DarkStarr please consider making a policy before/when launching "the Vault" 25APR

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Spoon, Apr 8, 2019.

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What do you think? (multi choice)

Poll closed Apr 29, 2019.
  1. Portalarium needs an Official Rarity Policy

    52.2%
  2. Portalarium does not need an Official Rarity Policy

    8.8%
  3. Portalarium needs a Reserved list of things that never will be sold again

    49.3%
  4. Portalarium does not need a Reserved list of things that never will be sold again

    10.3%
  5. I think the Vault is a great idea, I will definitely buy expired stuff if it comes back

    30.1%
  6. I think the Vault is a bad idea, I will definitely need torches and pitchforks

    28.7%
  7. Arrghh, my valuable collection...... Nooooooooo.....

    16.2%
  8. There is no Spoon

    17.6%
  9. Portalarium please listen to Spoon, Save the Whales

    16.2%
  10. Portalarium please ignore Spoon, make corsets for the crown store

    9.6%
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  1. Arn Magnusson

    Arn Magnusson Avatar

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    I did not vote on that question, I found it as side humor, and not relevant to the subject in question.
     
  2. Arn Magnusson

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    Last edited: Apr 11, 2019
  3. the Lacedaemonian

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    The jig is up. The SEC filings are upon us. It's all a sad state of affairs.
     
  4. Toadster

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    Not sure if you added your disclaimer to this thread but you post enough... I may have got the two mixed up.
     
  5. Blackghost

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    Can you have a look at this thread, pls...
    https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/forum/index.php?threads/novel-by-tracey-hickman.152538/
     
  6. Bom

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    Starr Long,

    This is terrible.

    Is it really necessary to re-release exclusive or expired items at all? I thought all items that are exclusive or expired are supposed to be cosmetic only or have equivalent alternatives available in the game?

    As others have pointed out, if you think it's absolutely necessary to re-release expired or exclusive items they should be reskinned or have different properties, not merely a name change. A name change alone is not enough of a distinction.

    What would this really accomplish anyway, except for ruining any last bit of trust that customers have in Portalarium? There are already plenty of all types of items available in the game for all players, from emotes to housing. Any player that truly does desire a very specific rare or expired version of an item, rather than those currently available, is technically a collector themselves and can trade for it.

    I didn't find this topic by digging through the forums, I found it when I was embarrassingly sent a discussion elsewhere of people mocking and making fun of Portalarium for once again slapping their last remaining customers in the face with another re-release of rare items, which customers spent a lot of money on thinking the items actually would be expired or exclusive as advertised. It's literally becoming a sad joke outside this forum and that's a really bad word of mouth to have.

    This may be the last straw. I'm considering canceling my subscription too. It feels like I'm throwing money away at this point into an organization that just doesn't get the importance of the management of virtual assets, nor why the game even became popular in the first place with the Kickstarter, Pledges, and sales of exclusive and expiring items that attracted people to begin with.

    Please at least postpone the Vault and implement Spoon's idea of clearly specifying and tracking expired or exclusive offers and items so that there is no confusion and any item can be looked up by anyone in seconds. It's also important to have a list of approximate market values for rare items, so that you don't end up significantly under-pricing any Vault items. I'm sure the dedicated collectors would be more than happy to provide all this information for you.

    @DarkStarr @Lord British @Chris
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2019
  7. Bom

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    You sold all your rares at premium prices so you vote to ruin the value of everyone else's? That's fairly malevolent.

    If Portalarium plans to make money devaluing the purchases of previous customers it's only going to backfire. That's an unsustainable business model.
     
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  8. Bom

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    Something you may have not realized is that the more Portalarium's existing assets are valued by people in the market, the more money Portalarium will be capable of earning selling new assets. For example if Portalarium devalues their assets to the point that people are only willing to pay pennies for them in the market, then they're only going to be able to sell any new items for pennies too.
     
  9. Spoon

    Spoon Bug Brigade - Bug Hunter

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    Wasn’t that from the RNG loot thingie?

    Regardless.

    That is a ‘chihuahua’ style joke. The Novian wolves aren’t scary. Instead they are a mild annoyance that keep yapping but rarely make any damage.

    Here let me replace that and you’ll see.

    Saying that
    “I will tear into you like a pack of wild uhm well uhm wild chihuahuas, ie kinda annoying but persistent with little to show for it.”
    isn’t supposed to be intimidating. It’s intention is the opposite.
    It says that just like Novian wolves/chihuahuas I’m yapping a lot but that I’m harmless.
     
  10. Brass Knuckles

    Brass Knuckles Avatar

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    Well I can see where it sounds like that I saw the trend and sold out early, however it does not change my stance that the company needs money desperately to keep funding the game yea I voted yes to vault idea because the game being around is way more important than stuff people just tosses in a truck and speculate off of. Also I feel like cheap cf vendors is important people won’t play if being copedatuve is outta their reach. $4.99 cf vendors seams very reasonable to me as well as 4.99 prosperity tools. Even though I paid like $200 for my tools and $30 for my cf vendors those price points are insane for a free to play game with no pop like this one.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2019
  11. Datendrache

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    @Brass Knuckles is right. Its the game talking, not the players. The best players will be looking for opportunities wherever they may be. Some were speculating quite a long time ago and came to this conclusion, so some did cash out early. Others are holding. Others are, as we can see, threatening to or pulled support.

    The people whom I believe are most concerned right now are also the most silent. @Duke Ezekiel Cooper @Lazarus Long @Jack SinAssist I know they've been trying to encourage Portalarium to adopt a rare item policy haven't been successful (to the best of my knowledge.) However, I believe this is important, in the same way investing money in a stable country is a safer move than investing money in a turbulent country like Venezuela right now. If you are a student looking for a Masters or Ph.D thesis, you could probably get one comparing RL country economies to virtual economies based on economic policy...

    To explain why I -don't- feel ill will toward anyone in this thread; all you need to do is clarify the predicament we've been put in:

    1) On one hand, we want all the revenue opportunities to exist for Portalarium. If putting just 5 "from the Vault" items on the Add-On store is nearly zero effort on their part and will net them $20K revenue, then that'll make a difference. They could hire new people with that kind of money.

    2) On the other hand, my support for #1 is absolutely going to effect someone else that I know, probably 20-30 someone else's. Many of these players dropped thousands of dollars collecting super hard to get items. Several of them treasure the items they have for different reasons and would be very upset if they appeared from the Vault.

    3) @DarkStarr made his proposed policy (and keep it mind, it was proposed, he didn't say official) as being extremely broad, allowing items that clearly have no business coming back. (i.e., seasonal rares, community items, SeedInvest rewards,...) He's either laughing or moaning about now...

    Where's the middle ground? What's the answer we're all okay with? Its taught that the best management finds a solution without anyone in the organization being screwed by the decision... I believe, in that regard, we're all here trying the best we can.

    Sincerely,

    Engineer
     
  12. Spoon

    Spoon Bug Brigade - Bug Hunter

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    I wish that is how it works but statistically it doesn't with this business model.

    If you run on the free-to-play business model then your model itself dictates that you need to make it fun for all, but that you always have to be mindful of herding your top strata.

    If a change/feature is increasing your conversion rate/retention rate of the lower strata while also increasing the churn rate of your higher strata - then that is good short term but a disaster long term.

    So the trick is to find changes/features that increase your conversion rate/retention rate of the lower strata BUT which doesn't affect the higher strata.

    Which also means that your product need to have things that cater to the different strata of players. Where you need to design specific features to cater to specific strata. Also vice versa if you intend for players to pay premium for luxury then you need to keep that luxury as a luxury.

    If we generalize very very very broadly, then for the style of product that SotA is that would be
    Top strata - Permanent items
    Medium strata - Services/Conveniance
    Low strata - Consumables
    Free strata - earn regular tests of low strata items, and rare tests of Medium strata items through gameplay.
    (If anyone don't get it of why those would be the case, then please tag me and I could start a new topic on that).

    So if they want to have a free-to-play business model then to cater to that luxury strata they should follow that.

    If we take tax-free deeds and commission free vendors for instance, then if it had been me then I would have advised them to adhere to their own business model of catering to the stratas.
    Free strata - taxed
    Low strata - ability to get short time limited tax free taster through gameplay (I'd go with 1 month, long enough to matter while short enough to want more)
    Medium strata - time limited tax free (I would have gone with 1 year - so long that it feels like its faaaaaaar away, but still limited)
    Top strata - permanent tax free

    This since statistics say that you don't get to keep low/medium strata for as long, while those who already know they love the game are more likely to become top strata AND stay for a long time.
    So for the churn you don't want them to have tradable permanent things that prevents conversion, since there is always a 2nd market plateau that you will reach - where such a plateau is dictated by churn so the higher churn the lower the plateau. Which means that with a too high level of desirable permanent items you can't survive a churn increase since the plateau would go down and prevent new revenue.

    So if they had the taxed and the permanent tax free, then for them to cater to conversion rate/retention rate of the mid strata while herding the top strata, then I would have added a "1 year commission free vendor" at about $10ish, so that you can have 1-month tokens at about $1ish.

    etc

    The other option to prevent the plateau then that would have been to create non-trade versions of the permanent luxury. But that would lead to other issues with the conversion/retention rate, so while better than what happened it would be less optimal than the one outlined above.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2019
  13. Brass Knuckles

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    Well I’m not a very smart man I look at the dwindling player base smallest numbers I’ve seen in a long time here, I look at their current revenue trend and add the fact the staff is getting smaller they have abandoned a couple offices now and work from home then toss in their streaming so they can have lunch meetings so I worry :)

    It’s obvious they need to do something diffrent expanding the player base is the easiest solution To funding so I support ANYTHING that does that.
     
  14. Vladamir Begemot

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    Putting rates up for sale doesn't increase the user base. It looks like it's lost a few actually.

    Making a decent dialog window so new players don't think the game is a 1990s MUD? That would increase the user base.
     
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  15. Brass Knuckles

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    Then what’s the solution? How do you close the gap for the free to play and being able to compete with out a cf vendors and prosperity tools. Trust me this is a turning off point for much of that F2P crowd.

    And what’s the solution to population growth raising price of everything?
     
  16. Vladamir Begemot

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    The Devs outright said the problem is the quests, to the point where the solution is to just ship everyone to random lots when they get to the outskirts.

    That's great, something I endorse of it has some thought (but it's going RNG so it's gonna be a disaster) , but doesn't mean just skip finishing the quest NUE.

    And the actual solution to that isn't killing a million more bugs, the bugs are much rarer now.

    The solution is fixing the ugly fugly tiny hard to read UI.

    Literally (tens of? ) thousands of lost players because they Devs decided that moving a chat window to the center of the screen was sufficient for a quality story experience. We said no two years ago this isn't good at all, they moved on anyway.

    Get rid of the MUD story interface and put something attractive in and you've solved half of the problems with the game.
     
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  17. Vladamir Begemot

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    How bad is the quest UI?

    Atos got 5 minutes into playing the story and quit.

    That's not the story's fault, it's a the fault of a UI that begs you to go away.
     
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  18. Brass Knuckles

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    Quests are a problem but there are many many problems that leads the population situation.
     
  19. oplek

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    It's alright. They'll address this critically urgent 12-month-long DEFCON-1 siren in Episode 47.
     
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  20. Vladamir Begemot

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    I'm not talking about quests. I'm talking about the dialog UI, the window to the entire quest system.

    You can fix every quest in the game (and the majority have been) , and if players are still looking at the story through the chat window, it's going to lose a large portion of them.

    So much so that the devs are just going to throw away, essentially, the Outskirts as starter zones in favor of putting new players on a random lot in a random town (rng, recipe for another disaster).

    I know there are other problems but this is the first and most persistent. They see it seconds into the game, with Arabella. They see it all the way through.

    And again, I'm not taking about quests. I'm talking about the window into them being so ugly and unusable (if you really want to read the story) that every time I think of replaying it I can't bring myself to it. So bad.

    It also leads to people skipping large portions of text and then being confused, and probably a good number of misguided bug reports.

    And then finally they come to me and say "I finished, I don't really know what it was about."

    If course not, none of us but the most dedicated can read it, we eventually fatigue and just click.

    So we are off topic, though. My point in regards to this topic is you can resell and mess up the rates market all you want, but keep ignoring the new player experience and it doesn't mean squat.

    (Dumping players into a random town isn't going to help much, that needs to be curated with some choice or you will have a bunch of confused, directionless noobs.)
     
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