{suggestion} how to retain players

Discussion in 'Feedback and Suggestions' started by Christofff, Mar 30, 2017.

  1. ttsukasa

    ttsukasa Mushroom Warrior

  2. hello world

    hello world Hydra

    have you seen my new altruism/all out attack/ vengeance build? It's not 1800 material but dark brightness was convinced that I could reach 1700 with it if I played smarter than usual.

    Gurel also has a nice spark of undeath build, but it requires certain epics.

    The main issue is that the set goal of 1800 apparently implicitly requires a 90% win rate vs. 1400 elo players, so rush strategies and anything not extremely consistent can be difficult to run past 1700, so you either need to tank with wizard or tank really hard with priests. And not be unfavored in the long game. That's part of the issue with priests being so steamlined.
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2017
  3. Scarponi

    Scarponi Moderator

    I've mostly stayed out of this conversation because (1) I haven't had time, and (2) I've been around long enough to express my thoughts on similar threads in the past. But maybe a couple things worth noting...

    Why the meta is more noticeable in CH
    Most likely the largest factor that leads to meta focused builds is the size of the player base (that it's quite small compared to other major games of this style). When you have a smaller player base, you'll always end up with a smaller and more focused meta and the changes are likely to come more quickly - meaning that when new cards or changes come out the main player base will settle on a new meta faster than if the player base was larger.

    Why "game changes" won't help
    Balance is very important for the game's health and BM does a pretty good job for the size of their team trying to always keep a pulse on balance. That said, it doesn't matter. I've been around long enough to know that with every balance change there's always a new meta. There's always going to be some cards and some items that are at the top. Nor would banning cards, or shifting build restrictions help - this is what constructed leagues do, and yet they are more meta focused than normal MP play.

    Why don't players (particularly good players) break the meta? / Can you only break the meta with huge collections?
    They do. Don't get me wrong, its not that they all do, but there certainly are plenty that are often experimenting with new builds. The problem is, as soon as they find a good non-meta build and start playing it, the small player base quickly shifts and adopts it into the meta. Take St. Ulrich's Bones for example. Nobody played if for the longest time to any great extent, then someone decided to max it out, and made a good deck and all of a sudden everyone was playing it (personally I actually think it's overrated, but that's another discussion). This doesn't just occur with large collections. There have been players who've taken brand new accounts into the 1500s right away because a good player can play "peasant" builds and still do well. The problem is even these get adopted into the meta... if you weren't around for it, search the forum for Cult of the Bejeweled, it was all the rage for a long time. And very effective. So ultimately good meta breaking decks, just become meta themselves (with the rare exception of super Legendary heavy builds that few people can replicate).

    So is CH doomed to always be meta-heavy.
    It's entirely possible. But I do have a suggestion for anyone who doesn't like the meta-heaviness of CH. Don't play meta builds, but keep playing. In short, my advice is be the change you want to effect. The more people play non-meta builds, the more others will feel the ability to do so. And the fewer matchups there'll be against straight meta builds. This will increase the fun for others who don't want to play meta builds and it'll snowball. But know it'll take time, and there'll always be the players who are more focused on rating, than variety (who also have every right to play that way if they wish). If one can accept that, and still have fun, then great. And if that's not worth it to some, I totally get it and hold nothing against them if they choose to move on, but ultimately growing the player base of individuals who refuse to play meta builds is really the only way to make a change imo.

    Two other related thoughts that won't come to anything, but are curious to think about:
    1) I think meta would be much less of a problem if Elo ranking was invisible (still there to create matchups, but not visible to any players). This would prevent players from chasing Elo, and also reduce Elo disparity anxiety for lower ranked players when they get matched with a higher player.

    2) Despite the fact that it is at times popular to do, I think publicly sharing builds on the forums, particularly builds that do very well, is bad for the game because it leads to less creativity and variety.
  4. Robauke

    Robauke Guild Leader

    I support the removal of open elo.
    Also entirely forgo guilds or give them more depth beyond the season race.
    In short, devalue meta aspects, reemphasize the fun to be found in the singular match.

    I always had faith people can be above it and part of the crowd can, but those succumbing to competitiveness will always dominate the picture.
  5. rinco69

    rinco69 Hydra

    This forum thread so far assumes:
    a. The game would be more popular with better player retention
    b. Player retention would be increased by eliminating meta builds
    c. Eliminating meta builds could be achieved by hiding Elo​

    To this I say, poppycock. Chasing Elo is half the fun. Players are motivated by collecting items to create meta builds. Eliminating meta builds is impossible so stop suggesting the impossible.

    I believe the game is already plenty popular. The opportunity here for BlueManchu is repurposing the software engine to make other games. Just throw in a new game mechanic for any particular market e.g. A Battletech version of CardHunter would have torso-twisting goodness. Or are we all to play 10,000+ games with the same 3 character classes and game mechanics?
  6. Robauke

    Robauke Guild Leader

    I on my part was talking about giving the vain less exposure.
    But sure, go ahead and get jon a star wars license. Anything helps.
  7. tolkien

    tolkien Thaumaturge

    I wholeheartedly agree with @rinco69 . In fact I suggested something along a similar line awhile ago.

    To get even more specific about the Mech game suggestion:
    4 weapon* systems at 6 cards each. Propulsion 3 cards. Armor 3. Engineering 3. Class 3. (tank, flyer, walker) Another crazy idea is that you could choose which system you wanted to draw one of your cards from. Each system would be visually represented in the model in play and could be destroyed, thus making it impossible to draw cards from it or use it's cards in your hand.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2017
  8. mikey76500

    mikey76500 Ogre

    @Scarponi: You could also always try convincing the likes of Jon and Flaxative to expand upon campaign via additional non-expansion missions to give people more of a reason to stick around; it IS both the best part of the game AND the most important source for resources for beginners; shouldn't be NEARLY as neglected as it's currently been compared to MP [MM's don't count, they serve veterans].
  9. Scarponi

    Scarponi Moderator

    1. I think it has been generally implied that the focus of this thread is about retaining players for the MP player base, so that's what I was discussing here.
    2. What constitutes the best part about the game is purely subjective.
    3. If you feel that the devs should be convinced of something, please don't ask me to do the convincing for you. I don't have any more pull than any other player. A well articulated and thoughtful objectively argued suggestion will be considered no less from other players (though if maturely put forth, it will also recognize there might be reasons against it, and will be willing to accept those even if not personally preferred.)
    4. I see no evidence that MP gets more love than SP. It gets new leagues about as frequently as SP expansions, and new ranked maps in MP are less of "new content" than MMs are in SP.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2017
  10. Christofff

    Christofff Guild Leader

    Hey Scarp, thanks for your earlier input. There is only part I disagree with:

    I've been around awhile too, and seen these changes. But my point is that the meta builds rely on vastly overpowered card / racial combos. I think if we balanced these, sure it will never be perfect, but at least it will be a improvement, and more importantly give creative builders a chance to compete.
    Pulling out a few weeds might not make a healthy garden, but at least it will allow some new plants to grow.

    I've been running elf wiz last two weeks and get my a$$ kicked by either dwarf wiz, healing priest, or hungry human warrior. It takes all my self-control sometimes not to revert back to a "winning" meta build, but its worth it. But, for those who have less of a stomach for losing, like the above creative builders, it will either turn them off this game, or succumb to the meta themselves.

    Like Ttsuakasa or Gulo-Gulo above. And these are only the players who were kind enough to mention it on forums, because they still respect the game, and the Devs. I am sure there are many more.

    So, this is why, and yes I know its a lot of work for a small team, but I humbly suggest some bigger changes need to be made sooner rather than later. And I would be more than happy to help test the changes / nerfs.

    But otherwise Scarp I whole-heartedly agree with your other points.
    00Banshee00 likes this.
  11. Lucky Dice

    Lucky Dice Thaumaturge

    i was really silent in this thread, because I'm not planning to leave anytime soon - i have 4 months of membership in pizza still at bay - but I think as someone who refuses to go mainstream I should finally take a stand.

    and quite frankly... both sides are right.

    But let's first talk about what needs to change. Starting from outside of the gameplay - There's not a lot of incentive to play after you're climbed really high, other than playing whatever you want. Guilds are there to basically fight against each other and do nothing else. How about actual alliance and enemy systems? Small item exchanges, VERY small (something like a trade of 1 legendary Randimar offers, or something) within the guilds? Extra drop for doing an adventure with guildmates? That kinda stuff.

    Also, I'd say the quests system is kinda... uh. underutilized. The rewards for doing these are rather underwhelming - a single chest with a guaranteed rare for building my deck properly and using all the right races? That's not really much buck for the bang. How about for every quest done, we reduce the price of an item in the shop by X%? Or maybe a free epic+ item for doing X quests? Daily quests that award better loot for doing them, marked in the menu? There are endless possibilities for this one.

    If you play a lot at 1,7k+ rank, you'll get drained out easily, which is basically what went through a lot of former players. It's because there's little to no variety. The amount of things that you'll face there can be counted on fingers of a single hand. That's kinda bad. And the reason for that lies in the very core of the gameplay, in my opinion, which is stuff that is and isn't dependant to races. Health and Movement.

    So why are people using dwarves? You usually sacrifice racial mobility for the benefit of being tankier. It would be all fine if it weren't for several things that are kinda contradictory to what you see in the game compared to this sentence - mobility is never a problem with dwarves - between Vengeance, Nimble Strikes, Energizing Moves being offered for an affordable price for all races, the quantity of these you can get and the built-in melee frenzy, your drawback is nullified and you still get to keep the HP. You can kinda see what I'm about to propose.

    Starting with the thing I mentioned first - Mobility. Say goodbye to constants of Move 2, we're changing the system a bit. The current one favors these who can do the least, which is - you guessed it - dwarves. I can think of at least three possible solutions.

    Solution 1 - We change the racial move for all races to Run. Alongside that, Dwarves have a built-in Encumber 1 and Elves have the exact opposite. This eliminates flying Nimble Strike dwarves and Vengeance abusers, but doesn't do much to Energizing Move, but I think it's the safer of two options and probably easier to implement. That also neuters Dwarven Wizards' Flanking Moves to attack, which is kinda fine in my book. That kinda makes Elves incredibly potent though and probably would require further testing.

    Solution 2 - We change... everything. Just like previously, Run becomes a standard racial move, but it's not Move 3. Instead, it's Natural Racial Move x1, refered to later as NRM. So 2 tiles of movement for dwarves, 3 tiles of movement for humans, 4 tiles of movement for elves. Anything below and above that can be changed to adjust balance for every single race. For the sake of example, I'll provide my detailed version. We're not touching the following: Shuffle, 2nd move of the Telepod Jaunts, moving teammates with Team Shift, move generated by Vanguard and step 1 melee attacks. For the most part they are just as useful on every single race. We're also ommiting moves specific to a race - Elven Trickery, Elvish Scamper and Smashing Spi- ahah. Sorry. It's still a good laugh when I see it. We should do something unique with it.
    Step 1 ranged attacks like both Surging things as well as passive moves from Dodge Variants could get NRM x0,5 rounded down. That could give elven wizards a new niche.
    Move 2 can become NRM -1. Most notable moves affected by that are Dodge, Flanking Move, Team Move, Push/Slide 2 of everything that has it, Prowl and... Dancing Cut and Nimble Strike. Yes, we're making that thing Step 3 for Elven Warriors. It has to be paired with some priest changes as well, most likely.
    Any Move 3 becomes NRM x1. Cautious Sneak, Muscle Through, Violent Spin, Scampe- hahah. Sorry again.
    Any Move 4 becomes NRM +1.
    Any Move 5 becomes NRM +2
    Any Move 6 becomes NRM x2.
    Wild Run, as the only thing that remains Move 8, becomes NRM x2 + 2. Yes, Elves get to move 10 tiles with this thing.
    I kind of ommited Reflexive Teleport. It's a really weird thing to talk about. I'd say its passive move should get NRM x0,5 + 1 rounded down. It's probably the most convoluted calculation here. Makes RT move 3 when triggered on elves and move 2 on everybody else.
    Any "X, Team!" cards movement also get affected by that and it actually uses Encumber and Halt PLEASE.
    Now let's talk about boosts to movement.
    Vengeance becomes NRM x0,5. Obviously.
    Rushing Aura, Quickness Aura and Energizing Move's passive become "add NRM x0,5 to any played move. Keep". So racial move on Elves stays the same and it gets nerfed on dwarves. Yay.
    "But what about humans?" Good question. This is the part I find really hard to figure out properly. I guess this being rounded up instead of down would make a better case for humans, so this time thing becomes rounded up.
    The hardest case to think of however is Encumber. Whichever way you go, something gets either absurdly OP or incredibly UP. If you start using NRM on this, dwarves suffer a ton and if you keep the numbers, Elves become terrifying.
    So my solution is... to expand the flavor on Encumber. Have you tried, physically, attacking somebody while you're not in a comfortable position? It's not going to be as strong. How about Encumber also means reduced attack? A negative frenzy for example, but ONLY for melee attacks. This way there's a counterplay for cold magic.
    So the end product on Encumber becomes "Whenever you move, subtract <x> move points from that move and substract <x> damage from melee attacks".
    That's kind of buffing already powerful ice magic so we can lower everything ice-related's damage by 1 or 2. Nobody uses Cone of Cold seriously, so it being damage 1 wouldn't hurt.

    Aight. That's the Movement part kinda counteracted. Now we need to focus on HP. I think we could use two simple changes for these. Difference between everything-HP becomes 3 instead of 4.
    Say the most-middle example is Human Priest with 25 HP. Elven Priest gets bopped to 22 and Dwarven Priest to 28. Human Warrior gets to have 28 HP and Human Wizard - 22 HP. The race difference for these classes also becomes 3.

    And I'm not sure if two of these changes should be made simuntaneously. That's probably a bad idea.

    Next up we're going to change priests a small bit. Namely take away two things and give them elsewhere. I have to admit, I haven't thought about details of all that, ergo how do you flavorize the new stuff, but i'll give it a try. We're giving Frenzies to warriors, somehow, and we're giving curses to wizards, also somehow. Kinda makes sense when you think about it - warriors are encouraging themselves and others and wizards have dastardly plans. In their place, we can give priests something like... I dunno, other buffs of any sorts and funky heals. Remember my idea for an armor 1 buff that removes "Penetrating" from upcoming attacks? Something like that.

    Last but not least, small changes to cards or items.
    Swap the part of "attack with step attack" from Wind Dancer to Vanguard. Either that or give Vanguard a roll and remove the mentioned part from Wind Dancer. Vanguard, seemingly really worthy a bronze card, exceeds it far beyond its value, especially in tandem with the multitude of steps warriors have. Along with that, blocks from Wind Dancer, while useful every once in a while and tilt-inducing, come not nearly as often as they should on a stepping warrior for a Silver trait.
    Make changes to Lycanthropic Form cards so that they aren't undercosted *cough*Mighty Charge*cough*War Dog*cough* and change Howl to draw anything but the Howl itself. Giving Warriors self-healing is shaky enough as is. Monster Hide and the Werewolf Form itself could use another exception from proccing, similar to Silver. Fire damage maybe? Makes sense since fur is rather flammable. And Flaring Torch is fire damage!
    Basically, all the changes to other forms suggested in "should Forms be reformed" thread apply here.
    Shifting Block doesn't need to include a possibility to become a Zombie.
    Walpurgis shouldn't be Unblockable.
    Spark Of Undeath could have the order of draw and attachment-applying reversed.
    Bless now works similarly to Volcano, except for the Blessed terrain. Additionally, it becomes Silver quality.
    Consecrated Ground becomes Silver quality as well.
    Um... change Sapping Spear from Paper- to Paper? That would be a good starting point to nerfing the overpresence of Greater Heal + Altruism. In order to make up for it, we can make Misguided Heal a Paper- card.
    Swap the qualities and rarities between Cautious Sneak and Dangerous Maneuver. Currently it makes 0 sense. Also, probably also swap these cards on items.
    Um... Buff Hex Of Dissolution a tad bit? Make it start at 5 damage? Additionally, how about there's twice the chance of Acid tiles spawning under opponents when you have Acid Leak attached.
    Buff Penetrating Bolt and other Cone attacks? Sorta? Kinda?
    Items with Penetrating Stab and Impaling Stab could also get tweaked in various ways.

    Some new items could help balance the scale. Something like a wizard version of Enormous Mattock, with good attacks and bad attachments. Maybe give dwarves something to make them actual tanks, like a trait similar to how Provoke works in, say, Duelyst? As in "only this guy can be targetted when you're next to him"? And then make more racial skills with that?

    But I haven't come here to just say what could be changed. I wanted to say something to other players leaving the game currently.

    Your unability to adapt and stubbornness isn't going to help you.

    And by "unability to adapt" i don't mean "not going meta". Big up to the entire Leviathan guild, because what they're doing right now is really cool - spectate @gurel2 , @Dark Brightness or other members to see what I mean. There's a lot of uncharted territories to cover. A lot of people, for whatever reason, are afraid to play around handicaps. Try that too, while we're waiting for the current meta-guard to shift. I have been to a lot of places by doing that and it's certainly a helluva adventure.

    While I too hope that, one day, changes start happening more frequently, which could be achieved by changing one thing every month (balance out one card/item), I don't lose my mind facing all the same cards all the time all that much nowadays. So yeah, think outside of the box, people. If you're going to continue limiting yourself, you're going to either quit early or hate potential changes to the game.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2017
  12. haho

    haho Orc Soldier

    It seems most people have written about pvp so far. My suggestion to retain more players is... basically implementing many of the suggestion people have written over the years. Theres probably hundreds of 'quality of life' tweaks that could be done/have been suggested over the years, and yet this is basically the same game since I have started playing it. I haven't really seen any changes to the game (not cards, but the game itself), not even seemingly no-brainer changes that have been suggested. Frankly, I have no idea why they even have a suggestion forum and to add to that there is a certain amount of elitism in some (not all) of the people here. When a person deems make a humble suggestion, some jump down on them and make them feel like it was a dumb suggestion. I've seen that more than enough times that it turned me off and I rarely visit the forum anymore... it also doesn't help that suggestions seem almost pointless, b/c nothing ever get implemented. I'm not referring to cards, but the game itself. I don't know if that will make any sense.

    Anyways, as a pve only player (i tried pvp a few times and got bored with it since the matches took too long and I lost about 75% of the time) I naturally want more pve content. Although maybe ironically my favorite map is probably cardstock II secret preview (which had kind of a pvp-ish theme to it), but the reason why I like it so much is b/c it is a high-ish level map, easy, and doesn't take very long to finish (would love to see a whole cardstock II expansion with say 5 or 6 new adventures to go along with it). It is a good map for a casual like myself, which maybe would be a good idea to have more of.

    If it weren't for CT5 and his youtube videos, I probably never would have beat some of the maps. I'm sure there have been more than a few other casuals that just up and leave and never come back due to the difficulty of some adventures/maps. Not saying everything should be a cakewalk, but if something takes 20-30 times to win ONCE, then maybe there is something wrong with the map? (and it doesn't help that there the people who play-test the maps/adventures are probably masters of the game, cardhunter elites, people with almost every card at their disposal)

    Other comments:
    I was pretty disappointing when they released Castle Mitternacht cards, yet no new themed adventures/maps to coincide with these new cards. I disliked how it seemed like it was just new cards for the sake of new cards. There was no real story behind them, although there seemed like there could be a very interesting story behind the concept(s) of the cards, sadly there was nothing. The thing that originally drew me into this game was the overland story+pve, the interesting adventure... but you can't even replay the dialog sequences ( a suggestion made years ago). No new classes either, no new story, the game then becomes just grinding the old maps over and over with a small % of maybe getting a card you don't already have. It gets tedious, which is probably why I usually quit playing for 6-ish months at a time.
    Lucky Dice likes this.
  13. timeracers

    timeracers Guild Leader

    20-30 tries? If you are talking about quests, then that is a reasonable amount of tries for some of them. But if not then it likely means the player isn't very good at the game, obviously a few adventures are suppose to be very hard and those can take a lot of tries. Even without good equipment only a few adventures take a lot of tries as demonstrated by the Penniless Peasants (Disclaimer: The thread does not mention the amount of tries an adventure took).
  14. Lucky Dice

    Lucky Dice Thaumaturge

    I've yet to see that kinda thing. There's not much that can count as QoL to be honest too.
    First of all, I've seen people constantly not reading. You need to use your brain and not be lazy to swap your character to clear campaign efficiently. And yet, people have been stuck to using the same tactic and failing several times in a row. A good example would be Trogs with their armor that is incredibly good when absorbing a hit from somebody in front of them. So instead of getting more movement, carefully positioning units so that at least somebody can hit that Trog from behind, they just opt for more damage because they need to go through that armor!
    Second of all, i'm fairly certain that our dev(s) that construct and play through these try beating them in various ways. And everyone can playtest, not just the elite. Instructions as to how are incredibly straight-forward and visible during the testing period. I don't see a reason why complain when you're not trying to help either. It's like having a problem with a leading party when you decided against voting.
    I have no idea why are people surprised about lack of PvE. This expansion was from start to finish advertised as a PvP expansion. And PvE is in works currently because people wanted it. Yes, it takes time. But, seriously, the amount of people working on the game can be counted on two hands' fingers tops. And they also have other projects in their hands. And they are human beings as well, doing human being things.
    No new classes is kinda sad, but understandable. There's a lot of things that you need to take into consideration, card-class combinations that can be broken, working around them, etc.

    With all that said tho, I wish we could do more to help the game as players. But hey, wishful thinking isn't going to change the reality.
  15. Scarponi

    Scarponi Moderator

    @haho I appreciate you sharing your thoughts. It doesn't sound like you're the average player necessarily, but if the goal is to retain more players, then getting the views of the diverse player base is always helpful. The rest of us more frequent forum commenters need a reminder from time to time that there are plenty of player experiences that are not like ours, and since player retention comes from players' personal gaming experience it's the perception that matters (@timeracers not whether or not an adventure should be beatable in X number of tries).

    You might be happy to know there is a story and there are CM pve adventures coming.

    As regards the lack of updates... Admittedly CH is slow at adding new content. It's got a tiny team, and its unfortunate since its such a great game, but generally, there's been a lot that has been done over the years as well. There was a great post a while back (like 2 years I think) which I can't find, but instead of looking at all the suggestions that hadn't been done, it listed all the things that had been added to CH, when looked at in that light, it was actually a pretty good list and that list could certainly be added to now! I've always wanted to go back and recreate/update that post but have never had time (and now can't find it).
    ParodyKnaveBob likes this.
  16. Scarponi

    Scarponi Moderator

    I'd love this!
  17. tolkien

    tolkien Thaumaturge

    Maybe have the bandit be on a circuit through the quests.
  18. Pawndawan

    Pawndawan Champion of Cardhuntria

    Maybe you're thinking this: http://forums.cardhunter.com/threads/summary-recapping-2-years-almost-and-looking-ahead.7576/

    Also, I've been keeping track of recent changes / build announcements on wiki: http://wiki.cardhuntria.com/wiki/Version_History
    ParodyKnaveBob, Maniafig and Scarponi like this.
  19. Scarponi

    Scarponi Moderator

    Nope, thinking of one that was just a look back post iirc, a let's stop and thank BM for all these things... followed by a pretty good list.

    Nice :) I'll have to remember that going forward!
  20. Kalin

    Kalin Begat G'zok

    Yes, regulars like myself can be rather dismissive of some suggestions, especially if it's something that keeps on being asked for (trading, increasing the party size, new races and classes). I'll try to be nicer when responding to new players, and maybe someone could put together a sticky thread for this board to address these common suggestions.

    I'm assuming @haho is talking about improvements to the client and server, as opposed to new content and balance fixes. After reading that post this morning, I've been thinking up stuff like that to suggest, but I'll start a new thread for it.

    Actually, I think it's just one hand: Jon, Flaxative, Farbs, Jason, and Ben (chat and forum mods are volunteers). And I'm not sure if any of them are being paid a salary. I usually say it's a 1.5 person dev team, since that's how it looks to me.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2017
    ParodyKnaveBob likes this.

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