Thanks again for the feedback on Kickstarter! I’m definitely going to use some of the easier suggestions, such as getting your name in the credits, a unique appearance item, and maybe a special border around your character’s name. And I have some other fun low-cost ideas too.
Some of your suggestions were good but would have to be too expensive… for example, to add a custom quest (I mean something with meat, not just a trivial kill-10-rats quest) would have to cost at least $500, and probably more like $1000+ depending on complexity. So I won’t bother listing those sorts of rewards; don’t want to seem too crazy.
But one idea that was repeatedly mentioned was custom NPC dialog. And I can do something like that without too much cost. So let me pitch you some ideas for NPC customization, plus some other high-end reward possibilities.
So… do these sound exciting? Or game-ruining? These are $50+ rewards, so I’m not going to use all of these, and they won’t get heavily purchased anyway since they’re more costly… but if they sound really broken or unfair, let me know:
Name an NPC: Pitch me a name for an NPC (plus gender/race if you like). Subject to approval — if I can’t use it I’ll keep asking for new names until I get one I can use.
Get Mentioned By NPCs: You can reserve your character name, and NPCs will have idle chit-chat dialog that mentions you. You can specify whether you want them to be discussing your heroic deeds, your epic embarrassments, or just general good vibes. (If your character is going to be an elf, “epic embarrassments” are probably rated R, just a warning.)
Create an NPC: Provide the name and some basic stats about an NPC (race, gender, general appearance, personality traits), including a catchphrase and any salient dialog you feel helps make the character. (Subject to editing and approval.)
Unique Crafting Recipe: one of your characters gets the ability to craft an item that nobody else will ever be able to craft. These are top-level items with unusual appearances and/or stats. They’re likely to be niche items, but very useful for certain very specific builds. (You’d get a random recipe from a pool of 20.)
Add Your Favorite Food: Tell me what your favorite food is, and I’ll make sure it’s in the game. For instance, if you like apple pie, and your character is going to be Bob, I’ll make sure there’s a recipe for Bob’s Apple Pie in the game. Your character will know how to make this food, and you’ll get a few copies of the recipe to give to friends. (Other people can find the recipes in loot, but they’ll likely be very rare loot drops.)
Rare Portal Summoning: I haven’t really talked about travel systems, but one of them is teleportation. Everyone can teleport themselves to certain locations, but it’s much more rare to be able to create a portal that lets anybody go there. (You have to find a rare recipe to learn each possible location.) This award gives you the ability to summon portals to a handful of useful locations.
Random Rare Pet: The animal husbandry system lets you breed animals to discover different appearances and better attributes. This kickstarter reward would pre-fill your stable with a rare pet, giving you a head start on breeding a specific (randomly-chosen) rare creature appearance. Some people get rare tigers, but some people get rare snails, so it’s the luck of the draw. (I haven’t talked about animal husbandry yet, but I’m excited about it — you can even sell your custom-bred animals to other players. But breeding/selling requires a bunch of skills and levels, which aren’t included with this award… this is just a rare pet, for when you get there.)
Admin Command: Once per week, you can use the “/smite” command to instantly kill another player. Remember that this is a PvE game, so this won’t gain you any dramatic advantage. However, it will surprise the heck out of somebody who’s being obnoxious in chat! (On the other hand, unusual deaths give big “Death XP” bonuses, so other players may end up begging you to kill them so they can earn the XP for your unique death method.) The slain player will receive a message that they were “kickstarted to death.” For obvious reasons of game sanity, this would need to cost a bunch, and I’d only want to give out, say, 20 of these awards in any case.
[Okay that last one sounds too scary, right? I really doubt it would be a problem, but it sounds scary…]