Before I explain the title of the thread, a little explanation as to my perspective. I'm a guild leader. I never asked to be guild leader. Four years ago I was literally shanghaied into it and found out an hour after the fact. More than that, I'm the leader of the helm guild of our alliance. As such I need to be keenly aware of how our people are feeling and their morale.
I started to see this sentiment once Mod 16 launched, but things got really bad after Mod 17. Our participation absolutely cratered. Large numbers of players are on either temporary or permanent hiatus (it's hard to tell when you haven't seen some in many weeks). When people ARE on, the above sentiment is what I hear the most, worded in one form or another.
Now, another potential piece of evidence. Last week alone I was absolutely inundated with inquiries about bringing our guild into other alliances. I think I counted five separate inquiries. I politely rebuffed them all, but it warranted a short internal discussion on our side. Why the intense interest? What in blazes was going on? Our only explanation was that perhaps active participation is low everywhere and many guilds are hurting.
Devs, you have a major problem on your hands. People are demoralized and you need to do something about it.
I don't think there is any single cause, but I think it's safe to say that the overall push toward making the game harder is part of it. That's not exactly the right description, but the best way I can word it is that in the name of dungeon class balance you've made the solo experience much more tedious and frustrating for casual gamers.
I can't speak for other alliances, but mine doesn't have any hardcore players. I'm probably the most "hardcore" in the sole sense that I'm on every night, mainly because my role pretty much demands it. No one in our alliance is BiS. None of us are "this content is too easy" chest-thumpers. None of us are check-the-leaderboard-every-five-seconds PvP'ers. I'm not sure we even have any PvP'ers. We're mainly an older crowd. At 50, I'm one of the young whippersnappers. Our people have full-time jobs, families, and even other commitments beyond that. Some are caregivers, some are involved with charity. We've had more than our share of members with serious medical issues and we welcome them all. None are remotely what you would consider hard-core.
None are streamers or "content creators", though two of them are prolific Foundry authors. I've watched many of the Neverwinter streamers. They're BiS and they love dungeons. I get that. We are not them.
The vast majority of members I still see are expressing the same sentiment: what made the game fun prior to Mod 16 is gone and they've lost much of their desire to keep playing.
Before Mod 16, every Saturday without fail we would host the alliance at our stronghold for Dragonflight and Marauders. We always had a decent group of people show up, and we often held raffles for some of the people new to the game afterwards. The major draw, though, was simply that we all enjoyed each others' company. It was always fun. We've taken down as many as three dragons at a time, which was huge for us. Since Mod 17, though, that has completely stopped. I'm often the only one on nowadays. As far as I can tell, people are simply too demoralized with the general gameplay experience.
I don't like seeing people who have become my friends demoralized. The reason our alliance was so tight-knit over the past 8-10 mods was precisely because we were so much alike and got along so well. What has happened since April has been heartbreaking, and I don't see an end to it.
Devs. You need to fix this. Please.
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