An incentive to attract new players.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Winterweaver, May 29, 2020.

  1. Sentinel2

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    ESO you don't want to miss a day playing. The daily rewards are worth logging in. You miss a day, you could miss rewards later in the month that are really good!

    Crafting challenges are fun. And gathering doesn't take all day. For example. After spending an hour gathering wood, I find myself with loads for sale. Good way to make some side in game cash.
     
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  2. Brass Knuckles

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    I think this is true esp when you look at thier business model, it’s mainly sell deco and re sell expired rares and more deco. They lost my money when they resold and minimized the rares market. They ran many expiring now the item will be gone if you don’t get it now you’ll have to rely on the secondary market and escalating prices. I bought many rare and exipiring items because of this then instead of creating new items they just figured they would resell the ones already expired. They lost my trust when they did this as well as crapping on the premium price they were charging for “tax free”. Oppps sorry went on a tangent will stop here even though my gripe can go on for pages.

    They had a great game saving concept tied to the player dungeon system coulda woulda made many people happy but it’s stuck in pre alpha phase they moved on to other things like conversation system leaderboards etc. most the systems they have except the deco and store feel like it’s just enough to say it’s in the game but nothing stands out as even close to a complete system. Totally feels like it’s a deco game first.

    don’t get me wrong I’ve nothing against the deco system but a game needs more for me to want to play.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2020
  3. KnownInGameAsGeorge

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    That pretty much describes the entire game. Even a lot of the original area still look to have under development signs.
    It is very disapointing to be honest, I know so many people who like myself put hundreds of hours of their own time into the game making content during early development and I am sad for them that the development team did not do at least as much. Not to mention the staggering amount of money that we all paid to be part of the early game.

    SOTA was one of the most promising games in recent history but they completley failed to make a marketable product out of it. At one point i thought they would eventually get there but it is fairly clear that even the development team do not care anymore.

    I log in every few weeks to make sure my house stays put but I often wonder to myself why I even do that, I expect i will stop soon.
     
  4. majoria70

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    Glad you're still having fun. It's a beautiful game in many ways. I checked it out and lasted maybe a month or so. It just wasn't home to me. There's still opportunity imo to give this game missing components it lacks. So we shall see if that happens but for me I'm still here even if it's a less amount of time.
     
  5. Time Lord

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    ~SOTA Monk~ ~Monastery~ ~Thailand~
    ~Under Construction~or,
    ~Under Constructed~o_O?

    Failing to remain Unique, a Single Example:
    We have a huge beautiful sky. They even improved it with a comet simi-recently, "yet our sky remains to mean nothing through effecting nothing in any significant way".

    $$$ spent in the direction of normal :( There was allot of development construction placed into our sky, "for seemingly nothing with nothing gained from it" o_O Looks nice though...

    I am still enjoy and am committed to our game, but I think it needs it's potential unique heart beat or it's just another game within the genre as just another pretty face in the crowd :confused:~Time Lord~
     
  6. Greyfox

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    SOTA has been in a race to the bottom since release. They needed a strong capitalist running the in game economy. Without a strong player economy an MMO won't survive.

    Human nature is driven by greed and risk/reward. Greed does not always mean financial. Greed may be for acceptance, uniqueness, leaderboards, or popularity. An MMO that does not provide and reward greed, will fail.

    SOTA is far past the point of the community saving the game. Only the Developer(s) at this point can save SOTA and I've seen no sign they are willing or capable of doing what is necessary.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2020
  7. Dinsoo

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    Give us a story, we will come.
     
  8. kaeshiva

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    I agree with the sentiments in the op here - the monetization model, at least compared to other games on the market at the moment, can be quite off putting, in terms of relative price for similar items. I'm ok with a handful of exclusive very high priced things for folks with means who want to support the game being able to do so, but the majority of the stuff in the shop still feels a bit overpriced for what you get - which is usually an outfit, or a handful of decorations. Some market research in some of the currently popular games would be of benefit here. Consider some games that give an account-wide unlocks of features for a fraction of the cost of Sota's one off item-that-you-have-to-keep-track-of.

    And there's sooooo many things in the shop! In the past, behavior was to "retire" items making them permanently rare, which just led to a bustling RMT market rather than people buying things from the devs. Then all those things came back in 'vault' or 'heritage' form and left the folks who spent thousands on digital 'stuff' meant to be rare feeling disillusioned and angry (can't really blame them) and spreading bad PR. There's a lot of decisions that led us to where we are now, most of which seem to be knee jerk reactions which caused massive value shifts, particularly when previously "expired" items were made available again - things that had value due to exclusivity, such as vendors, deeds, crafting tables, player owned towns, etc. So we're not retiring stuff anymore - fine - but the shop is definitely massive, and poorly organized - everything's sold in 'packs' meaning you can't just buy what you need which often deters a purchase. I'd like to buy individual pieces out of a lot of the sets - can't - I'm not going to buy a $15 set of furniture 5 times to get 5 specific chairs, that's just silliness - especially since what am I going to do with the rest of it now - can't really resell it and if its heritage I can't even give it away. So I just pass.

    Don't get me wrong - I think its smart to get the people who are willing to drop a load of $$ on stuff in the game, to aim that cash at the devs rather than at each other. That makes sense. But a lot of trust was lost getting us to where we are and a lot of the 'big spenders' have learned their lesson and wont be spending more on any sort of speculation of future value.

    So its time to shift the focus away from big spenders and to the 'average joe' who is happy to drop 5, 10 dollars here or there but will probably never buy an item worth $50.
    I've always been baffled by some of the pricing decisions, these are digital goods. Which means, after its been created and set up once, you can sell an infinite number of them with no further overheads. You have to continue to support these items, but that cost is the same whether you sold 10 or you sold 10,000. Someone who is thinking about making a dungeon and works out that they need to spend near a thousand bucks to get all the rooms/pieces/decos they want to use is more likely to not bother. Knock a zero off and its a solid maybe. Knock off another 50% and you've not only made a sale but given that player dozens of hours of online time to do stuff with their purchase and in the process they may identify other things they want to buy.

    Lastly, one thing I think is missing here that I see a lot of other games do is earning of premium currency in-game. Giving it away often encourages more purchases. I'm not talking about the pittance of cotos you actually get as drops (more RNG based bs) or rewards for being a streamer, I'm talking about consistent, earnable currency, perhaps tied to a daily login reward that accumulates over the period of a month. Many, many games do this, either giving away premium items or the currency itself, with the reward incrementing for each successive day logged in. This encourages attention and loyalty to the game (don't want to miss out) and if you give away say, a single piece of a furniture set, you're likely to get people buying the rest of the set. Yes, I know people out there have 50 accounts. That's unavoidable since accounts are free and there's no incentive (in fact, there are several disincentives) to keep everything on a single account. The dreadful heritage system can address this to some extent.
     
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  9. Greyfox

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    @kaeshiva What you are describing would work in a game with a sustainable and sufficient population. I remember numbers of approximately 30k active being discussed for a functional funded SOTA. Extrapolating from the Steam numbers, SOTA numbers of active individual players is 200 to 400 currently (81.3 Avg. Players). Sell an item at $5 to 200 people only nets you $1000. Sell an item at $50 to 50 people you profit $2500. It's simple math.

    SOTA has been very slowly improving with regards to game mechanics, content, and technical aspects. If the game economy incorporated greed based mechanics with risk/versus reward. Value to owning property and housing Rares worth the time and effort. Maybe the population would also slowly grow and profits increase. Everything in the COTA Store could cost $1, the few remaining would buy items believing they were getting a bargain. After the great $1 sale, nothing would sell for more than a $1, few items would sell in the future, and the population would decline.

    Deflation is a death spiral for any economy. In an economy suffering from deflation the end result is ALWAYS everything costing ZERO. This is fact.
     
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  10. kaeshiva

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    Oh, undeniably the population being as low at is it makes it hard to do sensible pricing - and that's okay, as long as there's 50 people to spend that $50. I know I used to blow a couple hundred a month on Sota, easy - had to have all the things! - but that tapered off to nearly nothing with the addition of heritage ( I strongly dislike heritage items, not because I want to resell them, but because they are awkward to work with when you share lots with folks), continuous reintroduction of 'limited time' items at exorbidant prices, and the general disillusionment at pricing in general or the inability to buy single items out of packs (functionality which used to exist, on the in-game-coto vendor, but was removed when they transitioned to the store interface).

    I don't disagree with your conclusions about deflation, but I do agree with the OP that the "perceived cost of entry" based on current pricing methodology is easily a deterrent to new people sticking with the game. If I picked up another MMO - a new one, say, that I'd never tried before, and I priced up stuff in the hundreds of dollars to even partially decorate a house (which if I wanted a fancy one, would be even more money) its a hard pass. The core issue is as you say, the population, and there's a lot of reasons why the population's dwindling that have nothing to do with the cash shop.

    At some point though, the folks who've been here for years like myself, simply do not need anymore furniture, have nowhere to put anymore furniture, and refuse to clog up my bank with a bunch of heritage crap I can't store anywhere else. So I don't buy it unless its something really, really cool. That's why you need new folks.
     
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  11. Time Lord

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    Incentive to attract new players...

    I think every "review" on every game is always bad and gets worse the longer any game has been developing. I think that's just the nature of reviews in general.

    What sets SOTA apart from most others, is that SOTA has "potential" built into it's future. Most all the development major work is done where the game's arms and legs are of a higher quality when SOTA is compared to games within it's same development $$$ cash having been spent. It's not a cheaply made game, yet it is developed within a continuing budget which has survived many of it's "reviews expectations in it's market survivability". Most of it's complaints point to subjects that are thus far "under developed", meaning that they aren't completed. Yet that's what I think shows SOTA's "potential", because those are not closed off subjects, instead, they are just as yet uncompleted.

    Many games die, having no further development to look forward to, yet SOTA is like "a very healthy zombie" who just keeps going, healing along it's way while small improvements are constantly being made to it. It's still a very unique game with qualities no other game has and pieces to it's development puzzle that are never-ending in their development, yet with many that are on hold waiting in line.

    SOTA has future. It's gamers will travel into it's planetary sky some day, but not until that trip makes it onto the front of it's development line-up.
    There's no doubt that SOTA's development team has always been top notch and gaming development legends, but challenged with a small budget.
    "Future and Unique Potential with Quality"
    Those are SOTA's strong points in my opinion.
    ~Time Lord~
     
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  12. Kara Brae

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    I've been thinking the same thing for a long time. I had to buy things - like trees - in sets because I couldn't buy them separately. When you have a small lot, you only have use for small trees and bushes. Back when I was in a decorating state of mind I'm sure I would have spent a lot more money in the store if it had been possible to buy small stuff separately that I can really use instead of having to buy sets of sizes from small to huge when I can't even place most of the set.
     
  13. Wilfred

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    What kaeshiva is describing would help create a sustainable and growing population.
     
  14. Greyfox

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    When? Prices have dramatically lowered, the population has also lowered.
     
  15. Wilfred

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    So you want high prices to target the few remaining big spenders, instead of low prices to target a broad playerbase?
    Are you seriously suggesting that prices should increase?

    Prices are still way to high, in my opinion.
    The population will start to increase when prices decrease to a level where most players perceive the prices as fair.

    Of course, lots of other variables play a roll in the population size.
    But it doesn't help when players look at the Crown Shop and see that most items are highly overpriced.
     
  16. Greyfox

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    Everything in the Crown shop could be FREE. That pricing change would NOT bring people back in a sustained manner and NOT provide a long term increase in population. Ultimately in a deflationary timeline the final outcome is a zero price, nothing has value. Much like PVP you need a sustainable player base of sufficient size to enable the system.

    When the trust of exclusivity was destroyed in SOTA most of the whales drastically reduced spending or stopped spending entirely. I predicted this outcome years ago.

    My prediction now is eventually prices will reduce to the point the game simply can not be funded at any level.

    Alternative the game mechanics continue to improve, slowly and the player base grows to the point lowering prices can be sustained on items. Enough will be purchased to replace the big spenders with bulk purchases of virtual goods. This scenario depends entirely upon the Development team implementing engaging and entertaining game play while having sufficient income to keep the lights on.

    Substantially lowering prices now would be a death kneel. Watch and see.
     
  17. Powersurge

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    Unfortunately, I have all but moved on...the new content is coming at such a slow rate that I'm playing 2 other games in addition to keep myself from getting too frustrated. There are a few new players that have stuck it out so far in our guild and they add some fresh air to the stale state of the game. At this point, I have put too much money into SotA to ever get a decent "fun" return on investment. I have pledged not to spend another dime on the game and I wont. The team is too small and they will never keep up with all the needed content to save it. They simply don't have the resources to do it. It's no fault toward them. They were given a broken piece of equipment and were asked to try to salvage whatever value they could from it. At the end of the day, the needed resources/capital to make this game a success was never put into it. It's really that simple.
     
  18. Time Lord

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    ~The Lacking Life of a Surf~
    Symptomatic of a lack of enough enjoyable "townie gaming activity". Fishing seems popular and treasure hunting sounds like it will have a great appeal to it, but the boats which would enhance both of these popular activities don't move yet, but the potential that they will is still there.


    ~The Price Drives the Devil as well as the Saint~
    I don't think raising or lowering the price of things matters much, as making one big sale is just the same as making many small sales. Item appeal seems at issue, whether it's the product's "new novelty", or it's "sota Antique/ness" does seem to effect whether or not my pocketbook opens or not. Yet none of these items are "pay to win" in any way.


    I look at our COTO Store as sort of the same as that of a Renaissance faire lineup of vender's stalls trying to attract my gaming budget, "yet the world, the real world has little $$$ to offer". The real life stock market is doing well, or hanging in there, which means that those making $$$ from that source of income do have more of the expendable $$$ to spend. This is the problem I see when talk of low prices vs higher prices comes into consideration. Disparity of disposable income seems at issue even here for debate... or more to the point, "causing debate" o_O yet needed debate. "Are there more haves than have nots playing our game is not a good reason to point at prices needing to be tilted one way or the other, "because there's not enough gaming money in the world for sota or any game to thrive right now". When "Star Citizen and SOTA crowd funding" were hot items and doing well, our real world's economy was far different than it now is. Real world shut-downs have run their course, where expendable gaming dollars have been or are now evaporating, giving way to electric and water bills coming due along with real world rents and house payments.

    We (SOTA) do have an older gamer crowd than some games, yet everyone still isn't in the same expendable gaming cash bracket. This is why I think "Lord of the Isles" bundles are currently what I consider "very cheap or inexpensive". SOTA is surviving on the world's ever tightening gaming budget, and any talk of advancement in development through increased funding I think is a pure dream world from the now bygone glory days of crowd funding.

    SOTA made a really super smart choice cutting the office space loose. Our development team "does continue to develop!" (which is the power of tenacity at it's finest). While the turtle and the hare are both starving, the slithering production snail that is our sota still seems to be steadily moving along o_O even though it does seem sort of slimy.

    This is where I'll say that I did spend about $1000.00 USD last month (yet not this month), I don't have a sota subscription, but I think it's more important for me to point out that...
    "I still have 2 full sets of gold armor a Lord British Gold Moon-dial and a golden greenhouse row home, which cannot be sold through our COTO store". Exclusive things need exclusive price tags, while the rest should be through the COTO Store yet much cheaper ;) "I think that's the type of split in prices between $$$ vs $ our game should be targeting for".


    There should always be a larger selection of ~Neiman Marcus~ level rare items for sale, while keeping the popular common things affordable at ~Walmart~ pricing.

    Our COTO Store seems to offer fewer choices for the rich in exclusive content :confused: Such things don't have to be truly rare, because the price of such things should cause them to be rare and rarely seen in the game. Therefore don't limit the item, just raise the cost into the pricing category of insane.

    Our more economic players do need to watch for the sales, because development doesn't come cheap, yet if they shop in the game from crafting players, things can be had because there are patterns which crafters can craft most anything that's wanted for in-game gold. This is why I think that any talk of the economic player's desires to have COTO Shop things all offered more cheaply, is just asking for more convenience through lower COTO pricing which cheats our hard working crafters.

    I know that's an elitist view,
    [​IMG]


    Yet I'm one of those old retired 401k stock market spenders.
    ~Time Lord~o_O
     
  19. Terrence Phillip

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    Just complete and polish the features in the game before adding new content. That will help the most for player retention. Lets be honest, the game is closer to an alpha than a full on release. So many half finished features (or 80% complete) and lets not talk about the balancing... I know it’s a work in progress, but if we want player retention, we need more polish, and we need for the features in game to be complete.
     
  20. Time Lord

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    :) Sorry, but I think that's a myth...
    There's not one single thing in our game that can or ever will be describable as "complete". Everything in our game is, has and always will be in an evolutionary prosses of expansion, more polish and in a state of potential full metamorphosis.

    SOTA is a full blown right brain developing game where the left side will never have any stability to place it's trust in being fully "complete". Imagination has become a cultural piece of our game which could never separate itself from any single facet of it. Everything is very open to every criticism from every angle from both player and developer , thus always subject to change.

    A gamer can download many other games without ever thinking there's a new patch, but that thought will never be able to be applied to SOTA except in a mythical sense of any player's fantasy.


    Everything changes in our game always. Anything thought to ever be complete in SOTA, is a total myth which will never happen, because that's never happened. Even in Ultima, each of those worlds were always placeholders for the next which were always full of change.

    SOTA is in the spirit of all Lord British's prior worlds, where Ultima's vision always is to be in a constant state of a perpetual deeper fantasy gaming world experience.
    A perpetual alpha which will never be complete, that's Ultima, which SOTA is Lord British's opus of.

    There is no end-game here and therefore never a completed in anything. All content in SOTA is liquid and always will be.

    Change without end, Sota and Ultima-amen :D

    ~Time Lord~
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2020
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