||04-11-2010 06:39 AM
Sampling Characters before Purchase
I apologize in advance if suggestions about the store do not go in this part of the forum.
I suggest that summoners be able to purchase testing rounds with individual heroes before deciding to purchase the hero or not. While the current system of allocating ten free heroes per week is admirable and well-designed, I feel there should be a system to allow summoners to test heroes outside those ten without forcing them into a major investment or forcing them to wait weeks for a potentially desired hero to become available.
The mechanics would be something along the lines of such;
- In the store, a hero has a small button (say, in the top right of the box). This allows the hero to be 'tested'
- Testing a hero costs 10% of the cost of the hero. Thus, the incentive structure for cheap heroes versus expensive and more difficult heroes remains intact.
- Purchasing a test allows the summoner to select that hero once in the next 24 hour period as though that hero were in the weekly free heroes (thus disallowing the summoner to purchase skins)
- This usage does not apply to the next game played, since another player could conceivably have that hero purchased and select it before the testing summoner. It applies only to a game in which the hero is used by the testing summoner.
- Multiple tests can be purchased (in case of leaving, crashes, or otherwise unsatisfying games).
- If the hero is purchased within one week of the purchase of the test, the full cost of the tests are discounted from the cost of the hero purchase. Else, the amount is lost and cannot be refunded or recouped. Note that the time availability for using the test and purchasing the hero is different; the cost is still discounted if the hero was not used during the 24 hour period.
- It does not matter if the player has enough IP or RP to purchase the hero at the time of testing. The cost of a test and the cost of a full purchase are independent except for the discount.
- The 24 hour usage period and the one week purchase period are treated as a boost for purposes of extending it in the case of server downtime.
- Testing a hero using IP does not reduce the price of the hero if purchased with RP. Likewise, vice versa.
The incentive structure for new players to purchase easier heroes is valuable. It is important that it not be compromised. However, I feel as though there is a certain stigmata against less expensive heroes, as new players may feel those heroes may be weaker because they are less expensive -- which is unfortunately reinforced by the related variable that the players using those expensive heroes are players who have much more experience with the game. Allowing new players to sample heroes like Kayle or Master Yi for a negligible price lowers the cost of testing those heroes, which is normally either spending a prohibitive amount (for a new player who could be saving up) or waiting frustrating weeks for them to become available.
Creating incentives for new players to purchase heroes also means they will begin learning specific patterns and tactics or purchasing runes much earlier in their careers. This will reduce frustration for newer players when the hero they are temporarily maining on is removed from the rotation or for more experienced players when the expensive hero they buy turns out to be less than anticipated. The customization and sunken work also makes their account feel more valuable to the individual player, leading to a higher player retention rate -- and possibly the purchase of skins, the all-important profit margin.
On the subject of RP, it also gives a place for players to sink the random RP they have sitting around after purchasing an item less expensive than one of the RP bundles (before possibly spending IP on purchasing the hero). While I understand the incentive structure for having those RP sitting around -- it makes everything feel less expensive, increasing the probability of multiple RP purchases to make use of the scraps -- it reduces player frustration of having nothing to do with those RP and increases the number of heroes purchased by an individual player (who, remember, has already purchased RP which was spent on either a hero that, by the reasons mentioned above, they are less likely to feel regret about purchasing or on a skin for an already purchased hero. The first is that a player can feel comfortable spending more RP acquiring a larger pool of heroes. The second means more RP can be spent -- on skins -- by a player who has already been shown willing to purchase RP).