ˌni-zəm\
    1 : a belief in human equality especially with respect to social, political, and economic affairs
    2 : a social philosophy advocating the removal of inequalities among people

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/egalitarianism?show=0&t=1377636175

    Now, try re-reading my post with the actual definition of egalitarian, not something based on some crazy hippy communism.

    No one wants to pay money for anything, this doesn't stop them from doing so. If the amount of enjoyment obtained from the game is greater than $15 per month, you will continue paying for the game, if it is not, you will not. So, if the game's sluggish, choppy, broken, missing pieces, and loads of cut scenes that the one dude in your party continually insists on watching always, of course you're going to be annoyed and frustrated and not find the game worth $15 a month.

    Seriously? Have you seen how many people are STILL playing SWTOR (not that many)? And that's after it's free... So, they took out the sub model, and still have a lot of broken stuff, so... again, people don't know what they want, they only think they know what they want.

    This is what happens when people stop playing a game. They either get mad and rage-quit due to something in the game and cancel their sub immediately, or they stop playing the game, realize they aren't playing the game or aren't enjoying it, then unsubscribe. If they're in the game having fun, they don't realize that unsubscribing is a "thing" because they don't have to, they're having fun in the game instead of thinking about unsubscribing.

    Yet... WoW still has 7 million players. That's a lot of people paying a sub to say "no one wants to pay a sub." See? I can do that too, take another game's context and use it in an argument which has nothing to do with it. I think the game's quality is much more important than it's business model, but different business models will allow for different development cycles and types.

    You didn't even read my response... My whole point was that all of Wildstar's content is intertwined with all the other content, this means any new content in one area will also give new content in another. Also, what if Wildstar can release a new raid and new solo content every month (and even new pvp content patch, whatever that would be)? Then shouldn't everyone pay for it?
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  9. BlindSear

    BlindSear Super Cupcake

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    I think they get enough feedback when something's not fun or unpopular on the forums, and don't need the survey to go along with it. This also gives players a chance to (somewhat, it is still the internet) think out what they're going to say in their free time and get actual insight as opposed to some pre-conceived questions with someone hitting 5's all the way down just so it'll close.

    I think the smartest thing they've done is have a heat map of where players logged out last. This automatically points towards over-tuned or frustrating and annoyingly long content. I think the greatest thing I've heard them doing is where they watch the players play at the studio and watch them interact with the game with freedom. This allows Carbine to see how players are actually reacting in real life to the content given to them, and all the data to go with that, so they can help to see when a player gets frustrated what certain markers will look like. This will help with their analytics in the end.
  10. Bnol

    Bnol Cupcake-About-Town

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    That is the best way to get feedback. Imagine future beta tests with webcams that will track your expression etc. along with a heat map. Oh so many possibilities.
  11. BlindSear

    BlindSear Super Cupcake

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    Naah, that's creepy. You don't wanna be spying on people with webcams, I'm sure even with users signing a privacy policy, it's got legal issues written all over it.
  12. Bnol

    Bnol Cupcake-About-Town

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    To get into beta, gamers would agree to it. There are plenty of people who voluntarily stream their gaming with accompanying webcams. Sure, you might restrict this sort of thing to a “friends and family” or some other limited test. But this is just a cheaper version of inviting people to your studio to play.
  13. Kataryna

    Kataryna Super Cupcake

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    so - have a invite only web-party type thing? where you log on to a Beta and make sure your webcam is on, and have like Vent or TS or something active just for those invited people, so you can pull someone aside and talk to them asking questions about how they liked this or that, and do a personal interview about it??
    This...would actually be a pretty cool idea. Like once a month or so have about 10 randomly picked beta testers and a couple devs all get together over like ooVoo or Skype or some such thing, run a dungeon or two, and give direct feed back...
  14. Ohoni

    Ohoni Cupcake-About-Town

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    And that's why the developer has to provide a guiding hand to the poll options. You don't put "do you want more free loot you don't have to work for," you put "do you want more weapon and armor sets available," and if they say yes, you make those, but you add them behind reasonable challenges so that they add gameplay value as well.

    I think too many of you are engaging in strawman arguments, you're positing situations in which the developers give up way too much control over the process, even though I point out time and again that this is not at all necessary.

    Also keep in mind that this is not a "choose one" poll, players can spread their vote as directly or as thinly as they want, so while they might choose "more loot," they might also choose "more raids, " or "more open world content," so the devs would be able to calibrate where and how to distribute that loot based on the other votes.

    Of course it does, because if they are not fully enjoying the play then they are more likely to burn out. I mean, if they enjoy the content, but feel like the rewards are a waste of their time, or if they really want the rewards, but find the content itself to be a yawner, then they might do it for a while, but chances are they will eventually get fed up with it. What the developers always want to aim for is content that is both fun and rewarding.

    That's just a simple example, but there are more complex one, in that basically, people in a game might continue to do things, without being 100% engaged in that activity, just because it's something to do and they don't particularly hate it. The more they do this, however, the more that it erodes at their general feeling of good will about the game, and once that falls bellow a certain point, they quit, especially if you're asking them to pay a set fee each month just to continue doing it. Raw metrics only show you what activities people are doing, it tells you nothing about how they feel about doing that content.

    If they feel it's worth putting up on the poll then they should feel confident that they can make it work, especially if it wins the poll. It should not be used for casual whims where they haven't even brainstormed it properly.

    Think of it more like buying a used car. You can buy any car on the lot, but you're limited to what's there, you can't ask for specific alterations or cars they don't carry, but there should be a reasonable set of choices, in all sorts of different varieties.

    But consider your scenario. That player clearly wanted a feature that the overwhelming majority of the game did not want, otherwise it would have made it through eventually. That being the case, why would you even want to make that player happy? Doing so would involve developing a system that most players don't want, they would never recover the cost of developing that system from the players that did enjoy it. You can't please everyone. The only difference in your scenario that a subscription version would have is that either A. they choose never to develop that system because they determine in advance that nobody wants it, or B. they do develop that system, and your player will be happy with it, but the cost of developing that system means that plenty of other things end up in a lesser state, and the people made happy by that system will never pay off the lost development time.

    The only difference is that with the vote, the developers are making a more informed decision.

    I should also repeat the idea of a refund if nothing happens. I would never expect them to have a vote for a feature, and the vote fails, but you're out credit for it anyways, that would never work. If you vote for something and it fails to ever take off, I would expect your voting chits to be refunded. Likewise if a vote succeeds, but by some chance they find it impossible to complete that goal, then your chits would be refunding. You wouldn't be able to get cash back, but you could at least vote for something else.

    Don't get melodramatic. There would have to be discretionary set-asides just to keep the lights on. It would be all spelled out in the terms. Basically, maybe 10-50% of each dollar spent in voting chits would go into a general pool, used for whatever tasks the developers felt needed doing. The goal of the vote is to focus the major priorities, the big picture projects, but of course developers would be working on small quality of life projects, fun surprises balance patching, and other tasks that need doing but wouldn't be really votable, and that would come out of the discretionary budget.

    Again, what you're suggesting would set up a gross disparity between paying and non-paying players, which is nowhere near egalitarian.

    No. I'm just not paying a monthly fee, period. If it's a monthly fee, I will not pay it. I will not pay it on a train I will not pay it on a plane, etc. etc. Whether I enjoy the game or not isn't really relevant, I enjoy lots of things.

    Sure, but the people quitting TOR did not say that things were sluggish or broken, even though they could have, they said "I didn't want to pay a monthly fee." They could not have made it even slightly less ambiguous, you can choose to ignore them, but don't presume to reinterpret their word to your own ends.

    I don't follow it too closely anymore, but their playerbase shot up considerably after going F2P, as did their revenues, so apparently they do know what they want, and it's to not pay a monthly fee.

    Yes, it's called "momentum." They have 7 million now because they had ten million back when subs were a reasonable proposition, and it'll take a while for those players to fall out. As they do, there's no reason to believe that they'll ever buy into a NEW game that has a subscription model. They're playing WoW because they've been playing WoW for near a decade, it's not rocket science.

    No, new content in one area only provides content in that one area. If they want to make content for another area at the same time then they have to make more new content for that other area.

    If everyone wants that new content, maybe. I don't see why players content with the existing content should have to pay for the new stuff if they don't want to.
  15. Bnol

    Bnol Cupcake-About-Town

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    My initial thought was to track facial expressions to add to the aggregate data of hotspots and all the other information they collect through beta tests, but your idea is better and not creepy. Online focus groups through video chat.
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  16. Kataryna

    Kataryna Super Cupcake

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    Wrong. Carbine has said housing stuff will drop in the world. You can farm mats in the open world to craft - which can get you stuff to do 5mans and raids, and things to put into your house. They've said that you'll have to get mats from different areas of the game to craft the best stuff - so you might need one piece from a Raid, one from doing PvP, one from a Solo Content uber-epic quest, and the rest from farming up the mats. You can use housing stuff to get buffs for Raids. You can capture Raid Bosses to tie them down on to Warplots. They're making it so that those that want to do everything can get neat rewards to use for other parts of the game. A whole lot of the content in the game is being designed around this idea.
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  17. Kataryna

    Kataryna Super Cupcake

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    They could still track facial expressions while their doing the focused content to see how people are reacting, and then talk to them to actually ask and get personal answers about what they were feeling at certain times to add to the data collected from the tracking.
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  18. Ohoni

    Ohoni Cupcake-About-Town

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    . . .

    That's all true, but doesn't really have anything to do with the topic at hand. Yes, housing materials drop in the world, but that doesn't mean that they have to add new housing drop types with each expansion if that is viewed as a low priority. Yes, crafting mats will drop in different areas, but that doesn't mean that if they want to add a new crafting recipe, they also need to add a new raid or a new dungeon or a new world boss if they don't view each of those goals as distinctly worth pursuing. Yes you can capture a raid boss and add him to a warplot, but that doesn't mean they need to change the way warplots work with each raid, and if the "mobs tied to a warplot" element is viewed by the community as being a lower priority than "getting the raid to work," then maybe they don't make the newest raid boss immediately available for leashing, maybe they hold off on that until they have the time to balance it right, while the team that would be doing that is instead doing something the community values more.

    There are interconnections between elements of the game, but that doesn't mean that each cannot be developed in a vacuum and added as it becomes individually ready.
    I would also fully expect that if after launch some elements are unloved by the community,
  19. BlindSear

    BlindSear Super Cupcake

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    No, the issue is, this has everything to do with the topic at hand. The fact that you can take things from one type of content and put it into another type of content is very important, because any new content provides something new you can put into other content. And OMG if you don't think adding a whole new massive element to PVP isn't "interesting dynamic change" for PVP, you're wrong. Any minor change in pvp, even one class gaining a new ability can drastically change the meta-game within PVP. Sure, warplots won't change on the whole, but strategies across the board have to change due to the fact that someone might pull out a raid boss that blinds everyone every 30 seconds, or one which can two shot you at distance if it's not interrupted.

    The thing is, they won't release the new raid until both "mobs tied to warplot" and "getting the raid to work" both work, so... while they could develop in pieces and release when ready, they'll simply just make sure every month works correctly. If it happens that the raid boss is OP in warplots for the month, guess what? War-party is gonna go raiding and capture that raid boss this month. Again, with the sub model they can afford to develop "all the things" not just have content patches which target what's popular at the moment. This makes everyone happier all the time.
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  20. BlindSear

    BlindSear Super Cupcake

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    Lol, so... "See, we're developing what you want! ... buuut... we're putting it behind gameplay you don't like." That doesn't help the developers in ANY way. They know players want to get cooler looking armor that hits harder, that's the carrot. The issue is finding the right stick. Everyone likes to be rewarded, but if you over-reward, they start to become meaningless and normal, so they're expected.

    No, my issue is, that you need to give enough control that makes players feel like their "purchase" of the development was meaningful. Otherwise if it's only small things they won't get enough money to fund the game.

    But they still have resources limited by what they're willing to spend. They also have an advantage in voting, in that, they know developers won't NOT develop anything for the game, or people will stop returning. So, everyone could simply play for free at that point and know that the developers will try to attract more people.

    If it's really boring, players will simply stop doing it (not the hardcore ones, but the casuals will) and that's their canary. As long as all content doesn't hinge on the fact that the boring content HAS to be done for end game content (see MoP dailies for WoW) then players will simply migrate to other parts of the game. No lost subscription, but it tells the dev's something's wrong with the content. If the hardcore players are still doing the content but not the casuals it's probably rewarding, but not fun, and if it's the other way around, it's probably somewhat fun but not rewarding. Again, heat maps solves this issue.

    You mean cigarette gaming? There's a huge population over in Asia that loves this type of thing, where it's grindy and monotonous. But, I doubt Carbine has anything in the game that's not exciting in some way, based on the game seen thus far, and their perspective and how they talk about the game. They aren't just going to put in content for content's sake. You've also conveniently ignored the fact that they brought in players and watched them play. They know what the player is doing on the other end of those metrics. They watched someone try over and over on a jumping puzzle, and I believe everyone's probably quit a game for a while at one point or another due to a jumping puzzle.

    But they don't... So... it's all good, no polls no voting, problem solved.

    Again, how much control does this system give the players is the issue, too much and the game will fail due to whims of players, too little and you won't get enough revenue to pay for the game. Either way, game fails, it's like a 2% possibility of even covering their costs... It's not like some business model that has a 95% chance of success, it's a business model that has like... 5% chance of success. That's a biiiig risk for very little reward.

    In the idea you originally posted you always have to make the paying players happy all the time, or they simply can just stop paying, because they know it's never going to do anything anyway. On the other hand if the game is simply subscription based, everyone in the game accepts that it's subscription based, and doesn't expect special treatment because they can't go "I went off and payed X more than that other guy, so I'm entitled to my extra money's worth!" It's because everyone's on equal footing for payments made (roughly) so the developers don't have to worry about anything, other than making a good game and keeping it good.

    Are they? Do you think voting incurs "informed decisions"? You have to assume an educated public for this, which means you'd have to force players to read tomes on the game and be experienced and trained in game development, and the business in the gaming industry before being able to make an "informed decision." So, no, you're putting the vote in the hands of people who just want what they want and they want it now.

    Wow... no... just no... a sub model would be so much better.

    So, why not have everyone pay some money and have it go into a general pool of "this money goes towards development of some sort"? That's what a sub model is. Voting allows you to not waste resources, but if everyone wants different content there's no wasted resources anyway.

    So, you think the players who pay for their gametime through selling gold are going to feel like second hand citizens? Doubtful, I'd imagine they'd feel like moguls and well respected in the community. Yeah... giant "disparity.

    Then you'll either have to farm up the gold needed for gametime the first month and every month there-after or not play WS. I think you're ignoring a lot of good reasons to do a subscription based game, and bringing up a lot of points that are only true for some games, not all games. If you don't want to pay a sub game, that's fine, and I respect that, but you're going to have to come to the realization that WS likely won't change it for a while. Not to mention if they continue pumping out good content and a quality product they won't be changing it.

    In a survey, that's what they said. Which we know surveys are inaccurate, and the reasoning was probably more-so "I don't want to pay ANOTHER sub fee" or "I don't want to pay a sub fee for THIS game" but that wasn't an option.

    Lol, that's PR speak for, "Our game's free now, everyone downloaded it the second it was free to try it out, we have no idea how many active players we have, but due to our broken F2P system people spent SOME money for a quick cash grab." You do understand we have no clue how SWTOR's doing at this point, and probably will never know.

    Momentum is not a thing that works to model human behavior, while it may SEEM that way sometimes, it doesn't work. Show me some hard facts on that before you go making claims like that. On the other hand customer loyalty is a legitimate principle, which the system from your original post would completely kill. The actual reason they're playing WoW is because they know they can sustain the sub model, get enough enjoyment out of the game that it's worth it, and they trust Blizzard.

    This claim isn't true for WS, because all content is connected, and the devs would be stupid to release something for one type of content, without first ensuring it's links worked correctly. Especially after the whole putting the beta testing on hold to fix stuff. They'd be completely contradicting themselves and their actions if they didn't make sure the content was good before release.

    So, this is the only real legitimate point you've actually come up with. A better model would be to have players pay for content patches as they come out. This way there's the "voting" based on how many players bought the content patch. But then you could have an issue with some people claiming it's "Pay to Win" which severely hurts their ability to recruit hardcore players, which is a very bad thing. So, other than that, I would consider doing content patches behind real money barriers as a good idea, but it's give or take the same as subscription model.
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