My thoughts on the Future of Shroud & the NEXT STRETCH GOALS....

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Synergy Blaize, Jan 15, 2019.

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  1. Synergy Blaize

    Synergy Blaize Avatar

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    Alas, after being around almost a year, I am starting to wonder if the Devs Here, only take notice of their "Pet Projects" & the "Bottom Line". or whether they actually hear our feedback & wishlists.

    I have found feedback these days. to be falling on slightly deaf ears by some Devs (especially by @Lord British himself... Afterall, This Game is "RG's Baby", so His lack of feedback is extremely disappointing... )
    Yes I know LB prefers Twitter, where he can respond in 120 characters or less... But really, this is RG's' Baby... He really should be responding on this OFFICIAL Forum for Shroud not where he can just type a minimal response in Twitter, which some of us here don't use.

    Overall we have an awesome & positive Community who genuinely want this Game to succeed, well into the Future & as such deserves regular feedback,
    not just "knee-jerk" responses from a Dev in regards to RL $'s for Ports coffers. (which I do understand are required to keep the lights on)
    @Chris deserves immense Kudos for addressing the latest RL $'s feedback for the Bundle offer. (especially as he has been ill) Thank You!

    But aside from the expense of bundles that many of Us cannot afford, many of us contribute monthly, by subscribing to the Rewards Program
    & have been spending our hard earned dollars on whatever we can afford in the Store, in helping to keep the lights on, for this Game.
    (Even though "some of Us" have NO interest in some of the rewards offered... we just want to help to keep the Game alive)
    I will also add, that over my time here, I have literally bought everything I want from the $'s store (soon to be ingame Crowns Store) I need NEW items to entice me to buy more!

    I do KNOW (via the Dev Tracker) that @Sannio is one of the most responsive Devs in the bunch, in regards to Quest Issues.
    So immense Kudos to @Sannio ! Thank You!

    When I started almost a Year ago, I felt the Devs were listening to this Community & giving regular feedback, but that seems to have waned these days....
    I do understand the workforce has decreased over my time here....

    but these days... there is so little feedback on other issues or Our wishlist requests.
    I have to wonder if anyone is looking at the Ingame items Wishlist many players have added screenshots of.
    I am starting to wonder whether my meagre contributions each month, are actually enough to make any difference (especially since I really am not entranced by some of the stretch goals of late) & I have actually run out of things I want to buy now.

    As opposed to re skinning/coloring existing items in Future releases, I would rather have FUTURE STRETCH GOALS be items from the WISHLIST ITEMS which are Currently In-game/EXIST. (with no re-skinning/coloring required) & add some of them to the the Crown Store
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019
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  2. Floors

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    Let's see.

    The devs:

    1.) Write long posts every quarter about the direction of the game.

    2.) Write long posts every release about the direction of the game.

    3.) Hold livestreams every release and every 2 weeks answering questions and talking about the direction of the game.

    While I understand that some things are not as transparent as some would like.... I don't think players understand how much work goes into releasing a game like this each month and to have them actively helping players with their wishlish, their issues, their individual desires - many of which we can see compete with each other or are in disagreement with each other.... It seems like a tall order.

    Other game companies don't do this. Does Bethesda listen to the wishlists and desires of their players ? Not even close ! Do you have the kind of access that we have here to influence the game ? No !

    We have a lot of influence but the fact of the matter is we can't make every single person on here happy.

    The thing I would agree with is that some major decisions sometimes are not made with the kind of explanations that might help offset trouble.
     
  3. Feeyo

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    You can not compare apples with oranges. We the players fund this game (SotA) much more since day 1 then we are funding Bathesda or other big corp game.
    Yes I agree that we have a big influence to the game, and that is good as it seems the influence has a pretty good impact overall.
    The current state of the game still has a lot influence needed as the players have very good idea's. And I have a lot of respect to the devs that they are listening to their players, you can not say that about other games out there.

    But there should be a line they stick too, they should not implement everything every specific player wants.
    The devs should also take a few big mmorpgs out there. Play it, experience it. Take the ideas/experience of those games and implement them on SotA.

    Yes I know the team is small, but you need to take responsibility and hire more devs and designers. You are taking a huge risk there doing the development which such a small team. If you want to make this game succeed hire more developers.
    FFS, hire trainees, juniors and let them implement parts of the game. I am sure there are enough graduates that need experience and are cheap to hire...
     
  4. Synergy Blaize

    Synergy Blaize Avatar

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    I am guessing that also includes You (as You have also expressed some negativity in Your posts in the past.)

    I am just expressing my feelings & stating the fact that I have have bought everything from the Store that I want/need & would like to see some "new" already existing items that are already ingame added to the Future Stretch Goals, rather than re-skinned/colored items.

    & Yes I would love to have more feedback on the forums, as that seems to have waned of late....

    so Hey... all good?
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019
  5. Lazlo

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    I think they listen a lot more than they communicate. There have been so many times where something didn't get much forum response for a long time, but then one day it just happened. I don't always agree with the decisions, but I think that they pay quite a bit of attention to what people say.
     
  6. Addison

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    @Synergy Blaize thank you for such a heartfelt post. :)

    Given their current staff constraints, I think they do an excellent job of trying to communicate with the players. Whether that is here in the forums or their now weekly livestreams, they certainly seem to be doing their best. @Chris really does deserve a few "attaboys" given how much effort he has been making to get things done, all while listening and communicating with the players. He is awesome! :D

    However, I certainly agree that the focus of all content is on things that can generate future revenue and not necessarily on aspects that some players have been asking for: like fixing bugs, story/quest overhaul, NPCs, etc. Shouldn't those things be fixed before moving on to other content that seem to generate even more bugs and gameplay issues?

    You raise an excellent idea, in this Avatar's opinion, of utilizing all the "Wishlist of Items already ingame" as stretch goal rewards. I would have to imagine this would be a heck of a lot easier than creating all these new items from scratch or even "reskinning" old ones.

    While it is impossible to please all the people all the time, I often feel development of the game has become like "a horse designed by committee", whereby trying to please everyone you end up pleasing no one and end up with a camel lol. Let's prevent SotA from becoming a camel! :D

    This is why I think it is so important to stop introducing new content and simply finish Episode 1. Squash all the outstanding bugs, overhaul the story/quest system, give NPC's names and dialogue and update any old scenes. If this were done going into Episode 2 I think you would find a windfall of new players excited by what Shroud has to offer. Currently, I feel many new players give up too soon even with the game being F2P, due to the aforementioned issues! Just this ladies' thoughts. :)
     
  7. Floors

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    Yes, I criticize the things that I think can be criticized. And many other then provide their counterpoint which I don't always agree with, either. But I listen to it and sometimes it even changes my mind. (Rarely... but :p). I am having fun in the game.

    And please don't mistake me; I agree you have a right to say what you want here about how you feel. Just as you should expect others that have a different view to share it with you, provided they do it in a constructive way, which I hope that I have. That is the point of public forums.

    There's a different between criticising things that need improvements and getting doomy and gloomy and always saying downer stuff, there's a big difference.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019
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  8. majoria70

    majoria70 Avatar

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    And also if I said everything I wanted to over the years what good would that do? I have been here consistently since the beginning of development in 2013 so I have had a lot of those ups and downs I can tell you. I cannot stress enough that this team listens and sifts through all of our ups and downs regarding this project. What they take away from that is our responsibility imo. If they get consistent continuous feedback on things that we like or don't like and why then they could perhaps find us a reliable source to go to, but if they get consistent continual criticism of themselves and how they work then they may shy away from sifting through the ideas and feedback from us to get to any good feedback. We too have a responsibility for how we use these forums imo. Also imo the forums are here to help the game not to use as a sounding board for our ups and downs. I know we are all human and we want our feelings known but I say just consider if it is helping or not and I am not judging well trying not to do that but just saying. ;)
     
  9. Paladin Michael

    Paladin Michael Bug Hunter

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    Watching threads for a long time, providing feedback also for a long time, I understand the feedback above.

    I saw so many people, full of euphoria ...
    And this is repeating ...
    Sometimes we are confused about behavior of others.

    Why is that? Our expectations are source of disappointment ...
    That's the whole truth about all the 'negative' threads (wherever): so many unfulfilled expectations.

    And for sure: great announcements in the past were part of awaking those expectations.

    From that view it is understandable, why the team is reserved with postings.
    Look, how often postings and answers were used to 'proof' something, in fact unfortunately often taken out of context.
    But, of course, former postings also led to those kind of expectations ...

    I recommend what I am doing, if I get the feeling of 'non-observance':
    I take a deep breath (may be more of them) and lean back ...
    Is it really necessary to receive confirmation?

    Not at all ...
    Take a smile. And only do things, you like to do. If the feeling of dissatisfaction appears: have a break!
    [sometimes it seems to be a good idea to stop postings or reading the forum too often ;)]
    Do something what you really like to do, without expecting confirmation, because it feels right to do :)

    If I would wait for confirmation for all given feedback and time I invested I wouldn't be here any longer, like so many people who were driven away by there expectations ...

    I think, there is a really important thing to keep in our mind (and of course in our heart):
    Those good people are humans - like all of us - not an automaton like good Gus ;)

    Besides:
    Yes, I also would appreciate to listen more often to Lord British (but I understand, he is just working very busy on book 2 and Episode 2!) because I am excited about.
    Yes², I also would like to see them working on quest overhaul yet (but understand, other things have to be done before).

    Yes³ :) (but understandable they keep on with providing new content, so the game grows in all directions ...)
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019
  10. Xee

    Xee Bug Hunter

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    Every month there is new stuff added to the store that is not just reskined / colored. Stuff that is discontinued and already existing that is not longer in the store depending on the item will possibly come back depending on the season as some are seasonal. Others are rare and discontinued which will not come back and must be bought from another player to get (like KS rewards, rare houses, and other old twitch stream items) that is part of the rewards for those that contribute. I do agree that the ep2 items are pricey Id love to have one but I am not able to myself at this time either. However that is not to say at some point I wont be able to afford such luxuries over time through the game via cotos and or trade deals with those with deeper pockets.

    As to EP2 vs current content and fixing I can tell you being here since 2015 I have killed almost everything that was and have almost everthing that is. short of some of the new stuff added each patch I am like many old players waiting on the next phase of the story to move forward so I can have my fresh cup of tea, where new players are still working their way through what We did the last 3 years.

    That said I know they will continue to keep fixing bugs and content in Ep1. they have been every patch. I know some bugs are pretty old but less priority. It does not mean it will never happen just means all in good time. I have not let all my broken journal stop me from continuing on in the game and look forward to what is always coming.

    Patience is a virtue , or at least should be :)
     
  11. Rufus D`Asperdi

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  12. Sentinel2

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    Besides revisiting some of my favorite scenes in the game, I find myself spending time helping new players through Novia. Occasionally I find a newbie in a 5 skull (or higher) scene I'm farming. I warn them how rough it will seem starting out and offer to escort them to a better hunting ground. Happens more than you would think :)

    Every game has bugs somewhere (*cough* Elysium Illumination *cough*). They are doing what they feel is best for the long run. And eventually things will work out. There is a lot of passion for the game. Looking forward to messing around with EP2. I figure the tech for the most part is already here. Should be mainly content being added along with more bugs fixing...
     
  13. Violet Ronso

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    I for one, would like stretch goals to actually shift from cosmetic rewards to a "vote with your money" on the more urgent features. Like synergy said, the store is starting to lack items to actually buy, because most of the effort nowadays is going towards features (great) or stretch goals, but not so much store items. I was actually amazed when the kobold and elven spears and shields hit the store, and I was so happy to buy those, and that made me spend more money than usual that month.

    If I could dump money towards having new combos, spells and skills, I would be way happier than to receive a set of pavers, as that is actually working towards making the game better, it is actually enticing me to spend.

    At this point I figured the spell would be removed from the game, like the control daemon spell! I can't imagine that the devs keep on putting the note in patch notes, and no one works on it.
     
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  14. the Lacedaemonian

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    I want so much for certain basic elements of combat, crafting, story, and a general sense of immersion into the world to just work by now. There are a lot of jagged edges to catch one's sleeve upon. I fear that the Agile Development system is becoming a bit of an albatross, with our beloved skeleton crew.

    (from Wikipedia)
    [Agile software development is an approach to software development under which requirements and solutions evolve through the collaborative effort of self-organizing and cross-functional teams and their customer(s)/end user(s).[1] It advocates adaptive planning, evolutionary development, early delivery, and continual improvement, and it encourages rapid and flexible response to change.[2]

    The term agile (sometimes written Agile)[3] was popularized, in this context, by the Manifesto for Agile Software Development.[4] The values and principles espoused in this manifesto were derived from and underpin a broad range of software development frameworks, including Scrum and Kanban.[5][6]

    There is significant anecdotal evidence that adopting Agile practices and values improves the agility of software professionals, teams and organizations; however, some empirical studies have found no scientific evidence.[7][8]]

    I love and support Shroud. I however cannot think that the staff we have can manage an Agile environment and still get things accomplished in a reasonable timeframe. My suggestion is to adapt the style to suit the team size.

    The team is too small to be able to get a suitable amount of user feedback and in a timely manner that ALSO fits with the development cycle. Which seems to filter out significant issues and kick them down the road as newer and more urgent issues become prioritized higher, continually.

    At least I'm not being rude, ya know, a lot of us out here sympathize.

    When the ground moves as you stand upon it, you can move with it, or fall into a crevasse.
     
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  15. Synergy Blaize

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    I mentioned in another post last week, that perhaps the new stretch goals, could be bringing forward some of the proposed additions, like changes to the UI, Quest Journal, Agriculture, Combat, Taming, Crafting....

    & adding items to the Store, from the Wishlist post that @Vas Corp Por started back in October. https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/f...o-wishlistssl-that-is-already-in-game.144471/ <These items are already ingame
    But I guess that will have to wait until they can increase the Dev Team again.

    These projects would entice me to spend more money in the future. Currently there is nothing left either me or Hubby want to buy... we have everything we currently want.

    I am really at the stage where all I can offer to support the games is continue the Monthly Rewards Program. & that's not really much of a contribution.
     
  16. the Lacedaemonian

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    Simple changes we can theoretically accomplish in a short time include: subtle tweaks to LFG to incentive established players to group with new or otherwise low level players (greater chance for useful crafting materials to drop as loot in such groups, or, simply more gold dropping if there group's average adventure level is lower, etc). The idea is to alter the reward cycle to move toward mutual gain when grouping with newbies and other, noncommitted players.

    The idea would be more improved by one experienced player hanging out and adventuring with at most 1-3 new players, experiencing an even share of loot and experience gain.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2019
  17. golruul

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    I'm absolutely sure the devs do a whole lot of listening and make changes based on it.

    I complained about a lot of things during my time here (but, more importantly, provided detailed reasoning regarding the complaints) and, surprisingly to me, most of the issues actually were addressed. Not right away, but eventually they were addressed. However, there was no "reply to Golruul in public forum" type of responses -- it was just eventually done and put in release notes.

    I'm not some VIP either -- I'm just a random player that chimes in every so often on topics.
     
  18. Floors

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    Synergy if money is burning a hole in your pocket, split a castle between you and your man. Could be a fun vacation meeting your heroes, contributing to design session and having the largest house in game for cost of vacation (or 2 vacations)

    :D

    (Otherwise maybe its a good thing to not have to buy stuffs in game for a bit)
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2019
  19. Rook Strife

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    Is it that they are not listening or just listening to the wrong people?

    Look at the Q1 schedule. It's full of responses to feedback.

    They appear to have identified there are combat issues but intend to improve them by introducing a new polearm or adding spell crit to dex :-/

    Our next scheduled improvements towards Crafting and economy will be.... back cloaks and fertilizer.

    Our group content consists of swapping to a build you don't really want to use and then sitting there half afk in UT hoping someone cracks a funny joke or has an interesting topic for discussion.
    They improved this by adding.... Mysterious Fire Swamp and Xen


    2 out of our next 3 releases are going to be utterly wasted on responses to feedback that will neither significantly improve the quality of the game nor help expand our playerbase which is what everyone wants.

    I think the concern is not about listening to feedback but deciding which feedback to act on.
     
  20. Alleine Dragonfyre

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    I'm just going to say the same thing I said in another thread but with emphasis on how people perceive the health of the game:

    Do the devs want players to feel like they're being listened to and as if they are interacting with them more?

    Mark the bugs being submitted in the forums as read and fix them. Do this retroactively at least 2-3 releases. Assign a dev to do this exclusively. It is a valuable, necessary and unavoidable thing, bugs, and they need to be tended to because of reasons on several levels.

    People take the time to enter bugs on the forums. Some do so tirelessly, like @Vladamir Begemot, that they don't remember if they've entered the same bugs more than once. If we see some activity for issues we see daily it won't be as frustrating. It will also go a long way into how we perceive the game being maintained.

    New players notice bugs the most. They either don't understand its a bug and get frustrated and quit or they see bugs and get worried about the future of the game. People who play MMOs know they're getting into a game they will play for years. Seeing bugs makes one worry for the future. I have bugged hair. I have bugged clothing. I even bugged the Extra Life cloak which lost its light source and ability to hold color correctly. The map to my city is broken and unusable and I've been told there is no fixing it in the foreseeable future! My bugs, like many others go unanswered, let alone unfixed and because they are attached to previous releases, they cannot be bumped. They just go to the bug bone yard never to be seen again.

    I cannot stress the importance of bug fixes enough. Some of the most popular games go months without new content, but their games run smooth as butter. I don't know how Port got themselves cornered into this promise to come up with new, new, new on the monthly when the existing needs so much more attention.

    That said, I will not be investing any more in the game except the monthly program (except for lights, probably, as I need them for my growing city) until what exists works in a reasonable fashion and the bugs I've submitted before are tended to.

    I love SoTA. All I want to see is it's longevity secured and the MMO community to find it as amazing as I do.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2019
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