Gold testing - and what it means for you!

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by Thelo, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. Sirlin

    Sirlin Steward of the Realm Staff Member

    I don't think shift+b is even a thing anymore. Should probably be removed.

    As for how the ranking system works, I think there is currently no good way for people to even know. That's a shame because it's a pretty good system that lets you progress at first so you don't feel terrible, but ultimately does shake out to be skill-based. Also I think the bit about how you can progress through student ranks with any character once (no need to do it with all the characters), and then how it splits into separate rankings for each character...is important for new people know. The best to way explain it would be an entry in the guide (which is currently a mess), and then on the Play tab where it says like "Student 1" or whatever, a small link next to it to the guide. The link would either be a small question mark icon or the text "what's this?"
  2. CrystalChaos

    CrystalChaos Moderator Staff Member

    You could just link to the sirlin.net post where you explained the system until someone writes up another version for the guide. http://www.sirlin.net/blog/2011/6/13/yomi-online-rankings.html
  3. Coffee

    Coffee Active Member

    400 gold / 5 USD for a digital Puzzle Strike character is daylight robbery, btw. It's fine enough for Yomi where the decks are really substantive, but for a couple chips it feels like a complete rip-off. It'd make more sense to sell PS and Flash Duel as whole games. Their nature is that much different from Yomi.
    Holy Sorcerer, kfk and janenglund like this.
  4. dzebra

    dzebra Active Member

    I think it makes sense. This gives people to opportunity to only pay a little bit if they just want to use their favorite characters, or pay more if they want everything. I'm a dev, and I know about having online versions of physical games. Treating them as different entities is the only way to monetarily make it work, unless you're just raking in the dough. I'm personally glad that you didn't go with a monthly subscription plan, Sirlin, and I think your player base will continue to increase because of that decision. Keep up the good work and the finances will eventually come in (probably). You've already accomplished more than most game designers ever will.
  5. Fry

    Fry Well-Known Member

    You're getting all the bank and puzzle chips for free. The character chips are subsidizing all that.
  6. Sirlin

    Sirlin Steward of the Realm Staff Member

    thanks dzebra, though actually there will be a subscription option. It's just an option though, so that people have as many options as possible here.
  7. ratxt1

    ratxt1 Well-Known Member

    Though it may not seem like it i actually really support your decision sirlin for implementing the gold system. it really is a lot fairer and cheaper than most games if you think about it. Keep up the good work sirlin.
  8. link6616

    link6616 Well-Known Member

    So, if this goes well will we see it on iOS/Android. As much as I love these games they really don't feel right on a computer but having tinkered with a bunch of iOS card games I really cannot wait to play this on one...
  9. Sirlin

    Sirlin Steward of the Realm Staff Member

    I've tried for years and years to get iOS versions going. I used to say 8 different people/teams have come and gone for it. Incinerator Studios is the latest one so I guess we're up to 9 now. They were going to do it but then said they wouldn't if a web version exists. (wat?) On the other end of the spectrum, another small team was interested recently too, but it seemed too risky to go with them as they haven't really done games before. Maybe Retronyms could do it, they make music software on iOS, but they are very good at executing and at UI. That hasn't really materialized yet either though.

    I don't really have the bandwidth for it all. I wish there could just be some developer who could really do it and that would be that. Like I said, I wanted an iOS version for years now, it's so painful that there isn't one.
    NoahTheDuke likes this.
  10. garcia1000

    garcia1000 World Champion Staff Member

    You could tap the screen and drag the card onto the table to play. So it makes sense
  11. Atma

    Atma Active Member

  12. Sirlin

    Sirlin Steward of the Realm Staff Member

    I would think you're trolling if I didn't already know you have the best intentions, ha. Yeah ok...and it's an enormous mountain of work to really do it. Entirely new UI is needed. Touch interface. How will networking work, integrate with Game Center. iOS games need stronger 1p modes. I mean a good TEAM of experienced people could do a good job on all that. You can't just export a web page to a tiny iphone screen with no multitouch controls and have it make any sense.

    Need a solid developer familiar with the platform to do all that.
    NoahTheDuke likes this.
  13. Atma

    Atma Active Member

    Yeah definitely not trolling. It's certainly some work but the basic frame is already there. It's sad that nobody is willing to make relatively easy money for adding UI/network to an otherwise finished product. I always thought the problem was unity/iOS incompatibility, but recent versions port almost 1:1 it seems.
  14. ratxt1

    ratxt1 Well-Known Member

    ok kind of a way to break the system as thelo asked. You can concede all bad MU with no loss to you and than challenge for a rematch and counter-pick. Simple solution disconnects and early concedes grant a loss of gold.
  15. CrystalChaos

    CrystalChaos Moderator Staff Member

    You still lose rank for leaderboards.
  16. Fry

    Fry Well-Known Member

    Can we get an overview of how it's supposed to work? That will help me know what is a bug to report.

    (example: I just got 800 gold each for two games I won. I mentioned that to my opponent AryanEnigma and he said he does not get that much for winning. Bug or not bug?)
  17. ratxt1

    ratxt1 Well-Known Member

    yes CC you do lose rank on leaderboards but i am pretty sure most people would rather get gold faster than get higher on the leaderboards (since before the update leaderboards meant almost nothing) unless getting higher on the leaderboard makes you get more gold or something i don't really see the incentive.
  18. Thelo

    Thelo Administrator Staff Member

    You should get zero gold from conceding within the first five minutes of any QM, so that's not really a gold exploit.

    I guess the opponent could agree to a rematch right afterwards, getting a disadvantageous matchup that way, though it seems not in his best interest to accept that in front of such a blatant form of trickery.
  19. Fry

    Fry Well-Known Member

    Sorry, I meant "-AryanEnigma-".
  20. ratxt1

    ratxt1 Well-Known Member

    Well if i concede all bad MUs it is. Say i play a grave and i'm val i concede and than challenge him to a rematch as arg he can decline but if he does i just go back into QM rince and repeat. no real loss of time and i am increasing my chances of winning (assuming equally skilled opponet) by upwards of 10%
  21. link6616

    link6616 Well-Known Member

    My apologies about bringing up the bad memories then...
  22. Aesa

    Aesa Well-Known Member

    I really don't think you guys need to worry about the exploits so much. Is someone REALLY going to concede every bad matchup?
  23. ratxt1

    ratxt1 Well-Known Member

    Well if they're playing to get gold (like playing to win but with gold) yes they will. The whole point of playing to get gold or PTW is to do whatever is in your power without going outside of the system to get gold or win. There is no such as an ethics system, (which i assume was your point saying people are too sentimental too do that or something) the game is your ethics system. So yes, to answer your question, if you are playing to get gold you will concede every single bad MU
  24. Sirlin

    Sirlin Steward of the Realm Staff Member

    Again, I will bring up the deserter penalty from World of Warcraft. Quitting early gives you a debuff that prevents you from playing again for X minutes. They had the exact same issue where winning gave 3 doodads and losing gave 1 doodad, and they needed to stop you from conceding matchs in 2 seconds over and over and over again. They made it so you had to actually lose rather than concede to get the doodad, but that wasn't enough for them. Then people would intentionally lose super fast instead of actually conceding. (In our case, condede the bad matchup then instantly requeue.) So the deserter penalty addressed all that for them. We might need the same deterrent.
  25. garcia1000

    garcia1000 World Champion Staff Member

    I think a deserter penalty is fine. You would generally only quit if your dog was on fire or something. Then you wouldn't mind being banned for X minutes.

    ANOTHER idea I had. What about disabling rematches, in order to reduce the average wait time for a quickmatch?
  26. janenglund

    janenglund Active Member

    It was. OK, first I have to apologize. I really appriciate your work and Iike your designs, but I do not appriciate your business model. And I understand that you can't keep up doing designs the way that you are doing unless you get payed for it.

    The logic and the business model behind of the Fantasy Strike universe made me want to shake things up a bit. Sorry if it was insulting.

    I can understand that you can compare your business model to other business models and it seems to be "nicer". And it is, but still there is logic that I can not tolerate. As I wrote above, I have heard people making jokes about David Sirlin and his business. (I am not getting into this more...) But those people are coming from boardgaming circles and the business models there are different. If I compare the business model of Magic the Gathering, this Fantasy Strike universe, and business models of board games IN EUROPE, your business model is somewhere in between the MtG and board/card game business. These business models and the way of thinking is different and foreign for some gamers, but is sad if it drives away gamers. Because Yomi is a pearl of a game.

    When I read your comments and comments of other persons on this forum, I begin to understand what is bugging me. I understand that you are coming from the world of Magic the Gathering, computer/console fighting games and online games. And there is a certain way of thinking and logic around that "world". Producing those games is raw business and I appriciate your way of making things not-so-raw. But still there is this same twisted logic behind it. And I know that for some people who live in that world do not understand me and will attack me with their writings defending what they love. It is OK. And I have to say that when I look your thing from the point of view of euro-boardgaming world, then I see more clearly the models of MtG, video- and online games that you are using.

    I like Yomi very much but I can't recommend to my friends. And that is because it costs about 120€ (140$) with shipping. For people who play eurostyle boardgames (which have can have same production costs as Yomi and quality compoments, tons of them) and get couple of the every year for 20-40€ (25-50$) that amount is simply too much. But for a person who spends 100$ every month to MtG cards and another 60$ to World of Warcraft, suddenly this 100$ + shipping is not that much. And hey, please do not say that it is because Yomi has something that these other boardgames do not have. No, that is not true.

    But as I say, I just see that I am not in your target audience David and it can be so. And I have to say that I appriciate your work and the efforts that you are putting into your business. But as I said above the model bugs me, but it's OK. It is not meant for people like me. I really can believe it is hard business to break into and I could not do it any better my self.

    - Jan
    kfk likes this.
  27. Kontergurke

    Kontergurke Member

    Jan, I understand where you're coming from (regarding the price of the physical edition of Yomi).

    However, what is so bad about the gold model for the online client? I don't know many board games that have an online client available at all. And this one can even be played for free (sure, with limited character access, but hey, at least it will cycle every week or something). It has many nice features that you can use without paying a cent, like match replay, practicing against a cpu etc.

    That you can pay for the characters is merely an option, no one is forcing you to buy any.
  28. janenglund

    janenglund Active Member

    Good.


    What? An online version? Oh, that's what is thread is all about... :p

    You said that you do not now many boardgames that have an online client available at all. Well... I just checked on BoardGameGeek.com, a boardgame database currently having 55579 different games. All of Top 10 games of those 55579 all had COMPLETELY FREE online implementations available. I do not play games online, but what I have seen, they are working really good and have good user interface. (Yomi is currently ranked #152 in the database)

    As I wrote above, the gamers of Yomi seen to come from different field than euro-boardgamers and they are used to pay more in their gaming hobby (CCG's and Online games). And I think those are the target audience of Online Yomi and you/they are happily paying. Maybe I am wrong?

    But it is good to have even couple of characters free so you can test the game before making an investment, that I agree.

    But I just have to say that pricing of the game and that the online client costs money is quite ahh... funny. :confused:

    No! What are those MiBs behind my windows then?:eek:
  29. dzebra

    dzebra Active Member

    I like rematches. I think I rematched my first opponent twice, and I would have accepted a rematch from my second opponent, but I had to go eat. It enhances community, I think. But maybe there's not a place for it in qm; maybe that should just be for casual games.

    But there are definitely ways the system can be trolled right now.

    If I try to lose as quickly as possible, then I'll always play no card. That will take just a couple of minutes or less. And it will yield a little gold. If winning my match gives me 3 or 4 times as much gold, then it would be worth 3 or 4 times the time commitment. A decent game is 7-10 minutes, which is probably more than 5 times the amount of time it would take me to lose by no-carding. So gold payout would have to be balanced around that ratio, which might have a higher payout than you want, Sirlin.

    But of course I'd always have the option of starting a game while I'm at work, and letting all of my moves time out and losing each game, but slowly gaining gold over the course of the day. After every 5 minutes or so, I could just switch to my Yomi tab and see if my game is over and queue up for another quickmatch if it is.

    Maybe keep track of idle time, and auto concede (with no gold) a player if he lets his turn time out 2 or 3 times in a row (or 3 times total in a game). Or give him no gold bonus if he plays no-card 3 times in a match.
  30. NoahTheDuke

    NoahTheDuke Active Member

    Maybe make a concede or a loss require a refractory period. Or, a concede nets the one who concedes no gold, instead of a losers 1. Or, make a trigger that one who's timer runs out X number of times (say, 4) in a game has to wait the refractory time. Or, Only make the "rematch" option available to whoever loses.

    Just some ideas.
  31. Fry

    Fry Well-Known Member

    Here is easy gold farming strat:

    1. join quickmatch queue
    2. go play WoW (or take a shower, have sex, whatever)
  32. Lofobal

    Lofobal Well-Known Member

    Sup Idra? This game doesn't have a slippery slope.
  33. Fry

    Fry Well-Known Member

    Oh, and once you have made the fix "people who don't ready get booted from the queue" my next exploit will be "start game, THEN afk"
  34. Polari

    Polari Well-Known Member

    Ok, name a couple of boardgames that are rigorously balanced to have as much diversity at high-level tournament play.
  35. Waterd103

    Waterd103 Well-Known Member

    The only reason I ever had to concede is some emergency is more important than finishing the game and I dont want to let my opponent waiting. But in terms of winning chances. They are almost always high enough to be worth keep playing.
    Lofobal likes this.
  36. Sirlin

    Sirlin Steward of the Realm Staff Member

    Jan that's a whole lot of words, but no real specifics. You don't like "the business model." References to people making fun of me. But we still have no real idea what you're talking about. I mean you seem to be suggesting that thelo spend years and years of his time for zero benefit? Like are you seriously suggesting we don't charge anything, and then it would be an acceptable business model to you? I'm totally dumbfounded here. I bet thelo is too. I think charging for things is normal. We could just charge and be done, but instead we are trying to put in all these options for free play in addition to that.

    I don't see what physical yomi has to do with you being upset we are creating a way that people can possibly pay for things online, but physical yomi costs $10/deck when you get the bundle, which is competitive with other games. Look up the cost of those huge playmats and you'll see they retail for about $25, so the decks are really like $7.50 each, which is *below* the usual cost of decks in other games. I thought that offering a bundle to lower the overall price would be a benefit to people, so it's kind of super lame of you to claim that's expensive. If you want just a couple decks, the 2-packs are $25. Someday when I can reprint them, I think I can do enough volume to get it down to $20. These are normal prices, and again, completely irrelevant to your desire to have thelo work for years and years unpaid.
  37. pkt-zer0

    pkt-zer0 Well-Known Member

    That's kind of hard with just the information you provided, actually. No mention of card pool, number of duplicates you can have, costs for legendary rares, and whatever else I've forgotten. Anyway, I'm going to guess it's like hundreds of dollars for a deck of virtual cardboard. How is that supposed to be any better than MtG?

    If the "norm" is the evil, deceptive thing, then obviously you'd want to be an exception yourself, that's what you'd want to be compared to. The evil vs. non-evil comparison isn't interesting at all - the latter wins hands down, you'll hear no arguments about that. What would be more pointful to discuss are comparisons to other games that aren't designed to be cleverly(?) disguised daylight robbery in the first place. The differences are going to be more subtle, but as they say, the devil is in the details. The proper answer to the question of how much to charge is going to lie somewhere between "as much as MtG" and "nothing at all".

    As far as I know, the breakdown for F2P games is something like this: on average, players spend a dollar or two. 90% spend nothing, and the other 10% spend $60 on average, comparable to a single-shot purchase. This is however skewed by people who spend multiple thousands of dollars on the game. That doesn't seem a particularly healthy business model to me, and I'm not sure you can even make it work without evil game design (which is obivously out of the question for Yomi et cetera).

    @janenglund

    Where you happen to live can indeed alter your perspective on price dramatically. I recently came across a comic making fun of Apple's Siri ad, calling the iPhone a $500 rectangle. My reaction was "wait, that's cheaper than any I've seen before". So I checked out the prices for an iPhone 4S, just to make sure I wasn't crazy. On the US site, the cheapest one is listed at $200. On the Hungarian site, prices start at the equivalent of $800. For additional context, that's enough cash to pay for a month of food/water/electricity/etc. for 3 people. That's also about how much I make in a month as a coder with above-average pay: the equivalent of $900 after taxes.

    The point being that "expensive" is a pretty vague term, it can mean a variety of things. Is it expensive compared to how much it cost to manufacture/design it? Compared to your disposable income? Compared to other, similar products? In the case of Yomi, if you look at the $30 (that is what they cost here, at least) 2-packs for Summoner Wars, the Complete First Edition is probably going to end up being cheaper even with shipping included. It's still a hefty sum, and not that easily affordable - but that's board gaming for you.
    (See, this is another reason why constant comparisons to Magic aren't the best idea - as I've said, it's not a very useful reference point)
  38. jelyman

    jelyman Active Member

    i hate to continue with this line of discussion but Jan i would also like to point out a pretty crazy assumption that everyone comes from the same background that supports sirlin. (video games/fighting games) i am a proud button masher of anything fighting game related if i play and am an avid board gamer. Sirlin actually loves to roll his eyes at my conceptual love for battle star galactica. i also played and own many a euro-game., but still disagree with your line of thought. just leave at your opinion is prob best. wisest thing you said was that you probably couldnt do it any better. its easy for you or your friends to critisize or make fun of sirlin but i doubt you have a very firm grasp on the realitites of what it takes to produce the fantasy strike games and the justified ways sirlin could handle things.

    also, i neglected to thank thelo as weel earlier for his much appreciated work. laters :D
  39. Choke Artist

    Choke Artist Well-Known Member

    IDEA --

    People who buy the physical version of the game get a free month on the Dev server. (I assume the subscription means you unlock all content for X amount of time?)

    That seems good. If shipping takes a while, they can play/learn the game online. It makes them feel better about the price, and gives them a little something extra for paying for the physical version.
  40. Fry

    Fry Well-Known Member

    This actually seems like a reasonable idea.
  41. garcia1000

    garcia1000 World Champion Staff Member

    The problem would be implementation.
  42. Zejety

    Zejety Well-Known Member

    Couldn't you add activation keys to the physical copies? If it's not feasible then hand them out digitally to everyone who orders via the sirlin.net shop.

    I have no idea whether this option would be profitable but implementation does not sound like a big issue to me.
  43. garcia1000

    garcia1000 World Champion Staff Member

    The problem is most of them have already been sold without activation keys, haha
  44. Fry

    Fry Well-Known Member

    I would like some character bundles, even if there is no discount, so I can just say "here is a big pile of gold, give me all the characters" rather than buying 20 things separately
  45. andrewgr

    andrewgr Well-Known Member

    I think it's unfortunate that Jan's first post was so inflammatory, since I think that's going to make it hard for anyone to give a fair shake to anything he has to say. I think I understand where he's coming from, and I think he has valid concerns (though I don't think that means that the Gold model should be abandoned, or even changed).

    There is a population of people who's involvement with the hobby is limited to games like Puerto Rico, El Grande, Small World, etc. They don't play any collectible games, and sometimes will cite expense as the reason. They also don't play video games with in-store malls or incremental purchases, and in many cases aren't even aware that such things exist (I can say for sure that I have friends that play games that are stunned and amazed when I explain to them the concept that you can charge for a virtual magic sword). There are two husband/wife couples that I game with somewhat regularly that fit this profile.

    For this audience, the physical edition of Yomi is a very expensive purchase. It's in the neighborhood of twice as much as a normal game they're used to paying for. So I understand his perspective there, though again, I don't think there's anything that can or should be done about it; I just don't think he's whining or incorrect when he relates the reaction of his friends.

    The online Gold system is going to be perceived of as *much* worse than just the 2x price of the physical game by that crowd. The idea of needing to pay each time you want to get access to a new part of the game (new character) is simply foreign to them. It's not an intuitive or obvious concept to someone who's never been exposed to it; to someone who's used to plunking down $40 and getting a game they can share with their friends and family, the notion that you'd "hook" them with a free character, then have them pay for the next character, then have them realize that there's really this other cool character that they like better that they now need to pay for, may seem predatory. Regardless of how the numbers work out to someone who's a rational, calculating person, there is a non-trivial percentage of the population that aren't capable of thinking about pricing models or opportunity costs or sunk costs or amortized costs or other basic economic concepts that most of us take for granted; to some of these people, this pricing model is going to feel like a drug dealer-- "hey kid, come here, the first hit is free".

    Now, all that being said, I think the model works well, and I support it. I don't have a proposal for a different method that would work better, and I understand and agree with the need to turn the service into a money making venture. I just felt like Jan had valid concerns that he hadn't expressed very well, so I thought I'd see if I could help.
    Candi and janenglund like this.
  46. andrewgr

    andrewgr Well-Known Member

    Two suggestions:

    I'd like to see a "lifetime membership" option. I'd rather plunk down a couple hundred bucks and never need to worry about it again than need to pay every month. (For example, I have a seperate credit card that I use only for online purchases. Recently the number was somehow stolen, so it was cancelled, and a new number was issued. It's been really irritating getting a succession of e-mails from various services that I subscribe to telling me my most recent billing has failed and then needing to enter in the new number-- like, my domain renewal is once ever 6 months, it's not like I remembered to change the credit card number for that right away.) This also allows people to tangibly show their confidence in the long-term prospects of the online service, in a way that could be made visible to other potential customers (e.g. a symbol next to the name of lifetime subscribers).

    Also, it might be interesting to see a "gift" or "sponsor" button. The idea would be for someone to pay for someone else's subscription for a month or two. You would supply the recipient's e-mail address, and they would be mailed a code, which they could use on an existing or new account. This could be useful in all sorts of situations, but to give one that I would use: in the BoardGameGeek "Secret Santa" program, if the person that I'm buying for doesn't list a Sirlin game, I don't want to dissapoint them by getting something not on their list, so I won't buy one. BUT, I would buy them a game on their list and a month's subscription to the website (whereas obviously saying "go to this website and you can play 2 characters for free" doesn't seem like any sort of a gift at all, it just seems like a random recommendation).
  47. andrewgr

    andrewgr Well-Known Member

    In terms of "how to cheat the Gold system", I haven't seen the most obvious one mentioned yet: multiple people using the same username/password. They can't play at the same time, but currently there's no incentive to do this, whereas there will be an obvious incentive to do it when the Gold system is implemented.
  48. CrystalChaos

    CrystalChaos Moderator Staff Member

    It appears from the shop page that this will be available in the future (gift to a friend feature).
  49. ratxt1

    ratxt1 Well-Known Member

    regarding andrewgrr there are many ways to cheat the gold system through co opting with other players or making new acounts (you can just purposfully lose to get gold faster) but this warrants a ban in almost all online games. I think thelo is more worried about things inside the game that can be exploited without smurfing (creating multiple acounts) or such.
  50. bbobjs

    bbobjs Well-Known Member

    Why even bother making alt accounts when you can simply open up an alternate browser and play against yourself as a guest infinitely. Hold A, Tab, Hold A, Tab...

    That actually doesn't seem like it'd be the problem considering I was emailed a free print and play update well over a year after my initial purchase of the original Puzzle Strike from Sirlingames.com

    ...that said do people who already bought physical copies really need ANOTHER bonus?

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