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Eirias

NPE The New Player Experience (Observations & Suggestions)

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Howdy!

 

As some of you may or may not know, I have recently gotten my wife to play BattleForge with me. So far she's sticking to rPvE and she's having a lot of fun refining and mastering decks.

 

Since I'm observing the NPE first-hand, I thought I could offer a few suggestions and points.

1. She was not interested in the game until she started getting boosters. Specifically, when she got soulshatter in like her 7th booster. Until then, I had to convince her to play.

SUGGESTION: implement rewards earlier-on. I know we're trying to prevent multi-accounting, but imo we could take a slower approach. For example, we can keep the 2.5 hour requirement to get boosters, but allow bfp daily quests to start at hour 0 and provide specific cards earlier-on via achievements. We could give an extra copy of MA, SS, forsaken, and WW for the first time a player tries campaign, pvp, rpve, and upgrades something. If possible, I'd like an achievement for players to choose a rare card (or some good uncommons with similar price) to add to their deck. These cards should be powerful and feel good to play: I'd recommend soulshatter, mind control, inferno/earthshaker, ice tornado. Players should get to choose which 1 of the 4 cards they get after they do something like buy a card on the AH.

I really want to emphasize this feeling of uniqueness. I think I was lucky that my wife became interested in the game and it was because she got a nice "feel good" card early on and decided to start building her deck around it. 

 

2. She has not been interested in trying new game modes like campaign and pvp.

SUGGESTION: First, more achievements. For instance, that "feel good" free card could happen when you clear 5 campaign maps for the first time. I think there should be a general increase in achievements to boost players trying different aspects of the game at least once.

Second, seasons. I don't have a better term for this. Basically a week/monthy quest for all players to play a certain map/game mode. New players are not encouraged to play pvp because basically everyone who plays regularly is an expert. When there's 4 people in the queue and they're all in the top 20, a new player is not encouraged to join. I think there should be "seasons" (either 1 day per week or 1 week per month) where a particular 4 player map or pvp is given emphasis. So for instance, on Saturdays  (maybe even a 2-hour block on Saturday) there will be a standing PvP quest where players get an extra large bonus (maybe a full booster) for playing PvP. This would encourage all the new players to enter the queue at once, and most would play another new player.

 

TL;DR

Create more specific achievements with useful cards as rewards (probably a choice of 4 cards so one doesn't get its price reduced) and have time blocks where specific game modes are promoted, especially pvp as a way for new players to feel like they are playing other new players instead of a pro.

 

indubitablement likes this

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I 100% agree. I recently started playing and especially the first few missions were tough, because I couldn't just invest a bit and get a few cards to experiment with. I was pretty much forced to use the starter decks for at least a week, which I was only able to do because I was feeling nostalgic about it.


The same thing happened with my cousin, by the way. The 2.5 hour barrier at the start was too much for him. I have to convince him to play as well. Basically he got tired of the starter deck before even completing that 2.5 hour quest, and now that he has he lost interest completely. Even though the premise of the game itself is very promising to him.


My suggestion would not be to give more bfp quests early on, since to a new player bfp is completely useless. They don't know what to buy in the AH, and boosters are too expensive to buy with BFP. I think the suggestion of picking a rare card is a good idea. At the very least, have some limited boosters which have a specific selection of rare cards that people can get, so they can get started on a decent deck sooner (random so they can just play with whatever they get, reduce the choices because again, new players don't know what they're looking for).

Or just have a boatload more achievements early on which reward boosters (like you said, to entire players to play through the campaign). These will be one-time as not to overload the market with cards, but entering cards into the economy is better than entering bfp for the newer players, in my opinion.

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1. Since i want to invite some Friends to the game as soon as skylords have their final wipe, i support the idea of more starting benefits in form of achievments or whatever. I really like the new starting cards you get, but for a new player it is hard to understand strong cards like "offering" for the beginning, so maybe there should be some easier to understand cards at the beginning with not too much or complex skills.

2. I lost my hope that pvp will be someday active again. I tried to play again at the weekend and at the best times about 5-10 players were in the pvp section and none of them played ranked. Besides, they were all known names that would have stomp a newcommer in a minute, new player would stop playing pvp really fast if they just get destroyed and have no other players on their level to slowly getting stronger, there is not much they can learn in games against top 10 players especially without advance pvp knowledge and 1k+ played pvp games.

In addition, 1vs1 has become very predictable and boring as there are hardly any players on similar levels. I honestly do not see any chance that pvp will be ever active again as long as it does not have massive benefits and alot of players on similar levels, cause always playing against the same 2 names is also boring. Maybe a hard cut between different elos that prevented that a noob can ever play against a pro in ranked would help (what makes queue time even longer), but maybe they start to play if there is not the risk to play against pros.

Edited by ImperatorSK

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I agree, that you want to avoid having very experienced players going up against the new ones. They are way to good at snowballing games, especically after gathering so much experience over the years. These kind of stomps are really frustrating.

I think a good idea to bring more players into PvP are beginner friendly events. Toggys Rookie Tournaments are a nice example with a solid amount of participants and there were a good amount of games, where the outcome was alot less predictable. If these kind of Events get promoted via ingame newsfeed, it might grant the opportunity to lower the entrance barrier. 

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100-200 players play at least 1 ranked PvP each day, so if you remove the top 10 there is still a lot of players to play against that are not in top 10.
problem is the time when they play :(

I heard a lot that PvP players do not play, because they do not want to collect cards twice...

It was decided that the game will not be promoted (by us) untill the release. And I kinda agree that calling people "hey come to play, we will delete your progress later" is not the best approach

BurningWorld likes this

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Toggys Rookie Tournaments were great to watch (close matches) and to promote pvp, sure almost all of that players were also advanced players (mid ranking) but to this times ranked was more active which was also determined by this tournament.

Wow 100-200 players daily, is not as bad as i expect it, so it is more a timezone problem.

With top 10 i mean the more advanced players which are also not active but can perform on a really high level so maybe i mean more like top 50 of highest elo.  A matchmaking system that is the same we have atm, only that the elo search area is only expanded to higher elos so low players can still decide to play against higher players but if a pro search for 30 minutes they still can only find players on their area or upwards, if no lower player decide to search long enough to be matched against them.

Edited by ImperatorSK

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The game was offline/dead for 5 years. We took over, and we're not professionals. The "hey come to play, we will delete your progress late" period is completely necessary. I know some may not agree or be keen of it, but that's how it goes. There are much more things that we take into consideration behind the scenes, that most people are not aware of. 

New player experience is not something we can improve over night (based on a single/few suggestions), slap an Open Beta tag on it and release it to public. That's why we use this stage to test and balance economy, quests, achievements and pretty much everything else.

The quest and achievement amount will be much higher than the current one (Kubik, correct me if I'm wrong) once we hit Open Beta. They should be based around "forcing" (fictionally) specific playstyles and maps.

Rewards gain is currently increased by 244% (iirc, somewhere around here MrXLink said at the start of Open Stress Test). It will be much more balanced in future.

I'm also against some kind of start caps, but as experience taught us, people will use and abuse the cap removals and try to make excuses after they get banned.

As said, this ain't done over night, but I'm sure Hawk, Link, Blank and Kubik will give it a deeper thought, improvement and actualization with some input from the rest of the staff.

BurningWorld likes this

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7 minutes ago, fiki574 said:

The quest and achievement amount will be much higher than the current one (Kubik, correct me if I'm wrong) once we hit Open Beta.

I do not know MrXLink did not like my suggestion with 66 achievements :(

fiki574 likes this

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10 hours ago, Eirias said:

Howdy!

 

As some of you may or may not know, I have recently gotten my wife to play BattleForge with me. So far she's sticking to rPvE and she's having a lot of fun refining and mastering decks.

 

Since I'm observing the NPE first-hand, I thought I could offer a few suggestions and points.

1. She was not interested in the game until she started getting boosters. Specifically, when she got soulshatter in like her 7th booster. Until then, I had to convince her to play.

SUGGESTION: implement rewards earlier-on. I know we're trying to prevent multi-accounting, but imo we could take a slower approach. For example, we can keep the 2.5 hour requirement to get boosters, but allow bfp daily quests to start at hour 0 and provide specific cards earlier-on via achievements. We could give an extra copy of MA, SS, forsaken, and WW for the first time a player tries campaign, pvp, rpve, and upgrades something. If possible, I'd like an achievement for players to choose a rare card (or some good uncommons with similar price) to add to their deck. These cards should be powerful and feel good to play: I'd recommend soulshatter, mind control, inferno/earthshaker, ice tornado. Players should get to choose which 1 of the 4 cards they get after they do something like buy a card on the AH.

I really want to emphasize this feeling of uniqueness. I think I was lucky that my wife became interested in the game and it was because she got a nice "feel good" card early on and decided to start building her deck around it. 

 

2. She has not been interested in trying new game modes like campaign and pvp.

SUGGESTION: First, more achievements. For instance, that "feel good" free card could happen when you clear 5 campaign maps for the first time. I think there should be a general increase in achievements to boost players trying different aspects of the game at least once.

Second, seasons. I don't have a better term for this. Basically a week/monthy quest for all players to play a certain map/game mode. New players are not encouraged to play pvp because basically everyone who plays regularly is an expert. When there's 4 people in the queue and they're all in the top 20, a new player is not encouraged to join. I think there should be "seasons" (either 1 day per week or 1 week per month) where a particular 4 player map or pvp is given emphasis. So for instance, on Saturdays  (maybe even a 2-hour block on Saturday) there will be a standing PvP quest where players get an extra large bonus (maybe a full booster) for playing PvP. This would encourage all the new players to enter the queue at once, and most would play another new player.

 

TL;DR

Create more specific achievements with useful cards as rewards (probably a choice of 4 cards so one doesn't get its price reduced) and have time blocks where specific game modes are promoted, especially pvp as a way for new players to feel like they are playing other new players instead of a pro.

 

First of anything that increase the activity of the game is a plus for me..  so reward should be happening.. i made a suggestion for expert but that a small one beside of the one that is usually talked about..

 

first   im not sure if it's correct to put this here or if it is rude  so i apologies if it is.. https://ibb.co/ss8vG9c  this is what we expecting after the release...
 

my idea was for pre-release, not only to see how many player can do it and enjoy the reward but for motivating player to do so.. this idea can be pushed to the advance and standard or like you said the 5 campaign reward...

 

Kubik had one with every 30minute receiving a rare i think. correct me if im wrong @Kubik

 

However, we must be aware that we are on the open stress which i said this countless of time so as long as they dont get mad about the wipe, everything should be fine....

Beaware that xlink wants it after the release so that other player enjoy it, because alot of player are actually waiting for the game to come to release   https://ibb.co/1zZXCmf  here an example as this picture is 3weeks old..    

I can see the above being appealing to retain more player too, i just kinda wished it was pre-release to see more actual data such as : more motivate to what we have now,

https://ibb.co/QkWgYym
https://ibb.co/vXLmstb

 

plus others can enjoy the the reward as we have 2 type of player  in game..  those who enjoy the game [play for enjoyment, less log sent] and those who play for testing [those who sent log and are at the ready to test anything that is being given to test so that we move on to the release already]..

 

In the end my understanding that Xlink is fond of giving reward to player in achievement, but want it after the release as he feels it is best intentions as shown on the pm 8/25/2019.

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Totally agree here.  I talked about this and made some suggestions primarily from a returning player's perspective here: 

I think that the solution is to have four main quest-lines that are available from the start - one for each color.  These quests would give account bound R and UR rewards for playing each color.
A simplified example of rewards progression (in no particular order):

Path of Fire:

  • Firedancer
  • Wildfire
  • Juggernaut
  • Batariel
  • Cluster Explosion
  • (Repeat rewards up to 4 times for charges)
  • High level reward for like 1000 pure fire matches would be promo Juggernaut.

Path of Nature:

  • Spikeroot
  • Parasite Swarm
  • Shrine of Memory
  • Mind Control
  • Forest Elder
  • (Repeat rewards up to 4 times for charges)
  • High level reward for like 1000 pure nature matches would be promo Swamp Drake or Razorleaf.

Path of Shadow:

  • Shadow Mage
  • Nether Warp (B)
  • Harvester
  • Soulshatter
  • Grim Bahir/Shadow Worm
  • (Repeat rewards up to 4 times for charges)
  • High level reward for like 1000 pure shadow matches would be promo Harvester.

Path of Frost:

  • War Eagle
  • Area Ice Shield
  • Northstar (B)
  • Dreadnought
  • Worldbreaker Gun
  • (Repeat rewards up to 4 times for charges)
  • High level reward for like 1000 pure frost matches would be promo Lyrish Knight or Construct.

It's important to give players ways to get pure cards early on, otherwise the meta will be completely dominated by splash decks which require fewer R/UR cards.  I also like the idea of allowing players to choose which cards they get as rewards.  As Eirias pointed out, getting some of these more rare, unique, and interesting cards will help a lot with new player retention.

This would devalue these rares and ultra-rares, but that's really not a problem since we're not trying to make money off of boosters.  Effectively making these earnable basic cards opens up the possibility of playing pure decks early, which otherwise just wouldn't happen until people farmed up a lot of BFP to buy these cards.

The requirements for these main questlines should be diverse and require players to play a variety of games modes (it would make sense to require people to play PvP to get the PvP cards and PvE for the PvE cards).

The game has a lot to offer, and now that it's not pay to win we can give new players some of the many cool cards early on, rather than locking them behind a deprecated paywall.

Edited by synthc
DarcReaver likes this

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I'm not sure these cards should be able to earn up to 4x charges. Maybe you can complete each achievement 4 times and you have to choose which cards to get (so 1x reward for all colors, or 4x for all fire but none of anything else, etc.)

 

We should balance the specific card rewards, but I think part of the charm of getting a powerful rare card (for example, my wife getting soulshatter) is that you know that the card is rare and not everyone has it. She doesn't feel the same satisfaction when playing giant wyrm, for example. She started with it and everyone has it. Soulshatter feels unique to her deck.

Kubik likes this

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Agreed.  I think you should have a pool of R/URs to choose from, so if you choose to get multiple charges for the same card you're passing up other cards.  Maybe have only up to two of each card in the pool so you can't get all 4 charges from these quests (buying them will still be relatively cheap since there will be people getting them from quests who don't want them and sell them).

When it comes to new players you can actually use some psychological trickery here.  Since these cards are R/UR, they will still feel special/valuable to new players because they probably won't know that lots of people have them (and this lack of knowledge will last longer for solo PvE players).  Even if you do know that everyone has them, the higher rarity still subconsciously make it feel valuable (even if it isn't).

Another aspect of this is simply that all of these cards are just really cool in general.  They look cool, they feel good to use, and they have powerful and unique effects.  So regardless of actual rarity, new players will still be excited to get them and this would help show them how much interesting stuff the game has to offer.

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Since we're in this topic also discussing PvP, how about in-client tournaments that run at specific times? Some other games have these and would push more people to play during specific time windows. Just have them in the evening between 8-10pm or something, or during weekends. You can still get pvp at other times but with these times they could be guaranteed.

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3 hours ago, RubySauce said:

Since we're in this topic also discussing PvP, how about in-client tournaments that run at specific times? Some other games have these and would push more people to play during specific time windows. Just have them in the evening between 8-10pm or something, or during weekends. You can still get pvp at other times but with these times they could be guaranteed.

Yes, that's been suggested before and I think it's a very good idea.  Ideally you would have automated events that happen every day at certain times with increased rewards to get people playing at the same times.

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This is nice and all but yall overlooked something i posted, and with alittle effort yall shall see it. ill leave that game to you, you are not allow to tell synthc lol..

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On 9/16/2019 at 2:14 PM, Kubik said:

100-200 players play at least 1 ranked PvP each day, so if you remove the top 10 there is still a lot of players to play against that are not in top 10.
problem is the time when they play :(

I heard a lot that PvP players do not play, because they do not want to collect cards twice...

It was decided that the game will not be promoted (by us) untill the release. And I kinda agree that calling people "hey come to play, we will delete your progress later" is not the best approach

I 'member when the open stresstest started and it was like only up to 100 players could connect the same time.. 
And now seeing you talking about 100-200 players in JUST PVP A DAY!!! :o 

What an awesome development the project is doing, keep the great work up! 
Kudos and respecc to everyone doing his part ;) 

Navarr likes this

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hello.

dont know if people remember me anymore tho was very aktive in the later stages of battleforge with a good deal of xp in the game.

 

now not to sound rude or anything tho i would say the starter decks/cards makes some of the fights a lot harder to deal with, and guessing people without the knowledge i had would have had a hell of a time getting into the game at least with the low amount of rewards as getting past the 2,5 hour into quest and then the other quest.

so i would agree there would need to be a "few" more achievements or starter quest that could get people started with more cards, you could make some starting quest/achievements ala like a tutorial for how the forge works(could be a different kind of booster with only random commens), same could be done how the auction house and all the other taps work.

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@korsbaek hey there :D I remember you. Are you comparing the current starter cards to EA F2P starter cards? Because for me I think there’s no question that we have improved the starter cards greatly.

If you’re referring actually to the starter deck/cards people got when they originally bought the full game with money back in EA times, then perhaps our cards/decks aren’t as good since we only give out common cards in our starter decks. It’s in an attempt not to devalue uncommon/rare cards, and more importantly most core cards are also in the common rarity.

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one more thing about the npe... since you get decent decks in a reasonable timeframe and get enough gold for upgrades, it is really annoying to be restricted by your pve rank. In particular ultra-rares have too high of a rank requirement to upgrade. getting to the required pve rank (gold 2) takes quite time some considering the exp you get for rpve and campaign maps.

In addition, i feel the current reward system gives very little worthwhile rewards after doing your quests. I'm a bit worried about multi-accounting in that regard since you can reasonably do the quests in 30 mins.

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@Ultrakool im comparing to just going trough it myself just now, think it is to limiting in options ofc that is assmuning the reward system is going to be as it is now, as the start is very hard to build a somewhat decend deck, atleast if you do not know of the tricks and combos in the game.

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@kubik.

given when i wrote the replay i had less then 24 hours of time from the first log in i cant say if that is true or not.

but given it is the very first few hours that depermens if you are going to play the game it does show that there might be some problem there.

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The players at the top of bfp incomes do not reflect the efficiency of the quest system at all, because they do not generate their main income through quests. They abuse the inconsistent trading values at the market. 

I would clearly agree, that the current quest system needs improvement. A higher questdiversity (I guess we get this after reset) and a removal of the hard cap should be really beneficial. 

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We are waiting for MrXLink's new values, for quests and other rewards. And I have no idea when he is planning to show us his new values.

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12 minutes ago, Kubik said:

We are waiting for MrXLink's new values, for quests and other rewards. And I have no idea when he is planning to show us his new values.

While we are on the topic of the rank requirements for upgrades, is it still planned to remove the rank requirements?

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