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CaptBlackSparrow

The Real Problem(s) with Atlas (and Ark) - Serious Mature Topic

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There are many issues both games have from bugs to shady practices, but ultimately I think the devs do some good work. There are two key things that keep them from being a great gaming company.
  1. They rush things. This has been discussed ad nauseum. Atlas should not have been released until later this year because only now are the really good features coming that should have been in at launch. Go ahead and lump in shitty communication with this one as well.
  2. This is the more serious problem. They simply do not know who plays their games and why. They fail to understand what their loyal playerbase wants. I get that you want to attract new players and thus new $$, but keeping those who are still logging in to play coming back should be your #1 priority at this point.
Exhibit A.
They thought that players who played and loved Ark would simply roll along into Atlas yet created a game that although similar missed the things that people love about Ark. People who continue to play Ark do so for many reasons, most of which are not necessarily for it's PvP. They enjoy the scenery, the taming and the building. I would argue that islands like Valguero and Ragnarok are even more played than some of the other DLC maps simply because they are not depressing and are catered to more people vs those who specifically want to be in a cave or endure grueling and unfun gaming mechanics such as the danger zones on Extinction. I for one enjoy the idea of the dropped crates you go to for rewards and have to fight off hoardes of dinos, yet dislike that map for it's limited places to build. I enjoy the caves of Aberration, yet would have much preferred there to be some surface that would not melt your face off. Harsh mechanics do not = fun.
This brings me to Atlas. I love setting sail. I love exploring and building, but I also love taming and that was seriously stripped back for this game. It makes sense given the sort of pirate theme you're going for, but then I would need something like the building or more PvE elements to take shape. With the NPC encampments coming, I think this is a good first step, but there needs to be more along those lines.
You want to make more money? Try doing what Conan does. Give people new cosmetic DLC's with Ark with entire new building styles to craft and more themed armor/outfits and weapons to gain with more creatures. I'd rather pay for that every few months than to have some bugged out rushed uninteresting harsh new environment to play, to which I will only end up leaving after a month. Give me reasons to log in and play on the very solid maps that are there instead of giving me time sink mechanics I did not ask for.
In conclusion, learn who is playing your games and why before your next 3-6 development meeting. Cater to those people. Listen to their feedback. Ask them basic questions. What makes them log in? Why should they come back and play your game? What do they enjoy about Ark or Atlas? What do they dislike? You have so many metrics you can look at such as which maps are most popular right now? What are people doing in your game while they are playing it? What pictures/videos are being posted most? Cater to those people and focus on that and you will not go wrong.
 
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You can't expect WildGrapeCardShot to understand their player base.  They ASSUME that "the only way to really play Ark is on the official servers".  This is despite the fact only about 15-18% of Ark's player base is on the official servers at any given time and about 3/4 of those official server peak around 10 players.  In other words, the majority of Ark official servers probably have only one tribe that players on them on a consistent basis.

They are incapable of analysis.  They go with the game play the big boss wants and if he wants a shitty trollfest, the game ends up being a shitty trollfest.

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8 hours ago, CaptBlackSparrow said:
There are many issues both games have from bugs to shady practices, but ultimately I think the devs do some good work. There are two key things that keep them from being a great gaming company.
  1. They rush things. This has been discussed ad nauseum. Atlas should not have been released until later this year because only now are the really good features coming that should have been in at launch. Go ahead and lump in shitty communication with this one as well.
  2. This is the more serious problem. They simply do not know who plays their games and why. They fail to understand what their loyal playerbase wants. I get that you want to attract new players and thus new $$, but keeping those who are still logging in to play coming back should be your #1 priority at this point.
Exhibit A.
They thought that players who played and loved Ark would simply roll along into Atlas yet created a game that although similar missed the things that people love about Ark. People who continue to play Ark do so for many reasons, most of which are not necessarily for it's PvP. They enjoy the scenery, the taming and the building. I would argue that islands like Valguero and Ragnarok are even more played than some of the other DLC maps simply because they are not depressing and are catered to more people vs those who specifically want to be in a cave or endure grueling and unfun gaming mechanics such as the danger zones on Extinction. I for one enjoy the idea of the dropped crates you go to for rewards and have to fight off hoardes of dinos, yet dislike that map for it's limited places to build. I enjoy the caves of Aberration, yet would have much preferred there to be some surface that would not melt your face off. Harsh mechanics do not = fun.
This brings me to Atlas. I love setting sail. I love exploring and building, but I also love taming and that was seriously stripped back for this game. It makes sense given the sort of pirate theme you're going for, but then I would need something like the building or more PvE elements to take shape. With the NPC encampments coming, I think this is a good first step, but there needs to be more along those lines.
You want to make more money? Try doing what Conan does. Give people new cosmetic DLC's with Ark with entire new building styles to craft and more themed armor/outfits and weapons to gain with more creatures. I'd rather pay for that every few months than to have some bugged out rushed uninteresting harsh new environment to play, to which I will only end up leaving after a month. Give me reasons to log in and play on the very solid maps that are there instead of giving me time sink mechanics I did not ask for.
In conclusion, learn who is playing your games and why before your next 3-6 development meeting. Cater to those people. Listen to their feedback. Ask them basic questions. What makes them log in? Why should they come back and play your game? What do they enjoy about Ark or Atlas? What do they dislike? You have so many metrics you can look at such as which maps are most popular right now? What are people doing in your game while they are playing it? What pictures/videos are being posted most? Cater to those people and focus on that and you will not go wrong.
 
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Except lately ark has been making big strides on improving. I am pretty sure that is because jeremy is now with grapeshot and why grapeshot is doing so horrible right now.

take Ced for instance. Poor guy was never able to talk and now he is talking all the time. Hell, even I defend him on twitter which was a big feat in itself. 

I do actually believe at this point that these two companies wildcard and grapeshot are very different companies irs and not one in the same. This is a black and white issue and they have now become polar opposites.

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27 minutes ago, Realist said:

Except lately ark has been making big strides on improving. I am pretty sure that is because jeremy is now with grapeshot and why grapeshot is doing so horrible right now.

take Ced for instance. Poor guy was never able to talk and now he is talking all the time. Hell, even I defend him on twitter which was a big feat in itself. 

I do actually believe at this point that these two companies wildcard and grapeshot are very different companies irs and not one in the same. This is a black and white issue and they have now become polar opposites.

IDK, I looked at Ark's official forums and apparently adding Titans in the Extinction DLC was an ever worse move than Wyverns in Scorched Earth.  Something about only being able to build safely in caves.  Sounds like a mess.

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35 minutes ago, Slash78 said:

IDK, I looked at Ark's official forums and apparently adding Titans in the Extinction DLC was an ever worse move than Wyverns in Scorched Earth.  Something about only being able to build safely in caves.  Sounds like a mess.

That is actually very true. I meant with the new valguero map(new maps are always a good thing). Transfers are not available except for characters so everyone might have started with a 100+ character but they were naked when they spawned in.

still not the fresh start I would have wanted but numbers have been up significantly since the release of valguero.

extinction have a huge spike in numbers but you are very correct in the sense that titans ruined that whole thing. That was simply one of the many stupid decisions that was made by both companies. I do want to point out that at the time of extinction, Jeremy was still very much the boss. 

Once you really see the trail of destruction and who was in charge during that time you can easily see what the problem is or who the problem is.

lately ark has been making good strides in undermesh, performance and a new map. Plus more communication. So all in all ark is still doing way better right now that what we have here

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