The Purge

PvP for People Who Aren't Asshats
It is currently Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:20 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 15 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Micro-transactions
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 9:25 pm 
Offline
Member
User avatar

Joined: Fri May 27, 2005 1:27 pm
Posts: 6123
I think we can all agree that the $50 retail box type games are definitely dead. The gaming market and especially MMO's are hugely saturated right now. F2P games allow companies to try and get their foot in the door and allow gamers to 'test drive' games before sinking actual money into them. However, many of these games are not earning a reputation for 'pay to win' games, where if you do not purchase items you will be at SEVERE disadvantage.


My question for you, is what type of items are you willing to purchase in micro-transactions? Would you pay for normally free game functions? Character slots?

Character Slots?
Creating a guild? Joining a guild?
Guild Heraldry?
Picking a crafting skill? ( actual crafting such as blacksmithing, Armorsmith, Alchemist)
Learning a new combat skill or improving your proficiency significantly?
Adding a surname?
Hunting permit? otherwise you are poaching and possible bounties against you
Owning/renting a house or territory from a faction?
Renting or operating a store front?
Buying companion/follower/slave/servants?
Mounts, beasts of burden?


Most of my brainstorming has been thinking about how a gaming company could setup a sandbox game with actual functioning cities and still be able to pay for their game. Instead of selling resources or massive buffs like other games do, sell services that a government would potentially be offering or TAXING in real life.

_________________
Did you ever hear the tragedy of Darth EA The Greed? I thought not. It’s not a story other Developers would tell you.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Micro-transactions
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:25 am 
Offline
Officer
User avatar

Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2005 11:21 am
Posts: 3883
Location: Warren, NJ
not having put any thought into this, two things come to mind for revenue when subscription fees are excluded:

1. advertising / product placement. not really practical for a historical fantasy game, but doable in any current/future game. CoH and AO would be effective games for this kind of thing.

2. publisher control of the gold-selling market. I think EVE had a good idea here, making PLEx tradeable. it's not about finding things to sell your players, it's more about finding things your players are willing to buy from others, then making sure that they can only buy those things from *you*.

-ken

_________________
Naval Action: Taralin Snow, Snowy Iggles
EQ2: Snowreap, Yellowtail, Taralin, Disruption, Preyz, Taralynne, Snowy, Snowz
ESO: Snowreap, Yellowtail
PS2: Snowreap
GW2: Snowreap, Yellowtail, Preyz, Taralin, Taralynne
RIFT: Snowreap, Yellowtail, Preyz, Taralin, Snowy
PotBS (British): Taralin Snow, Taralynne Snow, Snowy Iggles, Edward Snow
PotBS (Pirate): Taralin Snowden, Taralynne Snowden, Redshirt Snowden
WW2O: Snowreap
WAR: Snowreap, Preyz, Lbz, Leadz, Snowz, Taralin, Snowmeltz, Yellowtail, Snowbankz
APB: Snowreap, Sentenza
STO: Snowreap@Snowreap, Snowz@Snowreap
AoC: Yellowtail, Snowreap, Snowstorm, Redshirt
WoW (Horde): Snowreap, Savagery, Baelzenun, Wickedwendy, Taralin, Disruption, Scrouge, Bette
WoW (Alliance): Yellowtail, Wickedwendy, Snowreap
AC1: Snowstorm, Yellowtail, Shirt Ninja, Redshirt


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Micro-transactions
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:15 am 
Offline
Member

Joined: Thu May 11, 2006 1:17 am
Posts: 1189
Location: Houston, TX
I will admit that Sony has done pretty well with their Everquest 2 store implementation, although the store on their F2P servers does cross that line of pay to win.

Those that pay a monthly fee on a standard EQ2 server can purchase:
- Fluff appearance gear
- Fluff housing items
- Cool looking mounts with mediocre stats
- Consumables (most popular is the potion that refills your rest xp bar)
- a crappy vampire race
- Fluff pets
- Server transfers
- Race changes

Those that F2P have more restrictions (they have a very specific subset of races and classes to choose from and like 2 character slots) and can purchase all of the above with the addition of:
- Unlock other standard races (only 4 available for free)
- Unlock other standard classes (only 8 available for free)
- Character Slots
- Weapons and Armor (I have heard that you can purchase raid level gear from previous expansions, but don't know - the EQ2 Extended store is different from the original P2P servers)

(On the F2P servers, they also cap the level of your skills/spells, tier of loot (no mythical items), and creating/joining guilds unless you upgrade to a higher tier of account). On all servers, Sony allows players to purchase and transfer monthly subscriptions.

To me, in a F2P environment, assuming i was into fluff crap, I would be willing to pay for:
- Appearance stuff
- Character slot unlocks
- Races
- Classes (as long as they were all balanced)
- NPC mercenary companions, for those who like to solo - assuming the game difficulty wasn't already watered down to the lowest common denominator already (soloers).
- Ability to create a guild (I think purchasing the ability to join guilds is a bit much)
- Increases to timesink stats like Carry Weight (like Skyrim/Fallout)
- Old gear on a well established game/server to assist with levelling. (Well established being alot of people have been at max level for 6+ months)
- Housing. Although I would argue that basic, hovel style houses should be free, and upgrades should be paid for to unlock.
- Latest expansion content.
- Consumables (If people want to pay for double exp or "oh shit" potions, let them - the game should have enough content for the powergamers anyways)

I would not be willing to pay for or want the game to sell:
- End game gear. Players shouldn't feel like they have to purchase a specific item to be competitive, nor should purchased items be on par with current end-game gear.
- Removal of progression restrictions (skill caps, loot caps). See above comment about paying to be competitive
- Crafting (unlock craft skills or pay for storefronts). There are alot of people who stick with some games (EQ2 being a good example) because they enjoy crafting. If you want to make money off of the crafters, allow them to buy skills or consumables that increase the amount they harvest or the percent chance they will craft a higher quality item.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Micro-transactions
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:30 am 
Offline
Hail to the King
User avatar

Joined: Thu May 30, 2002 10:35 am
Posts: 16899
Location: Cimmeria
I would love to see numbers on stuff like this. Apparently I greatly underestimate how much people are willing to spend on completely cosmetic upgrades. POTBS apparently thrives on people buying new shoulder pets (which do nothing) and consumables (which are identical to the ones you can craft -- in fact, you can craft one level higher than you can purchase with money).

Maybe the crafting system would be a good target.

Bring up the crafting window.
You can build the item you want in the normal fashion
OR
You can purchase, via microtransaction, a lesser version of that item

e.g., you can craft a "Greater Healing Potion" or you can purchase a "Healing Potion". You can craft a Longsword +2 or you can purchase a Longsword +1.

That keeps top tier stuff in the hands of gamers but lets spenders buy stuff that's good, but one step down.

Planetside could let you obtain level 20 and then purchase additional levels after that. Level 20 is enough diversity that you can do most things, and respec occasionally to do other things, but you could buy 10 more levels and never have to respec again because you can do everything. EVE could do the same thing. $50 buys you 3 years worth of skill points. So you download the game for free can either putt around the newbie zones like now or you can spend $50 and immediately advance to the big leagues (at least skill-point wise).


So I might pay for something like that. MMORPG PvP wargame. Free. Log in and you're level 1. Standard MMORPG grind to 50 --or-- for $39.95 you get the "starter kit" that moves you immediately to max level and gives you a basic gear loadout so you can join the endgame, which is just a big PvP war. Then the crafting thing I stated above. Fight over resources and craft the good stuff, but you can always buy one tier lower with cash. (Or for a PvP wargame, maybe you fight over resources for top tier, buy tier-1 with in-game gold and buy tier-2 with cash.)

_________________
If it bleeds, we can kill it.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Micro-transactions
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 12:16 pm 
Offline
Officer

Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 7:31 pm
Posts: 2166
LotRO has a pretty decent model going for content. I did the F2P thing there for a while. At the time I was able to play up to level 20 and barely noticed that I was not on a paid subscription. The only real limit that hit me was the cash limit - I could only carry a certain amount of cash but could pay to increase it. Once I hit level 20 I began to run into quests that I could not get because I was not a paying subscriber. You could pay for different zone quest packs to open up further adventuring. I could have continued to level up without the quest packs. They also limited your ability to travel the world with certain horse routes and quick travel options only available to paid subscribers or as micro transactions.

I also like how they kind of sucked you in - gaining achievements through world exploration and killing stuff garnered small amounts of store points so I was actually able to extend my F2P experience a little bit without paying anything but those little increases made me want more and led to me actually paying for more store points.

_________________
Zirak / Thanoslug in lots of MMOs
Image
"Consensus: The process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values, and policies in search of something in which no one believes, but to which no one objects; the process of avoiding the very issues that have to be solved, merely because you cannot get agreement on the way ahead." -Margaret Thatcher


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Micro-transactions
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 1:21 pm 
Offline
Member
User avatar

Joined: Fri May 27, 2005 1:27 pm
Posts: 6123
As far as what I was thinking with crafting is...you are able to craft basic entry level tier items and their recipes. But to unlock more sophisicated recipes and advanced ingredients you must pay to 'learn' from the trainers in the game via micro-transaction

Ie...if we are using a fantasy setting. You can easily without real $$$ cost learn & skill up leather & bronze armor. But to learn how to use make and use steel, you would have to pay $2.50 or something. You are paying a master smith to show you the secrets. Perhaps steel isnt that much better stat wise for protection, but may be lighter weight and more DURABLE, in a game with item durability.

_________________
Did you ever hear the tragedy of Darth EA The Greed? I thought not. It’s not a story other Developers would tell you.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Micro-transactions
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 2:37 pm 
Offline
Member

Joined: Thu May 11, 2006 1:17 am
Posts: 1189
Location: Houston, TX
I could see that... you have a standard free recipe path, and the more specialized stuff you pay for. It would have to be by a full "class" of recipes - selling individual recipes would either piss off the crafters (especially if you have sub-combine recipes), result in purchase of only "required must have" gear recipes, or drive the crafters into paying for a subscription. Although if developers go down that route, I could just as easily see them selling individual raid level crafting recipes that require drops from raid mobs. Or for games like Eve, purchasing original or copied blueprints.

What microtransaction scheme you can implement depends on how complicated the crafting system is. You could make more things available if its a time-sink game within a game ala EQ2 rather than if its click a button combines ala WoW/Rift.

For crafting, I could see people paying for:
- Recipe classes (Steel, etc)
- Temporary buffs/consumables for faster harvesting, or better item creation
- commonly available "rare" materials (rares from harvesting nodes)
- crafting/harvesting gear
- Temporary buffs or permanent abilities that gives you a chance to increase the output of harvested materials (i.e. chance for 2 rares instead of 1) from material nodes
- "Sales Licenses" that reduces the amount of commission the game takes from selling through the broker, or reduces/removes the cost of placing an item on the broker
- if its like Star Wars Galaxies with resource miners & factories, paying to increase the efficiency of those


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Micro-transactions
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 2:47 pm 
Offline
Officer

Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 7:31 pm
Posts: 2166
Multiple combine recipes. For no money you can do one combine at a time to turn X ore into 1 refined bar. For some real money you can now create 25 bars with a single combine. Time savers would probably be worth a little money to folks.

_________________
Zirak / Thanoslug in lots of MMOs
Image
"Consensus: The process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values, and policies in search of something in which no one believes, but to which no one objects; the process of avoiding the very issues that have to be solved, merely because you cannot get agreement on the way ahead." -Margaret Thatcher


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Micro-transactions
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 4:14 pm 
Offline
Officer
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2002 4:02 pm
Posts: 2434
Location: Germantown, MD
Zirak wrote:
Multiple combine recipes. For no money you can do one combine at a time to turn X ore into 1 refined bar. For some real money you can now create 25 bars with a single combine. Time savers would probably be worth a little money to folks.



Especially in crafting systems like Aion Online where I litterally spent 45 minutes just smelting the ore into bars to make someone's armor.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Micro-transactions
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 4:28 pm 
Offline
Officer
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 3:04 am
Posts: 8179
Location: Buffalo NY
While I see the benefit that it is possible this type of system may allow new companies to put out products we want I think this payment style will eventually create bad behaivor from producers in the long run.

For that reason and no other I would not buy any product sold in this manner. Take college football. I would love to watch it but since I hate the system I refuse to acknowledge it until such time that they fix it. Granted goons like Jake can't stay away from it so I am in the minority but people like Jake is the reason college football is flawed.

I can see companies blackmailing its customers in the long run by using a system like this. Hell maybe the prices we pay are the reason we get bad product releases but for me personally just give me one rate and let me be done with that part.

The more transactions you have the better chance you have of something going wrong.

I certainly won't argue that it has the potential to introduce better gaming companies then our current batch.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Micro-transactions
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 7:37 pm 
Offline
Hail to the King
User avatar

Joined: Thu May 30, 2002 10:35 am
Posts: 16899
Location: Cimmeria
I think the two main approaches to ponder are:

1) You want to get a fixed sum of money out of each player roughly equal to what you would have sold the box for
2) You want to get a steady stream of money that equals or exceeds what you would have gotten from a subscription

#1 is where you can do stuff like charging people in order to let them carry more gold, or charging them to learn higher recipes, etc. So maybe you can be a warrior for free but if you want to be a warrior who can craft swords, it'll cost you a total of $20 to completely unlock the sword crafting tree. If you want to be a warrior that can craft swords, potions, shields and armor, it'll end up costing you $80. Come up with a list of one-time fees which CAN be ignored but which serious players will tend to want.

#2 is where you need to find something that people will keep paying for. After they've purchased every shoulder parrot, every fancy hat and every crafting tree, what happens to your income stream? Ideally I think you'd want to find something that most people would be willing to pay $10/month for to keep getting.


The thing that has to be avoided, though, is "rich kid syndrome". This guild kicks everyone's ass because they spend $200/month each.

Although I could be wrong about that, really. There is probably room for a "rich kid's game". The entire collectible card game industry was built on this concept. You didn't spend $50 on Magic: the Gathering and go around the country winning tournaments. You spent $1000. Or more. Potentially much more.



I still frown on free-to-play because like Vllad says, there's more room for the company to screw up. I don't want to find out, $50 in, that it's actually a rich kid's game and I need to pay $50/month to really be competitive in the endgame.

_________________
If it bleeds, we can kill it.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Micro-transactions
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:13 pm 
Offline
Member

Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2005 8:22 pm
Posts: 11551
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Vllad wrote:
For that reason and no other I would not buy any product sold in this manner. Take college football. I would love to watch it but since I hate the system I refuse to acknowledge it until such time that they fix it. Granted goons like Jake can't stay away from it so I am in the minority but people like Jake is the reason college football is flawed.


NFL sucks, snorefest and its hard to care about teams. It also has perhaps the worst overtime rules of any sport on any level, and I'm including that game they play on horseback in Afghanistan with goat carcasses.

I'd pay for gold or any other method of bypassing farming. Strangely enough I don't even care about grinding up levels, but I refuse to farm gold or crafting mats - so since I'm going to go to the chinese for this crap anyway, you might as well take my money directly thus making it more profitable, taking out the annoying farmers from your server, and pissing people like Raduk off.

Slamz wrote:
The thing that has to be avoided, though, is "rich kid syndrome". This guild kicks everyone's ass because they spend $200/month each.
.


No less annoying than "unemployed dork" syndrome, where a guild kicks everyone's ass because they can play 20 hours a day because they have no jobs, lives, or girlfriends.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Micro-transactions
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:49 pm 
Offline
Member
User avatar

Joined: Fri May 27, 2005 1:27 pm
Posts: 6123
the point of the thread is...would you pay for services, not resources/materials/gear like most f2p currently.

Everquest 2 does have a fairly interesting system, although high priced IMO. I can understand paying for character slots, but I'm still trying to decide about paying to unlock race/classes

_________________
Did you ever hear the tragedy of Darth EA The Greed? I thought not. It’s not a story other Developers would tell you.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Micro-transactions
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:14 pm 
Offline
Member

Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2005 8:22 pm
Posts: 11551
Location: Brooklyn, New York
I find it a bit shady to charge for things like race/class unlocks but agree with things like character slots which don't put you at a disadvantage if you don't buy but allow you to fuck around more if you do.

Cosmetic seems to be a pretty huge market seeing how many vanity pets and mounts and shit you see in WOW (not to mention that they make a good penny with the ability to change race/name/faction/sex/etc.... which I think is destructive for a server community, but hey once you implemented cross faction pvp AND pve instances, what does server community mean anymore)...

I suppose the cosmetic shit shouldn't be surprising, people were willing to spend hours upon hours of stupid shit to get achievements for vanity pets or titles, so its obviously easy to milk them for money.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Micro-transactions
PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:01 am 
Offline
Member

Joined: Thu May 11, 2006 1:17 am
Posts: 1189
Location: Houston, TX
I think the primary goal of most F2P systems is to drive people to pay for the monthly subscription, with the thought of "If they won't, might as well milk them for what we can".

Most of the systems I've seen remove all of the restrictions once you pay that monthly fee. Also, with the release of EQ2's ($ony's) most pathetic money grab to date (a $40 regular/ $60 collectors expansion with standard patch content), EQ2 has made the entire game F2P (It was subscribers on one set of servers the EQ2X on separate servers).


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 15 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group