One of the core recommendations for running a successful patreon is a high number of patrons. 100 $1 patrons is more stable than 10 $10 patrons, which is more stable than 1 $100 patron. It’s also easier to accommodate lower tiers as they often have less major rewards.
These changes, especially considering the flat fee portion on every single pledge, flies in the face of the 100x$1 model and prioritizes a few big spenders instead of a big community.
This also isn’t something you would adequately be able to test in a control group because I’d imagine control groups only have a handful of patrons and patreon pages to begin with. You don’t have situations where you have one person pledging to 10+ pages.
At the very least it should be processed for the overall transaction and not per pledge. If someone pledges $1 to 15 people, it should be treated as a $15 transaction for the purposes of fees (total fee would be $0.785). If calculated individually per pledge, the fees instead come out to $5.685.
Even if a portion of my earnings still has to go to fees, that’s still much more agreeable than sticking a person with a $0.35 charge for each pledge. That’s far better for the patron and pledge retention, which in turn is better for me as a creator.