The West 2013 or "Quo vadis, Inogames?"

Pankreas PorFavor

Well-Known Member
I'm sure there will be people who will find this post pessimistic, whining or something along those lines, but I still need to write it because I am worried. I know, I know - there have always been posts like this, with every change there is a lot of posts that claim that The West is dying, but this time the numbers are really low.
I play this game for 4 years or so, and it has been a lot of fun - and I want it to continue in that direction. In 2012 we had at least 2 big changes - migration, and v2.0. The result was supposed to be a game which will be more fun and exciting, and attract more players, make the worlds more active. Is this achieved?

I play in 4 worlds.
W1 - 3952 players. W12 - 2785 players. AZ - 4137 players. CO - 5572 players.
These numbers look the same as when migration was introduced, don't they? Did we get worlds with more activity? I am sad to say - no.
Maybe Dakota is "the place to be", but I don't have the will power to start from 0 again. I invested a lot of time, and some money, in characters I play in 4 worlds mentioned above, they should not go to waste (if this game survives).
All in all, my conclusion is that migration didn't really make a difference to the players, it just helps Innogames to close some servers and free up some hardware resources. Maybe I'm wrong, that's why I write this - to hear other opinions.

And then there's version 2.... A lot of complaints - many players left, and some are in vacation mode since it started. I am learning to live with all the good and all the bad that the new version brought, but I agree with many complaints posted in this forum, and again, I am sad to see that not a lot has been done regarding these complaints.
The major one being work times. Crafting is, IMHO, now much harder, collecting materials for forts takes forever etc.
Chat is awful. Maybe just because I'm used to previous chat, but I feel a huge drop in chat activity compared to previous version. And chatting keeps the players involved and active. Interaction is the key to this game, at least for me.
Anyway, if the goal of v2 was to attract new players - I haven't noticed that. I have seen some new faces join the game, I invited some to my towns and I've tried to get them involved, help them with equipment etc. It didn't help. The ones that have not deleted on their own are inactive, turned red and are waiting for the system to delete them.

So - what are the plans for 2013? And I am not talking about the development road map. Where does Innogames want to take this game? I hope there is someone from Inno here who can answer this, or that our forum mods can get this answer. Beacuse, as I said at the beginning - I am worried about the future of this game. I have seen commercials for Grepolis, but not for The West. Maybe I missed them, maybe they're there, but I, personally, don't see the result. Maybe it's just .net, maybe it's different in other servers, but I seriously doubt that...

Lets hope that things will soon pick up, because as it is now, I don't think this is going in the right direction. What do you think?
 

futurama1001

Well-Known Member
Anyway, if the goal of v2 was to attract new players - I haven't noticed that. I have seen some new faces join the game, I invited some to my towns and I've tried to get them involved, help them with equipment etc. It didn't help. The ones that have not deleted on their own are inactive, turned red and are waiting for the system to delete them.
Yeah, this game is not everyone's cup of tea, the majority of new players have always deleted or gone inactive rather than becoming long term players. 2.0 was an attempt by Inno to keep these new players' attention for a longer period of time, at the sacrifice of the existing players' comfort. Unfortunately, it does not seem like this has worked, as numbers have now dropped back roughly to where they were before the update.
 

Good Feather

Well-Known Member
I think the ultimate question is... its 2013 and we havent seen a roadmap as we did in 2011 then in 2012

What is on the roadmap agenda for 2013?
 

Pankreas PorFavor

Well-Known Member
I think it is premature to make conclusions on such a big update after only a few weeks.
you might be right, but that's not exactly why I started the topic, not to make definite conclusions about the upgrade to v2.
it's an "open letter" to Innogames about the future of this game - because there were 2 major news in this game in 2012, and as activity in the game and number of players is concerned - nothing happened.
 

huliganuL

Banned
OOO but ur wrong Pankreas....the inactivity of palyers is a lot bigger and the number of players a lot smaller:D
 

DeletedUser26406

Inno's main focus right now is on making new games and on their very popular games like Grepolis. The West is just a backwater project, kept alive because people still play it and it still brings in some cash.
 

Spun Carny

Well-Known Member
"a few weeks?" Um, a few months. The 'excitement' factor of something new & shiny has worn off, or at least starting to dull. I've got somewhat used to the changes, and actually finding more I do like, but it sure seems like in-game activity- market, ff, dueling, has dropped off, especially in light of world merges. If it didn't make a big splash in Oct-Nov., highly unlikely it's gonna spontaneously happen now/going forward without some sort of push.
 

DeletedUser30224

let me share my opinion on the matter as well. I do not know ho much they make out of this game, but I'm guessing it's enough or more than that. Some of the old loyal players left when the job system was introduced, other part timers left because of the chat, in the end it doesn't matter as they would leave anyhow due to the nature of the game. There are not that many hardcore players to stick in here no matter what you throw at them. That would mean their personal life is very stable and not changing.

I do not know what Inno did 3 years ago, but when I joined Arizona, the suggested world, many people were joining the west around that period as well. I mean their first server was arizona, and I am happy to say that many of them are still playing even now. Maybe it's just a coincidence or faulty speculation but it seems to me that there are not many new players racing to lvl 120 these days.

What Inno did wrong in my opinion: "live hard die fast policy" implementation. Introduce items people can buy with real money to unbalance the game economy. Making full premium world. and the most blatant and recent is introducing items that are not available to everyone.

Let me explain. If I would want to get more cash for my efforts, I'd seek to sell services that will give an edge to paying customers but without eliminating the rest from the picture, things like higher energy, income, premium character bonus, shamman, buy products, even buy non-named items, shorten travel time, even shorten job time (with cool down). I could even live with the short jobs with an option to keep uniform job times throughout all jobs. You could select a low time (5min lowest) which would yield the same product drop chance as it was the standard 1h, but with option to make it 15, 30, 1h each of which would consume that much incrementing energy that one h would consume 100 energy(12 chance to drop products, 4 chances of item drops). I would lower the regen time in hotel to 6h and barrack to 3h. I would NEVER give something to nugget player that regular players can't optain given time. I would also leave Boxes dropable from jobs, fort battles (fixing the darned best damage biggest reward cowardly pure premium duelistic bs and award it a bit more non-class dependent). Hopefully it would be attractive to new players, it would be much more interactive and less time consuming for opportunistic players. I'd also keep one world open only with a larger map spanning on multiple servers if needed due to database-response time limitations. I would "employ" one set of game master that would hold game events to mix it up. I think that would do me quite good indeed :)

If only pigs could fly eh?
 

killado

The main point is that after the upb shop was introduced, this was a new game than before.
With the 2.0 arrival, the things we liked where changed... something for better (jobs, even that those low times should start at 10 minutes and raise from there until the 2 hours, instead of the 1 minute (forgetting the 15sec just to use energy) and accidents) others for worst (the chat was great before... now we can´t even get a good fort battle with the chat out of the way and the speed of the game for older computers).

Then there are some massive mistakes that the team keeps to let go:
The noob quest should be the first thing that people would get after the tutorial. Why did the team choosed the shaman quest to be available BEFORE people can get the lowest level trainee set? The noob set had a use for people around level 10-12, now we get it at level 18-20,when we don´t need it for anything... since the bonus it gives are already available only with the skills.

On the other side, i understand this choice. Getting people to receive the shaman first and start using things from the shop, will get more money for Inno. And people will be addicted to get to 120 faster using the shop and getting everything in a few weeks, instead of a year like it taked before.

We saw with the Tombola... People using money to get all those very special things... and a gigantic number of tries in all servers.

In the economical level, the 2.0 must be getting a very good value for inno... on the other side, players are giving up faster than before.
 

DeletedUser30224

in other words, Inno is playing their cards and pretend that they are listening to our desires as well. The balance is lacking to be honest.
 

Hentai Girl

I don`t think changes are so bad. I played west last time nearly 2 years ago, but i do not think that the game become worse.
And about premium and nugget options - i don`t think it`s so bad either. It`s still possible for non premium players to win against premium in duel, fort battle, to do good jobs and find good items. Tombola goods are aviable at the market. Ofcourse without nuggets it will take more time and effort, but not everyone have lots of free time, and they compensate it with money - to be equal with game professionals)
 

Pankreas PorFavor

Well-Known Member
Hentai Girl, you completely missed the point of my post. It is not about changes being good or bad - it's about Innogames talking about how the changes are implemented to attract new players, make the worlds more active etc.
And the number of players is going down every day.
2 weeks ago, in my original post:
W1 - 3952 players. W12 - 2785 players. AZ - 4137 players. CO - 5572 players.
And today:
W1 - 3925. W12 - 2703. AZ - 3939. CO - 5256.
A slow, but steady, decrease. And in 2 weeks I did not see any reply in this topic by "responsible persons" that would make me think that Innogames has a plan to stop this trend.
 

supraxus

I suppose you could look at it this way: If Innogames does little to address this, is there anything fans and players of the game can do to address this?

Looking at it that way, I see two main options:
1. Like any niche interest, players who want to see this game tick along should/could continue to pay for it. A small but steady stream is possibly all it would take to keep this alive (if not thriving) and we all 'go tell our friends to play the game'
2. Players stop playing or leave. Natural attrition. Inno does little to prevent it. Evenutally, game dies.

So in some respect if Inno does nothing, and we want to play, what choice do we have really other than to continue to pay/play?
 

Pankreas PorFavor

Well-Known Member
you're right, that's our only choice. but it's not Inno's only choice. and to me it seems unbelievable that they actually chose to let the number of players decrease, which in turn means less money for them - after they have invested so much in this product!?
why not advertise and try to sell this product to a larger number of players and earn more? could it be that they gave up on The West? could it be that they don't want more people to play this game? everything points to the conclusion that the answer is "yes". and I can't understand that business model. I don't expect them to explain it to me, I'm not a shareholder, just a customer....
 

Pankreas PorFavor

Well-Known Member
huh... Elmyr, I would agree with you if I didn't have the misfortune to work for a company that invested $17 million in a project, and then sold it for $1 3 months after it was closed. that's one dollar, not one million dollars. what's logical is not the same as what's real :(

in any case, if we assume you're right (and I REALLY REALLY hope you are), why in the world don't I see any advertisements for The West? FFS I've seen the commercial for Grepolis on TV in this godforsaken east european country, and I've seen millions of banners for all kinds of browser games all over the net, but I don't see anything regarding The West. all I see is that the number of worlds is reduced, and the number of players decreases. these things are real. do you see anything that Inno is doing to keep existing players and attract new ones? because I don't, and that worries me.
all I want is to be proven wrong :)
 

sandaki

I've seen players playing this game again, because either they want to duel or want to fort fight. I never seen someone back in this game for crafting or building forts.:)
Every updates widens the gap between premium and non-premium players.