In an odd stroke of “oh gees, where did that thought come from,” it dawned on me that this is a question that should be near and dear to the dev team, yet one I’ve never seen asked. If you ask the right question to the right people, you might get the right answer. The thought actually stemmed from wondering if I’d ever reopen any of our closed accounts, and my answer wasn’t anytime soon based on where I see our game today and tomorrow. Apologies up front to anyone reading, this will likely be a lengthy post. Today, EA is on track to earn about $300 a year from the wife and me, around $240 in subscription fees for our two remaining accounts and a couple new boxes should SA and its successors ever hit store shelves. Compared to what we spend entertainment dollars for outside the game, this is actually a small % for something we spend much more time with. As an example, we spend a little more than $1000 yearly to a satellite company for television service, which is on (and often not watched) maybe 1/3 as often as we actually play UO. That said, do I “want” to pay more to EA to play – no. My thought process runs just the opposite, more along the lines of how do I spend less on everything, but I will pay if motivated to do so. And that should be important to everyone who works for EA. Before talking about things to motivate, let me first delve into some of the things that will have the opposite effect. OK, new boxes are always required to enjoy new content; we’ve been conditioned to accept this, which we do as a result of the industries insistence, without actually liking it. For both of us to stay current, there’s at least $60. But for me, conditioning ends there. Subscription fees seem from afar to be the primary source for EA to encourage us to give them our money, and that means active accounts. I don’t want to have to reactivate accounts to fulfill character requirements, if say for example SA required characters to become gargoyles to do or gain anything. Another example, and there are many, I never want to see a return to the days where additional accounts were required to generate any hope of success in BODs. The point is simple, for UO to succeed for EA, motivate and do not agitate. We’d probably reactive at least two of the closed accounts were there some account based incentive. An example might be to allocate additional stats and skills to an account, but not each character on said account. On a 6 character account, allow 30 extra skill points and say 12 additional stats, which could either be spread among the characters or consolidated on a single one. On a 7 character account, make it 35/ 14, or something along those lines – you get the idea. Another method might be to really look at the skills available and consequent character classes. While much more difficult to design/ implement, a need for characters 8, 9, etc, would serve as an appropriate motivator. I do fear however that this is more than the dev folks are now or likely to be adequately resourced to accomplish. But encourage us to begin reopening accounts, and the $240 can become $480 very quickly. Force it, and risk negative response. The last category is items and/ or tokens. I’ve never seen any actual numbers, but would guess legacy tokens, with soul stones for more experienced players and chargers for newer ones, probably are a success. They would have been more a success had you been able to order more than two before the website blocked further sell and said you had to wait a month, but that’s a different story. You’ll see posts often recommending EA sell all in game items directly; personally I’m not such a big fan of this, again for a variety of reasons. But I’m not averse to EA encouraging me to spend money on things that specifically work for specific characters; in fact I’m very certain I would, if the items are “right.” Item sales are both a dilemma and opportunity for the provider to continually get more of our dollars, as characters tend to change and evolve over time. The dilemma for them, with the variety of characters coupled with all the items that are present within the game, is exactly what would constitute the right stuff? The easy answer is to let us decide, and tailor as we see fit. Sell us a token that allows us to decide what a piece of equipment will be, jewelry, armor, a spellbook or weapons. The let us decide what properties will be on it. Dev could probably allow for 5 properties on jewelry and armor, and 3 on a spellbook, all at 100-125% intensity. Weapons get a little more tricky; the max # of properties must be looked at closely before implementation (3, 4, or 5), as a weapon with 5 properties including leechers at 100% could be rather ugly from a balance perspective. Is something like that (even a weapon with 3 properties) worth $10-20? It is for me, and despite success in equipping all 14 remaining characters very well, there’s some room for improvement on each of them. Anyhow, these are some ways EA can encourage me to spend more entertainment dollars with them. What would motivate you?