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Global wars ought to be like sex: quick and painful.

 

 

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10 minutes ago, Sir Scarfalot said:

Well, you're not entirely wrong, but loyalty carries with it an implicit acceptance of the actions of the leadership. The fact that current TGH members haven't left despite TGH doing terribad sneaky ebil shit means that TGH's membership is cool with those terribad crimes. Meanwhile IQ's membership hasn't left despite them doing all that dirty rotten stuff, so they're implicitly cool with said dirty rotten stuff. The fish may rot from the head, but that doesn't mean the rest is fresh; quite the contrary really.

We have digressed somewhat.  That which is implied is largely subjective.  The subjects who you reference will clearly have a different view to you based on their personal experience.  In any case where do we stop?  This thought progression generally devolves into a game of excuses and blame, a world in which truth is sought and fabricated, facts (I laugh) excluded from the majority (including me) who are directly affected by the outcome, and is rarely resolved.  I'm not calling anyone out, but asking 'what is left for those (the majority) looking into the fog and seeking leadership?'  One answer might be Loyalty, (and honor), and a forum with people hopefully trying to make things better for everyone.  Hopefully this is it.

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Game needs to look good to retain people through the shit mechanics.
I've offered many times to help spruce things up on the forums & in-game, but Alex never really took me up on the offer other than to say he'd look my way for assistance when he decides to do a UI overhaul after the great UI Overhaul April Fools joke I created.

Apart from that you need a lot - actual good looking ads that draw people into the site, but not just the site, they need to get pushed into community (discord) where they can be known as new so people can encourage them to stick around. Alex should be using what he has has the main motivator to continually attract attention to the game. What I mean by that is realizing that PW is a work in progress, it needs maintenance, and the thing that holds most of this together is the people and community. Selling people on 'custom religion' 'custom military' really is just a false narrative - nothing really is custom about it other than naming it and slapping a pic on it.

-Graphic update
-UI Changes
-Accurate, Steady, GOOD LOOKING advertisements
-Community engagement (from admin)
-Quicker support to assist new people & other game/forum infractions
-Actual overhaul of mechanics

The problem alex faces is the fact that he's a human and has a life with virtually no actual staff that is paid or on retainer to manage this game. He's solo - there are many fixes that are needed in this game to actually bring it to the next level and that really can't be implemented on a full scale with just one guy, so changes are small and scarce. The best option (imo) would be to keep PW alive only to create a new and better sim game...but you're asking about pw so thats what I got.

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1 hour ago, Gobi said:

I personally think that wars should be shorter overall and to compensate, make them more frequent. After months of fighting, people get burnt out and it isn’t enjoyable anymore. If they were shorter, it would be a way to draw the community together, making everyone more active for like a month or two and then give them time to relax and take a step back. This would help retain more casual players, as well as let the people who love war do their thing. The problem is that because ending a war requires a side admitting defeat, no one really wants to do it, even if that’s what should be done. 

 

I mean it depends on what side of the war you are on, and at a smaller level what alliance. Generally the winning side has more staying power, however this varies wildly by alliance. It's the governments responsibility to cultivate a culture that doesn't roll over at the drop of a hat. The problem with the second half is due to the war meta short wars disproportionally effect one side. Look at the first few weeks of the last couple wars to see this spike. This means grinding out damage is necessary to actually achieve goals.

1 hour ago, Spaceman Thrax said:

I mean, this. At least you are honest about your intent to make the game less fun and cause people to quit, which is more than I can say for some.

Personally though nothing takes the wind out of my sails more than uneven moderation.

Glad you have to make everything about yourself. Almost like I am responsible for fun for BK and not you, shocking.

1 hour ago, Etatsorp said:

'Purging the weak' is basically a fast road to creating an oppositional community, bereft of new ideas (and new players) that will decline into a morass of bitterness that'll eventually migrate over to the next nation sim.  (Just a view from a newbie with little nation sim experience of course)

I mean the weak have been mostly purged, and this ship has sailed. Paracovenent were the weak in this context. They were large and rolled over easily cementing several metas that continue to this day. They were weak alliances with weak leaders and the game has evolved to be more cutthroat.

56 minutes ago, Cooper_ said:

It's also possible you're right, but even so I'd still like to focus on solutions of how to further increase member retention then and increase the member base.  Everyone benefits from this and it's possible for us to make a community-wide effort despite whichever reason it actually is.

It's up to Alex to increase the player base, not the community. The community is responsible for retention of their individual members. Alex should be more aggressively advertising and making the game more accessible however. Even if you take your statement at face value, look at the reaction NPO got when they helped coordinate a massive new entry into the game. Rather than being applauded they were derided for "cementing a foothold blah blah blah". It's very convenient to complain about game health (not you personally), until it doesn't benefit one's side.

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2 hours ago, Spaceman Thrax said:

I mean, this. At least you are honest about your intent to make the game less fun and cause people to quit, which is more than I can say for some.

Wars aren't meant to be fun, but that doesn't mean the intention is to make people quit the game. 

Ideally, it'd be nice to add more tools to this game, like the colour mechanics, issues, RP tools and the like, which changes the dynamic from build to war, war to build cycle that goes on. After a while if the only thing you can do is a) build wc, b) fight, a) build wc, b) fight, in a closed loop, people will get bored and leave. 

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Just now, Shadowthrone said:

Wars aren't meant to be fun, but that doesn't mean the intention is to make people quit the game. 

Ideally, it'd be nice to add more tools to this game, like the colour mechanics, issues, RP tools and the like, which changes the dynamic from build to war, war to build cycle that goes on. After a while if the only thing you can do is a) build wc, b) fight, a) build wc, b) fight, in a closed loop, people will get bored and leave. 

PnW was alive when wars were fun. CN sort of died when MK invented the "let's reduce all wars to nuke exchanges" protocol. The long war protocol in PnW has a similar effect; staying power is the most important thing, but most alliances don't have staying power and it's hard for alliances to develop staying power.

 

On one hand, long wars create strategy and complexity for milcom, as milcom adapts different strategies and uses different protocols in fighting. On the other hand, long wars are horrible for most rank-and-file. How do we compromise this?

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19 minutes ago, Inst said:

PnW was alive when wars were fun. CN sort of died when MK invented the "let's reduce all wars to nuke exchanges" protocol. The long war protocol in PnW has a similar effect; staying power is the most important thing, but most alliances don't have staying power and it's hard for alliances to develop staying power.

And doubt that's going to change anytime soon. Few alliances build long standing communities that engender the staying power of PnW and it's war mechanic as solely a means to an end, but the reason they stick around is their community. So that's a prevailing meta, both here and in other dead games. So if the game itself doesn't offer something _other_ than these options, you'll find people getting bored with it. 

20 minutes ago, Inst said:

 

On one hand, long wars create strategy and complexity for milcom, as milcom adapts different strategies and uses different protocols in fighting. On the other hand, long wars are horrible for most rank-and-file. How do we compromise this?

Not much compromise to be had here. The game is built in a simplistic loop. Peace and war. There's nothing in between. Some alliances have been successfully in offering an atmosphere that makes their members want to stick around, some don't. The problem really lies in the fact that from all the dead/alive nationsims, there's a lot to learn and add to this one, to change that loop. Achievements is a good start, but making those have different avenues/paths to reach, like answering issues, affecting econ, making the site more interactive, would go a long way in mechanical fixes. Everything else is just argumentation over the meta, which isn't going to change because its how we've built it as a community. So one can attempt to make the game have more depth and see if it retains players or continue down the path of questioning the meta, which would most likely lead to no where, as enough folk have dug their heels in :P 

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Seasonal changes in the player base likely explain a lot of this. Below are the links to the five regions of NationStates that all new nations spawn in if anyone wants to take a closer look at what @Dad posted.

Notice the cyclical drop-offs in nation count every summer and every January. (The latter reflects people going inactive during the November and December holidays; a nation takes several weeks to delete once a player stops logging in.)

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Player attraction could likely be increased by consistent advertising (Alex advertised in the past but largely stopped as far as I know) and a better mobile app. Specifically, the better the app looks, the more likely someone is to create an account on it.

Player retention could likely be increased by improving the mobile app. A persistent login and push notifications alone would probably make a huge difference.

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The strength of social strategy games like PW is the player interactions. Any mechanical changes made to increase the number of active players should aim to increase the amount, variety, and impact of player interactions. It's also a good idea to conceptualize the game as one played by groups rather than individuals. Updates should focus more on facilitating collective action than on changing how individual players build their nations.

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>address the current war meta

You mean like addressing the power of Air that the community keeps downvoting ideas about?

5 hours ago, Aragorn, son of Arathorn said:

I mean the war meta is to make wars not fun. That’s the point and a deterrent to messing with certain alliances. “Fun wars” have a political connotation and benefit one side disproportionately. 

You mean how KETOG and Chaos went to war with each other and somehow certain parties got paranoid about it?

 

 

(Sidenote:  Keep in mind school started)

Edited by Buorhann
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5 minutes ago, Buorhann said:

>address the current war meta

You mean like addressing the power of Air that the community keeps downvoting ideas about?

You mean how KETOG and Chaos went to war with each other and somehow certain parties got paranoid about it?

 

 

(Sidenote:  Keep in mind school started)

True - school, sports, and summertime war.

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Just a thought that crossed my mind but wouldn't upping the daily military buys both help in rebuilding to continue warring AND make wars shorter due to enlarged rebuys?

Example, I have 10 cities, max hangers in all blah blah, my daily rebuy would be 150, 3 per hanger. Well instead of 3 per hanger why not up the ante to 4 or even 5 per hanger. This way even if a side is losing it's easier for them to get back into it, while simultaneously costing alliance's more per day which in turn would drain resources faster and lead to wars ending at a more reasonable length.

I'm also not saying it should be permanent but it could be an easy change for Alex to help create time while he weighs his options before implementing a superior system into the game. Just my 2 cents currently.

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11 hours ago, Spaceman Thrax said:

Personally though nothing takes the wind out of my sails more than uneven moderation.

As the newest mod, I cannot stress this enough:

If you feel like a post warrants moderator action, use the report button. Every moderator gets a notification for every report when they log in.

 

I typically log in to 1 or 0 notifications. Mods are people too with limited time to comb all the content for violators but we put in time to help out the community. If content gets reported, it will be addressed via the rules. Guaranteed, every time.

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I see Leo's head didn't explode yet from the pressure of his ever-growing ego and therefore this war is still going on. The decrease in activity can be pegged on the agonizing month's long war. 

 

Yes people delete in wars, they are weak. But in these long wars where nations are essentially deemed useless and sat on for periods longer than two months can force anyone to just peace out or delete. These long wars are the death of the game, so you've got what you wanted IQ. 

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46 minutes ago, Justin076 said:

I see Leo's head didn't explode yet from the pressure of his ever-growing ego and therefore this war is still going on. The decrease in activity can be pegged on the agonizing month's long war. 

 

Yes people delete in wars, they are weak. But in these long wars where nations are essentially deemed useless and sat on for periods longer than two months can force anyone to just peace out or delete. These long wars are the death of the game, so you've got what you wanted IQ. 

Your failure to retain members is not our sides problems, particularly since peace could be had at any time.

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For everyone who gave ideas, I appreciate it.  I'll work on organizing the behemoth of a list we've already made later.  If you feel that I missed something that you said, let me know and I'll fix it in the post.  Hopefully we can continue the flow of ideas and discussion for a bit longer!

 

As for those who had decided to use this thread to attack others or make political points, please desist and post it elsewhere :P.  

 

Update: The post has been subdivided into 4 categories to make it more coherent.

Edited by Cooper_

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Thanks for making this, Cooper, hope it stays productive. :) I'll try to give my thoughts when I get the opportunity.

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13 hours ago, Etatsorp said:

If the head was chopped off all alliances, I think the game would move on

I like this is idea. Bloody coups all around to spice up the place. 

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Stealing some concepts from EVE Online:

As part of the changes in war mechanics, I propose a change in alliance membership limits as well. When creating a new alliance, it can start at say 30 member limit and can go up to say 100 with upgrades (suggestions). As a new player joining in, in most cases they might want to go for the biggest or strongest alliances. If there were a lot more alliances filling these positions, it would open up diverse options, multiple coalitions and so on. Coalitions can consist of multiple alliances that can join or leave the coalition and are subject to its affiliations and advantages. There should a be a maximum limit of alliances within a coalition (say 8).

Alliances would also need to declare war with Alliance UI. An official declaration of war can go in a global feed so everyone knows what is happening. Attacks can be declared within 180 seconds of a war dec (can be more to give prep time. think of it like logistics of moving your armies in position for war). War goals can be set like; 12 billion damage to infra, 200000 planes killed, 400 nukes launched etc. Achieving these war goals would be an instant victory leading to the losing side facing penalties like infra damage to all members or a % of all enemy banks (within reasonable limits). Alliances can only declare war on other alliances; coalitions can declare war on other coalitions. Again this would need coalition UI, actual gov roles and so on.

Any wars outside of declared wars will be raids only. This gives individual players a chance as well. An unofficial grouping of players will fight on mostly even terms (raids vs raids) against other individuals or alliances.

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14 hours ago, Cooper_ said:

I feel like this was almost a compliment, but in the spirit of the thread, I'd rather avoid the off-topic banter and focus on solutions :) 

You cant focus on solutions till you have determined the root cause/causes of the problem.  Coming up with solutions is great and you may luck out and hit one that actually solves your problem, but ultimately, 80% of problem solving is done by figuring out what the cause of the problem is.

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2 hours ago, Justin076 said:

Yes people delete in wars, they are weak. But in these long wars where nations are essentially deemed useless and sat on for periods longer than two months can force anyone to just peace out or delete. These long wars are the death of the game, so you've got what you wanted IQ. 

I haven't got what I wanted yet, the game still exists. Only reason I've stuck around is because of  the amount of years i've invested into it already.

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