I assume people have written about this elsewhere, but I just can't go through the 830 posts under 'new ideas' to find out who's already said what. So I wanted to start this thread JUST for ideas on how to improve retention from Crest to Folrart.
The way I see it, if people are willing to play all the way through Regus, they ought to be hooked already. Or they would be, if the game stayed fun. As it stands, though, it seems like the population in Crest is usually about the same as the pop in Folrart: Clearly, for the vast majority of players, this game stops being fun sometime around level 15. If these are mostly free players, I can get how Alteil, as a business, wouldn't really care. However, as a player - and a mediocre one at that - I'd really enjoy more matches against more people, particularly people of roughly my own level of experience (Approx. 200 matches). 'Cause let's face it - when I run in to Mavel or Skewer or Beezknees or...well, any of the hardcore players, I am gonna lose 9 times out of ten - and that's giving myself the benefit of the doubt. I will lose because 1) they have a (relatively small) edge in cards, 2) because they are better at deck construction, and 3) because they are much better players. This is a good learning experience for me, but when I pull 4 or 5 matches like that in a row, it can get kind of demoralizing. Not enough to make me quit, but probably enough to make lots of other people quit.
Therefore, I offer the following suggestions for possible ways to improve Crest - Falkow retention.
1) Cut the -1 penalty for losing on weekly gran. You want to reward active players, that's fine. But the -1 penalty for losing is a disincentive for new players to participate when they see Mavel in Folrart. And Mavel - you are ALWAYS in Folrart. The super-ninja players are going to be the ones who play most anyway, so they'll still get their modest bonus over casual players. Are you worried about abuse? I wouldn't be, but if you really are, cap the weekly gran at whatever you want. 150? Anyone who plays 150 matches in a week, or wins 75 deserves a booster pack in my book. But the new kids need to get SOMETHING for getting their butts handed to them over and over again, and right now they get squat. If new players feel like they're getting something from getting pounded, they'll stick around, and eventually crack and start buying packs just to have a shot at spanking Galadros some day.
2) Give people reasonable experience for losing. It's not like leveling is easy in this game anyway, and with one card every 10 levels, it's not like level cards disincentivize players from purchasing cards. If anything, it gives players MORE incentive to purchase cards to complete playsets, or expand into different spheres, or to buy packs 'cause they don't have other, newer player's shiny new level cards from the new set. Again, this is about making newer players feel better about the continual drubbing they will inevitably receive when they transition to Falrart. You must fix this, because retention = sales. Low RP - your publicly displayed level of suckiness - is disincentive enough from throwing games. No need to rub it in by not only getting nothing for losing, but watching your opponent WIDEN his lead over you by getting the XP you're missing out on.
Those were the biggies: those you should fix pronto. If you don't like them, however, here are some more.
3) Let people switch to a starter file of a different sphere. Maybe once per day? I bet lots of players get bored when they feel they've gone as far as they can go with the starter file they initially chose. So what do they do? Some of them probably start new accounts, go through Crest over and over again, and never switch to Folrart. While understandable for them, this is LAME for us. This does not encourage players to buy additional starter packs for 1000 gran per pop - it would be much better to let people mess around with all 4 colors: it would encourage them to take level cards in different spheres, which would probably encourage them to buy more packs to flush out all 4 colors, rather than focusing on one. Alteil would lose nothing by doing this - not one $. 'Cause anyone who would spend 1000 gran on a second starter pack was going to spend that money on boosters to get rares anyway. And being able to play lots of different deck styles is probably about the only thing that keeps most players going through the beatdowns of the late-teen / twenties levels. Giving players access to all four starters will at least make getting crushed in Folrart marginally less repetitive. They'll be able to get crushed in lots of different ways.
4) Add an arena for people under lvl 50. I suggest this ONLY if alteil isn't interested in any of the above ideas. In principle, this idea sucks, because the user base in Folrart is so small right now that Folrart can't really afford the handful of active players under level 50 (how many of us are there? 20? 30?). But maybe that would change, eventually, if players leaving Crest didn't get HAMMERED for the next 25 levels. This isn't just about cards: players who've played 50 matches against starters simply cannot hang with people who've played a couple of thousand. And most of them won't have the cards to be able to implement the strategies they observe while getting crushed. So they don't learn much, and they always lose, and all they've got this their aging set four lawt starter anyways...so whatever. They're outta here - this does not make alteil money.
In conclusion, obviously, this isn't about me. I bought my cards - at the 150 gran per pack pricepoint. I've managed to break 1600 RP (briefly, once. It's over now). But I'm one of a handful of us. And it would be nice for everyone if there were more.