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Post Re: SS Economy
anilv wrote:
Yeah, you said a bunch about bugs that have happened in the past. I just don't have anything to say to those because they seem like ancient history to me and not terribly relevant to the question of player retention today.

MasterTrader wrote:
And also, its not that these people are "impatient" to get to endgame, its that they want to make progress and do "something" with the class they want to have fun with. But if they join an endgame team then they get told how to play and what to do, and that's fine for some people. But everyone doesn't want to play that way, and this game doesn't support those playstyles.


I disagree. The game supports plenty of play styles as long as you are happy to make incremental progress. Maybe not every class can solo James Watt with T20 gear, but that doesn't mean there isn't plenty to do. You are still implicitly referring to players in group #2, those who want it all in a month but aren't interested in working for it or getting help from endgame players. The way you tell it, the average player is a delicate flower who gets mad and quits when someone else in the community says they are bad at the game. A delicate flower who is also incredibly impatient and uninterested in just playing the damn game for a while before they can be uber. I'm not sure why you are so hung up on this demographic, as it doesn't seem representative of the average gamer that we want to attract.


What are you talking about? These people I'm refering to have no idea who James Watt even is. I'm talking about people who can't do level 1-1000 content without playing as an Fleet Commander, Engineer or Gunner because they are the only classes who can do that content with any semblance of fun.

It's not fun to repeatedly die over and over to an AI your level or a little bit higher and not have any idea what you did wrong. With so many other games allowing you to take on 3+ enemies around your level (At the lower levels) at a time, it makes no sense for Star Sonata to do the opposite. If I'm a level 50 with evenly distributed skills, I can't take on 3 level 50 or I will die. Unless I'm using missiles, using drones, using slaves. This is what I'm talking about, the power of a single player at the lower end is ridiculously out of wack.

The lack of players moving through level 1-1000 content because of how frustrating it can be for many, is why the Pre End Game crowd isn't thriving. PLUS the fact that so many old players who are not on Uber Teams have gotten the short end of the stick because they have very few peers to progress with and have to choose between playing the game the way you all play it (And the ones that do that, kudos to them. That's how they want to play, they're having fun. Great.) or not playing at all because there are very few players doing well in the early-mid game and transitioning into the start of the end game for them to pick up. The end game "starts" when you start doing Tech 20 content.

Then you have the "concurrent" issue that's been happening over the past 11 years of the game going through severe game breaking issues and events that were not and could not be handled in a restorative way by the admins.

I'm saying these issues exist in an ecosystem, and you can't just pretend that there's nothing wrong because you aren't experiencing any problems.

The game does not support many different playstyles with incremental progress. If I want to, as a low level player, level as a Berserker and take advantage of my class bonuses only I will have a terrible time. If I want to play as a stealthy Seer I will have a terrible time. If I want to play as a Gunner/FC/Engineer/Shield Monkey it will be much much easier because those classes boost aspects of the game that are already strong at the lower end of the spectrum.

This unnecessarily weeds out players who would be more than willing to work together at a higher level and play the game, and those who do stay end up with another set of obstacles they have to choose how they want to deal with.

All I'm saying is that we cannot ignore the history of the game in our analysis of why things are the way they are now. Players who "Were too impatient to get stronger" are not the only ones who quit out of frustration. People quit for a variety of reasons stacked on top of each other, and I would argue 90%+ never posted on the forums about it. I'm simply pointing out the reasons that people would choose to quit the game, and also why our current crop of end game players is self selecting and unable to understand why the game should change. People who have gotten somewhere in this game have braved through some of the most insane shit I've ever seen in a game, and that perseverance and success against the odds breeds a mentality of "I worked hard as fuck to get here, you can too." which ignores the fact that not only have things changed, but the progress that has been made up to this point has benefited almost directly from exploits in the past.

I would argue most if not all of the end game players had nothing to do with the exploits that came before them, but they're still benefiting from the effects of the exploits and bugs that people were positively and negatively affected by.

When people were credit duping and spending insane amounts of money for stuff that some of you end game players were building and selling at that time, you had no idea they were credit duping. You had no idea that the money you were getting was against the TOS. You took that money you got and, intelligently and rightly so, invested it into getting wealthier and wealthier.

The same thing for exploits used to complete runs, destroy bases, and other things. The people on the receiving end of those bugs and exploits decided that this game fucking sucks and wasn't worth the time and quit. Some things weren't bugs, but were instead poorly designed pieces.

This is why the game has the population it now has. A combination of low level players deciding "I don't want to play this, its way too frustrating and I have no idea what I'm doing." and higher level players who got fucked over one too many times saying "I don't want to play this, its way too frustrating and the game is unfair." When you compound that on top of people deciding to leave because they want to move on, and with people deciding "This game just isn't for me" you have a game that is losing more players than it is gaining for bad reasons.

Those who stayed have a different mentality. The "I'm strong and successful, and I was bad at the game at one point but now I'm not. so I'm right." mentality. This isn't totally true or false, they are right about some things. There is an issue, however, with the way this game works. There are too many wrong choices you can make, and no guidance to keep from making them. Putting skill points into an unnecessary skill at level 40-50 can screw over any meaningful progress big time, for example. Using Good Elec Augs because you want to sustain your missile spam in order to level develops bad habits, because once you get past the point where missiles are useful you have no idea how you should building your ship. From your perspective, the answer to this is "They should get good" (I know I'm oversimplifying), but the reality is that the game doesn't put you in positions to "Get good". Plenty of people have no idea how Electric Tempering works.

But the issue isn't whether they're right or wrong, the issue is whether or not newer players that come into the game can establish a foothold so that they can get to a point where they can compete in ways they find fun while also retaining players who do not desire to be super epic end game.

Most Tech 20-22 players don't care about usurping EF or Traders, they just want to carve their own little niche out and have fun with their friends doing content. When they aren't able to do that content or have fun with their friends they get bored, and people start to trickle away and leave. The reasons they are getting bored are readily fixable, and most of those fixes don't have to directly negatively impact the current old guard. My argument for a reset doesn't mean I want a reset and nothing else, it means that a reset (If chosen by the admins) would be justified in my mind for the reasons I've stated throughout this thread.

Do you want to know what issues the lower end players are facing? Ask all of the leaders of the teams who have P2P and F2P, see what their players have to say.

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Thu Mar 24, 2016 3:19 pm
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Post Re: SS Economy
Uh, 99% of that has nothing to do with the points you made earlier. I don't have any quibble with the argument that classes should be stronger earlier on. But nothing you said supports the argument in the earlier part of this thread that the presence of endgame players is somehow detrimental to the new player experience.

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Thu Mar 24, 2016 4:25 pm
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Post Re: SS Economy
anilv wrote:
Uh, 99% of that has nothing to do with the points you made earlier. I don't have any quibble with the argument that classes should be stronger earlier on. But nothing you said supports the argument in the earlier part of this thread that the presence of endgame players is somehow detrimental to the new player experience.


Not what I said, here's what I said:

MasterTrader wrote:
anilv wrote:
@Hober

So it sounds to me like you are very much taking the jealousy route to explain mid-level dissatisfaction. The fact that a Prawn can be obtained makes a Venaticora seem unappealing. Am I reading you correctly?


How you came to the conclusion that this was my intent baffles me. I'll put a TL;DR at the bottom of the post BTW, so you can skip this if you want.

Let me try again:

Higher end players are and have been telling lower end players that it is a waste of their time to use attainable ships/gear/etc. I can name and shame if you want, but its unhelpful and not neccessary to do so. They say things like "Why spend all that money on augs and gear and stuff only to put it on a shitty ship like a Paxian ship." "Olympus Ships/Prawns are SO much better, you are wasting your time and money using Paxian ships."

Paxian ships are not better than Olympus ships, mid range T20-T21 weapons, augs and gear are not better than high end T20-21 weapons, augs and gear but they will suffice if you have 3 things:

1. A group of players who understand how to work together.
2. The time and patience to do the content.
3. Sustainable income to pay for repair costs.

So what happens when mid range players cannot find people to do the content with around their level? They go with people who are better and doing better, these people usually multi client with top of the line gear and setups AND have consistent income streams from bases (Which they invested and reinvested over and over again into). These people blow through the content this person was struggling with by themselves. The lower end player asks them "How can I do this?" The higher end player tells them they can buy the ships and augs from them for 500bil+. The lower end player says "I don't have that money" The higher end player tells them to setup bases changing metals into Station Extensions. The lower end player gets frustrated with how slow all of it is going and complains about it. (They shouldn't be doing this anyway, but they do it because the person they saw blow content away told them this is what they have to do.)

The higher end player reveals to them the power of the credit card.

???

Lower end player now has the ship and gear and augs and still isn't able to do shit. (Because the population is too small, so you can't find people to do things with, because people get frustrated trying to progress and quit or flounder)... The higher end player says to do what they did which is multi client. Or do runs with them. Or join a bigger team that does runs all the time. Which segregates them from lower end players and what they're going through... which leads to people who have no idea what the problems that lower end players are facing are like. Which leads to comments like this:

Quote:
Just listen to higher end players, do what they tell you to do, and you'll do fine. Stop bitching and start doing what we did/Are doing!


Its a self perpetuating cycle of "Things are broken if you follow this particular path and do exactly what those who came before you do." You all are literally saying "If you just do things the way I did them, everything would be fine!" When the reality is that the situation is only fine because of inherency. The "It's always been this way, it should stay this way because its working fine for me and others like me, and anyone who isn't doing fine is lazy." This type of thinking makes no fucking sense in a videogame, everyone doesn't enjoy working their asses off in a video game just to have fun. Lots of people want to play the game in ways that the game doesn't reward with fun. Making mistakes with your skill choices, as a low level, is NOT fun. Not being able to experience the class fantasy as a low level is NOT fun. Not being able to progress because the content you want to do with the gear that you have access to is unattainable unless you have a core group of dedicated players isn't fun either. Calling Star Sonata a sandbox game when you don't reward different playstyles with appropriate progression isn't fun.

Obviously there are situations where this exact thing doesn't happen, but I've seen this shit over and over again. Lower end players don't have access to the resources that higher end players have, and when they see just how easy the higher end players make the content look when they solo MC it. This isn't jealousy, its frustration.

Do you see where this is going enkelin?

TL;DR - Higher end players tell lower end players that anything that isn't top of the line is a waste of time, therefore lower end players aren't being jealous, they're listening to the higher end players. Doing this results in frustration because they can't get anywhere, and this is just ONE symptom of the vast issue Vorporal was talking about.


The TL;DR part sums up my point: People are being told not to waste time with things that aren't top of the line. They listen, they struggle, many end up quitting or floundering because its too frustrating and boring while some take to it very well and join the ranks of the end game.

The existence of End Game players doesn't fuck over newer players, the lack of retention of low level players because of poor early game design chops off a chunk of potential mid game players whom may eventually become end game. Or they may not, and that's fine too. But mid game players need people to play with, or they aren't going to stay.

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Thu Mar 24, 2016 4:59 pm
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Post Re: SS Economy
anilv wrote:
Vorp: there isn't a big enough cohort of mid-level players to progress through content the way veterans did. The SS community can be modeled as a wave going through the endgame content, with very low player density behind it. This is as may be, but would obviously be solved by… injecting a bunch of new players i.e. starting a new wave. I remain unconvinced by the arguments about relative states of the economy then and now, since players can always resort to doing things the old fashioned way (grinding content for gear) if the player-driving market is too pricey for them.

So yeah, I'm not convinced by these arguments.


Kindly don't cherry pick your arguments, if you don't want to dealing with the crux of the issue then start a new post and ill argue it there. The bit your referencing was a rebuttal to your former point about players being able to just build everything from scratch and market prices therefore (black-box logic here somehow) don't matter. Its not anything except a side note to my main line of reasoning that is, to reiterate: The old guard as you call them are causing massive economic distortions that negatively effect retention rates in new players for all the reasons I pointed out. I would prefer to talk about that as its the OP topic of choice.

To sumate for the TL:DR crowd.
Economy is broke, this bad.
Econ broke due to hyper-wealthy, hyper-powerful 'old guard' causing distortions
Old guard =/= Bad, Old Guard =/= only problem
Old Guard = many good points, net effect bad for game long term
Old Guard = Reduction in new players willing to play long term due to distortions that cause the game to not be played as intended.
Removing old guard influence via new server running along side current one is ONE (not the only) solution to the problem.

Vorp


Thu Mar 24, 2016 10:56 pm
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Post Re: SS Economy
Ill echo Hober here to an extent, I don't think our arguments are centered the same but we are hitting some of the same conclusions along the way. Those being that the entry game is something of a mess in terms of progression speed. In this im not referring to how quickly a player can move between entry and mid AT ALL but how smooth and signposted the transition is. How quick that movement should be is a balance issue and well outside my meager wisdom.

Ill wander off topic here quickly. MMO players, by nature, are just fine with grinding. Many of the most popular games planet wide require time investments measured in months if not years. This means on average if your even bothering to sign up for a Space MMO you're general inclined towards a delayed gratification game. If you weren't you would have skipped onto candy crush and we move along. The difference, and problem I see in SS, is that these games are extremely well signposted in terms of how long it will take between levels/wins/thresholds. In other words players understand that it will take x number of hours/days/cycles/whatever to get from here to there and can align their goals accordingly. In SS that's a lost cause, difficulty spikes, rouge end-gamers, the economy and the weird roller coaster between nexus level and t20/1/2 causes new players to throw their hands up in surrender. They come in and expect to move in a linear fashion between regions/tech levels and face equivalent bandies at each level. Not here and thats a problem.

A great example of this in my mind is Diablo 3. Between lvl 1 and 70 you go from 10 DPS to literally 10m+ DPS in some builds. That's probably not dissimilar to the difference in raw power between t1 and t22 for SS. D3 however moves the bar each time you level up, it tells you how long it will take in real time to get to the next time and CRUCIALLY it gives you the ability to see whats next and what your striving for, that next skill or unlock or that epic armor set. The difficulty is linear, creeps and bosses get harder but you never think that is unfair its because you know you can grind to that next level and make it easier on yourself.

I use D3 as en example because they implemented a real world trading house at launch. This naturally meant prices blew up in the top few %. The best levels of gear and items were made unobtainable by regular gamers because players willing to throw down real cash could outbid anyone using in game currency with ease. Items below the top few % were cheap, you could snap up a 3rd tier item for just above the AI sale price but those last 2 tiers was tens of thousands of times more expensive and it felt like you hit a wall when you reached that point.

The RW trade house was removed in time and the game re-balanced but I use it here because its an apt example of what happens when a two stream economy is allowed to flourish in a game. The result is those on one stream become angered by the other whist those enjoying the more profitable stream wonder what all the fuss is about.

In SS the issue is compounded by the fact that the more profitable systems old guard players enjoy, nearly AFK cash, is pushed into the 'normal' players world en mass. The whole system is disrupted by constant influxes of money from systems outside the average players reach.

Now to preempt the argument, yes, a new player could just join up with an end-game team. Swear their base slots to the collective and reap much higher rewards overall. They could find themselves a wise-one tutor and play to a rigid set of norms which fast tracks them to a point where they can punch their own ticket. Both of those require the benevolence of old guard players playing white knight to each and every single newbie player.

More likely they wont know to join a old guard team (hell the true old guard teams rarely take anyone off the street due to fear of samotage or roster limits) and wont have a damned clue who to ask about how to play the game. They will hammer into the issues ive yaked about in all my other posts and when they get frustrated with what they see as a broken game or mechanic they will leave. Not all players will, some will stumble onto the right set of assumptions or will see something in the game they like and will continue but you scare off far more than you keep with that model.

Ive taken a purely economic viewpoint but the reasons the low->mid->end game progression is so wacked are many and varied. Dealing with one in isolation most likely wont fix the underling rubric.

Just to punch off the biggest I see:
1) Economy affected by end gamers.
2) Substantial lack of useful in-game and wiki-based info on how to progress
3) Same but for items/gear/stuff
4) Roller-coaster difference in AI difficulty in a small level range (good luck DGing at any level under 3/4/500)
5) Badly explained class differences in early game
6) Lack of players around the same level (Devs cant help this one but it is a problem)

Vorp


Last edited by Vorporal on Thu Mar 24, 2016 11:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Thu Mar 24, 2016 11:37 pm
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Post Re: SS Economy
Thank you Vorp, I feel less crazy. One of the people who posted in this topic told me stop wasting my time because no one cares, even though they agree, but you obviously have been paying attention to the game and see exactly what I've seen.

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Thu Mar 24, 2016 11:45 pm
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Post Re: SS Economy
So what happens next then how do you get Jeff to implement it?


Fri Mar 25, 2016 2:48 am
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Post Re: SS Economy
I honestly dont know what the best process is to get this looked at.
Does anyone have ideas?

Vorp


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Post Re: SS Economy
Personally I think the game is struggling, not due to economy, but a lack of meaningful content. Creating a system that tricks players into mcing in order to glitch as much as possible, is not how you create a meaningful time.

Not to mention how some teams turn into bullying dictatorships of basement dwellers. No, the way to create a meaningful time is at the very least try to have fun, or something to strive for. I remember when the reddit wave happened (on the team camsy made) , I happened to mention to a teammate, "your still human, even if your not level 1k+", and it meant a difference to him. Like it was a weight off his shoulders! I cant believe how much people invest in a hobby. A hobby that involves paying to glitch nonetheless.


I dont think the economy is a problem. I think the annoying 180 glitch when turning (poor matrix rotation handling?), shoddy models, and poor "spiritual" incentive (for a lack of a better word) is the cause of the game not doing better.


Even then, Ive had more fun in sonata, than perhaps any other game. (Except toribash, that game is tha shittt)

edit: typo


Fri Mar 25, 2016 4:16 am
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Post Re: SS Economy
sabre198 wrote:
So what happens next then how do you get Jeff to implement it?


Keep bitching on the forums and with salient and cogent points until this happens:


yclepticon wrote:
Hello,

I was interested by some of your posts on the forum regarding the F2P experience and microtransactions. I raised some of your ideas to the dev team at today's meeting. We aren't ready to make any decisions but we will review options on an ongoing basis.


Constantly, over and over. Things have changed in this game because players have pressured the admins, yclept messaging me isn't because "My" ideas are great. Its because the things I'm saying have been repeated by people before me, and I'm one of the few people going to bat.

Stop getting discouraged because things wont change immediately. Keep fighting for changes and the devs cannot ignore you.

When the devs say "Here is what we plan on doing with X", I will stop telling them what I think they should do about "X". I suggest we push them until they share their vision.

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Fri Mar 25, 2016 4:18 am
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Post Re: SS Economy
I havent kept up with this topic, too much reading but ill say this. Im indifferent about a total reset or new server. Sure it would be cool to take on all the tech 20 stuff with a bunch of people again, and there wont be trillions of credits in circuit from years of saving/exploits or whatever. But it wont solve the power gap issue that this game has. Once the grinders reach tech 21+ the gap will still be there.

What needs to happen is, either new players need some more practical and fun ways to catch up. Or close the gap somehow.

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Fri Mar 25, 2016 6:02 am
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Post Re: SS Economy
redalert150 wrote:
What needs to happen is, either new players need some more practical and fun ways to catch up. Or close the gap somehow.


The gap doesn't need to be closed. I think the highest end teams need to stay the highest end teams.

The floor needs to be raised, that's all. The ceiling can stay where it is but the floor needs to be raised. This happened with the base changes, this is happening with the base tractoring changes. It can happen by re-tweaking class skills and aug tweaking scaling. It's happening with the rescaling of trade skills. It's happening with the change to how strong permanent drones are (This benefits lower end teams very much). It's happening with making industrial commodities the way to turn metals and other things into credits.

The game is moving in that direction, we just have to keep pushing them.

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Fri Mar 25, 2016 12:29 pm
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Post Re: SS Economy
redalert150 wrote:
I havent kept up with this topic, too much reading but ill say this. Im indifferent about a total reset or new server. Sure it would be cool to take on all the tech 20 stuff with a bunch of people again, and there wont be trillions of credits in circuit from years of saving/exploits or whatever. But it wont solve the power gap issue that this game has. Once the grinders reach tech 21+ the gap will still be there.

What needs to happen is, either new players need some more practical and fun ways to catch up. Or close the gap somehow.


I personally think the gap is too large to be closed with anything save extreme measures such as the reset suggested.

There will always be a gap, there should always be a gap. Just not a gap you cant aspire to breach. Take someone and say "you cant do what he did unless you join his team" and your asking for people to think "well to heck with that, im out"

Reduce the sheer unassailable power of the old guard to more stabilized levels and you will have a much more dynamic game. Imagine if a war between two top teir teams actually HURT for more than a week while they brought old reserves out.

Imagine if old players had to play with the newer ones not out of benevolence but out of need for active team members.

Imagine if rather than AFK build swarms of bases teams actually had to do content and work together to achieve shared goals.

I like that idea, but im odd =)

Vorp


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Post Re: SS Economy
The game needs to monetize so much better. Subscriptions might pay the bills now, but they are a relic of the 2000's. Micro transactions are the way an MMO generates revenue now. In order to fix all the symptomatic problems we have now Jeff needs more cash flow in order to pay developers to generate the content fixes.

MMO's are at an all time high for popularity. Stupid games with far worse content generate millions of dollars of cash flow. Players may come and go. They join with friends and then they might play the game for a month or two. The difference is that now players will spend wads of cash in the short time they play the game. Cash that can be pumped back into the game's development.

Remove subscriptions. Open all content to everyone. Make Uz, Oly, Averesk, and PPS expansions you have to pay for.
Remove most all tweaks. Make them micro transactions.
Remove Team Skills. Make them micro transactions.
Add premium ships that look cooler but are slightly worse than actual ones.
Add a matchmaking system for Dg's
Lock boss loot to individual players
Nerf the infinite storage ships that we have now.
Make MC'ing harder.

Kickstarter to implement this vision. I'd gib $50 to this


Sun Mar 27, 2016 12:45 pm
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Post Re: SS Economy
Matt Wildfox 4 wrote:

Remove subscriptions. Open all content to everyone. Make Uz, Oly, Averesk, and PPS expansions you have to pay for.

Yeah that system just wouldn't work for SS. What would work is if P2P accounts could revert to FTP accounts and suffer the normal ftp restrictions: can't shoot, deploy drones or use combat slaves if ship is over t20, advanced subskills don't work, combat/wild slaves over the slot or t18 limit won't attack. Hopefully this would entice players to actually pay for the game. The current ftp system could even be limited to a lower tech/level limit and an "upgraded" t20 limit could then be established for accounts with at least 1 previous sub.

If the game began to reliably draw in players, an alternative model for FTP could be established. What comes to mind is pay some space points for X number of uber kills in a premium zone and FTP can have whatever ships/skills they want (they just can't enter premium space without paying); our player turn over isn't high enough to make a one time payment viable, but monetised alternatives could work.


Remove most all tweaks. Make them micro transactions.
Why? This is a straight up P2W cash grab move

Remove Team Skills. Make them micro transactions.

Similar to above, but allowing players to (partially) catch up with, say, the average team SP of the top 5 teams for a single payment could work. Either way this system is due a revamp.

Add premium ships that look cooler but are slightly worse than actual ones.

Isn't this what skins are for?

Add a matchmaking system for Dg's
I believe something like this is planned

Lock boss loot to individual players
Giving players some NB gear in addition to global drops would be a nice way of incentivising players to take/allow noobs on runs

Nerf the infinite storage ships that we have now.
Why? Aside from anything else it's a significant investment to get characters full of spheres, it's not like it's free (or infinite) storage.

Make MC'ing harder.

Instead of trying to fiddle fuck MCers and making the game more annoying, attract more players and promote active play so that it isn't quite so necessary as people claim.

Kickstarter to implement this vision. I'd gib $50 to this


I'll say it again incase anyone is actually reading, because this game really needs something to make ftp take that p2p plunge:

Why not nerf current ftp and then let P2P accounts play as "premium ftp" once their subs expire?

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Sun Mar 27, 2016 3:35 pm
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