| It has actually been a few years since I seriously looked at the different benefits for each subscription tier. I've skimmed in the past and never found any major changes, but I have today.
I was elsewhere on the web and read a comment from someone that said they would no longer be using Writing.com for interactive stories since you apparently no longer allow free accounts to make interactive stories. I found that interesting, seeing as when I first came to this site years ago, that is what I used my free account for and when I needed more space I paid for a basic sub and that is what I've been doing since. Reading what I did, I decided to take a look at the revised listing of sub-tiers and what people get with each.
I am glad I did, because I didn't even know that the sub benefits list had changed. It is nearing four months since the latest changes and I wasn't informed of this, though I guess that was being saved as a surprise for people when they finally came around to re-subbing, finding out that they now have to drastically change their portfolios to accommodate the new limitations in the sub-tiers. I see now that you severely limit the number of interactives that people can create now, depending on sub-tier. From what I see, the limitation is rather ludicrous.
The change is so severe that it will radically change how I use this site, if I use it anymore at all. Again I never got a much needed message that such a major change had been made.
I see the highest tier of payment, $419.95 for a year, only allows at max, 25 interactive stories. Now that I see this, I guess I'm going to have to start backing up, and then taking down most of my interactives, since on my basic membership, I'm only allowed to have 5 interactives. The reason for this is I have 30 open interactives in my portfolio at the moment, and I have another one set to private that I've been working on. I certainly can't afford to pay that much money for space for only a measly 25 interactives.
I loved Writing.com, at least what it used to be. You have one of the best setups for interactives around. There are other places that people can host interactives for free, but the reason I paid for a basic membership was for the reason that I felt 50 item spaces was going to be plenty for the foreseeable future of my interactive writing, and that I could write as many interactives as I wanted as long as I didn't go beyond 50. Twenty bucks a year was worth it for a great interactive system. But now, no, even with the system being so good, the value for that system is universes off now, form the what it use to be. Again, $419.95 for the ability to only have 25 interactives. I barely make more money than that a month at my job at the moment as it is.
This site use to be great for both people that wrote as a hobby and for profession, but it definitely isn't for hobby writers anymore. Really, at these prices, I wouldn't even find it worth it if I wrote professionally. I understanding limiting things like message forums(like they used to be, though now it seems on upgraded tier, people can have an unlimited number of them. Really? And now making interactives horribly limited?) After I post this review, I'll start going through and copying/backing up my interactives onto my PC, for the inevitability of having to take them down sometime soon with the new sub-tier limitations.I've put hundreds of hours into them, and I'd hate to lose them.
Here are my tips for improvement:
1.) If I'm paying for 50 items slots, I should be able to create 50 of a story-based item regardless of the type, interactive, static, etc. If I'm paying for the space, I should be able to used it how I want. If I can't do that as a paying users, then there is no point in staying on the site and paying. I understand having a limitation on item spaces in general, but limiting the styles of stories one can create with that space, that is just binding the hands of the writers that come here.
2.) If you are going to make a major site/user portfolio changing edit to something like the subscription policy, then you might want to, you know, tell the people that are paying for such a thing, that they are going to have to make some changes to accommodate it.
Granted, my subscription doesn't expire until this December, but if I don't see a change in this policy back to the user/consumer friendly model of old, then I'm not going to resubscribe when it comes time.
As it stands, this new sub-tier model with the new limitations, gets an F for failing on the level of how user/consumer friendly it is with the price paid vs. quality of what is received from paying such amounts. Again, I'd hate to have to leave the site, but the way it looks now, I'm going to have to set sail for far far better lands, because those lands have unlimited space for free. At the moment, that now beats having a better development/construct system.