Economy balance update, 28th June 2019

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Comments

  • JayJay Posts: 2,553 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2019
    Now late joining is even more important. Seen so many cars in events since completely stock. A viable tactic is to late  join with stock cars.

    On another note. I used to hate 3 day events. But now maybe they should make them longer like 5 or 7 days so we have enough time to get cash to upgrade the cars needed for the event.
  • hillclimberhillclimber Posts: 2,246 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2019
    We all invest in this game a lot, some do it with time others with cash (I'm all in on both😅 ). The balancing of the two brings always the hottest debates. We should be aware if one of them loses the other wins. But I couldn't hear any F2P user celebrate when gold prizes were globally equalized, which meant for the majority a massive raise. Also I couldn't hear any P2W user celebrate when recently farming became harder. Than we should also be aware that both actions increased the (virtual) value of our existing garage.

    Speaking of value. Yes I like cheap CFs too. But let's imagine for a moment what would happen if the price would be reduced to 500G. Would it change anything? Yes, it would. It would decrease the value of your existing garage. Everybody would get more packs for their gold and more great cars. And soon after that, UR and Epic events would be as stagnant as rare and lower events are today, because too many would be able to build a perfect deck. Not something we like and it wouldn't change the ratio between players.

    So you could come to the conclusion that it's actually better to do the opposite. That would be to raise the price for a CF or you could generate the same effect by raising the price of gold and lowering at the same time the yield of farming.

    Yes, from an emotional point I don't like both of them either. But think about it.
    Sandro, I respectfully disagree with one specific point in your argument - value of garage. In the context of Top Drives, value is not tangible. That’s also how Hutch gets away with the game not being classified as gambling. Quite frankly, your garage has zero value (unless there is a black market for accounts, and even there it’s all about speculation). So it seems weird to talk about the game with terms like “value” and “investment.” In the end this is just a game and it’s only “value” is entertainment. When it stops being fun, the game dies (...and it’s getting there). 

    I made this point a few months ago. As much as Hutch wants to keep the game alive forever, it’s futile. Games lose their entertainment value with rare exceptions (world of Warcraft, Diablo, Starcraft) and in the reason those stayed alive was competition because they had a good balance of competition/investment (time and money). Top Drives doesn’t have the competition aspect - it’s not a skills game. It’s just money in exchange for a set of car pictures (and when I think about it like that, I feel about every single cent I’ve spent on the game). 
    oh, I was expecting way worse reactions than that :)

    I need to respectfully disagree too. there are different ways to determine the value of an object. yes our TD account doesn't have a market value but it has a replacement value.


    Post edited by hillclimber on
  • JayJay Posts: 2,553 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Jay said:
    Now late joining is even more important. Seen so many cars in events since completely stock. A viable tactic is to late  join with stock cars.

    On another note. I used to hate 3 day events. But now maybe they should make them longer like 5 or 7 days so we have enough time to get cash to upgrade the cars needed for the event.
    I think from the disagrees that my sarcasm and irony was lost....
  • tichoblintichoblin Posts: 950 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Jay said:
    Jay said:
    Now late joining is even more important. Seen so many cars in events since completely stock. A viable tactic is to late  join with stock cars.

    On another note. I used to hate 3 day events. But now maybe they should make them longer like 5 or 7 days so we have enough time to get cash to upgrade the cars needed for the event.
    I think from the disagrees that my sarcasm and irony was lost....
    Well, I totally agree with you without sarcasm. I’m going to late join events. 
  • 43MK443MK4 Posts: 1,910 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Strix said:
     ... unless you actually substantially improve the prizes in the top brackets in order to motivate players to be among the few who are good enough to participate in Elite League (or whatever). 
    Exactly!!!
  • MoogMoog Posts: 473 ✭✭✭✭
    Strix said:

    Players are often motivated by progression and improvement. Once you reach a certain garage quality and Trophy Count, you will have a really, really difficult time improving your garage through prizes (because of relatively weak prizes and being stuck with whales). Smurfing then becomes not only the most effective, but actually the only somewhat effective way to improve our garages any further. Even though improvement rate is still really slow (I can open 100 Ceramics  in a row with nothing but fuse material).

    I firmly believe you should scrap the trophy based match making entirely. It's inherently unfair to punish those who reach high trophy count by isolating them in insane brackets where they're essentially helpless. You know, unless you actually substantially improve the prizes in the top brackets in order to motivate players to be among the few who are good enough to participate in Elite League (or whatever). 
    Well said @Strix, you've hit the nail on the head for me. 
    I still enjoy the game, I'm not playing Clubs at all at the moment, it's not for me and I'm fine with that.
    But the matchmaking in events is way out, the number of events I can actually compete in is ridiculously low, probably not even one per week.
    [13k trophies here]
  • TGPDTGPD Posts: 6,067 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Freezer said:
    How to Lie with Statistics is a book written by Darrell Huff in 1954 presenting an introduction to statistics for the general reader.

    wooooow, that's interesting
  • MrpiratepeteMrpiratepete Posts: 968 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Soooo @Hutch_Tim @Hutch_Robin are we playing the silence game? lol
    I think a lot of us would love to hear some statements/solutions about some problems we might have mentioned *cough* a few times *cough* and that you have successfully ignored until today. 
  • LittleEnosBurdetteLittleEnosBurdette Posts: 3,128 ✭✭✭✭✭
    What if they just put an extra event on everyday to help balance it out, would people be happy then?
  • Huskic69Huskic69 Posts: 1,857 ✭✭✭✭✭
    What if they just put an extra event on everyday to help balance it out, would people be happy then?
    That would be a bigger loss then
  • binnerbinner Posts: 731 ✭✭✭✭✭
    What if they just put an extra event on everyday to help balance it out, would people be happy then?
    More work but easy work because it's just smurfing so I'd be happy. Also the odd T1 and T2 in those events would probably actually balance it out perfectly to about what it was before. This solution sounds too easy though for hutch
  • MrpiratepeteMrpiratepete Posts: 968 ✭✭✭✭✭
    What if they just put an extra event on everyday to help balance it out, would people be happy then?
    What sense would it make? Hutch says the daily event must be nerfed because the high cash income is causing "inflation". So putting up an extra event per day, would not only make make people put more time and effort in the game (which clearly people don't want to), no it would also cause this so called "inflation".

    PL9.0 has become a joke by now.

  • MrpiratepeteMrpiratepete Posts: 968 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I’m discounting clubs as it doesn’t work, but today for example there’s the TBT, the daily and the tri-series final going on. The vast majority of the player base won’t have entered the final and probably won’t for at least another day so it doesn’t leave much to do or income to generate, I don’t believe this whole inflation argument. 
    This whole inflation argument is total ****.
    This day doesnt generate income, fun and playability.
  • bantel_catbantel_cat Posts: 968 ✭✭✭✭✭
    What if they just put an extra event on everyday to help balance it out, would people be happy then?
    Didn't Tim or Robin say there was going to be an extra event on Thu finishing on Sat? What happened to that?
  • David_FookDavid_Fook Posts: 2,747 ✭✭✭✭✭
    At the very least I would hope that they can reintroduce an event to end on Tuesdays and Saturdays. I stop playing on those days in the afternoon, forcing me to interact with the 3-dimensional people in my life.
  • bantel_catbantel_cat Posts: 968 ✭✭✭✭✭
    TD01055 said:
    At the very least I would hope that they can reintroduce an event to end on Tuesdays and Saturdays. I stop playing on those days in the afternoon, forcing me to interact with the 3-dimensional people in my life.
    Which can never be a good thing, come on Hutch, help us out
  • greddygreddy Posts: 1,901 ✭✭✭✭✭
    What if they just put an extra event on everyday to help balance it out, would people be happy then?
    Didn't Tim or Robin say there was going to be an extra event on Thu finishing on Sat? What happened to that?
    They also said that we will get new kind of rewards
  • AndreasSimmerAndreasSimmer Posts: 1,928 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I think they said that we will get LESS events with the dailies reintroduction (inflation warning!), which seems to be in place now.It was sth like 6 normal events and the dailies iirc. They also announced to lower club rewards, which seems to be on hold for the very moment. Please correct me if im wrong, i dont bother to search for the specific post now :)
  • MSteeLMSteeL Posts: 1,045 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2019
    I understood there will be extra event every day? Lol
  • Hutch_TimHutch_Tim Posts: 669 admin

    So, picking this up again 1 week later, and I think these are the most-asked questions:

    • “The average RQ150 earnings and top-1%-active RQ150 earning more cash doesn’t match my experience, is the top 1% too extreme for comparison?”
    • What about the gold that went from prize boards?
    • What about all the CF offers, don’t they cause inflation too?


    Average and top-1% earnings vs. player experience
    Last time I reported on average data for players of a few different types. Those of you who reporting less earning obviously don’t find that convincing (I assume the ‘disagrees’ were ‘that does not agree with my experience’), so that raises some questions:

    • Is the 1% most active too extreme to be representative?
    • What are the players who are making less cash doing that’s different to the ‘average’ player?

    First, on the topic of the 1%, it’s interesting to contrast the top 2%-10% and top 11%-20% most active RQ150 players, all comparisons vs. 2019 prior to Club Events:

    • 1% most active RQ150: 44% more matches, 9% more cash
    • 2%-10% most active RQ150: 9% more matches, 20% more cash (but still less cash than the 1%)
    • 11%-20% most active RQ150: 8% more matches, 31% more cash (but still less cash than the 2%-10%)

    Still, this obviously still doesn’t match with the experience a bunch of you are reporting. My guess was that splitting out the most active RQ150 players would find people who have behaviour largely similar to forum folk, but that doesn’t seem correct.

    Sense-check!
    The next step was a tracking audit, just to make sure everything is being counted correctly…and it was. I should also clarify that for cash earnings I’m excluding cash bought via IAPs, cash from special-offer bundles (like the PL9 launch packs), or earned by selling any cars other than a stock F/E/D (as any of those could inflate the post-PL9 numbers).

    Specific player analysis
    With the data correct but player experiences differing so much from the averages, I figured the next step had to be examining some specific players to see how their activity differed from the averages we’ve been looking at so far.

    I do think it’s a bit creepy and rather rude to go into details about specific players’ activity in a public forum, so I’ll report in anonymous terms. I identified 7 of the most regular posters who reported earning significantly less cash, and I then conducted the same analysis just on those accounts (and also my own as a sense-check). I also widened the comparison period for post-PL9 to include the last 7 days. (There was an 8th forum member I included too, but they apparently made a lot of cash lately by selling a huge trove of stock Rares they had lying around, which wasn't caught by earning-type exclusion list, so I'll need to take a more bespoke look there).

    What’s immediately clear is that each case is quite different. All 7 of the players saying they are making less are indeed making less (not a surprise), but their relative changes in time, matches and cash were all quite different.

    For example, one earning-less player is playing 18% fewer minutes a day, playing 15% fewer matches, but making 9% less cash per day, so they’ve found some good efficiency at least. The most negatively-affected player I found is spending 52% more time a day, playing 48% more matches, but making 8% less, so it’s no wonder they are feeling unhappy about it. Overall, 3 of the 7 are making less cash-per-minute, 3 are actually making more cash-per-minute, and one is making the same cash-per-minute - although all are playing less and making less cash in total. (Meanwhile, reviewing my own account, I was interested to find I’m spending 37% more time a day, playing 51% more matches, and making 36% more cash).

    Looking into the change in play pattern, there is one clear common factor: all the earning-less-cash players are playing fewer non-Daily-Event matches than they did before PL8.1, and putting some, all, or more of the difference in those matches into Club event matches instead (e.g. doing 40 fewer non-daily-event-matches a day than before Club Events started, and now doing 40 Club Event matches a day "instead"). My guess is that these players probably smarfed in some non-daily events, and now don't bother. 

    What I'll look at next:
    - That 8th player who sold loads of previously earned rares, just to see if they fit the pattern of less-events more-clubs
    - Check smarfing and late-joining before/after, both among these example players, and among the overall population.


    Speaking entirely personally, here’s what I’m currently doing by the way:
    • Still farming Daily Events (still seems worth it to me; we didn’t expect we would eliminate smarfing, only make it less extremely beneficial compared to winning)
    • In non-daily events I used to enter about 12 hours after they started and try to be competitive. I’m now trying a new thing where I rush to enter new events ASAP, on the basis that perhaps players who enter before anyone has posted track sets are easier to beat, and if I enter with a suboptimal hand it just means I can earn more prize board picks on my way up to my true position... seems ok so far
    • Every play session, I tend to be able to enter a new Club Event, putting in 1 or 5 races (unless I think I can turn the tide in a strategic sector and then I'll try a bit harder)

    Further Economy changes?
    In terms of further changes, we said we'd reduce Club Event rewards by 20%. Given what we’re seeing, we're now planning a Club Event reward rebalance instead, to reward players who actively participate a bit more than those just turning up once or twice a day (in cash and/or gold, not confirmed yet). Based on the above findings, this seems likely to benefit quite a few of you.

    What about gold going from prize boards?
    People haven’t talked about gold much, but a couple of people asked if the prize board gold has gone down from 10 to 6, and end-of-event gold prizes are unchanged, where did that gold go?

    The idea here was that in PL8.1 when we introduced Club Events, we took the gold you could make from farming the daily and spread it out across Club prizes instead (on the basis that Daily Events would stop). Now daily events are back, but prize boards reduced, and the overall result is there is more gold to be earned.


    “What about CF packs, don’t they cause inflation, you big hypocrites?"
    Interesting question! I think it’s extremely rare for a developer to talk specifically about the impact of their special-offer strategy on the game’s economy, but since we’re talking in detail about all these other aspects, I can see why you would ask.

    Interestingly, our analysis finds that, on average, having these more regular CF offers convinces slightly more players to spend for the first time, rather than to convince existing spenders to spend more. In terms of inflation, the extra gold being spent is very small as a percentage, especially compared to the extra cash everyone would have if we had left everything alone and just added Club Events on top.

    I do also think it’s important to remember that an active player can earn around 1,500 gold a week, so it’s not like CF's are only bought by those that spend. A nice feature of these more regular CF offers (and a big reason we're still doing them) is that non-spenders (or lower-spending players) can fill gaps or choose to specialise a lot more easily than before. Previously, you could play Top Drives for months on end and never see a Ford CF, or a 70's CF, or a Motorsport one for example, so your ability to strategically shape your garage was very limited. As an analogy: someone who rolls 100 dice will have plenty of 4's (assuming 4's are something they want, for the periodic, er, 5x 4 events); someone who only rolls 10 dice might not have any 4's, and would appreciate a chance at a die more likely to give them one.

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