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Reader Comments (5)

Posted: Jun 16th 2008 8:04AM (Unverified) said

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Shut it down before it becomes unprofitable and derive two games from it's graphical assets. AC2 fathered DDO and LOTRO.

Posted: Jun 16th 2008 8:58AM Nadril said

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A lot of times when I quit an MMO it's because I've grown bored or have disliked many key aspects in a game.

When I quit WoW I quit because PvP was turned into nothing more than arena, which if I wanted to just arena I could play Guild wars :/. It was also because the PvE raids just got boring, there wasn't much of any challange left in them other them memorizing what you have to do.

In a lot of cases whenever I leave a game it really takes a dramatic turn to keep me in the game.

Now, a lot of times it is certain updates that will drive people away but, honestly, you can't listen to the minority like that. People in WoW would always bitch and moan about how their class was taking a 5% dps nerf and they were quitting the game. The patches that companies have to worry about are those akin to the SWG NGE -- which screwed it's customer base.

Part of keeping your members is making sure the game is like you envisioned it when the game came out, not what you think the masses would like.

Posted: Jun 16th 2008 10:13AM (Unverified) said

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I wrote an amazing essay about the problems of obsolesence in MMOs, and then I realized I had no idea how to solve them without just making a new game.

Posted: Jun 16th 2008 10:25AM Jeromai said

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What's the best way to keep any dissatisfied customer?

Talk to them. Be honest. Admit where you screwed up. Tell it to them straight. Tell them you want to make it better, and mean it. Ask them what they want. Consider all the options as best you can. Balance being true to the original game design with whatever is driving people away. Some people will just not like certain aspects. Do you want those people back? Prioritize.

And go fix the problems. ASAP. Small fixes while you're working on the big fixes show that you can put your money where your mouth is. You need to slowly rebuild (or establish in the first place) confidence and trust, because your players are hemorraging away after hope and faith is lost.

If you're not going for lowest common denominator satisfaction (in which case, work on addictive achievement goals and copycat WoW), you need your niche loyal population to stick with you and sing your praises to the outside world.

The faster you do this, the more people will believe your company has the reaction time needed to respond satisfactorily. (eg. AoC's miracle patch, anyone?)

If you're too slow, or the game is irreparably clunky, just close shop and go away, it'll make the passing easier and let the MMO die a less lingering death.

Posted: Jun 16th 2008 3:37PM (Unverified) said

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"What do you do?"

Lower the monthly fee.
Increase the advertising.
Lots of in-game events.
Community building. Make the devs available to podcasters
Offer free game time and discounts. i.e. for every 12 paid months you get 1 free month and $5 of the next exp pack.

"What don't you do?"
SOE's Living Legend where you give non-subscribers free game time, software and items.

Player will not stand for being treated unfairly. Wether it is reseting a dungeon for a guild with a famous pitcher in it, to moving a guild off of test with thier items in violation of the policy , to have devs leaking secrets to thier guilds so they can get server first. To giving non subscribers in-game items that current people will never be able to get. (Yes I'm talking about SOE for all of the above)

"If your favorite MMO were to make you angry enough to leave, what would keep you?"

After nearly 3,500 hours in EQ2 LL did just that. What do I want to come back. The same thing they offered to the non subscribers. 2 months free game time, free expansion pack, in-game items and $5 off the following expansion. In other NOT TO BE TREATED LIKE A SECOND CLASS CUSTOMER.

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