My Feedback on and Breakdown of the updated Trial of the Planes *Wall of Text*

span_argomanspan_argoman Posts: 749 Critical Contributor
edited April 2017 in MtGPQ General Discussion
While I applaud the increase in rewards for Trial of the Planes, I do feel like this was a bit of a wasted opportunity.

**WALL of Text warning**

Perceived Intention of Trial of the Planes
I understand that the point of this event is as a means for players to convert their Crystals into Jewels with a bit of bonus stuff at the side. As a Platinum player who gets near-zero value from a Premium Pack, I am happy to have this option. Players get to decide how they want to balance saving Crystals in wait of the next set vs collecting Jewels to try for current set mythics/masterpieces. So this event won't be for everyone and even those who take part may not do so for every Trial event.

I still think the rewards are sufficient for the Platinum tier, even better now that you can potentially get a 50% rebate on your entry fee. If some players feel like their Crystals are better spent saving for the new set, that is their prerogative. I don't see an issue with the event not refunding your Crystals by the end of the event as its purpose is for earning Jewels. I would rather this than say a free event each day that only earns me 5 Jewels.

Where It Falls Short
However, the oddly rigid adherence to the idea that lower tier reward structures must be a lessened version of the rewards at the higher tiers has been detrimental to the appeal of Trial of the Planes. This rationale works for standard events which are free to play. For those the idea is that your overall participation in the game (denoted by your Colour Mastery tier) determines your rewards. The more you have put in, the more you get. The concept is fair.

Ok, the developers don't want to be giving out too many Jewels to the lower tiers because they want players to continue progressing up the tiers. That's fine. But Trial requires a 60 Crystal entry fee. That's regardless of tier. So the rewards for a Trial event need to be worth this entry fee regardless of tier too.

Here's where I felt the wasted opportunity is. I've commented before in the previous Trial feedback topic (http://forums.d3go.com/discussion/comment/650963#Comment_650963) that the rewards could be tailored to the tiers and so achieve the targets of giving more Jewels to the upper tiers but at the same time still making the event rewards relevant to each tier.

We Want New Cards
At all levels of the game, one major appeal of MtGPQ to players is getting new cards. To reiterate with emphasis, one major appeal of MtGPQ to players is getting new cards. Why the emphasis exists will be explained in my following explanation.

When you have no cards in the set, the best way to get new cards is through opening new Premium Packs. This is cause you have new cards to get from all rarities: common, uncommon, rare and mythic. And masterpiece if that is to stay moving forward. When a new set is released, it is the same situation for everyone. However, as a player collects a greater and greater percentage of the set, the odds of getting a new card decreases. Nothing surprising.

At some point, the player gets such a high rate of duplicates (ie. such a low rate of procuring new cards) that it is no longer ideal to keep spending Crystals on Premium Packs. That is where Jewels are supposed to come in. With the different rarities, inevitably the bulk of the yet unobtained cards will be from the mythic (or masterpiece) rarity.

Player Categories
Because of this natural pattern, I would like to split players into three categories:
Fresh: These are players who have barely collected any cards in the particular set. For simplicity's sake we will assume that most Bronze and some Silver players fall into this category until late into the set's life.
Intermediate: These are players who have the majority of the commons and uncommons, some of the rares and maybe a handful of mythics. We will assume that some Silver and some Gold players will fall into this category until the next set comes along.
Incomplete: There are players who have essentially all the commons, uncommons and possibly even rares and are primarily hunting the mythics (and masterpieces if applicable) in a set. We will assume that Platinum players primarily fall in this category along with some high-performing Gold players.

Opportunity Costs - Premium Pack vs Trial of the Planes
Let's look at the opportunity costs between Trial of the Planes and the only other regularly available sink for Crystals: Premium Packs. These two represent the most common avenues in which we can spend our Crystals in our attempts to get new cards. For parity in cost (300 Crystals), we will compare playing a week of Trial of Planes to a Premium Pack.

[Let's put aside Big Boxes. We all would rather go back to those days. But the developers have stonewalled us entirely on any insights to the switch from Big Boxes to Premium Packs. And the fire over it has mostly died down. People have either moved onto other games or tuned down their enthusiasm about the game accordingly.]

We also won't be comparing to special offers because we can't predict those and can't estimate their value. Each players has to decide how much of a buffer they want to keep to account for special offers. For some like @shteev that is essentially all their Crystals once they hit this stage, for some it's a fixed amount. 

Now the opportunity cost is different for players from each category due to the differing expected gains from a Premium Pack as well as the different rewards for different Mastery Tiers. Let's look at Incomplete players for the most straightforward example. All calculations will be based on octal9's data as its the largest database currently available.

Expected Returns Comparison - Incomplete Category
Premium Pack: Yields 25 cards giving you a 23% of drawing a mythic, which probably means a 10 - 20% chance of drawing one or more new cards. Plus a guaranteed rare+ which if only a rare is likely to be a duplicate. To get a 50% chance of drawing a mythic, you need to open 3 Premium Packs (54.4%) and that's with the chance of getting a duplicate. In short, Premium Packs are terrible value for Incomplete players.
Trial of the Planes: Gives you the same number of cards as a Premium Pack, hence giving you the same odds for drawing a mythic or new card as a Premium Pack. So the difference is the guaranteed rare versus the other rewards which for 5 x Trial of Planes are 105 Jewels & 0 - 150 Crystals (depending on how often you hit perfect score). 105 Jewels is 26% of the cost of an Elite Pack which yields you a mythic or masterpiece. So essentially for an additional 5 - 7 hours each week and the same Crystal cost, you *almost* double your chances (combined chance is 43%) of getting a mythic/masterpiece and proportionally the chances of a new card at the expense of the guaranteed rare.

*edit - I got the numbers wrong the first time round*
So if you are willing to put in the time and have good enough decks to consistently earn all the Jewel Progression tiers, logically it should be a no-brainer to participate in Trial of the Planes. For Gold players, they instead earn 40 50 Jewels & 0-25 more Jewels depending how regularly they can hit a perfect score. That's 12 - 1619% of an Elite Pack which brings your combined odds for a mythic/masterpiece to 31 33 - 35 37%. I think it is a harder decision for Gold Incomplete players to determine whether they should participate in Trial of the Planes. Perhaps this is the group that the developers are encouraging to move up a tier.

Expected Returns Comparison - Fresh Category
Premium Pack: A Premium Pack is likely to give a Fresh player 5+ to double digits of new cards. So lots of new cards! And the guaranteed rare.
Trial of the Planes: Bear in mind that this gives the player an equal number of packs and hence an equal number of new cards as the Premium Pack excluding the guaranteed rare. Even with perfect scores for all 5 Trials of the Planes, a Fresh player in Silver would only earn 50 Jewels. That's 12.5% of an Elite Pack. And that's already assuming the player gets perfect scores nonstop which is highly dubious for a Bronze/Silver tier player. Losing just the perfect score Progression tier would drop the gains to 30 Jewels or 7.5% of an Elite Pack. Compared to a guaranteed rare? Bleh, don't waste my time and crystals.

Hence for Fresh players, the logical conclusion (and rightly so) is that Trial of the Planes is a waste of time. There is this entire swathe of players for which the right conclusion is that this optional event is a waste of their time. This is the wasted opportunity I'm talking about.

Expected Returns Comparison - Intermediate Category
Premium Pack vs Trial of the Planes: Since we've established through the previous two examples that the number of cards opened is the same and hence the cards opened from packs are not a factor when deciding between the two options, we will just compare the guaranteed rare from a Premium Pack versus the other gains from Trial of the Planes. That's a guaranteed rare versus 7.5 - 16% of an Elite Pack for 5 - 7 hours of play time. At this level it really depends on what the player decides they want more.

So what's this Wasted Opportunity and What can be done about it?
The wasted opportunity is that Trial of the Planes with the right reward structure could have been an attractive option for Fresh and even Intermediate players looking to bolster their card collection. The examples and explanation above should have (hopefully) made it abundantly clear that Fresh players value card packs more than a few Jewels to build towards an Elite Pack.

If the developers were concerned about not letting lower tier players earn Jewels too quickly, the solution should have been to cater the rewards to what lower tier players want which is more card packs instead of more Runes (which even with the new update depriving us of the currently best source of Runes is still relatively worthless).

I think it would have been fine to keep the total Jewel gain for Bronze and Silver at 3 and 5 Jewels respectively if the overall reward structure was like:
Points: Bronze / Silver
5 : KLD pack . . / KLD pack
10: 3-card pack / 3-card pack
20: 1 Jewel . . . / 2 Jewels
30: 750 Runes . / 1000 Runes
40: 3-card pack / 3-card pack
50: 2 Jewels . . / 3 Jewels
60: 3-card pack / 3-card pack

How does one value a 3-card pack in this. From this thread (http://forums.d3go.com/discussion/comment/657949#Comment_657949) we estimate that the drop rates are approximately half that of a 5-card pack. And with them giving lesser cards we can approximate 4 3-card packs to be the value of 1 5-card pack. However, bear in mind that the 3-card packs draw from the collection of all the non-exclusive cards in the game which dilutes the chances of a new card for players who are at the Intermediate/Incomplete category for the whole game but is great for newer players, which then makes this a possible option for newer players looking to build their collection but at the expense of time and at the risk of not hitting that many of the Progression reward tiers.

One thing to note is that the developers cannot include another 5-card pack into the Progression reward tiers as that would make Trial of the Planes potentially give double the rewards of a Premium Packs in cards on top of the Jewels. Now while we would all love that, let's accept that the options have to be somewhat comparable to each other (even if many of us veteran players grumble about the choices we now have as opposed to those in the past).

Now naturally as the player collects more cards overall, the 3-card packs decrease in value to them and the Jewels from Gold will start looking more attractive. So players at this stage may then consider to move up to the next Mastery tier. The Rune reward tier in Gold could also be switched to a 3-card pack to make the transition less drastic though I would say the two options are probably of similar value to a Gold player.

Summary
Tl;dr The developers can consider to give 3-card packs as rewards in the Trial of the Planes Progression reward tiers for Bronze and Silver players to make the event at least a viable option for those players rather than just giving strictly lesser rewards than Gold and Platinum without having to give out too many Jewels at the lower tiers. Players will then naturally want to progress to the higher tiers to gain access to the rewards from Trial of the Planes which are appropriate for their collection status.


P.S. On a separate note, I think the current stance about Elite Packs not giving duplicates should be made permanent. Ie. Elite Packs should not ever give you a duplicate. By rough calculations, players earning the highest tier rewards for all events should be able to get enough Jewels for an Elite Pack once every two weeks. If the developers think that giving their top-performing players (and/or paying players) a guaranteed new mythic/masterpiece once every two weeks is too often... I think they will have severely overestimated the appeal of the game.
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Comments

  • OnusOnus Age Unconfirmed Posts: 12 Just Dropped In
    Good breakdown.

    **wall of text incoming**

    The reward structure for the Totp is fine as it is undoubtedly a better purchase than premium packs for higher tiers. It's fun too. It's the end goal, elite packs, that are not fine. Fix the elite packs and make the jewels actually worth obtaining.

    Who really wants to spend a 10-14 extra hours of playing a game over 2 weeks to get a great chance at a dupe?

    I'd rather chase origins/bfz/soi mythics I'm missing than get most of the masterpieces. If you let me choose what I want most and put it in an elite pack there wouldn't be a single masterpiece in the 8 slots. Hell to tell you the truth there might even be some rares that would show up before the first masterpiece shows up if you wanted to tier out the card selection.

    So why put in the time and effort to get what most likely is a dupe but a chance at a card that is worse than other mythics from other sets that I'm missing.

    And I have a decent amount of mythics (76) in my collection, so I'm assuming this would be geared towards me. But perhaps that's my fault in my assumption.


    **rant about incompetence**
    On another note, the devs progression timeline is all screwed up. They really think it's ok for a casual player to take 5 years to fully level the full lineup of pws. Which is probably why they think anyone would be excited about pulling dupes every 2 weeks. It's almost as if they don't know a middle ground. Their nerfs come out very heavy handed and swing in the opposition direction that makes a lot of cards unplayable. They tinykitty up KLD so much from a heavy handed card design that almost none of the cards are playable then they swung in the opposite direction with AER and made game breaking cards. They literally can't find a middle ground.

    This is what they said for KLD, fetch is too powerful of a mechanic so we make you pay up the wahzoo for it in KLD (26 mana for 3/3 dwarf that fetches other dwarfs, 17 mana for 3/3 elf that fetches after each card played). The community says these cards are overcosted that they're unplayable. So what do they do? They give us unlimited draw with Baral (8 mana) and unlimited swaps in GAH (6 mana) in AER, which essentially broke the game. AER is a lot more fun than KLD though and has way more cards that will be used.
  • InfestedInfested Age Unconfirmed Posts: 98 Match Maker
    I agree with much of what you have said here; however I do think that there needs to be a look at the cost of the trials vs other things to do with your crystals.

    Kaladesh boosters can be considered less value for some people compared to other boosters. right now I have 90% of the mythical that I want from this set, but there are a few that I want more from every other set. I am unwilling to spend the crystals on the trials because that booster has no value for me.

    Planes walkers also use a ton of crystals. Tezz 2.0 will be around 650. In my gold bracket that is around 2 weeks of play for a walker that I 100% want. This is a poor trade off for me.

    Lastly I find great value in the new deck slots and if I have any spare crystals then they will be going there as again I have no use for the booster. 

    I think most people feel the same and that means that the crystals are only being traded for their purple counterparts. 

    Trials are looking to become a victim of the new model. You need walkers to play in events. You want to have more event decks. New cards have come out and you need the commons/uncommon.  There are major reductions to weekly crystals. Something here has to be let go and I don't see the value in trials unless I get the others first.
  • LaeuftbeidirLaeuftbeidir Posts: 1,838 Chairperson of the Boards
    Congratulations. You just did, what should have been the developers job:
    You explained simple and understandable the intention of the developers when introducing this event, and why it helps against the problem with the dupes.
    Honestly, (the first half) of this post should have been written right after introducing the event - @Brigby (name tagging power!) , not to critizise you, but maybe you could use this one as an example for your colleagues.

    Secondly: I totally agree with your idea on how to change the reward system. Great job!

  • span_argomanspan_argoman Posts: 749 Critical Contributor
    edited April 2017
    Very good points brought up about Crystals having alternative uses and that with the reduced reward structure we can no longer expect to freely spend Crystals like we were used to in the past.

    Another good point is about chasing Mythics from previous sets over the current set. While I agree that each of us will have Mythics we desire from the previous sets over the current one, I think there us nothing to preclude the developers from making packs for older mythics available for Jewels. After all Jewels are still a fairly new introduction.

    @Onus comes back to a very important point about Jewels and the Elite Packs. They have to make it such that Elite Packs don't give duplicates. The bigger the investment, the worse the feel of getting a duplicate. At the end of the day, games are about having fun. And people will stop playing if they feel the game isn't fun enough for the investment they put in.

    Back to the different uses for Crystals, let's try to estimate how many Crystals a player has to allocate between Premium Packs and Trial of the Planes.

    Let's assume 10 weeks between sets as a rough approximation. We'll assume a Platinum player that hits Progression in all events, gets top 50 for individual rankings and whose coalition is in the top 50 too.

    Such a player would get the following amount of Crystals each week:
    Progression: 205 Crystals
    Ranking: 110 Crystals
    Coalition:
    40 Crystals
    Training Grounds:
    105 Crystals
    Total: 460 Crystals per week

    So for 10 weeks that's 4,600 Crystals. 2 months of Daily Rewards add another 360 Crystals for a total of 4,960 Crystals per set.

    We assume 2 dual-colour or 1 dual-colour and 2 single-colour planeswalkers released with each set so we need to deduct 1,300 Crystals leaving us with 3,660 Crystals.

    If everything is allocated to Premium Packs, we get to open 12 of them for 300 cards and 12 guaranteed rares.

    If we maximise Trial of the Planes, we can participate in 10 weeks of it which costs 3,000 Crystals, leaving 660 Crystals still to spend on Premium Packs. You would still get 300 cards from the combined packs but you would also get 2 guaranteed rares, 1,050 Jewels and potentially up to 1,500 Crystals in rebates. Even a rebate of 600 Crystals is 50 more cards and 2 more guaranteed rares.

    If the developers decide to permanently enforce no duplicates for Elite Packs (which I among others really think they should), then Trials becomes a pretty attractive option here.

    The primary disadvantage of maximising Trials is that towards the tail end of the set the packs given are still from the old set so you don't get to hoard for a rush of new packs. However this is only an issue for the release of a big expansion set like Amonkhet coming up. If it is a small expansion, like say from Kaladesh to Aether Revolt, the packs could be saved up to be opened only when the small set cards are released. 

    A suitable compromise might be to play Trial of the Planes from the point they give out the new set packs until say 2-4 weeks before the release of the next set to hoard some Crystals for the next set.

    But yes, the cards we get to open are much less than before due to the double whammy of reduced rewards and downsized card packs. It seems like one may no longer be able to complete even just the common and uncommon cards of each set from now on unless we fork out cash to get more Crystals.

    Above calculations also leave no buffer for special offers and/or spending Crystals on deck slots.

    The point about rune progression is another big issue but I think we should focus the discussion in the other topic made for it. The calculations made thus far in that topic do not factor in all the other sources of Runes in the game, but I do expect that it will still be a ridiculously high period of time required to level all of them up.
  • InfestedInfested Age Unconfirmed Posts: 98 Match Maker
    How does your math change for someone in gold? Same for top 50 and with rewards from TotP?
  • span_argomanspan_argoman Posts: 749 Critical Contributor
    edited April 2017
    Infested said:
    How does your math change for someone in gold? Same for top 50 and with rewards from TotP?
    Progression: 165 Crystals
    Ranking: 75 Crystals
    Coalition: 
    40 Crystals
    Training Grounds: 
    105 Crystals
    Total: 385 Crystals per week

    You get 75 Crystals less a week aka 750 Crystals less per 10-week cycle. That comes up to 4,210 Crystals including Daily Rewards. Minus the 1,300 Crystals for new planeswalkers that's 2,910 Crystals.

    That enables you to buy 9 Premium Packs for 225 cards and 9 guaranteed rares with 210 Crystals leftover. Or you can spend almost all of it on Trial of the Planes netting you 240 cards and 480 - 720 Jewels. Honestly this one is going to depend on whether you want the guaranteed rares more or the 1 - 2 mythics. Without any rebate, it is a lot less attractive. Also bear in mind that you have to be spending 5 - 7 hours more every week playing this event in order to get the Jewels for the 1 - 2 mythics instead of the 9 guaranteed rares.
  • BrigbyBrigby ADMINISTRATORS Posts: 7,495 Site Admin
    @span_argoman

    Definitely an interesting breakdown of the new Trial of the Planes adjustments. I did take some time out of my day to read your post, and I do think you have some very well thought out suggestions and analysis, particularly your inclusion of 3-card booster packs into rewards. 

    I'll be sure to pass on your feedback to the developers this week.
  • AngelForgeAngelForge Age Unconfirmed Posts: 325 Mover and Shaker
    But the chances to get a rare or a mythic out of a 3-card booster is significantly lower than with a normal one.
    Shouldn't that be considered withing the calculation?
  • OhboyOhboy Age Unconfirmed Posts: 1,766 Chairperson of the Boards
    Isn't that pretty much the point. He's saying it's already good enough for the top tier players. It's the weaker players who need more out of it. 

    3 card boosters are good for newer players and not so good for the older ones. It's a natural scale. 
  • AngelForgeAngelForge Age Unconfirmed Posts: 325 Mover and Shaker
    But Trial of the Planes is not for newer players. If I remember correctly this was referred to players in gold tier.
    A normal "free-booster" is almost worthless, unless you are really lucky.

    So, I think a 3-card booster will not make Trial of the Planes worthwhile for gold tier players. 
  • OhboyOhboy Age Unconfirmed Posts: 1,766 Chairperson of the Boards
    But Trial of the Planes is not for newer players. If I remember correctly this was referred to players in gold tier.
    A normal "free-booster" is almost worthless, unless you are really lucky.

    So, I think a 3-card booster will not make Trial of the Planes worthwhile for gold tier players. 
    You did remember wrongly.


    Points: Bronze / Silver
    5 : KLD pack . . / KLD pack
    10: 3-card pack / 3-card pack
    20: 1 Jewel . . . / 2 Jewels
    30: 750 Runes . / 1000 Runes
    40: 3-card pack / 3-card pack
    50: 2 Jewels . . / 3 Jewels
    60: 3-card pack / 3-card pack

    The argument was that platinum was great returns, gold was borderline, and silver and bronze needed a change to make it attractive.
  • InfestedInfested Age Unconfirmed Posts: 98 Match Maker
    Just my own personal view, but I cant see it worth it as long as I dont have all the planeswalkers (no like they will stop releasing them) and dont have all the extra deck slots for at least my top 10 walkers. With the new format the rewards (crystals and runes) need to be much greater than they already are.
  • span_argomanspan_argoman Posts: 749 Critical Contributor
    @Brigby

    Thanks Brigby! Hopefully they can understand that although it looks like a lot of cards are being given out, it isn't really the case as the expectation is that most Bronze and Silver players to be able to win any Legendary node matches.

    If they are able to, chances are they will be ready to move into the next tier for better rewards. Players with cards for a dominating deck likely will not have much need for 3-card packs which leads to a natural progression to the next tier (or at least the player ceasing to participate in Trial of the Planes).

    Also please please get the developers to consider having a way to spend the Jewels that ensures no duplicates. This could be making the current Elite Packs give no duplicates or they could make a separate pack with mythics only that will assure a new card. It really makes a difference if this is supposed to be a premium currency.

    But the chances to get a rare or a mythic out of a 3-card booster is significantly lower than with a normal one.
    Shouldn't that be considered withing the calculation?
    Right it is, which is why we valued it as per this paragraph in the original post:
    span_argoman said:
    How does one value a 3-card pack in this. From this thread (http://forums.d3go.com/discussion/comment/657949#Comment_657949) we estimate that the drop rates are approximately half that of a 5-card pack. And with them giving lesser cards we can approximate 4 3-card packs to be the value of 1 5-card pack. However, bear in mind that the 3-card packs draw from the collection of all the non-exclusive cards in the game which dilutes the chances of a new card for players who are at the Intermediate/Incomplete category for the whole game but is great for newer players, which then makes this a possible option for newer players looking to build their collection but at the expense of time and at the risk of not hitting that many of the Progression reward tiers.
    This valuation precedes the next paragraph explaining why we can't just throw in a 5-card pack which is much more valuable.

    But Trial of the Planes is not for newer players. If I remember correctly this was referred to players in gold tier.
    A normal "free-booster" is almost worthless, unless you are really lucky.

    So, I think a 3-card booster will not make Trial of the Planes worthwhile for gold tier players. 
    Right it won't for Gold, which is always why I mentioned that for Gold, at most it's a swap for the Rune progression tier in Gold to a 3-card pack since both will be of similar value or lack thereof. 

    The part about 3-card packs was relating to my point that if there is a Bronze and Silver tier for Trial of the Planes event, we should make it a worthwhile option for them too rather than making it a literal waste of screen space. If we can do that then Trial of the Planes doesn't have to be an event just for veteran players.

    That's why I put out that classification of players into Fresh, Intermediate and Incomplete. 3-card packs help Fresh players the most and I would say most Bronze and Silver players fall into this tier.

    For Gold tier, I don't have any clear ideas how to make the event more attractive but while still meeting the developers' intentions of encouraging people to progress in Mastery tier.

    A possibility could be to make the Gold progression reward tiers in the same format as Platinum ie. no Rune tier and a Crystal rebate for a perfect score. So say something like this:
    Gold
    5 : KLD pack
    10: 1 Jewel
    20: 2 Jewels
    30: 3 Jewels
    40: 4 Jewels
    50: 5 Jewels
    60: 10 - 15 Crystals
  • InfestedInfested Age Unconfirmed Posts: 98 Match Maker
    @Brigby

    Thanks Brigby! Hopefully they can understand that although it looks like a lot of cards are being given out, it isn't really the case as the expectation is that most Bronze and Silver players to be able to win any Legendary node matches.

    If they are able to, chances are they will be ready to move into the next tier for better rewards. Players with cards for a dominating deck likely will not have much need for 3-card packs which leads to a natural progression to the next tier (or at least the player ceasing to participate in Trial of the Planes).

    Also please please get the developers to consider having a way to spend the Jewels that ensures no duplicates. This could be making the current Elite Packs give no duplicates or they could make a separate pack with mythics only that will assure a new card. It really makes a difference if this is supposed to be a premium currency.

    But the chances to get a rare or a mythic out of a 3-card booster is significantly lower than with a normal one.
    Shouldn't that be considered withing the calculation?
    Right it is, which is why we valued it as per this paragraph in the original post:
    span_argoman said:
    How does one value a 3-card pack in this. From this thread (http://forums.d3go.com/discussion/comment/657949#Comment_657949) we estimate that the drop rates are approximately half that of a 5-card pack. And with them giving lesser cards we can approximate 4 3-card packs to be the value of 1 5-card pack. However, bear in mind that the 3-card packs draw from the collection of all the non-exclusive cards in the game which dilutes the chances of a new card for players who are at the Intermediate/Incomplete category for the whole game but is great for newer players, which then makes this a possible option for newer players looking to build their collection but at the expense of time and at the risk of not hitting that many of the Progression reward tiers.
    This valuation precedes the next paragraph explaining why we can't just throw in a 5-card pack which is much more valuable.

    But Trial of the Planes is not for newer players. If I remember correctly this was referred to players in gold tier.
    A normal "free-booster" is almost worthless, unless you are really lucky.

    So, I think a 3-card booster will not make Trial of the Planes worthwhile for gold tier players. 
    Right it won't for Gold, which is always why I mentioned that for Gold, at most it's a swap for the Rune progression tier in Gold to a 3-card pack since both will be of similar value or lack thereof. 

    The part about 3-card packs was relating to my point that if there is a Bronze and Silver tier for Trial of the Planes event, we should make it a worthwhile option for them too rather than making it a literal waste of screen space. If we can do that then Trial of the Planes doesn't have to be an event just for veteran players.

    That's why I put out that classification of players into Fresh, Intermediate and Incomplete. 3-card packs help Fresh players the most and I would say most Bronze and Silver players fall into this tier.

    For Gold tier, I don't have any clear ideas how to make the event more attractive but while still meeting the developers' intentions of encouraging people to progress in Mastery tier.

    A possibility could be to make the Gold progression reward tiers in the same format as Platinum ie. no Rune tier and a Crystal rebate for a perfect score. So say something like this:
    Gold
    5 : KLD pack
    10: 1 Jewel
    20: 2 Jewels
    30: 3 Jewels
    40: 4 Jewels
    50: 5 Jewels
    60: 10 - 15 Crystals
    I agree with your idea for what the gold bracket should look like; however I think that the best way to get players to advance to Plat is do give them higher rewards so that they naturally level their cards (though there is the issue of lack of experience with said cards).If a player was to get a mythic every week and a half at gold they would progress quickly to plat (everyone wants to use their new stuff).
  • span_argomanspan_argoman Posts: 749 Critical Contributor
    Infested said:
    I agree with your idea for what the gold bracket should look like; however I think that the best way to get players to advance to Plat is do give them higher rewards so that they naturally level their cards (though there is the issue of lack of experience with said cards).If a player was to get a mythic every week and a half at gold they would progress quickly to plat (everyone wants to use their new stuff).
    Hmm, could you elaborate a bit more about giving higher rewards? Do you mean at the Gold or Platinum level?

    Previously when they used to give Mythics for the top placements in events in Gold and Silver, what happened was players sandbagged themselves in their current tiers to continue reaping the mythic rewards. To the extent that they master no new cards to stay in the same tier as long as their mastered cards could help them hit top ranks still, which could last for at least one to two expansion cycles.
  • InfestedInfested Age Unconfirmed Posts: 98 Match Maker
    They have already created a great solution. Lets take the case where I am sandbagging in Gold. I am at 240 in red (250 to hit plat) and all the cards I am using are mastered and my deck stomps most players. In this case there is little chance that I will be forced to move to the next tier. I can keep sitting at this spot until I collect all the gems/rares that I want. If I have a hard time getting rewards then I will likely horde more until I feel that I have enough to move to the next level. 

    If I was to get 400 crystals for my pack every week there is a large chance that I am coming across colorless cards that can make my lesser colors better; however I cannot use any of these cards as it will automatically put me into Plat with red as soon as I master it. Most of the masterpiece cards are colorless and an increased rate is likely to make it easier to move the people sandbagging. 

    Another example is if I am unable to reliably hit some objectives (same basic scenario as above) and I pull that red mythic that I believe will get my deck there (i.e turn 5 win) I will be more willing to try that card. Without some cards, some players dont want to try to move up in ranks (deploy, G-heart). Luck there is a chance of getting these cards.

    Lastly the new expac will push more players with new cards; however if they feel that hording is greater than their current stock they will never leave. Rare cards are easily avoidable from some decks and may never get used, but most mythics and masterpieces are game changers for how people want to build their deck. Imagine the previous case and someone opened Olivia for the first time, how likely is it that they will not play her at all? Then how likely will it be if there is an objective that she would be perfect for (discard 2 cards and gain 20 life)?
  • IrgyIrgy Age Unconfirmed Posts: 148 Tile Toppler
    edited April 2017
    I'd just like to say, comparing the Trials to just buying packs in the shop is one thing. And yes you can conclude that it's situationally either better or worse, depending on a bunch of stuff, a close call overall. And for this marginal improvement you also have to spend a lot of time compared to the 5 seconds it takes to just buy packs in the shop (well, okay, it's actually more like a minute, but it should be 5 seconds, I guess that's another story).

    But I think the thing that actually makes these events seem horribly bad to everyone is a different comparison. It's comparing these events to other events. Because other events are free to enter. The other events all give at least a pack for progression. Plus a bunch of other stuff as well. Many of the other events even give out purple whatsits. Plus coalition and ranking rewards. They're great.

    Now maybe you might think it's not a fair comparison. These Trials are in addition to the other events. If they gave out rewards generously the way events do we'd be getting just plain more stuff for free and that's not fair on the developers. But there's two problems with that.

    The first is that we might be getting more free stuff than we do now, but it's still a lot less than we were getting before these came out. Before we got mythics, or maybe rares if we screwed up, rather than depressingly small fractions of a mythic. Maybe we got too much stuff before, but either way you can't expect people to be happy when it all comes in the same update, and when we look to see if the new thing we get will maybe lessen the blow of the losses we discover instead that it's barely even profitable. Maybe everyone's being a little entitled with respect to what they were getting before, but at the end of the day that's the player base you're trying to maintain so my advice is to work with it.

    The second is that not everyone has time to do everything. If you're like me and don't have time to even complete all of the generous, profitable events as it is, why even consider wasting your time on one of these? Even being kind of convinced that they're probably a net positive for me, I've got better things to do. Even within the same game.

    Anyway the reason I want to point this out is that I can just imagine the developers reading this thread and thinking "oh ok, well maybe we need to add some small reward to these events so that they're a clear rather than questionable profit over buying packs". But they'll find that even after they do it, people are still going to dislike these events.

    Which is a shame, because I actually really like the format itself. Playing to win against a cheating opponent is way more fun than trying to avoid winning in order to achieve arbitrary and counter-intuitive side-objectives.
  • deletedgonedeletedgone Age Unconfirmed Posts: 166 Tile Toppler
    Trials isn't really *for* the lower tiers.  It is supposed to entice players to master more cards and move up.  And that's ok.

    What is NOT ok is the sorry state of the elite packs.  I just cashed in my purple things for yet another duplicate mythic.  If this is the big reward that everyone is supposed to aspire to, how about they actually make it worth something?
  • span_argomanspan_argoman Posts: 749 Critical Contributor
    Infested said:
    They have already created a great solution. Lets take the case where I am sandbagging in Gold. I am at 240 in red (250 to hit plat) and all the cards I am using are mastered and my deck stomps most players. In this case there is little chance that I will be forced to move to the next tier. I can keep sitting at this spot until I collect all the gems/rares that I want. If I have a hard time getting rewards then I will likely horde more until I feel that I have enough to move to the next level. 

    If I was to get 400 crystals for my pack every week there is a large chance that I am coming across colorless cards that can make my lesser colors better; however I cannot use any of these cards as it will automatically put me into Plat with red as soon as I master it. Most of the masterpiece cards are colorless and an increased rate is likely to make it easier to move the people sandbagging. 

    Another example is if I am unable to reliably hit some objectives (same basic scenario as above) and I pull that red mythic that I believe will get my deck there (i.e turn 5 win) I will be more willing to try that card. Without some cards, some players dont want to try to move up in ranks (deploy, G-heart). Luck there is a chance of getting these cards.

    Lastly the new expac will push more players with new cards; however if they feel that hording is greater than their current stock they will never leave. Rare cards are easily avoidable from some decks and may never get used, but most mythics and masterpieces are game changers for how people want to build their deck. Imagine the previous case and someone opened Olivia for the first time, how likely is it that they will not play her at all? Then how likely will it be if there is an objective that she would be perfect for (discard 2 cards and gain 20 life)?
    The thing is a logical player would see that they would likely get lesser rewards due to the much fiercer competition by moving up a tier. If you were getting top 5 consistently in Gold, to get the same ranking rewards in Platinum requires you to attain top 25 which is a tall order for someone who just moved up a tier. Progression is only 5 Crystals and hence makes a negligible difference on overall rewards unlike pre-nerf Progression Rewards.

    So unless a player is assured (whether rightly or wrongly) that they will gain more rewards by moving up, they will decide to sandbag. Yes, having more rewards at their current tier would cause them to open more new cards which might induce them to want to use some of them, which might then cause them to move up a tier if they have mastered enough cards.

    Or if their current cards are already strong enough to get them top spots, they could (and usually would) just sandbag until the new expansion causes them to master new cards that cause their Mastery to increase to the next tier. There is no incentive to move up a tier if the rewards are not greater for where you expect to rank in the next tier. It is this relative reward scale that matters more than absolute reward levels.

    Ideally the top rankings for each event should add a few mastery points to all your colours such that players who consistently perform well will be forced to move onto the next tier.
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