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Marclyn's avatar

Humorist

this is a kick to the balls especially if you were a proud supporter of gaia and didn't have the cash to spend on it. gaia says they are showing their love for supporters, well lately they've been only showing it to the folks that as the doe.
Calelith's avatar

Apocalyptic Cultist

Marclyn
this is a kick to the balls especially if you were a proud supporter of gaia and didn't have the cash to spend on it. gaia says they are showing their love for supporters, well lately they've been only showing it to the folks that as the doe.



Those that spend money on the site are their main supporters.

They're the ones that help pay the bills to keep the site free. Why not give them perks first?


“Does this hurt? Of course it does, that’s why I’m going to keep doing it.”
Nyadriel's avatar

Dangerous Fairy

Calelith
Marclyn
this is a kick to the balls especially if you were a proud supporter of gaia and didn't have the cash to spend on it. gaia says they are showing their love for supporters, well lately they've been only showing it to the folks that as the doe.



Those that spend money on the site are their main supporters.

They're the ones that help pay the bills to keep the site free. Why not give them perks first?


“Does this hurt? Of course it does, that’s why I’m going to keep doing it.”


Would have been nice for those who have been loyal for several years to have gotten it first, the monetary supporters a week later.

But that's just me.
(I am a Verge Club member)
chaos butterfly's avatar

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Most of the arguments that users are proposing as reasons for Club Verge don't make any kind of logical sense.

Quote:
"Gaia needs money to run the site, it takes more than pixie dust and unicorn farts..."


If the reason for Club Verge being created was because Gaia needs money, they wouldn't have set it up in a way that prevents (some) users from buying the items in the store. They also wouldn't have priced the items so highly that most of the userbase either wouldn't be willing to pay that much, or couldn't pay that much. And that includes many users who were 'eligible' for CV, who are on a limited budget and only spend $10 a month.

If Gaia needed money, they'd have items available for all users, like Jada for instance that I'm pretty sure would be wanted enough for some non-verge members to consider purchasing if it was available to them. If they needed money, they'd be selling items at lower price points to encourage more users to buy (higher sales volume at lower prices = more profit overall.)

So this argument just doesn't fly at all. If Gaia really was doing this because they needed money they wouldn't be focussing on just a minority of the userbase to fund them, they'd be encouraging users to buy items at all price points and wouldn't be limiting sales of items to the 'elite' big spenders.

Quote:
"It's okay for Gaia to reward users who support them with cash, everyone else can take a backseat."


Except they aren't really doing that. The only users that Gaia are rewarding are those that meet their minimum quota of $100 in the last year. By reward I don't simply mean access to the 'Club Verge' shop, but also the birthday gifts, their own separate guild and feedback forum, and any other unspecified rewards.

So who isn't being recognised by Gaia? A long-time user who has supported Gaia and bought 2 MCs per month for the last 8 years (a total of $480) according to Gaia doesn't deserve a reward. A user who buys one 499GC EI or bundle per month isn't deserving of a reward. A user who spent more than $100 in previous years but cut back on spending this year (a not unlikely scenario considering the real life crunch) isn't deserving of a reward.

Basically, by setting this minimum quota Gaia is pretty much saying that if you don't give us at least $100 per year, you aren't worth our consideration or thanks. Going back to the previous argument, if a business needs money, should they be telling customers that make smaller purchases that their business isn't valued? In my view, no, this is not a good strategy to keep your existing customer base, or to increase sales (and by extension, profitability.)

Quote:
"If you don't like it, you don't have to buy. (Also if you don't like it, you can leave (Gaia.))"


I'm not sure why users think this is a reasonable response to any criticism. If a user says to Gaia 'I don't like [high prices/unavailability/insert reason] and Gaia's response was 'If you don't like it you don't have to buy it' it would be implicitly a statement that the customer's business is not considered important, and isn't the slightest bit valued at all, and that the business would prefer its customers to no longer support it (to leave) rather than respond to feedback/criticism or try to meet their needs/wants.

Again, going back to the first argument, if Gaia needs money, should it be telling its customers that their feedback is of zero interest to it as a company, that as a business it has no intention of meeting its customers needs, and the business doesn't care if its customers go elsewhere and its userbase shrinks? Is this a good strategy for a company that 'needs money'? My view is no, I think this is the last thing a company should be doing if it wants to keep its customers satisfied and stay profitable.

Quote:
"Some users are rich enough to pay $500 for an item, why shouldn't they have what they want? Who cares if you're too poor... (you're just bawwwing because you're jealous.)"


I've seen several posts that liken this to buying a luxury car (a porsche I think was the example used by a dev), compared to a cheap model. But let's look at how that works out for car manufacturers.

Porsche has recorded some amazing profits in the past years. In 2011 they sold nearly 117,000 cars and made a profit of 2.69 billion (USD.) It sounds great doesn't it? But compare that to GM, which in 2011 sold 9.03 million cars, with a profit of 7.59 billion (USD) Comparing the example of the luxury car market it's pretty clear that more units sold for lower prices = more total profit.

So, back to Gaia: A user who can afford $500 for a pixel item, is not going to bring in more income than 10 users who can afford $50 for a pixel item each. 100 users who can afford a $5.00 pixel item each will collectively bring in as much income as a single user paying $500 for an item. So why only reward the big spenders and not give a reward to all your paying customers?

It's logical to assume that there are more than 10 times as many users who can/will pay $50 compared to the number of users who can/will pay $500. And more than 10 times as many users who could/would pay $5.00 than could/would pay $50. So on the basis of simple mathematical analysis, there is little sense in catering to one very rich member at the expense of 100 users who while they may not throw money around like its water still support the site financially.

Does it make any business sense to cater to a single customer and ignore the needs of 99 other customers? I guess it would only make sense if you don't care about 99% of your potential customers, and can do without the (apparently piddling and insignificant amounts of) money they might spend on your products.

So, basically none of these arguments being propounded hold water when held up to critical analysis. Club Verge is likely to bring in less money, doesn't reward all the users who support Gaia financially, and only caters to the richest of users.

So why make Club Verge in the first place, why make it exclusive, and why set prices at a luxury level? The only rational explanation that fits the available facts is to promote 'elitism' as a saleable commodity that Gaia can profit from.

The Angelic Halo is an item that ishas long been considered by many users as the embodiment of elitism for the following reasons; it's ugly, it only has one pose, is was ultra-rare, and is was valued at multiple billions of gold, and is was out of reach of all but the richest of Gaians. If the Angelic Halo sale was a precursor to the opening of Club Verge, then it fits the above explanation, that Gaia is exploiting the desire of some users for exclusivity and catering to the richest members who can afford to pay the most.

Club Verge pricing on the exclusive wings, halos and horns (three of the most requested items on Gaia) also fits with the idealogy of 'elitism', excluding the poor and serving the rich.

When alchemy was first introduced one of the most repeated criticisms was that it catered only to the richest 3% of Gaians, and that backwings from an alchemy quest were out of reach of most Gaians. (Backwings had long been promised to be available through a quest system that all users could achieve - oh look, another broken promise.)

It is obvious that the userbase on Gaia has changed since that time. So many users seem to support the idea of Gaia creating features, forums, and shops targetted towards the richest of IRL users, and excluding not only users who have supported the forum for nearly a decade but also users who have contributed financially as paying customers in previous years, and users whose RL budgets don't extend to porsches and Mythrill wings.

Whether this support is due to faulty reasoning; i.e the mistaken idea that valuing big spenders on the site is more economically sound than valuing all the users who contribute financially in smaller amounts; or a sense of elitism/identification with the target demographic of Gaia's CV; the belief that Gaia can do nothing wrong in its pursuit of more profit (an embracing of the principles of laissez faire economics); or the selfish desire to purchase items that were previously unattainable. Yes there are users making lists of the old MCs they'd like rereleased, and presumably if they only want one or two for themselves that wouldn't count as a 'mass' release, so they can ask for these items with a clear conscience that they are not encouraging Gaia to break a non-existent promise that they made to users who are not important enough to be 'rewarded' with CV membership.

Finally, if anyone finds this post TL;DR, that's okay, you don't have to read it. xp
chaos butterfly

Quote:
"It's okay for Gaia to reward users who support them with cash, everyone else can take a backseat."


Except they aren't really doing that. The only users that Gaia are rewarding are those that meet their minimum quota of $100 in the last year. By reward I don't simply mean access to the 'Club Verge' shop, but also the birthday gifts, their own separate guild and feedback forum, and any other unspecified rewards.

So who isn't being recognised by Gaia? A long-time user who has supported Gaia and bought 2 MCs per month for the last 8 years (a total of $480) according to Gaia doesn't deserve a reward. A user who buys one 499GC EI or bundle per month isn't deserving of a reward. A user who spent more than $100 in previous years but cut back on spending this year (a not unlikely scenario considering the real life crunch) isn't deserving of a reward.

Basically, by setting this minimum quota Gaia is pretty much saying that if you don't give us at least $100 per year, you aren't worth our consideration or thanks. Going back to the previous argument, if a business needs money, should they be telling customers that make smaller purchases that their business isn't valued? In my view, no, this is not a good strategy to keep your existing customer base, or to increase sales (and by extension, profitability.)


I hope it's okay to snip your post a bit--but this is the only part I really had anything to say about so it was easier. But I agree with this part. I know there are more perks that are going to be rolled out so I do not want to jump to conclusions. But it does strike me as a little odd to ignore such a large portion of the cash paying members. Because it seems to me that there are probably a lot people who spend somewhere from $50-80 a year on the site but don't quite make it up to the $100 minimum for Club Verge.

Are they going to get a Club Not-Quite-So-Awesome that's also exclusive? Seems unlikely. But at the same time, spending $50 on the site in the course of a year does seem worth rewarding in some way. Like I said, I don't want to assume there won't be perks for these people but I worry that at this point any perks would pale in comparison to an exclusive shop and guild with direct staff interaction and all that.

I guess I'll have to wait and see what happens next as far as all the perks go but this also struck me as being kind of...off. I get wanting to single out and give metaphorical gold stars to people who spend "a lot" on the site but I do hope they're really smart about the perks for every one else. And I can't really decide if I even like the idea of them creating a spending strata with perks based on what level you are in (like free-user, low-end cash user, mid-range cash user, 'high roller/Club Verge' member). It does seem like that's the only way it would seem fair though.

For now, I'll just wait to see what happens. I like the idea of perks but I'm increasingly dubious about how well it's going to be implemented....
Marclyn's avatar

Humorist

Calelith
Marclyn
this is a kick to the balls especially if you were a proud supporter of gaia and didn't have the cash to spend on it. gaia says they are showing their love for supporters, well lately they've been only showing it to the folks that as the doe.



Those that spend money on the site are their main supporters.

They're the ones that help pay the bills to keep the site free. Why not give them perks first?


“Does this hurt? Of course it does, that’s why I’m going to keep doing it.”
you meant the salary for the employees? because running an online site doesn't cost as much as running a rl business, at least from what i last checked. and from what i last checked, most sites don't make money from the people, they make money from their advertisement.
n00bian god's avatar

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Extra Sharp Cheddar

Also, I wanted to tell you that you don't have to buy 9999GC, just spend it.
how much is 9999gc in dollars?
Shintouyu's avatar

Heroic Lunatic

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n00bian god
Extra Sharp Cheddar
Also, I wanted to tell you that you don't have to buy 9999GC, just spend it.
how much is 9999gc in dollars?
That would be 100 USD.
Ven Loraine's avatar

Explorer

chaos butterfly

So who isn't being recognised by Gaia? A long-time user who has supported Gaia and bought 2 MCs per month for the last 8 years (a total of $480) according to Gaia doesn't deserve a reward. A user who buys one 499GC EI or bundle per month isn't deserving of a reward. A user who spent more than $100 in previous years but cut back on spending this year (a not unlikely scenario considering the real life crunch) isn't deserving of a reward.

Basically, by setting this minimum quota Gaia is pretty much saying that if you don't give us at least $100 per year, you aren't worth our consideration or thanks. Going back to the previous argument, if a business needs money, should they be telling customers that make smaller purchases that their business isn't valued? In my view, no, this is not a good strategy to keep your existing customer base, or to increase sales (and by extension, profitability.)
User Image
This is pretty much what I am thinking. Club Verge is a great idea, but I feel they should really change the requirements to get in.

I have been an active member since 2005, donated HUNDREDS of dollars (probably more than 1000$), but because I have had little money to spend in the last 12 months, I couldn't spend as much as before.
Now, the 1000$ I spent before go pretty much "unappreciated", if you want to see it that way.
It would be nice if they did look at your spending history and let people into Club Verge who spent a certain amount (maybe 500$?) over the lifespan of their account.
But maybe Gaia has no records for that, so it might be hard to do.
User Image
Calelith's avatar

Apocalyptic Cultist

Marclyn
Calelith
Marclyn
this is a kick to the balls especially if you were a proud supporter of gaia and didn't have the cash to spend on it. gaia says they are showing their love for supporters, well lately they've been only showing it to the folks that as the doe.



Those that spend money on the site are their main supporters.

They're the ones that help pay the bills to keep the site free. Why not give them perks first?


“Does this hurt? Of course it does, that’s why I’m going to keep doing it.”
you meant the salary for the employees? because running an online site doesn't cost as much as running a rl business, at least from what i last checked. and from what i last checked, most sites don't make money from the people, they make money from their advertisement.



I don't think you understand just how much it costs to run a business.


“Does this hurt? Of course it does, that’s why I’m going to keep doing it.”

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