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Thread: How to save dreamlords

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fredrik II View Post
    It is easy being sarcastic about the way we work, and you are of course to free to say we suck in marketing; I just disagree with your statement and wanted to let you know.
    The problem is mainly that it was completly invisible for the players. It definitly feels like pdox didn't do much at all. If they actually have, then I guess you can take this as an apology.

    Also I actually did not expect anyone from paradox to even read any of this thread, even less respond. So yeah - proved me wrong there, nice

    edit: Also I don't think Pdox sucks at marketing or anything. It's more of an "was there even any marketing for dl?" thingy.

    edit2: The timing of this decision also seems peculiar, considering that it felt like dl was currently regenerating its user base, with this era being the most active one since a long time. Including a steady pvp activity with acceptable waiting times in the DG. Atleast from what I've seen and heard, so it comes as quite a surprise to pull the plug now.
    Last edited by Nedom Wolven; 20-07-2011 at 15:55.

  2. #42
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    I wanted to stay out of this topic, but after considering many things, I'd like to say few things.

    First of all, Dreamlords are really worth saving, because its unique game on the market. I'd say this is its main strenght and main weakness. Dreamlords are not mainstream, they took its own way, and thats why they are so deep in our hearts. But on other hand, its the main reason why it doesnt draw so much attention from the regular gamers.

    Look at the game description - its called MMORTS. What I'd imagine behind this is huge battlefield, with Dreamlord as a leader of units, where many Dreamlords fight they way to glory. What you get is mostly single player game, where MMO is presented mainly by having chat with others. What regular gamer does? Says that its crap, and leaves. And if they get through this, finish their tutorial, move into Patria manager...and get lost. There are so many things to take care off, each of them having huge impact on the game later. Takes some experience to manage Patria properly, and I believe many players just ends at that point, when they see it. Yes, we do have Advisor. But this Advisor tells me to build more houses, because I have homeless followers. I'd love to, but I cant, laready have 184/184. Well, guess this number wont apply for newcomer, but it gives the point - it wont tell me to focus on welfare/warfare, as it will help me later in era, it wont tell me to put some followers into the hospital, otherwise I do risk losing my troops in PvE, and I could give more examples.

    Basically, the main points how to get the game alive, and keep it running are these:

    1/ get players in. Its not mainstream, but its still interesting game. Its not game like Starcraft, where masses of people are looking for every piece of information they can get about it. Its a game that needs to be advertised, you need to tell gamers - Dreamlords exists, come and try it. Welcome packs does miracles for that imo, but thats the other story

    2/ keep players in. That mostly gives 2 main posts:
    a) dont promise something players wont get. MMORTS is just too much teasing, and brings up disappointment. Online RTS would fit better, with mentioning the PaMa somewhere
    b) give proper tutorial to that thing. Tutorial every new player will have to pass, to get fully into the game. There is a lot of information available, but you know regular user - he just uses the thing, and looks for manual only when something goes wrong. Considering its a free game we are talking about, they mostly abandon it, as it would take too much of their effort to read everything. Not even mentioning some things are probably not even mentioned anywhere (like skill upgrading).
    Imagine there would be Patria tutorial that would go like this:
    Player logs in PaMa...gets welcome screen, and then Advisor starts to teach him how to use PaMa. First, he points on followers that are doing nothing, and advises to employ them. Describes the buildings you have, and tells you that warfare and welfare would be the best choices for start. Then he points on building, shows you the research, and again, advices that BLE upgrade would be one of the best available, etc. Then it points on homeless folowers, gives you some shards to build few houses, and then lets you to employ the new followers. Next could be the point you have free space on houses, and teaches you how to dissolve things to get followers (maybe some tribute to fast convert). Then it would go like "oops, we have no followers in hospital." explaining function of hospital, making you to fire few ppl, explaining depress and giving some tribute to undepress. etc etc, just a quick guide throught PaMa functions (dissolving, crafting, CV's, Antechamber, traits, building output, orbs/scrolls, etc).

    It sounds quite boring if you already know it, but it would help players to orientate in the game, and be able to evolve way quicker than just letting him find out on his own. If the game is well explained, player can give it a shot. If he dont have any idea what to do, he'll just leave, maybe mentioning to his friends that game is crappy and overcomplicated.

    and final point 3/ the PvE is repetitive and boring. You get reward for killing nightmares, and it becames boring quite fast. In RTS games, the diversity of missions should be way higher, than just "kill everything you can, or expect crappy rewards". We got new mission this era, Forest dwellers. I was quite excited and was wondering about it, to just find out, that its the same we already had - get a crate, kill all mobs. Even that there is just follower instead of crate, but its not moving, its not in danger..so it is basically a crate.

    Oh well...too much text, time to end this

    tl, dr: if Dreamlords are to be saved, they need to be changed to bring new players in, and keep them in.

  3. #43
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    First of all including the game as one of the Paradox published game is an advertisement in itself. Myself would not ever know this game without it appearing on Paradox's forum. Considering that the forum is frequented by great many people (this is niche market so even a few thousands is great many) I would consider it fair marketing.

    Second, they do read the forums. They post when a post is needed.

    I still feel, that from the game dynamics perspective this was too premature decision. It is something like the 3rd era. I would consider paying for it in some half a year or a year. Yes I as a causal gamer need that much time to decide if I want to commit money. I know I have bought games quicker, games that was not ever played (very few of the games below my avatar got game time from me, not their fault though).
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  4. #44
    Master of Orion delra's Avatar
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    How much below breaking even this game was? 25%? 50?
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  5. #45
    Just a few quick things...

    Quote Originally Posted by Fredrik II View Post
    If any of you want to take this game over you are free to contact me (email in sig) to find a good solution.
    I don't believe you own this game and by shutting it down hasn't Paradox effectively ended it's contract with Lockpick? Should it really be you who is contacted about it's survival or should that be directed to David Rosen?

    Quote Originally Posted by Keeks View Post
    We got new mission this era, Forest dwellers. I was quite excited and was wondering about it, to just find out, that its the same we already had - get a crate, kill all mobs. Even that there is just follower instead of crate, but its not moving, its not in danger..so it is basically a crate.
    Sorry man, but they told me I had to make a "basic" mission before I was allowed to make any cooler ones. I wish I could have shown you guys what I was working on, I can assure you that it was different than anything anyone had ever seen before in the game. Believe me, I don't like it anymore than you do, but the idea was that if enough missions were created in that area that "Forest Camp" would be removed completely. Also...it was my first mission Sorry to anyone who didn't want me to tell people that I made it, but I made it.

    Quote Originally Posted by delra View Post
    How much below breaking even this game was? 25%? 50?
    Probably not information any of us are privy to. That's a full analysis of the books you are asking for and unless you are an investor/shareholder of Paradox's (depending if they are privately or publicly held), they probably won't tell us either. The most expensive aspect was surely Lockpick's paychecks, servers are cheap. And I know plenty of people who bought the 100k Tribute package, so it's not like there was no cash flow. We'll probably never know exactly how short it fell, but I'd assume it was far off since they cut the cord as soon as the playerbase picked up. It must not have even been worth waiting on it was so low, but coming from my life experiences in work, cutting costs is easier and better than cutting the project, because eventually things can return to profitability.
    Talk all the trash you want, my response will always be the same: Check the ladders for this era and eras past.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by AMFS View Post
    Sorry man, but they told me I had to make a "basic" mission before I was allowed to make any cooler ones. I wish I could have shown you guys what I was working on, I can assure you that it was different than anything anyone had ever seen before in the game. Believe me, I don't like it anymore than you do, but the idea was that if enough missions were created in that area that "Forest Camp" would be removed completely. Also...it was my first mission Sorry to anyone who didn't want me to tell people that I made it, but I made it.
    Tbh I knew it was made by you (when I accused Strat it was his doing, he had to defend himself ), and I'm sorry if it seemed offensive against you. The point was that the entire PvE reward idea is just wrong. You get rewards for killed mobs, and that just doesnt allow enough creativity in mission. If you look at currect mission pool, its just like - kill all the mobs, kill more mobs as reinforcements, pick a crate(s) (but be sure to kill as many mobs as you can to get some reward for that), or kill all mobs and move to given spot on map....

  7. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by Keeks View Post
    Tbh I knew it was made by you (when I accused Strat it was his doing, he had to defend himself ), and I'm sorry if it seemed offensive against you. The point was that the entire PvE reward idea is just wrong. You get rewards for killed mobs, and that just doesnt allow enough creativity in mission. If you look at currect mission pool, its just like - kill all the mobs, kill more mobs as reinforcements, pick a crate(s) (but be sure to kill as many mobs as you can to get some reward for that), or kill all mobs and move to given spot on map....
    Oh no you didn't offend me at all. I agreed with you, lol. But also consider the limitations of the tools allowed. Believe me, I wanted to ask the players what they would like to see out of missions countless times just so I can for sure deliver on what everyone wanted.
    Talk all the trash you want, my response will always be the same: Check the ladders for this era and eras past.

  8. #48
    Master of Orion delra's Avatar
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    Maybe it'd be more interesting if mobs worked together, battles were TW style with your expedition fighting against a tight pack of monsters trying to attack you at once. Like in that mission in the nedom line at lvl 50 where you get a tank followed by a few mages charging the center a few times. This way missions you'd play like they were multiplayer games - with proper micro and equipment.

    Let's face it, dragging a single mob out of the pack to beat him up separately and repeating it until the map is clear is kinda lame. There was more AI in the first RTS I played in my whole life (Dune 2, can check when this was released). And the lack of it makes PvE repetitive and boring in the end.

    Speaking of map ideas, I always wanted a mission where there's a mage running from you spawning monsters behind himself to slow you down. And you have to chase him killing his spawns fast so you can get to him before he gets away with the portal at the end of the map.
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  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by delra View Post
    Maybe it'd be more interesting if mobs worked together, battles were TW style with your expedition fighting against a tight pack of monsters trying to attack you at once. Like in that mission in the nedom line at lvl 50 where you get a tank followed by a few mages charging the center a few times. This way missions you'd play like they were multiplayer games - with proper micro and equipment.
    People would reroll that. And that's another big problem: You don't only have to make the map interesting, but you also got to make it so that people don't just reroll it, because a different one is easier/gives better rewards/has all mobs spawned from the beginning.


    Quote Originally Posted by delra View Post
    Speaking of map ideas, I always wanted a mission where there's a mage running from you spawning monsters behind himself to slow you down. And you have to chase him killing his spawns fast so you can get to him before he gets away with the portal at the end of the map.
    While interesting, that scales horribly with +lvl increase and would result in rerolling most of the time. Probably 90%+ of the times its getting rerolled, if the mage escaping causes the mission to fail.

  10. #50
    Sorry for my absence in this thread, and i wished I paid closer attention to it as it didn't follow the path of the original poster's intent. I have treated myself to some much needed vacation...

    Please don't blame Paradox for this, we (Lockpick) and you (the players) owe them thanks and some props for picking up a game that didn't perform well enough in the past and obviously didn't perform up to par again and help us relaunch it with added things which we wouldn't have seen without them.
    They took a chance on the game even if it was built on an outdated engine and had a high learning curve and I am thankful for that.

    I browsed through a few replies after my post and given the posts here I felt that I should comment on a few things.
    The shutting down of the game is a no brainer given the performance and when I wrote "the Paradox decision is final" was just to make a point that I didn't want to give you a false idea of that they saw an option to continue. I support that decision in full, given only financial metrics I believe Paradox gave us more than a fair chance to prove the salability of the game. And given the numbers I also stated that we (Lockpick) don't either see any options to keep it running as a commercial product at this time.

    Someone mentioned that its not a marketing problem and that its a convertion problem and that is dead on. Don't hate on their marketing efforts, that is not the reason for the market failure, this is something we need to come to terms with. Seems like there are not enough hard core strategy geeks like myself out there, at least not for this type of strategy which is very different

    With this I'd like to revert back to the original intent and state a few facts:
    1) The game is not attracting enough players to support a commercial success that covers further development of the game
    2) There are costs in regards to maintaining the game and we have no one to cover them. This means the developers have to get other jobs and this means time for running this is little to none.
    3) I'll continue to think of and talk with some people about ideas to allow you to continue to play the game but there are currently no good solution

    I hope there will be a way for those who like Dreamlords to continue enjoying it, let's focus on making that happen instead of placing false blame

    best
    David

    PS
    Also Fredrik showing up in this thread shows comitment in my eyes, their view on letting the players know months a head shows how much they do care for their players and there is nothing shady going on here. If you stick around here you will see that they work with their community in just the same way as we at Lockpick always have tried to.

  11. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by David Rosén View Post
    I'll continue to think of and talk with some people about ideas to allow you to continue to play the game but there are currently no good solution
    We have much to discuss
    Talk all the trash you want, my response will always be the same: Check the ladders for this era and eras past.

  12. #52
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    The game is also using older engine, and yes, its nice thing - i mean, the patria things.. i never played such genre spin off before....The problem is also about the graphics too...

    E.g. if the interface would be similiar to steam one, e.g. Shift tab for patria to pop on, in some orange-black design for example ( made in photoshop np, to me it would take days to weeks, for lockpick proffessional, and granted his works on his website and such, it must be easy job to do ), some nice modern design, maybe with stats similiar to Call of Duty - Elite. Yes i mean it, i mean it dead serious... The design is just sexy, totally forgot about the game and fell in love.....
    Seems like there are not enough hard core strategy geeks like myself out there, at least not for this type of strategy which is very different
    David, dammit. This sentence cause me much more heart DPS then the whole close thing. You really did hurt me inside, because i realize its true. Also from this sentence it feels like it was really really your life-time baby... just...

    Back on topic after some deep breath-ing....

    Its not about no loving the hardcore style. Its about to keep up )

    If there would be some expansion, some characters, e.g. Melee, mage, archer... whatever, with a possibility to combime them. With some skill tree and very nice visuals. Totaly reword everything. Give all units more appearance. Bring in more units. Rather then tier one / two with three upgrades which gets boring, bring in many monster types, let us choose some skills for them too. God Damm man imagine it. Your own creatures eing able to spend skillpoints after getting enough experience during battles, being able to pick some skills. Not many, bu e.g. armor penetration, faster shooting. Minor passive things, with some Damage spells suported, along with, equipment.

    Totaly rework map. No map should stay, Make the map actually more searchable. Give us a fog of war so we dont see the enemies. This will give it a new strategical level. Add stuff like razed building, hills ( real hilld ) small forest which can be passed trough. Monsters attacking from any sides, script which would randomly do all of these.

    Then smth about equipment. The current things doesnt cut it, really.

    Look at Diablo II for example. Look at World of Warcraft. Even thouhg i hate to connect anything with it, theres hundreds upon hundreds items u can get from normal or even super rare bosses ( which shouldnt appear as random, but rather a challenge, nor should they block the path to be able to get to higher pve maps ). Make at least 5 zones. Each zone being different, with some dungeon zones, e.g. :

    PvE level 1-11 : Grassland Territory
    PvE level 12 : Dungeon entered from last 1-11 map, which refering to 1-11 zone would be dungeon undegrond with nice bosses, elite monsters, good use of co-op and nice rewards too.
    PvE level 12-21 : Sky Palace - some flying mobs, etc etc that fits with the name...
    PvE level 22 : Realm of Icarus ( From MU Online :P ) ...

    At the very end some lava thinge... I mean this would be awesome.

    Crafting should also be brought to another level. You should meet random NPC when entering one of the lands in the current zone, and get some quest, which would lead you to a dungeon, or basically say u have to clear next 3 lands to get to the one, where the quest can be completed.

    Tutorial should have female voice acting, Trust me it works. Explained how the mouse works, how to use ablities, maybe example of possible macros. Complex, not basically dark and not informative tutorial.



    Basically those are features that will grant this game another 5 years if well advertised, implemented and then being balanced. With some announcments of expansion e.g. 6 months after release, keep any eye how players progress and what theysugges, andmake expansion based on it.

    There a lot more feature to discuss but i am sooooooooooooo soooooooo sure that with those feature so many people will play it. I will damm play and work my ass out to advertise the hell out of the new Dreamlords, which might be given anothr facy Dreamlord name.

    The problem is - Theres not enough people to work on those features. Use of new engine costs lots money. Dreamlord in my opinion lost and missed the time when this should be done. It should have been discussed during end of 2008 with the new game seeing light at the beggining of 2010 with the graphics up to date. There is simply not enough developers willing to work on this game. This game is sadly dying out. Its too late, even though the developers may create another game. Maybe with those features, learn from misteakes, sadly make a game not only for hardcore player, that enjoyed this game hell a lot, but also more casual player, well, more focus on casual....


    I know that what i said is basicall whole new game, maybe even name change. But hey, i wil damm play it. And i am sure this will draw some much attention. Maybe i am dreaming Again i did enjoy the Dreamlords games. I really did, but after few months/years of doing the same, doing exactly the same all over again... it had to come... i stayed for long.. longer then other... but.. ) I dont give up on this game. Will keep and eye out on it.

    Shadowness

  13. #53
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    Facebook could be the answer.

    As someone posted earlier, if DL could be converted and moved over to Facebook that could be the way to save this game. Tribute could be bought with Facebook points (or not, whichever), so there could still be a revenue stream to the game. Look at the number of Facebook users and tell me that wouldn't be a huge pool of potential players to recruit. There is a game you can play/launch through Facebook called TirNua which seems the most comparable comparison graphics and long-term goals-wise. That's been available on Facebook for at least a few years. This may be tricky, but I bet it could be done!

  14. #54
    Master of Orion delra's Avatar
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    Facebook that could be the way to save this game
    If it's dumbed down...
    “Those people who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do.”

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    I try to try out any interesting looking F2P game so I like to think I'm at least someone connected to what games are out there. That said, I'd never even heard of Dreamlords until seeing a sale today on Gamersgate for the starter pack. The game looked really interesting. Too bad this mess with the Paradox servers is completely destroying any chance there was for the promotion to be effective in possibly building up the player base enough to keep it alive. I'd really have liked to try it.

    So what I'm saying is I agree that probably a major issue is that no one's ever heard of this game, but also no one's going to want to join with it dying in a month and they'll just get pissed off about not being able to log in in the first place.

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