Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 1 Where are the players?
04-14-2012, 01:20 PM
I realize that some of the missions very high up the ratings list are getting a lot of plays, relative to other missions. But, from my experience, my 4 published missions are lucky to get 2 reviews a day.

What gives? I know there are problems with the ratings systems, but where are the players?

Is it safe to conclude that the number of players who play and review foundry content are a very, very small percentage?

For example, the highest played mission, if I'm not mistaken, is "First Cause, Then Effect" which has about 25k ratings. Most of the really good missions that seem glued to the top rated have somewhere between 4-8k plays, with a few notable exceptions breaking the 10k mark, usually after being published for close to a year.

Now, I know it's hard to speculate what the total number of players of the game are, post-F2P. But if STO has a healthy population of say 100k-200k players, shouldn't we be seeing much higher stats for Foundry missions?

There could be a lot of culprits, right? Cryptic's lack of promotion, the fact that many players may not even know to where to find a community authored mission, etc.

Still, it seems like after a year, some of these missions that have long dominated the top-rated list would have well over 4k-8k ratings.

Is it possible that the number of STO players who play UGC are smaller than the Klingon faction? Despite everyone screaming about wanting content (when we provide story after story), they just don't want player-made content, especially when they don't get MMO shinies.

What if, in the end, we are a very small minority making missions for another really small minority, when the vast amount of STO players have no interest whatsoever, because they want story-light MMO content of grinding, pew pew, and the occasional FE that gives them some new shiny.

In the end, we, as foundry authors, are really writing stories for a game that doesn't exist. We're given a isolated corner in a MMO to tell stories that have no place, it seems, in a MMO at all, because MMO players don't care about stories at all. They care more about hair tech, apparently.

Let me just do some kind of BS math exercise for the purpose of discussion. Let's say that on average, including the F2P, STO has a monthly average of 100k players throughout the past year. It was lower than 100k prior to F2P and much higher post F2P, so we're going with an artificial average of 100k people.

Now, lets say that a solid 50K stuck it out, but the other half involved a constantly changing set of people who came and went, making the actually number of folks who played STO somewhere around 250k actual human beings. Out of that total pool, only 10% played "First Cause, Then Effect" after it was featured on Stoked, all the postcasts, etc., and after it has been on the Foundry almost since day one.

Yes, I'm sort of making up these numbers, lol.

Does anyone else find their stats a little depressing, even if your mission is highly rated?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
04-14-2012, 01:34 PM
This is a really interesting question, and one I've wondered about (and been a little blue about at times). I'm not sure how to approach the math here, but I do wonder if there isn't some way to track how players hear about missions or why they decide to play one or another.

My first thought was a thread on the forums, something like a survey, asking people who play Foundry missions to give some basic info about which they've played, how they heard about them, etc. That will reach only a small portion of the playerbase, though--at least, I imagine it will. At the same time, I've speculated to myself that a the majority of the Foundry-playing population might overlap significantly with the folks who visit the forums.

I also wondered if a group of us might approach players who've left reviews to ask these same questions, though that's also a pretty self selected group.

Maybe some of the folks who do have high rated missions can place a short request either in their mission description or at the end of the mission (if it isn't too immersion breaking--I can imagine it would be in many cases) requesting people to provide some basic info.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
04-14-2012, 01:36 PM
Please keep it down! I am endless grinding dilithium so I can buy lock boxes. Now if you donít stop acting out, I will have to report your posts as anti-cryptic!


Just kidding (about the reporting you part.) Keep up the good work KF!
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
04-14-2012, 01:37 PM
For my Klingon series, I see about 10-12 reviews a week. That sounds about in line with your 2 reviews a day. And that's a Klingon mission.

I think you're right in saying that Foundry is low in player base, for sure lower than Klingon player base.

I think you also nailed the reason right on the head.

1. No real advertising of Foundry missions, though I think these new challenges is a good star, especially with it in the calendar.
2. I don't think people know how to get into the foundry mission search section.
3. No real reward system for playing Foundry missions.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
04-14-2012, 01:44 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by SBCouto View Post
For my Klingon series, I see about 10-12 reviews a week. That sounds about in line with your 2 reviews a day. And that's a Klingon mission.

I think you're right in saying that Foundry is low in player base, for sure lower than Klingon player base.

I think you also nailed the reason right on the head.

1. No real advertising of Foundry missions, though I think these new challenges is a good star, especially with it in the calendar.
2. I don't think people know how to get into the foundry mission search section.
3. No real reward system for playing Foundry missions.
And there is only one moment in the entire game, when players are told that there are community-authored missions, right? That's a daily, right?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
04-14-2012, 01:49 PM
They've already said they're working on ways of promoting foundry missions ingame more.

I'm sure that there will be some stuff coming in Season 6.. hell there may well be some stuff coming before that.

Have faith in Cryptic just for a little longer, if not cryptic, then Branflakes or someone like that... They care about the foundry.

I get maybe a review a week, If I'm REALLY lucky, usually it's more like 1 every two weeks (that's with 4-5 missions out).
I've just rarely bother to promote them, I used to care about huge numbers, but my mission style just will never get that because my maps are too complex for the engine at times and they break
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
04-14-2012, 01:56 PM
Quote:
And there is only one moment in the entire game, when players are told that there are community-authored missions, right? That's a daily, right?

you mean there are mission other than the console clicker?


Quote:
Originally Posted by cerberusfilms View Post

Have faith in Cryptic just for a little longer, if not cryptic, then Branflakes or someone like that... They care about the foundry.
that is the funniest thing i have read all week. have faith. too funny. Yes. they care only because the foundry allows them not to make any more content and just make stuff for the lock boxes.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
04-14-2012, 01:57 PM
This is why I rate foundry missions thusly:

5 = any mission of average or better quality
1 = cannot finish

I don't rate anything 2,3, or 4, because such ratings serve only to sink reasonable missions from appearing on the top, and so they have no chance. Ie. A "3" might as well be a "1"
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
04-14-2012, 02:01 PM
I think I should point out that you are very lucky. Your mission "Need of the few" got extremely high number of plays. You are at 183 plays and 4.0 average. Contamination, which was published way before that is at 87 plays at 3.91 average. These missions were highly advertised.
My mission One moment of humanity, which was published around yours is at 35 plays and at 3.81. No advertisement.

I was curious and re-published the latest incarnation of Hijacked recently. The original collected 40 plays in like 2 months despite being on the Nagus list, using some nfty tech, being based on one of the best ST game and sporting a banner in my sig.

Now this re-publish got 25 plays in a few hours because it managed to stay in the 4.3 region just long enough. When it sank the below 4 region bam, interest gone. Got 10 more plays in 7 days.
Most old missions have hundreds or thousands of plays so the 3 stars can't move them anywhere. But if you have only few plays, some 1 or 2 stars can kill your mission.
The new/hot section is a joke. The search feature is seldom used (Got a review that "looking forward for more 25th anny missions" well, Hijacked was up for a play by that time but he didn't find it).

What I would like to see to change this:
- Working Hot/New section.
- Turn off accolade count completely.
- Reduce the drops.
- Change officer reports like this:
If you take the daily, you should be offered 5 randomly selected missions. One >=4 star, Two >=3 stars, Two >=3 + entrance point in the same sector.
The game would then give you the description text one after the other and you could hit Accept or Decline. If you hit Accept, you get the 500 DIL. If Decline all 5 missions, you get the 500 DIL.

This would remove ALL exploit missions from the game. Bye to accolade grindfests. Bye to drop grinds. Bye to 1 click "daily" missions.

- With ALL the crap removed, the search would be more usable again.
- With the random mission offers every missions would have a fair chance. High rated missions a little more chance, but that is fair I think.
- The entry door placement would be somewhat more important, because that random offer would always find you 2 missions nearby.

Of course this won't be implemented, but still I think it would work well.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
04-14-2012, 02:05 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by SBCouto View Post
3. No real reward system for playing Foundry missions.
Well, there is some reward. Missions that exploit this reward clogs up the search system right now. If you add more "reward" you just add more exploit missions which then makes story missions ever more hard to find. That would then spiral to the point where most of the missions are simple farming/exploit missions.

Only players who look for a story should play Foundry mission to begin with. Others will just rate down your well marked diplo mission because "Lame, no fight". To be honest, I would settle for less plays if that means the idiots are kept out. (No reward => No idiots)
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