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Change is Good


kbruderTech
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Greetings all,


 

Please allow me to introduce myself. I am a longtime MMO fan since UO in 97. I only play MMOs. I have backed several from the early crowd funding stages and only play one at a time. I am not a hardcore player due to having a full time job and raising a family. I just started playing Dual Universe a month before launch. I had heard about it a long time ago and thought to myself, "This game looks amazing". So far I have 18 days playtime logged. I have only one account and one character in game. I play using the native client, not via Steam. I come from a professional systems architecture/cloud computing and networking background. I hope that provides some good context to this post and any others that I may post in the future and speaks to my level of objectivity as a seasoned player of MMOs.


 

First, I would like to congratulate Novaquark for the massive effort that went into this passion project. You guys really went out on a limb and took a massive risk with choosing the old-school way of funding your game with subscriptions. Bonus points for no cash shop, no cosmetics, no P2W element (perhaps besides the ability to multibox by paying for multiple subscriptions). Over the years as the MMO genre moved towards P2W, cash shops, loot boxes, etc., I recall considering the industry in a race to the bottom and thought eventually all game producers would succumb to such short sided greed. Many of them did; some of them that I backed and played exclusively. Most of them are but a faint memory and no longer exist.

Just when all was lost, some game producers caught onto this dynamic and started announcing early access to projects that promised a return to the more traditional models free of P2W where players could feel confident in not having their efforts rendered meaningless. In lieu of P2W elements, players could support the game by purchasing strictly cosmetic items, thus the micro transaction model came into being. Unfortunately, this drained development focus from improving QoL and game mechanics and fixing known issues toward creating an never ending and vast offering of cash shop items. Many of these projects also died off leaving a sort of virtual doll house where a functioning game of skill full of meaningful social interaction used to be.

That brings us to today, where the zeitgeist is returning to its origin with the original UO subscription model, steep progression curve and PvP based endgame (without loosing it all each time you die of course!). Dual Universe is not the only game to revert to the model, several other titles being announced of late are going this route as well.

So to my first point, thanks Novaquark for having a backbone and sticking to your vision, especially in this gaming era of entitlement and “dead game” FUD. Thank you for keeping the focus on game mechanics, in game economy, and QoL items such as grid snapping.


 

Second, I would like to add my input to the “dead game” FUD. This sentiment is present across every MMO at this moment in time. Its almost a meme at this point. There is not a single game that doesn’t have a video or post about how their respective game is dying. There is no game of any genre, let alone MMOs that has a strong uptrend in concurrent player spanning months. Most people will buy a game and play it for around 40 hours then move on to something new.

To put the contemporary gaming market in perspective, when many of us were told to stay at home or lost our jobs over the past couple of years, we started playing more games more often. Now that societies of the Western world have sent us all back into the world, we are seeing the number of concurrent players drop off on a YoY and MoM basis. Additionally, all games experience a massive dropoff in the months after launch. To base the overall success of Dual Universe on concurrent player metrics (from the portion of player that use Steam) sampled over a handful of weeks is absurdly short sided. If we are being honest, no player knows how many people are perma-quitting or how many new subscriptions are incoming. Claiming that there will be no playerbase within a matter of months with no data to back that up makes one appear disingenuous and spiteful, especially when doing within the in-game global chat.


 

Third, I would like to represent the contingent of players that agree with the recent economy changes. It seems like most of us are busy playing the game compared to the number of players spending their gaming hours complaining, shading and dooming on every available outlet so I thought I would present an alternative perspective here. If a player based their entire strategy, talent pool and identity into the mining unit trade, I can certainly empathize with how devastating that must be to have the carpet pulled from beneath you like that. However, give it some time and you will see that the economy will adjust to the demand for ore and you may even profit heavily in the long run. I chatted with player who claimed they were deleting T1 ores because it “wasn’t worth the storage”. There is something wrong with that and NQ knew it. What they did was react using insights that we as players don’t have access to. The developers aren’t clueless when it comes to this as many players have claimed ad nauseam. In fact, this is the first game I have ever played where the developers can effectively communicate their understanding of virtual economies. Clearly every one on the small development team has been hand picked for their integrity and knowledge.


 

Lastly, as a player that didn’t play for years before launch, this game has an incredible amount to offer a person who wants to play in an immersive open single instance of an infinitely expandable universe containing multiple worlds and local economies. It allows pure and beautiful creativity within a very stringent set of constraints (The best artists are driven by constraint, this is an actual concept that is accepted within the fine art community). The best part is, we don’t have to kill animals, zombies, aliens or other mindless AI mobiles to progress. That is honestly the most refreshing thing about this game. I seriously became desensitized to killing literal millions of humanoid and animal representations over the course of my life. If people feel unfulfilled with out being able to kill AI, there are thousands of games where you can do this in perpetuity alone or with your pals. Thanks again Novaquark for delivering the perfect game to players like myself. even if I am the only person on earth who likes this game, I still thank you and consider myself fortunate to have discovered it. Keep strong and never give in to greed or angry masses. If you guys keep it up, I am certain you will always have a paying player base even if its not in the millions.

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Whilst some would appreciate your positivity and obvious enjoyment of the game, I think many of the negative issues that are ongoing with this game are felt most by those that have been here the longest. The issues go much further back than just the most recent economy changes. As a newcomer to the game with a short window of experiencing what it has to offer and enjoying it, spare a thought for those who've been playing over the years and seeing the rug pulled from under them. 

 

I'm unfortunately in that camp and in the salty mode that comes from taking some time away from the game to gather my thoughts and seeing how it plays out in the short term.

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1 hour ago, kbruderTech said:

Second, I would like to add my input to the “dead game” FUD. This sentiment is present across every MMO at this moment in time. Its almost a meme at this point. There is not a single game that doesn’t have a video or post about how their respective game is dying.

And the same was being said about Crowfall, the servers of which shut down today...

 

I agree with the recent economy changes, I think that is not what a lot of people are pissed about. The problem is that NQ is extremely slow, and when it gives out information you can flip a coin and see if that's true and/or if they keep their word. In this case, the T1 bots not refreshing, was a bug, confirmed by the main developer, it would be fixed. Now we get a whole different story... Sure these things happen and might not seem like a big deal if you're here for only 18 days, if you're here for over 400 (or way longer). This has been the behavior of NQ since I joined at beta launch (over two years ago), say one thing, you spend much time on it (100+hrs) and they change their mind, all your work gone. At beta launch it was said that they wouldn't wipe the progress unless they absolutely had no other choice. After a year and a half they said, we have no other choice, we're wiping our persistent universe: thousands of hours down the drain. There are many examples why this behavior pisses us off when it shows up again.

 

There are people that have sat on their ore waiting for this bug to be fixed, they could have sold it for twice as much as they can sell it now IF they had known this bug would never be fixed. There are people that have been struggling hoping that this bug would be fixed, if they had known it would not be fixed, they could have moved on (to either another activity in the game or to another game altogether).

 

DU has so much potential and so much potential has been wasted by NQ over the years. You're here with your 18 day old DU life, still with rose-colored glasses, seeing only the best. There is actual proof that things are quickly going down. The concurrent player numbers on Steam is one part, the other is the amount of new players each week by the number of tiles on Have. Living a few clicks from Market 6 and seeing traffic and parked ships going down. The knowledge that some nutters like myself prepaid for a year+ on some of their accounts before the whole 'wipe' stuff happened... People still playing with DACs they got from the Kickstarter and Alpha Founders packs, when those subscriptions/DACs run out we suspect that many accounts will not be renewed. Yes, we don't know exact numbers, but we're also not just using our gut feelings because NQ stepped on our epeen...

 

If you have fun, absolutely great! I wish we all had that fun. But rebuilding your stuff for the ump-teemed time is tedious and not all that fun. I get it, during Beta launch I was having fun for months and then DU burnout set in, then patch 0.23 (the DU equivalent of Order 66) happened, I got back into the game and NQ has been slowly chipping away at our patience, sanity, and will to live... I really hope you still feel the same in two years!

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2 hours ago, kbruderTech said:

this game has an incredible amount to offer a person who wants to play in an immersive open single instance of an infinitely expandable universe containing multiple worlds and local economies

 

The universe has hardly expanded at all over the years to date. Currently, it's contracted. And NQ have said words zero about why the deleted planets have not reappeared as scheduled. Perhaps it's because they don't think there's enough of us to make new planets busy enough. Perhaps they don't have the money to spin up the extra server resources needed. Perhaps something about those surfaces has stuck in the craw of whatever process they've used to "redo" the terrain. We just don't know, and since every announcement just seems to get backtracked on, we're starting to think they don't either.

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2 hours ago, kbruderTech said:

Bonus points for no cash shop, no cosmetics, no P2W element (perhaps besides the ability to multibox by paying for multiple subscriptions). Over the years as the MMO genre moved towards P2W, cash shops, loot boxes, etc., I recall considering the industry in a race to the bottom and thought eventually all game producers would succumb to such short sided greed. Many of them did; some of them that I backed and played exclusively. Most of them are but a faint memory and no longer exist.

Your applause of no cash shop falls short.  One of the oldest slides presented for the kickstarter specified that cash shop items were intended from inception, such as the Sanctuary Territory Unit.  The fact that we're more than half a decade past that point and one still cannot externally purchase the cash shop item that is in the game is a red flag. 

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts and opinions on all of this. It is fairly rare for new players to offer detailed feedback on the forums, but that only makes it all the more valuable. Please try not to get discouraged or strongly influenced by some of the comments here. Many of us are just extremely passionate about this game, one way or another, and some have become heavily biased by our past experiences with it. Good or bad your perspective as a new player is important and we all appreciate you taking the time to provide it. Welcome to the community kbruderTech.

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LOL. Those are certainly (positive) words, OP. Believe it or not, I used to be positive back in the first alpha during the NDA period.  
 

but then i took an arrow to the knee. 
 

here are my experiences with the games I (con)currently play. 

 

NMS: can do MUCH more in game than a year ago. 

 

Star Citizen: can do much more in game than a year ago. 

 

Elite Dangerous: Can do a bit more in game than a year (well, Odyssey, 18 months) ago. But lost features such as VR and working resource gathering. 

cyberpunk: can do more in game than a year ago. Mostly massive numbers of bug fixes. 
 

stellaris: can do more in game than a year ago. Extra races features storylines. 
 

Cities Skylines: can do more in game than a year ago. New DLC every six months or so. 

 

DU: can do less in game than a year ago. Mining gone, whole planets gone… no DLC no new features, but we did get XS space fuel tanks. 
 

Spot the fundamental flaw in your argument yet?

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3 hours ago, Bobbie said:

 

 

There have been threads like that before too.

There are lots of threads like it. I try to keep my comments and posts as reasonably well thought out as possible. Any negativity I portay doesn't come from a place of hatred or wanting to see the game fail. It comes from a place of passion of wanting the game to live up to its potential. I'm not alone in this sentiment. The OP posts from a position thats positive and they're loving the game. There's nothing at all wrong with that. Both sides of the argument are valid. 

 

DU is a special game to me and when you feel attached to something in such a way, it feels all that much worse when it goes south.

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I know your saying that the people who enjoy the game don't come and post negative comments. But your numbers are dimishing at an alarming rate. Do the math. How is NQ suppose to continue to exist? Also your whole encouragement of NQ to continue to mess with the current game settings vs making new content is exactly reason most vets quit before the game came out... Long history of them doing this...

If someone straight up said there was one single person working on Dual Universe I say they are a Liar... Not at least full time their not. 

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People who love the game come and post negative comments.

 

I am one of them.

 

Hope is extended disappointment, so better have none

This game made me from sending ideas and full active fun community member into cynical [filtered]. Well done NQ

 

There is so much DU could have done better or can do better and fact that the whole roadmap for the coming decade has dances pets and a recycler on it does not go well

 

scrap 0.23, bring planets back and we will see.

 

If not, at the last dac most of us are gone and all they get from us is a Tshirt saying:  Thanks for the free playtime although it cost 280 euro's hope the server load i created was more expensive!

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Number of times you’ve brought something up doesn’t indicate anything. I think most people know that the game is nowhere near being set up right for territory warfare. Purple voxels were a much smaller thing for sure, but as such they were also reasonable to implement. And there was no reason not to have them. There are lots of reasons territory warfare doesn’t go through.

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23 minutes ago, Hecticus said:

Number of times you’ve brought something up doesn’t indicate anything. I think most people know that the game is nowhere near being set up right for territory warfare. Purple voxels were a much smaller thing for sure, but as such they were also reasonable to implement. And there was no reason not to have them. There are lots of reasons territory warfare doesn’t go through.

 

Indeed no reason not to have purple voxels or XS space fuel tanks. That's why people have been asking for them for years, just like they've been asking for many other things for years. It's bad enough that it had to take this long.

 

The real problem is when purple voxels are the highlight of new features, introduced with much fanfare and the only positive thing of note in recent memory, in an otherwise barren wasteland of a crippled "game" that nobody wants to play.

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There's nothing wrong with liking this game -- games are even more subjective than movies or books, and people have wildly different opinions on those, usually without it becoming personal or hostile. 

 

So...having a different opinion doesn't automatically make someone all about "FUD" or "entitlement gaming". That makes your post sound a lot less "objective". 

 

Also, let's be real about what "objective data" means when we're talking about this game, because it's a fact that the Steam launch has gone very poorly.

 

On one hand, you say it's unfair to judge it so soon after release....but that's like saying it's unfair to judge a movie based on its release. Release time is when they should be getting a huge influx of players!

 

Release is when Valve gives every new product guaranteed impressions on their store (it used to be at least 1 million, unsure if that's still true) -- Steam watches the metrics and gives new products more and more visibility if they have better sales. Release is the most critical time for any game, but especially for an MMO. 

 

You seem to acknowledge that by pointing out that it's normal for MMOs to have large churn in month 1 or 2. This isn't actually the case with DU. 

 

With DU, there hasn't been a massive churn because there never was a big launch -- going from ~800 active players to <~400 is not a huge drop in absolute numbers.

 

There's a world of difference between that and something like New World going from ~800k to ~80k DAUs...yes, people talk a lot about how MMOs are dying all the time and certainly a lot of that is exaggerated BS, but that doesn't mean every claim of it is automatically wrong. 

 

Beyond Steam stats (literally the only objective data we have on player numbers), look at actual reviews -- the few gaming media outlets that bothered to review tend to give it around 60%. User reviews are similar.

 

To me, this means plenty of people do enjoy the game and plenty of people can see at least some positive elements of the game....but not in enough numbers to keep things moving forward, and not with enough month-to-month retention considering NQ's pace of updates. 

 

Of course that doesn't mean that anyone can know for sure that the servers will go offline, nevermind when...but trying to claim that the game is doing well and that Steam means nothing is really not a helpful or realistic perspective.

 

You certainly haven't presented any objective data to suggest that the game is growing outside of the largest PC gaming platform in the world. Nothing wrong with liking the game and wishing more players would give it a chance...but let's not pretend that DU will magically turn itself around by NQ staying the course and doing exactly what they are doing. 

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1 hour ago, Hecticus said:

Number of times you’ve brought something up doesn’t indicate anything. I think most people know that the game is nowhere near being set up right for territory warfare. Purple voxels were a much smaller thing for sure, but as such they were also reasonable to implement. And there was no reason not to have them. There are lots of reasons territory warfare doesn’t go through.

 

Difference is warfare was a kickstarter promiss, purple voxels not, also it is debatable if people actually wanted those voxels over any other feature. Somany features have already been scrapped, even after release and still NQ pretends to do this all because the players ask this. maybe it would be helpfull if we get the list of players they actally listen too, or might it be that personell playing DU is also qualified as "players"?

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I know a bunch of people who wanted purple voxels , lol. And it’s just lol. I know territory warfare is a much bigger deal. Also a lot more complicated so I’m not put out that we got purple voxels first.
Territory warfare is probably never going to happen. Either the game will die before they can develop it, or they will realize a builder sandbox and a decent pvp game don’t really happen in the same space. Right now pvp happens in a vacuum for the most part. I know it has a bunch of enthusiasts but they are way out there in pvp space. Besides mission runners and miners getting ganged by pirates. Pvp and the rest of the game seem to be air-gapped. They haven’t figured out how to bridge that gap, and they probably never will. If they could somehow turn on territory warfare right now, I think they would lose half the player base overnight, because when people who wanted nothing to do with pvp lose all the work they put into their base or factory, they will find something else to do.

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19 hours ago, Hecticus said:


Territory warfare is probably never going to happen. Either the game will die before they can develop it, or they will realize a builder sandbox and a decent pvp game don’t really happen in the same space.

 

Sure it can happen, but choices made make it hard. Especially the use of territory and TU. Previously we were told they could be hacked and there would be a system to hack those and cores in general. But it seems the coding does not even make it possible to change hexes ore cores without a key, and there you have the issue.

planetary warfare is abundandly possible in alot of different games where you can also build but the systems and development/coding is done different, If you look at SE or empyrion it is very possible to take over others bases or ships and you can even if you do it smart, smuggle yourself on one of those and spy your way out.

 

So is warfare possible in DU? probably but it might be that the coding of hexes makes it impossible to get them set into a "war"state whare you can take them over. Same as for why have we not seen the hack into a ship feature and why was boarding prohibited?

 

All choices and for DU to mature we need a right mindset and just a stable plan behind it and it was sugested countless times but it would really help to have delegates from all factions talk together to make this work. In general PVE players dont mind PVP and PVP players are doing PVE as well because there is in space games in general no way to be 100% pvp or 100% pve.

 

We saw numerous lists made by NQ for future features, we saw roadmaps but all went extinct and now we see nothing.

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On 11/23/2022 at 6:47 AM, Jinxed said:

 

NMS: can do MUCH more in game than a year ago. 

 

DU: can do less in game than a year ago. Mining gone, whole planets gone… no DLC no new features, but we did get XS space fuel tanks. 
 

Spot the fundamental flaw in your argument yet?

Reminded me to buy NMS while still on sale.  Thanks!

IMO this has always been the problem with DU, that things get taken away at the same rate as they get added.  Only since release things have been taken away and nothing was added to replace them, which is even worse.  I was hoping that after release we would get an exciting 2 year roadmap by now with big and interesting things to motivate us to keep playing.  Perhaps genuine territory warfare, some form of interactable life on the planets to make them interesting, NPCs or other content to make cities worth building, AvA combat so you can go shoot the person who killed your ship while you were mining on a roid, etc.  Also space whales.  Space whales would be cool too.

We're all just waiting on those dancing avatars to save the day I guess!

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