I'm a long-time lurker, and I know you guys have had a fair share of arguments and discussion over the RISE updates...but I would like to direct this to players who are returning or have been playing for a while. You guys seem to make up the majority of the playerbase.
I myself am not sure if I can articulate why I returned to Vindictus.
I spent last night thinking about buying NX during the sale for some vanity funds when Lynn's parasol blute...butt...whatever gets released in North America. Then I stopped myself because...I understood immediately that this would just be an impulsive purchase. And that eventually I would leave, frustrated and sad, only to return several months later to look at the upcoming content and get the urge to spend money on a game I once loved.
I played this game before it was available on Steam, back when I was a middle schooler with too much freetime. I dedicated thousands of hours learning various characters and learning the Season 1 raid bosses, in hopes that I could solo them with mediocre Black Hammer gear.
It was exciting to see a free-to-play game in 2012 with the combat mechanics, epic soundtrack, and graphical detail in Vindictus. Boss patterns mattered. Timing the dodges and blocks mattered. Positioning mattered. Even drinking potions in the right situations mattered, because the physical animation for it made your character vulnerable.
It was a feeling that... I never quite had for another game.
And it explains exactly why "veterans" keep coming back. We always have some small sliver of hope that we could feel the same amount of hype and anticipation from when we first started.
There has never been a game like Vindictus, even as of now: in 2017. Blade and Soul could not replace it, Black Desert Online could not replace it... I wonder if there is ever the possibility that another MMORPG could replicate the smooth, fast-paced, high-tension hack n' slash combat that Vindictus offered.
Nexon (NA) is a terrible company, but is only one of many reasons as to why Vindictus is not considered a successful, popular game. That is obvious. The assertion that companies with free-to-play titles being laden with microtransactions, punishing RNG, and/or excessive grinding has long been “a given” as to why people quit. The discussion of Nexon, alongside other Korean companies and their business models contributing to the fall in popularity of their MMORPGs in the west is…an interesting topic that warrants discussion of its own...perhaps some other time.
But it has been seven years. The game I remember being so fond of is dead. The content that once made players intimidated by the various raid bosses and caused party wipes across eight players is dead. The developers took measures towards helping the retention of newer players by killing the difficulty of everything aside from endgame...but I believe that the reason why people played in the first place was because of that difficulty! Now that experience is gone. I wonder if new players quit more so out of loneliness and boredom than anything else.
I'm not here to complain about the RISE update. I'm really not. The changes made to making gear more easily obtainable, alongside the improvements across the enchanting/enhancement system was an absolute necessity to prevent players ragequitting, and I'm glad it happened, even if it was a bit late. Maybe I'm here just to mourn what's lost forever to time. There is little incentive for me to play now, especially now that I'm alone. (Yes, yes, Miri brings back some people to try her out and stuff like that, the game seems more lively than the last time I "returned". But I'm more interested about people playing for Vindictus, not playing for Miri.)
So...TLDR; I've noticed that a good portion of the playerbase are returning players/veterans. What keeps you going, if it's not being a NX whale with infinite disposable income? Do you think it's worth playing this game, still? Is it just nostalgia keeping you here? Is it because you can have that feeling of pride and accomplishment (sorry) upon maxing out your gear? Or is it because you have friends that still play?
Bonus: What do you think can help player retention? Maybe Vindictus is just a niche grindfest destined to only keep the most dedicated of players around.
- Why do you keep playing?43 votes
Nostalgia 42% (18 votes)
Friends/Community 28% (12 votes)
I like maxing out my gear 7% (3 votes)
The challenge this game offers 16% (7 votes)
I have infinite disposable income 7% (3 votes)