Development still has not focused on player retention.
I get the 30+ mechs thing though. It sounds good and one of your higher ups wouldn't take no for an answer, thus 30+ became a hard deliverable. It's flashy and should bring more people to the game right? Problem is, that's the same cart before the horse logic that sunk ADH/MTR. Granted you guys at RL aren't pursuing movie deals and such, but between the console port and they way that was handled it's clear that there has been a focus on bringing Hawken to a new audience. Fix the game first.
Perhaps the numbers will prove me wrong, but this "update" in my estimation is less n00b friendly and will actually be worse for player retention. Changes that are bad for player retention:
- Tutorial no longer starts on its own, it must be sought out.
- G2 power creep increases the conception of P2W.
- Increasing HC gain was a good move, but that said you have a mech priced at almost 20k HC. (EDIT: g2 gren is 25k hc EDIT2: G2 Civ is allegedly 45k. what the flying fock). There needs to be enough of a grind to monetize, but not so much as to scare players away. Without having played yet it looks like this will be on the steep end. Also, just because the G2's are essentially the same mech will not alleviate p2w complaints whatsoever. They are straight upgrades from their G1 counterparts and they're also the mechs that cost the most. Lock something that doesn't affect gameplay behind a grind like that instead of the new best mechs in the game.
- The new UI frankly looks like fuzzy bunny. Yes that affects player retention.
- Removal of customization (items/internals/weapons/cosmetics). The mech tree is a poor substitute.
- Too many G2A style mechs. Dual wielding is okay on one mech as a novelty. It's gimmicky and cheap when used on more than that. It also appears that dual wielding mechs don't balance well.
- You fuzzy bunnyed up balance. I understand that balance was potentially going to be a different animal on console, but instead of starting from the fairly well balanced current itteration of the game, you changed all of the variables at once.
- The entire release just oozes of sheer incompetence. Errors on the website, confusion about people playing early, and then of course the updates themselves. Get your sh!t together guys.
Expanding your audience doesn't mean jack if they don't want to stick around. Learn from the devs who came before you, take a look at why they failed. Learn from thier mistakes. And perhaps consider some of the advice here on the forums, advice based on thousands of hours of actual gameplay.
Things that might actually improve player retention:
- Include a decent fuzzy bunny tutorial.
- Fix the in game economy.
- Fix balance.
- Make actual values for weapons/mechs/internals/items readily available. Also make sure the descriptions for aforementioned shite is readily available and non-opaque.
- Expand customization options, also release unreleased assets (paints, drones, etc., just NOT the VI exclusive ones).
- Give people a reason to say "just one more". Additionally, if you were trying to improve your monetization this is a good way to do that. Make salvage drops purchaseable instead of just a reward - essentially they're just loot crates. There's a reason so many games use loot crates/card packs/stuff that's left up to chance. The gambling part of it is somewhat addicting and leaves people wanting more. It's a tried and true system, and it works.
- Do more to stop hacking, or at least make the impression that you are. I know that it hasn't been a giant issue in Hawken but it is something people get their panties pretty bunched about.
- Actually fix known issues, particularly map issues.
- Release actual mechs, especially the ones we know are partially complete (where's mah pusher)
- Take another look at this thread, and perhaps implement its suggestion. EDIT: it looks like you did include an all mech bundle. Good on you.
- Have consistent content updates. This is probably what will do the most work in terms of retention.
To be fair, this update doesn't spell immediate doom for Hawken. But you just blew another one of you chances, and a pretty important one at that. Hawken doesn't have very many mulligans left.
Of course, I have no reason to believe this will fall on anything but dead ears, since you don't communicate properly. Should you read this, I would like to say that this advise is relevant regardless if PC or the current player base is at all part of your target audience.
If anyone else has thoughts to add, please chime in, I'd like to hear it even if Reloaded doesn't.
Edited by crockrocket, 16 August 2016 - 02:05 AM.