Development Blog: Improving Pandora

We’ve been saying for a long time now that the Pandora ranking system and overall structure has been somewhat temporary as we work out the best model that fits this limited format. We are finally ready to reveal the next steps forward for Pandora, and the changes you can expect coming in version 0.9.

##Improving Pandora
When we announced Pandora a few months ago, we knew that it would be a center piece of Faeria’s experience and, as part as our testing, we introduced Phantom coins which allowed you “one free run a day”.

While initially intended to be a temporary system that pushed as many players into Pandora as possible, we’ve decided to keep them around, albeit with some changes. We’ve wanted Faeria to be a game where players can enjoy a free draft every single day, and we will preserve that. Phantom runs have given us the ability to gather a lot of data and feedback from our community as well as being warmly welcomed and popular. Thank you for this!

However, when looking at the broader picture, Pandora runs in their current state generally lack the appeal a draft should have. A draft should be thrilling and exciting due to the entry cost you put at risk and the rewards resulting from your performance. At the same time, it should be a fair way to grind and expand your collection.

After many considerations and internal testing, we are now ready to unveil what will be the next iteration of Pandora that will make its way in v0.9 on October 12th.

Pandora Runs

The goal of Pandora Runs is to allow our players to play on an even battlefield and expand their collection size, while trying to reap extraordinary rewards. A Pandora Run is now as following:

  • 200G / $1.49
  • The length of a Pandora Run is now 9 Wins / 3 Losses;
  • The ranking system has been removed from Pandora entirely. You will now accumulate Pandora Points instead (PP) that are awarded according to the amount of total wins in each of your runs. These do not affect matchmaking.
  • The rewards of a Pandora Run are now:
    • 0 Win: 1 PP + 1 Battle Chest + 80 Gold
    • 1 Win: 2 PP + 1 Battle Chest + 90 Gold
    • 2 Wins: 4 PP + 1 Battle Chest + 100 Gold
    • 3 Wins: 7 PP + 2 Battle Chests + 40 Gold
    • 4 Wins: 11 PP + 2 Battle Chests + 70 Gold
    • 5 Wins: 16 PP + 2 Battle Chests + 100 Gold
    • 6 Wins: 22 PP + 2 Battle Chests + 150 Gold
    • 7 Wins: 29 PP + 2 Battle Chests + 200 Gold
    • 8 Wins: 37 PP + 2 Battle Chests + 270 Gold
    • 9 Wins: 46 PP + 3 Battle Chests + 300 Gold
  • Each season (one month), you’ll receive seasonal rewards based on your Pandora points. Those will be disclosed once v0.9 hits the shelves
  • You’ll be able to track your Seasonal Ranking on

Phantom Runs

The goal of the Phantom Runs is to let our players experience Faeria’s Pandora mode each day, for free, with the main reward being a piece of a Pandora Run. A Phantom Run is now as following:

  • One free Phantom Run per day through a Phantom Coin;
  • Phantom Coins do not stack and cannot be purchased (in either Gold or real money);
  • The length of a Phantom Run is now 3 Wins / 2 Losses;
  • The rewards of a Phantom Run are now:
    • 0 Wins: /
    • 1 Win: 10G
    • 2 Wins: 20G
    • 3 Wins: 1/3 of a Pandora Coin

Based on the feedback that we received from you, we are also updating the matchmaking algorithm for Pandora to create a MMR-like score per run, based on your number of Wins and Losses.

We are very excited by v0.9 and we hope that you are too! Also make sure that you read more about it here!

  • The Faeria Team
1 Like

The fact that rewards aren’t strictly increasing as number of wins increases will lead to players having weird incentives. For example, if I don’t care about packs and I have 2 wins and two losses in a Pandora run, I am best off simply dropping or intentionally losing the next match. This feels strange to me. Similarly, if I don’t value Pandora runs, then I have no incentive to even try to get more than 2 wins in a phantom run. I think it would be best if the prizing was reworked to be strictly increasing.

1 Like

i think the rewards make no sense. the entry price is 200g. every price tier gives at least 40g. why not make the entry price 160g then. it’s like …ohh we must hold some of ur gold ransom.

phantom runs were not a good time investment but now they are strictly worse than constructed. pandora matches tend to be longer, are more uncertain (random) and the drafting also takes time.

Overall, I like the reduction of length of Pandora, might even drag me back there :slight_smile:
Still, I don’t like much the reward of Phantom. If I play Phantom, it’s because I don’t have time to play normal Pandora, and that should be true for many people (normal Pandora’ll still be pretty long). So I don’t really want to get 1/3 of a Pandora Coin out of it, so I’ll want to drop after 2 Wins (or I’m not playing for rewards at all, only for fun of playing a random deck, but that’s a bit sad then, there’ll always be the feeling that something is missing). So, why not a gold value for 3rd win (maybe the equivalent of 1/3 of Pandora Coin for instance, or maybe less to keep in line with the other rewards).

Other than that, PP isn’t supposed to rewards wins in Pandora ? so why do you give 1PP for 0-win runs ? Additionnally, assuming Battle chests will still value 100g, then a 0-win run (which costs 200g) will net you the equivalent of 180g + 1PP. In other words, you can “buy” 1PP for 20g. Without ever playing Pandora at all. If the reward is good enough, it might be worth it (that, we don’t know yet, but it’s a possibility you have to consider).
On the same note, Phantom is Pandora, isn’t it ? Someone who plays only Phantom because of time restrictions will play the exact same rules as other Pandora players, so wins in Phantom runs should award PP as well.

Overall, glad to see the changes, I’m eager to see what you guys have in store for us :smiley:

The new phantom rewards are pretty bad. Phantom runs already gave gold slower than constructed and the new rewards make it even slower. You don’t even get an immediate reward for 3 wins. Having to get 3 wins three times for a reward seems grindy. I doubt I’ll play phantom runs anymore, unless I really want to play pandora for fun and have no coins. The rewards aren’t tempting at all.

The new full run rewards are much better. The rewards were too low early, but now they’ll actually be better than just playing constructed. Collecting points for an end of the month reward sounds more fun than the ranking system.

I didn’t have a problem with the current matchmaking system, but the new one sounds fine too. It should take into account how good your draft choices were than the current system, so that’s good.

I hope it won’t cause players of vastly different skill levels to be matched up against each other, though. How well you play your cards matters a lot in pandora too. It would be a bad experience for new players if they were matched against veteran pandora players early on.

The shorter run lengths are an improvement. Finishing full runs took too long before, since pandora matches are fairly long. The new ones should end while playing your current deck is still interesting.

These statements just aren’t true.

  1. The Reward
    In constructed (“battle”) you gain 10 gold/win, 20g for the first win of the day.
    Old phantom pandora was: 0/1/2/3/4/5/6 wins rewarded 0g/15g/30g/50g/70g/100g/coin + 100g. So, with an exception for the first win of the day, you gained more gold in phantom pandora than you would’ve in normal pandora. That is, always assuming that you only use your free coin/day and not the 50g phantom coin from the shop (which never made any sense anyways!).

So the new phantom pandora is exactly in line with constructed for the first 2 wins, except that you won’t get your first win of the day reward. (Change that, please!)

My impression was that phantom coin pandora is made for those who just prefer pandora over constructed. And since anybody might be short on gold from time to time, phantom runs were introduced, so you could play your beloved pandora anyways, at least 2-4 games/day. Just without the rewards normal pandora would give. Then again, this just makes sense, since you didn’t pay any entrance fee.

  1. The amount of time
    In my experience, Pandora matches usually take as long as constructed or even last a bit shorter, due to the “sudden death treasure” stuff. Only exception is that you face less rush decks in pandora. So if you only take your rush games (as rush or against it) into account, then yes, pandora games take longer.
    If you play rush only, though, you can’t consider your usual (rush-)game length as the overall average game length.

Agreed. I think the easiest way is a mix of the new “run-MMR” and a players account level. Sure, players skill differ even at the same level, but they basically have the same amount of games under their belt, so they have enough experience about the important stuff.
One might think of a more complex matchmaking that also takes your current draft (by rarities?) into account, as well as your total number of (pandora?) wins.

In any case, to be matched against anybody with the same # of wins in his current run doesn’t sound very fair, at least for the first 2-3 wins. Run-MMR is a good and logical factor; I just hope it won’t be the only one.

that’s what i said? and from my experience pandora matches do take longer than constructed. and the drafting time. but hey. statement ain’t true! lol?
you don’t even comment on the pointless 40g ransom holding.

also our existing pandora coins lost in value (50g each!)

@cycle Woah, no need to be offended. :cold_sweat:

We don’t have official values about average game length in pandora/constructed, right? But again, my experience is very different regarding game length (aside from playing rush only), so from that perspective, “phantom run is (much) less rewarding than constructed” is not true. It’s just about the same, no more, no less, which is fine - considering the purpose of (free!) phantom pandora.

The only thing I commented about was your (and Reath’) statement about phantom runs.
But if you wish:

Assuming the only way to gain pandora coins is to buy them from the shop, the 40g ransom holding is correct. However, there’s two things you miss in that regard:

  • You can earn quite a lot of pandora coins due to the single player content, level ups and monthly ladder rewards. So in regard of those free coins, you’d lose 40g if you reduce pricing and rewards by that amount.
  • Consider that you can also pay cash for pandora coins. So if you lower the rewards by 40g, in order to stay fair, you need to lower the cash price as well. Maybe not the best thing to do for the devs (and Faeria), because they also need to earn some money.

Otherwise, I’d say the 40g ransom is somewhat a matter of taste. Some people might be excited by seeing a bigger number of gold afterwards, even though they spent that amount in the first place to gain access to their run. Sure, this “gain” is illusional, but 40g ransom doesn’t seem like a problem to me. I mean, the amount of gold you can not spend doesn’t even grow, as you get it back each time your run is finished. That is, if you don’t buy more than one coin at a time. But then again, why would you? There’s no discount.

Regarding the 50g value loss: I don’t know about you, but I got most of my coins for free from single player/season rewards/leveling up. So I can’t really complain about a loss of value of something that was given to me for free in the first place. If I’d spend huge amounts (money or gold) for a big stock of pandora coins, then yes, I probably would feel cheated now. So in the context of extreme cases like that, asking for some kind of refund (50g/ not used coin by the 12th of october) seems justified to me.
I just don’t see why anybody would buy a big stock of coins without any discount. Just buy one at each time you want to play pandora right now.

Edit: Claiming “pandora coins are now worth 50g less” is actually only correct, if you assume that the rewards are worth 50g less as well. I only noted my last 10 pandora runs, but from what I see as a reward there translated in gold (gold + packs (=100g), coins (=250g), memoria and mythic cards (hard to calculate, but I assume the average disenchant value of a pack = 100g should be as accurate as it gets)), the rewards you’ll gain from October 12th onwards would be almost equal or even better. Mind you, that’s without any reward from the seasonal PP-stuff.

Considering that, it seems weird to say “coins will cost 50g less in the future, hence I feel cheated now, even though rewards stay the same/become even better”. That’s kinda like telling the devs “don’t give us permanent discounts in the future, because it makes our investment in the past feel stupid”. :confused:
Also don’t forget that we were able to make use of our investment in the past (by playing pandora for the last five months; playing constructed with our collection we got from past packs etc).

The normal run rewards look very good and I like the shortening down to 9.

However! Pahantom runs look really bad. The rewards aren’t appealing at all.

Also, one problem no one is talking about: time invested - a draft is a long process, if I get 3 wins in a row, 2 losses, 1 win 2 losses, etc… I invest a lot of time in the draft and then it ends pretty quickly. Even now I’m sometimes frusterated with phantom’s length.

My suggestion - increase Phantom to 5 wins or 2 losses, make the reward for 5 wins a real pandora coin. This is consistent with your idea for fair grind.

…no one is talking about? did u even read my post and how i got shot down for that?

A fair point. To clarify - I did read it, but took it as a judgement on the value of time per game, rather than the frustration of doing a draft that only lasts 2 or 3 games. On re-reading, I see you meant both, but the talk about the value of coins etc stirred me in the other direction.

How long does it take to do the draft? I never stopped time, but I’d say about 5 minutes, at least as soon as you know all (most of) the (presented) cards. Maybe 10 or 15 minutes in case of normal pandora runs, since there’s more cost/reward at stake? (Anyways, the discussion was about phantom runs)

And it’s not like building (and revising) a constructed deck with equal care wouldn’t consume any time. Though there’s always the option of net-decking, of course. :wink:

“Claiming “pandora coins are now worth 50g less” is actually only correct, if you assume that the rewards are worth 50g less as well. I only noted my last 10 pandora runs, but from what I see as a reward there translated in gold (gold + packs (=100g), coins (=250g), memoria and mythic cards (hard to calculate, but I assume the average disenchant value of a pack = 100g should be as accurate as it gets)), the rewards you’ll gain from October 12th onwards would be almost equal or even better. Mind you, that’s without any reward from the seasonal PP-stuff.”

The gold cost of a pack may be 100g, but its disenchant value is only around 25 dust. In my experience, Pandora runs used to give about 10±2 packs worth of value for a 12 win run. For example, in cappuccinos latest stream, he completed a 10 win run and got 196 gold, 1 memoria, 1 pack, and a mythic epic. Converting everything into its pack value using a conversion rate of 100 gold = 1 pack and 25 dust = 1 pack, and we see that we get around 7 packs worth of value. A full pack more value than a 9 win run under the new rewards scheme. The expected value of rewards is likely to be similar, but it’s hard to say without more data. Too much rng in the current prizing system to be sure.