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Big Changes on Imperian

Jeremy SaundersJeremy Saunders Administrator Posts: 1,247 admin

Imperian’s activity has been slowing the last couple of years. Players have been transferring to the other IRE games. Retirement has allowed players to group together on larger games and is a behavior we expected.

Fear not, Imperian will never close as it costs us very little to keep the game running on our servers. Iron Realms has decided to make a significant change to some core systems in Imperian. The game will transition from a “Free to Play” game, to a “Free” game.

Imperian will turn off credit sales and transition to a completely free game over the next month. The game may occasionally offer items, such as phylacteries, for sale on the website. Sales will not be the norm and will likely only happen a couple of times per year. Characters will be able to generate credits and lessons from in-game activities. A tentative list of ways character may generate credits is below.

Imperian as a “Free” game is an exciting chance to try something new in Iron Realms. Most MUDs do not have the resources to provide servers, code, and support at the same level of Iron Realms. Imperian will continue to enjoy these benefits. Imperian can refrain from the time-consuming activity of designing and implementing promotional items. Development time will focus on the story and making improvements to the game.

Imperian will be looking for someone who would like to drive the story forward. I’ll be focusing more on IRE-wide matters, but I’ll still be here daily to take care of any issues or problems. Dec and Eoghan will continue developing the game world. Oversight of the game story will be overseen by Eoghan and myself. Our new person will be deciding which way to go, making the daily decisions, planning and running events. I will post more about this position in the next couple of days.

On August 1st we will set the retirement value of your character and it will no longer change. Characters will continue to be able to retire at any time after that point. Characters will not be able to increase retirement value by earning more credits. New characters will not be able to retire. Also, you will no longer be able to use retirement credits from other games on Imperian.

Here is a tentative list of how a character will be able to earn credits in Imperian.

Characters may gain BOUND credits for the following activities.

  • Spawnwave Rewards: Up to 10 per day at diminishing returns per wave done
  • Achievements: We will be changing many achievements to credit rewards
  • Major Quests: 1 to 10 credits for completing major quests in the game
  • Major Bosses: Reward credits when killing major bosses in the game
  • Building and Guide Volunteers: We will be increasing payout here.
  • Crafting Approvals: We will review the amounts.
  • Help File Bounties: Credits for improving help files.
  • No-Brainer Lesson and Credits: These will exist at a gold cost.

Characters may gain normal credits for the following activities.

  • In-game Prizes: Admin will reward for gem hunts, events, arena contests, etc.
  • Credit Auction: The game will periodically sell credits for gold.
  • Credit Market: Will continue as currently designed.
  • Organizations: These will generate credits in some way.



Gjarrus
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Comments

  • Jeremy SaundersJeremy Saunders Administrator Posts: 1,247 admin
    I have been asked about tokens, and how people will be able to earn them. We will have a way via quests or something similar.

  • FanglorFanglor Member Posts: 155 ✭✭✭
    The biggest part of this that I thank you for:

    Fear not, Imperian will never close as it costs us very little to keep the game running on our servers.
  • GaltGalt Member, Beta Testers Posts: 265 ✭✭✭
    I like this change. More contests etc in game will be fun!

    How will the org generated credits work?
  • GjarrusGjarrus Member, Beta Testers Posts: 620 ✭✭✭✭
    I think this is a good move, but there will obviously be some power in the hands of oldbies with massive credit values.

    As long as this doesn't tank the dev speed of some needed changes (aspect/champ/obelisks/caravans/etc), then a big +1 from me.
  • Jeremy SaundersJeremy Saunders Administrator Posts: 1,247 admin
    Galt said:
    I like this change. More contests etc in game will be fun!

    How will the org generated credits work?
    I am not 100% sure on org credits yet. I think they will revolve around the PvP objectives though.

    FanglorSeig
  • EoghanEoghan Member, Immortal Posts: 914 mod
    Galt said:
    I like this change. More contests etc in game will be fun!

    How will the org generated credits work?
    I am not 100% sure on org credits yet. I think they will revolve around the PvP objectives though.
    In addition to this, we're also considering things like circle-based gemhunts, capture-the-flag, etc. I also want to approach some RP-focused rewards, but these are difficult to balance without an appearance of favoritism, so it's all very much in the idea stage.
    Like what we're doing? Why not take a second to vote? Vote for Imperian at http://www.imperian.com/vote
    Seig
  • VaughnVaughn Member Posts: 6
    Gjarrus said:
    I think this is a good move, but there will obviously be some power in the hands of oldbies with massive credit values.

    As long as this doesn't tank the dev speed of some needed changes (aspect/champ/obelisks/caravans/etc), then a big +1 from me.
    Those oldies with their massive artifact collection will always have that advantage. That wouldn't change even if they keep the cash system for obtaining credits. What this allows though, is for more ways for people who aren't able to buy into credit to be able to earn them and gain access to some of the wonderful artifacts and things like crafting licenses. I'm looking forward to continuing to expand my Crafting Skills as well as picking up a couple more hunting artifacts.
  • RycRyc Member, Beta Testers Posts: 82 ✭✭✭
    you have to be careful balancing where people can get credit's from, too slow/grindy and the new players will get 1shot by the arti whales and never have the option of buying a bunch up front, too fast and everyone becomes an arti-whale trivially. 
    SeigGjarrus
  • OystirOystir Member Posts: 454 ✭✭✭
    edited July 18
    So.. people who have invested actual money into their characters are restricted to a 50% return on their financial investment? I understand 'credit values are subject to change' per credit purchase warnings, but that's exactly not what's happening here; the real-life value of a credit is being literally, retroactively halved, and still gated behind the requirement that I start from scratch in a different IRE game.

    And now because I didn't 100% quit Imperian before playing a new MUD, the character I have been playing, the time investment on her and the 150$ I've spent on her are now guaranteed to be valueless with the removal of the option of credit trades (my imperian, your aetolian)?

    I dunno man. Great for Imperian to cut itself off as a revenue source but I'm still really annoyed as somebody who bought-in prior to this decision, and who has been punished for not ditching Imperian completely while patronizing IRE elsewhere. 
     You say, "This is much harder than just being a normal person."
  • OystirOystir Member Posts: 454 ✭✭✭
    edited July 18
    The change is completely premature and extremely frustrating when the game still has no viable direction. That lock-in to retirement, this entire system, should have come alongside the change in dev, with any valuable indicator that there's some reason to keep playing this game. NOW I get to liquidate my assets and THEN wait a few months to find out if I'm going to trash the character I've been actively playing or find out if Imperian is going to change. And retirement is still not a viable option and credit purchases are proven to be less valuable than ever - retroactively in Imperian and going forward in other games. 

    Nevermind the fact that this is the ONLY month you're allowing people from other games to retire to Imperian? Why. Would. Anyone. Do. That? So if Imperian is successful and people prefer it, their money spent elsewhere in IRE is likewise useless? And they're supposed to make this decision based on ... ? Jeremy stepping away from Imperian? That's not reassuring. That's pretty cynical if you ask me.

    Do you want us to have multiple characters in IRE or not? Retirement says 'no, one character', but these restrictions say, 'yes, value forced to be spread among many characters' while still requiring a gamble and/or operating within specific arbitrary rules that limit one's access. 


    I'm already taking a 50% loss on my time and money, and now it is guaranteed to be that exclusively. Let me access the investment I've made in Imperian on a different character. 
    Don't force me to take a 50% real-life financial loss while you gamble with Imperian's future playability.
    Again: Why am I being punished for investing time and money into your company?


    tldr: this effectively makes every dollar I've spent in Imperian worth 50 cents. And that's being extremely generous because credits are about to have zero real-life value. Oh, and I can only access the 50% money I've spent if I abandon the 150$ I've invested in a character elsewhere in your company. 

    And Imperian has nothing to offer me in return except an admission that they don't know what they're going to do with the game yet. 
    Post edited by Oystir on
     You say, "This is much harder than just being a normal person."
    Rokas
  • RokasRokas Member Posts: 127 ✭✭✭
    Yeah.... I'm going to agree with @Oystir. I wasn't planning on retiring anytime soon, but now I feel incentivized to sell off some of the big items that I have to maximize potential retire value. Warhorn, ruby (and other $$) earrings, tokens, essentially whatever has worth that can be traded in the promo market. Selling off said items hasn't been a priority because a) I don't really want to play another IRE game and b) I am using said items on the rare occasion I log in to do something other than check messages.

    The problem with being incentivized to sell off my items is that it negatively impacts my desire to play overall because, well, I no longer have said items, and I may as well consider all my items that I bought on the market as worthless because who in their right mind would pay for them at a value that makes sense? 
  • RokasRokas Member Posts: 127 ✭✭✭
    Will promo items that have a tradein value for credits be applied to retirement value or do I need to sacrifice them to maximize my character's value? 
  • SeigSeig Member Posts: 21 ✭✭
    I feel like this is a good change, and a good step in the right direction, and I'm especially happy that someone will be pushing the story now. I just have a quick question. Since achievements are going to be giving credits will that be applied retroactively, or will it be only new characters from then on. I would be okay with either I'm just curious
  • GjarrusGjarrus Member, Beta Testers Posts: 620 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: the spawnwave rewards and diminishing returns: I kinda glossed over this on first reading, but what do you mean by this? 10/5/3/1/1/etc or something?
  • EochaidEochaid Member Posts: 89

    Speaking as someone who tested Imperian out just because of the 1000 credit bashing reward. I played for a while had a bit of fun then got bored and went back to other more active IRE games.

    Free credits and being able to build my character without paying a lot is attractive. It could be something that draws me or others back to the game but it isn't something that is going to make me stick around.

    I got bored playing because there the conflict system here is dull and it felt like not many people in the game took part in it.

    I loved Imperian's bashing system. I loved doubloons but they are not enough to keep me interested if there is no active pvp.

  • FanglorFanglor Member Posts: 155 ✭✭✭
    Rokas said:
    Yeah.... I'm going to agree with @Oystir. I wasn't planning on retiring anytime soon, but now I feel incentivized to sell off some of the big items that I have to maximize potential retire value. Warhorn, ruby (and other $$) earrings, tokens, essentially whatever has worth that can be traded in the promo market. Selling off said items hasn't been a priority because a) I don't really want to play another IRE game and b) I am using said items on the rare occasion I log in to do something other than check messages.

    The problem with being incentivized to sell off my items is that it negatively impacts my desire to play overall because, well, I no longer have said items, and I may as well consider all my items that I bought on the market as worthless because who in their right mind would pay for them at a value that makes sense? 
    I will hurt you, buster, if you sell off bashing arti's. You're still needed
  • TydenTyden Member Posts: 98 ✭✭✭
    It would be nice that IRE offered a better retirement value up until August 1st. Since the game is changing from what people invested in and heading towards a new path that is.  I can sympathize with those upset, but at least the characters aren't fading away into nothingness.

    With that being said, looking forward to the future of Imperian and the new direction.


    Swale
  • Jeremy SaundersJeremy Saunders Administrator Posts: 1,247 admin
    edited July 18
    I'm not sure you understand how retirement works. Your artifacts are already part of your retirement value. Trading them in will do nothing to increase that value. What we are doing, is locking that value, so any credits earned after the 1st will not count toward that value. If you retire before or after the 1st, your retirement value will be the same.

    Edit: Oh yeah, I guess you can sell some on the promo market and get a bunch of credits back on your character. Not sure that will make a huge difference though. I'll have to investigate.

  • Jeremy SaundersJeremy Saunders Administrator Posts: 1,247 admin
    We will also be allowing people under the 1000 credit mark to retire as well if they want. I'll make a more formal announcement on that shortly.

  • RycRyc Member, Beta Testers Posts: 82 ✭✭✭
    @Jeremy Saunders as a possible solution to my previous post you could potentially make non trade skills be gained by default while leveling meaning that a more limited supply of credit sources is less of a worry because it's just artifacts needed, not skills as well. 
    Seig
  • OwynOwyn USMember Posts: 190 ✭✭✭
    @Eochaid Pk could be active, but it would likely fall on the shoulders of new people. If you want to engage in any and have friends just shoot me a tell if I'm around.
    Seig
  • SwaleSwale Member Posts: 294 ✭✭✭
    edited July 18
    As someone with multiple auction artifacts, and a combined char retire value just over 21570 credits (making my actual, "you paid this much" value according to IRE 43,140 credits plus auction artifacts), it's honestly just too big a hit for me to take right now.  I never planned to quit playing Imperian, ever.  That's why I spent so much money on it in good faith that the admin would do absolutely everything to make sure it was a playable game for years to come.  For now, I am going to ensure I have max value on all chars by the 1 August deadline, but won't immediately punch the retire button - at least not on my main.  

    But apparently the business model really did include many whales retiring (at 50% of staggering values like mine in some cases) and taking that hit.  The announce itself even boldly says so:

    "Imperian's activity has been slowing the last couple of years. Retirement has allowed players to group together on larger games and is a behavior we expected".  

    Players (including me) naively wanted retirement for entirely different reasons.  "Regular" 50% retirement was supposed to be a way to retain customers who had already spent many thousands of dollars on one IRE game.  Retirement meant that if they'd truly become tired of that game (which can happen even in a great, populated game at some point), but were interested in playing another IRE, that could become a realistic option.  The player wins because they can play a new IRE in something like the fashion they're accustomed to without making the sort of investment very, very few people would ever make twice, and IRE wins because they will almost certainly get -some- further investment from that guy, and they retain an active player on one of their games.  

    The frustration of many players on this thread is that we are being left with two choices - continue to play a game that hasn't been viable for a long time and very well may never be again.  And also a game that will ultimately be forced to devalue your financial investment within the context of that same game to boot.  Or take a huge hit that, while, of course it's all perfectly "legal", also isn't something that is going to make any thinking customer feel confident buying any more IRE credits.  And when you're talking such huge purchases, confidence and trust should be absolutely central.  
    Post edited by Swale on
  • Jeremy SaundersJeremy Saunders Administrator Posts: 1,247 admin
    Ryc said:
    @Jeremy Saunders as a possible solution to my previous post you could potentially make non trade skills be gained by default while leveling meaning that a more limited supply of credit sources is less of a worry because it's just artifacts needed, not skills as well. 
    What's the difference between that and just converting credits to lessons. I think most people would rather have the flexibility of credits and the ability to choose how to use them versus just raising skillranks. 

    That said, I do like the idea of just gaining skillranks as you use the abilities, but I "think" most people would rather just make the decisions themselves there.

    Unless I am totally misunderstanding you.

  • SeigSeig Member Posts: 21 ✭✭
    Oh oh a question that hasn't been asked yet, what happens to subscriptions with this change? Are they going away as well or will they remain since they are bound credits anyways?
  • Jeremy SaundersJeremy Saunders Administrator Posts: 1,247 admin
    Seig said:
    Oh oh a question that hasn't been asked yet, what happens to subscriptions with this change? Are they going away as well or will they remain since they are bound credits anyways?
    We will be turning them all off. 

  • JesstinJesstin Member Posts: 11
    Retirement only a allows a character less than 30 days old to use the credits. Is there any way to change that so that an already established character in another IRE mud can access them? I have no interest in rolling a new one just for the sake of using the retirement credits, when they could possibly benefit one I already play.
  • Jeremy SaundersJeremy Saunders Administrator Posts: 1,247 admin
    Jesstin said:
    Retirement only a allows a character less than 30 days old to use the credits. Is there any way to change that so that an already established character in another IRE mud can access them? I have no interest in rolling a new one just for the sake of using the retirement credits, when they could possibly benefit one I already play.
    I don't think we will be making any changes to what characters can use retirement credits at this time. 

    Sorry!

  • Jeremy SaundersJeremy Saunders Administrator Posts: 1,247 admin
    Hey all - I see a few misconceptions here that I wanted to correct.

    First, retirement value is NOT half of credits purchased. Many variables are taken into account, and it's possible to have a negative value while having spent a lot of money just as it's possible to have a positive value having never spent any money at all.

    Second, there's no investment being made in any sense of owning something or expecting a return on the money you invested. You spend money and you get the rights to use <whatever> on Imperian's server until you don't have that right (because you gave it away, or sold it or lost it, or got banned, or whatever) any more. People make investments in order to get a return on them, but our Terms of Service explicitly bans that, saying, "Subject to all of the Terms, the Company hereby grants you a personal, non-exclusive, non-transferable license to access the Services and to use the Services solely for your personal entertainment purposes. You may not use the Services to generate revenue for yourself or any third party, in any way, without prior written permission from the Company."

    I think we've always been very clear that our games are solely for your personal entertainment, and aren't there to generate a return on money spent for you any more than a WoW subscription is there to generate money for you.

    Finally, retirement is there as a bonus for you guys. It's something most games companies don't do, whether they're subscription or powered by virtual goods sales. In the case of 99% of games companies, Imperian would have just been shut down a while ago because it hasn't been economically viable for a year or two, and we don't think that's going to change. We'd rather not have to do that and so we've found a course to preserve the world and keep it alive. If you decide you don't like Imperian, you're free to use retirement, just as you always have been. Nothing has changed in that sense and we're continuing to offer exactly the same retirement opportunity as we always have, just with the value not changing any more after August 1st.


    JesstinSarapisSeig
  • OwynOwyn USMember Posts: 190 ✭✭✭
    edited July 18
    @Jeremy Saunders Honestly I think you missed the larger concept of "investment" here. No one here means, "I bought credits so I expect my 'stocks' to generate income. I expect my credits to rise in value because they should." What everyone here means is, "We have invested (to put into) money into Imperian on good faith that Imperian remains a game that is enjoyable to play. Some of us have invested rather large sums in good faith with the company IRE as a whole. We do not expect more than what we put in, but you have devalued what we put in because the game is no longer enjoyable, and if I leave willingly that's $<insert large sum here> that I've thrown away just to re-invest the same money back into the same company." Basically, if it turns out that these changes don't improve the health of imperian, many of us feel stuck in a game we'd rather not be in by virtue of it no longer being a good game.

    I'm not saying that I echo these sentiments (yet); that will depend on how positively the changes being put in place affect the health of the game.

    To echo my 'feeling stuck' point I'll use this as an example: If you bought heavily into a product and that product became a lesser product than it was by virtue of a change in how it was made (not a change in competition), and the company that you have this relationship with told you, "We're sorry. We know that you've been a customer for x long and you've invested y much, but the only thing we can do for you is give us this other product that is the exact same as how this one was made, except we haven't changed its ingredients yet. Oh, but we can only give you half of it because it's worth x2 as much as what you currently have."

    Would you then feel confident in even giving that company more of your money?
    Swale
  • RycRyc Member, Beta Testers Posts: 82 ✭✭✭
    Ryc said:
    @Jeremy Saunders as a possible solution to my previous post you could potentially make non trade skills be gained by default while leveling meaning that a more limited supply of credit sources is less of a worry because it's just artifacts needed, not skills as well. 
    What's the difference between that and just converting credits to lessons. I think most people would rather have the flexibility of credits and the ability to choose how to use them versus just raising skillranks. 

    That said, I do like the idea of just gaining skillranks as you use the abilities, but I "think" most people would rather just make the decisions themselves there.

    Unless I am totally misunderstanding you.
    The worry I have is that if a new player has to spend credits on lessons to trans class/general/miniskills (assuming just the 5 relevant combat general skills) is that they're looking at 3130 credits to just trans skills that are combat relevant and most of them are a better purchase than any artifacts other than Surcoat, RoMB, Bracelets and maybe one or two others. That's a lot of credits, and for skills that are mostly things you want for fighting. And then you still need credits to purchase a bunch of artifacts before you can largely compete with any existing whales. Might just be too much grinding. Especially since I can no longer ragebuy them when I get smashed or win a million credits on the wheel promotion. At a bare minimum to fight (barring some specific classes that don't need Tri-Trans) I'd want tri-trans class skills, evasion, survival, antidotes and constitution, to not be 1 shot but l3/l3 knights or summoners or the like I'd want Surcoat, RoMB and probably Bracelets 2. That investment right there is 3881 credits. If as I level I get those skills (and others) that I'm going to need anyways, it's a fairly significant portion of credits that I can save in the grind for artifacts. Overall it boils down to how severely (or not) you restrict credit flow. There just isn't a tremendous reason now that the credits that would be spent for those skills aren't generating income for the game to make them need credits. 
    Seig
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