Forums » General Pantheon Discussion

A Cash Shop is Being Considered

    • 2395 posts
    January 22, 2021 3:01 PM PST

    Jothany said:

    A restaurant is a very simple concept. You make food and sell it to people who come, pay, and eat. Restaurants have existed for thousands of years. The oldest, still-in-business restaurant on Earth is 296 years old. You would think that by NOW we would have learned how much it costs to run SUCH a simple and predictable business. You would think that anyone could just look at the records, look at the variables of what a new restaurant intends to sell, and figure out what it SHOULD cost for that business to maintain and prosper. But you would be wrong.

    60% fail and close in their first year. 80% in the first 5. Simple businesses with simple products. (Unlike an MMO)

    As it turns out, predicting the future of a business startup is actually HARD. Who woulda' thunk?

     

    All of which is my reply to the various posters here who keep stating with absolute certainty how much it SHOULD cost for Pantheon to survive and prosper. How they SHOULD be just fine with only subs. How they won't NEED a cash shop -unless they're greedy.

     

    (Anyone who wants to impress me with their ability to precisely predict the future can just PM me the winning numbers to the Mega-millions Lottery drawing tomorrow. That'll sure prove me wrong and I promise to invest a big chunk of it in VR.)

    When a restaurant works out they need to raise the prices of their food, they raise the prices of their food and hope people keep paying because it's good enough.

    They don't let rich folks pay more to get the good food quicker. That would guarantee their existing customers get peed off.

    Sure, the subs model might not be perfectly predictable. A cash shop isn't either. What if they pee off all the existing players and the cash shop gets no traffic either?

    • 514 posts
    January 22, 2021 3:05 PM PST

    Taledar said: $25-$50 a month servers with no cash shop and $15 a month with cash shops

     

    Sure, but how would 12 people on a $50 a month server sub be able to do a raid? =-)

    • 19 posts
    January 22, 2021 6:57 PM PST

    I haven't read the entire thread, but I'll say this, cash shop is a terrible idea, even "cosmetic only" ones. it's obvious where this leads, shoddyy looking in game gear and amazing looking MTX. It will lead there.

    • 61 posts
    January 22, 2021 7:11 PM PST

    Not a fan of cash shops (cosmetic or p2w). Now if VR implements a toggle for cosmetic items then I don't have an issue with a cash shop that is cosmetics only. If I can toggle off all cosmetics then I don't see an issue at all. The fact that VR has turned down potential publishers or investment deals because those investors didn't meet VR's standards gives me hope that they will indeed keep it cosmetic only IF there is a cash shop. I saw some good examples of what could be in the cash shop. Crafting item skins. Like a blacksmith hammer, carpenters axe or mallet, Alchemists potion bottles, Fishing Pole or even a Scavengers Pouch could all have cosmetic skins attached to them to make them unique. I would also recommend in game versions that you could find or make that also have skins to them that are not in the cash shop. Emotes are another really good idea for cash shop as long as the games base emotes are good enough on their own. I wouldn't expect /wave to be on the cash shop. A IRL cash shop could be another great source of income. I would buy a Roenick bobble head in a heartbeat as well as a cloth map! I don't think increasing subscription price would be a good idea though. I personally don't have an issue with the sub fee being higher, but I'm sure there are a lot of people who would find the increased sub fee from every other MMO out there to be a turn off. 

     


    This post was edited by WalkingWaste at January 22, 2021 7:12 PM PST
    • 110 posts
    January 22, 2021 7:28 PM PST

    Cash Shops...hrmm,

    This is my stance personally I hate them. As Soon as that door opens then things will get tricky and usually gets out of hand. If I had to vote I would say no. Now I am going to play the other side of this discussion. To help with revenue for the game moving forward keep in mind this is small company from what I understand so if I am wrong please let me know.

    If they did cash shop ( strictly cosmetic only)  have these cosmetic items align to the actual game world .  Example we dont need tuxedos, bunny costumes, motorcycles  ... basically stuff that does not fit in the world of Terminus keep it out! No advantage items or enhancements. No Dyes for armor or funky effects for weapons ( excluding the actual creation of said weapon or crafting enhancements).

    So I am having difficult time supporting the cash shop idea as you can see. I just think it is too easy to cross that  line to either gives advantage to a player or ruins the immersion of the game. Does VR still have their store? .... if so Now I will definitely buy stuff of their . That is tangible item I can hold or wear in real life ( hell, I will be VR walking billboard lol). If they have variety items available I think that would help with the revenues going forward.If that is already in play then I will head over!

    Just my thoughts, VR I trust you guys to make the best decision.

    • 1238 posts
    January 22, 2021 11:25 PM PST

    disposalist said:

    Jothany said: ...

    When a restaurant works out they need to raise the prices of their food, they raise the prices of their food and hope people keep paying because it's good enough.

    They don't let rich folks pay more to get the good food quicker. That would guarantee their existing customers get peed off.

    Sure, the subs model might not be perfectly predictable. A cash shop isn't either. What if they pee off all the existing players and the cash shop gets no traffic either?

    I don't actually know what you're asking me here.

    I would prefer to have no cash shop but this thread was reopened to get ideas about them so I suggested ideas that might upset the fewest people. Did you think I was arguing that I want them?

    • 209 posts
    January 23, 2021 4:42 AM PST
    No cash shop idea:

    Give us one character slot with the purchase of the game, then charge $10-$20 per additional slot.



    • 195 posts
    January 23, 2021 5:20 AM PST

    One thing I think we can all agree on, and I'm sure VR agrees, under no circumstance should the promised game (levels 1-50, 9 races, 12/14 classes, and initial content) be locked behind any paywall other than the base cost of entry into the game. That's a fine way to ensure the game flops before it even gets released.


    This post was edited by eunichron at January 23, 2021 5:21 AM PST
    • 209 posts
    January 23, 2021 5:32 AM PST

    eunichron said:

    One thing I think we can all agree on, and I'm sure VR agrees, under no circumstance should the promised game (levels 1-50, 9 races, 12/14 classes, and initial content) be locked behind any paywall other than the base cost of entry into the game. That's a fine way to ensure the game flops before it even gets released.

     

    It will have a base cost and a monthly subscription. You mean beyond that?


    This post was edited by WarKnight at January 23, 2021 5:32 AM PST
    • 1716 posts
    January 23, 2021 1:53 PM PST

    The possibility of a cash shop? Really Ben Dean? A cash shop is a cash shop. What a disappointment. A higher sub over a cash shop any day, duh. One thing is certain: a Pantheon with a cash shop will be a Pantheon without some initial backers like myself. That’s what I know. Now I am even more certain why I had given up on Pantheon. Only time will tell (I cannot), but tbh I have not been hyped for Pantheon at all since the passing of Brad. Brad said no cash shops, period. He “got us” just like how we “got him.” Apparently some people don’t understand such things. Oh well. At least Project1999 isn’t “like all the rest.” Back to Project1999 for me and that’s just fine~  


    This post was edited by Syrif at January 31, 2021 8:22 AM PST
    • 630 posts
    January 23, 2021 5:39 PM PST

    I realize this is such a touchy subject... but there is a lot more to it than many people realize.

    For those that keep suggesting "Just charge a higher subscription fee", I want to bring to your attention the fact that the large majority of the gamer playerbase does not have the expendable income to handle even a minor increase in the standard subscription rates. The whole reason that the standard rate is the standard rate is because once you start going above that cost the number of subscribers you get will start dropping off at an exponential rate which ends up meaning you will have less overall profit rather than more.

    Have you ever noticed on your favorite Online games store (ie Steam, Epic, GoG, etc...) that many games will launch at say $60-80 and then within only a month or so they go on sale 25-75% off. They know there is only a small part of the market who will pay the $80 in order to get the game right away, but the large majority of the market can only budget on buying maybe 1 game for $15-20 in a given month. So they just put the game on their wishlist and wait for the price to drop down to something within their budget. If the game never comes down to these reasonable rates, the average gamer will need to save up for a few months without spending anything on games in order to splurge a few times a year.

    The companies know this, and so after the initial price gouging for those gamers who can afford it to play the game first, they put it on sale down to where everyone else can get it and their profits soar. The game will then continue to go on sale every few weeks (usually at least once a month) to keep bringing in the true profits every month, but still hoping they can sucker a few of the high rollers to pay the inflated price during the rest of the month.

    When it comes to games with monthly subscriptions, the game companies know that you can't go much above $15/m without drastically dropping the overall numbers of players and thus your overall profits.

    So while I understand how some of you really hate the idea of cash shops selling cosmetics, the solution is never going to be charging more for the subscription. Since this will just lower profits rather than raise them.

    If a company needs more income than the subscription rate can bring, the only real option is to sell 'extras' like cosmetics that only a portion of your base of players can afford to invest in. And they also know that the larger the pool of players, the higher % of that pool will actually spend on cosmetics. This is due to the fact that cosmetics are basically a way for people to show off. People don't buy Lamborghinis because they are a good practical car that are fuel efficient; They buy them so they can show off. So you need a large audience to play your game so that those with the extra cash to spend will feel like there is a big enough audience to show off too. There is no point in having the Uber Awesome dragon mount if there are only 5 other players online to be jealous of you.

    This is where many 'Free-to-play' games fail. They focus too much of their attention on making their 'paying' players happy and don't give enough incentive to their 'free' players to keep playing for free. Then, when their 'free' players all quit and only the people paying for fancy cosmetics are left, those players stop paying for the fancy cosmetics because everyone else has them too and there is nobody left to impress.

    This is why 'Pay-2-Win' is so bad. If the free players feel like only the paying customers can succeed, they quit. Then, all the paying customers stop paying anymore since there is no non-paying players for them to feel 'superior' to.

    This is of course why so many people really hate cash shops overall. Because so many game companies never learn this lesson and let 'Pay-2-win' creep in because they think that they need to cater to the paying audience and keep them the happiest, when it's really the other way around.

    Games that have subcription fee's and then are forced to bring in cash shops later to keep alive, they will also often drop the subcription fee entirely and go 'Free to Play'. They do this to bring in a large influx of new players so that when only a % of them will buy cosmetics, it ends up being a larger number. Of course games like World of Warcraft never needed to do this when they started doing cash shop sales because they already had such a large playerbase still playing.

    The games that truely do well, like Fornite and League of Legends know that the best way to make tons of cash is to really focus on making the game really fun and awesome even for free players, and there is no 'Pay-2-win' of any kind, and then their pool of players will stay huge and more and more % of those players will buy cosmetics to show off to the masses.


    This post was edited by GoofyWarriorGuy at January 23, 2021 5:41 PM PST
    • 209 posts
    January 23, 2021 6:28 PM PST
    I've read a few of Joppa's recent comments on this topic (discord). I'm at ease. We are in good hands. His concerns and vision still align with ours. He is aware of the dissonance between a cash shop and this type of game.

    I think if implemented it will be done properly. I would still rather no cash shop but I am somewhat interested to see what they could come up with. Again, they have been an innovative team so far.
    • 301 posts
    January 23, 2021 7:59 PM PST
    Many of us would pay $25 a month subscription to keep this game going without a cash shop. I don't think charging more than that would be beneficial
    • 390 posts
    January 23, 2021 9:52 PM PST

    You can't claim to recreate the old school MMO and have any sort of cash shop. I don't mind cash shops in some MMO's but it goes against the core principle of this game.

    • 436 posts
    January 24, 2021 2:23 AM PST

    I hate the idea of cash shops. If they have to exist then it should be cosmetic only (no potions or xp gain or equipment with stats or advantage giving) and should not duplicate something you get from adventuring. 

    If the subscriptions cover running costs and development, etc., then there shouldn't be a need unless you are wanting to make large profits and milk your customers. If subscriptions don't cover running costs and development and give profits, then like it or not, they will become a part of the game. I would accept them if the profits are fed back into the game to make it bigger and better. But for me, there is a limit. 

    From what I see and hear coming out of VR, the players experience is the driving force so I will wait and see and if cash shops are introduced, then I will make my mind up at that point. If I don't like what I see, I will move on. Simple. But you have to allow VR to do what they think is best for their game. 

    • 2395 posts
    January 24, 2021 3:35 AM PST

    Jothany said:

    disposalist said:

    Jothany said: ...

    When a restaurant works out they need to raise the prices of their food, they raise the prices of their food and hope people keep paying because it's good enough.

    They don't let rich folks pay more to get the good food quicker. That would guarantee their existing customers get peed off.

    Sure, the subs model might not be perfectly predictable. A cash shop isn't either. What if they pee off all the existing players and the cash shop gets no traffic either?

    I don't actually know what you're asking me here.

    I would prefer to have no cash shop but this thread was reopened to get ideas about them so I suggested ideas that might upset the fewest people. Did you think I was arguing that I want them?

    Your restaurant analog seemed to be suggesting that it was reasonable to use a cash shop because it's difficult to make subs the only way of paying for a game.

    I took the analogy further to point out that cash shops could fail to fix the problem or make it worse, and changing subs (or varying subs) could answer the problem just as well - better in fact - than a cash shop.

    Wasn't really asking a question, just making the point that a subs model having issues doesn't make a cash shop a good idea.

    • 2395 posts
    January 24, 2021 3:40 AM PST

    chenzeme said:

    I hate the idea of cash shops. If they have to exist then it should be cosmetic only (no potions or xp gain or equipment with stats or advantage giving) and should not duplicate something you get from adventuring. 

    If the subscriptions cover running costs and development, etc., then there shouldn't be a need unless you are wanting to make large profits and milk your customers. If subscriptions don't cover running costs and development and give profits, then like it or not, they will become a part of the game. I would accept them if the profits are fed back into the game to make it bigger and better. But for me, there is a limit. 

    From what I see and hear coming out of VR, the players experience is the driving force so I will wait and see and if cash shops are introduced, then I will make my mind up at that point. If I don't like what I see, I will move on. Simple. But you have to allow VR to do what they think is best for their game. 

    Why is a cash shop the only solution to a subs model falling short?

    It's like making a sophisticated restaurant popular with grown ups, seeing you aren't doing well with the food prices where they are so introducing a children's menu and a ball pit.

    It won't fix the issue, it will stop your original customers wanting to be there at all.

    Another suggestion: Don't raise *all* subs, but have premium servers with higher subs that cater to the high end players. If you want to "milk the whales" at least try and do it in a way that doesn't annoy your core players.


    This post was edited by disposalist at January 24, 2021 3:40 AM PST
    • 289 posts
    January 24, 2021 8:14 AM PST

    disposalist said:

    Another suggestion: Don't raise *all* subs, but have premium servers with higher subs that cater to the high end players. If you want to "milk the whales" at least try and do it in a way that doesn't annoy your core players.

    What does "cater to the high end players" mean?  More content?  More/better cosmetics?  Higher drop rates?  I'm not sure where you're going with this.  And if there are "premium" servers wouldn't that divide VR's attention, creating all kinds of new problems, perceived or real, for the non-premium players?

    You also suggest that the whales are not the "core players" despite them being 80%+ of the source of revenue for the game.  I agree that the non-whales are every bit as important as the whales for all the same reasons posted in this thread.  But letting the whales get bored is paramount to cutting off the majority of your revenue and risking the survival of your game.  If your resources are limited, which players would you focus on?

     

    • 373 posts
    January 24, 2021 8:18 AM PST

    A cash shop is a poor fit for this game.

    I was under the impression that your appearance would be based on your achievements just like your stats.

    If extra money is needed sell or rent private servers or something that does not change the game or devalue the accomplishments of the player.

    • 36 posts
    January 24, 2021 10:13 AM PST
    I’d support a cash shop for housing, UI, and cosmetic items that are visible to the buyer only. If no one else can see the items, I don’t see how they can hurt the gaming experience at all.

    Also, collectibles might not be a bad idea, similar to what Steam does with trading cards
    • 2395 posts
    January 24, 2021 1:09 PM PST

    Akilae said:

    disposalist said:

    Another suggestion: Don't raise *all* subs, but have premium servers with higher subs that cater to the high end players. If you want to "milk the whales" at least try and do it in a way that doesn't annoy your core players.

    What does "cater to the high end players" mean?  More content?  More/better cosmetics?  Higher drop rates?  I'm not sure where you're going with this.  And if there are "premium" servers wouldn't that divide VR's attention, creating all kinds of new problems, perceived or real, for the non-premium players?

    You also suggest that the whales are not the "core players" despite them being 80%+ of the source of revenue for the game.  I agree that the non-whales are every bit as important as the whales for all the same reasons posted in this thread.  But letting the whales get bored is paramount to cutting off the majority of your revenue and risking the survival of your game.  If your resources are limited, which players would you focus on?

    It was just a suggestion - I'm not saying it is the only answer - and you raise good points.

    There are, indeed, all sorts of possibilities for 'catering to high end players'.  Whatever it would be, the point would be that the core game - that being played on most servers - would/should be uneffected, rather than mixing those that want a cash shop (or whatever other 'pay' service) with those that don't.

    Yes, premium 'things' may well split VR's attention and I would vastly prefer that things like a cash shop are not even considered, but if there will be things like a cash shop they should perhaps be a seperate experience - like a seperate server - so as not to 'taint' the core experience unnecessarily.

    As for whales, I do, indeed, suggest they are not 'core players'.  They may well be responsible for 80% of the revenue in some games but they are not the majority and that does not mean you should do things that degrade the experience of the rest of the playerbase to cater to their desires.

    VR are already targeting a niche audience for good reason.  They are choosing to potentially get less money than a company that targets a wider 'mass' market.  I believe that if they stick to their principles and target that niche that what will actually happen is they will garner an audience outside the target niche and *create* a very large audience without pandering to what is currently considered 'appealing' to the masses.

    But if they go for a cash shop - and why not other compromises? - then they will be targeting the same modern MMO audience we know doesn't stick around for long and be doing it at the expense of the 'old school' (for want of a better term) audience they currently have interested and are known to be long-term very loyal.

    I'm sure VR are clever enough to come up with a way to let rich players get special treatment without something that will adversely effect others, like a cash shop.  If a cash shop does turn out to be an irresistable measure, then they could also work out a way to introduce it without effecting everyone.

    I'm hopeful...

    • 2395 posts
    January 24, 2021 1:17 PM PST

    gamexilor1 said: I’d support a cash shop for housing, UI, and cosmetic items that are visible to the buyer only. If no one else can see the items, I don’t see how they can hurt the gaming experience at all. Also, collectibles might not be a bad idea, similar to what Steam does with trading cards

    Things that cannot be seen in game would limit the effect, but it still would have an effect.

    If anyone *can* buy a shiny golden breastplate in the shop for $1, then the shiny golden breastplate earned in game is not going to feel very special.

    It would be even *worse*, yes, if you see lots of people running around in a shiny gold breastplate that they bought for cash, but still, some people do dress up for the way they look to themselves, not to others, so those people might not bother adventuring for the shiny gold breastplate.

    They aren't going to ask someone where they got their BP and strike up a conversation or set up and adventuring group to get their own, they will just go to the cash shop.

    You might think *shrug* doesn't effect me, what they do, I won't know, but you will know and it will effect you. It will put a subtle split in the community in a game that is supposed to be all about community (much like a cosmetics toggle, but let's not start that argument again...)


    This post was edited by disposalist at January 24, 2021 1:17 PM PST
    • 1238 posts
    January 24, 2021 6:23 PM PST

    disposalist said:

    Your restaurant analog seemed to be suggesting that it was reasonable to use a cash shop because it's difficult to make subs the only way of paying for a game.

    I took the analogy further to point out that cash shops could fail to fix the problem or make it worse, and changing subs (or varying subs) could answer the problem just as well - better in fact - than a cash shop.

    Wasn't really asking a question, just making the point that a subs model having issues doesn't make a cash shop a good idea.

    Ok, now I understand. The restaurant analogy was only to bolster the point that if we can't predict accurately what a restaurant should cost - after humans have been running them as businesses for a thousand years - then claims of what a MMORPG "should" cost, as made by a few posters, are not very credible in my view. (and you're lucky I resisted making a TERRIBLE pun based on you using the word 'subs' in a comment about both restaurants and MMOs)

    I also agree that a cash shop is not the only - or necessarily best - choice if subs aren't keeping up with costs. I already endorsed paying a higher monthly sub. But I also know that every increase in price unquestionably causes SOME loss of subscriber base and that there is always a point of diminishing returns where more is lost than gained.

    • 1846 posts
    January 24, 2021 9:02 PM PST

    Who are these so-called "whales"? or rather,

    Is there any public information that can substantiate that places like Blizzard get 80% of their income from 2% of the player base? or whatever it is.

    Is there a place or is there verifiable published documentation from these companies where I can see such things expressed? like an annual report or something?

    If there isn't I would tend to think it's conjecture ("Surely, you will not die"). A probability outcome from one of the many scenarios run through QAnon. A broken clock is right twice a day. Edgar Cayce had better  predictability. Someone didn't read their Asimov or else, like the Asimov story, they would have discovered the cure for cancer by now from creating an algorithm to analyze all the research that has been done on it. Lorenzo's Oil, ffs.(great movie, after the ending, the testimonies are powerful)

     

    • 630 posts
    January 25, 2021 11:22 AM PST

    Manouk said: "Is there any public information that can substantiate that places like Blizzard get 80% of their income from 2% of the player base? or whatever it is. Is there a place or is there verifiable published documentation from these companies where I can see such things expressed? like an annual report or something?"

    This isn't specific to Blizzard, but https://www.accrediteddebtrelief.com/blog/mmo-money-mmo-problems/

    For those who don't want to read this article, it basically says that 90% of their polled gamers said they have spent money on in-game purchases with the average being $229 total (ie their entire time playing that game). They do have a full breakdown of per game, per age, per gender, per genre, etc...

    Of course this was just a poll done by this site, and so it's a limited sample size and of course limited to those who felt they wanted to be part of the poll.

    You can also check out: https://www.statista.com/statistics/1104745/video-gaming-dlc-spend-game/ which might be a little more accurate but I think you need to get a membership with the site to get full details of the report.


    This post was edited by GoofyWarriorGuy at January 25, 2021 11:32 AM PST