Before you look at the numbers and say how well Adventure Boards are doing based on daily usage. Let me be one (of probably many) to make my participation clear. I’m doing them for 2 reasons (outside of the 10% of the time they are worthy of completing because of the rewards).
#1. Easy Hero Class XP for the classes that are painful to level up. #2. Fear. The reason Adventure Boards exist is “because not enough people were doing daily tasks”. So I fear what will possibly become of Adventure Boards if not enough people do those either.
PS… This would be better suited for the thread I originally did “venting” about Adventure Boards. But at this time. I no longer have the ability to edit old original posts… so here we are.
The person who decides if the features worked is probably just looking at some chart generated by a query in Power BI or Excel. They don’t have time to waste on foolish things like “context” or “sentiment”. If you want to make them frown you’re going to have to figure out how to talk players into widespread avoiding AB, especially on days when none of the adventures are worth pursuing.
I also feel like the disconnect between data and context means we have no effective way to send our message. I feel like a significant boycott would result in the bean counters saying, “Wow, GoW’s numbers are getting stale, here’s your next project.” There’s no room in this business model for, “Why is it stagnating and how can we turn it around?” It’s perceived as easier and cheaper to start a new game than to maintain an old one.
(In a way that’s modeled on the player side, too. There are thousands of games I haven’t played. The odds that some new one feels more novel and fun than one I’ve played for years is high. I think it has a lot to do with simplicity, too. At one point when I played, GoW was a little too simple, there just wasn’t enough to do. At some point along the way it’s inverted, it feels like my only choice to stay current is to devote so much time to GoW it interferes with other hobbies/games. That’s exactly when the announcement of a new, simpler experience (like a PQ rerelease) is tantalizing!)
I’d also like to note I think (1) reads as “even if the rewards are perceived as trivial, users will still participate in the system”. Class XP is worth so much to you it sounds like you’d use AB even if it didn’t have specific rewards. That’s not a way to ask for increased rewards. It’s reinforcing the view that players don’t need to be presented with gems or deeds to log in and play daily.
(2) is just a kind of sadder thing. The game has to tilt towards “new”. We are not going to get back the simplicity of previous versions. All new features will have to look like something that wasn’t in the game. This is both to attract new players (who are more likely to spend money) and to excite returning players (who are looking for novelty). The only thing we can predict about a washed-in-the-blood F2P game is it will never give back what it changes.
Salty was rather candid on the topic of ABs during her last PQ stream, and shed some light on the machinations behind what’s driving the game lately.
Putting two and two together, and armchair quarterbacking the situation, here’s my take on the situation:
tl;dr: GoW has been adopting and implementing F2P industry best practices. FOMO driven by the AB is intentional as a key behavior to drive daily player engagement. Unlike “old GoW”, where the game was very pick-up and put-down, “new GoW” wants players to spend as much time as possible in the game each day.
On the stream, Salty discussed the logic behind why the AB exists. It’s there to streamline daily reward activities and to drive player engagement. The long-term goal of the game appears to be keep players playing it as long as possible daily, while requiring players logging each day to maximize rewards.
That’s a bit too simplified, IMO. I believe the devs are generating genuine new concepts for features, but then those features end up being modified to generate as much monetization as possible before being implemented. Almost everything that shows up in the game these days are there either directly monetize the game or provide indirect support for an already existing monetization feature in the game.
What do you think the revamps to the existing game modes are doing, if not this?
Not the case, at all. Almost every gacha-based game that released a sequel has had that sequel not ony fail but also cause significant collateral damage to the game that is was intended to replace. This is because players who have spent years building and investing in a collection/deck are very attached to them. A sequel signals the “end” of the first game, which will anger the playerbase who sees the end of their digital collection in sight. Sequels also attempt to “fix” mechanics that the devs thought were off or bad in the original game, which also angers players who are used to and accept the original mechanics as accepted game behavior (Ex: the thread out there on Raven Towers).
As a live service game, GoW is essentially creating a sequel by slowly converting the original game into the sequel without breaking the link the between players and their collections. A very wise decision, IMO.
Sadly, working as intended. When one of the three gacha games (including this one) announced its closure last month, I thought for sure that with only two gacha games in the rotation, that I would have time for other games and such. Not so much, as both remaining games have stepped up the daily time investment requirement. It sucks.
I may finally convince myself to get a Switch (probably Lite, love handhelds). But then, given my last few sentences, when would I ever have time to play the revamped PQ1?
I use the AB for this same reason. The devs misfired a bit regarding class events by making the pain point where players would spend gems to buy class XP too high. Class XP is mostly relevant as a requirement for leveling kingdom stars, outside of a few key useful classes for high level delve/PvP/GW content. Leveling up is easy enough to meet kingdom star requirements until level 50-60ish, which is at Power 16+ for a kingdom. Most just won’t ever get that far for this to ever matter. And for those where it does, how many will ever get past the 2 mythic pet requirement? Very, very few, IMO.
Personally, I believe that’s where 5.0 is going, as a “soft relaunch” of the game, once the conversion of the game is functionally complete. Where that future leads, who knows? But, I do agree, that once things are changed, they will not be given back.
The shape of the daily gameplay flow is likely to be considerably different once the conversion is complete and the devs are at full buy-in for reaching the destination they want to game to be at by 5.0.
This is my answer to the part where you asked why I thought they were revamping old modes.
Old challenges were just another Explore. They weren’t monetized, and nobody had to spend anything but time to finish them. I think they were part of kingdom power? I can’t remember.
Now they’re fully integrated with kingdom power/leveling, and scale to an extent newbies can’t finish them in the first month then never look at them again. Heck, newbies are currently complaining kingdom quests are unapproachable and devs have acknowledged it as “go back 2 Broken Shield, quests are easier there”. All the old guides are busted, a lot of ancestral knowledge is wrong.
I think what happened here is 505 saw GoW as an investment that wasn’t performing to potential, so they started pushing hard to get it in line with other F2P. To them it wasn’t yet (and probably still isn’t) “complete”.
PvP and Explore are supposedly next. I figure the days of fast grinding are over. That fast grinding is the thing that appeals to me in GoW so I’m not looking forward to 4.6. That GoW wasn’t as aggressive as other F2P was the reason I found it tolerable.
I feel bad for Salty et al. I feel like the old GoW is what they want to do, but this is what they’re being told to do. It’d be nice if they had the freedom to make the game just be what they wanted, or if they could pick an amount of monetization that makes “enough”. Bad feelings aside, if the game makes me feel bad I can’t play the game.
In the original system, they weren’t tied to anything. When the Kingdom Power revamp initially launched, full clearing a kingdom’s challenges was tied to Power 6.
What is happening, in the grand scheme of things, is that the Krystaran Overworld is being reconstructed to be a be a giant tutorial for the game’s event modes. Right now, there is some ugly messiness because the freedom allowed by the previous system to roam anywhere causing these accounts to essentially sequence break the story mode. After some time has passed, the mess should clear up and progression will work as designed. In this case, the devs decided to not re-lock kingdoms for those accounts until they got to that point in the story mode, probably thinking that the storm wouldn’t last long on this.
You’ve got the nail hit squarely on the head with “performing to potential”.
We’ve known in the past that the game wasn’t sinking, but it wasn’t performing phenomenally well either. It sounded like the game was able to tread water, but probably didn’t perform much more than that.
We also know that GoW will be 5 years old in a couple of months. That’s an eternity in game years, let alone for a live-service game to exist for that long. Publishers also possess a finite amount of resources to spread over the properties that they support.
Completely spitballing here, but it is a very common corporate practice to commonly review the returns on a business’s investments. It would be hardly unlikely that at some point, the publisher started requiring a stronger return on investment to keep supporting the game. After all, if the publisher could shift those resources to another game that would generate a stronger return, then why continue supporting this game any longer? Evaluations like that happen all the time in the corporate world, and profitable ventures get axed continuously for ones that are more profitable.
That’s all that’s really left, honestly. I’ve kind of made my peace with the lack of fast grinding, but I should try to grind the one or two Vault events left before the update for keys to push closer to finishing Zuul’Goth before the fast farming is killed off permanently.
Really unsure how they’re going to scale rewards with Explore to match scaling difficulty though. I have some ideas, but like the new challenges, the rewards are probably not going to meaningful to late to end-games for the involved scaled difficulty.
PvP is seriously scary though, in terms of what they could do to it. In the end, what is going to matter is how aggressively they decide to monetize it. The “best” outcome is a bracket system with basic leaderboards, similar to how it is now with Guild Wars. Though, if they decide to push harder monetization practices, there’s a lot of bad things that could happen that’s going to sour a lot of players on the game quickly.
Times change. From her stream, Salty really didn’t feel bad about the decisions on where the game is going. It’s a reality of being in business and their own livelihoods. When she discussed the subject, she didn’t look like a person who was talking about a topic that they were morally opposed against. If she was, though, then she has one of the best poker faces I have ever seen.
GoW isn’t a charity, although the vast majority of players do play for free (that can be said for any F2P and not just GoW) and expect to clear/obtain everything on launch day for free. To that extent, in my opinion, GoW is still among the most generous gacha games towards F2P players that I have ever seen, even with the changes (so far).
As I mentioned above, “enough” isn’t good enough in the corporate world. Old GoW likely made “enough”. In the financial papers, there are CEOs of massive corporations that make millions, if not billions of dollars a year, that get fired for not making enough money. It’s the cruel reality of how business operates. I’d love to say that the PQ1 revamp will sell so many copies that the devs’ share of the game’s revenues will generate enough profits to keep the game going alone for the next year. That’s never going to happen though.
Then, there’s the issue regarding how big GoW has become over time. Portions of the game are now outsourced to meet the development timetables. The game is now supported on practically everything current-day that can run it. There’s no possible way that the old model could ever generate sufficient revenues to cover all these new additional and recurring expenses. To that extent, the changes are a necessary evil to cover these bases and to keep the game afloat.
At the end of the day, I’m mentally torn. The gamer side of me loathes the changes that have occurred (and will continue to occur) that move the game away from its original vision. On the other hand, the analytical side of me understands why these changes are occurring and is okay with them happening. I’d rather these changes occur and still have a game to keep playing. I want the devs to be successful. I’ve got very thick skin regarding these things. But, I’m still fearful that until the game’s transformation is complete, that one of these changes may end up being “a bridge to far”. I’m sure that a lot of forum vets have these same fears, in one manner or another.
I know what you are doing sort of but it’s really making me grouchy. I don’t need someone to pat me on the back and explain why, from their context, the devs are acting rationally. The thing that irks me is not “they’re not doing what I want” so much that at some point in time I felt like my goals and the devs’ goals weren’t divergent, and now they are nearly perpendicular.
“Times change” is the same thing as “man up” and the older I get the more I reject it. There are a lot of damn things out of my control, and they are going to change. GoW is a thing I feel I have some small amount of control over, so I try. Something I think that’s lost in every complaint post is it’s always possible a person is arguing from the viewpoint, “I want to describe what will make me pay for the game”, not “Waaaaah give me more stuff for free.” That’s where I am. Every. Single. Post. Is about the game I’d pay $10-$30/month to play.
Here’s a place where “times change” makes things worse in a way that’s been done to death in both literature and film. We’ve been over your MBA and how you know more about economics than me but in my sector of the software industry recurring revenue is king. I’m not arguing it makes more money, but I’d be willing to bet it’s only second to F2P in terms of revenue per customer. It’s not as predatory as F2P. It still leans on “deliver good product” as a core goal as opposed to, “Well, psychologically a person spends more if…” It doesn’t require addiction.
Let’s compare that to something close to my heart: the Austin food scene. On one side, we’ve got Franklin Barbecue. People form a line every day at 7AM or earlier. He opens up every day at 9-9:30. He sells out of brisket every day before noon. His change is as slow as his process. He’s built more smokers. He’s built one new location in a decade. On the other side, let’s talk about Verts Kebap. It was founded here in 2011 by two smart business degree people. It expanded slowly until around 2016 they announced they wanted to aggressively expand to 200 locations, up from about 25-30. They were on all kinds of “big movers” lists, like CNBC’s “top 10 restaurants to watch”. This year, they rebranded to Noon Mediterranean because sales weren’t so hot. Also this year, they rebranded to Daphne’s Mediterranean because that didn’t work either. They went out of business before they could even put up the Daphne’s branding.
“Times change” is why:
Current business is itchy and anxious about Franklin Barbecue. It’s “failed” to properly utilize its revenue to grow and that makes some people want to vomit. Aaron Franklin could be so much richer!
People are going to discuss Franklin Barbecue for at least three generations, even after Aaron dies. Nothing that comes after will compare.
Verts Kebap did everything “the right way” and is a textbook case of how to run a business.
They were forgotten so quickly the Wikipedia page hasn’t even been updated to note the Daphne’s rebranding.
To me the big factor is Verts failed to acknowledge their core customer wanted a hometown experience with high-quality food. They felt it would be perfectly fine to pivot to a fast-food experience utilizing lower-quality food more available at scale. They failed to note the country at large isn’t dying for shitty pita wraps, and in the main markets where they are existing competition competes on quality. Aaron Franklin knows his business relies on nothing changing. That’s why his only new location in 10 years is just a place to pick up food made earlier at the original one. That’s why it took him half a decade to season the new smokers for him to expand his capacity.
I assert GoW is more Verts Kebap than Franklin Barbecue. To lean heavily into the F2P model is to misidentify the customer. That doesn’t mean there aren’t F2P customers out there who will support that game. It does mean this customer’s going to support a different one. Out of pure spite, I just bought a $39.99 failed game from 2010 that was rereleased on Switch, and a $19.99 premium currency package in an F2P that doesn’t cater to addicts.
Times change. The games I spend money on don’t. That’s why I constantly beg for changes, I’d like to keep playing GoW but it’s getting more clear that daddy wants to use his belt for things that don’t involve keeping his pants up.
Also I just had a peek at the game I abandoned to come to GoW.
The meta’s different, and there are new modes, but it’s monetized the same way it was, and the modes work the same way they did. The things that made that game unique weren’t “we dramatically change every mode roughly once a year”, but “your individual gacha troops have a big effect and we release new ones every week.” I could pick it up again and understand how to get back to competitive with only a quick review of the new meta.
I quit in the middle of explaining to someone in another thread what they should know about GoW over the past 2 years. It’s not just troops. I have to explain:
Adventure Board means logging in every day, they’re used to a weekly adventure task.
Pet rescues are new, tied to kingdom power, and require you to be ready to play 8 scaling matches within an hour 24/7.
Raid/Invasion are important guild events that didn’t exist, and they aren’t equipped to deal with scaling.
Tower of Doom didn’t exist, and requires guild communication in a way nobody did 2 years ago.
Bounty didn’t exist, they’re missing every bounty troop, and it will be a long time before they can participate at the upper levels.
Class events didn’t exist and will be vital to accelerate their training but have the worst F2P payout of any event.
Challenges aren’t grindable anymore.
Soulforge is maybe new and good. (It appeared roughly 2 years ago, just before I started.)
Event shops are new, so is the concept “Tier VII gives you bonus stats and is infinite”.
Delves are new, tied to kingdom power, and require a huge resource investment. It is almost required to buy multiples of Tier VII to max them. (The concept of buying stats with gems to finish a mode didn’t exist 2 years ago.)
Scaling modes are a thing they never had to deal with. They need weapons that can deal with scaling enemies. Conveniently, a new one hasn’t been released in as long as I can remember so the only way to catch up is pray for flash offers. I have no basis for figuring out which ones will be free and which won’t. The heuristic changes every time an important one appears cash-only.
In some ways it’s good that the game has changed so much in 2 years. In other ways, it’s bad. To dramatically shorten what I wanted to type, it comes down to this: GoW is a completely different game from what it was 2 years ago. It used to be true that most days you only had to play 10-15 easy matches to keep up with things. Now a daily login is required, you have to play 25+ (potentially scaling) matches, and the new events tend to mean every day requires on average 20+ scaling matches. The chores are adding up. None of this is making me want to spend money on the game.
That’s interesting to some people, but to me (the person I care about most) I’ve noticed if it looked like this 2 years ago, I don’t think I’d have invested more than a week or two. I spend my first weeks mapping out the treadmill and GoW’s has gotten so convoluted and reliant on purchasing “you missed it” gear I’d have aborted before committing. The only thing that keeps me around is I didn’t miss it.
Each new mode is more chores for older players who aren’t caught up on the treadmill, which translates to excitement because it’s more visible progress. For older players it’s just “more chores”. The hardest challenges are already below par for where I usually end up in weekly events. I don’t need any of the rewards. It’s like the game’s politely asking me to go away and come back later, when it’ll cost me money to catch up.
As things get increasingly endgamey for me, more and more GoW is becoming about facilitating my guildmates’ experience through their XP/Resources path. So even though I may be just going through the motions, it’s still rewarding to kill a few hundred towers I didn’t need to kill. Then again, not everyone will find satisfaction in similar aspects of the game, as you have highlighted.
One thing that came to mind through reading the insights in this thread, is that I now better understand why top guilds are so into GW: among other things, it’s increasingly the one aspect of the game where we as players have some control over the event (unlike seeing what the AB slot machine has decided to grant today) and over the 6 days we get to choose what we want to use from the pool of all the resources we have gained/unlocked through our efforts/investments.
This part’s actually kind of fun to me. I’ve got the troops to make teams that more easily get to higher levels, so when I can get around to them I like going pretty far! The problem is Monday is when I’m grinding PvP rank and seals, Tuesday is a Faction event, so Wednesday is the first day I’m open for participation. By then the high performers are way ahead of me, and I can’t catch up to them before I run out of time, then by Friday the reward tiers are already cracked and I don’t feel like I contributed. I wish we could move pet rescue to Tuesday and put Delve on Wednesday.
I don’t disagree with you. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again. The target audience of GoW has changed. All these new features and alterations to the game are designed to attract a different audience. The vets are still accepted here, and they will never been thrown out GoW. However, all of these continual changes are not made with the current vets in mind, but rather to set the expectations for the new audience if and when they make it to the late-game in GoW (if they so happen to benefit current vets, then all the better).
Again, I’m totally on-board with what you are saying. I feel the same way. Sadly, the reality of the matter is that as a general “best practice” (ugh) for gacha based games, there is a core concept of control equating to real money spending by players. If players don’t spend, they have no control over their outcomes.
In GoW terms, it would look like this, from worst to best outcomes:
– F2P: (Uses Keys): Base (lowest) rates to pull event troops, based on key rarity
– Premium Currency: Boosted rates for event troops, but available on a 50-pull or better, paid with gems only. (VIP Keys sort of emulate this as a older payment model)
– Direct Real Currency: Direct purchases of the resources/troops the player wants, no RNG involved. (This is what Flash Offers do.)
Flash offers aren’t going anywhere are very likely to embraced even more going forward as the preferred method for acquiring premium things, especially as gem income continues to increase from ever-increasing Kingdom Power levels.
I don’t disagree with the morality issues surrounding gacha/lootbox games. However, such issues are present in practically all forms of business. For example, the entire point of the advertising industry is to leverage psychological impulses to induce a person to purchase a product that they would not have purchased otherwise. Is that morally just? And don’t get me started about how companies are using software to monitor customer service phone calls to gauge exactly how the CS rep can push back against the caller and avoid concessions before that caller likely reaches a breaking point, all in the name of profitability. Ugh.
There’s not much I can say on this, as I’m not the one running this ship nor do I have any input where that ship goes. Decisions were made regarding the direction of the game going forward. It’s a sunk cost at this point, and can’t be reversed.
Once more, I don’t disagree with you. As I said earlier, the devs aren’t ever going to wish ill of any of the game’s players. That said, and I want to stress that this is my personal opinion here (and mine alone), the MBA side of me thinks that calculations were made that the gain of new players from the new target audience regarding these changes will be greater than any potential cannibalization of lost veteran players from them, hence the result is a net positive. And yes, this is a very frigid calculated statement. But, that’s what business analysts do for a living (and why I don’t do that for a living).
Full agreement here.
Be careful what you wish for… you just might get it. There’s a strong potential that 4.6 and 4.7 will change your viewpoint on that matter. We’ll have to see how certain features that are likely to implemented are going to be realized in the final product.