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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 2:29 pm 
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Nalates wrote:
@aloys, currency in a game changes the player base… anyone have any objective studies on that? Or is that just opinion?

Since this isn't a middle school science project, you're probably not going to get people citing objective studies. Nice troll, though.

As for what attracts players to Uru, what B'ni said (with the possible exclusion of in-cavern achievements, I'd rather see them integrated into things like Steam).

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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 7:46 pm 
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If you turn an achievement into something done at the end of a huge collaborative effort like lighting the lake, then I'll take B'ni's summary too. I'm not after my own achievements / success in a game like this.


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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 1:13 am 
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@ B'ni Rabbit, things like; program stability and bugfixes, policing to deal with the idiots, and resources and tutorials for the budding Writer are pretty much self explanatory. Your suggestions like explorer activities, projects, and obtainable achievements much less so. I see in later posts you answered some of these: For explorer activities I am guessing you mean like door runs, yes – no? What type of projects are you thinking, lake lighting? For obtainable achievements is suppose there are clothes, Relto pages, and similar things.

For things that benefit the community, if those are one time things they would not reduce the demand for content by much. If they were things to be achieved for each hood or each player, I can see how they might reduce demand and improve content, in which case we get into replayable content.

May be if they were complex enough that players needed help-training, like the balcony jump, they would increase player interaction and that is a proven method to increase player retention.

Revealing an age seems rather one time. But, may be an instance of an age being added to a hood could be an ongoing thing. May be there could be ‘age pages’ for an instance of an age to change weather and other environmental elements to allow hood members to decorate the age. Something like a Relto book has pages there could be a book in the hood to control the appearance of an age instance.

@ kaelisebonrai, thinking ahead is seldom irrelevant. Some of the things B’ni lists may be able to be added easily and soon. Whether they will turn the tide for Uru we don’t know. One does not stop thinking of what can be done in the future.

@ ChloeRhodes, it would be nice if you do prove us wrong. I can see where work over the last years could be stacking up in a pipeline. Recent changes could break an amount of content loose. It may well be able to supply new content to keep the community busy for a year. You certainly have achieved a high level of quality in Dorehn.

I will need to see it happening to be totally convinced. Cyan had a full time professional staff spend years building content to see the fan base eat it in weeks and demand more. So, forgive me if I have trouble believing a single hobbyist can replace Cyan. I’m doubtful even a good sized group of fans can keep up with the content demands for Uru fans without some changes.

If your saying that there is so much content waiting and the fans are so capable of producing it, I’m willing to say that could be possible and withhold judgment until it happens. But, to ask me to believe that is possible in the face of all the evidence to the contrary and stop pursuing other possible solutions is expecting too much.

@ Rusty_Russell, lots of people are not into displaying personal achievement in-game. Ranking and experience for the sake of fame doesn’t do much for some people. Others however, like it. Enough people like bragging rights stuff that it is considered a necessary part of games.

Cyan has a several low key badges of honor spread through the game. I think they were playing more on the curiosity angle than the bragging rights one. Where did you get that backpack? Those things increase player interaction and that increases player retention.

I think hidden rewards people find while exploring the nooks and crannies of the game were good ways to extend play in an age. The appearing and disappearing stones were similar.

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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 3:13 am 
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Nalates wrote:
@ ChloeRhodes, it would be nice if you do prove us wrong. I can see where work over the last years could be stacking up in a pipeline. Recent changes could break an amount of content loose. It may well be able to supply new content to keep the community busy for a year. You certainly have achieved a high level of quality in Dorehn.


Thank you.

Nalates wrote:
I will need to see it happening to be totally convinced. Cyan had a full time professional staff spend years building content to see the fan base eat it in weeks and demand more. So, forgive me if I have trouble believing a single hobbyist can replace Cyan. I’m doubtful even a good sized group of fans can keep up with the content demands for Uru fans without some changes.


While Cyan did have a full time staff spending years building content, they were also designing the engine, and reworking things over many many times. One must remember that Cyan's initial content pipeline after prologue encompassed more than just the expansion packs. Some of the content was reworked and released during Myst V (Todelmer and Noloben come to mind. These ages weren't finished, and were probably intended for the second year of Uru under Ubisoft) There was also things like Negilahn that was held off until MOUL. The pipeline was never fully emptied after Ubisoft pulled funding.

And even when Gametap pulled funding, while the content delivery pipeline was empty (All the phase 5 stuff that had been beta tested on the rehersal server) had been released, there were still ages and areas that were in some form of development prior to cancellation (Kahlo, the Garrison Wall and other unnamed areas). The problem wasn't so much in the delivery of the content, or even in the production of it. The problem squarely fell into the laps of both cancellations. If Gametap had renewed MOUL for a second year, we would have probably had new content shooting out of the pipeline fairly soon. (There were a number of projects in Phase 4 prior to the cancellation if i recall correctly. Phase 4 was Cyan's wiring phase, where all the components for the age are added in, sound, puzzles etc. Kahlo was at this phase during the Ubisoft cancellation if memory serves me. It became a low priority because of the problems it had during it's wiring phase.

So the concept of a delievery pipeline where things are unrolled in stages works. For instance, if this had been done in MOUL instead of the episodic content, where there's only one week out of the month where things happened. The rentention rate would have stayed higher. During the first few months on Gametap for instance. the cavern was nearly always filled because at any time something could happen. Once the decision was made that things would only be happening one week out of the month, players left when nothing was happening. With an empty cavern, the new players would then have no one to talk to that was experienced, and hence the lack of rentention of newer people. However: let's say they went a different route. Let us say that while we'd still only get about an age a month, they had continued the frequent bahro and yeesha appearances coupled with the DRC visits throughout the month. Then instead of the Yeesha and Bahro stones appearing during the week, you had one a week of these sprinkled into the mix. Because something was happening all month long, the cavern would have stayed fairly full. Thus giving the new recruits a chance to interact and learn from the older players. Player retention would thus have improved.

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If your saying that there is so much content waiting and the fans are so capable of producing it, I’m willing to say that could be possible and withhold judgment until it happens. But, to ask me to believe that is possible in the face of all the evidence to the contrary and stop pursuing other possible solutions is expecting too much.


I'm saying that with a proper pipeline and release of said pipeline in the proper way, Player Retention, IMO wouldn't have been as bad as it is now. There will of course be other things needed to improve it as well, I would never suggest otherwise. But I firmly believe that with enough talented people developing content, and developing said content with enough time in advance before release. A pipeline of content that is continually full, (As was Rand's vision to start with) is possible.

But there are factors that need to be in place that allow that to happen. A full pipeline to start is the first thing.

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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 3:34 am 
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I'm hoping this ties in, I think it does but I could be wrong. I and a few others are working on a fan storyline, it's a work in progress but as it picks up I'm hoping that the next might involve Fan Ages in some way. be it only KI images from them. It can be surprising how much impact KI mail, and Imager messages can have at times. While in that past that impact was negative but we are hoping to have a positive one this time around.

Just wondering and if this has been asked already I'm sorry is thier any chance at all we can work on the Cyan made Ages or Cavern locations we already have? I'm guessing most likely not but I would love to see Ages evolving not staying perrenially the same.

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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 3:46 am 
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jadawin12 wrote:

Just wondering and if this has been asked already I'm sorry is thier any chance at all we can work on the Cyan made Ages or Cavern locations we already have? I'm guessing most likely not but I would love to see Ages evolving not staying perrenially the same.


While it is possible to do so with the tools we have now (Both Client, and Plugin), this would fall under cracking not hacking in MOUL. Unless you had permission from Cyan for this specific instance and reason. That I do not see happening. The content and story they've released so far is there own. They ultimately have the final say in what one does with their content, on their server.

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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 4:39 am 
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Thanks Chloe, I suspected as much. I wonder if Cyan would consider something if it was premade and presented to them or would they rather have it in the hypothetical stage...

The currency issue... I'd just like to say I would like to do things to help the Cavern, be it gathering food, feeding the Lake, making bricks. I also wouldn't mind if in some small way my hard work was rewarded or if I could see how my efforts help or both. I don't really want Bahro Bucks or whatever nonsense or have the achievement Pellet Prince. But I would like the feeling I'm actively contributing to the Cavern and the Cavern Community cares that I am.

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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 5:03 am 
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The most obvious way would be that, when you've achieved certain milestones, you get exclusive access to certain content. (Of course, that content has to exist, first.)

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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 11:02 am 
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jadawin12 wrote:
I wonder if Cyan would consider something if it was premade and presented to them or would they rather have it in the hypothetical stage...

It would proberly be best to ask them first if they were open to an age idea which either involved one of there ages or there story arcs. If you made your age first you run the risk of Cyan rejecting your concept completely (As in nothing you change would make it acceptable), and you would have wasted your time. But in any case even if they accepted your idea, if they didn't feel that your age was upto the same quality once you finished it as there ones then they may reject it(I would imagine they would be stricter on what they accept when it involves there stuff).

Its safer to make ages which don't rely on Cyan's work or story arcs.

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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 12:17 pm 
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Ages like neighborhoods and D'ni locations might make it into MOULa as long as they don't break the canon (that's a Yeesha only thing ;) ). The only problem is the manpower needed to include them on the server. And Cyan is still quite short on manpower.


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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 12:44 pm 
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Nalates wrote:
@aloys, currency in a game changes the player base… anyone have any objective studies on that? Or is that just opinion?

Not really opinion, just good old common sense. ;) The equation is simple: Many people come to, and stay in, Uru as a reaction to other MMOs/VWs. They come to Uru because Uru is different. That is the core of the Uru playerbase. Money is a core gameplay feature of most other MMOs, so adding it Uru would change that playerbase. It wouldn't be instantaneous, and it wouldn't be a full scale change, but it would happen.
I agree the examples I gave earlier were a stretch, that was just to get my point across. If some form of currency ever made it to Uru, I hope it wouldn't change us, but all signs points to the opposite. So I'm certainly not whiling to even give it a try.

But most of all I don't see the point of currency in Uru. I have yet to see someone make a case for it. Money to do what? Buy shirts? Ages? Tour guides? Why not, but how would you even make money in the first place? In other MMOs money is either made by creating value (crafting etc), completing quests, or selling looted content. Quests doesn't really fit the style of the game; there is not content to loot and sell, and crafting implies the kind of tools that we currently have which is limited to a pretty small population. I don't see a working economy (or even trading) model emerge out of this unless some really fundamental changes are brought.

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Even in SL where we have currency and marketing is a big deal we don’t see people yelling to hawk their goods.

Correct me if I'm wrong here; but I'd assume this is thanks to the size of SL which allow for different play styles. Both in the gameplay sense where different people can enjoy/provide very different experiences, and due to the sheer size of the world those people/play styles usually don't even cross paths accidentally. Uru happens on a much smaller scale. :/ And if somebody where to setup a shop even in a remote corner of the City it'd be hard for most people to miss it.


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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 11:32 pm 
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@aloys, your points are subjective from your empirical experience. While I’m sure it seems blatantly obvious to you and beyond question, I keep trying to get people to move beyond to factual information. That you don’t want currency in game, for whatever, reason is fine. Your points are valid as a basis for your opinion. I just don’t see them as objective quantitative data.

That currency degrades the game and draws lower quality players is also more opinion than fact. Also, the idea that Uru payers are different and come here to escape the currency worlds is also likely a skewed empirical experience. Some do, but how many can you actually count and what percentage of the total players is it?

Consider. Uru fans are now playing in many currency based worlds, Facebook, THERE.com, SL, OpenSim, Eve, Utopia, WoW, and on and on. I suggest there are more Uru players in currency enabled games than not. The idea seems a bit of a put down for massive numbers of players.

Whether this makes any difference doesn’t matter unless Cyan decides there is a way for them to fund the game with an in-game or game-related currency and more players. As JWP pointed out, having a currency system is going to be a major complication for private shard operators, so it is unlikely they will want to add currency.

Quoting; "Correct me if I’m wrong here;" … you aren’t, but you are incomplete. Merchants quickly found out that they were muted and boycotted and gave yelling hawks up as non-productive, to say nothing of far to labor intense. SL users have control over how much advertising they see. Violate the users peace of mind and there is a back lash. But, one finds most players shopping in malls and stores. You probably have no idea how attractive shoes are to females... :lol:

I agree if a shop was in Uru it would be hard to miss. But, I doubt Cyan would ever allow that in Ae’gura or other Cyan areas. So, they would be off in corners and fan ages, most likely. We see the impact of that differently. It isn’t a problem for me and it is for you.

At some point people have to decide if they want to share the Uru world with others or keep it to their self. If it is to be shared and popular I think things have to change. That doesn’t mean we have to have currency or turn Uru into Doom. But, it does have to change. B’ni did a good summary of what needs to change. How those things will look and how currency does or does not fit into some of those points is debatable.

I do these threads on change for several reasons. Each time I find new ideas and begin to research them to see how they have worked in other worlds, whether the ideas have been studied, find the games that use them and see how they work and then think about how they may be changed to work in Uru.

@ ChloeRhodes, you make many good points about age production. Your points on roll out verses episodes and story events are clear and I agree they would have made a positive difference to player retention.

While I am not totally convinced a fan team of age builders can keep up with demand, you have certainly been convincing and moved me a long ways toward believing it may be possible.

I think we still disagree on the order of events. I take it your 'first thing' pipeline is the age/content pipeline. I think filling it before we know which things will enhance player retention and what changes have to be made for player retention may mean things in the pipeline have to be revised. Having a plan of the things to be added or changed and which features are to be added for player retention seems like the first step. We don’t have to be efficient, so it may not make a difference what order it is done, but it would be nice. But, people are going to do what they do.

While one may be modeling a building and planning story and programming it is easy to change things when a new feature is added. Once the building is scripted a new feature can require changes. So, I suppose it only depends on where an age is in the pipeline.

@ jadawin12, being able to affect the environment is a proven feature of games that players love. Being able to work with others to do that is considered the most proven and productive way to increase player retention in some studies. Facebook games like Farmville are a good example of how well it works.

There is thread somewhere on making Bahro Burgers… now that will affect the environment…

@TOOO, milestones for access… it works well in other games. I could see door run ages to get a door to another age open and then get a linking page or Nexus entry.

@ dragossh, I’m told getting ages into the Cyan server is not all that technically challenging. I suspect the delay is going to be reviewing the 3DS source.

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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 2:32 am 
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Nalates: Still trying to turn Uru into Second Life? What you're describing sounds suspiciously like plans to have floating signboards in Ae'gura, proclaiming that you can buy the latest and greatest in Yeesha fashion for only 50,000 Millers (That's $5 to those who prefer American Earth Dollars).

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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 2:49 am 
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vidkid7 wrote:
Nalates: Still trying to turn Uru into Second Life? What you're describing sounds suspiciously like plans to have floating signboards in Ae'gura, proclaiming that you can buy the latest and greatest in Yeesha fashion for only 50,000 Millers (That's $5 to those who prefer American Earth Dollars).

From what i can tell Nalates doesn't have any great desire for currency in the game but at the same time doesn't accept that it would necessarily destroy URU if it was implemented. I think Nalates is just keeping an open mind. But its all speculation on my part.

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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 3:46 pm 
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I had an idea with the whole goods thing. Let's say Kahlo Pub is finished any explorer can go in and get food or drink for free. But if you go up to the bartender and ask about Kahlo the Age s/he says, "Sure just one thing, my stores of Teledahn spores, which I use for the ale and meals are pretty low. Would you mind harvesting some in Teledahn? Thanks."

Then as your about to leave someone near the entrance stops you and says they would be willing to harvest for you for a small fee.

So there you go, you'd either give a small donation or grind a bit to get access to Kahlo, which doesn't seem completely unreasonable to me, and once you've done it I figure you'd be set for at least a month or two before needing to do it again.

Please keep in mind this idea is very rough, what do you think?

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