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



Posted: //
Dec. 2, 2016, 1:08 p.m.



Kampfkraft#8374 posted (#post-74843)

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 again...how did you make it happen?

I just got a reply from their support that they can't refund me because I purchased founder pack more than 60 days ago. So no refund for me. Well, I feel like my money just went down the drain, at least it's a lesson for me that I shouldn't support games that aren't released in public. If you made a purchase that isn't older than these 60 days then I think refund process shouldn't be a problem.


Posted: //
Dec. 2, 2016, 2:32 p.m.



I join the chronically underwhelmed.

I bought the merc pack to get into the Beta, and had a great time...before this. However, I haven't played more than a handful of games since the "Shipyard" update, and it looks like I won't be again any time soon. Luckily there are plenty of other good games available. I had fun playing Dreadnought, but I don't want to play "Paygrind fleet manager".

This extended apology seems to boil down to:

Players selected, identified with and tended to specialize in a certain kinds of ship or ships. We sacrificed this feeling-of-ownership, ship-oriented progression and player specialization to emphasize fleets even though nobody in particular was asking for this. Despite this kind of identification and specific enjoyment is a primary mechanic of nearly every RPG ever, Overwatch, Team Fortress, and similar games, we think this is a good idea because, reasons. We understand the community has responded with overwhelming disapproval to most of this, and despite the fact that nothing about the previous system in any way prevented ambitious players from bringing versatile fleets to battle, we want to continue this new approach.

They even talk around these game parallels, but then claim to have an opposite conclusion from successful similar examples:

“Trying to get to the top tier is a behavior that totally makes sense for an RPG,” Mike continues: “In that kind of game, you’re trying to get your character all the way to the end and be as powerful as possible. This works when you have only one character.”

Except in every long-running RPG or MMO ever, players do the obvious thing - make new characters. Which is exactly what players WERE doing in the previous Beta by kitting out multiple ships. It is, in fact, now strictly more difficult to do this, with more convoluted tech trees, and the requirement that you now identify several ships you enjoy that all happen to be on the same tiers so you can fly them together.

Then another anecdote with the same backwards conclusion:

“If we put all the ships from one class into a single Manufacturer Tree, then we couldn't really do the manufacturers the way we wanted to. On top of that, the game is not about single ships. It's about your fleet. And if you just went from Destroyer to Destroyer to Destroyer, you would have nothing but Destroyers and would be less effective in battle because you couldn’t react to the other team at all,” says Donatelli.

So the solution is presented right in the problem. Mike plays destroyers. Mike realizes he needs a tac cruiser to win. Mike tries something new and has fun. Nothing in the shipyard update made that any better or easier. Mike could have done exactly the same thing in the old progression system, and he could have done it more readily.

I admit, in that particular section they were explaining why they didn't go with per-class trees, but all those concerns could be addressed by just inducing variety from players if the base game didn't do it on its own, adding quests or bonuses for playing other things would have been simple. Trees based on ship type would not in any way reduce player's interest in diversification provided light/medium/heavy were different but all equally viable.


Posted: //
Dec. 2, 2016, 4:17 p.m.



I'm a new player and I can already tell you I'm not a fan of this progression. You put too much emphasis on people enjoying winning rather than playing as their favorite class. Right now I have to switch between playing as the Destroyer, which is the class I enjoy most, and Artillery Cruiser, which is to purely grind until I get the Destroyer I want to play as. While I understand that you want new Captains, such as myself, to try out different classes of vessels an issue arises when I learn I don't like a certain class I would still have to grind through 3 tiers of this class to try another I may like. This could be fixed if all research was free research. Right now we get more research for ships we do well in rather than ones we don't (That basically rewards specialization btw), if all research gained was free this would allow players to play according to the situation of the game (the versatility you want) instead of making sure whatever ship they need to grind gets enough play time. Or use faction specific research which still allows players to progress down the tree they want while still playing a ship they enjoy. For example, I'm very interested in playing as AV's Dreadnought I unlocked however that wouldn't add any research towards the ship I'm most interested in. General Faction research would allow new captains like me the chance to experiment while still making progress down the tree in a desired path.


Posted: //
Dec. 2, 2016, 4:44 p.m.


Updated //
Dec. 2, 2016, 4:45 p.m.

Ive done it often, and I'm about to do it again. Here's a tip of advice, Yager/6 Foot/Grey Box: Take a look at Planetside. With that statement covered, let me get on to why...

For those that don't know, Planetside 2 can be classified as a MMOFPSRTS (kinda, its unique). You have hundreds of players from 3 unique factions battling on huge maps (continents) to capture facilities and lock the continent so their faction gets a nice bonus. Its a combined arms game that features infantry, armored vehicles, and aircraft. For the purposes of this forthcoming wall of text, I will be looking at how Planetside handles some of the things addressed in the wall of text provided to us by Timo.

Claiming that you want people to diversify their fleets, you have locked several ships behind different ships classes. On top of this, T1 players only have access to 3 of the 5 ship classes. In order to make your classes more powerful, you have to buy a whole new ship (In best case scenario) or go through several ship classes. In planetside however, you start with all 5 classes in the game: Infiltrator, Light Assault, Engineer, Combat Medic, and Heavy Assault (and MAX, technically). This allows you to switch to any class at any time if you feel that one will fit your current situation better. How do they handle upgrading their classes, you might ask? This is done through customization options. You wont have very many unlocked to begin with, but after you unlock one you can upgrade it using the earned currency. For example, I can buy armor for my Heavy to reduce incoming damage. If I keep putting money towards new ranks of this upgrade, it resists more damage. These direct upgrades aren't expensive at the first few ranks, and I can chose to diversify and have more options available or specialize and keep putting money towards a specific ability that I like. This allows players to have freedom, which is generally a well received thing, and it doesn't directly penalize those who chose to go all-in on a particular class.

That's fine, but how does Planetside get players to experiment and find what they like? In all honesty, by giving all of the classes self-explanatory names, players can generally find which class they will like most. However this is not to say there aren't situations that encourage looking at other classes. If you come across a smoking vehicle that is friendly, you may become an engineer to repair it, move on, and realize you like the weapons and how the class plays. If you see enemy vehicles approaching, you may switch to a Heavy Assault to blast them with rockets. If you're finding a lot of dead allies, you might switch to Combat Medic to revive them. Whats the common factor? Getting more XP and more certs (credits). Even if players have not put any money into a class, they can still do these things quite well. Their draw to XP is because they want to make their classes better, and they have the freedom to do so as they see fit. In Dreadnought, we want to upgrade our ships but this is overshadowed by unlocking new ships which are objectively more powerful. We have the desire - but not so much the ability - to play the game how we want to.

"I've seen a lot about how you have freedom. Cant this overwhelm new players?" That is a valid point, and I understand why you all in the DN team want to gradually increase the amount of modules available to ease new players in. However, if they so much as take a peek at the later on tech trees they might be disappointed that a module they thought to be really cool is only available in T4. In addition, modules are somewhat expensive and can dissuade players from experimenting. How does Planetside "ease" new players in? It beckons them to experiment with their ability and suit slots. To unlock the first rank for items in these slots usually costs 10 or 30 certs, which can be earned in 10-20 minutes of play. The low cost makes it so that if someone tries something out and decides they don't like it, they haven't lost much. If the do like it, they can put more certs towards the middle ranks to increase its effectiveness, and then chose to save the 500 or 1000 certs for the final rank to specialize or put this money to diversifying, based on what they like. For the support classes (medic and engineer), they can also upgrade their tool to make them more effective at their primary jobs or unlock items in their ability and suit slot to broaden their capabilities. This experimentation isn't possible in dreadnought because not only are the modules locked to one level per ship, its a grind to get other ships to even have the possibility to experiment. I believe a system that allows experimentation so the player can find something they like is far better than the current "Heres what it does, spend 10 20 minute games worth of earnings to buy it and see if you like it" system we have now.

With all of whats said above, you might be wondering how high level players don't just roflstomp newbies. Part of it is the TTK, sitting at a few seconds (or less) means if a new player gets the drop on a veteran, his ability and suit slots will barely help. In a straight on slugfest, there are certain upgrades that can help those veterans win with a numerical advantage. The caveat? A newbie can spend 1/4 as much on that upgrade line and get 2/3 its functionality. These slots aren't designed to give players a sweeping advantage, they are designed to assist the player in playing how they want to, thus meaning that there isn't much of a power gap (unlike with tiers, but its been stated that tiers are getting addressed again).

And thus brings us to how planetside stays alive. The answer? An absolutely beautiful monetization system coupled with a very unique game. The only thing that real money money (which buys a currency called Daybreak Cash, or DBC) can buy that certs cannot is customization. As well, there aren't any paywalls or obscene grindfests that entice players to shell out some cash to the devs. Rather, I find that people throw money at the game because they really enjoy that the devs didn't go with an intrusive system. In fact, there are several things (like the aforementioned suit slots) that can only be bought with certs, meaning a paid player still has to unlock items and a higher level f2p player will still have that slight advantage from playing longer. As well, the game doesn't have a straight up cert sink where you spend your money and it just disappears like it does with maintenance (which, honestly, just feels bad). The closest thing to it is base building, as there are several structures that cost at minimum 1000 certs. But even then, at least you have something that's useful, and its not like you were forced into putting the money there. Bottom line is, if you want to know how to do monetization, look at Planetside, because honestly, they nailed monetization.

TL;DR (understandable): Don't force players to diversify, encourage them and make it easy to experiment and diversify. Forcing us to go through a ship class we don't like wont make us like it, regardless if new or old. It only frustrates us. Making modules cheap but upgradable can facilitate diversification, and encourage people to try new things - this could also apply to ships in a way other than tiers. Reduce power discrepancies (I know its stated that this will happen), make it possible to upgrade T(x-1) ships to a similar power of a fresh T(x) ship. Make it so that we want to throw out money at you guys, not that we have to in order to bypass a grind or other paywall, because that just doesn't feel good. Ever.


Posted: //
Dec. 2, 2016, 8:15 p.m.



Thank you devs for a fantastic game I love every part of it and EVERY THING ON THE PROPOSED CHANGES keep up the good work don't let a handfull of people determine the games outcome.
smile


Posted: //
Dec. 2, 2016, 9:46 p.m.



lethal61#8149 posted (#post-74953)

Thank you devs for a fantastic game I love every part of it and EVERY THING ON THE PROPOSED CHANGES keep up the good work don't let a handfull of people determine the games outcome.
smile

could just say you just enjoy it and NOT pick a fight. Elaborate on what you like about it so you can show the "handful" your perspective.


you won't escape my Frightning bolts!!!


Posted: //
Dec. 3, 2016, 7:23 a.m.


Updated //
Dec. 3, 2016, 7:24 a.m.

Alanna#6256 posted (#post-74898)

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.

<
I just opened a follow-up ticket of my previous request, including your information. As we both are requesting a refund for the same reason (not the game it used to be) and we are both out of the 30-day-thingy I wonder what their excuse will be this time.


Posted: //
Dec. 3, 2016, 10:08 a.m.


Updated //
Dec. 3, 2016, 10:10 a.m.

Kampfkraft#8374 posted (#post-75295)

Alanna#6256 posted (#post-74898)

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.

<
I just opened a follow-up ticket of my previous request, including your information. As we both are requesting a refund for the same reason (not the game it used to be) and we are both out of the 30-day-thingy I wonder what their excuse will be this time.

As I told before on previous page, there's 60 day limit, not 30. I got denied because my purchase was more than 60 days old(that's their reason for this). So if you bought it more than 30 days ago but less than 60, I think it should be fine.


Posted: //
Dec. 3, 2016, 11:42 a.m.



Gon#9066 posted (#post-75361)

Kampfkraft#8374 posted (#post-75295)

Alanna#6256 posted (#post-74898)

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.

<
I just opened a follow-up ticket of my previous request, including your information. As we both are requesting a refund for the same reason (not the game it used to be) and we are both out of the 30-day-thingy I wonder what their excuse will be this time.

As I told before on previous page, there's 60 day limit, not 30. I got denied because my purchase was more than 60 days old(that's their reason for this). So if you bought it more than 30 days ago but less than 60, I think it should be fine.

<
quoting from what the CS told me: "....our policy is that your request must fall within 72 hours from purchase or 30 days if the game has not been played...."

30 Days. Period.
Next to this, I once played Dreadnought, now, IF I WOULD play, I wouldnt play Dreadnought anymore but a completly different game (if you like WoD).


Posted: //
Dec. 3, 2016, 11:43 a.m.



HEY DEVS WAKE THE @#$% UP!!!! WHERE IS THE POSTIVE REACTION TO THESE CHANGES? WHERE IS THE RUSH OF PLAYERS COMMING BACK TO SUPPORT THE GAME? HOW ARE YOU THIS BLIND?

How is it that you can simply brush off every single fracking thing 90% of your beta testers are saying. How do you read dozens of threads and hundreds of posts over the last month bemoaning the changes, demanding a reset, suggesting something ANYTHING that's not the current game . . . and determine 'Yeah things are good just cut prices.'

Your reasoning is flawed, your logic is terrible, you had a great game but this is the final nail in the coffin. I'm sick of clubbing noobs, getting clubbed by higher tier ships, having no options to customize, being locked out of 99% of your content due to the insane prices and soul-sucking grind.

But you know the worst part? The bitter, bitter, pill is that I joined just a week before this Regression 2.0 @#$% fell in love with your game, and had to watch you shoot it in the head and eject it out the airlock. I've barely touched it since, it is literally painful to play because there's no progress and less fun. it's not like i'm bad either Positive K/D Positive win ratio this is the first game I have EVER encountered where the average gamer's experience, not being super great, but good enough to hold my own, just isn't fun or fulfilling.


-Citizen Soldier -"Do not bring forth an argument that can be disproved with a 10 minute google search."

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