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Is CC Declining?

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Re: Is CC Declining?

Postby Dukasaur on Sat Sep 06, 2014 1:28 pm

keyborn wrote:9807... small increase.... is this the beginning of a trend? I guess we shall see...

Actually, the recovery began on August 30th.
Dukasaur wrote:
isaiah40 wrote:9696

9716. The summer doldrums may be over...:)


9849

A gain of 153 in just over a week. This recovery has come both sooner and faster than last year's recovery.

Granted, a lot of that is just the normal seasonal recovery, but given the fact that it has come sooner and is considerably faster than last year's, I have a lot of hope that it also reflects an underlying upward trend.

I've always said that the lack of a Global Chat is the single biggest element that other games have and CC doesn't. Now that that's been corrected, I think it will prove to make a huge difference. The guide games and guide bots and other new-member initiatives seem to be working. Conversion of visitors to members seems to be around the 5% range (and if you think that's puny, consider that historically it was in the neighbourhood of 2%).

Bugs and instabilities in the Panel interface are getting worked out, and although there's still a big hangover of pissed-off members whose patience was sorely tested with the many changes to the interface, I think the majority that are still here are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and a relatively stable and smooth new interface. The problem remains of re-attracting the three or four thousand that we probably lost as a result of those changes. Some of them are probably lost permanently, but a good percentage will probably take a shot in the dark and come check it out at some point.

Meanwhile the new activities are keeping existing member from being bored. The monthly challenges and the Special Events days and the star-chasing autotournaments are giving something new-and-different to people who are bored of their regular games and tournaments.

The area closest to my heart, the world of community-run tournaments, remains in dire straits and has declined even more in the last few years than the site as a whole. Nonetheless, even there we are seeing a bit of an upward trend in the last two weeks, and with just a bit of help I think it will continue.

Overall, it feels good to have come out of the darkest days and find that the ship, while it may have suffered a multitude of casualties, is still afloat and heading in the right direction.
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Re: Is CC Declining?

Postby owenshooter on Sat Sep 06, 2014 2:41 pm

Dukasaur wrote:I've always said that the lack of a Global Chat is the single biggest element that other games have and CC doesn't. Now that that's been corrected, I think it will prove to make a huge difference. The guide games and guide bots and other new-member initiatives seem to be working. Conversion of visitors to members seems to be around the 5% range (and if you think that's puny, consider that historically it was in the neighbourhood of 2%).

Overall, it feels good to have come out of the darkest days and find that the ship, while it may have suffered a multitude of casualties, is still afloat and heading in the right direction.

First of all... i guarantee that if you contacted and polled a large portion of the almost 14K that people have left since the start of the decline, the lack of GLOBAL CHAT would not even be mentioned... i absolutely GUARANTEE that fact... to pin the decline on a lack of global chat, is laughable... i won't even get into the guide and bot games.. however, if possible, please post some numbers on the effects that bot games have had on member retention. People don't even want them in GLOBAL CHAT..

Secondly, if you really think that we have come out of "the darkest days", keep drinking the kool-aid... i remember when 18K, then 15K, then 12K, then 10K were the darkest days for CC... i'm sorry, i just don't think this slide is over and i don't think ownership has any clue as to how to stop the tailspin... it's time to pay someone to help in effort of saving this place or even for real advertising or programmers... sorry to be a negative nancy, but have been watching this place fall apart from the inside out for some years now...-el Jesus negro

p.s.-did you really say that global chat saved the site? *snicker*...
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Re: Is CC Declining?

Postby Dukasaur on Sat Sep 06, 2014 4:08 pm

owenshooter wrote:i guarantee that if you contacted and polled a large portion of the almost 14K that people have left since the start of the decline,

It's a lot more than 14K that have left the site. The 14K decline is only the net decline. In other words, those who have left minus those who have joined.

We have had 677068 members over time, so in essence you can say that (677068 - 9849) or 667219 have left the site.

667219!

That's a staggering number. Some of those, of course, were active members who left for a multitude of reasons. The really big number, however, are those who never did become active members. Those who signed up, started a game, sat there waiting for something to happen, and then said "WTF?!" and moved on to something else, never to return.

There is a rule-of-thumb in retail that if someone comes to your store looking for a product and you don't have it in stock, you have less than a 5% chance of having them come back for it. You can bend over backwards promising to order it for them, to expedite the order, to give them a raincheck, whatever, and those things might slightly improve your chances, but bottom line is that there's no substitute for having exactly what they need on the shelf, right now.

When someone comes to a wargame site they expect a war game. They expect to join a game and almost instantly be attacking somebody. Yeah, if a site comes really highly recommended they might check back the next day, but if they're just browsing around and checking things that look good in their browser, there's nothing to bring them back the next day. They will keep clicking until they find some orcs to beat up, somewhere.

The sense of real-time and present engagement is essential. This has always been CC's biggest weakness. Historically, less than 2% (1.9%, to be specific) of visitors stuck around long enough to finish a game. That's a massive, massive waste. Having immediate, real-time engagement was desperately needed.

The bots improved the situation. People who couldn't wait for a game against a human could begin an immediate game against a bot. That satisfied some of the need, but only some of it. The guide games were another help. They helped a bit, but not enough. A player would request a guide game, and by the time it got organized and someone jumped in it they were already gone. People in the Internet age have a very short attention span. Interact with them instantly, or they're off to the next site.

Global chat is the next, and probably the biggest, improvement. It addresses the need for immediate socialization, which to many people is even more important than their need to play immediately. No, I don't think its a panacea. I'm not saying it will solve all our problems. But it will solve the single largest one -- the lack of immediate real-time social interaction. If people have contact with other people, immediately, that can bridge the gap until they start to get good enough at the game that the game itself becomes something worth sticking around for.

There's a reason why all successful games have it. There was no good reason why CC until now did not. Luckily that has now been remedied.
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Re: Is CC Declining?

Postby BigBallinStalin on Sun Sep 07, 2014 12:11 am

The problem is predominantly external to CC, and CC can't internally change to sufficiently address this problem. People expect CC to be fun, and then when they visit it, they find out it's not really what they had in mind--regardless of the global chat and someone saying "hello!" to you in a 24-hour game.

CC is fundamentally restricted in its capacity to retain new membership. Superficial facelifts will hardly address the great change in consumer demand for online gaming because most of the consumers want immediate, frequent, and visually stimulating interaction with the game. CC simply can't offer that. CC requires a long-term perspective of gradual strategic adjustments in very limited bursts. A speed game, if you can get one to start with your desired settings, offers immediate play but is still visually boring. The world is demanding something that CC is unwilling and probably can't offer.

The CC owner will keep doing the facelifts because it's less costly and less risky than a drastic overhaul. Just don't fool yourself into thinking it'll turn demand in CC's favor. This is the best way to rake in the profit until it finally shuts down.
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Re: Is CC Declining?

Postby ConfederateSS on Sun Sep 07, 2014 11:22 am

Duke..sounds good...So why not let the freebies(new comers) get 5 speed games.they can feel the battle asap,.to start with...Tell them that's their signing bonus...Back to the regular set up afterwards..Get them hooked like a crack dealer gives their costumers ,the first ones free.......How's that Rambo....ConfederateSS..out!!!!!!
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Re: Is CC Declining?

Postby Heg on Sun Sep 07, 2014 12:04 pm

Hi folks

Just been reading this thread and found it interesting, thought i'd chip in with a few of my thoughts.

First off, for a bit of background I originally joined about 7 years ago, had premium membership for about a year - enjoyed having a few games going at a time for while but eventually stopped playing when i got too busy with a new job and children etc. Returned a few days ago after a break of about 6 years and started a few games and thinking about premium membership.

Here's a few thoughts i've had since my return:

1) The good old classic gameplay is still available using classic rules and 24 hour rounds which is great and i'm excited about trying out a few different maps.

2) Things seem quieter - I guess, as this thread highlights, active membership has halved since i was last around. This is felt quite badly in the length of time it can take to get a game started - and some of the tournaments look like they are really struggling to get entrants.

3) The range of options are pretty confusing - and i suspect don't help get games started as too many people wanna play with too many different rules.

4) All the different star inventory stuff is pretty bewildering and confusing - haven't decided whether there is anything decent in it yet or if its just an annoying money grabbing scam.

5) I think it needs to be acknowledged that CC is a niche game - classic risk mechanics played over long games with days between turns. Only a fairly small % of people are ever going to be attracted to this - and the focus needs to be on those people. I'm not surprised that many turn away when the reality of slow rather than instant gratification becomes clear.

6) It strikes me that the features that are most likely to draw people in and retain them are tournaments and maybe speed games - but these seem to be the things which have the highest barriers to entry (money/credits/stars/premium/knowledge). I had a look at joining a tournament but it just looked pretty confusing and like i'd have to shell out money.

Anyway there's my thought for what they're worth - i'm hoping that its not a terminal decline and i'm looking forward to getting back into the game as it would be perfect for my daily commute to work on the train!
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Re: Is CC Declining?

Postby AndyDufresne on Sun Sep 07, 2014 12:14 pm

ConfederateSS wrote:Duke..sounds good...So why not let the freebies(new comers) get 5 speed games.they can feel the battle asap,.to start with...Tell them that's their signing bonus...Back to the regular set up afterwards..Get them hooked like a crack dealer gives their costumers ,the first ones free.......How's that Rambo....ConfederateSS..out!!!!!!


BigBallinStalin wrote:The problem is predominantly external to CC, and CC can't internally change to sufficiently address this problem.


That's the problem.


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Re: Is CC Declining?

Postby BigBallinStalin on Sun Sep 07, 2014 12:45 pm

ConfederateSS wrote:Duke..sounds good...So why not let the freebies(new comers) get 5 speed games.they can feel the battle asap,.to start with...Tell them that's their signing bonus...Back to the regular set up afterwards..Get them hooked like a crack dealer gives their costumers ,the first ones free.......How's that Rambo....ConfederateSS..out!!!!!!


Duk told me that they tried the free speed games thing, but it wasn't effective.

(however, I'm unaware of the duration of this policy).
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Re: Is CC Declining?

Postby BigBallinStalin on Sun Sep 07, 2014 12:52 pm

Heg wrote:
6) It strikes me that the features that are most likely to draw people in and retain them are tournaments and maybe speed games - but these seem to be the things which have the highest barriers to entry (money/credits/stars/premium/knowledge). I had a look at joining a tournament but it just looked pretty confusing and like i'd have to shell out money.


Interesting... it seems CC thought that if they raised the price of joining some tourneys, then more people would join the tourneys because a complicated, silly CC 'currency' would facilitate greater activity.

Unfortunately, the demand curve for games slopes downward, so raising the price results in a lower quantity demanded. And if the competing tournaments go for zero-price, then all else being equal positive-price tourneys won't beat out the competition.

Also, monetary issues: the CC currency is worthless, so there's no income effect that causes more games to be made. It has minor aesthetic value, and it ultimately serves as an additional barrier to trade (i.e. players joining games). Unfortunately, many people are burning resources fiddling with a dumb currency when instead CC could simply host zero-priced tournaments so that people could spend more time playing rather than more time fiddling. (*there are caveats to this last sentence).

The main exception are the very few tournaments that offer a monetary prize, but that's a different kind of tournament.
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Re: Is CC Declining?

Postby Heg on Sun Sep 07, 2014 1:24 pm

Yes, it definitely seems as though the currency/tourney stuff is a bit too 'fiddly'. Priority 1 ought to be 'get people playing' so the site thrives with activity.
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Re: Is CC Declining?

Postby Dukasaur on Sun Sep 07, 2014 1:34 pm

BigBallinStalin wrote:
ConfederateSS wrote:Duke..sounds good...So why not let the freebies(new comers) get 5 speed games.they can feel the battle asap,.to start with...Tell them that's their signing bonus...Back to the regular set up afterwards..Get them hooked like a crack dealer gives their costumers ,the first ones free.......How's that Rambo....ConfederateSS..out!!!!!!


Duk told me that they tried the free speed games thing, but it wasn't effective.

(however, I'm unaware of the duration of this policy).

I believe it was April to November of 2013, but I could be off by a month at either end.

However, one of the new things just unveiled in the last week with the opening of the Club Store is speed game packs, where someone who wants to go for speed games but doesn't want to go for full premium membership can buy cheap packs of 5 speed games for 100 creds. (Essentially $1)

BigBallinStalin wrote:
Heg wrote:
6) It strikes me that the features that are most likely to draw people in and retain them are tournaments and maybe speed games - but these seem to be the things which have the highest barriers to entry (money/credits/stars/premium/knowledge). I had a look at joining a tournament but it just looked pretty confusing and like i'd have to shell out money.


Interesting... it seems CC thought that if they raised the price of joining some tourneys, then more people would join the tourneys because a complicated, silly CC 'currency' would facilitate greater activity.

Unfortunately, the demand curve for games slopes downward, so raising the price results in a lower quantity demanded. And if the competing tournaments go for zero-price, then all else being equal positive-price tourneys won't beat out the competition.

Also, monetary issues: the CC currency is worthless, so there's no income effect that causes more games to be made. It has minor aesthetic value, and it ultimately serves as an additional barrier to trade (i.e. players joining games). Unfortunately, many people are burning resources fiddling with a dumb currency when instead CC could simply host zero-priced tournaments so that people could spend more time playing rather than more time fiddling. (*there are caveats to this last sentence).

The main exception are the very few tournaments that offer a monetary prize, but that's a different kind of tournament.

Virtually all community-run tournaments are free to join. Of course, many require premium membership due to the game load, but that's not an attempt to raise a barrier entry, only a natural constraint. (If a tournament is 7 games per round, obviously a freemium member cannot meet the schedule with his 4-game limit.)

Many autotournaments are free also. Those autotournaments that have an entry cost almost always either have a cash prize (C-Cup VIII, for instance, has more than $650 in Amazon gift certificates) or are stepping stones to a finale with a cash prize (the Reach for the Stars tournaments do not have cash prizes in the intermediate steps, but they do push toward the "Quest For The Stars - Goal" tournament with $600 up for grabs.)

At present, due to the opening of the Store and the special promotions associated with it, there are more cash prize tournaments than usual. The "Store Purchase Special" tournament offers $100, the various "Made of Stars" tournaments offer $30 prizes. I do not know the effectiveness of these in driving store purchases, because it's not something I've paid close attention to, but it doesn't seem like a bad idea to promote store purchases.

Anybody who doesn't want to play with star conversions and microcredit transfers, of course, is welcome to play in community-run tournaments, all of which are free.

Heg wrote:Yes, it definitely seems as though the currency/tourney stuff is a bit too 'fiddly'. Priority 1 ought to be 'get people playing' so the site thrives with activity.

That definitely is priority one. BW is working on many different tracks simultaneously to improve CC. If you don't like the currency-based tournaments, I would definitely recommend you check out the community-run tournaments here.
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Re: Is CC Declining?

Postby owenshooter on Sun Sep 07, 2014 3:17 pm

Dukasaur wrote:We have had 677068 members over time, so in essence you can say that (677068 - 9849) or 667219 have left the site.

667219!

that number is staggering... obviously, mostly andy's fault... O:) O:) O:) O:) -eJn
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Re: Is CC Declining?

Postby Heg on Sun Sep 07, 2014 3:47 pm

Thanks for the reply Duke, I'll try out some of the different tourneys.
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Re: Is CC Declining?

Postby ConfederateSS on Mon Sep 08, 2014 8:00 am

Was giving freebies(new comers) speed games. Before or after the Home page was updated...Maybe they should try again..But have it in big letters on the home page....But I guess it's good as it's going to get..ConfederateSS..out!!!!!!!!...P.S....Come on people....Just pay the 25 bucks...C.C. needs the money......I think we've reached the point of a PBS telethon .....Maybe they can hold it on Facebook...I'll donate...1 million Confederate dollars(Jefferson Davis is on the fifty.sweet)....HA!HA!HA!HA!
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Re: Is CC Declining?

Postby Optimus Prime on Thu Sep 11, 2014 5:10 pm

MrBenn wrote:
loutil wrote:
Optimus Prime wrote:
I'll be honest, I've had (not mega-serious) conversations with a variety of friends in my sphere of web development about the idea of finding the capital to purchase the website and give it a massive (and I do mean MASSIVE overhaul) into the modern era, but it takes a lot of money and I don't have those kind of connections yet.

Maybe someday.

Curious as to what you define as "a lot of money"?

I'd imagine "a lot of money" is equivalent to "more money than I have lying around unused". I'm sure that most of us who have invested part of our lives in this site have thought about reviving it somehow at some point; but for me it feels like a dead duck in the water now.

Yep, pretty much. If I remember from back in the day when I was part of the administrator team, the website and its assets were worth at least $100,000 or more. Now, I'm not privy to how much lackattack originally sold the site for when he departed, nor am I privy to how much it was when it changed hands after that, but I'm guessing it will take more than the $1,000 I could scrape up on short notice for such a thing. It would take some investors or me coming into a truckload of money, even if the value was only the the tens of thousands at the moment.

I suppose I could theoretically just build something from scratch and try to win the user war, but that seems like a lot of effort wasted if I could just fix what's wrong here. Perhaps someday, perhaps someday. I have all the connections I need to find a way to get improvements made, but money is always the issue. I don't like asking people to do things for free. As a web developer myself, that's one of the most annoying things someone can ask.
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Re: Is CC Declining?

Postby isaiah40 on Fri Sep 12, 2014 12:04 am

Optimus Prime wrote:
MrBenn wrote:
loutil wrote:
Optimus Prime wrote:
I'll be honest, I've had (not mega-serious) conversations with a variety of friends in my sphere of web development about the idea of finding the capital to purchase the website and give it a massive (and I do mean MASSIVE overhaul) into the modern era, but it takes a lot of money and I don't have those kind of connections yet.

Maybe someday.

Curious as to what you define as "a lot of money"?

I'd imagine "a lot of money" is equivalent to "more money than I have lying around unused". I'm sure that most of us who have invested part of our lives in this site have thought about reviving it somehow at some point; but for me it feels like a dead duck in the water now.

Yep, pretty much. If I remember from back in the day when I was part of the administrator team, the website and its assets were worth at least $100,000 or more. Now, I'm not privy to how much lackattack originally sold the site for when he departed, nor am I privy to how much it was when it changed hands after that, but I'm guessing it will take more than the $1,000 I could scrape up on short notice for such a thing. It would take some investors or me coming into a truckload of money, even if the value was only the the tens of thousands at the moment.

I suppose I could theoretically just build something from scratch and try to win the user war, but that seems like a lot of effort wasted if I could just fix what's wrong here. Perhaps someday, perhaps someday. I have all the connections I need to find a way to get improvements made, but money is always the issue. I don't like asking people to do things for free. As a web developer myself, that's one of the most annoying things someone can ask.

Well to fix what's wrong her you would have to pretty much start from scratch. Of course I just happen to be thinking about starting my own Risk based site, and like you say, money is the big problem.
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Re: Is CC Declining?

Postby stahrgazer on Fri Sep 12, 2014 12:58 am

General Quigley wrote:However, to make things less intimidating to newcomers, there needs to be a "Conquer Club Lite" feature, which would be the default setting for fremiums and paid memberships for the first 90 or 120 days. There can be a setting for advanced options if a paid member wishes for them. I am just saying CC Lite needs to be the default.


You're right but you're also not-right.

I believe you're right that multiple maps and multiple options can be confusing at first. Fog of War can be confusing at first much less polymorphic.

But... I don't believe you're right that there should be a CC lite with yet another button to push if you want to see what the site truly has to offer, or limiting what fremiums can play beyond the current speed/gamenumber limits.

Instead, maybe the bots should be programmed to play all those other options and maps; and new players STRONGLY encouraged to play with the bots on unfamiliar settings/maps, rather than jumping right in to games with others....and for freemiums, let them play these without these bot-training games being part of their game limits.
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Re: Is CC Declining?

Postby betiko on Fri Sep 12, 2014 4:07 am

I don t think there is anything to blame about the site. Anyone knows if the comptetition, landgrab and whatever aren t suffering from the same drop?
I don t think anyone left CC for another risk site, nor to play it exclusively on board games.
The people playing risk worldwide isn t that much of a full expanding population; if you open a great site to play risk, well between 2006 and 2010 people will eventually find it. By 2014 all of the "oldies", or most of them, have found it, and have had time to play it till they felt like moving on.
Come on, the attention span for a game for most "normal" people isn t 10 years. Sticking around for 3-4 years for a same game is huge!
The audience is niche but there will always be a hard core nucleus of players. I don t think the site is risking to disapear, and i m not personally affected by the drop of users.
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Re: Is CC Declining?

Postby BigBallinStalin on Fri Sep 12, 2014 8:12 am

betiko wrote:I don t think there is anything to blame about the site. Anyone knows if the comptetition, landgrab and whatever aren t suffering from the same drop?
I don t think anyone left CC for another risk site, nor to play it exclusively on board games.
The people playing risk worldwide isn t that much of a full expanding population; if you open a great site to play risk, well between 2006 and 2010 people will eventually find it. By 2014 all of the "oldies", or most of them, have found it, and have had time to play it till they felt like moving on.
Come on, the attention span for a game for most "normal" people isn t 10 years. Sticking around for 3-4 years for a same game is huge!
The audience is niche but there will always be a hard core nucleus of players. I don t think the site is risking to disapear, and i m not personally affected by the drop of users.


Sure, it is, but we can't estimate the risk. For some number of users, this site will not only run in the red--but before that number, the income to the owner will be worse than other prospects (e.g. why own this site and deal with it when it makes you $10k per year?)
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Re: Is CC Declining?

Postby owenshooter on Fri Sep 12, 2014 8:35 am

BigBallinStalin wrote:(e.g. why own this site and deal with it when it makes you $10k per year?)

that is a little over a dollar a user... *snicker*...-Jésus noir
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Re: Is CC Declining?

Postby Army of GOD on Fri Sep 12, 2014 2:37 pm

9851

a gain of 2 in 5 days
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Re: Is CC Declining?

Postby Gillipig on Fri Sep 12, 2014 3:53 pm

betiko wrote:I don t think there is anything to blame about the site. Anyone knows if the comptetition, landgrab and whatever aren t suffering from the same drop?
I don t think anyone left CC for another risk site, nor to play it exclusively on board games.
The people playing risk worldwide isn t that much of a full expanding population; if you open a great site to play risk, well between 2006 and 2010 people will eventually find it. By 2014 all of the "oldies", or most of them, have found it, and have had time to play it till they felt like moving on.
Come on, the attention span for a game for most "normal" people isn t 10 years. Sticking around for 3-4 years for a same game is huge!
The audience is niche but there will always be a hard core nucleus of players. I don t think the site is risking to disapear, and i m not personally affected by the drop of users.

So you only play bot games then? Because if you are playing games with/against other players you are dependent on those other players and how many/few they are. Almost everyone have felt the consequences of the decline as games are harder to fill, but even if you are one of those few who only play against a small number of people over and over again, it is still only a matter of time until you feel the effects of the decline as well. It may be that your little clan starts losing members and no new people fill their place, it may be that you have trouble finding other clans to play against, regardless you will feel the decline if you haven't already, only a matter of time till you do.
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Re: Is CC Declining?

Postby BigBallinStalin on Fri Sep 12, 2014 7:23 pm

When is CC gonna roll over and die? This is one very long story ITT.
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Re: Is CC Declining?

Postby Army of GOD on Mon Sep 15, 2014 4:34 pm

9814

the Great Decline has not gone away
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Re: Is CC Declining?

Postby owenshooter on Mon Sep 15, 2014 4:51 pm

Army of GOD wrote:9814

the Great Decline has not gone away

it's like a really bad venereal disease... something drastic is going to have to be done... BigW has shown that he is willing to put in the work, let's just hope his vision is the right vision... i for one am tired of having my pee sting...-Jésus noir
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