RIP WIP. RIP FM. RIP... ??
By: Some Pissed-Off Pirate
I almost didn’t finish writing this. I wanted to have a cooler head on my shoulders before delving into this. Then I got to read Robyn’s profanity laced tirade (in my mind). Putting aside the sexy accent, I realized that, if that bonnie lass is that upset, I know bloody damn well that the people I’ve talked to, as well as myself, are not overreacting. I did wait to 'cool off' and took a look over my notes again and this came out of all that. Much is free form, well, ranting, so then...
Before anyone from Kixeye reads this, I would appreciate it if you pulled some numbers. Just a nice monthly log on chart from January 2016 through October 2017. I can only guess at the metrics, but I don’t have to guess at the player perceptions or opinions, and I may be referencing back that far at times, but I think even if I do not, it would elucidate some of the background issues I may reference.
Background and Context :
We really can't have this discussion without some context. As this game has progressed it has gotten more complicated as needs must. To that end, one has to have a starting point, a foundation point if you will, in which to keep the rest of the game referenced. This is a basic necessity in a game as complex as this one.
Rather than base my premises upon my own perceptions, let us instead rely on the company who actually owns, produces, and directs the game, Kixeye. 'Where would one begin?' you ask? How about this thread and flowchart linked right here. Now, putting aside the fact that I've been vociferously pushing the FM as the cornerstone of the game for over a year, Kixeye themselves have had this position for at least the last year.
See where it says START? The Forsaken Mission, at its core, is the epitome of accessibility to play the game of Battle Pirates. Period. It is the absolute cornerstone of the game. It might not be what people initially state when trying to explain their displeasure at the changes, but when you dig down to the basic concepts that players hold of the game, the Forsaken Mission is exactly that. It is the yardstick used to determine accessibility of this game to the players. We have articles, videos, forum threads, page threads and EVEN a Kixeye logic diagram that puts the Forsaken Mission as the absolute foundation of the entirety of the game.
It is also a fantastic miner's canary of the game. Discount the warning at your own peril.
Can you not understand WHY the community has lost their collective minds over this? Why players are quitting?
Put the damn data and metrics down and talk to your players. Clearly, whoever is deciphering the data is doing something wrong.
Let me reiterate this so it is clear because I don't think Kixeye is understanding this... the Forsaken Mission is the FUNDAMENTAL BASIS OF THE GAME. Whether you want that or not, you are pretty much stuck with it without a slow gradual phase out. That's how it is perceived and what is expected.
The FM Today :
The absolute goal of the fm now is the tokens. At least that is the generic insta-answer I get from everyone. In the past, they were the goal of the end game player in order to get themselves ‘caught up’ on builds- and that used to mean pvp mainly. This was sort of the balancing act of the tokens. If you were getting into being an end-game player, they were a boon to catch up in your PvE stuff and was a fantastic way to get into PvP. It was a great transitional tool and helped infuse more PvP into the game at the end of the spectrum. It kept the PvP part of the game fresher. It wasn't enough to do either, however, it alleviated a bit of the 'gap' between players.This was balanced. Was.
Kixeye decided to take into account the availability if the tokens in their determining of build times for PvE fleets. In other words, they negated the tokens through game design. What's worse is that they thought the community was too ignorant to understand what they did. To exacerbate that basic condescension, they doubled down and gave us lip service about listening to the community. The FM posting was the latest and most egregious example of this.
Now tokens have become a necessity in order to just try to stay afloat on PvE builds. This is an issue created by Kixeye purely through design. The build times for hulls never came down when we switched to a three month raid cycle. In fact, given the proliferation of flagships and escalation tech, both coming after the initial offering, cumulative build times have gone f’n coo-coo for cocoa puffs. A WAG is that the token value is something around 18% of what it initially was when all this is taken into consideration.
Let me repeat- this is an issue created directly by Kixeye and their choice of build times, and now with escalation, refit times. Rather than balance or correct this issue, they incorporated the FM tokens into their expectations of *PvE* builds further exacerbating the issue and then to top off the shit sandwich with some lovely diarrhea sauce, they reduce the availability of those same tokens, decrease their accessibility (timers on the chests) AND increase their cost. Look, I can usually logic my way on either side or an argument or position and have a self-made sounding board, but if I were arguing this in front of a panel of people, or a jury... I absolutely would not want to argue one of these sides because the position is patently untenable.
Side note: Why do I use cumulative? Because in the past, once you ‘figured your build’ you were generally done. You had a finished product. Now you generally don’t have a finished product until AFTER the raid cycle has ended. W.T.F.
I've waited. And waited. I've heard you Kixeye! I've listened to your feedback, and I mean this in the nicest way possible:
Get your collective heads out of your collective asses. How many play-hours have you lost from last year? Compare Oct 2016 to Oct 2017. How many active players? How many daily log-ins? I'd LOVE to see the data you guys use. I can guarantee a different interpretation.
See? I was hoping to see a response or some movement. Instead we have gotten silence and evasion. I hear that, that is your feedback to us. I don't have to look at any data. I don't need to go to a meeting to talk about it. I don't need to have many discussions so I can have another discussion and not even make a substantive comment with regard to the subject matter.
Additional Issues :
Why now? Why this extreme of a change when the Garrison Raid is right around the corner? I could understand a tweak, but this... I don't even want to tell you how many coins and tokens I went through trying to adjust to the 'rebalance' to help the community mitigate the adjustments they had to do.
Why no transitional period this time? That was asinine. Why was the sprint held back until after the change? This is absolutely one of the worst things you did, yet, it isn't mentioned much. Why? Likely because the rest of this is such a clusterfuck that people can't get past the fundamental change in both the FM and it's apparent change of function in the game What that function is, no one knows because you won't communicate with us!!
I will acknowledge that there has been, in the past, some side of the mouth talking. The targets won’t change for a year really meant that the targets wouldn’t fundamentally change, BUT, they decided they could tweak them so long as they still confirmed to the standard deviations of the target type. Right?? Guess what? Not anymore. Now you get to hop into a target and have a Glee inspired mash-up of Garrison and Assault with an apparently huge side of 'we don't care'. Here is the problem guys, if your design failed for garrison, that’s YOUR fault, not mine. Git gud. Stop beating me over the head with a blackjack because you can't figure this out.
Good segue, the target itself. Assault in garrison? We play by the rules you decided to incorporate. It was a reciprocal arrangement. We built to those specifications and ideals, and then get smacked in the face with a hunk of monkey-poo with this change. For everyone's reference, all of this was well communicated and defined right in the forums for everyone, last year, y'know, when the game was in a pretty apparent upswing.
Nanny state or puzzle solver? It is an odd juxtaposition. On the one hand you insist on giving us targets to 'solve'. Sometimes puzzles within puzzles. Yet you also want to severely limit us with regard to what we can build and what we can use in certain targets. If that's the case, you MUST hold yourselves to those definitions and rules which you base these limitations on.
Why is the generalists still doing better than the hulls and fleets intended to do these f'n targets?!?!? This runs counter to what you keep pushing with regard to this entire game. What is the explanation for this?
Why am I playing a raid every single damn week now?!? Where is my half repair then?? Does anyone on the damn Kixeye team even understand the f'n theory behind WHY we have 1/2 repair time during raids??? (Here is a hint: Time constraint concurrent with pressure to complete concurrent with designed intended damage.)
This change fundamentally changes the role of the FM. This is unacceptable in the extreme. This would change the whole of the game in one way or another, or maybe cause irreparable harm.
88 to 89. This is the one that makes me scratch my head in the extreme. You have essentially locked out all the players that were struggling or trying to reach parity in the game. It is a requirement of R&D 3 ffs!! This issue should be self-explanatory.
We got the Icebreaker and Monolith TLCs... but where are the Zelos tokens? Why, if you are going to even pretend that you are giving us some sort of access to what we need, do you not release some way in which the players can adjust or build the number one CM hull in the game (and thanks to URF,apparently the number one option to do the f’n targets to boot!)??? Why are there no Zelos tokens in the raid???
Deep breaths... deep breaths...
The best correction is now impossible. We have idiots like me who blew all their tokens and likely too much gold trying to crack these abominations. Rolling it back will be impossible.
The Assault aspect of those targets needs to be removed and the the target must go back to being an actual Garrison target.
The FM should stay at about the same time requirement as before. I.e. about 7 targets to fully complete.
- If you insist on leaving the 115 as it is, the points per 115 should be 500,000.
- Add the 113 back in for 150,000 points.
- Make the 103 75,000.
- Put the 88 back in for 30,000
- Keep the 89 but make it 50,000.
- Add a point cap to each prize pool. I do NOT want to see a prize show up in PP5 for 5 or 7 million points. That type of abuse will not be tolerated.
- Get rid of the f’n timers on the chests. You've already reduced our tokens without reducing build times - again. There is no need for timers on the bloody chests.
- The Trident needs to be in PP1 or PP2.
- The Mono and Icebreaker need to be in PP2 or PP3.
Here is the final warning about this abominable mess... 'fixing' this Forsaken Mission is not going to correct the problem that has compounded into this. This broke the player base. You have to acknowledge that and own it and start from THAT position when 'discussing' this again. This was the straw that broke the camel's back. You have ignored the player base for a year while alleging that you were listening. Your response time to player concerns, when they aren't ignored outright, is far too slow. This has come back to roost and I really hope that it doesn't kill the game.
Last minute edit.
Ok, so the official answer to all the players 'using older tech' (i.e. locked out) is, quite literally: "To complete these higher level targets you are going to want Tier 6 tech." Wut??
Are you kidding me?!? It's NOT higher level targets. You changed them. Period. You acknowledge locking players out fo the cornerstone of the game and your response is "To complete these higher level targets you are going to want Tier 6 tech." Do you WANT players to quit?!? You changed the targets fundamentally. If these players HAD T6 tech they'd likely be building it. If they could get it, they likely would be getting it.
Running TLCs is NOT going to help these players. This is WHY the f'n Punisher and Citadel are in the lower prize pools. Can you guys not even follow your OWN logic?!?
I don't want to do more chores to help you correct your own screw ups! That's asinine. Seriously, this reads : We screwed up but will fix it by giving you more tasks to do... to get the tech you need so you can refit your fleets so they can do the new target. Why didn't you just design the f'n target to fit the f'n meta for crying out loud?!?!?!? Talk about being obdurate in the extreme. Smh...