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Rewarded Ads (A Break Down for the 4.9 Update)

imho the game doesn’t need better marketing, it needs Devs that love their game and not making the game more and more of a pain playing it from patch to patch.
I don’t care about the Ads if I’m not forced to see them. I just don’t have a reason to watch them.
To support the Devs? LOL
With every patch they’re taking not giving. If this changes sometime then I begin considering it. If I’m still playing this game at this day.

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only 4 ads a day? id easily watch an entire hour of ads straight a day if worth it,but if ever attached at end of a battle and have to watch to play another battle id quit the game tbh…battles already take too long to get to the next one!

Cable TV was once ad free…now, hardly anyone remembers this. Amazon Prime used to be ad free too.

As a vip 10, I’m more than happy supporting the company by watching optional ads here or there at my leisure and discretion as these ones will be. However, if at any point a single unwanted banner, autoplay video, or otherwise intrusive ad shows up you’ll have lost me and my support indefinitely. That’s when I uninstall the game and warn all away. We deal with so much targeted advertisement as well as intrusive and manipulating product placement, and the last thing I want is for my leisure activities to include forced ads as well. That’s why I don’t have cable, stopped going on facebook, and stopped watching sports. If I could stop flying on major airliners, pumping gas, or any of the other ways ads have shoehorned themselves into my space you’d better believe I’d do that as well.

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Support the idea. A few ads at free will are more than tolerable if it helps the game going.

And some sort of relief that we finally can have some sort of official news on what’s been planned.

Hoping that won’t be changed [after beta ofc] in the start screen “we’re setting things ready ,meanwhile watch this”

I see a game that shoves ads in my face and asks for money to remove them, I NEVER play it again.

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So this is how they increase profit for this year over last year. What about next year when profits have to be greater than this year? Get ready for forced ads everyone.

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Thank god for Steam. FYI, I provided a TON of feedback on the “shop” and money system in GoW. Maybe the devs should read it if Gems of War is really on a sinking ship… I’m not an expert, but I am a player who has spent a good amount of money in the game and would like to spend more, but I went from spending $30 a month to maybe $5 if there is a really good flash offer.

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I’m calling it now - there will be an animated icon, even if it’s a small one like the animated Gem that appears on the Shop button during bonus buy events (that the devs cutely think qualify as “sales”).

Yes, but…

If the addition of “optional” ads ever causes other sources of resource gain to be nerfed, then the ads stop being “optional” to keep up.

The same way that spending to T6-T7 was “optional” for guilds who wanted to finish CoC.

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Poor video gaming industry! This 1st and only FTP game I will ever play is definately an interesting case of study. When the bottom seem reached, a new method appear to dig even deeper. Im really curious to witness the next step after that.
Well to begin with, mobile shouldnt even have any games available…they re meant for calling and receiving call and thats it, so I guess its only a half surprise to see something that grotesque on this “platform”.
What a tragic path over the decades this video gaming industry is taking. They are slowly heading to their doom without even realizing it…

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I think we live in a separate universe from you. :wink: Sorry, being a bit sarcastic. FYI, modern phones have super-computing power and better graphics support than 10-year-old PCs. Meaning your premises are flawed.

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Phones still call? :wink:
My Samsung Note 10+ 5G is way more powerful than any computer that I had as a kid.
Shit, probably more powerful than my last laptop that I bought 8 years ago. (It crashed so I bought a Chromebook.)

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Don’t like ads? Play on PC.
Don’t care either way? Play anywhere.
Prefer ads in a game instead of no game at all? Play on mobile.

Plenty of choices here.

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The optimist in me wants to think this will help cut down on intentionally caustic design practices designed with the intent of driving monetiziation (rather making a good system you can monetize without intentionally breaking a piece of it). The realist in me know this is highly unlikely.

I’d also say if the rewards are limited to what is thought to be half of what can be earned in 30 seconds in PvP at a given level, it is very unlikely I’d choose to watch a 30 second ad for the rewards when I could just hop in PvP for 30 seconds and earn twice as much, especially if this is tuned to the “average player”. But also I’m way more interested in what this hypothetical metric for “about 30 seconds worth of PvP” is than I am in this system whatsoever. Whether this estimate is low, high, or spot on, it would help contextualize a lot about other economy “adjustments”.

For the best chance of this working, I’d suggest allowing a number of ads to be run back to back over a longer time period rather than the once every 8 hours. I’d also suggest reconsidering the stance that time used elsewhere in the game in general generates more resources than watching the ads, partially because whatever metric you use for “30 seconds worth of rewards” is going to be dramatically flawed in some way or another, especially basing it off account level, and partially because even if this is exactly true for the person in question, its not a very strong incentive to say “watching this ad will give you rewards about half as if you had just played one of the least rewarding aspects of game”. Double would probably the the way to go here. In other words, if it remains 3 ads per day, and you can always get them back to back, and you give exactly out “3 minutes worth” of resources for 1min30 time investment, this still isn’t anywhere close to “forcing” the ads on people, but it would make them a bit more attractive, especially to the resource poor and especially for those that underperform at whatever metric you consider “1 minute and 30 seconds worth” of rewards to be. Basically, a 30 second ad watch available 3 times per day would have to give out “several minutes worth” of rewards each time to produce any kind of actual advantage, but (a properly estimated) “1 minute worth” would be enough to entice a small portion as being “worth the time I spent”. Spend 30 seconds in an ad to get (possibly less than) 15 seconds of PvP rewards doesn’t even qualify as “worth the time I spent”, and the people that click the button out of pure altruism to “put a penny in the tip jar” are going to get tired of it eventually and either resume supporting through other means or not at all at all.

Quick math on that… if an ad gave (a perfectly estimated) “1 minute worth” of resources for 30 seconds of ad watch time, at 3 per day, at the end of a year, said player would have earned “18.25 hours worth” of resources for watching “9.125 hours worth” of ad watching. Sounds like a lot, right? Nope. Completely discounting low hanging fruit rewards for high value resources (good ABs, guild tasks, delves, certain events, etc), which actually make up the huge majority of significant or salient rewards, a player that played for an hour on average daily (and most people on the forums probably play more), the person that watched over nine hours worth of ads over the course of that year has earned about 2.5% more (a large majority of which is lower value, easy to obtain, infinitely available) resources above the baseline. They would have probably felt that it was worth their time in the moment but didn’t gain any significant advantage - thats the point. By contrast, under the proposed “half of what you’d earn in 30 seconds of PvP for 30 seconds ad watching”, they’d suffer a loss of about 1.25% of those resources, but feel like they were losing a lot more. And they’d still have watched over 9 hours of ads by the end of the year. Yeah, if it were double instead of half, a player can log in and only watch the ads, and have “twice as much” as the player who logged in for literally less than two minutes worth of PvP per day, but who really wins there? Certainly not either of the hypothetical players. And not likely the people getting paid, either, because no rational person would actually do this.

At the same time, I’d also caution against offering too many of these in any given time period, and I’d move away from the “per x hours” metric and to a “per day” restriction. Three, or even five per day to get a slight leg up on being compensated fairly for the time spent as a win/win transaction for willing participants… as a game that seems designed at its core around roughly one hour average interactions, spending a couple minutes of that on ads, voluntarily, isn’t too bad, something I could easily see myself doing if I was on the right platform, especially as a new player. “Once per x hour”, especially if you get it down to “once per hour” would be a draconian extension to the tribute system that people would be conditioned to do, but it would likely increase burnout for relatively little extra return as is not recommended.

For those that have concerns about this system becoming “mandatory ad watches”, everything about how this was presented, even with my proposed changes to have them hand out 4x more, says otherwise. Truthfully, in order to turn this thing into a “much watch ad”, having a three-ad-per-day limit, it would have to have something akin to a static 5+ gem-per-30-second-watch (this being approximately 10 times what you can earn in any infinitely available mode, ie., treasure hunt) to even begin to tip the scales or accompanied by a hike in “must buy” gem purchases (ie., stuff that gets more expensive if you miss it, like weapon tiers) on the other side. So yeah, if my time is worth ten times as much in an ad as in game and in rewards premium currency, and I need more of said currency on average per week to hit a baseline, thats obviously bad. Otherwise, it would be hard to pin an economy nerf on this… uh… “extra” source"resources that include “rarely gems” but are mostly easily farmable because you are, even under my proposed double PvP rate rewards, being slightly more time-resource efficient in the long run watching the ads over gameplay… and having them be roughly half PvP rewards for the same amount of time means you are less time resource efficient watching the ads than you would be playing the game… as in, watching ads purposely disadvantages you (a small amount) in addition to the inconvenience of watching the ad in the first place which just makes it wholly unattractive. If they ran a ton of ads, this could pile up, but this would be a lose/lose by fatiguing willing participants while also likely lowering your CPM.

But circling back to my original point, yeah, I hope this additional revenue means less obnoxious and heavy handed attempts to direct players toward monetization, but readily realize that this very likely will not be the case. But also nothing said here is going to stop it completely, and once implemented, they have very little reason to pull it, either, so long as it continues to generate any revenue. So might as well wish this the best chance of actually working with the least amount of fallout.

tl;dr:
Do:

  • consolidate daily ad offerings into x per day rather than 1 every x hours
  • up to ~5 ads per day is tolerable, more is pushing it
  • have them in an out of the way location that isn’t dominant on the screen (lowest priority in the flash offers chain, no fullscreen popup?)
  • when giving common, farmable resources, you need to give more than you can get in the same amount of time as the baseline for infinitely repeatable mode, not less, for this to be an attractive short term (but not impactful long term) use of a player’s time (~2x, not half)
  • display the proposed reward for watching an ad before watching it, not after (it is essentially a micro transaction for time instead of money, not a “surprise mechanic”)

Do not:

  • put ads in any area where they have to be clicked through or have them use eye-catches or other obnoxious features
  • have more than 5 ads a day, or anything close to attempt to use this as another activity hook akin to tributes by offering them every x time period
  • give rare resources (gems) in such quantities that make the ads “required to keep up” or that they would have any lasting impact on the game economy (doesn’t look like this is even close to the intent here, but people are concerned, so I put it here to be sure we are all on the same page)
  • give random rewards after the fact for ad-watching and/or have the rewards hidden until after it has been watched
  • have ads longer than ~30 seconds, especially without warning (mentioning this because I’ve seen opt-in ads for games that were literally over 5 minutes long)
  • ever ever prove any of the people arguing “slippery slope” correct in the long run
  • have this be the main feature of the 4.9 update
15 Likes

Unfortunately I don’t see this happening. The push is metrics and “encouraging” people to log in for multiple play sessions is a habit-forming practice to drive engagement. The every 8 hours thing is also silly because it means if you want to get a healthy amount of sleep at night (i.e. 8 hours) you really only get two chances a day IF the timer refreshes when an ad is viewed (i.e. how the Tribute timer works) vs based on a set schedule (i.e. daily reset, daily reset + 8 hours, daily reset + 16 hours)…so, depending on how this is deployed, it could be actively encouraging unhealthy practices.

This would be nice, but if the same people who designed CoC design this, count on it being random.

I’m already expecting an equivalent to the blinking Gem icon during a “sale”. This is a direct revenue stream for them, I consider it common sense to believe they’re going to drive traffic to it. I’m just hoping that a small, animated icon is the extent of the marketing they use and that it doesn’t find its way into the existing swarm of Flash Offers and pop-ups. (Seriously, if there were a reasonably-priced microtransaction option to disable pop-ups on my account, I’d probably buy it. I’ve paid $2-5 in other games to do exactly that…but knowing these devs/publisher, it’d be some kind of $50 “special” that is marketed as being 70% off.)

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Hopefully neither, and they use the extra money for higher quality updates.

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@Saltypatra I’m not going to lie, I’m a little bit disappointed by this. Not only have the most recent additions to this game (epic tasks and new guild event) been a complete let down by the majority community, now the next big update you have for us is ads so you guys can make money?

I don’t know what your situation is and I REALLY hope this will help you guys get the money you need, that way your team can focus on making actual good content that doesn’t rob it’s players of their hard earned currencies. I know running a business isn’t free, so I sincerely mean that.

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Thank you for making it optional. The no ads completely were nice while they lasted. Devs got to eat too :grin:

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Maybe they should quit trying to sell stupid bundles for $50 and $100 and troop upgrades for $30… Jesus christ, a 5 year old could tell this is a bad model.

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Under the proposed system (you will get about half what you earn in PvP in 30 seconds by watching a 30 second ad), this isn’t really helping anyone. In fact, limiting or preventing ads that give farmable resources but slower than you can get them in a mode you can enter for free at any time in no way hurts anyone but the people making cash monies off it. Moving them closer together and allowing more of them would condition people to watch them more, but treating the chance to watch an ad like a golden ticket makes no sense.

This is the part I don’t get, like at all. If the ads offer premium currency every time, all the time, then yes, obviously, they’d want to limit it and maybe even use it as an activity hook to make the behavior compulsory and do all the horrible things people think this is going to lead to. But theres no reason to hide something away and severely limit that gives you lower rewards than playing the game with only a small chance of premium currency (likely in very small quantities, if I had to guess, likely ~3 gems at 10%). Thus, the 8 hour refresh timetable makes little sense for this. The entire takeway from the initial post is repeatedly highlighting how watching the ads definitely isn’t worth your time because the lowest baseline infinitely repeatable gameplay is twice as efficient. So if they spit out anything close to significant, that nullifies the main message of the original post here and recontextulizies it not to “being transparent” to something else compeltely… but if they don’t, then they aren’t attractive to watch in the first place to any given average player. “Please click on ads to support us” rarely works when there is such a weak incentive on the other side, at least not long term, probably less so than putting up an actual literal tip jar/donate button where the player would get nothing in return. How is this supposed to work, again?

The blinking would be constant if this were the case, only going away if you watch the ad. They did already say it would be at the world map and not a pop up, but that doesn’t exclude blinking, but this is very much in contrast with the spirit of the original post. Flash offers are also monetized and do not blink, which is something along the lines of what I’d expect. But yeah, obnoxious blinking that won’t go away until you click and watch the ads when they know they aren’t going to be worth their time to do so… annoy them into submission. If they do it, they do it, but it would garner far more respect being wholly up front instead of actively trying to hide the least liked part of something until the last second, which would, again, recontextualize the whole original post from “being transparent and up front” to something else entirely. I know the track record for this isn’t great, but cautious optimism. But also apprehensive because the proposed plan makes no sense, so that probably means there is something that hasn’t been revealed yet.

Most of this is why I’m stating this ahead of time, so it is clear where I (and likely many of us) stand on the issue on what is annoying, “forced”, and what will incentivize clicks without alienating anyone. The best chance of this working long term is for it to be a win/win for both sides(with at least part of the playerbase wanting to watch the ads for their personal benefit), not something that feels like has to be just endured or tolerated, because this is happening.

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