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Is The Zen Exchange (ZAX) Going From bad to worse?

wemerywemery Posts: 162Member Arc User
You don't see offers in the Zen Exchange (ZAX) on PC because there is a backlog. That means there are more people buying Zen with AD than people selling Zen for AD . (the backlog is about 35M at the moment on PC) ...

Do You think we need another Zen Rewards sale before april 23 to help boost the ZAX sales?

Alot of people are currently waiting about 40-45 days if not more to Exchange AD to Zen..


( Rjc9000, Putz , Ambisinister , Braelynn , Galactic ) ZAX podcast
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  • krumple01krumple01 Posts: 481Member Arc User
    edited March 30
    wemery said:

    You don't see offers in the Zen Exchange (ZAX) on PC because there is a backlog. That means there are more people buying Zen with AD than people selling Zen for AD . (the backlog is about 35M at the moment on PC) ...

    Do You think we need another Zen Rewards sale before april 23 to help boost the ZAX sales?

    Alot of people are currently waiting about 40-45 days if not more to Exchange AD to Zen..

    It has been pointed out many times. Zen is worth more than 500 ad per 1 zen. Players who buy zen don't use the exchange because they don't get their AD worth for their zen. Instead they purchase packs and sell items out of those packs which gives them a better return on AD.

    The ONLY way the exchange will pick up activity is if cryptic raises the cap from 500 to something higher. But this will probably never happen so the backlog will always remain. Expect to see 50 million ad back log within the next 3 to 4 months easy.

    The last time Zen was actively being traded for less than 500 ad was back during mod 11. The pool of AD in circulation is too high causing inflation where Zen is worth far more than the cap allows.
  • greywyndgreywynd Posts: 3,440Member, NW M9 Playtest Arc User
    Only one I've seeing saying zen is worth more than 500:1 is you.
    Better to be a white knight than a knight with no honor.

    With your shield or on it.
  • wemerywemery Posts: 162Member Arc User
    look around the web.. reddit ,you tube and twitch
  • krumple01krumple01 Posts: 481Member Arc User
    edited March 30
    greywynd said:

    Only one I've seeing saying zen is worth more than 500:1 is you.

    Its because most people don't understand all the aspects that are involved. There is much higher pool of AD in the game than in the past. The more ad in circulation causes inflation where the price of items goes up. It's basic economics.

    Players are well aware that they don't get their moneys worth trading on the exchange so they go around it by selling zen store items on the AH. This way they get the true value of their zen. Its because AH prices are allowed to fluctuate and mirror the actual value of the AD.

    There are only two ways to solve this problem.

    One is to raise the cap from 500 to something higher.

    The other is to prevent players from trading Zen store items on the AH. But this is risky because if players discover that the exchange isn't giving them their money's worth of Zen through the exchange then they lose their incentive to buy zen. For this to work you would also have to cut out trading the highly desired items, such as p-wards and c-wards from the AH. But this would cut out most players ability to generate AD outside grinding rough AD. What do players do with p-wards they don't need? If they can't trade them for AD anymore then the incentive to run events or even invoke drops dramatically. Who cares if you get a rough AD collection bonus if you can already hit your cap without needing to invoke? You remove the rewards for some events and dungeon rewards.

    The ONLY good solution is to raise the cap. But most players assume this would ruin the economy and site the Russian server as an example of why this solution wouldn't work. But they fail to take or submit the other elements involved as to why their cap raising isn't working. If it is easier to obtain AD on the Russian server than on the US server than that means there is already a higher pool of available AD in circulation which causes the price of zen to go up yet higher than the new cap. Also depends on the population. Each new account is like adding a new bag of AD into the game. The more active accounts means more ad being traded or potentially tradable. This makes the value of AD drop causing the price of Zen to go up well above the cap. Once that happens players stop trading Zen for AD and find other ways to get their moneys worth of AD.
    Post edited by krumple01 on
  • wemerywemery Posts: 162Member Arc User
    edited March 30
    A way to fix the higher pool of ad vs zen is to have a Zen sale that is providing digital zen rewards . It would be a cost effective way to boost sales. Because Digital rewards are only code in a program it cost crypic next to nothing .And will increase the total zen pool..Just like the Twitch Prime Bundle increased the number of prime members..
  • minotaur2857minotaur2857 Posts: 1,123Member, NW M9 Playtest Arc User
    greywynd said:

    Only one I've seeing saying zen is worth more than 500:1 is you.

    You haven't been looking then. Everybody who has looked at this with any form of mathematical nous knows it's worth a good 800 or so trivially, I'll let you do the calculation.
  • wemerywemery Posts: 162Member Arc User
  • mentinmindmakermentinmindmaker Posts: 662Member Arc User
    edited March 31
    The queue itself is proof that Zen is worth more than 500 AD which is the limit today.

    But there are also good reasons why this limit should not be raised, for instance that this limit decided the price point for pwards and coals. Increased price for those would affect all players negatively.

    What experience tells us is that the queue drops when there are events in game that increases the demand for AD, like a new mod. So what needs to be done to solve the queue problem(since setting the exchange rate free is not an option) is to make AD more valuable to increase AD spending.

    This means a way to spend and keep spending AD in game that has a positive effect on your character. It must also be attractive for the old players that sits on huge sums of AD. The Knox sale was a positive incident, but probably was a drop in the ocean. Letting the players buy and keep buying worthwhile upgrades to their characters for AD would likely put the old and rich players far ahead of the less developed players, which creates new problems.

    Queue also drops when there are events that increases the purchase of Zen, like campaigns, and the queue increases when there are events that reduces the purchase of Zen, like mod 16. But at a guess Zen influx is fairly stable depending on number of players, so it probably is more difficult to do long-term changes to that. No doubt this is the solution Cryptic would prefer though ;)
  • greywyndgreywynd Posts: 3,440Member, NW M9 Playtest Arc User
    Is it proof that it is worth more? Or is it proof that there is nothing really worth buying in the game? The only real necessities for advancement are wards.
    Better to be a white knight than a knight with no honor.

    With your shield or on it.
  • minotaur2857minotaur2857 Posts: 1,123Member, NW M9 Playtest Arc User
    greywynd said:

    Is it proof that it is worth more? Or is it proof that there is nothing really worth buying in the game? The only real necessities for advancement are wards.

    They're 2 sides of the same coin, if there was a "must have" people would spend real money to get it (and some would sell them on the AH at >>500:1). Realistic pricing of the new pack might have done that.
  • adinosiiadinosii Posts: 3,468Member, NW M9 Playtest Arc User
    Things could be improved a bit by adding more AD sinks, which would in effect make AD more valuable, but the big issue is the existence of the Zen->item->AD->Zen loop, which discourages people from offering their Zen on the Zax, where they don't get its full value.

    This could be (mostly) fixed by changing things so that if you are spending Zen you got by exchanging AD, any items you buy will be BtA, but if you got your Zen by spending $$$ the items would be unbound.
    Waiting to see how bad things will be.
  • greywyndgreywynd Posts: 3,440Member, NW M9 Playtest Arc User
    edited April 2
    Which would require multiple zen and/or AD piles on an account. Much easier to only have one pile of each.
    Better to be a white knight than a knight with no honor.

    With your shield or on it.
  • plasticbatplasticbat Posts: 5,706Member, NW M9 Playtest Arc User
    And then, I have 500 'cash' Zen and 500 'Zax' Zen. Can I pick which type of Zen to buy stuff? Can I combine Zen type to buy stuff?

  • thevampinatorthevampinator Posts: 227Member Arc User
    edited April 2
    The major issue and the major source of the backlog is yes they have a cap limit, plus the ah currency is the same as the currency needed to trade for zen which is a huge problem. What could help is for example is raising the seal limit from 1200, to then 1 million and then use seals as the means of trading for zen. Seperating Ad from the zax would be one thing they could do. They could add something else that can be exchanged for gear, or zen. Maybe by turning the ad store with the items and everything in a seal of crowns store. Add all armors attires, and styles there. Along with a daily cap for number of seals you can get with each character. So say for example a ring or armor is only 500 crowns next mod. On this new system it would be 5000 crowns. The armor would be 10,000 crowns. Armor appearace attires found in the ad store right now would all be converted to be seal of crowns along with the sword, sheild companion and cat companions dungeon master manuel thing that is 1 ad could be 100 crowns. What this would do is fix the system. Making a system like it is in Sto. So what they could do is limit crowns to 5000 or 8000 per day per character. The way of getting them would be dungeons and content missions and dailies and weeklies. Separating ad from the zax is the one realistic way for them to solve the problem. Not only that people would most likely by more zen to exchange for the crowns so they don't have to farm the dungeons. Which would be a win win for cryptic and the player base. The fact is the way they are doing it isn't working the problem is very bad. They are going to have to seperate the ad from the Zen Exchange. There has to be another currency for this.
  • wintersmokewintersmoke Posts: 1,250Member Arc User
    krumple01 said:

    greywynd said:

    Only one I've seeing saying zen is worth more than 500:1 is you.

    Its because most people don't understand all the aspects that are involved. There is much higher pool of AD in the game than in the past. The more ad in circulation causes inflation where the price of items goes up. It's basic economics.

    Players are well aware that they don't get their moneys worth trading on the exchange so they go around it by selling zen store items on the AH. This way they get the true value of their zen. Its because AH prices are allowed to fluctuate and mirror the actual value of the AD.

    There are only two ways to solve this problem.

    One is to raise the cap from 500 to something higher.

    The other is to prevent players from trading Zen store items on the AH. But this is risky because if players discover that the exchange isn't giving them their money's worth of Zen through the exchange then they lose their incentive to buy zen. For this to work you would also have to cut out trading the highly desired items, such as p-wards and c-wards from the AH. But this would cut out most players ability to generate AD outside grinding rough AD. What do players do with p-wards they don't need? If they can't trade them for AD anymore then the incentive to run events or even invoke drops dramatically. Who cares if you get a rough AD collection bonus if you can already hit your cap without needing to invoke? You remove the rewards for some events and dungeon rewards.

    The ONLY good solution is to raise the cap. But most players assume this would ruin the economy and site the Russian server as an example of why this solution wouldn't work. But they fail to take or submit the other elements involved as to why their cap raising isn't working. If it is easier to obtain AD on the Russian server than on the US server than that means there is already a higher pool of available AD in circulation which causes the price of zen to go up yet higher than the new cap. Also depends on the population. Each new account is like adding a new bag of AD into the game. The more active accounts means more ad being traded or potentially tradable. This makes the value of AD drop causing the price of Zen to go up well above the cap. Once that happens players stop trading Zen for AD and find other ways to get their moneys worth of AD.
    The reason there is a pool of AD is because of a couple of glitches in the first few mods that let players in the know "print money". This is not a new situation.

    What other elements, exactly, make it easier to obtain AD on the Russian server?
  • jase2cooljase2cool Posts: 141Member, NW M9 Playtest Arc User
    10 USD = 1000 zen .
    100 USD = 10,000 Zen
    1000 USD = 100,000 Zen
    10,000 USD = 1,000,000 Zen

    Current backlog 30,000,000 + zen which makes total of 300,000 USD it will takes a awhile to clear even when the game is in good state, with upcoming Mod16 which bring so much uncertainty, which already many veteran players i know quits and many more will probably quits when they see Mod16 finish product , if they actually do ZaX will naturally
  • adinosiiadinosii Posts: 3,468Member, NW M9 Playtest Arc User
    greywynd said:

    Which would require multiple zen and/or AD piles on an account. Much easier to only have one pile of each.

    Easier, sure....but then you will continue to have the current situation. Consider what would happen if the ZAX cap was removed The price of Zen would go up until it matches the "real value" of Zen, probably to somewhere between 1000 and 1500 AD. Some of the players with existing purchase orders would cancel them and put in new orders. For people sitting on a hundred million AD, the increase is not a big deal - they will just buy the Zen they need at a higher price. For players with limited funds the effect is bigger - they would only get half or a third of the Zen they would have gotten before. This would mean a much slower progress. Some of them would probably get frustrated and quit as they no longer consider the game to have a reasonable reward/effort ratio. Others will just spend some actual money instead.

    However, this would still not solve the problem. Let's say you have some Zen and you want AD. Do you put your Zen up on the exchange, or wait until you get a discount coupon, or maybe just wait for a Zen store sale, and then buy items and sell them on the AH ?

    A higher exchange rate would not really solve the problem - the queue would shrink, but the increase would push the prices of items up considerably, and probably make may F2P players leave.

    Here is another suggestion which might actually help: If you buy an item on the Zen store at full price it is unbound, but if you use a discount coupon or buy during a Zen store sale it is bound. The effect of this would be to reduce the true value of Zen, and should help balance the exchange.

    There are no easy, magic solutions, however.
    Waiting to see how bad things will be.
  • wemerywemery Posts: 162Member Arc User
    edited April 2
    I beleave a promotional zen sale "welcome to Undermountain "will help the problem by added more zen to the games economy it won't fix the economic problem over night but its a start..

    To help boost the zen sale they could also offer digital rewards as good marketing plan..Digital rewards cost them nothing as they are just code in a program and will add another layer of incentive to buy zen..

    example

    buy 7500 Zen

    100% Off Any Companion Coupon (BoAoP)
    Stronghold Chest of Power (BoAoP)

    buy 10000 Zen

    Epic Experience Booster (BoAoP)
    Stronghold Starter Pack(BoAoP)

    buy 20000 Zen

    [Sigil of the Metallic Ancestry Dragonborn](BoE)
    Coalescent Ward x5 (BoE)
    Race Reroll Token (BoE)
    Greater Stone of Health x2 (BoE)

    I beleave this will also help boost the sales of the Delver's Expedition Pack!


    So providing digital zen rewards would be a cost effective way to boost sales and add more zen to the economy.
    Almost everyone could use stronghold supplys and i would be willing to bet 75% if not more of the player base would love to get the Metallic Ancestry Dragonborn unlocked..

    Just my two cents ...

    A example of how this would work is to look at the boost to twich prime members when he Twitch Prime Rewards bundle went live..

    331 views and 20 Comments ...What do you think? Reply and tell us what you think .....
  • malheur2080malheur2080 Posts: 88Member Arc User
    @wemery
    This would solve nothing. If you remember, we have had a short 40% off 3 weeks ago and since that time the exchange have growns another 10mil Zen backlog. As long the Zen market offers better deals as exchange for AD, this will becomes worse. Honestly, i can't see the developers giving a Hamster about this issue for the f2p part of this game over the past 2 years. You have to pay the fee the free market want you pay or deal with the demand to be able to get the Zen stuff you want. Could be worse, if they get rid of the 500:1 cap. This would drive the whole f2p model and the grind ad absurdum.
  • silverkeltsilverkelt Posts: 4,149Member, NW M9 Playtest Arc User
    I remember one of the early "glitches" that printed money and a few people got banned.. but I know 100% of a few people who got away with tens of millions of AD at the time.. and they never for some reason got caught, because it seemed to be outside of the scope of what the time frame.

    At least huntgate.. was raw salvage.. while annoying that people did it, it was capped and limited.. in those early days it wasnt.. those poeple got to literally control the economy for ages.

    Other then going back and fixing the original problem .. I dont know how to solve it..

    Lots of really bad suggestions from players.. that do nothing but hamper those who have played legit.

  • wemerywemery Posts: 162Member Arc User
    edited April 2

    @wemery
    This would solve nothing. If you remember, we have had a short 40% off 3 weeks ago and since that time the exchange have growns another 10mil Zen backlog.

    There where no digital incentive Rewards added 3 weeks ago..


    Imagine your a fish and you see a nice juicy minnow to your left and to your right you see a rubber minnow lure .As a fish what one will you pick?

    A digital rewards zen program if done right with the right incentive marketing plan could and would work wonders.And it even could raise the quarterly profit projection and shine a ray of sunshine at cryptic management..

    Remember digital rewards cost cryptic studios nothing..
    If they add the right Digital Rewards, Gifts & Incentives to there Customers profits can and will sky rocket..and at the same time it would slowly begin to help with the amount of zen on the zax exchange ..Right now there is way more ad in the market then zen :(


    How digital rewards work 101


    When paired with social media integration, the use of the “free gift with purchase” motif can take on a new life of its own. By pairing a small digital item such as a song or a movie in exchange for purchase, users will not only feel a sense of gratitude toward the brand, but are far more likely to share the offer across social media platforms. The allure of the free digital gift with purchase is so powerful that it compels users to buy AND to share, leading to an increase in incremental sales. Innovative brands can implement such digital promotions to lower their customer acquisition rates and successfully boost their word-of-mouth marketing.

    Incentivize Users to Complete a Task

    Small digital modifications and rewards can make a huge difference in terms of a customer’s willingness to answer a call-to-action. Many sweepstakes competitions, for instance, offer a digital means of entering, making it simpler than ever for companies to acquire participants for less. Users can enter the sweepstakes and receive their e-gifts right after signing in and then can use sharing capabilities to spread news about the contest to family and friends, promoting brand awareness and boosting engagement.

    Maximize Customer Retention

    A little gratitude goes a long way, especially when it’s between brands and their consumers. It’s far easier to retain pre-existing customers than focus new funds into customer acquisition, meaning that brands should always have a keen eye on their customers’ sense of loyalty. One way to reach out and show your customers you really care is by letting unhappy customers know that your concern about their problem and that you care about them. Brands can harness the power of consumer support platform ..Cryptic could seamlessly offer digital gifts such as movies, music, gift cards and more and include it within their answer ticket to consumers. This provides an effective way to deal with customer complaints while simultaneously encouraging brand loyalty.



  • mentinmindmakermentinmindmaker Posts: 662Member Arc User
    edited April 2


    The reason there is a pool of AD is because of a couple of glitches in the first few mods that let players in the know "print money". This is not a new situation.

    What other elements, exactly, make it easier to obtain AD on the Russian server?

    It is unlikely an AD bug many years ago has a significant effect on game today. AD is leaking out of the game in many directions all the time, so a persistent effect from an old time bug is unlikely.

    This issue is more that the amount of AD available for buying Zen outpaces the Zen sold so the queue ever keeps growing.
    Post edited by mentinmindmaker on
  • wemerywemery Posts: 162Member Arc User
    digital incentive Rewards will help pool zen into the market
  • draugkirdraugkir Posts: 59Member Arc User
    Reason is simple.
    Less people spending rl cash to buy zen.

    With less and less playing.. theres no turning back.

    Simple way of fixing it:
    Remove AD per zen cap. Simple.
  • thefiresidecatthefiresidecat Posts: 2,964Member Arc User
    krumple01 said:

    greywynd said:

    Only one I've seeing saying zen is worth more than 500:1 is you.

    Its because most people don't understand all the aspects that are involved. There is much higher pool of AD in the game than in the past. The more ad in circulation causes inflation where the price of items goes up. It's basic economics.

    Players are well aware that they don't get their moneys worth trading on the exchange so they go around it by selling zen store items on the AH. This way they get the true value of their zen. Its because AH prices are allowed to fluctuate and mirror the actual value of the AD.

    There are only two ways to solve this problem.

    One is to raise the cap from 500 to something higher.

    The other is to prevent players from trading Zen store items on the AH. But this is risky because if players discover that the exchange isn't giving them their money's worth of Zen through the exchange then they lose their incentive to buy zen. For this to work you would also have to cut out trading the highly desired items, such as p-wards and c-wards from the AH. But this would cut out most players ability to generate AD outside grinding rough AD. What do players do with p-wards they don't need? If they can't trade them for AD anymore then the incentive to run events or even invoke drops dramatically. Who cares if you get a rough AD collection bonus if you can already hit your cap without needing to invoke? You remove the rewards for some events and dungeon rewards.

    The ONLY good solution is to raise the cap. But most players assume this would ruin the economy and site the Russian server as an example of why this solution wouldn't work. But they fail to take or submit the other elements involved as to why their cap raising isn't working. If it is easier to obtain AD on the Russian server than on the US server than that means there is already a higher pool of available AD in circulation which causes the price of zen to go up yet higher than the new cap. Also depends on the population. Each new account is like adding a new bag of AD into the game. The more active accounts means more ad being traded or potentially tradable. This makes the value of AD drop causing the price of Zen to go up well above the cap. Once that happens players stop trading Zen for AD and find other ways to get their moneys worth of AD.
    there is another solution. cryptic could just add zen to the exchange.
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  • cherryman1cherryman1 Posts: 110Member Arc User
    krumple01 said:

    wemery said:

    You don't see offers in the Zen Exchange (ZAX) on PC because there is a backlog. That means there are more people buying Zen with AD than people selling Zen for AD . (the backlog is about 35M at the moment on PC) ...

    Do You think we need another Zen Rewards sale before april 23 to help boost the ZAX sales?

    Alot of people are currently waiting about 40-45 days if not more to Exchange AD to Zen..

    It has been pointed out many times. Zen is worth more than 500 ad per 1 zen. Players who buy zen don't use the exchange because they don't get their AD worth for their zen. Instead they purchase packs and sell items out of those packs which gives them a better return on AD.

    The ONLY way the exchange will pick up activity is if cryptic raises the cap from 500 to something higher. But this will probably never happen so the backlog will always remain. Expect to see 50 million ad back log within the next 3 to 4 months easy.

    The last time Zen was actively being traded for less than 500 ad was back during mod 11. The pool of AD in circulation is too high causing inflation where Zen is worth far more than the cap allows.
    The only way they fix it is if they stop the things selling from Zen store purchases in the Auction House for going for more AD than what you can use the exchange. Right now people are spending their Money and probably at the same rates but only buying the items instead of exchanging for AD since you can buy sale items and get more than 500 to 1 by doing this. This means the only way to fix it isn't with raising the exchange rate but by making items bound to account or so type of limit for the amounts you can sell your items in the Auction House that is less than what you can do on the exchange.
  • cherryman1cherryman1 Posts: 110Member Arc User
    The core issue with the exchange is that we have a feedback loop happening for players who are long term players of this system. In other words, you can earn more AD by this continuous loop and doing it again and again makes you more AD.

    This is the loop: Take AD and convert it on the exchange -> Take Zen and Purchase Items to sell from Zen Store -> Sell items people want in Auction House for more than what you could get from the exchange - Repeat

    So: AD to Zen to Zen Items To AD: Repeat - This is the loop

    How do you break the loop?
    1. Remove the exchange. Nobody wants this to happen but it might happen in the future if nothing is done.
    2. Starve the Game of AD (make it so that we get 10k AD convertible for 3 years and we will be back under 500 to 1 ratio). Nobody wants this since it will mean all free to play players during this time won't be able to convert to zen to buy VIP which means less players are playing the game. This will probably happen since it doesn't require programming. It may cost them some customers but at the end of the day if they put out a good product most will still play the game in theory. Issue with this also is that eventually when they give players the ability to make more AD they will in all honesty need to do this again.
    3. Place Limits on the amount you can sell items from the Zen Store to where you can't post the items to make a profit on them. This means you will only convert zen if your going to use the items from the zen store. This means less likely that people who have a lot of AD are going to convert to zen on an account since you will reach a point you have it all.
    4. Bind to Account the items from the zen store so you can't sell them in the zen store. This is going to make some players mad since they already have items and don't want to lose the value of them since they probably have a bunch of say companions that they can't use or don't want to place 10 tigers on alts that never get played.
    5. Move some wanted items from the Zen store to the Wonderous Bazaar. This would balance out the demand for the two currencies AD and Zen helping the exchange. This won't happen since it will hurt Cryptic's bottom line. In other words, this is the least likely thing to be done.

    Best option is #3 in this since it doesn't steal the complete value of items from players as I would be able to buy the Wards like say Preservation wards and if I upgrade all my enchantments I can still sell the extra to recover some value. I won't make a profit off selling them but I would get back some of my value I put into the items. The third option requires programming in the game and this is something that might not be done due to this overhead from the studio.
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