cracksmurf5 karma2020-10-02 14:23:25 UTC
Haha sure thing buddy. Keep drinking the Koolaide. They took money to expand upon the features of HeroForge 1.0 to bring it into 2.0. They implemented a ton of amazing stuff. Heck even their subscription service has lots of great value.
However, to blindly ignore the fact that a subset of users got screwed over is just plain blind. We paid money for new features and ended up losing a highly used feature.
And yes you can use Photoshop to remove backgrounds. Heck Photoshop is already a part of my process. But if you've done even the slightest amount of digital work you will know there is a huge difference beetween an original image before it is glued to a background layer and an image where you had to cut that background layer out.
And maybe for you HeroForge was free. But there are people who helped Kickstart it. And to see features removed in the way they did is shitty. I'm not saying it's not their right to remove them. I'm not even saying learning from their customers use cases and turning a process that they discovered and helped evolve into an income revenue is wrong. it's not, it's business.
However, had they been open about this change (like they were with every other change) when they asked for our money then we could have better decided in what way to give that money. Yet they kept quiet and waited until release to say hey you know that thing you regularly use, well now it's a pay service. We gave you an opportunity to get it with this lifetime access but now that you know you needed that pay service the lifetime access is no longer available. That's why people are upset. That's why people feel slighted. Not that they chose to change their service, but that they did it in a way that left the people who helped make that change possible a reality. This wasn't a company taking profit and using it to change their offerings. This was a company that pitched a change via Kickstarter and took funding to make that change a reality. To then ignore the users that helped fund that is disingenuous. And yes they delivered a lot of extra stuff. And in those cases they did amazingly. However, excelling in one area doesn't change the fact that they have failed in this area. They have yet to even admit that they could have done better, or communicated this change/removal of a feature that has existed since 1.0.
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cracksmurf3 karma2020-10-02 13:12:36 UTC
Correct no one owed us anything. But when you take someone's money for one thing then deliver another thing while taking away yet another thing..... Well, people can choose how too run their companies how they want. But at the end of the day the way you treat your customers matters. Look at EA games. Still highly profitable. Also voted the number one shittiest company in the gaming industry year over year. Just saying.
cracksmurf2 karma2020-10-01 19:18:10 UTC
The Kickstarter for HeroForge 2.0 sold the idea of the expansion of features. This is what your backers/supporters paid for. While yes pledge rewards are an added bonus to drive more support to the campaign, the core of the Kickstarter remains to be those features. Some may argue that since rewards were delivered then you got what you paid for. However, that is not how Kickstarter works. You are backing the project and the rewards are a driving force to advance the project. In some campaigns the rewards are the project. However, that is not the case for this Kickstarter where Heroforge 2.0 is clearly marketed as the project.
One such feature was the Token Maker. A pro tool aimed to be a subscription service method of monetization for Heroforge. This concept is great. It adds expanded value at a small cost for those who find those features useful. This means that the development costs are covered and provides a future revenue stream to continue development of new features. Win-Win.
However, at some point it was decided to remove the current transparent screenshot tool in order to roll it behind this pay wall of a subscription. To add more value to that pro tool and to remove competing features that could reduce the value of the subscription in the eyes of those advanced users who had already had processes for creating tokens through their own efforts. Yes, that is not what HeroForge was marketed for, but it definitely is what gave the proof of concept that lead you to develop your own version to monetize upon. Essentially backers were now paying so that they could develop a feature set that would monetize on existing features.
In my eyes, there is nothing inherently wrong with the act of moving this feature into the pro tool. However, the way that the change was brought about definitely alienates and screws over a large subset of your users who are long time supporters and backed the expansion of HeroForge 2.0. You have been extremely open and vocal about mostly all your features. However, had you been open about this one change many backers could have made much more informed decisions in their backing and taken advantage of the unlimited access tiers that were provided as options for the limited time of this campaign. A simple solution of giving existing backers of the campaign the ability to pay to receive the unlimited or multi year discounted rewards would do much to restore faith and resolve the feelings of unfairness that you have created. It would cost nothing and fix so much. It’s hard to believe that backers who did take advantage of those tiers would feel it unfair that other backers be given the same opportunity; especially in light of the way these changes to the service and Kickstarter campaign came about on delivery instead of from the outset.
Can you please speak as to the decision making process behind these changes. As well as the decision not to try and right things with those backers who had gotten screwed over because of your lack of transparency in the removal of existing features. Backers whose money funded those changes. You have responded to backers concerns on Kickstarter by talking around the issue and giving marketing speech responses of how we can now pay subscriptions to regain the features we already had, or how you are over-delivering on rewards such as turning token maker 1 year/lifetime access into full subscription access. However, those expanded rewards are to the users who aren’t getting screwed over here. Had we been informed and backed those tiers it would be a moot point. Many of us have supported through hundreds of dollars of backing only to lose features in the long run. Please explain.
cracksmurf1 karma2020-10-02 15:23:58 UTC
I'm not saying they owe me anything. All I want is for them to acknowledge that they created a situation where backers who helped support the expansion of features were left out. When you create a Kickstarter project you are asking people to invest in your idea. Pledge rewards are a great way to drive more support to a project. But it is not the project in itself. They marketed the addition of features and then removed features unless you paid up extra. And yes as a company they don't owe any explanation to their customers for the changes you make upon your initial vision. But as a Kickstarter, while you may not have the contractual obligations that venture funding may require, you do still have a level of obligation to the backers of that campaign. If you are not honest about something there won't be any police knocking down your door. But it definitely makes a statement that will be remembered the next time you come around asking people to put their trust in you again.
Had they been honest about this change from the beginning of the kickstarter I would have had no issue. I would have adjusted my pledge to include support for the new tool accordingly. Had they not done a kickstarter and gone straight to market I also would have no problem because as HeroForge says there IS great value in their services.
However, to create a Kickstarter and ask for money to create a vision but then change that vision (even when it leads to better things) creates a situation that can potentially create an unfair situation for some of those backers.
Are those users in the majority? No in this case it's likely a small subset of users who used the tools in this way. Is HeroForge's vision wrong for their subscription/monetization process? No, I think this is a great way forward for both them as a company and the users as a whole. Were the users who actively used this feature, asked to support Heroforge 2.0 through their pledges, had the feature pulled out from under them after release, and then subsequently asked to pay even more money to retain it feeling screwed? Absolutely. If you ask people for money to do one thing, and then do that but also remove things they already had access to, then that is what I say is disingenuous. You may not feel that way. And great for you. But that doesn't change the fact that Heroforge made decisions that alienated some users. The fact that between here and the Kickstarter updates a handful have spoken up to that regard is proof enough.
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