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The fate of Stardrift Empires


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#1 Ylvnv

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 12:55 AM

I recently had a discussion with someone about why Stardrift Empires is losing its players: is it nature or nurture? Here's a little background...

Stardrift Empires originated from 5 other very similar games by the same company. What happened to these 5 games that preceded Stardrift?
1st game: 98.4% of players quit
2nd game: 97% of players quit
3rd game: 96.6% of players quit
4th game: 98% of players quit
5th game: 95.4% of players quit

Stardrift Empires is their 6th game of this kind, and what's happening to it?
As of Dec 26th 2011, 92% of players have quit
As of Jan 1st 2012, 93.4% of players have quit
As of Jan 8th 2012, 94.5% of players have quit

Why is this happening? Why did this trend repeat itself yet again?

Explanation 1: Most people are not part of the game's target audience. The game's focus is so narrow that very few people will actually like it. 95% of people will try it, hate it, and quit, not because the game is "bad" per se, but because the game is designed only for a very specific group of hardcore players.
Explanation 2: The gaming company (BFG) is not doing enough to gain wider appeal for the game, and to maintain players' interest.
Explanation 3: This type of game is very sensitive to game balance. It's hard to add new features without disrupting game balance. And without a routine supply of new features/updates, players get bored and leave.
Explanation 4: BFG created many near-replicates of the same game, diluting the player population. The original game started with lots of players, but now that we have 6 such similar games, the players got split up. Low player count leads to an empty dead universe, which leads to more people quitting--it's a bad cycle.

Is it in SDE's very nature for this to happen, or can it be nurtured away from this fate? Of course, all these factors might partially contribute. This is debatable.

(NotASockPuppet, I know you don't agree with explanation #2 at all, and you'll probably flame me for including it, and tell people to ignore me because of that. But I've been fair to mention all explanations, including yours, so it's disappointing to see you still so worked up over this.)

NOTE: Please keep comments civil and on-topic. This is not a thread to complain about BFG (please take that elsewhere). You can mention your discontent with BFG as a way to argue for Explanation #2, but don't linger on it forever and repeat it over and over. Personally, I'm not so happy with BFG either, but I've tried to hide my biases and keep my tone neutral.

EDIT: NotASockPuppet, I'm not sure where you got the impression that data from the leaderboard is sketchy, so I'll explain a bit: the leaderboard gives exact statistics, updated every hour, straight from BFG's own database. It's as accurate as it gets. It provides a ranking of every player in the game, so you just look at the last-ranked player. For example, if the last player is ranked 15000, then obviously there are 15000 players in the game. Pretty obvious, right?
Stardrift Empires originated from 5 other very similar games by the same company (BFG). What happened to these 5 games that preceded Stardrift? According to BFG themselves:
1st game: 98.4% of players quit
2nd game: 97% of players quit
3rd game: 96.6% of players quit
4th game: 98% of players quit
5th game: 95.4% of players quit

Stardrift Empires is their 6th game of this kind, and what's happening to it?
As of Dec 26th 2011, 92% of players have quit (this figure is rising)
As of Jan 1st 2012, 93.4% of players have quit
As of Jan 8th 2012, 94.5% of players have quit

Why is this happening? Possible explanations:
1) This game just isn't for everyone. It's designed only for a very specific group of hardcore players.
2) BFG could do more to maintain players' interest, and to widen the game's appeal.
3) This game is very sensitive to game balance issues. It's hard to add new features without disrupting balance, and without routine new features players get bored and quit.

#2 NotASockPuppet

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 10:25 AM

People would be wise to ignore this thread as the source is not credible. The OP is only furthering his crusade against BFG for reading one of his suggestions and telling him they would not be implementing it.
I'm Batman.


SDE Facts:
1) Ylvnv is super butthurt because he wanted an item that is available for purchase in the game removed. He was told that would not happen. He launched his crusade against BFG and their games.
2) Ylvnv's "data" comes from the leader boards in game. As far as any of us are aware, leader boards are pretty much good at being leader boards and not marketing material. These numbers are suspect though not nearly as much as his motives.
3) Ylvnv will have a private conversation with you and when he gets butthurt again, he'll respond and ban you from the conversation. He loves discussion and knowing the reason why to everything so it's understandable why he won't provide this in return Posted Image.

#3 jboll

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 03:27 AM

Theres probably even more reasons beyond these two, but I'll say that the nature of the game is the main factor.

To really play the game, you can't just log in occasionally and click a few buttons (*cough* farmville *cough* lol) You need to incoporate the game into your daily schedule. If my ships return at 6pm, then I better get to a computer with internet by 6pm. It takes a certain amount of commitment and dedication to play this game.

But its also that this game is so difficult to update. Unlike farmville, where every now and then the geniuses at Zynga just make a new cow with a new colour, and everybody goes ga-ga over that, lol. For SDE, its harder because changes can break the game balance. They cant put in a shiny new ship without careful consideration. So SDE is difficult for both players and game designers! Reminds me of games like Starcraft, it took them forever to come up with Starcraft II. Why so long? because the game is so sensitive to balance, moreso than even SDE.

What I provided here is a third possible explanation. BFG is probably hesitant to make big changes to the game in fear of ruining the balance. So over time some players just get bored and leave. Its a dilemma really.

#4 Ylvnv

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 02:48 AM

Somebody directed me to a 4th explanation:
http://gollstrom.com....php?f=12&t=487

I don't personally agree with his proposed solution of this problem, but his explanation sounds more reasonable.
In short: having more and more universes divides the player population. The game is already so time-consuming and high-maintenance as it is, so most people don't have time to play in multiple universes. Consequently, players get divided amongst the 6 games.

EDIT: Notasockpuppet, your response at this point has degraded to mere trolling. Somebody gave a thoughtful perspective, and you dismiss it so quickly because you don't like the rest of the forum on which that comment was posted? Attack the idea, don't attack the forum in which the idea is expressed. There are plenty of junk in the Gollstrom forum, but there are plenty of thoughtful comments there as well (just like any forum).
Stardrift Empires originated from 5 other very similar games by the same company (BFG). What happened to these 5 games that preceded Stardrift? According to BFG themselves:
1st game: 98.4% of players quit
2nd game: 97% of players quit
3rd game: 96.6% of players quit
4th game: 98% of players quit
5th game: 95.4% of players quit

Stardrift Empires is their 6th game of this kind, and what's happening to it?
As of Dec 26th 2011, 92% of players have quit (this figure is rising)
As of Jan 1st 2012, 93.4% of players have quit
As of Jan 8th 2012, 94.5% of players have quit

Why is this happening? Possible explanations:
1) This game just isn't for everyone. It's designed only for a very specific group of hardcore players.
2) BFG could do more to maintain players' interest, and to widen the game's appeal.
3) This game is very sensitive to game balance issues. It's hard to add new features without disrupting balance, and without routine new features players get bored and quit.

#5 NotASockPuppet

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 04:42 PM

Oh yes the Gollstrom board. It's like Mos Eisley in there.
I'm Batman.


SDE Facts:
1) Ylvnv is super butthurt because he wanted an item that is available for purchase in the game removed. He was told that would not happen. He launched his crusade against BFG and their games.
2) Ylvnv's "data" comes from the leader boards in game. As far as any of us are aware, leader boards are pretty much good at being leader boards and not marketing material. These numbers are suspect though not nearly as much as his motives.
3) Ylvnv will have a private conversation with you and when he gets butthurt again, he'll respond and ban you from the conversation. He loves discussion and knowing the reason why to everything so it's understandable why he won't provide this in return Posted Image.

#6 JediMasterStewie

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 10:23 AM

My take on this & from what I have heard from a fair few long time players whom decided to quit. The game runs their lives has you have to plan everything you do around when your ships are landing. you can't go out on the spur of the moment. Has you need to be at a Computer fore when your ships land. Quite a few players whom have played the game since the start have left for this very reason alone. So yes this game & the other 5 versions are for Hard Core gamers. But everyone whom plays these games have a life outside of the game & the current way to save ships & Resources don't take that into consideration at all. So yes Resource & Ship save are absolutely ***** for bringing in & Keeping current Customer base.

Also 6 version has split up the current player base massively. But if you add how many players are in the 6 uni's & at least half in 5 yov the games being in all 6. Then that makes up around 30k of players playing all 6 versions. A massive come down has the original version had well Over an 100k's worth of players & an 100 galaxies in total. Now cause of the Split. Some players have left the game completely has they don't have time for it anymore. Others have quit multiple versions just to stay with 1. & some have entered d-mode in Starfleet Commander 1 & 2 just so that they can't be attacked so that they can play either The 2 Extreme version, Nova or Stardrift. So in Essences 6 versions has also had a major impact on how many players play the game overall.

Yes I agree BFG is frightened of adding new stuff & upsetting the game balance. But they did it twice before in Starfleet Commander 1. Where they added Moons to the game & a Carry Ship which in Stardrift is called the Titan but in the Starfleet Commanders it is called the 'Hephaestus Class Attack Platform'. Yes it upset the game balance for a while & at least 25% to 33% of players quit has they couldn't get used to the new balance. But they were made back up eventually.
So yes BFG can add new stuff if they wanted too. They choose not too. In Nova(which is the New version of the Starfleet Version which Stardrift is a prettied up version of with the exact same ships has the Starfleets). Nova has been released about a month or 2 back & they added a new type of defense & at least 6 new classes of ships. But yet again BFG didn't listen has everyone said no new uni when they were asking what their customer base wanted to help to improve the game. Everyone wanted new stuff added to the already existing Games. But they didn't listen.
People even suggested that they use their 2 Uni 2 versions of the original & Extreme Starfleets has testing grounds for this new stuff. A lot of people wouldn't have minded. Especially considering that Extreme 1 was their supposid original testing ground for new game changes. But again they didn't listen. They're answer was the same has it always is. Lets create another Universe to add to the Game.
Another massive BFG Customer Support Flaw is they don't listen to what their play base ask for. I understand that change isn't easy. But if they used 1 of the current Games as a testing ground then they can try out new stuff in it & get things moving forwards again. But BFG costumer Service being so poor is another major reason why so many Experienced players have quit the games that BFG offer as well.

So in essence they are 4 massive major flaws with the current 6 games.

1. Fleet/Resource Save is too much hassle & really time consuming & runs your Life.
2. Way too many versions of the same game splitting up the player base.
3. No new stuff ever getting added. Making game boring. Yes they do update the game. Just never add new techs, ships, building or Defenses.
4. BFG Costumer Support being so bad.

So to sum up. Some things need addressing big time.To solve number 2 is easy. Offer account moves to an already existing uni & close down a uni. For Example Starfleet Commander has 2 main Version.

Original Version
Where there is a D-mode. Where players can't attack you. Mines work at a reduced rate in D-mode depending on your RSP's ranging from a 25% tax rate to a 75% tax rate on your resources. Only thing you cant do is attack or probe whilst D-mode is active.

Extreme Version.
Which is double the speed of Original, better mine rates & no D-mode. Only a v-mode. Where you can't log in for 48 hours when you activate it. Now V-mode Your mines don't produce. & you basically can't play the game full stop when it is on.

However it does provide safety for if some sort of Real if Emergency crops up or if you are going away on holiday.Now say you close down Original 1 & Extreme 1 & offer its players a chance to move all their entire Account to a Uni 2 of these version. A lot of people would take them up on this offer & move. A reason why some don't play another version is cause they have friends in an existing version or they don't want to start again from beginning. Problem Solved. Yes 1 issue with this is that a Uni 1 accounts mines would have to be changed to the mine rates of a Uni 2 account & that could cause some issues with doing. But a dying game becomes a thriving game again. With a renewed player base & a load of players whom will stick with the game. that's 1 problem solved.Has for the others well that is a much bigger problem. FRS being the biggest out there.

#7 NotASockPuppet

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 10:47 AM

Yes JediStewie, I'm so glad you can speak for everybody who plays any of the Starfleet/Stardrift game and knows exactly what EVERYONE would and wouldn't have minded. I believe BFG has some job openings and someone with your community clout would be greatly appreciated since BFG has a very difficult time balancing the needs and wants of hundreds of thousands of players. Someone who simply just knows what the whole community wants would really help them out.
I'm Batman.


SDE Facts:
1) Ylvnv is super butthurt because he wanted an item that is available for purchase in the game removed. He was told that would not happen. He launched his crusade against BFG and their games.
2) Ylvnv's "data" comes from the leader boards in game. As far as any of us are aware, leader boards are pretty much good at being leader boards and not marketing material. These numbers are suspect though not nearly as much as his motives.
3) Ylvnv will have a private conversation with you and when he gets butthurt again, he'll respond and ban you from the conversation. He loves discussion and knowing the reason why to everything so it's understandable why he won't provide this in return Posted Image.




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