Trolly / needy / complainy players

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Brass Knuckles, May 8, 2019.

  1. Brass Knuckles

    Brass Knuckles Avatar

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    @Chris mentioned that those people and I’m sure I’ve been classified in those category’s more than once have driven the games direction. Portal should always choose what’s best for the game and that includes profit over any of these things.

    If portal is making bad choices based on bad feedback then that behavior should cease, you are entrusted to make a great game that is around for decades do what ever is required to do that.

    Player feed back is important so I’m not suggesting you disregard that but take it and weight it against the equation what’s best for the game. Players can offer a different prospective that the devs might be missing. Take the taxable vendor with the pre tax set they originally had. Worst design choice ever but we as a player/dev team we fixed it because it ultimately was the right choice for the game.

    The assets convo early on was stemmed by the fact at the time most all assets were store bought assets. This is far far from the case now and it actually makes a lot of sense to get back into store bought assets. It’s the easiest and cheapest way to add new content.

    Game first by making a great game u’ll have a happy player base. You can’t make 100% people happy no matter what you do so don’t let that control you or lose any sleep over it.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
  2. Spoon

    Spoon Bug Brigade - Bug Hunter

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    Nah.
    Chris has it kinda backwards on this one.

    Always listen, never trust.​
    You should always listen to your users, however you should never trust them.

    Why?​
    For any and every choice over this projects development then there has always been players for and against every proposal.
    There has always been a wide variety of opinions, feedback and input for all sides.

    So for any given choice where Portalarium thinks that it has made "bad choices based on bad feedback" then I could easily point to players who had contrary opinions and where thus advocating against that specific choice.

    Hence it wasn't that the players comes with bad feedback, it is rather that Portalarium has made the wrong choice of who among the players to listen to.
    Which is an entirely different type of problem than the one presented by Chris in the livestream.

    Instead this stems from the Business Plan, if you have a good grip on who the stakeholders/markets are and what they want, and most importantly how to monetize that, then the choice of who becomes trivial.
    This since you as the company control the voice and the message to the audience and thus can create a filter of your stakeholders and customers.

    If you open something like a restaurant and market it, then depending on that marketing you will attract a specific crowd which you can cater to if you want. However given that marketing and that catering, nowhere can you complain that the crowd you attracted gives you the wrong feedback to attract a totally different crowd. It is like marketing an Indian restaurant and after catering to feedback on indian dishes, one complains that choices made based on the feedback on the dishes doesn't attract enough people wanting fast food burger menus.


    For instance what you present as:
    "The assets convo early on was stemmed by the fact at the time most all assets were store bought assets. This is far far from the case now and it actually makes a lot of sense to get back into store bought assets. It’s the easiest and cheapest way to add new content."
    is contradictory to this other statement you make:
    "what’s best for the game and that includes profit over any of these things"

    This since if the early marketing of product X was to an older, nostalgic audience with more disposable income than typical in the market - which you then cater for feedback on how to improve the product, then of course you will cause issues for yourself when you after some years with product X tries to switch market to a younger, mass market with less disposable income.

    Now the disconnect between early customers vs late customers and feedback etc is such a predictable issue that it is covered in lots of economic theories on product lifecycle management to the point that it is a trope to joke about:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    etc


    But the clincher of why it isn't exactly right to point vs bad players is that this issue and types of problems was known by the devs back in the early days 2014-2015. They even gave talks/lectures on this very topic. I will dig up some links later.

    *edit*
    Links:

    Starr Long Intel Buzz Presentation: Design Vision vs. Feedback: Developing in the Open
    https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/?p=54236
    https://www.slideshare.net/IntelSoftware/design-vision-vs-feedback-developing-in-the-open


    Richard & Starr on the Past, Present, and Future of Game Development
    https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/?p=50435
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2019
  3. Steevodeevo

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    Please.
     
  4. Mishikal

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    Or as I used to tell my management in my previous job, the customer is not always right (but they are not always wrong, either). As @Spoon rightfully notes, for every bit of feedback on these forums, there are *at least* two sides that generally end up being presented.

    I prefer to provide evidence where possible about a position when I take one. For example, I had a list of some 7+ reasons why destroying SPO was a bad idea. It was destroyed anyway, and now we have ongoing threads from new players about how the SPO replacement is problematic (for example, it made the starter scenes a nightmare to complete due to competition for quest items). On the other hand, we have more new players, which was the goal of a lot of changes, and it's possible that the SPO changes were a part of that (although those changes also caused several long term players to quit). However, as I noted at the time, there were other, better ways to achieve the same result w/o destroying SPO (Creating a mixed mode as the default, for example).

    I don't envy Port, as they have to figure out how to balance:

    a) Keeping revenue incoming, since the game is self funded (It seems that with the switch to the in-game cash shop, the amount being bought in a release cycle is dropping, given the very few stretch goal targets getting hit).

    b) Attracting new players who will play the game and help increase store sales (possibly indirectly via buying COTOs from player vendors, where those PV owners are buying COTOs from the store)

    c) Keeping existing players (Also difficult with little end game content and many scenes incomplete, crafting an utter mess, etc)

    There are aspects of the game I really enjoy, and many many aspects I don't enjoy, but I keep playing & contributing because I have a deep hope that they will get this all sorted eventually.

    I would also note that one should be very careful labeling any player as a troll/needy/complainy. There is at least one person on the forums I'd generally label as a troll (They never have anything positive to say or contribute in any meaningful way), but outside of that, I primarily see people trying to provide ways in which they feel the game could be improved, regardless of whether or not I agree with them. And that means they actually care about the game, which is a good thing.
     
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  5. Jack SinAssist

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    If the developers actually played the game, some of these things wouldn't be an issue. Systems are being designed in isolation by people who have never played the game. So they don't understand the actual mechanics. Every single one of the developers should be required to play the game without cheating. It is over a year since the game officially launched and the developers are going back over the starting scenes for the third time SINCE LAUNCH. Hello, fix existing systems first before working on new systems.
     
  6. oplek

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    I've fallen into that role (Edit: being negative, not being a troll) lately. I used to give productive feedback. I tried in particular to point at things I thought they were doing well, so there's some more contrast and clarity.

    I gave up.

    This... *gestures to the walls of this jail we call the forums* is the abyss. This is where we're collected together to fight among ourselves, and stay out of their hair. It's our bubble, while they toil away in theirs.
     
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  7. redfish

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    I also think pleasing customers is not always as straightforward as giving them what they're asking for.

    Just in this case, if you've been around the forums enough, I think you know sometimes that what people say is the problem and what actually is the problem can be two different things. This can happen for a lot of reasons. Players will sometimes will be armchair designers and have preferred solutions to problems that exist; which is okay, since I think those discussions can be good things, but sometimes its not expressed that way and the lack of a certain solution is presented as the problem. Players will also sometimes do forum politics and frame complaints based on what they think will get attention or be effective. I've noticed a lot of times that people will not say what they really want because they think asking for a different thing would easier to get.

    Here's an expression: people don't know what they want.

    Steve Jobs: “Some people say, ‘Give customers what they want.’ But that’s not my approach. Our job is to figure out what they’re going to want before they do. I think Henry Ford once said, ‘If I’d asked customers what they wanted, they would have told me, “A faster horse!”‘ People don’t know what they want until you show it to them. That’s why I never rely on market research. Our task is to read things that are not yet on the page.”

    Also: “On the day he unveiled the Macintosh, a reporter from Popular Science asked Jobs what type of market research he had done. Jobs responded by scoffing, ‘Did Alexander Graham Bell do any market research before he invented the phone?’”

    Ultimately, its not the job of marketing departments to make the product, its their job to sell the product. And imo, a good product sells itself.
     
  8. Brass Knuckles

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    This is a very real situation we have here.
     
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  9. Lord Tachys al`Fahn

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    So have I... so have I.

    And that's the saddest part of it... He (I won't say "they" any more) sits in his streaming bubble, shouting to the video watching internet, when that only hits maybe a quarter of their audience. While those that contributed and pledged sit in here wondering where the feedback is, because we don't have time to sit and watch videos... you know, day job and all that...
     
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  10. Mishikal

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    Yep. I've brought this up before, but it is critical that they dogfood their product. It is clear that overall they do not. The stream where Chris gave up making teleport scrolls and spent most the time complaining and swearing (and never got past making wood pulp) was a perfect illustration of how the developers do not know/understand the mechanics of this game or how it impacts players. This led to the changes to wood pulp, which as I noted in a post-release thread, missed the forest for the tree (Pun somewhat intended). The dev response in that thread just further (and unfortunately) indicated that they still don't understand the root problems of the crafting system they've created.
     
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  11. Lord Tachys al`Fahn

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    True, and when you add the pain of ridiculously arbitrary and useless time sink-based restrictions to the agony of needing to spend thousands of hours gaining the materials (whether through actual farming of the materials themselves or the gold to buy them) and compound it with the acid-in-an-open-wound slap in the face of them not understanding HOW to create a player market... well. Yeah...
     
  12. Geaux

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    Do camels have fleas? Or do the fleas have themselves a dang nice camel?

    The fleas(that's us players) need a FANTASTICAL POLL!!!

    It should be one of those "Let's form a circle, turn to your right, and pat the person in front of you on the back"...moments.

    Please consider in all of these marketing mailings, to do a poll of the players. asking what options to choose, what to work on, whether the coffee cups should be powder blue or buffalo brown... You may not care, but believe me, somebody does...let them decide...

    It provides direction, it provides innovation, it works... You guys (our Camel, the TEAM made up of Visionaries, Devs, your families, along with your egos), need to understand that focus on "what's next" really needs to come from the fleas (all of the fleas, the new, the old, the loud, and the silent as well). You need to incentivize the spots right off a moderately sized Dalmatian to create and encourage poll participation... Your egos get in the way of objectivity. My ego gets in the way of my objectivity, but I am aware of it, and try to play Ghandi every now and then... "There they go, I must hasten after them, for I am their leader..." Be the kind of enabling leaders that inspire innovation and action, so much so that it's challenging to keep up with those you lead...

    PUBLISH the results...

    REWARD "awesomeness"... Bear Bryant once said, if the boy can do it, it ain't braggin... You have some remarkable fleas that will likely take the time to participate if the conduit exists, they actually believe you are in fact listening; and objective enough to act.. Some of us may actually participate on project teams, etc.

    Read David Marquet's book, Turn the Ship Around, and let it guide your corporate culture, have him join you at your annual meeting for some team enabling activities...

     
  13. Barugon

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    I view it more as an infestation.
     
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  14. oplek

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    I'm not opposed to them doing more surveys. I think the last time they did that was a couple weeks before launch. The forums can be a little... chaotic.
     
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  15. HoustonDragon

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    My issue (which Richard and Starr both admitted several times) is that the introduction is clunky and non-intuitive for newer players, and as soon as folks get into the "actual" game, the UI and controls are pretty freaking wonky. That's not to say they can't fix/tune/adjust/whatever them, but that requires FIRST to acknowledge the problem, and then spend the actual time CORRECTING. There's too much "DO EVERYTHING NOW!" and not enough actual direction, imo. Focus on what's actually broken and needs immediate fixes, and then work on the timeline to address the other problems.

    One of the biggest gripes, personally, is that frankly, they don't seem able or willing to sell their damn game. It's a problem that as a long time Ultima fan that I've had, and some of the glaring reasons why trying to get new players interested and involved is such a Sisyphean task. There are PLENTY of social aspects to the game (the player hot-tub parties are an example), but few and far between on ACTUAL game activities and events to market. Stuff like the still incomplete lore and storyline (which without Lum, I find questionable will ever be done) still screams of an unpolished release, which in the MMO marketplace is downright deadly. There's HUGE amounts of nostalgia and interest that was there to be mined and drawn, but instead of working on that, it's been the quick buck of the RMT market, and be damned player retention.

    I also know with the Travian Games fiasco, the marketing monies either went poof or were never actually used for what was intended. This game -WILL- close without getting new backers and steady funding; that is not haterade or doomsaying wanting them to fail, it's the simple black and white truth of mathematics. The fact they have laid off most of the staff and are no longer in their offices is not the sign of financial stability, and the more they stuff the collective heads in the sand to ignore it, the less productive the deck chair shuffling becomes. They need to entice new players and KEEP them playing, so the game continues to be successful and remains for those who love and enjoy it.

    None of this is new information. None of this hasn't been discussed a bajillion times over the course of the last several years leading up to and including both persistence, and once the game formally "launched" for Episode 1. I would personally like to see an Episode 2 through 5, but that's never going to happen unless some serious changes to the steering of this ship takes place.

    Otherwise, we'll be discussing Shroud right along with Lineage 2 and Tabula Rasa down the road.
     
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  16. Time Lord

    Time Lord Avatar

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    [​IMG]

    If people can find it o_O

    Also... Allot of our better content takes time to get to which doesn't appeal as well in a consumer world in need of immediate gratification from the time of downloading of the product. Our lead in or welcome mat is "adequate" but not stunningly gratifying. It's my view that our welcome mat and entry into the game does not (yet) provide enough gas in the tank necessary to carry the player into better content without being a bit drained just before getting to that better stunning content we have. Highvale isn't the battle it should be. It does not present a fortification being "over run". It's not exciting, there's not enough killing to be done or had. The elves need to be X15 more plentiful and 2/3rds-4/5ths more weak than they are. Our new players should be first met by a hoard over running the fort as soon as they open the first gate. "They should see hell at it's first opening", with many extremely weak NPC defenders dying as they become over run, and they should all be telling our new player to get their ass to Resolute as fast as possible. As it stands now, our welcome mat s#x and that's if "by miracle" that new potential players even know that our game exists.


    Knowing the extent in the core of our development teams experience through my many decades as a player with them, I think this view is mistaken.

    (Never to brag and only to point, as I am now only a very non-tech savvy old fool)... From UO Beta as PopeBarneyRubble to the opening of Siege Perilous helping to plant the very first house there, leader of "The Fellowship" with M'Liege Lord Thunderlips, first war guild of Siege Perilous to the present day, I having had the privilege of playing beside them, I have forever been in their baggage :D )

    My point here is that comments must come from players and not developers who play. They do and have played, but their eyes are not going to always see what your "normal player" eye's see nor what any "new eyes-new player" sees from their perspective. Most dissatisfaction of our game is it's population problem, which also is the plaguing problem of most games within our genre. Many mmo gaming titles are having the same problem because there's so many mmo gaming titles out there. More people make more things exciting.

    [​IMG]
    I took a good look at allot of mmo games out there while I was gone and the comments here within our game which seem negative can easily be found on many other game's forums.
    :rolleyes: But I'm not exactly saying you're wrong, I'm just saying that developer's eyes and old player's eyes are not "new eyes", and new eyes I see as best, followed by the normal player, the old player and the developer player.

    I don't think we're dazzling our new player's eyes o_O which is my main comment here and what's needed for the rest of all of what's wrong here to become more right, because it's never going to be perfect, because nothing, no game ever is an "end all be all".

    [​IMG]
    If every player of our game doesn't always want to start a new character, then our game becomes top heavy with grumpy old discontent players looking for the next thing to dazzle them in order to stay.

    We need to improve our welcome mat with dazzle, need to get more noticed once we have dazzled it, monetize what is dazzling and just like in real estate when they always say "location, location, location", we need to "dazzle, dazzle, dazzle". As in the movies, if the audience isn't captured through fascination within it's first 20 minutes, then it's a box office bomb no matter what the rest of the film's content thereafter. If the first of a movie is good, then they'll stay seated till the end and want to watch again :)~TL~

    I couldn't have said it better myself ~HD~:)
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
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  17. Brass Knuckles

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    Well the only person I labeled as such (kinda) was me and only from a perception stand point.

    Now I think on it I might be offended.... at me.

    No one is discounting their lengthy expienrence, even they will admit they don’t actually play much. I feel a deeper understanding comes from actually playing the game. You @Time Lord have been away a long time there are many recent events comments and actions that show there is some gap in knowledge “from a players perspective anyways. Even in the last couple streams Chris says they don’t play much so this isn’t breaking news.

    Is game play required to make a game well prob not but it does help ALOT
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
  18. Time Lord

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  19. Brass Knuckles

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    Who did I so label as such??
     
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  20. redfish

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    Yea, its not literal, of course. :D Its like if I said "A good story writes itself," you still have to do the writing, but it comes easy. In this case, you'd still have to do the selling, but it should come easy.

    But my broader perspective on this is marketing depts often ruin products because they get into the business of designing the products rather than selling them. I've seen it happen a lot.

    Oh sure. I'd steer away from terms like "instant gratification" because I think storytelling less about giving players what they want and more about having players want more. I made some points in the other thread about the need for immersion in storytelling, and storytelling is also important in introducing players to the game and different aspects of game mechanics, instead of telling players what to do through loading screen hints or in-game instructions. You want a story to be more about showing than telling. But you do want to engage people in any case.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2019