Monday, November 17, 2014

OP-ED: On Difficulty and such things.

  1. Evolution of a game.
    Let me start with a preface here.   Any longer running online game tends to fall into this cycle.

    As games evolve people come and go, this is the nature of things.   Those that have been around a while often times will not recognize their beloved game after a couple generations.

    Older players often remember the "simpler times" (mind you older players could be any of the generations of the game, and could be recounting different levels as their "simpler time"). Often new content/features/changes will drive out long-time players that are "fed up" with the changes.   This in turn makes more room for the newbies,   ones who are indoctrinated into the current state of things.  As time goes on the newbies fall somewhere into the old-timer cycle.

    I think we are seeing this over and over,  in relation to Battle Pirates in the time I  have been playing there have been a ton of changes (retrofits added, ton's of hulls,  a few dominant technology cycles etc..)  I still only have a few decent fleets as I will not coin them.  But this has left me behind the 8-ball for most raids(build a set for the raids, by the time it's done they change up the "working" strategies and it is obsolete).

    This cycle will not change, as it is what game companies do to keep relevant.  Older players will always be frustrated with the new stuff,   new players will feel overwhelmed trying to get all the stuff the "older guys" have.
  2. Difficulty will show the real coiners (Follow the money)
    This goes without saying I guess...  I was frustrated this raid seeing all the people that were oblivious to the current cost to be successful.  People bragging in comms about significant others being upset with the credit card bill,  as if this was a good thing..  This was just to aquire the technology from the raid, not even to build it.

    The increasing difficulty, and reduction of the point payout these past few raids has pushed people...   The "whale" coiners are going all out and spending like it doesn't matter.  While people with budgets are squeezed for every penny.   What I am seeing is these whales are contributing so much every time things get harder Kixeye see's this as a win and continues on.  Why should they do any different?  Don't get me wrong I appreciate being able to play the game,   and these guys enable me to do so.

    But are they getting to big for their business?

    There is no doubt they are earning a pretty penny as the result of their games.  But where is the money going?  From what we're seeing with the Greta issue (and doublespeak) it is not going into ensuring things are resolved BEFORE the user base finds it.
  3. If you Create it they will coinThis has been proven every month... I'd be interested to see the stats on how many people coin the new tech during the raid/event.. There are always people hitting bases with brand new fleets, or refitting weapons onto existing hulls.  This does add up and is a real cost to the player, and a massive profit boost for Kixeye.  (And the reason they won't skip a raid...)
  4. How to get change
    It has been said over and over (even by robot),  if you want to see changes do not participate in the mess that is being created.
    The answer is simple
    Stop PAYING them to make things harder for you...
    • Stop coining ever more difficult raids no matter how shiny the pixels are
    • Stop coining the ever-increasing repair bill for ships
    • Stop coining new tech as soon as it hits your blueprint list..

  5. Why it will never work
    People are addicted to video games...  This is a known fact and it is exploited by companies all around the world.   Can't say it's all their fault as most people would do this given the opportunity.  But even though Logic dictates something,  doesn't mean us emotional creatures will actually pay attention.
    Those that want the best stuff will continue to pay for it, even though it is fleeting and can be taken away at any given moment (Via ban's,  or stat changes after the fact..).  
  6. Right to leave
    We have made our bed ... and must sleep in it.   We have encouraged and fostered the current environment of the game.   Routinely people complain on the forums and get ignored..  This will not change as they know the majority of players never grace the forums with their presence.  Those that do however are often ill-behaved, or troll.   And as I saw a mod post previously  everyone has a right to leave if they don't like it (

    The consensus is "if you don't like it, then move on.".
  7. Final ThoughtsWe as a player base are being boiled alive as time goes on,  cycles of stronger tech then stronger targets permeate.  There is some balance there(as people creaming dredges with the new hull/weapon shows)  but getting through the muck to get there is the issue.  People tend not to care about the future as much as the right now.

    It does not seem like the game is growing as much as they would like (I see ton's of people who have quit by lvl 5  in various sectors I have been in).  The current scheme seems to be taxing yourself into prosperity.    How much can you raise the cost of playing(for the whales who support the game) before they walk away.   Numerous friends I have encountered have stopped playing, and I am sad to see them go.   The question in my mind is how much longer will I be able to take it?  I almost walked away with these dredge fleet changes.
Thoughts/Comments/Questions feel free to post in the comments section


  1. That is a nice write up and overall state of the game, but as I said on the forum. The mega coiners are still the minority. If BV, Facebook Groups, and Blogs like this let the normal player know.....If they stop coining for a month. They will not fall behind. It will in the end help get more benefit from their money. It will take a group undertaking, but it can happen. The bottom line is the customer is always right and if the mid and low end coiners stopped for a month. I am 100% sure Kixeye would freak the fuck out and we would all see change.....

    I wish it would happen.....I wish it was organized....

    Michigan Marauder

    FYI, You guys are part of the backbone of the community, never stop writing

    1. Thank you sir, we appreciate the support!
      I ran into someone who had a 10k/mo budged for the game... They may be the minority or "1%" if you will but that is a huge chunk of change.

      Perhaps we can get together a no coin week/event.. so hard to get people rallied behind something but that is what it will take to get some kind of change from them.

    2. Oddly got notice on the forum you replied, but don't see a post there...

    3. Here is one things I know personally. When I worked at Zynga we also had mega coiners. With 10s of millions of players not happy with the game. The Loot Lady and several other huge communities like you had put together a no log in or spend for a week.

      I let Zynga know of course because I held hands with many of the elite whales in the game. Yes they do get special treatment. They told me they werent worried.

      It actually did make a difference. When day 5 hit, they posted in the forums asking what players would like to see. This was when Zynga was king. It also made the many gaming site news

      Things were soon implemented that were asked for and that is how I know things can change if organized. The first day only around 25K didn't log in and as people kept posting. The 3rd day over 300K was reported. The 4th day it was reported that a drop in players was around 500,000.

      They contacted a few of the sites and had me gather lists of what the players wanted. The biggest thing gained was double coins or half prize coins at least every 3 months. That every month only 1 type of tech would be replaced making it more of a rotating circuit. Trading of tech items was also put into place....

      Wish I could tell you the whole story but my NDA keeps me from talking about it :(. If people want change....It can happen. They just have to make it happen.

    4. Interesting, and nice to hear..perhaps there is some hope..

    5. Something interesting to add to this point - there was a player organised protest in War Commander regarding the difficulty of their version of Uranium last week.

      The protest lasted 4 days and gathered a decent amount of support (10k confirmed supporters) people did not log on to the game and even completely logged out of the Kixeye site to get their "players online" number to drop, at the end of it Kixeye actually did what was asked and reduced the difficulty of the resource gathering and made their weekly missions easier as well.

      In short - a properly organised protest did work, all it takes is someone committed enough to get the ball rolling and for the word to get out and spread.

      I expect that tomorrow the Forsaken Mission target change will occur and that would probably be and if it turns out like many expect it to it could well trigger a similar protest to what we saw in War Commander.

      Either way if a protest like that did occur, it would be very, very interesting to see what happened.

    6. Yup, i quit playing WC after the new difficulty. Havent been on in over a week now

  2. What seems crazy to me is that after playing for about 18 months I am starting to see KixEye as the adversary in the game rather than the content. It does not feel like I am contending against the Dracs or the Reavers, but rather KixEye as a Company. This is not a healthy place for the game to be. I deeply enjoy BP as a game and the company who produces it should feel like my Ally in that enjoyment not my Enemy.

  3. There is another way to force Kixeye to change things in Battle Pirates. And it's competition. At 1st January Ocean at War will be released. Currently, I'm participating in alpha and alpha testing goes smooth. Once there will be alternative to Battle Pirates, people will be able to leave them to play Ocean at War. And to avoid this, Kixeye will have to do a lot of things for Battle Pirates, otherwise "whale" coiners will leave it to play OaW.

    Why I'm so sure? A couple of things:
    1) BP Coins cost: $1 = 10 coins. OaW kredits cost: $1 = 100 kredits. In BP 1 hour = 2 coins. In OaW 1 hour = 10 kredits. As you can see OaW time:money ratio is twice efficient than in BP.
    2) Repair times in OaW will be 2-3 hours at most (that what the devs said).
    3) OaW will have Dry Docks, while in BP its still far off dream.
    4) In OaW Battleship will be actually a Battleship-class warship. And not like Battleship in BP which has only 6 weapon slots, while "Kodiak" Cruiser has all 10 weapon slots.

    1. I have to agree with you. Once OaW launches, BP will be a distant scream to me. Its funny that Kix thinks they are sitting at the top of the game, that they aren't worried about Konka taking their business. They have my business and it hasn't even launched yet!

    2. It is a very same scenario when Gajin started implementing tanks in to WarThunder. At first WarGaming did nothing, they though their World of Tanks is on top. But then after it was released in Open Beta most of the coiners left WoT to play tanks in WT. As result WarGaming started doing their best to make WoT better. Very same scenario is going to develop between Kixeye & Konka.

  4. Funny... they deleted my post on the forums ... goes to show you cannot question big brother :)

  5. i agree 100%. but i seriously doubt enough people could be organized to pull off a successful boycott. most recently this was tried with the new dredges and was an utter failure. as much as i am on board, i don't believe this can be done....

  6. BF level 71
    I dint play last 2 raids and i will keep it this way because the game is really not funny anymore and thy is not a fare play on KIXEYE. This is not gaming but only taking a lots of money out of people.And if i need to will not play the raids for 1 OR 2 OR 3 YEARS really dont care anymore.

  7. Just start a facebook event and invite all your friends, lets see how many join and then decide when to do it.

  8. Well this is my second comment since the first didnt go through.

    Great report. The only thing missing is the fact we have all requested 1 new thing over the years and got tons of new crap we dont want. This being tbe Dry Dock. I personally didnt do this last raid because im sick of having so many hulls ill never have the time to build. I have 3 fleets backlogged and by the time they are done, they will be obsolete. Kixeye can have the newbies and whale coiners, ive see so many of my high lvl friends quit or sell their account because of this crap. I used to play every night, now im lucky to care to do the FM in one night a week. Losing interest, kixeye going to far


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