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Old 04-13-2006, 05:34 AM   #1
KaVir
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In another thread, Hephos asked which sort of payment model people would prefer - monthly subscription, pay-for-perks, or a combination thereof.  He's since removed his post, but I'd already put together a reply, so rather than discard it I've decided to start a new thread.

Assuming 'completely free' isn't an option, my personal preferences - ordered from most acceptable to least acceptable - are as follows:

1. Pay for cosmetic fluff (eg renamed equipment, a fancy title, etc).

2. Pay for variety (eg you can be a warrior for free, or a knight for $10, but both classes are equally powerful).

3. Pay to compensate for lost time (eg you can buy the equivilent of 10 hours worth of exp each week for a maximum cost comparible with a typical pay-to-play mud, but cannot buy more hours than you've played that week, and the total of played plus bought cannot exceed 40 hours).

4. One-off registration payment after trial period.

5. Pay-to-play (with no further costs).  Could also be optional (pay-for-play means you get something better, but the condition is boolean - you can't keep paying to get more.  Either you pay the flat monthly rate for the better character, or you don't pay anything and have the weaker character).

6. Pay for enhanced advancement (eg you can pay to earn double exp).

7. Pay for advantages that can also be earned through regular play (eg buy gold, standard magic items).

8. Pay for advantages that can replace regular play (eg buy exp, levels, skills, etc).

9. Pay for advantages that cannot be earned through regular play (eg special magic items, a means to raise skills beyond what is possible through regular play, etc).

10. Pay for non-transferable advantages that cannot be earned through regular play (eg directly purchasing skill enhancements, items locked to the wearer, etc).

If combining pay-to-play with any of the options from 6 to 10, add '0.5'.
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Old 04-13-2006, 05:51 AM   #2
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Thanks for that I thought my post were too off regarding the topic i posted in so i removed it from there.

I would imagine to start up a pay2play mud from scratch you have to let it be "semi-free" or you will not get any substantial playerbase no matter how good the game is.

A system we're discussing right now is a 3 tier subscription. You can either have free, silver or gold account. Based on which you have you get access to more game material. For example you could select from more classes and reach higher level in the silver+gold accounts than in the free. Other things might be using the mail system, the auction houses, building your own house, creating bloodlines and get access to more quests and areas.

There would be a step of power difference in the free->silver+gold step. In silver+gold you could for example reach higher level which makes your character more powerful. The idea is to make the silver and gold equally in the balance of character power and only have a difference in "cosmetic" or utility features.

What I personally like with this kind of system is that it does not really give people with lots of money a power advantage.

Anyone that can spare 1 pizza per month will be able to play the gold account and get full access to the game in every aspect. Other systems which lets players buy powerful stuff for lets say $100 really make a "class-society" where poor people cant get as powerful as rich.

Which system is more profitable is beyond my knowledge at the moment however.
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Old 04-13-2006, 06:46 AM   #3
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It kind of depends on the game, if it's a purely roleplaying game, then fluff stuff could be more important. If it's a PvP system where there is no player(person behind the char) skill involved then boosted items is bad. In a player skill style PvP system, those boosted weapons can(unless they are insanely boosted) have a lesser effect...

Anyway, I prefer a system that is well balanced. One that allows me to spend money to advance in some aspects faster(such as my skills, and maybe slightly better items), non-decay items, etc. But not one that would give me more xp, advance me in my guild faster, etc. But there should be some way for me to get those same results ingame, and not just by working(such as mortal builder) for the game.

In some cases I like how IRE's system does it, I can buy credits from players, be a guide, etc... my major peeve with thiers is that "credits" are not IC at all. This is why Persistent Realms decided to use Angelstone for Ilyrias. This way it's a really IC thing, and we also gave more ways(it can be mined, as it is a mineral/ore... just REALLY rare) for people to get it. By making the player crafted skills use it, we also made it so players never need to actually touch Angelstone to get the boosts we sell. I can buy a potion of learning from an Alchemist for gold(if he wants to sell it for gold), never having touched the Angelstone that was used to make it. Since we have a classless system, no one group could possibily control the cost of those things... in fact it could lead to guild wars over prices(guilds are optional and fully player created).. great for the player that doesn't have money to spend!

Anyway... that's what I prefer, and therefore how we at Persistent Realms are designing Ilyrias to work.
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Old 04-13-2006, 07:42 AM   #4
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In some cases I like how IRE's system does it, I can buy credits from players, be a guide, etc... my major peeve with thiers is that "credits" are not IC at all. This is why Persistent Realms decided to use Angelstone for Ilyrias. This way it's a really IC thing, and we also gave more ways(it can be mined, as it is a mineral/ore... just REALLY rare) for people to get it.

If I'm a character, how do I explain my source of Angelstone IC? In other words, if 50 pounds of the stuff comes into my possession, do I make up a story of how I mined it? Do I claim family inheritance?

I like the concept of making the purchase less obtrusive and more fantasy-themed than "credits", but as long as there is an OOC mechanism driving the IC acquisition, some suspension of disbelief will be required.
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Old 04-13-2006, 07:46 AM   #5
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When you make the purchase you can choose from a list of premade ways that you get it. Inheritence being one of them. It causes no normal delay or anything really big... mainly a small mini-event for you, where a mob finds you and tells you about your inheritence(if you chose that one).

Those that make very large purchases can opt to have a custom mini to medium sized event to get it, but obviously they would have to wait a bit before they recieve them as the Admin will have to approve the event and run it.

EDIT:

Obviously not a "perfect" system, but far better than just *poof* here ya go. When we made the choice to make Angelstone an IC item, we wanted to make sure players had some IC way to explain why they got it.
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Old 04-13-2006, 08:04 AM   #6
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If it can be mined, why not just make it so it rigs the chance of getting some? You get a guarantee of happening upon a certain amount on it when you go to mine next.
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Old 04-13-2006, 08:28 AM   #7
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Because mining is a player skill, not everyone will have it. We are classless, but you can only have so many skills and limited to three "professional(or combat)" skills.
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Old 04-13-2006, 09:00 AM   #8
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I personally like the #2 option listed above. In Frontier Lands you can purchase design points for real $ and use them to build your own unique mech. The admins review your design for balance so it won't upset the game dynamic. Your mech will be unique in designation and design but it won't be any better then a stock mech of equal ability.
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