The romanticized memory of 2.5k players and server split often comes up during various discussions around here. It's usually brought up when the discussion contestants are already thoroughly dug in and is almost always used to strengthen one's own point of view.
I've long wondered if we would be able to discuss this without becoming entirely entrenched and thus rendering the discussion pointless?
We have several camps of players where the lines between the camps are sometimes blurred, so attempts at classifying players would be somewhat simplified or academic. You could start with pro-PvP and pro-PvE oversimplification. Most posters wouldn’t feel comfortable with that at all so we need to introduce more groups like role-players, simmers, war-gamers, MMO’ers, PvP-on-demand (arena) and so on. Even that wouldn’t be enough because many players feel they swing-role and don’t want to be put in one single constrictive group. You can put me in one single group as this whole experience has driven me into the PvP-on-demand group.
We’ve been told the approximate number of buyers and many of us experienced the number of concurrent players who tried out NA at EA release.
There are things we don’t know but have strong and biased opinions about:
What is the normal and inevitable player fall-off after EA or release hype?
Was NA player fall-off normal or exaggerated?
If we lost more players “than necessary” then why?
Like everyone else I wish that we had a million billion players, a large contingent of concurrent players fixes every and all our problems, or so we like to think. Oh! There are other pertinent questions than the ones listed above, I wanted to leave room for other posters to put them forth and I wanted to avoid wall-of-text.
If I’m having a bad day I might say that I think we have all the players we can hope to ever get that are willing or able to derive fun from eco or PvE grindy play. An easy conclusion for me because I’ve never understood nor experienced fun in that manner. That says nothing about the world, though, it’s only a snapshot of one single individual. I go on to assume that most people are like me and that I have the most effective solution to player recruitment and retention. Pretty insane, right?
I’m also able to find issues within my own camp. I actually think the fighting mechanics in NA are hard enough to exclude derpy pley4fun peeps. Even without incurring eco grinding penalties it’s hard for herp-a-derp autoskipper captains to get a sense of achievement in the PvP part of NA. I celebrate this even if I’m aware it turns away an unknown amount of recruits. This is intended almost from the very beginning but many posters here have varying degrees of uneasiness towards low server pop which leads us to varying degrees of willingness to make concessions to recruit and retain players.
This discussion has the potential to devolve into the shit show it often does. But then it won’t take much self-deprecation and restraint to be able to have an actual discussion instead of the habitual trench war.
It is an interesting question, isn’t it?