Crown store and new players leaving

Discussion in 'Crown Store' started by Rygen, Oct 27, 2020.

  1. majoria70

    majoria70 Avatar

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    I understand about not wanting to join a community when first starting a game and sometimes never wanting to join a community. I've been that way in many games. I'm not there to socialize. So I do understand wanting to do your own thing alot. I always vote for this game to allow for all of that. Naming a deed for Player owned towns only goes against that very mind set. Rewording and reworking this system would go a long way to improving the negative side of the whole thing. Instead of saying placeable in player owned towns only say click here for vacancies.

    Also Putting player homes in NPC towns is not a good thing for a story game. So new players should get the popup and choices of places to place their deeds with information on lot taxes per day and a teleport to their choice to go inspect it. These choices will be from towns that have lots set to claimable. Other listings can say contact governor so and so it steward so and so for more information.

    Also I've always given free rooms for anyone who asks. The problem I see is the having to ask. I have requested for a rental system that we have vendors who sell room keys so no interaction is necessary between player and Inn owner but that part of the system was not implemented when we had a bigger dev team.

    Anyway forcing socializing has been bad for this game imo. Some players never will and others may choose to later or just a bit of social here and there. Again we have what we have let's take the foreboding aspects out of it please.

    As always I'm Majoria in game if I can assist.
     
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  2. Datendrache

    Datendrache Avatar

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    If you are serious about the game, you'll want to end up in a POT not a NPC town.

    You are probably too new to understand the benefit of POT Deeds. Go to Mistrendur from the Cross-Continent Galleon at Ardoris and enter the Player Owned Town of Festival right by the entrance and take a look:

    There are +5 crafting stations right up front. There is a complete set of bonus giving Devotionals. There is an Oracle Conservatory right in front to give you 500gp per day. Bottom line, there IS NO NPC town that has anything as friendly as a POT can be to the player. The player gets an immediate boost in gold, crafting results, and combat bonuses. In fact, I'd say that those Place Anywhere Deeds would sent the completely wrong message to new players. You don't want players to exclude themselves, you want them to be inclusive to the community.

    This "model" for Player Owned Towns is used all over. It took awhile to figure out and perfect, but there are people trying to build communities and really just want YOU to participate. POT Governors already shell out the big bucks, you don't have to.

    And yeah, Soltown has the grace and charm of a downtown Las Vegas dive... The land owners WANT you to think there's a lot more to the game and are trying to invite you into it. Didn't quite work out that way.

    Sincerely,

    Engineer
     
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  3. Barugon

    Barugon Avatar

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    All the lots in Mystic Isle have always been free for the taking. No conditions, no rules.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2020
  4. Rygen

    Rygen Guest

    What does this have to do with the new player experience? Again, what a new player's impression is that payer owned housing is important, and that they, or someone else, is being forced to pay cash to have their own little lot, even a row lot. This is a huge turn off, and an increasingly seen as a very negative aspect of Free 2 Play games -- being forced to pay. This game needs new players, and it needs to keep them, period.

    This has nothing to do with the first 10-20 hours of experience in the game, where, if you don't have something in the game that keeps your new players interested, most will leave. The only reason why I've stuck around is that I was a fan of the Ultima series, and there was still plenty enough in the first 5 hours that made me consider dropping it. There are no ways in game for a player to seek these out. There is a link to the forums, great... but all this should be easily discoverable in game for the local region without tabbing out to a browser window and trolling through outdated forum posts. POTS are a neat idea, sure, but any appearance of a "free" game locking out the ability to enjoy major parts of the game without paying up is a big detractor. "Pay to win" is a negative. Games that are not in the pay to win category are seen as having a healthier community and worth taking a chance on and investing time into. Games that are play to win are seen as exploitative Skinner box manipulators for profit, and best approached with extreme caution or avoided at all costs.

    Whatever the history of the game is in terms of funding and development, really doesn't matter if it can't keep players. I've seen the daily server logs, There are maybe 500 players in the game. That's not nearly enough. If this game is to survive, the first priority needs to be keeping new players. It is as simple as that. Hopefully with episode 2, some of these issues can be resolved.... along with updating the documentation. It still lists /home as being valid command in the official docs, but it does nothing after players were allowed to own more than one lot.
     
  5. Barugon

    Barugon Avatar

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    It was just information, not a counter to your argument.
     
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  6. Browncoat Jayson

    Browncoat Jayson Legend of the Hearth

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    As you say, this is just an impression. Its not true, and the game DOES need to actively explain how easy this actually is. Unfortunately, players are so engrained that they need to set up their home closest to their trainer/banker/favorite quest NPC, that they don't even give POTs a chance. You seem to not like the fact that someone *already spent money* on this game, and you somehow benefit from this. But its a GOOD THING; you don't have to live in the biggest, laggiest cities that should only exist for trainers and gathering quests! But instead, you yell that this is pay to win... Who wins? The guy who dropped a bunch of cash so they can pick what map they live in and have the best lot placement? Or you, who gets to utilize that same land, almost always for free? And if, by some tiny chance, they decide you can't live there? You get to box up your property into a magic mover and place it in the next town over. There's not a downside here, unless you are determined to have the best lot to set up a shop and keep vendors up to date with your own crafted goods and loot. (Tip: Guess what; that lot is a myth. The best shopping rows are in POTs too!) Don't let the name fool you. "Player Owned Town" is a misnomer; at best, its a "Player Governed Town." Yes, someone paid for it to be created, they got to give it a name, choose a few options for it, decorate it and put down lots. But to most players, it is just another town. The differences are negligible; there is a "Governor" label at the top of the scene, and the lots are laid out differently. Just like any town, some lots may be available, and some will either be taken (or appear empty but still be claimed/reserved; that happens even in NPC towns). You don't win by buying a town; you just get a bigger deco area.

    The real issue is the New User Experience, which just is not the priority right now; they have redone the introduction three or four times, and it just kept getting worse. The Outskirts are great, but the actual introduction to how to move, fight, interact, etc, is completely missing. That needs to be addressed, and have things like in-game gold (free, daily, from the Oracle, plus whatever else you earn), rent, crowns, deed conversion, durability, crafting, etc, explained AT ALL. It is so hit or miss right now, if you don't run into a Hospitaler early on you probably miss most of this. Hopefully this changes at some point; right now, they are trying to retain the players they have by making higher end content, but you are absolutely correct that they need to readdress how new players see the world. I'm going to be showing off some of that next weekend (streaming Extra Life on Nov 7), and I'll be sure to point out where new players are going to fall down.
     
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  7. Rygen

    Rygen Guest

    Take a look at this: https://shroudoftheavatar.net/how-many-people-play-shroud-of-the-avatar

    In 2/2/2019 there were 319 daily confirmed (880 total) user logins. In 10/3/2020 there were 188 (502 total).

    New users aren't staying, and the daily player count is steadily falling by about 3% a month.

    The first results on YouTube for Shroud of the Avatar are: "Word MMO Ever- Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues", and "Shroud of the Avatar - A Review (March 2020) - Such a Shame"

    The new user experience needs to be taken very seriously, or there won't be anyone left playing the game. The fact the first thing a new player sees when entering in an NPC town is player owned housing, so the first impression is this is something they should have. With limited storage options, the benefits of a player owned home is immediately obvious. Giving out a deed that can only be used in POTs makes the payer feel they have been lied to about he game being truly free to play. Everything indicates that either the player has to pay money to get a lot in an NPC town, or they or someone else needs to pay for a POT ($900 minimum) to setup a home, and even then there are daily taxes they have to pay, which isn't mentioned anywhere in game until a lot is claimed. These are all problems.

    Then there is the glaring eyesore that is Soltown, which really needs to be addressed by some community standards. Sure, they might upset some old players, but the old players aren't the problem, it's getting new players. About 9% of players are brand new accounts based on the published statistics, they aren't staying, as evident by the steady decline in user volume.
     
  8. Cora Cuz'avich

    Cora Cuz'avich Avatar

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    You're just not going to be happy until Lord British descends from on high in a Soyuz to personally gift you a Place Anywhere Row Lot Deed. I'd love a nice spot in Aerie. But it's not gonna happen, even if I had a deed. Instead, I've got a half dozen lots in PoTs, none of which I purchased with cash money. It took a long time to earn it all. If you don't want to grind for the things you want, then boy oh boy did you pick the wrong game.

    You can get pretty much everything in the game if you put in the time. Maybe this isn't super clear from the second you enter the game. Though, it's all in the manual. So if your main point is that the game doesn't hold your hand and give you bug hugs when it gets hard... again, you really picked the wrong game.
     
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  9. Rygen

    Rygen Guest

    I am pointing out issues that are causing new players to abalone this game. Not having a place anywhere row deed is one of them, and even then, new players may not want to claim that lot because of the daily tax fees. They may prefer getting a free room or renting one from a player run and/or NPC inn. The town crier should be able to point players to where they can claim housing in the region. In fact one suggestion I had is if housing became too limited in an area, NPC town inns would have instanced rooms available for rent, which would essentially make housing unlimited, just nobody would be able to see your personal instanced NPC inn room.

    Of courses, things could continue as they are, the new players till won't stick around, and the game will be completely dead in one to three years.

    Based on what I read Richard Garriot is no longer involved in SotA, so I don't know where your comment is coming from. He pretty much rote this game of last year, so I have no idea where your comment is coming from.
     
  10. Browncoat Jayson

    Browncoat Jayson Legend of the Hearth

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    This is very true. I think the first town the player enters should be a NPC town with no player housing. They can't really move people out of Soltown, but let's say instead they clone it to a new town nearby and move the beginner quest NPCs there. Then they can redo the town center and refugee camp area in Soltown with other things. Players would go from the outskirts, to this new lot-less town, to Ardoris (and the player lots in Ardoris are a lot less in-your-face). Having a Housing Deeds NPC in this new town who can tell them how to upgrade the deed to place anywhere, and that the Oracle provides enough gold to cover rent for such a property, would go a long way to helping new players use housing.

    You don't need to have a house AT ALL to play this game. You can just use your bank and sell anything you don't want to keep. Yes, this is not ideal, but its certainly possible; I did it for months. Having a free house was a very late addition, compared to the rest of the game.

    As for taxes, you get more than enough to pay those every day from the Oracle. Or from killing/gathering anything for 20 minutes, really. Daily tax is not really an imposition until you get to a Town lot or larger, and by that time you've spent crowns on it. Is it simply the idea that you have to play "every day" to pay tax? Maybe starting with a week's worth of rent paid, instead of automatically needing to start plugging the meter on day one, would help ease them into it? I'd also like to see something on the UI that shows when you are getting close to running out of taxes paid.
     
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  11. Cora Cuz'avich

    Cora Cuz'avich Avatar

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    All new players, or just you? Because it seems like just you. Other new players have had the patience to figure things out. I've been here a while, but I knew nothing when I started. First thing I did was read the manual. That solved 95% of that. The forums and Discord filled in the rest.

    Your main sticking point appears to be, "why was I not given one of the top things in the game the moment I arrived, on a silver platter?" You can have a house. For free. Very early on, in fact, which wasn't even a thing when most of us started. But you're sad because you can't have a house for free in the very first place you want one. I've encountered many new players who were fine with that. I'm sure @Anpu has encountered even more with all the work he's done helping new players. You are presuming your own experience is the same as others. It is not.

    (RG is still (albeit very peripherally) involved, BTW.)
     
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  12. Anpu

    Anpu Bug Hunter

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    If every single account was given a free taxed placed anywhere row lot deed, can you imagine what would happen? Hundreds of alts descending to collect and sell those.

    A new player CAN however get a row lot deed and upgrade it to place in a NPC town eventually. That then is a long term goal the player can then achieve (just like I did once). That took a while though.

    I do however get a number of your points though.
     
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  13. Warrior B'Patrick

    Warrior B'Patrick Avatar

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    Greetings Rygen
    Between this post and your other post that is simular Brand new player! Why I *almost* left the game it sounds like you are having a hard time. Not sure how many Ultima games you have played but most do not give instructions. Lord British was famous for no in game mapping system. Everything had to be discovered. This game is better but with any new game you have to learn the system. Your non working bow attack was probably due to not having any arrows which would have been displayed on the screen as "no ammo". As a new player there are two ways to learn the game. One is to discover it on your own, much longer process but more immersive, the other is to read the manuals and ask questions either on the forums or in google. When you start the game you get a players guide book and a Places to live Book. Once out of the starter area with help from the blue icons, the waving hands, and the keywords in the dialog box i stopped to read the players manual. It was a great help.

    I am sorry you have had such a hard time but it does get easier and a lot more fun. The community is here to help and as Datendrache
    /Engineer said POT are the way to go. Much more spaced out on the map, lots of Avatars to help you, and most POT are build around having resources for other Avatars. My town in Mistrender named Port Royal also has 2 sets of crafting stations, a full Devotional line up, and unrestricted lots of all sizes to claim.

    This game is designed to be a place to enjoy for many years, from Episode 1 to Episode 5, not a finish the end game and go on to the another game. Take your time. Create new Avatars and replay the starting areas. Try new builds. But most of all Explore and have fun
     
  14. Kabalyero Kidd

    Kabalyero Kidd Avatar

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    @Rygen Welcome to Shroud of the Avatar... ;):D
     
  15. Rygen

    Rygen Guest

    I've played 1-7, and underworld. Unlike most players out there, I read game manuals. Most players don't read manuals these days, it's just a fact, like it or not, and modern game design needs to take that into account.

    I had 400 arrows equipped, was well within range, even waited in attack combat mode until the mo was punching me. It was bugged. A little further down the road I was able to use range attacks against he mobs. The only thing that changed was I unequipped bow, equipped a sword, then equipped the bow gain, and it magically worked. It was a bug, plain and simple.

    Folks, you are completely missing the point. It's not POTs or NPC towns that's the issue-- it is the fact that if you are either settling in an NPC town, or in a POT, real money is required for new player housing-- either by buying a place anywhere deed, or by the person who purchased the POT. New players don't see COTS dropped from mobs, so suggesting this as a possibility is ridiculous. This gives the impression the game is trying to force money out of it's players to fully enjoy the game, and that pisses players off that are exploring the game and deciding if they want to keep with it or not. What I am saying is if there isn't a hosing option in the game that is completely free of real-world money, new players will get pissed off and leave. (again, mob COTS drops are a ridiculous suggestion). If anything, there should be instanced rooms available at NPC inns so a player can get a room to setup shop. Being an instanced room, it won't take up any space on the map. What there needs to be is a completely free of any real money housing system. That's it. The mechanics already exist in the game code. Basements are basically running in their own instance outside of the main map.

    QUOTE="Warrior B'Patrick, post: 1303899, member: 1955"] I am sorry you have had such a hard time but it does get easier and a lot more fun. {/QUOTE]
    I'm doing fine in the game. Let's go back to the game statistics. 9% of players are brand new players, and yet the game population has been dropping by 3% a month. There's a problem Just because you're having a great time now has nothing to do with the new player experience and their impression of the game. Following this trend, in two years there will be half as many players as there are now. I don't see how there is going to be an episode 3, let alone 5.


    Just do what other games online do: Ban alt accounts. If you're caught with one, all your accounts are permanently banned. UOForever only allows 3 accounts per an IP address, for example.
     
  16. majoria70

    majoria70 Avatar

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    But maybe you don't realize Your way is not the only way. Rewording is another way. As I mentioned before player housing should have never gone in NPC towns. It caused tons of issues and the devs realized this so no player housing will be in NPC towns in episode 2 lands. There must be a system devised to place deeds without the negative focus that most governors spent thousands of real dollars to purchase these towns. Think Everquest 2 click on a sign and it brings up housing locations and you can even teleport from there to check out the locations and who lives there yeah you got it...... Other players. I truly get that the way it is presented to new players is wrong and they don't or won't be able to understand what's going on in a positive way. Truly our player owned towns are lovely but they can inspire fearful and negative ideas from the unknowing new players. So let's change that. @Elgarion and @Chris this is a real issue to be explored and reworded to represent the game more positively.
     
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  17. Nick

    Nick Bug Hunter

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    I think its a good idea to for Non Trade PA deeds. Helps fill up the NPC towns.

    If it helps retain a percentage of new players, why not just try it?
     
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  18. Datendrache

    Datendrache Avatar

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    Finally, I see your sense of contradiction.

    Yes, this is a contradiction. How we got to this point in the game is long. Summary (as a timeline):

    1) Very early backers were able to buy a player owned town, although quantities were limited to prohibit map overpopulation.
    2) Nobody can buy towns anymore, they expired them and they are gone (ban lasts from 2016 until 2020)
    3) Nobody wants to move into a POT because POTs have scary governors. No player wants to feel like it is the whim of someone above them that they have a home, even if players (such as yours truly) have never evicted players forcefully.
    4) Deeds are buy-only for everyone, with the exception of raffles, and so people who pay for deeds prefer PAD deeds that don't involve the whole "scary governor" thing because nobody seems to trust players.
    5) Perks added to Player Owned Towns, now everyone wants to be in a POT. Also, advancements in governorship (Novia Market, Ordinis Mortis, New Britannia Market, Britt Mart, Crafter's Town, Silverdale Market, etc.) make POTs a complete win-win situation for players.
    6) Portalarium gets positive reviews for their housing decoration system, identified as a major drawing point of the game.
    a. So here we are, same conundrum -- best feature of a F2P game is a pay-only feature.
    7) Portalarium decides to award a row deed
    at the end of the major quest line to give people a reason to stay. Updated to "end of the Outskirts Quest", and a village at the end of the main quest.
    a. This was done precisely to end the "not free to play" perception as well as introduce players earlier to "the best feature". Along with the idea they want to promote retaining players especially if they demonstrate a willingness to complete the game.
    8) Catnip games now offers new POTs and new lands to the game, allowing guilds to purchase new POTs instead of having to arrange for transfers of existing POTs.

    Part of the reason why players are given POT deeds is because of #3. A PAD deed's only real advantage is that you never fear being evicted for your behavior (unless its against the terms of service) and that puts maintenance costs firmly on Catnip Games. That's the actual value as well as the reason for the extra cost (i.e., shift in responsibility). If you look at Soltown and see what PAD deeds have done for the "great positive of the game", you seem to already believe they are causing more harm than good:



    Those players in Soltown have a good spot as far as NPC towns are concerned, but if they change the quest paths again like they did in Owl's Head or Spite, their value will plummet. We've already recognized a need to improve the new user experience, so the threat that Soltown might lose its placement value is very real, especially due to their "lasting impression on new players". A location in Novia Market, Britt Mart, etc. will probably net you more revenue than Soltown, though. Shoppers tend to go to where the most vendors are, and they can't beat the vendor density of a good market POT.

    As far as why people purchase POTs: I wouldn't stress so much about the initial reasons. They aren't doing it "to win the game", they are doing it out of their sense of community, combat and/or artistic exploration. There's no need for more towns as far as this mechanic for POT deed distribution is concerned, but more are on the way. No need to feel sorry for governors paying money for buying a POT.

    Sincerely,

    Engineer
     
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  19. Warrior B'Patrick

    Warrior B'Patrick Avatar

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    Greetings Rygen
    I can understand frustration of bugged actions and items. Have had to relog several times to get unstuch or find the item that just disappeared. But you keep saying that -- it is the fact that if you are either settling in an NPC town, or in a POT, real money is required for new player housing--. In the Player Guide there is a section on Upgrading a Deed. It does not take real money to do this unless you want it right away but looking for the perfect place will take some time that you could be grinding for coins. Once you get those coins you can go to this post Deed upgrade options and prices to find out how much it will cost and then to any number of player vendors to trade coins for COTOs. Here is one in Novia Market near Central Brittany that is always available
    SELLING 219 BUYING 211 COTO


    I am glad you are doing fine in the game but I am not sure where you are getting the 3% drop you talk about. Also I don't consider one sided numbers anyway. A 3% drop vers what % increase and what does that do you your time line on half as many players in 2 years? BTW thanks for your vote on the game still being here in 2 years.

    There is a discussion forum where you can talk constructively on what needs to be changes or you can go to the Wishlist form and suggest new things to add to make the game better. If you read thru the New User orm you find several post on how much they, the new user, are enjoying the game. I hope this solves your issue on the need for real money to own property.

    If you still think that way please check out this post
    How to Own a Home in SotA Without Spending Money (Updated Feb 2020)

     
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  20. Lazarus Long

    Lazarus Long Avatar

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    So you would like to get a Place Anywhere Deed that you most likely can NOT USE since all the NPC lots are already taken and REALLY tick off people.


    Interesting.
     
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