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Thread: why so expensive?

  1. #11
    Pathfinder
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    If you don't mind me saying so MOD i don't think your reply was helpful and is quite patronising. SHARPIE has a valid point which makes sound marketing sense. I too am reluctant to spend so much having done so to the tune od £85 recently. The game is probably one of the best around and with a little thought it could be tweaked a little to encourage more players. More players = more income.
    CRUMBLES

  2. #12
    Original Serf
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    Quote Originally Posted by MOD_Morgy321 View Post
    no one forseing you to spend any thing in this game so if you dont want to you free not to
    you obviously didn't read/understand the post, the question isn't to spend or not to spend. gbchelper makes a valid point that many people want to spend but the price of gems is too high. if they were cheaper many more people would be likley to spend.

  3. #13
    Enlightened Sage
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    It i all relative

    Some items are relatively cheap - like extra licenses for 65 gems per license. Buy a few of those and you have enough to build your island- these are items that almost everyone NEEDS to get from the shop (at least part of the lot you can buy) and everyone can get em FOR FREE (by leveling and saving up the weekly bonus)

    Some items are exptremely expensive and cater to lazy people/people tired of the rebuilding. They are extremely expensive and are there to cream off the top- so not expected to be bought/used by a large proportion of the players (call em cash exclusive items)

    Some are in between and have in between prices.

    So to say the game is too expensive/gemitems are overpriced is just as much a misrepresentation as the critisism on the post of mod morgy is. The truth is somewhere in between. There are plenty of non overpriced items- just look at the sheer amount of noble deeds that are traded, extra licenses that have been bought etc. So sure some fluff is expensive and some extra goodies are expensive- so what- if you go to the jeweler you do not complain he is expensive cause he sells some 20k jewelry as well as some 200 jewelry. No one tells you that you HAVE to buy the 20k items

    Even the veteran general can be gotten for free (yes - only once a year but still if you dont want to fork out the 25 euros in gems for him, you can get him at the easter event :P)

    The decisions how to tweak the pricing and items to sell is up to BB, best you can hope is to make a case which makes sense to them and makes clear it is an improvement for player retention and money spent on the game- Statements of lowering prices across the board or making gems cheaper just wont fit that model as the reality is that with a very limited outlay of money, youc an get enough gems to have a quickly built up well running economy (which doesnt need the 100's of euros in gems spent on it) If you spent around the same you spent on buying a boxed game, you should in theory be set - all other gems bought are just convenience items really- which i don't mind to be more expensive although if they were cheaper they would sell more of em (but how much more is always the big question so which model makes the most money in the long run)

  4. #14
    Keen Commentor
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    It's obvious that the gem shop items are in tiers. There are some must-have items every active player highly desires, and are quite affordable compared to the benefits they provide. The building licenses and a veteran general are both a must, and even though the veteran has a price tag of 5k gems, if a player asked me what to spend 10k gems on, I'd say vet + license packs.

    On the other hand, there are luxury items that don't produce much value, but spare the player from time-consuming, mundane tasks like field building (with the silo). Players with a lower budget won't pay for these as they aren't crucially needed for doing well in the game. Or, if they have reached an otherwise strong economy, they can buy them on the market with in-game resources in stead of real money.

    The logic behind the luxury items is, I believe, this: an adult with a day job and a social/family life has less time, but more money, to spend on the game. Such a player would therefore pay for these items in order to spend the limited time available on adventures, trading etc., not on rebuilding fields and wells. It's logical to be selling these items with a premium as opposed to the other shop items. Thus u get the players spending little buying the best deals from the shop, but also lure those who have more money to also spend it. Even when this premium is taken into account, there can still be a case when shop items are too expensive. This is not only based on opinions on what someone thinks is a high or a low price; an item is too expensive when it seizes to benefit at all and in any way, if the gems are spent on different items. Let me exemplify:

    Copper mine - 20k gems
    Reason to buy - Saves player from sending out geo and rebuilding mines daily. Eases production bottleneck caused by limited copper deposits.
    Output: At lv5 ~2000 ore daily, 4000 if buffed

    The problem is, copper ore can be bought from other players essentially for the same benefits. Buying ore will save a player from building the mines himself, and he will no longer be limited by the number of deposits on his island. I will be using somewhat rough price estimates, but small price differences shouldn't have an impact on the overall picture:

    1k gems = 10 noble deeds = 4000gc = 150k copper ore

    In order for an endless copper mine to produce 150k copper ore, it needs to run 38 days constantly buffed. that would require close to a hundred swapped baskets, which is a chore in itself. Furthermore, 100 baskets could be sold for an additional 20k copper ore. With a rough extrapolation we can say that an endless copper mine needs to run 1,5 months to 'earn' 1k gems. With the cost of 20k, a copper mine would need to run 30 months to break even with the alternative of just selling gem stuff and buying ore on the market. That's 2,5 years just to break even. Purchasing ore also saves the cost of upgrading the mine to lv5.

    When servers launch, resources may have much higher prices than what I've presented above. Even if different servers have different price levels, after about 6 months servers tend to become mature enough for prices of materials to significantly drop; newbie coins have been spent and players start to have a high enough economy where they produce materials in large quantities. This supply of materials, and shortage of coins, leads to low material prices coin-wise and higher prices of gem items, which are more scarce than in-game resources. So it can safely be argued that an endless copper mine takes 2-3 years to break even with it's cost with respect to it's benefit. The mine can't be argued to save any trouble compared to purchasing ore; it'd need to be buffed constantly, whereas getting 4000 ore daily requires just 3x 40k transactions per month. Not really a heavy, constantly repeating chore I dare to say. Considering that players spending gems in large quantities are known to reach lv50 in less than 6 months, there remains no argument on behalf of investing on an item that will take several years before it starts adding any value to it's initial cost.

    If this isn't enough to convince you that some gem items are so overpriced that there actually remains no logical reason to get one, then ask yourself this: How many endless copper mines have you seen when visiting other players' islands? I've seen gem pits, silos, watermills and nobles in the amounts that must have cost 300-500 euros; I am yet to run into a single endless copper mine... I trust that this is because, when someone invests hundreds of euros, they will think what they are getting for it. Apparently no one so far has found the mine to give them anything.

  5. #15
    Erudite Pioneer
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    i have seen islands with 2 endless coppermines on em- so they are there

    Same uestion- how many people with a 100 million necklace have u seen last month on the street

    it is all relative and some will buy and some wont and some items might be overpriced and some might be on the low side

    The thing is, there are no blanket statement that can be applied to gem pricing- hence there is no real blanket treason to lower the prices of gems across the board- which is what is proposed in this thread. You focus on one item- with incomplete information and therefore incorrect information. That still doesnt warrant a lowering of prices across the board- at best a re evaluation of the mine price

    As to the endless mines- if gem vouchers are around i want to bet that there will be a lot more of those sold as well, they might be on the bottom of the desirability pile after nobles, licenses, gem pit (maybe), watermills and silos.

  6. #16
    Keen Commentor
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    I wasn't arguing for a general reduction on gem prices. And I acknowledge that the information I use (e.g. prices on resources in my example) will always be more or less fluctuating or arguable.

    My primary point was to show that the gem prices of items can be evaluated, not just by opinion, but by the cost-benefit ratio they provide. I can understand and consider views to the opposite, but too often I just find players naively stating things like "If u don't like the price, no one's forcing u to buy it, quit complaining". The point made earlier in this thread arguing for lower gem prices is valid and well argued. Since players find concrete benefit in e.g. having the veteran, there is a large number of players who have put cash on the table to get him. Offering items to players at a price they are actually willing to pay for them seems like a working business logic to me.

    There are players with tens of silos, tens of watermills, easily a hundred noble deeds, the veteran, and so on. My calculation on the copper mine shows a 30 month ROI which can be argued to an extent, but the general idea remains valid: Too little value for a too high a cost. Taking the price down from 20k gems to 2k gems, making the mine pay itself back in 3 months in stead of 30, would easily put it on the same line with nobles and other popular gem items. How would it hurt BB if all of the many players who currently are willing to pay for the silos, watermills etc. would buy 6k more gems to get the maximum 3 copper mines? The price would have to be reduced to a tenth, but sales would rise by a hundredfold (again, an estimate with my limited information; but the general idea is nonetheless valid).

    The endless copper mine just works as an example, and separate calculations would need to be made for each item; But the well-made arguments I see made for items being overpriced (like copper mines, building slots, instant upgrades etc) too often get dismissed with no-brainer one-liners like "if u don't like it then don't buy it". Such 'counter-arguments' are not convincing nor constructing, just very frustrating.

    (As a side note to the necklace reference: Do consider the completely different nature of the items we are discussing here. BB is selling digital goods that are free to reproduce to any numbers, and people buy them to get benefits from them in the game. The shop has decorations that would serve a more similar purpose with jewelry, and I have no interest in arguing what is the correct price for looking fancy. A jewel worth millions is most likely a rare antique collector's item, none of which applies to BB's merchandise. Furthermore, the logic I'm after works in real life just as well; If u can sell a sports car to a few people and make a 200k profit, or sell lots of regular cars for a 5k profit each, what business model should a car manufacturer pursue? Do you think Toyota will quit selling regular-priced cars just because there are a few people in the world who are willing to pay much more for a car? Well, they won't. But that's what BB is currently doing.)

  7. #17
    Glorious Graduate Egrcfirth's Avatar
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    I've spent about £50 on this game. I've been playin' for over a year. I'd say TSO is value for money. Although it's still in beta I've happily spent money on extra building licences as the game, despite some minor problems is as good as a finished game I can buy for £45. I'm eagerly lookin' forward to the new features promised for 2013. You never know I might spend more money on TSO!
    Settling isn't just for fun

  8. #18
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    Gems are far too expensive period. So for me to get a Gem Pit its going to cost me $120.00AU. Even at Australian ripoff prices I can buy a AAA title for that with change. I then have to wait for the gem pit to produce the gems over a long time to become self sustaining.

    Even a Veteran General is $30AU going by the pricing packages.

    Don't get me wrong I like TSO and have been a Settlers fan since getting settlers on my Amiga 500. I am certainly not adverse to spending money as I have played several sub mmo's and currently play GW2 and buy gems under their in game store system. I also own 120+ games on steam alone.

    My time is limited so I am the player type that will spend money but my rule is I compare the value as to what I receive in other titles similar and otherwise and for the same price I can pick up as what BB is attempting to charge I can pick up far superior build quality games.

    I have seen people complain about the prices before and I find it amusing that a game is touted as PEGI 7 its target audience could never hope to afford anything at all using the real money system unless they are born with a silver spoon in their mouth.

    Anyways I hope that this is read in the spirit it is given. I hope BB will look at re balancing the Gem system to actually be more inclusive of its player base and actually offer value real for money considering that players are buying completely virtual items in a browser based game.

  9. #19
    Pathfinder
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    you always get some dumbo asking dumb questions,, i've been playing for 3years and haven't spent a dime, penny, cent etc... LMAO @ gbchelper.. i wonder if they are still spending ?

  10. #20
    Original Serf
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    Because most people don't spend.. I think..

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