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UPDATED: ACE Q&A for September - Official discussion thread

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The changes to VIP that ACE is making is being done so to address 2 basic problems.

1. The devs have made a decision that the former dependency model was too restrictive and made players too reliant on others. This is a purely opinion based decision.

2. The devs have realized they need to make VIP more appealing than simply buying 2 accounts. Old model required 3 alt accounts to get same archetype option, but provided more profession options when compared to using a single VIP account.

For ACE this represents a loss of $150 in the first year alone for each player who decides to run 2 non-vip accounts ($30 x 2 one time only charges) instead of 1 VIP account. ($30 + (12 * $15)). This represents a significant loss in revenue for the company the first year, but an even greater loss, $180 per player, for each of the following years. If ace had decided that they will just allow both VIP and non-vip to train 2 professions to solve issue #1 it would result in a 2/1/1 vs 2/2/2 scenario or 2/1 vs 2/3 under the old archetype model. If anything this approach would only decrease the value that VIP already represented. Under a 2 account scenario the non-vip now has options that could total 4/2/2 while the VIP has 2/2/2.

In a  2/1/1 vs 2/2/2 scenario, depending if double dipping the same profession is allowed, you really limit the options of how many accounts you need to cover the various profession options. If double dipping a profession is not allowed you only need 3 accounts, Combat/Harvest, Combat/Craft, Harvest/Craft. Obviously there are many lines you could take in each of those professions but 3 accounts could cover 2 of the various lines in each of the professions. If double dipping a single profession is allowed for both VIP and non-vip, then the non-vip player would need 6 accounts to cover the various combinations, Combat/Combat, Combat/Craft, Combat/Harvest, Craft/Craft, Craft/Harvest, Harvest/Harvest. At least with double dipping it would better allow players to play how they want instead of forcing them to play/train a profession they may have no interest in from the start.

My question would be how do you address both problems without triggering the mob into a P2W frenzy? I've covered why I don't have a problem with the new VIP model and why I think double dipping should be allowed so I won't get into that further.

Some players have advocated a 1/1/1 vs 1/2/2 scenario but this does not address problem #1. I can understand and respect players who want to maintain a strict dependency on other players, but I feel this is too easily overcome by someone just running multiple accounts. The beauty of the crafting system is that eventually you don't need the same amount of human input to create items by the use of thralls and factories, which allows the player to do other things such as harvesting to supply those factories or combat.

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14 minutes ago, Verot said:

For ACE this represents a loss of $150 in the first year alone for each player who decides to run 2 non-vip accounts ($30 x 2 one time only charges) instead of 1 VIP account. ($30 + (12 * $15)). This represents a significant loss in revenue for the company the first year, but an even greater loss, $180 per player, for each of the following years. If ace had decided that they will just allow both VIP and non-vip to train 2 professions to solve issue #1 it would result in a 2/1/1 vs 2/2/2 scenario or 2/1 vs 2/3 under the old archetype model. If anything this approach would only decrease the value that VIP already represented. Under a 2 account scenario the non-vip now has options that could total 4/2/2 while the VIP has 2/2/2.

I think most of what you are summarized is true. I think much over the above is over simplified. Not trying to call you out, just want to clarify because we are at that level in the conversation.

First part, this is over simplified and you aren't looking at all the factors. Often a player will buy multiple non-VIP accounts and then stop playing after 1 month. In this case, ACE profits more by players buying multiple accounts. Multiple accounts will always present some favorable options to players who like ALTs. We don't need to try to address every issue here and try to make VIP even or better in all ways to non-VIP. ACE still wins in the multiple account scenario as they have sold their game more than once to the same player. Many game models have no reason to do this.

Also, call me a hooligan.......but my biggest goal isn't to make sure ACE profits. I would like them to profit, but failing to do so is on them and not on me. I don't need to help them solve their money issues. I need them to build a BALANCED game.

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Under a 2 account scenario the non-vip now has options that could total 4/2/2 while the VIP has 2/2/2.

This I really disagree with because this is way too simplified. The 4/2/2 is really just (2/1/1) x 2. Suggesting 4/2/2 makes it sound like you are allowing quadruple dipping and that player would be getting a ridiculous power advantage.

I personally like 2/1/1 for non-VIP and 2/2/2 for VIP, but I would also be satisfied with 1/1/1 for non-VIP and 1/2/2 for VIP. I feel having a difference in the amount of profession trains is in no way acceptable and breaks their ("non-balance affecting") promise during the Kickstarter.

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15 minutes ago, ClockworkOrange said:

Also, call me a hooligan.......but my biggest goal isn't to make sure ACE profits. I would like them to profit, but failing to do so is on them and not on me. I don't need to help them solve their money issues. I need them to build a BALANCED game.

No profits, no game. Anyone who wants to play Crowfall wants the game to be profitable so it continues to exist.

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35 minutes ago, ClockworkOrange said:

First part, this is over simplified and you aren't looking at all the factors. Often a player will buy multiple non-VIP accounts and then stop playing after 1 month. In this case, ACE profits more by players buying multiple accounts. Multiple accounts will always present some favorable options to players who like ALTs. We don't need to try to address every issue here and try to make VIP even or better in all ways to non-VIP. ACE still wins in the multiple account scenario as they have sold their game more than once to the same player. Many game models have no reason to do this.

Also, call me a hooligan.......but my biggest goal isn't to make sure ACE profits. I would like them to profit, but failing to do so is on them and not on me. I don't need to help them solve their money issues. I need them to build a BALANCED game.

This I really disagree with because this is way too simplified. The 4/2/2 is really just (2/1/1) x 2. Suggesting 4/2/2 makes it sound like you are allowing quadruple dipping and that player would be getting a ridiculous power advantage.

I personally like 2/1/1 for non-VIP and 2/2/2 for VIP, but I would also be satisfied with 1/1/1 for non-VIP and 1/2/2 for VIP. I feel having a difference in the amount of profession trains is in no way acceptable and breaks their ("non-balance affecting") promise during the Kickstarter.

ACE only comes out ahead if the game flops quickly. Think of it this way, every year of VIP subscription equals 7 non-vip accounts for the first year. 1 VIP subscription for 4 months equals 3 non-vip accounts in terms of revenue for ACE. Most people would say that the first 4 months is the most volatile time for sustaining users.

The game is not going to be "balanced", the power curves of disciplines, races, and classes are going to be all over the place and the devs have said time and again that balance is not their goal.

4/2/2 is really just 2/1/1 x 2, you are correct, but it still gives me more options than the VIP player which is what most people want VIP to represent. If the purpose of VIP is to get me more options but I can get more options by simply getting multiple accounts for less money, then what value does VIP have?

2/1/1 vs 2/2/2 simply degrades the value of VIP, when VIP is already perceived to be undervalued compared to multiple non-vip accounts.

Non-balance affecting - is priority access to servers non-balance affecting? Grey area for sure, but ask an Archeage player if getting onto a server before other players can affect balance. Apples to oranges comparison? Probably/maybe. Over simplified? Probably/maybe. The truth is we don't know what the server dynamics are going to look like when a new CW opens and players rush in to stake out their territory, BUT the potential is there for advantage.

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So every class based skill tree has two choices but duelist?

 

if I train class basics - Rogue - mercenary- I can play Assasin/ Ranger

 

and then other tree only benefits duelist?

 

will another class be added to balance the tree?

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5 minutes ago, PaleOne said:

So every class based skill tree has two choices but duelist?

 

if I train class basics - Rogue - mercenary- I can play Assasin/ Ranger

 

and then other tree only benefits duelist?

 

will another class be added to balance the tree?

^^^ Jah beat me to it. ^^^

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Bard I believe, but that's post launch.

And the runner up is Tinnis, with more details, but late to the line.

Edited by KrakkenSmacken

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6 minutes ago, PaleOne said:

So every class based skill tree has two choices but duelist?

 

if I train class basics - Rogue - mercenary- I can play Assasin/ Ranger

 

and then other tree only benefits duelist?

 

will another class be added to balance the tree?

todd says the next class he would like to do would be a 'bard' in the scoundrel section:

 

Edited by Tinnis

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On 08/09/2017 at 9:06 AM, Tinnis said:

@jtoddcoleman further thought:

You could always revive an original early element of the skill training design [either in general for "choice" concerns or specifcally for VIP or "double dip" concerns]

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March 2015

"You can train a character in three skills at any one time. They don't all advance at the same rate, however.

You select a primary, secondary and tertiary skill to advance. The primary will advance quickest, followed by the secondary, followed by the tertiary

To reach 100% level with any skill takes 1 month of primary training, 2 months with secondary, 3 months with tertiary"

[either as three or adapt down to just two rates]

I like it. Instead giving VIPs the chance to train twice as faster (faster isnt the word...) than non-VIPs you can make VIP work like a secondary profession would in older games?

Intead of training in melee and ranged like planned today, you would train in ranged (with your normal training sphere) and train at a lower speed in melee using the VIP training sphere.

Instead of being good at everything you still have to make a choice. VIP still stay as a good choice but not as OP.

The perfect example would be someone with a VIP having to choose between wheter to main crafting or fighting. The way it is now, if i got it right, a VIP can just do both without penalties. It can also be applied for Races and classes.

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