I’ve been playing this game for a while now (~3 years on and off) and recently I’ve been working on one of my characters on his 10th life on the Khyber server. It seems like groups are getting harder and hared to come by (not surprising for an aging game I guess). But the issue feels like it’s approaching a critical point where players are being forced to wait too long for groups and the game is becoming less fun for it.
The situation is so bad in some cases that I’m getting more and more tells from people when I post groups asking: “Hey are you willing to buy me a guest pass for that for free, it beats waiting around for more people…” or “Hey will you run me through the 4 prerequisite flagging quests so I can join you on that? It beets waiting for more people right…”
Now I understand that the game is getting older and the player base may be shrinking. I also agree that most quests 1-20 are solo or duo able even on elite (which I do a lot of sadly) but that’s not the point. I play MMOs to play with people not to solo.
I’m sure that the devs are hoping that the upcoming xpack will increase the player base and I’m sure it will a bit in the short term but I feel like this will not be nearly enough.
I feel like all there is left to do is ether find a way to allow for cross server groups (which I’m sure might be a technical challenge and not something the devs are willing to put the work into at this stage) or a server merger. I for one would love to see all the server merged so that the pool of available players is far greater. I’m sure this presents it’s own technical challenges but I feel like without some sort of drastic move soon we will reach a point of no return where the only players left will be those ok with soloing for ever and the rest will migrate to other games never to return.
I’m sure that one counter argument to the server merger idea will be “well more players on a server = more lag”. My answer to that is, well find a way to fix it there are games with servers that have populations many times the total population of all of DDO. If this is really a technical issue that can not be solved the game is headed in a dangerous derection.
Anyway this is just my 2 cents as a player that enjoys DDO and a player that is for ever LFM in an empty group.