Lack of players and advertising

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11 Dec 2004 21:14 #3923 by Kinder
I've started playing AL again after a while AWOL, and am pretty dismayed about the lack of players. I've asked around, and figured out most of the reasons but I think maybe it is better to start looking forward, than at the past.

With a world like Terrinor, we need to have players. Quite a few so an eight-hour log in won't be met with solo rping (as it currently seems to be). I'm sure there is no one here that would disagree with that?

So, promotion? Doesn't seem to have been any reviews on TopMudSites for a while, nor any advertisments on their boards. From what I've read, there are quite a few oppunitunities for advertisment in recent times - banner advertising, reviews of the game, I even recall another MUD who allows small, text ads from other MUDs to be advertised in their off game magazine.

I propose that this thread be a way to collect ways to advertise AL throughout the MUD community. It would be more effective to have a direct target of advertising than an odd post here and there, so building up an info-base first would do the game a lot more good in my opinion.

Of the top of my head, a few ways to advertise would be;

Voting on TopMudSites (and TheMudConnecter)
Writing reviews of AL on TopMudSites "
Posting player advertisments in TMS and TMC forums
Posting a banner at www.mudmall.com/

There are many more, these are just a few I picked up within a few minutes of looking.

NB. I know that there will be shouts of 'if we advertise we'll just get twinks!!' Partly that's true - though it maybe releated to how advertisments are worded. Any attempt at advertising on ANY MUD always brings in powergamers, it is inevitable. It also brings in roleplayers though, and those are the ones we seek. Even if the ratio is 10 twinks to every 2 roleplayers, that is still 2 much needed roleplayers to the game. Think about it.

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11 Dec 2004 23:52 #3924 by Gabocha
Hegin got me to start playing by telling me about it personally, and I believe that simply using word-of-mouth advertising would improve our ability to attract good RPers while leaving out twinks.

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14 Dec 2004 07:37 #3925 by Zaq
Word of mouth is a great great way to recruit players. It relies on knowing who you bring into the mud to ensure they are roleplayers instead of hack and slashers.. twinnks.. and such sorts of any combination.

It is however, simply not enough. With advertising there may come the undesirable but like any garden it must be tended to appropriately.

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14 Dec 2004 08:31 #3926 by Kinder

It is however, simply not enough. With advertising there may come the undesirable but like any garden it must be tended to appropriately.


This is, more or less, my thoughts excatly. I saw a comment on the [chat] channel a few days ago, something along the lines of 'We don't need to recruit from TMS, we need to recruit by word of mouth'. This is an arguement I have seen time and time again. Is it working? 'Active accounts in last day: 47' Doesn't seem so, no.

47 people in the last day. The most I have seen in the last week is 10 players on at once. 10 players. How many of these where in towns, able for these 'word of mouth' players to talk too? Let us exaggerate and a say 4. No doubt in the same area (won't mention which).

So what if this player logs on in another town? An empty town, full of vnps and npcs galore. Would that attract you to a MUD? At first maybe.. would be nice to get a little peace of mind to try out some commands, see how the game works etc. Would be doubtful you'd stray from the town though, so you'd work out the commands alone, hang around a little for some interaction (this is a RP game after all), and what would you get? Nothing. No RP, no interaction, no point to stay on the game. Wow, word of mouth works.. this way you only lose one player, compared to a few.

Let's look at the other way. AL get to a highish mid point on TMS and attracts a handful of players.. let's say 6. These get scattered around, a few in each of the main starting towns. Some are power gamers, some are roleplayers. With one town being a better town for people to meet (and don't know about you, but I attempt to spend at least a little time there just in case) I'd think at least 60% of these new player would go there. Even if they didn't meet another long term player, they'd meet someone. Maybe they'd be a twink, though really any interaction is better than none (I've played a lot of other muds with few players.. it isn't fun meeting no one).

I won't go on.. I'll already beating around the bush way too much. Getting to the point, word of mouth is a great way to attract other roleplayers, but in a game as vast as AL, it won't work alone. Unless you want the game to be one where you spend half your time struggling around to find other players, it'd be a good time to promote. If there are objections to this, please voice them. If not, then why are you not already doing it? If you cared about the game growing in anyway, you would. Creators are more unlikly to create for a dead world.

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14 Dec 2004 09:52 #3927 by Luc
Actually, creators are more likely to develop new content given a self-sufficient world; that is, one that does not require any creator assistance to keep running. There are several ways to create a self-sufficient world, but one of them is, in fact, by removing all the players. We tend to consider this a less-than-ideal solution for several reasons, including the lack of a qualified pool of players to recruit from, but it has been considered more or less seriously in the past; at least once, indeed, we have closed the MUD to players for a few days in order to avoid the complications an active playerbase causes.

Is it a good way to build a place to roleplay in? Clearly not. But I should caution you against making assumptions.

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15 Dec 2004 18:55 #3928 by Mark
I can't speak for others, but I would personally be more enthused about creating here if we had a thriving playerbase of around 200 people a day.

I once launched a TMS (Top Mud Sites) campaign that brought our playerbase from around 75 a day to around 130 a day when I was done.

All I did was to constantly remind people to vote on TMS, and generated some enthusiasm about beating out the other muds, (without putting them down) because we had a lot of superior features.  I offered to pay for an icon on TMS out of my own pocket if we managed to maintain a top 20 listing.  We achieved that goal and for 7 months AL had a nice icon on TMS.

Several people noticed that "Wow, there sure seem to be a lot more players around."

And again, I don't assume to speak for the creatorbase at large, but for me, I'm kind of bummed out and depressed that after 8 years of doing work here we have so few players that I can not enjoy the fruits of my labor.

Don't get me wrong, when I do play and meet up with a bunch of players, I have a great time!  I'm really impressed by what we have achieved...

But in my opinion, the attitudes have to change.  We will not achieve greatness out of criticising newbies and putting them down.  Whether this be newbie players, or newbie creators.  This should be a place where new, willing people are educated as to how to roleplay.  If we educate them ourselves, they won't pick up all kind of bad habits from other muds.

We were all new at some point.

And I don't leave myself out of this, I am at times a harsh person, and get impatient with all levels of people, whether it be the newest of new people to those in positions of adminship who should really know better about certain issues. And I guarantee you that there are a bunch of people who are impatient towards me.

I guess the fact of the matter is that oftentimes, the person doesn't know any better.  And I include myself in this.

And those that seek to criticize instead of educate don't know any better themselves.  Though perhaps after reading this post, hopefully now they do.

Xotl

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19 Dec 2004 07:57 #3929 by khaos
[glb]
If there were so many people once-upon-a-time, where are they now?

To touch upon what Xotl mentioned, newbie-friendliness.
Nothing is perfect, AL no exception (don't strike me down!) I don't feel that this is the most newbie-friendly environment.

When they first arrive they want to do something, interact with someone perhaps as a first choice. Upon not finding someone well they might want to make something. The learning curve is a bit steep regarding some things and they might get frustrated. A game is supposed to be enjoyable, for everyone of course.

When I first arrived a couple years ago (give or take) I had to learn by interacting with other, which I believe is what the creators want in the first place. If there are no others to learn from though that makes it harder to enjoy stuff. For even dedicated roleplayers enjoy reaping benefits.

Perhaps it's not merely a lack of enthusiasm on the part of the consistent players but a need to make a few changes to attract the serious roleplaying devotees.


-Khaos
[/glb]

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05 Jan 2005 16:42 #3930 by Boron
Well, if you are so inclined as to get more new players, may I input my word of advice?

One thing that drives new players away is the extremely long, and extremely boring, new player tutorial that you HAVE to sit through. New players get bored with waiting. They want to play, not go through a 45 minute tutorial. That nearly drove me away, but I stayed.

So if the creators, or a creator, could set it so you didn't have to go through newbie tutorial, that would probably encourage more people to play. I've been trying to spread the word, but quite frankly, all I've gotten was, "It was boring having to wait through the tutorial, so I just said screw it.". Can't change the mind of one who gets bored.

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06 Jan 2005 01:16 #3931 by Drake
Just my 2 cents here, but the newbie tutorial contains a lot of helpful information regarding the interactions and how things work in AL.
I would like to think that there is no irrelavent information contained therein, but I haven't looked at it in a while.
If you have any suggestions on things to pare out and/or items that should be added to it, I'm sure someone would appreciate finding those suggestions on the ideas board.

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06 Jan 2005 01:49 #3932 by Esponer

Just my 2 cents here, but the newbie tutorial contains a lot of helpful information regarding the interactions and how things work in AL.
I would like to think that there is no irrelavent information contained therein, but I haven't looked at it in a while.
If you have any suggestions on things to pare out and/or items that should be added to it, I'm sure someone would appreciate finding those suggestions on the ideas board.


I just brought about six or seven people into the game in the last week. Two were driven away immediately by the tutorial. Boron does have a point, really.

(For the record, one simply got bored with it; the other got killed in the tutorial, became stressed and upset, and quit thinking she was no good at MUDs.)

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