Updates Communication and Interactions

47 Replies
Mehnslayer
30 December, 2015, 12:20 PM UTC

The suggestion was just an idea, I am not advocating it, I have made like 1 trillion suggestions, some contradict each other... So no, as an ideal situation I would rather not have that added. 

I'm not really "profiting" from anything, and honestly my moderator tag should (at least in my opinion) not influence how my opinions are portrayed, in the end I want the best for the community however mutual benefit will always need to be a factor to be realistic, at least from the current position. 

I have said several times that I would like to see the updates just added to the game, no strings attached. 

I don't get a portion of the revenue raised or any of the rest, I am a player first and foremost... I would just like to see the communities updates be considered and using that as an example as it has a lot of backing. 

In my ideal world, the updates would be purely community based or developer's own artistic style, and plarium's revenue would come from incentivising players to spend money when they feel it is deserved (not to say it isn't). Instead of having to put up constant deals and adding a sapphire tag to most updates. 

I think most popular MMO games survive purely on the fact that they do focus so much on the community, the word "ethical" microtransactions gets thrown around a lot with F2P mmo's

E 'n la sua volontade è nostra pace
UTC +10:00
Lord Oberon
Administrator
30 December, 2015, 12:33 PM UTC

@Shewuvsyou, the point you were making was "this game is not made for the players.", which I find strange. To put it simply the game is 50% for the players and 50% for the developers. We benefit from each other. Players are being entertained playing the game, and they support the game via money and with their help we are able to maintain the game and people who are making the game. 

Oberon, Heir of Veyon, Scion of the Firstborn, Lord Regent of Stormfall
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shewuvsyou
30 December, 2015, 12:36 PM UTC

Lord Oberon said:


As for the recent updates, we realize that some of them weren't exactly popular, but they needed to be done. With Hamlets, for instance, we needed them because we wanted to have players actually fight for resources. We didn't like the idea of having 1 pikeman guarding a settlement and collecting a lot of resources. So we came up with Hamlets. The other much disliked updates were various Items. What we'd like to stress is that they weren't meant to change the game and they don't actually widen the gap between the coiners and non coiners. They were supposed to be fun and fill the void between "big" updates, like the one we're going to release in the early 2016 and that will be announced later.

Hamlets were a good idea; it made sense, was simple, and we can agree that the previous system was shallow and boring. However, the way hamlets were implemented was incredibly heavy handed and no real consideration was put forth into why they should work. I mean I'm sorry, but way to dodge a pothole only to fall off a bridge.

Regarding the suggestion to change the Rank at which Beacon Defence becomes visible, our dev team has a big task to change the league control settings and this suggestion is included there and will be implemented as part of the bigger task, hence the delay in implementation. Our dev team is not very numerous and we simply are unable to implement the requested changes momentarily. Also, when I say that I've forwarded your ideas to Development, it means that we'll investigate those game elements which you feel need improvement. Sometimes, we may change those elements in other ways which still resolve your concerns.

See that's the issue.


We don't hear anything about it until we a) Bring it up to you, or b) You announce it the day or week beforehand and we find out collaterally. This is not good. I don't have to tell you (or maybe I do? Lol) that people don't like being kept in the dark. It creates mistrust and resentment between people, a gaming community is no different in this respect.


My solution? We'd appreciate a dev blog, more staff transparency on the forum, and elected community members to represent the community's best interests. As I've said before, I understand you require financial compensation for your services, no where did I state in my thought process that was wrong, but that we dislike having our opinions (no matter how entirely justified we think they are) relayed to some unknown group via Oberon's persona and the moderators.

I am a Plarium collective persona, expressing Plarium’s official positions and listening to you, our players, for feedback regarding new features, suggestions, questions and concerns. All of this feedback is relayed to our development team through various channels.

I acknowledge your commitment in staying up-to-date on community affairs, even if you are paid. However, what I'm saying is, that when we suggest to you, "A, B, C" and then you tell us you've heard what we've said. Then you go and tell your colleagues, "A and B" on Skype and email, we can't help but feel there's a disconnection on communication between us.


Basically, what I'm trying to say, is why can't we talk to the developers and hear what they have to say about issues. Or why can't we have elected community members chosen to relay our concerns directly? There's a lot of options for improving communication, we just need to pick one and get to work.


Lord Oberon said:

@Shewuvsyou, the point you were making was "this game is not made for the players.", which I find strange. To put it simply the game is 50% for the players and 50% for the developers. We benefit from each other. Players are being entertained playing the game, and they support the game via money and with their help we are able to maintain the game and people who are making the game.

Uhh, no. That wasn't my entire point, but if that's what we're going to focus on then alright.


We do benefit each other, but to say that Plarium made this game as a giant philanthropy endeavor is totally unreasonable and a lie and that the only reason they charge money for items is to keep the lights on. No, I'm sorry, it's not. If you think that, you're naive and lying to yourself and the entire community for that matter.


They made the game to entertain people with the intent of turning a profit. If you can entertain people while doing it, then yes, it's a win-win, which is what every game developer aims to do. If they don't aim to do that, then they aren't game developers for very long. When you're not entertaining people, that doesn't make your mission any more or less charitable, it just means that you made a bad game and/or drove it into the ground with a terrible business model. Business being the operative word here.

I'll drown when I see you.
UTC -7:00
Gadheras
30 December, 2015, 12:38 PM UTC

Mehnslayer said:


I think most popular MMO games survive purely on the fact that they do focus so much on the community, the word "ethical" microtransactions gets thrown around a lot with F2P mmo's


Well there is microtransactions and there is microtransactions. Things that doesn't affect the sandbox, (and yes Stormfall is a sandbox), things that appeal to a players vanity, things that save you time (grind vs time/effort, like xp boosters and similar). You will find players willing to spend money when there is value to be had or buying into their vanity of "oh that cool , I want that.).

UTC +2:00
Lord Oberon
Administrator
30 December, 2015, 12:56 PM UTC
Basically, what I'm trying to say, is why can't we talk to the developers and hear what they have to say about issues.

We understand your desire to communicate directly with the people who are making the game. It is for this reason that we established the Community Management department. The dev team is solely responsible for the development, implementation, and maintenance of all game features and updates. Due to the massive scale of our games, it is not possible for our development team to communicate directly with the community. It is our job to take a step back, analyze all player comments, and make smart choices about what we can and can’t do to improve the game.

Or why can't we have elected community members chosen to relay our concerns directly?

You can do that, and it's entirely up to you. You can use this forum or any other preferred means to vote. You together can prepare a list of questions you have and we would gladly prepare an official reply for you.


However, the way hamlets were implemented was incredibly heavy handed and no real consideration was put forth into why they should work. 

I absolutely agree with that and would like to apologize for the mistakes in communication. We will do our utmost to ensure that we do better in providing you with the most relevant information regarding our plans and future updates. The next big update will be properly announced before release. 

Oberon, Heir of Veyon, Scion of the Firstborn, Lord Regent of Stormfall
UTC +2:00
Mehnslayer
31 December, 2015, 12:53 AM UTC
Gadheras said:

Mehnslayer said:


I think most popular MMO games survive purely on the fact that they do focus so much on the community, the word "ethical" microtransactions gets thrown around a lot with F2P mmo's


Well there is microtransactions and there is microtransactions. Things that doesn't affect the sandbox, (and yes Stormfall is a sandbox), things that appeal to a players vanity, things that save you time (grind vs time/effort, like xp boosters and similar). You will find players willing to spend money when there is value to be had or buying into their vanity of "oh that cool , I want that.).

That is something I have brought up previously, The response I got was they attempted to make vanity items with the improvements, I would debate however. As for the microtransactions, the word "micro" means small or insignificant, a lot of companies claim to have microtransactions  but honestly i'm not sure how many games actually have "micro"transactions anymore... I'm not sure Plarium could be considered "micro" because some of their bundles are a fortnights pay for a person. 
E 'n la sua volontade è nostra pace
UTC +10:00
shewuvsyou
31 December, 2015, 1:25 AM UTC

Lord Oberon said:


Basically, what I'm trying to say, is why can't we talk to the developers and hear what they have to say about issues.

We understand your desire to communicate directly with the people who are making the game. It is for this reason that we established the Community Management department. The dev team is solely responsible for the development, implementation, and maintenance of all game features and updates. Due to the massive scale of our games, it is not possible for our development team to communicate directly with the community. It is our job to take a step back, analyze all player comments, and make smart choices about what we can and can’t do to improve the game.

Or why can't we have elected community members chosen to relay our concerns directly?

You can do that, and it's entirely up to you. You can use this forum or any other preferred means to vote. You together can prepare a list of questions you have and we would gladly prepare an official reply for you.


However, the way hamlets were implemented was incredibly heavy handed and no real consideration was put forth into why they should work. 

I absolutely agree with that and would like to apologize for the mistakes in communication. We will do our utmost to ensure that we do better in providing you with the most relevant information regarding our plans and future updates. The next big update will be properly announced before release. 

Sigh, this isn't going anywhere.


Thanks for reading my replies, but I'm not a fan of cherry picking. I'm not going to continue spending energy on this topic.

I'll drown when I see you.
UTC -7:00
Gadheras
13 January, 2016, 10:29 AM UTC

Mehnslayer said:


Gadheras said:


Mehnslayer said:


I think most popular MMO games survive purely on the fact that they do focus so much on the community, the word "ethical" microtransactions gets thrown around a lot with F2P mmo's


Well there is microtransactions and there is microtransactions. Things that doesn't affect the sandbox, (and yes Stormfall is a sandbox), things that appeal to a players vanity, things that save you time (grind vs time/effort, like xp boosters and similar). You will find players willing to spend money when there is value to be had or buying into their vanity of "oh that cool , I want that.).

That is something I have brought up previously, The response I got was they attempted to make vanity items with the improvements, I would debate however. As for the microtransactions, the word "micro" means small or insignificant, a lot of companies claim to have microtransactions  but honestly i'm not sure how many games actually have "micro"transactions anymore... I'm not sure Plarium could be considered "micro" because some of their bundles are a fortnights pay for a person. 

By chance I stumbled over this on steam lol @ Pay2Win: The Tricks Exposed,

UTC +2:00
Skycooldude
27 January, 2016, 7:11 PM UTC

Has anything come about from this forum post? Are any of the suggestions form the players being considered such as a council of influential players in the game to discuss the game with plarium or experienced Stormfall players to be given a moderator tag?




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Mehnslayer
28 January, 2016, 6:07 AM UTC
Skycooldude said:

Has anything come about from this forum post? Are any of the suggestions form the players being considered such as a council of influential players in the game to discuss the game with plarium or experienced Stormfall players to be given a moderator tag?




There was something I discussed with Oberon yesterday, however I feel with the response I got it is better if he chooses to release the information or not
E 'n la sua volontade è nostra pace
UTC +10:00
Skycooldude
28 January, 2016, 3:38 PM UTC

Mehnslayer said:


Skycooldude said:


Has anything come about from this forum post? Are any of the suggestions form the players being considered such as a council of influential players in the game to discuss the game with plarium or experienced Stormfall players to be given a moderator tag?












There was something I discussed with Oberon yesterday, however I feel with the response I got it is better if he chooses to release the information or not



Should I be looking to this forum for  a response or would he create another thread if he chose to release the information?



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Lord Oberon
Administrator
28 January, 2016, 4:08 PM UTC

At the moment we are working on a better way to communicate with the community. 

The forum mod tag will only be given to active forum users who enjoy helping fellow players out and care about the state of these Forums.

As for the player suggestions in this thread, yes, some of them are being considered. 

Oberon, Heir of Veyon, Scion of the Firstborn, Lord Regent of Stormfall
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graham4lewis4
28 January, 2016, 6:35 PM UTC
I have only just joined the forum and so can't comment on the issues. Has this criticism been on the scale of, say, Louis Van Gall at Manchester United? So as Monty Python used to sing "Always look on the bright side of life". This could be United getting hammered by City and Van Gaal suffering the fate of the other recent  'also rans' ... or the right idea at the right time and in 18 months time you could be holding the  European Cup.
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Mehnslayer
28 January, 2016, 6:55 PM UTC

Maybe an English/soccer fan can answer that. But Plarium is actively trying to improve the methods of communication between the community and the development team. I personally enjoy moderating for Plarium as a company, however everything can be improved to be more reliable/faster etc...

The company suffers from the same problems that a lot of game companies, and that seems to be at least from my perspective, is the developers (the guys that code etc...) have different views from the community in terms of how they want the game to look. However, the developers do make a lot of changes for the community and are listening. 

E 'n la sua volontade è nostra pace
UTC +10:00
Lord Oberon
Administrator
29 January, 2016, 3:39 PM UTC
Welcome, lord Graham4Lewis4

I've absolutely no idea who this lord Louis Van Gall is. 

I recommend that you read this forum more to form your own opinion on the community and the issues that we're facing. Feel free to comment when you are ready 

Oberon, Heir of Veyon, Scion of the Firstborn, Lord Regent of Stormfall
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djmoody
31 January, 2016, 1:05 PM UTC

Well hopefully we are moving to a position where there is:

- a "Forum Moderator" tag which gives forum moderators a direct line to Plarium for guidance on how to deal with tricky forum moderation issues

- a "Player Feedback" tag which gives the same direct line to Plarium but to provide feedback and allow discussion of future developments and game balance

At pointed before, currently those two tags are fused together. The forum moderators are also the trusted source for direct feedback on developments and ideas to Plarium.

This has resulted in the most experienced players in this version of the game having little to no say in the game. A strange situation when several people who have <lvl 60 accounts or plain don't have an account in this version of the game get the direct line to Plarium and effectively represent the this version while not particularly being part of it. 

While they have been great and valuable forum moderators, they don't have the in depth knowledge of the game mechanics, leagues mechanics & politics etc etc to be the best representatives of player feedback.

Everyone has a right to an opinion. No one has a right to their opinion being respected by other if it can't be backed up with rational and logic explanation
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Mehnslayer
31 January, 2016, 1:48 PM UTC

I feel like that may of been directed at me DJ, 

I really feel that the "experienced players don't have a say but non experienced mods do" is effectively redundant, Lord Oberon will tell you that I rarely bring something up in terms of suggestions unless it has a direct link back to a forum post previously by yourself, or someone like Sky. Additionally BiohazarD is a moderator and he can tell you that your say is effectively the same as anyone's, he has more experience then I and I can only assume he agrees with you on most things (same as I).

Blaming moderators for the lack of community content is in no way the correct way of looking at it, especially since there are plenty of moderators with just as much experience as yourself.

I will more then welcome you to become a moderator and discuss this stuff yourself, but you are just pointing the finger and I don't think you are pointing it in the right direction. On top of that, even if I have only been playing for a year compared to your 2-3 years, I along with the other moderators are not exactly new to the game, the moderators for at least 90% time agree with the community, including experienced players yourself.

Feel free to apply to be a moderator DJ if you think the current moderators are incapable of relaying legitimate feedback to Plarium

E 'n la sua volontade è nostra pace
UTC +10:00
djmoody
31 January, 2016, 3:07 PM UTC

You are taking the comments way too personally.

The point is only this and nothing more. Plarium have confused too different roles.

The people best placed to managed and maintain the forums are not necessarily those best placed to filter player input and provide feedback to Plarium on game developments (and vice versa, the latter generally wouldn't make good forum mods).

The two roles require different knowledge skills and experience. Rarely will someone fit the bill to be good at both.

An easy example would be a highly creative player who has all the best ideas for new content, who for personal reasons chooses not to use the forums. Amazing for one role, useless for the other. Equally someone who is even handed, doesn't get too emotional and can rise above things, treats people equally and is a good communicator would make a great forum moderator, they wouldn't need any significant knowledge of the game to be great at that role.

You are a great forum moderator. You may also be the exception to the rule and provide great ideas, I don't know I have no viability of that. The point isn't whether you are the exception but that the whole mechanic for feedback is broken by fusing the two roles.

And no it isn't exclusively that player input has to come from experienced players. Clearly there is a need to understand the game experience for new player also.

BUT the current situation where the most experienced players who can offer extremely valuable insights into update ideas and give high quality feedback on proposed developments are frozen out in favor of other players is one I feel passionately about and is the one I personally will campaign to get fixed. It is an absolute no brainier to me.

Everyone has a right to an opinion. No one has a right to their opinion being respected by other if it can't be backed up with rational and logic explanation
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djmoody
31 January, 2016, 3:17 PM UTC

Mehnslayer said:


Feel free to apply to be a moderator DJ if you think the current moderators are incapable of relaying legitimate feedback to Plarium

I wouldn't want to be a forum moderator.

In fact I wouldn't make a good moderator. I like to be provocative and challenging in my posts. I enjoy making people stop and think through issues from different angles. I quite like going against the flow and flying in the face of "fashionable ideas" where I think they are wrong. And when I get frustrated I can be devastatingly sarcastic. There are not good characteristics of a forum mod. I wouldn't always "bring calm to the storm".

On the flip side, the intelligence, creativity, willingness to see beyond the norm and look at things from many different angles and perspectives and be independent, coupled with an very good understandings of the game mechanics would make me an extremely useful resource to run game changes through. 

If called upon I would love to do that, not that there aren't a number of others who have similar skills and experience to offer but the problem is ALL of those people are pretty much ignored and untapped at the moment.

Everyone has a right to an opinion. No one has a right to their opinion being respected by other if it can't be backed up with rational and logic explanation
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djmoody
31 January, 2016, 3:35 PM UTC

Mehnslayer said:


 especially since there are plenty of moderators with just as much experience as yourself.


Just to finish off - that simply isn't true. 

It may be of the TS moderators or the pirates ones I don't know them or their games at all. But it just flat out isn't true of the Stormfall ones. In fact as you and I both know neither of the English language moderators for Stormfall are even particularly involved in the main "Age of War" version of the game. So it's not just about experience it is also that a whole version of the game isn't actually represented with a direct voice to Plarium.

Everyone has a right to an opinion. No one has a right to their opinion being respected by other if it can't be backed up with rational and logic explanation
UTC +0:00
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