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 Post subject: On the business model
 Post Posted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 12:12 pm 
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In case anyone is wondering, the current people in charge are planning to keep the business model more or less unchanged. I think this is a bad idea; the poor choice of a business model is a large part of the reason why Jed failed with the game.

TFW has always been pretty hard on not only the free players, but almost as much on the ones who pay no more than 10$ to 20$. They are not able to participate in all the activity and the “ecosystem” long term, unless they keep paying more every month or dedicate their lives to the game completely.

Yes, there are a few game companies that seem to be making a lot of money with the strategy of trying to make all the players pay them huge amounts. What are the chances of TFW succeeding in this, without both phenomenal luck and backing of a huge company like WotC or FFG or an amazingly successful kickstarter? There are also a lot of game companies (or even just lone coders!) who make some -and sometimes a lot of money by either A) making all the players spend a bit of money (like $5 to $10) on the game after trying a trial version or B) getting a large and active player base and either offer them some bonuses for money.

Both A and B models (introduced in the above paragraph) can be made to fit TFW well, and while the "free-to-play" model of TFW has some similarities to B, there is a philosophical difference; in the latter it is assumed that almost everyone will play for free for a while and their experience is made almost as enjoyable as possible, adding some extra comfort or coolness for the people who pay a bit or a lot. That approach makes for a larger community of players, all of who are fully participating in almost all activity. This would be crucial for all aspects of TFW. Even during the best times, when there were loads of players around, the market was never active enough and leagues (worst for these) and most events were never popular enough to really work well.

EDIT (by myself):I removed some rant-like parts and some overly negative things.


Last edited by headshot on Mon Jul 22, 2013 6:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: On the business model
 Post Posted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 1:01 pm 
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Having said all that, the crew does have a few ideas that have potential: the beginner clash with a gold reward being limited to beginners, the planned gold rewards for reaching certain numbers of wins and the ability to trade (not through the market) limited to only the players who paid.

However, the 200 win limit for BC is a bit problematic, because you will get to 200 fast if you try to get phantoms. If you manage to win, 10 g for it doesn't help your progress much towards being able to participate in domain league or domain keep cards for instance. The amount of gold awarded could be for example 30 g, while the price of gold would be 1/5 of what it is now. This would let free players feel like they are making some progress, while buying gold would be more tempting than now. EC could have a reward of 50 g for example.

The rewards for certain amounts of wins are very small, 20g for 500 and 1000 wins [EDIT by headshot: this was totally wrong, see Altren's reply] or something like that. That's way overdoing preventing abuse. Even the current AI takes a few minutes to beat most of the time. In fact, there is no need at all for being so afraid of abuse with the trade-limit. There could even be starting gold and bigger rewards for winning games. If that would make people pay the 20$ to be able to trade, wouldn't that be a good thing?

I don't know if 20$ is a good amount. What I do know is, that the market would have to be very active, to make the system work. This once again would require people having more gold and cards to buy and sell. The tax in the market is also kind of silly, it's discouraging activity and should probably be removed.

There is absolutely no need at all to be stingy with gold rewards nor to try to suck gold back into the system by taxing the market and events, while the trade-limit is in place. I suppose one reason why Jed was so stingy with the gold and why he introduced the tax, was gold accumulating to some players who then sell it to others cheaper than what the devs are charging. Again, this isn't an issue at all with the $20 requirement for trade.


Last edited by headshot on Mon Jul 22, 2013 6:31 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: On the business model
 Post Posted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 4:39 pm 
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Hi. First of all you mixed several facts about free players and rewards. And misunderstood me about general business model regarding to new players.

After takeover we never did a single move to make new players or free players life harder. In fact we are trying to give more, but doing this with caution.
We are trying to give more and implementing various things to give free players more ways to live.
About gold rewards - it is 20g for 50 and 100 wins (not 500 and 1000) and also 10g for weekly activity. (plus some gold and commons for completing campaigns) But this doesn't mean, that there won't be more ways to gain gold. Those I listed are already completed and we need to see how this would go before adding more. And need to figure other good ways and proper amounts.

Acorns rewards according to our measures would allow player with average activity gain 60 phantom cards (not random, but those you decided to buy) per 20 days interval - that is enough for most decks.

About possibility to trade - it is there to prevent cheating with alt accounts, so we can give more free stuff to new players without worrying about abusing the system. It limits only direct trade that have no fees and limits.

Taxes are required as opposite to inflation. Without taxes it would be way harder to make game economy be stable.

Ladder with gold rewards were easily abusable, that's why it was changed. It was making new players more sad and it is was worse than having no way to gain gold through it.

And after all, private forum and information there is not public, because some things need to stay private until they are not made public or forgotten as bad ideas. Some ideas could be bad or silly, that's why I'm trying to share them first, but not with everyone.


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 Post subject: Re: On the business model
 Post Posted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 6:54 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2009 9:12 am
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When talking about bad changes, I meant things that were done before takeover, by the previous crew. I believe they tried to address the problems the game was having in the wrong way. I also think the inability to do direct (non-market) trade for those newer accounts who haven't bought anything from the server is necessary and probably the best and simplest way to prevent abuse.

Apparently I had misunderstood some things, and the changes you mention in your post seem pretty good, though I disagree on the necessity of taxes.


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 Post subject: Re: On the business model
 Post Posted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 11:08 am 
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I take back a lot of what I said. The reward system is actually pretty nice now and being able to buy any phantom you want is great. Active players are able to sustain phantoms worth several hundred acorns (or gold), which lets people try out different kinds of decks or fill holes in their collections.


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