It’s been several weeks since Rage of Bahamut’s new trading system came out. Those who play the game know that a few weeks before that, trading (which was initially free market) and gifts were locked down entirely. Unsurprisingly, this caused an outrage among players, including myself and several others I know. Less unsurprisingly, this isn’t a rant. This is simply a statement of what I feel are the facts of the matter.
1. Cygames comes off as greedy. This is strange, because as a company, they’ve given players freebies, and some of the promotions and events are pretty good. But then they hold promotions like, “Buy 1 legend card pack, get 2 gems free!” This sounds cool, until you remember that the previous offer gave a free item worth 20 gems per card pack. That’s just an insult to players’ intelligence. Not as bad but still rather egregious is trying to hold a promotion where people can pay almost $30 for a bunch of cards while the trade embargo’s still going on. And the fact that you can still get High Normal cards in purchased packs is just plain wrong.
2. Cygames needs a serious attitude adjustment. I’m not saying the players are always right, but the way Cygames has dealt with the players (and myself, in the admittedly few email interactions I’ve had with them) has been very unprofessional. It’s clear that English is not their customer support person’s first language, and equally clear that customer service is not their first profession. They have very much taken a, “sucks to be you” attitude to most inquiries, and their response time is well over one week. The simple fact is, they only respond when players give them overwhelming negative reactions, and otherwise simply do what they can to get by and keep earning money. Which connects quite nicely to #1, above.
3. Rage of Bahamut was a breakaway hit. I don’t think Cygames had any idea that RoB would become as large or as popular as it did, and I think they’re still struggling to figure out what to do with it. I know Google’s coming down on them for their previous trade moratorium, and I know they can read the writing on the wall: if things don’t change, RoB will continue its downward spiral and die out. The question remains: do they care? I’m sure their relationship with Mobage has soured somewhat because of this, and it’s possible that Cygames may just milk the dying game for what its worth and run with the profits. If that’s the case, there’s not much players can do but wait and/or stop playing.
And the strange truth is that Cygames can not only salvage their game, but continue to make it thrive (and milk the money teat while doing so) for quite some time to come, by changing only two things. This isn’t to say that there aren’t other ways to improve, but here are the biggies.
1. Relax or drop the trade restrictions. Needing to be Fellows or Order members with someone for two weeks before you can trade with them is ridiculous. Everyone knows that it’s not because of hacking, but because people were selling cards. And they’re still doing it anyway, through exploiting the very restrictive Bazaar trading system. I think the Bazaar is a fantastic idea…for a supplement to the trading system, not a replacement. Also, that a player has to spend their very limited supply of Bazaar tickets (they only get 5 each day) both to post and purchase items is ridiculous. My further suggestion would be to make purchasing items not cost tickets, but keep the costs for posting items.
2. Make the events last only 3 days. The “Holy Wars” are a good example of events lasting three days and being very fast-paced and exciting, and the previous “Puppet Master” event is a good example of an event lasting nearly two weeks and running out of steam after the first few days. Of course, rewards will have to be adjusted if events are shorter, but Cygames intends them to be a money sink, and they’ll do just fine or even better if there’s a stricter timeframe.
So, those are my statements and my suggestions, both as a writer and a game designer. Let’s see what, if anything, Cygames actually does.Tags: Android, Bahamut, Cygames, Google, iOS, Mobage, Rage, Rage of Bahamut