damn. Must find someone with a credit card
Like a boss!
here's the announcement:
Perhaps the biggest announcement ever in Planetarion history - spinner
Since February 2000, everyone involved with Planetarion has tried to provide for you the best possible game we could. We have given you four successful seasons of Planetarion, which you have obviously enjoyed and in some cases loved due to the extremely steep climb in players.
We have always intended Planetarion to be the best possible Internet game, with a strong sense of community. This is shown in our politics boards, free Alliance Hosting, extensive forums, and our large Internet Relay Chat (IRC) system, and most importantly, the real-time structure of the game that allows for players to have time to respond to attacks, organize defense, and plan missions, unlike many games that allow only for instant actions and have much less sense of team play.
These are just a few points, which make Planetarion, as you know it; without doubt, the most popular web-based game the world has to offer.
We, like every other e-company, has seen how the advertising business model does not make money like it once did. In the beginning we intended for Planetarion to be funded by advertising revenue, which in the beginning provided good income, but advertising revenue has since plummeted all across the Internet. In the last year we realized that if the market didn't recover soon, we would be forced to move to an alternative business model. This was when the Pay2Play version was announced to you. We explored the highly debatable "split" in the universe, creating one P2P (pay-to-play) and one free universe.
It is understandable that we all were unsure what would be necessary to prioritize our workload, resources and hardware capabilities between the two universes and of course, at the same time, possibly split the great community. There was also a logistical problem: Creating the second universe would require upfront investment of time and equipment. We had identified an investor and equipment provider, but the needed 50k in funds has simply never been received, making it impossible to receive funds from P2P since we could not launch it without funds, a circular problem!
After long consideration, it has been decided not to proceed with P2P as originally planned. Instead, we have created what we HOPE is a model that will eventually please most everybody AND provide stability for Planetarion for years to come!
It is plainly evident that the only viable model which would keep Planetarion and Fifth Season providing the great services you want, is one which the players must somehow pay for the product that they feel is good value, will give a lot of hours of entertainment and at the same time feel involved in the community aspects of the game. How could we do this and still make the game accessible to all players, including players too young for cheque accounts or credit cards or without any means to pay? Well, we feel we have found an answer that draws on the great community spirit of the game.
Many of our players have an easy means of payment that can be used across the Internet or sent in to register for the game in one way or another. And most of our players who do not have an easy method of payment know other players who do. If we cooperate we feel that we can make PA into a COMMUNITY-PAY game, something that is unique on the Internet. And then we can commit to making PA better than ever for all who play.
How it works:
Our commitments to our players:
1. To add staff in order to decrease development and debugging times
2. To provide consistent, well-tested strategies and specifications within the game
3. To respond to players in requesting new features or preserving aspects of the game
4. To keep servers up and running with the greatest possible reliability
5. To keep Planetarion the best entertainment bargain on the Internet, with new graphics and hosting features, etc.
How signup will work:
1. The cost of a basic signup will be $10, in any form that we will accept (see below).
2. A basic signup will qualify not ONE player to sign up, but TWO. This is where the community aspect comes in. Each signup receives TWO codes; the buyer gets one and can give the other to anyone he pleases. You can purchase accounts in 2, 5 and 25 units. You will notice you cannot buy 1 account only, thus encouraging you to help your fellow players. This also means a whole galaxy can save money by having one sign up through one person and receive codes from that person under whatever terms work out best. If players know each other in real life they can pay cash to the one with a credit card or whatever in work, school, university, etc. Players who truly have no way to pay can hopefully find a friend or ally with an extra code, so that no one is stopped from playing.
Costs will be as follows:
2 Accounts = $10 Each account costs $5
5 Accounts = $20 Each account costs $4
25 Accounts = $75 Each account costs $3
Payment methods we have been able to secure:
Of course this will be available for those many who have them and the transaction is via secure encrypted process. Punch in your details, transaction made and then we email your login details to you.
For those without credit cards or who don't trust this info over the Internet, the cheque can be sent to us. Upon clearance of funds, you will be emailed your login details.
For those without the luxury of credit cards and who deal in real money may use this similar system to credit cards.
This card is will be perhaps a dream solution to 40% of our player base that live in UK. It is a card you can order from www.splashplastic.com. They deliver it to you in the post within 7-10 days. You then take to any shop, petrol station that accepts "paypoint" or "payzone" transactions. A lot of people pay their electric, gas bills via these points and there are over 60 thousand stores, which accept it. You hand them the amount in cash, they transfer it to your card (total free to you) and then it is now a debit card. You have available to spend on the Internet whatever amount you put onto the card. There is no age limit to getting one, anyone can get it and it is the securest method of payment there is and as I said total free for you to use with no hidden costs.
If things work the way we have planned, we will have available to everyone in Europe a method that you will be able to pay by picking up you phone and dialing a specific international number!
But, the key to our survival here lies in the ability all the players to unite, so some can pay for others over the net, and perhaps settle it with cash afterwards in private. By the community, for the community.
So what will happen next?
Surely many of the players will be furious that we have had to go to this form of Community-Pay. And perhaps we will lose many players who aren't willing to pay for the value they get in the long hours they play PA. Many others, the type who sign up and never log in, will certainly not pay and thus we will have fewer inactive players, a good thing some will say. We can only hope that in this hour of PA history our players will rally in support rather than criticism and that they will find this idea a fair and fun way to make sure that PA stays alive and running much better than ever for years to come!
With development resources focused on one universe, one community, one game, with very few multi's, few farms and a much more even playing field, I can't help but thinking how much better the game will be!
And if we lose a lot of players, it will benefit those who remain, with rock solid snappy servers, 99,99% uptime on ticker and pages and a much more dedicated gaming community!
We are targeting to open signups at Friday the 14th of September, just over a week from now. We will then have a period of several days in which players can sign up and receive Play Codes. Players will then have time to have the Play Codes authorized, and then Round 5 will begin, with new graphics and a new future for PA! We hope that every player will come with us into this new future.
Here is a little something you can expect from round 5:
- More interesting tactics in combat due to new targeting
- More emphasis on fleet composition due to higher vulnerability of all ships , i.e. more losses!
- A slightly faster and more interesting start of the round
- Parallels are gone and clusters are back
- A brand new feature, currently know as THE JUMPGATE, will allow the MoD and the MoW to build and target a jump-gate for the whole galaxy at any other galaxy in the universe to get in-Cluster travel time and fuel rates. Certain limitations in its use due to risks of ripples in Hyperspace, which will be revealed over the next week or so.
- Private galaxies will of course stay in
- A brand new look and feel, which is WAY different and better than any previous design
- Outgoing fleets in Galaxy Status
- Rock solid servers (easy to promise with the anticipated drop in accounts)
- Hardly a multi, at least no where near the scales we have seen before
- 24 hour server watchers in case of emergency
- A much, much better game
- Some secret features still to be kept a secret for a few days at least
- No more annoying pop-ups or banners!
- Stronger and more dedicated players and alliances
- Competitions and prizes
More announcements will follow with specific dates and signup details. Thanks to all who continue to support us at Fifth Season. We pledge to continue to work absurd hours to bring you the best gaming experience possible!
With all the best wishes for the future and good luck to everyone in the coming round 5 of Planetarion...
Fifth Season HQ
i totally support p2p, they'd be stupid not to ask ppl for money, but i cant see how how this is going to eradicate multis like the anouncement said. i mean if you get 2 planets when you sign up your inevitably gonna have some multis, although its a fairly good idea when used right, but its clearly going to be abused. i dunno, is there any way to wipe out multism??
Well Kensai, I have played 2 seasons and both have revolved around beating back multi-account holders. If it was not free people would not put up with the hassle of cheats.
I agree that the should go p2p, but it remains to be seen if they can deliver "value for money" to subscribers. To fall down on the job in the first p2p season is to leave alot of unsatisified customers who may not come back. I honestly think they should have introduced p2p last season, all the indications about internet advertising were already there prior to last season.
I am playing Diaspora full time now so I will not be signing up for the new season, but good luck to those who do.
PA is boring me now, it's just the same old formula, round after round.
A game ruined by no-lifers who take it all waaaaaaaay too seriously.
Pay-to-play is just another reason for me not to bother signing up next round.
Death to Planetarion.
have to say I won't be back for the first p2p round. Might come back for the next one though.
I think we really need a way to wipe out buildings (introducing an orbital - really slow, easy to hit - bomber would be good).
And a way to steal resources from stores (stealth craft, or troops transports).
If they introduced a planetary invasion aspect it's be worth paying for.
As it is, not being able to wipe out an annoying canadian really removes the shine.
That said I wouldnt like to see the game disappear. It keeps alot of the muppets happy and out of other games.