Midlevel plague?

I noticed while looking for war targets in my current P4 league that about half the teams I viewed were missing 1-3 members. I did a cursory search of plat leagues and Gold I teams. I don’t have hard quantitative analysis, but there were roughly twice as many teams below 50 members as I noticed there being a few months ago.

Possible explanations:

  1. All those people who disappeared were actually evil hax0rs, and the crack cybersecurity team at PG has finally brought them to dragon justice. We will now all live in a paradise of cheat-free gameplay forevermore.

(Obviously the correct explanation, I should probably stop listing alternative hypotheses right now.)

  1. They were all given too many free rubies from PG during the level-up experiment and quit in disinterest.

(Another really strong contender here, but we need to collect more data before we can say for sure.)

  1. The missing people were dragon-raptured. The dragon world we live in—with its crushing token costs for four tiers before the current final tier, payouts designed for gold tier being used to try to get through garnet, divine resists that unlock at player level 126, and scaling benefits reserved only for the top 20%—is dragon hell.

(A third compelling possibility.)

The above 3 probably just explain it completely, but were I to speculate about other causes:

  1. Midlevels are abandoning non-Atlas teams in favor of Atlas teams.

(Possible, but I don’t actually think this is the reason.)

  1. This is a temporary fluctuation and seems like a problem to me primarily because of low sample size.

(Plausible, but see below.)

  1. Being a midlevel in 2018 is both boring and unrewarding. The grind is the same, but there’s no hope of it actually getting you anywhere. Trying to climb through sapphire and garnet without any belief that this will ever getting you to the top of the game, while being hit by obsidians-harbingers, proves uninspiring for most. Leagues are stratified by progression barriers, so warring your way up is borderline impossible. Not too many people quit in outrage, but a lot of them do gradually lose interest; goals are too far away and too meaningless. Elements like hearing that the players furthest ahead are getting tons of benefits for free, and that when those finally become available to you you’ll be at a disadvantage for earning them, probably doesn’t help. When you can’t even build your base because the relevant currencies were removed from the game because high levels don’t need them, it’s frustrating. There are many, many factors pointing to there being no light at the end of this tunnel. Mid-levels are getting disaffected and quitting.

(Seems like the most likely to me. I find it difficult to explain why wouldn’t this wouldn’t be the case.)

Here’s what I’ve personally observed. n=small, but it’s concerning if widespread:

My own team has lost quite a few members over the past three months. They were mostly in sapphire-garnet; a few were in gold. (Might or might not be related.) I see no real pattern in previous activity levels; some were low-performers, some were high; some ran a single account, some ran four. It’s a consistently positive team in which everyone generally gets along, and we usually place top 5 in events. I checked a few group chats that we never got around to kicking them from, and they’re still teamless, weeks or months later; it’s not like they left for greener pastures and just wanted to spare our feelings. At first I just figured we were having a rough week, then it turned into rough weeks, and then I noticed we were probably having easier weeks than most of the teams in our leagues, and that this was just the way the game was now. We (and the other teams in our leagues) are still able to fill the gaps, but the need for recruiting seems to be increasing.

I’ve talked around with some other leaders and officers in my ranking neighborhood, and they’ve confirmed a need for more recruiting, and that recruiting is getting harder.

If this is indeed a generalized trend, I don’t think it would be very surprising. The issues in #6 have generally been issues for at least a year. Mid-commitment players aren’t likely to quit in outrage because they’re mad about bad PvP gameplay or whether scaling requirements are fair. They generally just don’t care as much as high-end players do, so this doesn’t viscerally upset them. But they do gradually get tired of these factors by means of them emergently making the game less fun, and when they do, they’re less likely to grit their teeth and soldier on.

I do get the feeling that some of this may be invisible to PG, though. Unless their data analysis methods are more refined than the average among Bay Area tech companies, they are likely to mistake (a) alts for real, new users (“growth!”) and (b) reregistered hackers for new users flocking to their cheat-free utopia. Pure speculation here, but I can see them noticing a sudden spike in new registrations in mid-late May and crediting it to positive word of mouth. :confetti_ball:

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Puh-REACH!

I’ve found that this discussion has been frequent within my own team.
We have a high turnover, and I doubt it’s in reguards to team activity. But since I’ve been playing for a while, I’ve assumed the turnover is average.

So, I’d like to know what is the standard or what is expected for a Plat 4 team?

Edit. Just seems like there is a like of discussion stating things aren’t normal, so I’d like to know what is considered normal…:woman_shrugging:t2:

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Ha, good question. New member requirements are pretty low, but every team needs to have a fairly solid core of members in it to stay afloat? Median level on our team and most of the teams we fight is in the low 100s. Most players are somewhere in the gold-garnet range. Most teams have at least a few 200s and at least one garnet player; some have quite a few. 300+ players are pretty rare; most of them are overleveled. (Garnet-emerald.) In most weeks, a few teams have emeralds, a few have obsidians; I don’t see too many with harbingers. Teams seem pretty flexible with level requirements; most have a person or a few people in orange-green. The one thing that gets people kicked out is missing their wars, and this is perhaps a good metric for gauging changes in activity. In March, wars went to 250. Nowadays, most teams seem to land in the 230-245 flame range, i.e. they’ve got 1-4 slackers on any given week.

Bleed rate is averaging maybe 1-2 players per week, but of course sometimes there are stable weeks and sometimes there are 3 missing, which aligns pretty well with the above.

My team is in Gold1, and for the past three months or so we’ve had a heck of a time staying at 50 members. A lot of them have left because of finals and summer break, one left because of a career change, and one had a baby. Some simply stop playing and we had to boot them. Some churn is normal. Unlike the past, however, it’s almost impossible to get solid replacements. Two months ago, we were one war from Plat4, but today we made the decision to drop down to rebuild and hopefully poach some decent players from Gold2 or Gold3. Staying at 50 members is almost more difficult than the events.

My team won the Atlas Lottery, but it hasn’t been much of a draw. People want Atlas - FOR THEIR TEAM, not just themselves. This is unfortunate for our roster :grin:

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So that’s about the same that I’ve seen as well.
We will go through 2-3 players a week; sometimes less and sometimes more. Which is pretty typical imo.

I can’t speak for the past few months, we only been in plat for about a month. We were in Gold 1 for a few months, which aligns pretty evenly with what you’ve described.

I would however add that the “it” could be caused by the league system change. Given the league system, the more competitive players can move up, knowing the team they move to is more competitive, leaving the lower leagues to be filled with more casual players.

So IMO I don’t see it as abnormal…
For every 10-20 players we may find 1-2 phenomenal players who are as addicted to the game as we are. We have to literally weed out the non/semi actives for attractive players.

But let’s say hypothetically that this is abnormal…
IMO, the only beneficial thing pg could do is step up the removal of inactives.
Aside from that, we are at the forefront of converting casual players into long term players; so if we want an immediate change, then we need to adjust leadership/team style accordingly.

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#6 we have a winner lol

It’s an attrition of the player base, starting with the largest category of users, semi-casual to regular players. This isn’t terribly noticeable in terms of the bottom line right now, because most heavy spenders are in platinum upwards and because the attrition is still gradual.

But since nothing is changing, the attrition will pick up, to the point where platinum teams will start cannibalizing gold teams for members and gold teams will become the silver equivalent. When this happens, the bronze leagues will disappear. The loss in player base will be felt by all, even diamond teams when they realize resources are becoming harder to raid for and events are just…less fun.

After several cycles of this, the trend will be irreversible. At this point, PG might institute the changes that many have called, but it will be too little too late. Several years down the line, the game/company/whatever assets that are caught in this decaying torpidity will either be sold or shuttered.

The end.

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I’ve noticed players around levels 150-250…That’s basically mid level, right?
Anyway yeah I’ve noticed some of these members are stuck between tiers, not progressing as fast as they’d like looking for higher teams or want Atlas just to have it or think it will help them with the slow progression.
These members sometimes will leave Plat teams
For Sapphire teams with Atlas.

Also it doesn’t help Plat teams when they are being recruited hard by sapphire teams and they can offer them something as big as Atlas.

As far as Plat 3 & up I don’t usually see a lot of teams that are not full & Really I think you may have been searching at the wrong time though?
Because of the PvP event…You’d be surprised how many players don’t mind leaving/joining mid event…Sometimes if I have a player or Alt to replace I’ll kick during PVP purposely leaving a spot open during PVP because teams cannot declare on you while a member short.
You might have been looking over a week ago idk but I was just saying this wouldn’t be the time to really scan over teams because there isn’t that urgency to fill that 50th spot.

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The sad fact of the matter is, the game is dying. When I joined, maybe about a year and a half ago, bronze was alive. For consecutive events, I would go up against active teams and fight a tough battle to get in the top 5. But now, it’s nearly dead. I still have several group chats completely full of players who got tired of the game and left, some without warning and others with goodbyes.

I once made a generous estimate of 500k active players still in the game, and now, I’d say it’s lost at least 100k. With over a third of the remaining players dedicated to their teams, and more and more players leaving the game, the recruitable player pool is smaller than ever. It’s no wonder I’m also receiving invites from sapphire teams all the way down in gold 5.

Slightly off topic, I’m still wishing for a seperate mail tab for invites.

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Post been created 16h ago so question is-when you saw this?
Maybe they just haven’t bring alts in,since wars declare is disabled during pvp
Or they have a really big base,which is infinite in this league and few other tops,which other teams won’t take 100%
Or they lost ppl dua autovkick
Or team simply dying
I’m happy with my currently team for almost 2 years
If I won’t join them-I’ll finish the game looong time ago
So I’m not surprised to see,that ppl quitting the team and game in general so easy in lower leagues
They have nothing to hold them

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What Bronze teams were you on? When I was in bronze at that team I never met any of the people on my team, even though I was on it for two weeks, and it was at least half full. During that time I encountered two or three people max in LC.

Yes, a lot of people are leaving. However, many people have stayed, and a lot of new players are coming in as well.

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Original post was long, so, to reiterate some points:

  1. The people I have noticed leaving are not leaving for other teams. They are teamless, months later.
  2. They are not new recruits. They are people who joined, didn’t miss a war for months, and then just seem to have stopped playing the game.
  3. I noticed this specifically while looking for wars Tues-Weds., sustained over a ~26 hour interval which is probably the most common time to declare wars. (I.e., looked, lots of empty slots, looked again later, still empty slots.) I’ve noticed this as a trend (more plat teams in league missing members, more showing up as missing members in searches) for weeks. I think if they had the ability to fill those slots then, they would not have left them open.

Regarding this:

So, again, these are people we found months ago, and who were solid for months. More significantly, when were you last in plat? How far along were the people you cycled through? I ask because people in sapphire/garnet took a while to get there; they take more time for the game ecosystem to replace than people in lower tiers. (Also, in spring last year or so, those were the highest tiers, no?)

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It was my first team Shadowwolfmoon. I believe they’re in gold 4 now? We were in bronze for all of the 1st Fall season, and a little of the 1st winter season before we started moving up. Anyway, bronze was much more alive back then compared to now.

As for new players coming in, don’t forget how unfriendly this game is to newbies, especially if they can’t find a team willing to help support their growth, or who actually know how to play. There are so many things that the game “teaches” that are detrimental to a player, and usually the complete opposite of what they should actually be doing. This ends up making the game harder to progress later on, and as a result, drives away new players.

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I will agree, the game is difficult to start.

With recent unfriendly progress for some (if not most) part (especially for new players), I wonder which one is more, between people coming and people leaving.

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For those who state that attrition is simply normal turnover, have they ever stayed in bronze/silver for a couple seasons recently? I started out in a silver team and stayed there for several seasons just because I wanted to do my own thing for a while. I think that there is a noticeable attritition - which is exacerbated in part because there are less and less knowledgeable people at the lower tier, less and less new players are influenced to stay. It’s a self perpetuating cycle.

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Ok. I understand. Hmm. Yes. We have had a few players who were steady and committed, and then they just stop playing.
My 2-3 cycle, was referring not referring to those players.

Oh god. I was last in plat before the league system change. So…a year ago? Feels like for ever ago.

Yes, from my own accounts, sapphire/garnet takes about a year if F2P-ish. And it is _harder_to grow in plat4 when in Sapphire/Garnet tiers.

Edit: not impossible. Doable. But hard.

Wouldn’t say impossible…The only time I’ve been in Sapphire league was with the old leagues. @NigheanDonn

So I’ve been in Platinum most all the time in Plat went through Saph, Garnet, Emerald and about to be starting in Obsidian.
Yeah it takes longer and more difficult but far from impossible and over the last year I hardly spend anymore.
I also have members who are doing great progressing through Saph & Garnet And currently in Plat 3…Mostly fall around Plat 4/2

I suppose I’m low on mojo. :pensive:

Right, it’s completely possible to work significantly harder (grinding tokens, chests, etc.) to get significantly less than players who went through these tiers before you (because that kind of progress at the time meant they could be in higher leagues, and would now have Atlas access, 1200 sigil/week team achievement rewards, etc.)

The reward for fighting that uphill battle in 2018 is that you too can be nearing the start of the N-1 tier (currently obsidian) right when it’s about to become the N-2 tier. That’s going to move backwards depending on when you started; i.e., an E2P who started a year ago is not equivalent to an E2P who started two years ago.

But who’s going to actually want to fight that battle? Empirical answer seems to be “some, but not as many as before.”