Warning: This post is very long, but I guarantee that it will be worth spending a few minute on reading it. The Q&A format will make it easier to keep track of.
Before you read1) Is this a rant?
No, it's not. This is a discussion thread.Side note:
As the time of writing this, the new update is out. This thread does not criticize anything about it either. This thread was also updated to be fit with the current time.2) Are you trying to be another (name the last banned players here) and spread toxicity to the community?
No, not at all do I want to be toxic under any circumstances.
I want to, however, become the next critical
voice of the game, which has been missing for a while. Sure, some people did bad things to the game, but you should not deny their role in suggesting, promoting and pushing better changes.3) Are you blaming/attacking anyone in this thread?
+ That's just rude
+ That's against the forum rules
+ My tone throughout this discussion is pretty passive. You'll see more "This is the problem" rather than "I blame ____ for this"4) Is there a TL;DR section?
Yes, at the bottom of this thread.
But please, do not state your argument/counterargument based on the TL;DR. It is just a summary of what I said.5) Are you quitting?
The discussion1) What's the problem you'd like to bring up?
I argue that there exists a disproportion of the game's update content (i.e the game focuses so much on major occasions and updates that the other times are left behind). It causes the game to be boring during non-update time, thus losing new and old players alike.
Side note: The new update was sort of a right action to take. You'll see why below.2) But at least there are more players during the updates, so why is it a bad thing?
New players come in every day
. Whether they stay or move on depends on the experience they have during a specific time of the game's lifetime.
Therefore, the chance of having one to stay while the game being stale 75% of the time is not really high. This causes the playerbase to be generally low.3) Didn't the devs state that their team is small, so they couldn't pump out as much content in an update as (name your triple-A company here)?
Yes, and I completely understand their situation, but that's not what my argument is.
And 'content' here means more than just updates and game contents (events can also be seen as game content in some ways)4) What do you mean by 1)?
In case you didn't know, the game got an update roughly every two month (Except the time between Oct and Dec since there are lots of seasonal packs to push out)
With the amount of content that are released in those updates, I don't think that it is sufficient enough to keep the game fresh to sustain and grow the playerbase.5) Why is that bad?
It creates the problem stated in 2).
There's this invisible thing called "Average player count" that can only be revealed through analytical means. Theoretically, this averages out thanks to all the highs and lows of the game.
However, this is not the case here. As stated in 4), the dev team is too small to pump out major updates frequently (although 2 months per update is something I'm quite impressed). Thus, focusing only on major updates causes a drop in player count during 'non-update' time (i.e time that has no updates).
They would also risk a chance of losing more players during those stale times as well.6) Do you have any proof on that?
We had many moments like this in the past.
The time between 1.9.8804 (Easter update - April 17th) and 1.9.8810 (Sci-fi - July 2nd) is a very long gap that most of us know how boring it was.
No matter how great the upcoming update is, you still might have lost a number of players during that same time, both old and new players.7) So, you're saying that creating minor updates will fix this problem?
Yes, that is part of the solution. I suggest the update rate should be kept higher to grow the game. To me, once per month is sufficient. And to avoid working too much, these minor updates will play an important role in keeping the rate high.
"Creating" might also be a bit overload, too. My suggestion is to break down part of the large updates and turn them into small updates between the large ones, especially parts that have nothing/little to do with the major updates. Therefore, you will get 3 small updates and one big update
For instance, 1.9.85 (Piggy update) can be considered a "minor" update. It's not as big as their seasonal counterparts, but it was still a good update with new items to play with.
Another good example is the newest update: Not so big of an update, but it's still a new update.
Plus, remember when I said "content" was more than just updates? You still have other cards in your disposal, mainly quests
The use of the "News" tab of the game: The increased frequency of updates, be it big or small, will make this tab pop up a lot more often when booting the game. It's basically telling the player that: "Hey! There's new content! You should play and check them out!".8) What do quests and events play in this role?
Quests are considered game content because they are part of the game: New official
places to explore and newlore
to be brought up.Reminder:
We haven't gotten new quests for years.
Events are considered game content because they are also part of the game: The only effective way to make us come together for a common goal. They could also tie with the lore
of the game, which gives us even more content than it normally is. They are great time killers to prepare the next updates.Side note:
The potential of lore has been untouched since the adventure mode got released. They are a great source of content and a great reason for event integration.9) What can be considered a 'small' update?
To me, a small update should have:
+ A few new blocks / items to explore.
+ A feature and/or an addition to old features.
+ An event that lasts at least 2 weeks
The loop then will be: Update week -> 2-week event -> Empty week (Teaser of new update) -> Next update week.10) Is your proposed format going to be effective?
We just had a new update on the 31st of August, which was almost two months away from the last update (2nd of July). If there is no updates on September, I bet we'll experience the same feeling as we did during these two updates.
If you read everything upto this point now, thank you. No matter if you agree or disagree with my opinion, I appreciate all comments made from you in this thread, as you are certainly contributing to the discussion and help it develop.
Here's a quote that pretty much summarizes my opinion (This is also the TL;DR
Whether your update is big or small, each one is a form of communication with players, demonstrating that you are listening to player feedback and you care about improving the player experience. - Steam
Finally, thank you for reading, as always!