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#223 [en] 

Right, Sinvaders.
Not an oversight of mine.

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#224 Multilingual 

Multilingual | [English] | Français

Ryzom Forge meeting (April 26th 2021)


Date: monday, April 26th, 19:30 UTC (21:30 CEST)

Meeting places:
  • Atys, on the public forge channel
or
  • Ryzom Chat, channel #pub-forge-xx (exhttps://chat.ryzom.com/channel/pub-forge-en


Duration: 1.5 hour

Participants: all Ryzom players wishing to join.

Nature: informative, questions & answers and feedback meeting.

Topic
: Added, in test and ready to be tested projects.
Agenda
    [Presentation] Ryzom's marketing plan: increase player loyalty
    [Presentation] Silan Refactoring project

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Tamarea
Ryzom Team Manager
(FR / EN / ES)

tamarea@ryzom.com

#225 [fr] 

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Tamarea
Ryzom Team Manager
(FR / EN / ES)

tamarea@ryzom.com

#226 [fr] 

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Tamarea
Ryzom Team Manager
(FR / EN / ES)

tamarea@ryzom.com

#227 Multilingual 

Multilingual | [English] | Français

Ryzom Forge meeting report – April 26 2021

1 - Win players' loyalty: a more attractive game

Tamarea (RT) – 19:39 UTC
A 2021 marketing plan has been developed by the Ryzom Team, which pursues three goals:
1. Win players' loyalty
2. Get more subscribers
3. Attract new players
We will detail today the actions undertaken by the team to achieve the first objective, and your suggestions to enrich them will be welcome.

We are losing too many players, including high-level players, because of the lack of new content to motivate them to log in, because the long-promised additions are still overdue, and because the pace of maintenance remains slow.
That's why we decided to focus on the projects already underway and on maintenance. Specifically:
• To complete ongoing and long-announced projects: new launcher/installer, Boss refactoring, outpost battles refactoring, Marauders' gameplay, balancing of range weapons (see information given during previous Ryzom Forge meetings).
• To add new events to the Storyline on a regular basis, each leading to new permanent gameplay content.
• To not neglect maintenance: fixing bugs, adding new rewards, etc.
The upcoming patch will begin to put some of this content into play, with the activation of the test outposts of the Nexus and the gradual addition of the new Bosses.
• To encourage roleplay which, while remainining of course optional, is one of the raisons d’être of the MMORPG Ryzom. So, to make roleplayers want to stay, the team is working on two axes:
• School of initiation to role-playing (in project)
• Regular (weekly) events, impacting or not the History of Atys

Do you have any questions or comments about these actions?

Four comments:
• I confirm my availability to carry on with the tests needed for the rebalancing of range weapons I started in the past with Tykus and to participate in the tests of outpost battles.
• If we want to win their loyalty, I think we first need to find the reasons why new players are currently leaving the game. I'm thinking especially of crashes: new players (especially the current generation) having an abundance of games at their disposal, they have no problem abandoning a game after an umpteenth crash.
• As far as roleplay is concerned, I think it's a pity that the weekly events are almost all one-shots, episodes with no aftermath, that they don't build, little by little, a Story. However, I thank the team for the frequency and the quality of the events proposed to the casual roleplayers (of which I am).
• As for me, I think that the weekly events do build a Story, but that this one is difficult to follow because of its scattering, via the events, in several different episodes in different places. As a result, it is difficult for many Atysians to gather these episodes into a Story (difficult, but not impossible should you explore the Wiki and the messages posted to the forum). Perhaps grouping the events by month and nation (i.e. one month's worth of History episodes about Trykers, then one month's worth of History episodes about Zorai, etc.) would improve things... except that it would be felt as unfair by the uninvolved nations of the month. *frown*
In short: if, for me, a coherent History is on the way, I unfortunately have no idea what would help to make it better known to all.


Thank you for your feedback, which will of course be passed on to Event team.

2 - Win players' loyalty: an improved tutorial

Ulukyn (RT) – 20:07 UTC
In order to increase player loyalty, in addition to offering more attractive game content, we will work to better guide new players. We actually lose a lot of them shortly after they arrive on the tutorial island of Silan. After investigating the causes of this, we agreed on a possible remediation. This is how the Silan refactoring project was born, which will not result in a big change but only in various adjustments and improvements.
The objective of this refactoring is twofold:
• on the one hand, give the desire to new players to go further (at the moment very few of them take the step - i.e. pass to the continent);
• on the other hand, try to make the global experience of the game more homogeneous (at the moment, as Dorothée – may she be thanked – pointed out during the RT meeting preparing this one, there are too many differences between the game on Silan and the one on mainland).
Said Improvements and adjustments are planned for:
• The map of Silan Island. To make it more useful for beginners it:
   • will no longer be shown to players alone, but with the general map of Atys;
   • will allow the player to zoom in on the Ranger Camp (as is the case on the mainland towns);
   • will display icons showing the location of NPCs useful to players (at their stage of progress).
• Texts describing missions that are currently unclear, such as those that present a team-building suggestion as a necessity to players who cannot (or do not know how to) form a team.
• Damages from creature attacks near the Ranger Camp. They will be reduced as it currently causes too many deaths. Character dying too frequently suggests to players that the game is not for them, or that they have misunderstood the rules, increasing the risk that they will abandon Ryzom without delay.

Three comments:
• As for damage reduction, I would say that it has already been started, considering the speed with which the DP is cancelled on Silan. And if the player fears the death of his characters, let him go play Candy Crush! *smile*
• I think this is a bit too much easing the work for beginners. Many times some of them don't even understand that Silan is a tutorial.
• Most of the new players don't even seem to read the texts said by (or posted near) the Silan trainers (Guilan Guiter, Nomis Merclao, etc.). I think they should be offered other ways of learning.

3 - Win players' loyalty: a friendlier learning process

Ulukyn (RT) – 20:14 UTC
Actually, few players take the time to read everything (this is natural: the excitement of discovering a new game pushes them to immediate action, not to think about its mechanisms).
So I'm going to show you what we have planned to overcome the disadvantages of this understandable haste.
We won't rewrite the mission texts: it would require too much time. But I've noticed, when accompanying players who don't know Ryzom in their first session, that displaying an adapted screenshot on their screen was often more efficient than giving them a long speech to explain them such or such gameplay mechanism.
This is why we will introduce the concept of schools (or academies) whose function will be to provide in-game "Academic Knowledge" that will be available, at any time, to all players and delivered in the form of practical lessons that will guide them, in a visual and playful way, in the accomplishment of the missions as well as in their actual learning. Each school will contain several pieces of information about a gameplay topic (e.g., the mastery of magic or that of jewelry) or a more general topic (e.g., the game's interface, or even, as mentioned above, role-playing).
Below a prototype, for the school of "Melee fight mastery", of a window showing in game the information made available by a school.



It presents a teaching plan with four sections (or lessons), which can be activated (if your progress allows it) or not (greyed out) so that you do not get lost in a long list. When you activate a lesson, a list of exercises to do (presented in the form of cards) will be proposed to you. Once you have completed all the exercises on this list, you will be offered a reward.
You will find below a prototype, for "Elementary Movements", of a sheet describing such an exercise.



It is composed of four parts displaying respectively:
• A title with a short explanation in subtitle
• An illustrated goal, optional (button to click for acceptance)
• A small reward, optional (button to be clicked for recovery once the goal reached)
• A set of pictures to make it easier to understand how to reach the goal.
Why, you may ask, propose an objective and a reward and not only the explanation and the illustrations? Quite simply because proposing an action in exchange for a reward is more motivating and fun, much more so than a long explanation text.

Do you have any questions?

Q: Are there any plans to rework the character creation phase as well?
A:
No. Not as part of the Silan refactoring, anyway.

Q: Does Silan refactoring include informing new players about the existence of teleports on the island (many don't know)?
A:
Yes. The goal is for new players to get on Silan a real taste of what to expect on the mainland.

Q: Will the enhanced tutorial use the key assignments listed in the player's keys_character.xml file?
A:
Yes. And by the way, the player will be able to change these assignments in-game through the exercise cards provided by the school, without having to search for the relevant window in the (very dense) UI.

Q: Since it is difficult to accumulate Dappers on Silan, will the cost of teleporting there be changed?
A:
No. But players will be able to get more Dappers through the exercises offered by the schools (they will often offer them as rewards).

Q: Will Silanese be able to buy mounts?
A:
Yes. The refactoring includes the establishment of a stable on the island.

Q: I don't think a tutorial should have hidden or secret places. So, will the tunnel to the Kitins Jungle be easier to find, or will there be better directions to its location in the Shining Lake?
A:
The access to the Kitins Jungle was intentionally designed as a (little) puzzle, so we don't have anything like that planned, no. But we'll think about making the mission sending players to fight the kitins into their territory more explicit.

Q: Will players be able to take a mektoub acquired on Silan to the mainland?
A:
Yes, as forcing players to give up their equipment would be as counter-productive for us (given the goal of the refactoring) as it would be catastrophic for them.

Q: Henchomins of the Kamis and Karavan on Silan are currently urging caution by suggesting that returning to the island will be difficult, if not impossible. Will their speeches be more supportive (like "I can send you there. It's a dangerous place, but you can come back here anytime.") after the refactoring?
A:
Yes. It's a great idea and we will implement it!

Q: Because a mount is also (or even mostly) a storage space and what it stores is not always easily recoverable after its death, we see few characters moving mounted, on Atys. Couldn't an option of remote recovery of the mount's freight be proposed?
A:
We are working on this: a new feature to allow recovery of any dead pet against Elyps is being tested. Offering such an option on Silan would actually be a good introduction to Elyps for new players, provided the cost of acquiring them is adapted.

Q (off-topic): Regarding Elyps, even if the benefits they provide are valuable (generic materials, high quality items, pet operations, etc.) I find them very scarcely distributed during kitin invasions: killing one kitin is rewarded with one Elyps only. Are there any plans to improve this ratio or to provide kitin invasions more frequently than they have been lately?
A:
No. But we take note of your feeling.

4 - Win players' loyalty: comments and suggestions

(21:03 UTC)
• Silan offering beginners more opportunities and a good overview of what awaits them on the mainland, to avoid their early flight, that's fine. But I think we shouldn't make them too rich on the island: that might make them stay there, never to take the plunge.
Ulukyn points out in this regard that nothing offered by the refactored Silan will be free, and that no player staying on the island will be able to accumulate the millions of Dappers and thousands of Elyps that can be collected on the mainland.
• I too think that setting the cost of acquiring items new in Silan lower than it is on the mainland is to be preferred to setting a higher amount for the Dappers rewarding the completing of the current missions.
Whereupon Ulukyn solicits the opinion of a beginner player attending the meeting on the point.
• (from the said player) As far as Dappers are concerned, I would not increase the amounts distributed in any way. As for the skill points, on the other hand, maybe we should reduce the need for them or increase the quality of the items they provide. Since it's not easy on Silan to get all the skills.
Reacting to this last point, Ulukyn indicates that the difficulty of choosing skills on Silan as well as the fact that not everything can be acquired there was discussed within the team and that a proposal was made to classify them (thanks to groups of stars) according to their greater or lesser usefulness… whereupon a participant proposes to straightly suppress the beginning of their acquisition on Silan.
• Some players are already surprised that the shooting skills are not available on Silan. So I think that removing them all is to be avoided. As for the star rating of skills, it risks "formatting" the game. I like Ryzom because it doesn't force me to push a certain skill but allows me, after reading all the texts about them, to freely choose which one(s) my character will work on.
Ulukyn says that, as the team wants to improve the branch and introduce it to new players, a shooting school will be offered on Silan. Because, he adds, only an informed one is actually a truly free choice and informing about skills is not forcing to embrace them, as giving them would be (as some MMOs do). On which the previous speaker clarifies that it is not the information on skills that makes fear a formatting of players, but their classification.
• For me, I think the tutorial should make it clear that getting more skilled on melee is the best way to get extra hit points and also that it would benefit from pointing to the Bunny Tools app.
Ulukyn clarified that while Bunny Tools is indeed a good app, it is and will remain external. He adds that each school will teach a path (a branch) with a precise indication of the necessary and useful skills to be acquired to follow the path in question and, as much as possible, the possibilities offered by the different blends of those. The goal remains to give players all the information they need to make an informed choice.
• Silan is in my opinion a pretty complete tutorial as it is now. So, if adding icons to better indicate this or that point seems useful to me, the rest of the refactoring is not, I think, a good idea. Because giving everything to new players as soon as Silan will deprive them of the surprise of discovering Atys. Simplify Silan, why not? But from there to make it a mini-Atys… we might as well remove it and make new players be born directly on Atys.
Ulukyn recalls that it is not a question of turning Silan into a mini-Atys, but only of making sure that Silan gives new players the means to be autonomous, to know what and how to look for on Atys as soon as they set foot there. Because currently, arriving on the mainland is a surprise, yes: to discover almost another game. So the refactoring is not about remaking Atys on Silan, but about providing tantalizing glimpses of Atys on Silan.
• The fact remains that the pleasure of discovery, even of a "quasi-new" game, is what makes Ryzom a unique game. And as for the autonomy on the continent, it can be obtained quite quickly by new players thanks to the help of the seasoned ones, as it is currently practiced.
(Ulukyn goes on) Today, new players arriving on Atys know nothing about what awaits them there. In order to encourage them to join the mainland, we think it is important to let them know (without, of course, going into details) that they will find many more means and activities (Elyps, occupations, role-playing, dynamic events, etc.) than just the dappers, missions and skill acquisitions that they are currently presented while on Silan.
• I actually think that there is too much information available on mainland and not enough on Silan, except for the classes (branches), for which the ratio is the opposite.
• Integrating the Silan map with the Atys one is a great idea: it will make new players curious about the mainland and show them that the have still much to explore.
• Many players I know have actually left Ryzom thinking that the playing field was limited to Silan. For the same reason, some have played Ryzom for only two months… time to exhaust the pleasures of Silan.
This Ulukyn confirms by saying that one of the first questions he is asked when he has the game tested is: "Is this the map of the entire game area?".
• When I was on Silan, I actually had the feeling that I was alone, playing on a map that was empty of players. And it didn't make me want to go on. That's why I think it would be good to encourage experienced players to come back to the island more often.
Ulukyn points out that the lessons offered by the Silan schools will probably not only be of interest to new players, but also to players not so experienced for having only recently joined the mainland. The latter will then naturally be led to return to Silan to complete the incomplete training they have received from the current tutorial.
• To fight against this feeling of loneliness of the beginner, wouldn't it also be wise to replace the /who command by a button of UI, of easier use for all?
Ulukyn advises the speaker to post his suggestion to the forum. Because the latter is regularly consulted by contributors who are developers, therefore able to propose the RT a patch implementing it.
• Why not carry out, at the time when the players address to Chiang the Strong to emigrate towards the continent, a survey of satisfaction in order to collect their feelings and opinion on Silan?
Ulukyn indicates that such a survey has already been conducted by him with players who, at his request, tested the game with him during three days. He adds that it has been used, as well as the occasional feedback received from new players and a very critical video about Ryzom (which, if you don't already know it, you can find here), to elaborate the tutorial improvement project presented today.
• Will players, at the said time, be advised to contact the Welcomer of the city they have chosen as destination for their journey to the mainland?
Ulukyn says yes, because the team believes that anything that helps new players find their way around is a good thing, no matter what form it takes (text, school lesson, or visual cue), and that if they don't know what they can (or can't) do there, they're unlikely to enjoy the game.
• Having personally benefited on my arrival from the free services of a quality teacher (an experienced player) I confirm that the rules guaranteeing a good learning of the game rules (and their respect) by players must themselves be learned.
• Some elements of the UI seem to me deserve to be corrected or made adaptable. For example, the size of the cursor in 4K: as, playing on a 55" screen, I already have trouble seeing it, I wonder how others cope.
Ulukyn commits himself to bring up the suggestion.
• As we all are not as good at learning foreign languages as some, I think an automatic translation of private in-game conversations (/tell) would also be very useful.
Ulukyn answers that unfortunately it is not possible to add such an option at the moment.

The meeting is closed at 22:09 UTC

Edited 4 times | Last edited by Nilstilar (1 week ago) | Reason: FR typos

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