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The Decline of MMOs case study Plarium Part 1

15 Replies
Oracle
22 December, 2016, 1:43 AM UTC

What are the main causes of the malady of plarium games? More and more players each day go out and shout their disappointment on the part of plarium, curse the glory and honour that is manifest in their name and cast away their shield and armour disappearing forever, to the shame of their subject and to those in their objective, to the mist of one player based RPG games, never to be seen again. I found myself one of these players. For I too have shamed the Gods, I too have spit on the graves of the battle lost warrior, and went into a tirade bellowing in disgust how they, in their stupidity and foolishness, have left to us the barren two edged dream. Sans hope I found myself back, back again, back to such a course, one that I have foreseen leading to my demise. One that will in no doubt lead to plarium destruction. Such was our inheritance, such is the inheritance left to us by battle lost warriors.

Causes

1. Development

A} Overspending on colour

Plarium spent more money on surface quality including intellectual property, Voice overs, Characters than on depth quality including, and not limited to gameplay, events, and bugs fixes. All Plarium games are made to look super colourful, but less is spent on maintaining and making the game fun. These is prevalent on the issue of bugs and battlegrounds complains.

The side effect of such and act affect not only Plarium, but other companies also. Games that have bad surface quality, but superb gameplay are side-lined as players have been natured to expect more colour from a game. These in turn drive the cost of making a new game even more expensive than the last.

B} Overspending on marketing

Plarium have recently bought the beautiful image of Fox to use on marketing the game. These cost money. A great deal of money is spent on gaining more players to try and justify A}. These result in Plarium calculating the success of their game by using numbers of signups. ‘’3.5 Million players have signed up’’ is of far value, compared to ‘’15000 players have rated our game on average of 4.5 stars’’, or ‘’we get 5 good job compliment everyday on our forum.

These is dangerous. Hard core players aren’t given any value.

2. Cloning

High development cost result in clones. You can find clones in every genre, every world in all MMORPG games. A complete game engine will be reused to create a new game. The only thing that differ will be the world Brown (stormfall), Blue ( Nords). Quest which are the fundamental principle of gameplay, the drivers of fun are cloned again and again, Nothing new same principles, same same same. PvP and Battleground tournament are reinvented again and again, by mincing words, and changing one or two rewarding system those two quests are expanded and regenerated. PvP in beacon, PvP in fort, Harmlets ect. SAME SAME SAME.

These leads to boredom and repeat winners on the part of players. On Plarium and other associate part the consequences are dire. If players leave one MMO and find that the next play exactly the same, they will leave the game and not return to another MMO.

Player type imbalance

All player types are needed if an MMO is to be healthy. For example, an MMO with achievers but no socialisers will shed achievers, because low-level achievers will find that there are no players that they are “better” than and so leave. Likewise, an MMO with socialisers but no achievers will mean players have little to do and will leave. Plarium have two main sources of player imbalance.

A} In game purchases

In games purchases result in a very cheezy community. To achievers any payment for any gameplay-affecting item or service is pay-to-win. These model gaining revenue in games results in class generation. Based solely on the size of players wallet. The bigger a players pockets is, the better he/she will be no matter what. Coining results in 4 classes of players.

1. Elites.

They have the biggest wallet. They don’t understand or care about the game mechanics, cheats or How to. Communication keep them more glued to the game, than game content ( Soft-core socialisers) They have little or no time to grind and so rely on the black market clicks to progress. They are the winners when they choose to be.

2. Monarchs

They have a limited wallet. They will use whatever game mechanism available to progress faster. They tend to ally together, produce out of games software’s, calculators. They are the best grinders, but only do so to empress chatters. Hard-core socialisers.

                        3. Chatters

They are the common socialisers, and the core of the game. They are highly active, and have the greatest expertise in one or more game mechanics, so they seldom coin. Hard core achievers.

                    4. Common folks

They are poor, have periods of high low activity, thus include bots, level 1-40 and alts. They never coin have some level of expertise in games. Potential hard-core achievers.

Pay-to-win attracts socialisers but puts off achievers (except cheating achievers). Achievers are the core audience for MMOs; they’ve long been abandoning them for single-player games. When an MMO is designed around a revenue model rather than around fun, it doesn’t have a long-term future.

 A} Content.

These include the depth of the game, in game events, quests and levelling. A game more focused on PvP will shed socialisers, while a game more focused on PvE will shed achievers. Game events and quests that start in 8H00 in USA and 00H00 in China will be disadvantageous towards one group of players. A game that divide players into class based on level will.

Players Expectations

These has more to do with the politics of the real world than in game issue. Simply put players have been groomed and natured to be given, to forever take and be given. Fun is never something one must work hard to get. It must be given on. So every time a new content is introduced, players see it as a price tag on top of fun. To them fun on plarium game is sold, and at a very expensive price. So players will complain of how p2w destroy game balance, and in the same time shun plarium for selling ingame purchases at such a high cost. Most players can’t or won’t see beyond the short-term. If a feature has a short-term disadvantage and a long-term advantage, they will not go through the pain to reach the gain. Likewise, if a feature has a shortterm advantage and a long-term disadvantage, they will take the gain then leave when the pain comes (then in all likelihood decry competing MMOs that don’t have the very feature that caused them to leave)


M'lord, I've put some cheese in the place of a word that's rather ungracious!

Let's not swear with those words!
Gedleyihlekisa: Oracle the postremogeniture
UTC +2:00
IronApex Turok
22 December, 2016, 3:49 AM UTC

the bad thing is..... plarium us the cloner. they didnt even spend a bunch of money of color and look. 


thats one of the reasons for so many bugs and so few fixes. the developers didnt write the code.  they dont know it. so to fix it they have to go digging. 
UTC +0:00
Gadheras
22 December, 2016, 9:38 AM UTC


I seen the future and sadly Stormfall is a relic of the past, and I don't think we i ncluded in it.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7h74CF18MLo


Its good for them they want to make something new, but when looking at the suggestion forum, and actual patches and content added to Stormfall. Lets face it, its very little dev time we are getting.


I'm inclined to believe we are not worth the effort, because we don't bring in enough, but we are not worth let go either, because hey pocket change. We like livestock grassing on the pasture.


Its very sad, because I really believe a game such as Stormfall, could been made great with the proper handle and care. With their mobile platform they are apparently willing to sink in what it takes.


Tbh, I would love to see entire Stormfall got redone into a new engine, independent of flash, and with another "payment" model that would encourage players of spending, not make the constant drive to spend a burden.



UTC +2:00
djmoody
23 December, 2016, 6:45 AM UTC

You can boil it down to one thing.....

Piracy.

No one could make any money out of the Asian games market due to rampant piracy. One day someone had the bright idea of making the games free to access but charging for micro transactions for small things within the games. Piracy beaten.

Rather than a great day for the gaming industry, revenue streams assured, it actually turned out to be the start of a decline.

Developers soon learnt that customers don't make rational decisions about their hobbies. Some people would spend tens of thousands on pixels that previously people have been charging 40 bucks for. Micro transactions =  a gold mine. Subscriptions games soon all but died out.

Pay to win exploitation began and is being honed into an art form by business men.

Most games are so unbalanced and unfair that there is no point playing them at all. This set of Plarium games most definitely falls into the pointless to take part in category but of course you only learn that from bitter experience.

There is little that customers can do about it as virtually every developer follows the same exploitative format. There is no choice at the moment, no way for customers to vent their frustation and let their money do the talking.

Well bar one.... to completely quit playing MMO's.

This is an industry that is eating itself. It's only when these guys have damaged the entire market so badly they will wake up. Then people will go back to first and foremost making great games that people enjoy. At the moment they just focus attention on cheap cons (e.g prize draw) to fleece short term cash.

It will all end in tears, because the competition for crappy games isn't other crappy games, it's actually other forms of entertainment. That is when these business guys will work out they aren't as smart as they think they are right now.

Everyone has a right to an opinion. No one has a right to their opinion being respected by other if it can't be backed up with rational and logic explanation
UTC +0:00
Gadheras
23 December, 2016, 9:14 AM UTC

djmoody said:



This is an industry that is eating itself. It's only when these guys have damaged the entire market so badly they will wake up. Then people will go back to first and foremost making great games that people enjoy. At the moment they just focus attention on cheap cons (e.g prize draw) to fleece short term cash.

It will all end in tears, because the competition for crappy games isn't other crappy games, it's actually other forms of entertainment. That is when these business guys will work out they aren't as smart as they think they are right now.

Well, there is difference between micro transactions too. There is games that actually made the leap from sub based to f2p, actually be more rewarding. At least it was for SWTOR back when they did it, but they really got it too. Because their f2p model was based on unlocks, which you could actually buy with ingame currency as well. And "fluff stuff" for your avatar, like mounts, weapon skins, gear skins and so on. "Hey look at ME, Im shiney". The amount some people are willing to spend on such is insane, but hey. Their choice. In the case of SWTOR you could play through the entire core game without pay a nickle. 


Some months back I started play world of warships some. Its based on grinding. But you can spend to help speed up xp process. you can buy access to certain ships, but it doesnt make you any better player, it just save you a lot of grinding. 


The game I been most fateful to is EVE, been a subscriber since 2003, thats pritty much from the start. Sure there been ups and downs with CCP as well, but hey, we the players, we can influence the direction of the game as stake holders, and they still rocking quite hard from the top of the world with their fan fests and such.


But you are right, mmo games such as Stormfall and similar is more or less doomed. A player that grow sick of a game such as this doesn't run into another of same model. Thats like run out of an abusive relationship and go into another. Its quite amusing in one way, because a lot of players still hanging around for the same reason someone hang around in an abusive relationship too. Afraid of let go of what they got, lol.


UTC +2:00
jumy
23 December, 2016, 10:44 AM UTC

fallarium 2017



the voice runs, our feedback is all (remember)

The truth hurts
UTC +12:00
Alina Bright
Community Manager
23 December, 2016, 12:35 PM UTC

Lords and Ladies, as time goes by, many things change. Same happens with the game. We try to make it better, work on new features, create new events and so on. These changes may affect different sides of gameplay - starting from server changes and further to arts and UI improvements.


We can't say that changes that affect visual part of the game prevail above the server features. But we have to make sure that behing the numbers there's a story, which makes your gameplay more exiting. It's all hard work of many departments, which take care of many processess. These teams work directly on the new games, big features and small improvements. It takes a lot of time and effort to calculate the feature balance, create huge documents with specification and balance, tasks that will be assigned to devs, and to code all that, fix bugs found by QA, etc.


Thanks to these features many players can earn rewards for some basic actions. That's why we create new Quests, Tournaments and so on. If you track the history of Global Quests (kind of Tournaments in the past), you'll see that such events have been held once in a month or two and players could get the reward only for such events, accornigly, very rarely. And now you get a chance to win a reward each week for different actions.


There are many players that build their Castles and armies thanks to such events. Moreover, we're always open for your suggestions. You can always share your constructive ideas with me and I'll pass them further.


UTC +2:00
Gadheras
23 December, 2016, 1:23 PM UTC

Eugenia Misura said:


Lords and Ladies, as time goes by, many things change. Same happens with the game. We try to make it better, work on new features, create new events and so on. These changes may affect different sides of gameplay - starting from server changes and further to arts and UI improvements.


We can't say that changes that affect visual part of the game prevail above the server features. But we have to make sure that behing the numbers there's a story, which makes your gameplay more exiting. It's all hard work of many departments, which take care of many processess. These teams work directly on the new games, big features and small improvements. It takes a lot of time and effort to calculate the feature balance, create huge documents with specification and balance, tasks that will be assigned to devs, and to code all that, fix bugs found by QA, etc.


Thanks to these features many players can earn rewards for some basic actions. That's why we create new Quests, Tournaments and so on. If you track the history of Global Quests (kind of Tournaments in the past), you'll see that such events have been held once in a month or two and players could get the reward only for such events, accornigly, very rarely. And now you get a chance to win a reward each week for different actions.


There are many players that build their Castles and armies thanks to such events. Moreover, we're always open for your suggestions. You can always share your constructive ideas with me and I'll pass them further.



Games fails when they run out of things to do. In this aspect, Stormfall is lacking a lot. Adding more shiney stuff for us to spend on, doesn't necessary add more things to do, it might enhance what you can already do. 


I know Stormfall is far from games such as world of warcraft. But imagine no new content was ever added to World Of Warcraft and all they did was like release weapon skins, mounts and gear for you to spend cash on. Thats kinda how you got Stormfall in a nuttshell. You have like pvp, raiding and bg's and the later a lot of players stopped do, because... they have no fate in them and how the reward system work (or doesn't work).


I know things been added over time, that is somewhat beneficial for us like the dragon, and ability to slot your avatar with gear you get from bg's. however apply a 10 meter high paywall to things like this isn't really adding to the game. Cost of "loot" inventory slots? really?


The amount of cash Plarium try get us the players to spend on their games, does in no way reflect the value we the players get back. I know Plarium is a business and need us the players to spend on their games to keep afloat, but come on, it need to reflect the value we get back when spending. Me like a lot of others have a budget they go by and as such, there is a lot of entertainment that is competing over my spending. The only time I spend on Plarium is when there is a really good offer, else its not worth it.


Your average players have little chance of reach up in the your tournmanets and reap rewards from them.
UTC +2:00
djmoody
23 December, 2016, 4:10 PM UTC

Totally agree - no new content in 3 years. That is damning.

It totally exposes the model is to put bare minimum games out with little investment in development. All the investment is in advertising to crowd out competitors and draw people into you mediocre game.

Hopefully they become invested in the game (either through time and or money) before they realise the povety of content and the extreme pay to win aspect. it is then difficult for them to simply give up, no matter how much the logical side of their brains are telling them to, because then everything they invested to date is a waste.

Along the line the activity in the game attracts enough uber coiners, who have mental issues, insecurities and other issues that wrap a significant amount of their ego and self worth into "winning the game" at all costs. The fact the game can simply be bought (end game purchasable, in this case you can just directly buy troops) then swings into action and these uber coiners drop hundreds of thousands on the game (this is no exaguration).

That is the business model for this game and sadly for many RTS games.

The whole game is set up simply to hook a handful of uber spenders. The experience for everyone else sucks but the advertising budget ensures enough stream of new players to make up for the bucket loads quitting all the time and keep the games just active enough for there to be something worth dominating for the uber coiner.

From start to finish, both players and developers side it's simply a lesson in all the flaws in human nature. 

While the developers are close to being evil the way they exploit weaknesses in human nature while investing as little in the game as they possibly can. The players are to blame for not quitting early on and the uber coiners do have freedom of choice even if all their flaws probably make it very unlikely they can make sensible spending choices.

As a result it's one of the worst experiences you can have getting sucked into one of these games. It only ever ends for people that sunk a lot of time in as an experience you regret.

That is why as we said earlier this industry is killing itself. Games company's grabbing the short term buck without a care that the customers they throw out are unlikely to play another MMO again the experience was so bad.

Everyone has a right to an opinion. No one has a right to their opinion being respected by other if it can't be backed up with rational and logic explanation
UTC +0:00
djmoody
23 December, 2016, 4:20 PM UTC

Eugenia Misura said:


There are many players that build their Castles and armies thanks to such events. Moreover, we're always open for your suggestions. You can always share your constructive ideas with me and I'll pass them further. 

As someone who has been around for 3 yrs+ in the stupid game I can tell you that is an outright lie. You might be too new and naive to have worked it out yet.

Plarium actually does the opposite and puts it's fingers in it's ears and activity looks to ignore it's customer feedback. It doesn't matter how many players voice an opinion on a topic. NOTHING makes Plarium take notice.

Plarium ONLY makes significant changes that increase SHORT TERM PROFIT. They don't even run the games in the benefit of their own long term profit.

Everyone has a right to an opinion. No one has a right to their opinion being respected by other if it can't be backed up with rational and logic explanation
UTC +0:00
roadstar Pitbull
23 December, 2016, 11:16 PM UTC

Eugenia Misura said:



We can't say that changes that affect visual part of the game prevail above the server features. But we have to make sure that behing the numbers there's a story, which makes your gameplay more exiting. 


I dare you to name one thing that has made my game more "exciting", or that has enhanced the "story". 

Nothing done in the past year has made any significant improvement to game play,,,without spending money, IE: buying troops back...

UTC +0:00
djmoody
24 December, 2016, 10:18 AM UTC
roadstar Pitbull said:

Eugenia Misura said:



We can't say that changes that affect visual part of the game prevail above the server features. But we have to make sure that behing the numbers there's a story, which makes your gameplay more exiting. 


I dare you to name one thing that has made my game more "exciting", or that has enhanced the "story". 

Nothing done in the past year has made any significant improvement to game play,,,without spending money, IE: buying troops back...

That is unfair. It's simply a challenge they can't win :)
Everyone has a right to an opinion. No one has a right to their opinion being respected by other if it can't be backed up with rational and logic explanation
UTC +0:00
exxxe
24 December, 2016, 1:43 PM UTC

djmoody said:


roadstar Pitbull said:


Eugenia Misura said:



We can't say that changes that affect visual part of the game prevail above the server features. But we have to make sure that behing the numbers there's a story, which makes your gameplay more exiting. 


I dare you to name one thing that has made my game more "exciting", or that has enhanced the "story". 

Nothing done in the past year has made any significant improvement to game play,,,without spending money, IE: buying troops back...

That is unfair. It's simply a challenge they can't win :)

well you got the massacre right :))) ( what more you want or say did not want lol)

besides what better than relocation or pissing off your enemy with weor protection minutes before he hits 


how about the dragon stone that was a bonus in the good side as well as the league help :))

(even though the story is at it is not changed there were some rare good new additions )
I'am me and that is what i care about :)
UTC +3:00
jumy
24 December, 2016, 2:16 PM UTC

exxxe said:


djmoody said:


roadstar Pitbull said:


Eugenia Misura said:



We can't say that changes that affect visual part of the game prevail above the server features. But we have to make sure that behing the numbers there's a story, which makes your gameplay more exiting. 


I dare you to name one thing that has made my game more "exciting", or that has enhanced the "story". 

Nothing done in the past year has made any significant improvement to game play,,,without spending money, IE: buying troops back...

That is unfair. It's simply a challenge they can't win :)

well you got the massacre right :))) ( what more you want or say did not want lol)

besides what better than relocation or pissing off your enemy with weor protection minutes before he hits 


how about the dragon stone that was a bonus in the good side 

(even though the story is at it is not changed there were some rare good new additions )

how we see the new added promote 100 times autobot, for real players is only waste time


30 days 100 accounts, i see more than 10k inscriptions only in a little post


and this thing has been going on since 2012/13.... occult side of this game 

seems that plarium is on the same side.... trap for real players

The truth hurts
UTC +12:00
roadstar Pitbull
24 December, 2016, 2:59 PM UTC

exxxe said:


djmoody said:


roadstar Pitbull said:


Eugenia Misura said:



We can't say that changes that affect visual part of the game prevail above the server features. But we have to make sure that behing the numbers there's a story, which makes your gameplay more exiting. 


I dare you to name one thing that has made my game more "exciting", or that has enhanced the "story". 

Nothing done in the past year has made any significant improvement to game play,,,without spending money, IE: buying troops back...

That is unfair. It's simply a challenge they can't win :)

well you got the massacre right :))) ( what more you want or say did not want lol)

besides what better than relocation or pissing off your enemy with weor protection minutes before he hits 


how about the dragon stone that was a bonus in the good side as well as the league help :))

(even though the story is at it is not changed there were some rare good new additions )

Aside from massacre, ( more on that later),none of those things mentioned truly enhance game play for all. How can one continually do those mentioned without buying packs etc.. The average plarium player may be able to use those items occasionally, not continually.. Remember, plarium is all about balance.... As to dragon stone and hero both could be combined, too many "extras/bonus", gameplay is not clicking on everything in your castle for 5-10 minutes, it is supposed to be about PVP.

League help, another concept that was correct, but then plarium had to "improve" it. Why do I need 2 icons/notices on my screen for everything????


The massacre was/is not turning into a good addition to game play. While the concept 'may' have been correct, more activity, removal of inactive defense from beacons, plarium got greedy.

This event needs to be limited to 2 or 3 times a year maximum, not once a month or 2...

UTC +0:00
RandomDrop
24 December, 2016, 7:05 PM UTC

The most successful game of all time is free to play and allows in game purchases as well but remains balanced (League of Legends). The problem here is that there is no cap in the game that normal play can achieve through hard work and intelligent decisions. Pay to play should make this path easier and flashier but not allow it to completely eclipse the cap of superior play.


My 2 cents



UTC +7:00
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