Improving(?) The Current State of The Kit Purchasing System

Mythless

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May 29, 2020
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This is a very off-the-wall idea regarding kit pricing that I just cooked up on a random whim, perhaps it's good perhaps it's not. We'll see I guess

In the past this kit prices has been discussed, and while there were good ideas, the general consensus seemed to be that kits simply needed to be lowered... but now I feel like the kit purchasing system overall needs a slight rework.

If we're trying to make the efforts to keep player retention, I'm now of the opinion that the current system of buying kits feels very counterproductive to that goal, at least with the current state of the server (how everytime there are gamer hours there are less and less people having access to the kits they once had compared in the past when the server was much more active). The feature of kit expiration works well on paper, but in actual practice I can see this feature thriving at its best in a place where there is already a constant flow of player activity (which Athios currently is not). That is not to say it simply only works in such environments, but it'll certainly be a greater challenge in more smaller communities like ours.

The reasons behind it seem pretty predictable:
  1. New player comes onto the server
  2. They try out a few games with the limited free kits they have
  3. Realize how many games they'd have to play to obtain a purchasable kit. Likely to quit as a "passerby player"
  4. If they stick around, they'll most definitely notice the lack of player activity, which in turn gives them more reason to quit
  5. If they gather enough credits to buy said kit, they'll soon notice it'll have an expiration date. Combined with all the factors explained above, it's extremely likely they'd quit.
I'm not suggesting the simple change of "just make kits permanent." Honestly I'm not going to explain why because I'm sure this has been discussed to many ends already. What I feel we should do is build off of this system so it gives new players a reasonable time investment.

Below is my own collection of ideas on how this credit system could be improved. All these points together make up the my collective suggestion:
  • Make kits expire on a game-by-game basis instead of a flat timer. I.e: Instead of expiring in a month, have it expire "after x games." This should be lenient towards players in times like these when the server is very inactive. Instead of the players' accounts "rotting away," I see this more like the accounts being "frozen in time," so that when they come back, they'll still be able to play the kits they love just like in the past. Thus keeping some player retention.
  • Building off the previous point, I suggest that all kits should have 1 consistent kit price range that is also of a low value (somewhere between 25 ~ 75 credits give or take). We've had this discussion in the past from @Krojous about all kits having the same exact price, and I think under the right circumstances it can prove to be very fruitful. Combined with the previous feature I suggest, about kits expiring after x games, we could instead manipulate the value of both the price and the timer so that the composition of kits could still be controlled.
    • Example: Assuming 50 Credits is in the middle in terms of pricing, we could say a more common kit like Frost should last about, say, 15 games and costs 25 credits. While a more expensive kit like Ghost should only last like 5 games and costs 50 credits. Although these are popcorn numbers and are subject to change, what should be taken away from these values is that it is very unsustainable to simply only play the more expensive Ghost kit after its purchase, compared to a cheaper kit like Frost. This enforces players to inevitably cycle through different kits, which I think should be a great benefit for both the general server and the individual to give them more opportunities to try different kits (since every kit will generally have the same low prices now).
  • Players should be able to spend credits to extend their kit ownership. This is just a general QoL feature that should make its way with the above suggestion. After all, it would get quite annoying to keep rebuying kits that have a lot less uses. The price and timer extension should be exactly the same as the kit's initial price & timer (example using the popcorn values of Ghost: every extension costs 50 credits each and adds +5 games). Players should be unable to purchase kit extensions if their current kit timer exceeds a certain high value (maybe like 50 games?)
  • Make the fact that kits expire immediately accessible, for all players to see. I think it's best to lay everything on the table so that the player can decide for themselves whether they'd be willing to sink their time into the server. Currently there is no way to know that "kits expire" unless the player purchases a kit for the first time. To deal with that potential disappointment/discontent expressed by such players, we could include in the kits description something like "Lasts x games after purchase" right below the kit price. Of course when you purchase that kit, it should also display the amount of uses left on it similar to the current expiration timer.
 
Last edited:

toomuchzelda

Active member
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May 30, 2020
Messages
56
I agree with how expiring kits is not working, but unlike what you said, I don't think it works either on paper or in practice.

From what I remember, the main argument was that it keeps a reason for players to keep playing: to grind for kits. But I think there's something being forgotten when that argument is made.

In most 'grindy' games that get people addicted and have consistent players online, you don't lose the progress that you've made. Ever. Until there's some great reset like survival / factions servers have every once in a while, or instead there's constantly new things being added to grind for, one example I can think of is Fortnite's Battle Pass having new, exclusive things to obtain every season, while the things you earned in previous seasons aren't lost.

When you play a bunch of games and finally buy a kit, from my own experience, it feels disappointing when you lose it. It's not so bad if you've been able to sink in too many hours every day, and have a bunch of credits. But, if you came back from a hiatus, say you got busy with studying for a month (in my case), it's a big downer to have lost what you played so much for, and it's really discouraging.

I agree with Mythless' prediction of the average new player experience. I can't know for sure how they feel since I'm not a new player but I think this is most likely. There are plenty of other games on other servers they can enjoy to the fullest without having to sink so much of their time into. They most likely won't put in so much time for what is just another Minecraft minigame once they see how expensive kits are.

I think the minimum standard for a successfully "attained and retained new player" is something like a player that enjoys the server and comes on to play it every so often, whenever they please, like maybe once every 2 weeks or so. I think I shouldn't need to say it, but the current system of expiring kits is extremely counter-productive to this end. We should not be (indirectly) asking them to play all the time, all the time, all the time, if they want to enjoy all the fun different gameplay experiences this game has to offer. I'm not saying kits have to be free either (although I would prefer it), but the game shouldn't throw away whatever they may have earned on their little play time just because they didn't play for long enough. That will only discourage them from playing more when they come back. They should not be punished for not playing.

As for the active players that grind it out and get kits, I really don't think they're playing because the kit grind keeps them motivated. It's almost certainly something else that they play for (the community, the fun of the game itself, something). No one thinks "Yeah, I'm gonna play 70 games (assuming they win every one of them, and no boosters) and buy a 350 credits kit, and only own it for a month!".

I think Mythless' first suggestion is a great step to mitigate this problem. You won't be punished for not playing, and you get to decide how you use those kit-usages on your own terms. Personally, I'd find this helpful since I always like to play Demolitions on Rival Castles and rarely on other maps. I'd feel much more inclined to actually buy Demolitions now, since I wouldn't feel like it's being wasted since I don't play it all the time, and of course, the great benefit of not losing it over a long period of inactivity.

I also agree with what Mythless said about high prices discouraging players. If we want people like that theoretical once every two weeks player I made up above, kits should be easier to obtain, thus cheaper. Otherwise it might take too long and they might not care for it. But I'm not super sure on this one, I think they should be a little bit cheaper but it's something someone else can decide.

As for the mixing for kit prices and how many uses you get, I think it's a cool idea. And being able to clearly see how many uses (or :vomit: TIME) you get before you buy the kit is crucial. As for extending kit usage/time, I'm neutral on that one.

I might've repeated what Mythless said already in this post, but that's what I think and feel about this.
 
Last edited:

Tyrue

Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2020
Messages
26
I don't think that this would work too well tbh. Unless it was given perfect circumstances.

The problem I see with this is that the way it works now benefits the people that play the most because they can earn the credits. If you play ghost for 5 games as you said and win every game, you will only have 25 credits after that, meaning that it wouldn't be worth it.

If there would be a way to combine the system that we have now with your system I think it would work well because it would benefit the people that play more so that they can earn more credits than they spend, and benefit people that don't play as much because their kits won't expire as easily.

The main reason why I see how this could be needed is that people don't play as often as they used to. If more people played then they would have enough credits and there would be enough games to manage it.
 

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