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MakariosMakarios Administrator Posts: 1,971 Achaean staff
Hey everyone,

The current promotion is a bit of a new format for us, where we make it clear what prizes are left and guarantee all prizes have at least the stated value. It doesn't seem to have anywhere near the same appeal as other promotions we've run recently (stockings, globes, even the wheel which we're aware has major issues after feedback from the last time). Before we make sweeping changes, we'd love to hear your thoughts on what you do like and what you don't like about the current format. However big or small, we'd love to hear your thoughts!

Lenn
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Comments

  • LennLenn Member Posts: 818 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    I wonder if it'd be more desirable if the prize pool were individual rather than global. That'd actually be neat since you'd be guaranteed to eventually get everything, but it'd definitely also have to change because who'd need five pipes?

    That's just speculation though. I'd certainly like an individual system more, but it probably wouldn't have convinced me since the rewards just aren't up my alley anyway (I'd mainly want character art if I spent money on Achaea, which isn't something IRE even offers!)

    As for the free side, I just about never do adventures because most of them would be OOC for my character to do, except the rare times it turns out to be something she already does (which kind of goes against the whole system).
  • NaminoNamino Member Posts: 295 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    I'm sitting here trying to diagnose my lack of interest in this promotion and I'm having a hard time determining why. But this might contribute:

    The ability to see the prizes is nice, but one issue that might be contributing is that it also has an unintended consequence of us knowing when the big ticket items are gone.

    For example, right now we have available:

    The Iron Bank vaults still potentially contain:
    -----------------------------------------------
    A decorated sleeve (x6)
    A bronze giftbox (x2)
    2 decorated sleeves (x1)
    A supreme scrapper trainer's token (x1)
    65 bound credits (x5)
    A page from the Tome of Muses (x1)
    An ivory pipe (x1)
    75 customisation credits (x2)
    3 artefact discount vouchers (x2)
    A silver giftbox (x1)

    It's not terrible, but the golden giftbox and the 150 credits are both gone. The silver giftbox is still in play which is okay. But the issue is that the board, at least if the helpfile is to be believed, won't reset until all the prizes are gone. Which means once the good prizes are snapped up and the board is full of chaff, everyone has to wait for someone to 'take one for the team' and open a bunch of doors knowing there's no chance for a big ticket item.

    If you make the board reset once the prizes are gone or once every say, two OOC days, then I bet you'll see a massive increase in interest as people don't have to 'burn' keys to get the good prizes back on the board.

    Lenn
  • AntoniusAntonius Member Posts: 5,040 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Personally the prize pool just isn't interesting. I'll either get unbound credits, bound credits, an item I'll (want to) sell for unbound credits (e.g. tome of muses page, Mayan crowns), an item I'll trade-in for bound credits (e.g. dagger, phial of shimmering ink, any of the giftboxes, legend deck card), upgrade credits or customisation credits. Does "a supreme scrapper trainer's token" have a credit value (either from selling or trade-in)? If it does, that's still just credits; if not, that's literally worthless to me. The only prize I might actually want to keep is the gems.

    Since all I'm really going to get is some amount of credits anyway, the actual credit sale you're also running this month feels like the more attractive option if I wanted credits and was going to spend money to get them. I haven't done any calculations to see what potentially works out better, but I know exactly what I'm getting with the sale rather than gambling on getting good prizes with my keys. It's also all unbound credits, and those have much more utility than bound.
    FarrahAmmarLaedha
  • AndrasteAndraste Member Posts: 50 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    edited January 2020
    Being one of the people who posted concerns about the nature of promotions recently, I thought i'd weigh in on an honest search for feedback from the community about the reception of this current promo and I agree with pretty much all of what was posted above.

    I would say regardless of level of progression of your individual character most players are trying to work towards something specific at any point in time. With the way promotions have more recently been done, the amount of market knowledge required to decide whether to resell or trade-in all of the random things they receive in the process of converting into the credits or lessons they're actually looking for becomes tedious and labor intensive which then becomes a barrier to entry.

    While historically, the nature of items in game have shown relative levels of volatility in their pricing which shows fluctuating levels of supply and demand within the economy, more recently there has been a steady deflation or stagnation of price variability which suggests two things. Either there is a decrease in demand for the items being offered, or the supply offered has created some kind of a glut in the economy where demand doesn't keep up. As we have seen with certain items such as crowns staying pretty steadily in the 30-35cr range, other market forces can still influence the valuation, primarily those with a large market share (seller side) influence the relative prices of certain items. Another example is the comparatively low value of gems compared to supply.. though with a continuation of gems in the promo, I think we will start to see their prices falling soon as well as large quantities.

    What does it all mean, Andraste?

    People only tend to buy things that they want for their character progression (obv). And while earlier in game people can absorb some of this risk in a long term projective sense (with the understanding that they will be able to benefit from these competing currencies to some sort of longer term payoff) later game players or whales often have much of what they already need, and so are disinclined or de-incentivised buying into heavy gacha promos where there may only be 1-2 items worth pursuing (if even). The comparative risk or effort required isn't outweighed by the potential for reward.

    So what's the answer?

    There's a bit of a mess to sort out, but the item based progression system feels bloated to a point now where it seems to overshadow the level based progression system. There are a lot of items that have marginal value for the game that could be removed (sea tears, biscuit) or consolidated (such as talismans with duplicate benefit.. shackle and shadowcloak). There are also some items that seem comparatively strong per value that create balance difficulties (ie. urn, earrings). Talismans, Shop of Wonders and Artefacts as a whole, probably need their cost valuations looked at again (some increased, some decreased), and a more than a handful need rebalanced (monk banner, funeral shroud).

    I am in strong support of promotions that allow folks to take part in some of the promo through in game achievement, but despite this.. it still feels as though the way IRE defines a promo is just another way to get folks to buy the same stuff, repackaged in a slightly different gacha skin. Look to other games whose monthly promos (even outside of the traditional holidays) still have strong thematic activities which rotate on a monthly basis and the items coincide with that theme. Maybe that's not exactly what Achaea needs or can support from a development standpoint, but some of this would help to offset the growing sentiments described in other threads about the monetization model.

    I might suggest reevaluating the iron elite membership to determine whether it could improved in some way to provide added benefits and encourage more regular subs. This would on the whole feel like a better value, and encourage people to pay lower amounts of money which may feel more managable for folks versus large dips into the bank account on rarer occurrences. Even though the iron elite sub costs more than most other MMO subs have historically, people complain about it far less because it doesn't require them to go under hundreds of dollars at a time. Perhaps open up the option for a 2 or 3 tier sub package with scaled benefits based on contribution and offer something new or different to iron elite members each month AS A PART OF THE PROMO. For example, for elite members... Could have given them 1 free key per login day or something as an alternative or in addition to doing the adventures which is more in line with a freemium model.
    KroacUtianima
  • LennLenn Member Posts: 818 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    I agree with @Andraste, dealing with promo items is a huge pain. Right now, the only one I'd really want are some mayan crowns.
    Laedha
  • MinifieMinifie Member Posts: 3,209 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    So this, to me, is a bigger issue on the whole that needs attacking, I'll try though I suppose I'm not a game dev/business owner so take it as feedback from only a player's perspective.

    We'll start with the promo:

    Seeing what prizes are left is going to be an issue, unless you place a dedicated hard reset so that when the prize pool looks terrible, it'll reset and people will buy keys again. This is probably a simple change, but it benefits from a second change:

    ---Combine some prizes, and drastically increase the upper limit.---

    Let's look at the prize pool left:

    A decorated sleeve (x6)
    A bronze giftbox (x2)
    2 decorated sleeves (x1)
    A supreme scrapper trainer's token (x1)
    65 bound credits (x5)
    A page from the Tome of Muses (x1)
    An ivory pipe (x1)
    75 customisation credits (x2)
    3 artefact discount vouchers (x2)
    A silver giftbox (x1)

    A sleeve is 35 bound credits at worse, bronze giftbox is 75~ credits at worst, 2 sleeves is 70, token is 50, 65, a page is currently ~20, pipe is 33, 75 custom (what a shit number, one and a half customs there) is 37.5, 75 for the discount vouchers, and 133-200 depending on arties for the silver giftbox.

    If you also look at other prizes, many are derived by their resale value, and some people still overvalue things based on the whales buying them super early, or when some things were relatively rare (looking at you, stars/planar road that aren't worth much more than 5 credits in actuality), but got over-inflated very quickly. So for a lot of prizes, it requires an astute watching of market values, or just being a hoarding prick who waits for desperate people to pay well over any decent value. 

    So how do we fix this?

    My first action would be to just piss off gambling all together, because very few things will piss off potential players than rolling the dice on a first purchase, getting a bunch of shit items and then barely making any return and thinking the system isn't worth it at all. Since that seems to ostensibly be off the table, I can somewhat stifle my hatred of gambling in games if the payout is seen as always worth a lot more, so that a small amount of risk exists, but your payout return still always, ALWAYS feels rewarding, and how do you do that?

    Well, you already somewhat have a system in place: binding. Binding works amazingly well in many games, you can significantly up power/value of things by making them stuck to the recipient. You also have natural economy drains in the form of retirement, tradein and class switching. I would recommend changing promotions to only deal with binding things, stick them to the character, and greatly increase the payouts. However, this alone would cripple any kind of trading economy, so with this as well, work out a good price value, and allow players to buy from an NPC directly the promo items using credits. At this point in the games lifespan, binding credits is easily the LEAST economical way to use them after the initial 2500 additional lessons from binding (but you can also get this from buying bound from city sales, so patience can win over). 

    Even middle tier characters are artied up hard, so a general blanket increase in bound won't do too much damage, especially if you cycle the talisman shop and have people properly sink bounds there. Increasing bound credit receipt, adding a few auctioned items to delos will also help fix this (such as the combination arties, the items that have gone for 3-5k but at limited stock and only refill on random occasions and in small numbers), obviously buying bound caches/sleeves/gems/ etc etc. Hold 3 raw credit sale months to help pump credits back into the economy, or link bound prizes to unbound purchases and raw credit sales 5/12 months etc etc. 

    Finally, adding in ways to earn key pieces is a good thing, however, the reward level is kinda shit. 1 piece for medium and 2 for hard would have been a better balance to achieve, but don't reset the vault prize pools. This would have been the simplest answer, since free-to-play people are going to see any prizes as a good thing, and they didn't pay for it. This would naturally reset these things on their own. If you can't change the payment model, MAKE PLAYING THE GAME MORE REWARDING! Adventures would feel infinitely better if the renown was the minor "guaranteed" path to rewards, while we could do harder adventures for chances at equal rewards earlier.

    Anyway, just my 2c, (1.42c with current exchange rates).


    AndrasteShirszaeAmmarJaybles
  • ArgwinArgwin Member Posts: 176 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    I can't agree more with Minifie's comments about earning key fragments in game. Players who aren't at end game status yet will have a hard time doing hard adventures, so spreading it out would have helped mid game players. Also, any promo where we can earn -something- without paying real money, like the wheel and last year's arrow promo, catches my interest. Even small prizes are nice when they're earned fully in game.
    AndrasteShirszae
  • IaxusIaxus Member Posts: 387 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    I bought a few keys (10 I think) simply because without Elite or whatever it's called, I decided to try my luck on buying keys over buying credits this month. The rewards are mostly not attractive, especially considering at $15 USD a key that converts to approximately 60 credits. And as Minifie pointed out above, most of the not top-tier rewards are not worth 60cr. 

    Jumpy said:
    The membership is already such a good deal that there is no way we can reduce the cost. 

  • AccipiterAccipiter Member Posts: 818 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    Hard reset it every day, maybe on the IC month change so the reset rotates through the month, some days near the end you will get lots of people buying to clear out the good prizes, some times all the good stuff will be gone and will have less people buying. Leaving it sit there with no big payoffs will of course make people not buy stuff.
  • CooperCooper Member Posts: 5,841 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    The driving force behind your promotions is the gambling  - that small chance of winning huge, or the chance at getting good value from your spend.

    This promotion takes that away when the big ticket item(s) are claimed.

    A good step in the right direction would make the big items always in there, but have them change every time one is claimed. That way if someone isn't interested in that item, they might be encouraged to purchase the next time the big item is won.

    AndrasteAsmodronIsaiah
  • VeldrinVeldrin DenmarkMember Posts: 545 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    The only item(s) I'm even remotely interested in is the gems and there's a 1/15 chance of getting that and that's if it's left in the pool.  

    If I spend money on a game these days I want to know exactly what I'm getting for that money, especially with how much those RNG tickets cost. I think you'd have more success if you made it so you could buy keys to the vault (or stockings and what have you) in-game for credits and that all items in the pool was always available.

    Sobriquet
  • MorzakaiMorzakai Member Posts: 19
    edited January 2020
    I think the combination of the -not great- prizes, high cost of keys, AND a 30% cost sale on credits makes the gamboling portion of this sale not worth the risk. If you want something just buy the credits for it as a safe bet. Furthermore, contenders talismans not very appealing either. 

    I think you should have every vault give a talisman piece on top of the prize, with a chance for a rare piece, to make the gambol worth it.
  • IsmayIsmay Member Posts: 806 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    All the above and this is January. Everyone’s broke from the holidays. 
    Give us -real- shop logs! Not another misinterpretation of features we ask for, turned into something that either doesn't help at all, or doesn't remotely resemble what we wanted to begin with.

    Thanks!

    Current position of some of the playerbase, instead of expressing a desire to fix problems:

    Vhaynna: "Honest question - if you don't like Achaea or the current admin, why do you even bother playing?"


    LennAmmarLaedhaUtianima
  • MakariosMakarios Administrator Posts: 1,971 Achaean staff
    Some really good feedback in here so far. We'll be talking about a lot of this today, but please do carry on - we'll be keeping up with the thread.

    One thing I would like to expand some more discussion on is the prizes. We have made a big push this promo to ensure everything trades in for credits (since there were some concerns about that that came up in December). While I think that was the right move, I do wonder what prizes people would find more attractive. I admit we've steered clear of talisman pieces this promotion to try to give more consistent guaranteed value.

    Minifie
  • MinifieMinifie Member Posts: 3,209 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Makarios said:
    Some really good feedback in here so far. We'll be talking about a lot of this today, but please do carry on - we'll be keeping up with the thread.

    One thing I would like to expand some more discussion on is the prizes. We have made a big push this promo to ensure everything trades in for credits (since there were some concerns about that that came up in December). While I think that was the right move, I do wonder what prizes people would find more attractive. I admit we've steered clear of talisman pieces this promotion to try to give more consistent guaranteed value.

    I think if all sets cycle through the talisman shop it would help that, but the rewards for delos vault aren’t awful, there’s just some VERY painful smol rewards. Jacking up the single pipe to, say, 5 artie vials, which is useful to all but a handful. Giftboxes are swell because they have a defined value at tradein or for people (if they get a gold and need an artie from it, it’s worth that artie, otherwise, you get 66% of the most valuable item). I do think these are good steps forward, not complaining, but I think slowly adjusting things, probably more items that are just useful for hunting or exploring or qol without impacting combat is good too, new stuff like the sceptre can come into existence without shaking up pvp balance too greatly.
    LennJaybles
  • KroacKroac Member Posts: 10
    As someone who personally gambles a lot in promotions like these, I have absolutely no draw considering there is a distinct lack of:

    1. Any big ticket items that I could spin as worthwhile (Giftboxes are nice, but they're never going to be the entire draw to me)
    2. Worthwhile small ticket items (I really don't need anything except the scrapper tokens, but I could always do without them. I also have an interest in things like elixirs and orbs and those are entirely missing from my understanding of the promotion.)
    3. Anything that could be spun as new or interesting, I have had my fill of gems from the stocking promotion and this promotion added nothing really new.
    4. Anything that could really advance my personal goals, which I believe @Andraste touched on pretty well with his post.

  • IaxusIaxus Member Posts: 387 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    Makarios said:
    One thing I would like to expand some more discussion on is the prizes. We have made a big push this promo to ensure everything trades in for credits (since there were some concerns about that that came up in December). While I think that was the right move, I do wonder what prizes people would find more attractive. I admit we've steered clear of talisman pieces this promotion to try to give more consistent guaranteed value.

    One thing that keeps me away from wanting the prizes is that some of these that may be worth the price to someone who has 90% of the other promo items, I have no desire in obtaining these as a new character. I don't have a Tome of Muses, and this is an awful promo to start one since most of the decent rewards come from later pages. I own absolutely no Legend Deck cards, and with the vast amount available at this late in that promo, the odds of me getting something I'd actually use are pretty low, which devalues the sleeves for me. Scrapper tokens are the same idea, I have no minipets and there's no real draw to start it now. 
    The rest of the mid- to low-tier rewards I've already touched on (trading in a pipe does not net 60 credits, so the key's are more expensive than they're worth). 

    Jumpy said:
    The membership is already such a good deal that there is no way we can reduce the cost. 

    Doriel
  • KhelKhel Member Posts: 279 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    Also I don't think supreme scrapper tokens can be traded in for bound credits, or sold?

    Seems like this could be a great long-term "thing" to make adventures more engaging, and let people chase completing items, but the draw to START a bunch of the collections with no way to generate lots of the same stuff seems kind of awful.
  • IaxusIaxus Member Posts: 387 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    You can trade in the scrapper tokens. I want to say they're worth 33 trade in credits, but that could be wrong. 

    Jumpy said:
    The membership is already such a good deal that there is no way we can reduce the cost. 

  • MinifieMinifie Member Posts: 3,209 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Iaxus said:
    You can trade in the scrapper tokens. I want to say they're worth 33 trade in credits, but that could be wrong. 
    50 bound tradein.
  • KhelKhel Member Posts: 279 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    edited January 2020
    Oh, good change! It wouldn't let me when I tried, before, and the issue reply I got said I couldn't.

    EDIT: Went back and checked, they said you cannot trade, not trade in, so maybe I just can't read. I want to believe I tried trading it in before asking, but who knows!
  • CobaultCobault Member Posts: 186 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    edited January 2020
    I went to the Iron Bank twice and both times the prizes left were like... all shit. Not necessarily horrible, just, I wouldn't buy a scratch ticket irl if the top two prizes were all completely sold out. You wanna be able to -believe- you can win that 2.5 million dollars for $5, you know? :tongue:

    So I agree with two things that have been mentioned here already:
    - The bad prizes remaining definitely has completely squashed my interest.
    - My bank account, though coming back steadily, has hardly recovered from the holiday spending. It'll probably be where it needs to be for me to waste money again sometime in mid Februrary or so, but right now, a large transaction from me just ain't gonna happen, even IF the prizes were all Godlike from the Vault. You guys could be giving away 2k credits for $200 and I still wouldn't be able to participate on that level right now. Not comfortably and without dipping into emergency/food funds. Stupid holiday spending cut me and the wife deep :lol:
  • TahquilTahquil Member Posts: 4,619 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    I can barely do the adventures to get key pieces. Any lowbie or midbie ain't got a chance unless their city/social group takes pity.
  • LennLenn Member Posts: 818 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    Tahquil said:
    I can barely do the adventures to get key pieces. Any lowbie or midbie ain't got a chance unless their city/social group takes pity.
    I suspect that's the intention though.
  • FarrahFarrah Member, Secret Squirrel Posts: 2,697 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Tahquil said:
    I can barely do the adventures to get key pieces. Any lowbie or midbie ain't got a chance unless their city/social group takes pity.

    Is it really taking pity? I think that's a large part of what belonging to an organization provides you - the ability to do things you cannot do alone. I've never been in an org that doesn't help each other with those types of things.

    Makarios said:
    Some really good feedback in here so far. We'll be talking about a lot of this today, but please do carry on - we'll be keeping up with the thread.

    One thing I would like to expand some more discussion on is the prizes. We have made a big push this promo to ensure everything trades in for credits (since there were some concerns about that that came up in December). While I think that was the right move, I do wonder what prizes people would find more attractive. I admit we've steered clear of talisman pieces this promotion to try to give more consistent guaranteed value.

    Things trading in for credits is important so you don't get anything completely worthless to you, but this still tends to leave you solely with bound credits while all the new items added are always only purchasable with unbound credits because you have to trade for them (talismans, cards, Sceptre, muses, locket, etc). The fact that normal, bound credit purchasable artefacts are never added anymore is a major deterrent to me in general because I simply do not have much I want to spend bound credits on and I know I'll end up with bound credits (obviously this is only an issue for the "whales" who already have all the good age old arties from Delos, but it is an issue for me).
    Ozmatiah
  • CaelanCaelan Member Posts: 2,835 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Agree w most of this. Honestly there is so much new stuff I just stopped caring. About the only thing I want is cards and that is just MORE RNG-esus related so even that pisses me off.

  • TahquilTahquil Member Posts: 4,619 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited January 2020
    @Farrah : I can take being excluded from big fun IG events because of being rogue with a bit of grumbling. But being excluded from a  monthly promo because of my play style in a game touting that you can play it your way makes it feel like it's more of 'a play it your way, but only in these 6 ways of else fuck you'.

    As for my midbie. I asked for help killing honours mobs it gave me. Cant get the people required. Cant do the quests given to me because of stupid op denizens I couldn't get the people required to dislodge. No seafaring. Honestly I'll admit the combat ones are my own fault for not being interested in combat.

    So ,yes. I've been a citizen midbie in a city asking for help as well. Nada.
  • ErereanErerean Member Posts: 46
    Tahquil said:
    @Farrah : I can take being excluded from big fun IG events because of being rogue with a bit of grumbling. But being excluded from a  monthly promo because of my play style in a game touting that you can play it your way makes it feel like it's more of 'a play it your way, but only in these 6 ways of else fuck you'.

    As for my midbie. I asked for help killing honours mobs it gave me. Cant get the people required. Cant do the quests given to me because of stupid op denizens I couldn't get the people required to dislodge. No seafaring. Honestly I'll admit the combat ones are my own fault for not being interested in combat.

    So ,yes. I've been a citizen midbie in a city asking for help as well. Nada.
    Ive picked up some easy adventures, and got rock paper scissors, which ig is easy, and then picked one up that was hard to see what it was like got, "slay some random vampire guy"
    big bruh moment 
    would be nice to actually be able to get key pieces

    As of 1/17/20.
  • MinifieMinifie Member Posts: 3,209 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    I'm still of the opinion medium should be 1 fragment, hard 2. If you did every medium since the month turn, you'd get 11 fragments, or 22 for hard. This still leaves you potentially out fragments, and open enough vaults that a few with the spare cash will be willing to go a bit further, even if people hoard etcetera, trade pieces, it still promotes trade to get more people opening. There's never an issue with widening entry level and free reward paths, but you don't have to make it so rewarding that multiple 10k escrows appear in a month. Tying adventures to monthly rewards so that renown is a minor reward, while the promo month is the big reward would be sensational, and it's already great to see people backing themselves in to do harder adventures (though hard is REALLY out of reach for many).
    ErereanJiraishinShirszae
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