The Good, the Bad, the Ugly: Promotions

TiurTiur ProducerMember, Administrator, Immortal Posts: 1,019 admin
Alright, let's pull back the curtain a bit on being Producer. I don't want to be chained to a dev-blog, but I would like you the players having insight into, and input into, the Producery things I end up doing. First, let's talk promotions.

These are what I was warned about when discussing the job. The intention is to push a constant monthly drip of content and boost monthly sales, giving reasons for people to keep coming back and doing new things other than a big storyline event. While largely directed by IRE (such as chests, giftbags, etc), I have control over the content of these promotions. So each month I will be given a task, and I have to find a way to make it new; see the molds, minipet tokens, pelt hoods, etc. It gets tougher as we go because you and I both don't want to see promos devolve into "Oh, what minipets is Tiur going to add this month?"

So let's try this: What do you like about the promotions? Do you hate certain ones? What would you like to see in them? Do you not like the random prize tables? I know that I personally got really sick of seeing grimstim pills when I wanted relic pieces.

In exchange for such blatant tapping of market data, I'll share with you my thought process on May's promotions:

Giftbags should be less value than chests, but ultimately run the same ratio: we want them tied to what a credit sale would give you. Generally that means that you want the prizes to average out as a win in the favor of the players, but not quite enough that no one wants credits anymore. That's not a ton of room to play around in, eh? In this case I decided to go with a series of new 5 credit items, which allows me to ensure that they show up frequently alongside other items without decreasing the odds for major and minor prizes (it's around 20% for the new stuff, and I had to knock down odds for things like voxes and styles).

Minipet merge tokens sounded like fun. Minipets don't do enough, so I thought this added a nice function, and also helped reduce our MASSIVE stock of minipets that never get summoned after being uncaged. The sad little guys just sitting there in storage depressed me.

Molds addressed a specific problem with relics, while also reducing the staggering amount of unwanted pieces in the game. The specific problem is that when we offer a relic, people end up with a bunch of useless pieces the moment that relic sale ends. Essentially, good money or effort just poofs because a date changed. We can offer a mold and it always has value, so expect to see more of those paired to new relics. Even if you don't finish the relic, a mold gives you a solid chance to do so on your own time.

So, go! Tell me about promotions.


  • SibattiSibatti Mamba dur Naya Amidst vibrant flora and treesMember Posts: 287 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I got a solution for your minipet problem....

    Minipet battles.
  • SeirSeir Seein' All the Things Getting high off your emotionMember Posts: 992 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Sibatti said:

    I got a solution for your minipet problem....

    Minipet battles.

    To... to the death?

  • TiurTiur Producer Member, Administrator, Immortal Posts: 1,019 admin
    I'll make stuff like that a future topic then. I could ramble, but I'd like to focus on the topic for now. Next time I'll do a chat on my decision making process for features like that.
  • KodaKoda Member Posts: 159 ✭✭✭
    edited May 2017
    The themed promos have been solid, and it feels like new things/features are coming out regularly with them. The promo tie in there helps set the vibe for the focus of the month, and it's been super entertaining. Did it entice me to buy more as a result? Not really, but thematically it was neat.

    Whether it's the thematic nature of it that seems neat, or just the fact that new things are being introduced and happening is beyond me, but it's working regardless, and it keeps hopes up that some new feature is always waiting right around the corner as the events unfold.

    Promos themselves: I'd been away from things for a while, but I'll admit that even before that I wasn't one to be shelling out a lot of actual money for IG things because, frankly, it can be a bit expensive compared to what you actually get IG in exchange. When you consider that you pay $40 for your character to have a permanent tattoo, or $104 for a single trans skill, it seems almost ridiculous really compared to other things you could be spending said money on. 8 trans skills is my mortgage payment!

    Last month was a different story with the chests. Each time buying chests I calculated the total credit value I got for the 5 chest purchase ($24.99?) after tradeins and selling pieces, and then looked to see how much money that many credits would have cost; every single time I ended up with well over what that $25 would have gotten me if I bought credits outright (sometimes even double or triple) and that helped it feel more like a wise investment where I ended up winning out on the end. More bang for my buck, etc.

    On the downside, market saturation with relic pieces was a bit of a bummer when it came to trying to sell them, to the point where every time I got a relic piece for things that people by and large didn't seem to care about I just traded them in. Frankly the umpteen sigils and whatnot got a bit annoying after a bit, since they mostly just seemed to clog up inventory space. Cures were neat because they're presently still pretty pricey, but in the future it'd be cooler to potentially see maybe a tiny bit more gold added and less of what's obviously just there for filler so you don't feel like you left with nothing.

    tl;dr promos are most tempting to me when I feel I've got a good chance of walking out feeling like I made a good investment that offered a higher return than I could regularly get instead of buying words like I actually did. A promo like the Vakmut track wouldn't really tempt me personally because that's a lot more of an actual gamble than I'm comfortable with; at least with giftbags and chests you know you're going to get something.
  • SibattiSibatti Mamba dur Naya Amidst vibrant flora and treesMember Posts: 287 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I would like it if we removed tradeskill items (curatives, sigils, etc.) from giftbags/chests, to avoid tanking those economies.
  • AishiaAishia Queen Bee Member Posts: 2,271 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I know they don't exactly increase the BOTTOM LINE but I think the sort of freebee promos can really increase retention and customer loyalty. Login rewards/daily quest stuff. Some things I remember from the past were sort of "one and done" like that thing where all the bandits appeared everywhere with the temporary artifacts you could get from bashing them! (Give people a taste of an artifact short term and it might convince them to get it later!)\

    If you haven't read thru all the old announce posts for ideas yet on what HAS BEEN DONE already or what would bear re-doing there is a lot of lightly worked soil in the past. There's a few things that stick out like, 1st/2nd iterations of RACIAL RELICS/basic relics from before the relic system even existed, that have been out of circulation so long new ones are like nonentities. (Horns/claws/starcharts,etc)

    Loop doop woop.
  • TiurTiur Producer Member, Administrator, Immortal Posts: 1,019 admin
    @Koda I'm really hoping that the crucibles and molds help the relic market. I purposefully left them as tradeable and sellable. I may lay off actual pieces here and there.

    @Sibatti I'll look at doing that, actually. I might have to tweak odds, but it's a fair point and I should have thought of it.

    @Aishia I assure you, IRE keeps track of these things. I'm trying to be The New Guy and handle lots of new things without retreading.
  • AishiaAishia Queen Bee Member Posts: 2,271 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I mean there's a lot of things people have been like BEGGING for re-releases of because most of the people who play now haven't even had a shot at them!
  • LinLin Blackbird The MoongladeMember Posts: 1,707 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Aishia said:

    I mean there's a lot of things people have been like BEGGING for re-releases of because most of the people who play now haven't even had a shot at them!

    Give us another chance at racial relics and I'll spend so much damn money.
  • KerrynKerryn The Black Flagon InnMember Posts: 270 ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 2017
    I'd love it if I could find pieces of salvage for my antiqued artifacts. I've not seen any in a long time and it gives us three artifacts to 'level up' with some neat little bonuses. Any chance that promo could return or the pieces added to chests or giftbags? Something?

  • RhyotRhyot BloodlochMember Posts: 536 ✭✭✭✭
    Sibatti said:

    I got a solution for your minipet problem....

    Minipet battles.

    Slight derail: To piggy back on this (Because I love the idea (I did a lot of PetPet battles on Neopets)) it would also be a good gold sink.

    Introduce stats into the minipets: Str/Con/Speed/Dex

    Str (obvious) determines how hard you hit
    Con (obvious) determines how much you can tank
    Speed determines how often you hit (this would have a direct correlation with strength. The faster you strike, the less damage you do and vice-versa)
    Dex (obvious) determines your chance to dodge/counter-attack.

    Getting back onto the rail train:

    Favorite promos: Vakmut racing, Chests, and Antiquated Artifacts. Giftbags were ok until you started getting nothing but sigils, amulets, and orbs from them. Which, I mean its free stuff, so can't complain. But it does lower the ratio of credit value to them.

    I'm kind of sick of all the racial relics and relic pieces because all they do is clutter my inventory. I think I have something like 4k+ items in my inventory and 90% of them are relic pieces.


    Side note:

    Since this might be something to work when people don't have the money to buy promos but instead are sitting on 4M+ gold (you know, cause we're all about fixing the 'economy').... can you take a look at fixing the prizebags, @Tiur?

  • KalakKalak Member Posts: 274 ✭✭✭
    Personally speaking, mounts, minipets and other fancy fluff items never move me for a purchase. And while people go crazy over relic items (though only Relic Items I find worthy to acquire seemed like Eyes of the Observer or Starchart because of their practical applications but unsure if they have any remaining pieces at all) I am truly not that interested in most of them. My thought regarding relic items, snowflake mounts, gold provided by OOC methods and etc. is that they actually try to band-aid the stagnant ingame economy of the game.

    Now of course, I will not go on and on about economy. Just removal of gold, tradeskill items and such from promotional stuff would be more encouraging of ingame activities. Though to be honest, sigil rewards will not impact economy too much because most people has access to Enchantments via Multiclassing. If we are serious about fixing economy ushering Enchantments towards being a standalone Mercantile Skillset should have priority in medium-term plans.

    And finally, what would I like to see in them? Well just keep fluff-lovers happy enough to support the game while providing more meaty stuff elsewhere. That would be my only angle regarding promotions. Also werebadger skins for future.
  • SeirSeir Seein' All the Things Getting high off your emotionMember Posts: 992 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited May 2017
    To piggy back off of @Lin, I would also love a chance at a good chunk of the racial relics and some of the older ones as I was pretty much inactive when they came out. Additionally, I think us doing lesson sales more often would be a net positive for people to try alts more or obtain new classes. More customization options, like Shamans being able to customize their familiars (like Sents can customize their animals) would also be great.
  • KodaKoda Member Posts: 159 ✭✭✭
    Agree with the customization options thing for sure. The current customization thing is kinda wonky with customization certs coming in giftbags again.

    I'm more than happy to spend 50 credits + cert to change something and have it customized, and if I get a cert and want to do that I'll buy said 50 credits no problem, but currently it seems your certificates get entirely ignored if you're changing the item type, which is a bit disheartening.

    ..Buuuut that may be a subject for another thread, maybe.
  • PhoeneciaPhoenecia The Merchant of Esterport Somewhere in AtticaMember Posts: 778 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Customization certs have been excluded from changing item type for a while now. 

    Anyway, in terms of my favourite promos? The Wheel of Fates is always a good one as it allows everyone a chance to win something even if they can't buy credits, and having the option to buy skull tokens helps with sales. 

    There was also a promo a few years ago that was a login sort of thing too. You had to log in for a certain number of days within the month and you got some kind of reward.

    Another promo I liked recently was the stocking promo back in December. I bought quite a few for myself, but almost a third of what I bought I hung up for other people. I also happened to get extremely lucky and won an ironwall ring despite buying the lower-valued stockings. Part of why I liked this promo was because it was a nice surprise when someone else put up a stocking for you.

    Also, as some people have mentioned, it would be nice if some older relics or limited run artifacts were cycled in again (I would kill for a chance to be able to get the Merchants Logbook *hint hint*)
  • MarienaMariena By a lake. Member Posts: 616 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I personally loved the login daily and receive X at the end promos.

  • FezzixFezzix Member Posts: 324 ✭✭✭✭
    Promos are typically appealing, but I would like to talk about the contents of Cryptic Chests since they are both a promo item and can be bought with Iron Coins:

    1) Items in the chests have a certain "weight" to them. For example, if you open a chest and get credits or iron coins, the contents of the chest will likely be meager, i.e. curatives or sigils. In regards to the "weight" of items in Cryptic Chests, I don't like the Crystal of Elusion (gives a one time, 24 hour Hood of Elusion artifact bonus). If a Crystal of Elusion is in a chest, the rest of the contents are always terrible, and the PROMO TRADEIN value of one of the crystals is only 5 credits. Could the "weight" or tradein value on these crystals be changed?

    2) Relic pieces found in chests aren't varied enough. I will open chests and find relic pieces from the most recently released relics, i.e. sense backlash, trick coin, angled mirror, but I never see pieces from other sets that aren't retired. This (for me) takes away the appeal in buying any new Cryptic Chests for Iron Coins since I already know what relic pieces I'll get, if any. I understand that you likely want to give a greater proc rate to new relic pieces so that people can more easily assemble them during a Chest promo month, but after a promo ends, could the proc rate for relics be evened out?
  • TinaTina Member Posts: 87 ✭✭✭
    I would be completely fine if you made every promotion nothing but new minipets. Will never get tired of them, keep them coming.
  • TiurTiur Producer Member, Administrator, Immortal Posts: 1,019 admin
    edited May 2017
    So this has been super helpful, especially the specific callbacks to promos you enjoyed. Thank you!

    @Tina I am pretty sure you are the only one... but it doesn't hurt to have at least one each go.

    @Fezzix That's kinda how they're supposed to work. You roll a prize, and they descend from there. If we upped the prize tradein values, some other values would have to lower in response. Also, the chests always only contain the most recent relics. I'm not positive why we do that.

    @Mariena I like those too! Now that I know I'm not the only one, I'll have some strength behind pushing for those here and there.

    @Phoenecia That's a sound point about the stockings. I think social and helpful promos might be just the thing. Depending on what next month's structure is, I might be able to make it soon. I'll rumble a few ideas around and try to make promos have a 'help your friends' function more often.

    @Koda @Seir @Kerryn @Lin @Aishia We're looking at that! See, some of the old relics are just broken, or too good. We are considering doing things like pricing molds somewhere around what the relics would be worth if they were artifacts. Be specific and I might take pity for the refresh...

    The salvage stuff is really iffy, if there weren't only two or three fully powered gauntlets, I would want to delete them.

    @Rhyot @Kalak I'm working on something unrelated to promos to deal with gold. Let's say I really, really hate giftbags for making the economy worse. Also, I might put up some people's choice molds for gold at some point.

    Oh my, I hope that's everyone...

    Continuing on the explanations! Next up comes a refresh. I need to reorganize and learn from the previous half-month, while also adding new content to keep everyone interested. This is when it starts to feel unsustainable, but here's hopin! I think I like refreshes the least because I either feel bad for not opening the month with my best idea, or I feel sad for picking up the pieces left on the table that I didn't like earlier.

    For this month, I'll change the token formulas a bit to be more forgiving, hopefully getting them to a state they can live forever in. I'll redo the relics, and add something new. I'll also add another stack of minipets to fuel the merging.

    Now let's add questions... if I put in a rarer token that ensured whatever appeared was not something you already have, does that attract attention?

    And for those of you that stuck with me through this rambling post, a clue:

    Minipet merging is largely based off of turning two big family minipets into one minipet from a poorly represented family.

    And let me clarify: I didn't make the minipet formulae mean on purpose. I just have lessons learned now. For instance, it's lame that I made same families not make things. So, that'll change.
  • KodaKoda Member Posts: 159 ✭✭✭
    edited May 2017
    Is the refresh mandated by the Big Bosses? It may be an interesting experiment to see what the results would be like if you rolled out the whole promo's worth of minipets/relics/etc. at the start of the month rather than forcing yourself to go through a split/refresh halfway through. It's cool that right now it's a learning experience for you and offers the chance to adjust some things, but who's to say adjustments like the token changes, etc. you mentioned can't happen at any time?

    I can see how a mid-month refresh would theoretically bump up sales out of renewed interest if somebody sees something new that sparks their attention, but in the same vein when you're talking about relics that each have X pieces to form the final product, more total products initially = more relic pieces = more scarcity = less chances people are going to finalize the relic sets they want by the second week of the month and require a refresh. Not to mention potentially helping relieve some burnout for you, though at the cost of making the first of the month be that looming date where it's all due.

    Theoretically, having a middle of the month reset be something consistent could also encourage players to hoard their credits/hold off on purchases to wait until the middle of the month to see if there's something they want more than whatever's in the current list, which from a business perspective is obviously no bueno with the goal being to get people to blow through it sooner rather than later so that they can buy more sooner.

    Also, this is by no means related to the promotion(s) at all, but can I just say that dear god this kind of transparency is wonderful.
  • SatomiSatomi Member Posts: 321 ✭✭✭
    I'm pretty sure @Tina and like.. maybe one or two other people have as many (or more) Minipets than me. In fact, I know for sure Tina has more. Dunno about the rest (pretty sure Didi and I are close to neck-n-neck.) Wants more O.O

  • FezzixFezzix Member Posts: 324 ✭✭✭✭
    Antiquated Artifacts and Salvage are pretty good. I would honestly be fine with the Scattering buff from ylem gauntlets to be toned down, since it's a tremendously fast way of making gold (and didn't change after the nerfs happened). Pretty sure @Rhyot and @Trikal bashing provide larger gold incomes for Bloodloch and Spinesreach than all other sources combined.
  • TiurTiur Producer Member, Administrator, Immortal Posts: 1,019 admin
    @Fezzix Wait, I didn't nerf the gauntlet enough? Do tell.
  • FezzixFezzix Member Posts: 324 ✭✭✭✭
    Tiur said:

    @Fezzix Wait, I didn't nerf the gauntlet enough? Do tell.

    Whoops. Haven't played since yesterday afternoon, didn't see the changelog.
  • SatomiSatomi Member Posts: 321 ✭✭✭
    @Fezzix Shhhh, @Tiur is like a bloodhound! Can't hide nothing from him! -body covers EZ gold sources-

  • TiurTiur Producer Member, Administrator, Immortal Posts: 1,019 admin
    edited May 2017
    @Satomi Hmmm... [area name edited out] for gold, eh? -steeple-
  • SatomiSatomi Member Posts: 321 ✭✭✭
    >.> <.< I like minipets.

  • FezzixFezzix Member Posts: 324 ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 2017
    @Tiur Okay, after testing this a couple times, I got three mist spawns out of a hundred dead mobs. A 50% chance for double mist absorption is too big a nerf for the 1200 credits that had to be spent to get the gauntlet that high, I think.

    I'd be happy with a 25% chance mist drop rate from every mob killed instead of 100% like it used to be. For 1200 credits, going from 100+ mists in 5 minutes to around 5 or 6 just doesn't seem worth it.

    EDIT: Or increase the double ylem to 100% and make the buff last a full hour, maybe. Other ylem buffs like Wisdom last an hour for similar costs.
  • AnnabethAnnabeth AtlantaMember Posts: 12 ✭✭
    Lesson sales are always awesome because classes are so expensive and lesson heavy. I would like to personally see less expensive lesson sales. Currently it cost close to $250 dollars to tri trans a class and that is a bit much im my opinion. Not sure how others feel about the weight of lessons in that regard. Also straight up artifact sales are also nice, nothing better than just cashing out on a artifact and saving a few 100 dollars in the process.
  • ZailaZaila Pacific TimeMember Posts: 547 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I belated nod in the "I miss the "log in X-number-of-days for 60 minutes and get a cool, free artifact at the end of the month" in agreement with @Mariena

    Those promotions had me log on more when I was kinda "eh" about logging in, often got me back into playing-even if I only intended to idle for 60 minutes I'd end up doing stuff anyway. At the time they were popular I was way too poor to actually pay money into the game and while I realize that isn't netting any extra bucks, but since I stuck around, I've spent a decent hunk of money since.
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