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One of the BEST developer posts... EVER.

Slapshot1188Slapshot1188 Member LegendaryPosts: 13,251
OK.  Regulars around here will probably know that I have been highly skeptical of this title.  I felt that their scope was far too grandiose for the team (and may still be).  Renfail and I have had a few tilts on the field of forums.  That said,  he recently posted a developer update on their main site that seems to have gone unnoticed.   I absolutely applaud the honesty here as he outlines what can reasonably be expected at launch.  I think if others quite clearly outlined things like this (instead of adding ridiculous Stretch Goals when they can't even complete the base game) a lot of heartache would be avoided!  Also, while they have opened a store, none of the money is being used to fund the game.  I was skeptical of this at first, but now that is clearly the case so I also applaud this.  Anyhow, without further adieu (warning, it's a really... really long read as Renfail apparently really likes to type): 

"That being said, with the recent rush of people's perception of what they THINK game companies are working on compared to what the companies are ACTUALLY working on (Star Citizen, Shroud of the Avatar, Chronicles of Elyria, Camelot Unchained, Pantheon, the chaos surrounding No Man’s Sky and players claiming false advertisement, etc.), we want to take the time to clear the air regarding our game and our development."

https://sagaoflucimia.com/forums/index.php?threads/feature-complete-managing-expectations.648/


"I should point out that no other company has shipped out a beta on a disc before this." - Official Mortal Online Lead Community Moderator

Proudly wearing the Harbinger badge since Dec 23, 2017. 

Coined the phrase "Role-Playing a Development Team" January 2018

"Oddly Slap is the main reason I stay in these forums." - Mystichaze April 9th 2018

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Comments

  • KyleranKyleran Member LegendaryPosts: 37,654
    edited October 2016
    I like his attitude and approach.

    Now I have to read up on what this game is about, really have no idea.

    OK, up to speed, will have to wish them well and play elsewhere.

    I admire what they are trying to do, but I'm more of a 2-3 hour play session sort of guy.

    Their target audiance of 3-6 hours a day, multiple days a week will have to wait until I retire. ;)

    "See normal people, I'm not one of them" | G-Easy & Big Sean

    "I need to finish" - Christian Wolff: The Accountant

    Just trying to live long enough to play a new, released MMORPG, playing FO76 at the moment.

    Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions. Pvbs 18:2, NIV

    Don't just play games, inhabit virtual worlds™

    "This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon






  • flizzerflizzer Member RarePosts: 2,442
    For a small team making a sub based game, I don't have the confidence it will be in a state I will find fun to play.  I prefer these larger companies with dedicated people and even then, so often the case, they still find it difficult. No way do I believe a small team can pull this off. 
  • KyleranKyleran Member LegendaryPosts: 37,654
    edited October 2016
    DMKano said:
    If 5K subs for them is winning the lotto, I wonder how low is viable to keep the project going. 
    They did say the sub price wasn't set yet, maybe it will be $100 per month?

    The private Country Club of MMORPGS. Perhaps there is a bit of mad genius in catering only to whales?

    "See normal people, I'm not one of them" | G-Easy & Big Sean

    "I need to finish" - Christian Wolff: The Accountant

    Just trying to live long enough to play a new, released MMORPG, playing FO76 at the moment.

    Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions. Pvbs 18:2, NIV

    Don't just play games, inhabit virtual worlds™

    "This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon






  • jmcdermottukjmcdermottuk Member RarePosts: 1,571
    DMKano said:
    If 5K subs for them is winning the lotto, I wonder how low is viable to keep the project going. 
    This sort of thing is often more about passion than profit. There's a version of Earth and Beyond that's run by half a dozen guys in their spare time that survives on $1200 a month in donations to keep the hardware running.

    I'm pretty sure if they got 5k people donating every month they'd think they had won the lotto.
  • MendelMendel Member EpicPosts: 4,455
    DMKano said:
    If 5K subs for them is winning the lotto, I wonder how low is viable to keep the project going. 
    I also wonder if the 5k number is viable.  They must have a pretty lousy lottery in their state.  I really wonder if they have any idea of the ongoing costs of hardware and networking, much less personnel costs.

    Some spit-ball math here.  5000 subscribers x $15 = $75,000 per month.  Dividing $75,000 into three piles, gives $25,000 for salaries, $25,000 for networking (connectivity charges, routing hardware and maintenance) and $25,000 for servers (hardware, software, licensing), hosting and miscellaneous expenses.  With 15 employees, $25,000 in salary only goes so far -- about 1665 per employee (about $20,000 per year salary per person) -- not including taxes, benefits, etc.  These people will be keeping their day job.   I hope their expectations are within those realities.  The other numbers also seem extremely marginal to me, and there's no place for recouping the cost of development.

    Logic, my dear, merely enables one to be wrong with great authority.

  • Slapshot1188Slapshot1188 Member LegendaryPosts: 13,251
    DMKano said:
    If 5K subs for them is winning the lotto, I wonder how low is viable to keep the project going. 
    Hey I am as big a skeptic as they come, but to be fair they are totally up front that they are doing this while holding day jobs.

    The point isn't to debate if 5k is a jackpot.  The point is that a developer is HONESTLY saying that what they launch with will be limited.  They haven't kicked off a massive marketing effort to try and have people support them while they create the game.  They are not drawing ANY salary until they launch, so if they fail to launch they all have a lot to lose.

    I'm happy to see a developer try to LOWER expectations this early in the process.  Normally we don't see that until just before launch, after they have collected tens of millions of dollars and they start to hint that the vast majority of their promises will come... later.

    Sure this means these guys won't have thousands of new people tossing money at them now, but at least the ones that DO  clearly know what they can expect and thus if extra stuff makes it in will actually be HAPPY instead of disappointed at the laundry list of cuts.

    Under promise and over deliver.  Not sure if they will in fact over deliver, but at least they have taken the step to clarify everyone's expectations PRIOR to getting millions of dollars thrown at them and then saying "Sorry No Refunds" or, "Thanks for the Million... now to actually launch the game please give us 2-3 million more!"




    "I should point out that no other company has shipped out a beta on a disc before this." - Official Mortal Online Lead Community Moderator

    Proudly wearing the Harbinger badge since Dec 23, 2017. 

    Coined the phrase "Role-Playing a Development Team" January 2018

    "Oddly Slap is the main reason I stay in these forums." - Mystichaze April 9th 2018

  • Slapshot1188Slapshot1188 Member LegendaryPosts: 13,251
    edited October 2016
    @TimEisen Maybe you can take a break from CoE to do an update on SoL one of these days.

    Again, I haven't given them a dime and have had some significant arguments with Renfail right on these forums (remember the whole box of tissues comments?) but when a developer does RIGHT about deflating irrational hype (and does so BEFORE they collect millions of dollars) this is the kind of stuff that should at least get a mention.


    "I should point out that no other company has shipped out a beta on a disc before this." - Official Mortal Online Lead Community Moderator

    Proudly wearing the Harbinger badge since Dec 23, 2017. 

    Coined the phrase "Role-Playing a Development Team" January 2018

    "Oddly Slap is the main reason I stay in these forums." - Mystichaze April 9th 2018

  • BuccaneerBuccaneer Member UncommonPosts: 654
    It's great to see a dev studio come out with a statement like this to keep perceptions and expectations within the realms of reality.  I wish them all success and hope the game exceeds their expectations.
  • SovrathSovrath Member LegendaryPosts: 29,662
    Buccaneer said:
    It's great to see a dev studio come out with a statement like this to keep perceptions and expectations within the realms of reality.  I wish them all success and hope the game exceeds their expectations.
    I absolutely agree thought this is something they should have said beforehand. Not just them, every mmo developer.
  • TalonsinTalonsin Member EpicPosts: 3,619
    Buccaneer said:
    It's great to see a dev studio come out with a statement like this to keep perceptions and expectations within the realms of reality.  I wish them all success and hope the game exceeds their expectations.
    Agreed
    "Sean (Murray) saying MP will be in the game is not remotely close to evidence that at the point of purchase people thought there was MP in the game."  - SEANMCAD

  • WarlyxWarlyx Member RarePosts: 3,087
    Mendel said:
    DMKano said:
    If 5K subs for them is winning the lotto, I wonder how low is viable to keep the project going. 
    I also wonder if the 5k number is viable.  They must have a pretty lousy lottery in their state.  I really wonder if they have any idea of the ongoing costs of hardware and networking, much less personnel costs.

    Some spit-ball math here.  5000 subscribers x $15 = $75,000 per month.  Dividing $75,000 into three piles, gives $25,000 for salaries, $25,000 for networking (connectivity charges, routing hardware and maintenance) and $25,000 for servers (hardware, software, licensing), hosting and miscellaneous expenses.  With 15 employees, $25,000 in salary only goes so far -- about 1665 per employee (about $20,000 per year salary per person) -- not including taxes, benefits, etc.  These people will be keeping their day job.   I hope their expectations are within those realities.  The other numbers also seem extremely marginal to me, and there's no place for recouping the cost of development.
    u need to keep 5k players forever , otherwise u are forced to lower salaries / start firing ppl or cutting corners :/
  • YashaXYashaX Member EpicPosts: 2,859


    Again, I haven't given them a dime and have had some significant arguments with Renfail right on these forums (remember the whole box of tissues comments?) but when a developer does RIGHT about deflating irrational hype (and does so BEFORE they collect millions of dollars) this is the kind of stuff that should at least get a mention.


    They have a small team and chose renfail to be the face of the company, pretty hard to take them seriously considering that. Maybe this dev should also do PR, sounds like he/she is on the right track.
    ....
  • Asm0deusAsm0deus Member EpicPosts: 3,441
    edited October 2016
    DMKano said:
    If 5K subs for them is winning the lotto, I wonder how low is viable to keep the project going. 
    Indeed. 

    If you take this statement, " Our “winning the lotto” outcome is more than 5,000 monthly subscriptions, allowing us to expand the team and work on even more features." from that interesting read linked in the OP.

    Then look at their FAQ on their website which says, " While our final price isn’t set in stone, you can expect it to be in the ballpark of 15 to 20 dollars a month."  I have to some concerns about this working out.

    I mean subs just isn't super viable nowadays barring some rare exceptions much less that low sub number they feel works.

    The game looks interesting and I will keep an eye on it but I am not giving them any money till the game is live and I can see some gameplay footage. 

    I am hoping this isn't one of those game where movement is sucky slow mo and walking is the defacto speed barring a few spurts of running.

    RIght now this is reminding far too much of Pathfinder Online.

    Brenics ~ Just to point out I do believe Chris Roberts is going down as the man who cheated backers and took down crowdfunding for gaming.





  • WizardryWizardry Member LegendaryPosts: 18,882
    While he might sound honest,there is still some shroud of uncertainty.

    When he mentions a year of content,i doubt it and when mentions a "slower pace"that can have a scary meaning behind it.Example Wizard 101 has a HORRIBLE questing system,they basically make you run from one end of the map to the other,nothing but a forced grind to accomplish very little.

    Furthermore,on the topic of content,i detest when all games have to offer are yellow question marks over npc heads.That type of game will hit my trash can faster than my dog can eat.If i am looking for a MMORPG,i want a WORLD with world mechanics/properties,i do NOT want yellow question marks or some questing on rails game.
    I also want to mention that even a GREAT game can be ruined if combat is too boring,or nothing has depth beyond the simplest form of kill bosses for loot,rinse and repeat.

    Bottom line is that making a game takes a LOT of pre planning and some real smart,insightful people running it.Anyone can make a crap game and seems that is why the market is flooded,just about anyone is attempting to make games.

    Never forget 3 mile Island and never trust a government official or company spokesman.

  • AlbatroesAlbatroes Member LegendaryPosts: 7,564
    edited October 2016
    Even though I applaud their efforts and honest (and I'm personally interested in the game), you have to look at competition and what they are willing to do. NCSoft and Daybreak already offer some form of 'legacy' servers for their games like EQ/2/Lineage 2 (Lineage might not be on this side yet? haven't checked). Not to mention we already had the heated thing this year between the legacy server devs of WoW and Blizzard, which is honestly free money for Blizzard if they decide to do it. People had to know that Blizzard wasn't ever gonna consider doing legacy servers with their latest expansion a few months away, but there's no telling what they decide to do depending on how future updates go since its live. If Blizzard does introduce legacy servers, it does shut down a lot of these projects for many people since that's what many people wish (I personally don't even though I wouldn't mind playing when cata was the latest expansion again, but I can't fund an entire game lol).
  • NanfoodleNanfoodle Member LegendaryPosts: 9,198
    Mendel said:
    DMKano said:
    If 5K subs for them is winning the lotto, I wonder how low is viable to keep the project going. 
    I also wonder if the 5k number is viable.  They must have a pretty lousy lottery in their state.  I really wonder if they have any idea of the ongoing costs of hardware and networking, much less personnel costs.

    Some spit-ball math here.  5000 subscribers x $15 = $75,000 per month.  Dividing $75,000 into three piles, gives $25,000 for salaries, $25,000 for networking (connectivity charges, routing hardware and maintenance) and $25,000 for servers (hardware, software, licensing), hosting and miscellaneous expenses.  With 15 employees, $25,000 in salary only goes so far -- about 1665 per employee (about $20,000 per year salary per person) -- not including taxes, benefits, etc.  These people will be keeping their day job.   I hope their expectations are within those realities.  The other numbers also seem extremely marginal to me, and there's no place for recouping the cost of development.
    Networking has become so cheap it normally becomes a footnote over listed expenses. I do agree 75k does not seem like allot. 
  • JoreelJoreel Member UncommonPosts: 148
    edited October 2016
    Kyleran said:
    DMKano said:
    If 5K subs for them is winning the lotto, I wonder how low is viable to keep the project going. 
    They did say the sub price wasn't set yet, maybe it will be $100 per month?

    The private Country Club of MMORPGS. Perhaps there is a bit of mad genius in catering only to whales?
    Actually I asked Renfail in a Q&A last Fall about the Sub price and he seem to believe that it would probably be around $15 a month. There is an option in the SoL store that if you are above the $500 pledge, then it will be $5 a month for life. But I agree it was a great article.
  • RenfailRenfail Member EpicPosts: 1,622
    Kyleran said:
    I like his attitude and approach.

    Now I have to read up on what this game is about, really have no idea.

    OK, up to speed, will have to wish them well and play elsewhere.

    I admire what they are trying to do, but I'm more of a 2-3 hour play session sort of guy.

    Their target audiance of 3-6 hours a day, multiple days a week will have to wait until I retire. ;)
    Those of us on the dev-team are all in the 2-3 hour play session range for weeknights, and 3-6 hours on weekends, and that's the core audience we are building for: people who game together with their friends, family, and colleagues, as opposed to only playing single player titles. 

    A great example was Niien and his friends in our most recent Early Access build; it was a Saturday and they blasted out nine hours on Saturday and then another few hours on Sunday. But had it been a weekday, those sessions would have been far shorter. And they were also playing with their significant others and close friends. 

    So yeah...we're not building a game for people who *only* have time to dedicate massive play sessions. It's more about planning your sessions in advance to get the most out of a group-based game...but there will still be plenty you can do in micro sessions of 30 minutes to an hour, like crafting, hunting down lore, harvesting with friends, or getting together with 2-3 people and heading out to kill bandits or hunt down something in the wilderness just outside of your outpost/city. 

    Meanwhile, the dungeons and raids are there for those sessions when you have a significant chunk of time to dedicate to playing. 
    Tim "Renfail" Anderson | Creator of the Saga of Lucimia
  • RenfailRenfail Member EpicPosts: 1,622
    DMKano said:
    If 5K subs for them is winning the lotto, I wonder how low is viable to keep the project going. 
    We all have day jobs, and we're all committed to the project regardless of how it pans out. 

    5k isn't winning the lotto. 5k is the minimum we're shooting for, the number that we feel comfortable we can obtain given our indie roots, no publisher, no major advertising budget, etc.  

    10k would be winning the lotto. 
    Tim "Renfail" Anderson | Creator of the Saga of Lucimia
  • RenfailRenfail Member EpicPosts: 1,622
    Mendel said:
    DMKano said:
    If 5K subs for them is winning the lotto, I wonder how low is viable to keep the project going. 
    I also wonder if the 5k number is viable.  They must have a pretty lousy lottery in their state.  I really wonder if they have any idea of the ongoing costs of hardware and networking, much less personnel costs.

    Some spit-ball math here.  5000 subscribers x $15 = $75,000 per month.  Dividing $75,000 into three piles, gives $25,000 for salaries, $25,000 for networking (connectivity charges, routing hardware and maintenance) and $25,000 for servers (hardware, software, licensing), hosting and miscellaneous expenses.  With 15 employees, $25,000 in salary only goes so far -- about 1665 per employee (about $20,000 per year salary per person) -- not including taxes, benefits, etc.  These people will be keeping their day job.   I hope their expectations are within those realities.  The other numbers also seem extremely marginal to me, and there's no place for recouping the cost of development.
    That's because we're not in this to "recoup" the cost of development. It has never been, nor will it ever be, about profit. 

    This is a hobby for us. Like building a train set, or flying drones, or painting models, or playing chess. It's something we do, for free, in our spare time. 

    Sure, we have some minimum goals in place. Goals that are there to ensure we have enough funds coming in to keep the servers going, to pay for lawyers, accountants, and the like. 

    And yes, we'd like to make some money, eventually. After the game launches; not before. 

    But we're setting our bar extremely low because we aren't in this to make millions (though we won't say no if they come our way). Rather, we're doing this because we want to, because we have a desire to, and because it's our passion. 

    At 5k subs only a handful of the team would go full-time: networking and customer support first and foremost, then from there we work our way down the list to programmers. Then are the world builders, artists, community managers, and lastly, me. 

    That's right, I'm the last guy on the totem pole who will ever draw a paycheck. Even though it's my vision. 

    That, and no one on the team would be willing to quit their day jobs unless we saw 6+ months of expansion past the launch of the title, or at least steady numbers without falling subscribers. 

    Assuming we hit our minimum numbers, a few of the core team members most critical to the day to day management of a live game get salaries first. The rest of us have a commitment to keep doing it in our spare time as we grow the game, and have a few bucks handed our way like a part-time job. As our subs grow, more team members can go full-time. 

    10k subs would let just about everyone on the team go full-time plus give us room to hire on a few new developers. So we'll just see what we see on the way there!
    Tim "Renfail" Anderson | Creator of the Saga of Lucimia
  • RenfailRenfail Member EpicPosts: 1,622
    Asm0deus said:
    DMKano said:
    If 5K subs for them is winning the lotto, I wonder how low is viable to keep the project going. 
    Indeed. 

    If you take this statement, " Our “winning the lotto” outcome is more than 5,000 monthly subscriptions, allowing us to expand the team and work on even more features." from that interesting read linked in the OP.

    Then look at their FAQ on their website which says, " While our final price isn’t set in stone, you can expect it to be in the ballpark of 15 to 20 dollars a month."  I have to some concerns about this working out.

    I mean subs just isn't super viable nowadays barring some rare exceptions much less that low sub number they feel works.

    The game looks interesting and I will keep an eye on it but I am not giving them any money till the game is live and I can see some gameplay footage. 

    I am hoping this isn't one of those game where movement is sucky slow mo and walking is the defacto speed barring a few spurts of running.

    RIght now this is reminding far too much of Pathfinder Online.
    So don't give us any money. We don't want it, nor do we need it in order to push our game live. Early Access isn't for skeptics. It's for people who share our passion. You are absolutely in the right to wait until release to pick up a copy and sub...or not. 

    We're taking a tabletop and realistic stance to our world, which means that walking is defacto speed, you have stamina that is tied to your Constitution (which means limited bursts of running, you tire while climbing, can drown while swimming, etc.) and mounts are the only way to speed up your movement rate (above and beyond some limited Relic items and spells). 
    Tim "Renfail" Anderson | Creator of the Saga of Lucimia
  • RenfailRenfail Member EpicPosts: 1,622
    YashaX said:


    Again, I haven't given them a dime and have had some significant arguments with Renfail right on these forums (remember the whole box of tissues comments?) but when a developer does RIGHT about deflating irrational hype (and does so BEFORE they collect millions of dollars) this is the kind of stuff that should at least get a mention.


    They have a small team and chose renfail to be the face of the company, pretty hard to take them seriously considering that. Maybe this dev should also do PR, sounds like he/she is on the right track.
    The dev in question is me: Tim Anderson, aka Renfail. Same person who has been helming this project since the beginning. I haven't gone anywhere :) And ironically, neither has our game! We're still here, nearly three years down the road, plugging away and building this baby into reality!
    Tim "Renfail" Anderson | Creator of the Saga of Lucimia
  • RenfailRenfail Member EpicPosts: 1,622
    Albatroes said:
    Even though I applaud their efforts and honest (and I'm personally interested in the game), you have to look at competition and what they are willing to do. NCSoft and Daybreak already offer some form of 'legacy' servers for their games like EQ/2/Lineage 2 (Lineage might not be on this side yet? haven't checked). Not to mention we already had the heated thing this year between the legacy server devs of WoW and Blizzard, which is honestly free money for Blizzard if they decide to do it. People had to know that Blizzard wasn't ever gonna consider doing legacy servers with their latest expansion a few months away, but there's no telling what they decide to do depending on how future updates go since its live. If Blizzard does introduce legacy servers, it does shut down a lot of these projects for many people since that's what many people wish (I personally don't even though I wouldn't mind playing when cata was the latest expansion again, but I can't fund an entire game lol).
    Good thing we aren't developing our game based on what the "competition" is doing. 

    We play those games. We love those games. There's room enough for all types, niches, and styles without having to worry about what someone else is doing. 

    We have who we have because they love what we are doing, not simply because they are old-school players who cut their teeth on EQ1 or WoW Vanilla and are hooked on the nostalgia teat. 
    Tim "Renfail" Anderson | Creator of the Saga of Lucimia
  • RenfailRenfail Member EpicPosts: 1,622
    Joreel said:
    Kyleran said:
    DMKano said:
    If 5K subs for them is winning the lotto, I wonder how low is viable to keep the project going. 
    They did say the sub price wasn't set yet, maybe it will be $100 per month?

    The private Country Club of MMORPGS. Perhaps there is a bit of mad genius in catering only to whales?
    Actually I asked Renfail in a Q&A last Fall about the Sub price and he seem to believe that it would probably be around $15 a month. There is an option in the SoL store that if you are above the $500 pledge, then it will be $5 a month for life. But I agree it was a great article.
    Correct. It'll be 15-20 a month, with options for lifetime options for the higher pre-order tiers. 
    Tim "Renfail" Anderson | Creator of the Saga of Lucimia
  • RenfailRenfail Member EpicPosts: 1,622
    @TimEisen Maybe you can take a break from CoE to do an update on SoL one of these days.

    Again, I haven't given them a dime and have had some significant arguments with Renfail right on these forums (remember the whole box of tissues comments?) but when a developer does RIGHT about deflating irrational hype (and does so BEFORE they collect millions of dollars) this is the kind of stuff that should at least get a mention.


    Cheers. 
    Tim "Renfail" Anderson | Creator of the Saga of Lucimia
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