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TOPIC: The fate of old UR's

Re: The fate of old UR's 4 years 11 months ago #49

Random thoughts:
One thing that harms UR value is reprinting them.

The real problem is found in Econ 101: an ever increasing supply of tokens and a relatively stagnant demand. Pumping more and more tokens every year into a fairly fixed population (yes, people come in but others leave so I'm guessing the base is flat) wil necessarily drive down prices.

So you have to increase demand proportionately: add new players by going to other conventions or add more adventure paths at Gencon (but I think GC may be near saturation so that's not likely to add as many new players as you may think) or add new and more expensive legendaries. Those will soak up the extra supply. The alternative is stop printing new tokens, but we all know that's crazy talk. Tickets would double or triple or more.

Don't assume ticket sales project token demand. If I buy ten tickets I'm probably not buying ten-times the tokens I would for one.

It's a very small economy, so it's very fragile. Small changes can have big consequences. Uncertainty caused problems, too. The way to make it more robust is to make it bigger, with a larger customer base.
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Re: The fate of old UR's 4 years 11 months ago #50

  • Joshua Baessler
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Kirk Bauer wrote:
joshua baessler wrote:
I agree with both of these statements. However, tokens should be valuable for their game benefit and not because someone spent $100 (or $250, etc) on them.

I'm not sure I understand what you said there. An UR token needs to have a more awesome benefit than a rare because it is a UR, that's how it works in TD. Because of the benefit people are willing to pay $100 or whatever for it. If a UR didn't have a valuable in-game benefit then people wouldn't be interested in it. Jeff sets the price of URs (you get 5.2 per $1k spent, plus the other tokens), so in order to sell them he needs to give people a reason to buy them.
joshua baessler wrote:
Jeff would be better off to sell URs, trade items, gold, relics, legendaries directly.

I believe that it would have been a huge mistake if he had gone down that route. Today Jeff's pricing structure is very straightforward. If he was in the business of both designing the tokens and setting their individual prices it would get really messy really quick. I never see people complain about Jeff's token pricing, it is what it is. But if he started selling HoPs (for example) directly then you'd better bet it would get crazy. Many would think they were being sold for too much, too little, etc. It is better for Jeff to keep his pricing simple and to let the secondary market take it from there.

Additionally, resellers on the secondary market sell thousands or tens of thousands of dollars per year in tokens. At that volume it is more practical to offer hundreds of distinct products at different prices. But Jeff moves hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in tokens. It would be a lot of work to sell them all separately.

The random pack method works well for many other games and I think the health of the TD economy proves it works well for TD as well.
joshua baessler wrote:
TDA gets no direct benefit from the secondary market.

Not sure what you mean by "direct", but I don't think it matters. There is a massive benefit to Jeff to have a healthy secondary market. For example, I spent tens of thousands of dollars on tokens this year that I will likely not sell until future years. If I couldn't resell them I would have bought much less.

Even for people who just buy tokens for personal use with no plans to ever sell any, they would still be willing to spend less if they weren't confident they could trade or sell the tokens at a future date if necessary. We have also seen plenty of fellow players hit hard times and sell tokens to get cash to help go through those. If they knew up front they could never do that then they likely would have spent less in the first place.

I like to think about the extremes when thinking about stuff like that. If Jeff made all token buyers sign an agreement that they would never sell any tokens, and then enforced that, do you really think his sales wouldn't be dramatically affected?
joshua baessler wrote:
Someone explain to me how this would be beneficial to anyone other than people sitting on bulk URs that they are not using in their personal or team builds? It seems like this would be a change that would only benefit large volume token resellers sitting on inventory that is declining in value.

For the record, I don't have very many old and worthless URs, if any. I haven't been collecting very long relative to some people around here. But ten years from now I probably will have plenty.

This matters to everybody because of the small and fragile TD economy. I'll use extremes again to illustrate my point. If you spent $8k this year on tokens, and next year every single one of them was eclipsed by better tokens, and you couldn't convert them or trade them, would you spend $8k again next year? Whenever anybody spends money on something, potential future resale value tends to cross their mind. Over time, as long-time players end up with more and more worthless tokens, it might affect their appetite for purchasing more tokens.

Remember that the tokens are collectible and for many of us collecting and trading and reselling is just as much part of the game as the actual dungeon runs. This is true for many collectible items. I think it was because of the transmute program that I was willing to jump into TD where I have always stayed away from collecting MtG.

What I was saying is a UR should be valuable only for what it does, not because someone paid $100 for it. This whole thread seems to be saying to me "I paid $XX for this UR, Jeff should ensure it always has some value."

The URs in a package are an incentive to buy that amount of total tokens. It's not an attempt to set the value of URs.

I also think selling URs, etc directly would have been a bad idea. My point was that if Jeff was concerned about keeping investment value in tokens he wouldn't bother with selling token packs.

You're only proving my point - "if I couldn't resell them I would have bought much less." You being able to resell your tokens benefits you directly, always. It only benefits Jeff if you decide to reinvest those sales back into TDA. It's not a guarantee that you or any other reseller will do that. Therefore, Jeff shouldn't be concerned about URs providing any value other than game related.

I can't answer your question, and that's the problem. There is no way to know if his sales would be dramatically affected or not. The secondary market does not directly affect sales. If anything, it hurts sales for Jeff, in my opinion. If secondary sellers didn't exist, I would have to keep buying tokens until I got what I wanted or could trade with a fellow player.

And I have sold and purchased PYPs myself, so I'm guilty too. I have played many collectible related games over the years and almost without fail the secondary market continues to up the costs involved to be competitive. There shouldn't be an investment consideration to play a game. There should not be an expectation that all items purchased for a game should retain some value beyond the enhancement and fun they bring to the game itself.

I'm sorry, I've let this develop into a rant. Long story short - URs provide an excellent value at the time of their printing and should gracefully decline to zero over time. I don't see how allowing them to be traded in for anything benefits TDA beyond the existing system. It would destabilize the value of gold and over time increase the costs to stay competitive.

Actually, in writing that I'm answering my own questions and making the case for your argument. Making URs into something transmutable would create the next tier of Aragonite choke point. Right now you have to buy a minimum of $400 to get one Aragonite (and that's if you're bizarrely lucky enough to get only armor and weapon rares). Creating a trade value of URs to replace gold would lower the value of gold = problem. Creating a new trade item out of URs would drive up the cost of playing at the highest tiers = also a problem.

I don't see how this would be a win for anyone. Making the case for the secondary market (yes, I know I'm making the argument for the opposite side at this point) - sell your UR to someone else for the highest price you can get for it, then buy gold from someone else. How is that not a viable solution since the secondary market is never going to go away?
Last Edit: 4 years 11 months ago by Joshua Baessler.
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Re: The fate of old UR's 4 years 11 months ago #51

  • Joshua Baessler
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Brad Mortensen wrote:
Random thoughts:
One thing that harms UR value is reprinting them.

The real problem is found in Econ 101: an ever increasing supply of tokens and a relatively stagnant demand. Pumping more and more tokens every year into a fairly fixed population (yes, people come in but others leave so I'm guessing the base is flat) wil necessarily drive down prices.

So you have to increase demand proportionately: add new players by going to other conventions or add more adventure paths at Gencon (but I think GC may be near saturation so that's not likely to add as many new players as you may think) or add new and more expensive legendaries. Those will soak up the extra supply. The alternative is stop printing new tokens, but we all know that's crazy talk. Tickets would double or triple or more.

Don't assume ticket sales project token demand. If I buy ten tickets I'm probably not buying ten-times the tokens I would for one.

It's a very small economy, so it's very fragile. Small changes can have big consequences. Uncertainty caused problems, too. The way to make it more robust is to make it bigger, with a larger customer base.

I'm going to talk out both sides of my mouth again. On one hand, reprinting tokens benefits me greatly - I get access to hard to obtain tokens at a reasonable price. On the other hand, reprinting tokens does not introduce anything new to the game and devalues existing copies because the scarcity has been reduced. Which is better? Allowing tokens to always be one-of and watch their value continue to increase for the holder but not for the original seller (TDA)? Or reprint the token to possibly attract new blood but in the process possibly anger the existing owners (who may or may not purchase additional tokens)? There are too many possibles and maybes there.

Brad is right, the path to increasing demand is to open up additional venues (such as with WYC) or add new transmute options (relics, legendaries) to keep driving the machine. I just fear that tossing obsolete URs into the mix will make things better for a few at the expense of the many. It's hard to get 25,000 gp (plus 15,000 gp) together for a legendary. I could pick up old URs relatively cheaply. This would make the legendary easier for me to obtain (yay me!) at the expense of additional power creep for the game and a lower value of gold (bad for TDA).
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Re: The fate of old UR's 4 years 11 months ago #52

I'm sure Jeff recognizes the value of token resellers in the overall token market. He's clearly designing the packages like the $8K package to have more and more bonuses to it, so that people can make a profit on them. I'd imagine the handful of really big token buyers make up a pretty significant percentage of the total. There are some sellers that buy multiple $8K packages, and the only motivation for them to do that is if they are at least making a small profit - or breaking even but getting some tokens they need. Or also the joy of token buying / sorting / selling - I know I've always enjoyed being a buyer seller of tokens (and comics, and magic cards, and animation cels, etc.). :)
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Re: The fate of old UR's 4 years 11 months ago #53

  • Joshua Baessler
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I guess I'm of a different mind, Mike. I think Jeff offers those bonuses as an incentive to spend $8K, incentives for the buyer's personal use not personal profit (and again, I'm guilty of selling PYPs and the 1st Tooth of Cavadar to offset my own expenses). I really don't think the resell value is a consideration. If it is, it shouldn't be.

I'm realizing I'm more against further incentivizing large token buyers than I am assigning a transmute value to URs.

I kind of feel like an awful person for continuing this, so I'm just going to stop. I don't want to turn this into a "but it's not fair that I don't have the same resources as the resellers" thread. I can see that's where I'm heading, and that's not fair to anyone. I'm sorry.
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Re: The fate of old UR's 4 years 11 months ago #54

  • Kirk Bauer
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I believe token resellers are a benefit to True Dungeon and I think Jeff believes this as well. If not because of the $8k packs then because the largest token buyers got first dibs on runs at WYC.

When a reseller makes an $8k purchase from Jeff and then resells those tokens to 50 different people, that saved Jeff a lot of time, time which he can spend on more important activities.

If Jeff wanted to discourage token resellers there are lots of things he could do, but again I think there is value and he sees that.
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Re: The fate of old UR's 4 years 11 months ago #55

joshua baessler wrote:
I guess I'm of a different mind, Mike. I think Jeff offers those bonuses as an incentive to spend $8K, incentives for the buyer's personal use not personal profit (and again, I'm guilty of selling PYPs and the 1st Tooth of Cavadar to offset my own expenses). I really don't think the resell value is a consideration. If it is, it shouldn't be.

I'm realizing I'm more against further incentivizing large token buyers than I am assigning a transmute value to URs.

I kind of feel like an awful person for continuing this, so I'm just going to stop. I don't want to turn this into a "but it's not fair that I don't have the same resources as the resellers" thread. I can see that's where I'm heading, and that's not fair to anyone. I'm sorry.

Well, many of the bonuses for the $8K package seem clearly aimed at resellers/traders instead of individuals. One individual doesn't need eight Teeth of the Cadavar, or four Guild Buttons/Tokens, or 8 sets of modules. And really there are only so many PYP's each person can use each year, the rest of the 32 (plus 8 or more random PYPs) are excess to that person's needs. I'd think nearly every individual that bought the $8K package is doing so with some percentage of the bonuses earmarked for trade or resell.

But Joshua, it's fine that we see this a bit differently. A diverse set of viewpoints is a healthy thing to have. :)
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Re: The fate of old UR's 4 years 11 months ago #56

Sorry for jumping into this now....what if older outclassed UR tokens were marked as redeemable forexample. Say they could be traded in for treasure pulls in the current years dungeon and then either destroyed or put into the treasure pulls for that year. Players would have more options to pull out of print tokens and would give something for the old UR. I could see a problem with creating a flood of extra pulls and devaluing the pulls earned in the dungeon. Discussion worthy?
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Re: The fate of old UR's 4 years 11 months ago #57

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Adam Guay wrote:
Sorry for jumping into this now....what if older outclassed UR tokens were marked as redeemable forexample. Say they could be traded in for treasure pulls in the current years dungeon and then either destroyed or put into the treasure pulls for that year. Players would have more options to pull out of print tokens and would give something for the old UR. I could see a problem with creating a flood of extra pulls and devaluing the pulls earned in the dungeon. Discussion worthy?
I've had treasure pulls where all I got was some common weapons and ammo. Even if you get 10 pulls for turning in a UR, you're not guaranteed anything decent. You could ultimately turn in a $60 UR (Think that's the cheapest I've seen) for a hand full of tokens that you might be lucky and get a single rare from it you already have.
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Re: The fate of old UR's 4 years 11 months ago #58

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You should not be pulling commons. If you are, it is due to someone dumping their starter tokens in the bin.
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Re: The fate of old UR's 4 years 11 months ago #59

Before finding a solution, there has to be a consensus on what the problem is. Before that, that there even is a problem. I don't think there is one.

Any solution has to be carefully balanced. Too weak and it will have zero effect. Too much and you risk infuriating all the people who traded or sold their "worthless" URs only to find the change made them much more valuable.
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Re: The fate of old UR's 4 years 11 months ago #60

  • Kirk Bauer
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Brad Mortensen wrote:
Before finding a solution, there has to be a consensus on what the problem is. Before that, that there even is a problem. I don't think there is one.

Any solution has to be carefully balanced. Too weak and it will have zero effect. Too much and you risk infuriating all the people who traded or sold their "worthless" URs only to find the change made them much more valuable.

There is no problem now but there will be one day IMO. I agree the solution should be carefully thought out, hence why we should discuss it before the problem exists.
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