Home > Site news > Wargaming for Leaders study the behavior of players in World of Tanks and other games (Aces)

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The leaders of the company Wargaming (the creator of World of Tanks) – Vice President Andrew Yarantsev and director of research and analysis at the company Sergey Kadomsky – told the editor column Growth Hacks of how a team of analysts, some gaming performance and what they track techniques are used to stimulate the players.

How is an analyst in the games, what tools and what do you use? We still did not have the materials about the analyst is in the games, so our readers will be very interesting to get a detailed answer to this question.

Andrew Yarantsev In the analyst (anyone playing as well) always has two components. First – this is routine. The study reports identifying problems (and sometimes their solutions), the negative trends. Second – this is the work commissioned. For example, a client comes to you with a specific analytical task and said: “It was so, and it became like that. Why? “. The expert analyzes, studies and explains the reasons for the changes in terms of intelligence.

Руководители Wargaming об исследовании поведения игроков в World of Tanks и других играх
Yarantsev Andrew, vice president of Wargaming

If we talk about the game industry, the analyst can be divided into two blocks – one for of the publishing (marketing analytics, with which achieve a high ROI), the other – to develop (in-game analyst for increasing LT / LTV).

The main tool of any analyst – and the logic of the head. And yet. This applies to absolutely every area. C methods is more complicated: In Wargaming, both during the entire gaming industry, a lot of them – Segmentation (beginners, core, paying and non-paying), the classification of certain characteristics (assignment status in the internal CRM-system), clustering (selection of groups with similar characteristics) and so on.

In general, all the analytical work is reduced to the construction of models that not only facilitate planning, but also help to timely respond to the behavior of the player. For example, the prediction model of care of players (one of these models has been built in collaboration with Yandex Data Factory in December 2014) preventively “straining» CRM-system companies about the players who find themselves in the “at risk”.

what data is collected, this internal system analysts and why it is more convenient for you than external tools? Which of the outer part of your analytics tool like?

A. I. The earliest analytical systems we made back in 2010. The server part was developed on the basis of engine BigWorld, a frontend written in Python. Gradually was connected information from the monitoring systems Nagios, Cacti. They opensource, we have not appended, and set up for themselves, and then looked at the effectiveness. So in the hands of analysts there is evidence of the servers and many other relevant parameters.

The time for data processing Wargaming actively using MongoDB and Memcached: indicators considered expeditiously and not heavily load the game database. The first year of the project at peak times the servers had a hard time, and if we have more and realtime analytics tied to, then everything would be laid down. Part of the data collected once every five minutes. Reference collection was once a day, while the lowest PCCU: you can safely pump out all you can.

Руководители Wargaming об исследовании поведения игроков в World of Tanks и других играх
Office Wargaming

Over time, this adds a variety of skirts in Java, changing patterns of data. But at some point (around 2013) the whole system required so much effort to maintain that they decided to go to a bunch of Hadoop, Oracle and Tableau. In this scenario, still works: there is discharged a very large amount of data from all the games.

In each of the projects there is a standard, consisting of approximately 20 indicators, a set of metrics (DAU, Reg, ARPPU,% pU) and a unique set of metrics necessary staff publishers, game designers and other professionals.

In general, the system is similar to any modern analytical system that provides segmentation of users, displays a KPI, is able to do data mining and prediksheny.

What do you know about the players, what kind of goals and events collect?

A. I. One fight – it is about 2-3 MB of a variety of information, which the server communicates with the client. The average person plays 20-25 fights. When DAU (daily active users) to several million people receive hundreds of terabytes of data per day RU-only cluster. In theory, we know all about the player, but to process this information, the system will need many times more difficult the game. However, a large set of data is logged and going from the server.

In analyzing the in-game performance, we can track the speed of pumping equipment and crews, the moments of socialization (Game in the platoon, company, joining a clan), the balance of art and maps, toxicity, behavior in chat rooms, shopping, basket player and so on.

Plus, do not forget about marketing, which collects information on each step of the funnel: from displaying a banner and register to enter the game and purchase the first tank. Conversion of transition to new levels carefully analyzed, and even the slightest flaws to be eliminated.

Daily Summary. There are some indicators that you look at every day, and according to them to make operational decisions? What kind of performance?

A. I. The morning begins with the digits. The first thing otsmatrivat statistics and studying charts available online servers, registration and payments spending. If there is any slowdown or strange vibrations that are called upon to answer project managers. The most common causes of atypical images are some of our technical activity – are updating statistics on a game account, there – restart servers or accrual of “buns” and here it is in the push-notification.

The most common patterns of stability reigns, and at the slightest change – debriefing and the question “why?”. Morning is the best time for this: given the task of a responsible person, analyzed, fixed a, if necessary, and then with a clear conscience started another paper.

study schedule does not end there: during the day the analysis of the project, which is currently causing the greatest number of questions. In this case, we delve more seriously taken statistics on specific regions, for a certain period of time and begin to “dig” – to study the different representations of data, build and test hypotheses for this behavior.

Despite the huge number of subtleties and specifics of MMO industry, here you are at the operational level are repelled from the indicators CCU (concurrent users), Regs (registration), Payments (payments), and at a strategic – the cost of attracting players CPI (cost per install ) and how much it spends LTV (life time value).

You say that you have different groups of users. How do they conduct themselves specifically and what approach you used for the isolation of these groups?

A. I. At launch, World of Tanks in 2010, the division members were very simple: the kernel, the core of the potential newcomers. Plus paying and non-paying group of players. Gradually learned to analyze more complex things, such as the behavior of the non-paying part of the kernel, the impact they have promotions, discounts or, say, joining a clan.

The phenomenon of paying beginners looking for the optimal level of monthly expenses, have experimented with in-game monetization, is not formulated clearly the principle of free-to-win.

In about 2012 it was time to more serious audience segmentation. Identified six key groups of players. Here we have the division was the most detailed and based on different attributes: love of history, age, lifestyle, choice of gaming platform, as well as social status. It was a significant contribution is in marketing analytics, and since then all the advertising and branding activity we are building with the behaviors of these groups.

Sergey Kadomsky There are several types of divisions based on different grounds. Socio-demographic segmentation, such as interesting as marketers to promote and game designers to understand for whom they make the product.

Руководители Wargaming об исследовании поведения игроков в World of Tanks и других играх
Sergey Kadomsky, director of research and analysis Wargaming

division on payment performance is also important. You need to know that buying players, in what quantity and at what stages. It is this kind of group of users of their consumer basket. Segmentation divides the involvement of hardcore gamers and casual: someone playing every day and much, while others on the two fights only on weekends.

An interesting approach is the study of the audience when viewed from several perspectives. For example, the combination of segmentation of engagement with popular modes and technology. This allows you to understand what features and content will be in great demand.

Tell us about the techniques that you use to promote, retention, engagement, and that based on this segmentation?

A. I. In order to answer this question, let’s audience “Tanks” in the form of the three pyramids. The top of the first – clan wars. These are all who are driven by the desire to win and lead the army. The second pyramid – eSports. Here are those players who are looking to virtual battle through the prism of earnings and self-realization. The third pyramid – randomschiki. That’s just they go for a fan. There is free time – to play in the “tank” by distracting.

For each of the pyramid there are different incentives, retention and engagement. Take, for example, e-sports. We try to motivate the players to rise to the present progaming. Over the period of the game, World of Tanks has brought not one generation tank top. Of course, it all begins with a small mini-tournaments, regional competitions and, finally, the international arena. The player (who is actually interesting) goes from the courtyard of eSports to the top.

Similarly with the clans: encourage those who play in the platoon, to start playing in the companies, rocking and join clans. From small to large. Socialization keeps people well, and with the addition of functionality combined fortified motivation is even stronger.

The randomness solve all the mini-games, discounts, promotions, events and competitions (the only one “Tankovik” is worth).

holds great, and generally gives a lot of fun and well-performing information function, all created around the game content: UGC (user generated content), tens of thousands of custom channels on YouTube, and radio groups in social networks.

And is there any activity you have, which are aimed at stimulating purchases within the application?

A. I. Promote to shop should first game itself. It should bring a person to think about what he wants, for example, a premium account. Motivating and with the help of special promotions and offers. But here is the problem: if you cut prices too often, people get used to waiting for rebates. So here we are trying to become attached to some significant events, or to make them random to break the myth of a certain system, which reduces the price even twice a month – in the days of the advance payment and wages.

There Wargaming has also its know-how: we are well stimulate users to buy with the help of instructional videos. Not all players understand how to be a style of play and combat use from a particular tank, and to rely on their intuition and are afraid to spend money wasted. Selling videos explain how to master the machine and play for fun.

There are actions already initiated by the payment systems. In this case we are discussing in advance the size of the bonus to the “platёzhkami” and run by arrangement. On the major promotions are sometimes told in TV advertising. We are talking about large-scale the event, such as the New Year.

How to use a variety of studies in conjunction with analytics for understanding user behavior?

C. To. Good and convenient way – a combination of qualitative, quantitative research and analysis. At the initial stage, we identify the problem (sometimes it is evident from the statistics) through the play-tests, usability tests and interviews with users. It involved no more than 15 players.

then take the data and organize a large-scale survey among the gaming community to confirm, or vice versa – to disprove the theory derived by us. The method of the survey can track how different groups of players react to this or that question. Parallel conduct analytical research in the numbers: in fact, check the hypothesis.

Tell me about some new fiche – both were tested as looking at behavior, how to lead people, you have decided to change as a result?

A. I. will try to answer your question on the example of a tank of eSports. We picked up from the ground like World of Tanks World eSports-discipline, despite the fact that the original “Tank” by eSports still not sharpened. If you look at the key eSports-giants – a minimum variation in the balance, one izezzhennoy along and across location and fighting five for five at most. The “tank” is a variety of cards and equipment is significantly higher 15 players in the team, from the update in the update are changing the characteristics of glare, and so on broneprobitiya

Руководители Wargaming об исследовании поведения игроков в World of Tanks и других играх

The impetus for the development of eSports tournament served as the first tank “Steel Storm”, which took place even during the CBT (closed beta test – approx. Ed.) In July 2010. ESports as a games feature at this stage looked unpresentable. Played in the traditional mode, with two bases, a team of 14 people and the “champion” of 90 points on the equipment (size 7/42 came later).

At first it was just the representatives of powerful clans, but gradually in the game were first progamers whose fidbek became the basis for improvements. It became clear that fighting is not enough entertainment, on the battlefields of passivity reigns and the game goes on defense. Beginning of a long and painstaking work – the tournament, gathering feedbacks, edit again the tournament and so on.

made a real breakthrough in 2014, when brought to focus the team progamers tests. So it was much more productive. After experimenting with the cards, the number of bases, capture rate, restrictions on the types of vehicles and so on. As a result, it became clear how to look perfect for the “Tanks” eSports mode (“Attack / Defense,” published in update 9.7). Much work was carried out in parallel with the commentators, streamers, organizers finals to finals eSports League World of Tanks looked like the real show.

Did you have techniques that did not bring the expected improvements in performance, that is, you introduced some new feature, and rates fell?

A. I. was and is. In the case of “historic battles” significantly overestimated the segment of the audience that is interested (really) history. The format just did not go. The main reason was the lack of balance and garage wars.

has become a sore point in the graphics update 9.0. Here we greatly overestimated the desire to “upgrade iron” players. Initially, there was a confidence that approximately 30-50% of the players will move to better graphics, but in fact turned out to be a maximum of 5%.

First of all users want a good and balanced gameplay, and then everything else. Despite the miss, the idea of ​​historical battles have not given up. Learn from the mistakes and problems of the first attempt for the second time will not: already revised format.

Thus, and still tell us about the unexpected information that you learned about its users?

A. I. Surprisingly survivability of some memes. For example, the beta test in World of Tanks has been shed in the request characteristic “dog” sound. When the booth with another update removed, Wargaming inundated with requests for the return of the dog to the game. And our old-school players are often asked at meetings: “When you return the dog?”.

In general, such examples are scarce. There are studies that show that most of the players before joining the World of Tanks are not interested in history. Judging by the polls, up to 70% of users claim that the “tank” changed attitude to history: the players began to read more books on military equipment and interest in the legendary past of the country.

But the real surprise was that these (hardcore) fans of history in the game a little bit, just a few percent. This means that for many fascination of history – it is rather a “DIVA” activity than the willingness to take a brush in your hand and go to paint the tank in the museum of the city.

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