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Subscriber Benefits Discussion


bigbear.
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The Subscriber program is not what it used to be and we would like to change that moving forwards. Which means we would like brainstorming help from the community. We want to try to come up with more meaningful benefits to offer you all and the best way to do that is ask you guys directly.

 

So simply respond and tell us what benefits (within reason) you think would make good additions to the program.

 

Current Benefits

 

  • All advertisements are removed from the site.
  • You are awarded a forum badge that matches which level of subscriber you choose along with the donation forum award.
  • Subscribers also have access to a subscribers only forum.
  • Your forum name will be changed to green to show that you're an active subscriber.
  • You will be able to join the Maximum Clubs and some tournaments without needing to meet the normal requirements.
  • Subscribing is the only way to change your forum name.
  • You get a customizable title to add under your username.
  • Larger avatar size increased to 150x150 pixels and 97.7 kb.
  • Larger signature image size increased to 600x400 pixels.
  • You will have a higher level of visibility with the staff, the chance to be involved in special projects that are not open to regular members and more.
  • You will be able to immediately create your own Subscriber Club within the Maximum Clubs.
  • You will have access to subscriber request threads where you can ask for services from our admins such as awards showcase re-orders
  • You will get one free entry into the Monthly CG Giveaway

Edited by bigbear.
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I was a subscriber for about a year but then let it lapse because there was no real benefit for it whatsoever (even the subscriber only forums were dead). A few ideas from me: -

 

  • Cut the price. Significantly. As it stands the 'basic' subscription with XBA is $60 a year. Compare that with the likes of TA where you get a lot more bang for your buck at $25 a year.
  • Tracking.
  • The sub money is invested into site (read forum) competitions so staff aren't putting their hands in their own pockets or relying on site members.
  • Tracking.
  • Subscriber only competitions.
  • Tracking.
  • The opportunity to review/play games early (with the caveat that guides have to be created) using review codes sent to the site - appreciate need to discuss with Dan.
  • A bit controversial - subscribers being involved in the appointment of staff (or having the discussion if a role is needed). Don't get me wrong, I think the current staff compliment are doing a cracking job but sometimes staff roles seem to appear and it becomes a bit 'clicky'. I appreciate the roles are usually advertised.
  • Did I mention tracking?

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I was a subscriber for about a year but then let it lapse because there was no real benefit for it whatsoever (even the subscriber only forums were dead). A few ideas from me: -

 

  • Cut the price. Significantly. As it stands the 'basic' subscription with XBA is $60 a year. Compare that with the likes of TA where you get a lot more bang for your buck at $25 a year.
  • Tracking.
  • The sub money is invested into site (read forum) competitions so staff aren't putting their hands in their own pockets or relying on site members.
  • Tracking.
  • Subscriber only competitions.
  • Tracking.
  • The opportunity to review/play games early (with the caveat that guides have to be created) using review codes sent to the site - appreciate need to discuss with Dan.
  • A bit controversial - subscribers being involved in the appointment of staff (or having the discussion if a role is needed). Don't get me wrong, I think the current staff compliment are doing a cracking job but sometimes staff roles seem to appear and it becomes a bit 'clicky'. I appreciate the roles are usually advertised.
  • Did I mention tracking?

 

http://www.reactiongifs.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Billy-D_Approves.gif

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Weekly fight clubs in various PvP games (Killer Instinct, Dark Souls, For Honor, etc) for CG entries as rewards would be cool.

 

How would you feel about that being something that Subs organize and run themselves (with minimal staff oversight)?

 

I was a subscriber for about a year but then let it lapse because there was no real benefit for it whatsoever (even the subscriber only forums were dead). A few ideas from me: -

 

  • Cut the price. Significantly. As it stands the 'basic' subscription with XBA is $60 a year. Compare that with the likes of TA where you get a lot more bang for your buck at $25 a year.
  • Tracking.
  • The sub money is invested into site (read forum) competitions so staff aren't putting their hands in their own pockets or relying on site members.
  • Tracking.
  • Subscriber only competitions.
  • Tracking.
  • The opportunity to review/play games early (with the caveat that guides have to be created) using review codes sent to the site - appreciate need to discuss with Dan.
  • A bit controversial - subscribers being involved in the appointment of staff (or having the discussion if a role is needed). Don't get me wrong, I think the current staff compliment are doing a cracking job but sometimes staff roles seem to appear and it becomes a bit 'clicky'. I appreciate the roles are usually advertised.
  • Did I mention tracking?

 

A lot of great ideas here.

 

One thing I can comment on is Sub only competitions. Those have always been a part of the program but have died out due to a low number of active subs. They will definitely come back with a vengeance if we can turn things around.

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As a former subscriber there are only two actual changes id want before i would consider resubscribing

 

A voice in what games are added to challenge clubs, it seems every time a new club is announced its inevitable that someone says "why is x game here but not y game?" if even a handful of new people add in their voice it could help make those games actually seem like they fit with the theme of the club. It could also help alleviate the concern that these games are just arbitrarily added by staff members because they like them.

 

Im going to echo what Menion Leah proposed with the review of games, the only addition id make is an additional caveat that you have to have published X amount of well written guides on the site before you are even considered for a free game.

 

And of course tracking would be nice, sub or no.

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As a former subscriber there are only two actual changes id want before i would consider resubscribing

 

A voice in what games are added to challenge clubs, it seems every time a new club is announced its inevitable that someone says "why is x game here but not y game?" if even a handful of new people add in their voice it could help make those games actually seem like they fit with the theme of the club. It could also help alleviate the concern that these games are just arbitrarily added by staff members because they like them.

 

Im going to echo what Menion Leah proposed with the review of games, the only addition id make is an additional caveat that you have to have published X amount of well written guides on the site before you are even considered for a free game.

 

And of course tracking would be nice, sub or no.

On the subject of challenge clubs, personally I like the idea and we're looking further into how we can include subscribers in club creation :)

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I subscribed here for years but stopped when my gaming time became to dwindle and I could no longer keep up. In all the years I subscribed here I can tell you honestly that I never did it because of the benefits, I did it because I love this website and want to see it thrive. In fact I think most of the other fellow subs back then subbed for the same reason. Therein lies part of your problem. I've said it before here but I'll reiterate.

 

Almost all of the "old guard" members here have moved on due to life commitments changing and the newer generation of members here aren't the same type of users. That's not a knock on the current community or staff just a fact of how things change over time. The past members/subs of this site were here when the site was still standing up and supported through donations and subscriptions because it felt like that was needed to help keep the ship moving forward. Most of this current community didn't see those startup days and know the website for the great place it's been for a few years now. The best analogy I can make to this old model of subscriptions/donations here is twitch streamers. Most people subscribe/donate to twitch streamers, not for the paltry benefits, but in the hope that their money will keep the streamer online and able to continue providing content the viewer enjoys.

 

With all that in mind, I think it's obvious why subscriber membership has dwindled. The above mindset of the current community coupled with the fact that you can access virtually everything on site website with a free account leaves very little incentive to subscribe. I don't think adding a few subscriber only tourneys or a few more giveaways will change that either. The only thing I think will truly incentivize a large mass of people to subscribe to the site would fundamentally change the model the site was built on, pay walls.

 

If only subscribers could see road maps, post in forums or the front page, etc. there would be a real incentive for people to want to subscribe to the site. Obviously though this would require a lot of changes to the way the site is run as well as how content for the site is currently generated. I have plenty of ideas on that but won't go into that much detail here.

 

I know some of you may dismiss this post as me talking out of my butt and that's okay. I just wanted to offer a different view point to the staff that may have not yet been considered.

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I subscribed here for years but stopped when my gaming time became to dwindle and I could no longer keep up. In all the years I subscribed here I can tell you honestly that I never did it because of the benefits, I did it because I love this website and want to see it thrive. In fact I think most of the other fellow subs back then subbed for the same reason. Therein lies part of your problem. I've said it before here but I'll reiterate.

 

Almost all of the "old guard" members here have moved on due to life commitments changing and the newer generation of members here aren't the same type of users. That's not a knock on the current community or staff just a fact of how things change over time. The past members/subs of this site were here when the site was still standing up and supported through donations and subscriptions because it felt like that was needed to help keep the ship moving forward. Most of this current community didn't see those startup days and know the website for the great place it's been for a few years now. The best analogy I can make to this old model of subscriptions/donations here is twitch streamers. Most people subscribe/donate to twitch streamers, not for the paltry benefits, but in the hope that their money will keep the streamer online and able to continue providing content the viewer enjoys.

 

With all that in mind, I think it's obvious why subscriber membership has dwindled. The above mindset of the current community coupled with the fact that you can access virtually everything on site website with a free account leaves very little incentive to subscribe. I don't think adding a few subscriber only tourneys or a few more giveaways will change that either. The only thing I think will truly incentivize a large mass of people to subscribe to the site would fundamentally change the model the site was built on, pay walls.

 

If only subscribers could see road maps, post in forums or the front page, etc. there would be a real incentive for people to want to subscribe to the site. Obviously though this would require a lot of changes to the way the site is run as well as how content for the site is currently generated. I have plenty of ideas on that but won't go into that much detail here.

 

I know some of you may dismiss this post as me talking out of my butt and that's okay. I just wanted to offer a different view point to the staff that may have not yet been considered.

 

Your logic is sound, but, much like Marx's Das Kapital, it only works in a very specific set of circumstances and if we ignore what we know to be true about human behavior.

 

I'm not trying to have a go at anyone here, least of all Method, but I very much think setting up paywalls would absolutely kill the social side of the site. In a perfect world, one where Youtube, GameFAQs, TA, reddit, and any number of other free alternatives didn't exist, maybe it could work. Even then, this is the internet, where people scream "Cencorship!" at the concept of intellectual property ownership and consider it their sacred duty to disseminate it.

 

I am hugely grateful to everyone who contributes loads of volunteer time to this site, and I dont want to sound like I'm saying that that time isn't worth anything. But I'll be honest and say what seems obvious to me: If the site puts up paywalls, it may as well close up shop at the same time, because it'll be deserted in a heartbeat.

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Dumb question here: what do you guys mean by 'tracking'?

 

Automatic achievement tracking. It used to be a feature here, some profile information would populate for you, like the 100% club icons on your profile page (though it wouldn't sign you up for them automatically), and the leaderboards in each game overview. Some sort of permission from Microsoft was revoked around the launch of the Xbox One, and there has been no tracking since then.

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Automatic achievement tracking. It used to be a feature here, some profile information would populate for you, like the 100% club icons on your profile page (though it wouldn't sign you up for them automatically), and the leaderboards in each game overview. Some sort of permission from Microsoft was revoked around the launch of the Xbox One, and there has been no tracking since then.

Oh yeah yeah yeah. It hasn't been a feature for so long I totally forgot about it.

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Your logic is sound, but, much like Marx's Das Kapital, it only works in a very specific set of circumstances and if we ignore what we know to be true about human behavior.

 

I'm not trying to have a go at anyone here, least of all Method, but I very much think setting up paywalls would absolutely kill the social side of the site. In a perfect world, one where Youtube, GameFAQs, TA, reddit, and any number of other free alternatives didn't exist, maybe it could work. Even then, this is the internet, where people scream "Cencorship!" at the concept of intellectual property ownership and consider it their sacred duty to disseminate it.

 

I am hugely grateful to everyone who contributes loads of volunteer time to this site, and I dont want to sound like I'm saying that that time isn't worth anything. But I'll be honest and say what seems obvious to me: If the site puts up paywalls, it may as well close up shop at the same time, because it'll be deserted in a heartbeat.

You're not necessarily wrong. The point of my post was not to promote pay walls as the savior for the site's future in any fashion. If done right, I wouldn't be against it but it would certainly be a big risk. I was just trying to highlight the point that the reason subscriptions have fallen off is that when you give away all of your site's best services and content for free, the minor additions that come with being a subscriber won't appeal to most people. Especially when people don't feel any sort of duty to contribute to keep the site running.

 

The middle ground in all this would be to create a really useful and new feature on the site that only subs can access which is what the thread was created to do. What that feature is I still can't think of yet.

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You're not necessarily wrong. The point of my post was not to promote pay walls as the savior for the site's future in any fashion. If done right, I wouldn't be against it but it would certainly be a big risk. I was just trying to highlight the point that the reason subscriptions have fallen off is that when you give away all of your site's best services and content for free, the minor additions that come with being a subscriber won't appeal to most people. Especially when people don't feel any sort of duty to contribute to keep the site running.

 

The middle ground in all this would be to create a really useful and new feature on the site that only subs can access which is what the thread was created to do. What that feature is I still can't think of yet.

 

I understood what you were getting at with paywalls in your post and I agree, the risk very much outweighs any potential benefit.

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You're not necessarily wrong. The point of my post was not to promote pay walls as the savior for the site's future in any fashion. If done right, I wouldn't be against it but it would certainly be a big risk. I was just trying to highlight the point that the reason subscriptions have fallen off is that when you give away all of your site's best services and content for free, the minor additions that come with being a subscriber won't appeal to most people. Especially when people don't feel any sort of duty to contribute to keep the site running.

 

The middle ground in all this would be to create a really useful and new feature on the site that only subs can access which is what the thread was created to do. What that feature is I still can't think of yet.

 

Oh, I see. That way you incentivize subscribing without taking away from what everyone is used to. It's a good idea, but yeah, I don't know what the actual benefit could be. Being an achievement hunter, I'm motivated by things that assist me in earning achievements. Maybe for $10 per month, Dirty will boost a single game with me for an unspecified amount of time.

 

...I pick Titanfall, Dirty.

 

Edit: Obviously this was meant as a joke, but to further the conversation, all that's really being said is that it would be a good idea...to have a good idea. There is also a certain expectation of value that goes along with such incentivized subscribing that may bite this site in the ass eventually. A lot can be forgiven of something that runs on volunteer work. But if I pay money in order to 'get' something, then my standards get stricter, and that doesn't seem like a fair burden for the people who do the work but reap no reward, to bear.

 

I think you nailed it when you compared it to Twitch, Method. I'm much more likely to sub to a streamer as a sort of symbolic show of support (it's a Prime sub, in my case, so no sacrifice), or to help a small-time guy, than because I want any tangible reward.

Edited by Fragarach Luin
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Just an FYI on people getting review codes etc for games as a perk for subscribing.

 

As someone that has written reviews for a while, both here and elsewhere, the number of codes that PR companies are actually able to give out has dwindled significantly and they often "run out" of digital codes for bigger games entirely before all sites even have them.

 

It's likely that XBA do have some codes scattered around, but they are most likely going to be for much smaller/niche games that the site may not have found time to review (and even then those codes are generally only sent by request, not many indies just hand out codes in advance). The only chance of them really getting multiples are when a game is heavily reliant on MP (Ghost Recon recently was a good example due to its co-op nature - many sites got more than one code) or if there is a pre-arranged agreement for extra codes for competitions etc. Those codes will no doubt already be used here for the monthly contests and the Twitch contests the sites runs.

 

TL;DR the site probably doesn't have spare review/game codes to give away due to how few now get sent out.

 

I'd also add that tracking should absolutely be on the site, but for everyone rather than just subscribers as it is something that has allegedly been in the works for over a year now so it's getting kind of ridiculous that it is still pending.

Edited by jackanape
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  • 3 weeks later...
I'm definitely interesting in subscribing (lord knows I've been a member of the site long enough to start paying for all the stuff it's given me), but I'm waiting to hear about any additional benefits that might push me over the edge.

 

Ditto. I would consider re-subbing if there were legit reasons.

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  • 11 months later...

I didn't want to start a new thread so I thought I would post here. Why is there no award for the basic sub? who is the best person to talk about all stuff sub as well, as this forum https://www.xboxachievements.com/forum/showthread.php?t=568303 says it's Cheech but he says not?

Edited by jroller1979
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  • 7 months later...

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