Author Topic: Where players found us: Month of July  (Read 796 times)

Oryx

  • Storyteller
  • Posts: 183
Where players found us: Month of July
« on: August 16, 2017, 09:45:45 PM »
July 2017
Total new accounts: 198
New accounts with more than 30 minutes played: 36 (was 43 in June)
New accounts that played as recently as last week: 6 (was 13 in June)

Popular answers to "where did you find us" from people who actually logged in and played for any amount of time:
Friend - 10
The Mud Connector - 8
Reddit - 8
Google - 7
YouTube, mostly Baybar (!) - 6
Top Mud Sites - 4
onrpg.com - 1
Discord - 1

Where they learned about us, whether they actually logged in to play or not:
Friend - 17
The Mud Connector - 60
Reddit - 26
Google - 48
YouTube, mostly Baybar (!) - 6
Top Mud Sites - 18
onrpg.com - 1   (YOU! WHOEVER THIS IS! SEEK ME OUT AND PLEASE EXPLAIN)
Discord - 1
Article in film magazine - 1 (Would also love more information on this)

Honorably mentioned: RiftTalon

Interesting, funny or unique responses:
Never tried a MUD bfore, but if i do, i want this to b the 1st one
It came to me in a dream, and I forgot it in another one.
Everywhere
Looking for text other than Facebook
batmud


Where we stand now:
I'm getting pretty hyped to see our numbers for AUGUST which I think will blow these out of the water. I will do a more thorough run down of those numbers also, but I wanted to give us a base, here. As you can see, our presence on Reddit went a long way toward bringing in new blood. For those of you interested in the forum, Kialae posted in: https://www.reddit.com/r/MUD/comments/6m4pde/promotion_armageddon_mud_awareness_post/

If you'd like to take a look at the longer trends, Mansa has made us this: https://1drv.ms/x/s!AuelAW2dNA8Cg1rCWIPj-POZRF_8

When you look at those long highs in 2013, they were times when we were really doing our best to get the word out and the vote was particularly strong. Nyr was doing a magnificent job with pushing publicity at that time.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2017, 10:51:38 PM by Oryx »

mansa

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New Players Guide: http://gdb.armageddon.org/index.php/topic,33512.0.html


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FamousAmos

  • Posts: 233
Re: Where players found us: Month of July
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2017, 10:29:05 PM »
WTH is a BayBar? Something like...




??

Oryx

  • Storyteller
  • Posts: 183
Re: Where players found us: Month of July
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2017, 10:53:32 PM »
« Last Edit: August 16, 2017, 10:55:46 PM by Oryx »

Riev

  • Posts: 4796
Re: Where players found us: Month of July
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2017, 11:57:49 PM »
I have been semi active in the mud subreddit. Maybe that has been a help.
Masks are the Armageddon equivalent of Ed Hardy shirts.

Miradus

  • Posts: 1758
Re: Where players found us: Month of July
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2017, 09:04:07 AM »
I have been semi active in the mud subreddit. Maybe that has been a help.

I have NOT been active in the mud subreddit, which I GUARANTEE you has been a help.

July 2017
Total new accounts: 198
New accounts with more than 30 minutes played: 36 (was 43 in June)
New accounts that played as recently as last week: 6 (was 13 in June)

So we have a 3% retention rate? Um ...


Riev

  • Posts: 4796
Re: Where players found us: Month of July
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2017, 09:30:27 AM »
I have been semi active in the mud subreddit. Maybe that has been a help.

I have NOT been active in the mud subreddit, which I GUARANTEE you has been a help.

July 2017
Total new accounts: 198
New accounts with more than 30 minutes played: 36 (was 43 in June)
New accounts that played as recently as last week: 6 (was 13 in June)

So we have a 3% retention rate? Um ...

I think mostly Reiloth and I have been actively talking about Arm, at least in that subreddit.

We've ALWAYS had issues with our retention rate, but in the past its been "6 is better than nothing". Its hard to reach those other 30 players and find out what they DIDN'T like. Even if its not things we're willing or able to fix, it'd be nice to know why they don't stay.

My only assumption is they get a basic character in, but come in at a time when other PCs aren't around or able to interact. 30 minutes is an entire day or night, which would be someone sitting at the Gaj for 30minutes waiting for 'something' to happen.

And not to knock anyone, but we all know that people who sit at taverns aren't the movers and the shakers, because they all move in small groups behind locked doors, generating awesome plots for minimal people.
Masks are the Armageddon equivalent of Ed Hardy shirts.

Oryx

  • Storyteller
  • Posts: 183
Re: Where players found us: Month of July
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2017, 09:53:05 AM »
Six is a rather low retention rate, I agree. However, if we only retained six new players every month, we'd grow by 72 players per year, which would really be rather lovely. Of course, we lose players for various other reasons. Often they need a break after playing an intense character, or life steps in to whisk them away.

Something I've been thinking about lately is what to do with a newbie when you find one. How can you bring them into the circle of roleplay while teaching him or her syntax at the same time. If every player could devise a "trick up their sleeve" of something fun to do with a newbie when they found one, whether it's spy from the rooftops, stalk and hunt prey, or help out shopping at the bazaar, it might help weave them into the webwork.

As to our tavern sitters, despite popular opinion, I find they're most often clan leaders ready and willing to work with new players and current players looking for more involvement and interaction.

Miradus

  • Posts: 1758
Re: Where players found us: Month of July
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2017, 10:03:29 AM »
Meh. My movers and shakers do a lot of their moving and shaking in taverns. :) I specifically told people not to Way me because there NEEDS to be a chance to be overheard in order for there to be content generated.

It disgusts me when clan leadership refuses to talk openly, even in their barracks, and wants to use the Way.

The downside is that I then become known as a mover and a shaker and either eat a random backstab or get murdered by coded authority before I hit 3 days played.

There are very few players who will let a plot run its course if it's counter to their interests, even if it only has a 1% chance of success.

But anyway, I'd think a 3% retention rate is pretty crappy by any metric.

When I first tried Arm, I tried it like three times before it stuck, and I used different accounts each time because I couldn't remember the account I'd tried before. The other side is that there's a waiting period for character approval which just sucks when you're trying out a new mud. I think there should be code in place that notifies staff immediately when a new account has created their first character for approval. I'm talking red lights flashing and klaxon horns sounding with Russian sailors yelling in the background. Because several times I've tried muds with a waiting period for approval and I've tried several of them at once and pretty much the first one to get back to me was the one I played for a couple of weeks trying it out.

It's not really the playerbase which turns you off a new mud right away. That takes time to get to know them. I didn't start running into fucktards until several months into my experience here. Mostly because I was out doing things and the fucktards generally stay inside Allanak. (Now I'm one of them.) For almost my first game year I avoided Allanak like the plague because at about 5 hours on my first character some noble made me lick his boots when I walked out of the Gaj and tried to explore Caravan Way. I was concerned at first that experience was going to be consistent across my entire time in Armageddon, being the pissboy for a bunch of neckbeards living out their digital wish fulfillment ... when all I really wanted out of a game was to chop shit up with a sword.

But I found the helper chat and I had a question about something or other and nobody was around, but within a few hours after submitting my question I got an email from a pretty little girl (Google photo in the email) that was extremely polite and helpful and encouraging. So I kept trying and the game world eventually "took".

Still don't like most of you, but I've learned to like some of your characters.


Miradus

  • Posts: 1758
Re: Where players found us: Month of July
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2017, 10:12:28 AM »
Something I've been thinking about lately is what to do with a newbie when you find one. How can you bring them into the circle of roleplay while teaching him or her syntax at the same time. If every player could devise a "trick up their sleeve" of something fun to do with a newbie when they found one, whether it's spy from the rooftops, stalk and hunt prey, or help out shopping at the bazaar, it might help weave them into the webwork.

Club them over the head and take their shit? I'm on it.

When I try out a new mud, I want to be left alone for a little while to figure out syntax. Don't talk to me, roleplay person. I want to read the helpfiles and figure out syntax.

I tried out some Star Wars mud recently and they annoyed me in the first 5 minutes to the point where I didn't come back by overly engaging me as a new player. Fuck off, bounty hunter dude. I am not the newbie you're looking for.

The other side of the coin is that TODAY I still get people trying to engage me as a newbie in Armageddon. :) I stepped out of chargen in Luir's just a few weeks ago and stopped in the main room to review the bulletin board since I hadn't played in the north for awhile. Someone spoke to me and I didn't see it to respond very fast and within about 30 seconds it was "ooc Welcome to Armageddon! You can use the say command to speak to people in character."

Heh. Kudos to you, welcoming bro, but I'm not a noob ... I'm just slow.

So if you're brainstorming ways to increase retention, I'm all in, but let's be open minded about it. All sorts of players are going to stumble into the game and maybe identifying a newbie and then telling them to go join the Byn isn't the one size fits all solution we need.

I'd also get rid of the politics talk on the forum. Serious. It's caustic and in today's polarized atmosphere, what benefit does it give us having it show up when a newbie finds the forum and sees it? Anything? Anything at all? It's like having three people sitting in front of your coffee shop arguing loudly about religion. The smart person keeps walking.


Voular

  • Posts: 921
Re: Where players found us: Month of July
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2017, 10:25:46 AM »
I can tell you the story of one of my first PCs. Details are a bit vague and hazy - this might be a composite of two different chars but the gist of it is true, but he started off in the Gaj like everyone else. He was swiftly plucked up and put to work in hacking glass and obsidian by some hunter. Eventually he joined a clan and gained skill - I had staffers animate characters (it took years for me to figure out it was NPCs) and teach me stuff and give me basic tasks. Eventually I garnered skills to survive on my own and left the clan.

Know what the first thing I did was? Hang around the Gaj and catch a noob and take him mining. Our characters formed a great friendship and when eventually one of us died and the IG grief that carried out to RL sadness and true emotions hit me -- well guess what, I was hooked.

Promptly rolled up a new character with the goal of becoming good at something and trying to include as many others in his endeavours as soon as possible.

What I want to say is - perhaps storytellers should be given more leeway to animate and interact with newbies, and perhaps spend more time on it.

It really did make a world of difference to me as a new player to have someone watch over me and nudge my dumb as in the right direction.
Modern concepts of fair trials and justice are simply nonexistent in Zalanthas. If you are accused, you are guilty until someone important decides you might be useful. It doesn't really matter if you did it or not.

nauta

  • Posts: 2206
Re: Where players found us: Month of July
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2017, 10:44:13 AM »
Another quick idea on newbie retention:

In the big newbie clan (and maybe the Atrium too) there is a schedule that keeps the PCs in that clan (which can be numerous) from interacting with newbies who spawn at the Gaj.  I've seen a few times now a newbie sit at the Gaj and not find a leadership PC for RL hours or days, and I know from experience that the clannies in the newbie clan really do love interacting with and helping newbies out.  They are just restricted by their schedule from doing so. 

So to that end, you could have a command (e.g., contact Newbiehirer) that a newbie could type which would auto-enlist them in the newbie clan, transport them to the sparring hall, etc.  Then at least they'd have other clannies to interact with.  Once leadership comes around they can enlist them properly, etc.

ETA: Implementation idea (this would require coding a script on an NPC):

1. Make one of the Byn NPCs at the Gaj have a script.  (Add an Atrium NPC with the same script at Red's too?  I'll just speak for the Byn here, but I think mutatis mutandis for Atrium.)

2. The talk script would inform the newbie what the process is to enlist.  There'd then be a command, like: enlist me.  They would hand over the three small, and the NPC would ask them to fall in.  They'd walk the newbie to the compound, explaining the schedule along the way, and do a little tour even.  Bonus points: they'd contact current Troopers to inform them.  One can assume the Runners will be at the appropriate spots according to the schedule.

3. People could then say: Try to find a PC Sergeant via the way.  The newbie would then say: I can't find their minds.  Then people would say, thumbing the NPC: Chat with that Sergeant there.

4. Limitation: Perhaps limit it to bona fide newbies (< 30 hrs on the account or something like that).  Although, really, I don't see non-newbies abusing this feature in such a way it couldn't get sorted out IC, although I guess some criminal or spy could use it to get into the Byn and murderize everyone.  (But in general those cases would be so egregious and obvious and rare, we probably shouldn't play the exception in making the rules.)

« Last Edit: August 17, 2017, 11:23:12 AM by nauta »
as IF you didn't just have them unconscious, naked, and helpless in the street 4 minutes ago

Miradus

  • Posts: 1758
Re: Where players found us: Month of July
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2017, 10:48:15 AM »
I'm spamming this thread, I know it, but I'm not going to stop. It's something that matters to me. :)

A part of retention is also not losing "old" players. I've seen a number of players whom I enjoyed playing with, of varying longevity, just driven off in my (almost 2 years) time here. And very little of it has been due to in game activities. A couple of them were ones *I* introduced to Arm and brought them here from the mud you're actively competing with for the top two slots ... Forgotten Kingdoms. (Yeah, I play it. I like it.)

Some of it was just overly sensitive issues on the parts of my friends, but they forwarded me the emails they received from staff, and yeah, staff WAS rude for no reason. And I see how people get upset about half the time when I submit a character report and I get a terse, no enthusiasm response and character report resolved indicating no further discussion will be had.

So if you're driving off players at a greater rate than that 3% retention you're getting from new players, you're getting nowhere. And we probably benefit more from long term players in terms of actual gameplay than we do from newbies. It takes a long time to learn the game world and how to interact before you can really be more than Grebber #73 or Byn Redshirt #167. Old players know that shit already and can drop straight out of chargen, find the nearest plot, and go forth. Stop pissing off the old guys before I completely run out of friends.

Why do I play here? There's action, there's intrigue, there's permadeath. That's really probably it. I don't like the lore a whole lot, the static nature of the world bothers me (though my other two muds I play it's the same way), and sometimes you just want to play a powerful magic character and I can't. I literally can't because I didn't join the game in 2004 or whenever karma was being handed out more freely. (Yet another barrier to entry for the new player.)



Lizzie

  • Posts: 7491
Re: Where players found us: Month of July
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2017, 02:53:05 PM »
Sales & Marketing 101: Minimum expectation of retention rate to consider "success" is 1%. We're at 3%. That's a good thing, not a bad thing. Of course in Sales & Marketing you're also dealing with a far higher saturation level - rather than a 1000-person demographic, commercial enterprises would be targeting a 1,000,000+ person demographic. But look at it from that perspective:

If you make Cheerio's and do a marketing campaign targeting a) kids who can whine to their parents while they're out grocery shopping, b) moms who take their kids grocery shopping, and c) college students - you're going to be looking at around 20-40 million people. At a 1% retention rate, that means 200,000-400,000 new Cheerios fans in addition to the existing fans who already buy it regularly. That's enough to introduce a new flavor - ESPECIALLY if that demographic is primarily located in dense clusters like city supermarkets and popular suburban strip malls.

A 1% retention rate doesn't sound like much but in actuality, you're doing a good job if you can consistently retain more than that.
Talia said: Notice to all: Do not mess with Lizzie's GDB. She will cut you.
Delirium said: Notice to all: do not mess with Lizzie's soap. She will cut you.

Oryx

  • Storyteller
  • Posts: 183
Re: Where players found us: Month of July
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2017, 10:35:50 AM »
Miradus, while I may not always agree with players in their reports, it's always my intention to treat them as respectfully and warmly as I can.

My sleeves are rolled up and I'm doing what I can. I'm truly delighted to hear you've also worked to bring new players to the world. That kind've introduction has been shown to result in some of our best players.

If you're all out of friends to preach the good word of Zalanthas to, the best thing you can do is VOTE! While the percentage we retain is lower, the overall numbers end up being about equal for retention!

Vote! It works!


Vox

  • Posts: 323
Re: Where players found us: Month of July
« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2017, 04:24:04 PM »
And not to knock anyone, but we all know that people who sit at taverns aren't the movers and the shakers, because they all move in small groups behind locked doors, generating awesome plots for minimal people.

Combat Skills
Throw Shade  (master)

:) Buuuut, he's not entirely wrong. Sure, there are a few players actively trying to incorporate the world into their plots rather than jealously hording their secret plans in guarded backrooms and coded Way's, but that's truly rare. That's not to say I think people should unrealistically go shouting their assassination plots through the streets just so other players can be included, of course.

I think the solution here lies with the Storytellers.

What I want to say is - perhaps storytellers should be given more leeway to animate and interact with newbies, and perhaps spend more time on it.

The more animations the better, really. That feeling that comes from the world coming to life around you, that someone in Immland is taking the time to play with you and interact with you. That you are seen, that your presence in the game is noticed. To me, this is a great way to make new and old players alike feel included in the game if only to add environmental flavor.

And in the cases where a plot is unrealistically isolated I think Storytellers should help facilitate the opportunity for other players to be included. This doesn't mean just spilling the beans on a plot, but providing some sort of 'IN' from some angle. Whether it be a couple NPC stable servants wandering into the Gaj and the chance to overhear them gossiping.. or changing the Innkeeper/Barkeep 'rumor' to something they've 'overheard' at the bar that has the potential of leading a smart player in the right direction. (The right direction being inclusion in some greater part of the story.)

Anyway, I think focusing on regularly making the world come to life in dynamic ways around both new and old players is an easy way to build retention.

Also this:
My sleeves are rolled up and I'm doing what I can.

Oryx, you rock. Thanks for showing that you care about this game, this community, and ways of helping it grow!

UnderSeven

  • Posts: 1440
Re: Where players found us: Month of July
« Reply #16 on: October 19, 2017, 11:22:16 AM »
Wow, I have an account whose password I still remember!

Okay, I think this game has two problems going against it for retention and these will be unpopular views.

Basically it is this:

Harshness != Retention.

Let me give you an example.  Passing out  from use of the way?  F-ing FING sucks.  It is no fun, it is the most no fun.  Bring this up to staff?  Harshness, they won't change it, they won't even hear about changing it.  Bring it up to a newbie?  Yeah better hope they don't pass out from the way because it could alone cause them to run away screaming to some other game or distraction for their time.  Why does it exist the way it does?  Oh yeah, no reason, it's arbitrary, but it's traditional arbitrary.  Bring this up in any other thread.  Newbies gotta learn to be tough to play here.  Realistically? They'll just find a better use for their time and not play here.  End result?  There is no here.  Arm is the biggest rpi now and also practically the only one left standing, but even here the numbers are in a steady decline.  Look at the mansa chart and over the years about 100 less unique logins.  Not great numbers.  A lot of other distractions competing for time these days. 

So what am I saying?  A lot of policies and in game quirks that make this game harsh also make it not particularly fun to play for a new person.  They're the ones who are most likely to fall into those traps.  Older players know how to use the way and rarely fall victim to it.  Therefore these sorts of things specifically punish the newer player that the game so craves to retain.

Plenty of other examples too.  Night blindness, storm blindness, npcs that can and will one shot you.. Or one of my personal favorites.  "Find out IC!"  Yeah no thanks, bye.  Who doesn't know the answer to the find out IC questions?  New players!  Who isn't going to put up with the smugness of the community as well?  New players! 

Armageddon has a cultural problem that needs to be overcome.  Yes the game is generally polite to new players and people will often go out of their way to try to help them, but on the same token the game punishes them.  Punishes them worse than it does anyone else.

If you really want to see good retention numbers then you need to take a good hard look at the way this game has considered it's traditional harshness and rules (either official or not) and think if they're really necessary or if they can be adjusted.  I'm not suggesting you remove stun or psionic penalties or darkness or IC/OOC seperation.  . Just maybe don't make it so someone feels bad just for asking a krath damned question.

I played this game for over 20 years, but I'm not sure I would of had the patience for it today if I didn't have so much help when I got started.

Grapes

  • Posts: 162
Re: Where players found us: Month of July
« Reply #17 on: October 20, 2017, 06:24:34 PM »
As far as the way steps have already been taken to make it easier on new players. Contact starts at (master), and that, alone helps new players find clanleads to get involved in game plots straight out of chargen. Getting knocked out still sucks but it is, just the way the way is handled.
Quote from: Is Friday
If you ever hassle me IC for not playing much that means that I'm going to play even less or I'll forever write you off as a neckbeard chained to his computer. So don't be a dick.

650Booger

  • Posts: 379
Re: Where players found us: Month of July
« Reply #18 on: October 20, 2017, 07:16:46 PM »
if the game were less harsh I wouldn't want to play, so it goes both ways
"Historical analogy is the last refuge of people who can't grasp the current situation."
-Kim Stanley Robinson