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Player retention

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PLrankzenfur
15 days ago
(edited 15 days ago)

I looked at this graph and wondered how the trend will continue and about how good retention of new players zero-k has.


source

What are your predictions/judgement of how well did zero-k manage to keep new players? Does the curve has any asymptote, or what kind of curve is it.

It would be fun to overlap it with pre-release statistics to see how do they compare :) Whether after stabilisation there will be around 10x as many veterans or 2x or less.
+1 / -0


USrankfenrave
15 days ago
While i'm not familiar with the technical terms, I personally believe it will balance off around 200-ish

I'm purely basing this off how the curve is exponentially slowing down(Its also growing a bit if you look at it)

I think the best ways to keep player retention is through the creation of reliable tutorials that people have to play before multiplayer(The campaign does fill this role but a lot of people ignore campaigns on RTS's). Its increasingly obvious that a big margin of newer players don't know how to play as a team, or create a stable economy, this obviously leads to them losing a lot and being disheartened by the fact they keep getting killed/yelled at by older players.

I personally integrated well into the community, after all, a good inside joke can go a long way.
+1 / -0

USrankforcegod
15 days ago
Player base always drops after the initial spike.
The trick to retain more players the reaching the possible lower horizontal asymptope of player population is to introduce more player spikes.
How to do this? Marketing campaigns bois.
+1 / -0


USrankfenrave
15 days ago
That being said, the devs could try to contact game reviewers to have them give their 2 cents on zero-k

But, i'm gonna be real here, who even reads articles on games anymore?

You're gonna need some youtuber probably, quite a lot of big RTS youtube channels out there.
+0 / -0


PLrankzenfur
15 days ago
(edited 15 days ago)

USrankforcegod: in order to market campaign you need to make it attractive at first: with good story, charismatic characters and fun antagonists to beat. I played starcraft solely for the story of the campaign.

I wondered about PW impact on this, but I doubt that event of planet wars will be any attractive to newcomers. It's another complexity in the game that's not anywhere explained properly in already complex game that new players need to learn to get any pleasure from.
+2 / -0


NOrankKingstad
15 days ago
You may have a point about Planetwars there, also everytime a planetwars round end normal gameplay seem bland and boring in comparsion, but maybe that feeling is mostly for the ones who are actual officers? At any rate many vaguely active players hang around waiting to see what Planetwars is all about, and after the new system is up I suppose rounds can be run semi-often.
+0 / -0

PTrankraaar
15 days ago
besides the generic talk about player retention expectations it's also useful to ask:

why are people leaving?

were they just into single player, finished the campaign and got bored?

No game is perfect. What didn't they like? Maybe some of the flaws are reasonably fixable.


+0 / -0


NOrankKingstad
15 days ago
Personally with the exception of warcrafts hilarious custom maps I never cared about PvP and only ever played campaign and skirmish in RTS games. There should be many many humans like me.
+1 / -0


USrankFealthas
15 days ago
NOrankKingstad makes a good point. Even though I've played many RTS games with multiplayer capability, I only became interested in doing multiplayer in like 20% of them. And I play 1v1 all day.
Most people don't stick around for multiplayer and this is nobodies fault.
+1 / -0


USrank_Shaman
15 days ago
(edited 15 days ago)

quote:
I think the best ways to keep player retention is through the creation of reliable tutorials that people have to play before multiplayer


Or having a fun and appealing gameplay (not saying ZK doesn't have this. This is a common trait among successful indie titles). Forced tutorials are not fun. If you want fun, put newbies against other absolute newbies based on their prior RTS experience and have that serve as a tutorial. Sort of like a special MM pool. Yes, this is how it's supposed to work in theory, but you occasionally get the weird episodes of top 50 vs absolute newbie and they get crushed and leave because it wasn't enjoyable.

You want to keep players around past that? Give em something to do. Have a newbie tournament where no one over 1500 MMR/elo casual or MM can join. Right now you're sitting at a game that has good gameplay, but you don't have a means to flaunt it. Locking it behind a tutorial won't do much to keep players here. Most of the few events we do have are geared towards keeping vets around and interested.

A potential idea could be an adopt a newbie tournament where a vet can coach a newbie, but cannot interact with units. Ideally you'd have a signup pool of new players and veterans then have the new players pick their coach. Newbies would ideally be below 1400 elo and have at least 5 or 6 games under their belt. I'd be interested in overseeing this tournament.
+5 / -0


AUrankSortale
15 days ago
to follow up on USrank_Shaman idea

I wonder how can we let new players know there is such a tournament and how to participate in it. I mean most players may not pay attention to forum/website/community thing/chat.
+0 / -0


FIrankVermind
15 days ago
For free to play games, looks like you lose 60% of users after first day:
http://www.gamedonia.com/blog/16-things-game-developers-should-do-to-improve-player-retention


For mobile apps:

Across all industries, the average mobile app retention rate was 20% after 90 days:
http://info.localytics.com/blog/mobile-apps-whats-a-good-retention-rate

Another source: typically apps lose 80% users already first day:
https://www.appcues.com/blog/app-retention-is-hard-heres-how-to-improve-it




+3 / -0


NOrankKingstad
15 days ago
As long as we ourselves know about upcoming events its no problem setting it as channel topic meaning everyone will see the message everytime they log on
+0 / -0


USrank_Shaman
15 days ago
(edited 15 days ago)

Steam announcement of said tournament would be a great idea. Much wider than these forums. You'd also want to post it on social media and stuff.
+1 / -0


ROrankSigero
15 days ago
A newbie tourney would have been a great idea around the time of release,we did have a tourney but it was mostly vets.We should do one though thres plenty of newbies still around who would like to have semi ballanced games.
+0 / -0

PTrankraaar
15 days ago
Has anyone asked new players who stopped playing?

Did they have very low win%? (these statistics probably exist somewhere)


+0 / -0


NOrankKingstad
15 days ago
The lite tourney we had after release wasnt so shabby as there were newbies playing and they could win within their mmr group. The headsup for the event wasnt huge though.
https://zero-k.info/Forum/Thread/25212?Search=&User=&grorder=&grdesc=False&grpage=1
+0 / -0

FRrankThornEel
15 days ago
quote:
I played starcraft solely for the story of the campaign.

Same here - though I loathe Starcraft 2 with every fibre of my being for the same reason.

But a good narrative campaign is hard to pull off. You need a good story, engaging characters, but also the maps, unit design and mission objectives themselves need to participate.

To take Starcraft as an example:
[Spoiler]

For possibly the best narrative RTS ever made, check out Homeworld Cataclysm Emergence(1). It is also one of the best narrative zombie games ever made, which is even more surprising as it is a space RTS.
Here is an article about an especially memorable mission:
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/video-games/goodoldreviews/13659-Good-Old-Editorial-Homeworld


(1) Remember, kids, it's the one with the most money that owns the trademark. Some of you may still be under the impression that it would be prior claim by a decade, or that trademarking a rather common word isn't possible, silly you...




The problem is, this above isn't exactly possible for Zero-K. Good professional voice actors are out, the best available staging is a briefing text and maybe some simle in-game camera play (like the intro to the first mission), and we have to work with the unit and map style we already have.
Mission objectives and in-mission events are doable, but those require someone to dedicate significant time and efforts on it, so better be as light on those as possible.

My best bet would be on this narrative - while unoriginal, it can be done reasonably well with lesser resources:
[Spoiler]
This should be doable by slapping narrative texts into the mission description text. If that sounds good, I can even try to whip something up.

This would be no Homeworld: Emergence, but it should be enough to keep narrative-minded players like us interested enough in the campaign.
+0 / -0


GBrankthe_green_squig
14 days ago
What percentage of the player base play a multiplayer game? How many quit after one or a few multiplayer games? I think this is a necessary parameter for the discussion because it will tell us whether people are drawn to the competitive game or they want to play by themselves. If a lot of people are quitting after one or a few multiplayer games, then it's probably getting curbstomped that's upsetting them.

I think it was a few days or even a couple of weeks before I started playing other people, but it was always my goal to play against other players and I knew I would take a beating on that road before reaching a place I'm fairly happy with.

I think the answers to these questions will focus the discussion on what needs to change. My feeling is matchmaker- even I don't like it if I'm drawn against someone from a higher rating bracket. It took me far longer to work out how to join custom games than the matchmaker queue. Perhaps permanently running custom rooms with settings tweaked in a way that will likely benefit newbies (not sure what this would look like though) and clearly signposted would reduce negative early multiplayer experiences (though newbies can spoil things as much for each other as veterans can for them). Assuming that is the problem of course.

On the other hand, games are such a crowded market these days thanks to Steam that getting to blockbuster numbers seems as much a matter of luck as judgement.
+0 / -0



EErankAdminAnarchid
14 days ago
If someone were interested in using ZK game and setting as a platform for a narrative campaign, i imagine it would not be difficult to distribute it alongside the tech tree unlock campaign.

Wesnoth's model where there are multiple campaigns sounds okay.
+1 / -0
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