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Forums » Suggestions & Development Discussion » Interest in a "supporting membership"?

Kim Site Admin

I sometimes hear from people who say they want a way to support the site financially over the long term, but don't have an interest in epic membership.

I'm wondering if I made, say, a $0.99 subscription whose only benefit was to remove ads from your view/the pizza dragon nag about supporting the site when entering the chat might attract those who have an interest in offering the site some support but are unable to commit to a full $5 a month? We could call it a supporting membership.

If you don't want to answer this publicly, feel free to shoot me a PM or respond with an anon character. I know talking about what's affordable can be touchy for some.
I intend to maintain epic (which, uh... I've rarely had to pay for anyway thanks to, like, mascot prizes and stuff >.> ), but I feel like tossing out there for consideration maybe also giving them something like an accolade with a similar function to the one for mods - how there's one for current mods that gets swapped out for one for retired mods when they decide to step down. (Or maybe just one that's only there for current supporters.) Just a little way to show off just generally being a supportive patron of the site, especially if they aren't doing it for the benefits, that seems like it should be easy enough to add to existing stuff and that won't generate a monolithic pile of repeated accolades for those who maintain for extended periods. Heh, and if you really feel adventurous, could maybe also include some time markers (whether as more swaps or as their own separate pieces) to note that, oh, this person's been supporting us for six months now, and that person for a year, and that other person for x number of years, etc.

(Just a sleep-deprived and nervous brain throwing out thoughts.)

I imagine there'd likely be those who wouldn't want to announce their support, though, so... if that seems like a good idea at all, it'd probably be good to have a setting that lets a person hide theirs, too.
Kim Topic Starter Site Admin

Zelphyr wrote:
I intend to maintain epic (which, uh... I've rarely had to pay for anyway thanks to, like, mascot prizes and stuff >.> ), but I feel like tossing out there for consideration maybe also giving them something like an accolade with a similar function to the one for mods - how there's one for current mods that gets swapped out for one for retired mods when they decide to step down. (Or maybe just one that's only there for current supporters.) Just a little way to show off just generally being a supportive patron of the site, especially if they aren't doing it for the benefits, that seems like it should be easy enough to add to existing stuff and that won't generate a monolithic pile of repeated accolades for those who maintain for extended periods. Heh, and if you really feel adventurous, could maybe also include some time markers (whether as more swaps or as their own separate pieces) to note that, oh, this person's been supporting us for six months now, and that person for a year, and that other person for x number of years, etc.

(Just a sleep-deprived and nervous brain throwing out thoughts.)

I imagine there'd likely be those who wouldn't want to announce their support, though, so... if that seems like a good idea at all, it'd probably be good to have a setting that lets a person hide theirs, too.

I really like this idea.

I've previously said I would not offer any accolades that could be purchased for money, that that would always fall into the "item" territory... But I guess it's not that hard to offer an exclusive sort of item that gets distributed once your membership has been active long enough?
I've thought about buying Epic a few times to support the site, but honestly can't think of anything I would do with it. At some point, Epic for a group might benefit me, but having it on my user account seems pointless when I'm basically fine with the site's defaults and my character pages don't need to be fancy to be functional in RP.

I'd like a supporter role that just removes ads though. I don't think the ads are really a problem since they never flash or take up half the screen, and it is nice to get reminders about what all happens around here throughout the year so maybe just the ones that advertise for goods and services.

Overall like the idea of being able to pay a few dollars a year, without feeling like I'm paying for a lot of extra features I won't use.
I think it would be a good idea. I have Epic and enjoy the perks of extra character slots and pages, but I think a simple way to support the site and not have the ads sounds great. :)
When someone asked for a donate button like ten years ago the response was "Epic Membership soonish, sit tight". It all comes full-circle...........................
I always buy several party bags during the epic week and that's usually where my epicness comes from every year, so I don't really get use out of the epicness sub, and wouldn't nessesarily need the no ads perk of the 99 cent supporting membership, but I would still love to be able to support consistently, so I approve!
Kim Topic Starter Site Admin

MercyInReach wrote:
I always buy several party bags during the epic week and that's usually where my epicness comes from every year, so I don't really get use out of the epicness sub, and wouldn't nessesarily need the no ads perk of the 99 cent supporting membership, but I would still love to be able to support consistently, so I approve!

I was imagining this would be like a lower tier of subscription. If you had epicness from any source, it'd override the lower tier membership.
Kim Topic Starter Site Admin

sland wrote:
When someone asked for a donate button like ten years ago the response was "Epic Membership soonish, sit tight". It all comes full-circle...........................

Okay but this still isn't a donate button XD
Kim wrote:
I was imagining this would be like a lower tier of subscription. If you had epicness from any source, it'd override the lower tier membership.

I was putting off mentioning, but was figuring that you'd probably have people who had epic (especially among those of us who tend to win it) and who still want to contribute. Chances are that I'd still stick to buying other items here and there, but others may prefer to have an automatic, regular thing as well or instead. I'm not 100% sure what you're thinking with that override; if it would interfere with folks purchasing/subscribing to the minor support thing if they already have epic, I'd imagine you might get some complaints.

(And brain just went off pondering if the benefits associated with the lesser subscription would be queued up to start after a current epic membership has ended, and if someone upgraded from support to epic, if the support benefits would be interrupted and restarted after the epic ends or if the remaining support period would become a slight discount for that upgrade or what.)

There was one other thing that occurred to me, though! Actually two, now. I'll start with the newer.

Off the top of my head, epic features include no ads, the ability to customize design aspects of one's player profile, additional (temporary) character slots, additional (temporary) character pages, and access to member-made character styles. (And I think more images per character, too?) More (permanent) character slots and pages can already be purchased on their own. Simple ad removal is definitely a reasonable thing to offer for a small fee. What about something for folks who only want access to those member-made styles? I figure that would still do best as a period-of-time thing, but I think a lesser subscription (and/or item to grant it for a period of time) that's just to access those and the ability to make one's own would be desirable. Especially the ability to make styles, since there are folks who sell those, but who may not need any more character slots or pages or who might not be able to afford to maintain epic. (If I've forgotten about such a thing existing already, sorry!) I think I might remember something coming up about not wanting to sell just access to member-made styles since it'd be basically profiting from the work of others, but... I think that access would just make sense to include in selling access to the style creation tools. I guess that might warrant a whole separate discussion, though.

But the other thing that occurred to me would be a pass-it-on thing. I know plenty members like to sometimes hold contests to either give away some extra items, or to have an excuse to buy items with no real idea who to give it to. So what about a system where folks could donate (whether in subscription format or an item purchase) to a pool that gets used to give various items to those who can't buy them for one reason or another? Something that allows a person to give the site money and help out community members more directly, without having to run some form of contest themselves? Maybe the prizes could be extra given during EW, or maybe (better option, I think) those prizes could be given out at points during the rest of the year. If there's enough donations, maybe it could even be a monthly thing. If there's too much variation, maybe there could be a cap to how many items are given in a period to let excess roll over into a slower period.
I actually didn't know the epic styles were member-made. I wonder why the ability to make your own content is behind a paywall...

I guess it'd be nice if there were a lower subscription that just gave access to that. I think it's the only thing I'd really use personally. Although, I'd imagine that might raise the price a bit, especially if those members who've uploaded their styles take a cut.

The one question I have is, I use PayPal for most of my online transactions, and they do take a cut. Would selling something for a dollar a month actually be worth it to the site, or would we also need to pay PayPal's cut at such a low price? I suppose if it's only sold in annual increments ($12/yr) that might be different?
This is interesting. It is probably a nightmare to implement and track, but an ‘ala-carte’ sort of Epic-feature purchase would be awesome. Of all the Epic features, I’d likely only use the custom styles and enjoy the adless page views. Don’t have a need for extra gallery slots or pages, and my characters I’d like to keep editable which is why I acquired a dragon tooth for extra permanent slots. But I really don’t like automatic subscriptions on my account.

I did debate getting the Epic, but a month or even three months seems too short of time to have a lot of the ‘temporary’ stuff. Thought about doing a year just to support the site financially but $55 is something I would have to budget for. I do like to play with custom styles and the ads are really a minor thing the way they are presented here, so I’m thinking maybe for now I’ll just stick to buying permanent characters and pages when and if I need them. Should I find I have a spare Grant sometime in the future I’ll likely pony-up for a year of Epicness as it appears I will be here for a while. :)
I would consider it. I have an idea for a product, though. What about a photoalbum that specifically gives you more site-hosted pictures?
I also would like to have a supporting type of membership as well that removes ads. And as Dawnia mentioned, a la carte features would be a lovely addition so we can mix and match what we love best about the site!
Kim Topic Starter Site Admin

Aardbei wrote:
The one question I have is, I use PayPal for most of my online transactions, and they do take a cut. Would selling something for a dollar a month actually be worth it to the site, or would we also need to pay PayPal's cut at such a low price? I suppose if it's only sold in annual increments ($12/yr) that might be different?

It would mean that we were only really seeing $0.40-$0.50 per month from each supporting member. But income from ads seems to be trending downward year after year, even as our traffic goes up, so it might help. Paired with inflation lately, this is... pretty tough. I might be able to increase revenue from ads by making the ads way more annoying, but I'd really prefer to avoid that if I can.
I already have an epic membership and one of the numerous template creators here on the site, but I love this idea. I think it would be great for people who want to support the site but really don't have an interest/need (or can't afford) for the rest of the things that come with epic. It would be neat if you could do it similar to how epic is done with a consumable item for a little more or a recurring subscription for a little less.

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