Warlock54
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Culture, Consumer Value, and Gambling Addiction

Tue Aug 22, 2017 5:07 pm

I am finding myself becoming really disturbed by the amount of value that Lilith gives its paying customers in proportion to what they receive. While Soul Hunters doesn't meet a general accepted definition of gambling (where you have a chance to recoup actual money), the amount of money required for "the chance of an item" is starting to become alarming. especially when large amounts of money don't seem to shift the odds significantly.

Case in point, my guild leader recently spent $100 USD for two 4,000 diamond pulls to obtain Petros. He obtained a maximum of 22 soul stones for Petros. Not even a card from 20 pulls. He's understandably angry at himself and at Lilith Games. He's not complaining because he realizes that he only had a chance to obtain Petros, but in good faith he believed there was no way that he could fail to get Petros with that much of an investment. Before anyone argues with me, he accepts responsibility for his choices. Let's turn that around now. Is it appropriate for Lilith Games to actually charge someone that much money and have them not reach their objective? Or even come close? Should the odds ever be so skewed that this is possible, let alone likely?

The position is does Lilith Games provide $100 USD worth of content of $100 USD? Or is this a gambling device without a monetary payoff?

I realize the counter-point is that if one could purchase Soul Stones for a flat fee, whales would dominate the game and the F2P would suffer. That's a fair counter-argument and I acknowledge it. The problem is that also works in the company's favor as an excuse to create situations where hundreds of dollars are spent with nothing more than diamonds to show for it. (Diamonds are useful but they don't have the value of soul stones)

It seems like a more equitable formula should be possible.
**************************
This is a related example that does not involve an RNG table. Some of Lilith's marketing and sales strategy does not make a whole lot of sense to me. I'm not sure if its intended to catch the unwary, or they just don't think about it this stuff from a Western point-of-view. I mean, perhaps this acceptable in Korea and this is a difference in cultures?

Here's the specific example: Recently we had a double purchase offer where if you bought x amount of diamonds you would obtain Hurok and Goram soulstones. I have a three star Goram and have not been able to obtain many soul stones. I have a 4-star Hurok that I got from a conjuring stone event—4 stars being the most I could obtain. I looked at this double purchase offer and I realized that I could not advance these characters a single star for any less than a hundred dollars. $19.95 wouldn't help me. $49.95 would not grant me an upgrade. If I had purchased the $19.95 and $49.95 packages together I STILL would not have enough to advance either character a single star. That, to me, seems outrageous. And if you're prone to addictive behavior, it comes across as positively exploitive. I didn't spend any money because it became apparent that the only way to improve these characters would be to drastically hurt myself and my family. So I declined. Good for me, but Lilith didn't obtain any revenue from the promotion. Not from me anyway. And does that make any sense? To create a sale where there's no point in buying anything? Or to have a sale where I might spend $70, just to be ready for the day that they have another sale—which might be 3 months away? Folks, if I drop that much money on a game today, I damn well want some value today. Not months from now.

This is where questions about value for your money really should come in focus. We're not talking about new content and experiences. We're talking about a modest upgrade to a single character in a phone game.

I've avoided blanket statements like "greedy" on purpose. It's my position that Lilith Games and its regular customers should have a thoughtful look at the value given for the prices being charged.
 
AxeMurderers
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Re: Culture, Consumer Value, and Gambling Addiction

Tue Aug 22, 2017 5:55 pm

Well thought out and written well. Cliffs notes are that lilith is greedy :lol:

Cs purchases seem to fall in line with the sunk cost fallacy. I can see how it would lure gambling minded players to over spend, and over spend on something of no true value. In my eyes the more they charge the more they cheapen the game and the experience, devaluing their product. It'll implode eventually.
 
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Re: Culture, Consumer Value, and Gambling Addiction

Tue Aug 22, 2017 6:24 pm

We were talking about this cs hero drop rate with my guildmates it's a form of gambling I was stupid enough to spend 10k diamonds to get hurok 4*!!!!! Others with less diamonds got him 6*!!!! 6* ...
I was unlucky I haven't counted the pulls .... I never thought this hero won't drop until 10k ... Then came the "fix" I spent so many diamonds because hurok WAS good in HOL now it is useless!!!!
Will I get any compensation???! I didn't buy this hurok with 10k! Diamonds!!!! I hardly believe this is legal!
About the gambling I would be a fool buying even one conjuring stone pull after this!
I think there should be some changes like I have seen in an other game players have more chance with each pull... 3% then6% or something
more pull more chance to get the hero!
 
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KemosabeTBC
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Re: Culture, Consumer Value, and Gambling Addiction

Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:57 pm

If it is any comfort to you, I think Hurok is the best non awakened arena hero in the game, even at 3*
 
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Rashar
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Re: Culture, Consumer Value, and Gambling Addiction

Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:14 pm

I agree with KemosabeTBC... and that is saying a lot :D
 
Warlock54
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Re: Culture, Consumer Value, and Gambling Addiction

Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:32 pm

KemosabeTBC wrote:
If it is any comfort to you, I think Hurok is the best non awakened arena hero in the game, even at 3*


I know and I can appreciate the sentiment you're sharing. I don't have that much to cry about personally. This was not intended to be a Rage/Salt post and it wasn't necessarily about me.

In the examples I gave however, I told the solemn truth. I got Petros with two 4,000 diamond pulls with 40 soul stones left over. It cost me 50 dollars, because it was the first time I bought 4,000 diamonds for $49.95, so I got double the number of diamonds. Another guild member did the same thing. We shared this in our guild Line chat. Which then encouraged our Guild leader to try the same thing. After a $100, he had nothing but mozzarella, gears, diamonds, 22 Petros soul stones, and a WHOLE LOT OF REGRET. Now—those things DO have value, but you and I both know that wasn't worth $100.

I read your post the other day (Kemosabe) in the Soul Stone ratio for Petros thread. So let me just say up front, no one twisted his arms and made him spend that much money. He is responsible for his choices. I just don't think a phone game should be structured to allow that to happen in the first place. A hundred dollars could be a good chunk of a car payment or a week's groceries for a two people. It's a big down payment towards a PS4 and so on.

I hear what you're saying about personal responsibility, but I'm an older player. I remember the early to mid 90's when Magic the Gathering first came out and it was an instant hit. I also remember gross douchbag adults ripping off little kids for rare cards because they had no perspective on relative value. This all just feels kinda slimy and sleezy in the same way, only adults fall victim to it too. I never imagined feeling like I wanted to file a Consumer Protection Complaint or write the FTC (who went after a guy about a board game Kickstarter!) over a phone game, but I never imagined a situation where a phone game would charge a hundred dollars and give you nothing useful...
...or even what you asked for on Reddit. :)
 
Warlock54
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Re: Culture, Consumer Value, and Gambling Addiction

Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:39 pm

Rashar wrote:
I agree with KemosabeTBC... and that is saying a lot :D


It's a distraction to the point. Like when a guy started a thread to ask folks how many diamonds it took them to get Petros. Kemosabe said he spent zero and gave away some free advice about how nobody makes you do anything. Sure fine. But the conversation was not how to save your money, but rather is Lilith Games fair to its customers when they run a special promotion.

The point about Hurok is true and so was his other point, but neither engages the topic, they distract from it. If I were more cynical I'd wonder if it wasn't a way to shut the conversation down.

That said, Rashar, if you're cool with the drop rate, there's not a lot I can say in response.
 
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KemosabeTBC
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Re: Culture, Consumer Value, and Gambling Addiction

Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:50 pm

Warlock54 wrote:
Rashar wrote:
I agree with KemosabeTBC... and that is saying a lot :D


It's a distraction to the point. Like when a guy started a thread to ask folks how many diamonds it took them to get Petros. Kemosabe said he spent zero and gave away some free advice about how nobody makes you do anything. Sure fine. But the conversation was not how to save your money, but rather is Lilith Games fair to its customers when they run a special promotion.
I personally don't feel the CS or even the double purchase bonus give you good value for your money but, at least with the purchase bonus you can make an informed decision, you know what you are buying. If you are using the CS for the first time you don't know what you are buying... And this is where I think Lilith could (should?) improve their communication, if they told you the probability per pull you could decide if it was worth it for you to gamble.

But I think you misinterpreted my other post. I did not say that you payed because you wanted to, so it was your decision. I was saying that some people have enough money so that if they spend 100$ and get nothing they don't really care. The target audience of the CS is probably this group of people. So my advice was, if you do not belong to this group then do not spend there, if you do then it is your choice.
 
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LoneWolf
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Re: Culture, Consumer Value, and Gambling Addiction

Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:58 pm

Warlock54 wrote:
I am finding myself becoming really disturbed by the amount of value that Lilith gives its paying customers in proportion to what they receive. While Soul Hunters doesn't meet a general accepted definition of gambling (where you have a chance to recoup actual money), the amount of money required for "the chance of an item" is starting to become alarming. especially when large amounts of money don't seem to shift the odds significantly.

Case in point, my guild leader recently spent $100 USD for two 4,000 diamond pulls to obtain Petros. He obtained a maximum of 22 soul stones for Petros. Not even a card from 20 pulls. He's understandably angry at himself and at Lilith Games. He's not complaining because he realizes that he only had a chance to obtain Petros, but in good faith he believed there was no way that he could fail to get Petros with that much of an investment. Before anyone argues with me, he accepts responsibility for his choices. Let's turn that around now. Is it appropriate for Lilith Games to actually charge someone that much money and have them not reach their objective? Or even come close? Should the odds ever be so skewed that this is possible, let alone likely?

The position is does Lilith Games provide $100 USD worth of content of $100 USD? Or is this a gambling device without a monetary payoff?

I realize the counter-point is that if one could purchase Soul Stones for a flat fee, whales would dominate the game and the F2P would suffer. That's a fair counter-argument and I acknowledge it. The problem is that also works in the company's favor as an excuse to create situations where hundreds of dollars are spent with nothing more than diamonds to show for it. (Diamonds are useful but they don't have the value of soul stones)

It seems like a more equitable formula should be possible.
**************************
This is a related example that does not involve an RNG table. Some of Lilith's marketing and sales strategy does not make a whole lot of sense to me. I'm not sure if its intended to catch the unwary, or they just don't think about it this stuff from a Western point-of-view. I mean, perhaps this acceptable in Korea and this is a difference in cultures?

Here's the specific example: Recently we had a double purchase offer where if you bought x amount of diamonds you would obtain Hurok and Goram soulstones. I have a three star Goram and have not been able to obtain many soul stones. I have a 4-star Hurok that I got from a conjuring stone event—4 stars being the most I could obtain. I looked at this double purchase offer and I realized that I could not advance these characters a single star for any less than a hundred dollars. $19.95 wouldn't help me. $49.95 would not grant me an upgrade. If I had purchased the $19.95 and $49.95 packages together I STILL would not have enough to advance either character a single star. That, to me, seems outrageous. And if you're prone to addictive behavior, it comes across as positively exploitive. I didn't spend any money because it became apparent that the only way to improve these characters would be to drastically hurt myself and my family. So I declined. Good for me, but Lilith didn't obtain any revenue from the promotion. Not from me anyway. And does that make any sense? To create a sale where there's no point in buying anything? Or to have a sale where I might spend $70, just to be ready for the day that they have another sale—which might be 3 months away? Folks, if I drop that much money on a game today, I damn well want some value today. Not months from now.

This is where questions about value for your money really should come in focus. We're not talking about new content and experiences. We're talking about a modest upgrade to a single character in a phone game.

I've avoided blanket statements like "greedy" on purpose. It's my position that Lilith Games and its regular customers should have a thoughtful look at the value given for the prices being charged.

This is one of the reasons I am going to remain a free-to-play player. I know that I will eventually lose interest in this game and not care. I'd rather do that with my pocket full of cash rather than an empty pocket paying the wages of those greedy arrogant employees at Lilith!
Never Bite The Hand That Feeds You
Current Primary Deck: Nilya, Sylphi, Kong, Malrath, Goram
Current Secondary Deck: Firehawk, Jasmine, Taurus, Tashi, Valan

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Warlock54
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Re: Culture, Consumer Value, and Gambling Addiction

Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:46 pm

KemosabeTBC wrote:
I personally don't feel the CS or even the double purchase bonus give you good value for your money but, at least with the purchase bonus you can make an informed decision, you know what you are buying. If you are using the CS for the first time you don't know what you are buying... And this is where I think Lilith could (should?) improve their communication, if they told you the probability per pull you could decide if it was worth it for you to gamble.

But I think you misinterpreted my other post. I did not say that you payed because you wanted to, so it was your decision. I was saying that some people have enough money so that if they spend 100$ and get nothing they don't really care. The target audience of the CS is probably this group of people. So my advice was, if you do not belong to this group then do not spend there, if you do then it is your choice.


Agreed on the first point, and acknowledged on the 2nd. Fair. I'm not trying to quarrel with you personally.

I enjoy Soul Hunters, but I would like to see it be more fair to its fans..before it doesn't have any.

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