Upcoming Gem Sale! (Nov 23rd - Nov 26th)


Thanksgiving looms, and in its wake Black Friday begins to stir… This weekend there will be a gem sale! Make sure to check out the in-game store from November 23rd to 26th and snag yourself a deal.

This sale will go live at daily reset tomorrow.

Will this be a money off sale like other black friday deals? :smirk:


If it is a reduced price, then finally. If not, then…


Bonus gems with the flashing gem…

Yeah, I guess player irritation last time wasn’t strong enough to overrule the demand that extra attention be drawn to the shop. Maybe this time it’ll work?

Please have the gem stop flashing once we enter the shop that first time!


The publisher’s desire takes precedence regardless of whether the players (or Devs) like it or not. I mean the first item listed for the “sale” other than the daily gem pack is the $100 item. It’s :whale: season apparently.

But yeah, this isn’t a sale. It’s “pay regular price and we’ll throw in an extra bit as a bonus”, just like all other not-sales.


This isn’t the first time this issue has come up, and in the past the crux of the matter was differing definitions of what a “sale” is.

Players tend to define a sale as the discounting of the retail price of an item.

The devs define a sale as the discounting of the price per unit of premium currency.

Back in the day when Sirrian used to post semi-regularly on the boards, there was much discussion regarding how Sirrian strongly believed against diluting the retail price of a product because of the perceived perception of devaluation of that product towards future purchases of that product.

That belief still is going strong today. A sale is actually occuring. Players are receiving more gems per than normal. Thus, the discount is being applied via the lens of “cost per gem purchased”. The devs are simply not choosing to lower the retail price of a bundle of gems, while still increasing the value of a purchased bundle of gems.

The sale is more than “an extra bit as a bonus”, when evaluated the through a “cost per gem purchased” lens.

The calculated discounts actually are:

Stack of Gems: 30%
Bag of Gems: 35%
Chalice of Gems: 40%
Chest of Gems: 45%
The Motherlode: 50%

In other words, the current situation reads similar to “Yes, the Chalice of Gems is 40% off, but a player has to spend $20 USD (the bundle’s normal price) as a minimum purchase to obtain the discount” (which is what yields the “bonus” gems seen in the shop).

In economics, this is known as “price making”, versus “price taking” (which is what happens when retail prices are discounted in the marketplace). Apple is the best well-known example of a company that uses price-making policies when setting prices on their products.

I still don’t understand why they can drop the guild key bundle price but not the gems bundle?

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Please get rid of that flashing gem over the shop.

Once that is gone please add in a flashing exclamation mark on the games button as a dungeon reminder. If the constant flashing gem doesn’t overload the map then a flashing exclamation mark that would go away when you enter the dungeon can’t overload it either.

While I think the Devs type of sale does have validity, I also hate these types of sales, as a consumer. They could put 10x more Gems in each bundle, but it matters little to those of us that do not have the initial cost to “put up” in the first place.

Basically, it doesn’t matter if a $20 bundle gives 200 Gems or 20,000. If you don’t have $20, you don’t have $20. This is the reason why I like the Guild Key sales. It brings that normal $20 price tag down to a more “manageable” price point. As I have said before, on these forums, I’m more the type to spend a few dollars, more often, than to spend a larger sum, all at once.

This, also brings up a related issue I have with Gems: The lack of micro- transactions. A lot of what Gems sells are big tickets, some costing as much (or more) than a new and sealed, full game. Right now, I could drive to Wal-Mart and get a full game from anywhere from 20 to 60 dollars or so, depending on what system it’s for and how long ago it was released. Yet, GoW wants that same amount for one troop or a handful of stones.

Almost every F2P game I have ever touched has a .99/$1 purchase, some even 1.99 or 2.99, all the way up to $100. It offers variety to the consumer and having those smaller price tags makes mico-transactions a lot less off putting to the Average Joe.

And, this all leads me back to the Guild Keys. When they are $20, I see, maybe 1 or 2 Guild members buy them a month. Yet, when they are $5, almost everyone in my Guild buys it until the sale is over, because it’s more affordable and less off putting than that $20 price tag.

And, I feel Gem bundles would be much the same. Especially, now, in the current game economy. I can only speak in my personal feelings here, but “sale” or not, I have never bought a Gem Bundle, because I don’t find the price tag affordable. Now, if they made it like Guild Keys, I could actually see myself buying a bundle.

Just my opinion, I guess. But I think others feel the same. Otherwise, we wouldn’t see the comments we do, on threads like this, almost every time there’s a Gem “sale”.


In business, there is a well-known concept known as the Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 rule of thumb. What this means, is that (very) broadly speaking, that 80% of a business’s revenues come from only 20% of its customers. As such, a business’s activities should cater to those 20% of the customer base that are valuable enough to pursue.

In gacha games, the 20% (again, very broadly speaking) are the dolphins and the whales. Gem sale offers, using price-making policies, are targeted strictly at them. If other people outside of this group wish the engage in the offer, then the more the merrier if they can do so. But, they aren’t the ones being specifically marketed to with these gem sale offers.

Affluent players do not make these types of value analyses. Purchasing a Chest of Gems or The Motherlode is an impulse purchase to them, similar to picking up a pack of gum from the rack next to the cashier at a grocery story. These types of players generate enough real-life income that these purchases are immaterial in cost to them. If a player has to make a value analysis about these transactions to justify these decisions, then that player is NOT the target audience for the game’s marketing on gem sales.

Sirrian has always had a very strong stance against doing this.

An example from another gacha game that I play highlights this issue quite clearly. I’ll use GoW equivalents to illustrate the point.

In this particular game, the popular premium currency purchasing option is a Chest of Gems. It’s pricey, at $50, well out of the impulse price range of the Average Joe. The game decides that to make a good-faith appeal to the Average Joe, that once a fiscal quarter, it will offer a one-time special version of the Chest of Gems at a steep discount. The game decides to offer this special bundle in an 30-day extended Daily Gems subscription format for the low price of $7. It’s an incredible offer that the Average Joe jumps upon quickly.

The problem is that for the Average Joe, that person no longer sees the Chest of Gems as $50. For that person, the Chest of Gems is worth $7, and if that person waits long enough that quarterly offer will come around again for a premium currency top-off. That person will very likely never buy any of the more expensive bundles ever again, because they are now using the $7 discounted bundle as their base valuation for what that game’s premium currency is worth. <— That’s the exact problem that Sirran does not want to occur in GoW, and why such offers have never existed in this game.

Personally, with the development and inclusion of Flash Sales in 4.1, I was anticipating actual discounted offers to finally appear in the game. So far, that has not yet happened.

I keep wondering on what’s going to happen with the game economy in the future. As it stands now, the path the economy is on all-but requires (yes, participating in events is technically optional, but no one is buying that line at all in any hardcore or casual-hardcore guild) endgamers to invest gems in weekly events between a Chalice of Gems ($20, Tier 3 in an event) and a Chest of Gems ($50, Tier 4) purchase. Yet, for any end-gamer, these amouts of gems are near-trivally produced. This is not a sustainable path. I’m still highly expecting a very major change in the economy in 2019 to address this issue.

And they probably never will be. For the record, I personally agree with you. But, like you, I’m not the target audience for these sales.

Go invest in kingdom stars. Those generate far higher returns than purchasing gem bundles will ever generate (at least in the current state of the economy until it changes).


Just, for the record, I’m not oblivious to what you stated in your comment. I’m very much aware why things work the way they do. My comment was only to express that I wish it was done another way and how I have seen it done another way.

I, obviously, can’t offer my opinion on this matter as a player who is a Whale or even a Dolphin, as I am not one. All I can say is how I feel, as the player and consumer that I am.

I do appreciate you reply though and it’s nice to see you do agree with me on some points. So, thank you for that, at least.

I understand 505 is a business and needs to make money, but all these new pop-up “sales” (I use the term loosely) lead me down two diverging paths of thought, especially when considered as an extension of the continual sigil-and-gem-shop development path the game is taking now. One being that the publisher is making money hand over fist and isn’t afraid to push even harder because they’re becoming greedy, and the other being that they’re not making the money they expected to and are starting to feel the pinch, hence the more intrusive advertising squarely targeted at whales/dolphins and more frequent gem “sales” than ever before.

The problem with nearly every F2P mobile game in existence targeting whales and dolphins is that there are only so many whales and dolphins out there. Every publisher wants them, competition is fiercer than ever, and eventually the supply is going to dry up. Alienating the majority of a game’s playerbase by virtue of not offering them affordable microtransactions will eventually bite the publishers of such games, in the butt. It’s inevitable in the long run. The sucky thing is it’s the players who will lose when their favorite games shut down.

I know there are economists and marketing specialists who are far more intelligent than me involved in such matters, but all I can say is that I’ll purchase a product if it’s something I want at a price I’m willing to pay. I bought the DK armor because I considered it a great investment and solid value for money. I don’t buy the “subcription” rings because I consider them a poor investment and bad value for money. I will never buy a Gem pack at current prices (or as part of the current “sale” mentality) for the same reason.

There’s a second side to this argument, though. A lot of players won’t buy the $50 Gem pack period because of its price. Offering a quarterly sale for $7 could convert a portion of the non-buyers into buyers, which is still a net gain for the company. Another F2P game I play does exactly this a couple times a year, and these sales are what convinced me to spend my money at all. (The game in question also has blatant whale-baiting in the form of $70-100 weekly “micro” transactions, but I really like that they offer some decent stuff for the little guy too. The best currency value in the game outside of the super-rare specials only costs $15, making it super approachable.)

More directly on-topic and to summarize the above ramble…my biggest complaint about this style of “sale” is that it just doesn’t feel like a sale at all because the barrier to entry isn’t being lowered. In my mind it’s a bonus with purchase, it’s not a sale.

Basically, this.

Yeah. We’re just not the target market right now and that’s okay.


A lot of what you said is what I’ve been thinking for a long time. And, originally, I was going to reply to Lyrian’s reply with much of what you said, but I decided against it. I’m not trying to start a big argument or anything.

But, since you did bring it up, I agree with you. Why I understand that 80/20 business point that was brought up, you still leave money on the table by not at least offering things at a price regular consumers would purchase.

I’m not saying you should stop going for the whales and dolphins. By all mean, if they got the money and want to give it to you, I’m all for it. But, what about the minnows and the Average Joe? Surely, you want their money too. And you wouldn’t have to do much to get it. Just take some of your big ticket items, scale them down, and slap a price tag on it. You have a $100 Gem bundle? Great! Where’s the $5 one or less? Same with everything else. I’m not saying ditch the big tickets, I’m just saying add in small ones as well.

Now, on a related note, the sale of the Guild Keys and that $7 example that was given:

You’re right. While any business would rather have people buy something at $20 than discount it to $5 and have them buy it then, the truth of the matter is, not everyone will buy it at $20. Some people will only buy it at $5, because that is what is affordable to them.

And, I’ve seen it time and time again where those sales make the number of purchases, sky rocket. This is only a small sample, but let’s take my Guild, as an example. Let’s say there is a two week Guild Key sale for $5. Now, at normal price during that time, maybe one person would buy it. That’s $20. But, during the sale, about 25 of my Guild would buy it each week. That’s $250. And all of that is due to the sale.

Now, as a business, which number would you rather see coming in? I’m sure that $250. Yes, I understand that they would much rather see 25 of my Guild mates buy it at $20 every week, but the reality is, that will never happen. And I know I’m not the only Guild with this mentality. I know plenty of Guilds that buy those Guild Keys bundles in the same way I described, give or take a player or two.

In short, what I’m saying is two things:

  1. On the micro-transaction side of things, the more variety you offer in both stuff and the price tag for it, the more money you will make (as long as it’s stuff worth buying). You need to not only cater to Whales and Dolphins, but the Average Joe, as well. Otherwise, you are leaving money on the table.

  2. On the sale side of things, the vast majority of people would rather see a reduction in price (making that point/gate of entry smaller) than just get a “bonus” for spending the same amount. The truth is, that “Bonus” or “Buy 1, Get 1 Free” type of mentality only works if you are going to buy that item anyway, and if it’s worth it/affordable, in the first place. Yes, Whales and Dolphins don’t care. They’re like “I was going to buy this anyway. So, cool, I get extra Gems.” But, no one else is going to go for that. Even if you had a price reduction sale only every once in awhile (like they do with Guild Keys), you would get more of the player base, overall, to buy Gems. Because, without that sale, they aren’t buying them at all.

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What it comes down to is this:

  • Viscerally, “on sale” means “spend less for it”.
  • More gems at the same price is “increased value”, not “spend less for them”.
  • Advertising a better gem value as a “sale” feels extremely dissatisfying.

…and I think that’s all there is to it. It has nothing to do with theory of MTX design; it’s simply and solely a negative emotional response to the offer as presented.


I wasn’t either, and I apologize if I came across that way. :slight_smile:


I don’t think you did. Nor do I think I did either. I just get a bit… Passionate, with these sorts of things. And I would hate for any one person in this forum to believe I’m lashing at them. Because, in truth, I’m not. It’s just when we got an a topic I feel strongly about, my statements and opinions reflect that.


For the sake of discussion, there’s a counter to your argument.

I agree with the above statement, but… what if we looked at the situation from a different perspective.

So, by discounting the packs to $7, there would be a whole new influx of players buying those packs. Digital purchases are pure profit, outside of payment processing fees. For the sake of simplicity, let’s ignore those.

In this situation, for $50 of revenue, the devs either need to:

  1. Sell 1 $50 un-discounted pack
  2. Sell 7 $7 heavily discounted packs (ignore the $1 differential for simplicity’s sake)

The question initially becomes, can that discounted pack sell a 7 times the rate of the undiscounted one?

Will more people buy the discounted pack? Absolutely. Will the pack sell at 7x the rates o the old pack? Ehhhhhhh… that’s a hard argument to make.

Then, comes the problem of sales cannibalization. For every pack sold to a dolphin/whale at the heavily discounted rate who normally purchases that pack at full price, that’s a $43 dollar per pack revenue loss. Normally, it’s very bad business management to heavily discount something that customers are already willing to pay a much higher price to acquire. Personally, I believe that this concept is the crux of the issue regarding the lack of retail price discounting on gem bundles. The potential loss of significant revenues from dolphins/whales from a steep price discount is a risk that the number crunching says isn’t worth the effort ( which are called sensitivity analyses).

And even after that, there is the in-game economic issue of many players suddenly flooding the game with tons of bundle purchases from the heavy discounting. That’s a whole another mess altogether that’s a whole another discussion in it’s own right.

I don’t disagree. As, all of us mentioned, we aren’t the target audience of these offers.

I agree with you a lot more than than I don’t. Explaining things on the Internet as simple text responses looses a lot of the nuances of conversation. My apologies if I came across as combative.

At the end of the day, a business can’t please everyone at the same time and ends up making hard lines in the sand about their business strategies. The devs have long decided and maintained that they want to pursue the “fewer purchases, but higher revenues per purchase” model. As far as they are letting on, the model appears to be working for them, as the player base is still growing.

We wouldn’t take the time to write and post these long messages if we all didn’t care about the game in one way or another.


I was expecting that counter, and you’re right. We don’t know the numbers of how many bigger spenders would opt for the discount package and stop buying the more expensive choice vs how many F2P or non-Gem-buyers would actually opt in. That’s part of the reason for the split lines of thought I mentioned in my earlier post.

As far as not being the target market, I’m probably not the target market for most F2P games, as I tend to gravitate towards transactions that give me something permanent (i.e. DK armor giving the gold/souls/exp bonuses) vs something temporary (the previously-mentioned “subscription ring” - the whole reason I consider it poor value is that it’s only temporary and it’s nearly half the cost of the permanent bonuses I receive from the DK armor).

I know there is a wide segment of players who consider buying temporary boosts to be entirely normal; maybe I’m just a bit stodgy in that regard, but if there were ever an option to “upgrade” my DK armor to 150% or 200% bonuses (instead of the base 100%) I’d quite likely throw more money at that, as long as the price was realistic. Heck, if you could buy the DK pack itself repeatedly and just have the bonuses stack each time I would in all likeliness already be a much higher VIP level than I currently am, so maybe it’s a good thing we can’t do that :wink:

Agreed 100%. I’m also grateful we can engage in these types of discussions while remaining respectful.

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No time to purchase gems. To many daily objectives to complete.