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Re-thinking our free to play model Messages in this topic - RSS

Doctor Dread
Doctor Dread
Administrator
Posts: 1351


10/7/2015
Doctor Dread
Doctor Dread
Administrator
Posts: 1351
We've come to realize that our free account vs subscription account is a little convoluted and we are probably going to make it a lot simpler and more open for the free accounts. There are some important considerations that have often come to mind when thinking about this model.

We would like our game to be essentially free to play but there is an inherit problem with allowing players to make and use a dozen free accounts and gain an advantage. Other games like Astro Empires and OGame strictly enforce a single account per player however all that ends up happening is that the casual players with multi accounts get banned but the hardcore players run several accounts and put in a lot of effort to remain hidden. Having paid accounts and allowing you to make as many as you want mitigates the problem, or at least makes it a little more fair. Ideally we want to make having multiple accounts no advantage, but currently it isn't much.

If everyone is free to play then it leaves micro-transactions to make ANY money which, if are anything but cosmetic, essentially become a pay to win mechanic which we don't want to have. We also need to implement something so when you drop your subscription, you can still play without having to do anything complicated to your empire.

What we're thinking of doing then Is, for one, making combat allowed in Sol System but having Federation ships patrolling around (like guards) to prevent other players from freely stomping on new players there.

The other major thing is that free account can build and travel anywhere but their Corp HQ must remain in Sol Sector. This would be the only real limitation of a free account. The Corp HQ is where you can make other structures from either locally or as an item that can be transported and deployed in another location. Keeping your Corp HQ tied to Sol System just means when you want to make new structures it will take a little time to fly it out to another system. You also would lose the small bonus the Corp HQ gives to all production nearby if you start producing elsewhere. Another important part is that, while there is voting on events in Sol System, there are no elections for government positions in Sol System and you Corp HQ must be in the city you are trying to be elected in. So as long as your Corp HQ is in Sol system you will never be elected to a government position. Otherwise you're on the same level as the paid accounts.

Paid accounts would also enjoy the cosmetic features in the game. up loadable Avatar and Corp Log,. Custom ship colors, and possibly the title system we were going to have in place (i.e. "Sugar baron of Manila") as that is essentially a vanity/leaderboard feature.

We still plan to have an "Accelerated Start" option when going to a paid account which will be the only official way of getting a chunk of in game money and level ups for real cash. It would only be available when your account first goes into paid mode. Its similar to Word of Warcraft allowing you to pay to "Start" with a level 65 character.

We'll try to update the websites Subscription page accordingly this weekend.

If anyone has any opinions on this feel free to chime in!
edited by DrDread on 10/7/2015
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