I am breaking my vow of silence because finally someone else says almost the exact same things that I was emphasizing and others are finally showing agreement to, (aside from the whole RNG event which I won't get over until items are made purchasable during events for those who need 100-200 of a decor item to do themed building - if we could just buy duplicates once we have the first one unlocked.......) .
There is a counter-argument for some points that could be made and it's been bugging my OCD nature to the point that I have to post. To make the scenario a little interesting from here on out for now and an future postings, consider myself on the opposing bench, I'll be one of those who criticize and pick at things and push for answers/change. You already have plenty on the other bench, the "followers" or "Yes" men, who simply go along with whatever is given, but don't speak up or challenge something. People on this side of the bench are just as critical a component of EA as others, and the EA phase will be a long time still (Let's be honest, you aren't going to make the estimated early Spring 2018 goal of leaving EA, not by a longshot, and that should be obvious to anyone watching the progression compared to the Roadmap)
Onto the points:
We decided to get Zombie Massacre out before Arcade
Everyone on the team knows it's one of the most anticipated features
You admitted Arcade is "one" of the most anticipated, it is fair to say it technically is the MOST anticipated feature at this point, and has been for a while. Why would you focus on something that is less cared about in comparison - ZM? That directly comes off as showing that player feedback really isn't important or coming through, it's like this:
(You are saying one thing "Claiming you know we want Arcade the most" but doing something else yet again "Making a different game, and focusing on something the players aren't as eager for in comparison" It's exactly what the original post was talking about, and ZM isn't a quickie like Fishing).
You are making these games for the players. Your players have asked for Arcade to be next since a while, so it just makes no sense to pick ZM the one that is less asked for, over Arcade, the one most asked for. From the looks of the Roadmap, ZM has a lot of objective counts too, it isn't just some small and simple feature that'll be done in a week or 2 either.
We can assume ZM will require more than 1 player, if it can be single player, this becomes irrelevant, but the next paragraph emphasizes something important. Assuming it can't be played alone, it will see a fraction of the playtime that Arcade would bring since like the Casino, you aren't reliant on waiting for people to show up. THIS is literally the biggest issue with many games - it could be solved by inserting AI players, something is better than nothing.
This follows into a long term issue I've had since buying the game - How do you expect people to play games like these that have a requirement of 4 players minimum?
When I play, the game itself has 108 online approx. Most of those are in EU. Our US server only has 16 players in one server, and 10 in another, and maybe 4-5 in the rest - My play time sits somewhere around 11pm-5am PST. Before someone says play earlier, that is not a valid solution, it is 2017 and we live in a world that runs 24/7, gamers especially are notorious for being up during the night. The issue here is player requirement counts and lack of players that needs to be addressed.
Continuing on with the minimum player count requirements being a big issue due to the extremely low player count, the only games that allow for single-player are Casino, Typing Derby, and I think Bowling (haven't played it again since 3 months ago when the pins would be half down and half stuck in the ball holder thing)? Why does mini-golf require 2 to start? It can be played alone just fine, same for Ball Race. If it's rewards.. well Cash is for singleplayer content (condos) anyway, and if that is even an issue, just cut down the reward by 1/4th or something if playing alone. You are still far better off spamming spacebar as fast as possible on Double or Nothing if you want to grind cash, compared to games.
I won't go into Virus or LC because those are obvious, but when there are 16 people in the server, most being afk / in casino, starting these become impossible. For the duration of EA, it made make the most sense to enable more of these to be single player, until there is a sizable player base that can support these requirements. Either that, or implementing AI to play against.
Arcade development will slow down updates to a grinding halt as we gotta focus on this one
Let's be honest with this one. Since early Summer, there really haven't been any noteworthy updates in terms of gameplay content (the other half of why boredom has ensued). We saw a temporary event, (yes, we heard the reasoning of it being for testing, but it doesn't change that the content has come and gone and is not available now) and 2 Ball Race maps added. The maps are unfortunately a miss and added nothing (Waaaay too easy or just feeling really bland and unexciting) and Khromidro & Galaxy still remain the most entertaining and the only 2 that feel like that have any form of challenge, not to mention the song on Khromidro is too good to give up.
Not on the list anywhere, but 2 very key bits for discussion. The first fits into all of this and would alleviate a lot of the "lack of gameplay content" situation, and take pressure of Devs and give power to the players:
1) Why is there no player course designer for Minigolf & Ball Race? A map on its own is no where near as significant as a full new game, sure, but when multiple players can make them and have them downloadable in the workshop. Even if you only play them a few times, it's better than nothing. And just maybe, someone creates a gem that exceeds the current ones.
Point: I am quite confident I can design some courses that would be more entertaining than quite a few of those available now. I am a very creative individual and I like designing, it's literally what I have been doing for the past year for income, in a "freelance" way, building stuff with plenty of YouTube videos to back that up.... I would do things far more wacky and challenging as all the maps are waaaaaaaaay too easy for my enjoyment (Minigolf especially). I am sure there are others who are the same.
How about utilizing people who are creative and want to design courses?
To keep it in one place for discussion rather than jump all over since it's short, but an issue I've had from the beginning, and others must feel it too:
2) Why is every Minigolf map and Ball Race map soooooooooooo easy? For Minigolf, none of them feel challenging at all (The biggest challenge is the ball physics). It is the most straight forward it could be, lack of hills, obstacles, wackyness. Sweet Tooth is the only one that comes close. Same for Ball Race, Khromidro/Galaxy are respectable. The cloud map could have made it, but it is so overly white, it's immersion breaking. The holes that could be challenging - the ones that require timing to go into and out of the moving pipes at the right time for the good hole, aren't, due to camera angles preventing you from seeing the moving pipes. This wouldn't add much of a challenge, but it's something. Minigolf GLXY is probably the best case for being way too easy and straight forward.
I haven't played a Minigolf game that was this straight forward and easy (In real life or video games)