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  Click here to go to the first Atlas Reactor Team post in this thread.   Thread: Guys, you do it wrong.

  1. #1

    Guys, you do it wrong.

    Just returned to the game from a break, and i must say im not impressed.

    There is simply no incentive to play the game in the long run. Played 2 matches now, after returning and i dont feel like its worth the time. Im getting absolutely nothing worthwhile for winning the matches, so they feel like constant, pointless practise with no end.

    So you introduced Ranked Mode. Thats a great idea, but you did it so wrong... Why wrong? This is why:

    1. Splitting the already low playerbase (lets not be kidding ourselfs, steam charts says enough) into even smaller playerbases. Oh man, that is just cardinal online games' suicidal sin. Players are content here, and you split it so there is scarse content everywhere. And due to your business model the only meaningfull game mode (play to get something, to compete in leaderboards etc.) will have ultra long queues cause majority of the playerbase (the freeloaders - aka online game content - very neccessary component of game, wont you agree?) wont fill the teams in ranked.
    So in short, you either play the free mode with short queue, but no incentive to continue after a while, or you buy the game to wait longer in the queue in even smaller playerbase continent of "i bought the game". You divide your playerbase instead of letting all players play with each other in meaningfull way. You are killing your own product. But well, if you insist on reinventing the wheel, its your thing. Its just sad to see good potential go away and decay, to be abandoned after a while, becouse an accountant is calling the shots about business model instead of someone who actually know what he is doing.

    2. The rewards. Where are they? What are they? Why should i bother waiting the longer queue time? All i see is "play ranked, and you will get something". But wait twice the time or even longer to get a match. Well, no thanks. I will rather join the short queue, which seems to be the main game mode (the free mode) and play some game before i fall asleep, while im forcing myself to find some fun in the game.

    I can already guess what will be that suprise reward for the ranked. Some mildly alternated visual effect for a hero i dont even like to play, cause noone in the company actually cares about putting more money into developing a lot of things fast to make it attractive (even the UI still have so many placeholder graphics). There goes very limited amount of money for development and then some for Muzzy, who have an ungretefull job of trying to make the game look sensational, popular and growing. Sadly, the mmo game with suicidal business model wont ever grow. It will only shrink and die. Retention of active players is just almost no existent in such model. Both paying and nonpaying players will get bored cause of that flaw (1. for seeing no goal, 2. for playing in the ultralow playerbase and high waiting queues)


    But sure, you can disregard comments from a random internet person.

    Thats why i will link you the video you should watch. Its pretty old, but it will perfectly explain to you why mmo games can fail due to bad business model and low playerbase. And its not just the "ghosttown" that guy mentions that makes it hard to play at all, but also the community aspects of it - the perception of potential players. With so many games to invest in and waste time on to choose, players are picky in choosing what games they should invest in. They tent to look on games that grow, and have potential of being one of the most popular. Noone want to invest in things with no future, its universal logical nature of our choices. That includes players' time and games where this time is invested.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXA5...youtu.be&t=144

    I recommend you to watch it troughoutly, especially the part where he starts talking about splitting your community. Or perhaps you dont have to watch it, but then you should send the link to your accountant who makes the decisions, so maybe he gets the point.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falrinth View Post
    low playerbase (lets not be kidding ourselfs, steam charts says enough)
    This... isn't exactly reresentative of the whole community with how many people play the game without Steam.

    Quote Originally Posted by Falrinth View Post
    the only meaningfull game mode (play to get something, to compete in leaderboards etc.)
    I play for FUN, and I'm a paying player who has little to no interest in playing ranked. Ranked play is a specific sub-set of the market for the game, and while I might eventually consider myself competent/reliable (I'm decent with a few characters, but still inconsistent even then) and try ranked, but it ISN'T the main draw for me. I play for the gameplay, because the game is exciting and fun.

    Quote Originally Posted by Falrinth View Post
    2. The rewards. Where are they? What are they? Why should i bother waiting the longer queue time? All i see is "play ranked, and you will get something". But wait twice the time or even longer to get a match. Well, no thanks. I will rather join the short queue, which seems to be the main game mode (the free mode) and play some game before i fall asleep, while im forcing myself to find some fun in the game.
    I can honestly see this as being a problem. Giving too much of a reward for ranked play would be unfairly punishing on free players, as well as those paying players who prefer to play more casually. Not giving enough appears to be a valid problem with the current system, but the devs are very good at taking this kind of feedback on board, so hopefully they have - or soon will have - some further ideas on how to improve this aspect.

    Many players who play ranked modes do so purely for the competitive aspect, and want to see their rating improving in comparison with other players on a leaderboard. That alone is enough for those people. Additional cosmetic items - even if they're not super-crazy special things - can be a nice bonus. Especially good is having actually EXCLUSIVE items - although as with the existing cosmetics, I'd prefer them to be recolours/retextures of existing skins, rather than entirely unique models in their own right. Minor tweaks to the existing models would be cool - versions of the characters wearing medals appropriate to your ranking would be a cool option/unlock for ranked play.

    While I do have my own concerns about the game, I don't think the issue you're pointing out will kill off the game itself.

  3. #3
    P.S.
    Also the talk about the freeloading players as the foundation of the game's social marketing and community building is very important. The passionate teenagers with no money but lot of time and passion, build social content around the games and bring more friends to it. The thing you PAID streamers to do, with not so impressive effects. The freeloaders make youtube channels about game they are passionate about, guides, tutorials, funny stuff, wikis etc. So in fact by treating freeloaders as something useless (just a temporary demo user who might become usefull only if he buys) you shot yourself in the foot.

    You wont do it with Muzzy alone. He is just 1 person. Simply cant compete with giant group of passionate teenagers. And it makes - and will continue to make - Atlas Reactor look dwarvish in comparison to real, proper f2p online games. Also, why would a passionate player (the one who bought the full game) AR player dedicate himself into making youtube materials or streams about AR if there is basically little to no audience? Majority of audiences for this kind of content ARE -AGAIN - free players - the teenagers who also play the game passionately. Why would you stream something noone watches (cause noone plays)? Streamers dont stream their favorite games, they love, but the most popular ones to get subscribers and ultimately make a living out of streaming.

    ANd no, you wont convince people they are playing the full game, but with just some *little limits. Most of the players already seen a lot of different free and paying models, and they can tell the black from white. And what most important: they can FEEL its not the game, but a demo. Hence you wont retain any freeloaders, and as i said before: you WILL shot yourself in the foot.

    The sooner you realise the person who called the shot about business model is ignorant, the better for the whole game. After the news about AR stops spreading as something new, and everyone out there already sees it as some flawed business idea, it will be to late. Hardly any game rise up from the ashes.

    So in sum, making the game truly f2p with no obstacles for freeloading teenagers gives:
    1. bigger playerbase
    2. tones of social content
    3. social content audience (without it, you cant expect lot of player produced content)
    4. free marketing
    5. better reviews and reception of the game in the eyes of players and potential players.
    6. growing community

    With current demo model:
    1. some little chunk of demo users transform into one time money injection.
    2. decaying playerbase (after novelty of the title ends)
    3. bad reception in eyes of majority of players and potential players
    4. no social marketing whatsoever
    5. no player produced content's audience
    6. feel of investing time into game with no future
    7. "shameless moneygrab" label - i dont see it that way, cause i see how hard you guys work and care for it, but im not majority.
    8. doom and gloom

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by obliviondoll View Post
    This... isn't exactly reresentative of the whole community with how many people play the game without Steam.
    Ok, lets forget steam charts and look into another popularity measure: https://www.twitch.tv/directory/game/Atlas%20Reactor
    Do you see the sum of all viewers? Compare it to the oldschool f2p with cosmetic purchases. As you can see the Muzzy's narrative of "our business model is perfect and just ahead of its time" doesnt work. Unless maybe in future players perception of this model changes. But then, they should rather change to the model that works today

  5.   Click here to go to the next Atlas Reactor Team post in this thread.   #5
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    I'm sorry but whatever data you are using as a basis of your hypothesis isn't accurate.

    Thanks for the feedback though.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by BigDataDude View Post
    I'm sorry but whatever data you are using as a basis of your hypothesis isn't accurate.

    Thanks for the feedback though.
    No problem. I've never claimed i got accurate data. I see reflection of its playerbase in the popularity of the title on the web. Dont need exact numbers to build my hypothesis. Seen players reaction in the steam reviews (history you know so i dont have to elaborate on it here) when the "free" mode was introduced. Effects and comments of the sponsored streams. Number of viewers in non-sponsored ones. Steam charts (which arent the whole playerbase of course, but have tendencies to grow and fall, and steam players arent different kind of people than non-steam ones so are the represenation of game's reception).

    I really do hope you will think about it and fight for the future of the game. There will be long time before someone else make another attempt for a turn based moba, and i would rather see this one succeed. I wont try harder to convince you, that you are on wrong path right now. Good luck!

  7. #7
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    I don't understand why people have such a problem with queue times.
    The longest i've had to wait is 3 min, maybe 4, and that's only occasional.
    For a 30 min game i don't think that's unreasonable.

    If you have to wait longer it's probably because your elo is either extremely high or very low.
    That brings up a different issue, people don't want to be teamed up with lower tiered players in ranked but complain about queue times.
    It's impossible to please everyone.
    The splitting up the playerbase issue is a solid point but to make the game sustainable people need an incentive to buy it.

    Now that they removed the time limit on lootboxes it's very easy for F2P players to obtain skins, taunts, banners and emblems.
    So i think there are definitly incentives to play even for free accounts.
    I play the game because i think it's fun, the rewards are optional.

    Each has their own opinion but you sound a little patronizing and i don't think that will give you much credit.

    You see these kind of posts in every games forum people talking about player retention based of off steam charts.
    The game has only been out since october... The playerbase will always have ups and downs.

    From my perspective everyone i play with is extremely positive about the game so i guess you and i have different experiences.
    Prepare to be impressed

  8. #8
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    I have to agree with the OP. For me the progression system is non-existent in this game. Sure you can get cosmetic stuff (skins, taunts, etc) but after awhile that gets meaningless. I don't need 15 skins with 10 color variants each for a single character. I get no enjoyment out of playing one game in skin A with red highlights and then the next game switching it up to skin B with blue highlights. Sure there are a token number of things like catalysts, etc to unlock with currency which do have an effect on game play but they aren't compelling enough to even register.

    I tried to play the demo mode (f2p I guess) and unlocked skins but couldn't use them because I didn't have any colors unlocked. That was real disappointing especially since the Halloween event required non-default skin. Then just went the route of the 'free limited edition' (same as buying the $30 bundle) so I got all the chars at once and now there is nothing to play for. Don't get me wrong playing for the fun of it is paramount, but ultimately that gets stale quick, and I routinely ask myself 'should I play Atlas Reactor and get nothing or play another similar game and at least progress?' The reward and sense of accomplishment after a match needs help big time in this game.

    I have read a little of the f2p discussions on these forums and to me at least not having a f2p option for this game really hurts it. Following the dota/lol model would have instantly fixed the progression problem this game suffers from. The two (business model and progression system) are linked. Just give us credits (or whatever) for playing and let us grind from a small pool of characters to unlock characters 1 at a time.

  9.   Click here to go to the previous Atlas Reactor Team post in this thread. Click here to go to the next Atlas Reactor Team post in this thread.   #9
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    Zultor, Just a heads up: Your skin use is not limited by needing colors unlocked to have access to skins. Every color is it's own skin. If you unlock ANY skin, you can use it. If you open a loot matrix and get a skin, you can absolutely use it.

    Falrinth, there is a lot to unpack here, and I'll be getting around to respond to your claims in a bit, but I do want to express my disappointment that you put words in my mouth about this business model: "our business model is perfect and just ahead of its time"
    I've never said it was perfect, and that can be seen by how much we've been evolving it over time. I have said that our design goals and intentions are met with the positives that this model brings. We are trying to push the boundaries of design and business model with our choices. Shifts in the gaming culture can only happen when a company is brave enough to do so. We have been heralded and chided for this choice, but it's our choice to make. We do listen to the players and this shows by how we've altered Free Mode. We will continue to consider what players have to say, though the changes will not always be what you expect because we do have our own goals to achieve as well.

  10. #10
    When did "this game is fun and my reward is enjoying myself and getting better at it" stop being a reason to play?

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