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Isoruku_Yamamoto

Free premium consumables: a poor business decision

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Hello everyone, 

 

Today I'd like to discuss something on the business side of WoWS/ WG that simply does not make any sense to me. This update, update 0.9.4, premium consumables were changed to be free, while regular consumables were removed. 
In itself this sounds like a good thing: it improves credit income, and in addition players got a good chunk of credits once for the amount of premium consumables owned. 

I've got a problem with this though. It simply does not make any sense. The game economy has always been so favourable that you could run premium consumables on practically any ship without making losses too often. 

 

Before we continue, let me get one thing very clear: I fully support removing the premium consumables from a gameplay & balance perspective. Fully, I'm a huge fan. 
What does not make sense to me is the business behind it. 

Effectively, what i'm worried about is that this takes away the incentive to buy premium account for a part of the lower section of the playerbase, who might previously get premium account simply because they'd need credits. 
Now, how does that affect me? Or- more importantly- you?
 

WG needs to earn money in some way. We've got a couple ways, i'll list the main ones: 

- Premium account sales
- Premium ship sales

- Event item sales/ containers

- Indirect of above (doubloons)

- Free XP conversion

 

Assuming that WG wants its income to remain roughly equal per player (thats a crude assumption, but i can elaborate on that if needed) it's easy to see that if the premium account sales would drop, they'd want to compensate elsewhere. I'm fine with them wanting to sell more premium ships- as a matter of fact, i recently bought one- i think its the best way of spending money on the game (personal opinion ofc). But the crux of this all is i think in the event items. What really makes sense- and we've been seeing this lately, is that as the standard gameplay becomes even more free-to-play than it already is (regular tech tree ship research, buying, equipping & playing), we will see a steep increase in how difficult it is to obtain the items that are more towards pay-to-win. 

 

In the Odin-event you'll most likely AGAIN be able to effectively buy up to 4500 steel, which equals to nearly 2 ranked seasons or nearly 1 storm level Clan battles season with decent effort. In itself i'm fine with that- but it has a grave implication: steel ships will eventually get  more expensive. Free XP ships have seen the cost raised from 750k free XP to 1M, and even 2M on tier X. 

 

We should not want everything in the base game to be too easy to obtain, or all of the extra's will soon disappear behind massive paywalls. We saw this in the Puerto Rico event: I did my true best on it, completing 30 out of 36 stages- a massive accomplishment i think- but it was effectively worth nothing. 
On the other hand, some people simply threw in 35k doubloons (120eu or so) to buy it straight away. 

 

TL; DR: 

Let's normalize that players pay small sums for events when they struggle to fully complete them, but also give off the signal that we as a community do NOT want people to simply complete events by buying them off at day 1. Events should be played, and need to be made such that they can be enjoyed by all players. 

Players who don't get in far can enjoy midterm rewards, or use money to boost their progress a bit, while if you play well enough that should be rewarded with proper rewards similar to what you could buy. 
If you can't complete it in the event without using money, just put it in the premium shop instead. 
As a bonus: Remove RNG from events, more effort should mean more progress!

 

Grtz I_Y

 

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But that is what some people wanted...

 

WG does something for their bottom line: players complain!

WG does something to help players: players complain!

 

It should be obvious, no matter what WG does, people complain!

And now players are surprised that WG does not listen to EVERY complaint... :Smile_facepalm:

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Also: let me introduce some options that i think would be phenomenal to earn a massive amount of money for WG, while also not affecting the issues i describe above: 

 

1. Skin selling (captains, camouflages, flags). This does not hurt anyone, WoWS has an amazing art department and this does not affect gameplay. I especially love the Space camouflages from this perspective, more expensive than regular camo's, yet they do practically the same. This is what is truly great for a free-to-play game. 

2. Cheap premium/ special ship clones of  (researched) tech tree ships. You could sell tech tree ships, with a special status (like the ARP ships were) for maybe half or even less the price of a regular premium.  Or offer some option that allows captain switching to be bought, like on normal premiums. 

3. When resetting a line in the research bureau, offer to half the re-research prizes of all ships & modules for say, 10k doubloons. People will get more research points, which moves the described issue to that department, but its a lot less hurting there. 

I'll think if i have more suggestions and add them on the list then

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4 minutes ago, ColonelPete said:

But that is what some people wanted...

 

WG does something for their bottom line: playes complain!

WG does something to help players: players complain!

 

It should be obvious, no matter what WG does, people complain!

And now players are surprised that WG does not listen to EVERY complaint... :Smile_facepalm:

I'm looking at this from a pretty macro perspective. I'm not saying WoWS is doing bad for me right now. I like the game, i kinda like the events (though i see a clear downward trend in them), the economy is good etc. I'm just saying that to keep this game, especially the business model behind it, in good shape, it might be good that we as a playerbase steer more on some specific issues. Being that we want to have pretty much the whole game experience to be available for everyone, not just for walletwarriors, and that it'd be good if income is mainly generated through things that don't influence the game economy, gameplay balance etc

P.S. I can see why in itself it's a good thing to remove premium consumables. I'm not saying all of this from the perspective of balancing the consumables, its good that they did that, im just looking at game economy & the business behind it

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Vor 22 Minuten, Isoruku_Yamamoto sagte:

I've got a problem with this though. It simply does not make any sense. The game economy has always been so favourable that you could run premium consumables on practically any ship without making losses too often. 

 

If that was true - and let's just assume it is - WG went from making no money via premium consumables to making no money from premium consumables.

 

 

They are obviously a profit seeking entity first and foremost, but if they find out one gameplay element isn't actually creating income, why not remove it, if that removal improves gameplay? Even if some premium account sales - as you allude to - could have been indirectly attributed to a 'need' for premium consumables, maybe they felt this income did not outweigh negative aspects.

 

The point you are making - loss of potential income - could be made for every lowtier premium available in the armory for coal. Obviously their numbers indicate that 'generosity' pays at times. A lesson clearly not fully implemented for the new Russian 5-token containers...

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The bonus money Weegee gets from premium consumables are marginal at most. Players who mount full premium consumables tend to already have premium ships and long lasting premium time, meaning that they won't spent any real money on premium consumables. Uncompetitive players won't mount premium consumables, so they'll get mashed by those that do. They won't be spending any money regardless however. This is helping the less experienced and less well established players whilst not appreciably eating into Weegee's bottom line. Where is the problem here?

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2 minutes ago, thisismalacoda said:

If that was true - and just let's assume it is - WG went from making no money via premium consumables to making no money from premium consumables.

 

 

They are obviously a profit seeking entity first and foremost, but if they find out one gameplay element isn't actually creating income, why not remove it, if that removal improves gameplay? Even if some premium account sales - as you allude to - could have been indirectly attributed to a 'need' for premium consumables, maybe they felt this income did not outweigh negative aspects.

 

The point you are making - loss of potential income - could be made for every lowtier premium available in the armory for coal. Obviously their numbers indicate that 'generosity' pays at times. A lesson clearly not fully implemented for the new Russian 5-token containers...

I agree with you on the first bit. 
Getting rid of premium consumables is a great decision in terms of balance, and in my opinion the credits people save is a side effect (i dont think WG did this because people thought premium consumables were too expensive per se). 
I dont know how much revenue WG gets from selling credits (directly or through premium account), but you can expect that to drop- but i think indeed only slightly and indeed it could just be better to get rid of the premium consumables without looking at that. 

I used this as an example to illustrate my point, but perhaps a bit unfortunate choice. 

As for the low tier premiums: I partially agree, though i'd say that works far stronger for ships like Blyskawica, Georgia, Jean Bart (up till a while ago) since they are far more expensive. Then again, as you say: generosity pays eventually. People get hooked on premium ships. 

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Just now, dasCKD said:

The bonus money Weegee gets from premium consumables are marginal at most. Players who mount full premium consumables tend to already have premium ships and long lasting premium time, meaning that they won't spent any real money on premium consumables. Uncompetitive players won't mount premium consumables, so they'll get mashed by those that do. They won't be spending any money regardless however. This is helping the less experienced and less well established players whilst not appreciably eating into Weegee's bottom line. Where is the problem here?

As i said, for me the problem is in the business model behind it basically. I fully support the move from a gameplay balance point of view, couldnt agree more (i already used premium consumables all the time, but it makes it more fair right). 
 

My point is that they'll seek to get the money- even if its not a lot- elsewhere. I used premium consumables as an example, perhaps a bad example though

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Premium consumables were ever purchased with silver (who in their right mind would use gold for that) so WG never actually made MONEY with them, this is a nice QOL improvement by WG

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1 minute ago, Yedwy said:

Premium consumables were ever purchased with silver (who in their right mind would use gold for that) so WG never actually made MONEY with them, this is a nice QOL improvement by WG

.... Except that some people would in fact run out of credits, needing premium account, or buying bundles including credits. Thats second line, but definitely income

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1 minute ago, Isoruku_Yamamoto said:

.... Except that some people would in fact run out of credits, needing premium account, or buying bundles including credits. Thats second line, but definitely income

No those guys simply ran normal ones

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Okay, i think this topic is completely pointless at this point. 

I'll take my defeat for now, perhaps i'll try again while making sure to get the message accross a bit better. 

For now, i personally think this topic might as well be closed since so far we're not exactly discussing what i'm talking about, but while i'm the OP i don't want to cut off other ppl straight away if they feel they got something more to say on it lol

 

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7 minuti fa, Isoruku_Yamamoto ha scritto:

.... Except that some people would in fact run out of credits, needing premium account, or buying bundles including credits. Thats second line, but definitely income

As @Yedwy just said, that's maybe why more than half of the playerbase didn't used premium consumables. I didn't used them myself; at the beginning it was for credit issues, but after some time i didn't used them because i was perfectly confortable with the standard ones. My only fear was that WG would have changed the economy, basically making the change useless compared to the situation before it, but, thank god they didn't (actually the made it better for CVs), and so that's a welcomed change.

 

Imo we should have had only one "type" of consumable since the beginnig of the game (in fact, in Beta, there were no premium consumable iirc)

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Just now, wot_2016_gunner said:

As @Yedwy just said, that's maybe why more than half of the playerbase didn't used premium consumables. I didn't used them myself; at the beginning it was for credit issues, but after some i didn't used them because i was perfectly confortable with the standard ones. My only fear was that WG would have changed the economy, basically making the change useless compared to the situation before it, but, thank god they didn't (actually the made it better for CVs), and so that's a welcomed change.

 

Imo we should have had only one "type" of consumable since the beginnig of the game (in fact, in Beta, there were no premium consumable iirc)

yeah true, as i said from a balance perspective i really prefer this. Also i now no longer make 50k losses on coop rushes, which is nice. 

But i made the whole topic with the intent of looking at the WG business perspective, not so much looking at the WoWS in game economy ;)

P. S. Did you notice they changed the Engine boost back to the old logo? 

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Nice opinion piece, however without actual numbers (which we don't have) your OP is just that. There is no way for you to judge the impact of this decision on the overal game economy. Only WG can. So speculation: yes. Valid concern: without numbers to back up your claims: no.

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Vor 1 Minute, Yedwy sagte:

No those guys simply ran normal ones

True, one of my fellow clan members who runs a premium account 24/7 and has ~5k battles got something north of 30m credits cash-back, when WG refunded him all the premium consumables in his inventory. Was a bit baffled, he pretty much only runs on them CB ships and not in randoms.

 

Don't think anyone will cancel his premium account nowadays simply because he makes more bucks per round now with premium consumables gone. I mean prem after all has other benefits...

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Maybe to offset this, they'll go the way of WoT and introduce gold shells. :Smile_trollface:

 

Joking aside, this is perhaps the one thing that would make me leave this game. For good. 

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2 minutes ago, Miragetank90 said:

Maybe to offset this, they'll go the way of WoT and introduce gold shells. :Smile_trollface:

 

Joking aside, this is perhaps the one thing that would make me leave this game. For good. 

Dear god, no.

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I feel that having premium consumables for all means the game is leveled a little bit in that the player who mounted them in the past loses the benefit they may have gained (it's in the number of times the consumable can be used and the cooldown).

 

I'm wondering if WG will do something to reduce the credits earned to balance this out.

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Wg has done, and is continuing to do poor business decisions.

 

Removing premium consumeables was surely one of them, but far worse, it was a bad decision in regards to game play.

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22 minutes ago, Jethro_Grey said:

Wg has done, and is continuing to do poor business decisions.

 

Removing premium consumeables was surely one of them, but far worse, it was a bad decision in regards to game play.

How is this bad for gameplay?

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From my perspective removing premium consumables is very good becouse less micromanagement and i hated clicking the same buttons all the time when switching from ex. random to coop.

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Vor 1 Stunde, Isoruku_Yamamoto sagte:

:Smile_playing:Skin selling

Sounds like headhunting. Any Dayaks here? But jokes aside, that would be nice. I still want that Mina Hurray or whatever her name was, or maybe even personalized commander portraits.

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I think you are missing something. Gold consumables just around the corner.

 

Now, I don't KNOW this, I'm just guessing. However, I assume it will be along the lines of, "we made great balans for everyone with free premium consumables, now if someone wants a little extra, you can find it in the store".

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I am on premium but was still short on silver. Besides premium account has other benefits than more dough. The extra XP bonus gives you more commander XP, free XP, and implicitly faster coal accumulation, so it still worth it. For example, I can have two daily containers by playing 3-4 games a day.

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