Author Topic: Bringing In Players  (Read 4973 times)

Lann

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Bringing In Players
« on: September 21, 2016, 11:01:09 PM »
Alright guys.  So I think one of the most important things we should be focusing on would be bringing in players to Might and Fealty.  At present, I've been putting up a constant stream of Knight Offers and am doing all I can to keep the players that have joined invested.  That said, it is a difficult and slow process.  I've lost some of those players against my best efforts and the game everywhere else is looking rather barren, so that does concern me. 

 I mean... we just reclaimed an entire half of the Zweities Imperium and received not a word of protest from them or Eldamar or anyone really.  We could probably conquer half the map before someone finally sent a letter of question.  I even have some diplomatic summons that have, despite constant prodding, gone completely unanswered, and those are to some fairly active kingdoms (btw to whoever the guy is I sent word to in Tetsuyama-- I'll be writing to you shortly so don't worry ;) ). 

We're gonna need more than word of mouth.  So... what's the plan?   There had been an advertising campaign done a while back by Andrew.  The Imperium actually benefited from that little push.  But it does concern me that everywhere that isn't Ascalon or Estes Imperium seems nigh abandoned. 
 

EDIT:  Also... yeah I'm aware this probably would have been better in the Creating Might and Fealty forum.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2016, 11:03:28 PM by Lann »

Andrew

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Re: Bringing In Players
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2016, 11:09:48 PM »
I'm still paying for an advertisement for the game, for what it's worth. There was some work done a while back to make a better one, but no one ever got me anything that was usable. I've got half an ad setup with google, just waiting for an image to throw in it. See: http://forum.mightandfealty.com/index.php/topic,3116.0.html
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Dystopian

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Re: Bringing In Players
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2016, 01:17:58 AM »
I think the game needs a new start and a smaller landmass. I think Might & Fealty might die very soon without it, Ascalon is dying.

Lann

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Re: Bringing In Players
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2016, 02:56:28 PM »
Just logged in to find exactly 0 knight offers by any kingdom.  This isn't good people.  I understand some of you are more exclusive than others, but we can't grow this game without avenues for players to join.  I realize you can start a character without an offer, but it really doesn't say a whole lot of good about a game where no one is recruiting.  In response, I've gone ahead and reposted my 5 knight offers a week.  However, if this keeps up, I'm going to be posting 10.

Andrew

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Re: Bringing In Players
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2016, 09:20:48 PM »
I've been away for a bit studying for a test I take in... 4 hours, for my job. But, I've thought about things lately, and I think I know why my test server wasn't working and how to fix it (involves reinstalling PostgreSQL on my workstation), and while I'm not for restarting I do have a concept that's the next major thing on my todo list for the game that will, hopefully, shrink the map dynamically dependent on player action. If anyone remembers the dark areas of the map before it was unlocked, the plan would be to make that dynamic, a thing that will appear in abandoned regions and spread from there.

The parts that haven't been figured out are what the triggers will be for it (just pick the longest abandoned regions or seed it as a GM action? what about islands?), what the permeability of it will be (levels? No-pass interiors with limited entry border regions?), and what it will take to push it back. On idea would be to significantly expand the map, and simply have the darkness encroach from the new, much further out borders--which isn't a bad idea really. If we went that route, you could theoretically, have detached player "islands" in the game world that are not regularly accessible from each other, which could lead to entirely separate game worlds all existing on the same instance, with divergent lore and cultures and history and stuff. I'm on a tangent now though...

Realm seats of power, while also on the todo list, I'd equate as a mid-tier additions, being neither major nor minor in what it will eventually add. They'll add a lot, yes, but I doubt I see them as serious game-changers.

Also on the todo list is adding an experimental new player entry system, probably alongside knight offers--which will ideally be expanded with intro messages and publication tie ins.

I've still got some time off this week, and a day or so will be dedicated to my business (not to be confused with my job), but the rest I expect to throw at M&F.
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Cipheron

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Re: Bringing In Players
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2016, 08:03:14 PM »
At present, I've been putting up a constant stream of Knight Offers and am doing all I can to keep the players that have joined invested.
...
We could probably conquer half the map before someone finally sent a letter of question.

Well the map looks full, but it isn't. Think about how that affects different types new players joining up. Ones who want room to expand might be turned off because it looks full, whereas ones who want a densely packed world full of active players will sign up then get disillusioned when it's really more empty than it looked.

So the game basically needs a dynamic way of clearing out the chaff that is slumberblighted players, so that how full the world looks is an indication of how full it really is - then players will self-direct themselves to parts they find interesting.

Perhaps there should be a time-limit on holding settlements, then they revert to no-lord (but stick with the nation) and eventually they revert to completely independent settlements. This would allow a gradual whittling of nations which active nations could recruit people to patch up - giving reasons to recruit, and something concrete and interesting to order the recruits to do. It would also mean that new players could quickly identify good opportunities for their own kingdoms on the main map. This process could also be the basis for "re-inactivating" lands.

Another related idea to that could be to auto-populate lordship/knight's offers (maybe if players fail to do so below some threshold) from the slumberblighted lords, before their claim is cleared off. Perhaps bundling them by original owner - e.g. a new character could start out in a country controlling the three settlements a previous lord owned. this coiuld mix things up without being too disruptive of existing nations.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2016, 09:02:33 PM by Cipheron »

Lann

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Re: Bringing In Players
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2016, 10:10:38 PM »
I've been away for a bit studying for a test I take in... 4 hours, for my job. But, I've thought about things lately, and I think I know why my test server wasn't working and how to fix it (involves reinstalling PostgreSQL on my workstation), and while I'm not for restarting I do have a concept that's the next major thing on my todo list for the game that will, hopefully, shrink the map dynamically dependent on player action. If anyone remembers the dark areas of the map before it was unlocked, the plan would be to make that dynamic, a thing that will appear in abandoned regions and spread from there.


Interesting.  However, the parts of activity and inactivity aren't cleanly drawn.  It's very likely that such a measure will see pockets of dark areas all over the place, and a fear of mine would be that that might actually cut off active regions from interacting with each other (say you have a northern and southern kingdom with a slumberblighted region between them that gets turned inactive)  What would be your solution to that? 

Quote
The parts that haven't been figured out are what the triggers will be for it (just pick the longest abandoned regions or seed it as a GM action? what about islands?), what the permeability of it will be (levels? No-pass interiors with limited entry border regions?), and what it will take to push it back. One idea would be to significantly expand the map, and simply have the darkness encroach from the new, much further out borders--which isn't a bad idea really. If we went that route, you could theoretically, have detached player "islands" in the game world that are not regularly accessible from each other, which could lead to entirely separate game worlds all existing on the same instance, with divergent lore and cultures and history and stuff. I'm on a tangent now though...


Interesting.   Of course, I do worry that those islands might actually cause our already stretched player-base to shrink more.  But then, at this point, there's very little activity between different kingdoms anyway.  Seriously, we just won our civil war, for whatever that is worth.  We encountered no resistance.  A year ago, at least two other kingdoms would have joined a coalition against us.  Now we just took back our lands without a single word from anyone.  So honestly, I'm open for drastic ideas.

Quote
Realm seats of power, while also on the todo list, I'd equate as a mid-tier additions, being neither major nor minor in what it will eventually add. They'll add a lot, yes, but I doubt I see them as serious game-changers.


They'd be pretty cool.  But yeah the current sparsity of players is very concerning.  It's difficult for me to even find people willing to take 3-4 estates of land in the Northern Restoration, wait it out until we fill up the duchy with multiple players, then have them interact on who will rule it.  Every single house there is now slumberblighted.  And that's just one duchy-sized region. AND I set up a system so people could interact with the Imperium on a governmental level.  So far, the Chamber of Lords has not worked one bit.  I set it up, send out a message, no one says anything.  I'm giving people the ability to decide law or to disapprove of law or to voice any kind of input in government action.  I got exactly nothing.  And I haven't even managed to fill out the Conclave as I just can't find anyone active or dedicated enough to fill those roles.  It's a struggle just trying to get some movement happening in one duchy.

Quote
Also on the todo list is adding an experimental new player entry system, probably alongside knight offers--which will ideally be expanded with intro messages and publication tie ins.

I've still got some time off this week, and a day or so will be dedicated to my business (not to be confused with my job), but the rest I expect to throw at M&F.


Interesting.  What did you have in mind?  I personally wish I could make a longer Knight Offer, or that players could get an easier view of the nation they're about to join, its history, RP, people, etc. right from the get-go.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2016, 10:14:55 PM by Lann »

Dystopian

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Re: Bringing In Players
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2016, 01:22:11 AM »
I got an actually new player in Idraei, I really believe we need a restart on a smaller Island perhaps. I think it would at least temporarily revive what players we still have and attract more if we can justify advertising the  game again because things are-a-changing.

Andrew

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Re: Bringing In Players
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2016, 05:49:45 AM »
Quote
Interesting.   Of course, I do worry that those islands might actually cause our already stretched player-base to shrink more.  But then, at this point, there's very little activity between different kingdoms anyway.  Seriously, we just won our civil war, for whatever that is worth.  We encountered no resistance.  A year ago, at least two other kingdoms would have joined a coalition against us.  Now we just took back our lands without a single word from anyone.  So honestly, I'm open for drastic ideas.

Dark pockets are why outside->in would probably be the setup. Where it gets tricky is what the triggers for things will be and what it will do to actually push people together. Hm... May have it be that once a region is lost, it remains as such until there are players for it. It'd not be an instant thing, where if you have an inactive border lord they get slumbered and then BAM--you lost the region forever, but more of a gradual thing, tied to the event system, probably at the sovereign realm level. Still very much in the design phase right now.

Quote
I got an actually new player in Idraei, I really believe we need a restart on a smaller Island perhaps. I think it would at least temporarily revive what players we still have and attract more if we can justify advertising the  game again because things are-a-changing.

Tom has said multiple times that there will not be a map reset or restart. People paid money to get a perpetual world, people ARE paying money to keep a perpetual world. I also have no interest in doing as someone that helped fund the game initially and has maintained, on average, 2 paying accounts for the 2.5 years I've been playing. It'd insult any remaining original players, as well as any one who likes the game for those specific reasons.

Quote
Interesting.  What did you have in mind?  I personally wish I could make a longer Knight Offer, or that players could get an easier view of the nation they're about to join, its history, RP, people, etc. right from the get-go.

Longer offers are the on the list. I'm not sure about how much, but 3x probably isn't far off. I like that they are kept short, but it's TOO short right now. It gets really irritating trying to say anything worthwhile about what the players are getting into.

What I'm also tempted to do is have it so that you can assign a player theme to a realm in a few ways. Identifying a realm as an autocracy or oligarchy or as a traditional kingdom or a noble republic or a tribal clan alliance for each realm you run could easily translate into something we could add into the knight offer display below the offer itself. Something like ...

"This offer is part of the Keplerstan, an Oligarchic Republic of Duchies that is part of the Empire of Bob, a Feudal, Autocratic Empire".

or...

"This offer is part of Tor Moon, an Autocratic Tribe within Rathgar, an Oligarchic Association of Tribes"

Then again, for what that's worth, you could just add a field to the realm description page with a character limit that says "Describe how the realm operates in 250 characters or less" and throw that up with the knight offers. Following along with that, I'd also like to see knight offers be specific to realm, because then you could query that specific realms brief description for the knight offers.

Heck, you could even allow people to assign tags to the realm like: Monarchy, Republic, Feudal, Tribal, Federation, Autocracy, Constitutional, Combat-focused, Roleplay-focused, Lore-heavy, Lore-light; and such. These could ALSO be included to the knight offer system, if you tie them to a specific realm. (Do note: I'm not saying change how allegiances work, just make it clear which realm you are joining as the "primary", if you will).

As for the customizable first message, that'd replace the default the game uses for one tied to your character (and if we make knight offers realm specific, realm as well, so you could have multiple ones) that you setup beforehand that uses the same rules as the conversation system. This would allow you to explain in depth how different things work, have a proper welcome message to them, explaining the realm and giving them some idea what to do until you get on and can actually send them a message. Now that I've found the way the game does the links, I think I can probably add in support for linking to pubs as well.
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Mookzen

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Re: Bringing In Players
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2016, 02:09:28 PM »
Reset on a smaller map and using the opportunity to implement otherwise impossible changes to the game and its balance coinciding with a coordinated and polished marketing spurt on all the main forums (e.g. bay12), based on the platform of a fresh start would be by far the most effective way to shock the community back to life, reinvigorate current/past members and attract new blood.

The current New Player Experience is characterized by a downwards spiral of intimidation caused by the establishment of the old and the inevitable disappointment caused by the barrenness of it all. Its frankly too much of a repelling force to overcome on top of all the other challenges the game faces in the modern market. (for example EVE online has the intimidation aspect, but it also is lively enough to compel new players to keep at it, without this even it would fail spectacularly). 'Lively' is also a matter of scale, a smaller area can be lively with less players, that's just common sense. At the risk of sounding harsh, if you think things can be 'turned-around' without scaling back, meaningful change and some kind of reset or opportunity for a fresh start (soft or hard, regional or global, existing map or not) then you are in denial.   

Not even entertaining the idea and in all likelihood dragging the game slowly but inevitably into the grave, I can almost smell a light tinge of rot already, purely out of stubbornness is surely a disservice to the project. 'people paid money' is not a good argument if you take 5 minutes to actually think it through. Make a poll (and link in on the game page), I am sure the vast majority will vote for change and a fresh start of some sort and when they do ask yourself exactly who's interests you are protecting by not considering the options that have the most potential of truly breathing new life into this whole thing.

However, if this line of thinking is out of the question entirely because... because the men in charge say so, then I suppose the dynamic region-locking system or something along those lines that forces players to consolidate and cooperate would be the next best thing. Clearly way less potent for marketing purposes though.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2016, 03:04:01 PM by Mookzen »

De-Legro

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Re: Bringing In Players
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2016, 02:37:07 PM »
Dark pockets are why outside->in would probably be the setup. Where it gets tricky is what the triggers for things will be and what it will do to actually push people together. Hm... May have it be that once a region is lost, it remains as such until there are players for it. It'd not be an instant thing, where if you have an inactive border lord they get slumbered and then BAM--you lost the region forever, but more of a gradual thing, tied to the event system, probably at the sovereign realm level. Still very much in the design phase right now.



I have thought about this for a long time. My thinking has been that we should take the opportunity to create events out of it, implementing some NPC action that Tom has never been keen on but which I think is somewhat necessary to provide the framework for other stories to be created. Have some sort of portal or force arrive, something that takes effort and co-operation to prevent the region being lost to the player base. If a realm can get their shit together and stop the event, well they have the chance to appoint a new lord and keep on.


The reclaiming of land is a more difficult for me to conceptualise. Ideally we want it somehow linked to player/character numbers. A new trait for the genetic system (which I would dearly love to overhaul anyway) that is granted to random new characters once the player numbers warrant taking new land? Give them the power to initiate an event to have a chance to regain lost land? A system created artifact that can be found that likewise grants the power to have a change to enter lost land and reclaim it, after which it is lost?
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The Vintroth

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Re: Bringing In Players
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2016, 03:01:47 PM »
A smaller map would in theory be a good idea as it would force player interaction but I'm not convinced that would not also see a bunch of other 'problems', that could possibly be worse. However, the unknown aspect aside I believe the main argument against any kind of reset or restart would probably be that all established history, lore, families and stories made would simply be destroyed. While it is true that new lore and history et cetera would be created there are very few good reasons to throw away 12 in game years of history.

In my view, the game is made by the actions of some, then the reactions of others. While others might disagree, it seems to be that it is military action that control this game most of all and it follows then that the reactions then are also often of a military nature. That I think is one of the major problems of the game actually, which has to be solved by player action as things stand now. I'm not saying military action should not be a part of the game, I'm only saying it controls the game in a major way, perhaps too much. That in turn can definitely hurt new players.

Furthermore in my opinion is it player interaction that should be the core of the game; not military action. While most established or "semi-established" players and characters/families won't face any problems in this. I'd say it is not the easiest thing for a new player, even as a vassal of an established Lord. Most players will afterall, from my experience, very rarely contact players without a good reason and of course, there are very few good reasons to contact new players, as they have very little of anything. Of course the new players can contact others too and most likely the interaction will be a good one but there is a certain factor of intimidation and/or not knowing what to say or do, as would be expected of many new players. Again, the only way to solve this that I see is either player action.

So, player action needs to be encouraged? I don't know, but that is my view on the matter.

Mookzen

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Re: Bringing In Players
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2016, 03:09:25 PM »
So, player action needs to be encouraged? I don't know, but that is my view on the matter.

I completely agree and have discussed this at length before on this forum. The core of it is that the game doesn't have any design that moves players into action and interaction, the game world is completely inert when in fact it ought to be pushing players to do stuff via game mechanics.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2016, 03:20:00 PM by Mookzen »

The Vintroth

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Re: Bringing In Players
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2016, 03:18:12 PM »
The core of it is that the game doesn't have any design that moves players into action and interaction, the game world is completely inert when in fact it ought to be pushing players to do stuff via game mechanics.

While I agree, I'm not sure what the game could possibly do to encourage it. I imagine that this core of the problem is not really that easy to solve, hence the entire problem in the first place.

Mookzen

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Re: Bringing In Players
« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2016, 03:20:04 PM »
I tried to introduce the idea of random events designed to provide the context for player interaction (pure RP or gameplay), which imo is a core thing the game is missing, several times. As far as I know it didn't stick. 100% of the burden is placed on player generated content from scratch, which also consequently is 100% likely to be an unsustainable, failing game design. Ideally, the game needs to give players a constant stream of foundations they can build their interactions upon conveniently if they choose to do so. Also a 'rumor' system which would vaguely inform everyone about stuff happening in the world so they don't feel so isolated, know where to look for action and have a way into the RP others are having, which is the another core thing imo the game is missing.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2016, 03:32:27 PM by Mookzen »