Author Topic: Why do players say goodbye to Arctic?  (Read 925 times)

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Alixus

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Why do players say goodbye to Arctic?
« on: April 09, 2021, 10:38:18 PM »
   Why do players say goodbye to Arctic? (https://docs.google.com/document/d/11krSGx0r9BHGuUCNdJuOk-fqGS6mf9Ip3CfKCMMgLw4/edit# - formatted version)
   I started playing Arctic around 1996, when I was a student. I spent 8-12 hours every day on  Arctic. Now I am 45 years old. I have a family and 3 children. I have my own business and about 20 employees, which I have successfully managed for many years. Obviously, my lifestyle has changed dramatically and I can't play in the same way as before.
   This way of life requires psychological relief. Online games are not a bad option; they are  better than drinking  alcohol for sure. Obviously, I won't have much time to play. I usually have 2-4 hours at the end of the working day, or in the evening before going to bed. And at any time I can be interrupted  for 10-15 minutes by family or work matters that cannot be delayed. I am sure that many players of my age have a similar situation. I understand that this is not  typical for the majority  of online game players, but Arctic has a special situation.
   The main problem for  Arctic is a constant decrease in the number of online players. But in order to maintain interest in any  online game, it is necessary to have a sufficient amount of players online: (1) To communicate, share experiences and knowledge. (2) To show you how cool you are compared  to those “crabs”. (3) To be able to sell a piece of equipment or a spellbook. I am sure that, with a decrease in the average number of people online to less than 5-10, even the most regular players will not be interested in playing.
   Where can new players in Arctic  come from? I think the percentage of completely new players is statistically insignificant, if there are any such players at all. There is a small percentage of people who constantly play, and a huge, many times larger number of those who played before and for some reason stopped. This huge reserve of old players is the only source of increasing the player base. People are constantly trying to get back to the game and fit it into their current adult lifestyle. But they can no longer play the way they used to play in their youth and the way that hard-core players continue to play.
   In the Arctic there is both an "Arcade" and a "Кnowledge " aspect to the game. The "Arcade" part is the ability to quickly respond to certain phrases and type commands on the keyboard very quickly and without errors. This is interesting and can be mastered at a young age. In adulthood it requires effort and a lot of time to learn and maintain, and it just becomes not so interesting and annoying. The "Knowledge" part is the knowledge of the game, monsters, and zones. Actually, because of this part, a significant part of the old players returns.
   As a company manager, I quite often set rules and instructions for my employees. And these rules will be sabotaged if employees do not understand the purpose for which they are introduced.
   Is there any fault in  the fact that some players catch on to  the "arcade" part automatically without difficulty ? Well, apart from the fact that few old-school players regret  that they spent so much time mastering and maintaining their skills,  someone who tries to start playing again often  does not want to spend months and years mastering typing and speed reading  first!
   What effect did the Arctic staff  intend  to achieve when they  started to enforce  the “no automation” rule? Perhaps they thought it was possible to force an adult to comply with the rules, which from his/her point of view (1) haven’t made  sense for a long time, and (2) the observance of which either has  not been particularly monitored or has  repeatedly changed as the situation in the game changed. So far, the only negative consequences with  these measures that I can see is the reduction of the number of returning players.
   Is there any other, more important problem than the constant decline in the number of players? Now we have a mud with absolutely no aggression  between players, a  huge number of zones, and not to mention they are open-to-hit  more often than occupied. There is no player killing at all. The store is overstocked with decent equ. You can just buy the most elite spells or whine on discord and  someone will bring them to you.
   So  who really cares if someone has a bot mode or not? What terrible thing happens if someone (1) runs to calm the child or to take an urgent call from the boss, leaving their characters for 10-15 minutes, and (2) understands that  their characters  can probably survive by themselves, fending off some aggro mobs? I will comment on  an even bigger controversy : who really cares that a person entered the game not with 2 characters, but with 4, 6 or even 8 characters at the same time? I know players who perfectly played 5-10 years ago with 8 characters at the same time and nothing terrible happened with our mud. Most of the other players just didn't even know it and didn't notice. Someone in discord wrote that a player farmed a high-zone with his bots. Oh, what a horror! Has it ruined someone's game?
   To be clear , for some odd reason, man-hours are spent now on the development and control of measures that do not lead to anything useful.
   But there were positive and sensible changes in Arctic, weren’t there? Once upon a time, it became  officially acceptable  to play 2 characters at the same time, and that  was quite a long time ago now. Perhaps the next stage has  come, when it makes sense to remove such restrictions against automation altogether.  After all, there will be more characters online as a result, and as such it will be psychologically more comfortable and pleasant for everyone to play in an increasingly more populated setting.
   By the way, there are  attempts to make automation at the level of the game itself. Such skills as fence, guard, breach, etc. - have a “turn on and forget” appeal. Maybe it is more reasonable not to prohibit automation, but rather to make a trained skill acquire a battle-auto feature: to auto assist, kick, cast, etc.? So this  is a long-standing trend in the development of text games like Arctic: to simplify the amount of skill-commands to type, which in turn will  attract new players. Since these further changes have  not found their place in Arctic’s code, players are forced to develop them independently at the level of their gaming  interfaces.
   But players  who returned to Arctic have neither the time nor the desire to master the “arcade” part of the game, even though the “knowledge” part continues to fascinate them. As a result, they quickly lose interest in the game and leave after a couple of months, tired of constantly switching between windows and  endlessly entering the same commands (due to constant typos and the inability to leave their characters in the game for family and work matters even for 10-15 minutes).
   And instead of helping us at the level of the game, we only hear the phrases like, "If you can't manually control two characters, just play one character...", «You are abyssed, because you are using auto-assist and auto-healing. You can not play without cheating?».
   What kind of answer could parents earning a living give as a response ? Can they say, “Yes, sir, I will play one character manually,” yet their busy life pulls them away from their window of game-time, so much that they are  not capable of enjoying the game!? No, they are instead forced to say this  in response - Goodbye, Arctic!
  Without a doubt, the rules are important. But it's stupid to follow the old rules if the situation around you has changed. Perhaps we should accept that the Arctic is no longer a group game. Then the new rules should be discussed and adopted.

Lloth

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Re: Why do players say goodbye to Arctic?
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2021, 12:54:37 AM »
You had me in the first half, trucker Joe. I'm not gonna lie.