i am but a humble player (well a frustrated and disapointed player at the moment), but i would like to ask you if you could release your statistics on the so called NPE (New Player Experience).
As of now, you only told us: “We have thousands of metrics, tests and statistics who indicate these are the things we need to do”
However just telling us these things does not proove anything. Players (mostly the veteran forum dwellers at least) have not a high opinion of you at the moment and just tellin us this is not a very good move.
I dare to say it is on the same level as the USA said: “We have information of Weapons of Mass Destruction in Irak”
While it is a radical comparison, the result is more or less the same.
You tell us you have information, but you are not sharing them with us.
We might better understand if you out out information like:
What age were the people you tested?
How interested were they in Guild Wars to beginn with?
Have they played an MMO before?
Have they played a PC game before?
Did they play more than Facebook or Smartphone games? (sadly there are a lot)
Where are they from?
What was their education?
Where did you test them?
What was their gender?
How long did they play?
How were they tested?
What were the questions?
While i am only interested in statistics as a hobby, I know that these are very subjective parameters in general.
Furthermore, how much do the testing subjects differ from your target demographic?
By that the target demographic of the basic game experience in general. The game you tried to create and not the target demographic of the lowest common denominator.
All the changes you have implemented are based on these statistics (as you claim) and are subsequently very puzzeling to veteran players and (much more interesting) from an educational point of view.
Dumbing down the experience in my opinion is never a good way to educate people. It only helps them learning bad habbits and that is not a good direction to go.
As a former student in that direction I am very confused how you came to these conclusions and I would really enjoy some insights into your developement progress.
(btw. who are you asking for educational consulting? Does that person know what the goal of the game was? How much the game drasticaly chanegd thanks to these changes? Do you even have one who comes from the education sector? A teacher or professor?)