Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth - in particular when they are told they are making a mistake or a bad decision....and then we end up in a situation like we have now, where the game is full of angry and confused players.
Let me be absolutly frank here (yes, I know I will not score any popularity points), but the fundamental problem is that the game is developing in a direction that is not appreciated by a very substantial portion of the playerbase.
The stat rework added more problems than it solved.
- The situation fine for the first 20 levels or so. You start with 50% everywhere, and that is more than enough to get through everything at the start. (And, yes, I did really test this over on preview - took a character from level 1. There was one tough fight near the start (Karzov), but that's it.) No real complaints there.+
- The situation is also not too bad for players with, say, 50K+ IL and a full set of mythic mounts and companions. Yes, combat is annoyingly slow - critters may take 50-200% longer to kill than before, and for fights that were already long (like the Avernus T3 hunt) the current situation is just absurd, but it's not unreasonably hard....just tedious and less fun than before.
- Those really suffering are those between those extremes.....this includes mid-level players with maybe just one good companion, one or two epic mounts, a handful of mediocre artifacts, limited insignia, enchants and runestones. This also includes those who hurried to level 80, drove around Avernus to get treasure maps, and think they have good gear, but their IL is just 27K or so. Those are the people getting slaughtered, and they are not happy.
So, what can be done to fix this? I honestly don't know. I just consider the design fundamentally flawed, and there is no easy fix. However, there are some things that could be done to improve some aspects of the changes.
- I have to admit I do not have much sympathy for people who skip content and then complain that they are not strong enough, but on this subject, I think the game is going in the wrong direction, by discouraging progression through hard work. I have called this the "Marxist approach ", but the goal is to reduce the differences between the "have" and "have not" players. This is the wrong thing to do. Many players are motivated by progression - enjoy making their characters stronger, and the game is taking that away.....demotivated players are not likely to spend money or even to stick around. One example of this is the "0.2% per level" for the boons, and the reduction in the guild boons. The message that players are getting is that their hard work is irrelevant - all that matters how much money you spend. My recommendation would be to increase the boons to 1% per level and double the guild boon points. This would send a clear message that you are expected to play the various campaigns....not just skip them.
- You need to work on your reward/effort ratio. It was bad - it is worse now, in particular for the content that the "mid-level" players can do. People now have to work harder, and spend twice the time they spent before for the same pathetic rewards as before. Not good, not motivating. Maybe triple the drop rate for companions for a while to give more people stuff they really need?
- Many players enjoy the feeling of being powerful. Take something like the small instances in Dread Ring, Phantasmal Fortress and such. The very first time I did them they felt tough. Later they felt trivially easy. Now....well, things that previesly died with a single hit now require two. It's just more tedious than before but no more fun and no more rewarding. This is not something anybody wanted or asked for, but a clear example of why the players think the developers are totally out of touch with the playerbase. You really need to find out what motivates your players.....maybe, well, do an honest survey ?
- It is too easy to get "to the top" just by spending money...I used to say "The game is not P2W - it is more like pay-for-convenience or pay-to-avoid-grind.", but there is less and less you have to grind for and more and more you have to buy, which kind-of makes it difficult to justify the previous statement.
So, can the game be fixed? I don'r know....but I have never before heard as many players say "I'm downloading ESO" as yesterday. Something needs to be done.....and quickly, before the player numbers drop too much.