Description of the changes coming to the reward system

Why change it?

There are several problems with the current reward system that I’ve already started to address (e.g. donation and voting homes now stack). But the largest issue is that the current reward structure isn’t overly motivating for most players because maybe that next reward is too far away in votes, or maybe you only want the one after that next one and that is way too far away. Donations and voting don’t really “stack” well together – people typically do one or the other and very few do both with any regularity. Really the list of issues goes on and on.

My Objectives

(numbered for reference reasons, only loosely ordered by significance)

  1. Give players a real reason to vote… ideally “forever”
  2. Develop a system which promotes a healthy player trade economy.
  3. Make every vote count – for the player. Allow players to get what they want without forcing them to also get rewards they don’t want.
  4. In the end it’s about 2 things. (I) Voting is important for server health – to continue bringing in new players. (II) The server costs real money ($100 per month) to run. It simply will not go on forever without support from the community to at least offset this cost if not cover it completely. This ties back into everything else which brings me to…
  5. Drive traffic to the donation store – it’s an out of sight out of mind problem. Simply put if players are not even aware of the donation store or have no real other reason to go to the website then donations will suffer heavily.
  6. Give people a reason to log in & stay logged in and ideally actively playing – a more full server will attract more new (and even existing) players to log in than an empty one.

Key Ideas

(numbered for reference reasons, only loosely ordered by significance)

1. Each vote grants the player one “token” (name TBD).

  1. These tokens arrive in the rewardarchive allowing the archive to act as a sort of bank and preventing inventory clutter upon voting.
  2. The tokens may be taken out of the archive as an in-game item which players can trade for other in game items. I’d love to see these tokens become the preferred server currency – I mean really, what use do a couple dubs of DB’s really have?
  3. The tokens may be PUT BACK IN the reward archive.

2. Additional ways players may earn tokens (subject to change – these are just ideas)

  1. Random chance to (or perhaps always) get some free tokens simply for logging in (once per day)
  2. Get a token for playing for 30 min in a day
  3. Get a random number of tokens for playing 2 hours in a day

3. Players can use tokens to “purchase” the rewards they want, when they want, and where possible can redeem those rewards without admin intervention (everything except some uses of op-favor should be able to be made self-service).

4. Remove most of the “scheduled” rewards.

Forcing a few scheduled rewards on players makes sense but only very few should remain – e.g. earning a sethome at 10 votes gets players to start voting. I plan to keep granting them “for free” every 100 votes… I’m actually not sure anything else really makes sense to keep as scheduled rewards – maybe a mob book as an introduction to how reward books work.

5. Tokens can be used to purchase items through the web donation shop.

  1. This will greatly reduce the effort needed to add new rewards and ensure that new rewards are immediately available to both voting and donate-only players as well as simplify the world setup of new maps.
  2. Each token will have a value of $0.10 (USD) in the donation shop.
  3. Tokens can be used to discount an order or pay for it fully.
  4. Coupons and quantity discounts available on some items will apply to purchases using only tokens as well as those using only PayPal and any mix of the two.
  5. I know some people can’t open web links from within minecraft and some people more-or-less cant run both minecraft and a browser at the same time for various reasons – I’ll continue thinking on how to best serve that minority.
  6. I have an idea for how to redeem vote tokens on the website that is easy to implement (and I’d likely improve upon later – but this idea would let me get this done this year). That is to add a command that generates a single use coupon code for the player. they can specify how many tokens (or dollars) they want to put into it then wham good to go. I should be able to add a command to pull the tokens back out of the coupon if they change their mind or don’t spend it all. Or just any return extra tokens when the order is fulfilled.

6. Consistent funding is worth more than “more money” in unpredictable spikes (early draft ideas!)

  1. I’d like to provide players who want to support the server a way to setup a recurring donation and give them a reason to do so other than pure altruism. On the technical side this is relatively easy.
  2. As a thank you for providing more dependable server support such sustaining donors will receive a stipend (regularly occurring payout) of tokens based on how much they donate – e.g. $3/mo gets 1 token a day (short and long months will be taken care of – this example is just to keep things simple).
  3. Stipend tokens may be discounted by up to 20% (at what donation amount is TBD).
  4. Recurring donations will be the only way to buy tokens with real money directly. This is intended to provide some protection to the player economy from someone dropping $100 on tokens and obliterating the market… actually – it’s not like they would crash the trade values of items this way – if anything they may drive it up… but that is still messing with the economy in a potentially negative way as it may “devalue” tokens for everyone else who now has to “pay” more.
  5. It may be necessary to separate “normal” tokens from “stipend” tokens or to put a cap on the number of stipend tokens possible per day to avoid negatively impacting the player market.
  6. As I’m a bit unsure of this stipend idea this one is low on my priority list and I will want to be able to observe what, if any, impact it has on the player economy in a somewhat controlled way – as opposed to launching all these ideas at once.

Discuss in our discord channel #website-comments-and-issues