Public Forum Posting Privileges $5 Nice

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Razimus, Jun 23, 2015.

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  1. Razimus

    Razimus Avatar

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    It means you're online.
     
  2. Xenar

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    Thanks, that makes sense.
     
  3. Sold and gone

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    I think its great personally. It will keep the number of people making alt accounts to a minimum to bolster numbers on topics and reinforcing their own opinions. :D
     
  4. majoria70

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    Besides it doesn't stop people being able to read what we are up to and if they are interested then they can jump on board. Why is not being able to post a deterrent? I have read forums on a subject before without posting.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2015
  5. Katrina Bekers

    Katrina Bekers Localization Team

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    I proposed to erect a paywall as soon as the problem surfaced.

    It's not a good solution, however. It's just the best solution with the resources at hand. Unfortunately. :(
     
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  6. jkinkead

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    So if I am already a backer of the game, I have to then pay an additional 5$ just to use the forums associated with the game? This just can't be the case, I must be confused?
     
  7. jiirc

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    You are. If you have pledged to the game, you don't need an extra $5. But then you know that because you just posted to the forums.
     
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  8. jkinkead

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    If it was June 29th already, you would be correct.
     
  9. Katrina Bekers

    Katrina Bekers Localization Team

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    Any backer of the game can post in the forum, starting on 29th.

    The new pledge level at $5, grants forum posting rights as its only pledge reward.
     
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  10. Logain

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    You both are running a dangerous assumption. A good deal of potential customers is ~NOT~ going to ~INVEST~ countless hours. If they happen to have a question, they want/expect the possibility to just ask. I'm going to give you a recent great example. Serillian took the time to provide feedback, but not the several hours to read and listen up on all the topics (hardly any of the points in the posting hasn't been discussed and explained). That is normal and perfectly fine behaviour.
    The decision to ask enough money to purchase three decent games on Steam during sale, just to ask your question is 'oil on the flames' (PUN intended) of the good chunk of customers that claim SotA is heading too much down the microtransaction/money extraction road. I couldn't tell you another game forum that I've seen/posted on that has pay to post.
    As I tend to try and provide constructive criticism, while I can understand the dilemma, I'd have taken a different route. If you have a high number of bad customers, but an even higher number of good customers, it might be better to temporary hide all postings of a non pledge member when 2 pledge members have reported the person and set them up as list for moderation.
    You have a next to instant clean forum, the moderators have a low workload on the moderation and the amount of false positives should be negligible, given that the reporting is a 'paid privilege'. The reported person has the option to complain (and escalate the complaint) in order to prevent abuse. That would have been my suggestion. Cost efficient and far, FAR less bad publicity then pay to post on a game that already has bad pay to win publicity.
     
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  11. Browncoat Jayson

    Browncoat Jayson Legend of the Hearth

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    It would have been better to create a small public forum designed for non-backers, with FAQ items and such pinned, and make the existing General Forums read-only unless you are a backer. This would preserve external feedback, while keeping the majority of the forum spam free.

    As a work around, I think the paywall will work, but as Dallas noted this is a temporary solution that fails in a lot of areas.
     
  12. Spoon

    Spoon Bug Brigade - Bug Hunter

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    Nah, what it really does is drive uncertain people to the STEAM SotA forums where SPAM mitigation is already in effect.

    I would prefer it if @dallas put the STEAM discussions link in the statement and on the site, and on the $5 pledge thingie.
    https://steamcommunity.com/app/326160/discussions/
    That way people know that they are still welcome with their questions and discussions.
     
  13. Logain

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    Would you really want to get uncertain potential customers exposed to the Steam SotA forum instead of here and hope for a similar retention rate? ^^
     
  14. Sold and gone

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    the steam forums have the same mods as here. Questions can be answered there just as well as here. Actually its probably better to contain them in one area instead of 2 areas.
     
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  15. JDGamers

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    Can always use reddit as well which is free. There is a Shroud of the Avatar subreddit already in place - although there currently is not much activity.
     
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  16. Myrcello

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    Hello Community Friends.

    I thought this would be a intresting read for all of you.

    The Developers from Pantheon did also choose to Charge for Forum Access. Even a monthly fee of 5 Dollars.


    Please read from Brad McQuaid , the Key Designer form Everquest, why the choose to Charge for Forum Discussions also.



    It is a great Blog telling further reasons or perspectives.


    https://www.pantheonrotf.com/blogs/151/43/why-charge-for-forum-Access


    A made a copy paste of the Blog postet from the Developer explaining it to the community.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Brad Mc Quaid:

    Why Charge for Forum Access?



    The following is what I posted on a message board in response to the assertion that we shouldn’t charge for access to our forums on www.pantheonrotf.com.



    I took some time in responding so I was thinking – why just post it there? Why not make it my next blog? So here it is – just remember the context – I am responding to a post on a non-official forum:

    --------

    Yes, let's be super clear here. You are correct: we are requiring a sub or a pledge at a certain level if the person wants full read & write access to the forums and other areas that that allow the person to express their opinions and thoughts, and, more importantly, to be heard.



    Now let's talk about why we set it up that way, and there is no simple or one answer -- it was a decision based on several different factors and goals.



    That said, before I attempt to explain our reasoning you'll need to first check out the site yourself and wrap your head around it in general. No, you don't need to spend hours checking it out, but neither will just speed reading through it give you the understanding and context you'll need to really understand my points as they relate to why we chose to require subscriptions to participate in the Think Tank, the game design & mechanics, forums, etc. Also, by visiting www.pantheonrotf.com you’ll see that there’s a whole lot more to the site than just creating an exclusive pay-to-participate forum. It’s really designed to help build community for Pantheon now, so people don’t have to wait for the game to be released. It’s designed so that people can start making friendships now with people. Sure, anyone can set up a fan site or a guild site and interact there – they don’t need us for that. But what our site can do, because it is the ‘official’ site, is help bring people together who didn’t already know each other.



    You can find out all about the game reading through the site, the FAQ, the Wiki. You can download official concept art, screenshots, and wallpapers. You can watch the various interview videos we’ve participated in over the last 40+ days. You can advertise and promote yourself or your guild starting now. You can upload cool videos of your group overcoming a boss mob in EQ 1, Vanguard, and other MMOs. You can reminisce about the past and plan ahead for the future. It’s really a comprehensive web site with a lot of time and effort put into it to get it to this point (while we’re guilty of not planning enough and not releasing enough info on Kickstarter, I don’t think the same accusations can be made about our web site and this new, second phase of crowdfunding).



    You'll also need to understand one of our core tenets, because most of the reasons explaining why we did what we did are based on our belief in that tenet and may not make sense if you are unaware of the tenet, or even if you don't agree with the tenet. Ok, here it is: We believe very strongly that not only is a solid community necessary for a game like Pantheon to work, but that we, the developers, have a responsibility to help support and build that community. And that if we’re going to make a game for a specific audience, that we darn well better listen to that audience and get into the game what’s important to them.



    Ok, let's jump into the reasons for requiring a subscription to interact with parts of the web page. Note please that they are in not in any particular order.



    1. Fan sites are very important and we need to support them, not compete with them. We like to support these fan sites for a variety of reasons and in a variety of ways. We want to do interviews with them. We want to occasionally give them some exclusive info or exclusive artwork (early on concept art, but then, later on, actual in-game screenshots). We want our team to occasionally go to these fansites and support them by posting on their forums. We want fan sites that are general, but we also like fan sites that have specific audiences... say one that is focused on PvP, or role playing, or raiding, etc.



    But we don't, especially early on, have the resources and time (and even sometimes the desire) to set up sites similar to these fan sites… and we usually don't have the manpower to properly moderate open forums. We also usually don't have the time or people to set up official sites dedicated to specific aspects of the game (like PvP, role playing, documenting quests and item rewards, etc.) Most fan sites have forums. These forums are usually open to everyone who signs up. These forums are usually moderated, but to what degree varies. We realize that many people like open forums with minimum moderation.



    So, bottom line, we don't want to allocate resources to try to compete with our fan base by creating sites that are really just another fan site, but 'official'. If we do, this is what happens (and this is supported by history, because I've been involved with projects that have done just what we are saying we don't want to do): we either end up supporting a fan site or two (usually the better built ones and/or the more popular ones) by contributing, posting, etc. This results in those who frequent the official site wondering why we have official sites at all, and so they either sit around and complain that we're not frequently supporting the official sites too, or they simply leave and migrate to one of the sites we are actively supporting. Or, the exact opposite occurs: we end up only posting to and supporting the official sites. This draws traffic away from the fan sites, which just isn't cool and certainly not community-friendly behavior. The fan sites then typically don't take off because hardly anyone is visiting them and there is a genuine feeling of negativity and disappointment towards the dev team because those running the fan site and also those participating in the fansite feel ignored. And rightfully so! So we don't want either scenario to occur. We want fan sites that are sufficiently well done and well moderated enough to warrant us visiting their site, participating in interviews, posting on their forums, etc.



    Quite simply: we want a community that is not only interested in the game, but also in participating in various fan sites depending upon their interest in different aspects of the game. We don't want to mirror those efforts and create 'official' versions of fan sites. We're not interested, we think it's bad for community, and we likely won't ever have the resources to do everything all fan sites do. Instead, we like to see various fan sites appear and bring to them different types of players, focusing on this or that.



    2. We want the community to participate in the development of Pantheon. Yes, I know, almost everyone says that. It's almost cliché. But in our case, harnessing the community, listening to what they want, seriously considering their ideas, etc. are core to what we're up to. Look at how we began things: we brought the game to you all via kickstarter in an attempt to not only raise money to help pay for developing the game, but also to make sure there were enough people out there interested in what we were specifically trying to do. (And there are, btw, even though we didn’t reach our goal – KS showed that there are easily enough people out there who want a game like Pantheon. The number of people willing to fund a game that is still somewhat vague and also 3 years out is a small number. The number of people willing to pay to play a game like Pantheon after it’s released is a much bigger number. It takes some math and some metrics, but the way investors have been looking at our numbers has been very encouraging).



    Anyway, so because we are not trying to make an MMO that does everything and attempts to appeal to everyone, it is extremely important that we reach out to those who ARE our target audience. If we make a game targeting a specific audience or niche but we end up building an MMO that actually doesn't appeal to that audience but instead maybe to another audience or even to nobody at all, then we are screwed. A larger more general purpose MMO can survive this kind of scenario -- maybe they really screw up and make a horrible PvP system. Well, they may not get PvPers to subscribe to their game, but because their game is so broadly focused, they still bring other types of players to their game. They survive unless they somehow fail to appeal to absolutely everyone. We don't. We either make a game that appeals to our target audience, or we don't have a game worth developing, launching, etc.



    So we need to listen... really listen. This is not lip service, but the real thing. And that requires setting up a way for those people to effectively communicate to and with us. So instead of creating general forums and reading countless posts about all sorts of things, we want to create forums and other means of communication where we're hearing not only from our target audience, but also those specifically within that audience who have the time and talent to come up with really good and new ideas… to supply us with specific feedback regarding specific game features and mechanics. This simply is not achievable with more general boards you see at your typical fan site. Without the proper setup, you get all sorts of people in your forums with all sorts of different agendas. Some want to try to convince us that we're making the wrong game, that bunches of people don’t want a challenging game that focuses on grouping (for example) -- they're there to try to get us to change our vision. Then there are those who are interested in Pantheon, but really prefer to talk about more esoteric topics, or topics that are too general. And then there are the trolls, who come to your site and really just want to create contention and discord. They want to turn the community against the developer. They want to try to make people think they're smarter and better at making MMOs than the devs and therefore the actual developers had better listen to them. They encourage other people to reject or heavily question game features and tenets. Why? Whew, there are all sorts of reasons and 1. I'm not a Psychologist and 2. this post is too darn long in the first place.



    So if we truly desire and need feedback and ideas from people in our target audience who enjoy thinking about game design theory and who want to participate in game development, then we have to come up with a better way to listen, respond to, and even engage in dialog with those people. We have to weed out those who want us to instead make a different game. We have to weed out trolls who just want to make trouble, or who want to be heard so badly that if they don't feel like we're listening they go into some sort of rage. We need to weed out those who are indeed part of our target audience, but really prefer to talk about all sorts of things with their fellow fans. Instead of wanting to get into serious discussion about MMO game mechanics, they'd rather simply meet friends who have similar tastes, or simply don't care -- they really don't think hard about what make MMOs tick, but when they hear about a game that appeals to them they want to be involved, but just not at a super deep detail level.



    So, that's it, albeit a bit long winded: in summary we want to support fan sites, we don't want to run and moderate general forums. We do want to engage in dialog with people who are part of our target audience and who have great ideas and a desire to articulate them. We have no patience and time for trolls. We can't overly worry about upsetting a person on the forum who one minute was a big Pantheon fan, but then, in the next, a hater because they don't feel listened to, or felt that while we were technically listening, we really were not truly listening because we didn't simply agree with them and promise to include a feature or two that has been dear to them for years.



    So we thought long and hard about how to accomplish our goals. We looked at other message boards, official and unofficial. We looked at some of the newer social media methods of dialoging with your audience (reddit and the like). And we came up with the following:



    1. Create a system that requires people to pay monthly to participate. Why? Sure, to make some cash on the side, but that's not the biggie: the biggie is to weed out those who aren't really serious about having that dialog with us. Most people who just want to casually interact with developers don't want to spend money to do so. Most people who want to mandate to developers that their pet mechanic or feature be implemented or else they'll never play another one of your games until the day they die, don't want to spend money to be heard. And then most people who actually derive pleasure by seeding discontent and flaming not just ideas but people... most of those troublemakers don't want to have to pay to do this -- there are plenty of other places they can do their thing without having to pay for it. Also, when you have to pay for something, anonymity generally goes out the window. The game developers will know who you are, have your contact info, etc. And while some people will do horrible things in a mob, most will not do horrible things as an individual whose name and info is known by those they would have normally wanted to attack.



    2. It's also hard to really have effective communication if there are just too many people to communicate with. So charging money removes some of the good people too because they can't afford to participate, or perhaps they can afford it, but having that dialog just isn't sufficiently important for them to pay a monthly fee.



    But we also felt that charging money wasn't enough. This is where we started looking at reddit and the like. In those kinds of systems they deal with the problem of getting too much feedback all at once. They also deal with the problem of the developer feeling obligated to answer everyone's ideas, no matter how strange, because, well, they did pay to be heard. This is where the voting system comes in. When a subscriber brings an idea or comment or concern to the developers, other subscribers have to agree that the idea or comment or concern is a really important one. There is a realization that the developer simply doesn't have the bandwidth to really consider each and every idea out there, even if those ideas are coming from very serious people who were willing to pay to participate in the creative process. So you set up a voting system and, hopefully, only the ideas and issues that really resonate with most of the subscribers make it to the top where they are heard and considered by the dev team. This means less ideas or issues for the developers to have to take seriously and devote time into addressing or implementing. Only the really popular ones make it to a point where a developer is going to really devote time and money into researching and possibly even implementing.



    Now, none of this is of course fair or efficient or a perfect system by any stretch of the means. What about the guy who really wants to be involved, who really cares, but simply cannot afford to subscribe? Or, what about the guy who has some crazy cool ideas, but for some reason his fellow subscribers don't understand what he's really trying to say? He might be onto something absolutely genius but his 'peers' don't understand and so it doesn't get up-voted and the developers then don't hear about it. In those scenarios the pay and be voted-up setup fails or isn’t sufficient. It's like democracy -- it's a sucky political system, but it's also the best system we human beings have come up with thus far.



    So that's it. That's why we're doing what we're doing. We don't want to compete with or hurt fan sites. We don't want to have to create forums with uber-strict moderation that ends up stifling everybody, not just the troll. We do want to hear from members of our target audience who are serious about being heard and who have ideas and comments that their fellow subscribers also want us to hear. And so that's why we came up with the system we did. It's nothing new or super innovative -- others have done it before, and it will be done again. It doesn't work perfectly, but it's the best setup people have come up with thus far.



    And then, of course, here I am posting on a forum that I don't control, that is free, that doesn't have voting, and where I will almost positively be flamed for what I just wrote. You have to love the irony :) But really it supports our assertion that we still want to participate in forums that we don't control and that we still want to reach out to the general MMO public and talk about Pantheon. Our more complicated official system that requires people to subscribe is of course very important to us and we hope that it succeeds in making the signal to noise ratio something easy to deal with and where we can get some great ideas and feedback that then make it into the actual game. But we also know that our new system is not perfect and that by remaining committed to reading and posting to boards and threads like this one we will come across some good ideas... diamonds in the rough, so to speak. The difference is that all or even most of our time won't go into supporting fan sites and posting to forums we don't control. We'll still be around, but a lot of our time will now be allocated now to our own site, to our Think Tank.



    -Brad McQuaid

    2/27/2014



    Kind regards Myrcello
     
  17. Spoon

    Spoon Bug Brigade - Bug Hunter

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    There was no emotional weight there. I'd rather that they have a voice and can ask questions regardless of where.
    I don't think that we can convert the curious into rifters at the same rate at STEAM than in the official SotA forums but I do think that we could get more than if they have no 'official' place to go at all.
     
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  18. Haukeye

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    At first when I saw this I thought good grief another money grab. I then saw the post with the link of why they are doing what they are doing. Good call, I think this is something we need to stop the spam, or at least make em pay to do their stupid spam posts each time :)
    Two things I hate that happen in game forums and in game is spamming and gold seller spam. Good for you Portalarium!
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2015
  19. E n v y

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    I have no issue with it at all........there is more info floating around than you can shake a stick at in order for someone to make a decision over spending $45

    - FAQ
    - Hangouts
    - Forum to view
    - Youtube
    - IRC

    After having access to all that information and indeed to players via IRC......if a person is still unwilling to spend $5 then they certainly won't spend $45..........most people who have bought the game probably have never logged onto the forum anyway.
     
  20. majoria70

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    They said it is a temporary fix Logain. Also it was said it will be addressed further.:)
     
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