Letter from Will Harbin about the Future of Battle Pirates

  • heat.miser.37
    heat.miser.37
    Skilled Warrior
    Joined Dec 2013 Posts: 353

    Is the reference to "complacent" translates to treating Battle Pirates, and perhaps War Commander, as cash cows / turnkey operations?

    Kixeye's resources have been dedicated toward new products: vega wars and war commander rouge assault. These initiatives have been funded by the existing games, like battle pirates.

    There is still no definitive plan when flash is no longer supported (2019, 2020 if using Firefox), or at least revealed to the player base. Realistically, why would you bridge the player base of a game in the decline part of a product life cycle? Most likely action would be to reboot a proven entire new battle pirates game and start the product life cycle over. How many new players can you attract in a mature game?

    Until then, kixeye still needs the funds of the current core games to finance growth opportunities.

    When i hear "dedicating more resources to battle pirates", it kinda tells me attrition was at a higher rate than planned and it's an effort for retention.

  • Jessica Parker
    Jessica Parker
    Greenhorn
    Joined Jan 2015 Posts: 2
    the fun has been gone. i only put about $10 into it a month now and that is for repairs. getting 40,000,000 points to buy a hull is way out of reach for me now. i sign on only to do the fm's and get bare minimums now during raids. i've sunk my money into my own business now and have more fun with my new drones and make more money since i've given up coining to win prizes now. you've already killed the game with ur greed.
  • u -mad
    u -mad
    Potential Threat
    Joined Aug 2011 Posts: 63
    MONEY RUNNING LOW SO HERE WE GO BLOW SOME SMOKE UP EVERYONES **** AND MAKE THEM SPEND-----NOT WOKING ON ME THIS ROUND GO BROKE

  • FreedomCobra
    FreedomCobra
    Skilled Warrior
    Joined Feb 2013 Posts: 579

    @heat.miser.37 said:
    Is the reference to "complacent" translates to treating Battle Pirates, and perhaps War Commander, as cash cows / turnkey operations?

    Kixeye's resources have been dedicated toward new products: vega wars and war commander rouge assault. These initiatives have been funded by the existing games, like battle pirates.

    There is still no definitive plan when flash is no longer supported (2019, 2020 if using Firefox), or at least revealed to the player base. Realistically, why would you bridge the player base of a game in the decline part of a product life cycle? Most likely action would be to reboot a proven entire new battle pirates game and start the product life cycle over. How many new players can you attract in a mature game?

    Until then, kixeye still needs the funds of the current core games to finance growth opportunities.

    When i hear "dedicating more resources to battle pirates", it kinda tells me attrition was at a higher rate than planned and it's an effort for retention.

    The team over at War Commander is currently working on methods to port the game into another format, one that isn't slated for death. I think it's fairly reasonable to assume the Battle Pirates team might be following a similar set of marching orders in that regard.

    Right. Back to my own forum, I go.

    (Death Metal Playing In The Background)
    War Commander: Level 43
    Vega Conflict: Level 65
    Battle Pirates: Who cares?

  • u -mad
    u -mad
    Potential Threat
    Joined Aug 2011 Posts: 63
    AND A GOOD START WOULD BE ANSWER THE TICKETS SENT IN BEEN WAITING 2 DAYS ON A RAID TICKET GOOD JOB

  • Axel L
    Axel L
    WC Mod
    Joined Mar 2013 Posts: 11,107
    Axel L said:
    Thanks a lot for the communication Will Harbin and I'm truly thankful for this post. Here are some of my thoughts about the post and it was definitely worth reading. Please note that I'm not an active Battle Pirates player and my main kixeye game is instead War Commander.

    Firstly, this post can be seen as an indication that kixeye has messed up and that they want to repair the damage caused. It can't be a coincidence that the unicorn himself leaves the unicorn office and writes this post. His approach to repair the damage appears to be sorting out some of the bad apples from the game team and to value the player opinions higher than previously seen.

    Secondly, it's interesting to see that WrongThinker will become design lead for Battle Pirates and his skills shouldn't be underestimated. He used to previously be a design lead for TOME and War Commander and he has also been a great advocate for communication between the game team and players. At this time, he has posted a total of 20 different WrongThinker Thinks posts which is inside communication posts about the future and he has also been a major contributor to communication on the WC and TOME forums. He has also been a major contributor to general developer to community interactions on the forums.

    Thirdly, I'm also excited to see promised communication between the BP Game Team and the players as this has been a truly successful aspect with WC. My current theory stands that the communication efforts on the WC forums was either some form of pilot project or something accidental which ended up being successful.

    For those who haven't been active on the War Commander forums, the communication between the WC Game Team and the players consists out of the following aspects.
    Focus Group meetings
    • WC Game Team members asks discusses the game and future plans related to once specific subject to a community group of players.
    • The members on the Focus Group invited to the Focus Group meetings do usually change and the information published on the meetings aren't covered by a NDA.
    • At this time, 3 meetings has been made and the topic has been monthly events, PvP and Shadow Ops for the respective meetings.
    • The meetings are more or less done to get 
    Burny's Briefing Room podcast
    • A podcast were the WC Community Manger interviews a kixeye employee and asks some frequently asked questions. At this state, 5 episodes of the podcast has been published.
    Developer communication on the public forums
    • Developers are active on the forum and discord server and answers community questions about the game. (Link to WC Discord: https://discord.gg/QNdcnxK)
    • This do also consist about state of official state of the game posts and other forms of pinned communication posts.
    Community events
    • Community contests and events other community events. One of the most recent instances was a PvP event with kixeye employees as a high value target.

    In conclusion, I'm truly excited about this post even if I cannot consider myself as a Battle Pirates player and don't forgot to not underestimate the power of WrongThinker. It could just be the case that he thinks right to the player standards. :smile:

    Regards Axel L
    Its to early to praise Will Harbin or WrongThinker.
    The damage is done with the desicions from the last months and Battle Pirate is a very complex game, so i dont expect wonders from a new
    Dev lead.

    We had excessive numbers of updates in the last months, so it is obvious, that there are a lot of problems with the programming.
    Then we have the problems with the balancing...in the PvP part and in the current raidtargets/maptargets and TLC´s.
    There is a lot of work to do, so it will not be a matter of few weeks. I am expecting the first significant improvements in the january raidformat.

    The next months will be a mess, if we like it or not.
    Like always, changes will not happen instantly and I would guess that the consequences will only truly be noticed after few months if a side by side comparison is made.
     <|=  0330 1323 1103 1211 0312 1201 1302 1203 0230 1220 0200  =|> 
     <|=  0302 0320 1310 1220 1211 0200 1313 1233 1302 1210 0230  =|> 
     <|=  0200 1211 0310 1303 0321 1301 1311 1221 1312 0312 1201  =|> 
     <|=  1230 1221 1211 0230 0320 0301 1232 1203 1211 0200 1221  =|> 
     <|=  1232 0200 1201 0302 0200 1210 0320 1221 1203 0232 1310  =|> 
     <|=  0232 1221 1233 1232 1201 1302 1321 0232 0232 0332 1331  =|> 
  • stuzl873213
    stuzl873213
    Minor Nuisance
    Joined Oct 2012 Posts: 277
    Talk the talk, now lets see you walk the walk.

    Less chores, more fun. Some of us remember the fun days of huge Alli v Alli wars
  • Zeus6927
    Zeus6927
    Strike-force Captain
    Joined Nov 2013 Posts: 800
    As a good friend said "Best place to start would be to reduce it down to 3 worlds" and possibly stick all the banned and inactive bases in the other 2
  • Death_ Angel
    Death_ Angel
    Potential Threat
    Joined Jan 2015 Posts: 25

    May 2nd marked the seven year anniversary of Battle Pirates - a game I'm incredibly proud of. Over the years we've seen exciting new factions, incredible player tributes, and tons of emergent gameplay. But if there's one thing I've learned in my tenure, it's this:

    Complacency is death.

    Unfortunately, Battle Pirates has become a bog of complacency. A lack of diligence has allowed balance-breaking bugs to escape and go unnoticed for months. A lack of community engagement has caused us to lose touch with the speed that players can realistically progress. A lack of planning has forced the team to wildly over-tune stats, targets, and events in order to shoehorn value into new content.

    All because of complacency. Well, complacency isn’t going to cut it and it’s time for us to right this ship. So what are we doing to fix this?

    First, I’ve put a new leadership team in place. Our issues don’t stem from the talented individuals working long, difficult hours to execute on the nuts-and-bolts of the game, it’s about how we’re deploying those resources. Heading up that leadership team is our new GM, Michael Rubinelli. A State of the Game post will go up in the next few weeks in which he will discuss the long-term look for Battle Pirates. Additionally, our new Lead Designer WrongThinker will be putting up a post on Wednesday introducing himself, as well as the second part of our correction strategy, which I will now spoil.

    Battle Pirates has adopted a philosophy that dictates everything we do. It’s simple: “Players First.” Content and features will continue to ship, because that’s how the game is supported, but with every new feature, we will always ask: how does this enhance the player experience? How does this make a player’s life better? Easier? More fun? If the only answer to why we’re putting something in the game is money - I don’t want it in the game.

    Finally, we’re tripling down on our community engagement efforts. Expect to see more developer presence, more AMAs, more live streams, more unadulterated proof that the Battle Pirates team is exactly as invested in the continued success and longevity of this game as you are.

    The fact that we’re in this position is no one’s fault but our own. The time of complacency is over. You’ve shown us that you’re here for the long haul, and it’s time for us to show you that we’re here for it too.

    Long live Battle Pirates!

    Will Harbin

    CEO


    well and good but this is all just words without actions to back it

  • BattlePirate_BlackShark
    BattlePirate_BlackShark
    Master Tactician
    Joined Sep 2011 Posts: 2,256
    Talk the talk, now lets see you walk the walk.

    Less chores, more fun. Some of us remember the fun days of huge Alli v Alli wars
    The "first" fun days was the days with Leviathans or Hammerheads...a dead fleet was ready again after a hour repairingtime.
    The next fun days was only doable because of the "glitch repair"...that was the days from the big sector wars.

    Conclusion: less repairingtime = more fun!
    BlackShark        Born in Sector 429

    Decoding Pirateslangword "F.A.R.M." = Foolish Amateur Reaches Midgame
  • Players_First
    Players_First
    Minor Nuisance
    Joined Apr 2018 Posts: 212
    Meet the new boss... Same as the old boss...  *I* won't get fooled again....
  • RIP-TIDE
    RIP-TIDE
    Skilled Warrior
    Joined Mar 2012 Posts: 306
    edited 17 Jul 2018, 5:47PM
    Nothing More to Say, and Yes Will is Holding a Black Dildo in the End,  WrongThinker going to take it up the **** Shute:
     
  • CourtneyL
    CourtneyL
    Minor Nuisance
    Joined Sep 2012 Posts: 180
    Man, I can sleep now. Our best interest is in Will Harbin's hands.......I guess now that a particular GD is no longer with us to fill us with hopes and dreams every six months, we get it from the top now. This is the deal, you take responsibility, you make change. You can't pop up every six months taking responsibility and apologizing, but doing absolutely nothing to prevent the same "insanity" from happening over and over again. You know how many times we've heard that you guys were going to be more involved, and two weeks later its back to silence.  The community is tired, just do something already for a change. 
  • Yanusal
    Yanusal
    Strike-force Captain
    Joined May 2012 Posts: 878
    Ok I have been playing this game since just as the black water days were ending. I remember the giant sector wars, trashing fleets only to be able to bring them back in about 20-29 minutes or minimal coin. We had fun, did a little trash talking all in good fun, and only had a few minor chores to wrap up.

    I have made a lot of good friends here (and some enemies lol). However recently I have scaled back my play so much that I have basically not even participated in the last 3 raids. I haven't hit an FM target in about the same length of time. I have simply logged on to get resources and start another build/refit if needed and chat with friends.

    It has been really sad to see what was once a great game with awesome possibilities go down the way it has. I can't say that I wait with bated breath to see what happens next but I am at least a "little" hopeful that this isn't just some more smoke being blown up... well everyone knows lol.
    image
  • jim.lore.31
    jim.lore.31
    Minor Nuisance
    Joined May 2013 Posts: 103

    Well, this is nothing short of what I expected here.  Everyone complaining about the state of the game and KIX's complacency and 'all for the money' attitude.  Someone steps up to say that things are going to be different, and what do we get, more complaints and whining.  I would say that everyone needs to step back and give it a chance.  Really, what do you have to lose, other than some coin that you have been willing to spend up until now anyway.  Perhaps some constructive criticism and support and maybe we can get back to a Battle Pirates we all loved for some time.  I for one am willing to be a part of the process forward.  I have met some good people (and some bad) here at BP, and I am pretty sure I would lose touch with most of them if BP should collapse.  For that reason alone I am willing to give it a go.  And lets not forget, money needs to be made to pay the programmers, designers and other employees at Kix.  We all need to make a living.  Hopefully Kix can find the right path to make it a balanced proposition for both sides of the aisle.


    And just for my own 2 cents, perhaps new players can begin with a  'starter' base that gets them into the flow quicker.  Nothing spectacular, just some fleets and tech to get them into the lower tiers of the FM/Uranium/Titanium/Base Parts targets.

    While I agree with what your saying you have to understand that for a majority of the players that post in here and play the game this is all "been there...done that" We have heard this all before and we do not trust Kixeye to make it right.  Are we going to wait and see? yes we are but they NEED to do it right. Improve the game play for ALL levels not just the whales. I get that they are a business but you offer a "free" game than you tell players that in order to get the latest tech you HAVE to coin? As the game stands right now, If you do not coin the only thing you would be able to do is gather salvage. I am curious to see what they are going to do and IF they do it right that would be awesome. But we will wait and see.
  • Dan Stanley
    Dan Stanley
    Minor Nuisance
    Joined Apr 2012 Posts: 103

    Is the reference to "complacent" translates to treating Battle Pirates, and perhaps War Commander, as cash cows / turnkey operations?

    Kixeye's resources have been dedicated toward new products: vega wars and war commander rouge assault. These initiatives have been funded by the existing games, like battle pirates.

    There is still no definitive plan when flash is no longer supported (2019, 2020 if using Firefox), or at least revealed to the player base. Realistically, why would you bridge the player base of a game in the decline part of a product life cycle? Most likely action would be to reboot a proven entire new battle pirates game and start the product life cycle over. How many new players can you attract in a mature game?

    Until then, kixeye still needs the funds of the current core games to finance growth opportunities.

    When i hear "dedicating more resources to battle pirates", it kinda tells me attrition was at a higher rate than planned and it's an effort for retention.

    They should have started the transition to HTML5 two years ago. Now they're in deep doggie snot. 

    No experienced, good developer is going to waste his time on a dead technology like Flash. They only people they're going to find are those that can't get jobs anywhere else. Which goes a long way to explaining the constant stream of bugs we've been seeing. 



    It may be a mature game, but the great games have balance and careful design so that new players can enjoy the game just as much as the veterans. At the lower levels, up to about 40, it's still fun. The massive tech overload and ridiculous complexity isn't much of a factor and you can go wild building basic ships and hitting bases. 

    Except there are very few live bases left at those levels. Currently, this game is about as unfriendly as you can imagine towards new players. 




    Battle Pirates: 5 minutes of game play, 12 hours of repair.
  • graham.coel
    graham.coel
    Minor Nuisance
    Joined May 2014 Posts: 289
    If things are goingto change lets see it happen tommow cancel any further to changes to FM for a start put the old DUPS back in. Otherwise all that has been said in letter is a waste of space on forum. Then .deal with build and repair time's as they have been pushed way to high yet again
  • Uchiha_Tobisan
    Uchiha_Tobisan
    Greenhorn
    Joined Mar 2015 Posts: 13

    Well, this is nothing short of what I expected here.  Everyone complaining about the state of the game and KIX's complacency and 'all for the money' attitude.  Someone steps up to say that things are going to be different, and what do we get, more complaints and whining.  I would say that everyone needs to step back and give it a chance.  Really, what do you have to lose, other than some coin that you have been willing to spend up until now anyway.  Perhaps some constructive criticism and support and maybe we can get back to a Battle Pirates we all loved for some time.  I for one am willing to be a part of the process forward.  I have met some good people (and some bad) here at BP, and I am pretty sure I would lose touch with most of them if BP should collapse.  For that reason alone I am willing to give it a go.  And lets not forget, money needs to be made to pay the programmers, designers and other employees at Kix.  We all need to make a living.  Hopefully Kix can find the right path to make it a balanced proposition for both sides of the aisle.


    And just for my own 2 cents, perhaps new players can begin with a  'starter' base that gets them into the flow quicker.  Nothing spectacular, just some fleets and tech to get them into the lower tiers of the FM/Uranium/Titanium/Base Parts targets.

    what we need is a rebalance of current and older tech, increase the experience amount to level up, new players reach level 50 in a matter of 2-3 weeks, and can barely stand a chance in even the lowest tier of Last raid. drop the build times of older obsolete hulls, weapons and specials. and raise the OPEN SEASON level 50, to atleast level 60

  • GoBigOrGo Home
    GoBigOrGo Home
    Skilled Warrior
    Joined Sep 2014 Posts: 322
    There is only one sign, that will show they truly are listening. That would be the changing of ALL limited blueprints to normal blueprints. That would be a sign they started listening. Just a start but at least a start.
  • Capt_Gossamer
    Capt_Gossamer
    Skilled Warrior
    Joined Mar 2013 Posts: 477
    Nice letter, not really sure what it means maybe just an introspective view the proof for us players is in your action. We have all heard "pretty" words before just to get screwed in the end. As you see we love the game and are here through all the BS now SHOW US that you really do care about the players!
  • cusith
    cusith
    Minor Nuisance
    Joined Aug 2015 Posts: 105

    May 2nd marked the seven year anniversary of Battle Pirates - a game I'm incredibly proud of. Over the years we've seen exciting new factions, incredible player tributes, and tons of emergent gameplay. But if there's one thing I've learned in my tenure, it's this:

    Complacency is death.

    Unfortunately, Battle Pirates has become a bog of complacency. A lack of diligence has allowed balance-breaking bugs to escape and go unnoticed for months. A lack of community engagement has caused us to lose touch with the speed that players can realistically progress. A lack of planning has forced the team to wildly over-tune stats, targets, and events in order to shoehorn value into new content.

    All because of complacency. Well, complacency isn’t going to cut it and it’s time for us to right this ship. So what are we doing to fix this?

    First, I’ve put a new leadership team in place. Our issues don’t stem from the talented individuals working long, difficult hours to execute on the nuts-and-bolts of the game, it’s about how we’re deploying those resources. Heading up that leadership team is our new GM, Michael Rubinelli. A State of the Game post will go up in the next few weeks in which he will discuss the long-term look for Battle Pirates. Additionally, our new Lead Designer WrongThinker will be putting up a post on Wednesday introducing himself, as well as the second part of our correction strategy, which I will now spoil.

    Battle Pirates has adopted a philosophy that dictates everything we do. It’s simple: “Players First.” Content and features will continue to ship, because that’s how the game is supported, but with every new feature, we will always ask: how does this enhance the player experience? How does this make a player’s life better? Easier? More fun? If the only answer to why we’re putting something in the game is money - I don’t want it in the game.

    Finally, we’re tripling down on our community engagement efforts. Expect to see more developer presence, more AMAs, more live streams, more unadulterated proof that the Battle Pirates team is exactly as invested in the continued success and longevity of this game as you are.

    The fact that we’re in this position is no one’s fault but our own. The time of complacency is over. You’ve shown us that you’re here for the long haul, and it’s time for us to show you that we’re here for it too.

    Long live Battle Pirates!

    Will Harbin

    CEO


    Harbin pull your head in m8 too late to save the game ..Its gone **** up because you let your minions take the "Helm" lol See what I did there ..I have no respect at all for a gamer that  fked it up..... Its all gone **** up m8 no coming back..Yes you might have made some cash ya greedy basturd..but how much more could you have made....Arsole
  • cusith
    cusith
    Minor Nuisance
    Joined Aug 2015 Posts: 105
    What cant say T.I..T..S  Do me a favour and ................

  • michael.west.750
    michael.west.750
    Force to be Reckoned With
    Joined Mar 2013 Posts: 1,598
    Please remove all gantry's from the map. It's a huge waste of resource and a blight to the eyes. Thanks.
    .
  • Xcalubur
    Xcalubur
    Force to be Reckoned With
    Joined Nov 2011 Posts: 1,655
    edited 17 Jul 2018, 8:51PM
    I remember something https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJj09Na8ZG4&t=60s

    History seems to repeat itself in the hope to milk people more and longer again.
    "There is a cap somewhere" ...... he said then already

    :pJust think simple: it is still just a game:p
  • PeteW
    PeteW
    Potential Threat
    Joined May 2013 Posts: 35
    I have no complaint about people spending loads of dough to build a fleet to flatten my base, but over recent months it's appeared that's all Kix are interested in. How much can we squeeze out of the coiners? The bottom line is that it takes something like 3 months to build a fleet without coining, and that's without considering ranking them. Yet every month it appears a new super hull is rolled out that is a must have for an upcoming event a mere month away. Time to get real Kix. Nobody coins heavily forever. Sooner or later the well runs dry and the way the game is currently run the player soon finds himself way behind and ready to pack it in. Take base parts and Uranium. The rate the hulls required to acquire these resources appears to have accelerated at a ridiculous rate over the last 6 months, now we are told the FM is to be changed too. Remember, 3 months to build a single fleet without coining. 
    The game will die a natural death as people become disillusioned and find something else to play. Slow down and stop being so damned greedy!!

  • Milo-Ant
    Milo-Ant
    Incursion Leader
    Joined Oct 2017 Posts: 1,172
    Two ideas (Ship Parts and Chore bases) that would be easy to implement programatically and address alot of the issues frequently complained about in the forums:

    1. SHIP PARTS - Could be used on everything except latest tier hulls; use existing basepart functionality [less development work for you guys!]; Make them co-op targets with rewards split evenly, or high level players can do solo (sound familiar?). Will engage and benefit experienced players while helping to welcome and retain lower levels at the same time. If needed, incorporate a low level AI fleet that populates for single players or those not in an alliance. They can be difficult, with payouts based on how much they complete in one attack (NOT all-or-nothing). Use the SSRBs you already have built and return the DUBs to address the uranium complaints or vice versa. Maybe they could run during threat yellow, and have 4 corners, one each for the main fleet types so that everyone can use them regardless of the cycle in which they joined). Great job thinking these up, but they're just not worth it now to build new fleets just to get chore resources. This way, the increasingly long build times can be countered by those who really want to catch up or get ahead. It also would remove the need for generic tokens (which are so limited now, it really seems like greed has taken over..) GIVE PLAYERS WHAT THEY NEED TO GET THE FLEETS TO DO BETTER IN RAIDS AND, IN TURN, FUTURE CHORE BASES as described next.


    2. CHORE BASES - Use previous cycle raid bases (on a rolling basis) for chores AND DONT CHANGE THEM FROM THEIR INITIAL OFFERING. Chores are something we should be used to doing and able to do regularly without having huge repair bills. For new players, gift them the $10 fleet from the last raid to get them started. If they don't take advantage of it, oh well, won't cost anything except an outdated set of pixels, and save you some bandwidth and server resources if they can't hack it. This also means you can devote more time and resources to successful (and WELL tested) raid bases that will in turn have a longer shelf life for y'all and continue to benefit the player as they stick around in the game. This will also address the idea of slowing things down, as promised months ago...
    ship parts? sounds like another chore to me :(

  • Amy Richards
    Amy Richards
    Greenhorn
    Joined May 2012 Posts: 11
    I have stood behind this game for a year....telling other pirates that you would to see you were running players off and make changes.......please consider this..the forced damage kills the incentive to try harder.  I know, as a player of 6.5 years, that part of the joy of the game was knowing that there was a perfect way to run a target and trying different ways to play a perfect run.  When you added forced damage, you took away that incentive.  By doing this you made yourselves the pirates we were fighting with instead of the other players.  The forced damage just ensured that we would always be losers and with no amount of effort would we ever have a perfect run.  That took the fun right out of the game.  I hope that you mean what you say, Will Harbin. AND....I pray it isn't too late to save this game.  And instead of sending emails to former players offering them "perks" to return......reward those of us that stuck with you when the others abandoned ship.  Show us you are willing to make a change.  Thank you!  
This discussion has been closed.