10 Ways to Ensure Your Best People Will Quit

Player retention is something which seems to be on a lot of people’s minds.  I suggest it may be more important than attraction but at the very least they go hand in hand towards creating a healthy player base.  I don’t claim these ideas, this is something I’m adapting from a business article that I read earlier it deals with more universal satisfaction topics rather than delving into game play issues. I think this might be interesting to any organization leaders, immortals or even people looking for a way to better express things that are bothering them.

10. Treat everyone equally

Some players contribute more to the game.  They bring people with them and help contribute to other people’s enjoyment.  Equality isn’t sufficient, fairness is.

9. Tolerate mediocrity (in yourself).

The idea that “A-players” have less desire to play with “C-players” is true, perhaps more in gaming than in the work world.  “A-players” are under no obligation to explain the “big” runs or “hard” mazes.  People do figure these things out by investing time learning simpler mazes in low risk areas and eventually graduate to bigger and better.  These players are under no obligation to teach new players though many do for lots of good reasons.

8. Have dumb rules.

The original article talks about having rules that get in the way of doing their job.  I believe in simple, unambiguous, enforceable rules.  Establish solid principles and derive rules from there.  I don’t just mean laws, I mean things like using “in area ip check” versus “global ip check”.  To me this is a dumb rule … let me leave my characters in Darkhaven who aren’t at all involved in the fight’s outcome online waiting the 4 hours for their tinker tag to rot off online.  This is just an example.  There are lots of little things like this that are irritants for the sake of anti-exploitation or anti-staking.  Let’s put our heads together and come up with better ways of doing business.

7. Don’t recognize outstanding performance and contributions.

The original article says it best “[b]ehavior you want repeated should be rewarded immediately”.

6. Don’t have any fun at work.

In the game context I’m going to say that you can suck all the fun out of your own game if all you do is monotonous things.  When your strategy to bigger and better gear is to gold until someone auctions it, are you having fun?

5. Don’t keep people informed.

I think this one is really prevalent on Realms.  The latest news item is from March 28.  The latest pknews is from April 05.  Today is June 22.  Nuff said.

4. Micromanage.

There’s two sides to this.  The first is telling people what you want done and how to do it.  Some runs have become an exercise in micromanagement … this tendency is not adding challenge to runs, but tedium (again in the name of anti-staking?)  The other side of this is not asking players how to make things better.  I think this happens on a small scale but there are issues lurking about that I recall from the late 90’s.

3. Don’t develop a [player] retention strategy.

To borrow from the original article again here, make a list of players you would not want to lose from your organization or from the game in general.  Think about whether those players are happy.  Ask yourself if you are doing anything to make sure they stay engaged.

2. Don’t conduct retention interviews.

Ok, this isn’t a workplace so retention interviews probably wouldn’t be formal but sit and talk with people before they’re walking out the door because in the game you never know when they’re typing quit for the last time.

1. Make getting started as tedious as possible.

This has been harped on for 20 years.  The wall of text that is help start and the way players learn the game by reading instead of doing … it goes well for the new preauth but then we dump players into the game and say good luck.  I have some ideas about this and to be clear people like Loril work at this tirelessly but I have first hand experience at trying to recruit MMO gamers and their first reaction is “Yeah, too much reading to even get going doing anything”.  These are people who came from BBS gaming too.


I thought these 10 points were relevant.  They don’t address everything but I think that they address enough that they were worth adapting for you here.  Cheers!


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