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 Post subject: Re: CAVCON Meter
PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 9:34 pm 
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I wonder if more people would donate if it where tax dedecutable. I only thought of this since its 'tax season' here in Canada, I don't know about the rest of the world. Income taxes could be a reason why people are not donating.

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 Post subject: Re: CAVCON Meter
PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 9:50 pm 
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Mac_Fife wrote:
TCB The Scar's post alerted me to the fact that RAWA had added new weekly data, but the telling comment is this one (emphasis mine):
RAWA wrote:
CAVCON Donation Meter: 2.0 (April, in progress, as of 4/14/14)
In other words, by mid-April whatever donations had been made were not enough to even nudge CAVCON up to 2.1.
Mac_Fife is right, it's what I meant.


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 Post subject: Re: CAVCON Meter
PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 3:54 pm 
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JWPlatt wrote:
Emor D'ni Lap wrote:
It sounds like you're trying to ridicule the whole idea of seeing CAVCON donations in anything finer than one-month intervals.
Not at all. ............. The parallels are what make it personally amusing to me, especially the one about maintaining a steady pace without dips and spikes. The point of the similarity between the pellets and CAVCON has been raised previously in this thread, and RAWA has specifically mentioned to me that the point is not lost on him.
Though I was tempted to say you are drawing parallels where there are none, there would in fact be one similarity between the two systems.
Since the overall pellet-collecting response from the 'hoods could not have been known in advance, the pellet/lake-lighting system required a response-dependent floating variable such that max lake light would not be reached instantaneously, nor would changes in light level be invisible. Similarly, a $100 URU donation will not result in consistent changes in CAVCON decimals from one month to the next, because those numbers are affected by the floating variable of the estimated costs for the current month.

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Emor D'ni Lap wrote:
...you have not addressed the only question I really asked: whether a completely transparent fan-run donation system could elicit trust?
I don't know. I do know it would be a challenge. .......
Of course it would be a challenge; that's a given. I'm well aware of the minefields awaiting anyone taking money from one set of hands and transferring it elsewhere. But I wasn't asking any of that; I wasn't even suggesting such a system was practical (see below).

My question was: whether a fan-run URU donation system could be made transparent enough that the URU community would trust it with their money?

You have (twice now) advocated that this question is best answered by going ahead and building such a system, then seeing whether they would come. But the point of my question was that the enormous effort of establishing and operating a fan-run donation system would be wasted if few or none in the URU community would trust it with their money. That's why I was asking the question, but you have singlehandedly twisted that theoretical question into some kind of volunteer offer on my part ("you have to start somewhere. Good luck.")

For many years now, what little extra time and money I can devote to URU has been spent on agebuilding projects of my own, and working with/assisting others in agebuilding-related matters. Unfortunately, I'm not one of those with infinite spare time and money to be able to keep taking on additional duties. If I were to take on a demanding project such as this, it would bring my agebuilding efforts to a complete halt.

It is not valid to claim that by merely asking this question, I'm somehow "expecting others to implement" the solution to the question. Even if I had suggested that a fan-run donation system was a practical idea (which I did not), the notion that no one has the right to make a suggestion unless they're willing and able to execute the suggestion themselves is surely a great recipe for squelching progress.
When fans make demands, though? ...that's another matter.

Now, to try to answer my own question (since no one else has):
If the point of such a fan-run URU donation system would be to see the direct impact of donations on CAVCON status, ALL donations would have be routed through it: it would serve little purpose in reporting CAVCON numbers if an unknown X% of monthly donations went to Cyan directly but the other 100%-X% went to the fan-run system. So, in order for such an operation to really perform its function, not only would the fans have to trust it implicitly, Cyan themselves would have to do so, effectively shifting their entire donations system over to the fans. And, to me, that seems even more unlikely.

Nor do I hear anyone jumping up at this moment to say "Me! Me! I'd send my donations to a fan-run collection system!"

I never claimed that such a system was practical, and for the above reasons I don't think it is practical. I only asked whether there was any level of transparency at which fans would feel confident entrusting their money to a middleman group.

Knowing our "community" a bit over the past decade, and judging by the response (or lack thereof) here, I believe the answer to that question is "no".


Edit: changed "integers" to "decimals"

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Last edited by Emor D'ni Lap on Sun Apr 20, 2014 4:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: CAVCON Meter
PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 4:04 pm 
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Mac_Fife wrote:
Emor D'ni Lap wrote:
... I'd hope it would have kicked CAVCON out of 2.0 status, so I doubt a check-and-update has happened at all in April.
Actually, there has. ...................In other words, by mid-April whatever donations had been made were not enough to even nudge CAVCON up to 2.1.
Wow. :shock:
Even if we were to assume that the only donations to URU for the first two weeks of April came from DOSwho? and myself (as noted on the previous page), the realization that these don't even add up to one-tenth the estimated cost-of-operation for the month of April is shocking.

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 Post subject: Re: CAVCON Meter
PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 4:15 pm 
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Just a thing:
The game is free, some files are open source, server management has a cost, and the comfort zone of CAVCON is hardly maintained ...
Why keeping server access for free?
A paid access isn't incompatible with open source I think ...
Why a financial contribution of 1$/month or 12$/year couldn't be requested to "UniqueUsers"?


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 Post subject: Re: CAVCON Meter
PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 6:23 pm 
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There are no doubt many reasons why Cyan chose to go with a donation model rather than ask for a fee. Here are a few I can think of right away:
  • I'm fairly sure it would drive the costs up: Someone would need to check what accounts had paid in that month and deactivate accounts that hadn't. The current voluntary scheme means that Cyan don't need to spend time "managing" the accounts.
  • It would also create an essentially fixed income level against a variable expense base, so there'd still be no guarantee that income would cover costs, and setting the mandatory fee high enough to ensure that costs are more likely than not to be covered could end up stopping some people playing altogether.
  • Once you set a fee for playing then you also create an expectation that a level of service will be provided for that fee: If we get a server outage (for whatever reason) then some people will feel aggrieved that they "didn't get what they paid for".

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 Post subject: Re: CAVCON Meter
PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 6:39 pm 
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I agree with Mac on all 3 points. I only signed up for MOULa beacause its free and I never signed up for MOUL(2007) since I felt the cost was not worth what you got(a rant for anouther day). I was a student at the time, so I had little money to spend on video games.

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 Post subject: Re: CAVCON Meter
PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 6:45 pm 
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Let’s look at it the other way:
Code:
Dec 2012: CAVCON: 2.9        Dec 2013: CAVCON: 2.5
Jan 2013: CAVCON: 2.5        Jan 2014: CAVCON: 3.0
Feb 2013: CAVCON: 2.5        Feb 2014: CAVCON: 4.4
Mar 2013: CAVCON: 2.7        Mar 2014: CAVCON: 2.8
Apr 2013: CAVCON: 3.0

Sure, it’s not the best situation, but it’s still better than last year.

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 Post subject: Re: CAVCON Meter
PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 10:14 pm 
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Mac_Fife wrote:
There are no doubt many reasons why Cyan chose to go with a donation model rather than ask for a fee. Here are a few I can think of right away:
  • I'm fairly sure it would drive the costs up: Someone would need to check what accounts had paid in that month and deactivate accounts that hadn't. The current voluntary scheme means that Cyan don't need to spend time "managing" the accounts.
Can it not be done automatically? :?:

Mac_Fife wrote:
  • It would also create an essentially fixed income level against a variable expense base, so there'd still be no guarantee that income would cover costs, and setting the mandatory fee high enough to ensure that costs are more likely than not to be covered could end up stopping some people playing altogether.
Does it mean that, for example, 3287$ (March 2014) couldn't be sufficient to cover the costs? :shock:

Mac_Fife wrote:
  • Once you set a fee for playing then you also create an expectation that a level of service will be provided for that fee: If we get a server outage (for whatever reason) then some people will feel aggrieved that they "didn't get what they paid for".
1$/month isn't expensive ...
I think we all can understand there can be server outages, and also that we haven't to feel aggrieved for the "1$ only" that we paid for the current month. :|

Jamie Marchant wrote:
I agree with Mac on all 3 points. I only signed up for MOULa beacause its free and I never signed up for MOUL(2007) since I felt the cost was not worth what you got(a rant for anouther day). I was a student at the time, so I had little money to spend on video games.
You were a student and you hadn't "1$/month" to buy candies? :roll:
I said "1" $ per month, not 100 or 10 ... :x

korovev wrote:
Let’s look at it the other way: [...]
Sure, it’s not the best situation, but it’s still better than last year.
What I called "comfort zone of CAVCON" is a minimum of 3.0 ...
The situation is not bad from last october to february (but december), maybe because of "realMyst Masterpiece 2014" and "Obduction" (new players and donations?), but if you take a look at the entire previous CAVCON stats there wasn't recently lot of 3.0 or more. :?


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 Post subject: Re: CAVCON Meter
PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 10:44 pm 
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I don’t have references close at hand, but I think that ultimately it was part of the negotiation with Gametap that MOULa wouldn’t be profitable. This would be why it’s kept separate from the other Cyan products, and another reason why CAVCON 5 is essentially unreachable (besides them being busy with Obduction and RM:ME). Again, just a guess.

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 Post subject: Re: CAVCON Meter
PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 11:19 pm 
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I think that the thing which has maked it not profitable is the idea to give without ending new ages (at a rythme hoped by players).
It's really a money pit considering the work involved in ages creation and server management.
It was financial suicide to think they could provide new ages at a rythme that would have pleased to players.
But here I was talking about server maintenance, not about new ages/content.


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 Post subject: Re: CAVCON Meter
PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 11:39 pm 
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Another thing to consider are taxes.
If Cyan started to run the server on a commercial basis (which is what a monthly fee means) they would have to pay taxes for any penny people pay for it. I may not be an expert of American taxation systems. But I daresay it would be more expensive than what PayPal gets from the donations. And I haven't even started with the can of legal worms you open when you run on a commercial basis. :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: CAVCON Meter
PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 12:50 am 
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TCB The Scar wrote:
1$/month isn't expensive

True however MOUL(2007) was 6 -7 US dollares a month and that wuold add up eventually. Also now adays I am in carven at lest once a moneth for Heritage Night but it wern't for that I would only be in cavern once in a blue moon and paygin for a sevice(no matter how much) that I dont use is a waste of money.

Even if Cyan thought it was a good idea to start chaging for MOULa, would the money they make chariging for it be greateer then the cost to set up a paid system? If not it's sadly not worth doing.

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 Post subject: Re: CAVCON Meter
PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 2:37 am 
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Emor D'ni Lap wrote:
...I wasn't even suggesting such a system was practical...

My message above was really directed at the collective "you."

Without the goal of implementation, discussion is merely hypothetical. That's just not in my mindset or interest at the moment.

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 Post subject: Re: CAVCON Meter
PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 6:36 am 
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Emor D'ni Lap wrote:
and judging by the response (or lack thereof) here, I believe the answer to that question is "no".

Well, seeing as it's only been two days, plus you haven't exactly been asking if anyone would be willing to use such a system, I'm not half surprised. Me personally, I'd be willing to give it a go, especially if a known and respected community member were at the helm, making sure the donations went into Cyan's pocket and not their own.

Actually, another benefit of such a system is that if all the donations were collated and then donated at the end of the month, more money would get through to Cyan than if all those donations were given separately. Based on that, I'd say it's a great idea, if it can be done.

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