MRPG Servers and Accounts
If possible, the game will have a single server, however this relies on enough content being available at launch to support the entire player-base.
Free-to-play accounts will be limited to a single character slot and 5 available classes. Additional character slots and classes will be available at the in-game store.
Taking a note from DDO, there will be free, premium, and "V.I.P." accounts, though the structuring will be done differently and the paid accounts will not actually be called VIP. But, like DDO, as soon as you spend any amount of money on the game your "free" account becomes premium.
Or, more simply, one account, two players. There are many reasons why someone might want to take advantage of a feature like this, but the most obvious being friends/lovers/significant others who want to work together, share account resources, etc. In particular the feature will be targeted at couples.
Essentially, it will allow two players to log in under the same account, and each play one character on that account.
An organized system will be put in place for players making one request or another("I want this feature added" "I want this feature removed") Each petition request will be reviewed by the developers(or, more accurately, by some flunky sho's job is to toss out the obviously stupid ones) and assigned a required number of signatures and a due-date before being released onto the message boards.
Only players with active premium and paid accounts will be allowed to vote, and then only once per account. If a petition receives the required number of votes, it is taken under serious consideration.
Initially, the game will be sold in retail stores to raise awareness and to recoup the cost of development. The retail version will include various perks, game-store currency, and items only available to players who bought in stores. Also following release, the starting area, main city, and it's quest-lines will be available free.
Ideas for perks:
- Evolving Etherial mount that levels with the player and eventually becomes a flying mount.
- Their choice of one of four upgradeable weapons
- Additional bank/inventory space
- A hefty sum of in-game currency to start out
- Points to spend at the in-game store
Six months after release, f2p players will be able to purchase an item in the game store that gives them access to the rest of the map. This is to encourage players to continue to buy the retail version.
A year or so later the rest of the world(but not all quests/adventure packs) will become unlock-able through a quest chain to f2p players.
How to make money off of the game. I like the VIP, Premium, Free account system, and I like the way Turbine handles it on DDO even better. What I do not like is the lack of incentives to go VIP.
The biggest challenge is to avoid blatant "cash grabs".
The game is already set to be funded at least partially through micro-transactions. Players will purchase "points" which can be redeemed in an online store. The idea, here, is hold perodic donation drives to fund various non-profit organizations(stuff like Make a Wish or what have you) where in the players donate their points and the company donates real money to the cause. Players who donated points may be rewarded with special items based on a scale of how many points are donated(the more donations, the better the reward).
Otherwise known as "Put your money where your mouth is". This system is designed to give players a chance to directly determine the course of the game, by letting their dollars speak directly for them. If you've ever spent time on an MMO forum, you'll see a buttload of complaints that start with "I pay for this game!" So let's take that to heart.
The first stage of this program starts on the forums, where an online discussion and a poll get a general feel for what the players want. Everyone who visits the forum can participate, everyone gets 1 vote per forum account, so this might be somewhat skewed, but its still a good way to gather information(as well as a good way to gather advertising revenue as it increases forum traffic).
The next step is the real money voting. The game is set to be funded through microtransactions. Players buy "points" and redeem them in a store. Each redeemed point gives the player 1 vote. Thus, the players who spend more get to have more of a say in how the developers spend their time.
This system can be used for anything from bug fixes to proposed game changes, to additional content. Don't like the way something is? Here's your chance to change it.