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Dragon Oath Official Developer Blog

Developers of ChangYou's Dragon Oath, the F2P True Martial Arts MMORPG, write about Dragon Oath and the gaming industry. We'll also bring you insights about MMORPGs made in China and published in the West. Share your thoughts with us!

Author: changyou

Fireworks On $7 A Day: Community Building Done Cheap

Posted by changyou Monday April 12 2010 at 2:50PM
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As the Community Manager for Dragon Oath, I often get asked, "What exactly do you do?" I usually tell them, "I run contests, answer questions, and help whenever I can." Actually, that's what a Game Master does; I'm not a GM, I just act like one sometimes. The rest of the answer is, "I manage social media sites, the external presence of the company, and promote events." Where the job gets really interesting, however, is planning virtual events.

I recently had a puzzle on my hands. I wanted to get players together to announce the upcoming events for the month. The event had to be run immediately, to get the word out about the first of the events (a Ventrilo Chat with the Dragon Oath team on the 9th) in time to effectively promote it. I had no budget, no prize items, and no in-game resources; all of that would have taken time to approve, time I didn't have.

So I spent $10 on Tokens for our Token Shop (Dragon Oath's microtransaction system) and started buying virtual fireworks, and also a Loudspeaker (an item which allows you to make in-game announcements that sparkle and are easily noticed.) I announced via Loudspeaker that we were having a Fireworks Show, and told people the time and place (in 45 minutes; at the Class Headquarters for the Lotus Order, where there was room to gather and no wandering monsters.) Once people gathered for that, I told them about the events of the month and wowed them with fireworks. Because fireworks were a game mechanism that players didn't see often, being unavailable except through the Token Shop, it was a memorable way to get their attention.

I've submitted a request to be reimbursed for the $7 I spent on fireworks and the Loudspeaker, plus the $3 extra to spend the Token Shop minimum of $10. Just for fun, here's how the math breaks down:

1 Golden Rain Firework (Rains money over the area) - $1.00

1 Loudspeaker (Makes a sparkly announcement appear mid-screen) - $1.00

Several Gleaming Star Bundle, Eight-Fire Star, & Smiling Sky fireworks - $5.00

The coffee I was drinking while running the event - $3.50

Making a memory for the player community.... PRICELESS.

-  Lucy Song,

Community Manager