Let's discuss the current state of chests and drop rates

Why is this forum where feedback goes to die? I play many different games on PC and mobile. I try to be active in all of the communities to some degree. I tend to be that regular girl who submits bug reports but otherwise just registers my yeas and nays.

The community for this game has some seriously valuable contributors (none of whom are me lol) in terms of data and constructive suggestions. There are people tracking, people making charts and spreadsheets, even people photoshopping up interface suggestions. And they follow it up with thoughtful and detailed explanations.

And all of it goes into a blackhole of silence. It’s demoralizing, as a player, to see. You’re a small team. Got it. But every game I play is made by a small team. (A couple are literally one guy heh.) Yet there is communication and acknowledgement of the community.

In this age of hyper social gaming, it just makes my brain explode that a team would think that letting the community rot is a great plan. Do better!

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Well, there is mysterious “relics and shards rework” coming in 1.4 as shown in the new roadmap. Maybe it will fix some of the problems mentioned in this thread, maybe it will make it worse. Let’s wait for patch notes

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This is not directed at you directly, Tresk. Just speaking out loud and using your points as a starting place.

Because when the developers’ options are either:

A) Say that something can’t be implemented because the potential suggestion conflicts with intentional game design or the potential suggestion is perceived to financially impact the game.

B) Say nothing.

Best practices will choose option B 99+% of the time, as it is the lesser of two evils.

Option A will almost never be chosen because this route admits to players that there are mechanics that are intentionally designed in a game to frustrate players, cause them to lose rounds that would otherwise be won, or waste scarce resources (Auto-max level gear by default, anyone?)

A gatekeeping question would be “Would the player proposed change impact the Shop’s standing as the best way for a player to obtain rare and valuable resources?”. If yes, the suggestion is dead in the water. (<— This eliminates most suggestions about raising drop rates on things, as if a thing becomes farmable the player is not buying it from the Shop anymore.)

Is an interface perceived to be bad because of an oversight in its planning, or because the design team intentionally designed it to have flaws to achieve another unspoken goal? (<-- don’t underestimate the potential of this).

Again, Option A on any of this would required the devs to admit to these mechanics/flaws, and that is not going to happen, unless they absolutely have no other choice otherwise.

So, Option B, silence will continue, outside of PR posts when possible which only accentuate the positive of a pending change. Great that gear rerolls are finally coming… but at what costs that likely no one publicly will know about until release day?

Case in point, if anyone wants to see what happens when Option A is chosen, go see the Gems of War forums currently regarding the Dungeon revamp in the latest update for the blazing inferno on the topic.

Short version for those not versed in GoW, or care to traverse the dumpster fires there, if so interested:

Spoiler applied for those that do not want to read about drama in another game.

  1. A new rare currency was introduced. The player has one attempt per day in the Dungeon to try to win some of this new currency for free (with long-term success rates of ~10% per day). Otherwise, the currency can only be purchased in the Dungeon Shop with premium currency. [As mentioned above, the intended design is that the Shop is the primary and expected way for players to obtain said currency.]

  2. Savvy players found flaws in the random algorithm that enabled them to improve their odds for success in their one attempt per day at the Dungeon to obtain the new rare currency. Odds were still low for success, but higher than the intended 10% designed rates. [Increased farmability of rare things impacts potential shop sales…]

  3. Devs invoked Option A, acknowledged that players found a flaw, and then pushed and emergency server-side patch to address the flaw to restore the intended 10% success rate. One successful run of new currency was issued as compensation. [Reestablishing intended low drop rates to drive players back to the shop to purchase said currency.]

  4. Multiple 6+ alarm fires break out in the forums over the devs invoking Option A. [Reinforcing why the devs generally invoke Option B and stay silent on most matters instead of Option A.]

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Hundreds of games have online communities with meaningful developer communication. Even ftp freemium games manage to pull this off.

So virtually every other game is not using “best practices?”

Your comment seems to imply that the team here are eschewing the actual best practices (fostering a vibrant, engaged community that will sell your game FOR you) in order to protect some nefarious monetization scheme. Anything’s possible.

But even the cynic in me has a hard time believing that is the reason. It would have to involve levels of stupidity that would probably make it impossible to even produce a game. Because, you can come up with most diabolically evil monetization scheme in the known universe, and it still won’t generate cash without a successful game. You can’t really have a successful game without a game community. Game communities stop growing (or die off) without developer engagement.

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I agree with all of Tresk’s points (well put).

Also, I’ll add that Lyrian, you seem to be implying that the only possible explanation for bad mechanics is that the devs intentionally have the mechanics be ones that players think are bad. And that they either have to admit this or be silent. This ignores several other situations that happen:

  1. The devs have a good idea, but can’t get the implementation right.
  2. The devs think something is a good idea, but it turns out not to be.
  3. The devs’ perception of what the players want and what they actually want are different.
  4. The devs are still working on their idea and this is just the first version of it.

As this list shows, there are plenty of reasons for bad mechanics in games other than the devs just intentionally trying to frustrate players.

Also, there are all type of devs. Some just want to wring the max amount of money out of their players before they stop playing, true, but there are plenty of others who recognize that they earn more money if players play their game long-term and want to keep them happy so they do so. And there are some who just genuinely want to give players a good game, regardless of money. To imply that the devs here are all money-grubbing ones who don’t care about their players is actually kind of insulting to them. Sure we players disagree with them over a lot of things. But I think they’re genuinely trying to make a good game (and just kinda out of touch with what players actually want).

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Thank you! This game is not even finished (not that live service games are ever really finished.) The pandemic threw a monkey wrench into the timeline. Things have kind of gotten spiffed up since launch but I’d be willing to bet that the developers had planned to be farther ahead than they are. So they are still playing catch up and things happen.

I also believe the developers are trying to make a good game. To Lyrian’s point, I’m sure they also are answering to people who care about spending metrics and not game design.

But there is absolutely no logical reason to avoid engaging with the community. Make fluffy bunny posts… have streams… do polls… ABSOLUTELY react to bug reports in a timely fashion, and follow up in a timely fashion. There are plenty of ways to be an official presence in the community without giving us the recipe for the secret sauce.

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Lol, you guys give 505 games far too much credit. Just look at what they did with Control and the Digital Deluxe and Ultimate version upgrade situation and that tells you all that is needed to know about their money grubbing intentions behind all their decisions…

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I’m going to presume (via your GoW forum account creation date) that you weren’t a GoW player during the era where the developers were highly engaged with the community and did not prioritize chasing monetization streams as core gameplay mechanics.

The I+2 dev team had far different priorities back then than they do now towards development and management of their games. Those days, however, are long gone and never coming back from the devs’ perspective for multiple reasons. As Saltypatra frequently stated on her streams pre-pandemic, this change in direction was intentional and monetization for developed content for each update takes priority to finance development of that content with any remaining development time for that update (if any at all) allocated to fixing bugs, quality of life requests, and so on. Hence, why some issues take seemingly forever to resolve or be addressed if they require more than a very simple server-side fix.

I’ll acknowledge that on the grounds that I was attempting to keep the argument simple at the risk of creating a perceived false dichotomy.

I believe this comment crystalizes a key misperception many players make here on the forums, and virtually everyone makes this error at one point or another. In the past, I’ve committed this very misconception.

It is very safe to say that everyone believes that the developers are trying their best to create the best game that they can with PQ3.

However, what you, me, or anyone else wants from the game from our side of the table as players is very much often in conflict with what the other side of the table, where the developers and publisher sits, wants from the same game.

We, as players, want to “win the game”, whether that takes the form of collecting all the things, slaying the biggest baddie in the game, or having the shiniest set of gear to show off to others as trophies of our accomplishments.

The devs and publisher want to make money. They need to keep the lights and game servers on, the devs want paychecks for themselves, and the publisher needs to generate returns for shareholders. To achieve any of this, the game has to be crafted in a way to encourage players to buy things in game for real money.

To an extent, players will give money to the devs out of goodwill for a perceived game that is well crafted. However, as is often the case, goodwill alone does not generate sufficient income to make all of the stakeholders on management’s side of the table happy. To generate more income than via goodwill alone, the game has to be shaped in a way that pushes players to buy things that they would normally not purchase if not otherwise pushed to do so. This pressure takes many forms, such as intentionally very poor drop rates on desirable things, passes and subscriptions, flash offers, and so on.

All of these pressures very frequently generate ill will from the community. The devs learned this the hard way when they started to push monetization harder in GoW in the 4.x series of patches that generated so much backlash from a community that was not used to such behavior that the devs decided to permanently retreat from direct public communications and created the CX team that interacts with us today on the forums as a firewall against such backlashes (though I believe that Kafka is the only remaining original member of the CX team still here and I’m more than sure that she has seen far, far more CX nightmares over all this time than has ever been made public).

At the end of the day, the wants and needs to the publisher for the game will always overrule the wants of players in regard to how the game is shaped. It’s their universe; they set the rules for it and not us. We can ask all we want for changes for the game to be made fairer (in our eyes), less grindy, or more fulfilling in other ways. However, when these requests and desires come into conflict with intentionally crafted game mechanisms that are explicitly created to create conditions in-game that causes players to vent on these very forums about those conditions (many of which are never directly acknowledged by the devs or CX team as existing unless otherwise forced to by a situation), there’s virtually zero chance of those mechanisms changing even with the best laid out arguments for those changes.

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Emphasis added

With all due respect, the presumptions should probably be jettisoned from your repertoire. Just for the record, I played GoW just over 2.5 years before I bothered to make a forum account. I read the forums. I just did not make an account until I had something to say.

Except this is not quite how reality works. It’s how it works for gasoline, food and ummm toilet paper, but not games. If you played a different game ever minute of one day, there would be games you didn’t get to play. And if you played no games all day, you could still get to work, pay your bills, eat and ummmm take care of your business. Games are a luxury. A diversion. And there is another one (72) popping up daily.

This is a product that exactly zero people need. So you either need to create the need by fostering a community that sort of gets addicted to the community (easy and super cheap) or shape the game around what people want (hard, expensive, and ultimately futile since no one wants the same thing.)

Edited this down.

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Since communication is being emphasized again, I thought I would remind that there were stealth changes to Chests made, it was brought to the attention of CX, further feedback was requested, volumes of examples were provided, supposedly a page of questions was submitted about the issue, but nothing was ever heard of again about the degradation of chest contents over time, compared to the past statements by @Sirrian himself that chest contents needed to be improved, specifically Diamond chests.

As long as there is a lack of visibility into rates on chest contents, then we will continue to be unaware of their value (and stealth changes adversely affecting the player can continue to occur), yet supposedly they are so valuable as to be worth selling keys for money. Either chests have value (high value rewards like glyphs, Tier IV Relics, Crystals, etc. actually appearing at rates that can be seen without a microscope), or Chests are just common resource boxes of no more value than anything else with rewards in the game (which is apparently the direction things have gone as you can now accelerate opening them with Food!) and keys should either be abandoned entirely or at minimum removed from areas of the game like Daily Deals, Challenges, and the Bazaar where they are overpriced and reduce access to other more desirable resources (the aforementioned relics, glyphs, crystals, etc).

It’s been six months. Now that really is an amount of time to be frustrated about.

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@Sibelios I was actually just thinking about the Level 100 dungeon diamond chests I’ve received recently in the Seasonal Battles - one had food, gold, ore, and shards, LOL. It was literally the rarest and highest level chest you could get in the game… and all I got was junk.

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That happens to me all of the time. Every time I get a level 100 diamond chest, I actually groan. (Softer groaning now that we can spend food.) But, if I am groaning at all, over getting the rarest chest, something is not right.

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