Tweaking the challenge schedule

theblueboxthebluebox Member Posts: 807
edited March 2016 in Suggestions & Ideas
As evidenced by two user polls in the general discussion thread, 2 challenges a week is widely unpopular. The chief complaints are that 2 a week damages guild participation, those that wish to remain competitve in the challenges have little time to play the rest of the game, the reward targets were moved too high, and we miss the day off. That said, the addition of the new maps and humans are changes most players like.

It is pretty clear that 2 challenges are here to stay. So, a few minor changes may help improve participation and user satisfaction.

INSERT EDIT: THERE ARE MANY threads dedicated to returning to the 1 challenge a week system. THIS THREAD IS NOT FOR THAT PURPOSE. This thread is for offering suggestions to improve the 2 challenge system. Since it looks like we are going to be stuck with it, we might as well offer constructive suggestions for improving it. If you want to demand a return to 1 challenge a week, please go find one of the many threads that already exist for that purpose to comment on. DO NOT HIJACK or derail this thread. (end edit)

1) Extend the down time between challenges to 12 hours and run each for 72 hours. This would effectively give players 1 day off a week. Run Monday 9a (US Eastern) - Thursday 9a and Thursday 9p-Sunday 9p. That also allows a 12 hour window twice a week for maintenance breaks and updates without interrupting the challenges. We recognize that starting a challenge at 9p means someone will have to be in the office late. Many areas of the tech field have people on call if servers go down or issues arise outside of nornal business hours. I am confident NG can work out a fair means of having someone available at 9p Thursday launch time.

2) Since human enemies are more difficult to kill than Walkers, it makes sense to only run New Maps with humans on the weekends. Currently, the 3 day challenge runs Monday 10a to Thursday 9a. These are weekdays when players have work, school, and other life responsibilities that limit their time to play. When we encounter human enemies during this challenge, many just don't participate due to the higher difficulty. The devs spent far too much time building these maps to have people ignore them due to poor timing. Run the harder challenges on the weekends when more players have free time to enjoy the game.

3) Put the reward levels back where they were when there was 1 challenge a week. Scaling up the difficulty made those goals harder to attain. Increasing the star count as well created animosity towards NG in the player base as it was widely viewed as targeted to discourage low and mid-level players and force them to spend money to level up faster. People that spend frugally on games tend to leave games when they feel pressured into spending more money by game developers. Gaming companies want to attract new players and retain existing ones. Changes that create animosity in the player base has the opposite effect.
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Comments

  • SgtSalamiSgtSalami Member Posts: 578
    I dunno. I really want a full day between challenges. The reward levels really need to be rolled back. I find the intent to pressure players to buy gold for gas, etc. very annoying.

    I really want it to be changed back to one a week.
  • SleestakSleestak Member Posts: 38
    Or...if we are stuck with 2 challenges a week, find a way to speed them up by either:

    A) reducing gas prices across the board for each mission so that we can play more each time we are on before running out of gas and lower the time before we can replay a mission

    B) scrap the first 3 rounds of each challenge so that we can get as far as we can get much faster and lower the thresholds for rewards

    Option B Would be my preference as even at low levels, the first 3 rounds are stupidly easy. As the difficulty would increase much faster, many players would be able to max out their stars in a day or two leaving time for other activities. For higher level players, I can tell you that the first 5-6 rounds are simple and become monotonous. The race to 100 stars is not challenging and is limited only by time and gas. There is often no need to even worry about walkers...let them hit you....they won't hurt you. With less stars available, players might be more willing to try very hard levels just to get 1 more star
  • theblueboxthebluebox Member Posts: 807
    Sleestak said:

    Or...if we are stuck with 2 challenges a week, find a way to speed them up by either:

    A) reducing gas prices across the board for each mission so that we can play more each time we are on before running out of gas and lower the time before we can replay a mission

    B) scrap the first 3 rounds of each challenge so that we can get as far as we can get much faster and lower the thresholds for rewards

    Option B Would be my preference as even at low levels, the first 3 rounds are stupidly easy. As the difficulty would increase much faster, many players would be able to max out their stars in a day or two leaving time for other activities. For higher level players, I can tell you that the first 5-6 rounds are simple and become monotonous. The race to 100 stars is not challenging and is limited only by time and gas. There is often no need to even worry about walkers...let them hit you....they won't hurt you. With less stars available, players might be more willing to try very hard levels just to get 1 more star

    They did reduce gas prices when they changed to 2 challenges. The first 3 levels cost the same as they did. The 4th level is down 1 gas. By the time you reach the last level (if you are that strong), they are 4 gas less than they used to be.

    IF they scrap the first 3 rounds, that is 54 stars we can't get. Considering people that used to get 210 stars are now stopping around 140, that would mean they would only be getting around 90 stars and completely missing 2 rewards. They would have to scale the reward requirements WAY back to compensate for those 54 stars. Also, those first 3 levels exist primarily for new players. I started playing after my husband did, so the day I started playing, I joined his guild. My third day playing saw the start of my first challenge. My survivors were all level 4 and 5 by then. I needed the level 3, 5, and 6 challenges in order to get 43 stars and 3 tiers of rewards (under the new system, I would have gotten about 38 stars and only 2 tiers of rewards). We all have to start somewhere, so I personally can tolerate the easy rounds to give new comers a chance at some rewards.
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    blkjack0o
  • blkjack0oblkjack0o Member Posts: 192
    I prefer one a week... My whole guild does. 2 should not be here to stay. Adjustments are NEEDED.
    1. Real-life happens, and with two quick challenges if someone is MIA for a couple days (broken phone, funeral, trip, work) the whole guild suffers for it.
    2. No downtime. It used to be a fun game, now it's more like work. You have to stay on top of it all the time to stay competitive, it can't be casual, which is what made it fun.
    3. Guild chat has completely changed from enjoying to complaining about the challenge, so game morale is waaaay down, regardless of new good content and expanding the game. We've lost 4 people recently who were long-time players. "I just don't like playing anymore - XYZ left guild"
    4. Many guilds liked a break to get stats, now to get stats it's a pain in the *cough* to figure out if you aren't on at the specific short time between challenges.
    5. 80+% don't want 2 challenges a week, this was known from the 1st poll, 2nd poll reinforced, NG just listen to your users!
    6. The jump in levels makes it near impossible to get a good legendary drop in upper level challenges. I agree the first few challenges are pointless, and those could be skipped or increased faster, but the upper levels shouldn't do this. Half of the challenge reward was getting the chance at legendaries at or above your level for exceeding your level; the new style gives much less opportunity, and increases the feeling that the challenge has little reward for trying to exceed your goals (outside of bragging rights)
    7. The 2 week tally challenge #'s are all messed up
    8. Maintenance and bugs give even less time for these short challenges.
    9. People were complaining about being able to finish the challenge quick and having little to do the remainder of the week. These were the small % of players maxed out on everything... The masses need to grind still, they have other things to play in this game when they've maxed out their challenge stars to be able to get better in the game, and you've added new content anyway to give those few whiners who no longer need to grind something to do with their ADHD moments.
    SgtSalami
  • theblueboxthebluebox Member Posts: 807
    @blkjack0o I would much prefer 1 challenge a week. It doesn't look like NG is going to go that way. There are MANY threads addressing the general desire to return to 1 challenge. I have posted in many of them. I have also gotten to a place where I realize NG is not likely to do that. So, I made this thread to offer improvements to the 2 challenge system to make them more attractive to encourage people to participate. If we are going to be stuck with 2 a week, we might as well offer ideas to improve them.
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  • blkjack0oblkjack0o Member Posts: 192



    They did reduce gas prices when they changed to 2 challenges. The first 3 levels cost the same as they did. The 4th level is down 1 gas. By the time you reach the last level (if you are that strong), they are 4 gas less than they used to be.

    IF they scrap the first 3 rounds, that is 54 stars we can't get. Considering people that used to get 210 stars are now stopping around 140, that would mean they would only be getting around 90 stars and completely missing 2 rewards. They would have to scale the reward requirements WAY back to compensate for those 54 stars. Also, those first 3 levels exist primarily for new players. I started playing after my husband did, so the day I started playing, I joined his guild. My third day playing saw the start of my first challenge. My survivors were all level 4 and 5 by then. I needed the level 3, 5, and 6 challenges in order to get 43 stars and 3 tiers of rewards (under the new system, I would have gotten about 38 stars and only 2 tiers of rewards). We all have to start somewhere, so I personally can tolerate the easy rounds to give new comers a chance at some rewards.

    For new players, doing the story line and deadly explorations is much more rewarding than the challenge, so although it may be fun for a new player to participate, it's not needed and slows your progress. I might even suggest it should be something that should be locked game content until something like LvL 15, and give newbies something to look forward to participating in.
  • theblueboxthebluebox Member Posts: 807
    blkjack0o said:



    For new players, doing the story line and deadly explorations is much more rewarding than the challenge, so although it may be fun for a new player to participate, it's not needed and slows your progress. I might even suggest it should be something that should be locked game content until something like LvL 15, and give newbies something to look forward to participating in.

    I disagree. The rewards I got my first week with the guild were pretty good and very helpful. Also, with swapping to the TG rewards, the first 2 rounds can yield 36 stars. With rewards at 12 and 30 stars, that's 2000 TG. Bank them for 2 challenges, and that's an Epic crate. I didn't get my first bit of Epic gear until I had been playing for 3 weeks. I would have LOVED to get a piece of Epic my first week.
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  • blkjack0oblkjack0o Member Posts: 192

    blkjack0o said:



    For new players, doing the story line and deadly explorations is much more rewarding than the challenge, so although it may be fun for a new player to participate, it's not needed and slows your progress. I might even suggest it should be something that should be locked game content until something like LvL 15, and give newbies something to look forward to participating in.

    I disagree. The rewards I got my first week with the guild were pretty good and very helpful. Also, with swapping to the TG rewards, the first 2 rounds can yield 36 stars. With rewards at 12 and 30 stars, that's 2000 TG. Bank them for 2 challenges, and that's an Epic crate. I didn't get my first bit of Epic gear until I had been playing for 3 weeks. I would have LOVED to get a piece of Epic my first week.
    I'm going to retract what I said because it was old thinking, prior to outposts it didn't help new players, but you're right, it does now.
  • SleestakSleestak Member Posts: 38
    I agree that they should scale down the challenge to one a week or we will see more and more people drop from the game.....if they are set on two challenges per week, I would rather see them skip the first two or three entire rounds, and scale back the reward thresholds.

    That might be a good suggestion even if they go to one a week. As it stands now, it doesn't really matter if you go all out on a challenge as hard as you possibly can, injuring all your players if the difference between doing that and comfortably getting all the stars you can without killing yourself is a difference between getting 172 and 174 stars......but the difference between getting 38 vs 40 stars might be huge.
  • theblueboxthebluebox Member Posts: 807
    For the most part, 180 star reward is out of reach, so I stop when I get to 140 stars. I will injure all my survivors if I get 130 stars just to try for the last 10. On the current challenge, I hit 142 stars and stopped. I was still getting 2 stars. If my guild gets close to a reward and needs me to go milk those last stars, I will. It just doesn't seem worth it otherwise.
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  • theblueboxthebluebox Member Posts: 807
    @Teeceezy

    As a Mod, I know you cannot really take a stance as to if this idea will be considered or not. I know you have to be guarded with what you do and do not say.

    Can you tell me if the ideas have enough merit to take to the devs, or should I work on them a bit more?
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  • theblueboxthebluebox Member Posts: 807
    edited March 2016
    Setting this up as a merge thread
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