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Finding Additional Revenue

Edam
Flari-Merchant
@ Bob

The thread was titled "Finding Additional Revenue". There was other talk about small easy cosmetic things that could possibly be done by your small team, such as color schemes for buildings-companies-characters.

Do you have the ability to alter buildings with alternate "skins" or is that sort of thing out of reach without "artists"?

How many hexes do actual separate servers control on the "network"? Any idea how much it would cost to pay an "artist" to spruce up a n individual hex? Could an "Adopta hex" system work at all and be funded by players?

I had the impression that North-South columns of hexes were same servers but I may have that totally wrong be interesting to know what Bob says.

I am very keen and always have been keen on customisation options. Not just as a source of revenue, the ability to customise the appearance of a characters gear or settlement/holdings will give a sense of ownership that will help retain players.

We do need to be aware that the game currently has no-one capable of doing artwork (ninjas were leveraged on existing assets, the art was already done) so anything requiring artwork may be down the track a bit.
Flari-Merchant
Edam
Flari-Merchant
@ Bob

The thread was titled "Finding Additional Revenue". There was other talk about small easy cosmetic things that could possibly be done by your small team, such as color schemes for buildings-companies-characters.

Do you have the ability to alter buildings with alternate "skins" or is that sort of thing out of reach without "artists"?

How many hexes do actual separate servers control on the "network"? Any idea how much it would cost to pay an "artist" to spruce up a n individual hex? Could an "Adopta hex" system work at all and be funded by players?

I had the impression that North-South columns of hexes were same servers but I may have that totally wrong be interesting to know what Bob says.

I am very keen and always have been keen on customisation options. Not just as a source of revenue, the ability to customise the appearance of a characters gear or settlement/holdings will give a sense of ownership that will help retain players.

We do need to be aware that the game currently has no-one capable of doing artwork (ninjas were leveraged on existing assets, the art was already done) so anything requiring artwork may be down the track a bit.
Lol, I agree with that. I believe that Bob has had to write something along those lines a fair number of times now. smile
What I personally am unsure of is, with a little digging, how much can a non trained "artist" do with coloring things or swapping parts of some pieces of art out for others.
Tyncale
I think you guys are on the wrong track by focussing on the "pay for XP" part. The game should be opened up to that huge demographic that is used to gaining XP by simply playing the game and killing stuff. Then add ways to monetize this new playerbase, like additional "pay for XP" packs that they can buy in the store (capped, with restrictions) or from players (Azoth, capped, with restrictions).

I just do not see this game get enough traction if all XP has to be bought somehow, no matter how many ways there are for new players to catch up with veterans. I used to think it worked but not anymore.

I think the whole idea of "pacing" XP by allowing only a limited amount per month in order to avoid "insta characters leveled up by hardcore grinders that can throw off PvP balance" is not really that valid, when I look at the Powercurve of characters. Sure, a tier 3 owns a Tier 1, but skills and Roles are capped in a way that you soon have to start developing your character "horizontally" rather then vertical, which is one of the great features of this game. The sheer amount of Horizontal progression that is available.

I think *some* cap as to the rate of XP gain could be in place, since we all know there are some crazy folks out there when it comes to maximizing XP-grind, but I think this should be some sort of soft cap (diminishing returns per day). The most important fact still would be that people actually can start gaining hardcore XP by going out there and killing those mobs and doing those Escalations. THAT could truly lure in a playerbase that could come close to a ToT. We need more players, and we need them out in the World where they can feel they are making a difference to their character, i.e. gaining XP, getting more powerful.

That is better then having to do the "the waiting game" for your ration of XP to come in before your character can progress. I think Achievements are not enough for this, nor is everyone interested in piling up resources or hunting for recipes. Do not forget that a lot of these new players will have no invested interest (yet) in the whole Settlementbuilding/Diplomacy part. All they see around them are high level Landowners that they never can think of matching in XP for a long long time to come. That is not the way to retain people.

So give these people something tangible to work for and get them out in the world, contributing to their Character at least. How can more players out in the world not be good for PvP and all the other cool core features this game has? smile

I am starting to think Eve is a One Hit Wonder with their subscription model.
Regalo Harnoncourt, Leader of the River Kingdoms Trading Company, High Council of Callambea.
This is the character that I am playing almost 100% of the time. (Tyncale is my Sage/Mage)
Iram Thelbane
Edam
It is probably a personal quirk I have, but I prefer games that support long term commitment. When EVE introduced an XP purchasing system that saw within a few weeks people taking characters to max trained in all feats (previously 25 years training in EVE) I lost interest and unsubbed my 5 year old characters shortly after. I saw little point investing time and effort to achieve long-term goals that cashed up people could achieve instantly. Nor would it have been particularly fun or interesting to me to pay real cash (I have plenty) to instantly leap forward to where I envisaged the characters being longterm.

You are not the only one who think that, plus it's a way to have long term player, because when you have spent one year playing a game growing slowly you like more your character than if he was build in a month… It's like in tabletop RPG, a lot of people prefere to play a character on longterm.

One idea i have is about the month fee for playing the game:

When you are a player that is not an US citizen you have to pay your subscription in USD, so you have to pay the bank to convert your local currency into USD.
Having local server where you can pay in local currency could make GW earn more money if GW add a litlle amount that is lesser than the bank does. (If GW can convert our local currency at a lower cost that we do)

Another idea could be:
With local server you can also target countries like russia where there are a lot of MMo players, but where 15 USD per month is very very expensive for them. So you can have a russian local offer that is lower than the US or european ones (I have met a lot of russian players in eve, so i know that they are existing, but in eve online there are ways to play freely. In PFO i have discuss with a russian player that have stop after one month because of the monthly cost). Actually, i am sure that there are no russian active player in PFO, so, having some russian players that pay 5 USD a month is better than nothing.
Flari-Merchant
I fully agree that any and all wild ideas presented here should be carefully thought out, researched against similar ideas tried by other MMO companies' and weighed by how things turned out for them or might be "considered" by the gen gaming market. This should always be done. This isn't our business or "possible" livelihood…

BUT, if things are not improving and the paying customer base is not growing enough, eventually you need to look at what you can do with what you have. Best Bang for the Buck. You have to make a move. Something has to give….
Giorgio
Flari-Merchant
You are suggesting that there are MANY "out there" who would take advantage of such an offer. Game has been running for 3+ years. I have no idea, but let's assume that the average account would need 12 catch-up months. Would you pay $143.40+ tax RIGHT NOW for each account to catch it up? How about Day 1 accounts that had their "free year already? Would they pay $286.80+ tax for each of their accounts, RIGHT NOW to have their xp caught up? With the game as it is now? Need to be able to prove that such a narrow approach to the problem would actually pay off for the work of just one revenue mechanic.

1) Yes, I would gladly drop $500 right now to get "catch up XP" for my accounts if offered. I have no interest in any of the new premium options recently released, I already have two active accounts (the limit I can actually play) and GW is not giving me any good options to spend my money on. I WANT to give GW some more money, but they need to offer me something I want to spend it on.

2) Not only am I suggesting there are many accounts that are dormant and are potentially a lucrative source of revenue if their players are given a chance to buy "catch up X" if offered, I would like to bring everyone's attention to a bit of historical context as to why so many players left the game in the first place.

When PFO launched it was gaining players and making progress on a steady bases until the summer of 2015 and then the great silence before (SEP 15) Blog: Lisa’s Community Address, happened and the game crashed and burned. During that dark time, and the "New Corp" false hope, the player base continued to bleed from that point until around (MAR 17) Blog: The Road Forward, when we finally got solid news that the game's server would not be disabled the next month and that there was a new plan to actually finish the game and go to Open Enrollment (OE) under Paizo's leadership.

That is about an 18 month gap where active players where leaving in droves a game that looked doomed with no hope of survival. I am confident that 90%+ of my own settlement's members stopped playing in the time frame. I personally reduced my subscriptions from six accounts to maybe one or two during this time, and many of those months I had zero accounts active cause I had to prioritize putting food on the table and gas in my car versus paying for a game I basically lost real interest in and wasn't confident would even survive (sorry GW team, it's what I felt back then).

How much revenue did GW loose just from me, my company and my settlement in that time?

Multiple that type of lost revenue across the whole sever in that time frame. How many accounts are now "out there" that are a potential source of "catch up XP" revenue now that this game is in active development again, has a plan for release and is significantly better improved since June-July-August 2015? I would wager that the amount of potential revenue to gain is not "insignificant".

This suggestion is not an "either/or" option, it can be a part of a different series of options available to GW to increase revenue NOW so they can hopefully increase their staff and not only implement the Road Map they have, but add more to it (especially everything being held back because of a lack of an art team). The Road Map implementation is the key to gaining new players and growing the player base, anything that can help them get there faster is worth taking a look at.

This thread would not be here if Bob/Cole/Lisa where not interested in exploring their financial options while development continues.

3) Brace yourself for more links, I am going to help bring the new players up to speed on 3 years worth of related topics so they can see what has been written and debated, and add their perspective and voices to these conversations. smile
First Elder Durin Steelforge; Leader of Forgeholm; Founder of Steelforge Engineering Company

PM Giorgo on Paizo Forums
PM Admin George on Commonwealth of the Free Highlands
Bob
Flari-Merchant
Do you have the ability to alter buildings with alternate "skins" or is that sort of thing out of reach without "artists"?

I swapped out a couple wall textures for some of the studios and cottages to provide a little more variety, but that's a pretty minimal change. I also did only a small amount of it because I'm sure I wasn't doing things in the most performance friendly way. Doing something truly interesting would probably require an actual artist, and doing a lot of it would probably require some coding time to keep the additional art from slowing things down.

Flari-Merchant
How many hexes do actual separate servers control on the "network"? Any idea how much it would cost to pay an "artist" to spruce up a n individual hex? Could an "Adopta hex" system work at all and be funded by players?

Each physical server handles about 1-2 columns of hexes, depending on what else that physical server is busy with, but it does that by running individual virtual servers for each hex. As a result, it's usually best to just think of each hex as having its own server.

However, that doesn't really affect our ability to spruce up any one part of the map. Regardless of whether we change 1 hex or 50, we just include all those changes in the next build, and then the individual servers just load up the parts they need. I can do some simple changes in Unity, which I've done to fix player traps and the like, but for major changes we have to go back to the terrain pipeline, and that's got a pretty steep learning curve.

It's hard to say what a budget for sprucing up an individual hex would be, but it probably wouldn't be cheap unless a pretty minimal amount was done. That's a large part of why we automated so much of the work. With 800+ hexes on the existing map, it would have taken a very long time to polish each hex by hand. I can imagine some possible ways to do a hex sponsorship thing, much as we did things where some Kickstarter backers paid to create Feats for the game (subject to approval and rebalancing), but given the learning curve and general difficulty of just getting to the point where we could offer it, there'd have to be an awful lot of interest for what would likely be a pretty expensive sponsorship to make it worthwhile.
Flari-Merchant
Food for thought. Thanks for the info! If it were possible, I can see where "Good Guys" might pay for certain terrain looks and the same for "Evil guys" and maybe even shades of "Neutral" like Wild Wonderlands.

It would have to be something that was within the range of a Crowdfunding thing for interested players and a Terrain Artist that wants some "sidework" as you say. Maybe someday it will be a workable option…
Giorgio
All right then, lets get everyone up to speed on the most popular threads related to "financial matters" and other related threads that have been discussed over the years. Feel free to comment on any of these topics here or in their respective threads (what's wrong with a little thread necromancy every now and then, eh?). Pay attention to the responses GW have already posted, but also look at the dates of the responses, a lot has changed in the Before The Road Map and After The Road Map PFO development timeline.

Note: Some threads are placed in multiple categories for reasons that will be very obvious once you start reading them… smile

XP System:
(AUG 15) Respec Tokens
(DEC 17) Experience Points

Azoth:
(MAR 17) Fix Your Pricing Model
(MAY 17) Azoth
(SEP 17) Missed Opportunities with Azoth

Pricing Model/Subscriptions:
(JUN 15) Would You Object to GW Dropping the Box Fee?
(AUG 15) Subscription cost idea to provide incentive for new players
(NOV 15) Pricing
(NOV 16) The 3 Steps That Could Save This Game
(MAR 17) Fix Your Pricing Model

All Accounts should be DT accounts:
(DEC 17) Experience Points

Status/Future of Game:
(SEP 15) Blog: Lisa’s Community Address
(MAR 17) Blog: The Road Forward
(MAR 17) Thank You Lisa, for Hope and the Road Map
(JUN 17) Before the Tens of Thousands
(NOV 17) Is PFO as completely dead as it seems?

Needs an Art Team to implement:
(OCT 17) A Modest Proposal
(OCT 17) Roadmap progress tracking

Social/Communication Tools:
(OCT 17) Humble Extra Life Bundle 2017 & Communication/Social Tools

GW-Player Meetings:
(JUL 15) Keepside Chat Recordings
(NOV 17) Outlaw Council Meetings: December 2017

Recommendations for additional links/topics welcomed! smile
First Elder Durin Steelforge; Leader of Forgeholm; Founder of Steelforge Engineering Company

PM Giorgo on Paizo Forums
PM Admin George on Commonwealth of the Free Highlands
Flari-Merchant
What level necromancer is required to raise this many skeletons at one time? smile
 
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