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Black Gold: Snail Games Announces Monetization Model

BillMurphyBillMurphy Managing EditorBerea, OHPosts: 2,369MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

The Black Gold folks at Snail Games have pulled the cover off their monetization model for the upcoming steampunk MMORPG. Read on for exactly how it will work. It's a bit unusual, so take a minute to chew on it before commenting:

Snail Games today announced new monetization details for the North American version of its upcoming steampunk fantasy MMORPG, Black Gold Online. Following a recent Chinese announcement for the model, the company provided additional information on its Optimal Time-Based File Save Model, which acts as a feature to supplement normal game progression.

To maximize player experience, Snail Games' new save system replaces the cash shop, providing players the opportunity to gain items that they can use or sell. In an effort to focus on refining the game itself, the Optimal Time-Based File Save Model presents the value of time and places the initiative in players' hands -- allowing them to decide if their time spent in game is actually worth paying for. Players will no longer have to spend time shopping for items; instead, they will be able to dictate their own gameplay progression using the new model, hence only purchasing worthwhile items.

Using the Optimal Time-Based File Save Model, Snail Games pushes the free-to-play boundary even further, so players don't have to spend anything to enjoy the game to the fullest. While all the content is available through normal game progression, players who want to experience the content at their own pace can do so through in-game paid options.

Read more about the model at the official site:

Choice in players’ hands

With every vial creation, players will have two options on how to deal with their save:

1) Receive for free or pay with credits and loot all the content within

2) Traded on the Time Exchange for credits(normally acquired through real-life currency)

As the industry pioneer with this monetization model, Snail Games aim at pushing the Free-to-Play boundary further, players don’t have to spend anything to enjoy the game to the fullest. All the content is available through normal game progression. For those that want to experience content quicker, the option is always there.

Comments

  • SoulriftSoulrift Toronto, ONPosts: 31Member Uncommon
    I still don't get it. You have to pay them to save your character file?
  • BillMurphyBillMurphy Managing Editor Berea, OHPosts: 2,369MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

    I'm still processing it myself, but from what I can gather: no cash shop at all. Instead, you can unlock content and features faster if you pay.  Otherwise, it'll take longer to unlock said content and features, but you can do so entirely for free.

    I think?

  • UnshraUnshra Hanover, MDPosts: 382Member
    They call it the save system I call it Pay to Loot.

    image
    Because flying a Minmatar ship is like going down a flight of stairs on an office chair while firing an Uzi.

  • SpottyGekkoSpottyGekko RotterdamPosts: 3,845Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Unshra
    They call it the save system I call it Pay to Loot.

    And I call it a spectacularly poor translation into English. I can't make head or tail of it.

    Hopefully someone will be able to read the Chinese site and do a proper translation and post it here. It sounds like an "interesting" payment model. I wouldn't touch the game with a barge-pole, but it's always entertaining to see what intricate scams they can come up with next. :D

  • Arachneus1Arachneus1 Naugatuck, CTPosts: 248Member

    So this is how I got it:

    Every hour you will get a "time save" which is basically a  bunch of loot inside the item.  The more you do in the hour the more/better loot will be inside.  Right now free members get 2 times to open these "time saves" for free every 24 hours.  If you gather any more you can either sell them for cash money credits to other players or open them with cash money credits. 

    So basically free players get 2hours of gameplay to gain loot, and then would grind hard to sell the best "time saves" for credits to open more loot for themselves in another hour.

  • RazeeksterRazeekster Solon, MEPosts: 2,201Member Uncommon
    I am super confused.

    Smile

  • GrayImpactGrayImpact NetherlandsPosts: 985Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Arachneus1

    So this is how I got it:

    Every hour you will get a "time save" which is basically a  bunch of loot inside the item.  The more you do in the hour the more/better loot will be inside.  Right now free members get 2 times to open these "time saves" for free every 24 hours.  If you gather any more you can either sell them for cash money credits to other players or open them with cash money credits. 

    So basically free players get 2hours of gameplay to gain loot, and then would grind hard to sell the best "time saves" for credits to open more loot for themselves in another hour.

    I still don't get it. x.x

  • mattic65mattic65 Culloden, GAPosts: 190Member Uncommon
    This sounds similar to a model that a few Korean MMOs utilize...but not exactly. The games I'm speaking of require you to pay for time spent playing the game. Think in terms of an arcade machine, where casual players may get away only spending a few quarters, where the hardcore crowd might go through a roll of them. BUT I'm not so sure that this is what that is. Now my head hurts.
  • vandal5627vandal5627 Jersey City, NJPosts: 586Member Uncommon
    I think they're basically doing what alot of mobile online rpgs are doing.  You can play the whole game but everything is on a timer, like when you get the next treasure chest, when you can go further in the story, etc etc.  If you pay, you progress faster, if you don't pay, you just wait for the time to build up and then you progress.
  • muffins89muffins89 Yakima, WAPosts: 1,306Member Uncommon
    im not interested enough in steampunk to even begin to want to figure this out.

    I think the prostitute mod corrupted your game files man. -elhefen

  • GinazGinaz Calgary, ABPosts: 1,731Member Uncommon
    What?

    image

    Is a man not entitled to the herp of his derp?

    Remember, I live in a world where juggalos and yugioh players are real things.

  • rojoArcueidrojoArcueid hell, NJPosts: 6,779Member Uncommon

    "the Optimal Time-Based File Save Model presents the value of time and places the initiative in players' hands -- allowing them to decide if their time spent in game is actually worth paying for."

     

     

    so after a few hours of intese dungeon or raiding content if i dont pay real money i just wasted my time?

    Like a single player game where you progress far into the game and someone trips on the power cord and you didnt save........ poofffffff all gone.

    Madness!....

    image
  • TorcipTorcip Sterling Heights, MIPosts: 669Member
    What this seems to remind me of is mobile games, and the horrible pay or wait system they brought with it.  Guh.
  • azmundaiazmundai St Louis, MOPosts: 1,417Member
    Originally posted by BillMurphy

    I'm still processing it myself, but from what I can gather: no cash shop at all. Instead, you can unlock content and features faster if you pay.  Otherwise, it'll take longer to unlock said content and features, but you can do so entirely for free.

    I think?

    that's an interesting idea I guess. it would have to be tied to in-game time though, not time since you started, or people will just play other games until the content is unlocked. 

    LFD tools are great for cramming people into content, but quality > quantity.
    I am, usually on the sandbox .. more "hardcore" side of things, but I also do just want to have fun. So lighten up already :)

  • NasaNasa DenmarkPosts: 424Member Uncommon

    To me it seems like the rare loot will be locked. You can pay to unlock the loot.

    In any case the system is very bad explained.

  • PicchuPicchu Clemson, SCPosts: 20Member

    From what their Facebook page admin has explained to me, nothing is locked from you in that save slot. You can loot everything, and you keep all your EXP and PvP gains the whole time. What happens with the save slot stuff is that each hour your progress is recorded. When you buy that save slot you receive a "Vial of Time" item. This item will be of varying quality based on what you did that hour, so if you did a lot of things like dungeons and hunting world bosses the item will be of high quality. What you can do with this item either A)use it yourself to get a random item, with higher quality vials presumably giving a higher chance at good items, or B) sell it on the market (specifically for these vials, since there's also an AH) for cash credits. 

    Definitely confusing, but it'll be interesting to see in action.

  • BigmamajamaBigmamajama Houston, TXPosts: 198Member
    Or we can just start paying for our games again and not have to deal with all this nonsense.
  • iamjayismiamjayism hong kongPosts: 3Member

    Actually this article missed the whole core idea, from Snail official site:

    "acts as a bonus, completey optional feature to supplement normal game progression. PvE experience and PvP rankings remains unaffected and all levels of equipment and materials(white to epic) can be acquired in game via questing, battegrounds, auction and world drops."

    So it's clearly explained it doesnt affect normal game play. And this system gives you two chances of extra loot every day, but paying players will want to get more. 

  • SpottyGekkoSpottyGekko RotterdamPosts: 3,845Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by iamjayism

    Actually this article missed the whole core idea, from Snail official site:

    "acts as a bonus, completey optional feature to supplement normal game progression. PvE experience and PvP rankings remains unaffected and all levels of equipment and materials(white to epic) can be acquired in game via questing, battegrounds, auction and world drops."

    So it's clearly explained it doesnt affect normal game play. And this system gives you two chances of extra loot every day, but paying players will want to get more. 

    So actually, these "Time Capsules" are just "Mystical Lockboxes" with a twist ?

    If you can earn all levels of loot through normal game play, why on earth would you want to pay for a lockbox containing random loot ?

    I can only imagine that you will not be earning "all levels of loot" at the same rate as you could in a subscription game.

     

    TL:DR: Grind until your fingers bleed, or pay for lockboxes which "have a chance of awesome loot" ?

  • czombieczombie Monroe, MIPosts: 82Member
    Originally posted by SpottyGekko

    TL:DR: Grind until your fingers bleed, or pay for lockboxes which "have a chance of awesome loot" ?

    Or grind until your fingers bleed and sell the benefits of this grinding for even more chances at awesome loot.  From what I read, it sounds like a "feed the whales" system that can help those with a lot of time but little money.  It seems this system would dissuade gold farming because gold farming is built right into the game mechanics itself.  

  • NaowutNaowut MusselkanaalPosts: 647Member Uncommon

    Sounds exactly like the Dota 2 treasure boxes you get after every game. Theyre useless unles you buy a 2 euro key to open it.

     

    In games like Dota its fine because they are useles vanity items I don't want anyway, but in an mmorpg that by design revolves around loot I find this worse than a cash shop.

     

    Subscripton model ftw.

  • mattic65mattic65 Culloden, GAPosts: 190Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Bigmamajama
    Or we can just start paying for our games again and not have to deal with all this nonsense.

    This.

  • DMKanoDMKano Gamercentral, AKPosts: 8,553Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by mattic65
    Originally posted by Bigmamajama
    Or we can just start paying for our games again and not have to deal with all this nonsense.

    This.

    Well that's thee problem, how many would be willing to pay for this game - at least free I might give it a shot. I don't like steampunk, so chances are I'll uninstall it after 30min, but if it were P2P I would never even bother.

    P2P means I will only do it if I am absolutely certain I will love it - current list of games I will not play due to payment model:

    FF ARR - good game,  not worth the sub to me

    Wildstar - lukewarm before, after P2P announcement its off my list

    ESO - lukewarm, again with P2P - not gonna try, skip for me

     

    I am not gonna spend $60 and then pay $15 on top of that starting the 2nd month... no way in hell. If we pay $60 upfront, why not get 4 months of play included?

     

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