How to make SotA great (please read carefully before posting)

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Corv, Jun 21, 2018.

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  1. Jaanelle DeJure

    Jaanelle DeJure Avatar

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    Yea probably letting off some steam here, but only because it's been pent up as- until recently- it didn't appear my observations and opinions were welcome here anymore.

    Happy to see a shift in the works... there I said something positive! :p
     
  2. Hornpipe

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    I suppose we all need to let off some steam. Personaly, it's hard for me to let it go, too. I have many mixed feelings about this.

    But even if we silence our worries, the cause of our frustrations won't get solved. Many good post have been made here. And I can understand that we get no immediate answer about those.

    But it would have been greatly appreciated if @Chris, instead of telling you to take a break, had confirmed that this feedback was taken into account.

    Personaly, I'm actually totally convinced that the "sky is falling" scenario is not far from us. I don't have all the figures to judge, so I'm simpy judging that with what I have. That's great if bugs are solved. But bugs are only a part of the exposed issues here, really.
     
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  3. Cordelayne

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    I didn't even view your comments as "letting off steam" and apologize if I mistakenly spoke for you. I enjoyed the banter and dialogue, which is the purpose of a forum, in my opinion. The place from which new ideas and innovation can stem from, through respectful debate.
     
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  4. redfish

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  5. Vladamir Begemot

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  6. Jaanelle DeJure

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    Haha... no. Actually @redfish you have offered some of the most consistently valuable feedback and recommendations around here. In my opinion, of course! :D
     
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  7. Jaanelle DeJure

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    It's all good. :) I would say 80% honest feedback and 20% releasing the pressure valves. I've had formal training in argumentation and debate- it is simultaneously a blessing and a curse. :eek:
     
  8. Bubonic

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    That is not an easy question to answer. There is a lot that goes on behind closed doors we are not aware of. That being said, drawing from my experience as a CG Producer and Artist, I can definitely make some educated guesses.

    At its most fundamental, I believe the real main problem was an overall lack of planning. Initially, there were many promises of crowdsourcing for all kinds of things, especially 3d Assets. However, the promises were made before the plan to fulfill them was fleshed out.

    To try and sidestep this issue, Portalarium turned to the community again, this time to set up a CG Asset review pipeline, which was entirely run by community members. This team would do a preliminary review of assets to make sure they reached a baseline of quality, and then upload the vetted assets to Portalarium for final review and incorporation into the pipeline. Unfortunately this ran into a couple of snags - first, conflicting personalities of community members (of which I was one)... but also, and more importantly, we hit a tech wall. There was no way for us to finalize the upload to Port's servers, because to do that, we required the API... which they were not prepared to provide us.

    So, that was it. I was able to create and submit a couple more assets myself, but eventually, they stopped accepting art submissions altogether.

    As far as other disciplines, well, Music is really the only one I would consider "successful", because as far as I'm aware pretty much all music in the game is crowd sourced. Some dialogue is as well, but I don't consider that a success at all, because it was done below board. (They never requested or mentioned anything about crowd sourcing writing, they just communicated with one member privately and did it on the sly).

    At the end of the day, when this project was ramping up, they had access to at least a small group of highly talented individuals who get paid to create art and were willing to donate their skills and time to the game... but a lack of planning and follow-through meant the plan was doomed from the start.
     
  9. Jaanelle DeJure

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    Your perspective definitely hails from personal experience at a level which I have never participated here, both in terms of depth and in terms of time. I had been following the game obliquely since the KS, but did not come in until right before Persistence. So I can't speak to all that specifically, but what you've shared seems to suggest a more fundamental root cause issue, of which the problems I was talking about being just one branch.

    Well... this gets back at the solution. I'm not sure one really exists in a usable state. The whole idea of crowdsourcing seems to run into issues wherein it becomes too difficult to govern, given the tools we have available. I still like the idea, in theory.

    Using a standard out-of-the-box web forum to collect feedback and bugs is just one example then.
     
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  10. Corv

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    @DarkStarr @Lord British @Chaox this thread contains some of the best collective feedback I have ever seen. Please read through it and please really think about it.
    @Chris saw technical responses which is great, but I think the other more game design oriented posts are more important here overall.

    My own 2 cents what I think could make the game way more attractive for 1.) all the Ultima fans who are not here anymore and 2.) for MMO / general RPG fans:

    1.) I know there were layoffs but someone who is purely there for recreating a single player Ultima worthy gameplay-story design would help the project immensely. I think RG wanted Warren Spector for it but he is busy with System Shock 3. Is maybe Bill Armintrout an option? He directed one of the best Ultimas ever made, for some even THE best, Serpent Isle: http://ultimacodex.com/interviews/bill-armintrout-si20/

    2.)
    Players need to be HOOKED by the game within the first few hours they play the game. The most common hook is loot. SotA does not deliver interesting loot for the first 10 or more hours of playtime. Players can't get addicted to a adventure/kill->loot->get better character cycle because the loot is mostly the same (shabby bow...). There is no progress in that regard.
    And oh yes I am totally aware that players getting actual directly useful loot (not just crafting materials) in the form of weapons and armor would impact the player market. Veteran players would sell less gear to new players. BUT getting new gear through killing and looting is WAY more satisfying than buying it.

    There is of course a lot more that can be done, but for me those are the two most essential things that need to be considered, Oh and of course NARRATIVE TEXT (link to my feedbackpost about it) (but Armintrout would take care of that)

    Thanks for reading, devs!

    And thanks for all the amazing feedback here fellow players!!! Great job! Now the devs just need to actually read and listen to it and not get hung up in a few complaints in here that might hurt and ego or two if they take it too personal. That doesn't help anyone.

    BUT:
    If the status of the game and the company is exactly where Portalarium and Travian want it to be, if the player base is big enough, then IGNORE all the feedback and keep doing what you are doing concentrating on the existing community. Is that the case?


    edit: also don't ignore the feedback of one of your most loyal players (FB link).
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2018
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  11. Sol Stormlin

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    Actually, you can get special loot for a beginner player in the outskirts. But the problem I have most often seen is that the new player gets a quest, they go to the outskirts and there is no more direction. I feel on screen prompts to direct players about the game, such as, check out the player hand guide in your inventory, and something that directs them to continue to the outskirts would help a little more in the confusion department.

    As far as the other posters go...letting off steam is one thing...but giving constructive feedback without the sarcasm or mudslinging words and phrases might garner a better response. Like I said earlier, you get what you give.
    The sky is not falling. Everyone is panicking. There is a difference.
     
  12. Corv

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    I played through all of that and I personally had no problem with direction (but I won't deny that that might be another issue that has to be addressed) however the loot you get there has not much to do with what I was trying to suggest.
     
  13. Sol Stormlin

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    Well you get the frostgeist skulls which are super useful in deco since they let off a frosty glow. You do get a decent amount of XP as a starting player, and if you sell the loot you gain gold there. I think shoddy bows for a beginning area is appropriate. I think what hooks people is clear adventure with a storyline that you feel you are a part of, NPCs that you connect with on a somewhat emotional level, and a clear goal and path with promise of reward. When I start a game, I want to be pulled into the story, I would love for there to be voices from NPCs, especially if they are from the main questline. I bet players would love to be the voices for those. I know we have some great speakers in this community, ahem @EMPstrike. Starting out FEELING like you are truly part of something is a way to get hooked for sure.
     
  14. mike11

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    tldr:
    better magic, better skills, better overworld and concept of zones, group play not as an afterthought

    Hi, I am old kickerstarter Royal Founder (or something), I've played quite a bit earlier on but have basically not played extensively since those first days. So much has been added and done to this game, however I still really see the basics of gameplay really fall short, and I see the development team consitently doing things which I don't approve (eg. releasing new featurse which are ... not approved by myself..). I tend, though, to focus on issues and things which I see as hurting my gameplay experience.
    Most of my posts here on the forums are feedback or suggestions, typically.
    Back then, I usually play other AAA online PvP or PvE games, as well as classic RPGs.

    What I thought from Kickstarter? That it would make an incredible group or solo based online RPG, with a big focus around group adventuring skills (small parties), skill development where skills are less conceredwith combat directly (eg multi-use spells). A vast world with alternate methods of travel or places to travel (such as a underworld). Much magic throughout, a great setting and story. Technically superior to UO. Conversation system better than Ultima 7, etc. That some concepts where agreed on like the game would lean to more interactive than graphicly top of game. Unity was the engine and not really sure about this with any experience. I would of preffered Unreal engine. I thought the game would have more huge city layouts.. Typically much larger and populated with more classic RPG stuff.

    - More integrated combat features which draws from ideas of using reagents (not passive use), card based combat and other combat appropriate systems which doesn't only add a new ability, but adds a whole layer of mechanics.
    - Unique combat stances per the combat stances (again, not just adding another ability for "berserker stance". Each stance (or combat deck) would have more realistic limitations and not be 100% free to combine abilities.
    - GUI that it would be more select, dynamic, and personalized.
     
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  15. Jaanelle DeJure

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    Really, that's just another version of shooting the messenger for not giving feedback in the "right" way, when given a flawed "reporting" system whereby a good portion of the users are under attack, or threat of attack, for simply offering their observations and opinions, as they were asked to do.

    It is unreasonable to expect people to behave "cordially" in such an environment.

    But more importantly- I would challenge your characterization of this. There are plenty of examples of people having made similar points to me in a more "polite" manner, and it didn't really help at all in terms if garnering any additional traction.

    I would further suggest if we were to collate up all the feedback here in this thread, and pluck out the top ten most common shares, we would find that all sorts of different people have been giving the same feedback in all sorts of different ways, and ultimately... based on the actual results... the "packaging" didn't matter.

    Yet we were being told... even scolded about... that the "packaging" was the important part all along. "It's all in how you say it." This is the frustrating piece of it all. Indeed, the infuriating part.

    And if people feel angry about this, they should because that is a healthy and appropriate response to that particular kind of behavior. Unfortunately, in my opinion, people are so often made to submit to this kind of treatment that many have come to accept it as normal.

    It is actually a subtle form of "moving the goalposts" in which the person wishing to avoid communication keeps insisting that the information hasn't been "framed" in the "right way" and yet secretly adopts a position that refuses to accept the communication no matter how it is framed.

    Rather than risking a direct confrontation, it is often easier to play upon people's "civility" and shut down an argument any time some real emotion enters into it.

    SOURCE: I am a long-time player of Richard Garriott's Ultima series. :rolleyes:

    Now, hopefully, we can all move forward having learned the lessons of having your censor also be your scribe. :D
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2018
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  16. Cordelayne

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    Respectfully friend, I could not disagree more. :D

    It is at those times that it is incumbent upon us to rise above the cacophony and respond as cordially as possible. We all need to take a breath, step back and respond appropriately especially when in the face of adversity. Otherwise, we are just as culpable. :)
     
  17. Sol Stormlin

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    I think there are ways to formally complain about the misconduct if there is any. Have you reported them?

    Yes you can be cordial in such an environment. It's all about making the choice to.
     
  18. Alleine Dragonfyre

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  19. Jackrabbit

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    One of the problems with the tenor of the feed back is that many of these people have been saying the same thing for 3-5 years. It's not like it wasn't said civilly the first 10 times . . . . a lot of the reason that some people seem to be shouting and screaming and using bad etiquette is because no one is listening (or showing actions of having listened).
     
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  20. Cordelayne

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    I don't disagree, and can empathize with how frustrating it can be to feel like you are being ignored. My response then would be to use that silence to add credence to your argument. Show how you have tried numerous times to outline your position, predicated on specific points, and that your feedback has been continually ignored. In such a manner you can exemplify that you are not basing your feedback on emotional factors (i.e yelling), but rather evidentuary support based on facts. Again, I can understand why others may disagree and respect their position.
     
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