Thanks so much for putting the hard work of getting this game up and running again! It was always a lot of fun and I'm happy to see it's back available to the public.
My one comment/suggestion, would be to simplify the installation process for the less technically inclined. Like, package everything into one download file, make the download page not a screen of text, but just a download button, and maybe 3 simple instructions.
1. Unzip to Program Files
2. Run microsoft executable
3. Start game with Updater.exe
Also, maybe get the word out there that the game is back! (posting to other similar titles forums with download link)
YES! this is what ive been waiting for
Honestly i havent played currently cuz i wanna wait for a stable release and the progress will be reset at that time, so im pretty sure there's lots of other ppl like me out there.
What i mean by that is, dont think ppl have lost interest, trust me when u release 1.0 version and somehow make a big deal of it so ppl like me get noticed u'll have alot of players that day
It would be cool to have some - even simple (but with some nice graphics) landing site - rather than current forum
Few links is all what is needed there
- how to start playing right now (leading to forum post)
- release date (leading to forum post)
- forum (leading to forums)
The current experience of newcomer is very confusing - you can tell by various questions on discord (end even above here) how to join the game, when can I play etc.
The economy is a delicate and mind-bending thing which is undoubtedly hard to control, a job I don't envy our devs for. It takes little effort to complain about complex topics like this, much more to suggest possible solutions and unending efforts to resolve the issues for good.
Without further ado, here’s my take on the game, its progression system and economic stability.
In this post I’d like to address following topics:
The games dual currency economy gold & BFP
Upgrade disenchanting / gold rewards
Gold with no end
Inflation of BFP
The possibilities devs have to influence card prices
Possible solutions for an arising problem
Various booster packs and their pricing
The games economy
We have two currency systems in Skylords reborn: Gold and BFP. Both Gold and BFP are “earned” by simply playing the game. When I say “earned” I mean created by the server which has an infinite supply for both. At this point we need to look at those two currencies separately which is easily doable since they do not interact with each other in any way.
Gold is not tradable between players and used for upgrading cards, essentially fine-tuning and end game progression. There is nothing that stops the community to greed for gold. The more the players play, the more gold will be distributed. It’s a nice closed system which allows a steady progression for the players. For some it’s too slow, which is a point I will not discuss. However, how this gold is distributed I’d like to discuss. Without messing with the total value of upgrades too much I suggest to normalise the disenchant value. This would probably not prevent Guns of Lyr “goldruns” to be the most efficient way to farm gold but it would allow to players to play their favourite map to farm gold without feeling cheated when only common upgrades show up at the end of the map. Here are chart of the current disenchant values and another chart with my suggestion. Note: these values are not chosen at random, but with a more even distributed gold reward in mind. The target would be to not add or subtract a significant amount from the rewards over all maps combined.
These numbers are a significant gold contributor such as finishing maps, which are the main tools for devs to control “late game” progression of skylords reborn and ultimately pace the endgame grind. The system is quite beautiful since it allows a nonstop grind and constant progress to achive fully upgraded decks.
Inflation of Gold
“I’ve got every upgrade I can wish for, what do I do with the gold?”
For the 0.1% of players who have hundreds of thousands of gold and those who only play a certain deck, it’s a bit of a bummer there is no ultra-endgame usage for gold, but since this currency isn’t tradable, no one really minds.
Question for you, the reader: Should there be a currency sink (a way to delete significant amounts of currency for little effect) for gold?
One option would be additional booster packs which progressively get more expensive: first one would cost 100’000 gold, second 200’000, third 300’000 and so on. If you’re now asking yourself why anyone would ever buy 10 boosters for 5.5 million gold, then this problem does not affect you.
Battleforge points / BFP
In contrast to gold are BFPs tradable between players and somewhat limited by the rewardsystem. Let’s focus first on the big picture:
Players “earn” or more accurately generate BFP daily by completing quests and since the last big patch also with playtime. These points are used to either buy cards from other players (with the auction house or direct trade) or to buy different booster packs from the server for X amount. You don’t need to have a degree in economics to see a difference between gold and BFP: With enough time, the market will be satisfied with most common and lesser used cards. Those will lose value until they’re basically worthless. On the other hand rarer and broadly used cards will significantly rise in prise. We can see this effect right now and could see it 10 years back with EA at the controls. Only difference being, BFP could always get generated with real life currency at a fixed rate and nowadays we have a timely limited supply due to quests.
Maintaining value of BFP / Expected booster value edited 19.08.20
By tying BFP to a fixed booster price our valuable BFP will never lose their value. In a perfect economy the expected value from opening a booster is near but always below its price. The difference in value comes from taking a risk: When opening a single booster you will lose value in the big majority of cases, in some you'll go even and in rare cases you'll profit. How this risk is valued depends on the individual. In general wealthy ppl are more likely to pay for risk and the poor rather play it save by selling boosers or not buying boosters (even on discount).
We could very well calculate the expected value of a booster to confirm this by pricing every card with the actual marketprice, weighting their value by multiplying with the chance to opening this specific card in a booster and add all of them up. Why didn't I already do it you ask? Because we're not in a perfect economy, prices are hard to track by hand and fluctuate immense as well as rapitly due to the small-ish active playerbase. And lastly because of diliberate marketmanipulation/pricefixing by players who rather play the economy than the game (nothing wrong with that, I loved to do this myself in various games too).
Market liquidity edited 19.08.20
The economy will - to a certain extend - balance itself but the effects described above are getting more drastic over time. We can slow this effect down by rewarding players with booster packs directly instead of BFP. As @Ponni pointed out, a higher supply keeps the market liquid/speeds up the economy (many trades are being made because of players competing over prices and undercutting).
On the other hand we can also slow down the economy and therefore speed up the effect described before. By rewarding players with only BFP. Why that is, you ask? Well it’s a fair question to ask and a tricky one to explain. There are many additional human factors influencing this besides demand and supply. As I said, with BFP bound to booster packs they won’t ever lose value, but with more available BFP ppl tend to save their treasure. Thus slowing down the market by not spending it on cards or boosters which will lower the price of undemanded cards and raise the price of cards in high demand. Since the last patch this is what we are seeing. Note: I don’t have any data to back any of this up but would be very interested if there is some to monitor prices of certain cards to watch the effect.
I’m not sure what the reasons were behind the change to reward players with more BFP than cards directly, in my humble opinion: This is the wrong way to wander. There are different approaches to keep the economy liquid, forcing more cards instead of BFP is one of them by creating more supply and less currency in circulation. Another approach would be to trick the market: Instead of increasing the supply we can change the trade system to our wishes. By increasing the auction time significantly supply will increase due to less active players staying in the market for more than 48h (current limit for auctions). Increasing the limit from 24h to 48h was a step in the right direction. Note: I’ll talk about the prices of specific boosters later in this post, just keep reading.
Inflation of BFP
Now we can discuss inflation. This system is inflating, that is a fact. You don’t need to understand economics to see in the picture above that there are more and more cards and BFP circulating the player base. What this system needs is a currency sink: A way for players to get rid of huge amounts of currency for little upsides. Like the suggestion in the gold section of this post, this is meant for players who got it all. By giving the 1% of players a reason to spend their treasure you also even out the playing field for the rest (side note: If you think forcing players to buy more boosters is a solution, you didn’t pay enough attention). So yeah, what do you – the reader – think? How would you get rid of BFP? What’s the thing you’d pay horrendous prices for even if there’s a way less expensive alternative?
Promo cards. My suggestion will not make everyone happy, it removes the possibility for lucky players to get promo cards with boosters. Now hear me out before you burn me alive: Firstly, removing promos will rise the value of every other card in the game available through boosters since they’re still bound to the 450 BFP cost of the boosters – thus help normalise the market prises of cards. Secondly, promo cards would still be available for everyone in the store for a set amount of BFP and will be accountbound/non-tradeable. Further I suggest that the fist promo card purchased from the store (not a player, this is very important since player interactions are net 0 trades) could be somewhat reasonably priced with… let’s say 5’000 BFP. The second one will cost you significantly more: 10k BFP. The third 15k and so on. This would give even regular players the option to buy their favourite promo cards if they wish to. At the same time it would delete enormous amounts of BFP from player who already own what they want.
Additional – but way less effective – currency sinks would be significant auction house fees. Make them cost significant amounts of BFP (~5-15% of sold price a.e.). I’m completely fine with our current auction house. I think our community is a bit too small to make fees a significant contributor to deflation.
Dev market manipulation
A similar system could be implemented for all non-promo cards too. A static card shop where all cards are available to a fixed price. Those cards would of course not be accountbound and would be tradable, but their prices will be horrendous at first glance. I’ll make another example with numbers which I have not put much thought into: The vendor would sell every common card for 375 BFP, uncommons for 750 BFP, rares for 1500 BFP and ultra rares for 3000 BFP. I know, you would never ever buy an Eliminator or Kobold Inc. for 750 BFP. But what about a Shaman? Seems like a quite reasonable price, right? The point is, by creating a fixed upper limit for cards you ensure the market isn’t inflating over a set limit.
Without implementation of a currency sink (does not have to be my suggestion) there is little to nothing the devs can do to fix this games economy. The only sink we have today, are people abandoning the game and never come back. I think we can come up with something better than that.
I need to point out, reducing the amount of BFP players get from the reward system is an option, but only slows down the inevitable. Furthermore reducing the amount of BFP rewards would slow down the “early game” progression of players. When I started this beta the progression seemed a bit slow to the point I considered multiaccounting (don’t tell the devs). I think slowing this progression down even further isn’t considered an option for the devs. I cross my fingers I’m not wrong about this…
Lastly here’s how the possible economy could look like:
Various booster packs added 19.08.20
This topic is not as related to the economy as one might think, but has a couple of shared points, that's why I decided to include it here.
Since last patch more specific boosters were introduced which limit the cardpool to either a race or faction. Currently the basic booster (without any cardpool restricitons) is priced at 450 BFP, race boosters are set to 155% of the base price and faction boosters 220% respectivly. These values are open for discussion according to devs and here's my opinion to the matter.
Note: I will not discuss the set price of the basic booster nor include the booster discounts right away. The basic booster price is the backbone of this games market and not topic in this part of the post. However I will go into the upprices of the newly introduced booster packs.
Why they exist and how they are priced added 19.08.20
Adding specific boosters is comparable to the suggestion I brought up earlier to have a specific card vendor. It's an attempt help the economy balance itself more consistan.
I recap: In a perfect economy the value of the basic booster is the average value of its content times a individual risk factor. Now I make deliberately a false assumtion to make my point clear: All 539 (correct me if I'm wrong) cards in Skylords reborn have the exact same value. This would mean even with a restricted cardpool in race boosters (approximately 240) and faction boosters (approximately 110) every booster should have the base price times a factor to compensate risk. The factor rises while risk diminish by limiting the cardpool further (making the outcome more predictable).
Let's make an example: When the prices of "Harvester" and "Infect" rise to oblivion, at some point it makes more sence mathematicly to buy "Shaddow" or "Lost Souls" booster packs even when they come with a high upprice.
Conclusion added 19.08.20
Higher prices of specific boosters will push prices prices of specific cards up, while on the contrary lower prices of specific boosters pull prices of cards down.
My suggestion for risk factor and booster prices added 19.08.20
I will try to make some calculaions with an example to have an actual suggestion on how much these risk factors should be with reasonable market prices for specific cards. Unfortunatly I don't have the time right now to do so. Stay tuned.
I hope you enjoyed the read, I’m curious about your feedback.
For folks interested in virtual economies, check this YouTube channel out:
MMO Economies - How to Manage Inflation in Virtual Economies - Extra Credits
MMO Economies - Hyperinflation, Reserve Currencies & You! - Extra Credits
It's coming, the day we have all been waiting for
Amazing seeing the progress in the last months. Thougt it would take a lot of time after loosing Kubik, for working into what he did and maybe slowing down because one that took big effort and time into it is never easy to replace... but the opposite happend. You worked fast into it, didn't go low on morale and pushed on, even faster and better. Got a lot of respect for that. Strange sometimes how some negative looking events can do a positive effect sometimes
Now i wait this little time left, beeing excited and gratefull that i will see this day. Thank you so much for the great news.
Had missed that! Thanks for posting and it will for sure do some good.
But when it comes to the card I usually reference (Infect) you will still need all charges to have it competitive enough, unless you use Offering of course, but that card will then take up a slot in your deck making your options less...
Please do not ruin my arguments here!
We can take the second pricy card into discussions also, Enligthenment, which also is an Ultra rare, but comes with only 4 total charges. The changes mentioned above will have no effect here then...and sometimes that would be fine but in a lot of cases it will not help at all...
Again, the use of Offering is of course a valid option but to me this card only take a slot for other better cards.
Some good stuff in this thread. Just gonna add my two cents here:
There's a lot of comparison going on with the new and old system, but the fact of the matter is, there was barely an "old system". It was purely supposed to be a placeholder, with accelerated progression and rewards as expressed in the booster in 30 mins that was just arbitrarily created without much thought. Alas, with how the project progress turned out, and bigger priorities, we had that up as a placeholder for way too long, that now it feels like a standard that you compare new things to.
Secondly, you are comparing the new rewards with the current market prices, which is a fallacy in itself, because it is generated from the old economy with the old system. There's alot of people who have acquired all the cards they could have wanted, and do not actively participate in the market place anymore, decreasing the supply of cards, causing hyperinflation of prices, and a certain monopoly in some cards, where new sellers can set whatever price they want, which generates alot of fluctuation. This economy could for example look drastically different with a reinvigorated playerbase, and a healthy marketplace environment.
Thirdly, similarly with calculating the "worth of a booster" is a very delicate thing, since that too depends on the supply and demand of a card. As prices rise in AH, a booster will also rise in value, which should stimulate more people to buy boosters. Pure boosters should not be easily dismissed for this reason, as alot of pure cards are also very high in value. We need to make some kind of price difference between all cards boosters and specific boosters or no one would buy the other. Now the actual price difference itself is still very much up for debate of course.
I hope i shed some light on some matters, and implore you guys not to give up on us yet! This is the very first iteration of a brand new untested system. Please don't be too harsh with us!
1 Thing i just want to mention.
the game is super fun if you have all the cards you need for speedruns etc. but a grind is too. But with the current system i could make a super complex callculation if you want (It will take me some time and it will not be super accruate), to visualize how long it would take a player to even get to all the necessary cards for a bata deck (with current prices), if someone would be able to get the 880 bfp a day. I also would have to make some assumptions about how many of the ultra rare and necassary cards will be available in the market (Enlightment, infect, mine, nether warp).
But as it is now the grind is way to long to even consider to play some of the hard 4p maps (Speedruns) within the first few months. For the BG Motm it would be quite funny to see how fast players can beat the maps with unoptimized decks and nearly no upgrades. My experinece since I started playing in April 2020. was that i was able to get the cards i wanted quite fast (there were already many cards available in the market) and i did not even sell more than 10 booster in the time which would have speed up my progress. I now have all cards i want for BG speedruns and i had to play 30 minutes a day for that. I can spare 30 minutes a day but i cant spare 2 hours+ for a little faster BFP gain when there is a non functioning market and the card supply is extremly low (after the reset i assume this will happen).
1. the grind seems to be way to long and boring since you wont be able to beat fun maps or grind some speedruns to pass the time
2. The daily playtime is way to long for the amount of bfp you get
3. the new Boosters need some changes and there need to be adjustments so the market will still be supplied with cards (who plays 2+ hours to buy some overpriced cards or roll the dice and buy a booster)
4. Most players wont have the motivation to play each day since you need to beat too many maps too even get to your bfp (long times for team search not included)
Possible Solutions need to be discussed with players who want to grind a lot if you are able to implement the PVP changes these players dont really need to be implemented in the discussion since fair PVP is available for everyone
I like the idea for the catch up mechanic but with the predicted market after reset it will take months too even get a few important cards if some can maybe only play 1 or 2 times a week.
i feel kind of sad since i have a lot of time right now but dont even have the motivation to play for so long even if i have all the cards i want. I think the daily Booster was just way too fun but spending the BFP earned over hours to open 1 or 2 is just not what i want to do with my time.
There would be no extra gamemode. What there would be however is upgrade three fully charged cards considered as tome cards which can only be used in PvP (ranked and unranked). I don't see this necessarily splitting the community, as PvP players don't seem to play PvE regardless. What this would do is make PvP players not quit the game.