Christmas Sale A Critical Review - Twas The Season of Hope

Discussion in 'PlanetSide 2 Gameplay Discussion' started by St0mpy, Jan 1, 2015.

  1. St0mpy

    Now this years sales are over we can look back at the good, the bad and the missing. Were SOEs and our hopes the same?

    My aims were less weapons and more swag myself/my rides. This year offers far better player studio buys than last christmas and the SC sale was a perfect opportunity to snag some.

    Lets just look at SOEs Aims first:

    1. Due to changes in accounting rules SOE need us to spend our SC as soon as possible after exchanging real money. They cant just sell SC and call it profit any more, its tied in. Ideally SC promotions are coupled with well planned sales to extract the most possible back from us to see the dollar profit.

    2. Tempt us with so many good deals we spend all our bonus SC and end up buying more SC for the latter part of the sale!

    3. Make a profit! (clearly).

    To do well every chance to make a sale must occur (without devaluing a brand or line). Seasonal sales allow us the first without the second. SOE designed depot items had costs paid at the design stage so even a dime is gravy. F2P games make a lot of their income from transitory players (ones who join, play a few months purchasing 1 or 2 lots of game cash then move on to other games). This means marketing styles such as false scarcity only really works on long term players, the volume player SOE really need to catch on their journey through is far more important to the bottom line and full-on seasonal sales do this well. Push push push!

    So, pockets filled with bonus SC, waking every holiday morning thinking 'what is the category today?' lets compare what was and what could be (mostly the same items but with thought behind placement).

    Day 1 (Launch Day): What was: Implants.
    That's almost a non item, terrible choice, why? We get multiples every day, maybe slower than desired but its a maintenance item not an xmas 'treat yourself in the sale' item. While some bought packs to get T4 sets that's your diehard player segment who will wait for whatever day implant sale was.

    What could be: HORNS BANNERS
    What do players get a lot of fun from?? There are no player studio horns, its all profit for SOE! Second. We've a new depot item, Banners! There's not much choice yet, players aren't used to them and it was a perfect opportunity to promo the consumable item they are, tempting us to start spending our SC stash unexpectedly on phase 1 artwork.

    (Also why weren't last years Xmas horns in the Depot? We still have available those ghastly Halloween noises, what the hell SOE? don't you want to make money?)

    Day 2 (Xmas eve): What was: Bundles.
    Noooo! 1.Why give away jewels before the silver? Do individual weapons first, then catch those on the fence with the bundle items later on! Bundles can be such a good deal to the right segments, keep them for the end sale as a secondary 'spent all my SC but ima buy more' enticement. 2.Bundles don't appeal as much to established players who own individual bundle items reducing the days sale segment to more of a new player appeal.

    What could be: INFANTRY WEAPON SALE
    With the big day approaching we need a volume item appealing to everyone, to aid retention, aid ingame progress, something to tempt SC out. Everyone shoots a gun and its a 100% profit item for SOE as all model, art and placement work is already paid for. Since most weapons can be bought with certs selling them for real money must be like selling sand in a desert so any profit SOE can get from selling weapons they must take!

    So instead of a honking, bannering, shooty fun xmas for people we had a handful of surprised implant geeks and some pleased newer players getting a bargain on some bundles.

    Day 3 (Xmas Day): What was:
    HELMETS! Perfect. I would pick that too.

    Day 4 (Boxing Day): Was: Boosts:
    Hum. There was a couple of good deals (half price heroics/7 day resource boost) in there but its another item where the people likely to plan for major savings would wait for the day so save it for the slack end of sale week.

    What could be: VEHICLE COSMETICS!
    This is a catchment day! People are on server playing all day! They're showing/talking about their deals to other potential buyers and its still a main holiday day so it has to be big - and we need to have those last few saved up SC drawn out.

    Day 5 (a saturday): Was: Voice Packs:
    Hum (again). This is now stalling, not going for broke. Are these really such a good seller we need a day for them alone? Voice actors aren't cheap and I would rather see these sold at full price so put them in a category with other things and hope people miss them.

    What could be: VEHICLE WEAPON SALES!
    We've swagged a bit but now after vehicle gear we need another SOE day, someone spending on swag may feel like a shiny new weapon with any leftovers so another 100% profit day (and hurry up with the gold/chrome Fury already) for SOE.

    Day 6 & Day 7: Was: Vehicle Weapons/Infantry Weapons.
    Finally. Why now even? Xmas is over, its the slack part of the week and now we see mass appeal items but its items which can be bought with certs, so when someone's spent much SC does this encourage them to buy more? Not really, its back to grinding, the default alternative.

    What could be: BOOSTS then IMPLANTS
    We can wind it down a little, create a dwell as this is the slack/boring part of the week, toss in less interesting categories here.

    Day 8: Was: CAMOS.
    Odd day to put them, its not a holiday day, its not a weekend, there seems to be no planning at all, things are just being dumped out with little thought.

    What could be: BUNDLE SALE!
    Today with the slack/boring bit behind us and the build up to NYE this is now time to tempt people who didn't buy weapons individually.

    Day 9 (New Years Eve): Was: Lumifiber.
    Ending as it started, with a whimper and not a bang. Sure, its obvious the last category and daily deals were in lieu of the missing Vehicle Gear day, but why not include super low volume 100% profit for SOE items such as underlighting, or again the new banners (which didnt go on sale at all, what a missed opportunity).

    What could be: CAMOS+BANNERS
    Last day item totally, everyone wants a camo. After swag and gearing up rides/loadouts in the 'what could be' week many will have lost patience and bought camo (at full price) to complete their seasons swaggery during the holiday not knowing if camos will go on sale, so absolutely keep camo as a "thank you farewell" item. After spending all their SC, both great value bundles yesterday, every camo reduced today is absolutely the best encouragement to buy more SC SOE has available (and yes banners again, push push push!).

    Success or not? Now its now over what do you think? Myself to be fair it was 50/50. The helmet sale was great and I bet some were really happy for bundles, the weapon sales came finally but no (non-flag) decals, no vehicle swag, I hear echos of opportunity lost. Its left SC in players pockets which is entirely useless for SOEs finances and hinders our Planetside game team in justifying more dev spending this year. Already posts (in both places) are appearing with customers angry over no vehicle sale so what does that tell you about demand SOE? Where 5 people post there's a magnitude silently feeling let down.

    This is not criticism in a 'I want everything for nothing' manner, I personally have bought almost everything I want, I just (don't we all?) want both the business and the game side to succeed and slack sales isn't success. I hope they consider the need for well planned sales and optimise the order next year.

    Player Studio items: I can hear the cogs turning in some minds and we know SOE has to share profit with designers, but people think that creates an issue for SOE and it doesn't (or doesn't have to, if SOE are stupid enough to record SC with the computing equivalent of an abacus that's their problem). Its not a case of SOE having to say 'we pay based on full price always and make nothing in a sale because we are too stupid to track sc' no, its SOE who dictate the terms, its SOE who record an items sale price, they have far enough power to track when and what SC was used to buy what item, at what rate, for all royalty payments at any price. If they don't its not a new idea to tag each SC sold with a GUID and recording its use FIFO style isn't rocket science any more. Bitcoin manage, RFID management isn't new and given the complexity of accounting needs these days I would even say its a required step for responsible reporting now.


    TL;DR soe goofed, sold us sc and then dribbled out sale items like they want to keep the good stuff leaving SC in our pockets and a nightmare for the accountants and our game team.

    Suggested | Actual | Holiday |
    HORNS/BANNERS | Implants |
    INFANTRY WEAPONS | Bundles | Christmas Eve |
    HELMETS | Helmets | Christmas Day |
    VEHICLE GEAR | Boosts | Boxing Day |
    VEHICLE WEAPONS | Voice Packs | Saturday |
    BOOSTS | Vehicle Weapons | Sunday |
    IMPLANTS | Infantry Weapons | |
    BUNDLES | Camos | |
    CAMOS | Lumifiber | New Years Eve |
    • Up x 4
  2. Inex

    No. The exact opposite of this. Having the 'maybe there'll be a bigger sale later' was what nailed them during Black Friday with the Anniversary bundle. Don't make your customers skip spending money based on thinking maybe they'll save more later.
    If I had a problem with boosts, it was just that most of the customers for this probably have a 6-month running from the Anniversary bundle.

    Having this at all would have been nice.

    I can't blame them too much for this. They don't actually have enough distinct types of products to fill a 10 day category cycle.

    Can't blow your load on the first few days, or nobody keeps checking for better deals. :p

    Unless you're saving a bucket of SC for a vehicle gear sale. :'(

    I don't think they did too badly. The sale was well structured (as I said in my thread on it, they didn't make anybody regret buying something by having deeper discounts on the same items 2 days later).

    If there was a goof, it was not having vehicle gear get a day. I understand that the new turret and knives didn't go on sale - grab the people willing to buy at full price before you put that stuff on sale a few months down the line. Same deal with the banners. Otherwise, they put some items from pretty much every category on a 99SC deal, and almost everything was 50% off at some point during the holiday. That kind of 'check every day' scheme sucks if you don't have time to log in every day, but I can understand the marketing weasel thinking it'll keep people glued to their chairs.

    Honestly, I think a "Depot is 50% off" for a week would have been better overall, but not hugely so.
    • Up x 2
  3. MotionBlured

    I couldn't even find the sales half the time. I did manage to pick up two valk weapons (one was a daily deal), so there's that, I guess.
    • Up x 1
  4. NoctD

    I still don't get it - why did non-flag decals and vehicle gear get tossed from the sales? It makes no sense whatsoever - the decals are decals, they probably don't make a lot on those at regular prices and there's so much vehicle gear that most people can't really afford to splurge on those. Two categories that made a lot of sense to have at 50% off didn't get it... new stuff is understandably excluded, but these two just make zero sense?

    Oh well. I'm keeping my SC instead - SOE's accountants can go deal with it.
  5. Mythologicus

    I'm just annoyed that I have 225 SC left over from previously, and what I wanted was put on sale at 50% to 250. No, I did not buy more SC. I was waiting for a 99 SC sale. Season of hope, indeed.
  6. Auzor

    I am very, very glad they did bundles before the other weapons.
    Otherwise, you buy the commisioner, and one day later (or 2 days..), for the same price you could have commisioner+ an assault rifle. (or something else..)

    IMO: perfect sale item. The only one that I made a forum post for.

    Going back in time:
    22 Dec: AV mana turret, 99 SC: good deal, for "new-er" players.
    Premium: the Beret, good deal, but not a member.
    I suppose implants were 50% off? Meh, meh, meh.

    23 Dec: Infiltrator Lumifiber armor 99 SC. IMO: LOL.. just what I need.. glowy stuff for my sneaky class.
    Prem: Crossbow. -> Would've bought, not a member.
    Flag decals 50% off: Bought the EU one.. meh.

    24 Dec:
    Rocket Pods 99 SC-> awesome deal.. for those that don't have em yet.. and intend to fly.
    Premium: max helmet.
    --> "small" bundles 50% off. ( for a 25% bundle purchase price).
    -> Awesome day, to me, first real sale day.

    25 Dec::
    MKV supressed, 99 SC: again good deal, sure bought it. But veterans probably already had it.
    Prem: Valk Hellion.
    Helmets 50% off, infantry armor 50% off. -> Another awesome sale day.. except it was for me the first time to really look at some of the cosmetics. Would have bought a lot more if the stuff looked better.

    26 Dec:
    Flash Fury 99 SC. After the bundle was at 25%? -> Should have been something else.
    Prem: Galaxy sky whale call. -> Fantastic deal.. for those who want it and didn't have it yet. Soo.. not so many people I think?
    Boosts 50% off. -> Meh.

    27 Dec:
    Tropical Forst camo: sure.. why not.
    Prem: Claw, Uppercut, Phobos. eh.. okay.
    Voice packs 50% off. -> Didn't buy any. Can't run around in VR with them active to "really" try them out.

    28 Dec:
    Mbt halberd 99 SC. Didn't buy. Maybe some regret for the prowler, but oh well.
    Prem: grey scales camo.
    Vehicle weapons 50% off. Bought a second fury for sundy. (which is now unlocked for all my chars), and a harasser walker. Was considering a lot more, like the halberd ES AV weapons, but decided not to bother. 1000 certs is unlockable.

    29 Dec:
    Harrasser Horn: 99 SC. Not my favorite horn, but bought it, yep.
    Prem: short circuit camo.
    Infantry weapons 50% off. -> I'm a bit surprised how they do this. I'd have thought they would "really" split weaponry up; like "assault rifles" 50% off. Oh well.
    Bought NS weaponry; crossbow, firework thing, carbine, AR, LMG..

    30 Dec:
    Lightning Lumifiber. Glowy stuff for my outflanker tank. Honestly, I would have considered paying to remove stuff like that.
    Prem: summer fun vehicle decal. Not my favorite decal, oh well.
    50% camo off. -> And no massive forum messages etc? In game messaging? O-kay.
    Bought a few "camo" camos.

    31 Dec:
    Sundy retro grill, 99 SC. Previewed it on my NC. It said "NC use only". This pissed me off enough not to buy it for any char. It is the _same_ vehicle, and the _same_ cosmetic.
    Prem: mbt plating.
    Category sale: Lumifiber armors.. Honestly, I think the game would be better without any "lumifiber" armor. What is the explanation for having it on Auraxis anyway..

    22 DEC, implants: Fail

    23 Dec: Flag decals.. fail IMO. If it would have been "DECALS 50% OFF".. but "flag" decals.. doesn't really compare to "all infantry weapons".

    26 Dec:: a weapon that was in a bundle at 50%; a horn that is already very popular (and common..), and Boosts of all things.
    Yeah.. another fail day.

    27 Dec: OK, but nothing more.

    28: awesome for new players; but MEH-ness from previous days definitely affected my purchasing here. SoE: you have only yourself to blame.

    29 : as 28.

    -Stupid, annoying lottery system, that doesn't stay valid throughout the sale period. Bad SoE.
    -Too much "Lumifiber" stuff.
    -Implants?? Boosts?? Lumifiber armor?? "Flag" Decals?

    -Here's how you could have been printing more of my money:
    -Better looking infantry armors ( & helmets) -> I would have bought more. Fire the jerk that adds yellow blotches to NC helmets. It doesn't look "cool". Add NC logo instead or something. Also.. those Vanu helmets.. eh. Finally.. max shoulder pads. Really? TR have IMO the best helmets, including player studio.
    -No Sale day for vehicle horns?
    -No sale day for Decals? (easy fix.. "Flag decals" -> "ALL decals")
    -No sale day for "hood ornaments" for vehicles?
    -No sale day for bumpers?

    They really can make each day interesting and tempting.
    But the magic 8 ball said "Implants, yeah!". "Higby, dude.. I'm so high.. what if we put Boosts on sale?"
    They don't have to go "Today.. all cosmetics are 50% off.. tomorrow.. we have no idea what to put on sale!"
    As per above; Decals- Horns- etc.
  7. NoctD

    Unfortunately I already have the ARs for all 3 factions. I did buy the VS medic bundle just for the Comish... cause that bundle went for cheaper than the Comish did during the weapons sale. My only question was if the Comish might go on sale later for 89 SC, but that didn't happen.
  8. Wargrim

    The sale started slow, but overall it was ok for me.

    I wanted:
    Vehicle cosmetics.

    I got everything but vehicle cosmetics, and the Corsair helmet that for some reason disappeared from the marketplace. I dont really understand why they did not include vehicle cosmetics on one day of the sales though.
  9. St0mpy

    Well i think they tried a bit by putting lumi section, an MBT plating and a sundy Grill up on final day but it wasnt the full section sale a lot of us were hoping for.