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Thread: Let's talk lockboxes and Autumn harvest

  1. #61
    Ascendant Laeti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pwnguin View Post
    Apparently, the amount of people spending real money on lockboxes is more than if they just put the items people wanted for actual sale? This blows my mind. It sucks for us, makes money for them, so they don't mind.

    I throw money at other games because they put stuff in the store I want. Often I throw more than I could in a months amount of 'paid time' games often have, because I want the pretty/cool thing. Sure, everyone wants something rare that not everyone has --- but what happened to timed sales? Like random pop ups for only three days, or a day, or something. And then goes away for a while. Not everyone would get it. People will whine for missing it, but I bet thats better than taking peoples real life cash for a rare chance at something cool only to get absolute garbage.

    They do run more sales lately so there's that. Seeing how other games also run all kinds of short period sales on regular basis (once per week/fortnight), it's clearly a good way of getting a consistent cash flow, and keeping people both happy and excited for future sales as they'd know if they missed out on something they still have a chance to get it at some point. Unfortunately, lockboxes didn't go anywhere.
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    Rift Chaser Rivkah's Avatar
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    ArenaNet does a great job with its fluff sales. It has utility items on sale at all times, but for fluff you can either earn it through participation in holiday events, or buy the item straight up with credits. Very few fluff items are up on the store at all times, so its limited availability gets people to snag the item the moment it goes up on the store.

    There's one lockbox in the game that you can choose to preview the items in order of rarity, and the keys and the boxes have a random chance at dropping in the open world, and you can put them up on the auction house if you don't care for it. The special holiday mount skins are a package for around 20 bucks and it automatically unlocks the skin for all of your mounts when you purchase it. I feel this system is way better and makes for a happier playerbase (people tend to be happy when they get what they paid for). The game itself is also way more actively played, if that demonstrates anything.

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laeti View Post
    They do run more sales lately so there's that. Seeing how other games also run all kinds of short period sales on regular basis (once per week/fortnight), it's clearly a good way of getting a consistent cash flow, and keeping people both happy and excited for future sales as they'd know if they missed out on something they still have a chance to get it at some point. Unfortunately, lockboxes didn't go anywhere.
    I do really hope I get another run at the Greathound pack they just rotated out, I didn't realise it was limited so I dragged my feet because I wanted other things and now it's gone, my own fault but if it comes back available I want that mount

    [eta] Honestly I find the entire gambling/RNG-based monetisation concept highly unethical, and I think the gaming industry as a whole needs to do away with it. Compulsive gambling destroys lives, and the industry is fostering and preying on that same impulse within a vulnerable population. I mean that's so messed up it sounds like something a cartoon villain from the 80s would do, you know?
    Last edited by Phaeth; 10-28-2017 at 03:50 PM.

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phaeth View Post
    I do really hope I get another run at the Greathound pack they just rotated out, I didn't realise it was limited so I dragged my feet because I wanted other things and now it's gone, my own fault but if it comes back available I want that mount

    [eta] Honestly I find the entire gambling/RNG-based monetisation concept highly unethical, and I think the gaming industry as a whole needs to do away with it. Compulsive gambling destroys lives, and the industry is fostering and preying on that same impulse within a vulnerable population. I mean that's so messed up it sounds like something a cartoon villain from the 80s would do, you know?
    There are good examples of RNG out there. There's an example in Rivkah's post, and I also have a really good one that I personally wouldn't mind. Lockbox description should always list the items you can get (including currencies), not just "you may get this and that, and also some random number of other random items that we're not going to list". The drops should either be unlocks with no chance at repeating (so you can only get a limited amount of items but may keep buying boxes after that just for currencies/tokens); or valuable non-bound items that you can sell for a decent amount of in-game currency. Convenience items do not take place of special items! They only go as a welcome bonus not as one of the drops (so things like vials, currencies and such are only there to make the drop even more pleasant, not disappointing). Finally, the price of a box should be much, much lower than it currently is. Yes, even with increased chances at cool items and not including convenience/currency as drops, the current price is way too much. In my example, I am talking about boxes from a game with a decent yet modest population and a much flexible monetization model (also f2p). It also has unhappy players (what game doesn't?), but in the several months I've been playing it I haven't heard people complaining about RNG, monetization and store prices - not in game, not on the forums. It also has a "Patron" system that gives only a few perks but you can upgrade them with rl payments to make rewards (daily/weekly) better and "level up" perks. Besides that, there's a better variety in "credit" packs giving more options from very small/cheap packs to bigger/expensive ones for all types of players (so you can top up your credits from time to time, but even when you don't - you can regularly earn a small amount in game as well!)

    All in all, the game with system mentioned above leaves a feeling of being welcomed and rewarded whether I spend money in the store or not. Every time there's some new shiny in the store I do want to buy it, boxed or not. I feel like this is exactly what I'm supposed to feel when monetization is done right. So far, in Rift I only get this feeling from Dimensions sales/boxes (even a quick glance at the Event store this AH made me excited about all the new items I can buy, while the premium list left me shaking my head). So, clearly, not only it can be done better in other games, but even in Rift things could definitely improve, if only.

    Upd.: simply proving my point by opening an event box that I got from a minion mission: a vial, a WF charge (I don't even PVP), an arti stash (granted I do collect but it's just whites and greens I already have?), an IRC pack I won't use, a soul mend, a 36s bag (wow! something I can actually use!)... how many of the items were event themed? None. How many got me excited? Well, the bag is nice even though 2 extra slots aren't gamebreaking, but honestly: it's a freakin Halloween box. Give me at least SOMETHING themed! Something I don't have yet! Something cool, valuable, that feels like an actual reward! Would opening a box from a minion make me wanna go spend on more boxes? Hell no.
    Last edited by Laeti; 10-28-2017 at 06:57 PM.
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  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laeti View Post
    There are good examples of RNG out there. There's an example in Rivkah's post, and I also have a really good one that I personally wouldn't mind. (snip)
    I don't doubt that there are less egregiously awful examples of RNG-based monetisation, heck even Trove's system with Chaos Chests and Golden Chaos Chests is streets ahead of Rift's gamble box horror scene. I was playing Trove the other day, got a GCC as a drop, opened it expecting crispy fried nothing much, it was a mount that is basically happiness incarnate and I love it; GCCs drop more rarely and cost more to buy but guarantee a rare item. Plus I'm opening basic Chaos Chests by the fistful every time I play and there's this "karma bar" thing that fills up a bit each time you open a box, when it maxes you're guaranteed a rare item. Does it go also down when you get a non-guaranteed rare item? I don't know, probably, but I don't play Trove enough to say for sure. Point is, it's overall a better system that Trion ALREADY HAS in-house.

    I still don't think it's an entirely responsible or ethical business model, but I won't deny it'd be a distinct improvement over what Rift has going on right now.

    Implement something like that and sure I wouldn't start buying lots of lockboxes but I'd be more willing to buy a few occasionally, and I'd certainly resume buying lockbox items ingame from other players (way I see it buying ingame still supports the sale of lockboxes, because someone still has to buy them to get the items into the game even if it's not me, hence my not doing that anymore).

    Often when the lockbox conversation comes up, I see the comment that people like surprises so lockboxes are for those people and the rest of us don't have to buy them. Well I love surprises, you should've seen my face when I got that Trove mount, it was like someone had just walked up and dropped an armful of sleepy kittens on my lap and handed me a warm box of fresh cinnamon donuts. I played Trove more that week than I have in like a year, and for the first time I seriously considered buying Trove credits. It was such a nice surprise I immediately wanted to get some more nice surprises.

    Rift's lockboxes are the wrong kind of surprises, the bad and disappointing kind of surprises. They're less kittens and donuts, and more like someone walked up and dropped an armful of venomous spiders on my lap and handed me a warm box of fresh poo. You drop a kitten on top of that, it's still not going to make it a nice surprise.

    And on top of that there's the ethical matter, because if you sell me a chance to get a kitten so I buy and open a hundred boxes of poo in the hope of finding a kitten, well whether I find a kitten or not you've really just exploited my love of kittens and my poor impulse control in a most shameful fashion. And the thing is even if those hundred boxes contained puppies instead of poo it'd still be equally exploitative, irrespective of whether I'd be less sad about it; hence my overall problem with the fundamental concept of RNG-based monetisation.

    That said, sell me a clearly marked box with a roughly equal chance to get a kitten, a puppy, a fresh cinnamon donut, or an excellent hat, plus a smaller chance to get a pony, I'm likely to be somewhat pleased no matter the outcome, and more importantly you're treating me with a little more dignity. Still ethically dubious, but not as outright disgusting.

    Or, y'know, just sell me the gosh dang kitten outright.

    It's one of those "pick your favourite flavour of poo sandwich" scenarios tbh. I may be idealistic at times but I'm not kidding myself that the gaming industry is going to start holding itself up to any serious kind of ethical standards any time soon, and I acknowledge that RNG-based monetisation is a poo sandwich we are stuck eating til it ceases to be profitable.

    [eta] also I absolutely agree convenience items and special items should be separated, that detail might've gotten lost in the metaphor. People only buy lockboxes for the special items, lbr nobody has ever bought a lockbox thinking GEE I HOPE I GET A BUNDLE OF CRAFTING MATS THAT I COULD'VE GATHERED IN TEN MINUTES! and that kind of filler doesn't belong on the same table, if it's included at all it should be as a secondary roll for bonus drops
    Last edited by Phaeth; 10-29-2017 at 01:53 AM.

  6. #66
    Champion MissGreen's Avatar
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    Yep I agree, Trion ..I would have bought that **** aka wings/mount outright....



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    Quote Originally Posted by Phaeth View Post
    Rift's lockboxes are the wrong kind of surprises, the bad and disappointing kind of surprises. They're less kittens and donuts, and more like someone walked up and dropped an armful of venomous spiders on my lap and handed me a warm box of fresh poo. You drop a kitten on top of that, it's still not going to make it a nice surprise.
    Now this made me lol hard

    Also, in case anyone from the Rift team is reading this thread: the above paragraph explains in a nutshell what's wrong with your current system.

  8. #68
    Ascendant Laeti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phaeth View Post
    GCCs drop more rarely and cost more to buy but guarantee a rare item. Plus I'm opening basic Chaos Chests by the fistful every time I play and there's this "karma bar" thing that fills up a bit each time you open a box, when it maxes you're guaranteed a rare item.
    Speaking of costs, I forgot to add the cost of an event lockbox in the other game I'm playing. One event box (only has event themed items plus hands out currency each time so you could later get more costumes) is 250 credits. A pack of 2500 credits costs... $2.99

    Just compare the price on one Rift lockbox, it's simply ridiculous. Needless to say, everyone and their grandma buys credits and boxes regularly because even when you're not buying something directly from the store, you still feel rewarded without being broke.

    And, again, the "expensive" convenience items that are supposed to make up for this price (when in fact they just help lower the chance of getting something cool and add frustration to the loot table) do not belong in the drop list. Put them in as an addition if you wish, make them ALL tradeable (I could only sell 2 of the items I got last night!), but don't make it look like convenience = reward. If I need a WF charge, I'll go and buy one. Stop overpricing boxes with items most people would never gamble for!

    ~ @Phaeth
    Thank you for a well written (and funny as well) post! Sums up the way I feel about lockboxes too.
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  9. #69
    Rift Chaser Tuasemper's Avatar
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    I'am also disappointed those items are behind a pay wall. I was excited to read the article & see previews, then slunk out of my chair down to the floor when I saw it was all in a crate. However, out of 7 crates I only got ONE event themed item, & that was the Combat Skin Spooky......& it was bugged. After several days of forum posts & tickets, it gets fixed......but it's not called Spooky, it's called Skelly.

    Not to mention, I'm also really disappointed in the size of the thing. I wasn't expecting it to be the size of the mount, but I was expecting it to be slightly larger than a companion pet at least. I mean, it's a combat pet. Those tend to have some size to them. While it is cute to see this minuscule wrongly named thing zipping across to attack, it was not what was promised or hinted at.

    I'm glad this thread was started so early in the event. Maybe these comments & concerns will help save some other people some money, and time.
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    While I seriously doubt this is getting any attention as in "we acknowledge you're unhappy and we'll do something to improve the situation", I'm still gonna post my box drops just for the fun of it. So today my minions brought me another box.

    1 Bag of IRCs (not using them, can't sell)
    1 Bag of Artifacts (4 white to blue artifacts, 2 collected, rest are ribbons since no point in selling them)
    2 Bags of Crafting Mats (not using them, not crafting anymore since it's a ridiculous grind now; can't sell)
    3 Prize tickets (with the prices in the ticket tab and considering I'm not actually buying boxes... useless to me)
    300 something Favor (I don't PVP anymore so useless)
    ____________________
    Event items: 0
    Items I can sell: 0
    Items I'll actually use: 0


    Soooo it appears a Halloween themed lockbox that I'm supposed to pay for just dropped me 2 artifacts that I happened to be lucky to not have yet. Cool.
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    Based on what I know about the industry and corporate culture in general, I'm confident that the team are monitoring this thread and are unable to directly respond. The nature of corporate culture is such that you are often required to publicly take ownership of crappy decisions you hate, or ordered to not comment on an issue. Plus with the gaming industry being so insular and frankly vicious, when you're a Dev and you get that memo, to go against it is to risk not only your current job but your entire future career forever. Blacklisting is a total thing. Again with the lack of ethics in the industry.

    [edit: there was this whole long bit here suggesting an improved holiday lockbox but on reflection I decided it was better to stay on-point, there is no amount of improvement that will make lockboxes not fundamentally unethical, so I've deleted it, even though it was kind of witty and included the phrase "curmudgeonly dolphin"]

    There's a saying, "mind the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves," a lot of people seem to think it means "nickle-and-dime everything" but it really means feed the minnows and the whales will follow. Individually minnows don't spend much, but collectively they can spend a lot. Whales gonna whale, here or there, in this game or a different one. A community of happy minnows having a good time is going to attract more whales. "Yeah I really love this game but it's super expensive and gouge-y" is not an appealing review, it's not whale-bait. It's kind of whale-repellent, or actually it's everyone-repellent. Minnows can also turn into whales, which they're more likely to do if they have had a good experience as minnows.

    Just ditch the lockboxes, put up a limited edition Broom Zoom Power Pack with like, broom mount, raven wings, say two masks, and the pet skin, and then put in some earplugs and hold onto your chair because it's high-pitched screeching whirlwind SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY time in Phaeth-land.
    Last edited by Phaeth; 11-01-2017 at 06:55 PM.

  12. #72
    Ascendant Laeti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phaeth View Post
    There's a saying, "mind the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves," a lot of people seem to think it means "nickle-and-dime everything" but it really means feed the minnows and the whales will follow. Individually minnows don't spend much, but collectively they can spend a lot. Whales gonna whale, here or there, in this game or a different one.
    THIS ^^^^^^
    So much this!
    For the life of me I can't see why this obvious and simple fact is being ignored in order to ONLY cater to whales. Whales won't go anywhere, but adding dozens and hundreds of "minnows" to the happy crowd will not only bring in more money but also improve the reputation that, to be brutally honest, is in a very, very bad place right now.

    BRING MICRO BACK INTO MICRO TRANSACTIONS

    Enough with the overpriced random frustration generators. Please start listening to your customers.
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    5 pages long, 268 likes, and still no DEV response

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nogardgib View Post
    I opened over 30 boxes so far between my accounts and so far have not seen one mount and have only seen a few masks. That kind of RNG is what makes putting new event stuff behind an RNG paywall really disappointing.

    Slightly off topic - Don't even get me started on how they have changed the event so much it is poo compared to how fun it was years ago. Really no reason to do it except AGAIN they put a BIS or Near BIS piece of equipment locked into an event. For anyone who is not here no matter the reason, they have to wait up to a year possibly to get a chance to get caught up.
    Meant to reply sooner Nog but got busy. 100% agree it is odd about the neck and needs to be available in the world also for the rest of the year.

    I myself love the costumes being in the crate because I don't want any of the other stuff other than pets/mounts, have opened quite a few with no luck on the broom. The animations are outstanding, kudos to the dev who animated that. I also appreciate the new items that are available for direct/event currency (though I desperately need the wings on the event NPC /beg.)

    A few things that bother me though:
    • Loot tables are too big (including the dimension Landquarium box.)
    • The addition of prize tickets with another loot table that adds nothing terribly exciting.
    • Premium costumes are bound.

    Have since read continuing posts since yours Nog and we all know Devs play other games so they are more than aware of whats out there on top of their education and experience. What is confusing me as someone who also plays a ton of different games including Trions is how each Trion game does things differently on the business/store/package end.

    I get individualism is something to encourage in the entertainment industry but as a customer and someone who pays attention to every Trion game I would truly appreciate the Trion team sitting down and looking at what works for their lucrative games to apply these tried and working approaches to all their games 100% not just here and there or a little bit. Set solid working standards and try not to change so much in one year. The amount of changes this year in Rift are freaking the populace out, changes that don't seem to be adding more fun just more mystery and concern while old concerns continue.

    Which brings me back to my list:

    1. I would truly appreciate loot tables in crates being limited to the amount of items in them. Why not have two types of crates or add a different version of the mount to the Affinity table to sustain this change?

    2. Still don't understand why limited resources were used to change the opening of loot crates and the prize tickets table over using these resources for a different version of a premium mount for Affinity/dimension ui changes to help with storage/more bosses in a 3 man raid etc. This change does not increase buying loot crates, whats in them does.

    3. Making fun cosmetic items bound in a loot crate where very few need all of the items and duplicates are guaranteed makes those items less fun. Limiting customer choices is also a buzz killer. Please encourage good community so we can give these items to others who can't afford it/sell them if we want to.

    TLDR?: I don't mind costumes being in the crates its how big loot tables are in loot crates that's the issue.

  15. #75
    Prophet of Telara Nogardgib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiwi View Post
    Meant to reply sooner Nog but got busy. 100% agree it is odd about the neck and needs to be available in the world also for the rest of the year.

    I myself love the costumes being in the crate because I don't want any of the other stuff other than pets/mounts, have opened quite a few with no luck on the broom. The animations are outstanding, kudos to the dev who animated that. I also appreciate the new items that are available for direct/event currency (though I desperately need the wings on the event NPC /beg.)

    A few things that bother me though:
    • Loot tables are too big (including the dimension Landquarium box.)
    • The addition of prize tickets with another loot table that adds nothing terribly exciting.
    • Premium costumes are bound.

    Have since read continuing posts since yours Nog and we all know Devs play other games so they are more than aware of whats out there on top of their education and experience. What is confusing me as someone who also plays a ton of different games including Trions is how each Trion game does things differently on the business/store/package end.

    I get individualism is something to encourage in the entertainment industry but as a customer and someone who pays attention to every Trion game I would truly appreciate the Trion team sitting down and looking at what works for their lucrative games to apply these tried and working approaches to all their games 100% not just here and there or a little bit. Set solid working standards and try not to change so much in one year. The amount of changes this year in Rift are freaking the populace out, changes that don't seem to be adding more fun just more mystery and concern while old concerns continue.

    Which brings me back to my list:

    1. I would truly appreciate loot tables in crates being limited to the amount of items in them. Why not have two types of crates or add a different version of the mount to the Affinity table to sustain this change?

    2. Still don't understand why limited resources were used to change the opening of loot crates and the prize tickets table over using these resources for a different version of a premium mount for Affinity/dimension ui changes to help with storage/more bosses in a 3 man raid etc. This change does not increase buying loot crates, whats in them does.

    3. Making fun cosmetic items bound in a loot crate where very few need all of the items and duplicates are guaranteed makes those items less fun. Limiting customer choices is also a buzz killer. Please encourage good community so we can give these items to others who can't afford it/sell them if we want to.

    TLDR?: I don't mind costumes being in the crates its how big loot tables are in loot crates that's the issue.
    Well written and on point for sure.

    I absolutely agree with your statements. I as well would love to see some of the items boe so as to be able to supply those not fortunate enough to be able to buy crates. Mainly as you said, the loot tables in these crates are so big it makes for no funsies.

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