Time goes on and seasons change. We've had our first taste of fall today. I've been looking forward to fall; I enjoy the cooler weather and other changes that come with it. In addition to that, it adds variety to the environment.
This is another concept that's been used in video games to keep a player base interested and increase replay ability. I'll go back to Diablo 3 because I've been playing this recently (feel free to add me: Pirion#1373). They are currently on season 18 since the games release. Each season breaking the monotony of playing the game; each season giving users a chance to start again on and even footing and compare how they're doing based on any changes made. Another thing they're doing in Diablo that adds to that is each season adds variety. It may be that equipment is restructured to increase viability of a build that wasn't as good previous season, or a world boost added, or new content patches entirely. This is an amazing concept that keeps the base interested and coming back. I know my account (which I have data for Season 3 still available) has been active many times over the years, each time with a different guild, a new player and play style.
This type of play can be pretty common; in games where there is a clear win/loss criteria such as Tribal Wars, you get a chance to either start fresh or move to a casual world to continue building. Currently at this point they're on world 110, they've got seven worlds running each with different variations of settings, and each drawing a large number of players (8121 on a world that started 9 days ago!).
This leads me in to other PBBG games, that may not be round based. We've got quite a few games that have been running for multiple years, we've got some that offer a hardcore or iron-man mode, but I don't see many that give an option for seasonal play. When I join a new game, my first thought is "how quickly can I catch up with mid-to-late tier people, and what catch-up mechanisms are there". As someone said on a discord recently to Christoper, "Good Luck catching up!". In the chances I've had to play on various games (new test servers, new game launches, and just screwing around for fun) I've found that many people would like to just start again, maybe add in a few changes such as increased speed and boosts; add in some other challenges for them and let them play until a set time period. Keeping players interested by offering this off the ground is, in my opinion, one of the best ways to keep life going into an older game.
As we get deeper into AOW: Lineage, I hope to add seasonal play, and give users a good reason to keep coming back to test out the new features or to jump in for the first time, without having to have kept up since the beginning of time. I expect doing so, we'll continue to see users pop back in again and again when they have time in their lives to do so, and will welcome them back again and again!
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