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Ease of use

When ever I had something that struck me as odd I found other people had already brought it up before. I wanted to join the discussion but because I'm 2 months late I'd have to open up my own thread, and because I'm not already a well established member I'd feel weird opening a bunch of threads about things that were already discussed before... Maybe this closing of old threads explains why there's 3 pages of search results related to paypal or alternative methods of payment, and quite a few about character sheets. I find the many 1 page short threads on the same topic really confusing and inappropriate. I assume no one expects me to open and read them all but I feel like I ought to try my best to find an answer before I ask. So I tried, and I found repeatedly that there's no plans of making a different payment method available. I saw a few reasons, but surely I didn't dig deep enough cause I can't wrap my head around that. One of the threads was literally named "shut up and take my money". Worried about having difficulty predicting how much money will be coming when? Alright, might be worth thinking about, but you're losing money over it. Many people (including some of the prior posters and myself) will never subscribe to anything. It might be nice and cozy predictable income for you, but it's severe stress for people who aren't sure if they cancelled when they needed to and boom they're stuck for another year. To some subscriptions have incredibly negative connotations and associations... I'm really poor and I'm neither an online GM nor an online player. But I enjoy fiddling around with roll20. Except lots of things are unnecessarily inconvenient. An easy script could ... oh right. You can do that but you have to be paying member. I struggled with that for a long time, how I really don't need the membership for anything, and I don't have an extra 100 $ to spend this year on this. But I decided I do have 10. I was pissed about the subscription business model but I decided I'd pay for a month and then cancel right away. Right after paying. If I change my mind later I can just buy another membership later. And then it's asking my credit card info. - Do you know what you get charged if you forget to pay that back on time? Relatively ridiculous amounts of money. On 10 $ twenty percent is absolutely small, but it's still relatively huge. Using my credit card is stressful. Manually updating character sheets that who knows if anyone is ever going to use is stressful too... but... either source of stress feels really unnecessary. I remember reading in one of those posts about character sheets that roll20 isn't a video game (as though it would follow that therefor automatizing tedious things isn't a priority). It's not a video game. But it could be better than one. - The reason DM's better than video games is not because they're good at doing math and telling you how hard you hit the goblin but because they react meaningfully to your choices - even if, or especially if, they weren't expecting you to make that kind of choice at all. A video game can't react to "I drop my weapons and give him a hug". Freedom is why RPG is great. And automatizing as much of the crunch as possible frees up the GM to do meaningful things. It was really weird for me reading about people having to redo their macros. It's strange for me that I can't seem to find a way to copy macros I just created for one character to another character. What format would you use for exporting characters? It's basically just text that has to go in specific places, right? Couldn't a well structured exel or "open office calc" document deal with that? Taking the same character from one place to another would then be easy... but I guess you couldn't sell that as a mentor only function... oddly the dynamic lighting does feel deluxe to me, like it's something special you made for us and thus can sell to us, while not having access to attempting my luck on those codes that could keep me from wasting lots of time feels just wrong :-S The page says I've been "playing" for 25 hours... it's actually 0. Can't believe how just prepping can eat time if you'll let it. Anyways, some people are never going to buy subscriptions. - Those people you could reach by other means if you had more channels open. I'm pretty sure if you set up a way where people can donate to you (any amount they want) every now and then people will do that (independently and thus on top of your normal subscription stuff). Maybe it could be like kickstarter donations, where you can give what ever you want, but if you give a certain amount it'll have positive side effects. Perhaps if they donate 10 bucks or more they get mentor rights until 1 month from when the payment went in. English is my second language and I'm really really tired, cause I didn't sleep last night (working on some stupid map for no particular reason) but tried being respectful. Hope that came through. I love the work you do. It just makes it so much more frustrating when I feel like there might be an easy fix that would make it better - even if perhaps I'm just too blind to see why that particular fix might not work. I do appreciate what you're doing. Thanks for everything, Julian
I've looked into other systems a little bit (as Roll20 is my first one) and so I didn't really learn to fully appreciate the simplicity of Roll20. And there seem to be other systems in place already for popular ones like pathfinder and D&D, while Roll20 is extremely flexible and could run just about any game. I get now that the focus is on the story telling, and that's good. I'm not sure exactly how I can help the project and the community, as I'm not rich nor a programmer. But I'd like to start with paying 10 $ via Paypal, eTransfer, or some other method besides credit card.
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Gauss
Forum Champion
Have you considered a pre-paid card that can act like a credit card?
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Brian
Sheet Author
API Scripter
Julian S. said: And then it's asking my credit card info. - Do you know what you get charged if you forget to pay that back on time? Relatively ridiculous amounts of money. On 10 $ twenty percent is absolutely small, but it's still relatively huge. Using my credit card is stressful. Manually updating character sheets that who knows if anyone is ever going to use is stressful too... but... either source of stress feels really unnecessary. Your post is very well-written, and if you hadn't mentioned English being your second language, I wouldn't have known. However, I would like to comment on the above. I do not own a credit card. I pay for my Roll20 subscription with a debit card. While I'm thankfully not in a position to need to worry about the difference of $100/yr, I like using my debit card for exactly the reason you say your credit card is stressful: the entire business model upon which credit cards are based is designed to pull as much money out of you as possible, and it's usually better at taking more of your money if you have less. My debit card, on the other hand, draws straight from my checking account. There's no overdraw, no paying fees on-time vs. extra charges, nothing. It's convenient and pretty darn stress-free. I don't know about your bank or what's common in your country, but if you don't have access to a debit card backed by a credit card company, a pre-paid card as Gauss suggests is certainly an option. Google now has the Google Wallet card, as well. My roommate has one, and the only problem he has with it is that he gets notifications about purchases ~1 day after he makes it, which sometimes makes him a little worried that someone's stolen his card, until he realizes he made the purchase on the prior day. Your Google Wallet account should be able to be linked with a checking account, too, which would make the GW card basically a debit card like mine. (Or alternatively if you're worried about recurring subscriptions, you can simply not link Wallet to your bank, and only put as much money in your Wallet as you want to have available, effectively making it a rechargable prepaid card.)
Thanks you two for taking the time to answer. I'll consider it.
i'm a bit late to this post, but anyway... i'm canadian; our debit cards are Point-of-Sale only. i really love the thing americans have, that their debit cards are backed by the credit card companies, allowing them to pay online almost anywhere that asks for a credit card. very handy! and very unavailable here. so i can't use this option. i don't own a credit card. i have a poor credit history, and it's laughable to even apply for a credit card. waste of my time and the credit company's. so i can't use this option. a pre-paid credit card for $25 has a $4 activation fee. $5 activation for a $50 card, which is more reasonable, $6 at a $75 card, etc. i buy about one per year, and use it slowly for tiny little transactions. -little- transactions, like buying apps for 2.50, or in-app purchases of a dollar. so i -won't- use this option. i have paypal. i love paypal. it comes out of my bank, it works online, i've got a decent enough reputation with them that i can use instant transfers. this is perfect for me. and -you- won't let me use this option. welp, alrighty then. on a side note, restricting mobile use to subscribers seems like the opposite of the way to go here. it's not unreasonable to assume that, at any given stage of the site's development, a fixed % of users will become subscribers. pulling a random number out of my hat, let's just say it's 5%. is it not now -more- effective to make sure that the most people possible can access the site? whether it be by desktop, or mobile, or by cyberlinked ethernet chip implanted in their skull, or whatever method they want to use... 5% of more people will always be greater than 5% of less people. now by all means... if there is some reason you -cannot- do these things (paypal, open mobile access), please let us know. paypal won't deal with companies until they reach a certain age? or a certain cashflow value, or some other target? backers were promised exclusive mobile access for the first XX months? whatever. just let people know, and we can find some way to work around it with you.
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Paypal is notoriously difficult to deal with when it comes to recurring subscriptions.
HoneyBadger said: Paypal is notoriously difficult to deal with when it comes to recurring subscriptions. Yes this is true, however nothing say's they can't maintain the subscription on their end, much like how PSN or XboxLive do it. You buy time, it get's added to your account on top of what is already there. And also this itself is relatively easy to automate so they won't need someone to manually add 30 days to an account when they were currently at 4 days left, making it 34 days.
what dave said. nothing says it needs to be an automatically recurring subscription. roll20 can just have an automated email notice "you have only 1 month left on your [type] subscription. we hope you'll continue to support the site by purchasing another subscription. [link] [details] [legalese] [etc]" have it sent out at say.. 35 days remaining, so that it doesn't happen instantly on buying a 1 month sub. maybe a 2nd reminder at around 10 days? or maybe at 5 days, if the customer is buying in monthly increments
I'm so with Dave and Scott here! That it's difficult for recurring subscriptions is one of the reasons I like it! It means if I don't really want to continue to pay money, then it automatically stops. No hassle, and not the "No hassle" in quotes that companies claim it will be to unsubscribe. DOING ANYTHING IS A HASSLE compared to not having to do it. Which means for people that are committed recurring subscription is less hassle while for people like me the opposite is true. Why can't I buy 30 days worth of access for one paypal payment, and then when I feel like it buy another 30 days. If I do that only 2 days later I'd have a total of 58 left. I just did that math in my head in less than 2 seconds... but I'm human. A script could surely do that kind of math - see incoming paypal message, look for account name, add value (in days) to the account. :-S My credit isn't ruined (yet) because I don't deal with that stuff now. I know I don't have the discipline for it (yet) so I'll get into that when I feel properly adult. Being Canadian the debit thing doesn't work. I didn't know how expensive the prepaid cards are, but now I won't even consider those. I could maybe deal with eTransfers directly over normal online banking... but paypal continues to be my preferred option.
Julian S. said: I didn't know how expensive the prepaid cards are, but now I won't even consider those. I could maybe deal with eTransfers directly over normal online banking... but paypal continues to be my preferred option. The only reason why the prepaid cards are more affordable here in the US is because our entire debit system runs off of the credit card companies. Therfore those prepaid cards aren't just competeing with credit cards, but bank debit cards as well.
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tzxAzrael said: what dave said. nothing says it needs to be an automatically recurring subscription. roll20 can just have an automated email notice "you have only 1 month left on your [type] subscription. we hope you'll continue to support the site by purchasing another subscription. [link] [details] [legalese] [etc]" Yes. This.
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Gauss
Forum Champion
Here is why we do not use Paypal: <a href="https://app.roll20.net/forum/post/3370/subscriptions-how-i-think-they-could-boost-their-subscription-count#post-26494" rel="nofollow">https://app.roll20.net/forum/post/3370/subscriptions-how-i-think-they-could-boost-their-subscription-count#post-26494</a> As for mobile use, only the Campaign owner (GM) needs to be a supporter for all of his players to use a tablet. You could consider gifting your GM a subscription.
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Thanks for the link. I had read that in the past, and it's similarly silly as the claims that roll20 would never do character sheets. Developers are just people too and sometimes they're plain wrong. They try of course, and with time things will sort themselves out. "PayPal is the worst. As a developer, it's a nightmare. It's not setup for subscriptions (programming it for recurring transactions is not at all stable), its customer service is dreadful, and it gives us very little ability to automatically track what's going on. What we're selling at Roll20 is software as a service ... [blabla, some other companies don't bother either, and then a good point about not wasting the developers time with this.]" The problem here is that you think of selling a service as something you can only do in a subscription setting. Imagine if a hairdresser would only sell that service in subscription style? I get that you're not selling the software or unlimited usage rights of the software and thus you think of it as selling a service rather than a product. But you should be able to purchase access to the service as though it was a product. Each day or month is basically a product. "I'll have 3 days and 2 months please" - "Sure, do you want ketchup with that?" :-P The urge to want to predict all the money that's coming in is here stopping a fair bit of money from coming in at all. - Have both setups running in parallel. Some people subscribe with credit card or what not and thus you have reliable income that you can know is going to be there, and some people just randomly buy a month here or there. I would say you might want to consider smaller amounts of time even, relatively more expensive, but perfect if you use the service rarely, like many porn sites do it - though I have no clue if they take paypal or not, never paid for anything like that. I rarely pay for anything on the internet and if I do it's because it's a smart little bit of freeware and I like the service enough to support it a bit by paying them in a few clicks on paypal. - I respect that you don't make all features available for free, or not at the same time at least, so paying members get to see stuff earlier. That way there's extra incentive to pay, and that seems to work well. But do make paying something easy for the customer. Also interesting to me: do you maintain access to some of the features after the membership expires? I would like to pay for a short amount of time then work really hard and get many of my maps set up with dynamic lighting. I pay for temporary access to the tools, but get to keep the fruit of my work? Or is the dynamic lighting lost after subscription ends?
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Gauss
Forum Champion
You have access to the features only while your subscription is current. When your subscription expires the work is not lost, just inaccessible. For example, if you are a supporter and you let the subscription lapse your access to the DL layer and features stops but the work you did on the DL layer does not get deleted. When you become a supporter again it will still be there.