Many of you have expressed your displeasure at our recent game update with regards to the features in RoE. As many of you know, there is no such thing as a "free" game. Games must be financed whether it be through advertising or by the players themselves.
Early on we decided against using banner advertising in our game. This is for several reasons including the fact that facebook gives us very limited room on the screen to work with, as well as the ads being intrusive and disruptive. Any advertisment you see outside of our game window is a facebook ad, and the proceeds go to facebook and not to us, not even a portion. But, we are re-examining if advertising could be a better or alternative way to finance the game.
No direct advantages
Our original intent was that we would not allow players to simply buy themselves to the top. Ie, premium features will not offer *direct* advantages such as buying silver or troops and unlocking special troops or buildings. Our aim was and still is to make the game completely playable without having to unlock any extra features. The goal of premium features is to make the game more convenient to play, to save time on tasks, etc... Every features we locked provides a function that can be accomplished in other ways but less conveniently. That was and is our promise.
Ways to earn servants
We also understand that some players will not pay to play a facebook game (regardless of the reasons), and we want you to continue playing and enjoying the game. For these players, we hope that the basic features are enough to keep the game fun and enjoyable, however we also give these players the ability to earn servants to unlock premium features by several means:
- Our weekly fan draw - we give 1 lucky fan 500 servants each week
- Future contests and giveaways that we are planning.
- We are in process of offering a ‘complete an offer’ to earn servants like other facebook games
- and various types of advertising – this is very time consuming and will take some time for us to develop necessary relationship to offer this.
Let us now take a moment to address your specific concerns and questions:
What will be locked next ?
Critical, please at least read this
Many times we’ve seen a ‘what will be locked next?’ question on the board; a concern that in next release even more features will be locked down and that the cost of play/package may increase as we offer new features.
It is critical that everyone understands that we will not lock down any more existing features AND we intend to offer new premium features as part of the nobility package AND we intend to keep the package fixed at 100 servants.
What this means, is that as new premium features are rolled out, those who have the nobility package active will automatically get them. Some features we are planning:
- better battle simulator -> auto paste troops from reports and from your villages
- repeat / copy your last command or any command
- quickly support your village or someone else’s village from near by villages done similarly to convenient silver transport
- quick access to your last 10 commands
- your spy reports visible on map
- strength of village indicator show on the map if you have a spy report on it
- easy way to share reports with your clan and others
- ability to put notes in incoming troops
- ability to hide some incoming troops/attacks
- launch attacks and supports right off the map; no need to go to another page
- purchase treasure chest with one click at all/some villages
- mass recruit troops at all/some villages
- a personal assistant that manages your village for you (maybe, not yet decided if this is possible)
- ability to do most of your work such as troops recruitment and commands right on the village overview
- different skins for the game including a none graphical one.
- ability to access the game on mobile devices
- a TON of other improvements, some premium, many at no cost
There may be features such as the giant map, which we consider a luxury and is very resource intensive that may be offered outside of the package. But we don’t have any plans for those at the moment.
Again, there will be MANY improvements to game that will be offered at no cost for everyone.
Cost of play
Some of you mentioned that is costs $4.95 per month to play. Please note that we are offering larger servant packages reducing this cost to as low as 2.49/month. It is our goal to keep the cost to be less than a typical movie rental.
'Essential' features Free ?
We've also heard from some of you that you would pay for what you consider premium features but you will not pay for what you consider essential features. Please note that in this case those essential features are actually free as we priced the package so that it is much more economical than unlocking features on their own. So if you pay for those ‘extras’, you get the other features essentially for free; that will become more and more apparent as we add more premium features but the package stays at 100 servants.
How do I get a refund for old features?
Some of you mentioned that you were not given a refund for depreciated feature you unlocked before this release. You have to manually obtain the refund under tools->unlock features->cancel features.
What is changing?
We agree that it is a bad practice to take away features you previously enjoyed for free. We deeply regret doing so. It was our intention to do this much earlier but, right or wrong, we decided to implement some of your suggestions to make the game better. We neglected to clearly communicate to you what is a premium feature and what is not and for this we sincerely apologize. We tried to accomplish this with the building queue and map being locked with a trial but did not do it for all features that we intended to be premium.
Because of this, we’ve decided to make some changes; we have decided to keep the following features free on both current realms:
- Troop movements on your village overview
- Incoming and Outgoing troops from all villages
- Support and Abroad troops from all villages
- 'Busy' counters on village overview
In addition we have decided that the Large map will be reduced to 1 servant on Realm 2 (and remain free on Realm 1). We believe that this is more than fair as for $1.95 you can use this feature for over 30 months in the realm. A player can do well navigating the 7x7 map with the mini-map in the top right corner. We also provide you the option to use the RoE Mapper tool http://new.realmofempires.com/roepowertools/roept.aspx for Windows users which allows them to see the entire realm.
Those who have been with us for a long time, know that we listen very closely to your feedback to the extent that due to your suggestions we’ve decide to implement the ‘night build feature’ to alleviate any possibility of offering a direct advantage with premium features (see
We regret that this release has stirred such deep emotions. We hope that those changes and explanations will allow non-paying player to continue to enjoy the game. We hope that those with the ability to support us monetarily will do so, allowing us to continue make the game better. For those who cannot pay, we hope you will help us grow by promoting us, and we intend to reward your help with servants in various ways.
We are still in a very active beta. We have a long way to go before we consider the product ‘finished’. We hope to have you all here when we launch the ship.