Decreasing. Reasons I'd make out: too many clearly overpowered cards - not in a strategical or tactical way, just "oh, opponent has this and i have no sure block, i lose unless he blunders"; too many counter, counter-counter, counter-counter-counter... basically lots of stuff that gets around X. There was kind of reliablitiy when the game was younger: DR blocked damage unless your opponent had SOA/SOB. This day that is not the case any more... but it did not really add startegic depth or thinking. It mostly upped the random-luck factor (get the right thing? win; get the wrong: don't.). Yes there are still metagame decisions, but those are metagame.
Also, the changed in types of games... let's just say that I doubt they helped making UR more popular or enticed players to play more often... I feel there is a number of unsolved problems that are really not addressed much or at all, that don't make people quit outrigt but by and by sum up to make people not play as much as before.
UR seems to be doing well lately, and it's easy enough to track. There are sites like Alexa.com which you can use to check how much traffic a website is getting. The site seems to be doing significantly better now than it was during the whole year of 2011.
I think overall UR is starting to really move in the right direction. The UR apps help bring in new players. Even though DTs still need a little bit of work, the CR giveaways have added a new level of excitement to them. In my personal opinion, ELO is overall pretty balanced. It's definitely not as simple as "did I draw the right cards" on most weeks. I was one sad game away from Top 100 last week with a Junta/Vortex deck, so I think that people who believe that ELO is being dominated by a tiny handful of clans are just not getting creative enough.
will have to agree with that perception i think. Hopefully more cards are released, then old ones are purged out of elo to create an improved system in the future
as for raw numbers.... not always the best indicator unless we look at who these numbers actually are. More traffic due to apps with lots of people not sticking around after having a look wouldnt be good. Lots of people visiting the site, leaving it running in the background but not actually engaged with the game, also not necessarily good.
the forum for sure has been slower that in the past i would say
I think more important is how appealing this game is to those who try it out.
If you peek at the user statistics you realize 75% of ranked players are below level 25, and from that one can draw conclusion that there is myriad more under level 20. Way more important factor out of how many start this game is that how many of those will adopt this game as their favored game in some sense (stick to it). Now that number is relatively small - something like one out of twenty or so.
Better for UR is to change the system that 1 out of 10 adopt this game instead of going from 20000 players online to 30000 players online. First one brings in revenue and meaningful community members - later is just people who come, see, dissapoint and leave - creating only server load.
The one and only thing that will ultimately decide if UR will survive on player base ... big or small... is this question :
The Urban Rivals team is made by lovers of all kind of Collectibles Cards Games and Trading Cards Games like: Magic the Gathering, Dominion, Vampire, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Pokemon, Wakfu TCG, Assassin Creed Recollection, Shadow Era, Kard Kombat and Might & Magic Duel of Champions.