Important Notice: Numbers

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Duke_of_Earl
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Re: Important Notice: Numbers

Post by Duke_of_Earl » Thu Dec 13, 2018 12:37 am

Gretub wrote:
Wed Dec 12, 2018 9:22 pm
I have no problem restoring old guilds...or having anyone create new ones. There are rules in place for such requests.
Do you have a link to the rules, I will look them over. I know family forums need a certain number of people (4 or 5?) but I'm uncertain as to other kinds.

Looking through the guilds we currently have... most have gone very long periods with little to no activity.
-nods. Some have their mods leave the game and no one replace them. The Dueling Club for example kind of just stopped when Aida left.
What would be the remedy for that?
Hopefully, recruiting more players / with a wider selection of interests would rekindle the memerships of these other guilds too.
I do not wish to create/open another forum just to essentially take up space, but I am open to requests.
-nods, tnx.
Gretub wrote:
Wed Dec 12, 2018 9:22 pm
But that is getting off topic. The topic at hand is activity and player retention, please do not indulge in IC veins here. This is an OOC discussion that Players are discussing. If you wish to start another discussion about another topic please address it in the correct area (s).
I mean as a means of player retention and increased activity; in reply to Alder's comment on folks often being asked for goods as the needed help.

I play in another game where the population is 836 just now over 21 towns (average population 40 persons each)
There is far less RP than in Secfenia (that I've encountered anyway); the bulk of the game is simply shipping goods between towns for a profit and reinvesting in more ships.
For some reason it is doing 6 times better than us at retention. I play in another game similar to that but I can't find the playerbase numbers for it.

Anyway I think that 'trader' might actually be a bit popular of a niche of playertype.
It might be something to look into as means of capturing someones attention who's not been captured by the local politics or other activities.
You've already got legendary ways built around traveling the roads, but for some reason except for the ones we can name who themselves might not be especially forum active, there isn't a lot currently happening in the RP areas relative to trade; official VR or Temple trades notwithstanding.

Edit:
I've been looking at the rest of my games folder to see what I can mine up for Secfenia.
There is one with a population of 306 that I think has actually been abandoned by it's Dev but left up and the players still play it.
It starts all new players in the same town, then lets you move to the next town once you reach certain stat thresholds. It's one of those where you have X tics/turns determined by energy score that slowly refills after use and you are meant to fight each other in the arena all the time. Not sure what holds people interests there, but perhaps it represents arena combat events as something which holds a players interest?

One thing I've noticed a lot of these games have is an automatic "Would you like to share this achievment with Facebook?" popup button everytime you do something like level up, etc.
Perhaps Secfenia can work an autoshare link into some of it's events like quest completions etc.?
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Zachrin
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Re: Important Notice: Numbers

Post by Zachrin » Thu Dec 13, 2018 6:56 pm

Duke_of_Earl wrote:
Thu Dec 13, 2018 12:37 am
Do you have a link to the rules, I will look them over. I know family forums need a certain number of people (4 or 5?) but I'm uncertain as to other kinds.
Family Forums and Guilds are all currently under the Private Forums Policy located on the Policy tab or by going to Support > Policies
Duke_of_Earl wrote:Anyway I think that 'trader' might actually be a bit popular of a niche of playertype.
I know there are some who do trade between towns and what not. While trade RP is very possible, it's up to players to actually do it.
It starts all new players in the same town, then lets you move to the next town once you reach certain stat thresholds.
This idea has been proposed in the past, but was not very well liked by our player population.
One thing I've noticed a lot of these games have is an automatic "Would you like to share this achievment with Facebook?" popup button everytime you do something like level up, etc.
Perhaps Secfenia can work an autoshare link into some of it's events like quest completions etc.?
Does anyone actually use that? I'd hate to go through the work to create a FB app to create the link that never gets used.
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Calysta
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Re: Important Notice: Numbers

Post by Calysta » Thu Dec 13, 2018 9:52 pm

Zachrin wrote:
Thu Dec 13, 2018 6:56 pm
One thing I've noticed a lot of these games have is an automatic "Would you like to share this achievment with Facebook?" popup button everytime you do something like level up, etc.
Perhaps Secfenia can work an autoshare link into some of it's events like quest completions etc.?
Does anyone actually use that? I'd hate to go through the work to create a FB app to create the link that never gets used.
Might be a good in game vote.
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Gretub
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Re: Important Notice: Numbers

Post by Gretub » Fri Dec 14, 2018 1:59 am

So in looking through the forums, I want to bring a couple things to everyone's attention. The forums are something that a guest checking out the game can see. They can see the Announcements and the VR Inns and towns. When someone checks out activity, that can be a deciding factor. Upon perusal, there are many inactive threads. Many of the stickies for Mayor's offices, Mentor offices and the like haven't have posts in them for some a year or more.

If someone has to scroll more than a few threads to see a post from this year, I see that as a major issue. Effective today I will be making the following changes:
  • All Elder Areas will be made Announcements.
  • All threads that haven't been posted in within the last 6 months will be unstickied and marked with an *. This will mean you can resurrect the thread without penalty of it being seen as a violation of Section 6 of the CoC regarding Spam.
  • Threads such as laws, guides, social points and welcome threads will stay stickied, as will threads such as the PP office.
If you have any questions regarding these changes, you can contact me privately and decisions will be made on a case by case basis.

I want to be clear, forum activity helps player retention.

Just on the front page of all the inns (not stickied):
Bravia: 8 threads are from this year
Fenia: The entire 1st page is all from 2018,
Kiene: 7 threads that have posts from this year

The towns are not much better, and will go through the same cleanup.

Perhaps I also recommend instead of resurrecting the old threads, bring new life to the party and open new threads to help promote new life in the forums.

Again any questions can be PM'd to me directly.

Cheers!
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Mazork
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Re: Important Notice: Numbers

Post by Mazork » Fri Dec 14, 2018 4:19 am

I do think Duke is on the right path in paying attention to the total player number rather than the distribution of players across the towns/VRs. I've always wondered why SF doesn't seem to manage to increase its playerbase across years of active service, constant game development and basically a good concept. There must be something you're doing wrong with regards to advertisement, though I'm pretty ignorant regarding the subject myself, so I can't really suggest any improvements. Maybe making the front page and game interface more attractive (more graphic?) could also help give people a more pleasant first impression.

As for retaining existing players, I have to say that the game is perhaps a little too stagnant gameplay-wise and too reliant on players creating their own adventures through role-play. There's very little adventure to be found outside the city walls, the IG events are, frankly, boring, and the plenitude of resources guarantees that aside from new players, we never need to struggle to survive. Aside from role-play, all you can do is improve your character (which is a finite path) and management (town and VR level). For more adventurous and combat-oriented characters such as mine, the game loses its shine pretty quickly. I'm not sure why I even still hang around. Probably because of my investment in the character so far, and the fact that the daily activities required to maintain my character only take 2 minutes.

It's pretty obvious that some players enjoy the casual atmosphere and would be bothered by wars and carnage, otherwise we probably wouldn't be so politically stable. That's why I've in the past suggested arranging some more interesting IG events or adventure content outside the city walls to fulfill the needs of those looking for more excitement. You can't rely on players entertaining themselves indefinitely.
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Karcier_Aisu
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Re: Important Notice: Numbers

Post by Karcier_Aisu » Fri Dec 14, 2018 11:18 am

Mazork wrote:
Fri Dec 14, 2018 4:19 am
I do think Duke is on the right path in paying attention to the total player number rather than the distribution of players across the towns/VRs. I've always wondered why SF doesn't seem to manage to increase its playerbase across years of active service, constant game development and basically a good concept. There must be something you're doing wrong with regards to advertisement, though I'm pretty ignorant regarding the subject myself, so I can't really suggest any improvements. Maybe making the front page and game interface more attractive (more graphic?) could also help give people a more pleasant first impression.

As for retaining existing players, I have to say that the game is perhaps a little too stagnant gameplay-wise and too reliant on players creating their own adventures through role-play. There's very little adventure to be found outside the city walls, the IG events are, frankly, boring, and the plenitude of resources guarantees that aside from new players, we never need to struggle to survive. Aside from role-play, all you can do is improve your character (which is a finite path) and management (town and VR level). For more adventurous and combat-oriented characters such as mine, the game loses its shine pretty quickly. I'm not sure why I even still hang around. Probably because of my investment in the character so far, and the fact that the daily activities required to maintain my character only take 2 minutes.

It's pretty obvious that some players enjoy the casual atmosphere and would be bothered by wars and carnage, otherwise we probably wouldn't be so politically stable. That's why I've in the past suggested arranging some more interesting IG events or adventure content outside the city walls to fulfill the needs of those looking for more excitement. You can't rely on players entertaining themselves indefinitely.
Got to agree with Mazork, there is only so much roleplay one can do and it doesn't help that there isn't anything else of relevancy or that feels fulfilling. In my eyes, doing quests is pointless as its just a check list, getting to top level eventually is void because you will be there for a while and other people will reach the same stance, there isn't a difference, everyone is equal, which isn't bad but its just boring.

Give us hordes, give us adventurers that compell us to go to peasant towns and interact with peasants/hunters/something, a puzzle of sorts maybe to actually make us think....nothing that is easy mind you and hopefully uncommon enough that not everyone will get the same. As mazork say, after a while it gets repetitive the roleplay and there is only so much your character can get to...if you provided ...plot lines our characters could follow...so say one of the peasants vrs becomes aggressive and declares war, sends an army of peasants that won't take things from vr but will cause damage.

Or a flood of Yvirms.

Some new creatures to hunt or that require two types of character weapons to kill. Some mythical beasts that we can work up to hunt on our own or we need to group up with rare weapons that no one can craft and require to fulfill some requirements or follow a 'real' quest.

But these things should all be out as a whole new addition, like a dlc. Not one by one, as otherwise us older players will focus soley on that one thing and max it out until the next thing...whilst if its all out...we have soo many things to do that our focus is everywhere.

But yes, personally I find some of the things we have, although nice to be more of just a checklist, a chore. But then again I've played for a long time so maybe I'm just cynical. But as Mzaork said, after a time of development you either go stale or have to get involved in the vr, which isn't a bad thing but to some like myself, I don't like the chore of that. Its not fun.

By all means I am not stating your game is bad, it has been a great experience and great fun and it offered so many stories I can't deny I have stayed for that reason. But it seems for later on in game, there is a limit and some of us have reached that limit and ...well there isn't much else to do. It is fun when your starting out, when your growing...but for longer term..well...meh.

Many thanks, keep up the good work !
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Calysta
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Re: Important Notice: Numbers

Post by Calysta » Fri Dec 14, 2018 12:39 pm

There are some games where there is no cap, but having caps is something that is also just as common. Then you have expansion packs which allow your character to develop more. I kinda think of Legend and Mythical like this. They were new opportunities to grow. Who knows? There may be more in the future.

Typically when people max out, they have to find other objectives. I understand that the only objectives available aren't appealing to you.

I noticed under indy towns there are Yvyrm amd Zyrk towns. Would be nice if we could physically locate the nest and attack. That might be the sort of thing you are interested in?

In the meantime, I am open to RPing with you about attacking a Yvyrm base.
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Re: Important Notice: Numbers

Post by Amaryllis » Fri Dec 14, 2018 4:26 pm

Mazork wrote:
Fri Dec 14, 2018 4:19 am
I do think Duke is on the right path in paying attention to the total player number rather than the distribution of players across the towns/VRs. I've always wondered why SF doesn't seem to manage to increase its playerbase across years of active service, constant game development and basically a good concept. There must be something you're doing wrong with regards to advertisement, though I'm pretty ignorant regarding the subject myself, so I can't really suggest any improvements. Maybe making the front page and game interface more attractive (more graphic?) could also help give people a more pleasant first impression.

As for retaining existing players, I have to say that the game is perhaps a little too stagnant gameplay-wise and too reliant on players creating their own adventures through role-play. There's very little adventure to be found outside the city walls, the IG events are, frankly, boring, and the plenitude of resources guarantees that aside from new players, we never need to struggle to survive. Aside from role-play, all you can do is improve your character (which is a finite path) and management (town and VR level). For more adventurous and combat-oriented characters such as mine, the game loses its shine pretty quickly. I'm not sure why I even still hang around. Probably because of my investment in the character so far, and the fact that the daily activities required to maintain my character only take 2 minutes.

It's pretty obvious that some players enjoy the casual atmosphere and would be bothered by wars and carnage, otherwise we probably wouldn't be so politically stable. That's why I've in the past suggested arranging some more interesting IG events or adventure content outside the city walls to fulfill the needs of those looking for more excitement. You can't rely on players entertaining themselves indefinitely.
I would like to see some of this put into the suggestion box. If you feel that you are bored and want something more challenging.. like questing? (I am thinking peasants were brought up, and fighting creatures..) I would LOVE for that to be suggested. Maybe to utilize some other areas of the Map?
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Re: Important Notice: Numbers

Post by Zuan » Fri Dec 14, 2018 4:48 pm

I think Karcier and Mazork are correct to a significant extent, as player retention is just as important as getting new people through the door. Obviously one thing that is difficult for 'us' when suggesting ideas is what exactly is and is not possible from an admin and coding perspective. As I can only assume the more complicated ideas will lead to more complex coding which increases the chance of the whole thing crashing down when eventually released.

I personally as a player whose virtually done everything he can in the game find my interest now in Kingdom management and role-playing my character and interacting with others. However I suspect if I was not Monarch that I would be in a similar boat to Mazork and Karcier, as I found in other games when I reached various caps. In the past I have put forward a few ideas, many of which would figure into much larger updates than small changes. For example I put forward the idea of 'expertise' and trainers out in the world, thus encouraging people to explore the far corner of the world to find these NPC trainers who could make you 'experts', 'masters' and 'grand-masters' so long as you had the right skill level and could meet their price. This would then create some much needed 'blackholes' for older player wealth and these tiers would also grant unique bonuses, and due to the travel would be time effective and would require people to explore to find the harder to fine grand-master trainers etc. But that sadly never went anywhere.

Other ideas included changing the foraging set-up, and instead turning it into an energy based exploration system (since those types of things are quite popular with some audiences, and would encourage people to log in a few times a day to spend their energy) and this could result in you finding items or even entering combat with NPC monsters or rogues. You could then also create new or even repeatable quests, where you have to find unique items that only drop from certain enemies found within the new foraging system. Thus creating enemies for players to interact with, quests to do which are more than 'visit town X' and you could also then have our VRs make contests out of this, for finding unique items or defeating NPC enemies too.

Finally my most extreme idea was to try and finally push to make the NPC VRs living things with new diplomacy screens for our VRS which state the other VRS as allies, neutral or enemies, and depending on this status they could potentially send NPC armies to loot our towns, and in reverse we could conquer their NPC towns. Thus creating a more unique and ever changing world, as it gives VRs a new diplomatic outlet, and fighters/soldiers new opportunities to go and lead campaigns for their VRs. If we did NPC armies for NPC Vrs we could also make it possible for army leaders to hire NPC soldiers of their own for a daily wage. (To avoid abuse we could make sure NPC soldiers could only attack other NPC soldiers). But then this would also create another later-game black hole, both for VRs to fund NPC soldiers and even for individual players who perhaps wanted to create their own mercenary companies? They could then sell their services to the three Player VRs to help in their wars and defenses thus creating a new player to player dynamic as well as NPC to player interactions.

I guess what i'm trying to say is, we know we have a small player base, so instead of sitting here waiting for more players to 'magically' turn up to fill those roles so we have three fully active councils, six fully active towns that we build up the 'world' of secfenia rather than just the three player VRs. In some respects this game is a like a text-based multi-player RPG but without any NPCs. And all I can say there is imagine loading up any MMO out there and simply having a world, no NPCs, no major quest lines, no interactive NPCs or dynamics. That's what Secfenia can become in the later stages, especially for players who cannot sit in the tavern for hours or sit down to write RPs.

Side note: I also agree with Karcier and Mazork about releasing things as 'expansions' rather than single updates. By putting a lot on the table at once, a couple of times a year, is much more engaging than small updates every few months, as it does stop the 'complete one thing' get bored and wait for something else system that some folks suffer from.
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Zachrin
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Re: Important Notice: Numbers

Post by Zachrin » Fri Dec 14, 2018 6:38 pm

Mazork wrote:There must be something you're doing wrong with regards to advertisement, though I'm pretty ignorant regarding the subject myself, so I can't really suggest any improvements. Maybe making the front page and game interface more attractive (more graphic?) could also help give people a more pleasant first impression.
Part of the challenge of ads is getting people who are interested in the niche that we are and reaching them. Most of our advertising methods haven't been very successful. Of course, if I knew how to change that I would be more than willing. We've ran different experiments over the years, but our best model was Project Wonderful which is now gone.

As to the topic of making the Front page and game interface more attractive, I guess that partly depends upon what one may think is attractive and something that haunts many a website. The current interface system was tweaked a bit by a volunteer graphic artist who tried to help imagine a more attractive system than what we had previously. While in many ways, it seems more attractive, there will some who did not like the change. I'm not sure what graphics or improvements would be something that a) players would want, b) new comers would want, or c) that would make the load time slow (which drives away traffic). Of course, if you have any ideas, I am always happy to discuss them further by you either dropping the ideas in the suggestion box or messaging myself.
Mazork wrote:the IG events are, frankly, boring, and the plenitude of resources guarantees that aside from new players, we never need to struggle to survive.
I'm assuming you are talking about the IG events which we've had in the past? As far as resources being plenty, it is difficult to attempt to adjust this or create more struggle. We've done certain things in the past to attempt to balance it or make things more difficult usually with a number of grievances by our players. With this said, there is a larger arch I want to do to help address some of the pleitude of resources over the next year. As always, if you have suggestions for more IG events or ways to cause struggle, please feel free to pop an idea in the suggestion box.
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