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Between a rock and a hard place

While exchanging forum PMs with a player last week we had an exchange I found very telling and interesting in terms of the challenges developers face when communicating with players. I had been commenting on some threads relating to the balance between PVE and PVP gameplay and additions and that both were valid. The player had told me 'You can't possibly tell me what I like or dislike most' and I replied explaining that I wasn't trying to do that at all, that I was just pointing out that there were different playstyles out there and that we, as an MMO developer, had to try and balance the needs of many different playstyles. (much in the way I have discussed it here before) to which he then replied - 'That's exactly the same thing no matter how you word it. You are still telling me I am wrong in my opinion.'

Now that is something I will never do. Someone's facts can be misinformed, incorrect and false, someones opinion is theirs to hold as they please...however the comment highlighted something that I have seen more and more over recent years and that is the way in which online communities seems to really zero in on absolutes.

It seems that it isn't ok to disagree anymore. If you don't share an opinion then you are wrong. We seem to be living in an age where people want to categorise things as black and white, right and wrong, you and me, that two different sides of an argument couldn't possibly share common ground.

Perhaps it is indicative of the type of partisan opinion divisions we see in our society, media and politics in many places in the world these days. It seems that for many it is the norm that if you don't agree with someone the best tactic is to attack them, insult them or perhaps question their genetic lineage. (and it's not like the internet needed another excuse for that kind of behaviour in the first place)

Personally I find it a great shame. In making games like ours there is no real 'right and wrong'. Different players have different tastes and as long as we are aiming to cater for several different playstyles with any given title we will have that balance to strike constantly, and that means that one side or the other won't always get their way, or be the priority for any given update to the game.

Rather than take it constructively however and accept that the game is home to many different gameplay preferences, there are many that seem to think the best way to argue for their opinion is to detract from the other opinion rather then to support their own, and whenever their particular interest isn't the focus to complain about the others being pointless because they don't personally share that preference.

This leads to you getting locked in a cycle of negative feedback. Trust me, the developers are keenly interested in actually getting good feedback on how to improve the area of the game you enjoy most. Feedback like that is important and a vital part of the development process, we are very interested on hearing your opinions about the parts of the game you use the most and have the most knowledge about.

Developers honestly aren't that interested in hearing you complain about a part of the game you already admit you don't take part in or that the latest update isn't solely focused on your preferences. They are even less interested in hearing you say that 'the developers don't care about us!' when they have just spend three of the last six months working hard on updates for your preferences, it's just not in the current update, and we both know that it will come around again and be a focus of a future update. Exaggerating and being aggressive might be the 'in thing' on the internet but it is honestly counter productive in this context.

If you speak to players about what they would most like to see from developers it is almost inevitably 'more communication' and that is something I strongly believe in. However much of the will and motivation for doing so can be drained by the behaviour like that described above. In many ways if the developer feels that they 'just can't win' on any given topic they are less likely to interact. They feel that way because rather than wanting to engage on the topics that can be discussed or when they want to ask questions they can find themselves on the defensive about things that shouldn't even need defending.

Acknowledging that there are different preferences out there, and they are all mostly valid, and some are even equal in importance to your own personal preferences is a great way to start. It really, honestly, genuinely, truthfully is ok to have a different opinion. We won't always agree, one side won't always be right, and the other won't always be wrong. Hell, we won't always make the right call as developers either, but we will always be making the calls with the best intentions of improving the game. The ability to discuss things constructively with the community helps us make the right call more often, so the more constructive people are, the better it is all around.

Developers genuinely do usually appreciate it when they can interact with people on a constructive and rational basis and creating the environment for that is in your hands far more than you maybe think it is!

You are always entitled to your opinion, and to share it, but doing so constructively will always lead to better debate. Actual debate about the merits, pros and cons of any system, feature or piece of content is far, far more valuable for us to read than any amount of bickering about who is 'right or wrong'.
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26 comments

Burmese said...

An accurate view of the situation otu there, especially on forums. No idea what can be done to really address it, though...

Leilani "Tahitoa" Amorey said...

Writing this comment as Tahitoa , former Head Moderator on the AoC EU forums - A very interesting post Craig. Personal experience on a forum we both know well: over the years I did try very hard to encourage constructive feedback and criticism but it is really a hard place to be...we both know that, this is why one need a very active and highly dedicated/motivated Community Team(managers, coordinators and moderators) , this is really a *must* to create the right environment for a good community to flourish. Such team however needs a constant *open channel* with the developers/game director, otherwise you'll end up in a situation where you are just moderating the worst and cant do much more then that. It can be done Craig, but it really needs some coordination and some will from any game company to understand how vital and important it’s own community is by coming to realize that a great gaming community (forum and in-game) can actually really make a difference for the game itself. This is only my very personal opinion , which I have in the past shared with my former Senior Community Manager many times, makes me a bit sad to see many of my personal points repeated in your post because they are exactly the same points I raised with him and with my former community :(

Cyan said...

So very true, I wish people were more open to debate and actual discussion or argument. In these days of Fox news and such at least here in the US it always seems people prefer just to discredit your opinion rather than try and defend their own, or worse just insult you anyway.

There are lots of smart people who would debate things properly given the chance as well, but they are scared away by the forum warriors.

Waldgeist said...

I think a good part of what is needed to achieve a different community behaviour can be motivated by using what teachers use in their effort to encourage a certain behaviour in their classes.

If a thread has a certain style of discussion, then a developer can join in and explain further details and answer questions, the moment the thread turns around, the developer should refrain from posting and inform the Community Manager/Moderator of the situation, who then will ask (as an "outside person") the participants to come back to a useful form of discussion. If the community does not switch back, then the developer should refrain from posting ANY further and the CM has to do the explaining onto why the developer has stopped answering questions.

That will of course at first cause some flames and unhappiness, but that is part of the process. It's very important though, that the developers should never answer to an already "flameheavy" thread, no matter how loud people are in there. It's the job of the CM to interfere in such situations as a person, that is not part of the process/development discussed by the players, to call for reason.

Even though german developers only rarely post on my boards, i kind of use the same mechanic to select to which threads i am going to reply and which threads i will just escalate to the moderators and at least on the german boards that has worked good enough.

Of course that will not get rid of all flames and the regular heated discussions or the people who never learn to accept the opinion of another person, but there is a good chance, that players out of their NEED for direct communication with the developers, will change their ways, to actually get what they grief for.

But as Tahi pointed out, that also needs a proper communication with the developers and a proper respect for the job of the Community Manager. Sadly that part is often not part of the mindset of many developers in many companies.

(Sentences like "Well it's just posting on the forums, i know how to do that, i've been on forums all my internet life!" do bring memories in the heads of most CMs i am sure ;) )

Very important is though: It does NOT depend on the developers ability to manage communities, to lead a discussion. It does not mean, only the CM has the "magical ability" to do it right. It's more a thing of who is doing what on a product. The person directly responsible for something is always in a much worse situation in a heated discussion, than someone who comes in from the side. That's why the CM is so important in this mechanic and not because we CMs think, we are "superior forum users" than the developers. Craig is the perfect example, as he has more experience in Community Management, than most people actively working in that field, but players will naturally attack him more directly, as they feel him to be "directly responsible" for their unhappiness with a certain feature.

Grant said...

@Waldgeist Sorry, I disagree there quite a bit, I think there are parts you don't quite get. You make it sound as if the CM is somehow better at talking than a dev might be just because of their job. That is not my experience in many years of following MMORPGs.

I think a lot of the problem is that many of the Community Managers see themselves as having to defeat a flaming thread.

I love guys like Craig because rather than be afraid of those types of threads that is exactly the ones he does answer, and more so the type of ones he *should* answer! Far too many community managers don't see that the honest approach and the reasonable discussion is far better than the stick of bans and suspensions. I think Craig does a wonderful job of that, he did it with AO and does it for AoC as well now. He will not let the trolls rile him and just sticks to the actual arguments and points out when they are being unreasonable and over times almost forces them to take part in the constructive discussion or they just end up being ignored by those taking part.

That is far better than the approach of thinking of yourselves(the CMs) as some kind of police force. You are supposed to be the guys who can facilitate the communication between us players and devs (as you point out not all devs are as accomplished as Craig is at speaking with the community) and that won't happen if people see you as some kind of nameless authoritarian voice.

Craig does it without having to be authoritarian by just sticking to the point of making us be reasonable almost despite ourselves :p

Waldgeist said...

@Grant it would help if you would not ignore what i write and actually read it before you "disagree" with me :)

I said exactly that what i wrote does not mean that CMs are better at talking (last paragraph), that they are just in a better position. And i never wrote about bans, moderation or suspension, i was clearly writing about explaining and talking. So to actually have a proper discussion you have to acknowledge what i actually write about and not interpret it in the complete opposite way :)

I know Craig is doing quite well over on the english forums, with jumping into the threads and really keeping at it until the bitter end, but the problem is that, if you want more devs posting, that do not have the time, motivation and skill to do that, you have to create a better environment for them to post.

As Craig pointed out it's important that we allow each other to disagree and from professional experience (years of Community Management) the practise i portraied works quite well, so i disagree that jumping into flame-threads is the right way to go.

Leilani "Tahitoa" Amorey said...

@Grant : I do agree with Waldi on this one. The role of a Community Team is vital on a gaming forum NOT for they are able to moderate and keep things orderly, but because they should be able to communicate to the users in the knowledge what they are discussing or announcing is correct information. Communication is our job, I never ONLY moderated my community, I used to talk to them and engaged with them (for bad or for worst) on a daily basis, but my authority and what I could say was limited. Craig has a community background and he finds natural to do the same which is superb but not near enough to what the community need, in my opinion. I did not want only to moderate, I wanted to be there for my community and I wanted them to be happy and feel like they could come on the forums and discuss things in a civil and polite manner. Of course it was not always possible and, as Waldi knows, Community people are often the target of abuse and hanger from some narrow-minded individuals. A well run and well managed community is a huge asset for a game in a long run because the community IS the game. If your community is left to drift on it’s own or left unsupported and unregulated it will be bad for the game. We are social animals, gamers like to talk and discuss and argue sometimes, give them a nice official place to do it and they will be grateful, but…and this is a big but…..the community team cannot function properly if there is poor communication with the top (development team) there should be clear roles, regular updates and talks between the two team and with marketing too. It does come down to management , team building and consistency.

Rageraiden said...

Ok, ok, however!
Triple was an awful move >.> .

John Savant said...

Shut up, Tahitoa, you polluted the AoC forums enough with your fascist methods of "love". One of the best things that happened to AoC post-1.5 is Tahitoa leaving for good. And masquerading yourself as the most fanboyish player known to mankind only discredited you further. Polute with your "love" somewhere else.

Niko said...

*slaps John Savant on the back of his head*

Be nice. Tahi did good job as moderator. I do agree that when she wrote as private person, the most fangirlish posts didn't do good - they muddled waters at threads where there was valid criticism. It was opposite to the other poison, which is the eternal complaint syndrome, where nothing is enough and everything sucks. Still, Tahi did excellent work and was able to separate her work and personal opinions. Kudos to her for that.

Now about the main post. Yep. I have seen the same "there is only one valid opinion and it is mine" malady all over the net. Instead of addressing the points at hand, people try to silence those who are in their opinion heretics. See post by John Savant for closest example. That I view antithetical to the entire Western culture and certainly it is anti-democratic force. It is ironic that some of those who claim to be defending democratic values do that regularly.

I remember seeing excellent column written by some developer/community manager/something else, where writer addressed these issues. It was interesting read and one thing stuck to my mind. He advocated having those who handled community also take part in other work within company, be it say for example dialogue writing or whatever. Reason was that if they have periods of working with community and periods of doing other jobs, they will less likely burn out. Also, they might get good ideas that would help on one side, while working on other side.

If I find it again, I will post link here.

Leilani "Tahitoa" Amorey said...

@John Savant : if my *love and kindness* polluted AoC as you say, then I am a proud *polluter*, John :) Yes, I know I was not liked by some people but that did not make me change in my approach or discourage me from doing what I though was right for the community. Is people with your attitude that needs the most support and guidance on gaming forum, people that think its ok to hide behind anonymity, I was never scared to take on such people face on both as Amorey in private or Tahitoa at work because I always do what I think it's right. I seen people posting like you, I seen them screaming and having tantrums, I spoke to them, my biggest reward was see them change their ways and becoming true members of our community, at the end of the day dear John, trolls will be trolls ;) the trick is to know how to speak to them . Peace and love to you John ;)

John Savant said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Leilani "Tahitoa" Amorey said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Craig Morrison said...

Ok, please keep the personal attacks out of comments here folks. Not the place for it.

Mitko said...

It's a pleasure to read a civilized debate on this subject. I will comment on this as an actual player who spent about 13 months in Age of Conan.

Mr Craig, I totally understand your views and I do agree that today's players are very spoiled since they are mostly immature. I have been defending Age of Conan for long time, and I still think it has the best melee combat system.

The slogan in AoC was "Heads will roll" and it portrayed the game as focused on PvP. I wouldnt get excited if some NPC head would roll. So in my head as a player I thought of AoC as mainly PvP game, and the story starts.
First, I bought the game as fast as I could.
Second, I leveled to highest level, thats 80.
Third, I realized that there is nothing to do at level 80 except for PvP. (bugged raids, gear not needed for PvP)
Fourth, I spend 5, 6 months doing PvP in the only zone for that Keshatta. I had the best time here since AoC was a skill based game.
Fifth, After i spent so much time, you add a "PvP system" and I start to get experience points for killing players. Just so you know, there is a whole generation of PvPers who has left the game by this time since there was no PvP system.
Sixth, I continue to play even though I realized that the "PvP system" is flawed. It encouraged player at lower levels to PvP since they got way more experience than the level 80s. About 30% more. Here i felt the first backstab from your company.
Seventh, You merged the servers, so I lost the community, the new server was filled with immature people who spammed the Global chat channel. Again here you lost many people. Backstab no. 2.
Eight, Few months later you decide to totally revamp the game with patch 1.05. So now the game i defended from WoW and many others was patched overnight and I ended up with a game I don't like. I won't go in details for patch 1.05 since I believe your financial report explains everything, but that was backstab no.3 for me.

So now I'm checking forums regularly and hoping I will read something good about the game, instead I see unhappy customers and rigorous forum moderation.

When I think of AoC i don't feel bad about it, I guess you will be more than happy every customer out there to play for 13 months like I did. You spoke here like a game director and I appreciate it, but you should always know that players have feelings also, and if you force someone to play in 1 zone for 13 months it will have consequences on your forums, and that deleting a thread won't make the problem go away.
@Tahi, you were great compared to the new guys.

Thanks for listening.

jimbobdick said...

Have you ever considered that the player you were communicating with was simply reflecting the stance your development team has taken with the game?

The efforts you have made are of course not small or insignificant however they are also not in line with what the community has wanted and needed to remain viable.

Broken Sieges are unacceptable! A guild bank of 50 slots shared by 100 members is unacceptable. A component of the game where only 25% of players max can participate because of the game mechanics is broken and unacceptable.

The message you have consistenly sent is that you are listening to player feedback and you are patting yourself on the back because you are doing a good job implementing it.

Were that reality, and the case the game, would be growing and not losing subscribers steadily. Funcom has the best marketing department of any game company anywhere, you don't lose customers with that value proposition unless the product doesn't meet with the level of expectations that the marketing set.

Simply put Craig you are selling Green Oranges and calling them Orange. Your consistent message to players is that because some of us are color blind the rest of us who are not color blind simply have to live with the fact that not everybody wants to play the game the same way.

The majority of your former subscribers are not stupid. They know Green Oranges when they see them and Funcom is selling Green Oranges. What we don't understand is why you don't know that you are selling green oranges, why is that feedback which should be very obvious not getting back to you about your product?

Further, were it the case that the game was compelling to play, fun, and rewarding in all areas at all steps and complete with "meaningful polish" then players would have stuck with it after the free trials.

We all know exactly where the game is, and how the free trials went, we know why they failed to keep the majority of those who tried the game for free.

What we don't know Craig is why you don't know this. We don't know why you guys after 550 days have not expanded the guild banks, which has been nearly universally demanded or discussed and approved by the community since the first week of launch.

But the message we hear from the dev team is that you are constantly reviewing player suggestions....and implementing them.

Why you haven't sped up the updating process and aligned development much more directly with what players have asked for on the forums. We don't need 3-4 months between patches, we also don't need updates which were strongly not liked on testlive and put into the live patch anyway and ended up driving away players because of the "new mechanics".

It is you who said those players that post passionately about their game are passionate and committed, however the majority of your design decisions and game mechanics don't support those players which is why you have mutiny on the forums and a community which does not value Funcom whatsoever.

jimbobdick said...

One more thing, given that you've been doing this for the last 15 months and pretty ineffective at improving the product to the point where it becomes a growing product rather than dying. You might consider stepping aside and giving another developer a chance to bring the expansion to fruition.

Since you haven't taken any of our suggestions to heart for real in the past I have no indication or inclination that you'd do that, but for God sakes man, is this to be the peak sum of your life's work? I certainly hope not. The time to move on is now before the expansion.

jimbobdick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jimbobdick said...

Oh Guess were not on twitter anymore cant do my 140 letter on worders anymo--

Tommy said...

Hello, I have some stuff to get off my chest regarding AoC, the community, CM's and the game in general. If you read this Craig, I would be very pleased. I'll try to keep it civil so that it doesnt get removed.

I have played on PvP servers in every game I have played during my MMO life. On the forums I dont post very often, but sometimes. I have to say that I disagree with Tahis moderation politics, in all my years of gaming I have not been on a PvP server forum that restricted flaming as much on AoC forums. In previous games I found it amazingly fun to fight someone whom "hated" me and my guild. It creates tention and hatred versus guilds, it motivates us to battle, in the end the moderation made me stop writting on the forums. I never flammed heavily, but when threads got shut down just when they started getting interested I didnt bother to reply anymore. You have no idea how many BIG group fights that was a result of flamming on the forum. I also stopped playing the game bit layter, but that was for other reasons ofc. I recently checked the fury forum and I can see that its pretty much dead, but i guess this also can be blaimed on population decreasing. The point being, Tahi moderated every server forum as if is all server communities was the same, I think this is mostly because of personal preferances? It's good that you remained confident in what you thought was right, but for me and many others it was not a fun experience.

That being said, there is still many ingame problems that makes me not want to resubscribe. I dont really know where to start here. I read some update post, I see that iron tower is on testlive atm. A instance that drops blue items and epic rings/necklace? Why do you use time to create another dungeon when veteran players will gain almost nothing by doing this dungeon?

I have also used some time to check all the different class changes since I left. I remember back in summer 08 you explained to us that demo was going to be a glasscannon, its like that with all mages in MMO's =) I get on my guild vent and asks some questions about class changes, I hear that one of your very well geared demos have 8.5k HP and that all classes have had their HP raised greatly. I understand that this was needed to avoid oneshots, but why oh why does mages have this much HP?

I end up talking with my guild friends for a while and realize that AoC is a lot more class restricted now than before. DT now have a really epic mana drain, but this also greates a huge inbalance because that is their only really good ability and it only works versus casters (rock, paper, scissor?), lotus assassin is made by the same concept. Is this really the direction you want to take with AoC? I understand really well that class balance will always be hard to perfect, but you did imo make the problem worse.

I hope you manage to make the game better, I am going to resubb when Rise of the Godslayer is out to see the new areas and ofc do PvP in these new areas. Hopefully many players will resubb and check it out, also GL with the secret World, seems to become another game with really good looks.

Craig Morrison said...

@Jimbobdick

I think that what you say is in someways a perfect example of the issue I refered to in the post. You say that we haven't listened to suggestions...and give examples of those we haven't listened to...when we have listened to many suggestions, just not the ones that you would personally have chosen...and you know what, that's totally ok, 100%. If someone else were in charge maybe the decisions would be different, maybe they would work out better, maybe not...that's exactly my point, it is ok to disagree. It is ok to not like any of the choices we make, but it doesn't make us idiots, morons or any other form of malcontent just because we didn't do things the way you might have done.

With an MMO there are literally dozens of things we would love to do, and I personally would love to do, but we don't always get the chance, or at least not yet due to priorities.

Maybe for you the game hasn't improved, it's possible that is the case depending on your personal likes and dislikes, but for many people it has improved greatly.

Many of the changes made over the last year are directly from player suggestions. Ok, maybe not the ones you would pick, but that's also ok, opinions will always differ.

...which was really my whole point in the first place..constructive discussion rarely happens when you are focusing more on attacking the other party (like say for example suggesting they quit and resign ;) ) rather than actually discussing the actual pros and cons of the points being discussed.

...as for resigning, far better and more important people than I decide my fate. I do the job they ask of me and will keep doing it until they decide otherwise or the team tell me I should go...until then we will keep making the best choices we can and continue to improve things.

HydeAut said...

It´s all about choices and decisions but not all about opinions.

Sure, the game has improved a lot in the technical and PvE-area, there have been also some good recent additions to pvp like the agressor-debuff, pvp-XP for winning or loosing minigames, making the maximal fee 1 gold for re-feating.

Nevertheless numbers of active players are going down on pvp-servers, that´s a fact for everyone playing on one, not an opinion.

Only logical conclusion: some of the developers decisions have been bad for the pvp-servers or not sufficient.

That´s the point why the community (or at least the pvp-part of it) is quite upset: Funcom seems not to realize that there have been bad decisions or (even worse) FC seems not going to do something sufficient against it (- or defend decisions which are heavily critisized but maybe still considered as no mistakes by FC.)

Does Funcom know why so many pvp-players left during the last months?

Good example and certainly one of the more important reasons for the decline of pvp-players: mage-classes are overpowered since 1.05. Easy fix: partly reverting the high amount of HP casters receive with constitution.

Now I will be told that´s my opionion, maybe casters have another opinion.

Yes, it´s only an opinion - but there are threads in the official forums with hundreds of postings saying roughly the same. So if Funcom wants to look for the reasons why many players have left it would be a good idea to check that point out (which also should be a technical question of balancing and not about opinion), come to a conclusion and to tell it to the community. Until that it simply looks like FC is not caring about the opinions of a big part of the pvp-players.

No wonder that it´s a hot topic saying that there are a lot of valid opinions while not clearly answering to such a widely expressed concern (or similar ones).

Some personal opinions about AoC´s problems:

pvp-balancing (Age of Casters)

crashing/lagging sieges

lack of pvp content (maybe towers will improve that)

lack of love and ideas for existing pvp-content (pvp-XP for loosing and winning minis is a first good step, but only a very little one)

jimbobdick said...

Had I had any faith in your abilities or those of your team in prioritization and exectuion I wouldn't be suggesting that people quit your game. Facts are facts Craig. There was also the matter of our guild's exprience in the environoment that was AOC last year and the failure of the development team to implement safeguards to guilds who promote members into posistions which could lead to the destruciton of a guild.

There is a long list of how Funcom has mishandled Age of Conan from the start and continues to do so, not just from when you started leading but it didn't stop when you took over either.

My point is simply this, expectations were very high, Funcom created those expectations, not solely the community, not the playerbase, not the sun or the moon, Funcom, Erling Ellingsen and your marketing department. They didn't deliver.

I know you expect players to see the game how you do because for you it is a project, most things are working, some players are happy, you guys are moving content out the door onto the live servers even if the pace is slow its coming, and the expansion is going great right?

However when it doesn't work the way it should, for players i.e. us "end-users" or when it is a pain in the ass to try to manage or have a good time with the interface. Well that is when players simply give up. Games are supposed to be fun, they are also supposed to be complete, they are supposed to be challenging in fun ways not in ways which are a pain in the ass to deal with.

One of the things players and customers look to when it comes to sticking with a product or service or a company is how that company is treating their customers, and how that product or service is improving, what the pace is.

Pace is abhorently slow. Product based on the time of the initial free trials is stable, congratulations you got there after 6 months and wanted to remind us 15 months after launch. You added some content. Great. Players still have to go through Tortage over and over again, players still have deal with the tiny bank size. Sieges remain borked. Want to move to a server where there are people playing pay us $20. Get real.

I know you guys are trying to do the whole we need something new and fresh, distance yourself from the "Vista" of MMOs and bring on Windows 7 i.e. the new AOC expansion but former players won't be coming to that party after seeing what is missing in AOC and what the implemenation looked like during the free trial. If they were interested they would have stuck around. Subscribed, you'd have growing populations to brag about or talk up but you don't. We know that because we played it again.

To be frank, you, Erling, your team, need to stop talking and start listening. You want to turn this show around, start a You-tube campaign from players that play, get players who are still passionate about your game posting on why the game appeals to them. You guys should turn off your marketing department and let the product speak for itself, and if the reason you can't develop in areas is you can't afford or find the capacity to do it, well firing a few dozen marketing folks will free up some capital and deskspace.

Problem solved.

Cyan said...

I really think you are missing his point jimbob. He is admitting that he hasn't done what you would have done. So its natural you don't agree and what he is saying that the more constructive approach thereafter is to actually keep discussing things rather than just start to attack them because they aren't doing what you would do. It just means that they are making some other player group happy, or addressing some other concerns.

So you can either accept that the world doesn't revolve around you and take part in a discussion or you can have your opinions not listened to as much because you are choosing to insult people and suggest they are idiots and dont know what they are doing rather than actually discussing your point.

After all, they run a business, they want to do the best things they possibly can. They probably aren't making decisions just to consciously piss people off :p Their problem is making people happy isn't always mutually inclusive. What makes you happy pisses others off and vice versa. (like personally I would gladly have them remove PVP from Age of Conan and it would be a better game)

You are kind of proving his point you know? Oh, I don't agree with you therefore you should resign in shame and you are foolish for doing what you do...that is not a constructive dialog and will most likely just make people ignore your opinion anyways. So in many ways if you listened to the advice and weren't so confrontational you might actually find their decisions matched with your preferences more often ;)

HydeAut said...

Cyan, you are mixing things up here a little bit to much: you never will find the same opinions and needs between PvE- and PvP-players.

That´s why there are different types of servers and Funcom has to serve BOTH types of players.

Concerning the number of players I can see here in Germany and which are a lot higher on the PvE-Server I would come to the conclusion that there´s something missing and/or wrong on the pvp-side of AoC.

There are still different opinions on pvp-servers but some are very loudly expressed (example: classbalancing of casters). Now it would be ok for Funcom to disagree with big parts of the community - but Funcom simply doesn´t tell us if that´s the case or why, I have no idea about Funcom´s opinion on many important topics or how long it could take to see a real improvement.

It´s ok to disagree - but at least tell us and give us the reasons why, otherwise we won´t have a discussion but a lack of communication and a good portion of frustration.

jimbobdick said...

Its ok to disagree, frequently we do.

What isn't ok is to advertise a
product and not deliver it. To say you are going to fix whats busted yet it remains broken. To give out free virutal boob jobs while the fucking sieges are busted to hell all the while making that a priority 18 months after the launch of the game.

Wars are won or lost in hours, yet this company can't get a software product fixed and delivered in less than a year and a half?

So since AOC isn't done and not fixed, subscriber base declining, buzz all gone, ability to market nil, what should we do?

A. Finish and Fix it with all of our available resources?

B. Promote it as fixed and pretend that the finished parts are much more finished than at launch and that should be ok?

C. Screw AOC lets build a new game in the middle of a recession, after we have totally destroyed our credibility in the gaming community by our business practices, marketing incomplete products we evidently do not intend to complete and bring to a fully functional state before releasing the next product?

Option A was your only hope for redemption and you didn't take it.

Option B was the way you guys went. After X-mas and the server merges and the free trials. The market is slapping you down hard for that.

Option C is the new strategy, the back up plan and if you think Option B failed, wait until you see how Option C is received by the mass market who is somewhat educated about Funcom and AOC is synominous with MMO disaster, you are all going to lose your asses doing that.

I wish you well.

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