Leavers and F2P

Playing Town of Salem, I am constantly annoyed by suicides, i.e. people quitting the game. They don’t like their role, they started without time, they anything — I’m alt-tabbed and typing this now from a game that has had 4/15 people quit so far. It adds quite a bit to the randomness when one team suddenly loses several members, which can snowball. No one cares if a neutral benign role leaves, but everyone is cheated of a decent game when one side is hamstrung. I’ve seen other perversities like a 3-arsonist game where they would have won pretty handily had not one of the arsonists quit on day 1. Even worse is when an important, unique role is AFK; I have had two games with AFK mafiosos so the Mafia just could not do anything. And then town is hamstrung when people quit after dying, given that town can have a rezzing role.

But Town of Salem is also free to play. I want there to be some disincentive to ruin the game for others, but what are you going to do, ban a F2P account that someone can re-create in a minute or two? Ooh, you wiped out their cosmetics. That is hardly a speed bump for the sort of jerk who doesn’t care about ruining others’ fun, to say nothing of the actively griefing troll. I am interested in ranked play, where those players tend to fall out as they cannot rise in the ranks, but ELO is broken and most of the roles do not appear in ranked play.

Having real costs in a game is a useful thing just because it imposes costs. If there is no cost for bad behavior, you are free to impose costs on others.

: Zubon

[GW2] Stronghold Pacing

This last weekend’s beta event was quite fun and relaxing compared to the last couple 2 hour sprints in Guild Wars 2. I made a revenant just to toss things around, but I did not want to learn to play without a DPS legend (believed to be this week’s Shiro) and leveling up. It is very hard for me to grasp builds when they are just given to me wholesale.

What I did enjoy was Stronghold. I have been pretty much sold on that PvP gameplay type, and Mrs. Ravious is fanatic about it. The latest changes made it all the better. I was pretty surprised at how turning a couple knobs could really get it closer to the pacing and engagement it should be. Continue reading [GW2] Stronghold Pacing

ch expansion sci fi Card Hunter is now on Steam, free to play with cash shop (same as in browser). The new sci fi-themed Expedition to the Sky Citadel expansion is also live, free unlock once you’ve completed the main campaign, with free loot daily for launch week.

The Steam client seems less responsive than the in-browser client. [ETA: I was wrong. The game is now running more slowly in the in-browser client as well. It is a problem with the game, not Steam.]

: Zubon

Modicum of Interaction

I started playing World of Warcraft again. I wouldn’t have done it without a friend of mine who is a huge Blizzard fan, going to Blizzcons and all that. I asked what server he played on. Ravenholdt. Sounds good, I thought, as I watched the World of Warcraft client update after nearly a decade of dust.

Then when it came time to choose that character’s home, I gulped when I saw Ravenholdt. “RP”…. okay, whatever, and “PvP”… what? PvP meant that if I was out in the open world picking daisies any dirty orc player could come and gank me. I was never going to be safe from the darkness in the hearts of humans IRL.

I can feel Syncaine’s future eye roll already.  Continue reading Modicum of Interaction

“Harbingers of Failure”

Admit it, you know some of these gamers and might keep a couple in your feed as negative indicators:

We show that some customers, whom we call ‘Harbingers’ of failure, systematically purchase new products that flop. Their early adoption of a new product is a strong signal that a product will fail – the more they buy, the less likely the product will succeed.
— Eric Anderson, Song Lin, Duncan Simester, and Catherine Tucker, “Harbingers of Failure”

Hat tip to Marginal Revolution, where a commenter says:

My wife thought I should open my own market research firm where I’d be proprietor, sole employee, and entire sample size. Big companies would show me mockups of products they were considering launching, and if I’d say “I’d buy that!” then they’d cancel the program, fire the guy who came up with idea, and bury the mockup at Yucca Mountain under concrete and steel.

: Zubon

[Crowfall] Knightly Updates

Crowfall was something I backed instantly. In large part it was the way that the dev team communicated. Early on, I felt they were communicating to me. I’ve been watching Crowfall continue to keep communicating to the players. They talk about milestones, difficulties, triumphs. It makes me feel like I have stake in the game.

To be honest though most of those updates just made me nod knowing it was still a large ways off before I would play. It’s like if someone is telling me a couple places of where they plan on taking me for dinner. I like hearing their thought process, but I can’t really think about what I am going to eat until I know which restaurant we are going to. Crowfall news has felt much the same. I appreciate the process, but not much to chew on, for me.

This changed subtly with the Knight Powers. All of the sudden things felt less “high concept” and more “this is what I might chew on”. The post goes over the idea of Minimum Viable Powers for each archetype and talks about some powers each will have. For example, special movement powers might be assigned to “c”. It’s interesting and gets me thinking a bit about the other archetypes. Continue reading [Crowfall] Knightly Updates

[WoW] Freely Returned

I find it ironic that I am returning to World of Warcraft at the exact moment subscribers are apparently leaving in droves. I am also returning for free deciding to create a new priest in a new server rather than removing 10 years of dust from my priest of old.

Yes, a decade of dust. I bought World of Warcraft to tide me over for Guild Wars 1. That $15 was a lot back then, and so when I really was hitting the leveling wall I quit. A friend used my account for awhile so I have a few expansions. He quit with Pandaria.

I would say it took a pretty perfect node to get me back. I love Heroes of the Storm so am constantly seeing “advertisements” in that. I am bored in Guild Wars 2 with that expansion nowhere in sight. I just can’t bring myself to get back to The Secret World, where I dislike combat, or Lord of the Rings Online, for sentimental reasons of keeping my memories back in the good ol’ days rather than what appears to be a pale horse. And, I can play for free in World of Warcraft up to level 20.

My strongest memories were of Elwyn Forest; gliding through the treetops on the flight service. Then there was that haunting, perfect music. I picked up a new human priest on Ravenholdt (RPPvP), and away I went. What was new after a decade gone? Continue reading [WoW] Freely Returned