Posted Tue, Jul 26, 2011 by Sardu
Ten Ton Hammer: Has the inclusion of additional perks for subscribers, such as the points they’ll receive each month, helped in terms of letting the veteran players know you’re trying to keep subscriptions an attractive option? In essence, they’re getting more for their subscription dollar moving forward than they had been previously.
Positron: Absolutely. We at Paragon like to innovate, and find where things can be improved upon. Our veteran rewards system wasn’t going to work with the new business model, so we needed to figure out something we were going to do with that. But at the same time we wanted to make sure that free players, or those just paying a la carte, were also getting benefits. So that’s where the Paragon Rewards Program came from.
It’s basically a reward tree kind of like a skill tree that you find in other games where, as you’re subscribed or as you’re purchasing points, you’re earning points on this tree, and you’re purchasing all of the things that used to be veteran rewards in addition to more stuff that we’ve specifically added for this tree.
What’s great about this is, if you are a former subscriber and say you’ve played for three years and stopped playing, you’ll come in and already have a bunch of points based on your former subscription level. So you don’t have to start over from scratch, so again, this is catering to our former players.
So say you were a former subscriber, paid for the game; those players were not forgotten. We remember them and here’s a bonus for your time and effort.
Ten Ton Hammer: So that transition will basically take you up to the equivalent level that you were already at in terms of the veteran rewards system?
Positron: Absolutely. You’ll have a number of points based on your veteran reward badges.
Ten Ton Hammer: We’ve talked a bit about how you’re catering Freedom to veteran players, but what other things will you be attempting in terms of bringing new players into the game? Will new servers be added at all to help account for an influx of new players, or is the current idea to get fresh blood onto the existing servers first?
Positron: We’ve vastly improved our sever capacities in order to handle the new influx of players. We have the ability to bring new servers online should we need to, but we really want new players to become part of the communities that we’ve already built. Our veteran players are anxious to get new players on their servers.
We’ve also made a brand new tutorial for the game, we’ve put voice overs into the tutorial, and we made it a lot shorter so that players can just get immediately into the game, start fighting stuff, and learn the basics. Then we took some of the nitty gritty stuff that we used to have in the tutorial and we spread that over the first 20 levels with what we call Ongoing Training Missions.
Basically there’s a supergroup that wants you to join and have you as a new member, and during those missions you’re going to learn how to use the auction house, what the badge system is all about, or how to use enhancements. So all the stuff we used to cram into the tutorial is now spread out and has a better pace.
Ten Ton Hammer: Was some of that inspired by the process of creating the new starting experience in Going Rogue in terms of learning what worked, and what didn’t work in terms of pacing?
Positron: Going Rogue was kind of our beta test for this. We didn’t quite succeed at it in Going Rogue at the level that we wanted, but with City of Heroes Freedom I think we just nailed it. We’ve got very fast, get-into-the game fighting stuff, and then just spread out over those first 20 levels you’ll be learning more of the game as you play.