Hi Dreadnought team,
I'm obliviondoll, and as you know, I've been here since the alpha. There are a lot of us, and back then, there were even more. You've obviously noticed that there are a lot less players sticking around lately, and presumably, you're aware of why. After all, the reasons we have to be abandoning you in droves have been repeated over and over again on the forums, and you are "listening" to us. So clearly, you know exactly what you did wrong.
This begs the question: Why are you not ACTING ON THE FEEDBACK YOU'RE GETTING?
Almost the entirety of progression 2.0 is just mistakes piled up on mistakes piled up on even more mistakes. Everything about it is fundamentally wrong. You're missing ALL the points that actually lead to a successful free-to-play model. Your attempt at monetisation has been proven NOT to work in more cases than it's succeeded. Even the games which haven't died from doing it have only survived due to extenuating circumstances Dreadnought doesn't have in its favour, and even those games have been starting to falter in recent years.
There's been a petition floating around for about 2 weeks, and while it was formed with the best of intentions, it was following the company line. It's basically giving up on getting meaningful change, and asking for ANYTHING that even comes CLOSE to what the players actually want. It really isn't asking for nearly enough. For this game to bring a reasonable number of its old players back, and for this game to actually succeed long-term, it needs to change MASSIVELY. The current model simply CANNOT do that, even with "tweaking" and "rebalancing". The current direction of giving players almost the exact opposite of what we've been asking at each step clearly doesn't cut it.
Link to that petition for reference: https://www.greybox.com/dreadnought/en/forum/topic/33237/
In less than half the time that petition has been running, I've managed to gather almost twice as many votes on a poll. This poll WASN'T written to favour my preferences. It was open for anyone to share their perspectives, and the vast majority have voted against the model used for progression 2.0 with just over 2/3 of the 95 current votes being for "go back to the build before progression 2.0".
Link to my poll thread for reference: https://www.greybox.com/dreadnought/en/forum/topic/33237/
Direct link to poll: http://www.strawpoll.me/11833010
Just for the record, this is NOT a petition asking that you revert to that build and never change. There were certainly issues. Even there, the progression system was restrictive and needed a lot of rebalancing. There aren't a lot of cosmetic options for the skins in that build. The new ship models created for progression 2.0 would offer a really good way to diversify the cosmetic features, giving players a lot of really cool things to spend money on. THAT is how successful free games monetise, by the way. Not by enforcing a subscription to get around the obnoxious grind. Simply giving players REALLY COOL THINGS which we actually want to spend money on is a great start. Making the grind become obnoxious once we have a small fleet OF OUR OWN DEVISING - giving us the freedom to choose what to unlock and when - would be another great solution, which I've proposed before.
The purpose of this petition is to request the following persistent and repeated feedback is not merely "listened" to and discarded, but is actually taken on board and USED for the purposes of actually saving this game from the hole it's digging itself ever deeper into with its curent direction.
No maintenance. We know, you think it's a way to make money. If nobody is playing, you're making nothing. By NOT having mechanics which exist only to get in the way of gameplay for monetisation reasons, you will keep players interested. By making the things people pay for ACTUALLY INTERESTING, you will have players who WANT to spend money. Many of us actively want to support this game, because the core gameplay is fun. But if you're putting obstacles in the way to FORCE it, we're going to walk away instead. The majority of gamers are heading in that direction. You're shutting the door in our faces and demanding payment, and we're just walking away instead of paying the toll.
No tech tree. Again, we know this took a lot of work. That doesn't mean it works. The negativity surrounding this is not as harsh as maintenance, but it's still very much disliked by the playebrase as a whole. Instead, a NON-LINEAR experience-based unlock system would be a great solution. This game isn't a MOBA, but it is a class-based shooter with a fairly wide selection of ships, and having a MOBA-like progression system would be a great benefit. Don't lock players into a fixed linear path. Don't lock players into a specific pre-written set of linear paths. Let us make OUR OWN CHOICES. Give players a token, hangar slot, or something every 5 levels, with which to buy a new ship. Give players other tokens every level which allow them to alter the modules and other features. I've proposed this idea before, but it's only one of MANY ways the old progression system could be modified into something that works better for the game, better for the players, AND opens up more monetisation options. Selling these tokens/hangar slots for real money is a valid and intelligent choice - especially if the later stages of the grind once a player has a handful of ships become exponentially longer, and you end up with huge stacks of credits and very little to spend them on. If you want to run out of in-game money at higher tiers, you'll be spending real money in order to have something to spend those credits on. That said, there are a lot of other ways the system could be changed for the better, and almost none of them can be built on the current tech tree system.
No tiers. This would condense the current 15 with a bunch of variations of the exact same ship back to 15 ships. If you want to add new ships to the game, they'll have to ACTUALLY BE NEW SHIPS. But that isn't a bad thing! That means the "new" ships (which were never really new anyway) become cosmetic items. You know all those people I mentioned who would LOVE to pay you to keep the game alive, but are feeling like you're pushing us away? Having a collection of 3 to 5 new skins for each of the ships we love would give a lot of cool cosmetic options. Another great feature provided by the removal of tiers is the removal of tier-based matchmaking. This means that a proper skill-based matchmaking system is actually a viable option. Ranking players based on just the level of their ships will ALWAYS result in horribly unbalanced match-ups where experienced players will stomp all over the "I just bought a hero ship what does this button do?" people in high-tier matches, and the recruit games will be full of high-level players who are running their bottom-tier fleets to save the credits they can't earn in higher tiers. Whenever a new player comes in, they'll be a goldfish in a sea of sharks, and there will be nothing you can "tweak" or "rebalance" to change that fact.
We want the game built on a frame that actually held up under its own weight. The patch before the progression 2.0/shipyard was the last workable system to build from. We understand that it's hard, but this is very obviously the direction the players not only WANT, but NEED if you want us to stay.
I will not be editing this post to reflect poll results, but below are the results at 95 votes (current when this post is made). I will add future updates as posts in the thread when replying to anyone who signs. This OP will only be edited to update the number of signatures, and to correct typoes/formatting issues.
Revert to previous build: 67% (more than 2/3 of votes - 64)
Attempt to tweak numbers to make progression 2.0 work: 17% (16 votes)
Create another new system: 16% (15 votes - for more than 50 votes, this had more support than prog2.0 did)