Sunday, November 18, 2018

Channel points & rewards

I have been offering rewards on my channel for probably a couple months now, including a number of games available in exchange for points in the Stream Elements store.  It's come up a few times where viewers were asking how they could gain points & I decided I needed to write an article on it so people could have easy access on how to gain points, including what bonuses are available when certain conditions are met.  First I'll go over how I'm determining how many points are required to get something from the store.

Store prices are comparable with the prices of those games at approximately 1 point per American cent if you were to purchase it at full price from an online store (it is possible these could be adjusted in the future if the price drops or raises).  Items can only be purchased from the store while a stream is running, this is to prevent abuse of bonuses that auto-award points (more on this later).  Note that some activation keys are pretty old however, it is possible they may have expired; let me know if you have a problem with this when you attempt to activate a key, I will refund the points if necessary (of course I will be testing the key on a new account before I issue any refunds to make sure it's actually expired & hasn't actually been used).

As for how to gain points:
  • Viewing:  2 points per 10 minutes
    • Points are gained at a rate of 2 points per 10 minutes while viewing.
    • This is by no means a way to gain a quick game from the store, but it does accumulate over time if you are an actual viewer of the stream.
  • Viewing (subscriber): 1 point per 1 minute
    • Subscribers get a x5 multiplier on points gained by viewing.
  • Following:  5 points one-time bonus
    • You gain 5 points for following.
    • One-time bonus that will be removed if the follow is removed.
  • Hosting:  10 points per host, limited to 1 per stream
    • Manual hosting auto-awards you with 10 points every time you do it.
    • Bonus limited to one time per stream.
  • Auto-hosting:  50 points one-time bonus after first auto-host
    • Stream Elements used to be able to determine when an auto-host had been initiated & award the host bonus every time a host had been started through this method, but Twitch has made changes that has since broken this method & points aren't being awarded for auto-hosts anymore...  This isn't really something I can keep track of to manually award without some kind of logs...
    • I would have sooner allowed users to continue getting the 10 point bonus on auto-hosts, but seeing as this auto-award has been broken, I had to come up with another method to be able to continue giving an awarded bonus to those that were doing it.
    • Auto-hosts are determined by being added through the system on Twitch.
    • Once the first host is noticed through Twitch's auto-host system, you will be awarded 50 points.
    • This bonus will be removed if the auto-host is removed.
  • Raids:  8 points per active viewer in a raid
    • I've been wanting to award points for raids for some time, but wasn't sure how to go about it considering Stream Elements doesn't have an option to auto-award points on raids, so I came up with a "per person" method.
    • Originally I felt I was going to have to do a lower amount on raids due to bots & inactive users that just sit in a channel & don't actually contribute to the channel (not even counting as a viewer), I determined that Stream Elements can determine how many of these users are actually active when they get sent to your channel, so I decided to go with a slightly higher rate per person.
    • 8 points per active viewer (active users determined by Stream Elements logs).  Active users are typically those that are actually in the channel (not bots or connected through IRC clients) & haven't dropped to an Away or Invisible status. 
  • Cheering:  1 point per bit cheered
    • You gain 1 point per bit cheered towards the channel (usually during the stream, as soon as I get a chance to do so).
    • Cheers of over 100 bits will immediately award 100 points per 100 bits spent.
      • Any value outside the multiple of 100 bits needs to be added manually, as stated in the first bullet.
  • Tipping:  100 points per $1 tip
    • Tipping through Stream Elements will give you 100 points per 1 American dollar spent towards the channel.
    • Tips can not be anonymous if you want to gain points from it.
    • Tips have to be at least $1, additional cents on the dollar will award additional points, but I'll have to add them manually.
    • Single tips $5 or more will have the tipper highlighted as a VIP Tipper on the channel's list with the highest tip given listed next to their name (unless requested they do not wish to be in that list, but it will still be public on Stream Elements, I have no way to hide this).
  • Subscriptions (Twitch):  Bonus points on subscriptions matching the calculated revenue from Twitch analytics (adjusted as necessary), plus the x5 watch bonus.
  • Subscriptions (Patreon):  1 point per 1 cent (100 points per $1) recurring subscription
    • You can chose your monthly recurring subscription rate.
    • You will need to provide your account name if you want to receive points, but can request to remain anonymous
    • Subscriptions over $5 will have access to posts on Patreon regarding game giveaways on various sites.
    • Subscriptions over $10 can request a Tier 1 gift subscription on Twitch in exchange for 500 points gained in the month of payment on Patreon.
    • Subscriptions over $15 can request a Tier 2 gift subscription on Twitch in exchange for 1000 points gained in the month of payment on Patreon.
    • Subscriptions over $30 can request a Tier 1 gift subscription on Twitch in exchange for 2500 points gained in the month of payment on Patreon.
    • Subscriptions are recurring, this will need to be canceled if you want the subscription to stop, however you will still get the remainder of the month of Free Game updates if you subscribed at $5 or over.
Last updated 6/27/2018
  • Bots are not eligible for points
    • Twitch accounts are usually determined to be bots if they are sitting in my channel for excessive amounts of time while it is offline (I can tell this through my IRC logs, usually connected to my channel & others that I moderate nearly 24/7).
    • This restriction would be different if those bots actually counted as a viewer, but seeing as they don't, I'm not getting any closer to partner status from them being in chat, so they aren't going to be gaining any points towards freebies off of my channel's shop when they don't even count as a viewer...
  • Obviously, those who have been banned from the channel are not eligible for points & will have all their existing points removed.
  • Breaking the chat rules will gain you a timeout & wipe your points at the end of the stream.  Typically the only people to break chat rules are new viewers that don't even read the rules before speaking, so this shouldn't be a huge concern for anybody that has been around in the channel for a while, this usually only effects those that enter the channel looking for personal gain.
    • Breaking the chat rules does not necessary mean you are blocked from the point system (only means you have to start over in gaining points), but could warrant a ban if serious enough (meaning you're banned from gaining points as well) or you are repeatedly breaking the rules over & over.
    • Getting hit by a filter that gives you an auto-timeout doesn't necessarily count as breaking chat rules, I can still see what you said through my IRC client, I will determine whether what was said was actually breaking the rules or not once I have a chance to look at any comment that may have been censored.  If you are a regular on the channel, I can add your name to the channel regulars list to help mitigate accidentally triggering the chat filters.
    • In the event that somebody who has cheered, tipped or subscribed to the channel does break one of the rules & gets timed out over it (provided it's not severe enough to be a ban), your points will never drop below points gained from these bonuses minus points spent in the store.  These values are tracked & you will only drop to this value if you break the rules, however you may lose any other points that were not gained through these 3 methods.
      • Timeout status will be tracked for anybody who has cheered, tipped or subscribed to the channel, so follow & auto-host bonuses can not be re-applied to those balances.
  • Abuse of bonuses will have your ability to gain points removed & your existing points wiped.
    • This "abuse" specifies manipulation of limited bonuses, such as attempting to get points for the follower or manual hosts more times than you should.
      • This point in particular is why points can only be spent while a stream is running, it gives me time to mitigate any attempted bonus point abuse before starting a stream.
Last updated 11/28/2018
Special notes regarding name changes:
  • Points are stored on existing names.
  • Names do not change on Stream Elements when a name is changed on Twitch.
  • If you are fairly regular in the channel, I may add your name to the regulars list, this will lower the chance that auto-filters will auto-timeout you (10 seconds) & wipe your comments in chat (filters regarding discrimination or aggressive harassment won't however, this filter even hits moderators & is permanent unless I cancel the timeout).
  • Changing your name on Twitch does not update your name on Stream Elements.  This will not only nullify you being on the regular list, but also leave your points on the old name.  Let me know if you've changed your name, I can transfer over the points to your new name & re-add you to the regular list (if you were on it already) once I've verified the name change (this usually means you still have to be following the channel so I can verify the name change through my followers list based on placement & cross-referencing that list through my external spreadsheet of followers).