Call for Community Action

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Tahru, May 14, 2021.

  1. Tahru

    Tahru Avatar

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    This is my Steam review for Shroud of the Avatar.

    1,068.3 hrs on record (78.4 hrs at review time)

    I have only been messing with this game for two pre-aplha releases and I am truly amazed by the progress thus far. It is stil far from even being called a Beta much less a release product. However, I am highly encouraged by the progess and look forward to the results.

    I can't say how many early access games I have tried on Steam that never even made it to release. But my money is on this one to hit a home run. fingers crossed.


    Posted February 10, 2015.

    I am also a Lord of the Manor and a Seedinvest contributor so there is no lack of love for the game from me even after taking a few years hiatus.

    So here's my honest take after coming back and getting pulled by a gaff hook to really give it a try.

    The same things that made SotA great back then still make it now. In fact, so much is better than it used to be.

    1. The community is still awesome!
    2. The game is much more stable with crowds!
    3. The development team is even more transparent and player focused than ever!
    4. Lots of nice new features.
    5. The ability to create-your-world is even more possible now than I thought it ever would be. Lots more ways to tune the would to your liking and they even have player dungeons now and added your own NPC's. How crazy awesome is that?

    I have been critical of the initial game loading screens, the old game resources and stuff like that, but in truth it does not matter because the point is not to be 2021 sexy, its to be quirky and full of players and the unique personal player's tastes, good and freaking horrible together, lol.

    The really big challenge is getting more players. And players like to see other other players, so it is imperative players at least pass each other in towns. Quests and dance parties do help some with that, but we need more reasons see each other. I could go weeks without seeing a single person if I was not already in the community. I know this because when I came back after the hiatus, that is the way it was. Player Towns are awesome, but I also feel they are preventing us from making a really vibrant game (mostly talking about failing towns, the majority of them).

    What fun is it to build something, a home, a basement, a town or a product and have nobody see it or buy it. Seriously, "players like to see other other players" is either the success or failure of this game.

    I am in the game, doing the best I can.

    My challenge to the community is to come together and realize that the community, not the developers, are responsible for making the sandbox awesome. If you are not going to play, or just occasionally play, make sure your lots and towns are alive with stocked vendors, conversationalists with something to say. If not, then please sell them off or just remove all the homes so the POT is just slabs on the ground. With people mover, you can pull everything and get it right back when you want to play again.

    One last thing. When I used to play, it was customary to wave and bow to players in the game as you pass them. I swear I have done that to nearly everyone and only 2 have returned the gesture. Get with the customs folks :)
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2021
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  2. Sarek

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    I could not agree more and have already configured my playing around the concepts you speak of. We have the most powerful tool in our hands but it is our hands which must guide it for it to work.

    Yes I have live and busy lots in Northwood, yes I have conversationalist which it is my full intend to update at least weekly with guild quest information and news, yes I have more than one vendor hidden away which will reward the adventurous and curious. Yes I want groups to mean something, yes I want our dungeons to have a backstory and not just something slapped in ala 2001 monolith. Yes you are 100% correct and it is us the community that need to be the change we seek, I hear your call and respond.

    The nice thing is when you see the same people stop by almost daily even if just to say hi or place something in your community cache chest. That is special, that is the SotA I want; my guild is growing with like minded players and I am pleased the awakening is happening. At the right time which I feel is now with the increase in new players the community can rise up and propel this game into legendary status rather than reminisce about things past.

    Therdan Redwauld
    Arcane Wardens
    Northwood
     
  3. Fionwyn Wyldemane

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    Well said @Tahru. I'll be the first to admit that I have been away for a loooong time. I do a radio show and that's it. No playing, no crafting, no nothing. The reasons are many and varied, but I suppose the main reason is utter boredom with the game.

    All that said, your post DOES give me a lot of hope! Thank you for taking the time to share your views and perspective. It gives me hope that one day I'll be back :)
     
  4. FBohler

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    Question is: what can we do if player count figures are going down and nearly reaching a 3-year period lowest level, while in game activity is as dead as ever, even LFG CPs and mentoring are absent/empty. I thought I would see some The Rise / Panopticon LFG parties after the last release, but only once found a group with some notable players (@Coswald_Dirthmire , @Violet Ronso , @DalTXColtsFan and some others) that killed the chicken 10 times in a row and that was it. Never found another LFG group for Rise / Panopticon, only empty CP and mentoring ones (Gee, even mentoring is empty!).
    I tried opening my own LFG a few times to no effect. Even Universal Chat is silent!

    I think this is a matter of the fundamental game design, which was meant for avg thousands of players, not the current peak around 400 (don't have the official numbers though). The game end up being empty because of that. I speak for myself, I found the outskirts lonely, empty and uninteresting (especially Solace Bridge), so I almost gave up before finishing any of them. Another huge problem is the way the world is laid down. There's no player hub to gather who's playing (like a main town from which players can do their stuff and go to other interesting places), you very rarely meet another player by chance, when you play the outskirts you don't see any high level player around, and that's because the population is so scattered and players literally belong in different parts of the game world.

    I think the community is GREAT and do everything in their reach to make the game better for everyone, but the game has some characteristics that may prevent it from flourishing.

    It's almost impossible to do it now, but in my opinion making hub towns, in which everyone will show up sooner or later (daily quests, NPC merchants with better prices, etc), connected to the adv areas in a branched way, and making new players spawn in these towns instead of directly at the outskirts would help to stickiness greatly. So new player spawns in Ardoris for instance, the town looks good, there are vendors and players around, then they're guided to a portal to an outskirt and kill some low level creatures there, make some gold and come back to Ardoris, browse the vendors for some cool gear and see some crazy high level player pass by. This is way different than just spawning in an empty scene that looks bad and is boring to play.
     
  5. Xee

    Xee Bug Hunter

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    player count is going up not down its up a lot not sure what you mean by lowest. As to the LFG the CP's dropped a lot since the afk folks got banned :) that said I can tell you our guild does not generally use the LFG tool we have many members on and tend to just group internally. usually when I encounter other parties pretty sure they do the same as they are all same guild as well. I think if you want to see more life its a matter of being in a more active guild / town. I do agree 100% though that the works because of instance and the likes can be a lonely place. There is already hubs but not like other games where quests guide you from hub to hub. I think you will see the numbers starting to grown more exponentially over the next 6 months. I see lots of new money being brought in, and several towns have changed to new owners so investments are still being made which is a good thing. More new players means their friends and so on will continue to trickle in and hope one day we see thousands active at a time on my friends list :) If we go based on leaderboard meterics there are at least 3k-4k active players / month (some are alts that is for sure)
     
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  6. FBohler

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    If people give up from the game as early as the first hours in, how can they get invited for a guild?

    I hope you're absolutely right.
     
  7. Xee

    Xee Bug Hunter

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    Can't save them all :)
     
  8. Time Lord

    Time Lord Avatar

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    [​IMG] :D~TL~
     
  9. FBohler

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    I think it's the other way around, the catered newbies are going to save the game actually. ;)
     
  10. CarlNZ

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    It's dropped the last two months and is at its lowest since June 2016. That's not great.
     
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  11. Tailz

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    False

    Indeed
     
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  12. Anpu

    Anpu Bug Hunter

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    Is it that time of the month where the game is supposedly dying?
     
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  13. FBohler

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    If the old-timers are slowly phasing out the game, who's going to keep it going?
     
  14. brewtus23

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    In my opinion it is the old timers who do nothing but complain about the past that are hurting the game currently. We all get it, something really really sucked back in the day, promises were made, promises were not kept, roger that we get it. But that is in the past, let it go, move on, New players coming into the game and all they see from the high level veteran players crying about how bad the devs are, how bad the game is, how they are soooo upset that something got nerfed DOES NOTHING BUT PUSH NEW PEOPLE AWAY FROM THE GAME!!! Get over yourselves and either play the game, enjoy the new changes that are making the game better, or just leave already cause you think the game is soooooo awful. Cause once either of those happen the game will get even better and less toxic. New players and current players will enjoy the game more without having to listen to all the bitching and moaning in universe chat.
     
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  15. Tailz

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    To your original point:
    "I think it's the other way around, the catered newbies are going to save the game actually."

    Ozzy Questor and I have spent hundreds of hours "catering" to new players in answering questions about the game, where to hunt, how to make gold, how to craft... and so on. We have helped new players financially and with crafted gear, weapons, armor and such things. We have helped new players learn the economy, what to sell and what to keep depending on what they planned to do in game. This goes on and on... in fact there probably a handful of players still playing who have had direct help and interaction with Ozzy or myself when they were brand new to the game. However, the vast majority, I would say about 90%, have left for various reasons or no longer play the game. Now, of this approximate 90% of new players who left with in a month or so only a few have shared why they left. All I will say about that is this, they all had different and similar reasons for not staying and going off to play something else. So "catering" as you say it, is not always going to work and being a past town owner of a heavily visited and lived in town, Ozzy and I both saw this first hand.

    To your second point: "I think it's the other way around, the catered newbies are going to save the game actually."

    The questions should perhaps be, who will be around to teach the new players about this games huge learning curve?

    On a side note and separately: Trying to silence any point of view that you do not agree with is foolish. If you really want to make this game a better experience for all players, then all information has be taken into real and serious consideration.
     
  16. FBohler

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    I think we agree then.
    No matter how hard the community try, the players are leaving.

    In my opinion they leave because the game doesn't cater newcomers. We can try and help them all we want, if the game isn't compelling enough by itself, they're leaving.
     
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  17. Tailz

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    Perhaps.
     
  18. Time Lord

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    We are a nostalgia game, a legacy game, a historical game, an Ultima game, and if our historical, legacy, nostalgic, Ultima game with it's audience generally between the ages of 35-65 doesn't appeal to you as being in the proper age group for continuing it's successful gaming business, then please show us who has more money to help us support our game and we'll most happily carter to them! :D

    Our game is "Free to Play", and our COTO Shop with it's "Micro-Transactions pays the bills". $10.00 USD is the lowest amount COTO come in unless they are earned in-game (which don't pay the bills).

    It seems to disappoint some, that our game hasn't had the dark and gloomy picture they paint in their posts about it, but like it or not, "here we are, here all of us are" and "somehow" (I know it must seem like magic) our game manages to still be here, expanding, developing and continuing to offer a quality game free (ep1) to the masses of the world. Our continued success has been able to fund our generosity.

    The flag you wave isn't planted in real ground. This is a fantasy game, so I'm just assuming that being so immersed in fantasy, your character has successfully taken you into it's world of dangers and fear.

    You're not in reality, you're just encountering a successful transition into Shroud of the Avatar's deep immersion which feeds the ego until it believes it's own fantasies as real and very important, vital to the Kingdom with urgency most profound! :eek: "Help me Avatar! Help Me!" :confused: "All hail the Avatar, the Outlander come to save us!" :) Immersion Achieved!

    It's deeper Avatar, much deeper, so just let yourself go! Deeper!

    [​IMG]
    ~It's all up to you! Save us Avatar!~
    ~Time Lord~
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2021
  19. Tahru

    Tahru Avatar

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    I am grateful for the passionate discussion here, and I am truly honored to be read. There were so many things that I had to say, but at the end of the day, I just want to share the love of SotA. There is so much to praise and it seems like we have a human tendency to voice frustration while also wanting the fantasy to live and thrive. It is about time to look in the mirror and think deeply about what the dream was, what the dream is and what each of us want it to be. As I said on the opening post, it is all up to us, not the developers. Throwing stones accomplishes nothing and talking about has been is no more productive. We can do anything we set our minds to in this open world. Imagine for a second that you just found this game and realized how incredible the tool box was. Now what are you going to do? People read these posts, so please choose words carefully.

    I think the game is amazing and surprising fun to play. The combat zones are quirky, but they are both challenging and fun. My personnel opinion is that it would be more fun to die rather than being able to run out of the zone to the overworld. But still it is really cool. The combat is interesting with he deck and skills and is sufficiently complicated. Crafting is the same. There is a decent grind, but not obtuse. I love the creativity available when it comes to decorating just about anything. Really the only thing missing is thousands of people buying my produce and taking a look at my RP stuff and visa versa.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2021