Direction of Berserk(PleaseRead)

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I copied this from someone else, but I couldnt have said it any better.

The new tournaments have tipped the scales so much in favor of paying players that i wonder if it has much to offer for free players. It has become clear that imperials in the game is useless in the long run , and can’t compete in the tournament game at any rate. After the introduction of the new tourneys a number of facts have become clear:

1) The game has taken a huge step in the direction of favoring paying players.

2) The tournaments are totally dominated by a handful of players that spend a lot on the game, typically 5-10 archmageboxes. The free players are virtually chanceless in that game.

3) Imperials are double useless in the sense that a) they can only buy standard cards, which are not seen alot in the tourneys, and b) when one has all the standard cards, there are nothing else to buy.

4) With useless imperials there is little point in acquiring land. Why spend hundreds of hours building a land basis that can only buy you second-rate cards? Any new player can enter the game , buy his 5 archmage boxes and dominate the game immediately to a degree that leads the vast majority of players unable to participate – at all.

Is this game going in the direction of being the playground for a handful of rich people rather than developing a large, thriving and happy gaming community? I fear so! And I fear that if the forthcoming cards take the game even more in the power creep direction it will be dead to 99% of the present players. Will that direction mean a long term economic gain for Bytex? I doubt that!

I play online games to have fun with other people, and it is essential to me that the people I play with have fun as well.

 
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I think the points made by pinion are astute.

Game companies too often do not think of their player base the proper way. Free players are NOT leeches that use up resources … free players ARE a resource. By definition the larger and more vibrant the community, the more value there is in that community which is worth leveraging against in virtual item purchases. This may sound like a lot of mumbo jumbo but it translates very simply into the studied and proven game design fact that players will pay to buy into a game that is more popular than a game that isn’t. Every free player is a piece of virtual property that belongs to the game community, and which validates the investment of others. These players need to be catered to and protected, because they themselves are the most central part of the company’s marketing strategy.

Beyond the general strategy though, pinion is exactly right about the free economy of the game.

Bytex this should be your motto: WHEN IMPERIALS ARE MORE VALUABLE, PEOPLE WILL BUY MORE OUNCES.

Learn that. Read it every day if you have to. It is a fact. When imperials are harder to get, you can start selling convenience, which is the real key to making money from ounces. Sell a new set that is good, but costs 300,000 imperials for one pack. Let it cost 60 ounces for the same pack. Make imperials hard to get (do not let King of the Hill give people 100K imperials every hour). Suddenly you will find that paying players and top players will buy 10 packs of this set with ounces. Why? Because the free access to the cards makes the set part of the game fabric that EVERYONE plays with, so a person is much more likely to want a set than if it is a separated “members only” item. This is human psychology and it has been well studied in games. Your free players will make your paid players want to buy things … and some of your free players will also be converted to paying.

You then also create something you have (very surprisingly) not done yet. The ability to buy imperials for ounces. This makes no sense if imperials are worthless, but if they are worth something, you will be surprised how much money you will make selling ounces.

Anyway, thank you for a good post pinion. I hope this sheds some light for Bytex.

 
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Thank you, guys, for your feedback and suggestions for the game.

 
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This is correct. I have the experience of this being true elsewhere and haven’t spent more than $10 on this game because I don’t want to pay just to be able to compete with the elite few. But if I knew that I could compete with them without spending money, through an investment of time, I would pay more money. It’s a country club and not a ivy league college.

 
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Sir_Valimont,
You forgot ONE very important point about the FREE players, they are a very good source of FREE publicity. If a game is good and Addicting like Magic the Gathering, people will talk about them and encourage their friends to try it as well. And if the game is FAIR (the gold, ounces, etc.) is just used as a way to speed up progress for a player, then the game can be a major hit.
But all cards have to be available to everyone without using ounces.
Let’s face it, would the developers make more money in the long one if they had a couple of million players spending $4 or $5 a month or just a couple of hundred of players paying $100 once? Just do the math. The answer is OBVIOUS.
Also, would the developers rather pay $1.000 + for publicity or would they reather get all the FREE publicity they can get because the gane is GOOD or GREAT and FAIR to everyone and BALANCED between the coiners and the freebies? Again, the answer is OBVIOUS.
Right now this game is gatting A LOT of BAD PRESS. And if the developers don’t do something FAST, they can pretty much say: Berserk RIP (rest in pieces) way too soon.
But, this is a decision for the developers to make.

 
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Well it’s a very complex problem but yes Merlin I agree with your very good point that free players are important for publicity. :)

 
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My 2c:

Making the conversion rate (ounce cost ^ 2) * 100 imperials across the board would keep the lower end prices about the same, but make the more expensive items which cater towards the long time players a bigger temptation to use(purchase) ounces. Keep the packages of tower upgrades/items/boosters as ounce only since they are really designed as additional ounce “perks”.

This seems roughly in line with your current setup and makes it so everything is obtainable with imperials, just the further along (and more time invested) you are, the more enticing buying ounces becomes.

 
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Another important point:
How many players heard of Magic the gathering? Or Everquest or RQ2? Or World of Warcraft? Or similiar games?
Magic is going to available shorly as an online game. Most of the other games are already are online games and are now using a FREE to play model with option to pay for permium items. Having played Atlatica myself, I know there is a lot of contect in this game that is completly FREE to play and the items that are permium just make the game easier for the player in the higher levels of the game. So, why should I throw away $100 on a FLASH game like this when I can get a lot more for my money paying $100 on Atlatica instead?
And with the KING of all CCG’s going on line, MTG would be a far, far, better game to spend money on than a second rate pale imitation of it. And a FLASH game to boot!

 
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KING of all CCG’s going on line, MTG

Elements

And with the KING of all CCG’s going on line, MTG would be a far, far, better game to spend money on than a second rate pale imitation of it. And a FLASH game to boot!

that is very disrespectful.