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benyrbenyr Member Posts: 205 Arc User
Before I get started I know this isn't a definitive figure for the number of players in the game, it doesn't account for players logging in via ARC, or console players and nor does it account for players with multiple accounts or players logging in purely to collect VIP rewards or invoke and not actually playing the game.

However, I was just looking at the steam player number charts for Neverwinter, and as a trend for player numbers it is a useful indicator. The September 2021 Average players number was 1355.6 and peak players number was 2402. These are the lowest numbers in their respective categories since the Steam records began in December 2013. They're not just the lowest numbers since the game launched on Steam, they are the lowest by quite a distance only October 2019 comes close.

Its early days yet, but currently this month looks set to be even worse with 1323.9 Average players and a 2249 peak figure. This is of course in line with anecdotal evidence, the game feels emptier lots of familiar names have gone, pug queue times are painful etc. It could of course be that the reduced number of players consists of a player base that spends more money and Cryptic are happy with how things are progressing, but that feels unlikely given the constant giveaways and sales.

I know I wont get a definitive answer on this forum, and certainly nothing from the developers, but at what point do they realise the direction they are taking the game in is not proving popular with their players, or are we past that point and they simply don't care or don't have the resources for another rework? I'm sure some people like how the game is now, but the numbers don't lie, the average player numbers are down over 1000 and peak over 2000 since they started making major changes with Mod 16, that's near enough a 50% reduction on the Steam player base They may be attracting new players but they're not staying in sufficient numbers to keep up with the ongoing attrition.
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Comments

  • john#8455 john Member Posts: 14 Arc User
    Hey Benyr, Steam is such a small part of the player base it isn't really consequential. If you just add up the folks in P.E. in the different instances it's often higher than the Steam avg player count. There is another site that tracks player base, https://mmo-population.com/r/Neverwinter/stats that I always use as a guide.
  • mentinmindmakermentinmindmaker Member Posts: 1,261 Arc User
    edited October 7
    john#8455 said:

    Hey Benyr, Steam is such a small part of the player base it isn't really consequential. If you just add up the folks in P.E. in the different instances it's often higher than the Steam avg player count. There is another site that tracks player base, https://mmo-population.com/r/Neverwinter/stats that I always use as a guide.

    Steamcharts is a good indication of player count development as long as you assume the percentage of players using steam is constant. That might or might not be true. But at least the numbers from steamcharts are automatically generated from the number of players using the game from Steam, so we know where the numbers come from and there are no likely error sources there.

    While mmo-population try to include all players in their count, they do not tell us where the numbers come from. That makes it impossible to verify the numbers and what error sources could be present.

    But either way, both agree that Neverwinter is low at the moment.

    The recent launch of New World is very likely to hit Neverwinter player numbers in addition to the general attrition.
  • franciscoperolafranciscoperola Member Posts: 43 Arc User
    According to the MMO Popolations website, the number of active players in the last five years has been rising consistently, reaching 51,000 at the end of September.
    However, more important than the number of active players, is the average number of players at any time of day, and then the numbers point, depending on the origin, to 4,500 to 5,000, about three times the Steam numbers, which seems correct to me, because you have to add the ARC and console players.
    It remains to be seen whether this number will be enough to keep the game financially. Honestly, due to the effort that Cryptic makes to attract new players, it seems not.
  • silente07#2597 silente07 Member Posts: 212 Arc User
    It’s bad communication while they get rid of old code and generate new content. They mothballed all the early content knowing they were going to use it as a story point later on.
    If they had communicated that, the rage quit and outrage may have been less.
    They don’t have the cash backing of most other mmo, certainly not New World.

    They knew major changes have to be made to keep the game relevant but are handicapped by staff limitations and poor leadership. By that I mean the constant turnover of leads.

    They need one vision, not a new on ever 6 months or a year.

    We need to make it through the growing pains and get a consistent path forward.
  • arazith07arazith07 Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 1,220 Arc User
    co2#1085 said:


    (...)

    Conclusion: if one want believe the MMO Site results then you have to make up many 'theoretical possible but less likely' stories. The Steam Charts on the other hand are compatible with all kind of indicators. And all together also indicates that the general user behavior on all platforms is very similar. There was for sure a difference when NW was introduced to the Consoles (no endgame users, all were new, market smaller etc.) but after some time the difference flattened out and despite little differences in mentality (buy/consume ratios on Consoles might be higher) and some delayed reactions (due to new content/changes appear at first on PC) everything points to a) users in general act similar and b) one can extrapolate the Steam Charts behavior and tendency - which is negative ...

    Your sources show only part of the picture, and may not actually represent the true player population. Google trends, only really shows google searches and other such search engine interactions, if anything would show potential new player interest (not even players themselves). It doesn't take into account players like me who directly go to the game's website or established player run sites, or even twitter for information. Same goes for your forum trend source.

    Yes, there are not too many people watching the game on streaming platforms, same could be said for many other games that are popular, but just plain not fun to watch. Most of the downward trend can actually be explained away due to lack of new dungeon content, and the current downward trend is not even the lowest point or even the sharpest negative slope. I would wait to see where the trend goes after the next dungeon or trial releases (and no the reworked Demo doesn't count since there really wasn't much of a change in mechanics).

    Subreddit, not really sure how you got your shrinking result. If anything, more people are subscribed than before and not many of them feel like engaging with the posts being made. I would come to the conclusion that there just isn't enough engagement outside of Developer AMAs.

    Steam charts, like many other indicators show such a small portion of the population that you can't really say that the game is dying unless there is a drastic and sudden change as what might be seen with the release of M16. But players on steam declining could just simply be because steam purchases locks your account from using the AH for zen purchased items and people want to avoid it, or the addition of a new game library app like Epic Store, or a myriad of other reasons.

    Just because a site might show something that doesn't make sense to you, doesn't make it wrong. Many MMO ranking sites shows Neverwinter as doing well, sure it's not the most popular, but it's beating most of the competition.
  • sandukutupusandukutupu Member Posts: 2,273 Arc User
    It has been said here before, the Steam Charts is akin to the Nielsen Ratings that is a proven audience measurement system. As of September, Star Trek has superseded Neverwinter in popularity, this isn't a first for both these games on the same network. The last time it happened was back in late December to early January.

    But you don't need to take Steam's word for it. Just use the tools at your disposal to see it first hand. Enter the game and count heads. I have done it myself and in groups. It is a simple process that takes about 20 to 30 minutes. Open the social menu and notepad, find person tab and enter the data. Peak time seems to be noon to 4 PM EST / 9AM to 1 PM PT on any Saturday.

    Read this thread link.

    Have fun!

    wb-cenders.gif
  • mentinmindmakermentinmindmaker Member Posts: 1,261 Arc User
    I think it is proved beyond reasonable doubt that the Neverwinter playerbase is shrinking. Most indicators say so, and my personal experiences agree. Less people in game, less activity on forums and Reddit etc etc.

    Declining activity over time is the expected and natural development, it happens to all game products. Over time they wither and eventually they die.

    The interesting question is how close is Neverwinter to being shut down?

    I can just point to old EQ1 that is *still* receiving updates after being launched in 1999.

    It does not necessarily require that huge a playerbase to keep a game alive when it is part of a larger enterprise.
    I am actually more concerned about the failure of the Magic game - Cryptic missed at getting a new cash cow that could carry them forward.
  • rockster#6227 rockster Member Posts: 793 Arc User
    edited October 8
    For anyone who has played for many years, you don't need to look to external stat sources to know what's going on, you only have to compare how busy PE zone chat is today compared to the past. It used to be thriving and extremely busy with all the same regular players appearing every day and having long involved social chats and the chat window moving up fast and constantly all day everyday. Now it's far quieter and more sporadic with many periods of extended sudden quiet with the main activity in LFG and when people are interacting in PE zone chat it's mainly brand new players asking extremely basic questions on how to play the game. You only have to watch the reduced activity in PE zone chat to see the game is dying.
  • autumnwitchautumnwitch Member Posts: 1,016 Arc User
    FYI You can go to Xbox and they list the top FTP by popularity. NW is currently sitting at #30 out of 109. I remember NW being higher than 30 before but not much higher.

    The last info we have for PS is June and only list the top ten FTP and NW didn't make the cut (not that I ever remember them being in the top ten).

    The problem with these lists is they don't give the actual stats (numbers of players.)

    Just my 2 cents it seems a wee bit busier right now than it has been but bottom line is the number of players is almost meaningless to determine viability of the game. The only stat that really matters is the numbers of payers. If more people are spending now, even if the base as a whole is much smaller, the game might be more profitable. I don't know what their magic number is so who the hell knows.

    All that said, my gut is telling me the Echoes of Prophecy might be their make it or break it project. If the revenue doesn't increase over this time, I would not be surprised if they didn't just park the game and leave it up but just in a maintenance state with no more updates.



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  • hotfrostwormhotfrostworm Member Posts: 335 Arc User
    PWE - Parent Company for Cryptic Studios
    It takes quite a bit for PWE to close any of their games, Chinese based MMOs such as these, are residual income to them. They have a motion picture studio for real revenues. I assume this is not an issue with the parent company. If PWE has to step in, it would be to liquidate or sell off the studio to another company. They could just as easy dump more cash into the studio, assuming they haven't loaned them money already.

    Cryptic Studios the subsidiary
    They have about 100 to 150 employees last I looked, that is after the 40 plus they laid off after the Magic: Legends fizzled out. Still unclear who actually pulled the plug there. The IP holder could have nixed it, Wizards of the Coast might have looked and said, "No, not good enough we are handing this off to someone else." If so, that is not the first time a property was pulled from Cryptic and given to another developer. Marvel did it to them long ago. Champions Online is at best the only property they don't need to worry about the IP. CBS owns Star Trek, but from what they green light for the IP, I think anyone can get CBS to let them do just about anything with Star Trek.

    Wizards of the Coast - Intellectual Property Rights Holder.
    I am only speculating here, however if WoC pulled the plug on Magic, it came about the same time as all the "big changes" to Neverwinter. User @blargskull and I have coffee each morning, from time to time, we discuss the company politics of D&D, WoC, etc.. It is his opinion, Cryptic lost Magic and were forced to make changes to Neverwinter. About the same time Chris Whiteside and Douglas Miller pulled the ripcord on their parachutes and left for other companies. I told him it could be a coincidence and all of these events are in no way connected.

    Player Population and Popularity
    I am sure, if you make a side by side comparison to the ebb and flow of Star Trek Online, you will see a small increase with every movie production. People who never played the game, watch a movie or TV series and start looking for a game to play. Other who have played, return to play the game out of nostalgia. Neverwinter D&D doesn't have that luxury of Paramount and CBS making them gain attention. There is a new D&D movie in the works a year from now. Cryptic Studios also has some light competition with the DDO game now owned by Warner Brothers. While it is okay to have a revolving door on players, you really want the inflow stronger than the outflow.

    Popularity of the game draws in new users, quality game play will make them stay longer, and fandom will have them buying into the franchise. Low player numbers are an issue, however you can see any loose bricks in this tower can be flirting with disastrous results.
  • greywyndgreywynd Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 6,217 Arc User
    sakhsft said:

    if the game is active only for a few hours per day lets say 5-6 hours then the game is dying/dead , i play all night and almost all morning and it feels dead nothing moves zone/trade/lfg chat is dead channels are dead , theres no content
    playerbase are fake

    I can log in any time and the one channel guaranteed to be moving is LFG.
    I'm not looking for forgiveness, and I'm way past asking permission. Earth just lost her best defender, so we're here to fight. And if you want to stand in our way, we'll fight you too.
  • plasticbatplasticbat Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 9,823 Arc User
    sakhsft said:

    if the game is active only for a few hours per day lets say 5-6 hours then the game is dying/dead , i play all night and almost all morning and it feels dead nothing moves zone/trade/lfg chat is dead channels are dead , theres no content
    playerbase are fake

    There are channels that are removed from my default and they are zone, trade, lfg. Not everyone cares about strangers' chat until the moment they need them.
    The game can read your mind. If you want it, you won't get it. If you don't expect to get it, you will.
  • greywyndgreywynd Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 6,217 Arc User
    I normally have zone up. Trade is turned off on all my characters. LFG is up selectively.
    I'm not looking for forgiveness, and I'm way past asking permission. Earth just lost her best defender, so we're here to fight. And if you want to stand in our way, we'll fight you too.
  • plasticbatplasticbat Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 9,823 Arc User
    edited October 9
    sakhsft said:

    sakhsft said:

    if the game is active only for a few hours per day lets say 5-6 hours then the game is dying/dead , i play all night and almost all morning and it feels dead nothing moves zone/trade/lfg chat is dead channels are dead , theres no content
    playerbase are fake

    There are channels that are removed from my default and they are zone, trade, lfg. Not everyone cares about strangers' chat until the moment they need them.
    every one on the game are strangers , cuz you are in some channel or guild that makes you family ? you are still strangers
    and the game is just dead 18hours a day only a few hours are active players then is graveyard
    Yes, just different level of strangers. How about not everyone cares about random strangers who happens like to talk nonsense in public. To filter that out, no zone, no lfg, no trade. You won't see these people based on those channel activities.
    The game can read your mind. If you want it, you won't get it. If you don't expect to get it, you will.
  • greywyndgreywynd Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 6,217 Arc User
    I'm not looking for forgiveness, and I'm way past asking permission. Earth just lost her best defender, so we're here to fight. And if you want to stand in our way, we'll fight you too.
  • xenocide#6577 xenocide Member Posts: 205 Arc User
    I have been playing neverwinter off and on for over 4 years now.
    And for over 4 years now I have heard many times players saying that the game is dying.

    The game is not dying.

    When a new mod launches players come rushing back to play it, as they finish up with the new campaign, grind out some of the new gear or whatever it is that is available they take a break and go play other games while they wait for some new content.

    The last mod was released over 2 months ago, the last campaign was released almost 8 months ago.

    Once mod 22 launches you will more than likely see the numbers go up on your steam charts, and slowly start to dwindle back down again as they always do.

    On the bright side you only need 5 people to run a dungeon.
  • callumf#9018 callumf Member Posts: 1,518 Arc User
    I haven't seen NW this busy in ages - many toons running the Prophecy of Echoes stuff to get the goodies.

    Well Of Dragons had 9 or 10 instances the other week - I haven't seen that for literally years!

    Neverdeath Graveyard was alive and kicking, ppl looking for the Dragon Clues and the Decree Missions.

    Ok most ppl have finished the Milestone 1 bit, but for a week NW was very active.

    On the negative side having DEMO in RTQ is still killing the feelgood factor...
  • armadeonxarmadeonx Member Posts: 4,903 Arc User
    Yeah I saw a ton of new players when levelling up my Bard. I often inspected them to gauge whether they were new or experienced, assessing them by:

    Enchantments / gear that most likely would've come from a higher level toon (e.g. my new Bard was using a Lightning & a Barkshield).
    Companion & Mount
    Class & combat competency
    Guild membership

    I mostly didn't bother checking their XBox info for hours played but I did a few that I wasn't sure about.

    I was impressed by the number of apparently new accounts.
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  • jules#6770 jules Member Posts: 671 Arc User
    edited October 9
    I would say that many games are seeing a drop in numbers currently since sitting in queue or actively playing New World is quite time consuming.

    (And Neverwinter is very strong at switching out veterans for new players that try out the game for like, two months. That isn't too bad on the numbers)
    - bye bye -
  • tchefi#6735 tchefi Member Posts: 308 Arc User
    edited October 11

    I haven't seen NW this busy in ages - many toons running the Prophecy of Echoes stuff to get the goodies.

    I logged in roughly 30 minutes after the game was up on Prophecy of Echoes update first day, and stayed in the Moonstone Mask the following 6 hours, doing nothing but playing music on the scene with my bard while side-watching the uninterrupted ballet of players coming in, talking to the NPC, and getting out.
    Some (few) stopped to listen to the music, 30sec, 2min, 10min, or more, chilling, dancing or talking to each others (and myself). It was a very entertaining evening for me =) (and i got some nice tips too :D).

    Honestly, I was quite surprised (and pleased) by how many players I saw, as I wasn't expecting that much. Ok, there were probably tons of alts too but anyway, the Moonstone Mask really felt crowded that day, though unfortunately it was mostly like a crossing station than anything else as people are so in a hurry to rush any new content like mad men ^^'.

    I would like to see more questlines heading/leading to the Moonstone Mask :P.
  • hadestemplar#9918 hadestemplar Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 969 Arc User
    benyr said:

    Before I get started I know this isn't a definitive figure for the number of players in the game, it doesn't account for players logging in via ARC, or console players and nor does it account for players with multiple accounts or players logging in purely to collect VIP rewards or invoke and not actually playing the game.

    However, I was just looking at the steam player number charts for Neverwinter, and as a trend for player numbers it is a useful indicator. The September 2021 Average players number was 1355.6 and peak players number was 2402. These are the lowest numbers in their respective categories since the Steam records began in December 2013. They're not just the lowest numbers since the game launched on Steam, they are the lowest by quite a distance only October 2019 comes close.

    Its early days yet, but currently this month looks set to be even worse with 1323.9 Average players and a 2249 peak figure. This is of course in line with anecdotal evidence, the game feels emptier lots of familiar names have gone, pug queue times are painful etc. It could of course be that the reduced number of players consists of a player base that spends more money and Cryptic are happy with how things are progressing, but that feels unlikely given the constant giveaways and sales.

    I know I wont get a definitive answer on this forum, and certainly nothing from the developers, but at what point do they realise the direction they are taking the game in is not proving popular with their players, or are we past that point and they simply don't care or don't have the resources for another rework? I'm sure some people like how the game is now, but the numbers don't lie, the average player numbers are down over 1000 and peak over 2000 since they started making major changes with Mod 16, that's near enough a 50% reduction on the Steam player base They may be attracting new players but they're not staying in sufficient numbers to keep up with the ongoing attrition
    .
    I wrote same stuffs before in other thread, yet It's seems I need to write here yet again.

    Neverwinter online use instance based system. Each instance support up to 25 players.
    The skirmish and dungeons support up to 5 players( one party). The trial is 10 player(two parties).

    The only instance in game which can support more than 25 players is Strongholds Guild vs guild pvp. That is 40 players in total.

    So who cares if there is 200 players online, or 4k or 25k. The game is mostly up to 2 parties. Thats mean in whole server is need to have x2 tanks, x2 heals an x6 dps. So it's no matter if there is more or less players connected to this game.


    Other thing speaking about numbers, since this is global server, you need to count in time difference and peak per region. Lets say in EU is middle of the day, while In asia and west Coast( NA) is middle of the night, same can be said about South America continent. And when it's middle of the day let say in australia, there is middle of the night in EU.

    Ther thing the data where it was taken. I assume you took steam numbers. Which actually represent only portion of playerbase.

    Some use ARC, some may use Unreal/epic client, and some like me connect to game directly via NWO game client.

    In the end only game publisher, may know true numbers. But also need that number counted by unique IP's not by connected characters/accounts.
    While there is highly reduced, there is still some players who use multiclient apps to run multiple accounts. I don't even count bots, whom you met time to time too. Remember there is no system which can't be bypassed, only matter is time. :)

    So while you preaching that game is going in bad way from your view point. There is no way to make this game dead. This game is global server, and to get less than 10 players is whole server, good luck to reach this point.
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  • stark760stark760 Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 462 Arc User
    They need to create more instances when they are full, and not keep it crammed and no where to go. In avernus yesterday, at this time of day, there were 12 instances, all with 17 players minimum, and 4 over the normal 20 player cap. Im not sure what dictacts the server starting more instances, but when players are actually trying to get into zones, and they are full, and no where to farm, they get frustrated and log usually. I would say if the cap is 20 people, and every zone has 10+, the server create a new instance. I know not every zone has a problem, but several need more instances.
  • forumaccount#7167 forumaccount Member Posts: 98 Arc User
    My play time is also very low at the moment. There is just not a lot of content for people who have been long time players. For me it started with the sharandar mod. Once I had completed the campaign there was only vos and hunting for bounties. I stopped doing bounties once I had 3 pieces of useable companion gear and haven't been to the sharandar map since then because there is no reason.

    Then mod 21 was released and it had no new content for long time players. I got a couple new characters to 20 to see the new leveling experience but that got boring pretty fast.

    The reworked demogorgon trial got me playing a bit more. But now I have the set and I'm not that interested in farming it.

    I thought the new Event would be something where I could spend more time similar to the redeemed citadel event. But after completing the weeklies and story quests on my main I was already over 25% done with the milestone. And with the help of y couple alts doing the story quests I was able to complete the first milestone in only 2 days.


    Not counting legacy campaing quests and maybe keys there is no reason to revisit any of the old campaigns. The only campaign that is an exception is descent into avernus in vallenhas, because it has the juma bags.

    Currently I mostly log in to claim my daily key from vip. I also do the legacy campaign quests but that's mostly it. Sometimes I also run random queues but not even every day. I did them more often when you could complete them with a random group but with the advanced dungeon queue and the reworked demogorgon I only do them with a premade group.

    I really hope that the new queue that they want to introduce will keep my interest a bit more.
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