Sales Pitch

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by .silence., Nov 1, 2012.

  1. VintagePC

    VintagePC GodModePC (One-man Show) VF4-S (Server Operator) Forum Operator Minecraft Operator Global Moderator Staff Member DMC Tester TF2L developer

    Thing is, nobody's stepped up to the plate and approached us about this. I do try to schedule TF2 events when I can play, but for some reason unless I'm actually partaking in the event they seem to flop - but one person dedicated to scheduling and organizing events would be helpful.
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  2. CorruptDictator

    CorruptDictator I want a custom title, but I dont trust VintagePC

    I will tell you first hand that scheduling a LoL tournament and actually having it finish to completion is a huge pain in the ass. I would be willing to help with such a thing depending on the scale of a tournament desired.
  3. Envark

    Envark Noob

    "A society that gets rid of all its troublemakers goes downhill." --Robert Heinlein :p
  4. CaptSpiffy

    CaptSpiffy Best Moderator NA

    *ahem* Toolshed.

    Sent from my SGH-T959V using Tapatalk 2
  5. tigar

    tigar Achievement Hunter

    *cough* still has to show more of him doing it *couch*
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. lonesome killer

    lonesome killer Banhammered

    Alright, I've given VF4 5 months.
    December you failed because Christmas.
    January...No because Christmas recovery
    February...No because Valentine's day
    March...? I think you made it this month
    Correct me if I'm wrong on the months you didn't make the quota.

    The one month you hit the goal was when you released something new. You made the Minecraft store. And people bought it. After that month everyone who wanted it got it and you're back to the start. You need something new.

    Do you care about TF2 any more? The vibe I get is you're only concerned with getting the servers to quick join status. You get a group to fill up the servers, and as soon as it's done you leave. You don't try to stick around and engage with the server members. You have a big Steam Group and continue to neglect its usefulness. In March and April you only had a handful of announcements on the Steam Group. May you are doing better, but it seems the most you are concentrating on is the weekends. And 2 of the announcements were games. That's fine, but they were done near the weekend and it could have been easy to also announce a server fill up at the same time.

    I try to get everyone I meet to join Teamspeak. When I play League and invite the entire game people ask why are you inviting the enemy? Cause it's a game. I don't want a Teamspeak Club with the same people every night. I want a club of gamers. I care about the community.
  7. Cheese4Everyone

    Cheese4Everyone Ambassador to our Sentient Dairy-Based Overlords

    I think we need to take a moment to consider what our major player base is and what we want it to be in the future. As of right now I'm seeing the same 20 or so people who are constantly active on the forums, Teamspeak, LoL, and Steam. Don't get me wrong it's awesome that we have a dedicated core community but I'm not seeing many new faces.

    In terms of the LoL verus TF2 focus question I think that TF2 has the potential to attract a larger number of potential members but LoL seems to generate lasting active members of the community.

    Honestly TF2 is alot of kids and teens who your only going to attract with prizes and in-game personalities. I first started playing on the servers because of the Christmas Give-Away event and when I started to met interesting people on the servers that's when I really decided to "join" the community instead of just adding my name to the list of members. With that being said I also think it's important to point out that many of your TF2 players aren't going to be able to donate to the community as they don't have paypal or credit card accounts being kids and all.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is we need to decide who are target audience is going to be and then make a serious effort to engage them. I'm willing to lend a hand with event planning and administration, so whoever gets the job put me on your list of helpers or whatever.

    Sorry for the disjointed nature of this post I'm just stream of consciousness typing at the moment -_-
  8. VintagePC

    VintagePC GodModePC (One-man Show) VF4-S (Server Operator) Forum Operator Minecraft Operator Global Moderator Staff Member DMC Tester TF2L developer

    Quickplay weighs heavily because it's the only way we get servers that are full for a reasonable period of time. We tried custom stuff like montage, restoring the old payload, stock weapons only TF2, etc. and guess what? they sat empty as soon as the novelty (i.e. first event) wore off. We are still trying new stuff - freezetag ( most recently VSH, which has gained some popularity) and I'm still trying some other stuff. Don't think I don't care about TF2 anymore, I've been here busting my balls keeping the servers running the way they are and maintaining them. Where it gets difficult, and VERY frustrating is when I get ZERO feedback from the community on things I do. Just about any feedback thread I create either sees very little response, or has a few small ideas and then dies out again. I _WANT_ people to have servers they come back to, but it's impossible for me to do that if I don't know if what we have meets that criterion or not!

    As for steam group... the 40K new one does all right and fills servers quickly, but the old FFN one? Not so much. The last two TF2 events I posted there (one for a doublecross night, one for prophunt) flopped completely, despite being mid-primetime. All of 4 people turned out. Seems to me a lot of people simply don't care anymore or have lost interest - and try as we might, a few handfuls of staff members with real life jobs do not a full server make. I've tried listening to the community members in the past and setting things up for them that they would play on, but there was nowhere near enough interest to keep it going (CSS/KF/CSGO, anyone?) You had a handful of people that were all "Yeah! Let's Do It!", then when it doesn't magically become a smash hit, they all vanish and the server stagnates until I kill it out of mercy. It is for this exact reason we have to rely on the community and supplement that with quickplay - it has to come from both sides; we provide and administer the servers, but we simply cannot fill them by ourselves, no matter how much we try.

    Needing more events is an issue I agree with you on. I do them when I can (I do want to partake in them for an hour or two, not just set an event and never actually play in it) and I know other staff members have been trying hard to do more of them. I've been pushing to get a fixed event schedule with one event per day per group - IMHO it needs to be at the same time each day so you actually gain regulars that show up because they know the server is full at that time - random, off the cuff events don't do that)
  9. LavaRed

    LavaRed Community Manager VF4-S (Server Operator) Staff Member

    Another thing to keep in mind is that even when you DO have steady community members that are all for our community, you won't see every single one of them donating. For example, Lonesome, you have been around for a looooooong time and are a good upstanding community member....but your name is not on the donator list. The correlation is simply not there as much as we would like it to be.

    And I do want to apologize for my antics over the weekend with jumping from server to server simply to quick-start quick play. After my surgery on Friday I was not feeling up to doing much this weekend, so I did server fill-ups.
  10. lonesome killer

    lonesome killer Banhammered

    I donated back when in FFN. It was $50 for 5 months I believe. Then I saw the servers going down hill. Even back then I suggested to use the Steam Group and it was only used maybe 5 times a month. There were promises that there would be more effort. I was told I was immature (maybe I am), yet you have Tach spamming "Trial" all the time and people getting drunk/high in Teamspeak and having a ball with it. And apparently the admins are so immature that they can't even handle poke priviliges in Teamspeak because they abuse it. Then there was a whole ordeal about Captain and his signature. I don't remember any more, but I think it was 2 guys kissing? It offended so many people that signatures were taken down. You have a several full of people yelling profanities, racial slurs, and gosh damnits, but the forums couldn't handle a signature?

    So I stopped. I decided to spend my time giving to the community, not FFN or VF4. That's why I give away so many games and TF2 items.

    There's nothing wrong with Quickplay Vintage. What I was saying was that a group gets going to get the 12 ppl required to enable quickplay, then as soon as it fills up the initial group leaves to just let the server handle itself. And it's not an isolated event to this passed weekend. It seems it happens more often. .
  11. LavaRed

    LavaRed Community Manager VF4-S (Server Operator) Staff Member

    Fair enough I suppose. I was just making the point about our monetary donations is all :p

    I can't really account for FFN happenings since I wasn't a "red name" there, but you DO know how much myself and the others appreciate the efforts right?
  12. lonesome killer

    lonesome killer Banhammered

    I'm a little slow, what efforts are you referring to?
  13. VintagePC

    VintagePC GodModePC (One-man Show) VF4-S (Server Operator) Forum Operator Minecraft Operator Global Moderator Staff Member DMC Tester TF2L developer

    I think that answers it... :p
  14. LavaRed

    LavaRed Community Manager VF4-S (Server Operator) Staff Member

    I see how you try to invite entire LoL games of people to TS, as well as in TF2. Also how you encourage others to visit our forums.
  15. lonesome killer

    lonesome killer Banhammered

    oh :cool:
    I can do derivatives of algebraic equations, but I no understands da engrish sentences.
    • Funny Funny x 2
  16. Anonymous 72

    Anonymous 72 Guest

    Quickplay isn't going to do anything if you don't get regulars. Even so, regulars aren't even the best way to get revenue anymore. It's all about pinion.
  17. Reechard

    Reechard Server Admin VF4-S (Server Operator) Minecraft Operator Staff Member Minecraft Admin

    We've been avoiding server-based ads for a long time because of how obnoxious some of them can get. Even pinion's ads are starting to become video-based, and the few times I've random'd a server and got a video ad, I add it to my blacklist :-/
    • Agree Agree x 2
  18. Anonymous 72

    Anonymous 72 Guest

    I hate it too, which is why I have HTML MOTDs turned off (albeit with priority kick-for-slot-reservation). It's extremely successful for many communities, however. That isn't really disputable.
  19. VintagePC

    VintagePC GodModePC (One-man Show) VF4-S (Server Operator) Forum Operator Minecraft Operator Global Moderator Staff Member DMC Tester TF2L developer

    They _are_ video based, and if you want any sort of revenue from them you have to FORCE people to watch them (you don't get credit unless people actually watch a certain percentage of the ad). I'm sorry, but I'd rather shut down the TF2 servers than force ads down the throats of our users. I respect them more than that.
  20. Inflikted

    Inflikted Achievement Hunter

    Vintage is correct, there is a great deal of background work to server maintenance a lot of people probably never see or understand the amount of frustrating time it takes to fix things especially after patches. There are only two people left that fix sourcemod after major tf2/css patches, a bit of a scary thought considering over 100,000 gameservers relying on it. A lot of the work ends up in the hands of the server operators to try and fix the issues, and test fixes to the wee hours of the night.

    Vintage is also correct about trying new server ideas and things taking time. People have to be patient . When I created the original Custom Payload Server it took a solid year before things really took off with the custom map rotation. People warmed up to it very slowly. But we had a couple stock servers running 'Back2Basics' and regulars would tell people about the custom server, and tell them how to get to the server. It was really the grassroot effort that made it a success and that kind of stuff takes a long time but just needs consistent effort. I recall I had a silly thing setup in the early days for admin quotas, admins were required to introduce themselves to something like 5 new players a month. Tell them about our community, website, custom servers, admin program etc. That kind of stuff adds up over time. Back then we only had a small number of admins so it was easy to track and manage. Eventually it got to a point I couldn't continue that and had to rely on people honestly wanting to improve the community and help.

    Communities and regulars can be created from quickplay servers but indeed it is correct the rest of the community has to be engaging this new population and the servers have to be consistently full on a daily basis. Granted there are still ways to automatically get a server onto quickplay and full which some communities employ, it doesn't tend to generate the same amount of regulars for a community. It is great if all you care about is pinion and generating ad money. I was generating a regular for every 800 unique people that visited a server on average through the old fashion way of players joining up.

    As far as large steamgroups go, it can be a blessing and a curse. While having a steamgroup with over 200,000+ people is great and all it has a degradation rate. People stop playing games, people stop logging on steam, people get jobs, some people live in narnia and aren't awake during your event hours. Those 200,000 people you have in your group is actually significantly less unless there is constantly new people being funneled into the group. Even with steamgroup events, the more events you do the less it reciprocates with the group itself and the more people who will leave your steamgroup because of the constant event spams. This also requires constantly funneling new people into the group to offset the people leaving. Unfortunately this is where automation came into play for me, constantly inviting 3000 new United States/Canadian active TF2 players a day to the steamgroup knowing about 2.5% of them would join and automating steam events dependent on the server population at the time and server priority/rank. Having one person doing all these tasks on their own would be a full time job in itself and people also need to understand this is a hobby. They are doing the best they can with the time they have. Luckily there is a leadership that is open to listening to ideas and the direction to take the community.

    Pinion I have used since it was first in beta. The revenue model has gone downhill and is unfavorable to the game server operator as well as the players. There isn't the same kind of huge profits that were available just 6 months ago. Now viewers need to watch for a certain amount of time before the server gets the impression and from previous experience just as this new system was being put into place 99% of people never bothered watching till the end and revenues tanked significantly. The only people who would watch all the way through were regulars who knew the community depended on that revenue.
    • Informative Informative x 1
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