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Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 5,448
# 28
09-19-2012, 08:30 PM
Originally Posted by kirksplat View Post
What is the incentive for playing what is left over? Is it any different from playing Foundry content? Once the xp is added for Foundry content, will it just make things worse, or will it make it better, since the 15 hour journey to VA can be an entirely different experience each time?
Just because faster leveling creates a problem doesn't mean it doesn't SOLVE a problem or that the problems it creates can't be fixed by better incentivizing mission play and replay at endgame.

The problem before is that most people quit about 15 hours in but players who reached endgame tended to have exponentially better retention AND generate more revenue, even with a dearth of content.

Besides which, I'd imagine that they needed to focus on endgame retention for the people who had been there a long time and couldn't ALSO focus on leveling content, which means they needed the playerbase to all be where they were going to focus. The alternatives would be de-leveling everyone forcibly (unrealistic) or getting everyone to endgame.

The game was initially marketed as level-less and I think probably should have been, with non-level based progression.

In any case, 40 hours is too long for a modern MMO. The trend has been towards 15-25 hours. What's needed is more engaging endgame and alternatives to leveling.

I think rep and DOffs are two approaches. DOffs will be niche, unfortunately, as long as they are not graphically represented.

In a sense, for the whole plan to become apparent, they would have needed to suspend F2P for an additional 12+ months.

Instead, what they did was drop a plan that had problems (which I'm sure they were aware of) but which had more financial benefits than drawbacks (endgame player with nothing to do is still dramatically more retainable and profitable than a level 15 player with plenty to do). And they did that, aware that it created some issues but calculating that the issues were worth it, with a longterm plan to address the new issues through fleet progression, rep, Foundry incentivizing (which has gotten delayed with Neverwinter), and mission replay improvements (see: rep).

If you can break one thing and make three things better that matter more, you deliberately break that one thing and start drafting fixes for it.