Business Model SG

After reading a big part of all the forum posts I will conclude that it SEEMS SG is adjusting the strategy to raise their revenue. The reason behind this is unknown to me and guessing about it has little relevance.

It has struck me that the general opinion says that change is necessary, so that players remain hooked instead of leaving the game. Two of some common requested changes related to this are:

1. Make it easier/cheaper to obtain 4/5 heroes, with in particular Event heroes
Players announce that they no longer wish to make gem purchases, since the ‘‘slot machine’’ generally yields little value. Mainly the costs related to multiple 10x summons.

2. Make it easier/cheaper to obtain ascension items, with in particular the items that are used to fully ascend 4/5 heroes.
This is completely in relation to obtaining these heroes in the first place. Once players finally receive a wanted hero, they do not want to take a year to maximize this hero’s strength. Many writings also show that the prices in general are increased.

These elements are two key-elements of the game. It is therfore entirely logical that SG will always want to earn money from it. At this moment it is quite possible that SG has went the wrong way in trying to make more revenue. Especially by trying to stimulate sales related to these two elements, while the return on investment for players has been reduced. Apparently, the success of summoning the wanted hero is reduced a lot and very small. The negativity regarding obtaining the necessary ascension items runs parallel to this.

Several forum posts contain (regularly) very good ideas that can be a solution for the requested changes in these key-elements. SG has to pay attention to this in a transparant manner. This topic Shortlist of Frequent Requests (Ruled Out & Considering - Please Read Before Posting!) is a good example. However, it can be much better and more regular. I do believe that SG can set better priorities (requests that probably make it into the game v requests that are being taken into consideration).

I also read that the development team is small. I myself worked temporarily in an office of a sports association (70,000 members) with 2 full-time employees and 3 part-time employees. Due to limited financial means and few opportunities to divide tasks, you are forced to prioritize projects and postpone or reject much requested changes. The projects that receive priority must be very relevant for your members or very quickly implementable and useful. And that is not always the case with SG (adding new avatars as reward V adding ascension items as rewards…really?).

Now in further posts, I would like to see how SG can generate a nice and stable income from E&P in an acceptable way. Let’s think along with them in terms of revenue strategy and place our ideas within 1 topic.

Why would I like to see other ways for them to earn money? So that they are not forced to earn tons on the two key-elements of the game and perhaps can increase our chances to obtain them more easily/often.

A number of posts have already been written about this. For example: Subscription service for new heroes - #24 by Dante2377, Acending materials question - #26 by Rook and Ellilea’s Combined List: Quests, Achievements, Challenges, Play Incentives & Other Junk - #6 by Rook. The last post is not so much focused on increasing SG’s revenue, but the various options that are listed could also be used (more extensively) to increase SG’s revenue. However I still think it’s one of the best posts I have read.

Searching through the forum I got inspired by other players. The next ideas I came up with in order to increase SG’s revenue, but at the same time are worth it for us players. Some of them can become related to eachother. Feel free to write here whatever is on your mind.

1. Ascension items summons
Let me start with saying that @Tunafish gave me a headstart:

Link to this topic: My Breakdown on E&P

The idea is nice, but leaning strongly towards pure P2W. I like the ‘’gambling’’ system of summoning heroes, because it is necessary to maintain the rarity factor of heroes and ascension materials. Packages with guaranteed ascension materials already exist. I would not create more guaranteed opportunities, but I’ll show examples of this later in this post. Creating distinction between players is what keeps a lot of us motivated to grow (competition).

Yes, droprates of ascension materials and 4/5* / Event hero summon chances are low. This either needs to be fixed or it has to be made up for when you didn’t obtain the (in general) wanted heroes. Here I’m not going to write down my thoughts about fixing summon systems or how to make up for truly disappointing summon attempts. This could be taken into a different topic, but definitely counts for ascension material summons as well.

However, I’m in favor of implementing the exact same gambling system for ascension materials. Players who don’t spend gems on hero summons have the opportunity to spend them on ascension summons.

2. Alchemy Lab function
A wonderful post written by @Juzam.

The entire topic has many great ideas and I really hope eventually we will be able to craft ascension materials. Taking SG’s wallet into consideration I came up with the idea of not considering the alchemy lab as a building in your camp, but as a function. It’s basically the same idea, but then accessible through the menu bar and use at the cost of gems.

Example guaranteed:
‘’Convert 5x warm capes into 1 poison dart at the cost of 100 gems’’

Example random (less P2W):
“Convert 5x warm capes into 1 random 4* ascension material at the cost of 50 gems”

The possibility to make it available for all ascension item tiers sounds great to me. Cheaper offers with smaller amounts of gems can be implemented this way, so that it is also accessible for the small spenders.

3. Converting 4/5 star heroes
If the current gambling system continues to exist, perhaps the ‘’Alchemy Lab’’ idea can also be used regarding heroes.

‘’Convert 20x blue 3* heroes into 1 random blue 4* hero at the cost of 100 gems’’
‘’Convert 10x blue 4* heroes into 1 random blue 5* at the cost of 200 gems’’
‘’Convert 20x blue 3* heroes into 1 blue 4* hero by choice at the cost of 150 gems’’
“Convert 10x blue 4* heroes into 1 blue 5* hero by choice at the cost of 300 gems”

To prevent your hero-bench from overflowing with heroes it is possible to use the same system as the treasure chests. Feed 1 hero to the chest and the counter changes from 0/10 to 1/10. The cheaper offers are also useful for these transactions.

4. Event heroes / HoTM
-looks around to see where his creativity went to-

Perhaps the “Alchemy lab’’ idea again, but I would not implement a system which provides guaranteed Event / HoTM heroes. I believe that there should be a certain degree of distinction between the payers and non-payers. I think having a chance to obtain them through summons is sufficient enough. The odds might need to be adjusted or a better balance between heroesis necessary. Anyway, I’m not here to talk about this.

5. Avatars + special effect
Another head start presented by @Mr.Sabaton helped me here.

Link to the topic: Raid mastery - #2 by JonahTheBard

I think this is a brilliant idea. To prevent each player from using the same avatar, a visual effect to any Avatar can be added based on the special effect. Ellilea already wrote about visual effects and demonstrated what it could look like in her post, which is mentioned above. In addition to the possible effects in Mr.Sabaton’s message, I also see the following effects as useful for (every) type of player:

  • Increase the experience points gained from map levels
  • Obtain x % of health after each round during map levels (counter the lack of healers when F2P)
  • Obtain x % of mana after each round during map levels
  • Accelerate the crafting of combat items in your forges
  • Chance of a bonus item while crafting combat items in your forges, applies on every attempt
  • Increase the items or item account obtained as reward for map levels / raiding
  • Increase the amount of food or iron obtained as reward for map levels / raiding
  • Chance of a bonus hero while training heroes in your training camps (yes for all training levels; HOTM system)
  • Chance of a bonus 3/4* ascension item while training heroes in your training camps

All effects are effective immediatly up on using them. Only one at a time.

Cooldown timers: To prevent effects becoming overpowered it is possible to add cooldown timers to (some of) these effects. For example: after using an effect for 12-48 hours a cooldown of 72 hours applies.

Obtained through: purchases, guaranteed rewards for events, rare random rewards for maplevels etc. Beginners can have an increased chance of obtaining, for example, the XP or Healing special effect as a reward. It is possible to play around with increased chances based on player level, strength of the effect etc. It is also possible to make several effects rotate just as featured shop packages do.

Price: starting from 100 gems (pretty fast achievable when you have just started playing the game) up to 4800 gems.

6. Cosmetic rewards v Shop
Ellilea has mentioned all sorts of ways in which cosmetic items can be acquired. Visit her forum post to see what might be possible (stronghold decoration, avatar decoration etc.). In addition to getting these items for free as rewards, you can of course make ‘‘premium’’ cosmetic items available for purchase. Just as the “Avatar + effect” idea, these decorations can also include minor effects.

7. Gems
As soon as you use the ideas above (or any other, against gem payment), it is necessary to return gems more frequently as a reward. Or else the changes are only in favour of payers and thus a bigger shift to P2W is accomplished. In the post above written by Ellilea a couple of options for extra rewards are listed, which can also be used to make obtaining gems more frequent.

By now I have lost my creativity to come up with suitable ways to obtain more gems, with payment for the sake of SG. Perhaps a discount for loyal players:

“Players who have been playing for 1 month receive 3% discount on their purchases.”
“Players who have been playing for 3 months receive 5% discount on their purchases.”
“Players who have been playing for 6 months receive 10% discount on their purchases.”
“Players who have been playing for 1 year or more receive 15% discount on their purchases.”

All variables (such as prices, item amount, item type, discount % etc) in this post are just examples and definitely debatable. Don’t add too much value too these examples. I have been using gems as prices since it’s most of the time the in-game currency. Rarely we stumble upon offers for straight up money.

I’m curious to read other ideas which could create more revenue for SG and are beneficial for us players, without raising the P2W aspect a lot. Everything to give a bit more freedom and play in percentages to obtaining the two key elements of the game.

SG is adjusting the strategy to raise their revenue. The reason behind this is unknown to me and guessing about it has little relevance.

Well here’s the reason: raise their revenue :wink:

I just thought of another way to make profit from purely cosmetic aspects, although I guess it’s not as easy as making pins, backgrounds and new avatars - I mean what if you could buy stuff for your heroes, like different outfits, armors, weapons… I realize that it would cause some problems with artwork and all that stuff, but if people spend on avatars I’m sure they would spend more on some cool battle armor for their heroes.

This came to my head afetr reading about Fortnite game, which is apparently completely free to play with no pay2win aspects (don’t quote me on that, never played, just read somewhere) and yet it makes gazillions of dollars a month on visual customization of players’ characters.

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Very well constructed and intelligently written. Good work and much more useful than a simple rant or complaint.

Suggesting new revenue streams as well as ‘freebies’ is a much more realistic way of engaging with a business.