N*B (in General)

yoyo December 8 2007 7:04 AM EST

I am a NUB character. There has been a lot of typing about the economy and the NUB in recent weeks. I think there is one huge problem with the NUB. The bonus is too high and the time period is too short. If you look at the history of some NUB players there is a trend that is alarming. For 4 months people get a huge bonus, their minions fly up in score, power, and money. Then one day it all ends very abruptly. Many of the NUBs quit within a month of their NUB running out. I would imagine that the game is less fun for them after the bonus is gone. Additionally, after only 4 months in CB most people will not have enough ties to the game or the community to want to stay around with the drastic change in rewards. I think an appropriate fix would be to extend the NUB out to 6 or 8 months and have a bonus that decreases as time passes. I honestly think the best solution is to have an 8 month bonus that halves every two months and after the 8th month it disappears. By increasing the duration of the bonus new players will have more time to build a home in the CB community. Moreover, if the rewards decrease little by little the shock at the end will not be so extreme. This would not have to change the NCB at all since NCB minions are people who have already decided to stay. I am not saying that all people immediately quit CB as soon as their NUB runs out. I am saying, however, that a large enough portion quit within a month or so to show a trend.

I do think there should be one change made to the NCB. I believe there should be a 20 or 30 day waiting period between NCBs. If there is a small wait between NCB minions it might help alleviate some of the log jams that occur at specific points in the game.

Lastly, it is not the NUBs quiting that hurt the CB economy. If you look at the history many NUBs quit and just get deleted. They never sell their items or sell out. What is 10 times more injurious to the CB economy is when long time players sell out. Their massive wealth and items causes an influx of CB cash and items into the economy and decrease the prices of both. That does not mean people should not quit the game and sell their items if it is what they want. It just means that if a handful of long time players sell out around the same time the economy will be effected.

Thanks for your time.

Flamey December 8 2007 7:28 AM EST

Ranger has suggested extending the period many a time. It is a good idea and 4 months was probably not short when it was introduced, which was close to the start of creation of CB2. As CB now approaches the 3 years mark, 8 months would be better.

Though, how would the sliding scale of rewards work? The bonus is figured in a way that you'll be able to reach 95% of the top MPR at the time of the end of the bonus. It would need a whole rework to the formula, though this is probably easy to do, I just don't have understanding of it. Also, if it were to do this, wouldn't it mean that the initial bonus would be much higher to compensate for the lower rewards at the end? This is where most NUBs make mistakes and it would be have a greater effect on the end result of their NUB.

AdminNightStrike December 8 2007 7:55 AM EST

Yoyo, you made several statements in your post about the state of things. For instance, you say that "if you look at the history, many NUBs quit and just get deleted." Can you show me the data from which you derived this statement? Further, you say that many of the NUB players quit within a month of their NUB ending. Where does this data come from? Can you back up all (not just these two) of the claims in your post with hard data?

Flamey December 8 2007 8:11 AM EST

"NUB players quit within a month of their NUB ending. Where does this data come from?"

Isn't that really really unbelievably obvious?

Also, why are you only questioning where he gets the claims from? The main point of the post is a change to the NUB, we should be focusing on that.

AdminNightStrike December 8 2007 8:59 AM EST

"Isn't that really really unbelievably obvious?"

No, it's not. It's obvious that people say it all the time, but I'd like to see the actual numbers on it instead of just what you or someone else happens to think is "really really obvious."

"Also, why are you only questioning where he gets the claims from? The main point of the post is a change to the NUB, we should be focusing on that."

Um.... that was an incredibly idiotic statement. He's saying to change the NUB because of X, Y, and Z. Asking for the data behind the claims for X, Y, and Z is not only appropriate, but is required to properly determine exactly how to fix it, if there is anything to fix.

QBRanger December 8 2007 9:22 AM EST

I have long advocated lengthening the time of the N*B and lowering its effect.

I make the analogy of the NUB like a drug. Great when your on it but really bad when it wears off. You are correct in your assumption that when it ends a lot of new players say "this is normal rewards?" and then get frustrated by the slowness of growth.

The problem is getting people "hooked" on CB, which you have to do quickly in any online game. Too low a NUB and they leave before they really discover the community/game, to high and we have problems like now. Of course the degree of NUB will be tied to the length of it.

It is a difficult thing to titrate. Glad I do not have the final say in who to.

Flamey December 8 2007 9:29 AM EST

hey NS, cut down on the niceties man. Can you really find hard factual data on those sorts of things?

Flamey December 8 2007 9:30 AM EST

Also I'm sure we've heard that people have said that the fact that they make so little progress now as compared to having the NUB was a factor to them leaving.

Aargh [Closer to the Stars] December 8 2007 10:15 AM EST

To continue Ranger's drug analogy, why not make it so that NUBs don't have to go 'cold turkey' like it is now? You could have a bonus that gradually declines into the normal rate, like 200% in the first month, then 150% for two months, then it's 100% for three months, and so on until you're at the base rate (I'm just making up numbers here, but you get the idea).

This would work well in concert with lengthening the bonus period, since the average bonus over the total period would be lower than it is now. There would be no sudden drop scaring people off, while you still get to keep the very high initial bonus to let people feel they can make it to the top with some 'hard work'.

NCB could stay the way it is because it doesn't affect the economy as much without the cash bonus, and people who make an NCB character have probably already been playing long enough not to be scared of the drop.

Flamey December 8 2007 10:52 AM EST

Lowering the bonus of the NUB just kills the purpose of it. The purpose is to almost take the top spot. So doing a sliding effect on it, you would need to have a much larger bonus at the start than what it is now.

Hmm, you basically just repeated what yoyo was saying, read the thread again perhaps?

Also, this doesn't even have to have anything to do with the economy. It's just the sudden drop that should make it longer or on a sliding scale.

yoyo December 8 2007 11:23 AM EST

Two people who are prime examples are Redemption and TehScat. There are more out there, you just have to look for them. These two are not coming back. Additionally, there are people who all but quit. I am not going to call them out, but they are not hard to find. Some people just do not fight and forge very little if at all. They are effectively inactive players.

AdminNightStrike December 8 2007 11:32 AM EST

"Can you really find hard factual data on those sorts of things?"

The post claims to. If yoyo is going to use those claims as justification for change, then they should be provable claims, backed by real evidence. I'm really missing where this concept is difficult.

When people operate on "gut feelings" instead of actual *measurable* data with *measurable* results, then there is no way to make a legitimate decision on what should ensue.

Let's look at these claims from yoyo:

"Many of the NUBs quit within a month of their NUB running out." And later, "A large enough portion quit within a month or so to show a trend." Ok, so yoy is telling us that he has seen a large number of people who quit within a month. Further, if it's large enough to show a trend, then it has to be a significant amount of NUB's compared to those who either quit before this one-month period or after. If yoyo would be so kind as to show that data that he sees that makes it "large enough to show a trend," then it'd be something that we could evaluate.

If he doesn't show the data and instead just makes sweeping claims with grand statements, then how can anyone know if that's really the reason that people don't stick around? We get 30 new users a day. That's a lot. Track those users. Who sticks around? Who leaves? *WHEN* do they leave? This is all very measurable data that just takes effort to collect, instead of just making widespread assumptions based on gut feelings -- which is even worse than making no assumption at all.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] December 8 2007 11:35 AM EST

youth is wasted on the young much as the nub is wasted on noobs! i kinda wish it was a one-time period bonus that has a switch. that way people could learn a bit about the game, decide on a strategy they like and then turn it on for max effect. once on it runs for the current period of time.

AdminNightStrike December 8 2007 11:35 AM EST

"Two people who are prime examples are Redemption and TehScat."

Good. Now why are they prime examples? When did they join, when did their bonus run out, and when did they stop? *Why* did they stop?

"There are more out there, you just have to look for them."

No, YOU have to look for them. If you want your argument to have any validity, then you need quite a few more examples than two, especially when you don't even quantify the total. Two out of what? Two out of ten? Two out of 5000? These things are very important, yoyo, because without the valid data to justify the change you want, then you could VERY easily worsen the situation unrecoverably.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] December 8 2007 11:40 AM EST

ns normally i agree wholeheartedly about proof in data. in this case though our numbers right around the same since jon made the */20 ba change. i wasn't watching closely before that but the trend may have been going on for longer. in the last few weeks we have actually been dropping again for community numbers as regards to active players weekly.

with that being said, retention is an issue across the board. we really need to look at ways to retain nub's and vets alike.

AdminNightStrike December 8 2007 11:43 AM EST

Looking at the total number of active players is an indicator of the just that -- the total number of active players. That is not an indicator of *WHEN* or *WHY* a new player decides to quit. That is only an indicator that it happens (if new players are added daily and weekly active players remains constant, then yes, people must be starting and stopping.) What is required is more than what is on the community page, and more than anyone really wants to figure out. Instead, it's easier just to make a wild guess based on a gut reaction and pass it off as fact with comments like Flamey's.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] December 8 2007 11:57 AM EST

hmm, well there are facts we can gain:

fact 1: new players are joining, we can see that in the new players forum introductions. perhaps not in droves, but that is another issue.

fact 2: our numbers are varying somewhat but mostly holding steady for months now.

fact 3: retention is an issue, we don't know which is the worst culprit, retention of nubs or vets, but improving either or both would probably be a good course of action.

Flamey December 8 2007 11:57 AM EST

Okay, NS, look at it this way. If we are to lengthen the period of the NUB and/or put it on a sliding scale. In regards to player retention, do you actually think that it would worsen player retention? If anything it'd increase it. Even if it does stay the same at least it provides more equality and the NUBs have to put in a bit more effort/time.

Aargh [Closer to the Stars] December 8 2007 12:06 PM EST

@Flamey, you're right, I should've read the first post better before posting. =|

Just pretend my post is a lame "I agree", then.

yoyo December 8 2007 3:03 PM EST

I cannot run sophisticated searches to find when people join and then stop logging on. I found those two by a simple hunt and peck method. For people who want to know why the are prime examples I would suggest simply looking them up in the "search by user" and see for yourself. I am not sure who can run database searches on the server or even if the ability exists, but I know who cannot--me. I do not have the time or the desire to click through all the names and find out who quit when. I hope someone--maybe Jon--has the ability to search and does run a few queries. I am very interested in the findings. Apparently I am not the only one.

I know the NUB has been calculated to bring people to a certain point in 4 month time period, but I think the ability exists to lengthen the NUB and reduce the overall bonus. I am sure it would not be to incredibly difficult to rework the numbers. I think more people would be willing to stick around if they had more time invested then just 4 months when the NUB ends.

I know I am dreading the day when my NUB ends.

QBJohnnywas December 8 2007 3:11 PM EST

Not taking sides on any argument but I just searched for Redemption:

Member of clan: Journey
A member of Carnage Blender 2 since December 31, 2004.
Realm: Gondor
Last login at Nov 29.

Where does this particular player fit into your argument? Anybody starting on December 31 2004 didn't even have a NUB...

yoyo December 8 2007 4:02 PM EST

I looked at the entire New players forum for the month of July.

35 players joined

1 is active

2 are still logging on but are not doing anything as far as I can tell

1 was banned

1 was deleted

23 quit within 1 month

2 quit within 2 months

5 quit within 2 weeks of their NUB

So of the 35 players 27 were done within 2 months.

8 players finished their NUB. Of those 8 all but one have stopped challenging people within a month of their NUB ending and 5 stopped within 2 weeks. I know one month of data is not a ample representation of the 3 year lifespan of CB. It is somewhat telling though.

yoyo December 8 2007 4:06 PM EST

@ Johnny

Redemption main minion was created on Created May 03, 2007 and stopped playing right after his NCB ran out.

I was looking at minion start dates and last logged on before I looked at the forums for July.

AdminNightStrike December 8 2007 4:17 PM EST

yoyo, Marvelous! This is the kind of research that we as a community need to conduct to really find the crux of the issue, to really find the biggest bottleneck. Now if you could go back several months with data like that and plot changes, we can see what exactly needs to change. From the intial data, it looks like the bulk of people are leaving *during* their NUB as opposed to afterwards. More data will show any dichotomy better.

smallpau1 - Go Blues [Lower My Fees] December 8 2007 4:51 PM EST

Ok to make extended the NUB more fair, keep the % the same, but instead of raising the %, raise the period of the length of the NUB.

yoyo December 8 2007 9:38 PM EST

The problem with mining much data before July is many of the people had their accounts deleted. Therefore, if I look people up I will not be able to learn how much they actually played. That is why an admin needs to do the searches.

This does bring forth the data to some extend that many people have their accounts deleted adn all of the NW on them just disappears.

Rubberduck[T] [Hell Blenders] December 9 2007 8:28 AM EST

Now you just need to know how many NUBs bother posting in the new players forum ;)

Those vets who have been selling out, do you know how much of their cash was bought from NUBs selling out?

Maybe the reason they sold out was they saw the writing on the wall for the value of CB$ due to the ever increasing NUB...

Maybe they are going start over again with a NUB.
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