STATE OF ALTEIL, JAN 2010

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Re: STATE OF ALTEIL, JAN 2010

Postby fargone » Tue Jan 05, 2010 6:52 pm

Logress wrote: (Oh, right well… I didn’t get to reading the Forum threads about how our business practices are effectively selling all our user’s souls to Satan…)


I had a really good laugh at that line, thank you (I needed one at the time).

I am really excited about the coming year in Alteil. I think you have an excellent model for the future, and I can quite easily see the player based expand in leaps and bounds with these implementations.

Acheivements have proven to be a great success in other games. Giving people goals to achieve is great for increasing player retention, and now we will not only have achievements, but tournaments as well!! I really feel these additions will make Alteil a more rounded card gaming environment.

Great job guys!!
GonFreeces31 wrote:
fargone wrote:I realise this is completely off topic, but Icy deserves the limelight more than others. Some of whom dominate the forums with their endless posts.


What, I make legit points too...
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Re: STATE OF ALTEIL, JAN 2010

Postby Metallix » Wed Jan 06, 2010 11:01 pm

I noticed that none of the changes that were said to be forthcoming are ones that were actually suggested by the alteil community at large.

How about paying attention to what your current player base knows needs to be fixed before going out and adding new stuff.
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Re: STATE OF ALTEIL, JAN 2010

Postby luckysvn777 » Wed Jan 06, 2010 11:16 pm

Achievements and Organized Play were definitely community suggestions. The rest we don't know much about to say, or are either programming changes of sorts or things taken from Alteil JP that we knew we would get eventually (premium, Napoleon, etc). So your post seems rather silly and negative to me.

Speaking of which, are premium benefits something that you have to constantly pay for or are they a one-time thing? Or do you get them just by paying in the first place.. because I know they better be real cheap or I won't bother buying them.. don't believe in extras that don't impact the game that much :/
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Re: STATE OF ALTEIL, JAN 2010

Postby Eladin » Thu Jan 07, 2010 12:05 am

Metallix wrote:I noticed that none of the changes that were said to be forthcoming are ones that were actually suggested by the alteil community at large


you must be all of one hour old in the community if you believe that.

Ahina wrote:I'll bite your hand off. =/


who told you i was into that!? :D

i was only saying at the very least, without any word on whether or not there would be any kinds of change to the point card system itself (which might imply to some that means there isn't going to be one any time soon if at all) that making them so much easier (to be seen) to get, that improvement could help to solve both problems at once...or at least make great strides towards such a goal. by both, i mean the thing i've seen most commonly is 1: access to point cards being limited and 2: exchange rate of cards. make cards easier to get and you can solve 1, while alleviating some of the tension on 2. but i do know your dilemma, because i haven't spent a single point card, not sure what to use them on either, and for that matter somewhat cautiously stockpiling in case there is/was a change in the rates on the horizon so i don't blow my wad too early.

icewolf33 wrote: Maybe a reboot is like a free player's wet dream though, suddenly everyone has starters again. :lol:


Callonia's hilarious comment aside, a reboot may be a free player's wet dream..(wouldn't know)...but what does that do for the paying crowd? do all the gran they've purchased suddenly get redeemed to their account for use after the reboot? if so....well....that'd be more fair than nothing at all obviously, however, it wouldn't help if the paying character actually had fairly good luck with his pulls from purchased gran. i know that doesn't seem to be much of a concern for the free players (you know, giving a carp about whatever happens to the payers) but i'd like to think not everything has to be one side being screwed or the other.
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Re: STATE OF ALTEIL, JAN 2010

Postby Metallix » Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:06 am

Maybe they should just get rid of the decrease in quality lotto cards as you level up most new players don't know you should milk an account for Gran using MM for 3 months before you start leveling up to get as many good cards as you can.
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Re: STATE OF ALTEIL, JAN 2010

Postby DanTheTimid » Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:40 am

<Warning: Long Rant Follows>

Lavatos Heros - I feel they made the right move on this. Honestly, while the idea of using my hard earned cards for something else is intriguing, everything I've heard about this game is that it really isn't anything special and that implementing it would be a lot of work so I'd much rather they do as they are, focus on making the game we do have better before putting in the time to implement something like this.

Napolean - Eh... don't really care on this. I guess if its easy to implement I've got nothing against them working on it, but since it doesn't sound like its going to really add much of anything to the existing game not really psyched about it either. This would probably mean more to me if its annoucement had been coupled with the annoucement of the FM lotto being implemented so that FM meant something to me but as is I can't help but feel like if I wanted to play a tradition card game like this I'd just go to yahoo games or a similar site.

Organized Play - You'd think I'd care about this more, especially as some one who both entered for probably 8 or so years of my life and ran tournaments weekly at local card shops for a good 6 or so straight years of my life. I've gotten tons of prizes and even a giant trophy from tournaments I've won and I've got litterally hundreds of people who I run into all the time who still apparently remember me fondly as a tournament director for so and so card game even though I'm always ashamed to admit to them I don't remember them. Despite that, there's a reason Organized Play finally getting off the ground doesn't have me feeling giddy. Outside the training arena, Alteil in many ways is already like always being in a big tournament. The prizes come in the form of weekly gran or treasure battles, and though your not "eliminated" for losing, you are punished with less gran/no treasure battle prizes, so that sensation of "this isn't just a casual duel, I NEED to win" is pretty much always there. Organized Play can make those prizes bigger, but I honestly don't think a more stressful "must win" atmosphere is something this game lacks or frankly needs. That said, I will admit that drafts and other tournament styles that involve all players playing on equally terms is something that could be good for the game, a nice change for the norm, but measures must be taken to assure the same IP address can not re-enter such a tournament as abuse of that kind really screwed up the previous tournaments of that kind.

Premium Features - I like the idea that if you've spent money at some point, you gain access to one or more of these premium features. It's my experience that once a person invests money in an online game, even a small amount, they're more likely to stick with it long term, so anything that encourages people to make that first gran purchase, even just a small one, I think will greatly improve player retention. That said, it sounds to me more like these features are just going to be things your going to buy with gran. If thats the case then I neither care for or against this. Are there features I might be willing to pay gran to get, maybe, not sure, but I have enough complaints with other aspects of alteil right now that I can't see myself spending real money on gran regardless so its a moot point.

Beginner's Packs - These have potential, the idea behind them is a good one, but first one didn't really wow me. Hopefully they've learned from comments on the first one and the future ones will be better. Time will tell how these change and shape up, but obviously as a vet, these aren't really aimed at me anyway. I'm still not really sure why these go away though, what reason is there that some one whose beginning now shouldn't be able to access the old beginner pack? As for the gold packs, depends how they're done, for instance if they're done similar to the bronze boxes I proposed previously, then I'll be very psyched about them. If they're just a really expensive pack that guarentees a 3*... eh. It'll help the big spenders complete their sets of 3*s, but I fear it'll be too expensive to really be useful to anyone else, we will see.

Lupos Watchdog - On its own this doesn't really mean much of anything but obviously it was explained to clarify the next item...

Achievement System - Ok I admit until I read this I was feeling kind of "really... thats it..." but then I read this and got very excited. The idea has great potential to vastly improve the game play experience of both new players and veteran players a like. It'll have to be implemented correctly, and hopefully alot of these achievements will be repeatable (as it sounds it will be by the claim of being able to grind for point cards) but if done right this single feature has tremendous potential to revolutionize the game.

Project X - The concept is a good one, will be interesting to see how this project shapes up. Obviously its still in the idea getting phase so it'll be a LONG time before we actually see anything of this, but at least nice to know that it is being worked on.

Project Sun and Moon - Too cryptic a description to have any opinions at all on this one.

Whats Missing:

Point Card Costs - The first big thing that struck me right off the bat is that there is talk of more ways to get point cards, but not a single comment that the point card cost system is being fixed. Not even a "Also we know the cost system for point cards is really horrible right now, but theres nothing we can do to fix it" statement. Honestly I really think fixing the costs should be a higher priority then giving out more point cards, once the cost ratios are fixed then more ways to get point cards will become an area of interest but for now, your still ruining yourself if you spend on anything less then a 5*. People, myself being one of them, have posted many times on ways the point card system could be altered such that the point cost for 1* through 4* cards would be accurately proporationate to the value of 5* cards. I don't quite understand why this is something that hasn't already been changed, I assume something is blocking the process, but with out word as to what that something is it just ends up being a strange confusing mess.

Better Match Making - One of the biggest complaints I hear time and time again is that players feel over matched by their opponents, that they're being paired against players infinitely stronger then them, and its rarely fun playing some one you know you can't beat. Pretty much all the best, most time tested, strategy games have a system to rank players and match them up with players of similar skill level. This game already has a similar system in place to rank players skill, RP, yet does not seem to make use of it for match making, meaning a player with 1400 RP can routinely expect to hit "find match" and end up facing down a 2000 RP opponent. I admit I don't truly grasp just how hard improving the match making system would be, but other lower budget online card games (Urban Rivals come to mind) have pretty successfully crafted systems for this purpose so I find it hard to believe its impossible. I know you can't do everything at once, your priority in this past year was on the achievement system, but I'm pretty heavily disapointed to hear not a single comment that this change was even being looked into.

FM Lotto - Actually this isn't that big of a deal to me. Its a little head scratching as to why it isn't even mentioned for the coming year, or heck, why it hasn't been implemented already, but I have a sneaking suscpion that this really won't solve as many problems as some people think it will. I would have liked to at least have been given some reasoning as to why it isn't going to be implemented if indeed it isn't on the 2010 to do list, but hey, a heck of a lot of stuff was covered, some things are just going to get left out.

Overal thoughs:

I'm very interested in the achievement system, and mildly interested to see how future beginner packs and gold packs will shape up, but after reading the state of the game I have no reason to believe the terrible cost to content ratio is going to be improved, and that coupled with the lack of improvements to the match making system make the odds of my coming out of retirement, encouraging my friends to come back to the game, and my spending money on alteil again, not especially likely, at least in 2010. Here's hoping I'm wrong.
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Re: STATE OF ALTEIL, JAN 2010

Postby garcia1000 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:53 am

DanTheTimid says good things! Would love to see a response!
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Re: STATE OF ALTEIL, JAN 2010

Postby luckysvn777 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 12:43 pm

You know, Dan is 100% right, and I really did feel similar in the end. Sure, all the upcoming stuff sounds great, but those three things: point cards, matchmaking, and FM lotto.. they are what the game NEEDS to improve on in the upcoming months, and its disappointing to hear that apparently they won't be focused on at all.

So Alteil GM's and dev... please use the next 6 months before next set to plan out and implement improvements to these areas.. they really need to happen before more cards are released, or things are just going to get ridiculous..

Beginner packs will help at least. As will gold boxes and packs, which is how boxes and packs should have been from the getgo. (assuming gold packs = guaranteed 3*)

At least the new changes will hopefully delay the whiners for a tiny bit..
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Re: STATE OF ALTEIL, JAN 2010

Postby GonFreeces31 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 1:06 pm

I think the tournaments would be really cool! Just wondering though, I don't understand the star system... It appears to me that someone just thought it would be cool to model a tourney off how they did it in yu gi oh with battle city and that Pegasus tournament. My main problems with this is that it's hard to really declare the "winner" and there aren't matches set up between the best players where only one player can move on.

I think one modeled after the NCAA basketball tourney would be a lot more fun. You could have either 1 massive one with seeding, or do something where you have "X" set slots, and maybe have like a group of 4-5 players battle it out to take one of the slots in the tourney. Either way, something like this sounds awesome to me. Especially if the duels (especially in the last rounds) were open to the public and everyone could watch what was going on in real time and have a chat room to talk about the match.

I know everyone has their own idea about how these things should go... But I'm just throwing my thoughts on the matter out there.

Anyway, I love the updates! It looks like this game might really take off this year! Looking forward to all the improvements! Good job GMs!
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Re: STATE OF ALTEIL, JAN 2010

Postby Logress » Thu Jan 07, 2010 1:36 pm

I've haven't addressed the match making system in a while because not a whole lot has changed since the last time I posted about it (okay, it was last winter, I think). The system tries to match up people with the best match of people who are looking at the same time, failing that it grabs whoever is available. It works best when there's 200 people or so in each Arena. Most of the comments I've seen before address how the system looks for a "best match", but really 95% of the problems are caused by the "whoever is available" part. Right now, we're topping out at 60, so even if it makes you wait a bit for the number of choices when you hit "Battle Start" the computer probably only sees a few choices at that moment (keep in mind the number of people in an arena that are already playing, watching, or idle, and it doesn't let you play someone you've played recently). If none are good it waits a bit more, then picks one.

The only thing we could change that would make a difference is how long it waits, but that has two problems. One, it's 'core programing' made by a company hired by the Japanese side 5 years ago (two companies removed), so changing it is pretty hard. Second, it'll cause a new level of different complaints that may be better or worse.

The two ways to fix it are to get more players in the arenas, and the best way to do that permanently is to make permanent improvements and add features to the game. The other way is to have more Arenas, and try to make it so most of the people in your arena are a fair enough match. To be honest, when we reach our summer levels (when we had the 1-3 Arena) again, I'm certainly not doing another low level, but I'm not sure which will be better for matchmaking, trying to get as many people into the Arenas we have as possible and letting the computer decide, or adding an RP arena. We'll probably try both.

FM lotto... This is only our third Starter Set, and there really isn't a huge difference (in terms of numbers of cards) between each one. The Japanese had a lot of problems being experimental with their starters, theme starters and all that. For stability sake we decided not to go that route (and apparently still have issues), so we're not really playing the same game, numbers of starter cards wise, with the Japanese when they introduced the FM lottery. (BTW, did you know that the Japanese FM lottery has a "VOID" card, basically a 'nothing' card you get sometimes? Man, that would be disheartening...) It hasn't been one of the top things I'd been pursuing, I've seen it brought up but I'm surprised people think it's in the top 3. I'll look into it for 3rd quarter.

As for Point Cards, our original proposal was to more or less follow the Recycle system, but we ended up with a slight compromise with the Japanese system (where you are punished even more for redeeming for low rarity cards). The reason is that getting new random cards and getting new cards of your choice are pretty non-comparable. For example, let's say you can get 10 Point Cards a week. You can wait 6 weeks for a copy of a 5*, that will give you an awesome SS or let you recycle for enough to buy an EX pack or something. But that's 6 weeks of no benefit from those point cards. But let's say you're playing the Lawtia and you're angling for Night. Week 1 you get a Succubus, week 2 you get a second Succubus. Now, you're probably going to get more wins and win more treasure battles for 4 to 5 of those weeks (this example can be replaced with Sea Serpent, Mercenary, whatever). So by waiting you're giving up 4-5 weeks of extra Gran (even if you don't make more than 10 from weekly, you still will be recycling on treasure battles) and extra cards. As long as there is a fixed speed to earn Point Cards, whatever that speed is, and as long as we don't make 1-stars weak, 2-stars stronger and 5-stars the strongest, the cost of waiting to cash in the true cost. This is also why you can't efficiently "buy" point cards, they don't really operate like a currency at all, more like a measure of time (not your time, time passing in general). This has the unfortunate side effect that it always kind of feels like you're ripping yourself off if you don't wait (reminds me of the old Legend of the 5 Rings RPG I played in college, where you paid with EXP to raise your stats, but you only paid for the final stat you bought, and it didn't matter what your current level was so you were always waiting to raise it all at once with saved up EXP. Meanwhile, the GM was there threatening you if you didn't start raising some stats soon your character wouldn't be able to deal with the next adventure and would die... good times. Does it still run with that system?).

So with Achievements, you can do basically do automated events to get more point cards, as opposed to waiting for us to come up with and run events, will it operate effectively like a pure grinding system where the only real limit is the amount of energy you put in, or is going to be like what we have now, only accelerated and on your terms? Structurally, it'll be a compromise between those two, most likely, but I'm talking "effectively", meaning which of the two systems will it emulate more closely in practice? The first way Point Cards will become another currency, like Gran or FM, the second way Point Cards will still be a measure of time, just less time. If it goes the first way, then our present system wouldn't make much sense. Of course, I don't think I'm at the stage where I can predict that yet. Things have to be finalized, tried and approved first.

Oh, and for the record, those exact premium features were also user requests. We told the Japanese about them and they liked them so much they implemented them on their end. Actually, everything on my list was a user request except Napoleon (although more mini games to get FM has been brought up a few times).
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