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How does Arena Net gague the popularity of Living Story?

living story churning out content mediocre

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#1 Minion

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 01:14 PM

This is a tie-in thread to my existing karma thread. There is a link and you'll understand where I'm going with this after we all ask the vital question (cangemsfixlivingstory?):

How does ANet gague Living Story popularity?

Firstly, that's the wrong question. It should be how *can't* they gague it's popularity. Number of players playing the content.

There are a lot of achievement point hunters in the game, which Anet capitalised on with the use of Achievement Chests. These players will gravitate towards whichever content offers the most achievement points; they'll do all the dailies and monthly achievements and then move onto the motherload: the living story. Completing the meta rewards you from anywhere between 25-50 AP on it's own, not to mention all of the achievements in the panel. Just add them all up and you'll quickly realise why the living story is being driven by AP hunters. How many servers continued trying to kill the triple wurm head after completing their metas? How many achievement hunters started clogging up the WvW queues? Do you think they really like the format?

They're not only great for achievement point gain, however. This is where karma comes in, as every creature you kill becomes a zergy short repeatable chain that can net champ boxes and massive experience and karma gain. Karma which is seen in no regular content but WvW (which they will be pushing for esports esports esports esports on sooner or later). Think about all the karma gain from fractals (recently spotlighted and patched, superior karma gain to dungeons) and Tequatl (far superior karma gain to all other world events)

The final reason of course, is the unique rewards that are typically either account bound and require living story loot to obtain or items which will cost a hell of a lot of gold otherwise.


Now, the original question is for you to try and answer. I have met a lot of dissatisfied players over living story, so I can't call it a success, by any stretch and I can conclude that the majority of players are participating in this content for incentives put in place other than good gameplay or plot.

Edited by Minion, 20 February 2014 - 01:15 PM.


#2 gw2guruaccount

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 01:20 PM

This is all content in all games.

People play the portions they want, converge for the portions they feel they need, and return to their original positions after the convergence.

No matter the game this is the format and baseline for behavior whether it be playing the new champ at least once in LoL when it's introduced for free or playing new content when it's introduced in MMO X reaping whatever there is you want and then never touching it again. This even extends outside of the game where you have a library of CDs, discs, access codes, and other present "collections" of games that you just don't play. Most people who own at least one game have probably seven to that one which they used to play but don't anymore at all.

#3 Feathermoore

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 02:02 PM

To answer this you have to define what success is from Anet's point of view not from the player's point of view. In that regard, player numbers is how you measure success combined with the gem store. You would compare average daily login rates in order to track the trends that occur on LS releases, likely with a target number defined somewhere in order to have a metric for success. Combined with that, you would track the same trends in the gem store and compare the specific LS related increases from addition to addition on order to better tailor your offerings in the future.

From a business sense, player numbers/retention and the relation to gem sales is the only metric that actually matters. Gauging player utility from a specific release would only serve as an additional rating system that you would also compare with the player number trend in order to predict the results that would occur from a future release.

Edit: As for tracking that utility. If you had the backend resources you could have a program crawl through the chat logs and forum posts that trends certain buzzwords and plots them daily. Fun, awesome, specific words related to the release, sucks, boring, etc. You could make it a bit more complex but effective by requiring combinations of the positive/negative words in relation to mentions of LS content. You would miss some comments but would also remove any comments about other non-LS content. Then again, you really only care about total utility and the trends would be attributed to the LS anyways so this might be unnecessary.

Edited by Feathermoore, 20 February 2014 - 02:08 PM.

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#4 Trei

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 02:05 PM

The Living Story has fallen far short of my own expectations as well.
But to be fair, how many does your "a lot of... players" refer to? Ten? Fifty? A hundred?

#5 gw2guruaccount

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 02:18 PM

View PostFeathermoore, on 20 February 2014 - 02:02 PM, said:

To answer this you have to define what success is from Anet's point of view not from the player's point of view. In that regard, player numbers is how you measure success combined with the gem store. You would compare average daily login rates in order to track the trends that occur on LS releases, likely with a target number defined somewhere in order to have a metric for success. Combined with that, you would track the same trends in the gem store and compare the specific LS related increases from addition to addition on order to better tailor your offerings in the future.

From a business sense, player numbers/retention and the relation to gem sales is the only metric that actually matters. Gauging player utility from a specific release would only serve as an additional rating system that you would also compare with the player number trend in order to predict the results that would occur from a future release.

Edit: As for tracking that utility. If you had the backend resources you could have a program crawl through the chat logs and forum posts that trends certain buzzwords and plots them daily. Fun, awesome, specific words related to the release, sucks, boring, etc. You could make it a bit more complex but effective by requiring combinations of the positive/negative words in relation to mentions of LS content. You would miss some comments but would also remove any comments about other non-LS content. Then again, you really only care about total utility and the trends would be attributed to the LS anyways so this might be unnecessary.

There's actually a bit more to it than this. Quality production is important so functionally success would be measured not by the spikes but by the completions. The more people who complete the LS the more people you can at least presume are interested enough in the game to do so. You also have to assess the after-purchase of the transaction ( even if no "current" funds are applied ) which is basically Customer Satisfaction. For instance in the thread about what people thought of the LA event it got mixed reviews but many people said that it was kind of interesting, kind of cool, etc. and overall their reviews were not "THIS IS ABYSMAL!" however stunts like the Tower of Nightmares got HORRIBLE reviews. Period. I doubt Anet will be doing it twice for this reason; money is important but it definitely is not the end of the transaction because passive retention is actually a loss on Anet's part; if a player plays just to get dailies and achievements and refuses to spend money on the game simply because it's a poor game and they only play because they are bored then this is considered a loss of a player while the opposite is true for retaining them.

It's pretty involved from a developer's standpoint. That and no one wants to make a "crappy game"; NCSoft might be more likely to hold the mindset ( Money = Everything ) that you're talking about rather than Anet itself.

#6 Konzacelt

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 02:55 PM

View Postgw2guruaccount, on 20 February 2014 - 02:18 PM, said:

Quality production is important so functionally success would be measured not by the spikes but by the completions. The more people who complete the LS the more people you can at least presume are interested enough in the game to do so.

That seems like a weak indicator.  With little else to do in PvE land, how many players are doing it simply because it's there?  Or helping guildies out?  Not to mention GW2 has bred this insane Achievement culture of completionism that pushes players to tick everything off their lists.  I wouldn't confuse interest with chores.

#7 Veji

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 03:17 PM

I don't care what anyone else thinks.  I'm having fun and my guildies are having fun.  And on special days, both me AND my guildies are having fun together.  That, and all the other people i see in-game, tells me that the LS is a success.  :)

#8 gw2guruaccount

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 03:23 PM

View PostKonzacelt, on 20 February 2014 - 02:55 PM, said:

That seems like a weak indicator.  With little else to do in PvE land, how many players are doing it simply because it's there?  Or helping guildies out?  Not to mention GW2 has bred this insane Achievement culture of completionism that pushes players to tick everything off their lists. I wouldn't confuse interest with chores.
I know this is difficult to believe but they aren't chores. You do not have to do them. GW2 didn't "breed" anything; the culture itself was already there and it just capitalizes on it. How many games have achievements in them? If it was "bred" people would rush out in droves to buy GW1 so that they could finish the Hall of Monuments. They didn't.

#9 Feathermoore

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 03:43 PM

View Postgw2guruaccount, on 20 February 2014 - 02:18 PM, said:

There's actually a bit more to it than this. Quality production is important so functionally success would be measured not by the spikes but by the completions. The more people who complete the LS the more people you can at least presume are interested enough in the game to do so. You also have to assess the after-purchase of the transaction ( even if no "current" funds are applied ) which is basically Customer Satisfaction. For instance in the thread about what people thought of the LA event it got mixed reviews but many people said that it was kind of interesting, kind of cool, etc. and overall their reviews were not "THIS IS ABYSMAL!" however stunts like the Tower of Nightmares got HORRIBLE reviews. Period. I doubt Anet will be doing it twice for this reason; money is important but it definitely is not the end of the transaction because passive retention is actually a loss on Anet's part; if a player plays just to get dailies and achievements and refuses to spend money on the game simply because it's a poor game and they only play because they are bored then this is considered a loss of a player while the opposite is true for retaining them.

It's pretty involved from a developer's standpoint. That and no one wants to make a "crappy game"; NCSoft might be more likely to hold the mindset ( Money = Everything ) that you're talking about rather than Anet itself.

This is what I was referring to with tracking player utility and basing the success criteria off of trends though I may not have made that clear. I was not trying to say to base goals on spikes. The primary success condition is income but the goal is sustained income. Each individual LS is successful if it generates income and enough utility to encourage further play. Tracking player utility allows you to further tailor future releases in order to ensure sustained income through player retention. Hence tracking the trends of buzzwords in chat and forums in relation to a release.

Not in any disagreement here with you at all really. Just trying to better expand upon the statements.

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#10 Konzacelt

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 05:03 PM

View Postgw2guruaccount, on 20 February 2014 - 03:23 PM, said:

I know this is difficult to believe but they aren't chores. You do not have to do them. GW2 didn't "breed" anything; the culture itself was already there and it just capitalizes on it. How many games have achievements in them? If it was "bred" people would rush out in droves to buy GW1 so that they could finish the Hall of Monuments. They didn't.

Hmm, I have to choose my words more carefully I guess since my response was deleted.  I agree they are just capitalizing on it, my argument is they are catering to a culture whose value system reinforces shallow story elements like the LS.  Instead of making the story itself good enough to rest on its own laurels, they attach a system of shallow achievements paired with minor rewards to herd players through the LS.  It's endemic to tons of games these days, not just GW2.  If ANet is going to hold itself to such a low standard of story presentation and writing, they shouldn't be surprised that the LS is both regarded poorly, and yet oddly popular at the same time.

View PostFeathermoore, on 20 February 2014 - 03:43 PM, said:

The primary success condition is income but the goal is sustained income. Each individual LS is successful if it generates income and enough utility to encourage further play. Tracking player utility allows you to further tailor future releases in order to ensure sustained income through player retention.

This I have a problem with, and is related to my above comment.  Tailoring the LS using sustained income as its primary gauge only exacerbates the problem.  Good writing and storytelling is a reward in and of itself and will generate income simply by the fact that if players feel a real emotional attachment to it, they will follow it regardless of any achievements or rewards associated with it.  They need to stop looking so much at the story of Tyria as a metric for generating income, and rather look at it as a chance to create a narrative that has real staying power in the hearts and minds of players.  This is one big reason you get so many GW1 players hating on the LS...because they know ANet can do much, much better and as a result the game itself becomes diminutive and trite.  Loyalty flies out the window when this happens.

Edited by Konzacelt, 20 February 2014 - 05:04 PM.


#11 FoxBat

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 05:11 PM

The whole point of MMO is to drag out content so you keep playing the same game over and over, to some degree with the same people. Any well rated 8-hour $60 blockbuster will deliver better story content (and more original gameplay) per time/money. People pick MMOs because of the long-term progression (achievements in this case) and/or the ability to play with, or at least in front of, people. Concentrated, high-quality but short content cannot sustain either of these very well.

#12 Konzacelt

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 05:35 PM

View PostFoxBat, on 20 February 2014 - 05:11 PM, said:

People pick MMOs because of the long-term progression (achievements in this case) and/or the ability to play with, or at least in front of, people. Concentrated, high-quality but short content cannot sustain either of these very well.

I whole-heartily agree with the latter.  The former...how do you know this?

#13 Featherman

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 05:57 PM

Quality content can sustain an appreciable playerbase, depending on how sticky it is. DOTA remained strong with few updates (most of them being balance changes), until Valve began to basically phase it out with DOTA2. I wouldn't be surprised, however, if there was still a community supporting the original. Smash Bros Melee is strong in spite of a newer iteration (or maybe because of it depending on your perspective). These are PvP games which are naturally sticky when they're well designed. The problem with MMOs is that they rely on linear, on-rails content that can be phased out. It's a result of the theme park paradigm that started with EQ and popularized with WoW.

If ANet wanted quality content that would sustain players they would have made greater strides in improving the game's PvP modes, but seeing as how there are more immediate profits to be had PVE the opted for that instead. So to ANet, I''d surmise that "success" is the bottom line- it's money. The player's enjoyment of the content is incidental. What matters is that they feel they need to do it and that the game provides various avenues of monetizing these players as they play. This is reflected in the quality of the LS. Even middle schooler wouldn't be proud of the level of writing that goes into the content, and I wouldn't any competent game designer would be proud of the type of gameplay that they encourage either. But the LS goes on anyway because it feeds the bottom line.

#14 Gyre

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 06:42 PM

As an admitted achievement point hunter and general glory/challenge seeker I'll give my two cents.

This is the first ever LS chapter I'm going to skip since launch.  The veil has been lifted from my eyes over the last 2 updates.  Normal monsters drop drastically reduced standard loot during these (wurm, marionette, LA) replaced instead by a token system.  What this means to you, the player, is that all the slaughtering you do is even more tightly reigned in.  You see the price of materials?  It's because nothing is directly funneling fresh supply into the market so long as these loot-less events are going on and players are preoccupied.

The bait and switch is really in this misguided notion that people need this Sarah Kerrigan-esque backpiece.  Instead of just giving the players the backpiece as part of the meta achievement (an established precedent) instead you get to grind components.  Iron has skyrocketed and so has elonian leather as a result.  This is wonderful if you are one of the absolute scumbag market speculators but to the average joe this is a miserable system.

As to popularity, well, if Anet is using gems as a metric this is sure to be a huge success.  The hideous Arnold Schwarzenegger/Mister Freeze armor has already done the rounds on Desolation minus the awful puns.  I truly do not understand why the community to continues to support this and so long as they do absolutely nothing will change.  What I wonder is how bad does it actually have to get before enough people wake up to what is going on and just stop participating/buying gems.

#15 Konzacelt

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 06:54 PM

View PostFeatherman, on 20 February 2014 - 05:57 PM, said:

If ANet wanted quality content that would sustain players they would have made greater strides in improving the game's PvP modes, but seeing as how there are more immediate profits to be had PVE the opted for that instead. So to ANet, I''d surmise that "success" is the bottom line- it's money. The player's enjoyment of the content is incidental. What matters is that they feel they need to do it and that the game provides various avenues of monetizing these players as they play. This is reflected in the quality of the LS. Even middle schooler wouldn't be proud of the level of writing that goes into the content, and I wouldn't any competent game designer would be proud of the type of gameplay that they encourage either. But the LS goes on anyway because it feeds the bottom line.

I can understand that.  I still think it's offensive though.  And not only as a gamer, but as a human being.  Is the gamer culture really destined to succumb to the almighty dollar?  I thought we were better than that. :unsure:

#16 MazingerZ

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 06:58 PM

View PostFeatherman, on 20 February 2014 - 05:57 PM, said:

If ANet wanted quality content that would sustain players they would have made greater strides in improving the game's PvP modes, but seeing as how there are more immediate profits to be had PVE the opted for that instead. So to ANet, I''d surmise that "success" is the bottom line- it's money. The player's enjoyment of the content is incidental. What matters is that they feel they need to do it and that the game provides various avenues of monetizing these players as they play. This is reflected in the quality of the LS. Even middle schooler wouldn't be proud of the level of writing that goes into the content, and I wouldn't any competent game designer would be proud of the type of gameplay that they encourage either. But the LS goes on anyway because it feeds the bottom line.

This.  I akin Guild Wars 2's Living Story to the Transformers film series.  Nothing about it screams genre or era-defining.  High production values, little artistic or design integrity.  It wins no awards or accolades in the field, though could probably be nominated for the visuals, but it has enough mass appeal to continue bringing in money.  It keeps its appeal surrounded in nice visuals like in any Eastern MMO, though run through the Tolkien western wardrobe and texture setting, and equally having all the reward mechanics of an Eastern MMO.  Grind it or lose it.

As stated, there's more potential in the PvP of the game, but any attempts to tweak that take a back seat, because how are you going to monetize it?  Airship map passes?  I doubt attempting to monetize balance patches or attempts to fix QOL issues would go over well if they can't sell it.  Realize that making money > fixing issues in the game.  Any fixes are probably incidental to making sure the content patches come out with as little festering crap clinging to them as possible.

Edited by MazingerZ, 20 February 2014 - 06:59 PM.

It's okay to enjoy crap if you're willing to admit it's crap.
Every patch is like ArenaNet walking out onto the stage of the International Don't Kitten Up Championship, and then proceeding to shiv itself in the stomach 30 times while screaming "IT'S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD! IT'S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD!"

#17 Konzacelt

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 06:59 PM

View PostGyre, on 20 February 2014 - 06:42 PM, said:

As an admitted achievement point hunter and general glory/challenge seeker I'll give my two cents.

This is the first ever LS chapter I'm going to skip since launch.  The veil has been lifted from my eyes over the last 2 updates.  Normal monsters drop drastically reduced standard loot during these (wurm, marionette, LA) replaced instead by a token system.  What this means to you, the player, is that all the slaughtering you do is even more tightly reigned in.  You see the price of materials?  It's because nothing is directly funneling fresh supply into the market so long as these loot-less events are going on and players are preoccupied.

The bait and switch is really in this misguided notion that people need this Sarah Kerrigan-esque backpiece.  Instead of just giving the players the backpiece as part of the meta achievement (an established precedent) instead you get to grind components.  Iron has skyrocketed and so has elonian leather as a result.  This is wonderful if you are one of the absolute scumbag market speculators but to the average joe this is a miserable system.

As to popularity, well, if Anet is using gems as a metric this is sure to be a huge success.  The hideous Arnold Schwarzenegger/Mister Freeze armor has already done the rounds on Desolation minus the awful puns.  I truly do not understand why the community to continues to support this and so long as they do absolutely nothing will change.  What I wonder is how bad does it actually have to get before enough people wake up to what is going on and just stop participating/buying gems.

Thank you for that, I would agree.

One question for ya: as an achievement hunter, wouldn't you prefer it if your achievements symbolized something challenging you accomplished?  That they actually meant something to you?

#18 Gyre

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 07:09 PM

View PostKonzacelt, on 20 February 2014 - 06:59 PM, said:

Thank you for that, I would agree.

One question for ya: as an achievement hunter, wouldn't you prefer it if your achievements symbolized something challenging you accomplished?  That they actually meant something to you?

Yes and yes, Queen's Gauntlet specifically Liadri.  She was the only thing I considered genuinely worthy of the achievement points although the entire thing was well done in my opinion albeit not everyones cup of tea.  My second pick would be the Aetherpath.

#19 MazingerZ

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 07:10 PM

View PostGyre, on 20 February 2014 - 07:09 PM, said:

Yes and yes, Queen's Gauntlet specifically Liadri.  She was the only thing I considered genuinely worthy of the achievement points although the entire thing was well done in my opinion albeit not everyones cup of tea.  My second pick would be the Aetherpath.

Admittedly fine pieces of work, but something I akin to happy accidents that coincided with their release dates, given the overall track record.
It's okay to enjoy crap if you're willing to admit it's crap.
Every patch is like ArenaNet walking out onto the stage of the International Don't Kitten Up Championship, and then proceeding to shiv itself in the stomach 30 times while screaming "IT'S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD! IT'S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD!"

#20 Krazzar

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 07:20 PM

Anet counts success the way most companies do: cash. They're most interested in keeping the studio open.

#21 El Duderino

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 07:34 PM

View PostFoxBat, on 20 February 2014 - 05:11 PM, said:

The whole point of MMO is to drag out content so you keep playing the same game over and over, to some degree with the same people. Any well rated 8-hour $60 blockbuster will deliver better story content (and more original gameplay) per time/money. People pick MMOs because of the long-term progression (achievements in this case) and/or the ability to play with, or at least in front of, people. Concentrated, high-quality but short content cannot sustain either of these very well.

My god, no wonder I hate MMO's! Here I thought MMO's were about play cooperative RPG style games online. Who knew it was just about grinding!

Someone should have seriously said something, I can't believe I thought the genre could be more than just a grind-fest.

#22 Baron von Scrufflebutt

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 08:33 PM

View PostMinion, on 20 February 2014 - 01:14 PM, said:

.. I can conclude that the majority of players are participating in this content for incentives put in place other than good gameplay or plot.

I think that became painfully obvious with the PvP changes: additional AP points, progression, incoming gold rewards, ...

#23 gw2guruaccount

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 11:31 PM

View PostFeathermoore, on 20 February 2014 - 03:43 PM, said:

This is what I was referring to with tracking player utility and basing the success criteria off of trends though I may not have made that clear. I was not trying to say to base goals on spikes. The primary success condition is income but the goal is sustained income. Each individual LS is successful if it generates income and enough utility to encourage further play. Tracking player utility allows you to further tailor future releases in order to ensure sustained income through player retention. Hence tracking the trends of buzzwords in chat and forums in relation to a release.

Not in any disagreement here with you at all really. Just trying to better expand upon the statements.
I think many people fail to realize that people who generate items generally do these works for money second and community involvement first. I mean there are items that are invented just for cashflow, no doubt, but whether it be an indie game or a famous portrait most art and interactive media is produced with the concept of being genuinely enjoyable.

The games that are not tend to fall under "Clone" titles like WoW Clones. They are unambitious, use no particularly new content, generally driven by old and familiar concepts like "quests" and purposefully add absolutely nothing new usually while using some established concept ( Ragnarok Online 2 using Ragnarok Online as a title for instance ) as a means to engage the audience and at least entice them to play.

Anet answers to NCSoft so it's not so much "income" as it is meeting quota for them; the odds that they get huge bonuses or have their own payroll that doesn't answer to NCSoft are pretty low. Only independent studios get that.

#24 gw2guruaccount

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 11:40 PM

View PostFeatherman, on 20 February 2014 - 05:57 PM, said:

If ANet wanted quality content that would sustain players they would have made greater strides in improving the game's PvP modes, but seeing as how there are more immediate profits to be had PVE the opted for that instead.
What do you think the death of Glory was for? I guess it strikes a nerve with me to hear people talk about developers when over the course of a year many, many player driven and pro-player changes have been made in order to improve the modes. Balance changes occur constantly, glory has been officially phased out, glory used to be able to buy you things that effected Tyrian content after players who PvP'd stated that there was no incentive, and so forth and so on.

Players are never happy. In a game of "The Customer is always right" you cannot tailor make something like an MMO and it sucks for the Devs far worse than it sucks for the players. You can mod PC games to hell making everything work the way you want to for the most part with exception of core items and code but what can you do when you host a game? It's just like how people will complain about how Champion X from LoL sucks or used to be awesome or how they miss this mechanic and how it worked etc.

If it was monetary the changes would have never been made because PvP is still not profitable. It's actually completely unprofitable through and through. However the only person who doesn't profit is the player; Anet profits when they can count the players and show the numbers because development studios are given budgets so all of their revenue goes to NCSoft probably which is why it's on their Balance Sheet and why it's marked "And Subsidiaries", so Anet doesn't actually have a cashflow just like you pay a contractor, not every worker on the construction team directly.

Understanding the financial situation produces an understanding of motivation. Anet won't be closed down, it can't, it doesn't even have it's own revenue; it gets a budget like Lineage and that's why GW1 is still up! If it was based entirely on their revenue GW1 produces jack shit and would have shut down years and years ago without someone sponsoring the servers.

#25 Konzacelt

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 12:20 AM

View Postgw2guruaccount, on 20 February 2014 - 11:31 PM, said:

They are unambitious, use no particularly new content, generally driven by old and familiar concepts like "quests" and purposefully add absolutely nothing new usually while using some established concept ( Ragnarok Online 2 using Ragnarok Online as a title for instance ) as a means to engage the audience and at least entice them to play.
Just like this game did?  The huge difference being GW2 wanted to change absolutely everything, regardless of whether or not it worked before.  "New" is not always "better" and while that almighty buzzword innovation is heralded in front of every dev interview, all they've really done that's innovative to the MMO genre is figure out clever ways to ply money from gamers on a regular 2-week basis.  Their marketing implementation is crazy good, but after awhile players start to see it for what it really is.

Quote

Players are never happy.
Are you for real?  No, it goes like this: all players are not happy all of the time.  All players are happy some of the time...else they wouldn't be playing the game at all.

Quote

Understanding the financial situation produces an understanding of motivation. Anet won't be closed down, it can't, it doesn't even have it's own revenue; it gets a budget like Lineage and that's why GW1 is still up! If it was based entirely on their revenue GW1 produces jack shit and would have shut down years and years ago without someone sponsoring the servers.
You mean years ago when they stopped development on it to work on this game?  Gotcha.

#26 gw2guruaccount

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 12:47 AM

View PostKonzacelt, on 21 February 2014 - 12:20 AM, said:

Just like this game did?  The huge difference being GW2 wanted to change absolutely everything, regardless of whether or not it worked before.  "New" is not always "better" and while that almighty buzzword innovation is heralded in front of every dev interview, all they've really done that's innovative to the MMO genre is figure out clever ways to ply money from gamers on a regular 2-week basis.  Their marketing implementation is crazy good, but after awhile players start to see it for what it really is.

Are you for real?  No, it goes like this: all players are not happy all of the time.  All players are happy some of the time...else they wouldn't be playing the game at all.

You mean years ago when they stopped development on it to work on this game?  Gotcha.

There are times when I genuinely wonder about you ...

GW1 was majorly played in Germany and Asia so if a "majority" of GW1 players were conned by a game that actually didn't even sell well at 6.5m copies in 10 years with 3/4th of that represented by a population that doesn't even currently have servers ( Asia ) I don't know what universe I stumbled into. Of course that little tidbit of history doesn't matter because of the 3m copies that sold in a year surely most of those people were "deceived"; those Americans who didn't buy the original.

No, players really are never happy; if a game caters directly to a player's wishes 99.9% forums like this exist for the .1%. It's not "venting" either, it's just being a brat; you have the right to show dissent but the mood is almost always negative and filled with outright lies about the company, the people, and the players; ranging from the common anycompany argument "MONEY IS THEIR GOAL!?" to the rare "Development should be handled in a manner that is conducive to this [rational] idea." everyone wants to contribute to their own little MMO. This isn't a question of logical semantics it's a matter of real-time human behavior and psychology. IF you're looking for the raincloud you will find it and players have learned, as customers and consumers have learned, to look for that raincloud. Even I have; it's normal because it's a norm mindset we have been taught, and when we can't stand it we quit! Which is fine. However players being happy and content with a game they cannot directly influence is just not something that happens. I'm sure there's people who claim it's the best ever but if you ask them if it can be improved there will be a slight twitch in their smile. It's the Developer's Dilemma. By "Developer" I am not just referring to gaming either, all designers, all innovators, all inventors, and all project managing teams suffer this.

So why do players play? Because there's just a threshold. There are players who "hate" this game and still play for whatever reason. Humans are not so simple.

As for the third portion you're just showing you really are inept at reading. The servers would have gone down, not the development being ongoing, they aren't even related. Well unless you're you, then they are totally related.

#27 ilr

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 01:10 AM

I don't think they feel any responsibility at all to actually "gauge" any of it in the first place.
Just like Conquest PvP being their only format there.  They didn't need a survey to know it was unpopular.
Yet they kept balancing every other part of the game around it and never gave a nod to reality there.

It's become very apparent over the past year that they seem to believe they can freely neglect all the things that aren't fun to them,  like Bug fixing, event polish, PvE balance/splits, and real equal-terms discussions with their playerbase.   By all indications, they clearly think they can neglect all of that "icky stuff", and feel no lasting repercussions whatsoever.   This isn't exactly a new pattern for them, often times they usually just added new stuff or new currencies to the first Guildwars to change various Metas or whatever.  But those things were atleast connected in some ways to the general consensus of the community at large.   Now instead, they have a studio of 300+,who all have their own little private circles that are completely insular, and believing they are 100% insulated from the realities of consumer pressures.

I've argued for years that they've actually tended to do what was LESS ideal for pure capitalism.  In that regard, some of the most evil companies like EA and SONY still end up being more responsive to their consumer base than Anet actually is.  Even if it's mainly to exploit them as nothing but dollar signs, it's usually still the consumer's demands that get met in a reasonable amount of time.   This studio however, runs a Crony-tocracry where several different factions inside it controll different parts of the content... and this is the most important part, because it means that there's no real uniting Theme or oversight.  Everyone just does whatever the hell they want or whatever their best guild buddies find most convenient...

While this was true to a lesser degree with GW1 and things still worked okay up until that Gwen's Wedding crap, now the degree to which they've become detached and out of touch from the core guildwars playerbase is so extreme that its no longer sustainable and the "finished product" (if it can be called such) resembles a chimera of loosely stitched together appendages due exclusively to that poor inter-office dysfunction between all of its content creators.  Actually forget the flowery chimera analogy, the best way to really sum up their content pipeline is exactly like most of their 5-man teams and "open raid" group dynamics in general in this game:  A bunch of strangers "Soloing Together".

Edited by ilr, 21 February 2014 - 01:15 AM.


#28 Konzacelt

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 02:40 AM

View Postgw2guruaccount, on 21 February 2014 - 12:47 AM, said:

No, players really are never happy

^ That's the only part I need to link.

Wow...just wow.

#29 Gyre

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 03:21 AM

View Postgw2guruaccount, on 21 February 2014 - 12:47 AM, said:

No, players really are never happy; if a game caters directly to a player's wishes 99.9% forums like this exist for the .1%. It's not "venting" either, it's just being a brat; you have the right to show dissent but the mood is almost always negative and filled with outright lies about the company, the people, and the players; ranging from the common anycompany argument "MONEY IS THEIR GOAL!?" to the rare "Development should be handled in a manner that is conducive to this [rational] idea." everyone wants to contribute to their own little MMO. This isn't a question of logical semantics it's a matter of real-time human behavior and psychology. IF you're looking for the raincloud you will find it and players have learned, as customers and consumers have learned, to look for that raincloud. Even I have; it's normal because it's a norm mindset we have been taught, and when we can't stand it we quit! Which is fine. However players being happy and content with a game they cannot directly influence is just not something that happens. I'm sure there's people who claim it's the best ever but if you ask them if it can be improved there will be a slight twitch in their smile. It's the Developer's Dilemma. By "Developer" I am not just referring to gaming either, all designers, all innovators, all inventors, and all project managing teams suffer this.

Nobody is upset with them for making money, at least I sure hope not, it's the entire point.  The issue I personally have with them is the 2 week shovelware cycle and abyssmal quality content due to self imposed time constraints they are locked into.  They went from a "when it's ready" studio to a "deadline is in 2 weeks quickly ram code into the dat and break entirely unrelated features of the game to be fixed by minimum 2-3 subsequent patches" studio.

Here's what I think is a pretty fair question:  If this was a sub instead would people tolerate this type of updating or would they be a little more pissed off when their wallet was on the line instead of mooching the other guy who is buying the gems to keep this going?

Edit:

View Postilr, on 21 February 2014 - 01:10 AM, said:

It's become very apparent over the past year that they seem to believe they can freely neglect all the things that aren't fun to them,  like Bug fixing, event polish, PvE balance/splits, and real equal-terms discussions with their playerbase.  

One thing they are on the ball about is adding invisible walls to fractals and dungeons to stop "exploits".  Big shout out to dredge here which took 2 consecutive updates to finally get that second pad patched to be impossible to leap to, well done Anet.  Perhaps the time has come to actually playtest content to see why people were doing these things in the first place.  Hint:  it's poorly designed.

Edited by Gyre, 21 February 2014 - 09:13 AM.


#30 Feathermoore

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 01:39 PM

View Postgw2guruaccount, on 20 February 2014 - 11:31 PM, said:

snip

Oh I know this quite well though they are two means to an end when it comes to measuring success. If you successfully create a product that resonates with the community in a desired way then the income comes from that. The sales and player numbers are the signs of success here with trends, not spikes, being the data that actually shows this. I work for a company that treats water in third world countries. We don't actually care about income as a company, we were created to make a meaningful impact on lives. We have two metrics that we can measure our success in doing this though. Sales numbers and impacted people numbers. To swing that to Anet, sales numbers and player usage trends. The people involved in creating content are going to focus on different success metrics than those in charge of the company.

View PostKonzacelt, on 20 February 2014 - 05:03 PM, said:

This I have a problem with, and is related to my above comment.  Tailoring the LS using sustained income as its primary gauge only exacerbates the problem.  Good writing and storytelling is a reward in and of itself and will generate income simply by the fact that if players feel a real emotional attachment to it, they will follow it regardless of any achievements or rewards associated with it.  They need to stop looking so much at the story of Tyria as a metric for generating income, and rather look at it as a chance to create a narrative that has real staying power in the hearts and minds of players.  This is one big reason you get so many GW1 players hating on the LS...because they know ANet can do much, much better and as a result the game itself becomes diminutive and trite.  Loyalty flies out the window when this happens.

Creating quality content is one of the potential ways that you increase active player trends as is mentioned in the development systems.

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