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israel.kendall
04-19-2015, 11:41 AM
The biggest change in Google rankings in many years is taking place. Google will be penalizing sites that are not mobile friendly in searches from mobile devices. This has web masters and SEO's around the world scrambling to get their sites ready.Here is an article for those interested: http://searchengineland.com/google-clarifies-the-mobile-friendly-algorithm-will-roll-out-over-a-week-be-a-yesno-response-more-217399

There is a mobile friendly testing tool with which you can test any web page's readiness for the update: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/

I am posting this because I would like to bring to attention the fact that pretty much nothing here is mobile friendly. Not the hextcg.com main page, nor the articles there, nor the forums here. All of these pages are about to sink in the results of mobile search.

I'm not sure if HEX even has SEO guys or who runs the site, but someone should really start getting the HEX sites ready for mobilegeddon.

zadies
04-19-2015, 11:49 AM
Given it only applies to googles mobile search results
http://searchengineland.com/library/google/google-mobile-friendly-update
And tablet support hasn't launched yet I don't think it is a concern at this point.
It might be of greater concern once tablet support is introduced.

israel.kendall
04-19-2015, 11:58 AM
Given it only applies to googles mobile search results
http://searchengineland.com/library/google/google-mobile-friendly-update
And tablet support hasn't launched yet I don't think it is a concern at this point.
It might be of greater concern once tablet support is introduced.

Yeah, it only applies to mobile....which is is just about 1/2 of ALL searches.I agree that it will be even more important when we get tablet support. But that does not mean it is not of importance now. I don't know of a company on the planet who does not value search ranking highly.

Gwaer
04-19-2015, 12:00 PM
Man, weird. I am using a mobile device like 75% of the time I'm viewing these forums, or hextcg.com. Never felt like it was a problem.

zadies
04-19-2015, 12:02 PM
An unadvertised game... in beta... probably doesn't care about search ranks on a device that the beta currently does not support.

israel.kendall
04-19-2015, 12:05 PM
Man, weird. I am using a mobile device like 75% of the time I'm viewing these forums, or hextcg.com. Never felt like it was a problem.

I am also often on mobile as well. There is not often a problem reading the posts (sometimes they do show abnormally small though), but Google is taking into consideration things like how far apart the buttons are, how easily it is to tap things on your site. I ran some forum threads through the tester and they failed.


An unadvertised game... in beta... probably doesn't care about search ranks on a device that the beta currently does not support.

Not unless they want people to find out about their game.

zadies
04-19-2015, 12:16 PM
The point i was making there israel was an unadvertised game that does not support a mobile platform probably has other priorities then letting people on mobile devices know about it.

israel.kendall
04-19-2015, 12:29 PM
The point i was making there israel was an unadvertised game that does not support a mobile platform probably has other priorities then letting people on mobile devices know about it.

The impact of search on any company or organization is enormous. It does not matter if their product is mobile, nor does their marketing campaign matter (HEX actually has a rather nice marketing push with $100k tourney now though). Everyone I know who runs web sites, including myself, are all updating and tweaking sites for this. Doesn't matter if it's a web site for a church, car company, landscaping, hair salon, whatever. People find information on mobile.

N3rd4Christ
04-19-2015, 05:42 PM
+1 for more mobile support!

I'm know game on mobile is probably months or a year away but site/forum update would be nice. Forums are very limited atm.

Yoss
04-19-2015, 11:48 PM
This is useful information, regardless of whether it's needed immediately or not.

Khazrakh
04-20-2015, 02:26 AM
Agreed, this has to be taken into consideration sooner or later.
Personally I hate the mobile version of about every single site I know from the bottom of my heart. But I guess that's just me ;)

Xenavire
04-20-2015, 03:22 AM
Agreed, this has to be taken into consideration sooner or later.
Personally I hate the mobile version of about every single site I know from the bottom of my heart. But I guess that's just me ;)

I always request the desktop version on my phone. I can't stand mobile versions.

israel.kendall
04-20-2015, 04:32 AM
I know a lot of people look at things like this and think they are small things that you do as an after thought. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the best tools any company or organization can utilize to facilitate success. Some companies do ignore it though, to their own detriment. Moving up one single ranking spot in the search results can make a difference of millions of dollars, and this is not hyperbole.

There are a lot of variables, but in general the #1 ranked search result has 31% click through rate, while the #2 result has a 14% click through rate. If your site is listed 5th, that is a 5% click through rate. If you are on the second page...fugget-about-it. The entire second page of listings get about 4% click through for ALL of the results on the page combined.

http://d2v4zi8pl64nxt.cloudfront.net/google-organic-click-through-rates-in-2014/5425a7d00c1cf2.22412899.png

If HEX drops in the search results, the reduced organic traffic will scale accordingly with the conversion rate and ultimately equal less new players than there would have been with a higher search rating. And it is not an insignificant amount. In most cases, money spent on SEO will show much higher return than money spent on marketing using advertisements.

Does this matter right now? Only if having more players in HEX right now matters I guess. I feel it matters right now, personally.

bootlace
04-20-2015, 04:59 AM
HexTCG.com only get about 30% of their traffic from search engines. Also the keywords they rank for are all branded terms signaling that anyone searching for it are specifically looking for their game. Therefore even if Google were as aggressive to totally remove the HexTCG.com site, the other sites in the search results (Hex KS page, Hex FB page, Hex Twitter page, Hex Gameforge page etc) would quickly refer the searchers to the correct address.

So I really don't think it's a big deal right now. There are easy ways to make your site mobile friendly though, so they should look into it in due time. Since Hex are using Wordpress as their CMS, I would recommend a plugin like WPtouch (https://wordpress.org/plugins/wptouch/) as a 'hotfix' in the meantime if they do notice this new ranking update affected them a lot.

israel.kendall
04-20-2015, 05:30 AM
HexTCG.com only get about 30% of their traffic from search engines. Also the keywords they rank for are all branded terms signaling that anyone searching for it are specifically looking for their game. Therefore even if Google were as aggressive to totally remove the HexTCG.com site, the other sites in the search results (Hex KS page, Hex FB page, Hex Twitter page, Hex Gameforge page etc) would quickly refer the searchers to the correct address.

So I really don't think it's a big deal right now. There are easy ways to make your site mobile friendly though, so they should look into it in due time. Since Hex are using Wordpress as their CMS, I would recommend a plugin like WPtouch (https://wordpress.org/plugins/wptouch/) as a 'hotfix' in the meantime if they do notice this new ranking update affected them a lot.

Where are the traffic numbers from? How many visits is 30%, and are those unique visitors? First time visits? What is the conversion rate? What percentage are mobile? What percentage of new players come from organic search? These things matter. And HEX ranks for many key words, every word on their site is potentially a long-tail key word listing. The most important are non-branded search terms such as "online tcg" and other key words people are using when they're looking for games to play.


I don't really see the logic in saying "it will only hurt a little bit" and not doing anything about it. Or why one would choose to wait and react, rather than act- when you see it coming.

bootlace
04-20-2015, 05:52 AM
Where are the traffic numbers from? How many visits is 30%, and are those unique visitors? First time visits? What is the conversion rate? What percentage are mobile? What percentage of new players come from organic search? These things matter. And HEX ranks for many key words, every word on their site is potentially a long-tail key word listing. The most important are non-branded search terms such as "online tcg" and other key words people are using when they're looking for games to play.


I don't really see the logic in saying "it will only hurt a little bit" and not doing anything about it. Or why one would choose to wait and react, rather than act- when you see it coming.

I obviously don't have their detailed statistics - they probably haven't even set up detailed analytics to track these things anyways I'm guessing. I can see the general picture from using specific tools. They don't rank for any significant non-branded search terms, that's the key point here. The conversion rate is easily highest on these branded searches anyways, and they have some insurance in the form of Adwords ads for these key terms.

Everything in a business needs to be ranked in order of priorities, this specific issue is not currently as grave of a matter as you've made it out to be, that's the only reason I interjected.

israel.kendall
04-20-2015, 06:18 AM
I obviously don't have their detailed statistics - they probably haven't even set up detailed analytics to track these things anyways I'm guessing. I can see the general picture from using specific tools. They don't rank for any significant non-branded search terms, that's the key point here. The conversion rate is easily highest on these branded searches anyways, and they have some insurance in the form of Adwords ads for these key terms.

Everything in a business needs to be ranked in order of priorities, this specific issue is not currently as grave of a matter as you've made it out to be, that's the only reason I interjected.

Not ranking for significant non-branded terms is a pretty big problem in itself. They do rank, but they rank low. And mobilegeddon will only compound the problem in relation to mobile searches. The conversion rate for branded searches is likely higher, sure, because those people are already searching specifically for HEX, they are just to lazy to type in the domain name. The people who it really matters for is the people using generic search terms, and them discovering HEX organically. It matters not only for obviously significant key words, but the highly important long-tail key word searches as well.

I don't know how grave it seems I am making it. I don't want it to sound like I'm saying this is going to cause HEX to fail or anything. But it will most certainly have an effect on the number of new players. The only arguable point is how many new players will be lost. And I'm not the only one making a big deal out of this, pretty much the entire professional SEO community is making a big deal about it. Because it is the largest and most significant change to Google search results in years.

Good new Mobilegeddon Article: http://news.sky.com/story/1468513/google-search-change-could-cause-mobilegeddon

*Edit- and all the statistics I mentioned are not detailed analytics that need to be set up. They are all included by default in any analytics system, except for conversion rate.

Ju66ernaut
04-20-2015, 06:42 AM
The point i was making there israel was an unadvertised game that does not support a mobile platform probably has other priorities then letting people on mobile devices know about it.

In America, more than 50% of those with Internet access use a mobile device as their primary platform for browsing.

israel.kendall
04-20-2015, 07:19 AM
In America, more than 50% of those with Internet access use a mobile device as their primary platform for browsing.

I found HEX while surfing the web on my Galaxy Nexus hanging out with friends personally. No clue what I was looking for, but I found HEX!!

bootlace
04-20-2015, 08:25 AM
Not ranking for significant non-branded terms is a pretty big problem in itself. They do rank, but they rank low. And mobilegeddon will only compound the problem in relation to mobile searches. The conversion rate for branded searches is likely higher, sure, because those people are already searching specifically for HEX, they are just to lazy to type in the domain name. The people who it really matters for is the people using generic search terms, and them discovering HEX organically. It matters not only for obviously significant key words, but the highly important long-tail key word searches as well.

I don't know how grave it seems I am making it. I don't want it to sound like I'm saying this is going to cause HEX to fail or anything. But it will most certainly have an effect on the number of new players. The only arguable point is how many new players will be lost. And I'm not the only one making a big deal out of this, pretty much the entire professional SEO community is making a big deal about it. Because it is the largest and most significant change to Google search results in years.

Good new Mobilegeddon Article: http://news.sky.com/story/1468513/google-search-change-could-cause-mobilegeddon

*Edit- and all the statistics I mentioned are not detailed analytics that need to be set up. They are all included by default in any analytics system, except for conversion rate.

I don't really disagree with any of the theory you've shared really, I just having a different opinion on how much of an impact this change is going to have on Hex specifically at this point in time. A poorly implemented mobile version of the site can be just as detrimental as not having a mobile friendly version. I also think there are a ton of areas just as or more important that should also be factored in to any redesign they might decide to budget in.

SEO

I agree there's a lot to be gained from ranking well for non-branded terms. I see that they're ranking just outside the first page for 'online tcg' and with about a ~1600 searches per month that could be one they target, and that's one I imagine with a lot of associated long-tail keywords. Another keyword I see with potential is 'card games like hearthstone' with ~1300 searches per month. A quick look revealed some of those sites don't even mention Hex as one of the alternatives so that should be something they can quickly rectify that will not only lead to links for better ranking but also direct clickthroughs from those sites.

Landing Page

If we're really talking about things they should do to increase conversion rate/new players, then they really need to completely change their homepage and make it into a highly converting landing page. Gameforge already has one set up that they use in their adwords/PPC campaigns on behalf of Hex. Another example is the one that Blizzard uses for Hearthstone.

Analytics

To get proper information and really track the efficiency of their digital marketing efforts, they need to set up way more advanced analytics than the pretty useless ones that comes bundled with Google Analytics. They'll probably even want to set up some A/B split testing eventually when volume rises. Knowing exactly where people come from to their site and how each of those channels convert into registered players/client downloads is paramount to knowing which of your marketing efforts is yielding results so you can double down on the efforts that actually are working and tweak the ones that aren't.

Multilingual Site

Having a multi-lingual site is really important for such an international game. Currently they're totally relying on their third party partners to fill this gap but it's really not that hard setting up a multi-lingual site and having players rely on third party sites is a poor and confusing experience. This will also generate a ton of extra SEO traffic as well.

Paid Advertising

One of the best ROI in terms of paid advertising comes from retargeting. You can reach people who've already visited your site by installing a tracking cookie and targeting them on external platforms like Google Adsense Network or Facebook. You can target people who've been to specific sections on your site (register page) or new visitors so you won't needlessly be targeting people who're already playing your game.

Email Marketing

They also obviously need to sort their email marketing list out as they weren't even able to reach some people the last time they did that free pack campaign. In fact, ideally they would have separate email lists depending on the player segmentation (new player, KS backer, and even more detailed metrics like last login/amount of money spent etc).

Referral System

One of the most effective methods to grow your game is through word of mouth and a referral system really encourages and rewards people for doing so. You can even set up a referral system that ensures new players get the best experience and are more likely to stick around - like phantom drafts exclusive to a set of friends (if you invite up to 7 friends) or soulbound packs which I've mentioned before.

Customer Relationship Management

I think this is practically non-existent right now outside of the non-cohesive support.hextcg.com site (which requires a seperate login/pass). They should ask people who want to quit/uninstall the game to fill out a survey asking the reason and possible ways to get these people back in the game. It costs multiple times more to acquire a new customer than it is to keep an existing one.

Of course there are other digital marketing areas to think about like social media, content marketing, influencer outreach, viral marketing videos etc but these are the main relevant ones I could think of off the top of my head. So yea, there's alot of stuff that 'should be' done.

israel.kendall
04-20-2015, 08:44 AM
I'm not going to get into all that referral and marketing stuff, I'm pretty much just talking simple things here. Just fixing a web site to be mobile friendly.

One thing to note here though, hextcg.com is actually mobile friendly already IMO. The thing is that Google is not seeing it as mobile friendly. I think the problem might just be that Googlebot is being blocked by hextcg.com and this may be causing it to see the page incorrectly.

If you look at the mobile-friendly test result, it says that 15 resources are blocking Googlebot, and the picture of how Googlebot sees the page is incorrect. I think unblocking Googlebot could fix this one. See the test result here: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/?url=hextcg.com

Mobile viewport rule may also need to be added. But to fix hextcg.com up for mobilegeddon may not be a big task at all.

But as for the forums, they may require more work to become mobile friendly.

MatWith1T
04-20-2015, 09:08 AM
I don't really disagree with any of the theory you've shared really, I just having a different opinion on how much of an impact this change is going to have on Hex specifically at this point in time. A poorly implemented mobile version of the site can be just as detrimental as not having a mobile friendly version. I also think there are a ton of areas just as or more important that should also be factored in to any redesign they might decide to budget in.

SEO

Landing Page

Analytics

Multilingual Site

Paid Advertising

Email Marketing

Referral System

Customer Relationship Management

Of course there are other digital marketing areas to think about like social media, content marketing, influencer outreach, viral marketing videos etc but these are the main relevant ones I could think of off the top of my head. So yea, there's alot of stuff that 'should be' done.

I hope not to engage in a lengthy debate about how Hex should be marketing its product (and hopefully Hex isn't calculating its marketing strategy off the forums), but many of the best practices described above are highly subjective. Each has an equally compelling argument as to why a particular method is less effective and/or should be lower priority. I particularly take issue to (and not just in this specific Hex scenario) the 'huge ROI' of retargetting, which, being the last step in the customer conversion process, gets to claim all the credit of the 90% of the marketing that took place beforehand, whether the retargetting was beneficial or not.

Like I said, not looking to debate business practices from the sidelines, but wanted to point that out as this thread starts veering toward 'Hex is wrong because it's not doing X, Y, and Z' (and thats not targetted at you bootlace, just the easiest to reply to). Hex has a marketing plan, but my personal guess is that they aren't comfortable with the development progress to warrant spending the extra time/resources/money to implement some of the broader targeted arms of it just yet.

zadies
04-20-2015, 09:18 AM
I really think this is missing the point completely of hex's current marketing strategy... Has it occurred to you do to the fact that they are basically using viral word of mouth advertising, and all of the adwords that actually trigger getting a possible ad about the game are things you would not be typing into a search engine unless you already knew about it.

That hex has not reached the point where they actually want outreach to those that don't know about it thus low rankings helps them achieve this goal.

Your entire premise is based on the idea that they want new users to have the current game experience that have no clue in hell what might be going on, and even those new players that have friends in the game are having issues progressing completely for free.... probably not a good idea.

The game is great if you spend 5 bucks, or have people give you a bunch of cards. There are enough complaints from people who have been trying the game through word of mouth as to how hard it is to go completley f2p

It isn't impossible, and those individuals should know that it is hard but not impossible through interactions from the people that told them about it... someone who randomly finds the game through a search and goes oh f2p pve great sign me up that has not actually talked with an actual player is going to have a horrid experience, and have a lot more reasons to complain then someone that should have been told about the experience before hand.

My actual issue with f2p players currently is that the system is great once you get over the intial hump of making an arena deck once that is done the game is completely smooth sailing and you can draft for free with ~13 arena wins which is excellent from a f2p standpoint, if the person that told you about the game did not tell you about that initial hump it is that persons fault not the design that is currently in place.

israel.kendall
04-20-2015, 01:23 PM
I really think this is missing the point completely of hex's current marketing strategy... Has it occurred to you do to the fact that they are basically using viral word of mouth advertising, and all of the adwords that actually trigger getting a possible ad about the game are things you would not be typing into a search engine unless you already knew about it.

That hex has not reached the point where they actually want outreach to those that don't know about it thus low rankings helps them achieve this goal.

Your entire premise is based on the idea that they want new users to have the current game experience that have no clue in hell what might be going on, and even those new players that have friends in the game are having issues progressing completely for free.... probably not a good idea.

The game is great if you spend 5 bucks, or have people give you a bunch of cards. There are enough complaints from people who have been trying the game through word of mouth as to how hard it is to go completley f2p

It isn't impossible, and those individuals should know that it is hard but not impossible through interactions from the people that told them about it... someone who randomly finds the game through a search and goes oh f2p pve great sign me up that has not actually talked with an actual player is going to have a horrid experience, and have a lot more reasons to complain then someone that should have been told about the experience before hand.

My actual issue with f2p players currently is that the system is great once you get over the intial hump of making an arena deck once that is done the game is completely smooth sailing and you can draft for free with ~13 arena wins which is excellent from a f2p standpoint, if the person that told you about the game did not tell you about that initial hump it is that persons fault not the design that is currently in place.

This might be a good point if HEX's actions didn't show otherwise. Removing the need for a beta code opened the gates. Then the announcement of the $100k tournament is the big kicker. You are saying they announced a $100k tourney but just want current players in it? They obviously want new players. That tourney is basically bait for gaming sites to write articles about it for publicity.

Not sure why you are talking about adwords as targeted keyword advertisements are an entirely different thing.

zadies
04-20-2015, 01:42 PM
They haven't started the 100k tournament yet. They announced it to say look we have big plans for pvp to the current user base. Marketing it and announcing it and starting it are all separate things.

The likelyhood of holding a large tournament prior to the game coming out of beta is almost nil, and who is to say they won't also have the tablet version of the game ready by then given they have already hinted in other threads about the interface changes they are having to make when dealing with it like with stacking cards.

The fact is in it's current state it doesn't need it... and when it needs it given this is going to be a constantly run algorithm as opposed to the one shots Google has done in the past when the game is ready for the limelight and the media blitz the upgrades ot the main site or launching of a mobile site can be done at the same time... like when the tablet version launches.

Also the removal of requiring the beta key may have been a litmus test to see if they should start the advertising blitz, and who is to say if CZE is actual happy with the result with the complaints about the f2p portion not being fully realized as of yet.

I am not saying that it is a good thing perminately but you haven't stated why when the game isn't ready it needs to be done immediately.

israel.kendall
04-20-2015, 02:02 PM
They haven't started the 100k tournament yet. They announced it to say look we have big plans for pvp to the current user base. Marketing it and announcing it and starting it are all serrate things.

The likelyhood of holding a large tournament prior to the game coming out of beta is almost nil, and who is to say they won't also have the tablet version of the game ready by then given they have already hinted in other threads about the interface changes they are having to make when dealing with it like with stacking cards.

The fact is in it's current state it doesn't need it... and when it needs it given this is going to be a constantly run algorithm as opposed to the one shots they have done in the past when the game is ready for the limelight and the media blitz the upgrades ot the main site or launching of a mobile site can be done at the same time... like when the tablet version launches.

I am not saying that it is a good thing perminately but you haven't stated why when the game isn't ready it needs to be done immediately.

I just disagree. Putting out an announcement for the tournament is marketing in itself. You can't not market something that is marketing in its essence.

zadies
04-20-2015, 02:13 PM
Given it has no start date it was marketing to the current players adding a start date and posting it everywhere is marketing to everyone.

Currently it is a talking point for word of mouth advertising not a media campaign.

israel.kendall
04-20-2015, 02:25 PM
Given it has no start date it was marketing to the current players adding a start date and posting it everywhere is marketing to everyone.

Currently it is a talking point for word of mouth advertising not a media campaign.

When a company puts out a press release, it is marketing. There is no other way about it. Putting out a PR is sending it to the press and saying "here, you might find this to be a good article. Please feel free to write about it and post it everywhere". It is sort of the entire purpose, to get relevant web sites to write about your announcement.

BlackRoger
04-20-2015, 02:31 PM
Well written Kendall.
Making the main webpage mobile friendly should not be a hard, and being easy to find is important.

Not sure if we should care about the forums though.
New players rarely seek the forums, it would more then suffice if CZE just fix their main webpage I think.

zadies
04-20-2015, 02:36 PM
That point isn't really worth arguing over because I don't feel that it is targeted for mass consumption until it has a date and you do.

You are saying that the reason for doing this is to increase awareness of the game to the general population.

I am saying there is a laundry list of reasons why that might not be a good idea.

You are saying that CZE has done things to market the game.

I am saying they have done things to keep the current users engaged without a large marketing push.

This could all change once set 3 drops, because I have a feeling we will have a 100k start date at least announced when set 3 drops if it doesn't start qualifying that same day... but as of right this second CZE hasn't really done much to push mass marketing vs community engagement and word of mouth marketing.

Do you feel in the games current state it is ready for a massive influx of population that will be happy satisfied customers?

If the answer is yes great and maybe they should do what you are suggesting. If the answer is no then I have to question your motives for suggesting it in the first place.

Looking at the forums and the state of the arena the happiest people are those spending money, and while targeting that market is great it will also cause a lot of friction with the people who look at the kickstarter as what should be being marketed.

bootlace
04-20-2015, 02:38 PM
Given it has no start date it was marketing to the current players adding a start date and posting it everywhere is marketing to everyone.

Currently it is a talking point for word of mouth advertising not a media campaign.

http://i.imgur.com/dEmh28k.jpg

MatWith1T
04-20-2015, 02:42 PM
Gameforge's library of past games gives me the impression they are far less concerned than CZE about whether Hex is polished/developed enough to try and fully monetize.

zadies
04-20-2015, 02:42 PM
Bootlace unless you did that on a computer that you never acctually typed in a search for hex on not logged into a google account that proves nothing given how online ads are generated.

Mat I am not sure who has actual control over that, but I would be incredibly surprised if Cory gave over 100% control over anything.

BlackRoger
04-20-2015, 02:43 PM
Do you feel in the games current state it is ready for a massive influx of population that will be happy satisfied customers?

I think that CZE isn't ready for the F2P market, but they are aware they have a solid P2P game, and are appealing to the more P2P competitive crowd with this large prize tournament.

I do have to agree with kendral here.
The announcment does feel alot like the beggining of a marketing campain, since there wouldn't really be that much of a point to throw away a large sum of money if you don't see it bringing out some profits, say by doing some marketing for you.

Either way, since we are now officially in Open beta, there is no point in hiding the game, might as well put it out there.

israel.kendall
04-20-2015, 02:45 PM
Well written Kendall.
Making the main webpage mobile friendly should not be a hard, and being easy to find is important.

Not sure if we should care about the forums though.
New players rarely seek the forums, it would more then suffice if CZE just fix their main webpage I think.

Yeah the forums would be a lower priority. But in all reality it would cost roughly $200 and less than a days work to switch the forum from vbulletin to a more mobile friendly and modern platform like xenforo.


That point isn't really worth arguing over because I don't feel that it is targeted for mass consumption until it has a date and you do.

You are saying that the reason for doing this is to increase awareness of the game to the general population.

I am saying there is a laundry list of reasons why that might not be a good idea.

You are saying that CZE has done things to market the game.

I am saying they have done things to keep the current users engaged without a large marketing push.

This could all change once set 3 drops, because I have a feeling we will have a 100k start date at least announced when set 3 drops if it doesn't start qualifying that same day... but as of right this second CZE hasn't really done much to push mass marketing vs community engagement and word of mouth marketing.

Do you feel in the games current state it is ready for a massive influx of population that will be happy satisfied customers?

If the answer is yes great and maybe they should do what you are suggesting. If the answer is no then I have to question your motives for suggesting it in the first place.

Looking at the forums and the state of the arena the happiest people are those spending money, and while targeting that market is great it will also cause a lot of friction with the people who look at the kickstarter as what should be being marketed.

The reason for my disagreement is that I have personally been involved in writing and sending out press releases for multiple organizations and companies. I know the work that goes into them and the reason for them. A press release takes money and resources. If you want your current players to know about something, you post it to your site. If you want the rest of the world to know about it you would do a press release, among other things.

The date for the tourney is set for sometime in 2015, we have 8 months left in this year. By intentionally leaving out a hard date, this gives HEX a reason for another press release to announce the date. Another shot at publicity in the gaming community. It is part of a deliberate strategy.

And yes, I feel there would be many happy satisfied customers. I am one myself.

zadies
04-20-2015, 02:47 PM
Also on the subject of PR and the great 100k announcment...
CZE announced it on 3/13...
only two sites even wrote articles on it in march, most of them waited well into April.
So either a) CZE didn't actually let news organizations know they were going to make the announcement or b) without a start date it wasn't really major news.

Given your date for signing up for the forums you are more likely then not a paying customers... go make a random free account and try to play the game without asking for anything and without spending a dime... it takes about a good 2 weeks of grinding while constantly losing to get a stable arena deck longer if you go shin'hare.

Currently there is enough supply of free commons/uncommons that the community can make players feel the game is great that does not mean that the new player experience actually is great. It is better then a lot of free to play games once you realize that getting an arena deck is all you need to do to play everything for free but actually getting to the point where you have an arena deck can be challenging.

Also that generosity has a definitive limit because eventually the cards people can give away for free will run out... and if the population triples before the f2p experience is fleshed out this will happen.
You being a paying satisfied customer is not the same as the average joe with zero invested actually being a satisfied customer.

bootlace
04-20-2015, 02:47 PM
Bootlace unless you did that on a computer that you never acctually typed in a search for hex on not logged into a google account that proves nothing given how online ads are generated.

Mat I am not sure who has actual control over that, but I would be incredibly surprised if Cory gave over 100% control over anything.

I don't think you know how Reddit ads work.

BlackRoger
04-20-2015, 03:01 PM
Also that generosity has a definitive limit because eventually the cards people can give away for free will run out... and if the population triples before the f2p experience is fleshed out this will happen.
You being a paying satisfied customer is not the same as the average joe with zero invested actually being a satisfied customer.

Seriously?
Most people I know haven't even started to sell their mountains of commons and uncommons.
I have enough spare commons to fill the collections of at least 10 new players...
We'd probably see prices reach heavy drops in prices the moment the AH interface stops being so bad.

zadies
04-20-2015, 03:07 PM
There are two types the general ones and the targeted ones you only ever see if you have been to or in a specific subreddit.

I also know that being logged into a google account in chrome makes things work a bit differently then you expect because of how Google sells information to companies, which is why I phrased the previous sentence the way I did.

zadies
04-20-2015, 03:08 PM
Seriously?
Most people I know haven't even started to sell their mountains of commons and uncommons.
I have enough spare commons to fill the collections of at least 10 new players...
We'd probably see prices reach heavy drops in prices the moment the AH interface stops being so bad.

You just said you could supply 10 new players... if the population tripled we would have 10k new players to supply at minimum.

If 100% of the current population was willing to give up all of it's spare cards instead of holding them for crafting or to turn a profit we could probably handle a 5-8x growth in population.

The idea that you would get 100% participation in that kind of giveaway is rainbow and butterfly land.

israel.kendall
04-20-2015, 03:25 PM
Also on the subject of PR and the great 100k announcment...
CZE announced it on 3/13...
only two sites even wrote articles on it in march, most of them waited well into April.
So either a) CZE didn't actually let news organizations know they were going to make the announcement or b) without a start date it wasn't really major news.


You are not understanding how it works. The announcement itself is what is directed at the "news organizations" to let them know about it. If I were a game journalist I would tap into sites like http://www.gamespress.com/ to look for interesting new things to write about for my audience. Sites like that exist for the sole purpose of gaming companies to interact with the press.

zadies
04-20-2015, 09:19 PM
Thanks for showing a link proving my point.... the announcement went out to the hex community on 3/13... there is no matching information about it on that site on that date which means that the announcement hadn't have been forwarded to the press and basically got around to them via word of mouth which would go back to the point I made that no gaming news sites ran an article on the 100k tournament for a good period of time. If it was a marketing blitz it would have hit the news sites the same day that it was disseminated to the kickstarters.

If the 100k tournament was a marketing tool aimed at a wide audience they aren't really leveraging it much at all atm.

israel.kendall
04-21-2015, 09:27 AM
Thanks for showing a link proving my point.... the announcement went out to the hex community on 3/13... there is no matching information about it on that site on that date which means that the announcement hadn't have been forwarded to the press and basically got around to them via word of mouth which would go back to the point I made that no gaming news sites ran an article on the 100k tournament for a good period of time. If it was a marketing blitz it would have hit the news sites the same day that it was disseminated to the kickstarters.

If the 100k tournament was a marketing tool aimed at a wide audience they aren't really leveraging it much at all atm.

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/pressreleases/238923/Gameforge_unveils_major_HEX_Shards_of_Fate_tournam ent.php

zadies
04-21-2015, 09:30 AM
Israel if they announced it to the community first then did the press release on it, just proves that the marketing engine wasn't ramped up for the announcement.... Also you didn't explain why people didn't run with it until April.

Please explain the delay if it was a massive marketing campaign.

Also congrats on finding 2 of the sites that i said wrote articles in March... you really haven't actually contested either point A or B from the post you quoted earlier.

israel.kendall
04-21-2015, 09:57 AM
Israel if they announced it to the community first then did the press release on it, just proves that the marketing engine wasn't ramped up for the announcement.... Also you didn't explain why people didn't run with it until April.

Please explain the delay if it was a massive marketing campaign.

First, I do not think these HEX guys are the type to hold information back from the community so they can wait for you to find out about it on massiveley.com or something.

You want me to guess the reasoning of any particular journalist as to their reasons for writing, and why they didn't put the HEX tournament announcement at the top of their workflow. I can give reasons, but they would just be guesses, so that is really a waste of time. I do not know a journalists particular motivations, nor that of their editors.

And I never said "massive", I said they put out a press release, which is marketing. That is all I said. I said nothing about "marketing engines' either.

zadies
04-21-2015, 10:04 AM
There is a difference between holding back information from the community, and holding back information from the press.

In this case they told the community first and held the information back from the press.

In a normal marketing campaign you would have the two events coincide if you didn't want to alienate the community.

So you will guess at CZE's motives but not on the motives you are saying of the people they are particularly targeting... interesting.

Also did CZE make the press release or did Gameforge this is an important distinction given who's site you are saying needs to be updated... given the fact that the article you linked talks about how the publisher is now taking esports seriously appears to be more of a Gameforge related source

Perhaps CZE isn't actually ready to market and thus feels no need to update the site because they don't feel the extra traffic is appropriate yet.

israel.kendall
04-21-2015, 10:26 AM
There is a difference between holding back information from the community, and holding back information from the press.

In this case they told the community first and held the information back from the press.

In a normal marketing campaign you would have the two events coincide if you didn't want to alienate the community.

So you will guess at CZE's motives but not on the motives you are saying of the people they are particularly targeting... interesting.

Also did CZE make the press release or did Gameforge this is an important distinction given who's site you are saying needs to be updated... given the fact that the article you linked talks about how the publisher is now taking esports seriously appears to be more of a Gameforge related source

Perhaps CZE isn't actually ready to market and thus feels no need to update the site because they don't feel the extra traffic is appropriate yet.

Have you even been involved in journalism or marketing on the web? Because it sounds like you have no idea what you are talking about honestly. I'm not trying to be rude or anything here, but this post shows you still have not even grasped what a press release is, while I've explained it to you a few times now. You say I am guessing at motives, I am not guessing, it is the definition of what a press release is. And you don't even know that they did hold it back from the press. You are guessing at things, then guessing at more things.

zadies
04-21-2015, 10:42 AM
The announcement to the community was on the 13th... there is no press release from the on the link you said hey all press releases go here on the 13th... thus it was held back.

It isn't that I don't know what a press release is but the timing and the source are actually important to this discussion and you are just ignoring those two facts. The quote you just so eloquently said I had no clue what I was talking about actually talks specifically to those two points and rather then address them you would rather call me an idiot.

Also the article was written based on a gameforge press release

http://corporate.gameforge.com/en/press-release/gameforge-unveils-major-hex-shards-fate-tournament/

So your making an assumption based on gameforge's actions and saying that CZE feels the game is ready. Also the press release was made after the community announcement. The press release was on 3/17.

Also since the press release was done by Gameforge you ARE guessing at CZE's motives for the 100k tournament announcement.

israel.kendall
04-21-2015, 11:07 AM
The announcement to the community was on the 13th... there is no press release from the on the link you said hey all press releases go here on the 13th... thus it was held back.

It isn't that I don't know what a press release is but the timing and the source are actually important to this discussion and you are just ignoring those two facts. The quote you just so eloquently said I had no clue what I was talking about actually talks specifically to those two points and rather then address them you would rather call me an idiot.

Also the article was written based on a gameforge press release

http://corporate.gameforge.com/en/press-release/gameforge-unveils-major-hex-shards-fate-tournament/

So your making an assumption based on gameforge's actions and saying that CZE feels the game is ready. Also the press release was made after the community announcement. The press release was on 3/17.

First off, I did not call you an idiot, I would never do that. I am just saying you are debating a topic in which you don't have a very good grasp. It is not meant to be an insult. I don't have a firm grasp of carpentry, but could come up with random arguments about it all day. It doesn't mean I'm an idiot, it just means I do not fully understand it.

A press release and an update on your site are two entirely different things. They convey different information, because the audience is different and the purpose is different. They did not release the same exact article on the 13th that they did in their press release. They are entirely different write-ups about the same topic. They are often written by different people as well, the press release may simply not have been finished.

You also must consider the process of the sites which publish the press releases. Most often they are not just submitted and instantly posted. They are submitted and then go through a vetting process before being published to the site. The press release on the tournament could have been submitted to gamespress days before the announcement posted to hextcg.com and sitting in their queue of things to review and publish, we don't know.

Also, there is the fact of existing press contacts. I will actually use myself as an example here. When I was writing about Android apps and other software I developed relationships with CEO's and public relations people at these companies that create apps and software. They would often send me information before their press releases were ever published. Then it is on me if I want to write about it, sometimes I did, sometimes I didn't, for various reasons.

On the Gameforge thing, HEXEnt specifically gave them the go ahead to advertise in whatever agreements they have forged together. Otherwise they could not do it.

And again, second apology for if you thought I was calling you an idiot. I did not mean to come off that way.

Gwaer
04-21-2015, 11:18 AM
You have so much more patience than I do. From now on I'll know you as saint torture.

zadies
04-21-2015, 11:38 AM
Never said Gameforge wasn't within it's rights to issue the press release and market but they also don't have to have the same agenda or timing that CZE does, so saying that CZE thinks the game is ready because Gameforge does is an assumption on your part.

And you are right a publish to a webpage and a press release are 2 separate things... CZE published to their website, they did not make a press release.

You are assuming that because Gameforge made a press release that it is the same thing as CZE making a press release I am saying it is not, and CZE is not actively marketing their product and even Gameforge is only doing so in a very limited capacity.

israel.kendall
04-21-2015, 11:59 AM
Never said Gameforge wasn't within it's rights to issue the press release and market but they also don't have to have the same agenda or timing that CZE does, so saying that CZE thinks the game is ready because Gameforge does is an assumption on your part.

And you are right a publish to a webpage and a press release are 2 separate things... CZE published to their website, they did not make a press release.

You are assuming that because Gameforge made a press release that it is the same thing as CZE making a press release I am saying it is not, and CZE is not actively marketing their product and even Gameforge is only doing so in a very limited capacity.

It is not about Gameforge being within their rights. It is about the fact that HEXEnt specifically gave them those rights to advertise. HEXEnt gave the go ahead when they did this.

And also, there is the possibility that HEXEnt never markets the game. I am not privy to the agreements they have made, but it is not out of the norm for a publisher to be the sole entity handling the marketing of a game.

zadies
04-21-2015, 05:00 PM
The game is still in beta, a true beta not a fake well we are calling it beta not a this is really a demo beta.

HexEnt has admitted the new player experience isn't where they want it otherwise there wouldn't be a need for new tutorial videos.

You moved the conversation from wither or not the game is actually ready for a huge influx of people to if gameforge a company known for making bad decisions about those kinds of things thinks the game is ready by focusing your attention on the press release they made.

israel.kendall
04-21-2015, 08:18 PM
The game is still in beta, a true beta not a fake well we are calling it beta not a this is really a demo beta.

HexEnt has admitted the new player experience isn't where they want it otherwise there wouldn't be a need for new tutorial videos.

You moved the conversation from wither or not the game is actually ready for a huge influx of people to if gameforge a company known for making bad decisions about those kinds of things thinks the game is ready by focusing your attention on the press release they made.

HEXEnt willfully, and intentionally, entered into an agreement giving Gameforge authority to advertise the game. If you consider it a bad decision, then it was ultimately a decision by HEXEnt themselves.


In other news, not related to this quote, I am pretty sure that the entire reason hextcg.com is showing up to Googlebot as non mobile-friendly is due to blocking Googlebot from seeing the javascript and CSS.

I linked this before, but if you see the mobile-friendly test, hextcg.com is blocking 15 resources. The resources being blocked are CSS, javascript, PNG, and some wordpress plugins. I can not think of any reason a site would block their PNG, CSS and javascript like this. https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/?url=hextcg.com

Here is link talking a bit about blocking image, javascript and CSS from Googlebot and it's effect: https://developers.google.com/webmasters/mobile-sites/mobile-seo/common-mistakes/blocked-resources

To fix this would literally take less than 5 minutes. 10 minutes if you had to Google a how-to on it.

zadies
04-21-2015, 08:38 PM
Given it is such a short fix are you sure it isn't intentional then?

Also very nice deflection from the main point which is actual if the game was ready or not.

israel.kendall
04-21-2015, 08:45 PM
Given it is such a short fix are you sure it isn't intentional then?

If it were intentional they would have blocked the entire site from Googlebot in stead of just making it look funky. It is easier to block it from the entire site and more effective.

Yoss
04-21-2015, 08:46 PM
very nice deflection from the main point which is actual if the game was ready or not.

The main point is that I like ice cream.

zadies
04-21-2015, 08:50 PM
Not if their goal was word of mouth and letting people who know about the game find it vs being on the top of a ranking. They could just as easily want to be findable but only want to be ranked well when it is in a specific search.

israel.kendall
04-21-2015, 08:55 PM
Not if their goal was word of mouth and letting people who know about the game find it vs being on the top of a ranking. They could just as easily want to be findable but only want to be ranked well when it is in a specific search.

Again, the entire concept you have goes against their actions of advertising. Actions speak louder than words.

And now I'm going to get some ice cream.

zadies
04-21-2015, 09:15 PM
That was the entire hex vs gameforge discussion... if hex doesn't want to advertise but gameforge is anyway this is the only thing they have control over.

Zophie
04-21-2015, 10:33 PM
The main point is that I like ice cream.

Agreed.

http://i.imgur.com/oMUOl1n.gif

MatWith1T
04-22-2015, 08:07 AM
One of my favorite home hobbies is making homemade ice cream in unconventional flavors. I can say with no reservations, that every needs more Rosemary Ice Cream in their lives. You can skip avocado.