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OPINION: Building a player base

celticprince1982
the big turn off to this game for the gamers i know is the eve style exp progression and pvp and frankly the terrible graphics such a wild deviation from the TT. I think the subscription changes were a step in the right direction but this game needs a complete overhaul to get any real traction. The territory system being so tied to pvp was a mistake and making this such a pvp focused game was a mistake in many would be players eyes. I find it a hard sale when i suggest it to others when they are looking for something different.
Azure_Zero
The problem is this game was designed by the same guy that did design EVE online, and the reason for the design was that it'll NOT require the same level of game content creation from the Company, since players would be creating the content through PVP. And I see why, any new expansion comes out for a MMO and it's PVE content that took over a year or 2 to work on and make is devoured in less then a week with players crying for more. A small dev team can not do what most MMOs do, and thus is the reason for this design.

Now I will say it was stupid to have everything as feats, Ryan should of done a real RPG design where one picks a class and they get options based on the class leveling up with a Skill tree or choices at each level. The Class system in PFO is TOO open ended for most TTRPG players and it doesn't help that the same jargon has different meanings between the two.

I will say the EVE EXP progression has some benefits, but also has a number of drawbacks and the current way things are, I don't really have a reason to log in and play since I have to freaking wait months before I can do anything I want to do.

And It doesn't help that is year's Event is really catered to the absolute End-game elite, any new content should NOT be solely for the End-game elite, it should be for EVERYONE. It is another reason we don't really have player retention.
If the End-game elite want more challenging fights, there is a simple answer, the end game elites restrict themselves to T2 equipment (No T3), no need to make new content for them, they just need to lower their equipment.
Flari-Merchant
Player Retention:
Ain't gonna happen (in our lifetimes) unless the game gets a major infusion of cash and precise direction. Sure a good few of the "old timers" will hang on for some time(IMO because they are loath to give up their accumulated wealth and power) but the game is just lacking in the stuff that keeps new players around.

There are a goodly number of cool features and some are even novel but a real lack of coders has forced the Devs to implement these features in a bare minimum that kinda works. They can say "that feature is here" but they can't say that it is all that exciting, a finished version, or even at a semi competitive level to other games.

In short, I think they are doing what they are willing to do +++, balanced by what the budget allows them to do, at the speed that is possible…
celticprince1982
Azure_Zero
The problem is this game was designed by the same guy that did design EVE online, and the reason for the design was that it'll NOT require the same level of game content creation from the Company, since players would be creating the content through PVP. And I see why, any new expansion comes out for a MMO and it's PVE content that took over a year or 2 to work on and make is devoured in less then a week with players crying for more. A small dev team can not do what most MMOs do, and thus is the reason for this design.

Now I will say it was stupid to have everything as feats, Ryan should of done a real RPG design where one picks a class and they get options based on the class leveling up with a Skill tree or choices at each level. The Class system in PFO is TOO open ended for most TTRPG players and it doesn't help that the same jargon has different meanings between the two.

I will say the EVE EXP progression has some benefits, but also has a number of drawbacks and the current way things are, I don't really have a reason to log in and play since I have to freaking wait months before I can do anything I want to do.

And It doesn't help that is year's Event is really catered to the absolute End-game elite, any new content should NOT be solely for the End-game elite, it should be for EVERYONE. It is another reason we don't really have player retention.
If the End-game elite want more challenging fights, there is a simple answer, the end game elites restrict themselves to T2 equipment (No T3), no need to make new content for them, they just need to lower their equipment.

I play eve, i like eve, but it and PFO are wildly different animals, and the eve progression just does not seem to work for PFO in my opinion. To be fair though Ryan Dancey did good at CCP for increasing the sales of eve online. I just don't know what he was thinking with PFO
Schedim
celticprince1982
I play eve, i like eve, but it and PFO are wildly different animals, and the eve progression just does not seem to work for PFO in my opinion. To be fair though Ryan Dancey did good at CCP for increasing the sales of eve online. I just don't know what he was thinking with PFO

I think Ryan had a very “grand vision” that lacked connection to reality and was targeting too much and no one at the same time.
And he had a hang-up on creating a new character system that had nothing to do with the game that was in the title thus loosing the main crowd the game was supposed to target. It is a interesting system (partly) but didn’t do the game any service.

Then the sub-par graphics (NO WATER!) turned away some and the see-saw between PvP and PvE killed of the rest by annoying the extremes of both groups.

When Ryan finally was gone I think it already was too late for this game, I have had a lot of fun and love the gathering/crafting system (there is of course improvements I can think of but that is always true) …. but the rest… mmmm … too much have to change for getting people aboard and the mini-dev team is doing an herculean task on just moving this thing forward. I really can’t understand the mental strength of them!
Schedim: Peddler and dealer in stuff easily transported, restless wandering the land of the River. Trying to find out how to reawaken the cult of Hanspur. To realise this ambition I created the company named Rats of Hanspur.
You can reach me on: pfo.schedim@gmail.com
Paddy Fitzpatrick
Well, to offer what I think is a spicy hot take but really is a lukewarm take left in the microwave for too long:

I probably should come out and say I was not always Paddy, the not so lovable bandit of Fianna and went by another player who was a player since alpha. Who that is I will not say on this thread (if someone is really curious they can PM me on Discord) and naturally nobody from Aragon should chime in since they already know.

Having played both a character that was around since the start and making a new one much later from scratch I can say it is very difficult for the game in its current state to retain players.

I keep saying that one of the biggest problems is feat support being dependent on being part of a settlement really messes things up. The Eve style XP does not help and lack of respecing makes it worse. Back in my previous alpha character days and when I became Paddy there was a lot of backlash against a respec because of fears of min max. The problem is that instead you get new players who have no idea how the leveling and feat progression works and now they gotta wait a week to get their guy back on track? Come on guys let the lower level guys respec to get to our level faster, is the danger of the dreaded min max guy that scary as to have new players leave in frustration?

The settlement support dependency must go so playera can explore the game on their own first before picking a place. PvP has been limited and controlled in more than enough ways that it makes the initial reasons for preventing gank fests obsolete. I didn't realize how good I had it starting off as an alpha player but once I left that behind and became Paddy it was pretty damn obvious that without Aragon taking us under their wing, Fianna would never have had a chance. We would have had nothing had the playerbase decided they didn't want new guilds. They still have complete control that can easily become tyrannical in the wrong hands. I'm just grateful we had a community that wasn't like that.

Plus, I wanted to see if we could make banditry and PvP still viable and by and large we at Aragon Alliqnce have succeeded I think. I don't think PvP in itself was the issue. This ain't a no holds UO or Legends of Aria full loot fest, and even with the forever war it still pales in comparison to games like Gloria Victis and Mortal Online where edgelord BS, far more toxic shit talking and doxxing are more often than not. We do have it very good here in that respect.
Paddy Fitzpatrick - Rí Ruírec of Fianna, roaming bands of noble warriors!
Member of Aragon Alliance and home of bandits, privateers, and anyone looking to get away from the shackles of law.
Find us on PFO Discord
Midnight
Rhethwyn
That said, PVP emphasis turned this sandbox into an untenable gankfest. The Forever War should be sufficient illustration of that - it lost the game most of the original player base.

The original player base was lost after the game ran out of funding and the developers went silent.

The Forever War wasn't an untenable gankfest for most of the map. There is a years old saying in PFO: "Who won the Forever War? The North did." That is because the North (and many settlements West of us) practiced diplomacy like adults, rather than like petulant ego driven children.

The Forever War only occurred because of massive egos without diplomatic skill. It is very impressive to organize the largest settlement and the largest coalition, as the South did. But their pride and egos kept them from being able to enact the kind of diplomacy needed to coexist with Xeilias. In the years since PFO, I've seen Xeilias in multiple games and every one of our neighbors/opponents was able to avoid a Forever War in those games, just as every Settlement in the North and West of us in PFO didn't have to endure a Forever War (except for reading about it). There was a unique set of personalities that led to the Forever War, and it was only untenable to the gatherers who sided with the the largest guilds for safety… and not finding safety… refused to enact regime change, nor to join any of the settlements where it was safe, when their leaders were proven incapable of simple diplomacy.

I'll also add that while I was active I saw the North engage in a bit of PvP between themselves and it seemed all very rational and strategic.

PvP didn't lose the original playerbase. Players feeling that Ryan hadn't been forthright and worrying they were wasting their time and money on vaporware is what lost much of the original playerbase.
He who wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.
-Edmund Burke
You are a Troll
All true, except you forgot to mention the doxxing and vindictively juvenile "we will find them in any game they play and make their lives miserable" behavior Xelias engaged in toward the people who were playing the characters Nihimon, Decius and, to a lesser extent, Thorgrim. That was all fairly toxic stuff, and all becasue the members of Xelias couldn't stand that they always lost the forum war arguments to them.
Midnight
You are a Troll
All true, except you forgot to mention the doxxing and vindictively juvenile "we will find them in any game they play and make their lives miserable" behavior Xelias engaged in toward the people who were playing the characters Nihimon, Decius and, to a lesser extent, Thorgrim. That was all fairly toxic stuff, and all becasue the members of Xelias couldn't stand that they always lost the forum war arguments to them.

Other than one player planting a spy in Albion Online (to make sure TSV weren't planning vindictiveness, since it was the very next game both guilds went to) I'm aware of no actions in other games. That AO spy confirmed that Xeilias was being ignored, and thus Xeilias didn't interfere with TSV, nor did the spy take any harmful action, despite the access they had to the guild island, guild chests, Discord and the forum.

But, even if some hostility happened in some other game, no one is going to be shocked if years of antagonism caused a player to carry a grudge into another game. Players (and guilds) who carry the same name from game to game are banking on their career-long good rep and shouldn't be surprised if any bad rep follows too.

I'll also add that whoever owned the Thorgrim account back then was widely respected in Xeilias, except for his taste in PFO alliance. I'd still fight him in another game, but that's the nature of PvP. We generally combat a LOT of reasonable people, because people come to PvP battlefields for that combat.
He who wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.
-Edmund Burke
 
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