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Forum Account Upgrades Available for Ad-Free Browsing

Discussion in 'Site Feedback' started by Thunderfall, Oct 19, 2016.

  1. Thunderfall

    Thunderfall Administrator Administrator Moderator

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    We recently implemented a forum account upgrade feature for the forum. This upgrade feature gives members the option to upgrade the forum account to remove all the ad banners on the forum.

    Currently the following three account upgrades are available:

    Supporter (Non-Recurring): 15.00 USD for 1 year
    Supporters see no banner ads on the forums, gets a "Supporter" badge, and can use bigger avatar file size (100 KB instead of 50 KB).

    Supporter (Recurring): 15.00 USD per year
    Same benefits as the first one, but is recurring.

    Supporter (Permanent Upgrade): 45.00 USD
    Same benefits as the other ones, but is a permanent account upgrade.


    These options are available under Account Upgrades on the profile page.

    Payments are accepted via Paypal. After payment, your forum account will get immediately upgraded and benefits take effect immediately.

    Thanks for your support!

    EDIT (12/2/16): Change the permanent upgrade cost to $45 from $50.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2016
    Maniacal likes this.
  2. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Entangled Retired Moderator Supporter

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    No more ads ever!! :woohoo: Thanks Thunderfall.
     
  3. Thunderfall

    Thunderfall Administrator Administrator Moderator

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    Thank YOU, Birdjaguar! :)
     
  4. Ryika

    Ryika ate all the monsters.

    Joined:
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    What happens if an account is banned during an upgrade-period that is already paid for?
     
  5. Thunderfall

    Thunderfall Administrator Administrator Moderator

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    I'd be happy to refund the amount if requested for this case. This should not get in the way of forum rule enforcements.

    For the permanent upgrade, I probably can still do refund within first year.
     
  6. Lohrenswald

    Lohrenswald tired

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    I dunno if this is very helpful to say, or if I'm sort of faux pauxing here or what have you

    I'm on another forum which also has a similar program as this, but slightly lower prices and more perks
    the most notable one is that members who pay get their own blog they can keep on the site

    I dunno, maybe if you want more insentives
     
  7. TomR

    TomR Chieftain Supporter

    Joined:
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    Thunderfall,
    Thank you.
    I have been playing the series since 1996 and it is my favorite game. My enjoyment of the series has been enhanced greatly by CivFanatics and it's community.
    I appreciate the opportunity to thank you financially.
    Best to you and yours,
    TomR
     
    Vincour likes this.
  8. Thunderfall

    Thunderfall Administrator Administrator Moderator

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    Thanks a lot for your support, TomR!
     
  9. Thunderfall

    Thunderfall Administrator Administrator Moderator

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    For the prices, there isn't really any rule, I think. There are forums who charge more for similar things. For example, on TrekBBS they charge $25 for 1 year.

    As for the perks, here we granted the regular Registed users group lots of abilities, such as custom titles. There are not much more incentives I could give....
     
  10. vetiver

    vetiver Chieftain

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    UK
    I've been lurking these forums for a very long time now. As soon as I shake a couple of coins out of the purse, I'll definitely support you guys with a few pounds.
     
  11. dexters

    dexters Gods & Emperors Supporter

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    Found this forum long time ago, glad to be able to pitch in.

    Lots has happened in the 15 or so years i've been reading CF , but it's a bit like home to have it always here.
    To another 15 years.

    ~D
     
  12. Thunderfall

    Thunderfall Administrator Administrator Moderator

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    Thanks for your support, dexters!

    Time really flies...
     
  13. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    TrekBBS offers a custom usertitle and a hidden subforum for Premium Members, with the added bonus of access to all the other hidden subforums (based on post count-determined ranks such as Captain, Commodore, Rear Admiral, Admiral, and so on). Normally a person loses access to lower-ranked subforums (called "lounges") when they achieve a new rank.

    What might be an incentive for me would be some way to revive the social groups. I suppose the ones we had are permanently zapped (would have been nice to have a little warning so those wanting to archive their posts or images could have done so), but it would be really nice to try to carry on where we left off.

    I like the idea of a blog; vBulletin had that feature, but it wasn't enabled. Funny thing, though, Google thought it was.
     
  14. Tolni

    Tolni trust the pillars with your s e c r e t s

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    Also, perhaps differently coloured names?

    Please don't take away custom user titles - I like CFC and the fact it's one of the few forums where I can do this.
     
  15. Iron Angel

    Iron Angel Classified Supporter

    Joined:
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    Norway
    In my opinion. If you need an A4 page of perks for chipping in on a site with this much information, help, guides, fast replies, no need for an administrator to approve threads before posting and so on, you probably should just keep your money for yourself.
    Apparently, you need it more than this site does.

    I for one, am glad to be able to help out. Even though I just joined this community, I have already gotten a ton more help then what I have from the official forums and Steam forums combined. The tone here is also a lot more comfortable. No unnecessary whining/provoking just to get attention. I am not getting the permanent upgrade though. Can help out more if I do it annually.

    Hope this didn't come out the wrong way. Not calling anyone cheap.
     
    dexters and Birdjaguar like this.
  16. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    Thank you for your opinion. :coffee:

    People have different reasons for supporting or not supporting a site, and there are always judgmental people around who demand to know why someone isn't supporting it. I have a premium membership on a couple of sites for reasons that are good enough for me. I don't owe anyone else an explanation, and I don't appreciate derogatory assumptions. Have you considered the issue of exchange rates?

    I just hope that something that happened on TrekBBS doesn't happen here: I was involved in a rather intense discussion with several people and one of my opponents demanded to know if I "was even supporting this site"... like my views would be somehow more valid if I'd forked over my annual $25 USD. I took a screenshot of the Lounges section to prove that I could see the Premium Lounge (which only Premium members can access) and the other person promptly shut up.

    In short: A couple of perks are a nice way to say 'thank you.' As I said, a blog feature would be really nice; I can think of several ways this could benefit the forum. But a membership should never be used as a way to decide whose views are or are not valid, and people should never be chastised for not buying one.

    Too late. It did indeed "come out the wrong way."


    I'm happy that you're happy, and are getting a lot of useful information. And yes, there are things we're allowed here that people are not allowed elsewhere - such as discussing politics and religion. I've been on forums where the avatars, smileys, and even the "quote" buttons were disabled and no thread drift was allowed whatsoever (ie. it was permitted to discuss a soap opera character's battle with a specific illness but infracted if the specific illness itself was discussed). Oh, and there was the forum where sigs couldn't be any longer than 6 words, including BBCode and nobody was allowed to use the PM system.

    Nobody is asking for an "A4 page of perks." An incentive or two is always welcome, though, and could mean the difference between someone deciding to pay for the upgrade or not.


    BTW, not everyone is here for Civ. Many did come here for that initially; I spent my first months here in the Civ II, III, and IV forums, and still visit the ToT threads. Sooner or later, though, some of the Civ players find their way to the Other Games or the Colosseum areas and either divide their time between Civ and non-Civ, and some never do go back to the Civ sections. So it's reasonable to say that some people here don't have the same exposure to all the Civ-related content on this site and wouldn't see it as an incentive to pay for an account upgrade.
     
  17. Iron Angel

    Iron Angel Classified Supporter

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    Alright. I did not mean to offend anyone with the post I made. Let me try and rephrase it, please bear in mind that my native language is not English, so my wording could be off. I know if you put words in the wrong order, your sentence suddenly become something entirely different than what you originally meant.

    If a site that has helped and brought together a lot of people over a very long period of time, and functions way better than the developers own forums, plus you are allowed to discuss religion, politics and other serious topics is not enough of an incentive by itself. You will also get rid of the small ads that may or may not be annoying for you. If you do not want to help out with a minor fee, you still get all of these "perks".

    People that was coming with "suggestions" as to what more you should get for supporting the site, are people that has not taken the step themselves. And it is always like this. Give people an opportunity to support, and they instantly "demand" more stuff for doing it. Why? The site will either way continue to be there for you, perhaps even more so if some of us supports it. What I am saying is this. Either you feel that you want to support the site for what it is/have done for you, or not. Don't come and demand more features so that you can "show off" that you got the money to spend. Maybe you would not care if the owner just shut down the website the next week? Be happy that it is here, and support it if you feel you have the extra cash for it. If you don't feel that you have the extra money, then you probably need it more yourself, is what I meant.

    What does this even have to do with anything that I wrote?
    So because of a different exchange rate, you should get more perks? That does not make any sense.
    Do you apply that logic to other products around your daily life? The milk is more expensive here than in Sweden, should I perhaps get in a glass bottle instead of carton? No.

    I never asked anyone to "explain" to me why they choose to support or not, or even if they are supporting it at all. I reacted to people wanting more than what was offered, even though it is completely your own choice to support or not, the only difference is that you get a badge and no ads. You still get the same help as anyone else. Do not compare me to some dumb person on another forum demanding to know if you even support the site.

    Hope it is clearer now and came out better for you.
    The bottom line is. I do not think anyone is cheap for not supporting the site, there can be a whole number of different reasons for that. But don't come and demand more and more "special" stuff for supporting.
    Take your badge and be happy with that, or don't, and be happy with that as well.

    EDIT: Do you really think it is fairer and better to lock other people out from certain areas of this site just because they can't afford to donate? That is how you could interpret what you wrote, if you want to.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2016
  18. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Entangled Retired Moderator Supporter

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    People give or not for a variety of reasons. For some it is the getting of perks and other visible stuff and unless they get enough back, they won't give. Some value their hard earned money more than any web community. Some younger members may not have a way to pay without asking a parent, and they don't want to do that. A lot depends upon whether or not money (or lack of it) is an issue in one's life. CFC is not your typical internet forum site and hopefully those who have been long time participants will show their support for this home away from home. :)
     
  19. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    Okay. I should make clear that my goal here is to explain and understand, not pick a fight.

    Please understand that this forum has a history, and some memories are long. There was a discussion about premium memberships years ago, when people offered donations, and this was met with a "thanks for offering, but it's not necessary." I'm curious at this point about what changed, as this seems a sudden reversal.

    The impression I got from your post was that you consider those who aren't paying for the premium membership to be selfish. I sincerely hope that is a misunderstanding. There are more ways to support a site than by paying in money.

    Some people here have a wide variety of interests and activities. I drop by the Civ II forums periodically, post in Off-Topic, was active in several social groups, and am involved in a few writing activities in the Arts & Entertainment forum here. Other people might play some version of Civ, be involved in modding, act as resource people for those of us having computer problems, take part in interactive storytelling games, and post in whatever Colosseum forums and threads they find interesting. These people are contributing content to this site, and in most cases they are part of the give-and-take that brings people back here every day.

    I should have thought it to be obvious, unless your currency is worth so much more than the US dollar that you just didn't notice.

    The exchange rate between the Canadian dollar and the American dollar is atrocious. Suffice to say that I'm not buying much in American funds these days.

    Perks have nothing to do with the exchange rate itself, but in some cases it might induce someone (I'm speaking hypothetically here, not personally) to forego buying something else and putting the funds toward a CFC membership.

    I didn't say you asked for an explanation, nor would I compare you to the twit on TrekBBS - that was someone who was ragging on me for my dislike of the JJ Abrams movies and some of those people are extremely unreasonable, period.

    My comment was meant as a statement of hope that paid memberships will not influence how people treat each other here.

    Again, please realize that this place has a history. People have always been free to make suggestions, which the staff either will consider, consider and implement, consider and decide not to implement, or dismiss immediately. This has involved things from a request for a particular smiley to installing or changing a feature, or a change in rules or policy. For example, the suggestion of a blog is not a new request. It's been around for many years. The suggestion of a "cheerleader smiley" predates my joining this site. None of these have been, or are, "demands."

    I'm happy with my current badge, which was a gift from the admins to those of us who were moderators but are not now.

    There are already parts of this forum that are off-limits to most people. I'm not sure where you got the idea that I'm advocating locking people out of certain areas based on their ability to pay. Yes, I take advantage of the Premium members' lounge perks at TrekBBS, but the overall culture/attitudes of that site are quite different from CFC.

    You weren't here when we had social groups. They were a casualty of the migration, and while most were open to everyone, there were some that were invitation-only, accessible only by members and the staff. So we've already been exposed to the concept that there are some areas of a forum not accessible to everyone.
     
  20. Thunderfall

    Thunderfall Administrator Administrator Moderator

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    No one should feel pressured to upgrade his or her forum account.

    In general, only a tiny fraction of people on the web are willing to spend money on forums. It's hard for sites to survive on donations alone and ad revenues remain the primary source of income for most web sites. This could be a challenging task due to ad blockers are prevalent these days,

    When members frequent the site and are not blocking the ads, they are actively supporting the site.

    This forum account upgrade option is mainly for members who prefer to not see the the ads and at the same time want to support the site, and for members who enjoy the site and wanted a way to support the site financially. (Without the ads, the site does load much faster!)

    This donation option was brought up several times before in the site's 16 year history, but it was never really an option for us because we were hosted by Telefragged/AtomicGamer for 15 of those years. They simply would not allow it.
     

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