Hello Dev Team, Advice from someone who has been where you are at now

I am a retired/former CEO of a mid-major tech business that started off with 6 U.S. Marines and turned it into a company with 180 employees. I recently sold my company to Lockheed Martin (not one employee was lost in the merger) and just retired…bored and stumbled on Orbus VR. There is no way for me to state this to make it it not appear like I am stroking my ego but I just want you to know I’ve been where you guys and understand the amount of work it takes. You guys have my account information, name and email. Can just look at my Linkedin page with my name. Most of what I worked on was classified but there is enough there.

So I will start with this. My first thought was to reach out to you guys outside of forums but I soon realized that you do not have any links to your business side of operations. I am sure everyone has seen before if you go down to the bottom of any website for a company they have a link to email their marketing team, investment teams, employee openings, history/about us page, support page, ect ect. I looked and was unable to find anything on your website with this. I can’t count how many times over the last 15 years I have had random companies, school leaders, ect reach out via our corporate email just to ask if we gave classes or wanted to outsource my former company to collaborate to make a new product or integrate our tech with theirs. Also having a “pool” of resume from potential employees really helps when you have a position that opens. Many times when I called these people, even up to a year later they still are interested because they are unhappy with their current employer. A motivated employee is priceless.

Marketing. You guys have done well for how new VR is still in the gaming front. Right now VR is still only 3% in my opinion of where it will be in 10 years. Imagine where MMO’s where when Blizzard came to the scene with wow. MMO’s were mostly text and early games like Ultima Online (97 release), Everquest (99), and then WoW in 2003. Only 6 years had passed from the time MMO’s were starting to be a real thing till the giant (not best IMO) mmo came onto the market. VR has been around roughly the same amount of time (mainstream VR…like the Vive, Oculus, PSVR, ect).

Reason I bring this up is I feel you guys have an untapped market of players you could be focusing on. (Especially with the release of the Oculus 2 which is now really making people consider jumping in due to powerful and wireless). Right now to me it feels like you are going after MMO players that already have a VR headset. I suggest strongly that you go after MMO players that do not have a VR headset. I have not felt a spark in a MMO in a longtime. I surely haven’t felt the good old days of UO/Everquest/City of Heroes/Vanguard/ect in a decade. When I walked into OrbusVR for the first time I felt something I hadn’t felt in a very long time. The senses of a real WORLD. Not some instant que UI feature, an actual world where I was just surrounded with something new and vast. I went outside of town to kill a simple mob and someone walked up to me an asked, “how do I get back to town”. I naturally turned with him beside me and pointed, just go to the tree then make a left, can’t miss it. I giggled to myself because I just gave direction to a player like I was asked on the street for direction. I have not had that sense of feeling since I played those early MMO’s. When someone got lost “before there were maps in EQ” and needed help getting back to a bank or a vendor, I would escort them to the town so they didn’t wander around for 30 minutes. This is MISSING from mmo’s. This game has that even in a day and age where all the information is available.

So I would play off that. Video or advertisements harping on the community, world, and sense of really LIVING as a character to MMO veterans that have been missing this for years but have been begging for something new. There is no way a current wow raider is going to give up their Mythic raid team to come raid in this game. But targeting someone who raided in the early years of say Everquest and misses the size and scope of those raids and wants that feeling again, they have no Idea what they are missing from OrbusVR (I didn’t at all).

In reality there are only two types of companies. Those that lead and those that follow. Companies can bring in new ideas and change things a little but the big players are easily spotted. Here is an easy example that I believe relates. You guys are on Steam currently. Steam is an awesome tool to allow you to get your product out to the masses. Along with multiple other platforms. But if Blizzard wanted to release a new MMO they would not ask steam if they were allowed too. They would ask steam, “what would you give us to have us release our game on steam”. Look at Fortnite, they got big enough and told Apple to pound sand. I am not saying Orbus will ever become that big, …but someone WILL be that big in VR MMO’s in the next 10 years, why not Orbus? In my opinion NO other VR MMO has everything you have. Crafting that reminds me of Ultima Online, Housing, Dungeons, Multiple classes that take skill, community, raids, events, ect. Everything that use to make MMO’s great instead of just loot wheels where everyone sits in a main hub and que’s up to a dungeon. Need to get people to see that…not cartoony graphics and a VR headset as roadblocks.

Website:
Main page looks good but really needs to be organic. Some video auto playing/motion to show a “live world” and a news feed that is right on the homepage. The website looks great but doesn’t give us any clue of what phase this game is in (will expand on this in forums). When you do a Halloween event, have a simple video and announcement on the front page “Send the undead back to their resting place” or when you launch a raid it should be on the main page. The day of old style websites that were needed to explain the world, characters, ect is gone. This was a thing 10-15 years ago when it was hard to search for information. Someone now hears about Orbus online and they go to Youtube or Reddit first. Then they look for a discord channel and THEN they go to the website/forums. Most people only go to websites for the game to look at how to download/buy it or to find out what the latest patch/expansion/release is. I suggest putting this information right on the front page without them having to go search for it. This will really help show the game is alive and ready for more people to join.

Forums:
The forums need full rework. I don’t need to expand on this much as forums have been around forever. Just a ton of forums out there that are easy to navigate and such. I will keep it simple here to express what about these forums is actually hurting your business and marketing.

First, when I go to the forums as someone whose has NOT logged in, it auto defaults you to “latest” tab (needs to make categories the default and then allow the user to pick where they wanna go) and do you know what appears first? Announcement about the Reborn Launch stickied from April 2019. Please get rid of this asap. It really makes it look like you just launched or are doing some prolonged beta. It is 2021, and that needs to be gone or replaced with 100 other threads by now with new announcements of everything you have released since then.

Second, the forums need pages. The auto-scrolling down and more appears is like needles to the eye for any phone user. People do not want to wait for their internet or 4gLTE to auto-download the next batch of forum post. Set the forums to 50 topics per page and put a large next/arrow button that allows someone on a phone (how 75% of the users now are reading the forums) to go to the next page and read the next post. Remember that if someone was willing to pay 300-1000$ to play this game, they most likely have a current awesome phone that they spend many hours on a day. If someone wants to go back and read a thread and knew it was on page 3 or 4, it would be easy to find. Once I scroll down a few times on the current system I have zero clue how to relocate this thread unless I remembered the title of the thread. Remember, create a history for your game, that includes the forums as being a part of the “history” for the community.

Anyhow, that is plenty. I want to thank you for making this game. I feel like 25 years ago (I’m only in my 40’s but still been missing that feeling for a long time). I see games like OrbusVR to become huge and it really feels like the Dev team here has hit what is fun/wanted in MMO’s and really nailed the community/old school/not everything is easy feel. I will be cheering you guys on as I play (my wife plays as well) and as new content comes out. Remember that with MMO’s it is not how much money you have (it helps) but how amazing you make the game and the community feel. Huge companies have made games like Star Wars the Old Republic that are now shells of themselves and barely made a profit while others like Ultima Online and Everquest still are releasing new expansions/content and large loyal communities that have kept people with jobs for over 20 years.

Please feel free to delete this thread or do whatever you like with it. Wasn’t my intent to make an open discussions but to share my ideas to the devs. Thanks again for the hard work, people don’t get to hear that enough.

3 Likes

I think a lot of this is really important and over the years the team has done great things with creating the game and listening to the community. They’ve never been great with advertising or creating a tutorial that really helps and welcomes the new player into the world. It’s mostly been word of mouth and asking each other for help. The organic nature of it is great, but it’s probably time to revamp the marketing and essentially what you said.

@Mathieu_D is the community manager and is a direct link to the devs

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One thing I’ve noticed is it is very hard to find some information. Like when do the events end? Where are the patch notes? These things are amazingly hard to find unless someone gives you a link. The community is small and honestly, we need more things that help newbies or people with issues accessing the game or website.

(I haven’t read the entire OP post yet, only skimmed it so far).