IMPORTANT - changes in store

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RogueOne

Guest
A lot of you may have suspected this was in the works for a long time, but I can now announce that it seems likely that BWCSL will be moving to a pay-to-play model, beginning next season. Although this may come as an unpleasant development to some of you, I assure you that this would not be considered unless I was convinced that there was a good case that this was in the league's best interests.

Ultimately, the servers and bandwidth that are required to run a league do not come for free and, in its current state, BWCSL does not even come close to paying for itself. In addition, with each new version of CS taking up more and more CPU power for servers, our running costs have increased over time and will continue to increase in the future.

I was recently presented with a choice by Barrysworld: I could continue to run the leagues for free, with our current servers and with a limited level of support, or else I could move the league to a pay-to-play model, ensuring improved servers, a better prize-pool and better technical support. With our servers already stressed to the limit by CS1.5, the choice seemed to me to be clear. I have not yet given a final decision on this matter, but I have discussed this with the admins and short of anybody presenting some extremely compelling arguments, we will proceed with the plan.

As far as I know, the pay-to-play system for leagues would be the same as that which is already used for the normal publics/bookables package. In other words, each competing player would take the standard BW package, which is £24/year (or £12/year with a GAME reward card) and in addition to allowing you to use public servers, bookables and webhosting for a year, this would also allow you to compete in leagues for a year. We would also, as I say, be able to offer much better servers and better prizes, possibly including prizes for the lower divisions.

At any rate, I welcome any reasonable discussion of this.
 
A

-adz-

Guest
The servers have been known to suck rather large testicles tbh

For those that have already paid up this would be a very welcome bonus

:)
 
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andersschm

Guest
I'm not sure that trying to get each of the players to sign up for barrysworld is a good idea - as most of them will be loathe to pay it when they aren't getting anything from it personally.

I think the costs would be better attributed to the clans individually - having a signup charge for a clan so that the clans can handle payment internally. The charge need not cover whatever services Barrysworld offer but solely the BWCSL costs.

In BYCSL for example you need one member of the clan to be a BY gaming subscriber - this allows me to pay for the clan to enter (as I don't use the other BY features) and recoup the costs via a membership fee.

I think this would be easier for clan leaders to manage. I'm not sure I could justify to my players why they each have to give Barrysworld money - especially fringe/reserve players who are necessary in situations where you do not have the full control to rearrange matches.
 
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Hotteh

Guest
Im with anders on this one, a clan-wide subscription is certainly more appropriate to a league system than an individual p2p system. Though i fear the technical aspect to this would be difficult to implement.
At present the p2p system is based round a user/pword being matched to the current IP of that particular user. How would all clans log on to this? with some clans being on modems, dynamic IPs still haunt us, and as such a list of IPs could not be reference d against a username/pword to allow whole clans to log on.

I fear it will be p2p per person (bit of a mouthful *wink) , ultimately a good thing for barrys, introducing the user base of BWCSL to the wonders of lamer-free daytime and evening gaming on a regular basis.

Saw it coming, welcome it. Kthx
 
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Skyler

Guest
Hmm I would think that perhaps a special deal for certain amounts of people (ie. clans) to help with situations like reserve players and whatnot. I know for a fact that most of my clan wouldnt pay, as most of them wouldnt play many games. That would effectively make the clan quit the league. It will happen to many clans and a system for entire clans subscriptions needs to be added. I am fearing even with that, that my clan wont pay to play in the BWCSL and that means I am stuck. Something needs to be worked out, I dont want the choice to be made by others.

Without a plan for clanwide subscriptions at a discount or some sort of lesser group charge. For example, if my clan has 20 players at £12 each that is £240, thats a huge amount of money considering most are reserves really. If there was some sort of group discount properly, eg subscribe 20 people at once and get half price or something.

I am not saying this because I am cheap or do not want to pay, I currently have free league admin subscription and I am waiting for that to expire so I can actually pay myself. I am saying it because I know many clans out there will be in a difficult situation like me and will have some people who dont want to play and it could tear up the clan. The reality is, most clans wont tear up over divisions based on subscriptions, they will just say fuck the BWCSL and piss off :/
 
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Skyler

Guest
Well I have had my thinking cap on since this was posted, and I have spoken to a few people I know around the CS community and most clans seem to be split partly.

I would expect you would have at least 1 member in nearly every clan who would be willing to pay. However, at the same time you have at least one in every clan who will refuse to pay for whatever reason.

I'm not sure on the average clan size in the BWCSL but I am currently in a big clan with rather a lot of registered players. It would be near impossible to get all of them to pay. So despite my willingness I will be dragged out of the league based on what my clan decide.

No way should reserves really be expected to pay, they dont really play much and wont get much (leaguewise) for their money. Clans will be divided and they will either face a split of some kind or have to leave the BWCSL, and I think they will choose the latter. Given that if they let the players who wouldnt pay go they wouldnt have much of a clan left in most cases, so a subscription wouldnt be of any use.

So how should we go about introducing a cost without making it cause so many problems ?

You could introduce a group discount as I suggested earlier but it could get very complicated and confusing :/

You could set up an entire clan subscription interface, but that is just super complex and would never get done....

How about doing it BY style, as long as one clan member is a BW subscriber the clan can get into the league ?


I think the entire clan subscription interface is probably the best option, but it isnt really viable so we have to scrub that.
Group discount really has to go the same way as the clan subbing idea as it would be hard to work.

BY style subscriptions would work but I dont know if it would be doable given that the revenue generated would be so much lower.


Now the big problem is, will anyone at BW agree to any of those? Will they even happen ? I think not.
Someone at the top clearly doesnt want to back down and rethink this, so it is up to us to make the best out of it.


So heres what I think...

The games are 5v5, so theoretically clans only need 5 subscribers online at any one time. So why dont we just ask for 5 subscriptions from a clan instead of 1 each or 1 for the whole lot.
This way the clan gets to allow all of its members to play, however big the clan is. BW cant really say no to it imo because 5 slots are the max that clans ever use on any one week in the BWCSL. The 5 subscriptions can be grouped together as one charge for the clan of say £60 (with reward cards but I cant see clans paying £120 :/). Now to me £60 for a years subscription to the BWCSL format is rather good value when you consider it is for your entire clan.

I dont know what would happen in terms of singular subscriptions, ie. would it be only 5 slots available at any one time for the clan to use on public play, or would it just allow the entire clan to play on BW whenever.

Thats basically it really, I think it would be the best compromise we are going to get from this situation. BW wont want to charge only £12 for an entire clan, and they dont want to make a whole extra subscription format just for clans. This is a fair enough compromise and I can see it going down a lot better with clans than having individual charges. Although it wont make much difference for clans with small numbers, but not much can be done about that. It would be to complex to introduce clan size based charging etc. At the end of the day every clan plays 5v5 and they all use 5 slots each week, so all should pay for those 5 slots. No more and no less, it is as fair as your gonna get it tbh.

So what do you think to that ?

£60 for your clan to play in BWCSL for the next year, plus the option of accessing BW for public gaming etc.
 
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andersschm

Guest
<<£60 for your clan to play in BWCSL for the next year, plus the option of accessing BW for public gaming etc.>>

Best idea so far :)
 
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old.yashar

Guest
I'm with the other here, I think it should be done by a pay per clan basis, becuase even though £24 a year isnt much i doubt all of the players in my clan would want to pay that for basically playing in the league. And I think you'd loose a lot of the clans if it was a case of paying £24 per player.
You should just try and work out how much each clan would ahve to pay to cover the costs of the league, and charge that much, maybe even ask how much each clan's prepared to pay.
 
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RogueOne

Guest
While I'm not 100% sure BW would approve of Skyler's plan, I think it sounds fair enough to me and as things stand, I wouldn't penalise anybody trying it.

With an average of 3 seasons per year (based on this year's figures), that works out as £20 per season, which ain't too bad, all things considered, given that it also gives you publics/bookables/webhosting access.
 
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andersschm

Guest
I know this is unlikely to be changed - but paying for a whole year may be a bit extreme seeing the average length of clan existence and clan membership by some players.
 
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andersschm

Guest
Been thinking more as this is important to me...

<<Ultimately, the servers and bandwidth that are required to run a league do not come for free >>

I imagine that most of the clans in BWCSL have their own servers - perhaps the home clan in each fixture could host the match on their server using a league configuration and a league admin with rcon.

Obviously I can see why Barrysworld want this to happen to push their product. Also the admins would benefit from having more at their disposal to make a better league.

However it is the individual players who are being asked to bear the brunt of this cost. Most of them wouldn't get much benefit from a Barrysworld membership - they don't need web hosting, have no need to rent servers and either have their own favoured pool of public severs or don't play on public servers.

So assuming they don't use the above they are paying solely to be in BWCSL. I surveyed my players a month back to see what competitions they liked playing in best. The general consensus is that they don't mind where they play or what they stand to win as long as they are playing. So while clan leaders like myself may favour playing in BWCSL - the players don't have to really interface with BWCSL so to them its just another competition. Thus I don't see them prepared to pay, I imagine they will just respond with a list of competitions that I should enter instead.

I really enjoy BWCSL (as you can tell by the amount of time I spend on these forums alone!) but I think that this move will have the net effect of transforming it from the premier online CS league (IMHO) to a Barrysworld community league.

Thus pay per clan is my preferred option and preferably something where we are paying directly towards league costs instead of paying for a selection of services that if people wanted they would already possess.
 
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RogueOne

Guest
I'm afraid we're not going to use the model of having matches played on clans' own servers. For one thing, this is too open to abuse. For another thing, it's basically part of our charter that games have to be played on our servers.
 
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g-shock

Guest
would all clans need 2 pay? i.e div 1 clans from which them competing makes the league look better.
 
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[BFTD]BigD

Guest
so the ones that are able to win prizes are the ones that don't pay ... interesting suggestion ...

think you could lose a lot of clans, we are still debating it in BFTD, but I can see a situation where we have a much reduced squad for the league if we compete that means the possibilty of more defaults if people are absent for various reasons.

I prefer the whole clan fee approach, I know how hard it is trying to get money out of a clan, just for a clan server, and as Anders said, its only me who really worries about the fact its BWCSL, the rest of the clan just know it as another game I sort out.
 
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RogueOne

Guest
Yes, all clans would have to pay. As far as I'm concerned, a division 4 clan contributes just as much to the league as a division 1 clan and I don't particularly believe in special treatment.

BigD: I understand your concens over the payment method, but perhaps the method outlined by Skyler in his post above might prove helpful?
 
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andersschm

Guest
So if a clan buys 5 memberships to BWCSL - is there no control over who can use these memberships so we can play whoever we like with that membership?

If this is the case potentially clans in different divisions could also share memberships reducing the cost further.
 
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Skyler

Guest
Well my proposal is the best compromise you lot are gonna get.

If BW show a little give and accept it and clans take it upon themselves to sort out the cheap payment, It would work :)

£60 for an entire clans entrance to three seasons of the BWCSL is well worth it, not to mention the other stuff, ie publics etc.

BW should surely see that this idea makes sense. Atm the public servers are near empty and p2p is pretty much a disaster as far as I'm concerned. They arent attracting more players very well, people are paying and then seeing the servers empty, so they complain and wish they didnt subscribe. Rumours like that spread and it makes the chances of more subscribers even slimmer.

This way BW will attract potentially huge numbers of subscribers (entire clans) all at once, it will boost popularity of the publics and increase the subscriber base. It is pretty much BW's last chance to get the right popularity they need imo. As much as I hate to say it but p2p isnt exactly going well is it, BW is fast losing momentum and needs a kick up the arse in terms of numbers.

In the long run this idea would really work for BW, so we need more clans to back it. If you guys like the BWCSL (tis easily the best uk online league by far) then I think you should show some support for this idea, because its the closest your gonna get to having it free or whatever :)
 
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andersschm

Guest
LOL just whoever signs up for 5 GAME reward cards gets 5X the spam ;)
 
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RogueOne

Guest
Anders, while I'm fairly sure BW wouldn't mind people sharing accounts within a clan, I'm fairly certain that if they detected multiple clans sharing the same accounts, they'd come down on that like a tonne of rectangular building things.
 
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g-shock

Guest
i think bw should come up with a package where u can access only the servers, instead of all the web space and ftp access. mite make the servers a bit busier.
 
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Mapster

Guest
This is nothing to do with CS, this is solely about business, money, and forcing people to pay a general subscription to Barrysworld servers, bookables, etc that they ain't gonna use.

I have a BW subscription, but like most people in a clan, we have our own server, and tbh, I haven't played on a single BW server apart from in the league. That may change in the future, and for me, it's quite nice to have all the BW features available IF I decide to use them.

Feck sake, people aren't made of money, and it's damn unfair to charge them the same as a general BW subscription just to play in the league.

It's all well and good saying "But they get access to the servers, bookables, web hosting etc.!", but tbh, if they wanted all that, they would already have subscribed.

Forgive my cynicism, but isn't this just another way of BW increasing their general subscriptions (should look nice on the annual accounts, there's a lot of players playing in the league who aren't subscribers at the moment)?

Ah feck it, ignore me, everyone else does ;)

Mapster.
 
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RogueOne

Guest
"Feck sake, people aren't made of money,"

This is very true. It's as true of companies as it is of individuals and it's also true of Barrysworld. Hence the need to increase the number of public subscriptions. I know that the publics have been a bit... umm... dead lately, but hopefully, with a load of new subscriptions from the league, that should change a bit.
 
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[TNN]Aardvark

Guest
Well there comes a problem with the whole 'subscribers only model'. Not only is it making the league pretty much blanket 'members only', but the benefits are most likely going to be returned in prizes rather than outstanding server performance. And this is where the problems arise.

Each season, only the top division wins prizes. THere are 8 other divisions full of clans that have no chance of winning a thing. So the paying of subs gives them no huge benefit, apart from having the league run at all. not really good value you can argue that they get all the extra BW bells and whistles, but lets face it if they want them, they already have them.

The other problem is there are a number of ways to gain an unfair advantage in online CS, ranging from full on cheating such as wallhacks, to the more stealthy config tweaking. As such the competition will become a mockery of the highest oerder, winning teams being decided on who can bend the rules the most and get away with it.

The only, ONLY way a league subs plan can work is if the servers are as good as the best european servers, if configs are enforced, and all possible cheat detection methods are used.

Step one, run the servers on linux. This is without doubt the best way of gaining performance. If BW can't do this with all the cash they get from entry fees, then there is no point whatsoever in attempting it.
 
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RogueOne

Guest
Well there comes a problem with the whole 'subscribers only model'. Not only is it making the league pretty much blanket 'members only', but the benefits are most likely going to be returned in prizes rather than outstanding server performance. And this is where the problems arise.
Not true. When we move to a subs-only model, we'll be getting a big upgrade to our servers. BW have some very high spec server boxes knocking around at the moment and I see no reason why we wouldn't get some of them, if we were bringing in money.

Each season, only the top division wins prizes. THere are 8 other divisions full of clans that have no chance of winning a thing. So the paying of subs gives them no huge benefit, apart from having the league run at all. not really good value you can argue that they get all the extra BW bells and whistles, but lets face it if they want them, they already have them.
Also not true. If you read what's been said, it seems likely that prizes will no longer just be confined to the top division. Although the plans haven't been announced properly yet, I've been told that pay-to-play leagues will get a "prize-pool", which suggests that we will be able to choose how prizes are assigned between the divisions.

The other problem is there are a number of ways to gain an unfair advantage in online CS, ranging from full on cheating such as wallhacks, to the more stealthy config tweaking. As such the competition will become a mockery of the highest oerder, winning teams being decided on who can bend the rules the most and get away with it.
There's something to be said for this argument, but I don't see it as any reason not to go pay-to-play. Cheating is largely on the way out in CS these days and it's certainly hard to get away with in league play. As for config-tweaking... I've noticed a lot of people exaggerate the effect of a lot of the netcode tweaks and I certainly don't think the effect is as great as many people suggest (usually just after they lose a match). However, if somebody can suggest a practical way of implementing config-locking on our servers, preferably with detailed instructions on how to do it, then I'm happy to ask that BW implement this.
 
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[TNN]Aardvark

Guest
Well prizes for each division winner is an even worse idea. Then you get people manipulating results to get placed in a division where they win easily, and get all the goodies.

As for server performance, the single best way to stop bullet loss is to run the servers on linux boxes. 95% of UK servers use windows based machines. When you compare even the best of the UK servers to those running linux in countries such as holland or finland, the european servers are way better. It comes to the point where peole would rather play on a finnish server with 100 ping as the server performance is that much better.
 
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Wookles

Guest
Clan SWANT are currently debating this and I have to say we are pretty divided.

Many of us are inclined to leave BWCSL for another league or ladder.

The point of contention seems to be where the money is coming from to pay for the subscription. We have over 30 members.. of which about 10 can expect to play in BWCSL matches within a season. Not all of those will play EVERY match (obviously).

We have a bank account that everyone pays into to pay for our server and other things. But would be unfair to use this to pay for a league.... so you see our problem.

All we can do is wait and see what kind of deal BWCSL comes up with before we can make our decision. But at the moment its not looking hopeful (

Wookie
 
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Ch3tan

Guest
Well in SWANTs case having 5 subs for the whole clan would be cheap, but which members would use these accounts for bookables, publics etc out of league time?

Aardvark, the BWCS public servers run on dual CPU boxes, two servers a box with one CPU pegged to each server. Thats 1gig of CPU power per CS server, they are very very smooth. Much, much better than the league servers and the old CS publics. I'd assume the leauge would get something similar if it went behind subs.
 
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[TNN]Aardvark

Guest
Ch3tan, do these servers eliminate bullet loss? DO they run HLGuard and WWCL?

The league servers would have to fulfil all three of those criteria to be worth the entry fee.
 
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old.ollyitus

Guest
On what basis can anyone justify the initial plan of every player needing BW membership to play? Am I the only one who has worked out that with the current number of registered players using this system BW would make over £30000 per year from BWCSL. Can someone please justify how a league can cost this much to run, even allowing for a profit margin. No offence but it seems to me that Barrysworld are turning to the leagues to try and boost what is a failing subscription service.



Secondly most players would not want any of the BW membership perks. Access to BW public servers is a bonus, but there are hundreds of fast servers free to use in the UK. Other perks include:

- Up to eight websites per clan. Sure some players want their own site, but for most clans one will do.
- Over 24 hours of bookable server per week. Four hours would be sufficient for most clans, and for those who have their own server it would be unused.

Summing up the amount of money that you are asking for with this plan is ridiculous. In my view a product is being mis-sold by making players have BW membership to compete in BWCSL.


The second system of making five players have BW membership is also stupid (sorry but I am just being honest). As a CL I can see that it just won’t work. If five players pay then I would almost be obliged to pick those five every week, as it would be completely unfair to play people who haven’t paid instead those who have, and I think many players would leave clans for this reason. This would result in a lowering standard of play within the league.

The system is also hugely open to abuse. If I bought myself BW membership I could very simply go onto a BW server and take another BW members wonID, then register it for my clan, allowing a whole clan to enter for just £24 or £12. Building security checks into the registration would be able to eliminate most of this abuse but this would take a huge amount of time.



In my mind there is only one solution. Each clan pays a fixed amount per season (per year doesn’t make sense when the amount of time between each season seems to vary – meaning we don’t know what we are getting for our money). Obviously the amount would be open to discussion, but I don’t see any justification for charging more than £25 per season (£6750 per year for barrysworld).

There is no justification whatsoever for making BWCSL players have BW membership. Its an obvious way for BW to save a failing system, but we aint all stupid.
 

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