Any Value in Patron?


#1

Different thread meandered into this topic, which looks like it might be something people would like to weigh in on. IMHO, the value or lack thereof is VERY personal. We’re going to need to agree to disagree in advance, but it will be fun anyway. :wink:

A month of Patron costs less than one lunch and it has a huge variety of small bonuses. For me right now, Patron is most useful for the free Anima-warp and double skill points. If I reach a point where I have more anima than I can possibly spend and am capped on all weapons, I’m not sure if I’d find value in Patron or not. It’s a pretty big list. I’d likely keep it up for as long as I’m playing as a simple (and dirt-cheap) “thank you for making a fun game”.

The one thing that has really bothered me about Funcom’s business model is that the story side of this game is 100% accessible to a free player. The story alone is why I’d put SWL on the “you must play this game” list. Take away the story and my recommend becomes “don’t bother”.

So, my boggle then isn’t so much “Where’s the value in Patron?”, but “Why did Funcom monetize the trash instead of the treasure?”


#2

I’ve been a patron since launch. My decision to become a patron is solely to give support to a game that I have really enjoyed and that I hope will continue and grow.

The things you get for being a patron can be useful for leveling a character, but there are in-game issues with it too. For one thing you over level content extremely quickly as a patron and things can be quite easy. It would be nice it they had an option to turn off these experience/AP/SP bonuses so leveling could be at a normal rate.

I don’t do a lot of min/max in my game play and I rarely use my daily allotment of keys. So people might say I’m not getting the full return on my investment. To me, however, just having the game exist is all the reward I actually want.

All in all I’m happy with my choice and will remain a patron for the foreseeable future.


#3

The real value comes in the combination of Keys, Teleports, and being able to repeat missions more frequently.


#4

Yes, I find Patron is well worth the cost, been paying it monthly since launch and while I am currently taking a break from the game so I don’t burn myself out, I am still paying it because I love the game and want to support it.


#5

It depends on the type of player.

It’s pretty sweet for a newcomer.
decent for someone who can spend enough time a day.

for the rest it can be lackluster.

Though I’m also worried that a boost in sub content could widen the gap between paying and non-paying players.


#6

When the relaunch was announced i grabbed a years worth of patron in TSW mostly to show support, but also because i was a Patron in TSW and was gonna renew it regardless. This of cause meant starting with Patron in SWL. When the year ran out not too long ago, i ran without it for a little week just to feel the difference. Personally for me it is primarily the 8h CD and cabal bank access that makes me “need” it. Honestly it would be a matter of rotation for the most part to work without it.

All that said, renewed patron, primarily as a way of supporting a game i like. While i love 8h CD, i never liked the extra XP involved. Personally don’t like getting ahead of the game on difficulty, and mobs ignoring me, so i really would rather have this be something i can turn off. That said, unless you ignore lore, you will out level things anyways. Just played through Solomon with a friend (non patron). Getting all lore im 43, we expect my friend to be 41 once we grab all lore for her too (we can’t help it, they are shinny).


#7

Short answer: Because they tried that with TSW and it wasn’t sustainable.


#8

The problem with Patron is its value is aimed squarely and almost exclusively at hardcore, endgame focused daily players.

I mean, consider a ‘weekend warrior’:

  • loses most of the perceived value of daily cache keys
  • doesn’t sufficiently benefit from extra dungeon/lair keys (either would prefer a weekly allotment if sufficiently endgame oriented, or doesn’t care to begin with if not)
  • 8h mission CD may not be relevant (for players more focused on seeing a lot of different stuff, as opposed to efficient grinding)

That leaves the extra AP/SP and free anima leaping as the most relevant benefits, and maybe the bonus XP - though that may not be entirely welcome during the initial story playthrough).

Overall, that’s not really impressive compared to subscriptions in many other client-based MMOs, where benefits tend to be less dependent on daily logins and caring about endgame.


#9

It’s true that the value of Patron is mostly directed towards people who will play (nearly) every day and probably do more than 2 dungeon runs per day.

People haven’t mentioned the value of access to Cabal bank for storage and item swapping, I find that very handy.

To Bjond’s and Aeryl’s points about why/what to monetize:
Successfully monetized games like Star Trek Online and NeverWinter show that you monetize the bling, not the content. If everyone can play all the content together, the entire game is more active; markets are more active, Patrons receive more ‘perceived value’ in an active game, and the ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ inter-player competition drives the sales in the bling market. FunCom’s problem has (always) been that they have difficulty offering attractive options at reasonable prices to a wide enough market. They can’t bling.

If FunCom wants more patrons, the value needs to increase for the less-frequent player - I feel the value is currently there for daily players. People will buy a $5 Starbucks coffee at the drop of a hat - daily players are getting more than the value of 3 mocha lattes.

Patron should include: 10% Discount on Aurum store purchases; 15% discount on dungeon/lair key MoF costs; stacking Cache keys; for the ‘Daily Login Reward’, if you didn’t log in/claim the day before, it should give you two items.

That would reward people for playing when and how they choose, give them a little extra incentive to spend Aurum and MoF, re-run content, and not punish them overly for having a life and not actually logging in every day (or even every week).

And then they still need to work on the microtransactions for bling/convenience/cool factor, because that’s where the actual money is.


#10

They used to be better at it. Remember when Item Store Tuesdays were a thing?


#11

Really? I wonder what it brings to me that it doesn’t bring to people who can’t play during a week. (Not even considering that “endgame” nonsense. It doesn’t bring anything specific to endgame. It’s more useful for moderate player growing his way up.)

You use bad point of view, you for some reason focus on “what you can’t use” instead of what you use. Even people who comes for few hours at fri-sat-sun gets their benefits for days they play. That’s the same as in other games.

If you pay subs for full area access are you loosing something not playing 80% of days? No, you are paying so you have full access anytime you play. If price vs. fun is good enough is personal choice.

If you pay subs and you get +20% XP is it bad subs if you don’t play everyday? Or every waking hour?

Am I loosing something not repeating quests twice a day just because I can do them?

Not using everyday’s opportunity doesn’t make it useless. The cache keys are the only “annoying” thing (not bad, or for “hardcore endgame”) because they urge you to login, get your key and logout even when you can’t play. But you are loosing nothing more. You get your bonuses the days you are playing.

What matters to endgame player (patron or not)…

  • cache keys are of some value. Not much, but they have potions in them and you may be lucky with items (if you opening worth caches). I wouldn’t buy them with money but no other way to get potions (isn’t that P2W definition of some?).

  • mission timers, that’s one of main things. It makes things a lot easier when you play. You can pick the best missions for daily if you choose to do them… no looking behind a shoulder for lair CDs… it’s neat

  • free agent slot mean more resources means/t more MoFs and you get your 20 agents leveled slightly faster

  • AH fee… you need your MoF flowing to fund keys demand, paying 10% less income tax is your highest patron MoF bonus

  • AH delivery system… means more inventory and less planning

  • access to cabal bank… might be very annoying if you need to trade things to others so they can put them into cabal bank (not to mention one man cabals - 84 more slots might be worth the patron on its own :slight_smile: )

  • daily MoF bonus, free teleports, free keys… means almost nothing

  • mission shard bonus… once you dumped 8mil into museum that’s it. The only good about shards it supports the hoarding thing. The bigger the pile…

But these things applies to me as to the guys that can’t play over week. And complete causuals will benefit most from AP/SP/XP.

The only bad thing is, that even hardcore players don’t want it that much to urge them to pay for it. We have people who stop subs even when playing daily. It only helps with minor inconveniences. There is no “need” reason beyond AP/SP/XP. You pay because you want to support, but that’s charity.

You “needed” patron for Kaydan missions. You “needed” patron for getting more agents when it mattered. Or to get +50% agent XP bonus. But nothing persistent like in other games that you would “need” all the time. So you stop sub because there is no reason and then stop playing because of all those inconveniences.


#12

“You mustn’t consider the full value of a product to gauge whether you’re actually getting enough of that value”, is a total pseudo-argument befitting mythological creatures dwelling under bridges.

That pseudo-argument would also mean you should buy a season ticket to your favorite sports team based 4 states away and you can only actually go see every fifth game, for example. Or that you should totally subscribe to the daily paper even if you only read the Sunday funnies. Or any number of other things that are as absurd as the pseudo-argument itself.

That aside, your arguments for why Patron is valuable to everyone includes:

  • mission timers are super important regardless (because someone playing only on weekends will surely prefer to run the same couple of missions both days, presumably because they must be an efficient endgame focused grinder)
  • the agent slot matters (because they must be an endgame focused grinder who totally needs an optimized 3-agent build)
  • the AH fee is super important (because they must be an endgame focused grinder, but still aren’t allowed to mention they’re losing 5x8 Patron dungeon keys (40k MoF) a week)
  • other AH stuff matters (because they must be an endgame focused grinder)

As far as using insufferably bad points of view goes, you really took the crown there.


#13

I don’t see lots of value in patron. I get it forever, so I wouldn’t exactly cancel. However, it is apparent to me that the only value I get are the cache keys and the extra agent mission slot.

Keys I almost never use them all on any day, except for regional runs. I don’t have that kind of time outside of weekends, and dungeon meta is not enjoyable anyhow. I hate wasting things, especially if I’ve paid for it, regardless of whether it is truly a waste or whether I can write it off, it still bothers me to see them go unusued (OCD I suppose.) This is primarily why cache keys are valuable, because I’m not getting more than scenario keys used every day, so that regular drip of distillates is about all I get.

I do the same missions day in day out, but only enough for daily marks, so that is easy to rotate and change, if I did not have it.

Free anima leap is nice, but not going to change much if I didn’t have it. Extra shards goes with this and is nice too, but given that I have a yellow or red version of all 9 weapons, mostly built from greens, while my main weapons got distillates, its easy to compensate for by just selling off greens, because I don’t sell them as of now, I use them all. Yes, I can stand to upgrade the museum, but its obviously not a priority, especially because I don’t farm kills for the pieces.

XP is beyond worthless to me at this point.

As for agents, the extra slot is certainly useful for leveling those guys up. Once that is done, though, they don’t really offer much. Its a fun little diversion, but once I get my 20@50, I can’t say I’ll be particularly invested in it beyond that.

AH perks are nice but very rarely used and not that important. And the extra marks are nice, along with the daily bonus marks, but what do I need to spend them on besides lair keys for those regional raids? I sit on hundreds of thousands of marks and more converted to AU.

Personally I’d rather they changed things. I hate dailies as a MMO concept, and daily keys aren’t much better. Let them build up over a few days for patrons. Merge them all into one type. Do you spend 6 keys on BM lairs, or 6 keys on scenarios or 6 keys on dungeons? That’s up to you, but you’ve got ~25 a day now, and if you haven’t played for half the week, well you’ve got 75 come the weekend, enjoy.

Better yet get rid of keys entirely, give patrons bonus xp on distillate use! That is likely a pipe dream, but would be best.

More stuff in caches that people might care about. This game is far too predicated on progression. Grind grind grind, get that red gear, keep on grinding! Why aren’t there more cosmetics in caches? The ones that are in caches are so damn common, I think I bought a full suit of the African outfit for 1000 marks total. Why not have something more interesting in caches, say like one off mission keys (can’t do the mission without the key, but they could be somewhat common in caches, like scarves.) With more interesting stuff, caches and keys are more valuable.

At anyrate, in my estimation patron is pretty good for new people, and people with lots of time, but not really for people who are at the endgame and/or don’t have lots of time. Of course it is a personal value judgement, but if I weren’t getting it “free,” I wouldn’t get it.


#14

I think it’s even more than “just” play everyday. It’s about having quite a “lot” of time a day.

Personally, when I’m back from work, I have 1h-1h30 that I can allocate to videogames (rest is family and daily tasks) and in that 1h30, I’m actually quite happy if I have one single dungeon done alone with some daily missions.

Totally agree, and I think that’s a more healthy form of monetization. The only problem is that it requires a big playerbase so that enough purchases are made to cover the creation cost of the bling, it’s also why only “big” games manage to stay away from the easier and more intrusive forms of microtransactions.

Selling power (distillates) costs much less.

But SWL is also a quite unique game, the population is older than the average (so less players with a lot of time available) and the expectations from the playerbase are different, people pick SWL over the competition for its story, not for the combat or the gear grind. So to monetize it is quite delicate.


#15

The value entirely depends on what you want to get out of it.
If all you really want are dungeon keys, but don’t have the time to do 3 dungeon runs + 3 scenarios a day, then it’s probably not worth it.
But if you want a free cache key every day, 8 hour cool down on missions, anima leaps, and then the option to do extra dungeons and scenarios when you have the time, then it has more value.
When I made the decision factored in the amount of enjoyment I got from the game so far, and the enjoyment I continue to get. And with the handful of bonuses that appealed to me, it was worth the cost.

I like the idea that @Candycane suggests, giving patrons bonus XP on distillate use. I am a relatively new player, and only subscribed to patron once I hit Tokyo, but even though I am far from max gear and stats, the bonus SP/AP seemed too much, and I felt like I was progressing way too quickly in areas that I didn’t mind taking a bit more time.
An option to switch between, or choose at the start of subscription, XP for distillates, or XP for SP/AP would be nice.

It’s never going to be perfect and appeal to everyone. The only way to do that would be to offer up a selection of perks, and the options to choose 12 from that list, with the option to change your selection each month. Not sure how viable something like that would be though.


#16

I find it hard to justify Patron, for reasons already mentioned by MadBadger.
So to answer the OP’s question of any value in patron? The value simply isnt there for me and how I play the game, but as MadBadger said, others will get value from it.
As an aside, other games Ive played that have a sub option, the sub usually substantially alleviates the grind, but here it makes it easier to do more grinding. :crazy_face:


#17

This one made me laugh a lot! good metaphor!

Whilst i am not entirely sure what you are describing, i think that it actually underlines a bit that subbing tends to increase retention to the game. Practical exemple, at some point back in past i was palying SWL 50% and ESO 50% of my gaming time. The fact ESO sub is much better value for money (in particular crowns you get back) and the pricing grid are really incentivizing a player to take 6 months sub right away, made me go for it and switch my time towards 80%/20% ESO/SWL ratio. The point being, a good sub system boosts retention.

Sometime i have the impression, the SWL sub system is some kind of negative rate corporate bond, where the investor are accepting the negative rate as a way to ensure the companies gets better and delivers the previous emission coupons. The issue being, that rely a lot on investor good will. Which i guess a number of people ran out of during the relaunch and following months.


#18

Since one will never be able to get 100% of the possible benefits from a subscription in a computer game, why should one make a decision based only on a theoretical maximum value ?

No, the value of a subscription is individual for each player and as such each player must decide if they consider their value worthy or not. Because of the variety of offered benefits, I would also dispute that Funcom aimed it at a specific group of players.

Personally, I wouldn’t play this game without a subscription. Before Kaidan I suffered from a drought of anima shards (caused by upgrading three sets of gear) and if I had to pay for my teleporting in addition to that, it would’ve drained the fun completely. The free teleporting is awesome, as is the mission cooldown, the added dungeon and lair keys, not so much (actually, not at all).


#19

I never said one has to. I do take exception to people insinuating one mustn’t, however.

That, by the way, would be 100% correct, if you actually allowed for everyone to assess value as they please.


#20

As a GM/lifer I wasn’t exactly sure what the Patron (monthly sub) did/didn’t offer. Leave it to FC that on their FAQ page - it doesn’t actually say! Nor is there (as most games have) a side by side look at the amazing benefits to having a sub table.

Anyway, I always pay a sub in a F2P game - when I’m playing it - SWTOR, ESO, EQ2. I only play SWTOR a couple times a year for a month, but feel the benefit it worth the sub. ESO I do play more often and feel their sub is really a good deal with the monthly coins. EQ2 (personal favorite), I pay them if I only play once a month - I love the game and want to support it. I also do buy things in those game from their cash shop that strike my fancy.

Secret World, over the course of five years, I paid more than equivalent to a monthly sub ontop of the GM - loved the game and wanted to support it – which didn’t seem to help all of us that tried doing that.

SWL, honestly I know I would pay a sub if I didn’t have it, but it would probably be along the lines of playing a few times a year versus playing 5+ days a week that I do now. The benefit TO ME is the mission cool down, bank/trading/AH, extra agent, anima leap, etc. The keys for dungeons I could care less about as I ran those to death in TSW and do them rarely now. I did spend equal to five-six months of a sub on boosters for agents when that came out. But it’s so lame, I won’t spend more. FunCom does a great job of saving me money!

I’m also not about ‘end game’ in a game that doesn’t have a robust end game. I have WoW for that. I do feel the model of forced login in daily for a cache key can be a hardship on people and it would be wonderful if those stacked to a week. Games that force that type of behavior (I don’t see it as a reward), I generally stop playing.

I would also second or third, having more cosmetics in the cache. I’m capped AP/SP, so now open caches when those come up on an alt as otherwise it’s wasted. I’ve also been spending my 3rd age frags on pets/mounts, etc., as my gear is ok for what I do in game (ip600+), run missions, work on museum, random raid/dungeon and scenarios.

It really is a personal decision on if it has value for someone or not. It’s your entertainment. There’s that new MoviePass out now - a sub based system. Some people love it, others feel if they don’t go see EVERY MOVIE that comes out they’re not getting their value. That’s the all-you-can-eat-buffet mindset, I’m not gorged to throwing up I didn’t get my money’s worth mentality. Really? You need to eat 3x what you would at any other restaurant to “get your money’s worth”???

So yeah, it’s a personal decision on if a sub is of value. But IMHO, you do have to spend some money in a game somehow/someway or it won’t be around period.