Happy New Year
I'm very sorry I was unable to cover the last raid, and the recent State of Game.
However, I will be changing my blog view point from coverage of events and news, to opinion posts and help for players, such as getting points in raids and engaging targets. Starting off this new version of Ouch's Battle Pirates Help, this one is for kixeye and how they can improve low level player relations.
Low Leveled players and Kixeye
For this past raid cycle, and the one before certainly, we have had scores of anger players lashing out in the forums, or on Facebook. Complaining about targets being too hard, higher leveled players stealing the tier 3 (C sets) targets for easy completion bonus points from lower levels.
Now, as this past raid did have around 36,914 players in this who were able to achieve over 4000 points. However, the lowest costing prize was the 1-Hour Ship Build token, at 120,000 points. What can we infer directly from these numbers? Nothing really, except the fact that it would take a combined 30 players, all with 4000 points to earn 1 hour ship build.
30 times, think about it
A player would need to increase his play time by 3000% in order to afford the lowest priced prize.
Now, Kixeye being a for profit gaming company that is desperately trying to grow it's player base and improve the player's perception of the game. How do we know this?
The new features of VXP weekend, Shard drop weekend, TLC's, and the failed Arena. All we made to increase player play time, and expand the player base, by pulling old players back in with new features and try to introduce new players with ways to catch up quickly, the Foundry.
But, looking back at Battle Pirates Nexus's photo album, expanding all the way back to May of 2014, Kixeye is losing players each raid cycle.
Now, since the start of this wonderful campaign, kixeye has lost an estimated 61,280 players. Or rather 61,280 players who didn't earn a low point count of 1,000 points to 4,700 points.
The most common problem I have seen on forums, and as a player myself?
Raid targets too hard for the lower levels.
The last level locked targets were in the January Revenge Raid 3 event. The player count for the month? 62,371
Check out the dicussion forum for that raid https://www.kixeye.com/forum/discussion/604942/p5
The numbers would stay until May, when they dropped 6,158. May was the first raid in the Civil War cycle.
Check out the discussion forum for that raid, https://www.kixeye.com/forum/discussion/632978/p1
Most of which were complaining about the difficulty level, per norm, with the specialized targets and general difficulty increase due to power creep. What else was a major topic in those 144 pages?
People complaining about the lack of C sets, as they were hunted down because of the difficulty of the raid. I very distinctively remember my sector chat being filled with people hunting down C sets, most of whom were level 75+ players autoing. Eventually, they were able to reach the Apollos, and build in time for the next raid. Proof of this?
Amount of players in May Raid-56,798
Highest points in May Raid-195,060,792
Amount of players in June Raid-54,662
Highest points in June Raid-624,647,756
Lower amount of total players, but a 3.2x increase in points. With the second raid in the cycle, players would have been able to use the critical Apollo hull in the June Raid, at the cost of lower level players not willing to participate because of the mass exodus of C sets from low levels hands to that of high levels.
What can Kixeye do to increase the lower level's engagement in the raids, but still allow the higher levels to grind low level sets to gain powerful hulls needed for the cycle?
Wait a second there, this could be good. Give me a chance, okay?
A hull tier dependent level lock system, levels 50 under only , no co-operative...with a separate raid store with ratio reduced prices to fit the prizes.
Lets break that down into pieces, starting with 'Hull Tier dependent'. For this, lets look at the December briefing. https://www.kixeye.com/forum/discussion/673464
Pay attention to the last sentence of that snip, 'Should be viable with Nighthawks'
Nighthawks are tier 3 tech, and this is the lowest level targets. For reference, the highest used researchable ship, the Seawolf, is tier 0.75, and the highest tiered submarine in the Naval lab is the Stalker at 0.75.
How does one get the Nighthawk anyways? Well, there is the foundry, but to unlock this hull that 'should be viable' with the lowest level raid targets, you need
Those tier 3 skirmish fragments are found in Level 60 Reaver Armadas, soon to be 57, hitting a minimum of 102 in order to fulfill that need. Then, you need to reach tier 3 in the weekly, 4 times in order to get the tech, then also have the Spectre blueprint.
Requirements for the Spectre blueprint?
oh, you need the Barracuda for that. What do you need for it?
So, in total to craft the Nighthawk, you need to have destroyed a minimum of 230 targets, and complete the weekly 4 times up to tier 3. Sounds like a tall order, and it is for newer players
But, once they finish it all, its payed off right? Nope, now you have to deal with high levels stealing the targets, and then again Nighthawks, 'should be viable'.
Okay, back on target of Hull Tier dependency. If you have a hull, of the class the raid falls under, tiered 3 or higher that is already built, you will not be able to attack the level locked targets.
For reference, these are the following hulls that are tier 3 or higher, in their respective class.
List of Assault Class ships
List of Garrison Class shipsNovastorm-3
List of Siege Class ships
High-Lander's Nuclear Cruiser-3.75
List of Skirmish Class ships
Phantom Tiger Shark-4.5
Vassago's Prototype Hunter-4.5
The ones with lines dashed through are ships that don't fit into day's game play, either due to lost of use, or outdated weapons/defenses. Comment below a ship if you want the reasoning btw.
Now, If the player in question, has one of those hulls built, then they will not be able to hit the level locked targets.
On to the next part...
"A hull tier dependent level lock system, levels 50 under, no co-operative...with a separate raid store with ratio reduced prices to fit the prizes."
Alright, 'levels 50 under, no op-operative'
The old level locked targets were restricted to 40 and below, but since bases open up for attacking for anyone at 50, 50 makes more sense as a common goal. With the 40 barrier, it leave 10 levels during which the typical player can't progress in the raids, and is constantly hammered by higher players for easy res, or ally points.
Non op lets only the player under level hit the target, and with the hull tier restriction, no low levels with strong tech can prep. This directly allows for the player to build to the best of their hull's potential.
"Separate raid store with ratio reduced prices to fit the prizes."
This is the biggest problem with having level locked targets, its way too much work for the player to reach decent prizes. Best way to fix this?
Ratioed prize prices.
Lets check some data
This last raid, Dec 2016, the main prize was the Zelos hull, plus the Squall Launcher and Flechette Feeder. This amounted to a total cost of 30 million points.
Doing a single Tier 5 gives you 2,690,000 points, 2.69 million.
It will take you 11.16 completions to get the Zelos, Squall and Feeder.
5.58 for the Zelos alone
Doing the Tier 4 gives you 662,000 points, .66 million.
You would need 45.32 completions to get the Zelos, Squall and Feeder
22.66 for the Zelos alone.
(For a list of common prizes with ratio done with tier 4 and tier 5, check out my other post here)
Now, an average ratio between tier 4 and tier 5, is 28.24 for Hull and others, and 14.12 for hull alone. Average of those two is 21.18.
In terms of tier 4, that would be 14 million points. Tier 5 would have 57 million points. A very far difference.
Mhm, we can't use the ratio of the current set up. What about the first level locked raid of the last cycle that had it? Revenge raid
Comparing the A Set to Tier 5, there is a .73445936 ratio. Meaning for every point earned in the Revenge raid, you would earn .73445936 point in the Dec raid, Uprising.
Using this ratio applied to the level locked total point per set completion, which was 66,446, we should get around 48,823 points for every completion.
Now, taking this 48,823 and multiplying it by the ratio of A sets for the main prizes, in this case the Zelos, Squall and Feeder.
48,823*5.58=272,432~280,000 points for the Zelos,
48,823*11.16=544,865~550,000 points for the Zelos, Squall and Feeder.
This may seem like such a small number for such prizes, but its following the same ratio as the A sets and normal pricing.
Keep in mind this is for players under level 50, with tech under tier 3.
Level locked targets, carefully designed as stated above, will be able to provide lower leveled players a chance to perform at their level to the raid, and start to make headway into becoming stronger. With more players at tech level, more fights, more wars, more enjoyment. After all, the most people miss about Blackwater days was the amount of people playing. This would seriously propel the lower levels into the frey.
As always, Film at 11