“Warframe”, also known as “Star Warframe”, is a science fiction shooting MMORPG game developed by Digital Extremes. Its international service was launched in 2013. With its own unique charm, warframe has long occupied the top ten position in the steam simultaneous online list, and it has also been among the best-selling games platinum group (the highest group) on the steam platform from 2017 to 2019.
2. Warframe’s economic system
As a continuously operating online game, warframe needs to attract players to play for a long time. To this end, it can bring forth the new, update new gameplay and content, launch continuous activities or give players benefits, so that players’ output in the game can be marketed Recognized.
In an update in 2013, DE added a developed market-based economic system to the warframe. In the 7 years from 2013 to 2020, warframe’s economic system has been operating steadily and vigorously under the test of illegal studios, scripts, and inflation. This article will try to analyze its special hard currency output design.
3. The currency of warframe
There are two currencies in the game: Starcoin (soft currency) and Platinum (hard currency)
1. The output of platinum
As shown in the figure above, platinum is mainly purchased directly through the official website, and other methods are less cost-effective, and are usually used as gifts for purchasing a combination package. Among them, each purchase quantity can only be selected among the 6 gears provided.
It is not difficult to find the most significant difference between warframe and the general MMORPG game economic system: the monetary asset used for trading-platinum output can only be purchased with real money from the official. In general MMORPG online games, hard currency is often tied to player accounts, while soft currency can be freely traded. In warframe, the opposite is true. For players, the actual value of circulating platinum in the game is linked to the actual currency value, so the value of platinum will not rise or fall as the game version changes. To a certain extent, it solves the inflation problem of general online games after long-term operation. (Warframe’s design for outbound equipment storage and void merchant design also play a key role in controlling economic inflation)
The warframe also uses a current discount mechanism of up to 75% off to control the player’s purchase behavior.
The specific mechanism is: when players log in to the game every day, they will randomly receive a certain resource reward, refreshed at 8 o’clock every day. This daily login reward mechanism is very common in game design, but warframe adds a platinum coupon to the reward: within 48 hours after receiving it, your next platinum purchase enjoys a 20% to 75% off Offers. And this is the only way to get platinum at a low price in the entire game.
Generally speaking, the design of this kind of coupons has the following functions: 1. Let players have a “earned” price comparison psychology when buying. 2. The discount can only be used within 48 hours, and I don’t know when it will be available next time, so the player will be entangled in whether to buy it or not. At this time, the player’s psychology of loss aversion is caught. 3. “Icebreaker” that helps newcomers to consume for the first time. It is a design that can stimulate players’ consumption very well.
But in fact, in warframe, the design of this coupon plays a greater role in controlling platinum output. First of all, the most obvious impact is that a large number of players will only consider recharging when they receive a discount of approximately 75% off. Because the discount of 75% off is significant and the amount of platinum generated by the discount is large enough, players in the economic system have become accustomed to using the value of platinum after 75% off as the standard. General players cannot accept the purchase of platinum at a price several times higher than the market price standard. Therefore, the official can control the appearance probability of coupons to match the consumption of platinum, and control the amount of platinum in the economic system within a certain range. Or to increase the probability of coupons for certain groups of players to stimulate player consumption. (According to experience, “returning” players and novice players have a higher probability of obtaining coupons)
At the same time, this method of randomly obtaining daily rewards also has an impact: it is difficult for players to buy platinum at a large market price in a short time. This can prevent destructive game merchants or big R players from buying platinum in a short time to impact the economic system. Therefore, warframe has designed various high-priced packages for big R players, in addition to certain platinum, it also contains the required armor, weapons and unique appearance. While meeting the needs of players, it also has the effect of price discrimination.
Two, some problems with platinum
Warframe is a game that operates on a global scale and divides players into several regions based on language. Such as Chinese area, English area, Russian area, etc. However, the purchase price of platinum is all converted into U.S. dollars according to the local exchange rate, but the purchasing power of the same U.S. dollar is different in different regions, which also causes the purchasing power of the same platinum to be different between different regions. The zone server jump provided by warframe is quite convenient, so there is a gameplay where players can profit by buying and reselling the zone server. It is necessary to limit the interval or number of transfers to reduce such behavior.