One of the services we provide—the FiveShards Store—serves a way for us to support our contributors by giving them a place to monetize their collections in lieu of being able to directly pay them for their work. In addition, we believe that having a convenient place to purchase cards is a key part of keeping a competitive trading card game healthy. However, lately we feel our service does not meet the high standard we set for ourselves.
First of all, the store platform we have been using since our opening was not designed for TCGs. Rather, it was an off-the-shelf e-commerce solution intended for small stores with a relatively simple inventory. This type of system begins to get quite unwieldy as Hex balloons to having thousands of cards, equipment, and items available. Navigation was clumsy, and many features you’d expect from a typical trading card store weren’t available. On our end, each release represented a very large amount of overhead work in order to prepare the new cards for sale. Also, order fulfilment was plagued with similar problems since the platform was designed for slow, mail-order systems and not digital items where a speedy return is rightfully expected. We’ve always strived for 24-hour delivery windows, but hiccups with the store implementation and management occasionally caused us to miss this deadline which is not something we can accept.
Instead of continuing to provide a clumsy, incomplete service, we’ve decided to create a new store platform from scratch. With a completely custom system (and the aid of great community tools such as DocX’s card api and HexPrice) we’ll be able to provide all the services and features you’d expect from a trading card store. However, this is no easy undertaking. Kroan, who is in charge of the store, has been hard at work on the new platform since before the release of Set 4. Rather than have him spend time loading Set 4 into the old store platform, he’s put all that effort towards building and testing the new store—which is why we still haven’t offered Primal Dawn cards and packs for sale yet. Today we’ve decided to release him from operating the old store altogether in order to let him put his focus 100% towards the new site which should be ready in a matter of weeks.
Existing orders will still be processed, but from this moment the old store is no more. Soon, it shall return with a completely new design, a quicker back-end, better sorting and searching, daily-updated prices, and more. In the future, we will also open sales to the general player base by having a buy-list much like your local game store or online shops for longer-established card games.
To all our existing and future users, we look forward to serving you again very soon.