Posts by Salix

    This is a very difficult question.

    We already have most options.

    Yep, that's the issue I am having. Lottery tickets contain pretty much everything with very few exceptions.

    Voucher for immediate construction of a route.

    Yeah, that's an idea that I had too and that sounds reasonable. Theoretically it could also be implemented in the track building process directly. Instead of giving you a voucher, you can simply complete the track by watching a video. The effect is pretty much the same, it would mostly depend on what is easier to develop.
    But probably a bit too early think about the details here.

    I suggest having a medal every day for watching 10 or 20 videos.

    Maybe, yeah. Might not be super exciting for everyone (for example for me, personally, it would not be that interesting because I do not care at all about my personal prestige ranking), but definitely a good idea in general.

    I would give priority to free lottery tickets.

    This (and gold) would only be possible if we reduced the limit for videos massively (like a 3-10 videos per day). Otherwise this is simply waaaaaay too attractive and would essentially mean the financial end of RN, because even those players who spend money (and therfore allow the game to continue to exist) would reconsider if they really want to spend money on the game if they can have the same thing for free.
    Supporting non-payers in some way is one thing and can (and should) be done to some extent, but essentially encouraging players to spend less than before is an entirely different topic and a luxury we definitely can't afford.

    A list of the players working with you would be a great start.

    I'm aiming to contact a few players this week, maybe already have the first talks.


    About the fix for the 2nd video update: With one of our BE devs still not being able to work, I can't say for sure, but with the info I have right now I can tell that we will work on this this week. Not sure about the update date and if this requires a downtime or not.


    PS: I would appreciate it if everyone here could keep the two topics, "Second video bug" & "Removed multi-views of the same video", separate. Both are related to videos of course, but they are still fundamentally different topics.

    Would that guy watch 10 ads = 20 minutes to save 5 to 20 gold for the next lottery ticket? I guess not.

    According to data: Yes.


    I guess there is only ONE reason for big payers to watch 15 k of ads ( = 30 k minutes = 600 hours): to reach Cineast level 10

    Same for everyone else, not just payers. If there is a certain motivation to reach cineast level 10, there is no reason to believe this motivation is any different for payers and non payers. Let's not try to cherrypick arguments to support our preexisting concept of who watches videos.

    But my guess is, those low budget players rather hope vor 24 h plus than for a ticket taking 20 of their gold.

    I agree. For non-payers (like me), the discount for tickets is almost worthless in comparison to the other rewards.

    So my first suggestion would be: re-install the old features/bugs as good and as close as you can, because they caused almost no complaints.

    Apart from the fact that this is simply not possible, this is also sadly not at all true. Technical issues with videos are by far the most common complaint about videos. Complaints about the content of videos are a very "German problem" and not at all common anywhere else and even in Germany it's far behind technical issues.

    If sufficient lower price tickets could be obtained through doing fewer videos to allow a player to be competitive then I think it would be much more widely used & could reduce your gold revenues.

    Hm...depends. Some players who already buy tickets would use them to get them cheaper (i.e. we lose revenue), others who would otherwise not buy tickets might buy them this way (i.e. we increase revenue). So it depens on the circumstances and the details.

    The beauty of the old system was that if players had money then they usually were not bothered to sit for hours doing a repetitive task watching videos.

    Sounds logical and a few weeks ago I would have agreed with you. But after looking at survey data and raw game data, it turns out we are both wrong. Payers do watch videos, actually even more than non-payers. The reason for this is most likely that both video-watching and spending gold are causally connected to being a highly engaged player.
    But, no matter what the cause is: Contrary to what one might think intuitively, payers do actually NOT watch less videos.

    This is why I had actually applauded your old system in my mind as it seemed to strike what I thought was a reasonable balance in this regard.

    This balance is based on the assumption that payers do not watch videos, which is not correct. That is another reason why I would like to tweak the system to maybe come a bit closer to actual balance, not just perceived balance. Right now I don't know if that is possible. I have a few ideas, but nothing that I'm extremely convinced of. Maybe you have ideas?

    It does not address the reason that we started this topic at all - the videos were a means of gaining cheaper lottery cards

    Just to understand your wish correctly: So it would (as an isolated feature) be in your interest to to make "Cheaper lottery ticket" more likely to appear in videos? Would it be a good change for you if you were able to get more/equally many of those with a lower amount of videos?

    Salix has stated his aim to eradicate bot use

    To be honest, this particular topic got way more attention in this thread than it should have. Bots are just ONE reason why something needs to be done about videos. There are other goals as well, for example for videos to be less annoying (i.e. reducing the amount of videos someone has to view to get the reward he wants) and also to make it more attractive for those who have not watched videos yet. At the same time it needs to be taken into account that there is a group of players that uses videos (or rathe the rewards) as a part of their playstyle, for example to get rewards in general or to use the gold they buy effectively by using the video discount for lottery tickets. So there are multiple goals here and bots are just a one of them. I just wanted to clarify this.

    hen repeated calls in this regard have been ignored/not responded to

    Repeating the same request won't result in a different answer: I am sorry, but I will not guarantee something that I can not guarantee. That is something that (in my opinion) is very close to lying and I do not intend to do that. As I said before, I'm not in the business of making false promises. I can only repeat what I said before: I consider it very likely that we can do something about videos this years. Especially if we follow the strategy I mentioned before (first a simple fix, later on possibly a general rework) I am confident that the simple fix can be done this year.

    if "community" defines the internal community of employees

    You misunderstood. My area is still the communication with the community (i.e. players). I am just not the one who communicates (theoretically & usually).
    I didn't say that my communication task is interal, I said that I represent the community internally. I think you mixed those two areas up.
    So, to clarify:
    I manage & plan communication with our players (but am not the one who communicates...with a few exceptions) AND represent our community in our team. And I do lots of other stuff ;)

    if your job is more about planning why do you have the title "communications manager" added at your profile? That's confusing to me because a communications manager has a very different job as a planner.

    Mostly because my full title "Community Communications Manager" doesn't fit in the box. The job of being a CCM in this company is mostly defined as taking over the strategical (contrary to operative) part of Community Management and communication (not all channels though). So I plan stuff in that general area. In addition, the CCM is the person that represents the community internally. Meaning: I receive reports from all the Community Managers about what happens in their communities and make sure it reaches the right places. For example we specifically collect ideas & wishes and every week I discuss those ideas with our game designer (and forward the results back to the CMs).
    The exact activities of a CCM always depend a bit on the game and what this game and its team need. In my case this lead to a relatively strong focus on participating in planning activities for the game (i.e. content plan, not necessarily just community activities) since there simply was a need for that.

    I hope that explains my job a little bit. Don't focus too much on the title, that's just a word. We are a small company, many of us do more than the theoretical definition of the job title would suggest.

    it's not offensive meant but should't it be better to add a correct funtion title to your avatar?

    The CCM is by definition a purely strategic role (i.e. someone who plans, not executes), so it is fitting to what I do...except that I extend that role and also take operative tasks, like discussing on the forum right now.
    And no worry, no offense taken :)

    I want to express my gratitude to you Samisu and Salix

    You are accessible and have interesting and useful discussions with you.

    I appreciate that, thank you. Right back at you^^

    Theoretically my job does not really involve being active in the forum myself (my job is more about planning), but I simply like a good discussion and the amazing content some players create (be it tools, fan pages, discussions, art) so I usually can't resist getting involved frequently here whenever I find the time or when I find a topic extremely interesting. In the end I'm still the forum nerd I've always been since my childhood^^

    I think that there ought to be major development items that are on all forums & then perhaps weekly a summary from each main language that could share the key thoughts expressed shared across the other languages - a possible way to share ideas on big ticket topics.

    That sounds interesting.

    The question is can it be so hard to put something into the game which retards bots?

    That depends. HearMeRoar actually explained it very accurately: Fighting bots is extremely hard, it's much smarter to fight the reasons why people even use bots. Fighting bots is hard because to effectively prevent them you usually have to know how they work. That is already tough to find out in many cases. If you manage to do this, you still need to implement something that will stop this bot. The bot-creator will notice and try to find a way to circumvent it. Then the developers will react to that again. And the cheater will react to that. And again and again and again. So you enter an endless arms race that is extremely costly and never has a guaranteed solution. In some games (like shooters) this is still necessary to do because cheating problems are so dominant and the incentive to cheat is impossible to remove. In games like ours, it's foolish.

    This is why it's much smarter to make sure using bots is not attractive or, even if people use bots, it doesn't really provide an advantage anymore. In the case of videos, this can be achieved by a limit for the amount of videos or the rewards I can get.
    Because in that case it does not matter how well programmed a bot is, how hard it is to detect or how powerful it is...it doesn't matter, the player has no strong reason to use a bot and even he is using a bot, it doesn't really make a big difference.

    I do not know. Also career points are not a reliable sign of activity. Someone who was active for 5 years and collected careerpoints in that time might be inactive now and someone who just joined a month ago and therefore barely has any career points could play 20 hours per day for all we know. Career points are not a measurment of current activity, but past activity.

    A balanced and fair discussion can only happen, if both sides got the same information

    And - at the end - in company/customer relationship it's not the numbers that count, it's the feeling of the customers that create trust,

    Both these things are precisely why we offered to create the Video Viewer Task Force. There we can discuss openly (and, thanks to NDAs, share all the data) and have the opportuniy to directly include player feedback and their feelings about the topic in the design process.

    ou have brought up the issue of bots several times. Players are not complaining about bots

    Not in this thread, no. In general they do. In a recent survey the community voted it as the biggest problem in RN. Maybe it is not a big problem for you personally and there is also not a big number of cheaters. But there are plenty of players who care deeply about cheaters, so we take that problem seriously where ever we can.

    Penalising the 99.9% because of the behaviour of 0.1%

    First of all, it's less than 2% who watch more than (for example) 100 videos per day, not 99,9%. Secondly, a limit that is intended to only cut off insanely high amount of videos that can only be achieved by using bots does not penalize a single person except bots. How is any honest players penalized if there is a limit that can only be achieved with bots? Or, if we approach it differenlty, rewards per video will icnrease, so there is no need to even reach the limit in order to get the same (or better) reward as before? How is that a penalty?

    And there must be solutions to this that are not difficult to implement, like after watching say 10 vidoes in less than 15 minutes the player is automatically logged out.

    So what? That is super annoying for human player and no problem whatsoever for bots, they can just automatically relog instantly. That is the opposite of a solution. It's only harming honest players and not helping against bots at all.

    They are not such a small group ...

    because some people watch so many videos only sometimes ...

    because it is terrifying to watch so many videos!


    Trust me!

    I do trust you. Nevertheless, again, this is a matter of definitions. What does "some people" or "many videos" or "not a small group" mean? But, be that as it may, I have the actual numbers in front of me, so I have very accurate overview over how many people people watch how many videos.

    Ever tried watching a lot of videos?

    Yep. I play without spending on gold, so videos are also quite important for me.

    If any player has enough money. He won't watch the video like crazy.

    Initially I thought so too, but when I checked the data it turned out I was wrong. There is actually no clear pattern that would indicate that payers with a lot of money do not watch videos. Apparently videos are also very appealing for payers, which kind of shines a different light on the question whether non-payers can compete with payers by watching videos. Apparently both watch videos. Of course not all of them.There are also plenty of non-payers and payer who don't watch videos. Like I said, there is no real pattern.


    The smart way is to limit the motive!

    I agree 100%. Fighting bots is an uphill battle...or more like fighting windmills. It makes way more sense to fight the reason why people even use bots: It's rewarding to do so.
    That's why a limit makes sense, be it soft limit with diminishing returns as you suggested or a hard cap. Both are valid methods to remove the motivation to watch tenthousands of videos.

    Direct restriction is very rough for players!

    That very strongly depends what exactly the limit is. If the limit would be 5 videos, more than half of all video watchers would be affected. That's of course not cool. If the limit is 100, only 1,6% of players is affected. The 100 as a limit is of course just an example (the 1,6% however is not, that is actually the percentage of players that would be affected on an average server), I just want to show how big of difference it makes where exactly the limit is.
    So if we use a limit (be it hard or soft), it's all about where exactly that limit is.

    How many cakes do you want to buy?

    I'm trying to watch my nutrition, so none :(

    Please could I suggest that you agree to make this a priority to develop and implement a replacement feature & commit to a timeline of the end of 2020 at the latest to deliver on this?

    I have good news for you. Reworking the video feature is already part of our content plan, towards the end of the year. I want to be crystal clear here that plans can change. There are things in our plan that have a higher priority than everything else (like performance improvements and bugfixing for HTML5 or developing the mobile version of HTML5) and those things are kind of "open end", so we can't say exactly when they are done. Of course that can influence everything else in the plan.
    That is why I can't say something like "The video feature will be reworked in month XY". But it's important enough to have made it in the content plan and I'm very happy about that.
    Personally I'm aiming to do this in steps, for example finding a simple but not perfect solution rather early and then taking the time that is needed to rework the feature in general.

    So, as you can see a very large percentage of active players watch video, right?

    That depends on your definition of "very large". About one third of players watch videos at all and the average is around 6 videos per day per player (varies between servers). The only reason for this average being so high (I know, 6 does not sound like a lot compared to what some of you watch per day, but it is a rather high average) is that a relatively small group of dedicated players that watch a lot of videos (i.e. you guys) and an even smaller group of players that watch even more videos that are very likely using bots/scripts, since those amounts are simply not humanly possible.


    So my personal goals for a first simple fix would be to find a solution that cuts off those bots (i.e. a reasonable limit) and at the same time makes it equally or more attractive to watch videos for everyone else. The real challenge here is to find the sweet spot for the limit for videos and the change in rewards here.

    A complete rework of the video feature is much more challenging and while there are many many examples (especially in mobile games) that show how to implement videos smartly (and many other games that show how to do it poorly), Rail Nation might not be the kind of game where this is reasonable.
    But that's basically the kind of thing I would love to discuss in detail with the Video Watcher task force that Samisu is trying to create here.

    For those of you who mentioned that the second video not working was not a big issue in the last few months: That's because this is a HTML5 issue. In Flash, the widget was basically not able to check if a video was already watched for quite a long timeframe (or until reloading it). In HTML5, the widget is up to date much much quicker, leading to this new problem.

    So you are right, it was not a issue in the last months and years. It is an issue of the last days and weeks (depending on the server). So the fix was necessary. And even without the fix, the amount of useful videos available would be the same as they are now, since they would be viewable, but not be rewarded. So just removing that bugfix again would not do the trick.

    I know that some team members have called the fact that multiple players can watch the same video a bug. While technically correct (since there is a bug entry from 2017 for this ), we basically accepted this bug as something that does not need to be fixed. The team member who called it a bug on the forum was not aware of this. We already talked yesterday and cleared up this misunderstanding. My apologies for the unclear communication about this.


    So for clarification: the fix we applied WAS a bugfix, but it was not intended to fix the multiple views of one video, but rather the resulting bug of not being rewarded for watching a video if someone has already watched it.
    I will continue to talk to the team to check what we can do about this unwanted side effect.

    Regarding a possible new system to replace the movies/videos, perhaps it might be best to have some form of consultation with some of your loyal players and not just surprise us with something "new" that no one likes.

    That's precisely what I'm asking for here.
    And just to be clear: It would probably not replace videos. Just the way they are used.

    I would just like to chip in that whilst watching lots of videos is not to everyone's taste, it has been a means whereby players who do not have a lot of gold can compete with those that do.

    Yes, I am aware. I am one of those players, I am a very strict "I never spend money" player myself (although the Primus last year broke my will).
    And personally, I would like to keep that factor in the game. I totally agree that it's good if non-payers have a way to compete and, if talented enough (unlike me), manage to get a good rank.
    I just don't think that watching 500 videos per day is the best way to achieve that goal. There has to be a better way.
    I don't have the magical solution right now and whatever we come up with will probably be a compromise. And I would very much prefer this "we" to also be you. I can only repeat my invitation for everyone who is interested to discuss the problem, the goals and hopefully the solution in detail with me.