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KilljoyCutter

Public Test Server -- How to Improve Participation

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We occasionally hear from WG that PTS participation is too low, and from players that PTS is a waste of time.  

I think the increasing rate and density of new events, new lines of ships, early access, etc, works against PTS participation.  Most players only have so much time to game in a day, or can only make time on certain days.  Asking them to spend time on PTS while there are also heavy grinds going on might not be realistic.   So too many players look at PTS as a distraction, pointless, etc.  

My suggestions for addressing this:    

  • The new content cycle should be slowed back down to every other patch, so that the important PTS iterations run during the non-grindy patches.   Do other things during the non-grindy patch that don't demand the time commitment, or have a specific timing (such as some version of Clan stuff).  There was a time when we didn't have early access or new lines or giant events every single patch, we don't actually need new shiny stuff every 4 weeks.    
  • Increase the timefame on PTS so that it's available from Wednesday to Monday, rather than Thursday to Sunday.   
  • Open up the "seasonal" missions to more than just Randoms, allow them to be worked on in Scenarios and Co-op too, so that there's more incentive to test those modes. (Seasonal mission chains were open to Co-op in the 0.9.7 PTS iteration, which is a sign of a possible implementation of this very bullet point, even if it didn't come from my suggestion directly.)  
  • Add a "middle length" PTS mission so that there's something between "do 3 battles for flags and camo" and "grind out the Seasonal while neglecting Live missions and events".  
  • Add 15 or 30 seconds to all the matchmaker timers in PTS, so players are less likely to get bot-filled or "snub" battles in PVP. 
  • WG devs need to listen to the PTS feedback beyond just looking for bugs.  A lot of the post-patch feedback tends to mirror things that were already said during PTS, for example the lack of text labels in the new Equipment interface, that's a common complaint from PTS and from Live.  Players feel like PTS is a waste for them because it doesn't change anything.  I understand that the main purpose has been looking for bugs, but maybe that needs to change somewhat.  
  • Make about-to-be-released ships available for "purchase" on PTS -- take advantage of the hype.  
  • Make premium ships available for "purchase" on PTS -- draw in players who want to try before the buy on Live. 

And this is the one that probably makes the most difference, but might be the hardest to convince "HQ" to go along with.

  • Apply some pro-rated percentage of the progress made on missions in PTS as an "early start" on missions on the Live server.  That is, maybe every 10% of the progress made on a mission in PTS would convert to 1% progress on Live -- someone who completed all the missions on the PTS would start with 10% progress on Live as soon as the patch hit Live.   This would address the feeling some players have that they're wasting their time, and give them the sense that they're "getting ahead" a little.    

 

(I thought this needed its own thread instead of coming up in various semi-related threads now and then.) 

 

Edited by KilljoyCutter
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9 minutes ago, KilljoyCutter said:

Open up the "seasonal" missions to more than just Randoms, allow them to be worked on in Scenarios and Co-op too, so that there's more incentive to test those modes. 

From the 5 minutes I spent last night in port for this PTS, the summer season missions are doable in co-op as well (granted some of the requirements are a bit much for co-op but it’s there)

Another reason might be because almost every PTS, there is some glitch/bug that makes it almost impossible to play/check out the new things. Normally it’s the armory and/or clan base not loading, but this time you can’t use credits to purchase or service ships. If you can’t use credits, what’s the point of playing?

18 minutes ago, KilljoyCutter said:
  •  
  • Make about-to-be-released ships available for "purchase" on PTS -- take advantage of the hype

I think they used to do this. I remember that you could of completed Combat missions to try out Lion, St. Louis, and T5-8 Italian Cruisers on PTS

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I have not had a chance to get on PTS in this iteration -- if the Seasonal mission now includes Co-op, that's a good change. 

 

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PTS rewards used to be much better. I used to play on the PTS all the time because I knew the rewards were worth my time. That's no longer the case. If I do bother with it I play 3 battles and get out. The other lame flag rewards requires completing time consuming missions. Not enough to entice me or others to spend more than an hour at the very most.

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As a newer player, I play the PTS to see what lines I want to grind, which is great value for me. I also play to get the T6 container, even though I got the worthless Gallant from the Spring Season. But I do think that there needs to be more incentive to play the PTS over live, and I suggest that at least some XP earned on PTS gets transferred to live. You are still playing, and earning it legitimately, so it is an honest reward.

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Want people to play PT ?

Transfer XP, FP, Comdr XP earned to regular account.

I have a premium account paid with $$$ to improve my XP haul etc. Now you want me to spend my limited game time playing a different account where i do not earn anything from my $remium membership?

Sorry, but then I rather work on my next 19pt commander and forgo a few flags, camos and bragging rights.

 

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1 hour ago, freggo said:

Want people to play PT ?

Transfer XP, FP, Comdr XP earned to regular account.

I have a premium account paid with $$$ to improve my XP haul etc. Now you want me to spend my limited game time playing a different account where i do not earn anything from my $remium membership?

Sorry, but then I rather work on my next 19pt commander and forgo a few flags, camos and bragging rights.

Something like that is on my list:

  • Apply some pro-rated percentage of the progress made on missions in PTS as an "early start" on missions on the Live server.  That is, maybe every 10% of the progress made on a mission in PTS would convert to 1% progress on Live -- someone who completed all the missions on the PTS would start with 10% progress on Live as soon as the patch hit Live.   This would address the feeling some players have that they're wasting their time, and give them the sense that they're "getting ahead" a little.    

 

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7 hours ago, KilljoyCutter said:
  • Open up the "seasonal" missions to more than just Randoms, allow them to be worked on in Scenarios and Co-op too, so that there's more incentive to test those modes.

I don't know if you noticed this. The Summer Season missions for this round of the PT can be completed in Co-op. I didn't realize until I was almost done.

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1 minute ago, henrychenhenry said:

I don't know if you noticed this. The Summer Season missions for this round of the PT can be completed in Co-op. I didn't realize until I was almost done.

I haven't had a chance to get on, I plan to check it out tonight.

You're the second person to point that out, so I'll add a note to my opening post.  :Smile_Default:

 

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7 hours ago, KilljoyCutter said:

pen up the "seasonal" missions to more than just Randoms,

Its already open to Co-op there Kill.

Edited by Navalpride33

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I participated in the last one and that will be my last I think. Rewards aren't enough to warrant the sub par experience. 

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If they offered me 5-10x Super Containers to play PTS (Each time) OR 10k Dubs, I'd play it religiously.

 

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Example of how the PTS missions can be a bit disjointed...

If you want to encourage players to test a tier VII operation/scenerio, make sure that the 1 battle and 3 battle missions include tier VII and Ops.

shot-20_07.25_10_59.22-0725.thumb.jpg.25eda7285caa4e09b1487ab218ab6f62.jpg

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Excellent suggestions.   You are most correct, the time spent in PTS is less productive in rewards than simply playing on the main server.  The easiest fix is to switch that.

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Well, looks like the inclusion of Co-op in the "Summer Season" second round mission chain was a "mistake"? 

That's very disappointing.

 

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Per the comments above, I too suggest that participation in the PTS be made more "meaningful" in terms of "rewards". I play frequently, but cannot put in long periods of time on the PTS at the expense of my "regular" play. As someone noted, simply allowing us to keep our SXP, EXP, and FXP would be nice and arguably "free" to WG. In terms of containers, we ought to be able to at least get Clan credit for these, as well, although it would also be nice to actually be able to get the items from these.

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