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  1. #1

    New and curious, question for the dev team (or the dev guy ?)

    Hello everyone.

    Well, I just discovered the game this morning, and was kinda surprised about some choice that Notorious Games did.
    So by the way that I am curious, I make an account to ask my questions to them.

    If players can answer some questions, it's ok also.

    So the game started on 2011 and was release on steam in 2014.

    Since those time, site and forums was open (site is only a vBulletin?), and we have only 63.000 forum members, and I assume that a good part just created an forum account after viewing the price for get a game account.

    I assume also that most of game account aren't playing anymore, about 2-3 buzz rush.

    Since 2012, Wurm was a direct opponent, and it's a FreeToPlay (i don't know that game more than that one)

    And MMOgames aren't on best days, most MMO that comes out now with month paid system will loses its community and then go on FreeToPlay, see WildStar, Elder's Scroll Online, Secret World, Aion, Rift, Tera, and all others.

    So, why this game, with graphic quality under the average quality of today, unknow of anyone, with direct opponent that are free, and in the middle since 1-2 years of the "rush of sandbox" created by Minecraft, are still on paid system ? And more, why did you choose AT START this system ? Did you make some analysis at those time about the risk/advantage ? If yes, can you share me it ?

    This kind of system isn't the best on our day to get a big community, and since community make game sucess, it's can then give money back by cash shop and premium and others stuff. Since around 10-20% will paid on that, but you can't have 10 times more people, money will not be different.

    So an other question, what did you plan for the futur ? Staying on this system ? Changing ? More communication ? Just "wait&letpeopleplay" ?

    And finally, how much people are working on this game ? It seems that was made by a Indie Team, which would explain why the game didn't fall with only few people staying, but I assume it's the work of one dev, who work on a real other job ?

    And just to clarify, it's not criticism or personal attack or whatever, I am a dev guy, gameplay analyst&prog, and I am fully surprised/curious about how this games survive to the hard real world of gaming.

    PS : Sorry if my English is kinda bad

  2. #2
    I am just a member of the game been here a short time but I've played well over 40 sandboxes so I figured I'd toss this info out

    I played wurm online for many years under Forgedrake / WinterDrake - first off wurm online is not free you can get 20 max skills versus xsyons free (pay 30 dollars play for free account) which gives your stats 30 so higher then wurms - can you earn your monthly fee in wurm through in game cash system - yes but its still not free simply someone is paying for you to play, but the hours and hours of manual labor to get it (40-50 hours with low level goods for 1 month) lets face it is not free. Also many sandboxes predate Minecraft (wurm online actually inspired minecraft as notch and rolf worked on wurm online) xsyon included.

    Xsyon is also a niche market game like wurm online is (wurm generally has around 300 players in something like 9-11 servers meaning 20-40 people online per world) - its not meant to have 10 million people playing its meant to have a smaller hard core group but also offers a different experience - the paid per month also means you don't have to buy expansion packs and many game company's use DLC / pay to win systems to compensate for the monthly losses. Where as everyone in xsyon pays the same price gets the same game. We can not pay more money and gain some unfair advantage and to allot of gamers this is appealing as it sucks to have a great character who you really poured your heart and soul into get massacred by some 16 year old with his parents credit card.

    Also the graphics are not under average the animals and water renders are very well done some of the older graphics do stand out since they have not been replaced but over all this game beats most mmo sandboxes - sure some games have better graphics but not the same mix of building and crafting so its a game play vrs graphics a big deal to gamers in general - is it better to look nice or be fun?

    also large games such as Rift Tera The secret world Aion Elder scrolls ( I played these ) have serious cash shops that give significant boosts to the players who buy them

    I'll use The secret world as a example since I play it still and enjoy playing it and would still buy it again - if I buy the games full package that's 60$ plus all the complete DLC (the basic dlc is nice but you don't get all the story) that's another 80$ then if I wanna get around quick thats 30$ for the motorcycle - a grand total of 170$ so that is 30 dollars for xsyon + 1-2 years of paid access if I buy in bulk.

    in tera people can spend 20-40 dollars for mounts and armor that gives them unfair advantages over people who do not.

    And the special classes in rifts are expensive and over powered

    so if its a choice of paying a monthly fee to play and win/lose on my own skills as a player versus some credit card warrior I'll pay the 15$ a month
    Last edited by Darkkmercy; 09-25-2015 at 10:51 AM.

  3. #3
    Thanks for your answer, I can totally understand your players's point of view.

    Like you, I consider that some factors, like pay2win, can lead a game to a wrong path, like most of those listed MMO. I also remember Archeage as a great F2P MMO that felt slowly to the cash shop system, leading to the lose of many core gamers.

    I think it's a special alchemy to choose wisely between the "too much p2w" (I know games where people paid thousand and thousand of dollars for be in the top list : like 8000$ in 3 month for one friend. Well, he isn't in a bad situation, but some others spending around 500$/month weren't that rich) and the "no money making"

    About your style of playing, I think that all people actually playing the game are searching a "quality" community and don't fear to spend money on game. You said yourself that could easily spend money on it, like 170$. I think it's same for all others actual players. But as you said, it's a niche market group, and NG is leaving all others part of the market, which I am on (I never spend money on game, but I am always active and part of a community of a game I like).

    That why, at end, I want to get the game company to tell me more about their choices about this game.
    I assume this niche market is less that 10% of the potential players activity, but still a "spending cash" market. By having a "free access" but with "lower privilige", you just allow to get the community to grow, and don't change the "speed" of the game. In fact, it's always a matter of view. And this free access would allow to reach a better % of the "potential players", but you have to always work on the commercial and communicate aspect of your game if you want to stay near the 100% potential reach.

    So thanks for your answer, and details about Wurm, still hoping dev's answer

  4. #4
    Here is a reply straight from the Dev on why the choices were made.

    There have been many questions regarding Xsyon's monthly subscription and I'd like to express the reasons behind this.

    I've been a gamer since the 90s. Xsyon was originally conceived and designed 15 years ago. Early development started in 2008, although most of the game code has been redone since 2011.

    Xsyon is an MMO and MMOs have continued development, support and server costs that single player and coop games typically do not have.

    When development began, the standard model for MMOs was to charge an initial fee plus a subscription as Xsyon does currently. I had played games following this model since the mid 90s and find it straightforward and fair.

    Xsyon was designed based on the standard and did not anticipate the change in the industry. World of Warcraft and other games still follow the standard.

    More recently many MMOs have switched to other models. These include:

    - Frequent paid expansions.
    - 'Free to Play' with cash shops for items and enhancements.
    - 'Pay to Win' where features or bonuses are unlocked by paying for them.

    These models were created to increase overall revenue from players, often obfuscating prices and deliberately separating the player from a sense of actual costs. These methods often offset players who pay the bare minimum with revenue from players who end up paying upwards of $100 per month on items or features.

    These models often rely on much larger communities and I do realize that Xsyon caters to a small niche crowd.

    Rather than redesign Xsyon to focus on how to monetize the game, we've stuck with the older standard method. As I stated above, I feel it is straightforward and fair. All players pay the same for equal access to the game.

    What do you get for your monthly subscription fee? You get to play a fun and unique game and be part of a helpful and friendly community. You get to communicate directly with the lead developer (me) as the game evolves based on your input and that of other players.

    Although Xsyon is in Early Access because of the continued development, your character will not be wiped and your are not expected to be a tester. You can simply enjoy the game for what it is.

    Read more about the Current State of Xsyon.

    Many players have done so and spent hundreds, even thousands of hours in game. Some spend over 100, even 200 hours in game every month.

    For now this model has been working. Before launching on Steam, subscriptions were not an issue and have been keeping Xsyon moving forward.

    I do appreciate input and understand that times are changing.

    I keep an open mind towards the future and am considering removing the subscription while Xsyon is listed as Early Access. This is not a quick and easy decision to make. Clearly many players are turned away by the monthly subscription. It was not an issue before our appearance here on Steam.

    Removing the subscription is risky. The amount of new players brought by this change would need to compensate for the loss of monthly revenue. Based on current and past data, I'm not 100% sure it would do so. I'm hesitant to take the risk, not only for myself, but primarily for Xsyon's loyal player base.

  5. #5
    That totally what I was looking for. The dev is aware of the change in MMO, but think it's risky to do the switch.
    I can understand why, and in my opinion, I would assume a "slow" switch to be sure to lower the risk.
    Also, not be affraid to ask actual community to "what to do, what they prefer"
    Benefits from others models would be greater than actual models, in my opinion, especialy to grow the community.
    One biggest risk would be the quality of community if the game becomes less expensive to play, but I think money doesn't always make the community's quality

  6. #6
    He also posted but I can't find it, about how it's already been done making Xsyon with a free to play option. It completely failed. So he went back to this current system.

  7. #7
    It's always harder to change the model without a good buzz, like Wildstar is trying to do (and which Elder's Scroll wasn't that sucessful) than just starting a mmo directly with that kind of model, and making people wait for month and month to get a good "start rush".

    If he already tried without sucess, then maybe better to change nothing without better preparation.

  8. #8
    Here's the Developer Update from when the FtP experiment was ended:

    For Xsyon, the problem wasn't just that the business model wasn't designed to be FtP, but that world design did not work as FtP. The ability of players to make real long lasting changes to the game world is it's biggest draw, but allowed FtP players to make intentional and unintentional changes that caused grief to paying customers.

    Xsyon's FtP experiment was intended as a free trial, and the game still needs that.

  9. #9
    Thanks to the players referencing my previous answers to these questions! I think they cover all the questions.

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