Developing Portalarium Virtual Assets & Sales

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Bom, Jan 30, 2017.

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  1. Bom

    Bom Avatar

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    @dallas @DarkStarr @Lord British

    Portalarium is cannibalizing itself, through the depreciation of its own virtual assets, and losing trust with customers by re-releasing once limited or rare pledge and expired virtual assets or significantly similar or better versions thereof.

    In order for customers to spend money on virtual assets they need to perceive those assets as having and maintaining value and need to have trust that the developers will not duplicate or depreciate them in the future. When an asset, or significantly similar version thereof, is re-released it not only depreciates the value of such asset, but it depreciates the perceived value of all Portalarium assets as a whole because customers are given the impression that buying Portalarium assets is a risky investment. As such, customers will be more reluctant to spend money on Portalarium assets in the future. Re-releasing even a single asset damages the brand as a whole.

    Ultima Online developers frequently upset many of their customers that collected rare virtual items by re-releasing server birth rares or other rares with merely a name or color change, but for Ultima Online this insulting practice was not as detrimental to the financial success of the game since revenue was generated through subscriptions. However, for Portalarium it's much more critical to develop the perceived value of its collection of virtual assets and trust with customers since it's a primary source of revenue; the more valuable and trusted Portalarium assets are the more money Portalarium will make.

    Counterfeiting virtual assets may be extremely tempting since there is essentially no immediate cost in doing so, but long-term it still causes the same type of damage that a government inflating the currency does - people lose trust in the government, the currency loses value, and people eventually dump it.

    Fortunately, with virtual assets the imagination is the limit for creating new items or significantly modifying previous ones. In order to develop the value of the Portalarium collection of virtual assets and increase sales Portalarium only needs to be mindful of the existing collection of assets and make better use of the imagination.


    Some examples of detrimental Portalarium dupes:

    Grand Tour Hats "a SPECIAL REWARD that can only be earned this month!"
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    While the Grand Tour rewards were not for sale, re-releasing such a similar asset diminished the reputation of Portalarium. Such early rewards should have been fairly unique, and as a result treasured by customers that put in the effort to earn them early on. In this case a color change and mark is not a very significant difference. The dyeable re-issue may even be considered better in function since the color can be selected.

    "A special, commission free Vendor!"
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    This "special" vendor offered to early backers of the game is not very special. Is there a difference between a special pledge vendor and a bundle vendor currently for sale or are they exact dupes? I have not noticed a difference. At a minimum a change in appearance should have been made, and even better a change in function or design in order to develop rather than diminish Portalarium assets.

    Expired Battle Banner Re-issue
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Customers purchasing "expiring" battle banners undoubtedly lost confidence and trust in Portalarium when the 'expired' assets were quickly re-released in a nearly identical but better Darkstarr red flag. It's bad to re-release an expired asset, but a re-release of a nearly identical, but improved version is even worse. Using a little imagination additional changes in design, function, color or style could have mitigated the damage to both the assets and Portalarium reputation.

    Replenishing Fireworks Box! "Available for a limited time"
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    It turns out these fireworks were not quite "available for a limited time" when a potentially better and identical looking version was re-released years later, providing 250 fireworks instead of the original 50. A re-issue like this is of the most damaging kind to not only the specific asset, but also Portalarium's entire collection of assets and reputation as customers lose confidence in the Portalarium brand and management of assets.

    "A unique, in-game, musical piano for your home!"
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    This piano is not very "unique," since a duplicate, except for the logo, can be crafted, and some might say the one for $10 in the store is classier than the $550 pledge reward. A little more effort and imagination could have gone a long way in developing this asset and the Portalarium brand rather than diminishing them.

    Founder Crafting Stations
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Another high dollar pledge reward re-issued as a bundle item, except for a flag, with the exact same appearance and function otherwise. At a minimum the function or bonus should have been changed, and with a little imagination the appearance could look quite a bit different, better preserving the value of the previous asset and increasing trust in Portalarium rather than diminishing both.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2017
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  2. Weins201

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    Wow

    just

    Wow

    how about Bundles with Land & Water Lots . . . .

    But Wow, nice way to put it
     
  3. Cairo Hayden

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    Yes, I agree. It is unfortunate to see many new items that have become available that are replica's of older rares that just have different names. They truly lose much of there value UNLESS there is a collector out there who specifically wants it for the name and knowing it is truly a rare item.

    Pledge items have lost value with new releases. Lord Marshal great hearth used to sell for $300, now if you are lucky you will get $100-150 and I've seen them go for much less. This price plummeted when fireplaces were released in-game in the add-on store and at the crafting station.
    Sure the great hearth is unique, but who wants to spend the pledge value of that item when they can get one for way cheaper or nearly free by farming some in-game mats.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2017
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  4. The Hendoman

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    thanks for demonstrating this so effectively - I have refused to upgrade or buy addons in this game for the same reason, the re-release of a unique item will devalue the pledge... Sad.

    THE HENDOMAN
     
  5. Bom

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    I just wanted to provide a few clear examples to demonstrate the point, but everyone should please feel free to provide additional ones in the replies.
     
  6. Umuri

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    This was a pretty clear post, and I like how it was laid out with concrete side by sides.
    I can't agree more that the fireworks and snowball boxes were a huge insult.
    If the old items weren't sufficient, THEY should have gotten the buff. Not going, "Oh you paid money? Sucks to be you, everyone else gets something better. You shouldn't have invested your money early".
     
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  7. Barugon

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    I missed out when the original fireworks box was available, so I have to admit that I was pretty happy when they came out with it again.
     
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  8. Waxillium

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  9. Roycestein Kaelstrom

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    This is why I only buy the stuff that I want to use in-game myself rather than hoarding them to sell back from big cash.

    If one wants make any profits from buying any of these items, it's gonna be a long while.

    If you let greed drives your buying motivation, you're gonna have a bad time here.
     
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  10. Malimn

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    Dont forget to talk about land deeds... A couple of months prior to the "Lottery" system, I purchased a lot for 165 and now it is worthless and cannot trade it in... it sits in the bank now unused..

    Also Greenhouses... Store purchase for $50 and you can make the exact same thing in game just not "Greenish" in color.
     
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  11. Onyx

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    It will be interesting to see when they come out with a new and improved Cavalier's Hat.
     
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  12. redfish

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    I agree with some of this, but on some of the points, they made clear from the start that they'd be releasing similar items, even if they were just recolored. Such as with the grand tour hats -- the only reason they have a virtue insignia on them is so there could be a version without the insignia. And a lot of the founder/benefactor rares was meant to be specifically about the insignia.

    I mean, if I took the point 100%, I think you could argue that the winter rottweiler is just a recolor of the normal rottweiler, winter lynx the normal lynx, blood raven the normal raven, and so on.

    This last telethon, they specifically released a red squirrel that was colored differently than the grey squirrels in the game, and put black and white ones in the add-on store. I this last case, they were immediately upfront about it -- which is good -- but ultimately, the point is that part of the value is in small differences. Nonetheless, it wouldn't be good if we wouldn't see eagles, owls, ravens, and so on, in the wild at some point simply because they were similar to items either in pledges, or which were bought in the add-on store -- when they made clear to us pretty early on that they reserved the right to make similar animals available in the game. Because it would be detrimental to the game.

    Also, @Malimn, they spoke from early on in development that lot deeds would be available to players through some means other than the add-on store, and talked about a lottery or something like it as the fairest way to do that.

    So in some of these cases -- and again, particularly regarding lot deeds -- I don't feel Portalarium has broken their trust -- but I think some of you are asking them to break their trust, because you're asking them to break promises they made, or break with things they made clear during the development process, so that your assets don't depreciate.

    On the other hand, I agree with some of what you're saying in the OP and I don't mean to be dismissive. And I 100% agree that Portalarium should communicate their intentions better to players so there is no misunderstanding or faith lost.
     
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  13. smack

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    Since we're going down this path, I'll play...

    Now we also have water houses that can be placed on land! C'mon Portalarium, give us that Lighthouse that can be placed on land! PLEASE!!! :D:D:D
     
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  14. Ashlynn [Pax]

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    The add-on store was never even mentioned in the original kickstart pitch so if some of you feel "trust has been broken" with regards to what is and is not sold there - well I just feel incredibly apathetic about that. When I'm still waiting to see core features and content put into the game without a RL cash-price attached, I just find it difficult to sympathize with people who feel that say... our crippled-feature tour guide hats have been superseded by a better version in the add-on store. Infact my tour guide hats just take up space in my bank... space I have to pay for.

    edit: I'd also like to add that those fireworks are about the only thing we have ever received for free as a holiday item. As far as I am aware, every other holiday item ever has had to be purchased.
     
  15. TEK1

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    Hmmm, this kinda complaint seems familiar.
     
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  16. Frederick Glasgow

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    Why would you make such a cavalier statement? o_O:oops::eek::D:confused:;):)
     
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  17. Sheamus McGuinness

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    Im going to toss my hat in the ring and agree strongly with this OP. While, yes, a true rares collector will want a specific version and know it is the rarest item, some of the "re-releases" they have put out were clearly not thought out very well and it came across like giving many people "the shaft". Re-use the asset to create a new and DIFFERENT looking asset is fine by me, but taking the same thing and recoloring it is just lazy as all hell.

    I think the concept of "digital asset value management" is the real point here. Markets fluxuiate based on perceived value and if Port keeps devaluing their assets the market for them will decline rapidly. With just a few small changes to an asset you can have something truly different, but perhaps a little more thought and care needs to be taken for this stuff in the future so they can think about the long term effects of their decisions.
     
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  18. Earl Atogrim von Draken

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    @ OP bad examples.
    Non the less I see your point.
     
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  19. FrostII

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    It's my opinion that the OP and others here have made a pretty strong case regarding the perception that Port is hedging a bit on promises of "rarity".
    I would love to hear DS or RG's take on these comments.... ;)
     
  20. Numa

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    This is going to be tough to balance between people who are adamantly against pay2win and those who want their rares to be really rare. I can't say I'm not without sympathy with the latter viewpoint though. I did feel a pang when that balloon deco I bought was included in the aeronaut bundle which was sold for significantly less than the original.
     
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