Local Copy: Dev Note #4

Developer Notes #4

In this Developer Notes article, we would like to share some information to address issues raised by some of our participants regarding MindArk’s recent and upcoming marketing efforts. 

Much of this information was shared with the Entropia Universe community at the beginning of the year in the State of the Universe Address, but it appears that many participants either missed that announcement, or have forgotten about MindArk’s marketing plans for 2012. 

Online Campaign
Several months ago, MindArk began an online ad campaign to promote Entropia Universe. In parallel, AR Universe began a campaign to promote Planet Calypso. The initial stages of the campaigns were fairly limited in scope and daily budget, in order to accumulate useful ad targeting and performance data in terms of the effectiveness of these ads in generating new accounts.

In late July, MindArk and Planet Arkadia also launched a campaign for Planet Arkadia, orchestrated by MindArk. These campaigns are an ongoing effort, and budgets are gradually being increased as the targeting effectiveness and account conversion rate improves. 

Marketing & New Player Experience
One major factor in MindArk’s marketing budget decision-making process has been the implementation of an improved New Player Experience (NPE). It seemed prudent to limit our marketing spending during the early part of 2012 until the improved NPE was implemented and refined. Much of our marketing efforts thus far in 2012 have had the primary goal of gathering data, measuring effectiveness and refining our marketing strategy. Now that the NPE has been implemented into Entropia Universe, we have solid plans to increase our online ad campaign budget throughout the rest of 2012 and beyond.

Promotion Video
MindArk has commissioned a professionally produced promotional video that is currently in production. Work on the video is progressing well, and two versions are planned – a short version that can be used as an online video advertisement, along with a longer version that gives a more detailed overview of Entropia Universe and which can be used on official EU websites and at gaming conventions. Both versions will feature a professional actress taking up the role of Sayah King (famous from the original Project Entropia promotional video). The videos will also feature footage from the new avatar system that the MindArk development team is currently hard at work completing, and which has an ETA of early November.

Calypso Land Deed Proceeds
Some of the feedback we have received indicates a (mistaken) belief that the entirety of the proceeds from the Calypso Land Deed sales would be used exclusively for marketing. This belief is inaccurate. What MindArk stated regarding how the CLD proceeds would be used is the following, explained in an earlier Buzz article with detailed information about Calypso Land Deeds-
 

  • Q. How will the proceeds of the Land Lot deeds be used by MindArk?
  • A. The proceeds from the Land Lot deeds will help to finance a substantial Entropia Universe marketing campaign, along with further development of Entropia Universe and Planet Calypso.

Note that this statement also includes ‘further development of Entropia Universe and Planet Calypso’. It is also important to realize that development and marketing go hand-in-hand. As we described above, improving our New Player Experience was as much an investment in our marketing strategy as anything else.

Affiliate Program
MindArk is in the early stages of designing a comprehensive affiliate program that will allow existing EU participants to get rewarded for helping to expand the Entropia Universe user base. We hope to launch that program in the first quarter of 2013. More details will be shared once the initial design of the affiliate program becomes more certain.

New Planet Calypso Website
A brand new Planet Calypso website has been in development for several months, and is expected to be launched by the end of this month. The new website will help MindArk and Planet Calypso leverage the most value from their marketing spending, and will provide a much enhanced user experience for new visitors and existing participants alike.

We hope that the efforts in progress and plans for future marketing efforts that we have shared in this Developer Notes article provide our paricipants with a more positive outlook for the future health and growth of Entropia Universe, and help to dispel some of the misunderstandings that have arisen of late.

As always, we appreciate your passion for and support of Entropia Universe.

Local Copy: Dev Note #3

Developer Notes #3

This Entropia Universe Buzz article is part of a new series of Developer Notes where the development team at MindArk will share various tips and bits of information about Entropia Universe with our participants. Some Developer Notes will address important issues that we have noticed being discussed on community forums, while others will be prompted by feedback and questions received via support cases. Our goal with the Developer Notes series is to help participants better understand MindArk’s goals for Entropia Universe, and hopefully correct several misconceptions that have arisen within the community that we feel might help participants make more informed decisions for their avatars. We hope that you find the Developer Notes article series interesting and informative.

Hunting Efficiency Examined – The last Developer Notes article sought to stress the importance of efficiency in Entropia Universe, but did not provide a clear definition of what is meant by the term efficiency. We would like to offer a bit more insight for the benefit of the community, and in this article will focus on ways to become more efficient in Entropia Universe’s most popular profession, hunting. Efficiency tips for the mining and manufacturing professions will be covered in a future article.

Efficiency in hunting has several components, the most vital of which is Hit Ability (sometimes abbreviated as HA). Hit Ability is a measure of how accurate you avatar is with a weapon. You can view your avatar’s Hit Ability on a weapon by right-clicking on the weapon and viewing the item’s information panel. Based on your avatar’s skills and the requirements for the particular weapon, a number between 0.0 and 10.0 will be calculated and displayed. The single most important effort a hunter can make in becoming more efficient in his or her hunting activities is to always use weapons which are “maxed” — weapons with which your avatar has 10.0 Hit Ability. The importance of this cannot be stressed strongly enough.

A second and very important part of efficient hunting is to consider the relative cost of using a particular weapon, often referred to as weapon economy, usually measured as damage per PEC. This measures how efficiently, in terms of weapon decay and ammo consumption, a weapon produces each point of damage. An avatar will enjoy much better overall hunting results over time when using weapons with higher damage per pec. Many community websites, such as www.entropedia.info, offer detailed statistics on the economy of nearly all the various weapons available in Entropia Universe. The MindArk development team is also considering including more detailed economy statistics on the item information panel in an upcoming release to improve the availability of such information.

Another important part of hunting efficiently is making sure that your avatar has achieved the full damage capability of the weapon being used. Like Hit Ability, damage capability is calculated based on the avatar’s skills and the weapon’s requirements, and is shown in the format Actual_Damage / Maximum_Damage on the item information panel. For example: 10.0-20.0 / 10.0-20.0. To be the most efficient as possible, make sure to hunt with weapons on which your avatar has reached the weapon’s maximum damage potential.

Finally, be sure to hunt creatures within your avatar’s skill level. Creatures within Entropia Universe are designed with avatars of varying skill levels and equipment in mind, and each creature type has different attack speeds, regeneration rates, hit probabilities and damage potential. It is a good idea to avoid excessive armor decay and healing costs when trying to hunt as efficiently as possible.

One of the wonderful things about Entropia Universe is its very knowledgeable and helpful community of participants. There is a wealth of information available to newcomers and veterans alike on the various Entropia Universe community websites and forums, and participants are encouraged to seek out the accumulated wisdom and tutorials available there. There are also many helpful mentors and societies that can be found in major cities on each planet, or contacted through the Mentor Register and Society Terminals.

We hope that this article has provided some valuable tips for your future hunting expeditions.
Happy hunting!

Local Copy: Dev Note #2

Developer Notes #2

This Entropia Universe Buzz article is part of a new series of Developer Notes where the development team at MindArk will share various tips and bits of information about Entropia Universe with our participants. Some Developer Notes will address important issues that we have noticed being discussed on community forums, while others will be prompted by feedback and questions received via support cases. Our goal with the Developer Notes series is to help participants better understand MindArk’s goals for Entropia Universe, and hopefully correct several misconceptions that have arisen within the community that we feel might help participants make more informed decisions for their avatars. We hope that you find the Developer Notes article series interesting and informative.

Efficiency Matters – One issue that we have noticed being discussed quite frequently on community forums such as PlanetCalypsoForm.com is the concept of efficiency (sometimes referred to as economy), especially with regard to hunting tools such as ranged and melee weapons. A growing number of participants seem to have adopted an approach based on the theory that “economy does not matter”, a theory apparently based on (faulty) field tests or other experiments. We would like to state here very clearly that avatar skills and efficiency on the tools used do indeed matter a great deal, and have a very significant effect on overall returns in all Entropia Universe professions. Any playtest experiments, theorycrafting or other analysis you may be presented with which indicate or suggest that efficiency does not matter are thus flawed either in their conception, data collection, data analysis or conclusions.

Personal Lootpools – Many of the theories which suggest – inaccurately – that efficiency is unimportant will often employ the concept of a “personal lootpool”, claiming that the “system” will eventually provide a sort of compensation to avatars who have been operating in an inefficient manner. Such theories are very much misguided. There is no such thing as a “personal lootpool” for individual avatars, and there is no system in place which tracks each avatar’s returns over time, or which provides compensation to individual avatars. As a result, long-term results in Entropia Universe are directly related to the choices made by each participant, and those who approach their chosen profession in an efficient manner will find more success than those who do not. Overall this is a very positive thing and an important part of the Entropia virtual universe concept, as it allows those participants who spend the time and effort to approach their activities within Entropia Universe in a smart way to improve their chances of becoming successful, just like in the real world.

Local Copy: Dev Note #1

Developer Notes #1

This Entropia Universe Buzz article is the first in a new series of Developer Noteswhere the development team at MindArk will share various tips and bits of information about Entropia Universe with our participants. Some Developer Notes will address important issues that we have noticed being discussed on community forums, while others will be prompted by feedback and questions received via support cases. Our goal with the Developer Notes series is to help participants better understand MindArk’s goals for Entropia Universe, and hopefully correct several misconceptions that have arisen within the community that we feel might help participants make more informed decisions for their avatars. We hope that you find the Developer Notes articles interesting and informative.

Independent Lootpools – One concern that we see very often on community forums, especially when a big All Time High is achieved, is that one profession is unfairly “financing” a huge loot in another profession. This misconception often results in one group of participants (i.e. hunters) becoming upset or frustrated that their activity is being used to fund the rewards given to another group of participants (i.e. miners). To hopefully dispel this misconception, we would like to inform participants that the loot pools for each main profession (hunting, mining and manufacturing) are completely independent of one another, and that a large loot in one profession has absolutely no impact on potential loots in any of the other professions.

Resource Distribution – In order to promote interplanetary trade and to stimulate the growth of local planetary economies, the availability of various resources will be periodically adjusted on each of the different planets within Entropia Universe. The MindArk balancing team monitors resource availability and distribution among the planets very closely, and is constantly making adjustments to achieve the goals of local planetary economy growth and interplanetary trade. One exciting side effect of this process is that it creates unique opportunities for observant and industrious participants to profit from shifts in supply and demand in local planetary markets and creates opportunities for speculation. Another benefit is that the reallocation process creates a more dynamic and challenging universe for participants to enjoy and adapt to.