We've been going through October's feedback to collect your thoughts on late-Saturday / no-Sunday. While there was some variance in opinion, we noticed several trends on feedback. I want to touch on what those were, and then how we want to incorporate them (skip to the bottom if you want the bottom-line up front).
Most players enjoyed the late-night threats. The October schedule had NPCs scheduled until 4am, with overlapping shifts until 2am. This meant we could do roaming threats until 2am instead of 12am, and still have other NPCs on other modules / encounters. Overall response to this was really good, so we're going to keep the late-Saturday NPC time. In the future I'm looking forward to having two hours of overlap for 'after shock' events following a climactic fight.
Post Office hours.
Most players said the Post Office was not open late enough. The Post Office did close at 3:30am on Saturday (technically Sunday), but it saw little activity at that time. This is also later than we have ever kept the Post Office open. I think this is a little bit about production time (more below), but also making those hours visible. Typically we publish Post Office hours at the window. We didn't this event (it just got missed) so we're going to do that again. I'll post the complete hours below but anticipate the Post Office to be open until 2am at night, and again on Sunday.
A number of economy players missed the opportunity to do more crafting or production, which is safe to do on Sunday but less viable Saturday at 2am for reasons that are probably obvious.
Those who don't craft still lamented the loss of Sunday because its an opportunity to get closure on any number of things - business arrangements, character conflicts, character death, etc. The response we got here was surprising. We anticipated that some players would miss Sunday roleplay, but there's a lot more going on Sunday than we anticipated. Which is great!
Almost nobody missed morning raiders, modules, or npcs in general. think this is one of the reasons Sunday can feel like a drag by the end of the event, is that players have burned up a fair amount of energy chasing plot and chop.
Players lamented the loss of game time, especially in light of last year's ticket increase. This is perfectly understandable. Everyone wants to get more time and entertainment for their dollar and we want to give that to you too. We also want the game
Nobody actually slept in. The sun came up and one person woke up and soon everybody was awake. So that did not work at all.
Cleanup was easier.
Most people who commented on cleanup itself said that it went faster and easier. We agreed. Players had more energy. We had more energy. It seemed that most of us finished up at about lunchtime which is perfect for afters. Those two hours made a lot of difference.
We're going to keep Sunday in play until 10am. We will have scheduled NPCs until Saturday 4am (technically Sunday). We will not have Sunday morning modules, wake-ups, etc. In fact, we will have no NPCs for that time at all. This is strictly going to be a time for roleplay, closure, crafting, and beginning to decompress. That means the Post Office will be open from 8am to 10am. Those who want to get an early start on heading out can join me in Logistics for an early camp clean-up.
We think 10am is going to be the best of both worlds. Its enough time to be meaningful, but its not so long that everybody is waiting out-of-character for the bell to ring. It seems to compliment trends we see in the Post Office activity on Sunday. Its also earlier which seems to coincide with players having an easier cleanup which ultimately means a better experience.
This is an optimization problem and its one of the challenges in trying things out with a schedule. Every solution has a 'cost' somewhere else. So really its about trying to find the solution that maximizes the experience with the least 'cost.'
We're hoping this gives everyone what they are looking for and improves the overall experience. After all, this schedule is almost verbatim based on suggestions several of you made. (That's correct that several of you made the same recommendation). Its also well supported by the trends we saw in feedback. If it works out, then great. If not, then we can tweak it or change it. The only way to really know is to give it a shot and find out together.