Player retention



  • Warning I wrote this text without much thought to structure so read on your own risk.
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    You know you’ve got a problem and I’ve tried my best to explain things to either Tibberius or Slygoat but I doubt they ever listened or took me and the whole community serious. So this will be my last form of effort as one of the earliest supporters and players of the game. I’ve seen and read things that 90% doesn’t even know.

    This is not to badmouth anyone but its rather to give you an insight of why certain things happend the way they happend.

    The problems with Tibberius is that he is not involved with the game and lacks any basic knowledge of how the game is played on the highest lvl. Further more hes extremely stubborn when it comes to advice about the game and has issued certain changes to the game that aren’t realy based on anything but his “view”. Granted he’s a “businessman” now and the “lead producer” so he has the right to shape the game how he sees it but it doesn’t make sense calling shots in areas where you do not have any experience with ( see the whole ‘combo feint to parry’ debacle best argument was ironically “player retention”).

    Btw who cares if your community manager isn’t living next to you? Is she realy going to manage the community better when shes in Canada with all the mooses(mees wte)? The community is an “online” community not people you meet on the streets of Canada.

    I quote Slygoat when the anti CFTP changes where in beta: “Whether or no CFTP makes a return totally depends on Tibberius Bane.”

    Is the CFTP such a big deal? Yes it is and I will not make a long write up why it is important to how the game plays or else I might puke. I and many other have explained and explained and argumented why it is important to have CFTP and why it does not hurt the game in any way.

    The reason its a pity is not that it bogs down the game but rather that the result is that it decreased the “fun” aspect of the game and as a result decreased its longevity and “competetivnes”.

    Dumbing the game down would help player retention was the idea. Well its quite the opposite. I doubt the majority of the players every played long enough to actualy notice or understand what was going on.

    Granted feints were a major problem for beginners and veterans alike due to their “random” nature. Personally I think the current feints are probably more balanced than before but incombination with other changes like the “bubble” and the removal of the CFTP it leaves a bad tastes in your mouth.

    The whole balance council iniative seemed like a good idea were it for the fact that the ideas proposed were actualy taken seriously and the multiple requests for a more structurized “chat” were not ignored.

    When Slygoat wrote this: “This is not up for debate” about CFTP and certain dodge changes I realy started to feel that every ounce of effort I made in conveying my opinion and view strengthed with valid arguments was immediatly shatered.

    (Oh yea there was this one guy who kept debating about changes to the maa dodge where the rest of the council agreed, but eventually after tiring everyone out and the seemingly inablity to accept another view or opinion his ideas or a variant of it were put into the game. Which he eventually disliked when they were put into the game, don’t remmember his name though but he was extremely annoying.)

    I don’t understand that you (TB) fail to see what the problem exactly is with player retention. It had nothing to do with CFTP or any other reason but the mere fact that this game isn’t defined as anything.

    Its realy simple. People like appels or oranges. Sure the people who like appels might eat an orange sometimes but they’ll always return to the appels. The trick is to make appels look like oranges but taste like appels ( competetive games being built around being competetive but also being casualy fun on the surface much like DOTA or Counter Strike).

    Same goes for the people who like oranges. Its very hard to find or make a fruit that please both players. Oh yea nobody likes a lemons.

    Sure its fun to pew pew in CS or to play DOTA at a casual lvl but it gets intense once you try to play it competetive like its built for. What Chivalry tried to do is to be competetive but downgraded so much that it became casual.

    So there are no “goodies” to keep casual players playing except for the viceral fun that is slashing away with giant melee weapons that’ll bore the average player after 3 hours. Unlocks and the meaningless rank that dies out after aproximatly 5 hours or less. So you’ll have a player that plays your game for 8 hours and then stops contributing in any way. Eventhough you’ve sold so many copies ( literally millions) yet you fail to build a stable player base.

    To keep player playing and interested in your franchise, you either need a innovative game that is focused and centralised about competetion but at the same time it has alot of “goodies” (customization, unlockables, lvls) to keep the average shallow gamer occupied OR you need a strong story driven singel player mode which you can build sequels to.

    If you take the first rout you need to “invest” in your competetive scene and you need to LISTEN and actualy believe that your game has the potential to be competetive. ( thanks Merica’ for the whole Hax tournament scandal further killing the unborn baby that is competetive chivalry, just kidding no I’m not)

    Instead of investing in slings( seriously who’s idea was that?) and flails. Biggest waste of resources yet.

    Going the micro transaction route you finaly realized that you needed to add goodies to increase its longevity. Imagine if you had a fully grown competetive game with tournaments here and there. Twitch streamed tournaments. You’d sell way more than you do now.

    Did you know this game was once in the ESL( European Sports Leauge) probably the best way to get your game started for professional gaming?

    The potential was already there for your game to be a massive hit but somewhere down the line you changed. You saw the big money numbers come and the big player numbers going out and you sought to find a reason. Well guess what it didn’t have anything to do with how the game is being played but more how you’ve supported the game to become.

    People will always like swining swords and melee weapons wildly. You will always have the casual player who will buy your game on sale despite the many atrocious bugs ( serverbrowser lel) on the sale. That is the biggest strong point of the game its attractive and fun. Its weakest point is you, the developer for ultimately destroying the endless potential of this game.



  • Nerfing the game was a failed experiment. GG.



  • 10/10, couldn’t be said any better.

    But slings are awesome.



  • Chivalry sold 1.2 million copies 5 months ago, using that number and the average online playerbase of around 3000,
    0.00025% of people who purchased the game continue to play it.



  • Chivalry sold 1.2 million copies 5 months ago, using that number and the average online playerbase of around 3000,
    0.00025% of people who purchased chivalry continue to play it.



  • Brother you were all over the place and I barely followed until the end where you nailed that point home. TB screwed us all and themselves by releasing a great game and never correcting the bugs. Balance never even seemed to play into it, make this game solid and everything else will follow. I’ve played this game for months and do fairly well most matches…and am still LEVEL 5(with first and second tier weapons unlocked for all classes)



  • I’ve been playing this game for a few months. I’m not bad and not great by any means. I’ve unlocked second tier primary weapons for all classes and all secondary weapons for all classes. Somehow I’m still a level 5. I don’t think it really bothers me until I see the “Rank Up” message only to see myself regress to a level 5 again.

    Sophax, you hit the nail on the head in your closing paragraph or two. TB could have a real hit on their hands but the bugs keep “normal” players away. The sense of progression that drives a lot of people is immediately removed once they see their rank and unlocks revert even when playing on “official” servers.



  • Great post.

    I remember once meeting Tibberius on a beta server and dueling him a few times. He wasn’t bad, but not good either. I told him “please never stop to play the game otherwise you’ll lose sight of what is needed”. Sadly I think he did not play enough with skilled people and failed to see what was needed.



  • I think you - and many people - overthink the “skilled” part of the game. On high level it’s mostly a reflect contest between players. The game felt the best early on mostly because very few players - in a growing mass of players sampling the game - realized how you can speed up attacks. Because of that combat didn’t feel like cheating or bugged (I can provide countless examples, but I think most of us knows what I am talking about).

    Now many people realized what you need to do in order to be more effective and they abuse(d) that. And other people reflected that behavior to remain competetive, magnifying the problem even further. How the game (combat) works in hands of experienced players is what’s pissing off the casual players. The issue is heritable. It lies in the very design of the game itself. Animations. No patch is going to fix this. That’s - in my opinion - the first and foremoest reason why combat went to hell after some time (there are also others, but less major). Pleasing the pro crowd wouldn’t make much difference here, because it’s very limited number of players and the way they play is not fun for someone who ain’t professional. Which is the majority of people who’re playing computer games.

    Chivalry is still great game for me to play. It’s fun. It’s a fresh view into the world of the first person slashers, but if they want to make Chivalry 2 they should take into consideration animations, because all of combat is happening around them and in Chivalry they aren’t good enough when people start to manipulate their weapons around in an extreme measure. It’s not entirely the player’s fault. They’re doing what they’re supposed to (although one can question certain “tactics”), but effect aren’t as they’re expected. And it shows.



  • Nothing will change



  • @Sophax:

    (Oh yea there was this one guy who kept debating about changes to the maa dodge where the rest of the council agreed, but eventually after tiring everyone out and the seemingly inablity to accept another view or opinion his ideas or a variant of it were put into the game. Which he eventually disliked when they were put into the game, don’t remmember his name though but he was extremely annoying.)

    BB?

    @CRUSHED:

    Nothing will change

    Not with that attitude.



  • @Holy.Death:

    I think you - and many people - overthink the “skilled” part of the game. On high level it’s mostly a reflect contest between players. The game felt the best early on mostly because very few players - in a growing mass of players sampling the game - realized how you can speed up attacks. Because of that combat didn’t feel like cheating or bugged (I can provide countless examples, but I think most of us knows what I am talking about).

    Now many people realized what you need to do in order to be more effective and they abuse(d) that. And other people reflected that behavior to remain competetive, magnifying the problem even further. How the game (combat) works in hands of experienced players is what’s pissing off the casual players. The issue is heritable. It lies in the very design of the game itself. Animations. No patch is going to fix this. That’s - in my opinion - the first and foremoest reason why combat went to hell after some time (there are also others, but less major). Pleasing the pro crowd wouldn’t make much difference here, because it’s very limited number of players and the way they play is not fun for someone who ain’t professional. Which is the majority of people who’re playing computer games.

    Chivalry is still great game for me to play. It’s fun. It’s a fresh view into the world of the first person slashers, but if they want to make Chivalry 2 they should take into consideration animations, because all of combat is happening around them and in Chivalry they aren’t good enough when people start to manipulate their weapons around in an extreme measure. It’s not entirely the player’s fault. They’re doing what they’re supposed to (although one can question certain “tactics”), but effect aren’t as they’re expected. And it shows.

    If you’re talking about accelerated or deaccelerated attacks that skip animations then yes they can and will most certainly skip animations and break when pushed to the extreme. We actualy talked about this in the “balance council” and the consensus was that there should be a vertical cap (since there only was a horizontal cap). The animations no longer broke or skipped animations and drags were harder, but still possible. Same goes for the insta 360’s.

    Combat was more “stable” and reactable. It was in the game for a few iteration until it suddenly with no warning got removed from the game. I personaly thought this was an improvement.

    Why? Randomness of TB I guess.

    If you’re talking about feints then yes the first sets of feints were pretty much unreadable ( in combination with the broken accelerated and deaccelerated animations). Not realy a problem. It just depends on how you want people to play your game.

    Feints in their current state for MOST weapons are “readable” and serve as a good way to break up the endless back and forth. The real problem with feints is, and I’ve said this before on their private forums, that most of the animations need to be more profound on their windup to be actualy readable. Like for example the 1h stabs. They’re nothing more than a little twitch.

    But I guess they’d rather waste money on slings and horrible horrible maps like that firey piece of shit.

    Speaking of that map, its actualy the second time Tibberius pulled something of like this. In Age of Chivalry, there was also a volcano based map which was totaly horrible. Who in their right mind would find it cool or funny to have a “volcano based castle/dungeon” with the worst layout/objectives to date, other than a 7 yeard old after watching monthy python.

    Not only is it horrible to play in it also detracts from the credibility and the immerision in the story and there was hardly any story to this game. Yea Malric is a dude and a cat.

    Other than this I see no ‘abusing’ or things that might make it less competetive and when I mean competetive I’m talking about teambased fights not duels. If you don’t know how that looks or plays like you can look up alot of fights. Its alot about team coördination and tactics which is very fun to watch and exciting to play.

    If you say that combo feint to parry is an exploit or abuse then I have no more interest in talking to you. It should be clear that this is not the case if you have played this game for 5 minutes and tried to play against a maa.

    So millions of people who bought this game stopped playing because they were getting owned by people who “abused” their way to victory? Its not realistic to state that. There is a deeper issue here than just l33t player making millions of players rage quit and I’ve already explained that deeper problem.

    This game is like an apple that taste like an orange after the first bite but then quickly tastes like lemon with bit of fart.

    If people(read casuals) were dissatisfied with how the animations worked then surely you should’ve read more topics about it or even reviews but the reality is that they play it and enjoy it very briefly before moving on to the next best bargains on steam that they can enjoy again very briefly until they stumble upon something that can catch their all too little attention span.



  • @dotamachine:

    Chivalry sold 1.2 million copies 5 months ago, using that number and the average online playerbase of around 3000,
    0.00025% of people who purchased chivalry continue to play it.

    Your math is terrible… It is around 2%.



  • @Sophax:

    So millions of people who bought this game stopped playing because they were getting owned by people who “abused” their way to victory? Its not realistic to state that.

    Complete bullshit whoever stated that lol



  • @gregcau:

    Your math is terrible… It is around 2%.

    Actually did the math, its 0.25%



  • And nothing that was changed gave noobs a longer lifeline against veterans. It just made battles between experienced players suck.



  • @CRUSHED:

    Nothing will change

    great post nonetheless



  • @LTTLWLF:

    Actually did the math, its 0.25%

    Depends on how you determine the current community size is based upon 3,000 concurrent every day all day.

    If the average player plays for 10 hours a week then the community size is 24 x 7 /10 x 3000 = 50,000

    If the sales is now up to 1,500,000 then we have 50000/1500000*100 for a percentage of 3.3.



  • Other than this I see no ‘abusing’ or things that might make it less competetive and when I mean competetive I’m talking about teambased fights not duels.

    I meant abusing as used constantly. It’s used in every fight between each combatant, because the only ways of countering this (other than fighting fire with fire) is being an archer and picking targets from afar or using long range weapon and using distance and positioning over speed.

    So millions of people who bought this game stopped playing because they were getting owned by people who “abused” their way to victory? Its not realistic to state that. There is a deeper issue here than just l33t player making millions of players rage quit and I’ve already explained that deeper problem.

    You think so, but your opinion might not be correct. If we have a game centred around combat and combat feels wrong or bugged, etc. then having flawed combat will make players leave. Take distance into consideration. The closer you were the worse parrying was, because how system works. That’s why the Bubble came into play (it didn’t work and created other issues on its own though). Also attacks like stabs with long weapons were messed up (they were both faster and sometimes came through blocks due to how tracers worked). I could go on and on. Combat in Chivalry is far from ideal, but before we had experienced players this issue wasn’t as noticeable and I know that, because I was a newcomer to Chivalry once. I also heard them saying so in the game.

    If people(read casuals) were dissatisfied with how the animations worked then surely you should’ve read more topics about it or even reviews but the reality is that they play it and enjoy it very briefly before moving on to the next best bargains on steam that they can enjoy again very briefly until they stumble upon something that can catch their all too little attention span.

    Perhaps. Then again, how many people register on forums to share why they don’t like playing Chivalry anymore? How many of them simply don’t bother anymore after some time and want to play a game that’s less bugged, has better fleshed out mechanics, less “cheaters”, etc.?

    Complete bullshit whoever stated that lol

    Blessed be those who have nothing to say and yet not put this fact into words.



  • While I agree with much of the original poster, I have to add my 2 cents. For starters, his main complaint is nothing new if you were like the few of us left that have been playing AOC since around 2005 and was fully involved with much of the game and it’s development. These guys always nerfed or completely removed valid tactics, strategies and even parts of a map to make it easier when clearly the complexity of the game is what was the most enjoyable once you got past the noob levels.

    In my opinion where the dev team went wrong was trying to do too much, too fast in too little of time. Granted they had 3 years from AOC -CR2 to Chiv with a complete engine change. So here is what they failed in doing. What made AOC so much fun was it was literally a medieval Counter Strike, team based 1st person game. Instead of retaining all the greatness of AOC with is basic story line of good vs evil objective maps they tried to please everyone by trying to do everything. There attitude was. “Wouldn’t it be cool if we did this…” but not really taking AOC to its fullest extent.

    Chivalry should have been AOC2 then have the other game mods come out as expansions. SO they should have perfected TO first with lots of maps and the like. Then created an LTS expansion, Later a dueling expansion and the like. This would have given them time to create more maps and polish there base game. Then they could have made more money with each expansion all the while perfecting each expansion.

    Of course one of the biggest problems was and still is not having easy and proper access to server admin tools both in game and remote. Seriously, how hard is it to have an in game admin login that pops up an interface with lots of options and buttons like the the main menu? But dumbing down the game is nothing new if you played AOC you clearly see the pattern. What they had originally was brilliant and because the devs were getting their asses handed to them by their own players they nerfed the game.

    It is sad to see history repeat itself and in this case they have lost the opportunity as the majority of upper level and competitive players have left the game and for good reason. To radically change the base game with the bubble was exactly like Toe2 Toe in AOC, Nerfing valid tactics by changing the game mechanic instead of subtle and slow balance tweaking. It killed the game in less than a year.

    So much was lost from the transition from AOC to CHiv in the basic concepts of the game in favor of a few whistles and bells to make it look pretty and please the masses. Lessons unlearned.

    Imagine the sales if they had done proper expansion packs and perfected the base TO game first…


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