Some Talk About Campaigns and Contracts

Discussion in 'Team Fortress 2 Talk' started by theatreTECHIE, Feb 22, 2016.

  1. theatreTECHIE

    aa theatreTECHIE Yet another Techie for the net...

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    I just watched a video by Grizzly Berry about if campaigns still work, and you can watch that here. (Okay, I know that the video's been out for a few days) Personally, I do think that something needs to be changed, and as we mappers would like our maps to be put in the game (even if it may not happen to each of us), we should think about what can be done to keep the community interested in updates like these campaigns.

    I mentioned in the comments of the video linked above some of my ideas that I had by reading through the comments and putting some of my own thought into it. The basic breakdown of what I thought of is as follows:

    - Challenge a Friend
    This idea was in the comments of the video, where the person thought that you could challenge a friend to kill x number of people with a certain weapon. If they succeeded, they would get a case or weapon. I thought to take this further and have you and a friend 'battle' against each other to see who could get the most points, heal the most or put out the most damage. (Or something else) The victor (decided at the end of the round or map) would get the spoils.

    - Increased Chances of Good Loot with a Campaign Coin
    This idea came from the comments, but I also thought that it would be nice if the higher rank your campaign pass was, the better chance of getting a rare item from a case/drop would be. This would also put more emphasis on doing the bonus contracts, as you would level up your pass quicker, and get better loot sooner. This could also be tied into my next suggestion which is:

    - Changing How a Contract Works
    This involves breaking up the contract into three parts rather than two.
    The first part would be much the same as the regular contracts we have now, except rather than having to get 100 points, you would just have to get, say, 50. This would decrease the 'grind' of contract work that many people are feeling about completing the contracts.
    The second part would involve (slightly) harder objectives for the player, and could also be worth 50 points.
    The final part of the contract would be basically the same as the advanced section of the contracts we have now, except possibly a bit harder.

    - Leveling Up Campaign Badge Rewards
    This involves the player getting a weapon or cosmetic each time they level up their badge, with the value of the item corresponding to the level of their coin. This item would be for one of the classes that the player plays the most of, and (as suggested in the comments of the video) could be non-tradeable/marketable to make these items exclusive to campaign pass owners.

    - Fewer Campaigns
    I realize that this means that there will be less maps in the game overall, but hear me out. Over the past 8 months we have had Gun Mettle, Invasion, Halloween and Tough Break, all without much of a breath between them. This has lead to burnout for the community (as is shown by the diminishing sales of passes). With fewer campaigns, the community won't get as burnt out, meaning that (hopefully) more passes will be sold each campaign.

    So those are my ideas, but take it how you choose. Also do you have any other ideas or suggestions?
     
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    Last edited: Feb 22, 2016
  2. CommodoreKong

    aa CommodoreKong

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    Another thing I think we need to see is different weapon reskins in campaigns. So far with both Gun Mettle and Tough Break they have both been the same set of default weapons. Hopefully Valve just wont keep reskinning the same set of weapons over and over again.
     
  3. fubarFX

    aa fubarFX The "raw" in "nodraw"

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    for the record, the numbers in that video are very off the mark, tough break sales are lower than gunmettle, but not to that extent
     
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  4. theatreTECHIE

    aa theatreTECHIE Yet another Techie for the net...

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    That may be, but I have certainly noticed less Tough Break coins on servers than Gun Mettle coins last year, so I think that something should be done to boost interest again.
     
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  5. Zed

    aa Zed Certified Most Crunk™

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    Honestly I just wish regular skin drops were more common. I'd like more chances to get better skins without having to buy keys.
     
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  6. Lain

    aa Lain Resident wrong opinion holder

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    They need an exp system like Dota and CSGO where you get untradeable skins for leveling up.
     
  7. CommodoreKong

    aa CommodoreKong

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    That's good to hear the sales numbers for Tough Break aren't quite as bad as they seem. Hopefully the sale on the pass brings a good amount of extra revenue to you guys.
     
  8. fubarFX

    aa fubarFX The "raw" in "nodraw"

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    The video says toughbreak has 1/3 the sales of gunmettle when it's more around half (tho we don't have a final number yet). It's not anywhere near but it's not /bad/

    I think people have accepted that gunmettle numbers won't be replicated unless the user base grows considerably. Gunmettle was a crazy high quality update too. It had the whole snowplow thing going for it on top of two completely new visual themes. We're going to have trouble topping that in a future campaign.
     
  9. LeSwordfish

    aa LeSwordfish semi-trained quasi-professional

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    Also everybody bought into the contracts system to try it: I assume that some people didn't enjoy it and won't do so again.
     
  10. Freyja

    aa Freyja ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    Who the damn hell is Red Robot!
     
  11. theatreTECHIE

    aa theatreTECHIE Yet another Techie for the net...

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    Whoops, sorry, was watching a video by him just before I wrote that. Changed the name in the OP.
     
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  12. EArkham

    aa EArkham Necromancer

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    I posted this on facepunch in a similar topic. It was more focused on "value added" by improving the rewards. Reposting here since it seems pertinent:

    ----

    One thing that I feel would help with campaigns is adding a "Decorated Weapon Series Strangifier" as a rare drop for completing contracts. For example, a "Gentlemann's Series Strangifier" so you could actually use on some of those nice Top Shelf and High Roller skins. Or just outright let you have a small chance of getting one of these in strange to begin with for doing a contract.

    Maybe even go so far as to replace strange weapons from cases with unboxing a strangifier at the same rate, and let the unboxer decide which weapon he's unboxed to make strange. So rather than unboxing a strange SMG and a non-strange Elite sniper rifle, you'd have a strangifier and a non-strange Elite sniper rifle instead.

    A couple of new uncommon/rare tools to change skin quality would be awesome, too. Like a "Decorated Weapon Buffing Kit" that improves the quality by one level, or a "Decorated Weapon Sandpaper Kit" that degrades it by one level. Then instead of being stuck with a wear you don't like, you could change it.

    Basically anything that lets someone take their favourite weapon and turn it into their dream weapon would be a huge plus. Improved customization.

    Making new contract drops regular and predictable like in Gun Mettle would also help. I went from chasing my contracts on a regular weekly basis during Gun Mettle to not really caring much about them because I couldn't tell when I'd get a new one. I think I'm about 5-6 contracts behind now.

    Someone else suggested a hat or cosmetic that changes as you upgrade your pass. To be honest, I have no clue why this hasn't already been part of the campaigns since it seems like a no brainer.

    There's probably a dozen other things that could be done to add some serious value to the campaign passes.
     
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  13. leprecan

    leprecan L2: Junior Member

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    The contracts can't pay out with Strangifiers in any reasonable percentage without running the risk of hurting Valve's moneymaking crates.

    Part of the problem is that the value of a Campaign is in the Community Market, not so much in game. All the free drops you get are unlikely to be the dream fancy Factory New weapon, but are mostly Well Worn and look like bloodied plywood. Unless you are very lucky and get a good drop, to make the value of your pass back you have to sell the things you get.

    This means that Valve gets even more money off of trade transactions as people subsidize their passes. Its not a bad thing, if you get the pass early then you can make a lot of money back and have some fun with the challenges, but much of the reward feels external to the game.
     
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  14. EArkham

    aa EArkham Necromancer

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    Well, I'm looking at it like this. Of potential customers, you have:

    A) Those who are always going to buy a new pass (eg, die hard fans)
    B) Those who buy the pass because they want something it offers (eg, items or fun)
    C) Those who buy the pass to "profit" (eg, selling items from it or trading it to others)
    D) Those who would rather trade for the pass (eg, viewing it as "cheaper") but aren't willing to spend money on it
    E) Those who haven't been buying the pass but would if the incentives were there
    F) Those who will never buy the pass under any condition

    For a campaign to be monetarily successful, you have to make sure as many players as possible are in groups B & C, and those who are normally in group D & E have some incentive to move to B & C.

    Group F can be ignored since there's nothing you can do to please them. Based on TF2's financial success, they're a minority, even though you've likely heard them complaining on some forum.

    Group A can be ignored too, because they're also a minority and succeeding with groups B or C will likely succeed with A as well.

    Marketable items are always more valuable at the start of a campaign, but drop as interest wanes and more of those items become available. The maximum profit point for the market should in theory be the point where any given item is regularly listed at a high price, and still desirable enough to be purchased at that price. Once items are too common and cheap, the market profitablity drops. (This point doesn't really affect content contributors directly, but it's a factor Valve likely considers so we have to as well).

    So to make a campaign successful, it's all about convincing players that the pass is worth spending money on, and spending money on it within the first half of the campaign.

    Of course, none of us have the data on how many people are in whatever group, or customer satisifaction, or anything like that. But I feel this is a pretty sound tactic.

    It should translate into:

    1) Making campaign items and content more interesting, more desirable
    2) Adding perceived value to the pass itself
    3) Adding some timed feature to the purchase of the pass, so that early adopters get something out of it (eg, so they aren't soured at a 50% sale late in the campaign)

    This is just how I'm viewing it. Not claiming to be a marketing expert (I'm quite crap at marketing my workshop items in fact), but this seems logical.
     
  15. leprecan

    leprecan L2: Junior Member

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    Retooling map specific contracts would also go a long way to decreasing burnout, maps that are prone to stalemating are hurt a lot by their advanced portion only fulfilled by winning. Counting events like capturing objectives and blocking an objective from capture would help a lot. If you don't like a map, at least you won't have to spend so long on it.
     
  16. Grizzly Berry

    aa Grizzly Berry

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    I went with the number of Gun Mettle Campaign Coins and Tough Break Campaign Stamps listed on stats.tf. I know these numbers aren't 100% accurate, as a large portion of Steam inventories are private and the campaign has since gone on sale, but it was the best I could do. If there's a better way of determining these numbers, I would love to hear about it so I can make sure future videos are more accurate. I'm glad to hear sales are higher than what I found though. :)

    I like EArkham's post about adding strangifiers and ways to change your weapon's quality. One comment on my video suggested a shop of sorts. Instead of getting random drops, you receive the Contract Points and are able to spend them for skins. It would incentivize players to play for the bonus points, but would also bring down the value of skins on the market because everyone would go after the "best" skins.
     
  17. fubarFX

    aa fubarFX The "raw" in "nodraw"

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    well, the most accurate way is to have valve make the sale data available to you by contributing to a campaign. but if that were the case, you would not have the liberty to share that information. so yeah, as far as public information goes, that's all you get.
     
  18. Jethro

    Jethro MUSty Complainer

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    I think there might be a logistical issue in adding weapon reskins for anything but Valve-made weapons.
     
  19. Ynders

    aa Ynders absolutely gormful

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    I think there could be a campaign one of these days that's all about hats, rather than skins(maybe call it the "skinless update," in the fashion of the hatless update?). People seem far less enthusiastic about weapon skins than good ol' hats, though I could be very wrong.
     
  20. CommodoreKong

    aa CommodoreKong

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    There are several Australium weapons that weren't Valve made models.

    Even if it is the case that they don't want to use non-Valve made models there are still a number of Valve made weapon models they could use instead of the current weapons.