Supporting Returning Players and ideas for Refer-a-Friend?

Discussion in 'Developer Roundtable' started by ARCHIVED-Windstalker, Sep 21, 2012.

  1. ARCHIVED-Windstalker Guest

    Howdy Norrathians!
    The team has been brainstorming ideas that would ease the re-entry back into the game and soften the learning curve for returning players as well as creative options for a Refer-a-Friend program.
    • What would float your boat if you are, or were, a returning player at some point? Creative suggestions?

    • And do you have ideas that would make you excited to not just refer a friend, but play with them too?
    Post your thoughts and ideas here. Answer one or both if you like!
  2. ARCHIVED-Finora Guest

    One common complaint I hear from people just returning to the game as free to play is about being naked & unable to requip their gear.
    While I understand personally the reasoning behind locking items by subscription rank, for former subscribers it would be nice if the items they are already wearing were either unlocked for them or if all silver level memberships (which would include all the EQ2 players from the start) were given a "welcome back" package with a few unlockers in it to allow them to immediately get back into the game without having to get new gear made or buy a bunch of unlockers right off the bat.

    This next suggestion isn't directly related to returning players, but any one coming in on a free level membership. I absolutely love how the class and race restrictions were handled with Vanguard F2P. All races and all classes are availble to play up to level 20, then you either have to pay to unlock the race/class or you have to stay level 20 forever. You could even make it a lower level (say 10) here. But I believe that giving people the broad choice right up front and giving them a chance to fall in love with a character before having to drop money on the race in particular would be good.
  3. ARCHIVED-Loladen Guest

    Bring back heroic scarecrows, and revamp the old Overland zones into group grind spots! Remove the grouping exp should encourage grouping ;)

    You know, it's really hard to think of ways to get people back into the game.
    When I think of someone bringing in a friend/bringing BACK a friend, I can only imagine them getting pl'd to 92/320 asap to get to endgame. They miss SO much beautiful content, because unfortunately, EQ2 has become more about the destination, rather than the journey.

    Have you guys seriously considered a time-locked, no transfer progression server? That might bring back some returning players, start them fresh with a bunch of other people.
    The learning curve for the game, I'm sorry...but it's more like a tolerance curve. Some of the mechanics people have to put up with (10+ seconds roots, stifles, stuns) are just not fun....for old or returning players.
    Have you thought of maybe assigning low level missions to lower level players? Maybe kill a certain named in an old overland zone, or go in a not-so-popular dungeon and find an object at the end? You'll want to promote grouping experience, because as it is now, the game feels like a very large single player.
  4. ARCHIVED-DJV111 Guest

    I would honestly bring back all three of my accounts and a bunch of friends with me back as subscribers if that really kick butt pvp from Antonica days when Nagafen first started opening, came back.

    Some other things that would be nice to see, lack of pve in pvp. The biggest thing that ruined Everquest 2 for me was the battle grounds. The open world PvP is all I could ever ask or want for. Then the pve got ahold of it, and I think it was when we could level to 90 that things started going sour. Pvp was even more gear based than ever, of course this had to happen I guess because of the pve progression on the server.

    In my opinion, it could be restored back to antonica days if level 1-68 had none of the pvp battle grounds gear, and it went back to the basics. The numbers would be smaller and so would the equations on damage done. Achievement experience could be gained, but its stats would never apply until you hit max level. Take the fluff of end game out of the pvp/pve growing process and I think the game would be a dream.
    I honestly miss this game and its the pinnacle of all MMOs to me.
  5. ARCHIVED-GrimStone Guest

    Honestly I think the gold sub price is too high.
    In a time where most games are going FtP, I think a full featured sub. fee of $4.99/mo is much more reasonable, and I would actually re-sub for that price. I am also pretty disapointed that I was forced to unatune all of my good gear, that I had earned and sub/paid for on my toon once the game went FtP.

    I also think a graphic make-over would be a good idea... you have done it in the past, and it keeps games more current... example: EVE Online.
  6. ARCHIVED-Flybane Guest

    I loved the sidekick system in City of hero's

    It allowed low- and high-level characters to play together without completely sacrificing rewards and without enemies being vastly over- or underpowered compared to some team

    Maybe low level players get a hit on xp or can't roll on drop's

    This will have new players get a taste of higher level content
  7. ARCHIVED-Gothicangel Guest

    my friend was going to return to game she payed the 20.00 for the all access pass and she only got the amount of toons u get while paying 15.00 a month. they told her she had to pay for the extra toon slots on order to get them. So for that i think when a vet returns to eq2 and pays the 20.00 all access pass they should get all there toon slots not just the ones u get for the 15.00 BTW just to put a buzz in the ears she canceled her account that day since she never got those toon slots back but i think if they did that she would return to eq2 and stop playing wow
  8. ARCHIVED-bluedego Guest

    If you're really going to take this seriously.

    Make a special instance, with vendors that have all the gear in the game. Training dummies of course.
    You can't leave with the gear but you can see it, and try it out. You leave the instance excited and now you have to go earn it.
    Honestly, MOST of what i learn is to equip something and try it. This could also help catch bugs.

    Another thing.. the class forums are kinda messy and there is no real info there anymore. Appoint a player to mod those sections, and create useful info for new players to look up. If they mess up, fire them :)
    Give said class mods the ability to give info about their class to the appropriate people. x ability is too weak, this doesn't work etc etc. Just the class mod to keep the chaos at a minimum
  9. ARCHIVED-Malokar Guest

    I really want to see new players coming and staying with EQ2. I regularly see new players start out, and then, realizing they can't complete the content solo, and can't find a group to save their lives, quit playing.
    I don't know if this is the best place to post this idea, but here's an solution that I tossed around open chat one night on Permafrost Server:
    First the issues to solve:
    1) Currently, the vast majority of players are at the highest levels. These players want equipment, content, a challenging game experience.
    2) There's a very large desire for new players to race to 92, as that's where they can group. This means a lot of players really haven't seen much of the 1-90's content.
    3) New players are met with a fairly empty world. There aren't a whole lot of groups to be had, and many players wind up soloing to 90, with very little grouping experience once they get there.
    4) Should a higher level character mentor a lower level character, the disparity between gear and AAs is so dramatic, it is often a powerleveling session, rather than a cohesive group.
    5) Many players LOVE the current Chronomancy system. I personally enjoy going back to old content, and exacting my revenge on those Deathfist Orcs that killed me so long ago. I'd hate to lose the ability to do that, and I'm sure other players feel the same.
    Solution: Draconic Chronomancy
    As a level 90+, you're able to receive repeatable quests from a Draconic Chronomancer. He asks that you form up with other heroes, and aid the newest amongst you in a random daily / hourly quest.
    As long as the members of your group are either naturally that level range, or modified by Draconic Chronomancy (and NOT Erudite Chronomancy), each creature has a chance to drop a quest item update. Once you collect X number of quest item updates, you can return to the Draconic Chronomancer and turn in the quest for a random reward. This reward varies, but can include items which are very valuable to a 90+ player. (I envision them somewhere between Skyshrine Faction and EM raid gear).
    The key to all of this is a revisit of mentoring in general. Draconic Chronomancy is MUCH more powerful than the Erudite's Chronomancy, and essentially sets your character as if they had Adept level spells and Treasured armor. You are so remarkably enfeebled, you will NEED to group with others in order to complete the quest. Since the quest can not be updated if any one in the group is under Erudite Chronomancy, much of the exploitability of getting this gear is removed.
    This will 1) Give players at the top a reward for 2) revisiting content they missed and 3) grouping with new players while 4) not trivializing the content by being overgeared and 5) not "nerfing" the existing Chronomancy system.
  10. ARCHIVED-erk48188 Guest

    i think a serious block for returning players is the 280aa requirement to level past level 90. it requires someone to grind aa with them - not exactly a fun part of the game.
  11. ARCHIVED-Dagrik Guest

    Create an adventure that requires the higher levels to group with the lower ones - as was mentioned before.
    This would need a few things though -
    A) A reason for high level chars to do this.
    b) A different reason for newer chars to do this as well
    For A, access to some new set of items, armor, a mount, portals for the house, great story, or something.
    For B, it would get them access to a powerful (at the time) item that is untradable, maybe collectable, and a chance to group.

    I still remember a beginning quest in Guild Wars 1 that made something similar. You had to group to continue to the next step of the quest. Then you had to report back, then started getting the details. Make it repeat encounters or something so that the story would be "Because they were allowed to live (or because they died) back then, this cataclysm is inevitable. If we use this last amount of my power to send you back, you can go and fix it. Make it a progressive story that makes them group with 1-10, then 11-20, 25-40, then 60s, 80s, then finish when they come back to "current time".
    Getting the new guys into it would be somewhat similar, yet simple. Have an npc that when the quest is accepted, a flag is given for them to be seen by the high level chars.
    Hope the idea makes sense.
  12. ARCHIVED-alibooba Guest

    I've just found this topic and, as a very recent "returning" player and "veteran" of both Everquest games, here are a few thoughts from my very own point of view:
    - good surprise, I thought I remember I had left 4 years ago with a 57 necromancer, and I get a 66 one (some kind of xps bonus that probably made my char raise up to 9 additional levels. Great.... but too bad I will have missed the 57-66 content!. Ok not a problem, mentoring a n00b alt shall be fun.
    - another good surprise: the game is now free to play (yes, althought I didn't live in a cave or upon Mars during four years long, I didn't even know that EQ2 had become FTP, or for the least I hadn't pay attention to it!-.
    So as 1+1 = 2, my best bet to return succesfully into the game, and to regain interest for it is probably for now soloing... All the old friends from the old guild are gone (2500+ days offline for most of them, wanna verify ? Albion on Crushbone Server , and no way i'm gonna try to apply in a high content guild with a level 66 char (which is anyway far below the new cap nowadays and thus bringing an extra low desirability for any high level guild), and even more if I just can't remember the very basis of the game. So, I'm gonna create my second alt char immediately on a new account so i'll get thru the very low content again and the mentoring stuff is quite good enough to bring a good load of fun for many days to come!... I still miss my old guildmates and friends anyway and anywhere I go thru Norrath reminds me lots and lots of souvenirs... well that's life anyway!
    - Too bad, most of the good options are not free, and even thought I got back into the game with an old account, playing and having fun with 2 chars is gonna cost an arm and half. So what are my options: pay 40$/month to play 2 low level chars and hope to have enough fun to stay, even thought I can't even get into most of the real content with a "mentoring" char (i.e: Splitpaw is a no go while mentoring, what a shame!)... or ditch out my second account, get back a fully functional "main account" and pay 20$, and just solo/kill/solo/kill.... dunno, I never did this, always been guilded and always raided a lot in the past.
    So suggestion n°1:
    * SOE you guys wanna attract old players and make them return to the game ? Let them get 2 full accounts for the price of one, at least for a little period of time. Playing a duet IS fun, doesn't require to get immediately LFG with the very newbie attitude (very frustrating when you still remember nights and days of loooong raids with your old guildies, and you see more than 600 quests done in your journal, but you don't even remember what an heroic chain is!....) and helps you get familiar again with the grouping stuff, classes, spells, strategies etc...
    Moving on with my first impressions of a returning vet.
    - I now find the game MUCH MUCH easier than it used to be. I didn't even remember that you could solo a 2-3+ levels heroic mob in the past. Anyway, I have about as much memory as a red cape, so it must be me!.. nm! I'm just hoping that such easiness is not gonna take out my interest in the game, as an "old" EQ player (started late 99 at beta phase 4, when Holly Windstalker was still roaming outside Blackburrow outskirts...!
    - The 4 bag slots limit for non paying vets is just a shame! First thing I had to do to get my stuff back in those slots was to pay for an unlocker item!!! I was a tad p... off and wanted to forget about returning and move on to GW2 immediately!.
    So suggestion N°2:
    * SOE, your "vets" are, for the most of them, people who payed a LOT of money in the past to get their accounts rolling months after month. I remember I had up to three active accounts on EQ1 for about 8 years, and 2 active on EQ2 for about 2 or 3 years. That should probably make me, or at least my kind quite "reliable" as returning customers don't you think ? Don't you find we wouldn't deserve to have 2 miserable bag slots opened for us so we can get our fishing grubs back when we feel the need of them ????
    Suggestion N°3:
    * Mentoring is a great great idea, frankly. So, (maybe it's not actually doable, or this new feature is already implemented and I would have missed it - in that case my apologizes for that) but any way of being able to raise our level in some ways to our friends levels (like 92), a sort of "reverse mentoring" so you can get into the higher level content with them, with an xps malus (corresponding to your real level for instance) without the need for them to lower theirs ?... If so, this option could really be nice. Of course you couldn't wear stuff above your real level or do quests or so I dunno, but for the least this would be a great way for me to have fun again with some good old pals I have known in the past, are now 92, won't necessarily spend one night 30 levels below to help me, but would most certainly be very pleased to take me with them to see some high level content. I haven't thought much about all the different aspects of this idea so please forgive me if this just sounds stupid to you...
    Suggestion N°4:
    * A "Welcome back pack" for players who haven't logged in since over 1,2... years, is definately a great great idea! Not only it makes you feel very important as a customer, but it also grants you some kind of "reward" for bringing your once beloved character to life again. Maybe just a clothing suit with a nice "vet" insigna, or anything that won't motivate your other players to get rid of their own account for 1 year or more to get their reward as well (*grin*), a "free veteran house", dunno.... That, and perhaps the sight of this "mark of the Ancients" would most certainly help us old farts have our n00bish mistakes while grouped more accepted by the other groupmates... LOL!
    ok i'm gonna stop here for now, and please excuse my english as it's not my native language, i'll most certainly come back with a few more ideas as they come in a few days on this topic.
    Finally, I must say that I'm still very happy to get back into the game again, althought I haven't still taken a decision about if I'm gonna pay or not (try to motivate me Sony!), but this is mainly motivated by my will of being sure that I want to stay, and having enough fun off the game again. You surely know that when one starts paying a monthly fee for an online game, it's for the sake of bringing their character to the highest evolutin as possible in that persistant universe, not to ditch it 3 months later because the fun is gone....
    Oh, and I forgot... My motivation for returning ? mainly driven by a huge nostalgia of immensely great moments spent in the world of Norrath since about 14 years.... Time to try to make new friends, so many good guys have quit already, and are not really on the way to return.... Oh wait... Many have told me that a 5$/month fee would certainly make most of them get their 2 or 3 accounts active again. I somewhat agree with them, and what have been said earlier in a previous post...
    20$ is quite expensive nowadays for an online game... and this is mainly why I'm so hesitating actually. We'll see what happen!
    Regards (and sorry for the looooong post as well)
    Abominis/Eowynn - 68 necro/23 Inqui on the Crushbone Server
    Albion Guild
  13. ARCHIVED-Iowna Guest

    I have personally tried several times to get some friends into trying to play. The problems I have is sending them off to solo on their own or grind through quests, is unentertaining to them when I am not able to play the game with them. People want to group, but there is no benefit in doing so. It is an actual detriment exp wise.

    If you were to give higher level players a benefit to doing lower level zones it may benefit things quite a bit. Maybe some sort of currency that we can change the Legendary/Fabled lower level items into or have us gain currency based on others in the group gaining levels and AAs or something, not sure if the mechanics are available there for that to work. Then give us (and them) the ability to buy white shards, faction raising items, and potions or something.

    Something where even a high level raider can get some benefit out of doing the lower content zones, with the lowbies.

    As it is now, the thought behind it is find a zone to PL them to 90, get 280 AAs along the way, then 92 and then max AAs and start running stuff with them. There is nothing else for a new player to do if they do not want to solo but hit 90-92 and group in SS anymore, and even that is a pain at times, and nothing that those players can get to benefit themselves later, perhaps this currency would be something. Then after they are 92, they still have to get the DoV factions up so that they can buy the red/yellow adorns at some point.

    When I came back to EQ2 several months back, I found it easier to make a new account entirely and level up over reactivating my old account and gearing up my TSO Raid Geared toon I had. But the skills you learn when you play solo do not help you when you hit the endgame and start grouping. For instance, the amount of healers I find when doing a pick up group that do not even know how to cure is appauling.

    To combat this something has to be done for sure. The EXP bonus from the Recruit A Friend was awesome, although you likely found more people creating second accounts from it over actual new players, but it was something at least, it helped make that gap from 1-90 go faster.

    Maybe some sort of "Dungeon Tour" for lower level groups as well.
    Make the dungeons instanced, non respawning mobs, and when you get to the end (which pretty much every zone has a dead end) throw a clicky door or portal that gives you the option to restart that dungeon, go to the next Dungeon, or leave.

    Maybe make a cross server ability for this like you did for battlegrounds, with a rate the player at the end?
    Or adding the ability of ignore list to not group you with the people you have on it or something.

    Hope this helps somehow, the thoughts were pretty much on the fly.
  14. ARCHIVED-ArtemisClyde Guest

    Finora@Everfrost wrote:
    i have to totally agree with finora here, these are some great ideas and covers much of what i would have said.
    as far as refer a friend, this was an amazing program. the xp bonus it gave you and the friend made it both fun and very worthwhile to do. the bonus mount you got if they paid for a subscription was hot, you should bring that back but do this: 1)keep the xp bonus on the mount 2) have a better selection, maybe 5-7 really nice mounts, even if you reuse and modify some existing sc or lon ones or whatever. 3)both the new player and the player that referred them should get the choice of 1 mount out of the choices once the new player has paid for 1 month gold. 4)award both the new/returning player and the recruiter/vet with an additional mount choice when the new/returnee hits/purchases: 3 month, 6 months, and 1 year. Make these mounts claimable in /claim , 1 per account, not 1 per toon, so that the vet/recruiter has incentives to keep bringing new/returning players back.
    this way, it is no longer a "neener neener lookie what you won me!" thing, and both the vet and the returnee/noob feel rewarded and appreciated. each side could get up to 4 mounts per year bought/subscribed, in this manner. and if they pay ahead, the recruiter/vet and the new/returnee would both reap instant rewards. most people love mounts, even moreso when they're real nice and good selection of choices.
  15. ARCHIVED-Hirofortis Guest

    One of the biggest frustrations I have heard from friedns coming back is that they have no gear. So say you have a level 80 player returning who now hos no gear and really no way to get moving again witout some help. I would recommend an unlocker pack for returning players so that they can at least use the gear they had when they quit. From a SOE standpoint it would get them used to using the unlockers. win win...
    As far as what would help us want to group with them, say a reward of some sort. Maybe something similar to the reward system for doing dungeon finder for a period of time. A random reward for grouping with friends. I am always parttial to cool house items. Especailly from days of old. ;)
  16. ARCHIVED-Loladen Guest

    Doesn't hurt to bring back the Starting isles >.>


    The new starting places are so lame.
  17. ARCHIVED-RodHammer Guest

    Mentoring is one of the biggest advantages this game has. Find ways to encourage it, make it fun, and make it worth a level 92's time.
    Level agnostic play has the same potential. Anything that lets returning and new folks play with others and leverages the vast amount of content, even if most of the server is level 92.
    Find ways to make all content useful to all players. TSO and SF have amazing instances that are under used because the server population is "mature" and mostly group at the end game. Maybe a conversion system of those tokens to new desirable tokens?
    Make dungeon finder work and work well. This means flawless functionality and that people use it.
    Previous poster's comments about returning toons having to deal with locked gear when they return are very accurate. I had a friend who was coming back until he found he had to deal with that. Give them their existing gear for free when they come back. They will have to pay at some point as they progress, at least they will be in the game.
  18. ARCHIVED-Mordakaii Guest

    Whatever ever happen to the RaF (Refer A Friend) program from EQ2???
    I got a few friends to start playing using that program...
  19. ARCHIVED-cashp Guest

    Other than travel back in time to 2009?

    • What would float your boat if you are, or were, a returning player at some point? Creative suggestions?
    Honestly, I left because of the dishonesty surrounding Station Cash, and the Livegamer server. I paid to play the game. It was a punch in the face to me. I would never have accepted the transition to F2P.
    • And do you have ideas that would make you excited to not just refer a friend, but play with them too?
    I openly tell people to never try this game because of my experiences with it. Returning the starting Isles and city suburbs would probably be a step far enough for me to consider recommending the game, but I'd still never return.

    I know this isn't what you /want/ to hear, but some people who have left are even more jaded than I am, and I figure you should get the experience of someone who doesn't play, and will not play, because there are plenty of us.

    Edit: I give up. Auto is not the same color. Deal with blue.
  20. ARCHIVED-MMORefugee Guest

    The game isn't lacking in content by any stretch of the imagination.

    What'd excite me most and gaurantee a sub until EQ3 would be a engine/render overhaul.

    Seriously, it's abysmal and why I can't really get comfortable with it for a long term.

    There's no excuse for 30% GPU utilization and sub-40 FPS on a 5ghz quad.

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