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Thread: My thoughts on the International Courier change

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    My thoughts on the International Courier change

    Hi guys, so I found out today that Valve decided to change all of the normal couriers attained from the TI3 event to Unusual, the same as the unboxed ones. These couriers were originally normal, with no Unusual in front of the name and also no green particle effect. I wanted to share my thoughts on this change and it's consequences on the specific groups of players who will be affected. I also wanted to discuss Valve's handling of this issue in relation to having a real money marketplace where the mechanics of a free marketplace work just as they do in real life.

    Before I start off I want to say that I am an owner of a purchased Unusual Fezzle-Feez the Magic Carpet Smeevil which I bought on the market,and two unboxed couriers - one Osky and one Trapjaw. This means I am obviously biased against this change as changing all of the normal couriers to Unusual will sharply drop the price by introducing a huge supply to the market. This obviously has already happened. Examining the graph on this link http://steamcommunity.com/market/lis...rpet%20Smeevil will show the price drop. The price of the Unusual before the change was reaching 286 on Aug 13 at 4 PM. Twenty-four hours later at 4 PM it was a bit lower at 275, and only four hours after that by 8 PM the same day the price was 126.50.

    Valve in my opinion made a series of mistakes in dealing with this problem.

    1. Valve releases the event couriers as normal and the unboxed couriers as Unusual. Then changes it.
    To me what Valve did originally makes sense. Let's take a hypothetical situation where Valve decided to just release both of the couriers as Unusual in the first place. Unboxed couriers are exactly the same as the event couriers from the start. In this situation the couriers original value and value during the weeks of the international would not even be close to as high as it was. So low one can argue that there would be few people who would even want to buy a key to get a chance. It would be much cheaper just to purchase one on the market. The allure of these couriers are they can ONLY be unboxed and be obtained through pure luck. Nobody else can have them any other way. That is also what gives them their value. It is a gamble.

    Valve's mistake was not in releasing the event couriers with no unusual effects, but in changing it after. I doubt that releasing the event couriers as normal was even a mistake or a bug. The problem is that they changed it, maybe through wanting to please those sad that their event couriers werent unusual, or even maybe it was a mistake or bug - and suddenly introduced a huge supply to a stable market where this could never happen otherwise.

    Let me take this moment to address another problem - There are stories of those people who bring thousands in cash to the TI3 secret shop in hopes of profiting from the couriers. This obviously is poisonous to the entire community, and by changing the couriers obtained at the event to the same as the unboxed ones and thereby RAISING the price of the event couriers, you are rewarding these people tremendously for their behavior. I can go on about this, but I think this is evident for all to see.


    This introduces the obvious first problem that the change creates - all of the people who had purchased a courier off the market before the change (including me) has now been, for the lack of a better word, screwed. Luckily I personally did not purchase the Fezzle that high so the loss is not that big for me, but if you can imagine being the guy who spent 290 on the courier at 4 PM and by 8 PM the price was 126, you would be mad too. Many people might say at this point, that the price was speculation and those who spent the money should not be mad. However this is not true.

    Economics for a market such as for one courier is not too hard to figure out. There is a steady stream of couriers being introduced - a steady supply. This supply can not be changed as it is limited by the computer algorithm. There is in fact no incentive for anybody to unbox thousands of chests in hopes of getting these couriers and selling them on the market since it is completely random and there is no guarantee to make a profit. In fact one person opening thousands of chests and obtaining say, 100 Fezzles to sell would more likely drop the price. This keeps the price of the courier steady and the only things that can introduce a huge change on this price is either a huge increase in supply, or a huge drop in demand. Unfortunately the former has happened. Those who have been following the market on these couriers know how steady the price has been. There is no doubt that Valve's action was the sole reason of this loss in value of every courier purchased before the change, and I cannot think of any reason why the price would have ever fallen so drastically if not for this change.


    2. After they change the event couriers to unusual, the online marketplace lists them on the very same page - without clear indication that one is without effect.
    This created many people who were scammed and bought a normal courier unknowingly, thinking that the price had dropped on the Unusuals. This digs Valve deeper into this hole. In order to rectify this particular situation there are only two options - give everyone who had bought a courier since the change a refund, or turn all of the event couriers to Unusual so these people are satisfied. Option one is unlikely, option two presents the problems we see earlier.


    There are three groups of people who could potentially end up happy/unhappy if this change goes through.

    1. Those who bought event couriers at TI3. The ones who still have their courier will be happy that their couriers are now unusual. However those who bought event couriers, saw that they were normal, and sold them on the marketplace for half the price will be unhappy.

    2. Those who bought normal couriers on the marketplace thinking they were Unusual will be happy - they got what they wanted.

    3. Those who bought a courier before the change and those who spent money on keys unboxing them will be unhappy. They have spent money on something that should have had a steady value, and had its value halved by what Valve did.


    So then what is the solution? Is Valve content with making 2/3 groups happy and leave one in the dust? Or is there a way they can make everybody happy and not risk alienating anyone? The problem is that Valve has dug themselves into a hole by already changing the normal to Unusual and then listing them on the same marketplace. Going back on this now would create even more of a problem, and in my opinion Valve has no choice now but to go through with what they are doing. This leaves group three behind and alienates them. Also I wanted to note at this point from a financial standpoint is it wise alienating group 3 ? They are the real group that spends money on the Dota 2 marketplace year round.

    Heres the only solution I can think of where all three groups can be pissed off the least amount. Change all event couriers to Unusual so that groups 1, 2 are happy. Then give all existing unboxed couriers an extra effect or differentiation so that they maintain a value above those event ones. Personally I don't see anything else working that would make all 3 groups happy.

    I know this was a long write but I hope you guys read this and share your thoughts and comments. Hopefully someone over at Valve reads too! I trust you to do the right thing in the end

    Edit : I hope Valve learns from this event in dealing with changes to real money-value items in the future. You cannot do such things without alienating at least one group, and all changes that might result in problems like this in the future need to be handled more professionally.
    Last edited by xdestry; 08-15-2013 at 10:53 AM.

  2. #2
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    Maybe this is the best solution for this situation please consider valve

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    Basic Member 4ltair's Avatar
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    Yes, once again Valve resembles a pack of monkeys with computers.

    As, i see the problem, this is Valve's view on the whole event:
    1. Unusual couriers from TI3 chest > price go up, as only source are chest > money to Valve from keys and crates and market cut
    2. Normal couriers from TI3 secret shop purchases > prices of unusual's from chests go even higher > more money to Valve from keys, crates and market
    3. All normal couriers from secret shop cards made unusual and rumor is, complete with TI3 particle effect (read Cyborgmatt blog after TI)> market in chaos > more money from market from Valve and transmitting a clear message "come to the next TI and buy stuff from here, we make sure you will not regret this"

    Now, if all the above is not fucking your customer three-ways, i don't know what else is and i hope everybody gets the real message here: "why bother with TI4 chests and keys, since you can get your unusual immortal courier for free, as long as you purchase $40 stuff from us".

    There are times when Valve is truly awesome in that they do but, more often nowadays, there are times when you would want to stroll thru their office and leave the monkeys without computers.

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    I don't like that solution so much since I prefer the TI3 couriers without the greenish effect. (In your solution they will end up with a green effect)

    The couriers effects (carpet: gold; osky: white smoke; trapjaw: coins dripping) are far more visible without that green effect.
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  5. #5
    Basic Member Re-l Mayer's Avatar
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    Totally agree with OP.
    My opinion is to change it back how it was before
    (Secret shop couriers Usual and unboxed one Unusual).
    Last edited by Re-l Mayer; 08-15-2013 at 11:40 AM.

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    well, I lost about 120 keys trading for an unusual fezzle that I thought was the unboxed one because it was unusual. Really its not fair for us who traded or bought these things thinking they were the unboxed ones. It is really valves fault for not letting people know about this change. In reality its a lose lose situation for everyone but valve should do something to make it better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Re-l Mayer View Post
    Totally agree with OP.
    My opinion is to change it back how it was before
    (Secret shop couriers Usual and unboxed one Unusual).
    This would be nice but Valve cannot do this at this point. By announcing the change they have set forth a series of events that have influenced the prices of all the couriers and also caused many buyers to be upset that they mistakenly bought a normal courier that did not have the effects. The only way to rectify this is either refunds to everyone which is unlikely, or to make those couriers unusual so those people will be satisfied.

    I believe at this point they will have to make all the normal couriers unusual, the only question is how to make those who purchased/unboxed before the change happy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GermanViet View Post
    I don't like that solution so much since I prefer the TI3 couriers without the greenish effect. (In your solution they will end up with a green effect)

    The couriers effects (carpet: gold; osky: white smoke; trapjaw: coins dripping) are far more visible without that green effect.
    The white smoke isnt really visible that much compared to the carpet

    Anyway as for OP, thats what I suggested yesterday but quite a few people seemed to paid attention to it - http://dev.dota2.com/showthread.php?t=102395

    Nevertheless, good read

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    Basic Member Re-l Mayer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xdestry View Post
    I believe at this point they will have to make all the normal couriers unusual, the only question is how to make those who purchased/unboxed before the change happy.
    Indeed, we will see what will happens in future, because something MUST happen!
    I assume they will add something on the unboxed couriers some kind of uniqueness,
    wich differentiates from the ''normal'' unusual ones (as you mentioned).
    I wonder how they will get out of this mess they made.
    Last edited by Re-l Mayer; 08-15-2013 at 12:00 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gageftw View Post
    well, I lost about 120 keys trading for an unusual fezzle that I thought was the unboxed one because it was unusual. Really its not fair for us who traded or bought these things thinking they were the unboxed ones. It is really valves fault for not letting people know about this change. In reality its a lose lose situation for everyone but valve should do something to make it better.
    Sorry to hear that gage. Again this is the reason why I believe all of the event couriers will turn unusual, too many people are in this same situation for Valve to do anything else. I strongly believe in the end it is Valve's fault the way they listed the couriers on the same page. Not everybody knows how Unusual couriers are labelled in their descriptions, but what everybody does rely on is the fact that Unusual is in the name. You change normal couriers name to Unusual - then forget to add the effect. How else can you rectify this situation? The only other option here is a refund, but thats highly unlikely.

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