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Amberyl

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Family discounts Reply to this Post
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When the game goes P2P, would the Ringers consider giving discounts to families, or offering family accounts?

For instance, I know quite a few people here who are part of a family who plays -- a husband and wife and one or more kids.

It would probably be enormously useful if those people got a discount on acconts after the first. Providing a discount would also give people an incentive to actually buy an account for each person, rather than violating the ToS and sharing a single account.

Alternatively, there could be family accounts -- paid for by one person, but with individual account names (for posting on the forum, logging in, et.al.) with the total number of pirate characters limited (to three or four, say), priced at more than a normal individual account, but less than buying N accounts. Again, this encourages people to contribute revenue for each player, rather than sharing an account. It would also simplify account management from a user standpoint -- one bill to pay, so to speak.

In the case of just two people playing, the Ringers might very well want to charge for two full accounts. But if you're signing up three people or more in a household, paid for with the same credit card (or PayPal ID or whatever), the discount starts looking like a good idea; in households with tighter budgets, they might make a collective decision to play Puzzle Pirates as a family, or not, and the total cost for doing so will become a factor.

It'd also be a market differentiator; having family discounts (which I don't believe any other MMORPG does) helps position Puzzle Pirates as a game that is intended to be played as a family, which is family-friendly and thus implicitly kid-friendly and safe, and so forth.
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Amberyl, SO, Cult of the Red Mantis, Looterati
Reading the forums a lot is like camping clue. --homullus
[Sep 26, 2003 4:52:39 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://www.black-knight.org/pp/    CyberLWL [Link]  Go to top 
homullus

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Re: Family discounts Reply to this Post
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Big loop:

Single players can get "family discounts" to have 9 pirates running 9 crews.

Hmm, then again, if it's all on the same account, and they couldn't be logged as more than one at a time . . . maybe.
[Sep 26, 2003 5:18:38 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    homullus [Link]  Go to top 
Amberyl

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Re: Family discounts Reply to this Post
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In a discounted-after-the-first-account scheme, if a player wants to run nine pirates (three accounts, three pirates per account as is the case now), I'd say the Ringers ought to take his money cheerfully. He's not going to be able to spend as much time with any individual account -- he consumes less resources per account than three normal individuals would. (Besides, do you seriously think anyone would want nine pirates running nine crews? We're in open beta now, some people do have multiple accounts and most have alts, and I can't think of a single example of someone who is running multiple crews; it's much more effective to concentrate your time in one place.)

In a family account scheme, the overall family would be limited to a certain number of pirates. So, say, if the normal price is $10, and a family account is $25 but allows you up to four pirates, Dad could have a pirate, Mom could have a pirate, Billy could have a pirate, and Sally could have a pirate -- and nobody would get any alts. And they'd still be saving $15 a month. Obviously, the Ringers would probably like the full $40, but absent a discount, the family might choose to drop one or more accounts (or even all of them) instead. The advantage of this over simple (and ToS-violating) account-sharing is that each of them would get a unique login, so, for instance, Billy couldn't go mess up Sally's pirate, and they could all post to the forums individually.
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Amberyl, SO, Cult of the Red Mantis, Looterati
Reading the forums a lot is like camping clue. --homullus
[Sep 26, 2003 5:53:19 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://www.black-knight.org/pp/    CyberLWL [Link]  Go to top 
Sugarpie



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Re: Family discounts Reply to this Post
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I understand what you're saying, but the price to play per month isn't going to be one that will cause financial burden to people paying for an account or two. If families couldn't all play at the same time I might agree with you, but since they can all play 200+ hours a month I'm not really feeling all that bad for them. I mean you're paying that much for 1 2-hour movie. Instead of a family trip to the movies (where they don't have family discounts to my knowledge) they can play a family game of YPP.
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Sugarpie
The Violet (er... Violent?) Pirate
Member of Black Death
Former Governor of Orca
Piggy Josiah R.I.P.

[Sep 26, 2003 6:42:10 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Amberyl

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Remember that household budgets vary widely, as do costs of living.

Here in the egregiously expensive Bay Area, for instance, a night at the movies, in San Francisco -- tickets, popcorn, drinks, and parking -- could easily cost $40 for two people. But salaries are higher to match; you can make $10 an hour in an entry-level burger-flipping job at In-and-Out, and the salaries for professionals are among the nation's highest.

Go to a small city in the Midwest, on the other hand, and you might find that average-joe jobs might only pay $10 an hour (and burger flipping pays minimum wage). The cost of living is lower, but anything that's priced on a national level still looks comparably expensive, from online games to cars.

I'm not affected by discounts -- my household will buy at least an account for me, and perhaps one for my fiance (don't know if he'd play often enough to justify paying for it), and we have no kids. But I can think of crew members who would be, and I suspect if you look around your own crew, you'll find the same thing.

At any rate, it's not a question of charity; it's a question of business. There's probably a point where the Ringers get more revenue by discounting a larger nmber of accounts, than they would without those discounts. And market positioning's not to be handwaved off, either.
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Amberyl, SO, Cult of the Red Mantis, Looterati
Reading the forums a lot is like camping clue. --homullus
[Sep 26, 2003 8:15:27 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://www.black-knight.org/pp/    CyberLWL [Link]  Go to top 
gahris

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Re: Family discounts Reply to this Post
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well, I have 4 people that polay at te same time, Id rather pay for 1 bigger acount, then 4 accounts, less hassle
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Worship your evil moogle master you insolent fools! ¬_¬
[Sep 26, 2003 10:14:16 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
deathbane



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Re: Family discounts Reply to this Post
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the game is good.
To keep the game good you have to pay!
that is it..

I think it is time people stop worrying about having to pay a small amount of cash and stop comparing it to things. the monthly charge is going to be cheaper than it cost for 2 people to go to a movie every weekend..
the game give you fun all hours of the day when movies run only from noon til midnight.. Lets be real here people STOP TRYING TO BE SILLY DROP THE CASH FOR THE ACCOUNTS AND STOP CRYING!
[Sep 26, 2003 11:05:03 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Amberyl

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Re: Family discounts Reply to this Post
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I think some of the posters on this thread (and perhaps some of the readers) fundamentally fail to understand the purpose of discounts.

The purpose of discounts is not "make the game more affordable as a charity measure". The purpose of discounts is to create a situation that maximizes the amount of revenue that you're getting from your player population.

For instance, at $20 per month, you will get X people playing. At $10 per month, you would get Y people playing. If 20 * X results in greater profit than 10 * Y (profit, not revenue, mind you, since the server resources, bandwidth, etc. are variable costs), it makes more sense to charge $20. Or vice versa.

Selective discounting, like family pricing, can be a clever move from a revenue maximization perspective. It can also be useful from a product positioning perspective. And it can be useful from a customer management perspective (like only having to charge a credit card once rather than N times).
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Amberyl, SO, Cult of the Red Mantis, Looterati
Reading the forums a lot is like camping clue. --homullus
[Sep 26, 2003 11:42:24 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://www.black-knight.org/pp/    CyberLWL [Link]  Go to top 
deathbane



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Re: Family discounts Reply to this Post
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no it works like this $10 gets 3 pirates
$20 gets you 6
$30 gets you 9
$40 gets you 12

so there is no discount. It works normal!
[Sep 26, 2003 12:25:35 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Amberyl

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Re: Family discounts Reply to this Post
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I think I'll drop this argument, as I'm not going to get anything useful across to the folks who don't understand the business concepts.

The Ringers, I am confident, will be able to understand what I'm saying, and are perfectly capable of figuring out whether or not special multi-account pricing makes business sense for the player base demographics that they have.
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Amberyl, SO, Cult of the Red Mantis, Looterati
Reading the forums a lot is like camping clue. --homullus
[Sep 26, 2003 1:53:39 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://www.black-knight.org/pp/    CyberLWL [Link]  Go to top 
joedigriz

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Re: Family discounts Reply to this Post
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Amberyl wrote: 
The advantage of this over simple (and ToS-violating) account-sharing is that each of them would get a unique login, so, for instance, Billy couldn't go mess up Sally's pirate, and they could all post to the forums individually.


There's also an issue that comes up that could be either good or bad. If one of the accounts got banned, you'd almost have to lock all of the family accounts. Just in case each of the accounts therein is run by the same person. I can easily see some shmuck signing up for a family pack of 3, just in case the first two get banned. (To possibly remedy that, though, charge a fee for reactivation of the family account - perhaps $5 the first time, $10 the second, and the third time the acct is locked permanently. Would pretty much guarantee it isn't going to be a recurring problem.)

However, having separate accounts (as opposed to just one with 2 alts for the fam) means that the admin can specify *which* sub-account is responsible for the ban, and why. And they can notify the primary account holder, who can mete out whatever punishment he/she wishes in RL. ;)
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Garbuck - Red Mantis Scapegoat and Pretty Pretty Princess
[Sep 26, 2003 2:34:36 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    jal_95    joedigriz [Link]  Go to top 
Tee_Beard



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Re: Family discounts Reply to this Post
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joedigriz wrote: 
However, having separate accounts (as opposed to just one with 2 alts for the fam) means that the admin can specify *which* sub-account is responsible for the ban, and why. And they can notify the primary account holder, who can mete out whatever punishment he/she wishes in RL. ;)


I must have missed something, because I'm not sure if you're for or against the idea of family accounts. And that whole paragraph above just confuses the monkeys outta me.

If a family decides to get multiple separate accounts, it does means that the decision was made by the family itself, not its administrator. The admin has no say on why a certain person was banned, AFAIK.

What you're saying is, if a family gets separate accounts, and one of them gets banned, the admin sends a message to the guy who's paying for the accounts, telling them who was banned, and why?

I can't see how family accounts can't work in pretty much the same fashion. As far as I can see from Amberyl's posts, the family account exists only in terms of paying the Ringers, not in logging on into game servers (other than alt limits -- I don't think that matters).

It's a financial mechanic, not an in-game one, and it's an idea I approve. Y!PP is supposed to be a family-friendly game, and any attempt to increase gamer playerbase is good, especially in terms of market share.

Look at it this way: the American market hasn't got a 'family-friendly' MMOG as of yet. Allowing family accounts would be one of the many things the Ringers could do to market themselves as a family-friendly MMOG.

edited: added my sig. Argh! Stupid sig. stay ON.
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Thesis
It’s kind of funny/sad how I still can find the thing that made me part of Y!PP canon.
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by Tee_Beard at Sep 26, 2003 10:14:50 PM]
[Sep 26, 2003 10:14:50 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Jothmar



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Amberyl has a very good idea here. I can deffinately seeing people being more willing to pay for this then for paying for 2 seperate accounts. I think it will get the ringers more revenue (whether its cost effective from a profit stand point they'd have to figure out). I also like the idea haveing a primary account holder being informed when the other accounts do something not so nice (i.e. getting banned or warned [if that could ever happen]) as this would give parents a better feeling of control and knowledge over what their child(children) are doing. It would also set up Y!PP as a family friendly game that might make more parents willing to even look at letting their kids play.

(how about an 18+ ocean so I don't have to put up with the kids. . . jk mostly. . .)
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Kelyon Hawk of Fidelis Bellum
[Sep 26, 2003 10:25:11 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
joedigriz

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Re: Family discounts Reply to this Post
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Sorry about that. Perhaps I have misinterpeted what Amberyl was saying, but the whole part about "4 accounts w/ no alts" brought to mind how many ISPs do email now. You don't have to open up an ISP account for every member of the family, instead, each member gets their own email address and settings, all of which run under the primary account. (Or, alternatively, the various "family minutes" plans for cell phones. The cell phones included are all separate, but are part of an overall account.) If terms-of-service for the ISP are violated, they don't bother to delete the email address involved; they actually disable the entire account. Meaning no one can login, receive email, etc for the whole family.

So I'm thinking that, rather than four "full member" accounts, there's actually a special type of account called "family" which contains up to 4 (depending on amount paid, of course) separate-but-equal subaccounts. Each subaccount itself is considered part of the overall account, but to avoid people using it as a "cheap way to get multiple accounts", each subaccount is marked "no alts". And if one of the subaccounts violates TOS, then everyone in the account suffers. (This is to avoid people purchasing family-packs for themselves and using it as a way to have a "good" character and a "bad character". Or simply having a backup character on a different subaccount that can be used to continue doing whatever the first character would get banned for.) Each subaccount would be linked to a different login name/password, but all would run under a master account linked to a single email address. That email address would receive a message like "Your YPP acct was locked on <date> because <pirate name>, which is on the subaccount <login name>, did the following."

Don't get me wrong; I liked the idea from the start. This is certainly the type of game for which it would be attractive to have the option. I'm just trying to figure out the best way to keep it from being abused by those of us with a maturity level about on par with someone in kindergarten.
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Garbuck - Red Mantis Scapegoat and Pretty Pretty Princess
[Sep 26, 2003 10:40:43 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    jal_95    joedigriz [Link]  Go to top 
Tee_Beard



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Thanks for the clarification.

Well, one way of doing it would be to not only charge for unbanning sub-accounts in the family account, and the same time banning the whole account if the number of banned sub-accounts are above n.

What n is depends on Three Rings again, of course. I personally go for two: why would a family have two account members banned at the same time?

But again, if they do something like this, clear warnings should be given ahead of time: parents should receive ample warning when they sign up to something like this, so that they can tell their children what they're expected to do.

Though, personally, I believe banning would be significantly reduced if there was a robust justice system in place. But a justice system, in a pirate game? That's so... wrong.
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Thesis
It’s kind of funny/sad how I still can find the thing that made me part of Y!PP canon.
[Sep 27, 2003 1:05:08 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
gahris

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Re: Family discounts Reply to this Post
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here is something, the 4 people that play Y!PP at the same time, if there was no family discounts, 3 of those people would not own an account, and it would only be 1 account running.


What about having the option for multiple logins ((same time)) for accounts as a standard? so i can login this account, my mother, AND my bother at the same time? that could save alot of fustration I think
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Worship your evil moogle master you insolent fools! ¬_¬
[Sep 27, 2003 1:20:50 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Lizzie

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Re: Family discounts Reply to this Post
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That's completely against the TOS, which clearly state only one person per account.
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Ravine
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[Sep 27, 2003 1:59:04 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
KingHuds



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Re: Family discounts Reply to this Post
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The ToS may change when the game goes gold though as in other games I have played.

Also the multple logins at once: NO NO NO

One person could have 3 pirates on one account all playing at once by one person

There may be able to be multiple people using one account since your actually paying for the account though.
[Sep 27, 2003 2:38:35 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Tee_Beard



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Re: Family discounts Reply to this Post
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You know, we shouldn't be callinng the family account an account, because that's misleading.

Since it's an account with Three Rings containing many accounts for characters within the Y!PP world, we should be calling it a family meta-account, because that's what it is.
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Thesis
It’s kind of funny/sad how I still can find the thing that made me part of Y!PP canon.
[Sep 27, 2003 3:34:58 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Cleaver
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Family Account Reply to this Post
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We've discussed this idea a bit (as we've been implementing the billing system) and I don't think we'll have a family discount right away -- we hope that the tester discount should be sufficiently appealling that people who need multiple accounts will go that way.

I'd like to have a family discount, though, not least because I'm delighted that couples and families play. There are some issues with people mis-using it, but given that the accounts were on the some credit card it's unlikely that too many people would abuse it.
[Sep 28, 2003 2:33:49 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://www.puzzlepirates.com/ [Link]  Go to top 
Jothmar



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Would there be some way to switch over from two seperate accounts to one account? This would be helpful at least when the change first goes into affect, so that families can easily merge their accounts without to many hassles.
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Kelyon Hawk of Fidelis Bellum
[Sep 28, 2003 10:12:54 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
6Dragonfly9



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Jothmar wrote: 
Would there be some way to switch over from two seperate accounts to one account? This would be helpful at least when the change first goes into affect, so that families can easily merge their accounts without to many hassles.


But this would clearly violate the ToS or Terms of Service that states:

 
9. Your Account is Your Responsibility. You are solely responsible and entirely liable for all activities conducted through your account and/or your User ID, even if your account has been compromised through no fault of your own. Three Rings encourages you to maintain the confidentiality of your password, and reminds you that you do not have a license to let others use your account. You agree to notify Three Rings immediately in the event your password is lost, stolen, disclosed or compromised. It is not Three Rings' policy to ask for your password online, and Three Rings suggests that you never respond to an on-line request for your password. You acknowledge that although the Site, Services and/or Games may offer a feature that allows you to "remember" your password and thereby bypass the password protection, this feature makes it possible for third parties to access your account and User ID. Three Rings strongly discourages the use of the password bypass feature, which will in any event be at your own risk.


You can find the complete ToS here:

http://www.puzzlepirates.com/about/tos.html

I hope this helps those that for some reason are determined to want multiple people having pirates on one single account.
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A Note From Yer Local Beta Tester,
Dragonlilly
[Sep 28, 2003 11:42:42 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    dragonslilbird [Link]  Go to top 
joedigriz

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I think he was referring to being able to take separate full accounts and put them under a family plan later on.
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Garbuck - Red Mantis Scapegoat and Pretty Pretty Princess
[Sep 29, 2003 12:42:46 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    jal_95    joedigriz [Link]  Go to top 
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