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Proposal: Trader star rating changes

Marindor

Community Manager
Elvenar Team

Proposing Trader star rating changes


Dear Humans and Elves,

Over the years, we've received a fair amount of feedback regarding the star rating in the Trader being inaccurate for cross-tier trades (for example: trading Marble for Crystal). In an effort to more accurately depict the ratio, we would like to propose the following change. But, before we do, we would like to have your feedback, so please read on and don't forget to share your thoughts!

Current system
In the current system, a trade is considered to consist of equally valuable Goods (2 stars) for:
  • A ratio of 1:1 for trades within a tier (Marble/Planks/Steel for tier 1, Crystal/Scrolls/Silk for tier 2, Elixir/Magic Dust/Gems for tier 3; and also applies to the respective Sentient Goods).
  • A ratio of 4:1 for cross-tier trades if the difference is 1 tier (e.g. Marble for Crystal or Crystal for Elixir).
  • A ratio of 16:1 for cross-tier trades if the difference is 2 tiers (e.g. Marble for Elixir).
However, this ratio does not reflect all costs to create these Goods, thus suggesting a value that doesn't match reality. For example, the respective size of a required Manufactory is not taken into account. Effectively this boils down to 1 Elixir being worth a lot less than the 16 Marble it's advertised for.

Proposed changes
In an attempt to make the system more fair, by more closely reflecting the actual value of traded Goods in the star rating, we would like to adjust the ratio required for a 2-star ("fair") trade. Instead of the current 4:1 ratio, we would like to lower this to a ratio of 2:1 or even 1.5:1. This would still not reflect the exact value of the Goods 100% accurately, but it would be a lot closer than the current 4:1 ratio. Reaching 100% accuracy unfortunately will not be achieved for two reasons:
  1. the ratio differs slightly between tiers, causing different numbers between tiers 1 and 2, and tiers 2 and 3; and
  2. we want to offer a "round" number, to allow for an easier calculation on how to score a certain trade.
The real numbers we calculated are close to 1.5:1 for both trades between tiers 1 and 2, and tiers 2 and 3, but we would be happy to offer a ratio of 2:1 if that makes calculating amounts easier for you.

Important: we are only looking to change the visualization of how "fair" the trade is as expressed in stars. We do not seek to restrict freely trading resources for another ratio if you like, just like you already can in the current system. The minimum and maximum ratios will remain as they are in the current system.

This could look something like this in the Trader, examples are with the 1.5:1 ratio:


Why this change, and not (also) something else?
We are very aware that there is additional improvement potential for the Trader, and that there are numerous requests to also change e.g. the way trades are sorted, or adding more filters to that you can find the trades you're looking for easier, but that is not what we attempt to address with these changes. What we intend to achieve with this change is resolving one of the main issues with the Trader: removing the perceived fairness of cross-tier trades while they are not in fact fair. We believe the rating on cross-tier trades to be misleading, which is harmful to new and veteran players alike. By making this rating more accurate, we hope to achieve several goals, among which the most important would be:
  • Provide a more accurate estimation of how valuable certain Goods are.
This will in turn help in all kinds of ways. For example:
  • It'll be easier for all players to recognize if a trade is more or less fair.
  • Some players calculate their own trade ratios based on varying factors. These changes would make that less necessary (but of course it would remain possible if you wish to do so).
  • It'll help new players tremendously, as they will be able to learn the real value of their Goods much easier.
  • It'll help sort the less attractive trades to the bottom of the Trader window, making them less prominent in everyone's view.
Before we apply these changes on Beta, we would like to hear your feedback on them. Please head over to the discussion thread, and let us know what you think! Would this be a good first step towards resolving problems with the Trader? Is the ratio itself OK for you, or do you think we should use another? If so, what would you propose, and what would be your reason(s) for that? Did we miss something that is important for you?

Let us know, so that we can improve Elvenar together!

Kind regards,
Your Elvenar Team
 

Marindor

Community Manager
Elvenar Team

An update: Trader star rating & Wholesaler changes


Dear Humans and Elves,

Thank you all so much for all the feedback you have given us on our proposed changes for the Trader star rating. Check the post above for all details on that if you hadn't yet. We've enjoyed reading your comments, and are happy to announce that we will be adjusting the rating to 1.5:1 very soon. We are currently aiming to release them with the daily Beta update on Thursday, 23 January. That also means they should go into the 1.97 version for our Live worlds, if everything passes testing and works as we intend it to.

Several of you have also raised the topic of adjusting the ratios of the trades listed in the Wholesaler. We agree that they need an update, and have done some further calculations to also finetune those more, both for the regular and Sentient Goods. Please read on to learn what we have in mind, and how we plan to achieve those goals we've set for ourselves.
  1. Make the Wholesaler easier to use
    We feel the Wholesaler is rather click-intensive, especially if you would want to use it a lot, and we want to make that more convenient to use. Therefore, we will be increasing the volume of Goods that you can buy at a time (that is: per click). While that means that the overall cost for a batch is higher, you also get more Goods with one transaction. The Wholesaler's price will still increase by 50% after every purchase (as it is now), but with higher volumes per trade, you will end up paying less for more.

  2. Align the Wholesaler with the new star ratio for equally valuable trades
    The Wholesaler currently has a ratio of 4:1 (between tiers). This is already more expensive than regular, player-to-player trades, but it is of course much too high when considering the changes we will apply to the Trader. Therefore, we would also apply the 1.5:1 ratio between tiers in the Wholesaler.

  3. We want the Wholesaler to be more expensive than regular trades, but it must also be fair
    The Wholesaler is intended to be mostly a last resort in case you need resources fast, as you should generally be trading for the resources you need with other players - even though this will take more time. We need the Wholesaler to be more expensive because it provides you with the resources you'd need instantly. However, because of how it is currently set up, you pay vastly more for some resources than you would for others - even if you take their trade ratios into account. This happens because the amount you can buy per trade differs a lot, while the price increases at a similar rate. To combat this, we will make the cost the determining factor in the amount of resources you can buy with one trade. You will be spending the same amount of Coins, Supplies or Goods for each option, regardless of its type or tier - of course the amount of Goods you receive in return are adjusted based on their tier and overall value.

    Example: Imagine a player who currently would need to pay 44K Supplies for 1.1K Steel, 176K Supplies for 1.1K Crystal, or 704K for 1.1K Gems. In the new system, they would be asked to pay 380K Supplies to receive either 7.6K Steel, or 5.1K Crystal, or 3.4K Gems.

  4. Improve the supply of Sentient Goods in the world economy
    We regularly hear that the supply of Sentient Goods can be a problem for some players: they simply do not find the Goods necessary to progress. This problem may be more visible on some worlds than on others, and may affect certain types of Sentient Goods more than others, but we know the issue itself exists. We will increase the volume of Sentient Goods that you can buy per trade significantly. The price will still increase with every purchase, as before, but as the batches you buy are larger, you will need to spend much fewer resources to purchase the same amounts of Sentient Goods.

    Example: Imagine a player who would be able to purchase a base value (no bonuses applied) of 1250 Moonstone. They would have to pay 6250 Platinum or Elven Tree Gum to make this purchase. In the new system, we will increase the base value. That will allow the player to purchase more Sentient Goods for the initial 1:5 ratio. In this example, the new (base) value would become 2050 Moonstone, for which 10250 Platinum or Elven Tree Gum would need to be paid.
    With these changes to the Wholesaler, the Goods (especially if you buy multiple batches in a day) will be much cheaper than they were before. With that, we hope to make the Wholesaler a more relevant and viable alternative for those of you who struggle to gather the required amounts of Sentient Goods from just trading with other players.

We will offer these changes to the Wholesaler alongside the changes to the Trader's star ratio planned for this week (see the top of this post), as the two topics do tie in to each other, and we would like you to experience them at the same time for a more realistic testing scenario.

Kind regards,
Your Elvenar Team

Disclaimer: As always, changes made on Beta might not make it to the Live worlds in the exact same way, and especially with balancing changes like these, we need to be careful to not hurt the game's economy in the process. Therefore, if something doesn't work as we intend it to or can currently foresee, we may need to make adjustments to the values we'll be offering.
 
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Marindor

Community Manager
Elvenar Team

An update: Trader star rating & Wholesaler changes


Dear Humans and Elves,

We have postponed the release of the Trader star rating changes by a few days, aiming to release them with our next Beta update, currently expected to happen on Monday, 27 January. We will not yet make the changes to the Wholesaler that we described in our post on Tuesday (see above).

We have made this decision because we want to invest more time in verifying what changes would be required to quests related to the Wholesaler, in an effort to ensure that they do not become too difficult with the intended changes. To achieve the level of quality and internal testing we would want, we would have to spend more time on the topic than we currently can. That is why we decided to temporarily postpone the changes to the Wholesaler and decouple them from the star ratio changes.

Monday's update will therefore only change the Trader's star rating to become 1.5:1, without further changes to the Wholesaler. We believe that these changes, even when not paired with the Wholesaler update, would be welcomed by you, our community. This means you can already enjoy this change, and also gives us more time to perfect our other planned changes before releasing them to the public.

Thanks again for the feedback you've provided to us over the course of the last few weeks, and stay tuned for Monday's update!

Kind regards,
Your Elvenar Team