Author Topic: Would You Pay to Play?  (Read 11450 times)

Foxglove

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Would You Pay to Play?
« on: April 09, 2013, 07:45:26 PM »
Most people know that M&F is a commercial project that will have some sort of fee paying aspect to playing it. So would you pay to play it? If not, and personal finances aren't the problem, is there something about the game that would put you off paying to play? Can you see any barriers within the gameplay that you think might discourage people from paying a fee to play (not just that they don't like it, but anything about the game that might make people think it's not worth the entry fee even if they do enjoy playing)?

Please note that Tom's already said it will not be pay-to-win, so let's steer clear of that one. Also keep in mind that the graphics and other aspects will improve if the crowdfunding is successful.
Standing for the responsible use of power since Year 1, Week 1, Day 1.
Fun fact: I wrote some of the text for the M&F crowdfunding campaign.
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xjermx

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Re: Would You Pay to Play?
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2013, 07:51:25 PM »
Since Kickstarter got big, I've seen a number of independant game developers either using it, or going on their own to offer people early access to their game in exchange for payment.  Minecraft did it, a little game called Door Kickers did it.


I'm not sure what Tom's business model is here, whether a recurring subscription, or a one-time subscription.  This might be a way to get a start on bringing in come capital for its continued development.


Edit: Don't Starve is doing the same.

Penchant

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Re: Would You Pay to Play?
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2013, 08:05:52 PM »
Tom is doing a monthly subscription according to the last time he posted about.

Mookzen

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Re: Would You Pay to Play?
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2013, 09:35:37 PM »
To be honest it depends on how far can Tom get the game away from the 'just a browser game' perceptions people -will- have.

PracticalM

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Re: Would You Pay to Play?
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2013, 11:01:01 PM »
I think the steadily decreasing peasant population as listed in the blog notes shows that the game is tending towards low population even with the reduction of recruiting percentages. 


The inability to communicate with your neighbor (without spending a character going around and hunting them down) makes early cooperation difficult.  This will tend to reward single players playing large families. 


There's a lot of effort so far in the attack others part of the game but not as much in the work together with others part of the game.  I would be more interested in that approach.  I've never played BM before so maybe I should go look at that.

Foxglove

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Re: Would You Pay to Play?
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2013, 12:16:29 AM »
Something I've wondered during both Alphas is whether people will be willing to pay to play if they have to accept their characters taking a lesser role in the game. Will everyone want to have a citadel? Will they all want to be king or queen? My experience with games is that people will pay to play a main actor in the drama, but I don't know if they'll be as willing to pay if they're outside the main circles of power. In Battlemaster, the game mainly becomes interesting once you've got a region to run, or when you're in one of the message groups that deals with military or political actions. I wonder how being a simple knight or just controlling small settlements will work out in M&F, and whether it'll be enough to make people pay for that level of involvement.

Standing for the responsible use of power since Year 1, Week 1, Day 1.
Fun fact: I wrote some of the text for the M&F crowdfunding campaign.
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Tom

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Re: Would You Pay to Play?
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2013, 12:31:26 AM »
My take is that "main actor" in most games is a lie. You are the 7853th person to defeat the Lich King, congratulations! You are such a hero! Take a price from the lower shelf.

In M&F, as in BM, your role might not be the lead role, but it is honest, and it is unique. You are not one of 5000 kings/baron/knight of Sirion, you are the only one.

Foxglove

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Re: Would You Pay to Play?
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2013, 12:58:47 AM »
My take is that "main actor" in most games is a lie. You are the 7853th person to defeat the Lich King, congratulations! You are such a hero! Take a price from the lower shelf.

If it is a lie, it's a seductive one that people are happy to buy into again and again. To an extent, I agree with you. But, when playing, does a player really care that 1000 players before them have defeated the Lich King? In my experience, they buy into the personal achievement that they've defeated him and enjoy the new bit of equipment they've taken from him.

In M&F, as in BM, your role might not be the lead role, but it is honest, and it is unique. You are not one of 5000 kings/baron/knight of Sirion, you are the only one.

I honestly think that paying to play brings a whole different set of expectations about what you should be able to do in a game, and that people will want to be able to personally unlock or take part in the most advanced aspects of the gameplay. If they find they can't do that, I'm not convinced they'll continue to part with their money for a monthly subscription - if that's the payment model you go with. If I'm proved wrong, I'll be the first one to be happy about it.

That being said, I know other payment models have been discussed too (such as paying for cosmetic customizations), and I could see that being much more acceptable to people playing at the lower levels.
Standing for the responsible use of power since Year 1, Week 1, Day 1.
Fun fact: I wrote some of the text for the M&F crowdfunding campaign.
Favourite warm beverage: hot chocolate.

PracticalM

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Re: Would You Pay to Play?
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2013, 01:07:47 AM »
My experience in Puzzle Pirates is that people usually don't care to be subservient.  Because of their guild structure (Crews and Flags) if you want to be a captain you have to start your own crew.  There are tons of one person crews because people want that title even if it's a clearly useless one.

In M&F
Right now, the game advantages for becoming a vassal of someone else is very intangible.  Sure there are good role play reasons and maybe some good political reasons but because cooperation cannot be enforced any group of players that come into the game aligned before play will always have an advantage over a similarly sized group of players who allied only after meeting.

And in any group of players there is very likely to be someone who feels they got the short end of the stick and will betray the group. 

The original reason to be a vassal to someone else was to band together against other bands but if players can be their own bands then either you need to limit 1 character to one account (fee for each account) or you come up with some reason why a player should trust a total stranger who just happened to land near me in the game.

Feudalism is built on reciprocal obligations to deal with a lack of centralized power, but the structure of the game requires a more centralized power (built up one or more cities) which completely destroys the need for a vassal arrangement.

Tom

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Re: Would You Pay to Play?
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2013, 01:29:19 AM »
or you come up with some reason why a player should trust a total stranger who just happened to land near me in the game.

That's easy. You can't be awake 24/7, you can't do everything on your own. Maybe you can really play 30 characters every turn - but that kingdom over there has 30 players with 2-5 characters each. They will roflstomp you if you think you can take them on on your own.


and that people will want to be able to personally unlock or take part in the most advanced aspects of the gameplay.

I don't think that is quite true. There are many high-tier dungeons or raids in any MMO that I've ever played that I never came to see. But the rest of the game was enough for me.

People should not be left out of the core of the game. Leaving some high-end parts of it for the dedicated players is a part of most online games. What you need is the possibility. Everyone in M&F could become a king or an emperor. Most never will, but it is possible.

The other part is being honest. The game gives you a personal success story. Yours might include a barony and a nice town with trade deals you are proud of, while that of the other guy might include a crown and world diplomacy. Neither is inherently better than the other - they are different aspects of the same game.

feyeleanor

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Re: Would You Pay to Play?
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2013, 03:32:16 AM »
M&F like BM reminds me of the better team-oriented postal games that were popular in the 80s and 90s. I was quite happy to pay 1 or 2 a turn in those games because of the sense of a real world evolving thanks to player involvement, and I think M&F has the potential to scratch a similar itch.


However, there are a limited number of settlements so gameplay for knights who don't hold land is going to have to be expanded. The players of those knights are going to want to raise troops, fight battles, adventure, trade and involve themselves in other ways as well.

Foxglove

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Re: Would You Pay to Play?
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2013, 04:15:45 AM »
However, there are a limited number of settlements so gameplay for knights who don't hold land is going to have to be expanded. The players of those knights are going to want to raise troops, fight battles, adventure, trade and involve themselves in other ways as well.

This is something I agree with quite strongly. Although you can assign soldiers to knights, I do think the gameplay at that level needs to be expanded. Some type of adventuring or questing would be a good way to do it, but I don't know if that matches the core concepts of the game.
Standing for the responsible use of power since Year 1, Week 1, Day 1.
Fun fact: I wrote some of the text for the M&F crowdfunding campaign.
Favourite warm beverage: hot chocolate.

xjermx

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Re: Would You Pay to Play?
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2013, 04:30:17 AM »
Simply being 'good', having lots of great features and gameplay, being well designed and well implemented does not inherently make a successful game (or a successful anything).    Granted, it is a great start though.


Plenty of good games and movies and books get overlooked by the media and large swathes of the consuming public.  Why?  Well, if its already good, what is it lacking?  Publicity.  If the best game in the world game out, and you never heard about it, you certainly can't be a consumer of it.


Just brainstorming.  I don't have a silver bullet.  Publicity is, I imagine, damned difficult for indie stuff.  Tom doesn't have Sony's marketing and advertisement budget (even with some crowdsourcing backers).  Still, social media is a good start.  Word of mouth is important too.  I'm inclined to suggest that Tom continue to increase the number of alpha testers.


But there's medium to look at too.  Don't get me wrong - I'm not saying that browser gaming is a dead end, but lets take a realistic look around.  Look at World of Warcraft, Everquest, Modern Warfare.  And for some comparison, look at MUDs.


I think that BM is a niche game.  I think that (I know, its early and alpha) M&F is currently on track to be a niche game.  There are some browser games that appeal to a wider audience, but those are all click-fest games.  Think Farmville, and Lord of Ultima and Travian or whatever it was called.  It goes also to what gamers are looking for.  Who will a game like M&F appeal to, and even more importantly, how many of those people will be willing to pay for it?

Tom

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Re: Would You Pay to Play?
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2013, 10:58:05 AM »
Plenty of good games and movies and books get overlooked by the media and large swathes of the consuming public.  Why?  Well, if its already good, what is it lacking?  Publicity.  If the best game in the world game out, and you never heard about it, you certainly can't be a consumer of it.

I know that - see here: http://forum.mightandfealty.com/index.php/topic,401.0.html

Tom

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Re: Would You Pay to Play?
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2013, 11:01:02 AM »
I think that BM is a niche game.  I think that (I know, its early and alpha) M&F is currently on track to be a niche game.  There are some browser games that appeal to a wider audience, but those are all click-fest games.  Think Farmville, and Lord of Ultima and Travian or whatever it was called.  It goes also to what gamers are looking for.  Who will a game like M&F appeal to, and even more importantly, how many of those people will be willing to pay for it?

Seperate answer to this and:

This is something I agree with quite strongly. Although you can assign soldiers to knights, I do think the gameplay at that level needs to be expanded. Some type of adventuring or questing would be a good way to do it, but I don't know if that matches the core concepts of the game.

The gameplay for landless knights will largely be the clickfest that people know from other browsergames. If the lords and rulers play their cards well, the knights have specific goals to clear with specific resources. Gameplay will be interesting, but not excessively deep.

And yes, I know it needs to be expanded more. I will be added more control to settlements so you can allow people from your realm, your ultimate or just your vassals to use the local economy, to recruit or refit, etc. - to a limited degree. But all that is not trivial to code.