Why has SEMC completely reworked the skin system so many times?


#1

I would REALLY love to see everyone’s thoughts on this, because I can’t land on a final answer.

My initial gut reaction is this is a sort of shell game, and I’m having trouble poking holes in this theory. I’d like to think it’s something else, can anyone show me why it isn’t this?

Another simple answer is that these changes have moved the dial more and more in their $ favor based on their data. Because I’m not a mathematician, and even if I were, I never really bought skins with money (I paid for every hero on release because I don’t like the business model being about skins) so I don’t know how the values have moved over time.

I also have wondered if it’s simply that SEMC is obsessed with “perfecting” their skin system or something weird like that.

I have NEVER seen a developer COMPLETELY change their currencies, their values, the way they package the products as much as SEMC. It almost seems crazy. Anyone have any theories, especially supported by something empirical?


#2

ok, first a short look on the money side of skins:

  • at first, you could buy the rare for 900 ice and you had to buy the cards for the epic and legendary skins out of the ice card box. depending on the cards featured in the ice box (there was a time when there were cards for 3 different skins on 3 different heroes, like koshka rare, ringo epic and joule legendary)
    skins were really expensive (80 bucks and up)
  • next, they started to sell all skins directly. first as a temprary offer, but they never removed that.
    this made skins much cheaper individually
  • then they started the discount on newly released stuff in the first few weeks of an update
  • with the success of the improved rare chest, they moved completly into rng and bundles
  • right now, this once so unique game tries to hard copy everything from the big mobas, hoping it would also work for them

#3

I’ve only noticed it changing…twice. Before it was ICE only purchase. Then they did the card crafting. Now it’s blueprints. Honestly I don’t see the big deal, and that’s most likely due to me not being a newer player. (But neither are you).


#4

Three complete overhauls is a lot IMO.


#5

i think they have no idea on how to sell their stuff. they are constantly trying out stuff, not only with the overhauls but also with the varying deals.

i dont get why they not try to increase their playerbase instead. this would automatically lead to more money.


#6

I should have written this as an option honestly. Incompetence. That’s the thing with revenue streams, you typically need proof of concept before getting investors into something. If they are still just using trial and error and throwing shit at all wall to see if it sticks after 4 years it would seem this is a likely answer.


#7

I actually did an analysis back in the old forums about t the skin system and how currencies affect the income for the developers but essentially TL;DR was the craftabiliy of the skins basically was a significant money loss for the game. I could redo another analysis of the new system but I’d need info of what the actual essence cost of each is since I don’t have a wide enough data


#8

this would explain a lot. the le/se skins, the golden tickets - all due to them not having the best in marketing.
now they try to copy other games buisness models.


#9

I mean can you blame them? Most of their hype was lost when so many other mobile MOBAs came out for cheaper, they don’t really have much drive to keep them above water.


#10

but the old skin system was great at keeping players engaged and motivated.
now all they have to do that is the gameplay and that means any gameply issue could harm them a lot more.
like the way the game currently looks. this is really off putting right now. (every font and button on my ipad is now incredibly small, basically ruining support for me)

if they cant manage to get the success with their 5v5, they will start to lose players in a few months.


#11

A skin system being “great” would mean in addition to making customers happy, it creates a dollars per user profit the company is content with. Either greed keeps pushing them for more, or they weren’t making enough money.


#12

But the new skin system is actually more consistent with typical PC mobas of today. Yes he old skin system was good for f2p’ers, though good for us players, is a bit of a burden on SEMC financially.
I’m not saying it doesnt have kinks to work out, but I can understand where the system needed another overhaul. It just makes sense to still make it a bit F2P, but really to encourage more spending so they can put the money back into the game for improvements.


#13

right.
maybe you cant have both, but the earlier versions of their skin system got me to actually buy some skins.
now that i remember it, the skins i bought were the le cath and long neck celeste skin though, because they were at an almost reasonable price of 1799 ice.
i think the t3 skins are just way too expensive for many players, even now.
selling bp for a low amount of ice directly could help semc and bring the f2p players to buy ice to spend the essence they grinded for.

it is exatly in line with other mobas. the problem with it is that it may not be the best thing to do.
semc is the underdog compared to aov and giving it as much of an edge as possible could have helped with getting in the players they need.
at the very least it is consistent in itself.


#14

SEMC was the underdog. Yes they’ve done many things that were unprecedented and I still give the company respect for that. But with such a low player base compared to all the other mobas, it’s hard to maintain such a status if funding becomes the main issue. Other games have done it and gained money, and it’s a little bit obvious that SEMC was, unfortunately, the dog without a bone.


#15

Long story short :
1/ because they need money
2/ because it’s true that the 3 tiers skin system was an unnecessary burden on the art team.

The older the player the more free currency he’d have. We came to the point where players had insane amount of free currency and could just craft new skins right after the update. You can be for or against it, but it certainly is a huge money loss for SEMC. OG players acquired a big privilege in the game just because they were there at the beginning, I’m not an OG player and I still have lots of skins that I did not pay for and I started to pile up glory.

That’s only natural that SEMC wants to keep their premium stuff premium.


#16

The skin system has been constantly changed, with a small part of every change aimed at making it a better system and a larger emphasis on making them more expensive/harder to obtain.

Right at the start we had our wonderful glory box, which one could empty out 3 times for a legendary skin guaranteed as long as you had the epic. It wasn’t cheap though at around 30k glory. Even destroying the leg cards made it worth buying a few boxes.

They promised skins would be an achievement at first and would not just be available for straight up purchase, then came out with the ice box at a high price justified by the fact that it wasn’t supposed to be available to just buy so if you wanted it you could spend more to support the game and get the skin.

Then came direct ice purchases as a lucrative option. In game tip - ‘Spend ice on the tier 1 skin to save cards for further tiers!’

I dont quite remember the order from then but it was nerfing the hell out of glory boxes then turning them to shit, spamming commons, skins being attached in RNG chests for 1-2 weeks after update before direct purchase, then a new card system while increasing prices and shifting to 1 card system, attaching it to the old system which dropped the odds of dropping those cards (ex- if there were 54 different leg cards and new skin came out, drop chance if it was a leg would be 2/56, now 1/55.)

And now finally the last straw, blueprints. While everyone cheers at their hoards of essence, they dont realize its pretty much impossible to even grind for a skin now. You can end up waiting forever for the blueprint, while all that essence lies around for waste. Or of course you could try your hand at the RNG blueprint chest for 250 ice a pop as predicted (doesnt even guarantee a blueprint, blueprint/skin/hero/essence). Or just buy it flat out.

Enjoy your skins my dear F2P players, as you wont be getting many more.


#17

I simply won’t play any other Moba due to the cartoon like graphics and joystick controls (which makes specific targeting next to impossible) and I assume there’s many players who feel this way too, so that’s definitely a win for them. As far as the skin system goes, sure its been reworked many times and still may be flawed but show me another Moba that gives users the chance to earn skins without paying money, this alone will also keep a player base. Let’s also not forget the uniqueness that does still exist in VG. Every other moba copys the 5v5 map experience from LoL… Does VG? Nope not at all, completely unique. As far as keep there head above water a dev stated about a week ago that VG wasn’t declining at all and judging by the increasing downloads from the platform I believe this. Sure they could use more marketing schemes to get a larger player base even more quick and for the reason why they don’t I will never know.


#18

actually, for most old players it will be hard to get ANY bp for now, aside from the ones we got with the update.
i got roughly half of the skins and allmost all rare skins. so the chance for me to get a bp is going to be really low for the next year or longer.
and while i got most of the skins for free, i also spend money on some. probably more than they hope to get from their average user.

the problem for vg is, they need to grow. not declining is not enough for the investors.
i think we are going to see some public spotlights on vg with the start of 3.0. they have invested a lot of money into their 5v5 and now they have to show the money for it.


#19

Agreed, hence my statement why I’ll never know the reason they don’t apply more marketing schemes.