Sums up why we have been loosing players nicely.
Posted 12 April 2013 - 06:46 PM
For a long time Vassago ran an active in-game and website-banner campaign encouraging everyone to vote for us every week at topmudsites. We were consistently in the top 5 and we had anywhere from 200-300 active players online at any given time. Then we stopped doing this and our active playerbase dropped. MUDs, being convenient and mostly free diversions, have high churn. Without a constant influx of new players it is impossible to maintain a high active player count. Your assertion that our lack of players is due primarily to perceived issues with end-game mechanics fails to account for reality.
Posted 12 April 2013 - 08:21 PM
What were the reasons for stopping the previous campaign?
Posted 12 April 2013 - 08:24 PM
Posted 12 April 2013 - 08:26 PM
Posted 13 April 2013 - 12:01 AM
Churn would account for some drop but not the amount that it has been. Both of us know that back in day it was not unusual to see 300 players online. Even if you count the folks in social and alts we could still count on a good 200 players actually playing out of that 300.
Obviously when other muds are having activity in the numbers that they are it means that we are doing something wrong.
Today for example when I just logged in. 6:50 pm Mountain time. we had a total of 108 players online, subtract just those who are sitting in homes, social, and clan halls. I double checked them every few seconds for 10 minutes to see if the numbers would change. We had a total of 44 players active in the world. That's not counting those who are idling in safe rooms in the world, alts, or other factors.
44 players from 200 is to large of a drop for it to just be churn.
Posted 13 April 2013 - 06:49 AM
12 or 15 years ago. There's been a steady drop over that time, and no, there's never been any drop outside of the margin of error due to any given reboot or change. Relative to the performance and survivability rates of comparable games, we're doing fine.
[quote]Scrooge there are two Mudds that I can think of right now that have over 200 players active, one of those has almost 400 players. Our lack of activity is not due to Mudd's dying as you put it.[/quote]
Those games all encourage/allow multiplaying; we don't. Apples and moldy oranges.
[quote]However the issue is not Duende, nor is it simply due to one change its due to to a lot of changes that added together cause players to leave. Its what I call the law of unintended consequences. Here we need to change this to make this work the way its supposed to.[/quote]
If you find an unintended consequence, you can bring it up to me. I have an entire, active channel dedicatedish to that sort of feedback, which i'm always happy to listen to.
[quote]We change healing so folks are soloing the bloodlines bosses the way they are meant to be done.[/quote]
That's not why the heal change was made. Soloing bloodline bosses already worked that way, as far as I know; this was just closing an odd loophole.
[quote]The change works but the unintended consequences are bosses that unform the forms now are harder to run or down right impossible. The entire method behind getting some marks for some races or class paths is now impossible meaning they will never get said mark.[/quote]
That's not true. There are lots of ways of accomplishing anything, and players are more powerful now than they ever have before. Moreover, the rate at which players' power is increasing is accelerating faster than the rate at which mobs' power is; the occasional boost to bosses or antagonism is entirely in line with general system goals, and providing any sort of institutional difficulty. The specific situations you describe might not be solved in the exact same way, but they are still solvable.
[quote]Its never one single change that kills a game, its a series of changes that kills a game. Frankly this game has more viable content in it and more to do in it if we had an active player base then almost any other game out there to include the graphical games like WoW, or EVE. There is no reason why we should not be the number 1 mudd.[/quote]
I'm on board with this, but this sort of complainathon doesn't achieve that. Again, I'm active and reachable in the game several hours a day most days of the week, on one dedicated and most other public channels.
[quote] I was a reoccurring contributor. I am lucky to even get a one word response. Feel sorry for all you players who haven't dropped as much change as I have. Must not even get response.[/quote]
That has nothing to do with your presence or lack of donations, that has everything to do with [bold]you[/bold]. The way that people get treated is direct correlated to how they treat other players, guides, imms and myself. Everyone gets whatever help they ask for, when I have the time, unless they rude themselves out of it.
[quote] With a faltering player base (given a bit of a boost with the amazing SD/Aura change which brought me out of hibernation), we need to do everything in our power to maintain and promote Archoning, rather than create further distress.The ethos displayed by many people in this game is disappointing and altogether negative, as is demonstrated in this log. The creation of more difficult gameplay in conjunction with changes like the dust emoting counterspell from hunters and elimination of out-of-combat healing on unformed players (who are not involved in PK) ultimately leads to decreased activity, decreased player morale and an altogether discouraging environment all of which the game as a whole is experiencing the effects of now.[/quote]
[quote] we desperately need to [...] create a more positive, encouraging culture if this game has any hope of survival.[/quote]
The imms have nothing to do with that. The culture is the players, and while we can punish people that are too egregiously out of bounds and outside of the rules, we exist outside of the scope of the game.
[quote]While changes are good and in someways I can understand some of the changes (The AR Change for example) some of those changes could have been done better and others are just wrong.[/quote]
Again, there're entire channels dedicated to that, as well as tells. It's not like I'm hard to reach or talk to.
[quote]I was on pktalk and asked about the no healing non-form members in combat. I was told it was to close some combat loopholes. Well my question is what combat loopholes.
There is a strong notion of combat persistence and the firm division of how people in and out of combat can interact with each other: people outside of combat performing actions to directly and strongly influence people in combat was clearly out of line with those notions, and so I fixed that to make combat make more sense and be more consistent.
[quote]There are bosses and other mobs in this game that are designed around one person doing it while other players heal the player doing the boss or mob.[/quote]
Speaking as the person who made pretty much all content you could be talking about with this statement, that's authoritatively and categorically not true. That's not what they were designed for, how they were intended to be fought, nor even specifically intended to be affected by the healing change.
[quote]The other thing I am noticing with the change log and just other areas. PK seems to be ruling the day. Good luck getting to 100 AR as a casual player without joining a PK clan or flagging Duelist. If you are totally against pk (Clan 13 for instance) then well this game is no longer for you.[/quote]
Totally wrong. This game caters to players of all types. The model we typically think of first is Bartle's divison of Achiever/Explorer/Killer/Socializer. The first two categories benefit significantly from expanded content/bosses/etc, while killers benefit from the rewards gained by participating in the content of the first two, but requires other players to really participate in the definitive way. Socializers benefit the least from new code and new content; when the meaningful aspect of the game is other players, there's not a ton that I can do as an immortal i can do to help that beyond foster a positive environment. It borders on the obvious that the less in the 'socializer' category someone is, the more they would benefit from new items and new situations and new scenarios, because they are the only people that I can't provide direct new content for. If you have suggestions for ways to foster socializers and their experiences, again, i'm always willing to listen to input and feedback.
[quote]You are taking away our ability to see somebody coming to PK us via the addition of druid spells and the change to shift in the FP.[/quote]
According to whom? I didn't say that. Players that are ether invoked still show up on where. I strongly encourage you to start asking questions from the multitude of references available, instead of wrongly assuming the worst.
[quote]Don't get me wrong, PK is a part of the game and in some cases fun. However taking away ability to flee, (massive lag, the strike that kills you if you move) or avoid it all together has gone a long ways to drive players away from this game and keep them away.[/quote]
The first lesson of any fighting or martial arts regime is that the best way to win a fight is by avoiding it altogether. There are lots of ways of protecting yourself against being attacked; I suspect that any issues you have, or haven't had but can imagine, can be easily addressed by learning more about the game and taking precautions. This is entirely by design: exploring the game, using resources imaginatively and being smart will cause you to do experience the game in a much more positive manner; whoever does this best will 'win', whether their definition of winning is killing everyone, or traipsing around PK at will and not being attacked.
[quote]Once again I love this game and will always play it from time to time. I love trying to solve some of the puzzles out there that due have clues. I love trying to figure out runs that have been put in. I am just tired of the changes that seem specifically designed to frustrate the player base or drive players into a set play style.[/quote]
If you've ever listened to anything I've ever said about mechanics and gameplay, it's that people make choices. I never remove choices or ways of playing the game, unless it's either being replaced with something much more flexible and interesting, or it's just outright broken. The number of things you can do and the number of ways of doing them has increased quadratically as I've made changes.
[quote]Like always the vision of few is lost before many. Sometimes player input just is not needed.[/quote]
Still demonstrably completely false.
[quote] Bosses that are meant to be soloed should be in private rooms then.[/quote]
"should" is a silly word and never used correctly. Bosses can be fought in any number of ways, and closing one small, stupid loophole doesn't affect you as much as you're behaving it does.
[quote]The AR thing, I tried for over a year to get to 100 ar, using gear and equipment that I could actually run solo or buy. Only way I have come close to it is by flagging duelist. Mind you I may not like pk but pking is the only way to get better at it the ar was just a bonus : ). In order to be able to defend my self in pk with all the changes specifically designed to prevent me from avoiding getting pked then I need to get better at it. Unfortunately there are a lot of players that do not share my mentality.[/quote]
[quote]While yes some changes the IMM's make they are not going to ask the player base and that's ok. They need to keep in mind that the players are what drive the game and catering only to a select group of players hurts not only the players they are catering to but the game as a whole.[/quote]
Perhaps you don't understand my role. I keep people happy and entertained, yes, but not always in the way that you think. You play the game because there is something to do, something to achieve, and 'good' content. 'Good' content is a tricky thing to quantify, but among the most important traits are non-triviality, distinctiveness and gravity. Non-trivial means that it's not something you can just dance through, but it actually requires some combination of luck, skill, time and teamwork. Distinctiveness means that it's interesting, memorable, and relatively deep; more than your average shitty stock MUD area. Gravity means that it's worthwhile to explore, worthwhile to run, worthwhile to stick around and worth returning to once initially explored. All of these elements of good content, which I consider myself to write exemplars of, require that I don't just make easy content and give you what you want, but that I set up a diverse and interesting array of problems, preferably dynamic, that require using any number of unusual or otherwise-unseen mechanics to successfully beat, catering to a wide array of levels, skills, equipment sets and personal abilities. This means that for any set of content, you can probably do some, but by virtue of the fact that you're complaining about this, I'd assume not most. You could do more of the content, but you'll have to change your circumstances: maybe you'll have to spend some time gathering AP, or making better friends, or actually practicing your skills, or doing easier runs so you're properly equipped for harder tasks, or even just learning to play your character better. I cater to lots of people, and for whatever value of 'you' are, you're exactly 1/$playerbase-th of the population, but if you work on getting better, you'll find more content available to you.
[quote]The fact remains that when said changes frustrate players and are driving players away from the game then said change needs to be looked at and revamped to where it is a nice balance of getting done what needs to be done (aka making solo bosses be done solo) while not frustrating players to the point where they leave the game. [/quote]
I can't reset your expectations, sorry. For every person that performs below average, there's a really solid player that would easily beat and be bored with average-difficulty content, and their desires for content are no less important than yours.
[quote]However, the reason for bringing this to the attention of the general public is because I wanted to stress listening to the players, especially when they take the time to offer valid opinions and concerns. [/quote]
Talk to me in #troll. Talk to me in tells. pray at me. pktalk at me. There are all sorts of ways of contacting me in an entire continuum of private/public ways that seem less drama-outletty than this, honestly..
[quote] As biased as it may be some classes and races just got more kickbacks and incentives. No matter what is done now it is going to be an uphill battle to provide the other spectrum a balanced alternative without large amounts of sobbing.[/quote]
"the other spectrum?" what?
[quote]Of course seeing as DoA was "changed" recently making the fire wyrm unbeatable...[/quote]
The wyrm hasn't been touched in 3+ years. Lots of people manage to archon just fine.
Posted 13 April 2013 - 09:47 AM
Great response! Though some of the Floydian anecdotals were lost. =< Cannot win them all.
I feel personally this is a good thread and response. Took a long time to do all the quoting.
Thank you for addressing this.
Posted 13 April 2013 - 12:35 PM
we desperately need to [...] create a more positive, encouraging culture if this game has any hope of survival.
The imms have nothing to do with that. The culture is the players, and while we can punish people that are too egregiously out of bounds and outside of the rules, we exist outside of the scope of the game.
I 100% agree, and this is exactly why I used the word 'people' and not 'immortals'. I see some of what you, and other immortals, have to deal with - it isn't pretty. I'd have lost my mind by this time if I was you. Thank you for clarifying what I said. And thank you for this gigantic response that obviously took a lot of your time to craft.
Posted 13 April 2013 - 02:18 PM
Posted 13 April 2013 - 06:15 PM
Seems like alot of players feelings and thoughts on the game were completely blown off as being incorrect.
No, the few number of specific questions were addressed. Vague handwaving and feelings are not addressable and, as such, there is nothing to address.
Alot of what was being said seemed reasonable and I could relate to it as a player. Correct or not it might be good info to keep in mind if one wanted to gain and keep more players.
Well... no. "correct or not" is not a viable way of doing things. If it's correct, do it, and if it's not correct, don't do it. This is a completely rational method of doing things.
I could point out how you call healing out of combat a loophole but I would call it playing mm and how it didnt need to be changed.
You're perfectly entitled to your opinion, but you're also not designing content. Closing an inconsistent, overpowered mechanic in favor of richer, deeper mechanics is something I'm perfectly fine being responsible for. That's what and why that change was made.
I could respond to alot of what you said but you could simply say Im incorrect and move on.
Telling me what I could do and assessing that as fact is a shitty way of communicating or participating in a discussion. If you have something you want to say, say it, but don't not say it and then claim that the man's keeping you down. I have been entirely fair and open through all of this, as I always try to be.
I think in general it would be wise to listen to whats being said. but then thats my opinion.
The majority of my time is spent listening. However, the right and ability to have and express an opinion doesn't make it right. If you believe in something that I don't, communicate that, and maybe you'll sway me. Maybe not. But you don't get to claim defeat if you've never even bothered.
Posted 13 April 2013 - 08:43 PM
At this point, I'm irritated immensely, because I built my character for the sole purpose of rooting and selling the roots for gold, and now, the roots were practically non-existant, and when the NPCs were killed, the roots disapeared before looting the corpse. So, I leave MM because there is nothing left for me to do, and I only logged in maybe once every months or two to say hi, but would not actually play. Why is this? Because the only thing that I found fun to do in the game, was drastically altered to become a hassle to even attempt, which no longer made it fun. I have completed probably between 250-300 runs since I started playing MM, and I can honestly state that the only runs (aside from PG runs) that have been fun or entertaining at all, are the High Priests/Priestesses in Xaventry, and that is because they were able to be run solo, and it didn't take 2 hours to coordinate a run that takes 20 minutes.
Now, I started playing against about 10 months ago. I return, and about 1/4 of my spells have been changed (i'm a ranger) and they were removed and replaced with other spells. Now, the spells that I did have practiced that were removed, it seemed like I received about 10 practices returned to me from the spell when it was removed. Now, I practically have to almost start from scratch with all new spells (oh, and these don't even cause damage until you cast the spell 5 times!) and I start my research on what is worth practicing and what is not, and I quickly decide, that the entire class is now useless with the exception of two skills: Riding and Herbalism. So then I begin my persuit of trying to figure out what race/classpath to build now and start over again. In the last 6-7 months, I've probably started 10 seperate characters and tried to play them, and ultimately they end up the same way, deleted because I can't see playing the character at higher levels solo.
What I'm saying is that Different people leave MM for different reasons, whether it be a series of things they do not agree with, or they have RL issues, or the game is just not for them anymore. I have been loyal to MM for 12 years now, and although there are several aspects of MM that I absolutely hate, I still love the game, even though there is literally almost nothing for me to accomplish outside of first class with any character I create as it almost all requires forms to accomplish. I loved running DoA on both of my characters, and I honestly wish that there was another area like DoA that people to do solo, with about the same difficulty (and no CPK). I hate a lot of the changes over the last few years, but I'm still playing the game.
Posted 13 April 2013 - 10:29 PM
You guys keep adding things to the game and making it harder etc while not fixing stuff thats broken. then you make game changing drastic changes with no prior discussion or feedback. What is the endgame goal? To me people are frustrated and all I see from admin is things are fine it was broken before then random troll input from scrooge who in my time playing i've seen contribute nothing.
I will admit i'm getting sick of throwing money and time at this game and find myself less and less interested in playing. I'm getting sick of having to relearn certain encounters or being pushed into reclassing / remorting to do something that was doable before en overnight change. Bosses are on timers, players are going down, drops arent certain, it's getting harder to find the people to do runs yet let's just overnight stuff to make it harder without prior feedback.
Posted 13 April 2013 - 10:56 PM
I have yet to find a run that requires a form to do, that was actually fun to do, and worth it.
Posted 14 April 2013 - 12:05 AM
Posted 15 April 2013 - 02:17 AM
I am a relatively newbie player. I have played a few characters 3-4 years back but never made it past the first class.
I am a casual player with a day job and family and may not even be able to do 5 quests per (real) day. I find that the game is geared towards long time players and hard-core players who have mastered their mud clients and shortcuts and know the alyrian map like the back of their hands. As a newbie, I find it tiresome to do quests. There is no point in having annwn.info open in a browser to help with the quest steps. And questing definitely feels like a chore and not a fun aspect of the game. I think having in-game mechanisms for interactive path-finding (ofcourse not tracking) and in-game clues and guides for marks would be helpful. I can hear you telling about talking to other players for help, but yeah nowadays we can't get a formation going for killing odius.
I don't think new content is an issue for newbies (not alts). Like most of us newbie first classers may not have experienced even 5% of the content in the game. Enable in-game clues and guides for this vast content that is already available. Some people say that the game really starts after archoning - maybe but not for casual players.
Don't know anything about this. But sounds like this is not for casual players. Duende mentioned that pvp skills also include avoiding pvp in the first place. Thats a great statement and that most casual players will embrace but are there enough skills/techniques available to avoid or trick an attacker? Maybe, I don't know.
I am all for making mob runs more interesting and rewarding. Should PvM aspect be affected because some skill needed PvP balancing? I don't think so, can't we create separate PvP-only or PvM-only skills for people to specialize in.
I don't really know why we have been loosing players. But I feel some or all of the above are reasons for not retaining casual newcomers.
Posted 15 April 2013 - 09:01 PM
I think it would be great to have skills specifically for only PK, which a few already are, such as snare. But the reality of it is that in order to do that, they would have to create several similar skills/spells that people would have to practice as well, which would require even more questing. Most of the available skills/spells have great PvE purposes and uses.
Posted 15 April 2013 - 10:16 PM
Personally, I enjoy crystal quests very much- it allows us newbies to explore other areas and travel afar into the wilderness where we wouldn't normally go. They also give pp and qp. Perhaps the limit on how many of these we can do can be extended?
Thanks for reading.
Posted 16 April 2013 - 02:25 AM
I would love to see more ways of gathering practices or QP than just monotonous, repetitive questing. Around hero, questing is actually slightly productive in regards to QP.
Posted 16 April 2013 - 04:38 AM
So basically what I'm getting at from my stand point is, it takes entirely too long and too much time in order to actually reach hero, Now myself I could do this in a month or two solo.. But I really just do not feel like camping on the same couple of mobs for a week, then moving to the next.. it's not fun or enjoyable. The leveling status of this game feels to me like a full-time job if you want to accomplish becoming a hero.
I would "like" to see it a little be quicker in order to make it hero, Archoning as I read currently isn't extremely easy, so I don't see a major issue in doing this. It won't keep people from class camping as some will still do it for the advantage, but it will make the game towards hitting archon a little more reachable for those that don't have the time to invest and lose interest because of the repetitive playstyle you go through in order to reach it.
These are just my outlooks on the situation, flame if you must, it's just were I stand on why I can't really get into it anymore.