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Podcast 204 - Mechwarrior Online's Future


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#1 Sean Lang

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 06:15 PM



Audio Version: Soundcloud



#2 The6thMessenger

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 06:17 PM

Yep.

Any TLDR tho?

Edited by The6thMessenger, 06 October 2020 - 06:25 PM.


#3 Monkey Lover

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 08:06 PM

Very sad. Only half way in and basically they haven't done anything and just want to talk about it now. Its too flippen late. Only mwo2 would save this game and that will take years to finish.

#4 Heavy Money

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 08:14 PM

TLDR;
  • They want to revitalize MWO
  • There is no competition between MWO and MW5
  • The core problem is how to make MWO profitable again. In the past, it was based on releasing new mechs and relying on people to buy them. But now there are tons of mechs, and the problem is keeping the game engaging and regrow playerbase. Perhaps find new things for people to spend money on who already own lots of mechs.
  • They understand complaints about merging group and solo que, but say it had to be that way due to current population. They might consider stuff like reducing max premade group size.
  • An engine upgrade isn't really viable as it would take ~2 years and wouldn't necessarily solve the money problem.
  • They seemed short on ideas of what to actually do, but say they will talk to the community and that everything is on the table. They say they have talked about a lot of stuff in their meetings, but it will take time to survey the community.


#5 Heavy Money

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 08:33 PM

My own feedback for the Devs:

I'm a fairly new player but i've been enjoying the game a lot. I haven't been around long enough to have a chip on my shoulder about many issues. I would actually spend more money if things were a bit cheaper. There's a lot of mechs I'd like to own, but at the current prices, it doesn't seem like a great deal. (Ex I'd be more likely to spend $60 if it got me 6 mechs than if it got me 3). Similar with Premium time. It seems pricey, so I'll probably never buy more (i'm still on the Solaris pack time.) But if it were cheaper, then I'd probably want to keep it on all the time.

Of course, I'm also worried about spending money on a game with a deteriorating player base. I get this is a catch-22 for you guys, so I hope that you can revitalize things. Packs like the Solaris pack felt like a good deal to me. I'd buy more stuff at those sorts of prices.

Solaris 1v1 and 2v2 seemed a bit silly to me. I tried them a bit, but there was hardly anyone queing, and it seemed that certain tailored builds just dominated them. The game doesn't feel balanced around fights that small. I would like to see a 4v4 Lance arena mode though, with the current tonnage limits for premade lances in quickplay, or perhaps even forcing each lance to be 1 light, 1 med, 1 heavy, and 1 assault. I also liked the idea of Event Mode matches.

Adding repeatable challenges/achievements that can earn small amounts of MC may work to encourage people to stick around and play more. These should be achievable even if you don't win a match (but not encourage behaviors that causes matches to be lost.) Part of the reason player bases decay is from people getting demoralized from losing to much, especially vs premades. But if they felt like they were accomplishing something even on match losses, that'd keep people from throwing up their hands and quitting. (Of course, this would need to be balanced against the need to get people to buy MC, but sometimes you gotta give a little to get a lot.)

I have a big fancy graphics card, so I haven't really had any performance problems even running everything on max. I did have some crashes for awhile until I switched it to Direct X 9. I still have occasional display driver crashes and recoveries when running certain background programs, but I think that's more the fault of the background programs. But they only take a few seconds for the game to recover from. Optimization and stability are always good, but not high priority from my perspective at least.

Good luck guys. I hope the game stays around for many years to come!

Edited by Heavy Money, 06 October 2020 - 08:39 PM.


#6 Nightbird

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 09:01 PM

View PostHeavy Money, on 06 October 2020 - 08:14 PM, said:

They seemed short on ideas of what to actually do, but say they will talk to the community and that everything is on the table. They say they have talked about a lot of stuff in their meetings, but it will take time to survey the community.


And in surveying the community, arrive at an utterly mediocre solution...

#7 DerailedThread

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 09:23 PM

"We don't have any vision for the game, but tell us some easy stuff we can make to get a few bucks."

#8 MechaBattler

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 09:42 PM

They could try monetizing sound packs. People kinda wanted those. Other than that I don't know what else they could monetize. Unless they can make each new mech special without screwing over old mechs. I don't see them becoming profitable again.

#9 Scout Derek

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 09:45 PM

View PostNightbird, on 06 October 2020 - 09:01 PM, said:


And in surveying the community, arrive at an utterly mediocre solution...


Quote

We wanna hear ur guyz opinion.

"ok, here is spreadsheet"

haha idea poopoo go away now.

"k"

hey u liek solaris!!?!?!?!

"no it bad"

haha too bad u kno nuthin tee hee.



past 3-4 years in a nutshell.

#10 Heavy Money

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 09:46 PM

Well they admitted that Solaris flopped in the podcast.

#11 evilelrond

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 09:53 PM

i dont see much of a point if they dont do a complete rebranding/relaunch of the game with many of the fixes included all at once.

the rebranding to entice people back, the gameplay fixes to keep them. fix the big population killers. volumetric scaling, engine decoupling, skill maze, make brawling great again, and up the gauss/ppc gh from 3 to 4.



or make mwo 2 and have microsoft publish/fund it. i hear theyre hurting for IPs to flesh out their library.

#12 Monkey Lover

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 09:54 PM

View PostHeavy Money, on 06 October 2020 - 09:46 PM, said:

Well they admitted that Solaris flopped in the podcast.


What happens when you push something out and never improved it. The first week it came out people made video after video on what needed changed.

How stupid is it they still have a launch button for every tier.

#13 JediPanther

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 09:58 PM

Meh. Easiest thing they could do in half an hour or smoke break is reduce cockpit items by half permanently. And make those hard-ish won solaris bolt ons have like a 15hp health pool or just no damage. People like "skins" and cosmetics. Just look at every other game and what people pay for that stuff when it is priced reasonable.

Oh gee I got 100 mc from an event if only I could spend it some how after grinding through those four 25mc rewards. 300 mc for one mech bay?! WTF!

#14 Navid A1

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 10:04 PM

CROSS-POST from the other thread:



I noticed Russ brought up the issue of rescale in the podcast and how they did volumetric scaling as community wanted and then according to him then hated it because things got huge.

That on itself is an answer to the question.

Volumetric scaling only refers to the relative size of mechs with regards to eachother. Problem was that PGI took the largest mech in the game as a reference and then enlarged the rest of the roster to match that.

That is what went wrong.
Light mechs were fine were they were at. Heavier mechs were just gigantic compared to them, a volumetric scaling in many people's minds was those heavier mechs getting smaller, not the other way around.

Even on the concept of pure volumetric scaling, there are massive mistakes in there, specially between 20 and 25 ton mechs and 35 ton mechs and above. I do 3D modeling as a hobby and at the same time work as a PhD in engineering, and I can tell you that there is nothing Volumetric between the proportions of a 25ton commando and a 35 ton panther, and that is measurement to the last cubic pixel. Even assuming constant mass and volume for the cockpit, and such... the proportions are so out of whack.

In the podcast, Phil almost brought it up. The major reason larger mechs are so easy to pinpoint is that they are so damn gigantic. And the fact that their sheer size does not allow them to use pieces of cover effectively, even at all. For example, an Atlas should really be 77% of what it is now. Choosing the commando as a reference.

I recently did a mod for Mechwarrior 5 (MW5 Reloaded) which also included a proper volumetric scaling with the commando as a reference (you can give it a look). I can have a pretty good guess why the volumetric scaling was done in the opposite direction. As you shrink the size of the bigger mechs, you need to have faster animations for them (since linear speed should remain the same) and animation team was busy doing something else at the time.


If PGI wants to ever brings re-scale back to the table... many... MANY would love to see it done in the other direction (basing the reference on the smaller end, rather than the already gigantic ones)

Posted Image

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In the podcast Russ also wanted to focus on things that can generate revenue.

First off, let's make one thing clear, MWO is in its 8th year now. So far the monetization model was based on a collect'em all approach with mechs.

It has been a long grind. For most it has been years. But we need to focus on new players that come in.

Right now a new player that is coming in gets to have 4 mechbays only. The usual approach is that the player will go through the cadet phase and often blows the cbills from that on a completely useless chassis with a bad build which struggles to perform in matches.

The ones who do not quit at the moment face a choice... to buy a mechpack or not.
And sadly this is where the current MWO store fails, as it has no option to allow a paying new player to hit the ground running or save on grind time.
The entire mechpack options offer three almost identical mechs for 20$ (btw, three variant model is based on a skill system that is no longer in the game). With $20 you can get major AAA games 8 years after their release, while in MWO it gives you practically NOTHING!
No sane person would spend that money to get something that can be bought in the game after a few days of playing.


In order to revitalize your store, you need to think about how the game dynamics and content releases has changed. I cut the BS and go right to the point.

You want money?

Then consider this:

- Make a starter pack for $20.
- Include 8 good mechs in it (2 good mechs per class, clan and IS.).
- Make sure 2 of those 8 mechs are hero mechs.
- include enough GSP to instantly master 2 mechs
- include a bunch of Cbills to fully deck 2 mechs
- Include at least 10 colors covering a wide spectrum
- include 2 camo patterns for the mechs in the pack.


THAT will sell.

You can even have higher Tier starter packs for $30 and $40 with bigger gains.

In a game that is in its 8th year you should be thinking about how to bring a new account up to a point to look like how a one year account would look like.
All the mech collectors have collected all the mechs and their wallets dried up... think wider... think more open.




Of course... it would be more challenging to find something a MWO veteran player would spend money on.
On that regard, I would refer to myself.
I have almost 500 mechs, most of them are fully mastered. I have about 100k MC, more than 3.5 Billion Cbills. almost all the colors.
And I really find it hard to think of something... perhaps some brainstorming would be needed on this front.

Edited by Navid A1, 08 October 2020 - 01:34 PM.


#15 thievingmagpi

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 10:28 PM

that's a good idea.

could've used it in the past, blitz sales- FP pack sale 1 weekend only! IS FP deck 1 Anni, 2 Warhammers and a Flea or Clan FP deck- 1 mad cat, 2 summoners and a piranha or something plus the drop deck and a pile of cbills and gsp. $20 this weekend only!

Etc.

#16 Heavy Money

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 10:44 PM

View PostNavid A1, on 06 October 2020 - 10:04 PM, said:

You want money?

Then consider this:

- Make a starter pack for $20.
- Include 8 good mechs in it (2 good mechs per class, clan and IS.).
- Make sure 2 of those 8 mechs are hero mechs.
- include enough GSP to instantly master 2 mechs
- include a bunch of Cbills to fully deck 2 mechs
- Include at least 10 colors covering a wide spectrum
- include 2 camo patterns for the mechs in the pack.


THAT will sell.



As a new player, that would have been nice. I got into MWO because friends got me into it, but without them i probably wouldn't have gotten through the early stages. Something like this would have helped.

You could combine packs with fun events too. Do a pack that contains some good builds and some stuff themed around an event, then do a custom event queue for a bit.

Another revenue idea would be to try crowdfunding some new features like maps or game modes, Kickstarter style. Give rewards in the form of cockpits items/bolt ons/titles to funders. I think a lot of people would be happy to kick in $10-$20 for, say, a new map and some cosmetic gear.

EDIT: Another idea: Cosmetic weapon skins.

Edited by Heavy Money, 06 October 2020 - 10:57 PM.


#17 Capt Deadpool

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 10:55 PM

Initiating Kickstarter now to purchase game.license and hire Navid for mechpack & model design and Nightbird for MM/PSR programming.

#18 Kotzi

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 12:33 AM

Now you will hear? Like all those years people made a ton of very good suggestions but i guess cashflow was still too good ey? I would search for those threads but your forumsearch is also another halfass mvp and a hassle to use.

#19 The6thMessenger

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 12:47 AM

Dude they have MW5, they can just build MWO from there. seriously Doom ******* Eternal runs faster. Engine Upgrade is a must.

Buying mechs is basically like FIFA at this point, but they play it shadily. You could just make us buy the game, pay monthly, or have more interesting cosmethics.

Also players need to be engaged better, put bots to fill in for proper difficulty, or for basic PVE with an MWO exclusive storyline.

Edited by The6thMessenger, 07 October 2020 - 01:49 AM.


#20 Heavy Money

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 12:56 AM

View PostThe6thMessenger, on 07 October 2020 - 12:47 AM, said:

Dude they have MW5, they can just build MWO from there. seriously Doom ******* Eternal runs faster. Engine Upgrade is a must.

Buying mechs is basically like FIFA at this point, but they play it shadily. You could just make us buy the game, pay monthly, or have more interesting cosmethics.

Also players need to be engaged better, put bots to fill in for proper difficulty, or for basic PVE with an MWO exclusive storyline.


They talk about why MW5 can't just get multiplayer in the podcast. Its the same reason an engine upgrade isn't easy: All the netcode basically has to be built from scratch. Its not easy to just bolt this stuff on.





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