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Roll20 Announcement - Price Increase

1620067916
Hoot
Pro
I think this is an interesting line of questioning to pursue! Aside from what you mention here, what would you find of interest for your needs as a player? I can't make any promises right now of course, but I would love to gather and pass along feedback regarding the most sought after features (to be considered along side those from the suggestions forums). @Drespar - while I will be a bit off topic, just spring boarding from what you state above: The Suggestion forum throttles idea incubation in its current vote based format. There is no real place for open and transparent discussion between the user community. I understand why R20 may not want the lift of moderating such an open forum, but it is really a great tool for generating and incubating user based ideas. You may want to consider some form or Volunteer User Group which could also be used to draw candidates for a User Acceptance Testing of new features before they hit mainstream. It could be open or semi-private where positive and forward discussion by Users could incubate new ideas.  Back on topic - the price increase would be a bit of a thorn in my tush if not for a generous grace period. My issue with price bump isn't the bump, but the timing with UDL concerns. My biggest struggle with R20 over the years is around QA and Release Management. Perhaps some of the new revenue will help with funding that. One thing I know is that the VTT industry is still early in the Industry Life Cycle. Despite rapid growth, an industry shakeout period is on the horizon so balancing your investments in existing and future technology will be key. Early Innovators like R20 are often challenged and overcome by other entrants with "shinier" offerings as the industry moves through early growth and towards industry maturation. While a guess on my part, I reckon that inflection point seems to be coming up the next 15-30 months in the VTT sector. But, "shiny" is nothing if it is buggy. So, this subscriber hopes R20 will earmark some of the new revenue to Bug Hunting before Feature release. Quality of Features far exceeds Quantity of features. That said, thank you for the grace period. Quite generous and, I think, a smart move by R20. 
1620082023
Jesse
Plus
Drespar said: Hi j21a2t89, I think this is an interesting line of questioning to pursue! Aside from what you mention here, what would you find of interest for your needs as a player? I can't make any promises right now of course, but I would love to gather and pass along feedback regarding the most sought after features (to be considered along side those from the suggestions forums). As the OP of that thread, I think Roll20 could benefit from taking the Discord Nitro approach.  Keep the core functionality of the service free but offer cosmetic and boost features to players who subscribe.  Cosmetics are wide open--things like animated token borders or other animated effects for their tokens and character pictures, access to basic animated spell effects, etc.  People like to customize their presentation to others and are willing to spend for it.  Boost features would allow subscribed players to offer some tangible benefit to games they're in.  So, for example, possibly boosting a GM's storage space by X mb or not counting subscriber uploaded content (character pictures and tokens) against their storage quota.  This is especially useful as animated art becomes more common.  I'm guessing your GM subscriber rates are fairly constant so you wouldn't be cannibalizing from the potential Plus/Pro pool much but boosts to the free GM storage limit would enhance the game experience for subscribers.  It also provides a minor incentive for non-subscriber GMs to select from subscribed players. As I said in the Suggestion thread, though, right now paid GMs are doing a much better job of monetizing players on Roll20 than you are.  You should consider charging a per-character slot fee in games marked as Paid to recoup some of this.  Or, take a cue from a market startup (startplaying.game) and provide a one-stop service for GMs that handles billing for them.  Startplaying takes 10% for this.  Right now, paid GMs using that service are paying the 10% in addition to subscription or purchase fees to Roll20 or the VTT of their choice.  Roll20 is in a unique position to consolidate that since it has its own VTT.  Back when paid games were the exception and averaged $5-$10 a session there was probably not a lot of incentive to accommodate paid GMs.  But now that the average per session price per player is pushing $20-$25, a single paid game is pulling in up to $400 a month based on the rough average of four players per game.  If Roll20 wants to take a percentage cut, you can setup billing and paid GMing tools to manage customers.  If not, charging a per-slot fee of a $1 or $2 monthly per paid game is a negligible expense to GMs getting $40+ per slot and indirectly monetizes a portion of your player base.
1620084422
Pro costs 15$. In my country that's 1/4 of my monthly grocery shopping bill. So unless my finances improve I'll have to start looking for a replacement a year before the price increase.  Unless you make plus/pro cost and be the same or add regional pricing me and my friends will have to bail. Which I'm not looking forward to since there's a campaign we've been running for over five years straight.  
1620086906
Juniper L.
Roll20 Team
while I will be a bit off topic, just spring boarding from what you state above: The Suggestion forum throttles idea incubation in its current vote based format.[...] Certainly an idea worth examining at the very least Hoot, and one I'll bring forward to Drespar in future. (We're covering this thread in shifts.) [...]So, this subscriber hopes R20 will earmark some of the new revenue to Bug Hunting before Feature release. Quality of Features far exceeds Quantity of features. That said, thank you for the grace period. I reckon you meant "quantity" before "quality", in which case you and others are definitely being heard in this area. We have some internal changes that'll be going on to reflect this, though no time-frame promised for when changes will bleed-through to your end. Still, you're being heard Hoot, for sure. As I said in the Suggestion thread, though, right now paid GMs are doing a much better job of monetizing  players  on Roll20 than you are.  You should consider charging a per-character slot fee in games marked as Paid to recoup some of this.  Or, take a cue from a market startup (startplaying.game) and provide a one-stop service for GMs that handles billing for them.  Startplaying takes 10% for this.  Right now, paid GMs using that service are paying the 10% in addition to subscription or purchase fees to Roll20 or the VTT of their choice.  Roll20 is in a unique position to consolidate that since it has its own VTT.  Back when paid games were the exception and averaged $5-$10 a session there was probably not a lot of incentive to accommodate paid GMs.  But now that the average per session price per player is pushing $20-$25, a single paid game is pulling in up to $400 a month based on the rough average of four players per game.  If Roll20 wants to take a percentage cut, you can setup billing and paid GMing tools to manage customers.  If not, charging a per-slot fee of a $1 or $2 monthly per paid game is a negligible expense to GMs getting $40+ per slot and indirectly monetizes a portion of your player base. And another interesting suggestion here Jesse, and likewise will be brought upward as a point of feedback to be considered. Pro costs 15$. In my country that's 1/4 of my monthly grocery shopping bill. So unless my finances improve I'll have to start looking for a replacement a year before the price increase.  Unless you make plus/pro cost and be the same or add regional pricing me and my friends will have to bail. Which I'm not looking forward to since there's a campaign we've been running for over five years straight.  As stated earlier in the thread by Drespar - we don't have anything to share yet regarding localized pricing, but we are investigating ways to improve this experience for our international community. We appreciate what this means for our international community and will share once there's news to share.
1620090012
Hoot
Pro
I reckon you meant "quantity" before "quality", in which case you and others are definitely being heard in this area. We have some internal changes that'll be going on to reflect this, though no time-frame promised for when changes will bleed-through to your end. Still, you're being heard Hoot, for sure. I was saying that Quality Features are far more important that Quantity. I would rather have fewer polished features than a lot of wonky ones. Take your time on release and get 'em polished.   Thank you for your response - very much appreciated.
1620092872
"I reckon you meant "quantity" before "quality", in which case you and others are definitely being heard in this area. We have some internal changes that'll be going on to reflect this, though no time-frame promised for when changes will bleed-through to your end. Still, you're being heard Hoot, for sure." While the sentiment of this statement is fine(and to be encouraged) i don't think u guys understand what u are doing to your customers. We need a players advocate so that we quit running up against this wall : ""We have some internal changes that'll be going on to reflect this, though no time-frame promised for when changes will bleed-through to your end."" You can't keep jerking us around with these kinds of statements because basically they mean we aren't telling u anything because we have no idea what the leaders are going to agree or pay for, or what our code depts. can accomplish. Figure out a way to be straight with the people paying the bills...or those bills are going to stop getting paid.
1620113542
I like the grace period and I think that the increase is very reasonable but... Users are constantly reporting problems, the dynamic lighting is full of bugs, when you compare some of the features on roll20 to other VTT the first is lacking a lot of things, etc. Personally, if you do increase the price the pressure I will put on your platform will increase because for me if you increase the prices you rise the quality and that has to be shown on the platform, not on empty promises or bugged things like UDL.  And I'm sure that the programmers are doing the best they can, but the VTT programs fight right now is brutal with a lot of people in the world changing real life tables for online ones so...I think if you don't want to be left behind you should start making real good changes, and if for doing so you need to increase the prices is ok but remember that people will require a better (for them not for you)  product then. And finally, you have amazing people programming things for your site and giving reasonable changes and features listen to them.
1620124566
Laurent
Pro
Sheet Author
API Scripter
Oh please, no more features !! Fix the bugs first !
1620132152
I want Roll20 to continue to be competitive. I have pretty much all the D&D books purchased here and have 47k hours logged. However it seems the platform hasn't been scaling well. Roll20 seems to work well with small games but with big campaigns such Rime of the Frostmaiden the performance starts to become a problem. When you start adding more maps, monsters and APIs Roll20 gets real buggy and slow.  I think a total rebuild might be necessary, a Roll20 2.0 if you will. 
1620135325
Bry
Pro
I guess I don't mind a price increase. To give a little background... I have always bought gaming books all the way back to the mid 80's whatever game we played. When I started with VTT's I came across FG first... I like the look and though I would use it... Bought all the books spent several hundred dollars to find out everyone I would game with was on Roll20... So I started small having spend so much in FG but eventually bought all the source books many modules and over 100 map token asset features along with pro. Recently, with so many options out there and not knowing the future, I have decided to start purchasing in D&D Beyond and now own all the source books there along with modules etc. So, from my perspective, gaming is one of my major hobbies and I will pay to play wherever that may be. With that said, performance is key for me, especially as a DM. Having bug or lag issues and having to relog to be able to play takes away from my and my players experience. Having to reset tokens and adjust lighting issues takes away from the experience. The white screen hurts my eyes and a Roll20 dark mode would be appreciated... I have tried the google browser dark mode and it creates problems with roll20. Anyway, with all the comments on performance, lag, and relogging issues... I would think these would be the priority. I am going to pay wherever that may be. Let's make Roll20 the place.      
1620151294
Juniper L.
Roll20 Team
I want Roll20 to continue to be competitive. I have pretty much all the D&D books purchased here and have 47k hours logged. However it seems the platform hasn't been scaling well. Roll20 seems to work well with small games but with big campaigns such Rime of the Frostmaiden the performance starts to become a problem. When you start adding more maps, monsters and APIs Roll20 gets real buggy and slow.  I think a total rebuild might be necessary, a Roll20 2.0 if you will.  We've faced challenges in this last year, in regards to the sheer number of folks coming onto the platform - which has been awesome, but has also leveled challenges at us that we've had to really rise up in order to meet head-on. We've been working to address performance improvements and other pain points and that work is ongoing. With that said, performance is key for me, especially as a DM. Having bug or lag issues and having to relog to be able to play takes away from my and my players experience. Having to reset tokens and adjust lighting issues takes away from the experience. The white screen hurts my eyes and a Roll20 dark mode would be appreciated... I have tried the google browser dark mode and it creates problems with roll20. Anyway, with all the comments on performance, lag, and relogging issues... I would think these would be the priority. I am going to pay wherever that may be. Let's make Roll20 the place. This really summarizes the sentiment I'm getting from a lot of folks here. Y'all have really made it clear that you want Roll20 to be more performant, more accessible, and you want to feel like you're being heard. I feel that last bit centers around more improvements that are visible to you as a user (dark mode, better UDL performance, etc.) - but that's my interpretation. Appreciate whatever refinement folks would like to offer. I'd also like to thank y'all for the healthy conversation and the insights you're giving us around the price increase. I believe there is a lot of actionable feedback I can bring to the team so we are prioritizing with the full picture. Keep it coming!
1620152511
Jesse
Plus
I know you guys have been working hard on basic infrastructure and systems improvement and we appreciate it but that's baseline functionality, not added features or improvement.  It's literally the bare minimum to keep the service functional, so users don't really see that as progress.  If you want users to feel heard you need to tackle some of the long standing, highly voted feature requests in the Suggestions forum.  Stuff the user base has been begging for for years.  Telling us the top user wants are "blocked" or "obstructed" for literally years makes people feel unheard and unappreciated and makes Roll20 look very unresponsive to its customer's needs.  Yeah the new zoom slider works a little better but the old one was very functional. You want to excite folks about improvements then give them the printable character sheets or custom compendiums they've been asking for for 5 years or more.
1620153362

Edited 1620153395
Kraynic
Pro
Sheet Author
Jesse said: I know you guys have been working hard on basic infrastructure and systems improvement and we appreciate it but that's baseline functionality, not added features or improvement.  It's literally the bare minimum to keep the service functional, so users don't really see that as progress.  I'm not even sure that would be true if there was more consistent communication about what the infrastructure changes would enable (beyond stability/reliability).  Even with dynamic lighting, you have to have looked a lot of different places and seen dev comments in several suggestion threads spanning the last year or 2 to know just how many of the dynamic lighting suggestions are obstructed until UDL is stable and LDL is gone.  Without those benefits being clearly defined where people can easily see them, it makes it much easier for people to wonder exactly why we are putting up with the current dynamic lighting confusion.  I'm sure there are plenty of other similar work that will lead to enabling future improvements/features that people want, but there is little way for people to know.  Improve communication on what the foundational work will enable (especially pertaining to suggestion forum threads), and I think there would be more...  maybe not enthusiasm... but at least good will towards the background/infrastructure work being done.
1620154489
Finderski
Pro
Sheet Author
Compendium Curator
Kraynic said: Jesse said: I know you guys have been working hard on basic infrastructure and systems improvement and we appreciate it but that's baseline functionality, not added features or improvement.  It's literally the bare minimum to keep the service functional, so users don't really see that as progress.   I'm not even sure that would be true if there was more consistent communication about what the infrastructure changes would enable (beyond stability/reliability).  Even with dynamic lighting, you have to have looked a lot of different places and seen dev comments in several suggestion threads spanning the last year or 2 to know just how many of the dynamic lighting suggestions are obstructed until UDL is stable and LDL is gone.  Without those benefits being clearly defined where people can easily see them, it makes it much easier for people to wonder exactly why we are putting up with the current dynamic lighting confusion.  I'm sure there are plenty of other similar work that will lead to enabling future improvements/features that people want, but there is little way for people to know.  Improve communication on what the foundational work will enable (especially pertaining to suggestion forum threads), and I think there would be more...  maybe not enthusiasm... but at least good will towards the background/infrastructure work being done. I don't disagree, but there is a caveat...if it takes forever goodwill is lost, then too.  UDL has been in development for how long? Over a year? And it's still where it is...? That tends to reduce ones trust in the agent to actually affect change.  And if this change can't be implemented in a timely manner, how much longer will the other things take? There are things I dearly want and I want them on Roll20, but the length of time it's taking when I can look at other options that have my most desired/important features already...it gets hard to justify. This is still my platform of choice...for now. The other thing I want to mention is the importance of TIMELY follow through.  At the moment, I have very little faith in the comments of "we hear you, change is coming..." because we've been hearing the same for a while and no change has really come about. There was a time when a commitment to the Suggestions forum was made, that there would be regular (at least month) updates on the most suggested items, etc...that didn't take long to stop happening. So much so that I've stopped even looking at the suggestions forum. I've seen places where feedback was requested on those suggestions and then nothing else...that's the part that's disheartening. I don't want to hear, "Change is coming, but I can't promise when..." I'd rather hear, "Change is coming, here's what we are doing and when you can expect this, this, and this." If promises can't be made, then it's empty and meaningless, because there's no accountability.
1620155075
Jesse
Plus
Finderski has just pointed out how it's virtually impossible to generate goodwill just by working to keep your basic service functionality running.  And why "change is coming" falls on mostly deaf ears here.  We've seen that forever  here and yet changes massively supported by the community remain uncompleted even 5 years later. Whatever technical debt Roll20 is drowning in due to prior poor coding or infrastructure decisions needs to be dealt with rapidly if Roll20 wants to maintain customer goodwill at this point, much less actual paying subscribers. Competitors are innovating rapidly.  While I personally think they have seriously flawed business models and will ultimately wind up stagnating, the fact remains that users can see how fast other products are implementing much desired features and they're looking at Roll20 expectantly.
1620161930
Kraynic
Pro
Sheet Author
Jesse said: Finderski has just pointed out how it's virtually impossible to generate goodwill just by working to keep your basic service functionality running.  And why "change is coming" falls on mostly deaf ears here.  We've seen that forever  here and yet changes massively supported by the community remain uncompleted even 5 years later. I think that comes back to setting realistic expectations, which starts with the foundational work.  Just because something is possible doesn't mean it is really doable.  Foundry, Fantasy Grounds, or "insert other vtt name here" are all different pieces of software.  Both Foundry and FG are built to primarily run as a stand alone program, which makes them (in some ways) an apples to oranges comparison on the coding side, and people don't think about that mostly, or at least I don't think the normal user does when making suggestions.  There are things I see suggested on the forum that are really popular that, just as a sheet author, I hope never get implemented.  Whatever technical debt Roll20 is drowning in due to prior poor coding or infrastructure decisions needs to be dealt with rapidly Personally, I see that as an unrealistic expectation.  You can talk all you want about how fast other platforms are innovating.  The Forge (according to chat I saw on their Discord during some recent service interruptions) is running on a scaling number of servers with the top being 10.  I expect they can get away with things on that scale that Roll20 can't when operating 100-300 according to the last Community Round Table. While it may not translate to the software side of things well, I have been involved in a lot of construction, and maintenance of physical buildings, electrical systems, and appliances.  In my experience fast work is something you end up paying for in the future when the corners that were cut to make the original job fast start coming to light. On the other hand, maybe I am just more patient about it because I really haven't had any problems with Roll20.  In the nearly 5 years I have been here, I have had to cancel a game once due to a Roll20 issue.  I am currently using UDL, and have experienced no issues making the lighting do what I want on the player side (though the GM view isn't always reliable). 
1620162854
A lot of huge QoL suggestions get posted and yet they stay in a limbo for years despite overwhelming support from the community. Delete posts, Audio fade out at current position, concealed GM rolls (to simulate rolling a dice behind a DM/GM screen IRL) and many, many more. This makes me feel like the Pro perks are misleading because we're suggesting such huge, simple and much needed improvements to the game and  yet nothing happens. One of my most wanted suggestion has been in that limbo for five years. Five years is a long time.
1620163261

Edited 1620249980
I agree with a lot of the sentiment here.  I like the service.  I stick around because it's hosted and easy for my players to set up and connect to and because of the easy integration with marketplace assets, modules, compendium stuff.  If raising the price $1 is what you need to keep it running and possibly pay some better programmers and QA people, so be it. That being said, if dndbeyond offered a VTT with even half the features of Roll20, I'd jump ship in a moment.  Because they've shown that they care about customer data.  Their character sheet backend revamp took forever, but that's because they were terrified of accidentally breaking anyone's sheets and needed to make sure that every little step was handled in a way that was invisible to their users. And that's something that Roll20 just doesn't seem especially worried about.  There are tons of situations here were something breaks and the response is essentially "well, make a new token, or map, or game and copy stuff over - these things happen".  I have no expectation that I should ever trust the areas revealed in explore mode to stay the same between sessions.  It generally will, but there's no sense that Roll20 would see it being reset as any sort of major issue to avoid or warn people about.  They barely acknowledged overwriting a bunch of maps and tokens when doing UDL updates for modules. Every time something is patched, the expectation is that GMs will go through and update their games to account for it.  Some of that is necessary to retire technical debt.  There's no way to switch from LDL to UDL without breaking things.  There was no way to change over the character sheet backend without sheet authors having to update their sheets.  But all those things could be handled better.  Enabling Dynamic Lighting support for circles and curved lines broke maps where people where using them for windows and broke the API script that simulates the Darkness spell.  Sure, we want these changes, but they were just pushed out one day without much warning or consideration given to how they might affect things that people were doing.  I expect if the Sharpen effect for night vision is removed, it'll be handled the same way.  Some day it'll just be gone and people will find out halfway through a game when they switch maps to one they've prepared previously.  If we're lucky, tokens that were using it will be forced to none.  If the past is any indication, tokens that were using it will just be broken. So, when we're asking for a stable platform, we're not just asking for one that isn't buggy (though seriously - your forums are like 60% janky workarounds to known bugs or shortcomings.  I'm suspicious that the tutorial is intentionally broken just to get new GMs in the right mindset right off the bat).  We're asking for one that doesn't require us to constantly rebuild all our stuff. Edit:  Example
1620166586
JR
Roll20 Team
Thanks again for your feedback, and—while I know the wait can be frustrating—I can assure you that we are regularly looking at the suggestions forum and our Help Center requests as we prioritize development. I know you’ve heard that in the past, and, honestly: it’s because it’s true. Sending feedback through those channels helps us collate and quantify it.  We truly believe we’ve added value to the subscriptions since 2012, and we want to continue improving your games. Our platform has grown immensely in the last year, and we have a higher duty than ever before to ensure that people can stay connected. We’ve also made a lot of internal changes to our development lifecycle that we hope will increase the cadence of improvements and features in the coming quarters. We have the Community Roundtable coming up next week, and you can always view our weekly changelog to see what we’ve recently released. That said, this thread is intended to be a place to ask questions about the price increase, and we really want to make sure that there is room for folks who have specific questions about their subscriptions.
1620173301
Rurk
Pro
I dread the day that roll20 goes to exclusive Updated Dynamic Lighting.   It's a total dumpster fire.  Obviously it has been commented on over and over again.  The price increase is fine if it means actually fixing that hot mess.  I'm paid up for like 2 years and have a ton of source books and other various materials purchased, but I will be leaving for another platform instantly, if they push that without correcting it. Me and 20 of my gamming buddies.  That may seem like small potatoes, but i guarantee it will be an exodus of users.       
1620196498

Edited 1620264839
Do better, Roll20. Then you get a raise. I understand the one year Pro is still the most cost effective subscription but you shouldn’t mess with $99.99 per year if you want to keep your Pros. You should raise every other category but keep one year Pro @ $99.99 as incentive to stay on Roll20 instead of going to a better VTT. If the price change goes through, I’m stepping down to Plus. The slow speed at which things develop on Roll20 isn’t worth more than $99.99 per year. H onestly, development is too slow. This website started in 2012 and is getting antiquated fast by newer VTTs. A price hike is just going to give me another reason to leave. Due to lack of development news, the Roll20 community seems to be in a state of decay now. Initially, Nolan himself hosted a weekly stream to show us how development was happening. Now, we’re lucky to get a monthly community Roundtable or a tri-weekly update on the forum (which used to be weekly). It seems like Roll20 can’t even keep a steady community manager. Your employees aren’t even staying on with Roll20. So why should us Pros? You want $10.00 more per year from me? Beef up your amount of servers so my group can game on Saturday. Get Nolan Jones back on Twitch once a week so we can hear the reports from the horse’s mouth. I want to see daily development updates on the forums about what code has been pushed. Each day. I want to see community Roundtable after hours or on the weekend, rather than during work hours so I can actually watch it live. And I want to see community Roundtable five or six times a month. Not once. Five or six. Get me interested in Roll20 again. Do better. Then we’ll talk about $109.99 per year. Edit: After hours means after people usually get home from work. Have community Roundtable start after 6pm Pacific time so at least the whole lower 48 states can watch it. Or broadcast it on the weekend. Please!
1620199280

Edited 1620228408
Here's where I am, and I can't speak for anyone else, but I imagine a non-zero number of folks are in a similar boat. I am part of that huge growth over the last year. I've been aware of and following Roll20 for a while, but in the time before COVID we always played in person. My group is getting vaccinated. We'll be able to play again in person before too long. The grace period is generous, the optics are bad. I've logged over 1000 hours in a little over a year. I've experimented with custom character sheets, I've played and ran many games. The value proposition for me, the other GMs I play with or any players to maintain a subscription once we are able to get together again simply doesn't exist today. Under the hood improvements to deliver your core product aren't upgrades for users, removing technical debt doesn't improve the value proposition to me as a Pro account holder in a meaningful way today, and even less when I can play in person again. Your development is both too slow AND too buggy. The half-baked mobile app could provide some value eventually for play at the table, but it's so, so lacking in it's current supposed beta state. Simply managing a campaign using Roll20 to play at a table doesn't beat books in hand, and it should . Maps, charactermancer, integrated compendiums are great, but they are hamstrung in critical areas (homebrewed content, etc). Context switching between digital and paper is a distraction, so for Roll20 to appeal to the in-person audience, it has to be clearly better than just playing with books. It's not.
I would like to be able to actually open my game on a tablet or phone and not have it in continuous loading. I would like more general support for games and less focus on 5E only.  Character sheets, sheetworkers, custom roll tables should be easier or have better templates for creating your own. I shouldn't have to be a computer wizard to get the most out of my $100. The API should crash far less often and auto restart.  Some members if the forum should be employees  The Aaron, Finderski,Keith, Andreas, etc (sorry  I butchered your name ir left you out) are the ones who have made roll20 pro worth its price for me.
1620218433

Edited 1620219460
The top priority for any business ought to be delivering competitive value to it's customers. Value is (Quality of Product)/Price. For the free users obviously there is plenty of value, for paying customers like me the quality seems to be diminishing overtime comparatively speaking thus the value as a result as well. Roll20 being the #1 VTT should have a ton of revenue coming in, where is the money being spent? How is the money being allocated? These are rhetorical questions I don't expect such information to be shared publicly. It just seems to me the priorities in the last 3 years have shifted away from delivering value. Edit: I know a business's top priority is actually turning a profit but one should expect for a business to maximize it's profitability over time, one usually accomplishes this by remaining as a market competitor by continuing to deliver competitive value.  
1620226373
I have no issues with the price hike, but I would hope that some of these increased costs will go to improving the infrastructure so that we don't have as many lags and downtimes.  Those are frustrating.    
1620232585
Drespar
Roll20 Team
Since this is a fairly long post, I wanted to post this portion up here as well: This thread is intended to allow a place to ask questions about the price increase. We want to make sure there is room for folks to ask questions about their subscriptions. Hey Gargamond, We have the Community Roundtable coming up next week which will be at 4PM PST / 7PM EST on May 13th. Roll20 is fully remote so we must be cognizant of time zones, we try our best to make it as accessible time wise as we can for our team and the community! If you have a preference for the time, we’d be happy to hear it, so we can keep it in mind for future roundtables. Going forward, we will definitely be still hosting our monthly roundtables and we are looking at some other options as well to better show off what work is being done ( Here is an example of efforts we are employing for the new mobile app ). We make sure to get a good mix of folks around the company who are subject matter experts to discuss goals, releases, and answer questions. Gargamond said: [snip] You want $10.00 more per year from me? Beef up your amount of servers so my group can game on Saturday. Get Nolan Jones back on Twitch once a week so we can hear the reports from the horse’s mouth. I want to see daily development updates on the forums about what code has been pushed. Each day. I want to see community Roundtable after hours or on the weekend, rather than during work hours so I can actually watch it live. And I want to see community Roundtable five or six times a month. Not once. Five or six. Get me interested in Roll20 again. Do better. Then we’ll talk about $109.99 per year. Hey Matt, Really appreciate the feedback here and I can see where you are coming from. Back end and infrastructure changes are not necessarily the most exciting. The swap of the character sheet service is a good example. We experienced some issues ( discussed in the blog post by our CTO ) but it allowed for us to really open up the doors to creative avenues for character sheets and authors. We have also been making efforts to up that value proposition in new ways for our Pro subscribers, We started up the Roll20 Reserve (claim it here if you have not already) back in October of last year as part of those efforts. Our goal going forward is to continue providing value and improving upon that well into the future. Matt Beck said: [snip] The value proposition for me, the other GMs I play with or any players to maintain a subscription once we are able to get together again simply doesn't exist today. Under the hood improvements to deliver your core product aren't upgrades for users, removing technical debt doesn't improve the value proposition to me as a Pro account holder in a meaningful way today, and even less when I can play in person again. Your development is both too slow AND too buggy. The half-baked mobile app could provide some value eventually for play at the table, but it's so, so lacking in it's current supposed beta state. [snip] Hi Peacekeeper B, I believe some of your bullet points can be answered a bit in the responses above, but I’d also like to touch on the general support for games. We have been expanding our repertoire of offered games pretty significantly over the past year-- Being system agnostic is something Roll20 cares about deeply. Since March 2020 we have added content for games like Starfinder, Fate, Call of Cthulhu 7E, Fiasco, and more. We have signed on 12 new licenses since January 2021 alone and you will be seeing those coming to our marketplace and from the creators in due time. Peacekeeper B said: I would like to be able to actually open my game on a tablet or phone and not have it in continuous loading. I would like more general support for games and less focus on 5E only.  Character sheets, sheetworkers, custom roll tables should be easier or have better templates for creating your own. I shouldn't have to be a computer wizard to get the most out of my $100. The API should crash far less often and auto restart.  Some members if the forum should be employees  The Aaron, Finderski,Keith, Andreas, etc (sorry  I butchered your name ir left you out) are the ones who have made roll20 pro worth its price for me. Hi Surok, These are all great questions, and you are right, I would not be able to answer those here. We are absolutely committed to delivering value to our customers, but we need to improve in some key aspects as many have noted to make sure we are hitting in the right areas, the right way, and being transparent about it. I mentioned some aspects of that above, but we genuinely want to make sure that Roll20 is a place you are excited to play your games! Surok said: The top priority for any business ought to be delivering competitive value to it's customers. Value is (Quality of Product)/Price. For the free users obviously there is plenty of value, for paying customers like me the quality seems to be diminishing overtime comparatively speaking thus the value as a result as well. Roll20 being the #1 VTT should have a ton of revenue coming in, where is the money being spent? How is the money being allocated? These are rhetorical questions I don't expect such information to be shared publicly. It just seems to me the priorities in the last 3 years have shifted away from delivering value. Edit: I know a business's top priority is actually turning a profit but one should expect for a business to maximize it's profitability over time, one usually accomplishes this by remaining as a market competitor by continuing to deliver competitive value.   Lastly, to reiterate, this thread is intended to allow a place to ask questions about the price increase. We want to make sure that there is room for folks to ask questions about their subscriptions.
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Drespar said: Since 2012 we have added a lot of features and value.  I have been a paid subscriber for some time now, and still the audio and voice chat feature is broken. That was supposed to have been fixed in 2018. When Legacy Dynamic Lighting came out it worked fine, until you came out with Updated Dynamic Light. When that rolled out you didn't kill Legacy but have left it running in the background which IMHO breaks UDL. As for the mobile app. sure it works great with some tablets but not all phones. so while that is new it is still broken.  Also a competitor of yours was able to secure a license to allow users to produce content and run games using the AD&D 2e rules. You have alot of players on here that use that ruleset yet the only support for it is from the community. You seriously dropped the ball on that one.  So as a suggestion, before rolling out any new platform features, why not FIX the ones that are broken. That will make alot of users, including myself very happy
I feel Roll20 gets alot of flack for what they don't do and not enough credit for what they do.  It's easy to complain about what we don't got. I do it myself. But it's important to give praise where it's due. The system is easy to use and pick up. And has alot going for it tbh.  I know that there's alot of pots in the fire for Roll20 and it's hard to get to EVERYTHING at once.  I think maybe some more insight to what they're working on and what their priories are going forward would help us as a community understand better. 
Roll20 seems to have rested on its laurels for far too long... Up and comer VTT's are taking the genre by storm.  I've kept my free tier 'subscription' here, but its only because one of my DM's is going to host the game here until campaign ends.  I've already switched my campaign to another VTT, that just WORKS. I'd suggest, like others, that you limit the free tiers and don't pass the buck on to your regular users.   I'm in a ROLL20 game right this second and its having trouble keeping up without freezing.
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Analyzer
Roll20 Team
Mark W. said: Drespar said: Since 2012 we have added a lot of features and value.  I have been a paid subscriber for some time now, and still the audio and voice chat feature is broken. That was supposed to have been fixed in 2018. When Legacy Dynamic Lighting came out it worked fine, until you came out with Updated Dynamic Light. When that rolled out you didn't kill Legacy but have left it running in the background which IMHO breaks UDL. As for the mobile app. sure it works great with some tablets but not all phones. so while that is new it is still broken.  Also a competitor of yours was able to secure a license to allow users to produce content and run games using the AD&D 2e rules. You have alot of players on here that use that ruleset yet the only support for it is from the community. You seriously dropped the ball on that one.  So as a suggestion, before rolling out any new platform features, why not FIX the ones that are broken. That will make alot of users, including myself very happy Hello Mark, The price increase isn’t just reserved to new features within the platform. It is an ongoing effort to continue with improvements and fixes to our current features like UDL, audio/video chats, the mobile service (as stated previously, the older version of mobile app was removed due to unsatisfactory standards) and more. Our team will continue to focus on enhancing the quality of the existing features as well as the site, both on the front end and back end of platform.
GM Joe said: Been using Roll20 for years now, have invested alot of money into modules and now I'm seeing what other places are doing and adding to their platforms. Right now I'm holding off on purchasing anything more until I see Roll20 start improving their features. If another year goes by and we still havent had any meaningful features then I think its going to be time to bite the bullet and move on...  I'm in the exact same boat. I'm looking at the animated maps and sounds build in and new things being added and questioning staying my self
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Havoc
Sheet Author
API Scripter
I'm out. If the platform has money for its political actions but not to fix its own stuff, then I don't see a reason to support it. I rather pay money for a product I know the developers want to work on it and invest all their profits into making it better. One dollar isn't much but it's a part of the bigger problem Roll20 has (no new features, very slow feature release, broken features, non-platform priorities, Reddit controversy, etc.). I'm on this site since 2012 (with nearly 8k hours) and saw a lot of development at the start, so I bought a sub, created/API sheets for my players/campaigns, and even some were uploaded to the public repo. The last three years showed that I just can't support such inaction when other platforms are doing their best to create new features. As soon as my players copy their stuff, I'm leaving PRO. 
I think a price increase is fair after such a long time period.  However, I have been really disappointed with roll20's performance. I have a fairly high-end gaming PC yet I constantly experience slowness/crashing/etc due to roll20's servers. API randomly stops, dice take forever to roll at times.  Meanwhile the same $ per month spent on a VPS yields significantly more stable of an environment to run games on. I realize there are other considerations there, but if I were just a passerby my initial impression would be that I'm not getting my $ worth. And having the know-how to run my own VPS I definitely feel that way I've moved all my games from r20. And after the past weekend of issues as a player, I likely avoid r20 as much as possible going forward.  Price increase is fine. I'm 100% with that. But the service needs to step up so users are actually getting what they're paying for. 
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There are no complaints about the price increase itself. There's plenty of grace period. But I want to take this opportunity to tell you. I'm actually a GM who doesn't use the map function very well. Sometimes I just put a matching background image. Of course, the rule of going on an adventure as a group is likely to be useful for cool map decoration and lighting features. But I enjoy TPRG more lightly. Rather than using all the fancy features, I rely on RP and BGM a lot. And you have to understand that there are plenty of these light users too. For example, the music site that was linked when I first joined Roll20 was really useful. The sound of the door opening, the sound of a bird chirping, the sound of a man yelling... I was able to play it in 3 seconds by simply searching by keyword. Until the members got together, I often played with exciting pop songs. It's GM's pleasure. But you haven't given me any substitutes since then. Therefore, I spend a lot more time researching and then use external links such as Youtube, Jukebox, etc. Incompetch is definitely cool. But as you will understand, it's not perfect. Even Incompetch playback is slow. Sometimes some of the members tell me that they can't hear the music at all. I'm in trouble. Please stick to the basics. In addition, when paying users enter the room, they should be able to quickly enter the room even if there is no advertisement, but it is too slow now. It seems to be slower compared to when I first signed up. I often talk with my friends that this server is heavy. In particular, many other people are talking about the inconvenience of mobile apps. If I want to use the listening dice, the other dice underneath it are rolling. It's hard to touch. I want a definite improvement. Honestly, I am not feeling very satisfied as a plus user anymore except for the two functions of increasing storage capacity and character storage. Still, I am very fond of this site. 9/10 players around me use this site. If you raise the price, it will surely stay here. So, while raising the price, I hope you promise to improve the service. I wish you a good day. Thank you all the time.
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Arlin P.
Roll20 Team
We appreciate the discussion here as we continue to build towards a brighter future for Roll20 and prioritize developments that optimize your games in a way that serves you. With that, this space is intended for folks to ask questions about how the Price Increase affects their subscription. Thank you again everyone for your passion and the support you’ve offered us over the years.
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I have a question about my subscription. Perhaps this has been answered upstream and I've missed it - but how does locked in subscription pricing work? My subscription just auto-renewed for one year... when renewal time returns in 2022, is the current price now locked in for me, or do I need to prepay for 2022's renewal before the price increase? My 2 cents on the price increase. I don't think it's unreasonable. I am thankful for Roll20 - it's been a life line during the pandemic. It's allowed me to resuscitate two campaigns that had been shelved, and I've dived deep into Pathfinder Society. The Roll20 learning curve has been pretty easy for someone like me, who is not technically literate, although a lot of the power of Roll20 still feels out of reach to me as I find the macros intimidating. Having said all that, you would be making a better case for the price increase if you were saying what you're investing in to give you a better game vs. look at all this stuff we've done (which may not be impressive to all of us). It would be great if you invested in having a more active presence in the forums for example, addressing customer concerns. I certainly feel that there are many customer concerns that are being voiced here and not being addressed. As a Pathfinder 1e and 2e player, I would also love to see an investment in supporting games other than D&D. The lack of 2e adventure content, a workable Charactermancer, or the ability to export character sheets is definitely creating an exodus of Pathfinder players to other platforms. If there was greater support for 2e (or 1e) I'd be purchasing more in-game content (Bestiaries, rulebooks etc.) - but without the support I'm concerned about making the investment.    For now the majority of online Pathfinder Society play remains on Roll20... as long as that remains the case I'll be a subscriber. But without support for the system, it's possible that PFS could shift to other platforms.
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First of all: I do consider myself a fan of Roll20. I love the system, I love the UI. IF it works. But it doesn't. And your technical support is - currently - about the worst I have EVER seen in ANY tech company. And this is not being overdramatic, it's the facts. I've submitted a CRITICAL bug months ago, and all I ever received was the question whether that is still a current topic. I confirmed, and never heard of it again. Right now, the Roll20 platform is so bugged and problematic I can't use half of the features without risking of messing up my games (which already happened). Sorry, but in this situation, you can't be serious about setting higher prices.
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I would limit the "free" accounts access during peak times and introduce a "Player" membership at around $5 per year. If you really have as many subscribers as appear, this should fund a rapid uptick in development. So, if you want to play in a game on Thursday afternoon, it is free. If you want to log in to a hot Friday Saturday or Sunday Night game, it will cost you $5 a year. If something on the internet is totally free, the product is you. I don't think Roll 20 is selling data, and I doubt they are raking in big bucks with ads. This would still protect the "sock puppet" accounts most GMs have for testing purposes. It is possible that some accounts would be lost by this policy, but stability of the platform might well be improved.
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roll20 dynamic lighting changed my life, and the lives of just about everyone I talk to. I think your use of "most" is suspect here. M said: Price increases happen, not a big deal its what a dollar more?. But other than improving the dynamic lighting system which you guys never shut up about and most of us don't really feel improved our games much. When are we supposed to be getting any kind of other actual improvements?  Various user interface elements are as old as the platform, they look trite and glaringly ugly when compared to other platforms that are actively being developed. Managing music files and assets is a pain in the ass and needs to be smoother.  Custom character sheets are inaccessible to those without a coding degree despite probably being relatively simple enough to program a basic plug and play solution with simple tables and fill in the blank areas for custom attributes and values and calculatable fields. Try building tools for new and old players a like so they can customize their sheets for their custom games. Same thing with Macros, how hard is it to create a sort of tool or asset to help newer players or even existing ones program their custom actions and abilities easier? How about a customizable Compendium? What the hell happened to mobile support? You've mentioned it before then it disappeared that was several years ago. Then the same thing happened last year? Then again this year? That's like a singular feature that could make you stand out against your competitors. But you're losing ground year by year as foundry, Fantasy grounds, and others are starting to realize how hard your neglecting your platform.  I've been here since 2012, I'm pretty sure I've only stopped my subscription for a short time I had money issues. 10,000 hours and I've even bought a bunch of books and other assets. But I feel like I'm getting less and less for my money and now; you want to increase your subscription price.   I'm starting to look towards other horizons I feel like all you guys have talked about for the last  two years  is the updated dynamic lighting system, as if we're supposed to be so impressed by the performance gains and technical ability. That's awesome, but it hasn't changed my games at all if more than by a few negligible degrees.  All I have to say is: do something, please. 
I'm not terribly much a fan of Roll20 introducing higher sub prices with the fact they've been failing to deliver on the promises and features they've attempted to tout. Even more so, there's been high amounts of neglect to future proof the platform and address the most major of suggestions that have been there for seven years. As for the features that Roll20 is insisting have added value, we still don't actually get the functionality for that was promised. UDL for example has been in development for about a year and some change yet they have not been able to efficiently smooth out the bugs especially the major ones that have caused major disruptions (pages unusable, darkness won't reveal, performance issues, forcing users to switch at an arbitrary date then putting it up in the air again). A music system for managing music uploaded was introduced as well, however myself and every other player and gm have had so many issues with the songs falsely playing. Having to reload the entire game and toggling it on and off isn't exactly a perfectly functional system, it's as if you went into your car to turn it on, the speedometer rev'd up but you went nowhere despite what it tells you. A system for genuinely duplicating pages was introduced. However the Z-Ordering of the layers is still completely messed up and there's been no attempt to address it in it's own thread. It's been over 2 weeks. Several fairly basic but important features are missing as well: deleting lines from chat logs, players being allowed to set both portrait and normal tokens, a proper darkmode in the site itself, additional layers for the map such as weather, transmogrifier copying macros/folders, folders for every resource management, and an actually more functional card deck system for tabletops that use them. The unfortunate fact is there's not been much to show that the price increase is something that is deserved for the features output. Moreso it's hard to trust Roll20 exactly building forward as on a customer facing end we have: no schedule or dev calendar for what is being addressed in a publicly available setting, other customers telling Roll20 directly a feature doesn't work for months but only being smacked back with a show us in game which makes the customer feel more of a QA tester than a customer, several people attempting to improve Roll20's interface via external means and being shutdown rather than attempting to work with such to bring more people on board (see for example the Sonic hack developers that got hired and produced games that were favorable and produced a customer friendly environment), instability of the platform due to the influx of new users which causes more and more doubt as it happens on the heaviest days.  al e. said: I would limit the "free" accounts access during peak times... Pay-per-view for players would be a disaster waiting to happen, there's a huge reason why sites don't go down this route. In short it makes word of mouth spreading for the platform horrible and leads us down the road of there being no reason to be a free account. Please do not prioritize paid players just so we can have stable games.
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Elizabeth W.
Roll20 Team
Jim R. said: I have a question about my subscription. Perhaps this has been answered upstream and I've missed it - but how does locked in subscription pricing work? My subscription just auto-renewed for one year... when renewal time returns in 2022, is the current price now locked in for me, or do I need to prepay for 2022's renewal before the price increase? Hey Jim, anyone who is subscribed (at any level, for any length of time) at 12:01 am Pacific on July 1 will automatically join the courtesy period pricing. No steps are necessary to be included in the courtesy period cohort, and it will automatically persist through changes (short of subscription cancellation via subscriber payment issue like card expiration, insufficient funds, new card number, etc., which users should check/update prior to any renewals) until July 1, 2023.
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Thank you! That is very easy to manage. Elizabeth W. said: Hey Jim, anyone who is subscribed (at any level, for any length of time) at 12:01 am Pacific on July 1 will automatically join the courtesy period pricing. No steps are necessary to be included in the courtesy period cohort, and it will automatically persist through changes (short of subscription cancellation via subscriber payment issue like card expiration, insufficient funds, new card number, etc., which users should check/update prior to any renewals) until July 1, 2023.
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mAc
Pro
I've always been a big fan of roll20, and the price change doesn't really affect me so I'm fine with it. But it's true just on the sheer weight of features that competitors offer, outside of sunk costs there's less reasons to stick around. That said, I think people complain a lot for what 90% of the user base is using as a completely free service.
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I'm new to Roll20 but not to RPG's.  I played for about 20 years from 1980 until "life" got in the way. I've recently emerged from the deep freeze and have been delighted to discover that RPG's are having a resurgence and that technology is helping me play with my mates. I'm playing in a Roll20 Traveller campaign across 9 time zones and starting an RQG campaign of my own soon. I'm indifferent to the price increase, I want to play RPG's and Roll20 seems to have the critical mass behind it. There's more that I waste my money on (like UberEats delivery fees) than the few bucks more that Roll20 wants. Roll20 does strike me though as being somewhere close to if not already past its peak unless it pivots on the UX/UI.  I was delighted to discover Roll20 but, honestly, it's like interacting with a program whose last release was 5-10 years ago. It reminds me of TeamTalk compared to Discord. It's so.... old... Integration of sound files is limited and clunky and seems blithely or deliberately ignorant of really slick services like Syrinscape. You can't upload or download PDF's and files - everything has to be ported into Roll20's handout template which just creates user friction. Compare that with MS Teams where you can just drag and drop files (upload, download, move), create a Wiki etc. Part of any business strategy is knowing what you're going to do yourself and for what you will partner with others. User engagement is created by solving user problems, not generating friction to protect... what? Granted I'm new to Roll20 but it does seem to me that it is strategically at risk. If Discord decided to take the opportunity to deepen engagement with the subset of its user base for a subscription of VTT capability, or there was some other useful virtual workpsace app that users can plug other microservices into or alongside then I'd guess Roll20 would be at risk over time as annual subscriptions run off. There are plenty of firms out there for which the development cost of a VTT would be a rounding error. Roll20 might have the critical mass of users for now but keeping them would be a challenge if there are slick and frictionless alternatives. I'm a fan but I'd rather use Roll20 because of its functionality, not despite it.