Posts by freezy

    I have to say that the Coke analogy doesn't apply here. The Coca Cola company probably immediately saw in their market data how worse the adoption rates and revenues of the new coke were, and they had to react to them. The situation is exactly the opposite to S1914. S1914's main metrics all improved since we launched the revamp mode and made it the default 2 years ago. Before we launched the revamp mode there were even talks in the company to let S1914 slowly fade out because it was performing worse and worse and didn't meet today's standards anymore. But we decided to give it one more big shot and thus the Revamp was born. The metrics improved after we launched it. If we hadn't done that the game would have died already. Would you have prefered that? I know not everyone is a fan of the new graphics but perhaps it is better than no game at all, right? I can tell you that nowadays with the Revamp S1914 has the best metrics since its inception a decade ago. Most amount of active players, highest revenues. So it was all worth it. And this is not only coming from new users who leave the game after some days, I really have to disagree with the notion that this is our new playerbase. We still have alot of die-hard players and that is backed by metrics, the average account age is actually quite old for our user base. Plus, as I told earlier in this thread, since we deactivated the legacy mode last week we barely see any change in S1914's metrics.

    So yeah, while Coca Cola saw in their data that they made the wrong move and had to react, we are not seeing this in our data - to the contrary. We are making the game ready for the future and our data supports that. We have to constantly improve to stay relevant in today's gaming market. As I said earlier, we also try to incorporate your feedback where we can and you can indeed expect some improvements in the next weeks. I hope you hang in there and continue to provide us with feedback.

    I also want to chime in to say several improvements have been taskified already and some are already being worked on. They will of course not make the game look like legacy (it really wont come back), but they will adress some of the usability concerns raised here, especially in terms of readability of the map and also usability of certain interfaces. We cannot adress everything as often times opinions also differ, but we agree that the current version is not perfect and we will continue working on it. Although you should'nt expect a drastic change in visuals, you will certainly like some of the improvements that we plan to do. Due to how our release schedule works and how booked the upcoming weeks already are for our Devs it is likely though that the changes will take several weeks to be released to the live version of the game. I hope you can hang in there!


    But improvements will definitely be happening, it's not just an empty phrase. You can take a look at Call of War, we actually removed the old view mode there (called Canvas) as well over a month ago. The initial reaction to that was similar to here, but we collected a lot of feedback and made changes and now the feedback got much better already. How things turned out in CoW was a good proof of concept. I hope that we can achieve the same here.


    I can also tell you that turning off the old view modes in CoW and S1914 has so far barely been noticable in the games' KPIs (metrics), so you don't need to worry that the games are going down due to these changes. Far from it, we are making them ready for the future! And you and your feedback will certainly play a part in this, so a big thanks to everyone for their help and loyalty over all these years.


    Keep the feedback coming!

    All your examples were brought forth with the team. As Alkyonor said already in this thread, the team is looking into possible improvements. Those won't happen over night, so please dont expect something immediately.


    The good thing is that all problems presented in this thread can be figured out by clicking on the respective provinces or units, which then shows you the answer. But it would indeed be better if its also clear already on the map itself.

    Does it also deter war declarations by AI though? That would line up with my observations.




    And that's quite huge. Since when is that the case and was this ever publicised? Also, how does that make sense? Also, why? This means that declaring war is completely irrelevant towards the game mechanics now?

    Since November 2019, see related news (you can still scroll down in the news list). In that release we also tweaked the other factors and introduced new popularity calculations. Intention was to remove pitfalls for newer players. There was no real gameplay benefit of having a nation get less of a penalty if they declare war 1 second before attacking (there never was a less negative effect for waiting X hours to attack after declaring war, it was only a check if war was declared at all). We didn't want to penalize players for missing out on it.


    AIs are currently more likely to declare war on smaller nations and less likely to declare war on bigger nations. We will change that so that AI is more friendly towards small nations while being more neutral towards big nations when it comes to war declarations.


    Yeah from what I heard that was only a factor for the "old" AI, Elite AI supposedly doesn't care so much, but freezy's post up there seems to indicate otherwise. Then again, surprisingly enough he is referring to his "testing" as opposed to a "Game Designer" actually just, you know, knowing these things? Who designed that mechanic if not a "Game Designer"?


    It would sure be awesome if there was some documentation about this and we wouldn't have to be stabbing in the dark and taking people's explanations on faith like this is some sort of amateur open source project we're playing here. Hell, even those usually have their features documented much, much better than this one.

    I know you like antagonizing me/Bytro quite a bit lately, but its fine. I am not the only game designer at bytro though, so I am / was not the only one who designs / designed all features or mechanics. I am also currently not assigned to do GameDesign on S1914 as I am focussing on CoW, I am basically answering here in my free time to help you guys out with answers.

    How Elite AI behaves was designed long before I even started at Bytro. Still I know this fact that they give shared map when the relations are good, I just wanted to tell you that I also proved it in practice and that it's not just a theory.


    The factors with which you can influence your popularity I listed in my post above.


    Sharing map with AI indeed has a bigger impact than sharing Right of Way with them.


    Alot of the game has not been documented somewhere since it was started 10 years ago and back then the standards on documentation have been much lower. This would not happen nowadays anymore of course since we are documenting every new feature. But alot of info on old fine grained mechanics are only buried in old codelines, with a lot of dev investigation required to extract their meaning and all edge cases where the mechanic intertwines with other mechanics. But even if we spent a huge amount of time to document all of that, we would not share all 100% of that with the community. That is also not common for other games. Usually there is a game manual (which we also have) were the most important aspects are listed, while more detailed info is shared within community guides and forums (which we also have), with room for players to figure stuff out on their own.

    It is possible that Elite AI grants shared map to players (not via a coalition or player inactivity etc.). It is not a bug. Witnessed that alot of times myself in tests. Although you probably have to play rather peacefully for that to occur.


    Trading with AIs also sloightly increases popularity with them.

    Giving right of way or shared map to an AI makes this particular AI like you a bit more.


    Declaring war on nations which a certain AI hates does indeed improve your popularity with this particular AI. Granting Right of Way or Shared map to a nation a certain AI hates does indeed decreased your popularity with this particular AI. Likewise it improves your standing with a certain AI when you grant right of way or shared map to a nation it likes, while it worsens your popularity with it if you declare war on a nation it likes.


    Having a big army while you are unpopular makes you more unpopular (perceived as bigger threat).


    Getting war declared onto you by someone does increase your popularity (AI has some sympathy).


    Doing a surprise attack one someone has no additional popularity penalty anymore, it is the same as declaring war normally.

    Sort of like Coke and Coke Classic. Good idea and perhaps you (Bytro) may want to check into the marketing story behind that before immediately saying NO. When Coke changed their formula and then brought back the old one it has become a legend about whether it was their biggest blunder or their biggest brilliant idea now.


    Well of COURSE with the mobile version the player base will grow! The numbers you SHOULD be looking at is how many players are STAYING with Bytro if they have to play it solely on mobile. Legacy mode on mobile was a nightmare but with a little time devoted to it by Bytro it would have worked and been easy for ANYONE with a mobile device to run efficiently instead of now taking a chance on running a game turning your phone into a brick.


    OH, and one more little question. Now that you've made your decision will you be refunding unused Goldmarks to the people closing their accounts at the end of the year?

    From what I know the numbers of the new coke were not as good as the numbers of the old coke. So from that it is pretty clear why the numbers went up again when they brought back the classic coke.

    In our example it is the other way around. The numbers of the new version are much better than the numbers of the old version. Therefore there is no reason to believe why bringing back the old version will give us any uplift.

    Making a new game out of it would also not solve anything for us, because it would even increase the maintenance costs required compared to now. We rather use the freed up resource to improve the version which has proven to work better.


    Of course we are looking into all relevant numbers. I am not sharing the whole analysis with you here, just the key points. I didnt meant to say that the player numbers only grew because of mobile. They grew because of mobile AND the revamp. Both events showed an uplift over the old version. And both combined work very well together.

    Fact is the revamp version is able to attract and keep new players better than the legacy version, on both desktop and mobile. Fact is also that nowadays the majority of S1914 players play the game on mobile (and most of them exclusively), and nearly all of them play the game exclusively in revamp. The fraction of mobile players who play the game on legacy is even tinier than the number of desktop players who play the game on legacy. So the majority of S1914 players right now is able to play the game on mobile in revamp mode very well. I know that the new version is not perfect in terms of usability and performance and I already said multiple times now that we will keep improving it.


    I can't comment on any customer support practices. Please reach out to our customer support directly in this regard.


    Sorry, but I think I acknowledged pretty much every single point you raise there in this thread before? I even specifically acknowledged, multiple times, that I agree that an overhaul was due of some sort. This is not the issue that I have. The issue that I have is that from all the input from actual customers of both products, the opinion has been unequivocally given that Revamp presents several major steps backwards compared to Legacy. Some of which are very glaring and some of which are very hard to get behind.

    I want to keep playing and enrichen you guys by 5 bucks every 25 days for whatever it's worth but Supremacy in Revamp is very hardly worth that to me because it just got worse. This is the thing that your numbers do not show you. That you haven't "evolved" the game as much as made it less attractive, which isn't apparent if you only look at the number of new players brought in especially by the mobile market. I mean, come on, do you realize how many players a glorified slot machine for children like Coin Master has on that market? Do you want to be the kind of company that puts its name under a product like that? Under its bank account probably, yeah. But that can't really be the direction that the standards of Bytro are headed as well? Mobile players will make any garbage look amazing on paper if you only count their numbers. I fear you guys are getting distracted by those numbers from the feedback of players who get to compare the two designs and most importantly from the actual drawbacks, that are very much there after two years still, that it has to the previous one. Or you have decided that those numbers are good enough to make much less improvement neccessary, if any. Granted that's great for the company but it's a dang shame about the game itself.

    We are not only looking into the numbers of players that the new version attracts on mobile. We are looking on all the numbers, also the desktop numbers. The revamp is performing better (on average per player) in all relevant KPIs on all platforms.


    It is true that there may still be aspects in the revamp which are subjectively not as good as in legacy. I already acknowledged that the new version is not perfect. And I already said that we will keep improving it. So not much else to say on that topic. I know actions will speak louder than words, so I guess you will have to wait for the patches in the future and see for yourself. It will be nothing over night though. Hope you will stick around long enough.


    The revamp evolved and improved alot in the beginning after we introduced it because we got alot of feedback on it back then. In the last year or so the feedback and suggestions regarding the revamp died down a little (normally a sign that players are more or less fine with it), which probably also explains why in the recent times there were not that many improvements made. But now it seems the feedback regarding the revamp picks up again so there is reason to believe that also the number of improvements will pick up again.


    Since I repeated all my talking points here already I guess further discussion will just run around in circles, so I will refrain of repeating them again. I know I probably can't convince you, I know that many of you love the legacy version very much. It is a subjective matter that no obective numbers can overcome. I came here to give you at least some insights why that decision was made from a business perspective and I hope that I could make you understand it better. I think from your feedback we also got a better understanding which aspects of legacy you like better. So this discussion was still worth it.


    We are sorry that we have to do this and it also pains us to take a version away that still some players enjoy, but we have to do this. To repeat myself a final time: The new version is still in constant improvement and it will be improved further, with the help of your feedback. Thanks again for your feedback and your support!

    Well, duh? No account made since 2018 even has access to Legacy, you don't really need to have those numbers to have a pretty good idea of the general look of them. Especially since the mobile version has obviously created a major boom in new accounts since then. That comparison is seriously flawed in many ways, which doesn't make it worthless, but I hope you are not mistaking this as any form of statement on the quality of either UI? Under the circumstances, clearly you couldn't infer from that that the new UI was better, or even good at all. All it is is a measurable effect of the company's decisions on which UI people get access to in the first place. A more interesting number would perhaps be the amount of people who have access to Legacy but switched to Revamp vs. those that did not?

    The question was not which version is liked more by players who have access to both. We already know from our marketing efforts that the revamp version works much better in attracting new users and growing the community again. The revamp was necessary to keep the game alive, because in the last years before the revamp we struggled quite a bit to attract new players and the overall legacy numbers dwindled. And then with the revamp and the mobile version: boom, the game got its second wind and is now bigger than ever. We never planned to keep both versions alive forever because that adds alot of code complexity and maintenance costs, it was always clear that we will have to turn off legacy at some point in the future. Therefore also the decision to limit it to existing players (since we knew from our numbers revamp works better for new players). I think we communicated this outlook back then rather clearly when we rolled out the revamp mode. The question now is just: When is the right moment to turn off legacy? The current numbers tell us exactly that, they showed us that now the opportunity costs and maintenance costs of keeping this version alive are higher than the benefit it brings. I know it sounds harsh but that's the business. We have to go with the times. Software has to evolve in order to stay relevant on the market.


    For a more personal and empathic take on the matter please refer to my previous post in this thread.

    No new updates from the developers?

    The decision to turn off Legacy mode still stands. But as said before: We continue working on the revamp mode. Usability and performance will still be improved over time. Your feedback in that regards help. We will look at the concerns and the issues raised by all of you. I don't have any other specifics to announce this time. At latest you will be able to read about it in future patch notes.


    Hope to still see you around in the game!

    Hey guys, I appreciate your enthusiasm for the game and the community.


    I chime in here because this all feels so familiar to me personally. I was around when we made the switch from the Java client to HTML (Legacy) several years ago. I remember that we got lots of criticism back then for this step (yes many opposed the idea at first, too) but also lots of good feedback in how to improve the then new HTML version. And we did so over time. That you now all cling to this version is a testiment to the improvements we made.


    I am sure we can do such improvements with the revamped graphics mode as well. It is not perfect and it is not done. We know there is room for improvement and the examples you guys posted (special thanks to Raman02334 who took the time to do that) will help us doing that. We can of course not promise yet which adjustments we can make and when, and certainly we will also have to aim for compromises between varying opinions, but we will take a serious look at that. We are also looking into performance improvements and general problems with devices as we want our game to be smoothly playable on as many platforms as possible.


    So if you care for Supremacy 1914, please stay and help us improve the new version to your liking! :)


    There is probably also an important factor in "getting used to it". It is in our human nature to be sceptical at first and we usually have a hard time learning new habits. I think many fans of the Java client also never believed they could get used to the HTML (Legacy) version, but they did in the end. I am sure this will be the case with the new revamped version as well. I liked playing the Legacy version back then, too, but I got used to playing the revamp quickly. I can vouch for it being absolutely playable as I myself finished playing many matches with it, and nowadays I do not miss the Legacy version anymore as I got used to the revamp. The vast majority of our players play with the revamp version and they demonstrate each day that this version is totally playable.

    Keeping the Legacy mode alive is sadly not an option. We have the numbers - how many players are still playing Legacy and how much revenue this version generates. It is sadly too little in comparison to the revamped version so that maintaining Legacy became unfeasible for us. We wouldn't do this step if this were not true. We rather focus our resources on improving and maintaining the revamp version, as this will benefit a lot more players.


    Supremacy 1914 got a new life after we released the revamped version, it enabled us to market the game again in modern times. The result was that the community grew a lot and the game now has its best year ever since it was released ~10 years ago (this is not some PR statement, it is really true!). And this enables us to support the game many more years to come. I hope we can make the new version our shared new home together, like we did in the past. Thanks for sticking with us all these years, and keep the feedback coming!

    It is true that F2P style is the fastest growing business model in gaming, however there's a catch here, all F2P games that arised from nothing and that now are beasts are not only F2P but they actively avoided P2W, which is the reason this whole thread was created, F2P is not a problem, P2W is.

    I was not talking only about the big mainstream titles. There is also alot of success and growth in the f2p market for companies and games where you can buy power, as the top mobile charts of the last years have shown. But not only there, also in the middle of the charts (top100) and below for example, which would be totally enough for our company size. You don't need to be at the top to have a sustainable business. It would be unrealistic for us to gun for the top spot immediately.

    We are also not a PC only game, in fact the current playbase of S1914 has a majority playing on mobile, and mobile was what gave S1914 its second wind.

    And another thing you have to realize, for most of the games you mentioned the stars basically aligned. They dropped at the right time. You have to have some luck to achieve that, success is not guaranteed. For those ~10 very successful games you listed probably 100 other games tried to do the same but failed. Quite the risk honestly.


    You are right that the top mobile games where you can buy power (like Clash of Clans, Clash Royale) it is not as apparent since it is combined with a metagame. You basically spend in between matches to boost your account, but due to matchmaking you are soon matched again against equal players, so it appears fair. But that works well there because they have short 1on1 matches. We don't have a metagame yet and it would probably be the natural evolution of the business model. But it is harder to introduce here because game rounds last for weeks and months (=less opportunity to monetize between game rounds), rounds that can be played in parallel so you could level up after round A while you are still playing round B (matchmaking issue) and the rounds can be chosen freely and are filled with lots of players of different skill levels (matchmaking issue).


    If you want to monetize with content & vanity instead of power, like league of legends does it, then you need big game teams constantly pushing out new content (e.g. new heroes or skins each week etc.). Our current offices wouldn't even support such team sizes. On the contrary a game which monetizes with power basically runs by itself and can be supported with small teams. So it is much better suited for smaller companies like us. If you monetize with content you need also need a much bigger community to buy that content, as the average revenue per user is much lower in such games. WW1 grand strategy is a niche however so it would be hard to attract the needed player base for that. Most of your example games are tailored to mainstream audiences with mainstream setting and mainstream gameplay, and work because of that scale. Our historic grand strategy genre can never ever be scaled to such a mainstream level, I hope you can agree on that.


    You gave good examples of what would happen when a game that monetized with content now changes its monetization to monetize with power. It would indeed not make sense for them. But you did not give any example what would happen with games that currently monetize with power (--> a few pay big amounts) if they now suddenly changed to monetize with content (--> many pay small amounts). Players always assume that games would suddenly make more money if they get rid or pay for power mechanics and monetized via subscriptions or content. But that is super unrealistic. Their heavy spenders would suddenly spend a lot less, but they would not suddenly get enough additional spenders that did not spend yet. Their current playerbase, their current pay users, their current game team structure and their current marketing would still be tailored towards the old business model, so in reality they would suddenly lower their revenue and efficiency by alot. No business in the right mind would do that. They would have to change the gameplay, their team structures, their marketing and rebuild their community and attract the right users, basically making a new game out of it. If you are realistic you would see that there is a slim chance for it to work out with a mature game, and that it is better done with a fresh start (new game).


    I would say with our current company structure and game portfolio we don't fulfill the criteria necessary to go into that direction right now. Probably even the current whole grand strategy genre of our games isnt the best fit for it. Of course that doesn't mean that we could not do it in the future, but it takes a lot of effort and also a lot of luck (a hit game cannot be planned, you have to land it at exactly the right time) to grow into such a state. And it is more likely to be done with a product that is designed for that, which S1914 was not. So if we ever go that route I think it is more likely to be done with a new product.


    I'll repeat what I said in the beggining, the problem is not about being FREE TO PLAY, is about being PAY TO WIN.

    From an ethics and player perspective sure, from a business perspective its no problem. As I said the current model is successful and we are in a healthy spot as company. We do not struggle. We are currently growing our games more than we ever did in the past. Since we are not a company of 500 employees we also don't need to be at the top of the charts to sustain ourselves.


    Currently there is no problem -> currently there is no need for a solution.


    There could be a problem in the future if markets shift a lot, and it would certainly be wise to explore options in order to be prepared. But there are probably less risky ways of exploring such options than to change a working business model of a mature game.


    Your actual business model drains the players, and let me tell you, that is not good, in the long run, this business model will kill itself meanwhile League of Legends, Fortnite and all big and successful F2P MMO's won't get killed by their own business model but rather by their competition which sadly you don't have.


    I don't see the risk in changing the business model if you are straight up running towards your own death.

    That has to be super long run though, because as I said, currently S1914 has its most successful year since the launch 10 years ago (most active players, most revenue). Not many games live for 10 years, and even games like Fortnite still have to prove that they will live that long. Your doom and gloom simply does not match with our data and is all based on speculation.

    Probably it is right that League of Legends and some others will outlast our games and still be played in 10 years from now. But that is ok honestly. Not many games can claim to be played for 20 years, probably only 0.0001% of games can claim that. Are all the other 99.9999% automatically doomed? I would say not. There is success to be found also below the top of the charts. And until a game hits the end of its lifecycle new games will be brought out.

    Even with no direct competitor in the genre there is still a lot of competition in marketing, many companies bidding for the same placement spots, driving the marketing prices up over time. It is probably the biggest risk that we face as it means we have to stay lucrative enough.

    Why there is in fact a big risk in changing the business model for an existing product, I have now explained in multiple posts. I hope you will understand it.


    We will see what happens and the saying "never say never" applies. We don't claim to know everything or have the perfect solutions. But I think we can be agile enough to shift our focus if the need for that arises.


    --------------


    I don't have time anymore to discuss this topic with you all every week, but I hope I could give you some insights. In the end I just wanted to give you some honest takes and foster some realistic expectations of why it is unlikely that the current model of S1914 is changing in the near future. I hope you understand.

    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 idea 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.