By Duleepa Wijayawardhana • July 25, 2010

The Road to "Dublin": A Fork in the Game

This continues the series of blog posts on the release of "Dublin," which is set to continue for the next little while, as we tweak and change the systems. As promised, we want to ensure you get details BEFORE they happen. Please note these changes are not live but will be made live over the next three days leading up to July 28, 2010.

This post is about changing game mechanics.

Empire Avenue is a very unique system and presents some unique challenges. William Pitcher at Empire Building has often pointed out the game-mechanics challenges that we face. It is always difficult to make changes to a game. The last major change to game mechanics happened during the "Big Reset," when we moved into "Invite-Only" Beta, and our move toward opening the system requires us to make a few more.

Firstly, understand that our goal with Empire Avenue is to have it last for many years to come and to scale to as many people as we can, and spread our vision of networking and value relationships and advertising choice. Some of the current mechanics encourage short-term use but discourage new users from engaging as fully with others on Empire Avenue. Furthermore we wish to reward long-term users engaged in Empire Avenue.

With that in mind, we are instituting User Experience Achievements into Empire Avenue. Our goal is that you will continue to rise through these Achievements during your lifetime with Empire Avenue. Over time, you will unlock many User Experience Achievements and many rewards, and your status in Empire Avenue's community will also increase.

* Starting with "Dublin," new entrants to Empire Avenue will have limited numbers of shares that can be held by anyone. For example, you will only be able to hold 50 shares in a new user and, in return, a new user will only be able to hold 50 shares in someone else.

* Over the length of a week, as long as a person is actively trading and/or being traded, they will automatically rise through the User Experience Achievements, unlocking the ability to hold up to 200 shares in someone, and for someone to hold up to 200 shares in them (the current norm).

The change seems dramatic but it isn't. It is merely an extenson of the current rule which states that you can only own a maximum of 200 shares in an Influencer who has been on the site for a week. We are simply breaking that 200 share number down a bit further during that first week!

Here are three reasons for why we are implementing this:

1) This is a change that needs to be made in order to make the initial experience more forgiving for newcomers; the drops a new user experiences when others sell off large quantities of shares can be quite frustrating. User Experience Achievements will help to ease newcomers into the experience, allowing them to learn the ropes, so to speak, and ensure that their virtual share price is not subject to excessive changes.

2) It will be a way for established users to evaluate content of new people coming into the site and the engagement they have both with the site and with their networks, while leveling the field for new and mid-range Influencers.

3) This method will allow time to weed out fake accounts from the system faster and without individuals spending Eaves only to have them put on suspension while we investigate.

However, as stated, these User Experience Achievements do not end after one week. With "Dublin" we'll only unveil a few but there will be User Experience Achievements for months – if not years – to come.

To help new users connect with established users and vice versa, we are also introducing new leaderboards sorted by the User Experience Achievement that you have unlocked; in this way, users won’t always be gunning for the overall leaderboards and will have more reasonable short-term share-price targets. As well, you will also be able to sort and view recent arrivals beyond the 20 on the front page.

For all those currently in the Beta, your accounts will be as before and will not be changed by this when it comes into effect.

We understand that this changes mechanics for many established users, but we want to make sure the system is enjoyable and useful for all users now and in the future!

This change will happen in the next few days as we roll out and announce more "Dublin" changes.

Disclaimer: Our owners, writers, and/or guest post authors may or may not have a vested interest in any of the above projects and businesses. None of the content on this blog is investment advice nor is it a replacement for advice from a certified financial planner.