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Documenting the Akaneiro F2P model [Copy link]

Post time 2013-1-7 07:22:33 |Show all posts
Edited by karmacappa at 2013-1-12 07:15

I've come into the community from the Kickstarter.  In doing my diligence on the game, I found a lot of people do not necessarily understand the payment model of Akaneiro.  F2P is a big contentious thing for a lot of users, but they don't realize that Free To Play is a category, not a model in and of itself.  The specific implementation will determine how the users wallets interact with the product.  As such, I want to help out and create a document that will detail the specific model Akaneiro will use, how money spent will affect the player, how players will be able to get things through playtime instead of cash, and the way the game will accomodate the model.  This is really tentative, so corrections, suggestions, and feedback are appreciated!

The Overview
What is Karma?
The economy in Akaneiro is based on a single currency, karma shards.  Karma shards are essentially like gold in any RPG.  You will gain and spend karma on a regular basis.

How do I get Karma?
You can gain karma by picking it up from monsters that drop it, completing one of the three missions in a given area, getting a daily tithe from an area you have already completed for making sure that yokai do not overrun the area, selling weapons and armor you don't need anymore, or by buying it for real world money.

What can I do with Karma?
You can use karma to buy items in town, summon a spirit pet to accompany you for a few days, to unlock new areas (after you have completed the three missions in the previous area), to buy/level up abilities and masteries, or to revive after dying in a mission.

What is Free To Play about in Akaneiro?
Free to Play (F2P) is an idea, not a specific model.  A lot of different implementations of Free to Play exist.  The reason Akaneiro is referred to as Free to Play is that it never requires you to spend money.  There are no paid boosts or bonuses, there is no locked content that only opens to those who pay, there are no subscriptions, there is no energy that you have to pay to refill.  It uses an agile model which allows people to cross the line between paid and free at their own discretion.  When a player is playing infrequently, they may choose to buy some karma to help them keep exploring new content.  When that same player has time to play more frequently, they may decide to repeat content a few extra times to get access to the next area.  Akaneiro is designed so there is no discrimination against either type of user and allows players to play as much as they feel comfortable with.

Gaining Karma
From enemies
During missions, yokai and chests can drop shards which will be added to your karma pool and immediately refill a little bit of your health meter.

From completing missions
Each area is composed of three missions.  They start at Low threat, meaning the difficulty and rewards are at a base level.  Once you complete all three missions, the threat level can change based on how often you complete missions in the area.  Doing the missions in an area less frequently lets the yokai multiply and increases rewards that you can get for completing missions.  Doing the missions in an area more frequently reduces the yokai power and possible rewards for each mission completion, but the town will give you a bigger daily tithe for your protection.

From selling loot
You can sell weapons, armor, and accessories that drop for karma.

From the store
You can purchase Karma packages from Spicy Horse.

Spending Karma
To unlock new areas
Each area has three missions.  Once you complete those three missions, you can spend karma to unlock the three missions in the next area.  There are 8 areas per region.  Expansions will consist of a new region with 8 areas.

To buy items
Vendors will sell you random weapons, armor, and accessories for karma.  You can also use it to buy consumables which will give you temporary buffs.

To level up skills
You can purchase new skills and level up your existing ones by spending karma.  This includes both passive (masteries) and active skills (abilities) in multiple different disciplines.

To summon spirit pets
Spirit pets are non-combat followers who grant you certain bonuses.  You can summon one for a specific real-time duration by talking to an NPC in town and spending karma.  After the spirit pet duration is over, you will need to spend karma to summon a new one.

To revive in a mission
If you are defeated in a mission, you have the option to revive or return to the town.  Returning without completing a mission will mean you forfeit anything gained during the mission.  Reviving costs karma, but it can be necessary if you really want to get the mission rewards.

How Free To Play works in Akaneiro
Free players are allowed to play all they want
Karma rewards lessen as a player repeats missions in a given time period, but they also get greater daily rewards for their efforts.  Players are never told they can not play or that their gameplay will be crippled, only that there are diminishing returns for rapid repetition of specific missions.

Money can't buy everything
Karma is currency, but it does not necessarily translate directly into experience, items, or completion.  No matter how much money you spend, you still have to complete missions to be allowed to spend karma to unlock the next area.  Your character must complete missions to level up.  The loot that can be bought with karma is limited to what the vendor may randomly carry, while players who complete missions often will have a lot of chances for yokai to drop rare loot.  So there are definitely limits to what your cash will buy you.

Everyone can access everything
The unified nature of Akaneiro currency means that free players can buy the exact same functional things as paid players.  The only difference is that paid players are able to take the money they earn from time spent working in real life to make up for the karma that other users might get from playing more often.  They will both have the same access to content and the same pre-requisites for accessing it.

Reviving costs you
Players are never forced to revive.  Free players and paid players have equal access to the feature, they just pay for it in different ways.  Free players might have to spend time farming easier missions to recoup the karma, while paid players invest more money into the game.

The line between free and paid can be crossed at any time
Players are not forced to decide which they are.  It will naturally occur that players who pay for karma at one time may find themselves playing more in a given period, and so they don't need to buy more karma.  Free players may decide that they could use a bit of an immediate boost and decide to make a one time cash infusion into their karma pool.  The system allows all players to decide how much they want to invest of time or money at any given time.

If you'd rather make a single up-front purchase of the map content and not worry about grinding or incremental payments, we've got news for you. Because many people have suggested this idea and it's one that we've been thinking about on our own - we'd like to make clear that we WILL provide an option for this. ETA on delivery in-game is a bit uncertain, but expect it by end of January 2013 at the latest.

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Post time 2013-1-7 07:43:48 |Show all posts
Very nice summary

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Post time 2013-1-7 07:51:24 |Show all posts
I always forget to do that.

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Post time 2013-1-7 10:00:43 |Show all posts
That's a wonderful summary. I really appreciate you taking the time to provide a clear and accurate overview of what we've done with the F2P model in Akaneiro. Hopefully, with support like this from players like you, other people will learn that not all F2P games are designed the same way - and give games like Akaneiro a chance.  

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Post time 2013-1-7 10:29:58 |Show all posts
You've hit the nail on the head.

Thanks for your attentiveness and diligence in gathering this in one place. We'll fold some of the specifics on the method of F2P back into our updated FAQ, as you've made some important distinctions that should be broadcast loud and clear!

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Post time 2013-1-7 14:28:40 |Show all posts
all I can say is,

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Post time 2013-1-12 15:16:34 |Show all posts
Thanks, now I understand this game a bit better than I thought

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Post time 2013-1-13 10:45:55 |Show all posts
Great post, OP. Thank you.

My concerns with F2P are always 1) How limited are free players, and 2) Can you buy power? In regards to the first concern what I'm reading sounds great. There don't appear to be any limitations. I am slightly concerned with the second point, and I do mean only slightly, because if karma is how you raise skills then a P2P player could boost their skills considerably. But even then I'm assuming there's a mechanic that prevents a level 1 P2P character from instantly raising all skills to max just by dumping large amounts of cash.

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Post time 2013-1-13 13:09:46 |Show all posts
You still have to be sufficient level to buy a given ability or mastery.  You won't have that much trouble getting higher level abilities without spending cash.

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Post time 2013-1-13 15:19:52 |Show all posts
Thanks for the summary

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