“World 3” Li Xing: the long-term operation of the game

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From April 26th to April 28th, the 2021N.Game NetEase Game Developer Summit held by NetEase Game Academy was grandly held. The theme of this conference will be “Inheritance·Insight·Ingenuity”, from planning, technology, and art. With regard to the key aspects of game development and operation, we have joined hands with ten domestic and foreign big names to deliver the freshest experience in game development and operation to game enthusiasts around the world.

At the conference on the 26th, “Tianxia” IP product manager and Netease game planning director Li Xing gave a wonderful sharing. He has successively participated in the design and development of “Tianxia” pocket version, “Tianxia 3” terminal game, “Tianxia” mobile game and other projects, and was responsible for the operation of “Wildness Action” from 2017 to 2018. He is currently the IP product manager of “Tianxia” , Leading the “World” IP operation to achieve continuous growth since 2018.

How to make 13-year-old games grow against the trend for 3 consecutive years? There are endless new tours every year, but if you look at the timeline, there are very few products that can achieve long-term operations. Li Xing will share at the summit the 13 years of operating experience accumulated in the world’s series of products and the tangible value that long-term operations will bring to the game.

The following is the sharing record:

Li Xing: Hello, everyone, I am Li Xing, the head of NetEase Interactive Entertainment Shangri-La Studio, and I am very honored to be able to participate in the 2021 NetEase Game Developers Summit. In this summit, the topic I shared was “Long-term operation of games”.

The so-called operation, in my opinion, is to create value for users, and the indicators of quantitative value are all kinds of operation data that we commonly see.

Long-term operation means that we must create value for users in the longest possible time period. We see an endless stream of new travels every year, but if we take the timeline to 5-10 years, the products that can be operated in the long-term are actually rare. Since long-term operation is so important, why should I share it?

I was an intern at Mutual Entertainment in 2013, and formally joined NetEase Games in 2014. In the past 7 years, I have mainly led and participated in operational projects of more than RMB 10 billion. The types of products involved also include MMORPG and tactics. Athletic and so on.

The main content shared today is about a 13-year-old game, how to grow against the trend for three consecutive years?

This story starts with a choice in 2018. At that time, I was in charge of the operation of “Operation Wilderness”. At about the end of September, the leadership approached me, to the effect that there is now such an opportunity to have a product such as “World Three”. , Would you like to take over? Although this product has encountered some difficulties and needs some changes, its overall basic disk is still stable. This is the best opportunity to prove yourself.

Frankly speaking, I was struggling a little bit in my heart at the time, but I quickly told the leader that now “Tian Xia” needs me to be willing to try my best.

The situation at that time was that I received a lot of doubts. Some small partners in the company, including some friends outside the company, would persuade me, saying that now is the era of mobile games, you choose to go back and do a terminal game that has gone. Did not consider your career? This is a torture that hits my soul directly.

And the whole team has undergone great changes due to some historical reasons. Many very core and excellent students have left. Because of the departure of such core teams, the confidence of the entire large team is very low.

Friends who are familiar with Netease will know that “Big Mengtian” is our company’s three established divisions. The “World” division has also incubated many excellent products for Netease and the entire industry. In such a situation, I can Is it really reversed?

Personally, “Tian Xia” is my first MMORPG. It is also the starting point of my career. I have a special feeling for him. Frankly speaking, I am very afraid that a product that carries countless glories and dreams will kneel in my hands, but in the end I am still willing to choose to believe in Netease and the foundation of the world, and choose to believe in love.

Fortunately, after the unremitting efforts of our entire team in the past three years, we finally achieved a little bit of results after three years. I am very proud of our team. It can be seen that from 2018 to the present, the revenue of our products has been in a linear upward trend. So there are some media reports-both in terms of income and online, our old product is in a continuous upward trend.

At first, when I read this report, I felt a little bit too rigorous, because isn’t it two years in a row from 2018 to 2020?

Fortunately, it is 2021. Our products are still in an upward phase, and the growth rate is in a process of continuous improvement. So looking back at this title, there is nothing wrong with it.

Today I want to share with you three important changes that have helped us grow. The first is our reshaping of the entire operating system.

As a numerically dominated operating system, it is a reshaping of an operating system with a dual-cycle appearance and numerical value. In addition, we have done more refined operations to help meet more diversified needs of users.

The product “Tian Xia” is based on the above Gucci book “Shan Hai Jing”. Initially, our “Tian Xia” gave players an impression of fighting against demons. In the picture on the left, we can see some of the gameplay of the giant monster world BOSS. The picture on the right is our once weak server of three thousand, and there is a grand occasion of large-scale PVP gameplay with more than 2,000 people. It is still our players. Ledao.

The early “Tian Xia” was a relatively classic numerical-led operating system. Players play a certain role in the game to improve their level, and the level will unlock some systems, the system provides players with some combat attributes, these attributes are verified in the gameplay, such a set of values ​​dominated by values.

In the past ten years, in order to ensure the long-term operation of the entire product, we have opened up a lot of numerical growth for players. Indeed, with such a relatively closed numerical system, we have given players a very heavy development. pressure. From 2013 to 2014, the entire mobile game market has experienced explosive growth, which has also brought a very big impact to our products. Therefore, to reverse this situation and make the product alive, some bottom-level changes are really needed.

Before returning to “Tian Xia”, I was responsible for the operation of “Operation Wilderness”. For a long time at that time, on the one hand, everyone had to survive the fierce tactical competition. On the other hand, the entire industry was also involved. Consider and explore the problem of how to commercialize tactical competition.

We have made a lot of positive attempts, and this very precious experience has brought a very big impact to my worldview as a planner. After returning to “Tian Xia”, the idea is, is it possible to try “Tian Xia” as an MMORPG?

So we have gradually established a set of operating system with appearance payment as the main body and appearance value double cycle. On the other hand, the development speed of our entire product has also been greatly accelerated. In the past, “Tianxia Three” will release 1~2 expansion packs every year, but in 2020 alone, we have developed 3~4 expansion packs for players. Players see our investment and more sincere content, so they will be more active and more willing to recognize our content. We see positive operating data, and the confidence of the entire team is also reshaping.

The whole transformation is specifically that we have established a set of layered appearance operation system. In the past, our placement may be more extensive, and the appearance was divided into 6 levels, and the placement was very refined.

First of all, we provide some experience outfits, similar to FMCG in real life, so that players feel that in such a large-scale MMORPG, you can wear Chinese clothes without having to fight all over the world. It is also a very happy thing for the time to be quiet. For petty-bourgeois players, we provide fashion items, similar to MK or Coach in real life, to meet players’ demands for light luxury products. For some of these light luxury products, we provide a financial management mechanism, so that it can have room for appreciation in the virtual world. For players who need high-end luxury products to meet their individual needs, we also have to recognize everyone’s pursuit of appearance, just like in real life.

We will also show some advertisements in the virtual world. If you have a very good-looking appearance, you can also be recognized by a lot of friends in the virtual world. As a result, many friends who have stagnated numerical pursuits may have some new pursuit points. As for the previous players, he may have a very heavy pressure, and we will structurally reconstruct the entire game delivery system to improve the experience of these players.

We believe that service is to provide players with a certain degree of certainty, so that players think of us at a specific time. Now we are launching a large expansion or an event, not just telling users that you are online to spend money, but that as long as you go online and go online at a specific point in time, you can get a lot of game content for free , Or some numerical growth props, get a lot of benefits and benefits for free. And this part of the players feel their growth in the virtual world, feel that they look better than before, and they have gained a joy of growth.

In addition, we also reflected on the server architecture of the entire game. In the past, we would open a new server every once in a while, and after a period of time, we would start to switch to the server, and then if the server was not operating well, it might perform some combined server operations. On the whole, it was a rough one. mechanism.

Since last year, we have carried out a certain reflection on the entire server architecture, and introduced a certain season mechanism, that is, some server groups will be transferred to a certain server within a given time. And we will design a complete set of dedicated servers developed under low pressure, create some low-pressure development experience, and support some new server benefits and exclusive treasure chests to obtain good results.

At present, the ecology of the entire server architecture is still in a stage of constant verification. One of the representatives is the “Joining One Heart” theme server that was just launched on March 31 this year. In this server, we have launched a series of customized content, which released the pressure of players to develop, and gave the classic “Essence Orb Transmogrification System” of “Tianxia Three” a huge room for development.

So far, we can see that this server is crowded with people and is very popular. Many players praised that this is the classics of mountains and seas, and this is the world. We hope to provide players with a fun and inexpensive experience, and change the concept that when players mention MMO, they will feel that they have developed a very heavy burden, either heavy liver or heavy krypton.

With the help of such theme servers, the DAU of “World Three” has also reached a peak in many years. We can see a declining trend from 2014 onwards. In 2018, we started to bottom out, rebounded against the trend, and maintained an annual increase, and we can see that there is a continued upward trend.

In 2020, Netease Interactive Entertainment has proposed new values, one of which is very important to be with users. In this respect, we also have a lot of inheritance and transformation.

The first is to maintain the connection with the user. Every year we hold some player meetings or annual player carnivals across the country. The purpose is to be able to connect and communicate with players face to face, and to listen to players’ demands face to face.

Now is the era of mobile Internet, we also hope that “World Three” will create a community operation system with world characteristics for players. We hope that we can keep connected with our players all the time in our daily lives.

At present, the world’s characteristic community operation system has covered more than 30% of active players. Our world players no longer have to worry about not finding friends to play with, and our development team will always be in the group. Understand the real demands of players.

Then friends who are familiar with the world must know that there is a tradition in the world. Whenever there are some huge major emergencies in reality, players will spontaneously gather in the virtual world to commemorate the people’s heroes and pray for a better life. From the Wenchuan earthquake in 2008 to the subsequent outbreak of bird flu, we met the needs of our players in the first place.

There is also a saying among the players of “Tian Xia” to learn Chinese by playing “Tian Xia”. Because we have been operating for more than ten years, we will find that players are very fond of traditional culture. In 2019, we launched the “Kwafu Project”; launched a series of activities for the Hanfu Season; in 2020, we have in-depth cooperation with the Suzhou Museum and launched a theme expansion; in the Spring Festival of 2021, we will cooperate with Huangmei Opera to promote opera culture ; We will also cooperate with the Summer Palace this summer to promote the culture of the imperial garden.

As long as our products are still alive, I hope that such traditional cultural promotion activities will continue. I believe that if we do it for 3 years, 5 years, 10 years or even longer, we will work with some of the excellent products in the entire industry to help. Promotion of traditional Chinese culture.

The third important change is that we try to create some big events, so that more returning players will notice us. There are many excellent products in our game industry, which will create some world-wide events and realize the player circle. A breakthrough in layers. For example, “Fortress Night”, “World of Warcraft” or “FF14” and so on.

We also continue to explore and create a major event for players all over the world in 2020-the lock demon tower is exploded, and Yijian listens to the rain pavilion to destroy the gate.

Yijian Tingyu Pavilion is the pinnacle of appearance among the eleven martial arts of the Great Wilderness, with a very high popularity, and this successful event is centered around the precarious Yijian Tingyu Pavilion. We cooperated with all functions and exploded a lot of old players after 5 steps.

The first step is the appearance of magic energy. One month before the version, we will find some mysterious and strange phenomena in the game, such as some special effects of magic energy on the screen and at 12:02 every day, he will pop up Some specific big events are actually hinting that the big version of your entire game will be presented to everyone on December 2nd, and some of the media we have gathered in the forums where gamers gather the most, there will be a “magic” A mysterious NPC like “The Sword of Angrily”, it will jump out and say, I offer a reward for you, young heroes, to talk about your understanding of the sword. He will play tricks in various media to arouse the attention and interest of players.

It can be seen that some data of the player’s attention has reached an effect of 10 times or more than that of ordinary articles. When the version is approaching, in the week before the version, we will issue some worldwide events of guarding the lock demon tower. Call on the Great Wilderness Eleven Martial Arts to jointly guard the Locking Demon Tower to resist the demon.

At the beginning, our players will feel that such a task will definitely be completed, and the development team will change the method to give us rewards. In fact, such an event is actually a setting that must be defeated. So we will also lay some foreshadowing near the version before the version. For example, one or two days before the version, players will find out why this shot is wrong, whether this event can really be successful, do I want to cooperate with the lock demon tower? The last picture? This also paved the way for the outbreak of the entire incident later.

And at 8:00 in the morning of December 2nd, the player will suddenly receive a message on his mobile phone, and he will pay attention to our double micro channel, my God, the lock demon tower exploded! At this time, there is actually no access to the game, so players will find some of our official forums, and they will find that we have actually laid a lot of foreshadowings in the past more than a month, and the mysterious “magic” An NPC like “The Sword of Angrily” issued a mockery to all the Eleven Martial Arts. Yijian Tingyu Pavilion has already destroyed the gate, who will be the next? The future of the entire Great Wilderness is in his control, and players will ferment internally at this time.

After the maintenance at 10:00 that day, when the player logs in to the game and takes a look, they will find that the entire game’s icon to the login scene, the login interface has been broken and fiasco with the magical power of the lock demon tower spreading to all parts of the game. Domain, and if you are an active player and a disciple of Yijian in the game, you will find that you can’t go home, can’t be a teacher, and you will receive letters from various NPCs asking for help, etc.

It can be seen outside the entire game. All official media are hijacked and controlled by such a “sword of evil spirit” NPC, and we officially cooperate with him in performing. For example, the moderator of the Yijian section will say: Sorry young hero, we have lost the hearing of Yijian. Control of Yuge plate.

This picture is to show that we are in the process of the whole event, whether it is in-game or out-of-game, as long as it is every paragraph of text and every icon that we can officially control, he should be affected by the lock demon tower of Yijian Tingyu Pavilion. The impact of the explosion is very refined.

Since then, with the spread of the incident among players, we officially made some PGC materials that broke the circle level to guide players to conduct UGC internally. The whole incident continued to ferment, and many hardcore players of “Tian Xia” including “Tian Xia II” and even old “Tian Xia” players returned after hearing the wind.

In the end, we will not only cover offline 3D screens in Sichuan and Chongqing, where there are many players in Tianxia, ​​so that the scene of the explosion of the lock demon tower will be directly and realistically presented in some of the areas where our players gather the most, so that our own martial arts will explode. At his doorstep, many players saw this scene, and his first thought was to go online.

And in the offline carnival event where the world’s players pay the most attention every year, we lighted the lock demon tower together with 1,000 offline spectators and 1 million online spectators, which fully hinted at the final story of the whole story. One of the trends.

To sum up, fully warm up and then reverse and explode to make this matter sufficiently refined. Facts have proved that as long as it is sufficiently refined, it can impress the player, and the player will spontaneously be willing to let the whole event proceed. Fermentation, breaking the circle, and finally we finished it through live broadcast, and got some very good results.

These changes have also been verified during the operation of the “Tian Xia” mobile game. In 2020, compared with 2019, the entire mobile game real-time MMO market has shrunk by 20%. In the past three years, we have achieved substantial growth against the trend. It can be seen more intuitively that we have returned to the top 20 on the iOS daily list.

The above is a summary of our achievements in the past three years. Facing the future, we need to continue to face the impact of some uncertainties. For example, in 2020, our mobile games are actually facing some impacts from some super new products. How can we go on for a long time?

We often think that many successful experiences in the past are likely to be some obstacles in the future. In the past three years, we have paid great attention to the guidance of appearance pursuit. After all, we are not tactical competitions. We are an MMO. We need to make more Of players fully feel the joy of growing up.

In real life, in addition to double eleven and double twelfth, e-commerce will also do beauty festivals, make-up festivals, maternal and child festivals, etc., to meet some of the needs of users. So starting from this year, from the 1st to the 7th of each month, we will go to some different carnival festivals, so that more players can enjoy the happiness of numerical growth. We will also reshape a lot of complex numerical systems at the bottom, so that more players can understand and participate, and fully feel the fun of development.

The 2020 Nobel Prize in Economics was awarded to two economists who study auctions. I was thinking about a question. Since auctions can play such a big role in our real life and the political and economic structure of the world as a whole, why do we have to be passed by as practitioners in the game industry? The kind of mall direct purchases, time charges, free charges, random treasure chests, non-returned treasure chests, and Battle Pass are constrained by some business models that people have used so many in the past.

Can we abandon our identity as a price seeker and fully give such pricing power to our users? In fact, there are many types of auctions. At present, we also hope to make some positive attempts in this area.

In the virtual world, must we only be able to provide players with some consumer products such experience, can we also create some investment products in the virtual world so that more players can earn real money in the virtual world, this is what we want to go Some work to try.

In the next 12 to 13 years, we will think, since we have been alive for so long, we hope to come for another 13 years, hoping to define a beautiful mountain, sea and national style of art.

When it comes to “Shan Hai Jing”, everyone thinks of some very simple illustrations or some more curious Shan Hai art advertisements, but I don’t think anyone has actually seen Shan Hai Jing, such a world of mountains and seas, it may also be Very beautiful. And in such a world, it should not only have an image of the ancient martial arts style, it should have more inhuman images integrated, and have a broader space for imagination.

Here are some highlights from the 12th anniversary carnival of our world to show you.

I also ran into an old “Tianxia” player at the 12th anniversary carnival. She told me that in recent years, at the annual carnival scene, every offline meeting, she would bring her children to come. on site. This time she told me that when her baby grows up, she will inherit her account. At this moment, as a game developer, I am very moved. I feel that long-term operations can help the continuation of players’ virtual assets, as well as the continuation of such an important product that welcomes our youth.

Finally, let me talk about what we expect from our team and ourselves. Maybe we do “Tianxia” and do such an MMORPG, we will not have a DAU of tens or even hundreds of millions like some competitive products, but we can also work hard to accompany our group of old players and stay with them until they are old. This is a glimmer that we, as the development team of “Tianxia”, as a NetEase game lover, and as a practitioner of the entire Chinese game industry, hope to emit a glimmer in the continuous evolution of the entire Chinese game industry.

The above is what I shared, thank you all!

This Article is curated from Source and we only provide the English version of the Story.

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