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KemosabeTBC
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Re: Makng old hereo viable again

Fri Feb 17, 2017 9:37 am

Thramir wrote:
Most of the money made by freemium games is from "whales" that spend huge amounts of money.
This article http://www.psychguides.com/interact/the ... -freemium/ is from 2014 but it shows how it works.

Depends on the business model really. "Freemium" games have many different business models.
 
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Ivanrgs
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Re: Makng old hereo viable again

Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:49 pm

I think articles was about, that generally making money on whales is easier and more effective than other business models and becoming dominant in mobile gaming industry.
Technically this model needs to be compared to drug addiction and forbidden for greater good. Mechanics is the same: free try and get addicted, so why drugs are illegal but this business model, not?
Consequences are also similar: people spend time and money for "pleasure" and loose real life part and quality.
 
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TreeSap
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Re: Makng old hereo viable again

Fri Feb 17, 2017 3:46 pm

Yes and no, but it is not that simple. What you're proposing is essentially a new system similar to Awakening to balance old heros. A new system is much harder to implement than just a new hero, we're not talking a 1-2 times harder. We're talking about a linear equation based on the number of heros available.

1) First of all, the Awakening system is not yet finished as ~60% of the heros are still missing their Awakening.
2) The system you're proposing is essentially just another Awakening with no imperative theme. It is basically Awakening part II, because Awakening part 1 failed to do its job. What you're saying is that the current Awakening is a failure and the game needs another Awakening system. Developers will take criticism and feedback from players, but they will not admit their creation as a failure. It is just part of a development cycle for software developers, the developer will always stick with their original goal as they have already invested time/money/effort in it. The only reason why they would actually start over and scrape the current Awakening system would be that their sales and revenue goes down drastically BECAUSE of the current Awakening implementation.
3) Let's think from Lilith's perspective, would it be easier to just release a single hero. Or easier to implement a new system, then balance every single hero in the game (~70 heros in total I think), test all of them, reduce bugs down to a minimum, then finally release it. Chances are, it'll probably take Lilith a week to release a broken hero and make tons of money whereas implementing a new system would take them months. The revenue and profit that Lilith can gain as a direct result of such a system is unknown. If you can do predictive analysis, then be my guest and show me the statistic. Life cycle of mobile game typically don't last long, so it is always ideal for developer to make the most amount of money in the shortest amount of time when possible.

TL:DR, Why make a new system to balance the game for everyone, when you can take the easy route. Releasing OP heros and make tons of $$$ from top spenders is arguably more beneficial than to cater towards bunch of f2p players.


Thanks for the thought put into your post. You make several great points, and your thoughts are along the lines of what Lilith is doing. I did not mean to imply that creating a new system was simple; however, either re-keying existing systems (something that tends to peev whales that invested according to the existing systems' rules) or making a new system is what might be needed to move toward a more sustainable game and revenue model for Soul Hunters. Actually, I think an expanded or multi-part Awakening would work, so a brand new system probably isn't truly necessary; however, new systems tend to drive revenue so I thought that it might be more attractive to frame it that way.

Adding new heroes without rebalancing aspects of the game is something that certainly is easier, and is extremely attractive; however, there are downsides to outmoding your "old" parts of the game without rebalancing. This video goes over some of them in an entertaining way: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tL_bCwiUKNE though you probably already have a good grasp of the effects based on the thought you put into the post.

The cost of constant accretion in the pursuit of revenue is, eventually, cluttering the game to the point where usability suffers greatly. When usability suffers in a mobile game, it is really, really, really, really, really, really hard to motivate new players to stick with it because there are so many other options out there that they can dive right into. The result is that there is a risk of a shrinking player base.

The eventual result crushes everyone involved:
1. New players find the game unapproachable. Just imagine SH having 2x the heroes it has now, and how the various shops would be either jammed full of soulstones or you'd hardly ever see them for the heroes you want. What heroes should you choose? Free players would be totally overwhelmed with no chance to invest in more than fraction of the game content.
2. Whales lose a key aspect their content, and thus their motivation. What do I mean? In a game like this, other players are content. The mere fact that they are there provide motivation for whale spending. A shrinking player base means a shrinking competitive player base, which means the whales have no one else to lead or talk to, and only have each other to compete with. Stagnation continues. Whales bore, and begin to leave for greener pastures.
3. The shrinking revenue from leaving whales changes geometrically, because content (other players) is leaving the game faster than content (Lilith putting stuff in) is entering the game, which causes yet more players to leave.
4. The game fails to produce enough revenue to continue supporting, and Lilith, whales, new players, basically everyone who likes Soul Hunters is out of luck.

I don't have the time to write a book about this, so yes, this is simplified a bit. But hopefully it shows clues that the mere addition of new heroes may not a sustainable model.

I don't have access to Soul Hunter's numbers, but unless their model is already showing signs of failing and they are just trying to spike revenue as much as possible before declaring that the game is no longer going to be sustained (Chain Chronicle global by Gumi did something sort of like this), it doesn't make sense to blast apart the balance and power curve by outmoding parts of the game with new heroes above that curve. Heroes and their role in the core mechanic deliver the main (or at least one of the top) value in the game.

It doesn't look like Soul Hunters is at that point, but just imagine what will happen if they don't avoid unsustainable accretion. Making a new community like Soul Hunters has would probably take much more effort than trying to improve the sustainability of this already-entertaining game. And everyone who has invested in the game will be really sour, maybe even sour toward Lilith. I liked Chain Chronicle global, and Gumi's shutdown of it soured me toward Gumi games; I wouldn't invest in another one of their games because if they can't manage it correctly like with Chain Chronicle (one of the best, deepest mobile games I have ever played due to the variety of things they could do with the core mechanic, and its closure is the reason I eventually sought out Soul Hunters), my money goes down the drain.
 
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TreeSap
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Re: Makng old hereo viable again

Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:10 pm

Ivanrgs wrote:
I think articles was about, that generally making money on whales is easier and more effective than other business models and becoming dominant in mobile gaming industry.
Technically this model needs to be compared to drug addiction and forbidden for greater good. Mechanics is the same: free try and get addicted, so why drugs are illegal but this business model, not?
Consequences are also similar: people spend time and money for "pleasure" and loose real life part and quality.


Charging what the market can bear after offering the experience for free is analogous to drug addiction, but they are really different in the sense that chemical addiction is still very different from compulsion based on experiences. Compulsion can come from things like one's employment or other hobbies, running or hitting the gym, social events, and all sorts of other stuff, and it is extreme to compare compulsion to chemical addiction. It is better to compare it to bad habits of thought.

The problem isn't with free-to-play by itself, it is with inhumane design that puts revenue generation over caring about one's fellow human, leading to as much compulsion-generating features as possible and harpooning the whales to death.

Free-to-play game models can be abused, but designing in an inhumane way by taking advantage of psychology related to compulsion (making Skinner boxes that are inhumanely designed) will eventually invite regulation by people who don't make games, which probably isn't a good thing.

I don't know Soul Hunter's numbers, but there is definitely enough quality gameplay for the free or low-rev player to enjoy, and I personally don't feel compelled to spent an unsustainable amount of money on the game. They did skillfully make it part of my routine, but I don't spend an unsustainable amount of time on the game each day, either, and the costs of not completing one or more daily activities are low enough that I don't feel regret if I miss one or more of them. I'm on a bit of a forum binge this morning, but that's just because an interesting game design discussion arose. My impression is that while Soul Hunters incorporates common f2p compelling design with its daily rewards, quests and treasures, they are not time-intensive enough or essential enough to the game's entertainment to be considered harmfully designed with regards to over-compelling Skinner-box design, though I only have anecdotal evidence to go on.

Players do need to stop and think sometimes "Am I having fun, or just doing this for the reward?", and with regards to Soul Hunters, despite a little bit of stagnation with regards to facing the same teams over and over in PvP, I personally feel that the different modes that I don't sweep through still offer a fun challenge that is worth playing despite the rewards; especially HoL, Raids, PP, Treasure Mines, and Crucible, and new campaign levels.
 
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Ivanrgs
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Re: Makng old hereo viable again

Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:58 pm

Can sign under each word in post above.
Still quite disappointed to realize that I spent on this game more than on any freemium or classic paid game. And despite understanding of how it happens, still hard to stop. Grown demand fo keeping in-game advantage is really addictive beyond reasonable level.
But what I also noticed, when I started (somewhere nov 2016), only one paid character was really strong (also within certain limits): malrath.
Since that time we got Sylphi, Goram, Lingling and possibly Chrona, who are balance changers, but not available through any free means. Sylphi and Goram especially as they were available only via conjuring stone, so vip11 as prerequisite.
So it does feel like developers becoming greedy.
 
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Thramir
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Re: Makng old hereo viable again

Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:26 pm

KemosabeTBC wrote:
Depends on the business model really. "Freemium" games have many different business models.

That may be, but Soul Hunters fits perfectly in what the article explained in my opinion.
 
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hengli
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Re: Makng old hereo viable again

Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:03 am

TreeSap wrote:
I don't have access to Soul Hunter's numbers, but unless their model is already showing signs of failing and they are just trying to spike revenue as much as possible before declaring that the game is no longer going to be sustained (Chain Chronicle global by Gumi did something sort of like this), it doesn't make sense to blast apart the balance and power curve by outmoding parts of the game with new heroes above that curve. Heroes and their role in the core mechanic deliver the main (or at least one of the top) value in the game.

It doesn't look like Soul Hunters is at that point, but just imagine what will happen if they don't avoid unsustainable accretion. Making a new community like Soul Hunters has would probably take much more effort than trying to improve the sustainability of this already-entertaining game. And everyone who has invested in the game will be really sour, maybe even sour toward Lilith. I liked Chain Chronicle global, and Gumi's shutdown of it soured me toward Gumi games; I wouldn't invest in another one of their games because if they can't manage it correctly like with Chain Chronicle (one of the best, deepest mobile games I have ever played due to the variety of things they could do with the core mechanic, and its closure is the reason I eventually sought out Soul Hunters), my money goes down the drain.

Hi TreeSap first of all I appreciate all the feedback from you guys and will try to at least answer some of your concerns and questions.

1 - Our original version is online for more than 3 years, Soul Hunters in June will be online for 2 years and as you can see the game is updated normally twice a month. Lilith is compromised to keep bringing content to the game and giving support to the players. So you don't need to worry about that. New features are being worked on and players will soon be able to enjoy some exciting new game-modes.

2 - Old heroes are getting re-worked with the awakenings, I am aware that many old heroes don't have awakening quests yet but they will. This month I will also do a special event related to that please stay tuned.

3 - Heroes like Sylphi will end up being released in the shops where all the players will be able to farm Soulstones for her. Different from other games we release all the heroes to the shops (except Ezio as this is a special case). We also try to release good login heroes that as you know are available to all the players in the game from the calendar rewards and very quickly in shops where their Soulstones are placed.

Our game is still competitive even for free players. There are many F2P players that are already level 100 and also battle for top positions in the Arena for example. I understand the concerns and complaints but can guarantee that we are still always working to keep the game as balanced as possible. VIP players of course do have an advantage and that is normal in any game but Soul Hunters has room for every kind of player.
 
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KemosabeTBC
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Re: Makng old hereo viable again

Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:02 am

hengli wrote:
2 - Old heroes are getting re-worked with the awakenings, I am aware that many old heroes don't have awakening quests yet but they will. This month I will also do a special event related to that please stay tuned.

Getting awakenings is not enough, most need to be *really* re-worked, otherwise the awakening is pointless.
 
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tehzmann
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Re: Makng old hereo viable again

Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:20 am

KemosabeTBC wrote:
hengli wrote:
2 - Old heroes are getting re-worked with the awakenings, I am aware that many old heroes don't have awakening quests yet but they will. This month I will also do a special event related to that please stay tuned.

Getting awakenings is not enough, most need to be *really* re-worked, otherwise the awakening is pointless.



This. Look at Alana. Her awakening is useless and doesn't fit her kit or gear at all. Her entire kit needs a rework to make her usable again. Great skin and card though :)
 
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Re: Makng old hereo viable again

Sat Feb 25, 2017 11:25 am

I really enjoyed reading this thread and thanks hengli for answering some of the concerns that I have been pondering myself. I am curious about something. I understand that people who pay money should have an advantage, but was sylphi's creation intentional? I'm talking about her extremely high dps output in mainly HoL. I'm not trying to steer this thread in a negative direction and I would hope those who have negative thoughts towards sylphi could communicate them in a constructive way (I've been guilty of emotionally bashing sylphi). It was mentioned that Lilith is doing everything they can to balance the game and from reading that it makes me think that the huge gap in terms of leaderboard standings in HoL between paying and non paying customers was intentional with sylphi and goram. It was a hard change that kinda shocked the SH community here. Just curious as I haven't seen thoughts from Lilith regarding sylphi or goram, unless I missed it in which could somebody point me in that direction.

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