Every quarter of the year open a ‘Seasonal Server’ which has slightly accelerated progression in which the only way to play on the server is to make a new character, once that ‘season’ ends close the server and prompt all characters from that server to select a current persistent server to migrate to and continue playing, give players either a unique title or a seasonal armor skin for participating with X amount of hours logged into the server, maybe even a reward box with a batch of gypsum to give them a small boost to their gearscores aswell, some kind of fair reward that will entice them to play and progress on the main ‘normal servers’ for an extended period.
Right now there is a massive population of players who were previous players and who do not directly follow or participate in the game community anymore, my entire guild is full of people like that, I get asked by random people in my guild discord how the state of the game is, they say ‘cool’ and move on, knowing they are currently far behind and don’t want to progress essentially alone with everyone around them months ahead in progress. A seasonal server would help alleviate this to a degree as you would be progressing through the early and mid game together with an entire server worth of people, allowing people to play the most important part of the game how it was meant to be played, to get them hooked like the currently players are hooked.
There is also plenty of people who haven’t played the game and may be willing to try it; if they were to be able to start on an even playing field. By creating quarterly seasonal servers there are 4 prime opportunities a year to jump into New World and have a large population of people around low-mid game to play with, new players will feel far less isolated and irrelevant in this kind of server compared to the main servers where most players are off doing high level content.
The process for setting this up seems like most of the required systems are already implemented, if not the list is as follows;
- Launch a new server without transfer ability
- In the server browser mark it as ‘Seasonal’ with possibly the participation awards displayed upon hovering server name
- Have server-specific bonuses, XP bonus ect, to apply to this seasonal server
- Have a handful of marketing pushes (Trailer video, Dev sitdown, Content creators)
- Force a mandatory server transfer at the end of the season
- Dispense participation award (through the cash shop as a free purchasable would be a solid solution)
- Repeat the process after the quarter ends, and grow the player base fairly consistently
As a hypothetical, if 80% of MMO players quit after the first few months, 20% will be hooked into playing longer term, if each season brings in ONLY 20k players, that could add up to 5k players every quarter, which would double the current player count within just a year, and remember, this is New World that launched with over 900k players, these seasonal servers will NOT have just 20k players joining them…
I could go on further with additional ideas between each season to make each season feel different, with new rulesets for each one and whatnot, but those are ideas that would only matter once the first season is in full swing and feedback about that season is received ect