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A Reasonable Plan to Expand the Player Base

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It's no secret we could use a larger player base in BoS.

 

[JG2]volc0m voiced a suggestion previously that there should be available aircraft for free to help get people in.  Generally you see games that go free 2 play turn into a ridiculously toxic community.  I would argue that this might not be the case considering the cost of entrance into a game of this sort is some sort of joystick (or even a gamepad...) and a facetracker.  That would be somewhat preventative in itself to having masses of generally disinterested asshats joining at random.

 

I have been thinking about volc0m's suggestion for the last couple of days and wanted to try to build on that with one of my own that I felt was solid enough to gain the support of the vast majority of the community and hopefully the IL2 team.

 

So here it is:

 

Offer the LaGG 3 and JU87 as purchasable aircraft for $2.50 USD per, available for use in QMB and Multiplayer.  This would give people the option to try the game for a very low cost without giving them an aircraft such as the F4 or Yak 1 that are exceptional aircraft and fulfill the fighter role extremely well.  The LaGG can be used as a fighter/bomber destroyer and the Stuka would give experience either as a bomber or tank killer.  These specific two aircraft would allow an entry level experience into some important facets of the game and allow people to see what it is that has been created here and the potential of the game.  For those people who have purchased these aircraft I would offer a discount on the cost of the standard or premium editions of BoS as either $2.50 or $5 depending on if they have both aircraft or not so it was not looked upon as an excess cost just to try it out.

 

This would give a lot of people who are either on the fence or adverse to spending the full amount without some sort of trial or demo.  Heck, there are probably a lot of people who want to play the game it's just a lot of money for them but they could more easily swing a few dollars to play the game.  I don't really see a downside for this and it would be a great way to buff up the player base and generate interest in the pending Battle of Moscow release.  More $ to the team means more aircraft/expansions in the future and as a community we can push for reasonable features or engine improvements if the project is doing very well. (but that's not the topic of discussion at hand so please do not derail).

 

I honestly don't see any real downsides to this but I think it should be open for an adult discussion.  If you have a dissenting opinion, please state so and detail why you oppose such an idea in an appropriate manner and let's discuss.

 

 

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Interesting idea. Seems you think of it like a very limited starter pack for low bucks. Even though I preferr the RoF system (devs already admitted it has not been as profitable as they hoped so they stick to the "whole theatre" sales for BoS) it would be much better to introduce players.

 

Indeed this is a very important factor. I've always blamed BoS for not offering any kind of introduction to potential customers. If I as a customer don't knwo anything about a game wiht a price tag as high as BoS I do my best to read and watch reviews...if the reviews are bad, well, I saved myself some good bugs and frustration. Closed case.

 

If I instead have the ability to "try" it for no to low cost it's usually easier to make the decision. As for RoF I've flown it for half a year for free because my machine coudnt run it smoothly. After upgrading I finally spend some decent money on aircrafts and goodies and loved it. This - at least from a customer's perspective - seems to be a strongly desireable system for BoS / BoM.

 

You might however work this idea out some more, like how much acess purchasers of each aircraft should be granted (MP Campaign, Quick mission?) ect. In my opinion MP needs players badly so it should definetly feauture MP access.

Edited by Stab/JG26_5tuka

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Isn't it what was done with the 8€ version with the f4 and LaGG3 only that was/is available only in russia?

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The RoF way or this way  --->  Choose  :biggrin:

"Owners of ********* at the beginning of the game will have access to 2 models of planes: Lagg-3 29-series and the Bf 109 F-4
(6 more aircraft will be able to receive for free in the game and 2 more aircraft will be able to purchase at the store)."

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Isn't it what was done with the 8€ version with the f4 and LaGG3 only that was/is available only in russia?

Not exactly (if I got this right). The OP rather proposed 2 seperately saled planes as limited game versions which don't allow you to unlock other aircraft ingame. While i preferr the RoF approach it might be sth more favourable for the devs, who already negated the adoption of the highly modular "RoF-system"

Edited by Stab/JG26_5tuka

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I'm not sure I would put the best fighter in the game (109 F-4) in the free pack. Lagg and Stuka (one fighter, one bomber makes more sense!

Still, I doubt they would do this now and it might interfer with their roll out plans for BoM of having the two games fully integrated.

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A downloadable demo with 1 or 2 SP missions on a small summer and winter map ...bingo

 

Cheers Dakpilot

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I like the idea but I'd take it a step further. Wait for BOM to release and offer the I16 and the Emil. Or better yet, offer them as the first two aircraft and port them early to BOS. You might even drag some of the pilots we lost in the "unlocks" drama back to the game at $5 bucks a pop. Offer the pair to new and returning pilots for ten bucks. They could probably get away with a $10 investment (each), which is in line with the eventual sale price of premium aircraft, if they wanted to recoup some of their development investment without really losing anything, though, the $5 would be a hugely positive PR move. I love the game but the DEV's could seriously score a PR win here.

 

If the customer already owns BOS the aircraft port directly in for use on any map. If they don't own the game, offer some small F2P DF map only. Emil and I16 on this map regardless of which version of the game is owned. It could be easilly controlled at the DEV side.

 

"Welcome to the 1C/777 F2P Dogfight Server: 48 player max." They might even have to offer a couple of company F2P servers if it took off as I suspect it would.

 

The Emil and I16 are both iconic aircraft but likely to see relatively low use after the initial offering, they would offer both the BNZ'r and the TNB'r pilots the opportunity to fly to their strength/desire and they match up reasonably well to each other. The Lagg vs 87 is something of a mismatch at best. I really think the Emil/I16 matchup would get the interest level you are seeking much more than the two you suggested in the OP.

 

BOS/BOM players on the F2P server is no loss of any kind, just a controlled DF map for them. NEW players on the F2P server would be a HUGE win and expand the base we all so desperately need. I think it would be a win/win for everybody.

 

UPDATE:

I am an experienced pilot so I did not consider the raw beginner. Add to my suggestion - a small SP map as well with only the two above aircraft. Preferably a fall map with all of the stunning colors and vertical cloud formations. Gotta get em in with that first WOW experience. Just those two maps and two aircraft, however.

Edited by HerrMurf

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HerrMurf,

 

I think there are a lot of different ways we could bring people into the fold and your idea definitely seems viable.  I proposed Stuka and LaGG because of the diversity of missions you could play with the aircraft.  I do agree with the earlier point flying a Stuka can be frustrating versus fighters.

 

I do think your idea also has some good merit.

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If you think of money (bucks) you should think of a sort of ROF system old ways (buy the game then buy each plane for a normal not so cheap price) but if you think of a game for all where money is not the final objective then use the old IL2 method with a basic game then compatible add-ons.

I see BOS and BOM as a more original IL2 game system!

Or at the limit a bastard system between ROF and IL2 where you get more planes with the buying of the original game than in ROF then you buy more plane as extras but each game module BOS or BOM has to be bought as a full game like the original IL2 series. So it has more of the original system than of ROF’s one!

I liked the original series and if I make the calculation of all modules I did buy for the IL2 game I am at the same total if not more  than the ROF plane and modifications. Strange is it not?! :( 

Edited by senseispcc

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Sensei,

 

They have already stated ROF and original sales models are not feasible in todays market.  I really like Roo5ter's idea and think it could generate the interest/player base we are seeking at an affordable price point.

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HerrMurf,

 

I think there are a lot of different ways we could bring people into the fold and your idea definitely seems viable.  I proposed Stuka and LaGG because of the diversity of missions you could play with the aircraft.  I do agree with the earlier point flying a Stuka can be frustrating versus fighters.

 

I do think your idea also has some good merit.

I think the I16 is gonna be a handful as well. I love the Ju87 but it is, in all honesty, nothing more than a target without an escort.  And everyone starts out thinking they are gonna be a fighter jock when they first venture into simming. It takes time for most to venture into other areas of air combat. Both the Emil and Rata can carry a small bombload. Put some trucks and AAA on the two F2P maps for diversity of mission.

 

In response to another poster; I see the single F2P SP mission as a QMB mission so the player can alter the experience (number of aircraft) but only the single map, two aircraft mentioned, and the ability to add a small bombload. No unlocks, no additonal aircraft or content. Just a couple of convoys and AAA emplacements on the map.

 

I can't imagine this would take much effort or design time from the DEV's but it would be a really positive experience for those new to the genre. I'm pretty sure you'd get the experienced furball junkies in there too.

Edited by HerrMurf

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Just the LaGG should be enough.

 

I have to admit I had reservations about the ROF style of pay per plane in the beginning but I wouldn't mind that now.

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This is a tough one with no easy answers. Free to play is not the way IMHO, and $10 for starter planes is basically free. If there is anything that's going to expand the users it's going to be word of mouth. There is still a bunch of people sitting on the fence kibitzing about whether the Dev's are going to fold or deliver. They have NOT abandoned  BOS and are keeping forward momentum with BOM. Their actions have spoken louder than the naysayers and that should be the primary selling point as more and more user generated content is generated and propagated on the new servers. The dservers are still new along with content. I'm sure the Dev's have been watching what's going on in their own backyard with the low cost versions.

 

With low cost comes low commitment folks who don't want to take the time or spend the $$ to get into this complicated sim.  First off you have to have the new enough machine to run it and that's way more $$$ than the cost of competent peripherals. I guess it would be good to have some kind time limited demo, but that only promotes folks hacking, making for headache for 777 1C.

 

My take on the unlocks was to promote better skills with the pilots, but we all know how that went over. There are so many factors I think will work themselves out over time and support by us who have already bought in to the sim and it community that will attract others in. Not gimmicks.

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I don't think the OP is a gimmic at all. The $10 per plane is what the planes would be on sale for, if they were premium, six months into a release. So not a loss leader for the DEV's but probably not a significant profit margin either.

 

A pretty basic F2P map is a proven way to attract players in many other games - including ROF, though slightly different implementation there. While I agree the game is progressing nicely and will emerge as a winner, I'm not sure I agree the talk of the participants is louder than the naysayers, flat to negative reviews and Debbie Downers who seem to have latched, disproportionately, onto this game. The DEV's have made a mountain of PR errors and the OP's suggestion would be a nearly unassailable PR victory.

Edited by HerrMurf

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I like the idea, and I think the LaGG and Stuka would be the obvious choices.

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IMO target customer base is not that of simple Joe Doe from the street.Its either former players of old Sturm series or WT players who want to expand their experience to a higher level.

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IMO target customer base is not that of simple Joe Doe from the street.Its either former players of old Sturm series or WT players who want to expand their experience to a higher level.

 

Right.  Joe Doe's who buy in will still be giving $$ to the project regardless of whether they stayed or not and I mentioned in the original post this would help people who are on the fence or just wanting some sort of demo before buying in which would be a good part of the exact crowd you just mentioned.

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I think the more important question is how do we generate new players for the entire genre of combat flight simulation?

 

Be honest and take a look around, not many people playing any combat flight simulation these days.

Figure out why that happened, and how to fix it, then we will be getting somewhere.

 

Free stuff is not going to draw the numbers to a steep learning curve, heavy financial investment for equipment, title.

 

This is a cultural problem more than it is a game features issue.

 

I have no answer to it, I wish I did.

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Right.  Joe Doe's who buy in will still be giving $$ to the project regardless of whether they stayed or not and I mentioned in the original post this would help people who are on the fence or just wanting some sort of demo before buying in which would be a good part of the exact crowd you just mentioned

Agreed.

 

I like the idea, and I think the LaGG and Stuka would be the obvious choices.

I just don't like the aircraft for the reasons I stated above. Not only that but show the shiny new stuff. It doesn't cost you anymore from the producer's standpoint. If/when they buy the full game (BOM/BOS) take the $20 off the back end.

I think the more important question is how do we generate new players for the entire genre of combat flight simulation?

 

Be honest and take a look around, not many people playing any combat flight simulation these days.

Figure out why that happened, and how to fix it, then we will be getting somewhere.

 

Free stuff is not going to draw the numbers to a steep learning curve, heavy financial investment for equipment, title.

 

This is a cultural problem more than it is a game features issue.

 

I have no answer to it, I wish I did.

Make the rudder more user friendly on the keyboard and the only investment is a cheapie joystick for the F2P model of the OP.

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Cheapie joysticks already have a twist rudder, can't get any easier than that.

 

You have to get people to WANT to play in the first place, then you have to RETAIN them.

 

I just don't think that enough "new blood" is out there that want's to work as hard to have "fun" as you have to in a simulator.  It's so much easier to g00gle up the "God Mode" hack and become an instant killing machine in FPS games and the like.

 

As I said, it's a cultural phenomenon.

 

No one want's to shift their own gears anymore either, even though that is the far richer and more rewarding driving experience. 

Edited by BlitzPig_EL
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Cheapie joysticks already have a twist rudder, can't get any easier than that.

 

You have to get people to WANT to play in the first place, then you have to RETAIN them.

 

I just don't think that enough "new blood" is out there that want's to work as hard to have "fun" as you have to in a simulator.  It's so much easier to g00gle up the "God Mode" hack and become an instant killing machine in FPS games and the like.

 

As I said, it's a cultural phenomenon.

 

No one want's to shift their own gears anymore either, even though that is the far richer and more rewarding driving experience. 

I agree.

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Uhmm...quite interesting ideas guys but as HerrMurf say, rather offer two fighters (I16 & Emil) than a fighter and a ground support/attack plane. I think is more attractive for bringing more people to offer fighters than bombers(they require a little bit more specialization or tactic to survive)

Anyways I'm in love with the IL2 and this could be the easiest one to put in(single seater or field mod) as a mark for the franchise.

S!

Edited by peterla

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Cheapie joysticks already have a twist rudder, can't get any easier than that.

 

You have to get people to WANT to play in the first place, then you have to RETAIN them.

 

I just don't think that enough "new blood" is out there that want's to work as hard to have "fun" as you have to in a simulator. It's so much easier to g00gle up the "God Mode" hack and become an instant killing machine in FPS games and the like.

 

As I said, it's a cultural phenomenon.

 

No one want's to shift their own gears anymore either, even though that is the far richer and more rewarding driving experience.

Didn't know that about the cheapie sticks. I've been addicted for so long I've only bought good stuff since before I could really afford it. But, by that account, I don't see any obstacles then. A joystick (maybe a throttle) is all you really need. I think we are all assuming this prospective new blood has a moderately capable computer coming into our scenario. While I think head tracking is indispensable, Mk.Mr.X pretty clearly only uses the coolie hat. A F2P seems like the perfect gimme rock to get some new guys hooked.

 

For clarification: I'm not a real drug dealer, I just watch a lot of television.

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I think the more important question is how do we generate new players for the entire genre of combat flight simulation?

Agreed 100%

 

Be honest and take a look around, not many people playing any combat flight simulation these days.

It has been that way for some time now..

 

Up until around 1999, flight sims were some of the most popular PC games.. At least we thought they were.. But when Jane's Combat Simulations canceled the A-10 we hard core flight simmers knew something was up..

 

Figure out why that happened, and how to fix it, then we will be getting somewhere.

 

Free stuff is not going to draw the numbers to a steep learning curve, heavy financial investment for equipment, title.

 

This is a cultural problem more than it is a game features issue.

Agreed 100%

 

I think the flight sim devs figured it out the hard way..

 

And that is due to realistic flight sims typically have a steep learning curve.. and the younger x-gen generation is not all that into realistic anything IMHO..

 

Any gaming is an escape (read fantasy) for the user..

 

For the older crowd, escaping to pretend you were a WWII fighter pilot was in and of itself an escape..

 

But, for the x-gen crowd, where most don't know about WWII let alone who won it..

 

Pretending to be a WWII fighter pilot is NOT an escape for them..

 

Pretending to be a DJ spinning tunes in SimCity is or pretending to be a thug basket ball or baseball player or pretending to be some sort of wana-be gangster driving fast cars and slapping hos around is an escape for them..

 

So, sadly I don't see the flight sim ranks getting bigger with time, I see them getting smaller with time..

 

Except for some of the World of Tanks and or World of Warplanes type of un-realistic gaming, where the learning curve is low and no one even will notice if the P-51 has German markings on it! ;)

 

I have no answer to it, I wish I did.

I have an answer (see above) I just hope I am wrong

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I have an answer (see above) I just hope I am wrong

 

The people who actually flew over Berlin are dying off fast.  The people who like to imagine they flew over Berlin are only about 20-30 years behind them.

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AOA and EL are spot on and I would like to add that people 45 and older also have a connection that the younger crowd really does not, when were were kids a lot of usbuilt models of tanks and planes and watched all the old WW2 movies and some of us even had grandparents who fought in the war or we met the vets at the VFW and listened to their stories....sadly there were also   a series of bad choices by both the CLOD and BOS team which lead us to where  we are now :(

 

To the OP, in a nutshell it;s not real easy to get the ball-in-a-cup crowd to come play chess.

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But we gotta try, right? Just throwing up your hands and saying young people suck isn't gonna get it done either. In fact I'd say that attitude is a contributing factor to keeping new blood at bay. My flight leader in '46 was a fifteen YO kid but man could he fly. And though his maturity showed through on occasion, he had a deep interest in all things aviation. They are out there. You can't start a fire without a spark. The OP could be that ignition source.

 

I'm in the 45+ crowd but I'd love to take a couple fresh faced lieutenant types and get em flying. Maybe they each tell two friends and we get something rolling.

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The people who actually flew over Berlin are dying off fast.  The people who like to imagine they flew over Berlin are only about 20-30 years behind them.

So true..

 

AOA and EL are spot on and I would like to add that people 45 and older also have a connection that the younger crowd really does not, when were were kids a lot of usbuilt models of tanks and planes and watched all the old WW2 movies

Yup, and before PCs we use to build the models and than run around outside with them in one hand and making zoom zoom noises! ;)

 

and some of us even had grandparents who fought in the war or we met the vets at the VFW and listened to their stories....

Yup, where as the 20 somethings today know as much about WWII as they do the cival war..

 

To the OP, in a nutshell it;s not real easy to get the ball-in-a-cup crowd to come play chess.

ROTFL

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My father and most of my uncles and neighbors when I was growing up were WW2 veterans, so yeah for people my age and just a bit younger, flying a P40 or a Spitfire or a Stuka is a childhood dream of ours that has never left us. Hell, the second toy that I have a memory of was a die cast P40, the one with the silver fuselage and the red painted wings, go figure huh?

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For me the main problem with this  game genre  is that  its not immediately rewarding.

 

It takes a long curve of learning which can easily become tedious if you not already interested by the context of the game.

 

The goals are not as clear as in other games : having a kill but being shot down is not the way, staying alive without killing anyone is more like it should be played but its no real fun if you're not a bit involved in the "how it really happened at the time" way of playing.

 

I spent years learning kids how to have fun on the fps genre (half life CS and so on) by trying to play together and not against each other. It was part of my job but it took a good deal of time before they understood why it was more fun to coop. I have fun in BOS and older flight sims when I play MP in coop mode or in SP mode when I feel that I have a role in the whole process.

 

Currently its hard to have this immersion in BOS in SP, it happens quite often in the French community in MP because we're not so many to fly (maybe 100 persons) and mostly are always connected on a specific TS server.

 

Opening yes but it also means hooking newcomers with a rewarding game

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For me the main problem with this  game genre  is that  its not immediately rewarding.

That is the x-gen mind set..

 

Everyone is a winner.. Everyone gets a trophy..

 

When I was a kid, when you lost, you got to shake the hand of the winners..

 

And that was that..

 

The reward was just playing the game, not winning all the time

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Agreed 100%

 

It has been that way for some time now..

 

Up until around 1999, flight sims were some of the most popular PC games.. At least we thought they were.. But when Jane's Combat Simulations canceled the A-10 we hard core flight simmers knew something was up..

 

Agreed 100%

 

I think the flight sim devs figured it out the hard way..

 

And that is due to realistic flight sims typically have a steep learning curve.. and the younger x-gen generation is not all that into realistic anything IMHO..

 

Any gaming is an escape (read fantasy) for the user..

 

For the older crowd, escaping to pretend you were a WWII fighter pilot was in and of itself an escape..

 

But, for the x-gen crowd, where most don't know about WWII let alone who won it..

 

Pretending to be a WWII fighter pilot is NOT an escape for them..

 

Pretending to be a DJ spinning tunes in SimCity is or pretending to be a thug basket ball or baseball player or pretending to be some sort of wana-be gangster driving fast cars and slapping hos around is an escape for them..

 

So, sadly I don't see the flight sim ranks getting bigger with time, I see them getting smaller with time..

 

Except for some of the World of Tanks and or World of Warplanes type of un-realistic gaming, where the learning curve is low and no one even will notice if the P-51 has German markings on it! ;)

 

I have an answer (see above) I just hope I am wrong

Isn't the escape at least partly the ability to FLY? Couple that to the ability to compete with someone? These are two staples of young males throughout eternity. I'm sure even the current generation has it hardwired. Maybe make the MP F2P two airfields a side with one each permanent airstarts to assist them in getting past the steep learning curve.

That is the x-gen mind set..

 

Everyone is a winner.. Everyone gets a trophy..

 

When I was a kid, when you lost, you got to shake the hand of the winners..

 

And that was that..

 

The reward was just playing the game, not winning all the time

Sigh, I agree with this whole paragraph. BUT WE GOTTA TRY!!!!! (See previous posts)

 

I'm gonna turn ONE of you into an optimist, I swear.

 

So far, the OP is the first real attempt to I've seen address the issue of low player counts and how to solve them. I think his and my (pats self on back) ideas are viable, low cost, options to do something about it. If they fail what has anyone really lost? The dev's break even, at $10 per - probably a marginal profit, the genre is right where we left it and we have to try something else to get players in. If it succeeds we get the new blood the genre so desperately needs.

Edited by HerrMurf

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I am still convinced that a decent well structured SP campaign with a proper career mode would encourage more people to play. As much as I enjoy this game, the SP experience is sorely lacking. Maybe if we had an absorbing and interesting SP element that could be the stepping stone to MP numbers?  

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Isn't the escape at least partly the ability to FLY? Couple that to the ability to compete with someone? These are two staples of young males throughout eternity.

Man's desire to fly has been around for ever, same is true of competition..

 

But, those desires can be filled by less realistic games that don't require you to know let alone understand the history behind it..

 

For example, plenty of games out there with flying carpets and or space ships shooting at alien cat pilots

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That is the x-gen mind set..

 

Everyone is a winner.. Everyone gets a trophy..

 

When I was a kid, when you lost, you got to shake the hand of the winners..

 

And that was that..

 

The reward was just playing the game, not winning all the time

 

I totally agree.

 

When I a was a kid i loved to play say "table tennis" (not sure in American English) or volley ball witthout counting points. Just for fun

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