New Player Recruitment Ideas

OrventaOrventa Member Posts: 584 Mythical
edited December 2015 in Ideas
Don't know if it's already been considered but, any way to reach beyond ye olde mudconnector? I haven't searched for muds or used that thing since like the late 90's. (Does anyone still anymore?) I just feel advertising to the mud community still keeps it superniche and kind of stagnant, we already have our favorites if they're still around.

I was thinking maybe a fb client page or something, connect your social media accounts for login etc. Play directly through a fb native thingus.

Tumblr god pages? We seem to generate plenty of our own memes anyway.

Do we advertise to the younger text rp set (Gaia, Menewsha etc.)?

Havens webcomic?

Tabletop game with Fate Decks? (Sell these at small conventions or something)

Cutesy ufo-catcher style plush dolls as merch with tidbits of lore tags. (Like if we had a merch page tied to the actual website)


I'm a consent-based roleplayer! Kindly ask first, and I will return the favour. Open to developing tinyplots.
Atlantis is my client of choice! (Guide)
Post edited by Orventa on
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Comments

  • ZeleniZeleni Member Posts: 146 Adept
    I started playing Aetolia because it was advertised on a webcomic.  I know I'm not the only one with that case; advertising like that might be well looked into.

    image
  • AyisdraAyisdra Member Posts: 1,005 Fabled
    Orventa said:
    I was thinking maybe a fb client page or something, connect your social media accounts for login etc.

    Tumblr god pages? We seem to generate plenty of our own memes anyway.

    Do we advertise to the younger text rp set (Gaia, Menewsha etc.)?

    Havens webcomic?

    Tabletop game with Fate Decks? (Sell these at small conventions or something)

    Cutesy ufo-catcher style plush dolls as merch with tidbits of lore tags. (Like if we had a merch page tied to the actual website)


    They used to be a fb app thing that gave credits for people you invited to the game. It seems that this however is gone now (as I assume it probably didn't work as well as Lusternia/IRE wanted)

    I honestly don't think tumblr would be the best platform for adds or what not...

    The young age group (and I would even say into late teens) are probably a group we will never get. More so as graphics get better they will look at Lusternia and go 'wat, no graphics? this game sux.' - just look at the games that have great graphics that they go 'these graphics sux' at.

    Comics - not sure about this

    Fate Deck - I would love a more traditional Trading Card Game(TCG) IG for Lusternia that could translate better to RL. Fate and Ikons are nice and all, but because the games are so short, I don't feel like it could be a worth while thing besides something that looks pretty. A more traditional TCG where a round/game lasts a good bit of time I think might help better.

    Merch - Plush dolls and even tshirts  are nice things, but again, I feel these things keep players, but may not recruit new ones.
  • MarcellaMarcella Member Posts: 1,231 Transcendent
    IRC roleplaying groups, Roll20, other places that do dungeons and dragons type stuff don't care about graphics. That's the kind of communtiy I'm from - the only reason no one else wants to play who I know is because it's too pay2win with all of the credits costing so much and needing them for lessons to get more than, like, one skill transed by l100.
    image
  • XenthosXenthos Shadow Lord Member Posts: 5,995 Transcendent

    No-Brainer Lesson Package

    No credits needed for this!  If all you're telling them is the credit portion, you're kind of doing them a disservice.  It's possible to get into the game for a smaller investment if you want; if you don't enjoy the game, then it's not worth it, of course.  But if you do enjoy the game, that's a good way to give back a little while also helping yourself out. :)

    These no-brainer packages are pretty cool.

    image
  • AyisdraAyisdra Member Posts: 1,005 Fabled
    Marcella said:
    IRC roleplaying groups, Roll20, other places that do dungeons and dragons type stuff don't care about graphics. That's the kind of communtiy I'm from - the only reason no one else wants to play who I know is because it's too pay2win with all of the credits costing so much and needing them for lessons to get more than, like, one skill transed by l100.

    Orventa said 'younger text rp set (Gaia, Menewsha etc.)', To me, this means under 18 years old. I am willing to bet that most of this age range is not part of the D&D crowd. That said, your point is still valid. But we have had people like Rika who never spent money.

    Part of the problem is people want to demi/trans in many skills/whatever is 'high level' rather quickly without spending money. Patience is something people don't have when it very well many take several RL months to get demi/trans skills.
  • MarcellaMarcella Member Posts: 1,231 Transcendent
    Yeah, but that's real money. My friends like being devoted to games and being able to git gud based off skill in a reasonable amount of time without using real money.


    It was a bit easier to sell that when credits were 25k...
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  • OrventaOrventa Member Posts: 584 Mythical
    edited December 2015
    I knew a lot of dnd/tabletop kids back in middle and high school. Don't count them short. And it doesn't have to end at dnd. 'Retro' gaming's coming back. Interstellar had a pretty cool text adventure game to promote the movie last year. I started playing lusternia when it released, I was in high school then.

    I just figure targeting younger folk (yes, under 18s) would be a good thing, we're older as a playerbase, and for games to survive they need new interest. If they don't like it they don't, if they do, they might stick around.

    So yes that could mean, merchandising of some sort or partnering with rp 'dress-up' forums (ala gaia) by offering a pixel artifact or something. (Hey if gillete razors could do it... why not a text game)? Toys, keychains, knicknacks etc, give something tangible for fandom to latch on to, even in a text world. We'd probably have to fundraise or folks donate their arts skills to start, ofc.

    Build/grow Lusternia fandom/base.

    I'm just kind of on a promoting kick today I guess.


    I'm a consent-based roleplayer! Kindly ask first, and I will return the favour. Open to developing tinyplots.
    Atlantis is my client of choice! (Guide)
  • NymeryaNymerya Member Posts: 131 Master
    I don't think merch is a good investment for smaller items, simply because the people that would buy it are the people who already play. T-shirts are about the only thing that might work because it's walking advertising. But then cost factors into that for most people. 

    The thing that got me into IRE was also the advertising on the 8bit theatre stuff, I think it was. I think looking at popular webcomics is a good option. Also maybe more youtube stuff? There are some games bloggers out there who might be into it?
    image
  • DrocillaDrocilla Member, Gods Posts: 442 Divine
    Personally always thought a booth/panel/whatever at a con or other would be a great way to get people interested and spread the word.

    Also don't think describing IRE/Lusternia as needing a heavy credit investment to win/participate is fair. As a player I've spent all of 20 bucks, only because I felt like it, and I was swimming in gold, credits, artifacts and whathave you. It's all about skill, patience, playing to your strengths. It won't come in a month. 
  • DarvellanDarvellan Member Posts: 39 Adept
    Drocilla said:
    It's all about skill, patience, playing to your strengths.
    Says She who enchants people into doing Her will.
  • DrocillaDrocilla Member, Gods Posts: 442 Divine
    Exactly.
  • PhoebusPhoebus tu fui, ego eris. CircumstancesMember Posts: 1,920 Transcendent
    I found Lusternia because of a Facebook ad I only ever saw once, that happened to show up when I was desperate for anything to distract me from having to finish an assignment. So I know from experience that advertising outside of the general pool of people already searching for MUDs to play works, hah. Get that bored college student audience!

    What also really helped hook me in as a long term player was that I could earn credits for free just by drawing stuff every month. So maybe there's some merit to playing to the interests of creative types who'd like to be rewarded for their efforts. :-?
  • ZeleniZeleni Member Posts: 146 Adept
    Drocilla said:
    Personally always thought a booth/panel/whatever at a con or other would be a great way to get people interested and spread the word.
     
    It seems like a great idea, yes, but probably too expensive.  And we'd definitely need t-shirts or something to sell there.

    image
  • SakakiSakaki Member Posts: 390 Expert
    Zeleni said:
    Drocilla said:
    Personally always thought a booth/panel/whatever at a con or other would be a great way to get people interested and spread the word.
     
    It seems like a great idea, yes, but probably too expensive.  And we'd definitely need t-shirts or something to sell there.
    That was my thought as well - there is only one or two 'major' expos here in NZ (One being the "Armageddon" expo, which is held at various times of year in different cities), the booths there are prohibitively expensive though.
    Kiss of the Enchantress hisses eerily, "Let them fear, and despair."
  • RilunaRiluna Member Posts: 1,105 Mythical
    Drocilla said:

    Also don't think describing IRE/Lusternia as needing a heavy credit investment to win/participate is fair. As a player I've spent all of 20 bucks, only because I felt like it, and I was swimming in gold, credits, artifacts and whathave you. It's all about skill, patience, playing to your strengths. It won't come in a month. 

    As true as that may be, there's a huge stigma associated with "free to play" games in many gaming communities. It's not the great advertising pitch some think it is, because F2P is very often just assumed to mean P2W. One look at the really, really high credit prices here (whether you must buy them or not to "win") doesn't do much to dispel that notion, even before a lot of people ever look at the game proper.

    At least that's how it seems to work with most folks I've tried to bring here.

    Mayor Steingrim, the Grand Schema says to you, "Well, as I recall you kinda leave a mark whereever you go."
  • YarouYarou Member Posts: 218 Master
    Ayisdra said:
    The young age group (and I would even say into late teens) are probably a group we will never get. More so as graphics get better they will look at Lusternia and go 'wat, no graphics? this game sux.' - just look at the games that have great graphics that they go 'these graphics sux' at.
    I started playing Achaea at fourteen. Sixteen now and still loving the text game genre. I actually prefer it over .. say, Skyrim and visual RPGs. So I can't agree with that generalization .. but I can't disagree with it, either, because there is quite a bit of truth to it. Today's generation sucks.

  • ChirboChirbo Member Posts: 733 Fabled
    Obviously we need to advertise on porn sites for Magnagora.
    image
  • HavastusHavastus Member Posts: 346 Expert
    Chirbo said:
    image

    Look I even made an ad for Mag
    New Celestians HATE him!

  • QistrelQistrel the hemisemidemifink Member Posts: 1,717 Transcendent
    It should be son of a mutt.

  • AeralAeral Member Posts: 305 Gifted
    Xenthos said:

    No-Brainer Lesson Package

    No credits needed for this!  If all you're telling them is the credit portion, you're kind of doing them a disservice.  It's possible to get into the game for a smaller investment if you want; if you don't enjoy the game, then it's not worth it, of course.  But if you do enjoy the game, that's a good way to give back a little while also helping yourself out. :)

    These no-brainer packages are pretty cool.

    These packages are honestly one of the best things that they've ever put in. Even as a free to play game where you oft feel like you need all these artifacts to be competitive, this is an absolutely awesome thing. If I was a new player, I'd probably drop money on it just for the heck of it to see where it got me. It's peanuts when compared to the fact that I pay $15/month for World of Warcraft and have to buy the expansion.

    I think that advertising to the art community could work - I do have the Lusternian deviantart group but it's not very active - but I'd definitely turn it over to an admin if they wanted it. Looking at buying advertising for small, already existing websites for D&D and other such games might be an idea. 

    And something that would definitely help would be more updates to the Lusternia wiki. I just realized that I still have access, so I'm going to do some work on it. 
    Lady Terentia gave me demigod. <3
    Avatar by the amazing @Feyrll

    Sylvanas.
  • AeralAeral Member Posts: 305 Gifted
    What about a referral system?

    I refer my friend to play, if they reach certain criteria I also get a kickback on it. Doesn't have to be much. 5 bound cr?

    Criteria could be something like x amount of hours played + certain number of levels.
    Lady Terentia gave me demigod. <3
    Avatar by the amazing @Feyrll

    Sylvanas.
  • RilunaRiluna Member Posts: 1,105 Mythical
    Aeral said:
    What about a referral system?

    I refer my friend to play, if they reach certain criteria I also get a kickback on it. Doesn't have to be much. 5 bound cr?

    Criteria could be something like x amount of hours played + certain number of levels.

    We've done this before, almost exactly. What ever happened to that? Can we still even make those banners?

    I found this old thread talking about it, but not much else.

    Mayor Steingrim, the Grand Schema says to you, "Well, as I recall you kinda leave a mark whereever you go."
  • AeralAeral Member Posts: 305 Gifted
    Riluna said:
    Aeral said:
    What about a referral system?

    I refer my friend to play, if they reach certain criteria I also get a kickback on it. Doesn't have to be much. 5 bound cr?

    Criteria could be something like x amount of hours played + certain number of levels.

    We've done this before, almost exactly. What ever happened to that? Can we still even make those banners?

    I found this old thread talking about it, but not much else.
    I remember when they did the Facebook promotion - maybe the old referral was replaced by that? 

    Personally I think that the old way of doing it, log in for 1 hour and you get 1 bound credit, is pretty easy to abuse. That's why I wanted to suggest adding a level requirement.
    Lady Terentia gave me demigod. <3
    Avatar by the amazing @Feyrll

    Sylvanas.
  • SakakiSakaki Member Posts: 390 Expert
    edited January 2016
    According to BANNERCODE, if someone clicks your referral banner and as a result plays lusternia and buys credits, you get rewarded with credits too, but there is no info regarding how many you receive.
    The following banner code is specific for your character. It can be used in forums or any website that allow for it. Copy and paste the code exactly as you see it. It includes tracking code that will reward you for any credits purchased from new players that find the game from your banner.

    @Estarra , any chance of putting up an announcement for those that do not frequent the forums, reminding them of the feature, assuming that the BANNERCODE info is up to date and the credit bonus is still valid?
    Kiss of the Enchantress hisses eerily, "Let them fear, and despair."
  • SadhyraSadhyra Member Posts: 21 Capable
    edited January 2016
    • Sort out bugs, especially the many in the newbie intro
    • Ensure that the webclient works well (it currently doesn't)
    • Make settings easy to create (currently it's some mess with java and perl). I'm talking drag and drop/point and click setting creation. Let a newb click "Create new alias" and select a letter/button for it, then a command, with a nice shiny save button. Trying to make a basic alias to execute a skill should not take an hour
    • Have functional autocuring (currently it's not even autosipping)
    • Cure skill bloat
    • Roll baseline skills into baked-in abilities
    • Have clear and concise help files
    • Make the newbie process engaging and educational, not some zany LSD trip
    • Don't let newbies join empty cities/guilds. Joining a guild to see right off the bat that it's paired with enough guild because it's that small is really uninspiring
    • Don't make newbies try to navigate insane city layouts (cough, Hallifax)
    • Make the Collegium engaging. Hearing NPCs lecture about historic shit nobody cares about isn't engaging. Give them a blaster crystal and have them fry enemies to a crisp to illustrate why crystals are cool, vs giving them an NPC reciting 10 lines of text stating why. Learn by doing! 
    • Really, just roll back to 4 cities. The population can't sustain it and newbs hate the emptiness
    • Maintain a steady skill balance cycle, versus one that swings heavily each iteration (*note, I've not been a liaison for years, so maybe this has improved)
    Sorry if this sounds harsh, but I've played many MUDs and I've gone through every IRE newbie experience many times. Lusternia is crazy complex, more complex than other IRE MUDs, and the newbie intro AND the overall gameplay is by far the most unwelcoming, unhelpful and confusing - not the players (who are lovely), but the game and help files themselves. The complexity needs to be mitigated by paring down skills, giving new players a functional skeleton of a curing system, and presenting a simpler starting environment.

    I'll toot my own horn here - go play a Carnifex (evil knight) in Aetolia and try out the newbie quest there. When I wrote that quest, I aimed to make it as engaging as possible. For example, right off the bat, you're yelled at to report to the Keep. The NPC then sneers at you and demands you salute. She sicks her dog on you, and then tosses you a hammer and tells you to try harder as you learn to use your primary guild skill. You report to another guild NPC, and get tossed a cleaver to kill an innocent to help repair an urgent crack in the soulstone. This entire quest line is focused on teaching skills and immersing the novice in the guild/city culture while also actively using everything you learn. IMO, a good intro needs these elements - it can't just be a rote recitation of information, nor can it be a to-do list of tasks. That is not engaging.

    Skill bloat, especially, is a huge issue in Lusternia, and it's one which deters even IRE vets from playing here. There are tons of skillsets, and the skill allocation is very outdated. Things like magiclist or potionlist, for example, are prime culprits - these skills are just here to obfuscate gameplay and make lesson use worth more. NOBODY goes "Oh yay, I can finally manage my inventory!" versus getting other skills where you can mindblast people apart or sexchange into a sexy elf. These things need to not only be baseline, but baked in as default functions with nice tidy help files or consolidated abilities (check out Aetolia's LISTS skill) - currently, it's very overwhelming for a new player to see tons of skillsets and skills they need, all of which take lessons and either time/money to earn. This is ON TOP of the MANY MANY mechanics this game has.

    Don't get me wrong - I think there is a ton of passion and excitement in this game, but things really, really need a cleanup. As someone recently returning, this game feels almost STRESSFUL to play. Yall can recruit all you want, but I think a big big big part of the issue is with retention, not recruitment.

    Edit: More on topic, check out https://www.reddit.com/r/mud
  • NienlaNienla Member Posts: 272 Expert
    Sadhyra said:
    • Sort out bugs, especially the many in the newbie intro
    • Ensure that the webclient works well (it currently doesn't)
    • Make settings easy to create (currently it's some mess with java and perl). I'm talking drag and drop/point and click setting creation. Let a newb click "Create new alias" and select a letter/button for it, then a command, with a nice shiny save button. Trying to make a basic alias to execute a skill should not take an hour
    • Have functional autocuring (currently it's not even autosipping)
    • Cure skill bloat
    • Roll baseline skills into baked-in abilities
    • Have clear and concise help files
    • Make the newbie process engaging and educational, not some zany LSD trip
    • Don't let newbies join empty cities (cough, Hallifax)
    • Don't make newbies try to navigate insane city layouts (cough, Hallifax)
    • Make the Collegium engaging. Hearing NPCs lecture about historic shit nobody cares about isn't engaging. Give them a blaster crystal and have them fry enemies to a crisp to illustrate why crystals are cool, vs giving them an NPC reciting 10 lines of text stating why. Learn by doing! 
    • Really, just roll back to 4 cities. The population can't sustain it and newbs hate the emptiness
    • Maintain a steady skill balance cycle, versus one that swings heavily each iteration (*note, I've not been a liaison for years, so maybe this has improved)
    Sorry if this sounds harsh, but I've played many MUDs and I've gone through every IRE newbie experience many times. Lusternia is crazy complex, more complex than other IRE MUDs, and the newbie intro AND the overall gameplay is by far the most unwelcoming, unhelpful and confusing - not the players (who are lovely), but the game and help files themselves. The complexity needs to be mitigated by paring down skills, giving new players a functional skeleton of a curing system, and presenting a simpler starting environment.

    I'll toot my own horn here - go play a Carnifex (evil knight) in Aetolia and try out the newbie quest there. When I wrote that quest, I aimed to make it as engaging as possible. For example, right off the bat, you're yelled at to report to the Keep. The NPC then sneers at you and demands you salute. She sicks her dog on you, and then tosses you a hammer and tells you to try harder as you learn to use your primary guild skill. You report to another guild NPC, and get tossed a cleaver to kill an innocent to help repair an urgent crack in the soulstone. This entire quest line is focused on teaching skills and immersing the novice in the guild/city culture while also actively using everything you learn. IMO, a good intro needs these elements - it can't just be a rote recitation of information, nor can it be a to-do list of tasks. That is not engaging.

    Skill bloat, especially, is a huge issue in Lusternia, and it's one which deters even IRE vets from playing here. There are tons of skillsets, and the skill allocation is very outdated. Things like magiclist or potionlist, for example, are prime culprits - these skills are just here to obfuscate gameplay and make lesson use worth more. NOBODY goes "Oh yay, I can finally manage my inventory!" versus getting other skills where you can mindblast people apart or sexchange into a sexy elf. These things need to not only be baseline, but baked in as default functions with nice tidy help files or consolidated abilities (check out Aetolia's LISTS skill) - currently, it's very overwhelming for a new player to see tons of skillsets and skills they need, all of which take lessons and either time/money to earn. This is ON TOP of the MANY MANY mechanics this game has.

    Don't get me wrong - I think there is a ton of passion and excitement in this game, but things really, really need a cleanup. As someone recently returning, this game feels almost STRESSFUL to play. Yall can recruit all you want, but I think a big big big part of the issue is with retention, not recruitment.

    Edit: More on topic, check out https://www.reddit.com/r/mud

    Hey Sadhyra, Seir here from Aetolia. I agree and disagree with some of this.

    Skill bloat isn't necessarily the problem, it's the fact that Lusternia's skills are all FULL skills and some of them (like Arts) probably shouldn't be and should just be miniskills. Every other IRE game has miniskills that lessen the amount of time it takes to make yourself combat capable. Arts isn't one of those skills, but Resilience and Combat is. I'd actually recommend merging Resilience with Combat like we did with Magic and Lowmagic/Highmagic.

    Lesson investment is what deters some players, but a vast majority of PK'ers I've spoken to in the past from other IRE games have said one of the biggest deterrents isn't the skills, but the complexity. It's easy for someone who participated heavily in PvP in Achaea and go to Aetolia and do well. Same with Imperian and going to Achaea, etc. I mean, I came back to Lusternia recently. Purgatives, curios, power, shrines are different, ego, etc. All of these separate Lusternia from the rest of IRE and I'd argue in some pretty good ways. However, they're taking steps to reduce this complexity with the combat overhaul.

    I do agree that it would possibly be beneficial to incorporate the ability to read the AB's of other classes at some point too. You can do that in other games, even if you're not that class, by just doing AB CELESTIALISM DIVINE as an example or AB HEXES DOUBLEWHAMMY. This can assist people in knowing not only what other skills do, but skills that they're going to obtain. The full AB list should be given when, let's say a Celestine, does AB CELESTIALISM with any skills they don't possess grayed out.

    I would pursue recruitment again on Facebook. Maybe even Newgrounds and other websites like IRE did for a bit in the past. Yes, not every player will be ideal, but we did have a lot of people that stuck around as a result of those campaigns.

    I also wouldn't prevent players from joining "empty" orgs. That just creates a self-fulfilling prophesy. You can't get population in orgs if you're not helping them actually GET population. The "too many orgs" bit is getting fixed by the guild overhaul down the road. Lusternia CAN handle six orgs, but the playerbase will be fairly fractured as a result. Lowering the guilds, however, will be helpful. There's generally someone around in cities/communes. Guilds are generally empty though.




  • CyndarinCyndarin used Flamethrower! It was super effective. Member Posts: 4,508 Transcendent
    Some clarifications: 

    1) We have autocuring (not ideal but it's more than enough for newbies) and autosipping. It's locked behind a skill, sure, but it's obtainable with a few lessons. It's been mentioned that we are headed towards serverside curing, but that it's a ways away due to coding/resource limitations.

    2) They aren't going to wind back the clock and unrelease orgs. There are ongoing talks and plans to rework guilds so they are fewer and more concentrated to address this.

    3) Banning newbies from smaller orgs will only compound existing problems for that organization. Eventually it will literally kill that organization to never have new players.

    4) We've always had a fairly steady skill balance cycle. Envoys are allowed 1 report a month, every month. 

    5) Lusternia is not Aetolia. Or Achaea. or Imperian. We can all borrow ideas from one another but they all attract different types of players. There's a reason most Lusternian players cringe at the idea of vampire vs werewolf RP. One of Lusternia's strengths, it's selling point against the other IREs that is generally recognized across all IRE games is it's history, story telling, and lore. Things like the novice intro play to that because that's the kind of players that stick around in Lusternia. If they want to just zap and murder shit, they're going to go with Achaea 98% of the time. 

    Skill bloat issue is valid though. We have a lot. It's being addressed slowly, this stuff takes time.
    image
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