Early Access Panel - Developers talk about experience with it

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Myrcello, Jan 23, 2017.

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  1. Vagabond Sam

    Vagabond Sam Avatar

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    Your PvP thread is an immefiate, if not timely example.

    I'm sure you've seen users post a single sentence along the lines of "can the mods delete this? It's irrelevant" which i would argue is baiting and disrespectful to the OP.

    How many feedback ideas are met with a flat 'no' from users that devolves into an of topic argument?

    This post has been used to argue that players just don't get Early Access and follows with posts arguing that critical feedback is not relevant when it comes from 'arm chair' devs
     
  2. Poor game design

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    Speak for yourself.

    Don't assume you speak for anyone but yourself.

    Well speaking only for myself...

    I fully understand that people (including myself) will not always like every feature. But I also understand that at this point in development if your gripe is (I don't know) that the game is too focused on (just making this up here) multiplayer for your liking. Well I don't really understand how that's going to help the development of the game since clearly we have a multiplayer mode and that has be completed just as much as single player features need to be completed. And since the developers have explains COUNTLESS times why the story elements need to be finished at the tail end of the development cycle, why would we want to have endless amounts of discussion about that topic?

    It appears you're asking for permission to beat dead horses in an effort to change past decisions or influence priority or schedules that can't be changed on a whim. But that's just a complete guess since you're talking in very vague terms and not giving a specific example.
     
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  3. Poor game design

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    That thread was locked because a few players derailed it to discuss me being killed in-game by the use of their exploit of a known bug.

    It wasn't shut down for any other reason. The list remains, the devs had an opportunity to read it. There's nothing to be upset about concerning the topic in the OP.

    And you're right, it IS a perfect example of what I'M talking about. Here's a subject that is near and dear to me. Everything in that list I feel MUST be considered by the development team, and if they fail to implement one of those things, I feel that PVP will be less because of it.

    HOWEVER, there are people in the forums that disagree with me just as strongly as I feel I'm right. So the devs have to weigh that and make the best game possible that they can.

    I trust them to do that. But if in the end when we launch I'm not having fun, well of course I won't play anymore. That's how games work. But I'm not going to throw baby fits about my list no matter how much I feel strongly about it. I'm not going to freak out about the game because they're in development and they'll get to it when they can.

    I, as a fan, can only give my feedback and allow them to make the game. If I were giving feedback that consistently got shot down or closed, perhaps I should reconsider the type of game that this is, make a decision about if I still want to play it, and move one one way or the other. Included in that decision making process should always be the option to come back after it launches and see what the finished product looks like.

    But the reality of games in development is that you don't always get your way. In fact, rarely do you get your way, because you're not making the game.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2017
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  4. Vagabond Sam

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    Upset? No.

    But it is a sub optimal environment to get good quality feed back when the things i listed happen.

    The locking of discussion following the last telethon is the most egregious example as there wasn't even enough time to allow everyone who wanted to comment, to comment.

    So yeah. When the argument is that certain feedback is useless or no longer relevant, my response is that there had never been an environment to support open honest feedback that wasn't just conforming already held assertions.
     
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  5. Poor game design

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    You get three questions on the next telethon. I don't see any of your names there?

    Why is that?

    https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/?p=67581#more-67581
     
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  6. Ashlynn [Pax]

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    Some of the decisions and approaches Portalarium take are just odd or they are never explained which can also be frustrating. And I can give a very recent example.

    Recently they announced that keys can break. Some of the time. Sounds like a small thing right? Or is it?

    I was reading the update and just shaking my head trying to figure out WHY they decided that keys should just randomly break. There was no reasoning given in the update, nor was there any kind of explanation given regarding how this would make for a better and more fun game experience - because it sounds more frustrating than fun. There isn't anything about why keys that break is such a pressing thing that needs to implemented, or anything about why keys not breaking is considered a poor design choice for SotA. Nothing was said why they picked this particular design over keys that a) always work (like in most RPGs), or b) keys that are consumable (like in Zelda games).

    So I was reading the update simply thinking "god that is going to be super annoying" and unable to see an upside anywhere. And this happens with a lot of things.

    Now I'm not expecting a hundred page design document, but a brief explanation why they have chosen a specific route on something would better allow me to see where they are coming from. Especially in an update email.
     
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  7. Poor game design

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    Sounds like a great question to ask in the next telethon.

    Why do keys have to break?

    Even though I think I know very good reasons as to why they would do this...please ask them directly.
     
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  8. Crumpets

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    I am going to politely disagree. I have tested many games for companies and this is not like any open beta in any game I have tested. I would argue it isn't even to the closed beta point. Open beta occurs in the last few weeks prior to release with a finished game and a big part of the purpose is to see how the servers are going to handle the load and do minor fine tuning. I am not going to step into the discussion of how there is an idea for some within the community that persistence equals release. I see Ports warnings attached to the game and am reminded of them with every construction equipment sign I see when I enter most cities. I don't think that those of us who disagree with your view are being dishonest or trying to ignore the things we think need to improve in the game. We all have things we would like to see improve or change. I think it is that our past experiences with game development and our expectations at this time in this game are different than yours.

    It is very true that in a large company you are asked to test very specific things. You have to be pretty devoted to stick it out; it can be interesting but often doesn't make for "fun" game play. My experience has been that I have been told basically that the game will be online from time X to time Y. Please make a (insert class) and go to area (insert area). When you are done, please go to the posting forum, sometimes also fill out specific questions, and that was your play for the day. If you are struggling with this I can tell you that process might not make you very happy either. You do not hear from the developers in the big companies. You hear from PMs at times and they also close forum threads that spin out of control. Every single complaint you have heard in our forum here I have heard during alpha and beta with the big companies, including the dire predictions for players abandoning ship and failure of the games (WoW is still with us, by the way).

    We are being asked to give constructive criticism and feedback, which is very helpful for the development team. For anyone who might need a refresher, constructive criticism is focused on a particular item or event, it is not made in a way that becomes "personal" to anyone and the goal is the overall improvement of the item being discussed and the group as a whole. It is supportive in nature and often includes suggestions for improvement. The aim of destructive criticism is to destroy the target of the criticism and show that the point of view of the other person has no validity or lacks merit (i.e. "you are all just [fill in the blank]" or "you are only saying that because [fill in the blank]". The other path we sometimes find ourselves skipping down is Speculative criticism, which focuses on something that a person thinks "might, out to or should happen" and then speculates on an unknown outcome when they don't in fact have full information. We can all get frustrated but we all have input that is important. I think we are most helpful to the development team and to each other when we keep our criticism constructive and focused on the part of the game we are participating in.
     
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  9. Preachyr

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    Every post of yours in this thread suggests that you don't in fact understand this.

    You've accused someones feedback of being akin to demagoguery, you've said that people are making false narratives and are engaging in armchair development, you've said that people are making things up, suggested I want to just beat a dead horse, hinted that people are throwing 'baby fits' and just overall completely dismissed any points being made about negative feedback.

    Yup.... very productive.

    Look I get that you are a high level backer and therefore nice and cozy with the devs but your whole attitude through this thread is the exact perfect example of my main point that i've been trying to make in all my responses here.

    I won't bother responding to you again here since it is going nowhere and is just derailing the thread. Readers can judge for themselves.
     
  10. Raistlyn

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    Speak for yourself, I am an old-school RPG player and old UO gamer; I am happy with shroud.
     
  11. Poor game design

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    You're assuming a lot here. How do you know these things exactly?

    My attitude is simply that if you are following a game in development, don't expect it to be finished. Or better put, if you're building a ship, don't ask when it will arrive into port just yet.

    You haven't given me a specific example, nor have you posted any questions for the next telethon.

    All of my responses have been regarding general forum behavior and not individuals.
     
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  12. Preachyr

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    That's a perfectly fair assessment. We certainly all have different experiences and expectations. It's my opinion that this game is at the equivalent of an open beta stage based on my experience testing other games. It is going to be different things to different people though but I would hope that we could at least agree that it is not a 'Pre-Alpha' in any sense of that term as it is commonly used.

    I agree on the constructive criticism and feedback and my main point in this thread has been that constructive feedback should also include the negative aspects, and that I (and others) feel that the negative feedback far too often gets either shouted down or closed quickly. See Baron Drocis' complete dismissal of everyone else's points of view in this very thread for one perfect example, and see the several threads that have been closed by Berek recently as soon as discussions turned to the negative.
     
  13. Vagabond Sam

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    Last time i asked questions on the telethon the answers weren't very satisfying.

    The one before last i believe.

    I asked about core stats and the answer was around virtue stats because they rolled it into the discussion on hiding virtue that while being a hot topic at the time, was not my question.

    I also asked about adding depth to crafting and the answer wasn't very enlightening and nothing I've heard from them since has changed that.

    But to answer the underlying question, the last time i was active in the forums i had a user follow me to other threads and continue the debate when i was actively giving feedback.

    On top of that, despite never, on this forum, referring to the aptitude or ability of other community members, I would have my posts deleted, while posts deriding my intelligence remained up even after i reported them.

    And now here i am defending what should be a basic part of this endeavor, to comment and discuss a game and concept we all loved at some point in an open and respectful forum.

    At it's core, anyone bothering to take the time to come to the forum and say they don't like the game is a useful data point, just like it's useful to know another likes the game.

    Why does it have to be so divisive?
     
  14. Poor game design

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    Perhaps.
    • What if they're not following forum rules and personally attacking other people in the community?
    • What if they are posting a topic that has already been decided?
    • What if they are posting an opinion that may actually just be an attempt to troll the community and cause problems?
    Take the RNG crafting system for example. I asked you before if you knew why they chose that, but you didn't respond at the time because it was off topic.

    Well it's my opinion that the RNG crafting system is part of a much larger plan to create an economy where players can't just make whatever they want and hoard everything. The RNG (and more specifically the fact that items are destroyed when you fail) is a way to balance out "game skill" with "player skill". The devs have decided that the average player in their target demographic either can't handle more player skill, doesn't want more player skill or perhaps they don't have the time or resources to add it into the game and still finish everything else they have to make - I don't know, I'm just making an educated guess based on all the information we've been provided.

    But my point is that decisions have to be made, and if a few players on the forums don't like RNG crafting, the devs are weighing that and deciding that it's worth the risk of those few players leaving the game because they're betting that other players in the future will be fine with it. I know I'm fine with it, even though I could imagine a more robust crafting system that didn't use RNG.

    It's important to understand however that at this point in time, RNG is pretty much in the game like it or not. So how does being here complaining about it over and over again help development exactly?

    I'm not saying you're doing that, I have no idea. I'm just saying in the broad sense of players complaining about things that can't change, what's the point?
     
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  15. Vagabond Sam

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    That's where the code of conduct operate. Sadly in my experience it isn't used effectively when i was personally insulted.

    I'm not aware of anything that is listed as set in stone. If that was communicated clearly there might be less repituon. Although such immutability to change isn't likely a net positive.

    Don't feed the trolls for starters. Just don't comment and keep it at the top of the page.

    Too many people are posting image macros and posts with no content, often doing exactly as you describe here on topics of critque.

    The issue is how do you spot this? It's easy to misinterpret honesty in these place which is why i prefer the portions i list over deletion, locking and assuming the worst.

    RNG is the shortest, least immersive and least interactive way to create scarcity. Anecdotally systems with similar RNG like Archeage, Black Desert Online, WoW's titan forge system and FFXIV's diadem 1.0 aren't seem as the best examples of managing item rarity. The last two at least aren't major systems in the games.

    SOTA hangs it hat on RNG and it'll be a constant critism by old and new players alike.

    As far as i am concerned they need to hear that as long as it takes to do it better
     
  16. TEK1

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    Early Access, and crowdfunding in general has been a horrible stain in the history of gaming. Essentially, game companies decided to cash in on the Alpha/Beta account RMT market which historically would garner high prices for games that were highly anticipated. They thought it would be a win/win situation.

    The thing is, the alpha/beta system kept a good amount bad impressions and reviews away from the general public as those accounts were mostly protected by a NDA. I don't blame SotA and other game companies for trying that angle as even I thought it was a good idea originally thinking pre-alpha/alpha accounts would sell like hotcakes, but to allow it all to be public was a mistake.

    Even right this very moment, I believe the game content for SotA should change to being hidden, and shrouded :) by a NDA signed by all players/customers until the game is truly ready for release. I doubt that would happen, but it might make for a great media story to for a game once in early access development going back to the "old school" alpha and beta process. It could give Portalarium a new chance to really kick some ass development wise without other distractions. It also means you they could keep persistence, the premium currency nonsense, and still have room for needed radical change while hidden behind the NDA.
     
  17. Crumpets

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    I actually think that most of the time we do okay in here. But it can be hard to struggle with disappointment and I think you see those feelings come out in the forum. I think it is hard to not know everything that is planned or is going to happen and we all want to feel like our concerns are being listened to. I think it can be important to close threads when people are getting so upset that the remarks are becoming personal or way off the original topic - again, a thread is supposed to be following a specific item. Sometimes they become gripe fests and I have kicked myself off the forum for a week because I could feel myself getting frustrated to the point where I wasn't sticking to the topic or was starting to make negative remarks to someone.
    The game that each of us would like to see happen isn't going to be the same for everyone; we have different play styles and different things we enjoy doing and the developers are somewhere in the midst of all that feedback hoping to make a marketable game that will please many people. I have heard some absolutely amazing trouble shooting and game ideas posted in here. I hope everyone that is wanting SotA to succeed will keep coming forward with ideas and concerns because I think that is what is most helpful to the team and in the end we would like to feel like the time spent here was both fun and worthwhile. It is worthwhile to make a constructive criticism of something you notice in game that you don't think is working. That gives important feedback and gives an opportunity for things to change. Sometimes they don't change and we have to just wait and see how things play out. There is a bigger picture that we don't get to see. I hope we can be respectful of each other. I am a dismal PVP player but I really enjoy hearing them discuss their part of the game and what would make that a better experience. I would like them to enjoy their part of SotA as much as I would like to enjoy the aspects of SotA that appeal to me.
    I hope we can give the developers the grace to allow them to do what they need to. I am expecting the same kind of learning curves and snags I have seen in other games before release. I have not been in one closed or open beta yet that didn't have server crashes and initial long load times for instance. There are some problems that you can't deal with until you have enough information and feedback in real time.
     
  18. Poor game design

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    I think they're fully aware of that point of view.

    I also believe the moderation in the forums is very good, but any time you deal with people you're going to have conflicts where someone believes they were treated unfairly. What that has to do with this discussion though I'm not exactly sure. If people wanted to just say whatever ridiculous thing they could imagine then they'd go somewhere like reddit where they couldn't really be moderated.

    Here there are forum rules and for some people that's a concept they never really understand. Collectively, we as a community can't allow people to be disruptive, otherwise the forums just turn into a yelling match that will not help the development of this game.
     
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  19. Preachyr

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    One thing that you should consider is that Portalarium considers the game close enough to finished to keep it persistent and open to all on steam.. even going so far as to have it on sale on steam and now advertising the game as well.
     
  20. Vagabond Sam

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    There's no reason to belive otherwise unless you're the one treated unfairly since the evidence is deleted.

    It's hard to imagine a forum post that respects the code of conduct fitting this description, reguardless of how much they dislike current state of the in game systems.

    It sounds more like assuming the worst and preemptively deleting or banning topics which is problematic and brings us back to the echo chamber.
     
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