Zion’s Opinions on Monetization 2: Electric Boogaloo!

So, some of you may remember when I was an active poster back in April/May and wrote a rather long thread discussing the various microtransaction used in Vainglory and why I saw the majority as negatives. I figured, since I recently got back into the game, why not discuss the changes that exist now? I will be taking this in a far more lax direction than the last thread and I’m gonna give SEMC the benefit of the doubt when I can.

First off, the biggest change I noticed is the Sunlight/Battle Pass system. SEMC listened to something mentioned in my thread by another player and combined the two from what I can see, which is all well and good except for one tiny caveat.

They removed almost all the F2P rewards.

So you’ll get a little glory, quite a few opals (good job there, really cool of you to give us a better source of a larger amount of those!), a couple keys and chests from what I’m seeing, maybe a blueprint or two?

I remember the old sunlight system well, three mystery keys and a massive end of season payout based off what you did. Is that gone? I can’t tell since I joined mid season. So for now I’m gonna tentatively say I don’t like this, due to losing a ton of free rewards. Maybe I sound entitled? I don’t know, it was here before and now it’s MIA. :-1:t2: For the time being.

Events: These look… pretty sweet honestly. Some decent rewards here. Nothing groundbreaking but they can’t all not be the Ride or Die event. Good on ya. :+1:t2:

Quests: These are the same as always. Meh. No hate, no love. But good on ya, free objectives. :+1:t2:

Chests/Keys: Oh hey, a free loot box every… 20 games… 30… when the hell was the last time I got a chest and NOT a key? :-1:t2:

Blueprints: My opinions are the same as before. This is vastly inferior to the card system that felt like you were making progress and getting a sick reward in the special artwork. :-1:t2:

Talents: Okay, this is gonna sound nitpicky but back in the day the “Legendary Talent Coin” thing was a one time purchase and was hyped up, and now it’s just a weekly glory sink? Also, lately in my BR matches it means everyone and their mother has legendary talents while I’m saving glory for new heroes. But at the same time, I’ll be able to get one if I want. So… uh… I don’t have a neutral. :handshake: works I guess.

Charms: Remember that thing that costed a paltry bit of glory for a 7 day use? Yeah, uh, it’s now gated behind ice entirely. I was wondering why nobody was taunting me anymore. This gets an emphatic :-1:t2:

Pings: Really? No. Just no. These should be free rewards available at a like 1/5 or 1/8 rate in free chests you get postgame. Not sold. Sorry, I can draw emojis of a minion on paper in seconds. :-1:t2:

Hats: Never seen one but no. This is not a good idea, breaks lore, and just flat out has no place in the game. You get an emphatic :-1:t2: and a slap on the wrist for good measure.

New Heroes: This is just a sidebar really but uh, these new heroes seem pretty fun and creative. I’m honestly sad you guys can’t rely on your creativity alone to draw support from the playerbase. Also, new itemization is awesome. Good job there, it really did solve the problems I saw in the item purchase system. Warmail building into a lot of essential items makes a very very big difference for carry and bruiser setups that used to have decide if they wanted to forfeit their late game power spike for a bit of defense. Cheers!

I dunno, is Niv still working the balance team? If so, good job man!

Now, I cannot say the same about the business practices I see. Maybe I’m a cynic. You all can crucify me in the replies. I just feel like Vainglory needs to focus on the things it does right and cut the crap out that it does wrong. Sunlight was good. The Battle Pass was a Battle ASS idea. Cards were good. Blueprints are not. Legendary talents being legitimately rare was nice. Now the color is just a formality. Sorry, still don’t see myself supporting the game unless it does a marketing 180.


Honestly can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic or not

What? I get chests all the time, but never keys. I have 2 gold keys, 5 silver chests and about 20 bronze chests.

Right this REALLY pisses me off. I’m not gonna give you the full story cause I’ve mentioned it on here too many times but I was so done with SEMC when they did that.

Hats, definitely agree with you. Hate them. Pings I can accept.

Also, Nivmett left SEMC, not entirely sure who does balancing now (I should probably pay more attention when reading patch notes)

Zekent and Sonata currently do the balancing, which explains a lot considering they’re responsible for our “balanced” talents. Also, I think Night took PBE

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You forgot a section… Lore :-1:

Yes hes one of the PBE testers.

Nightwalker is a “she” not a “he,” fyi. :lyra:

In my case it’s the opposite, right now I’m in a state where I hate every new hero (though I have to agree that Silvernail is awesome, congrats). I used to like Anka, but after 3 update of her being broken like few others in 3v3 I just developed a hate towards her.

Why buy something you won’t be able to use?

They need the money… I no longer see it that bad, other than losing the only good progression system we had. I’m already used to it.

Is it bad that I read through it too quickly and thought they were talking about Nivmett.

Sorry Nightwalker :disappointed_relieved::cold_sweat:

This is a good lesson to actually read something instead of speeding through it :sneezing_face:

Edit: I thought Walker was still an employee? Did she leave?

She’s still at SEMC – just saw her post on the SEMC Slack yesterday, in fact.

Thanks for the knowledge. I recently played against her MANY times in Br so I was confused.

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This is coming from a very different perspective from newer players so I’d be happy to hear from new players.

No, the opals thing isn’t sarcasm. Opals used to be an ungodly grind, and while they still are, gaining 100 or so from the Battle Ass should be nice me getting my darned Taka skin.
One day…

As for chests vs keys, I’m sitting with a metric ton of keys and one silver chest with no silver keys.

Sad to hear Nivmett left the dev team but, I understand.

Interesting. I guess I’ll chip in my thoughts.

  • Thought No.1: Battle Pass.

This one is a bit tricky. I don’t mind it nor do I feel the need to say to players to “Buy it! It’s actually great!”
I think it’s a 50/50 case for me at least. I was on the fence until the recent Sunlight Events kicked in. I sat on around nearly 3K ICE (a good portion of it came from pass Battle Passes and the level 40 reward for levelling one’s account).
I find the monetisation scheme for Battle Pass (current one) is ok, but deceptive depending on the person you ask.
Like, some already reach Level 100 Sunlight and are now missing out on all the benefits the current and upcoming Events are bringing. Some pulled trigger and bought the Battle Pass, reaping the benefits of the Events. Some are indifferent.

I guess it all depends on how the rewards are spread out and how fast a person grinds. A Casual (like maybe an hour to 2 hour a day type of player) may find the progress through the Battle Pass and Sunlight grinding much easier.

I still think that this Battle Pass has a good degree of benefits to it, but I still don’t like the final reward being a Krul skin because I absolutely hate playing against this undying pest.

  • Thought No.2: F2P Stuff.

To me, as someone who only spend an occasional amount of ICE and has wizened up to not impulse buy, a lot of stuff can be get for free in the game if you put at least some time into it.

It may seem that the Free Pass is shitty, but it’s at least clearer than when the Sunlight Wheel was in use. It doesn’t reward players with much, but I feel that is ok because other things compensate that a little bit. Other things being ads, Quests and some Events.

There’s also a very generous start for newer players, considering what is given to them by simply doing the ‘Road-To-Ranked’ Quest line and Logging In for seven days.

Some F2P stuff are really RNG that’s feels like it’s screwing you half the time and rewarding unbelievable stuff another. What I meant by this is the Keys, Metal Chests (I call them this because Gold, Silver, Bronze) and what these chests drops.

Believe me that the RNG in VG is a cruel mistress. I’ve gotten the Sunny and Baby Kraken set almost completed from just opening those Chests. Only one of each left, which by some chance happens to be the Happy Face ping, lol.

In relation to F2P stuff, Opals are on a very, very slow drip I feel. You can really easily get them consistently from watching adds. Coupled that with the Metal Chests giving Opals on an random basis, a player can feasibly get a 1000 Opal skin within half a year or so.

Other F2P stuff I rarely see being talked about is the level up Chests. They are pretty ok, with the final being quite good. However, without an Exp Boosts via the All Access Pass; the grind can get quite real. Once players reach Level 40, they may feel a bit empty because the level doesn’t go up anymore.

  • Thought No.3: Events.

I like the ones where they just ask you to do one thing like “Win a 3v3 Match” and is more solo orientated. The guilds ones are ok, though most can’t really feasibly challenge the top Guilds in a region. The others like win streaks, use this hero with their Talents etc. are tolerable but not likeable because the grind is exhausting.

  • Thought No.4: Metal Keys & Chests drop rates.

Like I said: RNG in Vainglory is a cruel mistress. Personally, I don’t mind since getting the occasional drop of these items feels fair to me at least. Maybe because I have too much stuff already unlocked and does not desire much of the stuff. A lot of them are accidental unlocks too or unlocks from keys I got for free.

  • Thought No.5: Blueprints or Skin Crafting System.

I fee the current one is the best, simply because it reduced clutter and has streamlined the quality of skins (no more Tiered lines where some of the skins in the line or all of them are shitty).

The older system I feel had to go because it was choking the creativity of the skin creators as well as populating the drop system with too many clutter of cards.

I know people really want the old system back, but I feel it’s time to move on.

  • Thought No.6: Talents.

Personally, I’m indifferent. I grind specific hero Talents because I like Blitz and getting those Talents to a high level is a necessity to keep my teammates alive.

Additionally, I grind them now with a sub-goal in mind, which is to turn the Daily 5 Talent Chest into a Glory dispenser.

How is that possible you may ask?
Well, when a Talent is maxed, the Daily Talent Chest cannot dispense the Talent Coin that has been maxed. It will not dispense the other Talent Coins of the hero because if it did, it will eventually run into the problem of not being able to dispense the Talent Coins at all and it will also make grinding Talent Coins a bit easier.
So, in place of the maxed Talent, the Chest will dispense Glory based on the roll it gets.
The exchange rate of the Talent Coins to Glory via this chest is as follows:
1 Rare Coin = 7 Glory.
1 Epic Coin = 330 Glory.
1 Legendary = 1980 Glory (an estimate since I have not been able to confirm it yet).

A Talent does not have to be leveled up to be considered maxed out. Just getting the total Coins needed to reach that max level is sufficient to trigger the compensation system.

It’s an ok trade I suppose. If they ever remove Talents, I don’t really mind. Preferably they compensate or refund entirely if they ever did so.

  • Thought No.7: Charms, Pings, and Hats.

The drama that unfolded because of poor communication tainted the appeal of Charms. I don’t like the fall out from that.
They should have made a short Event or the like to encourage players to buy the Charms, with a great discount of course.
It would have been ok if they just communicated things properly.

Pings are quite cute. I like Sunny and Baby Kraken sets. They don’t do much other than for players to show off. I haven’t bought any nor completed any yet though.
It’s a hit or miss product I feel. Some like it, some don’t others are indifferent.
They do make nice rewards from the Metal Chests though.

Hats… well, if they made it so that they were outright purchasable via ICE, that would have been ok for me. But they aren’t and are locked behind another layer of RNG in the form of Materials Chests.
Another hit or miss product to me. It’s like the Opal situation as getting the right Material is dependant on luck and scarce.
They feel like hats, cute and funny; but are disliked by a good portion of the community because of fear of graphics demands on older phones, breaking lore immersion (which I find funny, considering lore in game is not applicable considering you can make two heroes appear and pair up mortal enemies), being locked behind Opals which are scarce to begin with etc.

  • Thought No.8: Heroes.

The new heroes are ok in my opinion. Nice kits, looks, and balance (bar a few like Anka).
Personally, I really only pay attention if the hero has a theme I like (can we get a werewolf soon? Pretty please!), is a Captain hero (:musical_note: I’m a Captain main, in a bathing suit. Stunning everything, it’s fucking fantastic! :musical_note: Catherine, lol), or has great potential value in the skin department (something akin to the level of Trick or Treat Malene).

  • Thoughts Conclusion.

Overall, SEMC has a tolerable monetization scheme. Not really liked, but not really something that seems very forced/must have.

My best wishes to them that they are able to stay afloat with it and keep making stuff for VG despite all the negativity thrown their way.

Hope you all like reading this!

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Nah man. If anything, it’s harder. Also demotivating cause you’re not getting rewards every level like you used to.

I really haven’t enjoyed playing as much since they changed it, and because it’s no longer obvious how much sunlight you need to reach the next level (and reward!) I don’t get that ‘just one more’ feeling.


I play Vainglory almost everyday and managed to climb up all the way to Level 49 before the Sunlight Events tempted me to spend somee ICE (all earned in game - Level-up 40 Chest, ads and random drops).

Now I’m sitting at Level 69, with only about 200 ICE more to make a return on my spending.

Also, now I have over two weeks of Sunlight Boost and a week plus of Glory Boost, lol.

Not to mention a slew of other things that are not as desirable such as Talents, Talent Chests, Materials Chests etc.

Very few of the new heroes have been balanced: after Varya:

  • Op ones: Varya, Melene, kensei, Anka, kinetic, Silvernail and Tony.
  • not op: Yates and inara.

If we go back we’ll find also Lorelai (op), CW (secretly OP?), reza (weak), flash Grace (op).

In general, the balancing of new heroes has been quite poor, specially after varya, as some of them were some of the most broken ones ever existed.

Yeah, that is true

The ones you’ve listed as OP were a pest when they first came around.
Though I think Silvernail was OP for a very short while because he became rather obscured after they hot fixed his perk.
He’s still pretty strong, but the skill required to get value out of him does gate his usage.

I don’t quite recall all the OP shenanigans though. Too much playing Captain has left me somewhat of a “Oh, they’re OP eh? Ok.” attitude that just can’t care less and make most of what’s on the table.

Yates isn’t OP, though his ult does create for some very undefeatable sutuation - backdooring like a boss mainly.

Inara has been rather tame. Her utility heavy kit does wonders but is hard to get value out of if her team mates don’t back her up.

Funny thing is that they hot fixes him but not Varya or kensei, who were far more op.

Shenanigans? Idk what does mean sorry.

That’s why I put him on the not op list.

SE skins also used to cost much, much less.

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I got to lvl 100, 1 day before the sunlight event started. VG should really start telling beforehand, when, what event will come.

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They have been historically bad with communicating things, lol.

I’ve suspected this ever since the LE skin & Opal drama.

If they were daring enough, they would have just said “We’re sorry that we wanted LE skins to come back instead of being ‘one-time’ only. We need the money! We’ll do better next time!”

Instead, we get all these subterfuge and distrusts.

I wouldn’t mind if they outlined all the Events (like they are doing now) but ahead of time by a good month or two. Then just tack on the disclaimer: “Subject to changes.”

There’s so many ways I can think of for customer satisfaction that doesn’t compromise one’s income.
Yes, there will be unmentioned stuff like how much Sunlight will these Events give, what are the things players have to do to get them etc.
Just a set of dates plus a general description of what the Event would be should be fine.

Heck, now I wish they have an in-game Event Calendar so that players can prep before hand and allocate time to the Events through real life scheduling.

The Events attract varied players depending on what they are after all.

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I legit got to 100 from grindin since day one of the battle pass thinkin they would try to make it hard to lvl up. Damn.

If I knew they would be throwin sunlight events out the window like this, I would have taken my merry time with it. Smh