Idea to get more players (in General)

DarkCloud February 24 2013 1:37 PM EST

When was the last time cb had any press coverage. I regularly read and I believe there are other similar social news websites. If we could get an article about the game posted and then liked by our members maybe some new people will see it and join. I don't know any one that writes for any sites, so if you do speak up! Maybe instead of a new mechanic we need some fresh advertising.

Bounty Hunter February 24 2013 1:59 PM EST

Sounds like a good idea. But more importantly we need to be ready to introduce the game and be active chatting with these new referrals. I suggest that if we do spend resources advertising or getting links out there you resurrect the mentor program. Getting the new players into a clan and being guided early to see results with regards to retention. But I will be the first to say its not easy and it takes time for sure. Maybe if we could find some way to incentivize the clans to bring these new players on board might be an idea similar to the individual incentive for referrals.

Zenai [Ministry of Pain] February 24 2013 2:13 PM EST

I think we need a bit of both to be honest. Good idea though! Dunno if they are still out there but we did have some daily links to vote on to bump the Games name/site link to the top of a conglomerate game link website.

AdminNightStrike February 24 2013 3:18 PM EST

I offered to pay a handful of prestigious CB members to write articles. None did. Most were QB's.

Zenai [Ministry of Pain] February 24 2013 4:47 PM EST

Took a while but I found it. If you want to still do it well here you go and as far as I can tell these links are still working :-)

Vote for CB!

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] February 24 2013 6:42 PM EST

I offered to pay a handful of prestigious CB members to write articles. None did. Most were QB's.

Don't remember that, if I was asked. ;)

If you don't mind NS, I could type something up for approval.

Sickone February 25 2013 5:39 PM EST

Since we're down to 77 actives but still roughly 2 new ones most of the days, I don't know if getting more is the problem... it's keeping them that's the issue.

QBPixel Sage February 25 2013 7:19 PM EST

I had a pretty cool CB blog way back when that started off well. I demand payment! =P

Zenai [Ministry of Pain] February 25 2013 8:04 PM EST

I have to agree with Sickone on this folks. Before we try to lure more players we need to have our internal problems addressed and fixed.

More than most here in CB Land I have done everything I can from the players side to help with retention. I am failing in this regard and I am about as tenacious as they get so this should say something.

Just the other day I had to tell NS to take his rental chars back. Why you ask? Too few were renting and I was putting them up at just above posting prices for most of the items.

Bottom Line: We need things fixed.

QBPixel Sage February 25 2013 8:57 PM EST

Do we know exactly why retention is so low? Perhaps we can fix issues within the game, but unless we find out why the game isn't attracting players to stay for the long run, we may be patching the wrong problems. Example theories:

1) CB is complex, but does not have the proper UI/UX to support it. This can (and should) be improved.
2) Players in this generation are used to getting rewards early and often. CB does not offer much of this.
3) The game isn't very goal-oriented. What am I working towards, and how close am I?
4) The Help wiki is overwhelming for new players. And most pages have too much info to be properly useful for someone learning the game.
5) CB is a text-based game. Doubt this will change at all, but let's face it: most people want to dazzle their eyes with pretty graphics nowadays. CB even looks like a dated game.

Eliteofdelete [Battle Royale] February 25 2013 9:31 PM EST

I think badges/achievements would do wonders. A simple flash battle of characters fighting (which can be turned off) would probably help too.

Zenai [Ministry of Pain] February 25 2013 9:39 PM EST

Salketer had a basic program that used the Source Code from the Play by Play and made it visual with Chibi style Final Fantasy 8-16 Bit characters. Unfortunately he never finished it.

Kefeck brought up a Badge System before but it was killed with fire by the masses for whatever reason.

Both are excellent ideas IMHO and would do nothing but benefit the game.

DarkCloud February 25 2013 10:13 PM EST

How about a new font!! Now blend in comic sans!
Good points about the number of new joins and retention. There is no easy goal and not many players like the long term game. Ways to fix this, I dunno I'm too old, kids these days just want to do what everyone else is doing, have to get them all playing and hooked. Badges sounds like an idea. Also maybe a streamlined wiki? It has been awhile since I played the beginners tutorial what is it even like? Maybe we should provide newbs with a premade character? I know the game is way better as a supporter maybe give them supporter fight list for the beginning month? Still, advertising never hurts.

It's Always Sunny [Exposed Agenda] February 25 2013 10:52 PM EST

i like the thought of 1 month free supporter feature. let us know what we are missing out on.

Bounty Hunter February 25 2013 11:27 PM EST

One suggestion and I am not sure if this is even a possibility on CB chat but here it is.

1. Would the addition of a sound/color change on the webpage tab whenever someone is chatting either private or in the general forum.

The reason I say this is CB is a game that runs in the background while doing other things online. This feature may help to interact with the community more. No one wants to sit there and stare at a blank chat screen waiting. And my point is bring back a better interaction with chat the retention efforts on the new players may improve.



Sickone February 26 2013 1:15 AM EST

Do we know exactly why retention is so low?

I think that we actually sort of do know.
And while those things you listed are for sure contributing factors, most are not really serious issues, let alone deal-breakers.

For instance, CB is not really that complex at all, but yes, the interface could stand some improvements, but not to reduce the already lacking complexity. If anything, due to the ever-escalating bonus value of the NUB, people get pretty big rewards earlier and earlier. The lack of a clear goal is not really an issue, seeing how there's so many thriving games out there who are even less goal-oriented. And the wiki is not really that stuffy, you should see some other wikis of other games I casually play. The text-only aspect could be a turn-off for several people indeed, but it's not such a tiny niche to turn off nearly every new visitor, and there's more than just a few surviving MUDs out there too (and that's even more text-based than CB).

The reasons people run away from CB very fast ?

First and foremost, the NUB/NCB system has bad side-effects and is getting worse the higher the bonus value goes in time (and it keeps going up due to the way it's set up).
The higher that value goes, the more annoying it gets to find decent early targets, as you go by targets faster and faster, and the target selection mechanism SUCKS in general, let alone for non-supporters.
In fact, one of the very first "band aid" things we should probably do is to give all CURRENT supporter targeting features to all players from the word go, AND scramble to improve the means to more quickly seek out potentially reasonable targets.

The score system is sorely lacking, it is a poor distorted reflection of actual performance, it's like seen through carnival mirrors. It should be redesigned to more closely indicate actual fighting potential ASAP. This also feeds back into the previously mentioned issue.

The lack of new developments becomes quickly evident, both through the lack of meaningful change logs, the lack of activity and general negativity of forum threads (which can't really be helped unless you want to start a systemic lie campaign which people would quickly uncover either way). If something scares off people really fast is a game that "SMELLS" like it's in palliative care, and CB sure does smell like it. That won't get "fixed" unless we can find and empower people with enough spare time to actually develop the game as a main activity, which is, well, not that easy.

And last but not least, there's a horde of legacy Jon-mandated decrees which probably made sense many years ago when he still had at least one of his hands on the pulse of the game and he kept on sort of actively developing it, but the insistence on maintaining the status quo which is obviously not working anymore is the finishing coup-de-grace to the horribility basket of nuisances. If we wish for CB to have a second chance, a lot of them need to go the way of the dodo, and they need to do that FAST.

QBPixel Sage February 26 2013 1:29 AM EST

@Sickone: Not sure I agree with your analysis, and I still stand by my theories (though I'm too lazy to expound =P). But that's alright! We'll see what the admins think, and if they're even willing to move forward with changes to encourage new players to come and stay!

Zenai [Ministry of Pain] February 26 2013 1:36 AM EST

I have to give it to sickone again. *Claps* Sickone and I have had many times where we simply tore into each other both in forums and in CMs ie when we disagree we really disagree. However the flip side is also true when we agree we really agree this is one of those instances.

The biggest thing for CB that we disagreed on was the closed currency system he had proposed. Since then he went back to the drawing board came came up with something that would be truly good for the game on an overall. I think more than all of the things ppl are mentioning, don't get me wrong they should be addressed, this should be the first aim. Install the new currency features that Sickone has mentioned in Possible Solutions to a Dwindling community.......

This would be a great start as this would make a huge change in how players view CB. On top of this simply think about how the Dev(s) would get paid more in the optional features alone.(Right now is is on a voluntary basis) Possibly enough to be worth coding CB on a more regular basis? Just a few thoughts.......

Sickone February 26 2013 1:36 AM EST

Here's one example of a mechanics which hurts more than it helps : the way the clans are set up.

Currently, while there are some incentives to be part of one, there are some hidden drawback that make people stop being part of one, and joining one can be cumbersome.
A clan member who communicates with his clan has a much higher chance of sticking around longer.

How would I change it ?

First off, I would eliminate the clan join/create fees for everybody who has not changed clans recently, and only keep it as a "cooldown" mechanism.
I would eliminate the clan point drains and turn it into a purely positive system. There should be absolutely no way to ever have a negative clan score. This also means no more score-based disbanding. of clans. To keep it competitive, score gains needs to be readjusted. Also, top rewards need to be buffed, while the rewards tapering needs to be harsher.
I would rethink the entire clan member limit and score adjustment mechanism, so that every clan can be as small or as large as you like, with score gains auto-adjusting based on membership counts and members MPR totals in all existing clans.
Then I would fine-tune the score gains in such a way that fighting noticeably weaker enemy clan members would be very poorly rewarded, while fighting stronger opponents would be well rewarded.
We also need a more comprehensive overview of clans for newcomers - clans need to be able to "advertise" whatever advantages they might provide (in a very small text blurb) on the very page one selects what clan to apply to, and actual clan ranking performance should also be indicated there.
Clan management should be streamlined, with grantable "accept new members" rights to other clan members, or even automatic join conditions, so that you have more choices than letting everybody in or having to wait for the clan leader's approval.
I would probably also add a different clan-only secondary chat channel, maybe even replacing the existing "fight feed" with a lightweight clan-only chat channel (or inserting it above it). And yeah, give us control to turn off the fight feed if we want to do that.

And that's all just one possible way to do ONE of the things that need attention.

Zenai [Ministry of Pain] February 26 2013 1:44 AM EST

This also means no more score-based disbanding. of clans.

This feature was kindly turned off by NS after a rant by me in a thread that others supported when the original Hell Blenders Clan auto disbanded due to breaching the -1000 CPs Threshold for 24 Hours straight.

Aside from this I would have to say add in Auto Clan Co-Captain(limited in capability by the Leader) and Ritual Casting.(basically a Set it and forget it feature) More often than not I have found even with the strict schedule I have for CB. Sometimes RL just happens and I have to either cast Rituals early or late which has absolutely nothing to do with strategy and everything to do with RL interfering! (Darn you RL!!!!)

Bounty Hunter February 26 2013 1:59 AM EST

I have to agree in simple terms the NCB or NUB system under its current design causes a player to spend hundreds or dollars to buy CBD just to buy BA in the HOPE that their strategy will come close to the top 10 if well planned out or top 25 or so with concentrated effort. Honestly without prior experience in CB1 and the backing and encouragement of a good clan and Zenai and a few others I would NEVER have attempted DarkForce which with pathetic challenge bonuses at times managed to land at the bottom of the top 15 or so. And no one to my knowledge is attempting a full effort at this time. Basically put the current structure is a TAX on player growth limiting their involvement. Please consider reducing the BA tax to something more manageable and allow our new players to compete at the higher levels.

Zenai [Ministry of Pain] February 26 2013 2:05 AM EST

Agreed BH and not to mention the Tutorial in a sad joke at present as it really doesn't prepare a NP to actually perform properly in the game. Also that a Learning curve period should be put into effect BEFORE they actually start their NUB. This would help with actually learning the system and the char before they totally screw it up and quit after a week or two. I cannot tell you how many NPs we have lost due to this one sad fact.

Bounty Hunter February 26 2013 2:06 AM EST

Oh by the way Sickone I am the latest example of your theories ;) Get rid of the BA tax and fix the score system, and then ADVERTISE to our players base and past player base to come back and TRY again. Then we go from there.

Thug [Sponge] February 26 2013 8:42 AM EST

Hey all

I myself would like to see more tabs instead of clicking link after link. And make it so you can select which is the home page for supporters to make give more incentive to be one.

Like have Training page which I might have as my page for this set of tabs. Then an Equip tab and a Manage Tab.

Click Businesses and it would open up to 8 tabs, gives supporters the option of the order they come up.

You know a forger would might want the forge page first
another might want auctions.

and please no icons I would be gone if it looked like win 8

I like many of the recent ideas everyone is coming up with.

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