Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 11
04-11-2012, 02:14 PM
One thing to keep in mind is that these sites only show traffic patterns to the STO website. One only needs to ever go to the website once and that is to create an account and download the game. Therefore, the trends that you claim these sites are showing would be inaccurate, since the people that actually spend time on the STO website are known to be the vocal minority of the game's community as a whole. These sites may show a trend in less *new* players downloading the client from the website, but not necessarily show a trend in whether the game community has dropped. And there is certainly not enough garbage data mined from these sites to even begin to make an inflammatory question as to whether or not F2P is working.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 12
04-11-2012, 02:16 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by superchum View Post
Yeah. That would definitely seem to be an impact factor on their development team.

The weird thing is, they could easily tack (and have) new microtransaction goodies directly into the FEs.

All those new shinies need new missions to be used in. It's such a basic concept, but after reading 2 years of commentary from the Orange Names I get the feeling they don't understand how games work (thinking especially of Gozer here).
It just occured to me... they did release the Yellowstone Runabout at the same time they released Operation Gamma. Smart move. I didnīt buy it because I have more shuttles than "real" ships.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 13
04-11-2012, 02:17 PM
According to the last shareholders call, there has been a huge increase in paying subs since the game went F2P; more people are paying to play the game than were about 6 months after launch.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 14
04-11-2012, 02:29 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by superchum View Post
If there's a healthy spike at the start of a new FE, then wouldn't the reasonable goal be to start offering that kind of content far more consistently?
There looks to be a big drop on the second episode, continuing onto the last one. I could see one rationale being not to have "second episodes" and make every episode a "first episode," similar to how comic publishers slap a big #1 on one shots and went through cycles of releasing lots one shots because four #1's in a row sell better than a #1, #2, #3, and #4.

The Spider-man villain Venom is the posterchild of that, having starred in 26 #1s since his debut in 1988. 22 of those were released between 1993 and 2003. 8 of those came out in a single year.

With comics, there are two competing trends at play:

First, #1s sell well. #2s sell awfully, sometimes worse than #3s.

Second, publishers have found that spin-off titles "don't count" for a lot of readers, which is why they've made a lot of comics ship more than once a month. It's better to ship Amazing Spider-man 4 times a month with rotating creative teams than to have four different Spider-man comics with different creative teams.

High numbers generally generate confidence and investment. #1s generate spikes but short runs lose people like crazy on #2 issues and low numbers result in dwindling confidence that something will continue.

One weird thing Marvel has started doing is signaling new storylines on books with higher issue numbers by attaching a ".1" to the number. The high number generates confidence. The emphasized #1 makes it seem accessible.

In terms of applying this to STO, what might make the most sense is to first number all of the missions in the existing fronts in the order they take place in. (Ie. Klingon Front Part 3, Romulan Front Part 8.)

Then make new releases standalones that slot into each of the fronts at the end.

The higher number tells you it's a continuation and assures you everything you did so far counted. The one shot release cycle tells you it's accessible as a "done in one".

I'd be tempted to also let people choose the order in which they do the fronts, delinking the fronts but keeping the missions within a front linear, with whatever tweaks that entails.

Maybe have a progress bar that tracks your progress on each front.

This also emphasizes that any new missions going forward take place after the existing missions in that front, avoiding the weird thing where FEs get retroslotted into odd places.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 15
04-11-2012, 02:31 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leviathan99

Site traffic improved by around 200-300% around Free to Play launch and continued to spike into early February.

But it's been declining since then. Sharply.
What sites do you use for this? Does traffic to sbugc, stowiki, and others match the trend?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 16
04-11-2012, 02:31 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by superchum View Post
Yeah. That would definitely seem to be an impact factor on their development team.

The weird thing is, they could easily tack (and have) new microtransaction goodies directly into the FEs.

All those new shinies need new missions to be used in. It's such a basic concept, but after reading 2 years of commentary from the Orange Names I get the feeling they don't understand how games work (thinking especially of Gozer here).
That is an interesting premise and one I wouldn't oppose:

Tack a store interface directly into the "accept mission" button with a suggested purchase.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 17
04-11-2012, 02:39 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by superchum View Post
If there's a healthy spike at the start of a new FE, then wouldn't the reasonable goal be to start offering that kind of content far more consistently?
I agree - I'd like to see more, rather than less focus on featured episode series.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 18
04-11-2012, 02:42 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Synther View Post
One thing to keep in mind is that these sites only show traffic patterns to the STO website. One only needs to ever go to the website once and that is to create an account and download the game. Therefore, the trends that you claim these sites are showing would be inaccurate, since the people that actually spend time on the STO website are known to be the vocal minority of the game's community as a whole. These sites may show a trend in less *new* players downloading the client from the website, but not necessarily show a trend in whether the game community has dropped. And there is certainly not enough garbage data mined from these sites to even begin to make an inflammatory question as to whether or not F2P is working.
100 percent true
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 19
04-11-2012, 03:02 PM
I think without taking steam into account any free to play speculation is pointless. I can personally attest that since STO came on steam seven gaming friends I have have installed it via steam and are playing sto on a daily basis, all of them are going to purchase ships at level cap.

None of them had any interest in STO prior to steam and two of them are new to MMOS.

I only have 10 friends on steam

I think free to play + steam must have been a huge boost to population, financially more players is more money any way you slice it, and large populations convey a sense of stability that makes gamers invest time.

While we won't get a concrete number I am willing to guess that free to play without steam would have been much less successful.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 20
04-11-2012, 03:08 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Synther View Post
One thing to keep in mind is that these sites only show traffic patterns to the STO website. One only needs to ever go to the website once and that is to create an account and download the game. .....

These sites may show a trend in less *new* players downloading the client from the website, but not necessarily show a trend in whether the game community has dropped. And there is certainly not enough garbage data mined from these sites to even begin to make an inflammatory question as to whether or not F2P is working.
actually it is an indicator of a problem with specifics to this game.
STO suffers from a distinct lack of content, equal factions and end game. This means that a percentage of players will play the game, then leave. when that percentage hits a number that is higher than your "intake" of new players, you will by default, have a decline in player base. Given the fact that STO has trendable numbers indicating as you have said less folks are going to the site to get the game, it is in fact a semi decent indication of a drop in new players, meaning it is getting closer to the "nexus point" of leaving players and arriving players.
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