Considerations, feedback and even suggestion pertaining to the hopeful growth of this game

Throne of Lies is mechanically the best game in the social deduction genre imo. Despite me taking multiple year breaks I have logged nearly 1300 hours in to this game so to say I love it is really an understatement.

However, for quite some time now (since the end of 2018?) I have noticed this game has been going through a steep decline in population. While there is enough players right now for me to usually find a match within five minutes, one must consider the future and how healthy it is for this game to keep going on like this.

As it stands we do not have a ranked play, which is a crime in itself seeing that the mechanical depth of ToL vastly exceeds most other games in its genre. Ranked aside we also completely lack other game modes and really anything that can serve as a hook to keep people playing consistently.

One must look ahead to the future and consider how things could be for this game in one ~ two years from now with the above in mind. At peak hours right now we average around 96 users online playing at a time. In a couple of years however with nothing in place to really keep people here… I can see this games population dropping by half or more.

And frankly this is something that needs to be addressed sooner than later. I am aware the developers are trying to fix this games population issues with sales and possibly advertising but I don’t believe it is working as well as it could be. ToL right now is a game that is GOOD but is relatively unknown and has a payment wall of $9.99 one must pay in order to play. Making things worse, it’s in a game genre that is becoming more and more saturated as time goes on with the genre itself slowly shifting its way to becoming best suited for mobile game markets. Let’s also not forget to mention that this game is no longer “fresh!”, it’s past the point of leveraging being the shiny new game on Steam for people to purchase and play.

The short of it all is there are just so many barriers right now that are preventing this games growth. I believe it is time for the developers to set aside game balance for the most part, focus on fixing bugs only and growing the game whilst tearing those barriers down.

And this is where this post finally begins suggesting things and earns its place in this forum. :slight_smile: So without further adieu… suggestion # 1:

Make ToL Free to Play

This one’s a big one but I believe we’re at the point where drastic measures are necessary. ToL is a game with so much potential and as I said earlier, I honestly believe this game is the best in its genre right now and I have played quite a few other games of deceit. Despite me favoring this game personally it would seem other games excel in population over it simply because of either their accessibility (be they more accessible by having mobile or web clients OR just being simpler to play and get in to) or at one point being free to play.

I believe making the game F2P would open the doors for many more players to try it out. I personally stand by my belief that this game is the best and people would play AND stay should they be able to try out this game without much risk or expense and if it had a good outlook.

I understand the developers can’t work for free and truly deserve being paid for making a game like this. And that is where the next suggestion comes in…

Rework the in game shop & Add items only purchasable with real money

If games like League of Legends can sustain itself being F2P with micro-transactions I believe ToL could as well. The “premium” content just has to be enticing enough for people to buy yet not overbearing to the point that people that don’t pony up money won’t be too upset by not having things.

Games like ToS went the wrong route with their premiums IMO by making it an expansion. A tried and true route is honestly skins. I would suggest considering adding premium cosmetics in the future in the form of death animations, armors and even outrageous emotes. Just make it awesome and people will pay up money for it and be HAPPY with their purchase.

Aside from exclusive micro-transaction only content I believe it would be a good idea to make people desire to buy gold more as well. As it stands, I personally just shake my head then shrug whenever I see the option. Doesn’t help that I own most things in the shop already having obtained them for free…

Mobile Client

Equally as big as my first suggestion. Social deduction games are a booming market for mobile. Yet ToL isn’t present there! So many missed chances for pulling in new players… A pity.

I understand that many tweaks would be necessary to make this game playable on mobile and that it would not be an easy task. However, a mobile release could serve as a second wind for this game; a new release along with partially a new beginning.

The Return of “Casual Mode” and transitioning it more into a "Speed Mode"

I mentioned some tweaks being necessary in order to make a mobile client work. And this is one of them, IMO. A game mode that is both easy for phone users and newbies to play on is necessary SHOULD a mobile client be added.

The mode itself should be geared to rely less upon logs and more upon investigative results and trust. I suspect the conversion based gameplay would honestly make such a mode a mess, so I’d suggest removing classes like Mastermind and Cult Leader and replacing them with some other leader role that doesn’t convert at night, only directs. (Think ToS’s Godfather here.) Evil faction could start 3~4 players, with a starting Evil King not counting towards that; serving only as a rare godsend.

Speed mode would be the default mode for phone users and would not have as many roles as Classic. Phone users could play classic should they desire to but they would need to understand it’s a a little more difficult. ToL’s classic would then be essentially ToS’s Ranked Practice and “speed mode” would serve as the classic equivalent.

Ranked Play & exclusive ranked rewards

I’m sure a lot of us have wanted this for quite some time. Ranked play is good for player retention. It serves to make people desire to be on top and improve if they are not. Both of which keeps people around longer and if ToL offers something to retain players past them having their fun in casual modes which is limited to say the least in itself then I would dare say it would be very healthy for this game to have.

Ranked could be season based with two seasons a year:
Season one start could start in Spring and end before Summer begins. Season two could start in Fall and end as Winter begins. With seasons being 3 months in length with a 3 month break in between each other, essentially.

All players in ranked would be rewarded for their playing with a suitable reward depending on their rank at the end of the season.

Consolation Reward / Thanks for playing:

  • Season Avatar & 2,000 Gold

Rank 50 or higher:

  • Season Title

Rank 25 or higher:

  • Season Emote

Rank 10 or higher:

  • Season Armor

Rank 5 or higher:

  • Season Weapon

Rank 1:

  • A literal throne to sit on during the day in game that has the season number engraved upon its headrest to give it a little personalization. It could have flashy particle effects or an aura around it to make it extra special and differentiate it from the King’s throne.

Rewards would also be cumulative.(IE: Rank 1 gets all rewards.)

Don’t put ranked play in a game where you depend on a 10+ people team which you can’t pick your partners before joining.

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Also having mixed mobile/PC servers is literally the biggest issue I have with Town of Salem as a game so no thanks there too

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They could all be on the same server it’d just be one mode that would be optimal to play on for phones. PC users could easily play it too should they desire to.

With the right tweaks and QoL changes the game as it is now may be made playable at some point on mobile. I believe it would need some automation in place though for logs because honestly typing on phone just sucks.

Your opinions on ranked are fine however you must understand ranked would be completely optional and even with it added to the game you could play as casual or carefree now as you could in a ToL with it in place. You would of course just have to play in a non-ranked mode.

There would ultimately be no dip in quality of play to anyone that wants to play casually, in fact, adding it would appease much more people and bring others back than it could possibly drive away. Let’s be real here. If you don’t like something you won’t be forced in to it. How is it hurting you…?

Because splitting the playerbase and driving it towards a level of competition the game is fundamentally incapable of supporting does more harm to its health than good?

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It is only incapable of supporting right now due to population. And it would ideally only be added if/when the population increases. The idea of ranked is more for player retention than anything else. And right now we lack players to retain.

This is not due to the lack of Ranked, however, and my point is that the game cannot sustain Ranked because it is, at a fundamental level, noncompetitive.

if tol was to do ranked it would have to be an entirely different setup with different mechanics

which is a hard no as at that point it would be an entirely different

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I think you’re just in the wrong comparing it to FPS games being competitive. If Chess can be competitive ToL can. Hell, even POKER is competitive. Its core has depth and games are carriable via organization, coordination and in general just doing what you should do. Aspects to foster ranked play and fuel desire for it are present. Will changes need to be made? Maybe some but I’m sure people bothering to play ranked could quickly adapt.

a 1v1 game, not at all comparable

a very strategic game that is also partially RNG, i’d say this isn’t too comparable to ToL either

imagine being converted by the outted mastermind because you have nobody who can occupy them just to lose your ranked points

i think if ToL were to ever have a ranked mode it’d have to be so drastically different to how ToL is now that it wouldn’t be worth venturing in

as well as dividing an already small playerpool, but i suppose your post implies it’d be bigger by then~

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Literally what

Conversion is an easy fix. Literally spawn in Unseen with a composition similar to the following:

Mastermind or an Unseen leader that doesn’t convert at night
Assassin
Random convertible BD Class
Random convertible BD Class

Past that, if anything is a problem to maintain a fair environment for good and evil factions, TWEAK them. Oh noes it won’t fit seamlessly without change and it’s impossible to change it!

Ya know with mindsets like that it really explains why this game is in decline like it is. I believe people need to stop with the “Oh no this won’t work…” and instead think of ways it could.

At that point you’re starting to make a fundamentally different game.

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ToL without conversion is a drastically different game

i think the game has the mechanical complexity to make a compelling competitive game but conversion as a mechanic is limiting towards that, and it being such a staple to the ToL gameplay means removing it isn’t something that should really be on the table if we’re trying to keep the gameplay at all similar

also that starting unseen lineup sounds exactly like ToS

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Implying that is a problem. Explain how it is. I don’t see an issue with it really.

Either way, I feel that people in this thread are really heavily focused on something I believe would again only be good for retention. Literally the last thing I suggested and honestly least important to me. And none of it’s really constructive it’s more naysaying than anything else.

Because you’re not going to make ToL beat ToS at its own game, especially when we get updates about as frequently and are currently farther from the mark.

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It isn’t ToS’s game, though. WwO has about as many players as ToS tbh and even has ranked.

Because we believe it would be bad for retention.

I wrote a literal essay

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If I wanted to be playing ToS I would play ToS

Conversion might not be easy to balance, but it’s a core part of what makes ToL the game that it is; getting rid of conversion makes it a fundamentally different game

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