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  1. #1
    Community Member khamastus's Avatar
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    Default Seems to be a disconnect in communication

    One thing I've noticed over my short time playing DDO is that the Dev/Mod interaction with the players has been well meaning but generally pretty lacking.
    Is the issue manpower? That'd be my guess. That would be a problem I could see a company not wanting to admit.

    There are plenty of examples of other game companies with a much stronger and healthier impact with their player community.
    The most recent game I've played that stands out to me is SOE with Planetside 2. Sure every game has their share of whining and butthattery but theres a clear message of game direction and a fairly strong emphasis on their part to let players in on the details.
    Being aloof and generally mysterious isnt the industry standard. Is it?
    (this is definitely not a bash turbine thread, this is posted out of a love for the game)

    Your thoughts?
    Quote Originally Posted by teh_meh View Post
    1337 x Pi = 80081E5

  2. #2
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    The 'disconnect' stems, from what I've read here in the forums, back to early AC. I won't try to recount the tale, but maybe someone who remembers it will.

    At any rate, since then Turbine has evidently stepped back from it's fans a bit.

    It seems to me that Turbine nowadays like to keep secrets wants to cook up their own ideas and surprize the players. Unfortunately, what they do doesn't always jibe with what the players want.

  3. #3

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    As with all things, Turbine does have their heart in the right place, but they just don't compare to many other game companies as far as communication and PR in general are concerned. As an example, I noticed on another game forum recently one of the main topics on the front page was a post by the dev team explaining the necessity of a new upcoming class nerf. My jaw nearly hit the floor. Not only are nerfs rarely discussed at all in DDO, but we typically have to find them ourselves and start a rage thread just to get a dev to chime in and even then, the nerf is never actually explained with any details other than this is how it is, deal with it.

    Now the Turbine excuse has always been that whenever they try to communicate more openly, we bash them. My response is, whenever you hide your head in the sand, you will get bashed 10x more. It's a poor excuse for not communicating more. I'm sure they have a good excuse, which is probably related to manpower, but it doesn't change the fact that more open communication would be an amazing addition to this game. The core of the game is the best thing I've ever played, but the lines of communication and negative PR are by far the worst. For now, the great gameplay and community are keeping me here and that's enough, but open communication would make me a much happier player.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by redspecter23-A View Post
    As with all things, Turbine does have their heart in the right place, but they just don't compare to many other game companies as far as communication and PR in general are concerned. As an example, I noticed on another game forum recently one of the main topics on the front page was a post by the dev team explaining the necessity of a new upcoming class nerf. My jaw nearly hit the floor. Not only are nerfs rarely discussed at all in DDO, but we typically have to find them ourselves and start a rage thread just to get a dev to chime in and even then, the nerf is never actually explained with any details other than this is how it is, deal with it.

    Now the Turbine excuse has always been that whenever they try to communicate more openly, we bash them. My response is, whenever you hide your head in the sand, you will get bashed 10x more. It's a poor excuse for not communicating more. I'm sure they have a good excuse, which is probably related to manpower, but it doesn't change the fact that more open communication would be an amazing addition to this game. The core of the game is the best thing I've ever played, but the lines of communication and negative PR are by far the worst. For now, the great gameplay and community are keeping me here and that's enough, but open communication would make me a much happier player.
    I don't buy the lack of manpower excuse. Any company as big as Turbine should know and does know that communicating and keeping their fans happy is a #1 priority, it's definitely a management problem. Somebody in Turbine that's making the communication decisions doesn't know what they are doing. I would have liked to see a bigger response to the recent account issues. A lot of people have issues with the recent enhancements, unless I've missed it I haven't seen much of a response at all to all of the players' feedback.

    I work in business and the things Turbine does and doesn't do is just mind boggling and doesn't make any sense. For example...why in the world did they decide to spend tons of dev hours redoing the forums? Was that really needed? What was wrong with the old forums? The formatting is absolutely awful, do they even care about the quality of the website? The class forums are white on white are you kidding me?!? Did anyone even look at the forums before they went live?

    Why haven't they fixed basic gameplay bugs that have literally been in the game for YEARS? I was playing my cleric today and has radiant servant ever worked 100% correctly? Turbine letting stuff like that sit for years just blows my mind, there's no excuse.

    I hate to bash Turbine because I think overall they've done a marvelous job of creating a wonderful game but they've made way too many mistakes along the way. I love this game and will continue to stick around most likely but it's getting harder and harder and my interest in DDO keeps waning.

  5. #5
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    Turbines communication issues are many and varried.

    They rubber stamp things, most recently during a down time, where the log-in screen announcement was the usual "release notes will be made available during the down time" yet when there were no notes, it took much wailing & gnashing of teeth before we got a cryptic "it was to enable something we'll talk about later in the week."

    There was the announced enhancement pass that was to be included in the MotU expansion/update, that got put off first for a while and then indefinitely.

    Anyone else remember the dev statement regarding forum population % vs total players, that was later recanted?

    How about "In the interest of security, we recommend your forum log in be unique from your game log in." No explanation offered about why it's now a good idea to have them the same.

    That's just a few quick examples. Their communication with us has been lack luster for as long as I've played the game, which is since Febuary '09. We "bash" them over issues like releasing pre-paid for content with a "this quest is currently broken" disclaimer, and they get their feelings hurt. Boo-hoo. At least if I buy a game at the store, and when I open it some pieces are broken, I can take it back for a new one. In this environment, the only thing we can do is complain. There are no refunds or replacements.

    And I don't buy the "man power" notion one bit. They've demonstrated they have the man power to monitor the forums; moving threads from one location to a more appropriate one. They've locked/cubes threads/posts where bullying and harassment occur (not defending those actions, just saying they're obviously watching). When thay have occasionally responded to a call for information, it's as likely to be cryptic & frustrating as it is to be usefully informative.

    So yes, there is a disconnect, and it's on their end. They keep the line open, listening to what's said, but they have the mute button turned on by default and seem to take anything we say regarding wants, needs, likes & dislikes to be as disposable and valueless as a used tissue.
    Now excuse me while I wander off to arm myself with Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and hunker down behind my Armored Beer Refrigerator, while I have the UFO's take control of the Congresional Wives with the help of the International Cocaine Smugglers and the Evil Geniuses for a Better Tomorrow

  6. #6
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    Default Petulant.

    Petulant is what it is, like a kid that you had to tell them why what they are doing is bad.

    Take for example: https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthrea...n-for-Cordovan

    In this thread, I asked a question that a normal reasoning person could expect a simple yes, no, or not at this time answer. What is wrong with telling us whether or not they can/do/will monitor neg rep given even while all reputation is set to neutral? Does clicking pos/neg on the rep and it only giving neutral rep change the fact that it IS still pos/neg rep?

    There was a time when we all hailed MajMalphunktion was hailed and loved on these here forums, specifically because he would communicate. Same for MadFloyd, he PROMISED better communication in the 'Let's talk' threads he started, and well, we see where that went.

    Players are treated as if they have no idea what they would like in the game, and frankly, my PERSONAL opinion is the problem is Fernando and Kate. Yes, I said it. My opinion of late, and it is JUST my opinion, is that Fernando is more concerned with making the game his own personal vision of what the game should be, rather than what the players/developers would like it to be. I also feel, that as the head of the management team, Executive Producer, all fault of communication lies with him.

    Fernando has flagrantly lied to the players so many times (where in the hell are the quality of life bug fixes you promised over a year ago Fernando?) that whenever I see a post from him, my first thought is "what drivel is this d***** B*g spouting from his fingers now"

    Frankly, I have started emailing WB corporate office every Monday with what is happening to the game, and the dropping of the player populations. I strongly feel that the people that actually own this company are being fed with the same lies from the upper management that are being fed to the players.

    The stat of the game is ****. I have friends on my friends list that have not logged in for over a year that I have seen (granted I am not on everyday anymore myself cause I am sick of the **** myself).

    Before nailing this issue of communication down on the Devs, remember, somebody has to tell them not to post anymore, I HIGHLY doubt that MajMalphunktion would get so butthurt he would stop posting unless ordered to do so. Most especially after MajMal made it clear to us when he took over Q&A he was used to nerd raging gamer geeks, and that his skin was thick. What was his sig? The guy that has to put up with the nerd raging gamers? And he put that in his siggy with pride as well.

    Fernando, get the flick out. Go away. You are ruining the game I love. I love it too pal, you are not the only one. Why don't you just get lost and let someone with actual talent start making some decisions for awhile.

    ** disclaimer** the words I have typed in this post in no way reflect the opinion(s) of any forum user on ddo.com forums other than my own. I feel very strongly about these opinions, and they are JUST opinions, they are not based on any facts spoken or insinuated, but rather on reading the lies posted by the Executive Producer, and the promises made by the same that have NEVER materialized as told to the players (Cannith Crafting?). I further have the utmost respect for the developers of this game, but I have NONE for the Executive Producer, he is at the root of all decisions, and they have all been poor ones for 3 years now.
    Quote Originally Posted by Codog View Post
    [*]Small evolutionary change that can be completed in shorter stretches of time is more readily achieveable for us than large _revolutionary_ change. Revolutionary change can be rather destabilizing from an engineering and balance perspective.

  7. #7
    Community Member khamastus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by forummuleonly View Post
    Before nailing this issue of communication down on the Devs, remember, somebody has to tell them not to post anymore, I HIGHLY doubt that MajMalphunktion would get so butthurt he would stop posting unless ordered to do so. Most especially after MajMal made it clear to us when he took over Q&A he was used to nerd raging gamer geeks, and that his skin was thick. What was his sig? The guy that has to put up with the nerd raging gamers? And he put that in his siggy with pride as well.
    All names aside, the higher ups have to answer to the higher ups. The higher you go, the thinner the rope you get to walk on. We have no idea what kind of rope fernando (cue pic) gets to walk on.
    So far, seems like the ppl are figuring management is the issue? So, would that be WB?
    As far as not believing that manpower is the issue, I wouldnt throw that out the window, it would take a genuine buttload of ppl to organize, maintain and execute a vision/atmosphere with the player base, I'd imagine. A genuine buttload.
    Last edited by khamastus; 05-08-2013 at 12:49 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by teh_meh View Post
    1337 x Pi = 80081E5

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by khamastus View Post
    All names aside, the higher ups have to answer to the higher ups. The higher you go, the thinner the rope you get to walk on. We have no idea what kind of rope fernando (cue pic) gets to walk on.
    So far, seems like the ppl are figuring management is the issue? So, would that be WB?
    As far as not believing that manpower is the issue, I wouldnt throw that out the window, it would take a genuine buttload of ppl to organize, maintain and execute a vision/atmosphere with the player base, I'd imagine. A genuine buttload.

    Heres to hoping they can afford a genuine buttload.
    I think anyone suggesting something along the lines of "someone in management decided to (re)squelch dev/QA/CS (customer service) interaction with players on the forums is probably the closest to the "reason" that interaction is currently (and, honestly, always has been - I started playing this game as soon as they let any non-employee touch it, for a time frame reference) lacking. They kinda got better about keeping the communication channels open for a bit, but in the last month or three - not so much. Now, granted, they've been busy on all fronts with infrastructure changes, which are ALWAYS time-expensive as well as taxing on a user base. The migration to a new billing system, which then rolled into a forced forum software upgrade, that I'm sure nobody wanted, while simultaneously finalizing and releasing a new epic level quest area takes it's toll on your available resources. And that's understandable, but Turbine's always been ***** at community outreach so right now, because of all the increased load, what little they ever did is basically sidelined.

    Many of the untold amount of freakout threads about the forum upgrade, for example, could have been squelched or at least mitigated if one Turbine employee at least explained *** was going on and stickied that post to the top. But there was nothing at all except "hey this is happenin, deal with it", which is just kinda askin for the "sky-is-falling" crowd to lose their minds. As they did. Unnecessarily.

  9. #9
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    Is it a lack of communication or apathy? I would say it's apathy at least partially.

    It's not that they aren't reading, they simply don't care unless it hurts revenues. And since it's very hard to tie revenue to specific bugs, issues, problems they are unable to connect the dots.

    I will say this. I've worked with several people that were apathetic in general about their work and their customers. I suspect it's much easier to get through the work day when you just don't care. Based on responses I am positive that Cordovan cares. However, he/she doesn't really make all the decisions nor can he/she likely code anything. So there is no need to shoot the messenger. He/she will get reprimanded by management for saying anything that puts Turbine in a bad light and/or giving out too much information.

    The devs are just as prone to selective reading as the rest of us. It's very easy to focus on the positive comments and discount the negative comments as trolling or people that are impossible to please.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheNewSlarden View Post
    Based on responses I am positive that Cordovan cares. However, he/she doesn't really make all the decisions nor can he/she likely code anything. So there is no need to shoot the messenger. He/she will get reprimanded by management for saying anything that puts Turbine in a bad light and/or giving out too much information.

    The devs are just as prone to selective reading as the rest of us. It's very easy to focus on the positive comments and discount the negative comments as trolling or people that are impossible to please.
    As a single example, I will choose my most recent favorite reason to rattle my saber. The account merger. As soon as we found out about it, threads came out one after another, all with the same essential premise: "We need to understand why you are changing your policy regarding forum security. We don't feel safe with what you are doing. Please explain."
    If Cordovan really cared (I'm just using you as an example as you're named in the quoted post) he would've taken these concerns to the weekly meeting (surely they have these?) and or relayed the concerns to the appropriate Turbine parties involved and said "what can I tell these guys?" So either the caring isn't there after all, or he did this and was told from above "nothing."

    We know for a fact the forums are monitored. So regardless of who it is, someone is responsible for the decision to maintain silence. This goes for many issues beyond the account merger. Now don't get me wrong, if it were just a matter of "hey, I'm the only one doing this so I can't answer every thread" I could be understanding about that, but this is not the case. Instead we get no answers to most requests for information. We don't even get as little as some nearly free (Turbine cost wise) social media intern offering scripted responses.

    No, instead if we post about exploits we get immediat action on their part. If we engage in bullying or herrasment we get immediat action on their part. If we post lama discusions in the general section we get fairly quick "thread moved" action.

    If we call out our concerns, ask for clarity or seek understanding of a decision... We get silence. Don't believe it? Go start a thread asking for some sort of info... Give it a few days, maybe even a week keeping the thread bumped and visable on page one. And when (not if) you don't get an official response, *start dropping f-bombs as you describe what inappropriate actions you would like to perpetrate upon a Turbine employees family member.* I garauntee you'll see an instant response. So it's not that they can't interact with us, it's that they won't.

    *please do not take this as an actual suggested course of action. It was for illustration purposes only*
    Now excuse me while I wander off to arm myself with Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and hunker down behind my Armored Beer Refrigerator, while I have the UFO's take control of the Congresional Wives with the help of the International Cocaine Smugglers and the Evil Geniuses for a Better Tomorrow

  11. #11
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    There are many factors and we can place the blame in many areas.

    Tolero and Cordovan on the other hand need to interact with the community (hence the job title of Community Specialist), they need to get answers to peoples questions and even when they really can't give an answer, a simple "hey we are still looking into this" answer usually is good enough for most of us, it simply lets us (the players) know they haven't forgotten.

    I'll also but a ton of blame on Glin and Fernando. These guys are essentially in charge of the game. Yes they have to work in the wishes of those above them, but these two guys get the most say in what directions the game goes. Neither ever interact with players, other than through a well crafted and generic letter each February. When things don't go well, they should be here on the forums saying "Hey this didn't work the way wanted or thought it would! Sorry, we will learn from this!", when what we get is silence and then Turbine repeating the same mistakes they made before.
    " All lives end. All hearts are broken. Caring is not an advantage." -Sherlock

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