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May 1, 2013

An Analysis of the Gold-to-Credit Conversion Ratio

SS: This is something really interesting. Some number crunching included, so if you're into this kind of stuff, knock yourself out :)

Author: ForcestormX (US server)

Purpose: The intent of this write-up is, after carefully considering the circumstances and conditions of the process known as 'gold-to-credits conversion' [Hereafter referred to as GCC], to determine the viability of the current rate, and if it is not viable, recommend a course of action.

Abstract: The author compared the ingame value of the 400:1 gold-to-credit conversion rate to other forms of gold economic options, namely premium tanks, and found the GCC option unviable in competition. An analysis of options dismissed any option other than raising the credits/gold conversion rate. A look into choices of ratio revealed an ideal conversion rate change to at least 800:1 or 1000:1. Other effects arising as a result of this change were also identified and addressed.


Section 1: Credits and the Game: The Economy and Credit Use Demand

Credits are the lifeblood of the WoT economy. To the new player, they are fundamentally a non-issue. That is to say, in tiers 1-4, the rate of credit generation is such that for nearly every player, they will have enough credits to afford their next-tier tank upon unlocking it, yet they will almost never have enough credits on hand to afford equipment, such as rammers or toolboxes. Thus low tier players experience no disadvantage in the garage as a result of credits, while still giving more established (and equipped) players the edge on the battlefield.

For the more experienced player there is more of a middle ground. By Tier 5, equipment prices are no longer prohibitive for the average player. However, at this point, having enough credits on hand to afford a tank upon its unlock is rare; usually playing with the express intent of earning credits is required. These periods may not be very long, but they are times where the player must play tanks other than the ones they may wish to play. In addition, having passed into tiers 7 and 8, the risk of losing credits on a lost match is a very real problem that had not previously been encountered. Overall, while still seeing profits, credits are no longer essentially free currency after every battle.

The established player, reaching tiers 9 and 10 for the first time, finds credits to be a key concern. Most battles at these tiers bleed credits. Worse, when tanks are unlocked, the sheer credit cost compared to what is likely in the garage is often staggering. Yet, their problem pales in comparison to that of the player who is attempting to fill out multiple lines, whether after already unlocking a previous tier X or all at once.

Everybody wants to hit tier X, but credits, rather than experience, are the barrier to entry for that tier. In the late stages of the game, credits dominate the player's state of mind. Using only a standard account and standard tanks, where the profit generated is normally quite small, the number of battles required to earn the needed credits can range from hundreds to thousands. It is no wonder, then, that players would choose to use shortcuts to such grinding time -- shortcuts which the Wargaming gold model provides. The author finds this acceptable. Gold shortcuts allow Wargaming to generate income, and give players an element of choice/balance: spend money and shorten time requirements (which is what the majority of gold options achieve) or to patiently grind it out and invest the time needed (which still benefits Wargaming, as it maintains active server population). As a general concept, the credit system is perfectly functional, both for the player and the company. 


Section 2: Options Within the Economy

The ingame and out-game economy, which is to say credit transactions and gold transactions, are both carried out only between one account and the company (WG.net). Put another way, there are no player-to-player market actions; all gold and credits are generated and taken away by the game server. This means that the game economy is entirely centralized for each player; it also means that each player's economy exists in a vacuum, independent of any other player's economic status. Because of this, there are only three states of credit generation available to each player, and they exist in direct competition only with each other, and have no other competition. This is important, because it should be implied therefore that the three methods of credit generation should then be competitive with each other. This shall now be examined.

The first method of credit generation is the gold-independent method - namely, earning credits from battles played in standard tanks. This is the free option, and should be balanced by offering a lower rate of credit generation than gold-related options. This is true, with the added risk of battles returning negative profit, instead of minimal returns. There is little else to say on this method, as it is actually not of interest for this discussion.

The second method of credit generation is the Gold-Credit Conversion (GCC) option. The GCC option immediately bypasses all time requirements by injecting credits directly into the player account, at the current rate of 400 credits per unit gold. This is the quickest way to earn credits.

The third option for credit generation is the so-called 'premium tank,' or gold-purchasable tank which, among other attributes, possesses a higher credit generation rate compared to standard tanks. The premium tank is the compromise option for players: it allows for faster credit earning than standard tanks, but still requires more time than the GCC option.

There is an additional effect upon credit generation: the premium account. It shall be examined further in Section 4.


Section 3: Comparison of Gold-based Credit Generation Methods

It would be assumed, given that GCC and premium tanks are dependent on the same currency, that they would be competitive with each other, within a reasonable margin to account for the time differences one requires over the other. However, is this in fact the case?

One of the immediate problems in balancing between GCC and premium tanks is that one is an immediate one-time use, while the other is retained permanently. That is to say, GCC is gold used once, and thus is spent at a fixed value, but premium tanks if allowed to play on an unlimited time scale eventually will make, at the same rate of conversion, more credits in profit than the equivalent gold value in GCC would generate.


Let us examine this. For this comparison, the following data was pulled from this page: http://www.vbaddict.net/wot.php?do=statistics&tier=0&tanktype=0&nation=0&premium=2&fieldname=creditsn&team=0&battles=100&groupby=0

The data used here was pulled on the 3rd of April 2013; the difference in the numbers today and then should be negligible, but of course that is dependent upon the players. While not official, I think it reasonable as an estimation.

Regardless, for the date in question, selected premium tanks generated a net profit of (on a standard account, which is to say without premium):

Type 59             25667.35 cr/game profit
T34                   21389.50 cr/game profit
Lowe                 20431.81 cr/game profit
IS-6                   16199.55 cr/game profit
T26E4               18291.30 cr/game profit

The Type 59, when on sale, costs 7500 gold; the T34 15000, the Lowe either 7500 or 12500 gold depending on when it was purchased, the IS-6 11200, and the SuperPershing 7500. The selection focuses exclusively on tier 8 premium tanks because they are the most profitable money-making tanks, and so should be the competitive standard. They are also the most expensive premium tanks, it should also be noted.

At the 400 cr/g GCC rate, 7500 gold is equivalent to 3,000,000 credits, 15000 is worth 6,000,000, 12500 gold is worth 5,000,000, and 11200 is worth 4,480,000.

Thus, it can be calculated how many battles are required, at the average rate of profit, for a premium tank to 'break even' with its gold cost. Again, with our selection:

Type 59     116.88 games to break-even
T34           280.51 games
Lowe         146.83/244.72 games (depending on purchase price)
IS-6           276.55 games
SP            164.01 games

It is first off obvious why the Type is easily regarded as the most successful premium of all time, but irregardless of that, it can be quickly gleaned from the above data that comparatively few battles are required, in a relative sense, for the player to recoup the purchase cost difference of a premium tank and realize the equivalent GCC rate. Even the worst case - nearly 300 battles - represents far less battles than are required on average to, for example, elite a tier 8 or 9 tank from stock configuration. And this is only to breakeven: for every battle played past the breakeven point, the earned credit income represents unrealized net gold loss to WG.net as the comparative value of the purchased tank only continues to increase.

As an example, the author’s own personal Type 59 is now at (on 4/17/2013) 937 battles, which is far from the most battles played in a Type 59 by a single account. Assuming only the average rate of standard account profit (25,667.35 cr/game), this tank would have generated over its lifetime 24,050,306.95 credits, or an equivalent 60,125.77 gold value via GCC! It gets worse: as a premium account user and, if it could be said, somewhat skilled player, the author could likely assume I've seen closer to 50k average profit, netting over 937 battles something like 46,850,000 credits or approximately 117,125 gold value via GCC. This is staggering - the tank has increased its value 8 times over as a standard account, or over 15 times over in the case of the author’s own profits! As a result of the author’s Type 59 purchase, WG.net has lost (not gained, lost) approximately 87 to 96 percent of the gold that could have been earned if GCC was the only credit generation option.

Yes, the above example is an extreme case, but it does underline the inherent flaw in the current gold economy: relative to each other, GCC and premium tanks do not exist on the same value tier. A tank that requires only a handful of hundreds of battles to not only recoup but return with interest its cost, and will only continue to appreciate in relative value, massively undercuts the value of immediate one-time generation of credits. Tier 8 premium tanks, since the release of the M6A2E1 on release day and more significantly since the release of the Lowe in 6.4 and the Type 59 in 6.7, transformed the game economy, an effect which has not been acknowledged nor adjusted for in the two years following at the level required to once again make the gold-options competitive with each other. In addition, the higher value of tier 8 premium tanks has created a population spike which has severely detrimental effects on tier 4 light and tier 6 and 7 gameplay.

The first instinct to restore balance between the gold methods would be reduce the economic over-performer: namely to either raise the cost or reduce the earning potential of premium tanks. However, one should examine the situation first. One the one hand, premium tanks in World of Tanks are already of significantly higher cost per unit than other major MMOs that have similar gameplay, namely WarThunder and MechWarrior Online. Premium tanks are, considering external factors, borderline overpriced as-is. The cost cannot be increased. As to reducing the profit of premium vehicles, promises have already been previously extracted from WG.net to the effect that the profitability of of premium tanks cannot be reduced. And even if those promises were not there, how does the rational human honestly think such an event would end? No, premium tanks are fixed already in price and performance.

We return to our WoT economic vacuum. With the returns and value of premium tanks fixed, GCC remains undervalued in comparison. The only remaining option is that the value of the Gold-to-Credit Conversion rate should be accepted as not competitive relative to the rest of the WG.net economy, and so changed. We shall examine this further.


Section 4: Considerations of the Effect of Premium Account Status
The premium account is not a credit generation effect per se, at least in comparison to the three options listed earlier. This is because premium account status acts as a multiplier rather than creating a distinct value per battle. However, it is practical to think that many who would buy a premium tank would also purchase a premium account while using said tank, so it is probably useful to consider the effects of premium on the relative gold value of a tank. Also, as premium status affects premium tank income, but not GCC, then the effect should be taken into account when determining the optimal GCC ratio.

Firstly, the net incomes of tanks must be determined when using a premium account. As premium accounts increase the gross profit by 1.5x, then knowing the net income alone, as in section 3, does the reader no good.

Returning to vbaddict, and pulling numbers from 4/17/2013:

Gross Income, no premium

Type      33155.76 cr/game
T34       30953.24
Lowe     30439.02
IS-6       29989.69
SP        28283.24

Net Income, no premium

Type      23368.14 cr/game
T34       22154.64
Lowe     20035.32
IS-6       15970.43
SP        18293.89

The cost of repairs and ammunition on average will be the difference between gross and net income:

Repairs/Ammo

Type      9787.62 cr/game
T34        8798.6
Lowe     10403.7
IS-6       14019.26
SP         9989.35

This will be the same regardless of account status.

Now, the premium gross income is the gross income x1.5:
Premium Account Gross Income
Type      49733.64 cr/game
T34        46429.86
Lowe     45658.53
IS-6       44984.53
SP        42424.86

And the net profit is the new gross income with the repairs/ammo subtracted:

Premium Account Net Income

Type      39946.02
T34        37631.26
Lowe     35254.83
IS-6       30965.27
SP        32435.51

The result is a near-doubling of net income between the two account statuses.

Recalling Section 3, and that the most battles required for a break-even is 300, it seems reasonable to assume that playing exclusively one premium tank can yield at least 300 battles in a month for an 'average' user. Thus, we add 2500 gold to the cost of each premium tank for calculation of break-even:

Gold costs with 1 month premium


Type      10000 gold => 4000000 cr
T34        17500 gold => 7000000 cr
Lowe     15000 gold => 6000000 cr
IS-6       13700 gold => 5480000 cr
SP        10000 gold => 4000000 cr

Thusly, the breakevens become

Type 59     100.14 battles to break-even
T34           186.02
Lowe         170.19
IS-6           168.95
SP             123.32

The result is that even with the net increase in gold expenditure, the reduction in break-even time is striking. Recall the Type having an earlier breakeven of approximately 116 battles, but the Type having such a low cost is most affected by the premium account cost. A Lowe or T34 sees a dramatic improvement with premium accounts - the T34 required 281 games before premium account for break-even.

The breakeven here is actually worst case: as a distributed benefit, premium account status effects on xp gain and income gain for any other tanks played here cannot even be taken into account, but can be significant.

Conclusion: use of premium accounts even further undervalues GCC when compared to premium tank value.


Section 5: Examination of New Gold-Credit Conversion Rates, and Recommendation of a New Rate Value

There have been times at which the GCC rate was revalued already in the history of WoT: for example, the 2nd Anniversary credit packs in the gift store were calculated not at the standard 400:1 rate, but rather at a 666:1 rate. Unsurprisingly, 666:1 is notably better than 400:1, but is it enough?

Because in Section 3, we determined that the GCC rate is undervalued relative to premium tanks specifically, we will continue to use the comparison between the two to determine the correct rate.

In the case of finding the rate, the best rate is likely determined by having one where the number of battles required for break-even in a tier 8 premium tank passes the point where the number of battles goes from 'significant, yet trivial' to 'actually requiring quite an investment in the game'. A third tier, 'hardcore levels of play' would be even more ideal as a standard, but is probably pushing it too far at this point in time.

We shall continue using the average profits given in Section 3. 


Let us first use the 666:1 ratio utilized in the 2nd Anniversary packs:

@666/1 rate

Type 59      194.61 games to break-even
T34            467.05
Lowe          407.46
IS-6            445.48
SP             273.08

This is a significant increase. The value of unit gold is notably higher, and drives down the speculative value of premium tanks. However, compared to 400:1, it is still only a 60% increase in battles required. Somehow, doubling the number of battles seems more practical:

@800/1 rate

Type 59      233.76 games
T34            561.02
Lowe          293.66/489.44
IS-6            553.10
SP             328.02

Perhaps though,

@1000/1 rate

Type 59      292.20 rate
T34            701.28
Lowe         376.08/611.80
IS-6           691.38
SP            410.03

Adding in a premium account from Section 4, the numbers are depressed again, even at the higher conversion rates. The effect is so significant that even 1000/1 conversion rates do not attain competitive status directly:

@800/1, premium account

Type 59     200.28 battles
T34           372.04
Lowe         340.38
IS-6           337.90
SP            246.64

@1000/1, premium account

Type 59    250.35 battles
T34         465.05
Lowe       425.48
IS-6         422.38
SP          308.30

To reach the same number of battles as a standard account for breakeven, the GCC has to be exactly 1.4379 times higher (or essentially 1.5 times greater) for a premium account than a standard using a Lowe. This could actually be a useful benefit for premium account users: a 1.25 to 1.5x bonus to GCC rates.


Ultimately, it's speculative. The number of battles needed for premium tanks to seem less useful than GCC is subjective. However, it's probably reasonable to claim that unless the value of buying a tier X tank outright is cheaper overall than a premium tank, then premium tanks will continue to reign supreme.

> At the 400:1 rate, the average 6,100,000 cost for a tier X is equal to 15250 gold, or approximately $60 of gold. This is more expensive than even the T34, and is twice the rate for a SP.

> At the 800:1 rate, the average 6,100,000 cost becomes 7625 gold, or about the same price as a SuperPershing or Type 59 if it's for sale. While close, ultimately the premium tank is a better deal.

> At the 1000:1 rate however, the 6,100,000 cost reduces to 6100 gold - this is more likely to be competitive with premium tanks in the longer run, and is also a nice round number (because why not?)

> Even higher rates (1200:1, 1500:1) could also be considered, but at this point it seems too much a change to dwell upon as yet. If premium accounts were not to get a separate bonus, though, it is possible that the additional inflation caused by those accounts would drive the competitive GCC ratio up to such heights. Regardless, such extra-high rates should be used during special events such as the one that spawned the 2nd Anniversary packages.

By changing the GCC value, the GCC is rebalanced to address a market niche which at present is under addressed within the World of Tanks gold system. At this point in time, the only gold commodity that is not a consumable which is priced in the true ‘microtransaction’ range - 100-300 gold up to 500 - is camouflage. There are no real options that permanently affect the player’s garage over the long term (like credits or experience) in this price bracket (as free xp conversion is rarely done in small amounts, especially at the higher tiers). In the larger gold amounts, xp conversion and premium tanks have large effects on a player’s garage. A player that can afford only a few hundred gold per month, however, has essentially nothing they can practically afford to purchase with their gold. The rebalanced GCC rate, on the other hand, gives an optimal option for the low-budget player and as a result opens a market niche that WG’s system currently does not exploit. Thus, it is in WG’s benefit as well to change the GCC rate in the opinion of the author.  


It is the recommendation of the author that the GCC rate be increased to at minimum 800 credits for 1 gold, with a strong request that it be further increased to the 1000:1 rate. It is further recommended that rather than allowing premium account status to force a further rise in GCC rates, instead create a 1.25x to 1.5x bonus rate for GCC conversion carried out by premium account users. It is also recommended that to prevent exploitation, such 1.25x to 1.5x bonus is not available except after premium time of 30+ days is purchased - using such a bonus on a 1-hour premium account is blatant cheating.

Section 6: Acknowledgement of Externalities Resulting from a GCC Change and Resulting Plan of Action

As necessary as reordering the GCC rate to make it competitive again may be, the GCC rate does not exist in a vacuum and would lead to some significant effects on the game if not addressed.

For one, with the credits barrier to entry reduced, demand for top-tier tanks is likely to increase notably, and top tier tank profitability will be slightly less effective at discouraging their use in random battles.

This is a relatively simple problem, as xp is also a barrier to entry for top-tier tanks and can be adjusted independently. Slightly increasing tank-to-tank research costs should damp tier X rushes by newer accounts that otherwise would have climbed the tree that much faster (it is the author's belief that the xp increase does not need to be more than 5%). As for the profitability, this should not be addressed, as the tier X population is arguably underplayed as is.

A more significant problem is the direct pricing of (since 8.1) premium ammunition and (with the upcoming 8.5) premium consumables off the gold-credit conversion rate. In many cases, a 800:1 or greater conversion rate immediately raises the prices for most of these items out of competition with the standard rounds.

The solution for this is to completely disconnect item pricing from the original gold prices and allow all ammunition costs to be rebalanced individually. In addition, gold costs for premium shells should be rebalanced, with cases where the silver cost is not an interval of the conversion rate allowing for rounded-down gold costs to make the gold price more competitive. As the cost of premium shells and consumables was never adjusted to account for their changed role in the economy in the first place, it is the opinion of the author that these costs should be rebalanced anyways.

A cruel yet difference-damping measure is to apply the same 1.25 to 1.5x multiplication to premium consumables and ammo costs for premium users, so as to reduce the economic benefits of using them more than a standard user could afford to. This is not recommended but could level the playing field in some premium-usage heavy battles tiers such as tier V.

It is very likely that other effects would be found to occur as a direct result of the GCC rate change; these should be addressed as they develop, but it is the opinion of the author that on the whole, the benefit of a GCC rate change far outweighs the small problems that it creates.


Section 7: Marketing and Message


As with any major decision and gameplay change with World of Tanks, presentation is key to a favorable reception. The likely most effective method for a GCC change is, unusually for WG, a somewhat aggressive stance on the issue. The cornerstone for creating approval for this particular change is to not give all of the potential discontented groups a single potential problem to unite on, while emphasizing benefits for traditionally less paying groups. Thus, the following points should be emphasized, as early as the initial announcement:

Potential complaint: by changing the GCC rate, WG has reduced the profitability of premium tanks directly/indirectly. This constitutes a nerf to premium tanks.

The official answer should be: no changes were made to the profitability of premium tanks. Indeed, using the above math, premium tanks still over time will be a superior choice over GCC options. This change was enacted to more balance out the competitiveness of the two gold options. In addition, premium tank users benefit as much as any other player from this change when they need credits in a pinch.

Potential complaint: by making everything cheaper, WG.net intends to make more money.

Answer: as there have been no market studies, there are no grounds to assume that there will be any major increase in the volume of sales. This change was executed entirely for the benefit of the players.

Competitiveness is an important word to use in marketing this change. For one, it can be said that decreasing the cost to tier X two years after game launch allows newer accounts to more quickly get to tier X and be competitive with the older crowd in that regard. More importantly, the foundation for the entire change is to make one gold-economy method competitive with the other, so its use is quite justified.

Additionally, WG.net should market the GCC change as being a change for the positive for groups that likely felt oppressed by premium tank usage. Specifically, WG should emphasize that the new GCC rate helps players that could not afford to pay the lump sum required for proper premium tanks by instead making it more profitable to pay in 100-200, 500, or 1000 gold increments for tanks and equipment. In fact, marketing this change as a decision oriented towards freeing the player from the burdensome pressure implying that a premium tank was the only way to succeed in this game would likely be extremely successful. To accompany this, premium tanks can have an emphasis shift in future advertising from moneymaking to crew training benefits.

Summary and conclusion:


After having examined the gold-credit conversion and its value relative to tier 8 premium tanks, it was determined with the evidence presented that among the dedicated credit-generation methods using gold, the current rate of exchange for GCC use renders it uncompetitive to the extreme. Due to the sheer capacity for creating profit alone and without vectoring in the additional benefits given by either generating experience or training crews, per unit gold premium tanks remain a more profitable option compared with GCC even at double the rate currently in use. As different options for gold use should give similar rates of return and premium tanks cannot be reduced down to increase parity between the two, it is therefore advisable to adjust up the rate of return when using GCC. After examining the situation it was seen that at minimum GCC should after rebalancing should return at minimum 800 credits to 1 gold, but does not truly begin to be competitive with tier 8 premiums until reaching 1000:1. Examination of the effects by premium accounts indicated that the multiplicative effect provided by premium account status inflates the competitive requirement for GCC so high that premium accounts should be treated differently in order to better balance the GCC. Externalities of a GCC change such as consumable prices and lowering of the barrier to entry for end-tier content were acknowledged and addressed. Simple responses and presentation strategy were also proposed. In light of the results given by the investigation above and the relative ease of adjusting for externalities, and also considering the potential for both increased revenue for WG.net as well as improving the company’s image in the eyes of the userbase, it is strongly recommended that the information above be acted upon.

82 comments:

  1. Thanks for the article frank.. really really interesting, it proposes a good way to balance GCC without breaking the premium tanks :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank ForcestormX, not me, he wrote it :)

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    2. still, you brought it here.. if not i wouldn't have read it (rarely visit the WG NA/EU forums these days..)

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    3. as for me - bullshit.

      there's no reason that GCC and premium tanks should be balanced in earning potential, quite the contrary. GCC as a instantaneous method has to be something that is much more expensive then other forms.
      How much is a subject of discussion, but the whole premise of the article (converting gold to credits should be cost-efficient method of gaining credits) is wrong.
      The math behind it is a bit questionable too.

      Different prices/conversion rates for premium account users make no sense whatsoever and I doubt will ever be implemented.


      changing gold ammo price however is truly needed.

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    4. I agree. On the ammo part. The rest I could care less about as I don't use premium or premium tanks. I do however wish that I could convert credits into gold. Even if the conversion rate was higher then what is is for ammo. Say 400:1 for the credits to gold and lowering the cost for premium ammo to like 200-300:1.

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    5. I should edit that 400:1 to say 500:1 which is what I intended to write.

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  2. As far as I remember the Serb once said that a very large number of players buying credits for gold nonetheless.

    Some people just do not know how to count and choose the fastest way.

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    Replies
    1. I had to do it once because my clan needed a T10 in battle. Biggest.Waste.of.Money.Ever

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  3. You guys are misunderstanding WG's motive in this regard . They make premium tanks more profitable so that players actually PLAY them and populate the servers and increase the amount of games occurring. Gold to credit direct is for those moments when you are too broke to buy a module or need that little bit more to buy the next tank .

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    1. This is my understanding as well. Also, for most free-to-play ppl (me included), GCC is a much greater cheat than premium tanks or premium accounts.

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    2. Exactly... Also both premium tank and premium account require a player to play, while gold to credit conversion is immediate. If you really want to, you can at any moment buy 20,000,000 credits for gold to pay for 3 times a T10 with equipment. Grinding that amount would require a lot of battles in a premium tank. Sure, it would be cheaper to buy premium tank, but it would not be not faster. You have to pay for convenience;)

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    3. AdamF sounds like a bitter poor person.

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    4. FYI, AdamF is a graduate student with limited income. And I am not at all bitter. Wargamming needs to make money from their awesome game. However, there is a reason why a new player cannot simply shell out $1000 and buy Tier X tank. Wargamming put a lot of effort into minimizing pay-to-win bias and the suggested change to GCC would be a step in the other direction.

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    5. Maybe keep your highly opinionated individualistic insults in the 110e5 armor thread before you devolve this blog into something similar to the NA forums.

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    6. "However, there is a reason why a new player cannot simply shell out $1000 and buy Tier X tank."

      He can, however, buy a Tier 8 heavy right off the bat which is pretty much the same thing. This is merely Pay2Fail, as we all have doubtless witnessed at least once - inasmuch GCC and free-exp conversion let you get your grubby mitts on high-tier "normal" tanks faster the same issues of skipped learning apply.

      We are not our tools; the tank does not make the player.

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    7. rather than cheating gcc is just for bad players, you can make profits with every single tank ingame with prem account, while gcc is just a temporary patch(and you will still lose money in the tank you just bought)

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  4. Good article.

    FYI, irregardless is not a wrong.

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    Replies
    1. Correct. Irregardless is not a wrong. It's also not a word.

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  5. (FNiD10t) Really cool article. Nice work done, and vbaddict.net is a great resource. Did the author study if CW gold has any effects on WOT economy/currency?

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    1. considering CW gold is below 230k per day on EU server and requires quite a lot of battles (with highly increased use of premium ammo on most expensive vehicles) I really doubt it.

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  6. Correct. Irregardless is not a wrong. It's also not a word.

    ReplyDelete
  7. xCaptainObviousxMay 1, 2013, 7:39:00 PM

    SS, the T34 cost 12'000 gold, not 15'000 unless they changed it along the way

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    Replies
    1. For some older players the T34 was changed to premium for free ^^ Just don't remember the update anymore...

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  8. @Colossus

    The article is not posted on the NA/EU forums, I decided to offer it to SS instead.

    @Anonymous #1

    That was the intent of premium tanks at first, I will grant you, but the premium tank system since then has morphed into something completely different. It is my belief that GCC should be morphed, now, in response to that.

    @Anonymous #2

    Ok, so maybe 'irregardless' isn't a word. No word is until you invent it! ;)

    @Anonymous #3

    I have not examined CW gold. I'm not sure if I could, but now I'm starting to wonder about how I'd go about it.

    @xCaptainObviousx

    Well, so it is. I must admit I don't know the price of the T34 as well as I'd like as mine was a 7.2 freebie, but I could have sworn it was 15000 as late as 8.4. Unnoted change perhaps?

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    1. Oh, i thought you posted it in the forums and frank took it from there.. still, nice job :)

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    2. I can't shake the feeling that you just read WG's mind for 8.6 economy changes. It makes so much sense that while re-balancing the gold price of premium ammo, they'd re-balance the GCC rate.

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  9. also, superpershing is 7200 gold, and IS-6 is 11800 gold. check the "tankopedia" section of the website or the wiki.

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    Replies
    1. The numbers, they keep fooling me!

      Ultimately, the differences are minor, a few percent; the results are still in the same order of magnitude. It still annoys me I didn't double-check the tech tree as thoroughly as I had thought.

      Delete
    2. hey, nobody's perfect.. besides, the margin isn't that big.. it still makes a valid point using those numbers :)

      Delete
  10. aaaaahh i love my type59 xD great MM, good speed and maneouver, low shell costs, low repair, decent gun and lots of credits. A few days ago i made 25k profit (with premiurm) by simply drowning myself on Erelenberg map, when i saw what a dumb team i had.

    Type59 FTW!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. WG have nerfed that tank i had so much trouble with it now....easily burned...engine power are more less..reloading time used to be 6.9 with full spec, but now its 7.4 sec....

      Delete
    2. I'm pretty sure you can get it to 6.8 with food consumable and still make 50-70k on a good game.

      Delete
  11. I'm still not sure I understand how this change would benefit anyone but the players. Wargaming loves that the GCC rate is so low, you are essentially paying a premium tax for ease of use.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1. It would reduce the number of tier 8 premium players, allowing WG to release more tanks without the fear of saturating the server with them.

      2. It would promote the use of gold conversions. Especially in the aftermath of the introduction of tank locking on the NA server, there are a lot of people I know with 2-5 tier 10s that needs to be bought. Yet they are just far too frustrated to play 1000-2000 games in a premium tank just for the credits required to purchase them.

      Spending $300 dollars is also somewhat out of the question.

      Delete
    2. 1. Even at 1000 to 1 conversion, it will still be more effecient to run your tier 8 premium. So, no, it will not reduce the number of them. Not sure what tanks you are referring too? More premiums? Or just more tanks in general? I'm not sure they are holding back on either of those things...

      2. I have no idea what "tank locking" is. Tanks have always been locked by match.

      But, at a GCC of even 1000 to 1, your friend will need to shell out $100.

      Or, you put out money for premium account. Making the median of 35k per match with your tier 8 premium tank the number of battles needed is 125 per tier 10 (175 if you don't want to sell your tier 9, but then we have to factor in garage space cost). For five tier 10's, that would be 625 battles. Playing an average of an hour a day will net you 85 battles a week according to server average times for a battle.

      You're friend will be done in less than two months, and for less than $30. With five tier 9's, I imagine your friend plays more than an hour a day. Double it and he is done in one month for a total cost of $15.

      So...no, it will not promote the use of gold conversions.

      Delete
    3. 1. 625 battles at 5 minutes per battle (server average) is nearly 52 hours just playing the tank non-stop, factor in loading times and idle time between battles that can easily hit 60-65 hours. From my perspective, I can either sit here and play the same tank for 60 hours or I can sit at work for 4 hours to achieve the result I wanted with the conversion rate at 1000:1

      Think about it, which sane person is willing to spend an entire month playing the exact same tank over and over again? Even if it's the best tank in the game no one will have the patience to do it. And that's exactly the problem currently. Dropping $300 on an internet tank game or spend a month playing the same tank over and over again, it's literally between a rock and a hard place.

      2. Tank locking is something in clan wars, look it up.

      Delete
    4. 1. Yes, as I said, less than two months, playing one hour a day. And yes, you would prefer the 1000 to 1 rate. My point was and still is - there is no reason for WG to do this for you. None.

      1a. What sane person? Thousands of them. Unless you are claiming the entire player base is crazy? I have a friend who has played over 1000 battles in the MS-1. He enjoys the game and enjoys the tank. Others have done this with their favorite tanks. Either you are playing the game to play the game or playing the game to advance. If its the former, WG is happy. If its the latter, WG wants to slow you down to keep you around longer - so there is no value in them making the change.

      And, again, even if WG for some reason grants you this change, it will cost you $100-$125 to do what you propose. Still not cheap.

      2. You reference this in terms of playing multiple clan battles back to back, and thus needing more than one tier 10? I can understand that. More compelling reasons for why *you* want this, I still see no reason why WG would give it to you...

      Delete
  12. One of the more interesting articles I've read lately. Even if I don't exactly agree with the authors views on the games economy and his proposed changes, a good read none the less.

    ReplyDelete
  13. "interesting"? Imho thats 50% bullshit.

    1. Don't know, on what the author is wasting his money, but I certainly wasn't lacking money to buy tanks when I reached tier7. Neither at tier8. Nor at tier9. Admitedly I played other branches at lower tiers, generating additional income, so for tier9 this might not be 100% representative. But it was sufficient that I could easily afford a tierX right now and likely can afford two of them, if I reach the first.

    2. Costs per battle are given as standard-repair and ammo costs only. As one can easily see, a single rep kit for the tracks or a single med kit raises the costs by 50%, both would double them. As many people use these this can't be dismissed. Especially if we seem to talk about people who are wasting money (see1)

    3. The author completely forgot to take the time/battles played into account:
    A T34 after 300 (more likely 400-500, see 2.) average battle might have generated just as much credits, as could have been bought for the same amount of gold. But for a break even he would have to generate as much credits, as could be bought for the same amount of golds PLUS the amount of credits earned in 400-500 battles with the most income generating vehicle available to the player. Yep - "the most", because we speak of grinding money only, no fun nor advancement is taken into account. Don't know about other guys, but my tier4/5 high rollers can easily make 10k credits on a battle and 15k if its a really good one.
    The T34 will need about another 150 battles to compensate for this, which again have to be compensated. In the end, break even is not reached after 300 battles, but more likely after 600.
    Surprisingly, the same factor 2 can be found in between the propsed GCC ratio and the real life GCC.

    4. GCC works AT ONCE. If you need credits to by a tank 30% off in a special - good luck earning them with your premium tank.

    5. The author assumes 300 battles per month to judge the prem. account. Thats 10 battles per day on AVERAGE and PURELY FOR FARMING. Don't know about you, but for most people with a job (but no family nor hobbies) this would mean spending about half their time on farming.

    6. Additional benefits of the prem. account for XP generation are completely disregarded. While this is acceptable for the author, who seems to spend months purely with farming, it is a far shot from WoT usage of others.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. agree in general, however, using vbaaddict best non-premium moneymakers generate around 8k so its 1/3-1/2 of what premium tanks can do.


      Also playing 1000 battles in 1 tank is not something I would look for.


      The biggest issue I have with article is however the assumption that GCC should be viable (in terms of cost-effectiveness) alternative to playing premium tanks. In my opinion - it absolutely should not.


      plus atm WG cannot change gcc ratio without changing premium shells price

      Delete
  14. I don't agree with the GCC change need. What GCC is NOT giving to a buyer is the experice from battles - which is gain during credits grinding.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So like the experience someone should be gaining when grinding experience?
      Please to explain how either credits or experience currently or after such changes would mean people get experience in the tanks they purchase. If not, you have no argument.

      Delete
    2. I ment "experience" as "skill", not the exp for tanks.

      Delete
  15. Gold for credits is not supposed to be competitive with premium tanks. You pay extra for getting the credits instantly. Seems to me it already works as intended and there is no need to change it.

    Raising the credits for gold rate will just increase the number of tier10 wallet warriors with no clue how to play.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Raising the credits for gold rate will just increase the number of tier10 wallet warriors with no clue how to play."

      There is almost no one at tier X with a clue how to play anyway.

      Delete
  16. Giant wall of tankxt hits my engine critical.

    ReplyDelete
  17. you don't have to be a genius to realize conversion to credits is stupid

    it's cheaper and more intelligent approach to buy a premium tank and premium account
    and farm credits!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This assumes you have time.

      Time = money. Pesonally I have way too little time to devote to WoT, hence I gladly spend gold, creds whatever to advance faster. Simply because the cost is, quite frankly, low compared to the (lack) of time.

      Had I had more free time to play, then I'd probably grind, but now, especially with the dogs I do poorly in, I happily convert like mad to get by them ASAP to get to the tanks I want to play.

      Do I get ripped off, sure, but the money I spend on WoT is insignificant compared to most other expenses (hell, I probably lose more money down the couch each month than premium cost)

      While I have no problem understanding people prefering to grind, this assumption is based on actually having time to do it.

      Delete
  18. I think it's a great idea, as spending time is much less valuable spending money, so there's currently no smart reason to ever convert gold to credits. The only people doing that are the one's with no patience. I seriously hope that this change gets implemented.

    And there is in no way any P2W aspect of a GCC, it's simply a time saver, so improving the ratio would hurt no one.

    -tvanderhart

    ReplyDelete
  19. Article is about how to convert gold into credits!?!?

    Pointless feature anyway since you gain enough out of premium that even total retards can ruin Tier8-10 battle with their incompetence.

    No need to change it so they get even more

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The point is to help those who are turned away by the huge credit grinds in tier 9 and 10, even good players with tier 8 prems and premium accounts.

      Delete
    2. I got that already but the conclusion is wrong.
      He is talking about increasing the gold ----> credit ratio, but that is helping every single n00b.

      How about increasing the profit out of good performance on the battlefield???
      As non-premium you are able to play slightly in plus on tier9 if you are making atleast 3500 damage per battle which is possible!
      As premium user, a player has to be really bad not to make profit.

      The real problem is that good performance is valued less and Gold is often referred to be the cure.

      No it is not!!!!
      Gold and premium is the reason why so much battles are decided by complete idiots sitting in high tier tanks and loosing the match for their whole team.
      Players shout for a better matchmaking; here is the reason why it is pooched!!

      That´s why i think this well-written article is searching the solution by caressing the devil

      Delete
    3. I think you've missed the point of it all then.

      For the purposes of this whole thing, comparing credit generation rates of tanks other than premium tanks to the others isn't relevant. I'm strictly comparing gold-option to gold-option and evaluating the merits of one based on the other.

      Essentially, performance rewards and other factors regarding credit income for non-premium tanks is apples to oranges for this topic.

      I'm not caressing the devil, I'm simply attempting to make both devils approximately the equally evil.

      Delete
    4. I dont really get why people think bad noobs paid for their high tiers. All the high farm accounts i've seen were for experienced players with high win rates. The occasional perm noob with a tier8 is sometimes about but rarely do i see anyone who hasnt played a lot in a tier10. They are bad because they are bad, not because of buying their way.

      Delete
    5. And i think you missed the major point: it is not about to be balanced in terms of money, but about gameplay as a whole, for everyone. Your analysis is good, but conclusion is flawed.

      Delete
  20. And i claim this total BS. While being good number crunching and a piece of hard work, it is based on one guy's "i want that".
    GCC is only emergency method and any ratio changes would likely break the game because:
    1. It would become more pay2play or pay2win instead of just being grind2play for higher tiers.
    2. Flood of lame noobs, paying instead learning to play. Imagine, worse than now...
    3. Unbalance tier spread. Try playing tier1 at 3-4AM now, last night i had 8tanks/team battle after 2mins of waiting...
    WG needs money, but only so much money - and with breaking the game they get less money instead of more.

    Finally, credits are not everything, main value is always in good crews, with 2-3skills/perks at least - and this cannot be skipped with anything. So, tank skipping is not good for anybody.
    And, of course, learn the game :) .


    The only good idea is to separate premiums, ammo and consumables, from gold - in terms of balancing, of course (and the only thing that would make gameplay better, just because it would be easier to readjust prices). If not, i would made them 10% cheaper with gold than with credits (based on GCC ratio), as it is the only way to justify purchase with gold (and 10% is not big enough difference to make anybody sane raging over greedy WG).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm literally rolling on the floor laughing at connecting this as "P2W" and your example of tier 1 as a tier that is just simply devastated as a credit grinder.

      This is what it looks like when pubbies make posts.

      Delete
    2. And i see a wallet warrior with reading disability here...

      Delete
    3. Your statement that GCC is an emergency-only choice is an assumption, not a fact.

      As for your claims of game-breaking effect:
      1. As increasing available credits does not boost performance of tanks ingame directly, nor does it give access to tanks that are exclusive to only those with deep pockets, there is no effect on pay-to-play or pay-to-win balance in the game.
      2. Yes, mew players are more capable of buying higher-tier tanks. However, they are still shackled by the xp system, and cannot move above each tier any faster regardless of how much gold is spent if there is no free xp to convert. GCC provides no such xp. If they buy premium tanks, on the other hand, they are able to skip tiers more quickly because those tanks generate convertable xp. GCC actually is a slower flood option, unless coupled with a premium tank, a problem which already exists. There is no significant negative effect as a result.
      3. The tier spread is unbalanced right now, at and around tier 8. More GCC availability encourages less play of tier 8 premiums for credit generation, spreading out, rather than concentrating, tank tiers on average. The effect is the opposite of what you have stated.

      Credits are not everything, but to an uninformed player, do the other things such as crew skills carry as much weight in comparison as you believe? I do not think so. Why else would they simply play tier 8 premiums, which usually result in a crew that cannot be played in whatever line that they are grinding? Unless they all grind US/French/USSR heavies, German TDs, or US meds...

      Delete
    4. 1. It's indirectly, via 2. It's a general statement, i agree that the same content is available without real money but the gap widens.

      2. & 3. Any tank generates convertible xp, not only premiums. And i don't mind seeing premium tanks in the game, they are both good crew trainers and players get real experience by playing.
      Actually, try to analyze crew experience spread and development through tier advancement. You can't even get from 75% to 100% (let alone 50% as beginners do) on lower tiers, so better crews are only on keepers. Going that way, impatient player doesn't even have crew useful for retraining and higher tiers make him work for better crews because he needs to grind anyway - you proposed to take this away, which in consequence lowers overall quality of gameplay: i'm ok with anihilating noobs with poor crews but MM will put the same noobs on my team and WoT punishes whole team for lack of teamplay (i can farm my own share not to lose money but i am not rewarded for me being good if my team was bad, so i gain nothing). Do you see my point?

      Delete
  21. An okay analysis methinks, given that it's pretty rigorous about what exactly it is about and sticks to it. The basic conclusion strikes me as somewhat blatantly obvious however, given that buying a prem tank can be described as "investement in (credit) production infrastructure" whereas GCC is merely an one-off cash injection - long-term profitability vs. capital immediately available for whatever purpose, as it were.
    At least the WoT in-game economy cannot go into global credit crises from the latter... :P

    As for the suggestion of revised exchange rates, *shrug*. Absolutely irrelevant to me since I have never exchanged gold for credits and in all likelihood never will, as that would severely violate both my economic sensibilities and common sense. So I can't really comment nor be bothered to put :effort: into thinking about the matter.

    ReplyDelete
  22. where is the kv5 in the comparsion?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have wondered that too.

      Delete
  23. I read up until you used the non-word 'irregardless'. Then I stopped with a head ache.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irregardless

      It's in the language since the 18th century, it would be nice to accept it as a word in the 21st century.

      Delete
  24. "As different options for gold use should give similar rates of return"

    Why?

    This is entirely arbitrary. WG makes a killing on people who either can't do math or are impatient, and I see nothing wrong with that.

    Additionally, increasing the cost of gold consumables for premium users is a completely ridiculous idea; I'm shocked the author even brought it up. The entire point of the premium account is to make more credits - and it shouldn't be anyone's business how you choose to use them.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Replies
    1. le epic /jp/ maymay!

      pls no

      Delete
  26. 3 things are wrong in this theory:

    -1: 2.500 gold premium account is bought for a month and premium tank is bought for a life. So if you wanna do breakevens, you will have to do it counting on average months/years a player stays in the game, and multiply it by 2.500 per month to calculate breakevens...

    2: You only considering tier 8 heavys which are the fastest tanks to break even.

    3: You have to subtract from the average credit income, the credit income of an average tier 8.

    Anyway, if you want to give better advantage to the gold, go ahead, its your game. We players have a choice of finding that ok, or a rip off and go away.

    And please think about it, are you happy with the income? Is it worth it to get greedy?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1: The breakeven of a prem tank is compared to it's gold price and the GCC rate, no yearly/monthly comparison is necessary.

      2: It doesn't really matter, since Tier II-V prem tanks are not that big in gold costs, so the rate is most probably the same.

      3: average regular Tier VIII tank earnings have nothing to do with the gold value of a premium tank compared to GCC.

      Delete
  27. Ye short guide to buying prem ammo for gold:
    1: Wait for them devvies to change GCC ratio by event to be 600:1.
    2: Exchange thine shinies for silvers.
    3: Wait for them devvies to change prem ammo costs by event to be 50%.
    4: Buy thine shiny cannonballs at the rate of 3 for 1.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Changing GCC ratio to 800:1 or even better 1000:1 could end gold spam on randoms. Gold ammo should be more expensive. This should be "last chance" weapon, used only when needed, not constantly.
    Takeha

    ReplyDelete
  29. The Article is very interesting but in my view flawed, as nowhere in the article dues the Author take into account the Conversion of Experience generated on Premium Tanks [or any elite Tank] to Free Experience. Lots of players in WoT’s not only use Premium Tanks just to generate Credits, but also to generate experience which [needing gold] is converted.

    In my view it makes more sense to use Premium Tanks not only to generate Credits quicker but also to accumulate experience to convert to free experience. This then allows one to progress up a given tank tree quicker and to get past them crap tanks that one just can’t master!

    I wonder how much gold is purchased and then used to convert experience, against what gold is purchased to purchase Credits. Perhaps the Author could analyse that for us!

    ReplyDelete
  30. I think they should double or triple the current amount of credits needed to buy ammo and consumables that could only be bought with gold before

    I don't use gold to play WoT and I think it's a good option to be ableto buy those without gold, for players who can't buy gold that often, but I think that most players overuse those and we rely too much on them to get kills and wins

    right now I tink it got too easy for players to get kills and that somehow makes all the effort made by players to unlock tanks in the game go to waste, like playing a whole month with a standard account to unlock a high tier tank and be shot-down in two or 3 shots by a lower tank just because he used a full load of gold ammo

    ReplyDelete
  31. So, after so many :words:, where on the loltraktor did the 105 hit you, and how many times? -.^

    ReplyDelete
  32. Others have noted problems with this article that I agree with, particularly the assumption that GCC should be competitive with grinding credits on a premium tank. I have a few other issues that I'd also like to raise.

    1. The article assumes that people are doing a rational economic analysis of GCC versus premium tanks and basing their purchasing decision on that. Behavioural economics has shown us people often do not do this, particularly when calculations of net present value are involved, which is essentially the case for the premium tank for credit grinding versus GCC decision. So it's not clear that the change in GCC rate would actually induce any real change in behaviour outside a small minority of the population (basically, the economists who play the game).

    We appear to have some anecdotal evidence even in this thread that raising the conversion rate would not change behaviour, and I can add to that, since I don't believe that it would change my behaviour, despite having more cash than time.

    2. I'd also like to see some more firm evidence that credit grinding is as big an issue for most people as it is for the author. I cannot speak for tiers IX and X, but I have bought three tier VIII tanks in the last few days, adding these to the one tier VIII and half dozen tier VII tanks I already owned. I had little difficulty saving up the credits for this purchase; they in fact appeared as a byproduct of XP grinding on my tier VII and VIII credit tanks. (I own several tier VIII premium tanks, but have been playing them only rarely, lately.) And it's not as if I'm particularly oriented towards saving credits; to the contrary some would call me a profligate spender. I tend to keep older tanks (I have more than sixty in my garage) and buy plenty of equipment for them. (In the six months or so I've spent in this game, I've bought more than twenty GLDs which alone cost me something approaching ten million credits, accounting for sale prices.) I regularly use premium ammunition and repair and first aid kits.

    In short, with a premium account, credits have rarely been an issue for me. I may be a bit skint from time to time, but this is typically at times like the current one, where I've spent around seven million credits in the last week.

    (I do understand that for play-for-free players three is a huge credit issue. I run such an account on the NA server, and reaching tier 5 while running multiple lines was quite a bit more troublesome than it is/was on my SEA server account, where I have a premium account to help with grinding and gold to train crews.)

    3. The author states, "At this point in time, the only gold commodity that is not a consumable which is priced in the true ‘microtransaction’ range - 100-300 gold up to 500 - is camouflage. There are no real options that permanently affect the player’s garage over the long term (like credits or experience) in this price bracket"

    This is incorrect; in fact, experience (in the form of crew training or re-training for 200 gold) is directly available in that price bracket. An indirect but quite valuable form of credit advantage is also available: equipment demounts.

    4. One more minor thing that's not covered is the effect of the exchange rate change on the sale price of premium tanks. I don't know if there's an issue here, but it should at least be examined.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Excellent analysis. Loved and read every bit of it...

    ReplyDelete
  34. It was a lot of pretty same posts at russian wot forum around CBT/release, and SerB's answer always was the same: "Our game is not about stealing your grandma's wallet to buy IMBA-9000. All premium features will only make game more comfortable, but you still must play to unlock and buy best tanks. Donate will give no advantages, and premium tanks will always be worse than non-premium."
    Now they are making some premium features available for it-is-free-so-i-play-4-free players, so i don't think they changed their minds a lot.
    P.S.: Sorry, my english is pretty bad and i am really tired.

    ReplyDelete
  35. You people have actually provided the best blogs that are easy to understand for the folks. ovation

    ReplyDelete

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