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Grek

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Join date : 2011-04-25
Age : 28
Location : Lion's Den

PostSubject: Member Retention?   Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:32 am

We seem to struggle in this department. Anything we can change about practice so that people come back?
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Tiberius Claudius



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Age : 34
Location : St. George, UT

PostSubject: Re: Member Retention?   Wed Dec 21, 2011 4:36 pm

This is a standard problem in all combat games and is a well known quasi-fact that if we demonstrate to 1000, 10 may actually show up to try it out, 1 will stick it out for 6 months +.

We've got a lot of things going against us, "nerdiness", cost to make personal items, laziness/ignorance of how to make stuff, varying ideas of what the person wants out of the game (stick jockery vs rp), and the time needed to develop skills and become good / see results. It's an instant gratification world and we're not a video game where folks can go out and autowin.

On top of those problems that all realms share, there are then problems or issues unique to each realm from practice time and location, realm drama/politics, no dedicated or skilled person making initial contact and really schmoozing with the new folks to help them feel part of the group, lack of room for advancement or deeper participation aside from simply showing up and swinging foam, garb requirements at practice, and real life concerns.

We'll never rid ourselves of the items that affect all realms because its just the nature of our game. We use our imaginations to play paintball with sticks and not everyone's into that. However, realms should work towards limiting the effects of the items I listed in the second paragraph. Some of ATD's examples include:

  • Last year we attempted to mandate minimum garb at practice after a n00b has been playing for a month or else they were limited to single blue, but they stopped coming. We timed this poorly with Thanksgiving/Christmas and the dark/cold night practices we have this time of year, so there were multiple factors working against retention. They still have to wear garb to events, but not at practice.
  • Wednesday nights for our practices may not be viable for those who work during the week. We host them during the week because our founder was busy on Saturday with his family because that was his real world priority. We could get more people to show up if we practiced in the daylight ours on a weekend.
  • We also had some new folks who'd been coming for several months walk out on us last summer because they felt some vets were rhino hiding, which appears to have been somewhat true. The realm took a proactive stance on it and re-taught (and regularly re-teaches) everyone hit calibration and we haven't had those complaints any more; but we still lost those three fighters and anyone they talk to in a negative way about the game.
  • Recently we had a big talk and revamped our Realm government's attitude (structure and function remains the same) to actively seek out and include more participation from all members by asking for input and delegating tasks and authority to those who wanted it. I feel that it's been a huge help in fostering a tighter family-like camaraderie. It may not directly recruit new members, but it creates an environment that keeps people coming and being willing to help out with things.
  • Having someone who actively greets new members, or goes up to passersby at the practice field and shoots the shit with them, answers questions, and charmingly invites them to come out and swing sticks is an absolute must. If we don't make contact, we don't get the opportunity to introduce new folks to the game. If they don't feel welcome, then they probably won't stay. Isk fulfills that role on our field and he's damn good at it. The only thing better than a guy doing this is a decent looking chick. She can use her feminine wiles to allow boys to convince themselves that she's into them and have a shot with her if they come out. You know how that works. Also, if a woman invites you to come out on the field, you're probably going to be confident that you can kick her ass and more likely to try so you can be dominant over her and hope she'll "date" you, rather than say if a big burly, intimidating man like Taco came out throwing his colorful metaphors around and standing almost a foot taller than you. Only gluttons for punishment, adrenaline junkies, or guys with something to prove are likely to take up that offer.


More than likely, your retention "problem" is following its natural, cyclical path. People are busy now with the holidays and with the economy down, are spending their money in other places. They're working when they have to, not when they can. I bet you, come the summer months, when school is out and people are at the park in droves, your numbers will increase. Then, as school starts, the non-serious ones will drift away and you'll be left with a couple new joins who want to and are able to stay. I enjoy the winter months because the smaller numbers really allow skill development to take place. I find that this is really the time when our fighters get better.
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Phoxly

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PostSubject: Re: Member Retention?   Wed Dec 21, 2011 5:13 pm

Another thing we need to keep in mind, is that these folks are NEW. I don't want to see a vet stomping around throwing their gear because a newbie sloughed a shot. They have NO idea what a real hit feels like, and they've never done something like this in their life. They get so into it on their first time out they will completely ignore shots and keep swinging with a smile on their face. If you start getting pissed and "targetting" them and taking it personally, they won't come back next week, I guarantee it.

I saw this targetting and getting pissed happen with atleast 5 veteran people last week, and I was damn disappointed. I hope those 2 new guys come back, cause they were pretty cool.

If you see it happening talk to a herald, or Smithy/Knubbs. They know how to handle it in a professional way that has helped people in the past improve.

Evil or Very Mad

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Grek

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PostSubject: Re: Member Retention?   Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:46 pm

I'm guilty of that Phoxly and feel pretty lame right now :C

I guess a greeter would indeed help. I remember my first day out I didn't wanna come back because of the general rudeness of some players (who I'm now really close with lol) but Dag was a completely new experience with strangers. I did have a lot of good attention from Nightmare and Konradr, who took me aside and showed me some things. It was friendly and when I sloughed a shot we kept on having fun and they addressed me about it. We do get carried away sometimes, myself probably more than others.

We can be kind of cliquey too, so we need to change that! We must start treating our newbies like they're on a first date; let's be more friendly, make them have fun and feel like they want more!
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konradr

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PostSubject: Re: Member Retention?   Wed Dec 21, 2011 8:31 pm

My first day was the best. Heretic was the first one I met and was cool and easy to talk to. Surt came next and was the friendliest most helpful guy and Strider was so easy going and Sasquatch too. Also ximali and I had a great one on one fight that day that made me feel welcomed. I was a little nervous around K'urn at first, but warmed up to him, and vice versa. I didn't meet him until a few practices later. Of course me and Oddvar got along great too.

It truly is the people that you interact with that can make a difference in weather you enjoy yourself and come back again and again. I did SCA off and of for a year and a half and never felt really comfortable in the group. I felt that way here from day one and have enjoyed it ever since. Even my wife enjoyed watching us fight and said we were alot more fun than that SCA group.

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K'urn

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PostSubject: Re: Member Retention?   Wed Dec 21, 2011 8:41 pm

Nervous around me?.....why? Rolling Eyes

K-

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Phoxly

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Location : Black Lions

PostSubject: Re: Member Retention?   Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:03 pm

Try to compliment new fighters when they do something good, even if it's back hacking Taco or sprinting for the flag and dying. "Good run man! Almost had it!" <-- perfect example. We should be grateful that people want to come out and fight, we can't let our group number drop down to 10-15 because people don't feel welcome.

Izzy/Convel/Taco/Konradr/Smithy/Knubbs are all great at talking to new peeps, but anyone can welcome them and say hello. :3

We should make some business cards with our forum link and the national dagorhir site.

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Phoxly the sometimes a Tooka goblin.
GOBBROS BEFORE HOES.

Goblin logic explained: "Throw things at it 'til it catches on fire."


Last edited by Phoxly on Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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konradr

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PostSubject: Re: Member Retention?   Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:13 pm

Quote :
Nervous around me?.....why?

because you were Idolized by some, you exude uncompromising confidence and discipline and are not afraid to speak your mind. You were not as open and friendly as say Surt. From the get go, I felt I had to earn your approval and was afraid of not doing so.

Surt was like "Hey, welcome aboard, Isn't this shit fun?!"

You were few words unless it was a "well done" for something made or a "Hey, don't do that again!." Not that each group doesn't need a person like that. People will strive to get the 'attaboy' while afraid of engendering the 'Wrath'.

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caretaker

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PostSubject: Re: Member Retention?   Wed Dec 21, 2011 10:29 pm

When I first joined this realm I actually stopped coming out for months because of the way a few people walked on me. I can understand this one well. Its really easy to get pushed away when there are one or two rude people. It really can ruin the fun. The few times i came, wasn't my first experience with Dag at all, and at times i felt like i was an intruder. Just a couple people is all it took. I met many really friendly people as well:D

Nothing wrong with cliqueyness, its normal with large groups our size. The smaller groups within our realm need to open up and pull more people in. People have more fun when they feel like they are actually wanted there.

Be friendly, Be excited about the game, and if there is a new person sluffing shots or doing something wrong, just say so, but be polite. We all learned the same way.

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Demie Zephyra

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Age : 26
Location : Las Vegas, NV

PostSubject: Re: Member Retention?   Sun Dec 25, 2011 9:17 am

Lol. I remember the reasons why I kept coming back. My first day out,

-Konradr and Kilanos were in charge for the season. No politics. No drama.
-There weren't any units, so there were no cliques.
-Konradr and Kilanos actively taught me how to use the weapon I wanted to use. No limitations. I wanted archery, and I got archery. :]
-Alex was cute.
-I was afraid of sword and board and no one forced me to do it. I didn't do anything I didn't like.

I think it was mainly that people were there actively helping us get started with the game. Everyone was so friendly! And we got to do exactly what we wanted to do.

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Rilith



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Join date : 2009-05-03
Age : 24
Location : Las Vegas

PostSubject: Re: Member Retention?   Tue Dec 27, 2011 7:46 pm

Thought I'd toss a shout out here too, since some don't have facebook. I haven't been coming out as often as I'd like to, and rather than give excuses, I'm just going to say that I'm trying to balance my life right now, so I took a break from dag to do that, and I just had a general lack of drive to do it. Now I feel completely ready for the new year, and another season of learning, fighting, and brother(or sister)-hood. Truth is I miss all of you guys very much, and I definitely miss fighting. I rediscovered my zeal,(and widened my bank account), so I am now excited to reconnect with you all and retrain my rusty self. I figured since I'm enthused to get back into it, I'd ask if anyone would mind helping me with a few new sets of garb, and weapons. I didn't really look through the site for any garb/weapon builds, shouldnt even really be posting at all since I'm at work, but action dictates guile sometimes Razz I'm not looking for handouts, I am prepared to spend for services/materials. Possibly even mentoring as to how to do this stuff on my own? It'll be great to rejoin you all, and I look forward to cursing your backhacks and Mord-shots to the mansack!
BARAD'DUN!
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sasquatch

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PostSubject: Re: Member Retention?   Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:05 am

lol omg dude we literally had this convo last year
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kraiken

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PostSubject: Re: Member Retention?   Wed Jan 04, 2012 6:13 am

I remember my first day. It was the ATD invasion last August. When I first walked up I was like "I hope I fit in." I had no prior knowledge of anything like this. My first training was with Anthony, and after that I was in aw on how awesome everyone looked fighting and that entire day all I could think was. I cant wait to get home and find a way to practice and get better. I felt like I was surrounded by the nicest people there could be. Even though I really didn't know anyone I still got good vibes from everyone. Every Saturday I can't wait to wake up early and start fighting again! And I wanted to thank everyone for making me feel welcome, and teaching a newbie some sick shit! Very Happy
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