Economy, Rental Markets and Price Gouging.
I would like to share my opinion on the recent change to season reward rankings.
I have only been participating in the game for about 5 weeks, so I will admit I do not have the longest experience, but I can at least share my concerns and ideas.
I agree with the change in power rating determining your final ranking at the end of the season, assuming you have the rank rating, obviously. This is the logical way to deal with rankings in video games, if you cannot sustain the rank, you shouldn't be in that rank. The issue comes in where there are two separate requirements to maintain, the rank itself and the power of cards required. The majority of people, especially since the recent explosion, have rented cards in order to gain the power to achieve the rank, along with needing the cards themselves in order to get to the higher ranks. This rental mechanic is very beneficial to the game, as it allows people without a massive amount of investment to gain higher ranks with significantly less investment. Obviously, it also provides renters with another source of income. A problem with this system is how the rental contract system currently works, at least from the renters perspective.
So prior to this change one would gain ranks and rent power to get to the end of the season, regardless of whether you are still renting the cards currently or not, you would receive your rewards. So the over inflated prices would only be an issue for those wanting to make a final push at the last few days of the season.
Currently, what is happening is the card owners are renting their cards for the market price, determined by supply and demand on the open market as normal. For the majority of the season this works perfectly, but when the end of the season comes around, the card owners cancel the rental and hike the price up many multiples of where the market has decided the price should be.
This leads to a situation where renters are forced to either pay the overinflated prices or drop significantly in the rankings. This is obvious price gouging by the card owners which then has a massive impact on renters, especially financially as their ranking determines the rewards they get at the end of a season.
Obviously an argument could be made for both sides (renters and rentees) but at the end of the day I feel there should be more security for the people renting their cards from others. It seems incredibly unfair that someone should be able to openly manipulate another person's rewards for their own short term financial gain, especially if a prior contract was made.
I am not going to pretend there is an easy solution to this problem, but at the end of the day, this season has been chaotic to say the least.
There needs to be freedom for a card owner to get their card back, and some security for a renter so they don't get screwed at the end of a season.
A potential solution I can see would be a change to the terms on which rentals are undertaken.
For the first 7 days of a season, rentals would exist as they do now, a 24hr "contract" which can be cancelled by either party, given the notice period.
For the last 7 days, the contract length can be determined by the rentee (up to 7 days), with the renter being unable to cancel the agreement early.
The rentees payment would have to be upfront, providing security from loss of income for the renter, in the event the rentee wanted to cancel the agreement, thus forfeiting their deposit.
This would push the issue back to earlier in the season perhaps, but would force renters to make a decision on whether they would like short term gains at the end of a season to price gouge, or take the regular income which they have been accustomed to. It would provide rentees with security that they would not have their rank be destroyed by renters on the last few days of the season.
Potentially a difficult system to implement, but there really needs to be security for the people who do not have the funds to get to higher ranks without the rental system. The rental system was designed for this reason, but allowing renters to cancel the contract in the last few days and hike up prices seems like it should obviously not be allowed.
I have a few other ideas on the economy related to this, but I don't feel they would be beneficial bringing up here.
Thanks for reading!