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The Gem Store Survey In Five Seconds - The Statistical Conclusion

gems are gud meow? anette-chan

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#1 Desild

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 08:11 PM

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Abstract

Would someone get Anette-chan out of here?! We don't need her tomfoolery now. Shoo you damn charr, go back to Ascalon!

Gems are bad 'kay? That's what I always say. And thanks to Cube's assistance and her (his?) Survey, I'm going to get to the bottom of this silly business. Her (his?) data will prove most invaluable. After weeks a whole day crushing data I am ready to present it to the world. Be free to partake in the discussion and tell me what you think.

The survey itself is a better attempt at trying to understand our habits with the Gem Store and try to figure out the data that ArenaNet herself (Anette-Chan) is withholding from us. And maybe take a good wack at trying to figure out what exactly is going on in their heads. Some insight could do wonders in the midst of all this insanity...

Without further ado, I give you... The Gem Store Survey! In Five Seconds... *pling*

Our Sample

A good sample is important, and without a doubt this survey managed to capture a decent picture of the overall state of the Gem Store.

Precisely 359 gamers and 1 dummy* answered this survey. Gender wise, the sample included 309 male gamers and 51 female gamers (85.8% and 14.2% respectively). Age wise, a majority of the sample was included in the “16-24” and the “25-34” age groups (160 and 135 subjects respectively, 44,4% and 37,5%) with the remaining subjects distributed between the 35-44 and the “45-54” age groups (36 and 22 subjects respectively, 10,0% and 6,1%). The outliers were considered for statistical accuracy, distributed between the “under 16” and the “55 and above” age groups (2 and 5 respectively, 0.6% and 1,4%). “16-24” was the Mode and “25-34” the Median.

For statistical accuracy, the sample was split in two: those who have bought and still buy gems, and those who have never bought gems. Using the Gold-Gem exchange is not considered as a Gem purchase for the sake of this survey, as I only considered the cases where real money was actually spent. As a result, 124 cases (34,4%) were discarded in regards to where they spend their Gems, in virtue of the white knights saying that it counts as “using resources within the game”. It also worth pointing out that 57 of these cases (43,5% out of the 34,4%) didn’t report where they were spending their Gems, since they never acquired any.  This change will allow a better clarity determining how the sample spends their Gems bought using real currency.

For better clarity, and thanks to the feedback I obtained, I condensed the amount of Gems purchased into intervals. The original survey had fixed Gem values obtained on a monthly basis, and it turns out most subjects answered it on a rounded down approximate figure. The data was interpreted based on that estimative.

The intervals were: Bellow 800/Stopped Buying; 800-1599; 1600-2799; 2800-3999; 4000-5999, 5000-7999 and Above 8000.

Also worth pointing out that survey asked for average numbers of purchased Gems on a monthly basis.  If over the course of four months a subject purchased 1600 gems, the average would be included in the “Bellow 800 Gems/Stopped Buying”.  This estimate was also obtained from feedback.

*- The dummy being a friend of mine, who answered the survey while it was being processed

Does anyone even buy Gems?

Surprisingly enough, a valid chunk of the sample purchased Gems in the past or actively buys Gems.  What is not surprising is number of Gems bought. Of the 235 subjects who bought Gems, about 51,1% have bought “Bellow 800” Gems on a monthly basis or stopped buying them altogether.  20,4% and 11,1% bought a number of gems between “800-1599” and “1600-2799” respectively. The remaining 17,5% were somewhat  evenly spread in terms of the number of Gems bought above 2800 Gems.

What about the ones that don’t buy Gems?

Of the reasons given as to why the subjects didn’t buy gems, of the 125 sample 59,2% stated that the were content in exchanging their gold for Gems. 15,2% stated that they think Gems are too expensive, 12,8% is morally against Gems, 5,6% said that there’s nothing of interest in the Gem Store and 7,2% gave other reasons.

Most of the other reasons that were provided were in the lines of dissatisfaction with the state of the game, dissatisfaction with the Gem Store, or the belief that they already had given enough money towards the game in their initial purchase. These valiant soldiers are voting with their wallet.


Is the age group a determinant for those who buy Gems?

This was one of my first questions when I ran over this survey’s data.  Is ArenaNet scamming innocent kids out of their lunch money or their parent’s credit card?

Sadly that is not the case. With the average Guild Wars 2 player being slightly above the age of 16 with a modest share of older gamers around and above the age of 24 (Mean of 1,81 between the sample for age groups), I can safely assume ArenaNet preys on college students and graduates’ wallets. Those bastards…

The data also shows a slight tendency of older gamers to spend money on gems but this might be a skewed correlation, due to the uneven sample, but it seems older gamers are more willing on spending money on gems. Even if the significance is small (0.119 Pearson) it is still there.

For those who buy gems, the correlation with the age group when compared with the amount of gems purchased is even lower. Age at first glance seems to have little influence on the amount of gems purchased (0.083 Pearson), and this backed up as the case by case shows:

  • Every subject “Under 16” has never bought Gems.
  • 48,9% of the subjects between ages “16-24” bought a number “Bellow 800” Gems. A cumulative of 34,7% bought between “800-1599” and “1600-2799” Gems (21,7% and 13,0% respectively). Number of subjects is 92.
  • 51,5% of the subjects between ages “25-34” bought a number “Bellow 800” Gems. A cumulative of 34,6% bought between “800-1599” and “1600-2799” Gems (25,7% and 8,9% respectively). Number of subjects is 101.
  • 54,5% of the subjects between ages “35-44” bought a number “Bellow 800” Gems. A cumulative of 13,6% bought between “800-1599” and “1600-2799” Gems (4,5% and 9,1% respectively). 18,2% bought “4000-5999 Gems and 9,1% bought “Above 8000” Gems. Number of subjects is 22.
  • 58,8% of the subjects between ages “45-54” bought a number “Bellow 800” Gems. A cumulative of 35,2% bought between “1600-2799” and “4000-5999” Gems (4,5% and 9,1% respectively). Number of subjects is 17.
  • Each subject of age “55 And Above” bought a number of Gems between “Bellow 800”, “2800-3999” and “Above 8000”. Number of subjects is 3.
A bigger sample of gamers over the age of 34 would be required for a more accurate prediction, but it does seem to prove a slight willingness for older gamers to spend more on gems. It is worth noting that all subjects who bought an amount of Gems “Above 8000” are in the upper echelon of the age groups.

Where do they spend their Gems?

I can tell you this much, it was a nightmare to crush multiple choice data… My fingers hurt.

Of the sample of 235 subjects, only 32,8% actively buys Gems to exchange them into gold. 63,7% of these subjects buy a number of Gems above 800, with the remaining 36,4% buying only “Bellow 800”. For their actual spending habits we would need another survey but this shows the reason as to why the Gem exchange rate is soaring as high as it is.

Of the sample of 235 subjects, only a measly 3,4% actually spends their Gems on Boosters. Their actual use is a testament of their overall failure as this was one of the biggest points of dissatisfaction from the anti-Gem Store advocates. This could mean that the subjects don’t find Boosters worth spending in. More surveys are required.

Of the sample of 235 subjects, only 22,6% actively buys Town Clothes and 29,8 buys Armor Skins and cosmetics. What is worth mentioning is that, most of the discarded data of subjects who didn’t buy Gems also mentioned that they spent the gold converted Gems so they could buy Town Clothes and Armor Skins. This could mean that people are circumventing from actually spending real money on these sorts of goods.

Of the sample of 235 subjects, only 14,0% actually invests in things like Dye Packs, Finishers and other assorted goods. With a good deal of finishers (and quite good ones) being obtained from PvP and Dyes being a common commodity, this is a no brainer. Regarding less cosmetic things, like Cox Boxes and Black Lion Chest Keys, only 22,6% invest in these sort of things. If you were wondering why ArenaNet is trashing us so hard with low drop rates while keep adding more and more rare and exciting items in these boxes, it is safe to assume it is because they aren’t happy with these numbers… I say we burn the Cox witch!

Of the sample of 235 subjects, a grand total of 40,9% invests in Services (Name change, cosmetic change, Black Lion Salvage Kits, etc.). As for Upgrades, a whopping 76,6% invests in things like Bank tabs, Bag tabs and Character slots. T

his reveals two things: one, the subjects are more willing on spending Gems on quality of life goods rather than cosmetics, exactly as we all thought and two, this means that a great deal of development is thrown at cosmetics that the subjects aren’t actively buying.


Final Thoughts

I can almost see people lining up to twistedly defend ArenaNet and tell me that this data isn’t valid or something. Well, I crunched these numbers myself with a calculator and it made a smiley face, but if anyone wants to check it out themselves, I’ll be more than glad to share with you the database. I used IBM SPSS in case you are wondering, and went to a great deal to avoid posting Descriptive Statistic Tables than nobody could understand.

But what can I say about this data? Well, for one, people are cheap as they are avoiding at all costs spending much on the Gem Store. But what is more disturbing, is that people are spending the equivalent in Gems as if the game was subscription based.

If this data is correct… Then ArenaNet is receiving in sheer Gem Store revenue at least half as much income as if they were pushing a subscription based model! And worst of all, we are NOT receiving content that justifies this revenue! If we don’t consider the sheer amount of time put into making Gem Store cosmetics that is. What’s worse is that most of them aren’t even spending their Gems in cosmetics but in quality of life goods!

ArenaNet must know this, as they have this sort of data more reliably available than I do, and yet they continue to invest time and effort on a Gem Store that is not reliably attracting Gem buyers. What’s worse, they are actively dissuading Gem buyers with ludicrous Cox Boxes that have a great deal of chance of giving out nothing of value!

You can’t ignore this data anymore, or what I’ve been saying all along. ArenaNet has to wake up!


The End

.... Gmr Leon is silly.

Edited by Desild, 12 June 2013 - 08:26 PM.


#2 ObbiShadowdragon

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 08:34 PM

Wow is and was ptp at launch and didn't release its first expac until 3 YEARS later, I don't play it but wonder did they give the micro content GW2 does on a regular basis at launch? WoW sets the bar for most other mmo's so if Anet drop an expac within 3 years of launch along with constant micro update content and ftp seems to me that Anet is completely blowing Blizzard out of the water in every aspect? I'm not saying I'm 100% accurate but I just looked WoW up on wiki and that's what it said so as for people getting there moneys worth I think on a whole Anet/GW2 is killing the competition easily.Imo moneys worth is comparible to say skyrim, buy the game set amount, get 50-100 hours game play and that's your value for money done, the on going mmo ftp means imo of Corse that gw2 is well beyond value for money and the gem store is nothing more then another bonus feature.

#3 Baron von Scrufflebutt

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 09:00 PM

Quote

If this data is correct… Then ArenaNet is receiving in sheer Gem Store revenue at least half as much income as if they were pushing a subscription based model!

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And that's also the reason why it doesn't make sense for A.Net to change anything: their consumer unfriendly model brings in enough money that it simply doesn't make sense to create something that will be consumer friendly (which would also require more work than what we are seeing being put into GW2 right now).

#4 beadnbutter32

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 09:07 PM

Oh my, the fan boys will go apoplectic over this one.

This analysis shows why RNDnet (which failed to sell half as many copies as WOW, and has slid off every know game best seller list), still may still be profitable.

The major flaw to this type of survey is the target group that makes RNDnets most profit, the gamblers, is most likely highly unlikely to admit publicly just how much money they 'drop' in order to obtain those random box goodies.  While we can never have any proof since RNDnet covets their sales figures so, we do know that in other MMO's with similar random box promotions, it is no uncommon for some people to spend thousands of dollars just to obtain a single virtual item.  Obviously just a few suckers like that are way more profitable than $5 here or $10 there for quality of life items.

All we do know for sure is that online games in general have been heavily infected across genres with this form of gambling, so it must be highly profitable if almost every company is pursuing it.

The heavy investment in fluff, cosmetics, etc. is simply the window dressing to get the customers in the door/casino.

Is this a good thing. Not if you believe gambling is harmful to the general welfare. In the short term, it does mean that if you can resist the gambling, you can enjoy a casual MMO very cheaply after you have paid for the box.

#5 Desild

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 09:23 PM

View PostRitualist, on 12 June 2013 - 09:00 PM, said:

And that's also the reason why it doesn't make sense for A.Net to change anything: their consumer unfriendly model brings in enough money that it simply doesn't make sense to create something that will be consumer friendly (which would also require more work than what we are seeing being put into GW2 right now).

Problem is that people aren't spending all that much and they aren't spending on the things ArenaNet is pushing out in their Gem Store. As a matter of fact, ArenaNet is pushing people away from the Gem Store with their Cox Box model. I don't see people commendation ArenaNet for the fairness in their Cox Boxes.

View Postbeadnbutter32, on 12 June 2013 - 09:07 PM, said:

The major flaw to this type of survey is the target group that makes RNDnets most profit, the gamblers, is most likely highly unlikely to admit publicly just how much money they 'drop' in order to obtain those random box goodies.  While we can never have any proof since RNDnet covets their sales figures so, we do know that in other MMO's with similar random box promotions, it is no uncommon for some people to spend thousands of dollars just to obtain a single virtual item.  Obviously just a few suckers like that are way more profitable than $5 here or $10 there for quality of life items.

That isn't a fair assumption as the surveyed people were forum and reddit dwellers and I've included a section to at least 30% of the surveyed people who didn't buy any Gems at all. I just didn't go in-depth describing their habits because the survey was kind of flawed.

I did make out the most I could out of it.

And FYI, most of the high spenders exchange their Gems for gold to gain monetary advantage. They don't burn them in the Boxes at all, according to the data. But as you said they are quite profitable for ArenaNet, but for the wrong reason.

Edited by Desild, 12 June 2013 - 09:30 PM.


#6 Baron von Scrufflebutt

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 09:36 PM

View PostDesild, on 12 June 2013 - 09:23 PM, said:

Problem is that people aren't spending all that much and they aren't spending on the things ArenaNet is pushing out in their Gem Store. As a matter of fact, ArenaNet is pushing people away from the Gem Store with their Cox Box model. I don't see people commendation ArenaNet for the fairness in their Cox Boxes.

A.Net recently added the option to buy 8k gems in bulk.
I think that the concerns uttered on Guru are EXTREMELY valid, but I also believe that the huge majority of players just doesn't give a shit.

#7 Cube

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 09:44 PM

Cube is a woman! :D haha! Great read, I haven't even finished it completely. Looks very interesting so far :) Thanks for taking the time to make something out of my(and yours!) curiosity :D

Also: Thank you for doing such a great job with the survey's data. It was my first time ever making a survey so obviously I see there was some things I should have changed to make it better and easier for us to read. That's a lesson for next time I try this kind of thing! ^^ if there will be a next time I wont make your fingers hurt!!! XD

Edited by Cube, 12 June 2013 - 09:53 PM.


#8 StormDragonZ

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 09:53 PM

I recently checked how much Gold = 100 Gems, then saw what I'd like to have and realized I'm never going to reach that amount unless I deliberately played this game more than I would like. By then, I'd probably get so used to what I didn't have, be fine with it, and find no reason to have said things in the first place.

The problem is that, and this is exactly as offensive as it sounds, far too many people are unbelievably naive and relatively lacking in common sense. At the same time, these same people are putting themselves through this, which doesn't bother me, but it does bother me that ANet sees this as a positive thing...

Concise Description: I don't know why some people do the things they do.

#9 Desild

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 10:02 PM

View PostCube, on 12 June 2013 - 09:44 PM, said:

Cube is a woman! :D haha! Great read, I haven't even finished it completely. Looks very interesting so far :) Thanks for taking the time to make something out of my(and yours!) curiosity :D

Also: Thank you for doing such a great job with the survey's data. It was my first time ever making a survey so obviously I see there was some things I should have changed to make it better and easier for us to read. That's a lesson for next time I try this kind of thing! ^^ if there will be a next time I wont make your fingers hurt!!! XD

I often let people down. Too often. But not today!

Seriously, my fingers hurt. I had to manually insert all that data...

#10 Cube

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 10:06 PM

View PostDesild, on 12 June 2013 - 10:02 PM, said:

I often let people down. Too often. But not today!

Seriously, my fingers hurt. I had to manually insert all that data...

lmao, I know. I know ~ I didn't even know where to start on something like this. It started with me discussing with my boyfriend about what people would use their gems on and I was like: wow! lets make a survey! And so I did, and posted it, without actually thinking about what you do after lol!!! I feel bad! XD

Anyway, my boyfriend is also very impressed with your post and what you did with it. Thank you very much :)

#11 Fernling306

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 10:07 PM

Pretty interesting to read. Won't be long before people are in here telling you that you are wrong though.

#12 Featherman

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 12:27 AM

Great read. Good work on this analysis. There are a couple things that have me skeptical of data, however. This was done using a forum survey, so there might be volunteer bias on top of selection bias. I'm never one to enforce the "silent majority" argument. but I think they might an important demographic in this case especially if assumptions are to be made about overall profit. if the 80-20 rule is at work for gem store profits, a good amount of the profits could be coming from a hypothetical "20" who may spending large sums of money on Cox Boxes (as per their design). Bias on top of a small sample size may have ruled these players out.

Edited by Featherman, 13 June 2013 - 06:24 AM.


#13 rhershy8

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 06:13 AM

First off, great work and thanks for the insightful survey. However, the sample size is way too small to draw conclusions about the state of the gem store. Before any conclusions are drawn, more data needs to be gathered.

#14 Craywulf

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 06:30 AM

Well this survey as detailed as it is, really isn't all that revealing. The fact that people continually buy gems despite the amount of content or quality of items available in gem shop is proof that there are satisfied customers. People are not going spend money if they aren't happy with their purchases.

Complaining about the lack of content or quality thereof is going continue to ring hollow as long as ArenaNet makes money. They are going continue to do what they believe is a success. If you're not happy, don't spend money. Bitching about it or postulating ArenaNet's greed isn't going change things.

Edited by Craywulf, 13 June 2013 - 06:31 AM.


#15 Katsumi Kei

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 07:30 AM

View PostCraywulf, on 13 June 2013 - 06:30 AM, said:

Complaining about the lack of content or quality thereof is going continue to ring hollow as long as ArenaNet makes money. They are going continue to do what they believe is a success. If you're not happy, don't spend money. Bitching about it or postulating ArenaNet's greed isn't going change things.

I do not agree. Voicing our concerns and "voiting with our wallets" is all we can do. Also criticism on  the internet is a big deal, potential new players may decide to turn to other MMOs and existing players will simply quit. Both hurt the company. In the end we can force them to change their methods.

Of cource there  is always room for more radical protest.
Some of you may have heard of that, but in EVE online (yea, eve again) the company tried to implement micro transactions wich went against their promises, so the players decided to boycott this change. If I remember currectly 6-7000 players warped into the biggest trading system and started shooting at indestructable station. So many people entered the system to join this 'riot' that CCP closed its entrances. The server machine almost burned so they had to shut it down before that.
In the following week or so the micro store was taken away.

Forgive me for any inaccuracies, but i dont remember well the details. Anyway, surveys and topics like this are good, but making the playerbase realise it's poor customer practices is the most important thing at the moment.

p.s. Desild and Cube, great job!

Edited by Katsumi Kei, 13 June 2013 - 07:31 AM.


#16 Desild

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 09:04 AM

View Postrhershy8, on 13 June 2013 - 06:13 AM, said:

First off, great work and thanks for the insightful survey. However, the sample size is way too small to draw conclusions about the state of the gem store. Before any conclusions are drawn, more data needs to be gathered.

Well I agree and disagree with you. At the same time. Yes the sample may look small, but it's merely adequate. Not too big, not too small. It has just enough subjects to draw a general picture of what's going on. Which I did.

Off course, as with all sciences, reproducing results is the best way to prove a point. If we were to make another, similar, survey, and got the same data out of them (or even better, cross reference them with ArenaNet's actual data), then we could without a doubt obtain a conclusion.

If anyone wants to make more surveys, and more detailed ones while at it, be free to toss me the data. People can't argue with data.

View PostCraywulf, on 13 June 2013 - 06:30 AM, said:

Well this survey as detailed as it is, really isn't all that revealing. The fact that people continually buy gems despite the amount of content or quality of items available in gem shop is proof that there are satisfied customers. People are not going spend money if they aren't happy with their purchases.

I agree Crawulf. We all know people are buying Gems. But does ArenaNet has to keep throwing incentives at us, only to pull the rug with their Cox Boxes? I mean, as of now, the only thing that upsets me in the Gem Store is the Cox Boxes, and how content that could be used to enrich the game is being use to line their pockets.

All it took me was a short trip to the official forums to see the most recent outcry over the Gem Store. Left and right, people who fell victims to the Cox Box model sworn to never again spend more money on the Gem Store. Yet patch after patch we see more and more suckers complaining how they burned their pay checks trying to get a pretty skin with the Gem Store Casino.

The complains are getting louder and louder, and it might not take long before ArenaNet coils. When it does happen, they will feel it hard. Unless they are planning on just catering to the Asian market, then ArenaNet can afford to ignore the outrage. Let's hope that is not the case...

I'm really hoping that when the expansion comes along it crashes and burns gloriously. I might even campaign so that people restrain themselves from buying it, as a boycott.

Edited by Desild, 13 June 2013 - 09:05 AM.


#17 Mastruq

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 10:27 AM

The reference to EVE is just a surface glimpse of one event.The problems, reasons and consequences run much deeper. But it is true that EVE was able to turn back from the edge during that time. However, EVE is a sub based game, they forfeited some of the cash shop money to preserve sub money. It made sense for them.

GW2 doesnt have a steady sub income, forfeiting RNG-chest money for no reason is not economically sound. Unless you spent a 4 digit amount of money in the cash in the last two months, you are negligible to them, expendable. All of us are just there to keep their whales company so they stay in the game and keep spending 4 - 5 digit amounts every month.

Edited by Mastruq, 13 June 2013 - 10:28 AM.


#18 ObscureThreat

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 11:11 AM

View PostKatsumi Kei, on 13 June 2013 - 07:30 AM, said:

I do not agree. Voicing our concerns and "voiting with our wallets" is all we can do. Also criticism on  the internet is a big deal, potential new players may decide to turn to other MMOs and existing players will simply quit. Both hurt the company. In the end we can force them to change their methods.

Of cource there  is always room for more radical protest.
Some of you may have heard of that, but in EVE online (yea, eve again) the company tried to implement micro transactions wich went against their promises, so the players decided to boycott this change. If I remember currectly 6-7000 players warped into the biggest trading system and started shooting at indestructable station. So many people entered the system to join this 'riot' that CCP closed its entrances. The server machine almost burned so they had to shut it down before that.
In the following week or so the micro store was taken away.

Forgive me for any inaccuracies, but i dont remember well the details. Anyway, surveys and topics like this are good, but making the playerbase realise it's poor customer practices is the most important thing at the moment.

p.s. Desild and Cube, great job!

There is one major difference between EVE and GW2. EVE is sub based therefore if customers leave they lose more money, than ANET if players leave GW2. Also EVE is a lot more hardcore than GW2, and the player base reflects that. Most of the active community visit fansites and forums, therefore it easier for them to organize boycotts & voice their concerns. GW2 has a lot more casual players that don't visit forums or anything of the like. They are willing to spend money on gems and they aren't going to boycott the game anytime soon. The people on GW2 Guru represent a small amount of players overall.

#19 dannywolt

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 02:31 PM

View PostDesild, on 12 June 2013 - 08:11 PM, said:

This reveals two things: one, the subjects are more willing on spending Gems on quality of life goods rather than cosmetics, exactly as we all thought and two, this means that a great deal of development is thrown at cosmetics that the subjects aren’t actively buying.

I find this to be a questionable conclusion. Is it true? Maybe, but the data as published does not support it. The survey doesn't correlate the quantity of gems spent with the cosmetic purchase category. Buyer numbers mean nothing compared to gem quantity. It must be considered that a large portion of the 51.1% low-end gem buyers (Below 800) might possibly overlap with the Services/Upgrades categories.

It was a fascinating read but the conclusion as stated suggests interpretation bias. The data could better back the conclusion if you show a direct correlation or if you separate one-time service and upgrade purchases that represent a very small portion of the overall gem usage.

Edited by dannywolt, 13 June 2013 - 02:37 PM.


#20 ImraJamilaAlshams

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 03:12 PM

My gem store purchases usually work like the following:

-I like to buy town clothes and armor (actually the only armor skin I've bought is the Quaggan backpack).
-When Black Lion Keys go on sale, I will buy enough to open the Black Lion Chests I have been accumulating (btw are these still dropping? I can't remember the last time I got a Black Lion Chest).
-I limit myself to about $20 on RNG boxes per event (Wintersday, Dragon Bash, etc.) if there's something in them I want.

Personally, I would be all about the gem store if they got rid of the RNG boxes.  They should have one RNG box, the Black Lion Chest, which has different consumables and stuff during different times of the year.  Beyond that, everything (armor, town clothes, weapons, minis) should be buying a specific item.  This of course goes against the economics of what they're trying to do, but it just seems fair.

#21 Necropolis

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 03:35 PM

Well done! It annoys me to no end how anet can continually disrespect the community like this. Already I have stacked up  over 1000 dragon chests, popped them lastnight for loads of useless candy and 3 risen knights which currently sell for 2 gold give or take. I also wasted hard earned in game gold on gems to purchase the boxes from the gem shop, more candy and nothing else. The tickets are once again no where to be seen. This kind of bullshit has turned me from ever spending my gold for gems in the future. I am about ready to move on to another game entirely due to inbalance in game. Buy gems, trade them for in game gold is not part of cosmetics, it unbalances the game by allowing ppl to be far ahead of those who work towards completion of their characters by hard work and earning items. I feel a sence of accomplishment when I play through and complete my chars in all ways in game not with my credit card. Those who spend cash for gems need to give their head a shake & wake up! So you bought 2000 gems, spend it on gold then purchase everything for your legendary, craft it and run around showing it off in LA like you actually earned it =P I see that lame shit regulary. These fancy skins should have us working to get them through events. title or whatever in game but no, we must pull out our credit cards instead. I hope and pray anet takes a step back and look at themselves due to all the contant complaints and get back to keep the community happy instead of constantly disappointed and disgusted. I certainly am! Continue to voice our concerns ppl, anet must hear us before its too late. Otherwise, whatever, I have had enough bullshit from anets gemshop and ready to move on elsewhere. Anet has lost their way, lost in a see of green and they need a hard slap in the face! Best of luck, they'll need it.

Edited by Necropolis, 13 June 2013 - 03:37 PM.


#22 Desild

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 03:35 PM

View Postdannywolt, on 13 June 2013 - 02:31 PM, said:

It was a fascinating read but the conclusion as stated suggests interpretation bias. The data could better back the conclusion if you show a direct correlation or if you separate one-time service and upgrade purchases that represent a very small portion of the overall gem usage.

I won't deny there being a bias, I am but a human, and probably the guy with the most anti-ArenaNet bias in this thread. I'm glad someone stepped up to call out on my conclusions.

My reasoning is simple:

22,6% and 29,8% of the total sample of Gem buyers chooses to spend their Gems on Town Clothes and Armor Skins respectively. As opposed to the 76,6% that invests their Gems on account upgrades. 40,9% invests on Services.

Now, obviously some of these figures overlap. But what is going on here is the fair and sane act of the subjects prioritizing their Gem spending. if a good bulk of the sample buys less than an average of 800 Gems on a monthly basis, that means that the subjects prefer to spend on things that are actually useful, as opposed to cosmetics that you can't practically flaunt outside of Towns. Furthermore, the data only assumes that people aren't spending money bought Gems to get their cosmetic armor, not that the subjects are in the sideways changing their gold into Gems and buying their Town Clothes. Which is another different beast to tackle as apparently more people convert Gems into Gold than they buy Town Clothes and Armor Skins.

It is also worth mentioning that, the Gem Store is pretty barren in the regards of Armor Skins and similar cosmetics. Beyond the Wintersday weapons skins, the Fire and Frost heroic weapon skins (Roxx's and Bran's) and the three heritage armor sets borrowed from Guild Wars 1, there just isn't that much of a vast selection to pick from. That can explain why people are reluctant in buying them. That or because they usually just buy one of those and are done with it. Unlike account Upgrades which are not only cumulative, but they also come in several flavors. Or Gem to Gold exchange which can happen whenever the subjects want. 10€ could very well dress a character of mine in full exotics as it could dress him with a set of Town Clothes.

But of course I am not talking of just Armor Skins. Cox Boxes, which are currently the number one source of Cosmetics, have about  22,6% of the sample buying them actively with Gems. This means that there customers spending their overflow of Gems in boxes, as opposed to honest and more conservative costumers who spend enough to warrant the equivalent of a subscription fee with the few Gems they buy. Those sort of costumers are also the sane ones that stay clear of Cox Boxes.

The problem he is that the same amount of Gems that could net you a full set of Town Clothes can barely grant you the chance of giving you something useful via Cox Boxes. And where is ArenaNet investing their resources as of late?

In their Cox Boxes. Which the subjects aren't actively buying! ON THE CONTRARY! They are being actively dissuaded from actually investing in them!

Numbers don't always tell the whole story, but my logic is flawless! Hehehehe... *rubs hands*

Edited by Desild, 13 June 2013 - 04:05 PM.


#23 Feathermoore

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 06:38 PM

View PostKatsumi Kei, on 13 June 2013 - 07:30 AM, said:

Of cource there  is always room for more radical protest.
Some of you may have heard of that, but in EVE online (yea, eve again) the company tried to implement micro transactions wich went against their promises, so the players decided to boycott this change. If I remember currectly 6-7000 players warped into the biggest trading system and started shooting at indestructable station. So many people entered the system to join this 'riot' that CCP closed its entrances. The server machine almost burned so they had to shut it down before that.
In the following week or so the micro store was taken away.

Forgive me for any inaccuracies, but i dont remember well the details. Anyway, surveys and topics like this are good, but making the playerbase realise it's poor customer practices is the most important thing at the moment.

p.s. Desild and Cube, great job!

The in game protests were great for story purposes on gaming news sites, but likely had little to do with CCP backing down on the micro-transaction situation. Over 6000 accounts were canceled, and those are just the ones that the owners reported on the forums that had been canceled in protest. EVE players literally voted with their wallets and CCP folded when they saw how much money they were losing. Afterwards, CCP turned development away from the incarna "barbies in space" stuff and sat down to add stuff to the space combat, add new ships, and fix broken systems.

GW2 players don't have the effective method of showing discontent that EVE players had. We can't go into the account management and cancel our subscription's auto renewal. All we have is not spending money in the cash shop, but that isn't as powerful as the subscription canceling is.

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#24 Cube

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 07:20 PM

View PostFeathermoore, on 13 June 2013 - 06:38 PM, said:

GW2 players don't have the effective method of showing discontent that EVE players had. We can't go into the account management and cancel our subscription's auto renewal. All we have is not spending money in the cash shop, but that isn't as powerful as the subscription canceling is.

I think it would be powerful, but I am not sure if there would be enough people to make a effect since yeah, we don't have subscriptions. Perhaps if someone started a protest and advertise it everywhere to end this RNG madness. I know I'd share, and I know I'd participate. Perhaps a protest that would be something like at next event everyone who's participating will not log in for the duration, not purchase anything in the gemstore, boycott their next expansion/the game for x duration, etc? Just some thoughts. But yeah, in the end you're still gonna have the silly people who spend their money on the boxes, and those people who do probably wouldn't even participate cause the fact that they are buying it means they obviously don't get it at all ><

#25 Desild

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 07:25 PM

View PostFeathermoore, on 13 June 2013 - 06:38 PM, said:

GW2 players don't have the effective method of showing discontent that EVE players had. We can't go into the account management and cancel our subscription's auto renewal. All we have is not spending money in the cash shop, but that isn't as powerful as the subscription canceling is.

Good thing guru has valiant soldiers like me, always tempting moderators to wack us with the ban hammer and never quieting down with our complaining.

I still love you guys.

#26 Castaa

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 07:56 PM

I filled out the survey only to find that my response was discarded.  Why not analyze all the data groups?

I buy gems but only with gold.  I have a repulsion to paying real money for in game virtual items.  I've never done it in any game I've played and in all likelihood never will.

#27 Feathermoore

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 08:35 PM

View PostCube, on 13 June 2013 - 07:20 PM, said:

I think it would be powerful, but I am not sure if there would be enough people to make a effect since yeah, we don't have subscriptions. Perhaps if someone started a protest and advertise it everywhere to end this RNG madness. I know I'd share, and I know I'd participate. Perhaps a protest that would be something like at next event everyone who's participating will not log in for the duration, not purchase anything in the gemstore, boycott their next expansion/the game for x duration, etc? Just some thoughts. But yeah, in the end you're still gonna have the silly people who spend their money on the boxes, and those people who do probably wouldn't even participate cause the fact that they are buying it means they obviously don't get it at all ><

The other (and really more important) issue is the difference between the communities. EVE is old, and is full of people who have played the game for many years. The players love the game world and are personally invested in it. A changed loomed on the horizon that threatened to change the game in a way that the players did not believe in, a change that they knew would make them quit. EVE's community has hundreds of player created side projects, sub communities, clicks, and is really tightly bound. Convincing others to take up the cause and participate in the boycott was quite easy due to the type of people and the massive involvement in the community.

GW2 does not have this. The game is new, there really isn't much of a personal investment in the game built up, and the issues we are talking about were in the game from the start. There isn't a looming change, Anet hasn't had an internal memo demeaning the players leaked (oh how the whole protest thing would have gone differently had that never been written), and there really is no community in the game. The players are not connected and I would be quite surprised if they ever really become connected as a group.

The EVE forums also allowed the "Sign in this thread if you are canceling your subscription" thread to exist. Seeing the list of pilot names (many whom players would recognize on sight) helped to snowball the pledges along. Knowing that you are 1 out of several thousand people who are pledging to quit was quite effective at getting people to get off their butt and not be lazy. There is no way Anet would leave that thread open on the official forums, and without that thread the impact decreases as less players learn about the push and the actual amount of players pledging to boycott it is not possible to see. The list of names gives the boycott power. In the EVE situation, CCP could see the number of subscriptions being canceled. It was scary. Anet has no visual of people boycotting their sales. Things sell or they don't. They have no way of knowing that people are boycotting them without threads of that nature. It is just harder to get the message across.

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#28 Desild

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 08:57 PM

View PostCastaa, on 13 June 2013 - 07:56 PM, said:

I filled out the survey only to find that my response was discarded.  Why not analyze all the data groups?

I buy gems but only with gold.  I have a repulsion to paying real money for in game virtual items.  I've never done it in any game I've played and in all likelihood never will.

I did not discard your survey. I just took priority of one group over the other for the sake of statistical accuracy and to spare me from the finger aches. I dedicated a section to subjects in your condition. I analysed all groups equally. But due to the survey being inadequate, a lot of the non-buying group had to be discarded. Instead of cherry-picking cases, I took the best approach I could.

I hope I haven't offended you in any way.

#29 Sebyos

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 06:42 PM

Arenanet doesnt touch a dime. NC Soft does and they give back what they want which is well... really not much judging by the content.

#30 Swoopeh

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 08:09 PM

The outcome doesn't really surprise me, in fact I think it's a good thing they're making money. But I agree that the content so far doesn't justify the spendage.




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