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Thoughts on the Avatars


Avatar ability in shop  

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I have been thinking about this for awhile. Mainly because I came back to the game with the avatar feature already being unlocked. I remember it being the FIRST thing that I really wanted to get, because it individuated my account. In those days, your avatar did not get sent back to the vault after inactivity (otherwise I'd have a really cool avatar, I don't remember it, but it must have been really cool).

Something I realized while playing on my alt is that it is hard to get to the avatar option (unless he's been buying in the wrong category...). He has spent probably 11 credits with the sole purpose of moving through unique features to get to the avatar option. He still isn't there. Granted he has hasn't spent any money yet.

This is important because choosing an avatar is one of the greatest ways to increase fidelity of a player to a game. To make that player invested in the game. I literally helped a friend write his Master's thesis on this. In his experiment he had taken a basic MMORPG game (with the help of some coder friends). He had (I think his n for each group was like 30) 30 people play the game without selecting an avatar, and 30 play with selecting an avatar. I can't find his published thesis. But I do remember that he got statistically significant results that the people who selected an avatar answered the survey saying that they were interested in playing longer. Now I think his alpha was .05, so it was a typically lenient study. However I think that says a lot. Now, since I couldn't find his study, and I don't have free access to psychology journals anymore, this is the only study I could find. https://cyberpsychology.eu/article/view/4340/3412. It supports the same hypothesis from my friend's master's thesis. Though we can draw multiple other conclusions from the results of this study, such as perhaps letting players choose their border (such as Chewett unveiling the old "dark border" might actually be worth an investment, ie letting player's pay in shop for changing color schemes might actually be something people would want <I really think they would want this, if for no other reason than their screenshots look different from everyone else's>)


Now all of this to say is that I think that when players unlock that 5 credit bonus on GI, that an avatar should be one of the first things they should get. No, I don't think they should unlock it within that 5 credits. But I think having it be one of the things they can SEE at the bottom of the page and it plainly says "Avatar" on it (I don't know because I still have yet to unlock it) might give them something to strive for. Then they might either use free credits (which helps the game even if they quit), pay (same outcome but better), or do both and keep playing (obviously the better outcome). Putting the avatar option in sight might be a good choice.


TLDR: Move Avatar option up in shop so new players can see it, not buy it at first. Click the hyperlink, scroll down to the conclusion section of the paper and see why. Answer the poll as well to see what MD community thinks. If you select other, please explain in your post why. Better yet, explain in a post about your choice regardless, give voice and more depth to your answers.

Edited by Steno
Added part about color schemes to dialogue
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I think that its an interesting and probably a good idea to move it closer to the start.

4 hours ago, Steno said:

In those days, your avatar did not get sent back to the vault after inactivity (otherwise I'd have a really cool avatar, I don't remember it, but it must have been really cool).

Sorry to hear that Steno, I put an end to reclaiming avatars unless the person was completely unknown but I think someone before me must have reclaimed yours :(

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I’m not saying 15 is too much. What I am saying is telling players it is an option by making it within the first 10 things they see in shop is worth the investment. If something as easy as choosing an avatar increases the investment and coherence with their character for new players, it seems like a win for the game as a whole. I feel like this is why other games let you start by creating your character. Yes MD is different, yes MD asks if it’s players for patience.

I also like @yokin point about currencies. Not trying to make it about money, merely pointing out that it is a factor in this decision, if one is reached.

@Chewett, I am okay that my avatar is gone, it would be cool to know just what it was.

i don’t know how many avatars are left in the vault(you can find in game I think), but giving players avatars for free isn’t what I want. MD could reap more benefits (money, links being clicked for increased rankings and site traffic, more invested new players) if players could see how easy it is to achieve an avatar. Therefore if we moved it up, we could see players that lasted, let's say only 2 weeks, instead of arbitrary 4 days, thereby sucking up all of the cool avatars. That is a downside to moving it up if automatic reclamation is no longer a thing. (A separate, but related debate that bears discussion following any action at all on this topic--> for further discussion on this, please see <link>


Edited by Steno
Added Aia's post
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I would say in the first several pages of all the items, only avatar has the attraction for new players to make a purchasing decision. The first purchase in game is like a barrier which would possibly followed by more purchase once breached. 

If anyone wants to play longer will need an avatar, why dont put it earlier which could also increase the possibility to retain a new player even a slightly bit. 

I even got a new avatar for my alt and I'm lovin it's heart shaped  butt! Besides I think I saved other players from drawing an ugly avatar by the chance of 1/435 



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I've recently returned to the game, and I distinctly remember having an avatar... if fact I still have the file.

I am however unsure if I have the avatar feature unlocked? It doesn't look unlocked, but I recall having it. My avatar vault says it has 1/8, but also that it has no avatars.

If my old avatar is around in the game still somewhere, I would like to re-obtain it, if it is not I would like to re-upload it. I have no real idea how to find out if it does exist somewhere though.

Unfortunately I don't recall who drew it for me, but it was done on request, so I would really like to use that one.

If anyone can offer some help as to how to find out if I should re-upload it or not, and also how to confirm if the avatar feature is unlocked or not, it would be greatly appreciated.

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1 minute ago, Steno said:

I'm sorry to hear that @Aquellia, for news on that issue, I think it might help to follow the following topic



I shall indeed also follow that topic, although it's not really the same issue.
That topic is about an inconsistent UI and mechanic....

Actually I suppose I should just create a thread with the avatar image and ask if anyone has seen it.

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