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ChiClyde

Has QONQR Become "Pay-to-Win"?

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Why are you arguing to make the game less profitable? The game needs better weapons we can spend money on, not worse. Personally, I'd pay upwards of $1000 for a virus like weapon that could destroy all bots for a specific opponent or zone. Not that I mind using cubes either, but it's a lot of clicking, the direction of any business should be to make it easier for customers to spend money and have a value in doing so.

What expectations should someone who doesn't pay anything have around "fairness" against those who are funding their entertainment?

This thread has moved past it's useful life. Someone needs to print it out and bury it in a 10ft hole.

This thread was pinned because I noticed a reoccurring theme of these topics being created. Just do a forum search on the word "Overheat" and you'll find a number of old threads that relate to this topic over the years. Thus, instead of repeatedly having the same conversations time and time again, we have one topic pinned.

Also, I'm not arguing to make the game less profitable, but rather more balanced between players of all revenue generation levels. Sure, players that spend more should get more, but if that balance becomes so favorable to the high-paying players it will eventually become a user-base of only paying players. That may sound like a non-issue to many, but the fact is this community has a large amount of players that do not spend a lot on Qonqr and they add to the rich environment of the game. The value they add to the game is difficult to measure from a monetary stance, but without the contributions of all those low revenue players the game would be far less satisfying. Thus I think the game development and the community itself is best served by attempting to build game balance wherever and whenever it is feasible.

Games that have Imbalanced Game Mechanics don't have longevity, and neither do ones that have no revenue. The balance of game balance and game revenue is a topic that any player that cares about longevity of QONQR should be concerned about and at the least aware of.

It's my sincere attempt to be respectful and objective and hope that you'll reconsider your negative stance against the benefits of building game balance. I truly do care for the game as a whole, and those that play it at all levels.

-As such, I respectfully disagree with your request to archive this pinned topic as this topic has a long history that spans throughout this community from past players to present. This topic will not at this time be "buried in a 10ft. deep hole". -But thanks for your candid feelings as they help give balance to this discussion.

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It's my sincere attempt to be respectful and objective and hope that you'll reconsider your negative stance against the benefits of building game balance. I truly do care for the game as a whole, and those that play it at all levels.

-As such, I respectfully disagree with your request to archive this pinned topic as this topic has a long history that spans throughout this community from past players to present. This topic will not at this time be "buried in a 10ft. deep hole". -But thanks for your candid feelings as they help give balance to this discussion.

wow, simply wow.

i could only dreamof having your patience and manners, kudos to you good sir.

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wow, simply wow.

i could only dreamof having your patience and manners, kudos to you good sir.

Thanks, I've found that when you want to have an actual discussion that results in progress on a concern that is polarizing, that you have to expect getting some negative criticism. Some criticism is just negative, but sometimes if you eliminate the negative emotion you can find that you're just left with criticism. At that point it's up to you to take the criticism constructively.

Example: If I eliminate the abrupt and negative manner marklitwin used, I'm left with (and I'm paraphrasing): "Why are you seeking to cut into Qonqr's revenu, and why aren't you thankful to the players that make purchases that pay for the game you play" -and personally, that sort of criticism is both FAIR, and MEANINGFUL. -And as such, it's helped me change the way I think about the issue.

Now, do I think the problem still needs to be addressed? -Of Course! but how I'm going to suggest it be balanced HAS changed and you can see it in my posts on this thread. I started off wanting firm limits on Nanobot Refreshes, and now I'm trying to brainstorm other ways to balance this issue.

Essentially, Negative Criticism is an opportunity to gain understanding as long it can be recognized for what it is: passion. -but it also needs to taken with a grain of salt at time. I personally have made a number of posts while riled up about a topic and have benefited from being reeled in by cooler heads, and I hope that marklitwin will continue to post about this topic. -But I'd be lying if I didn't say I'd like it if they used a little less bluster, but C'est la vie.

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Wow, I kinda ignored this topic for a while since it's popped up so many times but there have been a lot of good thoughts in here.

We have a whole set of problems here:

  1. The combination of $101/550 cube packs + refreshes is game ridiculously strong. After all some people have deep pockets and are willing to spend a lot to "win" an MMOG. You can't always just run your enemy dry and if you do you've probably just caused a paying player to quit. Which no one wants (well, you might enjoy it for a week or two).
  2. Players buying cubes need to gain enough advantage and feel powerful enough to have a reason to buy cubes.
  3. The developers need money. Really they need more money per player than they're currently getting as evidenced by the fact that support of the player-base and upkeep of the servers is leaving little to no time for further development.
  4. The Qonqr team has designed the game so a cubing player should be 3-10 times more powerful than a non-cubing player based on the idea that the paying players as a group should be as powerful as the free players (as a group). This makes sense in principle but most areas don't have 3-10 players on a team to offset the paying player, even if they did the teams are unlikely to be that unbalanced, so the cubing player is literally paying to win for as long as they're willing to pay.
  5. Even among paying players things are unbalanced. A person buying cubes $100 at a time is almost 3 times more powerful than the person buying cubes $5 at a time (the most common price point in F2P games for a reason). This gives players less incentive to pay unless they're willing to spend $100 at a time.

Any solutions we find need to address all, or at least most, of the problems at the same time or we're likely to make things worse rather than better.


Goals:

  1. Earn the developers as much, if not more money, than they do with the current system
  2. Limit the power of a cuber with infinite money
  3. Make it worth buying cubes no matter how many you buy at a time
  4. Don't make cubing so powerful that free players can't compete


My idea:

  • Get rid of refreshes. They essentially make a player infinitely powerful for as long as they're willing to pay. This goes against goal #4.
  • Add an upgrade, Credit Silos, which costs 10 cubes (no credit option, it's the magic $5 F2P price point) and allows your bases to fill up to 200%. This upgrade lets you go almost a whole night's sleep or full workday without missing out on harvested credits. Without the silos you will harvest 20-25k credits/day on average (assuming good bases) with the silos you should get the full 30,240 possible which is a 20%+ boost every day, forever. This upgrade is so worth it that almost everyone who plays long-term will want it.
  • Allow you to overcharge your bases, for 1 cube/24 hours, so they produce twice as many credits/hour. This is a theoretical 30,240 additional credits if your faction controls all your bases and you harvest perfectly, 20-25k realistically.
  • Change the exchange rate so it runs between 10k and 20k credits per cube. This keeps it under what you can expect from overcharging your bases while giving another option if your enemy controls most bases or you just need (a theoretically unbounded number of) credits fast.

Okay, so cubing gives you a lot of extra credits but just having the extra credits doesn't make you that much more powerful.

  • Offensively it's 50-60 missiles/day which is good but not amazing. Missiles are already overpowered in my opinion (strongest attack & longest range in a location-based game) so instead of making them more powerful let's bump Plasma up to 1,000 credits (same as missiles so 50-60/day) but make it 10-20% more powerful than missiles. It's short range but it's energy-based so you can cause a lot of havoc very quickly. Spending a cube for 20-30 extra of the new plasma beams and/or missiles should be worth it for anyone in a fight.
  • We don't want to encourage stacking but we want to give cubers an advantage when defending and building beachheads. Let's make Absorbers survive when they're deployed into a zone with attack bots (like support bots, maybe have a similar set of upgrades). This should give a cuber the ability to make a beachhead without clearing offensive bots first and should allow them to reinforce defensive positions without having to clear the attacking bots first (helping with overheating issues).

The silos should make it so everyone who stays in the game pays ~$5 while consistent cubers pay an additional $5-$12 per month depending on the packs they buy (goal #1).Overall this would make a cuber at least 2.5x more powerful than a completely free player, more so if they use the bank at a slightly less efficient conversion rate, making it worth it to buy cubes (goal #3). It leaves the inherent rate limits given by bot and energy tanks in place (goal #2) and a free player can bank up their credits and keep up with a cuber for a while (goal #4).

Thoughts?

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I really like your ideas Sola. We should try and build on them. I would be willing to spend for permanent upgrades as you've suggested. I played another app game for about a year and they came out with an update focused on only making the dev's more money. Prior to this update you had to spend around $100 to be competitive. With the new update, you had to spend $1,000 to max everything out. A few people spent the money and it forced everyone to upgrade, quit, or take daily beatings with no hope of ever winning. I just hope that doesn't happen here. Sure it helped the dev's in the short run but in the long run it hurt the game and the player base shrunk dramatically.

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Yeah, the point of the permanent update is that it doesn't actually give you more power, it just makes things easier so you'll have more power on average. By setting alarms throughout the day and waking up once or twice at night you could manage to harvest perfectly, it's just that most people don't. Permanent upgrades that make you stronger, like adding to attack power or shields, should probably be avoided. The idea is that you can do everything for free but paying makes things easier and/or more convenient.

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Wow, I kinda ignored this topic for a while since it's popped up so many times but there have been a lot of good thoughts in here.

We have a whole set of problems here:

  1. The combination of $101/550 cube packs + refreshes is game ridiculously strong. After all some people have deep pockets and are willing to spend a lot to "win" an MMOG. You can't always just run your enemy dry and if you do you've probably just caused a paying player to quit. Which no one wants (well, you might enjoy it for a week or two).
  2. Players buying cubes need to gain enough advantage and feel powerful enough to have a reason to buy cubes.
  3. The developers need money. Really they need more money per player than they're currently getting as evidenced by the fact that support of the player-base and upkeep of the servers is leaving little to no time for further development.
  4. The Qonqr team has designed the game so a cubing player should be 3-10 times more powerful than a non-cubing player based on the idea that the paying players as a group should be as powerful as the free players (as a group). This makes sense in principle but most areas don't have 3-10 players on a team to offset the paying player, even if they did the teams are unlikely to be that unbalanced, so the cubing player is literally paying to win for as long as they're willing to pay.
  5. Even among paying players things are unbalanced. A person buying cubes $100 at a time is almost 3 times more powerful than the person buying cubes $5 at a time (the most common price point in F2P games for a reason). This gives players less incentive to pay unless they're willing to spend $100 at a time.

Any solutions we find need to address all, or at least most, of the problems at the same time or we're likely to make things worse rather than better.


Goals:

  1. Earn the developers as much, if not more money, than they do with the current system
  2. Limit the power of a cuber with infinite money
  3. Make it worth buying cubes no matter how many you buy at a time
  4. Don't make cubing so powerful that free players can't compete


My idea:

  • Get rid of refreshes. They essentially make a player infinitely powerful for as long as they're willing to pay. This goes against goal #4.
  • Add an upgrade, Credit Silos, which costs 10 cubes (no credit option, it's the magic $5 F2P price point) and allows your bases to fill up to 200%. This upgrade lets you go almost a whole night's sleep or full workday without missing out on harvested credits. Without the silos you will harvest 20-25k credits/day on average (assuming good bases) with the silos you should get the full 30,240 possible which is a 20%+ boost every day, forever. This upgrade is so worth it that almost everyone who plays long-term will want it.
  • Allow you to overcharge your bases, for 1 cube/24 hours, so they produce twice as many credits/hour. This is a theoretical 30,240 additional credits if your faction controls all your bases and you harvest perfectly, 20-25k realistically.
  • Change the exchange rate so it runs between 10k and 20k credits per cube. This keeps it under what you can expect from overcharging your bases while giving another option if your enemy controls most bases or you just need (a theoretically unbounded number of) credits fast.

Okay, so cubing gives you a lot of extra credits but just having the extra credits doesn't make you that much more powerful.

  • Offensively it's 50-60 missiles/day which is good but not amazing. Missiles are already overpowered in my opinion (strongest attack & longest range in a location-based game) so instead of making them more powerful let's bump Plasma up to 1,000 credits (same as missiles so 50-60/day) but make it 10-20% more powerful than missiles. It's short range but it's energy-based so you can cause a lot of havoc very quickly. Spending a cube for 20-30 extra of the new plasma beams and/or missiles should be worth it for anyone in a fight.
  • We don't want to encourage stacking but we want to give cubers an advantage when defending and building beachheads. Let's make Absorbers survive when they're deployed into a zone with attack bots (like support bots, maybe have a similar set of upgrades). This should give a cuber the ability to make a beachhead without clearing offensive bots first and should allow them to reinforce defensive positions without having to clear the attacking bots first (helping with overheating issues).

The silos should make it so everyone who stays in the game pays ~$5 while consistent cubers pay an additional $5-$12 per month depending on the packs they buy (goal #1).Overall this would make a cuber at least 2.5x more powerful than a completely free player, more so if they use the bank at a slightly less efficient conversion rate, making it worth it to buy cubes (goal #3). It leaves the inherent rate limits given by bot and energy tanks in place (goal #2) and a free player can bank up their credits and keep up with a cuber for a while (goal #4).

Thoughts?

Brilliant!

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I have read every comment in this thread, as have I read every comment in General Discussion category, which is where most of these topics routinely come up. I share everyone's concern. As one of the creators of this game, it is difficult to know there are issues with your creation, especially with the solutions are difficult to identify. I would like to thank everyone for their well-constructed feedback and detailed articulation of the issues and solutions.

Many of the suggestions presented are creative and have potential for implementation. However, I would like to share some economics of a game company which may help to guide the discussion or improve some perspective. I’m going to do what few in my position will do. I’m going to tell you a little about our revenue. I believe in the community we have built, I feel our users are smart and sharing some details leads to positive results.

In 2013, 5% of the players that played the game spent at least $0.99. This is very typical, perhaps at the top end of average for the mobile gaming industry. Converting 5% of free players into spending players is good, but in no way exceptional. It is probably low when you consider our average tenure of players. 25% of players that play the game for at least 3 days, continue to play for at least 6 months. While this is typical for an MMO, it is not for a mobile game.

Most people around gaming, know that mobile gaming companies thrive on the activity of the big spenders. What most don’t know, is that it is almost impossible to even survive without them. In QONQR, 80% of our revenue comes from players that spent at least $99.99. This is almost exactly 1% of our players.

However this is potentially the most eye opening statistic. 100 players accounted for 35% of our total revenue for 2013.

http://www.gamesindu...-revenue-survey

Capping spending is probably not an option for us if we want to survive. That doesn't mean that once the battle engine rewrite to improve scalability (http://blog.qonqr.co...g-ahead-to-2014) is complete, it won’t be time to revisit the battle balance around refresh power and look at new formations.

The key to revenue in mobile gaming is consumables without limits. It is what the big spenders want, and as I said, we can’t survive without big spenders.

Nonetheless, that doesn't mean that we are turning a blind eye to the concerns of our players that do help QONQR financially, but can’t afford to spend enough to be competitive. I believe we need to implement more variety in the game. Everyone is focused on the same goal of capturing and controlling zones, because that is all you can do right now. I would like to expand the reasons for “why do you play” in 2014 to give more options for people to focus on, with some being unaffected by those that spend money.

All startup companies that survive go through the process of Launch, Stabilize, and Growth.

We did what all tech startups do to launch, we did a lot of bad things in our code. You have to. You need to get it done quickly, and get it out there. Then you take the time to “do it the right way” and fix the problems if you ever get enough time and money to do it. For most of 2013, we were a 1 person company, with me spending most of my time dealing with support and trying to plug all the holes in the system, while I managed over a dozen different Jr developers and high-skilled friends who were willing to give me a really low hourly rate to help keep QONQR moving forward a few hours a week. Almost everything we did in 2013 was about stabilizing our business.

I feel like we will emerge from our stabilization phase in the next few months. My task list is finally starting to see some features near the top that are truly new features, and not tasks to fix our existing systems.

For those of you that feel like the excitement of our early days are gone, you are experiencing the stabilization period for our business, and I hope you are here to see us transition to more exciting things when we hit our growth phase.

This was a very long post not to make excuses, but to shed light on the economics of the cubers, as well as some explanation to why the game hasn’t changed much in the past year, which also came up frequently in this thread. I intentionally didn’t provide a solution to all the problems identified in the thread or indicate which ideas I thought we would implement. However, I wanted to contribute some information to the thread in the hopes it would help the conversation.

As always, I sincerely appreciate your support, which allows me to do this job every day.

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There's the link! I'd put that SWRVE graphic in the Legion GroupMe a few days ago, slipstream asked for the full link, and heck if I could find it again...

I feel your pain Silver, but only so far. Ironic that the person who started this thread has now abandoned the game, not entirely because of the inherent "unfairness" of unlimited cubing, but that was a good part of it. Personally, I've stepped back a bit as well... and while my wife and I have bought several cube packs in the past, we will not get into a bidding war for zones and I will not buy another. Makes no point to spend $500 if the guy next to you spends $1000. And I never really understood the dynamics of how a big spender could warp the gameplay so significantly that it no longer becomes a game at all, because it had never happened here before. We had a ton of players competing for zones every day. Tons of zone captures. Tons of kills. Tons of interplay back and forth. And most of us spent a bit of money here and there to gain an advantage - most often temporary because (at least in the mind of Chicago Legion, if I may speak on their behalf) we just wanted to compete for the zones and never really overbuilt anything. If anything, I've been highly critical of tower builders. Doesn't really seem like a game to me if all you're doing is deploying deflectors to one or two zones day in and day out. I personally like seeing zones changing colors all the time - gives me something to do. 1m bot towers are not so easily changed to any color, not without either lots of players or lots of $$$.

Anyway... I get the issues, but until the game changes it's no longer worthwhile to pay for anything. Hopefully a future revision will alleviate that feeling. In the meantime, a lot of active players are no longer all that active, and I imagine once there's no reason to fight for anything anymore the game will just go idle. Which is when other games I've played typically open up a new "world" where players can start over if they're tired with the current one. And they spend money all over again.

Yes, I'm proposing Qonqr 2.0... with better zone mapping! :P

Just a thought... I wish you all the best. I'll be watching and waiting for the next version.

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I really like the silos idea.. even though I'm one of those players who plays F2P games by grinding out everything just to see if i can.

On the overall topic, let's look at a few F2P models and what they mean to players:

Mostly Fashionable/early unlocks:

- A lot of F2P games put a lot of their purchasing categories into fashion - skins, camos, colors to change character models. Games like Blacklight Retribution, LoL, Battlefield. Qonqr doesn't really have that option, because there aren't a lot of graphics, but I would say that a graphics pack making the bots look more interesting could be one option there. You could charge to change your avatar, but that would be truly tacky.

- The other side of this is early unlocks. EVERYTHING in the game is available, but you can unlock it early with money. Most of the the unlocks are generally changes to how a weapon works (BLR/BF) with a genera skew towards higher level unlocks. Qonqr does this already.

- This model does not give any gameplay advantage to any player, but allows players with money to have an easier time of getting further into the game.

Money required past a certain point

- Games like Warframe where the main point of the game is to use different warframes and weapons, but you only get 2 slots (10? for weaps) out of the box. Anything past that costs money.

- Other forms of this model are games like Kingdoms and Lords, where you get diamonds with level ups and storyline battles, but after a certain point (lvl 40, and the end of the storyline) that income is gone. Along the way, they usually have a bunch of "side quests" that require you to purchase items/buildings in game, some of which need diamonds, or can use diamonds to skip. So they give you income, but they also egg you on to spend income that by the end of the game (and the end of the time you get income), you realize you should have done things different, and then pour your money in. This model is really sketchy and usually makes players feel like poo when the realize all the mistakes they made through a game they spent a lot of time on.

P2W

- A lot of F2P games get called this, but few actually have the model.

- One model is where there are certain upgrades that you CANNOT obtain without paying money, and these upgrades make you superior to someone that does not spend money. The Silos idea would fall under here, but I think the timing factor (still have to save up to fill the silos) would help balance this out.

- A different form of this model involves a limited resource/weapon/whatever that can become unlimited through money. Qonqr falls into this category.

- Least favored game model on the internet, because it can easily become a game of economics where, much like real life, poor people get squashed by the rich.

From f3nr0ar's own words, "As such, I respectfully disagree with your request to archive this pinned topic as this topic has a long history that spans throughout this community from past players to present. This topic will not at this time be "buried in a 10ft. deep hole." It's already happening to some extent, and let's be honest - the only reason it hasn't become a *super* huge issue is because there isn't a rich kid somewhere who wants to play this game...... yet. There is one person who plays Blacklight Retribution and has dropped something like $5k on the game, and everyone knows him. Fortunately BLR doesn't fall into the P2W category (though a lot of people claim it is). You dump that kind of money into this game, and entire MAJOR cities can be wiped clean.

Basically, you're sitting on a ticking time bomb with the current gaming model, and you're only hearing tremors for now. This is a really fun game and I definitely want you guys to be successful, but reality is reality.

Food for thought.

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let's be honest - the only reason it hasn't become a *super* huge issue is because there isn't a rich kid somewhere who wants to play this game...... yet.

Love the post. But I think more than tremors, we're seeing the advent of people spending significant (relative term) amounts of money to dominate. I think it's already happened in areas in CA, in TX, in MI, and to some extent in IL. And to echo my point yesterday, I never really thought much about the impact in the other areas. I simply assumed, as many others have in this thread, that big spenders would spend themselves out, and the patient player would persevere in the end. But when the spenders start building highly fortified 1m+ bot towers, one after the other, suddenly the back and forth battling disappears and it becomes a game of planning large scale ops, which again only work if the money is in your favor.

To be clear, I'm not whining about the advantage people who spend money have - I'm just disappointed that money trumps ANY form of strategy, which is why I play war games in the first place. And also the reason I've stopped spending money on this game altogether.

Unfortunately, I don't see any solution either. People that have spent the money, and built the towers - even if game dynamics change those towers still stand. And suppose a new weapon is developed that destroys these expensive towers... if I were a player who spent $1k to build it, I don't think I'd take very kindly to someone spending $50 to take it down.

Glad I'm not in Silver's shoes... ;)

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Money is the only reason that Qonqr exists. It was conceived and built/designed for the sole purpose of getting your money from you with an entertaining game. This is why Command Centre was designed and subsequently the various API's,that let you know if somebody so much as thinks of attacking a zone. All of this has led to the strategic play ending up as needing to spend just to make an impact.

Longegevity no longer counts, strategic play no longer matters, just how many bots you can get out quick enough.

If Qonqr really doesn't make enough money, or never has, then it really is a bad business that should be closed down and resources diverted to a more profitable business model.

I suspect it does just fine and we are seeing the 'goose that lays golden eggs' type of thing.

But I am also a very cynical person. Not willing to spend daft amounts of wedge on a game either.

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Hey if the pay to win motto is making you money Silver then i'm all for it, but give us some variety as to what we can buy, but more importantly...

GIVE all of the turtles (myself included) a reason to abandon our 100's of galvanizer deployments and million bot towers in favor of a new faction we have to pay to join. Give some variety to this choice too, heck you could even make it a "sponser" title to the faction via cash to get +10% harvest, +10% attack or defense.

Kind of like "devoted" faceless receives +10% credits or something seeing as though I know you don't want a bunch of new factions messing up the story. Real cash could just unlock the "next tier" of loyalty to the faction to get perks.

But until you give people a substantially good reason or incentive to abandon their empires and galvs that they spent a lot if time and money building, new players will continue to join the game and continuing being discouraged as to spend any money because "what is my $20 going to do against these 50 1mil bases?".

Keep adding new reasons to start fresh or at least clear some of the bots off the map, the longer the "senior" players play then the wider and wider the gap will continue to grow as the game ages... unless they quit.

Regardless, I had to put a stop to my spending like many others because I've hit the milestones I wanted and the kill/cap medals and am awaiting something new before I can justify spending more.

Best of luck and i'm certain i'm not the only one sitting here, credit card in hand, waiting for some new spice.

Ooo, an exclusive faction available only to paying members... what? WHAT??? Lol i would abandon all my bots in a minute, i don't care how much cash and credits worth of galvs i'd lose in order to join that one!

Exclusive, limited edition, collector's, sponsor, alpha/beta, limited time offer... these are the things that impulse buyers will choose over food/water, fiancés' opinions... real gamers drool over these words, and will spend Spend SPEND.

Gotta catch'em all! =p

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There will always be whales for every game, but keep incentivizing micro transactions and you will see profits go up and up I bet.

Thanks again for replying to this thread and showing us that the game is on track and that new content isn't just a pipe dream for your players, especially those that have been around since the beginning.

*cheers to Qonqr's success!*

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But when the spenders start building highly fortified 1m+ bot towers, one after the other, suddenly the back and forth battling disappears and it becomes a game of planning large scale ops, which again only work if the money is in your favor.

You keep bringing up 1M+ towers as a big deal. Here in the Twin Cities where we have 30+ person teams a million bots can be dropped in a matter of hours undefended and a day while defended, without cubing or missiles. Most of our central zones are in the 3-4M range which tend to require a couple days to take down and our biggest zones Minneapolis (12M) and St. Paul(16.5M down from 25M) take weeks to months. You can cube in 1.2M bots for $100, but they only give you a few hours against a large and well-organized team. It's not the size of the zone that matters so much as the ratio of size to the number of enemy players since that determines how long it will take to capture the zone.

However this is potentially the most eye opening statistic. 100 players accounted for 35% of our total revenue for 2013.

This seems like a really dangerous position to be in since any of those people leaving the game will have a dramatic impact on your bottom line. Having a whale in the area is going to cause one of two things to happen.

  1. They'll conquer the entire area, get bored, and quit, most likely causing half the players on their team and most of the enemy players to do the same.
  2. They'll meet stiff opposition that forces them to spend a lot just to stay in place and eventually will decide it's not worth it and quit. We had to back off a whale locally a bit so this wouldn't happen because we didn't want to drive him from the game, just capture his favorite zone. We had him spending >$50/day (assuming $100 cube packs) for more than a month.

Either way you loose the whale and the income they provide, potentially along with some free/lower paying players.

I think a big part of the problem is the Qonqr devs think of Qonqr as a F2P phone game, which it technically is, whereas I see it more as a F2P MMO that happens to be played on your phone (N.B. It's kind of funny to see a phone MMO with companion apps on the computer rather than the other way around). That might sound like a small change in mindset but it has some pretty large repercussions.

A free to play phone game tends to be a flavor of the month (FotM), you play it for a couple of weeks, finish it, and then move on to the next big thing. You might come back and play an expansion from time to time but for the most part you aren't going to stick around long-term. That means the developers have to get as much money out of you as possible in your short time playing so they add things to slow you down and you pay to "finish" the game as quickly as you can.

A free to play MMO tends to have players stick around for a long time. You can never really finish because there's always a new challenge to take on. You might take a break but you'll probably come back, no expansion necessary. The goal here is to have a lot of players pay a little bit of money in frequent intervals (aka micro-transactions or MTX) and to do so for a long time. It essentially ends up being a pay-what-you-want subscription. In this case you have to be careful that paying money is worth it while making sure free players can still compete because players will tend to spend $20 one month, $0 the next, $30 the next, etc. You free players this month will be paying players next month and vise versa.

It would be really interesting to compare player retention rates for Qonqr; say in terms of Free, <$100, >$100, & "Whales"; and contrast those numbers to your standard F2P phone game and F2P MMO. I'm betting you'll see Qonqr has more in common with the MMO than the FotM phone game.

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You keep bringing up 1M+ towers as a big deal. Here in the Twin Cities where we have 30+ person teams a million bots can be dropped in a matter of hours undefended and a day while defended, without cubing or missiles. Most of our central zones are in the 3-4M range which tend to require a couple days to take down and our biggest zones Minneapolis (12M) and St. Paul(16.5M down from 25M) take weeks to months. You can cube in 1.2M bots for $100, but they only give you a few hours against a large and well-organized team. It's not the size of the zone that matters so much as the ratio of size to the number of enemy players since that determines how long it will take to capture the zone.

i was definitely using a 1m+ zone in relation to the Chicago area. Obviously, if you had a 1000 players hitting a 1m bot zone, it's going to fall pretty fast. And I suppose if factions were comprised of similarly sized (and skilled) teams, it would make this game dramatically more interesting. But we don't. And when you don't, the game quickly gets boring no matter what faction you're a member of because you take strategy out of the equation.

Maybe I need to move to the Twin Cities... sounds like you guys got it going on! :)

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We are experiencing the same problem: the P2W player movement in the Seattle area. I have only been playing since Oct '13 but many of the folks playing for over a year say this isn't what Seattle was like previous. There are also people leaving the other two teams (that do not have the same number of P2W players) in increasing amounts.

The two things that imho will kill this game:

  • P2W is not a game of skill. It's a game of whom wants to pay more. One of the seattle teams includes folks that tend to cube a take over now, once a week. I'm seeing a greater number of players on the other teams say "this game isn't fun anymore, I'll take a break". Without a growing set of players, this game will not survive.
  • For areas with many players, it's impossible for new players to experience the fun of taking a base. The rate of change becomes slower and slower with greater build up which reduces the excitement for a L50-100 in taking a base even with friends.

There are many ways to change the revenue model *and* make the game fun. Having a percentage loss in bots thru time would reduce the overall build up (i've looked a the graphs). Changing the monetization to allow cubing (but put limits on the rate per hour such that one person cannot dominate 5 other players for instance). There are other ideas that would help this as well.

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I traveled to Seattle in February, 2013 then again in February, 2014. In 2013, I was able to flip zones, build up zones, and generally create a bit of havoc in the week I was there. Last month, everything I looked at was about 1m, meaning no flipping for me, and aside from a few plasma attacks to eat up seekers I was probably not even noticed. As a result, I didn't play very much.

And it gave me a glimmer to how Chicago is shaping up, especially with the number of old timers leaving the game. Maybe this attrition is just part of the game, new players that want to play the game a new way will slowly but surely evolve the player landscape. I know for me, I enjoy strategy war games. Qonqr used to be like that in Chicago. Lots of flipping - dozens of zones a day. Tons of kills, because no one really bothered spending a fortune on heavy defense. And about a dozen players who were active and strategic and thoughtful. It's a shadow of it's former self now, with brief moments of fun battles, but for the most part it's just boring. I couldn't imagine being a new player today, unless I started a war game just to join the dominant faction and build.

Then again, who knows what the future brings. I'll drop in a couple times of day to harvest and grab easy kills, and wait for an update while I spend my gaming dollars on other war games that require me to think rather than just harvest and deploy.

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Pretty interesting read, even when I haven't read it all.

I think the 'problems' some people talk about are valid.One thing that I haven't seen (or missed) is that this game can NOT be fairly compared for all situations. In my country we only have a few players. One or two paying customers joining there has a huge impact. It is actually becoming a problem. The few experienced players only hang by a thread because of superior tactics. Several have left, and almost none of the new players hang around anymore. A while back I always responded hard, but with some room for new players. Now they either join up with the pay2win guys or quit.

This severely hampers the coming of age of this game. If there were more players already playing the impact wouldn't be as bad.

I would like to see something dynamic. For instance:

Everything gets a scaling cube cost.

- 1-5 players in the area (100km radius?): +100% cube cost

- 5-10 players: +50% cube cost

- 10+: same as now

This way people can still buy their way to the top, but its not that easy to dominate a whole country in a single swoop.

I want to see this game succeed. And for that to happen there still needs to be a way for new players to join the fun.

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I definitely found your little rant interesting and you bought up valid points. I personally think that QONQR is more of a numbers game. Lets say 5 players are in an area attacking 3 people. The 5 people of course will start to run them out of that area. But if one of them is a cuber than then they may count as 2-4 people depending on how they cube (like if they purchase refresh packs and ordinance)If you want to beat a cuber you will need more people to balance things out.

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Someone heavily cubing will wipe the floor with 5 active players. Even if the cuber does stupid things like 50k HL etc. I personally would love the money to 'cube up' just for a four hour bot death orgy.

Its on my to do list.

Right after paying bills and stuff.

Doh!

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It wasn't just you :-D, Since flipping I've discovered a local Legionaire to have held back,a lot, when it came to national effort re the Legion. Twin scopes too. His/her deployments are terrible on both scopes so I end up killing nearly 80k qreds worth of deployments each day. Pure fun.

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