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    Your Elvenar Team

Chapter 1-5 Adjustments

CrazyWizard

Oh Wise One
I understand everything you are saying and agree but we all know Inno doesn't seem to listen to player feedback. Inno received a TON of negative feedback on Beta about the Cauldron and changed absolutely nothing from Beta to Live, even though anyone can figure out you will eventually increase your costs to the point you will not have enough Witch Pts to brew anything and then it will be a dead feature. So, I wish you luck in getting anything changed about this matter.
Players are just 1 of the stakeholders in the game, there are many.
Gamedesign has certain KPI's to reach.

This very specific change is for a very specific group of players. and from a gamedesign standpoint these changes are very good.
For all of us, because of players stay for a longer time they become players we meet, and play with and it's important for a healthy game.

Anecdotally, everyone that got the new tech tree are fresh new accounts. However, existing accounts starting new cities in new worlds got old tech tree in my new FS. I do not know if it's a roll of dice or still possible for existing players to get new tech tree.

I have had 2 cities start in deserts and it took over a year to be moved. From personal experience, I know you can survive the desert *if* you have a supportive fellowship.
You a right, but a supportive fellowship is not always a big fellowship filled with veterans.


Do veterans not start new cities? Do veterans not interact with new cities? Clearly some chose to sit on their lofty veteran perch and sequester themselves away from the germ factories of infant cities, and they would have that right. In which case, you would be absolutely correct. None of this will bother you at all! Congrats on cootie immunity. But if we're really going to talk about player retention, welcoming new players into your midst, giving them a chance, and mentoring them will do more in the player rentention department than anything else. It also matters not if my opinion is irrelevant to you or even to those of the devs. This thread was started by the Community Manager specifically to discuss the changes of Chapter 1-5, so they are in fact welcoming our comments to this particular topic, at least as far as the forum is concerned. I'm pretty sure the spirit of this thread is not "We want to hear from you, except the veterans because your opinions are irrelevant." Somehow there are 9 pages of discussion that doesn't find their opinions or that of others irrelevant.
New players spend most of there revenue (the reason why we can play this game) in the first 6 months of the game, the remainder is spend in the years after.
Innogames is still a buisness, and money needs to flow for it to make sense keeping the game alive.
New players are therefore very important. to be fair more important than long time players and this is a change that is very specificly targetted to those players.

And then what happens after they unlock fellowships? Inno shepherds them into fellowships with other newbies by limiting the fellowships they can choose from. Then yay, no one still knows how to trade only boosted goods, they'll still starve in the desert, and you still get a death spiral experience.

For the record, I do know how to sprint the early chapters. However, this is about observing how new players play both individually and as a group by entrenching in a FS with them and watching them do their thing without unduly influencing them one way or another. Will these players have big brothers and sisters dump bountiful crates of goods on them to generally move things along? No, because they're hanging out with other broke early chapter cities while being led by another clueless early chapter city for an archmage.
Somehow I feel you have never been in a newbie fellowship.
Newbie != bad. in fact fairly often they are the most fun to be in. they are some of the most active fellowships.
If you compare them with "top fellowships" they are often boring and dull. nobody is exited about anything, nobody is exploring and it's often loging, do my resets and logout.

Newbie fellowships? everyone is exited and busy and active and exploring and sharing. it can be much more fun. assuming you find one with an archmage that keeps activity high.
I have been in 2, when I started the game, and as a veteran as the sole vet, helping them with information.
They are extremely supportive. no goods in the fellowship?, let me see what's in my market, or I see what I can get from my market to help you.

they might lack the information. they might not have the goods to solve just any newbie issue. but hell they can be a lot of fun.
I might prefer ending up in a newbie FS instead of one with more experienced players because of that.

The main downsides of newbie fellowships is you are very depending on the Archmage to be a hyper active one that keeps kicking inacitve ones out. and invites new ones in. as retention rate is not always that amazing in online games.
 

The Fairy

Scroll-Keeper, Buddy Fan Club Member
even though anyone can figure out you will eventually increase your costs to the point you will not have enough Witch Pts to brew anything and then it will be a dead feature.
No, the price to buy ingredients in the brewing phase resets every week and you get new witch points every week, so this is not true.
 

Dew Spinner

Well-Known Member
No, the price to buy ingredients in the brewing phase resets every week and you get new witch points every week, so this is not true.
If that's true then that is good news. It was my understanding that they didn't reset, maybe Inno actually did change something about because of the negative feedback.
 

crackie

Chef, Scroll-Keeper, Buddy's #1 Fan
New players spend most of there revenue (the reason why we can play this game) in the first 6 months of the game, the remainder is spend in the years after.
Innogames is still a buisness, and money needs to flow for it to make sense keeping the game alive.
New players are therefore very important. to be fair more important than long time players and this is a change that is very specificly targetted to those players.
Yes, I understand this is a freemium game and the ones who pay are supporting the ones who do not. Nobody plays if Inno doesn't get paid. I also know late chapter players sitting on mountains of diamonds with nothing to spend it on. I don't deny any of this. However game changes being introduced and discussions for future tweaks are not mutually exclusive domains, regardless if they chose to make any changes. Why is it NOT possible for Inno to make chapter 1-5 changes, keep the lower costs to get through them, continue to make more changes because they might not have gotten everything right on the first try, AND still maintain all their monetary objectives? Just like they've introduced the Cauldron this week. The chances are very high (esp based on beta commentary) the first iteration of the Cauldron may have flaws. We have no idea if they'll change the Cauldron, but that isn't stopping anyone from discussing it and making wish lists. I'm also not blind to the importance of new players. It's why I work with so many. All the new players that have joined us from the beginning as chapter 1 players on EN have not left. The bigger established cities, esp from late chapter, that fellowship hopped over have higher turnover rates because they didn't just leave the FS, but the game completely. Some of them were parked, not for maximizing tourney reasons, but they despise the settlement gameplay and have no interest to do another. After x period of time in the same chapter, they were ready to move on to different things and retired. What we experience on a microcosm scale as a fellowship level follows the greater macrocosm trend of the game.

Somehow I feel you have never been in a newbie fellowship.
Come on, now. (For the 3rd time) I've just spent several months entrenched in a newbie fellowship as an incognito fellow newbie city to study up close and personal, the effects of this bungled game feature.
Newbie != bad. in fact fairly often they are the most fun to be in. they are some of the most active fellowships.
If you compare them with "top fellowships" they are often boring and dull. nobody is exited about anything, nobody is exploring and it's often loging, do my resets and logout.
For the record, I'm not defining "newbie fellowship" as just a newly created fellowship. I'm using it to refer to a newly created fellowship that is also full of only new players. I have recently started a new fellowship with my biggest city, but I wouldn't call it a "newbie fellowship" because we have many veterans scattered in with the rookies. The research project is different, in which I joined a newly formed FS as an incognito chapter 1 player. They only had 7 players when I joined, all chap 3 and below, with a chapter 2 archmage. By the time I left, they had a full crew of 25 newbies and the biggest city in chapter 6. So whatever your interpretation of "newbie fellowship", I've just done both types in the past month.
Newbie fellowships? everyone is exited and busy and active and exploring and sharing. it can be much more fun. assuming you find one with an archmage that keeps activity high.
I have been in 2, when I started the game, and as a veteran as the sole vet, helping them with information.
They are extremely supportive. no goods in the fellowship?, let me see what's in my market, or I see what I can get from my market to help you.

they might lack the information. they might not have the goods to solve just any newbie issue. but hell they can be a lot of fun.
I might prefer ending up in a newbie FS instead of one with more experienced players because of that.

The main downsides of newbie fellowships is you are very depending on the Archmage to be a hyper active one that keeps kicking inacitve ones out. and invites new ones in. as retention rate is not always that amazing in online games.
I was intentionally incognito to hide the fact I was a veteran player because the whole purpose was to only observe what is happening when you have 25 newbies led by another newbie for an archmage, which is the scenario the system is shepherding new players into. If I were to start guiding them outright as the sole veteran, then it becomes an experiment of me leading a FS of only newbies, which is a completely different objective and not the same experience these newbie fellowships are experiencing. I neither encouraged nor discouraged them to do anything because I'm also here to observe the effects of a chap 2 archmage that has no idea what's going on. Each week, I quietly tallied the numbers for things like number of players with Spire/tourney/FA access, participation in the tourney/Spire/FA, signs of neighborly help, number of black triangles, and number of players with boosted goods only setups. Then I looked at the data points to see what is happening in the FS. The numbers painted a death spiral. This FS will prob have more black triangles than activity if I peek in Elvenstats in another few months.
 
(1st post started on wrong thread)
Really don't like the new tech tree. What is a new player's motivation to join a fellowship if not fellowship rewards/reward chests from the Spire/Tournament? It is going to be hard to lure new players into joining Fellowships. It will result in a bunch of unaffiliated new players not getting advice from the more experienced players in Fellowships and making "newbie mistakes" that will have to be corrected later.
On the old tech tree, Tournaments were the "fun" part of the game that kept me from quitting early. IMO building up a new city is slow and tedious. If I was a new player on the new tech tree, I would probably just abandon the city and find a different game to play that starts up faster and is more entertaining.
I am guessing the new tech tree may "fix" some long game issues at higher chapters. But I think it will discourage new players from sticking around long enough to appreciate the game.

(2nd post from wrong thread)
Continued ...
IMO the new tech tree is in the wrong order. It is is like fishing without bait or lure; you will just be ignored or scare the fish (new players) away. From my point of view ...

1st: Access to scout and explore neighborhood provinces, allowing you to gain resources and also more space for tournament tents.

2nd: Access to the Tournament and Tournament rewards, AKA the bait. (In the chapter 2 spot where the Fellowship Adventure is on the new tech tree.)

3rd: Access to the Trader, because you need more goods to build up your city and for province and tournament encounters.

4th: Access to join a Fellowship which provides additional trading partners and advice from more experienced players. Also, providing fellowship tournament reward chests AKA more bait.

5th: Access to the Spire and spire fellowship rewards, AKA even more bait but limited by individual performance.

6th: Access to Crafting in the Magic Academy. So you can craft (with spire spell fragments & cc) among many other useful things "5day tree buildings" to help boost your units/troops for encounters.

7th: Fellowship Adventure (from chapter 2 in the new tech tree) now that you can earn all types of badges with what you've researched/unlocked. Unless something has changed drastically, for a "newbie" a Fellowship Adventures (not even monthly) is not a good substitute for the Tournament (weekly). A new city's production resources are so limited that contributing more than a few a badges is a real challenge. Also, in comparison to tournament reward chests, Fellowship Adventure rewards are disappointing considering the amount of effort and organization required by the whole fellowship.
 
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crackie

Chef, Scroll-Keeper, Buddy's #1 Fan
It is going to be hard to lure new players into joining Fellowships.
This goes both ways. It's going to be hard to convince established fellowships to let new players join too. I'm a big proponent of taking new players in and teaching them the ropes, but this new tech tree means taking in new players provides very little benefit letting complete newbies in for awhile. You're gonna have to wait out several chapters to even find out if they'll be a good fit if your FS, especially if it has has any sort of minimums. In that time, they won't be contributing to your tourney chests or Spire efforts. It could be months and months, only to realize you need to pull the trebuchet after patiently waiting them out.

I am guessing the new tech tree may "fix" some long game issues at higher chapters. But I think it will discourage new players from sticking around long enough to appreciate the game.
I just checked in on the newbie fellowship I conducted clandestine research in. As I have predicted, 14 out of 23 players currently bear the markings of the idle black triangle on Elvenstats now. All signs of a death spiral. I think the chap 1-5 changes are not great in general, but when you pair them with limited FS options and herd all the newbies into the same FS, it's calamity and nail on the coffin.

If I were a new player on the new tech tree and don't know better, I wouldn't bother with tourney, FA, Spire, Magic Academy, and maybe even trader (after all, nobody's going to teach me the benefits of trading for unboosted goods). Half my FS wouldn't have access to these group events and the other half is going to have zero faith or hope they can get anywhere to bother expending resources to try. And if I made it all the way to chapter 5 ignoring all these things, what motivates me to explore them in chapter 6 when I now have guest races to contend with? I mean, hey, I played the game perfectly fine ignoring all of that content for 5 chapters, right?

I get Inno is a business and no one plays if the cash register doesn't ring, but if we're all about promoting spending real $$, how does encouraging people to ignore more aspects of the game help do that exactly? I would think they'd rather have more people get sucked into more activities by dangling a prize carrot in front of them while keeping them just frustrated enough to get them to open their wallets to clear hurdles. If I have no hope my FS is capable of finishing just one path in stage 1 of FA, completing more than a chest in tourney, or filling up the Spire anywhere to unlock a crystal, then I am perfectly fine not opening those game pages anyway, and thereby, never having to whip out my credit card either. If early chapter players spend more money, shouldn't Inno be making the most out of getting them to do that?
 
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