Dev Talk #2: A Deep Dive into the Shipyard Update

Posted: //
Dec. 1, 2016, 6:43 p.m.

To all those posting in here there leaving why post you got your money back leave cya bye bye.

Posted: //
Dec. 1, 2016, 7:14 p.m.

I'm posting so that the reason I'm leaving and the reason I requested my money back is made abundantly clear, and to let others know that it is possible.

I did enjoy this game and I thin k it still has a future. I just think its future should be closer to League of Legends than to World of Warships.

The Devs and I apparently disagree on this, which is fine, it's their baby they have the right to do what they want with it. But simple talk on the forums is not going to change their mind. Affecting their bottom line has the bonus of me getting my money back, them losing my money which I had previously paid into the game, and them knowing that their actions are the direct cause of losing that money. Now, my 40 bucks isn't that much. But it's my voice, it's my vote.

Fly casual, lethal.

Posted: //
Dec. 2, 2016, 2:23 a.m.

I play both WOWS and MOBAs in general, I was excited and played to rank 50 because a Capital Ship MOBA was new and fun.

I am already tier X in WOWS, so I have no problems with their formula.
My problem is that I did enjoy this game as it was, and now it has changed.

Probably will play Fractured Space instead, I preferred Dreadnought because the models and effects were better looking.
Thankfully I never spent money here, maybe if it changes back.

Posted: //
Dec. 2, 2016, 3:16 a.m.

lethal61#8149 posted (#post-73595)

To all those posting in here there leaving why post you got your money back leave cya bye bye.

Because people are testers, lol. It's not pay to play game. I got invited to alpha before I bought founder pack and I bought it because I wanted to support the game, not for beta access because I already had it.

Posted: //
Dec. 2, 2016, 6:07 a.m.

wake#5772 posted (#post-71653)

I do not begrudge the devs for attempting to monetize the game. It is a "necessary evil" as it were to keep the lights on. I recently saw an interview with Donatelli about his vision for taking Wildstar free to play, and I am pleased to see that he has many of the right ideas regarding how monitization is done right under such circumstances. i.e. Not selling power. And also not making it "too painful."

However, I think that the devs are heading in that "too painful" direction with a blatant attempt to annoy the players sufficiently that they will cough up real cash to bypass a 4 artillery cruiser grind to get to the koschei. (for example) Transactions in dreadnought should "feel" good. Not as if one has been "forced" to do it because it was the only way around an unpleasant situation.

Additionally, the thought that the only reason we find this system so painful is because we already know what ships we like from the previous system is silly. New players aren't idiots, they will read descriptions or look up youtube videos or ask around so they can plan ahead. Especially with such an epic grind involved to get to anything they want. It's inevitable that new players will also feel the, "I want the heavy healboat, why is it locked behind 4 irrelevant-to-my-cause artillery?" vibe everyone is feeling. Not a vocal minority. EVERYONE.

Many of these "new ships" they added which are really just watered down versions of their original selves with some new fancy skins would have been better put to use as paid cosmetics. Many of these ships are very pretty and people would be thrilled to shell out to make their favorite ship in terms of mechanics their favorite ship in terms of appearance. For example, the Harwick is a gorgeous skin for the Jupiter Arms tactical cruiser.

Making ships and modules purchasable with credits or GP was perfectly fine. It wasn't "pay to win." Pay to win is when certain, typically more powerful, items/powers/characters/etc are ONLY available if one pays. If someone wants to shell out hundreds of dollars to get ALL THE THINGS immediately, while another chooses to grind their way through the game to get them that's their prerogative. Additionally, with a sufficient population for match making to work as it should, such a "wallet warrior" would not be "op" because they should be matched against players with similar skill and similar loadout regardless of if that player paid with GP or with credits.

Ironically, this is where the whole "experience-progression" system gets in the way of monitization. The fact that someone who wants to come in and buy all the things can't simply have them, but must first grind exp to unlock the ability to buy them is entirely contrary to the "pay to get it now or grind to get it later" mechanic that most successful monitization schemes employ.

I realize that a great deal of work must have gone into the tier system, but unfortunately, it's not going to work as intended. Any game with tiers has the inevitable fate of top tier being best tier and no one wants to go back down and play the lower tiers. People didn't work so hard/swipe their card so hard to get the bestest, shiniest toys just to occasionally play them when their credit reserves will allow it. And legendary isn't so terribly appealing considering that basically the "original dreadnought" experience is available at tier 4, so why bother with the shirt losing mechanics in tier 5?

The maintenance system was clearly implemented to try and make all tiers/brackets relevant. One farms credits in the recruit bracket, one farms exp in the veteran bracket and one loses their shirt in legendary bracket to force them back down to the credit farm. This was a smart idea in terms of keeping all the brackets relevant, it was a terrible idea in terms of player satisfaction.

All ships should be available in their basic form right from the start so players can make their diverse fleet out of ships they actually want to play rather than the ships they are forced to play. If one wants to keep a "tier" progression system, they can make it so that all the weapons and modules are available to that ship from the start at tier 0, and then the player can choose which modules they wish to level up. Those modules are leveled solely through credits or GP. Exp doesn't really have a place in a game like this. Think of the ships as a player's fleet of cars. You don't pimp your precious rides with "experience" you pimp them with cash. Heaps and heaps of cash.

In a tier system, modules that originally gave nothing but a boost but then "grow up" into a form that drastically handicaps your ship for a better bonus is silly. Many people will want to simply stick with a 150% boost with no penalty than get a 170% boost that makes one take bonus damage and zaps all their energy. Additionally, the lower tiers don't prepare one to deal with these mechanics, once they are implemented, by doing it this way, so remove them, or keep them uniform from the start.

If one still REALLY wants tiers to ships, the ships should still all be available from the start, but there is a cost to upgrade the ship itself with the associated boosts. Still a cost of credits or GP, player's choice. And one could even still lock modules out until the ship has been upgraded to an associated tier if they don't want that module appearing in any way, shape, or form in a lower tier.

If the devs still want to be able to apply a level number to a captain because of the feels associated with pounding one's chest because they are level 80, then apply a point system to every module/ship and as the captain fills out their collection of ships/modules, their number goes up. However, in an ever expanding game, don't attach a title to a rank. You will have to endlessly invent new titles or re-define old ones with each addition, so save yourselves that headache up front.

Speaking of development headaches. A tech tree or any form of progression that gets a tree or sphere grid or any other sort of visual "map" representation will ultimately turn into a pain if you plan to add anything to it. You have to create new nodes or roots or branches to slip things in and re-arrange them, generally aggravating your playerbase with the changes. Or you have to add a whole new tier with all the associated development costs so that you aren't tinkering with what's already been done... but the playerbase isn't going to take kindly to that either. The old system of ships and modules in the market made far more sense lore-wise and was far more straight forward and expandable.

If you want credit sinks so that lulls in module/ship releases don't result in a surplus that allows players to simply get them with credits, you're not going to get that done with maintenance if it doesn't exceed a player's income. Frankly, I don't have many suggestions for how to get that done given this game doesn't really have any of the traditional economy found in mmorpgs. But perhaps you could implement rentable things or consumeables. Perhaps theme music that lasts a few days, perhaps a theme that plays on your enemy's death screen until respawn a la APB Reloaded. Maybe a ship cosmetic that can only be rented for a time before it will expire and need to be re-purchased. An epic hull configuration or special coating, perhaps weapons that perform the same but look different, etc.

Although having currency or exp or traditional mmorpg type progression in a co-op pvp game may be folly in the first place. Dota2 seems to make money purely from cosmetics and merchandise and I think that would do very well for dreadnought too. Players appreciate not having unpleasant mechanics just to monetize and they certainly enjoy pimping their ride/character, especially if it's in the form of easy microtransactions, 5 dollars here, 5 dollars there.

Dota2 doesn't need an unpleasant, grindy progression system to encourage people to spend money to bypass/ease the grind, and they don't need a grindy progression system to make people feel "invested" or like they have "progressed." People feel as though they have progressed by getting better at the game, by making new strategies and beating the player that took them to pound town all last week. The game is fun and draws people back in, why? not because they've been sucked in with psychological trickery that conditions them into playing, but because the game is actually fun. And no, not every player pays or pays a great deal, but they don't have to.

The completely free players provide content to the paying players by being their team mates and opponents, and while those players may not pay anything into the game, there will be many who make up for it by shamelessly buying EVERYTHING, and many more who will at least shell out to pimp out their favorite heroes. I have no doubt that the same thing would apply to dreadnought. I know I bought GP to get the Trident, not because the hero ship is good mechanically, heck no, that ship is a paperweight and generally terrible, but that hull is gorgeous and I wanted my monarch to be glorious. Though, now that benefit is lost as apparently only tier 5 ships can be customized in such fashion... incredibly limited given the intent for tier 5 to not be played all that often...

sigh It feels like the devs are making a series of "good on paper" decisions that in practice fall flat on their face. Mechanics that should do what they are "supposed" to do, and yet the players LOATHE them. Or looking at other games where these mechanics seem to work and thinking they'll do just fine for Dreadnought... and yet they do not seem to do fine at all. Perhaps because they are not a carbon copy but have been adulterated to fit this game and some how the success is getting lost in translation. And writing this little monologue probably won't change that, but here's my two cents anyway, I suppose. Do with it as you will. Provided anyone of consequence to the development process actually reads any of this.
Best post I have seen so far (among lots good proposal, and I don't even think I can count mine into those!)

This guy point exactly why people are angry and what to do to improve your system without deny it completely.
Please just hear this guy smile

Best proposal to put 2.0 in the right way. Please hear this guy dev

Posted: //
Dec. 2, 2016, 9:28 a.m.

Alanna#6256 posted (#post-73590)

For those curious. The refund process for my mercenary pack was quick and easy. Now i have 40 bucks to spend on other, more fun, games.

I am curious: what did you tell them exactly? and are you within their "30 days after purchase" clause?
I requested a refund as well (approx. 130€), but I am out of this clause (here since alpha, packs mainly bought to support). With Progress 2.0 it isnt the game I was supporting originally, hence the moeny back.
So did you make it happen?

Posted: //
Dec. 2, 2016, 9:32 a.m.

I might wanna know that too now :/

Blue Vengeance - Deutscher Multigaming Casual Clan

Posted: //
Dec. 2, 2016, 11:07 a.m.

Updated //
Dec. 2, 2016, 11:11 a.m.

To be specific, I told them 'this is no longer the game i paid money for. i want my money back.'

They then requested order information, which i provided, and processed my refund. Received refund same business day.

And I was outside the 30 day thing (barely, which might be a factor). I bought the Mercenary pack September 20, refund was requested nov 22, response from greybox support was nov 23.

Posted: //
Dec. 2, 2016, 11:48 a.m.

Updated //
Dec. 2, 2016, 11:59 a.m.

Nice little talk but it doesn't change anything about the current state of the game. Progression 2.0 is simply overcomplicated pain in the a**. Your “guiding players” actually left less freedom for us to do what we want. And different people want different things. Someone want to build the fleet and be more versatile. Someone want to be a good medic. Someone want to experiment with different builds and loadouts. And someone maybe something between.

Here is the list of things from 2.0 which hurt the game most
- Tier system - community separation and putting the main game behing the grind wall.
- Power levels - more unbalanced matches. You know your ideal about skilled player with lower tier going aganist less skilled player with higher tier also has the other side. You will more likely find cases when less skilled player with lower tier will be facing more skilled player with higher tier!
- Maintenance - negative solution for currency sink is lazy solution. This one cause so much frustration.

Here is the list of possitive changes
- 8 vs. 8
- new ship models
- better performance I guess?

I am very dissapointed about your decision to keep current direction. smile See you next time.

Posted: //
Dec. 2, 2016, 11:58 a.m.

And something to add to the game functionality. And this one is not a bad/good one: better chat system and more detailed friend list.

-We need a way to answer back at a whisp while we are in the game (hey, I need 5more min before winning/losing. Wait for me!)
-The current status of a friend: online, AFK, in a game.

Best proposal to put 2.0 in the right way. Please hear this guy dev

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