Bringing new players into the community


#1

:coffee: It’s a long read, sorry. Hope you make it through in one piece.

  • Rename the current matching system to Competitive Mode, no changes to the core game, just a new name which is simple enough. This is where you earn the stats needed for the leaderboards.

    • Then create a new mode, the holy grail of maintaining your player-base, the new mode named Infinite Mode.
  • Infinite Mode is a game lobby that starts in the BR map and the game does not end, it’s infinite… you die, you respawn and fall down from the sky again.

    • The mode is EXACTLY the same as Competitive Mode except, no pre-game lobby and the previously stated changes.
  • It creates the solution that many people were having in this game, which was and still is players having more negative experiences overwhelm them before they can figure out how to even play the game properly.

    • When players become confident and ready to improve their style they can move onto the Competitive Mode where you get the pre-game lobby and BR mode with stat tracking. (Keep in mind the competitive mode is exactly how the game is currently, it’s just given the name “Competitive Mode”).
  • It essentially eliminates the moral-draining die early and back to menu then lobby ritual many new players have when they are going up against more experienced players.
    It is a huge key to getting the player-base up some more.

  • It gives newcomers an infinite chance of getting used to the game, getting to know the map, the mechanics, the addicting hit registry, it’s great! It also gives players a way to just chill in ION when they are lazy or want to relax which is great for the player base which in turn is good for the competitive focus of the game.

    • I can also see players easily finding people to start joking around with and probably even make friends messing around in Infinite Mode.
  • Training Mode in it’s current state is ultimately useless for now, it simply acts as a demo for the weapon spray patterns, neat, we get it but it really doesn’t help much. Please allow Infinite Mode to walk it’s way into the main menu where people can go “Hell yea, lets do some ION” regardless of their level of seriousness towards competitive-play that day.

  • The current matching isn’t friendly to newcomers by any means – not complaining, in fact I prefer it the way it is. I’ve never played a game before where the landing spots and timing is as crucial as it is. It’s a complete moral-sink hole for newcomers. And I love it, but this topic does need to be addressed and I am hoping that I am at least starting to convince you of this roadmap route.

  • The game feels so damn good when you succeed but when you are learning the ropes and you get conquered early on those players will simply not have enough time to allow the game to give off enough dopamine-releasing scenarios which is what gets players hooked.

  • I am VERY confident that the Infinite Mode concept I have will give the newcomers enough time to allow the game to make them happy and to give them a mode to practice in.

  • I get it, time and resources… the reality is that you don’t actually have that much to do to tweak the current BR matchmaking mode into a mode that can retain casuals which the competitive side of the game can slowly pull players from. It may very well be the most important feature that you make from here on out.

  • You have the map designed, you have all the systems in place, weapons and gear are figured out; just allow respawns in the sky, periodic item respawns on the map, and let people enjoy an infinite lobby.

  • I suggested a simplified explanation of this on the ION Discord and not many people realized how important this is. Just today, on the first day of the F2P weekend Shroud quickly came to the same conclusion that I did where even though the game is designed for competitive gameplay, without catering to casuals in such a way where people can just spend time and chill in the game the player count on steam charts will never go very high.

:grin: The game is amazing already, it’s fine if some compromises from the original goal needs to be made. Keep the dream alive!


#2

Good suggestions


#3

you 100% understand what needs to be done. it is savage for casuals to start off, when the penalty for being bad / being new is an instant death, restart, back to the lobby. Coupled with lower player count and a possible 10 min wait for the next game the new players just uninstall. Your infinte mode idea, or at least a Deathmatch mode of somesort could work really nicely.

Quick respawns give the chance, at least, to practice and learn how to play better next time. CSGO has a casual mode… something like this is needed in ION.

+rep to ChuRa


#4

I’d very much like to add something like this. There are a number of good options for alternative queues, the only problem of course is the additional split in the playerbase. It’s a big deal, so any additional mode or queue we add must bring the absolute maximum possible benefit.

I’m not exactly sure yet what the best option is, but something along those lines is needed for sure.


#5

100%, Zenity.

I love this game and the devs that made it but I have to be be the barer of harsh realities,

  • (1) The playerbase won’t grow in a healthy manner without this mode.

    • It will consistently bump up and down slightly when ever a patch or event occurs.
  • (2) Splitting the playerbase at the moment means nothing.

    • With how small the playerbase is, the people that actually continue to play are active on the discord, they communicate with each other, they stream together. These are the people that can talk to each other and go, “Hey guys, you ready for a comp match?” and then collectively go into a proper BR mode, or if my concept gets implemented “Competitive Mode”.
      • This is fine.

This past free-to-play weekend was a huge success. I seem to be the only one outside of DHS that is capable of seeing this. Tournament content aside:

  • The player base went up past 700 two days in a row.
  • Many new streamers with established community/followers were streaming the game on twitch. (50-100 viewers, some more even).

This is precisely what you guys need to bring the game up. When a streamer with viewers are watching them play a free-to-play game they will eventually want to jump in and play the game with them. In another point of view, this will become the most efficient marketing strategy DHS will ever implement because streamers always pop-up with new viewers and the mode will always be there. Unlike expensive partnership marketing ads or events that last for a period of time, this plan lasts basically until the end of the game’s development.

  • Not only that, this is a large enough feature to do another large announcement to kick-start it off and the streamers will be chilling with their viewers in game doing random stuff.
  • Players will frequently look over the store-skins and if they purchase one or two skins then that’s more money for you.
  • They literally is no down side at this point, except for the worry of playerbase-splitting as Zenity explained but my counter-argument is that it doesn’t matter with a sub-175 player base (as of Sunday, F2P weekend). And the number will go down more when F2P is over during the week days.

Competitive will not be the solution. Infinite Mode allows twitch communities to enjoy the game together in a sandbox-type mode, if my concept is the case then “Infinite Mode”, which will eventually lead them to competitive mode to try it out; or not, and they stick to casual but it still promotes, gets people talking and playing the game.

I get it, competitive is the focus. I WANT THIS. But to get there lets build the game up together.

Slowly build up to 1,000 consistent players and then lets talk about playbase-splitting.

Key note
A few people have told me that my idea is basically a “Deathmatch” or a “Training” mode. No. It’s neither of those, it’s better. It allows unlimited time playing against other players, unlimited time learning the game map and mechanics, uninterrupted time promoting the game on streaming platforms. There is no “teams” or “scores/points” to win the match, that’s what Competitive Mode or BR mode is for.


#6

I really like this idea. Although I consider myself a “hardcore gamer”, I don’t consider myself a “competitive gamer”. In most games I play (typically FPS multiplayer) I am right in the middle of the pack. I’ve been gaming since the mid 80s, but never took any game serious enough to learn every single map’s choke points, every weapon’s recoil, etc. I just like to hop on every night after a hard day’s work, slam a few beers, and get that adrenaline rush of a multi-kill or “compete” against myself to do better than I did the night before.

This game is way too difficult and brutalizes the casual gamer. I don’t even have time to learn the weapons, spatial sound, or maps because I am constantly being rocked by some dude with impeccable aim. Then I wait in a lobby for 10 minutes and try again. Within 1 or 2 games I am throwing my mouse at my monitor and going back to PubG, ROE, B04, CS:GO or some other game that I can at least enjoy for an hour before I need to go to bed and do it all over again the next day.

The idea my 11 year old son and I were tossing around a few weeks ago was to have 3 game modes. Obviously, you would need to get above that 1,000 player base to not divide the players too much. One would be for anybody and everybody to play in, and would be a death match style (like explained above) but I still like the idea of competing for something, so maybe have a scoreboard for KDR that resets every 30 minutes. Top 5 or 10 or whatever can earn a small amount of in-game currency to keep them coming back for more.

The 2nd mode would be a less punishing version of the main game. Zones move a bit slower, gear and weapons are more plentiful, maybe even have TTK be a bit higher (possibly double what it is now?). You earn a bit more in game currency than in the deathmatch but not as much as in the “Competitive” mode.

The final mode would be the game as it is right now. This is where you earn the most in game $, have leader boards, etc. To help entice people to play in “Competitive Mode” as ChuRa described above, you could have various in-game items (skins, camo, clan tags, etc) that are only earned via this mode OR are only able to be equipped in this mode.


#7

@chura - I understand you dont mean a ‘deathmatch’ per se. What i was trying to explain is that a mode such as yours, where death results in a much faster respawn time into the same server, is better for a more casual / chilled / less skilled / ‘insert other non-hardcore-competitive adjective here’ playerbase.

Your ‘infinite mode’ or whatever you call it, or a death match mode or whatever you call it, is irrelevant. The fact remains: a gamemode in which you kill, die, respawn REPEAT, is what is needed. The integration of this crucial mechanic is important; the questions remains around HOW it is implemented i.e the game mode style is deatmatch, or like your infinite mode idea with instant drops after death (kinda like PUBGs early deathmatch modes)

Chura’s point regarding splitting the base is fair. There is not enough players at the moment to worry about that. However, I am also sympathetic to @ Zenity’s arguement that this is a potential downfall in offering another game mode which is seperate from the comp side.

The way I see it, currently, is that I would rather play for 20-30 mins in a single server, with instant respawns and 50 players, than wait 20 mins for a comp game and get 3-5 kills in that same time. I mainly play duos, but when my team mate is offline it would be great to go into a server and shoot stuff, practicing my aim basics, rather than wait as a solo for solo games.

@thumbs925 i agree… sometimes even hardcore players want to chill every now and then without the worry about rankings etc.


#8

I absolutely hate it when people compare ION to Fortnite… it absolutely makes no sense. I’m not comparing it to Fornite’s game per se but rather the example of development changes from when the game was first released:

Don’t be afraid to re-imagine something for the sake of holding onto a vision too tightly. You can always keep the old vision but sometimes bringing a new vision in order to support the old vision can potentially bring great opportunities.

Fortnite was a completely different game with zombies/PvE. I’m not comparing one BR game to another, I am just saying that it is actually a good example of not being afraid to switch gears and pull some magic out of what you already have.


Fun fact, 16-player duos is really fun with the current build’s circle settings. Just saying.


#9

The competitive BR is the end goal. ESL, Faceit, Matchmaking, tournaments streamed on Twitch, £1m prize pools.

We need more players. You get more players by making the game more accessible.

Those players have fun, get better and move into the comp game modes.

Then you can have your end goal.

CSGO, for example, has a casual mode that is exactly the same as MM. With a few differences. More players, and less punishment for being bad and getting no kills (ie you dont have to buy armour and defuse kits). Its a small change, that doesnt really differ from the comp side, but makes it more chill-out-friendly. When players move into the MM game mode, they already know how the weapon shoots, what a defuse kit does, they know all the maps etc.


#10

@mako, beautiful comment. :sunglasses:


#11

:hugs: @ChuRa


#12

Also, it is impossible to have a proper MatchMaking / ranked / elo based game with such a small player base.

The situation arises whereby you have a few, hardcore players playing with the new / ‘i just bought the game to see if i like it’ players

The latter group are not gonna have a good time as their first experience

EDIT: sorry i should have edited my first response rather than reply :confused: