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Lacrymas

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Pathfinder: Wrath
RE: Multiplayer and longevity - there's a reason developers focus on multiplayer. Once you finish the campaign, there isn't much to do in RTSes, only the PvP people are keeping the game alive. Look at SF3, it has an extensive campaign, 2 expansion campaigns, journey mode and skirmishes, yet the game is a graveyard. It has RTS mechanics that are good enough for a campaign, but not good enough for PvP and that's what's important in the long run.
 

thesheeep

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RE: Multiplayer and longevity - there's a reason developers focus on multiplayer. Once you finish the campaign, there isn't much to do in RTSes, only the PvP people are keeping the game alive.
A game doesn't need to be "alive" to make the developer money.
In fact, a game being purchase only with no MTX actually costs the developer more the more people keep playing it in multiplayer, with all the necessary infrastructure and development necessary for it.

It's a myth that people keeping playing a game specifically in multiplayer are necessary for longevity.
If that was the case, other single player games that have obvious longevity would not exist - they clearly do, and they are cheaper for the developer than trying to achieve the same for multiplayer.

In the end, if you want longevity, you need a community to form around a game, no matter the genre and no matter if SP or MP.
RTSs regularly fail to do that for various reasons.

The reason developers often try to focus on multiplayer for community building is because it seems to be easy to them.
But it's not, the MP RTS crowd is elusive and picky as hell, even moreso than the much larger SP crowd.
It's a stupid move by corporate suits rather than someone who understands the audience.

Look at SF3, it has an extensive campaign, 2 expansion campaigns, journey mode and skirmishes, yet the game is a graveyard.
And people came back to buy the first standalone expansion as well as the second.
In numbers that are about as expected when it comes to expansions (looking at the review numbers compared to main game, at least), or maybe even better (considering people tend to leave way fewer reviews for expansions than for the main game).
It made its money back, unless they were for some reason expecting a breakout success without any real marketing, in which case the publisher just messed up.
It is dead now, yeah, but I don't think it was a failure.

A community cannot form around a game that was pretty much just thrown onto the market with little to no fanfare or community building neither before nor after release.

And their absurd attempt at going for the MP crowd with that weird "free" edition speaks for itself... nobody cared, because nobody was interested in MP in that game to begin with.

You "only" have to make the single player experience engaging and varied enough for people to come back.
As well as provide some kind of continuous support to keep things at least a bit "fresh". Or proper mod support.
A story-focused campaign won't do that, no matter how good it is.
The journey mode is just a bunch of skirmish maps with absolute minimal glue connecting it.

Compare it, for example, with DoW:Soulstorm which still has people playing the campaign, or modded campaigns. It isn't great, but "good enough" and more importantly, the game has so many factions that that alone provides replayability in such a sandbox-y campaign.
Or WC3 with its custom maps birthing entire genres (and often perfectly playable alone even though you often needed to be online).
Or the Warhammer TW games. Sure, CA messes stuff up relentlessly, but the base game and mod support provides years of longevity even with their bullshitting around.
 
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Lacrymas

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Pathfinder: Wrath
Sure, you don't need multiplayer to be a success, but as far as we know, Grimlore (or THQ, who knows) wanted SF3 to have a successful multiplayer component. If you only want to go for the single player crowd, ok, good, that's kinda strange for an RTS but whatever. On top of that, they did provide the necessary architecture for it to work, people just didn't care because the RTS gameplay isn't good enough. As that mangled quote goes, if you build it they will come. It's very easy to say "nobody cares about this genre and that's why SF3 failed as a multiplayer game", but there are enough people in this world that could potentially care in order for the game to have a semi-active community. It doesn't, however, and even the Discord is semi-dead. On top of that, you can't say RoR wasn't specifically built for the multiplayer crowd, yet people don't care about it either. Sooooo it seems like you can't win.
 

thesheeep

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people just didn't care because the RTS gameplay isn't good enough.
On top of that, you can't say RoR wasn't specifically built for the multiplayer crowd, yet people don't care about it either. Sooooo it seems like you can't win.
Well.... the basis of everything, MP or SP, has to be a game good enough that people actually want to keep coming back to it.
SF3 was good enough for a playthrough (and definitely recommended, btw), but not more.

RoR wasn't even good enough for a playthrough, the game fell off harder than anyone could have reasonably finished the campaign if they have a life outside of gaming :lol: Meaning barely anyone even finished the campaign or played far into it.
And the MP crowd was alienated because they tried to go for hardcore MP audience, but with a heavily casualized approach - not sure who that was for, honestly. Same issue as CoH3, IMO.
Games confused about their own identity rarely succeed in attracting an audience.

Sure, RoR had more issues than that, but I'd say if the base game was good enough, people would stick around to wait for the devs to iron out the rough edges like balance, etc.
 

Blutwurstritter

Learned
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Sure, you don't need multiplayer to be a success, but as far as we know, Grimlore (or THQ, who knows) wanted SF3 to have a successful multiplayer component.
I don't think they had intentions for a large multiplayer crowd when they developed the base game. It only started later on, which was in my opinion a mistake. I would have gladly bought more story dlc's, even if they would have had a smaller scope than the rather meaty expansions that we got. Just a couple of smaller story lines with a few missions for say 10€ would have been great. I would buy them even now. The release of the enhanced edition (or whatever it was called) with rebalancing for multiplayer was pointless and I think ultimately a waste of work. They seem to have missed entirely the strengths and weaknesses of their own game. Like you said, it is too weak mechanically to work for competitive multiplayer, but it was great as rpg light with small doses of rts.
 

Lacrymas

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Pathfinder: Wrath
The RTS part was quite well developed from the get go. Maybe they eventually caught on that it's actually much more developed than it needs to be for a SpellForce game and then decided to go for a multiplayer crowd. I still think they can salvage it and it wouldn't be as hard as they think, but nobody is working on it anymore and we'll never know if I'm right. Since it did get 2 expansions, I'm sure it was profitable to some extent, but it could've been more, especially in the wake of the WC3 Reforged debacle.
 

Lyric Suite

Converting to Islam
Joined
Mar 23, 2006
Messages
55,910
Yeah, let's take the most hated GW license, pick one the deadest genre in 2k20+ (rts) and base the gameplay around the biggest flop of a well-known license (DoW3).
I'm sure this will turns out well.

Don't forget let's use a tranny for our promo art.

F_capsKaoAAfP-x
 

Lagi

Savant
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Desert
Sales could be better if they promote it as leading orcish horde against this speh marines abomination.
 

Lacrymas

Arcane
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Messages
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Pathfinder: Wrath
It's already at -65% on various 3rd party sites like GameBillet, yet there are 21 people playing right now. It's dead, Jim.
 

Zboj Lamignat

Arcane
Joined
Feb 15, 2012
Messages
5,491
It was never alive to begin with. I have no idea how some of these games with decent(ish) production values and thus non-insignificant budgets are greenlit when it's so obvious they will be DOA. Must be some money laundering scheme as people running functional businesses cannot be this thick.
 

Lacrymas

Arcane
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Messages
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Pathfinder: Wrath
From where I'm standing, they thought they could strip down the game so much so as to capture some imaginary huge audience that turns out doesn't exist.
 

Alienman

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From where I'm standing, they thought they could strip down the game so much so as to capture some imaginary huge audience that turns out doesn't exist.
Many such cases.
 

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