General Discussion

Club Events - strategy and farming, for new players and old hands

Hutch_TimHutch_Tim Administrator, Hutch Staff Posts: 597 admin
As we approach the end of Season 2, the community is figuring out how Club Events work, and we're seeing what the emergent behaviours are. I figured it was worth giving a summary of how things look currently.

Cash and Gold earnings.
Across the RQ spectrum, we can see that players are earning about the same amount of cash each day as before, and slightly more gold. It's early days as people are figuring out how to fit Club Events into their daily play, and how to optimally play them, but at a high level things haven't changed that significantly.

Obviously there's a lot going on under the hood though. Here are a few observations:
- The majority of players (including RQ 150 players) didn't know how to farm the daily event. It's now more obvious to them how to make money.
- Lower RQ players with uncompetitive garages can at least pick events with suitable requirements, and be carried by the rest of their team mates (if they pick the right events).
- Some players are getting high efficiency with very few races played (mostly from end-of-season rewards).
- Some players are getting very low efficiency, fighting for MVP. I would assume that will reduce over time as people find it isn't worth it, we'll see.
- Some players are earning more money than ever before as they can put in a lot of races, thanks to the very high event turnover. Event turnover is probably too high...
- Some daily farmers have given up on clubs, and some are farming them as best they can figure out.

As someone who has farmed the daily for perhaps a year, I've done my own calculations. I estimate as follows:
- Daily farming: 8 Ceramics/week, 350 gold/week
- Club farming for the same amount of time: 6.5 Ceramics/week, 450 gold/week

Earning 19% less cash and 28% more gold seems okay, but a much more important factor in practice is consistency. Farming the daily was easy but boring, and sometimes I wouldn't be able to play for longer than 2.5 hours, so one way or another I'd miss tickets and make maybe 5 Ceramics/week in practice. I'm personally finding Club Events much more interesting (although I appreciate that's subjective), but also much more flexible - if I can play at 8am, 8.30am, 9am, midday and 5pm, I can make more efficient use of that time than I could with Daily farming by picking which Club events I enter. So in practice I'm making more cash and gold, and having more fun, which is great. But it looks like other people aren't finding Club Events fun and/or strategic, so let's talk about how that looks!


Strategy / Fun
I've seen criticism about how you can't enter events that are cut off (and also some defence of that mechanic). To be fair, we could have made it more obvious how this works in the UI. It's pretty critical to the whole strategy of the mode though. There was a period earlier where Legacy had a long thin series of territories along the border between Midnight and Full Throttle - then they got cut off, and could no longer enter those events to defend them. That's exactly how it's supposed to work - fighting a war on two fronts is not a good idea!

I can see a criticism of that though: if that sort of high-level strategy is left to the crowd, then obviously dumb things are likely to happen (although I would hope less over time).

So can a few late-game, strategically smart players make any difference? From what I've seen so far, I think they can, and it's working as intended. Here are a few ways.

The well-timed push
If you come to Club Events and see an event moments away from completion, you can wait for it to resolve and then quickly kick off a new event in the best territory. If your club just lost a sector, you can quickly start another event there to fight for it back, preventing the opponents from pushing further into your territory. If your club just won a sector, you can quickly start a new event deeper into enemy territory, either one that can't be or is unlikely to be cut off, or one that best denies the opponent chances to attack more of your sectors. I've been doing this any time there's an event ending too soon for me to join.

The General
Obviously we've seen that to farm Club Events, the easiest thing to do is join an event that's ending soon and in your Club's favour, and a lot of players do this. The interesting thing about this is if you're a strong player, it effectively gives you an army. If you see an event where the result is close or very slightly against your Club, if you can make a few decisive wins and swing it in your favour, the army of Club farmers will then come to your aid and seal the victory. I've done this a couple of times and it's great to see happen!

The lone wolf
I've seen Midnight try this gambit a few times and it was pretty awesome. You might see a chance to start a Club Event in a territory that will very shortly be cut off. If the requirements look good for you, you might be able to lone-wolf it: get in with a strong hand, then get cut off, so nobody else from your Club can join to dilute your strength, and the opponents then all have to face you. As long as you lay down ghosts on all the tracks, you'll rack up wins, get an easy MVP for it, and you might even win the whole sector single-handed.

On the flip side, as a strong late-game player, you could spot these lone wolves, and you might be the one to take them down. I've taken that role 3 times and was successful twice - it was more effort, but it felt great to take on that sort of heroic role. (It would be nice if we could reward that beyond just the regular cash, but I'm not sure of a good way to do it that isn't exploitable one way or another).


Use of your garage
Club events are certainly testing the diversity of my garage - I've had to use my 3rd Abarth rally for the first time; I got to field all my best Italian cars for the first time; I got to bring out the Dakar again. By giving players a choice, you can hopefully also avoid any requirements/track-set combinations that don't appeal. It does seems fair to bring back some of the openness of the daily to let people run their Legendaries and Prize Cars a bit more often, so we've been adding Club Events that are both more open and have higher RQ limits.


What next
Overall it does seem like sectors change hands too quickly and seasons are too long for the strategy element to feel that significant, so we're looking to tweak that for future seasons.

More generally, we do want to make future developments to Club Events, but we're actually prioritising other features suggested by the community right now, which we started during the load testing period for Club Events. If you don't like Club Events, rest assured, we're not looking to make the game just about that feature. We're going to continue to make improvements and additions unrelated to Club Events.
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Comments

  • OzzmanOzzman Member Posts: 1,047 ✭✭✭✭✭
    We can't deny that Clubs, as a new game mode has potential. But if we look at the dailies as a source of very important resources, than you must admit, Clubs (currently) is nowhere near as efficient as the dailies used to be. It takes more time and effort to get the same amount of cash from Clubs, and that's still just cash. Let's not forget the D/E/F cars. The lower end of my garage is stagnating since the dailies are gone. I have a handful of cars in my holding pool (there used to be around a hundred all the time), and I haven't seen a common car in ages. Those are important as well. Clubs can evolve into something good, I'll give you that, but until that, it was a mistake to take away the dailies.
  • Hutch_TimHutch_Tim Administrator, Hutch Staff Posts: 597 admin
    edited June 5
    TimBut said:



    I'm very interested in Gameplay feedback. If you can make some, er, more specific remarks on it I'd like to see it. As I wrote, I see the strategy playing out in a few different ways right now, it seems sufficiently interesting to me, and it will certainly develop further as players figure things out and new collective behaviours emerge.

    I do think longer events and/or shorter seasons (which Bobdylan suggested) could also make the sector strategy element more significant than it is right now.

    Sabotage is one problematic element - we can handle that with individual Club Event bans right now, but it would be better if we could make it just not-be-a-thing, for example only counting positive points or something similar.

    hung said:
    Daily farming: 8 Ceramics/week, 350 gold/week
    - Club farming for the same amount of time: 6.5 Ceramics/week, 450 gold/week

    What you mean same amount of time?
    From you daily assumptions, that would be 25 race per day, and then you assume us to join 25 different club event, each race one time and all win to get 25000 per day?

    Actually for same amount of time, I'll just join 6 events each day, each event race 5. That probably just 10000 per day, which is far less then your calculations!
    It's a mix of sniping events about to end, and putting in 5 races in one that will run a bit longer. I can make Top 10 or at least top 25% pretty easily that way with a late-game hand. It's also putting in slightly more frequent, but shorter sessions than farming the daily would entail (so same amount of minutes, but different distribution). For longer sessions, Sniping one Club event, playing some regular event tickets, then finishing a session by putting 1-5 races in another Club event is pretty efficient for me.

    Ozzman said:
    We can't deny that Clubs, as a new game mode has potential. But if we look at the dailies as a source of very important resources, than you must admit, Clubs (currently) is nowhere near as efficient as the dailies used to be. It takes more time and effort to get the same amount of cash from Clubs, and that's still just cash. Let's not forget the D/E/F cars. The lower end of my garage is stagnating since the dailies are gone. I have a handful of cars in my holding pool (there used to be around a hundred all the time), and I haven't seen a common car in ages. Those are important as well. Clubs can evolve into something good, I'll give you that, but until that, it was a mistake to take away the dailies.
    Yep, the point about D/E/F cars is fair, and we're looking into ways to bring more of that back. In particular I think the game would be better served by having all of D/E/F represented in prizes boards (and balancing cash in turn). It's always been quite weird how it was incredibly easy to get D's, quite hard to get E's, and the main source of F's seemed to be plastic packs won due to smurfing.
    Post edited by Gsearch on
  • Hutch_TimHutch_Tim Administrator, Hutch Staff Posts: 597 admin
    Rawel said:
    Hutch_Tim said:
    - Lower RQ players with uncompetitive garages can at least pick events with suitable requirements, and be carried by the rest of their team mates (if they pick the right events).
    Can't agree with that, people like that are the reason some events can't be saved because everyone on the rival team bullies them and they end up with a result like 3-187...
    If that's the case then they're picking the wrong events!

    It might be that points should work slightly differently though, if this proves to be a persistent problem. For example, we could say your leaderboard points can't go below 0 - or only positive scores contribute to the balance of power.
  • TimButTimBut Member Posts: 826 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 4


    nah, I already said that many times and I see no result. 


  • hunghung Member Posts: 8
    That crazy that official reply just said you can do it but without solid calculations

    I have choose a winning event as example, 5races can't let you be top 10, even top 25, you'll probably only get <1500 with 5 races

    You claims a week can get 6.5packs? How many events I have to join to do that ?
    How many races I need to do in this week to achieve it?

    Please give out ur number and calculations, if there really have one.


  • TimButTimBut Member Posts: 826 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 5
    Hutch_Tim said:
    TimBut said:



    I'm very interested in Gameplay feedback. If you can make some, er, more specific remarks on it I'd like to see it. As I wrote, I see the strategy playing out in a few different ways right now, it seems sufficiently interesting to me, and it will certainly develop further as players figure things out and new collective behaviours emerge.

    I do think longer events and/or shorter seasons (which Bobdylan suggested) could also make the sector strategy element more significant than it is right now.

    Sabotage is one problematic element - we can handle that with individual Club Event bans right now, but it would be better if we could make it just not-be-a-thing, for example only counting positive points or something similar.

    This is the most specific feedback at the moment. 
    For the past 2 weeks we wrote A LOT of things we dont like about clubs, whats wrong, whats bad, etc. I dont remember any good comment about clubs. But you continue trying to make us believe that it is actually a thing that we just dont understand and are not ready for changes. 

    Close clubs for a small amount of players to gather feedback, return dailies and go on.  I think this feature needs few more months of developing.   We better wait more than being made to spin the wheels.

    Before you do that the most specific and honest feedback is 

    Post edited by Gsearch on
  • UltimateUltimate Member Posts: 772 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Hutch’s response is:

    ”Let them eat cake!”
  • 0liver770liver77 Member Posts: 91 ✭✭✭
    I don’t like clubs as there is no understandable manual available. 
    @Hutch_TimLet‘s provide a short introduction of how it works. Of course not only in English. 
  • GilTrucksGilTrucks Member Posts: 375 ✭✭✭
    There are some factors that are good in clubs.
    No time zone issues for termino. events with several different constraints.
    But there is a problem with the reward for racing victories.
    The stars and the cards are missing for victory. It seems so obvious to me.
    Look, to win something like 4000 money ig need to play at least 30x (does not count the victories that the other players give you or be MVP), it takes too much time and you earn little for time invested.
    My biggest surprise was to see that you're thinking that this is okay ... I read bad comments from all sides, players going only to win the 50 clubXP, and do not play anymore.
    This can not be good, if it was a few players complaining, that's fine, but that's not the case. Or we are the most stupid that we do not understand the Club or something is wrong and that you are pretending that you do not see it.
  • evilprofesseurevilprofesseur Member Posts: 1,186 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 4
    What was the point of the poll?
    The best way to earn money in clubs goes against the spirit of cooperation (hunting for finishing events), so you've exchanged one problem for another.

    'Some players are getting very low efficiency, fighting for MVP. I would assume that will reduce over time as people find it isn't worth it, we'll see.'

    why is this okay? shouldn't the players who contributed the most to the victory be rewarded significantly more?

    also, most importantly - why only cash? Opening packs is fun, and there are none to be won in the biggest mode of the game!
    Post edited by evilprofesseur on
  • OzzmanOzzman Member Posts: 1,047 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Just two recent Club experiences to give you a hint of what is wrong with it.
    1) I entered an event where I had a good hand, and my team was slightly winning. Raced 15 times, no defeat. I was P1 overall on the leaderboard. Then a few players from the other team joined with a decent hand and turned the match around, beating my teammates, but not me. As they managed to tip the scales more and more, the vultures started coming, and quickly the event was overflooded by their team, and there was no coming back. I stayed on top of the leaderboard, yet we lost the match.
    2) I entered an event that was isolated from the opponent, there were only three members from their side, but they were winning. But I thought, hey, more players can't enter, maybe we can turn it around. I had a better hand than all the opponents, and started beating them. But after 20 races their points did not decrease, beacause they were doing the same with my weaker teammates. As we were still losing, the reinforcements did not come, and we lost the match 34 of us against 3. I just coudn't do anything.
    These two very frustrating losses made me not want play Clubs again today. I'll get the 50XP tomorrow, and that's it.
  • Hutch_TimHutch_Tim Administrator, Hutch Staff Posts: 597 admin
    so the poll is simply ignored and so is the majority customer base?
    It's not ignored, we're looking at who is saying what and how many are saying it, and we're also obviously keeping a close eye on the total figures of how many active players are doing which kind of event and how much they are playing it. As I mentioned in my summary, it's true that a significant minority of daily-farmers have given up on Clubs. Presumably a bunch of the rest are playing Clubs grudgingly. It doesn't look like the majority of the customer base though. As I noted, the majority of players didn't even farm the daily (!).

    clubmode is a braindead, just enter and forget playstyle. you dont even need to care about winning or 3 stars anymore. im not sure if this has improved the way "the game is intended to be played". not for me.It feels like boring work, and i dont like my teammates for the fight for mvp. they are the only real competition.
    Well, this is the part I don't agree on, but I guess is essentially subjective. I find the choice of which event to enter to help my earnings or the wider strategy (to get the bigger gold payout at the end) interesting, and I'm finding using much more of my garage interesting - certainly more fun than farming the daily was. But if someone finds it a chore I can't really tell them they're wrong about that, even if I find it hard to understand.

    It's a good point that you don't feel like a team, and that the players on your side are like competition standing between you and better rewards. I can see that. I'm curious about ways we could make it feel more like a team event. In particular as the player base matures and people hit higher Club Ranks, I wonder about using the Club Rank aspect more - perhaps only players of high enough rank get to start new events (so we don't get novices pushing us into a war-on-two-fronts), or perhaps players of high enough rank can 'shield' up to 3 selected team-mates or something? I'm not sure yet what would make sense, or be efficient from a code perspective.

    Antoun said:
    I really don’t know WTF our community has done so wrong to be considered like **** (sorry I can’t use another word here, as this one is the softest...) by Hutch staff, these past months, or you should write since a year we (the players) are just good for Hutch to open our wallet or our legs (choose the best answer), and shut our mouth. 

    That’s really the very first time I see a gaming company with such a lack of consideration for it community, and which considered the players like totally brainless ! 

    So please just tell us what we have done wrong Hutch, just tell us !
    Well, I can understand that if you don't think Club Events are interesting, this must seem inconsiderate. Hopefully on the flip side, you can also understand how if we're making Club Events and consider them to be interesting, we would see it differently!

    hung said:

    I have choose a winning event as example, 5races can't let you be top 10, even top 25, you'll probably only get <1500 with 5 races

    You claims a week can get 6.5packs? How many events I have to join to do that ?
    How many races I need to do in this week to achieve it?
    Right, that example of an event would not be an easy one to make money from. I usually find I can avoid events like that.

    Here's my breakdown:

    Smarfing the daily: 35 race tickets/day.
    Farming clubs: 40 races/day. Slightly more, but I can do them quicker as I don't have to stop to pick up the cards and sell the cars. Depends how quickly you can pick your hand I guess - I haven't brought a stopwatch to it, but 5x Pickups is very easy, 3x Super-rare, 2x UK is hard so I might avoid those.

    Farming:
    6 events entered with 5 races in each, total of 30 races
    80% of these events end in a win, 20% in a loss - average cash for win/loss therefore = 500
    5 races cash prize = 500
    I make top 25% about 75% of the time, Top 10% 25% of the time (if I can lay down a really competitive hand and the event runs a while so I float to the top), average award = 1,250
    Veteran rank (Ok I'm not there yet, but will be soon - I guess this is the one slight cheat, but this also isn't accounting yet for higher ranks yet to be achieved) = 400
    Total = 2,650

    10 events entered with 1 race in each (sniping), total of 10 races
    100% end in a win = 600
    1 race cash prize = 100
    Bottom 50% of leaderboard = 100
    Veteran = 400
    Total = 1,200

    End of Season prize:
    Club rank 1/2/3 average = 5,000
    Participation: 20 events for the whole week (easy, I'm doing 16/day) = 7,500
    Performance - Top 10% in club = 5,000
    Veteran = 2,000
    Total = 19,500

    So that makes daily cash: 6*2,650 + 10*1,200 = 15,900 + 12,000 = 27,900/day
    In a week that's 195,300 from each day + 19,500 from end of season = 214,800 = 6.6 Ceramics


    But like I said, two points that are just as important:
    - Club events are more flexible for me, if I can play every 30 minutes for part of the day I can make the most of that
    - I find Club events more fun, so I'm much more likely to maximise my income than I was from the daily farming

    I do think this is the most important point: if you find Club Events less fun than farming the Daily, I'd love to find ways we can fix that. I don't think it's purely about the money.

    TD01055 said:
    Putting the farming amounts to one side for a second, you still have to acknowledge that people haven’t engaged in clubs the way you hoped. If clubs was fun, engaging and rewarding then there wouldn’t be such a demand for dailies back. It feels like work - Unbalanced, underpaid, and at times unfair work.
    I'd say the overall reaction is a bit stronger than we anticipated, yes! En-masse, people are certainly engaging with Club Events though. Feeling like work is a problem - I guess that's to do with the instant-gratification aspect of turning over cards vs. getting a cash prize at the end? I wonder if we can improve the feel of that without completely changing how Clubs work.

    mikes said:
    The issue for me is this. The actual game-play where we select the cars, place the cars, hit skip races, etc. has never been the fun. It's a grind regardless of how good or bad our hands are, or how competitive or noncompetitive our hands are; it's still always a grind.
    The fun of the game is getting cars. From prize boards, to opening packs. Getting cars was always the goal and was the enjoyment in the game. The fun in the game goes like this for me:
    1. Opening packs
    2. Winning cars
    3. Upgrading cars
    4. Actually racing
    Now this does get to the heart of it, thanks for laying it out that way. I'm a bit surprised to see Upgrading actually beats Racing, but I recognise I can't tell you how you feel!

    (Speaking personally, the most fun I have is competing in Finals events and optimising my resources to enable me to do so. The rest of the game is just about gathering resources to help for Finals, and opening Ceramics / doing well in events is a nice boost along the way)

    From the other comments I think you're not alone, and I think it's fair to say we underestimated this preference order. If we could have more card-turning or more pack opening in place of some of the cash from Clubs, it sounds like people would find that more gratifying.

    While on this topic, I will note that I think Opening packs and Winning cars is only as exciting as it is because the racing element exists. If Top Drives was purely about opening packs (like that crazy game I tried once, Star Wars: Card Trader) I don't think it would feel as good. My Zonda has nearly doubled its total amount of races since Clubs came out, which feels great! (On the flip side, a lot of Bugattis are a lot less used now, but if we open up more Club events they could come back - and the enormous amount they were used before probably wasn't that healthy for the overall game.)

    In terms of design elements, perhaps another idea would be to have higher-stakes Club Events happen randomly, with bigger prizes but higher RQ limits, to make Legendaries and prize cars more rewarding.

    mikes said:
    • Find a game nearing the end where my team is leading
    • Figure out a hand that will fit that criteria to enter
    • Enter one race
    • Then wait, sometimes 30 minutes plus
    • Finally I collect my $600-$1000 reward for 0-1 (or like $1200 if I am 1-0)
    In a daily in that time, I could have run all five tickets with my saved hand, won 9 or so prize boards and have gold, cash and cars.
    I guess I should try putting a stopwatch to it, but this all happens pretty quick for me. I guess it also helps that by playing this much I'm getting very familiar with the track sets in the rotation. The waiting 30 minutes part equates to waiting for tickets in the Daily, but that paradigm changes a lot now as Club Farming is about shorter but more frequent sessions (which I appreciate doesn't work well for everyone).
  • HeissRodHeissRod Member Posts: 4,570 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 4
    Am I the only one that doesn't see a good amount of events to "snipe", as it keeps getting thrown around?  Every time I go into clubs to try my hand at something, I almost never see events (close to ending), which I can join.  They are either greyed out for playing or have tons of meter left on the clock.  I have yet to see how to snipe loads of club events in a day.
  • tichoblintichoblin Member Posts: 942 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I won more than 30 races, was number one and got 2900 as a reward. Hah.
    The club mode is full of bugs, non transparent and consuming too much time (if you want to farm comparable to dailies amount of IGC). But you are still trying to convince us it is a fun. It’s not. Trust us.
  • ritter_seboritter_sebo Member Posts: 368 ✭✭✭
    For me the clubs could be fun. but for now its simply not.
    No rewards for the amount I race and the main issue I have is, that Hutch is trying to replace the daily smurf with clubs and introduced now the next late entry system...

    @Hutch_Tim You really think we would love to "snipe" the events? Most of us don't like the late join in the prize events at all and now you really promote the next s... strategy in the game. Nice play :trollface:
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