Prices/lack Of Tsw/membership?

Discussion in 'General' started by birdnest, Aug 18, 2014.

  1. birdnest

    birdnest New Agent

    Hey, I was on the old forums and while I won't be donating any money this time around, I'd like to express why so that maybe you can fix these things in the future. This is by no means an angry rant, just an explanation of some things that might end up hindering you guys:

    1) The prices seem incredibly high for such small items. While I love a good ARG, two pdfs for several hundred dollars just feels ridiculous. It no longer seems like there's a REASON to go for lower pledges, because you don't really receive much. And nothing explains what exactly you're doing when you pledge, aside from helping TBW.

    Additionally, what happened to the last price point? It looks like the cost of the ARG has been reduced. Should that concern me?

    2) I'm a longterm player of TSW and loved seeing TBW related to the MMO via costumes and the forums. It's sorta sad that there's one, maybe two instances of that connection on the kickstarter.

    3) This ties in with problem one: where did the membership go? While it was horribly confusing in terms of all the pledge tiers and nonstacking subscription time on the old attempt, I'm left wondering what donations really get me. If I'm no longer getting a year's sub at a certain level, then what is it? What do I receive aside from one PDF?

    Ending note: I really just don't imagine even hardcore ARGists going for this because of the lack of physical rewards or information on involvement. I would love some reinforcement on these things; I might even pledge if I can get the previous feel back.
  2. AssassinB

    AssassinB Active Agent

    You do realize this is the soft launch right now, and once Anashel does some live interviews with players and a round of FAQs things will be fixed for the hard launch of the kickstarter, right? Give them a chance man they're doing the best they can :p
  3. birdnest

    birdnest New Agent

    I didn't know that, actually! I know a couple other people who opened their emails and figured it would be a hard launch. Just seems strange to send out a mail to everyone in a logbook to tell them, "hey, this is the partial launch for our Kickstarter". I'd save that for the hard launch.
  4. AssassinB

    AssassinB Active Agent

    Well they did, and it is what it is lol. It may be unconventional but then again seeing what happened with the first fundraiser and also considering the fact that this is a pretty new concept having an ARG that's persistent, I think it was a good move making a soft launch first and alerting the old Div 66 players to it.
  5. nikel

    nikel Lab 1852 - Neurals

    I'm on my phone but I'll try to address what I can:

    The process so get high pretty quick, but all physical rewards are acquirable through the add-ons, which allows for customization of your rewards, a much more flexible system then reward tiers where you might be paying for something you don't really care for.

    TSW involvement was pushed hard in the last funding attempt and it didn't pull in the pledges needed to make the ARG happen, so those plans were put on hold. As it exists now, TBW is it's own IP, and the TSW team is not exactly large at the moment either, so coordination is just a lot of work for what was shown to not really be enough payoff. In disappointed too but I understand why the that plan was scraped.

    All pledge tiers at the moment give access to the game. Tip jar may be reopened and associated with limited access, but everyone who has pledged has access to the whole of however many seasons ate funded through kick starter.
    6 people like this.
  6. Sonne

    Sonne Division-79

    * The soft launch is a way so to give previous members a chance to participate, special rewards, and get some feedback before the uninitiated masses are invited.
    * Membership comes with all but the smallest initial pledges.
    * Initial pledges give mostly virtual rewards, I figure this is how people donate to the cause rather than to go shopping.
    * Most physical stuff and greenlevel participation (logo keyring, clothing, custom mission, etc) comes from add-ons after you make an initial pledge.
    * I see some distancing from Secret World as a sign that the Black Watchmen IP is strong enough to stand on its own, taking some elements from TSW when convenient but not being tied down by TSW canon. Behind the curtain it is the same people as ran TSW events.
    5 people like this.
  7. Santiak

    Santiak MIA

    Just to add to the very thorough overview Nikel and MoPono have already given:

    Goal Difference:
    The goal drop from $100k to $40k shouldn't worry you, in my opinion. Keep in mind that the previous fundraiser attempted to raise enough money to also fund subsequent seasons, which meant that, despite reaching enough funds to carry out at least 1 season, the goal failed.

    The new, lower, goal, is more a case of "less is more" - and attempt at gaining a following that can support the game, before focusing on subsequent seasons - but it should not be taken to mean that the quality might somehow be lower than what the previous fundraiser was aiming, quite the contrary, actually.

    This is also reflected by the stretch goals containing the subsequent seasons. Where the previous one was a matter of funding the first season retroactively, by way of ensuring it along with subsequent seasons at the same time, the new fundraiser aims to secure the seasons sequentially, making sure we have the 1st, before attempting to fund the 2nd.

    Other things that might point towards this "less is more" approach is only quantitatively and not qualitatively, can also be found in the pledges themselves. The Dedicated Virtual Mission (DVM) is a great example of this, and helps explain the price-hike - as you might have guessed from the pricing, the new DVM is much more involved than the previous one would have likely been.
    Or to use a previouos metaphore; DVM was a letter, KS DVM is a short-story. Although how exact - or at least to what extent - that comparison is apt, is something we should be informed of soon™, but it gives you a basic idea of the prices also being a reflection of higher quality rewards.

    On a side-note, if the DVM was a major selling point for you, do consider either the Joker or the Special Ops as an approximation to it, by way of involving you to a greater degree in a mission - offering interaction with an NPC, a unique step in a mission, or something of the like.

    TSW Involvement:
    While both Nikel and MoPono have pointed it out, I felt I wanted to add my voice to the choir. I admit that the fringe-benefits of the involvement was a boon, but I am personally rather happy to see TBW break away from TSW. TBW has a rich story of its own, and as much as I like TSW as a game, I'd hate to see TBWs story - and the creative minds of A&S - be bogged down by attempting to maintain that connection.

    It is, of course, a matter of preference, so for those who would've liked to see a deeper connection between TBW and TSW, I'll add that we've also been told that there is still a possibility (however slight), that some cross-over, in some form, might occur. :)
    4 people like this.
  8. Kle

    Kle Senior Agent

    I know what you mean about the TSW outfits. I was looking forward to getting some new shiny for my character. But The Black Watchmen is it's own project now and Funcom's involvement is negligible (and that may not be a bad thing). It would make a good partnership but that takes time and resources, something that both companies are short on. That's not to say it wont happen in the future (Unless Funcom or A&S say otherwise).

    As for physical rewards, it's already been commented that you can top up your basic pledge with add-ons, and the whole point of the kickstarter is to get the project off the ground, the extras are just nice. I can assure you the comic alone is worth more then they're asking!
    5 people like this.
  9. Ugly

    Ugly Senior Agent

    So I have pledged, and will probably pledge more when the forum upgrade pledges are added, but I have to say I completely understand where Birdnest is coming from. I love the idea of TBW and the past ARGs, so I am pledging because I believe in the idea and want to support it. If I were someone who got to the Kickstarter without any foreknowledge besides the trailer, there is zero chance I’d pledge. The reasons to me are:
    • The pledges have no clear tie to the game, aside from an asterisk “comes with game access” line in the text. I'd be willing to bet adding just the phrase "Access to season one of TBW" to each pledge level would get more people interested.
    • The base pledges don’t give me anything interesting, unless I am already sold on the product (even then, it still feels more like they're pledges of support rather than anything else). I know you can add on, but if I’m just checking it out, do you think I’m going to spend $25 for a pdf just to have the chance to spend money on a few physical items? Pledges that contain the physical items would help here.
    • There aren’t any cool perks for being a Kickstarter. People want to feel special, even if it’s entirely superficial. Give away special titles, a chance to name an NPC, the ability to help design the next class, etc. Things that don’t cost anything, but make people feel special.
    • The early bird is not obvious. I feel early bird specials are huge for drawing in new people. I tend to check out the pledge with X of 50 left before I look at much else. And you can’t expect people to do much more than read the first paragraph, maybe watch the video, and read the pledges.
    Thankfully, it’s still early and A&S have always been good at listening to feedback. I’m hoping that things will clear up and the offering will get better this week to draw in a broader crowd.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 18, 2014
    4 people like this.
  10. Anashel

    Anashel Puppet Master Staff Member


    Short answer: for 25$ you can have access to the full ARG.

    One Comment:
    I will answer with more information later but I just wanted to react on something:
    I wish to strongly disagree on that. Not only you get the full game access but on top of that you get a work of art that is deeply in symbioses with the game and as the Kickstarter title say it: you are funding a Game and a Comic Book. The artisitic and immersive value of the comic book is far from a simple PDF.

    Acting as a memento of mission to come and bridge between season, all the content of the Comic Book is based on the community actions. A lot of effort and research has been put into the Comic Book, they are not a simple PDF throw in the mix. Some people pledge for the Comic Book and get the game as an addon.

    Now, it's possible you have no interest in the Comic Book but I beg anyone to read these two thread before making a final call:
    5 people like this.
  11. Kle

    Kle Senior Agent

    I wonder if there is some way to convey the contents of the Almanac & the impact of the comic on the pledge tiers or Kickstarter. Having followed the project for a while it's easy to overlook how the comic & the game will impact each other and how the community has helped to shape it.
    2 people like this.
  12. Anashel

    Anashel Puppet Master Staff Member

    I agree with you, I think this should be the first thing we will highlight in our dev update. Brain Yum.
    6 people like this.

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