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Why are there so few players ?

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Why are there so few players ? - 12/6/2018 2:31:23 PM   


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Although DW is widely and justly praised as the ultimate space 4X the active player base is very small
And although the game is very moddable there are relatively few mods
I dont know why that is and I wonder what others think about it?

Perhaps one of the problems is the lack of a proper graduated tutorial campaign that would start a player off as a fully manual prewarp empire and teach the player the game as they research and build and expand from there.
Then when the player knows the basic mechanics of the game - which are not really that complicated - they could start a standard game with a post-warp empire.
They would then know enough to begin playing the game and decide what they want to manage manually and what they want to automate.
As it is a very common report I see from players is how they bounced off the game several times before finally getting to grips with it.
That was my experience too.
I wonder how many players never made it past the initial overwhelming confusion of being dropped into a post-warp empire?
The 'Introductory' game does exactly that. It drops the new player into a post-warp empire with dozens of ships buzzing around and the game apparently playing itself.
Not ideal as a first encounter with the game imo.

Any thoughts?

< Message edited by Siddham -- 12/6/2018 2:36:23 PM >
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RE: Why are there so few players ? - 12/6/2018 2:57:56 PM   

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I agree.
While the interface could do with a little "prettying up", I think DW is one of the best 4X games out there with a good deal of depth and freedom of movement.
The tutorial does let it down, though.

We can only hope the developers take all this on board before they release DW2.


(in reply to Siddham)
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RE: Why are there so few players ? - 12/6/2018 8:07:44 PM   

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How do you know there are few players playing? Since it isn't an online or multiplayer game it is impossible to know who's playing.

(in reply to RemoteLeg)
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RE: Why are there so few players ? - 12/7/2018 1:48:44 AM   


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Well there are many indications which lead me that conclusion
There are maybe 40 - 60 players on average at any time on Steam
And there is very little activity on these forums or on the Steam forums

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RE: Why are there so few players ? - 12/7/2018 10:20:25 AM   

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Well there are many indications which lead me that conclusion
There are maybe 40 - 60 players on average at any time on Steam
And there is very little activity on these forums or on the Steam forums

Well, if that's the basis, I would say 2 things:

1. Don't forget the game was out for years before its Steam release, and many of the people who bought it pre-Steam probably don't play it through Steam.
2. It is quite old now, so even those who still play the game don't necessarily play it that often, especially as there are alternatives to play while we wait for DW2.




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RE: Why are there so few players ? - 12/8/2018 9:18:46 AM   


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There's also that the last major changes to gameplay were the prewarp start and the changes to pirates in Shadows (2013); Universe (2014, so by now not really that much more recent) 'just' added a scenario map and some stuff to the top of the tech tree (even then only under the Ancient Galaxy theme; the Default and Distant Worlds Original themes use a tech tree little if any different from that of older versions of the game). The game stopped changing a (relatively) long time ago, and at least partly as a result so has most of the discussion about game strategy and ship design.

(in reply to Osito)
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RE: Why are there so few players ? - 12/8/2018 2:49:15 PM   


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I couldnt agree with you more about a tutorial
Have a look at Brother against Brother: The Drawing of the Sword
Thats the same
No tutorial and very little imput by anyone
Thats why i dont play that game eather

(in reply to Aeson)
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RE: Why are there so few players ? - 12/8/2018 3:19:34 PM   


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I plaied some 10 or more games, learned alsmost everything until now( I used tutorial only once on my fist game)
the rest I learned from guides Mk2 on forums and by googling, and watching youtube tutorials.

the game is still my best 4x, stellaris is my second favorite, but perfomance is so great on 1400 star galaxy I put this game before any other.

too bad no new updates to game, and there are few bugs left, at least I would like these bugs corected.

< Message edited by zebanovich -- 12/8/2018 3:20:55 PM >

(in reply to bazjak)
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RE: Why are there so few players ? - 12/8/2018 5:38:29 PM   


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Interesting. I was just setting it up again to have another run with it. Have played it off and on for years but very rarely commenting on the forums. Just a great game. Was considering getting into Stellaris, but after reading Steam comments, it appears there are some initial problems with the new update. Another neat thing about DW is that you can play it on a very low spec computer. People seem to consider that a negative these days, though. I write this on my low spec desktop with HD Intel 4400 integrated grapics. I can play Stellaris with small galaxies and the Performance mod. I can play DW with any size galaxy I want.

(in reply to zebanovich)
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RE: Why are there so few players ? - 12/12/2018 8:53:06 PM   


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I bought the first version of DW in a gameshop (on a CD and didn't see any ingame pics). I started the tutorial and after 2 hours, I was done the game. I thought: It's complicated and the graphics... so bad.
6 moth later, a construction worker killed my internet connection.
I am now without internet and looked at the CD and thought: I'll try it again.
Best decision. I love this game so much. Awesome.

But my friends see the screenshots on Steam and they say: I wouldn't test it, even if it was for free. :(
Maybe one of the reasons.

(in reply to jwarrenw13)
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RE: Why are there so few players ? - 12/14/2018 1:29:18 AM   


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I think it mainly has to do with the game being at least half a decade old (DWU), or close to a decade old for the original. I think it still is the best space 4X around, but those who loved it probably play it rarely now (me, maybe once a year) and those who couldn't get past the UI/GFX/learning curve will probably not revisit it now. There is only a very small sliver of people who may never have heard of it and would also be willing to try. I don't think that's unusual, just the life cycle of even the best of games.

For mods, I think the main issue is active player base. Modders often come from within the player base, so the smaller one is the smaller the other will be. Some modders want to specifically target games with active communities, even if they don't play much themselves - again, small player base hurts. Finally, I think the lack of Steam Workshop integration hurts the distribution of mods for the common player, which again may weigh on a modders willingness to invest in the game. Despite these issues there have been some amazing mods come out over the years.

I do strongly agree that the game could use a better learning curve. While there are suggestions instead of automation already, and a (weak) tutorial, the game is pretty tough to learn. That must have been even worse before the pre-warp, 1 planet start option (which is the only way to learn, I think). I also think the game design makes a mistake of encouraging full automation to start, then shifting to manual - I would suggest the opposite at least through the early warp phase to get to know some of the mechanics, rather than keeping them as just a black box.

Hopefully the devs will include a better in-game "adviser" function as in most other modern 4X - it doesn't have to be perfect, but it should be pleasant for a new player to rely on (instead of full automation) at least through the end of their first war. I love the Galactopedia, but it is pretty daunting if its your only way to learn how to play.

< Message edited by AKicebear -- 12/14/2018 1:31:37 AM >

(in reply to Draiigo)
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RE: Why are there so few players ? - 12/16/2018 8:02:34 PM   

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Here some info from Steam (since May 2014) :


One cornerstone of maritimal warfare:
Keep yourself near the lifeboat.

(in reply to AKicebear)
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