attention vs. retention? Both? (in General)

TheHatchetman March 31 2009 1:04 AM EDT

I'm getting down about the current state of CB, and from the looks of things, I'm with the majority here... A lot of focus is often placed on retention, but is this the best route? Don't get me wrong. I mean, fixing bugs and easing the UI is always good, but even at it's absolute best, we'd be fools to think we could keep any decent percentage of players that try the game out.

CB is like a tourney char with a decay setup - highly specialized and with amazing potential, but just about everyone inspected is a no-go, gotta find the right targets and you're set...

Then again, a lot of things have been done for the sake of attention (psst! we're still a FB app, last i knew...), and the results so far have been lacking, to say the least...

I want CB to be like sutekh -extremely specialized, and realizing a great deal of it's potential. So much of it's greatness wasted on the masses, but felt strongly by a much larger number of people than the decay setup we're currently running...

I'm spacing this all wrong as I've had a long day and don't know how to put it all into words without being overly-basic, but since I'm getting nowhere fast, I figure I'll just ask:

Can anyone think of anything that would help retain more players without selling the soul of the blender we love so much? Or better yet, call more attention to the site? Anything at all that might've been overlooked?

Or perhaps any ideas that individual users can act upon themselves. Things I may have overlooked even... I've not got much in the way of money or technical savvy (I'm computer literate, but definitely not a programmer...), but I wouldn't mind doing just about anything I can to keep this site alive.

For those seeking any ulterior motives I may have behind this, here's a few:

1) I've been concentrating solely on increasing my gear for nearly the past 2 years, and it will likely take a year or more before I've finally got just the gear I currently own to where I want it. I would very much like to be able to complete my project, and perhaps, even use my gear.

2) I SUCK at keeping in touch with people... want proof? e-mail me at the adress I actually use ( and see if I respond. I won't ignore you by any means, I just likely won't get your message before it's over a month old and outdated, if it doesn't get lost in a spam folder or amongst the spam that fills my inbox... That's how often i check my e-mail... I have Ranger's phone number and have had it for over a year. He lives less than a half hour drive from my house. Yet the last time I spoke to him personally was over a year ago, and we've yet to meet in person (that I know of... For all I know he comes into Quiznos every other day :P). So basically, in the event CB were to end tomorrow, most (as in over 95%) of you would never hear from me or my konnichiwizzles ever again. This would greatly upset me...

3) I've a lot of respect for Jonathan for this amazing game he created, and NS is awesome... I'd hate to see all the work Jon initially put into this game, the work of the many others who've helped over the years, and the recent investment of NS's all shot to hell if there was *anything* that could have been done about it...

Anyways... I ramble...

Kefeck [Demonic Serenity] March 31 2009 1:17 AM EDT

I was thinking maybe increase referral rewards quiete abit.

kevlar March 31 2009 1:19 AM EDT

I don't understand the panic and the strange comparisons to single players or soul sell outs?

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] March 31 2009 1:24 AM EDT

I've been talking about bringing the game to the geeks who really play it for a little while now. I think simply developing a way of describing the game that actually sounds attractive would go a long way towards people being able to bring friends on board.

Kefeck [Demonic Serenity] March 31 2009 1:27 AM EDT

I think simply developing a way of describing the game that actually sounds attractive would go a long way towards people being able to bring friends on board.

I second this look at the myspace apps like mobsters, no offense but those games are terrible but yet have millions of daily users.

Goodfish March 31 2009 1:29 AM EDT

That's true, nov... every time I try to recruit someone to CB all I can really say is that it's a text-based, complicated version of rock-paper-scissors. That's really the best description I've come up with since I started playing back in late '03.

MissingNo March 31 2009 1:38 AM EDT

The name "Carnage Blender" isn't very appealing. But suggesting the game change its entire name is a little blasphemous.

Canibus March 31 2009 1:44 AM EDT

Very nice thread Hatchetman, also a bit touching, considering the impression of the amount of time you've put into CB2.

I played back before CB2 (actually quit right after it had launched) came. Is it me or is it fewer now than it was before? Either way, can't this be solved by increasing CBs exposure to "rating sites" and/or link sharing, I mean, some people are bound to join and play a short while, and then leave again, but some will stay. If you increase the amount of people trying this game out, well even my poor math makes me realize that we will get more people here.

To end Ill say that this have probably been thought of and discussed,ergo making this post entirely redundant - and for that im sorry.

BootyGod March 31 2009 1:47 AM EDT

Improving the earlier game. From my experience with referrals, getting people to try the game is easy. Getting them past the opening bit is the trick.

The tutorial still needs to be changed. But I won't beat on the horse on this one.

A few things that I really think would help:

1) I feel that the lower characters and fight zones are..... Terrible. Character farms make fighting high difficult. But. A more specific and easily fixed problem.

Familiars. While a character's MPR stays low, their VPR will continue to grow from defensive victories. This increases their max tattoo and tattoo size (apparently). So familiars are hitting incredibly hard when to all appearance they should be beatable.

2) One of the things I liked about CB was the text of battles. It appealed to the reader in me, I guess. But, if nothing else, it made the fights more interesting. To actually "see" what was happening.

I recommend changing the battle text for all new players to "Always" for the first week, then moving it into the incarnation we use now. That may aid with the people who click and aren't really seeing anything.

3) Seriously. Disable forging for the first two weeks.

AdminTal Destra March 31 2009 1:50 AM EDT

GW #2 is perfect
i switch it to always on every time it moves back
i enjoy watching the other guy get pwnd

MissingNo March 31 2009 1:51 AM EDT

I agree. Especially with seeing the texts. Why don't we have an option in settings to keep the text turn on, off, or on non-wins like we did before? Sometimes I just get lazy to click on every single day so I just leave it on on non-wins. And not seeing how the battle plays out, I feel like that degrades the quality of the game a little.

BootyGod March 31 2009 2:20 AM EDT

I believe the idea there was just server clutter. People on phones or just on for 10 minutes to burn BA don't look at it. *shrugs*

Goodfish March 31 2009 2:27 AM EDT

I've been secretly hoping for years now that Jon spices up the battle log. I want more graphic, detailed descriptions of me crunching my opponents with my named Mace of Disruption. What bones am I breaking? Is the bruise purple or yellow? Do I do cool flips when I dodge attacks? And most importantly, is there blood?

BootyGod March 31 2009 2:35 AM EDT

There have been threads about that. And it's a good idea, too, imo. But as I recall (When I put forward the idea of adding flavor text to DD. You know, fireballs scorches X for Y damage. Cone of Cold flash freezes X minions for Y damage.) it was said it would take too much work for what would be, really, nothing.

But I think it's time this idea was revisited and maybe given some second thought to.

QBJohnnywas March 31 2009 2:42 AM EDT

I've dabbled with a lot of online games over the years and this community has always been quite similar in the types of people that are here.

It's a very different community to a lot of the other games; there are more older folks about here, but the younger players are generally a lot more calm, mature - and as for the PG rule...I do suspect it's that making a difference on how people come across.

I've thought it before that maybe we need to aim at the 'geeks' as Nov puts it. Maybe I just don't want to see the sorts of people I've run into in other games...

kevlar March 31 2009 2:50 AM EDT

If the subject is trying to appeal to the masses, I have already mentioned it before, but *no disrespect to the history and the person who made the picture* the intro picture could be changed or flashed up. Have a page layout, with a flash intro to the game (if anyone is good with flash here).

Brakke Bres [Ow man] March 31 2009 2:52 AM EDT

A tad of advertisement won't hurt.

I've actually seen the first Runecrap (uh) Runescape advertisements on TV.
And those were focused on kids. Yeah the advertisement guys really know there focus group.

(offtopic)Kid gets in the game, gets seduced to go into the PVP area and gets ripped while the ripper swears into oblivion

Anyway advertisement for CB on the internet.

Eurynome Bartleby [Bartleby's] March 31 2009 3:17 AM EDT

Facebook mass-invite tool. That's what I need to attract people.

Give that to me, and see me go...adding an enormous amount of friends to my list and inviting them to the app, again and again, to INFINITY!


(The FB app never worked on my end, and I know I'm not alone in that situation. But make it work, and let us invite people to play it, and I really think we could help bring folks around.)

That Facebook integration must be seen to completion. The rest will work itself, and we can have more targets to mutilate and gain XP from.

In response to the title: Attention will do this game much more good than trying to go for more retention. CB is not appealing to the mainstream. It's a fact. Many people WILL always quit after being done with the tutorial. The thing we want is to balance that with many new entries.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] March 31 2009 6:33 AM EDT

from the age poll thread, it would seem that our biggest market is adult males who still live at home with parents. i propose that we find a way to market ourselves directly to "supposed to be empty nesters who now have an adult child underfoot and are wanting some alone time!" ; )

QBJohnnywas March 31 2009 6:41 AM EDT

Or older males who need something to do while they're feeding the baby at three in the morning. While their partners sleep.

chaosal March 31 2009 9:07 AM EDT

bruno mentioned people leaving right after the tutorial...
what sort of drop-off rate is there after the NUB expires? it seems like you'd have to be pretty committed to your character or the community to stay around after that, and it does seem rather easy to grow disillusioned here (what with game-changing updates that make or break strats)

Flamey March 31 2009 9:12 AM EDT

So why don't we do something with the tutorial. Everyone rants on about how it needs to be revamped. Make a wiki discussion page, go over the steps get to a consensus and start writing out the steps and then get jon to look at it. If anything it gives us an understanding of new players' views. We get a ton of ideas falling through threads.

Wiki is user-based, so we should be able to make a discussion page and possibly a preview page. I'm not the most creative, but discuss the basics, what needs to be covered and then have headings as pages. Page 1 - welcome, page 2 - minions.

Essentially you want the basics part of the wiki heavily summarised for the tutorial so new players understand the game. I ASSURE EVERYONE that this game is confusing and not properly understood for a week or so, depending on your activity on wiki/chat/forums.

So I'll start 1 page for now.

Flamey March 31 2009 9:19 AM EDT

I don't think its a bad idea, please don't blast it. It's positive and it's much easier to keep track of ideas in a wiki page instead of scattered threads through general!
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