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Hello n' Stuff... Lots of Stuff.

By RiasiruNeovas#4710 - MEMBER - September 10, 2014, 04:18:43

Right then. Formalities first. I originally played Dofus back before the Origin market was a thing. I subscribed after hitting the pay walls a bazillion times and regretted it very quickly. I found out that the largest mass of the world's population gravitated towards the F2P zones or high level late game areas where the older players had ended up. Occasionally there was one who went back to the Gobball dungeon and ran it but otherwise it was meh...

I joined a guild at one point but most of the people in it only subscribed once, lost interested during the subscription (probs cause of what I said above) and never bothered to resubscribe. They then left... And the guild died. The end. I didn't even make it to the end of my three month sub before I figured out that I was wasting my time. Now that I've said all that let me just thank Ankama for figuring out that segregating your community is bad. Crazy, right? Who would have thought that in an MMO where player interaction is crucial that breaking down such interactions would be bad.

Beta Release

Having said that, I foresee a notable issue in the near future. The official release of the game onto Steam. Don't do it. Or, at least, don't do it while the game is in beta. Wait til you hit full release and only then should you put it onto steam. First impressions are crucial. If you want any long term commitment from players then you need for them to keep coming back to the game. If you don't have enough content or the content you do have is a poor representation of the final product then an early release will result in a reaction typical of, yeah, it was alright. Believe it or not, that is NOT a good reaction. It's a horrible reaction! Word of mouth is a thing that can destroy you. Yeah, it was alright is a phrase that will cause you unending grief.

When you release to Steam you will get the largest influx of players since you launched Wakfu. If you fail to wow them or, if your previous business model has already spread too much 'word of mouth' it will be a catastrophic failure. When you walk out the door into the lime light you need to be going for a home run.

Origins

This is going to sound crazy but you have already shown you are willing to do it, so do it again. Allow players to gain access to pay currency without paying for them. The origin market on Dofus was brilliant. Binding them... Was not... But that's not the point. The point is it's ok for players to buy or even earn Origins without actually paying for them. In fact, if anything, you should make it so that you can earn them in game without the use of a market. It should be sloooooooooooow, the sort of thing only the most dedicated player would partake in for any length of time, but you should do this. Most players will feel as though they're not being forced to buy anything and that doesn't make it feel like they're being bullied. You don't want them to buy things begrudgingly from you. You want them to buy things from you because they want it so badly they just can't wait. And here's the thing, most people will eventually decided their time is worth more than their money.

Next, give away a few origins upon signing up just as a freebie. Nothing huge or game changing. Just enough to afford one of the smallest things you have on the market. Players will buy one of these tiny beginner items that will hopefully be good till maybe level 30 or 40. They appreciate it and more importantly, they familiarize themselves with the market. This does two things. First, it prompts them to look at all the things they could buy outside that small sum you start them with. Next, they use the market once. They feel comfortable with the market. They're not scared of the market. Often times, the first purchase is the hardest of any player to make. You should grease this purchase as much as you can, even if it means giving away a freebie. Next time round, they'll be far more inclined to buy... Again... And again... And again...

Community Managers

Ask anyone who still plays WoW or CoD (Above the age of 14) and the number one response you're going to get is one telling you that they play it because their friends do. This is the secret of success. You need to nurture the community and a full time community manager is vital. I'm not looking for the job, I just want to see Wakfu succeed. That's why I have said all of this, but that said, pay someone to work on the forums and keep everyone civil and well behaved. Don't let the player base turn toxic like LoL. Many players will out right tell you that they don't play LoL because of the player base. In all honesty, the role of a Community manager if dreadfully underestimated for how much good it does your game.

F2P Content

Don't think of a player who never pays as the enemy. A world without people is an empty place devoid of player interactions. Seeing your servers all running at Low Population is terrifying... A game like this thrives on its population, even if only one player out of 20 is paying anything notable into it. (That figure is probs skewed way off.) Through out this I've touched on how important player interactions are and this is what it all comes down to. They're content. More so than any item you could add. More so than any enemy or mechanic. Without the mass of nameless players you'll never see much more than a dollar or two from your game is left a broken product. And most importantly, they don't play for free.

There are so many F2P games on the market right now and you're competing with all of them. You may never see money form a player, but their time is invaluable. They populate the in game market with items for paying players to buy, and they buy things from the paying players who sell on that market. Don't think of them as players if it helps. Think of them as parts of the game experience you yourself are trying to build. This brings us back to that bit about a community manager and such. They're part of the game, make sure they're behaving in such a way as to make it enjoyable not only for themselves, but for all those around them.

So... Yeah... I suppose the only other thing I'd mention would be making a sink hole for Origins but you already have expiration dates on them. (A horrible thing, but it could be far worse.) Just populate the market with a few items players would want to buy repeatedly regardless of level. No, your subscription model isn't good. The moment a player hits max level all it does is give voting rights... That's stupid... It's a short term model with long term repercussions. Stop it...

That's it... Add an item. Ballads. Allows a player to cast a vote during an election. Have it cost a flat sum of Origins which can be purchased with that initial sum you give them. It needs to be low. Something a player could grind out between elections but at the same time cuts into their origin profits enough to make them consider buying it with actual money. Give them one for free when they first acquire 10CP and make sure that this freebie is bound. All others should be unbound.

You've now given Origins somewhere to go... A sink with which they can drain into instead of piling up.

Ok, I've gone farther than I wanted or planned for. But seriously, consider what I've said.
 
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