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Founders' Update: Soft launch strategy

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I'm a bit late to the topic, but i thought i would share my words or encouragement! I think you are making the right call. I have seen too many games in recent years that have had a ton of hype around them, only to crash and burn, because many of the things that generated that hype were not included in the final product for the sake of making a deadline. The game will be better off in the long run if WHEN people get to play the final product, they CANT put it down. If things are half implemented or simply NOT implemented, people will say "meh, its a cool idea but it just doesn't deliver. I'll keep waiting for *NEXT BIG THING*."

 

I for one am willing to wait, i backed this game because i believe in the idea, and i trust the developer to do what is right for the game, and its backers, and not just blindly follow a corporate timetable.

 

But that is just my $0.02 :D

 

*edited to fix a typo

Edited by Arcthor

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I am okay with waiting as I think most people are.  However a Soft Launch seems like a terrible idea and here is why: 

 

If you don't have the resources to get things done at the schedule you have set, how much more will you be setting yourselves back having to devote resources to the process of managing a live game?

 

I believe you risk causing significant damage to the potential player base when you soft launch and a large number of people jump in, then leave before the games becomes what you want it to be.  I think there are very few people that aren't willing to wait, why risk the financial success of the product and the games potential population be putting something out there that everyone knows isn't what it is intended to be?

 

Now if the reason for the Soft Launch is to get the store up and running so that you can generate additional revenues to cover the cost of finishing the game, then I wish you would come out and say that too.

 

In short, I know I and the people that invested with me in this product would much rather see you complete the game properly than to get it out there just to satisfy a few impatient souls.

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Archeage and Crowfall are two very different games, with different budget, genre, audience, etc. I think that we can't really compare both situations. It would be more accurate to compare it with indie crowdfunded titles that followed the soft launch or early access path.

 

It seems to me that the reviews matter a lot on Steam. It probably influences a large portion of the potential buyers, more or less significantly. In the example I've given, Shroud of the Avatar, which is a comparable project to Crowfall in many ways, one of the first things we can notice on the front page of their Steam is this:

 

tXSpC1x.png

 

It seems logical to me that this may have a negative impact on the reputation of the game and the size of the playerbase.

 

I agree with you that generally it's beneficial to have any kind of press than zero coverage. However the good press usually remains a more effective tool to encourage people to play than bad press, so it's better to think about it twice before doing something crazy. That's probably what they already do, so maybe twice isn't enough. :)

 

I think your very wrong about AA and Crowfall being two different games. They are both sandbox games, Both feature trade pack like things, Both PvP heavy games, Both have player housing like things, both siege based end game, both MMO's at their core, classes races etc, both heavily dependent on in game economies and politics.

 

The things AA has that crowfall doesn't is, Planting crops/farming (maybe something like this is in Crowfall?), Auction house, oceans and naval combat, some PvE sprinkled into the game and actual story lines to follow. That is pretty much the only thing AA has on Crowfall. Crowfall purposely striped the story line quests and mission out of the game. Oceans and navel combat is not happening and PvE is pretty much very limited/ non existent here besides player made EK.

 

Crowfall will take a lot of AA players when it launches.

 

The budget of AA and how much it costs has no bearing on the argument. Both games will be seen as a MMOrpg. AA was also the 2nd game ever made by the Korea company XL games company so they are essentially an indi company as well. Their 1st game was a racing game so no MMO experience at all.

 

Piss poor reviews hurt ofcourse but it doesn't kill a game if the reviews are bad. Just like with movies, Batman vs Superman got mixed reviews and had one hell of a run at the theaters. Using that analogy we have some heavy hitters in the MMO world with the team designing the game. Their name value alone is like the batman/superman and part of the reason why a lot of players have backed crowfall just based on the games this team has worked on in the past.

Edited by YouTubejasonwivart

Check out my youtube channel for testing gameplay https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCp-AgZ6mHOVObusemDVEXoA

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id be happy with soft launch.....and getting us in then adding things......hopefully sooner then later....im ok with being able to play and having a toon i cn devote to with no wipes while you finish game...


May war intone echoes across the cosmic thrall of bones and blood!!! http://www.stormcrowproductions.com

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I bought my bundle recently, I wanted to help this game out on anyway i can because I believe in it. My favourite MMO has been in trouble for some time. The company responsible for it was forced to release it about a year too early because that is what the men behind the money wanted. I am tired of games being destroyed before they are even out of the gate by having to bend over backwards to please investors etc. 

 

Whatever you have to do to launch the best version of your vision imaginable is more than fine by me. 

 

However...

People are...sometimes....um....dense. Sometimes decidedly, wantonly, stubbornly dense. The word Beta at this point now means something entirely different to consumers at large, than it does to developers. Beta means to a lot of people FREE DEMO! Instead of testing an incomplete version of the game. So i have no idea how they would react to the term Soft Launch. I dont think you need t change what you are doing, but the terminology maybe could use a rename.

 

That is just my opinion. (Please forgive all the typos. its very late here, and im tired.)

Edited by BentPencils

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Whatever you feel is best for the game. I'd rather see you make a soft release, more cash to the game and more time to make it really great. You know what's best for Crowfall.

Edited by molg

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As it should be. Every game that has shipped before its time know the folly of that action and lay one the side of the road, as they are passed by those who ship "when it's ready".

 

Good luck and full steam ahead! We'll be waiting on the other side.

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If there's one thing I've learned is that you only get one launch.  If you botch it it can honestly cripple your game.  I'd much rather you take the time to ensure the game is ready than to rush it.  That especially means server stability and the ability to handle the massive load increase on launch day.  

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Piss poor reviews hurt ofcourse but it doesn't kill a game if the reviews are bad. Just like with movies, Batman vs Superman got mixed reviews and had one hell of a run at the theaters. Using that analogy we have some heavy hitters in the MMO world with the team designing the game. Their name value alone is like the batman/superman and part of the reason why a lot of players have backed crowfall just based on the games this team has worked on in the past.

 

So get people to pay upfront just because of the name(s) and disregard future customers/profit potential dependent on a quality product? You must work in advertising  :rolleyes:

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So get people to pay upfront just because of the name(s) and disregard future customers/profit potential dependent on a quality product? You must work in advertising  :rolleyes:

 

I never said disregard future customers or quality. AT least with a gaming companies like an MMO there is constant updates and polishing going on. The game is not one and done like a movie, they can fix and adapt to the consumers wants and needs as time goes on. MMOrpgs thrive on constant updates and essentially the promise from the devs of patches and new content in the coming years. It is part of the reasons people invest so much into them since they theoretically know that a MMOrpg will live at least a couple of years and generally longer

 

Well that is kind of how crowdfunding works, get hype, raise funds and try to deliver on those promises. Most companies miss the mark and or delays even once the funding had been raised.

 

You have to respect the fact that they are TRYING to deliver something at the 2016 winter time line and that is where this SOFT LAUNCH comes from. The product is not ready for "official launch" but soft launching while in beta/alpha has become common occurrence in gaming now. The early adapters get to test and express direct  feedback to the devs and they can and will make changes many times based on that feedback. Overall a soft launch is the best strategy a company can make as they essentially get 2 launches. Almost anyone that had been following or backed already is eager to test/play the game and give their opinions and why wouldn't they be? Most have been waiting 1 year+. The early players/backers will be way more forgiving then the general masses who will see broken systems, glitches, bugs, hacks etc and be like custard this I'm over this poorly made socks.

Edited by YouTubejasonwivart

Check out my youtube channel for testing gameplay https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCp-AgZ6mHOVObusemDVEXoA

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While the soft launch looks great but as a tester whats the next testing landscape, is it CW or is EK nextor something else after combat is in a good spot.

 

[sorry i didn't comb though the thread to find the answer but i thing its CW next but i don't know if its been confirmed.]

Edited by Iceassassin77

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I think soft launch should be avoided. A lot of game players these days will expect it to be complete even though you clearly say its not. Once they try it and feel it incomplete its EXTREMELY unlikely they will come back. If you present them with a completed package you are much more likely to maintain them as  customers which is much better for the game long term. Please take your time and make the game as good as possible and complete as possible before general public release. This will help the long term success of this game greatly.

 

Just my thoughts...

 

Edit added for suggestion;

 

Even if you have to hire more staff to make things done, at this point i think just adding a single purchasable thrall / a limited number of purchaseable tax free land parcels would easily reach a goal to pay for another programmer / designer / insert whatever position you need to help here.

Edited by NoobByDesign

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You people seem to not get the point straight. Its not first priority how you release a game, its more important that you get the game done and that its good. If you make great progress in development and the game is shaping nice and showing great potential, everything is fine and it doesnt matter how you call your launch idea. But if you get lost in development and nothing happens, thats where it all goes down.

By the fact that you can get already access to the game for paying money, the game is already in soft launch right now.

Official release means nowadays only the day where you dont reset the servers anymore and official say that this is now the official release.

Edited by Urahara

After EverQuest Next is gone, its Star Citizen for me.

 

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Know im a bit late to the party but i figured i would add my 2 cents. Imo soft launch is fine if at least 1 game mode is fully functional and combat and movement is amazing and flows very well imo BDO and GW2 are very prime examples of great flowing combat, while i know tera has been mentioned many times it honestly sucks for melee in zerg fights you almost always die no matter what you do, thats why i prefer combat that gives you more freedom to move as you attack, also im not a fan of having to combo so much even more so for important skills such as stuns. Personally i prefer some sort of tri faction world with whatever import rules since its soft launch. But i feel having factions at the start will be a good design idea since its something alot of people are familiar with be it DAOC GW2 or ESO etc. It also makes it easier at start to make friends and alliances which is pretty key to the games core.


krevra.png

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