Archived from the original Vainglory Forums, originally posted by Smashoody in October 2017, archived by @idmonfish
Hi all (this is meant for mods and staff mostly but is defs open for discussion),
Hope the transition into the new season is going well! I’ve been digging the teasers and controlled leaks for update 2.9, but wanted to give some some feedback on the 2.8 update before 2.9 drops.
Anyway and first off, I want to commend the implementation of the Market->Skins and Heroes->Skins views.
The use of an A-Z filter was an interesting, and ultimately successful solve. I wanted to start with this detail, because that feature was clearly made to scale. Nicely played.
The layout of the Market->Skins and Heroes->Skins views are successful from a visual scanning POV as well as from both a time & a click count-to-content POV. But there’s a simple aspect of the Market->Skins page variation that is exceptional… and that is the combo of having a text line to show the string “OWNED” (or an ice image/price string), and then a details modal that fires after clicking an item. That series of features together, gives users a much easier and multi-faceted way to acquire paid content.
Now with that said, what I really love about this layout and UI combo, is that theoretically a more rich media experience COULD be created within these modals. I still hope very much to eventually see fully viewable 3D models of purchasable content. Something more immersive than a static video (that’s still super good for external outlets though!) Bonus points if animations can be triggered in the view. Nevertheless, the steps taken so far are fantastic starting points!
Secondly, I wanted to give similar props to the Heroes->Talents view. Using the same UI approaches mentioned above, here again we have a vastly improved and more scannable experience. The ability to upgrade a talent from (our new best friend) the modal in this view, is excellent for all users. Additionally, the ability to browse all talents gives a user the chance to strategize which heroes to use for the daily 5 talent chest fairly quickly. Excellent work.
And finally, I want to (for the first time in my career) congratulate you all on what I consider a completely fair and appropriately RNGed system… the new guaranteed unowned skin chests.
TBH, I ignored these all month until this weekend. RNGs are insta-cringe for me. However, once it occurred to me that since I’m only missing 3 skins out of the collection (the King Glaive epic, the Red Rona legendary, and the Bakuto Phinn special edition) and since the chests are quite reasonably priced… I could acquire exactly what I wanted from an RNG chest. (Obviously not applicable to the SE Phinn skin… but more on that later…)
So for reals, up to this point I personally had become very VERY tepid on spending any more money on this game. Previously though, I would spend regularly to collect all the skins and simultaneously feel like I’m helping SEMC more directly.
Q: What changed and made me stop spending?
A: Other games, and this feeling that I’m getting roped into an ever-increasing pricing strategy from SEMC in comparison.
But the new guaranteed unowned chests, have literally 180ed me back. There’s excitement and risk for new users with this iteration, but it still gets them something they don’t have. Plus every risk that doesn’t work out increases the chances of it happening next time. Progress is good. And for the collectors, we can feel a sense of value and even a reward for spending a good amount more overall - which allows us to use these chests to keep our collections complete. Once you have nearly all of the skins… you DO know what you’re going to get, and you also get to save a little along the way.
Now that my friends, is AMAZING work. Absolutely AMAZING.
I really feel like a reprise is in order here. I HATE RNG ideology and techniques. But this variation works IMO. The key is that these chests are incrementally cheaper than buying directly, which fosters a sense of advantage to the concept of “collect them all.” Supporting you all was starting to feel like an exorcise in faith :(, but now it feels more like my investments are appreciated… because you seem more willing to give and take. Brand faith lvl +20
So that’s the good stuff. Here’s a quick critique or two…
I’ve found myself hooked on three other mobile titles (one’s a MOBA (not MLBB lol), one’s an RPG/MOBA hybrid (meh), and the other is a fighting/hack-n-slash hybrid that like you - is setting the bar for touch interaction controls in its genre). They all use a monthly checkin system pattern. This system allows you to spend purchasable currency to make up for missed days during each month. The key here is the rewards are better as the days progress, and are somewhat substantial at the end of each cycle.
Notice that there’s that word again… progress. It is good!!!
I really strongly recommend you all consider adding in an aspect like this… especially with talents being here to stay. Our current daily free chests system is like MLBBs. But MLBBs freebies are every 4 hours and VGs are every 6. Might make you seem stingy, but that’s not my real point. These other three games I’m talking about also have daily time gated freebies, but they are in addition to the monthly checkin freebies. I think it’s really psychologically strong to create a stage to checkin everyday for a month long journey even without playing at all. This creates (through pure repetition) a type of brand faith that Vainglory can’t currently foster with any current iterations.
I feel strongly that incorporating such a feature on top of these new guaranteed unowned chests, and the current daily time gated chests would cleanly close the circle of options for users of all types, and yet still provide a deeper sense of community inside each of our heads, by having a reason to be SURE we checkin everyday. Sometimes we don’t have the energy or time to play. But being able to make… progress… even if just a tiny bit each day… does in fact keep us coming back for more. Personally with monthly check-ins, I feel like I’m always getting somewhere instead of randomly getting nowhere. And perhaps most importantly, the technique of monthly check-ins let’s me use my money to keep up when I forget or just don’t have time. That’s fair in every way.
And finally, a somewhat selfish crit here… but I really wish I knew what the opal price of Bakuto Phinn is going to be. The reason for this is selfish but simple, I have a decent amount of opals (around 1.2k) that I can’t use on anything. I know the ice price, but can’t know if spending the ice today will be regretted tomorrow, IF I find that I could have spent my opals instead. So I’m basically gun shy to make a move either way, because I don’t want to end up cursing you guys if I choose poorly.
I realize knowing the answer to this question could eliminate a chance for SEMC to profit from me today… but in reality I already have plenty of ice loaded into my account. So you already have the money. The issue I’m trying to describe is this feeling of unsureness from not being able to spend either types of my game currency… wisely. I did my part already. I played along… but yet still feel a sense of undue and missing trust from the company’s side of things.
And frankly since this game is all about strategy, not knowing something like which of your multiple currencies is best for me to spend, puts a sour taste in my mouth. I feel that considering the time I share with this app, on top of the money I’ve spent, transparency in impulse items should be a given. Just sayin…
In the end, again I truly applaud the work you’ve all done. You are listening, and you are all talented and/or passionate to the extent of being inspiring. You are the first company I bring up when consulting with anyone (Coca-Cola, Ralph Lauren, US Olympic Committee, and many more) on how to constructively engage and leverage millennial users. So for real and no bs, you all freaking rock!
And last but defs not least, considering all of us that work in tech are well aware of how thankless our work can be to the masses (and our investors lol… sigh), I hope these words make you all feel both appreciated and maybe even motivated to keep striving, keep iterating, and keep one-upping your already impressive work as we all prepare for the holiday season. You are definitely on the right track with 2.8, and I am looking forward to tomorrow as much as I was looking forward to my first patch update many moons ago. Thank you for that gift.
Much luv and cheers all around!