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EE16/Roadmap

Maxen
Bear with me. This is going to be very high level. If Lisa and the team like any of these ideas, they can get into the nuts and bolts of it (and especially the balancing.)

TL/DR – I’m offer thoughts regarding XP and Achievements, the Subscription Model, and an idea called “Veteran Points”.

XP and Achievements

Do away with XP. The mechanics of this game are not at all similar to the Pathfinder RPG, so do away with Experience Points. Instead use the Achievement Points that are already in place. But instead of simply accumulating them, you spend them on Feats. Caps on accumulating Achievement Points are removed, and getting the next level of Achievement continues increase exponentially. Achievement Point cost for Feats (in a feat progression tree) also increase exponentially.

Achievement Points are Feat specific. You could not spend Achievement Points gained using a one-handed melee weapon to train orisons. That can become as granular as you want it, i.e. Achievement Points gained on a dagger can’t be used to train attack ranks of rapier. Gates are still tracked and need to be met to advance Feats as well. Feat purchase would be broken down as:

Adventure: Role Feature, Armor Feats, Reactive Feats, Defensive Feats, Skills Ranks, and Utility Ranks
Arcane: Arcane Attack Ranks and Expendables
Crafting: Role Feature, Armor Feats, and Crafting Ranks
Divine: Divine Attack Ranks and Expendables
Gathering: Role Feature, Armor Feats, and Gathering Ranks
Martial: Melee/Ranged Attack Ranks (for applicable weapons) and Expendables
Subterfuge: Melee/Ranged Attack Ranks (for applicable weapons) and Expendables

I’m sure I’ve left something out, but you get the picture. Simple example:
A Level 1 character goes adventuring wearing Pot Steel Plate (Unbreakable 1) and using a Longsword (Rank 1). He kills 10 Goblins. He has now earned Goblin Slayer 1 and Heavy Blade Expert 1 and has 10 Adventure Points and 10 Martial Points to spend. Perhaps Unbreakable 2 costs 5 Adventure Points, but Unbreakable 3 costs 15, so he could only buy Unbreakable 2 and bank the other 5 Adventure Points. Or he could buy a rank of Bulwark 1 for 1 Adventure Point and bank the other 4. Feat cost would increase exponentially by some factor, much like XP. Gates to increase Feat ranks would still need to be met.

Now, players are rewarded for their adventuring efforts. Yes, this can be abused by someone who chooses to grind kills, but with increasing gate requirements and feat cost, it would hopefully deter most. But if someone wants to spend their life gaming 12 hours a day, that’s their choice.

Subscription Model

This has been suggested before and I am in favor of doing away with DT accounts. And please understand that I subscribe multiple DT accounts, so I am not a ‘DT hater’. Instead, I think a subscription model based on “Free to Play” and tiered paid subscriptions would be a welcome change. First, the tiered model would be simply based on how many character slots you want to unlock. Players would no longer be earning XP per hour, but there would still be a reward for subscribing in the form of “Veteran Points” (more on those below).

Each tier would essentially be $5 to unlock. All players are currently paying $14.95/month, so there’s no shock of a price increase. Paying $14.95/month will unlock all three slots, $9.95/month for two slots, and $4.95/month for one slot. There would also be a “Free to Play” option that will unlock one slot. So what do subscribers get for their monthly fee? Veteran Points.

Veteran Points

Veteran Points will be awarded each month a player is subscribed and each subscription tier would earn a different number of points. These points would roll over month to month and accrue. They would be used to purchase in game items that have no real world cash value. Azoth could still be purchased with cash and converted to game time or used in crafting/refining.

Items like player structures and cosmetic upgrades to character features, colors, armor “bling”, etc. could be purchase with Veteran Points. Maybe even a very unique recipe that can’t be found in game. These items have no real world value aside from the developer ‘man hours’ it took to program them, so allow them to be purchased as a perk by subscribers.

There’s no ‘pay to win’ option here. Subscribers are simply paying to enjoy more aspects of the game, but it doesn’t give anyone an advantage from a mechanic standpoint (aside from the minor bonuses gained by player structures. But that’s a perk to subbing and no one is barred from receiving the benefit of the bonus if they team with someone who owns the structure.)

So, those are my thoughts. I look forward to open and candid discussion.
Bringslite
It is true that offering some sort of reduced sub model is better than F2P. That way you get a certain steady income until you can create a busy enough store. Also F2P can be a mixed bag as far as "customer quality" goes.
Virtute et Armis
-Unknown
New Guy
I've been watching the slow progress and evolution here for a long time and I have seen the discussions flowing back and forth. Only a handful of players are running Save The Game discussions that range the gamut of play theories. It makes me wonder how small the number of actual players are relly still involved mentally as well as play wise.

As I have pointed out before the only thing that is going to save this game is more players playing and more players paying. Discussing new payment scemes is back on a topic that finally makes sense. More players will be willing to play and pay if the cost is lower than $15 per month, They will be more forgiving of the incomplete game for less than $15 per month so this is relly the area that you do want to look at. Focus the tiny amount of effort that you are able in addressing this issue. Generate cash for more staff. It is the only real solution.

Forget making it complicated with grande scemes for complicated exp method changes. Keep it as simple as possible and do not complicate the job of changing things for now. Do not over burden the small team you have. Make changes that are small and increase your player count. You don't need to reinvent te peanut butter jelly sandwitch. You need players and income.
Harad Navar
New Guy
You don't need to reinvent the peanut butter jelly sandwich. You need players and income.
+1
Knowledge can explain the darkness, but it is not a light.
Paddy Fitzpatrick
New Guy
Forget making it complicated with grande scemes for complicated exp method changes. Keep it as simple as possible and do not complicate the job of changing things for now. Do not over burden the small team you have. Make changes that are small and increase your player count. You don't need to reinvent te peanut butter jelly sandwitch. You need players and income.

Fair point on not making xp changes too complicated but the Passive XP over time model is the main thing that forces the game to be on a subscription model in the first place. The sub model is not the only problem that stems from the passive XP system but it is one of the more obvious ones. I already laid out what other issues removing the passive so system would fix earlier in this thread. Fixing the pricing is only the beginning of things that would improve as a result.

Even IF the sub model must be retained, lower it. I once suggested at least a year ago to make the sub $5 per character slot actively gaining xp. That first character should be free until eithrr that character on the account becomes tier 2 or they add a second character slot. The simple way to fix the influence cap issue if and when it is tackled is have only having only tier 2 or above toons contribute to the max cap. That way it ensures they paid the sub at one point and it doesnt punish folks if they had an active player go inactive either.
Paddy Fitzpatrick - Rí Ruírec of Fianna, roaming bands of noble warriors!
Member of Aragon Alliance and home of bandits, privateers, and anyone looking to get away from the shackles of law.
Find us on PFO Discord
Azure_Zero
I think Paddy is Nailing it on the head here.
New Guy
Harad Navar
New Guy
You don't need to reinvent the peanut butter jelly sandwich. You need players and income.
+1
Thank you for correcting my crap spelling! :p
New Guy
Azure_Zero
I think Paddy is Nailing it on the head here.
That depends on whether you want to see a better more populated and healthy game in your lifetime.
Bringslite
One serious time consuming issue I can see with going to a "slay/play to gain xp model", is balancing it. Even at 1 xp per goblin… well I can kill a lot of goblins when I get to non stop grinding on them.

I'd suggest xp awards (should they go that way) be rewarded for quests, Esc Tasks and maybe higher Achieve rewards.

Edit: Not that I am opposed to the idea. IMO, I would play more again(like the old days) and I think that many would as well.
Virtute et Armis
-Unknown
Paddy Fitzpatrick
New Guy
Azure_Zero
I think Paddy is Nailing it on the head here.
That depends on whether you want to see a better more populated and healthy game in your lifetime.

Well I suppose one must be careful not to run afoul of the old saying that When all you have is a hammer, everything becomes a nail.

I dont think that's the case here though. Lowering the entry fee is the starting point so we can get new players to try it out in the first place.

The other half of maintaining a healthy population is keeping them. That is why I proposed removing the passive XP system to begin with. I made it clear how much many other mechanics in the game could improve greatly and the point of being able to do more of what you want with your first character is a major boost. It may take some time to adjust the achievement system but that is up to the dev team to decide both how much time it will take and whether or not it is worth the investment. Personally unless it would set back development for a few more years I think it would be worth the effort, again for all the reasons I laid out previously.

Overall you can get tens of thousands of folks to try out the game but if you dont lower the price AND don't provide some additional improvements you will have a hard time retaining them. Sure even if only 1k out of 10k stick around that will be an improvement but it is still only a 10% retention rate.

Obviously if you can only do one or the other at this time prioritize lowering the cost first. You don't want a game which turns off prospective players out of the gate. You also don't want a game that bleeds players a lot either cause that will have a domino effect as well. New players leaving in droves, leaving bad reviews, and so on will eventually get around, easily having a negative impact on new players.

This isn't reinventing the pbj sandwich as much as it is admitting to ourselves that what we have is not a pbj sandwich in the first place.
Paddy Fitzpatrick - Rí Ruírec of Fianna, roaming bands of noble warriors!
Member of Aragon Alliance and home of bandits, privateers, and anyone looking to get away from the shackles of law.
Find us on PFO Discord
 
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