HearthStone

DAY 6 of protesting for a fairer monetization model

Content of the article: "DAY 6 of protesting for a fairer monetization model"



Armor Up!

As my plans to create a "DAY 5" protest plummeted into the oblivion of a twisting nether, I crawled out with newfound wisdom. My health crisis awakened me to three immutable truths about this universe faster than a Warlock can kill himself with lifetap. First, the only way to prevent Blizzard from under-cutting our needs is to have precise coordination; unless we all agree to one immovable set of demands, Blizzard will literally hold boardroom meetings to discuss how to give us as little as possible. Second, the moment they are forced to give a PR response, we've won; they are indefensible after years of lies, manipulation, and designing game-systems to be optimal for milking players. Third, we need to take this beyond Reddit into Twitter, YouTube, and app-stores; they're unlikely to respond to our protests on Reddit exactly as they are, and this way they can avoid answering us directly. But before I get into details, allow me to remind you what we're fighting for:

 



AAA game

  • 2 years 100 people (if anything I think the average might be higher both in people and time) => 1 game $60

Hearthstone

  • 2 years 70 people (size of Team 5) => 6 standard-legal expansions
    • Bundle $80 * 6
    • "mini expansion" 26% of $ 80 => $20
    • => 0.7 game (This is ~ the percentage of cards you will get while ignoring rarities and things like battlepass xp, cosmetics, and pre-order time-frames. This doesn't include the Classic Set.) $600

So about 10 times the price for 70% the effort from Blizzard and and 70% of the game (10 * 1.3 * 1.3 = 16.9).

The paywall is the main reason why players quit or commit to drudgerous grinding (which shouldn't happen in a videogame because that creates addiction, and because your time is wasted if you're not truely having fun). For more data on the monetization attrocity of Hearthstone please visit this post.

Did you want cosmetic upgrades for your cards too? That'll only be about a year's worth of rent.

 

Outright removal of the battlepass

Battlepasses are manipulative practices which weedled their way into our games and we've been complacent about them because they seemed like good deals relative to how much we were price-gouged by microtransactions before. They exist only to harbor addiction by keeping you tied to a commitment, lock content with an arbitrary limited-time-frame which players grind at the end of the season to not miss, and you may potentially not grind enough xp to earn the skins of your Tavern Pass. In addition, Blizzard will certainly use the bonus-xp events to control when you play in a way they couldn't before. Finally, you should only be coming back to a game for fun, and not to be industrious in a fictional space. Battlepasses HAVE NO PLACE in Hearthstone!

 

Ben Lee's stimulus package

Forget about the rewards track changes that essentially gives players +10.5 packs this season (plus extra selection on which slot machine you gamble on). That's 1-2 non-duplicate epics, 3 non-duplicate rares, 3 non-duplicate commons, and 300 dust for most players. I know this is precious when you're accustomed to in-game poverty, but it's not worth what we're protesting for by a long-shot. Like the American Federal Government, they're ignoring the systematic issues they created and snuffing out opposition with a pathetic stimulus. They may as well have said "let them eat funnelcakes". And if they make another PR move that offers us more packs, no matter how many that may be, ignore that too.

Read more:  List of minions considered "cats" for the secret Kel'Thuzad - Bigglesworth interaction

 

#NoMoreWhaleGames

Once 90% of people on this subreddit collectively agree to the demand-list, I'm calling for the beginning of our official Twitter, YouTube, and app-store protest. This means that we'll all reply to the latest tweets on some specific accounts and comment on the latest YouTube video of some channels once a day until the end of the overall Hearthstone protest on this subreddit. I'll anounce the go-signal on a daily post after we agree. Please don't begin without this coordination since we wouldn't be taken as seriously without it.

On these platforms, I invite you to post this preprepared message (except for in reply to the tweet about Veteran's Day):

We demand a fair monetization model! #NoMoreWhaleGames

 

The Twitter accounts are:

(Sadly, I could not find Ben Lee's account, if it exists)

The YouTube accounts are:

This is a call to reply to 7 different Twitter accounts and comment on the latest video of 10 different Youtubers daily (and more may be added upon suggestion in the comments), which should take about 25min/day from participants. If even a mere quarter of the people who upvote this post participate in this, we will STORM these platforms, or else we will endure this pain year on year.



For those of you who haven't already, I invite you to post a bad review or 1-star rating on the Google Play Store or App Store. This matters to Blizzard because games with a lower rating have a harder time climbing the top charts. We've already reduced Hearthstone on the Google Play Store to 3.9 and 3.6 on the App Store over, with a substantial drop last week.

Finally, once we agree on our demands, there will be no negotiations with Winnie Mussolini and we will not tolerate compromises. So we must choose them wisely.

 

The NoMoreWhaleGames demand-list for Hearthstone

  • The shop in Hearthstone is revamped according to the following changes in the obvious nessesary ways (IE: No more $69.99 for 60 Classic Packs).
  • For every hero, there is a $3.99 purchase called a "Class Bundle" which provides playsets of all the cards of that hero in a given expansion set, including wild. As well as class-cards, those bundles will provide specific neutral cards of that set such that one could have every* card if they bought all the bundles. The exception is neutral legendaries because there have only been 3-5 of them since Ungoro.
  • For every set, there is a $39.99 bundle that encompasses every Class Bundle of that set. This is the new Mega Bundle. The price of this bundle is decreased according to the Class Bundles already purchased. It includes one golden pack of that set and the neutral legendaries.
  • Class Bundles, Mega Bundles, and adventures that aren't standard-legal are discounted by 25%.
  • Each of these bundles can only be purchased once per account.
  • Each of these bundles can be purchased regardless of how many cards a player already has.
  • There remains the option of buying packs (this is indeed called "NoMoreWhaleGames", but purchasing packs under this environment would be unessesary for the normal player in every respect, and some may want to show their support expensively by going for all-golden collections/decks or just enjoy opening packs).
  • The price of standalone packs is $0.99 for 1 pack up to $29.99 for 60 packs.
  • There is no Class Bundle or Mega Bundle for the Classic Set. Instead, the Welcome Bundle contains 60 Classic Packs (because 10 Classic Packs is too slow of a start) and 1 Classic Legendary. It costs $16.99 (it was only $5 before to hook players with sunk-cost fallacy).
  • Seasonal Battlegrounds Perks can be bought with gold.
  • You get 10 gold per win instead of for every 3 wins.
  • Achievements give 10% of their achievement-point worth as gold when achieved.
  • Rewards for tiers 7-12 of Arena are increased by a pack. Rewards for tiers 8-11 are increased by 20% more gold. Rewards for tier 12 is increased by 100% more gold.
  • Golden epics cost 800 dust to craft, golden rares cost 400, and golden commons cost 200. Golden legendaries stay at 3200.
  • You can complete quests in all modes (except when restricting the mode is integral to the quest, for example: "Win 2 games of Duels").
  • Removal of the Tavern Pass and rewards track in favour of the old quests system (Weekly quests should be removed because they hold people to a arbitrary commitment, same as the Tavern Pass; you are not an employee within Hearthstone, it is not your duty to earn gold.).
  • Reemburse players who bought the Tavern Pass by giving them the premium skins without them having to work for it, and some gold.
  • Reemburse the players' Madness at the Darkmoon Faerie pre-orders (in in-game items) as though this new monetization model had been in effect during the Madness at the Darkmoon Faire pre-order period.

 

This creates a future with 3 types of paying players:

  • The broke/budget player who buys into standard for ~$30.96 for his favourite 2 classes and spends ~$15.98 each expansion.
  • The average paying player who buys into standard with 1-2 Mega-Bundles and buys the Mega-Bundle + maybe a few cosmetics each expansion.
  • The most hardcore player who seeks to collect a whole wild collection and maybe golden decks/sets and all the skins

All-in-all, Blizzard still makes a boatload of money by making these changes. And when I look back on it, I realize the "most hardcore player" and even the "average paying player" are still whales, which speaks to how obscenely expensive it was before. If any of ya'll have suggestions on how to improve this list and/or how it can be changed to eliminate whales while remaining fair, please tell us in the comments.

 

There's always room for another

This shall not only be the end of Blizzard's whale-hunting practices in Hearthstone but, in time, the end of whale-hunting across the industry. Other gaming communities will talk about how the Hearthstone community retaliated against its predatory publisher, and will follow suit with their own revolt. In order to make this sweep possible, we must prove that we can do it once to a massive publisher. One success would warrant reputation and support from doubtful gamers who would rally with us in fiery indignation if they believed it wasn't impossible to end whale-hunting by protesting. I invite you to do this for their sake as well and to contribute to their protests when the sweep begins.

 

End of turn

It's an insult that Blizzard and Ben Lee remained silent after more than 10 000 of us already protested on Reddit. If it weren't for the Tavern Pass which sparked a pent-up outrage and all the daily posts expressing our discontent, Hearthstone would surely remain a fundamentally broken game. However, this is different than the protests of 1-3 years ago because we have momentum from the backlash of the new reward system. And we're taking heed to issues within Hearthstone instead of foreign politics.

Please upvote this to get it to the top of hot, but not just these DAY X posts. If more posts reach thousands of upvotes and new ones shift into hot, it creates liveliness and prevents interest from dieing out. The rate of new protest posts have slightly slowed yesterday, since we've pretty much said everything that needs to be said. But in order to ensure this succeeds, we must collectively accelerate it into an even bigger riot than before!

Let's use the momentum of this past week as a slingshot to get the PR response we deserve. And when we do, may we proudly spam into the circlejerk subreddit… "P2p BTW".

 

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Source: reddit.com

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