Town of Salem moves away from Free To Play

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Town of Salem moves away from Free To Play

Postby shapesifter13 » Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:22 pm

After careful thought and consideration we have decided that taking Town of Salem away from a free-to-play model is best for the continued health and community of the game.



What does going Pay To Play mean for me as an existing user?

You are most likely already grandfathered in to the new system. All existing accounts with at least 1 game played or who has ever made a real money purchase (Steam, Web premium, Mobile premium, Coven, promotions, etc) are already grandfathered in (aka you still get to play for free). We didn’t grandfather in all accounts to prevent bringing a bunch of botter alt accounts into the new system.

A grandfathered account does not mean you now have a premium account however. If you hadn’t already purchased premium you still will not get the double merit points after the change, but you will be able to continue playing ToS for free.


Why did we make this change?

As many of you are aware in the recent months we have been attacked by a group of botters and scripters spamming the chat, making false reports, gamethrowing, and all around ruining games. We have done many things to combat these bots but at the detriment of future development.

We have tried auto detection of common bot phrases, and suspensions based on these. The bots were able to turn this against normal users by tricking them into saying these phrases, while changing their bots to say other things.

This led us to try logging their IPs and IP banning them, but they would just rotate their IPs between accounts. Normal users would sometimes then be assigned these banned IPs meaning they couldn’t log in anymore.

Next we tried altering our client and server networking code to break 3rd clients. Within a few hours they had decompiled our SWFs, looked at the source code to fix their 3rd party clients and were back to botting.

We added email verification to make sure that only valid emails could be used to create accounts, but these users used forwarding emails, or sites such as “10 minute email” to make temporary emails that were valid long enough to activate the accounts.

Then we added captchas to several parts of the registration process to make it harder for them to register accounts, but again, they found ways to get around it, or go straight through it. This made it harder for normal users to make accounts, but didn’t really slow down the bots.

Lastly, we added captchas when a newer user tried to join a lobby, and these would trigger again on spamming reports. This method slowed down the bots, but only as long as we constantly work to add new captcha questions, and actively work to brick any automated solvers they are creating.

Currently, we can only keep up with the bots by devoting all our time to the upkeep of the captcha system.

The botters and spammers seem willing to devote all of their time to coming up with new ways to spam, troll, bot and destroy Town of Salem. Every new system we add to stop botters just hurts the new user experience more and more and motivates the botters to find a way around the system.

The solution is going Pay to Play.

Even before botters we have always struggled to keep a clean community against spammers, trolls, multi-accounters, gamethrowers and downright toxic people who can make an alt account and be back on the game within 5 minutes of being banned. This is a common problem with free-to-play games. Now that we are no longer free to play we will be having a very large focus on cleaning up the community and creating a fun and safe environment for everyone to have quality games.


What will be the experience for new users?

They will be able to register and login but will be limited to friends chat and using the cauldron until they purchase an upgrade for their account. Steam, web premium, and mobile premium all count for this.

Do you have any plans for letting me play with my friends without purchase in the future?

We are planning to add referral codes for premium users to give out to their friends that will allow them to play a limited amount of games so they can try things out.


What does this mean for the future of Town of Salem?

We feel that this move will be a positive for the game, as well as all current and future users. The botters will not want to spend real money in order to troll. Even if they do, they will be very limited in the amount of accounts they can make this way without committing credit card fraud.
This also means that every account has an inherent value to it, as being banned means you will need to buy the game to play again. Any user that is suspended for breaking the rules will have to actually think about what they are doing, because if they end up permanently banned they can’t just make a new free account anymore. Better games in every facet should be much more common. We as developers can go back to trying to make a good game, rather than focusing on how to stop botters or how to rework reports to stop toxic behavior.

We will be working hard over the next few months to remove any alt accounts the botters may have stockpiled as well as improving the suspension and afk systems to encourage better behavior and quality games in the community. We believe that in a few short months there will be a drastic improvement in the quality of Town of Salem games.
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Re: Town of Salem moves away from Free To Play

Postby RunningJoke » Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:35 pm

So does this mean Coven will no longer be paid-for DLC? Because if not, then the playerbase is still effectively split through a rather unnecessary paywall (as bots can no longer get into either version of the game).
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Re: Town of Salem moves away from Free To Play

Postby jonnygreenwood » Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:36 pm

If i never had paid a real money purchase, will i loose all my ranks, games, pets etc?
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Re: Town of Salem moves away from Free To Play

Postby Achilles » Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:37 pm

RunningJoke wrote:So does this mean Coven will no longer be paid-for DLC? Because if not, then the playerbase is still effectively split through a rather unnecessary paywall (as bots can no longer get into either version of the game).


Coven it still it's own DLC. It is $5 to play ToS now and $5 for Coven. We may revisit a lot of things in the future now that were making this change but one step at a time.

One nice thing is we can do more free Coven weekends without letting bots in to Coven.
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Re: Town of Salem moves away from Free To Play

Postby Achilles » Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:38 pm

jonnygreenwood wrote:If i never had paid a real money purchase, will i loose all my ranks, games, pets etc?


As long as you had at least 1 game played you are fine. Nothing will change for you other than higher quality games :)
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Re: Town of Salem moves away from Free To Play

Postby KittyMeowtastic » Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:40 pm

Dear Creators,
I like your idea to stop these bots, but I dont think it is any fair to those who are broke. I may be mistakened BUT what about the ranked players? People play a LONG time and spend so many MERRIT POINTS to get to ranked and I dont think it should be a pay to play BUT a ranked play too. I worked on my account for TWO YEARS to get as far as I am right now. I have a life outside this game and I DONT LIKE THIS IDEA. I am warning you that when more angry players report this game and rate this game to a one star, this game will DIE FOREVER. You may need some more ideas other than a Pay To Play if you want your little game to stay alive. This is KittyMoewtastic, speaker for the TOS Players around the world. :devil:
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Re: Town of Salem moves away from Free To Play

Postby jonnygreenwood » Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:40 pm

Great, when will we be able to play again?
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Re: Town of Salem moves away from Free To Play

Postby PyromonkeyGG » Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:40 pm

Please make sure you read the announcement. If you have actually played a game, you will not be effected by this update.
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Re: Town of Salem moves away from Free To Play

Postby Achilles » Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:41 pm

KittyMeowtastic wrote:Dear Creators,
I like your idea to stop these bots, but I dont think it is any fair to those who are broke. I may be mistakened BUT what about the ranked players? People play a LONG time and spend so many MERRIT POINTS to get to ranked and I dont think it should be a pay to play BUT a ranked play too. I worked on my account for TWO YEARS to get as far as I am right now. I have a life outside this game and I DONT LIKE THIS IDEA. I am warning you that when more angry players report this game and rate this game to a one star, this game will DIE FOREVER. You may need some more ideas other than a Pay To Play if you want your little game to stay alive. This is KittyMoewtastic, speaker for the TOS Players around the world. :devil:


Please read the post my friend. All of our users are getting grandfathered in to new system. Nothing will change for you or your account :)
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Re: Town of Salem moves away from Free To Play

Postby Doghunterj » Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:42 pm

I can't access the game, it says the server is having issues? I've played 1000+ games. So I think I need to be grandfathered in still?
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Re: Town of Salem moves away from Free To Play

Postby shapesifter13 » Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:43 pm

The game is down for the patch Doghunterj.
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Re: Town of Salem moves away from Free To Play

Postby KittyMeowtastic » Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:43 pm

So, can you explain what grandfathered means? And if we want to pay for it, how could we?
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Re: Town of Salem moves away from Free To Play

Postby Tailslover13 » Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:44 pm

I already have 2500+ games played and 2050+ elo in Ranked, so this doesn't effect me, and I'm happy about that. So, if this is the steps necessary to help further clean up the community, I'm down for it. It might sting for some people, but I agree that it's necessary to have happen for the betterment of all players worldwide.
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Re: Town of Salem moves away from Free To Play

Postby Djaouida » Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:45 pm

I have mixed reactions to this decision but I do believe in the long-term it'll affect the overall health of the game.
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Re: Town of Salem moves away from Free To Play

Postby PyromonkeyGG » Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:46 pm

KittyMeowtastic wrote:So, can you explain what grandfathered means? And if we want to pay for it, how could we?


Grandfathering in all our users with 1 game played or has every spent money on the game in this update means that those users (you included) will not be asked to pay for the game. All brand new users will be asked to pay.
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Re: Town of Salem moves away from Free To Play

Postby shapesifter13 » Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:46 pm

@kittymeowtastic This means that your account will not be affected by these changes as long as you had made a purchase of any kind, or played at least 1 game. If you have done either of these things your account is still valid, and you can continue to play on it.
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Re: Town of Salem moves away from Free To Play

Postby AustinRay » Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:47 pm

I literally just started playing today. Thankfully I finished a game o I'll be grandfather in. smh
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Re: Town of Salem moves away from Free To Play

Postby TheBurningPhoenix » Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:50 pm

Maybe now would be a good time to replay the game again.

I suggest a possibility for a 2 dollar purchase with town points so that there will be more new players.
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Re: Town of Salem moves away from Free To Play

Postby Celestialex » Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:51 pm

I know this had to be a hard decision for you, and I want to say that I fully support your decision. A lot of idiots are going to complain because they don't understand what you're trying to do, but I'm certain game quality in Town of Salem is going to increase by a huge amount thanks to you guys.

Though, since the main objective is to make scammers pay for accounts, would it be possible for each paid/grandfathered account to give a single-use coupon code for a new account to get the game for like 20% off or something like that? I think that would help soften the blow of the pay-to-play feature.

Just an idea.
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Re: Town of Salem moves away from Free To Play

Postby maleijn » Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:51 pm

TheBurningPhoenix wrote:Maybe now would be a good time to replay the game again.

I suggest a possibility for a 2 dollar purchase with town points so that there will be more new players.


Nah, that way BMG won`t make enough money out of this "solution"
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Re: Town of Salem moves away from Free To Play

Postby BoringLorik » Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:52 pm

KittyMeowtastic wrote:Dear Creators,
I like your idea to stop these bots, but I dont think it is any fair to those who are broke. I may be mistakened BUT what about the ranked players? People play a LONG time and spend so many MERRIT POINTS to get to ranked and I dont think it should be a pay to play BUT a ranked play too. I worked on my account for TWO YEARS to get as far as I am right now. I have a life outside this game and I DONT LIKE THIS IDEA. I am warning you that when more angry players report this game and rate this game to a one star, this game will DIE FOREVER. You may need some more ideas other than a Pay To Play if you want your little game to stay alive. This is KittyMoewtastic, speaker for the TOS Players around the world. :devil:

mate he literally said if you have more than 1 game played your free account wont be removed , read for fucks sake
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Re: Town of Salem moves away from Free To Play

Postby PyromonkeyGG » Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:54 pm

Celestialex wrote:I know this had to be a hard decision for you, and I want to say that I fully support your decision. A lot of idiots are going to complain because they don't understand what you're trying to do, but I'm certain game quality in Town of Salem is going to increase by a huge amount thanks to you guys.

Though, since the main objective is to make scammers pay for accounts, would it be possible for each paid/grandfathered account to give a single-use coupon code for a new account to get the game for like 20% off or something like that? I think that would help soften the blow of the pay-to-play feature.

Just an idea.


We will be working on systems for paid users to bring their friends who are new to the game into it more easily in the future. We think a revamp of the refer a friend system will go a long way to easing this issue.
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Re: Town of Salem moves away from Free To Play

Postby LoyaI » Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:54 pm

The game is now available to play for those who are wondering now. I just logged in.
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Re: Town of Salem moves away from Free To Play

Postby PyromonkeyGG » Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:55 pm

The servers are back up and available to play.
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Re: Town of Salem moves away from Free To Play

Postby KittyMeowtastic » Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:55 pm

:cry: But the thing is I didnt pay for anything with real money. I only made purchases with merrit points. :cry:
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