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June 2019 Donations & Finances


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perrond, my understanding is that although CoH was still making a fair amount of profit, NCSoft had new games (Blade and Soul, among them) that they wanted to put all of their resources into. It was geared toward their fan base in Korea. This is their priority, not US-based gaming communities.

So here we are after all this time, with our home back thanks to 6 years of hard work in secret by Leo and helpers. Where is the big failure, Blade and Soul? It's where it should have been from the start...non-existent. I think that 15 years of non-swerving devotion from the CoH community should be a great lesson in loyalty to everyone.

y0Y5yFQ.png Forever grateful to be back in my city!
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perrond, my understanding is that although CoH was still making a fair amount of profit, NCSoft had new games (Blade and Soul, among them) that they wanted to put all of their resources into. It was geared toward their fan base in Korea. This is their priority, not US-based gaming communities.

So here we are after all this time, with our home back thanks to 6 years of hard work in secret by Leo and helpers. Where is the big failure, Blade and Soul? It's where it should have been from the start...non-existent. I think that 15 years of non-swerving devotion from the CoH community should be a great lesson in loyalty to everyone.

 

Guild Wars 2 came out not long after CoX got shut down, so there was a bit of 'ArenaNet stealing the air from Paragon' going around at the time. I had an interview with ArenaNet a little over a year ago (I had forgotten they were owned by NCSoft) and the people there were more than a little nervous about the possibility of NCSoft noticing they hadn't been shut down yet.

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I still don’t understand why NcSoft shut the game down when obviously it still can make a profit

 

It didn't make ENOUGH money.

 

In their eyes, yeah, because when you're a greedy company like NCSoft, you never make enough money, regardless of what IP they publish..

The universe is made out of neutrons, electrons, protons and morons

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perrond, my understanding is that although CoH was still making a fair amount of profit, NCSoft had new games (Blade and Soul, among them) that they wanted to put all of their resources into. It was geared toward their fan base in Korea. This is their priority, not US-based gaming communities.

So here we are after all this time, with our home back thanks to 6 years of hard work in secret by Leo and helpers. Where is the big failure, Blade and Soul? It's where it should have been from the start...non-existent. I think that 15 years of non-swerving devotion from the CoH community should be a great lesson in loyalty to everyone.

 

Guild Wars 2 came out not long after CoX got shut down, so there was a bit of 'ArenaNet stealing the air from Paragon' going around at the time. I had an interview with ArenaNet a little over a year ago (I had forgotten they were owned by NCSoft) and the people there were more than a little nervous about the possibility of NCSoft noticing they hadn't been shut down yet.

 

No offence to NCSOFT but i dont trust them as far as I can throw them when it comes to buying out mmo's and keeping them going.  Its like they try to squeeze all they can out of them then bye bye see u later FOX (Trying to be polite if you know what i meant dont say it out loud)  your fanbase were shutting you down.  Bye Bye.

 

I mean they basicly near did the same thing with that game wildstar.  I tried ot myself and could see a lot of potential to it.  It had a great story line going for it its playing was fun and also like COH had a good fanbase and community around it

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I still don’t understand why NcSoft shut the game down when obviously it still can make a profit

 

It didn't make ENOUGH money.

 

In their eyes, yeah, because when you're a greedy company like NCSoft, you never make enough money, regardless of what IP they publish..

 

In point of fact, Paragon Studios was losing money, although that was due to them working on an undisclosed project that NCsoft had dumped in their laps; CoH wasn't making enough money to cover its own expenses and the development costs for this undisclosed project, so the studio was technically a losing proposition. Why NCsoft didn't just shut down the development project and keep CoH and Paragon Studios, I don't know. You could argue that killing the development project would be admitting that it was a bad decision to start it in the first place, an action damaging to the face of the manager who made the decision to go forward with it. You could also argue that NCsoft wanted to shut down Paragon Studios, and handed them the project so that it would run a net loss, giving them a reason to shut down the company. Another possible reason is Paragon Studios' attempt to buy themselves away from NCsoft, with NCsoft shutting them down for failing to display the proper respectful subordination to NCsoft. Or it could be that CoH had no way to be turned into the sort of microtransaction-driven cash-shop-based MMO that was their staple business model. But we can't know for sure. All we have is NCsoft's statement that CoH and Paragon Studios didn't fit with their ongoing plans for the future of the company.

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Or it could be that NCSoft wanted to get rid of the competition for their other MMOs.

 

This is the impression I got from a casual conversation with someone who worked for NCSoft Brighton who IIRC pointed the fingers at Wildstar - but no idea how much they actually knew.

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Or it could be that NCSoft wanted to get rid of the competition for their other MMOs.

 

This is the impression I got from a casual conversation with someone who worked for NCSoft Brighton who IIRC pointed the fingers at Wildstar - but no idea how much they actually knew.

 

It is also worth keeping in mind that it's a lot easier to break even when you don't have to pay any staff, office costs, marketing etc etc  A community-based project can run on a lot tighter budget than a commercial one.

~~ Ssieth

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Or it could be that NCSoft wanted to get rid of the competition for their other MMOs.

 

This is the impression I got from a casual conversation with someone who worked for NCSoft Brighton who IIRC pointed the fingers at Wildstar - but no idea how much they actually knew.

 

It is also worth keeping in mind that it's a lot easier to break even when you don't have to pay any staff, office costs, marketing etc etc  A community-based project can run on a lot tighter budget than a commercial one.

 

It is amusing to see people who have no idea what it takes to run a successful business crapping all over NCSoft for how they run theirs.

After seeing the numbers of players we get on the regular, I can see why they shut it down.

Excelsior - Grey Scale 50+ Emp/Dark Def - Thermal Meltdown 50+ Rad/Fire Brute - Old Growth 50+ Plant Troll - Enrico Fermi 50+ Rad Blaster

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It is amusing to see people who have no idea what it takes to run a successful business crapping all over NCSoft for how they run theirs.

 

This is the thing for me.

Some people seem to think 'if something makes a profit, it is automatically a success', etc.

 

A large company looks as says, 'if I invest X millions and Y people I make Z profit'.

If I can invest 1/2 X and 1/2 Y and make 2x Z, wouldn't you, over making 1/2 the profit?

 

Sure, I am no NCSoft fan in terms of thier business case choices of shuttering MMOs, but they have increased profits tremendously with thier current business plan.

 

Not to mention the fact that there are also data bits that lead many to think it was also an internal power move.

'Personal drama' can be the same in corporations as in a household.

 

This whole 'but they could just' refrain, because there might be $5 dollars to be made, is woefully uninformed, even if well-intentioned.

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Is there a plan to set up as a Patreon-type system?  I'd be more than happy to set up a $10/$15 recurring for this.

 

Thanks for bringing my happiness back.

Original Toon: Special Agent Z (Vanity SG: Committee for State Security)

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This transparency is beautiful, I love it.  I also have to agree with MadCow99...  Dump Paypal.  It's an old system that stays relevant because they suck their users accounts dry in order to be accepted everywhere.

 

Patreon is a great way to setup a "subscription" donation system that doesn't rely on people coming back every month to manually donate.  Charges 5% of your donations, so at $5000 that would be $250.  With a high number of low-amount (and international) donations this can actually work out to be much cheaper than Paypal (2.9% to 4% + 30 cents each transaction + currency conversion fees + fixed fees for non-US currency transactions).

 

When I send you $20, I want you to get $20 and only have to pay a standard fee to withdraw it.  I don't want you to get $17.70 and then still have to pay to withdraw it.  I've been using Patreon for years on my YouTube channel to take donations to cover my expenses.  It's way better than Paypal.

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Patreon is a great way to setup a "subscription" donation system that doesn't rely on people coming back every month to manually donate.  Charges 5% of your donations, so at $5000 that would be $250.  With a high number of low-amount (and international) donations this can actually work out to be much cheaper than Paypal (2.9% to 4% + 30 cents each transaction + currency conversion fees + fixed fees for non-US currency transactions).

 

The problem is that Patreon is an "always on" system. What they're doing now is to close the donations when they've covered their expenses. This is to create an additional layer of deniability for a charge that they're making money off of NCsoft's IP. With a Patreon, they can't control people throwing money at them.

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Homecoming must remain a non-profit run game for legal reasons. Donations will have to keep it up and running.

 

Where did the monies come from for the last seven-odd years when it was one private server? 

 

I know the expense is greater with multiple servers - but that really has nothing to do with the question or where the question is leading. 

 

In essence, once the donation funds begin to dry up (which is inevitable as players grow bored, move on to other things, have to re-budget their available finances, or some combination of all of these), the outcome is a second shutdown, which means a repeat of the past - a situation in which there is only a private server (or more likely, multiple private servers open to some select clientele - assuming others are able to run their own versions of the server code, and choose to pay for the computing power and bandwidth in whichever manner they see fit to do so based on their own needs and that of their select clientele).

 

For the first couple of months, it's a pretty simple matter to hit a benchmark of $10K for funding all but the most outlandish of ideas -- so when the donation level for Homecoming drops below a critical threshold, what is the expectation on behalf of the playerbase regarding what will happen?

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Homecoming must remain a non-profit run game for legal reasons. Donations will have to keep it up and running.

 

Where did the monies come from for the last seven-odd years when it was one private server? 

 

Donations. And whenever we were at risk of the server not meeting the payment for the quarter, all I had to do was say "we are short $X for the quarter" and it would usually be covered very quickly.

 

In essence, once the donation funds begin to dry up (which is inevitable as players grow bored, move on to other things, have to re-budget their available finances, or some combination of all of these), the outcome is a second shutdown

 

FUD. Lack of donations won't cause a Homecoming shutdown. As you just pointed, I have (almost) seven years of experience on this, and whenever the donation funds "begin to dry up" all you need to do is tell the player base, and they'll come around. And Homecoming has a major advantage in that it has no contract commitment, so if donation funds do start to drop below a critical threshold, they can downscale the hardware on short notice.

 

Funding is not a concern.

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FUD. Lack of donations won't cause a Homecoming shutdown. As you just pointed, I have (almost) seven years of experience on this, and whenever the donation funds "begin to dry up" all you need to do is tell the player base, and they'll come around. And Homecoming has a major advantage in that it has no contract commitment, so if donation funds do start to drop below a critical threshold, they can downscale the hardware on short notice.

 

Funding is not a concern.

That's good news.  I don't mean to downplay it, but seeing that the upkeep is "only" under $10k a month and the user count seems be significantly above 10k I would *hope* that a game that shut down 7 years ago (meaning by default the game should skew older, meaning people that might have a little more disposable income) should be able to throw a few dollars a month to maintain it.

 

My bigger concern of course is how covered you folks are on the legal end, but it sounds like you've been doing the "stay hidden and do research" thing for a long, long time and are now setting up some liability shielding and potential defenses that might allow you to hide behind some things.  Applause.

 

Of course, what I really, really hope is that this is secretly a ploy by Cryptic or NCSoft to gauge the interest in an updated City of Heroes 2 and you guys are the early alpha devs :D

Original Toon: Special Agent Z (Vanity SG: Committee for State Security)

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For the first couple of months, it's a pretty simple matter to hit a benchmark of $10K for funding all but the most outlandish of ideas -- so when the donation level for Homecoming drops below a critical threshold, what is the expectation on behalf of the playerbase regarding what will happen?

 

Personally my expectation is that some people will complain because they always find something to complain about, and others will be grateful for the extra time we got beyond all hope.

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