Posts by freezy

    See and this is where I disagree. Unless the company considers its business model to be "Let people pay us so they can break our product", tweaking the Goldmark mechanics is absolutely not akin to changing your current business model completely. The better analogy to a store would be picking up a service or an item on customer request or serving a different brand of coffee. Nobody is asking the company to change its entire business model, step away from Goldmark or the ability to buy advantages in the game. It's like the fiftieth time I say that in this thread alone. This is why I find it so hard to understand that the Goldmark mechanic, for as far as I can tell, has not substantially been touched at all in over ten years.

    I remember the gold free alliance tournaments and those were an absolute spectacle to watch. I can't say I ever knew of gold free games with entry fees ever existing, probably because they were alliance only from what I gather. Else I would have been in them. But the Goldmark options as they stand right now are essentially the same of ten years ago while many, many changes have been made to the rest of the gameplay. I think this is for better or worse whichever way you look at it, as while surely some failures and losses were avoided, innovation and revenue was as well. And sure, after ten years of it running well enough, it's hard to provide any reasons to not get complacent. The whole mechanic just seems a little antiquated now, especially as the game's entire marketing has shifted generations with the new UI and the website overhaul, stuffing it into a profitable market. Its monetization is still very uninspired and 1.0 from 2010.

    And as a pretty meaningless side note - I mean, I'm happy for you that the game is in its best year ever apparently, but you would not phrase it that way from playing it, take my word for it. The target audience for a freemium service has become very young over the past few years and this game is clearly no exception. Again, I'm glad you're doing well, but the product lives off its players here and it's not doing better for that. And to be truthfully honest with you, as by the way I do appreciate the transparency of your reply, I'll be so transparent to express how I find this particular aspect of a business model to be extremely disagreeable. The GO's are to enforce a "family friendly" atmosphere among players, the chat even filters the word "bollocks" for crying out loud, like we're pandering to five year-olds here, yet you know as well as I do that the company has no issue whatsoever gauging these kids for money it deliberately attracts and you also know as well as I do that the reason it does this, like most other freemium platforms, is because these kids are inexperienced with spending money and will soak up microtransactions with absolutely no regard to the quality of the product they are recieving. This works so well because presenting them with a challenge and then providing the easiest solution will have them go for that in the majority of cases. The whole freemium market really is capitalism 2.0. This obviously isn't Bytro's fault at all but they also quite clearly do not think much of participating in squeezing very, very young customers for all they're worth because that's the easiest thing you can possibly do. I think it's despicable quite honestly and while the time for concerns like that has mostly passed, I don't think it gets any better when you consider what a family unfriendly topic this game is about.

    I'm aware that someone who gauges money out of children for a living makes it more than clear by doing so that he couldn't give less of a patootie what some random guy on the internet thinks about that. I'm also more than aware that now that Bytro has taken that road and decided to just throw its product into the thousands of other generic games that are in that particular market because it's easy to serve that market and it generates income with almost zero effort, all pretense that the quality of the product is of any particular meaning to the company is out the window, likely never to return. You can throw out random gameplay updates every few months as much as you want, this game is being handled hands-off by the company at this point. You found a way to make this thing a money printer on autopilot and for what it's worth, once again I'm glad you guys are getting payed, but when taking that road the company made it clear that it's not going for a special, high-quality product anymore that sets itself apart. Personally, I think an opportunity was blown there to have a product that's actually valued by your customers.

    Hey, just wanted to chime in again to clear up some misconceptions. Our game is actually not for children. Our Terms of Service clearly state that you have to be 16 years old to play this game. Of course children can disregard that and still register and still spend, but then it is up to the parents to monitor that and to not hand their children their credit cards. That's the same everywhere in the internet. We definitely do not market the game to children, we have clearly defined audiences our marketing campaigns are running for. The spending playerbase is also mature, with a rather high average age. So we are totally unreliant on any child spending in this game, and we also don't want them to.

    It is also not true that we don't care for quality. We care very much about it. But if you think that only a game without the usual free2play model can have any quality, well then we probably can't agree. I think we can aim for a quality game even within the current business model.

    I agree that the current monetization mechanics are quite antique, but as I explained it creates too much risk changing them for such a mature and well running product. If anything we would rather explore new monetization options with new games in the future, and perhaps apply those learnings afterwards into our older games. But we won't jeopardize the current success of S1914 with such experiments.

    True, we totally could have garnered experience in other models. But we did not have to. Our current numbers prove us in that regard. Could we have had more success by changing our model? That is highly speculative. It seems following your logic a company has to garner experience in all different disciplines possible? That is just not realistic. There are many companies out there that specialize in different models and businesses. There are successful triple A companies who only market premium 60$ games, who have no ide whatsoever how to market a free2play game. Would you also recommend them to branch out and gain experience marketing free2play games? There are also successful free2play companies out there who have no idea how to market premium games. Maybe all companies should at one point explore different models, but that also creates distractions and might hurt their core business due to a lack of focus. If a business is doing well in its segment it is usually fine for them to stay there and to refine their core business further. Except when the market shows a decline for that segment/model in general. But in our case our numbers suggest the contrary. After all neither model is better and success is possible everywhere. You write as if it is a bad thing that we are a free2play company and that it has to be avoided, but the market trend shows that the free2play segment is actually one of the fastest growing business models in gaming. So if we look at it from a business perspective we are positioned rather well. Of course there are other more modern free2play monetization mechanics that should be explored at some point, as I agreed that ours are quite old by now. But still we have other options to test them in the future without throwing them into a live product.

    Smaller changes to the detailed gameplay mechanics are usually too miniscule to affect KPIs, although they can of course. But they won't affect the business model much. After all we still remain a free2play grand strategy WW1. By the way we did very few gameplay changes in the recent past though, compared to for example CoW or S1, so in that respect S1914 is pretty stable.

    Indeed your views are rather idealist and from a player perspective I actually share them. But I can also understand the business realities and hope you can, too!

    I'm sorry, but I have a little problem with that? I was, apparently mistakenly under the impression that inciting a topic such as "Open discussion pertaining the monetization model" would indicate some form of openness in the company to implement different things. Afterall, that is not as uncommon for companies to do as you're leading us to believe here. If no businessman ever did something that had "a significant risk attached to" it, we'd live in a much different world right now. Changes can also be gameplay tested, they can be rolled back, I'm sure a lot of businesses actually envy you guys for that actual lack of risk and ability to fine-tune the way you make money. So while I never expected you to do anything, also seein as how the company has made it abundantly clear at almost every opportunity that the monetization system is for some reason entirely carved in stone, surely you could see how it wasn't all that far-fetched to think that you were actually considering implementing some feedback. I mean, you guys even asked for it. This is a bit of a slap in the face.

    What you guys did is ask for our concerns about something and then, after one and a half years and five pages of (mostly) constructive feedback on it you come back to basically tell us that if we ever thought you would actually care about those concerns we're almost idiots who clearly have no idea what the "economically sensible" thing is because that thing obviously makes our feedback worthless. And with your quote essentially just brought it all back to the old "Well it couldn't be free to play otherwise!" argument that literally everybody in this thread has acknowledged or at least clearly accepted in one way or another and tried to come up with ideas keeping it in mind. So alright, everything is the way it always was, but now I also feel taken for a fool.

    Sorry, couldn't let you get away with that. That wasn't a great way to treat your customers at all.

    Uhm the opening post did not mention that we currently plan to rework the business model. The idea of this thread was to have an avenue for players to voice their feedback and concerns regarding this topic. In the past players opened multiple threads about this topic each month, and it got to a point where many players got annoyed by that. So it was figured it would be better to consolidate all those threads into one thread (this one), where players can discuss this without fearing of getting banned. Me discussing this topic here with you is just a bonus but is not the main purpose of this thread. Of course a nice side effect of this thread is also that we get to hear more ideas from the community and we certainly take note of them. So I would never say that any middle finger was pointed here. Even if the proposed changes are not immediately considered, they still create value and are acknowledged.

    It is true that businesses should also take risks from time to time, but we are talking about a rather big risk here that most businesses would not explore. I mean imagine you run a successful store at the moment and some customers suggest you change your current store business model completely. Would you do that? Probably most store owners would never do that because changing a well running model for something else would be a move that risks their whole business. Maybe they would try it out with a new store to see how it goes, without risking their old store.

    I am also not ruling out that we will experiment with other business models in the future. This may be entirely possible, depending on the development of the business and the market. But when and how is totally not planned yet. It could be as an alternative model for an existing game or it could be an alternative model for a new game.

    We actually experimented a little bit into that direction in the past. At one point we had gold-free tournaments and we also had an alliance league where players could create gold-free rounds for a gold fee of 5000 (in the season afterwards 4000). That number would be btw too low as an average entry fee for normal game rounds, but we still ran with it as a test. But these experiments sadly did not turn out to be lucrative. It was especially surprising that such a low amount of players made use of the gold entry fee rounds, and it was also met with alot of controversy in the community. So we decided to spend our time rather on other aspects of the game.

    Right now there is no immediate plan to change the business model in S1914. S1914 currently has its best year since the inception 10 years ago. Meaning highest amount of active players and highest revenue. You see, since we still experience growth that many years after the release there is no reason for us to believe right now that the current model is not working in the current times. It would just be an unwise thing to risk the current growth of S1914 by experimenting with the established model right now. Of course this can change in the future and then it is of course our responsibility to act upon that. The final pages of this book have not been written yet.

    Btw. this is a pretty transparent response, I hope you appreciate that even if you don't like the answer.

    The fact that even the admins admit they dont want to change anything makes it seem like you truly dont care about your playerbase. I mean you shafted everybody by forcing us to play against elite AI by default, which was widely disliked, and still threw the playerbase the middle finger. I guess theres no reason why this issue should be different. I guess there truly are some things that will never change. And unfortunately, it seems Bytro is unwilling to change too.

    We care about the player base, but we also care about our business and the employees and their families. We have to have a business in order to offer a game and care for the player base. At this current point in time there just is no good business case for changing the current business model. The numbers pretty much show that, we crunched them alot and discussed all of the possible risks. But as I said in the reply above, this is not to say that it will always be this way. We are looking openly to the future and if the chance or need arises to do change, we will certainly explore that. Also keep in mind that we have more than 1 game, and we may have more in the future. It is also possible to explore alternatives in other games than S1914, and maybe consider the learnings from that in S1914 afterwards.

    Oh and yes we acknowledge that you can buy advantages (and potentially wins) in the game with gold, I mean that is pretty clear, no point in hiding that. But as shown by many experienced players you can still win without doing that. In fact I would argue that our games allow for those non-gold wins much more than other free2play games, as the benefit from active and skillful play is pretty high in our games. I mean we even have mechanics like "shoot and scoot" where an active player can eradicate many dollars of a spender on a whim. There are a lot of free2play games with much worse pay2win mechanics which are much bigger than our games, some food for thought.

    Right now High command is a really small chunk in our revenue. Even increasing the prices would not make up for the loss that would be created by offering gold free games to high command users.

    Significant risk is the reduction in our earnings.

    If you offer gold-free rounds for an entry fee or for high command the following risks come to my mind right now (there may be more):

    a) the players who spend a lot of money (which finances the game) could play these rounds and in turn spend a lot less money, which in turn lowers our earnings.

    b) It sends the wrong signal to the players who spend money and finance the game (e.g. giving them the impression that what they do is bad, pushing them away)

    c) There are a lot of free players who spend no gold at all and who would not accept any gold entry fee, so having only gold free rounds would turn away a big chunk of our playerbase, which creates activity and marketing problems.

    d) There are players who would be willing to spend gold but maybe the gold entry fee would be too high for them. In fact we would need to set the gold entry fee to a value which is the average spending per player per game round in order to not have any losses. I won't calculate definitive numbers right now but I estimate that gold value to have 5 digits, and not everyone would spend that. In turn we would lose that chunk of players as well, and as a consequence the fee would have to be even higher to account for that, which in turn drives even more people away and so on.

    e) we know very well how to market a free2play game, but marketing for a premium or subscription based game is entirely different. There is no guarantee that we could pull it off with current marketing experience, marketing prices etc.

    f) If you offer it as optional game mode you would split the player base between the gold free and the other players, which also creates activity and marketing problems. Since the potential player base who would be willing to pay upfront for no gold rounds is smaller and consists of more players who actually spend and pay in the game, in turn the entry fee has to be higher to account for the higher average spendings that would be lost otherwise.

    Of course there are also potential chances, which were mentioned in this thread a lot already. Certainly retention and word of mouth would be better. In the end we have to weigh both sides.

    Back to Money and Devs. I am on a good 6 core raid graphics PC with fibre connextion and since the mobile access became active i am experiencing a posativley ANNOYING FRAME LAG. Is this that the cause ? i hear from my coalition patrners that the mobile screen actions are in many cases too small to the point of being useless especially in a 500 game. Can Bytro not separate the mobile / PC versions to different games and servers ???? it may also seem that targets of opporunity wandering into range of ARTY and BG's are ignored, what is this a retrograde step or deliberate restriction.

    I am asking freezy for a response or is he too lazy, oops sorry too busy. probably unpaid anyhow.

    No, we won't separate desktop from mobile players. Many players actually play from both versions (desktop at home, mobile on the go), so we can't separate that. The cross-platform availability is also the reason why S1914 is still going strong. We rather want to improve the usability on mobile or desktop in problematic areas. Thanks for your feedback regarding that.

    Btw. I dont look into this thread all the time, so please don't be offended if there is no timely response from me. I also have to say that it is not even my job to discuss this with you here and I am pretty much doing that in my spare time. I am also not the person who makes the decision which business model to use, that is pretty much a decision for the whole company, I am just discussing this here with you to give you more insights (these should be more regarded as personal than official company statements). In the end this thread was meant as a hub for the community to discuss this topic openly among themselves (with bytro reading and acknowledging the discussion).

    That's not the kind of example I need though. I need specific numbers for the morale influencing factors on the province, and how they supposedly changed.

    Please list the morale influences of these provinces here (you can check them via the morale info button as you probably know).

    And then please write next to them how you think that these values are wrong and were different in the past.

    It is fine that you feel that something changed but in order to properly get to the root issue we need to know which morale factors specifically changed.

    Sorry that I am so specific about this but we get feedback all the time that players think that something is buggy or was changed in a recent patch and upon detailed examination it usually turns out that actually nothing has changed.

    Well my statement remains correct, in S1914 no change was made to morale calculations in recent time. We only changed the revolt calculations recently.

    Yes the troop spawning mechanism was changed like a year ago, but that has nothing to do with the morale calculations.

    There have been no adjustments made to morale development related to expansion in S1914 (only in S1). If there was any, it must date years back. If you think that is not true, then please list the morale influencing factors that you believe that changed, and what their value was previously. From what I can see we still have the same capital distance penalty and the same neighbouring penalties and the same war penalties since "forever". I am sure experienced players like Petruz, who has created graphs for all kinds of morale related things, can confirm this.

    And in the future can we please not mix up S1 discussions with S1914 discussions, and discuss the relevant topics in the correct sub forums? We can easily misinterpret eachother otherwise.

    May I remind you that this is a thread in the Supremacy 1 section and that morale in S1 and S1914 work differently? It was sadly mixed up a lot in this thread.

    We didnt change morale calculations in S1914 btw and also didnt do so in the last months or years. We only adjusted the revolt calculations and revolt settings recently.

    In S1 however a lot of morale settings have been changed.

    We didn't modify the fighting mechanics, they are the same now for years.

    If you attack with 30 infantry, then not all 30 Infantry deal full damage. An army with 30 Inf is actually rather close to an army of 15 Inf in terms of damage output. See "size factors" in the game manual.

    Those limits are bad for Bytro economically. In reality in this kind of game a huge portion of the money almost surely comes from isolated spending sprees not a steady stream of trickling revenue from a high number of sources. The money comes from a few torrential downpours that cause flooding not a daily light sprinkling. The limits you're suggesting would make the flood smaller while not increasing the small sources in any manner and put a big dent in the revenue. When two whales get into an ego war and start spending at an accelerated rate Bytro gets a pay day. The cap you're suggesting would not only lower the need for both players to spend more but would give them time to think things over and decided if $200 on GM was really going to give a good ROI for their entertainment dollar. Even when a single player is trying to buy a win, they typically spend more GM than the rest of the map combined. Bytro needs these bursts of spending to keep the lights on, this model would not survive if it tries to rely on smaller contributions from a much wider set of clients. That model only works for games with a much broader appeal and typically a much higher production value. People pay to play games like eve and WoW on a subscription basis because there's many millions of dollars poured into creating a much richer world and a nearly infinite number of things to do. This game can not hope to approximate that kin of immersive experience, nor should it. It's hard to create a good game with a f2p option but a premium model where the f2p players still have a chance. They've done a fairly decent job here and if occasionally you get steam rolled by a fat wallet remember that expenditure keeps the game available to everyone.

    I don't personally understand the joy in winning by spending more money but never lose sight of the fact that the game could not be f2p if that option was not available.

    Thanks for this post, because this sums it up quite nicely and explains why we are hesitant to make any change to the current business model. It is just a very risky endeavor for a matured game that is deep in its product cycle. We might experiment with different monetization methods in future games that garner a new player base, but it is unlikely that we will change the model for existing games.

    By the way, Supremacy 1914 currently has the highest amount of active players and the highest amount of revenues in its whole decade long lifetime. So we are not in any decline yet.

    You can of course continue to discuss alrernatives in this thread, but please don't expect us to change the current model of this game as long as it is working and as long as alternatives have a significant risk attached to them. That is just the economically sensible thing to do (and most other businesses would (or should) act in the same way.

    Maybe I'm dumb but I'm failing to see the difference between Aggressive and Offensive other than one no longer attacks neutrals. Please explain it to me like I'm an 8 year old. :)

    Yes that's the only difference, but it makes a big difference in practice. With aggressive you can prevent "soon to be enemies" from landing on your shores or going into your country, with "offensive" you can let your artilleries move along the frontline without the risk of triggering unwanted wars.

    What I am seeing and have been seeing since I joined a number of years ago is that bugs and upgrades are implemented but then this invokes NEW bugs coming into play. (Latest one being the loss of Day Change display) Also, be aware that the 3D graphics look cute but whatever you're using to generate them is very resource needy and has overall slowed down the performance and draw on the servers which trickles down to the clients (Users) causing frustration. As a computer graphics pioneer and specialist, I suggest you rethink some decisions like 'moving water' to save resource.

    Why I'm posting this and what I want to know since I've seen this pattern of fixing something and having it break something else has been ongoing for awhile now, is do you NOT have a Sandbox where you test and take note of what's broken BEFORE you release or invoke change? I understand that there will be bugs "appear" that won't happen until a special set of circumstances go into play but basics being ignored is just lazy coding.

    Hi, to answer some things:

    Graphics are not calculated on the server, they are all being rendered on the client side. Therefore the addition of the new graphics have not slowed down the server. For many people with newer hardware the game actually runs smoother in new graphics than the old graphics. This requires more computational resources on the user's end of course. Still much less resources than in typical client games. The new graphics should run fine also on hardware that is some years old.

    Yes we have test servers and QA before releasing things. There can never be 100% coverage though, and we try our best to minimize and fix bugs (many are fixed before release actually).

    Not one

    Simply not true btw. You can check the patchnotes since the release of the Revamp. We did alot of fixes and optimization for the WebGL version already and also stuff listed in this thread got improved. For example the missing army composition was improved by providing army labels that show more information on composition and which show the diplomatic relation more clearly, and later last year we brought back positioning dots & lines for all units on roads so you can always see where the exact position of a unit is. We also updated the positioning system to create less overlap in crowded areas, and we made units always facing the direction they are attacking for more clarity. There will be more bugfixes and improvements coming soon, for example scrolling the screen when moving the cursor close to the edge while in drag mode, or further improvements to the positioning system.

    We won't give up on the new version and keep improving it further. So I recommend you check it out from time to time to see if it is finally to your liking :)

    How exactly is better?

    You shouldn't compare lvl1 of units that unlock at different days of game.

    The Light Tank for example is balanced to be as strong & expensive as lvl2-3 of a Heavy Tank, because the Light Tank unlocks at a later day and also has less levels overall (LT: 4, HT: 5). Light Tank lvl1 also needs a higher building level for production. Level 2 heavy tank should already beat a level 1 Light Tank.

    The idea behind is that you can immediately switch your strategy to producing the new units without the need to first research lower and weaker levels of these units, because for these later units you basically skip 1-2 research levels.

    Comparing the maximum level of each unit is a better comparison for units of different days. Still units unlocked at later days are a tiny bit better on max level overall.

    Please also note that units which are good in both def and off have usually lower peaks. But if you add up both off and def values they are competitive.

    Yes, only killing elite AI units grant ranking points. Killing regular AI in older games does not grant ranking points.

    All of the 500 maps you are playing right now have normal AI enabled. Therefore it was regular AI that moved your troops, and the behaviour of regular AI did not change in years. Therefore I don't see any new issue here. You basically just had bad luck with the normal AI.

    Elite AI is only active in games that were created after the 3rd of September 2019. You can check if your game runs on elite AI by checking player profiles in your match. If a "popularity" value is listed in the profile, it uses Elite AI.

    Thanks for the feedback. Glad you like some aspects of the game. To clear up a few points:

    We do not market the game to a wrong audience because marketing on this game barely even started. We are not even marketing yet in english speaking countries. The game is still in a test phase, so you will have to live with rather empty maps for a while unfortunately, until we ramp up the marketing.

    Players who try the game and then abandon it are only abandoning the tutorial map as they don't even join a second map, and naturally we can't have a minimum rank on the tutorial map because new players need to be able to join it. Therefore the minimum rank is neither a problem nor a solution to the activity problem due to beginner dropouts. That said we have the Veterans Front map for experience players, which has a minimum rank. First we need more players to reach that rank though.

    Please regard this game as NEW game. Therefore we did not remove any features from this game at all, because what is in there is the base set of the game that was in it from the beginning. So it would be great if you wouldn't constantly spread your discontent that you have with CoW into these S1 forums as well, as it is off-topic.

    We are still in the process of developing alot of new features and content for S1, which will arrive in the coming weeks and months. Stay tuned.