(I originally wrote this in response to another poster in another thread. But since it's off topic, decided to make my own thread. This is about what I foresee occurring in Pantheon in the months and years after it launches.)
Original post below:
Succeeding a game that wasn't successful is not the wisest business model.
Well, any game that comes out now would literally have to "succeed" Vanguard since it comes out later.
succeed: to follow after another
But seriously, no one is or has ever suggested that Pantheon use Vanguard's failed coding. So really whats your point? Strawman much?
You are assuming that the only issue with Vanguard was coding, which it definitely was not. There were mistakes from a design perspective.
Can you be more specific about what parts of the game design you think was a mistake?
They had good classes, good xp system that balanced questing and sandbox, crafting that wasnt just a combine button but actually had tactics, diplomacy, group harvesting, multiple separate starting areas, factions, races that made enough of a difference that it was a real choice without making one race the only choice, player built houses and boats you could sail anywhere you wanted.
The only actual game design flaw I can think of was that bards were too powerful, but then that might have just been me.
No, the reason people left was definitely the flawed coding. People loved the game design.
Bugs were responsible for most people leaving early on, yes, but there were still many like myself on high end systems who left for other reasons.
I've discussed the issues I felt most responsible ad naseum here over the years. Very briefly, it was the the lack of risk versus reward. It was the fact that death had little to no consequence. The world was too accommodating, and the rewards were numerous and forgettable until late game.
This philosophy washed over into every aspect of the game. Ultimately they normalized the prestige that players sought and which kept them logging in. The respect a virtual world like EQ demanded - pushing the player to be cautious, to be efficient, to be sociable - were all scaled back leaving a much less compelling experience. At least in my opinion.
They did what--almost unanimously--every MMORPG company does, and that's copied what seemed to be working for others and applied it in their own game. This is something has always been going on. One example I'll offer was Anarchy Online when they created the Shadowlands expansion. They weren't trying to copy WoW because WoW didn't exist yet. No, they were trying to copy.... (wait).... (wait).... EVERQUEST. Believe it or not, but they actually had instances pre-Shadowlands. At that time, instances weren't yet mainstream. Shadowlands reduced the instances and focused on overland encounters and EQ-like mechanics.
Every company shifts into a state of desperation after they start seeing a fall in new subscriptions, and eventually a fall in overall subscriptions. It seems to be human nature. Instead of trying to innovate or reinvent or refortify, they fallback to what's possibly the easiest countermeasure to survive: copy.
In those days, I was excited about Vanguard. I had been following it since about 2005 or 2006 when news first started emerging. It had a more sandbox orientation with its housing system and player ships--things I welcomed because I always loved UO too. At the time, I didn't have a computer up to specs for Vanguard, but I did watch it like a hawk. AFter several months it was obvious they were falling into the same pattern. They had experienced a steep dropoff in subscriptions and interest. Business interests took over. I also remember feeling unhappy when they removed that equipment expertise thing. It was just another example of them downsizing--or watering down--the game. Later they added the tutorial island up to level 10 and that's like hte most popular trick in the book when a company has lost all hope. It's bottom of the barrel desperation. Everquest did it with the Mines of Gloomingdeep. At that point, I had lost all hope in Vanguard. I'd lost all hope in MMORPGs. It wasn't until I played Wurm Online in 2012 that I regained it and had an unbelievable run.
Of course, Wurm Online is also getting desperate. They started out much more indie than Vanguard, so they've weathered the years better. Yet every game maker is susceptible to the forces of nature, and bit by bit Wurm Online is losing its soul in the same manner as eveyr other MMO that's ever existed.
The instinctive urge to make things easier and more accessible for newer players WHEN things become scary financially is something every game maker has to be more cautious about. They want to save their own skins in a roundabout way, and that's understandable. However, don't forget the affect this will have on hte soul of the game. Ultimately, it seems every game maker fails at this. Eventually the game is a shell of its original self. Some people think this is good, but we don't all agree on that. One of the primary drivers seems to be financial. For example, Project 1999 recaptures much of the original Everquest, but it's not commercial in nature. It doesn't require payment. It's a work of love. Perhaps this is a lesson to any and all future game makers.
I don't believe ALL intentions to make a game easier or more accessible are attempts to survive. Sometimes it's just the changing moods or beliefs of a game maker. I think it can be as simple as just playing a different game for a while and then wanting to implement those things into their own game. This can have good and bad results, but I think usually they have to first check with the business people.
Everything changes, generally. I understand sometimes it's good to change something. I'm not posting here to oppose all change. Just a word of warning.