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[Surgeon's Report] An Introduction, and a Look at Newfriend Retention

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[Surgeon's Report] An Introduction, and a Look at Newfriend Retention

Post by Dr. Kenzo Tenma on Wed Dec 31, 2014 2:59 pm

This is my first article, feel free to leave comments or criticism. Thanks for the read!


An Introduction, and a Look at Newfriend Retention

Who am I?
First of all, I’d like to introduce myself. I am Dr. Kenzo Tenma, a new player born on Day 2,596. I look forward to interacting with the lively community that makes up this game and getting to know all of you. I’m here to talk about my experiences in my first hours and days in the game, and how I feel that experience, and the experience of others, could be better.

Why does this matter?
In a game like eRepublik, everything depends upon the player base. The entire life of the game depends on us, because while the mechanics are there to be played, the game is not fun without interaction. Without the active retention of new players, the player base will only continue to shrink, resulting in a less fun and a less engaging game for everyone involved. There are obvious ways that we can work to retain new players, and I am going to offer my opinion on the subject, by detailing my experience.

My Experience.
The first question to ask, is what keeps players playing?
Obviously this question is a dynamic one that changes throughout every players' time here, but my reason holds a unique position in retaining other newcomers. Before I had even signed up for an account, I had a vested interest in this game. I had been looking for some kind of social online game that involved politics, and a friend directed me here. As soon as I signed up, I started reading. I read all of the links I received through PMs, and the top five newspapers. This all brought me into the game, and made me want to sign in again.

But what if I hadn’t heard about the game from another person? What if I had happened upon eRepublik from a simple Google search? What do I have to spark my interest? Upon signing in for the first time, a few things pop out at the new comer. First, is the game’s shotty tutorial, which suggests working, training, and fighting, and leveling as fast as possible. Secondly, they receive an automated message from the president.

The Welcoming Letter:
When a new player joins eRepublik, they receive a slew of welcoming messages from various entities in the game, but the only message that a new member is going to see for certain, and probably the only one they will see during their first login, is the initial welcoming letter. This message is the most integral factor in the retaining of a new player that has had no former experience with eRepublik. This message holds two specific purposes: firstly, stopping the player from doing anything stupid on their initial login, and much more importantly, bringing about enough interest in the player to best ensure another login the following day. If they manage a second login then their chances of remaining in the game have expanded hugely, as they will now have  a sizable amount of messages to read so long as the various political and military entities are doing their jobs well, keeping the game and learning process interesting.

So what can we do better?
Neither of these key points were properly targeted until I received a message from Gnilraps:

This message more properly tackles our goal of stopping the new player from putting him or herself behind. Furthermore, it suggests, not only in passing that the newcomer should save his gold, but lays out a proper plan of action, while not going too far. Obviously we don't want to flood the new player with too much information, so Gnilraps states that his advice of not fighting will be explained later. This is a good game plan. Furthermore, while not doing as much as the introductory message might be capable of, it brings forth the promise of conversation.

The main issue with the current status of the introductory message is that, aside from the fact that it doesn't do the greatest job of drawing the player back, it doesn't give the player a game plan for success. It does give the player some helpful hints, but hints are it. In fact, the only point of direction given is that the new player not create multiple accounts and a suggestion not to spend gold on training. Of course, the DoE link is filled with a wealth of information, but expecting all new players to actively peruse these links on their first visit is not a good plan. Leaving them there for those that are already invested is great, but most of us simply are not at that point during our first session. This is, again, the reason that this initial message must draw visitors back for more.

Correcting the Current Discrepancies
In the current landscape, these are, almost always, what a new account will look like after the first login.

Obviously, the first of these two cannot be helped much. This person may not have even read the introductory message, but if they did, and it had the potential that I am suggesting, they might not have left before doing a thing in the game.

The person in the second image clearly shows interest, but they fought, and far too much. And they did so because the in game tutorial tells them to do so. This needs to be addressed in the core of the introductory message: if you want to help your nation, get active in a military unit and political party, and work and train. Save your gold. Only fight until you are high enough level to join a political party and then farm strength. And make it exciting, express the wealth of opportunities, and more players will come back.

In Summation:

Growing the active player base and drawing in new members is a must for the sustainability of this game. This can happen now by:

-Creating a clear and succinct plan for new players
-Bringing interest to the player in the initial message
-Recognizing that the #1 goal of the introductory message is to bring a new player back a second time.

Thanks for the read, there is more to come.
- Dr. Kenzo Tenma

Note: Special thanks to Gnilraps for suggesting I write a news article, and all of his helpful guidance.

Dr. Kenzo Tenma

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Re: [Surgeon's Report] An Introduction, and a Look at Newfriend Retention

Post by TMG KRYTPIC X on Wed Dec 31, 2014 5:03 pm

Enjoyed it, keep it up!

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Re: [Surgeon's Report] An Introduction, and a Look at Newfriend Retention

Post by Franklin Stone on Wed Dec 31, 2014 6:44 pm

Franklin Stone

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