TL;DR – Given these observations and the emphasis Atlas places on teamwork, I think the most fair thing PG can do regarding the third primarch slot is allow for teams to work together to gather enough gold so that it is true that high level players can hold enough gold (between their team’s banks and their own storage) to unlock the third primarch slot without rubies.
This is similar to other discussions on the forums, but there is enough that is different that I think it warrants its own post. @PGEggToken suggested to my friend (let’s call him Bob) who does have Atlas that he raise this issue with @PGDave on the forums. However, Bob is a bit of a recluse, and I don’t have access to Atlas on my accounts, so I am posting this for him (only not in the Atlas section, because I cannot). For PGDave’s benefit, this is in reference to ticket #474823. (Note: I have [inserted comments] in the quotes below when I thought things were not clear. I have also corrected occasional typos, but I have not “selectively quoted” or misrepresented the initial conversation in any way.)
To quote PGEggToken:
“Thanks for following up! You’ve brought up some very good points, but unfortunately, I won’t be the one who can make the decision to change this. However, I strongly encourage you to visit our forums (and get the attention of @PGDave) to discuss this further. I am positive that there will be other players that share your sentiments, and much more can be done with better visibility on the issue. Atlas is being crafted in large part with contributions from the community, and yours would be a welcome one!”
For context, you should know Bob was initially told several things by support that were later corrected. His initial concern was that unlocking the third primarch was impossibly expensive:
"Unlocking prime slots appears to be impossible without spending rubies, even though the cost is listed in gold.
"The third slot costs a princely sum of 30.7 million gold. However, if I’m not mistaken, a level 82 storage hut can hold only 11,444,444 gold.
"Is this intentionally placed out of reach? Or is it something PG intends to fix?
"A little historical research shows that players used to be able to afford these unlocks with the gold they could hold. This change seems like an unfair advantage to those players who had even earlier access to Atlas… Many of whom are in the highest levels and probably in the least need of assistance.
“Am I understanding this correctly?”
He was initial given the canned responses that I’m sure we are all too familiar with (and I understand they are a business necessity–they keep responses consistent and allow support personnel to respond to more tickets. But I can also see why they are frustrating to players). He was told the third Primarch was considered a “premium option” “at the moment” and that his suggestion would be referred to the development team. He replied:
"So, it wasn’t considered premium when it was available only to D1 teams? Help me understand how this is fair. And by premium, what exactly do you mean? I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but it sounds like you’re saying people with more money than time can get something that people with more time than money cannot.
“My previous question still stands, but I feel the need to be clear: don’t brush me off with an automated response. We both know that whether you actually referred my “idea” to the development team or not will make no difference. This modification was not a development decision. It was a business decision that so blatantly comes to scrambling to make more money it’s disgusting. Why don’t you review my other open ticket and note how important fairness in the game supposedly is [to Pocket Gems]. Now, with that freshly in your mind, please explain how “at the moment” pricing a primarch slot beyond what can be paid for with regular currency when it was not always this way is fair. Be sure you can do it with a straight face. I eagerly anticipate your reply.”
At this point, Bob was told that high level players “can store the required amount of gold (in their storage hut) to unlock the third primarch slot.” He was further assured that “no changes were made with the price of the primarch slot since it was introduced in the game” (emphasis added).
We can look at that final item later (mostly since only PG and those with the earliest access to Atlas can comment on it with first-hand knowledge, but let’s look at the first part, which is most definitely not true, and it fired Bob up:
"Since my spreadsheet on this level [he included a screenshot of an almost max level storage hut, and all his numbers are accurate for storage capacity] was right on the money, I’m going to guess the other numbers are right too. But if you need a screen shot of something you ALREADY KNOW (storage capacity of a max storage hut), I’ll be happy to get one. Please, tell me again how the highest levels of players can afford to unlock the third prime slot with the gold “in their storage hut” - - I’m very curious to know how this math works, or if you were just confused or misinformed. You did place an emphasis on your clarification, so I would think that means you’re confident what you said is accurate. I’m not very good at math, but I’m pretty sure that 30.7 million [this is the cost to unlock the third Primarch slot] is greater than 11.4 million [storage capacity of a max storage hut]. So, do tell, how does one “at the moment” pay for the third primarch slot with gold “in their storage hut”?
Now is where it gets interesting, IMO (but I can also see this as an outsider, since for now, my team doesn’t have Atlas). The support team tells Bob they are referring his ticket to a specialist–this happens to be PGEggToken.
For once, we don’t have misinformation:
“Thanks for writing in! This question was posed to our lead developer on Atlas PGDave on the forums an he addressed it here:
Gold storage increase?”
PGDave does shed a little light on the situation in his forum post, but he doesn’t really address this issue Bob was raising, and this is the final point Bob makes before he’s directed to the forums:
“I understand that is the case right now. My question is more related to the fairness of this decision. Those who had the earliest access to Atlas were able to unlock the third prime with only gold. So, in addition to having the advantage of earlier access and the opportunity to build up resources and infrastructure, they were able to acquire this “very premium” (something of a redundant expression, I’ll see it as an overt monetization attempt) option at less than very premium prices. Also, these same players are probably the ones least in need of assistance from PG to be successful in the game. So, it comes back to my question about fairness. How is this change [price of the third Primarch slot] fair to all the players who didn’t get very early access to atlas? As for converting it to all rubies, what’s the difference? By making it cost almost three times what the highest level players can hold, you still have to pay with rubies, you just get a little bit of a reduction if you happen to have full capacity gold at the moment you unlock it. It’s already a ruby purchase; it’s just masquerading as a gold purchase.”
After speaking with Bob, I asked him why he didn’t make the suggestion I’m about to make, and he said he hadn’t thought of it. So, I’ll make it.
- Based on a number of forum threads, I think it’s safe to say we all recognize the inherent lack of fairness in how Atlas is being/has been rolled out. And as more and more teams get access to Atlas, the situation becomes worse. Although at this point, I don’t see an easy solution–we have conflicting interests here (bottom line versus fairness). I don’t want to digress; this is discussed elsewhere, see the recent discussion regarding how long-time Atlas teams can destroy anyone who came later at virtually no cost to themselves.
I’ll make a slight leap and assume PG wanted free beta testers, and they had to incentivize them somehow–so, in additional to early access, the beta was the real deal (i.e., beta wasn’t running on different servers, and you did not lose any progress–it’s now slowly being rolled out to everyone. There is no way PG is going to press the reset button at this point. I would even argue that resetting now would be unfair to those who have been in Atlas longer, many of whom have spent real money on this part of the game).
To exacerbate the unfairness in a tiered rollout of access to Atlas, as Bob pointed out (he did overgeneralize more than I think accurate), the majority of the players (I am not saying all–I am aware that teams had to apply and that there was at least a small degree of randomness in the selection–let’s be real: was there any possibility at all that Dreadnought and NMO didn’t get selected if they applied?) who had earliest access to Atlas were also those least in need of any kind of assistance from PG. I recognize this was a business decision, and it makes sense as a business decision. But making sense for the bottom line and being fair to all the players are not the same thing.
High level banks can hold enough gold so that high level players can make up the difference to pay for the third prime slot.
Given these observations and the emphasis Atlas places on teamwork, I think the most fair thing PG can do regarding the third primarch slot is allow for teams to work together to gather enough gold so that what Bob was initially told is actually true: high level players can hold enough gold to unlock the third primarch slot without rubies.
I think this is a good change from what is true “at the moment.” It doesn’t reduce the cost of the Primarch slot, but it does allow teams to work together to help each other and accomplish what, as individuals, they cannot do without spending money. I believe this balances having a good gaming experience and having a paid “fastlane.” It gives players an option–recognizing that time is money.
What do you think?
~Power to the Players