Change the way Packs are Priced

Right now basically nobody but the whales buy packs because the little packs don’t contain anything and the big packs cost too much and still don’t contain a good value for their cost. PG is obviously getting desperate for money as revenue has clearly fallen. I wouldn’t be surprised if the bottom line is in red ink by now. Server hosting is expensive and staff salaries are significant too, especially when you’re based in San Fransisco.

Suggestion is to eliminate the small and medium packs and change the way large packs are priced to use the same general format as the way energy is priced in PvP.

Sell the first large pack for $4.99. The second one for $19.99. The third one for $49.99. The fourth one for $79.99, and the fifth (and any subsequent ones) for the original $99.99. Price would reset every week, so you could buy one pack at each discount tier per event. Nearly everyone will buy the first tier pack because its such a good deal, so that will generate a huge amount of additional money for PG while also helping with player progression.

The whales on the other hand will do whatever whales do. For someone who is gonna buy 100 big packs and spend $10,000 in one event, it doesn’t really matter if the first 4 packs are discounted. Clearly money is no object for them.

10 Likes

I wonder :thinking:
Ruby - wise, it creates crazy costs. PG will need to reconsider first.
Let’s round it up to $5, $20, $50, and $100 for convenience. $100 for 20k rubies

  • Buying 4 pack means that PG charges $175 instead of $700 (140k rubies)
  • Buying 3 pack means that PG charges $75 instead of $525 (105k rubies)
  • Buying 2 pack means that PG charges $25 instead of $350 (70k rubies)
  • Buying 1 pack means that PG charges $5 instead of $175 (35k rubies)

This means weekly $5 changes the game a lot (I believe Mech’s vault has the details on sane achievable ruby prizes)

  • This becomes more P2W than before ($5 weekly changes everything).
  • This cuts PG’s income severely, especially for low - mid level
  • This will increase PG’s income only if spenders buy at least 3 more packs than before discount… probably…

tl,dr.
This needs reconsidering of ruby costs and gain first.

1 Like

I dont get where you came up with your instead of numbers. Presently these packs are available at $100 each - so wouldnt the instead of number just be number of packs * $100?

That’s a big part of the intent - it changes it a lot and the impact is bigger the earlier you are in the game. Impact towards end game is less. This will help players catch up with tier inflation

Don’t agree here. My whole premise is that low and mid level aren’t buying packs anyway. Of course the actual data is not public, so who knows. But I think low and mid level are mostly E2P only. So PG is giving up nothing there. Edit: Unless it causes the low/mids to quit buying their elite. But thats an easy fix - make it so that you need to have elite to be eligible for the discounted packs

I agree It might need ruby cost adjustments eventually. It would be worth trying without adjusting for a bit and see how people behave. The rubies are 95% of the value of whats in a pack anyway.

3 Likes

I’m using Vault of Rubies (20k for $100) as comparison.
Also, as Architect pack is 70% discounted, it’s “real” value is $333.33 (used better for measuring discount).

Tbh, I’d rather increasing the worth of rubies than making this game strict P2W.
(Spending cannot be overcome by activity)

1 Like

While I agree that the “value packs” have no real value, I’m not sure that I agree that this is the way this particular problem should be addressed. Rather, I would like to see the contents of the existing packs scaled properly for the current game, as opposed to the way things were when Platinum was the highest tier available. It has been pointed out by people much smarter than me that, despite the exponential inflation in resource costs in terms of shards, embers, and pearls, the acquisition methods for these resources has not sufficiently kept up.

As an example, I started playing when Obsidian was the highest tier, and level 60 towers were the highest you could go. Getting from 55 to 60 costs 9,900 embers - fair enough, given that a single line from the season will get you 12k embers (or 24k if you get the base boost line and take embers for every option).

Fast forward to today; the highest level for towers is 85. Getting from 80 to 85 costs 37,500 embers - an amount that cannot be claimed in seasonal rewards even if you obtain 3 seasonal branches and unlock the mythic (barring the base boost all-embers option, in which case you’d get 48k embers, and enough to raise your one [1] flak tower).

So for players, tripling performance is insufficient to keep up with inflation. That’s a problem.

Now, this is admittedly a simplistic analysis of costs; obviously one would gain embers from opening the gold chests needed to unlock three seasonal lines and get the mythic, and there are a variety of other small sources of embers here and there. But the point is, the cost of inflation has made it to where it is not possible to keep up without spending - and spending a lot.

I believe that games should make money. I would like for this game to make money. I would love for PG to foster a symbiotic relationship with the players. But the only way to do that (in my mind) is to redesign the financial model. As an off-the-top-of-my-head suggestion:

Have the design intention be that F2P players should always be able to have 1 island of maxxed towers (by the end of a tier). E2P players should be able to have 2 islands of maxxed towers. And beyond that, the more you spend, the more islands of maxxed towers you can support. Spending $200/month beyond Elite affords you 4 maxxed islands. The final 3 islands are each $200/month. And then, every time a new tier comes out, the pack rewards are increased to match the inflation in costs. Increasing the ember costs for towers by X%? Legendary gold chest drops for embers go up by something close to X%. Increasing build times by Y%? Chest drops for timers increase by something close to Y%.

Obviously, this doesn’t specifically address catch-up mechanics (which are sorely needed), and it doesn’t consider the grind vs. pay component of the model, but if this was the foundation of the financial model, it would make a lot of things more digestible to players, I think.

8 Likes

DocHolliday there is a lot of wisdom in what you wrote. I don’t disagree with any of it. However it would require a seismic shift in how PG approaches business. Baby steps are easier to swallow. After all, this is the same PG that only within the last 9 months came round to the idea that they need to have happy players. Also with the intensity to which they have been putting the screws to the game lately, its clear they are trying to generate every dime they can. Either someone is really greedy or else they are desperately trying to remain solvent. I suspect the latter is the case. Nice thing about a pack sale, even if its a temporary thing rather than a permanent thing, is it will put some cash in their coffers straight away. Lets not let great be the enemy of good.

3 Likes

Just curious - what do you think its like right now in this regard?

Strict spending only exists in end game.
Less spending can be overcome by activity (depends on how wide the gap is).
Non spender still can compete well among light spenders.

Doesn’t PG make 3 million a month?

There’s a difference between what PG generates as a whole and what War Dragons generates as a product of PG.

Also there is a difference between top line revenue and bottom line profit (or loss). I absolutely believe PG revenue exceeds 3 million per month. I would even believe more than that.
But they also have a lot of significant expenses too.

As the former owner of a business myself that did a little over 1 million annually and yet never net more than 30k for me, I can tell you overhead costs will eat your lunch!

1 Like

I like the concept, was thinking along the same lines, but looking at event vs. week.

Pricing would reset at the start of every event.

You are overlooking one item - and it is the biggest flaw in PG’s value chain, the conversion of non-spenders, irregular, and light spenders into more moderate and regular spenders. If the pricing were more attractive, you would move people up the spending tree, ideally making up (and surpassing) the revenue you would be losing from the price change.

5 Likes

In the past when we’ve discussed this on the forums, the concern was raised on how to scale gold chests in a way that doesn’t widen the gap too much between spenders and non-spenders. Probably the hardest part of realigning the value properly is how to avoid further distortion of the game balance.

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Very real concern.

Then again, you could simply make it to where spending doesn’t contribute directly to things like base growth. To make that happen, they would have to ensure that base growth was achieved through participation and activity.

But probably much too advanced of a concept at this point.

2 Likes

That is what I like from @fyreflie proposal: you get discounts only at the beginning and then the cost go up to the regular ‘discounted’ price, helping to onboard more spenders but if you are used to purchase several packs, the advantage dilutes.

The best way to scale them is not to scale them. Any form of scaling in gold chests regardless of how it’s done will incite backlash PG really doesn’t have to deal with. I will be extremely surprised if PG decides to scale gold chests in any way based on level or strength.

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As much as I appreciate a suggestion for value packs, the Dragons Forums are not a place to discuss the game’s “demise” or “how long it has left in existence”. Please keep the conversation to value packs and sales.

Technically Chests don’t scale at all. And that mechanic actually works well. The scale comes from how MANY chests you need.

A level 650 whale opening 100 chests is going to get the same stuff (on average, depending on sequence position) as a level 50 opening 100 chests. But for the level 50 the resulting goodies will fuel them for months. For the 650 whale the resulting goodies probably wont even build one tower. The lower you are the more mileage you get out of the same number of chests. That’s how the scaling really works.

My suggestion of having stepped pricing on large packs allows those lower players to buy a pack or two that they otherwise would not buy. Because they get more mileage out of it than a big player, it helps them catch up. It also earns money for PG as previously mentioned so its a win win.