(I kind of wanted to reply to her with “Prove it.”)
I’m going to try and portray both my own opinion and the general opinion of other players I’ve seen discussing Deeds on Discord and in Global Chat.
Short Version: Many players anticipate that Deeds are going to have a significant effect on the game, and that they will introduce a strong element of Pay-2-Win. Very few people like this.
There is no question that, once enough troops have been collected and maxed out, Skill increases are the most valuable thing to strengthen a team. (Note for clarity: “Skill” is the official term for Armour, Life, Magic and Attack, even though most games would call them “stats”.)
Adding 34 universal Skill increases to the game (one for each kingdom) is an enormous change to the balance of the game. Locking the skill increases behind Deeds is smart, but there are problems.
First, when Factions were introduced, it was clear that we could acquire the necessary Renown to gain Skill increases only very slowly. This is not apparent for Level 15 Kingdoms. In fact, the gold cost of 570,000 makes it look easily achievable to any end-game player. (I do not propose increasing the gold cost: we need that gold for Legendary Tasks!) This is essentially a problem of appearances. We know how fast we can get gold; we have no clue how fast we can get Deeds.
Second, there is no time-frame on Deed progression. I think we need to have one! For example, if you were to say that there would definitely be one Deed task for each colour every 6 weeks, we would have a feel for what is involved in reaching Kingdom L15. (If there are multiple tiers of Deed task, more information would need to be provided.) While the exact timing can be tweaked in the future, I think not knowing how fast we should expect to receive Deeds is a major contributor to the current backlash.
Third, since November 2018, the entire games industry has been constantly in the news. Nearly every major publisher (and many minor ones) has burned the goodwill of most of their fan base. Essentially, games developers are now seen as being enormously greedy, simply by default. To be clear: the default opinion of many gamers is now that games developers cannot be trusted and are trying to fleece them.
Gems of War has a history of being fair to players and not Pay2Win. However, many new elements introduced into the game over the last few months (Potions, Flash Offers, the Adventure Board, the exclusion of some event weapons from the Soulforge, the use of Diamonds to forge weapons in the Soulforge, and especially the unexpectedly cash-only Flash Calendar) make it seem, to the objective observer, that Gems of War is trying to extract more money from its players, and is becoming more Pay2Win. This is both a strong impression that has not been assuaged by company communications, and a reality (most Leaderboards are now definitely Pay2Win).
The bottom line on this is that any opportunity to buy Deeds using real money will be seen as confirmation that Gems of War is now Pay2Win. To be clear, that’s because Skill increases are seen as being game-changing, combined with the fact no-one trusts games companies any more.
Fourth, the acquisition of Deeds through the Adventure Board is strongly discriminatory against players unable to log in every day. I’m quite sure that Salty is correct when she said that “engagement” is increased when there are benefits to logging in daily. However, there are already 4 of those without the Adventure Board (Calendars of the old type, daily login rewards, Dungeons, and Daily Delves). One of the things people liked about the week-long Green Crystal quest was that they had all week to do it. The more daily activities you add, the more likely your players are to burn out. What’s more, “engagement” is difficult to measure in any real sense, and what you measure does not necessarily translate to the strength of the community or the long-term viability of the game. (What I’m saying is that I’m extremely sceptical about measures of “engagement”.)
In terms of Deeds, these are now the most valuable resource in the game, second only to Diamonds, essentially because both are time-gated. Missing the day of a Deed task now feels like a disaster. And the fear of missing it is out of proportion to the incentive to log in.
Skill increases are seen as game-changing, and any attempt to monetise them will feel like Pay2Win. This fear and opinion seems to be almost universal.
Players need to have a clear idea of roughly how quickly they’ll be able to get Kingdoms to Level 15. This is my own opinion, supported by the psychology about how people respond to unknown time frames.
Restricting the acquisition of Deeds to a single day (through the Adventure Board) is not a good look. In my opinion, it is more likely to lose players than retain them.
To be fair, I thought it would be educational to investigate how Deeds might be priced, if they are to become available in any way that does not involve playing the game.
Getting a Kingdom to level 15 requires 30 Deeds of a particular colour, plus 3 Imperial Deeds. There are 34 Kingdoms in the game. Suppose you were to create a week-long Flash offer every week that allows the player to buy 30 Deeds of a rotating colour, along with 3 Imperial Deeds for US$1. That is, the cost of getting a single kingdom to level 15 is US$1, there is no way to miss out on this deal (so long as you log in every week), and it will take about 9 months to get every Kingdom to level 15. The total cost, then is US$34, which is roughly the price of a AAA game a few weeks after launch. Alternatively, this could be viewed as a US$4 monthly subscription fee – that’s a quarter of what people pay for World of Warcraft, a game with, arguably, far more content than Gems of War.
Alternatively, suppose you offer a one-day Flash offer once per month that gives players the option to buy 1 Deed of each colour and 1 Imperial Deed for US$50. That would allow whales (the derogatory term used by the industry for players willing to spend $100s or $1,000s or $10,000s of dollars on a game) to get one more Kingdom to Level 15 than everyone else at a rate of one extra Kingdom every 3-5 months (depending on whether Deeds or Imperial Deeds prove to be the limiting factor). For a subscription fee of US$600 per year.
Honestly, I don’t see either option as being particularly attractive to the community, as a whole.
(unless your price them at less than US$2 per Kingdom
I was about to post that screenshot. Did anyone else get Deeds of Stone II? Looks like we all did, guildies confirming.
I agree with most of what you said, but I wanted to single this point out for further discussion. There is a fair bit of management/development research done on things like how to measure engagement, or monetization strategies and their effectiveness. I don’t subscribe to those journals, but I hope that Sirrian et al. do.
There almost surely are objective metrics available that quantify user engagement, and @Saltypatra is probably referring to these when she uses the term. It would be aces if she could provide a reference to the definition she and I+2 use (assuming it’s not proprietary or behind a paywall). I’m not opposed to reading papers, and it would be interesting to get a peek behind the curtain at some of the factors that an active development studio has to consider.
Yeah, we’ve been saying that for weeks. Now that you’ve finally noticed your mistake, how long will it take you to correct the numbers?
I like your interpretation better than mine. *nod*
Let’s see, we need 1020 colored deeds, the legendary tasks provides us with 6. Ignoring the extra road bump of pulling correct colors we’d need this task 170 times to get all kingdoms to 15. Once every second day to finish within a year. Looking at my collected Adventure Board data, I’ve received five legendary tasks within six weeks, less than one each week on average. And this legendary task would still have to pick the Deed task, out of four options, making it show up roughly once each month assuming fair distribution. So, going by this task alone, it’s 15 years to get the kingdoms done.
Incidentally, seeing the rewards for this legendary task also allows for a pretty good guess on the epic task reward, 3 colored deeds. If we would get this task each day we could also just complete all kingdoms within a year, except that we would be missing 102 imperial deeds.
It looks like the worst fears still hold, without paying cash the intended time to complete all your kingdoms really is at least 5 years, possibly more. It will also take deep into next year for F2P players to even get the first kingdom to level 15 due to the way colored deeds play out, unless some very generous amounts of extra deeds show up.
Looking at the numbers so far, I wouldn’t be surprised if Flash Offers come up frequently in two sizes, 10 (or possibly 3 of each) colored deeds for $5, 30 colored deeds + 3 imperial deeds for $20.
I do want to contribute in response to and as a respectful critique of @Starlite’s above post.
One thing that’s hard to measure is what adding 34 stats does to the game. I also think it’s important to note not every stat is equal. For example, without going datamine I feel like the “average” skull damage per troop is about 20, and ability damage maybe slightly higher (there’s a wider range due to boosts). This makes any adjustments to HP/Armor less than 20 far less valuable than an increase in multiples of 20.
If I count right, we’re talking about 5 magic, 7 attack, 11 HP, and 11 armor. The HP/Armor feels almost irrelevant outside of cases like Ketras. That’s less than one average skull hit, and any attack increases negate some of it. The 7 attack perks my ears but I feel like “skull team” already has a wide array of counters, even within the confines of Guild Wars. The 5 magic is what scares me the most because Magic has the widest spectrum of consequences.
In the end I wonder if those stats just aren’t relevant. I think if we pick “a year” as an imaginary time frame for leveling (based on noting the kingdom power upgrade was designed to take more than a year), and assume “6-8 months” is the pay-to-win rate of movement, it’s hard to imagine getting in scenarios where these stats are the deciding factor.
The bigger question is how does this affect a newbie in 2020’s prospect of catching up? They’ll get to accumulate deeds way before they are needed, but at the same time once they get towards the long midgame stretch they’ll start getting matched with/put in guilds that fight people who do have the bonuses. It’s notable
these upgrades affect tribute. Very “rich get richer”. (that sometimes I get mixed up.)
They don’t… though…
Interesting points, @Slypenslyde.
I wonder how much those extra stat points really are perception versus reality. Of course, Smash did point out that the Team Bonuses and Hoard Bonuses also have an impact.
As far as people catching up, I think you’re right. But I also think that ship has probably sailed. Even just catching up on pets is almost impossible now. Factions are time-gated if you try to do them through daily delves (as opposed to hitting every Tuesday Event hard). New Mythics are coming out faster than you can earn Diamonds (max of 1 new Mythic every 6 weeks if you spend 350 Gems a week but no money). And the Diamonds to craft weapons are no more easily available.
I don’t know if the data would back this up, but it certainly feels like anyone new coming into the game now would do well to NOT have the attitude of a completionist.
You made me double check, you’re right.
One reason I don’t like this feature is I eternally get kingdom power and kingdom level mixed up in my head. I can’t keep straight which one has which requirements, and which one has which bonuses, etc.
Going by the data revealed so far, the P2W rate is one year, the F2P rate is somewhere around five years.
This might not be entirely incorrect. It’s a safe bet that kingdom power levels past 20 will require kingdom upgrade levels past 10. Will there be an additional increase to tribute chance and amount as part of the bonuses? Unknown, there’s definitely going to be something worthwhile in there though. Sure, we are still at least a year away from getting past power level 20, but if the F2P rate for upgrade levels stays at five years only paying players will obtain them.
I wish everyone put effort and passion like this into things that matter
I say the same thing about those who memorize every sport stat too
What’s coming first? Merlantis Kingdom level 15 or your town turning into Merlantis?
I still don’t understand why characters with a few extra stats are a big deal…
Challenges now at higher tiers have way highers stats than players. The same is true in Delves, especially the closer you get to 500… The same is true in Bounty. The same is true in Invasion, and in Raid, and in Tower of Doom. It seems the only mode this concerns people is in guild wars, but if you are in a good guild, you will have team suggestions, which should negate any stat boosts, which are going to be trivial in comparison to all the other event troops boosted stats.
I think people forget end game players need something to work towards, and this seems like a decent thing to have us working towards. New players will be fine. They have a large amount of content to keep them busy… Where as end game players have very little new content to look forward to…
Problem is that we aren’t “working toward” anything, just “waiting for” the devs to be so kind as to give us adventure board tasks that include deeds that are useful.
Skill points seem like nothing important until you’re in a real guild wars bracket. Too bad anyone starting the game today will never find themselves welcome in a guild competing in a real guild wars bracket without spending money every time deeds and missing critical weapons show up as flash offers.
Not to mention that troops like ketras and ubastet rely on skill points to determine their damage. If that troops that’s being buffed relies on the stats of all troops on the team, every skill point adds 4 to the calculation, not 1.
It also isn’t just the extra Skill points. A 50% boost to stats in the kingdom’s associated delve is a big deal. There are a lot of stat boosts to be had from total renown.
Have you completed a faction to 500? And then done pure faction?
Yes, three of them, and only because of potions
And needing potions or spending tons of gold on hoard level won’t change even if we all had 20 added to every stat.
+50% to hoard stats is more than +2skill points
Either i misread, or you updated your post. I’ll take +20 to stats, and the extra kingdom team bonus over what we have now.