Proposal – Pricing Model for Cosmic Brawl

Update: Based on the awesome suggestions from the community in the comments to this post, we’ve defined a new pricing model.

As explained in last week’s post – in order for Cosmic Brawl development to continue, we have to define a new pricing model that meets the following criteria:

  1. We must have a clear pricing model – and players should get a tangible benefit for spending money.
  2. Pricing model can’t be based on nice-to-have items (cosmetics) only.
  3. Not Pay-to-Win (P2W) – i.e. players don’t get any advantage during a match based on how much money they spend in the game.
  4. All cards are free, and available as soon as you download the game.
  5. Keep the game free-to-play.

As explained by Maile and others in their comments to last week’s post, keeping the game free-to-play is essential in attracting a large player base. Which in turn is essential for a successful PvP game.

So let’s take a look at free-to-play pricing models.

Free-to-Play (F2P) Pricing Models

Based on our research, there seem to be only three types of F2P models that have been proven viable in modern video games.

  1. Grind-to-Play (Pay-to-Win)
    • Example: Most digital CCGs, League of Legends
  2. Wait-to-Play
    • Example: Clash of Clans, Candy Crush
    • Technically, Clash of Clans uses both models i.e. Wait-to-Play and Grind-to-Play.
  3. Cosmetics Only

Let’s take a deeper look at these three models.

Grind-to-Play (Pay-to-Win)

You can play an unlimited amount of these games without paying any money.

However, certain characters/cards (usually including the most powerful ones) are locked away.

You can unlock them by grinding a lot (usually an insane amount beyond the reach of most adults with jobs), or pay to unlock them.

Paying gives you access to the most powerful characters/cards – which in turn help you in winning matches. This is why many players (but not all) consider these games Pay-to-Win.

Wait-to-Play

In these games, you get access to all the characters without paying any money.

However, there is an artificial delay mechanic built into the game. This delay can take many forms, but usually involves waiting a certain amount of time before being able to play another match.

You can either wait out the delay, or pay to skip the delay.

Paying removes the delay, but doesn’t help you in winning matches. As a result, a game that only uses Wait-to-Play mechanic can avoid being Pay-to-Win.

Cosmetics Only

In these games, you get access to all the characters and unlimited play without paying any money.

These games make money by selling cosmetics – i.e. items that make your characters look cooler but don’t provide any gameplay advantages.

This is perhaps the purest of F2P models – but it’s also the least proven as the primary pricing model.

Our original plan was based on this being the primary model. However after our poll, we’ve changed our mind and added criteria #2.

Please note cosmetics are a great secondary pricing model used by many successful F2P games.

Proposal – Pricing Models for Cosmic Brawl

The only viable pricing model we (Able Apes team) or the players who posted comments can think of that meets all five criteria listed at the start of this article is Wait-to-Play.

Benefits

  1. Meets all five criteria we listed above.
  2. Players who are unable to spend any money at all (due to their current station in life) can still enjoy all the cards in the game.
  3. Players who can afford to spend money get a clear, tangible benefit – i.e. avoiding the wait.
    • So this pricing model is *not* just based on “nice to have” items like cosmetics. Yet it’s *not* P2W.

Shortcomings

  1. CCG players may not be used to this model.
  2. PC players may not be used to this model.

I’ve proposed two Wait-to-Play models below – please review and let me know which model you like best.

A) Token System

This model is based on suggestions by Jacob Rickabaugh, ‘Guest’, and ‘Randomplayer1’ – thanks guys!

You get 5 tokens to begin with. To start a match takes one token. You earn a token every 2 hours, but you cannot have more than 5 tokens.

If you want to, you can buy a token using Crystals. If you don’t want to, you can simply wait until a token is refilled.

Crystals needed to buy a token will cost around $0.10-$0.25.

  • Players won’t actually be spending $0.10-$0.25 in the shop every time they buy a token.
  • Players willing to spend money will actually buy Crystals in bulk (such as for $5 or $10) and then use them whenever they want to.

B) Lives

Thanks to David Wisar for suggesting lives. This model is an adaptation of the Token System, using lives instead of tokens.

You’ll have 3 lives to start with. Each match you lose, you lose 1 life. You earn a life every 2 hours, but you cannot have more than 3 lives.

If you want to, you can buy a life using Crystals. If you don’t want to, you can simply wait until a life is refilled.

Cost of Crystals needed for this model will be comparable to model-A.

Game Modes

The pricing models proposed above are for Constructed mode (casual, ranked).

Other game modes will have pricing models that are more familiar to CCG players.

  • Draft Mode: Entry fee using Platinum. No wait-to-play mechanic.
  • Tournament Mode: Entry fee using Crystals. No wait-to-play mechanic.

FAQs


1) Players who spend money can play more matches. Doesn’t this make it P2W?

Playing more matches doesn’t mean the player is going to *win* more matches. As a result, this will *not* make Cosmic Brawl P2W.

2) If I don’t want to spend Crystals, can I play Draft mode while waiting for my tokens/lives to refill?

Yes, you can definitely do so if you have enough Platinum.

References


I borrowed the terms “Grind to Play” and “Wait to Play” from this Gamasutra article.

What’s next?

Post a comment and let me know your thoughts on the proposed pricing models and which one you prefer – a) Token System, or b) Lives.

  • If our community is open to the proposed models, we’ll pick a model based on community feedback.
    • If our community is not open to these models, we’ll also consider alternate suggestions from the community that meet our 5 criteria.
    • And as you know, if we’re unable to find a viable pricing model that the community likes – we’ll have no choice but to cancel the game.
  • Once the pricing model is picked, the next step is to run a Kickstarter in a few weeks – to confirm that the player community really supports the game idea (including the pricing model).

About the Author:

I'm your Game Designer at Able Apes, I live in California. My favorite video games have been puzzles, RTS, and CCG. I love mobile games and SciFi. Thanks for stopping by!

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Warren
Guest
Warren

I like the lives idea, but on one condition: there must always be a game mode available to play. In other words there should be 1 game mode that is always available and free to play no matter what. For example, you could have a PvE section where you can test out new decks against computer players. But for any PvP game modes (ladders, draft, tourney, etc.) you would have lives that can be earned or purchased. I think this strikes a good balance of free and paid because there is always something in the game that a player can do, you are never just kicking them out. This lets the player stay engaged in game and having fun while waiting for their lives to refill. After all, if they close the app while waiting for lives, they may not open it again.

Wolfie
Guest
Wolfie

I am in agreement here. A PvE section against A.I. that always available (lives or not) helps someone also test and adjust their deck so they can prepare to win once they acquire more lives, too.

Gregory Weinberg
Guest
Gregory Weinberg

Something to consider is how friendly battles will work. I will assume that you will be able to play against friends without losing lives. Probably the same thing goes with challenging people in a guild once that is added. If you can fight friends whenever you want then lives do not really matter, it is just for getting rank and rewards. This makes me a fan of the lives system and it encourages a tighter community, where more active guilds/groups will be able to test more decks.

Ariel
Guest
Ariel

I really like the idea of lives and adding some sort of game mode to be able to practice. Lives is better than tokens in that you may be able to play 8 or 9 times and still have a life left in stead of being limited to 5 tokens. A practice mode would make it a lot more fun to try to adjust your deck and make sure it is ready to go before you waste a life on a deck that wasn’t as well made as you thought.

Moose
Guest
Moose

This is how I am with all W2P games. Eventually, I get tired of waiting and find something else to do with my time. Especially with games like CoC, where I started waiting HOURS to build an army, just for a 3m battle.
At least with a PvE aspect, I’ll have incentive to fill my time playing the game still.

Drayton Ellis
Guest
Drayton Ellis

I like the idea of this but rather than against AI (because they can be finicky), I would love to see a ranked mode which costs lives and a casual mode in which you play other players without the cost of a life if you lose.

Luca
Guest
Luca

YES! Please do this, Drayton one of the only smart persons I have seen.

Noah
Guest
Noah

I like lives better too! Like you said, as long as there is a game mode open… And hopefully the bots will be worthy foes.

David Clark
Guest
David Clark

I also agree more with the lives than the tokens. It incentivizes playing well! Warren’s point about always have SOME mode available, even if it’s just PVE, vs friends, or practice is also crucial.

Additionally, I’d really like to see an option to buy unlimited lives – basically buy the game. I’m wary of recurring costs, but if I know what the one-time cost will be it’s easier to decide if it’s worth it.

Daniel Cabrera
Guest
Daniel Cabrera

That’s good but I don’t like the fact that if I have no friends online and have no more lives to play against random players, I’m stuck to play against the A.I’s.

David
Guest
David

I second this comment

John Brandt
Guest
John Brandt

Agreed.

I think “Wait to Play” is generally avoided in PvP games because it effectively shrinks the player base? I could be wrong.

Brandon Dawalt
Guest
Brandon Dawalt

I like the lives idea! If you’re good enough you can play a LONG time without spending money…if you lose three in a row, you probably need to take a break anyway so you don’t throw your phone or tablet! I’m in for lives, and have no problem paying some crystals if I want to play more, desire to play in a constructed tournament or do some drafting. Keep at it, I’m very excited for this game!

tahir
Guest
tahir
i definitely like the lives system and would like to add a suggestion to it. every 4 or 5 wins u get half a life or half life token back or something along those lines. imo this will incentivize people to grind as well. and these half life tokens should be separate from the normal lives so these tokens can be saved. the number of tokens that one can save depends on their player level. what this will do is encourage players to grind for those life tokens so if they are loosing games they still have a fall back. tho others who do not like the grind and think that their time is more valuable then the money can just buy those life tokens from the shop. also this will help the streamers as well. they play ALOT of games every day and would not be forced to spend… Read more »
Jaime E Sanchez Morales
Guest
Jaime E Sanchez Morales

I agree the lives mechanic encourages the player to learn more, improving in the long run.

Maile
Guest
Maile

What happens if your opponent forfeits immediately? Or, if you lose connection in the middle of the game? Do you just lose that credit? If yes, that seems like a problem. If no, that seems very hackable.

Maile
Guest
Maile
Although I do agree with the lives system as seeming like the better of the two. It may have an unintended consequence of squeezing out newer and/or weaker players which could limit the player base. But, it’s probably a good starting point and can be tested in early/closed beta testing. The main thing to consider is, will this pricing model get you 10x+ the number of players that a traditional pricing model would get? That’s the hurdle that needs to be overcome. For example, if you create the next great game that is super awesome to play, you’d want to use the traditional CCG pricing model. Although it does tend to really gauge the player, it’s a proven model with fantastic economics. If you have 100,000 users, and get the usual 5% of them spend money and average over $200, you get $1m in annual revenue. That’s traditional statistics. You… Read more »
Noe
Guest
Noe

Well if it’s anything like Hearthstone, you would just try and reconnect to the game. It’s technically not the game’s fault you lost service. In terms of the token question, I would guess you would lose your credit. You still played a game regardless if the opponent forfeited.

Seth Feldhouse
Guest
Seth Feldhouse

Glad I could help

Ryan Schneider
Guest
Ryan Schneider

Maybe go with Seth’s “Tokens w/ Win Streaks” idea, but add to it that a forfeit before turn X only consumes a token for the forfeiter?

Matt
Guest
Matt

I love the idea of the pricing model based on lives. It adds a certain element of risk and reward that you don’t get with tokens.

Winning matches then has a much higher level of gratification due to you keeping your lives. Lives also have a potential for more games, giving them higher intrinsic value.

Overall, tokens seem cheap compared to lives. One life could lead to the win streak of a lifetime, whereas tokens just take you from one match to the next, win or lose.

G Wiz
Guest
G Wiz

So is my math right? I did it real quick at the coffee shop, so pardon me if I missed something obvious! If I play 10 games every evening then it will cost me $0.50 total to skip the wait completely 100%. So its about $15 per month. And I get all the cards and can build whatever deck I want? If so that’s way cheaper than what I spend now to build just a handful of good decks. If my math is right you definitely have my support.

Noe
Guest
Noe

I’ve spent HUNDREDS on Hearthstone and am no where close to owning all the cards lol

Ryan Campbell
Guest
Ryan Campbell

I agree that Wait to Play, with the secondary Cosmetics makes the most sense. Lives would work better for this type of game. You get 3 losses before you need to either purchase lives using crystals, or wait for lives to replenish.

Cory
Guest
Cory
Out of the two, I MUCH prefer the lives model… I honestly think, however, that the game will not catch on if players who aren’t willing to pay (or can’t, e.g. children) have to wait to play games… They will likely just switch to a game they could play whenever they want. For this reason I would STRONGLY recommend having the “casual” option unlimited free with no wait-time. This way, those who want to rank/ladder and actually compete will still be subject to the lives model (which makes sense because this model rewards good players), and you can make it so that casual games don’t earn any in-game currency. This way you will attract a larger audience (the casual ccg player who is interested in a new game with new cards but isn’t likely to pay for anything initially) and it still be financially viable (those who do want to… Read more »
Earwinfirwat
Guest
Earwinfirwat

As someone who isn’t competitive and likes to build decks that are silly/fun rather than ones which will yield a higher win rate, I really like this idea of a casual mode!

call me bob k
Guest
call me bob k

Honestly this is good. You’re considering proven pricing models. DOn’t take it the wrong way but I was very doubtful of your business model before. I’m more inclined to support your Kickstarter now, what are your pledge levels and rewards btw? Oh and I prefer tokens over lives.

Leif Fairbairn
Guest
Leif Fairbairn

I would prefer tokens over lives, as lives punishes bad matchups and poor players by not letting them play. I would suggest turning the token recharge rate up a bit (maybe to 1-1.5 hr) so that for most players they’d be able to get about 6 games in a single session, and it’d let players get 2 sessions in a day. That might not be needed for most players but it allows players who play a bit more often to get satisfaction but whales would still have to pay to play for many hours.

Caleb
Guest
Caleb

I really like the lives idea its kinda like you have 3 armies but once that army is down you gotta wait for it to build back up. I love this idea and think its better then the tokens only because you never know how many games you can play before you lose 3 times.

TripleH
Guest
TripleH

My vote for the token system fellas. Also I don’t really love this model but I understand why you gotta do this. I’d really like to see this game built rather than canceled tho.

Griffin
Guest
Griffin

I prefer the token system as there are going to be games that you could lose no matter how well you play. That being said I think a great addition to the system would to add an ability to purchase a permanent increase in the number of tokens you have or a decrease in time between tokens that you get. This would make it so that players who want to play as often as possible can while supporting the games and those wishing to pay no money can still enjoy the game just at a lesser rate. There could even be an option to completely get rid of the token system but for a fair price.

Devon
Guest
Devon

Would prefer the lives mechanic, but it’s still not great. Would for sure try it, but can’t see myself really getting invested into a game with this mechanic. The cosmetic only pricing route is by far the most liked by the community. It might be the least profitable, but it’s the one that will get people to really enjoy your game. Fortnite and overwatch (even though the game is $20) have both had huge success from it. The grinding model is what killed hearthstone. Good luck, but unless you go with the cosmetic route, you won’t have a very strong community.

Aragorn
Guest
Aragorn

I understand that you guys want to have a successful game, but I cannot stand the Wait-to-Play model. As you seem set on it, I am going to back away from this game. You guys seem pretty cool and your desire to allow players to access all cards for free is amazing, but this pricing model is just not for me.

Aftyn
Guest
Aftyn

Does it make any difference that it sounds like there will be modes to play that don’t cost lives/tokens, so there will always be something to do in the game?

Nate
Guest
Nate

Being honest, I do not like the wait-to-play model at all. I enjoy playing CCGs for longer stretches than just 5-6 matches daily. Additionally, I am more inclined to pay money for cosmetics in a game I really enjoy than pay for additional plays. Thanks.

Manta
Guest
Manta

I don’t like the wait to play idea. I like to binge a game for a couple of hours after work, and I don’t want to have to spend money to do that. However, if you use the life system you suggested above, I would be alright with it. It has a skill basis for it so you could potentially never have to wait to play. Something that I don’t like is the grind to win model. I don’t mind it in games like League, but in games like League often times you can still win games with the starting characters just as reliably as the flashy expensive ones. I wholeheartedly support cosmetics as a function that you have to pay for. I would love it if that was the only model you used, but I understand that you still need a more reliable way to make money.

gasteig
Guest
gasteig

I agree with you that you aren’t going to make enough money with cosmetics. Wait2Play is a great option. In terms of the lives option, I find that inherently biased against the new players. At the beginning of a season, new players can flush (get 3 losses in a row) and lose out on getting to play for the rest of the day, perhaps week. (Yes I know that it will only take 3 hours for their lives to respawn, but 3 hours is often all the time allocated in a week for busy people to play games.) If you go down that route, you need to be EXTREMELY strict with keeping new (or rusty) players away from the pros.

Shawn Conklin
Guest
Shawn Conklin

The “Lives” Model has the most merit in my estimation. It rewards skilled players with more opportunities to play whilst still allowing those of lesser skill plenty of playtime. Nobody feels punished, everyone has a fair chance and the system encourages players to try new strategies and grow if their current deck type isn’t working.

RedKing16
Guest
RedKing16
I think I prefer the lives idea, but it would need to be more than just 3 lives (at least 4, if not 5). You might consider having some sort of monthly event with rewards, too, that would give an hour or two of free lives if you ranked a certain level in the event or beat x number of “quests” in the timeframe (winning 3 games + killing 20 enemy minions + doing x amount of damage overall, etc.). Or potentially a win-streak reward: 5 wins in a row gives you 3 extra lives (so you have 6/3 until you lose them) or you get a free hour of unlimited lives or something. That, combined with purchases for cosmetics and deck slots seems like it should create a sustainable model, but I’m not much of a finance/business person, so I don’t really know… Would you have some completely free… Read more »
guest
Guest
guest

This is how the game Two Dots does lives. You can get extra lives and they stack on top of the 5 you already have. You can’t earn any more until you use up all the excess ones. I like it!

Malik
Guest
Malik

I prefer the lives system. You get 3 lives that you only lose if you lose a match. Which means you can essentially play as long as you want if you’re good enough.

Thomas Allison
Guest
Thomas Allison

I like the lives model. If you know how to play you can potentially play more matches.

Padus
Guest
Padus

I’d prefer the lives model, especially because the better you get at the game, the further your lives will take you, whereas tokens take everyone the same number of games

Kenshin
Guest
Kenshin

I like the lives/tokens, but given all the cards are free, how are you going to prevent people from making multiple accounts to circumvent it?

Kevin
Guest
Kevin
My issues with lives is that while it is great for good players that win a lot, it is kinda terrible for new players. If someone picks up the game for the first time, and loses 3 times in a row then they’re going to be prompted to spend money to play again. The token system seems more fair to me. Have you considered making ranked use this system, but casual not do so? This is something to consider because sometimes I like trying out whacky meme quality decks but I might be less inclined to experiment if I have more limited games. Or even charge a small platinum fee to be able to play casual after running out of tokens. To be honest, I would be more likely to spend more money on cosmetics or “nice to haves” if I didn’t have to pay to play though. I will… Read more »
Kevin
Guest
Kevin

Follow up: what if casual didn’t cost anything, but didn’t reward you with platinum or anything else either?

Mateo Ayala
Guest
Mateo Ayala
The wait-to-play can never work in a CCG. It completely removes all the fun from playing as you have to try hard if you want to win because you can’t waste your chances. There is a fundamental problem with hearthstone and that is that after a few weeks after an expansion, the game gets stale because everything is the same and there is no more exploration of decks and interactions. With this model, it will always be like this because why would I try a new deck if I’m gonna lose then not be able to play again for 2 hours? This works for clash of clans because the game was designed around it, same thing for candy crush. It doesn’t work when the game attempts to emulate it but has no stricture for this model. I am really excited for this game; I hope it isn’t ruined with a… Read more »
Mateo Ayala
Guest
Mateo Ayala

After reading others answers, I agree that’s if the wait-to-play model is absolutely necessary, the best way would be for ranked and casual. Ranked taking lives and casual matchmaking being free with no wait time. Guild and friend games would not work at all for someone that has no friends that play the game and it’d be really boring after 10 times of playing the same people. After those 10 times players will start to delete the app as they label it a repetitive and bland game.

Seth Feldhouse
Guest
Seth Feldhouse

While I personally like the lives method, I feel like this method would deter new players. I think that this will make the average player feel worse about loses.

This would be why I’d like tokens better, with these two methods as is. However I think there is more to be done here. Most psych studies show that people feel better about a situation presented gain rather than a possible loss, even when both systems have the same end result.

I think that the best method you could do would be to use the tokens as is, but upon winning 3 games in a row, the player would gain 1 token. Thus, even good players would eventually run out, but it doesn’t make beginners feel bad.

On top of this, you’d probably sell more tokens when someone only needs one more token to complete a win streak.

Ethan
Guest
Ethan

I think the b option is interesting.to me it sounds a lot more competitive. Instead of potentially not having long games and being able to play game after game because depending on how long it would take to play 5 games you may not have gotten your next token by the time you run out of tokens. Which would limit all players from ranking quickly based on skill. While the lives option allows players who excel and win to gain ranked much more quickly since they will benefited by the chance to keep their lives as long as they win each match.

Madra
Guest
Madra

Except it doesn’t limit all players, it limits players who don’t dump their wallet into tokens/lives meaning that those willing to paying the most have a much higher potential. To me this is pay to win due to volume of play being major limiting factor for a ranked system.

Xelmoras
Guest
Xelmoras

Honestly the lives idea sounds like the best option in my opinion, you can get more time to practice the better you play, or if you lose all your lives, the wait time isn’t too long and you can take a refreshing break to focus on other things.

Mike Christiansen
Guest
Mike Christiansen

My vote is for lives as well. I reiterate some of the comments I have read about the competitive and possibilty of more matches. Tokens to me mean I log on and play 5 matches or how many tokens I currently have and log off. However, with lives I can continue to play as long or as little based on my play record. It’s more satisfying to win this way and I guess makes the game even that more important to win so ppl won’t just leave or give up. Looking forward to see what you guys come up with for the Kickstarter.

Matt Taylor
Guest
Matt Taylor

I definitely like the lives rather than the tokens. that way if you get good and win a lot you can keep playing, but if you lose three times then you have to stop for a bit (which is usually what i do anyway to avoid tilt) so i think its a great solution! Good Job smile

A. Nawnamiss
Guest
A. Nawnamiss

Great point about tilt! I agree that the Lives system helps players avoid it.

Carter
Guest
Carter

Wait to play is the worst model possible. It’s not fun to play 3 Games and then get completely shut down for the next few hours. I would rather just have a base price of 5-10 dollars and make the rest free.

Insignificant Pet Rock
Guest
Insignificant Pet Rock

Option B would be the best to go with to have a healthy ranked environment. With the life system it would raise the stakes to a match while not stopping a skilled player from climbing the ladder at a good pace. The token system on the other hand, might cause players to have trouble keeping up with the ones buying tokens.

Also, I know you guys said you have a “No Ad” policy but it might be worth to consider lifting it under the current the circumstances. Setting a place aside to watch ads for a sum of crystals would give people without the funds (or a bank account) a way to support your game, while not bothering people unfond of ads.

Mateo Ayala
Guest
Mateo Ayala

I would very much prefer ads

Thomas
Guest
Thomas

I prefer the grind to play. Give the guys who actually spend time playing the game better chances to unlock the better cards/characters.

Mateo Ayala
Guest
Mateo Ayala

True. I’d rather have to spend a long time getting cards than not being able to play the game at all except for like a few minutes at a time.

LittleMuffin
Guest
LittleMuffin

I think the lives system is the better idea because it encourages players to play well and log in often to play their 2 free lives.

Chad O\
Guest
Chad O\'Brien

I will second lives idea.

A. Nawnamiss
Guest
A. Nawnamiss
I like the Lives system. In a way, that’s “pay to lose”, in that if you lose a lot, your ability to play will be restricted unless you pay. However, the way I really see it, it kind of puts some stakes into each match. Everyone’s trying to win not just for glory, but for the privilege of continuing to play. It doesn’t punish you for winning the game, like the Token system would. Under the Token system, even a winner is restricted from playing the game as much as he wants. I think it’s a good thing to reward winning players by letting them play more. And “Lives” have good flavor with playing a game with a “life point” total. The specific parameters can be tweaked. 3 Lives is a good starting point, although I could also argue for 4 or 5, depending on how long you want the… Read more »
Chaz
Guest
Chaz

I think that Option B is the best option! It allows skill to take precedence over just the number of games you’ve played; the better you play, the more you play! I would hate to be on win streak and feel like I’m just as limited as someone on a losing streak with the amount of games I can play. A life-based structure would also encourage players even further to get better at the game, which could possibly lead to a stronger and more vibrant player community. Can’t wait to see what’s done!

Cham
Guest
Cham
Few things I wanted to chime in on. I think the wait to play model will work out in the long run, but I don’t see any reason why you are asking the “community” regarding which to choose. Speaking for myself, and I’d like to think a large percentage of others, the people who are active in this community have been so under the idea that this game wasn’t going to use the normal dirt bag cell phone game pricing models in the first place. I still intend to play (and spend money on) this game, but that genuine warm fuzzy feeling that got me in the front door of a card game a better way is largely gone now. Secondly, I fear there is a lot of disillusion regarding this new model as being not pay-to-win. If the standard game mode is going to be a ranked mode, in… Read more »
Gustavo
Guest
Gustavo

The lives idea is the better one, it works nicely in most of the casual games, the more popular ones

Madra
Guest
Madra

A wait to play model becomes pay to win in a ranked system. Being able to pay to play more games than others puts me on the fast track to higher ranks. Look at the sheer volume of matches required to remain competitive in any game and I fear that the only people able to stay competitive will be those who are willing to spend $50 a month on tokens. If your intent is to maintain a competitive scene I think this is the wrong choice. If you do not see a competitive future as necessary for the game, then the wait-to-play is perfect for a casual game.

Madra
Guest
Madra

However I would like to add that I also see no purpose for a card game that is not competitive to put any value in having all cards unlocked from the start.

Kevin
Guest
Kevin

What if ranked mode isn’t based purely on number of wins vs number of losses? If they had a more complex MMR based on skill/win rate/etc then it might not be like say hearthstone where reaching legend rank requires a huge amount of games.

I also think casual mode should be free though if you just want to practice a deck

Madra
Guest
Madra

No matter how complex you make an mmr system, more wins means higher rank. A complex mmr system helps mitigate the problem such as how League of Legends makes it easy for challenger players to reach diamond in under 100 ranked games while many silver players have over 1000 ranked games in a season. However, the highest ranks are potentially infinitive mmr rankings that those who are able to play the most have the highest potential rank.

Madra
Guest
Madra

You literally just took my entire comment out of context by only reading the first sentence. I can’t think of a system where a person who is 900-100 won’t be significantly higher ranked than the person who is 95-5. Between equal skilled players, the one who can play significantly more due to burning cash to do so will be higher ranked. I am not saying that I will just never play the game because of a system like this. Just that I fear it becoming its own form of pay to win if it is too restrictive on play rate.

Madra
Guest
Madra
I’d like to point out that I am a player who looks at games from their highest competitive skill level, as that is my goal in any game I play. The only way I see a lives or token system not resulting in the highest ranks being dominated by the highly skilled players spending money rather than simply the *highest* skilled players is to have a separate economy for both ranked and casual. A lives system for ranked which can not be replenished through purchase and a token system that can be for casual would be the only way I could see an actual competitive future for the game. And I may be missing the mark here, but I see the only reason for a game to want to make all cards available from the start without having to earn or purchase more is to allow players to be competitive… Read more »
Jeff
Guest
Jeff

My vote is for lives. It’s unique and regards good players.

Midnight
Guest
Midnight

Love the transparency and entire communication dialogue you guys have. please continue doing this. i vote Wait To Play and tokens + cosmetics.

Aftyn
Guest
Aftyn
I’m leaning more towards the token model, but honestly it doesn’t matter much to me either way. My biggest concern is going to be the platinum earning system – if we need to pay platinum to play Draft mode, I would expect platinum to be fairly easy to earn. As such: I’d like us to be able to complete missions that give a significant platinum reward in any mode. And/or I’d like to see a farming mechanism similar to the zen garden in plants vs. zombies, where you can get random “drops” of some kind of platinum producing machines. Or this could be purchased with Crystals. Alternatively: I’d like to see a completely free to play mode. In Hearthstone we have “adventure mode” which is always free to play, but you can’t complete your quests in that mode. Maybe you could do something like this as well – a sort… Read more »
Ram
Guest
Ram

Wait to play lives model

Advent
Guest
Advent

Lives is fine with me. Got the skill? Keep playing. Simple.

Brian N
Guest
Brian N

Tokens or lives seem great. I prefer lives but would be fine with either.

Dan
Guest
Dan

The new player experience will be rough, as they are likely to go 3-0 their first few times trying the game out. Then once play is locked away they are likely to delete the game and move on before giving it a fair chance. Keep this in mind by giving them generous amounts of free lives for new or returning players.

Another recommendation: if you implement a wait-to-play system, then don’t use micro-transactions for cosmetics. Players will need to feel rewarded for time spent, especially since all the cards are available at once.

Mark
Guest
Mark

I like the lives idea, because if you’re good enough, then you can keep on playing, but if you lose 3 in a row, then it’s probably a signal to tech a card or two.

Kemp Short
Guest
Kemp Short

I like the idea of lives. It rewards good players by cutting down on wait times if they win. I do not like token games because I do not feel rewarded for good play, and I dislike waiting for no reason. Other games that use the token system are the kind of games I tend to stop playing.

Aidan Springle
Guest
Aidan Springle
I prefer the lives model because it rewards good play, but the main problem I’ve heard is that it punishes bad play which discourages newer players. However as you have proposed a ranked system similar to hearthstone, I still think it will work because as the season moves on more experienced players will naturally move to higher ranks meaning everyone should be matched fairly well according to their skill level. May I propose aswell though that ranked play uses lives but casual play doesnt because that way you dont have people being unable to play games which prevents people leaving the game, and as long as you have a good reward system for acheiving high ranks there will still be a motive to spend money on lives to try and rank higher. This also gets rid of the problem of punishing new players because although they may have less success… Read more »
Gil
Guest
Gil

Have you guys thought about having a section of the game as a PvE purchase (Maybe develop multiple throughout the year to flesh out Lore and Story Plots) and maybe bundling that with cosmetics for players that do enjoy that aspect (and enjoy supporting lovely devs like Able Apes <3). Think of Dungeon Runs or The Hearthstone adventures, but instead of actual cards as the rewards for beating it (and purchasing it before hand), you can give maybe a one time life bonus or maybe a cosmetic skin for different cards/heros. That way, I as a player made a purchase that will not effect my PvP experience whatsoever while still making a significant purchase. By that, I mean Ill actually feel like my money if worth something if I decide to spend it in the game. I would feel shitty wasting money on life, my opinion.

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