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memno

New player observations

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I know this game has been around for a decade and a half, and it appears that is maintained by a quite small staff. Of course I don't know the proportion of veteran players and newer players, or how long new players stick around, but I'm guessing that though there's a core of long-time players, new players are always desired, both for revenue reasons and game viability reasons -- this is true of pretty much all multiplayer games.

So as a brand new player I'd like to share my day-one impressions, with a view to forming suggestions for a staff which can surely only do so much.

Firstly, the web site. Overall, it looks fine, and appealing to those who might be interested in the game. But I found too many dead links to fill me with much confidence. As I considered signing up, I was asking myself "Does anyone still play this game? It looks like the website isn't maintained." I still don't have a handle on the player population, but I soldiered on to sign up and download the game.

Next, the installer. I got an error when a registry key could not be created during Windows installation. After pondering it and considering posting to the forum, I figured it was probably an Administrator-level problem. And it was. Running the installer again with Admin privileges worked fine. But if I was another user, I might have had to post to the forum, or just given up. "The website seems out of date, the installer won't run - is this something I really want to put more time into?"

Next, the tutorials. Sure, they are quaint, but the engine's old, I get it, and that's fine. But what's with the "\n" escape sequences for carriage returns showing up in the text? Have they always been there? Was tutorial text copy-pasted at some point and not edited? If I wasn't determined to give the game a solid try, I would only be made more skeptical by the apparent sloppiness. It's probably just too few people who have to do too many things, but it would be easy to start assuming at this point that the game has serious quality gaps.

These are small things, but they loom large in a first impression. I'm not personally dissuaded from sticking with the game at least until I get a good idea of the gameplay, but I can't help but wonder if devoting some of what surely is precious staff time to polishing things up would help attract and keep new players until they actually started having fun playing.

I'm sure there's a lot more to attracting new players, and I'm sure it's been a focus for some time, with major projects completed to keep growing the number of subscribers. There must also be a list of maintenance projects, and maybe the few things I've pointed out are already on them.

I mean none of this as mean-spirited critique. I hope I am encouraged as I play to become a subscriber. I just thought I'd share some observations from a pair of new eyes.

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I know this game has been around for a decade and a half, and it appears that is maintained by a quite small staff. Of course I don't know the proportion of veteran players and newer players, or how long new players stick around, but I'm guessing that though there's a core of long-time players, new players are always desired, both for revenue reasons and game viability reasons -- this is true of pretty much all multiplayer games.

So as a brand new player I'd like to share my day-one impressions, with a view to forming suggestions for a staff which can surely only do so much.

Firstly, the web site. Overall, it looks fine, and appealing to those who might be interested in the game. But I found too many dead links to fill me with much confidence. As I considered signing up, I was asking myself "Does anyone still play this game? It looks like the website isn't maintained." I still don't have a handle on the player population, but I soldiered on to sign up and download the game.

Next, the installer. I got an error when a registry key could not be created during Windows installation. After pondering it and considering posting to the forum, I figured it was probably an Administrator-level problem. And it was. Running the installer again with Admin privileges worked fine. But if I was another user, I might have had to post to the forum, or just given up. "The website seems out of date, the installer won't run - is this something I really want to put more time into?"

Next, the tutorials. Sure, they are quaint, but the engine's old, I get it, and that's fine. But what's with the "\n" escape sequences for carriage returns showing up in the text? Have they always been there? Was tutorial text copy-pasted at some point and not edited? If I wasn't determined to give the game a solid try, I would only be made more skeptical by the apparent sloppiness. It's probably just too few people who have to do too many things, but it would be easy to start assuming at this point that the game has serious quality gaps.

These are small things, but they loom large in a first impression. I'm not personally dissuaded from sticking with the game at least until I get a good idea of the gameplay, but I can't help but wonder if devoting some of what surely is precious staff time to polishing things up would help attract and keep new players until they actually started having fun playing.

I'm sure there's a lot more to attracting new players, and I'm sure it's been a focus for some time, with major projects completed to keep growing the number of subscribers. There must also be a list of maintenance projects, and maybe the few things I've pointed out are already on them.

I mean none of this as mean-spirited critique. I hope I am encouraged as I play to become a subscriber. I just thought I'd share some observations from a pair of new eyes.

As a veteran of 'many wars', (I keep coming back), I can agree with what you say. It is the small things that matter as much as the big ones. First impressions can make all the difference for a game. If it appears sloppy or not maintained to a professional level people will be more likely to not stick around.

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I agree with that. I have been playing off and on since release. I just came back from a 1 year break. It looks very bad when almost all the links on the main page are broken. Also looking trough the forums is the same issue. I was going through some of the guides and tutorials post and almost all of these are dead links from way back in the day. Seems like the site and forums could use a little cleaning up.

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S! most agreed tha ting he nevre manstoins was WOOT ovre yeers playin u meet a lot OF playre peopal an u MAK FREINDS evan tho intramat frind u no wen u log in an ask a M* HELP u can almos alwas gat help

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There are a lot of dead links in the forums, but I wasn't referring to, or overly concerned with, those. You'll find the same in any forum that's been running for more years than we have fingers. For the expired links to important resources that can be found in user posts, I think it's really up to the community to find solutions. Some documents are gone, and may be recreated by someone who's inspired to do so. Other users, when finding dead links, could revive an old thread by posting to ask if there's a new source for the old resource, or a current resource available. An organic process for collective progress, sort of thing. If the game is still vibrant it should happen, though it may need some small acts of encouragement.

On the other hand, dead links to the wiki that can be found on the website, and things like that, did cause me some concern. Similarly, dead links in stickied posts should probably be addressed by admins whenever it is reasonably possible to do so.

The game's long history doesn't have to be papered over, but I imagine it's important to make it apparent that the game is currently vibrant and well supported-- assuming that it is.

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Your comments are very true Memno. Some of those were already relayed to the Rats but, although some improvements were made, a lot still remains to be done.

I agree, stuff link dead links to download the game (:rolleyes:) give both the Rats and the game a bad image. CRS is a very small team but that should definetely be one of the short-term priorities.

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you want to feel the game for real and get a true understanding of it. Hop on the Allied or Axis Game server team speak. You see a squad room full or has players in it, ask to join and 99.9% will say "sure come on in" and then you'll get what this game is all about.

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Firstly, the web site. Overall, it looks fine, and appealing to those who might be interested in the game. But I found too many dead links to fill me with much confidence. As I considered signing up, I was asking myself "Does anyone still play this game? It looks like the website isn't maintained." I still don't have a handle on the player population, but I soldiered on to sign up and download the game.

Memno,

I know this post has been around more than a month, but I want to thank you for taking the time to provide this feedback. I am working on cleaning up the dead links and dead ends and am happy to say almost all of the dead links on the main site pages are resolved. Please hang in there and keep constructive feedback like this coming!

S!

Alspecto

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Hey, Alspecto!!:D Looking good.....and now a RAT! Wow, things gonna get way much better......LOL. Let's get those letters in all caps!

Good to see ya again!

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Hey Boud, good to see ya around as well! We're clipping right along and making good progress so stay tuned! :)

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Fantastic post from the OP.

I echo the comments made about jumping onto Teamspeak and linking up with a squad.

Squads are what make this game great

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I know this game has been around for a decade and a half, and it appears that is maintained by a quite small staff. Of course I don't know the proportion of veteran players and newer players, or how long new players stick around, but I'm guessing that though there's a core of long-time players, new players are always desired, both for revenue reasons and game viability reasons -- this is true of pretty much all multiplayer games.

So as a brand new player I'd like to share my day-one impressions, with a view to forming suggestions for a staff which can surely only do so much.

Firstly, the web site. Overall, it looks fine, and appealing to those who might be interested in the game. But I found too many dead links to fill me with much confidence. As I considered signing up, I was asking myself "Does anyone still play this game? It looks like the website isn't maintained." I still don't have a handle on the player population, but I soldiered on to sign up and download the game.

Next, the installer. I got an error when a registry key could not be created during Windows installation. After pondering it and considering posting to the forum, I figured it was probably an Administrator-level problem. And it was. Running the installer again with Admin privileges worked fine. But if I was another user, I might have had to post to the forum, or just given up. "The website seems out of date, the installer won't run - is this something I really want to put more time into?"

Next, the tutorials. Sure, they are quaint, but the engine's old, I get it, and that's fine. But what's with the "\n" escape sequences for carriage returns showing up in the text? Have they always been there? Was tutorial text copy-pasted at some point and not edited? If I wasn't determined to give the game a solid try, I would only be made more skeptical by the apparent sloppiness. It's probably just too few people who have to do too many things, but it would be easy to start assuming at this point that the game has serious quality gaps.

These are small things, but they loom large in a first impression. I'm not personally dissuaded from sticking with the game at least until I get a good idea of the gameplay, but I can't help but wonder if devoting some of what surely is precious staff time to polishing things up would help attract and keep new players until they actually started having fun playing.

I'm sure there's a lot more to attracting new players, and I'm sure it's been a focus for some time, with major projects completed to keep growing the number of subscribers. There must also be a list of maintenance projects, and maybe the few things I've pointed out are already on them.

I mean none of this as mean-spirited critique. I hope I am encouraged as I play to become a subscriber. I just thought I'd share some observations from a pair of new eyes.

Well said, I agree with you.

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