In response to your second point:
This is already implemented (in part). Site supporters have their names in yellow everywhere on the main OGS site and in the chat room they have a yellow orb next to their name as well (both of these have the option to be turned off, but are on by default for all supporters).
When you visit their profile page, under their name in big letters is “site supporter” with a star either side of it.
The only aspect they have not implemented is making this label a hyperlink to the “become a supporter” page.
Seems to me that the most obvious prefered situation is just a bunch of supporters.
For that to be more effective i think there should be more bling for the supporters.
Like maybe limiting namechanges, discount-deals on stuff/partnerships or something.
ive always lked that idea of having x amount of “bombstones” a game, where you can place a stone and trigger a little nuke or bomb-animation. Perhaps used when you play a nice tesuji or kill a group . say 3 per game or something. that would be fun =) and wouldnt break the game.
I’m okay with giving supporters cosmetic, non-gameplay affecting stuff, but being a site supporter should still feel more like a donation than a “premium subscription”, and not paying shouldn’t feel like you’re a second class citizen. So none of that “analysis/conditional moves/score estimator/zen mode/etc. only for site supporters” or “X free days then pay up” stuff. That would be a surefire way to drive out majority of the players.
There are so few supporters that I guess I’ve never run into one, and the fact that my own was in gold led me to erroneous conclusions about its meaning, if I bothered to think about it at all. (Players see their own names in gold, each player’s name is in a different color, etc.)
There’s no explicit symbol or hover text, which is absolutely key. Otherwise, you depend on players already knowing what the gold means, but the whole point of the symbol and hover text is to spread awareness of this very option.
But this is good news, because it means OGS can enhance the power of what they’re already doing significantly with just a very minor tweak.