Shroud's Status, Criticism, Healthy Debate, & the Future

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by DarkStarr, Jul 25, 2018.

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  1. DarkStarr

    DarkStarr Executive Producer Moderator SOTA Developer

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    Greetings Avatars,

    I've jumped in a couple of threads lately to express my thoughts. The threads were VERY different. One was highly critical, the other was highly loyal. What I want to point out to everyone is that both have their place here, both are welcome. Please do not try to chase away either one. Our only path forward is one in which we can unite our community, not one in which we divide ourselves into white knights and black knights. Remember that the people taking the time to critique the game are doing it because they want the game to be better and they care. Those of you defending the game please try to remember that in your debates with them. On the other hand those of you critiquing the game please try to remember that those defending the game love the game as much as you do!

    In all of these discussions try to remember that there is another human being on the other side of the screen. That human being bought our game and played it. They helped make all of this happen. They are part of all of this as much as you are. Also try to remember that we developers are human beings too. We are not perfect. We make errors, we don't communicate as clearly as we should sometimes, we don't set priorities as well as we should, we work hard, we sometimes cry in the shower, we dance in the game, we care very deeply about what we do, and we really do listen even if it seems like we are not sometimes.

    If sometimes it seems like we are not listening it is only because we are so overwhelmed with everything we have to do every day. I do not think we do a good enough job communicating how much we get done for such a small team. This game is the most complex game we have ever built. There are more features and more moving parts in this game than anything we have ever done. To do that with such a small team means everyone is doing multiple jobs and working to iterate on highly complex systems. On top of that we try to maintain a super high level of communication (even if it seems like we don't) with daily standups posts, weekly updates, release notes, quarterly schedules, weekly livestreams, monthly livestreams, etc and those all take a bunch of time to organize, write, produce, format, post, etc.
    • Were we INSANELY ambitious to build something this big with Offine/Online/Single Player/etc? Yes, definitely
    • Would things have been easier and more polished if we focused on just one of those like other games we are often compared to which only do one of those things (ex. Divinity Original Sin, Pillars of Eternity, etc.)? Yes, absolutely but we didn't want to do just one thing (single player OR multiplayer).
    • Did we build this game with only 1/10 to 1/20 of the budget of games we are often compared to (Witcher, ESO, Black Desert, Arch Age, etc.)? Yes
    • Could we do a better job about communicating? Of course
    • Could we have sacrificed other systems to overhaul / start over with the quest system before launch? Yes and that was probably a bad priority call in hindsight and for that we are sorry.
    • Are we sorry that some people feel misled by our communications? Yes, very sorry
    • Are we committed to making the game better every month? Yes
    At this point all of us have a choice. We can stay here and work together to make this better. Or we can choose to move on.

    If you do choose to stay and you are currently in a state where you are frustrated please try to get yourself to a place where you can understand that we make mistakes just like everyone but we are committed to correcting them. Please try to focus on the issues with the game and how we can fix those.

    In either case, whatever you decide, please know that we appreciate everything you have done for us.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 25, 2018
  2. Proteus Tempest

    Proteus Tempest Avatar

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    You guys are rock stars.
     
  3. Kaizen Strava

    Kaizen Strava Avatar

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    That rings like honest feedback from someone as fucked up as the rest of us.
    Assuming you guys are liquid enough to keep the lights on this one is worth sticking around for. It checks more of my MMO want boxes than any other game out there i have found recently.
     
  4. Parson Barr

    Parson Barr Avatar

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    Thanks, Darkstarr. See you at DragonCon and hope to buy you a drink.
     
  5. Bayard

    Bayard Avatar

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    Thanks for posting this as a separate post, it was too important to be buried in the other post and possibly never seen.

    Everyone's opinion has value, even if I don't agree with it.

    Most of the time, it's not WHAT is said, it's HOW it's said that grinds me.
     
  6. By Tor

    By Tor Avatar

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    Well said, @DarkStarr . Thank you for pointing out that most of the backers (myself included) who are sometimes critical still desperately want this game to be successful. I still financially invest in SotA and play daily. My and other's criticism come out of a place of love and passion for this endeavor that we all started together so many years ago. I am happy to see there are many people loving this game and am hopeful that at some point nearly all of us can enjoy it equally together.
     
  7. Jackrabbit

    Jackrabbit Avatar

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    Thanks @DarkStarr,

    I think that's the most honestly I've seen you acknowledge and address the state of the community and the issues still facing the game, and I am greatly further encouraged that we will be hugely successful in the end. I'm here for the long haul, willing to help and support the community, strengthening my patience and resolve, tempering my criticisms.

    Thank you especially for acknowledging that while we have different approaches, the community family as whole wants the game to succeed, and are all welcome here despite differences of opinion.

    It's been a tough job that not many understand in it's totality. It's not how your start, but how your finish. Keep going, we've got your back.

    aka
    Grumpy Krabnevir
     
  8. GreyMouser Skye

    GreyMouser Skye Avatar

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    For more clarity, can you tell us why you got moderated? Too much honesty? :p
    I appreciate your candor. I still want to have fun with this game... will keep waiting.
     
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  9. Brian4

    Brian4 Avatar

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    Hi 5 Portalarium
     
  10. Dereck Visaard

    Dereck Visaard Avatar

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    Well said, sir. Brought things right back to center. Even though I don’t usually get what I want personally (can’t please everyone all the time), I am consistently amazed each and every release how much the team delivers on a shoestring budget. Hats off to the team for continuing to amaze us all. And each release keeps me waiting to see what they can do next!

    /darkstarrsalute
     
  11. Fionwyn Wyldemane

    Fionwyn Wyldemane Avatar

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    Thank you @DarkStarr for all you do. Thank you for not only being a Dev, but a cheerleader for the game.

    It has been and continues to be a privilege to participate in this wild ride of agile development. I think THAT is where Portalarium was the most ambitious in gaming history: you allowed people from all over the world to come inside the gaming industry and help build a game. No gaming company does that, but you guys did! You not only acted as developers, but as mentors of the community. You have been there, shoulder-to-shoulder with all of us trying to teach us what kind of intestinal fortitude it takes to actually stay the course and build a game.

    It is too easy to second guess decisions. It is too easy to be an armchair quarterback, a side-seat driver and complain or question everything. It is too easy to focus on the things that might be lacking, rather that see the bigger picture of all the things we already have. I know I've done all of that at one time or another. GUILTY! :oops:

    However, I'd like to think that I learned the hard lesson of agile development and that lesson is - things can change. Get on board and prepare to shoot the rapids or get off and go do something else. I choose to stay and shoot the rapids. I will NEVER get an opportunity like this again in my lifetime...LOL. Working with you @DarkStarr and doing what I can to support SOTA has been a highlight of my life. Thank you for the unique opportunity to do so.
     
  12. Adrian (Kung Fu Master)

    Adrian (Kung Fu Master) Avatar

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    Regardless of what happened in the past, I stand tall with the SOTA team. You have my hoe.
     
  13. Stundorn

    Stundorn Avatar

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  14. MFWalter

    MFWalter Avatar

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    You guys have done an amazing job. I want to express that I am in awe of the work ya'll had done and I constantly encouraging people to try Shroud of the Avatar, defending Portalarium, and convincing people to be more patient. I know if you just read the forums it can be hard to see that. Some of us being critical of the game absolutely love it. I just wrote a rant, in another thread, about loot drops in which I am very critical, but that should not be seen as a lack of love for the game, the company making it, or {most importantly} the people.
     
  15. Grimbone

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    Bring on Ep. 2, 3, 4, 5...

    Huzzah!
     
  16. Stundorn

    Stundorn Avatar

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    I also argue a lot about RP ,caps, tree limitations like UO had and i know some players who dont play anymore because of this, because the Jack of all Trades stuff, pvp Balance, casual friendly progress or schedules for agriculture and what not.
    But i also like the game for it's Graphics and atmosphere, for emotes to RP with, Smoking pipes, books, music...
    I'm and was allways ready for compromises.
    Fix quests, reconsider some points that are made by players who left, but are still around because they criticise because of love and passion to the game.
    Just maybe some of their suggestions arent that bad.
    Think of compromises .
    What about a hard cap, tree limitations mode?
    Possible, because only some Serversettings?
    Oh i will post that in a wishlist request :p


    Have Fun - Stun
     
  17. Alleine Dragonfyre

    Alleine Dragonfyre Avatar

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  18. Spinok

    Spinok Avatar

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    Many of us forget that generally for the moment there is no competitors on the field of hardcore Us/Euro style sandbox mmorpg for Sota, now only Sota has developing world with working economy (more or less but its work), competitors have only promises generally or half-working systems with half less then Sota budgets... (CU, CoE and etc) You guys done amazing work, If I compare what was 2 years ago and now, when I think what could be in 2 years in future.... Its cool... Each release we are wait for next release...
     
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  19. Turok64

    Turok64 Avatar

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    Will it be possible to unban a few players from discord/forums?

    I just feel like the community really needs as many devoted players as they can get.
     
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  20. Leinad Laurelwreath

    Leinad Laurelwreath Avatar

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    First of all, thanks @DarkStarr for the time and sincerity in this post!

    Just a few comments, though

    1. Loyal and Critical are compatible, totally. This is the reason for A LOT of the mistakes in this project. And since it's still in your post, it seems that basic problem is still there, you need to fix that if you really want SOTA to succeed (as i know you do).
    2. This is the most important thing said by ort in a lot of time. I'd advice you to use this post, maybe some rewriting, and send it as an open letter to all backers out there who don't care or know about the forums. Also make some noise outside, webs, forums, etc. (marketing you said?)
    3. And last but not least, how do you want to 'fix' this when sadly all the story and quest writers are no more working in Portalarium? Recognizing mistakes is first step, this is the 2nd one. SotA needs a guy at the same level as you or @Chris to take care of this. Single player narrative, as you said, is NOT the only feature in this game but it needs to be a 1st class citizen as combat or decoration, for instance.
    Thanks for reading, see you out there!
     
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