Crown store and new players leaving

Discussion in 'Crown Store' started by Rygen, Oct 27, 2020.

  1. Rygen

    Rygen Guest

    I almost stopped playing this game after making it to Soltown for a few of reasons. For lack of a better place to post this, and it looks like the devs pay attention to this forum, I'll post my comments here.

    Yes, I am one of those people that have paid money into free to play games, and there are a few I've put over $1k into mostly because I liked what the developers were doing. Am I going to put over $1k into this game? Well, I almost stopped playing completely so I'll first go into explaining why I gave one Free 2 Play game $1k

    The game I gave over $1,000 to: The big selling point of this game is that almost everything that wasn't cosmetic could be acquired through grinding. There was no reason to put any money into the game if you wanted X item-- you could get it, if you wanted to put the time in. You could be just as powerful as any other player without paying a penny.....but, if you wanted a new color pallet or some other cosmetic gear, or boosters, then yes, you paid money or traded rare items for premium currency from other players (rare items, which again, can be found by anyone) so you could buy them. There was no part of the game that was blocked from being enjoyed if you didn't want to spend a dime, or didn't want to deal in premium currency at all.

    Why I almost left SotA:
    Players are given a free POT row deed. It can only be used in a POT. How do you get a POT? By paying about $1k or more. You can't use these in NPC town row lots. The only way to get an NPC town row lot is to pay money for it. Basically, there is no in game housing that doesn't cost real money somewhere down the line. Having your own home/room seems like an important aspect of the game. After all, there are tons of in-game items that can only be placed in a home. I spent a day and a half looking for a row lot to claim, which I couldn't claim any in NPC towns, and most POTs pretty much expect you get permission from the governor who probably isn't online to begin with. It was very frustrating. I was able to find one POT that pretty much had a note posted that anyone could claim a row home. But still, not being able to claim a row home in an NPC pissed me off. Really pissed me off.

    If you want to keep new players, and if houses are going to be such a big part of the game, they need real, truly free, housing options. I put other notes in https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/f...new-player-why-i-almost-left-the-game.165857/ which would make finding housing easier, and make player run Inns more feasible (i.e players can rent a room when the owner isn't there, and the rooms expire after a time, so no 200-day inn room rentals).

    The whole idea of POT deeds being separate from NPC deeds is aggravating, and shouldn't be a thing at all. If it wasn't a thing, I wouldn't have been considering leaving. The only reason why I'm still around is I found one POT that clearly had posted that anyone could put a row home there. That's it. If that POT didn't exist, and I didn't read the bulletin board, I would have quit that day. It was only until after I acquired a lot for free that I spent anything in the crown store. Something to think about.

    To encourage POTs, and to allow role playing players to enjoy a nice looking environment.... please have standards for player owned housing in NPC towns. For POTs, leave that up the governors.... but NPC towns should have rules in place to keep it with the medieval/Ultima style so we don't see Vegas-style signs and flashing lights in places like Soltown. It wasn't a pleasant sight--and yes, there have been many others that have commented on this elsewhere. For POTS, you paid a ton of money for one, fine go crazy if you want that in your town. But for NPC towns, lets put some standards in place to not break the role paying experience. Maybe also add a flag to POT towns that opt to follow the same exterior atheistic standards set for NPC towns so players have a little warning before their eyes are assaulted.
     
  2. Browncoat Jayson

    Browncoat Jayson Legend of the Hearth

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    I understand your frustration, and I wish it was easier to discover, but you know you can convert that free deed into a deed you can place anywhere? Or for a larger home? Just right click on it and look at the upgrade options.

    Yes, all of the upgrades are in Crowns, which can be purchased for real money, but they can also be traded. They drop from creatures, and can even be found when harvesting. In fact, you can buy them for gold in-game from many players, and trade them fairly easily for specific types of materials. So you can earn crowns, in-game, to upgrade the deed you got, in-game.

    There are lots of issues with SotA, but housing accessibility isn't it.
     
  3. Cora Cuz'avich

    Cora Cuz'avich Avatar

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    Plus... I mean, if you want to live in one of the little out of the way NPC towns nobody ever goes to, I can see your point. But if you're mad you can't use your free deed to claim a spot in Ardoris or Soltown... that's like getting upset that you can't afford toilet paper when every store in the city is wiped out. Lots in the main cities come up pretty rarely. Like, one time I saw an open town spot in Aerie, and that was about it.
     
  4. Rygen

    Rygen Guest

    You are both completely missing the point here, The problem with the game, the problem there are many complaints about, is that in-game housing is directly tied to real world money. There is no real way around it, and that is a huge turn off for new players. Sure, I considered buying an unrestricted deed in the crown store, but the fact the game has been engineered to push players in that direction left a very bitter aftertaste, and I'm reluctant to recommend this game to anyone for that reason.

    The reason for comments here is to minimize aspects of the game that will turn off new players. Based on the game statistics, it is loosing players like crazy. I've even run into a few POT tows which were completely abandoned, one didn't even have a governor. Catnip Games or Portalarium, or whoever is managing development now, needs to look into ways to attract new players and keep them. It is hard for some folks to admit that there is a problem with a game that they have already invested a lot of time and real money into, but if people don't admit there is a problem driving new players away, then it'll never get any better. Game developers can't cater to early backers if it pushes the game into a direction that it limits future growth. Game studios that listen to their players constructive criticisms do well.

    Ardoris has free lots, I almost bought a place anywhere deed for it, and stopped myself because I can't support that game dynamic.... and then seriously considered abandoning the game at that point. Soltown is an eyesore, which is why I recommended standards for housing in NPC towns to keep the game environment consistent and enjoyable. Soltown is the first town a player visits, and it doesn't make a good impression at all.. there are actually a lot of complaints about that by new players looking at this game.

    Go to youtube right now, search for "shroud of the avatar" and see what comes up. This is what new players will see when considering this game. Lets fix it so some people will start putting more positive content out there.
     
  5. Warrior B'Patrick

    Warrior B'Patrick Avatar

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    Greetings Rygen

    I am glad you have chosen to stay a while longer. This game can be confusing because of how much you can do in game. You just need to read the Player Guide which will help all new players, and ask questions in the forums. Many Avatars are ready to help with question and suggestions. As for housing you are correct that you get a free taxed non-trade Row Deed that you can use to claim a Row Lot in a POT. This can be upgraded to tradeable, place anywhere, larger size deeds, and Tax Free deeds with the use of COTOs that you can buy from vendors using in game coins. So as you suggested you can grind to get coins then use them to get almost anything in game. Once you get the size and type deed you want then check out the forms to find lots that are being offered for free or with no restrictions in any POT or NPC town if you upgraded your deed to a place anywhere. I have a POT called Port Royal that is near the entry port of Mistender. All lots are free to claim and have no restrictions. If you need help with anything please message me at Warrior Bpatrick. Here are a few other options:

    A town for Role Players posed by Helvig Ingvildsdottir

    Free Homes for new players posed by Sonja

    Rooms in an inn posted in the Player Market Place
     
  6. Ysold

    Ysold Avatar

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    I hear you! I was very confused myself when I was looking for a place to live. It was only thanks to the players on this forum that I realized what a POT was and that other players actually want me to live in their town. Previously I thought that POTs were a form of private housing just a bit grander than a castle :)

    Posting on this forum got me a number of offers from players to come and live in their town, but I was able to find a lovely spot by myself.

    There's so many things in this game that are rather vital to enjoyable gameplay and are nearly impossible to find out by yourself. I use this forum extensively and also the Wiki and other player resources. A few examples:
    - when you get into crafting, you don't have to buy all the basic recipes from NPC vendors. If a recipe says "Re-teachable" you can discover it by placing the right materials in the crafting table. The Wiki tells me what those ingredients are.
    - how to start with Taming
    - where to find resources
    - other players can mentor you when you want to train skills, making your skills go up faster

    People on this forum are extremely helpful! Use us before you reach your frustration tolerance limit!

    Ysold.
     
  7. Ysold

    Ysold Avatar

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    Not really. It's just that the standard for housing in the game is the POT, not the NPC town. I agree, that's rather unexpected when you have played other games. But in good old UO you couldn't live in the NPC towns either. But I admit, it's rather confusing when there are so many empty houses in towns that seems to be begging for a player to come and live there.

    I'm not too fond of it myself, but should we interfere into someone's dream to role-play a store magnate? Or a creepy haunted house owner? I appreciate people's creativity, although I don't always appreciate the results :)
     
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  8. Kara Brae

    Kara Brae Avatar

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    This is a good discussion and I am glad the OP posted his impressions from a new player standpoint. In my opinion it really should be made clearer that there is grindy path to acquire property in an NPC town without having to purchase a place-anywhere deed in the Crown store. I think that players with little patience and money to spare would still purchase deeds, so any loss in revenue would be negligible.

    I haven't visited the Crown Store in ages, but if it hasn't changed much the philosophy is that only cosmetic items are sold that don't give the player an advantage in the game. All the weapons and armor I previously purchased are no more than costumes. If I really need to go adventuring I need to wear and carry player-crafted items that have enchantments. So this is in line with the OP's expectations.

    The reason for the current situation regarding land ownership in SotA can be found in the history of the development of the game. What follows is what I observed personally from playing the game and following the forums in the early days of pre-alpha. I am glad to be corrected if I get anything wrong. If my memory serves me correctly, when the game was first announced and looking for backers on Kickstarter, the promise of exclusive in-game property was a major selling point. People invested loads of money, and even thousands of dollars, to own large lots of land. Only a tiny percentage of players were expected to ever own property. As it turned out, the property aspect of the game turned out to be the most popular part of the game. The combat aspect of the game was highly criticized and had to keep changing, the quest system was horrible and buggy, but land ownership was extremely well implemented. It was a very satisfying experience to own land in SotA and decorate it. Many original backers fought tooth and nail to prevent land ownership from becoming widespread. After all, they had made huge investments for the privilege of exclusive land ownership. But players wanted land, land and more land, so small row lots were introduced and made part of a kickstarter pledge. As time went on, players wanted to be able to own whole towns, but the original backers still wanted to retain their exclusiveness. Of course, the financial necessity of selling more property won the day, so property ownership opened up to the larger player base. Player-Owned Towns were introduced. This gave players a way to own towns and property without too many encroaching on the original backers' rights to exclusively own property in NPC towns. This still wasn't enough to satisfy the widespread hunger for property, so free taxable row lot POT deeds were added as a quest reward. Land owners have the option to upgrade their POT deeds to place-anywhere deeds, but it is really expensive. I can't afford it, but good players can. I did end up upgrading my taxable POT row lot deed to a tax-free one.

    Having said all that, I never understood the drive that most players have to own property in NPC towns. My main home (from an original Backer pledge) is a village lot in the POT of Rift's End which is associated with my guild. My deed is a place anywhere deed, but living in a POT has been much more convenient than any NPC town could have been and I never wanted to live in an NPC town. I was able to pick my spot. The POT has an Oracle and all devotionals right next door. It has a crafting pavilion with all master crafting tables. I placed my row lot deed right next to it, so I don't need any crafting tables of my own. Guild members living in the POT are friendly and helpful. I honestly wouldn't trade my spot for any NPC lot in the game. I do understand reluctance to live in a complete stranger's town. But POTs owned by people with excellent reputations are plentiful, and it is a mystery to me why anyone would prefer a lot in the far corners of Ardoris, Aerie or Owl's Head (a town I detest) when they can have the pick of a convenient lot in a POT that offers so many amenities.

    Sorry for going on and on like this :)
     
  9. Warrior B'Patrick

    Warrior B'Patrick Avatar

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    Greetings Kara Brae
    I think you have things correct as far as I can remember. The exclusivity in owning land during the Kickstarter was for the TAX Free Deeds that were part of the pledge rewards of the citizen pledge and up. The I also know one of the driving reasons for owning a lot in an NPC town was to have as much interaction with players in the form of selling goods on Non- Commissioned Vendors that was also only a Kickstarter pledge item with Commissioned Vendors for purchase separately. When Player Owned Towns were introduced many people payed high sums of real money and few lots were free to claim. The governors thought that they could rent lots to players but because of the number of POTs made available there was not a lot of money made renting lots. Land ownership in NPC towns and POTs is still a popular thing in this game and is made stronger by the DEVs constant introduction of new houses and tons of DECO items to personalize your lot with.
     
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  10. majoria70

    majoria70 Avatar

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    Hi there. Well yes it does seem strange to hear you get free deeds from quests but then find out they're only placeable in a player owned town, well until you're used to the idea. Truly in my opinion putting housing in NPC towns was always a mistake. We at least needed outskirts. It caused quests npc's to be really difficult to locate and made NPC towns way too difficult to muddle through. Player owned towns get created with residents quality of life as most important. I do know this because I am managing steward of Wizards Rest located behind Owlshead in Hidden Vale. All vacant lots are claimable without notifying the governor. Just have your deed in your inventory. There are many towns who do the same setting lots to claim. Please don't fret over not getting into an NPC town. I'm sure you'll just enjoy having your own place and making it truly your in game home to be proud of. I'm Majoria in game if I can assist. You are always welcome. I accept all in game friends requests.
     
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  11. oplek

    oplek Avatar

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    If you're poor in real life, you should have to struggle in the game too, amirite?
     
  12. oplek

    oplek Avatar

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    Also, I've said it before, and I'll say it again. If player housing is supposed to be a hook for the game, new players should start at an already-placed lot, with deed. Plunk their butts right on a row lot in a new-player POT.
     
  13. Sean Silverfoot

    Sean Silverfoot Avatar

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    And to boot, starting in E2, there isn't housing in NPC towns in the new lands, if I remember correctly. IMHO there are very few POT's out there that wouldn't want another person to live there. The information is there if folks take the time to look and ask. I'll stop here. Feel free to come and check out PaxLair.
     
  14. Browncoat Jayson

    Browncoat Jayson Legend of the Hearth

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    Premium currency here is quite different than in many other games. Yes, it is where they are getting funded so it is available for real money. But it is also available in-game, and is tradeable. I don't think it makes sense to say that because something is available for cash instead of only available in-game that it should be taken off the table. What you should be saying is "In-game housing is directly tied to premium currency, which can be purchased with real-world money or secondhand from players for in-game gold".

    They are, as I just noted. However, I agree that the first deed you get should be upgradable to a place-anywhere row lot deed (no trade) using in-game gold, and from there to all of the tradable variations using crowns. Same with the deed you get for completing the main quest; that should be upgradeable to a place-anywhere village lot deed (no trade) via gold, and then to the other options via crowns.
     
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  15. CrandalltheFoole

    CrandalltheFoole Avatar

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    It is possible, in game, to upgrade a free POT Row deed into a tax free, place anywhere deed.
    Yes, you will need a lot of COTO, and thus a lot of game time to get there.
     
  16. Anpu

    Anpu Bug Hunter

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    COTO’s and gold are all found in the game and you can purchase COTO’s with the gold you find and buy COTO’s from players as well.

    COTO’s are not exclusively only for cash only.

    For example I just harvested a crop of cotton. I then sold all the cotton to an NPC and then bought 61 COTO’s from a player with the gold I made.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2020
  17. Rygen

    Rygen Guest

    I don't agree with you on this one. If this was really supposed to be a spiritual successor to Ultima, you should be walking out of a moon gate in a shirt and blue jeans with no gear at all. This would be a good way to start to teach basic came mechanics before getting into real combat. The first zombie I ran into was a pain because, no matter what I did, I couldn't figure out how to get my bow to fire, even when standing right up to a mom with the bow drawn (still not sure what exactly happened, and may have been a game bug tbh, but other mobs I was able to eventually get with the bow--I wonder how many new players quit right there?). And really, what new mage doesn't have a basic range attack spell starting off? Starting room should be a basic training room with some message "Hello Avatar, lets refresh your memory on how to interact with New Britannia." Based on some old vids, something like this was part of the game at some point.

    Now, making it easier for players to find housing, limiting lots players can take in a town, and making it easier for players to find and claim rooms in player-run inns would go a long way to making it easier. Honestly, as a new player low on gold, the idea of having to pay 250g or more for a lot wasn't attractive at all, so I was first thinking I could rent a room from an NPC inn (which, of course, you can't), or any inn. Sure, a player could look for outdated info on the forums, but why when the game could provide the most up to date housing info without ever leaving the game world? Also... the list of free lots needs to be cached on the server. It shouldn't take over a minute for the free lot list to populate. How often does that list get updated anyway? Sheesh!

    Player housing really needs to be overhauled, both to keep the game world aesthetically pleasing for those that want to enjoy a role playing game world (NPC town decoration standards, just like some games impose restrictions on what kinds of usernames are allowed). I mean really, wouldn't the villagers get upset if you covered hour house in flashing lights making your little house appear like the official welcoming center for the town? New players may think that the big flashing welcome sign in soltown is where they need to go to continue on with their quest. It needs to go.

    I have never seen a mob drop COTOs. If you have to put in over 20 hours before you start seeing COTOs drops, then players are just going to assume these drops don't happen, or are to far out of reach to even take into consideration as being a possibility.

    An unrestricted row lot deeds should be given for free, and every NPC town should have row lots, although I am perfectly fine for some row lots to default to a little one room cottage with a yard to keep with the small town aesthetic for the more backwater villages. You should also not be able to pay for more than 30 days on a lot with in-game gold so inactive players will be forced to give up their lots after a time. Reserving more than 30 days should only be possible with COTS. Hey, if you're willing to pay real money, go for it.
     
  18. Datendrache

    Datendrache Avatar

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    Okay, haven't posted for awhile. Just wanted to say a few things about being a new player and wealth/property/opportunity.

    For new players, let me say this: your struggle is part of the game, but not an impossible struggle. Other players have also climbed from poverty to becoming near-Royals. Players could have entered the Fireworks Contest and gotten 10,000 crowns (I believe that was the grand prize) and your deed problem would have been gone right there. If you participate in the contests, social activities, testing, and other aspects of the game, the rewards are enough to take you far forward. In the game, people who help others get plenty of generous gifts and payment.

    Back in the day, I started with the most lowly of all accounts, the "First Responder" cheap-seat Kickstarter account. At the start, the entire game was abuzz about the control by the whales, long-timer players and the huge guilds and whatnot. "New players didn't stand a chance." However, my attitude was that I came here to fight, and was going to show that nobody and no guild was going step on me. (Lofting ambitions, but hey, its a game, and >I'M< a gamer!)

    I could explain the details, but by adventurer level 28 I had leveraged use of the crafting system and public vendors to sell housing goods to players and used the funds to acquire my own deeds (back then deeds weren't free). By Adventurer Level 40, I had amassed a small empire. About Adventurer Level 60 the rules were being changed because... I'd been a little too greedy, methinks... but was rich, rich, rich. But not via exploitation but by participation. Fact is, Catnip games is very generous with player involvement in "extracurricular" activities.

    Between Adventurer Level 60-102, by competing in contests, selling ores and selling/trading other bigger ticket items, managed to acquire everything that a Baron level account would own. As of now, my account has nearly everything a Duke Founder would own. Along with it, traded for one of nearly every item in game.

    Yes, there were times I did make sizable purchases, but only after having busted down the door and strutted into the 1%'ers lounge using only in-game mechanics. And that my hope that all the new players strive to do: don't let the other players get you down, and rise up and kick ass! :) If you can't see how to do it, maybe you need to engage more with the community to learn the ins-and-outs. Those "POT deeds" will take you closer to the people you need to meet and NPC towns are a bit anti-social by not having a guild or community structure.

    Sincerely,

    Engineer
     
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  19. Rygen

    Rygen Guest

    Let me stop you right there.

    You have completely missed my point--everything you've said is completely irrelevant to the first 5-10 hour new player experience, maybe after 100 hours, and that kickstarter program you spoke of is long gone. This is about what new players see in their first week of game play. Few people just exploring the game will give too hoots about the community until they've had a chance to enjoy it. What does a new player see once they get to Soltown, if they stay around after dealing with a badly explained and resembling a broken range attack system? They see a town with crappy Vegas style sign that completely breaks the feel of the world they just came from, and they were given this free which they quickly discover they can't use in an NPC town. The player does a little more digging and discovers the only way that anyone gets housing in the game is if they either pay for a place anywhere deed, or somebody pays for a POT (oh you can earn COTS as mob drops? The new player never sees these drops, so they don't exist for them). This game now appears to be a "It's free-ish to play, but if you want to enjoy housing, somebody better be spilling out cash".

    The free deeds should be place anywhere deeds. Anything less will annoy players to no end as it feels like a sinister way to squeeze cash out of players that would otherwise be fine spending money in a game they like to support development. But when a free to play game puts mechanics in there that feels like it is forcing you to shell out cash to fully enjoy it, it isn't cool at all.

    For new players that are apprehensive about the lot taxes (which aren't explained or shown anywhere in game--that really needs to be changed so it can be seen in the info when clicking on the lot sign/stone), making getting and finding available rooms in town by talking to the town crier would go a long way too. The fact that there are some players willing to offer rooms for low rents or even free also helps build a sense of community.
     
  20. Beaumaris

    Beaumaris Avatar

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    Because this is how early game development was funded by the community.