I’m going to attempt to put my Bachelor of Business Administration degree to use here and offer some feedback in the form of a complete overhaul of Gems of War shop. I have a feeling no one who can actually do anything about this will read it, but I’m going to put it all out there anyway. Maybe some of it will trickle up.
- When players spend money, they should always feel like they are receiving a valuable reward in exchange.
- Players should never feel confused by the in-game shop or overwhelmed in needing to do calculations to work out the best value
- Players should want to give some amount of money every month to the game, despite it being a free to play game. That means players should want to spend money how they can but also when they can.
- Players should not feel like they need to spend money to catch up to other players.
- New players especially should not be tricked or deceived in any way on the actual value of resources or items in the game.
What does this look like to you?
To me it looks like someone made too much of something, couldn’t sell it, so they discounted it, but they still think it’s worth as much as they were originally selling it for. Ever go to Kohl’s and see their 80% off clearance section and all you can find is Extra Small and Extra Large? You have to dig through everything just to maybe find one thing that fits? Now you might think they’re losing money selling at the discounted rate. Think again. They’re probably breaking even selling at that rate and the ones they did sell without any discount, those were marked up tremendously.
But this is a video game. There isn’t a “shortage” of things. You aren’t producing “too many” things that you need to offload. Get rid of all of these “Value” and “Discount” signs. They are super tacky and mean absolutely nothing. If anything, they’re just deceitful. Where do you come up with $100 Value? It doesn’t make any sense. If it was actually worth $100, then how come in the nearly two years I’ve played, I’ve only ever seen it sold for the “discounted” $20? Surely if it’s worth $100 then at some point you’d sell it for $100 and people would still buy it. No, they wouldn’t. It has a $20 value. That’s why you sell it for $20.
In Game Resources
In the shop we find several tabs, and every tab except two sells things for $$$. Gems? Money. Subscriptions? Money. Weekly Event? Money. Specials? Money. But even the “Glory Rewards” actually lists the currency right there in the Tab name. Glory. Rewards. It has Rewards that cost Glory. It couldn’t be more precise. But then we have Gold & Souls. You get to Gold & Souls and it doesn’t cost money. It costs Gems. So now you’ve got to work out how much gems cost from the Gems tab.
But then I need to figure out how much it costs to level up a troop from 1 to 20 or how much it costs to level up hoard or a kingdom or donate to my guild’s tasks. So 18k souls is 500 gems, that’s enough to level up a troop I believe from 1 to 20, maybe? So 500 gems… uh, I can’t buy just 500 gems:
So leveling up a troop costs… uh, let me do some math here, I get 18.86 gems per dollar with the Chest of Gems. That means for 500 gems, I’m spending $25. So that means to level up one troop, it costs approximately $25, and there’s… oh cool, only 809 troops in the game, so I can level up all my troops for $20,225. Perfect.
But wait, I’m also supposed to donate 1 million gold to my guild each week. Let’s see, Dragon’s Hoard gets me 75k gold for 300 gems, so I just need to buy that 13 times for 975k gold, that’s 3900 gems per week, so if I buy two of “The Motherlode” for $100 each, I’ll have enough. Awesome. I can fulfill my guild requirements for an easy $200 a week!
Alright designers, do you see how insane this looks?
Get rid of the Gold & Souls tab completely. Stop trying to sell gold and souls for gems. It looks horrible. The people who buy it are getting literally scammed (just like the people using Diamonds to make Souls in the Soulforge!)
Moving on to the other tabs though, we have crazy resource packs that apparently have time limits on them. I only have 2 days left before this exciting offer disappears!
These “Kingdom Packs,” Traitstone packs, this single Troop pack, none of these should exist. These are colossally bad investments and they make the game look bad. Just get rid of all of them. You shouldn’t be selling specific troops anyway for money. If I spend $50 on a legendary troop as a new player, and months later I find out I have 7 copies of it, well, now I want my $50 back, because I only need 6 copies of a Legendary troop to ascend it to Mythic. It’s incredibly easy to get legendary troops in this game once you get in a guild that helps you get keys fast through tasks and events.
But you’re not selling to those players, are you? You’re selling to the people who want things now and won’t stick around to notice how bad of an investment they made.
Then we have the even worse Typhoon of Keys Pack and Weapon Upgrade Pack, and the subscriptions themselves for daily gold, gems, and souls. These are all just awful. You’re selling an extra tribute every day for $5, but only for half the month. Weapon Upgrade pack? 250 epic ingots and 5000 souls for $25? What do souls have to do with upgrading a weapon, first of all, and second of all, who is using epic weapons at all?
What You Should Be Selling
So let’s talk instead about what you should be selling, because it seems like there is an awful lot of stuff you shouldn’t be selling that you are, and I’d like to get some positivity going instead. Here are some things I do like:
- The Avatar Bundles. I haven’t purchased these myself, but I am saddened that there are only two of them. You claim cosmetics don’t make money. That is just completely false though and whoever told you that should be fired. Cosmetics are a fixed cost. You pay the cost of the art and the programming to get it into the game and eventually it recoups its cost and everything past this is profit. Notice how you haven’t removed the Avatar bundles from the shop in, well, since they were made available? It doesn’t cost anything “extra” to keep them there, and you just make money whenever someone buys them. But it doesn’t cost you anything more when someone makes that transaction.
- Gems. I do think there should be some gems sold in one way or another. But you literally have so many gem options, it’s ridiculous trying to keep track. Daily Gems, The Motherlode, Chest of Gems, Chalice of Gems, Bag of Gems, Stack of Gems, Growth Pack 1, Growth Pack 2, Path to Glory 1, Ring of Wonder, Flash Offers, and the Guild Elite and Guild Champion packs. That’s too much! We don’t need that many different ways to purchase gems. Now, many of those are limited. Some you can only buy once. Some are weekly. Some are daily. Some are monthly. What do they all have in common though? Well, actually, nothing! Here’s what they don’t have in common: a fixed value per gem. That’s right. Every single one of them has a different value for gems. The Flash Offer you’re getting 50 gems per $1 for instance. Growth Pack 2? 26 gems for $1. Growth Pack 1? 23.33 gems per $1. How about The Motherlode? Well, for a player with VIP 0, it’s only 15 gems per $1. For me at VIP 9, it’s 21.75 gems per dollar. Path to Glory 1? Abysmal 8 gems per $1. That’s super confusing, especially because some of those have other rewards mixed in – in fact, they all do, except for the offers that are only selling gems. But wait, the ones only selling gems have some of the worst gem to dollar ratios. That’s right. The Growth Packs, the Flash Offers, the Guild packs – all of these give you more gems for your dollar than any of the shop offers, especially if you have a lower VIP level.
- Monthly Deals. The Ring of Wonder is an awesome concept. I used to buy it every month. I haven’t for several months now, because I’m not comfortable with the direction this game is going to give my money to it, but if it turns around, I will get back into it. Here’s the thing though… you’re adding a whole bunch of stuff to it like the 200 gems, the 200k gold, the 10 gem keys, and the 700 glory, that isn’t needed. People aren’t buying it because of those. They’re buying it because of the bonus to gold/souls/xp. That’s what is selling it. You should be capitalizing on that. How? Get rid of the extra stuff on the Ring of Wonder and offer tiers, but make it affordable! You want to collect money from as many people as you can!
Ring of Wonder - 1st Tier - $10 monthly
- +50% Gold, Souls, XP
- +5% Mythstone Bonus
Ring of Wonder - 2nd Tier - $20 monthly
- +75% Gold, Souls, XP
- +10% Mythstone Bonus
Ring of Wonder - 3rd Tier - $30 monthly
- +100% Gold, Souls, XP
- +20% Mythstone Bonus
Why are these separated? Why are there so many different places to spend money, but not a single place to spend it? I mean, I know the answer to that – you’re bombarding players with reminders that they can spend money here, there, and everywhere. You’re selling things in the Shop. You’re selling things in the Offers. You’re selling things in the Flash offers. You’re selling things in the Guild. You’re even selling things whenever I get a new troop (stop that, seriously).
Now some of these “Offers” aren’t that bad. I already went over how awful the Event packs are though. Well, actually, under “Offers” they are called Bundles. In the Shop they are listed under Weekly Event. Either place, they’re bad. You don’t even get enough resources to upgrade the troop.
But the Growth Packs, Path to Glory and and Path to Power? Not that bad. Okay, almost all of them are bad actually, except the Growth Pack 2. That one is actually not so bad. You get a bunch of gems and a Mythic troop. The other ones though are really, really bad. The Path to Glory 1 features days that give me 25 gold keys and 8 treasure maps. Oh my god. And 8000 gold? I get that much gold and gold keys from one tribute. Why would I want to pay real money for that?
The Path to Glory 2 looks interesting because it gives you a Mythic, but then you realize that you don’t even get enough Traitstones (if you actually look at it!) to level up the Mythic. And the Path to Power? Truly bad. It’s aimed probably at newer players who don’t have enough ingots to level up their weapons, except you give them a minuscule amount of ingots daily, not enough to even fully upgrade a single weapon, and there are hundreds of weapons in the game! Gah, get rid of these!
Now I get that 505 or whoever has a fixation on these $50 and $100 packs. But remember the points I mentioned. Players shouldn’t feel like they could have gone on Steam and bought a triple A game for the same price. Want to really know what I would spend $50 on?
- 5 Random Mythics
- 5 Major Orb of Growth
- 5 Major Orb of Wisdom
- 5,000,000 Gold
Limit 1 per account. You’re welcome. You’d sell tons. Still want to sell your Typhoon of Keys Pack for $100? Actually make it worth that $250 you claim its worth! Right now it gives 240 Gold Keys, 120 Glory, 60 Gem, 30 Event, and 15 VIP keys. And there’s no limit!!!11 Here’s how many keys I expect for $100:
- 5000 Gold Keys
- 2500 Glory Keys
- 1000 Gem Keys
- 500 Event Keys
- 100 VIP Keys
- 2000 Guild Seals (100 Guild Keys)
Should it have a limit? Absolutely. When you put a limit on something, you artificially increase its value, because people perceive it to be an even playing field then. The person who has only $100 can buy the same amount as the person who has $1000. What kind of limit though? This one I’d set at being 1 per month. If someone really wants to spend $100 every month, that’s great for you, because I have a feeling very few players are actually buying that Typhoon of Keys pack now. But that would change. Compared to the previous pack, you’re paying twice as much, but you’re getting a “chance” at tons of different troops. The previous pack is aimed towards “guaranteed” things for one time (like Deathknight Armor is, and that’s probably their best selling item). This is aimed at gambling, which I’m almost certain no one does right now because it isn’t worth it.
Last but not least, as I mentioned very briefly, selling people the chance to upgrade their new troop for only $30 or whatever, to buy the souls and traitstones… man, I really hate seeing those pop-ups. They feel like you’re begging for a handout. “Hey, that’s a nice new troop you got, wanna give us some money for it?” No, I don’t…