@Riot Something I don't understand about pricing/skins

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NinjaSoxs

Senior Member

11-14-2012

Since I started playing a couple of months ago I have spent a good amount of cash on RP. I have no problem with this. After I realized I wanted to devote time playing this game I bought a champion pack, rune pages (during the two for one sale), some champions that I played during the free rotation that I enjoyed and a few skins for them when I saw them on sale.

Something I don't understand (as a business owner myself), is why would a skin cost as much as an entirely new champion. Does changing the look of an existing champion justify the same price as creating a new champion, with it's original art/skin, creating new abilities, development and design costs, creating and rendering entirely new particles from scratch, play-testing and balancing costs, etc?

To me (working in video) it is comparable to charging the same price for a 3 minute promo shot as I would for a 20 minute documentary. My clients would, understandably, not tolerate such an obvious discrepancy. Is there a reason I am missing?

Fortunately I have extra income and I have no qualms about supporting a company which makes a great game. I believe I buy at least $10 of RP every other week after an initial $75 spent, while I expand my champion pool (my goal is to play on a competitive level, hopefully finding a casual but competitive team). For rented content that may be removed at any time for any reason (or taken away by a suspect tribunal system), Riot; you are asking me to put a lot on faith here. Why is it justified?

This is not a troll post. Nor am I bitter or angry, I am hoping for an actual discussion so I may make an informed decision as to whether or not I will continue to spend hard earned money on this game or simply enjoy the content I have already unlocked.

Thank you for your time.


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GON the Mage Guy

Senior Member

11-14-2012

You can also buy champions with IP, but not skins. Champions matter to the game, skins do not.

From a design standpoint, a skin can almost be a complete champion rework, considering if there's significant model, texture, animation, sound and particle changes for all skills and animations. Lesser skins still take work, as they get new splash art as well. Comparing a 3 minute promo to a 20 minute documentary seems unfair due to neither being interactive in any shape or form. There's also the fact that you can play this game absolutely free, with a constant roster to play with at your leisure. Heck, most players don't even buy skins.

So, the game isn't pay to win, skins are superfluous, and you don't have to spend a dime on anything. If you feel like spending cash, if the price is too high, you don't have to pay for anything if you don't feel it's worth it.

To your second point regarding a "suspect tribunal system," I gather you visited the Tribunal forum and decided that? You should do some research on the actual statistics instead of listening to the guys who were "unfairly banned." The Tribunal punishes (Punishes, not bans) 1-3% of the playerbase. Tribunal does not decide the punishment. The results are either a warning, a short time ban, a long time ban, or a permaban. Permabans are reviewed and doled out by Riot employees personally. Most people that hit the Tribunal don't visit it again. Most people that are banned post in the Tribunal forums claiming they were unjustly banned, when in reality, they simply don't actually look at what they did to get banned.

I'm not entirely sure why you decided the Tribunal is some cause for worry. The simple answer is: Don't be a jerk, and you're fine. That's it. It hasn't negatively affected 99% of the playerbase, so the actual chance of it affecting you is slim to none. Despite the tantrums around those particular forums, it's not as bad as you'd think.


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Ecclesian

Senior Member

11-14-2012

Furthermore, Why do some skins cost nearly double a champ?

In addition, what's the difference between a legendary skin and a themed skin?

Aren't all the skins themed?

Why does ez have the only "themed" skin?

Why does ez's themed skin cost more than anything else is the whole game?

Is minor animation and audio changes really worth $25?


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SomniumProxy

This user has referred a friend to League of Legends, click for more information

Senior Member

11-14-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecclesian View Post
Furthermore, Why do some skins cost nearly double a champ?

In addition, what's the difference between a legendary skin and a themed skin?

Aren't all the skins themed?

Why does ez have the only "themed" skin?

Why does ez's themed skin cost more than anything else is the whole game?

Is minor animation and audio changes really worth $25?

Not all skins offer the same things:
-some skins offer only a new model
-some skins offer new animations
-some skins offer new sounds
-some skins offer new particles and interractions
-some skins offer extra stuff, like a banner or a summoner icon

So having different prices sounds reasonable to me.


Don't forget that Rome wasn't build in a day. In the old days there were ONLY simple skins with new models. As the game advanced and Riot made some money, hired people and could afford making nicer skins. This involves upgrading the game engine. I remember the first skins that featured new particles, it was the spooky pirate and spooky fiddlesticks ones.


The reasin why Ez has the only themed skin is that riot only recently developped the tech to have themed skins. Notice that not only does it have new animations that effect the _minions_ you kill, but the model itself changes as you level up, both features were developped specifically for this skin. I can easily see why it costs that much.


As a final note: Skins are expensive, but this is also part of the upside: you buy something that makes you EXCLUSIVE. With that many champions and skins to go with them, the chances of running into someone who likes the same champion AND the same skin are relatively low. Which is part of the deal. If skins were cheap everyone would run around skinned with every champ, which would reduce their percieved value. For me, and for many others, having something that others don't is part of the deal.


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IS134793e5f3c35e84c7d25

Senior Member

11-14-2012

you don't need to worry about riots business model. only thing you need to worry about is if you want to support riot and spend money and 'donate and show you support them' or to not do that. only people who should care about their own business model is riot themselves not you the consumer.

if you want to help riot, then spend, if you don't want to help riot then don't spend. it is simple. no need to make it complicated.

Riot obviously did something right, it's only one of the most popular online games out today.


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Fs Son0fSilas

Senior Member

11-14-2012

^on top of the skin you get an icon and I believe a banner on your profile, that's why it's a "theme". As far as "animation and audio" the skin itself "evolves" with each level and every time you put your first point in an ability. From a design stand point he's an entirely new champion. The level of design is extremely high, bringing two voice actors and the TEAM of people that spent months creating this one skin.

Early on most skins where sort of just recolors, and the old legendary skins (the ones since retired) were original during their time. However for the most part they were just "advanced" recolors and didn't really add anything. Now though legendary skins usually have new audio and new partacles.


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GON the Mage Guy

Senior Member

11-14-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecclesian View Post
Furthermore, Why do some skins cost nearly double a champ?
Because they're legendary.

In addition, what's the difference between a legendary skin and a themed skin?
Legendary skins have new everything, including voice over work, special interactions.

Aren't all the skins themed?
No.

Why does ez have the only "themed" skin?
Because Pulsefire Ezreal also comes with a banner and avatar.

Why does ez's themed skin cost more than anything else is the whole game?
Because of everything being redone, it coming with more than the average skin, two voiceovers (Ezreal and the computer) the first actual "evolving" skin.

Is minor animation and audio changes really worth $25?
Define "minor" and let me see your animation/audio portfolio. I have an animation degree and a portfolio. What do you have?
Go away, troll.


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NinjaSoxs

Senior Member

11-14-2012

Some good answers in this thread. Thanks guys. I'll try to address a couple thing quickly.

@Gon The Mage Guy: Some good points. Of course I don't have to buy skins, the truth is I like buying skins. Sometimes I wonder if it is worth it, especially for the same price as a new champion. I realize it is up to me whether or not I buy them and I wanted to hear some other people's opinions on the matter. On that note I like SomniumProxy point about the exclusivity.

As for the tribunal; I actively took part in the tribunal. It is pretty obvious that there are many people who simply click Punish with out reading anything in the case. For instance people who have only one match reported and have obviously been trolled the whole game (as evident in the chat) and get frustrated and drop a few profanities. They get punished regardless, I no longer bother logging into the tribunal after several of such instances. Perhaps I am wrong in this point, but it is my opinion that unless someone is a repeat offender an indiscretion should be forgiven. We are all human and all get frustrated. It is good to know that Riot over sees any permanent bans though.

As for doing my research... that is what I am doing. Hence bringing it to a forum of public opinion so I can hear the view points of fellow summoners (including those who have been playing longer and/or know more about the game than myself. It is also why I posted this in the new players forums as the GD forum seems quite troll heavy and this forum seems a much better venue to gain actual insight and have an actual discussion).

@Damein Sandow I think that may be a simplistic view point. If I plan on investing a large amount of time and money in a game, should I not be interested in it's business model? I should only worry about whether I want to support Riot or not you say? That is precisely what I am trying to determine. When deciding where to put my time and money is it not wise to compare multiple businesses offering a similar product, is that not how we make good purchasing decisions? How fast will prices rise? How often will new champions be released and how often will I feel compelled to purchase them (as I stated I would like to play (a game) competitively at some point). What are the terms of accounts being banned and how often does such a thing happen. (Though I think GON is correct, perhaps the GD forum has made me paranoid at the frequency of bans as I see at least three new threads a day on the topic, hence why I brought it up). Are these not relevant factors to determining my continued support?

Yes Riot has done something right. They have made a quality game that is free to play. Of course it is popular. Does that make it the best? Not necessarily (nor am I saying it is not the best). Does that mean they do everything right and I have nothing to be concerned of? I don't think so.

I have come to the point where I have spent as much as I would be willing to spend on any new game. I am doing my homework to determine whether or not I will continue by asking for the opinions and insights of others. That is all.

Cheers


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Fs Son0fSilas

Senior Member

11-14-2012

^ buy skins and champions on sale


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SomniumProxy

This user has referred a friend to League of Legends, click for more information

Senior Member

11-14-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1nd1g0l10nl0l View Post
Some good answers in this thread. Thanks guys. I'll try to address a couple thing quickly.

As for the tribunal; I actively took part in the tribunal. It is pretty obvious that there are many people who simply click Punish with out reading anything in the case. For instance people who have only one match reported and have obviously been trolled the whole game (as evident in the chat) and get frustrated and drop a few profanities. They get punished regardless, I no longer bother logging into the tribunal after several of such instances. Perhaps I am wrong in this point, but it is my opinion that unless someone is a repeat offender an indiscretion should be forgiven. We are all human and all get frustrated. It is good to know that Riot over sees any permanent bans though.

Cheers

A note on this: The tribunal doesn't weight each vote equally. Everyone who participates has something like a reliability ratio. When you vote something that disagrees with the final consensus, it drops. So if a player simply punishes everyone, his reliability will drop until it is almost unaccounted for. This is a rather sipmlistic view as the true algorhytms are surely more complex but you get the idea.



Also on the topic of skins: I find that Riot spends an incredible amount of time polishing the game, and this does not go only for new content. Even at a slower pace, old content is being reworked and improved, and skins are no exception. Recently Soraka recieved a complete visual update on her model animations and particles, and this included her old skins. As an old customer I was extreamly happy to see the skin I got years ago be brought up to date and not feel trashy compared to the new shiny skins.

Sure, it took some time, but they did it, and they didn't do it for the money (soraka only costs 450 IP, they're not getting RP out of her, obviously).

It often goes unnoticed by the general public, but splash art gets updated, old models are improved (ashe has had like 4 model reworks), animations are cleared (eve got new walk animation), some individual spells are updated and all this work and improvement on old content just happens behind the scenes.


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