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DEVTALK #3: THE FUTURE OF MAINTENANCE Discussion



Posted: //
June 3, 2017, 12:23 p.m.



Finally!
What does took you so long to realize this?

A good step in the direction of "player retention".

Since a long time you have my thump up.


Best proposal to put 2.0 in the right way. Please hear this guy dev https://www.greybox.com/dreadnought/en/forum/topic/30780/?page=3#post-71653


Posted: //
June 4, 2017, 8:27 a.m.



DN_EmptyTuxedo#3505 posted (#post-122923)

We put out a new [Dev Talk about the future of maintenance]l(https://www.greybox.com/dreadnought/en/news/dev-talk-3-future-maintenance/). Let us know what you think and give us feedback on the new system!

Wäre es möglich, den Text aus dem Link auch auf deutsch zu veröffentlichen? Dafür reichen meine englisch skills nicht ganz aus.
Wäre äusserst dankbar dafür smile


Posted: //
June 4, 2017, 8:57 a.m.



I am not sure why people are so excited about this... I mean... well I do get it. Maintenance is horrible and it kind of sounds like it's going away. But really it's just "optional" maintenance. They are wording it like you have the option to pay for better rewards... but the other way to word that, is if you don't pay up, your rewards won't be as good. And considering the incredible grind they've made the game, my chips would be on rewards being absolutely abysmal without "battle ready" status.

It's spin. It's basically retaining the maintenance system but with some PR (public relations) dressing to make it seem more palatable. Modify how it works a bit, re-brand with a different name, and voila, you have transformed the maintenance in dreadnought into: "El Mantenimiento." That's maintenance in Spanish, but it sounds so exotic and cool now, right? Like a hip new restaurant you really want to eat at, yes? Please pay maintenance without complaining this time... please?

Why try to reinvent the wheel? I don't think players mind not getting a winner's bonus when they lose. What irks everyone is that they get a loser's tax on top of it, adding insult to injury. I guess the devs don't want to do it the easy way because if they simply removed maintenance they'd want to then re-balance the rewards of a match to retain the current, grueling, crawl-across-broken-glass that is trying to level up in the current progression system to "incentivize" players to cough up cash to make it go faster, and players would cry fowl to that. They are hoping this convoluted new system will be sufficient smoke and mirrors to disguise it.

If the devs are actually under the impression that progression 2.0 has improved retention, they are confusing correlation with causation. Did players take a break from the game pre 2.0? Yes. We were told a wipe and major renovations were in-bound. Many people decided not to bother/not get burnt out before having to start from scratch again. And yes, some may have even left before that over a lack of development, no new ships, no new maps, no new game modes. Well here we have all these new looks for the ships (that could have been monetized as cosmetics rather than implemented in the forever broken, miss-matched tiers) we have all these new maps, and at least onslaught as a new game mode with another game mode concept in development. Players aren't staying BECAUSE of the epic grind, they are staying IN SPITE of it. The new ships, new maps, new game modes that came out along side progression 2.0 are what have people interested and hopeful... hopeful that this terrible progression/tier/maintenance system will shrivel and die and go back to the awesome, lore-accurate system we had pre-2.0.

They heard us, yes, we don't like this system, but rather than really fix it, they are setting about tricking us into it. The question on the brain storm board is: "How much lipstick do we have to put on this maintenance pig before the players will pucker up without so much whimpering and wincing?" Or simply, "Goal of this brainstorm: Keep maintenance, lose complaining." Good dev says: "Why don't we just remove maintenance? Even without the loser tax, the rewards are low enough all around that the progression system would still be a slow crawl, just with less glass on the floor." Evil overlord says: "That's dumb, next!" One of the best evil minions says: "Why don't we use psychological trickery to retain the maintenance system but spin it so it seems like they are choosing it rather than being forced?" Evil overlord says: "Hmm... 'choice, 'sounds dangerously close to 'free will'..." Evil henchman says: "Well, I mean, if they don't pay it, they progress terribly slowly to the point of almost not progressing at all so it's not a REAL choice... like... duh, haha... it's a trick." Evil overlord says: "Haha, yes! That's perfect!"

It seems to me the devs haven't abandoned their "Sticks over Carrots" approach to monetization, they are just looking to wrap those sticks in ribbons hoping the distracting colors and smoother "feel" will let them land a few more blows before driving people away. Or better yet... increase their chances of luring in the ones who like it rough.

Introducing Monetization 3.0! New and improved: Ribbon-wrapped sticks!
Delightfully festive beatings for our beloved money-pinatas! Erm... players!

I'd like to be hopeful too, but REMOVING maintenance would be the action to make me think they have their heads on straight after making one catastrophically bad decision after another. (implementing tiers without the population to even remotely sustain them, forcing those miss matched tiers to play together, maintenance, nickel-and-diming us for coatings as if they are hand crafted works of art and not just the result of a dev playing with the color picker the PLAYERS themselves would have had access to in almost any other game.) Reworking and redressing it to try and make it seem less forced is potentially progress, but given the track record, it's probably just an indication of a refusal to let go of their bad ideas and just doubling down on them with more man hours.


Posted: //
June 4, 2017, 9:40 a.m.



wake#5772 posted (#post-123240)

They heard us, yes, we don't like this system, but rather than really fix it, they are setting about tricking us into it. The question on the brain storm board is: "How much lipstick do we have to put on this maintenance pig before the players will pucker up without so much whimpering and wincing?" Or simply, "Goal of this brainstorm: Keep maintenance, lose complaining." Good dev says: "Why don't we just remove maintenance? Even without the loser tax, the rewards are low enough all around that the progression system would still be a slow crawl, just with less glass on the floor." Evil overlord says: "That's dumb, next!" One of the best evil minions says: "Why don't we use psychological trickery to retain the maintenance system but spin it so it seems like they are choosing it rather than being forced?" Evil overlord says: "Hmm... 'choice, 'sounds dangerously close to 'free will'..." Evil henchman says: "Well, I mean, if they don't pay it, they progress terribly slowly to the point of almost not progressing at all so it's not a REAL choice... like... duh, haha... it's a trick." Evil overlord says: "Haha, yes! That's perfect!"

It seems to me the devs haven't abandoned their "Sticks over Carrots" approach to monetization, they are just looking to wrap those sticks in ribbons hoping the distracting colors and smoother "feel" will let them land a few more blows before driving people away. Or better yet... increase their chances of luring in the ones who like it rough.

Bhuhahahahahahahahahahahahahahah So true xD ahahahahah


Forged in Apulia.


Posted: //
June 4, 2017, 9:58 a.m.


Updated //
June 4, 2017, 10:03 a.m.

I can't agree with you here Wake. The reason the current maintenance can be an annoying problem is that simply put... you can go negative. You can be stopped from flying legendary ships. That's absolutely huge that it's no longer a thing. You can play in your T5 all night long. You're steadily making progress forever with no setbacks.

You don't have to feel guilty or like your making a mistake by trying a new ship or even one just for fun. Because now there is no penalty. Your complaints are aimed at the LENGTH of the GRIND. Not maintenance. The old maintenance system just had way to many drawbacks. Now those are gone.

Heck this impacts everything including the disconnects. Think about it... you lose a match connection or get the glitch. They literally just robbed you of money. Now that wont happen. You'll just be back at the hanger with some time wasted.

That's all that's happening now. Time wasted. Instead of literal credits being taken from you and denied access to certain fleets. Complain about the grind sure... but you're missing the big picture if you honestly think this is just a rebranding.

One last example. I could perform poorly a thousand times now and still progress will have been made. That's not possible under the current system. You'll be locked out and out of credits. That's gone... and that's huge. We can debate grind once the new system in place but even if it managed to be slower it's still more fair than the current system.


Posted: //
June 4, 2017, 10:47 a.m.



Adavanter#2016 posted (#post-123257)

Heck this impacts everything including the disconnects. Think about it... you lose a match connection or get the glitch. They literally just robbed you of money. Now that wont happen. You'll just be back at the hanger with some time wasted.

Only partially, you will be able to buy battle-ready charges with creds, a DC will count as match and you will lose it. Thus you might still lose creds to those issues (bad matchup, dc, crash, bugs).


Recruit Engineer


Posted: //
June 4, 2017, 1:16 p.m.



Wait... So now I can get a T5 ship for more than just using the skin on a lower tier ship? ;p

This is huge and me and a friend can't wait to see it. It's like Greybox have unlocked all the end game content and suddenly there's a load more things to do. No point maxing out my T4 ships then if I'm aiming for T5. smile


Posted: //
June 4, 2017, 3:04 p.m.


Updated //
June 4, 2017, 3:06 p.m.

I have to say, this definitely sounds like a step in the right direction.

Overall, it seems like a good approach. On the business side of things, it creates a potential revenue source for customers who have more money than time to throw at the game. On the gameplay side, it encourages players to keep coming back while not creating an unfair advantage(because it does not directly impact the gameplay performance of the matches themselves - only the rewards afterwards).

Perhaps the solution for disconnects and late-joins is for the Battle Readiness bonus to only be applied if a player attended atleast 60% of a match. I suspect this might require some back-end engineering, however, to keep track of match attendance even if the player is not currently connected to the game(akin to how, say, World of Warships tracks matches even after players have been defeated/disconnected). This kind of change might be more suited for a revamp of the entire reward structure, however.

The stop-gap alternative might be a simple internal countdown timer that doesn't expire the Battle Readiness unless the player has been in the match for 5-7 minutes. This should be enough of a buffer to prevent people from trying to abuse the system, while still providing 'some' protection for innocent players caught in circumstances beyond their control. It might also help discourage people from trying to abuse/exploit the system by landsliding matches faster than that time requirement(I don't even know if that's possible).


Posted: //
June 4, 2017, 3:07 p.m.



I have to say, this definitely sounds like a step in the right direction.

Overall, it seems like a good approach. On the business side of things, it creates a potential revenue source for customers who have more money than time to throw at the game. On the gameplay side, it encourages players to keep coming back while not creating an unfair advantage(because it does not directly impact the gameplay performance of the matches themselves - only the rewards afterwards).

Perhaps the solution for disconnects and late-joins is for the Battle Readiness bonus to only be applied if a player attended atleast 60% of a match. I suspect this might require some back-end engineering, however, to keep track of match attendance even if the player is not currently connected to the game(akin to how, say, World of Warships tracks matches even after players have been defeated/disconnected). This kind of change might be more suited for a revamp of the entire reward structure, however.

The stop-gap alternative might be a simple internal countdown timer that doesn't expire the Battle Readiness unless the player has been in the match for 5-7 minutes. This should be enough of a buffer to prevent people from trying to abuse the system, while still providing 'some' protection for innocent players caught in circumstances beyond their control. It might also help discourage people from trying to abuse/exploit the system by landsliding matches faster than that time requirement(I don't even know if that's possible).


Posted: //
June 4, 2017, 3:55 p.m.



wake#5772 posted (#post-123240)

Good post but as others have said, there is a material difference between having to pay a hefty penalty and simply not earning as much. In that regard it is definitely better from the player perspective. The downside is, of course, that now players will likely want to progress to T5 whereas before that was no good reason to, so in the end it's even more grind for everybody, so the devs win either way.

Also it no doubt means that they will end up introducing other credit sinks or T5 players will just keep accumulating piles of them - and anybody making it that far is probably at least partially playing for the grind itself so they've got to give them something else to grind for to keep them in the game.


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