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Konway

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  1. The mistake WoW made was diluting/mixing server populations, and they magnified the fallout by doing so in inconsistent ways. They've been increasing the degree to which servers are mixed over the past few expansions, with the most recent one being the worst. It started with battlegrounds, then dungeons, then raids, then world zones, and now you may even see people from other servers in the main hub cities depending on whether or not your server is "connected" to another one. In the end, they all contribute to the same problem: You rarely end up playing with the same people, and the pool of players you encounter on a regular basis is far beyond the tipping point of what could ever become a close-knit community (10,000+ as opposed to a couple thousand, at most). It's like living in a small town where everyone knows your name vs. living in New York City. The addition of Garrisons (personal forts) in the newest expansion also exacerbated the social issues because they allow players to isolate themselves. Despite the many incentives to interact with other players, the path of least resistance (isolation) always seems to be most appealing... I think almost everything about campaigns sounds great. You get to add variety to the game and continually iterate/improve while learning what works and what doesn't. The reset idea is a little like arena seasons in WoW, although obviously far more complex since it involves the environment as well. My fear isn't so much the lack of a persistent world as the lack of a persistent population. If there are hundreds or thousands of players per campaign and they can all move to disparate campaigns every 6-12 months, they'll be gone before you have a chance to get to know them. There won't be enough time for things like rivalries and alliances to form, and that's what makes PvP awesome in an MMORPG -- when you know who you're killing and you want to kill them for a reason, not just because their flag is a different color than yours. Yup, correct on both counts. They were attempting to address valid concerns by adding all those convenience features, but I think they went too far and what they sacrificed was much greater than what they gained in the end. A more nuanced approach could've made grouping easier without fracturing server communities. For example, they could've limited the dungeon-finding tool to your own server. It would've alleviated the trade chat group-finding spam without disrupting the community. Not only did they not do that, they didn't even offer it as an option.
  2. WoW had thriving communities of 1,500+ players on most servers for several years. You didn't just know the happenings of your own guild, you knew what was going on in other guilds as well. You even knew what was going on in guilds from the opposing faction, and you had friend and rival guilds on both sides. Whether you were wandering through the open world, fighting in a dungeon, or hanging out in a major city, you would always encounter familiar faces (or faces that would soon become familiar). Talk to anyone who played since day 1 and they'll tell you that's what's missing from the current game, and the Crowfall developers are walking right into the same traps. You're severely underestimating the importance of persistent server populations and the depth it brings to a game. What you're calling a community is nothing more than a guild or a group of friends. Yes, they can easily move from one campaign to the next together, but people don't need an MMORPG to play with a small group of friends -- they can do that in any multiplayer game. What makes MMORPGs truly great is the massive, persistent communities they can support. Without that, they're nothing. The WoW devs recently learned this the hard way, losing 50% of their 10 million+ subscribers in under 6 months. The Crowfall devs could benefit by learning from their mistakes...
  3. Of course I think people will form social ties during the campaigns, but my point is that most of those ties will be weakened or dissolved by the end of the campaign. No incentive structure is strong enough to hold a community of 1,000+ players together. Only server design can achieve that, and servers that last < 1 year are incompatible with that goal.
  4. I think the devs disagree about social structures being "silly". After all, they're the ones who said this: "our design focus is on the interdependence that drives strong community ties." Link: http://community.crowfall.com/index.php?/topic/1695-ask-the-team/page-14 There's nothing more fun than killing your nemesis in PvP, but it's not even possible to have a nemesis when the campaigns only last for months. By the time you get to know everyone in your campaign, it will be over. I should've worded that more clearly. When I say "constantly" I'm referring to the normal turnover of campaigns, not hopping from one campaign to another (I know they plan to make that very difficult or impossible). 3-6 months is nothing in MMO time. It took that long to reach the level cap in the first release of WoW, and then it took just as long to get to know all the guilds and players on your server.
  5. Fair enough, but the end result is still the same: Constantly hopping from one server to another fractures the playerbase and makes building a large community impossible. People will retreat into insular little cliques and guilds, and everyone else won't matter.
  6. I see what you're saying, but it sounds like a very pedantic distinction to me. When most players talk about "instances" they're not concerned about the terrain, they're concerned about whether that zone is part of a seamless world or if it can only be reached by some sort of teleportation. In Crowfall, it sounds like that will be the case -- you can't simply run to a campaign, you need to be phased into it via the menu system. Neither the world nor the players who inhabit it are persistent, right? Please correct me if I'm wrong, because this sort of structure would make it impossible for large communities to thrive. It's almost identical to the features that killed WoW's server communities...
  7. I've been doing a lot of reading on the forums and the FAQs, but their descriptions aren't very clear and there's a lot of contradictory information going around. For example, this thread says there will be no instances: http://community.crowfall.com/index.php?/topic/1695-ask-the-team/page-14 But what everyone's describing here is a game that is nothing but instances. Each EK is its own instance, each campaign is its own instance, etc. Hopefully I'm misunderstanding, because that would make for an extremely disappointing "MMORPG".
  8. Hmmm, I'm even more confused after reading that thread... Does this mean you'll need to use some kind of menu system to get from one player's Eternal Kingdom to another? I thought you would just be able to run there And what does it mean to "join a world"? Again, I got the impression that the game universe would be seamless and instance-free, meaning you could run to and from any place. When I hear 'join' I imagine there's some kind of phasing involved.
  9. Thanks for the response. This is what I was wondering about, but I'm not quite sure I understand the implications of what you're saying. Let's say I'm from Server 1 and you're from Server 2. Will our characters ever meet? And if so, where? Eternal Kingdoms? Campaigns? Both? I don't see how it would be possible for two characters from different servers to encounter each other since I read there are no instances in the game, but it sounds like you're saying it would be possible.
  10. How do you plan to build a strong community if those communities are constantly being divided by monthslong campaigns? I'm on the fence about pledging for access to the first alpha and this is my biggest concern. The social aspect is what I think makes MMOs great, and the problem with most modern MMOs (FFXIV, WoW, etc.) is that players themselves aren't "persistent" anymore. One minute, people from servers X, Y and Z are all in a dungeon together, then the next minute they're back on their home servers with no way to physically interact. The game ends up feeling like a glorified lobby system more than a persistent world. WoW got this right in the beginning (probably by accident) when you were stuck on your own server permanently. No cross-realm, no faction changes, no server transfers, etc. But over time, they slowly added those features and chipped away at the social interaction between players -- all in the name of convenience, supposedly. The resulting toxicity is visible everywhere in the game now. Dungeon runs are silent, pickup raids are filled with trolls or AFK players, city trade chat is nothing but spammers looking for attention, server forums are completely dead. Any incentive to interact with other players and form lasting friendships (or even to just act like a decent human being) has been removed, and I can't help but think that campaigns in Crowfall will have this same effect. When you know you're not going to see the same people again after the dungeon / raid / campaign ends, it becomes every man for himself. Players are no longer people, they're just tools to be used for achieving your own personal goals and then tossed aside. Please tell me this won't be the case!
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