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Mynoduesp

The economy - for those who have plenty of time at hands

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Posted (edited)

Introduction

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

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.

image.png.a6844c6974909ba614beedbec4080ea7.png

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:

image.png.5dc7a082864699cc8a9491d182e91c47.png

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?

Currency sinks

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.

Conclusion

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:

image.png.7e30433da4bacc414d769f7c2fd80899.png

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.

Regards
Myno

 

References

For folks interested in virtual economies, check this YouTube channel out:

MMO Economies - How to Manage Inflation in Virtual Economies - Extra Credits
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W39TtF14i8I

MMO Economies - Hyperinflation, Reserve Currencies & You! - Extra Credits
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sumZLwFXJqE

Edited by Mynoduesp
see timestamps
Timestopper, wanky, Ponni and 5 others like this

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, Mynoduesp said:

Introduction

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

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

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.

image.png.a6844c6974909ba614beedbec4080ea7.png

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:

image.png.5dc7a082864699cc8a9491d182e91c47.png

 

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

By tying BFP to a fixed booster price our valuable BFP will never ever lose all their value, since those chase cards (promos a.e.) will always be available with enough tries ripping through boosters. The economy will to a certain extend balance itself (an unopened booster with cost X never loses its value, on average the expected value of the cards in set booster will be X), but the effects are getting more drastic over time.
We can slow this effect down by rewarding players with booster packs directly instead of BFP. On the other hand we can also speed it up 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 reasoning behind the change was, but in my humble opinion: This is the wrong way to wander. 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?

Currency sinks

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.

Conclusion

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:

image.png.7e30433da4bacc414d769f7c2fd80899.png

 

Well written and I agree on most things you state above. Particularly, I really like the idea of spending gold to buy boosters, in that way the huge pile of gold I have generated will come to some use, around 15 boosters with your suggestion. Also, I like the promo idea and your shop idea having fixed prices for each rarity of cards. With that last one there would be no point then to have Infect out for 6969 which is the last highest price I have seen...and there were 5 of them out for that price...

One thing though which you are not drilling down on too much is card supply. I think this is an equally important part of the economy, because if there are less (or sometime no) products to buy then prices will inflate (that is my belief anyway...). The thought I have had here has been, what you touch upon above, that boosters (or perhaps cards) should be the main source of rewards. I do not really have any figures to set here, but with the previous reward system you earned a booster + 150 BFP per day which equals 75% booster and 25% BFP (calculated in total BFP value...). On top of my head, without any evidence to back it up, I would suggest reward system become the following, 80% booster and 20% bfp. But, what would be your thought on this, as you seem to have looked into the matter on other games and stuff?

// Ponni

 

Edited by Ponni
Corrected the calculation on booster/bfp ratio which initially was wrong...

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@Ponni Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I'll be updating the part about rewardsystem whenever I have the time, you're right I didnt cover this very well.

About your suggestion rewards being weighted more towards boosters/cards directly instead of BFP (like right now): Yes, I do think this would keep the market "alive", especially with a rather small player base it would make sence forcing more cards into circulation than BFP.

7 hours ago, Ponni said:

as you seem to have looked into the matter on other games and stuff?

My personal interests include topics like math, economy, games, coputer science and last but not least psychology. This topic is "a perfect storm" for my brain. :D

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this is a great overview of the Battleforge economy. The real question is how to "calibrate" or adjust the system. You have offered several proposals, but maybe it is up to devs to tell what can be done easily vs what is difficult to implement. I really like artificial ceilings for all cards by them being available on the market separately, but I suspect this is not an easy change?

Personally, I would propose to focus on new player experience rather on endgame sinks (as such a long term players who own everything usually find some non-economy aspect of the game interesting, e.g. PvP ladder).  I dont want to say that they are not relevant, but new players are more numerous and also - will be the much prevailing demographic after the reset for quite some time.

The current adjustment of the reward system has slowed the progression of new players by two effects - less BFP awarded and the fact that people tend to not convert BFP to boosters, thus heading to market and inflating the prices and making the game even slower for them - probably opposite of what was the original intention?

Based on Discord there are some actions in preparation - maybe it might be interesting to get your opinion about those.

-  fully upgraded PvP decks - to me it this really feels quite unsystematic, it will increase the spread between the cheap and expensive cards even more. As it will render some portion of the booster drop not interesting (every player will have them fully charged), therefore people collecting the remaining cards, which will push the price more higher. So if you happen to like some another deck than you will have to spend much more time to build it

- Adjustment of card charges system (e.g. from 3-3-3-3 to 6-3-2-1 or whatever, I do not remember exact numbers). This is quite interesting, because this will reduce the demand for cards and will therefore push the price of all cards lower. Plus making the experience better for new players. What it might cause (for some) is weak feel of progression in (late)mid game. I personally have never liked the charges mechanic anyway, it really feels more like USD sink than anything else.

 

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25 minutes ago, VolvoxGlobator said:

- Adjustment of card charges system (e.g. from 3-3-3-3 to 6-3-2-1 or whatever, I do not remember exact numbers). This is quite interesting, because this will reduce the demand for cards and will therefore push the price of all cards lower. Plus making the experience better for new players. What it might cause (for some) is weak feel of progression in (late)mid game. I personally have never liked the charges mechanic anyway, it really feels more like USD sink than anything else.

 

I think this is a good idea and it will help in a lot of cases, for example pricy multiple charge cards like Infect, Shaman, Nether Warp, Frost Mage, Firedancer, etc. But this will not address it for some other pricy cards, eg, the ones with only 1 charge per card, like Enlightenment, Wheel of Gifts, Harvester, Overlord, etc. So, this one will only be a partial "fix"....

Agreeing though with your point of charges, I think it is partly what you are saying a way to make money in the past forcing people to buy boosters/bfp for real money making sure in the end the game creator have a profitable product and partly to mimic card trading games like MtG where 4 cards is the max limit of a specfic card you can bring into a deck. Cant say for sure though as I obviously was not part of Phenomic or EA... 

 

On 8/19/2020 at 1:01 AM, Mynoduesp said:

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.

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.

One thing I have noted after the release is with the AH changes, where you now can have up to 100 cards on sale and then also post multiple cards of the same sort at the same time is excellent and also the extension to 48 hours has proved good. I have noticed that I can sell more cards (usually at very reasonable prices! :)) and in the end I guess this could help get things right. But I do not think this will help with those extreme cards, unless the supply of cards becomes extreme. Because people are used to, both from the past and now, that some cards should be extremely pricy.

// Ponni

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Posted (edited)

Frist of all thanks for the review and thoughts on this matter.

14 hours ago, VolvoxGlobator said:

The real question is how to "calibrate" or adjust the system. You have offered several proposals, but maybe it is up to devs to tell what can be done easily vs what is difficult to implement. I really like artificial ceilings for all cards by them being available on the market separately, but I suspect this is not an easy change?

Unfortunatly low effort adjustments will not solve a problem of inflation permanently. A.e. adjusting the price of boosters is the main lever the devs can pull and push to slow down or speed up the economy. This change would take minutes. Adjustments with similar effect would be tweaking the numbers for rewards, easily doable, but without solving the problem at hands.
Probably the least time consuming suggestion for a sink would be the promo store. I'd imagine extending auctions even further (above 48h) wouldn't take long either though it's not a real solution either.

14 hours ago, VolvoxGlobator said:

I would propose to focus on new player experience rather on endgame sinks (as such a long term players who own everything usually find some non-economy aspect of the game interesting, e.g. PvP ladder).  I dont want to say that they are not relevant, but new players are more numerous and also - will be the much prevailing demographic after the reset for quite some time.

Your point is valid, the game should be fun to play while still progressing. I did not dig into progression very much other than saying that my experience "was slow on beta launch". With the newly implemented BFP reward system it should feel better. If you want to progress more, you'll have to play more. How fast/slow this progression is, is up to the devs ultimatly with tweaking some numbers like those mentioned above. If the game lauches with the current system I wouldn't be surprised that many regular players would complain (those with an average playtime of 30 to 60 minutes) for the game being to slow to progress. To be fair, ppl always complain.

The rewardsystem is and its balancing is a whole other topic, I need to think about it more deeply and maybe add another part to my original post.

14 hours ago, VolvoxGlobator said:

The current adjustment of the reward system has slowed the progression of new players by two effects - less BFP awarded and the fact that people tend to not convert BFP to boosters, thus heading to market and inflating the prices and making the game even slower for them - probably opposite of what was the original intention?

I think so too.

14 hours ago, VolvoxGlobator said:

Based on Discord there are some actions in preparation - maybe it might be interesting to get your opinion about those.

.Keeping track of discussions is a nightmare on discord. My hopes and dreams for an active skylords reborn subreddit I had to burry like 3 years ago. It's simply a superior discussion template than discord (or this forum to be frank).

14 hours ago, VolvoxGlobator said:

-  fully upgraded PvP decks - to me it this really feels quite unsystematic, it will increase the spread between the cheap and expensive cards even more. As it will render some portion of the booster drop not interesting (every player will have them fully charged), therefore people collecting the remaining cards, which will push the price more higher. So if you happen to like some another deck than you will have to spend much more time to build it

I remember to have replyed to this probosal somewhere else but didn't manage to dig it up.

PvP has a tiny playerbase compared to the rest of the game. I think @Kubik mentioned something along the line of 3% somewhen..? Creating an "even" playing field for PvP is essential in my opinion and preconstructed, fully upgreaded decks is the way to go. I think there will only be 4 preconstructed, pure and unperfect decks to chose from which PvP players incentivise to build their own decks for their own style.

Without a doubt it will feel kind of stupid playing fine decks to scrable up part for your own initialy worse deck. But it's way more fun to actualy compete in a match than watch your oponent with a more upgreaded deck crush you while you wait for charges or simply dont have a specific card requirement yet.

14 hours ago, VolvoxGlobator said:

- Adjustment of card charges system (e.g. from 3-3-3-3 to 6-3-2-1 or whatever, I do not remember exact numbers). This is quite interesting, because this will reduce the demand for cards and will therefore push the price of all cards lower. Plus making the experience better for new players. What it might cause (for some) is weak feel of progression in (late)mid game. I personally have never liked the charges mechanic anyway, it really feels more like USD sink than anything else.

I've seen this one, I like it a lot. A slight correction on your understanding for this though:

This change will not reduce the demand of cards long term (which is good) and rather than lowering all card prices it will normalise prices: Booster packs will not change their value, when cards have lower price due to lower initial demand the purchasing power of BFP rises lowering the need of purchasing boosters and ultimatly lowering supply.

However this changed makes lower budget players more powerful and the aquirement of the fist card significantly more meaningful than before (excepion cards with 1 charge). It's in some way a boost in progression. But I do not expect card prices (Shaman as example) to drop from this change.

Regards
Myno

Edited by Mynoduesp

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8 hours ago, Mynoduesp said:

.Keeping track of discussions is a nightmare on discord. My hopes and dreams for an active skylords reborn subreddit I had to burry like 3 years ago. It's simply a superior discussion template than discord (or this forum to be frank).

 

Oh, Discord is nightmare for such stuff... perhaps a little bit slower paced discussions on the balancing server are manageble, but all it takes two guys straying a little bit off topic and you got 4 pages worth of random talk.

While I personally like reddit, I dont think that it is good platform for balancing discussions. The topics fade away too quickly. Honestly, this forum is probably best out of main platforms...

The worst one is obviously ingame chat :-D

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9 hours ago, VolvoxGlobator said:

-  fully upgraded PvP decks - to me it this really feels quite unsystematic, it will increase the spread between the cheap and expensive cards even more. As it will render some portion of the booster drop not interesting (every player will have them fully charged), therefore people collecting the remaining cards, which will push the price more higher. So if you happen to like some another deck than you will have to spend much more time to build it 

Iit will make some of expensive cards cheaper because players who prefer only PvP won't need anymore to buy charges for their core cards so market supply will increase.

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30 minutes ago, Loriens said:

Iit will make some of expensive cards cheaper because players who prefer only PvP won't need anymore to buy charges for their core cards so market supply will increase.

The effect will be of similar kind, but stronger, as with 3000BFP code with original game - you got some default cards, like Shaman. Everyone had them, (well, at least one of those) so the demand and price was much smaller.

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, Loriens said:

Iit will make some of expensive cards cheaper because players who prefer only PvP won't need anymore to buy charges for their core cards so market supply will increase.

Possibly so, but I also see a risk with this, eg. a large chunk of players in the community will not have the incentive to participate much in the economy over time. As the reward system now only generates BFP, I fear these guys will not buy boosters (hopefully some will), but with the steady BFP income they have they can buy their cards straight off the market. This, to me, would actually decrease the market supply. Now, the BFP they spend can of course be used to buy boosters at sellers side and possibly the effect of it is lesser than I fear.

// Ponni

Edited by Ponni

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On 8/24/2020 at 9:30 AM, VolvoxGlobator said:

It would be interesting to see how many boosters are opened per week now vs with old system (normalized per play time)

I had the same thought and asked one of the devs separately on this. But, the data for this is not possible to extract as it is currently not being tracked.

// Ponni 

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@Ponni Which developer did you ask? Getting the amount of opened boosters is easy. Getting the play time for the last x days is also possible since the reserves update, but unfortunatly not for the period before the update.

Opened boosters between 11.08 and 25.08: 14065

Opened boosters between 22.07 and 04.08: 13986

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Posted (edited)
56 minutes ago, Zyna said:

@Ponni Which developer did you ask? Getting the amount of opened boosters is easy. Getting the play time for the last x days is also possible since the reserves update, but unfortunatly not for the period before the update.

Opened boosters between 11.08 and 25.08: 14065

Opened boosters between 22.07 and 04.08: 13986

Oh, ok, good news then and thanks for posting this!!

So the number of boosters opened for a period before and after is pretty much the same, interesting, not at all what I would have thought! :)

I guess it would be good to track this over time to see if the trend is the same even after 4, 8 and 12 weeks before and beyond. Also, you mention above that playtime before update is not possibly to retrieve, but is there any other counts on users logged in or such to see any details on this before update?

// Ponni

Edited by Ponni

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3 hours ago, Zyna said:

@Ponni Which developer did you ask? Getting the amount of opened boosters is easy. Getting the play time for the last x days is also possible since the reserves update, but unfortunatly not for the period before the update.

Opened boosters between 11.08 and 25.08: 14065

Opened boosters between 22.07 and 04.08: 13986

This is amazing, we can speculate as much as we want, but all what matters is data. Thanks for the input!

Anymore interesting numbers you might throw in?

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@Zyna can you also add how much :bf: was given to players in same time frames? and How much of that :bf: was converted to boosters (how much of that 14065 boosters was actually bought, because I remember there was players that have over 600 boosters), and to how many players the :bf: was given?

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Posted (edited)

Boosters bought between 22.07 and 04.08: 1,567

The cost of these boosters: 1,567 * 450BFP = 705,150 BFP

BFP earned with quests between 22.07 and 04.08: 1,077,675 BFP

 

Boosters bought between 11.08 and 25.08: 8,799

All editions Booster with discount: 3310

All editions Booster without discount: 3505

Mixed editions Booster with discount: 500

Mixed editions Booster without discount: 391

Pure edition Booster with discount: 516

Pure edition Booster without discount: 577

The cost of these boosters: 4,261,750 BFP

BFP earned with quests between 11.08 and 25.08: 1,745,425 BFP

BFP earned with the daily boost + stored boost between 11.08 and 25.08: 2,950,013 BFP

BFP earned with the reserves between 11.08 and 25.08: 492,486 BFP

BFP earned total between 11.08 and 25.08: 5,187,924 BFP

 

Amount of players who bought at least x boosters between 11.08 and 25.08:

Amount of players who bought at least one booster: 1481

Amount of players who bought at least two boosters: 1066

Amount of players who bought at least three boosters: 827

Amount of players who bought at least four boosters: 684

Amount of players who bought at least five boosters: 569

Amount of players who bought at least six boosters: 477

Amount of players who bought at least seven boosters: 406

Amount of players who bought at least eight boosters: 345

Amount of players who bought at least nine boosters: 302

Amount of players who bought at least ten boosters: 218

Amount of players who bought at least twelve boosters: 188

Amount of players who bought at least fourteen boosters: 143

Amount of players who bought at least sixteen boosters: 96

Amount of players who bought at least eighteen boosters: 82

Amount of players who bought at least twenty boosters: 68

 

Amount of players who earned x BFP from the daily boost and reserves between 11.08 and 25.08:

Amount of players who earned any BFP via the daily boost and reserves: 2632

Amount of players who earned at least 250 BFP: 2001

Amount of players who earned at least 500 BFP: 1595

Amount of players who earned at least 750 BFP: 1348

Amount of players who earned at least 1000 BFP: 1171

Amount of players who earned at least 1500 BFP: 878

Amount of players who earned at least 2000 BFP: 667

Amount of players who earned at least 3000 BFP: 354

Amount of players who earned at least 4000 BFP: 148

Amount of players who earned at least 5000 BFP: 38

Amount of players who earned at least 6000 BFP: 9

Amount of players who earned at least 7000 BFP: 3

Edited by Zyna
Added stats for different boosters
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1 minute ago, Mynoduesp said:

Thank you very much, I'll enjoy looking through it all ❤️

Feel free to request any other data :rolleyes:

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Posted (edited)

so at least 2632 played in the two weeks, less than 2000 (75%) was able to buy a booster less 1348 (51%) would be able to buy 2 boosters in 2 weeks.

"Opened boosters between 22.07 and 04.08: 13986" 1,567 of those was bought -> about 12 419 from quests

"Opened boosters between 11.08 and 25.08: 14065" 8,799 of those bought -> more than 5 266 was bought with :bf: aquirer during that time frame

5000+ :bf: 38 player vs 631+ players not getting even 250 :bf:

:thinking: really interesting numbers. Will you also compute total match time for us from same time frames?

Edited by Kubik

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Quite interesting is to observe the tail of the data. It seems that at the most richmost-end there are more opened boosters than earned BFP. There are only 38 players with 5000+ earning, yet there are 143 players who opened 14+ boosters ( 5000/350 is just above 14. And I am assuming the discount for every booster - not possible, but just to be on the safe side)

so there are approx. 100 players who either eat through their BFP reserves or have some pretty good income from trading :-D

EAT THE RICH

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wasn't that BFP numbers only from rewards? And if you factor in that some people get over 500 :bf: from a single match it does not seem so crazy that there are 3 players that get over 500 :bf: per day on average.

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Posted (edited)
On 8/25/2020 at 10:19 PM, Zyna said:

Feel free to request any other data :rolleyes:

Thanks @Zyna, excellent!

I think the data provided is perhaps a bit limited in time to draw any real conclusions. However I see some trends which I think needs to be monitored over time to see what effects the new system has. For me they are:

Negative:
- 56% of the players earning BFP decided to buy a booster.
- ~60% of the players earned enough to buy at least 1 booster during whole period.
- 1,4% of the players earned enough to buy 14 boosters (comparable to the old reward system)
- 5% decided to buy 14 boosters (comparable to old reward system)
- 13% of the players earned enough over a 2 week period to buy one Infect card (with price set at 3000 BFP, which is low compared to AH now but maybe a bit high looking at the average price over time).
- 51% of the players earned enough over a 2 week period to buy one Shaman card (with price set at 750 BFP, which is sort of on par compared to AH now, not sure how it has been historically).
- Looking at the median earnings in the data provided (eg. 2000 BFP in earnings over a 2 week period) I would say one can only get a half-decent deck for that, it would get you by but not more. If I look at one of my favourite speedrunning decks (for rPvE) time to get a one charge deck with 20 unique cards would be something like 4,5 weeks, see edit below..., for the median player to get, then multiply by 2 for each set of charges added...a bit better for me personally as I think I am among those 38 players earning more than 5000 BFP for this period... :)

Positive:
- There seem to be more users online as the BFP earned by quests is up by 23%. But this for me is also a negative one, because with more users I would have hoped some numbers above to be higher.
- Number of boosters opened have not changed. However, there is a mismatch in boosters bought (8799) and opened (14065) after update which I think needs some analysis. 

So, for me not many positive figures here yet, but as I said above right now they are only trends and hopefully some will improve over time.

// Ponni

Edit, recalculation of the last negative point, 750 BFP over two weeks will earn a half-half-decent deck, it would probably not get you by...my favourite deck then would take ~12 weeks to compile for the median player...that is way too long...still for me it is ok...

Edited by Ponni
Mixed up some figures...

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:O whre you get that median of 2000 :bf:

Quote

Amount of players who earned any BFP via the daily boost and reserves: 2632

Amount of players who earned at least 250 BFP: 2001

Amount of players who earned at least 500 BFP: 1595 

Amount of players who earned at least 750 BFP: 1348

means that the median is bellow 750 :bf: over 2 weeks -> less than 54 :bf: per day

well the mismatch in opened vs bought booster could simply be because players have 100s unopened boosters.

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