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Lowering the cost of portal ships in Arda (More in post)
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June 19, 2014
5:44 pm
Frenchy
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I am not requesting the price to be reduced because I think it is too expensive. I actually like it where it is. However, I'm making this request so that there can be more competition between harbours for lower docking fees.

 

Here's what I suggest: Instead of having the 100k portal fees +10k/month for Exodus, instead have a 50k portal fee + 50k docking fee to Exodus, and than the 10k/month maintenance fee.

June 19, 2014
7:51 pm
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The portal price was established at 100,000.00 to discourage ships leading to non-destinations (minor settlements, etc). The dock fee was introduced to discourage inactive portal ships. I think 10,000.00 a month is more than enough to leave room for undercutting. Do you have any other rational as to why we should decide to make non Exodus portal ships 50% cheaper?

Anthony Hughes

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June 19, 2014
8:49 pm
Sgt_Hurls
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I would suggest lowering the fee for secondary and tertiary portal ships, should they be constructed. This I believe could help fuel the growth of a portal-ship transportation network. For instance, there would be a portal ship docked somewhere that goes to Exodus. Then around that "primary" portal ship, smaller ships could lead to locations in the region or on the map.

Maybe it's easier to explain with names...(I'm pretty tired as I write this).. Theoretical Example: A portal ship links Exodus to Innsbruck. Then at Innsbruck smaller ships link Innsbruck to other towns like Sparta, Mithundril, Capetown, etc. These smaller ships are the ones that would have a lower cost, say only 50k each instead of 100k. This could avoid the clutter of all of those secondary towns each having their own portal ship at Exodus, and would help insure that those larger, main portal ships remain active and in good use.

 Another part of the rational to lower the cost for secondary portals is simply because that's how many transportation systems work; the busiest, fastest, and most popular routes normally have the highest tolls, fees, most expensive tickets, etc. Smaller destinations often have lower fares (think airline hubs linking to less-traveled cities via connecting flights; tickets to those less popular destinations are often cheaper).

Many of the people requesting residence refunds will be able to afford a new portal ship in Exodus. It's future players that will likely have the hardest time affording a portal ship, which is fine; I understand not wanting to clutter a harbor with inactive ships. But if they could build a secondary ship for a lower cost, maybe it would be worth it.

My thoughts.

Sgt_Hurls

Signed, ~Sgt_Hurls~
June 19, 2014
11:13 pm
cjcogburn30
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I'd have to agree on this. The world is 9 times bigger and there is currently no transportation system. Idk how much portal ships cost before but it seems steep. Only donors would be able to easily keep up with the rent. Now what Sgt_Hurls was saying if it isn't an Exodus portal ship it should be lower priced. If you are not a donor you will be walking quite a while just to get anywhere.

June 19, 2014
11:54 pm
frelling
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While I certainly don’t want to dissuade anyone from making suggestions, there comes a time when one just needs to accept the conditions as they are. We are doing something that nary another server has done and that is to provide continuity between the old and the new. I doubt anyone would have liked if we said after almost 3 years with the same map that we are just going to wipe it.

This is a project that has been in the works since last December and we have pondering a lot of issues about how to best put forth a new world without the pains of a traditional wipe. We have reviewed many hard lessons learned in the past to structure a server that will make it better for all members and staff for another long run. Hundreds of man-hours have gone into planning and twice as many into implementation.

I’m sorry that having to hoof it is so laborious or that not being able to attain a ship immediately is throwing a wrench into the grand scheme of things. That is just plain nitpicking. If that is the focus then maybe it means that there is no appreciation of what a bunch of volunteers are doing to give everyone a long lasting server that isn’t going to reset every couple of months.

Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experiences of others, are also remarkable for their disinclination to do so. - D. Adams
June 20, 2014
2:48 am
Okarim
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I've already been talking to a few people, suggesting a shared Harbor with one ship leading to Exodus, so that only one ship pays the upkeep. I think there's a few people with a collaboration concept on it already, if I read yesterday's conversation on it right. Now I myself won't get a ship in Exodus, I'd rather not pay upkeep and use the money on my town instead, but I'm fine with the 100k price myself.

For new players it's indeed an awfully steep hill to climb, but it encourages teamwork and people building settlements near each other, and a shared (rail)road network. Now GP will eventually be cheaper than Residences >30 in height, meaning that large cities will be cheaper with GP. So with large tall settlements, the cheaper cost translates to an easier payment for the portal ship. As for smaller and less-tall settlements, I'd encourage those to start at 400~1000 distance of a big ship, or near a road/railroad connecting cities.

Remember, you don't need to pay for a Portal Ship. If you are within 1000 distance of one, it's only 4 minutes to walk to your place, less if running, so short enough a time for people to still be able to drop by your place. So if you want people to drop by your place, just build within a mile distance from a Portal Ship. And if you want to live by yourself, even non-donors now get 5 /home locations so that won't be a problem no matter how far you live away from others.

So rather than cheaper portal ships, it'd be better in my opinion to band together. If e.g. 4 people with big project ideas team up, they could build a central airport with a ship to such a big Harbor, then build roads to their individual areas, they really cut the cost down. They'd be paying 25k each for the Airship, and a 6-wide, 500-long road to one place would only cost 9k to GP, add shared Airport cost and you're at 35k each, rather than 100k. Or you could do like what happened near Avalon, build a village a while away from a big city with its own ship.

With Capetown I intend to have the ship near the Cape, and will be claiming a large track of land so that I have enough space for future projects, but I'd still be building a direct road to the outside, so that people can come through my town and set up shop nearby. We had a road from Capetown to Baywalk before, with houses built near it soon as a result. Such a situation isn't one I'd object to happening now, and solves the problem for individuals. For big projects I'd suggest the teamwork mentioned before, since that really helps cut the price down.

June 20, 2014
7:24 am
Sgt_Hurls
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I agree with what Okarim says; people will likely band together to afford a shared portal ship on the basis of lowering the cost. I'm also aware of likely plans for this. Kinda where I was going with my first post. Not necessarily a bad idea either, and it will keep the Exodus harbor less cluttered than Vetronia's.

If staff want to leave the cost as-is, that's perfectly fine with me too. It was only a suggestion (not intended to be nitpick) and I do respect staff's policies and decisions Smile. It's a big step into a new world, and who knows where our ships may land... Wink. I am actually quite appreciative and thankful for all the work that staff have been putting in to put together this next chapter in VC's history; it's certainly not an easy thing to do!

Besides, I spent 6 years in the infantry; it was my JOB to walk everywhere, lol Wink.

Sgt_Hurls

Signed, ~Sgt_Hurls~
June 20, 2014
10:53 am
Okarim
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I've been informed of the fact that public road networks aren't allowed, so having several builds connected to a shared airport by 500m-long roads wouldn't be possible. As such, that part of my suggestion to people should be ignored. So should the part about building a new settlement near roads/railroads connecting other cities.

However, you could still team up and put your claims next to each other, with a shared airport at the center. It will give you less space to expand, since you're restricted by the others, but you wouldn't be paying for roads and the airport would be cheap, so you'd be talking 26k each with 4 people.

June 20, 2014
11:37 am
Sgt_Hurls
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Okarim, are you sure about that statement that public road networks won't be allowed? I just copied and pasted from the Arda F.A.Q...

1.4) How will we get around Arda?
Unlike Vetronia, Arda will not have a “Central Rail System” built by the server. Players are encouraged to make their own rail networks and roadways
.


From everything I've read, there won't be a road network built and owned by the server, but individuals can still connect their towns with others if consent is agreed upon.

Signed, ~Sgt_Hurls~
June 20, 2014
12:00 pm
Okarim
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I got told that having (rail)roads, claimed or not, stretch around and thus potentially get in the way of future claims isn't okay.

June 20, 2014
2:22 pm
frelling
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To answer the immediate question. Stg. Hurls nailed it. If players choose to protect roads with claims that is perfectly fine. Veterancraft reserves the right to create public transportation systems and appropriately protect them, if needs arises; but for the time being we have no plans to create railways or roads.

I have also instructed staff not to answer Arda questions regarding rules, policies and related matters in-game. If you have a legitimate question they will ask you to post it in this forum thread so that it can be answered once and accurately. Staff will still entertain questions regarding sale of residences and general features, but when it comes to policy/rules/etc. nothing said in-game will carry any weight, for it is the worst place to have those type of Q&As.

Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experiences of others, are also remarkable for their disinclination to do so. - D. Adams
July 1, 2014
8:31 pm
Okarim
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Since the topic was brought up again, I'll give my reasons for why I still disagree with a price drop myself.

First of all, as noted before, this should encourage people to band together, and either build future settlements a while removed from big cities with Portal Ships, or combine their resources to pay for a Portal Ship together. The latter is useful for not only separate projects near each other, but also for shared settlements. Given how settlements depend on citizens, the less people make one by themselves, the more actual life there can be to them. And pooling together your Shills is real useful. If you vote 20 days a month, that's 10k shills. Do this for 2 months with 5 players and you're already at 100k, and that's excluding selling gold and trading with donors.

Second, the fact that Exodus ships are significantly more expensive makes them a sign of pride, a symbol of power. (Needless to say I possess neither so am not going for one.) Even if someone with one makes a Harbor where others can dock their own ships, the fact their city is the relay point is a big status symbol. These Harbors would also make the perfect place for shopping districts. I'll gladly place my ship and a shop at such a Harbor.

 

Now I see the argument that it will "allow more diverse locations to be explored by players." But right now there are few actual settlements even coming into existence, nevermind actual places that really are worth the visit. It will still be a long time before people are ready for Portal Ships, with or without the raised cost. Plenty of time for them to earn the money. And until then, what is there really to TP to? Building zones? Hardly worth it.

So honestly, this subject shouldn't be breached until a few months from now, when people are actually ready to start building ships to connect their settlements. Only then can we really say "is this too much?".

 

As for my iConomy balance: Since I just got salary, 292,386.59 Shillings. But I intend to spend about 240k of it on extending my claim, and then use voting and perhaps selling gold to eventually buy my Portal Ship.

July 2, 2014
12:07 am
LordEboshi
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What I still fail to understand is why we're making all these payment barriers anyways? Does it really matter if there's a bit more portal ships that lead to "places that are really worth the visit"? We should be cherishing the idea of linking the community through ships. The map is 9x larger, and with a lot of islands. It's going to be hard to move around otherwise. Especially without /res teleports and other usual transportation methods.

"Your effort to remain what you are is what limits you." - Puppet Master
July 2, 2014
6:44 am
Okarim
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Res TP was only available for donors, so I wouldn't consider it a valid transportation method.

 

You should keep the power of Portal Ships in mind. People will bond together. Yes, currently we have a lot of far-away large claims made by rich people, and also a bunch of smaller ones. But probably >50% of all claims is within a mile distance from a Compass Ship. Take a look at Le Fay, which once was the biggest newbie village around. Where did it pop up? Next to the first big Portal Ship anyone visiting the harbor could see. Which conveniently was located on the edge of town, so people could build quite close to the portal ship. Capetown was the second portal ship, and the result was lots of people building places in the stretch of land between Capetown to Dreyzden.

We'll see the same here, once there's Portal Ships people will start living near those instead of just near the Compass Ships. People will always attract people. As for those deciding to live far away from each other, that's the choice they make, which comes with consequences for visitors. But they themselves can still set a single home there and have 4 remaining, 5 if you include a bed. So we don't really need Portal Ships everywhere.

 

Things will take time. The railroad took a while to fully develop with Vetronia. Meanwhile, my ship was the second Portal Ship ever, and it took 6 weeks from Vetronia opening to open my city with working Portal Ship. And until we reach the point where we actually have cities ready to visit, we can't even tell whether the cost is an issue right now, nevermind over time.

July 2, 2014
7:20 am
LightWarriorK
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What I'm about to say is basically expanding on what Tony said in the first post:

The portal price was established at 100,000.00 to discourage ships leading to non-destinations (minor settlements, etc).

The error, I think, comes in perceiving that portal ships should be the norm, rather than the exception.

The perks of VeteranCraft, being GP, McMMO, /homes, etc., lie underneath the legit play of Minecraft.  It's one reason why we aren't stressing over the loss of /res tp.

You'll also notice that there are only four portals leading from Exodus, when there could have been many more, and really there should have been none.

The point being, that we don't want players portaling everywhere around the world.  It's not Minecraft to do so, no matter what the size of the map.  We don't need portals to link communities.  There are boats, rails, horses, or just walking....to say nothing of /home locations.  Despite the perks, VC is still a SMP PvE server.

When the portal ships were first provided to players, 10,000 shillings was a HUGE amount of money.  But something happened, and it is due to the influx of shillings through voting and sponsor salaries: Inflation.

In the past year, before we took the big downturn in activity, we saw so many portal ship requests that it was getting a little insane.  The buildup and dissemination of shillings between players had reached a point where 10k shills for a portal ship was nothing, and that was not what was intended.

The increase in the portal fee to 100k is merely a battle with the inflation, as all real-world economies must do.  It is an appropriate amount given how rare portal shops should be.

Now, as Okarim was saying, right now people aren't going to have ships.  Most people spent most of their shillings establishing their Claims, and it will be some time before docks and ships are ready to be built.  I myself went down to 30.78 shills, and that's after I got my Res's refunded.  It will take some time to build that back up, but the economies are still there from the inflation.  On one end, single Viceroy could afford a ship every month.  On the other, 7 non-sponsors working together could do the same thing just with voting payouts.  That's a lot of ships, even at 100k per portal.

It's not supposed to be simple or easy to have a portal ship.  It was never meant to be, and we're just adjusting the process to make sure it stays that way.

"Awake, oh man, and be wise." -Thoth
July 2, 2014
2:32 pm
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Thank you everyone for your valuable input on this topic. After some discussion, taking into consideration the various concerns and opinions of our player base, we've decided to maintain the current portal pricing structure.

Anthony Hughes

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