Author Topic: Initial Monetization  (Read 5719 times)

Offline defaultchar

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Initial Monetization
« on: August 25, 2013, 08:42:02 PM »
It's... pretty readily apparent that people don't like discussing this, but hey~! Let's do it anyway.

There's two main forms of resource gathering:
Currency gains for people who have already been playing.

Currency gains for initial players.

Of the two, I want to take a look at the second, as I think it's somewhat less contentious and likely to have more meaningful discussion.

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In order to reach the level where you would be comfortable playing in queue, you're going to want a Starter Deck. Anything else is probably a noob trap unfortunately (Base boosters are useless, as you need good HQ (Disregarding Flame Dawn briefly) and blah I won't get into this here. If you disagree, please let me know)

These functionally cost 13000 IP. As there's no initial IP Boost for beginners:

Assuming 10 minute games (SUPER generous for everything except FD, further increasing the motivation to only play FD), and assuming a 50% win rate (SUPER generous), players gain an average of 150 * 3 = 450 IP per hour of play.

If a beginner plays for 2 hours straight per day, they will gain 900 IP, plus FwotD. Giving them... I believe it's about 1500 IP For inital starter quests?

Day 0: 1500
First Day: 1000
Second Day: 1100
Third Day: 1200
Fourth Day: 1300
Fifth Day: 1400
Sixth Day: 1400
Seventh Day: 1400

= 10300 IP

Therefore, after a week of playing a long amount of time, making GENEROUS assumptions in favor of a beginner player, a brand new player will be a bit over 75% of the way to buying a starter deck. So, all things told, they'll need to play about 9 days.

It's rather hugely unreasonable to expect anyone to stick with that, and so they won't: There's little to no indication that precon decks are the correct thing for beginner players, and the IP cost is so astronomical that they're going to pick packs instead, to gain at least some feeling of forward movement.

And, as we know that's the "wrong" choice/ the choice that's unlikely to make players feel meaningfully stronger (Pending happening to get a legendary), you are basically tricking new players into purchasing something that will feel weak/ incorrect for them, except in an exceedingly unlikely scenario.

So... yeah!

Proposed Solution(s):
Massively discount your "first" pre-made deck
Boost to initial newbie IP Gain.
Just have the starter deck be Flame Dawn (touch on this more in the second half)
Other stuff. Dunno. Discuss

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

On a quick side note:
There are 5 starter decks available.
Of them:

Verore is Slow
FlameDawn is fast to win
GI is Slow, and doesn't have the right commanders to win.
Warpath is fairly fast to win, but has major issues with scaling up
DoD takes forever to win, and doesn't have the right commanders to win

The fairly obviously correct choice here is FD, as it wins/ loses quickly, and will actually (occasionally) reasonably win. This, again, isn't indicated, and because many people will very much like the "feeling" of the decks obtained from the campaign missions (Compare campaign GI and DoD to starter DoD) there's going to be a rather large incidence of "incorrect" choices. Which, again? Very likely to get people to quit.

----------------------------------------------------------------

SO YEAH. Thoughts? Opinions? Problems with my hugely vague mathing?
« Last Edit: August 25, 2013, 09:09:02 PM by defaultchar »

Offline Kamigawa

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Re: Initial Monetization
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2013, 08:59:19 PM »
Your math is off, because you didn't take in account the soft cap. New players can get up to 1050 per day just by playing against AI, + the first win of 500, so it is 1550 for playing against the AI and a single win against an other player. Not to mention the IP system per minute you mentioned is after you get over the 1050 cap. Before that is 100 per win, no matter how long it was, 75 per draw and 50 per loss. If you like you can calculate again, but I`m sure the number of points per day will be much more.

You don't need any starter deck, I didn't get any and did plenty good. All I did was spend 5$ for the collections pack and buy couple of boosters with the rest. With the cards I got, I cooked a deck, worked around it until I got more IP for boosters and so on. There are some good decks with decent win-lose (70%+) ratio running less than 2 rares. Just saying - think about it.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2013, 09:00:52 PM by Kamigawa »

Offline defaultchar

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Re: Initial Monetization
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2013, 09:05:28 PM »
Your math is off, because you didn't take in account the soft cap. New players can get up to 1050 per day just by playing against AI, + the first win of 500, so it is 1550 for playing against the AI and a single win against an other player. Not to mention the IP system per minute you mentioned is after you get over the 1050 cap. Before that is 100 per win, no matter how long it was, 75 per draw and 50 per loss. If you like you can calculate again, but I`m sure the number of points per day will be much more.

You don't need any starter deck, I didn't get any and did plenty good. All I did was spend 5$ for the collections pack and buy couple of boosters with the rest. With the cards I got, I cooked a deck, worked around it until I got more IP for boosters and so on. There are some good decks with decent win-lose (70%+) ratio running less than 2 rares. Just saying - think about it.

That was in fact exactly how I calculated it.

100 IP for a win, 50 for a loss = 150 / 20 minutes (assuming 10 minute games) at 50-50 w/l.
I did make a different mistake, which I fixed. Not a particularly meaningful difference (about 1k) but 'eh.

New players do NOT get 500 IP. They get 100. That's why the daily amount increases by 100.

Most beginners don't grind games against bots, and assuming they will is a really bad idea, so I didn't bother including that. Also, arguing that they should/ have to is probably the absolute fastest way to get someone to quit a game.

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All I did was spend 5$ for the collections pack

If the baseline argument is "they can just spend money" then that's a problem.

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There are some good decks with decent win-lose (70%+) ratio running less than 2 rares.

I don't really understand what that has to do with my argument. I'm not saying ANYTHING about long term game monetization.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2013, 09:10:32 PM by defaultchar »

Offline Kamigawa

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Re: Initial Monetization
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2013, 09:18:49 PM »
That was in fact exactly how I calculated it.

Interesting how you did it, when there was 375 ip and ~9000 total when I wrote my post, and suddenly after that it says 450 and ~10000 after it. Haha. Don't answer that.

Anyone who thinks that he/she will come to a new game and start winning right off against others without getting to know the game mechanics, the environment, etc is a fool. The way to get that experience is to:
A) Play against the AI
B) Get the living puffy out of you against other players. 

To the FD point - since I'm one of THOSE guys playing with FD - FD is not WIN IT ALL button. If the other player knows what he is doing the rush is useless. I had won a lot of games against FD, as I had lost a lot of games playing the FD.You say the Cult is slow, well they have enough kill cards to make a FD player bite the keyboard. All tho I have to agree the DoD is kinda hard to play without some key rare+ cards.

Offline moominpeter

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Re: Initial Monetization
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2013, 09:26:30 PM »
A couple things:

First, I think the biggest problem is just that new players aren't really guided in what to do. Many probably don't realize that they should play against the computer to get their daily IP, or that they can play merged to get their daily win until they have a bigger collection themselves.

Second, if Lightmare wants to throw a little more start up IP at noobies this can be done either through the campaign or through the leveling system pretty easily.

Offline Hitori

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Re: Initial Monetization
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2013, 09:40:36 PM »
I honestly don't see why would people go into a game, never complete the campaign which challenges you against interesting situations, not do the first quests presented (add a friend, play merged deck) and then quit because they instantly queue into a PvP match.

There is a tutorial, even if just a basic one.
There is a pretty hefty campaign for a beta (8x6 = 48 missions) and a few scenarios.
There is a merged deck which relies solely on luck and not at all about who spent money on what.

What else is there to ask for?
I realize this is my personal experience and only mine, but when I started playing I did a whole week of A.I matches to get the hang of it...maybe it's just me expecting things to be hard.

--

On a side note, I think promoting the first pre-made deck is an interesting idea, the problem is how to disallow it from veterans on alternative accounts that can abuse it to get very easy rares+ cards.
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Offline TimetoSplit

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Re: Initial Monetization
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2013, 09:46:30 PM »
A couple things:

First, I think the biggest problem is just that new players aren't really guided in what to do. Many probably don't realize that they should play against the computer to get their daily IP, or that they can play merged to get their daily win until they have a bigger collection themselves.

Second, if Lightmare wants to throw a little more start up IP at noobies this can be done either through the campaign or through the leveling system pretty easily.

There are so many things that can help in IW if you learn them early on, and new players suffer because they they're not aware of them, OR players just rapidly click through the tutorials and want to play rather than read and miss important stuff, OR even if they read through the tutorials they may not know about things like using 4-6 characters of the same card as a commander, or the trading post (esp. turn 1 mulligans), etc.  I think short, instruction videos should be inserted throughout the campaign which can be skipped, but would also help.  OR what else would be cool is if the tips were listed during the game's startup while loading (before you log-in), where it would display 1 random tip each time.

Offline defaultchar

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Re: Initial Monetization
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2013, 10:04:57 PM »
Interesting how you did it, when there was 375 ip and ~9000 total when I wrote my post, and suddenly after that it says 450 and ~10000 after it. Haha. Don't answer that.

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I did make a different mistake, which I fixed. Not a particularly meaningful difference (about 1k) but 'eh.

Sigh.

Quote
Anyone who thinks that he/she will come to a new game and start winning right off against others without getting to know the game mechanics, the environment, etc is a fool

I don't think you actually understand the point I'm making.

Quote
To the FD point - since I'm one of THOSE guys playing with FD - FD is not WIN IT ALL button.

Yeahhhh

Never said FD was a win button. I said it's one of the strongest starting decks, and is inarguably the FASTEST starting deck: If you want to get IP at a reasonable rate, it is inarguably correct. Verore can beat it as I... explicitly stated..., but it's SLOW to beat it. Again, I am being stupidly generous when I say that games take 10 minutes. Only FD can get anywhere near that rate. Verore isn't even close.

Quote
There is a tutorial, even if just a basic one.
There is a pretty hefty campaign for a beta (8x6 = 48 missions) and a few scenarios.
There is a merged deck which relies solely on luck and not at all about who spent money on what.

Doesn't matter though.

You need a feeling of initial progression in order to attract players. People feel weak when they start. If you give them more cards, they feel stronger, and they get attached: They're moving forward.

The campaign has a couple issues, most notably that playing it straight through goes WAY past the "IP Cap" mark.

If you need to play a week before you can feel that there's a progression, then that's a genuine issue. I understand that merged deck is intended to mitigate this, but how many of those games have you played with a starting deck? :) It kinda rubs it in your face, because you draw your cards, which are bad, and their cards, which aren't.

It's also a fairly dubious intro format for a few reasons ("Here's a ton of cards, half of which you've probably never heard of") but that's off-topic.

Quote
Second, if Lightmare wants to throw a little more start up IP at noobies this can be done either through the campaign or through the leveling system pretty easily.

I agree entirely. My entire point was to argue that they SHOULD be doing something like that, and I don't really understand why they're not. If they don't want to provide more initial IP, I was also providing alternatives (ex: Discounting the first pre-con deck)

Quote
the problem is how to disallow it from veterans on alternative accounts that can abuse it to get very easy rares+ cards.

Account lock pre-con rare cards. *Shrug* Plenty of ways to get around that. And if people DO abuse that, they rather rapidly lose value.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2013, 10:10:33 PM by defaultchar »

Offline runforrestrun

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Re: Initial Monetization
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2013, 11:15:10 PM »
Suggestions:

- IP Discount on new user's first pre-constructed deck.
- Lock rare cards from pre-constructed decks to the purchaser's account.
- Provide more campaign missions for the factions, have these campaign missions use prebuilt decks from the faction. Like the first 3 missions, I feel those missions are enough for new players to get a taste of the faction, but giving them a bit more would help new players select decks they will feel happy with.
- Tips on loading screens. "Not happy with your hand? Mulligan at the trading post on turn 1!"

These are probably all coming, they just aren't the biggest priority at the moment :)

Offline Kilroy512

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Re: Initial Monetization
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2013, 11:20:32 PM »
As far as I am aware, the only TCG that is more easily accessible than this game is Scrolls and that game has an entirely different business model.

The problem being faced by new players right now is that there isn't a very large populace of new player, combined with the fact that a matchmaking system is out of the question right now. (due to having a small overall population) Once the game launches and gets larger, has a match making system, etc. most of these problems will dissolve. For now, there are NPCs, pauper matches, and merged deck that people can use to break in.
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Offline Kira

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Re: Initial Monetization
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2013, 12:52:08 AM »
100 IP for a win, 50 for a loss = 150 / 20 minutes (assuming 10 minute games) at 50-50 w/l.

I don't have much to say about this, but assuming new players will have anything near a 50-50 is being far too generous.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2013, 12:54:18 AM by Kira »
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Offline Zinqf

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Re: Initial Monetization
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2013, 02:02:19 AM »
As far as I am aware, the only TCG that is more easily accessible than this game is Scrolls and that game has an entirely different business model.
Probably the part where you front the company $20 to start playing. Which isn't a bad system imo, a B2P CCG is alright, but likely to fall off the board when it comes to putting out new content.
Quote
- IP Discount on new user's first pre-constructed deck.
- Lock rare cards from pre-constructed decks to the purchaser's account.
- Provide more campaign missions for the factions, have these campaign missions use prebuilt decks from the faction. Like the first 3 missions, I feel those missions are enough for new players to get a taste of the faction, but giving them a bit more would help new players select decks they will feel happy with.
- Tips on loading screens. "Not happy with your hand? Mulligan at the trading post on turn 1!"
Would also like to add - Super Booster for every 5 levels. (In addition to whatever else was planned for level ups)

The daily win can be really good, albeit very very random. The only time I got something better than an uncommon, it was a legendary. I know people who gets rares, epics, legendaries and even super boosters from the daily win.



Quote
Verore is Slow
FlameDawn is fast to win
GI is Slow, and doesn't have the right commanders to win.
Warpath is fairly fast to win, but has major issues with scaling up
DoD takes forever to win, and doesn't have the right commanders to win

The fairly obviously correct choice here is FD, as it wins/ loses quickly, and will actually (occasionally) reasonably win. This, again, isn't indicated, and because many people will very much like the "feeling" of the decks obtained from the campaign missions (Compare campaign GI and DoD to starter DoD) there's going to be a rather large incidence of "incorrect" choices. Which, again? Very likely to get people to quit.
It's a good point. All of the decks are fairly even power-wise, but run at different speeds. Flame Dawn and Warpath tend to do great vs AI.

Quote
I think it would be great if the "Choose your Faction" starter decks were rentable for free as preconstructed decks that can't be changed. Keep in mind that the player would not own these cards, but they could see every card in the set (Which is a handful of uncommons, rest commons) and could make a decision on what they wanted permanently by completing the quest.

In the meantime, these "Precon decks" would be usable in the campaigns. Could even let players borrow an unmodified regular Starter Deck to use for Campaigns and viewability in the deck builder when their faction's campaign is finished. Gives people a good idea of how the starter functions before they purchase it permanently.
I perceive this like a "Free Rotation" for Champions in Smite, LoL, etc...except it is a CCG version which combines faction unlocking and trying things out to understand how they work before you get em permanently.
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Offline defaultchar

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Re: Initial Monetization
« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2013, 03:10:55 AM »
100 IP for a win, 50 for a loss = 150 / 20 minutes (assuming 10 minute games) at 50-50 w/l.

I don't have much to say about this, but assuming new players will have anything near a 50-50 is being far too generous.

Oh, I totally agree. Both the 50-50 AND the 10 minutes are both absurdly generous, and the 2 hours straight is fairly unrealistic as well. With that said, HOPEFULLY matchmaking would help to bring it to fairly close to that

I thought that I'd rather be much too generous and work based off the knowledge that I'm describing an already dedicated player, rather than try and argue from a "this is a reasonably average player" perspective.

Offline Third

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Re: Initial Monetization
« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2013, 07:49:19 AM »
Just a small Suggestion, or at least something I think would make this game more newbie friendly..

Have the campaign award IP above and beyond the IP cap. 150 IP a game.

There are as far as I know 3 tutorial missions and 48 campaign missions, that would give 7650 or 1½ Superbooster on your first day of playing (presuming you would beat it all in a day. Pretty sure the tutorial is also awarding some bonus IP? If so, add that to my number.. When rewards for leveling up is introduced I think this will also levitate the problem a bit.

I applaud Lightmare though, for actually using the term "beta" as it should be used. Instead of as a "demo" light the rest of the industry has been doing for years..

:)

Offline Kilroy512

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Re: Initial Monetization
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2013, 08:18:45 AM »
Just a small Suggestion, or at least something I think would make this game more newbie friendly..

Have the campaign award IP above and beyond the IP cap. 150 IP a game.

There are as far as I know 3 tutorial missions and 48 campaign missions, that would give 7650 or 1½ Superbooster on your first day of playing (presuming you would beat it all in a day. Pretty sure the tutorial is also awarding some bonus IP? If so, add that to my number.. When rewards for leveling up is introduced I think this will also levitate the problem a bit.

I applaud Lightmare though, for actually using the term "beta" as it should be used. Instead of as a "demo" light the rest of the industry has been doing for years..

:)

The game is going to have a real money auction house and also accounts are free... good idea, but it would destroy everything, everywhere. :o
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