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On the topic of fixing the ADx backlog

The following methods if implemented together in the same patch should alleviate the ADx backlog completely.

1. Raise the ZEN price to 1000. This will immediately dissolve the current backlog. It took over a year for the backlog to return to ~5weeks since the last price raise, so this is a temporary but immediately effective method.

2. Add additional high-value AD sinks; examples:

a. Remove all stones of health from Zen store and tradebar store. Make the lesser and greater stones of health purchasable in the Wondrous Bazaar (example, 75,000/250,000AD each) as a very consistent AD sink.

b. Leave Astral Lockboxes in the WB forever. Keep them as they are, still markedly inferior to all other lockboxes that require keys.

3. Give incentives for selling Zen on the ADx (For example, every 5000 Zen you sell, you earn an account-bound coal ward).

All of these, if implemented simultaneously, will 1. dissolve the current ADx Backlog, 2. prevent another backlog from forming, and as a result 3. Keep the AD/Zen economy fairly liquid, while not de-incentivizing Zen purchasing for cash (as it does not reduce the practical value of Zen or AD in any way).

Feel free to discuss or add suggestions, etc.
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Comments

  • mphoenix#7043 mphoenix Member Posts: 16 Arc User
    edited August 2020
    In reference to 3., these incentives should be temporary one-off rewards like the one-time-purchase discounts in the Zen store.

    Possibly also:

    4. Add a new tab to the WB which allows players to purchase certain specific account bound Free Appearance Change items or other dyes or fashion items, or other "coolness factor" items.
  • ron#1747 ron Member Posts: 115 Arc User
    1 is TERRIBLE. It's just a temporary solution, but what it WILL do temporary is raising the prices. I would be very furious if the devs would raise the cap
  • mphoenix#7043 mphoenix Member Posts: 16 Arc User
    edited August 2020

    raising the cap is not the solution. it was back to cap in an hour or so after the last time they did it. now the back log is higher than ever.

    This isn't true. Back then, it took weeks before the backlog returned even to 1 week waiting.

    It took over a year to return to 5+ weeks wait time. The backlog is NOW about equal to what it was then, not worse, in terms of the number of days you need to wait.

    The idea of the solution as I've proposed it is for it to be instant as well as long lasting.

    That said, just implementing 2, 3, 4, etc and leaving the limit where it is would also work, it would just take longer for the players to see the impact.
  • putzboy78putzboy78 Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 1,940 Arc User
    #1, raising the exchange rate will not fix the ZAX. The last time it was raised it hit the max again almost immediately. The Russian server has a backlog at a 1k exchange rate. The appropriate fix is to eliminate the max. It's simple economics that price controls are ineffective at managing managing demand

    "price controls may be enacted with the best of intentions, but in actual practice, they often don't work. Most attempts to control prices often struggle to overcome the economic forces of supply and demand for any significant length of time. "

    https://investopedia.com/terms/p/price-controls.asp

    #2, this simply is an issue of managing the economy. Some items need to be moved between the RL$ and the AD exchange to influence demand placed on each currency. Once upon a time people bought ZEN to convert to AD to buy armor and enchants. Currently there is very little reason to convert your ZEN to AD, especially if you can flip and sale some limited available items from the RL$ market and resale on the AD market (Auction House) at a profit over a straight up ZAX exchange. The trick is to manage the demand on each market, currently there is far to much demand for the RL$ and to little for the AD markets, while the production of ZEN is far more restricted than the production of AD.

    #3, unnecessary. Sales are unnecessary if #1 and #2 are resolved. By introducing sales/programs then you also place interest on holding out for incentives (similar to what is seen with ZEN sales now). Also what prevents a person from flipping AD to ZEN via the ZAX, then flipping it back for the coal incentive, then flipping it back because the value of ZEN exceeds AD. Repeat Repeat Repeat to turn a profit. It's a system that benefits the uber-elite who already have enough AD/ZEN. More valuable would be going back to #2 and moving valuable consumables between the markets as needed to balance demand.

    What needs to happen is
    remove the ZAX ceiling so markets dictate how valuable ZEN/AD is, also this allows for real time analysis on the imbalances in currency values
    move items between markets to increase demand for their respective currencies and to undercut those who profit from exchanging demand items gated behind the ZAX on the AH
    Limit or eliminate sales that encourage hoarding of one currency over another. Currently there is no penalty for hoarding ZEN in preparation for sales and new items. If you need to convert ZEN to AD its easily done via the ZAX or resaling ZEN items for AD. So everyone is encouraged to convert all their excess AD into ZEN
    Consider implementing an exchange fee for the ZAX as an AD sync and to discourage making ZEN the default currency

    I agree that fixing ZAX is important as it can be off-putting for newer players to learn they need to wait 5 weeks to access the ZEN market. My concern is if cryptic has the resources to manage the economies which is an activity they have ignored for the history of the game.
  • mphoenix#7043 mphoenix Member Posts: 16 Arc User
    putzboy78 said:

    #1, raising the exchange rate will not fix the ZAX. The last time it was raised it hit the max again almost immediately. The Russian server has a backlog at a 1k exchange rate. The appropriate fix is to eliminate the max. It's simple economics that price controls are ineffective at managing managing demand

    This would probably result in something worse as far as most players are concerned, as the price would rapidly spike well beyond 1000 unless demand-control was extremely successful a-la suggestions 2, 3, 4, and others.

    Raising the limit to 1000 and leaving it there while implementing the other changes which increase the effective value of AD (incentivizing people to keep and spend AD rather than change to Zen, or indeed, sell Zen to AD) accomplishes everything while preventing what would probably be a disastrous price-spike if the price limit was removed completely.

    Half-measures can sometimes be safer than full measures.
  • plasticbatplasticbat Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 10,107 Arc User
    edited August 2020
    This is the same discussion that pops up every few months.

    Group 1: no cap
    Group 2: don't mind waiting
    Group 3: improve AD sink
    Group 4: raise cap
    Group 5: ....

    Every group has the same "representative" in all these cycles. :)
    The game can read your mind. If you want it, you won't get it. If you don't expect to get it, you will.
  • mphoenix#7043 mphoenix Member Posts: 16 Arc User

    This is the same discussion that pops up every few months.

    Group 1: no cap
    Group 2: don't mind waiting
    Group 3: improve AD sink
    Group 4: raise cap
    Group 5: ....

    Every group has the same "representative" in all these cycles. :)

    Well let's be entirely honest, the least offensive thing here is to just make AD more intrinsically valuable by giving us more stuff to buy that more people in the NW population will actively want to throw their AD at that can ONLY be bought with AD.

    That, done well enough, will actually solve the problem in its entirety, and will also be exclusively good. This basically can't HAMSTER anyone off.
  • kalina311kalina311 Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 2,002 Arc User
    introduce level 16 enchantments and level 15 armor and weapon enchantments lol there problem solved ....not

  • mphoenix#7043 mphoenix Member Posts: 16 Arc User
    kalina311 said:

    introduce level 16 enchantments and level 15 armor and weapon enchantments lol there problem solved ....not

    It WOULD solve the problem if you introduced those but made it impossible to upgrade to them, and the only way to get them was to sell a rank 15 enchant or rank 14 weapon/armor enchant and pay 1Million AD.
  • plasticbatplasticbat Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 10,107 Arc User
    edited August 2020

    kalina311 said:

    introduce level 16 enchantments and level 15 armor and weapon enchantments lol there problem solved ....not

    It WOULD solve the problem if you introduced those but made it impossible to upgrade to them, and the only way to get them was to sell a rank 15 enchant or rank 14 weapon/armor enchant and pay 1Million AD.
    The upgrade process itself can add fixed AD costs. Campaign progression had AD cost before. Before companion token exists, the only way to upgrade was AD.
    The game can read your mind. If you want it, you won't get it. If you don't expect to get it, you will.
  • plasticbatplasticbat Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 10,107 Arc User
    edited August 2020
    The only on-going demand (instead of one time demand) of Zen to buy something which is not available in game is VIP. If one does not care about VIP, you don't have to keep getting Zen for frequent purchase.
    The game can read your mind. If you want it, you won't get it. If you don't expect to get it, you will.
  • darthpotaterdarthpotater Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 1,132 Arc User
    They just need to add preservation wards, coal wards and companion tokens to bazaar. These high-demand items are the main problem actually and the main fliping items.

    Also just to note, they are giving each player 100k REFINED ad with the new mini-campaign, so prepare for a (even) higher Zen demand.
    Lescar PvE Wizard - Sir Garlic PvE Paladin
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  • pitshadepitshade Member Posts: 5,326 Arc User
    What broke the system was a continuous increase in the amount of AD entering the system without a corresponding increase in the amount leaving it. Various exploits over the years caused the exchange rate to climb to 500. When Random Queues were introduced, the devs repeatedly increased the payouts to silence complaints over the loss of choice. Shortly after, an unintended consequence of changing the XP requirements after level 60 led to an enormous jump in XP overflow 30k Payouts. This was the point where the ZAX backlog started to swell (mod 13) with the amount jumping over 80% in 2 weeks after the launch of the module. Mod 14 contributed to the growing backlog both by changing the AD refinement cap from character to account based, which was a nerf to a small group of players (myself included) but a buff to a large group, with anyone playing just one or two characters seeing a large gain. Additionally, Barovia brought with it a massively easy way to farm items for salvage even without considering the exploit. When salvage was removed in mod 15, the change was undermined by giving RAD payouts for opening dungeon chests and removing the need for day keys, allowing infinite farming of easy content like NDEMO. Now we have additional sources in every campaign store as well as Zok and Juma.

    In this time, we have seen next to no AD sinks, mostly high profile events like Alphonse Knox or the Magnificent Lockbox which had little to no effect.

    When the ZAX was raised at mod 16 launch, the backlog relocated to 750 in a few hours. I was at work at the time the server came back up. A few hours later when I got home, it was already ballooning out of control.

    The way out of this mess would have to be some measure of reining in the RAD rewards as well as adding actual, sustained sinks that will be used by the majority of players, not just Whales or the those already rich. Reducing the daily RAD sources would be painful but it is necessary. The economy needs to move back to one based around trading, rather than currency generation. There was a time in the past when new players were advised to farm things and sell them for AD. We need to get back to that point if the economy is ever to be functional again. Less RAD, more unbound, sellable drops so the AH fee can actually do its job.
    "We have always been at war with Dread Vault" ~ Little Brother
  • krumple01krumple01 Member Posts: 755 Arc User
    I have been saying for years they need to raise the cap on the exchange. I have watched it closely for many years and have been playing the game since it launched.

    The LAST time the exchange traded daily below the cap was mod 12, zen was freely trading. The reason this is no longer the case is because there is more AD in the game which has devalued it. Players know if they trade their zen for AD they aren't getting their ADs worth for their zen at 750 ad per 1 zen. I have calculated it to be around 1200 to 1500 AD is where it should be. But most players object to raising the cap because they don't understand economics.

    It is possible they could solve this problem by providing more meaningful AD sinks into the game, but the AD lockbox is NOT a solution. It's just a method to make new players poor and disappointed. Currently the other AD sinks are too expensive and avoided for other solutions. Adding Stones of Health for AD might work since they are an extremly high valued item but if you ask me they should completely remove them from the game. They break the game.





  • zebulondaktoidzebulondaktoid Member Posts: 81 Arc User
    edited August 2020
    Why would Cryptic want to reduce the ZAX wait when it encourages people to spend real money on ZEN? If they wanted to reduce the wait they could make the ZAX more like the AH, where you post ZEN for sale at a given price and receive the money once someone buys it at that price. TBH, that is probably a non-starter as it would mean selling ZEN would not be instant as it is currently.
    EDIT: ZEN to AD conversion would be instant while a backlog remained, but I could see the cost of ZEN soon becoming ridiculous as people that make a lot of AD outbid everyone else in the game. In summary: My idea sucks.
  • motu999#9953 motu999 Member Posts: 254 Arc User
    krumple01 said:

    But most players object to raising the cap because they don't understand economics.

    Worthless argument. Why?
    Can be easily replaced with its opposite: "Few players propose to raising the cap because they don't understand economics."

    Your statement and my replacement are opinions.
    Opinions are subjective and therefore can be replaced with the contrary.
    Arguments are based on facts and not replaceable with the contrary.

    Argue your case with arguments based on facts, then people might actually take your "solutions" seriously.

    Gentle reminder:
    - Insults are not arguments (such as "they don't understand economics" )
    - Self-promotions are not arguments (such as "I have watched it for many years and have been playing the game since it launched"
    - baseless claims are not arguments (such as "I have calculated it to be around 1200 to 1500 AD")

    Sadly, your first two paragraphs do not contain any argument at all.
    The last paragraph is an improvement.
    Still I think you can do better...

    However, irrespective of your arguments, @adinosii 's law will always apply:
    adinosii said:

    Discussing any "fix" which potentially would reduce Zen sales is a waste of time.

    @adinosii 's law will always remain a highly relevant consideration, because Cryptic needs to make money.
    Raising the cap has the potential to reduce Zen sales. You might want to argue against this.
    If you can show Cryptic - via a sensible argument -that raising the cap will increase their revenue, you will have increased your chances to have the cap raise you are wishing for actually implemented.
    Are you up to the task?
    Otherwise, I suggest you stop wasting our and your time.
  • krumple01krumple01 Member Posts: 755 Arc User

    krumple01 said:

    But most players object to raising the cap because they don't understand economics.

    Worthless argument. Why?
    Can be easily replaced with its opposite: "Few players propose to raising the cap because they don't understand economics."

    Your statement and my replacement are opinions.
    Opinions are subjective and therefore can be replaced with the contrary.
    Arguments are based on facts and not replaceable with the contrary.

    Argue your case with arguments based on facts, then people might actually take your "solutions" seriously.

    Gentle reminder:
    - Insults are not arguments (such as "they don't understand economics" )
    - Self-promotions are not arguments (such as "I have watched it for many years and have been playing the game since it launched"
    - baseless claims are not arguments (such as "I have calculated it to be around 1200 to 1500 AD")

    Sadly, your first two paragraphs do not contain any argument at all.
    The last paragraph is an improvement.
    Still I think you can do better...

    However, irrespective of your arguments, @adinosii 's law will always apply:
    adinosii said:

    Discussing any "fix" which potentially would reduce Zen sales is a waste of time.

    @adinosii 's law will always remain a highly relevant consideration, because Cryptic needs to make money.
    Raising the cap has the potential to reduce Zen sales. You might want to argue against this.
    If you can show Cryptic - via a sensible argument -that raising the cap will increase their revenue, you will have increased your chances to have the cap raise you are wishing for actually implemented.
    Are you up to the task?
    Otherwise, I suggest you stop wasting our and your time.
    The reason I didn't explain my argument is because if you look over any thread on this topic besides this one, I have outlined my reasoning. I have repeated it so much in the past over probably 50 posts that if you just looked up my history chance are youll find one of them.

    So no they aren't baseless claims.. I just didnt feel like repeating something I have mentioned so many times now.

  • xenocide#6119 xenocide Member Posts: 251 Arc User
    I dont really see why the backlog is a problem, in fact for cryptic the bigger the backlog the better from a buisness point.
    Less people are likley to buy zen if you can get it in a few days from trading ad.

    From a players point, There isnt really anything you can get on the zen market that you can not get from another source in the game. People just want the backlog to be shorter so they can abuse the zen exchange for their own personal profit.
  • darthpotaterdarthpotater Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 1,132 Arc User
    I am not so sure that having a huge backlog give them more money.

    Thats an argument, sure, people want something in the zen store (usually something limited in time), they dont have zen, so they buy zen. OK. But that is also a frustrating strategy over time.

    But the opposite is true also, if you have a healthy ZAX and people want to buy items with AD, for example items that cant be obtained with zen (there are lots) and you dont have AD, you buy zen and exchange it in the ZAX to get AD and buy the item.

    Only cryptic has the metrics and we are only speculating.

    My opinion is that they arent doing more money now that when the game had a healthy ZAX and was much more atractive to new players. The more players the better, even if some of them dont pay money, they teach and help others, make guilds, guides, etc. And makes paying players stay for long time.
    Lescar PvE Wizard - Sir Garlic PvE Paladin
    Caturday Survivor
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  • regenerderegenerde Member Posts: 2,977 Arc User
    edited August 2020
    Well, as mentioned many times before on this topic, the problem isn't the ZAX itself, but pretty much everything around it.

    + no more in game extras from ZEN Charge Promotions, which probably was at least some incentive for players to buy more ZEN then they would have otherwise
    + the game itself having more then enough bugs and issues, some of them are around for a very looong time now
    + the way they're dealing with some game exploits leaves me wondering what the fudge is going on in this company
    + no real Customer Support (i bought the latest legendary bag from the ZEN shop, bag ended up being bound to account due to some fudged up patch, months of waiting for the Devs to get their HAMSTER together and fix this mess, but they "can't" fix it, and support "won't" help here either.)
    + selling account wide legendary mounts and highend enchantments through the ZEN shop, don't get me wrong, i'm not against this, just saying that this also drove the ZAX backlog higher
    + time limited events, that try to push more and more players towards the "buyout options" provided through the ZEN shop
    and so on.

    So, with more and more players either spending less or no money at all for ZEN, and some players even starting to spend their time and money on other games, where will enough ZEN come from for the ZAX in the future?
    Post edited by regenerde on
    I do believe in killing the messenger...
    Want to know why?
    Because it sends a message!
  • micky1p00micky1p00 Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 3,482 Arc User
    edited August 2020
    krumple01 said:

    I have been saying for years they need to raise the cap on the exchange. I have watched it closely for many years and have been playing the game since it launched.

    The LAST time the exchange traded daily below the cap was mod 12, zen was freely trading. The reason this is no longer the case is because there is more AD in the game which has devalued it. Players know if they trade their zen for AD they aren't getting their ADs worth for their zen at 750 ad per 1 zen. I have calculated it to be around 1200 to 1500 AD is where it should be. But most players object to raising the cap because they don't understand economics.

    I can say, in the same spirit, that most who say to increase the cap (or remove it) do not understand economy, hyperinflation, reserve currencies and why the cap is the only thing that gives AD any value.

    I shall not repeat the reasoning, since there are articles, videos and what not on the topic, all of them explain it better than me.

    Though one caveat, with now BiS (or close enough) items provided in the ZEN store (directly or via unlock), perhaps it is in the company interest to make ZEN unattainable for AD. One doesn't need to create AD sinks or worry about refine caps if those 100k AD do not worth anything.

    --

    Waiting and planning is one thing. So expensive that it's not worth to bother, is another.


    Every group has the same "representative" in all these cycles. :)

    I really tried to stay away this time.
  • psychoticsatyrpsychoticsatyr Member Posts: 195 Arc User
    raising the exchange rate will break the economy... coal wards used to sell for 500k when the exchange was 500 to 1.
    now they're roughly 700k since the exchange rate is 750.
    if you think the price will go down when the exchange goes to 1000 you need to rethink your logic.

    the ONLY fix for the ZAX is to give you something of value for AD and only AD.

    right now, everything of value is in ZEN, so there is no reason for me to convert my 10000 zen to AD. there is nothing i can't buy with the Zen.

    if they strip things like refinement, RP and healing stones from the Zen market and put them in the Bazaar, that would help.

    it's now 7 weeks for one of my sales on the ZAX. and honestly if it doesn't improve people who use the ZAX for VIP are probably going to stop playing. most of my guildies have already warned me that they will leave if / when they can't get VIP any longer.

  • rikitakirikitaki Member Posts: 780 Arc User
    edited August 2020
    I would like to mention one thing: I exchange AD for Zen precisely because there are voices to raise the cap - and because it has happened before. It is not because I have any use for that Zen, it is because it became safer savings currency.

    As was already mentioned, ZAX is defining the worth of AD. Raising cap does not make economy healthy, it just erases part of the AD value. Anyone, who is sitting on some AD savings, will lose portion of his wealth. Guess what - those, who sit on AD, are not part of the ZAX problem. You are suggesting to punish innocent.
    Cap raise will not stop anyone from flipping AD to Zen in order to make profit. It just changes the coefficient, but all those people buying on discounts will not stop. The core of their business will not change, just the coefficient. In fact, they - the people driving the backlog up - will be the only ones making the immediate profit if ZAX got raised again.
    Suggestions about raising of the cap smell like purely personal interest.

    To those proposing more AD sinks: wake up. There are some AD sinks, for example Auction house... however, devs are actively removing trade-able stuff from the game. There is Bazaar... however, with double dipping discount it was turned from AD sink to a tool to exploit new guys. By devs.

    ...stop suggesting "fixing" the economy. Those suggestions go against the dev plan or are just plainly ridiculous.
  • plasticbatplasticbat Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 10,107 Arc User
    edited August 2020
    Getting Zen needs a plan. Getting month to month VIP is a waste of Zen. One should plan to get enough Zen to have 6 month VIP(s) when there is Zen store sale. When I started to play, the wait time was over 6 months and at that time, the number of Zen order was limited to 2 (or 3). It always needs a plan to get personal sustainable Zen supply.
    The game can read your mind. If you want it, you won't get it. If you don't expect to get it, you will.
  • callumf#9018 callumf Member Posts: 1,536 Arc User
    Introduce AD sinks seems the best answer to me - Orange Companions and Mounts spring to mind... but then that might damage the income Cryptic gets from VIP/Lockbox keys.

    I dont think there IS a simple answer, well, its beyond my capabilities.
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