Future of PoxNora Discussion

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by KTCAOP, Nov 3, 2019.

  1. Vash Dragneel

    Vash Dragneel I need me some PIE!

    Interesting, am mildly curious
  2. aseryen

    aseryen I need me some PIE!

    that post was riddled with sarcasm, but the argument still stands.
  3. DemonElf

    DemonElf New Member

    i will be donating, i want to play some pox
    guokamoli54 likes this.
  4. poxrooster

    poxrooster The Pox Chameleon

  5. Monroid

    Monroid I need me some PIE!

    Karamasov and aseryen like this.
  6. LoganMkv

    LoganMkv I need me some PIE!

    I can't really see how can you market java client relaunch or a pox rpg after so much time, but mobile unity release → pox2 should be doable.
    Or at very least wipe our runz (well, leave some Limiteds to whales) and design a new business model for ~ half year long session aka PoxClassic with weekly (re)expansions and firkload of tourneys.
  7. aseryen

    aseryen I need me some PIE!

    Im glad you have life figured out, you made me laugh. Hope you can find some humor in this as well. Otherwise...whoa

    argument still stands; war games need attrition.
  8. oyo97

    oyo97 I need me some PIE!

    pox honestly has all it takes just focus any resources on making the client smooth and try to do tournaments and with commentating and prize pool
    guokamoli54 likes this.
  9. m2980

    m2980 The King of Potatoes

    I have played many years ago and enjoyed Poxnora. I have had some nostalgia every now and then. I think the game has potential, but the devs made a few crucial mistakes over the years that contributed to killing the player base. As someone wrote already, the new project should aim for "something not overloaded with thousands of unique rune interactions. Something simplified, streamlined, with the tactical spirit of the game retained and the user experience made top priority". I cannot emphasize this enough.

    The biggest factor that kept me from replaying is best described by this example. I decide to go back and play a few games after some months. I pick my best deck and start a PvP game. The opponent starts, plays a new champion rune and ends the turn. As I look up his champ, I find it has 3 new abilities, each with a 4 line description, which mention 2 more abilities I have never heard of. As I try to make sense of all this and think of possible game implications, my 1:45 min turn ends and I barely have the time to play a champ (which 10 min later is killed in a single turn by the new champ thanks to an ability I did not understand). This is SO frustrating.

    A player who has not played for a few months should not be expected to read through all the new runes before playing a single match to stand a chance to win. New abilities should be easy to grasp. I feel the devs enjoy too much creating new cool abilities and do not realize that these cool abilities are the biggest flaw of Poxnora and create a wall that makes the game inaccessible to new players.

    Less is more. Do not aim for eight factions and tons of abilities, only to have a bad tutorial and scare 80% of players away. This makes the game inaccessible. Rather, aim for fewer factions, a few abilities, but have a spectacular tutorial and create a smooth gaming experience.

    The best CCG games have simple rules but complex strategies.

    I would be ok with a reset, even if I do not get to keep the same runes I have now. But at the very least it would be important to reward old players with some in-game currency, or maybe with a few free runes from the first X expansions.

    Finally: if you plan to go with a boardgame, make sure to bring on board at least one good board game designer. And make sure to get multiple rounds of feedback on the beta of the game. Board game design is an iterative process and many, many mistakes are made on a game even by the best designers, so do not rush development and get feedback as soon as possible. As they say, "fail fast", so you can make the game better sooner. You should enlist people from this forum as beta testers and listen to them.

    Good luck,

    badgerale likes this.
  10. Nebron

    Nebron I need me some PIE!

    Well this is surprising. I check the forums every few months in hopes that the source code gets dropped so I can mod the heck out of the game for me and some friends to play but it looks like that's gone from a very small chance to no chance at all. While I agree the pox IP is amazing and could work for a lot of games I have to echo many of the concerns that others have already stated in saying that trying to make multiple games at one time is overreaching. I would be more confident in the project if it was announced that a sequel was being developed but maybe I'll be proven wrong. I don't even think the game needs any major changes just a fresh start on a new engine and some minor upgrades. Would probably streamline it a little by dropping equips/relics and try to give themes a real identity that separates them from one another but the core gameplay is solid. I'd also make the maps smaller and adjust units spd/ranges to reflect that to try to lower the time it takes to play out a match :shrug:
    nytrequiem and Bondman007 like this.
  11. Chemical22

    Chemical22 I need me some PIE!

    Welcome back to life Poxnora and team!

    I'm hoping you put the love and time into this revamp that the game not only needs, but deserves. Treat those who have continued to care about your product, especially through this "death and silence" period very well - they are what will make this project a success or failure. I understand you have exciting news, but be careful of stringing along your loyal customers with news so far in the distance that it seems unobtainable - that enthusiasm can turn sour quickly and then it is very hard to come back. If you keep the dialogue open, be honest with us and enjoy yourselves in the process, I think there still can be some great things ahead.

    I'm looking forward to your new ideas in digital and print format.
    guokamoli54, Bondman007 and Gnomes like this.
  12. Daggan

    Daggan Administrator Octopi

    Hey everyone,
    Wanted to jump in and give a bit more explanation. Currently, there are 3 of us and we are in the very early stages of the company. We expect to spend 2020 fundraising for future development with the goal of raising at least $5m through private equity. I have not been a part of PoxNora since I departed SOE (I can write a book about that debacle, and maybe I will someday). Our plan at the time was to develop multiple types of games within the world of PoxNora back then, but unfortunately they had other plans for us. That must have been 9 years ago for me, and I have been constantly exploring ways to re-capture the magic we had with the game, and the team.

    I have not been a part of the original game design since then. I think the last expansion I had a hand in was Heroes of Maljara, so I am in no way an expert on the current state of the game client or the balance.

    As soon as we get a round of funding, the first thing we will do is to hire a small team of a few developers to address the current bugs and get the game back on a stable footing. I would love to simplify things and make it more accessible to new players. I would also love to leverage all of this work to release a simple mobile/tablet version of the game to further expand the player-base. @Sokolov would be a target to hire immediately of course, for this and our future products. I would also like to figure out a way to develop some additional tools so that a group of players can manage the existing game. We have had many discussions about this and it is not an easy task, and that is why we will require some funding to execute the plan. Any development on the old game is not meant to be a revenue opportunity but more just to ensure the legacy of the original is preserved for everyone that continues to enjoy it. The reality is, an older game like this is very difficult to make profitable. Even back in the day when we had thousands of players online concurrently, it was a grind to produce enough content to generate profits. The game is extremely production intensive and the cost for artwork has increased 2-3x since we launched the game in 2006. We may look for a partner that can do the work in exchange for profit sharing. If there is a group of players that have java/unity experience that would be interested, let me know. I just wanted to make sure you all know that the game is not in jeopardy of disappearing. We will make sure we reveal to the players and allow you to vote on any of the changes we plan on implementing.

    My priority right now is raising funds and developing PoxNora Onslaught (working title), which is essentially a next generation PoxNora 2. Once that game is in beta, we will begin developing a co-op adventure game, dependent on successful fund-raising of course. We are being very slow and deliberate in our plans. We are not looking to develop 3-4 games simultaneously as someone eluded in this thread. We are focused on 1 project at a time, although our plans entail utilizing shared assets across multiple titles which will allow us to jumpstart production on subsequent titles once we complete the first. We have iterated many ideas over the last few years and have some very exciting concepts. The ability to spend so long developing these ideas is unheard of for us, as we have always been so rushed to execute in order to generate revenue in order to cover costs. I am thoroughly enjoying this process and hopefully it will show in the results someday.

    Is there a chance we fail to raise funds? Of course, although the initial feedback we are receiving is comforting and things are looking optimistic. I hope this clarifies some things.
  13. JazzMan1221

    JazzMan1221 Better-Known Member

    Just to clarify some things regarding this point: once Pox 2 reaches the beta stage and beyond, what's going to happen to the current version of Pox? You mentioned that you're planning on keeping it around to "ensure its legacy", but will development on it stop after Pox 2 is released? Will you maintain both versions of the game simultaneously, bugfixing and developing runes for both versions? Or will Pox 1 get a pass of bugfixes with maybe some balance changes, then left alone indefinitely while all further work is continued in Pox 2? Will runes that players have in Pox 1 be usable in Pox 2? You mention that you might look for a group of players to "manage the existing game", which gives me the impression that all of Pox 1's balance, development, and bugfix work will be handled by player volunteers/employees, while you and your team work on Pox 2 and its associated projects. Just so we're clear I don't inherently dislike this idea; it just seems like a lot of needless expenditure to keep two versions of what are essentially the same game running at once.
    jeeperz2, Valkyr and Goyo like this.
  14. Brightwood

    Brightwood The King of Potatoes

    poxnora art has always been really amazing if they release that artbook i will probably buy it!

    also damn those ironfist paladins look good
  15. guokamoli54

    guokamoli54 I need me some PIE!

    I couldn't be happier oh my goodness so glad this game isn't dying its my all time favorite! Been here since the ST release so pumped. Y'all should track down Ipox for development that dude always found the most busted stuff! Also @Sepulcher it is good to hear from you! You were always one of my favorite players would be awesome to get you back in the game!
  16. Xirone

    Xirone I need me some PIE!

    Damn, this game has more lives than a zombie cat. Kudos!
    Karmavore and jeeperz2 like this.
  17. poxrooster

    poxrooster The Pox Chameleon

    Will you release the 30th expansion?

    and most importantly, can I have free runes? :)
  18. Mercer Skye

    Mercer Skye I need me some PIE!

    As per usual, I'm late to the party. I'm like as not going to fail in being succinct, but hopefully I can at least be coherent. Some of what I'm going to lay down is not going to be taken kindly.

    Pox 1 has been on life support since before Octopi 1.0 had to sell it to SOE (Only reason I can think you'd be willing to sell a passion project is having no other choice). Playerbase was declining, and SOE really only jabbed it full of good meds that perked it up and hastened the downfall. For firk's sake, just let it die already. That old adage; "Sometimes when you love something/someone, you have to let it go." Apply that. I'm all for a legacy mode, or format, or whatever you deem necessary, but when you get 'Pox 2.0' up and running, pull the darned plug on this one. I do know that's no small thing to ask. Years and years of just dragging this corpse around trying to make it dance, and it just keeps falling over when you let go of its hand. Stop. Just, stop.

    If you all have the time you're saying, do this right. All those reusable assets, sprites, artwork, probably an awful lot of the code, pre-established lore, etc. Make the game right. If you really can do that with Pox 1.0, go for it, but I've been buying into that lie since 2007(?). Poke my head in, and nothing but a bunch of smoke and mirrors and sweet talk about how things are going to be better. Just let grandma go already, pull the plug.

    I'm not saying give up on the game, though. Just let this prototype stop wasting its time pretending to be a real game. Proof of concept is there, the game works (Mostly). Now let's finally after so many years get the real one out there.

    No one is going to like me one bit for this one, but eventually, you're going to hit a point where you genuinely are able to turn this one off, and turn the next one on, and at that point, you need to scrub the accounts. You (As in whoever was in charge at the time) have tried countless times to 'protect the new playerbase,' and they've all utterly failed because of the weight of knowledge that ends up crashing down on the newbies.

    I'm not saying start everyone at 0, though. Digital or otherwise, there is an amount of 'value' that resides in the collections that everyone has amassed over the years. Wholly return that amount of game currency to everyone when you flip the switch on Pox's reincarnation. (More in the next point)

    Don't do the 'exclusive game pieces' garbage. It was never the sole reason that killed the game, but one of several nails that built the coffin. I remember back at release, the bitterness and finger pointing, and the blame, and the resentment that surrounded the Harbingers (And this was when you could buy single runes, and pretty well fully customize your units), it only got worse from there. But did we fix it? Did they ever have the guts to release a non-limited Harbinger for others to acquire? How about generic versions of Boghopper Zombie? Myx Pupae? How about Skeletal Rifleman and Pyro the Patient still not actually being the same unit? The first excuse was 'We're not willing to offend those that supported the beta and launch...' or whatever bane shift they said that pretty much amounted to 'You're a pleb, you don't get cool stuff,' every time. 'Git gud and win drafts,' was the next one. Stop, don't do that. Hearthstone, Gwent, Shadowverse, Duelyst, etc, they do well, because it's possible for any schmuck that comes into the game to obtain everything. Granted, some stuff gets harder to obtain, but it's obtainable.

    Cosmetics may not be the most profitable, since you need a certain size of playerbase, but if you get it right. then you end up with the right size playerbase to make that work. My memory may not serve 100% accurately, but they started with cosmetics and a premium currency to expedite the F2P speed as their sole sources of income. I don't keep up with LoL much, but I'm pretty sure even all or at least most all of the cosmetics are still obtainable.

    Mentioned Duelyst. Also look at games like Dead Cells. 8 Bit style art, 'old' style art. Graphics could be bumped up, but no one cares if the game plays well. Minor thing to worry about.

    F2P. Pay to win, freemium, grind/craft. I don't care what model you use, because I like Pox enough to deal with whatever y'all decide is the best course of action. But choose one. Temper it with others, sure, but your runeforge system felt half done when it released, and doesn't taste any better years later. For some reason, it was thought a good idea to not make some runes 'unbreakable' in the forge, for.... reasons, I guess. Exploit? "Can just make hundreds of dummy accounts and trade broken bones for hours, and eventually topple the Pox economy....in a decade or three." Whatever. I can't remember fully the reasoning. But don't punish the players that 'do it right' trying to stop those that would exploit things.

    Seasons, or formats, or rotations, or anything that reduces the number of expansions viable in the main format, whatever that's going to be. But don't buy into the 'splitting the playerbase is bad' bane shift that crops up whenever people talk about alternate game formats or what have you. It doesn't split the playerbase, it expands it. DotA put out autochess (DotA, right?), LoL put out TFT, and HS just released it's Battlegrounds format.... and they've seen an increase in what was already huge playerbases. Because.... people liked the game, aesthetic, etc, but didn't like how you actually had to play the game normally. Learn from that. Finally bury Pox 1 and plant Pox 2 in its ashes, but leave a Legacy format (What Hearthstone calls Wild), where you can literally use everything. Have a standard format, that uses expansions XYZ123, or like LoL, have a fixed pool of pieces for a standard format. Have a round robin, 10 runedock challenge mode with 6 players that has a small 10 x 10 map and only 5 minutes per match. Whatever. Actually make the formats wide and varied, it will attract players much better than trying to stick them with the same tired board game aesthetic Pox has been trying to stick new blood with for the last few years. (Sounds like I don't like the standard way to play Pox, I actually really do like it, but some variance really would be cool). I'm not saying alienate any of your playerbase, though.

    Everyone, I'm sure, has a purely pragmatic view about Pox. We'd like to continue enjoying it into the future, and I'm pretty sure you all would actually like to make more than passable money from it at some point. It's going to take brave, bold, but tempered efforts if it's going to happen. Slow is smooth, smooth is fast, fast is fun. And other motivational stuff that should be relative common sense.

    And lastly. If you get 2.0 right, truly right. You have a base that you can do more than just spin games off of. You have a base you can literally tie games into. Mobile Pox Skirmish? Build teams of 3-5 heroes from your collection for 'mobile only' maps, earn credits/coins/gold/owl droppings for both the 'base client' and your mobile game. Own all three, Pox 2, Pox Skirmish, AND Pox Awakening? (Match 3 Adventure game like Legendary or E&P), Earn 1.5x rewards when collecting rewards in ALL THREEEEE.


    Pox 1 was a wonderful prototype, let it die so that Pox 2 can flourish

    Don't alienate those that have stood by the game over the years. Compensate generously upon release of 2.0

    Don't forget that rewarding those that support you doesn't mean alienating those that find you later

    Graphics don't mean a darned thing if the base game ends up driving folks away

    Pick a single Monetization/Reward/Payment system, then worry about bolstering it later


    Diversify the 'nets' to catch your playerbase

    Sincerely, Mercer Skye the Skyeborg
    nytrequiem and aseryen like this.
  19. Bakuro

    Bakuro The King of Potatoes

    ......Wow....Where do I begin? I guess first of all I should say it's just so ironic that right as I tell my friends it's safe to come back to pox because they abandoned it and haven't touched it in over two years, you go and come back saying you are going to touch it again....*shakes head* Not only that but you are planning on locking our collections XD ....my passionate hatred for desert owl games is rivaled only by Stunlock Studios for messing up battlerite and bloodline.....How can two companies screw up with such royal stupidity? Just stop trying to squeeze as much money as you can out of your players and focus on actually making a good game....it's not rocket science...add new maps or a map maker that players can use, add 3v3 or 2v2 where there are 4 shrines, add 3 player free for all game type...such simple things you can do to spice up the game and keep players but 10000% of your effort is in how to nerf current runes so people have to buy the new ones you make in order to win....like screw you and your power creep! just like magic the gather and world of warcraft....every time you patch my friends and I cringe at what you messed up this time.... the only thing you need to rework is the worms, they broken AF...PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY IN POXNORA, KEEP YOUR GREEDY HANDS OFF!!!!
  20. L33Ch

    L33Ch I need me some PIE!

    I like the "complexity" of the current pox , if they can clean it up and remove the major bugs then thats great news, maybe even release the final expansion... 2.0 should be a complete fresh start - no compensation , I wish them well on the endeavour, just leave enough in the bank to keep the lights on in the current game for several years to come.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2019

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