Are you intentionally designing a frustrating game?

Posted: //
March 24, 2017, 6:58 a.m.

Normandy03#6697 posted (#post-114640)

Let's also keep in mind that the devs have their marching orders. They are only doing what they have been told to do from the powers that be. It can be easy to blame the devs for the faults of the game, but it's the CEO/publishers who ultimately call the shots, including public relations too.

Yager seems to be a relatively small German company, with only a few titles to their name. They likely have a lot of pressure to bring in some revenue on it. We as players can do our part to make this game viable by purchasing GP (which very few players do, evidently).

Despite their poor communication (maybe there's a language barrier? Or a German cultural thing?), they have shown that they are listening to player feedback and will be reducing maintenance costs in the next patch. So there is reason to be hopeful for the future of the game.


Fair warning: The last 2 times they promised to fix the maintenance costs because of bugs or imbalances, the prices went UP instead of down. In both cases, they explicitly stated there were problems causing maintenance to be charged at higher rates than intended, and the solution was somehow to increase them even more.

Even with that, the mere existence of maintenance in Dreadnought is a poor design decision which has been actively avoided by almost every successful free-to-play game ever, and the only successful devs who have used it and still succeeded are open about admitting that it was a mistake they're succeeding in spite of.
Step into your daydreams, and follow them home

Posted: //
March 24, 2017, 12:23 p.m.

Thank you obliviondoll for all your effort.

Normandy03#6697 posted (#post-114442)

I don't mind being crushed by tier IV players, as long as I know I can get to tier IV myself in a reasonable amount of time. Quicken the progression, and everything else, I think, will take care of itself.

Now imagine the game where you are playing for fun on the same power level as everyone else and progress towards new customization options which allows you to experiment with different loadouts. Sounds promising? We already had that you know...

Posted: //
March 25, 2017, 4:24 p.m.

Updated //
March 26, 2017, 5:27 a.m.

BadAlchemy#4871 posted (#post-114339)

There is nothing wrong with the system, its you as a player.

Not being harsh but good play is rewarded appropriately with enough credits. If you cannot do well in a Veteran match then you as the player need more practice and to learn the game better before going back to Veteran matches.

An indication of good play is a score of 1200-2500 a match. If you don't average that you aren't doing well and are hindering your team.

I play exclusively in veteran and have yet to run out of credits for months, especially since they increased credit earning after all the complaints.

I have to disagree with you there.
The problem is not being a bad player, it IS the maintenance system and wanting to be flexible for your team.

I had several matches now scoring in the upper three (last one was first place with 2200 points and 1850 Credits) with a loss of roughly 150 Credits per match.
I looked a bit harder and realized: Tactical flexibility (read: using more than ONE ship in a fleet) is too costly at the moment.
I had four ships in my Vet fleet (Destroyer, Artillery, Tactical and Corvette, all Jupiter Arms T3) and could hardly make any Credits.
Now I tried another match after kicking EVERY ship except the Destroyer and lo and behold: I made 1500 Credits!
The formula right now is roughly: (no. of ships) x 500 = maintenance cost

Since points in a match and Credits are roughly 1 point = 0.8 Credits - if you want more than one ship in your fleet AND earn about 100 Credits you have to make 800 points:
800 points x 0.8C/point = 640C - 500C maintenance fee = 140C earned

And mind you, making 100 Credits per game means that buying an upgrade will take roughly 80 games!
Sure, there are very likely matches were your team can win and you get some more credits and/or you make more than 800 points but seeing that you're quite likely to end up with a TII in a match vs TIV - it's a LOT of time you'll spend waiting for matches to start that will only allow you to get another meager stack of Credits.

And nope, friend of mine tried all that with Elite. It does increase income but not as much as some here seem to think.
Might very well be I'm totally rubbish at this game and do a lot wrong but seriously: blocking players from progress in an FTP game is kicking them in the shin.
And seriously, most free games live from people that want to spend their time in something that is
a) looking good
b) rewarding to play
c) not a total grind
Point a is a go.
Point b is very dependent on your team. If you have a good team you CAN (with a lot of difficulty) win even in a game were you're sporting T2 ships vs T4s. If not? Well, fly around and look at the buildings, see if you can see a person behind one of the windows. You'll be making as much of an impact as if you try to shoot a T4 Dreadnought with your Destroyers T2 guns.
Point c is not. Right now DN is definitely without doubt a grindy game. And I do not have enough free time to sink it into a game that I only enjoy for the visuals because the reward is so low that it just doesn't make me want to stick around.

Posted: //
March 25, 2017, 8:06 p.m.

Theobald#3611 posted (#post-114569)

Still acting like
1- you know anything about the real numbers of player retention and
2- player retention going down wasn't completely normal on this kind of game.

You can spend real money on this FREE GAME to gain ingame resources or elite time that gives you ingame resources.
And the game has to monetize somehow.
Deal with it.

Obviously there is a problem seeing how long this game has been out and no one is jumping on your band wagon the player numbers cannot be dismissed by your silly exclamation or that of the others that have posted here. There Is a problem and the devs better deal with it or it will take care of its self and this game will fail just like others do that refuse to change and have the we know best mentality.

Posted: //
March 26, 2017, 2:18 a.m.

obliviondoll#5677 posted (#post-114625)

Theobald#3611 posted (#post-114622)

There's and always will be free players in recruit, and sometimes veteran in the end (by harvesting free xp and non-taxed money).

You just want to play elite gratuitously.

The only problem in the game is the lack of tuning options in the recruit tiers.

You're grossly overestimating the survivability of this game. If player retention is like a bucket of water, progression 2.0 carved the entire base of the bucket away. The game is a pipe through which players flow now, instead of having player retention, the devs are only sustaining it with player THROUGHPUT. Eventually, they'll run out of players who haven't seen enough and moved on.

The game in its previous state was good enough that I'm willing to stick around and keep trying (in spite of STILL not having any information about what was supposedly wrong about the post I'm still waiting on a reply about from the devs).

I'm not letting go because I've seen how good the game COULD be if they didn't keep forcing stupid "monetisation" decisions in spite of the evidence of the entire history of the free-to-play gaming market proving them to be bad ideas.

Yeah yeah yeah as always, you're acting like you now everything better than anyone, including the dev team, the market, the numbers about retention and such that you don't know and physically have no access to, the design goals, and game design as a whole as if it wasn't even a job in itself and was something anyone with a keyboard could make master classes of.

Posted: //
March 26, 2017, 2:31 a.m.

ManiaCCC#0403 posted (#post-114659)

Theobald#3611 posted (#post-114590)

All games go downhill.

It's just repulsive to people that don't want to spend a dime on it, and those people are not paying the bills anyway. Simple facts.

You don't understand at all. Free to play games are living on money grabbed from players, but these games have something in common...they are not frustrating to play. I already paid for DN and if you would ask me last year, if I would give more money to them, i would say "just release it, no more wipes and I will".. Now I can tell you, I won't. Because I have no fun playing it.

My last experience with DN was like this:

I logged in, started to look for Veteran. (I have few tier 4 ships). Game started after almost 5 minutes, game crashed, I logged in once again after several minutes,

I paid maintenance, started new game, game loaded after several minutes, game was riddled with tier 2 in our team. It was horrible and we lost, everyone in our team was pretty much crying about MM. I paid maintenance and lost some credits.

I started new game. After several minutes, new game started and It was actually good one. We lost, however it was very close, very good game, I ended third in our team. After match I paid maintenance and I got something like 100 credits. It was really really stupid.

So I started new game, now it was with Recruit fleet. After few minutes, game started, our and opposing team was full of tier 3 - tier 4 ships. We lost and I was like at the bottom of the table, because I couldn't do a s**t against tier 3-4 dreadnought and healer blobs. It was boring AF. At least I earned almost 1300 credits smile (with Veteran bonus).

I started another Recruit game, game loeaded, once again, teams riddled with high tier ships, opposing team has something like 5 tier 4 ships, we have 2. I alt+f4 from the game and never started it again.

As you can see, this is experience, many new players will be going through. And can tell you for sure, chance that players will be willing to pay some money for this game is close to zero.

I play the same game as you, i understand everything the same way you do.

Yes, it's a frustrating game if you don't put any money in - because the design can summarised as "we need to money to maintain the game, if you like it and want to play past the (really) free tier, pay for it"

Keep playing in recruit and you get a lot of credits without maintenance and lots of free xp too. If you put a tier 1 ship in your fleet you'll never be put out of recruit league.

And I get wrecked as much as anyone in veteran tiers because of wonky starting t3 builds against übertuned t4 grinders. This is not a git gud argumentation.
Actually i'm even not loosing money when getting seal clubbed in veteran league while i'm not a leet minimaxer, but more of a "let's try every ship possible" explorer.

Yet i'm okay with spending some money on it, because i do understand i can't get playtime, or a game, for completely free. You don't think this game is worth a game's price ? Well spend what you think it's worth on it then. It will get you 100k credits or something like that anyway.

Honestly the only two problems with the game is the gating of a lot of builds behind tiers (in my mind every secondaries and modules should be unlocked by tier 3, with accodring power levels) and the flagrant gap between new t3 and custom t4 in veteran (as in "you can mathematically not win" in nearly all situation).

Posted: //
March 26, 2017, 2:34 a.m.

Weissritter#6437 posted (#post-114672)

As someone that is about to leave after playing this for two days I would like to give a little imput on this.

Economy is dumb. I mean, I could understand a slow progression since they don't have that much content as of now but damnit, playing from tiers 1 to 3 is anything but fun. The game does a terrible job on teaching you mechanics or introducing basic concepts, the interface is killing me (it took 15 minutes to find a freaking description of what a module actually does, and now I don't even remember how I did it) and matchmaking is terrible even though that is to be expected with the current population.

My point is: I've played this thing for 2 days, haven't improved my gameplay in any way or form, lost 80% of my games and I can't try other ships because maintenance costs won't let me.

I can't believe I'm saying this but the devs should learn one thing or two with Wargaming. I despise the class balance in World Of Warships but from tiers 1 to 4 that game is nearly perfect. They have Naval Academy (a 17 videos playlist on youtube teaching you everything that you need to know about mechanics), the low tier battles are way less chaotic and feature a higher TTK which give players a chance to identify and fix their mistakes and you can easily switch ships since repair fees are very forgiving early on so you can search for something that fits to your play style.

So here is my suggestion. Make the game fun and interesting for the new players, give them the chance to learn and adapt to it and then shovel the not so friendly economy down their throats. Because in all honesty, if the game is good people will deal with it.

I bought every t3 ships without a single veteran game, so without a cent of maintenance, and without ever feeling dumbily farming.
This is the game not letting you try other ships ?

Posted: //
March 26, 2017, 2:50 a.m.

lethal61#8149 posted (#post-114950)

Theobald#3611 posted (#post-114569)

Still acting like
1- you know anything about the real numbers of player retention and
2- player retention going down wasn't completely normal on this kind of game.

You can spend real money on this FREE GAME to gain ingame resources or elite time that gives you ingame resources.
And the game has to monetize somehow.
Deal with it.

Obviously there is a problem seeing how long this game has been out and no one is jumping on your band wagon the player numbers cannot be dismissed by your silly exclamation or that of the others that have posted here. There Is a problem and the devs better deal with it or it will take care of its self and this game will fail just like others do that refuse to change and have the we know best mentality.

You do realize that actual professionals do those kinds of maths and calculated that it was the better way like that, and all you have are assumptions and feelings and a negligible number of rants on the forum that makes the ranters feel they're numerous ?
Yes, a handful of dozens IS negligible, compared to the real numbers.
There IS a reason you're not listened to, and it is NOT stubborness.

The real math are something akin to "if this game fails in a year with the current model, we're still getting more money of it than the ranters' model in 4 years, and with far less maintaining servers and staff costs, and we can begin quicker a new project with full staff".
People are planning to live of this game and/or the next project.
No sense of superiority neither forum strawman attacks will ever change that.

Some people here really need to start understanding they don't know something better just because they're annoyed by a part of the something ; what's even more clunky is that i'm pretty sure some of the ranters are working in entrepeneurial business and actually know how this work but just didn't clicked that it's exactly like their day job.

Funnything: I've listened for months now to the same people (cough obliviondoll cough) again and again whining about how the game doesn't make people keep on playing it. Food for thoughts.

Posted: //
March 26, 2017, 5:29 a.m.

Updated //
March 26, 2017, 5:31 a.m.

Theobald, c'mon buddy. I don't know if you ever been part of the game development but I am and I can tell you, that in most cases in bigger games, monetization is not really what game designers are doing. People, who THINKS they know how market works and what gamers are paying for are. These people most of the time don't even play game they are creating monetization for. And no, there are not GOOD reasons for current system. No matter what you think. And yes, many times these people are just wrong. Just look at many games which were killed by monetization itself. These people also were professionals and they had "numbers".

This system was tried and failed too many times. Several years ago, was very different, but today, current DN system is basically public suicide for this team and game. In age, where there are new games daily, when F2P games are really F2P and are earning money just fine, people wont stick with this game..

Posted: //
March 26, 2017, 9:10 a.m.

With the last patch I get thrown even more often into halfway lost/won battles. Its extremly relaxing to wait 5+ mins to play 2 mins and get a maintenance-slap into the face. WTF?!

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