Maybe JO Wasn't Meant to Last?
I have been absent from this game and forum for about two to three months and publically quit the game sometime in May/June.
I posted a "farewell thread" where I explained I quit the game because of my frustration with the horrible patches Raven put out (1.3, 1.4) that basically destroyed the base Jedi Outcast game which resulted in splintering the community into over a billion Mods and server settings that go way beyond player perference and made the game boring because of the limited number of choices -- nerfed saber, weapons and force powers -- That a player could use to have fun or defeat an opponent.
I still stand by that statement and do not play online that much anymore if at all.
I think this is relevant because I do know for a fact that I wasn't the only one to leave the game altogether -- The MP portion -- For the reasons I stated above.
However, what hasn't been brought up here yet is the fact that a lot of players - avid gamers and also JKI fans - Thought that JO wasn't that good a game to begin with... And I happen to partly agree with that analysis as well.
The reason I agree with this is because while there is no other game currently like JO on the market today... If you get right down to it, JO is an appealing game when you first play it, but generally looses its appeal after an extensive period of time (6 months or more)...
Because the game itself is very shallow and lacks any depth to it once you get past the "Oo and ahh" phase as someone put it.
How is it shallow and lack depth you ask?
It's shallow and lacks depth because the main thing the game focused on when it came out was asthetics (and that's what still primarily attracts people more than anything else). I'm referring to the lightsaber, level design, SW Universe Character representations, etc.
However, actual gameplay -- Even in 1.2 -- Was still lacking in many aspects and in particular, any real skill once you got past all of the asthetics (and it's only gotten worse).
I think this is important to note as it reflects not just the competitive players attitudes, but average players like myself.
MP saber battles in 1.2 -- aside from the "feather glance kill bug" -- Were mostly about luck. If you recall, this was one of the complaints that a lot of people expressed when they asked Raven to make MP saber battles to be more like the SP porption.
Then we got 1.3 which was a total cluster f*ck anyway you put it.
It divided the community not only because of the technical bugs it introduced into the game (spammed, one-hit kill moves), but because it also touched on something that I think the JO community had been trying to avoid until then and that is it revealed a side of players -- and brought in a certain type of player -- That the JO community thought existed in "other" games and wasn't present in JO... At least not yet since the game was still relatively new when 1.3 came out.
I'm talking about the kind of players who fully admitted to using the one-hit kill moves and other exploits just so they could be number one on the kill board at the end of a match with that being their ONLY goal, foregoing the social aspect or anything remotely ressembling "civilzed" online behavior.
These kinds of players were usually the more immature players and basically the ones many would classify as "asses" or "jerks" that need to be voted off from time to time...
And while these players exist in all games... They really started to come out of the wood-work when 1.3 was introduced and this splintered the community with those "jerk" players being at odds with the ones who considered themselves more "ideal" JO players who followed the SW, Jedi code and whatnot.
Do you see what I am getting at?
I will assume you are smart enough to read between the lines so I will move on...
My main point in rehashing all that is the fact that perhaps JO wasn't meant to have a long life as other games that have come before it have?
It may not be what anybody wants to hear, but it might be the truth (especially if Raven keeps nerfing things, but I digress...).
Now, is the JO Community dying?
Like many have said, there are different definitions and interpretations of what "dying" and "dead" are so I won't bother throw my two cents in with regard to this specific question.
I will say, however, that if you look at how many servers there active on any given day using Gamespy or All-Seeing Eye, a lot of them ARE empty now and at peak hours when most players could be playing the game, regardless of age; either after school and at night -- And this includes the Modded servers as well and not just the regular 1.2-1.4 servers.
Again, while I realize that isn't enough to make a generalization on whether the community is dying or not, I think it is a fair indicator of perhaps how popular the game is right now and even if people don't want to admit it, it is tapering off (as all games do over time)... And I see no real ressurgence in sight unless Raven releases an expansion or other high visibility product/update to get the general public interested in the game again (like AOTC did).