Listening to the community

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    • Listening to the community

      During the last days I again read several times "that the stupid Devs do not listen to their community".
      Which is something that actually makes us as a team always sad cause it couldn't be further away from the truth.

      Why you guys, did not pay attention to what the players are talking about?


      So let me first talk about what we are doing and then why people think that we are not listening.

      • Key employees (Korn and me) read almost everything what happens here in the forum, on reddit or on Discord.
      • Other key employees like Monocrhome or Eltharyon are reading a lot on the forum as well (they work harder than I do, so they don't have that much time to read everything)
      • Even people working on very specific topics like our Game Designer Lino (H4n1baL) or Game Designer Michael (Retroman) are super active in the forum.
      • Even more so Korn and me we are having over 2k posts here explaining a lot why we are doing certain things.
      • I have plenty players to whom I talk on a daily basis.
      • We as a company have several community members involved into our design process. (Big thanks to Rosalia and Substanz_D for the awesome effort in helping us in PM)
      • Another interesting point to know is that we are after each update sitting down and discussing what the problems are of the newest patch. And these problems we are talking about our too a huge part problems we read in the forums or on discord.


      So how come that despite these actions from our side still people are saying we are not listening?
      I assume the answer is complicated. Let's give it a try by breaking it down into various aspects.

      #1 Diversity of the Community
      Sandbox games like EVE or Albion have a huge problem. Their player base is extremely diverse since the game offers many different activities. The different player groups are so different that each of them has completely different interests. You see these discussions in EVE ever since.

      #2 Not only Care Bear vs Hardcore PVP Guy
      When talking about the diversity of the community a lot of people only see the two extremes of the Care Bear who is afraid of PVP on the one hand and the Hardcore PVP guy who wants to gank innocent people all day long. But even among the hardcore players (short definition: people wo play a lot and are not afraid of pvp) you have a HUGE diversity.

      A few examples of different hardcore PVP players
      • People who like Zerg Fights and people who don't
        • Or people who like to do pvp in small groups and are pissed off when they get zerged away
      • People who want to be able to solo pvp all day long and people who pvp only groups (either small or large)
      • People who want to do only pvp against weaker targets (gatherer) who don't fight back vs people who want to have a challenge (be the best)
      • People who are owning a territory versus people who are living out of the city
      • People who want to grind hard to unlock a weapon vs people who rather unlock plenty weapons
      • People who don't want to grind at all to do pvp vs the ones above
      • People who like the blobbing system in the outlands vs people who don't
      So even among these hardcore players there are so many different interests that it is impossible to satisfy each of them. However all of these people would use the same argument: "We are getting to casual".

      #3 Personal Agenda
      When someone gives us feedback it is always important for us to understand where he is coming from and what is his playstyle is. There are only a few people who are giving very objective feedback, which is fine but which makes it harder for us to interpret everything correctly. Best example here was the "blobbing feature in the outlands discussion". For me personally I actually really don't mind so much if we are doing it or not, it was just one of many solutions which we think made sense. Random example: User X always goes to dungeon Y where he can easily solo fame farm because we made a mistake and the monsters give too much fame. We change it to align it with the rest, person is upset and posts in the forum why we are destroying the game.


      #4 The Unheard Majority
      I love forums or Discord, I've grown up with it and think all of these tools are great ways to stay in touch with your community. However we also have to keep in mind that there is another group of players who don't even know that the forum exists who can't be ignored. And this is not only carebears who are not aware of them. I've played in two top level hardcore guilds in recent betas (incognito) and even among these guilds the majority is NOT active in the forum. I even know a lot of guild masters who are not active here or are even reading what is happening. Of course they have other officers fulfilling that role.

      So for us it is always crucial to see what most players think. We have done this with surveys in the past and will do that again (we have missed out on that opportunity for a while).

      #5 Change
      People hate major changes. People love small additions which make their daily routine easier but they hate all big changes coming their way.
      It is a common phenomenon. And man have we done major changes the past two years and most of them for the better of the game (I know you disagree^^).
      Most people don't remember that in 2013 we had so much more stuff you could pay with gold in the game and we removed it so we are not that much of a P2Win game. We then had people complaining that a) they have been worried that we would not earn enough money and b) others who said that we devalued their gold (which obv we did) and were upset that they could not pay for all these activities anymore.

      BUT I truly believe that if a game does not make major changes over the years it will die out at one point. You have to evolve as a game constantly.

      #6 Overvaluing the Past
      In strong combination with #5 people also tend to overvalue the past. They have certain positive memories about Alpha 1 and how much better a game Albion was. Which is understandable but sometimes can be a limiting factor in certain discussions.


      Overall you can be sure that we really think it is important to listen to the community, BUT there will always be people who do not like a new feature or certain approaches we are taking due to various reasons. We have reached a point as a community where there are so many people that always someone will be unhappy. Which also bears the danger that it is harder for us to see when we make a mistake. I hope what I wrote makes sense.

      IMPORTANT: You can always do the following. Send me a direct message with something you think is going wrong in the forum (better in Discord) and two Things will happen:

      a) 100% I will copy paste this to the appropriate department or person for that matter (we are 50+ people, I am not involved in all projects^^)
      b) in 70% of the cases I will answer you and tell you if I agree or disagree (some things I just miss or don't have the time at that point to answer)

      Kind regards,
      Stefan
    • The Devs listen to its community and I seen it first hand my self. I had an issue with merc books and they responded with it will be fixed tag. It seems little to other people, but its a big deal for me to see this tag because it means that it will BE FIXED. So I'm proud right now with the dev's tonight :) Can't wait to see all the bugs fixed before live lunch!

      P.S Love the game <3
      [align=center][b][i][u]Snow Flack... You and me will be together...[/u][/i][/b] ;( [/align]
    • Rep system needs changing, too have balance on both sides of the table.

      Right now I'm -20,856 rep and this is from PvPing in a Red Zone. I entered Carleon to bank and now I can't leave, I can't do an expedition or anything to bring my rep back up so I can re-enter the Red Zone. Only in Red Zones can you lower your rep, so I'm left with Black Zones only.

      This is backwards and this is what I propose;

      If you hit -20,000 rep and you're in a Red Zone you shouldn't be allowed to leave the Red Zones (entering cities, yellow zones, safety) until you're back to -19,999 rep. While you're also blocked from leaving, you can't un-flag. So you're an enemy to everyone in the zone, they can hunt you and not be penalised for doing so. This is the risk you take if you're going to PvP in Red Zones.

      So you either have to gather or kill mobs, while still flagged, being hunted by everyone in that zone. This gives the risk vs reward and also gives the option to people to PvP and "protect" the zone without being hindered by the system.



      ----------


      And I and many others think the way you guys speak to the players is completely wrong. Is there even a community manager? Or community support within the office? There needs to be constant talk with the players, the mix of moderators and dev's can be confusing for new players. And you think 2,000 posts over what, 3 years is good? I wouldn't say so. But then again this is the job of CM/CS's and I don't even know who they are.


      Dieser Beitrag wurde bereits 1 mal editiert, zuletzt von Robinhoodrs ()

    • Bercilak schrieb:

      During the last days I again read several times "that the stupid Devs do not listen to their community".
      Which is something that actually makes us as a team always sad cause it couldn't be further away from the truth.

      Why you guys, did not pay attention to what the players are talking about?
      So let me first talk about what we are doing and then why people think that we are not listening.

      • Key employees (Korn and me) read almost everything what happens here in the forum, on reddit or on Discord.
      • Other key employees like Monocrhome or Eltharyon are reading a lot on the forum as well (they work harder than I do, so they don't have that much time to read everything)
      • Even people working on very specific topics like our Game Designer Lino (H4n1baL) or Game Designer Michael (Retroman) are super active in the forum.
      • Even more so Korn and me we are having over 2k posts here explaining a lot why we are doing certain things.
      • I have plenty players to whom I talk on a daily basis.
      • We as a company have several community members involved into our design process. (Big thanks to Rosalia and Substanz_D for the awesome effort in helping us in PM)
      • Another interesting point to know is that we are after each update sitting down and discussing what the problems are of the newest patch. And these problems we are talking about our too a huge part problems we read in the forums or on discord.


      So how come that despite these actions from our side still people are saying we are not listening?
      I assume the answer is complicated. Let's give it a try by breaking it down into various aspects.

      #1 Diversity of the Community
      Sandbox games like EVE or Albion have a huge problem. Their player base is extremely diverse since the game offers many different activities. The different player groups are so different that each of them has completely different interests. You see these discussions in EVE ever since.

      #2 Not only Care Bear vs Hardcore PVP Guy
      When talking about the diversity of the community a lot of people only see the two extremes of the Care Bear who is afraid of PVP on the one hand and the Hardcore PVP guy who wants to gank innocent people all day long. But even among the hardcore players (short definition: people wo play a lot and are not afraid of pvp) you have a HUGE diversity.

      A few examples of different hardcore PVP players
      • People who like Zerg Fights and people who don't
        • Or people who like to do pvp in small groups and are pissed off when they get zerged away
      • People who want to be able to solo pvp all day long and people who pvp only groups (either small or large)
      • People who want to do only pvp against weaker targets (gatherer) who don't fight back vs people who want to have a challenge (be the best)
      • People who are owning a territory versus people who are living out of the city
      • People who want to grind hard to unlock a weapon vs people who rather unlock plenty weapons
      • People who don't want to grind at all to do pvp vs the ones above
      • People who like the blobbing system in the outlands vs people who don't
      So even among these hardcore players there are so many different interests that it is impossible to satisfy each of them. However all of these people would use the same argument: "We are getting to casual".

      #3 Personal Agenda
      When someone gives us feedback it is always important for us to understand where he is coming from and what is his playstyle is. There are only a few people who are giving very objective feedback, which is fine but which makes it harder for us to interpret everything correctly. Best example here was the "blobbing feature in the outlands discussion". For me personally I actually really don't mind so much if we are doing it or not, it was just one of many solutions which we think made sense. Random example: User X always goes to dungeon Y where he can easily solo fame farm because we made a mistake and the monsters give too much fame. We change it to align it with the rest, person is upset and posts in the forum why we are destroying the game.


      #4 The Unheard Majority
      I love forums or Discord, I've grown up with it and think all of these tools are great ways to stay in touch with your community. However we also have to keep in mind that there is another group of players who don't even know that the forum exists who can't be ignored. And this is not only carebears who are not aware of them. I've played in two top level hardcore guilds in recent betas (incognito) and even among these guilds the majority is NOT active in the forum. I even know a lot of guild masters who are not active here or are even reading what is happening. Of course they have other officers fulfilling that role.

      So for us it is always crucial to see what most players think. We have done this with surveys in the past and will do that again (we have missed out on that opportunity for a while).

      #5 Change
      People hate major changes. People love small additions which make their daily routine easier but they hate all big changes coming their way.
      It is a common phenomenon. And man have we done major changes the past two years and most of them for the better of the game (I know you disagree^^).
      Most people don't remember that in 2013 we had so much more stuff you could pay with gold in the game and we removed it so we are not that much of a P2Win game. We then had people complaining that a) they have been worried that we would not earn enough money and b) others who said that we devalued their gold (which obv we did) and were upset that they could not pay for all these activities anymore.

      BUT I truly believe that if a game does not make major changes over the years it will die out at one point. You have to evolve as a game constantly.

      #6 Overvaluing the Past
      In strong combination with #5 people also tend to overvalue the past. They have certain positive memories about Alpha 1 and how much better a game Albion was. Which is understandable but sometimes can be a limiting factor in certain discussions.


      Overall you can be sure that we really think it is important to listen to the community, BUT there will always be people who do not like a new feature or certain approaches we are taking due to various reasons. We have reached a point as a community where there are so many people that always someone will be unhappy. Which also bears the danger that it is harder for us to see when we make a mistake. I hope what I wrote makes sense.

      IMPORTANT: You can always do the following. Send me a direct message with something you think is going wrong in the forum (better in Discord) and two Things will happen:

      a) 100% I will copy paste this to the appropriate department or person for that matter (we are 50+ people, I am not involved in all projects^^)
      b) in 70% of the cases I will answer you and tell you if I agree or disagree (some things I just miss or don't have the time at that point to answer)

      Kind regards,
      Stefan




      Why do u feel sad ?


      Is it due too not listening to us?
      Or listening to the minority?
      There has been some good changes although there has been many uneeded and restraining changes.
      Mabye there needs to be more of a pool that u and your team can draw from.
      I uderstand that it would be a challenge to produce a polished product that sustains.
      I will do my best to help if able so I will be polite and keep it short.
      Gatherering should be doable for all resources to t5 then it should slow beyond this.
      I am not a fan of the gathering gear as it imprisons a peep to basically only 1 resource, although work has been done and I am sure its here to stay also you can lvl your gears when gathering other than weapon I really did like the old pie method :P. As replacing t8 tools was never cheap and dangerous to get the resources needed for the t8 tools.
      Do you play on balancing the builds?
      You and your crew need to focus on fun as that is what will help this game sustain if you limit progression too much to the mid range then I feel that the product will suffer beyond this.
      Each beta It becomes more challenging and less enjoyable as the risk vs reward is not there.
      Being able to wear gears and replace is becoming harder and the gears arent that shiny anyway without mythical and legendary.
      The quick mount is good although the horse speed is not also the armoured should be heavier or have less sprint.
      The game looks shinier although the gameplay and flow is not as nice and I speak from my heart not about change or past.
      Dungeons used to be so polished now they are hey lets drop another undead archer here with op posion and give them massive hit points wtf.
      I still cannot get the same slows as a t4 elite undead frost mage why?
      If I want to no life I should be as powerful as some of the mobs this is not possible at present.
      I truly thought I knew what was going on earlier although as time progresses I feel I still know so little.
      I understand that there is a need to slow the progression although at what point? and by how much? I feel that its a bit of a mess and each patch is doing more harm apart from a glossy look.
      If you or any of your peeps would like input I would give it if and when able.
      I do want to thank you for many good times had and hopefully more to come.


      Regards,


      G.G.
    • King_Arthur schrieb:

      Game looks great. Can't wait till July 17 to really get into it. Only been here a few months and never got the impression that Devs were not listening. Reading past forums and seeing the current game seem like your listening loud and clear. Keep up the good work :)
      A few months is a blink.
      They are not listening to the masses.
      Read more play more talk nore about what you know not what u think and yes keep working.
      I am glad you are anticipating and looking forward to a release although there is a backward trend happening.
      Most peeps dont even bother posting.

      G.G.
    • Robinhoodrs schrieb:

      And I and many others think the way you guys speak to the players is completely wrong. Is there even a community manager? Or community support within the office? There needs to be constant talk with the players, the mix of moderators and dev's can be confusing for new players. And you think 2,000 posts over what, 3 years is good? I wouldn't say so. But then again this is the job of CM/CS's and I don't even know who they are.

      We have two Community Managers in house (Talion and me), and we are constantly talking to both the community and the devs, forwarding feedback/bugs and responses (back and forth). I am sorry you never noticed us before, but I am active on the forums, Discord, in game, and other social media. Aside from community managment, both of us also deal with other things such as Customer Support and website content.

      But community managers being here does not mean developers should shy away from the forums. Some really enjoy being here and talking directly to the players (which in the end makes for easier communication as well).
    • Axolotl schrieb:

      Robinhoodrs schrieb:

      And I and many others think the way you guys speak to the players is completely wrong. Is there even a community manager? Or community support within the office? There needs to be constant talk with the players, the mix of moderators and dev's can be confusing for new players. And you think 2,000 posts over what, 3 years is good? I wouldn't say so. But then again this is the job of CM/CS's and I don't even know who they are.
      We have two Community Managers in house (Talion and me), and we are constantly talking to both the community and the devs, forwarding feedback/bugs and responses (back and forth). I am sorry you never noticed us before, but I am active on the forums, Discord, in game, and other social media. Aside from community managment, both of us also deal with other things such as Customer Support and website content.

      But community managers being here does not mean developers should shy away from the forums. Some really enjoy being here and talking directly to the players (which in the end makes for easier communication as well).
      I enabled and helped a dev make the dungeons harder when in retirbution.
      If I or others complain about something you just place it in the rant so this way you dont have to deal with it and your job is done.
      Your game is 40% roughly of what is was and where it should be.
      THe flow is not there the pressure is although no flow.
      You will find peeps that love hard I am 1 although many will shy regardless of how shiny or large you make it.
      Please get back to basics and remember your roots.
      Simplicity is the key.
      I have found this that in business people are lazy so mabye your managemnet yourself included need to be more active and proactive!

      Regards,

      G.G.
    • Robinhoodrs schrieb:

      Bercilak schrieb:

      Important: This thread is not meant to be to discuss concrete features.
      Although it proofs my point ;)
      And that response proves my point.
      I lay out an issue and a solution to you about a concrete feature that just doesn't work or pisses people off. And you respond with nothing and no mention of a community manager or community support?

      A few quick notes regarding your "problem/solution":

      • Your status changes over time, so if you wait it will be better
      • There is a reason why there is such a harsh penalty on red zone pvp
      • What we should do better is explain the effects/punishes better
      • I am aware that there is an actually small group of players who want to do endless pvp in red zones
      • But we actually think that there should be some sort of punishment.
      • And this is also what I probably forgot to point out that listening != agreeing
      • And it proofed my point that in your case for you this is the absolute truth according to your agenda, because you want to play that game this way
      • But I agree to disagree here.
      But please lets not discuss singe activities in this thread. Like I said you can always open threads about topics (although this has been discussed in length) and you can happily discuss it with me personally anytime.

      Kr,
      Stefan
    • Like in Real Life, it's always the people who disagree who express themselves the most. And some people are really happy with complaining online, they love it. Every time they denigrate something, they make their day.

      You should only listen to constructive criticism, take into account player experience and forget the rest. Most people are far from seeing the big picture. If you listen to everyone, the game will fail.

      I personnally think you made great changes. The economy is way better than a year ago. The "fun" is higher. No doubt about it.

      Qol is better too, I think sometimes you should do it first, since generally it pleases everyone, will not be reverted back and can have a big effect on the game (like item stacking IMO).

      I personnaly feel sometimes you want to reduce the edge between big guilds and noobs. The game become less hardcore then good solo player somehows get caught in the middle, not being able to make a difference alone. But well that's seeing the game from my perspective ;)

      In conclusion, make your own mind. And if you hesitate, you should rather look at ingame numbers than the forum.
    • Axolotl schrieb:

      Robinhoodrs schrieb:

      And I and many others think the way you guys speak to the players is completely wrong. Is there even a community manager? Or community support within the office? There needs to be constant talk with the players, the mix of moderators and dev's can be confusing for new players. And you think 2,000 posts over what, 3 years is good? I wouldn't say so. But then again this is the job of CM/CS's and I don't even know who they are.
      We have two Community Managers in house (Talion and me), and we are constantly talking to both the community and the devs, forwarding feedback/bugs and responses (back and forth). I am sorry you never noticed us before, but I am active on the forums, Discord, in game, and other social media. Aside from community managment, both of us also deal with other things such as Customer Support and website content.

      But community managers being here does not mean developers should shy away from the forums. Some really enjoy being here and talking directly to the players (which in the end makes for easier communication as well).
      • Apr 8th 2016 - Is your join date on the forums, you have 509 posts in total. Over a year and that's it as a CM, no wonder why I haven't noticed you around the forums. Maybe I'm expecting to much coming from Oldschool RuneScape where they're everywhere, posting constantly, engaging with the community on both sides (negative & positive) on issues and listening to feedback and posting on those threads which give constructive feedback and suggestions.
      On the forums there should be a link for everyone to click to see all your posts, all the posts from every dev that uses the forums so people can just skip all the posts from players and jump right to the reply, and then read back if they have an opinion on the subject. Also just having a little banner saying "community manager" or "developer" doesn't make you stand out, maybe have it so your posts are highlighted in a different colour, your username in a different colour to help your posts stand out.

      Twitter doesn't seem to be that engaging with the followers, not many replies or anything to issues, just used as a announcement tool right now.

      Reddit, I don't see much in terms of replies. Do you guys own the page? If so you might wanna look into the issues I highlighted above with replies standing out from dev's, etc. The OSRS subreddit has a really good feature with this issue that helps A LOT.

      Don't take this the wrong way, I just wanna give feedback, this isn't a dig at you or anyone else or telling you how to do your job, just trying to help here.


    • People who are angry at this post, pisst about how the game is going or just trying to explain how they could make a better job, are just proving the OP right, which is funny in a way.

      The game will never be perfect, compromise have to be made to make the game enjoyable for every different kind of people who like to play the way they want. That is why a true sandbox should be, and they actually get it, sure they are still incomplete and to be perfected stuff laying around. But i have seen worse game in release state than this one in beta state, and when we see that they are not afraid or changing and hard labor, this only will make this game successful more than a lot of others game this last few years.

      So i will just say keep up the good work, you have made the groundwork for a great game, yet there are still a lot of things left to improve and new ideas to be found for the best of everyone.
    • Like you said, maybe 99% of the feedback is emotionally biased. If you want to give the people the feeling of being heard, the answer should probably a bit more emotional then just simply explain the situation.
      In pre test, alpha 1, the game felt cynical, cold, brutal. Loved it. And it was on par with the image of the devs i had in mind. Cynical, smart, strong minded in cold berlin ^. Now the game isn’t that brutal etc. any more in all aspects, so i feel a little dissonance between the game character and the communication of the (head) developers.
      Maybe say what you personally like/don´t like about the game and how this is correlated to compromises made because of things like earning money.
    • Good post, Bogul and I discussed this very thing on Wednesdays Podcast.

      I have found SBI to be very willing to engage with their community more so than all but one game I have tested and I have tested a lot of games.

      It is rare for a CEO to interact with the customers like this on a daily basis all of us should enjoy this while we can.

      If this game takes off (its a real possibility tune into next weeks cast) the sheer number of users could limit your ability to have these one on ones.

      No joke if you go onto the Albion Online Discord you and have a point to make someone will talk to you about it.
      You want to test they will direct you where to go.
      Have a suggestion someone will give you their opinion on it.

      They may not know when to declare final beta but SBI sure knows how to interact with its customers

      A good friend of mine gave me a bunch of crap yesterday for saying so on our Mittwoch Podcast.
      We ended up having the same discussion as above.
      You cant please everyone and just because they dont make x change doesnt mean they didnt listen to x advice.


      SBI has definitely taken the time to listen to its customers of that I have no doubt.

      Does anyone there own a set of clippers? That I dont know.

      Linking my cast because I do that kind of self promotion.