Why do people quit playing?

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JW
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Re: Why do people quit playing?

Post by JW » April 16th, 2008, 8:54 am

Noy, from your above quote, I think you focus on "randomness" being "realistic" way too much. First of all, your analogy to killing 1 insurgent for every 40 bullets is flawed because it doesn't take something into account: the skill of the shooter.

Also, Wesnoth is not a simulation. Flight simulator is a simulation. Wesnoth is as close to real combat as chess is. Wesnoth is turn-based. Surely you don't think war waits on the other side to move, do you? Wesnoth is a video game for people to apply:
1) their creativity in user-made content
2) their skill and knowledge in 1- and multi-player *games* (not simulations)

If you think Wesnoth can teach you about war, you're right. You can learn the same lessons from a movie or a book though, or volunteer. Wesnoth is not the best place for that: again, it is a video game based on abstract, turn-based, fantasy-setting skirmishes. There's no way a 12 v 12 unit match would be a called a war in the real world.




~*~*~*~ EDIT ~*~*~*~

Don't miss my post on the last page just previous to this one. It is a double-post yes, but the thoughts were separate and I didn't want to cloud people's minds.

hiro hito
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Re: Why do people quit playing?

Post by hiro hito » April 16th, 2008, 12:10 pm

because this tread turns (one more time) around luck, i have a question:

is RNG fair for everyone?

I explain:

I noticed that when i host a game my global stats turns around -5%/-30% (each time i host! or at least 98% of my matches)

when i join a game my global stats turns around -2%/0%/+5%

I won many games when i hosted them, but it was only against new players or not experimented ones...
I almost almost loose them against players with same skill.
I almost win all my matches when i joined a game i didnt host...

Was it a bad observation from my part or is there a part of truth in it?
"Of course His Majesty is a pacifist. When I told him that to initiate war was a mistake, he agreed.Thus, gradually, he began to lead toward war."-Emperor Shòwa (Enlightened Peace)'s chief cabinet secretary

nataS
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Re: Why do people quit playing?

Post by nataS » April 16th, 2008, 1:06 pm

hiro hito wrote:is RNG fair for everyone?
No the RNG is very unfair and extremely biased, especially towards people losing the game.

I have let the AI play 9 games, results for AI1:
Game 1: Inflicted -2% / Taken 0% (after 9 turns)
Game 2: Inflicted -3% / Taken +3% (after 19 turns)
Game 3: Inflicted -23% / Taken +18% (after 7 turns)
Game 4: Inflicted +5% / Taken +19% (after 9 turns)
Game 5: Inflicted +5% / Taken +0% (after 23 turns)
Game 6: Inflicted 0% / Taken +8% (after 16 turns)
Game 7: Inflicted -13% / Taken +9% (after 18 turns)
Game 8: Inflicted -4% / Taken -2% (after 17 turns)
Game 9: Inflicted +3% / Taken -3% (after 18 turns)
Average: Inflicted -5% / Taken +6%

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Re: Why do people quit playing?

Post by eyerouge » April 16th, 2008, 1:21 pm

nataS wrote:No the RNG is very unfair and extremely biased, especially towards people losing the game.
I believe we're all starting to move off topic here, as we're originally supposed to discuss why people leave the game. For that, their perception alone is probably enough. If the rng is fair or not doesn't matter much compared to their beliefs. Or maybe it is on topic if the rng really is such a huge problem and it can be shown.

However, I have my doubts about the rng being as broken as it's suggested. For starters, the result of 9 games won't show anything - it would require at least 1000 games, preferably a million or more. Luckily, we as players don't have to resort to letting the computers play that many games on our machines - the developers can simulate this and test the rng code directly, without having the games at all, something which they have probably done a million times already since the broken rng topic is an ever lasting and ever returning one. What I'm saying here is that there is no smooth way for a player to actually test the rng and draw a conclusion about it. Relax and trust the developers, or download the source and check it out yourself :P

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Re: Why do people quit playing?

Post by Wesnothphile » April 16th, 2008, 1:32 pm

I think Wesnoth is a great game, and the community and developers here should be proud of themselves. But, like any game, Wesnoth is not without flaws, and the comments I make here are in the spirit of constructive criticism to explore possibilities for improving gameplay. Warning, long post.

Before this thread devolves into yet-another-rng-flamewar, I think there is an essential point made by Fosprey and Chains that is being drowned out by the rng discussion: Strategic Freedom and misdirection, and the degree to which Wesnoth possesses(or doesn't) these elements.
Fosprey wrote:b)"The game lacks the mindgames i like to have in strategy games"
c) "all the back and forth gets boring very quickly, i want more action no back and forth all day"
Chains wrote::Good games get stuck REALLY often. A continuous back and forth if either side pushes too hard, the game is a loss. This is especially true of 1v1 maps where the villages are really far apart. Niether side can attack, and if one does, he loses his ass. Even Isars has this problem with 4 good players and balanced teams it takes 2-4 hours... and the game often comes down a simple single 50/50 rng roll...
Chains wrote::One reason why Star craft was so god damn fun is because you NEVER knew what the other guy might do. Drop shuttle in the back of your resources... maybe hit your expansion... maybe raid your main force... maybe hit your ally in any number of differentways. In wesnoth I can almost always predict the other guy's moves because there is very little choice once you understand what the good moves actually are.
STRATEGIC FREEDOM

On a tactical level, Wesnoth is one of the best strategy games I've seen (positioning, terrain, range/melee, etc.). But on a strategic level, it lacks the strategic freedom that many other strategy games have.

What do I mean by "strategic freedom"? Choice. Giving the player the choice of more than one path to victory, more than one equally viable path of strategic development.

As Chains has mentioned, in Starcraft, you can pursue several different strategies. Even in turn based strategy games, like Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, you have the option of pursuing a Momentum, Hybrid, or Builder path of strategic development, or psi vs. conventional weapons, or air vs. naval vs. ground, etc.

But, as evidenced by JW's How-to-play series, there's only really one optimal strategic path in each given faction vs. faction game. (e.g., Up against drakes? Get pierce.)

In Blizzard's Starcraft (a 2D sprite-based game that is still actively played ten years after release, along with professional televised tournaments and commentators in Korea), you can choose from multiple strategies, and each of those strategies have multiple counters. So your strategic freedom isn't limited to an "optimal" strategy. Each strategy does have varying degrees of danger/success, so the player needs to weigh the risks. (Note that this is separate from the RNG discussion; I'm talking about strategic risk, not tactical risk, though strategy and tactics do influence each other. But the RNG is mainly a tactical combat element.)

And since the player CANNOT pursue all strategies or paths of strategic development equally, he/she must pick and choose. This is a good thing, because then the game turns more on his strategic choices, and not on the tactical outcomes of the RNG.

Also, each strategy in Starcraft has multiple counters, so gameplay is more versatile and players aren't "locked" into a single optimal strategy to counter someone else. For instance, each race has two ways of detecting hidden/cloaked units, via a building or a unit. Flying mutalisks can be countered by ground-to-air or air-to-air or even spells, thus allowing the player to chose their strategic response (with the varying risks and advantage/disadvantages) of each response choice, instead of locking the player into one optimal strategic choice (e.g., pierce vs. drakes).

This multiple strategic option scenario sounds like it interferes with the KISS principle. But really, strategic freedom places the onus on the player rather than the RNG, giving the player interesting choices to make. And these choices are not just for the sake of choices, but each has varying degrees of risk/advantage/disadvantage. To comply with KISS, just having 2 possibilities instead of being locked into one would be sufficient.

An example of how this concept can work is with the Drake vs. undead, where the undead can use skeleton archer pierce or dark adept cold attack vs. a Drake Clasher, giving the undead player two equally viable counters, instead of restricting his strategic freedom to pierce vs. drake. But this example is the exception rather than the rule in Wesnoth. (See JW's How to Play series for the optimal strategic path you're locked into for any given faction vs. faction matchup).

MIND GAMES

Currently, equally expert players know exactly what type of moves to expect from each other. But if there was more than one optimal strategy, this would no longer be the case. There would be a greater degree of strategic (not tactical RNG outcome) uncertainty, and add intrigue to the game.

Spying/scouting/intelligence would play a greater role, since you would need to figure out what strategic path of development the other side is doing, instead of knowing what to expect the way you do now. And this allows for the possibility of more misdirections.

Wesnoth does have one mind game element in the form of hidden units (e.g., wose in forests) at the moment. But these still tend to be low level tactical, rather than high level strategic elements.

Another mind game element present in Wesnoth is the intimidation of an ulfserker, just having him visible will inhibit your enemy's potential moves.

Going back to the Starcraft example, you can play lots of mind games not just by misleading your opponent about the type and direction of attack, or with hidden/cloaked units, but many other strategic mind game elements like secret nuke notifications to send them into a panic, etc.


RANDOM NUMBER GENERATOR FTW

Now, time for a comment on the pro-luck/anti-luck rift. Noy makes a good point that there was a less luck mod by Sauron that died for lack of support amongst the playing public. But Noy also states (in the post he linked us to) that:
Noy wrote:And just as a parting shot, to the people who think that wesnoth is lottery like really need to give their head a shake. If that was the case people like DK, Soliton, becephalaus ereksos and co. might be the luckiest people on earth.
However, in a thread about Sauron's less luck mod, one of the players Noy cites as being an example of skilled players being able to overcome luck with strategic mastery, states:
Becephalaus wrote: Myth and I have been talking about how 1v1s between us are basically pointless as whoever the RNG favors wins for example. Its too bad cause myth and I should have fun in 1v1s you would think, but it basically is just sit there and grind until the RNG gives someone a huge break.
I contend that the issue here is not the RNG, but the lack of strategic freedom. This lack forces the RNG to be the arbiter between players of equal skill, because the players don't have the choice of exploring alternate strategies, since there might be only one "optimal" strategy, instead of several competing possiblities. So, since choice of strategy is not a factor (i.e., there is only one optimal strategy, and 2 expert players both follow those strategies), the only difference that tips the scales is left up to the RNG, giving the tactical RNG outcomes an outsized role.

I tend to agree with Noy on keeping the RNG, but I also understand the frustration many (including myself) have with the RNG. The solution of lessening the RNG luck doesn't work, as demonstrated by the failure of the Sauron mod. But the problem with the RNG's outsized role still exists as a result of the lack of strategic freedom.

The solution, I think, is to structure the gameplay with greater strategic freedom, so that the RNG is not forced to be the arbiter between players of equally expert skill. Instead, the choice of the players of what equally viable strategies to pursue becomes the determining factor.

Increased strategic freedom and mind game elements would be a net positive for Wesnoth's development, I think, and keep it fresh and interesting for players.

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Re: Why do people quit playing?

Post by Blarumyrran » April 16th, 2008, 1:46 pm

Due to the upcoming synergy between the positions of Jupiter and Pluto, Pisces and Sagittarius will be having considerably positive EV soon, while their chance to slow, plague or poison will be low. On 20.-21. april, Arius, Taurus and Gemini will receive considerable luck in finding good and fun people to play with, and also enjoy excessive luck in campaigns. On the dark side, Aquarius will receive OOS errors abnormally often for a whole month, starting from 18. april; interestingly, an Aquarius will receive almost triple damage from all Saurian Skrmishers and Saurian Augurs, and the upgrades of those. Capricorn, Scorpio and Libra might even catch segfaults, while also constantly misclicking on wrong units in unit selection dialogue. As Mars enters an agressive cosmic position, all Earth signs, but especially Virgo, will suffer of terrible EV, most noticeably missing on enemies on cave, cave mushrooms, or cave hills terrain. Leo and Scorpio should not recruit many mermen or goblins this week, certainly not on sunday; other than that, their EV will be still mildly negative.

In general, the state of Saturn at the moment blesses AI, especially on Flat terrain; we suggest to overcome it with using lots of Forest terrains, against which AI will be somewhat inept; still, it wont be easy.

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Re: Why do people quit playing?

Post by PingPangQui » April 16th, 2008, 2:00 pm

JW wrote: (...) Wesnoth is not a simulation. Flight simulator is a simulation. Wesnoth is as close to real combat as chess is. Wesnoth is turn-based. (....)
Yes and no. Wesnoth as it is is not a simulation, since it is a fantasy game afterall. However, it could easily be turned in a simulation on a very abstract level, i.e. strategic level as chess and other turnbased strategy games are. Being turned based is also reasonable here, since actions taken by strategists, i.e. giving orders, is usually not done continuesly but in intervalls due to long communication routes with many intermediaries, which leads to action-reaction-shemes. Further more a strategist on a high level can not know the exact cirumstances on a low level, thus unexpected results is always something a strategist has to take into account. Using probablities is a very simple, but very effective way to model such unexpected outcomes, imho.

There are two things I learned while playing wesnoth. There is always someone who can beat you. Nothing is sure.
The Clan Antagonist.

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Re: Why do people quit playing?

Post by jb » April 16th, 2008, 2:24 pm

Due to the upcoming synergy between the positions of Jupiter and Pluto, Pisces and Sagittarius will be having considerably positive EV soon, while their chance to slow, plague or poison will be low. On 20.-21. april, Arius, Taurus and Gemini will receive considerable luck in finding good and fun people to play with, and also enjoy excessive luck in campaigns. On the dark side, Aquarius will receive OOS errors abnormally often for a whole month, starting from 18. april; interestingly, an Aquarius will receive almost triple damage from all Saurian Skrmishers and Saurian Augurs, and the upgrades of those. Capricorn, Scorpio and Libra might even catch segfaults, while also constantly misclicking on wrong units in unit selection dialogue. As Mars enters an agressive cosmic position, all Earth signs, but especially Virgo, will suffer of terrible EV, most noticeably missing on enemies on cave, cave mushrooms, or cave hills terrain. Leo and Scorpio should not recruit many mermen or goblins this week, certainly not on sunday; other than that, their EV will be still mildly negative.
That's some funny stuff. :)
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hiro hito
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Re: Why do people quit playing?

Post by hiro hito » April 16th, 2008, 2:43 pm

nataS wrote:
hiro hito wrote:is RNG fair for everyone?
No the RNG is very unfair and extremely biased, especially towards people losing the game.

I have let the AI play 9 games, results for AI1:
Game 1: Inflicted -2% / Taken 0% (after 9 turns)
Game 2: Inflicted -3% / Taken +3% (after 19 turns)
Game 3: Inflicted -23% / Taken +18% (after 7 turns)
Game 4: Inflicted +5% / Taken +19% (after 9 turns)
Game 5: Inflicted +5% / Taken +0% (after 23 turns)
Game 6: Inflicted 0% / Taken +8% (after 16 turns)
Game 7: Inflicted -13% / Taken +9% (after 18 turns)
Game 8: Inflicted -4% / Taken -2% (after 17 turns)
Game 9: Inflicted +3% / Taken -3% (after 18 turns)
Average: Inflicted -5% / Taken +6%
Is it a proof for a match between 2 players with different IP adress?
Maybe iam wrong but RNG is based on IP adress? (tell me if iam wrong, i was just told that..).
So is RNG fair for 2 different IP adress?
"Of course His Majesty is a pacifist. When I told him that to initiate war was a mistake, he agreed.Thus, gradually, he began to lead toward war."-Emperor Shòwa (Enlightened Peace)'s chief cabinet secretary

SumnerH
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Re: Why do people quit playing?

Post by SumnerH » April 16th, 2008, 4:46 pm

Noy wrote:Eyerouge I would have liked to post in this thread but I haven't had the time. Basically I believe that Wesnoth is a very special game that really will only interest a narrow segment of the gaming public... a reality that we should accept and embrace.
I agree with this to a degree, but I wouldn't get too carried away with it as a reason to ignore changes that enhance replay value. Nethack is a turn-based game with even more limited graphics (it's all _text_ for crying out loud), that certainly appeals to a narrow segment of the gaming public, but it manages to maintain a lot more replay value. FWIW, ESR is a developer for both games...

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Re: Why do people quit playing?

Post by Fosprey » April 16th, 2008, 5:57 pm

I have nothing about the RNG, i think the random number generator is a good one. The problem is the luck has too much weight in games.
Part of this can be what wesnothphile has said, the lack of strategy freedom.
Basically yes, if a strategy game have luck elements, but the "space" to play better is big enough, the luck elements can be overshadowed. But in most games, is just easier to reduce the luck factor, instead of giving players more space to outplay the opponents. Given the actual wesnoth , i think it will mean a major change on the game, that it's not going to happen (but i'm starting to work on,read my signature)

I doubt people left the game because the RNG, but because, the kind of people that tend to stick to games are people that likes more deterministic results.
I have to say that i understand the problem of removing luck. The first decision i have to make into making the wesnoth translation is how determinstic i want the damage to be.
There are some advantages of variable events. They help to keep the game fresh, they also makes creativity and logic skills more important than memory, knowledge and mathematics.
I like to make a move, and after that move, everthing changed, i like to be expectant to see WHAT will happen. I like to not be able to tell myself EXACTLY the next 10 moves i will do
So luck has their benefits, on the other side it makes game less determinstic. And there is a feel people like when they play games, justice to tell somehow. To see that the one who played better won the game.
Yes, i say it again, just because people tend to repeat it. I KNOW that a better player will win MORE games than a worst player. But, for some people, that's not enough.
One problem with the luck in wesnoth about combat is that NOT killing a unit can be completly desvastating, if you send your ranged to kill their Frontline, And they fail, (when you have chance to suceed of 85%), you will be left with all of them open , all ranged in front and melee back (the idea is to replace the opponent dead unit with your own melee unit, just for the records), you will lose.
This is one of the examples. a lot of people sometimes say "hey but there isn't a big difference in EV in the RNG" But sometimes the luck is more importan than others, sometimes looking at your bad luck ,you can retreat, sometimes, is alrady to late,you miss all the attacks on a unit on a village that you could take? you can retreat, you did lose an advantage chance, ok, you will have more.
You miss all your attacks on the unit that covers the front, you lose your army and the game, unless he get VERY unlucky too.
This is specially true because sometimes not being able to kill a unit means you can't attack others and you end in a horrible position.
There are different kinds of luck, suppose that instead of failing your attacks, each turn each players would be noticed wich units will miss. Then you had badluck, now a lot of your units got 0 damage, but you know it and can do something about it. The way the game plays now, by the time you know you had bad luck, there isn't a thing you can do.
For example traits are a kind of luck i like, you know if you had good or bad luck a lot before you do your moves, and thus you have time to play around it.
I could explain more about this random events where you can do something about it, and when you don't , but this is pretty long already.

But basically i want to say , that is definitly a group of things that make people leave, luck alone wouldn't do a damn alone, it's how it ends working considering other parts of wesnoth, like the small freedom of strategies you have.

misanthropope
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Re: Why do people quit playing?

Post by misanthropope » April 16th, 2008, 7:12 pm

i never have time to play a multiplayer game, which i regret but here in the real world three hours of uninterrupted discretionary time is damn hard to come by (and better spent having sex anyhow...). so why i will leave wesnoth (in another month or two, likely) has no relevance to the competitive players.

the campaigns have too much "snowballing", and individual scenarios are too much shaped by the idiocy of the AI. others have commented already that answering the question of "how do i beat level 23" with "well back in level 5 you should have" is a sure sign of defective construction. but it goes much farther than that. carry-over is everything, so your real "victory condition" in any campaign scenario (except the finale of each campaign) is to lose nothing. you have to conserve gold, so your "good" units are basically all you use, most scenarios are fought on the other side's preferred terrain against lots of units, who play as though losing any number of units to kill one of yours is _their_ victory condition. it basically mandates a huge amount of micro-management, and encourages plenty of "save and reload".

campaign scenarios should have reasonable minimums for gold and the units available to recruit (ie including a limited supply of leveled units where then the AI is routinely calling leveled units itself), and on the flip side only a small fraction of a victorious army (and its gold stash) should carry over, and IMO higher level units should be more expensive to recall. scenarios should be more self-contained so they can be enjoyed tactically instead of one having to squeeze every last gold coin and experience point out of each one.

a reasonably smart AI would be on my wish list, though i realize just how difficult such a thing is, and it would mandate a total revamp of many/most campaign scenarios (since many are unwinnable against a hypothetical smart opponent).

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Re: Why do people quit playing?

Post by Dave » April 16th, 2008, 8:14 pm

hiro hito wrote: Is it a proof for a match between 2 players with different IP adress?
Maybe iam wrong but RNG is based on IP adress? (tell me if iam wrong, i was just told that..).
So is RNG fair for 2 different IP adress?
The random number generation scheme used in Wesnoth does not use and is unrelated to IP addresses.

David
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SumnerH
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Re: Why do people quit playing?

Post by SumnerH » April 16th, 2008, 8:54 pm

misanthropope wrote:it basically mandates a huge amount of micro-management, and encourages plenty of "save and reload".
Just an aside: I found it shocking that turn-by-turn saves are kept, it sort of defeats the purpose of this kind of strategy game to allow in-scenario save/restore. But then I'm used to the nethack style, where you can save+exit and later restore+delete save--saving lets you play later, it doesn't let you replay something you messed up (if you die, you can't restore a save).

X-Com and other turn-based strategy games I've played likewise didn't allow in-scenario saving as far as I can remember.

I'm not arguing for removing it (though I personally don't use in-scenario saves, feels too much like cheating), just commenting that comig from a turn-based gaming background I found it odd.

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Re: Why do people quit playing?

Post by Vendanna » April 16th, 2008, 9:32 pm

SumnerH wrote:X-Com and other turn-based strategy games I've played likewise didn't allow in-scenario saving as far as I can remember.
Both X-com "Ufo: enemy unknow" and "Terror from the deep" allowed you to save in mid-scenario battle, yes you needed to save it using one of the icons (I think it was the "?") or similar, but it was possible tought I usually used it because I prefered to never loose one of my renamed marines (friends names) and in order to try to save the most amount of civilians on terror misions.

Mostly played like an rpg hotseat, each friend controlled a char.
I'm not arguing for removing it (though I personally don't use in-scenario saves, feels too much like cheating), just commenting that comig from a turn-based gaming background I found it odd.
Well, I must say that the only one that get's hipotetically damaged by the action is the same person that save-loaded it. Tought, IMHO each person should be allowed to play like they want if by doing so they aren't hurting another user fun.

In the end, yes I use save/load, and I know that it could give me bad habits if I somehow enter the multiplayer realm where I cannot nor should save/load when I gambled and risked an unit. Fortuitous for me, I usually enjoy more playing single games against AI than go toe to toe with other users.

Main reason, wesnoth games can turn very long, specially with a lot of players, and I want to be able to cut the game when I want to and return later and I prefer to not have other person waiting if for some reason I need to be AFK or need to shut down the cpu for the day.

Still, one thing that usually maintains people busy on games is grinding/gambling (d2 as example in the search of the perfect weapon, etc.) wesnoth doesn't have that much replay value since most of the game is very linear.

Aka, the campaings usually goes the way a-b-c-d-e and sometimes if you are lucky you have a fork somewhere between scenarios. once you have played it, you already would know where are the enemies placed, objetives and all the talk/story, you could replay it in order to go to the other way and probably do so, but once you had done it, its finito.

Allowing more possibilities however moves more from the traditional TBS and enter in the realm of RPG/"choose your own adventure books"

If a campaing allows you to choose your leader/profession in which certain levels will be easier to overcome or you have access to other places is a good way to increase replayability on a campaing. (and probably some type of players could stay longer)

Apart of that, people also stand longer with a game if for some reason they get more involved with it (because at that stage, they start to pour time/feelings on it make sprites, music, talk in the community) in the end, while they could not play for a looooong time, they would probably stay for the friendness.

That's how I see it and my feeling about that, I played d2 for over roughly 10 years and first X-com probably 5 to 6 years too.
"Mysteries are revealed in the light of reason."

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