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Podcast 204 - Mechwarrior Online's Future


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#61 Dedbob

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 09:24 PM

I know I might get obliterated in response to this. but here is my opinion as someone who has played since MW1 and as a founder for MWO.

One of the things they need to do is add more of the game style that is currently popular to bring in new players. They community is old and toxic. WE need to change this.

I have had this discussion with friends and family and they usually get upset because it breaks the lore and "isn't how the books were", but at this point we need revitalization and new players or it will die with or without the lore.

current big trending game styles for shooters are battle royale (PUBG, Warzone, Fortnight, Apex. Valorant).

Some ideas I had about this were:

1. 12 man free for all, just have everyone going at it, and allow respawns with a set timer of 15 minutes (similar to how the Pods are)
2. Multi-team deathmatch, 12 teams of 2 or 6 teams of 4, etc
3. Battle Royale, only way I can really see this work is if you either just drop as a pilot or basic mech frame and have to find a mech/parts to upgrade with or to be an "Elemental" (really in name only) and pick up small personal arms and play it like a normal battle royale then
4. Make objective based matches where the objectives are actually important....

Other things that can be done:

1. Give the Faction Play that was promised and dreamed of.
2. Rebalance the matchmaker so you dont have T5 dropping with the top 1% (if AI cant be done, just do 6v6 or 4v4, etc...)
3. Take creativity from the community. By this I mean release a production kit and let players create content and submit it. So many games have benefitted from mods and player made content. Can even be restricted to contest entries or even purely to map designs. PGI already does something like this every year when they create their own 'Mech to add to the universe. This will introduce new content that can then be monitized.

Again, I write this from an observer standpoint and dont know what would be needed to actually do any of it, I assume and engine upgrade, but I do know from a business and marketing standpoint that if you want customers, then you need to go with want is popular or find something to give them that they didnt know they needed.

Edited by Dedbob, 17 October 2020 - 12:39 PM.


#62 General Solo

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 09:27 PM

View PostLordNothing, on 07 October 2020 - 01:33 PM, said:


it wasnt the solaris i wanted. i wanted what mw4/mwll had. instead we got dueling. also team dueling which practically nobody did because forming groups of 2 is hard, there should have been a very minimalistic mm for that, not really an mm, just stick 2 randoms together so they can play 2v2. even then not much appeal. even the boltons were meh.


I would of tried Solaris but not with bad hitreg
and why buy anything
when you got bad hitreg

They should polish what they got, invisible walls, hitreg etc
Get an in house guy with cry engine exp if you in it for another 5 years, I dunno a programming intern wishing to make their mark.

#63 Monkey Lover

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 09:49 PM

View PostOZHomerOZ, on 07 October 2020 - 09:27 PM, said:


I would of tried Solaris but not with bad hitreg
and why buy anything
when you got bad hitreg

They should polish what they groot, invisible walls, hitreg etc
Get an in house guy with cry engine exp if you in it for another 5 years, I dunno a programming intern wishing to make their mark.


They needed to fix the issues when it came out its to late now. Now the pop is so low you end up fighting new players or the top 0.001% .
That's if you can find a match with all the stupid lanch buckets.

I don't even think they play the game. How many games put you on a loading screen with nothing to do for 10minutes? Any game from last 15 years would put you into a waiting room to play around in.




#64 Thorn Hallis

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 10:12 PM

Well, one thing they actually could do in terms of matchmaking is to take a look at World of Warplanes and fill up the remaining slots with AI from MW5 (instead of opening the valves). Dunno how hard/time consuming it would be to "port" the AI to MWO though, but it would fasten the matchmaking a lot.

(Yes, I know the AI is dumb as f***)

Edited by Thorn Hallis, 07 October 2020 - 10:14 PM.


#65 Monkey Lover

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 10:41 PM

View PostThorn Hallis, on 07 October 2020 - 10:12 PM, said:

Well, one thing they actually could do in terms of matchmaking is to take a look at World of Warplanes and fill up the remaining slots with AI from MW5 (instead of opening the valves). Dunno how hard/time consuming it would be to "port" the AI to MWO though, but it would fasten the matchmaking a lot.

(Yes, I know the AI is dumb as f***)


I agree a lot of people asked for this when we were doing ghost drops during cw. Pgi told us they couldn't do AI.

Another reason why unreal is really the only option I see where they can use ai.

Edited by Monkey Lover, 07 October 2020 - 10:41 PM.


#66 GuardDogg

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 10:51 PM

View PostMonkey Lover, on 07 October 2020 - 10:41 PM, said:

I agree a lot of people asked for this when we were doing ghost drops during cw. Pgi told us they couldn't do AI.

Another reason why unreal is really the only option I see where they can use ai.


They had one AI, and players disliked it. Was called Escort. I found escort the best, because players were every where, trying to pull, push enemy players.

Also, just curious. Does PGI know about Unreal engine 5? Would it be possible to use what they are planning? Or is Unreal engine 5 only for consoles?

Also, need to get players to do tactical, and stop with nascar, or going center to battle it out. Their is other fun places on maps other than center and only theta. Make these game types worth what they are called. All game types are skirmish. DFA is missed a lot. I do DFA for the heck of it, but does no damage.

What else can be a sell, is merchandise, cups, t-shirts, hats...etc. I wouldn't mind having a cup of coffee with a mechwarrior logo (your favorite mech) on it. I am a huge Mechwarrior/Battletech fan. This can be another Mechwarrior/Battletech asset in my life. :-)

Edited by GuardDogg, 07 October 2020 - 11:08 PM.


#67 LordNothing

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 11:19 PM

View PostMonkey Lover, on 07 October 2020 - 09:49 PM, said:

They needed to fix the issues when it came out its to late now. Now the pop is so low you end up fighting new players or the top 0.001% .
That's if you can find a match with all the stupid lanch buckets.

I don't even think they play the game. How many games put you on a loading screen with nothing to do for 10minutes? Any game from last 15 years would put you into a waiting room to play around in.


**** just being able to tweak your deck or your builds while you wait would be great. like i was using one of my mad cats in fp and realized that the build was sub optimal. but i was getting games and i didnt want to get out of lockstep with the teams currently playing, so i ran sub-optimal builds rather than risk loosing my drop rate to fix it.

Edited by LordNothing, 07 October 2020 - 11:19 PM.


#68 Hellraiser2k1

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Posted 08 October 2020 - 04:28 AM

Hi,

Could you patch in some more fps plz? hard to hit stuff with 23 fps and the lags during combat especially in fast mechs. ok it's probably my computer from 2011 but..

---

the not enough players problem:

Make the game appealing for new players, so they do not lose interest:
-> incentive to continue playing
-> give them free stuff so they have something to start with
-> reward system: give more stuff to those new players who stay engaged.
-> give them extra buffs so they have a head start. they can turn that off if they dont want it. it will only be available for x days / weeks.
-> game should run smoothly for them with current hardware.
-> spectator mode to learn while watching others (randomly chosen, so it is not possible to co-op and xploit) also might be disabled after x days / weeks.
-> a way for a game server to auto-live stream random games with different camera angles to attract interest for potential soon to be players (this is already done manually). Observers might then like to try the game themselves.

look at other online titles with massive player bases on how they make it work to engage with the community and try these methods.

---

the grumpy old player problem:

Old/experienced players gave plenty of ideas here on how to make the game interesting for them again. Some left, so maybe when stuff gets changed to their liking some MIGHT come back.

---

content:

maps:
make faction play maps available for quick play ? so there is no need to investing lots of time.

more modes:
- collect resources and survival mode: x amount of resources need to be collected, and be saved similar to existing mini-team mode in fp recon 4vs4.
- continuous modes where one game session survive hours with possibility of players to join in and quit: dm, ctf, etc?

---

resource spending:

Offer something where players can dump their billions of cbills into, nothing over powered or even advantage-giving or god forbid, a monthly hanger rental fee for the 600+ mechs in the hanger.

---

outside help:

Are you willing or planing to let players take a part in the design and development ? more man power more content. not talking about modding route like in other games but rather to share the work and consider work done like new maps and ideas.

#69 Marquis De Lafayette

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Posted 08 October 2020 - 06:24 AM

As much as PGI has made me angry at points over the years, I do love their product and understand their absolute need to make $ for this enterprise to remain viable for them. So, i see the need for players like me to be willing to spend some $ to keep this going if they want it to keep going.

The starter mechpack idea is solid on many counts, for new players.

As far as getting older players like me to pay for stuff. The easiest model is to execute is always the one you were set up in the first place to do. I am willing to still buy a mechpack...but I think we all have a lot of mechs, so you need more to rope vets in. The only thing that would really motivate me is linking mechpack sales to new content production. Also, any new mechpack shouldn’t be going to be available for c-bills for a year.
If PGI launches new mechpack (with a year of exclusivity as a $ purchase) and says we will do a new map if we sell x amount of this mechpack in pre-sales (or over the first whatever months) I would buy it. The number of sales would just need to be what PGI felt it needed to make the mechpack and map development worthwhile. If it fails...well then the community didn’t support (with their $) the development of the new map and it’s on us. As much as I want new content, the new content is probably going to have to find a way to pay for itself. This is just a way PGI could try something they are already set up to do and see how badly the community wants new content. If we back the mechpack and get the map....they can rinse and repeat. If it doesn’t hit target they still probably got more sales of the mechpack than they would have. Just would need transparency on what the target was and how the community is doing towards that target...and follow through if we hit it.

#70 Buster Machine 0

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Posted 08 October 2020 - 07:25 AM

View PostSuko, on 07 October 2020 - 03:00 PM, said:

I've been AWOL from MWO for the better part of 3 years now. I still hop in to stalk the forums time-to-time to see what's happening. I logged in specifically to respond to the "Beginner Pack" thing.

I (and many, MANY others) recommended this sh*t years ago. I think if PGI focused more on attracting new players instead of getting the whales to play Battlemech Pokemon (gotta catch'em all), it would've been a better strategy. I had numerous friends who wanted to play MWO with me, but they couldn't get passed the incredibly high pay wall.

In my opinion, it's far too little too late. They needed to attract the fresh blood 3 or 4 years ago. Now it will only prolong the inevitable.


It's not too late for MWO. Planetside 2 recently made a massive comeback from a dead game to a healthy population not to mention MWO has a fanbase that spans decades, which is something that only a handful of games can claim.

PGI still has a chance to make things right and to save this franchise, and needs to weigh their options carefully to chose a direction that not only will instill confidence in their product but is also not a blatant cash grab.

View PostOZHomerOZ, on 07 October 2020 - 09:22 PM, said:


MWO has head tracking afaik , its listed in Track IR list of supported games
I never set it up myself, since I use mouse and key board in this case
Not HOTAS


Yes, and it shouldn't be too hard to port the TrackIR code over to VR headset users. TrackIR works fine with mouse and keyboard as far as I'm aware, and developments like this will stem the Mechwarrior player bleed to other stompy mechwarriorish games. Platform diversification is something PGI should be considering very seriously especially when it comes to maintaining a legendary franchise such as this.

Edited by ChenGGez, 08 October 2020 - 07:37 AM.


#71 rook

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Posted 08 October 2020 - 10:52 AM

I'd love to see them move to the new engine, I just don't see it happening (after listening to the podcast). That would be MWO2 (IMHO), and there would have to be a massive influx of cash to do that.

I would like to see an update to the skill tree. The general concept I had in mind is it would be several distinct branches, each focused on a different "role" or aspect of the game and you would pick one. IE - there could be a "brawler" branch, and a "sniper" branch, or even a "scout" branch. Each tree would have improvements that were based around the central theme, ie - more armor for the brawler, longer range for the sniper, or better sensors for the scout. Each branch could have a few minor decision points to keep some customization. Finally, I would monetize it by offering an option to have more than one branch filled out per mech (but only allowing 1 in use at a time). 200MC and you can swap between scout and sniper at will. Couple that type of update with a balance pass of the mechs/weapons.

Probably a bad idea, but I like it.

#72 Bud Crue

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Posted 08 October 2020 - 11:08 AM

View PostMarquis De Lafayette, on 08 October 2020 - 06:24 AM, said:


The only thing that would really motivate me is linking mechpack sales to new content production.


Pretty much this.

Offer up another mech with mediocre hard points, bad hit boxes and Chris level quirks of nothingness, and I am not going to spend anything. Announce that same crappy mech, AND, show us some of the progress you are making toward the new map that you are planning to release with it; then ya, I'll buy that piece of crap mech. Show me maps -plural- and I'd buy more. Figure out a way to bring factions back to CW and I might go back to regularly throwing money at the game. The point is, that if you want more of my money PGI, show me some effort at making content other than JUST mech packs and bolt ons.

This latest effort at engaging the community, ala hiring a new community manager, is nice and all, and it does go a bit toward making me think you aren't about to unplug the servers sometime tomorrow. So good job and all that. But if you want to get me to actually spend again, I'm going to need to see some honest to goodness efforts at content creation.

Edited by Bud Crue, 08 October 2020 - 11:09 AM.


#73 Mech Walesa

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Posted 08 October 2020 - 11:18 AM

PLEASE! Give Matt the event tools that he keeps asking you for. How hard is that? He is the one keeping this game alive right now. Fire the useless leech Daeron and give that money to a programmer so he can aid Matt.

I have no clue why are they even asking the community about anything. So many games out there... Just choose a ready and tested business model and implement it.

Don't read the forums. Go out there and talk to the guys in your industry.

This is the forum PGI should be at:
Designing Path of Exile to Be Played Forever. Chris Wilson at GDC 2019

https://youtu.be/pM_5S55jUzk

Edited by Mech Walesa, 08 October 2020 - 11:25 AM.


#74 Deathshade

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Posted 08 October 2020 - 11:21 AM

You guys said that EVERYTHING is on the table. The Queue/MM system has caused your biggest disconnect from the community. Here me out on this.

This system you created has never existed in PC MW multiplayer games as most of us know it. This has caused more headache in the game for you and your players than ANYTHING else. I know you feel the need to automate a system to lower your management overhead but that is where you disconnected from the community on day one. It was a bad decision but you owned it. You continued to create algorithms to make the match making fair but it ended up being an exercise in futility. Can you deny that?

So what did we do before the MM? Well, we had communities of folks that just got people together to fight. They would help players to matches or tutorials on installing or building good mechs for their game. We had lobbies and rooms full of folks setting up for matches? We all know this story. We would bid out map, mode, etc, for matches and everyone that would fight was in the room. That was the BEST multiplayer experience for most of us old MWs imo and it was a true community effort. I had a blast spamming for new matches for a group waiting to play. Doesn't that sound like what most of us are shooting for?

You took away the requirement for players to gather to make their own matches. How many stomps do you think occurred in those days? There were plenty of folks getting stomped but they learned and the elites eventually had to disband to fight. They started to cause the other team strengths to vary. Does that remind you of what your were achieving with the forced breakup of the big teams? Plain and simple, I am not going to fight you if I know it is going to be a roll. You need a human match maker.

Now I can hear the first argument for that is manpower. What if they game got huge, how would a few folks fire off that many matches. Isn't our goal higher players counts? Matt even said in the podcast that he wanted more power. Why not let him say? - "This elite team's best match would probably be this other group" - Having fair fights is what brings up the player counts. Doesn't your data reflect that for the recent changes? With the groups knowing who fires off the game, they can start communicating back to Matt thxgg or holly cow those guys owned us. Maybe you can see how having a human match maker could benefit the game.

I think you may see possibilities here, especially with the skeleton of a lobby system, (the private rooms) you have now. It needs to be beefed up to allow for players to REALLY communicate. I admit, in a lobby, I had fun spamming for games. There were loads of chats going on there. They were similar to what you see on Discord for you younger folks. The difference was that most of the chat was folks inviting them to their room to group up for a match or just talking to their friends. It was all about getting that NEXT battle. The rooms could be locked with password. Players could see who was in the rooms and see what the host posted for their types of matches. The difference here would be that when the host starts their match. The game request is going to the human matchmaker to verify and transfer the game settings requested. He/she fires off the game just like the MM would but instead of the automation doing the launch, you have a human matchmaker(HM) approving the launch. HM brings those two groups in the Queue together for the match.

Ok. So we have knocked out the MM, fair fight and community disconnect problem. Lets talk some about how. This should be doable without too much coding imo compared to some of other ideas being tossed around. By configuring the match maker to pull matches from what the HM has designated as the groups to play and then passing the settings for the game instead of the game asking the players. As you can see, I am talking in QP terms here. Those setting are voted on currently. The code is there for this in QP.

Lets clarify things here. I am not talking about replacing the QP mode here. I am talking in terms of what is already in the game and therefore lower your dev time. I believe this logic can be duplicated to work for Faction and a new Private lobby mode for players. The goal is to open back up the communication lines that were severed by using an automated match making system. I think the Queue system can still exist with QP as it rests now.

This is really about opening the communication up to the current community and allowing for a more inviting place for new players. The current documentation and training grounds are a good work but what happens when the player still needs help. That is where a lobby filled with MW's and activity come in. Those same new players would know that there are players there to help. There are teams there to join. There are battles there to be fought.

Now with that being said, where does Faction fit into this? I say have a faction lobby system but use scheduled matches instead. You do have to be attacking/defending/raiding a planet though. NBT and other MW leagues did it for years. Problem is, you still have to play the Elite teams in Faction. They are there to conquer the galaxy in their unit's name after all. <S>

Edited by Deathshade, 09 October 2020 - 06:51 AM.


#75 Marquis De Lafayette

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Posted 08 October 2020 - 12:15 PM

View PostBud Crue, on 08 October 2020 - 11:08 AM, said:


Pretty much this.

Offer up another mech with mediocre hard points, bad hit boxes and Chris level quirks of nothingness, and I am not going to spend anything. Announce that same crappy mech, AND, show us some of the progress you are making toward the new map that you are planning to release with it; then ya, I'll buy that piece of crap mech. Show me maps -plural- and I'd buy more. Figure out a way to bring factions back to CW and I might go back to regularly throwing money at the game. The point is, that if you want more of my money PGI, show me some effort at making content other than JUST mech packs and bolt ons.

This latest effort at engaging the community, ala hiring a new community manager, is nice and all, and it does go a bit toward making me think you aren't about to unplug the servers sometime tomorrow. So good job and all that. But if you want to get me to actually spend again, I'm going to need to see some honest to goodness efforts at content creation.


I think players have a lot of great ideas (and some not so great) for the game...but it’s really hard to see PGI investing time and money to produce new content (or even fix old stuff) if there isn’t a “cash up front” element coming to them from the playerbase. Perhaps I am wrong....but PGI probably isn’t going to make this game better because it’s “their baby”....they will only try to make it better if they know there is cash on the table from us to do it. Maybe I am too cynical about this, but at this point in the games lifecycle I can’t see why PGI would invest in the game unless they already knew they had been paid to do it?....and if they make good would likely get paid again to produce even more content.

#76 Bud Crue

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Posted 08 October 2020 - 02:58 PM

View PostMarquis De Lafayette, on 08 October 2020 - 12:15 PM, said:

I think players have a lot of great ideas (and some not so great) for the game...but it’s really hard to see PGI investing time and money to produce new content (or even fix old stuff) if there isn’t a “cash up front” element coming to them from the playerbase. Perhaps I am wrong....but PGI probably isn’t going to make this game better because it’s “their baby”....they will only try to make it better if they know there is cash on the table from us to do it. Maybe I am too cynical about this, but at this point in the games lifecycle I can’t see why PGI would invest in the game unless they already knew they had been paid to do it?....and if they make good would likely get paid again to produce even more content.


I suspect you are entirely correct, and that, alas, is why I think many of us don't and won't spend another dime.

#77 JediPanther

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Posted 08 October 2020 - 04:27 PM

View PostBud Crue, on 08 October 2020 - 11:08 AM, said:


Pretty much this.

Offer up another mech with mediocre hard points, bad hit boxes and Chris level quirks of nothingness, and I am not going to spend anything. Announce that same crappy mech, AND, show us some of the progress you are making toward the new map that you are planning to release with it; then ya, I'll buy that piece of crap mech. Show me maps -plural- and I'd buy more. Figure out a way to bring factions back to CW and I might go back to regularly throwing money at the game. The point is, that if you want more of my money PGI, show me some effort at making content other than JUST mech packs and bolt ons.

This latest effort at engaging the community, ala hiring a new community manager, is nice and all, and it does go a bit toward making me think you aren't about to unplug the servers sometime tomorrow. So good job and all that. But if you want to get me to actually spend again, I'm going to need to see some honest to goodness efforts at content creation.


Quoted mainly because it's what mwo needs. Esp:"But if you want to get me to actually spend again, I'm going to need to see some honest to goodness efforts at content creation." And I mean NEW things besides just another lame mech pack that gets hammered by nerf in a few months on c-bill release.

Hell, just give the community steam workshop support or some type of mwo creation kit. That has worked for years with skyrim and skyrim se and it could work for mwo.

#78 Alphawolf

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Posted 08 October 2020 - 04:43 PM

They need to look at this in multiply stages if they want to make money. In my opinion they need to start with trying to get new players in and to stay.

The need for a beginners mech pack cannot be over stated as other have pointed out. Make it only available to those who have not finished with the cadet bonus so it is a time exclusive on their time table. Make it a great value by letting the player select 4 mechs and include say 160 GSP. Top that all off, price it at $20 and make sure the cadet knows, once they finish their 25th mission that special is gone. Those 4 mechs with 25 million C-Bills and 160 GSP is enough to get someone started and interested for say a month or 2 depending on free time. They could go one step further and offer a better cadet system. For their first 25 missions instead of the c-bill bonus, let them make what ever mechs they want and take them into Quick Play for the first 25 missions. Make that system tell them what that build would have cost with c-bills including the cost of the mech and then clean the slate for the next match. This will give new players real experience with each mech and weapon system they want to try and they get to learn the mech lab also. At the end of the 25 missions give them 15 million C-Bills as that should be enough to get anyone started with a light mech loaded out the way they want it.

Now to get veterans to spend a little money or time I suggest selling power. Well I should say is grind to get 92 instead of 91 skill nodes open for a mech. If I want 92 modes active for a particular mech, make me unlock all 239 skill nodes for that mech, pay 50 million C-Bills, have 1 million XP on that mech, and pay 100 MC to have 92 active skills available. is it selling power, yes. Is it a lot of power no. Make it so you can get 95 skill nodes active total and you have a new grind for old players.

#79 Heavy Money

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Posted 08 October 2020 - 05:13 PM

View PostAlphawolf, on 08 October 2020 - 04:43 PM, said:

They need to look at this in multiply stages if they want to make money. In my opinion they need to start with trying to get new players in and to stay.

The need for a beginners mech pack cannot be over stated as other have pointed out. Make it only available to those who have not finished with the cadet bonus so it is a time exclusive on their time table. Make it a great value by letting the player select 4 mechs and include say 160 GSP. Top that all off, price it at $20 and make sure the cadet knows, once they finish their 25th mission that special is gone. Those 4 mechs with 25 million C-Bills and 160 GSP is enough to get someone started and interested for say a month or 2 depending on free time. They could go one step further and offer a better cadet system. For their first 25 missions instead of the c-bill bonus, let them make what ever mechs they want and take them into Quick Play for the first 25 missions. Make that system tell them what that build would have cost with c-bills including the cost of the mech and then clean the slate for the next match. This will give new players real experience with each mech and weapon system they want to try and they get to learn the mech lab also. At the end of the 25 missions give them 15 million C-Bills as that should be enough to get anyone started with a light mech loaded out the way they want it.

Now to get veterans to spend a little money or time I suggest selling power. Well I should say is grind to get 92 instead of 91 skill nodes open for a mech. If I want 92 modes active for a particular mech, make me unlock all 239 skill nodes for that mech, pay 50 million C-Bills, have 1 million XP on that mech, and pay 100 MC to have 92 active skills available. is it selling power, yes. Is it a lot of power no. Make it so you can get 95 skill nodes active total and you have a new grind for old players.


I don't think making a pack exclusive to Cadets is necessary. It can backfire. You don't want people who miss it to be resentful and feel like they can't compete now. And you don't want to make older players feel overlooked. If only cadets can get it, how do you think the guy who is one game over the limit will feel when it comes out? The important thing is to have good deals and aim them at new people. It doesn't do any harm for older players to also pick up some new toys.

#80 GuardDogg

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Posted 08 October 2020 - 08:35 PM

Still waiting for that one, where you get to walk in/out of your mech. Be a soldier on foot as well.





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