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More communication is needed.


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There is no-need to be so secretive. Devs need to spend more time speaking with the community, especially with the recent outrage and confusion about the 5-6 month delay, we need better connection to the devs or I'm pretty sure we're gonna start hemorrhaging members and players. Hell even since the announcement of the delay, the forums seem quieter. There were a few people asking for a refund on the post about the delay, and much of this could be fixed with some basic communication.

I've already set myself to sticking with this game for the long haul, but many players haven't, but I can't blame people who are outraged/want refunds. We were told the half year release date right up until the delay when it should have released, and it wasn't a short delay but rather 6 months. Something that had to be known in advance but bad communication gave everyone the impression that the game was to release soon.

I've said this before and I'll say it again. I want nothing more than this game to thrive, and I have nothing but respect for the devs, but we gotta get our shit together before players start leaving. I think better communication could fix most of the community problems we are seeing.

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I think how outraged/disappointed people are is directly tied to how much patience people have. I get that we were all heavily anticipating the campaign being released so soon (and yeah, I wouldn't really like to wait as long as they are suggesting just to play the first version of the campaign, but I can wait that long because I love this game so far) but at least the devs are taking precautions to make the game a good, quality product that is successful. Because if this many people are upset now, imagine how bad it would get if the devs released the first version of the campaign and it was utter crap. The whole pandemic right now isn't making things easy for anyone, and that no doubt has had an effect on how quick the game could be developed. But in the end...wouldn't most people rather have a good, quality game that you can play and thoroughly enjoy and be able to say "that was money well spent" instead of one that winds up being just kinda "meh?" Making quality games takes time, and sometimes things happen that nobody could've foreseen that will impact how the game is developed. Yes, better communication would be great (maybe they could put out a bi-weekly update in a new thread), but what if the game turns out to be well worth the wait?

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1 hour ago, HistoricalAccuracyMan said:

I think how outraged/disappointed people are is directly tied to how much patience people have. I get that we were all heavily anticipating the campaign being released so soon (and yeah, I wouldn't really like to wait as long as they are suggesting just to play the first version of the campaign, but I can wait that long because I love this game so far) but at least the devs are taking precautions to make the game a good, quality product that is successful. Because if this many people are upset now, imagine how bad it would get if the devs released the first version of the campaign and it was utter crap. The whole pandemic right now isn't making things easy for anyone, and that no doubt has had an effect on how quick the game could be developed. But in the end...wouldn't most people rather have a good, quality game that you can play and thoroughly enjoy and be able to say "that was money well spent" instead of one that winds up being just kinda "meh?" Making quality games takes time, and sometimes things happen that nobody could've foreseen that will impact how the game is developed. Yes, better communication would be great (maybe they could put out a bi-weekly update in a new thread), but what if the game turns out to be well worth the wait?

lets not forget one factor...

the fact that they told us last minute "by the way, your campaign is in another castle...".

If they said one month before: "sorry it doesn't look like we get the campaign in time" then at least I would have been less suprised.

 

Mind you that they did promise a monthly update on campaign progress.

Meaning they seem to understand that problem.

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9 hours ago, IronKaputt said:

Developers Answers Thread, perhaps?

I cant remember which game it was but a while ago there was an early access game I played, where there was a similar outrage over a delay, so they started putting out updates on exactly they had been working on once a week, a kind of "receipt" of sorts that showed they were listening to the player base as well as that they were doing work on it.

I think something like this would help significantly along side a sort of syllabus of exactly what the game is looking to achive, when features are intended, as well as how they would change gameplay.

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Any developer should take a page out of HBS' (BATTLETECH) playbook.

The studio head encouraged every dev to spend at least an hour per week on the forum, answering questions and interacting with the fanbase. Sure, BATTLETECH was a Kickstarter game, so a bit more engagement with the backers is kinda expected but there was _so_ much interaction, discussions and yes, arguments back and forth between the devs and the fans (and 99% respectful) with devs going as far as trying out stuff suggested by the fans for game-mechanics (initiative/turn-sequence and stuff).

Man, I really miss those times.

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To hell with forced "dev diaries" and "increased communication". Let the small team do their work. I don't give a flying floating f@#ck about what my pal @Nick Thomadis has to say about some technical gibberish that goes into developing the game. I, like many other people here, only care for results. And I know that the man I mentioned before can deliver. Which is the only thing I am seriously expecting of him, and the team.

That's it. Let people work - don't make them tell you fairy tales instead.

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On 6/25/2020 at 3:19 PM, SiWi said:

lets not forget one factor...

the fact that they told us last minute "by the way, your campaign is in another castle...".

That's pretty disheartening right there.

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On 6/25/2020 at 9:00 PM, BobRoss0902 said:

There is no-need to be so secretive. Devs need to spend more time speaking with the community...

The developers are three guys. If "devs will spend more time speaking with the community" then the game will be ready not in next year, but in the next appearance of Jesus Christ. Sorry, but I paid for the game, not cool stories about the game.

Edited by TAKTCOM
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The developer studio is currently developing !3! games at the same time. A dev team of 3 per project seems super harsh. They should at least hire a PR assistant or something, I really feel there's a communications divide between the devs and community.

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On 6/26/2020 at 5:51 PM, Shaftoe said:

That's it. Let people work - don't make them tell you fairy tales instead.

Well, i think we are passed the time when studios "just worked" and did not communicate much before release. That is a fine way if you do game end to end and release it before collecting money from players.

This one (and the industry as a whole nowadays) is doing it in a different way. People essentially pay for a promise in part to be able to see the game early and hopefully influence the outcome. We are no different from investors, on top of which we also provide free testing of the product. So i think a fair bit of comms is required (not to mention the fact that studio claims to listen to community). 

And to be honest, coming up with a weekly post about progress is not that time consuming (especially if any form of proper dev process is organised).

As for the "small team" argument, there are a lot of examples of 1 man projects having better comms. It does not have to be elaborate, but it has to be present regardless of how many people are working on it.

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On 6/28/2020 at 3:32 PM, ArtifaX said:

Well, i think we are passed the time when studios "just worked" and did not communicate much before release. That is a fine way if you do game end to end and release it before collecting money from players.

This one (and the industry as a whole nowadays) is doing it in a different way. People essentially pay for a promise in part to be able to see the game early and hopefully influence the outcome. We are no different from investors, on top of which we also provide free testing of the product. So i think a fair bit of comms is required (not to mention the fact that studio claims to listen to community). 

And to be honest, coming up with a weekly post about progress is not that time consuming (especially if any form of proper dev process is organised).

As for the "small team" argument, there are a lot of examples of 1 man projects having better comms. It does not have to be elaborate, but it has to be present regardless of how many people are working on it.

We are no different to investors because we are, in fact, investors. Literally. Albeit not in a strictly legal sense.

Edited by Bilderberger
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On 6/27/2020 at 8:25 AM, Rak1445 said:

The developer studio is currently developing !3! games at the same time. A dev team of 3 per project seems super harsh. They should at least hire a PR assistant or something, I really feel there's a communications divide between the devs and community.

I really should stop buying games from these guys if this is true. At least consolidate! Push out one game then move on to the next.

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On 6/27/2020 at 9:10 AM, TAKTCOM said:

The developers are three guys. If "devs will spend more time speaking with the community" then the game will be ready not in next year, but in the next appearance of Jesus Christ. Sorry, but I paid for the game, not cool stories about the game.

Well technically you paid for early access to help test the game. If you wanted a full game you could have waited for release. 

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2 hours ago, TotalRampage said:

Well technically you paid for early access to help test the game. If you wanted a full game you could have waited for release. 

I do neither agree nor disagree with this stance but I must confess that I dislike this point as it eliminates all kinds of criticism, because, well, you agreed to buy an incomplete game.

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4 hours ago, Bilderberger said:

I do neither agree nor disagree with this stance but I must confess that I dislike this point as it eliminates all kinds of criticism, because, well, you agreed to buy an incomplete game.

I really hate to use it but like its not even an early access game on steam yet. THIS IS VERY ALPHA. Yet I've seen the devs fix a bug within 1 update. They might not have a weekly update log but okay I report bugs and they get fixed. People also have to realizes when you do an alpha like this players wishlist's grow along with wait time sometimes to fit those wish list items. 

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I agree on more communication but not so much on development of the campaign but rather to address some of the community feedback that has been coming up very often. I acknowledge that the devs have been active in addressing some issues like that of torpedoes and reloads, tweaking of some of the gunnery aspects. But some of the main core issues of the game isnt seeing as much attention such as for the bow-stern tanking, unsinkable late game ships, more advanced armouring mechanics, superfiring barbettes. placement of guns/towers etc. 

Games take time to develop especially with mechanics of a full fledged campaign, a game roadmap is pretty much standard to help the community visualise key milestones but how some of the key issues will be addressed should also be brought up in the plan so that the community can help in providing constructive feedback at appropriate moments than to keep seeing the same issues recur after each patch.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, TotalRampage said:

They might not have a weekly update log but okay I report bugs and they get fixed.

We are talking about comms here. So what exactly is being worked on is beside the point (plenty of topics about that). 

To me communication cycle looks like this:

1. Many threads on various topics are going with minimal participation from the team

2. An update is announced stating the changes (without much specificity)

3. Go to step 1.

Very rarely (like that steam release announcement) there is some form of look into the future.

There is no roadmap. There is basically no info about what will be in the next update beforehand. Community has no idea what feedback is taken into account and get frustrated when the same issues that were mentioned in alpha 2 are still present and they are left guessing.

I'll give 1 hypothetical example of a possible issue, team's thought on it, team's response and how it might be handled better:

issue: Bulkhead's damage model is broken

thought: Will require a sizable refactor followed up but complete re-balance of HP, Gunnery and Artillery

response: total silence

proposed response: We acknowledge there seems to be a problem there. This is something we might look into in the future, but currently our efforts are concentrated on other areas.

Edited by ArtifaX
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On 6/28/2020 at 9:06 AM, Bilderberger said:

We are no different to investors because we are, in fact, investors. Literally.

In fact if you look at the way a games company is run, the reason why so many companies push pre-orders so hard is because they take that money and invest it.

So we are investors in more than one way.

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On 6/28/2020 at 5:06 PM, Bilderberger said:

We are no different to investors because we are, in fact, investors. Literally.

 

8 hours ago, BobRoss0902 said:

In fact if you look at the way a games company is run, the reason why so many companies push pre-orders so hard is because they take that money and invest it.

So we are investors in more than one way.

 

Actually, you both are incorrect...

Investor is a party that enters in agreement with a project owner (investee), providing a considerable amount of funding, in exchange for substantial monetary or other material returns at a later date, specified in a written contract. Additionally, investors may require other forms of compensation, like demonstration of their images/mentions (i.e. advertisement) on an end product, or ownership rights to a certain technology that's being developed.

We are most definitely NOT investors. We are purchasers. And even if we pre-order the game, or buy a game that is still in early development, it DOES NOT change our legal status, or the nature of this contract. As per this (generally) unwritten contract of offer and acceptance, developers take upon themselves the obligation to provide us with access to the product - either when it's ready (purchasing after release and pre-purchasing), or before the release (alpha access). While there may be some perks for those who sign up earlier, in reality we - the buyers - are not at freedom to determine the exact contents of the contract, we are not entitled to receive any monetary returns or to demand inclusion of our images/mentions in it, etc.

See the difference?

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47 minutes ago, Shaftoe said:

 

 

Actually, you both are incorrect...

Investor is a party that enters in agreement with a project owner (investee), providing a considerable amount of funding, in exchange for substantial monetary or other material returns at a later date, specified in a written contract. Additionally, investors may require other forms of compensation, like demonstration of their images/mentions (i.e. advertisement) on an end product, or ownership rights to a certain technology that's being developed.

We are most definitely NOT investors. We are purchasers. And even if we pre-order the game, or buy a game that is still in early development, it DOES NOT change our legal status, or the nature of this contract. As per this (generally) unwritten contract of offer and acceptance, developers take upon themselves the obligation to provide us with access to the product - either when it's ready (purchasing after release and pre-purchasing), or before the release (alpha access). While there may be some perks for those who sign up earlier, in reality we - the buyers - are not at freedom to determine the exact contents of the contract, we are not entitled to receive any monetary returns or to demand inclusion of our images/mentions in it, etc.

See the difference?

Investment activity in an economical sense is the allocation of money (or comparable goods and services) with the expectation of benefit (eg. returns) in the future. Purchasers are, in a sense, investors too, as they allocate their monthly income to further optimize the utility they gain from the products they buy.

 

I never talked about contracts, now did I? We invest money because we expect a return of some sorts. Economically speaking, we are investors. Given the fact that the money we pay upfront is presumably used to further finance developing we might even drag this further. But we shall not, for the time being. Most contracts, in practice, cannot specify what is to be done in every possible contingency. This may lead to a series of Hold-up issues which, as a consequence, eventually, leads to a series of inefficient (and also unpleasant) outcomes and situations

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Posted (edited)
47 minutes ago, Bilderberger said:

Investment activity in an economical sense is the allocation of money (or comparable goods and services) with the expectation of benefit (eg. returns) in the future. Purchasers are, in a sense, investors too, as they allocate their monthly income to further optimize the utility they gain from the products they buy.

 

I never talked about contracts, now did I? We invest money because we expect a return of some sorts. Economically speaking, we are investors. Given the fact that the money we pay upfront is presumably used to further finance developing we might even drag this further. But we shall not, for the time being. Most contracts, in practice, cannot specify what is to be done in every possible contingency. This may lead to a series of Hold-up issues which, as a consequence, eventually, leads to a series of inefficient (and also unpleasant) outcomes and situations

In legal sense, returns =/= product, and while sometimes a product may be part of "the returns", it's usually not the only outcome of an investment deal - but it is usually the one and only outcome of purchasing. In some cases they may be similar, yes. But relations between parties, despite all similarities, are still very different.

Both have their official interpretations. By legal definition, which is the prevalent one - since it is the one governing the real side of all deals (while economical is merely used for theoretical purposes), buyers are not investors, as relations between parties to different contracts are governed by different rules & customs. 

So, while you may not have been talking about contracts, you cannot change the fact that whenever you become party to a deal, any sort of deal, it begets a contractual relationship between you and the other party, regardless of whether or not it's written on paper. That's just the way it is - you may not like it, you may even actively disagree with it, but you are simply not the one to change it, because it has already been decided by our society - specifically, our lawmakers. 

Therefore, claims that "we are, in a sense, investors" are simply baseless. This is what your logic looks like to someone who knows the law:Знаете, я и сам своего рода учёный (I'm something of a scientst ...

Because actually being an investor (with proper status as such) is just not the same as being "something of an investor" (a glorified, but nonetheless ordinary buyer). 

Edited by Shaftoe
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Shaftoe said:

In legal sense, returns =/= product, and while sometimes a product may be part of "the returns", it's usually not the only outcome of an investment deal (because why would you make an investment deal when you could just buy it?) - but it is usually the one and only outcome of purchasing.

Both have their official interpretations. By legal definition, which is the prevalent one, buyers are not investors, as the relation between parties to a contract is drastically different. 

While you may not have been talking about contracts, when you are become party to a deal, any sort of deal, it begets a contractual relationship between you and the other party, regardless of whether or not it's written on paper. That's just the wat it is - you may not like it, you may actively disagree with it - still, the fact stands, because our society has decided that it shall.

Our society has a vast number of rules applying to different forms of contracts, and rules for ordinary purchases are drastically different from rules for investments. Therefore, claims that "we are, in a sense, investors" are simply baseless. This is what your logic looks like:Знаете, я и сам своего рода учёный (I'm something of a scientst ...

Because actually being an investor (with proper status as such) is just not the same as being "something of investor" (a glorified, but nonetheless ordinary buyer). 

I think we are talking past one another. I referred to the economic definition of an investor, not the legal one. I did this with purpose as I wanted to illustrate an issue. 

First off: When I meant investor, I am referring to the following definition - The consumer invests his money into a project he wishes to gain utility from. You are actively investing your income with the intent to gain utility. What/How/When you gain utility I cannot say. Therefore, in the fields of economics, consumption is a form of investment.

I do not argue against contracts, nor the way society handles contracts. I also do not refer to investor rights or consumer rights. I refer to the issue of incomplete contracts and the problems that arise from them. 

As I mentioned above, in practice, contracts cannot specify what is to be done in every possible contingency. Many people here, including myself, bought the game upfront, yet this was consensual. And this is perfectly fine, why would it not? The issue is rather, as I said, contracts cannot cover everything. Certain situations and issues may arise, situations such as prolongation, an undesirable feature revamp, you name it. This, combined with asymmetric information, creates an atmosphere, a shroud, of uncertainty. We could even drive this further and go on about worst outcomes, implications, etc.

This is not relevant however. My point is the following: Said shroud of uncertainty makes life harder for our "investors", buyers, consumers, who spent their money in anticipation of an upcoming game which they hopefully will enjoy. Of course they did it voluntarily, it was their risk, but you don't want to leave them hanging in like this as an atmosphere of uncertainty concerning ex ante investments (general investments) is economically inefficient. So, what could we do if we wanted to alleviate the worries of our customers? Just give them some information on how things stand - I do not demand complete access to all information available but a bit of signalling really would not hurt.

I am talking about Principal-Agent Problems, not the legal status of a buyer.

Edited by Bilderberger
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