Is there a point to funding Ashes of Creation now?

Yesterday, Ashes of Creation launched its Kickstarter, and extremely rapidly it became one of the biggest and fastest MMO crowdfunding campaigns that we’ve seen in… well, probably since Elyria a year ago, or Crowfall two years ago. It cleared its $750K goal in 12 hours and as I type this, it’s inching closer to the $1M mark. I predict that it will probably reach $2M before all is said and done.

It’s hard not to get swept up into the excitement of seeing a promising and ambitious big-budget MMO being made, especially in today’s climate. The Kickstarter is certainly doing a great job getting out the existence and potential of this game to many others, generating all sorts of hype and PR in the process. In fact, from what the studio said about the core game having already been funded and the Kickstarter being to make it bigger, I’m wondering if PR is just as big of a reason for doing a Kickstarter as actual finances.

Anyway.

Amidst seeing everyone talking about and funding this game, I am slightly torn on whether to chip in my money or not. Originally I was all set to make this my second Kickstarter donation ever because I am really impressed with this project and want to see this game made, but now I’m a little hesitant. Why?

Well, for starters it’s already going to get made with or without my money. Even with or without this Kickstarter. It’s already fully funded. My $25 or whatever’s not really going to make much of a difference in the game’s existence, unless I deeply care about stretch goals, and that would be a… erm, stretch.

The other reason that people look to are the personal rewards and benefits you get from becoming a backer. Here there’s more of an argument to be made for funding but I’m still not entirely convinced. Get into the permanent alpha? As eager as I am to play this, I’m not champing at the bit for early access these days. A few more character customization options might be interesting enough. A $15 subscription tucked into a $25 package, I’m not really getting a bargain there. The tiers aren’t horrible, per se, but not really that compelling either. Some people really splurged on lifetime subscriptions, but those are very high priced ($400+ now, and my limit for a lifetime sub to anything is $200) and for a game that’s not even going to be out for a year and a half at best.

Maybe I will, but then again, I could use that $25 right now for games or products or services right now that I could use… and I can still play and pay for Ashes of Creation when it launches down the road.

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9 thoughts on “Is there a point to funding Ashes of Creation now?

  1. Avidguru (@Avidguru) May 2, 2017 / 11:56 am

    Yeah, I am not excited by either early access or the fact that they gated some of the customization options behind donation tiers. As soon as I saw the latter, my interest for funding the game completely faded. It seems antithetical to the idea of a subscription game.

  2. Wilhelm Arcturus May 2, 2017 / 1:39 pm

    I have come around to the feeling that earlier investment merely leads to earlier burnout. I do not have the wherewithal to follow a game diligently throughout development, through alpha, beta, and finally to release. I’m just not that sort of person. I have a limited pool of enthusiasm for most titles, and spending it all early spoils things. I simply want to play the game when it is ready. I don’t need a constant narrating stream of notes in my inbox telling me how great things are going for SC/CU/SotA/P:G. Just go away and tell me when you’re done. Or, better yet, I’ll go away and give you some money when you’re done.

  3. Cobweb Wood May 2, 2017 / 2:00 pm

    I got pretty burnt on EQNext. From now on, as Wilhelm says, I’ll give them money when they are done.

  4. Bhagpuss May 2, 2017 / 2:32 pm

    I had a good long think about it before I finally decided to back them at the $40 mark. The ironic thing is that, after reading the new information about the game on the Kickstarter page, I was less enthusiastic than I had been. Most of my interest came from the people making the game and the games they’d made before. All I really want is another EQ2/Rift/GW2 with above-indie production values and I thought AoC might be that.

    It isn’t. It’s a Western version of Black Desert as far as I can see, with a sheen of some of the less difficult things EQNext was supposed to have, like smarter AI and a way for players to change the history of the world. Well, I don’t need or want any of that. I just want lots of pretty scenery and plenty of kill ten rats quests.

    So, why did I back it anyway? Curiosity, mostly. I paid $40 for Closed Beta 2 access. I’m hoping that by then there won’t be a strict NDA and I am more than willing to pay $40 for access to something that will generate blog posts for a couple of months or so. Also, even on my extremely low salary, $40 is not a significant outlay.

    If the game turns out to be something I want to play then I suppose I’ll recoup about $30 of the $40 on the two included months of subscription but I don’t really care about that. I’m willing to pay the fee to see the game a few months early because I love MMOs and i want to see new ones.

    Also, have you got any idea if these pledges, any of them, actually include a copy of the game itself? I haven’t been able to find that anywhere.

  5. Syp May 2, 2017 / 2:42 pm

    Bhag — in the Kickstarter FAQ, it confirms that there is no box cost. The game clien is free with a subscription.

  6. carson63000 May 2, 2017 / 5:35 pm

    I’m not sure I’d say the game was “fully funded” such that your money is “not really going to make much of a difference in the game’s existence”. This Kickstarter is clearly a marketing campaign, not the source of funding for development. Nobody is building anything like what they have promised for $750,000.

  7. Wilhelm Arcturus May 3, 2017 / 11:41 am

    @carson63000 – Yes. I am sure that they haven’t calculated down to the nickel and need exactly $750K and no more. More money be better, yo!

    On the flip side, once you get past the base funding mark and they start talking about stretch goals which, to my mind, strongly implies that they believe they are covered by the base amount and that any additional money will go to fund features above and beyond what they have promised for the initial amount.

    So you have to choose whether the base ask is a lie or the stretch goals are a lie. Either way, the promised ship date is almost certainly too optimistic by half given past history.

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