Changes to the Kanka free tier

Changes to the Kanka free tier

EDIT4: We have collected enough data that we feel we can make a decision. Read about our response here

EDIT: While everyone is entitled to their opinion, some users have decided that they are allowed to insult and abuse us. There is a zero tolerance policy for abuse within Kanka. If you disagree with these changes, you can let us know without being rude. We are here to listen, not to be insulted. We will be taking extremely harsh actions, including bans, to anyone who does not follow this simple rule.

EDIT3: These changes are not definitive, they are a starting point for a conversation. We are coming to the community to discuss the best way to move forwards for everyone. This is why we’re asking for your feedback and we will take it into consideration. Please don’t assume we won’t listen.

I wanted to lay out upcoming changes to the free tier that we are fleshing out for Kanka. But first, a little bit of context. As you may know, Kanka has always made it its mission to provide a high quality service to all our users, whether paying or not. I believe that Kanka has the most attractive free offering of any of the major worldbuilding websites out there, and this has very much been by design and by choice. We have always stated that we did not want money to prevent people from playing and enjoying TTRPGs, and we remain firmly committed to that core philosophy.

Unfortunately, we have come to a point where we have to make changes to the free tier. We do not take this step lightly, but we find ourselves in a situation where we are shouldering increasing costs related to the continued growth of Kanka, and we want to ensure both fairness and a high quality service for all our users. We have a pipeline of major features we want to implement to continue being the best worldbuilding and game management tool, and so we have to make changes that we hope will nudge power users on the free tier to contribute to the growth and sustained quality of Kanka, while protecting those who are just starting out as well as those who have only limited needs.

The changes under consideration are:

  • Unboosted campaigns limited to 10 members.
  • Unboosted campaigns limited to the 3 base roles (admin, public, players).
  • Unboosted campaigns limited to 300 entities (excluding tags). EDIT2: As this seems to be a regular comment, I wanted to add numbers. Based on our data, this would affect 3% of our active campaigns (295 out of 9000).
  • Unboosted campaigns limited to 3 quick links.

What happens if you go above the limits while boosted and then decide to unboost a campaign? Your data will stay the same, but you will be unable to add more until elements have been deleted.

Important: in the spirit of fairness, these changes won’t happen overnight. We will initially limit changes to newly created campaigns on the 1st of August 2022, with a website-wide rollout on the 1st of November 2022.

As always we are keen on your feedback, and we will take into consideration the needs of the community. None of the changes to the Kanka free tier are finalised, so your opinion really does matter!

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below, on Discord, or via email.

Jon & Jay

Missed our latest update? Check it out! Photo by Brad West on Unsplash

37 Replies to “Changes to the Kanka free tier”

  1. I would humbly suggest to reconsider the limit on entities.
    As of now have a paid subscription because I really really like Kanka and want to (and can afford to) support it, but of course when I started it was on the free tier. If there had been a limit on entities I would have probably never tried out this website. I know, because I discarded other worldbuilding tools for exactly this reason.
    Again, this is not a problem for me right now (since I plan on keeping the subscription for the foreseeable future), but as a potential new user it made all the difference.

    Of course this is just my personal experience, but I thought it useful to share.

    Keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks for your feedback. I totally understand your perspective, and its a fair point. As mentioned, we’re trying to find the ‘right’ middle ground, and I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts. We’re putting this to a discussion to better understand how we can move forwards in a way that works for everyone, and we’ll take your thoughts under consideration.

  2. If there is any limit to the # of entities I won’t use this ever again. There’s a reason why I started using this and not some other more famous competitors.

  3. Same here. The limit on entities will make it not interesting anymore. Was thinking about doing more, but this will be a showstopper.

    1. Thanks for sharing. I would love it if you could expand a little bit on your thinking? Either here, on Discord or you can send us an email. Your opinion really does matter, or we wouldn’t be having this conversation 🙂

  4. Could you please clarify the vernacular around ‘unboosted’ and ‘paid’ versus ‘unpaid’ tiers?
    I have the Owlbear subscription. As someone with a paid subscription, will I have any limits on the number of entities I can create without spending one of my allocated ‘boosts’ on it?

    1. So as an Owlbear, you have access to certain bonuses, such as higher uploads, community votes, etc… Separately, you are given 3 boosts that you can use on any given campaign, or you can stack them up for a superboost.

      These changes would affect unboosted campaigns. This means that if you were to create a campaign and not boost it, there would be a limit of entities in that campaign. Note that you can switch your boosts around from campaign to campaign with absolutely no limits. You could therefore boost the campaign you are working on while unboosting ones that are on hold.

      I’m guessing from your question that this might affect your setup, and if you believe that your use case would be particularly affected, I encourage you to contact us via email or Discord to give us a more detailed explanation. As I’ve mentioned before, this is a conversation, and if we deem the entity change to be too much of a burden for our users, we will rethink our approach.

  5. i have just started using Kanka. I found the interface intuitive and i like the product. As a free user i see the benefit to using Kanka. The entity limit will force me to use a paid subscription, which i will do but maybe perhaps for free tier users, unlimited entity creation for 2 months then limit any new entities, to show the usefulness of Kanka but encourage the switch. Although as a new DM, 300 is generous

  6. Honestly, unlimited articles (entities) were the reason why I have chosen Kanka over Wolrd Anvil. Nevertheless, 300 entities aren’t the smallest number, but it isn’t the biggest either. I will probably stay, but I think it will discourage a lot of potential new members because an unlimited number of articles was a really good advertisement.

  7. The unlimited entities was the main reason I started using Kanka and honestly I love it. It’s made managing my campaign so much easier. I’m disappointed about the potential change to limited entities for the free version because I’ve just recently hit 300 entities and now I feel forced into paying in order to make up for the work I’ve put into posting my campaign information on Kanka.

    In comparison to other website the main attraction Kanka had is that it lets you have unlimited entities. If that feature is removed it basically goes back to whichever website you prefer again.

  8. I passed over every other similar website because Kanka offered me unlimited entities. I understand the other changes but as a DM that gets really deep into adding people, places, and things to my world, this is a major turn off. I cant afford another subscription fee and I would have to find a different way to keep notes if this where to happen. My homebrew campaign already has way more than 300 entities and is only partially built.

  9. I pay for owlbear every month because the CSS works so freaking smooth here on kanka, love it.
    Don’t limit entities because by doing so you WILL limit your growth. No one likes paying for something they are unsure of, my selling point here was world anvil is messy and highly restrictive. Building it here was still better then running a campaign out of word or notepad. You will exclude a LOT of people, a LOT of potential growth for yourself, by doing this. You would be limited to module running on the free version only. (assuming your module is small)
    Also other then number of boosts, whats the difference between a unboosted campaign for a free user vs a elemental sub? Not talking number of boosts, just unboosted campaigns from different tiers.
    Love the work, thank you all!!

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      Unboosted campaigns of our subs would also be affected, as they are today by other (non entity) limits. This is due to the nature of boosts in Kanka, and would not be a new addition.

    2. Unboosted/boosted campaigns have the same limitations regardless of their creator’s subscription status, except that a user (owner of the campaign or not) can upload bigger map image files to any campaign they have rights to. So an Elemental can upload bigger maps to an unboosted campaign than an Owlbear to a superboosted campaign, for example.

  10. Is there a way to tell at a glance how many entities you currently have?
    What will happen to any entities/roles over the cap after the cut-off?

    Although I would have liked to see 500 free entities, I’ve been sneaking by on the depreciated $1 tier too long to complain. Unlimited entities and roles are part of why I chose Kanka but I always wondered how you could afford to offer that when larger alternatives couldn’t. While I will be migrating my biggest world to a private solution so the cap isn’t hanging over my head, I’m excited to see on my smaller campaings what these major features are that are the trade-off for introducing a cap.

    1. You can currently see your entity count in the overview of your campaign. This is imperfect though, as it will include tags which we do not want to include in the entity limit. However it should give you a rough idea.

      Campaigns currently over the limit won’t have anything removed or inaccessible, but they wouldn’t be able to add new entities (except tags).

  11. I have used Kanka for around a year, give or take, I enjoyed using the website and while I haven’t explored other sites, the new limit to entities may leave me considering moving onto another website. I don’t mean it as a threat but I exceeded the limit by more than double so I am forced to move on as I don’t have much of a choice as my creativity is being limited. I don’t think this is a good strategic move as it will leave a lot of old members in the dust, I believe creating new features and limiting it to a subscription would be far more meaningful because it would influence free users to buy subscriptions. I’m not a subscription user myself, but that’s not to say that I won’t buy one in the future. Kanka is a fantastic website with support backing it, I plan on buying a subscription when I am able too but that won’t be for a while which is why I went with Kanka in the first place. I hope this message will sway the team to not limit the entity count.

    1. Thanks, I really appreciate the well thought out comment. As I’ve said previously, these changes are not finalised, and your feedback matters, so thanks for sharing, we will take it into consideration 🙂

  12. I have been a free user a while now and I am planning on becoming a subscriber soon. I feel like the changes are quite fair, although I too think the entity limiter should maybe be a bit higher than 300. Another thing you could do, if you have the necessary data is to check the average entity usage of unboosted campaigns, and put a limiter at such a place that 60% won’t be affected, after a few months lower the limiter again. That way you can ensure you have the most important value for newcomers as high as possible for longer. Also gradual small changes are easier to accept than big ones.
    In any way kanka has become an amazing tool and I appreciate the hard work put into it.

    1. Thanks for your insight. We actually ran the numbers, and the 300 limit would only affect 3% of active campaigns, which is why we’re a bit taken aback that so many people are so passionate about this.

      1. Suggestion: My first thought when I saw the limit was “it’s too low” but if you state this in the announcement (“based on our data, this will affect 3%”) would make it sound better, at least IMO.

  13. I personally use Kanka for writing rather than DMing to organize lore and characters, so the roles and members don’t affect me, however, the limit on entities might. I choose Kanka because of the unlimited entities as that’s what I mainly needed, since other sites had limits on how many locations, races, characters, etc. I could have, and I like everyone having their own entry to keep things tidy. So that’s the one thing that could turn me away from the site, or at the very least force me to rethink my whole planning system. As-is I’m at 100+ entities and not even a third through transferring over information from the old google doc I’d been using.
    (Also as to why I’m not using the google doc anymore it’s because it got too difficult to jump between sections)

  14. I think an entity limit is completely reasonable, especially since you offer image hosting on the free tier! Web hosting definitely isn’t free, especially if you’re not selling our personal data 😜 500 might be an easier, more PR-friendly number for newcomers to swallow, but 300 *per campaign* is generous– I suspect that folks who would ditch a site over such a high limit would be unlikely to buy a subscription anyway.

    That said, have you considered a storage space-based limit? That way people could write lots of short articles, a smaller number of long articles, upload fewer images to save space for articles or vice versa. I have a subscription, but if I were a free user I would appreciate that kind of flexibility, as I have several entries in my campaigns that are “stubs” by wikipedia standards.

  15. Hello there,
    first of all I also want to thank you guys for your work you put into this website. After a bit of researche i found it and imidiatly liked it, because i was able to to exactly what i wanted with a nice clean interface.

    I would describe myself of kind of a basic user. I really like the basic features (creating NPCs, places and so on) but don’t look forward to the new “major features”. I like the functionality of the site as it is and don’t need more. I kinda use it as an advanced Notebook, for keeping Information. I’m also ok with the most of the presented changes, but as many other users, i really really dislike the entity count option. In your whole first paragraph you are stating kinda the same.

    “Kanka has always made it its mission to provide a high quality service to all our users, whether paying or not.” For me personally this will not be true, if i can’t create more entities. I apreciate your work, but as an university student, I can’t really afford to pay for a service, that is just a “quality of life” thing. In our Campaign we already have close to 500 entitys and I wouldn’t consider it a long campaign. So as a result, I would look for a fitting free alternative. In a few years, when I’m working, i would definitly support such a service, but for now, I definitly dislike the change.

    1. Thanks, I appreciate you sharing your thoughts and experience with us.

      As a quick side note though, if you have 500+ entities you are part of the top 1% of campaigns. Very few campaigns reach that milestone, so congrats!

  16. I think those are fair changes, although i would probably not put a limit to the number of entities. As many people said, they wouldn’t have even started using Kanka if this specific feature wasn’t present. Yes, the interface is the best one around, but limiting the number of entities would be a game changer for me and a lot of possible new users. I really don’t see anyone benefiting from this change. Possible new users will not even star using the platform and a lot of users will be forced out.

  17. One of the big problem is that limiting entities would be causing problems for current users. It essentially says that we now need to either pay up or move everything somewhere else. That feels like what we’ve already done is now being held hostage.

    On another note, one of the problems are the variations in how the payment methods work. Since the introduction of “boosting” we now have to handle two different monetization strategies. It’s cumbersome and awkward both to deal with and understand what features are specific to which type of payment.

    I understand the need to pay for the site but over the past year or so it seems like almost every new feature has been locked only to boosted campaigns. That was deeply annoying but at least it wasn’t affecting what we’d signed up for. Now this is starting to cut into the initially promoted nature of the site. It’s not failing to get something new but having something we already had taken away.

    More than anything, seeing the site operate in this fashion makes me not want to pay because I’m now concerned about what might happen in the future. When will something I rely on already be moved to a new, higher tier? That’s not at all encouraging.

    1. Boosts have always been a part of Kanka, so I’m unsure what you mean there. However you make a very valid last point. Our intention wasn’t to remove things, but to implement more of a fair usage policy. Very few of our users are above the 300 entity mark. But I totally understand your perspective, thanks for sharing.

    2. I’m agree with you.
      This changes make me to choose another website.
      What they want to do is not fair.
      The effort i put on this website (populate and learn the platform) will be lost, that’s not acceptable to me.
      I hope they will found their user base that can accept this.
      RIP Kanka.

  18. Also, the change on the number of entities WILL force out a lot of people from third world countries (like south america and Asia), to whom a subscription fee will be too expensive and too costly (and too hard to pay, since we would’ve been paying in dollars and not everyone has an international card).

    To be clear, if the number of entities gets limited, your users from outside Europe and north America will not pay a subscription fee. They’ll be forced out. And potential new users won’t consider this plataform as much as they do now.

    I think that would be heartbreaking, to be honest. All of.those people will be made very sad when they discover that their favorite worldbuilding plataform no longer supports them.

  19. I have to agree with previous comments that I’m likely to drop the site altogether if the number of entities is restricted. I joined this site precisely because it allowed all of its basic functionality in the free tier; if it started restricting the most basic interaction one can have with it, creating entities, behind a paywall, it it would have no utility whatsoever to free users for long-term practical use, and without long-term free use, there’s very little incentive to pay for bonuses. I would certainly feel burned enough to drop the site altogether, and a skim of the comments here makes it clear I’m not the only one–to say nothing of new prospective users, who could take one look at the restricted number of entities and never give the site a second glance.

  20. Hey folks, first off I just wanted to say thanks for the awesome service that you’ve provided for so long now. I totally understand why you need to make a change as what you’re currently offering for free is frankly ridiculous. If I had the money to subscribe I would have by now just because I appreciate what you’ve done, but you’re definitely not really incentivizing people to subscribe because you just offer so dang much for free. And that’s awesome for us, but I understand why it isn’t for you. I think that the other changes that you proposed are reasonable, and probably annoying enough to incentivize people to subscribe. With that said, I would strongly consider not imposing the limit on entities. I think that’s really the main feature that puts you so far above your competitors, and I imagine (though you would certainly know by conversion numbers) that getting people in the door that way would increase your chances of subscribers. Alternatively, maybe consider a one-time fee per campaign to avoid the entity limit but get none of the other benefits. I know personally I would likely be able to do that, whereas paying per month over a very long campaign is likely never going to happen. With that said, I know nothing about what your hosting costs are like for this stuff, so maybe this doesn’t make sense. Just wanted to offer my two cents, and thanks again.

  21. I think that these changes are counterproductive.
    1) New players will be discouraged from choosing your product over other ones (e.g. worldanvil), because limitless entities is (was) one of kanka’s most appealing features
    2) If a user’s campaign is already over 300 entities, their campaign is actually “held hostage” (as Belgand said), and this is far from fair
    3) While most campaign seem to be under 300 entities, it is probably because users are still creating them atm: an entity limit would have discouraged me to try kanka at all. I was about to pay to boost my campaign, but since I will probably reach 300 entities by the end of July, I will leave kanka if these changes take place
    4) I understand that offering a free service like this has non-negligible management costs, but you could offer a one-time payment of like 10/20 euros to keep the free subscription benefits indefinitely, instead of offering a demo as free version
    I am very sad, is a very good product and it would be very bad for me to leave it, I seriously hope you reconsider these changes

    1. As I keep saying, these changes are not definitive. They are a starting point for a conversation. Thanks for taking the time to give us your feedback on this.

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