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Whine about CM costs thread. Post here!


bobo

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BTW, another model software companies have adopted is the "subscription" method. This means you buy the software and for $x per year (or maybe month?) the software is patched regularly with both fixes and new features. Cancel the subscription and you get only basic maintenance patches (if that). We did think about this sort of model for CMx2 when we were looking hard at the concept of Upgrades. Although it has some definite potential, overall we didn't like how it would work. In the end we felt a low cost Upgrade per Family was the right fit for everybody (including us) provided we included enough improvements to justify $10 *and* didn't try cranking them out too frequently. We feel $10 roughly every year is pretty much the right mix.

Steve

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Has anyone ever sat down and figured out how much it would cost to run through the 'World Of Tanks' game? Not only are you nickel-and-dimed to death, but once you reach hvy tank territory you're shelling out some real $$$. I believe buying a KV-5 will cost you forty bucks, or thereabouts.

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No big deal really. At the moment, I feel spending $20 to upgrade CMBN and CFI to 3.0 based on the skimpy version log is not worth it. I enjoy them as they are and also have CMRT 3.0. I would rather put that money toward a new CMRT module.

However, when a new, must-have module comes out for CMBN or CFI, I will consider the 3.0 upgrade. If that's how it works...

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No big deal really. At the moment, I feel spending $20 to upgrade CMBN and CFI to 3.0 based on the skimpy version log is not worth it. I enjoy them as they are and also have CMRT 3.0. I would rather put that money toward a new CMRT module.

However, when a new, must-have module comes out for CMBN or CFI, I will consider the 3.0 upgrade. If that's how it works...

The Upgrades only come with Base Games or as part of a Bundle. Sometimes we bundle a Module, sometimes not. Depends on timing. When it's bundled the price of an Upgrade is reduced by 50% to $5.

In the case of CMRT, it is already v3.0. That means when the first Module comes out for it there will be no need to Upgrade. Unless we already have v4.0 out by that time, which I don't expect will be the case.

Steve

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What's changed now is that providing small amounts of content is economically feasible thanks to digital downloads. As a result people have gotten used to Downloadable Content (DLC). As long as we don't hobble/abandon our current approach of including playable content, a full featured editor, and "quick battle" features in our products, I don't see why anybody could complain if we also offer pay-for-play playable content as an additional option. Meaning, it doesn't remove any options people have had for 14 years, rather it adds to it.

Cool, I look forward to seeing how this plays out. I agree with your philosophy of offering full scenario editing capabilities and not hobbling things.

BTW, another model software companies have adopted is the "subscription" method. This means you buy the software and for $x per year (or maybe month?) the software is patched regularly with both fixes and new features. Cancel the subscription and you get only basic maintenance patches (if that).

Or worse Adobe's subscription model where if you stop pay the program does not even run. Thank you, thank you for not going the subscription route.

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Steve, could we have a offical response regarding tank riders for BN/FI? Can we expect it to be added later, it might be added later or is it not going to happen?

Understand the extra work and charge for it.. would be great to know where BF stand on the matter.

Just got both upgrades btw and Im very happy that you continue to support x2 titles with upgrades.

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i think the prices are fair to be fair, is me favourite game, and they just keep going nuts on releasing new stuff and further updates, wih most games you'd be lucky to get that..got nabbed on custom charge over in uk, which i was not happy about completely random pick of the litter just for a game, doh !

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From a thread in the CM:BN forum.

Unfortunately the scope of work for tank riders was too massive to be included in a $10 Upgrade. Each model plus (IIRC) 2 LODs has to be hand tweaked by a 3D artist, hand coded by Charles, and tested for problems. There are always problems (guys sitting above the deck, into the turret, facing the wrong direction, using the wrong animations, etc.) because placing these hotspots is more art than science. The assuredness that a certain number of hotspots will need some tweak or several means the development cycle is repeated for a subset of the total number of changes. To give you some understanding of the process we go through...

From memory there is about 200 vehicle models between CMBN and CMFI. If we figure an average of 10 "hotspots" for soldiers per vehicle (some have more some have less), that's a total of 2000 hotspots that have to be created for the base models, times 3 to include the LODs. That means about 6000 hotspots have to be added, coded, tested, and tweaked before we're done. Knock the workload down by a small bit because there are a few models that are 100% the same between releases or nations (there's still some work to do, just not as much) and exclude the vehicles that don't need the feature at all. Oh, let's say 5000 hotspots. I dunno what each hotspot averages out to in terms of work, but 3 minutes each is probably very conservative. That means the cost of an Upgrade has to cover 250 hours of labor just for this one feature, plus the other features, plus the other testing, plus the sales related expenses, plus the "opportunity cost", plus our risk, plus profit.

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Just to chime in a midst all other 'opinions': anyone can say what they want to say (within certain forum guidelines, I guess) or think what they want to think about the price of BF.C products. Compared to other games, CMx2 might seem pricey at first glance. What other game have I paid the same for as for CMx2, all releases, modules and upgrades combined? Probably none although there will probably some games with DLC that come close.

Anyway when I compare MY experience of hours played/$ spent between games, CMx2 comes probably out on top. It helps that for me the cost of a game is not a big decision, especially an upgrade. And than it is in cheap dollars too ;)

But most importantly I sympathize with smaller (niche market) companies, or better said the persons that choose to live that life (work hard, earn little). The proof of that is Steve going on the forum to post in this thread, instead of some PR douche. :D As such in support of that I buy all CM games, modules, etc for as long as I am able to do so. Or some PR douche shows up.

So for me the price is perfect, it might not be for someone else. Those are encouraged to employ their consumer right: don't buy the game. Or just stop making a fool of yourself and shove that cash; you know you are going to... eventually ;)

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What seems to be happening here is two different parties running into CM and coming from different value points.

The forum core, generally, are people who come from a war gaming background. They purchase(d) expensive boardgames and those $75 Matrix games without any demo. They generally play fewer games, and for them the way BFC does business (base game + # of modules + paying for updates) makes perfect sense and is super legitimate.

The other group are the people who come from a broader video game background. They are generally younger and are used to the modern PC gaming industry. They don't purchase expensive war games so saying that CM is a good value compared to a Matrix game or a boardgame isn't getting you anywhere. Even saying that CM is a good value because you can play it for so long isn't a super good argument because it often doesn't equal a incredibly unique amount of playtime. In this environment there are tow primary ways companies interact with their customer's money.

The Activision/EA way: This includes an expensive base game and then massive amounts of DLC priced at $15. This DLC might add a few maps, guns, and game modes. To stay current in multiplayer you need to buy essentially everything.

and the Tripwire Interactive, Paradox, Bohemia way: This includes just absolutely massive amounts of free content. Vehicles, maps, guns, features. It is free. These companies also have DLC that they monetize.

BFC definitely operates in the Activision/EA style and this, of course, rubs the video game players the wrong way. EA has won "worst company of the year" multiple times. Activision is lampooned for thier DLC policies. To these customers they are being fleeced.

Now I will say that I don't begrudge BFC their business practices, but I also think that the point of view of these customers isn't stark raving madness. It is a perfect legitimate viewpoint with legitimate complaints. Their perspective on the economics of this are different, and some arguments here are a little weak in the face of that.

Like the upgrade/patch distinction. People who don't understand that aren't dense. They are just used to the way that most other companies in the industry do things. The whole patch/upgrade difference is essentially some lingo that BFC made up to describe their policy. Outside of this arena those words are equivalent.

Personally I think that a flight sim model (similar to DCS) with a single base and a number of branches would make a lot more sense (especially for the consumer) and with how BFC has taken the series. But hindsight is 20/20 and all that. In the coming years a v4.0 upgrade could cost a very active BFC customer $40. The price of a single module and not that far off from a base game. Which means it is probably something that needs to be looked at.

Anyway my original point here is that people who are unhappy/complaining about pricing aren't dense. They aren't idiots who don't understand that businesses need to make money. However, they do come from a industry (that BFC is a part of) with a very different handle on how to run a business than BFC has, and for better or worse BFC has aligned its pricing scheme with the price gauging giants like EA and Activision. So the fact that people are complainy isn't unexpected.

Now I would like to reiterate that I am fine with BFC's monetization policy. They can continue to do it and I will continue to buy some of their games. I'm not advocating that everything ever should be free or anything like that. There are different policies that would benefit the way I play CM more, but whatever. I got what I got.

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Yes there is two groups of thought.

The problem is, you cannot expect what you see in the gaming industry to play out here.

Two basic reasons.

The size of the company and how much profit is being made is one factor. When you sell millions of copies of something. Yes you can aford to set a budget for a few updates and support to a game for free as to trying to keep your customers loyal.

You do realize that this company is a handful of guys working likely from their homes and that they have budgeted for living and to keep the company afloat and that is because of the sells level of the game, they are making a living. But It is not like they are getting rich doing this.

( And it is amazing they are doing that since most small companys go broke within a very short period.)

Second Reason, this game is actually very intence in the amount of programming and how it works, Please show me something in that ball park from a small company with a handful of guys. Not the firms with Hundreds of people working on it, and then lets compare again.

Face it, you keep trying to place these guys in a basket that they do not belong in. You cannot compare apples to orenges, it does not work.

So accept what they are willing to offer, or not. It does not matter, but yes it reflects on your IQ when you keep suggesting that they should change.

How they run their bussiness is their decision, not yours.

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Niche markets are sometimes strange things to deal with as a consumer. Back in the really old days of computer gaming you had to mail order your games blindly without any concept of what it was you were actually getting unless you'd played it at a friend's house. There was no game magazine industry, there were no software stores. Those of you who remember getting SSI games on 5.25 floppies in a ziplock bag know what I'm talking about :D

Our problem is that the medium and the overall concept of what we produce is extremely mass market. We're more like a craft beer in that sense. When you go to a shop and find a 6 pack of a top end craft beer selling for the same price as a Budweiser "suitcase" you can see what I'm getting at. The Bud drinkers think it's insane to pay $14 for just 6 beers. Plus, they think the craft beer tastes awful. Which means that the Bud drinkers not only don't understand the price but they don't understand why anybody would want it in the first place. Combat Mission is a lot like that.

To keep going with the analogy, there are some beer drinkers that do appreciate the flavor of the more expensive beer. They understand why one is more than the other a little because they understand the basic concept of craft vs. industrial production. But they aren't generally willing to pay the difference unless there's something like 2x the alcohol.

CM does have a lot of people who are more experienced with mass market games than niche. From this group we hear how our games should look like Call of Duty, offer the flexibility of most FPS games to mod data, and push back about our Upgrade strategy. It's all understandable from their perspective, but it isn't the reality that Battlefront has to live within. Therefore, understandable or not, we have to do things that make sense for the niche even if they run head on into mass market thinking.

Steve

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BUT the $14 dollars you pay now will keep keep giving you beer three years from now...actually, it will provide the basis for even more, better beer, three years from now...beer on top of beer on top of beer—with increasingly better taste.

As for the 12 pack...three might get drank and the rest will go stale. To be replaced by another 12 that go stale...and another...and another.

So, is this finally the death of the car analogy?

Mord.

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Low and behold the upgrade comes out..and guess what..we have people complaining about having to pay..I see this happening everytime a upgrade comes out. I reckon the BF haters who never got over the release of CMx2 love it and are rubbing their hands when the upgrades are released.

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I can picture one of them right now, flagellating himself even as he adds AI triggers to his older scenarios.

"I hate BFC!"

*WHACK*

"I love BFC!"

*WHACK*

"I hate BFC!"

*WHACK*

Now, THAT'S an Uncanny Valley...

Mord.

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I'd like to whine about a) the fact that there are CM cost related whines occurring in the CM 3.0 Released! thread on the CMBN forum, and B) that the costs the PC equipped whiners are on about are as nothing compared to presently having NO 3.0 upgrade path as a result of having a Mac! This is particularly annoying because, when last heard, BFC does its game development on Macs, then ports to PCs. I did read what Steve had to say, but I still don't understand why the original form on the Mac takes longer to release than the PC port.

Regards,

John Kettler

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I did read what Steve had to say, but I still don't understand why the original form on the Mac takes longer to release than the PC port.

I don't know the answer to that, but I have to wonder if it isn't the same as it has been for years with pretty much all games that have versions for both PC and Mac markets: there are more PC users so software developers can make more money faster by doing the PC market first. Actually though, BFC has been really good of late to release simultaneously in both markets. So some other factor may have been decisive in this case, like problems with Mavericks. I can't see that anybody would have been served well by a decision to hold up the PC release until the Mac version was ready.

And in case anybody reading this does not already know, I am a Mac user.

Michael

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As a Mac user myself, I've just been thrilled that BF brought CM back to the Mac at all. Everything else is gravy.

I just figured that there was some Mac related glitch that didn't affect the PC version (maybe graphics) that added a delay. Good things come to those who wait.

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I just figured that there was some Mac related glitch that didn't affect the PC version (maybe graphics) that added a delay. Good things come to those who wait.

You figured mostly correct :) There is a glitch in the DRM process for the Mac version. There was also a glitch for the PC one too, but they fixed that already. Unfortunately, different glitches. We hope it will be straightened out very soon.

Steve

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