Player Retention and Growth

24

Comments

  • VatulVatul Member Posts: 209 Gifted
    Everiine said:


    A lot of this thread has been "well the admin need to do this", but Saz brought up a really good point: player RP and interactions. No matter what the admin do, this game will only be as fun for us as we make it. At least in the orgs I've dabbled in, players will come with lots of pretty great ideas for events and interactions, will put in all the work to make it happen, and they get no reaction. Nobody comes. Nobody participates. And it's crushing. "We need more to do!" we say, and when players actually try to make it happen, we turn around and say, "Nah." That's on us. I've seen so many things, recently even, that we players refused to engage with. That stuff matters, and it comes back to bite us.
    My whole post was this, and how we can combat this. I'm just wondering how we move forward.
    The cool night-time breeze shivers in the arid caress of the streets of the capital city, brushing the earthen taste of dust across your lips.
    *
    A blessed silence falls upon the city for the moment, most activity confined to the towers and the
    theatre due to the snowy weather.
    *
    Pinprick points of light twinkle in the deep black overhead, their brightness full of a cold,
    hungering malice.
    *
    Resplendent shimmers reflect brightly off the ground, reflecting serpentine spirals of viridian gold
    in every direction.
  • SaranSaran Member Posts: 2,158 Transcendent
    edited September 2018
    Enya said:
    Eh, I don't think that's been true for a long time now, as far as "customer service" type concerns go and not "i'm not satisfied with this game system" type stuff.
    They’re not really different, players will always have things about the game that they’re not satisfied with, what makes a difference in players leaving is how the admin respond to and resolve those frustrations/complaints.

    Look over the stuff people are talking about here, how much is stuff that has been complained about for years without resolution vs stuff that's actually new?
    Running out of stuff to do once getting your demipowers, the family honour system (those complaints have been since basically it's release), the state of PVP, promo stuff, it's all been around for years now. 

    There's threads filled with stuff that players don't enjoy, stuff that they want to see changed. Maybe things have changed, but I was prompted to mention this because I saw comments from others indicating it hadn't and no real mention of that in itself being an issue. Even if it's just the perception not reality, it's still an issue.
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  • LuceLuce Fox Populi Member Posts: 2,520 Transcendent
    edited September 2018
    For my 2 cents:
    It may be my timezone, or just a general drift that is happening across the org/game, but a lot of the game has felt like work/chores. It's things that NEED to happen, but a lot of the time lately it's felt like shouting into the void. A lot of work that benefits only those who don't realize they're benefitting, or those who are doing the work. Like Nelras said, me logging in to see other Hallifaxians on is the exception for me not the rule, my last couple of player interactions were me getting yelled at or interrogated, and the last time I interacted with any Divine was via PRAY because we are just never online at the same time. That's not their fault, I get off of work at about 6 AM PST and am asleep by 9, then it's straight into work when I wake up, nobody outside of Australia/Asia seems to be awake at that time, and for an English-language niche game I'm surprised there's more than just me and Bobbins/Skein/Spindle on QW.
    In either case, I don't feel like playing because everything I need to do just isn't fun without people to bounce off of and my character arc is more or less dead in the water without people willing to deal with the family system who aren't already deeply entrenched in one of the active families. (Honestly I'm half-expecting I'll get contested, but I don't know who even would since most of the really active citizens are either already GL/Ministry, or don't want it.)
    Post edited by Luce on
  • DeichtineDeichtine Member Posts: 2,016 Transcendent

    Lack of stuff to do really is the crux of it. Once people have demigod and have purchased the powers they need the main things to do for the majority of the population is PVP and RP. (Bashing as well, some people do enjoy just bashing)

    RP wise active divine are the totem pole around the games RP. Once the divine stop showing up or poping their heads into an org, players leave that org to go to other places. May be moving city, to an alt or moving to a different game.

    PVP wise lack of pvp content from raids or any event has the same results as mentioned above. People simply move to more active places where pvp is happening. We saw a big migration of people who moved to Achaea for the lack of pvp and we're seeing a new drain of people moving to Aetolia and Imperian for the same reason right now.

    More events of any sort would help keep people active.

  • KistanKistan Member Posts: 357 Expert
    Deichtine said:

    RP wise active divine are the totem pole around the games RP. Once the divine stop showing up or poping their heads into an org, players leave that org to go to other places. May be moving city, to an alt or moving to a different game.


    One of the things I like about Gaudiguch is the lack of active divines. We get to make our own messes!
  • LuceLuce Fox Populi Member Posts: 2,520 Transcendent
    Likewise Hallifax listens to and respects our divine, but it's only one avenue of RP over here. There's also SCIENCE!, COLLECTIVISM!, and ART!, plus the family things going on (though frankly I think Shevat has more or less 'won' in Hallifax for a given definition of 'win' that I honestly don't like.) and the various ways Hallifax interacts with the other orgs.
  • LuceLuce Fox Populi Member Posts: 2,520 Transcendent
    edited September 2018
    I should state for the record, this is very much a 'me' sort of thing as much as a tragedy of the commons. Nobody is on, so it's not very fun for me to be logged in. I'm not having fun, so I either explicitly log out or I just don't log in again if one of my keepalive pulses failed. Because I'm not logged in, people who might otherwise be fun to hang with don't see me and have to find or make their own fun. If they can't find fun in solitary activities while waiting for folks to show up/log in/wake up, they get bored and log out too. And so on and so forth. If everyone involved in the cycle made the conscious effort to reach out and/or stay on a little longer (or a lot in some cases), the problem would probably go away or at least ease up a bit.
    I've been in the underdog (heh) org more than once, it's more than possible to have a lot of fun in RP avenues even when your org couldn't PvP its way out of a paper bag if it was given a box of matches. Heck, even if it's the same core of folks logging in most of the time it at least gives you some stability and enough people that maybe you can get some kind of character growth going. Who knows maybe one of you is a little PK hellion waiting to bloom. A micro-Munsia, nascent Narsrim, or incoming Ixion who just needed a reason to care. But it's a lot of work and it just isn't fun until it starts bearing fruit. Meanwhile that Guild Wars button is right next to Mudlet. Or League, or Overwatch, or Monster Hunter, or Netflix, or Steam with its parade of cheap, fun indie games where you don't need 7 years of investment to get the in-jokes and references and where if your core friends are sick for a couple of days you don't need to worry about not having anyone to have fun with.
    Lusternia is a work of art and a labour of love. It's a wonderful meshing of ideas and clashed egos. I love the game and its lore and its playerbase, and I have for years. But at some point in there it started feeling different, and while I can't point to any one thing and say 'This thing here is what needs to change for the game to hold my interest.' it feels very different than it did in aught six or aught seven when I first signed up.
  • TenakaTenaka Member Posts: 57 Capable
    I didn't vote cause there was no single answer there that fit my reasons for cutting back. It is a combination of all those and then some more on top of it that has caused me to redefine my Me + Lusternia Relationship.
  • MaligornMaligorn Windborne Member Posts: 2,930 Transcendent
    edited September 2018
    The vast majority of Hallifax has either quit or moved away. The reason for this has been hashed over several times; it's probably not worth bringing up here because it'll probably be ignored or dismissed. Just know that it's not any player's fault, and that you're not obligated to be "the one" that is always online and trying to be an anchor.

    edit: Isune and Czixi, you both are still super awesome, I'm sorry that the city is so quiet because you both are admin that deserve a robust playerbase.

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  • SaranSaran Member Posts: 2,158 Transcendent
    Luce said:
    If everyone involved in the cycle made the conscious effort to reach out and/or stay on a little longer (or a lot in some cases), the problem would probably go away or at least ease up a bit. 
    Oh this is one I tried for a good little while. I'd have movies or something going in one window while keeping Lusternia open just so I could help out and be someone online if people needed help.

    It was among the most frustrating times of my playerhood(?) because I was pressuring myself to do something I really just wasn't interested in. I even got docked rolepoints cause I wasn't paying enough attention one time (because I was just not engaged with the game at all).

    Then it lead to burn out as it really didn't really work because low pop, and by extension less interaction, is more a symptom than a cause.


    If nothing else, forcing yourself to play when you're not interested inflates the numbers of active players.
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  • MinkahmetMinkahmet Member Posts: 72 Apprentice
    Nelras said:
    For me, it is less about "moar stuff," and more about there being people to do stuff with. As someone with a less favourable timezone, I often wake up and find myself to be the only person online in my org and one of only a few online at all. It also, in my own experience at least, feels as if the remaining people have been condensing themselves into fewer orgs, leaving those unable/unwilling to do so feeling as if they have even less company. That is not a rant about people who have moved, only an observation. Where previously there was Gaudi/Glom/Celest vs Halli/Seren/Mag, it feels like pvp is Glom vs Mag now for the most part. I would certainly be interested in knowing if anyone from Gaudiguch or Celest feels the same way or if I am just letting IC biases affect my experience of the game.

    As for raiding, I do know a number of people who were getting worn down by the seemingly constant raiding at one point. I say seemingly because people can only judge by when they play. What might feel to one person like, for an example, an hour when they can reliably know that people on the other side are online can feel constant if that is the majority of your time online or it is the only time you can interact with certain people. Add to that a perception of balance issues (Not even going to open that can of worms here, what matters is the perception of it), and you get people quitting. Once a sufficient number of pvpers on one side quit, raiding becomes less enjoyable for both sides due to the imbalance.

    I would also argue that daily quests do not help. Whereas before I might log in, see no one around and hunt astral for a bit, which led to interaction with the game and with other players as well on more than one occasion, now it is a case of doing the daily quest and then logging off or hiding in a manse if no one is online. The issue here is that one of those options carries with it a chance of interaction while the other doesn't.

    So really, I think that a number of the options apply. I do think that the answer lies somewhere in the game itself however, rather than in small shiny things being waved in front of us constantly for a month and then forgotten about - be they wonderitems, daily quests or collectables. I am not sure of the effectiveness of those from a business standpoint - presumably they are or they wouldn't keep happening, but I do not believe that they alone would lead to increased player retention or players coming back. There may well be figures showing that I am wrong there though.

    I think Nelras hit it on the nail there, as I'm in full agreement with pk scene is Glom vs Mag, as they're the powerhouses of the pk scene. I think strongly though in the pk scene there, reports(if they'll ever be open again) ought to start putting more TLC and reworking class skills that are fairly outdated and can't keep up with the new rage of dust-based attacks that is easily overwhelming in mere seconds. This pertains to my thinking of Celestian skills-except Tahtetso and Paladin, as they got some benefit from the monk and warrior changes last year and this year, even Hallifax and Serenwilde would need some TLC, and likely will get some players to return or new ones to bring vitality back in the game as a whole.  

    As far as shinies, the dailies are unappealing to me as in that of not -ever- doing them, because knowingly it will cause me to become drowsy within 3 minutes and likely log off and..likely get back to playing Imperian or ESO.  So I've not much to comment about in regards to this. Also, it is rather clear and evident that monthly promos will not cut it, so to that end, there's a balancing act within itself that pose a problem and will likely be a much longer time to come(if any progress) if there's positive changes to come. So, in my point of view, it all begins with divine interactions with the pbase-more often than not that it should and to focus this time on class/org skills to be caught up alongside the reworking of the necromantic mechanics, in so that the pk-world can remain -competitive- with each other.
  • EsoneyunaEsoneyuna Member Posts: 135 Adept
    While part of my lack of playtime is real world stuff, I have to admit the low population of Gaudiguch is getting to me. Quite often I am the only one logged in, or someone else is logged in but far away. Things I look forward (both people and events) are at impossible hours. My order went pretty much dormant the moment I joined so no real interaction there.

    My only solution to that is to combine orgs using the kephera/illithoid axis. You can keep the established RP of each place (make old cities guilds) but still mechanically combine places to make the game seem at least somewhat populated.

    Well not that this will happen, so I'll just alt till that dries up too.
  • SaranSaran Member Posts: 2,158 Transcendent
    Esoneyuna said:
    My only solution to that is to combine orgs using the kephera/illithoid axis. You can keep the established RP of each place (make old cities guilds) but still mechanically combine places to make the game seem at least somewhat populated.

    Well not that this will happen, so I'll just alt till that dries up too.
    I'd take it down to three personally, two cities and a forest.

    Provides a small spectrum for something like... Harmony/Light/Divinus/Dynara on one end, Chaos/Dark/Excorable/Magnora on the other, and Balance/Nature/Faethorn in the middle.

    Set up just right it should mean none of the orgs would get along for extended periods.
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  • TridemonTridemon Member Posts: 673 Fabled
    Mage overhaul would be nice. I mean, I'm not likely to become a PK powerhouse in any situation, but still.
    I'm Lucidian. If I don't get pedantic every so often, I might explode.
  • SaranSaran Member Posts: 2,158 Transcendent
    Tridemon said:
    Mage overhaul would be nice. I mean, I'm not likely to become a PK powerhouse in any situation, but still.
    Is there any info on how this is going? It's been months since I last heard anything.
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  • ElrynGreythaneElrynGreythane Member Posts: 51 Apprentice
    Not that my opinion counts for that much because I've only just started playing again, but I'm going to give it anyway!

    I really disagree with the idea of more merging of cities, guilds, etc. I suspect that is likely to water down one of Lusternia's clear strengths - the phenomenal RP dynamic - and may end up turning off as many people as it gains.

    Personally, my suggestions would be the following:

     - The game seems waaaaaay more dead than it actually is (and needs to be). For the love of all things holy, fix the ability of players to see who else is online so we can actually start interactions. Encourage more use of tellsoff/channels of/whatever to deliberately be unreachable if that's really the holdout.

    - The artifact race ("pay to win") has truly become obscene (even if I'm a beneficiary and contributor to it). As terrible as it sounds, maybe give each and every artifact power a weighting, and allow players to select which of their artifacts will be active up to a set limit at any one time, perhaps onlyonly  they are engaged in any conflict mechanics (enemy territory, PvP, etc). Give players who have a low/zero artifact score a bit of a bonus like decreased experience loss from PvP, or a disengagement power. I'm also a fan of consolidating some of the "wealth generation" items, such as choosing which of poteen/fountain/cornucopia/etc you want to use rather than compounding all of them.

    - Change the emphasis of new players from reading essays and specification documents (task guides) to just experimenting. Have *one* command to learn all recommended skills at once (or include it as part of class selection). Give bonuses to high-level players who quest/bash/aetherhunt with much newer characters so there is more *doing* together and less *testing*.

    - As dirty as it is, look at how casualisation can be incorporated without sacrificing the RP quality and depth. Come up with ways of raising all necessary defences instantly, or a way to log out safely in under 30 seconds from anywhere in the game. Shift some of the channels to interfaces that can be accessed via mobile (maybe only if your character logged out in aetherspace). Add an in-game way to tell that someone might have to leave suddenly, and don't penalise a group that takes them. Look at jump in/jump out continuous multiplayer zones.

    - Finally, rework group combat (which should be a nation-based game's strength), so that it is not centred around zerging one high value target after another, which I think would encourage more involvement. Give diminishing returns for more than two people using offensive actions against you within X seconds, modified by relative might (if accurate). Give each archetype a way to refocus the flow of combat (eg. Mages/Druids can shield an ally, reducing the chance of attacks working, but they can't themselves be shielded or be fully offensive while doing so, and it drops of they are attacked. Wiccans/Guardians can redirect attacks with similar limitations, etc.).

  • LuceLuce Fox Populi Member Posts: 2,520 Transcendent
    So, one of my friends, who is a gem and loves text-based stuff, was mostly put off by the complete inability to have an OOC conversation to let him get used to the mechanics and setting without feeling overwhelmed by the pressure to stay completely in-character in a world he has no foundation for. No matter what I tried that was a big, BIG stumbling block for him, and I'm not sure how to address it without changing the game fundamentally.
  • ElironEliron Member Posts: 203 Virtuoso
    Luce said:
    So, one of my friends, who is a gem and loves text-based stuff, was mostly put off by the complete inability to have an OOC conversation to let him get used to the mechanics and setting without feeling overwhelmed by the pressure to stay completely in-character in a world he has no foundation for. No matter what I tried that was a big, BIG stumbling block for him, and I'm not sure how to address it without changing the game fundamentally.
    Glomdoring's addressed this issue by having a dedicated OOC commune clan. The established players make a point of explaining it and inviting new characters if they're interested, and of being responsive to questions there. It's optional, and people are welcome to turn off the clan at any point if it's distracting or spammy. It gives people a place to ask those mechanical and setting questions, and it feeds back into IC because we can direct new players to resources or other players interested in the same topics ICly that they might otherwise struggle to find. It also allows people to get to know the players behind characters they might feel intimidated in asking questions about combat/lore/whatever.
  • BairlochBairloch Member Posts: 184 Adept
    edited October 2018
    You couldn't just use the newbie channel?
    Genuine question, sorry if that sounded flippant.
  • DevoraDevora Member Posts: 194 Capable
    There's more than one answer to that, but one issue is that I've known many people to turn off the channel once they're no longer a newbie, but they might still respond in an OOC clan chat. There are also various questions that you wouldn't want everyone to know, e.g. if you're trying to figure out how to mess with an enemy org's power quest or work on some secret plot in your city, and you don't want to get attacked by alerting people to what you're up to. Plus, if everyone of any level asked highly org-specific questions on newbie, I feel like it would get spammy real quick.

    Finally, I think an org OOC chat is really helpful to help newbs bond with other members of their city that they can actually engage in a friendly IC relationship with. On the newbie channel, strangers often answer who you'll never see again or who you have no IC reason to interact with other than hostility, so it could be a little alienating if that were the only source of OOC advice available.
    Arix said:
    Tzaraziko died for your spins
  • RiviusRivius Your resident wolf puppy Member Posts: 1,680 Transcendent
    I stopped a while back because of the knighthood overhaul. It really felt rushed and clunky, and I missed the cool, flavourful messages. After that, all that was really left for me was collecting things and RP. I already have every artifact I could want, or the means to get it. I stop by now and again to run my yearly wondercorn and that's about it.
    There's also bugs here and there and unpolished things that have persisted for months which really bother me and instead of complaining about them, just decided not to bother anymore.
  • LuceLuce Fox Populi Member Posts: 2,520 Transcendent
    The two main drawbacks to using the city's OOC clans for that are that A) You need to be invited to them (obviously a minor problem in heavily trafficked and populated org, but it's still there) and B) that's one more thing for the novice to get used to that's going to come out of nowhere.
    There's still nowhere for a true novice to learn how a native Lusternian thinks in-character before being asked to be in-character. Tried to get around that friend's issues by presenting the idea of one of Hallifax's OOC clans, but in the end it wasn't quite enough to bridge the gap. Like I said, not sure what the best solution is.
  • DevoraDevora Member Posts: 194 Capable
    Luce said:
    There's still nowhere for a true novice to learn how a native Lusternian thinks in-character before being asked to be in-character.
    Could you clarify what you mean? What is unavailable? As a newb I found the city help files, newbie channel, and the website provided the info on rp and IC expectations that I was looking for. What lessons on how to rp a native Lusty were missing for your friend?
    Arix said:
    Tzaraziko died for your spins
  • XenthosXenthos Shadow Lord Member Posts: 6,581 Transcendent
    Devora said:
    Luce said:
    There's still nowhere for a true novice to learn how a native Lusternian thinks in-character before being asked to be in-character.
    Could you clarify what you mean? What is unavailable? As a newb I found the city help files, newbie channel, and the website provided the info on rp and IC expectations that I was looking for. What lessons on how to rp a native Lusty were missing for your friend?
    Eliron has been working on 'genericalizing' some of Glomdoring's collegium files for other organizations to steal/repurpose if they want, all of those are player-written so different organizations may have more and/or less than Glomdoring (but obviously hearing that Glomdoring's were good for you is what we want to hear!)
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  • DeichtineDeichtine Member Posts: 2,016 Transcendent
    More stuff.

    Look at the population we had in game during the quiz and events vs most of the other time. 40-50 players on line when stuff is happening. 10-15 on a day where everyone knows nothing is going to happen.
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