Worlds Adrift struggles to grow, changes course to focus on tech

    
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You can hear the frustration bubble out of Worlds Adrift’s latest letter to the community, titled “The Path Ahead.” In it, the dev team admits that the sandbox title hasn’t been growing its audience or reputation as of late despite adding plenty of community-suggested features and keeping communication levels high.

“Despite our best efforts in delivering a game that provides hundreds of hours of unique gameplay, a social space for all to share and a whole lot of love, Worlds Adrift hasn’t yet achieved the commercial success we wanted or hoped for,” the team admits.

One significant hurdle that the team must overcome involves being stuck with an older version of SpatialOS without an easy way to move to a newer one. The new plan? Less flashy, more necessary: “We have decided to refocus on the development of the game in a more deliberate way while deprioritising resources dedicated to features, community and social media. This means you will not see new large-scale gameplay features such as territory control and skywhales until these stability and performance issues are fully resolved.”

The “technical clean-up” is expected to consume the team’s resources and time in the hopes of improving Worlds Adrift’s reputation and consumer confidence.

Source: Worlds Adrift. Thanks Mary!
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Arktouros

As I said when they implemented PvE servers I am not sure who or what audience they were aiming for with the decision. Unless you’re some sort of die-hard explorer there’s basically no PvE content in the game. It’s big empty skies and short of passing through walls you don’t need anything outside of a sail cause there’s zero threats. Since there’s a finite amount of that exploration, once people are done they’re going to just move on.

As a PvP game it’s always been fairly lackluster. There’s very little balance when it comes to actual ship design and there’s nothing in place to encourage people to keep going. The permanent consequences of losing everything each time you lose (ships usually are scuttled) without a means for people to quickly and easily recover is going to bleed population. While most people think devs go for a PvP game because it’s easier the truth has always been it’s more difficult than PvE game because of the constant amount of tweaks and balance you must do to ensure a good and healthy PvP game.

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PanagiotisLial1

Balance and Tweaks is easier to implement and more importantly less costy since you dont need to keep making new content, new graphical assets and so on. PVP games are cheaper to maintain. The biggest challenge is to be able to server both playstyles on same game

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Schmidt.Capela

There’s also no actual PvE server; the so-called “PvE” Server (which at first the devs called “hybrid”) is still PvP for the highest tier of content, meaning the place where you can get the best resources and blueprints is still forced PvP even on the “PvE” servers.

Which, mind, is why I never got the game. Without PvP it ticks all the right boxes for me, but non-consensual PvP — even if restricted to just the highest content tier — is a complete deal-breaker for me.

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Natalyia

I took their “Git gud or stay away” advice and stayed away. I’m chary of early access games in the first place, and when the developers flat out tell me “this isn’t for you”, well, I can take a hint.

When it’s released, I’ll probably give it another look – but you only get one chance to make a first impression, and they sure did that for me.

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Mewmew

When these games quickly add in PvE as an afterthought, or as a desperate attempt to get business because their PvP game is failing and they weren’t built to have PvE from the beginning, it’s harder to get that PvE crowd who would have come at the start to try it out after you add it in. Sure, a number of people show up once it’s added, but not close to the number who would have tried it out had PvE been a part of the game from the start.

I see a number of games that said they would only ever be PvP and were very stubborn and sometimes downright rude towards players begging for PvE servers change their tune later when the game isn’t doing so good. You just aren’t going to bring in the players you would have had if you had listened and had a PvE option from the start.

It’s no longer a new game in a lot of peoples eyes for them to try out, to many people it is a gankfest that was dying and had to throw in PvE to survive. That means that people don’t care to go try it out who would have otherwise.

They started to dig their own grave with their stubbornness and unwillingness to listen. They told us to go away and stop asking and that this wasn’t the game for us. Now that they’re almost buried they say “Okay wait we’ll change afterall!” but it’s too late for most of us to run back and give them a hand. We left just like they asked us to, now we’re too far away and have been shot at and down by them too many times before, we’re not running back to give them a hand just because they’ve buried themselves in their stubbornness now.

I apologize if you enjoy the game, this isn’t stuff you want to hear, but it’s how a lot of us feel and pretty close to reality. This isn’t to say anything about the game, maybe it is fine and fun (I wouldn’t know either way), this is just about the company and their choices. This is about what they have done as a company making those choices and how that has affected a lot of players who would have been playing the game otherwise.

You told us no, you told us to go away, so we did! Now that we’re gone you’re trying to call us back not because you want to but because you had to. No thanks guys. I’ll continue on my way.

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SilverWillow_Sogboggen

I just started playing last week on the PVE server and I’m loving it.

I believe the experience many people had when it first became available in early access generated a lot of bad reviews. I couldn’t have played in that PVP world either.

I’m finding the learning curve on grappling, ship design, etc. requires a quite a bit of low pressure time, and they’ve managed to provide it. You have to explore a bit to pick up the required knowledge to acquire the needed schematics to design and build more air-worthy craft. It’s not cookie cutter either. The designs are rather free-form with certain structural constraints. The islands are pretty varied, being community designed. So that’s fun.

I really hope people start finding it as it deserves more attention with the updates they have apparently made since last fall. I think word of mouth is helping. I have been seeing a fair number of new pilots in the Wilderness (Tier 1) areas and everyone has been friendly.

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Daniel Miller

I bought it preorder, saying that I found the controls hard. Furthermore I would die msny times and never made a ship.

Game wad very very boring. Only good thing that came out of this game was the free island creater program. I couldn’t make a ship ever, but could an island.

What does that say about the game?

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Armsbend

People are tiring of the constant development cycles and promises. You want a larger audience? Release the game in a workable state and then come up with a good and reasonable roadmap.

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TheDonDude

Expecting commercial success during an Early Access Soft Beta Pre-Launch Release is pretty indicative of gaming these days.

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Barnoc N'Draak

Exactly. This is an absurd expectation to have. If you keep throwing money at stuff that isn’t done, in the name of all that is good STAHHHPPP!

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Armsbend

A crystal clear example of the majority of early releases not having any intention of actually making their game.

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Armsbend

“our audience isn’t growing on our unfinshed game”

You should be on your hands and knees thanking the gods you have any audience – finish what you promised them and then bring in new people – if it’s worth a damn.

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BalsBigBrother

I am not sure what Worlds Adrift wants to be anymore. I know they started off wanting to be this pvp survival sandbox thing and openly scoffed at any suggestion of pve. Then I remember that this was back peddled somewhat but at this point in time I am not sure what they are or where they are going.

The mixed messaging coupled with the fact that it is still an early access game is just a straight nope from me. If they get out of early access I might look into what it ended up being and see if its something that is of interest but until then not happening .

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PanagiotisLial1

From what I read in that letter he also states that they placed PVE servers on community suggestions. Unless I understood wrong and they had planned it but didnt do it yet – I am not 100% sure. The problem with early access games is also if they ever make it out of it – none wants to spend if a game wont be around much

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Modrain

Uh, I was convinced the game was in early access, but that the developers actually expect the game to grow its audience/reputation made me doubt it. And after checking, it’s indeed in early access.
It seems fairly weird to me that you could expect your audience/reputation to grow when you’re not fully released. I’m almost completely ignoring games that have a tag “early access” (as it’s often synonym for unfinished, unpolished games, and often character reset when it comes to MMOs) and I’m sure I’m not the only one…

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PanagiotisLial1

I guess, indirectly, they also want to say the funds they had to develop the game are growing thin and their current playerbase income probably is barely enough to sustain it because games development is a lot more expensive than a game’s active service cost when “finished”

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PanagiotisLial1

Sure its one of the games that have a interesting sci-fi steampunk feel with its airships. One would had thought they would have gained better popularity than they got