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General Discussion  » Players thinning out and a solution

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85 posts found
  ButeoRegalis

Elite Member

Joined: 9/02/10
Posts: 272

11/01/12 9:40:51 AM#41

When you run into this problem, where you can't do a DE alone, do you pop a message in /map chat, or just move on? For champ mobs in mid-level areas I do see message in chat.

Sometimes someone will just run up and join you, if they were close enough to see the marker on the map.

But I like your ideas. Some may not be easy to implement depending on the details of ANet's server code, some would require some time from the content team.

  halflife25

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/13/12
Posts: 787

11/01/12 9:44:05 AM#42
Originally posted by Creslin321

I really like GW2, but one potential pitfall that I can see ahead of it is something that all games with some kind of public questing face.  And that is that eventually, the player population thins out, or concentrates in higher level zones, and you get left with a very large part of the world that is more or less empty most of the time.  This has already happened to some extent...many zones are still well populated, but some of the mid-high level zones seem to be much thinner on my server when it's not peak time.

This can be frustrating for players leveling up, because they will often encounter events that are too difficult for them to complete alone, and they will have to pretty much just ignore them.  I really see this problem getting even worse when the inevitable expansion comes that will probably greatly increase the size of the open world...spreading out player population more and more.

So I started to try to think of what a good way to solve this problem would be...and the Halloween event gave me an idea...

The Halloween event essentially put a spotlight on a few zones and basically told players "go here."  I noticed that level 80 players who would normally rarely ever go to the lower level zones were there in droves to participate in the event.

So that's when I thought that maybe this kind of thing would be a good idea to do on a more regular basis.  For example, maybe every week, a select handful of zones get "highlighted" by giving them some kind of special content, rewards, etc.  Maybe it's a traveling fair that goes through, or an enemy army on the move...a haunted caravan...the possibilities are really endless.  Then the next week, a new handful of zones would be highlighted.

This would give level 80's a reaon to go back into the open world, and not just congregate in WvW, PvP, Orr, or dungeons.  It would also give players a select few zones every week that they KNOW will be well populated...even if the game gets three times the content in eventual expansions, this should help combat population thinning by letting players know where they should go to find each other.

Thoughts?

 

SImply filling up the zone with lvl 80 means nothing if they are  just there to complete these special events and then go back to ORR, dungeons and w v w.

Unless they have regular events in which high and low levels can participate on regular basis this won't do much for low level players. Even now i have noticed that a lot of high level players go to low level zones to complete the map and get out of there asap. 

  Creslin321

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/27/09
Posts: 5311

 
OP  11/01/12 9:46:42 AM#43
Originally posted by Icewhite
Originally posted by Creslin321
Originally posted by Icewhite

Why does it need a solution?

Games seek their own level.  It's not in your hands.

Basically, if you do nothing, then eventually the player population will thin out to such a high degree that the vast majority of dynamic events will have to be done solo...which kind of sucks.

And I'm not saying this as any kind of "doom" saying or anything, this is just the reality.  After all, I think it's extremely likely that ANet will add a large amount of new zones via expansion packs in the future.  So this basically means that the area of the world increases, but the players per server do not.  This will inevitably lead to more and more thinning out...couple this with the tendency for people to congregate at high level zones, and it gets even worse.

So I don't think that this is something that should be ignored.  If it is ignored, the vast majority of the world will wind up being fairly empty in the mid-late stages of GW2's life.

Thankfully though...there are ways to mitigate this, like highlighting certain zones with special events so that people go there, and/or a reverse overflow system (ala WoW).

Either way, I don't think it would be best to just ignore this.

I detect a massive slippery slope argument.

 I don't really think it's a slippery slope argument...just about any MMORPG will prove that what I describe will happen.

Log on to any themepark MMORPG that is older, but does not have some kind of solution to mitigate this (WoW), and walk around the mid-levelish areas of the world.  Chances are, they will be fairly empty.  And they will get even more empty as "stuff" is added to the game. 

More zones?  Each zone will be populated less.

More sPvP, WvW content, dungeons, mini-games, etc.?  Less players in the open world.

So I don't really see the slippery slope here...increase the size of the world, don't increase the amount of players...lower population density results.  Pretty logical.

Also, why would you not want something like this?  Even if what I describe never happens (unlikely), a solution like reverse overflow or zone highlighting will still help off-peak players who have to deal with relatively empty zones all the time just because of when they play.

 

Are you team Azeroth, team Tyria, or team Jacob?

  Dren_Utogi

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/21/10
Posts: 1465

11/01/12 10:20:38 AM#44
Originally posted by Creslin321
Originally posted by I_Return
Login into GW1 and then rewrite this thread.

 GW1 is 100% instanced except for towns...I don't really think it applies ;).  Just because there are a bunch of people in Lion's Arch, does not mean that you will see people when wandering around Diessa Plateau.

A more accurate parallel would be WoW...and it WoW the mid-level zones are pretty thin player wise...that's why they implemented that cross-server thing.

the point being "lots of people still playing",

This game has sold enough copies to make profit, and that is what ArenaNet runs on. Over the next 2 to 4 years they will sell pure profit with about 3 to 4 million more sales in that 2-4 year period.

 

ArenaNet is not SWTOr, not WoW , its not any failed game released in the last 5 years, it is ArenaNet, they are the best in the world at that point.

 

Why rock the boat with what if's when it is not a reality >?

  Creslin321

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/27/09
Posts: 5311

 
OP  11/01/12 10:30:26 AM#45
Originally posted by I_Return
Originally posted by Creslin321
Originally posted by I_Return
Login into GW1 and then rewrite this thread.

 GW1 is 100% instanced except for towns...I don't really think it applies ;).  Just because there are a bunch of people in Lion's Arch, does not mean that you will see people when wandering around Diessa Plateau.

A more accurate parallel would be WoW...and it WoW the mid-level zones are pretty thin player wise...that's why they implemented that cross-server thing.

the point being "lots of people still playing",

This game has sold enough copies to make profit, and that is what ArenaNet runs on. Over the next 2 to 4 years they will sell pure profit with about 3 to 4 million more sales in that 2-4 year period.

 

ArenaNet is not SWTOr, not WoW , its not any failed game released in the last 5 years, it is ArenaNet, they are the best in the world at that point.

 

Why rock the boat with what if's when it is not a reality >?

 My point isn't that there aren't going to be lots of people playing in a few years time, my point is that those people will very likely be concentrated in a few select areas, leaving a large amount of the world relatively empty.

Also, did you imply that WoW is a failed game ;)?  If anything, WoW has more people playing it after such a long time, then any MMORPG, ever.  If WoW wound up with barren zones, then it should DEFINITELY be a concern for GW2.

Are you team Azeroth, team Tyria, or team Jacob?

  Homitu

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/01/09
Posts: 2004

11/01/12 10:46:45 AM#46
Originally posted by Nephaerius
Originally posted by Creslin321

<>

I initially thought this would be a large issue ingame.  Surprisingly though, I actually think that the DE's work 1000000x better with the population thinned out.  They are way more fun and challenging but still entirely doable.  The majority of them can be soloed with enough time/effort.  Compared to when I initially leveled during headstart and the crazy zergs I vastly prefer the thinned out experience.  I think many people's issues with the DE's and their experience of them comes from the crazy amount of players initially present during DE's with the launch of the game.  The DE's are a very different animal with thinned out population and are vastly better because of it. 

I haven't yet experienced Creslin's "issue" either, but like him I acknowledge that it one day could become an issue.  Hence the proposed solutions.  As for now, I continue to be pleasantly surprised with how I seem to run into other players in the most obscure locations in the far corners of Tyria absolutely huge maps.  I think part of that can simply be attributed to how map completion and DEs that spawn guide players to specific locations.  

That said, part of my concern actually stems from the potential reverse problem: that too many players in one area make many events not fun.  This is entirely subjective.  I know many players love running around with the zerg, not for the challenge but for the sense of camaraderie.  I'm not one of those players.  When too many players congregate together in GW2 (like in the halloween events) or any other MMO, gameplay and combat tends to get reduced to the bare basics and becomes extremely boring.  There seems to be a "sweetspot" player requirement for most DEs, where you can still get both the MMO community feel and also a small challenge.  I've found this number to be between 2 and 5 for me.  

  Grimrist000

Novice Member

Joined: 12/08/10
Posts: 85

11/01/12 3:40:46 PM#47
Originally posted by Homitu
Originally posted by Nephaerius
Originally posted by Creslin321

<>

I initially thought this would be a large issue ingame.  Surprisingly though, I actually think that the DE's work 1000000x better with the population thinned out.  They are way more fun and challenging but still entirely doable.  The majority of them can be soloed with enough time/effort.  Compared to when I initially leveled during headstart and the crazy zergs I vastly prefer the thinned out experience.  I think many people's issues with the DE's and their experience of them comes from the crazy amount of players initially present during DE's with the launch of the game.  The DE's are a very different animal with thinned out population and are vastly better because of it. 

I haven't yet experienced Creslin's "issue" either, but like him I acknowledge that it one day could become an issue.  Hence the proposed solutions.  As for now, I continue to be pleasantly surprised with how I seem to run into other players in the most obscure locations in the far corners of Tyria absolutely huge maps.  I think part of that can simply be attributed to how map completion and DEs that spawn guide players to specific locations.  

That said, part of my concern actually stems from the potential reverse problem: that too many players in one area make many events not fun.  This is entirely subjective.  I know many players love running around with the zerg, not for the challenge but for the sense of camaraderie.  I'm not one of those players.  When too many players congregate together in GW2 (like in the halloween events) or any other MMO, gameplay and combat tends to get reduced to the bare basics and becomes extremely boring.  There seems to be a "sweetspot" player requirement for most DEs, where you can still get both the MMO community feel and also a small challenge.  I've found this number to be between 2 and 5 for me.  

exactly how i feel, ty. i generally stay far away from zergs unless we're fighting a meta-event boss. DE's just lose any sort of challenge and/or fun once a zerg arrives, imo.

 

despite what i said, i gotta say, it's a pretty damned awesome feeling when u start an event chain with 2-3 people then see it build up overtime and end up with a crapload of people by the end of the chain.

  Vhaln

Novice Member

Joined: 7/07/05
Posts: 3167

11/01/12 3:48:26 PM#48
Originally posted by Creslin321

 I don't really think it's a slippery slope argument...just about any MMORPG will prove that what I describe will happen.

Log on to any themepark MMORPG that is older, but does not have some kind of solution to mitigate this (WoW), and walk around the mid-levelish areas of the world.  Chances are, they will be fairly empty.  And they will get even more empty as "stuff" is added to the game. 

More zones?  Each zone will be populated less.

More sPvP, WvW content, dungeons, mini-games, etc.?  Less players in the open world.

So I don't really see the slippery slope here...increase the size of the world, don't increase the amount of players...lower population density results.  Pretty logical.

Also, why would you not want something like this?  Even if what I describe never happens (unlikely), a solution like reverse overflow or zone highlighting will still help off-peak players who have to deal with relatively empty zones all the time just because of when they play.

 

Not only that, I think the effect snowballs in the worst possible way.  The more the low level zones become deserted, the more new players are put off the game by it feeling dead, during a huge chunk of their initial experience.  Many of them will quit, before playing into higher levels.  

 

Too many MMOs seem to abandon hope of new players existing at all, but if you look at sales figures, most of them do get at least a constant trickle.

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.

  sfc1971

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/05/08
Posts: 418

11/01/12 4:24:08 PM#49

It is an old problem, the standard since Everquest is to expand a game at the end level. This makes some sense as your existing customers will be located at the end level. But as the OP points out, it leaves players still levelling up with a LONGER journey that will have fewer other players in it.

EQ2 solved it by allowing high level players to downscale to your level and then pull you along. GW2 does a similar thing of course with its level adjustment per area.

BUT it ain't perfect. Apart from the fact that equipment and available skills still tells and a downscaled lvl 80 -> 10 is far more powerful then a level 10, the level 80 will also be doing stuff he has already done, a dozen times for no gains. He will therefor tend to be in a rush. 

This leads new players to feel that all the game is about rushing towards the end, it is the reason so many do this, because that is how they been trained. Come join us at the end game, we got cookies! 

World of Warcraft pushed this even further, apperently allowing you to skip straight to the end. 

But this would be as if a real world themepark, everytime it launched a new attraction, levelled the entire rest of the park to build a que straight to the one new attraction.

The OP suggests forcing players back but the Halloween event showed how this doesn't really work. I saw the door trains, a whole herd zerging between door spawns, causing a mess for any normal player in the area and totally ignoring any content or players. They were playing in the same area but you might as well consider bots company. It didn't help any low level player in finding enough others to tackle a champ.

And on the occasions a dozen lvl 80's decide to crash a lvl 20 event, the real lvl 20 players find they do anything because enemies are one shotted with AoE attacks.

Yes, games are in trouble when they concentrate players at the end game... so far the only answer is to rush new players to the same end content and then the game slowly dies because end game content is soon exhausted, especially when you never got attached to the game.

The solution? If I knew it, I would be designing MMO's, not posting on a silly forum.

  HorrorScope

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/04/05
Posts: 609

11/02/12 8:26:50 PM#50

My first worry of the games release was performance.

Once I felt ok with that and had those I play with upgraded to quad cores, as I recommend that pretty much a must have if you want reliable smooth play.

I then had the concern about enough pop to run events and not feel barren as time goes on, because all mmo's have had this issue to date, all of them.

My server is just hanging in right now, usually we get a 2-4 extras in the DE's as we level into the 20's. Sure we can do it with our little team, well most of it. But it is simply a better game getting randoms coming together to run the event, that is to me the Magic of GW 2 PvE.

I wanted to say that those really propping the game up at release didn't think this was going to be an issue, let alone one that happened in Oct. I wasn't planning on buying until late Nov at the earliest, but was able to get in sooner. I'm glad I didn't wait longer, to me just going by experience, this doesn't get better it gets thinner yet.

So yes I am all for bunching server zones together. I'm not asking for a complete zerg face roll, but DE's just solo or with a few to me losses a lot of what could make DE's great. The game to me has to have some type of zone population control to keep it chugging well.

 

 

  Vidir

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/14/04
Posts: 962

11/02/12 8:30:26 PM#51
Originally posted by Creslin321

I really like GW2, but one potential pitfall that I can see ahead of it is something that all games with some kind of public questing face.  And that is that eventually, the player population thins out, or concentrates in higher level zones, and you get left with a very large part of the world that is more or less empty most of the time.  This has already happened to some extent...many zones are still well populated, but some of the mid-high level zones seem to be much thinner on my server when it's not peak time.

This can be frustrating for players leveling up, because they will often encounter events that are too difficult for them to complete alone, and they will have to pretty much just ignore them.  I really see this problem getting even worse when the inevitable expansion comes that will probably greatly increase the size of the open world...spreading out player population more and more.

So I started to try to think of what a good way to solve this problem would be...and the Halloween event gave me an idea...

The Halloween event essentially put a spotlight on a few zones and basically told players "go here."  I noticed that level 80 players who would normally rarely ever go to the lower level zones were there in droves to participate in the event.

So that's when I thought that maybe this kind of thing would be a good idea to do on a more regular basis.  For example, maybe every week, a select handful of zones get "highlighted" by giving them some kind of special content, rewards, etc.  Maybe it's a traveling fair that goes through, or an enemy army on the move...a haunted caravan...the possibilities are really endless.  Then the next week, a new handful of zones would be highlighted.

This would give level 80's a reaon to go back into the open world, and not just congregate in WvW, PvP, Orr, or dungeons.  It would also give players a select few zones every week that they KNOW will be well populated...even if the game gets three times the content in eventual expansions, this should help combat population thinning by letting players know where they should go to find each other.

Thoughts?

 

 So you got a solution for players to not leav the game, man sell it to what ever game developer and you are a millioner.

  asmkm22

Elite Member

Joined: 11/29/06
Posts: 1616

11/02/12 8:30:49 PM#52
Originally posted by Aerowyn
Originally posted by Rimmersman
You better hand over some more cash to ArenaNet,  B2P has it's limits.

after this holiday event don't see how it has any more limits than P2P games

P2P games typically have a greater breadth of PvE content.  At least, they do if they want to survive (I'm looking at you Funcom...)

You make me like charity

  Aerowyn

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/20/12
Posts: 7969

11/02/12 8:37:05 PM#53
Originally posted by asmkm22
Originally posted by Aerowyn
Originally posted by Rimmersman
You better hand over some more cash to ArenaNet,  B2P has it's limits.

after this holiday event don't see how it has any more limits than P2P games

P2P games typically have a greater breadth of PvE content.  At least, they do if they want to survive (I'm looking at you Funcom...)

only one i'd say that's true on is Rift.. most others pretty much hasen't been the case...

I angered the clerk in a clothing shop today. She asked me what size I was and I said actual, because I am not to scale. I like vending machines 'cause snacks are better when they fall. If I buy a candy bar at a store, oftentimes, I will drop it... so that it achieves its maximum flavor potential. --Mitch Hedberg

  asmkm22

Elite Member

Joined: 11/29/06
Posts: 1616

11/02/12 9:20:46 PM#54
Originally posted by Aerowyn
Originally posted by asmkm22
Originally posted by Aerowyn
Originally posted by Rimmersman
You better hand over some more cash to ArenaNet,  B2P has it's limits.

after this holiday event don't see how it has any more limits than P2P games

P2P games typically have a greater breadth of PvE content.  At least, they do if they want to survive (I'm looking at you Funcom...)

only one i'd say that's true on is Rift.. most others pretty much hasen't been the case...

I don't know for sure.  It's getting hard to compare apples to oranges with new games vs old games, not to mention the warped expectations of players these days.

World of Warcraft had quite a bit of content out of the box, and continued getting new additions every few months in the form of dungeons and raids.  Even further back, you have games like EQ1 and DAoC which were bursting with content, and EQ1 particularly had tons of expansions.

The problem today is that in a world of publicized betas, WoWhead's and ElitistJerks, where new content is mastered before it's even released to the public, and where detailed guides and information are a google search away, there is no way for a game company to create enough content to satisfy people anymore.  We consume it too fast, and too efficiently.  

The Secret World is a great example.  Try doing an investigation mission where you have to look stuff up in the browser, like a composer's name or something.  The difficulty is in trying to ignore the 90%+ search results linking to game guides.  It's annoying.

Even despite that, it's a more content-rich experience with a properly supported sub game because the dev's have a better understanding of how much financial resource they have to put towards new content.  You know how many subs you have, and you know how much income you're getting.  It's why even cash shop games offer sub options, because they are optimal for the developers compared to the feast or famine that comes with predicting cash shop purchases.

Look at LotRO as an example for that.  They've had content updates since going F2P, but they constantly have to revise things like release dates or drop/postpone features that were originally planned.  Shareholders are happy, but dev's have a hard time with project management when the income isn't predictable.

You make me like charity

  dg29031994

Novice Member

Joined: 8/03/12
Posts: 111

11/02/12 10:14:54 PM#55

Good post i've seen in a LONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNG time. BUMB. And yes i am agree with you. My server always at high and some time full. I'm trying lvling an alt so i can try out different story line and i have say the world is so god damn boring. We need something that can keep high lvl player come b to low lvl zone so it would not look so lifeless.   good post.

BUMB BUMB BUMB.

And i love the idea about making a Big World event that will lead the player go throught ALL the maps. I love that kind of things :D

 

Or they could make a World Event base on the Personal Story? Like you know how we have to chose b/w the 3 orders and then from there we advance? We can start at Queensdale and then "travel" to other map ( i put travel in " " meaning that we actually travel, not by using way point, but like escorting NPC to other maps, and on the way while we travel we can have some mini other event), and then fight dragons and stuff :D. We can have one week with the "Vigil" order path, other week with the "order of whisperer path" .....

  dg29031994

Novice Member

Joined: 8/03/12
Posts: 111

11/04/12 1:16:02 AM#56
Bumb
  Elikal

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/09/06
Posts: 8067

“No path is darker then when your eyes are shut.” -Flemeth

11/04/12 9:07:26 AM#57

Wow, Creslin!! Why did you leave? :(

Pls return, your posts were always intersting. Someone who knows him pls tell him to return!

A forum is a place where people can discuss about different opinions. So what I don't get is, how people react offended when they come to a forum and then find... well different opinions. If a different opinion offends you, what are you even doing here?

  elocke

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 6/15/04
Posts: 4036

11/04/12 9:26:18 AM#58

Nice suggestion, only problem is "what's the point?"  GW2's issue is the reward in endgame for going back to earlier zones isn't very rewarding if at all.  Just seems pointless.  This game has a huge lack of rewards.  It reminds me of this old game I played in the NES days called Hydlide.  It was a brutal RPG that was so damn hard it took myself and a few friends weeks to beat it, together as a team.  When we finally did, our reward was a line of text saying "Congratulations!  You have beaten the game!"

We were fairly miffed and even called the developer to complain.  Games without rewards are like people robbing me of precious time with inane conversations or pointless advertisements.

  Aerowyn

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/20/12
Posts: 7969

11/04/12 9:27:35 AM#59
Originally posted by Elikal

Wow, Creslin!! Why did you leave? :(

Pls return, your posts were always intersting. Someone who knows him pls tell him to return!

Yea I'm very curious as well not everday a "spotlight poster" just deletes their account

I angered the clerk in a clothing shop today. She asked me what size I was and I said actual, because I am not to scale. I like vending machines 'cause snacks are better when they fall. If I buy a candy bar at a store, oftentimes, I will drop it... so that it achieves its maximum flavor potential. --Mitch Hedberg

  User Deleted
11/04/12 9:37:49 AM#60
Originally posted by Nephaerius
Originally posted by evilastro
Originally posted by achesoma
Some great ideas mentioned.  I really like the idea of a reverse overflow system.  Though I haven't personally seen signs of thinning out on JQ yet and I have 5 characters I alternate between at various levels.  Every DE I run into typically has at least 10 other players and this on my ranger which is at 45 right now.  Maybe it's just because I'm on a large server pop.

Reverse overflow would be good. Automatically send people to a host server until there are enough people to warrant an individual server zone. Some DEs do become impossible with not enough people.

The only one's I have been unable to solo are group events and few of the champion spawns.  However, many of the champion spawns are still soloable.  A decent challenge, but soloable none the less.

Just to give you an idea on my perspective I have 80 Rng/80 Thief, 25ish Ele/Guard/Mes, and a 12ish Warrior.

I was specifically talking about Champ mobs and final zone events. Try do the fire elemental, zone bosses or the Orr champs solo. You wont be having much success. Low level champs? Yeah no dramas for some classes. My mesmer has soloed quite a lot of them.

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