FOUNDERS’ UPDATE: GUILD STRONGHOLDS

FOUNDERS’ UPDATE: GUILD STRONGHOLDS

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Hey, folks

We've gotten some questions (and more than a little sticker shock) about the pricing of our larges strongholds (Palace, Citadel, Castles). And that should be expected, because the prices are high! But if you do the math, there is a really good reason for those prices: these massive structures were never intended for a single player to purchase.

The price is high because when 100+ players work together to buy something, the total adds up quickly. That last part is key. These strongholds are WAY, WAY overkill for use by a single player. Much like in real life, purchasing a giant Imperial Palace doesn’t make a lot of sense if you intend to live alone.

The purpose of these larger strongholds is to support large player groups. They provide a mechanism to centralize buildings and exist so that guilds, streamer audiences, or even a loose-knit collection of merchants and crafters can work together, pool resources and create social spaces.

In terms of pricing, our approach was quite simple and reasonable (we think – and hopefully once you read this, you will agree!)

A Flat Price, Multiplied Times Number Of Players

We came up with a base price for a single player to own residential land in the game. The baseline is a “farm” which is a 1-cell parcel with enough building capacity to support a single player. We eventually intend to allow each parcel to be upgraded twice, which means that parcel can be upgraded from Rank 1 to 3. Upgrading the parcel doesn’t increase the number of players that can live there, it increases the capacity for each resident, meaning the number of buildings that each player can place/own on that parcel.

The pricing chart is simple:

Rank 1 parcel $15 per player
Rank 2 parcel $20 per player
Rank 3 parcel $25 per player
… that’s it. For ANY stronghold parcel (from a one-player Farm to a 120-player Capital City), take the number of player residents and multiple it times the price above.

Example

The Hamlet parcel is built for five players. That means the prices for a Hamlet are $75 for Rank 1 (5x$15), $100 for Rank 2 (5x$20), and $125 for Rank 4 (5x$25).

This per-player-price does NOT increase for the larger parcels. We want to entice people to congregate, and scaling up the price would work against that. Instead, large parcels support more (and larger) buildings. This makes sense from a narrative standpoint: farms will look like farms with fewer/smaller buildings. Villages will look like villages with larger buildings/more of them, cities look like cities with a ton of larger buildings packed into a tighter space.

And don’t forget that if you (and your guild) don’t want to spend real world money, you can also craft and upgrade these parcels and buildings using in-game resources. (Special shout-out on this one: Congrats to Anhrez, who recently crafted the first player-made Capital City parcel.)

Custom Parcels

In addition to the base parcels, we also have a designation for “Custom Parcels”. These are parcels that have something unique about them. Examples include the Caldera parcel or the Fallen Colossus parcel that was a reward in January’s Title III campaign. The custom parcel chart is priced slightly higher than standard parcels.

That chart looks like this:

Rank 1 $25 per player
Rank 2 $35 per player
Rank 3 $45 per player
Functionally, these are basically parcel “skins”. They support the same number of players (and buildings) as a standard parcel of the same type, but they are visually cooler in terms of geographic features.

Other than the chart, the pricing for Custom Parcels works the same way: multiply the number of supported players times the cost-per-player at Rank 1, 2 or 3 to determine the price of the parcel.

More To Come

There are still some things that we haven’t announced yet. Specifically, we are reluctant to answer the question of how many buildings, and of what size, each parcel will support at Rank 1, 2 or 3.

The reason for our hesitation is that these numbers are likely to change (for both performance and balance reasons) between now and launch. Increasing the numbers would probably be fine, as no one would be upset to get MORE building capacity on their land, but decreasing it would be… problematic. And, most importantly, we don’t want anyone to make a purchasing decision based on numbers that will subsequently change.

Our solution has been to not mention the numbers until they settle out. That way, if someone decides to buy one now, they do so accepting some “unknown” in terms of game balance. (This uncertainty also factors into the bundles’ heavily discounted pricing.)

TL;DR Summary

While the price tag on the “mega strongholds” is unquestionably high, that’s because they are intended to support large groups/guilds. The per-player price was set (we hope) to be very reasonable. Our goal is to make land ownership affordable, and our approach to do that was to pick a simple cost per player and stick with that cost for everything from farms to castles.

And, as a final reminder, any items purchase in the store can only be used in the Eternal Kingdoms, not the Campaign Worlds.

Thanks, as always, for your continuing support,

J. Todd Coleman and Gordon Walton
Co-Founders, ArtCraft Entertainment

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