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 Post subject: Subscription Service
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 9:49 am 
Snuggler

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We are considering adding a small subscription service to the game. Our current plans are to start off with a small set of features to test the waters, and potentially grow it later on.

Current plans are to have most of the benefits be handy tools/cosmetic changes, but nothing to really heavily influence gameplay.

The list below are some of the features we are considering (note, some bigger projects like hangars, etc are on our minds, but for now we're starting small). Please give us your thoughts on which of these you'd really like to see, and if there are other suggestions you may have.

1. Repeat Queue (an ability to plot a loop of trade, and then press a button queue that loop again)
2. Alt-chat support (being able to speak as your alts while logged in with one character)
3. Fiesta once a day
4. Custom avatars (to a degree)
5. Custom plane visuals (to a degree)
6. Regular bonus for subscribing (a new title every month)
7. Separate chat channel
8. Allowed early into testing rounds for the game (character would be wiped before actual release)
9. More crewmates retained between rounds


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 Post subject: Re: Subscription Service
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 10:09 am 

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So, the idea is to have a monthly charge for extra services? Any idea on a cost?

I like the idea, keeping the servers is always good in my book.

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 Post subject: Re: Subscription Service
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 10:22 am 
Developer

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I like these first steps as well.

I do not suspect that I will take advantage of these particular opportunities, but I suspect that many of my compatriots will.


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 Post subject: Re: Subscription Service
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 10:53 am 
Smashing Pumpkins

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Chesterfield Taft wrote:
4. Custom avatars (to a degree)
5. Custom plane visuals (to a degree)
8. Allowed early into testing rounds for the game (character would be wiped before actual release)
9. More crewmates retained between rounds

These are the ideas I like most.

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 Post subject: Re: Subscription Service
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 11:55 am 
Snuggler

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We're currently talking $5 per month.


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 Post subject: Re: Subscription Service
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 1:13 pm 
Snuggler

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Chesterfield Taft wrote:
We're currently talking $5 per month.


Which is exactly what I was imagining when I read your original post. :cheeky:

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 Post subject: Re: Subscription Service
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 2:20 pm 
Helpful

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Do it!


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 Post subject: Re: Subscription Service
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:39 pm 
Cupid

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Here's my thoughts on it:

Chesterfield Taft wrote:
1. Repeat Queue (an ability to plot a loop of trade, and then press a button queue that loop again)


This doesn't affect me right now, but it's certainly something I and many others have craved in the past. It seems like a mechanic that ought to just be part of the game, but if this is motivation to get it done, fine with me. (Alternatively, you could implement mechanics like this for subscribers, then release them to the general public half a year later or something like that. So the game would always keep improving for both sets.)

Quote:
2. Alt-chat support (being able to speak as your alts while logged in with one character)


Seems like a perfect bonus for this. I don't care, but others will.

Quote:
3. Fiesta once a day


Brilliant!

Quote:
4. Custom avatars (to a degree)
5. Custom plane visuals (to a degree)


Good, good.

Quote:
6. Regular bonus for subscribing (a new title every month)


Ehh, I'm always sketchy about things that makes new players feel left out. On the other hand, it isn't like they affect the game, so sure, that's fine.

Quote:
7. Separate chat channel


Alternatively, maybe let subscribers be in *two* wings?

Quote:
8. Allowed early into testing rounds for the game (character would be wiped before actual release)


Brilliant -- win/win!

Quote:
9. More crewmates retained between rounds


The question raised there will be who gets to benefit from this -- how long must have you been (continuously?) subscribing to get this?

Chesterfield Taft wrote:
We're currently talking $5 per month.


Perfect!

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 Post subject: Re: Subscription Service
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 6:15 pm 
True Friend

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Chesterfield Taft wrote:
2. Alt-chat support (being able to speak as your alts while logged in with one character)
3. Fiesta once a day
4. Custom avatars (to a degree)


I love these ideas in particular, along with the rest, and think it all sounds like a brilliant idea.

Of course, a final decision on price will decide whether or not the offer is worth it, but suffice to say it sounds great thus far! :remygrin:

Chesterfield Taft wrote:
4. Custom avatars (to a degree)
5. Custom plane visuals (to a degree)
6. Regular bonus for subscribing (a new title every month)

Chesterfield Taft wrote:
8. Allowed early into testing rounds for the game (character would be wiped before actual release)


These ideas in particular greatly intrigue me. I'll be interested (as I'm sure many other players will be) to see how these work out.

:thumbs:

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 Post subject: Re: Subscription Service
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 6:43 pm 
Legend

Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:00 am
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Chesterfield Taft wrote:
We are considering adding a small subscription service to the game. Our current plans are to start off with a small set of features to test the waters, and potentially grow it later on.

Current plans are to have most of the benefits be handy tools/cosmetic changes, but nothing to really heavily influence gameplay.

The list below are some of the features we are considering (note, some bigger projects like hangars, etc are on our minds, but for now we're starting small). Please give us your thoughts on which of these you'd really like to see, and if there are other suggestions you may have.

1. Repeat Queue (an ability to plot a loop of trade, and then press a button queue that loop again)
2. Alt-chat support (being able to speak as your alts while logged in with one character)
3. Fiesta once a day
4. Custom avatars (to a degree)
5. Custom plane visuals (to a degree)
6. Regular bonus for subscribing (a new title every month)
7. Separate chat channel
8. Allowed early into testing rounds for the game (character would be wiped before actual release)
9. More crewmates retained between rounds


That's a brilliant plan, I wouldn't mind a $5/month charge for that at all. My only question would be privacy protection for payments...i.e something safer than paypal, or what have you. Minus my paranoia of being cyber-jacked, I think it's a great idea.

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 Post subject: Re: Subscription Service
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 6:48 pm 
Hack Journalist

Joined: Thu May 31, 2007 3:42 pm
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Chesterfield Taft wrote:
1. Repeat Queue (an ability to plot a loop of trade, and then press a button queue that loop again)
2. Alt-chat support (being able to speak as your alts while logged in with one character)
3. Fiesta once a day
4. Custom avatars (to a degree)
5. Custom plane visuals (to a degree)
6. Regular bonus for subscribing (a new title every month)
7. Separate chat channel
8. Allowed early into testing rounds for the game (character would be wiped before actual release)
9. More crewmates retained between rounds


I would support this, especially if it was shown some love n care from the devs.

lets see... 1- not a big issue for me. very low priority/none
2- hrm. mildly amusing, I hate alts and the issues they cause, but hopefully this wouldnt lead to too much spam.
3- cute, simple, fun.
4- skycust meets this already? Pure cosmetic, but not terrible.
5- depending on degree, heck yeah!
6- would be awesome, awesome, awesome. Good for newbies and vets alike.
7- ehhhh, i dont think we need this much. Joining two+ wings would, in fact, be useful to me.
8- uh, yeah. why dont yall do this anyway?
9- well, only my nav is truly useful.. upping the level? too much advantage? cheaper re-hire? I wouldnt object to keeping more, just.. eh. Small exp boosts?

10- Letting players buy, at high prices, special combat ships? :D
11- +1 gun mod slot? +100 gun mod storage?
how about if X people join, a lot of work is put into new all-player features? (Mod handling, hangars, build-a-skyland, etc)?

Long story short- I can afford $5 a month for minor/fun/not-so minor perks.

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 Post subject: Re: Subscription Service
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 7:32 pm 
Legend

Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2008 8:54 am
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Customizing of planes is worth $5 a month, the rest is gravy.

I do second Ell's suggestion of buying the special combat ships; one of the things that appealed to me originally in this game was that you could buy anything you fought, and the hidden fleet planes and pirate bloons have removed that feel.


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 Post subject: Re: Subscription Service
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 9:25 pm 
Moostro

Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2007 10:56 am
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Location: Vancouver, WA
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Chesterfield Taft wrote:
6. Regular bonus for subscribing (a new title every month)


One of the things I've always loved in various MMO subscriptions is the per-x-month-sub bonuses. Things where after 3 months, you get a 3month bonus pkg, 6mo, 12mo, 18mo, etc. It rewards long standing members, while still allowing new ones to eventually get the same things. (in addition to just 'paid member' specials)

Would we get a 6mo or 12mo pre-paid discount option?

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 Post subject: Re: Subscription Service
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 10:43 pm 
Pirate Hat

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I'd be careful about that one - one big disadvantage is that if someone falls off the wagon, they may feel spited because they can never catch up with the front leaders.

I'd suggest a mix of 'pay for extras as you use them' (for saving more than one crew member per reset) and 'subscription fee for certain features' (for things that'll be regularly used like alt-spoof, limited fiesta, trade looping, etc).


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 Post subject: Re: Subscription Service
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 10:50 pm 

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Uh, how much for some PvP?

I know, I know. I was just wishing out loud (or on screen, whatever!).

#1 would be handy earlier in the game but I haven't traded anything in months, there's no point. I've got more than 100,000,000 G-squigs and nothing to spend them on.

The #8 would be a pretty weak bonus really since there's such a long, long time between round resets (I think this round has been going on for, what, 32 years now?).

Honestly, I'm not seeing a ton that would induce me to subscribe but I would be willing to subscribe if it meant the game started moving forwards again (or backwards to 2.3). I realize its a balancing act between making a compelling reason to subscribe and not giving the paid players distinct advantages within the game. I think the titles are a great way to generate income but they are episodic and not really very easily sustainable.

There are other revenue streams that could certainly be increased like Skyrates branded clothing (none of the three Zazzle shirts do it for me), Skyrates pins, plushies (I can already hear the squealing), in-game hanger rental/mortgages and lots of other great ideas peppered through the suggestion forum. And I'd definitely buy a model of a Spectre if one was ever made!

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 Post subject: Re: Subscription Service
PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 1:04 am 

Joined: Wed May 13, 2009 2:58 am
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eeehhh....that could either get the game moving again or put it in its grave, im sure a few of the big members would pay but what about all the nameless people who play every once in a while and dont really partake in most of the other stuff?

and besides what about people like me who dont even have a job? :remydizzy:
it would certainly make me want to get one but...as long as its not like $10 a day for a hanger then if you miss a payment you lose everything.

It just seems like it really takes away the 'sporadic gameplay' that you try so hard to keep.


special ships or guns is really appealing though, im still drooling over the reapers scythe setup

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 Post subject: Re: Subscription Service
PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:56 am 
Flirt

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I'm in support of this. $5/month is more than affordable.

Fenriq wrote:
And I'd definitely buy a model of a Spectre if one was ever made!


And this as well, but why stop there? Models of crowd-favorite planes could potentially be a huge income source.

Also, I like the idea of subscribers getting access to new features first - not to be elitist, but to bugtest! If someone has a monetary investment in a product, they want it to work. Then, once the bugs are squashed, release the new mechanic or toy into the wild after a week or two.

I know it sounds like paying someone to employ you, but I think it's really more like the devs using a resource wisely and rewarding their cash cows by giving them early access to new toys.

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 Post subject: Re: Subscription Service
PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:56 am 
True Friend

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I've said it before and I'll say it again. If you want to make more money the best course at this point would be expanding the store to include factional items. 410 for a faction t-shirt and $20 for a hoodie will net you much more money and much more money up front than a subscription service that would push people away from the game.

I know that right now it doesn't effect game play much, but clearly you are putting us on the route to full subscription based. Once that happens I'm out of here. And I don't mean to be rude, and I don't mean this as a threat, so much as a truth, but charging for a game that still in beta and still needs and begs for much more development is somewhat ridiculous.

I understand you're wanting to charge to facilitate the development process, but I promise you, I swear to you and I beg of you to EXPAND THE STORE first! You may be thinking, well it's not making money right now, that's because it's selling completely lame products and it's been sellling them for a year, anyone who wants one has already bought it. If you start off with one factional shirt and a hoodie, then expand every few months with another shirt, or even a yearly SKYRATES shirt with a different design each year, you will continue to make money. I promise you. You could even sell skyland specific t-shirt. I would totally buy a fuseli, tort, olio and Valvia one. I know there are plenty of people who would by their own pet project skylands.


Please do not implement anything that would scare new players away, and instead do something that will get you more money, with less time spent actually changing code and game design for something not everyone will be able to see.

Please, devs, I beg of you.

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 Post subject: Re: Subscription Service
PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 6:28 am 
Cupid

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I think the problem with the store is that it's less sustainable. How many $57 hoodies will a person buy to give the devs $20 (assuming they're okay with the plain white model, and using the cheapest shipping)? Paying $57 to give the devs $20 works, but having done it before, I know that I felt like I had "done my share" for a lot longer than the $20 really worked out to. Instead, that $60-ish could go straight to the devs in small, painless, relatively predictable and sustainable pieces (but while still getting something for them, unlike donating straight to the kitty).

It's unfortunate, because I agree with you, but in terms of human psychology, I think the devs are right.

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 Post subject: Re: Subscription Service
PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 6:36 am 
Snuggler

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Phédre Spitfire wrote:
I've said it before and I'll say it again. If you want to make more money the best course at this point would be expanding the store to include factional items. 410 for a faction t-shirt and $20 for a hoodie will net you much more money and much more money up front than a subscription service that would push people away from the game.


Expanding the inventory of the store is something separate from the subscription service. I know the selection right now is slightly anemic, and we'll be looking to improve that *in parallel* with the subscription.

The store is something that we believe would be similar to the title systems. Occasional spikes of fundage. Something we'd like to encourage is a very small, but regular amount of development income.

Quote:
I know that right now it doesn't effect game play much, but clearly you are putting us on the route to full subscription based. Once that happens I'm out of here. And I don't mean to be rude, and I don't mean this as a threat, so much as a truth, but charging for a game that still in beta and still needs and begs for much more development is somewhat ridiculous.


When you say 'full subscription based' -- what do you mean? As in, can't play the game unless you subscribe? I can assure you that's not the case. Moreover, we're not convinced we want a subscription service that provides a distinct mechanical advantage to the subscribers. Notice in the list of features above, we've tried to pretty much avoid anything besides cosmetic & small convenience services.

*No where* do we want to hammer people over the head with "SUBSCRIBE OR DON'T PLAY." The game likely always will and forever remain a free-to-play game.


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