Dev update 2020-03-08: new account resources

  • Dev Team


    Sorry perhaps my use of the word max CPU is confusing. I do not mean people should be able to go outside 300 CPU or whatever their GCL allows. I was only suggesting you could pick something in the middle between 20 and and your max potential. Say someone has a potential 120 CPU (from GCL) based on a long running 20 CPU colony, if they buy a token they can't suddenly use this extra 100 CPU effectively especially if it's short term. If you'd sell volumes of CPU he could choose to use it for say an extra 10 cpu for 240 hours instead of 24 hours. Otherwise you'd sell him 100 where he'd only be able to squeeze out 10.

    Yes, I understood you correctly. You suggest to allow people to increase their CPU gradually (within their GCL limit), paying less when they want to have less CPU, and paying more when they want more. It's pay-to-have-more-benefit, or, in other words, pay-to-win.

    Currently we have only two tiers, paid and unpaid players, but your suggestion is to create a wide variety of paid-less and paid-more players. Someone with GCL 28 will be able to pay for full limit and thus will gain more benefit than another player with GCL 28 who paid less.

    Fact remains that, independent of their granularity, the selling of tokens for credits allows you to do some significant padding to your resource income on top of what you could otherwise produce yourself.

    Totally. But the game administration is not involved here, it's player-to-player interaction. Benefits (credits) are not created from thin air, they're legitimately obtained in game.

  • @artch said in Dev update 2020-03-08: new account resources:

    Totally. But the game administration is not involved here, it's player-to-player interaction. Benefits (credits) are not created from thin air, they're legitimately obtained in game.

    I don't agree with this reasoning. I drew my wallet and gained a competitive advantage; "administration" as you call it has made this possible by selling me a voucher I can convert to in-game credits. It's OK, it's pretty marginal currently, I am not objecting to the system, it is what it is though.

    Selling CPU more granular would align directly with server hosting cost, anyhow it was just a suggestion, overcharged small players are probably paying for my large CPU footprint as a lifetime sub. I was just curious how this 24 hour thing would be beneficial for players. I think it's to be found mostly on the token trading side of things.

  • @artch said in Dev update 2020-03-08: new account resources:

    We're going to provide a fixed amount of all account resources on the in-game market by NPC orders as well.

    This is something I'm curious about with your new scheme. Currently, you need to buy the tokens from you, Ok, that's perfectly reasonable. I believe they cost somewhere in the range of 17.50 USD each. That's between a pure month to month sub (9.95 USD) and the 41.00 USD for a 6 month sub. As I'm grandfathered in, I can always switch back to the 6 month sub.

    Or, you can buy them from the Steam Market. Here's where it get a bit weird: There, they sell for less than 9 bucks (That's where I get mine.) That's even cheaper than a 6 month sub. So, it would already seem that there's a source of them that drives the "value" down (Preventing some from being bought from you.) Adding an easy to buy from the NPCs source on top of that would make them even cheaper. Now, I know where a lot of them could be coming from, "bug" awards and the like... but shouldn't THOSE tokens be non transferable?

    Can you stop them from being sold on the Steam Market place? Your ability to be the sole source of them needs to be sacrosanct for them to be a good revenue stream. And by "good" I mean "legit."

    Don't get me wrong, I support where you're going here. I just want to be sure you legitimately get your due revenue from the tokens. If it turns out that there are actually people buying them for 17.50 USD from you, then selling them to me for 8.50 USD... great.

  • Steam Market is still a thing?
    He does have a point there.

  • Dev Team

    We're perfectly fine with that, it is expected. The NPC supply will be limited and controlled.

  • I'm really looking forward to seasons. I'd love to hear more about that.

  • My gut feeling is that CPU tokens will underperform subscriptions in terms of revenue (and I have a fair amount of experience in this area).

    It seems like the devs are replacing a simple elegant system with a fiddly complex one.

    Is the goal to ultimately charge more per clock cycle? I.e. will running with CPU tokens 100% of the time cost more than a subscription? I wonder if the real fix is just to charge more for subscriptions if that is the case. We're all programmers. Our hourly billing rate is 30-50x the monthly subscription cost right now. We don't care what it costs, probably. I don't even know what it is.

    I'm happy paying for my subscription right now even though I hardly play at all any more because I like supporting this weird indie game. However, I hardly ever participate in any game economy that involves microtransactions, and the mere presence of them in a "skill based" game for anything other than purely cosmetic stuff makes me not want to play the game any more. Maybe I am old and out of touch.

    High level question: if Screeps were twice as good at converting free players to subscriptions would the devs be considering this change? If not, is the real problem actually somewhere else?

  • Dev Team

    @shedletsky Nobody likes subscriptions. A game item is way more easy to understand than some real-life financial relationships. And with 24-day tokens much more people will become involved in this, than with 30/60-days minimum commitment.

    Also, the idea is not to increase revenue from CPU selling (we're fine if it will not), but to streamline the entire account resources system, make it more game-like and less service-like.

  • @shedletsky your point of view is totally legit but lets face it, programmers are not the majority out there.
    (Even so any sane person sees that software dominates our everyday life and we need way more of them)

    So if screeps wants to grow it needs to be appealing to new players (non programmers) and subscriptions are a BIG turn off for a lot of people, i.e. like me.
    I f-ing hate subs, that is one of the major reasons why stopped playing EVE etc.
    I really can't stand it if a game tells me what to do with my time. (I know silly, isn't it. But I'm just a dumb human)
    Subs are "forcing a commitment" that a lot of people don't like, the 24h token are way more approachable and don't feel like a big commitment.
    This "giving a choice" is a big part in the decision for newbies to continue to play the game and this is the goal.
    Selling tokens lowers also the bar quite a lot for new players to get access to new resources and gameplay elements.

    It's like YT videos you have around 10 secs to gain the viewers attention, if you waste that with a stupid intro you will get skipped a lot.

    Does it boil down to the same result at the end of the month? Yes it does!
    But it does feel a heck of a lot different to a sub.

    Thinking about it, @artch I think you should rise the price of the lifetime sub to 150 bucks. Seems more appropriate with this change.
    Also I wonder how granular will you sell the tokens?
    By piece, packs, mass rebate?
    It may also be interesting to hint to the steam market for low quantities so you don't have to deals with so many transactions.
    Every transaction is something with the potential to go wrong.

  • Dev Team

    @mrfaul said in Dev update 2020-03-08: new account resources:

    Also I wonder how granular will you sell the tokens?

    The official store will sell it in bundles of 30, 60, and 90 tokens. But on the in-game market or Steam Community Market you can buy a single token as well.

  • Do you plan on something like a starter pack with all 3 res in limited quantities but with a cheap entry price...
    Uhhhh wait you can use the steam version for that 😁

  • Reading through all the comments here shows the devs have pretty well thought about it, and thanks for the active respones from their side!

    Something that's not very clear to met yet is how you deal with these "account resources" in combination with the "seasonal mode" that's being worked on. In my opinion it's very important that these seasonal modes are a "fair" fight which shouldn't be influenced by account resources either gathered from paying with RL money or originating from the persistent MMO mode.

    The seasonal will become quite competitive I guess and being able to retrieve an advantage there would seriously ruin this mode. Would it be possible to completely block selling CPU "blocks" in this mode or at least restrict it until you reach like GCL5 or something?


  • To my understanding they are standalone shards with own rules and have nothing to do with the persistent world, besides the fact that you need access keys.
    You won't be able to transfer anything to them.

    Dunno about events in the persistent world, but those are probably just fun gimmicks where you can get special cosmetics and such.

  • Dev Team

    @qzarstb In our current plan, there will be no usable account resources on the seasonal server. Seasonal server supposed to be a separate server so you won't benefit from your account at the persistent server, no matter how big or how wealthy you are there.


  • Goggles,

    Any idea as to the extents of the "rule changes" for the seasonal server? I.E. If it takes ~14M energy to level a room to level 8, and the "season" only lasts 2 and a half months... even at a 1 second tick that's going to be a pretty small colony at the end. Starting cold is a beast, and I get that exercising the cold start code will be a big part of the seasonal server, as it is in the impromptu "combat" servers on screeps plus, but the game's systems are geared for level 8 rooms.

    So, to rephrase, any idea as to the changes to make leveling faster?

  • Dev Team

    @smokeman this is yet to be decided.

  • The seasons sound like a great change, and shrinking the tokens to add market liquidity also sounds nice. Maybe the tokens could be shortened even more, to 3 or 6 hours. 24 hours also sounds like a big commitment for a new player.

    As far as lifetime subs go, my vote is to either keep selling them or remove them for all players. Sounds like the plan is to keep selling them, which is good & fair enough.

  • Dev Team

    @yoner Lifetime unlocks are here to stay, we're going to discontinue recurring subscriptions only.

  • For those who still don't understand or are skeptical why this is a step in the right direction watch this:

    It is old but still relevant.