Player Retention On The Rise

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XOOM

Some of you may have heard of a new concept developed called the, "Host Squad Project." But what you may not be aware of is its profound impact it's having on WWII Online.

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When it comes to new player retention, we got it right when it was decided to push on the need to focus harder on our new players, by providing them a place where it could be easily tracked and managed by a support network of community volunteers. This initial implementation was tagged, "The Weasels Squad."

After some trial and error, it was noticed that the results were simply not up to the standards we were looking to achieve. While new players were being engaged to a degree, there was something more that must be done in order to preserve our new folks joining the game.

Because the Weasels had all of the same functionalities as a squad, it was technically a typical squad, but with one interesting twist; all new trial sign ups would automatically fall in the Weasels squad according to a preset we designated. Therefore we can adjust who the squad is who receives these 60-90 new players who join our game, every day.

So we noticed it was becoming increasingly difficult to find volunteers to help support the Weasels, because they would have to leave their squads for a duration of time, and not really wreak any of the benefits (other then supporting the game), we came up with a new idea, called the, "Host Squad."

What is the Host Squad Project?

Big question, but let's knock it out one step at a time. The mission is to provide new players the best possible experience, through player-player interactions so they become immediately involved / directed, and do not fall through the cracks of not having support in a game that has such a steep learning curve.

How it is benefiting squads:

New squads are receiving record numbers in short order. Because they have the chance to automatically obtain these new recruits, they are building the loyalties we all know of in our first moments ingame. The difference is, these new guys don't have to try and take it all on their own, they now have a Day-1 support group ready to help them.

How it is benefiting WWII Online:

The battlefield is becoming noticeably more populated. New player retention is growing. New players are communicating more openly and confidently for support without criticism or troll.

Host Squad achieving records:

The Host Squad is achieving what we've all been wanting since the beginning. That is record level new player engagements. New players are receiving direct support regardless of their side or squad, through a great network of seasoned personnel answering their questions, and helping to direct them into a squad according to their preferred side.

What is a new player engagement?

This simply means, that a veteran player (or staff member) is connecting with new players to help answer their questions, and teach them how to communicate. Someone is welcoming them to the community, and offering their support, inspiring confidence that they came to the right place.

Effective Trainer Tool Usage:

We've been equipping these Host Squad representatives (5 per squad) with some really awesome, yet simple tools. There is a command called, ".grab " which focuses their communication 1 on 1 directly. We've given them clearance to use this sparingly to interact with new unresponsive players to teach them how to communicate better.

Trade-A-Noob (tm):

This idea sprung upon itself with our awesome set of dedicated players helping the project. Because the Trainer Tools offer a ".tr > channel" (or trainer channel) it allows cross-side communication to exist, generating a collaborative and very effective atmosphere. No worries, everyone is pretty tight lipped when it comes to Operational Security.

This means that these Host Squads can transfer players from their squad (who may be allied) to another host squad participant (who is axis), so that the player receives a good home squad / support network, while maintaining the standards of the (allied) host squad. This is occurring every day now, and again on record levels.

Host Squad Rotations:

We've set up a rotation schedule for every 48-72 hours, to change between squads based on their size and ability to tackle the "hoarde." This allows squads to build their newly obtained personnel, without the burnout of constant new joining bombardment. This has proven to be very necessary, and very effective.

Accessible Trainers:

These Host Squad participants are also accessible to the community for basic questions. On average we were seeing between 2-4 Trainers login, and over the last week we've beefed up our trainer list to have a grand total of 31 active accessible trainers (not including CRS Staff).

Preparing the Squads:

CRS Staff have been working hard to support the Host Squads with necessary (basic) manuals to help guide them and their squads to the best success achievable with the current structure. We're taking in AAR's after every cycle so we can review how people are doing, and help the other squads learn from those mistakes. We even have a step-by-step engagement explanation with new players so we can become a little more "systematic" about our approach.

Salute to Host Squad Participants:

We want to send our gratitude for your efforts to the Host Squad participants (staff and membership), who are making this possible. We also want to congratulate you on your influx of new personnel to your squads! The beauty of this program, is that everyone wins.
By Smgman:
I really think the Host squad's could be the key to retaining more players at the end of there trial account .
By Denw2o:
Engaging new players is the best way to retain them. It is common knowledge--I think the pie charts roughly reflect reality. The Weasel squad was a step in the right direction, but as you said, not enough people were participating for it to have a meaningful effect.
By Bbarue:
Good idea and some good input. We definately need people to stay in game.
By Stankyus:
23rd has been one of the host squads and it by far in my observation has had the most retention on newb players since I started playing. The SPEED in which we are retaining squad players has been the fastest build up of any squad I have been in or seen under any other program or pb initiative.
Originally Posted by Host Squad Rep 1 - AAR
During that time we transferred (at least I am aware of) 6 people to other squad, had 20 join us on squad chat and squad missions and another 15 joined us on teamspeak.
Originally Posted by Host Squad Rep 2 - AAR
Out of the number we was able to contact on Allied side we was able to get 52 players established with Teamspeak and or ingame squad chat. Overall this was a huge success but will definantly take some time to make it easier for the hosting squads as well as the new players.
Comments   
0 #10 KC23 2012-04-12 13:21
Congrats to all involved. Sounds like a true grass roots success story.
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0 #9 angriff 2012-04-10 20:51
Well I hope it works. I am only sad that when I was in the HC I used .grab to help a player and explain to him how to pilot a boat and command a tank. I was quickly admonished and chastized for using it. or discipline.
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0 #8 Schtoop 2012-04-10 19:31
Wanna buy advertising space on my truck?

Seriously tho, that is great news! Glad to see more people staying! This is a long overdue idea.
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0 #7 messtin 2012-04-10 16:41
I think this is definatly the way forward in retaining new players in this game, linking them to squads as soon as possible gives them a broader outlook to the game that you cannot get from asking questions on the help channel and forums alone.
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0 #6 zeb 2012-04-10 14:55
How to invent the wheel again! Of course squad-based experience is what makes WWIIol interesting. It must become (again) the core of the game, with instant SUPPORT action made easier for hardcore lonewolves.
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0 #5 Atuday 2012-04-09 17:58
What are the current numbers on player count during peak hours? No one seems to have this info for me. I left due to a large lack of players and am wondering if it is time to come back.
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0 #4 Sasquach 2012-04-09 16:03
I wouldn't mind helping out some, but i'm not in a squad.
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0 #3 Maxios 2012-04-09 15:43
Nice job Squads and CRS!


S!
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0 #2 Smythes 2012-04-09 15:18
Good News :)
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0 #1 TOPD 2012-04-09 13:16
Sweet!!!!
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