I can also understand why player retention is such a huge problem. I have been reading what other players have to say about Geas, and I've been asking questions -- and the more I learn about the game and its history, the less I like what I'm hearing and the less I want to continue playing. I won't go into what I've heard; much of it probably qualifies as gossip, which I won't repeat here. I will, however, list observations that my friends and I have made:
- Quite frankly, in my opinion, the game part of Geas is unenjoyable. As one of my friends put it: "I assumed everyone was just tolerating the gameplay to experience the RP."
- Besides fighting, there simply isn't much to do.
- The game is extremely time-consuming. Many skills require you to wait before you can use them again, and even if you use your time "efficiently" in training your skills, you still put an inordinate amount of time simply into raising skills -- time that you could have spent doing something actually enjoyable, such as roleplaying.
- Confusing and unintuitive syntaxes. If it weren't for helpful players, we probably wouldn't have been able to guess half of the syntaxes necessary to do things. In general, Geas is confusing, even to people who are familiar with MU*s.
- Broken or bugged features that, from reports, have been broken for quite some time now. Some of these are complex, and some of these are simple fixes.
- Some elements of game mechanics operate in ways that are nonsensical, unintuitive, and sometimes downright detrimental to fun. Particularly egregious offenders: armor management, random skill gain, reputation, coinage. One person mentioned that the mechanics could be more transparent.
- A lack of reasons to play. Okay, so I've ground two or three dozen skills to 100. So what? Now what? What am I going to spend all my money on? It seems like most people play because of the roleplay -- why not emphasize that?
- Did we mention the lack of things to do besides fighting?
Geas is a game in which "roleplay which is both mandatory and strictly enforced," but the game mechanics don't reflect that: they often work against roleplay, when they ought to facilitate it. Until that problem is resolved, Geas will probably continue to have problems with player retention.