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aismov

"Monetizing" F2P: auto-side balancing, spawn delay/side delay, and ads

14 posts in this topic

Just throwing in a few more ideas how to incorporate F2P into the game while creating incentives to switch to a paying subscription and at the same time easing some things we never liked as a community: population imbalance and spawn delay. F2P would essentially be the auto-balancer where the F2P players on login would see two options (assuming one side is over-populated). They can wait for countdown timer or queue (similar to Planetside 2) to join their preferred side, or they can immediately spawn into the underpopulated side. And in game, F2P would be subject to spawn delay as well as it currently stands. Subscribers would not have either or these limitations and be able to "jump the line" so to say.

This way if the side population deviates say from +/- 10% of absolute balance (50%/50%), this mechanism would kick in. Since subscribers can always spawn into their chosen side like we can now, there is still a chance that one side will be overpopulated... hence continuation of the spawn delay timers. At both the side-selection screen as well as the spawn-in screen you can have a little blurb that reminds F2P players that they can avoid both of these issues if they become a subscriber.

Hatch also brought up the idea in a prior post of incorporating ads for the F2P players and opening up the spawn list to them so they can with rank utilize the same weapons as subscribers can. One way to make this for example is to delay the spawn in for F2P for 3-5 seconds and instead of a loading screen it would display an ad. I have no idea how much revenue this would generate but it is an option. I also don't know how companies who pay for the ads would ever know if their investment is leading to greater sales. But it is worth a shot.

One other option which is not F2P exclusive would be to monetize the ingame billboards in town for squad recruitment purposes. For example CRS could set a price, say $5 per billboard per month. The squad recruitment ads would naturally have to go through a strict QC process to make sure they have nice aesthetics and fit in the time period (circa-1940 design) so as to not totally break immersion. I could see squads very easily pooling cash together to purchase them. In very certain situations I think we could also get major car manufacturers to advertise on the billboards ingame with period specific-advertisements (probably the only company where seeing an in-game add would seem plausible and not be immersion breaking).

Thoughts?

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You could do stuff like that, and it might help a bit, but ultimately I don't think it's enough of incentivization to matter by itself. 

I have long advocated for killing three birds with one stone and it relates to this F2P incentivization. 

This goes back to the long standing need in the game for a personal spawnpoint system to prevent waste, griefing, abuse, or missuse of valued equipment.

You can then allow F2P players to experience just enough of the different types of equipment to increase their desire for more of it. 

You earn points by doing things successfully, and things the game wants to reward you for doing, and earn a set amount over time even when not logged in.

They would earn points at a much slower rate than subscribers and have a much lower cap on how much they can store. They might be prevented from using truly top tier equipment like the Tiger right when it comes out, but they'll get to play with enough of the tanks to make them wish they had a Tiger.

This encourages more use of the free rifleman to build up points for specialized infantry weapons. And it discourages someone from immediately spawning out the Tiger as soon as an AO is placed and then proceding to suicide it strait into the center of town.  

The intent of the system would be that it doesn't actually have much negative impact on players who currently think of the team, tend to only spawn specialized equipment when they have a genuine need for it, fully intend to play their spawned role to the best of their ability for it's intended purpose, and will even try to stay alive or RTB if possible. As opposed to the selfish arse who likes to spawn sappers constantly because, hey, why not greedily play as a sniper who is also hogging all the explosives just in case you might possibly have a tank wander near you. Nevermind the fact that you'll probably die 20 times without ever being near a tank before that sniper/party-time sapper fantasy actually becomes a reality. That's also the kind of player who will suicide their plane into the ground after dropping their bombs in order to get back to the target quicker. No, we need a system that forces players to consider the consequences their choices have on the entire battle. You shouldn't be spawning that sapper unless you intent to seek out and hunt tanks while not risking yourself unnecessarily playing sniper or rushing capture points. 


Why do I say three birds instead of two?
Because this system also gives you leverage you can use to encourage players to act in certain ways that are beneficial to the entire team. 

Want to encourage people supplying mortars and LMGs with ammo? There's supply points for that.

Want to encourage people to tow equipment? There's supply points for that.

Want to encourage people to guard CPs as part of an active defense objective? There's supply points for that.

The possibilities are endless. 

In effect, by rewarding people for their selfless acts of teamwork, you're saying they've earned some more leeway to be selfish and spawn more of the top tier equipment for themselves. So it all balances out. 

Edited by ZeroAce

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56 minutes ago, ZeroAce said:

They would earn points at a much slower rate than subscribers and have a much lower cap on how much they can store. They might be prevented from using truly top tier equipment like the Tiger right when it comes out, but they'll get to play with enough of the tanks to make them wish they had a Tiger.

Very reasonable system. I guess the devil is in the details and figuring out the correct number of points you need to spawn and how quickly they accrue.

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Just to be honest, to me that seems as paramount to the tasks the guys have been working on for months with 64 bit and 1.36...

Any other ideas that would take less development time? Like the ads? :P

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Mercs. 

 

Allow current account holders to post for players to earn full play-hours if they show up at X time and follow orders and fight to satisfaction, then they get earned days/weeks paid for by the contracting players.

 

It's an outrageous idea, and I don't particularly like it, but it certainly would be a way to generate money.

 

If this was a lawless frontier or spec ops or ancient war themed game it would even be atmospherically appropriate, but WWII is definitely a nationalistic 'we are in this together' vibe, so it's a bit of a wrong note.

 

Save it up for the Traveller game.

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So you mean like a Chinese grinding farm where you virtually imprison 37 teenage boys in a so you can farm enough gold to upgrade your Staff of the n00b +55?

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2 minutes ago, aismov said:

So you mean like a Chinese grinding farm where you virtually imprison 37 teenage boys in a so you can farm enough gold to upgrade your Staff of the n00b +55?

Hmm, gold farming doesn't work if you can't sell the account the time or possibly rank has accrued to.  Should be pretty easy to spot those.

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Years ago, Gophur and I discussed an idea...Steel Builder...in conjunction with a broader discussion in the Design/Beta Forum about getting points for kills, captures, and other actions desired to be encouraged; paying points for spawns, depending on the weapon; and being given X points a month, depending on one's player type.

Gold, Silver and Bronze subscribers would get unlimited points. This was before the Hero program, but presumably they'd be unlimited too. Regular monthly subs would get a reasonable number. Points would be non-transferable, and would not expire.

Steel Builder would be an alternative to a regular subscription. There'd be no one-time cost and no monthly cost. Instead Steel Builders could buy a points package any time via a website, or set up an auto-refill account with credit card payment that would reload their points account whenever it got too low for what they next wanted to spawn.

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Has any game in the past 10 years actually done ads in game, or is this just a wwiiol meme? if you're attempting to troll you're doing a good job at it.
F2P doesn't need any special feature or complicated implementation. It's very simple.
You give F2P 1 unit from all branches.
Bam. You're done.

If you want to go farther, give a single point for every kill/capture/whatever, let F2P redeem that for units but at high cost. F2P can play viably, but they will have to participate a lot, which is good you want as many players doing that as possible.

F2P is sort of self monetizing. The more players in game, generally, the more customers you have. It's trapping the animal and taming it.
But you need good bait, otherwise they'll sniff it and leave.

Going beyond that you're reaching meta-solutions to problems that don't actually exist for most good f2p games that aren't pay2win, I'm talking E.V.E, Ps2, Warthunder, Runescape, Mechwarrior, most of the big bois. it's about how long you can get the f2p to play  under an environment where he's constantly being pressured to pay into for more gear.

Those games aren't demanding anything from F2P besides to play, play, play and maybe pay if they wan't X item.

Edited by knucks

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10 hours ago, jwilly said:

Years ago, Gophur and I discussed an idea...Steel Builder...in conjunction with a broader discussion in the Design/Beta Forum about getting points for kills, captures, and other actions desired to be encouraged; paying points for spawns, depending on the weapon; and being given X points a month, depending on one's player type.

Gold, Silver and Bronze subscribers would get unlimited points. This was before the Hero program, but presumably they'd be unlimited too. Regular monthly subs would get a reasonable number. Points would be non-transferable, and would not expire.

Steel Builder would be an alternative to a regular subscription. There'd be no one-time cost and no monthly cost. Instead Steel Builders could buy a points package any time via a website, or set up an auto-refill account with credit card payment that would reload their points account whenever it got too low for what they next wanted to spawn.

Great idea. But I would tweak it:

You can only get these points by either buying them or aquiring them in game.

You only lose them by spawning equipment that's not in your sub, i.e. FTP spawning smg, OR you actually give out these incentives yourselve for kills, captures, guards, spawns in certain areas. Would totally buy.

 

Edited by ebert101

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I don't think any disagrees with your points. The issue is more whether CRS has the development resources to make all the coding changes both on the client you download and the billing system as well. And then the question is whether those resources can be better spent at least in the short term on other things.

F2P is in no way self-monetizing. You have to be very careful how you design the system or else you are stuck with a large server bill allowing all this "free" play. Runescape for example since you brought it up runs ads for its F2P players and some of the top topics are workarounds to remove ads. As it stands now there is no way to pay for cosmetic upgrades, pay for decals, pay for custom/semi-custom buildings ingame, pay for nose art... The list goes on. This brings me back to my point of wisely spending developer resources. I would love all of those and we should have them, but I also want a Ferrari and a house in Bora Bora.

Sure we can spend 6 months doing nothing but introducing custom skins you can buys at Rats-r-Us.com, but without addressing the other gameplay issues that are being worked on the 1.36 you can very easily find yourself with no F2P buying your merchandise to cover server costs. I think the big myth of F2P is if you build it they will come and all will be well.

Server costs are a big capital expenditure and data rates are not cheap. You have to scale your systems appropriately and have the cash available to pay for it all. So I disagree it's just about getting as many players to play as possible. It's getting enough F2P players buying stuff to offset the data/server costs of all the other F2P players.

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54 minutes ago, ebert101 said:

Great idea. But I would tweak it:

You can only get these points by either buying them or aquiring them in game.

You only lose them by spawning equipment that's not in your sub, i.e. FTP spawning smg, OR you actually give out these incentives yourselve for kills, captures, guards, spawns in certain areas. Would totally buy.

If you make that system where you can't spawn unless you have enough points, but you can purchase said points, people are immediately going to say this is a pay-to-win game.

It has to be earned by all across the board. You can give paying subscribers a slightly faster gain or a bigger "bank" where you can say have 500 spawn points whereas F2P can only hold 100, but if you let players completely bypass this system by directly purchasing them, it will be called P2W.

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Not sure the current platform supports this kind of option but more importantly if it can be done, the resources to get this done or coded may not be prohibitive.

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1 hour ago, aismov said:

If you make that system where you can't spawn unless you have enough points, but you can purchase said points, people are immediately going to say this is a pay-to-win game.

It has to be earned by all across the board. You can give paying subscribers a slightly faster gain or a bigger "bank" where you can say have 500 spawn points whereas F2P can only hold 100, but if you let players completely bypass this system by directly purchasing them, it will be called P2W.

p2w isn't a black or white thing. People don't call E.V.E pay2win because there's reasonable expectation that if you really want the end game ships, you'll be willing to pay for it OR you've played enough to acquire the ISK to pay for a month of subscription with in game money.

Usually people won't give you [censored], as long as your system is fair.
As for buying points, what's the need? Buy the sub, play for points.

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