ArthurHawkwing

WURM and Steam

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I would like to point out, one of those 14 new villages on Indy is mine founded by an alt. 

Whilst it may have happened after the steam release it wasn't a new player, in fact my alt was made a couple months ago. 
 

So who knows how many of those 55 settlements are not actually new players. 😕

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You also forget that new players see how dead the old servers are which undoubtably affects their decision to go to the new maps. Who wants to play an mmo with few players after all.

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I recall those predicting an exodus and terminal decline of "old" servers. Now they are mocking and bitching that there are not as many new participants going here. Somehow unable to admit that they were wrong. Not to speak about those with nice tries to review Wurm down on steam.

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17 hours ago, Haseroths said:

You also forget that new players see how dead the old servers are which undoubtably affects their decision to go to the new maps. Who wants to play an mmo with few players after all.

 

You've just discovered the secret why Epic is so dead after 5 years. No one wants to play on a dead server or establish a deed there (en masse). A dead server does more damage to the game than good. 

 

Old Freedom's current recipe is just like Epic's now. Do you think anything will really change?

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, elentari said:

Old Freedom's current recipe is just like Epic's now. Do you think anything will really change?

 


"The Quest stands upon the edge of a knife. Stray but a little, and it will fail, to the ruin of all. Yet hope remains while the Company is true." 

 

56 *new* settlements on Southern Freedom Isles since the Steam launch, (at least one of which is Kingsponge's so doesn't count cause he ain't new)

 

The Night Is Dark. But Hope is Not Yet Lost.

 

Lord-of-the-Rings-e1374177438785.jpg

 

 

 

 

Edited by Brash_Endeavors

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23 minutes ago, Brash_Endeavors said:

The Night Is Dark. But Hope is Not Yet Lost.

 

I really really really hope we can still be saying that in 3 months time.

 

However, from the readings I have taken so far (tracking old cluster population only) the results are not promising (The number is 254 at time of posting (out of a population of 1437), so <1/5 of the population is on the old cluster)

 

15 hours ago, Ekcin said:

I recall those predicting an exodus and terminal decline of "old" servers. Now they are mocking and bitching that there are not as many new participants going here. Somehow unable to admit that they were wrong.

 

If we see at least 300+ players on the old cluster (on average) within 3 months, I will be overjoyed to admit I am  wrong.  However, so far it's definitely not looking like that will be happening, which doesn't make me happy.

 

2 hours ago, elentari said:

No one wants to play on a dead server or establish a deed there (en masse). A dead server does more damage to the game than good.

 

This, right here, is one of the keystones of my hypothesis.  I'd make a stronger case, but I could not locate any peer reviewed literature on the impact "low population" has on player retention in an mmo (too many conflating factors, for example WHY was the population low in the first place?).  However, there is anecdotal evidence to suggest that it does have a negative impact on player retention, and it is enough to warrent funding for a study in the area, should one capable of rooting out the confounding factors be designed.

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Posted (edited)

 

1/5th on the older servers is to be expected, we just added thousands of new players to the Northern servers which YES are going to get the lions share.

 

300+ new players on the older servers within 3 months is probably NOT a reasonable expectation, and I wouldn't anticipate that.

 

Reversing the decline is the first goal not suddenly going back  many  years in time overnight. There are many many many factors in the decline, and it is going to be a battle to actually grow the older servers again. Not impossible, not easy. Without the Steam launch and new server? Probably hopeless. Yes it is a gamble that starting a new server will actually make things better and not worse.

 

But dozens of new settlements on the Southern servers is surely one very hopeful sign. 

 

 

Edited by Brash_Endeavors
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2 hours ago, Brash_Endeavors said:

300+ new players on the older servers within 3 months is probably NOT a reasonable expectation, and I wouldn't anticipate that.

You misunderstand, I just mean a population of 300+, not 300+ new players!

 

No-one is expecting that!

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Posted (edited)

Whew! 

 

Ok  300+ average in three months might well be possible, we are at 284 right now:

 

Chaos 18/800
Independence 60/800
Deliverance 26/800
Exodus 21/800
Celebration 19/800
Pristine 9/800
Release 28/800
Xanadu 103/800
 

 

 

Edited by Brash_Endeavors

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2 hours ago, Etherdrifter said:

I'd make a stronger case, but I could not locate any peer reviewed literature on the impact

Come on now, you know this is the internet. If it's posted it's true! What's with this "peer reviewed" stuff?? 😉

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Posted (edited)

>>  "If we see at least 300+ players on the old cluster (on average) within 3 months, I will be overjoyed to admit I am  wrong.  "  

 

 

360 ingame right now on Southern servers

(yes that's not an "average", still perhaps a hopeful sign?)

 

Chaos 27/800
Independence 96/800
Deliverance 28/800
Exodus 21/800
Celebration 20/800
Pristine 15/800
Release 20/800
Xanadu 133/800
 
Edited by Brash_Endeavors

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Etherdrifter said:

..

If we see at least 300+ players on the old cluster (on average) within 3 months, I will be overjoyed to admit I am  wrong.  However, so far it's definitely not looking like that will be happening, which doesn't make me happy.

 

This, right here, is one of the keystones of my hypothesis.  ..

 

At least, you became bit more modest. 9 months ago circa, you spoke about a "model", now it is a "hypothesis". The "model" predicted under 200 players by end of the (last) year. In fact, old servers' population has proven fairly resilient and has even gone up significantly since. And if I am not wrong, you and a few others also predicted an exodus and bleeding out of the old servers because of the steam launch. Now the doomsaying concentrates on a lesser influx into the old server cluster.

 

I do not say that the situation is ideal, but there are over 300 players online at a time on the old servers during weekends (granted, not every time of the day), which is a lot for the summer season compared to 2017/18, not to speak about 2019 when the situation indeed looked critical sometimes.

 

There are other signs, rift participation for example. In 2019, rifts with less than 5 participants occurred fairly often, now there are not few rifts with 40+ players. The average time for completion significantly dropped. There are ways more active players on the old cluster than a year before.

 

I am not sure about the retention of the large numbers of new players, but there will be quite some certainly. And it is well possible that more of them consider the old cluster with its developped infrastructure, especially since the visibility of Wurm has greatly improved, not only on steam, but also on Twitch and youtube. And reviews are getting more and more positive, the revenge reviews of disgruntled former players are buried under real experience reports, some of them critical but constructive anyway.

 

But as said, admitting to have been wrong is not so easy.

 

Edit: One word about Epic. Generally, I find that Epic still has potential, especially for avowed carebears who do not want to spill their hard won affinities to gankers, and therefore avoid Chaos. The main obstacle for some, maybe casual PvP fun on Epic for Freedomers is the lack of skill retransfer. I still hope the devs find a formula which is fair taking in account shorter timers etc. but does not render all Epic efforts useless.

Edited by Ekcin
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1 hour ago, Ekcin said:

 

At least, you became bit more modest. 9 months ago circa, you spoke about a "model", now it is a "hypothesis". The "model" predicted under 200 players by end of the (last) year. In fact, old servers' population has proven fairly resilient and has even gone up significantly since. And if I am not wrong, you and a few others also predicted an exodus and bleeding out of the old servers because of the steam launch. Now the doomsaying concentrates on a lesser influx into the old server cluster.

 

I do not say that the situation is ideal, but there are over 300 players online at a time on the old servers during weekends (granted, not every time of the day), which is a lot for the summer season compared to 2017/18, not to speak about 2019 when the situation indeed looked critical sometimes.

 

There are other signs, rift participation for example. In 2019, rifts with less than 5 participants occurred fairly often, now there are not few rifts with 40+ players. The average time for completion significantly dropped. There are ways more active players on the old cluster than a year before.

 

I am not sure about the retention of the large numbers of new players, but there will be quite some certainly. And it is well possible that more of them consider the old cluster with its developped infrastructure, especially since the visibility of Wurm has greatly improved, not only on steam, but also on Twitch and youtube. And reviews are getting more and more positive, the revenge reviews of disgruntled former players are buried under real experience reports, some of them critical but constructive anyway.

 

But as said, admitting to have been wrong is not so easy.

 

Edit: One word about Epic. Generally, I find that Epic still has potential, especially for avowed carebears who do not want to spill their hard won affinities to gankers, and therefore avoid Chaos. The main obstacle for some, maybe casual PvP fun on Epic for Freedomers is the lack of skill retransfer. I still hope the devs find a formula which is fair taking in account shorter timers etc. but does not render all Epic efforts useless.

 

I'll be a little sharp with you here and say that I have mentioned that all my projections and "models" are longer term ones (i.e. 3/4 months down the line), so attempting to draw conclusions now would be foolish at best.  Short term I was definitely wrong, I assumed that both clusters would get a boost, which is not the case, the old cluster has actually lost out!  This may, in part, be because of COVID workers returning though.

I stand by my hypothesis that the old server will "bleed out" players (as in, "old players will leave in large numbers and new player retention will not make up those numbers") over time; I just really hope I am wrong because that would be an absolute disaster.  There is a little theory backing me up mind:

"If the population of socialisers drops below a certain critical level, then the chain reaction reverses and almost all the players will leave" (Bartle 1996)

 

This is based upon the notion that wurm is primarily a social game; something strongly suggested by anecdotal statements on long term retention with "the community" being cited as the main pull.  While Bartle was talking specifically about MUDs here, one would be remiss to mention that Wurm is very much just a MUD with graphics pinned on top.  We should also note that Bartle's ideas are not above critique.

 

However, this combined with the aformentioned anecdotal evidence of "ghost town" retention would support the theory of bleed out over a longer period.


I'm not sure what data you're using for 2017/2018- both of those were over 390 in all my records.  We've declined since then, not grown (mostly thanks to the COVID-19 peaks).  2019's most dire monthly average was 264 players on average according to my records, and that was worrying; and we're quite near that for the old cluster (since my playtimes have been broadly the same there is no question on the measure being too inaccurate).

 

In general, the negative reviews are being buried under a fair few positive reviews, however the top reviews are still predominently negative (mostly focusing on the poor free-to-play aspect of wurm).  Feel free to quote my opinion on wurm's current free to play and what I said the main complaint would be ;)

 

 

Epic is just a special case of "If the number of killers gets too high, then the achievers will be driven off, which will cause the number of killers to fall also (through lack of victims)" (Bartle 1996).  Here, achievers generally play on PvE since it is more advantageous in terms of skillgain (the primary competitive component of wurm), and none play on epic since achievers also like to show off their achievements (and most of the population is on freedom).  This means there is no "prey" for killers, so the server dies.

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Posted (edited)

Anecdotal only, but from a thread on reddit:

 

>

A friend and I started on Independence 3 weeks ago. Tonnes of room, the best part? Looting people's decayed houses!

Would be great to have more people on Indy, shake things up a bit.

 

I know there are some players who came before July 24, due to the steam launch publicity, and so started on older servers. I met a couple of these. Many probably skipped over to Harmony/Melody/Defiance on July 24, but I am sure some over the past month found new homes and new friends on the southern servers that they were loathe to give up, and so stayed on southern servers as a direct result of the steam launch.

 

 

 

Edited by Brash_Endeavors
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On 7/25/2020 at 12:02 PM, ArthurHawkwing said:

Dev's, Rolf, Game Chest Folks: For the love of God and before Steam starts getting bad reviews over lag and you start loosing new folks, make another Island on Northern Servers, spread us out to about 600 per server please. this lag and bad reviews will kill WURM off.

I couldn't agree more. The longer the wait the more people we lose.

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On 8/1/2020 at 6:51 PM, Kingsponge said:

I would like to point out, one of those 14 new villages on Indy is mine founded by an alt. 

Whilst it may have happened after the steam release it wasn't a new player, in fact my alt was made a couple months ago. 
 

So who knows how many of those 55 settlements are not actually new players. 😕

 

Also, one made by my alt when I had an off-deed mine break. 

Edited by Platyna

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Make 3 more small servers, the size of Melody.  If/when population drops off, merge them into one server with an island in each of 4 quadrants.  

 

Disperses the current crowd onto smaller servers to relieve the lag but allows easier integration later.

 

When they integrate there could even be some extra islands introduced between the main ones, more land to encourage the separated populations to draw together in exploration.

 

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8 minutes ago, TheTrickster said:

Make 3 more small servers, the size of Melody.

 

God no

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From Wilczans' link and the review of Wurm, small marketing hint for devs/owners/whomever made the review: would be nice if you left a comment showing you're engaged with your potential/actual audience.

 

It's quite a good balanced review of Wurm, which honestly is a rare gem in today's gaming journalism frought with either bought reviews, strong emotions or PC culture out of whack.

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MMORPG, PCGamer, RockPaperShotgun have been decent sites for us in the past. Not sure if they still have their reviewers who periodically play Wurm, but certainly good to keep in close contact with publications willing to take Wurm seriously. Some other site, I think it resurfaced a few times under various names but I forget its current reincarnation.  (edit: I am thinking of MassivelyOP, which has already done some very very nice recent stories)

 

Also ANY website that comes up in a search for "Sandbox Games." This includes sites like:

 

We also should be keeping tabs on the hundreds of smaller  YouTube channels that feature sandbox games, not ONLY our favorite Twitch streamers (dear to our hearts as they are!). Big shocker, not everyone uses twitch... Weem for instance has done some lovely lovely videos on Wurm. Not a huge audience on some of these (only a 32k userbase, not millions), and I think he is currently having some serious health issues,  but make sure these 10k+ reviewers at LEAST all get press releases (those are FREE!) and any assistance they need! Gamester4Life has done literally HUNDREDS of videos on Wurm, and we always get people who came here from his channel, yet seems to get snubbed by the PR team. The coverage can slowly ad up in ways that cost Code Club little to nothing ... Some youtubers, like Nookrium, have many thousands of regular viewers and specialize in smaller and more complex indie sandbox games

 

Contact Russian, German & Polish youtubers, not just English ones, I am sure we can get some RU/DE/PL players who can assist. 

 

Contact youtubers who did nice pieces on Wurm five or 10 years ago, make sure they know Wurm of today is worth a new look. 

 

You can do a lot of stuff for free, don't just "hang out" with the same old crowd on Twitch and Discord all the time ...

 

AND the best part is  -- players can all do this too! Don't just dump everything on Retrograde!

Message people who seem like they would be sympathetic to the Wurm type of game, let them know what an underappreciated gem it is!

 

Edited by Brash_Endeavors
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On 8/1/2020 at 7:25 PM, Haseroths said:

You also forget that new players see how dead the old servers are which undoubtably affects their decision to go to the new maps. Who wants to play an mmo with few players after all.

Ignoring Haseroths' venom eager to see Wurm fail he certainly has a point that the state of the old servers is not really welcoming newcomers.

 

Right this morning I realized a new player complaining about the dead cities in Wurm. Unfortunately, he did that in GL-Freedom, where the most toxic oldtimer chatters love to enjoy themselves, and consequently gave productive advices like "play fortnite", with the consequence that this player gave up and logged out, though at least one advised him to venture out finding a spot to develop his character. Unfortunately, nobody hinted him to Freedom chat with a ways more friendly athmosphere, and it does not seem that anybody tried to contact him (I tried but he was gone then).

 

Maybe the old farts in GL should rethink their habits a bit in these times.

 

Disclaimer: I do not want to badmouth those people, often I enjoy the bit cynical athmosphere, and I experienced a lot of advice, help, and encouragement from GL regulars. The ways ppl are communicating there is often also amusing, and I in no way want to castrate it towards political correctness. But still the regulars should rethink their habits, and show bit more responsibility.

Edited by Ekcin

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2 hours ago, Ekcin said:

Maybe the old farts in GL should rethink their habits a bit in these times.

 

Disclaimer: I do not want to badmouth those people, often I enjoy the bit cynical athmosphere, and I experienced a lot of advice, help, and encouragement from GL regulars. The ways ppl are communicating there is often also amusing, and I in no way want to castrate it towards political correctness. But still the regulars should rethink their habits, and show bit more responsibility.

 

I usually turn of the gchat for that very reason. I am ###### tired of the "doomsday" comments every 5 minutes, "go play another game" , "Is wurm dead yet? ", etc.  Motherclucker, if you really don't like wurm then go play another game, stop ranting on gchat on how much you hate wurm. These people sound like drug addicts that hate the drug but keep coming back to the dealer.

 

If you do like the game and want it to thrive then be decent to other players. At this point people being toxic in gchat is contributing to the zero influx of new players on the old servers, both freedom and epic.

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The South cluster will have several things going for it in a few months which might make new players up North regret their choice of server, namely, Rifts and Uniques are on a server basis. So North has two rifts, South has a ton more. Perhaps the devs wil do something about that up North, but otherwise going to a rift can be a real pita up North as it's far less likely to find one that's good for your timezone, while down South that's hardly an issue due to how many we get. The amount of uniques per player is also way higher down South.

 

Of course all of that can be addressed for the folks up North by connecting the two clusters once the players up North have enough skill to partake in said gameplay. Or you could give the North cluster a ton more servers, with the added risk of it becoming as thinly populated as the South cluster down the line (yeah, bad idea for obvious reasons).

 

Overall I'm really not that worried about the South population due to the amount of Rifts and Uniques we have compared to North, that's bound to both attract and upset a lot of new players up North in a few months (Veterans already have accounts in the South cluster so it hardly matters for them).

 

 

On 8/4/2020 at 5:41 AM, TheTrickster said:

Make 3 more small servers, the size of Melody.  If/when population drops off, merge them into one server with an island in each of 4 quadrants.  

 

Disperses the current crowd onto smaller servers to relieve the lag but allows easier integration later.

 

When they integrate there could even be some extra islands introduced between the main ones, more land to encourage the separated populations to draw together in exploration.

 

 

The devs already responded to such merger ideas over the last couple of years, it's not feasible due to way too many issues on a database level.

Edited by Ecrir

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