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Retromastery

About the recent backlash that this game has been getting...

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I'm making this post mainly because I want to get some kind of answer regarding the way that Human Head is planning on addressing the recent negative backlash that the game has been getting... the steam review aren't looking good, and it will get worst if nothing is done to appease the new community, so please... at least communicate with us regarding this, because right now the game is getting beaten to death by the Steam reviews.

I'm personally fine with how the business model work but most people aren't and it's killing the game

Edited by Retromastery

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Well the biggest problem for me is cleary the capacity of ancestrals legacy.. i mean .. only 10 ? well why not.. but you need to paid 60 electrum to get ONE more ... it's a bit to much electrum for only one legacy ...

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I think the main problem with how the Business model is badly perceived by new players come from 2 points : Inventory frustration + Front-loaded cash shop

 

Inventory frustration

I know that the current inventory is manageable, I played like that in closed beta, it was okay.

But new players don't have the knowledge that we do, they hoard plenty of useless items, don't know what to throw, what to sell, what to keep.

The result is that by the time they reach T2 / T3 they are struggling with inventory, scrapping for every slot, feeling like they have to leave useful items behind because they can't carry them

That's when the second point come into play.

 

Front-loaded Cash shop

What do I mean by front-loaded cash shop ? Well, it's everywhere ! I think almost every screen (Inventory, Vault, Auction house, Craftsman, ...) has a shortcut in it that lead to the Cash shop or spending Electrum.

I don't think it's a problem in itself, I even think it's just good user interface. (And removing these shortcuts to just put everything into the store would just feel like hiding the dust under the carpet tbh)

The problem is that new player are already frustrated with the inventory, and everywhere they look in the game they see the cash shop.

It feels like a set up, like the game tries to force them to purchase more inventory while not giving them enough to work with from the beginning : It feels like a cash grab.

 

What to do ?

Educating new players on inventory management(what to keep / sell / throw) is not enough, most of them will never set foot in the forums and even less on the discord.

I don't really like to tell people how to handle their business model, I don't want freebies (we already had a few) I already purchased an inventory / vault size I'm comfortable with.

But right now new players feel frustrated playing the game, and you should never feel frustrated playing a video game (at least not continuously).

-------

So what to do to relieve that frustration ? my take on it

1.

Inventory start to become an issue for new players around T2/T3, that's when they start looking around and only see the cash shop.

Give them something else to look at : I propose a quest (poping up after killing the T2 or T3 boss for the first time) from the Craftsman or another NPC, retrieve some T1/T2/T3 component for him and he will reward you with a +10 vault upgrade.

2.

In the late game, have another +10 vault upgrade behind a late game / early late game achievement (maybe killing all the normal bosses ? or all the hard bosses for more late game)

This will push the Vault to 40 slot, which I think is a good spot for it.

It will still feel a little restrictive in the late game (charms and imprint start to take inventory slots, high level equipment start to become more valuable) but not enough to be frustrating.

3.

I also think a third character slot could be good, It could be earned after dying in the well with each of the 6 classes for exemple.

 

-------------------------------------

One last point, it has nothing to do with the business model. It's about communication.

You are one of the most communicative Dev team I've seen but ... Right now your communication is not that visible to new players.

A lot of new players won't come here or on the discord, their first stop will be steam and the steam forums. Some more interested users will eventually go to Reddit and right now your communication on steam forums and reddit is very light.

I know that the whole team is very busy squashing bugs, fixing servers and other problems but presence on these media is required right now.

When new players see a lot of cash shop, a lot of servers problems (registration, downtime, rollback) and no >visible< communication from the dev team, it contribute to make the game feel like a cash grab for them, like you don't care.

 

It could be some pinned post on steam / reddit a roadmap for them to see what is coming in the future, a post linking to Discord and the Official forums, a post acknowledging the current problems with the servers or the game, ...

Edited by Coldparadox
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Nice post, I think this raises valid issues, and addresses solutions to some issues currently stunting the games progress for new players (and probably some seasoned players as well).  Thanks for the time you spent to put this together. 👍

 

Edited by LokoLeo
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4 hours ago, Coldparadox said:

I think the main problem with how the Business model is badly perceived by new players come from 2 points : Inventory frustration + Front-loaded cash shop

 

Inventory frustration

I know that the current inventory is manageable, I played like that in closed beta, it was okay.

But new players don't have the knowledge that we do, they hoard plenty of useless items, don't know what to throw, what to sell, what to keep.

The result is that by the time they reach T2 / T3 they are struggling with inventory, scrapping for every slot, feeling like they have to leave useful items behind because they can't carry them

That's when the second point come into play.

 

Front-loaded Cash shop

What do I mean by front-loaded cash shop ? Well, it's everywhere ! I think almost every screen (Inventory, Vault, Auction house, Craftsman, ...) has a shortcut in it that lead to the Cash shop or spending Electrum.

I don't think it's a problem in itself, I even think it's just good user interface. (And removing these shortcuts to just put everything into the store would just feel like hiding the dust under the carpet tbh)

The problem is that new player are already frustrated with the inventory, and everywhere they look in the game they see the cash shop.

It feels like a set up, like the game tries to force them to purchase more inventory while not giving them enough to work with from the beginning : It feels like a cash grab.

 

What to do ?

Educating new players on inventory management(what to keep / sell / throw) is not enough, most of them will never set foot in the forums and even less on the discord.

I don't really like to tell people how to handle their business model, I don't want freebies (we already had a few) I already purchased an inventory / vault size I'm comfortable with.

But right now new players feel frustrated playing the game, and you should never feel frustrated playing a video game (at least not continuously).

-------

So what to do to relieve that frustration ? my take on it

1.

Inventory start to become an issue for new players around T2/T3, that's when they start looking around and only see the cash shop.

Give them something else to look at : I propose a quest (poping up after killing the T2 or T3 boss for the first time) from the Craftsman or another NPC, retrieve some T1/T2/T3 component for him and he will reward you with a +10 vault upgrade.

2.

In the late game, have another +10 vault upgrade behind a late game / early late game achievement (maybe killing all the normal bosses ? or all the hard bosses for more late game)

This will push the Vault to 40 slot, which I think is a good spot for it.

It will still feel a little restrictive in the late game (charms and imprint start to take inventory slots, high level equipment start to become more valuable) but not enough to be frustrating.

3.

I also think a third character slot could be good, It could be earned after dying in the well with each of the 6 classes for exemple.

 

-------------------------------------

One last point, it has nothing to do with the business model. It's about communication.

You are one of the most communicative Dev team I've seen but ... Right now your communication is not that visible to new players.

A lot of new players won't come here or on the discord, their first stop will be steam and the steam forums. Some more interested users will eventually go to Reddit and right now your communication on steam forums and reddit is very light.

I know that the whole team is very busy squashing bugs, fixing servers and other problems but presence on these media is required right now.

When new players see a lot of cash shop, a lot of servers problems (registration, downtime, rollback) and no >visible< communication from the dev team, it contribute to make the game feel like a cash grab for them, like you don't care.

 

It could be some pinned post on steam / reddit a roadmap for them to see what is coming in the future, a post linking to Discord and the Official forums, a post acknowledging the current problems with the servers or the game, ...

 

 

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I aggree to what was said, and I add one thing: stop wasting players time, and let them play.

You want to craft? Wait.

You died? You want to play again, or even stop for the night? Too bad, you have to sort wich legacy you whant to keep or throw away. (And do dying is even more frustrating...)

 

I want to like this game, and I think I will, at some point. But right now it's like the game is trying (and succeeding) to waist my time. I don't want to play a game like that, and even less support it.

And some others and I warned them that getting to early access this soon was a bad idea... They should have tested the legacy limit before the early access to have feedback from beta testers... I can undertand that limiting legacy clear some space in the servers, but 10? I would understand not allowing to keep duplicates or whatever... But 10 legacy...

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Here is my take on what has been said so far, and suggestions for quick improvements:

i love what Coldparadox said about “visible” communication.  I think that can easily be done by making a ping (similar to daily quests)  when you first log into the game with the most recent update from the Devs that they want all players to see, such as:

“We have been working nonstop to ensure server stability and are terribly sorry if the server you are in crashes.  If you have lost or are missing bundles or electrum then please contact us here so that we can refund you the electrum <link>.  This is the official discord community that has been very helpful to new players <link>”

This would easily show newer players that the devs care about every player and that it should alleviate player frustration if they feel like they will be heard.  

The next thing is the ancestral legacy page.  The 10 limit honestly isn’t the worst thing in the world, but it does cause quite a few problems.  The first is that you cannot leave the legacy page until you have consumed enough legacies to be below the limit. The next is that you cannot leave the legacy page for the night and come back (unless you know that you’ll go right back if you close and reopen the game).  The interface is clunky and takes forever.  And players have to make early choices on which legacies are best, choices that they feel are important because they might be getting rid of valuable legacies. 

I hope new players can enjoy the game as much as I have!  I really want to see the game and community grow!

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Hey there! We're definitely listening - apologies for not getting around to responding quite yet, the influx of new players has made for a lot of new content to work through. We're taking the community response to our economy and MTX systems very seriously and have been discussing next steps internally - most of us are out of the office Sat/Sun so the majority of these decisions will happen in the next day or two. We really want to make sure that the game is as accessible as possible to F2P players and that no one feels like they need to spend Electrum unless they want to. Too much friction definitely isn't a good thing. As soon as this plan is finalized, I'll be sure to share it as a flagged announcement on the forums, Discord, and on Steam so it gets as much visibility as possible.

@Coldparadox your idea about making sure that everything is communicated on Steam is a fantastic one and this post is definitely what alerted me to make sure that we are communicating across all platforms. During Beta we stuck to just the forums and Discord and that worked okay, but now that the game is out there it's important that we get the word out as much as possible. Thank you for bringing this to my / the team's attention and for being a vocal and very helpful member of the community.  

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So what you're all getting at is that we basically have a Warframe problem? As it's the only game that has a similar model(DE publishes) and leads outsiders to the same conclusions about it being p2w although it is clearly not. You would think that this would have passed on by now, but there doesn't seem to be a way to get the point across that if you are just a tad bit patient, you can play for free just fine as you would in Warframe.

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18 minutes ago, RavenSi said:

So what you're all getting at is that we basically have a Warframe problem? As it's the only game that has a similar model(DE publishes) and leads outsiders to the same conclusions about it being p2w although it is clearly not. You would think that this would have passed on by now, but there doesn't seem to be a way to get the point across that if you are just a tad bit patient, you can play for free just fine as you would in Warframe.

The thing there is that games which typically run a F2P model do them VERY BADLY, and even Warframe is very bad at making itself look good. The WF market looks like a pure microtransaction shop, and there's VERY LITTLE evidence that it isn't on a surface level. This business model just has a bad association, and the only way it's going to get better is by being more welcoming to new players.

 

 

@HH_katherine ( and @EveryoneElse) I had a real bad feeling when the announcement came up that the game was going to be hitting open beta. It's not ready. Even for open beta. There's just not enough content to show off and give people a good first impression. But I believe in this game and the developers, so that's why I bought the 3rd tier supporter pack, even though I got the 2nd tier free already. I just have to hope the team is quick on their feet and can keep game updates frequent enough to express how much care the game is being shown now and in future. Nothing makes a rocky launch worse than making it look like it won't get better, even if it will. (I had no idea Loadout was even still running until the news hit that the servers were shut down. That game released with so little variety in it, and the updates were so small and so slow, I had thought it was abandoned.)

Edited by Rehtael

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I had exactly the same feeling. The early access release felt a bit too early. Like it was rushed to be out for the game awards. We had great news and plans for the crafting UI rework for example, but the game launched with the old, wonky system. And now most of the newcomers don't know about these plans, all they see is the current hard to use crafting system. It is nice to have a list in the main menu of the planned features and developement news, but casual gamers usually don't read these. Same with the forum and twitch/youtube presence. These are not relevant for the common folks, they just want jump in the game and have some fun in their free time.

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And if money were an issue, they could have just put out the founder packs FIRST, I'm just saying, but hey, that's behind us now.

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