Crown Store and Web Store Changes in Early 2019

Discussion in 'Developer Depot' started by Chris, Jan 5, 2019.

  1. Chris

    Chris Tech Lord Moderator SOTA Developer

    Messages:
    2,187
    Likes Received:
    25,008
    Trophy Points:
    190
    Gender:
    Male
    Greetings avatars! We shared a lot of information yesterday in our short live stream and it was both exciting enough and potentially confusing enough that it deserved a post in writing that people could read and absorb.

    Our history is pretty well known and our “cash shop” has been with us since the start. For years it has been a burden in terms of public opinion, usability, and time consuming maintenance. When we compare ourselves to other live online role play games with a similar money model, we find that we are almost the only game in the entire crowded market that has a vast cash shop on a website and then almost nothing available in game for purchase. We also added premium currency long ago but never really made full use of it in game.

    Time for that all to change! Within the next 2 releases we will move to a store model similar to 95% of the other games in the field. Our website will primarily only sell Crowns and rewards programs and possibly 1 single item for episode 2 access. There will probably be another small section that will be hidden for stuff like POTs and support.

    All the items in the store will be available through the Crown Shop interface. From what we’ve been seeing, most players don’t even know this exists but if you look at the interface buttons in the upper right hand corner of the game, the second one in from the right is a Crown Shop. Click this and you can access a few dozen items from the game anywhere, without needing to talk to a merchant.
    When we mentioned this during the stream I saw a few people scream, “No! The interface is slow and doesn’t show the items or have information!” They are right and that is why our biggest task with this switch is moving to a whole new interface!

    We’re currently working on pulling all the information for items on the web store into the interface. Items will all include a detailed description, most will include a screenshot, and those that don’t will show the actual model for the item when selected.

    Also, currently the in game crown shop is SLOW to load even with a small number of items. We are fixing this to prebake this data instead of loading it all from thousands of item definition and data files. This slowness was actually the reason we stopped adding items to the in game store for a while but a fix is almost ready to go live.

    In addition to matching the features of the web store, by moving it in game we can improve it in a number of other ways as well. The web store has no good system for localization which means it is only available in English. The new crown store in game will be localizable just like any other in game text!

    In game you will be able to filter and search and sort items. We will have items tagged for different categories so instead of clicking through pages and pages of goods and scrolling you can just click “Weapons” and “Elven” and it will show you just the items tagged with those! If you’re shopping for new lights for your house, just choose “decorations” and “lights”. We are also hoping to have other data in them so you can do things like show “Recently added” items or just “Sale” items.

    To make sure existing players are aware of the in game crown store and go try it out, I’ll be adding a number of small “blessings” to the game. You’ll get one at random with any crown store purchase. I have about 25 different small blessings designed and it will apply one at random. These will last a day and will basically be shorter, possibly weaker versions of existing in game blessings or obsidian potions. We’ll probably keep these around until a release after the store work is finished to make sure people go and find the crown store in game since even the seasoned adventurers I talked to didn’t know it existed! I hope to have these live in a patch next week.

    Have you ever noticed that sometimes our sales stay up longer than promised. Well some of that is due to us wanting to be nice to players outside the US who have time zone issues to deal with but the main reason is because currently it is complicated to turn on/off sales and only a few people can do it. The new in game system will be broken down to allow anyone on the team to turn it on or off and we’ll also be able to schedule sales to start and end.

    So as for sales and pricing. This is another area where we’ve looked around and identified that we’re a bit off base on many prices. Part of this is due to us knowing we were doing big, week end sales and so we priced stuff higher than we should have. With this major transition coming up we’ll be adjusting many item prices down to somewhere in between the current price and the sale price.

    Once the new store goes live we will have far fewer sales and they will be much smaller percentages off. Most items in the new store will be cheaper than the current full price store BUT when on sale, they’ll roughly the same or slightly higher than the current prices. There will be some exceptions to that rule but that is our general target. Going forward we’ll probably also do fewer or no “Everything is on sale!” type sales. This is largely done this way now because of the less than stellar system we use now to put stuff on sale.

    So again, repeating again for clarity. New store prices will be adjusted. In general, new store prices will be lower than current full price store but slightly higher than current sale prices.

    Another big thing that we will be fixing during this time is our actual premium currency! While the $1 = 1 Crown thing is easy to understand, it does not give us the resolution we need to price things correctly. For instance, to match the cash shop, we would have to do things in full $1/1COTO increments. The resolution also means we have to make drops of them very rare.
    When this change goes live, after the maintenance down time concludes, you will log in to find that all of your crowns turned into 100 crowns. This will happen in your inventory, bank, and even on decos. The decos will look like a single crown but when picked up, they will turn into 100. For Vendors, we aren’t sure which option we’ll use but we’ll either adjust your numbers on your vendor or, more likely, we’ll cancel out all your crown sales/purchase orders. In game, you will still see crowns drop but at 100x the rate of the current ones. This also lets us do things like sell dyes individually if we choose. Previously we would bundle all the cheap items together in large packs because we couldn’t do sales smaller than $1.

    We’ll also be taking advantage of the new greater crown resolution to adjust our prices. While we knew what our targets numbers were before, we couldn’t actually get there because of rounding error involved with the low crown prices.

    Price Count
    • $10.00 750
    • $20.00 1600
    • $35.00 3200
    • $60.00 6300
    • $100.00 10750

    Also, going forward do not expect to see many if any crown sales. We plan on moving crowns back to being the stable bedrock of our pricing structure and keeping the sales primarily in game. If do any crown sales it will only be for major events like Lord British’s birthday or the release of some major new content and will only be a small discount.

    Also, we’ll likely make some small adjustments to the rewards program to make sure it stays the best exchange rate for buying crowns. I’ve had a few people point out that due to the crown sales, currently it is promised to be the best rate but you can actually get slightly better with a large crown purchase on sale. You still miss out on all the extra stuff so we still consider it a great deal but we’ll be fixing this going forward to live up to its crown promise.

    One more exciting thing coming soon is the ability to upgrade deeds in game for crowns. The current plan is that you will be able to right click on a deed and get a menu showing you the cost to upgrade it. We plan on making it so you can upgrade for the price difference in the crown store. No trade deeds from the story-line will likely be upgradeable but remain no trade but we’re still evaluating that option.

    Also, in case you missed the stream, the other exciting thing coming is the ability to purchase a permit for row house demolition. There will be a cheap option to turn a row lot into a an empty lot with no houses on it that can be used for whatever. We see this as a huge win for players who have their main lot but also have a row lot or two in storage from the storyline. Now you’ll be able to put down a row lot to turn it into a play space, crafting area, or a dedicated garden.

    Wow, that ended up being a crazy long post! Lots of stuff to talk about. For those with short attention spans who just skip to the end, here is the tl;dr version:
    • Current crown target of $1 = 1 COTO will turn into $1 = 100 COTO
    • All your existing crowns will turn into 100 crowns
    • Many prices will adjust downwards to be between current and sale price
    • Sales will be smaller and fewer and for the most part
    Thanks and you can look forward to these changes in the near future!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 11, 2019
    Lord Lonn, OxNull, ZeCarlos and 27 others like this.
  2. Rinaldi

    Rinaldi Avatar

    Messages:
    613
    Likes Received:
    2,086
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Gender:
    Male
    Currently, a single gold coto can be used to apply a Major repair on an equip-able item. Once the value of gold coto's changes to 1/100 of what it is now, will a single coto still generate a major repair?
     
  3. Bowen Bloodgood

    Bowen Bloodgood Avatar

    Messages:
    12,868
    Likes Received:
    22,495
    Trophy Points:
    165
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Caer Dracwych
    This was one of the first questions I had as well. Though I personally would like to see COTO use in repairs go away.. just saying. :)
     
  4. devilcult

    devilcult Avatar

    Messages:
    618
    Likes Received:
    1,301
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Are monster gona drop 10 coto at a time? ;p
     
  5. Bowen Bloodgood

    Bowen Bloodgood Avatar

    Messages:
    12,868
    Likes Received:
    22,495
    Trophy Points:
    165
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Caer Dracwych
    I imagine it might be more like offline where you find a COTO every 5-10 minutes. I somewhat hope not because it's a little jarring to keep finding them in ore veins or off animal corpses..
     
    Sara Dreygon likes this.
  6. Titania Xylia

    Titania Xylia Avatar

    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    570
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    I think this will be a positive change for the game, since you won't have to leave the game to find an item you want in-game. It's critical that you nail in-game "store" experience, and I hope you do! Great descriptions, imagery and I like the idea of having 3d models, but I would further suggest that people be able to try on things in the store or go to virtual store to play with an item like they were in the game. Maybe there should be a series of general stores in Hometown, so we can go shop at a Kobold themed store, etc?

    Is buying COTOs in the game out of the question? I think you should definitely link from the game to the store, so it's clear how and where you can get COTOs.

    Repairs and drops will be interesting for sure, but now that they are pennies instead of dollars maybe that will allow for some new mechanics.
     
  7. Humbert_Humbert

    Humbert_Humbert Avatar

    Messages:
    342
    Likes Received:
    629
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Great move in my opinion.
     
    Sara Dreygon likes this.
  8. Titania Xylia

    Titania Xylia Avatar

    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    570
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Also, for the love of whatever God or gods there may be, please change vendor orders, so that we can purchase more than 1,000 of any item.
     
  9. Vladamir Begemot

    Vladamir Begemot Avatar

    Messages:
    4,215
    Likes Received:
    7,880
    Trophy Points:
    153
    Gender:
    Male
    This thread was locked when I made my questions, so here they are reposted from the unneeded thread.

    Are the improvements going into the Crown Store, like 3D and

    Is this going to be making it into player vendors? Please? People have been asking for years now.

    Also, how will the monthly fundraising work? Are we tallying up COTO use now or is it still dollar based, so everyone just go buy COTO's?
     
  10. Paladin Michael

    Paladin Michael Avatar

    Messages:
    1,634
    Likes Received:
    2,835
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Germany
    This still happens, if you try to buy something by clicking "Sign for Exchange" and haven'T enough Crowns, a window appears:
    "You have insufficient Crowns of the Obsidians to complete this exchange."
    --> Get Crowns
    --> Cancel

    After clicking "Get Crowns" a window opens, showing the Crown Bundles. Clicking there leads to the Crown Shop site :)

    Also clicking on the crown symbol in the Rewards window opens the Crown purchase window.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2019
  11. Jefe

    Jefe Avatar

    Messages:
    615
    Likes Received:
    688
    Trophy Points:
    93
    This may give an additional purpose to Homestead as it would/could become a place of see it before you buy it. Course, for outfits, that would warrant having NPCs male and female wearing the outfit or mannequins doing said same.
     
    Widsith [MGT] and Cirsee like this.
  12. Chris

    Chris Tech Lord Moderator SOTA Developer

    Messages:
    2,187
    Likes Received:
    25,008
    Trophy Points:
    190
    Gender:
    Male
    Yes, we'll have screen shots for most items and 3d for others.

    They will probably drop fewer than 10 at a time but far more often.

    We'll be re-evaluating prices of things after the change goes in. COTO repairs don't make a significant amount of revenue for us, less than 1% last I looked, BUT they are the mechanism to discourage players from repairing items forever. This is important to the economy and crafters so we'll probably have something there, just not sure what it will be or what it will cost at this time.
     
  13. Bowen Bloodgood

    Bowen Bloodgood Avatar

    Messages:
    12,868
    Likes Received:
    22,495
    Trophy Points:
    165
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Caer Dracwych
    We are full of ideas about that which do not involve COTOs ;) Just saying. :)
     
  14. Jefe

    Jefe Avatar

    Messages:
    615
    Likes Received:
    688
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Like having exceptional repair repair max durability?
     
    Chatele and Cirsee like this.
  15. CICI

    CICI Avatar

    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    171
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Michigan
    Great Job @Chris how about adding upgrade POTs via cotos :D
     
    Ancev and nimueCW like this.
  16. Cirsee

    Cirsee Avatar

    Messages:
    272
    Likes Received:
    603
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Gender:
    Female
    I think you should include crown purchases in game as well. Most games do have both currency and item malls in-game.

    You should also have a $20 or $25 option; usually around that point it gems in as more even ($25 gets you 2500 crowns and usually a bit less as you go down in denominations).

    Curious about Coto repairs not costly an arm and a leg, if I need them,
    Curious about he rewards program and how rewards will be tallied now. As well as how much you spend to qualify for a reward. I think you mentioned the $5 option would go away.

    A suggestion might be made to beef up your rewards program as well to encourage more to join. With the Meritz app I can get potions, so this really isn’t a big benefit of the program to most. I would also like to see in-game crafted potions be more beneficial than a store option.

    Another question is how will this work in offline mode?
     
    Chatele likes this.
  17. Bowen Bloodgood

    Bowen Bloodgood Avatar

    Messages:
    12,868
    Likes Received:
    22,495
    Trophy Points:
    165
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Caer Dracwych
    Well items still need to be phased out of the economy over time. If it were just exceptional repair then people would just keep trying until they got that result. There still needs to be some kind of limiting factor. I think it's a discussion for another thread though. Might just have to start another one. :)
     
  18. Jaesun

    Jaesun Avatar

    Messages:
    1,930
    Likes Received:
    2,145
    Trophy Points:
    113
    This is a fantastic move! Really looking forward to this!
     
  19. Chris

    Chris Tech Lord Moderator SOTA Developer

    Messages:
    2,187
    Likes Received:
    25,008
    Trophy Points:
    190
    Gender:
    Male
    This is available NOW! I'll make sure we announce it on Monday. We mentioned it briefly on the stream but absolutely yes, POT upgrades via crowns. We want all transactions via crowns especially for big projects like POTs because it lets players work together and pool resources, whether that's gold to buy crowns, crowns dropped in game, or for those with spare $$$ to support us, just by buying and donating crowns.
     
  20. Jefe

    Jefe Avatar

    Messages:
    615
    Likes Received:
    688
    Trophy Points:
    93
    You are assuming a complete repair as opposed to like 1-5 max durability on exceptional. Also, rate of exceptional probably about 25-26%% at 100. So you'd need to use a lot of repair kits to stair step back to full if it just boosted like 1-5 or so.