grizzie-DN Posted April 30, 2018 Share Posted April 30, 2018 I put in a submission ticket with some ideas on gameplay and GM Maru told me to post it here for feed back. I'll post the letter I wrote, you guys disagree or agree with the points that are in it. He said the development team would look into it. So here it goes. the letter Dear NC Soft Managers, Creators, and to all others who may have a part in AION: If you let me, I would like to tell you my experience with your game. Back when you still had to buy AION off the store shelf to even play the game, I started playing. I found it to be my first experience with an online multiplayer game, and I found it to be entertaining. It took a long time to level up; but the story was engaging, the characters looked real, and the other players were friendly. I had fun. I played on and off for years, whenever, I could afford a little extra time and perhaps a little extra money. However, I still found exploring this vast creation exciting and thrilling. So much so, that I got my husband into playing the game; and he is a very inexperienced when it comes to even using the computer. At this time, I found that you made it so that other players (of the same race) couldn’t challenge someone to a duel unless they were within five levels of the player being challenged. I thought that was an excellent idea since I wanted to enjoy the gameplay without worrying about whether a character 30 levels higher was going to make play horrible by killing my character, repeatedly. We played our characters almost up to level 30. We were having fun together, even got into a legion and got to know other players. We found housing expensive and hard to acquire but looked forward to the expansion of that region and the day when we could buy something more significant than the free apartment. I taught my husband about looking out for players from the other faction; and about how that part of the game was played. We still had fun and could stay away from the other faction. I am not often quick at PvP and my husband, who struggles with the idea of a game like this, is even worse. Often fumbling over pushing the right buttons or understanding the game screen and working with it. He also found ‘flying’ to be very difficult. However, he was having fun and getting into all aspects of the game; then we started exploring the Abyss. We were careful and enjoyed it, trying to watch out for the other faction and well, having fun. Then something happened, someone from the other faction, at least 20 levels higher (if not 30) swooped out of the sky and pummeled our characters within a second. This made the play of the game undesirable. At the same time, we were trying World of Warcraft, they have many more servers than AION, and we could easily find one that was ‘safe’ from being pummeled by high-level characters where we could enjoy the game. Well, we had to quit both games because of lack of money and time; but that experience left a bad taste in our mouths. Now two or three years later, we are finding that maybe we can afford the money and time to play a game. It took some time, but I talked my husband into trying AION again, with an idea of playing the game in off hours to maximize our chances of not meeting too many of the opposite faction. AION won out because we could buy things to help pay for the game on a budget we could afford without the monthly fee. That way we would pay for your time and effort into creating the game, but not go over budget and still have fun. We got on yesterday, a Saturday, and the first red flag showed. You only had two active servers, instead of four. You still had the big long empty list, as if you are preparing to buy new servers to accommodate more players but losing two servers told me you actually lost players. The second red flag was that the Poeta dungeon was practically empty of new characters. There were a few, but I expected it to be crowded, especially with two fewer servers. There were very few messages announcing how things were going on in the Abyss (I noticed one). Plus, there were no active ‘legion recruiting.’ And on Saturday, during the daytime, that is a signal that you don’t have players that are interacting with the lower levels. A sure sign that the game is failing fast. Then during gameplay, I found that a lot of the interactive gameplay (the little side quests) was deleted. The NPCs were still there, but really, there was no reason for them to even be in the game. We couldn’t do anything with them. I thought maybe those instances were saved for people who bought the ‘Prestige Package.’ This didn’t bother me because I was thinking of looking into the package to see if they would be a good buy. Well, we finished the Poeta Dungeon before going to bed after starting late in the afternoon, a first for us. Then our characters ascended, and we got some incredible armor and weapons (Fledgling Daeva Armor and Weapons). I thought those were the answer to us getting pummeled in the Abyss. Then I read some of the forums and found that not to be true and I got a lot of answers as to why you lost so many customers. You have sacrificed a lot of things that people liked about the game. Now, I would like to say before I give some advice that I admit I don’t know what your vision for AION is; but if you are sticking with a vision, it looks like you’re trying to phase out the game. I don’t want to come back to the game. Most of the fun is lost. While talking to my husband about it, he related some of his favorite memories of the game to me (a miracle since he remembers very little at times), and those dungeons/instances are no longer there. I agree with a lot of the posts, so here are some ideas I have: Ø First, get back all the lower level ‘extra’ dungeons/instances, whatever you call them. Make exploring the game fun again. This small aspect will bring back your lost players in droves. From what I saw on the forums, some of your higher-level players that are still there are still in touch with some of your ‘lost’ players. Put the exploration back in the lower levels, advertise that it’s coming back, you’ll start getting a good amount of your ‘lost’ players back. You need that interaction at the beginning. It is no longer fun to play the lower levels. If you don’t hook and keep new players at the very beginning, they won’t stay around to experience the higher levels you're putting so much energy into developing. I’ll make this clear. You will not be able to keep new customers who will get to the high levels you’re putting your efforts into unless you make the lower levels fun. People on the forums love 3.0. That is about when I started the game and played through. There were some good ideas added after that, but there are a lot of complaints now. You need your ‘casual’ players, and you need to reward them. Put all the lower level dungeons back, with some new ones. Concentrate on making the lower levels fun again. If new players don’t get hooked from the first few minutes of play, they won’t stick around for the higher levels. Period. Ø Second, keep the prestige ticket. You do need the influx of income that could bring. However, make some extra dungeons (on all levels) for just the prestige ticket. You have yellow and blue arrows over the NPCs, make the prestige dungeons green arrows. That way, new players can have fun but know that there are extra dungeons (they must be fun dungeons, with rare drops) for those who pay the monthly fee. This will keep the free aspect of the game going, but reward those who are willing and able to pay for it. Ø Third, and I can’t say this enough, get rid of the free (Fledgling Daeva Armor/Weapons) high-ranking armor/weapons/gifts, etc. (save the gifts for a special event); and make crafting viable and an absolute necessity again. That whole idea seems like a slap in the face. All the little adventures and making crafts are enjoyable. Plus, no one likes to look the same. Making and earning things gives players pride. I don’t even get or know what the ‘lunar’ thing is. Games like this are sometimes the second life where people can succeed in ways they often can’t in real life. They need to ‘earn’ a living. Make it so that you can’t succeed in getting Kinah without the crafting, therefore, can’t get the good stuff again without it. Put all the original crafts and how they interacted with the game, back in. ‘Free unearned stuff’ is annoying. Challenging earned rewards are addictive and money makers for you. Ø Fourth, letting extremely higher-level characters kill lower-level characters no matter what destroys game fun. No matter where a character is at, regular maps, the abyss or other areas; make it so that they can’t fight another character unless they are within five levels of that character. It doesn’t matter whether they are of different factions or not. If asmodians want to go challenge elyos in their homeworld, or the other way around, okay, it’s part of the game. But a 50 level or 60 level character shouldn’t be able to exact revenge if their team members get beat at the lower levels. Let the lower levels stick up for themselves. They’ll learn that way. It gives everybody experience, a better chance at succeeding, and the game is fun for everyone, except the real-life bullies who make the game a misery for everybody else. Trust me; if you want new players, you want to keep the game positive and fun for everybody. Same for the abyss and other areas. New, lower level players need to feel safe to have fun. Ø Fifth, make gathering to 100, 200, 300, etc., take less time (half the time). It takes too long to do that to work a craft. This will increase the fun of your game. Also, making crafting the higher end stuff a little harder (i.e: based a lot on chance to get the super-duper armor or weapon for each level) is a great idea. It still needs to be a ‘little’ easier though and not so expensive. Which brings me to my last point. Ø Six, make getting housing and making crafts less expensive. Maybe two players/characters can buy a house. Plus, expand your housing development so more characters can buy housing. It was an excellent idea to make money; but very few characters can afford it or get it, there’s not enough affordable inventory. Put more effort into that area, restructure the cost and that will make the game even more fun. Why have I tried to give you all these ideas? Because I loved the game a few years back when I was trying to figure it out. It was fun and exploring was terrific. Please get it back to the original and work from there. Get the lower levels, crafting, earning potentials, and housing back in order, and the game will be fun once more. The story is intriguing. We would love to figure it out. One more thing, interact with your players, do surveys and announce this significant change (if you plan to do anything like this). They will get a hold of their ‘lost’ friends and bring people back. As for my husband and me, we will start exploring World of Warcraft tomorrow. Sorry, your game has lost its appeal. But we will watch to see if you repair the lower levels, we really like the idea of paying only what we can afford, and I want to see the story through. It really helps, and we can have fun. Sincerely, Grizzie Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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