*Still attempting to solve the problem of 432102 user accounts but only 19679 active members. (June, 2010) 4.554%
*Still trying to solve the problem of 442051 users but only 19350 actives. (August, 2010) 4.377%
*Still striving to solve the problem of 505438 accounts, but only 21664 actives. (February, 2011) 4.286%
In their first games, New Players (Noobs, Newbies, New Recruits) won't understand the complexities of the exceptional and varied maps and game options we enjoy on Conquer Club. The New Player is farmed, ignored by the system, and left to fend for himself/herself. The likelihood that a new player will continue actively visiting ConquerClub under the current structure is not theoretically, but actually low. The purpose of this suggestion is to positively affect the retention rate by means of increasing user enjoyment. Some ancillary benefits are a by-product of this suggestion.
The site does not contain enough information about Maps, Options, Gameplay and Strategy as Data on the site. While some comments and discussions contain information about strategy and the maps, there is a vacuum of hard data available to browsers or new players.
This recommendation offers a reasonably achievable goal: participate in X games, unlock this cool thing; participate in X more games, unlock these other cool things; etc. A goal of this suggestion is to allow new Recruits to experience this great game with basic, beginner, understandable, game options that don’t give an unfair advantage to seasoned players. New recruits are often cherry-picked by veterans--an experience that cannot be enjoyable for the new recruit.
Look at where this site is going! We are getting more and more game options. We are getting more and more maps. The foundry is buzzing with activity and commentary. There is an ever-increasing list of add-ons like “clickable maps” and “maprank.” All of these things are great! For players who have been here for a long time, these changes have come about over time, slowly. Long-time players have had the opportunity to learn each aspect of ConquerClub as they have come out. Rarely, if ever, has the site dumped a bunch of new game options and maps on the players all-at-once. Yet, we assume that new players will be able to “get it” and understand everything whence the entirety of the site is dumped upon them when they join! Where do you think this site will be in two years? At the current pace, I’m thinking 250 maps, and 20 game options (currently there are what, 10 Options?) I think 250 maps with 20 game options will be great for me and I look forward to it. I think it will be absolutely terrible for new players who join on November 7, 2011 if there isn’t a comprehensive training program (like mine…or another) to help them navigate the site and gameplay.
The current “training” provides more opportunities for players to be upset and to leave the site. The Society of Cooks is a great idea, but dependent on meeting the right people at the right time and/or dependent upon good posts and responses in the Society of Cooks Forum and classrooms. I certainly have played in games with options and on maps where I posted something like this in the game chat: “How did you just get all those armies?” Man, was that frustrating to “not know!” Imagine how frustrating that can be, and how quickly a user would exit the site. I think ConquerClub has a problem with enjoyment and retention, and that is what this suggestion speaks to!
- Post a link on the homepage to “MAPROOM”
- Limit New Players to 25 “Level 0” Maps
- Limit New Players to escalating or no spoils, chained, no fog, no manual (Sorry, Manual has fog for now and complicates things), no assassin.
- Limit New Players to everyman for himself games and terminator
- Unlock remaining maps after 16 completed games
- Unlock remaining game options after 16 completed games
- Provide a PM after completing 4, 8, 12, and 16 games which includes links to helpful information about what was unlocked
- Players still receive an email after their first rating, first victory, first game, etc.
- A New Recruit can circumvent this process by paying for Premium. Once Premium, all maps are unlocked, all options are unlocked. (PMs will still be sent.)
- Potential Names for each level: Level 0 - Beginner, Level 1 - Novice, Level - 2 Intermediate, Level 3 - Competitive, Level 4 - Advanced, Level 5 - Professional, Level 6 - Experimental
- Unlock Level 0: Classic Shapes, Classic Art, Archipelago, Canada, Caribbean Islands, CCU, Circus Maximus, Conquer 4, Doodle Earth, France, Haiti, High Seas, Hong Kong, Iceland, Indochina, Ireland, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Middle East, Mongol Empire, Netherlands, Oceania, Portugal, Puget Sound, WWII Iwo Jima. (25)
- Unlock Level 1: Alexander’s Empire, Ancient Greece, Arctic, Australia, Brazil 2, British Isles 2, Cairns Metro, Discworld, Draknor - Level 1, Egypt: Lower, Egypt: Upper, Extreme Global Warming, Iberia, Land and Sea, Midgard, Midkemdil, Montreal, South America, U.S. Senate, USA, USA West, WWII Eastern Front. (22)
- Unlock Level 2: 8 Thoughts, Africa, Asia, BeNeLux, Chinese Checkers, Dust Bowl, Egypt: Nubia, Egypt: Valley of the Kings, Europe, France 1789, Gilgamesh, Great Lakes, Greenland, Philippines, San Marino, Soviet Union, Sydney Metro, Tamriel, Triple Alliance, USA New England, USA Rockies, USA Southeast, USA Southwest, WWI Ottoman Empire, WWII Australia. (25)
- Unlock Level 3: American Civil War, Battle of Actium, Berlin 1961, Cairns Coral Coast, Castle Lands, Charleston, Crossword, Duck and Cover, Europa, Greater China, Halloween Hollows, Imperium Romanum, Indian Empire, Italy, King of the Mountains, Malta, North America, San Francisco, Scotland, Space, USA Great Lakes, USApocalypse, Wales, World 2.1, WWI Western Front. (25)
- Unlock Level 4: Arms Race!, Conquer Man, D-Day: Omaha Beach, Eastern Hemisphere, Europe 1914, Feudal War, Holy Roman Empire, New World, NYC, Oasis, Pearl Harbor, Poker Club, Route 66, Texan Wars, The Citadel, Treasures of Galapagos, WWII Europe. (17)
- Unlock Level 5: Age of Merchants, Age of Realms 1, Age of Realms 2, Age of Realms 3, Bamboo Jack, Battle for Iraq!, City Mogul, Forbidden City, Madness, Operation Drug War, Poison Rome, Prohibition Chicago, Rail Australia, Rail Europe, Rail USA, Siege!, Solar System, Supermax: Prison Riot!, Waterloo, WWII Ardennes, WWII Gazala. (21)
- Unlock Level 6:
-The Random Map (1 map, and it is not really a map per se as much as it is an option to play from one of all the maps, ergo a player would need to have unlocked all the maps via the preceding Unlock Levels in order to use the Random Map function in its current iteration.)
-All Beta Maps (Currently (November 5, 2009) there are 6 Beta Maps available to play) (Beta maps would be ascribed a particular level once they come out of Beta and have achieved their “final forge, quench.”)
Learning the Game and Learning about the Site
- Seeing as a non-Premium can only play in (4) four games at a time, having only 25 maps to choose from for the first 10 games is really not a limitation nor would it be a detraction from the site. Once a non-Premium completes 10 games, he/she has only played on a maximum of 10 of the maps. Most non-Premium New Recruits stick to the same maps anyways. A review of several players’ first 10 games shows that they played predominantly on the Classic Maps and the 23 other less-complicated maps listed in Level 0. Players who have been farmed, received assistance from the Society of Chefs, received assistance from a friend who introduced them to the site, or by apparent random selection have chosen 1 or 2 maps from outside of Level 0 for their first 10 games.
- My suggestion doesn’t help new players to find a benevolent player-mentor nor does it help the new player to find other players who are trying to learn. It does, however, create a pseudo-training regimen that is unbiased and serves to slowly and methodically introduce the new player to this great website on which we play. And when I say “slowly,” it really isn’t that slow. You’ll understand by reading further that players really cannot play on every single current map (141 maps as of November 5, 2009) before they’ve played in 16 total games. It just isn’t possible to play on more than one map at a time. My recommendation herein offers an introduction to groups of maps at a time and an introduction to game options in a piecemeal, manageable manner. After participating in 16 games, slightly more than 10% of the existing maps, the player will have unlocked all the options and all the maps. Their training will be, so-to-speak, complete.
- While my recommendation doesn’t directly offer one-on-one or group assistance, each automatically issued PM sent throughout the process to the player will offer links to the Society of Cooks and other helpful, compassionate links within the website that will lead (directly or indirectly) to players who are willing to help. A key word just mentioned is “automatic.” The player will receive these PMs just as we all received PMs when we first joined. The administrators on this site won’t be spending additional time with player questions, in fact, they will likely spend less time. With additional codexes on the site, players looking for help can read about it (in the event that there isn’t a player or someone in the Society of Cooks available to help them.)
This will improve the following aspects of the site:
- By listing the maps in a “Map Room” on the homepage, the best part of ConquerClub will become visible to new visitors and browsers of the site. I believe this will attract more players to join the site. The remainder of my suggestion will help to get them to continue playing once they have joined. “Getting Browsers to investigate the site”
- First, this suggestion in its entirety will make the site more attractive to browsers and new visitors to the site. If there is a visible training program, it might not seem too difficult to join. “Attracting New Members”
- Second, once the visitor has created a username and password, this suggestion will make the site games and options easier to navigate.
- Third, once the player has started playing games, this suggestion will positively affect the likelihood that the player will continue to come back to the site for more games. “Player Retention”
- Fourth, as the player plays more games: the new awards, the quickly awarded medals, the automatic PMs with helpful hints and map data, and the protection from farmers and protection from the worst of the site will positively affect the player’s experience. This will affect how frequently the player comes back to the site. With automatic emails and links to helpful information on closed topics (no flaming, no rabble to read through) new players will (more than ever before) be provided with information on how to understand each aspect of the game, new maps, and game options. “Site Enjoyment”
- Fifth, fewer games are ruined by New Recruits. A team game with a new recruit means the opposing team gets an easy win 90% of the time. It takes work to lose to a new recruit in a team game. Similarly, a New Recruit can ruin a multiplayer game on a complicated map. I shouldn’t need to go into specifics on this. Players who don’t know the game options and the maps act as a wild card tipping the scales and invalidating the ranking system. Ultimately, more people will stick around if their games aren’t ruined by New Recruits. “Site Enjoyment and Player Retention of existing players”
- Sixth, (and ancillary – this is not the main reason for this suggestion it is a fringe benefit) this will likely put an end to REAL MULTIS. I cannot fathom why someone would want multiple accounts, it is difficult enough for me to handle my account and the games I play. If it would take a veritable eternity for a player to earn the right to play in maps as a new player, I would think that multis would see less interest in investing time in “building” a new multi.
- Seventh, (a fringe benefit of a fringe benefit) because it would be so much more difficult to start a new multi, it would be less likely that an account coming out of the same IP address is a real multi. PERCEIVED MULTIS, better said: multiple accounts in the same household owned by separate individuals, are accused of being multis and banned simply because they enter the site off of the same IP address. My husband and I are victims of this and were banned from playing together for a long time. The site will have to put less effort into multi-hunting and could potentially lean frequently towards accepting that more than one person in a home, a fraternity house, a dorm, a business, a webcafe, a public library, an airport, and/or a hotel could be playing on ConquerClub as separately owned accounts.
- Eighth, (also ancillary and a fringe benefit) this will help to put damper on the activities of farmers. There have been quite a few players who have been restricted, banned, or otherwise for REAL FARMING by contacting new recruits and sucking them into complicated maps with complicated options. While farmers could still set game options that new players are allowed to play in, ConquerClub could also limit communication between new recruits and seasoned players. Farmers could also sit and wait until a player has unlocked all of the options; therefore, this wouldn’t “kill” farming.
- Ninth, (a fringe benefit of a fringe benefit) There have been quite a few players who have been restricted, banned, or otherwise for simply starting games on particular maps. This PERCEIVED FARMING is not actually farming and the players who have been punished for it were punished unfairly. To Farm, a player must actively seek out victims by posting on their wall or in the game chat, or sending a PM inviting the victim to join a game on a difficult map with difficult settings. Simply starting games on difficult maps is not farming. The site will have to put less effort into finding farmers and punishing them. The players who have been unfairly limited on the site can be allowed to freely roam the site. Fewer players will post complaints about the unfair punishment of players.
This is an edit from a much broader and more comprehensive training program unlocking different aspects after every 5 completed games up to the 80th completed game.
Your Further Input on this Suggestion and Objections
Please Respond! Consider this suggestion to be fluid and putty-like. I am by no means stuck to the original suggestion and willing to hear all input!
Stats for postings on this topic:
Unique Opinions: (Total): Page1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35,
Unique posters in support: (36): 3, 2, 2, 3, 1, 2, 1, 1, 1, 0, 1, 0, 1, 0, 0, 0, 2, 1, 1, 0, 1, 0, 0, 1, 1, 1, 0, 0, 0, 2, 0, 6, 0, 0, 1
Unique off topic w/o opinion: (8): 2, 1, 0, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1, 0, 1, 0, 1, 0, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0,
Unique posters on the fence: (10): 2, 0, 1, 1, 2, 0, 0, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1, 1,
Unique posters against: (17): 0, 3, 0, 0, 0, 1, 1, 0, 0, 1, 1, 1, 2, 0, 1, 0, 0, 2, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1, 0, 1,
Support from 36 members.
Posters against: 17.
2/3 majority wins. However, this is a Canadian site, so it goes to the Queen...and I say: "Do it!"