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Costello's Avatar

11.14.2012 , 09:01 PM | #6
My experience with MMO's often shows a predictable timeline.

The Pre-launch Phase: Devs don't tell the players much of anything. What is told is often a few well known facts about the game. An example of this was WAR with every interview being about RvR and whaaaaa or whatever noice orcs make. Generally hype builds well during this peroid cause people assume that despite no mention of end game or crafting or whatever it will be there.

Launch: Thanks to a lot of sales (maybe generated by the hype or just the MMO gamer who want to get in on the ground level) the devs feel that they know what they are doing. Communication dries up cause people are in game and not on the forums. If you want to know what the game is about get in game and play it. And the devs can show large sale figures showing they know what they are doing and they don't have to listen to stupid players.

2 months to 6 months: People start asking the questions the haters had been asking pre-launch. Where is this much needed feature or what is being done about this or when will there be new content. Subs start to drop off in this period as the game doesn't meet the vastly hyped expectations. Whatever the reason people start getting feed up and the forums become active the hate starts. Many think back to pre-launch when people were asking about features that should have been implanted or at least discussed rather than the devs going over the same few selling points.

6 months +: Subs are falling and something needs to be done. Not fix the game of course that would cost money and time (neither of which are quick easy fixes) so the dev posts appear about greater communication. The remaining community is promised better communication. Most notably this happened after the nightmare that was the NGE. We had weekly or monthly updates, plans for improvements etc. Yes it would be a year before all classes got expertise but promises of greater communication.

Free to play: The communication becomes one way. A monthly state of the game letter is issued to explain what is going to happen soon. Long term players are not as interesting as short term players who play through the content purchase items/buffs/etc to make this easier then go elsehwere until something new appears.