Yeah i think it’s not going to be a simple thing to tackle. Because yes there are some that as they later found out simply quit right off the bat because there was an initial hick-up with loading the game and they weren’t interested/willing to do even a little digging to deal with it, and that isn’t that unexpected i suppose unless they were REALLLLLY digging the idea of the game rather then just kinda ah that might be kinda sorta interesting. Then you have the folks that found it difficult due the game not being really intuitive.
Some of this can be fixed with better tool tips, and/or tutorials, and perhaps some of it will just have to be a really intuitive UI that really speaks to folks. Now i can’t tell you what that means for MOST folks because well to be honest thats just way to subjective, so how’s that for a conundrum? Have to do the best they can with that one, and we have to do the best we can to assist on that front.
Honestly, and this is in no way a dig/slight upon the devs or the state of the game in regard to how long its been in development or anything like that, but i really think before they focus on trying to get more people onboard with testing, and thus potentially any more word of mouth that may potentially turn more people away from even bothering, if thats possible, is to give it some more time and do some more work as they are at the moment. Now i’m not saying that combat has to be super jazzy before they start trying to get more people on board, but we need to be sure that it is easier to communicate in game, perhaps easier to form groups in game even. We certainly need to have the wiki in better shape up to date as things are being updated so it’s always as up to date as possible. I for one LOVE being able to have as much information as possible about a game when i’m trying to figure it out. Okay what race do i want to try and play, what ships do they have, how do they compare to other races, what are the relative strengths and weaknesses and not just in a very vague “they are the best, or second best kinda explanation”. What techs do they have and what exactly do they do and to what degree do they impact things? I know not everyone is the same, BUT if the information is there folks that want it can get it, and those that arn’t as intersted know it’s there even if they don’t always feel the need to dig real deep into everything. They know it’s there at their fingertips, or that they can readily get in touch with someone in game chat, or message someone in game perhaps.
Another thing that i think is going to be important is that people need to feel like they aren’t in a bubble of nothingness that makes all their efforts essentially meaningless. Sure you’ve got those of us, not at all speaking of my self OH NO, that are still okay just poking around checking stuff out and exploring but most folks are going to want to have neighbors to be friendly, OR NOT, with. I don’t want to be alone forever either, but i can understand why many folks probably get bored after a month or so and just give up. They’ve built up and then all they do is log in once in a while and thats really all there is to do. I mean really all i HAVE to do is log in and queue up stuff here and there, and here and there i’ll go on exploration spree’s to expand my spreadsheet, but i’m not quite as busy as when i first started and i was micromanaging everything. It’s just not the same once you’ve establishing yourself somewhat. Particularly if you have no one nearby like myself. I HAD one neigbhor which i was friendly with, and i suspect he has since quit because i havn’t seen so much as a fleet sailing through open space in nearly two weeks now
So yeah i think it’ll take a little more stuff being put in place to make it a little more inviting before we can really expect to be able to retain more folks, at least i hope. As things start getting more interesting with folks being closer together and more player interaction, econonomically and/or militarily i suspect things will start looking up.