[MUD-Dev] BIZ: MMP subscriber numbers

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Wed Apr 2 14:23:53 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003


From: "Diamonds" <diamonds at unknownplayer.com>

> Yeah i saw those 2 new things. posted them and all.  Now that
> Shadowbane is golden, I wonder what there numbers will look like?
> I'd imagine that the numbers will be something like what other
> game stratigies have been with "stealing" customers from other
> MMOG's. So as shadowbane (and others to come, SWG & WoW, maybe
> Eve) goes in numbers, it will be interesting to see if any
> 'giants' loose numbers. From the general population of what I see
> in Shadowbane now, a number of people have told stories about how
> they 'quit' EQ or plan to move guilds.

Most of the people I know who're "quitting" EQ (~70) are wary of new
releases and plan on keeping their accounts until they're sure it's
the right move.  You probably won't see a huge "dump" of players.

The single biggest advantage EQ has over SB is simply character
progression (that I've seen so far.)

The game's been live for about one (1) week now and you're already
seeing level 49 and 50 characters.  While SB's design is more about
"shape the world," I myself see that once you've petered out a
character's advancement it goes into the holding bin.  (Incoming
zero-proof assertion) People are more motivated more by character
growth and personal achievement than by huge guild wars.  There
needs to be a driving focus for the individual player to get that
"hook" and have them really really really really want to log on.

I ran into a number of players last night who had level 48-49
characters (3).  They were just playing new characters and trying
new things, skills, classes.  So in the span of one week they've
purchased the game, dealt with all of the launch issues of a MMO
game, levelled up a character to 48 or 49 and then switched
characters.  Why would they switch in the span of a week?  Maybe
things will change as guilds ramp up and there's soemthing to DO
once you're 49... I don't know.  I'm not there yet.

A number of people from all 3 teams on Sullon Zek (zero rules PvP
server, basically like SB is) moved over to SB and formed a guild.
It's a biased subset since we all left the "blue" server to do the
PvP thing in the first place, but it'll be interesting to see how pk
fanatics can latch onto the guild wars ideology and how many of us
end up back on EQ, regardless of EQ's broken pvp system.  Sure,
level 65s farming AAs can get boring, but at least you're advancing
without having to have a huge (occasional) event which is a
logistical nightmare.  At least you have a semi-decent return on
your time spent.  Gaining 1 skill point at level 51 which translates
to some-tenths-of-a-percent isn't terribly rewarding.

Anyway, back on topic.  I wouldn't look for a mass exodus, or huge
drops in numbers.  The social types already have a comfortable slot
in prior games and may log on to chat.  The achievers will keep
their achievement chars at last for a while.  The Explorers will
keep their history and travels alive until they're sure they can be
fully immersed a new world for a long time.  The Killers will keep
their accounts open for the history, reputation and variety if they
tire of some new pvp system.  There will be people leaving EQ, but
it's pretty well entrenched at this point in time and people are
wary of new games after the last few "EQ killers" which have been
released.

-Mike
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