Hello fellow community!
First, a word of introduction:
A few days ago, i opened a topic concerning the work of our WG EU community staff, the developement and design of the special events we receive, and the WG policy of advertising and introducing new products for the premium shops (als known as bundles).
Although the thrad grew rather popular in a short period of time, it was (for whatever reason?) relocated from "general discussion" (which it basically was) to the "off topic" section. Tonight, it was closed and moved to the scrapyard, due to the fact that there has been a comment from a WG-critical forum user which was considered by BigBadVuk as more or less "crossing the line" between complain and insult.
The closed original thread can be found here:
I recommend to have a look at this thread before posting, just to get an impression what has been said already!
While i can fully understand, that the Moderation team can and will not accept any insults against Wargaming, the topic itself is still very relevant and worthy of further discussion.
However, the last time we wanted to discuss this matter, the discussian probably went a little bit too far "off topic", so this time i want to ask two things of you:
1.: try to stay as constructive and close to the topic as possible!
2.: as set up as you might be about WG or their products, remember point 1 and avoid insults or insulting comparisons at any cost!
I want to keep the discussion and attention up, elaborate suggestions and solutions which inspire or help WG to improve the situation and avoid further, repeated censorship by the moderators.
Maybe, if we keep this professional enough, they will finally accept us a group of enthusiast who try to improve the situation and the game, instead of some revolting opportunists!
For all those who haven´t participated in the original discussion, i want to quote my opening-post, so you get an impression of what it was all about!
However, remember, although the original post smells like some kind of "vent off", the goal of this discussion should be a serious exchange with WG and providing assistance and solutions for an improved situation! If you agree but don´t know what to add for the moment, it might just help the cause to keep this topic recognized and popular, so someone else might find it and add something!
I want to keep this topic alive, until we can achieve something positive for the community and the game aswell, not just another excursion to the "off-topic" section or the scrapyard!
Thank you for your attention!
Now, here is the quote of the original posting:
as a loyal customer, spending money for your products since the first release of the World of Tanks Preorder packs, i sincerly ask from you to stop treating us like brainless cashcows.
I am not asking for this out of rage or disappointment, although the recent premium shop developement, aswell as the EU community service, would allow for a lot of both, but from the point of a customer who just feels ignored and reduced to a money spending idiot.
Your community, including me, has a huge understanding for the simple fact, that you, WG, as acompany, need to earn money to keep the servers running, to develope your products and pay your employees. We also understand that, since you are serving for four different server clusters, need to split your attention and try to serve each cluster seperatly and to it´s specific demands.
So yes, we know you need the money, and we are willing to hand it over to you, for a good product and great service and support!
But here is where it starts to fall of from balance!
1.: the product:
- where World of Tanks meanwhile has worked out to a full scale online PvP game, World of Warships is still nothing else but an improved beta version with release status, at best!. The content is growing but still very "compact", the gamemodes and the diversity in game experience are rather similar and keep repeating. Besides that, there are still balancing and mechanic issues everywhere around, discussed in countless topics all across this forum.
We understand that changes take time, and developement is a matter of months and years, not a few hours or days. However, despite all these limits, the interested customer is treated in any aspect as if this game was already a full price product with incredible ammounts of content, choices, gamemodes and stuff. Why do we have a product which is basically worthy of a "beta badge", but pricetags on every little special thingy which claim: this is a first class premium product?
2.: the customer/community service:
- this is where it starts to get really imbalanced. As has been matter of complains for weeks or even months now, it seems you, WG, struggle to support each community in the same way. Events are meagre, and with a look on what we have and had this month, it looks like an ever repeating method. 2x XP for a few days, and everything else for the special is related more or less to the premium shop. Nothing new, nothing creative, nothing special! Yes, you are working on it, and you try your best, but again: work in progress but premium price-tag.
3.: the specials:
- here it breaks! As already said, the specials feel like a poor, ever repeating weekend special. Yes, it is nice to have a small, free bonus, but where is the special, if it is always small and always repeating? Oh yes, the premium shop!
In one of the latest announcments, i think it was for patch 0.5.1, i read something like "we have listened!". Yay! -Not! Since i can remember, we, the community of World of Warships Europe, suffer from ridiculous overpriced premium shop specials and bundles.
This is, where the cashcow things really skyrockets!
At first, we had the preorder packs. Ships which will be exclusive for at least 12 months, some premium time, some dubloons. The collectors said "Okay, i am goind to require some dublons anyway, and premiumtime right at the start is a cool thing!"
We accepted and spend our money.
But when and since the game was released, we just have to find out that there isn´t too much worth spending dublons on. A couple of premium ships, premium, port slots and tons of one-way consumables. Not much to invest your money in, but a lot to waste it for.
Then came the first premium ships. Warspite, Tirpitz, now the Fujin. All of them came with bundles. So, whoever wanted to have one of those, was automatically forced to buy stuff he doesn´t want or need. It was and is "take it or leave it!" choice. Of course, all new premium ships are premium shop (and bundle!) exclusive, nothing to spend you dubloons for in the ingame store!
Either spend more money than you want, or spend none at all. One time i went for the "i take it", the rest i went with "leave it".
I am basically a collector. I want them all. But not at the price you demand. Not with all the "goodies" and stuff. If i want to buy a car, i want the car, not the tools, not a holiday in the deveopers county, not a 2 years TV-magazine contract!
I would take it for free, but not if i have to pay it aswell!
Are you, dear Wargaming, aware, that almost any new ship you introduce and bring as a "special" offer, is at least half the price of a full PC game?
The Tirpitz i bought with it´s bundle was more expensive than any brandnew blockbuster game release for a full game! There is no relation between pricetag and product anymore! Even 40 EUR for a premium ship/tank are equal to a full scale PC game, and you don´t just dare to charge it for a single vessel, you even bolster up those "specials" with these "goodies".
If no specials are available, you come up with other special offers, like the actuall "7% dsicount on Atago bundle".
I want to know:
ARE YOU SERIOUS?
I mean, who developes these strategies, this marketing? If i want an Atago, i buy it seperatly, but not with some random stuff. A player who always wanted to have that ship but didn´t buy it yet, probably didn´t buy it because he didn´t like the price tag so far. Do you beleave that a more expensive bundle with an Atago and some additional stuff will change his mind?
If you want to make real offers, real specials, real deals, then make it right! Atago, naked, 15-30% discount! Thats a deal. Now you got my attention! A 30% discount on exactly the product i want to have! That´s an opportunity, now i am in!
The trick whit discounts is simple, and you should know it already: a good discount provides the impression of reward. I reward myself with a 30% discount, because i save 30% of my money! Did i want to buy the Atago? No, not exactly! But i am a collector, and hey, it was on a discount!
It might not change the fact that most "premium shop" products are too expensive for what they deliver, but it would reduce the spann between "expensive" and "overpriced". And it would feel plain, simple and kind of rewarding. Not this bundle crap, which feels like a rip-off each time one shows up.
Speaking of a rip off: i was pretty intrigued to read of a 100% XP bonus skin for the halloween event. Logged in, and: 30 dubloons per use?!?!?!
Seriously? Come on! You must be kidding! Now that´s a real rip-off! Premium consumables are at least purchasable for huuuge ammounts of silver, but a 30 dubloons price tag per use? If i got 5 ships i want to get the most out of my double, and take into account that i might require several attempts to get my first victory, i easily have to spent more dubloons on those 5 victories compared to a complete day of premium.
If it were a permanet skin for the time of the event, it would have been worth a thought, but this...no...just no! This is no customer treatment, this is pure, greed inspired, rip-off. Seduce the players to spend as much money as possible in the shortest period of time.
Speaking about customer treatment: where is your loyal customer apreciation? How about some loyality rewards for those who spend real money over and over again? I am not talking about the tier 2 tanks/ships for christmas. I am talking about unique, exclusive rewards for those who spend money again and again!
Piranha games with "Mechwarrior online" is a great exaple. I spent several hundred euros for huge packages, and Piranha games remembers that, handing me over free, exclusive premium vehicles some time later. As a surprise. That´s customer appreciation and loyalty reward!
You might not have to go that far, but at least, you could do something that changes the customers impression. Right now it is like "give us your money, spent it, and return!"
Yes, i kbnow, i am just one of a million. And i am sure, there are enough out there who just throw their money at you. But those, who don´t throw their money at you, they feel ripped off! They feel like cashcows. And i bet, the number of "i feel like a cashcow" customers is bigger that the number of those who say "Hey, yay, look, it´s another bundle with a ship, flaggs, premium time and dubloons!"
I would just recommend to reflect over the question: "What could we achieve, sell and effect on our customers, if we make our pricing policiy more attractive?"