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General Discussion  » Wondering about this Kickstarter and what they were thinking

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31 posts found
  AIMonster

Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/31/08
Posts: 2007

 
OP  1/09/13 12:21:51 PM#1

Let me just start by saying I backed the project, but there are a lot of red flags here and I don't fully understand what they are thinking here:

1.  The fact there is a subscription at all.  Look at a list of upcoming MMOs and you'll see more and more moving to buy to play and F2P model.  You don't need a sub to maintain your game.  Subs do not increase player retention either, in fact I'm less likely to casually log on because it's difficult to justify paying for a sub if I'm only playing the game for a couple hours a week.

2.  On top of the sub there will be a cash shop.  Even if it's not pay to win it leads a bit to the whole double dipping argument.

3.  Beta requiring subscription time which is flat out ridiculous.  Even if your beta is closer to release I see no reason for doing this.

4.  Beta being gated by number of players can join, so mechanical advantages gained from beta due to lack of character wipe will be even greater than those that didn't get in the first round beta or worse starting at release.

5.  Kickstarter rewards offering mechanical advantages (especially the new addons posted) even if they are minor to give people who funded the Kickstarter even more of an in game advantage at the start.  Keep in mind this is a sub based game, not pay to win.

6.  Kickstarter page initially lacking information on the game which required you to dig through pages of pages of blog posts to get a sense of features in game.  This has since been remedied, but I feel it may have been too late.

7.  The fact that they already raised $300k from another kickstarter for their "technology" demo.

8.  The fact they have investors and probably don't need to be using Kickstarter.  They basically have publishers/investors (Paizo) so why are they asking for crowdsource funding?  The idea behind it is that you don't need to be controlled by outside sources such as investors and publishers for your project.

9.  Daily deals benefiting early backers the most means the Kickstarter likely won't gain the massive momentum that projects tend to get the last few days of Kickstarter (traditionally about 20-25% of your funding comes these last few days).  The whole concept of daily deals is a bit lame to be honest and I consider this more a failure experiment personally then a success.  Those items should be given as a bonus to all backers, but now it's simply too late to go back on that.

10.  The release and beta being so far away.  I think they would have benfitted from spending more time on development (which they clearly have funding for) before starting the Kickstarter.  Funding something we won't see tangible rewards for in almost 3 years time is a bit too much of a wait.

Keep in mind despite all this the game looks fantastic and I'd hate to tell people who might be interested in backing to not back it, but these things need to be noted and it's not exactly an attractive deal to MMO players even if the game is promising several outstanding features that should pull the genre forward.

Again, I'd hate to see the Kickstarter fail.  I backed it, but it might be for the best.  It might send a message about things like sub fees, paid betas, cash shops, and pay to win (however minor the advantages).  At the moment it looks like it's going to come up short (by at least $100k, probably signficantly more) so we'll have to see their reaction when it does.  I guess at this point it could still possibly succeed, but it's highly unlikely.

 

Raptr link because it's the cool new trend:

  Dakcenturi

Novice Member

Joined: 1/08/13
Posts: 29

1/09/13 1:17:56 PM#2
To address some of your points

1) After Early Enrollment the game with go to a hybrid sub/F2P model. You can sub to get extra benefits. Otherwise you can earn in-game coin and buy training time with in-game coin.

3) The point is to have customers that want to build the community in the early days and advance the game to a really solid state as far as the community is concerned before the masses join. Additionally, the way they are talking about their early enrollment is that it will be more like you would see quality wise for a release of a standard MMO rather than the beta of a standard mmo

4) With the estimated full-level in one class taking a significant amount of time, a few months won't make a significant difference. They've mentioned their goal is to minimize the level gap so that a vet character isn't crazy overpowered compared to a couple new characters.

5) I think they do need to clarify this, I am hoping the mechanical advantages aren't actually game influencing advantages but rather fluff mechanical advantages.

7) The tech demo and the this KS are completely different and serve seperate purposes. This tech demo was to get the demo funded so they could obtain initial funding. Now that they have initial funding this KS is meant to help speed up development and allow for about a 1 year jump in release. Whether this KS is funded or not the game will still be released, just a year later.

8) See point 7 above.

9) They may offer an addon for them, like $5 or something at the end?

  BlueMountain

Novice Member

Joined: 8/28/06
Posts: 91

Lo, the mighty Oak.

Just a little nut who stood his ground.

1/09/13 1:31:54 PM#3
Originally posted by Magnum2103

Let me just start by saying I backed the project, but there are a lot of red flags here and I don't fully understand what they are thinking here:

1.  The fact there is a subscription at all.  Look at a list of upcoming MMOs and you'll see more and more moving to buy to play and F2P model.  You don't need a sub to maintain your game.  Subs do not increase player retention either, in fact I'm less likely to casually log on because it's difficult to justify paying for a sub if I'm only playing the game for a couple hours a week.

The sub is only during beta: they still have to pay for operating costs and won't be ready to have the store going...because it is in beta. There is to be no subscription per se after release, although I would anticipate something like a 'premium' service you could purchase. The release version is to be f2p with a cash shop. Other hand some things are going to be easier if you use the cash shop.

2.  On top of the sub there will be a cash shop.  Even if it's not pay to win it leads a bit to the whole double dipping argument.

See above

3.  Beta requiring subscription time which is flat out ridiculous.  Even if your beta is closer to release I see no reason for doing this.

See above

4.  Beta being gated by number of players can join, so mechanical advantages gained from beta due to lack of character wipe will be even greater than those that didn't get in the first round beta or worse starting at release.

So they plan to reward those who are helpful. Doesn't seem like a terrible idea, really.

5.  Kickstarter rewards offering mechanical advantages (especially the new addons posted) even if they are minor to give people who funded the Kickstarter even more of an in game advantage at the start.  Keep in mind this is a sub based game, not pay to win.

Rewarding... etc. as above.  Plus those mechanical advantages are exceedingly slight from what I can see and will be quickly made obsolete by player created content (crafted goods).

6.  Kickstarter page initially lacking information on the game which required you to dig through pages of pages of blog posts to get a sense of features in game.  This has since been remedied, but I feel it may have been too late.

True. It appears to have been designed one night around a coffee table in a hurried sort of way.

7.  The fact that they already raised $300k from another kickstarter for their "technology" demo.

Not a problem as far as I can see. What is the issue there?

8.  The fact they have investors and probably don't need to be using Kickstarter.  They basically have publishers/investors (Paizo) so why are they asking for crowdsource funding?  The idea behind it is that you don't need to be controlled by outside sources such as investors and publishers for your project.

I don't see that as a problem either since they were and are up front about it. They are fully fundded but they could really use some artists and level designers in order to get it ll out the door to us faster. They make the $1 mil it gets here a year sooner. The make $3 mil it might get here a couple years sooner, like 2015 IIRC

9.  Daily deals benefiting early backers the most means the Kickstarter likely won't gain the massive momentum that projects tend to get the last few days of Kickstarter (traditionally about 20-25% of your funding comes these last few days).  The whole concept of daily deals is a bit lame to be honest and I consider this more a failure experiment personally then a success.  Those items should be given as a bonus to all backers, but now it's simply too late to go back on that.

Depends on what the later daily deals are doesn't it? Isn't the objective of making the daily deals in the first place an incentive to get in early?

10.  The release and beta being so far away.  I think they would have benfitted from spending more time on development (which they clearly have funding for) before starting the Kickstarter.  Funding something we won't see tangible rewards for in almost 3 years time is a bit too much of a wait.

So you already knew about that before you made some of your objections above? Then that means...

Keep in mind despite all this the game looks fantastic and I'd hate to tell people who might be interested in backing to not back it, but these things need to be noted and it's not exactly an attractive deal to MMO players even if the game is promising several outstanding features that should pull the genre forward.

Actually it still looks like a helluva deal especially if you get in at the higher levels of funding because those include all those daily deals you would have missed.

Again, I'd hate to see the Kickstarter fail.  I backed it, but it might be for the best.  It might send a message about things like sub fees, paid betas, cash shops, and pay to win (however minor the advantages).  At the moment it looks like it's going to come up short (by at least $100k, probably signficantly more) so we'll have to see their reaction when it does.  I guess at this point it could still possibly succeed, but it's highly unlikely.

I think its okay for them to ask for the money they want to do the things they describe and its okay for us to back them if we can afford it and belive in what they are trying to do, which is to FINALLY build a Fantasy Online RPG the way it ought to be done. After thirty years of trying we might actually get one done right!

 

 

To dream, perhaps to be.

  tom_gore

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/27/09
Posts: 1803

1/09/13 1:33:54 PM#4
7. The issue is that the tech demo looked crap and if it took 300k to make it, no amount of money will see these guys to making a game that's actually good.
  BlueMountain

Novice Member

Joined: 8/28/06
Posts: 91

Lo, the mighty Oak.

Just a little nut who stood his ground.

1/09/13 1:39:41 PM#5
Originally posted by tom_gore
7. The issue is that the tech demo looked crap and if it took 300k to make it, no amount of money will see these guys to making a game that's actually good.

Yep it was retty bad but it did what it was supposed to and got the project off the ground and funded. My understanding is that they only used the budget they targeted in th kickstarter which left the other $220K or so for picking up middleware and the like.

I think the conclusion you project has no merit.

To dream, perhaps to be.

  MumboJumbo

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/18/10
Posts: 3114

Veni, Vidi, Converti

1/09/13 2:31:37 PM#6

WIth all due respect... 

Here's my take on it:

  • Subs: Fits this game design like a glove
  • Beta: It's selective, people really amped will pay and in exchange form a tight community, crowdforge the dev/design and get skill-training - later players get new systems features funded by the sub growth cycle.
  • Kickstarter: There's no p2w items, yes the campaign could have been better in several ways but it's still doing well.
  • Investment: They only managed a certain level which is an achievement given the present financial climate and mmorpgs in particular - the ks allows to increase headcount - you can do the estimates and work out the figures very easily. The KS makes a lot of sense and imo really needs speed the game delivery up.
  • Timing of KS: Funds now make dev time more cost effective.
Agree, high pledge level and long delivery time (eg compared to other projects) and ambition of making a mmorpg all put this in a high risk ks category. But for a mmorpg: It's a real vision to get behind imo.
 
 

 

  ianicus

Novice Member

Joined: 10/08/06
Posts: 481

punch it chewie! RAAAAAAWR!

1/10/13 4:13:56 AM#7
Sadly, with 4 days left I dont think this kickstarter will be succesful anyway, over $300000 to go? yeah.....best of luck to them, but I dont think they will make it.

  tom_gore

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/27/09
Posts: 1803

1/10/13 4:38:29 AM#8
Originally posted by BlueMountain
Originally posted by tom_gore
7. The issue is that the tech demo looked crap and if it took 300k to make it, no amount of money will see these guys to making a game that's actually good.

Yep it was retty bad but it did what it was supposed to and got the project off the ground and funded. My understanding is that they only used the budget they targeted in th kickstarter which left the other $220K or so for picking up middleware and the like.

I think the conclusion you project has no merit.

We'll see. So far they have not shown anything that would give me confidence that they are actually able to pull this project off.

 

  Slapshot1188

Elite Member

Joined: 5/06/07
Posts: 4087

1/10/13 6:42:01 AM#9
Originally posted by tom_gore
Originally posted by BlueMountain
Originally posted by tom_gore
7. The issue is that the tech demo looked crap and if it took 300k to make it, no amount of money will see these guys to making a game that's actually good.

Yep it was retty bad but it did what it was supposed to and got the project off the ground and funded. My understanding is that they only used the budget they targeted in th kickstarter which left the other $220K or so for picking up middleware and the like.

I think the conclusion you project has no merit.

We'll see. So far they have not shown anything that would give me confidence that they are actually able to pull this project off.

 

You mean other than the fact that they have worked on numerous projects in the past?

 

Also... did you actually see the Environmental Tech Demo?  If not.. go here https://goblinworks.com/experience.html

 

It didn't cost $300k but rather $50k.. and it has just been ported to the unity engine  (note actual game will likely not be browser based but just the enviroment demo)

 

 

Very few people are as skeptical as me when it comes to these things.  Trust me, or go ask the folks at StarVault how I react to shady business practices.   These guys do not seem to be the typical "garage gang" with big dreams and no actual skills.  They are industry vets of BOTH the MMO and RPG worlds.  Some of the folks involved have been working on RPGs before the world had even heard of an MMO.

 

Is there a guarantee that they will deliver?  No.

Is there a likelihood that they will?  Well, I think so but you can feel differently

 

All I ask is that they say what they mean and do what they say.  On those occassions that they cannot do what they said, I would like them to  just honestly explain in a timely manner.  Don't wait until the day before beta to postpone it by 4 months.  Don't talk about features being "worked on" that will never be implemented.

 

So far, they have my money... and hopefully they can raise the remaining $300k over the weekend.

 

 

 

"I should point out that no other company has shipped out a beta on a disc before this." - Official Mortal Online Lead Community Moderator

Starvault's reponse to criticism related to having a handful of players as the official "test" team for a supposed MMO: "We've just have another 10ish folk kind enough to voulenteer added tot the test team" (SIC) This explains much about the state of the game :-)

  tom_gore

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/27/09
Posts: 1803

1/10/13 6:48:53 AM#10

No I haven't checked out the environment demo yet, just their tech demo video. Maybe I'll check out the environment demo when I get home, as I don't have UWP at work.

Don't get me wrong. The ideas they have are brilliant and I support their design concept fully. I've just experienced too many Aventurines and Star Vaults, so excuse me if I remain a bit skeptic. Maybe these guys are able to pull it off. I really hope they are. In any case, they need to show something more to get me convinced.

Some people throw their money on Kickstarter just for the ideas. I only do so if I believe they will be able to create a solid product. I am not going to pay the guys for merely trying.

 

  MumboJumbo

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/18/10
Posts: 3114

Veni, Vidi, Converti

1/10/13 7:01:20 AM#11
Originally posted by tom_gore

No I haven't checked out the environment demo yet, just their tech demo video. Maybe I'll check out the environment demo when I get home, as I don't have UWP at work.

Don't get me wrong. The ideas they have are brilliant and I support their design concept fully. I've just experienced too many Aventurines and Star Vaults, so excuse me if I remain a bit skeptic. Maybe these guys are able to pull it off. I really hope they are. In any case, they need to show something more to get me convinced.

Some people throw their money on Kickstarter just for the ideas. I only do so if I believe they will be able to create a solid product. I am not going to pay the guys for merely trying.

I'll admit, you're right. History says these usually crash and burn: How many times can you throw a pre-order or collectors edition (I remember those stacks of WAR ones a couple of years later in shops!) at mmorpgs and pick the pieces up after they invariably fall to pieces?

I'll also say, did you check their blog update on the Middleware process? Bit gutted they missed BigWorld. So I'm little worried they can pull off the server stuff for Unity: But they have Mark Kalmes as CTO so that's a small reassurance.

Overall, I like the backgrounfs of these guys (PnP, EvE etc) and genuinely think the design ideas tick all the right boxes. I think there's a good chance I'll enjoy PfO (sooner the better that said) except the biggest check to that is if the combat just does not inspire - then even if the rest is good, it could still be a let-down.

Overall I'm still in support and want to be part of the process that brings in fresh developments in the mmorpg genre (it's an exciting genre despite all the negative noise that is the acoompanying "background music" in most of these games!). 

  Dakcenturi

Novice Member

Joined: 1/08/13
Posts: 29

1/10/13 8:53:12 AM#12
I think with their CEO being from Eve they are going to get a lot of pull from Eve ideas and Eve is the largest, still growing and profitable sandbox MMO on the market so I have a lot of faith in them sticking to their guns as many of the ideas they mentioned already have roots in Eve.
  Crunchy222

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/09/12
Posts: 390

1/11/13 6:22:55 PM#13

I dunno i see the OP's thread as more as a complaint about there being a sub than anything else.

 

You kids have enough free games out there to last you a lifetime, let there be some p2p games, i dont even care if they have a smaller population....actually i find that to be a postive these days tbh.

  strangiato2112

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 9/21/12
Posts: 1566

1/11/13 7:13:31 PM#14
Originally posted by Slapshot1188

You mean other than the fact that they have worked on numerous projects in the past?

 

 

 

If they have a good track record they should be able to secure money via investments, not donations.

 

The only way the whole kickstarter thing should work is if you pledge money, you get 105% (or more) in game credit: you sub for free/cash shop for free until it is used up. Anything else is unacceptable.

  Slapshot1188

Elite Member

Joined: 5/06/07
Posts: 4087

1/11/13 7:21:26 PM#15
Originally posted by strangiato2112
Originally posted by Slapshot1188

You mean other than the fact that they have worked on numerous projects in the past?

 

 

 

If they have a good track record they should be able to secure money via investments, not donations.

 

The only way the whole kickstarter thing should work is if you pledge money, you get 105% (or more) in game credit: you sub for free/cash shop for free until it is used up. Anything else is unacceptable.

They do have funding and it will launch no matter what happens with Kickstarter.  The Kickstarter will allow them to move up the release by a year though.

"I should point out that no other company has shipped out a beta on a disc before this." - Official Mortal Online Lead Community Moderator

Starvault's reponse to criticism related to having a handful of players as the official "test" team for a supposed MMO: "We've just have another 10ish folk kind enough to voulenteer added tot the test team" (SIC) This explains much about the state of the game :-)

  Vortex5oo

Novice Member

Joined: 11/02/09
Posts: 93

1/12/13 12:03:02 PM#16

I only care for ingame trinkets, dont really want minis or pdfs. So I thought well I go with the tier who gives me most ingame stuff. Seems like I have to pledge 1000$ to get all dailys I missed. Thats just insane. Why not have all dailys at 100$? They would still be rare and a lot more people would up their pledge to 100$. Well I will go with a lower tier then. Sad.

  Vortex5oo

Novice Member

Joined: 11/02/09
Posts: 93

1/12/13 12:37:35 PM#17

Well this put me off totally. I wont pledge at all. I just dont understand why the ingame trinkets and fluff stuff is so far out of reach for us late backers while tabletop minis and pdfs is thrown at me while I try donate my money to this mmorpg PC game project. I dont care about the Pathfinder TT. I care about PF:O and it would be a nice gesture to award me with ingame items for the pledge. Im willing to donate 100-150$ for all ingame daily items in this kickstarter but 1000$ is insane.

  MumboJumbo

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/18/10
Posts: 3114

Veni, Vidi, Converti

1/12/13 1:40:27 PM#18
Originally posted by Vortex5oo

Well this put me off totally. I wont pledge at all. I just dont understand why the ingame trinkets and fluff stuff is so far out of reach for us late backers while tabletop minis and pdfs is thrown at me while I try donate my money to this mmorpg PC game project. I dont care about the Pathfinder TT. I care about PF:O and it would be a nice gesture to award me with ingame items for the pledge. Im willing to donate 100-150$ for all ingame daily items in this kickstarter but 1000$ is insane.

I have to agree with you regarding the dailies should be open to all at $100 - possibly? But they can't reign in their promise for attracting people sitting on the fence early with the daily deal, so that's why I think.

Tbh, I don't think these items will be very serious in game: I think they are mostly fluff and have zero mechanical use. But they do as above entice early support (for momentum with the project) and also reveal (daily) some of the abundance of unique items there will be planned. Which is again good and more mmo value too than just TT value.

Tbh, you still get a great deal at the $100 level and fluff only has collector or resale value once the crafters get busy maybe??

  BlueMountain

Novice Member

Joined: 8/28/06
Posts: 91

Lo, the mighty Oak.

Just a little nut who stood his ground.

1/12/13 2:49:20 PM#19
They made a deal with early backers and would have a hard time now going back on it. Seems overkill to not back the game for the sake of a few minor items.

To dream, perhaps to be.

  SpectralHunter

Novice Member

Joined: 7/14/05
Posts: 386

1/12/13 3:27:35 PM#20
Originally posted by MumboJumbo
Originally posted by Vortex5oo

Well this put me off totally. I wont pledge at all. I just dont understand why the ingame trinkets and fluff stuff is so far out of reach for us late backers while tabletop minis and pdfs is thrown at me while I try donate my money to this mmorpg PC game project. I dont care about the Pathfinder TT. I care about PF:O and it would be a nice gesture to award me with ingame items for the pledge. Im willing to donate 100-150$ for all ingame daily items in this kickstarter but 1000$ is insane.

I have to agree with you regarding the dailies should be open to all at $100 - possibly? But they can't reign in their promise for attracting people sitting on the fence early with the daily deal, so that's why I think.

Tbh, I don't think these items will be very serious in game: I think they are mostly fluff and have zero mechanical use. But they do as above entice early support (for momentum with the project) and also reveal (daily) some of the abundance of unique items there will be planned. Which is again good and more mmo value too than just TT value.

Tbh, you still get a great deal at the $100 level and fluff only has collector or resale value once the crafters get busy maybe??

I think you underestimate the value of fluff items.  There are MMOs that make a killing just selling vanity stuff.  And if PFO has appearance slots like most other MMOs, these items will be coveted. 

I think they did a poor job with the daily deals.  Instead, they should have allowed you to select any of the items depending upon how early you made your $100 pledge.  If you did it the first day, you got all of it.  If you did it the last three days, you could select any three.  That way people could still pledge a bit later and not feel they lost out on items they really wanted and could ignore items they didn't care for.

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