The grind, gating the full experience, and humane/sensible player retention

Posted: //
April 10, 2018, 4:59 p.m.

think there should be a solo game mode where you can earn points to get new ships,maybe only to a certain tier or something anything that would make the game worth playing more than once.

Then you should play "Proving Grounds" (awful xp, only a mode for learning by doing), or the custom game mode that will arrive on pc maybe in a month or two.

The community should not be afraid of the developers- The developers should be afraid of their community. carrier

^I want to believe^

Posted: //
April 11, 2018, 11:59 p.m.

I don't really mind the slow progression, well...I wouldn't mind it so much, if I was playing against others new to T3. I get stomped in my vanilla T3 ships by level IV ships with level IV modules. That is what is demoralizing. I feel like I have no chance to succeed. It's not fun, and I really don't see how elite is gonna solve that.

Posted: //
April 12, 2018, 12:49 a.m.

Updated //
April 12, 2018, 8:15 p.m.

W4R-DN#4622 posted (#post-217265) said:

The hard cap is credits, XP can go up alot . the highest XP i got out of a veteran match (with BB without elite) was around 16k. Average(for me) is between 6-10k XP

How do you get 16k ex? My best was 9k with Elite....

Yes , the current reward system is totaly brocken...

Posted: //
April 12, 2018, 3:09 a.m.

It is stupid and difficult, but tier 3 should have its own mode. Only Tier 3.

The community should not be afraid of the developers- The developers should be afraid of their community. carrier

^I want to believe^

Posted: //
April 12, 2018, 3:30 a.m.

Updated //
April 12, 2018, 4 a.m.


I've been playing Dreadnought since July 29, 2016 (mostly solo) and I'll go back and you get a picture. Earlier, before the biggest patch, I think it was in August 2016, there were level dependent rewards. There were unlocks of skins at level up and also free XP / Credits.

Now there is a career progression. However, this does not bring much, or is devenetiv too little. I have been testing around 5 hours / week since January 2018 and try to get my career progress fame and fortune. In January I had 500 points (won matches) and now 604 and I've been level 50 for 2 weeks. So far I've just unlocked 2 Tier5 ships (including 1 Tier 5 module).

About $ 90 was invested by me in the game. It's clear to me that you can move faster with money, but I will not invest in any game if it's been a beta for 3 years and now the game's development is related monthly to cool updates from new shop items and no more. Also, I find it unfair that I was forced to unlock modules in a development tree step by step and now these modules are freely selectable. So I would have put my XP and credits on other modules and would be better than now. Unfortunately, there was no compensation for the earlier beta testers and it is frustrating, besides what we already went through. (After the big patch (late 2016) there were a lot of new bugs (for example: very long matchmaking latencies, veteran and recruit matches mixed - and this bug dragged on until the end of 2017.)

My proposition:

  • Daily login rewards that increase daily.
  • Level rewards (XP, Credits, Modules, Skins, GP-Points)
  • Daily tasks that are feasible and get rewards.
  • In Betaphase the beta testers reward monthly with skins that are no longer available after the release.
  • Develop an additional match by playing a full human group against the KI that adjusts to the human group with proper XP / Credits rewards.

So that's it ... Am still a freshman forum posts and apologies if something is wrong and hope that english is ok. (Google Translator) ;-)

In spite of everything ... Enjoy Dreadnought and hope we meet ingame. The game has so much potential.

Posted: //
April 12, 2018, 3:54 p.m.

Wow! Y'all have brought up a lot of related problems just based on me poking the elephant in the room of obvious pay to progress design damaging their potential community size and player retention. While I think some of these other subjects are definitely related, I think that any proposed fixes to those would be disrupted by any fix to this problem, and it's also interesting to examine the impact this design decision has in creating or contributing to some of those problems. XP/credit systems would be less of a concern if their insufficiencies weren't gating the lion's share of content and depth in this game. I get that the philosophy there is likely 'why would they pay for the milk if they get the cow for free', but as it stands even if I were to pay I'd have to do significant work to get to the core of the game where its mechanics and loadout depth can actually shine.

This testimonial right here, this is why I'm reticent to commit any more of my time to a game that gives so little while demanding so much:

Enterprise_NC1701#2026 posted (#post-217155) said: Without elite it took me one year straight getting from the t4 jutland to the t5 monarch. With elite I made it from t4 vindicta to t5 brutus (need to buy the 7 mods that are left) withing one week.

Two weeks of elite: 1 tier 3 (gravis) finished, t4 obtained, 1 tier three finished (akula artillery), 2 tier three obtained (virtus oberon artillery , ceres), one tier 4 finished

I don't want to even try, there is only stomping, purging, disrupting, heal bałłing, ramming etc. Grinding is not possible when the match is already a lost cause after 5 mins.

Pay to progress or not, if it takes a YEAR to grind out any piece of content, there's simply better games to play or ways to spend my time. I love what I see in T3-T4 and want to try it, but that's too much to ask to even reach the deep end, let alone get some of my friends to commit similarly and enjoy it.

So sure, maybe we're bad or just don't want it enough, but to throw away 6 potential players who certainly had the interest in the game before the grind-wall hit; that's just bad design and bad business. That's my point. I'm not interested in how to curb pub-stomping in a tier we can't even get all our guys into. I'm not interested in how reasonable it is if we were to turn our membership into a paid subscription (I can't get all of our guys to do that – 1-time purchase MAYBE). I'm not interested in how good or bad you think you or any of my crew are; your defensiveness is irrelevant to the fact that a significant number of our broad skill spectrum can't get into T3 before deciding the game takes too many hours to get to T3. I'm not even interested in how mediocre the matchmaking is, because while that's ANOTHER game-killing problem, it's not the one that we've been exposed to to cause several of our group to lose interest and quit.

I'm interested in the fact that 6 players who were hype about this game are quitting after dozens of hours of gameplay, before getting to experience anything but the most superficial of its depth and core offering. That's an obvious mistake to me, and should be a clear red flag to Grey Box, even if it's not evident to other already invested players (though clearly it is to some).

The flawed scoring system definitely plays into this, but moreso than poorly distributed income is that the resources required to get unlocks and the barrier between a new player and getting to any tier with module and ship diversity (where the game really has the potential to shine and sell its value proposition, IMO) is IMMENSE! Layered ontop of a broken points/XP system and translated to time, the cover price paid in time to get in is really quite absurd. The game could do much better even with a broken XP system, if it at least did not have such an exorbitent cost to get to the core gameplay of T3-T4 w/module choice. As long as that cover exists, it makes more sense to just move on, because even paying money won't fix our problem with this game, it will just make it marginally less painful. :-(

Posted: //
April 12, 2018, 4:16 p.m.

You're a bit deluded if you think the game is pay to win. Pay to progress does exist in DN, but it isn't "killing player retention". The amount of money required to progress substantially is in itself a substantial amount, so very few actually do that.

If it takes A YEAR to grind ANY ship in this game, even the dola, from t4 to t5, you're not playing the game, or you are playing as well as a hamster on drugs. Heck even a hamster on drugs queuing up and hopping on the keyboard could do better than that. Elite/xp conversion are not that big of a deal as you make it out to be. In the end it still comes down to how you are as a player. I haven't bought elite, excluding when I bought the founders pack. I have 9 t5 ships (haven't played in 2-3 months) and have a surplus of 2.6 mil exp on my vindi, and 800k on my valcour. The only significant means to boost progress assuming you play decently is buying credits, as there is a huge divide between exp and credits gained. But again. Ship's only as good as the captain.

Posted: //
April 12, 2018, 4:21 p.m.

Updated //
April 12, 2018, 4:44 p.m.

So the problem I've been establishing here is primarily:

  • It takes too much time investment to access the game's core gameplay (ship combat with diverse module and ship selection)

If I were to propose some solutions, it would look something like this (at first blush at least):

  • Monetize cosmetics and convenience (exactly what Riot & League of Legends has made a small empire doing), not access to core gameplay (this shrouds your game's value to potential customers and pushes away the large volume of players F2P is intended to attract)

  • Remove ship & tech progression grind – Ensure that regardless of skill (esp. because of issues with XP awards) or win-rate (esp. because of issues with mathcmaking and pubstomping) that players are able to access a suitable portion of a diverse enough tech tree to experience meaningful strategic loadout decisions and in-game ship choices within a modest amount of hours learning the game (so as not to drive away players with a slow boring grind devoid of the depth or fun that certainly exists in the game)

  • If you need something worth grinding towards, apply that grind towards cosmetics, convenience items (extra hanger/loadout slots/saved loadouts/fleet-wide cosmetic presets), or social perks (account badges, in-game emotes, event items like fireworks or cosmetics for the warp-in/post-game screens, victory poses/animations for when you get in top 3, etc.).

  • Cut out the chaff in front of T3 (or a similar level of ship/module diversity)

  • T1 is really quite meaningless, since all the unlocks do are increase some numbers and you don't even have all 5 ship classes yet. Consider removing T1 altogether, or pushing T2's level of module diversity down to that tier (you already know folks in recruit can handle 2 mod choices in each slot on each ship, because T2 is in the same matchmaking tier) and move more of T3+ diversity down to T2.

  • Tune progression on the whole to be more in line with T2 – T2 honestly feels about right for progression (in the best case scenario), because after 2-3 good games, any of our crew felt prepared to unlock/try a new mod and had the resources to do it. Progression should still exist, to encourage players to get used to a level of complexity before jumping in over their head, but this is a reasonable level for that intent. More of a grind makes access a problem, less makes the progression seem irrelevant.
  • Bring up the floor on progression or decouple it from performance entirely – Currently the best case of T2 feels fine, but the worst case can get quite poor, and T3+ just seems miserable all around. The two biggest contributors both have the common cause that you're not rewarding the key behaviors you want – active players and ideally good teamwork. Short of answering the problem of how to incentivise skills that can be difficult to track by stats (tanking can be measured by damage mitigation, but how does one measure effective use of debuffs and non-damage related actions that are still good team play?), the much easier answer is to more heavily weight match participation and team performance (this is how incentives work in any good team-oriented workplace anyway, unless our Dreadnought pilots are basically car salesmen! :-D).

Posted: //
April 12, 2018, 4:30 p.m.

Except even now, there are people who are in tiers they don't belong in. Recruit, vet and legendary aren't just t classify ships, they're to classify players. Making the grind EVEN EASIER than it already is will simply result in even more frustration and less player retention as people with little to no experience rush headlong into players with months of experience.

Posted: //
April 12, 2018, 4:55 p.m.

LYB-FooJub#4039 posted (#post-217573) said:

Except even now, there are people who are in tiers they don't belong in. Recruit, vet and legendary aren't just t classify ships, they're to classify players. Making the grind EVEN EASIER than it already is will simply result in even more frustration and less player retention as people with little to no experience rush headlong into players with months of experience.

No. Just no. A league system classifies players. Not this broken system.

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