Recruitment?

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nils
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Joined: 22 Jul 2016 17:13

Recruitment?

Post by nils » 20 Jan 2021 19:36

So the discussion about closing down guilds, although neccessary, might not pay dividends even if it is one way to remedy the real issue - an askew playerbase vs guilds ratio.

So if we aren't looking to close or alter guilds, how can we influence
1) New players trying the game out
2) Keep the new players, playing.

Recruiting
I am under the impression there are still players testing the game out, but few stay. Are there fewer now than last year? More? Equal?

What CAN we, the players, do to influence 1) and/or 2)? The useful quote here then (fuck yeah, I'm going full cliche) is "Ask not what the game can do for you, but what you can do for the game".

Do you even recruit, bro?

Personally, my social circle looks at me weirdly when I talk about Genesis, so for me that recruitment arena is void. Being a teacher by profession I've tried letting students play through the tutorial with a promise of a small lump of platinum if they're able to complete it. So far it hasn't bore any fruit. Well, except that one girl who found out a way to get through it without completing the quests - No plats for her! In recent years I haven't taught or only taught norwegian to adults, so no way to put Gene on the curriculum there.

Keeping new players playing
Looking beyond the reasons people stop playing at a later stage (stagnant guilds, assholes in general etc), what stops a person who's completed the tutorial from advancing further and get hooked?

MY biggest issue has always been money - trapped in the frustrating circle of needing to kill to get cash, but need skills to kill and need cash to get skills. So what can be done to break it?

Cash prize
One solution would be to offer a substantial reward after completing the tutorial. Basically making it standard to find a thousand plats in your account as you step into the game. Obviously there's a risk of abuse, but it's worth debating/considering.

Free skills
Another solution could be to offer AG-skills free to new players/up to a certain mortal level. Maybe even Cadets. Less chance of abuse, but does take away some of the 'sense of accomplishment'

Easier xp
I've proposed this before somewhere, but significantly altering the growth curve from novice to myth could enhance playability and decrease a sense of hopelessness in face of a 'super-myth'. It would also promote constant exploration as a means of growth, rather than grinding the same area a million times, only to advance to another area to repeat it. Don't get me wrong, Genesis is and should be a grinder, but maybe the true grind job should be at a later stage?

Looking at modern game design, your average sand-box game is all about being a character on some sort of quest. There are a bunch of side-quests and a main-quest towards an inevitable ending. And people - Genesis has a lot of fucking content! Isn't it wise to allow new players to focus on completing it, like a modern game, rather than feel frustrated?

Discuss!
Nil Mortifi Sine Lucre

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nils
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Re: Recruitment?

Post by nils » 20 Jan 2021 20:30

Addendum, promoting newbie aid

There is already a small bonus for taking a small player on a team and go out killing. This promotes social interaction, mutual growth and so on and so forth.

What about increasing said profits? Imagine seeing the bored super-myths fight over the newbies! Hillarious and productive!
Nil Mortifi Sine Lucre

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Redblade
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Re: Recruitment?

Post by Redblade » 20 Jan 2021 23:13

nils wrote:
20 Jan 2021 20:30
Addendum, promoting newbie aid

There is already a small bonus for taking a small player on a team and go out killing. This promotes social interaction, mutual growth and so on and so forth.

What about increasing said profits? Imagine seeing the bored super-myths fight over the newbies! Hillarious and productive!
And very, very easily abusable too, in my opinion. Basically all you need is a friend to skip the Tutori Isle and idle while you get a benefit from dragging them.
Auta i lómë, Aurë entuluva!
The Night is passing, Day shall come again!

Thalric
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Re: Recruitment?

Post by Thalric » 20 Jan 2021 23:53

I agree that money is an issue for a new player, but I don't think giving people a huge lump of money when they exit the tutorial is a good idea. (50-100 plat would be way enough, to start them off well)

I would rather suggest that shops pay double for loot to people until they've completed 10% quests, are adepts or have X amount of skills are AG level (sup amateur/layman)..

Quests could also, per default, begin paying X platinum coins on completion. For instance 2 platinum coins per progress level given. Then some quest progress would also give 12 platinum coins. (This might make new people focus more on quests, as it would also be an excellent source of income.)
Not remembering how much quest progress was given for all the quests in Sparkle domain, this would likely make an income up toward hundreds of platinum coins.

Just so the little people that keep it up are rewarded for it, without feeling that what they get is undeserved.


I agree with Redblade that easier xp for the big people shouldn't be a thing. But making xp easier to get for people below GA/veteran or so isn't a bad idea. A degrading percentage, as if they start by already being on recovery from GA/veteran.
That way they will also ease into the fact that xp won't stay as easy further on.

What is also needed, of course, is talking to new people.
Genesis is more than just grinding your heart out for a decade or two. It is a roleplaying game.
And the roleplay is what keeps me returning.
So making new people experience and be part of that, might catch them in the net.

As a part of that.. how about a quest where you ask people a lot of normal character background questions?
Then they will be forming where their character is from, parents, siblings, bla bla bla.. all sorts of stuff.
Much easier to play your character, if you sort of know who your character is.

Rache
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Re: Recruitment?

Post by Rache » 21 Jan 2021 00:24

nils wrote:
20 Jan 2021 20:30
Addendum, promoting newbie aid

There is already a small bonus for taking a small player on a team and go out killing. This promotes social interaction, mutual growth and so on and so forth.

What about increasing said profits? Imagine seeing the bored super-myths fight over the newbies! Hillarious and productive!
I like the spirit of the idea, but don't you already get a bonus as a myth for dragging younglings around? They dramatically lower the team average and therefore the amount of XP you earn. At least that's my understanding based on conversations with the automaton formerly known as Irk (hence the Irk-trains, etc.)

I think that cadet/academy skills should be free, which would dramatically alleviate the looting problem, and I think Thalric's point on money-for-quests is spot on. No need to limit the size for coins, a tiny quest giving you 2pc isn't going to be a game-breaker at any mortal size.

Greneth
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Re: Recruitment?

Post by Greneth » 21 Jan 2021 00:24

nils wrote:
20 Jan 2021 19:36
So the discussion about closing down guilds, although neccessary, might not pay dividends even if it is one way to remedy the real issue - an askew playerbase vs guilds ratio.

So if we aren't looking to close or alter guilds, how can we influence
1) New players trying the game out
2) Keep the new players, playing.
This one is right up my alley, as of Jan 12th I have turned paid ads back on for Facebook, Reddit and Google. Still arguing with Facebook because believe it or not our ad got flagged as a dating service. But Reddit and Google have been going strong. Here is where we stand after 8 days of running the Ads:

Reddit: Impressions - 26,442 Clicks - 122 Spent $10.56

Google: Impressions - 15,007 Clicks - 271 Spent $67.98

Facebook: Impressions - 1,967 Unique Clicks - 14 Spent $8.43

The total budget I have set per month between the three is $400.

I have also gone around a few odds and ends websites on Reddit and browser sites trying to get our game on their list. Most of these are influenced by bots but in my mind, if a few hours of my time can net even one or two people it was time well spent.

There is a Patreon in the works since I have had many people mail and DM me over wanting to support the game which is absolutely amazing. The support is so fun to see on something that isnt even rolled out yet. But things such as taxes and what not need to have all the kinks worked out before I get that open to the public.
nils wrote:
20 Jan 2021 19:36

Recruiting
I am under the impression there are still players testing the game out, but few stay. Are there fewer now than last year? More? Equal?

What CAN we, the players, do to influence 1) and/or 2)? The useful quote here then (fuck yeah, I'm going full cliche) is "Ask not what the game can do for you, but what you can do for the game".
So comparing last year to this year is going to be rather hard I would imagine. With Covid first rearing its head the numbers were much higher and we had a few of those that stuck around. But this year may surprise me, who knows!

But what can you as players do?

Roleplay your asses off.

When newbies come in, show them what made you fall in love with this game for the first time. All the things that kept you here for 20+ years, pass that on to them. Give them some PvP without the grief, engage them quests, talk to them while hunting. And most of all understand without getting discouraged that most likely 80% of that time you put in may be for absolutely nothing. That newbie may even leave the game while you're in the middle of helping them. Because its in that 20% which I am aiming for. Those are the ones that will stick around and if by the end of all this we can snag 20 players? Its all worth it in my mind.
nils wrote:
20 Jan 2021 19:36
Do you even recruit, bro?

Personally, my social circle looks at me weirdly when I talk about Genesis, so for me that recruitment arena is void. Being a teacher by profession I've tried letting students play through the tutorial with a promise of a small lump of platinum if they're able to complete it. So far it hasn't bore any fruit. Well, except that one girl who found out a way to get through it without completing the quests - No plats for her! In recent years I haven't taught or only taught norwegian to adults, so no way to put Gene on the curriculum there.
Gorboth was mine and at least two others who are still around teacher, two of us became wizards.
nils wrote:
20 Jan 2021 19:36
Keeping new players playing
Looking beyond the reasons people stop playing at a later stage (stagnant guilds, assholes in general etc), what stops a person who's completed the tutorial from advancing further and get hooked?

MY biggest issue has always been money - trapped in the frustrating circle of needing to kill to get cash, but need skills to kill and need cash to get skills. So what can be done to break it?
I think the biggest issue for a newbie is a lack of engagement and something to tie them to the game. Even in the past I have been guilty of purposely ignoring Sparkle because I didn't want to run into a newbie. But I think if you asked a lot of the newber players someone or a group caught their attention and kept them going.
nils wrote:
20 Jan 2021 19:36
Cash prize
Free skills
Players can easily take care of this stuff, I think the game just handing it out wouldnt be a good thing.
nils wrote:
20 Jan 2021 19:36
Easier xp
I've proposed this before somewhere, but significantly altering the growth curve from novice to myth could enhance playability and decrease a sense of hopelessness in face of a 'super-myth'. It would also promote constant exploration as a means of growth, rather than grinding the same area a million times, only to advance to another area to repeat it. Don't get me wrong, Genesis is and should be a grinder, but maybe the true grind job should be at a later stage?

Looking at modern game design, your average sand-box game is all about being a character on some sort of quest. There are a bunch of side-quests and a main-quest towards an inevitable ending. And people - Genesis has a lot of fucking content! Isn't it wise to allow new players to focus on completing it, like a modern game, rather than feel frustrated?

Discuss!
This is definitely something that has been discussed many times. I know before I became a wiz I pestered Cherek for hours over it too. And he has tinkered with it himself and changing the curve is something I believe he still wants to test out. But like everything here it requires lots of code and time. Plus prioritizing every other change that needs to come out as well.

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Cherek
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Re: Recruitment?

Post by Cherek » 21 Jan 2021 13:15

Yes, I do think a change to the growth curve would have the biggest positive effect of Nils' suggestions, and it's still something I would like to do. I did try it out myself on our test server several years ago. Growth rate up to hero was roughly doubled if I remember right, and I created a new character and started from scratch. It was a much more enjoyable experience because it made it so much easier to quest and grind for money, and seeing stats and mortal levels go up fairly often was also motivating. My growth rate would slow down to our current rate after hero, and slow down more than our current rate after champion. So, it would still be just as hard as it is now to become huge, but easier to reach champion, and much easier to reach hero.

A change like this would make new players progress quicker and also even out the size difference between players, so that more players would play in the same league. Meaning they can both team up and cooperate on more even terms but also fight on more even terms. Being old and huge would still come with a benefit, but it would be smaller than it is now, and new players would be able to reach a reasonable size without spending years playing.

Since stats would grow slower than now after champion, my idea is to instead introcude a "skill tree" once you reach champion level. This skill tree would unlock various small but fun perks, and would make it (hopefully) more fun to grind than just watching your stats grow slowly. Even slower than today (and it's pretty slow as it is). The skill tree would generally make players more versatile, but not much more powerful, and players would be able to choose different directions for their character. On the other hand, players who don't want to grind much more after champion would be a little smaller than those who do, and miss out on some perks, but they would still be able to compete with the bigger players, as the difference in overall "power" would be much smaller than it is today. My hope is that it would encourage some players to focus on things like running their guilds, RP, or just sitting around chatting, without always feeling that they _have to_ grind to keep up with other players.

Now, changing the growth curve is quick and simple. The skill tree is what would take time here, and the main reason this project hasn't gotten further. Well, that, and the fact that it would be a pretty controversial change.

Drazson
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Re: Recruitment?

Post by Drazson » 21 Jan 2021 13:50

I think Nils's post is in an awesome direction we do need.

I am a bit troubled that giving away free stuff at random early on will lead people on and make them assume they're here for fun and games instead of a lifelong addiction vastly consisting of grinding.

Probably the most important thing for a newbie is to start making connections, it can get really lonely. It's not about the cash or the xp (they help a lot hehe) but they feel they are entering a community and start interacting. I know I've seen newbies hoard in the PO or AG of Sparkle unsure what to do (or intimidated by the game in general) a lot of times. They need someone to pick them up, they really need it. For a time it will be a bit reactive (they meet someone with a certain role and posture while themselves are an empty shell to begin with) and in need of babysitting but in time they'll grow and come to the other side of the table as well :) I'm not sure how to persuade us not to speed past Sparkle to be honest.

Some small pain in my stomach arrived with what Cherek said about bonus xp till hero or even champion. Wasted time of our life on grinding, sense of achievement etc... Despite that, I am not against it but maybe lower the bar a bit. It took me 8-9 years to reach hero with a character being the eternal noob I am (and trying too much to be IC). Boost till champion is kind of rediculous imo. Drop it back to veteran and rh respectively, by then people have reached the starting line (I'm warming up my alts though, mwahaha).

Skill trees? I love you but I believe it should be unrelated to this topic. I want skill trees though gimme <3

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Cherek
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Re: Recruitment?

Post by Cherek » 21 Jan 2021 17:38

Drazson: Yes the skill tree is unrelated to the topic, but it was part of me "increased growth" concept so I figured I'd have to mention it.

And to clarify, changing the growth curve doesn't change your total XP, it just changes how much XP is needed for certain stats and mortals levels. All players will keep their current XP, its the formula that translates XP to stats that will change.

But yes, a change like this will make it easier for new players to grow, which some older players might feel is unfair. That's nothing new, though. You had it easier than those who started playing 5, or 10 years earlier then you. Back then things were MUCH harder for new players, as we had no tutorial, no quest orbs, no newbie chat, no really good grinding areas for newbies, using quest solutions were punishable, and so was out of game communications, etc. Everything is relative :)

Drazson
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Re: Recruitment?

Post by Drazson » 21 Jan 2021 18:18

I thought the idea was "100% bonus xp until you reach X mortal". I could still stomach this a bit but imagine how funny my reaction was when I read "up to champion" haha.

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