For a few weeks I have been receiving updates from Slack about the number of messages sent inside a slack group for Ayce. Its been a little saddening to see that each week the activity levels continue to decline. (I don’t think this issue is unique to AYCE). Overall it seems as though the community continues to become more and more inactive. We have seen several once common names drop off the rankings as their rooms begin to tick down these last few months.
Shards have brought some life back into the game and lead to the respawn of many once feared retired players returning to the game. It has been an interesting development and in a few days the walls separating the two worlds will fall. Only the event itself will tell what is in store when the two worlds are united once more. It is more than likely we will see conflict as shard0 players attempt to establish themselves in shard1.
Which brings us to the main point and one that is important. I believe along with a significant portion of the Screeps community that this game requires conflict and competition in order to remain engaging and interesting. With the expansion of shard0 and the opening of shard1 we have seen the main world continue to descend into a lethargic state.
I believe a good portion of this is a result of the world being too large. The dozens of sparsely populated sectors throughout shard0 have allowed competition for space and resources to drop to historic lows. Without competition, the necessity of combat has been nearly eliminated and deemed wasteful and a distraction to resource acquisition and efficient gcl progress.
It is my opinion that if shard0 could be reduced in total size that the contracting area would help to increase competition and foster an increase in combat which would in turn increase activity and interest in the game. I, therefore, invite any player who agrees with this analysis to join me in an effort to consolidate the available areas of shard0. I ask that established players take steps to vacate rim sectors and assist newer players in relocation efforts. (Be it material or mentoring support). I hope that collectively the major alliances of shard0 can come together and agree to take steps to help see this effort though.
I hope that as the shard shrinks in size that the activity of players will increase due to faster tick times and increased competition and that we will all receive an increased satisfaction from playing the game.