Okay so I want to preface this post by pointing out that my post about leaving and never coming back was totally panning out until @apoloc
told me via Facebook about the retirement thing.
That said, I had to come check it out because this was a feature I used to ramble about. I think it's great, and a solid approach to dealing with the problem of an antiquated genre. Here are a couple of things, however, that I would suggest in order to keep some of the players you lure back into your spider web, assuming they're even logistically possible.
- I wasn't the only one lured back into the game by the siren call of possible activity. I happened upon a few old timers who were meandering around, unsure of what to do with themselves. I was trying to figure out where I put my heroic steed (remember I drive a giant rhino?) when I saw a shardfall happen. I was all set to go roll into battle and drop some post-nerf druid nonsense on people, when I realized I had no vials, armor, et cetera. This is a travesty. You want me to go play in the shardfall and then be like 'man I love hating myself, I'll totally play Imperian again'. To that end, I would honestly suggest a returning player promo for people who haven't been active in like, 6 months. All they'd get is one of each vial, and maybe 50 of each herb. Just enough to get players rolling out on to the playing field, where their heroic (awkward baby horse standing up for the first time) deeds will win them acclaim, and convince them to stay on for a bit. I saw I had no tools, and no gold, and was like 'naw dog I'm out until I feel like retiring to Aetolia/Vampbathan'.
- You apparently have an event going on. Put that in bright lettering when I first log-in. I 100% do not care about the sorry state of my city/guild/sect, but if I read a 2 sentence thing in bright text that's all 'ahhhh antagonists are doing things %n, get in there and monologue them to death!', I would be super tempted to stay around and at least see what's going down.
- Channel your inner Chinese freemium game and offer players a two day window to get some kind of exclusive credit/lesson package. I have learned (painfully) that if you dangle value in front of me, there's a good chance I'll bite and then from there I'll feel like an idiot if I don't play.
Hope these suggestions help!