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  1. This will be the culmination of a few months of thoughts and ideas that myself and fellow community members have had about the current state of Strayagaming, and in particular, Altis Life. To start with, the slow decline of the Strayagaming is noticeable- with the population on servers dwindling down to single digits on weekends and during holiday breaks. While this may not be the case for all servers, like Invade and Annex which has seen a stable player base ranging from 20-50 players at a given time during peak hours; Altis Life has seen low numbers with population spikes during updates and events, however closer criticism in regards to events and updates will be covered later. Naturally of course, its unreasonable to expect the server to perform with good population (40-70 players) all day, every day. However, many roleplaying servers manage to maintain a solid player-base which returns on evenings, weekends and holidays to have fun with some mates. Altis life lacks the core component of why the majority of people play games- fun. There are some aspects of the server which are fun such as banks, robberies, capture points and events; but these are only fun for so long, as after a while people get bored with the exact same gangs doing banks, fighting at capture points and the same events being recycled over and over again. Even the roleplay component of the server has taken a toll, with it hard to find people willing to talk and take part in arguably the most core component of any “Life” server. Updates As of now the lack of updates for Altis Life has been in the minds of many players for months- with the last update being v11.6, on the 3rd of December 2019. This update brought about mostly changes for the APD, with new outposts being added as well as minor bug fixes. The last major update with server-wide content was v11.5, with the introduction of adrenaline and the gang fund system. While these updates have introduced new content and mechanics, nothing implemented within the last 3 months has contributed to player fun and enjoyment. Furthermore, the lack of transparency about updates is detrimental to the hype and the effect that talking about such things has on attracting new players. If Strayagaming was to release teaser videos showing bits and pieces of upcoming updates, it would be highly beneficial to letting people know that the management team still cares about the server- rather than having no talk or any information about updates (if there even is one coming). This feeling of being left in the dark is so impactful on people that it has and will continue to drive players off the server and out of the community. Even this issue has been recognised by server staff, with quotes such as: “There needs to be content for everyone to do. Such as, challenges, levelling system etc. Give people an enjoyable reason to play and the player pop might increase”. “Civs needs more activities / jobs to do. Jobs such as repair men, taxi drivers, bounty hunters could all be implemented to some degree on Altis life. Civilians don't have much of a choice when it comes to legal activities that can be rewarding”. However, a potential strategy for update releasing is to do updates once every 1-2 months with new content and ideas to continuously change up what happens on the server, so that there is an element of enjoyment for all. Events The recent spike in events being held is an attempt to increase server population- not with a solution, but rather a Band-Aid. It works for the time of the event, but once it’s over the server population will fall back down into single digits. Even the events, which were fun and enjoyable to do every Friday evening- with a range of things like Pawnee battles, de-sync derby and other PVP games; have now become old and boring. Take for instance the most recent event, “The Purge”. This event is being held over two days, with 3 hours allocated for The Purge to be run, but the population has peaked on the 22nd of February at around the mid-20s. Before the downfall of events, they would attract upwards of 20-30 people onto the server looking to have a fun time after a hard week at school or work- but now its just another thing to add onto the list of dead and worn-out solutions. Perhaps we can see the return of events in a new and interesting fashion in the future. Community The lack of engagement led by the Strayagaming staff team is a large contributor to the lack of new population across its services. The number of new players for many servers has fallen as people who are new to the game or are trying something new perhaps don’t even know of the existence of Strayagaming. The introduction of a dedicated social media/promotions team would be of great benefit, as it would be able to tap into the massive amounts of people on social media at any given time- and then spread the community name and servers to new and keen players looking to have a fun time. For example, the Strayagaming twitter account has not been used since December 2018- almost 14 months of inactivity from it. This account could be used to announce updates, changes, giveaways and major items on a platform that many individuals will have in their pockets during the day and night. Secondly, the introduction of an Instagram account would also be used in the same way as the twitter account, but perhaps being used to share promotional material and larger updates that require photos and/or videos to fully show off features. From what I can gather, this idea is in the works but who knows how long it could take for it to be implemented. Finally, the Strayagaming podcast is a great medium for items such as interviews and news to be delivered in a simple form. There have already been moves to put this into play, and hopefully in the future we can see the podcast return in a new and revamped style. Final Remarks The main thing to take away from this is from my eyes at least, communication. It is so important to let players know of what’s coming up in digestible and accessible forms, so that they aren’t feeling like they are in the dark or perhaps playing on a dead server. Who knows if these ideas will be taken into consideration but its worth a shot since many of us have spent countless hours playing in this community, and it’s sad to see it slowly crumbling away. Nonetheless, I hope that we can bring Strayagaming back to the way it was, with an active and engaged community.
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