What would keep you playing during a playtest?

BioXide

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Hey guys,

As we start preparing the upcoming donator playtest, I'm interested in hearing your opinion in regards to the topic name. I really would like to see more donators sticking around when we do our upcoming playtest (No specific date at the moment, sorry >.<, aiming for late Jan or Feb).

The more players, the more data we can gather to further improve the game, but obviously, keeping players engaged in a pre-alpha test of an indie MMO with barely any content is quite the challenge.

Our previous test wasn't as successful as I'd personally wanted (Lots of crashes, barely any content or incentives, slowwwwwwwww early game grind, player data getting nuked randomly, etc).

It did help us gather a lot of data in regards to technical & game design stuff, but it fell short on the fun part, we have made lots of improvements and fixed most of the server/client crashes, but we can't promise things won't go crazy when there's a lot of players logged into the server.

Here's what planned for the upcoming test, mainly just the high-level stuff:
- Combat (There have been lots of tweaks since the previous E3 test)
- Production (Over 100+ items to produce and use)
- Economy (Buy & Sell on player markets plus pre-set markets to ease the acquiring items when you just want to beef & fool around)
- 6 worlds (Each with their purpose, we might have a first implementation of territory/colony capture at it's most bare-bones form)
- Some light faction mechanics (We already have factions but I'd really would like some management stuff & faction contracts)
- Hacking
- Improved PvE (Drones & more aliens)
- Public contracts/missions
- Persistent data (We have switched our backend to Gamesparks, which will be our final backend system until further notice, so this mean we can start playing around with some persistent data that will carry on until Alpha)
- Plus other cool features we'll reveal soon :tm:

Now I ask you,

What would keep you hooked and playing during the upcoming playtest?

If you played the E3 test, what kept you away from it?

Looking forward to seeing you guys in the game and sending a few to cloning.

Oh, and devblog is coming.
 

Ferin

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Jun 17, 2017
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You're asking people to pay to play a game you know isn't a complete product and won't likely provide them much entertainment until it's finished in 2 (probably) years.

I can understand the reasoning for not having a trial/free account for the released version, however the negatives seem to outweigh the positives for alpha and beta versions.
 

fomgod

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What would keep you playing during a playtest?
Pay me
 

Orion_Pax

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Sponsor
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Jun 13, 2017
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1v1 me BioXide like back in the day. I'll half clip you m8.
 

BioXide

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creepertnt

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For me personally i play because i love the genre and game itself but for others i think that rewards for time spent in game or progress made and bugs reported are good incentives. Good rewards could be exclusive cosmetics for alpha and beta testers, this way they feel special as it is something that not everyone will have and can not get. Another reward could be an amount of credits given to testers when the game first releases as a slight headstart for supporting the game (this is largely up for debate as some people might think this is unfair).
 

Tornadium

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The main issue with Mankind Reborn and FoM is that the players generate the content.

Combat for combats sake alone gets boring after a while, If you want people playtesting consistently/long term the players have to generate the content.
 

Pulse

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Jun 4, 2017
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I think that if you and your team work to implement more rocks for me to shoot with my mining laser then I will definitely be more inclined to throw hours at the game. I also believe that the main focus of the game's development should shift toward that of creating a more immersive rock mining simulator, because that is honestly the most rewarding and effective system that I have ever gotten the privilege to use within my whole entire life. I honestly do not recall a situation where a system like this had not worked and did not instantly grab the attention of the player. I don't know why anyone would play any other game when they could be shooting rocks for money in this one.

Now, since you asked, my reasoning for not wanting to sink hours into the E3 play test was that I am not a fan of losing progress within a game. If I am going to play a video game I am going to play one where I feel like what I am doing is actually helping me develop my character or my skills in some way. When I played the first play test I felt that the combat was cool and shooting rocks was so amazing, but I didn't feel like I was apart of anything and I had no chance to develop my character in any way. At the time, the amount of content was very limited so I can see why combat was the focus, but now, when you claim to have somewhat of a faction system and multiple worlds and such, I feel that the appeal may still be to people who have the time to play just for the sake of testing and finding bugs. I do not find enjoyment from partaking in one of the responsibilities of a game developer, which is bug testing, especially when the sole purpose of the play test is to sift through all of the available content and search for bugs.

All I am saying that you will not consistently see me in game until it is at a point where my progress will not be wiped. However, that doesn't mean that I will not stop by for a couple of duels.

p.s. 1st prgh is meme
 
Last edited:

Necidious

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The main issue with Mankind Reborn and FoM is that the players generate the content.

Combat for combats sake alone gets boring after a while, If you want people playtesting consistently/long term the players have to generate the content.
That is only temporary in Mankind Reborn. As development progresses, more and more solo-content will be added to the game. We are planning to have a LOT more content in terms of solo-play than Face of Mankind ever had and that wouldn't be an arduous thing to accomplish since Face of Mankind had no solo content in the first place, so the analogy is understandable but still a bit off. :D

When people are offline, the goal is that players will still have a bunch of entertaining/interesting stuff to do in the game.
 
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Banjo

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Jun 14, 2017
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For me the biggest detergent for playing betas are the feeling of pointless progression and repeating the same content. Now you can't really give players meaningfull progression for participation without ruining the launch of the game and balance.
What I would like to see would instead of having every test just be simple server resets with updates, have them be like small skirmishes with some kind of theme, scheduled events and challenges.

Example 1:
The government(Blue team) are a group of corrupt pigs who have closed down everything: except for colony A.
The Rebels (Red team) there for don't like the government and will try to hack as many locked terminals as possible.
Citizens (neutral) are just trying to live their lives and pays their taxes.

Challenge: Red team needs to hack as many terminals as possible while blue team needs to prevent them.
Both blue and red team has infinite(maybe with cooldown) basic gear at regear spots in different ends of the universe.
Citizens should try to earn the most money by crafting high end gear and sell it to the 2 sides.
Blue team earn money from taxes, so they want to protect the civilians.
Red team can earn money and produce on Colony A.

Scheduled events for group fights / RP stuff
Test Goals: Eco, Hacking and map traversel doing war with regearing

Example 2:
A big alien mothship is arriving in 7 days.
All players must gear up to fight the invasion.
Three factions with their respective headquartes will be attacked.
Inside each headquarter is some basic gear, but players will have to gather more if they wish to survive.

Challenge: protect your faction HQ.
Scheduled invasion of aliens, and maybe some RP events for bonus loot that will try to get the 3 factions to fight eachother a little.
Test Goal: Eco, PVE, small gang PVP
 

AtrocityLone

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Jun 5, 2017
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The main issue with Mankind Reborn and FoM is that the players generate the content.

Combat for combats sake alone gets boring after a while, If you want people playtesting consistently/long term the players have to generate the content.
Definitely agree with Tornadium here, without the content there isn't much incentive to continue playing. Having to start over for each test becomes more of a hassle. I do believe at launch everything should be wiped or even at the next stage of the game.

I'm also inclined to agree with Banjo, sure the community can create the content (and should) but during the E3 test it might be helpful to get a hand in generating the content, seeing as how we only have X amount of days to play and this in return may help gain traction and show off parts of your game.
 

BioXide

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Definitely agree with Tornadium here, without the content there isn't much incentive to continue playing. Having to start over for each test becomes more of a hassle. I do believe at launch everything should be wiped or even at the next stage of the game.

I'm also inclined to agree with Banjo, sure the community can create the content (and should) but during the E3 test it might be helpful to get a hand in generating the content, seeing as how we only have X amount of days to play and this in return may help gain traction and show off parts of your game.
We made the decision to keep all player data after this upcoming test, so during pre-alpha/alpha tests we won't be wiping the player's data and we'll be making snapshots/backups every x amount of days. This wasn't possible on the previous backend system, which was pretty bad and I was surprised it survived during the E3 test lol.

Feel free to keep posting here as I want to do everything possible to ensure the community enjoys the upcoming playtests.

I've been working hard on ensuring player data persistence this early on, recently we got all market, mining and production data saved to the backend, so they won't be getting reset after every restart.

Players will start with around 30k-50k UC (Money is now digital like in FoM, but any PvE money drops in an item form like before, so you have to go to an ATM terminal to convert your UC items into digital).

There will be a pre-built market with low tier items for sale, so players that don't enjoy ecoing can buy items and go into combat quicker.

You'll be able to do multiple contracts at a time, which allows for faster UC gain.

There's more AI to fight now, ranging from smaller aliens, security drones, aggressive rouge drones (drones can randomly spawn with any weapon in the game), and big aliens that will require a team to take down.

There will be more content that we'll be announcing as the playtests get closer.

am moist
 
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Adam Meyer

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I have a ton of people who want to play BUT after being burnt by games like DayZ we can't commit the coin to an unfinished product. You should think about opening the playtest up for free for a window of time during this playtest. If people like what they see they might be more willing to spend some money.
 

BioXide

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I have a ton of people who want to play BUT after being burnt by games like DayZ we can't commit the coin to an unfinished product. You should think about opening the playtest up for free for a window of time during this playtest. If people like what they see they might be more willing to spend some money.
We can't have the tests be playable for free as it requires a steam key to be handed out and validated.
 

endl

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We can't have the tests be playable for free as it requires a steam key to be handed out and validated.
I'm not familiar with distributing games through Steam, however other developers have provided free weekends on multiple occasions. Is it possible to (ab)use that system in order to provide multiple weeks of access into the alpha tests so people who haven't donated may participate?
 

BioXide

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I'm not familiar with distributing games through Steam, however other developers have provided free weekends on multiple occasions. Is it possible to (ab)use that system in order to provide multiple weeks of access into the alpha tests so people who haven't donated may participate?
That requires the game to be publicly on the store and be available for purchase or F2P.
 
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Safwan

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Here's what I suggest;

Have planned events with competitions. Short term events over the weekends. Such as:

Dueling Competition: The person that wins the most amount of duels within the weekend gets the top spot.

Eco competition: Certain list of items are given by dev team and the person/clan/group that makes those sets of items the first wins. This will actually play out like scavenger hunt because it'll take players time to figure out where the raw materials are at and what is the most efficient way to farm them to win the competition.

Final Battle / Conquest competition: Two leaders are selected, they both get draft to pick the players they would want in their team and then a final battle type situation plays out, where both teams have to complete set of objectives in conjunction with winning the fights to take over a certain colony/area.

We can be creative with these events because the objective of these events is NOT only to get players to be engaged with the project but to also rigorously test game features and find potential exploits, bugs and most importantly improve and optimize the experience.

Also, and this is just a suggestion, offer imaginary rep points of some sort for participating in these events and how those individuals perform in those events. Those points could potentially be used to unlock certain badges on player's profile on forums for participating on those events. Something to keep people interested in taking part in these events, whilst having something to show for it later on.

Just my 2 cents.
 

BioXide

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Rank: Princeps (R7)
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Here's what I suggest;

Have planned events with competitions. Short term events over the weekends. Such as:

Dueling Competition: The person that wins the most amount of duels within the weekend gets the top spot.

Eco competition: Certain list of items are given by dev team and the person/clan/group that makes those sets of items the first wins. This will actually play out like scavenger hunt because it'll take players time to figure out where the raw materials are at and what is the most efficient way to farm them to win the competition.

Final Battle / Conquest competition: Two leaders are selected, they both get draft to pick the players they would want in their team and then a final battle type situation plays out, where both teams have to complete set of objectives in conjunction with winning the fights to take over a certain colony/area.

We can be creative with these events because the objective of these events is NOT only to get players to be engaged with the project but to also rigorously test game features and find potential exploits, bugs and most importantly improve and optimize the experience.

Also, and this is just a suggestion, offer imaginary rep points of some sort for participating in these events and how those individuals perform in those events. Those points could potentially be used to unlock certain badges on player's profile on forums for participating on those events. Something to keep people interested in taking part in these events, whilst having something to show for it later on.

Just my 2 cents.
I like those and we'll be doing similar stuff, we should have some sort of territory control by the playtest so factions will be able to hack and control certain parts of the map, which should incite some factional warfare, but we'll be doing some scheduled events like you proposed :D