Thoughts on paid plugins for a free game?


#1

A long time ago, when Nelson started to work on Modules in Unturned I was suuuuper hyped. It would allow for people to virtually make plugins for Vanilla Unturned, which would mean there wouldn’t be much of a need for Rocketmod once the same plugins from there were on the Steam Workshop - which, would mean, the plugins can’t be paid for.

Obviously this never happened. Which is sad to me, because these external third party non-official websites can put a price-tag on plugins. Sites such as ImperialPlugins and Rocketmod itself offer a plethora of plugins ranging from somewhat reasonable pricing (1$-5$) up to ridiculous amounts such as 35$, and higher on Rocketmod’s website
Which is sad to me as a server owner. I can see why plugin developers have the feeling to make their plugins paid for in order to make some kind of money, but this is really only fueling P2W servers that make money by providing an unfair experience, which those servers buy the plugins to appeal to more and more players. I looked into how many plugins I’d need to run, lets say, a decent RP server

($15) https://imperialplugins.com/Products/ProductDetails?ProductID=100
($25) https://imperialplugins.com/Products/ProductDetails?ProductID=1
($5) https://imperialplugins.com/Products/ProductDetails?ProductID=6
($10) https://imperialplugins.com/Products/ProductDetails?ProductID=5
($5) https://imperialplugins.com/Products/ProductDetails?ProductID=8
($15) https://imperialplugins.com/Products/ProductDetails?ProductID=12
($7) https://imperialplugins.com/Products/ProductDetails?ProductID=19
82$ total - and these are just some of the bare-bone essential mods for a good RP experience.

There are also quite some more paid plugins from the RocketMod website that I would add, but at the time of this post rocketmod’s website is down.

This seems pretty ridiculous imo. Unturned is a free game to enjoy, with free servers to play on, and has hundreds of amazing mods, maps and modpacks. And by steams standards mods (and plugins) shouldn’t be paid for. Do you think the people making mods expected a dime from their hard work? No. Some of them may accept donations for their work, but I’ve never seen anyone make a mod for the intention of making money off of it.

imo I think Nelson should definitely work on 4.0 modding support to the point where we won’t need a third-party plugin API like Rocketmod to enjoy plugins. I think it would be cool to see full steam-workshop integration so people may upload their plugins there. And by which, those plugins wouldn’t be paid for, since they’re on steam.


#2

Here’s the thing, First off, Modding for 4.0 is going to be incredibly fleshed out from what Nelson is saying and showing off, not only is Unreal 4 going to offer more capabilities, but Nelson himself is probably gonna make Unturned II even more open source than 3.0.

I don’t recall them being hyped, correct me if I’m wrong but they were ignored from what I can tell. We saw the capabilities and no one but modders really cared that much, and that’s saying that modders themselves cared . Only incredibly talented and experienced modders could see the use in the modules and know how to create and experiment with them.

Then comes your argument for third party plugin creators. Now really, I play Vanilla Unturned, I really don’t see the point for plugins like Rocket as I never really use them. However, I have no clue for how much work it takes to create them, but it is understandable for them to monetize their work so that they have some sort of revenue. And to begin with, Unturned II is already planned to have vanilla plugins and once again, the modding support needed to create other “necessities”.


#3

I’m gonna stop you there. That was a typo, sorry. I meant I was hyped for it, sorry.

Throw back to my post, about how mod makers and map makers don’t expect to receive money / don’t try to monetize their stuff. Someone I knew that was really into coding said Unturned’s / Rocketmod’s coding was ‘babywork’.

IIRC someone said that Sven definitely has no ambitions to bring Rocket into 4.0 and that some other dude was going to do the same kind of thing


#4

That just goes into what their ambitions are. For example, I made my map hoping to get curated but ultimately aiming for the workshop. And that’s just for modders. Sven is a guy trying to make a living, and whether or not his work is good or not is a discussion for another time.

You brought Rocket into an argument about modding capabilities, but yes I do recall Sven saying something about Rocket not being made for 4.0.


#5

This isn’t just sven in particular. Although sven has contributed to making lots of premium plugins he is not the creator of all of them or any of the Imperial Plugins.

The (main) post body and title has nothing to do with modding capabilities, just a discussion about paid plugins.


#6

I don’t see anything wrong with people wanting money for their time, dedication and hard work. IMO it’s completely up to content creators if they want their stuff to be free or paid (as long as it’s fine with game creators).


#7

These are not bare-bone essentials for an RP server. The only one that would be almost absolutely necessary is Damage Logger, since there seems to be some KOS argument every 5 minutes. The rest are there for convenience, not necessity.

Garage Plugin, Vault, Item Restrictions, Chat Master, and DiscordHook are not bare-bones plugins. You could also get a few of Rocket’s versions of these for free. 82$ is an exaggeration which should be instead set instead at 7$ for a true bare-bones RP server.

Just because Unturned is free, doesn’t mean that everything about it should be (cosmetics for example). This is a simple free-enterprise system. If plugin producers need or want money to fund further development, or just to be greedy, then they can charge you. Then others can compete with them to offer cheaper or free variants to get your business instead. This competition leads to better plugins overall since each competitor wants to be ahead in development and variety for your sales. (Or, if you want it to be entirely free, you yourself can dive into programming and computer science).

Do you mean that you don’t want third-party plugins won’t work at all, or just that we won’t need them? If you mean the former, then that would reduce plugin development since programmers won’t have the motivation or drive to make more money. Everyone will only be putting whatever they want out there in their free time, and as a result the quality and variety of plugins will be diminished compared to 3.0.


#8

The problem with this argument is that there is virtually no competition amongst plugin developers in Unturned so far. Just the big Imperial Plugins website (somewhat like a monopoly), and then the Rocketmod website where tons of random freelancers publish their own plugins\

I meant vanilla 4.0 should provide the modding API experience rocket gave in 3.0 so that we won’t need a third-party modding API (like rocket) in order to make decent plugins. Also the rest of your comment made zero sense.

Third party plugins? What? Do you mean plugins not on steam? Why would a developer publish their plugins off steam? Wouldn’t that just make them unpopular? When was the last time you got an Unturned mod off of http://www.unturned-planet.com? Exactly, you haven’t. Theres no incentive to use a third-party non-steam website if vanilla already has the capability to make such plugins and steam workshop is fully available.


#9

A lot of these plugins seem pretty essential.


Where will players store their cars? In a garage? In most CityLife RP’s people own a floor in an apartment building and there is no garages to store cars. Plus, if a car is stored virtually it can’t be griefed by people while your offline AND it reduces server lag - because the car isn’t there.


Vault isn’t exactly necessary, but is the norm for most RP servers. People will join expecting this plugin to be on the server.


Some RP’s absolutely need this, especially if they don’t want a player to chop a tree for logs or mine a rock to get metal.


This plugin can restrict global chat, which some RP servers need. They don’t want people to be able to shout across the entire map for help when they’re getting robbed, shot, etc.


I guess this is a bit unnecessary and doesn’t help the RP experience much, but still a big plugin for some RP servers.


This is absolutely necessary for really any server. A relay for discord to Unturned and back. Staff can deal with KOS reports and etc without having to wait for Unturned to load up. They can also execute commands / do server events without being there.


And like you said, you agreed this is pretty essential.


#10

As someone who’s been managing RP servers since almost the infancy of the game, I beg to differ.

I’ve never even heard of most of these plugins until now, and the damage logger is the only one I’d actually need. The rest are just for extra convenience and said problems can be solved in other more conventional ways.

Either way as Molton said below I don’t see much need for most of these, and Unturned II already appears to have significantly better capabilities.


#11

This is a good answer, imo. If people want to make “paid mods,” then I’m fine with them doing it as long they’re not breaking any ToS. Some game developers don’t appreciate that kind of stuff, and I can respect their decision to take them down if they want to.



RocketMod is a very useful thing for many server owners, especially for some of the Linux-based hosting methods. Its framework allows for a lot, even though not too many people make plugins.

I’d say that the modding capabilities of a game very much does impact this discussion, as Unturned II is very moddable, even without a third-party framework. This helps “increase competition,” you could say, and cuts down on prices (or will end up with free alternatives).


Morally, I don’t like the idea of paid plugins, but I really don’t care overall. So, I’ll just talk about them in respect to Unturned II, as that’s the category this thread is in.

DiscordHook

This sounds like Rcon but Discord is the remote console. Very useful sounding, but not necessary, especially with actual Rcon tools already implemented in Unturned II.

DamageLogger

Logging tools should definitely be more extensive, and from my understanding are still planned, alongside many other server tools. :smiley:

Anti Cosmetics

Not necessary, as you realized. However, that’s really a per-server basis, as cosmetics can be integral to some roleplaying.

That being said, I still think servers (in Unturned 3) and/or players have always needed the option of disabling the viewing of them globally.

I don’t think it’ll be needed for Unturned II’s potentially reworked Steam economy system, but depending on how its done it could easily allow servers to disable it anyways (although probably not players, due to how I’d handle the system).

ChatMaster2

I’ve always enjoyed the idea of letting servers disable everything besides Area and Voice chat, and still think it should be a thing (even though things like Discord defeat the purpose of that).

I don’t recall this every being a point of discussion by Nelson, so I’m unsure how this’ll turn out for Unturned II.

Advanced Item Restrictions

Your example is stopping people from farming resources, which I’d say that the game should just have a setting that’s a resource health multiplier (Unturned 3 could easily do this, too).

However, from looking at the plugin myself, it seems more like it’s a way that prevents people from Fail RP by preventing them from actually interacting with certain items entirely.

Personally, I feel like Fail RP and allowing people to do “just about whatever” for the most part is kinda part of the experience, but whatever. This is definitely a more “advanced” item restriction tool, and it’s not something I see being added as a vanilla server tool. It’d definitely be a mod that’d come out later, if ever.

VaultPlugin2 and GaragePlugin

Don’t see them as a vanilla tool, but do see them as a relatively common mod. Very much a convenience to have them, but I don’t see them necessary, just a bit overused.

#AddParkingGaragesToUnturnedII


#12

Could you explain what RCON is / what is does?


#13

RCON is the abbreviation for “remote console.” Unturned II has this implemented in two ways for servers to use.

The RCON Protocol is similar to how many other games have this traditionally set-up: allowing the execution of admin commands without being connected to the server. However, Unturned II also allows assigning multiple RCON keys with different permissions, rather than how most games just have one global password for the server.

The other implementation of it is through JSON HTTP API. This allows for a custom control panel on a web page, which can send HTTP requests to game servers. These pages can have visual buttons, and also allow for RCON key permissions.


#14

I don’t have any expertise or knowledge of how competitive plugin providers are, so I’ll just take your word for it. However, Imperial Plugins being highly successful does not make them “somewhat like a monopoly.” Anyone else is free to make the types of plugins that they do.

If a developer had plugins far ahead of anything else on Steam, then they could charge for them. People that want the best plugins (and arguably the best servers) will not limit themselves to the free ones on Steam. A provider like Imperial Plugins will likely have plugins that are ahead of the game, which gives people incentive to come to them instead. I believe you were implying earlier that Imperial Plugins has tons of plugins that other services don’t offer, which in the case of Unturned II would be very appealing even if they aren’t on Steam. Players will go to the equivalent of Imperial Plugins and buy them there. Leaving the door open for competition which (even if it’s not a lot) still helps by giving incentive to produce better plugins.

In comparison, the website you linked (I assume) only provides free maps and mods. When there is no obvious difference in quality, and both are free, then of course people are going to prefer using the Steam Workshop. Also, the website doesn’t really seem to work either, so no one is going to be using it regardless (everything you click sends you to a 404 page).

These are all great and useful plugins to have, but as Molton and J explained, most of them are not necessary to run an RP server. These are only necessary if you have ridiculously high standards and/or are entitled. I’m sure myself and others remember having loads of fun on RP servers without any of these which goes to show how you can enjoy yourself on servers without them.


#15

Owner of ImperialPlugins here.

tl;dr of RainOfPain: “Unturned is free, that’s why plugins should be free too!”. Sorry to disappoint, but that is not how it works.

I do not see anything wrong about selling plugins, as long as it obeys all laws.
We are, just like any other business, actually working to make and keep the plugins stable and uptodate. Sometimes it takes weeks or even months to make those plugins. Debugging, fixing bugs, adding features, etc. isn’t always fun, but we still have to do it (I know that 10 minutes plugins exist which are definitly overpaid, definitly not defending these here).

Here is an example case why it is demanding to make paid plugins:
I remember when a customer reported strange lag issues with a very complex specific plugin. It was clear that the plugin was causing it, since disabling it would solve the issue. It took me literally months to trace the issue. Countless restarts, updating the plugin, sending “apparently” fixed versions, back and forths with the customer and disappointments. Finally I made a special plugin just to solve this problem the Unturned Profiler Plugin. After analyzing the results, I was able to trace the issue and also was able to solve it. This example shows the effort for providing support of paid plugins. A free plugin has limited suppport and will only get fixed as long as the developer cares and maintains it. Paid plugins must provide a lot of support, including bugfixes, feature requests, guidelines, tutorials, etc.

Point is, people don’t just buy plugins for the content, but also for the included support. If a developer does not provide good support, I wouldn’t recommend buying from him.

Regarding RocketMod / Modules / Unturned II API:
These aren’t affecting paid plugins. These will not prevent making paid plugins. As long as Nelson does not forbid it, people will make paid plugins regardless of how they are called or implemented.

As a fun fact, I’m the biggest contributor to RocketMod: https://github.com/RocketMod/Rocket/graphs/contributors.
If paid plugins brought you anything, it’s lot’s of contributions to RocketMod and a lot of features added by Nelson, which all of them benefit everyone, paid or not.


#16

I do not see anything wrong about selling free models, maps, characters, NPCs, and Servers, as long as it obeys all laws.
They are, like any other business, actually working to make and keep said maps, mods, NPCs, and servers up-to-date and stable

No evidence that paid plugins will always get more support than free ones. Though they may have an incentive to in case theres reviews or etc on a plugin, but ImperialPlugins definitely does not have such a comment or review system for each individual plugin or the entirety of the website itself.

I ‘buy’ plugins only for their content. Nobody needs support if they’re already fully functioning. If I have a problem I contact the dev, just how I would if I paid money for one. In both scenario’s the dev can simply disagree to help or refuse to help because they’ve abandoned the project or lost interest.

You my good sir have missed the entire point of this post. The point is by steams standards plugins are not paid for. And if nelson makes a much better plugin API or whatever for vanilla plugin developers will have no need to flock over to a third-party website to use their API and publish / share their plugins there. Therefore the status quo would become that all plugin devs upload their plugins on the steam workshop. And if you think that wouldn’t be the status quo, then please kindly refer me to a third-party website where people publish / share their Unturned mods, maps, NPCs, and etc besides steam.

If there were more people creating plugins the competition would definitely make prices a lot more reasonable and in the ballpark of anyones leftover money from a days work. If anything, there would be people that side with my ideals and make free plugins based on paid ones (just like ExtraConcentratedJuice does). But right now that is not the case. Plus paid or not plugin developers would ask for more support, placeholders, hooks, and what not from Nelson such as the fancy chat, hotkeys, and etc.

Just how people make free mods, maps, servers, and NPCs and ask nelson for additions to the game to make them better (Devkit, more server improvements, etc) the same could be done with paid mods, maps, servers, NPCs. So your whole last argument is really lacking.


#17

If it’s free, isn’t that technically not a sale?
I am not even sure what that paragraph is about are you agreeing with the quote that says there’s nothing immoral about selling content as long as it’s done legally, or were you saying that you don’t see that there’s nothing immoral about providing free content if it’s done legally, and not directly addressing whether or not selling content for profit is immoral.

Because updates never break any plugins.


#18

I was mocking him. Things don’t need to be plugins to be kept up to date and stable, nor do they have to be paid for. People will actually work to make the community a better place without money.

Clearly they do. Which is why I included the second part to that reply.


#19

Huh. That sounds oddly familiar.


#20

Lets not talk about politics or etc.

But this is in a sense the same argument for my EULA / anti-P2W argument. There are hundreds of servers for the game and there are more than enough people willing to run fair servers with no profit returns, because they enjoy the game and want to give back to the community and because they care about the community. Just like I do.