I could say it was another really busy week at Paradox, but the truth it is all the weeks are going to be busy. Putting out three videos a week and a live show on Fridays is a little taxing, but it has all been worth it. This week Paradox crossed over two major milestones that I am very proud of.
The first is that we as a community shot right past 750 subscribers on YouTube and are pressing forward full steam ahead going over 773 subscribers in the same week we crossed the 750 threshold. This is absolutely amazing. The little things that people say in the comments is what really keeps this thing going for me. Being called “genuine” and “helpful” are the reasons why I started doing the Archeage 101 videos.
Just some stats to share with people as we have rolled over 750 subscribers, our community maintains about a 90% retention rate. Since the launch of the YouTube channel we have gained 853 subscribers, lost 86 putting us at 89.9% retention. That’s not too bad. Amazingly, we have subscribers from 74 countries including Egypt (5), Lebanon (5) Estonia (4) South Africa (4) Bangladesh (2) Iraq (2) and North Korea (1). We also have one subscriber from Ireland, which makes me wonder how is it I have the same number of subscribers from my mother land of Ireland as I do from North Korea. That’s a different subject for a different time. So thank you to all my global subscribers, I must be doing something right if I’m pulling people from all around the globe.
Sadly, at the moment I don’t have anything to give away to celebrate 750 subscribers. While I am trying to raise money so I have money to do better giveaways, I’m not really pulling a ton of ad revenue from YouTube and I haven’t reached the levels where I have a bunch of Patrons at Patreon yet. I do have to give a major shoutout to Jonathan Bentley. It was due to him that I set up the Patreon page and thanks to him we have a total of $18.38 in the Paradox Gaming Network operating budget. I also have somewhere around $60 in my AdSense account but that has to reach $100 before google does a payout. So when will the giveaways start? Soon™
Archeage 101 Live on Twitch
The second live session of Archeage 101 was a major hit. Ok, it was a relatively minor blip on some sub radar station screen, but for me it was a major hit. The first show we hovered between 9 and 14 viewers. This week we hit 27 concurrent viewers, which was pretty cool, but we also shot up to 31 followers. That was an amazing jump in followership so thank you so much community for making that happen.
I put the recap video of the AA101 livestream here on the front page so you can check out the crazy that we get into. I will be live again this week for 90 minutes to answer any and all questions that come up.
Ashes of Creation
This week for Ashes of Creation I cover the rest of the academic material that I had access to and that is on Trade Caravans, PvP, Flagging, Bounty Hunting, Sieges and Castles. There is a live stream this week so we may get access to more information and if there is enough I will put another video out next week then I’m going to scale down video production as I’ve simply chewed through all the available information. Plus, with Alpha-0 coming up in 33 days, and since that will be under an NDA, I will be going silent on Ashes videos during the term of the NDA. Rest assured that doesn’t mean the studio production is going to shut down, it just means that I’m won’t be making anything public so I don’t slip up and break the NDA.
Speaking of the Alpha Testing, do you still want your chance to get invited to the Alpha-0 testing? Follow this link: https://www.ashesofcreation.com/ref/Jahlon/ and sign up. Just creating an account gives you a chance to get an Alpha-0 key and it will also give you access to the forums so you can poke around and see all the goodness that is Ashes of Creation.
Archeage News - Malestrom on 6 December
So we finally have some news on Archeage and that is we are getting Malestrom on December 6 and we got a letter from the development team on November 8. Honestly I think this letter was a little bit too little too late. In the letter they start off by saying “during our trip to Korea in September.” Well that’s great, but why are we just hearing about this stuff now. Truthfully you should have told us this stuff back in September. Keeping your community well informed and interacting with them as as people instead of as customers is a much better way to do it then doing a long knee-jerk reaction letter when your game starts to lose player base due to a private server going up.
It's been over three years, almost three and a half years that we have been asking for direct communication from XL Games and we are only now getting it. Yeah, its been promised in the past, and we’ve had a little bit of it in the past, but now it finally looks like we are going to be getting some interaction. This right here is the clutch time for XLGames and Trion to solidify Archeage as a game that’s worth continuing to play. As I broke down in my gear discussion earlier this week, it takes 30,000+ gold just to get a new player into Divine T1 gear with a Divine T1 weapon. That’s a huge amount of gold. The only way you are going to get people to stick around for that kind of work is if you are open and honest and make the game worth playing.
The big changes they’ve talked about may just do that. First and foremost finally including the NA and EU markets in the Focus Test Groups is vital. Western play games much differently than Easterners, and honestly the Western market has taken Archeage to some levels that I don’t think XL Games ever intended. Right now I think the 4.5 changes are broken and brutal and swing too far in the nerf direction. Yes, I hate getting jumped on by a Darkrunner, but I don’t think the answer is to nerf their Battlerage into the ground. So, it should be a good thing to see the Western Market being able to provide input to these changes.
As far as the promised marketplace changes, they are going to be selling bound regrade charms up to red and bound syntium stones up to Radiant for in game currency. Well honestly, it's about time on that one. That has only been suggested by the player base forever, but it appeared for a long time as if the money was too good for Trion to stop selling these in the marketplace. Well, when you lose enough players to have to shut down 4 more servers in year three, it's a good indication you may need to change your marketing strategies.
Now, on the topic of marketing strategies. Why are we even thinking about Fresh Start servers again? On the letter they said “It’s easy to understand why there is excitement about Fresh Start servers – they provide an unforgettable gameplay experience you can’t get from any other game.” No, I’m sorry you do get that experience from another game. You get it from this game, the game you already played for several years and now Trion wants to once again divert new players from joining legacy servers and send them to a new server.
Here’s the thing, the Fresh Start servers do damage to the Legacy servers. We drop down to nearly zero new player growth. We lose a lot of people who have been playing for less than 90 days because they know enough now to go start over on Fresh Start, we lose a lot of people who want to go there to have that new game experience again, and the Legacy servers die off a little more each time.
You want to re-launch AA, fine, but this time do it in new regions. Do NA2 and EU2. Make it so these new fresh start servers can never, ever, interact with the legacy servers via Auction House or transfers. Of course, Trion won’t do this because they know that players want to go to the Fresh Start servers, use their knowledge to stockpile resources (Apex, regrade charms) and then when you open up the AH, they make their mint of money and use the AH to transfer that wealth back to their mains.