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Old 07-22-2006, 06:49 PM   #34
Re: Where is everyone??
Originally Posted by FireFly
The demo 'population' didn't even register on the Gamespy stats page, so Prey never had a chance of competing with the mainstream team-based MP games. Even Quake 2 had more players!
I didn't say anything about the game being hugely popular, nor did I mention it competing with mainstream titles. I just said it was much better populated than it is now.

When I first tried the demo there was a lot of full servers. What people are saying here is virtually no one is playing it at all.

That's just not right, no matter what stats you consider.

The demo went silent when the master server went down. This is very similar to that. It seems more likely to me that MP is failing due to technical or user-end reasons than because no one likes it.

It only takes an average end-user to fail to get MP started once for them to never bother trying again. And that's fatal for a new MP game because, contrary to what some think here, the vast majority of players in a successful online game are casual gamers that try the SP and stay for the MP.

It's like when the master server went down for the demo; there was enough information here to enable users to download third party game search solutions and I did that myself. But there was only 2-3 servers with players in because the vast majority of users will not come here and will only try to use the in-game browser.

And when that fails for them they will probably lose interest.

Hugely successful online games of the past drew players into the online world and that's usually because it's not difficult to start playing online. If games like HLDM (TFC as well), Quake and UT had these kinds of issues then, potentially, games like CS may never have happened and online gaming may never have taken off.

Demos for games aren't always as popular as the game itself when it is launched. A new game tends to draw in a healthy MP population imediately after it is launched and then it will slowly degrade to a level and hold at that for a few years.

I've played online games since HLDM in 1998/99 and never once have I seen a game of the same caliber as Prey fall so solidly on its face at launch.

I don't think it's as simple as there being no CTF, or anything like that. Call of Duty 2 had CTF, HQ, SD, DM and TDM modes and the least popular modes were CTF and HQ. SD and the two DM modes were equally popular and this is a WWII game.

People still like to frag. Not everyone wants round based shooters.

More to the point, a game of Prey's quality with an MP mode which offers a unique spin on 3d gameplay (that actually forces you to play in 3d), some decently balanced weapons and smooth playability should not only have 2-3 servers occupied this early on.

If I came here and didn't see all of these "Cannot see serves" threads along with a good few threads complaining about connection issues I'd have to concede it was most likely all down to the game's lacking popularity.

But it's pretty obvious to me there's some tangible issues preventing players from playing and, as I said, that's likely to have turned away a bucket-load of casual players that may have ended up being addicted to the gameplay that MPrey offers.

And this is a shame because it's been a long time waiting for a decent DM shooter that doesn't try to emulate real life with silly physics and all that nonesense. MPrey demo was promising until the servers went down. Sadly, it seems a similar issue may well have prevented the game from taking off at all.
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