Purchase obligation

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ralphy, Feb 9, 2022.

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  1. coasting&cruising

    coasting&cruising Registered

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    I agree, I have the same problem. I don't have Imola, and because of this I can't participate in any race of the USF2000 competition. This needs to change (for instance iRacing allows you to compete only in the tracks/cars that you own).

    This is also counterproductive as it is a barrier that keeps more people from joining the competitions. Some users possibly would buy the remaining content later on as they get engaged in the competition, but right now they are just put off. So this is bad also from a business model point of view.
     
  2. coasting&cruising

    coasting&cruising Registered

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    I don't understand why those that raise the issue/give the feedback need to be put on the defensive, since they are clearly being ostracized by all the other negative and unconstructive comments.
     
  3. trichens

    trichens Registered

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    Let's look at this another way.
    We have, say, 40 slots available for each race in the series.
    @ralphy says he doesn't want to race the VIR event; perhaps there are others @ralphy doesn't want to take part in.
    With a limited number of slots available this would prevent someone who wants to race the complete series from signing up?
    i don't believe that it is unreasonable to expect a series organiser to expect participants to make some commitment to taking part.

    If I was to organise a series with the all the effort involved to set things up, making the server available, logging results, etc. I'd expect those taking part to at least commit to taking part in each round.
    IRL if you want to take part in a race series you'd be expected to register for every race event at the start of the series.
     
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  4. davehenrie

    davehenrie Registered

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    A league is one option of many. The comp system has a totally free option that you can take advantage of right now. There are hundreds of online servers that you can join. If this one series is so vitally important to you to join, to the exclusion of allllllllllllll the other options available...then darn.
     
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  5. Comante

    Comante Registered

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    There is no reason to keep arguing, it's a strawman argument rooted on phylosophy but detached from real world dynamics.
    It's not different from those that pretended to race GT3 class but didn't want to download on their HD the cars they won't drive, or the track they are not racing in that precise moment.
    First world problem I guess.
     
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  6. burgesjl

    burgesjl Registered

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    Fun facts:

    iRacing have 12 weeks seasons, and the current ones here are only 6 weeks. iRacing allow users to run 8 weeks out of 12 to count for season points (drop 4). Notwithstanding this, somewhere between 10-15% of racers manage to race all 8 weeks. The vast majority run one or two weeks. This is consistent when running 10,000 participants or 1,000 and with races every hour, 2 hours etc. road or oval or any other criteria you want to throw at it. And its been this way since they opened the doors.

    The series are pretty consistent from season to season: there's an IndyCar series that runs every season, and has done for 10+ years. In fact, there are now 4 such series: one that runs on free tracks, one that runs fixed setup and mainly ovals, one that runs open setup, and one that follows the real-world IndyCar series dates/tracks. This is also true of most series, except the truly "niche" ones. Or for sportscars, you've got one that runs teams/endurance races and one that is single driver sprints. There's about every workable combination that gets sufficient participation. But if they don't get enough, they kill that combo off.

    Sometimes, they have run series longer than 12 weeks. In general, those series produce even fewer people who run the whole series; partially because something gets in the way during a season, or people lose interest, or they find themselves not competitive, or because people miss the start of the season and then figure there is no point starting later because they can't get up in points. Also, all official iRacing events have matchmaking turned on, so you'll get put in a competitive split based on your rating. Many series get only a few splits per timeslot, only the very well supported ones (thousands of participants) get 4 or more splits per timeslot. In other words, you need lots of people to get splits to work.

    These are your real world dynamics, not strawman arguments rooted in philosophy.

    Compare the above to where S397 sits now, and then make an argument that any blockers over and above these that cause participation to be less, are going to be a good thing.

    What's the plan for the next 6 weeks before the next content drop? Continue with IndyCar, new set of tracks? Change the series to run different cars? More than 4 series? The reason for these questions is, we have no idea if what they are running now is going to continue into the future, and it's worth committing to and forming a community around. Or its 6 weeks and done.
     
  7. Lazza

    Lazza Registered

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    @burgesjl so you're advocating a subscription model for rF2?
     
  8. Binny

    Binny Guest

    I'm so glad they are not following IR as its not a perfect system, none will be. LOL
    I would like to see implemented from IR is the hiring of servers to run a race, practice or just have setup for fun, this is an area i see them making more funds to support rf2.
    Also a paint shop can charge like IR more funds.
    Anything to not have a subscription. ( I love that S397 has said they want to provide it FREE)
     
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  9. burgesjl

    burgesjl Registered

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    I've no idea. They have to come up with some sort of funding model. The servers aren't free. At present, they rely almost entirely on sales of content. But they will have to churn out a LOT of content, in order to keep funding servers for myriad series and all the variations people might want. Difficult to do that I'd have thought, and S397 have no track record of being able to do this. And my statistics prove that, in fact, 85-90% of people on iRacing don't run every week in weekly series/quarterly seasons, but in order to fund this and participate at all, they are going to have to buy content they have no intention of using or likely won't use. That's a tough sell.

    My experience even at iRacing is, I have bought a ton of content I used a few times, didn't like it, and it then sat in my virtual garage. I don't do that any more: I only buy the content I really like and will use a lot and most long term members do the same. There's not enough hours in the day to run it all; or at least, race it all at a competitive level. All-you-can-eat buffets sound good, until you turn into Mr Creosote.

    You'll also find, very different usage patterns amongst the players. Some will flit from series to series, car to car, track to track. But a far larger percentage find a series or car they like, and focus on that, often for many seasons or even many years; they do the odd race on other combinations, but they have their favorites. Tastes change over time; I've got friends I ran IndyCar with 10 years ago who race sportscars now, or historic stuff. But if you want to build a community who keep coming back, likelihood is you need to have consistency in series, cars, dates/times and other things online. It's true of leagues as well.

    There's other funding mechanisms. But it's a problem: how do people pay for them. Steam doesn't cover most of these, I don't think. Which means coming up with other systems and solutions, which take time and money and resources to put in place. People still buy CDs or even vinyl; but nowadays most stream and pay subscriptions.
     
  10. TheGame316

    TheGame316 Registered

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    Oh god, considering the decisions made up to this point, I would certainly advise against it, Lazza. Could open a can of worms for those that have bought ALL of the content and paid for lifetime online access back in the day. But I will leave that one alone...:eek:o_O

    A lot of arguments here are only looking at the financial side of the argument. I choose to look at what S397 want(and need) for their CS...user numbers.
    I had a quick look at the standings to see the numbers so far using the CS earlier today and found this:

    Series followed by Qualifying numbers the Race numbers
    Race of the Season Q106
    IndyCar Open Challenge Q83 R96
    Open Wheel Sprint Q253 R273
    Rookie Cup Q532 R621

    All of this in a week where rF2 hit an all-time high concurrent users of 1769, so at a quick glance SP/Leagues still make up the majority, but reasonable considering I would really call this Week 1 of the CS.
    So OW Sprint has roughly half the numbers of Rookie Cup. I kind of expected this to be closer, but hazard a guess that the reason is Imola and the series packaging. If series were packaged on a per track basis you would see this number being closer, if not higher due to Week 1 car/track combo for OW Sprint is probably better than Rookie Cup car/track combo.

    If I was a new user, and the only CS option I have is the Alpine at Mores from the start, as fun as it is, it is not going to make me rush out and buy more content. A per track setup would give at least 2 options for these users, giving them 3 weeks to decide whether Imola is worth purchasing.
    Now if I was a new user that bought the 2022 Q1 pack, considering the name of the pack, I could assume that I would have no problems with the CS. But no, it adds what is essentially a hotlap server with some of the new content until 20th March, and the competition with the feature vehicle this season is not available due to VIR in week 6.
    Once again, a per track setup would give these users access to all competitions for at least 3 weeks, and if communicated clearly, these users could buy at least the track pack by week 3 to compete in all competitions for the whole season.
    In all of these scenarios, it would mean more users in the CS and the possibility of sales of DLC if the experience was positive.

    Part of this is lack of clear communication. Explain clearly why the series can not be setup on a per track basis, when all race servers I have administered or used with rF2 have used one track(except for quick race, rotational servers which rotate per session; not per week) setups because workshop updates can break rfmods/vmods.

    Considering some of the new/returning users are from a different platform with a different business model, S397 business model needs to be made clear from the outset by S397. All too often it is left up to users to explain this; some respectful, others less so, in a lot of cases bringing second hand information from an obscure post on Discord.

    For a start, seeing as pack contents are constantly changing(mainly in GT packs) if you are looking at Q pack with new content, I think it also needs all the paid content for the quarters CS servers to make it easier for new users to be drawn to the CS. Unfortunately, I can also see this will show the limitations of the Item Store as more content is added; which has been outlined previously.

    Now personally I have finally tried out the CS. I have been having a run in the Rookie Cup and as promising as it feels, it is not ideal for the different time zones eg. Early evening Australia the highest number in a race so far is 5(6 if you count the one that exited during qualifying) at a time there is around the 4-500 concurrent users. I will say though, even with large gaps in times/talent; the racing I have seen so far has been pretty clean.
     
  11. Lazza

    Lazza Registered

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    @TheGame316 I think it's hard to overlook the monetary aspect.

    iRacing sits there and says "sure, take part in this series, don't worry about buying the track you don't yet have, you can take part anyway - and I'll take my subscription, thanks."

    So players go in, and they may just do that. The missing track is one of their throwaways, done.
    Or, they stuff up in a couple of races, and then need to decide if they should buy the missing track to get a result. Maybe not, it's only a game.
    Next season, same thing, but now you've spent another season worth of subscription and are starting to wonder if you'll ever make progress, and now that track could make all the difference.

    Add that up over a number of seasons and now you have significant 'sunk cost', where you've already paid x hundred/thousand dollars for the game, and buying new content is the difference between change/progress or none. You can let the subscription lapse to take a break, but as many here like to point out then you can't do anything with the hundreds/thousands worth of content you bought. So you feel obligated (oooh! that word!) to keep taking part. And iRacing keeps taking your subscription.

    If rF2 doesn't do subscription, the only income is from DLC. (how many people proudly state they bought a lifetime license in 2012-2016? That's 6+ years since actual obligatory spending). It totally makes sense to incentivize DLC purchase through exclusive events/series.

    You can choose not to do it, not pay anything, and unlike iRacing you still have access to all the stuff you already have. But this isn't about rF2 vs iRacing as such; they do different things.

    As far as what rF2 needs to do to increase numbers, it reminds me a bit of economists talking each day about what the stockmarkets are going to do - more often than not they get even the direction of the markets completely wrong, and then at the end of the day they talk about the factors that affected the markets (like they knew it was going to happen). It's all speculation, and comparing to different games which are an entirely different proposition is meaningless (look at iRacing - if rF2 next month started doing subscription, how would it stack up against iRacing? There's still a HEAP of people failing to navigate the CS correctly, with lagging screens, crashing servers [as far as joining], confusing register/join/failed messages, vague or nonexistent error messages when joining series, etc etc. On a like-for-like comparison rF2 is dead in the water).

    You've shown right there some pretty reasonable numbers in the various series. Outside of european hours is nearly completely dead, but it 'only' takes about 15-20 people at any time to make for an actual race rather than a quiet qual session and non-event, and if you had 20 at any time it's not much of a leap to get to 40 or 60 to start having some proper racing with others of a similar level. If the CS were reliable you'd probably instantly double the number of people in the quieter hours, and numbers breed numbers.

    Sure, the free series has more people, that only makes sense. But if you make them all effectively free (by allowing you to skip the track you don't have) then we're back to how rF2 justifies its ongoing development when the income all but dries up.
     
  12. David O'Reilly

    David O'Reilly Registered

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    You have had serious answers. You just don't like them.
    Go and compare the cost of doing a season on iRacing.
    Then you will see that it's a very reasonable price.
    The big picture is that if we want there to be online competition and ongoing development of this great sim we need to put some coin into the system somehow.
    Personally I buy almost all released content to support S397 and their endeavours. I purchased the lifetime license at launch.
    Maybe I have spent €200 in 10 years to play 3000 hrs. The maths are pretty compelling.

    I was going to offer yet another analogy where I just wanted to watch Drive to Survive on Netflix but I had to pay for all their content etc etc.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2022
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  13. ralphy

    ralphy Registered

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    as far as I'm concerned, I prefer to pay 150/200 euros per year for a subscription and have stable servers instead of being stingy to pay less at home and have a game that crashes all the time. sir rf2 evolves in the direction of their competitor 'what I wish and I hope' so there they can take my money even if it is more expensive than their competitor because what rf2 lacks is a real multi without obligation to purchase and (in my opinion) it would dethrone their competitor quite easily
     
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  14. Comante

    Comante Registered

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    Do you understand that at 150/200€ /year you are paying for content you will never use? How this can be ok to you? Is this not obligation? But truth is, I can't afford to pay so much for a game, otherwise I would have kept playing IR, even if I consider it a little more than mediocre as a simulation.
     
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  15. hitm4k3r

    hitm4k3r Registered

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    I am allways amazed how the struggle of the CS comes down to a comparison of iRacing and rF2. iRacing is what most developers are aiming for, but the truth is that other competing products offer quicker and easier online racing at this point. The word "Easy" inlcudes many variables and money is obviously one of it. I explained it in another threat allready, but rF2 isn't exactly a cheap product compared to AC, ACC, Raceroom, PC2 or AMS2. The biggest issue that I see so far is that bigger content junks are sold instead of offering smaller pieces and giving volume discounts that are easy to understand.

    Problem No. 1:
    To enter the CS now, run all competitions with all the content paid or free a new user would have to spend 16,80 Euro for the Season 1 pack and 14,84 Euro for the Reiza trackpack, but you have to know that VIR and Imola are part of the Reiza track pack. That's the best deal as far as I can see (please correct me if I am wrong) and it requires a certain amount of knowledge that I wouldn't ask from new users. I don't know where you guys are coming from but even in Germany, where I come from 30 Euro is an entry fee that would make me ponder. That's obviously the most extreme example, but I hope it brings the point across.

    Problem No. 2:
    Stuff is also advetized a bit unlucky. The GT3 pack for example states that includes "All 14 GT3 cars". This was correct until the M4 arrived. At the end cheap is all relative btw. The Season 1 pack is obviously cheaper than the same amount of content in iRacing, but in comparison to AC for example it's a bit of an investment. At this pont I would stop offering all the content in convoluted packs that get obsolete at a certain point (as explained with the GT3 pack) and start giving simple volume discounts. Two tracks for the price of one, same stuff with cars. The more items one buys at a time the bigger the discount gets. This way people can kind of buy their "own" created packs that fit a certain series.

    Problem No. 3:
    As the @TheGame316 allready pointed out, there is Imola in the OW Rookie series. The series is fantastic btw, but there is a little obstacle. A new user will have to buy Imola before entering it, so how does he know that it's great? If people start asking questions and wondering if it's worth it or not, you have lost potential customers/users allready. Add to this the fact, that people don't see in the CS screen if there are other people to race with, you have a simple answer why the system struggles. This info needs to be added to the first screen of the CS, showing how many people are currently registered for the different series event.

    And to sum it up: the CS itself is currently not at a point that it "keeps" people to stick with it. The interface simply needs alot of work with cryptic messages, error messages when there aren't any errors at all ("Too late" says hi 5) and no meaning full info after the race. Sim racers are suckers for all the statistics stuff, rankings, splits, climbing up ladders. This is not a dig at the S397 as they are obviously working on that aspect and I expect that to be the next big update in May, when Season 2 starts, but it's simply an observation.
     
  16. kados

    kados Registered

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    200€ is more than 7€ of VIR. 200€ is more than all the DLC content. I think you would complain even if it was free.
     
  17. hitm4k3r

    hitm4k3r Registered

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    Great argument. Well done. I guess you have completely missed the point but I will try to make it simple for you. I am not complaining about the content costing money. I allready own the content, so I have no reason to complain. But it would be well worth if some other users and especialy longtimers would get out of their bubble from time to time to understand issues for new users, so that we get more people onboard to race with. Wich is a win for everyone, including S397. More users means more potential customers, means more income, means more development and progress.
     
  18. David O'Reilly

    David O'Reilly Registered

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    You have done two things here.
    First you have completely changed your argument from one in your OP about price (obligation to purchase) to one about quality.
    Secondly you ask us to believe that while complaining about paying €7 for a track you would be happy to pay €200 per year for subscription! Really?
    I don't think so. I'll leave it here.
     
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  19. kados

    kados Registered

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    are you ralphy? is this your second forum account? I think the one who has missed the point is you. The OP says he would be happier to pay 200€ a year rent instead of buying a track for 7€.
    I don't like the current system either. It's not expensive, but it's a barrier to entry.
    People like to compare it to iracing or raceroom. The first costs €13/100 month/year. And the second one is a "free2play" but you can't race in his cs if you don't buy cars/tracks.
     
  20. hitm4k3r

    hitm4k3r Registered

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    I got to apologize for my harsh response as I thought that your comment was a response to my comment. That said, in defense of the OP it shows the big difference in what people are ready to spend to go racing in the different products. If people aren't sure if they should spend 7 Euro for a track compared to 200 Euro a year for another product, then you know that there is work to be done. ;)
     
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