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Thread: What is being done to increase player base

  1. #1
    Post Demon umajon911's Avatar
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    What is being done to increase player base

    I am severly confused now. What EXACTLY is being done to increase player base of the game? Now we add "tutorial" functions of the game? Ok, that is great, for new players...except the player base is shrinking. Changing mechanics every age, making the game more user friendly, and over-modding the forums isn't going to increase the player base. It is either making it more enjoyable for new players or causing heartache and discontent to the seasoned players who have had it with the game. So WHATTTTTTT is being done to INCREASE the player base.... aka advertising...
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    Before going into all the details of exactly what we are doing, what do you feel would be successful avenues to travel to find new players?

    I assume we're going to ignore the aspect of this discussion that pertains to what needs (or should) to be done to the game prior to any advertising campaign to ensure the campaign results are retained (i.e. the tutorial). So strictly speaking we're discussing what should be done to bring players to the game, not keep players once they arrive. Is that correct?
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    What is easiest way to get people back? Genesis Server

    Why is it the easiest way? This will bring a lot of old timers back to the game who would like to play on their own terms, not focused and the pressure it takes to play in warring kd:s with waking up at night. A server based on whoring, warring or whatever. Unleash the explore pool. Let it be unbalanced. Make genesis age 4-6 weeks. There are so many people who were addicted to this game and we just need to push them in the right direction and once they will get taste of this cocaine they will be stuck. Maybe not all but some.

    Start with this, this will also keep existing player base despite all the mistake you done lately with moderating the forums to hard by pushing people who actually write stuff here to just not do it anymore.

    Summary: Bring back genesis, make it unbalanced and a cow feist, warring feist, unleash the game!

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    Forum Fanatic octobrev's Avatar
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    I imagine some decent gains could be made by dropping mailers from the sky over rural parts of Africa where they are just now gaining access to the internet. They don't have the bandwidth to be playing graphical games yet so Utopia will probably be a big hit just like it was in the 90's for us.



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    Last edited by Sassy_Wolfie; 15-12-2017 at 02:02. Reason: Merge double post

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    I think that's a wonderful idea Mansoor, and very eloquently written. I agree wholeheartedly and we are actively working to achieve that goal.
    A little history for us so far, Genesis was my number 1 priority when first purchasing Utopia. Unfortunately it's been pushed continually for various reasons, the most common denominator always being our interest in producing a more stable and more marketable product before playing our best hand (offering Genesis). I agree with you that Genesis (multi-world functionality in general, i.e. once Genesis is available there will be more than just 1 additional server for various other products to be offered, such as speed rounds or war tournaments in addition to a general Genesis server to 'test' and offer no regrets fun rounds for people to play in) is our best method to bring back a lot of old timers and will in turn produce more players in WoL once they get addicted once more. The biggest detractor has always been that we don't want to play that hand and get those players back only to disappoint them with a poor Genesis product which will then make it harder to get them to try again when it's in a better position to retain them (and others).

    I am always optimistic when I talk about Genesis in any open forum and we had discussions privately creating a timeline to produce Genesis for Christmas time. That once again has been pushed for other more pressing business, which we've alluded to via in-game admin message and our Twitter feed for the past week! We have some exciting news on the horizon and hope that Genesis (multi-world functionality) will follow suit shortly after. My best estimation is first quarter 2018 we can see multi-world functionality and I'm looking forward to it! Unbalanced cow fest is going to be fun!
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    As much as I think the developers hearts are in the right place, I don't know if there's any easy answer to a very good question. Your question leads me to the additional question of "What can be done to increase the number of players?", and I don't have any answer for that at all. The numbers playing seem fairly stable, which is very good. Growing the head count is tricky though, for a couple of reason.

    -Most of the new players are returnees rather than completely new players, and that's a relatively small market to tap into.
    -It's difficult for Utopia to sign up brand new players given the lack of flashy graphics and very steep learning curve.
    -It's not really a game designed around mobile gaming due to its text and math-based nature. A dedicated app may help, but that's likely a huge amount of work.
    -It's very tricky to balance the game between new players who won't know what they're doing and old hands who do. Having the latter target the former (which, dog eat dog, will typically happen) without having the former just give up is a difficult tightrope to walk. Teaching a new player about the game takes about half an age, even if they're attentive and willing to learn, and the teacher can get burned out by that.

    However, what's reassuring is that it's a longterm goal of the developers and the vast majority of the players to increase the player base. It's also important to note that with the integration of Munkbot with Slack, and the huge strides have been taken to improve the experience of playing the game on mobile devices, there is work being done. Communication apps like WhatsApp and Slack also help with keeping in touch with ex-players easier, which makes it easier to harangue them into coming back.

    I think Utopia's greatest strength is its core tenet- It's a team game. It's what resonated with the thousands of people who played before and it's a core reason why many of those that still play do so. It has it's own (occasionally unpleasant, often fantastic) subculture and you get out of it what you and your kingdommates put in. That's what I'd market if I were building an advertising campaign for the game. I'd also probably emphasise the fantasy nature of the game. A wiki is nice, but something more "magical" would probably encourage RPG lovers to give it a try. People often come for the lore and stay for the gameplay.

    But like I say, I don't see an easy way to grow the player base. I do see steps being taken to try, and I wonder what the players could do to help. The developers make the game, but players make the game special. We have our part to play too.

    I'd love to see a "general release" Genesis server as well.
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  7. #7
    Utopia Talk Moderator Allanon's Avatar
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    The trouble with the current system is the influx of new players has been too low to accommodate replacing the players moving up from the kds they learned to play in, who in turn have been too few to replace the players stepping out because of the crazy activity demands of the top. The top is is too much of a time sink for a lot of players in this game, and burnout is a real factor for those who can achieve sustained top play.

    If we want to address the attrition that has resulted in this lower playerbase, the key isn't reducing kd size or anything like that. It's acting to reduce the amount of activity that is demanded of players at the top, and easing the learning curve required to play the game at a reasonable level. I won't pretend to know how to address that, but those are the two factors that need resolving imo.
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    Lets be frank for a minute. You can't advertise this game in it's current state. It's a waste of resources.

    Beyond mechanics, learning curve, need of outside resources (Munk/Slack/WA), and math nature, Utopia is in desperate need of a facelift. If you drop advertising dollars into this uninviting, hard, math game, you are going to bounce new players left and right. We watch the numbers trickle down every age ive been back, and we keep changing mechanics, so it's not the mechanics that will bring and keep people. We need to upgrade how the game performs, especially on mobile, and this does NOT need to be done via an app, but rather mobile-friendly design.

    Once the game is mobile compliant, you start to work on the imagery, graphics, style of the game. Different themes etc.

    After these things are implemented, we can then start throwing FB social dollars, Email marketing dollars, Google Adwords dollars, rebranding dollars into the game. But if the structure of the game stays the same, it wont work.

    I know there are a few WebDev guys here on the forums (ive worked with Chaddie before, sup mate?) and we can make good progress if we assemble a good little team to rebuild the structure of the game. Im not sure of David/Jeff's background, if they can implement these changes themselves. But if you guys cant, reach out.

    @David, is there a Utopia Git repo, or can we make one so that potential Devs can branch from it and make changes?
    Last edited by Allanon; 15-12-2017 at 04:10. Reason: multiple posts combined

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    Quote Originally Posted by Regulate View Post
    I know there are a few WebDev guys here on the forums (ive worked with Chaddie before, sup mate?) and we can make good progress if we assemble a good little team to rebuild the structure of the game. Im not sure of David/Jeff's background, if they can implement these changes themselves. But if you guys cant, reach out.
    Sup. Happy to help in any way I can.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidC View Post
    I think that's a wonderful idea Mansoor, and very eloquently written. I agree wholeheartedly and we are actively working to achieve that goal.
    I agree with you that Genesis ... is our best method to bring back a lot of old timers and will in turn produce more players in WoL once they get addicted once more.
    Unbalanced cow fest is going to be fun!
    Aside from hoping that first statement was sarcasm, or just a misunderstanding of the word "eloquently" - these statements overall describe a plan to tap into a very small market full of volatile players who have no trouble leaving Utopia even in their most "addicted" state due to community fights or perceived personal slights. This quest for the "old timers" will do what, exactly? Bring back maybe 50ish old players who were just as toxic to the community as the remaining old timers are to this day? This statement in particular is confusing:

    bring back a lot of old timers and will in turn produce more players in WoL
    In what business model is this a viable approach or even remotely believable? "A lot" of old timers don't just magically produce "more players" in the numbers this game needs to flourish. They come back, they bring old grudges, old ways, old mentalities and old behaviors. They find other old timers that they argued with back in the day and start up old feuds about what they did a decade ago. It's more of the same negativity that made them leave the game in the first place. Maybe you'll get a handful of the players who didn't partake in the ego battles, but you will turn the game back into the reason it took a major hit in the first place all those years ago; alliance-minded players will own the game once again and turn it back into an alliance playground that drives casual players away.

    If this is truly the kind of player base you are targeting for growth, it's a dire situation indeed.

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    @Verminator: I think you are underestimating how many old timer there are out there. If you do it correct and fun you can easily double WoL player base through getting old timers back. There are so many old timers none have heard about or are not famous people but did play the game. Who knows, maybe genesis will be even more popular than WoL?

    Of course if you want to attract new players it has to be done through cell phone friendly design and so on as mentioned above. But that needs a lot of time and investment. Genesis is fastest way to get some extra people in.

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    I'm not underestimating how many there are, I'm well aware they number in the thousands. I'm just not convinced they will provide much positive value to the growth of the game if the intent is to progress and not regress.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Allanon View Post
    The trouble with the current system is the influx of new players has been too low to accommodate replacing the players moving up from the kds they learned to play in, who in turn have been too few to replace the players stepping out because of the crazy activity demands of the top. The top is is too much of a time sink for a lot of players in this game, and burnout is a real factor for those who can achieve sustained top play.

    If we want to address the attrition that has resulted in this lower playerbase, the key isn't reducing kd size or anything like that. It's acting to reduce the amount of activity that is demanded of players at the top, and easing the learning curve required to play the game at a reasonable level. I won't pretend to know how to address that, but those are the two factors that need resolving imo.

    How is activity an issue in top? There's a few wars you have to be active. Rest of the age requires like no activity?


    Regarding Genesis, I always enjoyed, but I am not sure how well it would help for WoL if a lot of the Gen ppl will be solo artists who dont want to participate much in communicaty. I can see a bunch of oldies come back and just play gen/fool around there without wanting to do the endless irc stuff from the past.
    Last edited by Allanon; 15-12-2017 at 09:54. Reason: Multiple consecutive posts

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    The devs presumably have or could get stats on what is happening to current users. People already ARE creating accounts (those of us in KDs that get the new accounts can see that). So if the total number of accounts is not going up, either we are losing existing players or not keeping those new/returning players, or both. The devs should be able to see what is happening, and should also have some information about the new accounts, eg are they people who play intermittently, long-time returning players or new players. The more that is known about what is happening now, the higher chance of addressing the issue.

    In terms of increasing player numbers, there are 3 possibilities:

    1 -Reduce people leaving (which, with an existing influx of new accounts, can increase numbers)
    2 - Gain returning players
    3 - Gain new players

    As has been said, 2 is probably easier than 3. And both are ultimately not going to result in much benefit if we are not retaining players, which takes us back to stats to understand what is happening (and then why).

    I agree with David's and Regulate's points about putting the game into a state where we have a real chance of retaining new players before spending money on ads.

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    I would suggest to go back to the old format of guide where you had every avalible information in a single table, the wiki have some of this but not all, and a few things are outdated in the wiki and it is hard to find. The guide should really be renamed beginners guide since there is not much an old timer can use it for in its current state.

    The only place I can find the elite values when I want to ambush a race other than my own is in the forum under final changes, and I know a lot of people are struggeling to find even the more basic information. I've had people asking me to join their kingdom, or asking me if they could join mine, most of those monarchs and single players seemed unaware that if an invite was accepted they would start over at 400 acres, that is a huge downside, and I know many more have issues understanding basic target selection and how gains work. Once those of us that still master this are gone from the game there are no one to help out the new kids.

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