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Would you pay more to play on a "VIP" server?

By #[Izmar] - ADMIN - May 21, 2014, 11:05:35

Quite a few players have suggested the idea of creating a sort of "VIP" server in the past in response to several things - usually issues of botting or multiaccounting - and it seems like it could be an interesting topic to discuss.

There are still no plans at this time to create this type of server, but that doesn't mean we can't talk about it.

So, would you want to play on a server that was "VIP" only? How much would playing on a bot-free/solo-only server be worth to you? Would you pay more to play on a server where, say, every account had to be verified by an valid ID before you were able to join it? How much would you pay?

What do you think life would be like on "normal" servers after the creation of a "VIP" server?

First Ankama intervention
Revil-Nunor|2014-05-21 18:08:09
Would "no bots" be the only extra feature for such a server or would there be other perks to being on this server as well like faster Support responses or a more open line of communication with the development team?

This is still a complete hypothetical. No plans are being made, but even hypothetically, I would think not. ^^

I assume you're saying that you would be willing to pay more for these services?
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Honestly, I'm not actually sure how much of an effect the bots have on the economy; i.e. how much they reduce/increase prices on gear, resources etc.

If there was a server only for solo players, I would probably consider it, but only have one character there probably. While it would be nice to go back to the old days of having the teamwork whenever you want to run a dungeon, it would also bring back the pain you suffer when someone doesn't know how RMG works and kills your whole team...

At most I think I'd probably be willing to pay double sub fees for a server like this, because while it would have advantages, it would have huge disadvantages too. Not to mention the initial issue that there would be no gear at all and it would all have to be crafted from scratch (Unless you were to turn a pre-existing server into a VIP server)

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No. At least not play dofus like that. It is hard enough to get new people into the game, and even with some people bringing 2-3 characters to a group, it can often be hard to put groups together capable of the hardest content currently available. besides, being able to gear, customize, and control an entire team if one feels like it is not a small advantage, and I cannot see those people currently enjoying this advantage giving it up, especially if it would cost more to play just one account, (including myself)

And while we players bemoan the fact the bots exist oh so often, there are players benefiting from them, whether it be people who would buy kamas, or those people that would place perceptors in commonly botted areas, or even people who might purchase resources, bread, and more that were listed by a bot.

"VIP server" would an insult to the players at this point, basically asking us to pay Ankama more to deal with bots, when there are so many larger issues than bots to be dealt with in game. Players use virtual machines to multi-account in perceptor fights, 2 lines of code can detect whether something is running in a VM, Summon AI is atrocious, the developers create content and label it for a level, yet how many players at that level can handle that content?

I'll stop here lest I turn into the next Rael.

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Hmm, it's a difficult question really.
Many people now subscribe with orgines bought in-game, which makes it so that they don't pay real money anymore.
So many of these people wouldn't join if you had to pay with real money unless it's a small amount per year. They would more likely join if they can subscribe with ogrines too.

Also, would we have to start-over on there or transfer characters? Or will it be like the bèta server but having the drops, xp, money, … on the other server too?
E.g. : I play on the VIP server and gather 12million kamas, will those kamas be available on my home server (Rushu) too then?
If not, I’d like to suggest this possibility since I doubt many players will transfer or change servers.
Maybe make only the inventory, bank and other inventories sync every 15mins.

Now to actually answer your question :

If the amount I’d have to pay is lower than a normal subscription or if I can subscribe with ogrines I would certainly join the VIP server. In order to keep botting out, the idea of ID-control can be nice.
I would still like to be able to use multiple characters to do something however. But maybe a maximum could be inserted.

The life on normal servers would stay more or less the same if my idea of sync banks etc would be inserted since you can use stuff from VIP server on normal ones.

Aura

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I think the players should not have to pay more to be in a bot-free server. Dofus should take extra measures in order to get rid of bots, with the money we already pay!

Why not insert something in the game to let players prove they are real? Perhaps, every 30 minutes you get a pop-up screen and have to type the number that appears on the screen (but this number is not readable by computers f.e.)? As long as you do not type the correct number combination, you cannot move or fight in game. This could maybe keep away bots. This is just an idea, I guess you can come up with more efficient ideas that would not bother the real players as much as my idea, but think about it.

As for the multi accounting, I agree the players are anti-social, but I think you've already done enough to make multi accounting less necessary, so if this is how players choose they play, just let them do it! I know there are still players who play in a group with some friends and they're just fine too.

For a lot of players the game is already too expensive (even though I think it's not), so why make a VIP server that's even more expensive and hence excluding even more players from this amazing game! I feel this would make a huge gap between rich and poor players (in RL). And would you really want a server full of rich grown-ups or spoiled kids? This would be a terrible place to play!

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I don't think a VIP server would work as well as it sounds in theory.

Personally, I'm not willing to just throw away the work I've already invested into my characters, professions, guild etc. and the prospect of paying more to do that isn't very appealing. I would much rather see Ankama invest more in, say Support or more moderators or something ( yes I understand mods are volunteers, I'm just saying...). Also I happen to think MCing is really nice and one of the aspects I enjoy the most about Dofus. And as others have already stated, I don't feel I should have to pay more for Ankama to deal with bots.

If the VIP server was introduced I think the normal servers would still be fine as long as Ankama doesn't redirect the resources it invests in those servers to the new one. I'm simply of the opinion that more players would prefer the normal servers.

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I definitely wouldn't pay more for a VIP server, at least not a VIP server as described.

With regard to bots, I know they are bad, but honestly since percs were revamped the bots are now helping everyone on the server, and I don't mind them any more. Usually when I see bots they are farming stuff like treechnid resources and dragoturkey resources that no one wants to farm, but which are useful for making equips to crush for AP and MP runes. And when they are hitting an area everyone puts out their percs and takes their share of the mats being extracted by those bots.

A server with no bots at all would have a really hard time getting enough bread, potions, runes, and other resources that are currently being fueled by bots. Sure this isn't an ideal situation, but its a system that works. Expecting the real players to grind tens of thousands of mobs to gather enough mats to build items to crush to get AP runes to have a 1/100 chance of success of exomaging is the broken system, and that is what is making bots attractive, and actually needed I would argue.

The solution to bots is not a VIP server, its to review the messed up game systems that make bots needed in the first place.

With regard to a no multiaccounting server, I would never play on that server because multiaccounting is my favorite part of Dofus. I like that multiaccounting feels like Final Fantasy Tactics. Additionally playing just one character is extremely boring because it is 90% doing nothing looking at the screen waiting for someone else to make their move. If I'm not playing at least two or three characters it becomes rather boring.

What I would pay double or triple for is the ability to use other characters on my account like sidekicks. The model could be something like:

$65 per year for one account with only one character playable at a time
$65 + $65 per year for one account with up to three other real characters on that account that can be added to your battle under your control like a sidekick.

This would instantly make multiaccounting feasible for everyone, and all would be able to enjoy the exciting tactical gameplay that multiaccounting offers. Now that would be a fun VIP server!

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one more dead server?

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Thank you for posing this question to the community. I would pay more, this game has never been about the amount of money I spend Its always been about the fun factor. It seems most the high level guilds (that can protect their perc's) are farming the bots for guild experience and loot. (places in frig that have 1 perc per map) They are buying the stacks of stuff the bots collect. They assimilated they bots into their society. I have to admit there seems to be more people against idea then I thought there would be (for sheer lack of understanding or the fact they don't want to move/start over). I don't think this is an honest representation of the community as whole. Most of these players are level 200 elite players who don't have to fight with bots to find mining and farming places. They don't have to train on 0 star mobs because bots killed all the stars. They don't have to deal with the woes of being a new player they are already maxed out in professions or can afford to buy the mats from the bots in the market.

I don't think this topic will get favorable votes from the community but I still think It would be successful. If only we could poll all the players who quit or barely play. Who would play more if things weren't out of control. Right now as it stands the high level people farm the bots with perc's and everyday the gap between high levels/gear/money items and the low level people is getting wider and wider. Of course they want to protect what they got now. Thank you very much for posing this question to everyone, even though it won't help the cause any. (Although throwing in NO multi accounting didn't help, I'm not against multi-accounting as long as they are paying)

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I however support the VIP server idea somewhat. I think there are so many good things about having a VIP server. I wouldn't mind paying more by double the current subscription fees even if payment must be made with real money. On a VIP server I assume server transfer service is unavailable or if available will as you mentioned require a ID confirmation to proceed.

I too think that Bots are not the main issue in the game at the moment. They do as Mishna said, contribute to the abundance of bread right now in the market which isn't an ideal thing for Bakers, but Bots aren't the main force that drives the economy. Prices are all set by players, everyone else just follows a trend that goes all over each server. Some server may seem more expensive than others but that is only a small portion of the players overpricing things.

The main purpose of having a VIP server is to encourage/give an opportunity to players to work together. I think since as you said Izmar that the culture in Dofus changed over the years, considering people are becoming less and less willing to group up with random people now that multiaccounting has become much easier to do mostly because of ease of subscription, via the Kama Exchange system. I don't think players that are already enjoying multiaccounting will go to a server where multiaccounting is restricted. Single accounters like myself will definitely consider it. I don't know when was the last time Ankama checked how many players multiaccount and said it was a minority, because it seems to me that just about everyone plays more than one account. Owning multiple accounts and playing multiple accounts simultaneously are two completely different things. When they checked how many people multiaccount, were they tracking the data by how many accounts were used simultaneously under one IP address or what? The whole checking thing is complicated to me as I do not know how it really works and how Ankama found out that only a minority does multiaccounting.

I don't know if people became less willing to group up compared to before or it has always been the same even without the Kama exchange system making it easy to subscribe multiple accounts. I could understand the case that occasionally people bring up about a player who needs to run a 1 hour dungeon but have to go to work or school in 2 hours, and does not wish to team with random people he or she doesn't know that can potentially slow things down if they do not know how to play efficiently and without technical problems.

I wouldn't mind having a VIP server and if such server becomes available, I would definitely pay more to play on it half-time if not full-time when gaming Dofus. Since I am not a hardcore gamer, I am quite flexible with the pricing even if turns out to be quite expensive.

I just hope if such server is to be opened, Ankama should be prepared to expect a low population on it. If they don't want to keep a server open with low population and end up closing it just like Aermyne and the Japanese community, it isn't worth even starting one.

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The main purpose of having a VIP server is to encourage/give an opportunity to players to work together. I think since as you said Izmar that the culture in Dofus changed over the years, considering people are becoming less and less willing to group up with random people now that multiaccounting has become much easier to do mostly because of ease of subscription, via the Kama Exchange system.

I have always argued that multiaccounting is not what is stopping people from grouping together, because very few multiaccount players have eight accounts. Most multiaccounters are like me and have about 4 accounts and regularly group up with other people.

The reason why people aren't willing to group up with randoms is because the content is getting harder and harder, especially at high level and its no longer feasible to rely on a random person anymore. High level guild members and active alliance members tend to team up with each other more, since they know each other and trust each other in battle.

Dofus is not a game built around random matches, and as time passes and content is made harder and harder it will become even less so. It is game that takes a lot of social work to make a reputation and form a friend base that you then work with to plan out hunts and attacks on dungeons. Random hunts and dungeon runs just aren't effective in the highest level content anymore.

I still do random hunts and random dungeon runs in the low level content, but I'm usually pretty hesitant to go do high level stuff with people I don't know.

I don't think that a VIP server would solve the problem of "people not grouping together" because most of the time if you are having trouble getting groups it is because you aren't in a good guild or good alliance or don't have a good friend list. The VIP server would have the same elite groups that have formed good guilds and good alliances, and hunt together with each other and the random outsiders would still have to put a lot of effort into joining the club.
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Instead, why not make people verify by ID in existing accounts? Give them like a week or 2 to verify, if not the account gets locked?
But of course, you already noted the problem, since you said solo server, which meant only 1 account per person, so i guess what I said just kind of contradicted itself bleh...

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I think having this VIP server would do what Izmar said on another thread. It would create this Upper class server, which is this VIP where you pay an excessive amount. Then you will have this lower class server which would people who can't or wont pay a lot for this new server. I also think that since the botting companies already pay for p2p accounts. They might also pay for you new VIP server, rendering the whole thing to be useless. The only way you can make it so bots wont go near them, is to make the prices so high, it wouldn't be worth their money. However in doing this, you also make it so there would be a couple hundred people on this server as no ordinary person would pay so much for a server.

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Arcade11|2014-05-21 14:31:49
for sheer lack of understanding
I don't think the people that are arguing against the idea are arguing against it because they don't understand what it entails....
Most of these players are level 200 elite players who don't have to fight with bots to find mining and farming places. They don't have to train on 0 star mobs because bots killed all the stars. They don't have to deal with the woes of being a new player they are already maxed out in professions or can afford to buy the mats from the bots in the market.
There was a time when mobs didn't have stars...and bots have been around forever. Most people that have maxed out their professions have had to deal with bots when levelling them. Just have to be persistent and acknowledge that some professions can take months or even years to level.

Mishna|2014-05-21 15:45:00
The main purpose of having a VIP server is to encourage/give an opportunity to players to work together. I think since as you said Izmar that the culture in Dofus changed over the years, considering people are becoming less and less willing to group up with random people now that multiaccounting has become much easier to do mostly because of ease of subscription, via the Kama Exchange system.

I have always argued that multiaccounting is not what is stopping people from grouping together, because very few multiaccount players have eight accounts. Most multiaccounters are like me and have about 4 accounts and regularly group up with other people.

The reason why people aren't willing to group up with randoms is because the content is getting harder and harder, especially at high level and its no longer feasible to rely on a random person anymore. High level guild members and active alliance members tend to team up with each other more, since they know each other and trust each other in battle.

Dofus is not a game built around random matches, and as time passes and content is made harder and harder it will become even less so. It is game that takes a lot of social work to make a reputation and form a friend base that you then work with to plan out hunts and attacks on dungeons. Random hunts and dungeon runs just aren't effective in the highest level content anymore.

I still do random hunts and random dungeon runs in the low level content, but I'm usually pretty hesitant to go do high level stuff with people I don't know.

I don't think that a VIP server would solve the problem of "people not grouping together" because most of the time if you are having trouble getting groups it is because you aren't in a good guild or good alliance or don't have a good friend list. The VIP server would have the same elite groups that have formed good guilds and good alliances, and hunt together with each other and the random outsiders would still have to put a lot of effort into joining the club.
^ This times a million wub

Honestly, if the VIP server is simply to get people to interact with each other more, there are better ways of doing it. And I would think that would be something Ankama wants to see integrated into the game as a whole rather than specific to one single server or something. As for botting, it's an issue that needs to be addressed on all servers.
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What I would like for an ideal VIP server

VIP Server

2x XP/Drop (maybe even x3 or x4 to supplement the lack of multi-clienting).
P2P only: No F2P
Solo Account Only (though a lot of people say this can easily be bypass using some program to trick IP verification)
ID Verified Account (optional)
No transfer in or out
International (just like Heroic, no regional lock, as long as you are P2P)
Regular rate of payment. If there will be additional cost, then at the very least, make this into a premium server wherein the premium house (and the zoth incarnation) is accessible to all playing in this server.

Personally, I wouldn't play "much" on it just like the heroic server, which is good, because it means that it is not that good that everyone will flock into it, and it will not get congested.

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Honestly, if the VIP server is simply to get people to interact with each other more, there are better ways of doing it.

Unfortunately the only way I can think of to encourage more interaction is by lowering the barrier to interaction by making the game easier. I feel that back in the day when one high level character could carry the entire group by hitting three or four times with their weapon, just smashing monsters to bits in one turn, there was actually more group activity.

With the powerful weapons people were more willing to run dungeons and hunts and fight with random characters etc because they were confident that they could still win even if a few people in the group were inexperienced or undergeared and contributed nothing to the battle.

And also think back to how much group activity went on during that Almanax accident when everyone had double stats... People were forming groups and hunting and running dungeons like crazy because it was fun and easy.

The game used to be easier and more casual so people teamed up more back then, but now to survive in high level content everyone needs to be contributing to the fight, and there is much less room for mistakes and weak characters.

The game is in many ways more fun now that it is more difficult, but with the increased challenge comes less interaction because people are more hesitant about working with strangers. We can have either one or the other: a challenging, difficult game that the hardcore community enjoys, or a casual, easy game that anyone can enjoy.
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It would have to depend, but I'd be leaned towards most highly likely.

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Would "no bots" be the only extra feature for such a server or would there be other perks to being on this server as well like faster Support responses or a more open line of communication with the development team?

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Revil-Nunor|2014-05-21 18:08:09
Would "no bots" be the only extra feature for such a server or would there be other perks to being on this server as well like faster Support responses or a more open line of communication with the development team?

This is still a complete hypothetical. No plans are being made, but even hypothetically, I would think not. ^^

I assume you're saying that you would be willing to pay more for these services?
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Well I don't really like this idea. Because i need to pay more of course and well this server will be an empty dead server or a server where every rich guy is and the other servers won't work as good so i don't really like it :3

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