The game is slowly dying, what do you think is the reason?

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  • Know painKnow pain Members Join Date: 2012-09-04 Member: 157674Posts: 510 Fully active user
    At what point did UWE decide it was okay to completely redo the alien tech tree after the release? It had basically been the same thing for 8 months or so and now most players get back in and have no clue what to do.

    Here’s a thought stop screwing with abilities and put out more maps.
    Hakuna Ma-ta-ta
  • Electr0Electr0 Members Join Date: 2011-10-31 Member: 130337Posts: 349
    I love this game, but I get so sad to see how UWE continues to ignore the obviously flaring problem that the reason the game is dying is NOT because of lack of content, but because OF THE TERRIBLE BALANCE. Hell, I don't understand how people can even stand to play competitive. The competitive scene has even WORSE balance! Aliens have an 80% winrate!

    Oh balance is definitely the biggest issue but content is quite important, i do think a lack of maps was odd for a multiplayer game, remember most games have between 8 and about 14 by this point and those often have a whole single player mode, we would of had even less if it wasn't for the community, no summit or veil which would have left us with only 5 official maps today, i don't think anyone can argue that 5 or even 7 maps is ok for a purely multiplayer game?

    Apart from content and balance i think the main issue for many is the game just isn't always fun, if a game goes wrong it's very unforgiving and feels like a waste of time to play, you can tell this is the case for many because concede is so common, making people wait to spawn on unbalanced games also adds to annoyance, it's pointless because the weaker team will just lose or concede eventually anyway, if they could of found a way to make the game challenging but fun throughout then it would be doing a lot better today, heck even adding pointless achievements, levels/stats and a minor cosmetic unlocks would of kept many of the current generation of gamers playing, it's not for everyone but if it doesn't matter and is expected nowadays why not?
  • sotanahtsotanaht Members Join Date: 2013-01-12 Member: 179215Posts: 1,020 Fully active user
    I generally prefer a smaller number of maps. It takes a very long time to really master even one map, with a large number to choose from you are lucky if you even reach a level of passing familiarity with most of them. A small core of maps can be focused on to great detail.
  • UncleCrunchUncleCrunch Mayonnaise landMembers, Reinforced - Onos Join Date: 2005-02-16 Member: 41365Posts: 1,543 Advanced user
    sotanaht wrote: »
    I generally prefer a smaller number of maps. It takes a very long time to really master even one map, with a large number to choose from you are lucky if you even reach a level of passing familiarity with most of them. A small core of maps can be focused on to great detail.

    Study the map for yourself by creating a local server. And that's it.
    ChubbChubbs ???

    Reach me on NS2 forums in :
    Map: Outer Rim Ark and Outer Rim Ark Edge
  • Super_GorgeSuper_Gorge Members Join Date: 2013-03-22 Member: 184212Posts: 112
    Electr0 wrote: »
    Edit: Also why does this thread fail to appear at the top after a post, a bit suspicious...

    Probably my fault. Once I started posting calculations on quit rates, my posts went to moderated. It appears that nothing I said is against the rules, but I'm guessing whoever is running the boards isn't happy about someone actually running the numbers and showing that the game has Atlantic Ocean sized problem with new player retention and thus this thread is now modified so it doesn't bump. Also because I'm using Steam Stats, there's no factual way of arguing I'm wrong.
  • RequiemDKRequiemDK Members Join Date: 2013-07-15 Member: 186116Posts: 23
    Electr0 wrote: »
    Edit: Also why does this thread fail to appear at the top after a post, a bit suspicious...

    Probably my fault. Once I started posting calculations on quit rates, my posts went to moderated. It appears that nothing I said is against the rules, but I'm guessing whoever is running the boards isn't happy about someone actually running the numbers and showing that the game has Atlantic Ocean sized problem with new player retention and thus this thread is now modified so it doesn't bump. Also because I'm using Steam Stats, there's no factual way of arguing I'm wrong.

    According to the other thread, it appears that this was done because "the debate's going around in circles".

    Saddest way to deal with the issue IMO. The debate will disappear when the issues are fixed. Sinking the thread serves no purpose other than to make certain people feel good about themselves. Having to deal with this sort of crap on a daily basis in my country, I would rather quit playing altogether immediately on principle than to support a company that does this. Well, no loss.
    hakenspit
  • bERt0rbERt0r Members Join Date: 2005-03-23 Member: 46181Posts: 611 Fully active user
    edited August 2013
    Games dont have to be fun to retain players, but they have to reward them for playing. This is an area NS2 lacks. No achievements, no xp, no ranks... People are used to that s..stuff nowadays, one could say we're addicted to it. It would also work really well with the game (say flashy icons on scoreboard for ranks).

    Then there is the lack of comebacks which I attribute to the lack of RFK (but that's another story).

    Some time ago, you saw people spend hours in the arcade, paying money in order to arrange falling blocks. This task in itself is rather boring and unfun. Still people did it in order to beat that highscore. While you have NS2Stats, most new players won't likely see their overall stats at all because well it's a mod that's not on every server.

    Also times change and a simple number to show off is hardly exciting anymore. Many games nowadays have mastered motivating the player throughout the game, rewarding him for each little thing he does right.

    NS2 totally breaks this standard. There is a score system but no one really gives a damn about it. It is just a number no one can really relate to. What especially every new NS2 player cares about is his K/D ratio and K/D is totally irrelevant for NS2.

    There is a server mod on HBZ servers that does all these things and more. I'm sure UWE could just copy paste HBZ's rank/matchmaking system into their next release without having bileboms bouncing around afterwards.
  • BicsumBicsum Members, Reinforced - Gold Join Date: 2012-02-27 Member: 147596Posts: 1,014 Advanced user
    edited August 2013
    bERt0r wrote: »
    Games dont have to be fun to retain players, but they have to reward them for playing. This is an area NS2 lacks. No achievements, no xp, no ranks... People are used to that s..stuff nowadays, one could say we're addicted to it. It would also work really well with the game (say flashy icons on scoreboard for ranks).

    Then there is the lack of comebacks which I attribute to the lack of RFK (but that's another story).

    Some time ago, you saw people spend hours in the arcade, paying money in order to arrange falling blocks. This task in itself is rather boring and unfun. Still people did it in order to beat that highscore. While you have NS2Stats, most new players won't likely see their overall stats at all because well it's a mod that's not on every server.

    Also times change and a simple number to show off is hardly exciting anymore. Many games nowadays have mastered motivating the player throughout the game, rewarding him for each little thing he does right.

    NS2 totally breaks this standard. There is a score system but no one really gives a damn about it. It is just a number no one can really relate to. What especially every new NS2 player cares about is his K/D ratio and K/D is totally irrelevant for NS2.

    There is a server mod on HBZ servers that does all these things and more. I'm sure UWE could just copy paste HBZ's rank/matchmaking system into their next release without having bileboms bouncing around afterwards.

    Just to clear things up. The ranks on our server are indepentend from the match making. They are achieved through score on our server(s) and are not intended to represent any kind of skill level or something like that. It's just nice to see who is a regular. http://hbz-clan.de/player.php


    The match making comes from NS2Stats as far as I know.
  • Super_GorgeSuper_Gorge Members Join Date: 2013-03-22 Member: 184212Posts: 112
    RequiemDK wrote: »

    According to the other thread, it appears that this was done because "the debate's going around in circles".

    Which is an outright lie. If that was the case, they would have done that pages ago. It's no coincidence that the day someone starts doing hard analysis on steam chart numbers showing grim results is the day the thread after 12 pages of "going around in circles" loses updating status. But given how UWE runs (see giving balance to one guy), this ain't surprising.
    Saddest way to deal with the issue IMO. The debate will disappear when the issues are fixed. Sinking the thread serves no purpose other than to make certain people feel good about themselves. Having to deal with this sort of crap on a daily basis in my country, I would rather quit playing altogether immediately on principle than to support a company that does this. Well, no loss.

    Sinking the thread sinks the posts that show that the game is not retaining players and the current build is losing players much faster than the prior builds. Build 250+ lost more players in two weeks than every other build outside of the free weekend. And it did it twice in a row.

    The sales appear to have netted a paltry 570 players that stick around. That's roughly a 20% retention rate. I can understand why the devs would want to bury that. It looks really, really, really bad.

    I'd hope that UWE is crapping bricks over this, but given their change to updates on this thread, I don't think they care. That's a bad message to send to customers.
    hakenspit
  • sotanahtsotanaht Members Join Date: 2013-01-12 Member: 179215Posts: 1,020 Fully active user
    edited August 2013
    sotanaht wrote: »
    I generally prefer a smaller number of maps. It takes a very long time to really master even one map, with a large number to choose from you are lucky if you even reach a level of passing familiarity with most of them. A small core of maps can be focused on to great detail.

    Study the map for yourself by creating a local server. And that's it.

    I'm not referring to how often a map is played, although that is part of it. The problem is when a game has hundreds (or maybe just dozens) of maps there is simply no way for me to study all of them. Of course studying a map solo only gets you so far anyway, no where near the level of true mastery.

    If the game is good, a few distinct maps is all it really needs and you can focus on the gameplay rather than a map gimmick. I wouldn't argue against a couple new maps though.
  • UncleCrunchUncleCrunch Mayonnaise landMembers, Reinforced - Onos Join Date: 2005-02-16 Member: 41365Posts: 1,543 Advanced user
    sotanaht wrote: »
    sotanaht wrote: »
    I generally prefer a smaller number of maps. It takes a very long time to really master even one map, with a large number to choose from you are lucky if you even reach a level of passing familiarity with most of them. A small core of maps can be focused on to great detail.

    Study the map for yourself by creating a local server. And that's it.

    I'm not referring to how often a map is played, although that is part of it. The problem is when a game has hundreds (or maybe just dozens) of maps there is simply no way for me to study all of them. Of course studying a map solo only gets you so far anyway, no where near the level of true mastery.

    If the game is good, a few distinct maps is all it really needs and you can focus on the gameplay rather than a map gimmick. I wouldn't argue against a couple new maps though.

    Still study the map for, let's say, 2 hours is gonna make you far potent than not doing it. Mastering is after practicing of course. But still it is far more efficient that way.

    If you play in clan you will find yourself bored with too few maps.
    1 because serious clan practice it (one room after another), getting used to it and or find the most efficient way to do something.
    2 because once you know the ups and down of every map, it's just not 'thrilling' anymore.
    3 Because a lot of changes on maps are most of the time 'nerfs'.

    I do believe it is really good to have more maps. The more maps you have, the more the game rely on teamwork and not knowledge of maps. I admit that minimaps could be far better than what we have today. The thrill to win on a unknown territory is far more exiting.

    That is a little problem on UWE side. Map editor is still a little complicated for ppl. If you are a potent game designer/map maker it's (somehow) ok but long (occlusion, paths etc...). If you begin, you'll find yourself a little annoyed and finally discouraged.

    Doom in it's days had more than 2000 custom maps (from worst ever to really good). More recently Morrowind (on RPG side) and Farcry (the first), did have tons of mods and maps.

    In fact, as a competitive thing it could be really interesting to be able to make a lot of maps (fast and easy). But that is another story UWE won't invest in.
    ChubbChubbs ???

    Reach me on NS2 forums in :
    Map: Outer Rim Ark and Outer Rim Ark Edge
  • hakenspithakenspit Members Join Date: 2010-11-26 Member: 75300Posts: 944
    RequiemDK wrote: »

    According to the other thread, it appears that this was done because "the debate's going around in circles".

    Which is an outright lie. If that was the case, they would have done that pages ago. It's no coincidence that the day someone starts doing hard analysis on steam chart numbers showing grim results is the day the thread after 12 pages of "going around in circles" loses updating status. But given how UWE runs (see giving balance to one guy), this ain't surprising.
    Saddest way to deal with the issue IMO. The debate will disappear when the issues are fixed. Sinking the thread serves no purpose other than to make certain people feel good about themselves. Having to deal with this sort of crap on a daily basis in my country, I would rather quit playing altogether immediately on principle than to support a company that does this. Well, no loss.

    Sinking the thread sinks the posts that show that the game is not retaining players and the current build is losing players much faster than the prior builds. Build 250+ lost more players in two weeks than every other build outside of the free weekend. And it did it twice in a row.

    The sales appear to have netted a paltry 570 players that stick around. That's roughly a 20% retention rate. I can understand why the devs would want to bury that. It looks really, really, really bad.

    I'd hope that UWE is crapping bricks over this, but given their change to updates on this thread, I don't think they care. That's a bad message to send to customers.

    Similar to yourself and RequimDK I also find this a rather distasteful way of burying their heads in the sand.

    Sadly UWE forgot that a game was meant to be fun to play, not simply a pissing contest for an elite few.

    There is a reason that gaming outstrips movies...its because they realised that arcades were not accessible to the masses...that was to their detriment.
    So expanded into tapping into the broader market as to be succesful.
    Sure there were a hard core few who pwned on kong....but most would try a few games blow chunks and move onto something else.
    By ensuring you are both accessible and enjoyable is key.....modern game design is well beyond the old pinball game (which actually had no flippers) or the galaga, donkeykong, arcanoid etc arcades of the 70's/80's as gamers wanted more forgiving games...as they played primarily for FUN.
  • sotanahtsotanaht Members Join Date: 2013-01-12 Member: 179215Posts: 1,020 Fully active user
    edited August 2013
    The more maps you have, the more the game rely on teamwork and not knowledge of maps.

    You've got that bit backwards. If you have a ton of maps so that no one even in the pro leagues can master all of them then the people who are more familiar with the particular map you happen to play on have a major advantage over teamwork alone. If you only have a couple of maps and master them all then map knowledge is generally equal between teams and is no longer a major factor determining the winner.
    Doom in it's days had more than 2000 custom maps (from worst ever to really good). More recently Morrowind (on RPG side) and Farcry (the first), did have tons of mods and maps.

    All of those are single player. In single player I have absolutely no argument, more=better. The example you should be giving for multiplayer is Unreal Tournament which has literally hundreds if not thousands of modmaps. One of the things I actually enjoyed about UT3 in particular (yes, I liked UT3, worst in the series but it definitely had its upsides) is that the game mode I enjoyed most only had 6? maps at the start and I got really really good at most of them. In fact when they later doubled that number in the major free content patch I lost interest in the game largely due to the new maps.
  • UncleCrunchUncleCrunch Mayonnaise landMembers, Reinforced - Onos Join Date: 2005-02-16 Member: 41365Posts: 1,543 Advanced user
    sotanaht wrote: »
    The more maps you have, the more the game rely on teamwork and not knowledge of maps.

    You've got that bit backwards. If you have a ton of maps so that no one even in the pro leagues can master all of them then the people who are more familiar with the particular map you happen to play on have a major advantage over teamwork alone. If you only have a couple of maps and master them all then map knowledge is generally equal between teams and is no longer a major factor determining the winner.

    You assume that maps have to be released far before some competition. Not my point.

    On the other hand even in clan-play a large portion of players just have a summary knowledge of maps. Only those who 'work' on it with method are the 'top level clan'. ex: Good comm just don't place a PG under a vent.
    sotanaht wrote: »
    Doom in it's days had more than 2000 custom maps (from worst ever to really good). More recently Morrowind (on RPG side) and Farcry (the first), did have tons of mods and maps.

    All of those are single player. In single player I have absolutely no argument, more=better. The example you should be giving for multiplayer is Unreal Tournament which has literally hundreds if not thousands of modmaps. One of the things I actually enjoyed about UT3 in particular (yes, I liked UT3, worst in the series but it definitely had its upsides) is that the game mode I enjoyed most only had 6? maps at the start and I got really really good at most of them. In fact when they later doubled that number in the major free content patch I lost interest in the game largely due to the new maps.

    Whatever the game, as long as you have fun. If you need time for study maps, fine. But if you want to enter a NS2 clan right now. There is no room for that anymore. NS2 population has reduced, rookies just can't compete. Stomp or be stomped if you're not ready. So one thing that could be good is to remove the map knowledge from the equation. At least a try could be fun.

    Farcry was not single player only. I did maps for multiplayer on Farcry. The sandbox editor was a hit ! If not the best i ever seen. You could make a working map in 4 hours, fully functional and decorated. Those things are still far aways with the Spark engine editor.

    It's really sad that the game industry have removed or have nerfed the editors since 5 years (they don't like competition) at least. And when we have one for a game with a real potential, it's not that 'beautiful'.
    ChubbChubbs ???

    Reach me on NS2 forums in :
    Map: Outer Rim Ark and Outer Rim Ark Edge
  • Electr0Electr0 Members Join Date: 2011-10-31 Member: 130337Posts: 349
    edited August 2013
    Probably my fault. Once I started posting calculations on quit rates, my posts went to moderated. It appears that nothing I said is against the rules, but I'm guessing whoever is running the boards isn't happy about someone actually running the numbers and showing that the game has Atlantic Ocean sized problem with new player retention and thus this thread is now modified so it doesn't bump. Also because I'm using Steam Stats, there's no factual way of arguing I'm wrong.

    Really it's pretty pathetic of them, it's a very poor way of dealing with information they don't like, people aren't stupid, it's obviously a hot topic which people want to discuss, even if they are honest and did it because they feel it's been discussed enough, a single mod shouldn't be allowed to make that judgement when plenty want to keep discussing it, anyway i think you're right and they don't like the truth, which says it all really.
    Super_Gorge
  • Super_GorgeSuper_Gorge Members Join Date: 2013-03-22 Member: 184212Posts: 112
    edited August 2013
    Electr0 wrote: »
    Really it's pretty pathetic of them, it's a very poor way of dealing with information they don't like, people aren't stupid, it's obviously a hot topic which people want to discuss, even if they are honest and did it because they feel it's been discussed enough, a single mod shouldn't be allowed to make that judgement when plenty want to keep discussing it, anyway i think you're right and they don't like the truth, which says it all really.

    It is, but hardly surprising when you look at how they implemented the balance mod as vanilla.

    http://steamcharts.com/app/4920#All

    Comparing the peak of the past few days to prior to 250 and the sales, game appears only to have retained between 300 and 400 new players. Seems to have stabilized. It's good that they're above 1,000 regular peak players, but it's appalling that so many quit the game in such a short time frame. It's about 1,000 to 1,200 daily peak now. Up from 800~900 daily peak. But when you look at the peak of 3,506 which was vastly new players, it's around 12%~18% retention rate. Game's not even a year old. Seems that whoever is in charge would rather bury their heads and then address the problems.

    To me, the the biggest problem with how UWE is going about this, is not that they're ignoring the problems with the game itself, it's the fact that the message they send to first time buyers is that the company doesn't care. That isn't a way to grow your user base. How many people who quit early are going to either buy another UWE game or tell their friends to buy another one? I think we all know the answer to that. It's also worse when you consider the significant number of players who quit after build 250 who are either likely never to buy a UWE product again and persuade their friends from doing so as well. In today's market, you often only get one chance to make a good impression and UWE is blowing it.
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