Forums » General Pantheon Discussion

Where do you draw the line?

    • Moderator
    • 8798 posts
    February 22, 2018 4:03 AM PST

    Season Passes, DLC's, Subscriptions, Free to Play, Buy to Play, Pay to Play, Expansions, Early Access, Micro-transactions, Cash Shops - where do you draw the line in all of this and what is your preferred method to pay for an MMORPG? #PRF #MMORPG #MMO #communitymatters

    • 145 posts
    February 22, 2018 4:32 AM PST

    Happy to buy the game and have a subscription and buy for expansions ...really hate the ide of pay to win mentality.

    • 16 posts
    February 22, 2018 5:00 AM PST

    Cash shops, DLC, season passes and micro-transactions are not welcome. Even if its not pay to win, micro-transactions for example promote illusionary items IMO, like weapon or armor skins that just hide youre real items look which to me is really boring. I love to see what items people have equiped just by looking at their char. Games that I pay once or subscriptions/pay to play are prefered, since thats common for MMO:s to keep up pumping content, expansions work too, never wrong with a bigger content pack with lots of things to do.

    • 1 posts
    February 22, 2018 5:10 AM PST

    I'm always willing to do the following:

    1. Buy the base game

    2. Pay a regular subscription fee

    3. Buy full expansions (Please don't charge me for micro, small content)

    If there is a desire to create other opportunities for money making, I'd prefer to keep them purely cosmetic.  They should not impact gameplay directly.  They should only provide some appearance based component to the game, or provide some other temporary benefit that does not provide a direct gameplay advantage (A good example of this is EQ's XP boost potions [No direct benefit comes to a player that purchases this except saving some time in their leveling efforts]). 

    At the end of the day, I'm eager to see a company make money with a game that I love to ensure that it remains available and evolves for years to come.  The bottom line....I'll pay good money for a game that is worthy of it.

    • 165 posts
    February 22, 2018 5:15 AM PST

    I would happily:

    a) buy the game;

    b) subscribe to the game; and

    c) purchase expansions that provide significant new content.

    I would consider dropping the game, and have dropped other MMOs before, due to free to play (including buy to play, where you pay once and have no subscription) and microtransactions. I'm opposed to them in principle - it's not a fair monetization scheme since it relies on some players subsidizing others - and in practice - every single case I've seen has hurt gameplay by shifting development resources to making the in-game store more attractive and by creating or increasing grind in the game in order to drive in-game store sales.

    Early access doesn't seem to gel with the type of game Pantheon will be UNLESS if implemented as a preview of the game, with the understanding that the servers would be reset on actual launch. Again, I've experienced other cases of MMO early launches and invariably they served for little else than provide some players with a head start, often tied to exploiting bugs discovered during previous testing stages. So that would be a no to early access on my part.

    As for season passes, I lean towards disliking them. Season passes are blank cheques when you don't even know what you might be getting. That said, I suppose they might be useful to gauge player interest before committing significant resources into developing additional content. As long as they don't drive a "got to keem those DLC coming out" mentality with fast-paced but small and/or superficial updates, it's a bit of a "meh" for me.

    • 270 posts
    February 22, 2018 5:20 AM PST
    Same as the others...buy the game, pay subscription, purchase expansions
    • 152 posts
    February 22, 2018 5:23 AM PST

    Pay to Play and play to win.

     

    This includes subscriptions. It's a differentiator that matters. The aspect of spending money is a mindset. Subscriptions are required to maintain cash flow and operating income and allow the game to thrive and survive. It requires people - everyone - to play to win. Yes some will play more, a whole lot more, but content exists for everyone you just need to play it. I know I am old school harkening back to pen and paper. And IF old school means pay to play and play to win then so be it.

    • 122 posts
    February 22, 2018 5:29 AM PST

    i buy the game, i buy the expansions, i buy the monthly subscription and that's it, if a mmorpg ask me to buy virtual things with my real money i cancel subscription and go play something else.

    • 99 posts
    February 22, 2018 5:36 AM PST

    Kilsin:  Ya got guts for asking this question.  (Or a concussion, not sure.)  It's a topic that has been hashed over so many times in differenet threads both here and other gaming forums that there's nothing left of the horse.  But, since you asked:  

    Myeself, I like the idea of paying for a game and paying a subsubscription.   I don't mind shops as long as they are COSMETIC ONLY.  Now, if PRF allows PLAYER crafting to create cosmetic items (as well as nifty useful items), I think that would be AWESOME!!!!!  I'd be more than happy to exchange mats, items and/or coin with another player for something to make my Tank look shiney and appetizing to mobs.

    And in regards to my first line of comment, it's in jest and I really want thank Kilsin and the team for getting input from the community.  Even if it may only be to check and see if they are going down the right path.  =^)

    • 1173 posts
    February 22, 2018 5:37 AM PST

    Buy the game, subscription and maybe season passes for people that want to pay in "lump sums", but the rest, no thanks.


    This post was edited by Kalok at February 22, 2018 5:38 AM PST
    • 613 posts
    February 22, 2018 5:45 AM PST

    Season Passes - Fine (if they include all the DLCs for a year for example)

    DLC's - Not too fond of them. How would they work in the context of a MMO? Buy this DLC and get access to the latest and greatest dungeon? If done that way, they aren't optional anymore really, but become mandatory. I don't want that. I also don't like if they come out in quick succession (a new DLC every other month). Ugh! Give me time to play with the current game content!

    Subscriptions - Fine!

    Free to Play - Fine of course, but as we know the publisher of a ftp game still has to make money, so they will try to get it in other ways...

    Buy to Play - Does this mean to buy the game, and then have no recurring subscription cost? If so, great! But again, the publishers have to cover their running costs...

    Pay to Play - What is this, same as subscription??

    Expansions - Fine!

    Early Access - I've bought early access for a few of the games I played. So its OK for me I guess...especially if a game is hyped very much, this can help spread out the initial influx of players. Otoh, I like the idea of all players starting with the same chances, on the same day, and would hope that this is how Pantheon will do it.

    Micro-transactions - I'm torn on this. I can see how they can help publishers run a game, and I don't think they're too bad for one-time items or services. However, I despise RNG loot boxes!

    Cash Shops - Does this mean buying ingame cash with RL cash (maybe through items like Krono)? In that case, I hate this. I don't want RL money to play into the game economy, and such items inevitably hurt the ingame economy from what I've seen.

    As for paying...I hope to see standard options like credit card or PayPal.

    • 18 posts
    February 22, 2018 5:50 AM PST

    ski05318 said:

    I'm always willing to do the following:

    1. Buy the base game

    2. Pay a regular subscription fee

    3. Buy full expansions (Please don't charge me for micro, small content)

    If there is a desire to create other opportunities for money making, I'd prefer to keep them purely cosmetic.  They should not impact gameplay directly.  They should only provide some appearance based component to the game, or provide some other temporary benefit that does not provide a direct gameplay advantage (A good example of this is EQ's XP boost potions [No direct benefit comes to a player that purchases this except saving some time in their leveling efforts]). 

    At the end of the day, I'm eager to see a company make money with a game that I love to ensure that it remains available and evolves for years to come.  The bottom line....I'll pay good money for a game that is worthy of it.

     

    This.

    • 13 posts
    February 22, 2018 5:54 AM PST

    I draw the line at season passes, and non-content DLC.

    I'm pretty hard line in this respect. When I started playing games, the only kind of content we got that was additional, were expansions. These were usually very good, and added a lot more content to the game, and they were reasonably priced. There were also a lot fewer of them released, than there is additional content for games today.

    We're talking expansions such as: Brood War, Lord of Destruction, The Frozen Throne, Tales of the Sword Coast, Shadows of Undrentide and Immortal Throne. These are all amazing expansions for their respective games, and very well known. Yes, there were bad expansions back then too, but it was much easier to discern wether or not they were bad (even to the 13-year old Havesh). If I could chose the fate of the world, DLC and 'alternate monetization methods' would have died with Horse Armor.

    We still see expansions these days, but the good ones are buried in a focus on the bad season passes, business practicess and terrible value-for-money expansions/dlc. It's been a long time, since I saw excessive praise for a piece of DLC or an expansion for a game.

    With additional content out of the way, let's talk more about business models:

    Anything that incentivices the developers to put in less effort in making the game better, is bad. This excludes all business models outside of subscriptions. With a subscription, you have to keep people engaged, or they will just unsub and stop playing. With a cash shop, you incentivize several bad design and development practices:

     - Make the most interesting cosmetics only be available through the store, and make things obtainable in-game mostly bland.

     - Play around with the progression, so more people buy xp boosts in the store.

     - Make cosmetic items for the store, rather than connecting them as rewards for doing obscure or hard content in the game, enabling players to gain recognition from doing these things.

     - Developing systems that actively lead people to the store, in order to maximize the efficiency they get out of using said system.

     - Sacrificing immersion, in favor of promoting the store.

     

    Now, outside of these things, there's also the issue of selling services (renaming, server transfer, race change, etc.) I'm not inherently against these things, but they can potentially have negative consequences on the community (enabling people with the disposable income to be rude and behave in toxic ways, only to server transfer or namechange).

    • 645 posts
    February 22, 2018 5:56 AM PST

    What I will pay for...

    The game

    Xpacs

    monthly sub

    What I wont pay for

    Monthly DLC...save it all for the xpac

    Pay walls for in game items...Dont hide class or races behind an extra fee

    Cash Shop...If you have a cash shop for out of game items (Name changes, server transfers...even thought I dont like either of those or RL merch suck as shirts and stuff) thats fine. But once a vanity store goes in then im pretty much out. The problem with having a vanity only cash shop is that once you do everything will be designed for the cash shop and in game items will start to be basic. You want vanity itmes in game, great...give them to the Tradeskillers and let them create them



     


    This post was edited by Sevens at February 22, 2018 5:56 AM PST
    • 801 posts
    February 22, 2018 6:12 AM PST

    I think you already knew how we would answer this one, Big K, how many threads have there been over the past four years?

    I prefer to shower VR with my initial purchase, continually show my support with a handsome monthly subscription fee, and liberally pony up for each expansion.

    Things disliked=> Free-to-play == free-to-ignore. Micro-transactions == macro-aggressions against your customer base (who enjoys being nicked and dimed while having fun?). Early access fees == friction in the community (haves/have-nots). And please, oh please, nothing that resembles pay-to-win.

    I am okay with an in-game shop as an additional income stream as long as the items provide no boost to your character: no potions, no skills, no mounts, no large weightless bags, etc. I have no issue with cosmetic items (both clothing and housing) as they make the world more interesting without causing gameplay imbalance. I would even encourage player made designs though how the submissions would get vetted / approved, and how to reward the designers could be a headache for VR. I would love to furnish my room above the pub with a heavenly harpsichord from the shop, as well as purchase a fancy silk doublet plus hurdy-gurdy for those command performances at the Thronefastian royal court.

    • 315 posts
    February 22, 2018 6:12 AM PST

    Sevens said:

    What I will pay for...

    The game

    Xpacs

    monthly sub

    What I wont pay for

    Monthly DLC...save it all for the xpac

    Pay walls for in game items...Dont hide class or races behind an extra fee

    Cash Shop...If you have a cash shop for out of game items (Name changes, server transfers...even thought I dont like either of those or RL merch suck as shirts and stuff) thats fine. But once a vanity store goes in then im pretty much out. The problem with having a vanity only cash shop is that once you do everything will be designed for the cash shop and in game items will start to be basic. You want vanity itmes in game, great...give them to the Tradeskillers and let them create them



     

    /nod.  Like you and most others I'll pay for the game, the xpacs and the subs.  Once you let the bull out of the cage (cash shop) it will do what bulls do.  I understand that the ultimate goal of any company is to make money, but IMO cash shops are not the way to do it.  Once again; once the bull is out of the cage good luck controlling it.

    • 1029 posts
    February 22, 2018 6:22 AM PST

    I prefer to Buy the Game, Pay Monthly to play, and then pay for Expansions only. 

     

    As for Pay to win - I'll leave the game and never look game. 

     

    Cosmetic cash shops - This one is tricky. Although I don't mind them as much because I like the looks of some of the items or mounts I also believe it hurts the ecomony greatly. Example would be I've in WoW seen a Mount in the AH I wanted badly due to its look. After grinding for days I saw a mount that looked almost as good in the cash shop for $25. So I bought the mount for $25 and gave up on grinding for the AH mount. If not for me being able to buy the mount from the cash shop I would have likely been grinding and playing for a few weeks longer. The excitement and joy of accomplishment for achieving that mount would have been awesome. In the end I was far less proud of the mount I settled for, and felt like there was no reason in grinding gold for a new one as I'm sure the cash shop would have a better looking one next mouth... To me this is the real issue with Cosmetic shops. They can instantly bring something new into the game that takes 0 time and effort to achieve. Makes you feel as if "why bother" going through the trouble to get that gear, mount, or item if I'll just be able to buy something as good if not better in the cash shop. Keeping cosmetics meaningful is important to me and I believe cosmetic shops ruin this in a game which causes a ripple in the game as a whole. 

    • 2 posts
    February 22, 2018 6:23 AM PST

    buy game

    pay subscription (I have no problems paying more than the usual "~$15.95".

    Buy full expansions

    No issues with paying for things like name changes, gender changes, race changes

    While I don't mind paying for cosmetics it really detracts from the "people earning things" in game idea.

     

    I remember once looking at a player in some game thinking, "Whoa! Their gear looks amazing they must have ... oh wait, it's a cash shop item".

     

     


    This post was edited by Sovrath at February 22, 2018 6:24 AM PST
    • 1 posts
    February 22, 2018 6:27 AM PST

    Buy Game, pay subscription (usually games are dying when they go F2P) season passes are nice but dont mind paying for expansions. No Micros or purchaseable currency, helps reduce RMT scum.

    • 1127 posts
    February 22, 2018 6:28 AM PST

    Kilsin said:

    Season Passes, DLC's, Subscriptions, Free to Play, Buy to Play, Pay to Play, Expansions, Early Access, Micro-transactions, Cash Shops - where do you draw the line in all of this and what is your preferred method to pay for an MMORPG? #PRF #MMORPG #MMO #communitymatters

    The healthiest and I think most sustainable model is the Pay for major content developments in a lump sum and a reasonable monthly subscription price.

    Cash shops encourage making desirable products for the cash shops that are not available in any way through standard game play.  I do not like having my appearance effected by my checkbook rather than my effort and absolutely will not play a game that limits my strength by my checkbook.  The only cash shops that I approve of is out of game merchandise.  Cash shops also encourage in-game advertisement which I also absolutely detest.

    Purchased major content should be split 50/50 between the resource cost to generate the expansion and profit for the company.  That profit is then used to set the scope of the next major content upgrade and realistically fund it.  The second expansion release becomes the first major development that actually turns a true profit for the company.

    Personally I would like to see everyone who has put personal money and donated time for an interest into VR to get their investment back in pocket at launch/before the first expansion but that is going to be a hard push unless the player base far exceeds the current interested pool of players.  I’ve been on the losing side of that equation before myself and it sucks, thankfully I only lost donated time but the owners lost a lot more.

    Subscriptions should be in line with 25% to hardware depreciation and continual software license fees, 25% in HR support overhead, 25% into dedicated bug fix / minor content releases and 25% profit.  The lower you can keep the subscription fee the less of a boundary it will be for lower income players to play which will then encourage a larger number of expansion purchases which is where game scope and company profit will really come from.

    Ideally there will be a major content update once a year with minor content updates, usually developed at the time of the major content but released slowly, once a quarter where there was not a major launch.  Your development budget is then driven yearly by the previous year’s expansion sales.  The real profit will come in as the game player base grows and new base games are purchased along with the most current expansion. 

    I would recommend having the base game include all expansions but the most current one to once again limit the boundary for new players starting the game but I would never lower the base price of the game from the initial $60ish as it is increasing in value over time.  Keeping the base game fairly current will also insure that new players will not hit surprise content pay walls shortly after paying for the base game, hated that in DDO, which can drive away players.

    For this fluctuating development manpower most companies usually use about a 50/50 split between contract workers and full time workers so that they can shed manpower on lean years without the personal and financial heart ache of needing to let people go.

    As for early access I don’t think it’s a good idea for a persistent game as all players should start at an even level, knowledge not withstanding.  Now kickstarter style boosts are fine and a great way for a small development team get to launch, otherwise why would we be here.

    More than I’m sure you were looking for.

    TLDR: Launch game, Monthly subscription for support and cash for yearly major content updates, and an out of game merchandise shop.  Anything else creates too much risk for the company or a toxic player developer relationship.

    Trasak


    This post was edited by Trasak at February 22, 2018 6:33 AM PST
    • 474 posts
    February 22, 2018 6:29 AM PST

    Kilsin said:

    Season Passes, DLC's, Subscriptions, Free to Play, Buy to Play, Pay to Play, Expansions, Early Access, Micro-transactions, Cash Shops - where do you draw the line in all of this and what is your preferred method to pay for an MMORPG? #PRF #MMORPG #MMO #communitymatters

    I very rarely buy season passes or DLC.

    I will play an MMO based on the game itself, payment model makes no difference to me. Subscriptions, F2P, B2P, P2P are all fine. I will buy expansions if I like the game and feel the expansion adds enough value.

    I will generally not do early access. Have been burned by that before.

    I have no issue with microtransactions and cash shops. Even if they are pay to winish because I don't play the game to "win". I play to have a good time.

    I do prefer games with a sub because the players seem to be more invested in the game than F2P and such.

    • 3 posts
    February 22, 2018 6:31 AM PST

    Monthly subscription + expansion extra would be my preferred payment solution.

    My main motivation is the following: I don't want the actual real world payments to break the immersion.

    E.g. things that break immersion:

    - buy any game related stuff (even cosmetics) in our cash shop via micro transactions. Buy your "virtual currency" with real money here... opens cash shop window.... -> What ? Euros/Dollars in Pantheon ? Best looking equipment can only be bought but not earned via actually playing the game. Need more crafting material, sure , buy for real money here, and so on.

    - Or, see here this special offer in our cash shop ! Just today for a short time. Buy now or you have to pay more later ! -> I don't want to spend my time checking out cash shops and their offers all the time. I don't want to pop a cash shop window right into my face when I log in. I just don't want to play a cash shop game !

    - Or loot boxes. It's locked, buy your key in cash shop please ! Really ? WTF ! (hmmm, ok, I think you got my point now ;) )

    Money is not my issue. It's just that all those micro transactions, cash shops, removing stuff from game is bad for gameplay, kills immersion and seperates the whales from the common player. It's only money which matters in those games, not the player behind the keyboard and what he actually does in game.

    But I am not an idiot. I know times have changed and probably also Pantheon will contain an F2P offer with cash shop and all the negative side effects. But maybe you can offer also a P2P subscription package and seperate servers which includes all features where you are not bothered with this stuff.

     

    • 84 posts
    February 22, 2018 6:35 AM PST

    Buy the game pay for a monthly sub and pay for expansions everthing else i dont really care for

    • 564 posts
    February 22, 2018 6:46 AM PST

    I don't really like free games unless they are demos or I am getting them for having a subscription somewhere else (like PSN). It's a bit depressing that the developers aren't getting much for their game, or are making me watch advertisements.

     

    I love buying a game and just playing it, modding it as I will. I usually pick up a season pass if it is available and I know I'll like the game (think: bethesda)

    But with mmos, I do accept pay to play. I recognize how much effort goes into simply maintaining an mmo.

     

    What I strongly dislike are cash shops and any way you can spend real money in a game. I want everyone I am playing with to have the same potential as me, whether they are up or down the wealth ladder.

    Personally, I don't consider buying a second account and multiboxxing to be any different than cash shops, so I hate it when a game allows that to happen very often. I have yet to hear an actually good explanation as to how it's different to make someone buy a second account in a game to get an advantage (and it does give a ton of advantages), over letting them buy xp potions or whatever in game, to get an advantage. 


    This post was edited by BeaverBiscuit at February 22, 2018 6:48 AM PST
    • 1605 posts
    February 22, 2018 6:58 AM PST

    This is subjective.

    I can handle a cash shop, as long as:

    - It doesn't sell things that affect progression or character power in any way

    - It isn't the *only* source for new cosmetic items, and new cosmetic items are also added as gameplay rewards on an ongoing basis.

     

    I can handle season pass/DLC, as long as:

    - It doesn't feel like something that should have been in the base game all along, and just got broken out as a ploy to get more money.

    - Pricing is consistent with the size of the content being added.

     

    I'm ok with a subscription, as long as:

    - Any tiering options or additional things you can tack on truly are "optional" in terms of gameplay.  For example, I would buy an upgraded subscription for more character slots.

     

    On expansions:

    - I'm ok with it as long as it's truly adding a significant chunk of content and playable area to the game.  Micro-expansions were a great idea on paper but they didn't work out for the games that tried them.

     

    My preferred method for game monetization is definitely the traditional subscription/expansion model.  I'm also ok with B2P/Cash Shop as long as I don't feel like I'm forced to go spend money in the cash shop in lieu of a sub.