A proposal on how to grow the server

Thoughts?

  • Good Idea

    Votes: 10 83.3%
  • Good Idea but it has some issues

    Votes: 2 16.7%
  • Bad Idea

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    12

Onett

Well-known member
Joined
May 25, 2020
Messages
160
It has been made clear to me and many others within the community that Athios' growth since its debut has been... subpar. We have seen few new players and even fewer new players who have stuck around.

It is saddening to see this. But I believe there is still a way to "save" Athios, even with our current playerbase. That's why I'm proposing...



Official Gamer Hours

What is it?
Official gamer hours would be a system where the staff team designates times on certain days of the week as "official gamer hours". These would be event days with certain bonuses active in Search and Destroy (i.e. double credits, free kits), to further help boost participation. These times would be advertised on voting sites, social media platforms, as well as the server itself.

Example:
sample athios gamer hours.png

Personally, I believe that 2 times a week would be a good amount of days, however I am open to hearing others' thoughts about it.

How will this help the server grow (tl;dr)?
I will be going more in-depth about this later in the post, but in summary, Search and Destroy is not the type of game where we can easily have people playing constantly, and its impossible for our current player base to sustain constant player counts. As a result, new players will often be logging onto an empty server, which is obviously not going to help convince them to stay.

With gamer hours, we would effectively be concentrating our efforts as a player base, so we can guarantee that when a new player logs on, they will be playing 20+ player games, and can then, fully understand how fun SnD can be.




What problems will official gamer hours help overcome?


1.) SnD requires many players to be fun


We are a longshot away from a constant player base to say the least. With that in mind, the current advertising strategy seems to be inefficient. We are taking a gamble and hoping that a new player just happens to log on when there coincidently happens to be gamer hours going on at the same time.

And if they log on when the server is empty (which is what is happens for the majority of the time)? They're a lost hope. I'd even argue that if they happen to log on when there's maybe 10 or fewer players, its unlikely they'd come back. Small games are just not as fun as big ones.

I think it'd be more productive to concentrate our efforts as a player base, and set apart maybe one or two days in the week for gamer hours. That way, we can essentially funnel all the new players into one big game, and ensure they get the full SnD experience.


2.) There are often 0 people on the server

Since it will probably be a while until we can sustain a constant playerbase on Athios, it is inevitable that the server will be empty for most of the time.

New players seeing a big fat 0 next to the "players online" stat on voting sites or in their MC server list are most definitely going to be discouraged by it. I believe official gamer hours would provide a way to still entice these new players into sticking around and giving SnD a shot. If they really are interested in the server, it gives them clear guidance on when they can finally try the game.

A new player who sees zero players on is a lost cause, but if they see that there are designated times when there will be lots of players on, there still may be some hope to grab their attention.


3.) Advertising has been subpar

I know that in many of our minds, getting advertising for Athios may seem simple, but as disclosed by Martoph:

content creators are hard.png

"Content creators can be incredibly hard to work with."

Naturally, the server has to turn to self-advertisement, which speaking from personal experience, is quite difficult.

While it won't be a huge fix, I believe official gamer hours will definitely help make advertising easier, as it gives new players a clearer idea of when they can play as well as incentives such as free kits or bonus credits.

You could argue that we just need to get new players to join the discord, but I'd say that just getting them to join the discord isn't a guarantee they'll stick around/actually play the game. As well as this, there is likely a good amount of people who don't use discord, and we can tap into that source of new players if we implement official gamer hours. We can cut the middle man, and get people off of voting sites and social media straight onto the server.



Foreseeable Concerns:

"We've tried to start a similar system in the past as a community and it failed"

While this is true, I believe official gamer hours will not share the same fate. With the promise of new players and the opportunity to directly contribute to the server's growth, I think there are much more incentive, which encourages greater participation in official gamer hours, beyond just the in-game benefits or the opportunity to play big games.

Basically, we would be asking for the playerbase to play SnD maybe 1 or 2 hours on two days per week. That's it. That's all they would have to do to contribute to the server in a meaningful way.



"This would decrease the frequency of random gamer hours"

This is also true, but if official gamer hours does well (which I believe they will), I'm sure new players we bring in will be very eager to play more and as time passes, random gamer hours will become even more frequent than they have been in the past.

Nothing will be stopping you from starting random gamer hours if this idea is implemented too, its just that with this system in place, people who don't have much time to spare will probably be saving their time for official gamer hours, which would be directly beneficial for the server's growth.



"Weekly/Semiweekly is too often"

"If gamer hours happen too frequently, people will just skip them and say I'll just show up to the next one"

Again, I believe there are more incentives to join these "official" gamer hours, which should alleviate the fear that the current player base would start flaking away on these official times.

Also, I feel like if we decide to go with a biweekly schedule or even a monthly schedule, it defeats the purpose of these official gamer hours, which is to create a clear and simple way for new players to hop on the server and play a big game of SnD. Making them wait too long to play will drive them away.



"This is unnecessary, we can just get new players to join the discord"

I've seen a lot of people join the discord but I haven't seen many new players on the server. I can't say exactly why this is, but the point is, getting people to just join the discord isn't enough.

Maybe most of them don't care about the game anymore. Maybe some of them joined the server and just forgot about it. Regardless, I think starting up official gamer hours could potentially get some of our previously inactive discord members to try SnD out. I see starting up gamer hours as a more direct invitation for these people to come play with us. I can't say that for certain, but I feel that only positive outcomes could come out of it.





Concluding Thoughts:

The current system, in my eyes, is inefficient for growth and isn't well adapted to the server's current state. Server growth is going to be hard, especially considering the size of our current playerbase, which makes it all the more important to make sure we concentrate our efforts as a community, and I believe that would be most well executed through the implementation of Official Gamer Hours.

Is this guaranteed to save the server? No.

But I think it is worth a shot. It's a small sacrifice for large potential gains. And if it doesn't work for like a month, it can always be dropped.

And as Martoph said

risks are part of the process.png

Risks are part of the process.

If we want to see real progress we have to try and tread upon new ground.




Feel free to provide your thoughts and opinions, I think this is something we should really talk about as a community.
 

GlitchManMax

Active member
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
43
I like your moxie Onett, and I can tell you're serious by one crucial piece of evidence:

Exhibit A (from https://minecraftservers.org/vote/587565):
1617835810526.png

I'm down to do state-sponsored organized gamer hours to rouse the troops! What's the worse that can happen? More S&D??? I don't see the downside so far. I hope our diligent staff can follow through with their half of this operation, but it seems like more reasonable requests than other suggestions. Let's do this!!!


🎃
 

Onett

Well-known member
Joined
May 25, 2020
Messages
160
Since some changes were made to the server after this post was made, I thought I'd make an update here to reassess the plan I proposed, given the server's current state. I'll also be going over my experience helping advertise the server, since I feel that is a very important aspect of the server that shouldn't be a secret

tl;dr disasters is good for getting players but not keeping them. It gets boring pretty fast (at least compared to SnD). Disasters covers for one of the major flaws in the Weekly Gamer Hours plan, which is getting people to check the server out in the first place.

Plan: we get people to try disasters, they'll see the gamer hours coming up, they join gamer hours, they have a good time and stay with the community. Gamer Hours are simple, fun for the community, productive for growth and easy for staff to maintain.

Disasters

I believe the addition of Disasters to be a great marketing decision from the staff team, and I'm sure most of you would also agree. It needs very few players to be fun, its simple to understand and the concept is likely very interesting to outsiders, which are all things that SnD lacked.

So if disasters is added in, this plan is kinda useless right? We already have a way to gather new players.

Well... yes and no.

The problem isn't getting new players, but rather keeping them.​

Even with Disasters, the server is often empty. So what's to blame? Lack of advertising? Maybe I'm just nitpicking?

Advertising Disasters

Upon Disasters' release, I started working with some friends from Athios (mainly ubre and elite, shoutout to them) to revisit Grian's old videos, and reply to comments to let people know about Athios, as well as extending our reach to other platforms such as reddit and the minecraft forums to try and get anyone who missed Grian's Disasters onto Athios. We've seen some pretty good results with this, and we definitely couldn't have done this sort of thing with SnD.

Admittedly I haven't made much efforts outside of this to advertise, mostly since I was busy with school, but that is besides the point, which is that disasters may not be as fit for advertising as we all would like to think.

Despite all our efforts, we don't see many people on often, and new players seem to appear for a few games then are never seen again. So what went wrong?

Why Disasters is flawed

I believe this to be one of the major downsides of the gamemode, which is that it doesn't have very good retention. Naturally, people will get bored with it much quicker and probably won't come back to play it much, even if they enjoy it. And while it doesn't require many players to be fun, I believe having many others on to play with really does elevate the experience and in our current state, we are unable to provide that constant playerbase, which further worsens the experience for new players and decreases the likelihood that they'll stay.

But while Search and Destroy makes up for these weaknesses, as it is much more fun for longer periods and more likely to keep players on for the long term, it lacks the marketability of Disasters...

How does this change my plan for Gamer Hours?

With the arrival of Summer, I think it would be the perfect time to try this plan out. Even with Disasters available to play, I do not think any changes are necessary. In fact, I believe this plan would only help boost Disasters' helpfulness to the server's growth.

Disasters is a great way to get people onto the server, but not a good way to keep people on. And what's a better way to keep players on the server, and get them involved with the community than weekly/biweekly events?

With how I see it, we can get players to check the server out with Disasters, then attract them to try Search and Destroy out, since we'd likely be able to get up to 20 people at each event if we held them weekly/biweekly, which will allow us to build a larger, more active playerbase. Even if they didn't come for Search and Destroy originally, they'd likely want to try it out, since there's more people on there than disasters.

A major flaw in the original plan was the issue of gathering new players, but with the introduction of Disasters, this problem essentially becomes null.

With that said, I feel like it'd be a missed opportunity to not try this plan out this summer, especially when the community is finally out of school, and would enjoy some big gamer hours while we're on break, which would also serve the purpose of growing the server.
 

Hippydew

New member
Joined
Jul 17, 2020
Messages
13
Why Disasters is flawed

I believe this to be one of the major downsides of the game mode, which is that it doesn't have very good retention. Naturally, people will get bored with it much quicker and probably won't come back to play it much, even if they enjoy it. And while it doesn't require many players to be fun, I believe having many others on to play with really does elevate the experience and in our current state, we are unable to provide that constant player base, which further worsens the experience for new players and decreases the likelihood that they'll stay.

But while Search and Destroy makes up for these weaknesses, as it is much more fun for longer periods and more likely to keep players on for the long term, it lacks the marketability of Disasters...
I especially agree with this part. Only seeing 1 or 2 players on disasters kind of makes it a weak point considering most gamer hours focus on SnD. Having biweekly events/gamer hours would seem super reasonable especially considering having one gamer hours set for Disasters earlier in the week and one set for S&D later in the week to make sure both game modes flourish. Just my opinion though.
 

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