I attribute this to MQ's utter brutality to low leveled players and to Casual Players. Let me share an experience with you all today...
Today, my friend on Epicduel was talking about other AE games, and he wanted to play MQ, so he made an account. However, upon creating his account, he had NO idea how to play. I literally had to "Baby Spoon-Feed" him from levels 1-15. It was not a very nice nor pleasent experience if you ask me personally. I don't blame him really - The lack of actual pointers (Tutorials) in MQ makes it a complete Tartarus (Another word for HELL) to players who cannot get from the hellish levels of 1-25. Simply, there are 2 reasons for this:
1. It's a failure of guidance. Ask yourself this - Let's say you just got a new Video Game for your Birthday, and you don't hesitate to start playing it. IF you had learned to play the game earlier (Actually reading the boring Instruction Manual instead of finding things out the HARD WAY), would your gameplay be a lot easier from the start? No doubt it would help a lot. However, MQ also suffers from this. Yes, there's a tutorial, but how many people will actually go through it, more or less find it? Not many. As a result they suffer heavily from this. They won't get the many complicated aspects of MQ until they're been through a hellish 25 levels of pain. Also, the fact that the game does not direct your gameplay in a very emphasized matter simply makes it a nightmare. Unless you had help from a friend who is a seasoned MQ player, or you had a lot of fore-knowledge to the game mechanics and the equipment options of those first 25 levels, chances are, you will QUIT before you get to the levels where you start getting to the fun part. I could call this a sort of "Rite of Passage". However, that is an understatement. It's a purgatory. From those levels, there are so few equipment options that works, you blaze through the little permanent content of the game, and the storyline is outright confusing and unguided. I had the opportunity to start playing MQ from an extremely young point of MQ's history, and I had the backing of the forum community to assure that I would be forewarned of things to some. Therefore, I went through the order that the staff released the planets - the way the staff intended it to be ordered, and the way it makes the most sense. However, how many people are as fortuitous as MQ's earliest players? That's right. An ad-dismal 1%. Maybe even less. The game doesn't really tell you how to play, and people rush to get to the "Fun Part", although, this in the long run only makes it worse. And to add on this - Did I mention the little Non Rare content? That's right. This makes it so you cannot work with that many choices. And the fact is, this creates a monotony of play. You're forced to use the same style of play. And when are players most likely to quit a game? In the very beginning of course. They predict if the game is that much of a hell from levels 1-25, they will be "turned off" and quit just like that, thinking that they will not see an improving game-play. I've asked a lot of players, and when I asked them about MQ, they all replied the same general consensus. The Hellish lower levels motivated them to quit.
2. It's a failure of the elements. I tend to think of these levels as the Iron Man trials - Work with "Only "this" much equipment with "this" many options". What does this mean? I'll tell you a little side comparative; Let's say you're treading along the Harsh Gobi Desert - Freezing at night, and Blazing hot in the day. Obviously, unless you knew this early on and you were prepared to handle these extremes, chances are, you WILL more or less DIE. Along with the lack of Guidance, the lack of "preparation" can simply lead to DISASTER. Why? This is an easy one. Unless you took the necessary "Supplies" to sustain you in the harsh Gobi desert, you don't survive. Apply that to this. Most of the best options of MQ are all rares. However, there's a conflict - Rares make it possible for the player to get stronger, without the need to compensate by increasing difficulty. However, this creates a problem. Once this fabulous opportunity goes away for those who were not so unfortunate to seize this golden opportunity, they are left helpless. They are forced to work with very weak equips that simply are outdated in today's meta-game of evolved specials, Energy draining, Regeneration, and all sorts of the most powerful specials the enemies are updated to seize the opportunity of the power gap that this rare void has caused. As a result, if you look at the most recent enemies of MQ, you'll notice they're fancied up with the latest and greatest in Effect technology. Not Knowing this full hand, the lower level player will more or less reach this part of the storyline without knowing how powerful his enemies have become. He rushes in with his very weak equipment, and he dies. He DIES. Utterly overwhelmed by the awesome power of his enemies. Had he been at level 25 and above, his chances would been much higher. However, this was not the case. MQ's storyline makes it so it can be progressed through before your character has the access to the equips necessary to beat the part of the storyline. Simply to put it, if you are a new players, you WILL get to Yokai before level 45. And when your un-suspecting character gets there, he's beaten to a pulp. Why? He couldn't access the latest and greatest. This turns people off BIG time. This causes Frustration, along with anger. And this creates DISASTER. And with their crisis, they cannot wait to access rares that might come up in a time when they cannot get those awesome rares. They are forced to be left behind. And then, they chose these options:
A. Become a Star Captain. Sort of making the game a LOT easier since SC's literally have MUCH more access to options than do NSC's.
B. Try to wait it out and stay strong
Now, Ask yourself, how many people will try to go for option A? Not many. How about Option B. Even fewer. How about option C? A good 90%, if not more. They couldn't survive the hell that is levels 1-25. And this causes a curve - Lots of accounts are made, yet less than 1% will go on to Survive the "Hell Levels". Even fewer will go on to reach the level cap. Even FEWER will consistently play. These factors not only ruin it for people, but they are turned off right from the start.
If you want to make MQ more popular. It's simple really. Start by reforming the lower levels. Then release more Non Rare Game content. Then go and reform all the existing Non Rares to better make easier the game from levels 1-25.
< Message edited by PD -- 1/4/2011 10:20:39 >