Microtransaction Discussions

Heretic's picture

Hey guys. We're in the process of finalizing models for support of the game, and would be very interested in your feedback, ideas, thoughts, and opinions.

Some comments:

  • It will be possible to play the game (the WHOLE game) for free. We're not going to put up either hard gates (such as, "You can't play after X amount of time") or soft gates (such as, "You can technically keep playing, but without buying X it becomes increasingly impractical and unrealistic".)
  • While we aren't at this point ruling out some kind of supplementary or optional subscription method, that is not in the current plan.
  • We're likely trying to avoid boosts, as this can de facto create a lot of the above kinds of soft gates, though there may be certain types of numerics for which this could be done more safely.
  • Political Influence (but just Political) specifically we'd like to monetize in some way. Makes the category unique, and seems appropriate (corruption and all). Note that you'd still be able to get Political Influence from just playing the game.
  • One of the big debates internally is how much (or little) to lean on direct purchases with or in addition to a pack model. There are a lot of variations on this (I have a long article on "High Ceilings and High Floors" on my personal blog that goes into my philosophy on this). I think a pack model as part of this could be made to work, but I am not married to it.
  • What things are purchasable? Numerics? Minions? (All, or just some categories?) Traits? (The things that you can apply to Minions). What about minion experience to improve quality?

Looking forward to any feedback people might have!

It is hard to say, since I

wininoid's picture

It is hard to say, since I don't have a good picture of how all the parts tie together. I've read all the posts, but it has been spread out over a while and I admit I read the new stuff, ponder a bit, maybe comment, then forget about it. Not saying anything bad, just that when info is coming out slowly, it is hard to keep it fresh in my head.

That said, my brain has categorized Org as a mix of EVE and the STO DOFF system. With that idea in mind, I think it would be fair to have a few tiers of players. Everyone can run their org and do their thing, but if you want to be involved in the politics (control systems, etc) you have to be a subscriber. Like it Archeage. Lots of players out there consuming the crafted stuff, but you have to subscribe in order to have a farm to make a lot of it. Subscribers need non-subscribers to buy their stuff. The ruling orgs need people to govern/trade with/etc. That has the added benefit of the people helping run the solar system have a monetary stake in it, so they should be more inclined to make sure things go smoothly.

DOFF wise, I'd pay for access to more minions, specialized minions, etc. Again with the idea that if I am a casual player/getting a feel for the game/etc it is free, but if I want to min-max and become the best mining org possible, I'll have to shell out some $$ (or perhaps lots of time) to get there.

Oh, and as a follow-up, are you posting update notices on twitter or anywhere? I don't check the forums here regularly.

@wininoid on twitter

Sorry for not getting back to

Heretic's picture

Sorry for not getting back to this earlier, it somehow slipped through my intricately laid web of spies and surveillance mechanisms.

Once we get to Alpha 2 - sometime later this year with luck - it will be a lot easier for people to see how everything fits together and to give a lot more feedback. I'd love feedback earlier, but the reality is that ORG doesn't have an easy analog to compare it to, and that's definitely our single biggest challenge, far beyond even making the game in the first place.

Comparing ORG to a cross between EVE and STO's Doff system is an excellent comparison. I have, in fact, often called ORG "EVE without the combat sequences" (though in fairness, it can do some things EVE doesn't do.)

I spoke with our lead engineer about the practical realities of this at a platform level (that is, how you actually deploy this on servers that connect with financial institutions), and we're probably not going to launch with a direct subscription system, though we do want to implement some kind of loyalty reward system.

As things are set up, playing free will work pretty well for many people. If you want to get involved in the Political category, being able to put some real money into it will definitely help things, but even that's not required (which is important, since other categories rely on Politics in several places, such as getting permission from a polity to perform archaelogical digs and so on). We expect the vast majority of our revenue will come from supplementary packs with ships, agents, facilities, and resources, with some as well likely coming from rename tokens and similar mechanics.

I actually did do a lot of thinking about a subscriber/non-subscriber model like you're describing, and while I don't think it's the best fit for ORG, I can absolutely see it as an option for a future game running under the engine we're building.

Regarding update notices on twitter, etc. - we're still deciding how broad we want our presence to go. Twitter and Facebook are the leading contenders, and worst case scenario by Alpha 2 we'll have something on that end ready to go. Maybe earlier. Probably earlier, in fact.