Shop Talk 0.36 Edition - Thoughts on Daily Deals, Limited Offers, and Currencies

That’s kind of what I was thinking. It will be interesting to see what kind of return people get if they continue to drop thousands of gems on the dungeon event shop. Did Tacet get lucky getting a glyph after spending 3k-4k (guessing) gems and the next one will come after 10k gems? Curious where that will fall.

Given the nature of RNG and the unknown drop rates it could have been a gem expenditure of Zero :grin:

Haha, true, but It sounded like he was speaking from experience when he listed the cost at 100, 300, 500, 800, infinite 1200, so I figured he spent a little bit to get to the infinite 1200, haha. :rofl:

I got my 1st glyph from a random gold chest yesterday.

One of our guildies also got a glyph from the dungeon event on week 1.

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I stole some of your loot mojo. Dungeon Event reward today. Hopefully a sign of things to come!

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Huh I got a minion glyph yesterday as well during an event battle. Hopefully this is good to come.

Updating this section to incorporate my “new player experience”. I can definitely confirm that you get more than enough Uncommon and even Rare Runes/Scrolls from the Event system that the shop offers feel very very redundant. There needs to be less of these. Getting only 2 gold offers from the Shop is not great; getting 2 gold offers of nothing but Uncommon and Rare Runes/Scrolls is just painful.

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I agree. It would be nice if there were more options for gold. Today I paid for a refresh where everything cost crowns up to the first row of offerings and I think one of the top row options was a rare scroll. Waste of gems on that refresh. Personally, I’d like to see a couple of fixed rows for gold offerings and then maybe a row or two of gem offerings and then the crowns.

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Seriously, c’mon man!
:face_with_raised_eyebrow:

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On another long running thread I have constantly expressed my concerns that the inability to target Relics was going to be a problem. With the release of 0.36 I acknowledged that the Shop Deal appearance of Relics was potentially a good thing:

How does Shop availability of Relics stack up particularly in light of the supposed change made by this announcement:

My comments about the Relics in Shop Deals were originally positive and to some extent still are, but having now tracked over 200 total Shop refreshes my enthusiasm is somewhat lessened. Let’s look at the stats:

Given that Evolutions to Rare only need 1 Lesser Relic, not much of an issue there. Lesser Relics are in abundance in all currency types and that’s even accounting for a large percentage of gold offers being VIP only. Greater Relics are somewhat less than 50% likely to be encountered compared to Lesser Relics but you need twice as many. It gets really stingy as you move to Major Relics; the combination of lack of availability here, minimal appearances in Daily Challenges, and extremely rare chances of Glyphs showing up in Shop Deals or in Drops makes Legendary Evolve out of reach for some time. Superior Relics are virtually non-existent as Deals.

So as I anticipated, the Shop is a nice way to get those early Relics to get you going, getting items upgraded to Rare and providing a nice boost for beginning players (once you start earning enough gold and gems to pay for them). But after that it gets exponentially less useful, particularly if you are not a VIP since a significant number of gold deals are locked behind the two VIP daily slots.

This is why it’s so important to provide a targetted way to get evolve materials even if the chances are small (and my definition of small would be 1-2%). Putting everything behind pure RNG “drip” is just demoralizing; there is no sense of purpose. There is nothing to drive for except log on, do some dailies, refresh the shop a bunch, and hope for something that can be useful in 6 months when you find more of the same useful items through more pure RNG.

So! it was good news when they said they had increased the chance to find Relics from Dungeons. But now it appears that all they did was change the chest denominations (no wooden chests) and chest contents (Iron chests now have a chance to drop Relics). There does not appear to be an actual increased drop rate, just a manufactured “increased chance” of a virtually negligible chance before.

At some point there has to be a concession to allow players to actually play for something and not just play the match-3 equivalent of scratchers. Evolutions to Legendary and Mythic are already painfully locked behind Glyph availability. The lack of sufficient mid-range shard quantities (and the inability to use higher value shards for lower upgrades) already makes numerous Epic Evolutions an unrealistic possibility. There is no reason to continue to make Relics so hard to come by. The shop Deals are a good supplement to Relics availability, but ultimately until they make Relics targetable and actually viably earnable, it’s all just window dressing.

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As usual, great post Sibelios.

To me, it seems like the Devs are trying to lengthen the game so that a new player isn’t able to beat Difficulty X levels 1 month after starting the game. The problem is how they are going about it. I’ve played some incredibly long games, where after 2 years, you’ve finally reached Midgame. But, those games are incredibly deep and have a very clear sense of progression. This game is not there. You basically have 2 elements to the game, spells and melee. There are a lot of abilities, attributes, buffs, and debuffs, but they don’t impact the progression of the game in regards to what you can or cannot beat. Right now, if you can stun lock consistently, then you can beat anything… with enough time. If you have a powerful melee weapon, then you can dominate certain modes of the game. All the complexities of buff, debuffs, abilities, and attributes that, for other games, have significant interactions impacting whether you can beat an enemy or not, don’t really matter here. They don’t affect whether you can beat something or not, they just impact how long it takes to beat something.

It feels like they have slowed the ability to get Epic, Legendary, and Mythic gear in an effort to extend Midgame and Endgame without having a clear vision for what Midgame and Endgame are supposed to look like. If they are in fact trying to extend the game, then the answer is not to hide everything behind low percentage RNG, but instead develop a clear path for progression that can be consistently followed and a clear vision for Midgame and Endgame play. If I were to take my experience with other games and apply it to this one, progression wouldn’t completely eliminate RNG, but the RNG would have bounds. For example, you would be able to target specific types of shards (weapon, armor, spell, etc.). There is no RNG there at all… you always get those types of shards. But, for your effort, you may get 8-15 shards of either Minor or Lesser, with a chance at a Minor or Lesser relic as well. That’s where RNG lives. You can target the progression item you need and the RNG determines how much you get of that item or in the case of Relics, whether you get it at all. But, if it is something like a Relic that is mandatory for progression, then the RNG is set at a level that doesn’t completely squelch progression when farming in the correct areas.

That addresses progression to some degree. If they want to extend the game and still have it compelling to play, then they need to also address the depth of the game. It’s still way too basic to just lengthen with horribly slow and random progression through RNG. It loses its fun factor when everything is hidden behind ridiculous RNG and there is nothing really compelling in the gameplay that changes as you get better gear other than it doesn’t take 20 minutes to complete a dungeon… now it takes 15 minutes. There is an opportunity to make the abilities and buffs/debuffs matter more. Endgame dungeons could be designed to be resistant to certain strategies/builds and weak to others. Certain gear abilities could be locked behind levels of difficulty that are then needed for the future Endgame content. For example, one dungeon may need an effective Crit chance/Crit damage build and the rewards from the dungeon provide Healing ability gear… which is needed in a future dungeon. This kind of gameplay requires extensive planning and balancing though (for example, in a game like this, you couldn’t have ridiculous inventory limitations since you’re requiring players to have many different builds).

In general, my experience with other games tells me that effectively lengthening the game is not done through slowing progression through horrible RNG, but rather by guaranteeing progression (thereby ensuring a sense of accomplishment) and adding more depth to the game that requires different kinds of progression that require the player to decide what area of (guaranteed) progression they are going to invest their time into now.

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I might have mentioned this before, but this did exist in a certain form prior to 0.35 Update. Each dungeon had a higher likelihood to drop two specific shard types (weapon, armor, etc.). This was removed for some reason and replaced with targeted relics which of course were actually not achievable at any realistic rate. Having the ability to target shard types is a must, especially given the inability to see weapon shards at a reasonable clip.

Excellent points from both of you. It’s a known fact, because they’ve told us, that they want to limit progression, and it worries them that we’re already at the end story and killing Level X bosses. That’s why the rebalance happened in .36. Unfotunately, most of us have already adjusted to the new rules and we’re still killing X bosses and opening X chests. Apart from the frustration of taking 10x longer to finish a dungeon, they haven’t really achieved anything. Well, they have annoyed their current player base to the point that many have quit completely!! Maybe not the outcome they intended. They’ve also made it frustrating for new players to progress, which isn’t going to help them build a following.

I’m not enjoying the game as much as I was pre-35, but I’m staying around to see what they do with .37. The journey is facinating! And I still have a few dungeons I haven’t done to level X yet.

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My position on this is the same as it has been since the start of Early Access in 0.34. @RubiconX gets to the heart of the matter on this.

IMO, Anything even close to Difficulty X dungeons was never supposed to have been completable. The problem is that skilled players found a way to do so in 0.34. It took the devs all the way until 0.36 to begin to address this issue (in their eyes), which was a long, long time. Granted though, they had much bigger issues to address such as stabilizing the game’s servers.

0.36 was supposed to stop players from completing high Difficulty dungeons through the higher spell costs… but all it did was slow players down for a bit. As a result, the spell changes made these dungeons supremely long to complete (for those that want to tolerate rerolling for lucky starting boards), but didn’t resolve the issue.

I’m expecting 0.37 to bring down the other, other foot on the matter where the devs are going to have to implement additional countermeasures to regarding higher Difficulty dungeons.

These countermeasures could include:

  • Players cannot stun opponents on multiple consecutive turns. (Opponents gain 1 turn of stun immunity when stunned).

  • Giving high level opponents additional saving throws or immunity against low-rarity tier spells. (A player casting a Rare-tier stun may not work on a Mythic-level opponent).

  • Stronger emphasis of gear score as a gating mechanic. Players may not be allowed to attempt dungeons of Difficulties over Hard if the Gear Score rating is red-colored to them.

  • And so on…

Until the devs settle on a solution that they like, I would not expect the Diamond chest revamp. I would also not be surprised if the devs reset everyone back to Difficulty 1 again when the solution is likely implemented in 0.37 to make everyone start at the same place with the revamped difficulty system and to avoid grandfathering issues.

There has always been an easy countermeasure to slow progress, that would have negated the need to add the experimental ones .35 and .36 saw. Charge entry to a dungeon.

If entry to a dungeon cost Lvl x100 gold, players would be less inclined to keep re-rolling for a favourable pattern. Dungeons could give current rewards + entry fee on completion. Newbies wanting to enter lvl I could afford it, and farmers would need to settle on a dungeon they could beat consistantly.

This would upset me, and a lot of other players. Aside from the initial promise that they wouldn’t do this, many of us have put in many many hours effort. Much of it not pleasurable :slight_smile: The least they can do is allow us to keep our levels!

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This doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. This would imply that players would have to tolerate months (and even more months based on your suppositions) of looking at uncompletable Daily Challenges. You often reference Gems of War as a basis of comparison. It does not take much effort once you have the right weapons or troops to complete the “whatever is the hardest daily challenges I forget the names” adventures. Levels play very little role in it after a while as you use certain abilities to leverage your way completion. What’s the difference here?

Gear Score is a notoriously bad metric for determining capability and given that gear and spells are still suffering significant imbalances, the idea of using Gear Score as a hard gate seems improbable as well.

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The comment from developers was no complete wipe I believe. Force resetting eveyrone’s Dungeon difficulties completions doesn’t contradict that but it would be supremely annoying. Also, if they make the dungeons so difficult to complete as @Lyrian suggests then there is not much purpose to it unless you are trying to prevent people from using previously acquired Marks to buy higher level Chests.

Gems of War had the level 1000+ system tacked onto it, as the original system did not support advancing past level 1000. As such, Gems of War was not designed for very high leveling and as a result makes those levels meaningless.

PQ3 addresses this by making advancing to very high Citadel levels always meaningful. Even after the limited options are maxed out, +2% to a Mastery or Power infinitely will always be significant years down the road, especially when scaling against Mythic tier stats and attributes.

From my perspective on what the devs intend, Gear Score is supposed to be the end-all-be-all of the game. Gear Score is supposed to drive the need to raise the rarity of gears and spells to Legendary and Mythic, and is the core of the game’s monetization. It’s been this way since the very beginning. The fact that players are still generally circumventing this mechanic means that additional adjustments are going to be needed to bring players’ expectations in line with what the devs desire.

Regarding spells, I expect that damaging spells are going to be brought in line with the exponential damage curve already in place with weapons in 0.36 with the 0.37 update. It’s possible percentage based effect spells could be adjusted to the exponential scaling as well.

The scaling on the Difficulty tier dungeons are supposed to reflect requiring gear to be ascended to Mythic + significant Citadel boosting. IMO, the devs want to position players to have no choice but to ascend gear to Mythic plus grind hundreds of Citadel levels to gain the necessary power needed to clear those dungeons.

I would be surprised if players will be allowed to keep looting chests from that high of a level once the difficulty issues are address to their satisfaction, which would soft lock players out of those tiers. That would be a significant issue as some players would be able to open level 100 chests through marks with impunity forever (as marks currently disregard dungeon level in which they are earned and can be used to buy level 100 chests), while everyone else after the fact would be soft locked to level 50-60 chests after the change.

Based on numerous past comments you have made about what you expect, you have been surprised a lot so far. The problem with making constant predictions about what is to come is it’s exactly that. Pure speculation. Ultimately the Developers’ intent is to make a game that is both playable and fiscally rewarding. If their intent from the outset was clearsighted, it would have already been realized. Whatever conceptions you think may exist about their intent, ultimately it will be bend towards appeal and functionality.

The whole point of the recent comments here was a discussion about what can attract players to play through this supposed long progression that you insist is fundamental. Constantly reminding that things are supposed to be slower and take longer is beside the point. Most people are realistic about that. The point is that in order for people to be willing to accept what you describe here:

then there has to be a system of positive progression that player’s feel invested in. The haphazard junk-yard style scrap finding is ultimately not going to be sufficient. That’s the issue at stake. Not whether things are completeable or not. It’s whether the process of getting there feels rewarding and fun.

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Updating this with final figures from my tracking of ~250 Shop refresh impressions:

As I noted before (not much change after the additional observerations), VIP members get a significant benefit in that 90% of all VIP offers are denominated in Gold. Given that gold is an infinitely farmable resource, this means that virtually all Gold offers can be purchased with enough playtime. This is especially important as it pertains to Relics (which are most commonly available as Shop purchases). Before I get to the updated Relic detail, just a few final thoughts on the Shop Daily Offers generally for 0.36:

  • Uncommon & Rare Runes/Scrolls are featured much too often in Daily Shop Offers. With the introduction of Events, these are now very commonplace and given the shards and relics needed to do constant Uncommon and Rare evolutions these items are a waste. The data will show that they get purchased frequently i’m sure (they are reasonably priced) but even most beginning players are going to have sufficient for their needs (on my new player account, I have rarely bought them even though I’m aggressively trying to upgrade items)
  • Lack of Shard downgradebility makes many offers a waste. I continue to buy all Superior Shard offers denominated in Gold mainly because I have plenty of Gold. But ultimately its a wasted purchase; it might as well not be there. For most players based on the current economics, they will get plenty of Superior Shards from gameplay to keep pace with Legendary/Mythic Evolutions (in theory). If these shards were downgradeble they would at least have more utility and be better options in the Shop
  • Please rethink the Random Item purchases; the items occur much too infrequently to be useful and the price points are ridiculous for the higher rarities given that it’s random. It’s a wasted offer; players driven to desperation to take a chance are buying but most are losing when they do.

Relics and Crystals in Daily Shop Offers

First chart is pricing; second chart is total occurrences (242 Shop Refresh impressions)

  • VIP Pass holders get a significant benefit in opportunity to buy Relics given that over 40% of Gold Offers are VIP only.
  • Superior Relics are virtually non-existent and are subject to a much more inflated price progression (3x the prior price compared to ~2x for the prior tiers). Still the frequency is so low that the pricing almost doesn’t matter. These are appearing in less frequency than even the extremely hard to find Glyphs and you need more of them. This needs a fix.
  • Lesser Relics account for nearly 2/3 of all Relic appearances. This is great for new players but results in a significant amount of dead currency offers for existing players. The fact that they are predominantly denominated in Gold is a good thing
  • Other Relic types are too infrequent given the quantities needed; supposedly additional changes are coming on Relic availability (more promises!) but the reality is that just like Dungeon drop rates (200+ dungeon chests opened since that increased chance, 0 Relics), the rate is too infrequent to encourage players to spend gems on Shop refreshes (I know many players who would do 4-5 refreshes a day but have since given up that practice)
  • Crystals continue to be offered 80%+ as Crowns only. Whatever I guess. I personally think that at minimum it should be 50/50 Crowns/Gems.
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