How Valuable Are You?

As of v1.8.0 it appears that Player Tiers have had their impact on the game greatly reduced, and perhaps removed altogether. The "Player Tier" portion of the debug menu has been removed, and with the Airship now giving Food instead of Gems there is little importance to Player Tiers even if they still are in effect.

Game companies often keep track of what their players are doing in the game. This may be simply analytics ... to track how game content and events are doing. To spot problems in game balance. Essentially to ensure their game is working the way they want it to, and that players are enjoying it.

Sometimes there are further implications though. A common one is that companies may use this data to try to squeeze more and more money out of players by designing new content and events in a way that they know will bring in the most revenue. This is somewhat expected, as a game company needs to make a profit, and it can be expensive to create and maintain a complex game.

So how does BFS track it's players' actions in Dragonvale World, and how does that affect the gameplay? That is what we will look at here.

Player Tiers

Hidden in the game are rankings of the players based on their actions. These actions fall into a few main categories:

  • How many IAP (In App Purchaes) in the last week?
  • How many average sessions are played a day?
  • How many of the Airships have been completed recently?
  • How many Gems are spent per day?
  • What is overall customer Value?

Unless you are tech savy, you likely won't ever see your customer value. However, you can estimate what Player Tier you are based on the criteria for each and your own recent actions in the game.

Player Tier 1:

  • At least 1 IAP in the last 7 days.
  • Average at least 3 Daily Sessions over the last 7 days.
  • Completed at least 1 of the last 5 Airships.
  • Spends at least 25 gems/day over the last 7 days
  • Customer value of at least 1.

Player Tier 2:

  • Buys at least an average of 3 IAP per day over the last 7 days.
  • Average at least 5 Daily Sessions over the last 7 days.
  • Completed at least 2 of the last 5 Airships.
  • Spends at least 50 gems/day over the last 7 days.
  • Customer value of at least 10.

Player Tier 3:

  • Buys at least an average of 4 IAP per day over the last 7 days.
  • Average at least 8 Daily Sessions over the last 7 days.
  • Completed at least 3 of the last 5 Airships.
  • Spends at least 100 gems/day over the last 7 days.
  • Customer value of at least 50.

Player Tier 4:

  • Buys at least an average of 8 IAP per day over the last 7 days.
  • Average at least 20 Daily Sessions over the last 7 days.
  • Completed at least 9 of the last 10 Airships.
  • Spends at least 200 gems/day over the last 7 days.
  • Customer value of at least 100.

Player Tier 5:

  • Buys at least an average of 14 IAP per day over the last 7 days.
  • No Daily Sessions requirement.
  • Completed 15 of the last 15 Airships.
  • Spends at least 500 gems/day over the last 7 days.
  • Customer value of at least 300.

It appears you only need to meet 1 requirement to qualify for a tier. The Airship requirement is generally going to be determining most players' tier due to how easy it is to meet.

Implications on Gameplay

Not a lot is known about how player tiers affect gameplay. It is possible it is very limited, but it could go much deeper than what current information tells us. Certainly Player Tiers affect the game in some ways.

As you might guess with the Airship related rankings, and as players have noticed in regards to Airship rewards, the Airship takes into account the Player Tier in some ways. It seems to be designed to make the Airships harder for players who spend more on the game, but at the same time gives better rewards to them as well.

We think this is a mistake by BFS, as it has resulted in a sort of endless feedback loop for some players. Newer players who haven't built up a lot of "customer value" are turned off of the Airship, because the rewards are so low. More experienced players who have built up "customer value" find that they can actually earn Gems by rushing Airships, and earn Dragoncash by buying the items in market. This has lead to players being able to continually rush new Airships, hundreds a day, making hundreds or thousands of Gems in the process ... which then they can use to help meet the requirements for higher player tiers!

The worst part is the huge buying pressure on the market making it so that almost nothing is available for more than a split second before one of the Continuous Airship Brigade has bought it. This frustrates players on slower devices and connections, who find that everything has been bought up before they even have a chance to see it!

We will have more in-depth information about Player Tier effects on gameplay soon.