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2 minutes ago, Hethwill said:

Okay, time for game design communication tale of wonder.

I must thank a friend of mine for telling this tale about how communication works sometimes, in surprising ways.

Lets just say the game is called OurFirstGame, OFG.

So, developers of OFG setup a open world, that can be explored by the players, but there's storylines and whatever. So the players can do their own planning and advance accordingly while exploring the world. I'd say it is a sandbox on rails.

Devs of OFG design one of the regions of the map to have a LOT of enemies. Really challenging.

Next day players come to the Communication center and start crying and screaming and accusing devs of many things. You know, the typical "You guys are drunk!" type of thing.

Obviously the development team sits down and starts going over ALL the feedback that makes sense.

This means players were displeased with the result... but... would it be a developer issue or player issue ? Was the message not clear enough ? How to solve the 'crisis' ?

So OFG designers found the problem was not the players, was their own design. Was not clear enough.

Their solution ? They tripled the amount of enemies in that region.

...

You know why ?

Think a bit about 'game design' itself and NOT how to solve a player problem ( or appeasement of cry babies ) and how ACTUALLY increasing the amount of enemies to the triple solved that one BIG problem.

-

Communication worked perfectly. The developers understood the problem reported by the players and SOLVED it in the light of the design of OFG.

-

So why ? WHY make it even more difficult if that was the main concern of the players !?

...

( answer is fairly simply and the game was a big score btw, but those that can guess what it is doesn't matter, is not about that game, is about communication and design decisions )

DLC ships bypassing crafting is a design flaw. Why is a 1st rate dlc a major issue and a 6th rate dlc not? People know the flaws but since they were only small ships almost noone cared. There is a design flaw when we are having an argument about if DLC ships should be allowed to join port battles. There is a design flaw if some 5th rates were "downgraded" to shallow water ships because of the effects of the DLC ships. If the game needs to be altered in order for the DLC ships to work there is something wrong. The people complaining about the 4th rates being DLC is not something to be taken lightly. They are making stupid arguments since it is completely irrelevant what admin says or even thinks. The core issue is not that admin said there will be no DLC 4th rates, 3rd rates or steamships. It doesn't matter. The issue is the effect those DLC ships will have on the open sea and in RVR. 

Rule 1 of Worldbuilding is NEVER add something that breaks the rules of the fictional universe. This is why deus ex machinas are hated so much. This is why the midichlorians are hated in star wars. George Lucas created a world and even he as an the creator cannot break those rules that have been established. DLC ships broke the rules of the sandbox and that is why they are hated so much. I cannot accept that I am wrong either because what I say is logical. 

BTW there are no real rules of worldbuilding but I think you get the point :) 

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thx to all the people that go boom everytime theres a dev post. by now we all know the game will never be good enough for those people. i just wish they would finally go away. they are a source of fru

It’s just a shame some people never learned the difference between: “Hey Admin, I don’t like “X” mechanic. Here’s why.....” and: ”This game is trash. I can code better than these clowns

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2 hours ago, Louis Garneray said:

That's almost a fairy tale :D 

 

It is real.

Devs decided that players had to understand that area was not like the others.

So the concern of - too many enemies - was void but valid in a game design POV.

So they increased the amount of enemies so the Players understand and prepare for a combat heavy area instead of expecting just another area.

It worked.

Game was Borderlands by the way.

So, Hachi, i'm sorry that it worked as the devs envisioned. Pretty sure it didn't work for all, but it worked. Players understood the design and started playing it accordingly.

NA is no different regarding that player - designer communication.

And the designers find ways, not fix whiners issues.

That's the entire end of the story.

:)

In any case, old filmmaking adage, that goes something like "If people are complaining about the music, there's something wrong with the lights"

So don't expect game design to be what you see or expect as player.

Hence don't be hostile to the point of ceasing communication and hating the game.

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I'm not sure about all the politics in this thread, lol, but if the devs keep announcing things in the Steam announcement pages that would be the best anyway since they are read more universally.  And there's no replying there (locked out) so there's no arguments in that section.  Good for all involved IMO.

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18 hours ago, manuva85 said:

Free speech is public right not a private one. When on your own private land you can be as non pc as you want. It isnt about free speech though, It is about costumer relations , this is where devs got problem. No one can change their behaviour but them. The ones who will be losing finansicly on it is them though. And i doubt if fighting negative reviews will help you, internet is waaaay to big to censorship it.

Pc is not law. I am not pc in public and no one cares. 

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7 hours ago, Louis Garneray said:

I think what you are referring to started after Admin permabanned players not the other way around.

I am talking about communication between players and game designers.

- you report game experience - designers approach the issue in a designers point of view and NOT on your point of view.

That's the morale of the story.

Leave your moderation concerns out of my way. I don't care about them if you follow the rules.

 

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9 hours ago, Hethwill said:

It is real.

Devs decided that players had to understand that area was not like the others.

So the concern of - too many enemies - was void but valid in a game design POV.

So they increased the amount of enemies so the Players understand and prepare for a combat heavy area instead of expecting just another area.

It worked.

Game was Borderlands by the way.

So, Hachi, i'm sorry that it worked as the devs envisioned. Pretty sure it didn't work for all, but it worked. Players understood the design and started playing it accordingly.

NA is no different regarding that player - designer communication.

And the designers find ways, not fix whiners issues.

That's the entire end of the story.

:)

In any case, old filmmaking adage, that goes something like "If people are complaining about the music, there's something wrong with the lights"

So don't expect game design to be what you see or expect as player.

Hence don't be hostile to the point of ceasing communication and hating the game.

What worked for the devs is a concept that makes them more money. From a business perspective its smart. It's also not violating anything. I'm just breaking down your argument that says it's good game design. Gta online makes Rockstar games billions in micro transaction. That doesn't mean it's good game design or consumer friendly. Game design is a combination of different game mechanics. I have told you why dlc is broken. I am simply saying you are wrong about your game design points. I am very aware the devs would make less profit with crafted dlc but it is without a doubt better game design. 

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5 minutes ago, HachiRoku said:

What worked for the devs is a concept that makes them more money. From a business perspective its smart. It's also not violating anything. I'm just breaking down your argument that says it's good game design. Gta online makes Rockstar games billions in micro transaction. That doesn't mean it's good game design or consumer friendly. Game design is a combination of different game mechanics. I have told you why dlc is broken. I am simply saying you are wrong about your game design points. I am very aware the devs would make less profit with crafted dlc but it is without a doubt better game design. 

??????????

I'm talking about communication 1on1 between a player and a game designer.

If you read what i wrote, the design decision to solve the problem may not be what the player wants but that doesn't mean is not successful game design and that it proves right in the end.

Not talking specifically about any aspect of NA at all. We have boards dedicated to the different mechanics.

This thread is about Communication. Mostly theorycraft and how to improve it, both ways.

In the case of the example i put up, the thing would be, from devs patch note:

- "Region Death had a increase of enemies (design solution for the problem presented by the community). They are now triple numbers and five times more patrols. Players are advised to prepare for continuous firefights in the area."

Simple. Clear. And without any margin of doubt. Take it of leave it, that's what the designers wanted for that specific game portion; and no amount of whining would change the fact that the guys making the game wanted that area to be really really dangerous and player must prepare.

Regarding NA...

Try to hear the noise of the lights. Sometimes things make more sense than not.

 

 

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33 minutes ago, Hethwill said:

??????????

I'm talking about communication 1on1 between a player and a game designer.

If you read what i wrote, the design decision to solve the problem may not be what the player wants but that doesn't mean is not successful game design and that it proves right in the end.

Not talking specifically about any aspect of NA at all. We have boards dedicated to the different mechanics.

This thread is about Communication. Mostly theorycraft and how to improve it, both ways.

In the case of the example i put up, the thing would be, from devs patch note:

- "Region Death had a increase of enemies (design solution for the problem presented by the community). They are now triple numbers and five times more patrols. Players are advised to prepare for continuous firefights in the area."

Simple. Clear. And without any margin of doubt. Take it of leave it, that's what the designers wanted for that specific game portion; and no amount of whining would change the fact that the guys making the game wanted that area to be really really dangerous and player must prepare.

Regarding NA...

Try to hear the noise of the lights. Sometimes things make more sense than not.

 

 

I did read what you said but it came across to me as if you were saying the players don't know what they are talking about. Please forgive me.

Edit: Reading it again I still think I didn't miss your point. Whining is never going to help anything for sure but I guess it gets attention. Even negative review spamming has its reasons. It's not just whining. The blame is on the wrong thing however. Well in my opinion atleast. I'm stubborn ill give you that. Anyway I've been a bit off topic for a couple of posts now but one thing all leads to another. Do your job as a moderator and warn me! 

Edited by HachiRoku
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1 hour ago, Hethwill said:

- you report game experience - designers approach the issue in a designers point of view and NOT on your point of view.

That's the good way to design a game, and any product in fact. It's a very good point. In the past this approach was missing, now it seems it works well.

You can extend it to:

  • people know very well what they don't like, most of them usually don't know REALLY why
  • people don't know what are solutions to things they don't like, they will often suggest bad ones. They're not specialists
  • people don't know what they want or like before they see and experience it
  • they know more or less what are their general needs, not solutions to their needs. Data knows it even better than people though
  • you, as a specialist, should analyze people's declaration of needs and issues, interpret them based on your experience and data that you have, then implement a solution, test if it indeed answers to people needs and refine if needed
  • you don't ask a patient what treatment he prefers :)
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28 minutes ago, vazco said:

That's the good way to design a game, and any product in fact. It's a very good point. In the past this approach was missing, now it seems it works well.

You can extend it to:

  • people know very well what they don't like, most of them usually don't know REALLY why
  • people don't know what are solutions to things they don't like, they will often suggest bad ones. They're not specialists
  • people don't know what they want or like before they see and experience it
  • they know more or less what are their general needs, not solutions to their needs. Data knows it even better than people though
  • you, as a specialist, should analyze people's declaration of needs and issues, interpret them based on your experience and data that you have, then implement a solution, test if it indeed answers to people needs and refine if needed
  • you don't ask a patient what treatment he prefers :)

I might be wrong here, but seem to agree with you @HachiRoku and @Hethwill and for that matter most of the thread...

 

Questions:

What Is Game-Labs as a Company? Developer or Publisher?

What is the difference?

This I think is where the lines cross or get confused. The early closed Test stages of U-Dread & U-Age of Sail worked so well. The conversations between Dev, Tester then the other Testers was brilliant to take part in. And this seems a much better method than open platform. Was Sea-Trails before STEAM similar? I was post STEAM.

However, the tester pool will need to grow as the game builds. This is means tighter control over the Test Base.

Closer to launch, then the Publisher phase comes in with ever loser controls right up to the launch. We seem to have it ass about tit here.

 

I would suggest shrink the forum down by a lot. The same too for STEAM just Dev News Locked, Gen Discussions and Tech Support.

 

NnC

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1 hour ago, Norfolk nChance said:

Was Sea-Trails before STEAM similar? I was post STEAM.

 

Only for the period before November 2014 could it have been closed feedback. Once it launched in November 2014 it was the same forum free for all then as it is now. 

Edited by Mr. Doran
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3 hours ago, Norfolk nChance said:

I might be wrong here, but seem to agree with you @HachiRoku and @Hethwill and for that matter most of the thread...

 

 

 

Questions:

 

What Is Game-Labs as a Company? Developer or Publisher?

 

What is the difference?

 

This I think is where the lines cross or get confused. The early closed Test stages of U-Dread & U-Age of Sail worked so well. The conversations between Dev, Tester then the other Testers was brilliant to take part in. And this seems a much better method than open platform. Was Sea-Trails before STEAM similar? I was post STEAM.

 

However, the tester pool will need to grow as the game builds. This is means tighter control over the Test Base.

 

Closer to launch, then the Publisher phase comes in with ever loser controls right up to the launch. We seem to have it ass about tit here.

 

 

 

I would suggest shrink the forum down by a lot. The same too for STEAM just Dev News Locked, Gen Discussions and Tech Support.

 

 

 

NnC

 

I do not want to appear rude, mate, but my impression is that you - as manu Others - just buzz around the problem without nailing it.

Thing started going wrong for ONE reason, that was basically THE reason that pissed off so many testers and that - thanks to the temper of some testers on one side and the stubborness of the devs on the other side - created the classic "avalanche from a snowball" effect that messed up the Whole thing at the end.

Let me explain. my view. And sorry for the wall of text.

About one year and half ago, the game was great fun for everybody: PVE, RVR, OS PVP and what not … yes, there was some complaint and moan. Proposals were made, some were accepted, other refused. But the level of the toxicity was basically quite acceptable and also the reaction of the devs were proportioned: some warning point here and there, some days of forum ban and so on.

Then devs - I think because they wanted somehow to create a game environment ready for the DLC funding model they decided to adopt for the launch (that's my speculation, based on the fact that I cannot see any other logical reason for their decisions) - begun (it was the summer of 2017) the hardcore/austerity season… changing things that (almost) no one wanted to change and ignoring the feedback of a consistent part of testers that basically just adovocated for keeping the game fun as they thought it was before.

In the following months the more the testers complained, the more the devs went further in the hardcore/austerity direction. So the distance between a lot of testers and the developing of the game started to grow. In the view of the devs the solution was to give the carebears a PVE only server. But the problem was that a lot of testers liked the PVE-PVP mix that the game gave them before and then did not want a PVE only server when the game, before, was ok and very funny  also with both experiences blended in the same server.

A lot of testers left the game and those remaining were pissed off by that fact that the new "direction" of the game led to a underpopulated game and to a much more grindy and less fun game experience. The more common question in my faction at the time was "why the hell did they changed a funny (half)sandbox PVE/PVP game, turing it in such a boring and difficult experience". A consistent part of the testers that remained in the game - which were the ones that loved the "old" game and still had the hope that it could be brought back to old shine if they insisted with the devs - then started complaining on the forum stronger and stronger.

And it was here that the Devs - being objectively compelled to go in the hardcore/grind direction by the DLC model they had chosen (and TBH also being totally bad in managing the community) - made the THE FATAL ERROR: instead of explaining the economic reasons for new model of the game (grind/hardcore + DLCs for war server and only PVE for peace server) they preferred endorsing the "hardcore git gud" propaganda brought ahead by a part of the testers, while putting on sale some very controversial DLCs. Then they made the famous thread where they told the community that thay changed their mind on the xp and craft xp (and ship knowledge slots). This choice was perfectly consistent with the DLC funging model, but - without a former explanation of the reasons to the commuity and in the already emotional forums - was like pouring hot lead on the scares of the aldeady scorned testers … so the uproar was harsh and sometimes excessive.

The answer of the devs, once more, was what I'd call a diplomatic disaster: mass perma bans on the forum. No wonder that the revenge of some of the banned ones (that that day FINALLY REALIZED that the old game would have never got back and the future was in a grindy hardcore game with paid DLCs or in a PVE only experience) was fast and furious: now they actually WANTED TO DESTROY THE GAME.

The devs realized that the damage was already done, so (knowing also that they could not please the testers because they neeeded the money from the new DLCs), they decided to de facto close the public Alpha, also IMO in order to avoid furhter problems with the last further hardcore and austerity features (and paid DLCs) that they are likely to add to the game in these last weeks to uphold the DLC funding model.

But I think that also this move should be thought over more wisely (in fact I basically agree with Norfolk "balls of steel" proposal): all the begrudged banned ex testers are just out there waiting to pour their rage on the game with bad reviews at the launch. And the nastiest ones - that by chance are good OS PVP players also - could even try to mass sealclub newbies on purpose out of capitals (that have no longer protection zones) just to induce them to leave the game in desperation. 

So, bascally I suggest to Devs two things, in order to avoid (or at least to mitigate the negative effects of) a possible "revenge shitbomb" at launch:

- put in war server some kind of actual protection for newbies before the launch of the game

- unban at least some of the mass banned tester, and try to start a new constructive (last) phase of the testing by stating clearly in the forum which are the features of the game that they are not disposed to change and that therefore are out of the discussion here (but pointing out also the actual reasons why this features cannot be changed) and which are the features of the game about which they are disposed to listen to the testers and that, therefore, can still be discussed on this forum.

These are my two cents.

Edited by toblerone
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@toblerone

I do see and understand your point of view. Without being a total Fanboy or defending @admin & Game-Labs I think your history might be a tad harsh. They openly listened to all and sundry. Without repeating myself too much, since 9.96 the Dev’s interactions with both forums (STEAM) structure have improved dramatically. They are a small foreign developer not a marketing company.

I’ve mentioned already my criticism at not promoting the ALT route. This making a rod for their own back when final funding was needed. The only option left was an EA-DLC route... Damned if you do, damned if you don’t... I stated...

Solve the Problem then...

Managing your data flow properly. This is key for any business. Game-Labs need to retake control of their data flow. Retrench, agreed and use outside help like English speaking Mods to communicate data flow. Abide by your own rules and don’t engage. This is rock bottom.

Unban all recent PCs... Balls of Steel. Why? The reviews can’t get any worse. The bonus is if GL turn it all around, it will lead to a ballistic tour de force into the launch. Use the Equalizer method will suck in Cat2 users pre-launch giving a steady and continuous rise in active players right up until D-Day.

Think how do we rebuild client confidence into our product. That’s done by selective and controlled communication that you feel confidant at handling. Start small and build on it. Games-Labs are now turning from Developer to Publisher...

Game mechanics are ever changing, I default to you and my peers for better insight. However, in my humble opinion the issue is about understanding client communications.

I’m probably wrong,

 

Norfolk

 

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39 minutes ago, Norfolk nChance said:

Think how do we rebuild client confidence into our product. 

Norfolk

 

"we" … "our" … mmmmmh … the devil is in the details

Are you becoming by chance something more than a pure enthusiast tester of this game?

😁

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1 minute ago, toblerone said:

"we" … "our" … mmmmmh … the devil is in the details

Are you becoming by chance something more than a pure enthusiast tester of this game?

😁

Not sure if English is your first language...  But there's this thing called "rhetorically speaking"....

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1 minute ago, Vernon Merrill said:

Not sure if English is your first language...  But there's this thing called "rhetorically speaking"....

there's also a thing called not answering in place of other people when not asked. 

Edited by toblerone
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13 minutes ago, toblerone said:

"we" … "our" … mmmmmh … the devil is in the details

Are you becoming by chance something more than a pure enthusiast tester of this game?

first language is Yorkshire

No Way to your second point... I tried to answer as fairly as I know the situation. Again just my humble view

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18 minutes ago, toblerone said:

there's also a thing called not answering in place of other people when not asked. 

See, here's the deal....  I wasn't actually trying to be rude...  I was trying to explain in case you in fact didnt't speak native English.

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