spaceshipit: (eye is upon you)
The Mod Journal ([personal profile] spaceshipit) wrote in [community profile] driftfleet_ooc2017-02-03 04:57 pm
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IMPORTANT: Regarding Crew Number Sizes

Hey guys! Mod Team here to talk about an issue that we know many players have noticed. That issue is low crew numbers. This doesn't apply to every ship, but I know that even though our character count is still 100+, there are many crews that have been regularly dealing with crews that are 4 or less people. We know this issue can frankly cause an assortment of problems, so we wanted to address the issue with you guys, and throw out some possible solutions.

What's the problem?
The problem that's been going on for many ships is the inability to get or keep a decent number of crewmates (about 5 or more characters). This can cause problems in that it's harder for players to get CR, it's harder to upgrade a ship, and it can lead to even more drops and/or ship transfers - which can make the problem worse. When we do the shuffle we do what we can to replenish the crew numbers, but we can only do so much.

Where did this problem come from?
Essentially, it's an unintended consequence from some fixes we did last year to address another problem.

In early 2016, we had a giant surge of new characters, due in part of our old invite rule (which was 2 invites per player per month) causing us problems. We had nearly twice as many characters as we do now, a huge portion of them were brand new, and it was hard for players and mods to keep up with the constant influx of new characters.

So the mod team did a couple things to fix the problem:
1. Reduced the invites per player from 2 to 1 per month.
2. Added a bunch of news ships to accommodate all the characters in the game at the time.

This solution worked great for managing the problem. Since then, our game numbers have more or less stabilized and over time our game population went back down to managable levels as the drop numbers caught up with the app numbers.

But while the invite system change worked as intended, we now have more ships than is actually needed to house our current game population- leaving us with the problem we have now!

What can we do to fix the problem?
There's a couple ways we could address this problem that the mods have talked over. However, we also agreed that more than anything, we wanted input from you guys over what you would prefer see happen since this directly affects you.

The proposed solutions are as followed:

I. Leave it as it is.
We wouldn't do anything about the current ship arrangements and hope everything works out. While having a super small crew can cause problems, there may be players who do really like having a super small crew. So basically, we leave the ships alone and the crews remain exactly as they are.

II. Retire Ships with very low numbers, and shuffle the remaining crew to other ships.
If there was a ship that had three or less characters, we'd shuffle the characters to other ships with open slots and then send the ship back to the Marsiva. This is a relatively easy fix that can be done pretty quickly, and if the game numbers pick up again we can easily bring those ships out of retirement. But there's also the problem that you'd lose your ship upgrades and there's no guarantee the whole crew will be transferred to the same ship.

III. Ship Fusion.
Basically if there's two ships that have low numbers, we would have the two ships literally fuse together and become one combined ship with a new name. For example, if the Red Fish and Blue Fish merged together- their new ship would become the Purple Fish and they would all be one crew. This option would take the most time and work to implement (and admittedly not all the details have been hammered out), but at the same time it might have the most IC reaction potential- plus you'd get to keep some form of your ship and the crew will be able to stay together.

So that's the ideas we came up with! We ask that you please vote and tell us which option you like best, so we can get a sense of what to do from there.

Poll #17962 Ship Solutions for Drift Fleet
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: Just the Poll Creator, participants: 40

Which Ships Do You Have Characters On?

Which Option(s) Do You Prefer To Help Solve the Ship Problem?

I. Leave it as it is. (aka change nothing)
11 (27.5%)

II. Retire Ships with very low numbers, and shuffle the remaining crew to other ships.
9 (22.5%)

III. Fuse two ships with low numbers together.
31 (77.5%)

IV. Other (state in the comments)
2 (5.0%)

This poll is going to be open through Friday February 10th, and we'll decide from there what to do. Chances are the solution is going to be a mix of the solutions, but it depends on how strongly the playerbase feels.

If you have ANOTHER suggestion to help with the problem that's not in the poll, please feel free to leave a comment! We'd love to hear your thoughts!

Thank you guys!

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