Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Ultimate Question - Survey Results

Last June I asked on my blog, and on some forums, for people to respond to a simple survey. The survey was designed around the concept called the "Net Promoter Score" that is a current fad in the corperate world.

Personally I am a huge fan of the survey and have seen it transform organizations. As a result I thought that I would try and apply it to EVE Online to see what people say. I also asked WOW players on what forums I knew about the same question. I had over 200 reponses from EVE players, and about 90 responses from WOW players.

So... without any further adieu... Here are the results

EVE Online NPS = 21
WOW NPS = 21

Interesting eh?

Here are some of the comments from the EVE Online 'Promoters' (score - comment):
9 - I enjoy the real consequences of pvp/pve and would like friends to play with me.
10 - It is a uniquely realistic depiction of a lawless society, also fun, lots of fun
10 - EVE allows a freedom unsurpassed in any other MMO, basically the sandboxiness is awesome. Also, you're flying SPACESHIPS, anyone who doesn't like that is probably a communist.
10 - It's vast and wonderfully complex, it has SPACESHIPS! And it makes you think... A lot.

And here is a 'special one'...
10 - player name - hahahahahaha Nice try.. Rule #1 Trust No One   

Here are some of the comments from the EVE Online 'Detractors':
0 - I love EVE, but it's a terrible game. It has a terrible community, and terrible customer support (GMs often seem "out to get you"). You need ISK for everything, but the only way to get ISK is to spend hours a day grinding. It's a terrible, terrible game, and I love it, but I wouldn't wish it upon my worst enemy.
2 - Too time consuming - I don't want to ruin a friend's life or marriage.
1- The player environment of Eve is not conductive to making new acquaintances you could actually play with, and few people pull it off. Paranoia levels in Eve among veteran players are so high, that the chance to find a non-solitary niche for a new player is fairly low, and new players drop out quickly and most importantly, together. (A solitary niche is not worth recommending in the first place.) Which means that if I introduce a friend or colleague to Eve, I will have to BE the core of their social environment and provide that niche myself if I wish them to stay. That, basically means that I'd be recommending them something they cannot possibly enjoy on their own without me. The only way that could work would be enticing many people to do that at once and support each other, forming a straight up corporation entirely from friends and colleagues. That is quite a tall order, which makes such a recommendation not impossible, but very unlikely.
2 - Goon shenanigans, especially as they impact the Market and the overall game economy and player attitude, has made any activity for the regular player meaningless. Also, player attitude is childish in the extreme, especially on Forums. It used to be fun till CCP got in bed with and praised Goons.

For comparison here are some WOW Promoters:
10 -   I love the game, there is so much to do, and most of the people are amazing!
9 -  It's a great game to play with friends.
9 -  This game is extremely fun. It's a game where you can spend time with friends and other people. I've connected with a lot of people through WoW and people have connected with me. This game is truly amazing and would recommend it to everyone who loves MMO's.9 - In spite of its issues, I've loved this game for a long time. But I would probably only recommend it to someone if I already knew they were an avid gamer, because there's always been a certain amount of social stigma around this game in particular.

 And here are some WOW Detractors:
3 -  The games long life cycle means there is no one I know who would like that hasn't already tried it. Meaning I would just be getting back into the game with the same old addicts.
0 = After playing for 8 years the thought of explaining the mechanics to someone new just seems like a huge task. Things that I think are trivial probably don't come easily. Relating to someone brand new would be an extremely challenging task. The best I can do is point you to this blog post on the Elitist Jerks forum. It essentially goes through what raiding at 60 was like, compared to raiding in wrath. The points still stand and even more so now with Cata being wrapped up and heading into Mists. The complexity I went through was seeing the changes unfold and adapting. Now that's not the case. It's understanding what were once pretty crazy ideas and adapting those without any background.
5 - Depends on the person... mostly I would like to because I love the game... but it can also be embarassing.

My Conclusions
Personally I find the results of the survey interesting. In both cases players love the game because of doing things with other people (duh! it is an MMO). WOW players loved the large amount of content, and EVE players loved the sanboxiness/lawlessness. In both cases players have concerns about new players not being able to enjoy it.

What CCP / Blizzard need to do to improve...
It seems that bot EVE and WOW should work on helping players interact more with other players more, especially when new. This seems to be the key to move them from detractors to promoters. The resistance to this in EVE is that new players are intimidated by veterans, and veterans are paranoid about new players. With WOW it sounds like there is no simply no motivation for older players to work with newer players and this results in a large amount of grinding upwards to get to be actually noticed by other players. Game mechanic changes to improve these areas would be welcome and contribute to the success of both games.

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