Windstalker Addresses Marketplace Price Tweaks

Written by Feldon on . Posted in EQ2, StationCash

Holly “Windstalker” Longdale has stepped up and taken a bullet for Finance with these posts on the EQ2 Forums:

Just so there’s no confusion or suggestion there’s a bug, a few prices have changed on SC items. Very few. About 6 items. We felt that doing that at the same time as the sale might be helpful for members, at least, who choose to purchase those few items.

This week prices that changed are on purchases that you can obtain or use in-game in other ways (like merc slots and revive). As a few people have pointed out, we make adjustments like functioning businesses do. We’ll continue to make adjustments as we go forward which will include reducing prices too (one item this week was slightly reduced).

Overall, please be sure you’re happy with the price before you confirm your purchase. We want you to be happy about what you choose to buy and we are grateful when you do! We aren’t out to trick anyone. I promise you that!

and:

Oh, and on the bonus XP days, weekends, etc. There are going to be plenty of them coming over time. As you have said here, we did Double XP last weekend through to Monday. We’ll be doing it again before too long. Same with Status XP days, weekends, etc.

We like to give you plenty of stuff to look forward to and fun benefits. Next weekend we’ll be doing a Status Bonus weekend, for example, that will include F2P members.

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Comments (37)

  • Feldon

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    It’s Holly’s job as the Producer for EverQuest II to “own” this, regardless of who did the actual decision making. It’s what is expected in the corporate world.

    It’s my job as a fansite operator to say the buck stops with the higher ups that made this decision. I choose not to idly stand by while the EQ2 team get dinged because of something they had no part of.

    Reply

    • kono

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      I wonder how many ‘likes’ I’ve lost to overzealous moderation.

      Anyway, I see roughly three possibilities for how this went down:

      1. Holly knew of the price changes and chose not to inform the players.
      2. Holly knew of the price changes and was not allowed to inform the players.
      3. Holly was unaware of price changes.

      In the absence of evidence, each of us will have our own suspicion, but in the end I’d say all three are fairly damning, each in their own way.

      I truly don’t even care about the prices; they are a non-factor for me. It’s the animosity generated or fueled by these incidents that ends up costing us all.

      One last thought: Had they announced this price hike in advance, and delayed it until after the sale, can you imagine how many unattuners would have been sold this weekend?

      kono

      Reply

      • Feldon

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        I’ve had 10+ like posts deleted. Shows how out of touch the moderators are.

        Reply

    • Xaaria

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      Here’s the problem, her “justification” is totally wrong in her part.

      There is no actual way to gain these items in-game other than actually buying them through Marketplace.

      What it seems to me is that they know these items are the items that are most commonly bought from all players. Unattuners have been very popular lately, and I can tell you from personal experience that I myself and many of my guildmates keep buying them. So it’s common knowledge to them that these items are getting bought and from the looks of it they wanted to rake in more money.

      Just because “Finance” made a decision, doesn’t mean they get to flip a switch and magically the items are cheaper or expensive. It goes through a process just like everything else that gets changed in this game.

      They need to be more transparent about this if they don’t intend to piss off their customers. More importantly, they need to get their facts straight about said items not being obtainable within their game unless they want us to call them on their bullshit.

      Reply

    • Loch

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      I’m confident that the price setting is done by someone other than the EQ2 team. Bean counters who don’t play games and have no idea what players are truly like. Their job is to pour over spreadsheets.

      The unfortunate result of this for Holly, is that she will also have to own any dip in revenue or membership loss that results from decisions like this that are not her own.

      With how much trust the team has regained lately, it’s a real shame that this was done.

      Reply

  • Cuteypie of Permafrost

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    I think I hear someone in Finance getting chewed out or receiving some dirty looks for forgetting to post a notice somewhere.

    I feel bad for everyone because players weren’t notified and the team is getting blasted for something that probably just one person screwed up on. Then Holly has to swoop in and meliorate a very ugly situation in the best way she can, which cannot feel great. There’s bad feelings all around.

    Reply

  • Malleria

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    I suspect your faith in Holly is somewhat misplaced. Either a) we accept her reasoning of coinciding the increase with the sale, therefore since she knew about the sale in advance she must have known about the price hike and chose not to tell us about it, or b) she didn’t know about the price hike until the players complained and her post linking the sale to the price hike is absolute bullshit and she’s lying to us. I don’t know for sure which, but what I do know is her being unaware and her knowing about the sale in advance are incompatible.

    Reply

  • 7rsly

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    Reading others’ comments, I’m thinking Longdale is pretty much like an Oval Office Press Secretary.

    Well, heck, I remember Ron Nessen. :p

    Reply

  • Barx

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    She does have to step up and take responsibility for it, that’s part of her job function.

    But in ways, it is also her fault. I’d be surprised if she has no information or warning on upcoming price changes; those things, especially in large corporations, rarely happen within a vacuum and without prior planning. A large portion of the backlash could be avoided by simply announcing the price adjustments in advance. Sure people don’t like to hear that prices on somethings are going up, especially when it’s basically arbitrary with no real-world factors, but they like prices just going up without any notice even less. Even if for some reason she wasn’t in on that information, as the Producer for EQ2 it is her job to make sure she gets in on it.

    Reply

  • Ghostfaces

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    How do you raise the prices on about 6 items. It’s either 6 items or it’s 7 or some number that you’re not willing to say yet because people haven’t caught on to the extent of the price changes. I could have swore that Researching was 20 SC per day, but it’s 49 Per day now. Was that a price change?

    Reply

  • Broomy

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    It was disappointing to see an unexpected price increase; however, it was just as disappointing that SOE waited as long as it did to announce any kind of event for the Labor Day weekend. I would have preferred that we had another double exp weekend. What we have here is a failure to communicate.

    Reply

  • Hoot

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    Bad idea to jack up the prices prior to the sale. A functional and competent PR would have easily avoided this issue. Problem is, SoE has never had a good PR team (or barely one at all) and ultimately all these random instant changes come from the top brass.

    I wouldn’t put blame on Holly…I’m sure she’s just another innocent cog being pushed around by Upper Management (Smedley) micromanaging everything below them.

    Reply

  • Mermut

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    It would have gone over with players much better if the price hike happened right AFTER the sale, not right before….

    Reply

  • badcat

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    Either way you look at this entire mess, it was and is a slap in the face. This is the same sort of move that I would expect out of Sears or Target. The put stuff on sale for 10% off then jack the price up 20%, and folks who don’t pay attention pay the new premium price. I don’t know how Holly did not know this was coming down. You would think that her being the community manager, that she would be in the know of these type of things and post it accordingly in the update notes. Either way you look at it, it smells of cash grab. I for one think its a bad customer service move. I love this game and I am not going anywhere, but they just screwed me over yet again, and made sure that I will not be spending money on these items. To think of it they mad note that they will be selling grand masters in the new xpac, so there you go the price of upgrading your spells just went up, and evidently they knew that a lot of folks buy those upgrade and decided that it was time to go up on the price.

    Reply

  • Thait

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    Considering that this is a finance decision and not a EQ2 gameplay decision I certainly don’t blame the EQ2 team, or Holly, who likely had nothing to do with the decision to change prices. Finance on the other hand needs a kick in the pants and have the concept of sales explained to them as well as when, and when not, to raise prices.

    But then finance has always seemed to have problems understanding when they cause problems. The continual double and triple station cash stuff they used to do comes to mind.

    While I don’t mind the price increase at all, it’s not exactly much of a bump, I know that some will find it annoying and thus it will get some complaints. Just direct your complaints to the right people, I doubt Holly has any input on what prices in the SC market are.

    Reply

  • Miragain

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    Have to love how they added a “discount” for being all-access and then almost immediately start zeroing it out by raising prices.

    Reply

    • Dedith

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      While I won’t jump into the other arguements, lots of items discounted and 6 items increased… that does not really compute to a ‘zeroing out’ as you say. Complain away about the increased prices, but don’t make up thing please.

      Reply

      • Miragain

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        Just seems…. same with the sale in general really. Raise prices as you offer a sale. Net effect sale isn’t much good on those items.

        Reply

  • primalz

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    That’s an interesting take on “job of a fansite operator” — I always thought “fansite” was just a catchier way of saying “site for fans” (meaning of course that the “job” was keeping the fans up to speed and calling out the game representatives when they stepped on our necks).

    Color me newly educated, thanks.

    Reply

    • Feldon

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      I’ve been digging up the truth for 7 years. Sorry you never noticed.

      Reply

  • Marvis

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    Since I was against the implementation of spell research in the first place, I like the change. It gives a strong incentive to acquire the spells within the game, as it should be.

    Reply

  • Avianna

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    I do not think it matters who’s to blame the fact is that the prices on what was already too high priced were raised. I feel that we as players should not be given the attitude of if you don’t like it don’t buy it as holly politely put it. I feel that we as players deserve better than that. So regardless of the politics and the BS of who is to blame any and all of that discussion is a side skirt of the real problem that prices got raised.

    So in conclusion I am going to firmly stand that until prices are brought back to at least what they were or lower you will not see my account spending ANY SC and I would encourage any and all others to do the same. because simply put the corporate big wigs don’t know anything about this game. they do not play it. They only know what profit it brings. So all the discussion in the world will not matter to them you MUST speak with your wallet if you want to see change here.

    Reply

    • Filly67

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      To add to that the prices were already way to high to accommodate the large amount of SC that was sold for triple value. Now they don’t offer triple or even double but they think that we should still be paying over inflated prices/

      Reply

  • Kruzzen

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    this is simply in preparation for grandmaster spells. Most people have things mastered already. adding the new tier is a great way to bring in more money. It is a business and they will do it until enough people stop buying the product. you don’t buy, they drop the price. simple as that. put your money where your mouth is and let SOE know it is not appreciated and prices will drop. Of course they will try to raise it in other areas, but that is business, how do you get more money from your consumer.

    Reply

    • Badfae

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      Pretty sure I heard or read one of the devs specifically say that Grandmaster spells could not be researched, they were available through drops only. TBH, when I first heard them say all spells would have Grandmaster versions, the first thing I thought of was that the only real reason to do that was for the revenue from reducers. If they can’t be researched, not sure what the point of adding another tier is.

      Reply

      • milliebii

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        Kander has said that the Grandmaster spells will be craftable. This seems to be the recipes that use new items from ‘every tier’ that have to be harvested by the player and not by the goblin, pack pony or guild hall amenity.

        I cannot definitively say whether or not they will be ‘researchable’ but I kind of think that they will.

        Reply

        • Filly67

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          Why do I feel like these spells and/or items to make them will only drop in a raid zone?

          Reply

          • Oldschool

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            Cuz your probably right?

            Reply

          • Filly67

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            Not feeling any better about being right. Couldn’t you just lie to me?

            Reply

          • Oldschool

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            I was ? :twisted:

            Reply

  • Omence

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    Soe often likes to take the high road on stuff like this. A good example is The Fabled Deathtoll. They rolled out this zone with an extremely different approach to how raiders obtain raid gear and instead of saying something upon release they waiting to gauge the player base responses before giving any official statements.

    In the case of FDT 90% or more of raiders very, very, very, very….. much dislike how the loot system was done. So after a week or more of all complaints on the feedback thread the team responds with something along the lines of, “Fabled Death Toll was an experiment”.

    Solid way to cover their butts after seeing how much dislike there is for the zone.

    Which leads me to why they waited so long to say anything about this ridiculous price increase. They may have been hoping for the T-Rex effect. Don’t move! It’s vision is based on movement! It can’t see you if you DON’T MOVE! (maybe the players won’t notice?)

    Overall a bad move. The problem with businesses these days is they are vastly more focused on profit than on satisfied customers.

    Reply

    • kono

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      In the interest of accuracy, Kander referred to Deathtoll itemization as an experiment during a broadcast before the zone was launched.

      [Evidence]

      kono

      Reply

      • Omence

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        Ah ok – Our guild had not heard anything about it other than the fact that the usual raid content dev did not do the zone and we had only heard some time after the release of the zone.

        Reply

    • Hoot

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      “The problem with businesses these days is they are vastly more focused on profit than on satisfied customers.”

      That’s always been the case more or less with SoE. Remember the premium EQ1 server?

      Reply

  • Zzzz'z

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    You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out these price increases were put in place because of the upcoming expansion. SOE probably counting $ signs for the spell upgrades and unattuners they’re projecting to sell in November. This was not just an increase but an insult to their paying customers along with a slap in the face with lack of communication about it and failure to justify gouging what remains of their paying player base.

    I never paid for upgrades in the past (but did consider buying some upgrades this time around) and you can bet I won’t in the future with these ridiculous increased costs.

    We all know SOE owes us no explanation but you would think by now they know that deliberately pissing off your loyal playerbase is NOT good business practice.

    Reply

  • Notclownshu

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    ahem… “trololo-lol-lo-lolo-lo” – SoE

    Reply

  • Striinger

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    I’d guess that the situation was far less orchestrated than most people have suggested, but it’s not professional or acceptable for SOE to air their internal laundry to their customer base (and competitors). If stuff you buy got to expensive then don’t buy it any more. I don’t think the cash shop is needed to play. I’d price doesn’t impact sales they should raise until it does. It’s smart business.

    Reply

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