RE: =MQ= Preservation of dedicated players. (Full Version)

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yclc -> RE: =MQ= Preservation of dedicated players. (6/18/2011 3:42:38)

I personally think it's quite pointless to have equipment releases on weeks without any content releases just so it seems that Mechquest is doing something.

This is partly because of the design of the Mechquest battle system, which makes it such that you basically only really need one or two different mecha models and one or two weapon modifications to fight any sort of battle under any circumstance (the vampire hunter for the Necryptos saga was an attempt at remedying this, if short-lived), and collecting extra weapon parts really just doesn't do anything outside collection for collection's sake. This is unlike AQ, where you concurrently need at least 40 different pieces of equipment/spells/misc items to play the game properly, or DF, where there are so many different accessories that you constantly need to upgrade a lot of equipment at once.

This is made worse by the fact that many mecha releases (especially SCMM) and weapon releases are largely mediocre, and don't help you much. Sometimes I might check general discussion to see if a weapon or mecha is worth buying, but now even I'm too lazy to do that any more. On top of this, even if the staff did release great items, I agree with many others in this thread that there's hardly a point of staying so competitive if there simply isn't much content to use it on, which really makes upgrading your mech/buying new mechs pointless if you only get to use it for four or five battles before the release of another great weapon/mecha.

So for me at least, weapon releases largely do little to nothing right now, and no matter how much easier it is to make than a content release, in terms of the ratio of effort-and-time to enjoyment-created-for-the-gamers, they are still an extremely inefficient use of effort and time. This is only compounded by the fact that MQ is understaffed, making efficiency all the more important. Every week I log in to AQ expecting a new quest, I log in to DF expecting a new quest, and I check MQ and skip it if it's just a weapon release.

For the record, I used to love MQ a lot, and this went all the way up to the Necryptos saga, but everything just went downhill after that.

Anyway, here are some suggestions I have for the MQ team:

1. If you want people to enjoy your weapon releases more, there should be a proper equipment comparison thread in the forums, very much like AQ's weapon comparison section. Update the encyclopaedia with all the special effects, and dedicate the equipment comparison thread to comparing this equipment with other equipment with similar effects. Mechquest is the game that needs this the most. Unlike AQ or DF, where you can do the weapon comparisons yourself by simply looking at the numbers and stat gains (and even then the AQ equipment comparison thread is so important), we can rarely tell how good an MQ equipment or mecha is unless we actually purchase it or spend a lot of time searching general discussion threads for small nuggets of player input here and there.

EDIT: Oh, did I mention that an equipment comparison thread will actually provide a good platform for players to give constructive, informative feedback about equipment releases so the staff will know how to tweak the equipment to balance it?

Good feedback: The defence boost is really low at +20 defence. Compared to x with a +35 defence boost with similar damage output and cooldown.
Back feedback: This release sucks wth.

2. This has definitely been said before in this thread, but it's worth repeating. If it takes two to three weeks to get a content release out, I'd rather have a release every two to three weeks, and not have the staff bogged down by having to release weapons every week for the sake of releasing something.

3. Create more monsters that require different strategies. Have some that repeatedly cancel your buffs so you can't use a mech that relies on buffing. Have some that takes your DPS and reverses it back on you. Focus less on creating a general-all-purpose-mecha to suit a certain aesthetic theme (like your gameshow theme), and more on creating a mecha that strategically plays out in a unique way. Don't waste your efforts by creating many highly similar mecha duplicates that really play out in just the same way.

Mechbuster1 -> RE: =MQ= Preservation of dedicated players. (6/18/2011 12:06:16)

Well MQ is about 4 years old and we're at level 45 cap so there should be many years to 100. If that is the max then perhaps it can coincide with the end of the Shadowscythe Saga (hopefully with the death of Valoth). Then if the game continues they can start a new saga and perhap allow long time players one new character for every levelo 100 they have.

I have always been a proponent of regular content releases.
Your point number 1. is very helpful. I am constantly searching the forums before purchasing and item and wasting credits/ng/weapon slots if I don't have to. Sometimes Blues or Vivi post detailed DNs, sometimes they don't.
I think Yokai followed your point 3. in its design with an attempt at different and difficult enemies but that was almost a year ago now.

Stelarinna -> RE: =MQ= Preservation of dedicated players. (6/18/2011 12:45:22)

Personally, I quit MQ for the most part because I really disliked the direction the story, and game as a whole, was taking. It's gotten better with the continuation of the Dragonoid Saga, but my personal feeling is that MQ has too much humorous stuff and not enough serious quests. (I've been getting interested again recently, though.) A few puns are nice, but my overall feeling when I first started playing was that MQ would be far more serious than the rest of AE's offerings, right from the start.

Also, too much grinding and not enough permanent content. The different quest types for the Yokai shrines was a step in the right direction (actually, Yokai was a very enjoyable planet for the most part), but it's still just too much work for those who weren't there for all the wars and special events. Leveling up in particular takes forever.

I'd really enjoy it if MQ took a steep turn back towards the original plan of an all-out battle against the Shadowscythe, instead of all this item-collecting and holiday stuff. Like I said, it seems to have gotten much better recently, but I still consider it to be a long ways to go. Until that happens, I can't even imagine the staff doing a massive overhaul like the one that was mentioned in the DNs some time ago; if you can't even write one proper storyline, how are you going to double it? (For the record, I think MQ is fine the way it is. Adding a playable Shadowscythe side would just eat up too much development time for such a small team, and when it was finally released, you might not have many players left to see it.)

monkeyman4241995 -> RE: =MQ= Preservation of dedicated players. (6/18/2011 14:24:03)

I'll admit... I've pretty much quit on MQ. I still take pride in the fact that I am a Star Captain... but I just don't play anymore. The releases became smaller and smaller until they got to the point where they no longer captured my attention. The releases became simply releasing one weapon or mech, which would require a ton of Credits. Which led to tons of farming. Too much farming for my liking, to the point where I couldn't focus long enough to finish a battle. So I just watched one-item releases come and go, unable to buy anything because I couldn't get the motivation to farm for Credits. The quests became more and more spaced, and the storyline came to a near-to-complete standstill. I eventually ended up not logging on for a Friday or two at a time. Eventually.. it ended up going from two weeks to a month... and then I eventually just stopped logging on. I may log on once in a blue moon to see if there's anything that can catch my attention, but unfortunately... I've yet to find that spark to get my back into MQ....

Zanzibaarus -> RE: =MQ= Preservation of dedicated players. (6/18/2011 14:47:39)

Do you have any ideas of which will help you stay into MQ? This thread is basically collaborating about what the staff could do to keep veteran players playing.

master mix -> RE: =MQ= Preservation of dedicated players. (6/18/2011 15:22:29)

I think that quest rewards should include sell-able items and weapons to encourage people to catch up with the storyline and to make it easier to earn credits and exp.

exp comes in as an add-on to quests.

Bonus exp.

BumFoolingGuy -> RE: =MQ= Preservation of dedicated players. (6/18/2011 16:41:33)

But where would there be the EXP add-ons to the ones needed for the storyline?

Also would the quest rewards into becoming sell-able ones would probably need a revamp/modify the quests need more work?

Zanzibaarus -> RE: =MQ= Preservation of dedicated players. (6/18/2011 19:46:13)

I wonder also...

BumFoolingGuy -> RE: =MQ= Preservation of dedicated players. (6/18/2011 19:48:57)

@Zanzibaarus, seems like some of the obvious choice for now would some cut-scenes to have some exp added to them?

Zanzibaarus -> RE: =MQ= Preservation of dedicated players. (6/18/2011 19:51:09)

That actually makes sense. XD

BumFoolingGuy -> RE: =MQ= Preservation of dedicated players. (6/18/2011 19:54:56)

Also how many of some of the cut-scenes for the storyline to get the exp added to them?

Zanzibaarus -> RE: =MQ= Preservation of dedicated players. (6/19/2011 0:12:20)

I think all of the storyline cutscenes should give EXP, but the ones more recent to a said event should give the most. The lowest being 250 exp for the first cutscene in the storyline, and increasing intervals up until the current point.

ScytheOfShadows -> RE: =MQ= Preservation of dedicated players. (6/19/2011 0:19:10)

Meh, the prices of the NG package made me stop buying them after I got my Vladic Knight. But I am still playing at level 45 almost daily.

Anyways, I sort of agree with D99's idea on a Warzone that allows us to see proof that we are actually still at war with the ShS. The War on Westion is an example of War but the thing is that its outdated. The best that can be done is to upgrade the War on Westion to make it into the kind of war D99 had mentioned. A clash of 2 forces somewhere in the macrocosms seems to be a good idea IMO.

And I understand MQ is understaffed, but one way to combat the complaints about "having slow updates" is something like the Traveller. Maybe we could make the Traveller become permanent, but each week new weapons will be brought in and some of the older weapons removed from his shop. Or maybe something similar with Tek's shop. New weapons every week and at the end of the week some of them will be removed, some of them might stay, and more new weapons coming in. But then again, this may not be a weekly thing, it could happen fortnightly, monthly, or maybe even as and when the MQ team feel like it, sort of like a surprise. You might see the weapon there for one day and the next day its gone.

And @yclc I agree with point 3 as well. We should be allowed to put what we learn from the Advanced Combat class into application.

And for those of you who are still complaining you are bored of being level 45, then create a new character and start from scratch like what I did.

mechquestlord -> RE: =MQ= Preservation of dedicated players. (6/19/2011 0:24:39)

how to win mechquest.

step 1-buy enough novas to buy a vladic knight and an uber jameson
step 2-become the highest level possible.
step 3-buy them both.
step 4-you just beat the system.

forumlogin -> RE: =MQ= Preservation of dedicated players. (6/19/2011 0:33:21)

I'm actually mainly on hiatus right now.
One thing that MQ needs for sure is more farming spots.
Farming CAN be fun, but only when there're actually more than about 2 places to go farming. Anyplace that could possibly be used for farming, I've already gone through for tons of EXP and credits, and quite frankly, even looking at the battle button now makes me bored.

BumFoolingGuy -> RE: =MQ= Preservation of dedicated players. (6/19/2011 0:37:39)

How about farming spots that actually have music to override the sound of battling?

Well the pedia entries of weaponry would probably be filling up,if somebody has the items and cares to add them in pedia

seventy two -> RE: =MQ= Preservation of dedicated players. (6/19/2011 0:50:36)

I feel that extra xp rewards will not do much to improve MQ for dedicated players, as leveling is not required to progress in the story beyond a certain point that is pretty low. Also most dedicated players become high level through their dedication so the point is a bit moot. I am not saying that this idea is bad, I just think that it is not a solution for the situation currently being discussed.

I personally would like to see more use of the the war rewards system, in its current incarnation it lack the motivational potential to make players more interested in playing. I suggest adding tiers of rewards that make more interesting weapons as one upgrades them through collecting Valor Badges.(Note: I say unique not stronger, I do not seek to make it feel like it is necessary to farm to be able to keep up with MQ) Though at the same time farming war wave is not activity that truly encourages further monetary support of the game. I only suggest this in order to get players into the habit of playing more. I think this would work well as a complement to the battlefield suggestion already mentioned. It would also be something I would like seeing this tried as war participation is extremely low.

Another thing I feel would be a nice addition is the use of community challenges, similar to the Codemonkey Challenges in DF, the MQ community as a whole is very inactive, and quite frankly has no reason to change this behavior. I am not suggesting replicating the CMCs but just the idea of a problem the community needs to solve with help, an example would be an enemy who can only be beat with certain(non-rare) weapons to encourage a combined effort of forum goers. I suggest this because the game community is generally a large influence on my interest in upgrading.

Game story progression is something else that would help greatly, but others have covered the issue well enough that I do not have anything I wish to add.

PD -> RE: =MQ= Preservation of dedicated players. (6/19/2011 1:54:25)

I think if Balance took a higher priority than it is now, things would be a lot better.

Since there are SO many weapons, mechas, and enemies out there (The Pedia's gonna explode! D:), it's only natural to see just how big balance really is in terms of stuff. Also, since most of the recent releases have been more focused about more weapons instead of quests, I think it's only fair to see how many new weapons are truly being churned out, as well as the rate of inception.

Something that integral to the whole system of things should really be taken as 1st priority.

Yes, Storyline is normally 1st, but right now, it's not progressing much. Until MQ actually gets a good storyline fixer and maker (Someone PLEASE hire someone from the Writer's Guild of America at a decent, affordable price), it's been off at the wayside. I look at the release threads and most of it is praising the weapons instead of the actual quests (And therefore, storyline, as the quests make up the storyline). Heck, I'm even guilty of this. :|

stealthwings -> RE: =MQ= Preservation of dedicated players. (6/19/2011 2:13:02)

I disagree. The way balance is now, it favors the older dedicated players. This thread is about how to stop those players from quitting. Balance is very important for bringing in new players, but not for keeping old ones.

PD -> RE: =MQ= Preservation of dedicated players. (6/19/2011 2:16:03)

@above: Editted my previous post.

EDIT: I actually think a price system revision would help keep the players around.The system in of itself only addresses the level aspect. Not the other important stuff like cooldowns, EP usage, effect strength, status, ect.

I mean, if I were a dedicated player, I would certainly demand a price system revision to better suit power needs. Farming for something that you find out to be weak later on (or right from the start) isn't something that would motivate a dedicated player (or old player who comes on consistantly) to "Keep playing"

NaturallyMaria -> RE: =MQ= Preservation of dedicated players. (6/19/2011 2:55:00)

I remember price problems being a big deal when I was at lower levels. Right now though, I'm just sitting on several million credits and several thousand NGs from the Dragonguard package, and I have no idea what to do with any of it. I buy pretty much every new weapon/mech that comes out just to see the animation, even if I have no intention of keeping it.

Dicer -> RE: =MQ= Preservation of dedicated players. (6/19/2011 4:24:15)

@seventy two
That's what I was trying to say with my post, but I guess I should have just posted my idea instead of a link.

War Merge Shop/War Rank Shops

In the past, Valor Badges have had many uses, but I think by far the best was during the AvP war. You would merge VB's for different levels of weapons that had monstrous costs but worthwhile capabilities to make up for it. In terms of weapons that were more affordable, the GEARS games merge shops worked great, but it seems to me that a combination of the two would be a good idea--

First, a permanent Valor Badge shop, similar to the Defenders' Shop in Dragonfable. I know this isn't Dragonfable, but a Valor Badge shop makes more sense in MQ- it would have a military-style sense of a rewards system for how well you fight, with a permanent shop that could be updated for new level cap increases and the like. In addition, there could be rare wars or holiday wars with the same idea, but with certain rewards that must be combined with the VB's to earn certain rewards (again, similar to the Defenders' Shop).

Second, the Valor Badge war merge shop could be implemented similar to the Ravenloss war in Dragonfable- the high cost of the "Warmonger" scythe set helped the war drive, which MQ has always struggled with. Very hard to obtain weapons with good effects or, better yet, effects and scalability, would motivate players to fight in MQ wars more. This has been thoroughly proven with Dragonfable's well-tested war system. The scalability could even work like the general SC mech theme- a certain few-level scalability for SC's, but just minus the scalability for non-SC's, ensuring that everyone gets a chance at the rewards, that they can unlock the extra features of the weapons later, and, scaling only a few levels, that no one would be at too much of a disadvantage without the scaling capability.

Third, and finally, there is a good way to make certain things MQ-unique, with a Rank system, tying in with the "military reward system" I mentioned earlier. Like the Aeris PvP Battlespire shops in Dragonfable, Mechquest could use the ranking system, but for wars. By fighting certain amounts of waves, or turning in Valor Badges if a counter system like DF's was not possible, a player would advance in rank, which would unlock more shops the higher the rank.
----These shops could have permanent weapons, but could be updated during or between wars, with the idea that the levels of the weapons themselves would not be affected by the rank, but more or less the quality of them- the damage and specials. In this way, everyone could GET the rewards, but they would be better the more you fought.
----In addition, the permanent status of the shops would be a good motivation for and reminder of the usefulness of a war, albeit with a little work. And since the shops would be permanent, the rank you gain would be permanent, could be displayed on a character page, and would enable easy access to new, powerful weapons the next time a shop got updated during a war.
----Lastly, to motivate dedicated players who have already achieved max ranks, there could be special war ranks and special shops to go with them, balancing out the war experience for everyone and ensuring that everyone always has something to work towards.

P.S.- Since I just remembered there being mention of the option to play as a Shadowscythe or as other factions, if the war merge shops were to be implemented, why not take a nod from the Ravenloss DF war and add different factions with different rewards and different possibilities for the outcome of the war? After all, people like to be given a storyline choice, which is hard to come by when everyone must play the hero. We could at least choose what type of hero we play as.

I apologize for how very, very long this is, but it kinda flowed when I was first typing it, and I didn't want to leave anything out.

P.S.- I'm also a big fan of showing more attention to the game balance thread. I still don't know the specials for some items that have been out for years, like the Jack Attack arms from Mogloween. There's no pedia entry on them, either.

EinhanderX01 -> RE: =MQ= Preservation of dedicated players. (6/19/2011 16:22:10)

As far as retaining players, one thing that could be done is actually look into their suggestions and take the viable bits and incorporate them into the game. While this may seem inconsequential, this does go a long way in acknowledging the players in general, by taking something they suggested and actually making it a permanent part of the game. It serves as both a small sense of accomplishment for the player, and as a motivator for other players to look over their suggestions and improve them, or add more. The Suggestions themselves is a nice reservoir of untapped ideas that the Staff can look into when they need inspiration for equipment or ideas.

In relation to available content, the Staff could always open up a Planet/Mission Suggestion thread/sub-forum for a limited time and let players contribute ideas that could be turned into permanent content, whether cycled in-and-out on a weekly basis (to keep it relatively fresh; even if it means resetting all progress the next time it returns) or used as a springboard for future areas that may either be storyline-related like Westion, or optional side-planets like Necryptos.

And then there's the overall story, which I have always commented on. We know how it ends, and what comes after it ends. What needs to be told and detailed is the desperate fight put up by the players and their allies in their attempt to stop the inevitable (though we know it ends in a bittersweet sort of way with the Reset, followed by 4995 years of rebuilding and the start of DF). This is ruined by the overt attempts at humor in some of the earlier zones, which felt forced in several places. To a similar extent, the plot is also ruined by the endless incompetence of the ShS, for all that they are a galaxy-wide superpower vs the tiny Loreon System and the few allied solar systems. It's been 4 or so years, and we've only met one new General of the ShS? Where's the enemy Commanders or the other Generals who have their own ideas of how to overpower the player and allies? Where's Valoth proving how merciless he is by punishing them and promoting a more competent leader? Where's the devastation and after-effects of prolonged war against the ShS? The last time we saw how dire the situation was is with Tibattleonia, Westion's Finale, and the animated short DFA (and DFA was the only AE project ever to show a bit of blood in any AE game; before ED was acquired).

I do not mean to offend anyone (and at the risk of sounding like a broken record), but the story had been too predictable, which is part of the reason some players have left. It doesn't help that Westion's Finale was somewhat subverted by two (or three, depending on who you ask) cases of Deus ex Machina (sudden recanting of previously established information w/o proper buildup, and the sudden removal of a serious threat for seemingly no apparent reason). As much as I like Korin as a neutral-chaotic deity serving to show that our character's lives could be played with at will (and potentially serving as an underlying theme of being unable to resist Fate), taking away the "Undead" Dragonoid-lich for extended tea-time was NOT the way to end things.

On a more general note is the Wars with the ShS. Sure, we've beaten them back time and again, but a bit of changed scenery showing the aftereffects wouldn't hurt, nor would the addition of meaningful dialogue besides "Congrats! We beat them back for now. Here's your rewards!". At least there was a notable attempt to subvert predictable endings, what with the recent ending of the GG and what happed with Xaria. Whether MQ will continue to add new (and possibly sudden and unexpected but solid) twists to throw off speculation as to what happens next remains to be seen.

Ultimately, to retain players, especially the older ones, solid content, story, accessibility, and re-playability are pretty much the necessary elements. Is MQ recovering after a severe lack of permanently available and enjoyable content? It's too early to say, but the Gameshow planet's quality and quantity shows promise, and so does the much-speculated overhaul.

Zanzibaarus -> RE: =MQ= Preservation of dedicated players. (6/19/2011 17:08:39)

If the "much-speculated overhaul" that you mentioned will change the problems in currency, I will be grateful.

Mechbuster1 -> RE: =MQ= Preservation of dedicated players. (6/20/2011 1:13:08)

Forget the reset, we CAN defeat the Shadowscythe.

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