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What features/functionality encourage players to sub longer?

KyleranKyleran Tampa, FLPosts: 19,979Member Uncommon

In reading through the most recent "player housing" thread I got to wondering, what sort of features that a MMORPG can have actually encourage players to sub for longer periods of time.  (F2P/BTP is a different thing altogether)

Right off the top, slower leveling (or progression) curves would keep people subbed for longer, but its a bit of a two edged sword, I think the falloff of players is almost directly proportional to the leveling curve, the steeper it goes, the more people drop off in frustration.  Hard to find the right mix I suppose.

It was mentioned that some players are willing to stay subbed, in order to work/maintain their housing efforts, I recall many of my old clanmates in DAOC/Mordred keeping their subs for quite some time after leaving just so the guild town would be retained.

Of course, EVE's real time training is a solid way to keep people subbed, during leaves of absences to try other games I kept my 3 subs rolling strong because I had endless skills to keep training.   Needless to say, this doesn't appeal to everyone though.

So those are few I came up with, and I was wondering what other features might encourage people to stay subbed for longer periods of times than what appears to be the current model of 3 months of subs or less and they're done and moving on.

(Bet there's some Dev teams out there that are struggling with this same  idea right now)

 

 

In my day MMORPG's were so hard we fought our way through dungeons in the snow, uphill both ways.
"I don't have one life, I have many lives" - Grunty
Still currently "subscribed" to EVE, and only EVE!!!
"This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon

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Comments

  • quasi_deadquasi_dead LeedsPosts: 84Member

    Progression. 

     

    Variety.

     

    Politics.

  • Dahkot72Dahkot72 Pelham, ALPosts: 261Member

    A huge varied world with distinctly different classes and races.

    In other words original EQ for me.

    You could level one class from one race vs another class from another race and pick different leveling areas for every single step of the way if you wanted to.

    TOR went the 100% opposite route and funneled you through one and only one , way of leveling and areas.

    Killed instantly any desire to do an alt , which is a big deal to keep subbing or not.

  • XssivXssiv Haskell, NJPosts: 359Member

    Housing / Player run cities

    Politics

    Robust crafting

    Entreprenurial activities

     

  • ZylaxxZylaxx Erlanger, KYPosts: 2,574Member

    #1 it has to be fun.

     

    After the fun factor then there needs to have enough content to do things.  Whether or not you enjoy a raid centric style of game (I do not for the record) then there needs to be more then 1 or 2 raids and 5 or 6 dungeons.  The game better feature 3+ raids and 10+ dungeons for PvE content and 5+ PvP battlegrounds.  All this is for a themepark model mind you. 

     

    Actually while typing the last parapgraph I had a change of mind.  I now think the game has to be innovative and feature different features that havnt been seen before and those features need to be good and a core part of the development cycle of the game.  Think outside the box and the game may have a chance IMO.  As it stands now there are plenty of MMO's on the market and you will need to not only appear to be shiny and new but feature things players havnt seen before.

    Everything you need to know about Elder Scrolls Online

    Playing: GW2
    Waiting on: TESO
    Next Flop: Planetside 2
    Best MMO of all time: Asheron's Call - The first company to recreate AC will be the next greatest MMO.

    image

  • ZylaxxZylaxx Erlanger, KYPosts: 2,574Member
    Originally posted by Xssiv

    Housing / Player run cities

    Politics

    Robust crafting

    Entreprenurial activities

     

    out of that list only one thing will make me interested and im the typical MMO player.

    Everything you need to know about Elder Scrolls Online

    Playing: GW2
    Waiting on: TESO
    Next Flop: Planetside 2
    Best MMO of all time: Asheron's Call - The first company to recreate AC will be the next greatest MMO.

    image

  • XiaokiXiaoki White Pigeon, MIPosts: 2,601Member Uncommon

    Competent and varied end game, for both PvE and PvP.


    Without strong end game an MMO will go down in flames these days.


    Asking on these forums is also counter-productive to your curiosity. Look at the person who said housing and crafting to see why.


  • quasi_deadquasi_dead LeedsPosts: 84Member
    Originally posted by Zylaxx
    Originally posted by Xssiv

    Housing / Player run cities

    Politics

    Robust crafting

    Entreprenurial activities

     

    out of that list only one thing will make me interested and im the typical MMO player.

    Have you done a survey?

  • kostoslavkostoslav somborPosts: 459Member
    1. Friends - most of my rl friends play WoW
    2. vanity(mounts, pets, house items in lotro, etc.) & achievements
  • VolkonVolkon Sterling, VAPosts: 3,788Member

    An endless, cyclical treadmill of illusionary gear progression that convinced people to run content repeatedly trying to get gear to run the next level of content repeatedly until they get the gear to run the next level of content repeatedly... and right about the time a significant portion of people are "properly geared", you throw in expansions that start the treadmill all over again, rendering all that prior work meaningless as people start the level grind again just to get to the gear grind...

     

    Daily quests that make you feel if you don't do them you're falling behind everyone else...

     

     

    Oderint, dum metuant.
    image

  • waynejr2waynejr2 West Toluca Lake, CAPosts: 4,471Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Kyleran

    In reading through the most recent "player housing" thread I got to wondering, what sort of features that a MMORPG can have actually encourage players to sub for longer periods of time.  (F2P/BTP is a different thing altogether)

    Right off the top, slower leveling (or progression) curves would keep people subbed for longer, but its a bit of a two edged sword, I think the falloff of players is almost directly proportional to the leveling curve, the steeper it goes, the more people drop off in frustration.  Hard to find the right mix I suppose.

    It was mentioned that some players are willing to stay subbed, in order to work/maintain their housing efforts, I recall many of my old clanmates in DAOC/Mordred keeping their subs for quite some time after leaving just so the guild town would be retained.

    Of course, EVE's real time training is a solid way to keep people subbed, during leaves of absences to try other games I kept my 3 subs rolling strong because I had endless skills to keep training.   Needless to say, this doesn't appeal to everyone though.

    So those are few I came up with, and I was wondering what other features might encourage people to stay subbed for longer periods of times than what appears to be the current model of 3 months of subs or less and they're done and moving on.

    (Bet there's some Dev teams out there that are struggling with this same  idea right now)

     

     

    Slower progression is certainly one thing.

    Let's talk about expansions.   Let's take wow,  TBC and WOTLK had 10 levels and CATA only 5 levels that people burn through very quickly which is a real waste.  Vanilla wow took the average person a long time to get to 60.  Games should have expansion with progression time equal or greater than the initial released product.

    Say TBC took players from 60 to 120.   60 levels of content feels like a better value than 5 or 10 levels.  Imagine setting up the gear progression so that endgame raid gear wasn't replaced right away but actually gets replaced over 20 or 30 levels.

     

    Server Progression.  In typical games you have character progression.  What if there was a system in place to change the game world or to change character progression. Put systems in place that alter the world insome ways.  Imagine that ancient city that is filled with undead and acts as a massive raid hub getting entirely cleared out building by building, then repaired by crafters allowing the city to be turned into a player city.  The effort would dwarf WOWs the war effort by months of effort.  Once the city is setup, NPCs can be escorted to it and new quest hubs appear that give players new quests.  People might earn titles or rights to build housing on land now cleared of nasty mobs.  Transforming the game world.

     

     

     

  • VesaviusVesavius BristolPosts: 7,641Member Uncommon

    Speaking for myself, it's;

     

    1. Housing
    2. Strong guild activies
    3. Optional PvP
    4. Robust crafting
    5. Multiple paths of character progression for alts
    6. Interdependent game play (grouping etc)
  • Loke666Loke666 MalmöPosts: 17,949Member Uncommon

    Guildstuff keeps player going longer. Last 3 months I subbed to AoC was just for my guild and our guildcity, I would have closed my account a lot faster otherwise.

    Longer leveling time helps me as well but I am an old player and I know that newer often dislike this.

    Grinding for gear, faction and daily quests never really got me subbing long time. Challenges on the other hand have, I like to put my teeth into something really hard and beat it eventually, particualrly with my friends.

    Basically it is sociaol stuff that makes me play MMOs a long time. It would explain why TOR are losing players so fast as well since social stuff is it´s weakness.

  • Grimm666Grimm666 Thornhill, ONPosts: 126Member Uncommon

    1) Lack of competition - not really viable in the current marketplace, but when there were only a few MMO options available and each had a different playstyle, anyone who enjoyed MMOs really had no choice but to sub to the game offering their playstyle of choice. Nowadays, a well-produced, unique and inventive MMO (the usual example is a well-designed sandbox MMO) could  capture a specific niche of the market and keep them loyal simply due to a lack of quality alternatives.

    2) Community - I'm sure a decent chunk of MMO players have friends (either real or virtual) in their MMO of choice. Splitting from them is hard, so unless everyone is willing to jump ship together, it's often easier to stay and pay for your current MMO then move to the next one and rebuild your social structure from scratch. If a game has strong community building tools, then it's easier for players to make these strong bonds and keep them subscribed.

    3) Grind - as you said, it's a double-edged sword, since it causes people to play longer, but if they aren't making progress, then they'll likely give up. If a dev can mask the grind (such as giving players 300+ levels and giving them a small reward for each level as opposed to the usual 50-60 levels with a new skill every 2-3 levels), then players may be willing to pay beyond the first month or two as long as they feel they're making forward progression at a decent pace.

  • davestr1zldavestr1zl MelbPosts: 218Member

    I think anything that lets players leave a personal 'mark' on the world, create a space that is their own and something they will always want to return to is one great way. This obviously refers to player housing, if done right its something that could keep players in the game long after they normally would have left.

    I think variety is key also, in terms of the content you're able to participate in. Take SWTOR for example, at end-game if you want to do something with your friends for fun you have a choice of: Flashpoints, Raids, PVP warzones. Thats pretty much it. (if you want you can include dailies in there, but most people dont do them for 'fun'). If there were minigames and different forms of content to keep people interested and getting a wide variety of activities (such as swoop racing, space combat, pazaak, other minigames etc) it would keep things from getting stale.

    Lastly there needs to be the ability to have player-driven / player-created content. I really think these days devs should spend more time on creating systems that allow the players to make their own content, as devs will never be able to create content at a rate that keeps up with how quickly players devour it. If players could create cool quests, mini-games, dungeons, areas in the world to explore or visit, tournaments, competitions etc then I think it would keep people interested for way longer as there'd be a ton more variety of things to do and just simply more content to participate in.

  • RydesonRydeson Canton, OHPosts: 3,858Member Uncommon

    A dynamic community and world that grows and changes....... Just that simple...... I want less themepark, more sandbox..  When I log in , I want to see a different' world each new day..  I want to see the results of what people did while I was away sleeping or working.. In turn I want to have an effect on the world and leave a footprint as well.. 

    I want LESS Esport and more community..  Can we move away from player vs player themepark, and get back to community effort to defeat the bad guy.. YES.. I want MORE Sleeper's Tomb..... Give us the mechanics and tools so us players can unite and build someithing to defeat the big bag enemy..   Guilds shouldn't be fighting amongst themselves , but find ways to have alliances..  I want that to defeat that big bad boss that has 20,000 slaves..

    Even a RvRvR game would be better..

  • rungardrungard st. john''s, NFPosts: 1,035Member

    customization

  • Greymantle4Greymantle4 Posts: 802Member Uncommon

    A game like SWG pre-nge. Which I'm playing right now. :)

  • Loke666Loke666 MalmöPosts: 17,949Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Zeppelin4

    A game like SWG pre-nge.

    The reason they did NGE SWG was because so many people stopped subbing so just being like swg ain´t enough. The game have to be better, particularly better coding.

    But the crafting system from it was indeed solid and at least kept the crafters playing.

    If you mixed Asherons Call and SWG and then got a great lead programmer to it i could see myself playing a long time though.

    A game exactly like early SWG on the other hand, not so much.

  • Cephus404Cephus404 Redlands, CAPosts: 3,675Member

    It really only takes two things for me to stick around:

    1.  Fun.  If it's not fun, I'm not playing.

    2.  Constant updates and new content.  I want to see the world grow constantly.  Put out a ton of expansions and I'll devour it.  If the world gets stale, it stops being fun.  See #1.

    Played: UO, EQ, WoW, DDO, SWG, AO, CoH, EvE, TR, AoC, GW, GA, Aion, Allods, lots more
    Relatively Recently (Re)Played: HL2 (all), Halo (PC, all), Batman:AA; AC, ME, BS, DA, FO3, DS, Doom (all), LFD1&2, KOTOR, Portal 1&2, Blink, Elder Scrolls (all), lots more
    Now Playing: None
    Hope: None

  • jazz.bejazz.be Sint-NiklaasPosts: 820Member Uncommon

    As mentioned before: Variety

    Being fantastic on one field isn't enough.

    Better to be descent on several or all fields. (RP, pvp, pve, minigames, politics etc)

  • SoandsosoSoandsoso Richmond Hill, ONPosts: 533Member

    Overall is the game fun to play?

    Yes...pay sub.

    No....don't pay sub.

     

     

  • LarsaLarsa NurembergPosts: 990Member

    Interesting thread.

    Of course one can only play older games for longer - after all nobody had the chance to play a "new" game for "longer" yet. :)

    But it's a good question, just thinking about games where I know people that have played them for long years, it's a rare mixture. Just out of the top of my head: as diverse as WoW and Ryzom or as LotRO and EVE. For all of these games I've known people that played them for many years.

    Now, what have WoW and Ryzom and LotRO and EVE in common? I couldn't tell.

    I maintain this List of Sandbox MMORPGs. Please post or send PM for corrections and suggestions.

  • FredomSekerZFredomSekerZ Long Beach, CAPosts: 1,156Member

    Well, to get players to start playing is one, but to keep them around, i don't think "features", like housing or vanity, necessarily work. What i feel works is:

    - Fun: Duh!

    - Sandbox: Basically, a world that keeps changing because of player actions.

     

    For themeparks that aren't like that, 1 or multyple of the following:

    - Connection to the world: Making the players feel attached to their characters, their factions, the story and lore, and the general feel of the land tehir playing in. I actually think this is one of, along with others, reasons WOW is so sucessfull.

    - Progression: Getting better gear, stats or cosmetic, or any level of progressive system to keep players hooked and making it harder to leave the game.

    - Community: RL friends an people you get to know online. It really does work

    - Very fast content update: Without player driven/created content, you must update it has fast has possible. Has long has there's fresh content, players may stay interested

    - Fun, addictive gameplay: Very, very hard to pull off. By addictive gameplay, i mean the type of FPS, MOBA, etc that you just have pure fun. Unfortunatly, RPG have to focus less on pure gameplay in favor of world design, custimazation, and other elements.

  • MeltdownMeltdown Home, NHPosts: 1,184Member Uncommon

    What will encourage me to play/sub longer? Probably nothing could potentially make me stick with any game more than about a month.

     

    Times have changed, and society is embracing change for better or worse... and quite literally gamers constantly want change regardless if its good or bad, just something new, ANYTHING. I'm not sure a single one feature or function could really hold the interest of generations to come who are constantly craving change. Social aspects to gaming always pull in some of the dynamics of human nature to allow for a constantly changing game.

     

    I find it amusing though, how much the people here hate on "social games" that rely on having so many farmville friends or whatever, but have listed guilds, player housing, and raids (all socially motivated) as their must have feature list. Look at the direction Richard Garriott and SOE are going, maybe social is where its gonna be...

     

    But back to the point, I don't care how many raids, guild houses, GvG, pvp, whatever you throw in a game, typically if you have already seen it before in a game, you won't be drawn in by a new game with the same gimmicks for more than 3 months. We are like zombies who crave change, CHAAAAAANGE....

    "They essentially want to say 'Correlation proves Causation' when it's just not true." - Sovrath

  • CheriseCherise Cincinnati, OHPosts: 232Member

    Things that have been mentioned already, but for me it's:

    - Vvariety of things to do, with housing a plus

    - Tthe type of community playing

    - Not overly end-game focused, with slower leveling

    EQ2 had my sub for years until it became about daily quests, with long stays in SWG and DAOC before that.  These days LotRO has been providing my gaming fun for quite awhile.

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