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What would be the best way to keep players retention?


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2 hours ago, Puma said:

And honestly, on Cake, with as ridiculously overpowered as you can become, some content STILL ends up with you dying once or twice on a mission, or requires a team to really do.  That will always be the case.

Dude no. If you're dying on cake you objectively suck. You can become Tyrant. 

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1 hour ago, Puma said:

Disagree. There is literally no reason to expect that a brute should be able to solo at +4x8 and a defender shouldn't be able to handle +2x5, except that that's because YOU think they should. 

 

Superman doesn't need the Justice League to have his own solo stories, but neither does Green Lantern or Zatanna or Plastic Man.

 

Either the game should require teaming for all archetypes to really do anything, or they all should be able to solo.  It's stupid that if I want to play a fire blasting kinetic amplifying hero I have to be bound to always team, but if I want to play an electric fisted dude who surrounds himself in energy for protection I can go solo against the hardest stuff in game and be fine.  Either the melee toons should require others to take down all of the enemies, or the ranged and buffing toons should NOT require others to do so. 

 

I should not be restricted to playing the types of toons you want me to just because I want to solo sometimes. 

Huh?

 

Every AT can solo in this game, every AT can team.  Pretty sure @Grouchybeastwould agree.  What he said (paraphrasing) was expecting a support character to do so as easily as non-support was not to be expected, doable but realize you're going outside the box.  Hell some 'support' AT pairings can handle ×8 easier than some melee ATs if you use speed of mob destruction as your metric particularly once sets are involved.  That box of 'normal expectations' is pretty well dinged and dented.  Then there's some ATs that just make a hash/misnomer out of the term altogether.  Blasters, no mez protection or VEATs all sorts of team oriented powers ... which are they?  Its handy classification but in the long run the whole spectrum is covered in this wonderful game from 'clearly' support to equally not.

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On 12/6/2020 at 8:35 PM, Tahliah said:

When I read your OP, I thought understood what you were asking, but then I read this, and now I'm just confused. So you aren't looking for things to do (you agree that there is A LOT to do), but you are concerned about "why" you would do any of it?  I do not and have never played WOW, so perhaps I am missing your meaning.  Again, I find this confusing.  What "motivation" do you mean?  What goals do you want to be "forced" to reach like in WOW?

 

For me, though, there is motivation in badging.  I'm not just killing this and that or completing this arc or mission, I'm doing it because I'll get a glorious shiny new badge at the end.  While I'm not "forced" to this, it's fun for me and for all the other badgers out there.  It's a goal that makes me happy.

 

Min/maxing is something a lot of players enjoy, the goal being to achieve their best "X".

 

One goal I set for myself is to complete all of the missions in the entire game that are available via Ouro/pillar of flame.  I did this on live for blueside and am now motivated to hit Red and Gold side this time around (once I finish Blue).

 

A lot of people love their supergroups and find motivation in those.  Active super groups set goals, have varying requirements (from Hard Core to Old School to weekly task force challenges--all one AT, all master of, etc.), and generally make things fun and challenging for their members.  Motivation, in other words, to compete with and/or to work with your sg to achieve sg goals.

 

There are some truly great arcs and even a few really good single mishes in AE.  Maybe get motivated to write a stellar arc that gets dev. noticed and rewarded?

 

Get motivated to try something new among our great communities.  Never tried role-playing?  Give it a shot.  What about PvP?  Whatever your PvE main is, get motivated to adapt his/her second build for PvP (totally different builds required for that! A challenge!). 

 

Never farmed before?  Build the best darned farmer in the game and become a rock star farmer.

 

In short, you don't need the game/devs to give you motivation, motivate yourself (or find an sg that can motivate you).  If you aren't motivated to motivate yourself, I'm not sure anything the devs can do would ever help.

I agree with what you're saying and I still enjoy playing the game. But people newer to the game may not. Although you seem like a creative person that can come up with your own goals and find something fun with everything in the game. Others don't have that ability. Again, I am trying to figure out a way to not only keep players like you. But bring in new folks as well as keep their attention. I love this game and want to see it succeed. I see how hard these devs are working and only want to bring up new ideas to this classic game. To me the badge system needs to be revamped so you can see your progress and maybe even see what you are missing. Something small like a progress bar makes a huge difference! I know everyone has to be motivated on their own, but making small changes/goal setting internally (in the game itself) seems like a better idea. For example you know how to go to ourboros and do missions and attempt to complete all of them, etc. Now it seems the low level game is only farming or DFB and the mid levels missions are pretty much nonexistent except for some of the older players replaying the game fully because of nostalgia. I understand there is alot of options on what you can do. But when I am playing the majority of what I see is farming or merit grinding ITF.  

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2 hours ago, Puma said:

Either the melee toons should require others to take down all of the enemies, or the ranged and buffing toons should NOT require others to do so. 

Ill Rad says hello.

 

And quite a few others actually.

 

You can actually as it is now use any AT on HC to do all content at any level.

(Not referring to soloing the magisterium or anything like that)

 

Teaming is just a way to amplify the fun and share experiences with your buddies.

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The Cake server serves as a niche for a certain kind of player. I can see why some people would enjoy it. One of the most exciting things about the revived CoX is you do have these various flavors to pick from.

 

Of the various available varieties I prefer the Homecoming server because I think my desired play experience aligns most closely with their philosophy. I want a game that adheres to the original game philosophy that the player has two powerset picks and a tertiary pick and the challenge is to make that work. This game was deliberately designed to avoid the standard MMO formula.

 

That's why I don't like the Destiny, Judgment, Lore type powers very much. I don't mind that they exist for iTrials, because they're necessary there. But in every day content it takes away from the game for me. "Did that Scrapper just use a 30ft radius PBAoE force field type ability? The same exact one as the Blaster and the Defender did? And then all three of them tossed Ionic Judgment? Of course that's what happened."

 

It just really takes the thrill out of it for me when the enemies are being slain by the same 2 or 3 shared powers and everyone's got a 30ft radius force field type power. 

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26 minutes ago, oedipus_tex said:

The Cake server serves as a niche for a certain kind of player. I can see why some people would enjoy it. One of the most exciting things about the revived CoX is you do have these various flavors to pick from.

 

Of the various available varieties I prefer the Homecoming server because I think my desired play experience aligns most closely with their philosophy. I want a game that adheres to the original game philosophy that the player has two powerset picks and a tertiary pick and the challenge is to make that work. This game was deliberately designed to avoid the standard MMO formula.

 

That's why I don't like the Destiny, Judgment, Lore type powers very much. I don't mind that they exist for iTrials, because they're necessary there. But in every day content it takes away from the game for me. "Did that Scrapper just use a 30ft radius PBAoE force field type ability? The same exact one as the Blaster and the Defender did? And then all three of them tossed Ionic Judgment? Of course that's what happened."

 

It just really takes the thrill out of it for me when the enemies are being slain by the same 2 or 3 shared powers and everyone's got a 30ft radius force field type power. 


What I would like to see (if possible) is for Incarnate content to become more like Dark Astoria and less like Trials. 

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6 hours ago, Myrmidon said:


Sorry, I stopped reading at this point.

This says more about your mindset and actual desire to hear varying viewpoints than it does anything about what I posted.  Which is too bad, because if you'd actually read it you'd see my problems with that server's philosophy as well. 

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6 hours ago, Myrmidon said:


What I would like to see (if possible) is for Incarnate content to become more like Dark Astoria and less like Trials. 

I agree, though I don't mind trials.  But I don't like having to try and gather 12-24 players when I want to run incarnate content. 

 

Honestly, what I'd love to see someday is the ability to set, when starting a task force or trial, the number of players on the team and have it scale accordingly, from 1-max number.  And I don't mean like the normal difficulty slider, but one that truly scales not just the number of enemies, but their difficulty as well.  Perhaps this would be achieved by actually applying an unseen debuff to them based on settings below max, or an unseen buff to you somewhat like in the first Mender Ramiel mission.  One other option would be for those soloing or in smaller teams to get random NPC heroes to join their team for the trial/TF to fill the gaps.  A change like that alone would get me running more iTrials, allow smaller super groups to run more content together, work better for RPing, etc.  And honestly, the idea that I could run an LRSF with members from the Freedom Phalanx would be kinda fun. 🙂

 

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14 hours ago, Monos King said:

Dude no. If you're dying on cake you objectively suck. You can become Tyrant. 

That assumes you only want to play as Tyrant. 

 

You can also, as I was yesterday, be a Mastermind with a mix of elemental and robot pets, with a kinetics secondary.   

 

And yes, I died twice on a solo ITF.  

 

But I've also died on my Primalist shape shifter a couple of times.  And yes, there are also options that would take you going AFK for a week to die.  That's my point, partly. Sometimes you want to play a concept REGARDLESS of exactly how powerful it is compared to others.  And having more options to do that is, in my opinion, the best bang for the buck in trying to keep things fresh with our limited resources.  I'm finding I'm running content I haven't in years because it's just much easier to do so, and I have character concepts that are new and exciting to me, as someone who has massive altitis.

Your mileage may vary.   

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There are subtle way to phase out the incarnate abilities using carrots instead of sticks. 

 

There's a brilliant moment in the XCOM series where the player is tasked with using a mind-scanning device to retrieve information from their alien opponents. The device uses up a valuable slot in your squad member's inventory, and using the device requires moving into close range for a risky face to face encounter, versus just shooting the alien dead from safety.

 

That's the kind of thing I could see raising my interest in the incarnate system. For example, if there was a single target, close range version of Judgment that instead of frying the crowd raised your chances of any drop being a purple by 1%, it would reward the player for taking the riskier route.

 

I've also toyed with the idea that some Incarnate abilities might actually be challenge modes, where the idea is it uses up that slot and inflicts you with some kind of condition, and you earn badges by surviving the cursed artifact. Perhaps even a ranking system by powerset of who is the most powerful in all the land.

 

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13 hours ago, Doomguide2005 said:

Huh?

 

Every AT can solo in this game, every AT can team.  Pretty sure @Grouchybeastwould agree.  What he said (paraphrasing) was expecting a support character to do so as easily as non-support was not to be expected, doable but realize you're going outside the box.  Hell some 'support' AT pairings can handle ×8 easier than some melee ATs if you use speed of mob destruction as your metric particularly once sets are involved.  That box of 'normal expectations' is pretty well dinged and dented.  Then there's some ATs that just make a hash/misnomer out of the term altogether.  Blasters, no mez protection or VEATs all sorts of team oriented powers ... which are they?  Its handy classification but in the long run the whole spectrum is covered in this wonderful game from 'clearly' support to equally not.

I don't disagree, but my argument is that no, we should NOT expect, in general, a non-support archetype to do it more easily than a support one.  

 

This game moved away from the holy trinity a while ago, as it should have. There is a reason defenders and blasters were given the buffs they were.  I would argue calling some archetypes "support" is problematic, and a relic of that old mindset.  A tanker was meant to be "support" just as much as a defender for the team, each playing a different role.  Tankers kept the aggro, which was supporting the team. 

 

So any idea that some (read: melee) should be easier to solo than others is, in my opinion, an outdated and faulty one.  Personally, I think the way that they handled defenders is the perfect way to go:  When solo your strengths and weaknesses are slightly rounded out, and when teamed your specialties are amped instead.  So for tankers, I would have made it so when solo they had a higher damage modifier and when teamed, they instead had the increased AoE they have an a stronger taunt effect from it.  Blasters, when solo, kept their strong controls and status/sustain protections, but when teamed had longer range and stronger melee damage instead. Controllers when solo do more damage with their controls/pets, but when teamed have stronger mezzes, etc.  

 

Each archetype solos better, and yet each gets a benefit for teaming as well, and one that would help where the team needs it most in harder content.  And it makes sense thematically:  when solo the character is having to split their energy/focus on everything, but when teamed they can focus more directly on their role and do it better.   And like the defender changes, the differences aren't enough to really alter how the archetype feels except that soloing suddenly feels easier.  

 

This could also be accomplished, I suppose, by, when you are creating a character, choosing a specialty: soloist or teammate.  Then you create a version of that archetype that has slightly different values to better suit that specialty. 

 

And yes, I realize that there are some power combos in ALL archetypes that can handle the hardest this game has to offer, but I don't think anyone would disagree that there are some archetypes that can use almost any power combo and solo very, very well at any level or difficulty, and some that really struggle with many of their combos at soloing in many areas. 

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9 hours ago, oedipus_tex said:

That's why I don't like the Destiny, Judgment, Lore type powers very much. I don't mind that they exist for iTrials, because they're necessary there. But in every day content it takes away from the game for me. "Did that Scrapper just use a 30ft radius PBAoE force field type ability? The same exact one as the Blaster and the Defender did? And then all three of them tossed Ionic Judgment? Of course that's what happened."

I have to disagree slightly with this,  it's not been my experience that any of these powers have been an iwin button on what my group runs which is mainly task force of the week type stuff.

 

If the task force is below 45 you cant use them anyway so it takes incarnates out of the equation for that content. Which I think is correct.

 

Where I kinda agree with you is if you were running radio missions and I could almost see where that could make it less fun and challenging, and also less rewarding.

 

As for the high level contacts like Maria Jenkins, Unai Kemen, etc if you play those on +4/8 with the amount of debuffers and exotic damage types you face, and stronger enemies - nobody is map clearing every other mob with judgement powers, and destiny isnt lasting long enough to be perma godmode - thats from personal experience.

 

On high level task forces ITF MLTF there again if you play on a high enough setting those powers are warranted IMO

 

On TF such as Apex and Tin Mage incarnate powers are required to be able to start and to be effective you have to have your alpha slotted.

 

My overarching point is endgame content where incarnates are useful, its warranted - radio missions IMO is not endgame content and maybe radios need to be tweaked to be incarnate worthy at that point. 

 

Any other content exemps you out of incarnate abilities - so that's a good 70-80 percent of the game where even if you have incarnate abilities you cant use them anyway and that leaves plenty for those that like to use them - they should be allowed to IMO but maybe with tweaks to high level radio content.

 

So I'm not seeing it as a high overarching problem, because there already exists ways to avoid them other than limiting them to Itrials, I would oppose that.

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3 hours ago, Puma said:

This says more about your mindset and actual desire to hear varying viewpoints than it does anything about what I posted.  Which is too bad, because if you'd actually read it you'd see my problems with that server's philosophy as well. 


If by mindset you mean “I don’t give a damn about other servers”, you would be correct.😁


 


As far as I know, that’s the xXxBudweiserxXx server, and he’s always had an exploitive philosophy that I am familiar with after eight years on Champion. We got along, however, that’s not an environment that I would enjoy.

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3 hours ago, Puma said:

I agree, though I don't mind trials.  But I don't like having to try and gather 12-24 players when I want to run incarnate content. 

 

Honestly, what I'd love to see someday is the ability to set, when starting a task force or trial, the number of players on the team and have it scale accordingly, from 1-max number.  And I don't mean like the normal difficulty slider, but one that truly scales not just the number of enemies, but their difficulty as well.  Perhaps this would be achieved by actually applying an unseen debuff to them based on settings below max, or an unseen buff to you somewhat like in the first Mender Ramiel mission.  One other option would be for those soloing or in smaller teams to get random NPC heroes to join their team for the trial/TF to fill the gaps.  A change like that alone would get me running more iTrials, allow smaller super groups to run more content together, work better for RPing, etc.  And honestly, the idea that I could run an LRSF with members from the Freedom Phalanx would be kinda fun. 🙂

 


Maybe add some clone tech that lets us suit up some of our other characters as NPCs to bring along, so that we can form our own team complete with narrative.

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3 hours ago, Puma said:

That assumes you only want to play as Tyrant. 

But you said "even with as OP as you can be" implying you were looking at the higher end potential. Which, hilariously enough, being Tyrant isn't even - not by cake standards. Cake is a City of Heroes Garys mod server and while fun, just has no business being compared to a server that wants to operate with balance and challenge. Or resemble a game at all.

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1 hour ago, Myrmidon said:


If by mindset you mean “I don’t give a damn about other servers”, you would be correct.😁


 


As far as I know, that’s the xXxBudweiserxXx server, and he’s always had an exploitive philosophy that I am familiar with after eight years on Champion. We got along, however, that’s not an environment that I would enjoy.

Then you should read my post, because I specifically made it clear that like you, I think Cake goes too far the other way. But right now, if I have to choose between having a boatload of new archetypes and powersets and pools and even sidekicks to try (even if they're are out of balance) and having one new powerset for a single archetype, a new story arc, and then a bunch of "rebalancing" and exploit fixes that really just make the game slower and more grindy for many of my toons, I find I'm more drawn to, and thus spending more time, with the former. 

 

Which saddens me because I will always consider this server home.  But it gets directly at the question the OP asked about how to really maximize player retention.  

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23 minutes ago, Puma said:

Then you should read my post, because I specifically made it clear that like you, I think Cake goes too far the other way. But right now, if I have to choose between having a boatload of new archetypes and powersets and pools and even sidekicks to try that are out of balance, and having one new powerset for one archetype, a new story arc, and then a bunch of "rebalancing" and exploit fixes that actually largely just made the game slower for many of my toons, I find Im more drawn to and spending more time with the former. 

 

Which saddens me because I will always consider this server home.  But it gets directly at the question the OP asked about how to really maximize player retention.  

I believe Myr is simply stating that no other server matters, and likewise anyone elses viewpoint on another server doesnt matter where matters pertaining to HC are concerned.

 

Not saying its wrong to be there or sample other waters - just that it is largely irrelevant here because this is where we are.

 

"Wherever you go, there you are."  Buddha

Edited by Infinitum
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21 minutes ago, Puma said:

Then you should read my post, because I specifically made it clear that like you, I think Cake goes too far the other way. But right now, if I have to choose between having a boatload of new archetypes and powersets and pools and even sidekicks to try (even if they're are out of balance) and having one new powerset for a single archetype, a new story arc, and then a bunch of "rebalancing" and exploit fixes that really just make the game slower and more grindy for many of my toons, I find I'm more drawn to, and thus spending more time, with the former. 

That's a perfectly fair decision to make, and the great thing about the new era of CoX is that we all get the chance to make those decisions.  Enjoy your Cake, as you should!

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1 minute ago, Infinitum said:

I believe Myr is simply stating that no other server matters, and likewise anyone elses viewpoint on another server doesnt matter where matters pertaining to HC are concerned.

 

Not saying its wrong to be there or sample other waters - just that it is largely irrelevant here because this is where we are.

 

"Wherever you go, there you are."  Buddah

Except that Im on both, and am trying to tell answer the OP by saying that there is value in a middle of the road approach and that I think the current approach here is likely to result in more lost players like the OP is concerned about, so yes, it is entirely relevant. 

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2 minutes ago, Puma said:

Except that Im on both, and am trying to tell answer the OP by saying that there is value in a middle of the road approach and that I think the current approach here is likely to result in more lost players like the OP is concerned about, so yes, it is entirely relevant. 

But I disagree, and whatever another server does is again irrelevant here.

 

Anything approaching Cake values is not nor ever will be middle of the road.

 

Middle of the road is HC.

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1 hour ago, Monos King said:

But you said "even with as OP as you can be" implying you were looking at the higher end potential. Which, hilariously enough, being Tyrant isn't even - not by cake standards. Cake is a City of Heroes Garys mod server and while fun, just has no business being compared to a server that wants to operate with balance and challenge. Or resemble a game at all.

What I actually said was "And honestly, on Cake, with as ridiculously overpowered as you can become, some content STILL ends up with you dying once or twice on a mission, or requires a team to really do.  That will always be the case. "  And it's true. Even with their most powerful set, a new Evolutionary Leap combo mimicking one of the GM's power combos, you can't solo iTrials, etc. They are unlocked to try, but they are pretty much impossible solo.     

 

But again, I'm not saying we should be cake.  Im saying that we should look to strike balance, and we'd get much more bang for our buck in player retention focusing on allowing for more player diversity and new powersets/archetypes than we would on spending weeks focusing on meticulous game balancing and going back and altering/changing/nerfing/buffing sets and archetypes or incarnate powers we already have and have been playing for years. 

 

A meticulously balanced game isn't what keeps most people logging in, I believe, because we haven't EVER really had that here. Hell, we started being able to herd entire maps into dumpsters.  It's gotten better, but then also swung the other way with sets like Titan Weapons and Bio Armor.  And honestly, most of the rebalancing is very temporary as players figure out ways to get around it, like New Hami, etc.   
 
What has kept this game thriving is the ability to create a wide range of diverse, and very unique characters who specific to our own personal tastes, and running them through the game world we already, generally, love and have run a hundred plus times before.   That is where I think our energy is best spent, even if it results in the occasional Bio Armor/Titan Weapons Brute that is OP or the Dual Pistols/Dark blaster than is slightly underperforming.  

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3 minutes ago, Infinitum said:

But I disagree, and whatever another server does is again irrelevant here.

 

Anything approaching Cake values is not nor ever will be middle of the road.

 

Middle of the road is HC.

Middle of the road is HC because you say it is?  

 

 

That's not how grown up discussions work.  

 

And again, yes...when we're talking about player retention, what other servers are doing is EXACTLY what should be discussed because guess where some of those players who leave might end up?  

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2 minutes ago, Puma said:

Middle of the road is HC because you say it is?  

 

 

That's not how grown up discussions work.  

 

And again, yes...when we're talking about player retention, what other servers are doing is EXACTLY what should be discussed because guess where some of those players who leave might end up?  

No, because I have also played on other servers out there both strict and lenient lile cake and made an informed decision based on empirical reasoning that HC is middle of the road.

 

Because thats how normal rational adults make decisions.

 

Does that mean I love everything HC does? Nope.  But its equally offset by things they have done that I have liked.

 

Take TW for example - yes it was a nerf but it did more to balance TW for larger enjoyment and I have seen first had with pugs commenting more than once how they like the new TW better now.

 

HC from,my experience rarely takes something away without giving more back.

 

Ie middle of the road.

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