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Loyal Paying Customers Asks For Better Pricing Model


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#1 focuspark

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 11:33 AM

I purchased MC at the Black Friday sale and as promised when PGIGP did their next MC sale I purchased again. So now PGIGP knows I'm not only an interested customer, but also a loyal customer.

As a customer (and a loyal one at that) I'm looking for a little something back from PGIGP. Here's a bucket list I'd like to see addressed:

'Mech prices are generally too high (in MC). I wouldn't pay $20 for a toy in real life, why am I expected to spend that much for a virtual version? Stripped 'mechs or something need to appear because the current situation isn't tenable.

Camo patterns and paint need to be a buy once, use anywhere type of thing. Not a pay every time I change them situation. I've purchased that pattern with my money, real money, it's mine. If you take it away, I feel like you've stolen from me and you've violated my trust. If I cannot trust you, I will not give you my money.

More than anything I want more c-bills and I don't have time to grind for them. I have a 60 hour/week job, a wife, 2 kids, and responsibilities. I cannot spend a lot of time playing games and when I do play I want maximize my enjoyment - therefore I want a way to purchase C-Bills. Ideally I can trade MC for CB with some kid who cannot get access to MC as easily as I can. We both benefit and I'll feel good about it. Buying a 'mech with MC and selling it for C-Bills is a poor proposition, I have better ways to spend my money.

I want to know that there's an end game coming and that I'm not wasting my money. In the near term I'm fine with PUG matches, they're fun and so is designing strange 'mech loadouts. Eventually it won't be fun anymore, I need to know that my money is well spent and to be encouraged to spend more money. MW:O is competing with EVE Online for my money - every time I buy MC here I don't re-sub in EVE. I know EVE's value, MW:O's is somewhat unknown. Help me here.

I want to know that PGIGP isn't banking on cockpit items being the bulk of their revenue. If they are, I fear MW:O won't long for this world and I should be spending my money elsewhere.

I want to know the longer term Pilot Tree plans. Right now XP and GXP expenditures appear to be a poorly planned after thought of "how can we extend game play?!". The trees are NOT trees currently and I don't see how this comes together. This is part of the "I need to see the future to trust MW:O will survive and it's a good investment for money".

Thanks.



#2 arkani

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 11:37 AM

same 4 me.
so +1

#3 Bhael Fire

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 11:45 AM

I love this game, but am very displeased with the current MC prices (with the exception of premium time and mech bays).

I play a lot of MMOs. A LOT....and none of them charge as much for similar valued items. In other words, if I plopped down $50 in some of the other MMOs I play it would go a LOT further than it does in MWO.

#4 Szaesse

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 10:59 PM

I agree with all the above posters.

I play League of Legends fairly often with my fiance. It has a similar micro-transaction method that works relatively well for me. It also functions in a similar way to MW:O. Two teams go at it and beat each other to a pulp for a base capture. However, when it comes to the micro-transactions, as well as "leveling", LoL seems to be FAR more approachable.

In LoL, I can purchase any champion for between $2 and $6.95. It is also not especially difficult to generate the in-game currency to buy a new champion. A new champion is released usually every 3-4 weeks, and I can typically grind enough currency to buy a champion with no financial expenditure if I am willing to put in about 10-12 hours a week. On top of this, I don't have to pay extra real money for more stable slots. I currently own over 70 champions in LoL, meaning I can play whatever one I want whenever I want.
In-game currency isn't taken away every match. Admittedly, I will typically only generate between 100 and 250 in-game cash per match in LoL, but a new champion only costs 6300 and I loose nothing. So in about 35 matches (each about 20-30 minutes), I will have enough to buy a brand new champion. In MW:O, my lowest repair and rearm has cost me about 30k in my Cataphract-IM. My highest was 114k. My highest win cash out was 240k. My lowest loss cashout was about 74k (I got taken out very early in the match because of a stupid mistake). In most cases, I am making around 10k when I get taken out and we loose. I am making about 100k if I win. Now compare that to the price of a mech. The cheapest is 1.7M. The most expensive is 11.5M. So I have to win 115 matches and make 100k C-Bills in each win after repairs and rearm to afford an Awesome 9M, or 17 matches with the same limitation to buy a Commando 1B. With an average 50/50 win rate, that means 213 matches to buy the 9M. At that point, however, I can't even DO anything to it yet. I can't buy weapons, or upgrade to DHS, or FF armor. All of that is additional wins required. Just to buy that Awesome will be around 28 hours of actual play. And that's if I get a 50/50 WL ratio. I'll admit it, I haven't seen that kind of ratio so far. At present rate, it will likely be closer to 50 hours of play to buy the Awesome. Keep in mind, this is all using my CTF-IM, which gives me a bonus 30% C-Bills. In a larger, more expensive mech, the time spent would be significantly larger, as you can actually LOOSE C-Bills in a loss if you take enough damage.
When it comes to leveling, LoL is again more approachable. I begin play as a level 1, and gain experience through matches. Once I am level 30, I have access to all the mastery points I can get. I also have access to all the rune slots I can get. Buying runes takes in-game currency, but they aren't that expensive. At that point, so long as I play the champion correctly, I can play at optimal level. In MW:O, I have to buy 3 separate variants of the same chassis and unlock all the basic level perks to gain access to the Elite level perks. I am not at that point yet (still a relatively new MW:O player), but I am betting similar limitations to get to the Master level perk, which is simply an additional module slot. On top of that is the painfully slow GXP generation in game. The cheapest Pilot tree perk is 5k GXP. I haven't been paying super close attention to how much GXP you get, but it seems to be arduously slow. At 50k total GXP required to unlock all the pilot tree perks. And after that, I can still only install 2-3 of those on my machine, and have to pay millions of C-Bills just to buy the piece of equipment that allows me to do so. This seems like a great deal of effort for a few pieces of equipment that, other than the stupidly powerful Capture Accelerator, offers relatively limited benefit. Sure, 360 degree target retention is useful, especially on scout mechs. But it isn't game changing. Advanced Zoom is pretty nice on a sniper, but it offers no benefit in standard brawling range. Target Info Gathering coming in faster is useful to help decide what part of an enemy mech to focus on, but it doesn't give me anything other than that. And considering some of these parts cost more than a Cataphract, it feels like gouging for the rather limited benefit they provide. Hell, you can buy an XL 340 engine for less than the 360 target upgrade, and that engine would give my mech a significant boost to both turn speed and movement speed, both of which would be far more noticable in game than being able to keep targeting an enemy that is behind me.
While I can understand the mech experience thing (in canon fiction, it's regularly pointed out that knowledge of how your mech handles is imperative. It could mean life or death for you), I don't understand the requirement of 3 variants to access elite skills. In fact, switching models would actually detract from your familiarity with your machine. You should be able to focus on a particular machine, and become an expert with it. The current system feels kind of like a cash grab.

At present, the cheapest mech costs about $3.10. The most expensive non-hero costs about $21.25. In case of the C-bill expenditure, this lines up almost perfectly.

Here are the suggestions I've got.
1 - Increase C-bill payouts on matches. As a FTP game, there needs to be a real and reliable FTP option. If there isn't, the game will loose popularity. Micro-transaction games are far more expensive than buy-and-play games, or subscription games. You have to give the option of a real FTP mechanic so people can actually use that option reliably and not feel gibbled. There are multiple ways you could actually do this.
A - First, you could just go for a flat upgrade. The average win gives 250k C-bills, while the average loss awards 180k. This way, regardless of win or loss, you have a chance to actually make C-bills.
B - Second, go more grand. Matches generate significantly more money (actually in the millions of C-bills), and you can actually salvage equipment from the field after the fighting is over (actual gear, like picking up an AC/2 from that Dragon you downed). You only get salvage from mechs you either kill, or assist in killing. However, damage your mech suffers has to be completely repaired. If you loose your AC/20, you have to buy a new AC/20. If you loose your engine, you have to buy a new engine. So you might gain 5M C-bills from a match, but you have to totally repair and refit your machine from flat market rates. In some cases, it might even be more efficient to buy a new machine rather than fix a broken one. This gives reason to hold on to the equipment you strip from a mech. If you upgraded your engine, you might want to hold on to the old one. This is more effective in non-deathmatch games, however. Matches where each side has objectives they have to achieve to win the game. This option leaves room for abuse, however.
C - C-bills gained are boosted the longer the match goes on. If you win in 5 minutes, you will gain less than if you win at 10 minutes
Personally, I prefer a combination of A and C. Generally increase the C-bill payout for a match, while the longer the match goes the more C-bills you gain (capped at 10 min, meaning you gain no extra C-bills after the game goes past that limit. Obviously, the time cap would change based on the game mode you are playing, since some game modes might encourage a longer game time).
2 - Lower the MC cost of mechs. The cheapest should cost about $2, maybe $2.50. The most expensive shouldn't be more than $7. These are virtual toys that you likely will not hold on to because of limited stable slots, and the fact that a LOT of machines you will only get in the first place because you need to in order to unlock elite and master level perks. At current price, especially the heavies are FAR too expensive to justify spending MC on except for the fact that it's painful to grind out the C-bills required.
3 - Allow C-bill use to buy stable slots. At present, if I want to master one mech from each weight class, I either need to buy and sell mechs regularly, then purchase all the mechs I want to use after I have mastered them all, or I have to buy 2 extra slots just to be able to have the required 3 chassis to unlock all the skills. This doesn't make me want to become really good with all the classes. It makes me want to master 1 or 2 machines at most, because doing anything less becomes a money-sink I can't afford with a child on the way.
4 - Allow specialization in a mech. This 3 chassis requirement makes little to no sense, and again feels like a cash grab. I don't want to have to buy 2 extra chassis that I don't even want to use just so that I can get the one I DO want to the best it can be.
5 - As the above poster said, once you buy a camo spec, it should remain. If I want to change my camo for a match or two, and decide I liked my old one better, but have to buy it again, I will not even bother with camo. Honestly, it's a ripoff.
6 - Increase the rate of GXP generation to something that actually seems reasonable. Even 100 for a loss and 200 for a win would make GXP feel as if it was actually going somewhere, while still making access to all modules take a while (about 340 matches total).
7 - For gods sake, reduce the C-bill costs of the modules. Even at the above GXP gain I suggested, if you have to spend 35-100 matches JUST to unlock the module, spending an extra 6M c-bills to equip it is just over the top. 1M for the capture unit, and 350k for the advanced zoom, for example, seems reasonable (based on the GXP required to get it. The capture module is 3x more expensive than the advanced zoom, thus the price is about 3x more in C-bills).

#5 Jadel Blade

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 11:16 PM

^ wow ...

OP: Agree pretty much apart from the buy cbills part.

Edited by Jadel Blade, 14 December 2012 - 11:17 PM.


#6 focuspark

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 11:42 PM

View PostJadel Blade, on 14 December 2012 - 11:16 PM, said:

^ wow ...

OP: Agree pretty much apart from the buy cbills part.

Yeah, that's the sticking point for most people but look at it from my point of view. I work 60+ hours per week, spend at least another 5 just commuting to and from the office, spend 150+ hours per week taking care of my kids, and I need to do stuff like eat, sleep, and bathe. This leaves me like 4-8 hours per week maximum (usually at the sacrifice of sleep) time to do some gaming. With a schedule like this I literally have more money than time and am completely willing to pay for time; which in the MMO world means purchasing in game currency.

Since I don't like the idea of giving my money to a sweatshop in a third world country to get in game currency I'm drawn to games where I can legitimately trade real money for virtual money because in my eyes it is buying time. So far this has meant playing EVE Online. EVE's great, but I'd like to stretch my gaming legs a bit BUT I need a way to skip the grind and get to the meat or it's not worth it.

Sucks getting old.

#7 Apoc1138

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 01:27 AM

Whilst i understand your plight... if they make it too cheap and easy to unlock everything, a great many people will do so, get bored and not actually play the game between content releases... killing the player population and the whole game anyway

i agree that i won't buy patterns that are lost instead of unlocked... but in game i see people buying patterns... and hero mechs... and no doubt normal mechs too

if we do see them drastically drop mech prices then that is the point i will worry.. it will be an obvious money grab and mean theyve given up on creating a sustainable income... like a closing down sale

#8 Aegis Kleais

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 01:35 AM

No offense, but buying from a company does not give you say in how to run the company.

If you buy a Big Mac from McDonalds, you're not entitled to tell corporate HQ how to spend funds/resources in running their business.

It has nothing to do with loyalty.

#9 Cralyn

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 02:39 AM

+1 agree with original comments


#10 focuspark

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 08:07 AM

View PostAegis Kleais, on 15 December 2012 - 01:35 AM, said:

No offense, but buying from a company does not give you say in how to run the company.

If you buy a Big Mac from McDonalds, you're not entitled to tell corporate HQ how to spend funds/resources in running their business.

It has nothing to do with loyalty.

True but iam outlining measures the company can take to insure my future patronage. You seem to have the supply/demand model backwards.

#11 Aegis Kleais

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 08:27 AM

View Postfocuspark, on 15 December 2012 - 08:07 AM, said:

True but iam outlining measures the company can take to insure my future patronage. You seem to have the supply/demand model backwards.

Supply/Demand has nothing to do with this. These are virtual goods, they are limitless. The original thread starts off about how you spent money on the game to support it and show interest, which is fine. But in the very next line, you state that you now want a tangible return on the supposed good faith rendered.

This is like when people do you a favor and then tell you that you are indebted to them. I guess as long as you don't see this as someone twisting your arm to give PGI money, because they may look out for their community's best interests which can fly in the face of personal wants, but in the end, there's profits to be had, and only the higher ups have say on what goes and what stays.

#12 Zirand

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 08:30 AM

View PostApoc1138, on 15 December 2012 - 01:27 AM, said:

Whilst i understand your plight... if they make it too cheap and easy to unlock everything, a great many people will do so, get bored and not actually play the game between content releases... killing the player population and the whole game anyway

i agree that i won't buy patterns that are lost instead of unlocked... but in game i see people buying patterns... and hero mechs... and no doubt normal mechs too

if we do see them drastically drop mech prices then that is the point i will worry.. it will be an obvious money grab and mean theyve given up on creating a sustainable income... like a closing down sale


I would be very surprised if they didn't make a lot more money by lowering prices. That being said, there would be plenty of cash flow to have a large enough team of developers to work on new content, and there is more than enough current material out there for new content.

I don't think people would lose interest that quickly. On the flip side of that, I think people might currently be becoming too frustrated at the current pricing model and repair bills and are already leaving.

#13 Apoc1138

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 09:16 AM

Online multiplayer games need a healthy playerbase to keep them successful, no one wants to keep seeing the same names and teams constantly... the current model encourages players to buy an $8 - $15 a month subscription and actually play the game to unlock items... if items that take 2 weeks to play for ($7 of that $15 sub plus effort) cost only $10 then there is absolutely no incentive to buy a subscription because for $3 I can save 2 weeks of time... I then have zero sense of investment in the game and I can ditch it on a whim... or, I take a look at sub packages, realise that for a little effort and $4 I can unlock a $20+ mech... all of a sudden I've spent $99 and prebooked 360 days of premium (which I have) and I end up buying additional MC to buy much bays, paint and possibly hero mechs (yep me too)... if assault mechs were $10 then then I'd have spent $10, maybe $20 tops and that would be it... the question then becomes how many people would additionally put in $10 and would it make up the shortfall for people like me who otherwise would have put in $100+ and likely to put in another $100+ over the next 12 months

#14 Bagheera

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 09:28 AM

I can get behind most of your post, except for this:

View Postfocuspark, on 14 December 2012 - 11:33 AM, said:

More than anything I want more c-bills and I don't have time to grind for them. I have a 60 hour/week job, a wife, 2 kids, and responsibilities. I cannot spend a lot of time playing games and when I do play I want maximize my enjoyment - therefore I want a way to purchase C-Bills. Ideally I can trade MC for CB with some kid who cannot get access to MC as easily as I can. We both benefit and I'll feel good about it. Buying a 'mech with MC and selling it for C-Bills is a poor proposition, I have better ways to spend my money.


Please no. If you really must get C-Bills directly from MC, buy a mech chassis and sell it. And absolutely please no trading between players. No in game trading means the game is worthless to the entire "gold farming" industry, and I would like to keep it that way.

#15 focuspark

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 09:30 AM

View PostBagheera, on 15 December 2012 - 09:28 AM, said:

Please no. If you really must get C-Bills directly from MC, buy a mech chassis and sell it. And absolutely please no trading between players. No in game trading means the game is worthless to the entire "gold farming" industry, and I would like to keep it that way.

Yeah... if there's no trading then MW:O isn't the game for me. Disappointing but it is what it is. Guess we'll see.

#16 Sneakypop

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 10:28 AM

I hope there will not be any C-Bills exchange system in there.
This is a _very_ bad idea. No trading system please. I do not feel the urge to see the entire gold farming industry exploiting every single flaw in the system.

#17 Tal Kath Naabal

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 12:53 PM

I agree +1

View Postfocuspark, on 14 December 2012 - 11:33 AM, said:

Camo patterns and paint need to be a buy once, use anywhere type of thing. Not a pay every time I change them situation. I've purchased that pattern with my money, real money, it's mine. If you take it away, I feel like you've stolen from me and you've violated my trust. If I cannot trust you, I will not give you my money.

Perhaps a flat c-bill fee for repainting an owned camo item would satisfy.

I'm on the fence about MC trading, EVE online (i know this isn't eve) does it really well, and it sustains some of the economy, of course EVE online thrives on player conflict and interaction.

View PostApoc1138, on 15 December 2012 - 01:27 AM, said:

Whilst i understand your plight... if they make it too cheap and easy to unlock everything, a great many people will do so, get bored and not actually play the game between content releases... killing the player population and the whole game anyway

I agree somewhat, but prices don't have to be lowered far enough to have this effect. Have to remember though, price reduction means MC reimbursement for back purchases most likely, may be a daunting task.

Edited by Tal Kath Naabal, 15 December 2012 - 12:54 PM.


#18 Vertech

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 03:34 PM

I have been playing MW:O for a while now and I did buy a founders program package, but because I've been so busy with my job for the last few months I haven't been using any of my MC or Time.

I agree that some of the price models are a bit too high, at least in how it relates to the other systems in the game. For instance, if I wanted "Master" just the Dragon classes (Which I'd consider to be roughly in the middle of the price scale), I would need about 15 million C-Bills (Which is an absurd number to reach without paying for time) OR 6900 MC, which is just over $30. Thats $30 for JUST 3 Mechs which for all intents and purposes are exactly the same.

This is even before you invest all the actual time needed to get enough XP to reach "Master" since you can't buy it. (Not that I'm saying XP should be buyable) and not accounting for other expenses your going to incur such as repairs and new weapons.

I honestly feel like the other C-bill prices for items only feel expensive because, ultimately, the goal is to save up for another Mech, so we're always considering how much we still need to save for the next mech. Its frustrating because I feel like I need to horde my C-bills and MC until "something really good" comes along.

I think the problem also stems from the fact that the current XP system also bullies you into sticking to a particular mech, So I don't want to "just buy" a new mech for the hell of it, knowing the amount of work I will have to put into I as well.

I would love to pay a few bucks here and there to switch up Mechs and try out crazy builds, but at the moment it a least "feels" to expensive to me, regardless of whether or not it really is.

#19 Roheryn

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 06:39 PM

PGI Listen to this man,

As another man with a full time research position, family, house to take care of I am happy to pay for a product that I like. I have a founders pack after all.

However I refuse to get nickled and dimed constantly. I would have already bought several paint colors and camos if I could apply them to all my current mechs and future mechs. As it is I will never buy a paint/camo scheme. What if you make my current mechs worthless by adding ECM (Looking at you Jenners)? Then I paid real life money to change the color of something that you basically made worthless to me. If I could use my unlocked purchased paint scheme to deck out my Commando's then I would most certainly pay for that.

I also agree that the price for mech chassis' are too high. I would be HAPPY to pay a $15-$20/month advance suscription rate to be able to get 4 new chassis' per month. As it is I feel like spending $10 for a single chassis is way too much (especially when I effectively have to buy two other chassis' I don't even want in order to Elite the one I do)

In short lower rates would stimulate me to spend more, particularly for things that were account specific not mech specific. Currently I don't see enough value for my $20/month or so, instead you have gotten $0 since the beginning of November.

I want this game to survive and thrive and I am happy to foot the bill when the pricing structure reflects a more accurate $/value ratio.

#20 LynxFury

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 06:51 PM

There's just something wrong with asking more $ for virtual Xmas lights than the real thing from Walmart.

That being said, we can't complain about prices and then complain about opening the game style to more recreational "non sim" modes that would enlarge the player base.





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