First Impressions


  • TF#1 - WHISPERER

    I just signed up here yesterday, or the day before.

    The game had been recommended by two members of my gaming clan, and since a public alpha test is coming around by the end of the week, I was interested to check it out for myself.

    My clanmates had posted regular links - not invitation links - because they wanted their endorsement to be genuine and honest - and not appear self-serving. I knew nothing about the recommendation scheme when I signed up.

    After creating my account, I was greeted by a text saying "LEVEL 0" in huge letters, and a list of rewards for higher levels shown underneath. The best rewards for the very high levels, were cosmetics lootboxes/lockboxes.

    Normally, at this point, I would have started to browse the website, and read up on a few topics that seemed of interest to me. But not this time. The game had successfully activated my FOMO. You don't have to be a math genius to realize, that the sooner you start collecting daily points, the better.

    I spent the next hour and half grinding points. Clicking through the website without reading anything, spamming a post in daily-post thread, pushing some shares on my rarely used facebook and twitter accounts.

    Then I had something else to do, and left. I still hadn't learned anything on the game. I was too busy grinding some shallow "daily" quests, which also were a marketing ploy to inflate facebook shares and tweets - so I would not miss out on some lootbox reward later on. But I still knew next to nothing about the game itself.

    At least that's what I thought at first. But then it came to me, that maybe I had learned way more about the game, than I imagined.
    Account management was pretty slick. The achievement and reward system appeared robust and updated instantly. Forums, news, newsletters - everything was fully integrated. This was convenient and highly polished. Obviously a fair amount of effort went into getting this invitation reward system right.

    So, did I learn anything then?
    Well obviously a lot of effort has been put into activating my FOMO, making me grind shallow "daily" quests for points by sharing on social media, so I might earn some random lootbox reward.

    What are the chances, that someone who uses this strategy masterfully and successfully for their website, will use the same strategy in their game?
    Pretty darn good I good reckon!

    Therefore I do have learned something about the game:
    .) FOMO based grind
    .) shallow repeating quests for arbitrary points
    .) no engagement with the actual content
    .) lootboxes and similar rewards to drive player behavior

    And that's actually a lot more than what I might have learned from actually reading some materials on the website - right?

    I know, it's only first impressions, and such might always be off or outright wrong. But it's definitely the first impressions I got here.



  • Wouldn't it be more accurate to say "Website First Impressions"? Its decent feedback about gamification and some of its drawbacks, but its not particularly useful about Fractured as an actual game...


  • TF#1 - WHISPERER

    You might have a point there - but for me personally it's the overall first impressions I got of the entire project as a whole - because the website is the first thing I get to see. (Can't try the game without signing up first).

    I'm not sure I'd label this stuff as "downsides of gamification".
    Gamification of forums typically does not have these specific downsides, if the rewards are for the forum - and not for some separate (but related) game - and if only actions are rewarded, which are actually desirable from a forum point of view.

    The dissonance in this case probably stems from the fact that the rewards are for the game - not for the forums, and the rewarded behavior may be desirable for marketing/popularity purposes - but is at least partially not very good for the forums themselves.

    If you reward voluntary forum-visitors for showing forum-beneficial behavior with benefits that improve their forum-experience, you can get great results. Because in this example the external reward and the intrinsic motivation would line up.

    But if you reward people who just want to play game for showing marketing-beneficial behavior (that's not entirely beneficial for the forums) with benefits that improve their game-experience... - then your external rewards kinda go against the intrinsic motivation... there's some sort of disconnect there.

    Not sure how if I'm able to get across what I'm trying to say... I'm trying my best...


  • TF#5 - LEGATE

    To be fair, to say that it's a reflection on the game is kind of unfair. It seems to be more of a reflection on your own mentality if you care to be self reflective. I know I for one read about the game before ever making an account. I am sure others did as well. So broad statements about "this is what it causes" are not really accurate. The fact you went so deep into FOMO about a product you had literally no info on, and no emotional investment in, is a more telling about you than the product itself. Additionally these forum elements were added at some time mid development. You can find that information in one of those news articles you clicked but didn't read 😂 It was something added to give people something to interact with while they waited. That to me seems fairly different than the gotcha you seem to be coloring it as.

    That hour and a half you say you spent only took my wife and I about 20 minutes each, and that was with actually reading some of the better posts. It might be that you're overestimating that time a bit. I also feel compelled to point out that there is literally only one daily quest in the whole system, so your complain about FOMO fueled daily quests is a bit disingenuous.

    While this post seems negative, it is not meant that way. More of a "hold up and think about this a minute" kind of thing. You might find your opinion changes a bit. Or not. Either way it's interesting to dig into.


  • TF#1 - WHISPERER

    I'm very sorry, but there has to be some sort of misunderstanding here.

    I feel my first post is a pretty faithful recounting of my personal experience and by no means a bashing of the game.

    Yes, so other people did read some stuff before signing up. Yes, so you and your wife singed up and did all the quests in 20 minutes - that's great. Yes, so that stuff was added halfway through development. Yes, so it feels fairly different to you. That's all fine.
    But I don't see how any of that is going to change my individual first impressions.

    I cannot retroactively change what my first impressions were... and as I wrote - they are only first impressions, they might be off, they might be wrong. I always have been and still am willing to form my actual opinion during the upcoming stress-test - you know while actually playing the game.

    Now to clarify that daily quest thing - I put quotes around "daily" on purpose. I am well aware, that only one quest actually is repeatable each day. But if I'm not mistaken, whenever a new news post is written, or a new newsletter is sent, you get another round of that read/share/tweet quest. So those do repeat too, albeit at irregular intervals. But even the non-repeatable quests do feel for me like a typical daily quest, in that they are just time-sink. Mindless filler sort of stuff.

    To clarify the 1:30 hours - that's the entire time-span. Signing up, confirming email, figuring out how the reward stuff actually works, going through the news multiple times, because I initially missed some, searching my avatar pick which I couldn't find on my hard drive for some reason, etc. - doing a bit of Discord chatting on the side. I wasn't hurrying, nor being efficient about the order in which I did things.

    And to clarify the "that's why it is" part - that was in my second post. A reply to the first answer, and just an attempt to come up with an explanation why I don't think "downsides of gamification" is the right way to put it. But that's entirely separate, not part of my first impressions or anything. And it's just an attempt at a theory... you can just ignore that second post, if you want.

    And I really don't think I said it's an reflection on the game. It's just a first impression. I said it seems likely that the game might employ similar strategies - and I still stand by that. This is expertly designed, and whoever that expert is, probably wasn't hired just for a little forum game alone.

    And about the FOMO - I didn't feel anxious or pressured or anything. Actually at that point in time I was rather bored, and happy about a little waste of time. It's just that - before I noticed it - it ended up taking a lot more time than I had expected. And then something unexpected came along and I had to cut short - at which point I thought "but I still had wanted to read about the game..."

    And to clarify on that "a product you knew nothing about and had no emotional investment in" - two of my clanmates had told me they'd be playing the stress-test, and that's when I made the commitment I'd be playing to. Yeah - I committed without knowing a thing about the game. But you know... the people you play with are more important than the game. And I simply trusted their judgment that the reward stuff was actually worth doing as well.

    No need to insinuate anything about my "mentality".


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    Hello hooby!

    LG
    Mata


  • TF#5 - LEGATE

    Hey and welcome


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    Welcome to fractured I personally love the foundation Iv backed a lot of games I'm waiting for release non of them I actively follow star citizen I dont use the forums I have spent 600 quid on it though, crowfall, I'm waiting on as well again dont use the forums at all

    Fractured foundation got me hooked and I follow it far more closely and give feedback more closely.

    I hope you enjoy your stay here and enjoy future tests


  • TF#1 - WHISPERER

    @Xzoviac
    You can't follow all the games - that's pretty normal. Some games you get more into the pre-release community, other games you follow so little you actually miss launch-day. It's exactly the same for me.

    If the foundation system was the reason why you choose to follow this game more closely than some other game - that's great. For me personally it's usually the community itself - the people I meet there - who make me stick around, not some reward system. But that's just me.

    The sad thing is - following the game more closely, and giving more and better feedback as you do, is not actually rewarded. You don't get any foundation points for that.

    This is what is rewarded with foundation points: https://forum.fracturedmmo.com/topic/274/daily-message-posting


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    @hooby You get rewarded by the weekly drawings for Forum activity, it's worth 1k foundation points 😉


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    @hooby said in First Impressions:

    @Xzoviac
    You can't follow all the games - that's pretty normal. Some games you get more into the pre-release community, other games you follow so little you actually miss launch-day. It's exactly the same for me.

    If the foundation system was the reason why you choose to follow this game more closely than some other game - that's great. For me personally it's usually the community itself - the people I meet there - who make me stick around, not some reward system. But that's just me.

    The sad thing is - following the game more closely, and giving more and better feedback as you do, is not actually rewarded. You don't get any foundation points for that.

    This is what is rewarded with foundation points: https://forum.fracturedmmo.com/topic/274/daily-message-posting

    Like shiv said, you get 1k foundation points a week , if you post interesting and useful information or start talks that have not happened before or generally have good discussions.

    I can see why you wouldn't like it, and its ok to just post in the spam and not really contribute.
    but i personally think if it makes even a few people stick around and post good ideas that wouldn't if it wasn't for the foundation, this makes it a useful add-on.

    I hope you get addicted to the forums and fractured game too and enjoy your stay


  • TF#1 - WHISPERER

    @Xzoviac said in First Impressions:

    I hope you get addicted to the forums

    I sure hope not.

    I'd much rather stay around voluntarily and unsolicited (because I actually enjoy it) - and not because I'm addicted and compulsively have to. 😛


  • TF#1 - WHISPERER

    Well, I digress.

    Let me try once more to get my original point across... it seems I've done a bad job of explaining myself so far...

    I'm hungry for a specific type of MMO. I call it "sandbox" - but you know, the term "sandbox" means many different things to many people. If you were to ask "what is a sandbox?" to random gamers right now, the most prominent answer would probably be "Grand Theft Auto" - because that's what millions of people associate with the term "sandbox".

    But when I say "sandbox" - what I think of are games like Ultima Online or Star Wars Galaxies. What differentiated those games from other MMOs in my eyes, is that you could be pretty much anyone. Of course you could be an adventurer, a combatant - but you could also be an Entertainer, or a Crafter, or a Trader or a Mayor, or a Barkeep - including roles that were not even specifically designed for by the developers. That level of freedom is what I associate with the term "sandbox".

    For me personally, a sandbox MMO is diametrically opposed to a theme-park MMO. A theme-park offers you "rides" which you can take - often repeatedly. And they tell you "go here - to that" - "at level X go there, do that" - etc. - and the core principle is, that you get rewarded for doing what the game tells you to do. Following the carrot on the stick is absolutely central to that type of play.

    What I am looking for, what I really want - is a true sandbox MMO. And to me that means, that no such carrots are waved in your face. That you are not "supposed" to this, or that - but that you have to find your own way. And whatever you choose to do does come with intrinsic rewards rather then extrinsic ones. To me, a sandbox is decidedly NOT about doing my daily quests and weekly quests, earning my points, getting my loot boxes. It's pretty much the exact opposite of that.

    What are the chances that Fractured is that kind of game that I'm looking for? I mean, aren't they already creating a community of people who like following those carrots? Why would they build such community features, when their game was for an entirely different target audience? Wouldn't it make a lot more sense, to have the game appeal to exactly the same crowd, that they are already attracting to this community?

    So, considering what I am looking for - do you really think that this game will deliver what I desire from a sandbox MMO? That more free-form play experience, that's totally not about reward schemes and repeatable quests and such?

    Because my first impressions say, this is highly unlikely to be exactly that sort of game, which I am looking for...

    I hope I managed to get my point across this time. 😑


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    I believe it will be a true sandbox like you want. Maybe with some modernisation but i'm pretty sure you will get the freedom you need. I don't see where the devs create a community which follows carotts. The Foundation thing is just a nice thing to have while we wait and a pretty nice way to let the word of fractured spread over the internet. It has nothing to do with ingame mechanics. 🙂


  • TF#1 - WHISPERER

    @Shivashanti said in First Impressions:

    I believe it will be a true sandbox like you want. Maybe with some modernisation but i'm pretty sure you will get the freedom you need. I don't see where the devs create a community which follows carotts. The Foundation thing is just a nice thing to have while we wait and a pretty nice way to let the word of fractured spread over the internet. It has nothing to do with ingame mechanics. 🙂

    I wish I could believe that too...

    Can you throw me a link or point me to something that would support such a belief?


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    @hooby said in First Impressions:

    @Shivashanti said in First Impressions:

    I believe it will be a true sandbox like you want. Maybe with some modernisation but i'm pretty sure you will get the freedom you need. I don't see where the devs create a community which follows carotts. The Foundation thing is just a nice thing to have while we wait and a pretty nice way to let the word of fractured spread over the internet. It has nothing to do with ingame mechanics. 🙂

    I wish I could believe that too...

    Can you throw me a link or point me to something that would support such a belief?

    start with page 1 of news and work Forwards

    https://fracturedmmo.com/news/

    this also has lots of info
    https://forum.fracturedmmo.com/topic/1612/a-compilation-of-everything-we-know-about-fractured/75

    i know its a lot of reading but if you are interested, hopefully this will bring to light the information you want to find


  • TF#1 - WHISPERER


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    Dont you have too read the actual news about the game before you can share things to facebook and twitter or did you just scroll too the bottom


  • TF#1 - WHISPERER

    @dj35
    The answer to that question can be found in my very first post above.

    I did go back later, and read the more interesting ones - especially the design journals. I skipped the stuff an Alpha tests, Kickstarter campaigns and the store. The articles tell you some things about the game world, races, the character progression system, combat and other game mechanics. But all of those things - combat, character progression, races, story etc. - could equally be part of a themepark or a sandbox, and don't tell you much about what strategies the released game will employ to drive player retention, engagement and conversion rates.

    The Foundation on the other hand is pretty much a textbook example of a specific such strategy.


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