But more importantly, if you check server populations, i've noticed a "Sudden" drop in people online at any given time.. Percival seems to have lost almost 200-700 active players. It barely caps 2000 online anymore, whereas, it WAS nearing 4000 people online at the best times, and 2300-2800 many other times..
I've watched the numbers gamewide daily actually, and before 1.50 patch, DAOC has hovered between 27,000-35,000 people online from about 4pm-12m.. On average.
I've noticed, a 5-10k drop in daily/nightly numbers of people online since 1.50 patch.
This evening for example, there has been 24,000 people online all evening, with almost no increase in people online. That is NOT normal for a weekend in DAoC (based on past numbers).
Since 1.50, i've not seen the peak, top, pass 30,000 people, period..
So my question is, where did the 10,000 people suddenly go?
I've seen single patch versions of a game completely destroy a game before. 1.26 patch DESTROYED Anarchy Online.. Vale Update killed off Meridian59 rapidly... 1.50 seems to be headed this way for DAoC..
Has DAoC peaked? Has the downward slide started? If so, why?
With SEVERAL HUGE games coming out within the next 6-9 months(AC2, Dragon Empires, etc), could people be backing off from DAoC, breaking their addiction, then waiting for the new breed?
Was 1.50 too huge of a blow to the players of the game? Was mythics credibility shot with the lies? Right now is certainly a stressful time to be playing the game, I can acknowledge that when talking with friends..
With Hibernia being roughly 18-22% Rangers, and lotsa hunters and scouts, a drop in those players alone would be pretty substantial. Kinda like if you suddenly castrated Skalds and Thanes in Midgard or Clerics in Albion, it would be pretty devasting for the game.. (scouts being hit the lesser of the other archers, due to Slam being exceptional overall, and available only to scouts)
So possible answers to the decline of DAoC:
1) 1.50 too drastic, including but not limited to balance issues, impotent realm abilties. Nerfed mob regen for solo players. Truesight/See Hidden/Assassin PA nerf, etc.
2) Loss of credibility in Mythic. For the lies and misleading statements regarding several changes(assassin nerf, etc). Promises not followed through with, and other things. Matt Firor has time and time again, proven to be a liar, and has shown no reservations about blowing smoke up the butt of his customers ...
3) Lack of promised features that have never been implemented. (housing, etc.)
4) General lack of things for "People to do" in DAoC, with so few zones, monsters, and goals to accomplish. Such as, ALL STATS being so heavily clamped, that at 50, you really can't upgrade your items, gear or weapons anymore past a certain point..
Or it could be all of the above.. Hehe
I think another thing, and definately mythic overlooks, is the fact that after a certain time a game has been out, you just can't change TOO MUCH too soon.. It is completely intolerable to ask someone, thats played a class for many months, to completely disregard that, and start playing a different way. Its far too much of a shock to people, and few people could weather the storm. Not even Verant has stooped to this level, and few, if any, games have except DAoC..
Clearly, part of the problem is, this game was rushed to market, and was not tested. Each new release, remains very untested due to a completely inadequate test mechanism and lacking proper inhouse test teams, and evaluation specialists. IE: a "Balance Team" that carefully studies every new change proposal to the game, and weighs in every possible ramification.. Sorry but the "Strike Team" should go on strike.
The lack of indepth testing and evaluation pre-release for this game, resulted in such fiascos as "Chain Stunning" and other major issues that everyone knows about. Balance was/is so horid, that it needs to be spoken only in dark alleys.
Stealth? Well, in a game like this, you either stealth or you don't stealth, and if you don't stealth, you cry, moan, and demand that either stealth is nerfed, or your class gets stealth. The mechanics of stealth, and how it would effect this game, should have been considered early in development.. Since it WASN'T and was implemented as is, then Mythic has the moral obligation to leave it alone, and live with it. You cannot possibly penalize a substantial portion of your playerbase by changing something this dramatic, and expect it to be "Business as usual."
Mythic has shown bad business practices, and I truely believe they can salvage it, if they come clean, admit to misleading their customers, and immediately revert BACK to pre-1.50, and taking 1.50 back to the drawing boards..
Otherwise, its all over for DAoC folks..
Personally, for me, I felt that pre-1.50, this game was getting close to becoming fairly polished.. Archers weren't as popular, and many people were playing the lesser played classes, and things seemed pretty happy overall.. At this point, Mythic could of HAMMERED OUT player housing, consignments, new dungeons, new RvR ideas, and other things to bring the game a new future.. Instead, we have 1.50Feces, and the game falling apart before our very eyes..
Mythic, I can remember back, several months ago, many of us were proposing a new joint realm dungeon for RvR, controlled by keeps (cough, darkness falls). You took our suggestion, and ran with it, and the result was awesome.. We've made many other suggestions, on the boards, and in direct communication with you, and you've implemented a few of them too! Now please, for the love of god, revert back to pre-1.50, apologize to your customers, and target CONTENT like nobodys business.. (guild AND player housing, homeland incursions, individual horses, consignment stores, more dungeons, uber encounter mobs(barfogish), and other stuff)
(It is amazing to me how much this post from early DAoC mirrors the current state of these forums. Especially since DAoC is one of my favorite games of all time.)