Author Topic: My renewed argument for Free to play  (Read 9957 times)

Offline Naoura

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Re: My renewed argument for Free to play
« Reply #15 on: May 11, 2017, 03:36:17 pm »
I can see the argument for free to play. I can. I just don't think it will help fully.

Previous arguments have stated that retention, not incoming, is the issue.

Retention is accomplished by proper releases to keep gameplay interesting, as well as keeping interest in the game, period.

Proper releases are accomplished by considerable planning for years to come, then keeping on schedule as much as possible.

This is where I see Muse's biggest failing. I don't believe the game is fully and completely dying, but I do think that it's suffering greatly, despite and due to Muse's actions. Planning is something I feel Muse lacks. Proper plans for the future, proper plans for releases, and proper plans for how it wants to deal with the community.

Case and point, Alliance. So far, Alliance has come through with a short-lived fervor at first, and now more of a simmering enjoyment. It's nice to go into and stress relief on AI for a while, especially when dealing with less-than enjoyable newer players, before diving back into Skirmish.

Alliance, on the whole, feels only nearly a quarter done. So few modes, one of which is rarely played due to the sheer annoyance of playing it, not even all of the factions released properly, desperate balancing required for some things, and half-cocked releases of Alliance content into Skirmish requiring frantic hot-balacing in order to keep the game playable.

All of this because of a lack of adequate planning on Muse's part. Budgetary issues and deadlines could have been met if Muse had taken the time to adequately plan out Alliance, or at least kept themselves humble. They are small. Tiny. They aren't able to just churn out content like a goddamned machine. They simply aren't able to. As such, they need to actually get their act together and plan out what they want to do.

Certainly, their plans will not always mesh with players. Never will, for some. But if they actually have a plan, and can be flexible enough with it to actually fix community problems and work with the playerbase, they might be able to up retention rate and keep the game going for a few more years. If they plan for those bloody years.

I'm not asking for quarterly releases of broken content, now. None of us want another Minotaur or Tempest. I'm not asking for another Adventure mode, setting the bar really, really, really high and expecting everything else to catch up. I'm also not asking for what happened to Robocraft, which, to those who don't know, was to release way too many new modifiers, assets, and changes in too short a time, and driving away a good portion of players just because of how much has been changed in so little time.

I'm asking for some concrete, simple, steady planning for the next few years. Actually dedicating the team to one project at a time, continuously working to finish that product at a relatively set time. I'm asking for cycles of work, planning, and releases. I... really haven't seen it of them, and that may be just with me being new-ish. I haven't been here since Alpha days, but I've tried to listen to those that have been, and I really, really think that Muse lacks adequate planning.

Possible, very rough idea for planning would be to dedicate quarters to strict, definite tasks. Q1 dedicate to balancing and community complaints. Q2 dedicated to development of new ideas and maps, taking community suggestions and deciding which and what could or should be added. Q3 dedicated strictly to working on that idea decided in Q2, very little to nothing else. Q4, test, test, test, test, talk with the community, test some more, and then release. Simple, dedicated, consistent planning and working in that system. Then stick to it. Just make a plan and stick to it, being flexible where you have to. I feel that would do so much for Muse and for GOIO overall.

Anyways, that's my two cents. Sorry if it was a bit long and rambly, but...

Offline Red-Xiii

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Re: My renewed argument for Free to play
« Reply #16 on: May 11, 2017, 05:38:04 pm »
Lets keep things civil and on topic guys.

Too much doom and gloom here...I remember days where the average pop was ~30. Call me an optimist, but I'd hate to see Guns die with final conversation like this. I'm not buying the "end times" talk.

Definition of end times may differ person to person.  If you consider this population weve had for the last year a healthy active community, then it is not dead.  But if I start seeing the same people every single time I play the game, sorry to say that means no growth which means only a handlful are keeping it active. 

Offline Sparkle Dust

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Re: My renewed argument for Free to play
« Reply #17 on: May 11, 2017, 06:07:02 pm »
Lets keep things civil and on topic guys.

Too much doom and gloom here...I remember days where the average pop was ~30. Call me an optimist, but I'd hate to see Guns die with final conversation like this. I'm not buying the "end times" talk.

You know what's great for building a community? Stifling open conversation about why its dying.

Offline Rareform K. Rozhkov

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Re: My renewed argument for Free to play
« Reply #18 on: May 11, 2017, 06:33:41 pm »

Offline Schwalbe

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Offline RearAdmiralZill

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Re: My renewed argument for Free to play
« Reply #20 on: May 11, 2017, 07:27:07 pm »
Well said Naoura. While I have no right to claim I know what all it takes to make a game like Guns and keep it ticking, I definitely lost my way between the initial kickstarter hype for adventure mode and here. I carve out as much content as i possibly can from the current Alliance, but want for more.

And in that context, I really can't say if free-to-play for Online would really do much for the current status quo. I imagine with all the sales and the fact we've been here for years, just about anyone who would of found Guns pvp interesting would already own it. May net more then a sale in terms of a population buff, but it'll bleed out if the roots of the current issues aren't addressed. My 2 cents.

Also,
Definition of end times may differ person to person.  If you consider this population weve had for the last year a healthy active community, then it is not dead.  But if I start seeing the same people every single time I play the game, sorry to say that means no growth which means only a handlful are keeping it active. 
That's fair. Perhaps mine is a vain hope.

You know what's great for building a community? Stifling open conversation about why its dying.
Aye, and sarcasm and insult add such depth to forums.

Offline Red-Xiii

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Offline Sparkle Dust

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Re: My renewed argument for Free to play
« Reply #22 on: May 11, 2017, 07:37:04 pm »


You know what's great for building a community? Stifling open conversation about why its dying.
Aye, and sarcasm and insult add such depth to forums.

Yes actually, they do.  Conflict by its very nature is compelling, that's why stories all have problems and resolutions.  Discussion, as it was working on the first page of this thread, is oddly enough very good for discussion forums.  Human conversation isn't stagnant, I'm not sure why the moderation on this forum refuses to accept that.

Offline Neddie

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Re: My renewed argument for Free to play
« Reply #23 on: May 11, 2017, 07:41:10 pm »
Let us not forget that key resellers and gift trading are on the way out, with Valve's changes to gift handling. These secondary markets, which have diluted game value, are going to be cut off at the knees.

The problem is not acquisition, but retention. Retention and free to play acquisition strategies overlap, you release good content regularly and you ensure a critical core population, which can then grow. If we cannot retain people, the health of the community will not improve whether the game is priced at ten dollars, one dollar, or free. The only functional difference is that you remove the revenue per acquisition, in exchange for more people who churn. After that, less revenue means fewer resources to produce content.

For those of you who do not have experience with consumer products, conversion to in-game/service purchases is very low. All companies that rely upon in-game purchases spend a lot of marketing dollars attempting to acquire those few people who not only spend money in game, but spend an inordinate amount. It requires a huge human pool, and deep capital investment to be consistently profitable.

Offline Daft Loon

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Re: My renewed argument for Free to play
« Reply #24 on: May 11, 2017, 08:11:40 pm »
Lets keep things civil and on topic guys.

Too much doom and gloom here...I remember days where the average pop was ~30. Call me an optimist, but I'd hate to see Guns die with final conversation like this. I'm not buying the "end times" talk.

I generally play in the "overnight" time slot and remember times when I thought the game might be near death because the entire population could be 8 players in 1 lobby, that's happening again but now half those players jump over to alliance to avoid the pains of trying to get an 8 person lobby actually running, and the other half leave making the PvP literally albeit temporarily dead at those times. I don't think its pessimistic to give the PvP a 50% chance at best of surviving the year if that continues. Because it needs minimum 1 person Alliance will last in some form as long as the servers are running but without some major improvements that won't be much of a population.

Offline Narayan

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Re: My renewed argument for Free to play
« Reply #25 on: May 12, 2017, 10:33:36 am »
I see a lot of you talk about retention and lack of content. I'll be the first to admit that this game isn't for everyone and we aren't going to retain everyone that's a fact.

I'll even go a step further to say a lot of people that do stay with the game will leave after they first play it and only when they come back will finally begin to start grasping some of the mechanics. Myself included in that group. It's a tough complicated and wierd game.

In my mind the reason why alliance feels stale after a few months from lack of content or incomplete in a lot of people's mind vs skirmish which could be played for years by the same players is this.

The content if guns of Icarus is the players you play with

PVE just can't replicate that magic that the pvp side creates.


That might seem a bit simple or obvious but so many of us stuck around for our clans or our friends. So much of the enjoyment is fightig and playing with your favorite crew, or battling and beating someone that irks you.


That's why I think free to play would be a success because it will add the most important content of all new players and new friends.


Offline Narayan

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Re: My renewed argument for Free to play
« Reply #26 on: May 12, 2017, 11:24:30 am »
That if should have been an in if a mod wants to fix that, if you do you can also delete this post.

Offline Naoura

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Re: My renewed argument for Free to play
« Reply #27 on: May 12, 2017, 12:53:04 pm »
I can agree with that reasoning, Narayan. The people and conversation are definitely the biggest part of what makes Guns so freaking amazing.

That's because Guns is an apartment block. We all know each other. We all have our flat-mates and good neighbors. There are those many dislike, and those many like. And then there are those who just come and go, rent out a room for a day or two and see the chips in the walls, the rattling pipes, and the shower that sounds like it's coughing up dust when you turn it on.

Free to play only adds a bunch of new wings to our supposed apartment block. A lot of people coming in, and a lot of people going out, because you haven't fixed up the rooms, you've just made more of them, chipped paint and all.

Fewer people know each other. Fewer people actively interact in the same way. Sure, you've got some new holdouts and soon-to-be-vets among the new tenants, but you're going to have a vast majority of drifters, picking the game up for a spell and then moing on to a place with better rooms.

Yes, this is a long metaphor.

Rather than just opening up a whole series of buildings, I'd say fix up the one you've got. New content to keep people here, bug fixes and balancing fpcus per quarter, in order to keep things steady maintenance. A crappy apartment block is still a crappy apartment block, no matter how many more people you've got coming in.


And thank you, Zill. I'm not saying I know enough to do more than make a side-long recommendation, but I do know that if you want to succeed, you must plan. MUST. Muse seems so... disorganized. Drifting. Always moving from one target to the next without a concrete idea of where they are trying to go from here. I read a while ago how they seemingly jump about at random for what they try to work on, and though they've survived for six years (A fucking phenomenal number for an indie company), they need to have an actual plan in place for their future. Alliance, I feel, is the result of inadequate planning.

I'm fully okay with their passion for a PvE game. If they want to make an MMO based on Guns, I'm fully for it! Please! That would be fantastic. PvE and PvP combined would be amazing. Flaming well plan for it first. If you just go forward without a plan, you can't allocate resources properly and can't keep your own schedule correctly.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2017, 01:01:20 pm by Naoura »

Offline Sparkle Dust

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Re: My renewed argument for Free to play
« Reply #28 on: May 12, 2017, 04:45:58 pm »
I see a lot of you talk about retention and lack of content. I'll be the first to admit that this game isn't for everyone and we aren't going to retain everyone that's a fact.

I'll even go a step further to say a lot of people that do stay with the game will leave after they first play it and only when they come back will finally begin to start grasping some of the mechanics. Myself included in that group. It's a tough complicated and wierd game.

In my mind the reason why alliance feels stale after a few months from lack of content or incomplete in a lot of people's mind vs skirmish which could be played for years by the same players is this.

The content if guns of Icarus is the players you play with

PVE just can't replicate that magic that the pvp side creates.


That might seem a bit simple or obvious but so many of us stuck around for our clans or our friends. So much of the enjoyment is fightig and playing with your favorite crew, or battling and beating someone that irks you.


That's why I think free to play would be a success because it will add the most important content of all new players and new friends.

I would expand on this to say that alliance just isn't a stand alone game. Its like a game mode that would be included with a real game.  PVE like that needs a story to make it compelling.

Offline Hoja Lateralus

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Re: My renewed argument for Free to play
« Reply #29 on: May 13, 2017, 06:43:05 pm »
ohitsthisthreadagain.png

Count me in to the gloomy choir here. As Evolve has shown- going free to play even with some strong reforms would probably not bring any effect. Just a huge sale-like player population bump and then as quick downfall.
And some of you are right that Muse's decision seem random and... wasteful. Just remind yourself how many times they made majority of community burst in outrage due to their own unexplained and more often than not un-asked for decisions. How many times the goddamn UI has been changed, I can count at least 2-3 times. I can agree on matchmaker being some kind of necessity, but who asked for stamina?
Alliance was supposed to be the great saviour. What a suprise, it isn't. Some time after release you could say it's pretty much the same, steamcharts show that combining 24h peak of goio and alliance we get a bit less than 200 players. Let me remind you that I'm writing this on the late night between saturday and sunday, so we're talking about good numbers, weekend numbers.
There is also a kind of problem that is often in online games. It's never finished. If you keep on fiddling with it it won't be good. As I said, some example may be changes of ui.

Also, Neddie, why are you complaining about second hand key market? From the point of customer it's a great thing (they can get games cheaper) and nobody forces devs to put their game into bundles, for instance ones that cost 30$ and have plenty of games. Of course people are going to sell that further. That's how free market works.