The biggest problem is that this all didn’t just begin, it already happened. The damage is done.
NCSoft and their launch plans, locking the wardrobe behind a paywall, 20 bucks for a dobok (YIKES!), Reducing blight weapon gem slots from 3 to 2 to 1…seriously?
At launch the newcomers had to buy or craft Moonwater Transformation Stone to break through Profane weapon, which at the time 7 gold was a bit crazy and putting the recipe together for it which was just as bonkers, but then you reached True Profane and needed to hit Siren. This is where the player gets slapped across the face. Soulstones are acquired by either doing Faction dailies or buying them straight from the Marketplace. Well…BOTH have their flaws (Remember this applies to a player who’s playing FOR THE FIRST TIME with their FIRST TOON). Bear in mind that first impressions count, you screw up from the start then you already assume the rest. Again remember this is subject to NEW PLAYERS AT LAUNCH, NOT NOW.
For acquiring Soulstones, you enter the faction areas to do the dailies for them. Although the problem with that is you have people griefing you with characters that are 3 times your level, two hitting you. To a point that some even wait at your faction’s camp to get you again keeping you from doing the daily at all. And since faction areas DO NOT balance gear or stats, it doesn’t help. Switching channels solves the problem…20% of the time. Since people LOVE doing it so they’re almost in every channel. But hey, there’s always buying the Soulstones from the marketplace, right?
Why? Did that player make THAT much gold already to do so? In most cases, no. The game isn’t new player friendly at all.
The west didn’t screw up now, they screwed up all the way from launch. They started to snowball with problems and only NOW are they trying to rectify the issues.
Permanent discounts to weapon upgrades? Too late NCsoft. Too late.
What was really painful to see was every channel in every area (Aside from Grand Harvest Square) was throwing me in Channel 1, which is a very bad sign. The zones are barren and areas are empty. To make matters worse, the western version is catering to hardcore players, which left casuals up high and dry. And since that’s the case, the playerbase decline makes perfect sense. Remember that in the MMO space there are more casuals than hardcore players, Wildstar indirectly proved that at launch, how did that turn out? Say what you will about the game in other regions, but our version got rekt.
EDIT: Forgot to mention the bots and hackers caused the game to take massive hits in decline of playerbase, by the time the majority of that problem was dealt with they lost far too many players already. As for optimization? They made the game run off a single CPU Core, when the Unreal Engine 3 as of recent build revision, can run off 4 cores. Why they chose to run off a single core is beyond me.
EDIT 2: Sorry Rhy but for this argument I’m rotating the turrets on my gunship towards your general direction, NCSoft need to admit their mistakes this time.