metiman Posted October 5, 2012 Share Posted October 5, 2012 There are obviously two factions here. I'm not sure what to call them, but I'll try the Traditionalists (or Conservatives or Codexians) and the New-Is-Better (or Biowarians). Whatever you call them I was thinking that the economics of pledges are different between the two groups. I think the Codexians are a much smaller group. There is a reason why publishers insist so strongly on the newer style game mechanics. They sell more games that way. It is a far more popular style. So I think it's clear that those of us who don't wan't the formula of the IE games to be significantly altered are going to be in the minority. As a minority, the Codexians/Traditionalists have long suffered, waiting and waiting for the kinds of games that we like to be developed by anyone. Before these kickstarter projects I had basically accepted that if I wanted a BG3 so badly I was going to have to make it myself. As a programmer I have seriously considered the idea in fact. So I think it is fair to say that we are far 'hungrier' than the Biowarians who have perhaps only recently been disappointed with the release of DA2, although that is by no means true in every case. In some cases they are quite happy with games like DA2 and Skyrim and even MMOs. In any case they don't yet seem to be at the level where they feel the need to make their own games. Pehaps sex would be a useful analogy. One person has a beautiful girlfriend and is having sex nearly every night. The other person hasn't had sex for a decade. I think it would be fair to say that their attitudes toward the experience are going to be considerably different. If either person were going to pay for sex, assuming equal incomes, I think it is fair to say that the constantly shagging guy is not going to be willing to pay as high a percentage of his income as the other guy. The guy with the hot girlfriend might appreciate a beautiful prostitute just as much as the sex-starved guy but he isn't going to pay for that difference. So I think if you assume equal income the Codexian faction are more likely to consider higher tiers than the Biowarian faction who might see this as just another opportunity for them to get the kind of game that they like but whom have lots of games they like already. This is just one more. For instance imagine the typical Biowarian reaction if every tier under $250 were dumped tomorrow. Most of them aren't going to pay $250 for a game when they have lots of other games that they like already. A population of starving people might be willing to pay almost any amount for a single bag of crisps. $10. $20. Even $100. A fat person with a full pantry will not pay you more than market value. Maybe a few dollars at the most. Another difference seems to be that the old school faction may be less flexible about how much compromise we are willing to accept. Something that may seem like only a small difference to the Biowarian could be a deal breaker for the Codexian. If the formula for P:E departs too much from BG2/PS:T/IWD this project will not be worth a whole lot to the Codexian faction. And an isometric perspective won't be enough to keep us interested. Diablo has an isometric perspective too and you wouldn't catch me playing that. Or contributing $500 toward its development. The mathematics is actually kind of interesting. Let's say that there are 4 times as many Biowarians as Codexians. I doubt there could be much more than that or the forum polls would not be so even or in our favor so often. So that is probably generous. Although it's possible that the younger players, who are obviously far more likely to support a more Biowarian vision, are more active in the kickstarter comments which more resembles a chat room. So if you include the youngest gamers who may not like the forum format it might be more than 4x. But for the moment let's make that assumption. Let's also suppose that the Codexians are potentially prepared to spend, say, 2-4 times more as a percentage of their income on a pledge for their ideal or at least semi-ideal game, which again, for a Codexian, is a true rarity. Let's also suppose that a backer who spends $1000+ is far more likely to be a Codexian. Why would a Biowarian really have that level of passion toward the project? I think the only thing that justifies it is someone who thinks that this is the most amazing development ever and really places a strong emphasis on the difference between modern games and BG2/IWD/PS:T. It seems that the closer Obsidian stays to the old formula of slower, more strategic combat which simply does not exist anymore the more high level backers they are going to get. Albeit at the expense of some of the Biowarians who are really hoping for some kind of cross between BG2 and DA:O. Or even in some cases something vey close to DA:O itself. Don't forget that that game was also promised as a spirtual successor to BG2. There are a much greater number of Biowarians but their pledges are likely to be lower because they are not as hungry. I do think Biowarians will be harder to shake with anything short of committing to a turn based ToEE kind of system, but OTOH there are so many more of them that any effect of dissapointing them may be more keenly felt in terms of drops in pledge amounts, however slight. I was just thinking about this rather interesting situation because I was just eyeing the pledge tiers and thinking how much I'd love to pledge at the $500 tier, more than half my monthly income. I just can't even consider it because I still don't know what direction Obsidian even wants to take the combat. A more next-gen, "evolved", modern sort of system with modern combat dynamics, or something quite close to BG2/IWD/PS:T. I feel like I need some kind of promise in that regard before I can pledge. Certainly at any of the higher tiers that are more an investment than a preorder. Clearly Obsidian has not yet decided on what they consider the ideal combat mechanics to be, at least for this title, but I think it might be worthwhile for everyone, even the Biowarians, if some firm decision on the sort of combat the game is really targeting is reached and announced before October 16th. Without this I might pledge, but I would stay in the $25 - $65 preorder range. The point however is not about my own particular dillemma, but that I am probably not the only Traditionalist who feels this way. Ironically the more traditional this project is the more radical. And the more radical it is the more I am willing to support it in its outrageous stand against what is popular. So when looked at from a factional pov, what might be a good strategy is to give the Traditionalists the combat they know that we want as the core combat mechanic and maybe add-on a more nextgen combat style as an option, all the while making sure that it does not alter the core mode of gameplay even a little. To whatever extent it is possible at least. I don't think the core combat is as make-or-break in terms of pledges for the Biowarians as it is for us. After all, they are here based on the story and setting and whatever else from the IE games. Not the combat. If they really liked those games that much they will like the new game just as well. They just won't like it more, which I don't see as some kind of major tragedy. At the same time I don't think many Codexians/Traditionalists are really going to signficantly drop their pledge amounts if you announce what the Biowarians want more than anything: Romances. Yup. Sorry to use the R word, but as far as I'm concerned they can have their silly romances if it's so important to them. As long as they are 100% optional of course. You could possibly even just have a setting in an .ini file that just shuts them all down or at least tones them down to lower emotional and sexual levels. I know that some Traditionalists may be so enraged that they will drop their pledges entirely, but I think that will only be a very small minority and weighed against the possibly larger pledges from the Bioware camp may be more than worth it monetarily. Of course the cost of this has to be weighed carefully. Even a few quick wham-bam-thank-you-maam encounters may be enough to satisfy them in this regard and that might be worth the extra pledge money. Of course I would never do this if I were Obsidian. It's just pandering for dollars, but dollars is the point of this post. tl;dr version: Biowarians bad. Codexians good. Please don't strain yourself trying to read any more than that. 3 JoshSawyer: Listening to feedback from the fans has helped us realize that people can be pretty polarized on what they want, even among a group of people ostensibly united by a love of the same games. For us, that means prioritizing options is important. If people don’t like a certain aspect of how skill checks are presented or how combat works, we should give them the ability to turn that off, resources permitting. . . Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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