(Everything here is subjective and my OPINION. If you disagree with me, that's great, just keep it civil.)
PROBLEM #1 – Battle Royale
The Battle Royale mode is the main focus of Epic and has replaced STW as Fortnite's core mode. Yes STW came first, but BR has way more players, more support from Epic and is basically the moneymaker. So yeah, pretty obvious but BR is a pretty major factor as to why STW doesn't get huge updates.
PROBLEM #2 – The big boys
The higher-ups at Epic know that BR is what makes money. They aren't willing to give STW a chance. And I know that there is a team of developers who love STW with a passion, but I suspect that they haven't been given the greenlight to add anything too time or money-consuming.
PROBLEM #3 – Accessibility
Firstly, STW sits behind a paywall. Which is exactly that, a wall. Now I know that STW isn't a premium AAA price, but it's pretty expensive compared to BR's free-to-play model. But if you do decide to pay the admission fee, you're met with pretty minimal direction (a bunch of mechanics aren't explained too well) and a pretty overwhelming and confusing interface and gameplay. It's not the hardest to master, but it's certainly not the easiest.
PROBLEM #4 – The 'Solo cycle'
Let me explain my very creative name here: Not a huge amount of people play STW, possibly due to Problem 3. So, if you don't have too many friends to progess with you in real time, then progessing through the game solo can be very challenging. Looking at Xbox Achievement statistics, the overwhelming majority of players who pick up STW don't make it past Stonewood. Many people will simply give up. This carries on the cycle as the playerbase doesn't really grow, so new players still can't find anyone to play with.
(Sidenote: I'd say the best time to play with others is when STW goes on sale, as there is normally an influx of new players)
So my idea to combat some of these is basically a free trial without V-Buck missions, and to treat it like a timed beta test. Advertise the upcoming trial in BR a bit, then make a certain portion of the game free for anyone who plays. Have two modes available, one Storm Shield Defense and one more unique mode (maybe that van one, I forget the name). Allow automatic fill in these lobbies for maximum enjoyment. Finally, heavily advertise the latergame of STW and especially those sweet sweet V-Bucks. Then just put the game on sale after the trial period and hopefully some more people will want to pick it up.
This community, and subreddit, wants lategame content. We all know we deserve it, but I suspect that we'll only get it if STW starts making some more money so Epic will allow further development. And the best way to do that is probably just get more people to buy and play STW, and that's the basis for my 'solution'. I'm not trying to be a knight in shining armour here and fix everything, I just want to throw my ideas out there in case they're helpful to anyone 🙂
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