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Thoughts on Moviestorm no longer being Free.


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#21 steelblade

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Posted 13 April 2010 - 12:29 PM

I wasn't saying that we should get rid of points, or that all the addons should be made free with subscription up front. Those are still no different that similar addons for other software packages, either games like Oblivion with extra purchasable content, or animation software like Iclone which charges dearly for both the software and more for addon content. I meant that the spacing out of the points over the subscription needs to go away, and/or we should be able to get a cheaper subscriptions then buy points separately. I don't like to rent packs, I want to have them on hand, but that may not be for everyone.

Tera makes the point (She's reading over my shoulder) that buying addons is a farce now. We have to pay for them, but also have to pay for the subscription so they can't really be bought.

Iclone sells the software, with some free updates. Then new versions have to be bought either new, or as a cheaper upgrade. Perhaps this approach is better for MovieStorm.

#22 twilit.tera

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Posted 13 April 2010 - 12:54 PM

QUOTE (steelblade @ Apr 13 2010, 12:29 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Tera makes the point (She's reading over my shoulder) that buying addons is a farce now. We have to pay for them, but also have to pay for the subscription so they can't really be bought.

Iclone sells the software, with some free updates. Then new versions have to be bought either new, or as a cheaper upgrade. Perhaps this approach is better for MovieStorm.



Maybe. Maybe not. Moviestorm is not iClone... I think they can make the subscription thing work... at least for some of the market, particularly the market that doesn't want to pay for or learn to use iClone. :-p

Let me elaborate on what Steel quoted me to be saying... What I said was that now that you are required to be a paid subscriber to use Moviestorm, you don't really "purchase" anything. It's a rental. When you stop paying the "rental fee" (ie subscription) you no longer have access to the product. If you had made a purchase, you would never lose access.

That being the case, I don't see why they bother letting you "purchase" add-ons... as if you could keep them if you let your subscription expire. Why not be honest and "rent" them too? They could be rented for the day, week, month, or year, with discounts for a longer rental period, but nothing quite as expensive as the purchase...

I dunno, maybe I'm opening a can of worms with this one. Maybe just change the language from "buy" to "get lifetime access to". ^.^

(about the credit thing... not sure what the big deal is. It only takes a second, is in the EULA, and doesn't hurt... just credit, for crying out loud!) smile.gif

#23 lucindamc123

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Posted 13 April 2010 - 05:15 PM

Yes I believe you should give credit to Moviestorm. I credit both Moviestorm and Iclone and Iclone doesn't even require it. The points are working out great as far as I am concerned. I have bought everything they have put out (except the music and sound effects as I don't need those) since they started the subscription system and I still have over 1000 points left. It seems to be quite a bargain.

#24 Armanus

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Posted 13 April 2010 - 09:08 PM

QUOTE (alonzo11208 @ Apr 13 2010, 03:44 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You're right, the purchase and renting of content packs, is their source of revenue, if they were to simply change the model, to where you have access to all of it, once you subscribe, then thats one hell of a HUGE money lost. Hence where I said the sub price will go up, so as to compensate for the money lost.


I don't think you're understanding what I meant. With 1.3, content will no longer be the source of revenue. The source of revenue will be the program itself, since under that new model you have to subscribe in order to even use it. The content then is value for the program, incentive to use it. In that model, it doesn't make sense to me to require people to also purchase or rent content with points....it's a restriction and an inconvenience for the user, and MS gains nothing economically by requiring the additional purchase or rental. For users with 1.3 , the point system IMO is redundant and unnecessary.


QUOTE (twilit.tera @ Apr 13 2010, 06:54 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Let me elaborate on what Steel quoted me to be saying... What I said was that now that you are required to be a paid subscriber to use Moviestorm, you don't really "purchase" anything. It's a rental. When you stop paying the "rental fee" (ie subscription) you no longer have access to the product. If you had made a purchase, you would never lose access.

That being the case, I don't see why they bother letting you "purchase" add-ons... as if you could keep them if you let your subscription expire. Why not be honest and "rent" them too? They could be rented for the day, week, month, or year, with discounts for a longer rental period, but nothing quite as expensive as the purchase...


Why even rent them? If you are required to pay a subscription fee in order to use the content, why should you go through the extra trouble of having to acquire content?

Here's an example of what I mean. Let's say you want to get fit, so you join a health club. They tell you that you can join for $30 a month. Then when you join, they give you a limited number of tickets and say that each exercise machine costs so many tickets to use. As long as your a member, you get to use any machine you've bought rights to with tickets.

Does it make sense? I would think people would be opposed to that idea. Most would expect that with membership they should get to use whatever machine they want whenever they want without any additional hassles. After all, they'll never own the machines, they pay a monthly fee for the privilege to use it, and if their membership lapses, they get zero access to the machines.

With MS, the current 1.3 model as I understand it is the membership with tickets. I'm suggesting the "get to use whatever, whenever without added hassles" part.

Whatever MS wants to ultimately do, I'm behind them. I'm just trying to look at it pragmatically and say what doesn't make sense to me, what does, what I think might hinder a member, what I think might hinder MS's growth, and what could be a win-win for both parties. I want MS to succeed, and I'm looking at this in terms of what MS gains vs. how it affects the customer. I think with the new 1.3 model it could hurt more then help to require purchase or rental of content.

Of course, the only exception to this would be sound packs. There's no way to restrict usage of that like you can virtual content. That I would fully expect to have to purchase with points, simply by the nature of how it is distributed.

#25 Chris Ollis

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Posted 13 April 2010 - 09:36 PM

QUOTE (Armanus @ Apr 13 2010, 09:08 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Here's an example of what I mean. Let's say you want to get fit, so you join a health club. They tell you that you can join for $30 a month. Then when you join, they give you a limited number of tickets and say that each exercise machine costs so many tickets to use. As long as your a member, you get to use any machine you've bought rights to with tickets.


Say you join a youth club, you pay to get access to the club which means you can sit and chat to people for free, listen to the music played, dance if you want and maybe kick a football about. Your membership is paying for the upkeep of the club - sweeping the floors, changing the lightbulbs, staffing etc.
But the club also has some arcade and vending machines.... your membership doesn't give you free games or food out of the machines, you usually have to stick a few coins in.

Membership hopefully pays for the running of the core code, if it was one fee for everything then that fee would need to be much higher. By splitting it people only have to pay for the bits they want, and after the love/hate relationship some of you have with After Dark and Funland, I think thats probably for the best biggrin.gif
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#26 Armanus

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Posted 13 April 2010 - 10:17 PM

Thanks Chris for replying smile.gif

In regards to what you are saying, if the fee pays for the code, then what pays for the content? If the intent is to continue the current point system, and the fee is for the core product and code, then doesn't that mean that the points are a free bonus for subscribers? In that sense, doesn't the content itself become free to subscribers? If so, then wouldn't having to rent or "purchase" with points be unnecessary?

Also, in the youth club, whatever you buy from the vending machine you can eat, or take it with you. It would be different if the club said you had to buy the food with the vending machine, but you could only play with it, and you couldn't leave the building with it (which excludes the possibility of eating it) wink.gif

#27 Armanus

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 01:26 AM

Here's a more direct way to describe what I'm thinking:

Let's assume I'm a new member...never heard of Moviestorm, and I download the program. I love it and what to continue using it. In order to do so I have to subscribe. No problem. Now here's how it breaks down economically with two different scenarios.

1 - I go with the monthly subscription. I only use the base pack...no content purchase with points or rentals, no third-party mods, no personal mods, nothing.

Economic outcome: $7.99 X 12 months = $95.88

2 - I go with the monthly subscription, and I use all the points I have to rent or "purchase" MS content.

Economic outcome: $7.99 X 12 months - $95.88

As you can see, content itself has no direct impact on my cost or your income. With or without it, I'm paying the same cost. The money is generated by the software, since that is what makes the subscription necessary now. If I subscribe I get to access the program and the content. If I don't subscribe I get nothing, not because I don't get the content but because the software itself locks me out.

Even if you raised the price of the subscription, it still works out to be that you are paying for the right to use the software, not for the content itself. You may divide that up into resources for both software and content development, but for all practical purposes, I'm not paying for official MS content (under the assumed scenario).

The way content does affect income is how appealing the content is overall and how I access it. Obviously, the more content, the better it is, and the easier it is to get, the more appealing the product is, the more likely I will continue using it, and the more likely I will tell others about it. If I'm excited about it, I'll tell everybody. (I already do all this, but we're talking a hypothetical scenario wink.gif )

Now with all this, I would wonder why I have to rent or purchase anything. I'm already paying all I would ever have to pay. Why hold me back from getting the most from your product? Wouldn't you you rather I had the ability to use MS to it's full potential right out of the gate, hopefully make some good movies and help you generate more business?

That's the logic of what I'm trying to get across. Like I said, whatever you choose to do, you know best, and I'll support you. I'm not saying it's right or wrong, I'm just trying to point out something that IMO makes more sense for the consumer, and in the end you.

#28 rgr

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 02:19 AM

QUOTE (Chris Ollis @ Apr 13 2010, 09:36 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Say you join a youth club, you pay to get access to the club which means you can sit and chat to people for free, listen to the music played, dance if you want and maybe kick a football about. Your membership is paying for the upkeep of the club - sweeping the floors, changing the lightbulbs, staffing etc.
But the club also has some arcade and vending machines.... your membership doesn't give you free games or food out of the machines, you usually have to stick a few coins in.

Membership hopefully pays for the running of the core code, if it was one fee for everything then that fee would need to be much higher. By splitting it people only have to pay for the bits they want, and after the love/hate relationship some of you have with After Dark and Funland, I think thats probably for the best biggrin.gif


What I think is unique about this model is it's "software as a service" and that's just not very common -- really unheard of in this consumer space. Membership pays for "the running of the core code", not the "runnable core code". The latter is how traditional software is bought and sold -- I buy version X of application Foo, and I then own it forever (or for as long as I can get it to run). The new MS model is more like the right to run some version of the code (1.3+) for as long as I'm a "member". I 'm still not clear on what it means to be a "member" though. Does it mean a subscription with a start and end date that needs to be renewed, or does it mean points we own from some subscription purchase that never expire?

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#29 Robear

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 03:11 AM

QUOTE (Armanus @ Apr 13 2010, 05:26 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
1 - I go with the monthly subscription. I only use the base pack...no content purchase with points or rentals, no third-party mods, no personal mods, nothing.

Economic outcome: $7.99 X 12 months = $95.88

2 - I go with the monthly subscription, and I use all the points I have to rent or "purchase" MS content.

Economic outcome: $7.99 X 12 months - $95.88

As you can see, content itself has no direct impact on my cost or your income. With or without it, I'm paying the same cost. The money is generated by the software, since that is what makes the subscription necessary now. If I subscribe I get to access the program and the content. If I don't subscribe I get nothing, not because I don't get the content but because the software itself locks me out.


I agree with Armanus' cost analysis on this. I made the point about this on another thread and have been trying since to justify purchasing vs. renting any further content packs considering the new licensing limitations. My brain says rent, my heart says purchase.

QUOTE (steelblade @ Apr 13 2010, 04:29 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I wasn't saying that we should get rid of points, or that all the addons should be made free with subscription up front. Those are still no different that similar addons for other software packages, either games like Oblivion with extra purchasable content, or animation software like Iclone which charges dearly for both the software and more for addon content. I meant that the spacing out of the points over the subscription needs to go away, and/or we should be able to get a cheaper subscriptions then buy points separately. I don't like to rent packs, I want to have them on hand, but that may not be for everyone.


However, I also agree with steelblade. I am not a big fan of renting, leasing, or subscribing to anything. I would rather have my assets on hand so that I know what I have and how it works. I guess I am one of those evil, Western, materialistic types. Besides, I don't like padlocks all over my props in the props window of MS. As for the points, I think they are an invaluable form of currency within the community and can be used between members for services rendered. They need to be kept around in some form.

QUOTE (alonzo11208 @ Apr 12 2010, 02:26 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Um....on the "instant content" thing, I think you guys are forgetting something...

Essentially, if they did that, you guys do know the price may jump from only $8/month, to more that is way out my pocket, the average consumer. Should they reword it so it doesn't give the impression of havig everything when you subscribe? Possibly?

But having everything avaliable to you when you sub....get ready to dish out a large chunk of cash and say bye bye to most of the community.


QUOTE (Chris Ollis @ Apr 13 2010, 01:36 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Membership hopefully pays for the running of the core code, if it was one fee for everything then that fee would need to be much higher. By splitting it people only have to pay for the bits they want, and after the love/hate relationship some of you have with After Dark and Funland, I think thats probably for the best biggrin.gif


There are a lot of official content packs available now, and I hope many more in the near future. Of course Moviestorm makes a sizable profit from the sales of content packs, especially now that they have a 30 day teaser to hook people like me into purchasing the content that they were able to sample for those 30 days. Without content sales, the subscription price would have to go up considerably to fill that gap in income and for MS to remain profitable.

I would prefer the lower subscription fee with the choice to purchase or rent content. From those of us who have already purchased most or all of the available official content, Moviestorm has already made their profit, and as long as the subscription points remain part of the subscription price, they will not see much income from subscribers who have most or all of the content other than the monthly subscription fee. But from the new members there is a large content sales potential.

QUOTE (steelblade @ Apr 13 2010, 04:29 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Iclone sells the software, with some free updates. Then new versions have to be bought either new, or as a cheaper upgrade. Perhaps this approach is better for MovieStorm.


Ahhh. What could have been.

#30 Chris Ollis

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 06:44 AM

QUOTE (Armanus @ Apr 14 2010, 01:26 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Here's a more direct way to describe what I'm thinking:

Let's assume I'm a new member...never heard of Moviestorm, and I download the program. I love it and what to continue using it. In order to do so I have to subscribe. No problem. Now here's how it breaks down economically with two different scenarios.

1 - I go with the monthly subscription. I only use the base pack...no content purchase with points or rentals, no third-party mods, no personal mods, nothing.

Economic outcome: $7.99 X 12 months = $95.88

2 - I go with the monthly subscription, and I use all the points I have to rent or "purchase" MS content.

Economic outcome: $7.99 X 12 months - $95.88

As you can see, content itself has no direct impact on my cost or your income. With or without it, I'm paying the same cost.



So your problem is that we are too generous with the points we give with subscription and you would rather we didn't give any away free? wink.gif
While I pointed out to another user that 800 points was enough to test every content pack, it isn't enough to necessarily make the full and complex movie you would want to over a month.
A rough calculation (not precise and missing audio) puts all Moviestorm content packs at a current buyable price of 33000 points. Compared to the total free points given with a years subscription of 9600.

I think we're being generous, but don't think it is true that content packs have no direct impact on our income and therefore should be free.
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#31 alonzo11208

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 10:06 AM

In other words you get what you pay! Hehe.

If you're paying a monthly fee of $8, with free content....then don't complain when content becomes just as good as Runescape or better....hello kitty in space *sarcasm* laugh.gif laugh.gif

No really...the current model is fine now and I agree with Chris, content packs do impact on their income. Otherwise, where's the 200- something odd dollars I spent? It surely isn't in my bank account.... wink.gif
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#32 kv

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 11:16 AM

Personally I don`t really see an issue with this policy as subscribing is rewarding in its self, as a user with every addon released it means that points that I accumulate I can save for when the new packs are released. Previously I would have to wait until I could get the money for them, with this system I can save up and have the points there as and when I need them smile.gif

#33 lucindamc123

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 05:59 PM

QUOTE (kv @ Apr 14 2010, 11:16 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Personally I don`t really see an issue with this policy as subscribing is rewarding in its self, as a user with every addon released it means that points that I accumulate I can save for when the new packs are released. Previously I would have to wait until I could get the money for them, with this system I can save up and have the points there as and when I need them smile.gif



I thought the same thing. Considering that the Metro Pack was only 500 points and I think we get either 1000 or 1500 a month, it was a real bargain. Most of the time they would be selling that pack for around $12.00 but since the subscription is only $7.99 a month and we get points, that brought it down to less than $4.00.

#34 Armanus

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 08:37 PM

QUOTE (Chris Ollis @ Apr 14 2010, 12:44 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
So your problem is that we are too generous with the points we give with subscription and you would rather we didn't give any away free? wink.gif
While I pointed out to another user that 800 points was enough to test every content pack, it isn't enough to necessarily make the full and complex movie you would want to over a month.
A rough calculation (not precise and missing audio) puts all Moviestorm content packs at a current buyable price of 33000 points. Compared to the total free points given with a years subscription of 9600.

I think we're being generous, but don't think it is true that content packs have no direct impact on our income and therefore should be free.


LOL

I've always thought that the point system was a great deal and extremely generous.

My point is simply that, if I use 1.3, you get the same amount of money from me whether I purchase content or none of it. You get money from the content indirectly, but the income for you doesn't come by my spending points. You get the money from the subscription that I am required to have in order to use the base program, regardless of any other content that works in it that I acquire.

If I buy content with points, MSL does not get more money then what I paid for the subscription. You get the subscription fee, and whether I use every point I get or use none of them, you get the same amount of money regardless, and you will have to decide how that money gets divided for development and costs. But in all essence, I'm paying for the program. I have to in order to use it. Any content I get with points is basically free anyway.

I get what you're saying, but I'm just talking about how it really breaks down. Unless there is something that I'm not getting through this thick skull of mine, that is.

Just sayin' wink.gif

Oh, and just to clarify, I'm in no way suggesting that content is just given away. People who use 1.2 should still have to purchase it. I'm just talking about future versions (1.3 and beyond) that require a subscription to even use the core program. And if I'm somehow wrong about all of this, I'll be pleasantly embarrassed lol

#35 Chris Ollis

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 09:49 PM

QUOTE (Armanus @ Apr 14 2010, 08:37 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If I buy content with points, MSL does not get more money then what I paid for the subscription. You get the subscription fee, and whether I use every point I get or use none of them, you get the same amount of money regardless, and you will have to decide how that money gets divided for development and costs. But in all essence, I'm paying for the program. I have to in order to use it. Any content I get with points is basically free anyway.


Right, so you're saying you won't buy extra points on top of the free ones we give out. So what happens when a really cool pack comes out that you don't have enough points for? Will you just wait until your subs money has caught up, by which point we could have released 4 or 5 more awesome packs wink.gif
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#36 Armanus

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 10:50 PM

I've been waiting for you to say that wink.gif

I don't know that I would. I would certainly do so in order to get all the sound packs that are out (since that's the only way to get them), but the rest I'm more inclined to rent now rather then get outright, unless the pack is something I see using in most projects.

The reason I'm more inclined to rent is simple. I don't want to spend extra money to get content that I don't get access to if I'm not subscribed. I have no issue with paying to use MS, in fact I'll do it happily. But I can't justify spending, say, and extra $100 to get content I can't use if my subscription lapses. Well, I might be able to convince myself, but I'd never be able to convince the wife lol (I make the money, she makes it work for us)

If the model continued to exist as it was, I'd have no problem doing this. If I had to buy the core program, and then follow the old subscription plan for content, I'd be fine with that. With everything now being contingent on the subscription (pay fee or no play) I'll have a harder time justifying that extra expenditure.

I hope that this works out the way you anticipate. I'll be pleasantly surprised if you get good sales on extra points. I think that it's likely though you'll find people going "thanks but no thanks on that". Some may even view it as "double-dipping" or a scam. I'd love to be wrong.

But if I'm right, remember you heard it here first laugh.gif

Either way, I'm with you smile.gif

#37 Chris Ollis

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 07:09 AM

QUOTE (Armanus @ Apr 14 2010, 10:50 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I've been waiting for you to say that wink.gif

I don't know that I would. I would certainly do so in order to get all the sound packs that are out (since that's the only way to get them), but the rest I'm more inclined to rent now rather then get outright, unless the pack is something I see using in most projects.

The reason I'm more inclined to rent is simple. I don't want to spend extra money to get content that I don't get access to if I'm not subscribed. I have no issue with paying to use MS, in fact I'll do it happily. But I can't justify spending, say, and extra $100 to get content I can't use if my subscription lapses. Well, I might be able to convince myself, but I'd never be able to convince the wife lol (I make the money, she makes it work for us)


That's absolutely fine Armanus, we think the rental route is the most logical and beneficial way to go about things in this day and age. Too many packages charge huge amounts of money with no guarantee of re-usability either if the software is discontinued or even upgrades - take 3DS MAX for example, over the years I have seen companies waste thousands of pounds on plugins that became obsolete within 12 months of purchase due to an Autodesk code update or the plugin manufacturers going bust. I certainly wish Autodesk would let me rent whichever plugins I wanted to use as and when I needed them!

But that said there are still huge benefits to buying packs outright if you are working on a major project (both in savings and simplicity in not having to remember to update it for each days rental). And as your projects get bigger and require more packs, chances are the free points won't stretch that far!

But the way you go is all up to you the user, and that's why we think it works so well smile.gif

Now, go tell Autodesk to do this too biggrin.gif
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#38 steelblade

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 06:34 PM

QUOTE (Chris Ollis @ Apr 14 2010, 09:49 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Right, so you're saying you won't buy extra points on top of the free ones we give out. So what happens when a really cool pack comes out that you don't have enough points for? Will you just wait until your subs money has caught up, by which point we could have released 4 or 5 more awesome packs wink.gif


There are no free points. They are part of the subscription cost. Which makes me wonder 1) why we have to pay for them but not get them immediately 2) why there isn't a 'no points' subscription option.

#39 Chris Ollis

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 07:20 PM

QUOTE (steelblade @ Apr 15 2010, 06:34 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
There are no free points. They are part of the subscription cost. Which makes me wonder 1) why we have to pay for them but not get them immediately 2) why there isn't a 'no points' subscription option.


As far as I was aware (but I'm art, so don't take my word for it) the subscription pays for use of the package, the points we give are a free bonus given to subscribers. Of course you can argue over if you're paying for something then no part of it can be free, but thats up to you.

1. you get them immediately when you pay for that months subscription - if you want them all in one go you should look at the other subscription types which do get all points up front for a longer sub.

2. because what would the point of that be, the same cost with no nice freebies?
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#40 steelblade

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 08:33 PM

QUOTE (Chris Ollis @ Apr 15 2010, 07:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
2. because what would the point of that be, the same cost with no nice freebies?


That's what the base pack contest was all about. This is intended as a cheaper option for the teenagers here that are lucky if they get to see $20 a month. At least they'd be able to use sketchup to import their own props or use free addons. Or even buy/rent/lease the addons they REALLY REALLY want by saving up a bit for them.

I wouldn't be likely to use that option myself. I'm not seeing any options for the instant points that you mention over on the subscriptions page, just the 3 month or annual plans. Is that in the planning stages?


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