Why do people quit playing?

General feedback and discussion of the game.

Moderators: Forum Moderators, Developers

Post Reply
User avatar
eyerouge
Posts: 380
Joined: June 29th, 2007, 4:37 am
Location: wtactics.org
Contact:

Why do people quit playing?

Post by eyerouge » April 10th, 2008, 11:14 pm

In a discussion it was suggested that the average Wesnoth player has a short Wesnothian life, that most people are new to the game and leave it in a not to distant future, that there are not that many veterans around.

I'm checking with you girls & guys to 1) see if you share my friends notion and if that's true 2) if you have some elaborate explanation to why people don't stick around.

I know that the game is probably one of the most popular & well developed open source games around and that there's plenty of activity here in the forum. I am however not sure that alone answers my original question.

My personal impression this far which I've gotten form players that never fell for the game or fell but left quickly is that many of them are too anxious for the game and that they get a bad experience of playing it because they lose a lot from the start, never really grasping simple basic concepts like the terrain & defence relation etc. They don't fully understand why their units miss, die or take so much damage from time to time, and often start blaming the, according to them, luck factor.

What are your own thoughts on the subject? How do you figure it?

Velensk
Multiplayer Contributor
Posts: 3984
Joined: January 24th, 2007, 12:56 am

Re: Why do people quit playing?

Post by Velensk » April 10th, 2008, 11:53 pm

I think that wesnoth is not a game that appeals to the masses, it has a few aspects that they like, but the core that is required to be good and/or enjoy it is not possessed by most. As such they try it, have fun, then leave when they get bored. Consiter how many people olny play survival extream or other such senarios.

Then there are a number of other factors, consiter how many people stop on the forum to request some change to an aspect that ruins the game for them (in many cases the rng). These people get told that if they don't like it they don't have to play, and in many cases they probably stop. Now factor in all the players who don't even stop on the forum before they stop playing, and you see where this is going.

Then lastly there is the fact that after doing one thing for a very long time you tend to get tireing. Most of the oldest people around do something other than play, it may be art or campains or other UMC, but it is something very diffrent from the actual game, and many of them rarely play because they spend most of their time with the other stuff.
"There are two kinds of old men in the world. The kind who didn't go to war and who say that they should have lived fast died young and left a handsome corpse and the old men who did go to war and who say that there is no such thing as a handsome corpse."

Devrailis Colandore
Posts: 76
Joined: April 22nd, 2007, 3:16 am
Location: Canada

Re: Why do people quit playing?

Post by Devrailis Colandore » April 11th, 2008, 1:05 am

I think that many people simply get tired of repetition, and this applies to Wesnoth just like any other game. I've been playing Wesnoth for more than a year and a half now, which is significantly longer than I have played most other games. When it was new, I was playing all the time, trying all the different faction match-ups on the different maps. But you know, eventually you start to find yourself playing the same sort of routine over and over again. There are only so many Loyalist vs. Undead on XYZ map games that I can play before I get tired of even thinking about it. Let's not get started with the mainline campaigns, which by their very nature are very linear, nevermind their branching scenarios and whatnots.

I think one of the things that kept me playing Wesnoth for so long was the amount of material the community had contributed to the game. If it weren't for the Extended Era and Era of Myths, and the numerous UMCs, I probably would have lost interest in the game a long time ago. My interest in Wesnoth used to come and go, and usually what brought me back to Wesnoth was the discovery of yet another interesting addition I'd pick up on the add-on server.

Like Velensk said as well, doing things other than just playing the game helps to keep Wesnoth interesting as well. In truth, I hardly ever play the game anymore. I occasionally fiddle around with it, but nowadays, I find it much more interesting and stimulating trying to write campaigns for Wesnoth instead. The amount of time that I've put into the current campaign that I'm working on certainly exceeds the amount of time I ever spent playing Wesnoth by a considerable margin. If I were to be frank and honest about it, the reason why I am personally still interested in Wesnoth is not because I'm interested in Wesnoth per say, but because I am interested in telling a story or imagining a world, and applying it to Wesnoth. Thus I feel personally invested in the game at a deeper level than I would be if I were just interested in playing.

Something else that I think Velensk was touching on was the community of the game. For some people, it's important to get to know the community. I'm going out on a limb for this one, since I rarely frequent the forums myself, nor do I know most of the players who play Wesnoth, but like with any other game, some people just feel that there is more of an incentive to stick around if there is a welcoming community, and if they butt heads (whether it be their fault or not), or feel that the community isn't for them, they will leave.

At the end of the day, it's still all about personal taste. I've introduced Wesnoth to more than a few people, and some have liked the game for a long time, and others played it, liked it, and moved on. Wesnoth is a game that falls under a rather specific genre and some people are drawn to it, and others aren't. Considering that there are so many different people out there, the fact that Wesnoth can appeal to enough people of varying interests already is impressive enough. Not every game can do that.

EDIT: eyerouge - To address your own personal impression, I would have to say that that is highly dependant on the person. It took me a little while to grasp the finer points of Wesnoth's mechanics, but that was precisely one of the things that made me stick around. Not knowing how the game worked made it new to me, and it wasn't until I got used to the game rules that I started getting tired of the game. This is very much a personal feeling though, so I can't speak for everyone. You may be right about the majority of people, or you may be wrong.

Dave
Founding Developer
Posts: 7067
Joined: August 17th, 2003, 5:07 am
Location: Seattle
Contact:

Re: Why do people quit playing?

Post by Dave » April 11th, 2008, 1:47 am

I think that all games are like this. Only a few people enjoy any game enough to play it over and over. Some games are more replayable than others. Some games have very little replayability at all.

I think it's very natural that for any game, only a very few people will play it on an ongoing basis -- for even a week or more.

I think that we do rather well in Wesnoth to attract as many long-time players as we do.

David
“At Gambling, the deadly sin is to mistake bad play for bad luck.” -- Ian Fleming

User avatar
Thrawn
Moderator Emeritus
Posts: 2047
Joined: June 2nd, 2005, 11:37 am
Location: bridge of SSD Chimera

Re: Why do people quit playing?

Post by Thrawn » April 11th, 2008, 2:26 am

Honestly, I stopped playing because of college. And actually having friends...it eats up too much time.

But I'm still around, sometimes under an occasionally different name <_<

I think the biggest thing is that as people have said, the novelty wears off, and then, besides playing new campaigns, etc, the only motivation is if you want to be competitive on-line..
...please remember that "IT'S" ALWAYS MEANS "IT IS" and "ITS" IS WHAT YOU USE TO INDICATE POSSESSION BY "IT".--scott

this goes for they're/their/there as well

hiro hito
Posts: 201
Joined: November 23rd, 2006, 8:00 am

Re: Why do people quit playing?

Post by hiro hito » April 11th, 2008, 6:19 am

For my part i try to keep playing as much as i can since 2 years...

Since two years, I've noticed that the game's evolution goes to a strategic game to a simple fighting game, where everyone want to see the 2/3/4lvl unit without thinking how do it....

What i mean is when i started to play, the game was very strategic: default setting, with good 1vs1 or nice team game. Now there are more and more game with 30% 5g setting, and more&more Xtrem survival, XXtren Survival and XXvery boring survival.....(no offence; but i dont like this game and many people play it)

Because of that, it's hard to find players (reliable players) who like the game as a strategic game.
There are less default setting games than the others! amazing, no?.....
If we dont find games with default setting then you have to quit playing....

Fortunaly, ladder show us good matches.

But i think that having so many setting control in MP make new players play with wrong setting.
That way, when they join a default setting game they are lost because in fact they didnt learn how to play...
"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

Genesis7
Posts: 11
Joined: April 6th, 2008, 5:08 pm
Location: London...where else?

Re: Why do people quit playing?

Post by Genesis7 » April 11th, 2008, 2:03 pm

For me it's the fact that I own a mac, and this is one of the few good games for mac, and that is both makes me play more and makes it likelier that I will lose interest more quickly. I myself have quit and come back 3 times since '06 but what really keeps people going is the ability to add, and I'm only now going to start pixel art and what not, personally that's what I think really makes a person stay. When they feel like they're working on improving the game, but unfortunately a lot of people don't try that and for them it gets old quite fast...
Sprite is law.

User avatar
DDR
Posts: 556
Joined: March 23rd, 2007, 4:56 pm
Location: Kamloops, Canada
Contact:

Re: Why do people quit playing?

Post by DDR » April 11th, 2008, 11:36 pm

Me, I tend to take a while to move on.
And I like WML.

I guess some people do not like 2D graphics? :hmm:

Dave
Founding Developer
Posts: 7067
Joined: August 17th, 2003, 5:07 am
Location: Seattle
Contact:

Re: Why do people quit playing?

Post by Dave » April 11th, 2008, 11:41 pm

DDR wrote: I guess some people do not like 2D graphics? :hmm:
I think that's why people don't begin playing it in the first place. Not why someone who has played it a while stops playing it.
“At Gambling, the deadly sin is to mistake bad play for bad luck.” -- Ian Fleming

User avatar
DDR
Posts: 556
Joined: March 23rd, 2007, 4:56 pm
Location: Kamloops, Canada
Contact:

Re: Why do people quit playing?

Post by DDR » April 11th, 2008, 11:47 pm

Oh, oops. I stand corrected.

Fosprey
Posts: 252
Joined: January 25th, 2008, 8:13 am

Re: Why do people quit playing?

Post by Fosprey » April 12th, 2008, 4:22 am

I knew quite some guys who played wesnoth and quited. I'm the only one of my friends that keeps playing, and only once in a while. I personally asked them (4 of them) before posting this reply.
The general answer was.
1. "it was fun, but since the community is against making it competitive it gets boring really quick"

And the more specific commentary
a)"most people in the lobby don't play the "interesting wesnoth" But mostly 2v2 fast maps and survival, i won't play a game where most people isn't trying to improve"
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"
d) "I don't know, i just get bored when i play it, but to be honest i don't know the reason." (this one only played for a week, all the others played for like a month and a little more, and i'm trying to convince him more, since he just "don't know", btw his two favorites games are Heroes of might and magic 3 and DOTA, and also liked Age of wonders"

Have in mind that me and my friends, are all Professional poker players and we all earn money from competitive gaming since we were 12-14. We are all now between 22-26 right now.
So we have basically the same kind of vision, we are all very competitie, and we all love strategy games.
Just for the records i keep trying to drag them back, and i still like wesnoth and plan to keep playing for a long time. But if i would stop to play it would be for a little of every reason mentioned above except D (right now i'm playing only 1 or 2 games a week, i play to play more, but i defiintly would play more if at least one of my friends woudl come back to the game)

User avatar
anakayub
Moderator Emeritus
Posts: 518
Joined: May 3rd, 2007, 12:44 pm
Location: Malaysia
Contact:

Re: Why do people quit playing?

Post by anakayub » April 12th, 2008, 6:19 am

1: For which you should tell them about the unofficial ladder by eyerouge, made for people like your friends :)

Most of my friends are all DotA fanatics and never touched Wesnoth, even though they always see me on the game. Most of them like the spontaneity of such games and won't touch more meticulously calculative games like Civ/Wesnoth*. Those who did play were never gamers in any sense and just play the game occasionally with me via hotseat. I guess that games like Civ/Wesnoth are catered to just a very specific community; there aren't many games like it, requiring a different "special" mindset to playing it.

*There are those who play games like Football Manager, but not many; most people I know play only 2-3 games at most (I only play Wesnoth).
Take a breath.

Lastmerlin
Posts: 45
Joined: September 25th, 2007, 5:37 pm

Re: Why do people quit playing?

Post by Lastmerlin » April 13th, 2008, 11:32 am

I'll try to explain you some reasons from the point of view of a (still) unexperienced player.

Some things that are no/minor problems are imo:
- graphics: This is not a FPS, the strength of the game is strategy
- to few *action* : people who don't like to retreat in some situations and wait for a favorable moment to attack are wrong with strategy games.
- regular players that stop playing: You cant do anything here

The main problems are some things that spoil fun for newcomers and make a high percentage (perhaps 80% ? ) quit really fast. I think that most of the regular players dont notice them, as they belong to the other 20% who dont care about these.
Please note, that i dont propose to change the whole game - I just will try to show the reasons.

1. rng: of course ;) . What do you think, why you have so much topics about this ? Of course you are right, if you say that playstyle has a lot more influence and luck nearly always balanced over longer games. But thats the mathematics, the other side is psychology and at this point wesnoth is bad.
Lets give an example:
In Heroes of Might n Magic (homm) you have a base damage at with a certain percentage you will get extra damage (luck) or an additional move (high morale). The player doesnt expect to get a such an event and if he gets such a bonus, this is a positiv event and you feel, that you had luck.
Wesnoth does exactly the opposite: You attack a unit with 80% chance to kill and expect, that you succeed. If this fails then you feel that you had bad luck. This applys to nearly each action: You attack and you expect to deal high damage and get low dmg. If your unit scores 0/4 and the enemy hits 2/2 then you will hate the rng. Humans tend to set 80%=100% (perhaps even 70%, you know the *invincible* feeling on 70% terrain ? ).
A lot of players can deal with some random influence. Its the type of random distribution that makes wesnoth so frustrating for lots of players. A random distribution, that has the same EV and the same variance can still _feel_ very different. Only few players like a type of random that often feels like punishment. I guess that even experienced players notice bad luck much more often than good luck.

2. campaigns: I dont like to play campaigns in wesnoth. This is strange, as I really like campaigns in other games. A little quote:
*I cant beat Scenario 13. I have to few gold*
*Simply recall the loyal units from scenario 2. That saves you a lot of money. Hmm, you lost them ? Then go back at least 4 Scenarios and finish them faster. But better you start again and try to keep alive the loyal units*
You see what I want to say ? There is _much_ more influence between the single scenarios in wesnoth than in other games. As new players _make_ mistakes they dont want to get punished for these mistakes for the next 10 scenarios. The usual behavior is: There are some main characters who will follow you through the missions, but everything (other units, ressources, research ...) is reset at the beginning of each scenario (examples: warcraft, homm.. ). Of course, if you make mistakes with these main characters, this will hurt a bit, but you can beat the game with nearly each setup. Its again a sort of psychology: Immidiate punishment for mistakes is _much_ more acceptable (and give much more learning effect) than a punishment hours later. Especially I hate this *you should not recruit/recall to much* - I have a devasting army but I should not use it, because I will have to few gold 3 missions later. Imagine a Homm where you could buy the big dragons but you should not do it, because this will make the next mission much harder - horrible.

3. Save/Load: You can save and load everywhere - before each attack, even during the enemys turn. One the one hand you give the player the opportunity to do this, on the other hand you tell him that this is cheating and he should be ashamed. Why dont you allow to buy a spectre for 5G and then say *you should not use this, as this is cheating*. Doing such things is not good style imo. Save/Load is just a game action. So it should be only allowed, where it is really wanted. If you can save somewhere else, this should be explicitely marked as cheating. Never tell a player to feel ashame for using an option that is offered by the game a legal action.

4. Multiplayer: There atm two main game styles on the multiplayer server: survival and isars. Survival is not real wesnoth. Especially the isars player are really unfriendly towards new players (that make mistakes, of course) I already said this in my first post. You told me to open my own games. When you do so, you will find out, that you will get mostly much stronger opponents. Playing stronger players is not a bad idea, but if you play _much_ stronger playing you will get crushed and wont learn anything (mainly because will still loose terribly even if you avoid some mistakes you did before). Finding opponents of adequate strenght is a big problem. I have seen the ladder (nice idea), but when I see that the top10 ends at 1570 points and a newcomer starts with 1500, I think that finding the right opponents base on this rating wont work.

Ok long post. I hope you enjoy reading and dont care about some language mistakes :)

User avatar
eyerouge
Posts: 380
Joined: June 29th, 2007, 4:37 am
Location: wtactics.org
Contact:

Re: Why do people quit playing?

Post by eyerouge » April 13th, 2008, 12:35 pm

Lastmerlin:

Interesting read about the random generator effects. Even though the rng doesn't disturb me personally, you might be correct that there seems to be a big difference of how various approaches to using a rng is perceived from a psychological point of view. Think you had a good example with HoMM. What would be nice is to see some real literature on the subject - this way it looks like speculations, even if it all sounds very plausible in my head and I have a hard time imagining that you're mistaken.

On the subject of the ladder, which is half-way to off-topic: The entry point of x in a ladder system (in this case 1500) always appears to be a problem, but isn't really one. It takes at least 3 games to get listed in the ladder, and the person ranked 10:th has about 1570. Those 70 more than the 1500 are plenty. Even if it's not apparent at first you'd notice it if you played a couple of games there. Also, the 1500 entry points are not the amount of points a newbie is expected to have - it's the amount an average skilled player would have, it's the nature of the Elo system we use and is often misunderstood. In either case, we're about to change things in a near future so the spread between players will be wider.

User avatar
Aethaeryn
Translator
Posts: 1553
Joined: September 15th, 2007, 10:21 pm
Location: Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Re: Why do people quit playing?

Post by Aethaeryn » April 13th, 2008, 12:41 pm

Lastmerlin wrote:3. Save/Load: You can save and load everywhere - before each attack, even during the enemys turn. One the one hand you give the player the opportunity to do this, on the other hand you tell him that this is cheating and he should be ashamed. Why dont you allow to buy a spectre for 5G and then say *you should not use this, as this is cheating*. Doing such things is not good style imo. Save/Load is just a game action. So it should be only allowed, where it is really wanted. If you can save somewhere else, this should be explicitely marked as cheating. Never tell a player to feel ashame for using an option that is offered by the game a legal action.
Solution (and probably not that popular of one): Disable autosave by default. Then it's still there for legitimate uses, but someone has to actually save or actively enable it so if they cheat it's their fault. Right now auto-saves seem too much like a free "reroll" of the RNG. Maybe when you enable auto-saves it warns "warning, save/loading multiple times to reroll the RNG is cheating and spoils the fun of the campaign in the long run" or something like that.

Another alternative is having the game detect the amount of times you load a certain save (single player only, in multiplayer the server could theoretically go down several times or something and save/loading isn't common since it's a lot more inconvenient for 2-5 players to rejoin 10 times) and if you load it more than 2 or 3 times (save/loading often reloads a lot) it disables it for something like 48 hours. Then you are cheating to edit the file to reenable it earlier and it's less save/load friendly.
Aethaeryn (User Page)
Wiki Moderator (wiki)
Latin Translator [wiki=Latin Translation](wiki)[/wiki]
Maintainer of Thunderstone Era (wiki) and Aethaeryn's Maps [wiki=Aethaeryn's Maps](wiki)[/wiki]

Post Reply