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Opinions on the card value guide

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(These are just my own opinion. I understand the people behind the price guide have a certain level of power and are probably supported by PTCGi or authorities on PTCGO. I know that certain authorities hate me quite a lot but according to the forum rules, I believe everyone has the right to state their opinion on this forum as long as they are not off-topic, do not call out people, and stay nice)




I am really really curious about the opinions about the price guide in this community.




Well, I am going to jump right into the topic. I really think that a card guide is necessary BUT the current one is not very healthy for the online environment.




First of all, I am not a big trader or a player that’s complaining because the price guide has affected my own wealth. As most people already know or have played against me IRL or online, you should know that I am an extremely rich player and I have playsets of ultra and secret rares of basically every card printed to this date. Though sometimes I do set up my own trades, just for fun, snipers should know me pretty well cause I overpay all the time. I really did not want to bring up this topic at first because:


1. I am not affected: I could afford a couple of vintage boxes every day. Why would I care about a few cheap online codes?


2. Everyone has their right to do their own business.


3. I understand why a lot of people hate the guide and why certain people love it. There is no need to justify everything whether its good or bad.


At first, I even thought the guide was good. New players would not be scammed. Heck, I started playing competitively during the release of fates collide and recalling the trades I made I got scammed pretty bad (well, I do not blame the traders, blame yourself for being naïve, they did not force you to click that accept trade button). It would be good to prevent it though. However, I believe its not just me, have most players on this forum found anything sketchy about the price guide?



I am not an expert in economics, although I am involved in a family business I do not engage in areas that involve finance. I may be wrong but I have my own concerns.


I personally do not hold any prejudice against people behind the price guide. I am even a subscriber to their ******* channel. Please, please do not take it personally.




- Many of my friends have completely stopped playing this game because it is actually not ‘free to play’ anymore. I realised that for many people the real game may be quite expensive. This was also a reason that I played mostly IRL the past year as my online friends have leaved. Has the trading guide ruined the opportunity for every player to set up their own trades and play the game? Has there been a major decrease in the online playerbase? I do encourage to play the IRL card game as it is more interactive and the experience is better but shouldn’t we consider those who cannot? I quite understand why the authorities might be in favour of the price guide cause people would have to pay to play. But I feel there is no wrong sometimes just to give some free stuff for people who at least just appreciate and acknowledge your products, there is no need to shake the tree that hard. The pokemon company is earning more than enough already.


- I have found out that the prices of a new card significantly differs from the value at first but then slowly moves towards to the price on the guide. I am very sure this is the case for the past few expansions since forbidden light. I am not saying that you are manipulating the prices but you may have underestimated your influence as a famous twitch streamer and card value founder (your trades have a higher probability of being accepted than normal players, same for other *********).


-Other questions. I do not know about you guys but I am definitely not a saint and would not solely spend limitless hours on some virtual game just for others and do things that are not beneficial for me. Are the people really doing it for charity or there are some benefits (e.g. real money exchange) involved?




Of course, I may be paranoid and those people might be totally great people. I do not think that the price guide is totally a bad thing but needs a few changes:




- Price fluctuation is normal for any collectible. Just look at the cards sold on multiples sites (troll and toad, collectorscache etc.) Is there a dominant price guide that has a fixed price for a card? I definitely oppose against trades that scam new players but I believe that the price on your guide should be a range NOT a precise value (e.g. FA Sabrina’s suggestion: 1.5-3.5). This would be good for both players who are unaware and players who need to set themselves up.


- I understand that packs will decrease in value over time but isn’t it a bit too fast? Aren’t the value of some packs too underestimated? This seems really sceptical to me as well as the corresponding intentions. I can say that those IRL aren’t decreasing so fast neither should the online ones. It would be great to adjust the pack ratio.


Please leave you opinions below.

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The guide itself sates to always use cross-reference from actual trading section. Given that players may trade their zapdos for anything between 4 and 7 packs, or some players may try to get it for as low as 1 pack, it should be fairly obvious that there isn't any fixed value.The guide never tries to accomplish creating one, it tries to give reasonable median for all the madness that is going on in trading section. It all comes down to how much there is one thing and how much people are willing to pay for it. If the quide sets value I don't think it matters because players are still acting of their own will, selling and buying  for higher or lower price than any given value.


Edit:Guide I'm referring to is the one Outc4st is holding.

Edited by Sniperi96
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The two of you may be referencing different guides. The one I go to as default doesn't list prices as ranges, doesn't seem to have Sabrina's Suggestion at all yet, and DOES advise you to check what trades there are rather than blindly trusting it.

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To be quite honest, I had a hard timing following most of your arguments, as the collation between them your initial statement was lacking to say the least.




I should also point out that I don't trade in this game, like at all. I play tournaments, win packs and then buy the cards I want / need ( presumably this is the reason why my collection is still rather small, compared to the “rich” players). That being said, I like the idea that behind the card game there is a hidden second game for people who are really into trading and working with their assets, sort of like the auction house in WoW.




Most of my business was conducted with the trading companies and its safe to say that they used to be the “official” price guide for a lot of players during a certain period of time, at least in my experience.


I was hence quite surprised when I first heard about Outcast's price guide, as I wasn't familiar with it at all (if oyu only hand out on the forum, don't look at Reddit / ******* / Twitch you are likely to miss some stuff :D.




Due to my limited exposure you should take anything I say with a grain of salt, but lets start ever the less.




New player experience




I fail to see any connection between new players skipping the game and the price guide at all. In fact, the guide probably helped more new players to avoid scammers (on both ends of the trade).




Also, what has the guide to do with giving away free stuff for beginners? Looking at the forum I see this every day and not once have I heard someone say “uh, that trainer card is valued 0.25, so you better give me a GUR pack if you want the playset”.




Last, I think you should really loose your suspicion on any connection between TPCI and the guide.


Why, because frankly based on their lack of effort I don't think TPCI cares about TCGO at all.


Given that the homepage of the guide also looks like it was build in the early 2000s I daresay I doubt that a major company would support something like without giving it a graphical overhaul. Last but not least, there is zero reason why any collaboration between them should be kept secret.


Most code cards are being sold on the secondary market anyway and TPCI has removed any form of direct monetisation from the game when they removed gems (unless people really buy those tournament tickets for 1 dollar), so scheming behind the scenes to manipulate the market is just not profitable for them.






So, if anyone honestly quits the game because it is “pay to win”, despite all the free stuff the game hands out and then blames the price guide for it, well frankly I'd say that those people have other issues all together.




Manipulating the market




I'm not sure if manipulating is the right word to use, but I can see where you are coming from.


Despite Outcast always emphasizing that it's not to be viewed as set in stone, it's safe to assume that this is the guide the majority of players use.


I don't care enough a bout trading to have an educated opinion on this matter, so I'll skip this point.




Doing it for charity




It's funny that you fail to see the bigger picture here, despite hinting at it several times throughout the tread: fame.


Some people are just eager to be famous on the internet. Just look at the billions of guides that have been written for virtually any game over the years, usually without any monetary gain for the author. In today's day and age making a name for yourself while also having a stream is a sure way to get more people to follow you.


Even without a following on social media, some people just like it when their user name is associated with something positive and being recognized by their peers.


In fact, I'm “guilty” of this behaviour myself, thus I don't doubt for a second that someone would maintain an extensive guide like that just for that reason alone.




IRL price guides




I'm not sure if you are familiar with cardmaket (***), but I'd always recommend people to check them out for a community driven prize guide. The problem with trollandtoad and those other big retailers is that eventually they need to make money to pay employees, their warehouse, etc.


If you substitute all of those extra costs and just buy and sell to private individuals while simultaneously have an over view of the entire market, you'll get a much more competitive environment, resulting in a market that regulates itself.


The problem is that you can't implement anything like that in the game, because where IRL you only trade a card for a single resource (money), online you have cards (with different pricing), packs (same²) and gameplay items (same³), all entangled to create a mess that is difficult to navigate. For that reason alone I'd always argue in favour of a general price guide.




Final words




I can understand that a guide takes away some of the charm of trading. Back when I was a kid the only constant for trading cards was “you have a card that I want and I have one that you want”. Nobody would check their smartphone and methodically compare prices, it was a simpler time.


The same can be said for PTCGO. If I really want that card, do I honestly care if mine is valued 0.5 more?


However, that childish innocence from back in the day has to place in today's world, where cards are being sold IRL for hundreds of euro ( I play MtG IRL, so I'm looking at prices that are much higher than the common PKM cards).


The same is true for the online game. Yes, it came be a bit annoying if someone really insists of those last 0.5 value, just to make an even trade, but I've seen so many people get scammed in the past that overall I'm grateful that someone took his time to at least give a helping hand to everyone who isn't willing to invest time to make their own research into the market.


Is the guide influencing the market as a whole? Without a doubt.


Does the creator have any evil intentions behind it? I highly doubt it.

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A few points...


--> Actually very handful of people actually refer a guide. Anyone who is into trading in PTCGO, directly search for the card on public trades and do not refer a guide unless the card isn't available on public trades (like HGSS promos, but then again, no guide has them valued either so.. the point still stands.)


Most people who know how public trade work, don't refer to price guides at all. I mean let us just use common sense, how do the players who make a price guide get all their prices ? Public trade of-course, so obviously if there is a way to price them up from there, why use another guide.


--> For anyone who says this is game is 'pay to play', he is simply in-experienced or is underestimating the trading power of this game as well the free rewards from grinding fair share of matches daily.. for I haven't spent a single penny over the time and have successfully enjoyed my share of fun on this game (although when I started grinding matches wasn't an option ) :)


--> No connection between TPCi on trading in PTCGO. Its all calculated by how high the pull rate of a card is and how competitive it is. Those 2 factors are majorly responsible for "prices" of a card in the game.


--> Price guides although have resulted in clashes of players who follow it like bible and those who simply follow public trade. So, people following public trade often try to convince the other player which results in clashes. But this isn't any reason for the playerbase becoming thinner. Its because TPCi has had made some silly updates that can't be ignored making this game boring and dull. Such as disabling the in-game chat in versus mode, removing legacy tournaments, making this game more rewarding by grinding more matches (rather than previously where people played for fun). Although the rewards help new players but it makes the environment less friendly...


Also, ever since there are so many rewards in the game, people have slowed in down in hosting community tournaments that were a big thing 2-3 years ago. So, everything on PTCGO is more dull than fun..


--> Lastly, as Felidae_ suggested, people create such guides for fame.. Those who are involved in these kind of things acquire fame and followers. More the followers more people view their streams and content from which they are able to earn more money. So indirectly, by creating content that increases your followers and view your other content you are actually increasing your income from that content !!


Although, it was hard to understand for me in what direction OP's post was going, I have penned my opinions to my best effort.


Please let me know if I made a disaster somewhere :)

Edited by harshu

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i have a channel on the tube of you that is pretty much all about the cards you may like, called mac daddy plays. 

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