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Avatar Retention

Posted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 10:52 pm
by Nalates
It may be a little early for this idea. But, I just read the article.

The Two Year Effect: Confirmed?

They are talking about expected avatar life times. This month it seems there are several articles on how to gain and keep players. The data is mostly from SL. I think that is because the data is easy to collect.

Another story is about why Linden Lab may be making some of the choices it is making. Linden Lab isn't daft.

While I think only some of the information will be applicable to MOOU, the concepts will likely affect MOOU. Wile I think gaining new players and retaining existing fans is important... there isn't much to be done until we see the licenses.

Re: Avatar Retention

Posted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 11:20 pm
by Mac_Fife
Avatar lifespan and user account lifespan could be two different things. Especially amongst younger players, I can see the desire to "re-invent" themselves as they grow up, and the image they want to portray of themselves changes. The type of game will also have some effect on how desirable it is to retain an avatar: Is there anything you've "earned" that you will lose by creating a new character?

Most of the folks in the URU community have tended towards retaining a recognisable identity across incarnation of URU and that transfers across games, into things like SL. That probably says more about the type of people in URU than it does anything else.

Really the issue, for a commercial enterprise, is going to be customer retention and growth, rather than whether individual avatars are retained. Avatar retention probably has more of a bearing on aspects of "community".

Re: Avatar Retention

Posted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 5:59 am
by Nalates
...mmm... yeah, that is a possibility. The stats do come from in-world SL. It is only a collection of AV information. It is not the Linden Lab data where they can compare IP addresses and payment info to track actual people.

It is common knowledge in SL that large numbers of people use more than one AV, we call them Alt's... alternates. I have one 8-)

Much of the stuff in SL is sold no transfer. This means it cannot be given away. I can't give it to my Alt. This provides a lot of incentive for anyone in SL to keep their AV. Of course the stuff I make I can transfer to my alt.

For more ideas on player retention, Gwyneth wrote THE FIRST-HOUR EXPERIENCE

Re: Avatar Retention

Posted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 10:12 pm
by Nalates
The 'Retention' topic came up again over on MOUL. Interesting perspective from a player.

Why newbies don't stick around - ( I believe )
ToriaURU wrote:[...] A vast majority of people are used to the WoW experience. Which is you pick a server with a friend, log on and make a character and you're there, in the same place, and can communicate. The simple ease of saying to a friend, "I'll meet you online in Uru" isn't there. [...]
I have not heard it put that way... but I strongly agree with that idea.

Re: Avatar Retention

Posted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 10:55 pm
by Mac_Fife
Yes, I saw that post.

It's certainly a legitimate point. I think the original Uru concept may have been to gradually "wean" players from the single player Myst games towards the multiplayer game by having them start alone in the Cleft. But even when you get to the multiplayer ages the whole instancing thing kicks in with no explanation, leading to "Every time I go to the city there's no-one there - How come?".

Cyan's work on MagiQuest Online has produced a game that works much more like the WoW scenario - Choose a session you want to play in when you launch the game - but I'm not sure I see any easy way to adapt what we have in Uru to work in a similar way, as it'd likely mean having to create more instances of Ae'gura or completely restructure how 'hoods work.

Re: Avatar Retention

Posted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 11:10 pm
by Nalates
Here is a novel consideration... Cavern? What Cavern? :shock:

Myst-Uru Social Skills

Re: Avatar Retention

Posted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 11:17 pm
by JWPlatt
Treat an MQO-like MOUL Session as if ALL ages are public to that session? Relto and the hood instances of Ae'gura could remain as the exceptions. Or just skip Relto when you go to a named Session and link directly to the Session Cleft or Session Hood. And Phil's Relto could be the public Relto where you would go if you use your Relto book. Avatar Customization might then be the only exception.

Tracking Session names would be rather hard on the Vault. So if you go to a Session, the game might have to treat things locally and you'd start having multi-player issues like in MQO.

Re: Avatar Retention

Posted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 6:22 pm
by Nalates
Keeping players and getting them past the initial orientation is a big part of Linden Lab's (LL) focus now. What I gather from the little information they have released is what we all know, retention is a about a complex impression people take from their initial experience. It's all about giving the majority of new players something they enjoy.

In the game world the discussion covers targeting existing players verses new players. LL has released data that shows they loose nearly all there new players, hight 90%. Their focus, for now, is on new players. The part that I found odd was the stats they released on their help islands and having a support teams. This was a volunteer group like our Greeters. In SL the stats show a very pronounced failure of Help Teams, made of players/residents, to retain new people. Just the opposite of what one would expect. Whether or not they figured out what was going on... they did not say. I suspect it has to do with the volunteers, their ideas, feelings, and how they treated new players.

Considering that it is pretty well known new players familiar with MMOG's go looking for other players and asking for help, it can't just be a matter of whether they are there. I suspect it has to do with what the greeters are doing. In Uru I see the Greeters as a valuable resource and effective for retaining new players. I believe their motive is to be of help and share something they like. I suspect volunteers in SL had mixed motivations but my experience was they were much like the GoG folks. In both cases getting the new and the helpers connected is a problem.

I used to visit SL Help Islands when I first started SL. I never knew about the Greeters Bevin or the Greeters until I had found my way around, which is probably typical if Prologue players. So, I can't say I know, first hand, what they are doing or how they do it. I do suspect a significant difference is in the work load and how that affects the volunteers. Another difference I suspect is the level of communication between greeters. I think the GoG was more communicative than the SL volunteers, having read of the SL communication problems and how they were a top down organization. The GoG is more of a grassroots organization.

While I like the idea of a town outside the Cleft for an entry point to the game, concentrating new arrivals there might be a problem... or not. On the other hand spreading new arrivals through the game (numerous Bevins) in near isolation doesn't seem to work that well.

I have not seen enough data to know which would be the best way. My feeling now is that placing a higher number of new arrivals in a Bevin might be an easy and helpful change. We might even be able to talk Cyan into that change...

Changing instancing might be a problem. The AV rez'ing lag pause while understandable seems odd to me. Whether it would be worse if arrivals were concentrated to a location, I'm not sure. Fixing that problem could make game play better and allow a single arrival point for new players.

Making ages like Teledahn public might be a problem. As a public age new players would never get to solve that puzzle. Or may be I am misunderstanding.