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EDITORIAL: Agencies to Blame?
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Jojo
Jojo
Old Shoe

Jun-20-2007 12:56

***This is my opinion. Strictly my opinion.***


I've looked at the community, and anyone who's been here longer than 100 days is able to see that Sleuth activity has gone down the tubes. Dead. And what is to blame? The agencies.

Now, agencies aren't the root cause. Let's get that straight. But the way they have been operating is. The problems with agencies are (1) the quantity, (2) the purpose, (3) and the role they play.

Okay, first, the quantity of agencies. Not too long ago, there were about 20-30 agencies. All full at 12 persons each, coming to a total of roughly 240-360 people. That was a good amount. But now, we have almost 120 agencies. That's right. 600% of the amount we had about a year ago. Sure, some may argue that the community has grown, and it certainly has. But 600% growth? I don't think so.

Replies

nicnic
nicnic
Battered Shoe

Mar-8-2009 19:17

I'm not sure agencies are the problem now or ever were. I really think it's the lack of new content. I was reading this more from the perspective of what people were saying right around the time that Noir started to die. Read a lot about boredom, burn out, etc. You can see at that time HH was already gone and SMRT was on their "hiatus" that never ended. Everything started to dwindle after that.

At the time this was written, there hadn't been new content released since December, 2006 when we got apartments, which were exciting, but didn't really add to gameplay. The last major expansion was Cairo in October, 2006.

I can't help but feel that this is why so many left. At the time no one was saying they wanted anything new, they just weren't that into it anymore. I don't know... I could be completely off-base.

The reason why I have been looking into this stuff, is I am really worried for the future of Sleuth - not just Noir. Hardly anyone is subscribed over in Shades either. They have a lot of players, but people seem to be leaving over there too. Since the game started over a year ago, there hasn't been one major (like Cities of Mystery or Shadow of the Villains) expansion since the game began. In some respects the really active players over there have been more patient than we have been. There are no Featured Mysteries, even though there is a link on your bio page for the FMs you have done, one city, AI cases are not even available yet, no equipment, just a naked body to look at on your detective page. I could go on and on about the problems that I think Shades is having but I won't. This is Noir.


nicnic
nicnic
Battered Shoe

Mar-8-2009 19:27

So why am I talking about Shades? Well frankly I am concerned. If Ben doesn't do well over there, he's going to lose money. And losing money is not a good business venture. I don't want to come here one day to find that this website no longer exists.

And I think the slow death of Noir and the waning of Shades have to do purely with content. People get bored quickly. Remember when Shadow of the Villains was released? Everyone was stark-raving mad excited about it. We really haven't had that in a long time and I think people lost interest. Even though we got the Sleuthetania, I think a lot of us were like "That's it?"

And even though the release of Shades was a MAJOR expansion, it's not really the kind of game that the old Noirers liked to play. There's only a handful of people that played Noir when this post was written that are even over there. To be honest, I only know of one. And now Shades is stale too.

Obviously Ben is having issues keeping up. I have some ideas on how we can help. I would like to discuss these with whoever is here to listen tomorrow. And I will NOT discuss a development team! That horse is dead and bloody and obviously it's not going to happen.



detectivehappy
detectivehappy
Old Shoe

Mar-8-2009 19:29

Good points Nic. I wish there was a dual subscription type of thing. Like a discount for the other game. Or a game pass that let's us play one game one month and the other game the other month. If we could have the active players of both games be able to play both games more easily, we could double our membership. -if that makes sense.



ctown28
ctown28
Tireless Tiger

Mar-8-2009 19:36

Having left this game twice due to boredom, I know a thing or two about it. Of course taht was before agencies became what they are now. I came back after the Sahdow of The Villain was released and have been back ever since. The game play itlesf, does leave a lot to be desired now.

What I really like about the game is the community, I try to do what I can to keep people interested. That is why I restarted the villain hunt tournament thing that Serges and Biggie had started, they are not around anymore to run the site, so I do it manually on mine. Then there is the radio show, (I know, I have to get off my butt and get the next one planned), but there is only so much that I can do as aplayer for it. Admin intervention is what is really needed. I have said it before and I'll say it again, as long as Ben is running this site and we are paying customers it is his job to keep us interested, if he fails to do that, people will leave. Shades means nothing to me, his other job means nothing to me. I think Ben is a great guy and I'll do what I can to help, but the bottom line is he has a service to provide to us.

Now before that gets taken out of context, I know I am getting exactly what I paid for with the mysteries and featured content and all that stuff. But if people get bored and dont get something new, again they will leave. Even some communication from him at this point would be great. The Sleuthetania was a dissappoint at best, but it was at least something new to show us that he cares and is working.

I'll step down from my soapbox now

Carolyn Spark
Carolyn Spark
Vigilante

Mar-10-2009 07:00

OK. I read this entire post last night, and now I feel I must reply. I have this odd status of not being new, but not old either, due to the fact that I was gone for half a year or so, and have only recently come back to playing every day.
I know what Jojo means about the agency problem, I've seen dozens of dead agencies in which every player is inactive, if we limeted agencies to active players that might free some space, but there is still the lack of competition. In some cases. :)
On the message boards it is intimidating to jump into conversations between old friends. I've tried my best, and made some new friends, but it seems like people are less interested in including someone new than teasing old people, and making inside jokes. Maybe we need a new persestent brand of newbie.
For me, the game is still new and exciting, I have yet to visit Cairo, and have only just finished my first VH, so I don't see boredom striking just yet. I think this game has done a great job of expanding and growing up to a point, and we're now just sort of drifting along.
Applause for the people who have been breathing new life into Sleuth, with the VH tournaments, and role play contests, I think this may be what Sleuth needs. :)

nicnic
nicnic
Battered Shoe

Mar-10-2009 15:45

Carolyn -

Feel free to jump in on any conversation. I feel like I've been talking to the Message Board Wall of Death for a while now ;)

As for the inside jokes and people talking to only the people they know on the boards. Do you think that is still a problem? I can see why maybe 2 years ago it would seem like that... but now... there doesn't seem to be a whole lotta talking period. Just jump in. Everyone here is very friendly. I just recently started chatting with some new people that I didn't know before :-)

detectivehappy
detectivehappy
Old Shoe

Mar-10-2009 16:04

I'll be your friend :-)

Carolyn Spark
Carolyn Spark
Vigilante

Mar-10-2009 16:14

You're right there, there hasn't been much talking at all.
It makes it more complicated to jump into conversations if there aren't any happening. :)

Joey
Joey "Bulldog" Bane
Washed Up Punter

Mar-10-2009 16:57

Alright...now here's a glimpse of my noobish wisdom: anything gets boring at some point in time. Also, people don't leave a game only out of boredom. Sometimes they get busy, sometimes they just naturally find themselves focusing in another direction and...I think I can come up with a few more similar reasons that have no connection with the game itself, but I also think I've already made my point: a game is basically some spare time fun and can be replaced with another activity without necessarilly becoming boring.

So, I think the main problem the game is facing at this point is simply a natural fact of life: people move on.

Now, this is a problem that any game has. Basically, such a game is meant to be developed up to a certain point/shape and then just refresh its customers at certain periods of times. This is how these games function and live over the years. Indeed, from time to time new content has to be added, but usually the purpose is not to keep players in untill they reach old age, but just to bring it up to date with the current trend. In this regard Sleuth Noir does not have a problem, as basically it has a certain kind of shape that can be on fashion forever.

The conclusion of the paragraph above is that the real reason for this game looking deserted is that it does not refresh the ranks of its players. The reason for that is simply the one nicnic has pointed out in her thread: poor adveritsing...or...almost no advertising I would say. Except for the moment when I first found out about it...almost a year ago, I have never encountered another mention of it unless I specifically searched for it. That's not how it's supposed to be. If you want players in a game it has to basically jump out in the eye from everywhere.

Ok...I think I'm close to the post limit, so I'll continue in another one below.

Joey
Joey "Bulldog" Bane
Washed Up Punter

Mar-10-2009 17:22

Now, I am not saying that old players have to be overlooked and especially since we are facing the advertising problem mentioned above. Ctown made some very good points in his post, out of which one stands out very clear: players need to feel they are taken care of, be that by new content added or simply by maintaining contact. I have to say that things around here are much different from the time when I first joined, in the sense that now the game looks like a ship that has been abandoned by its crue and captain and it is just run by its passengers. That's not an attractive look, especially when you pay for a ticket. The human nature is basically shaped towards interaction. When one feels no one's listening to him, he will move to wherever finds some open ears.

I think in this regard the creation of Shades has had a major influence. I am not talking about players moving to a more spectacular game, as basically to play this one implies the existence of a certain taste that practically cancelles the need for 'spectacular'. I understand from nicnic's post that not even Shades has a lot of action in a profitable sense, so practically that denied the possibility of accusing it of stealing players. But Shades did indeed generate a status of neglection in Noir, which led to what I have described in the above paragraph.

At last, regarding the idea of a game's community sustaining its own existence, it can be a step ahead towards sustaining the existence of the game itself, but it will never be enough.

The conclusion of all I've written is this: Noir needs advertising and also it needs the presence of an active management team, even if just for drying their mouth around the message board.

As far as Jojo's initial post is concerned, I fail to see the connection between what he described as being happening in the game at the time and the phenomenon he pointed as a result, but I don't think that's important to discuss. Maybe I'm just not that smart...hehehe

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