View Full Version : Player Notes Week Ending 21 Feb, 2015

02-19-2015, 12:50 PM
Player Notes Week Ending 2/21/2015

Well, it's been a while now since I did one of these, so I do apologize. There has been a ton of relevant happenings over the past few weeks. I'm sorry this post got so ridiculously long.

The intent of this post is to offer the company some insight into the overall player experience – what it's like to play this game day in and day out. While a player never experiences the pressures placed upon a developer or quality assurance tech, the dynamics of thousands of people attempting these goals at once while competing against each other adds a tension that a developer or quality assurance tech never experiences.

So, now I am only going to speak for myself, and I imagine the comments in the thread will either confirm or contradict whether or not others' experiences are currently similar. I'll comment, like last time, on the experience of each event as well as overall and current issues that persist.

As you can likely see from the daily revenue trends, we are burned out on these. Returning to one FLTQ and two solo LTQ events per cycle would make these fun again, speaking for myself. Running them back to back really does ruin it.
When there was equipment, we did the portions of the event that our energy would allow, and felt a good balance between time invested and reward received. Now that equipment has been removed and functionally deprecated, the recent increased energy requirement is highlighted, and the rewards are no longer balanced well with the required energy. The only portion the vast majority of players can complete now is the Normal chain, which would be fine if not for the fact that the reward for the Normal chain is a unit that an equivalent can be purchased from the store for 14,000 valor or 9.35m game cash. For this event to be fun, there needs to be a balance of reward vs effort, regardless of a player's "tier". I agree that a player on a top 500 team with no energy regen bonus should not be capable of finishing the master chain without some real money being spent - however, someone with standard energy regen should be able to finish Normal with an attentive investment of time, and for that receive a reward that feels like an accomplishment. Someone with +12 energy regen should be able to finish prestige with an even higher attentive investment of time, and receive a higher reward that makes it feel like a worthy accomplishment. But should the event really be designed so that the only decent rewards come from finishing the master chain, which even someone with +35 energy per minute cannot complete?

In the current 3-day, 3-part LTQ, it will cost $60 to earn the prestige wrapper or $250 to earn the master wrapper for any player without energy regen bonuses. Even someone with a +35 energy bonus cannot finish the master chain – that's out of proportion with the overall player base, and is alienating and disenfranchising moderate spenders. The event is neither fun nor worth doing, and the impossibility makes it a discouraging thorn.

Standard faire – either people like this event or they don't. I'm one who doesn't, since the “luck” factor on my acct is so low that in two and a half years I have only ever finished one lockbox event. Even setting timers and using cash opens every hour, it's rare that I even get far enough to get the temp bonus item. Not a fan of this event, or any pure gambling event, but I know it's fun for the people who like that sort of thing. I think at this point it has more positive impact on player experience than negative.

I previously advocated to restore this event because I and my teammates always enjoy it. It was an event that could be completed by most every player with a commitment of time and those little timing strategies that make it all possible. This iteration, however, was miserable. First off, all 6 days of daily goals appeared on day 1. That would have been fine if they were sequential and appeared one after the other, but the system had us working on all 6 days simultaneously – one kill was credited 6 times, once each on all six days. Fine, free bonus, right? However, the 6 bonus units earned only actually counted as one – the bonuses did not function, and IPH was only increased by a factor of one unit, not 6.
Then at one point the health of the boss jumped significantly. I don't mean that boss level 30 was a certain health level and then boss level 31 was significanly higher – I mean at a certain time during the event, the requirements were suddenly changed, and the requirement per boss kill jumped up approximately 250%. In addition, the boss's health bar persists at 100% full up until the final hit, leaving the player with no feedback as to his/her progress, and no idea how much more will be needed to finish that boss. Fine, a display glitch, but ignoring the issue and failing to correct it, along with the drastic increase in effort requirement overall, this event was a fail. Had this event worked the same as previous iterations – an event that has worked well for two years now – it would have been fine, but the issues sapped the fun out of it and made it become something to endure rather than something to enjoy.

I love this event. Too bad they canceled it. I know many people don't enjoy it as much as I do, and I do completely understand their reasons – but I and many on my team did enjoy it and did reasonably well at it, since participation counted more than wealth.

Like Epic Boss, the effort required to complete this event was increased so significantly that many top 100 teams who have been able to complete masters every cycle for the last 6 months suddenly were left unable to do so. I understand wanting to keep events challenging for top 10 teams, but there are currently over 140,000 players logging in daily to play this game (ref: thinkgaming.com). The top 10 teams consist of 600 players, or 0.4% of the customer base. The top 100 teams consist of 6,000 players, or 4.3% of the active customer base. Can you honestly say that being in the top 4% of the overall player base shouldn't be enough to be capable of finishing an event like this? I believe that if you calibrated this event in a way that any top 100 team could finish it, and any to 250 team willing to put in a little gold (say, $20 per member) could finish it, you'd see an increased revenue and a happy player base. Nobody expects top 500 teams to finish masters for free, but in trying to keep every event challenging for the top 0.4% of players, the other 99.6% of players are relegated to a place where it's impossible to even advance. Even massive amounts of gold won't make up for this one, so when those current top 0.4% of players leave the game, the revenue will not be replaced by up-coming players, since the gap is so wide. The boss health is simply set wayyy too high. Many, many thanks to the players in the top 10 and even top 25 who were willing to step down and help lower teams finish this event. Had it not been for the generosity of certain individuals in the top of the top tier, surely very few outside the top 25 teams would have come close to finishing this event.

This cycle's Limited Edition Building is the third in a row with a low income return. If not for the bonus units and temp +1 max building upgrade bonus, this building isn't even worth putting on your base. Also, who remembers buildings like the Taj Mahal? Arc De Triomphe? Absolut Towers? One of the coolest things about those old cycles was when the Limited building was brought from the architecture of the region of that cycle. Germany has so much rich architecture, yet you gave us a building that was a standard thing on several NPC maps, and labeled a satelite dish as a radar outpost. How much more fun would it have been to give us the Reichstag building, Berlin's parliament building,
Brandenburg's famous arches, the Schauspielhaus, or etc etc etc?

I can't tell you how discouraging this is. After two and a half years of progressive advancement, this cycle and the last have offered such significant increases in effort requirement per event that I now again cannot complete events that for a year I have been able to complete. For almost a year I have been able to use the stats and bonuses I have earned to complete each prestige LTQ (with only a little gold, which is just fine when the rewards are proportionate to the input), Epic Boss challenge, Raid Boss, and score well (for my tier) in WD and Full Assault / Frontline. Now, even though I have higher stats, better energy regen bonuses, and higher health regen bonuses, I suddenly cannot complete indy prestige LTQ's, suddenly cannot complete the Epic Boss event to 150, and I see a big gap opening up in stats. Putting in more effort than ever before, I personally cannot achieve nearly what I could six months ago, even though the input of effort is significantly higher than it was then.

The issue is that there is a big gap in stats between the top 600 players in the game and the rest of the players. The top players need events that are challenging and interesting, but with such a significant gap in ability between the top 0.4% and the top 4% of players, the game is becoming a futility to anyone outside the top 0.4%, where it used to be that the entire top 10% of players (top 250 teams) could play very competitively and complete many events. In any game, the point of increasing your account's stats is to increase your abilities in the game. In Modern War, even though we put in a very significant effort and even money to complete these events to increase the value and competitive ability of our games, we are actually able to accomplish less than we were before the effort was spent. The requirements increase at a rate far, far higher than our abilities. Full-time investment is yielding a 10% per-cycle increase in stats, while event requirements are increasing ten times that amount. The imbalance is killing off our motivation.

Over the last two cycles, my team has finished every faction event save master FLTQ and placed top 100 and top 150 in subsequent WD events. We realized stat gains of approximately 15% overall from two cycles, meanwhile the health increase of the Raid Boss increased by double from last cycle, which was also increased by double from the cycle prior, a total difficulty increase of 400%!! over the same two cycles. In addition to that, with our top 100/25div finish, we realized a gain of +1 energy per minute, while the energy requirement for prestige LTQ was doubled over the past 4 cycles. Even though our abilities are increasing, we are able to accomplish less than before instead of more.

Because of this trend, along with the issues with equipment and battle mechanics, we lost 11 accounts from our faction since the release of 5.0. I'm not talking about casual players, and I'm not talking about people who left to join another team – I'm talking about significant (for our tier) gold spenders, people who would score 100,000 – 250,000 points in each WD, who were so frustrated and discouraged by all this that they sold off all their buildings, donated the cash to the faction and quit the game for good. We have permanently lost several of our best players in the last 8 weeks simply because of discouragement.

I have to be honest. This past cycle has been rather astonishing. In two months, we have seen the introduction of a turn-based battle mechanic, only to see it removed the very next cycle. We have seen the introduction of a brand-new game element, equipment, only to see it deprecated two cycles later. We have seen the re-introduction of the loved and hated PvP event, only to see it canceled before it even ran. It's been a roller coaster of disappointment after disappointment.

What this company's leadership truly needs to recognize is that these things will balance out if you just stick to them. Fine tuning is one thing, and always necessary, but when you introduce huge, new elements to the game, let people invest in those elements, then just as suddenly remove them, it's like a gut punch. Some people love the thing, some people hate it, but everyone will adjust to it. If you continuously go back and forth on major, expensive things like this, you'll only continue to have 100% of the people unhappy, and you'll lose the trust of your players. You did a good job rolling out the equipment, and you explained it well. Well enough, in fact, that I actually developed a very accurate battle prediction calculator based only on the information shared in the announcements, AMAs and dev notes. Many people were unhappy with it, and some even quit over it; However, we were adjusting to it. The sudden removal of all of it left many of us feeling gut-punched and betrayed because of our investment into the new gameplay. The people who were going to quit over the new mechanics had already quit, so when you removed it all it was enough of a betrayal to many other people that it caused an additional wave of people quitting. On my team, we lost I think 4 accounts because of the introduction of the new mechanic and equipment coupled with the login lockout issues, but then we lost 7 more because of the removal of the same. Had you not introduced it at all, we would have lost no one. Had you introduced it and stuck with it, we would have lost 4 players – and replaced them. But since you introduced it, sold it, and then removed it, we have lost 11 in total. My sincere advice to you is, make a decision, stick to it, be willing to fine-tune it, but once something is in play, leave it until the player base balances out.

For practical application here, what I am suggesting is, stick with your last decisions. You've removed the turn-based mechanic - keep it removed. You've deprecated equipment - keep it deprecated. You've disproportionately increased all the event requirements - fine tune them, but don't change them drastically. Take a closer look at what it takes to practically play this game, and give people at every tier something worth achieving. We players all rank ourselves in WD tiers overall, so start there - pick which tier should be capable of finishing each tier of each event at what cost, and stick to that, calibrating each event accordingly. If a top 100 team is able to finish Raid Boss Master for every cycle for six months, then suddenly doesn't have a chance, you're going to kill the fun for them. Likewise, if a top 100 team is barely able to finish the Epic Boss challenge each cycle for six months, then suddenly can finish it with very little effort, it's going to get boring for them. To balance this, if a top 100 team's overall stats increase 10%-15% in a given cycle, the raid boss health should increase the same percentage to keep it consistent. And so on, applying this principle to each event.

All in all, it has not been a fun month for me as a Modern War player. Keeping team members motivated and excited about competing has been... well, hopeless, to be honest.

Vicious Jets: Many players on Android who have not completed Dragon Cdr rank have Vicious Jets in their inventories – a unit with 600k/600k stats that costs 1m valor in the store and is only supposed to be available to those who have completed the Dragon Cdr rank. The fact that this persists causes a significant imbalance in the game field, devalues the accomplishment of those who have completed Dragon Cdr rank (no small task!), and motivates others to exploit the available glitch.

Missing Splash Screen: The splash screen about the deprecation of soldier equipment comes up only once – the first time it tries to load. After that, each time you open the game it tries to come up but fails, and tapping anywhere on the screen closes the game and takes the player to the forum. This is silly. This has happened several times in the past, including with the splash screen regarding the re-release of the old Limited Edition Buildings. Please fix this going forward, it's very frustrating – fix it so the splash screen loads properly and can be closed with the red X.

And all the same issues mentioned in the prior Player Notes posting are unaddressed, including:
-"Ghost" targets (not) appearing on NPC maps - targets from other maps that are tappable from the wrong map when moving from map to map.
-Previous PvP Raid and Attack results re-appearing when hitting NPC targets
-Profile Display: Fights won/lost appearing reversed, and crediting reversed, in the profile screen
-Collection icons still not appearing over buildings ready to collect
-Raided icons still not appearing over buildings that have been raided
-Our own buildings still sometimes appearing on NPC maps
-Still no way to see our own equipment defense stats (doesn't matter now)
-Still no way to see quantities of our own equipment pieces in our inventories (also doesn't matter now)

I know I sound pretty negative in this report – but the honest truth is, my overall experience as a player of this game over the past month has been negative. I do love this game, and the teamwork it takes to accomplish things. I want the game to be fun again, and I want the investment of time and moderate money to be able to yield a competitive result like it has in the past. I'm not ready to quit, and I keep playing based on the enjoyment I've had in the past and with the hope that the company will recognize the negative effect their recent decision making has had on the players' experience and make some significant, positive adjustment in the future.

I'm sorry this post got so ridiculously long. Please, give us something consistent and make our game fun to play again.

02-19-2015, 01:11 PM
I want to add:
- All lines (beginner, normal, prestige and master) MUST have the same rewards with permanent bonuses.
- but the lines shall be visible only on their level.
- level can be again tired to time of playing: something like 0-1 year - beginner, 1-2 years - normal, 2-3 years - prestige, 3+ years - master.

02-19-2015, 01:29 PM
Awesome post.. Kudos to you

MW Flake
02-19-2015, 03:28 PM
You are a good man Kefa. Keep up the good work. I stand behind what you said 99.9%. The .1% is instead of Gree sticking 100% to a decision, if your customers say hell no before it's deployed (like with equipment), then DON'T DO IT! I do agree with you in theory about the waffling, but if they hadn't done this when they did it, how they did it, and for as long as they did, so many would not have been angry. As it is, we as players have got to realize, when we say we want something, and then Gree actually gives it to us, we need to collectively STFU.

02-19-2015, 04:02 PM
You are a good man Kefa. Keep up the good work. I stand behind what you said 99.9%. The .1% is instead of Gree sticking 100% to a decision, if your customers say hell no before it's deployed (like with equipment), then DON'T DO IT! I do agree with you in theory about the waffling, but if they hadn't done this when they did it, how they did it, and for as long as they did, so many would not have been angry. As it is, we as players have got to realize, when we say we want something, and then Gree actually gives it to us, we need to collectively STFU.

Thanks for the encouragement. I totally agree with your statement, "...if your customers say hell no before it's deployed...". I remember posting "take heed" when they first announced the plan and getting poked at for it, lol...
To clarify, by "sticking to the decision", I did mean after it was made live to everyone. Any disaster can be averted if the brakes are put on hard before live deployment. Please, more beta testing with far more communication to the beta team of exactly what is supposed to be going on. The single Full Assault event was beta tested far more thoroughly than 5.0's new features.

Also, Raid Boss health needs to be rolled back about 50% for next cycle to get it in check with reality, then it can climb up at 5-15% per cycle depending on the average player stat gains.

Epic Boss health can stay, and we can live with it for a while if it doesn't keep going up - but only if the display and other issues are fixed to make it work like it's supposed to.

02-19-2015, 05:38 PM
Great posts guys!!!

02-19-2015, 06:02 PM
Thank you kefa! Hopefully the Gree devs and management will read this. Many players that i have come across, in multiple different social medias, share your sentiments exactly.

East Coast Bias
02-19-2015, 07:00 PM
Kefa, great post. As you said, there are some personal preferences too, I for one never liked the PVP and rarely or never raid or attack anymore. Who has the time when GREE already has you tapping 24/7. I don't know if you play multiple accounts, but I play in three very different levels, t15, t100, t750 - and perhaps that's why I have a different take on whether a particular event is too difficult or not. Since the two smaller accounts are gold free (other than the occasional video gold that totals about 50 per month), I also have a sense of how well a player can do with limited resources (ie: only video gold) if ones plays smart. The middle account was started at the time of the Battle for Bangkok, so perhaps a half a year old. In the latest RB event, I think the mini did about 200b of damage for free and in the latest EB event I finished boss 150 with less than 10 hits. No single hitting or any 600k valor planes in my inventory - so an investment of time and effort. As I've mentioned in my blog in the off topic section (shameless plug), I have more fun with the mini account that the main bc if forces you to play more strategically. And of course, it starts with selecting the right team mates. But I confess, the higher requirements brought upon by gree is putting stress on my mini team and we might change the way we play and/or players moving on. So it isn't impossible, tougher yes.

MoM - Krypt
02-20-2015, 12:17 AM
Best post I've read to date Kefa. Very nice. Props.

02-20-2015, 03:38 AM
I love the fact that you're doing this. I look forward to reading these threads, by you, every week. This is what we would love to see Gree doing once every cycle.

Keep up the great work Kefa.

02-20-2015, 04:37 AM
Outstanding analysis Kefa. Thank you! Agree 100%.

02-20-2015, 04:51 AM
Excellent post. Possibly best I've ever read in this forum.

02-20-2015, 07:15 AM
Posts like this one are great! There is no useless *****ing and it is how the entire community feels. I hope the way it has been presented will help in getting these changes started!

sister morphine
02-20-2015, 08:17 AM
So I just downloaded latest update (on iPhone and iPad). The game still continues to hang when PvP'ing off my news feed. :( Anybody had better luck?

Big John
02-20-2015, 08:20 AM
Nothing has been fixed that I can see.

02-20-2015, 09:18 AM
Kefa, great post. Well thought through and constructed. An acknowledgment from the Devs as to the contents of your observations would not go amiss.

MW Flake
02-21-2015, 04:28 AM
Well once again, Gree swoops in on a WD Friday with a big update, that breaks more than it adds or fixes, and vanishes without comment for the weekend.

Fail, fail, fail.

02-21-2015, 03:52 PM
Well once again, Gree swoops in on a WD Friday with a big update, that breaks more than it adds or fixes, and vanishes without comment for the weekend.

Fail, fail, fail.

Truly feels like we're being punk'd. It's all a big joke on us, right?

Sheldor Sir
02-22-2015, 02:09 AM
Great post Kefa, but I fear apart the many regular players that reside here and know /agree with your assessment of a game we all enjoyed (once), it will be not be acknowledged. even if it is read by a Gree employee it will be completely ignored.

02-22-2015, 12:40 PM
I must say this was a good informative post for CLEMENTINE TO READ TO PASS BACK TO THE DEVELOPERS. Sorry for all caps but if I don't shout she won't hear me.

03-05-2015, 08:50 AM
Wow, this game is way more messed up than I could have imagined. I am soooo happy I did not spend any money on this game yet.
What a waste of effort it has been.

03-05-2015, 09:08 AM
Kefa, just wanted to thank you for the work you put into this. It is very constructive and we hope they at least respond to this.

But as usual, I feel like they will never respond to that they are forwarding all that you have pointed out to their Developers and their Management team.