Author Topic: Closing Islands ?  (Read 64955 times)

Tom

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Re: Closing Islands ?
« Reply #345: July 30, 2013, 01:35:47 PM »
I know redrawing maps is a lot of work, but adding a few regions to a more linear continent (like EC or FEI)

No. Period.

It's A LOT of work. It's not just some graphics, there is also the whole database, region connections and a ton of other things. Let me sum up this and other ideas:

Absolutely no changes to any maps are going to happen in the forseable future. No new maps, no regions added to maps, no regions removed from maps, absolutely nothing that requires changes to the maps has any chance whatsoever of being done.


Tom

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Re: Closing Islands ?
« Reply #346: July 30, 2013, 01:41:43 PM »
I won't be deleting EC. It has all the history of this game, in a certain sense, EC is BattleMaster.
I also don't think it would be fair to wipe out BT - they fought for their island and could've lost it, and won against the odds.

I personally would want to delete Dwilight, but I realize it has the most vocal and aggressive fans. However, here is the player density per island:



According to that, we should axe BT, Dwilight or Colonies. FEI is much better than everyone here makes it, it has the highest player densite in the game.

Anaris

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Re: Closing Islands ?
« Reply #347: July 30, 2013, 01:44:07 PM »
The density is all very well, Tom, but as has been stated, we have pulled some statistics showing that Dwilight is the island that has the best retention rates in the game.

So closing Dwilight, while it would improve the density of other islands, would lose some of the uniqueness that helps keep more people in the game.
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Jaden

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Re: Closing Islands ?
« Reply #348: July 30, 2013, 01:46:54 PM »
Are we counting characters or nobles? cause advies dont really add much to the feudal hierarchy in the strict sense..
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vonGenf

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Re: Closing Islands ?
« Reply #349: July 30, 2013, 01:55:57 PM »
The density is all very well, Tom, but as has been stated, we have pulled some statistics showing that Dwilight is the island that has the best retention rates in the game.

I chased the last of Vellos' statistics on this:

Returning to my obsessive chart-making:

Numbers are in. In terms of registration, FEI and Dwilight showed slight growth. Beluaterra was flat. EC and Atamara showed 4%ish declines which, though not good, is much better than in the past: it may be that EC and Atamara are slowing their losses somehow. The Colonies continue to plummet into the depths.

In terms of active players, Atamara showed a controlled decline, but EC and the Colonies had double-digit losses of active players. Meanwhile, Dwilight and FEI actually increased the number of active players, while FEI was flat (discounting multi-locks FEI would be positive).

Numbers on highly active players are subject to skepticism, and vary widely. However, Beluaterra has been exhibiting what looks to be a medium-term real increase in active players. Notably, it posted an almost 30% gain in active players (and one of the first gains in "activity rates" I've seen yet). Dwilight and FEI also had strong increases in active players. EC and Atamara showed some declines, while the Colonies were flat.

This round showed one of the strongest divergences I've seen yet: FEI, Beluaterra, and Dwilight posted solid numbers in every category; actually some of the best numbers I've yet seen. EC, Atamara, and the Colonies showed bad numbers, in some cases better than in the past, but in at least some far worse. This would seem to support the idea that some continents are reliably better at getting and keeping players than others. We'll see how this holds up in the long run.

So it turns out that Dwilight, Beluaterra and FEI are the best for retention, while being at the extreme in terms of density. The middle-of-the-road islands did not fare as well
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Shizzle

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Re: Closing Islands ?
« Reply #350: July 30, 2013, 02:06:12 PM »
[Also Dwilight was initiated as being a frontier realm, and less nobles (more wilderness) isn't all that bad.]
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I have kind of missed the thread and it's too late to start reading 20 pages of comments, so apologies if I disregard previously reached consensus. I won't suggest changing the maps though :)

What I think is that a declining playerbase in itself is not the problem (I've played Wolfenstein and Soldier of Fortune well past their expiry dates), the problem is that in order to have fun in BM you need a certain amount of people to get the ball rolling. This is both for RP related fun and the strategy game kind of fun. We need to enable players to enjoy the game even if there is less people then there once was. Other solutions will only treat the symptoms, not the actual problem. For instance sinking an island will increase player density for a while, but with a player base in decline it won't be long before we have to sink another one to get the same effect. I'd hate to see three islands sink within three years and BM die out within half a dozen.

For me the discussion ought to focuse on how to improve the game in two ways: keep it fun (even with less players), maximize player retention.

This is no easy task, but from the top of my head a few ideas:
* Intra-realm wars. Duchy based, or even region based conflicts. Why can't a Lord simply ravage the lands of his rivals next door? This would spawn more conflicts of different scales, and it would be easy to have fun even with just a few people.
* BM Light. Players are in the regular game world but half of the content is cut, creating a truly lightweight game. You could still have all options in the bottom of the screen as today, "you can't do this because your account is set to Light". This could even work as a tutorial fase to make the learning curve a little less steep. In essence this Light version focuses on "making Droning fun". Maybe limit character progression so that Light players can obtain a Lordship up to Earl, but no government positions.
* Roleplay Groups. Right now roleplaying is restricted by your character's role or current location. Why not get rid of these restrictions? Continent wide players should be able to start 'roleplaying threads' (within the game world) where they can invite other players to join. In other words, make RP more meta. Why can't I, as a player, observe all the roleplays written by rulers throughout the whole continent? It would make playing BM, for those who like RP, more like reading a book. Of course OOC knowledge being abused ICly might be a problem, but not one that cannot be overcome.

These three changes would create more fun with less people, without imposing limits on future growth. More fun equals higher player retention, and thus might reverse the current declining player base.

It goes without saying that these suggestions all require a lot of work, vision and commitment - all things I wouldn't have to contribute myself. So maybe I'm just proposing vastly difficult things out of ignorance.

Meneldur

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Re: Closing Islands ?
« Reply #351: July 30, 2013, 02:08:57 PM »
I won't be deleting EC. It has all the history of this game, in a certain sense, EC is BattleMaster.
I also don't think it would be fair to wipe out BT - they fought for their island and could've lost it, and won against the odds.

I personally would want to delete Dwilight, but I realize it has the most vocal and aggressive fans. However, here is the player density per island:



According to that, we should axe BT, Dwilight or Colonies. FEI is much better than everyone here makes it, it has the highest player densite in the game.

Is that graph player or character density? Because Dwilight has the 1 character rule which would negativly impact its character count even if it has more players.

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Re: Closing Islands ?
« Reply #352: July 30, 2013, 02:16:21 PM »
Short of closing Dwilight, you could use the Zuma to reduce the number of available regions held by players for a long while. The lands taken away wouldn't necessarily have to be connected to the current Zuma lands.

Shizzle

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Re: Closing Islands ?
« Reply #353: July 30, 2013, 02:18:47 PM »
Short of closing Dwilight, you could use the Zuma to reduce the number of available regions held by players for a long while. The lands taken away wouldn't necessarily have to be connected to the current Zuma lands.

The problem with this is that it would drive realms even further apart making it even harder to start wars or other kinds of interaction. With the Zuma in play there would also be less PvP, I fear.

Stabbity

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Re: Closing Islands ?
« Reply #354: July 30, 2013, 02:20:01 PM »
Is that graph player or character density? Because Dwilight has the 1 character rule which would negativly impact its character count even if it has more players.

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Wolfang

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Re: Closing Islands ?
« Reply #355: July 30, 2013, 02:26:49 PM »
Dwilight, is the continent I started playing on, not so long ago. I chose it because it seemed like people were a lot more active on the forum about it, and I absolutely did not like the idea of people having more than one character on the other continents. And in the end, i think I made the right choice.

If character density is the criteria for choosing the island, rather than player density, then a simple solution wwould be to increase the amount of characters per person everywhere. But I don't think that's what Tom is looking for.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2013, 02:29:17 PM by Wolfang »

Foxglove

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Re: Closing Islands ?
« Reply #356: July 30, 2013, 02:31:40 PM »
I'm guessing you're not to fond of Dwilight.

Also OP asked not to discuss specific islands. So don't.

Erm... Tom just started to discuss potential islands for closure, so I'm guessing the parameters of the discussion have changed a little or he wouldn't have posted the player density stats in this thread.

But, to make a general point, this shouldn't come down to those who make the biggest fuss on the forum get to keep their favourite island.

Just to be clear, are we talking about an island being completely deleted and the code disappearing, or will the island be put into cold storage so that the map and code can be reused at some point in the future?
« Last Edit: July 30, 2013, 02:43:21 PM by Foxglove »

Revan

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Re: Closing Islands ?
« Reply #357: July 30, 2013, 02:45:54 PM »
I chased the last of Vellos' statistics on this:

So it turns out that Dwilight, Beluaterra and FEI are the best for retention, while being at the extreme in terms of density. The middle-of-the-road islands did not fare as well

Those statistics are nearly two years old now. What was true then is not necessarily the case now.

Telrunya

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Re: Closing Islands ?
« Reply #358: July 30, 2013, 02:47:10 PM »
I can see why closing BT would be less desirable as they just survived an Invasion that could have seen the Continent closed down already. To the other two options offered, closing down Colonies would only offer a potential 108 characters to the other islands, while Dwilight would offer a potential 449 characters to the other islands (Beluaterra offering 251). From those numbers, it seems closing down Dwilight would, assuming the rate of moving is equal for all islands, offer the biggest impact on density on the other Continents (About a potential of 90 per island or 0.72 per remaining regions).

This is not considering retention rates and all that which has already been mentioned, it's just looking at pure character numbers.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2013, 02:53:51 PM by Telrunya »

Revan

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Re: Closing Islands ?
« Reply #359: July 30, 2013, 02:59:31 PM »
I can see why closing BT would be less desirable as they just survived an Invasion that could have seen the Continent closed down already. To the other two options offered, closing down Colonies would only offer a potential 108 characters to the other islands, while Dwilight would offer a potential 449 characters to the other islands (Beluaterra offering 251). From those numbers, it seems closing down Dwilight would, assuming the rate of moving is equal for all islands, offer the biggest impact on density on the other Continents (About a potential of 90 per island).

This is not considering retention rates and all that which has already been mentioned, it's just looking at pure character numbers.

On the other side of the coin, Dwilight is the second largest island by some margin and that is with a 1 character per player rule. That means nearly half the player base is there, which could be awkward. Only thing is, what with the 1 character per family rule, it seems unlikely character density will rise too much on Dwilight. If closing an island is for the purpose of driving character density dramatically upwards, I expect you'd need to shutter more than one continent to have a noticeable impact on Dwilight's density.