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Old 09-22-2012, 10:21 AM   #31
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When people stop playing a game like EQ2 they do so for a reason. To get them back you have to address those reasons.

If it is something like too much stuff going on in real life there is little you can do about that.

If it is cost then you have already addressed that issue. I'm sure most former players already know about the Free-to-Play option.

To that point, the worst part for a returning player is logging in and seeing that you can't wear any of your gear. A simple solution for this is to give returning players 15 or so free item unlockers. This will allow them to equip their gear. It's a one time bonus for coming back.

If the reason for leaving was grouping issues I'm not sure that problem is fixed. Being able to quickly find a group is an important part of playing. Dungeon Finder needs to work perfectly every time.

With the above two issues I think you have a majority of the lost players. Tell them they can come back and play for free. They'll get item unlockers for free so they can equip the gear they need to play. And tell them they can jump right in a find a group right away.

That said, now you have to motivate me to refer-a-friend.

MMOs are social games by design. So, getting more people playing should be motivation in itself. However, I don't want to look like a fool.

If I invite a friend I don't want to hear, 'they haven't fixed this bug yet?' or 'good old SoE. Big on promises short on delivery.' In short, fix the bugs. Make it a priority.

If you want to reward me for inviting friends or returning players to come back with some actual item, then I suppose some SC credit system would work.

If a player has been inactive for X months and they return based on my invite, for every Y dollars they spend on either subs or the Marketplace I get Z% in SC.

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Old 09-22-2012, 12:19 PM   #32
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Go study what LOTRO did when it went F2P and copy that.

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Old 09-22-2012, 12:20 PM   #33
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Gravy wrote:

To that point, the worst part for a returning player is logging in and seeing that you can't wear any of your gear. A simple solution for this is to give returning players 15 or so free item unlockers. This will allow them to equip their gear. It's a one time bonus for coming back.

If you want to reward me for inviting friends or returning players to come back with some actual item, then I suppose some SC credit system would work.

If a player has been inactive for X months and they return based on my invite, for every Y dollars they spend on either subs or the Marketplace I get Z% in SC.

Personally i think they should offer former subscribers which aren't playing the game a 14 days of unrestricted play if they login within a specified time period.

as for RAF they aren't likely to give you a cut just because you brought someone back, why would they want profits to be leeched by the playerbase. use RAF if you want people to come back and not because you want to gain something from it.

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Old 09-22-2012, 12:35 PM   #34
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General_Info wrote:

Gravy wrote:

To that point, the worst part for a returning player is logging in and seeing that you can't wear any of your gear. A simple solution for this is to give returning players 15 or so free item unlockers. This will allow them to equip their gear. It's a one time bonus for coming back.

If you want to reward me for inviting friends or returning players to come back with some actual item, then I suppose some SC credit system would work.

If a player has been inactive for X months and they return based on my invite, for every Y dollars they spend on either subs or the Marketplace I get Z% in SC.

Personally i think they should offer former subscribers which aren't playing the game a 14 days of unrestricted play if they login within a specified time period.

as for RAF they aren't likely to give you a cut just because you brought someone back, why would they want profits to be leeched by the playerbase. use RAF if you want people to come back and not because you want to gain something from it.

Please correct me of i am wrong, but if my memory serves, the person who issued a successful RAF would recieve a free month of subscription time, if the RAF target subscribed to the game for a pre-defined period (either 1 or 3 months).So while I dont think a % of all sales over the lifetime of the target is required, some sort of bonus for the RAF issuer is not out of the question, based on history?IMO, a free month is quite the reasonable reward.

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Old 09-22-2012, 12:42 PM   #35
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IMHO the Saryrn Deathcharger was a fantastic reward for refer-a-friend. But today, returning players are faced with several challanges that include exp and many more game aspects. So here are my recommendations as a returning player myself...

1. Saryrn Deathcharger - turn it in to an npc and he gives you an Ethereal Crimson Nightmare Pegasus with 20% experience instead of the 10% you had on the Saryrn Deathcharger. This introduces the returning player (level 85+) to flight in EQ2. Have a window pop up that tells them they now have access to flight and how to use it. Maybe consider lowering the flight level to 75? Start the turn in quest with a /claim item.

2. Some kind of reward for guilds that take returning players. Dont laugh... I had a hell of a time finding a good raid guild so that I could see Skyshrine raid content. Add some incentive. A guild item, guild experience, a CoV ameneity, etc.

3. A special merc quest. This quest comes from a /claim item. Once the merc is active, hail him to start a questline. The merc knows the specific POI's of each expansion since DoF. Going to each of the PoIs gives you an update and shows you content you missed. Finished each expansion quest gives substantial experience and a very nice reward. Perhaps your choice of a free Elite Mercenary.

4. Merge Skyshrine with Destiny of Velious! Include all previous expansions! Buying both of them just to get back in the game and see what I missed almost cost you a customer. I have two accounts and that was an unexpected expense that I didn't want to pay. Perhaps some kind of discount or something would have made he decision easier. It's all about money in todays economy!

5. Station Cash - It's virtual. If it's just another small thing you need to encourage returning players, use it. Revenue is more important right?

6. Email, email, email!!! Tell old players what rewards await their return!

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Old 09-22-2012, 01:08 PM   #36
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I think there are too many options. Membership is all over the place and just plain confusing. Someone needs to make a decision re: what EQ2 is going to be and just commit.

Also I wish the old system of choosing base classes and then specializing (like tradeskills still does) was never taken out. I think it helped new players to learn the world and how the classes work. As for returning players, I just did this and found that there were so many changes I didn't know what to do with my high level chars, so I started a new one just to get the tutorials and learn to play again. It would be nice if there was an obvious place to go to find out what the current rules are, and I don't mean "read 100 pages of Update Notes on the forum"! Something well laid out and easy to follow or a YouTube video even...

IMHO friends will either play or not. Expecting players to go out and browbeat friends into buying product X is slimey, like "friends" who are always trying to sell you vitamins or makeup. Don't go there. I read this as a way to advertise on the cheap. If you want marketing, buy ads on TV like WoW does. Or at least get a few reviews on Todd Kenrick's show. If not, make the game great. The game could sell itself based on the strength of the exerience. Players will tell their friends about EQ2 if they love it enough to do so and their friends will play if the game is great and wonderful. Do that instead.

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Old 09-22-2012, 03:01 PM   #37
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I don't think you can fix refer a friend without fixing some issues with the game that will get them to stay playing,

Change the way ftp works with what vanguard did, allow anyone to play any character to 20 to see if they like it and then allow a purchase.

Free month of gold to returning players

Fix mentoring, getting to 90 in a day of mentoring is ridiculous why group when you can be 90 tomorrow.

I'd like to see a new game+, allow your character to retire back to 1, with his name, equipment, and skills intact (just use the mentor to rebalance his gear till he gets back to 90), double the xp needed to level, give a minor bump in power enough to make it useful but not enough to have to rebalance everything based on it, give them some other bonuses for achieving making it back to max level, titles, houses, mounts etc that don't effect game play.  Now you'll have people regrinding alts back through the game for a little more power it'll take longer for them to do it, some of us will take advantage of playing through dungeons we didn't get to, and hopefully give more group options to new people without having to know someone that'll mentor to play with you.  Plus once you make it back to max level, new game++ tripple the xp requirement for crazy people.

You can then tie some refer a friend bonuses like when your playing with your friend for the first month you don't get an xp penalty for starting it.

Thats my crazy idea for the day, if you use it I require you to buy me a drink in vegas as compensation.

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Old 09-22-2012, 04:32 PM   #38
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1.) Get rid of the marketplace, put new stuff directly into the game weekly rather than on the smedbucks market. 

2.) Fix the known bugs, improve framerates, and yeah nothing "NEW" needs to be done, just fix what's already here and this will by far be the best game out there. 

3.) Don't take it out on Smokejumper yeah he is the name behind the changes however he is not the drive, the beancouters are up his backside like white on rice I am sure, I think he honestly does have a passion for the game but is trying everything he knows to meet the demands of the higher ups and make both the players and the boss as happy as can be. I do not envy him or his job.

4.) In short, you want people to return then give those of us that are left something to boast about rather than complain about.

5.) I do a lot of complianing that I pay my sub every month and if I want the cool looking mounts or gear or furniture or or or then I gotta pay extra. and guess what? My friends don't play because of my complaining.

6.) Now if instead I went to my friends and said oh guess what new items got added to the game today? Check out this mount that is a new quest today, or look at this Item unattuner that the gnomes mailed to me today, or yeah, you get the idea, turn around the word of mouth with what is already here and you will see players return.

Oh yeah a a fuel suppy depot for our homes would help too SMILEY

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Old 09-22-2012, 05:40 PM   #39
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Tons of replies already, so will (try to) keep this simple for devs.  

Just some quick background: I played EQ for 6 years and EQ2 for 3 years, and then other MMO's in between (10 years total).  I raided hardcore in a Worldwide top 10 guild for about 2 years in EQ1, then quit.  I returned to EQ2 about 2 months ago and started fresh on a Berserker (new server, etc).  

Suggestion/Observation #1: Levels come so quickly now that you pretty much outgrow any gear within a day or two.  It would be very helpful for new players if it were possible to get gear that scaled as you level, similiar to how Heirloom gear works in WoW.  Except instead of that only being for new players with alts, make it for new or returning players (as semi-rare worlddrops or crafted, not freely given to them).  Make this gear scale up to the previous expansions max lvl.  

Suggestion/Observation #2: The grind from 1-60 is fine, and pretty quick, but once you hit 60 things slow down tremendously.  On my berserker I could just grind dungeons from 1-60 (not a fan of questing), but then 60-90 that was pretty much unrealistic, so I was forced to quest.  One of the big reasons it was tough to grind at 60+ was that you got less xp per kill AND the mobs got much harder than they were pre 60.  This was very disappointing to me, because I love to AE pull/slaughter mobs, but that became completely impractacle to do.  You want to keep a new or returning player's leveling options open, not restrict them in how they can play.  

Suggestion/Observation #3: Mentoring is not working as it was originally meant to.  I love the whole idea behind mentoring, I get to group with friends no matter what lvl they are and help them out.  The issue is that my berserker now 1 shots every mob when I am mentored, I'm talking from newbie zones to Sebilis I can just do 1 AE and 8 mobs are dead.  This is not fun, sure it's great for PLing but it does not allow my friend to be able to play.  It simply lets him sit back and watch me own mobs, and that only makes the leveling process even worse for him when I am not around.  Once you get a taste of that kind of leveling you want it all the time.

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Old 09-22-2012, 06:10 PM   #40
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One free race package and class package unlock.

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Old 09-22-2012, 06:27 PM   #41
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Erithe wrote:

Go study what LOTRO did when it went F2P and copy that.

I thoroughly enjoyed the Turbine points system and still think it is one of the best free to play models on the current MMO market.

The ability to pay for things on their "marketplace" by earning turbine points by playing the game?  Just awesome.  Play the game to pay for the game....win.

*Edit* It also made achievements much more sought after from me since completing them rewarded you with turbine points.

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Old 09-22-2012, 08:52 PM   #42
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I just recently returned. I can tell you one thing that almost stopped me from doing so: Having to buy both DoV AND AoD to get all previous content. Add that with a gold membership and that's a big chunk of money just to start playing again.

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Old 09-22-2012, 09:12 PM   #43
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J7critter wrote:

I just recently returned. I can tell you one thing that almost stopped me from doing so: Having to buy both DoV AND AoD to get all previous content. Add that with a gold membership and that's a big chunk of money just to start playing again.

Between all of that it would cost about 50-70 dollars and realistically you don't "need" AoD.  If 50-70 dollars is a lot of money to someone then I don't know lol.  Not to mention another game, that won't be named, is a ton more than that to start.

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Old 09-22-2012, 09:50 PM   #44
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I like the idea of the ykesan bear mount that lvled with you, i wish it had stats that grew with you also as you leveled, I would still be using that mount for sure if it did.  I like the idea of charm/weapon item that grows with you as you lvl, and the end lvl item should be something great that with each expac you clear, the item gets better so that in the end once youve raided all the zones and won, the item is very powerful and everyone will equip it. And you have to raid all the zones and content to get credit.  It should start as a quest that takes you from lvl 1 until 95, with restrictions along the way.  It should be a Epic quest that you start upon creating your character with side quests along the way.  This can include dungeons and instance, it would force people back to those places. For all the veterans, they will have to mentor down and follow a quest line to get the starting item and still do the quest to get the end item.

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Old 09-22-2012, 09:53 PM   #45
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I brought back several people.  They all found it unplayable instantly due to various F2P restrictions, the primary one being that they were naked and could not equip any of their gear which was itself completely outdated and not worthy of spending money to attune.  I then began telling people NOT to come back unless they buy a subscription first, which basically isn't going to happen if you have this f2p carrot that nobody can use just to log in and try the game.

Anything that was equipped before F2P became an option must remain equipped.  DO NOT offer them a free reattune of all their items.  DO NOT require attuners for completely outdated junk that happens to have the wrong tag.  Perhaps rethink f2p restrictions below level 90, in general, or give a 1 week grace period free of any restrictions (one time).

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Old 09-22-2012, 10:00 PM   #46
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salty21db wrote:

J7critter wrote:

I just recently returned. I can tell you one thing that almost stopped me from doing so: Having to buy both DoV AND AoD to get all previous content. Add that with a gold membership and that's a big chunk of money just to start playing again.

Between all of that it would cost about 50-70 dollars and realistically you don't "need" AoD.  If 50-70 dollars is a lot of money to someone then I don't know lol.  Not to mention another game, that won't be named, is a ton more than that to start.

I know I didn't need to buy all that, and I can personally afford it. But as a returning player who has put a lot of time and money into this game already, $65 just to get back in with all the content and no restrictions, I can see where that might turn some people off. Including the base game and all xpacs with AoD would be fair, imo.

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Old 09-22-2012, 10:18 PM   #47
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Finora@Everfrost wrote:

One common complaint I hear from people just returning to the game as free to play is about being naked & unable to requip their gear.

While I understand personally the reasoning behind locking items by subscription rank, for former subscribers it would be nice if the items they are already wearing were either unlocked for them or if all silver level memberships (which would include all the EQ2 players from the start) were given a "welcome back" package with a few unlockers in it to allow them to immediately get back into the game without having to get new gear made or buy a bunch of unlockers right off the bat.

This next suggestion isn't directly related to returning players, but any one coming in on a free level membership. I absolutely love how the class and race restrictions were handled with Vanguard F2P. All races and all classes are availble to play up to level 20, then you either have to pay to unlock the race/class or you have to stay level 20 forever. You could even make it a lower level (say 10) here. But I believe that giving people the broad choice right up front and giving them a chance to fall in love with a character before having to drop money on the race in particular would be good.

THIS. ^

I can't tell you how many times some old returning player would login to EQ2 and then requit immeadiately because all their gear had been stripped off of them or their class/race said LOCKED on it and they were not able to play. These were people who once paid money for the EQ2 box and subbed for a while. The least you could do for them is unlock all their existing gear and the class/races so they have something to come back to. Maybe give them free gold membership for a month if they have been gone for more than one year.

As for the low level stuff it would be nice to play the original class creation system again with the islands of refuge. A little refresher for those that don't remember it:

Level 1 create your race and chose an archtype. (Fighter, Healer, Scout, Mage) Free step

Level 10 pick a generic class after completing a questline (example: If fighter pick Warrior, Crusader, or Brawler) Silver step

Level 20 pick a sub class after completing another quest (example: If Warrior pick Guardian or Berserker) Gold step

This system would not be mutually exclusive to the current system. The current system would stay for those who like it. This would just be added in as another option for all players who want to see the classic EQ2 experiance again. A lot of what keeps people returning to and playing Eq2 is nostalgia. Please consider this carefully and give people more options.

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Old 09-22-2012, 10:57 PM   #48
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*What would float your boat if you are, or were, a returning player at some point? Creative suggestions?I've had this (possibly over-complicated) idea for a while that would increase low-level content use and grouping for a while. There's this thing called Magic Find in Diablo, and I was thinking 2 things.

1) Grouping should have something like magic find, a % of increased drop rate per member (not to mention a bonus for xp rather than a subtraction) Then people would be begging to get more people in the group. Not every one can 6 box. >.> Hopefully that would keep the solo zone wipers to a minimum. Mercenaries wouldn't count.

2) Scribing master scrolls from each tier would add a bonus to the spell. Maybe like, .1% or .1 potency per tier scribed... nothing over powering, but noticeable. Gotta Catch'em all to get maxed abilities. =P

Those combined would hopefully bring a lot more people into low level areas to group with new players. I see low level people asking for power leveling or complaining about no one being available to group alllllll dayyyyy looooong. So grouping needs to be encouraged by being rewarded instead of increasing the difficulty to the point where people can't solo. There are a lot of people that would leave the game if they couldn't have their "me" time. Don't want to lose any one, just want to bring in more people. ^_^

The frustration and embarrassment of realizing you're naked in public...

I agree that a set of unlockers would be an excellent idea. Mail would be the best option IMHO. Send a letter to each new or returning player explaining how the unlockers work and where to get them, and with an attached crate with one full set of unlockers.Creating a currency cap unlocker would be good too, or raising the amount of plat they can carry. Not unlimited, but enough to buy a stack of food and drink, ammo, and some rares for gear/spells. Right now at top tier they can hold enough to maybe MAYBE buy one rare (well, some rares are cheap now, like tungsten, so maybe 2 or 3) with capped plat holding on a toon.. if the rares are at a decent price that day... and it's not osmium they're after. .. or reptile hide. (On CB server any way... they're averaging out at 40 or 50 plat last time I looked. XD)

*And do you have ideas that would make you excited to not just refer a friend, but play with them too?

I really loved the unique horses we could get through the RAF program. You could start a RAF shop. XD One point per friend that upgrades to silver, 2 for each one that goes gold, something like that. Have a choice of the land mounts, some flying mounts, maybe a box of 50 goblin tickets... stuff like that.

Oh! how about wings you can attach to any mount (like the flying wings for characters) only attainable through getting friends to play or return (gold subs)? Then all the old land mounts and gliding mounts would be viable as lvl 85+ mounts again! Make 3 colors or more (white, black, and brown/gold at least).

The grouping stuff i mentioned erlier would not only make me want to group with my friend, but probably have me raceing to group with them before they got a blind invite from another group!

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Old 09-22-2012, 11:07 PM   #49
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If an account has been inactive for more than 2 years, upon return, the gear they were wearing should remain on them. Any new gear should require unlockers, unless they have already become a gold subscriber.Why 2 years? Random number pulled from my behind? Absolutely not.The two year mark, will mean a returning player is wearing quite outdated gear, and with such in mind, they are not stripped naked. Looking at the expansion release date timeline, anyone with gear 2+ years older, is effectively wearing stuff they will want to replace very quickly. Letting them keep the outdated stuff they had on, to help bait them into staying and playing a while, would be a tactical move.Players who quit less than 2 years ago? That is where the gear they had equipped, can start to become more relevant/functional in current level gameplay, for example, the gear I had 1 year ago could still work quite well in a lot of current content. With such, I feel it would only be fair given a short absence, and gear relevance, that I would have to pay for unlockers.So while I understand getting people back into the game is a goal, be it after 1 month absence or 3 year absence, I do not want to see a system implemented that encourages people to take "time off" (go play other games), then when they decide to go back to EQ2 they can play free for quite a while. I believe the two year mark nails it on many angles.

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Old 09-23-2012, 02:53 AM   #50
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Avirodar@Oasis wrote:

If an account has been inactive for more than 2 years, upon return, the gear they were wearing should remain on them. Any new gear should require unlockers, unless they have already become a gold subscriber.Why 2 years? Random number pulled from my behind? Absolutely not.The two year mark, will mean a returning player is wearing quite outdated gear, and with such in mind, they are not stripped naked. Looking at the expansion release date timeline, anyone with gear 2+ years older, is effectively wearing stuff they will want to replace very quickly. Letting them keep the outdated stuff they had on, to help bait them into staying and playing a while, would be a tactical move.Players who quit less than 2 years ago? That is where the gear they had equipped, can start to become more relevant/functional in current level gameplay, for example, the gear I had 1 year ago could still work quite well in a lot of current content. With such, I feel it would only be fair given a short absence, and gear relevance, that I would have to pay for unlockers.So while I understand getting people back into the game is a goal, be it after 1 month absence or 3 year absence, I do not want to see a system implemented that encourages people to take "time off" (go play other games), then when they decide to go back to EQ2 they can play free for quite a while. I believe the two year mark nails it on many angles.

You must not be doing current content if you think that. In the last 6 months I have had to mute two full sets of gear. Anything older that Sky Shrine stuff pretty much trash.

The thing about people leaving Eq2 is many of them left in the last 6 months to a year ago. The question is do you want them to come back sooner and not wait another year when SoE finally throws them a bone. I remember back in RoK when they did the living legacies promotion. That brought so many people back to the game and it was far more generous than anything proposed here. In living legacies anyone who had canceled an account even if it was just one month before got the to play FREE for most of the summer in 2008. If they are really going to be serious about bringing people back they can't be stingy. It has to be a real incentive and not a joke like you are proposing.

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Old 09-23-2012, 06:05 AM   #51
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Novusod wrote:

You must not be doing current content if you think that. In the last 6 months I have had to mute two full sets of gear. Anything older that Sky Shrine stuff pretty much trash.

The thing about people leaving Eq2 is many of them left in the last 6 months to a year ago. The question is do you want them to come back sooner and not wait another year when SoE finally throws them a bone. I remember back in RoK when they did the living legacies promotion. That brought so many people back to the game and it was far more generous than anything proposed here. In living legacies anyone who had canceled an account even if it was just one month before got the to play FREE for most of the summer in 2008. If they are really going to be serious about bringing people back they can't be stingy. It has to be a real incentive and not a joke like you are proposing.

Currently in PoW. So you're way off mark. You need to think beyond filling your current role in your current raid guild. Current content means a lot more than end game raid mobs, Solo and Heroic content count too. If the time frame was reduced to 1 year, HM raid gear from DoVpt1 will get a player a long way, even against current SS heroic content. Just because you have upgraded your items a few times (as have I) does not change this.Your assumption of when "many people left" is an opinion, based on what exactly? What is many, and in comparison to what? I am curious as to what motivated you to make such a statement. I will explain why I believe you are wrong to focus on such a limited window, being the people who quit recently.The population of EQ2 was largest, when the game was young. New and shiney brings the crowds in MMOs, and EQ2 was a major release by a large gaming company. There was a lot of servers, and they were packed, people everywhere. But the first feature expansion, DoF, was not overly popular. EQ2 also lost the allure of being something new. I would not be suprised if the early period (original expansion and DoF) accounted for more lost subscriptions, than every expansion (combined) that followed. And in such I am talking real accounts, not throwaway RAF accounts or boxed accounts. However, KoS and EoF were considered solid expansions, I know a some people who quit in DoF, who returned for the said content. RoK was where a stagger started, namely the stat-flation-explosion.TSO is where the rate of turnover in raid guilds seemed to escalate. Why? Not entirely sure, perhaps it was the direction toward raid content which required FPS-orientated reflexes, or hypertuned (broken) mobs? Both fine on my count (as a former fanatic for FPS games), but I also have the empathy to recognise that not everyone plays an MMO, because they want intensely unforgiving (raid-wipe conditions) effects on every twist and turn.With reasons explained, I will state that I believe far more people quit during (COMBINED) Original+DoF+KoS+EoF+RoK+TSO+SF, than the number of people who quit during the DoV (DoV1+Drunder+SS) era. The idea I presented would allow the majority of people who no longer play EQ2, to log in and their toon will not be stripped naked. And you consider it a joke? It resolves a common complaint voiced by returning players (who didn't quit last week).Your idea about repeating the living legacy promo is a good short-term idea, but the way you arrogantly dismiss other ideas, that would function effectively over an extended period, is poor form. For people who quit in the last 6 months, few (if any) of the problems that caused them to quit, would have been resolved. At least for older former players, there is a lot more of them, and EQ2 has much better chances of feeling fresh again.

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Old 09-23-2012, 10:01 AM   #52
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Holly

The only thing that would make me consider returning, as a European player, would be to be given the choice to stay with SOE, rather being forced out of the game, because I will not sign up to that outrageous PSS deal.

I know SOE are unable or unwilling to do this, so I guess this where we part company.

/SAD

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Old 09-23-2012, 01:03 PM   #53
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Windstalker wrote:

Howdy Norrathians!

The team has been brainstorming ideas that would ease the re-entry back into the game and soften the learning curve for returning players as well as creative options for a Refer-a-Friend program.

  • What would float your boat if you are, or were, a returning player at some point? Creative suggestions?
  • And do you have ideas that would make you excited to not just refer a friend, but play with them too? 

Post your thoughts and ideas here. Answer one or both if you like!

Right now, the speed at which one can get from 1-20 is .. well ... fast enough I guess, so people can check out each class without too much difficulty in a few days.  Don't change that.

But honestly, more options.  More options in cities to start in, more options in character creation (especially in SOGA models) - most probably don't care about this, but it is one complaint many people seem to have when a new game comes out or when they return to one . . . people like the ability to make a character who they want them to be (as much as possible).

Revamping of OLD CONTENT.  I'm not asking to drop a bunch of new stuff in there, I understand how everyone now is looking forward, but if you want to bring returning people back, make it fresh.  Spruce up old dungeons so people group again, or add a few more quests.  And I'm not just saying put a fresh coat of paint on it like DLW had.  It was still the old DLW.

Refer a friend I'm not sure.  Where I live is not a community that would play EQ2.  But if I did go for it, I think there would need more incentive for the friend to come and play as anything I would get would be based on them enjoying it and buying a sub.  Having the quest to get to 20 in under so many days is a start, but I think for people the reward would need to be something more tangible, what I don't know (for the friend, not for me the one referring them).

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Old 09-23-2012, 02:27 PM   #54
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Just to make clear this is just from my point-of-view, it might be that no one sees it the same way as me, but I think the future lies in Free-To-Play and here I have some thoughts on how I would find EverQuest II's FTP more fun.The way FTP works now it's near impossible, atleast for me, to play on a silver account. The coin limit is much too low and since every piece of high-level gear seems to be either legendary or fabled, I'd have to buy unlockers for every tiny stat increase, or just stick with the lesser gear. This means that getting better gear isn't as much fun, as you have to think "Hmm.. do I want to spend real life cash on an extra 0.1 Potency?" and then I might not get gear upgrades until I get something vastly superior to my current gear.In my opinion FTP would be much better if it all functioned like the classes and races. If you had to buy an upgrade to your account, and then you kept that upgrade forever. This would mean that you could buy the ability to wear legendary, fabled and mythical gear. You should also be able to buy a coin limit unlocker. Basicly you should be able to buy, as permanent unlocks, the same features that you get as a subscriber.In order to get new players and/or friend referrals would be to focus a bit on the low-level zones. The way to get me, and hopefully others, to do the low-level zones would be if there were more quest rewards that included non-combat items like illusions, appearance armor, furniture or even a small amount of Station Cash for finishing achievements. I realize that endgame should probably be a higher priority than low-level areas, but new players need to have fun in the low-level zones, in order for them to want to keep playing until they reach endgame.Making the lower level zones more attractive to do would also mean that players would make more alts, they would then have to buy more character slots, which means increased revenue. Just a note on what I said about getting Station Cash from finishing achievements: Players might also decide to keep making alts and do achievements, in order to farm some Station Cash, this would insure that new players would be able to find more low-level players to group with. I also think you should consider bringing Refer-A-Friend back. This was the way that many of my friends got started in the game. And the increased XP and teleport made me and my friends get into boxing, which meant that, suddently, we payed for multiple accounts.A graphics overhaul has already been mentioned in this thread and I'd just like to say that I think this is a great idea. As it is now the game performs very poorly when you compare it to the visuals the game has.Most of these ideas I've taken from games like Dungeons & Dragons and Lords of the Rings online, games which I think have a great Free-To-Play model. I've probably spent more cash on those games, unlocking features on my account, than I would from subscriptions, but being free from a subscription feels great to me.

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Old 09-23-2012, 03:46 PM   #55
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Couple thoughts:Current players have seen/done it all - to encourage a friend to play, if we do,  the usual way to help them get into the game is to 'follow me, talk to him, this sword is better, kill 4 of those, etc'. We naturally take the role of tour guide, trying to make things easier for them - but without realizing it we are denying them the feeling of 'ownership' of their toon, their gear.  They didn't earn it, so things are not meaning as much to them and unlikely to form that connection to the game we all know and love.At the same time, the returning player doesn't want to be seen as the 90 pound weakling - it's not fun knowing someone beside you can take out a mob, in two hits,that you need to work up a sweat to kill. It's not fun following someone through a zone that you have never set foot in before. It's really not fun, before the chest is popped, you hear 'okay, this guy drops a decent breastplate'.  It's like someone telling you how the movie ends.Unless the returning player has made a personal committment to stay with EQ2 they are going to wander back to whatever game they came from or thought about going to. People like to feel comfortable and confident with what they are doing - if they can't get that with their EQ2 toon they aren't staying. You probably know all that!My 2 copper:  plan a Reunion - guild reunion, server reunion, whatever.  Focus it on x period of time, and where, like the mushroom rings or Night of the Dead, it only happens once a year.  New instances, scaling - like the blast from the past event that was done with EQ1 anniversary a couple years back.  Either brand new content or something that both haven't seen in a while (or a twist of something old).  IMO: it's the only way to put us both on the same 'playing field' at the same time.Like a class reunion - returning players could come back to at a specific time to see old faces, exchange 'remember when' stories, relive the days of EQ2 past. With so many games vying for attention you'll need to give them something in a short period of time that they can relate to, that will make an impression. (besides all us current player's great company!)  Once that connection to the game is made the good that EQ2 is will take over. 

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Old 09-23-2012, 05:45 PM   #56
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Skeez1e wrote:

At the same time, the returning player doesn't want to be seen as the 90 pound weakling - it's not fun knowing someone beside you can take out a mob, in two hits,that you need to work up a sweat to kill. It's not fun following someone through a zone that you have never set foot in before. It's really not fun, before the chest is popped, you hear 'okay, this guy drops a decent breastplate'.  It's like someone telling you how the movie ends.

I still believe we need two methods of mentoring. The first method would be like it is now. Leave it as is.The second method (requiring an additional selection/form of mentoring), would have more practical use when playing with people who are new to the game (instead of alt #15). In such cases, I do not want them to feel like a 90 pound weakling. I want them to feel like a genuine, contributing group member, where their actions/mistakes matter..I am not saying remove mentoring as it is now. I just want an extra option, allowing me to mentor down to a comparable character strength/stats of the target. This way, I can make it so that new people will not feel like a ragdoll being dragged around. If my target gets gear/upgrades, it would affect me too.

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Old 09-23-2012, 06:24 PM   #57
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Avirodar@Oasis wrote:

Skeez1e wrote:

At the same time, the returning player doesn't want to be seen as the 90 pound weakling - it's not fun knowing someone beside you can take out a mob, in two hits,that you need to work up a sweat to kill. It's not fun following someone through a zone that you have never set foot in before. It's really not fun, before the chest is popped, you hear 'okay, this guy drops a decent breastplate'.  It's like someone telling you how the movie ends.

I still believe we need two methods of mentoring. The first method would be like it is now. Leave it as is.The second method (requiring an additional selection/form of mentoring), would have more practical use when playing with people who are new to the game (instead of alt #15). In such cases, I do not want them to feel like a 90 pound weakling. I want them to feel like a genuine, contributing group member, where their actions/mistakes matter..I am not saying remove mentoring as it is now. I just want an extra option, allowing me to mentor down to a comparable character strength/stats of the target. This way, I can make it so that new people will not feel like a ragdoll being dragged around. If my target gets gear/upgrades, it would affect me too.

I would like to point out that I also think this is a very good idea. Currrently with mentoring a cap level character in high end raid gear can quite literally be as strong as a red con x4 named mob while a freshly made non twinked new player might only compare to a single up white con mob. The point is the power difference is mind blowing, and what makes this game fun to people is often playing with others contributing to the whole as a group, not looting the rubble behind a tornado.

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Old 09-23-2012, 07:48 PM   #58
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I have brought a couple of new players into the game, and it has not gone all that well because there is an urgency about it that doesn't allow the experience of playing to be enjoyed as it should.  Even though I've chosen to play level appropriate alts, usually with a small mentoring gap, it still hasn't been at all comparable to starting a new campaign in a table top RPG.  The sense of urgency comes from both sides.  The new player wants to play with their veteran friend's main, which they will invariably hear stories about.  Meanwhile, the veteran player is bored with redoing the same old content yet once again.  This is probably why many opt for the powerleveling solution, which is not a good experience for anyone.

There is no good solution within the ridiculous exponential power progression system that is EQ2 and most all RPGs, online or otherwise.  However, short of revamping the system to compress the power differential between a max character and a starting character, there are some ways to make things better.  None of them are easy though.  The first solution I can think of is to periodically add a full set of new content that will take players from the beginning to near cap.  This is realistically not going to happen, though it would be great to have happen.  The second solution is to use a server structure that isolates the new player, and the veteran's alt, from the veteran's main character(s).

My suggestion is possibly a bit radical, but it is one I've mentioned before.  Instead of having a progression server, have server progression.  Introduce a series of servers with level caps on them.  For example, there could be a 1-50 server, a 51-80 server and then all of the regular servers.  Ideally, characters start on the 1-50 server and are moved to the 51-80 server and then to a regular server.  This would create a lot of character transfers, which would have to be free to gold and maybe 500SC for silver/bronze, but it would isolate the higher level game from the lower level game.  None of the mechanics would have to be changed, though access to zones might be restricted on the restricted level servers.  Transfers to the restricted level servers would have to be without coin and a no-trade/no-value tag added to everything in a character's possession to avoid economic pollution.  However, this might be the best way to make the low level game viable, which is the essence of the problem with returning players and new players.

To ensure that veterans can play with their new/returning friends, it might be reasonable to have a separate pool of character slots for the restricted level servers.  Alternatively, a one time gift of a character slot to all gold accounts.  The idea is to just make sure people can come in and play on the new servers, which will concentrate all of the low level characters together and isolate them from end game to maximize the experience.

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Old 09-23-2012, 08:43 PM   #59
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Q) What would float your boat if you are, or were, a returning player at some point? Creative suggestions?

To answer this I would look at another MMO I used to play, I have friends still playing that but I don't really anymore.  What would get me playing that again, for that game it would be bring back challenging non-raid content along with a way to play to progress throughout the expansion without all the resets and a bit more serious world....   but that game has diffferent problems from EQ2.

So for EQ2 something big and new with it that fixes something I had problems with before, for EQ2 that would be

  • better graphics that run smoothly
  • a reitemisation of the game/changed mechanics that resets the gameplay to be less frantic. 
  • Remodelling of the characters to look better (for non-Froglok players at least SMILEY ), although I think this would have to be with some sort of speed increase too.

  • A big new gameplay feature that isn't obvious but when I hear of it it sounds so cool I just want to play.

As the person left EQ2 for a good reason, so they need something to change to give them a good reason to come back.

Q) And do you have ideas that would make you excited to not just refer a friend, but play with them too?

To play with a friend doing lower level content would be fun, but I would need to see challenging lower level content otherwise there is just no reason (or fun) in grouping up.  Even if it is challenge/original mode of the dungeons I would need to have something worth playing, then let it reward the player with more XP etc for the harder challenge (but it has to offer the possibility of failure to be exciting).

Maybe flag the account as a returnee and allow them to up the difficulty when they want but reward them for it, to be honest though I think this should be always available in the lower levels, right now though especially with the way mentoring works there isn't a difficulty level in the non-level cap content.

Its a lot of work, but maybe cutting the level cap back to 50 and relevelling higher level content to give people a broader range of content to level across would be cool, I dont think 90+ levels is a plus point in gameplay and combined with the low difficulty of lower level content it does put a barrier up between new players and the current player base.

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Old 09-23-2012, 09:58 PM   #60
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for returning players only

1. make the toons they had created when they quit unlocked so they can play them.

2. give them a pack of unlockers so they can unlock and equip the gear they were using whent hey left.

the biggest issue for returning players is having to pay to equip the gear they had when they stopped playing , so without paying they never get a chance to see if the game is worth even returing too. a free pack of unlockers would fix that problem.

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