aqualizard

Player Retention Ideas - how to attract and keep new players?

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smozoma    100
16 minutes ago, TomKabs93 said:

1. Yes seasons are too long, it gets tiring

2. Yes 94 has enough lag issues playing just north american opponents, I know we gotta take what we can get but the added latency sucks donkey nuts

3. Similar to #1, if the seasons were shorter with stricter deadlines this wouldnt be such a problem

4. Okay cool guy, if you cant handle losing then we dont need you anyway

5. Aim is a thing of the past, discord seems to be working well

 

4 isn't useful... He means when people take it too seriously and aren't friendly, regardless of how good they are. Toxic players and posters who make what should be a game into stressful interactions, drama, pissing contest...

Here is a quick guide for Discord chat: http://forum.nhl94.com/index.php?/topic/18063-test-games-and-getting-connected/. There are also installable versions for your computer/phone/tablet if you want to get background notifications.

For #1 and #3 unfortunately the low number of SNES players these days problem prevents there from being much of a solution for someone who wants to log on, play his games, then log off. Everyone's busy and has a schedule, gotta be able to compromise. I do think Discord can help a bit in that there is more of a constant chat going on that you can observe passively to see who's around (rather than pinging people on AIM)

 

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TomKabs93    7
2 hours ago, smozoma said:

 

4 isn't useful... He means when people take it too seriously and aren't friendly, regardless of how good they are. Toxic players and posters who make what should be a game into stressful interactions, drama, pissing contest...

 

Politically correct forums are no fun :(

 

I dont think everyone comes here just for dry discussions about the game, and for setting up games / leagues

 

Trash talk and banter is a big part of hockey in general. I'm not saying that F-bombs should be uncensored or anything, but I feel like every time I open up my mouth Im about to get a finger wagging lol

 

tldr: I feel like I should be able to tell jballlicker he sucks if I want. I havent even played the guy before and we dont even like the same system, so this aint personal

#freedomofvirtualspeech

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Premium    18

You don't have to be friendly. At the end of the day, the trash talkers are just speaking without thought while the guys like smozoma go to bed with their feelings hurt over an AIM comment or a forum post. So who is taking it too seriously... the ones who let it affect their lives and talk to their wives about it, or the ones who are doing it out of competitiveness?

--------------------------------------

In order for players to be retained, leagues need to have rules, and punishments need to be harsh.

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Brutus    45
16 minutes ago, Premium said:

In order for players to be retained, leagues need to have rules, and punishments need to be harsh.

So, there is a lot of talk about what needs to be, does not need to be, what ruined, what didn't ruin, etc, but clearly, it is in a real down state.

I KNOW for a fact that at least 3-4 guys dropped because of Plabax (going back a few years to get above 1, being AJ).  I disagree with it being a valid reason, but it was the reason given to me more than once, so AT TIMES, player interaction can drive someone away. To me, I find it weird to have 1/3 of the site naming guys like Plabax for the decrease in player volume and then on the flip side, Plabax talking about it like ONLY strict rules are to be blamed.  It is a little ironic to have the kid state the ONLY reason for drop off is due to lack of tight rules while being one of the "other" reasons listed if you were to track down all the guys who left and took a poll on "Why did you leave?"

 

I've run more leagues than most of late, and I feel my opinion weighs more for knowing the reasons for dropouts, and they aren't based on the players or the rules of the leagues.
#1 Modern gaming for online play/competition in other forums is too easily accessible.  If you disagree, you haven't been gaming anywhere else lately.  You can play 6 vs 6 with HD quality graphics in hockey, walk by a TV when someone has Madden or the Show on, and you'd swear they are watching a real life game.  And to play these games onine, you just turn them on and play.
#2 Having to PLUG into your modem and not play wireless greatly reduces the times dudes are able to be available to game.  Most of us have to wait until the wife/kids are in bed/out of the way before we can plug in & play.  On top of having to be plugged into the modem, the wife/kids/roommates can't be streaming Netflix while we try to play our NHL94.
#3 A large chunk of the crowd got older, and real life knocked them out of the habit.  I used to play D&D games online back in college but I've never went back.  I used to play Madden with my brother.  I used to play the latest baseball game with him as well.  Once I stopped doing them, going back to them requires too much mental re-affirmation for my mind to handle it.  I think once someone gets out of the habit of doing anything, there exist a strong chance they don't come back.

I'm not trying to poo-poo any efforts to grow the community, help new guys come in and join the fun, create cool leagues, etc.  And, I'm not trying to place blame anywhere.

I've had some great experiences playing NHL94 online and in person.  There are times in my life where things got too hectic and I stopped playing for a while.  If say NBA2k was more entertaining for me online, or the MLB the Show's server wasn't crap, etc, I probably would not have come back last year, and I run some of the leagues!

 

 

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Brutus    45

I also firmly believe the site is set up terribly for a newcomer.

 

I mentioned this when I first came across this site a little over 4 years ago.  If any of the admins are interested in changing it, feel free to reach out to me.  It would require a lot of mental work on my part to lay out how things should be, but it is utter chaos to anyone who stumbles across this site to try to catch on to what they need, what is new, what is old, what is a league, what is active, what isn't.  I never said much but if those in charge were hoping to catch on to Kingof94II for more action, a better setup would be one of the top things I'd list.

There is just too much information coming at you in an order that barely makes sense to me as a vet, much less as someone new.  I remember being like half way through an hour read into some league's forum pages when I first got on the site only to realize the dates are from WAY back and the league was now dead.  I know we've updated some of the forum/league info, but I'd take a large wager on a poll to the last 15 guys who've joined the site being STILL confused somewhat :)

 

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Premium    18

Close to hundreds of people have left due to the failure to run a well-structured league. Nobody should be concerned if two guys leave because of me.

Fact is, the people who leave "because of me" are also leaving because there is nothing else to look forward to anyway. Their thought process is, "the leagues suck, I suck, the only person doing anything is Plabax, and I don't like him.. So I'll just leave"

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TomKabs93    7

I think vet retention is more important than noob retention tbh. Lets be real it takes a pretty specific  type of person to be interested in  playing nhl 94 online, and chances are those types of people have stumbled across this site before.

Yeah this site is wack and not easy for newcomers to understand, but if they have the specific genetic combination to wanna play this game online for years, then they probably will make the effort to google the site and figure it out.

I believe we're putting more effort than what its worth worrying about attracting and keeping noobs. The vets are already here (or were before), we should be more concerned with accomodating the soldiers we have. 

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Brutus    45
15 minutes ago, TomKabs93 said:

I think vet retention is more important than noob retention tbh. Lets be real it takes a pretty specific  type of person to be interested in  playing nhl 94 online, and chances are those types of people have stumbled across this site before.

Yeah this site is wack and not easy for newcomers to understand, but if they have the specific genetic combination to wanna play this game online for years, then they probably will make the effort to google the site and figure it out.

I believe we're putting more effort than what its worth worrying about attracting and keeping noobs. The vets are already here (or were before), we should be more concerned with accomodating the soldiers we have. 

Um, there are no soldiers left.

Sorry but you aren't playing right now, or you'd know this.  You can't get to 16 solid vets to do a league right now. 

I'm the guy with 95% of the guys who have been active on the site in the past 2 years cell phone numbers.  I'm the ONLY GUY that anyone seemed comfortable giving this to.  There exist a reason for it, and you two wouldn't know it if it smacked you upside the head :)

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Brutus    45

But, as long as you need to plug into a modem to play the game, and it also requires that  no one else in your house using Netflix, etc, it's TOUGH to schedule games.

 

Hell, Plabax used to have to wait till like 2 am to play me while waiting for his Dad to goto bed.  I mean, he didn't mind, and I didn't mind, but I'm sure it made it tough for the kid to just pop on and play some exi's.

 

The harder it is to pop on, and play say 2-3 games and then get out, the harder it is to make the whole "online" thing work.

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smozoma    100
3 hours ago, TomKabs93 said:

Politically correct forums are no fun :(

I dont think everyone comes here just for dry discussions about the game, and for setting up games / leagues

Trash talk and banter is a big part of hockey in general. I'm not saying that F-bombs should be uncensored or anything, but I feel like every time I open up my mouth Im about to get a finger wagging lol

tldr: I feel like I should be able to tell jballlicker he sucks if I want. I havent even played the guy before and we dont even like the same system, so this aint personal

#freedomofvirtualspeech

 

It's not about being politically correct. If you go to play some casual game in real life, you don't trash talk guys who aren't into it. Like think about it.. if you go to some kind of walk-in game (say ping pong, whatever), and you start playing a guy, and he says, "I used to come here a lot but I got sick of the braggarts and tryhards, I'm just here to have some fun", what's the point of saying "if you cant handle losing then we dont need you anyway."? That's not banter.

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Premium    18
2 hours ago, Brutus said:

Um, there are no soldiers left.

Sorry but you aren't playing right now, or you'd know this.  You can't get to 16 solid vets to do a league right now. 

I'm the guy with 95% of the guys who have been active on the site in the past 2 years cell phone numbers.  I'm the ONLY GUY that anyone seemed comfortable giving this to.  There exist a reason for it, and you two wouldn't know it if it smacked you upside the head :)

The community is stupid for NOT enforcing the cell phone thing as a rule to those who need it. What is anyone going to do with a phone number besides text them to play? The community has been f**king around too long and catering to slacking "buds" instead of those who really care about the game.

2 hours ago, Brutus said:

But, as long as you need to plug into a modem to play the game, and it also requires that  no one else in your house using Netflix, etc, it's TOUGH to schedule games.

Is it really? Outside of guys who purposely avoid playing their games (slackers), there have never been any real tough scheduling issues. Plabax League is a good example. It was the only league with rules, and it was the only league to have a healthy pace.

1 hour ago, smozoma said:

It's not about being politically correct. If you go to play some casual game in real life, you don't trash talk guys who aren't into it. Like think about it.. if you go to some kind of walk-in game (say ping pong, whatever), and you start playing a guy, and he says, "I used to come here a lot but I got sick of the braggarts and tryhards, I'm just here to have some fun", what's the point of saying "if you cant handle losing then we dont need you anyway."? That's not banter.

Your example uses a casual game whereas this community is made up of the best players in the world who don't play this game casually. The better you are at something, the less you do it for fun. TomKabs is not a casual player.

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TomKabs93    7

Yeah im not sure whats casual about playing in online nhl 94 leagues. If you want casual, get a ps4 or xbox one and play new nhls there, theyre easily accessible. 

Using an ethernet cable and hamachi and a crappy emulator and setting up games on discord with a select few people to me isnt casual.

Brutus, I know that 94 is dead right now. I dont play leagues but I still check into this site and see whats going on. Apparently im too negative though lol, if you associate yourself with plabax youre automatically a villain. 

Brutus the way you talk is that its totally dead, so just give up if thats the case. Also, if you need to pester people on their cell phone to get them to play their games then theyre not committed enough to begin with.

Smoz, come on man not every post should have to be filled with rainbows of positivity. If you think my post isnt useful, it doesnt necessarily mean that its useless. Just let it be dude, being a moderator doesnt mean you should review every persons post for slight traces of negativity. 

I cringe when I read replies to my posts like this, but I cant force myself to refrain from speaking my mind on here. I still love you a-holes tho :(

Edited by TomKabs93

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Brutus    45

I'm careful to word it like this, It's slow right now, dead in action.  Which is why I've joined in of late in trying to help some new buds come in.

i joined in against your statement of focusing on vets because there aren't enough to form a league.  How you going to retain guys if you don't even have enough to keep a league running.  Just seems illogical to be defensive about vets when there aren't enough to even run back Plabax 2.0, much less even Plabax cause he quit too.

 

The rest is just garbage.  Plabax points about strict rules are not invalid but as usual, he displays a clear flaw/gap in his logic, and takes it to some extreme.

Most of us read his post & its glaringly obvious, but not all.   Spending time arguing with someone who is only posting to argue is a waste of my time.  I just put up an initial disclaimer so newer people to this forum know we aren't all dumb a-holes/pricks.

 

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Brutus    45

Blowback against you TK is not intentional & I do feel there is a hyper sensative forum going on at times.

But that would fit in with the world in general right now :(

 

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TomKabs93    7

Its okay brutus I understand. I guess I was more trying to say in hindsight that maybe we should have focused on vet retention all through the years more. But I know its neither here nor there as theyre all pretty much gone

Yeah this forum does sound a lot like the real world rn. I mean I totally understand getting rid of the usage of "gay" "retard" etc as insults, as I even feel bad when I let one slip around the house. It's wrong and im fully on board with that

I just want to be able to call someone a b***h when I feel its necessary / I want to

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Brutus    45

For those new to the community forum, and you are reading this, let me give you this to chew on.

IF Tom Brady spoke/acted like Terrell Owens, then you would understand Plabax better.  This kid won almost all the championships, but has some strange personality defects for online play/banter/posting, etc. 

TomKabs93 came on to the scene, and flashed that Michael Jordan type talent, but suffered a career ending injury after he won the slam dunk contest!  He beloved by all, and one of the few who befriended Plabax.  He's created a video compilation of deke moves to practice that is probably the best thing I can point anyone too in order to upgrade your offense.

 

The participation level of this site used to be really high.  About 2 years ago, it dropped down for a while, and then picked back up.  It's not a normal game/site.  It's from 1994 and the participation goes up and down.  I wouldn't be surprised to find 50 plus guys playing on this site 2 years from now, and then again, wouldn't be surprised to also see it down to 10 at some time.

 

Best thing I can say is if you are interested, follow the yellow brick road to Discord, where guys are on live most nights to help get you setup and get some exis in.

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aqualizard    42
1 hour ago, Brutus said:

I wouldn't be surprised to find 50 plus guys playing on this site 2 years from now, and then again, wouldn't be surprised to also see it down to 10 at some time.

I think when the doc and the Kof94 II come out -- around the same time! -- we can expect a boost.  Especially if we are prepared for it!   (MIkey said he would add a URL to the credits, like "Interested in joining? Check out www.nhl94.com/join or something, where we can have info...)  Will it be thousands? No.  But maybe dozens, and if we do it right, possibly over a hundred?  (I can dream, right?)  

Regarding Plabax, I happen to agree with most of his ideas.  His delivery often makes me cringe, and I think his trolling interferes with his good ideas, but what can you do?  I share his frustrations, honestly... I sure wish he would keep doing his leagues, though!  That stood the greatest chance of changing things around here.  But he is fed up.  I get it.  

TomKabs is a good guy, and him aligning himself with Plabax doesn't matter to most, I am sure.  I know I don't care. (I mean, I align myself with Plabax's ideas, though not his methods.)  I do think TK was a bit thin skinned regarding taking offense to Smozoma's critique, but I get where TK is coming from.

Think we just gotta focus more here on how to retain guys, and less on the in fighting. (As I said, I can dream, right?) ;)

Edited by aqualizard
typo

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Premium    18

Reputation DOES matter. If you are aligned with me then it's a negative. Guarantee that raph or smoz can say anything I say and get 25 likes per comment and even a "Bud of the Year" award.

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CoachMac    96
23 hours ago, Premium said:

Close to hundreds of people have left due to the failure to run a well-structured league. Nobody should be concerned if two guys leave because of me.

Fact is, the people who leave "because of me" are also leaving because there is nothing else to look forward to anyway. Their thought process is, "the leagues suck, I suck, the only person doing anything is Plabax, and I don't like him.. So I'll just leave"

Classic!:wub:

Cracks me up every time I read it!

You ran a great league then quit!
Why?
 

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Premium    18
3 hours ago, CoachMac said:

Classic!:wub:

Cracks me up every time I read it!

You ran a great league then quit!
Why?
 

Anyone is free to run my league.

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Premium    18

Why did I quit? I have nothing to prove. I have conquered the game of NHL '94. 

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jer_33    15

I feel like it's just the natural ebb/flow of hockey in general - spring/summer is just a slow time. We witness it almost every year - and it's the main reason that Classic is often turfed in the Spring.

This community still blows me away. Playing a 90's console sports game, online vs players from around the world, with an extremely welcoming group of players who have torn it down to it's code to allow for draft leagues, updated roms, classic roms, olympic roms. There's even a new way to play in 2v2.

The coolest thing though, is that many (or most) of the top players are super accessible. It really is a great group of guys. I think I'll make it my mission this summer to really try and track down some of the vets that I started with (Mind, Witt, Eggink, Dadonch etc..) and make sure that they stop in on DISCORD occasionally to say hello. Who knows, maybe they'll get the itch again.

I truly believe that as technology continues to advance, that this community has the people to help push it ahead.

My dream would be to have a emulator box, it's own internet connected console on which you could play/chat/stream emulated games all-in-one.

Maybe it's a retro-pie, or an android box, but it would be a small inexpensive set-up that should only require being plugged-in.

 

 

 

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