Arena mode dead and buried?

  • That is a long list. If the time between matches was faster or there was TDM like I suggested more people would play.

  • What we have here is known as a "cascade failure":

    • Rare provided no new content for arenas, so most serious arena players completed the grind and moved on, and now there aren't enough people to sustain full matches.
    • Rare claims the arenas they don't update with fresh content are - surprise - not popular, and state they won't be spending any more dev resources on arenas.
    • Rare more or less hid the arenas button away in the menu, minimizing its significance in the minds of new players and making it less likely they will click on it.
    • Rare introduces new bugs after ceasing development on arenas, and never fixes them. Players can't deduce where the treasure is in a match anymore due to these bugs, making arena matches confusing and frustrating if you are actually chasing the objective, causing more players to leave and never come back.
    • With fewer people queuing up, the already broken matchmaking takes an inordinate amount of time to start matches now. Most players who come in to try arenas now get bored of waiting around doing nothing and leave before a match even starts.
    • When the players that wait all that time in the lobby finally get into a match, there's inevitably one ship of bored arena veterans still there just picking on everyone else. New arena players have a terrible first experience because of this and never come back.
    • Even less players queue for arenas, the queue times get even longer, the same problems continue to get worse...

    I type this after literally waiting 45+ minutes now for a galleon arena match to start before giving up and quitting. With allegedly 5 million active players currently, there's not even just 16-20 other players available to start an arena match on a weekday night right now.

    All of the problems I mentioned are interrelated but also entirely fixable, and I don't understand Rare's reason for abandoning the arenas the way they did. Some of us appreciated a game mode where we could hop in for a short match when we don't have hours to spare for Adventure mode, but now I basically just log in to sit in queue for half an hour, then log out without doing anything because there is no such thing as a quick arena match with these broken empty lobbies anymore.

    The way I see it, Rare created the conditions that made arenas unpopular, then used that as an excuse to halt development on the game mode. I personally love arenas but I am of the opinion at this point that Rare should just stop screwing around with us and remove the game mode already if they can't even do the bare minimum to maintain the arenas in an actually workable state.

    This is all very sad to me because I think the arenas would be a perfect followup to the maiden voyage and a great way to introduce new players to player combat mechanics in a low stakes environment - BEFORE they have their first treasure haul stolen because they don't even know how to hit anything with their cannons yet. I think they could make the game greatly more enjoyable and less frustrating for new players and improve player retention if they revisited arenas properly instead of abandoning them like this.

  • I hope one day we get a big redo/relaunch, honestly.

    But it really would have to be a huge relaunch.

    Like an entire season dedicated to it.
    It needs players to make those cues bearable. And to water down the level toxic kids in it.

    Right now it’s just a broken mess. So for me, it’s all or nothing.
    I’m happy to completely get rid of it, until they can do a big relaunch.

  • @artibyrd Totally agree with you.

  • @touchiertooth28 For the moment I am no longer participating. It is useless. My levels, I buy them in larinna now. Until the problems are resolved I will no longer be playing an arena.

  • I suspect that another reason it is empty, is because the arena button on the main screens is now super small and hidden away in the bottom right corner. That doesnt suggest a mode with any value at all, its less noticeable than the tutorial button (half the size). Even the title font is not the same as all the other options, it is notably smaller. Arena really has become a footnote.

  • @sally-kraken No, the arena problem dates back well before season 3, the season during which the new buttons were put in place.

  • It feels like every month someone on here is going to have a fit about Arena's current state, whether it be prominent PvP/NAL players, or the average bitter TDMer that actually wants to play arena normally.

    Instead of relying on the devs to find a reason to make it bring in more traffic, how about actually getting people to play the mode as it was originally designed? Obviously in it's current state it's ridiculous but look at what player retention and actions have brought us to. A very low activity game mode that has lost it's significance and interest over time.

    My roommate is under 100 hours in the game, while I'm over 2.5k hours. The only interest he has towards arena, are some of the cosmetics. Now. I can describe arena how Rare advertises it, but rest be assured, my own personal experiences and biases towards the current state of the game mode would interfere with my consensus for them. Arena's fun factor mostly comes out of player encounters and winning contests in a fair-enough competition.

    TDM lobbies and lacking outer crew comms heavily reduce the fun factor of the game mode. The feeling of competition is gone, the game mode is so drab that players have to play the game mode in a non-advertised way in order to garner any relative fun from it. That's not to even include the loss of fun through spawncamping, in which several players are not aware of accessing in My Crew - Scuttle Ship in Arena's game mode.

    If we want more people to play, we need to play it in the way the game mode is advertised, and allow it to be fun. I would love to trade broadsides with other boats, but I don't want a match in arena to end with a player refusing to sink mine, or any ship just to farm commendations for slaying players.

  • @nex-stargaze said:

    Instead of relying on the devs to find a reason to make it bring in more traffic, how about actually getting people to play the mode as it was originally designed?

    In typical CTF type modes, you are only rewarded points for playing the objective. If Rare wanted us to fight over a chest, they should have limited the scoring system to that.

    The objective of the game is to get points. It is simply more efficient to spend time navaling other ships than it is to dig up and turn in chests.

    This isn't something we designed. This is something Rare designed.

    Obviously in it's current state it's ridiculous but look at what player retention and actions have brought us to. A very low activity game mode that has lost it's significance and interest over time... If we want more people to play, we need to play it in the way the game mode is advertised

    The only folks who play Arena nowadays are those who are missing the cosmetics, or those who enjoy naval/tdm. Unlike Adventure, which gets regular bugfixes and updates with new cosmetics, titles, and things to do, Arena has only had one major update and there are only two major titles to grind. This is why it has lost its significance and interest.

    You can't expect the community, on some sort of grass roots level, to rally enough interest and bring life back to the mode. It's not going to work even if we all agreed to run chests and play how you want us to. The mode would still be lacking in new cosmetics and titles. Only Rare can add the content that would give players a reason to return.

    But forget adding new content, especially since they said they wouldn't. At least fix the matchmaking/merging issues that happen in full lobbies. So that the few players who are still interested can enjoy the mode as is.

  • @theblackbellamy said in Arena mode dead and buried?:

    @nex-stargaze said:

    This is why it has lost its significance and interest.

    People stopped playing Arena because they changed it up and made it more PvP focused rather then how it was in Arena 1.0 and anytime you would want to play it, players would just always be tdming in every lobby. Those two things are specifically what killed arena.

    You don't see that much anymore because Rare pulled the plug on Arena and it died. After they pulled the official plug on it, it's grown buggier and buggier with more and more issues; which are affecting persons getting onto the mode.

    Arena is dead.

  • @personalc0ffee said:

    People stopped playing Arena because they changed it up and made it more PvP focused rather then how it was in Arena 1.0 and anytime you would want to play it, players would just always be tdming in every lobby. Those two things are specifically what killed arena.

    I'm sure some people stopped playing Arena because it became more PvP focused, and I'm sure some people stopped playing because of TDMers.

    But the reason most people moved on from Arena, and the reason a lot of TDMers started TDMing in the first place, is because there was nothing left to do.

    Rare pulled the plug on Arena and it died. After they pulled the official plug on it, it's grown buggier and buggier with more and more issues; which are affecting persons getting onto the mode.

    Rare pulled the plug on further development. They said they would maintain the mode. One of the main reasons players, especially newer ones, have lost interest is because of the lack of maintenance that has lead to our matchmaking issues.

    I'm not talking about issues from a lack of available players. I'm talking about issues that occur in full lobbies, with closed crews. As "dead" as Arena is, it is still in the game, and there are folks who still wish to play.

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