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Guild Wars 2

Guild Wars 2 

General Discussion  » Does Retention Matter?

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88 posts found
  eyelolled

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/13/10
Posts: 3088

I am more than some of my parts

2/10/12 9:20:16 PM#61
Originally posted by SuperXero89
Originally posted by eyelolled
Originally posted by Guileplayer
Originally posted by SuperXero89

...Rolling alts and doing who knows what other menial tasks which have kept the 2,000 people still playing Guild Wars for all these years when the game has been pretty much forgotten by pretty much everyone else simply isn't going to suite me, ...

wow very well put man. I agree with you that i don't see Guild Wars 2 having anything long term for players to stick around. GW2 is gonna end up having the same fate as GW 1 IMO.

So where do you pull those numbers from? As a player that still has friends playing GW, I go back from time to time just to see who's on and say hi. GW is consistantly populated in virtually every area.  Last weekend there were over 140 instances of one town active. If each instance can support 100 people, then that denotes that 14,000 players were in 1 town at the same time. And I'm really not sure if each instance is limited to 100 people even.  Sure, thats not millions, but it's pretty surprising how many people are still playing GW.

So Guild Wars was released a year after WoW and according to your estimate, it is only played by around 14,000 people?

Whether it's 2,000, 14,000, or 20,000, it only shows that GW's long term retention rate was pretty poor.

 

Again, let me emphasize that if what you want is a nice, casual little game you can pick up and play whenever you feel like it without feeling like you've fell too far behind the curve, I say good for you, but such a game really doesn't deserve the amount of hype it's getting.  As a result, I'm afraid that the hype train may have picked up a bit too much steam.

well GW2 is clearly not going to be able to pick up the people that can't understand the concept of 14,000 people in one town doesn't mean 14,000 people in the entire game. Those sorts of people aren't the target audience though, because they are morons.  And the simple fact that these morons aren't going to purchase the game, is another reason for even more hype.

All of my posts are either intelligent, thought provoking, funny, satirical, sarcastic or intentionally disrespectful. Take your pick.

  Z3R01

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/09/08
Posts: 2459

MMO gamer since 1997

2/10/12 9:42:43 PM#62

Not at all.

This is why B2p is the way too go. It all rests on initial and long term box sales.

Sure they will have campaign packs, expansions and other goodies but generally people come back to a game to check that stuff out so retention means very little.

Playing: None

Waiting on: None

  Vhaln

Novice Member

Joined: 7/07/05
Posts: 3167

 
OP  2/11/12 9:12:24 PM#63
Originally posted by Z3R01

Not at all.

This is why B2p is the way too go. It all rests on initial and long term box sales.

Sure they will have campaign packs, expansions and other goodies but generally people come back to a game to check that stuff out so retention means very little.

 

This is the type of thinking that prompted me to ask the question.

For me, personally, if the game lacks retention, I wont be around to buy expansions.  Kind of like how I almost never buy DLC for singleplayer games.  Once i move on, I tend to be gone for good.  In order to be interested in more content, I need to feel like I'm still currently invested in the game.

Sometimes I might play a game less, putting it on the back burner for a while, so I can play something new, but once I uninstall a game, it tends to stay uninstalled.

When I want a single-player story, I'll play a single-player game. When I play an MMO, I want a massively multiplayer world.

  revy66

Novice Member

Joined: 11/12/10
Posts: 470

2/11/12 9:48:19 PM#64

Man, people saying that GW has small retention in this thread makes me that much more comfortable that GW2 will be very popular after the years. The game has been bouncing between #20 and #30 on Xfire and is 7th on the MMO list. From the more popular ones, only WoW and EvE precede it. Even if Xfire is not indicative of overal population you have to admit it is doing quite good for all the doom and gloom comments that we see here. Even when I log on myself I constantly see a lot of people hanging around. Keep in mind that ArenaNet haven't put as much time into Guild Wars the last few years due to the fact that they have been focusing on GW2. It will also have a map as big as all the expansion of the first combined and probably a lot more content than when GW first launched.

  Vhaln

Novice Member

Joined: 7/07/05
Posts: 3167

 
OP  2/11/12 10:19:53 PM#65
Originally posted by revy66

Man, people saying that GW has small retention in this thread makes me that much more comfortable that GW2 will be very popular after the years. The game has been bouncing between #20 and #30 on Xfire and is 7th on the MMO list. From the more popular ones, only WoW and EvE precede it. Even if Xfire is not indicative of overal population you have to admit it is doing quite good for all the doom and gloom comments that we see here. Even when I log on myself I constantly see a lot of people hanging around. Keep in mind that ArenaNet haven't put as much time into Guild Wars the last few years due to the fact that they have been focusing on GW2. It will also have a map as big as all the expansion of the first combined and probably a lot more content than when GW first launched.

 

i regret that i must admit, i never really played gw1. so this question probably sounds about as ignorant as it is, but.. isnt gw1 primarily endgame focused? i wonder if that might have helped its retention, as opposed to being like all these mmos that are all about leveling up, but fall flat at the cap?

maybe gw2 will manage to be both, but i'm always skeptical.

When I want a single-player story, I'll play a single-player game. When I play an MMO, I want a massively multiplayer world.

  bansan

Novice Member

Joined: 5/20/10
Posts: 371

2/11/12 10:25:52 PM#66

Wow, I don't understand people who build their lives around a game.  That is why you can't understand GW2, because it is meant to be a fun game that you play when you want, and stop when you don't, and start again when they release something interesting.

GW2 is not as concerned about retention.  What they want is to produce a good, high quality game that you will have fun with for a time.  When they release a new expansion, hopefully you will remember how much fun you had and buy it, and many other people too.  If you like it a lot, you can stick around and play for FREE, and there WILL be many players who will do that.

They can do that because they are B2P, not charging you a monthly fee to force you to run on a treadmill.  In this way it is very much like other non-mmo games franchises.  Fun, choice, not making you into a rabid, slobbering idiot pixel collecting, dopamine junkie.

  Cetra

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/05/04
Posts: 371

2/11/12 10:31:20 PM#67
Originally posted by bansan

GW2 is not as concerned about retention.  What they want is to produce a good, high quality game that you will have fun with for a time.  When they release a new expansion, hopefully you will remember how much fun you had and buy it, and many other people too.  If you like it a lot, you can stick around and play for FREE, and there WILL be many players who will do that.

this ^

  aionix

Novice Member

Joined: 12/14/07
Posts: 296

2/11/12 10:39:40 PM#68
Originally posted by Cetra
Originally posted by bansan

GW2 is not as concerned about retention.  What they want is to produce a good, high quality game that you will have fun with for a time.  When they release a new expansion, hopefully you will remember how much fun you had and buy it, and many other people too.  If you like it a lot, you can stick around and play for FREE, and there WILL be many players who will do that.

this ^

I 2nd this ^

  DJJazzy

Novice Member

Joined: 5/18/11
Posts: 2074

2/11/12 11:00:11 PM#69
Originally posted by aionix
Originally posted by Cetra
Originally posted by bansan

GW2 is not as concerned about retention.  What they want is to produce a good, high quality game that you will have fun with for a time.  When they release a new expansion, hopefully you will remember how much fun you had and buy it, and many other people too.  If you like it a lot, you can stick around and play for FREE, and there WILL be many players who will do that.

this ^

I 2nd this ^

I concur

  Fion

Novice Member

Joined: 7/25/03
Posts: 2356

forums.3305local.com

We are recruiting.

2/12/12 2:32:44 AM#70
Originally posted by Vhaln

 

i regret that i must admit, i never really played gw1. so this question probably sounds about as ignorant as it is, but.. isnt gw1 primarily endgame focused? i wonder if that might have helped its retention, as opposed to being like all these mmos that are all about leveling up, but fall flat at the cap?

maybe gw2 will manage to be both, but i'm always skeptical.

 

Well the answer to that question is a hard one. I suppose technically you could say it is end-game focused because the vast majority of content is played at cap. However, in truth the levels don't really matter at all. With only 20, you can generally hit 'cap' within a few hours as an experienced player, depending upon the campaign you chose. Like GW2, the game doesn't begin or end at cap, it just continues. It's also why I think there are no raids in GW2, there simply is no need for a retention mechanic like other, subscription fee based MMOGs.

I think thats why a 'lot' of people freak out on the guru forums about lack of raids. They haven't wrapped their heads around the fact that GW2 is NOT a game you are meant to play constantly, as often as possible and as long as possible, like most subscription based MMOGs. For this reason there are no carrots on sticks, there are no time sinks to slow down the gameplay experience in order to drag out the game and thus extend a subscription. It's like any other non-MMOG b2p game, like Dota or Neverwinter Nights. You don't play those games for the carrot. You don't play those games to grind raids. You play them to have fun, leave them when your not and return when you want to play them again or try the new expansion or patch, etc. GW2 isn't your typical MMOG and thus shouldn't be thought of as one. Once people understand that they might understand that raiding would be utterly pointless in such a game.

And I don't know where the whole 'GW has a retention problem' came from because trust me, it doesn't. You can log into the game at any hour of the day and find hundreds of people in various locations in the game. The vast majority of these people are long-term players who have worked hard for the coolest items, the best skills and the hardest to earn titles, etc. But really you cant look at a game designed to be free to play and wonder about it's retention. Since it has no subscription model, retention is a non-issue. I'd be the same as asking if Skyrim has retention problems.

  CookieTime

Novice Member

Joined: 6/02/10
Posts: 359

2/12/12 4:18:49 AM#71

Some that are saying that GW2 doesn't need retention, doesn't mean it won't have it. Anet said they are going to continue adding more content (like secret DE's and such) for free after launch. One map can one day have 3 extra DE's and players can then explore the old maps again in order to find new stuff.

Just look at GW1. They keep adding new mini campaigns even now. And for what.. subscriptions? It just shows that retention is still important to them, even if it's not required as much as in other MMO's. So I wouldn't be worried too much.

Eat me!

  Alot

Novice Member

Joined: 1/04/11
Posts: 1984

Minister of Propaganda for GW2 Fascist-Capitalist Party

2/12/12 4:22:31 AM#72
Originally posted by CookieTime

Some that are saying that GW2 doesn't need retention, doesn't mean it won't have it. Anet said they are going to continue adding more content (like secret DE's and such) for free after launch. One map can one day have 3 extra DE's and players can then explore the old maps again in order to find new stuff.

Just look at GW1. They keep adding new mini campaigns even now. And for what.. subscriptions? It just shows that retention is still important to them, even if it's not required as much as in other MMO's. So I wouldn't be worried too much.

Especially now that they've got a designated team for adding content updates.

  fiontar

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/07/04
Posts: 3711

2/12/12 6:46:14 AM#73
Originally posted by Vhaln

I've seen a few comments about GW2, to the effect of something like, since it's B2P, it doesn't need an endgame, it doesn't need retention, it doesn't need any of that, because they aren't invested in keeping players subscribing month after month.  They can focus on just making the leveling experience fun, and that's enough.

 

..but, is a subscription really that much different than wanting people to buy xpacs?  Or even to have a thriving game that will keep selling more and more boxes, due to its popularity?  I mean, of course being B2P is a big difference in some ways, but in terms of retention?  

 

Just seems to me that for a lot of players, once they leave an MMO, they move on, without really looking back.  Even if there isn't a sub to worry about.  So I'm just wondering if retention might really be just as important for GW2 as it is for any other MMO.  They do still want a thriving game, that's going to sell expansions, and whatever else, right?

GW2 needs to think about "retention" on a completely different scale. They don't have to continually justify a monthly fee. They do, however, want people to enjoy the game enough to provide an active community, come back for expansions and maybe buy a few things from the cash shop. They also want people to enjoy the game enough to recommend it to friends and drive sales via "word of mouth". Every person who buys it and feels they got their money worth for the box price is likely to be an ongoing customer. It doesn't matter if they played it as an ongoing MMO, played it like a solo RPG, or played it mostly for the Competative PVP.

Arenanet has "fun" as the over-riding design goal, rather than "how do we maximize time sinks and treadmills, while minimizing the number of people who decide that the time sinks and treadmills ruined the fun". You can see this in the elimination of trainers or skill books and the ease of which you can teleport through the extensive system of way points. In other games, travel time and forced back and forth trips are important time sinks meant to stretch content and justify ongoing subscription fees. In GW2, there is no need for time sinks. Travel and time just have to be congruent with an immersive game world, rather than being primarily used as "filler".

 

Want to know more about GW2 and why there is so much buzz? Start here: Guild Wars 2 Mass Info for the Uninitiated

  Homitu

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/01/09
Posts: 2044

2/12/12 10:10:19 AM#74
Originally posted by Z3R01

Not at all.

This is why B2p is the way too go. It all rests on initial and long term box sales.

Sure they will have campaign packs, expansions and other goodies but generally people come back to a game to check that stuff out so retention means very little.

But that is precisely the definition of retention in the context of a b2p game: making the game compelling enough that players stick around or come back to purhcase future expansions and DLC.  

I think most people here agree on this point--they simply differ on whether or not they label this as retention or not.  It's a matter of semantics of the definition of the word "retention."  

  Vhaln

Novice Member

Joined: 7/07/05
Posts: 3167

 
OP  2/12/12 6:10:00 PM#75
Originally posted by Homitu
Originally posted by Z3R01

Not at all.

This is why B2p is the way too go. It all rests on initial and long term box sales.

Sure they will have campaign packs, expansions and other goodies but generally people come back to a game to check that stuff out so retention means very little.

But that is precisely the definition of retention in the context of a b2p game: making the game compelling enough that players stick around or come back to purhcase future expansions and DLC.  

I think most people here agree on this point--they simply differ on whether or not they label this as retention or not.  It's a matter of semantics of the definition of the word "retention."  

 

Hmm, excellent point.  It's like "retention" has become another one of these buzzwords, where people stop thinking about what the word really means, and just love/hate things they associate with it.

When I want a single-player story, I'll play a single-player game. When I play an MMO, I want a massively multiplayer world.

  Shivam

Novice Member

Joined: 5/02/10
Posts: 480

2/12/12 6:19:53 PM#76

Retention matters even for B2P. If i don't like what GW2 has to offer i will not buy expansions and stop playing. Only because it doesn't cost monthly sub means nothing if game isn't enjoyable.

You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty -- Mahatma Gandhi

  svann

Novice Member

Joined: 12/06/06
Posts: 1633

2/12/12 8:19:36 PM#77

It matters.  If people start leaving that induces more to leave.  Snowball effect.  If word gets out that people are leaving that makes it so much harder to get new people to try. 

  grimm6th

Novice Member

Joined: 10/22/10
Posts: 978

2/12/12 11:36:45 PM#78
Originally posted by Vhaln

I've seen a few comments about GW2, to the effect of something like, since it's B2P, it doesn't need an endgame, it doesn't need retention, it doesn't need any of that, because they aren't invested in keeping players subscribing month after month.  They can focus on just making the leveling experience fun, and that's enough.

 

..but, is a subscription really that much different than wanting people to buy xpacs?  Or even to have a thriving game that will keep selling more and more boxes, due to its popularity?  I mean, of course being B2P is a big difference in some ways, but in terms of retention?  

 

Just seems to me that for a lot of players, once they leave an MMO, they move on, without really looking back.  Even if there isn't a sub to worry about.  So I'm just wondering if retention might really be just as important for GW2 as it is for any other MMO.  They do still want a thriving game, that's going to sell expansions, and whatever else, right?

There are 2 ways games keep players playing.

  1. Being addicting
  2. being good.
"end game" is addicting...
 
A game can be addicting without being good.  A game can be good without being addicting.  It is probably harder to make a game both addicting and good at the same time (at least for the majority of the people playing the game, which is why nitch games can succeed).  With this in mind, I would rather play a good game than an addicting game.  
 
Some people would rather play an addicting game than a good game.  These people probably think an addicting game IS a good game.  I disagree.
 
 
Anyways, retention matters, but it isn't really about the number of people actively playing a game (unless your playerbase becomes small enough to make the game feel barren), it is about the number of people who will play the game when the next expansion is released.

I used to TL;DR, but then I took a bullet point to the footnote.

  gervaise1

Elite Member

Joined: 1/17/07
Posts: 1284

2/13/12 7:39:40 PM#79
Originally posted by Quizzical

It's very important to ArenaNet that when an expansion launches, players who have played the previous game think, hey, that was fun, I should buy the expansion and go back to it.  It's not important at all to them they keep you playing continuously.  What this means is that if they have two months worth of content, they can let you play through it in two months and then quit.  They don't have to spread the content out and make you do a bunch of stupid grinding to get access, so that it takes you a year to play through two months worth of content.

This.

Think of what the game cost to make as a loan and the running costs / marketing etc. as the interest; obviously you want to pay off the loan asap because only then do you start to accumulate a positive overall bank balance (i.e. profit)

In the case of GW1 (and presumably GW2) retention means buying more expansions. With no sub GW2 aims to sell boxes by the million; and then - assuming the quality is as per GW2 - xpacs by the million. Thereby paying off the cost of the game quicker.

Ages back SoE said that the average length of an EQ1 sub was 7 months - box + 6 months say ($90 equivalent say). People who bought GW1 also bought the expansions paid more than this. EQ1 had a few expansions as well of course !!!! but given the 7 mont average sub GW1 players spent about the same as an average EQ1 subscriber.

The difference, of course, is that GW1 sold well over 10 million copies.

So does retention matter yes and no; as people have said retention drives the community but it also drives extra xpacs = more money = more xpacs etc.

 

  ComfyChair

Novice Member

Joined: 7/22/10
Posts: 766

2/13/12 7:44:06 PM#80

Guild wars 1 made no real effort to keep players beyond the storyline, yet the game itself was good enough for me to keep playing well beyond that. People don't rack up 1000 hours on counterstrike to grind out an epic set of armor, they play it because it's good.

 

If you aim to make a good game you'll keep players. But they definitely don't need to force millions of people to stay by enforcing grind. In fact, giving people a month or two of a really amazing experience will result in far more expansion sales than just dragging them through a grind fest.

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