The Gold Road Chapter – which includes the Scribing system – and Update 42 is now available to test on the PTS! You can read the latest patch notes here: https://forums.elderscrollsonline.com/en/discussion/656454/
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How does eso win back players?

Fingolfinn01
Fingolfinn01
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How does ESO win back players? I am not sure how to answer this myself. I know WOW can shed a significant number of players and they can also win back a significant number. Because each expansion resets the game. How does ESO win back its players? Will the Gold Road expansion be enough? Or will they need to do more?
PC-NA
  • colossalvoids
    colossalvoids
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    Not sure what you mean exactly. People who are left for reasons have no actual reason to come back because nothing is being acted upon. Ones who left in-between expansions will be back without any extra work most probably.
  • ghost_bg_ESO
    ghost_bg_ESO
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    "spellcrafting " will sell the chapter... (i do have it, but only on one account from 10+)

    to bring back people with passion to play as already said above - nothing has changed, it is even getting worst:
    - there is still no clear vision for the eso future in the years to come (well, some mentions of "the great plan" that only one person knows)
    - communication is the same - Kevin does a lot, but he is just one person (and we are overworking him)
    - balance is a complete mess
    - hardware update happened and only for couple of months pc-na was better
    - multithread flopped
    - there are some attempts for new promises for pvp with new chapter, but it is already 7-8 years of promises

    and for me regular 12 hours maintenances* on eu is another negative to add to the long list why eso has become filler instead of main game.
  • OsUfi
    OsUfi
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    There is no one thing that'll bring players back, and whatever ZoS do, they'll turn some people away more.

    For example, @ghost_bg_ESO in the reply above says spellcrafting, which for me turns me off of ESO. It's something I actively don't want. If it becomes meta, it may end up making builds homogeneous bland lump of the same skills more so than hybrid builds did.

  • Deimus
    Deimus
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    I've played sparsely the past couple of years mainly during events like anniversary, Halloween, free ESO+. Scribing is the first thing a chapter has done to interest me since the vamp rework in Greymoor even if it missed the mark at release. For players like me to improve retention the best method is to add things that enhance existing characters, like new skill lines or mechanics.

    For some former players Scribing will be enough, it got me in the door. The last time I spent money on the game was the Blackwood chapter and when a friend told me they were finally doing "Spellcrafting" I was anticipating buying the Gold Road chapter, but as a Necro main the upcoming removal of Stalking BB shut my wallet again. So I'm having a last hurrah this MYM on my main and going back to just checking on things during certain events.

    Just when I thought I was in, they push me back out.

  • xiphactinus
    xiphactinus
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    [snip] I have been playing little over 3 years and I stopped my sub last year because I'm fed up already of the constant combat adjustments, lack of pvp support...blah blah blah. [snip] At this point all bridges have been burned.

    [edited for bashing]
    Edited by ZOS_Icy on March 2, 2024 7:43PM
  • Sarannah
    Sarannah
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    How does ESO win back players? I am not sure how to answer this myself. I know WOW can shed a significant number of players and they can also win back a significant number. Because each expansion resets the game. How does ESO win back its players? Will the Gold Road expansion be enough? Or will they need to do more?
    I'm glad ESO is nothing like WoW, where we need to start from scratch every expansion. To me that is stupid, even though I did enjoy WoW when I was still playing it. In ESO the progress you make remains the progress you made. Players can barely keep up with balance changes in PvE, let alone PvP.

    The two things I feel ESO needs to get players back/keep them playing is:
    1: Better MMO experience. Right now dungeons are toxic beyond believe. Speedrunners/fake roles/etc. And that is not even discussing the fact that some dungeons are much harder or that groups themselves can fall apart. Making the dungeonfinder/dungeons a much better experience for everyone would go a long way to players enjoying themselves more and sticking with the game. (Note: I love the game and running dungeons but even I am not running dungeons anymore. A new player or any player not invested in ESO yet would probably quit right away, I know I would.)
    2: Closing the dps, survivability, gear, and skill gap. There is just too much of a difference between the low end players and high end players. And this isn't just a 3-5% difference, it is over a 1000% difference(10k dps vs 140k dps/cannonfodder vs immortal tanks). ZOS needs to find a way to close all these gaps. Not just for the game itself, but also for the players to have better experiences anywhere in the game(in trials/dungeons/arena's/PvP/etc). When players have better experiences, they stick around or don't leave at all.

    PS: Gold Road looks very disappointing to me. Even though I did preorder Gold Road because ESO is just a great game and I plan to keep playing for years.
  • BenTSG
    BenTSG
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    The game is becoming more and more a state as time goes on for various reasons. Completely Overbalancing, or not balancing at all, and the quality of things too. I mean look at ZoS, they are currently 3 for 3 in a lack of Quality control this year;
    - Whitestreak removing the scroll for a passive buff, sweet, but now no one can get the scroll achivements. Guess you'll have to wait for the next one!
    - Crafters event was pretty cool, but somehow the Transmute exploit made it past QA when *instantly* players found out about it. Now people are under investigation, innocent or not I cannot say and will leave it to your own judgements, but the exploit should have been picked up instantly and never made it to live in the first place
    - This free DLC giveaway is great and all, but it'd be even better if it actually worked and let us claim it without now making it so we've 'missed' a login day and have lost a reward dispite having logged in

    Now I dropped my ESO+ back coming up two years ago now, after having played the game, at that point, for about 8 years? Of which *at least* half of that time was subbed, if not all of it (I am fairly certain I stayed subbed all the time, but my memory could fail me. I'd check my transaction history, but eh) because of the way things are going, and while I haven't left, I've still completely dropped my support for the game and locked away the wallet, and keep mindlessly playing on their dime now.

    So if ESO wants to get back with some players, the first thing I'd say is they need to open up more communication. Kevin over here, the mad lad he is, is about the *only* person I actually see make comments, with anyone else being the mods typical moderation messages. Dude seriously deserves a drink and a holiday! The Devs leave their 'comments' on the Patch Notes, but after that is radio silence, with no clue whatsoever if any feedback, past any clear bug reports, are even heard at all on the PTS. On top of this, balance changes are completely chaotic, with either something being completely overnerfed and ruined (I. E, Plaguebreak because of an extreme 0.1% case), or not buffed at all (I.e Necromancers). Now these two points are my personal reasons for ending my sub and support, others may disagree, but Overland is extremely trivial and all the same, and while I DO NOT WANT A BLANKET CHANGE since I know people like it as it is, I want some sort of optional setting or mode or something to add some difficulty back into it. Secondly, PvP is a complete state, with terrible performance, terrible balancing, terrible response to tickets. It's a complete joke. On top of the QA issues I mentioned at the start, and the very heavy lean towards the Crown Store and having barely any in game rewards. Like, a virtual home for nigh on £60, which you also still need ESO+ to get max slots? And the high prices of other things like tokens as well, and the whole crown crate gambling? Really?

    ESO has added loads of good features, yes, but its these things that just completely overshadow some of the good ESO has added, and it probably is what drives people away if you was to ask my opinion. If ZoS was to work on these things, even just communicate so we know what's actually planned, what the status of it is, what is going to happen and what isn't, would be a huge start, but at the bare minimum, fixing the stupid bugs and actually QA'ing their stuff so it isn't stupidly broke apon release would also be a great place to start too.

    Alright, I'm done now, hah.
  • barney2525
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    I don't get the whole premise.
    I'm not seeing any lack of players, no matter what time of day or night or day of the week it is.

    :#
  • Tenthirty2
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    "Win back" what players lol?

    On multiple accounts
    On multiple platforms
    In multiple zones
    DAILY and varying times of the day
    I am seeing more players consistently than last year. It feels busy and a bit more crowded, which I'm not a fan of tbh.

    Side thought: I may play too much >.<
    • "Some enjoy bringing grief to others. They remind M'aiq of mudcrabs - horrible creatures, with no redeeming qualities."
    • "When my time comes, I will smile. And that will be all." -Sir Nathain Galien
    • IGN: TenThirty2 (PC/PS: NA, PC/PS: EU)
  • gamergirldk
    gamergirldk
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    better reward system, a more detailed combat tutorial for new players
  • Starlight_Knight
    Starlight_Knight
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    Well lets see, what are the pain points that are causing people to leave.. and have they fixed or improved any.. no.
    Have they aggravated and made others worse, yes.

    I believe the main reasons people have left are ...

    Performance.
    Class homogenisation. lack of unique builds
    PVP content, (Competitive PvP) with proper balancing
    Overland difficulty.
    Crown store / In - game rewards.

    PVP / Performance has gotten worse and pvp content has had more removed from it over the years than has been added.
    The whole reward structure to it discourages actual pvp and encourages AP chasing.
    Battlegrounds are ok but they came out 2017 and no new maps or game modes since.

    Questing is too easy with no rewards because you buy them yourself as a little treat from the crown store.

    Endeavours imo are a poor work around, there is no showboating to be had, and no sense of achievement,
    and this same thing can be said for things like Grand Overlord etc, it means nothing really, where as it should be something really special, but now every pve'er has one from chasing the AP.

    Then there is another nagging issue with what seems like petty changes that are made, such as the bosmer stealth passive being given the Khajiit nerfing a proc set one min to make the next one even more powerful, ( to get you to farm the new thing, causing build fatigue and you have to relearn your class every 3 months ) I have been using the Tormentor set on my Templar Tank and now bizarrely they're nerfing that.. so i guess people get afraid of investing time into a game that wont reward and will nerf anything you put together.
    Some things generally feel unfinished as well, companions are a nice idea but pointless, they do nothing but get in the way, there's still no pet skins or hair stillest..

    I say all these things out of love, I play this game hours everyday and these are the things that would push me away and have caused me to loose many friends on my friends list.

    So lets see what out of this list are addressed with Gold Road. so far I've seen nothing, just more content bloat and tacked on unfinished things.

    Edited by Starlight_Knight on March 2, 2024 3:30PM
  • Fata1moose
    Fata1moose
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    • New weapons (Spears, crossbows, 1H+ Destruction)
    • Better animations and sound design in combat that make it feel less floaty
    • Updated visuals in vanilla zones to bring them in line with Chapters

    Players won’t just come back for the same old or formulaic chapters, they are enticed by new and improved.
  • GooGa592
    GooGa592
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    [snip] I have been playing little over 3 years and I stopped my sub last year because I'm fed up already of the constant combat adjustments, lack of pvp support...blah blah blah. [snip] At this point all bridges have been burned.

    I very much share this opinion.

    [edited to remove quote]
    Edited by ZOS_Icy on March 2, 2024 7:48PM
  • GooGa592
    GooGa592
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    90% of my friends list quit because of lack of PvP support. Specifically bad performance and way too low population caps. January's reduction was the last straw for the few that still try to play that I know, and have decided they will never give ZOS money again and are just waiting for a game with similar PvP to come along so they can switch what game they invest time and money into.

    ZOS could easily get these players back if they invested in server support for Cyrodiil and raised the population caps back up to at least 200/faction. This 60/faction is just way, way, way, way, way, way too low.

    Edited by GooGa592 on March 2, 2024 4:02PM
  • ShatteredRose6
    Sarannah wrote: »
    How does ESO win back players? I am not sure how to answer this myself. I know WOW can shed a significant number of players and they can also win back a significant number. Because each expansion resets the game. How does ESO win back its players? Will the Gold Road expansion be enough? Or will they need to do more?
    I'm glad ESO is nothing like WoW, where we need to start from scratch every expansion. To me that is stupid, even though I did enjoy WoW when I was still playing it. In ESO the progress you make remains the progress you made. Players can barely keep up with balance changes in PvE, let alone PvP.

    The two things I feel ESO needs to get players back/keep them playing is:
    1: Better MMO experience. Right now dungeons are toxic beyond believe. Speedrunners/fake roles/etc. And that is not even discussing the fact that some dungeons are much harder or that groups themselves can fall apart. Making the dungeonfinder/dungeons a much better experience for everyone would go a long way to players enjoying themselves more and sticking with the game. (Note: I love the game and running dungeons but even I am not running dungeons anymore. A new player or any player not invested in ESO yet would probably quit right away, I know I would.)
    2: Closing the dps, survivability, gear, and skill gap. There is just too much of a difference between the low end players and high end players. And this isn't just a 3-5% difference, it is over a 1000% difference(10k dps vs 140k dps/cannonfodder vs immortal tanks). ZOS needs to find a way to close all these gaps. Not just for the game itself, but also for the players to have better experiences anywhere in the game(in trials/dungeons/arena's/PvP/etc). When players have better experiences, they stick around or don't leave at all.

    PS: Gold Road looks very disappointing to me. Even though I did preorder Gold Road because ESO is just a great game and I plan to keep playing for years.


    1: completely agree, normal and vet dungeon finder has too many fake roles and speedrunning toxic people who are ruining the game too much. Zos needs to address it as quick as possible

    2: zos made multiple tools available for bridging the gap in 80-105k range, HA sorc, arcanists and easier access with crafted and buyable sets(also normal dungeons+trials) . The rotation and sets required to reach 80-100k is much easier now compared to what it was more then 1-4 years ago I've been playing. Skill gap is not/shouldn't be given by zos but earnt through player experience. Survivability is also given by changes to vigor and every class having access to major resolve+self heals, also a HA sorc has tons of sustain and survivability with oaken buffs, matriarch and crit surge, same with arcanist with heal spammable+shield beam. So midgame is super fine even in vet trails nondlc+dlc, and nondlc hm trials, which can be used to grind perfected sets. Zos has given us the tools.

    This is my opinion. English is my 4-5th language so please bear with my grammer.
  • Tandor
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    Time and again these threads turn out to be 99% primarily about PvP, so I guess the answer to the question is to fix PvP.
  • Adremal
    Adremal
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    Better writing and better, more memorable characters. And more lore. If you look at that one MMO which is not bleeding players but keeps gaining them, you'll realize how important that is. Same goes for many other popular games that rely on a big IP and have a lot of lore to them - even if the player then focuses on other things, such as PvP, or housing, or what have you, a strong writing and lore with memorable characters make for a game people stick to it.

    And then the usual:

    More communication and a demonstration of the team actually listening to feedback (did Necro players really ask for Sacrificial Blastbones, for instance?).

    Actual build options (two morphs one of which is wrong for your build means not having options in the first place, and for God's sake get rid of skills that provide bonuses just for being slotted but see no actual use). Give us a skill tree, get rid of the skill twig already. It doesn't serve games well, there's an infamous example demonstrating as much ever since June 5, 2023.

    Revamp of dead skill lines (vampirism is literally dead save for a passive in PvP, and in niche situations another... passive). WW is not much better off. Psijic and Mage Guild skills could also use some love.

    Better performance (duh), or less 12-hours maintenances. I mean, you'd figure we'd see results after such maintenances, and no other titles has such downtimes barring major updates, so there's clearly something wrong there.
  • VixxVexx
    VixxVexx
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    By taking in player feedback instead of doubling down on bad decisions.
  • Warhawke_80
    Warhawke_80
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    I just think the devs are going to do what they want and opinions be damned....ToT is living proof of that.
    ““Elric knew. The sword told him, without words of any sort. Stormbringer needed to fight, for that was its reason for existence...”― Michael Moorcock, Elric of Melniboné
  • Jimbru
    Jimbru
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    The single biggest thing they could do to both get players back and retain players is to change the outdated console controller based combat to reflect modern PC paradigms. Look at Guild Wars 2's combat for how to do it right.

    More generally, the devs need to stop thinking of ESO in terms of it being "Skyrim Online" and bring it up to date relative to its competition.
  • Kendaric
    Kendaric
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    Jimbru wrote: »
    More generally, the devs need to stop thinking of ESO in terms of it being "Skyrim Online" and bring it up to date relative to its competition.

    That would lead to even more players leaving. Many players play ESO despite it being an MMORPG and are mainly interested in the TES lore, not in MMO features.

    There is no single feature that would bring back lots of players. Though on top of my list would be:

    > Better and more consistent writing, especially for dialog options our characters get to choose. But better NPC writing in general would be good as well.

    > Better, more varied major plots. Orsinium/Wrothgar is regarded highly for this reason (among others of course). Not everything needs to revolve around Daedric Princes, dragons or another world-ending threat.

    > Less flashy, glowy things. The sheer amount of visual noise from pets, mounts, skins/polymorphs and certain skills is driving people away.

    > Less focus on clown crates and the clown store in favor of actual content.
      PAWS (Positively Against Wrip-off Stuff) - Say No to Crown Crates!. Outfit slots not being accountwide is ridiculous given their price. PC EU/PC NA roleplayer and solo PvE quester
    • Cooperharley
      Cooperharley
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      Incentivization of long term gameplay & a reward structure with less focus on microtransactions in my opinion
    • CrushDepth
      Perhaps not having servers down "for testing" on a Saturday afternoon may stop people from leaving, and announcing same may bring folks back.
    • fizzylu
      fizzylu
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      Sarannah wrote: »
      How does ESO win back players? I am not sure how to answer this myself. I know WOW can shed a significant number of players and they can also win back a significant number. Because each expansion resets the game. How does ESO win back its players? Will the Gold Road expansion be enough? Or will they need to do more?
      I'm glad ESO is nothing like WoW, where we need to start from scratch every expansion. To me that is stupid, even though I did enjoy WoW when I was still playing it. In ESO the progress you make remains the progress you made. Players can barely keep up with balance changes in PvE, let alone PvP.
      I mean, as someone who has played WoW most of their life.... I wouldn't even say WoW wins back players because of the "reset". I know many people, including myself, that hate that about WoW. Blizzard is even planning to build things to be more evergreen to make this less of an issue since player feedback in recent years proves that this is not something the majority actually enjoys. WoW wins back players because of actual new content that draws people in.... whether it be a new feature (dragon riding/dynamic flying is a perfect example since it was a huge win for the Dragonflight expansion), classes, dungeons/raids, or even just the many zones. WoW also gets multiple updates throughout the year that brings new content and features, while with ESO it's really only one-two updates, meaning there is not only more offered but also more chances to draw players back.
      Incentivization of long term gameplay & a reward structure with less focus on microtransactions in my opinion
      And this. A lot of new "content" added to ESO are just things you pay for.... while in games like WoW, if something new is added to the game, people actually have to play and be active in the game to earn it.
      Edited by fizzylu on March 2, 2024 8:54PM
    • duagloth
      duagloth
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      Get out of beta mode
    • Playnice
      Playnice
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      Make it easier for returning players to jump back into the game by eliminating gameplay quality of life necessities such as the craft bag through eso+. Think about it, if a player tries to return to the game without re-upping their eso+ subscription, they will instantly be met with the half storage capacity from their previous eso+ session from whence they played. One of several things that make the current system feel like an "all or nothing" type of commitment into playing the game.
      Playing since Feb 2015 / TES fan since 2002
      Main alliance: Ebonheart Pact
      All classes, all specs, 21 characters / 2 accounts
    • Pepegrillos
      Pepegrillos
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      Firor said in the yearly letter that the game had its highest monthly active average users since 2015 in 2023. There is a 2017 interview that mentions having 2.5m active users in some month that year. So it might have been around that? That has to be a combination of new players and veteran players checking the game again. I doubt this game can get any bigger at this point.
    • Warhawke_80
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      Jimbru wrote: »
      The single biggest thing they could do to both get players back and retain players is to change the outdated console controller based combat to reflect modern PC paradigms. Look at Guild Wars 2's combat for how to do it right.

      More generally, the devs need to stop thinking of ESO in terms of it being "Skyrim Online" and bring it up to date relative to its competition.


      Heck at this point they could revert to WoW combat and it would be an improvement.
      ““Elric knew. The sword told him, without words of any sort. Stormbringer needed to fight, for that was its reason for existence...”― Michael Moorcock, Elric of Melniboné
    • Serpari
      Serpari
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      Make the classes fun to play. I still play FFXIV sparingly because the classes feel good to play, the combat's not floaty how ESO is. The one thing ESO combat does better than FFXIV's is the lack of button bloat, though.


      The bird of Hermes is my name
      Eating my wings to make me tame
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