Massive Increase in Refresh Cost

This was being “looked at” in January and here we are almost 5 months later and it’s still ridiculous high. So on some packs it’s $100 for 20k gems. To refresh it costs roughly 200 to refresh at its max. It needs to be half of that. It’s absolutely ridiculous and has just been ignored.

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I think anything that surrounds money is a touchy subject for everyone, but I completely agree that we need a serious response now to our concerns

We don’t currently have plans to change the refresh cost. That being said, we’ll continue to monitor interaction with this feature to see if it’s performing in the way that’s intended for player progression.

They want to monitor and see if it’s performing as intended, but they have customers that are very vocal about how unhappy they are. You’d think that would negate the need to monitor anything. Guess not

Hi @Pandread @PHNEWALLETKEYS

This forum is an important channel of subjective feedback from a specific segment of our player-base. We listen to it and consider it an important input to our monitoring of the health of the game. If you haven’t noticed, I personally rabidly refresh this forum regularly to see what players like yourselves are thinking and feeling.

That said, this forum is a very “biased sample.” Only a very small population of the playerbase ever looks at this forum. An even smaller portion writes. Also, many of the changes we make are designed to change a behavior – almost every change has will advantage some behavior and disadvantage another behavior. The people who don’t like having their old way of the app working will always come to the forum and make a very loud thread where they all agree with each other that the change is bad. I obviously don’t like seeing that set of people upset, but our job as developers is to look across the entire playerbase and see if in aggregate the change we want is happening – even if some subset of players can’t do the thing anymore which they previously liked doing.

In this very specific case, here’s what the change did: Some people could pay to keep playing for 8 hours a day and make 100x more progress than someone who played a few sessions a day. Obviously the people who liked doing that before are understandability upset that we’ve curtailed it.
We’ve had tons of data and experience with this on this games and data from our previous games – it creates a huge “burden of optimal play.” It feels very good and fun in the moment to be able to make lots and lots of progress by playing all day. But our data has shown time and time again that the following happens: Players burn out. They feel like unless they do this 8x hours of play every single day for years on end, they’re failing to keep up because other people are generating rewards 100x faster than they are by playing 4x a day. It hurts the game very badly in the long term. We’ve run tests around this many many times and it’s ultimately very bad for the long term health game to have a “flat grinding reward” system like this — in the longer term more people quit playing the game and the player base shrinks much more if we do things like this.

Taking a step back: Our goal is to make games which players want to keep playing for years and it’s sorta impossible for people to do that if they feel like in order to keep up they need to play for 8 hours a day every day for years. They’ll quit playing way before that.

I believe the "right answer’ is something which changes the system more dramatically to something different from a “flat” reward system. For example, in the game War Dragons there is a system which pays out a big reward for winning a battle which refreshes once daily, a medium reward for winning a battle which refreshes every 8 hours and another one which pays out small rewards basically continuously if you just want to play all day. In this way, the player who grinds playing 8hours a day gets more rewards for it, but they’re not 100x more rewards than the person who plays a session every 12 hours. A person who is playing our game for years can keep up with playing a few times a day and not feel like they’re “failing.” Such a change would make this entire discussion moot because it would be fundamentally so different. I’ve pitched changes along these lines to the team and we’ve discussed making these more dramatic changes to the reward system. It’s not something towards the top of our list of things to do, but it’s something we all agree would help the game.

Thank you for giving us your feedback on this. To be clear, I consider you both very important parts of our community and I’m sad we’ve made you feel this way.

Right…this feels like another case where the sentiment is possibly good and the execution isn’t. So you’re telling me that the only way to curtail a specific behavior or adjust something is to increase price? I find that very hard to believe. I agree with your sentiment of not feeling like they have to slave away or fall behind. Well, TEAM prizing and objectives would have been a great way to address that…

Additionally, if you’re going to use War Dragons as the rationale for why this is a good idea I would point it the atrophying player base and growing unhappiness with the direction of the game. Sure, people have played for years…but with far less enthusiasm and judging by the changes I see here, there is a far less established player base before you start heading in that direction.

@S7campusLifer you were interactive and integrated with that title and so was Dave. Judging by both of your lack of presence there, that game is just doing to slowly die. It just feels like some of the same mistakes are being made here but far earlier in the life of the game.

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But making things ridiculously expensive isn’t going to burn anyone out? I understand where you guys are coming from, but the grind to win is still there.

I did an experiment during this event. Since the cap, I can’t get in the top 20 no matter how hard I try. Waiting for the tickets to refill takes forever. So I bought the $50 pack, and surprise, surprise, I’m in the top 10 this time. I am trying to tell you guys that the only way to compete in these events is to spend money. A lot of it. My $50 didn’t get me in the top 5, so I think it’s safe to say winning an event will run you about $150-$200. Which is asinine.

So you can see why we are thinking it’s more about profit than fair play, or even keeping your players around for years to come. The rewards increase does help, but in order to get rewards worth your time and effort, you still have to pay money.

I get that you guys may be concerned about players burning out. But before the cap, players had a choice as to whether they wanted to grind or not. We either had time to waste or we didn’t. Not everyone is going to feel like doing that every event. But the choice was there. If we wanted to get first place, it was achievable, depending on how much time we were willing to put in. What I’ve been trying to get across to you guys is it is NOT achievable any longer, unless you spend hundreds of dollars each event. Some of us can afford that, but most of us are hard working parents with limited income looking for a game to play to blow off steam.

I’ll just be straightforward here: most of your players aren’t happy with this change. Whether you guys see it talked about on the forum or not, what you’re missing is the chats within alliances. We want placing in the events to be realistic, and it’s flat out discrimination how you guys have it right now, catering to people with a big bank account. The ability to grind is still there!! You haven’t fixed that at all. What you did was make it impossible for you average player to succeed.

On a side note, you might not want to mention War Dragons. That game is tanking, and for the same reasons people are frustrated with this game. Pocket Gems has a D- rating on the BBB, and most of the complaints are about WD.

Like I’ve said before, I appreciate your communication with us. I try to remain positive but my frustration is starting to show again. You guys say you listen to us, but do you really? There is no other business out there that would be able to get away with not giving their paying customers what they want.

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They failed to mention that PocketGems and S7 are the same company lol

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It has nothing to do with player burnout,it’s all about the money. PG really needs to stop lying to their customers.

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And now the $20 event pack has less diamonds?! Who do you guys think you’re fooling? Yeah. Done spending money

Tbh it’s actually kind of interesting to watch how fast they’re trying to monetize and bleed the player base. I think they jumped the gun because without a fairly addicted base it fizzles too fast. Will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

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It feels like they never intended to have this game last, they just wanted to get a ton of money fast. Idk. I mean, I’ve already seen some dedicated players jump ship. People who play the game for hours each day. I can’t say I blame them, considering our complaints go unsolved for the most part and the game is just getting more expensive with less in return. I, for one, don’t feel comfortable spending anymore money because I don’t think this game is going to be around much longer.

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When I read them using dragon wars as a reference and then not admit it’s their game owned by the same parent company, I realized this was 100% true and there is no foreseeable roadmap into the future

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Not gonna lie, I never spent a nickel on this game due to my skepticism of this game. Plus, this game has been missing some of the most important features since launch. All in all, I’m glad I never dump anything into this game.

Oh and I almost forgot, this game went through many changes before launch as it was handled by a different dev studio: Rebel Sky. Kudos to those that knew about it. Those that don’t: Take a look through their history.

P.S: Is it me or is there a lot more bots appearing in events now than before?

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