EDIT: THE PATRON CHANGES HAVE BEEN CANCELED! Still doesnt change how much cash I am bring in from it due to what I changed, but still, this will be here now as an Archive of what Patreon tried to do here.
This is going to be a long post so strap yourselves in! This post is part of my whole “Transparency” value, where I make clear my plans going forward and the reasoning behind them.
Its time for a small update to everyone who has been reading my little corner of the net here. Hello readers, how are you doing on this fine day? Or whatever day you are reading this. I do hope its a good day.
First up, I wanna talk Patreon. For those unaware, I do have one. You can find a link at the top of the site as well as over on the sidebar if you care to go look. Currently, Patreon is planning to unleash some changes come 12/18/17 and these changes are quite a major pain in the ass.
Basically, the way Patreon used to work was as follows: You would pledge an amount of money to a creator (lets say $1). The creator would have their Patreon setup to either charge per creation or per month. At the first of the month, you would be charged your pledge (lets again say $1) and then the Creator would get that money after Patreon took 5% and any payment processing fees. Usually the creators got about 65 cents to the dollar. The vast majority of creators as well was fine with this. It makes sense. Customers generally dont pay the fees, the business does. You dont go to Walmart and pay the credit card processing fees for example.
However, the current plan come 12/18 is to change all this. The Creators will still get charged a 5% fee from Patreon, which is how Patreon itself makes its money. However, Supports will now pay a 2.9% + 35 cent fee on EACH pledge they have.
Pledge to 1 person, at $1 a month? Your new monthly bill will be $1.38.
Pledge to 10 people at $1 a month? Its not $10 anymore, its now $13.80.
This is a massive increase and the reaction has been completely negative across the board. I myself used to do “Per Creation”, and those get that fee on EACH creation as well! In essence, Patreon is treating each Creation that a Creator charges for as a new pledge. Normally, for example, if I posted 4 things, a supporter would get charged their pledge 4 times ($1 per creation x 4 creations = $4 at the end of the month). However, now a supporter would get charged their pledge PLUS the fee PER CREATION ($1 per creation + fee = $1.38 x 4 = $5.52).
Massive differences. Because of this, I changed my Patreon to a Per Month charge so my supporters only get charged once for that bloody fee. To be honest its also easier to budget with that change as well for everyone involved.
However, making this changed also did quite the number of my possible income. Originally, I had quite a few Supporters who gave me $1 per creation, but would set the monthly limit to like $5 a month max. This meant as long as I did weekly posts I would get about $4 – $5 a month from them. However, once I switched to monthly Patreon automatically set every one of those pledges to $1 a month flat and many of them have not updated to reflect the change, either because the fee hurts them too much or they just havent realized what happened (despite my multiple notifications). After taking out the 5% fee and my own Support to other creators, I am going to be getting about $35 a month now. Before it was around $70. BIG change.
Still, I dont live on that money, so its not a huge hurt. In fact, I really don’t know what to do with that money most of the time. Admittedly, I created a Patreon back in April 2017 because several people suggested I do so, so they could throw money at me in exchange for the content I was providing, and they have supported me ever since. Along with more.
I love each of my Supporters no matter how much they give. Its why I only have 1 reward tier. I treat every person the same no matter how large or small their support of me is.
Originally when I focused on Video Content the money was going to funnel into PC upgrades, camera upgrades, and new tabletop products. Since I have now switched to MOSTLY written, and I am adding monthly Video Game RPG reviews, the plan for that cash has changed a bit. First up, I need to make sure that I save at least $100 a year from my Patreon funds to cover the cost of Webhosting. That is how much this site + domain name will run me a year, and I aim to keep it. Second, I currently plan to get a game console of some sort to expand my options when it comes to RPG Video Games.
Since I have gotten quite a few contacts in the Tabletop RPG world its become fairly easy for me to get new books, adventures, and products to review. In fact, I got yet another one called Michtim coming to me from a creator which looks like it will be a fun and cute book. I am pretty sure I will never run out of Tabletop stuff to review or talk about, especially since a couple of creators are now just going to be sending me copies of their stuff every time they come up with something new.
So where does that leave the extra Patron money? And thus came the idea of a console for Console Exclusive RPGs.
I have done quite a bit of research and originally had the idea of purchasing either a PS4 Pro, a Nintendo Switch, or a Nintendo New 3DS XL or New 2DS XL. My research focused on RPG Library (Exclusives), and Cost mostly.
The PS4 Pro, after taking a look, went right out the window. Since I am going to be using Patreon funds for this, I had to look at how long it would take to save up for the system and at least one game to get started. The PS4 Pro runs $350-$400 depending on model. Then I would want to get a Capture Device for it, which is another $100. Each game would generally run $40-$60 as well. Additionally, many of the RPGs on here are also found on the PC. The only exclusives I can really think of off hand are Persona 5 and Horizon Zero Dawn. And I would want the PS4 Pro so I could possibly eventually do VR RPGs on it. If you are going to grab a system like this you want to future proof as much as you can.
The Switch was up next but the biggest issue here is simple library. Its too new, and doesn’t have an expansive library. While that MAY change in the future, the fact remains that many of the games that are not Nintendo exclusive may very well appear on PC as well. Plus finding one can be a bit of a chore. On the plus side it is portable and is the newest system, but then I gotta factor in cost. $300 for the system + $60 for each new game. I would also need that $100 capture device for this as well if I wanted to do Video Reviews.
That left the New 3DS XL or New 2DS XL. Cost wise, this is the cheapest option at $150 for the New 2DS and $199 for the new 3DS. After research, there is no difference in hardware between the two beyond lack of 3D on the New 2DS XL. Additionally, being backwards compatiable with many DS Games means the available library of games is massive, and most of them brand new run $40, and drop in price if you get em used. Also the system is portable meaning I can take it with me and play games on breaks and lunch at work which helps speed up playtime. The negative here is that doing video capture of 3DS games is nearly impossible without heavy modifications to the system.
After careful consideration and discussion I have decided to go with a New 2DS XL. So right now, my plan is to save my Patreon funds till I get enough to purchase both a system and a game to go with it (So around $200), and then review that game asap for the site. Sadly it will be a written review rather then video unless I get really creative with camera use (I do have a Camera Arm so its not like I couldnt figure a way to do it) but then again Nintendo HATES video of its products it seems. At least I can take in game Screenshots. I already know what game I am going to grab as well: Xenoblade Chronicles 3D. Its a nice meaty JRPG and should provide quite a bit to talk about, especially since its a port of a Wii game that I dabbled it back when it released. Couldnt stand the Wii controls though (in general I am not a fan of the Wii and its wierd ass controllers)
Finally lets talk about the rest of December and how the blog has been doing. Beyond a spike on the Elex review, which was because I posted links on Reddit, the blog has been doing about what I expected. I am getting around 10-30 views a day, sometimes a few more if I post something, and slowly but surely I seem to be gaining a readership I THINK. Its hard to tell. However, I am not beholden to anything like Youtube and trying to fight for space there, no metrics I have to worry about, so thats a huge load off my mind.
I have had a few guest posts which people seem to enjoy. The Darksun ones by Saevrick seem to be my most popular blog posts in general actually. Tells me that boy should be writing on his own really but for now I will be his host.
Going forward for the rest of December, I have the Mass Effect Andromeda review planned, a Plot Hook post, and a video review of the book Lost Artifacts of Greyghast which is just a singularly massive tome of magic items for 5E. Also my January Game Review is going to be of Okami HD. I wanted something different for the new year, and given that the game released yesterday (and I already have my copy installed!) I was like why not!
So there you have it. A indepth review of how things are going, where they are going, and my current plans going forward. I hope you all enjoy my site. You can find me on twitter by clicking over there in the Sidebar, or just leave a comment here if you feel like chatting.
Oh, and my Discord server is now open to the public. There is still a special super hidden Patron only room, but the rest of you can join, chat, and generally run amuk. Just dont be a dick and we will be fine.