World of Lordcraft Shut Down

06 Nov 2014 23:50

World of Lordcraft Shut Down

It's been a while since I've submitted an article lending some to believe that PBBG's are a low priority on my list of interests these days. The truth is, most games I see these days are so bad that they don't deserve a proper review, or even a mention. Am I being super critical? Yes, and I'm not about to apologize for that. So, here is an example of why I'm reluctant to post articles and reviews.

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In reviewing the World of Lordcraft (link intentionally withheld) for possible inclusion in the Crane & Dragon PBBG list I have come to the conclusion that this game epitomizes the problem with most PBBG's under development today:

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1) There is no distinction between the development team and the CS team. In fact, I bet the developers of World of Lordcraft don't even know what a CS team is. CS stands for "customer service". Developers don't necessarily make good CSR's (customer service reps) and this is why good PBBG's need a solid team to represent the needs of the players. Developers should work on the game, CSR's should take care of the players.

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2) Biasness towards players voicing problems, bugs, or critical views. As seen on the Lordcraft forums, the developers have deliberately banned a player from the forum for listing critical errors and bugs within the game. This is what happens when the development team is also handling player complaints as mentioned in item #1 above. Regardless, a mature development team will embrace criticism and reward feedback because this assists the development team in fixing bugs by bringing it to their attention.

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3) Previously free features are turned into premium features available only with real money. This indicates that there is no well-thought out plan regarding how to monetize the game. If so then the marketing team would realize that the method of forcing members to pay for features that were previously free is a common failure in hundreds of games before them. If one wants to succeed, then one should look at the successes and failures of other games and model the successful games. obviously this marketing team did not do this and that is probably because the development team is also the marketing team. Just as developers might not make good CSR's, developers should not make the mistake of assuming they have a mind for business. One needs more than skill in coding to be successful in business. Here is one tip: When monetizing a PBBG, additional features should be offered to paying customers in order to lure them into paying, never take away existing free features in order to try and force your players into paying, this is a dick move and your game will fail overnight as your player base leaves.

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4) Attempts to capitalize through false association. Let's face it, the title "World of Lordcraft" is an obvious play on the "World of Warcraft" franchise. The developers have even gone so far as to suggest a relationship between the developers of Lordcraft and Warcraft within a pseudo press release that has been spammed all over the web, they even managed to fool mmorpg.com as can be seen this article posted at mmorpg.com

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5) The developers ask for monetary compensation too soon. Developers of games like this, that are clearly too buggy to be called anything but a Beta version, should not be asking for money yet. The fact that they are asking for money means they are done trying to make the game right. A dedicated team will make sure that their paying customers get value for their money. A team that just does not care about quality, will ask for money when there are still obvious bugs to fix. This is why gamers like WizardofOZ are silenced through forum bans; because the developers are not trying to make a quality product and they are afraid that complaints will scare away potential paying customers. Of course they are doing it all wrong, take care of your existing customers, treat them like gold, and they will hype about your game, even with persistent bugs, just be sure to fix them eventually.

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As you can see, this is not a very positive review of the World of Lordcraft Strat PBBG. This is why I primarily focus on what's good, instead of what sucks. But hey, it felt good to vent. We need quality games people, are you developers listening?