Sampling Characters before Purchase

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JoeRoberts

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Senior Member

04-11-2010

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).


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Berinor

Senior Member

04-11-2010

This seems like a fine idea, but I think it should be more than one game, probably just a time period instead. You don't really get a feel for how a hero works from just one game. Also, if your one game that you spent 630 IP to play Anivia has a leaver, you're going to feel (justifiably) ripped off. Maybe instead of calling it a test, call it renting the hero.


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JoeRoberts

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Senior Member

04-11-2010

The hope was that by the time a player is capable of purchasing an expensive hero, they would have tried that hero already in one of the free weeks. However, examining the data shows that could be an overly optimistic hope. Of the five most expensive heroes (excluding Ezrael), the average time in weeks between their appearances -- starting at their first appearance, not necessarily week 1 -- is 5.9 weeks. Corki has the highest at 7.67. There's a limited crowd which would be willing to spend six weeks waiting to try a hero, especially since finding a small number of heroes to main on is such an important part of the game (and would still be if heroes were free). Six weeks is enough time for most players to find a main to stick to and acquire experience with using. It's not in the interests of most players to test all the new champions and see if they are worth unlocking when they already have significant experience on other champions.

Therefore, the argument that experienced players -- that is to say, players who have enough IP to unlock expensive champions -- already know what they would be purchasing is a less viable argument than I had anticipated. That's an extremely good point and I think you've changed my mind. Having the champion available for a period of time rather than a single game is hugely beneficial. That said, since it is so beneficial, the price could be increased to compensate: say, to somewhere between 15 and 20%, if necessary. Maybe some other limiters as well, such as not allowing the testing player to acquire IP from the match, or that any acquired IP would be put directly towards the hero rather than being added to the total pool. A devil to program, but that's not the issue and it could potentially open the door to new special events (like Slaughterhouse Weekend, where any hero you kill discounts five IP from the price of that hero or some such (though I'm not even going to touch the holes in that incentive structure)).


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Aquaphire

Member

04-11-2010

are you forgetting that we're given 10 trial heroes each week? use your head and dont buy until you've tried out or know for a fact your going to like that hero, ESPECIALLY if your using cash and not IP.


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Xpload

Adjudicator

04-12-2010

i just want them to include 3D model as for champions and for skins


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Lorx

Member

04-12-2010

Sampling Champions can be done during free weeks, that's part of the point. :/


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Berinor

Senior Member

04-12-2010

True, but just because a system is in place for a similar benefit, that doesn't mean a second program couldn't be put it. Plus, it's very possible that if you want to try a popular hero during a free week, someone else would frequently choose that hero. Again, this isn't something that's a big deal, but temporary use could be neat.

As a side note, this could also be done for skins. Sometimes you don't really know how it will look in play from the limited angles you can see in the shop. This way you could try it out and then, if you like the look, you could pay some more to retain it.


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Divinion

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Member

04-12-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xpload View Post
i just want them to include 3D model as for champions and for skins
I totally agree with this part. As for the follow-up comment about that's what free week is for, my rebuttal is you can't test skins.


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Fragems

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Senior Member

04-12-2010

dont mind this post just getting more post count so im a senior memeber
-Fragems


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JoeRoberts

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Senior Member

04-12-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorx View Post
Sampling Champions can be done during free weeks, that's part of the point. :/
Man, I really need to complete a full list of hero appearances. As I said above, the average length between hero appearances starting at their first appearance (instead of week one) to date of the five most expensive heroes (excluding Ezreal) is 5.9 weeks. The sampling champions are part of a great system which I don't think needs changing, but I'm arguing for more experienced players to be given a chance to see how the most expensive heroes play without waiting an excessive amount of time for them to be available. Or for the newest players to be given an opportunity to test the cheapest heroes instead of discarding them as useless because they're on the line between too expensive to buy just because they're cheap and too cheap to feel like they aren't underpowered noob heroes intended to feed the more expensive heroes.


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