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  1. #1

    Smile To sub or not to sub suggestion

    Hi Everyone!,

    I have been playing this game for over a month now and I am enjoying the game quite a bit. I think it's because we have a nice community in general and that I have found a good tribe.

    Anyway I have been reading a lot of the discussion in steam. I am aware of the post made by the dev with regards to removing sub etc. However an idea would be (to reward loyal playerbase) is to have benefits for players who have subscription.

    Benefits for subscribing could include:

    - Better gains in XP or skill/stat up. It doesn't have to be like double. It can be an extra 50%.
    - Skill and stat decay is much slower
    - Access to all skills
    - Bigger tribe/homestead land say 25-50% more
    - Better regeneration rates for Health and Energy whilst resting
    - Slower decay of thirst and hunger meter
    - Slightly higher stat cap and/or stat lock mechanism

    So for free to play players they get NONE of the above but have access to:

    - Skills up to 100
    - Homestead land/Tribe land but reduced size relative to subscribers
    - Most skills except "premium" skill such wainwright or any other future skills i.e. bows/bowcraft.
    - Carts but max 5-10 slots only
    - Remove green bar maybe? (if you make the green bar only for subscribers) so they have to grind the skills

    The idea is not to limit the f2p gameplay so much (limiting skill to 30 points is quite limiting tbh) and allow them more freedom. The choice is theirs should they want to sub or not to get the benefits. Also it makes it not pay2win so much as everything is achievable but would require a lot more grinding as f2p.

    Although going f2p would increase population numbers, the community might suffer and get unwanted type of players in game. Entirely it's upto the Dev. Also the cash shop idea for items i.e. cosmetics would be a rubbish idea as it would require more work for the Dev to do etc.

    Don't get me wrong though guys. I prefer subscribing but I thought I would give a suggestion for the Dev to reward loyal players for subscribing should they wish to go Free to Play Route.

    Also feel free to chime in your thoughts.

    Thanks

    Kziko

  2. #2
    Hello Kziko,

    The current 'free play with limited skills' is intended primarily to allow old players to return and check out current changes without having to resubscribe. It's done more as a courtesy to old players and isn't intended as a regular 'free to play' system.

    Actual 'free to play' systems that work rely on ways for a small percent of players to spent a lot more than $15 a more. That doesn't make sense for Xsyon and as you mentioned above, it would require a lot more work (work focused solely on monetizing the game and not making it better.

    Yes, there are a lot of complaints on Steam regarding the subscription. I don't think that changing what you get for the subscription would change the situation. It seems that those complaining the most don't look past the subscription notice (or understanding from the top rated reviews that there is a subscription). Most definitely don't read about the game or understand the current state of the game. They just see subscription + Early Access and get upset.

    Removing the subscription during Early Access is something I'm considering, but it's risky. I am most concerned with what is best for the game and to keep it going. I am especially hesitant because of past experiences.

    Originally, Xsyon was $39.99 with a $14.99 monthly subscription. Interesting enough, originally very few, if any were complaining about the price. It wasn't really an issue. As time went on though, people were saying they were turned off by the price and many were saying they would play if the monthly subscription was $9.99.

    I took the risk and lowered the prices to $29.99 and $9.99. Account sales did not increase. Monthly accounts did not increase. I kept track of players that said they'd come back with a lowered subscription and most did not return. Instead we simply lost revenue.

    Shortly after this, pressured again by potential players, I set up Xsyon with limited 'free to play' (meant mostly as an unlimited free trial). This did slightly improve active daily numbers, but weekly and monthly activity numbers immediately dropped. This 'free to play' system caused many problems (as detailed here). Over time and after conducting several new player surveys, it was clear that just having the game called 'free to play' was attracting players that weren't looking for a game like Xsyon and turning away players that were.

    Both of these were bad decisions, but hard to rescind. I'd been advised by others in the industry that once you lower a price or allow free play, it's very difficult to go back.

    I did finally go back, first by increasing the subscription price last October and second by removing the free to play system in December. The game population remained steady in October and actually began to rise in December as soon as I removed the 'free to play' system.

    Although we launched on Steam the first week of January, this provided an minor boost only for the first few days. Steam traffic and sales were low in January and February. Direct traffic and sales were higher during those months than any months of the previous year. Steam activity really picked up in March when we started to get regular exposure there.

    That brings us to where we are now. If I was certain that removing the subscription would bring in enough new players to replace subscription income, I would do it immediately. Right now it's too hard to gauge, so I'm focusing on the upcoming updates and we'll see!

  3. #3
    Hi,

    Thanks for getting back on this topic and nice to see a well informed post too!

    It's good to see what has been tried and done. Like I said to my tribe leader, I hate it that this game is getting criticised (on steam) as if you can look beyond the sub, there is a great game with great potential. I guess people want to have their cake and eat it too.

    Ultimately I don't want the game especially the lovely community to be ruined by certain types of players.

    Thanks once again for your post and keep up the good work!

    Kziko

  4. #4
    Thanks Xsyon for explaining everything clearly. Really glad you took the time to answer the question fully and I will for sure direct anyone asking about it to this post. Very detailed and a lot of work on it.

  5. #5
    I can only speak for myself here but the way I'm playing the game (and games) I want to be on my own and still be able to do a bit of everything. After the skill change when you introduced the skill decay all that changed for me. The only way around the problem was to buy 2 more accounts to spread the skills on three characters.

    Considering the way I'm playing games (sporadically and casually) I would enable all three of my characters from time to time if the sub fee was lower (5-10 dollars per month), but not for 15 per account per month, that is more than Im willing to spend on my casual play style

    Not sure that helps you when it comes to decide where to go with the pay model, but I guess catering to the Steam community is hard. Most will want the game for free and then have you paying them for playing it...

  6. #6
    Why would skill decay change it? You can have 100 in every skill in the game on 1 account.

  7. #7
    It was quite awhile I played the game, but I have a vague memory of it being enormously time consuming raising ALL skills up to 100. It was much easier to spread them on 2-3 chars and not having to bother about locking and such.

    What would be your estimate of raising all craft skills to 100 on one char?

    Oh, and what is the point of skill decay in the first place? I thought it was to stimulate trading by making it much harder to be self reliant.

    Sorry for being off-topic here...

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by azzymor View Post
    What would be your estimate of raising all craft skills to 100 on one char?
    The correct question here isn't how long, buy why would you want all craft skills at 100. Specially if you just want to do a little bit of everything.

    All craft skills are not created equal:

    • Fire Building --> any old fire will do.
    • Masonry --> walls made with junk bricks will still keep the big bad coyote out.
    • Basketry --> you want to make your own bins and high quality plant/food/meat baskets help keep stuff a little longer, but those are easy to trade for.
    • Tailoring --> cloth "armor" is almost as bad as grass armor. You will want good thread/string/twine for tools, leather armor and some tools, but again you can trade for that.
    • Woodcraft --> good for Pioneer's tools (leathercrafting) and most weapons.
    • Bonecraft --> if you are crafting for yourself, you don't really need both bonecraft and leathercraft.
    • Leathercraft --> great for everyday wear and needed for some tool and bonecraft schemes.
    • Toolcraft --> any loner will need toolcraft at a reasonable level to make grind tools. If your toolcraft is not maxed, you can trade for the tools to make your master armor/weapons.
    • Weaponcrafting --> most weapons use wood handles, but you could concentrate on those that use only scavenged parts or trade for wooden handles if your woodcraft is not great.


    If you want to make and use your own supreme tools/weapons/armor, you can with those three trade skills in the high 90's and some trading and hunting buddies. For no trading, it will take longer as you will need tailoring and perhaps woodworking and a lot of combat training (Shadow Bears won't share their bones/hides).

    If you are a min-maxer who has to have the absolute best of everything and refuse to trade, yes you will need a stable of characters, more for stats than skills.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by azzymor View Post
    It was quite awhile I played the game, but I have a vague memory of it being enormously time consuming raising ALL skills up to 100. It was much easier to spread them on 2-3 chars and not having to bother about locking and such.

    What would be your estimate of raising all craft skills to 100 on one char?

    Oh, and what is the point of skill decay in the first place? I thought it was to stimulate trading by making it much harder to be self reliant.

    Sorry for being off-topic here...
    Currently there is no real point to skill decay because it has no real effect. You can have all skills to 100. The point before was to have decay so harsh that you would only be allowed to have 3 or so skills per pool to 100, but you could have all of them to 50. Clearly that didn't get put in, and you get people like you that want to do everything perfectly and want it in 5 mins. So even though it would be really bad for the game as a whole you have a few people wanting it now now now, and quit next week or month. All the while the economy is broken into the dirt, and long term players have nothing really to shoot for but to build another 10 story building, again.

    Spreading them out over 2 to 3 players would be slightly easier, and wouldn't do much good over all. In fact everyone I know other than me that spread them out over toons, didn't even do it, they end up going back to 1 toon doing everything.
    There really is little point in having more than 1 account unless you want extra tribe space, then buy the account and don't pay the sub for it.

    I'm really getting bothered by people that clearly have no idea how to play the game saying "I can't do X" but you can do X they just don't know how. Then even worse when they say that they can't do X, but really don't want X only think they do and the game will not change to Y which would be better for the people crying that they want X. If you can even understand that.


    TLDR.
    1 toon can do everything, and that's what most people do because it's not that hard.

    Quote Originally Posted by thurgond
    If you are a min-maxer who has to have the absolute best of everything and refuse to trade, yes you will need a stable of characters, more for stats than skills.
    No, if you want the best 100% best, you only need 2 toons. Even then it would only be to save yourself 1 or 2 skill/stat combos, which really you won't need.
    Xsyon really needs to balance the game stats better, but because there is nothing to shoot for because of crappy AI and building game. Many other things would need to be worried about before that I guess.

  10. #10
    Thanks thurgond, an elaborate answer that gives me an option to play the game I want it.

    Also forgot to mention that with "all skills" I meant those skills within a group I was interested in, and crafting/resources both contain 4-5 skills I wanted to master.
    Last edited by azzymor; 06-28-2015 at 11:26 AM. Reason: Clarify

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