How to keep W:EE going strong

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varis
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How to keep W:EE going strong

Postby varis » Fri 6 Apr 2012 18:02

Right after released the number of players online peaked to over 3000, but now we are down to just a bit over 1000 every night. Actually the 1000+ players seems to be a stable plateau, as it's hovered there for weeks now. But eventually people will lose interest and a new decline in numbers will start. How can we prevent that from happening?

Currently I see a possiblity that the community would even grow somewhat. A lot of people left the game due to balance issues, missing features etc and have been fence sitting, so this bunch could come back and that would be a big boost to numbers online. The game is still new and as you see on the forums, new people are flowing in. Eugen is supporting the game, as seen in patches and DLC packs and that keeps up the interest at this point.

Still the future of the game isn't certain. How would you ensure it receives the proper attention from the gaming community and rises to the cult status it deserves? How do you keep the community going for months and months... until the next big thing comes from Eugen or some other developer?

Some things that come to my mind:

What Eugen can do

Features, balancing and fixes: This is a no-brainer and is to be expected in any case from today's game makers. The list of what could be done here is long and well-discussed already so won't go into details right now.

Fix ranked games: This would give clans and competitive teams something to do, and as such could be a nice boost to the community. Support for clans could be added via other features in the game as well, eg. a chat lobby or a way to arrange clan matches could be great.

Promotion: The general feeling is that Eugen hasn't done all they could in this department. Sure any big marketing investment is not warranted at this point, but little things could be done to for example keep up the interest on Internet's strategy gaming sites, which could still send us new players but also pick up the news about any future expansions or sequels to Wargame that Eugen wants to make.

Mod tools and interfaces: This would be an instant guarantee for game longevity. If the mod community grows strong, there's reason to keep the game on your hdd for years to come, as the mod projects can go on and on and ideally there's something new and exciting released every week, or at least every month.

News on expansions and sequels: Okay, we're probably quite a ways away from these, but eventually Eugen could give us some info about those and at that time new players will be picking up W:EE from the bargain bin just to check it out.

Demo: This would bring new players as RUSE&Eugen aren't too well known in the gaming community. Most players just see buying the game as too big a risk to take.

What the community can do

Form clans and teams: Public games with clueless teammates get old and painful pretty quick, and playing a game with regular buddies adds so much to it. Also there's a number of clans and teams around on public games so if you don't form up you're at a disadvantage.

The Clan Collision League: It's a bit surprising why this hasn't received more attention. But at the moment it seems the most sensible things for clans to do - would give clans some quality opponents in a regular format, help them build reputation, and it could keep the clan community going for a good while into the future. Would also bring competitive and teamplayers to the game as eventually the matches would end up on youtube and create publicity for the game that way.

Community events: These can be targeted to clans as well as individual players. OpusTheFowl has been doing a splendid work with the War of Nations, and there's been a bunch of other events since release. I'd say we've actually been pulling our weight pretty well in this department. Just check out the official list at viewtopic.php?f=11&t=3637

Strategy guide: This is quite important, and I think it's been pretty much neglected! A decent strategy guide could go a long way in bringing new players into the game as currently there's just a bit too much of a challenge. If you are not familiar with 20th century military technology, all the units can be quite bewildering for starters.
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Re: How to keep W:EE going strong

Postby PastorJoe » Fri 6 Apr 2012 18:18

varis wrote:Right after released the number of players online peaked to over 3000, but now we are down to just a bit over 1000 every night. Actually the 1000+ players seems to be a stable plateau, as it's hovered there for weeks now. But eventually people will lose interest and a new decline in numbers will start. How can we prevent that from happening?

Currently I see a possiblity that the community would even grow somewhat. A lot of people left the game due to balance issues, missing features etc and have been fence sitting, so this bunch could come back and that would be a big boost to numbers online. The game is still new and as you see on the forums, new people are flowing in. Eugen is supporting the game, as seen in patches and DLC packs and that keeps up the interest at this point.

Still the future of the game isn't certain. How would you ensure it receives the proper attention from the gaming community and rises to the cult status it deserves? How do you keep the community going for months and months... until the next big thing comes from Eugen or some other developer?

Some things that come to my mind:

What Eugen can do

Features, balancing and fixes: This is a no-brainer and is to be expected in any case from today's game makers. The list of what could be done here is long and well-discussed already so won't go into details right now.

Fix ranked games: This would give clans and competitive teams something to do, and as such could be a nice boost to the community. Support for clans could be added via other features in the game as well, eg. a chat lobby or a way to arrange clan matches could be great.

Promotion: The general feeling is that Eugen hasn't done all they could in this department. Sure any big marketing investment is not warranted at this point, but little things could be done to for example keep up the interest on Internet's strategy gaming sites, which could still send us new players but also pick up the news about any future expansions or sequels to Wargame that Eugen wants to make.

Mod tools and interfaces: This would be an instant guarantee for game longevity. If the mod community grows strong, there's reason to keep the game on your hdd for years to come, as the mod projects can go on and on and ideally there's something new and exciting released every week, or at least every month.

News on expansions and sequels: Okay, we're probably quite a ways away from these, but eventually Eugen could give us some info about those and at that time new players will be picking up W:EE from the bargain bin just to check it out.

Demo: This would bring new players as RUSE&Eugen aren't too well known in the gaming community. Most players just see buying the game as too big a risk to take.

What the community can do

Form clans and teams: Public games with clueless teammates get old and painful pretty quick, and playing a game with regular buddies adds so much to it. Also there's a number of clans and teams around on public games so if you don't form up you're at a disadvantage.

The Clan Collision League: It's a bit surprising why this hasn't received more attention. But at the moment it seems the most sensible things for clans to do - would give clans some quality opponents in a regular format, help them build reputation, and it could keep the clan community going for a good while into the future. Would also bring competitive and teamplayers to the game as eventually the matches would end up on youtube and create publicity for the game that way.

Community events: These can be targeted to clans as well as individual players. OpusTheFowl has been doing a splendid work with the War of Nations, and there's been a bunch of other events since release. I'd say we've actually been pulling our weight pretty well in this department. Just check out the official list at viewtopic.php?f=11&t=3637

Strategy guide: This is quite important, and I think it's been pretty much neglected! A decent strategy guide could go a long way in bringing new players into the game as currently there's just a bit too much of a challenge. If you are not familiar with 20th century military technology, all the units can be quite bewildering for starters.


+1, think its a very good post in my opinion, i think we will get much more from Eugen since they are supporting the game very well.

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Re: How to keep W:EE going strong

Postby SkylineR33FTW » Fri 6 Apr 2012 18:41

100% agree with this post :) In game clan support would be great, maybe a menu where each team is signed up, then you can select the leader you wish and can message them in game to sort a match, i do however feel like the DLC and constant patching is already great on Eugen's part :)

I would also add that i agree that the pre-game marketing was way off par. Myself, i only knew about the game a day before launch (word of mouth) and im guessing a lot of people saw it on the steam "homepage". But they don't obviously have the EA/Activision type of "deep pockets" to fund such marketing.

However, an idea would be as qouted below:


Pixelchaser wrote:far be it for me to tell anyone what to do. but i really should ask Eugen/Focus a question!

"dont you think a `WTF is` series on youtube would work wonders for marketing, word of mouth, and well generally getting your stuff known ?"

and have you done this already ? if not, then Why not ?

for the cost of a copy of the game you can relativly freely get access to approximatly 250K of his subscribers a day.

You have a good game here, you really do. Bad games get panned (spoken ill of) WArgame should survive his approach and sell a fack load more. Atleast thats how i see it. and time this with a steam sale and your laughing.

And whats more is the HOT TOPICS that he publicy speaks of are all full of opinions on everything thats wrong in the games industry. He does a mailbox series and that series gets equally high viewing.

By illustrating that you are providing Free DLC. ie no further payment necessary, This is a great time and a great selling point and not only that, If you realise what you are doing and market that to the public. you will recieve such good praise within the community and be focused upon with positive association to hot topics at present.


contact him here.
http://www.cynicalbrit.com/
http://www.youtube.com/user/TotalHalibut?ob=0

Of course im sure there are reasons un known to me why you may not want to do this. But for day to day marketing in the business of making and selling games theres opportunities to be had here that are not being uttilized as far as i can see. i just want the best for you guys and your game.



This would be a LOT with sales. Possible 30,000 copies if 1 in 15 bought it, Even more so if there was a demo too :)
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Re: How to keep W:EE going strong

Postby Buck Turgidson » Fri 6 Apr 2012 19:42

Integrated voice comms. I can't emphasize this enough.
This would bring the ability to communicate and coordinate in public games. The lack of it is also probably the biggest reason why organized players (clan members) usually struggle to find an opposing team that is willing to play. I can understand their feelings, playing against a team that has voice comms, with a bunch of random guys that can't communicate properly isn't probably going to work out well... and then looking at it from our perspective it feels like we're getting punished for getting organized, with so few wanting to play against us.

Comms are important in this game, the text chat just doesn't cut it. For the sake of the players and the quality of gameplay, we really need built-in voice comms.
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Re: How to keep W:EE going strong

Postby DeuZerre » Fri 6 Apr 2012 19:47

Most organised players have access to Skype or teamspeak or Mumble... These are often used and are acceptably efficient. Only the global chat is missing. (and pings) in the communications department of the game.
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Re: How to keep W:EE going strong

Postby SkylineR33FTW » Fri 6 Apr 2012 19:48

DeuZerre wrote:Most organised players have access to Skype or teamspeak or Mumble... These are often used and are acceptably efficient. Only the global chat is missing. (and pings) in the communications department of the game.


"pinging" is being added in 6 days, so that should be good :)
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Re: How to keep W:EE going strong

Postby Space » Sat 7 Apr 2012 02:36

I hope that the DLC brings the game closer to it's full potential and fixes some of the things that have made many people stop playing. If it does, then a 'relaunch' with maybe a free weekend on steam could really expand the player base. RUSE had a million downloads of the free beta - people like free, though I imagine that Steam expect a chunk of money for things like that, so the game would have to be much improved and made more noob friendly to make that worthwhile.

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Re: How to keep W:EE going strong

Postby varis » Sat 7 Apr 2012 09:32

By what Eugen has told us about the first DLC patch by now, it looks quite nice. 12 maps at release and now expanded with 7 which is quite a bunch! The AI skirmish might make the learning curve more forgiving to new players, as you can learn the game in a less stressful environment than regular MP (with lots of veterans ready to pummel your units left and right by now). I'm sure there's going to be a peak in players online, as the existing players check the new features out. But to have a lasting effect you'd need some new marketing push.

For newb friendliness, one idea could be to arrange a Strategy Guide Contest. Whoever writes the best guide for new players (this could be based on a player vote) gets a high-end graphics card as the prize.
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Re: How to keep W:EE going strong

Postby Buck Turgidson » Sat 7 Apr 2012 10:00

DeuZerre wrote:Most organised players have access to Skype or teamspeak or Mumble... These are often used and are acceptably efficient. Only the global chat is missing. (and pings) in the communications department of the game.


Yes and no.
While many players use 3rd party voice comms, it's isn't a universal solution. You can't just hop in to a public game and instantly be able to communicate with the guys - you all need to launch the client, connect to the same server (and set up one) which is a big hassle, which is also why people don't do it. The usual comment we get from pubbies when we set up a public game with clan members is "right, you guys are all on TS and working together, I'll pass".

The pings will help a lot though.
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Re: How to keep W:EE going strong

Postby DeuZerre » Sat 7 Apr 2012 10:07

I don't know many games with in game voice, even ones that incredibly favour communicating teams (Let's go recent: Battlefield 3).

Even then, most people just don't have mikes, or simply can't communicate vocally (Causes too much noise on their end, not fluent in an universal language...).

Isn't there a server available to players anyway? http://www.wargame-ee.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1673
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