What I think you guys need to do over the next few months to win people back.

By on August 28, 2010 2:02:15 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Alstein

Join Date 07/2004
+54

This is not going to be pretty, and maybe not that profitable in the short-term.  I am going to sound harsh, but I do want this to succeed, as I see the potential.  This is not intended as a slam on you guys- I hopee you know what I post here well enough, that you know this isn't just me begging or slagging.

Right now: the perception of this game is that it's unplayable, and that  buying a Stardock game isn't worth it until at least a year out.  That's not good for business.

 

Solution:

 

a) Next week, throw some mods on the site.  There have been some decent mods made already that help the game out.  The mod section needs to be more then just maps.

Get custom MP servers up ASAP after getting MP online.   MP will help with the balance, since people will make MP mods to fix balance issues.  That might be able to save you some manhours on balancing.  If possible, allow for mods to be used on SD servers (work with the mod community on this)

c) Keep up the good work on support overall.  I trust you guys fully on that, otherwwise I would be raging at you guys right now.

 

d) This is the part you might not like.  You're going to have to eat short-term profitability on this, in order to help in the long-term.

You'll need to be aggressive on discounting once you can.  (I understand you can't right now)

That said, the expansion.  It needs to be a stand-alone game, with a bug-free, very generous demo out a month before release.  Maybe even full game esque.   The burden of proof is right now, (fairly or not), on you guys to prove you can have a solid launch.  Showing the world what a year of your support can do for a game will restore your reputation (which is tarnished outside of here right now)

The downside is the fans who stuck it out will feel screwed over a bit, (I'm one of those fans) , but I think most of us would be ok with that , given the circumstances.  Maybe give us the expansion at a discount based on when we pre-ordered elemental, or a loyalty bonus on Impulse when we get it?  (not DLC, but a credit to use on other things)

e) Learn from your mistakes and don't rush future titles, even if it  seems to make business sense at the time.  It bites you back tenfold.

I never thought I'd be trying to tell a millionare how to run his business, but I'm trying to look at things from a cold, business side, not my gamer side.  As a gamer, I'd be willing to hand over my money- I know I won't regret this ride.  However, I know I got a minority opinion, and the Joe Average gamer right now- he's writing you guys off.  I'm worried about the long-term damage that could happen, and how it would mean lower budgets for SD titles in the future, and less ambitious future projects- such as GC3.  (I am motivated by self-interest here)

 

Locked Post 163 Replies +3 Karma
Search this post
Subscription Options


Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
judahstarguy
Mistwraithe
Paradoxical
August 28, 2010 2:10:47 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ,

Right now: the perception of this game is that it's unplayable

 

I can't begin to tell you how wrong that is.  There are many haters that will whine no matter what updates Stardock makes.  But most on here are having a blast with Elemental.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 28, 2010 2:14:29 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

[removed]

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 28, 2010 2:18:56 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think there was some truth in what that guy said - that in general, the regulars on these forums are abnormally forgiving.  However I don't think the game can be bankrolled and successful just based on us Stardock forum-goers (as much as it would stroke our egos )  So I think arstal makes some very pertinent points here.  Remember, there are still many, people who have bought Elemental and updated it without ever coming on the forums.

What do other people think?

Best regards,
Steven.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 28, 2010 2:21:18 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting charon2112,

quoting post
Right now: the perception of this game is that it's unplayable
 

I can't begin to tell you how wrong that is.  There are many haters that will whine no matter what updates Stardock makes.  But most on here are having a blast with Elemental.

 

I know that's not true.  However, the perception is out there now, and that's what has to be fought.  It's going to take more then Stardock fixing the game- the people who have that perception are never going to see those fixes unless something else is done.

 

And yes, we're probably some of the easiest customers (almost said costumers) out there. 

 

 

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 28, 2010 2:31:13 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm getting incredibly sick of the stock fanboy response that anyone who's not deliriously head over heels into Elemental is a "hater" (English please), PC gamer shill or hasn't played the game.

I've been following the game since it was originally release, hell since Stardock first made inquiries to purchase/use the MoM license, and am still a huge fan of Master of Magic, Age of Wonders (up through Shadow Magic), Heroes of Might and Magic, etc.  I'm a dedicated proponent of the ever so rare fantasy TBS games and have played the overwhelming majority.

That said, Elemental needs a tremendous amount of work as it stands now.

I'm overjoyed (without the slightest trace of sarcasm) that a handful of you truly love Elemental with no reservations.  You are in an incredible minority as are the handful who hate it with great vitriol and can't say enough bad things about it.

The vast remaining numbers in the forum *LOVE* the concepts and have great hope that it will turn into the great game it's been hyped to be.  But that day isn't today.  Nor tomorrow.  Perhaps six months down the road, maybe longer.

So please, please, *PLEASE* stop jumping into every single constructive criticism thread and crapping all over the well meaning and quite frequently very well thought out posts outlining what fans want to see done with this game.

It doesn't help.

At all.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 28, 2010 2:32:28 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I am not a regular poster here - I think the discounting / standalone expansion is over the top.  Just needs tuning - unplayable is a major exaggeration.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 28, 2010 2:35:26 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting charon2112,

quoting post
Right now: the perception of this game is that it's unplayable
 

I can't begin to tell you how wrong that is.  There are many haters that will whine no matter what updates Stardock makes.  But most on here are having a blast with Elemental.

 

the game is unplayable past 150 turns. it's bug ridden. Game mechanics don't work. i'm glad you can have a blast playing broken products

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 28, 2010 2:35:54 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Dethedrus,
I'm getting incredibly sick of the stock fanboy response that anyone who's not deliriously head over heels into Elemental is a "hater" (English please), PC gamer shill or hasn't played the game.

I've been following the game since it was originally release, hell since Stardock first made inquiries to purchase/use the MoM license, and am still a huge fan of Master of Magic, Age of Wonders (up through Shadow Magic), Heroes of Might and Magic, etc.  I'm a dedicated proponent of the ever so rare fantasy TBS games and have played the overwhelming majority.

That said, Elemental needs a tremendous amount of work as it stands now.

I'm overjoyed (without the slightest trace of sarcasm) that a handful of you truly love Elemental with no reservations.  You are in an incredible minority as are the handful who hate it with great vitriol and can't say enough bad things about it.

The vast remaining numbers in the forum *LOVE* the concepts and have great hope that it will turn into the great game it's been hyped to be.  But that day isn't today.  Nor tomorrow.  Perhaps six months down the road, maybe longer.

So please, please, *PLEASE* stop jumping into every single constructive criticism thread and crapping all over the well meaning and quite frequently very well thought out posts outlining what fans want to see done with this game.

It doesn't help.

At all.

 

calling the game unplayable \= constructive criticism.

 

inaccurate statements like that may give potential new players the wrong idea.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 28, 2010 2:36:15 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

That is not "the perception."  It is some people's perception.  After seeing 1.06 in action after 2 days, and what an improvement it was after day 0, this game was ready for release.  Yes, it's still rough around the edges and needs some polish, but the game is solid and very enjoyable, already reaching the point of addicting.

Stardock's reputation will get people back.  They don't need so set up any dog and pony show.  The premature reviews did all that for them.  The spotlight is on them now, and they were already shining.

Most here also have their tongue tonsils deep into frogboy's nether bits ... coincidence?

That's about the most ignorant thing I've ever read.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 28, 2010 2:36:43 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting trcanberra,
I am not a regular poster here - I think the discounting / standalone expansion is over the top.  Just needs tuning - unplayable is a major exaggeration.

 

See  my above reply, it's not what you or I think, it's what the general buying public for this type of game thinks.

 

Standalone expansion isn't that unusual.  The discounting is mostly to keep those who pre-ordered Elemental happy, it may not be necessary, as (was said) Stardock fans are an extremely forgiving bunch.

 

One game that did this to success in the past couple of years: The Witcher.  It had a horrible launch, released an "Enhanced Edition" after launch- which was a patch to those who bought the original.

 

 

 

 

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 28, 2010 2:38:38 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting woca,

Quoting charon2112, reply 1
quoting post
Right now: the perception of this game is that it's unplayable
 

I can't begin to tell you how wrong that is.  There are many haters that will whine no matter what updates Stardock makes.  But most on here are having a blast with Elemental.

 

the game is unplayable past 150 turns. it's bug ridden. Game mechanics don't work. i'm glad you can have a blast playing broken products

 

This.  Even when the engine bugs don't rear their ugly head, a ton of the mechanics are pure placebo at the moment.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 28, 2010 2:38:48 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm getting incredibly sick of the stock fanboy response that anyone who's not deliriously head over heels into Elemental is a "hater" (English please), PC gamer shill or hasn't played the game.

Hating on "fanboys" for calling the detractors "haters."  Legendary hypocracy.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 28, 2010 2:42:06 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Actually he offers solid advice.  A stand alone expansion in 9 months will warrant new reviews.  Good reviews could attract new customers.   But then again we aren't telling Stardock something they don't already know.  This is why Mr. Frog has said on several occasions that they will support this game regardless of sales or reviews.  They have long range plans for this new IP and TBS game engine.  Even I'm going to shelve this game for a few patches and I've been very vocal in my support of the game and this company.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 28, 2010 2:43:55 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I was very disappointed at the release game.  The only reason I'm still here is that I see the potential and I see that Stardock employees are working very hard to correct a bad situation.  Personally, Frogboy and Co., I think arstal is right on the money here.  I honestly think if Stardock stuffs up again, they won't be able to sell many games even if they paid people, and they'll never be able to do games ever again.  It doesn't have to be that bad if they really change, but that is contigent on biting the bullet now.

I agree 100% with arstal's OP.  It's all or nothing now.  As they say, "Change or die".

Best regards,
Steven.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 28, 2010 2:47:36 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Jharii,

I'm getting incredibly sick of the stock fanboy response that anyone who's not deliriously head over heels into Elemental is a "hater" (English please), PC gamer shill or hasn't played the game.
Hating on "fanboys" for calling the detractors "haters."  Legendary hypocracy.

Not in the slighest.

I'm just as disinterested in the hardcore detractor who thinks the game is pure dreck and has to belittle anyone who enjoys...  see a trend here?

I desperately want the game to succeed, but the only way this will happen is if the glaring flaws are addressed not covered up under the banner of "It's the best game ever!  If you don't like it you suck!" that's coming out of a few rabid fanboys.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 28, 2010 2:48:23 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting woca,

Quoting charon2112, reply 1
quoting post
Right now: the perception of this game is that it's unplayable
 

I can't begin to tell you how wrong that is.  There are many haters that will whine no matter what updates Stardock makes.  But most on here are having a blast with Elemental.

 

the game is unplayable past 150 turns. it's bug ridden. Game mechanics don't work. i'm glad you can have a blast playing broken products

 

I've had several 400+ turn games with no problems or slowdown...

 

and what game mechanic specifically does not work?

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 28, 2010 2:55:05 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting charon2112,

Quoting woca, reply 7
Quoting charon2112, reply 1
quoting post
Right now: the perception of this game is that it's unplayable
 

I can't begin to tell you how wrong that is.  There are many haters that will whine no matter what updates Stardock makes.  But most on here are having a blast with Elemental.

 

the game is unplayable past 150 turns. it's bug ridden. Game mechanics don't work. i'm glad you can have a blast playing broken products
 

I've had several 400+ turn games with no problems or slowdown...

 

and what game mechanic specifically does not work?

 

here are two to wet your appetite(im making a ig thread now)

gipping moves (get 4 instead of 5)

magic stone things don't add damage

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 28, 2010 2:58:45 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting charon2112,
I've had several 400+ turn games with no problems or slowdown...

 

and what game mechanic specifically does not work?

 

Hmm, let's see...

  • Diplomacy is one dimensional
  • Shards don't work outside of auto resolve combat
  • Defense is way too hit or miss (how does a level 4 creature easily one shot my level 9 sovereign with an 800+ CR?)
  • Magic is even MORE hit or miss (if I have 4 fire shards and 17 INT how does Melting Touch EVER do 1 damage?)
  • AI does insanely stupid things like enemy sovereign rushing a well armed city by himself
  • Morale appears to do nothing at all until it bottoms out (only if you take negative morale traits on initial build)

These are only the bugs I can think of off the top of my head and not the major issues with the game design choices.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 28, 2010 3:00:33 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I have major slowdowns and many bugs but I still enjoy the game. And it can only get better.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 28, 2010 3:05:33 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Dethedrus,

Quoting charon2112, reply 16I've had several 400+ turn games with no problems or slowdown...

 

and what game mechanic specifically does not work?

 

Hmm, let's see...


Diplomacy is one dimensional
Shards don't work outside of auto resolve combat
Defense is way too hit or miss (how does a level 4 creature easily one shot my level 9 sovereign with an 800+ CR?)
Magic is even MORE hit or miss (if I have 4 fire shards and 17 INT how does Melting Touch EVER do 1 damage?)
AI does insanely stupid things like enemy sovereign rushing a well armed city by himself
Morale appears to do nothing at all until it bottoms out (only if you take negative morale traits on initial build)

These are only the bugs I can think of off the top of my head and not the major issues with the game design choices.

 

Don't forget the non-functional faction traits and sovereign background(s)!

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 28, 2010 3:11:20 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I don't love the game or hate it, I just think it's OK. I do think it was bad business to release it so early and so bug-ridden after people have paid good money for something, or anything you buy, that should be in proper working order. Fortunately they were on the ball with patches and a lot of people have forgiven them for that, but that said, the bad reviews were deserved. I also think all the sucking up is just in the hope that future patches will come thick and fast and I don't think any of it is sincere.

It does make me laugh when I read the responses to some of Frogboy's posts! People are either "lol"ing like it's the funniest thing they've ever read, praising him as if he's said something amazingly philosophical & earth-shattering that only a messiah could say or wishing him a lovely, relaxing vacation....all to the person/company that sold us a defective, below-par product! Now that makes me lol! When did we all become so forgiving??

I don't regret buying it because it's playable as it is and I'm one of the fortunate few who aren't having any performance issues. I'm just a casual gamer though and a lot of the stuff that is obvious to other players isn't obvious to me, so it'll probably just sit on my hard drive for a month or so until it becomes this great game that everyone appears to believe it will.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 28, 2010 3:14:41 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Let's not get into specific gameplay features please.  This is about how on the business/commercial end this game, when ready, will get a fair chance to shine.  There are plenty of threads for that, here it will just get lost.

 

It's not even so much about Stardock changing.  Stardock in terms of how it supports games, doesn't need to change.  What needs to change is people's perceptions, and that will take real value being offered.  That is the complete opposite of a "dog and pony show".

 

This game is a brand new engine, as such, if Elemental is the only game it's used for- it's a failure on that end.  This is why making sure Elemental gets into the hands of people, and is enjoyed by those people, is essential.  That's probably more important in the long term then how profitable Elemental is (and if Brad's comments are true about the pre-order numbers, then the game has already broke even).  If people just remember Elemental as a mess, that might put a serious damper on GC3 sales in 2-3 years (or whatever comes next).

 

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 28, 2010 3:20:31 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Sorry for helping derail yer thread Arstal

I agree that some pretty aggressive work needs to be done be it deep discounts pretty early in the lifecycle, embracing modders much moreso than most games do (to help patch some of the more obvious holes) and working hard on getting new stuff out there be it an expansion or just content packs.

Some savvy marketing/PR can go a LONG way to repairing the game's currently tarnished image.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 28, 2010 3:36:14 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Stardock can't and shouldn't do early deep discounts.

 

a) there are retail agreements that say Stardock can't lower the price for x number of days (Stardock has to do this or no retali space)  If the retailers discount, they can.

 

discounting shouldn't happen until the game has enough polish, otherwise people will call it a fire sale/act of desperation.  Get it right, then try to get people back.  When people will be wowed, that's when people will buy at discount, sing its praises on other forums, then you get the word of mouth, especially when you announce the expansion.

 

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 28, 2010 3:47:09 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Dethedrus,

The vast remaining numbers in the forum *LOVE* the concepts and have great hope that it will turn into the great game it's been hyped to be.  But that day isn't today.  Nor tomorrow.  Perhaps six months down the road, maybe longer.
I'm one of those people and wholeheartedly agree with this.

In a big way, Stardock let me down with this release.  They'll have to earn that trust back if they'd like for me to pre-purchase a game from them again.  The only thing they need to do to 'make this right' & 'win people back' is deliver what was promised.  Arstal mentioned what was done with 'The Witcher' as a possible way to remedy the situation...an excellent idea that I hope is seriously considered. 

I purchased Elemental: War of MAGIC & that's exactly what I want.  Right now its more like Elemental: War of 'smoke and mirrors'.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
Stardock Forums v1.0.0.0    #108432  walnut2   Server Load Time: 00:00:00.0000313   Page Render Time: