Enticing Newer Players...

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Malric
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Enticing Newer Players...

Postby Malric » Fri Apr 07, 2017 3:38 am

Okay, I apologize this will sound like a rant but between the previously useless CM and the trolls I'd pretty much written off these forums until a group of people I talk with in game convinced me there was a new staff and CC may potentially care now about keeping players. So I just want to list my personal experiences with the trouble I have keeping my gaming friends playing this game. Sadly I can't think of a lot of good, honestly I'd be lying if I said there was a lot of it these days. I'm sure my goals are so far beyond the reach of most of my friends they are the only reason I continue to play. Without my insane goals I'd have quit long ago however for most people my goals are unreachable. (too expensive)

As someone who has brought a number of players to this game and struggled to keep a few of them still interested (most have long since quit) I would like to re-address my points and concerns on this subject:

1. I repeatedly hear from newer players that it is too hard to make profit without pack items at pre-level 35-40. Despite the fact whenever this is brought up it is immediately trolled by some veteran player with their walking to school through five feet of snow up hill both ways those complaints have only gotten worse. Many statements have been made falsely claiming progression happens too fast to which I wholeheartedly couldn't possibly disagree more. The fact is that a lot of attention goes towards things like adding more levels, making raids longer/harder. Each step this takes makes the gap between new players even bigger and raises expectations in more active cities. Low level cities die so often their is hardly anything in them to keep new people interested and higher level cities only ease up on their requirements slightly because of the lack of people to recruit.

Bottom line, the longer it takes for a new player to feel like they are "part of the game" the more likely they will grow bored and quit. Most new players don't even know what players are talking about telling them to sell their procs as pre-crafts. Bottom line, pay-to-play BPs have good profit margins. They help players boost and become part of the game quickly. This bridge needs to be reduced for all players, not just those that quickly give money for packs and are lucky enough to get the right ones. Lower level profit margins should seriously be addressed. F2P content already sucks so bad there's literally only 1 F2P BP I ever craft that's not a pre-craft. Coming from someone who's over paid WAY too much money into this game, give F2P players a break, let them get to a decent place to play the game with us!

2. Fragments need to be MUCH easier to get, especially lower levels or the drop rates in lower level chests needs to be "re-balanced" in the real meaning of the term not a nerf. I see players in their 50's that still don't have leather chests done, this is insanity! I don't care if you increase key drops, increase proc rates for BPs or add more fragments the bottom line is there needs to be a lot more ways to get a BP than dumping thousands upon thousands of gems on keys, getting on your knees and praying to RNGesus for some serious luck. Skilled BPs are literally everything in this game. This effects players ability to raid, quest, etc. so greatly it is literally the most vital part of the game and the one that needs the most real improvement. I see players complain all the time about all these packs, and they're probably right to do so, but honestly, 14.99 for a pack with 3-4 BPs has been drastically cheaper than these chest BPs. They're over priced and most of them suck, without the blessings of RNGesus the amount of money you could spend without getting anything decent is insane. I liked the idea of scaling drop rates so if you don't get one it increases your chances to get one until you end up getting at least an average of 1 per X (single digit number) BPs.

3. Item descriptions! OMG please revise these to make sense and actually be helpful to players so they can understand what they even do (protector is a great example). I'm level 56 and still learning & teaching people in their 50's what many of these skills do.

4. Balance/Fix F2P BP line. Make these items worth something. I seriously don't even do these because they're all worthless. Azure boots are literally the only F2P BP I would ever craft and it's my last choice of a long list of BPs. F2P lines have nothing going for them and with the horrible wait time to get any decent chest BPs to craft players are stuck with this garbage for a large part of the game. Early in the game you can at least make a 0% out of them but they don't even go high enough to maintain that. Completionists are currently the only ones who I can even imagine crafting these things. I literally won't even progress a line unless I need something for a pre-craft. Only due to the lack of ability to get BPs are there players out there who don't know how bad F2P ones suck.

5. Content! This game lacks content that doesn't cost us money. Almost everything we get has a hidden revenue generating aspect. Level cap increases came with a massive gold sync, TH nerfs came with reduced ability to trade for gems and made the already crappy key wait a miserable failure. The few new F2P BPs came with more BPs to thin out the Primal chest BPs which are basically totally over priced P2P BPs since Primal Keys are pretty much an urban legend.

Please consider the "flow" of play. People joining want to be part of the game and people paying want to be able to maintain doing so. Asking for money is one thing but making it impossible to get anywhere without a ton of it is just insanity. This game could learn a lot from F2P MMORPG games. The successful ones know that the sooner a player feels the unyielding push of needing to pay the harder they'll push back. Give them a chance to have time investment and feel some success before you demand their CC info. When the game says "If you pay you can be part of the community" the players will almost always pass. That's how you achieve the amazing drop out rates you have. The best MMOs will leave players with the feeling that a F2P player has the same limits as a P2P player but accepts it will take longer to get there. Maybe once that could be said for this game but any player that claims that now is either blind or lying. Once again I stress this is from the perspective of a player whom has spent WAY too much money on this game. I know there are certain die hards that will say they haven't spent that much and they are high up there and happy. They are vast minorities and their experiences do not compare to those today after all the changes and nerfs in the game. If you listen to them all is well in the game, it needs no improvement, and the game will die but they'll be happy and blame it on everyone playing your game wrong.

/endrant

Hopefully this reaches someone new on staff.

Best advice I can give you is if you are really new, start playing the game without the hidden inside info and see where it takes you. At the point when you feel bored to tears without paying pretend you can't afford to pay and figure out what's broken... then fix that!
Last edited by Malric on Sat Apr 08, 2017 7:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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WingDingo
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Re: Enticing Newer Players...

Postby WingDingo » Fri Apr 07, 2017 4:40 am

I completely agree with you. Players need objectives and check points. They need there to be in-game goals that give defined rewards so that after they complete that objective, they are more efficiently set up in the game, and are able to take on new tasks. There need to be in-game missions to showcase how the game is meant to be played. There are a lot of methods to help players that are unorthodox when you reference other games. You can succeed as a Free to Play player, but it requires a catch-22 burden of knowledge. I've been advocating for as many tips, faqs, and tutorials as the game is willing to put into the game, for as long as I can remember.

They need a, "You are level 10 now. Start working on leveling up furniture. When have 5 workbenches at level 8, you will get a reward, and get your next objective." "Your workbenches are all now level 8 (or whatever). Now keep crafting items until your workers are level 20. You will get a reward, then a new objective." Or something to that effect. There are sandbox games, and then there are directionless trial and error games. The tutorial helps explain some of the mechanics, but not all of them. The mission needs to also explain WHY you want a higher level workbench and higher level workers. "Workbenches cap the amount of Discipline input. Workers Discipline points reduce craft times. Building boosts reduce craft times." That information is not in the game.

The game is frustrating for break chances. I've suggested:
0% Break Chance Set Armor
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=8152

The frustrations are very real. The frustrations need to go away.

Feone
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Re: Enticing Newer Players...

Postby Feone » Fri Apr 07, 2017 6:30 am

Agreed.

While there are good ways to make money as f2p these are either very endgame or basically just spamming annoying precrafts nonstop and selling them on trade. Thus getting no advancement in blueprints or levels, and limited for workers, not to mention the grind...

There's very little reward in unlocking the f2p lines in general, they're worth almost nothing, just get increasingly resource intensive with more annoying precrafts. The only reason to bother is unlocking the few that are decent or being a completionist.

It'd be pretty cool if each recipe you unlocked in these lines actually gave something nice, so unlocks give you either:
- A better money maker.
- A better worker or shopkeeper XP item
- A hero skill?

Make the different lines actually mean something:
- Higher level items from the line give more xp for the relevant worker(s) (more worker specific bonus, rather than the normal scaling with level.)
- Make the resource cost more focussed. (Fewer resource types per item, having more lines developed = being able to craft more efficiently.)

Maybe some general bonuses for developing your item lines further?

Making these advancements noticable in general, right now any improvement is more than cancelled out by the increased tediousness of the costs/precrafts.

Not a fix for the general lack of info thing but at least this way unlocking more stuff isn't just a losing proposition. (I actually enjoy the figuring stuff out on your own aspect, but I can understand this isn't for everyone.)

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Malric
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Re: Enticing Newer Players...

Postby Malric » Sat Apr 08, 2017 7:50 pm

I was just looking over my girlfriend's BP today trying to help her out on some team building ideas.

She's level 42, has played this game around 10 months, has purchased 3 packs, and some of those came with gems, much of which has been used unlocking wood/leather chests. Her first pack was the Lucky Rooster pack, she really wanted to and tried to succeed as F2P but she was about to quit the game when I paid for her packs to keep her going.

The absolutely minimal skilled BPs she has is disgusting. I was actually frustrated trying to figure out what gear to tell her to make to build up her teams because it's awful. I know how much she's put into this which makes it even worse. The only items she has worth even crafting are the two money makers she has (from packs) and the Balmung.

10+ Months into a game this is NOT how it should be for anyone. This is how you lose players!

You should not need to be a veteran player to know the tricks to succeeding in a game.
Every player that joins should have some sense of progression and success.
This game is complicated and the fact I am still explaining basic functions to level 50+ players shows this.

The entire early stages of this game need to be fixed (sorry, after the way CC has used it I hate to even say "re-balanced").
Profit of items need to be adjusted to consider the costs of artifacts.
And I agree with Windingo, Seriously, Item breaks in this game are insane.
My GF is 42 and is still breaking 2-5 items each time she sends her heroes out to raid.
Her ONLY support/resourceful item is the P2P Balmung after over 10 months and she's never sold a key.

I think some reasonable skilled items should be put in the F2P BP lines.
Maybe not huge ones but like a level 40 item with resourecful 1 at epic and a reasonable pre-craft
They don't have to progress in level order (not all the pack ones do). You can have a BP line end at a level 30 skilled item for all I care.

Everyone I know F2P is getting bored and quitting, I couldn't even keep my son playing.
Give these people something to work for other than "some day you'll get a lucky chest drop probably".
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Shiroe
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Re: Enticing Newer Players...

Postby Shiroe » Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:46 am

Malric wrote:The entire early stages of this game need to be fixed (sorry, after the way CC has used it I hate to even say "re-balanced").
Profit of items need to be adjusted to consider the costs of artifacts.

I expect they still are using one formula to calculate all gold values so difficult-ish to re-balance low level items without affecting high level too.
Also: define "cost of artifacts". If you mean from trade, that's also affected by the fact that lower artifacts are priced way above base (the first 5 usually at cap), which makes selling artifacts a bit of advise often given to newbies), while most T3 are way below base...

Also wondering if the gem ads don't put a mobile f2p player closer to a paying player than to a f2p PC-only player...
Those ad gems surely helped my authorised alt get the second fuse slot quicker and they probably get it 3-4 extra iron keys/week for the hunt towards Winged Sandals...

It's a bit annoying though that for my alt it would make more sense gold-wise to only quest frozen cores and sell on the tradehouse than to quest higher level artifacts, use those to craft and sell the crafts to heroes or on the tradehouse. That's partly Cloudcade's gold formula and partly having a tradehouse where people are willing to pay 5x base for the frozen cores.
as of 2016-09-11: Player level: 44, City: Eolythes, Blueprints: 517, Mastered: 419, Crafted: 78.61K
(except for tier 1 and some tier 2 artifacts mostly running my shop/gearing self sufficient)

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Malric
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Re: Enticing Newer Players...

Postby Malric » Mon Apr 10, 2017 10:18 am

Shiroe wrote:I expect they still are using one formula to calculate all gold values so difficult-ish to re-balance low level items without affecting high level too.
Also: define "cost of artifacts". If you mean from trade, that's also affected by the fact that lower artifacts are priced way above base (the first 5 usually at cap), which makes selling artifacts a bit of advise often given to newbies), while most T3 are way below base...


Well if this is the case their forumla is flawed. Not just this game but any game it's very common that the costs of low level materials sky rockets as the game matures. That's why having a cap is a good thing because honestly otherwise prices would get out of control and you'd have players willing to pay 100k for a shiny gem keeping lower level players from ever being able to afford them.

End game materials deflate in price for 3 reasons and I don't see that changing any time soon.

1. During non raid times these hard core raiding teams higher level players build have to do something and stockpiling T3 artifacts is easy by comparison to how fast you actually craft/use the materials.

2. No primal keys really in game, high gem cost vs. stingy drop rates on keys and bps. Because of this less people have many craftable BPs at higher levels. Only high level common worth a crap to craft is Azure Boots and besides that for most the raid BPs are their only high level BPs at all. I know a great deal of players level 50-55 that still do not have a single dwarf or primal BP. No BPs to craft = less demand for artifacts.

3. Most of the items people have to spam craft to gear all their heroes in don't use T3 materials, they're fairly low level items, mostly level 40 or less.

I run 5 teams all capable of at minimum shards of gaia, 3 capable of primal lair. All my teams are 100% energetic and either 100% revive or 90% healer. With that in mind there is no reason ever for me to buy a T3 material but I'll buy T2 and T1 by the hundreds just so I don't have to gather them and waste my time.

Shiroe wrote:Also wondering if the gem ads don't put a mobile f2p player closer to a paying player than to a f2p PC-only player...
Those ad gems surely helped my authorised alt get the second fuse slot quicker and they probably get it 3-4 extra iron keys/week for the hunt towards Winged Sandals...

It's a bit annoying though that for my alt it would make more sense gold-wise to only quest frozen cores and sell on the tradehouse than to quest higher level artifacts, use those to craft and sell the crafts to heroes or on the tradehouse. That's partly Cloudcade's gold formula and partly having a tradehouse where people are willing to pay 5x base for the frozen cores.


The demand is where CC put it and they have no one to blame but themselves. The amount of items they put in the game that are useful and use frozen cores is insane, literally it's absurd. They actively chose not to spread these around much. Not to mention the most popular money making BP due to being the cheapest perm money maker requires massive over use of the artifact. Maybe they can try to fix with these seasonal packs but sadly all the low/mid level items in these packs have no skills so probably won't be heavily crafted.

If they are using a drop in formula to balance artifact requirements vs gold value for items it's an epic fail and the formula needs to be re-calculated. I've adjusted these types of formulas enough programming myself to know it's not hard. The formula should be progressive, not linear, and be able to handle a curve, much like the experience formula I'm using in my game. The curve should be able to be adjusted at certain levels. It's also clearly not static no matter how you look at it because there is no way the same formula is being used for Commons, Chest BPs and Pack BPs. Maybe they should consider making the common line for this a little more like the non skilled premium line in that regards.
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Shiroe
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Re: Enticing Newer Players...

Postby Shiroe » Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:43 pm

Malric wrote:If they are using a drop in formula to balance artifact requirements vs gold value for items it's an epic fail and the formula needs to be re-calculated. I've adjusted these types of formulas enough programming myself to know it's not hard. The formula should be progressive, not linear, and be able to handle a curve, much like the experience formula I'm using in my game. The curve should be able to be adjusted at certain levels. It's also clearly not static no matter how you look at it because there is no way the same formula is being used for Commons, Chest BPs and Pack BPs. Maybe they should consider making the common line for this a little more like the non skilled premium line in that regards.

Yes, as far as I know there is one formula. It takes inputs, such as skill points, resources, artifacts, precrafts etc. and spits out a gold value. I guess blueprint rarity or type is likely one of the inputs. So change an input on an item and you change its gold value. Change the weights in the formula and you change the gold value of (nearly) every item. (changing the weight for artifacts for an item that doesn't use artifacts of course wouldn't change gold for that one...)
as of 2016-09-11: Player level: 44, City: Eolythes, Blueprints: 517, Mastered: 419, Crafted: 78.61K
(except for tier 1 and some tier 2 artifacts mostly running my shop/gearing self sufficient)

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Malric
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Re: Enticing Newer Players...

Postby Malric » Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:37 pm

Crap... typed very long reply, lost it to the "login" message ugh...

Simplified, common bps should be adjusted as a whole for weight to make them more profitable (or profitable at all).
I play tested low levels with an authorized alt a few different ways.
Low level play sucks and the advice you'd get on how to get through it is just absurd.

If someone told me to run low level quests on naked heroes until my heroes leveled and I could run higher ones naked and sell the artifacts to get enough gold to buy artifacts to be able to craft I'd have quit this game early on.

As it is low level play is not really very fun and it's producing players that emerge into WC in their 30's and 40's completely unaware of basic game play. Sadly there's not even a lot of those because so many quit before that point.

Devs, CM, etc. try playing this game as a new player and try even harder to do it pretending you don't have inside information. These are the levels people decide if they even like your game, it should be as simple as possible. Craft, Sell, Make Money! Not Strip, Sell, Farm, Sell, Farm, Sell, Farm, Sell, buy your gear because you can't craft it, run higher level stuff, rush to Azure boots if you don't quit first or buy a pack. You shouldn't need to read 25 pages of forum guides and download a spreadsheet to learn the basics of a game... this is fundamentally flawed.

Edit: Oh, activating a trade offer for a discount on your first gem purchase at level 3 is NOT revamping or assisting with low level play!
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