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Author Topic: Day 1 - 3: Alcohol  (Read 42100 times)
ahoythematey
Terracotta Army
Posts: 1729


Reply #35 on: November 01, 2005, 11:01:00 AM

Really, I'd prefer it if future MMO's designed towards a more MUD-style of gameworld, tailored to be used by 100-300 or so players, and I'd prefer it not be instanced craziness.
Sachant
Developers
Posts: 66

Wolfpack


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Reply #36 on: November 01, 2005, 11:03:27 AM

SB has been using a representative type system since beta.  Of course you know about that.  It started with just the focus group.  Then it became specific advocates.  On top of that reports are pulled from the forums and I've started a summit chat in which we ask a select ten players each month about a question the devs want feedback on.  Of course there are also still developer chats.  It's not perfect but there is no way to be perfect when there are so many voices yelling to be heard.  However, I've seen some good changes occur based on feedback that the fans have loved.  (This after a long period of time in which feedback was gathered but nothing was acted upon due to management.)

But as Lum says, you can't please everyone as much as you try to.  There are always people that will hate every single thing that is done to the game to improve it.  There are some people that will do nothing but spam the boards with their ideas as well.  It's just important to figure out who the people in your community are and then decipher which of those really have some good ideas and which are just trying to push their own personal agenda.

Sachant
Bartle Test Killer  73% , Socializer  60%, Explorer  60%, Achiever  6%
Shockeye
Staff Emeritus
Posts: 6668

Skinny-dippin' in a sea of Lee, I'd propose on bended knee...


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Reply #37 on: November 01, 2005, 11:14:52 AM

But as Lum says, you can't please everyone as much as you try to.

In other words, when everyone is complaining equally, your job is done.
SuperPopTart
Terracotta Army
Posts: 990

I am damn cute for a stubby shortling.


Reply #38 on: November 01, 2005, 11:29:41 AM

It's actually our job to find good feedback. (Well, the community team's job. It's my job to stay off the boards and fix pathing or something.) This is where message boards come in. Community people tend to become very good at (a) separating the fruit from the dross and (b) developing a very, very thick skin.

You know half the time, if not more I find that the friends of mine that play massive multi-player on-line games tend to ask each other, themselves and about anyone else who will listen: What community? What liaison? Who the hell is going to listen to me and what I have to say? As developers, designers, brands and what have you - you ask us to purchase your product in blind faith that it may be good but you don't want to support yourselves behind it. To me that's more than slightly ridiculous.  Show me a game right now where the people on the message boards have a direct affect on their respective game.

I'd like to see that because as of yet, I haven't found it.

I see games - in alpha/beta where the support team listens to the members that are directly involved in said alpha and beta. Maybe for..one..two..three months after release and for about a week after new patch implementation or a new expansion players are tended to. Beyond that, little to no communication beyond tech support trying to help someone out of their tech problems.

How is that different from everywhere else? If I worked in Hollywood, would you expect me to get on a fansite about the TV show I worked on and give you the real deal on how I thought the writers were meth addicts and the producers were too busy driving around in convertibles to work? No. There's a level of professionalism demanded by any job. As long as I have a "employed by XXXX" tag by my name, there are things that I just can't comment on. And a lot of that is, simply, I don't want to cause problems for the people I work with by shooting off my mouth. It's not really much more complex than that.

I don't expect you to commit professional suicide or anyone to do so. I don't think anyone expects that. I do expect however that if you put your faith in the community to purchase your product after you've made a message board for it, there are already fan sites.. you leak gossip to places, so on and so forth that you have an obligation AND a responsibility to take the good with the bad. Don't be dishonest and say everything is going great and the kinks will be worked out. Don't tell us you'll release a product and everything will be fine when they won't be and the product will end up coming out half ass. Give us the real deal on the progress of the game if you are already touting it.

Don't bullshit the people who buy the product. This isn't difficult.


So, yeah. But at the same time, you said, if I can paraphrase, "most developers are scummy because they blow us off." In the singular, yes, they - we - do. It's a survival reflex, and if we didn't, we'd probably slam a pistol bullet into our throat after reading the eight thousandth poster who told us we were worthless and should die. In the aggregate, no, feedback from message boards is most definitely not ignored.

No. I said: And this is a pretty decent reason why I believe most game developers and their ideas are basically scummy. Because you can't come up with a better reason then that.

Think again. Then report back.


He was being a smartass. Point blank. And I completely disagree. I think message boards are very much ignored except when they are in alpha or beta stage. Or an expansion is coming out. Or they need to hype something.


The problem, for you, is that there *is* no answer to your question. It's not physically possible to give every interested player with an investment in their character one-on-one time with the decision makers behind the development team. So aggregation is really the only option here; the problem is that Internet message boards bring forward the optical illusion that one-to-one contact is feasible. For the great majority of people it simply isn't.


There isn't an answer to the question. Not something definitive. However I will say that if you plan on putting in an option to give feedback, you need to show that the whole of the population isn't being ignored. Unfortunately for the greater population, unless they are on a message board where the industry people post, they won't the get the chance to express their pleasure/displeasure at the way they feel a game is run. However, they have the right to in any way they see fit. And more should. It should be more accessible. It should be more open. It should be more utilized.

I am Super, I am a Pop Tart.
Signe
Terracotta Army
Posts: 18757

Muse.


Reply #39 on: November 01, 2005, 11:49:03 AM


So, yeah. But at the same time, you said, if I can paraphrase, "most developers are scummy because they blow us off." In the singular, yes, they - we - do. It's a survival reflex, and if we didn't, we'd probably slam a pistol bullet into our throat after reading the eight thousandth poster who told us we were worthless and should die. In the aggregate, no, feedback from message boards is most definitely not ignored.

No. I said: And this is a pretty decent reason why I believe most game developers and their ideas are basically scummy. Because you can't come up with a better reason then that.

Think again. Then report back.


He was being a smartass. Point blank. And I completely disagree. I think message boards are very much ignored except when they are in alpha or beta stage. Or an expansion is coming out. Or they need to hype something.


This was made so apparent to me just recently when Cryptic devs asked for input regarding the Enhancement nerf during the CoV beta. 

This is what they said:

Quote
Your questions and comments will help refine the patch notes so that we can make this new system as clear as possible for all players.

As always, we ask that you play and test the changes before crying "DOOOM".

Without further ado...

Enhancement Diversification:  a bunch of crap follows

Not a word about input regarding the nerfs themselves.  They weren't interested in that.  They only became suddenly interested in our testing of the ED system itself after people began questioning that statement... in spite of the fact that this new system would completely change the way we play every one of our characters.

As for this:
Quote
The problem, for you, is that there *is* no answer to your question. It's not physically possible to give every interested player with an investment in their character one-on-one time with the decision makers behind the development team. So aggregation is really the only option here; the problem is that Internet message boards bring forward the optical illusion that one-to-one contact is feasible. For the great majority of people it simply isn't.

There isn't an answer to the question. Not something definitive. However I will say that if you plan on putting in an option to give feedback, you need to show that the whole of the population isn't being ignored. Unfortunately for the greater population, unless they are on a message board where the industry people post, they won't the get the chance to express their pleasure/displeasure at the way they feel a game is run. However, they have the right to in any way they see fit. And more should. It should be more accessible. It should be more open. It should be more utilized.

Yay for truth!

My Sig Image: hath rid itself of this mortal coil.
SuperPopTart
Terracotta Army
Posts: 990

I am damn cute for a stubby shortling.


Reply #40 on: November 01, 2005, 11:50:25 AM

I <3 you Signe. You get Nutella and Pretzels!

I am Super, I am a Pop Tart.
Signe
Terracotta Army
Posts: 18757

Muse.


Reply #41 on: November 01, 2005, 11:52:19 AM

Whoopeee!

My Sig Image: hath rid itself of this mortal coil.
Lum
Developers
Posts: 1608

Hellfire Games


Reply #42 on: November 01, 2005, 12:05:28 PM

Show me a game right now where the people on the message boards have a direct affect on their respective game.

I'd like to see that because as of yet, I haven't found it.

Um, the one I work on? We have two people (I know, I can throw things at them from where I sit) who read message boards. That's their job. They then collate the feedback from them and bring them to the development team, which then tries to bring as much from that feedback into the game as possible.

"AS POSSIBLE" is the kicker. Many times, the things the community demands just isn't possible, due to manpower issues, technology issues, or sometimes just the fact that the developers simply don't agree with the players that that is what's needed for the game.

Another issue is sheer manpower. DAOC has 2 people for the various community boards. Blizzard has... 10? 15? Not enough. There's never enough. But saying that "companies don't listen" is unfair. In fact I can point to several instances where some companies listened TOO much - to the wrong people.

Quote
You have an obligation AND a responsibility to take the good with the bad. Don't be dishonest and say everything is going great and the kinks will be worked out. Don't tell us you'll release a product and everything will be fine when they won't be and the product will end up coming out half ass. Give us the real deal on the progress of the game if you are already touting it.

I don't understand what you're saying here. Do you want developers to come out and say "Yeah, our game sucks, you're right, we suck"? I'm not trying to be coy or silly, I really don't get what you're asking for here. If it's "be honest"... um, most developers are, which is why they try very hard NOT to say things which could be misconstrued (as promises, say).

Quote
I think message boards are very much ignored except when they are in alpha or beta stage. Or an expansion is coming out. Or they need to hype something.

Again, as someone who works in the trenches of a live MMO team, totally disagree. There's probably no way we can meet in the middle on this one, save that if you still believe such, there is an issue of perception in our industry which needs to be resolved, because I don't know anyone on a live team on any game who isn't FLOODED by trying to process feedback.
Shockeye
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Reply #43 on: November 01, 2005, 12:14:15 PM

In fact I can point to several instances where some companies listened TOO much - to the wrong people.

That's what worries me most about developers being influenced at all by what is on message boards. The most vocal are usually, from what I have seen, the wrong people to listen to.
SuperPopTart
Terracotta Army
Posts: 990

I am damn cute for a stubby shortling.


Reply #44 on: November 01, 2005, 12:27:39 PM

Um, the one I work on? We have two people (I know, I can throw things at them from where I sit) who read message boards. That's their job. They then collate the feedback from them and bring them to the development team, which then tries to bring as much from that feedback into the game as possible.

"AS POSSIBLE" is the kicker. Many times, the things the community demands just isn't possible, due to manpower issues, technology issues, or sometimes just the fact that the developers simply don't agree with the players that that is what's needed for the game.

Another issue is sheer manpower. DAOC has 2 people for the various community boards. Blizzard has... 10? 15? Not enough. There's never enough. But saying that "companies don't listen" is unfair. In fact I can point to several instances where some companies listened TOO much - to the wrong people.


You work for Mythic. So what you are telling me is: You have two people, out of everyone you have that works in that company to work the message boards and take the information, using it to bring feedback into the game? Just two?  Is that all that you have working on your consumer base and their suggestions? Maybe one of the problems is budget. You spend absolutely nothing on good, quality customer care and quality? I mean I am guessing you have a QA department somewhere at Mythic. I'm guessing they what... play Solitaire all day? Or maybe it's the fact that you don't play your own games? Maybe if you were forced to play your own game for 12 hours a day, for one week solid and had the problems that the normal player has with the game be it technical, architectual or what have you, you would understand my point.  On the other hand, maybe I am not stating it clearly enough.

I fully stand by what I say that I have seen no game, or at least none in memory where both the community and the developers, creators, what have you fully converse back and forth with ease. None. Nada. Not unless the game was in a beta stage, or it was just after an expansion/update of some sort.



I don't understand what you're saying here. Do you want developers to come out and say "Yeah, our game sucks, you're right, we suck"? I'm not trying to be coy or silly, I really don't get what you're asking for here. If it's "be honest"... um, most developers are, which is why they try very hard NOT to say things which could be misconstrued (as promises, say).

Yes. I do. I want you to come out and say: "Hey, we are here, these are the problems we are having. Let us know, are you having the same problems? Right now..our game does suck but we are going to improve it, and we are focusing on the problems as detailed below. Wouldn't that be freeing?

Stop being so careful with what you are trying NOT to say.  I mean honestly, we get that you CAN'T say some things.. but being so careful makes you look ridiculous. It is like you are trying to dumb us down in some way.  We don't need to be dumbed down.

Again, as someone who works in the trenches of a live MMO team, totally disagree. There's probably no way we can meet in the middle on this one, save that if you still believe such, there is an issue of perception in our industry which needs to be resolved, because I don't know anyone on a live team on any game who isn't FLOODED by trying to process feedback.

There is a serious issue of perception that needs to be resolved or at least looked at.  And any person on a live team on any game has a duty to be flooded by feedback. It's your job to look at feedback.

You make the product.

I am Super, I am a Pop Tart.
SuperPopTart
Terracotta Army
Posts: 990

I am damn cute for a stubby shortling.


Reply #45 on: November 01, 2005, 12:29:39 PM

In fact I can point to several instances where some companies listened TOO much - to the wrong people.

That's what worries me most about developers being influenced at all by what is on message boards. The most vocal are usually, from what I have seen, the wrong people to listen to.

Thanks for the slap!

I am Super, I am a Pop Tart.
Lum
Developers
Posts: 1608

Hellfire Games


Reply #46 on: November 01, 2005, 12:37:32 PM

You work for Mythic. So what you are telling me is: You have two people, out of everyone you have that works in that company to work the message boards and take the information, using it to bring feedback into the game? Just two?  Is that all that you have working on your consumer base and their suggestions? Maybe one of the problems is budget. You spend absolutely nothing on good, quality customer care and quality? I mean I am guessing you have a QA department somewhere at Mythic. I'm guessing they what... play Solitaire all day? Or maybe it's the fact that you don't play your own games? Maybe if you were forced to play your own game for 12 hours a day, for one week solid and had the problems that the normal player has with the game be it technical, architectual or what have you, you would understand my point.  On the other hand, maybe I am not stating it clearly enough.

You moved from "only 2 people reading message boards" (and THAT IS THEIR SOLE JOB, there are others who take that feedback and actually process it into human-readable reports) to "no one does QA at your company, or debugs at your company, or does CS, or even plays your own game". Considering that I'm doing, um, 3 of those today (guess which 3 for bonus credit) you can see where I may take that personally had I thinner skin.

Thank you for making an object lesson of why dialogue between producers and consumers can be difficult.

Quote
I fully stand by what I say that I have seen no game, or at least none in memory where both the community and the developers, creators, what have you fully converse back and forth with ease. None. Nada. Not unless the game was in a beta stage, or it was just after an expansion/update of some sort.

You'll never see that. There's too many people. You cannot have "a full conversation back and forth with ease" when one of the parties happens to consist of hundreds of thousands of people. It's literally impossible.

Quote
Stop being so careful with what you are trying NOT to say.  I mean honestly, we get that you CAN'T say some things.. but being so careful makes you look ridiculous. It is like you are trying to dumb us down in some way.  We don't need to be dumbed down.

Let me tell you a story.

I was at GenCon giving a presentation about our latest expansion. A group of players came by.

"Well, I'd buy that, but Mythic hates assassins."

"Um, why do you say that?"

"Well, clearly, X, Y, Z, A, B, C, and this shows no one at Mythic has ever played an assassin."

"Um, I do."

"You do?"

"Yeah. From release."

"How'd you do?"

"I really sucked. I played him like the lurikeen kamikaze that he was. YAAR STRIKE fwoomf. But that was mostly me being a bad player. But here's why ..." and then we got into a technical discussion about assassin game mechanics, where I thought I had explained some of why certain decisions were made.

The next week I had four seperate lines from that conversation - in public, not on a message board - taken out of context, and posted as proof that my company hated a specific class and wanted them to suck. I think a few are even in some people's .sig files.

You HAVE TO watch EVERY SINGLE THING YOU SAY. You HAVE TO. Or you will be BEATEN WITH IT. And this is a large part of why most developers with sense stay the hell away from message boards. Because sane people only need to be burned once.

Quote
There is a serious issue of perception that needs to be resolved or at least looked at.  And any person on a live team on any game has a duty to be flooded by feedback. It's your job to look at feedback.

Actually it's our job to make the game.
Sachant
Developers
Posts: 66

Wolfpack


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Reply #47 on: November 01, 2005, 12:41:12 PM

SB interacts directly with the players and continues to do so whether as seen as good or bad.  The new Lore server is just one example of a want the community has asked for for a long while.  It's now a reality and all aspects of the game continue to be worked on and hopefully improved upon with the help of community feedback.  As Lum says, I've seen that DAoC is very similiar in nature as far as their community interaction and use of feedback.  We still have people on the team that play the game regularly (myself included).

But I'm sure you could easily say that SB can afford to be more communicative with the players since it's not in the high subscriber end of the MMO realm.  Some may say it's too little too late since the start of SB wasn't what it should have be and the potential of the game still isn't fully realized.  It still has a solid following of people and the team is still dedicated to continuing to give the best support they can.  

(I haven't had an sb.exe myself in ages btw.  My husband can't say the same but his computer has an odd tendency to shut down with a lot of games.  *sigh*  I'm sure I'll be spending time trying to figure it out sooner or later.)


Sachant
Bartle Test Killer  73% , Socializer  60%, Explorer  60%, Achiever  6%
HaemishM
Staff Emeritus
Posts: 37416

Prevent all damage that would be dealt to you and other troops you control.


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Reply #48 on: November 01, 2005, 12:51:03 PM

In fact I can point to several instances where some companies listened TOO much - to the wrong people.

*COUGH* KUNARKEQ *COUGH*

EDIT: I'm going to disagree with my lovely wife here in that I think Mythic is actually one of the more responsive companies out there. Having 2 people who do nothing but read message boards (especially when they don't even host their own official message boards) is probably a larger percentage of the company than any other MMOG out there with more than say 100k subscribers.

But Lum is right in that there exists in the MMOG medium a SERIOUS disconnect between consumer perceptions and developer realities. It's apparent in this thread right here.

PopTart as Average Consumer Thinks:

1) Her feedback is not paid attention to
2) The company does not employ competent CS people
3) The developers don't play the very game they create

Now part of that perception is based on her main MMOG experience, which is EQ (and to some extent WoW, though WoW has amazingly less bugs to report upon). And all of us, from Lum on down, who have played EQ know that apart from total 'shit-the-bed' MMOG's like Horizons (fuck you, David Bowman), EQ handled all of these issues the worst.

On the other hand, Lum as average developer thinks:

1) Everything he says about the game will be misquoted (which he may be right on)
2) It's better to say nothing than to be misquoted because misquoting creates negative perceptions
3) Customers hate him with the white hot passion of the sun

Customers don't hate developers (except pigfucker developers). Customers LOVE their games and want to feel a part of the greater whole that is a good MMOG with a thriving community. It is this passion which makes us rant, which turns message boards to shit, makes loudmouth catasses like Furor somehow representative of the whole of the EQ Player base.

There's going to have to be some serious effort made on both sides of the equation to resolve a disconnect of that magnitude.

voodoolily
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Posts: 5348

Finnuh, munnuh, muhfuh, I enjoy creating new written vernacular, s'all.


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Reply #49 on: November 01, 2005, 01:04:20 PM

I hope this isn't out of line, but I'm kind of a fan of being pleasantly surprised. Sure, sometimes I have to wait awhile for something that blows my mind, but if I had access to what I truly desire all the time, maybe it would lose its appeal. I know I'm primarily a console gamer, but the reason I mention this is because I think it translates well to the gaming industry in general.

I think that we all forget that "you get more flies with honey". (I know, it's a gross adage, but you get the gist) It's true for everything: raising kids, training dogs, having good sex and getting what you want in general. If you tell people, "I loved that, it was awesome, more please!" instead of "god that fucking sucked, what the hell is wrong with you?" then maybe we can all move closer to our goal of getting what we want more often, if not all the time.

/ducks impending shitstorm

Voodoo & Sauce - a blog.
The Legend of Zephyr - a different blog.
HaemishM
Staff Emeritus
Posts: 37416

Prevent all damage that would be dealt to you and other troops you control.


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Reply #50 on: November 01, 2005, 01:39:13 PM

You don't play MMOG's, right? If not, I think you know very little about the shitstorm of hate that they generate.

SuperPopTart
Terracotta Army
Posts: 990

I am damn cute for a stubby shortling.


Reply #51 on: November 01, 2005, 01:39:55 PM

In fact I can point to several instances where some companies listened TOO much - to the wrong people.

*COUGH* KUNARKEQ *COUGH*

EDIT: I'm going to disagree with my lovely wife here in that I think Mythic is actually one of the more responsive companies out there. Having 2 people who do nothing but read message boards (especially when they don't even host their own official message boards) is probably a larger percentage of the company than any other MMOG out there with more than say 100k subscribers.

But Lum is right in that there exists in the MMOG medium a SERIOUS disconnect between consumer perceptions and developer realities. It's apparent in this thread right here.

PopTart as Average Consumer Thinks:

1) Her feedback is not paid attention to
2) The company does not employ competent CS people
3) The developers don't play the very game they create

Now part of that perception is based on her main MMOG experience, which is EQ (and to some extent WoW, though WoW has amazingly less bugs to report upon). And all of us, from Lum on down, who have played EQ know that apart from total 'shit-the-bed' MMOG's like Horizons (fuck you, David Bowman), EQ handled all of these issues the worst.

On the other hand, Lum as average developer thinks:

1) Everything he says about the game will be misquoted (which he may be right on)
2) It's better to say nothing than to be misquoted because misquoting creates negative perceptions
3) Customers hate him with the white hot passion of the sun

Customers don't hate developers (except pigfucker developers). Customers LOVE their games and want to feel a part of the greater whole that is a good MMOG with a thriving community. It is this passion which makes us rant, which turns message boards to shit, makes loudmouth catasses like Furor somehow representative of the whole of the EQ Player base.

There's going to have to be some serious effort made on both sides of the equation to resolve a disconnect of that magnitude.

First of all. I was a guide in EQ three times over. If you want to talk about a company where Customer Service isn't tended to at ALL, nor is player feedback, SOE is the company you want to look directly at.  I am not sure anything can ever be done to improve their customer service, ever.

Second. I NEVER mentioned Mythic specifically, in any of my posts. And in fact when I say YOU I mean it in generic terms. So we can talk about misconstruing information.. I am responding to your posts.  I only responded about Mythic when Lum mentioned it, for example.

There IS no official board for Mythic, as far as I know.  So... point me towards the official board if I'm wrong? I'd love to see how you interact with your customer base.

Poptart as the average consumer simply thinks there should be more direct interaction between buyer and seller. It's really not much more difficult than that. And the seller shouldn't be so fast to disassociate with buyer once the purchase is complete.

Also -  I don't hate anyone. I have a strong dislike of many people but being part of the gaming industry doesn't automatically put you on my list of people I'd like to see flogged.

I don't think that much about game developers TO hate them. That would be far too much effort on my part.

Oh, and Voodoolily - I really could post something horrible to say to you but again, way too much effort for far too little pleasure. Please take your own line and remember you get more flies with honey. Do you even PLAY an MMOG dear? Didn't think so. Move on.

I am Super, I am a Pop Tart.
voodoolily
Contributor
Posts: 5348

Finnuh, munnuh, muhfuh, I enjoy creating new written vernacular, s'all.


WWW
Reply #52 on: November 01, 2005, 01:45:46 PM

Oh, and Voodoolily - I really could post something horrible to say to you but again, way too much effort for far too little pleasure. Please take your own line and remember you get more flies with honey. Do you even PLAY an MMOG dear? Didn't think so. Move on.

I love you, too sweetie. Even when you're mean to me, I just remember that every thorn has its rose.  Heart

Edit: Oh, and ftr, I have spent some time playing Guild Wars and WoW, but couldn't bring myself to invest enough of my life to either notice or care about the things everyone's complaining about. Maybe my lack of interest is enough evidence of MMOG's flaws.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2005, 01:48:41 PM by voodoolily »

Voodoo & Sauce - a blog.
The Legend of Zephyr - a different blog.
SuperPopTart
Terracotta Army
Posts: 990

I am damn cute for a stubby shortling.


Reply #53 on: November 01, 2005, 01:47:50 PM

Oh, and Voodoolily - I really could post something horrible to say to you but again, way too much effort for far too little pleasure. Please take your own line and remember you get more flies with honey. Do you even PLAY an MMOG dear? Didn't think so. Move on.

I love you, too sweetie.

I loathe you dear. Kisses.

I am Super, I am a Pop Tart.
SuperPopTart
Terracotta Army
Posts: 990

I am damn cute for a stubby shortling.


Reply #54 on: November 01, 2005, 01:50:27 PM

Oh, and Voodoolily - I really could post something horrible to say to you but again, way too much effort for far too little pleasure. Please take your own line and remember you get more flies with honey. Do you even PLAY an MMOG dear? Didn't think so. Move on.

I love you, too sweetie.

I loathe you dear. Kisses. And my darling girl.. I haven't been mean to you. Not even an ounce. I've been sickeningly sweet, actually. Who else would I say kisses to? And thank you for the thorn compliment..

Really I find it's an excellent comparison.

I am Super, I am a Pop Tart.
voodoolily
Contributor
Posts: 5348

Finnuh, munnuh, muhfuh, I enjoy creating new written vernacular, s'all.


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Reply #55 on: November 01, 2005, 01:53:24 PM

I have a hard time telling if you're being facetious or not. If you were a boy I don't think I would give a shit. I'm just kind of sensitive I guess. *sigh* I'll just limp away and won't ever say anything in a MMOG thread again.

Voodoo & Sauce - a blog.
The Legend of Zephyr - a different blog.
Shockeye
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Skinny-dippin' in a sea of Lee, I'd propose on bended knee...


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Reply #56 on: November 01, 2005, 01:59:39 PM

I have a hard time telling if you're being facetious or not. If you were a boy I don't think I would give a shit. I'm just kind of sensitive I guess. *sigh* I'll just limp away and won't ever say anything in a MMOG thread again.

As you are someone who hasn't invested a large part of their free time into MMOGs, perhaps you can speak to the reasons why the games don't grab you like they do so many of us.
ahoythematey
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Posts: 1729


Reply #57 on: November 01, 2005, 05:57:37 PM

I can tell you why, aside from 60-hour workweeks, I don't currently play an MMO, even though I'm subbed to at least one and have a few different beta accounts:

Other Players.

Perhaps World of Warcraft just totally broke me, but I really have a hard time dealing with other players in MMO's anymore.  The nice and decent people are too few and far in between, and when I do experience some gametime with them it makes it that much harder to handle the rest of the MMO.

And message boards just exasperate the situation further, where you only have Brown-nosing Sycophants who will do nothing but hand out hummers and ask for donkey punches from the devs while vehemently defending each and every mistake or messup that occurs whether or not it warrants defending against, Frothing-at-the-Mouth Fanatics who know absolutely and without reservation that the dev team is full of shit and not interested in hearing their customers concerns, and then the remaining subset I'd label as "Other" because they are simply not as persistent and vocal as the first two.

It used to be that I feared every developers VISION and would use that as validation that they were snorting lines of coke off of dead transvestite-prostitutes instead of actually caring about their game, but I guess I lost the hate when I realized that they are really just trying keep their game evolving in a direction that satisfies the majority of their playerbase while at the same time not surrender control to them because in the end they are the ones creating the gameworld.

Anymore, the VISION I fear is that which comes from other players like Caella and her ilk(PvP+ for life, yo!).  When a dev's VISION doesn't agree with me, I can simply leave the game, but I am always stuck with players and their VISION because those motherfuckers keep following me to each new shiny.

Slowly but surely, I continue to lose my love for MMO's because of things like it.
Signe
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Muse.


Reply #58 on: November 01, 2005, 09:01:13 PM

I have lots of really great ideas!

You better start writing them down, you old geezer, you!  You're not getting any younger!

Happy Birthday!   tongue

My Sig Image: hath rid itself of this mortal coil.
stray
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has an iMac.


Reply #59 on: November 01, 2005, 09:14:45 PM

Great rant ahoy  wink

Yes, I too have directed my hate towards players. Mostly.
Psychochild
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Near Death Studios


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Reply #60 on: November 01, 2005, 10:39:58 PM

I saw no link to his blog. He didn't quote anyone but me. I responded thusly.
Sorry, I had just posted it in another thread, didn't want it to seem that I was pimping it too hard.  People seem to accuse me of a stealth marketing when I try to do that too much.  But, if you're interested I posted the rant here:  http://blog.psychochild.org/?p=92

Really, I'd prefer it if future MMO's designed towards a more MUD-style of gameworld, tailored to be used by 100-300 or so players, and I'd prefer it not be instanced craziness.
Unfortunately, a small game is seen as inferior to a larger one.  One of the most frequent criticisms leveled at M59 was to the effect of, "There's more people in my guild in [some larger game] than are on this server!"  Hell, sometimes even indie developers judge by size; One game administrator looks down his nose at me because he's got 3000 subscribers when I only have 1000 or so.  I agree with you that this would be cool, but realize there's some immediate biases against this type of design.

As for the discussion between Lum and SuperPopTart, lemme say that we do listen to player feedback (even though I posted that rant letter).  One problem is we can't really recognize people when we use their ideas; in a fairly hard-core PvP game people will cry favoritism, that we listen to one person instead of another.  And, of course, if we don't give attribution, we don't really listen to the players, right?

In addition, I think you really need to consider changes very carefully.  When an issue pops up on M59, we don't immediately jump to do something.  We often let the worst of the storm pass (assuming it's not an immediately damaging issue like a dupe bug, even then we take time to research things before just banning people with too much cash), then consider options.  Often we find that the issue resolved itself.  Other times, a small change was sufficient when players were demanding a major alteration in the way the game works.  It's not absolutely perfect, but we do manage to avoid the "nerf, boost, nerf" cycles that affect other games.

Anyway, as a general rule of thumb it seems that 25% of people will love any change, 25% of people will absolutely hate it, and 50% won't care.  Sometimes I think the proportions might even be 10%/10%/80% if the topic isn't highly controversial.

Happy Birthday!   tongue

Er, thanks?  I think?  (Love ya, too!)

Some thoughts,
« Last Edit: November 01, 2005, 10:41:48 PM by Psychochild »

Brian 'Psychochild' Green
Former Developer, Meridian 59  http://www.meridian59.com/
Blog: http://psychochild.org/
HaemishM
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Prevent all damage that would be dealt to you and other troops you control.


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Reply #61 on: November 02, 2005, 10:46:21 AM

In addition, I think you really need to consider changes very carefully.  When an issue pops up on M59, we don't immediately jump to do something.  We often let the worst of the storm pass (assuming it's not an immediately damaging issue like a dupe bug, even then we take time to research things before just banning people with too much cash), then consider options.  Often we find that the issue resolved itself.  Other times, a small change was sufficient when players were demanding a major alteration in the way the game works.  It's not absolutely perfect, but we do manage to avoid the "nerf, boost, nerf" cycles that affect other games.

So you take the FEMA approach? Do the plebs at least get cake?    Rimshot

I KID, I KID! As you can see, it's the players that fuck things up as many times as the developers.

Shockeye
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Posts: 6668

Skinny-dippin' in a sea of Lee, I'd propose on bended knee...


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Reply #62 on: November 02, 2005, 10:49:59 AM

I KID, I KID! As you can see, it's the players that fuck things up as many times as the developers.

Like many businesses, things would be great if it wasn't for those damn customers.
SuperPopTart
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I am damn cute for a stubby shortling.


Reply #63 on: November 02, 2005, 12:20:15 PM

Everyone is a customer somewhere.

I am Super, I am a Pop Tart.
Shockeye
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Skinny-dippin' in a sea of Lee, I'd propose on bended knee...


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Reply #64 on: November 02, 2005, 12:33:12 PM

But Lum is right in that there exists in the MMOG medium a SERIOUS disconnect between consumer perceptions and developer realities. It's apparent in this thread right here.

PopTart as Average Consumer Thinks:

1) Her feedback is not paid attention to
2) The company does not employ competent CS people
3) The developers don't play the very game they create

Now part of that perception is based on her main MMOG experience, which is EQ (and to some extent WoW, though WoW has amazingly less bugs to report upon). And all of us, from Lum on down, who have played EQ know that apart from total 'shit-the-bed' MMOG's like Horizons (fuck you, David Bowman), EQ handled all of these issues the worst.

On the other hand, Lum as average developer thinks:

1) Everything he says about the game will be misquoted (which he may be right on)
2) It's better to say nothing than to be misquoted because misquoting creates negative perceptions
3) Customers hate him with the white hot passion of the sun

Customers don't hate developers (except pigfucker developers). Customers LOVE their games and want to feel a part of the greater whole that is a good MMOG with a thriving community. It is this passion which makes us rant, which turns message boards to shit, makes loudmouth catasses like Furor somehow representative of the whole of the EQ Player base.

There's going to have to be some serious effort made on both sides of the equation to resolve a disconnect of that magnitude.

I'm going to disagree with Haemish here a bit. I think there's different classes of customers and the customers being talked about here are the ones that frequent message boards. I'd wager that the majority of the customers don't give a damn about the developers or whether their opinion counts. Why do I believe this? Because there's 4 million people playing WoW.

The more I read message boards, the more I see "community managers" and how people treat them, the more I think that maybe not talking to the "community at large" is the best thing in the long run. Much of the information developers need can be mined from what people do in the game itself. There are times you might want a focus group to discuss possible upcoming changes, but for the most part do you really need to talk to the "community" or listen to what they have to say?
Stephen Zepp
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Reply #65 on: November 02, 2005, 12:53:09 PM

SB interacts directly with the players and continues to do so whether as seen as good or bad.  The new Lore server is just one example of a want the community has asked for for a long while.  It's now a reality and all aspects of the game continue to be worked on and hopefully improved upon with the help of community feedback.  As Lum says, I've seen that DAoC is very similiar in nature as far as their community interaction and use of feedback.  We still have people on the team that play the game regularly (myself included).



Just wanted to interject here that I'm glad to hear that SB has gotten back to the "lore + community interaction" focus (at least on one server) that I found so damned cool about early days SB...

It started off outstandingly, but then really withered for quite a while, good to see it's coming back!

Malagant the Righteous
Nation Leader, Church of the Reunification, Fear Server

--best MMOG experience to date: Being a participant in a "lore event" that lead to founding an entire nation around the concepts (as we saw them!), and influencing the politics of most, if not all, nations on a server for at least 6 months.

Rumors of War
Stephen Zepp
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InstantAction


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Reply #66 on: November 02, 2005, 12:56:17 PM

And to re-rail to the original thread name, which of course included the word "Alcohol":

Garage Games, hung out and drank with the guys from Playtechtonics, Garage games, etc.
Quote
We went to 2 parties tonight. One thrown by a Korean company. They bought us one beer. Then the one thrown by the Garage Games guys. That was an open bar. God bless America.

Glad to see Jay and Davey did things right! Did you happen to witness the "I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!!" event?

Rumors of War
Shockeye
Staff Emeritus
Posts: 6668

Skinny-dippin' in a sea of Lee, I'd propose on bended knee...


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Reply #67 on: November 02, 2005, 01:10:28 PM

Glad to see Jay and Davey did things right! Did you happen to witness the "I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!!" event?

I think schild witnessed it, I had to leave early.
schild
Administrator
Posts: 54517


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Reply #68 on: November 02, 2005, 01:12:16 PM

Yes.

* schild shudders.
Sachant
Developers
Posts: 66

Wolfpack


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Reply #69 on: November 02, 2005, 02:36:15 PM


Just wanted to interject here that I'm glad to hear that SB has gotten back to the "lore + community interaction" focus (at least on one server) that I found so damned cool about early days SB...

It started off outstandingly, but then really withered for quite a while, good to see it's coming back!

Malagant the Righteous
Nation Leader, Church of the Reunification, Fear Server

--best MMOG experience to date: Being a participant in a "lore event" that lead to founding an entire nation around the concepts (as we saw them!), and influencing the politics of most, if not all, nations on a server for at least 6 months.

You're Malagant?  LOL  I remember you!  Had a great time running events with you all. :)

To answer the other question do we really need to interact with the community on the boards etc?  Yeah, I think we do.  There's a real correlation between activity on the board and a feeling of belonging within the community when people feel they are listened to.  Even if it's to say "Hey, I don't know but I'll find out."  Or to say "No sorry it won't happen."  People just like to feel like they have a part in the game they play.  I think that while WoW has a lot of subscribers there is a real disconnect and lack of loyalty to the game itself by many because they aren't feeling the connect with the devs.

I think the reason a game like Meridian 59 is around is because as far as I've known, it's had a real attachment with the community it's fostered.  I remember when I first heard of M59 back when I first started going to school.  It's still around after all these years and that's a real testament to the devotion the devs and the community both have.  (And that's not just sucking up here I swear. ;) ) 

Smaller games especially thrive on their communities and by fostering a loyalty base to the game, people will stick with the game even during the rough times.

From what I gather from what Haemish said about Poptart is that she doesn't feel the connect with the devs creating the games she's played because there has been very little show of connection between them.  My brother was a guide for years and his excitement for the game and helping out became apathy after awhile when it became apparent (at least to him) that the GMs and powers that be just didn't care. 

So yeah.  Interaction with the community on many levels is very very important if you want to have a game that is more than just a game but is a community that people feel a sense of belonging with.

Sachant
Bartle Test Killer  73% , Socializer  60%, Explorer  60%, Achiever  6%
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