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The Dwindling Dev Tracker

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EricMusco's Avatar


EricMusco
08.29.2012 , 04:37 PM | #101 This is the last staff post in this thread.  
Quote: Originally Posted by Tatile View Post
I know I'm probably going to get ripped apart for saying this but I don't have a Facebook account and don't plan on getting one. Is it possible to have any information relayed on Facebook also posted on the Official forums in some way? I am under the impression that one needs to have a Facebook account in order to view a person's page. Or book. I'm assuming book. Of faces.
Hey Tatile,

I certainly understand your concern about missing any of our social media content! You will be happy to know that our Facebook page is completely public, so you are able to view anything we post on there regardless of whether you have your own Facebook page or not.

Hope that helps!
Eric Musco | Community Manager
Follow us on Twitter @SWTOR | Like us on Facebook
[Contact Us] [Rules of Conduct] [F.A.Q.]

Tatile's Avatar


Tatile
08.29.2012 , 04:38 PM | #102
Oh, it's just the scroll bar on the main site page, but in Facebook form. That's a bit disappointing.

ZionHalcyon's Avatar


ZionHalcyon
08.29.2012 , 06:44 PM | #103
Quote: Originally Posted by JovethGonzalez View Post
While we appreciate all kinds of constructive feedback, as Allison pointed out, the forums are only one small measure of communication. Do keep in mind that while some days it seems that there isn't any forum activity from us, we're busy hopping around, taking a look at the SWTOR subreddit, Twitter, Facebook, and responding to PMs.

Consider that our fanbase is large and spread across various social media sites, and you can see that we strive to make sure that they are covered, no matter where our fans are.

We're also working on some new community blogs that we'll be posting in the upcoming week or so, in addition to our standard weekly blogs that we already put up.

Finally, while this team is highly visible, a lot of what we do is internal: responding to developer requests for feedback, moderating the forums, writing patch notes, working with localization, sending various documents & ideas for approvals, working with marketing, maintaining relationships with fan sites & guilds, attending game development meetings, escalating issues, following up on bugs, and much, much more.

In short, measuring the number of gold posts every day is not the best indicator of our overall activity. You're welcome to continue to do so, but know that every day we are working with our developers to respond to your questions here on the forums, which results in about 5-10 developer responses even during a light news week.

If anything, measure against what we had before we started our increase in communication on August 8th. I guarantee that you will see a difference.

Stay tuned for the new blogs, which we'll be debuting starting tomorrow.

As always, thanks for taking an interest in this. Constructive feedback is always welcome and we'll definitely adjust our strategies when there is a need .
Yet if we measure you against what the game started out with at launch, you come woefully short.

Its like being in first place in an 8 man race for a while, then dropping to last, and now you're back bragging about being in 5th place - sure, its better than being in last, but your not really finishing in the top 3, which is the expectation set by the original crew. You HAVE to understand - you aren't being compared to when it was dead silent, you are and will forever be compared to the Gold Standard that Bioware had for communication at launch, and the community isn't going to be very lenient in terms of why you aren't able to rise back to that level.

Yes, you are better then nothing. Yes, you have olther things to do. No, you are not there yet in terms of meeting the level of expectation for community interaction. I understand the desire to manage expectations, but you just aren't at a place yet where you can demand too much slack from the community yet, and yet that is how it is coming across - which in turn paints you and your group in a negative light, something I know you were hoping to avoid.

SidneyFault's Avatar


SidneyFault
08.29.2012 , 06:55 PM | #104
Quote: Originally Posted by JovethGonzalez View Post
While we appreciate all kinds of constructive feedback, as Allison pointed out, the forums are only one small measure of communication. Do keep in mind that while some days it seems that there isn't any forum activity from us, we're busy hopping around, taking a look at the SWTOR subreddit, Twitter, Facebook, and responding to PMs.

Consider that our fanbase is large and spread across various social media sites, and you can see that we strive to make sure that they are covered, no matter where our fans are.

We're also working on some new community blogs that we'll be posting in the upcoming week or so, in addition to our standard weekly blogs that we already put up.

Finally, while this team is highly visible, a lot of what we do is internal: responding to developer requests for feedback, moderating the forums, writing patch notes, working with localization, sending various documents & ideas for approvals, working with marketing, maintaining relationships with fan sites & guilds, attending game development meetings, escalating issues, following up on bugs, and much, much more.

In short, measuring the number of gold posts every day is not the best indicator of our overall activity. You're welcome to continue to do so, but know that every day we are working with our developers to respond to your questions here on the forums, which results in about 5-10 developer responses even during a light news week.

If anything, measure against what we had before we started our increase in communication on August 8th. I guarantee that you will see a difference.

Stay tuned for the new blogs, which we'll be debuting starting tomorrow.

As always, thanks for taking an interest in this. Constructive feedback is always welcome and we'll definitely adjust our strategies when there is a need .

I beg to differ. Every other business uses their website for the bulk of information and sets links to that info on their social media. But no not you, you have to be the one that is different. That line of thinking only servers to alienate all of you customers instead of bringing everyone together and creating a viable community. It also create nothing but scattered info and bad customer service. I am not saying don't use social media but this has to be the central hub for all info otherwise its pointless.

The lack of communication can't be view from August 8 and on instead it should be viewed from January and on.. That is how I view your level of communication so saying oh look at how much we have done in the last month is not ok. Look at the run of the game and you are NO WHERE near what it used to be. Until you stop deleting post without notice, stop treating us like children and admit that you have no idea or plan for F2P, server transfer or fixing most issues that are horribly broken and prove it to us by doing it I for one will not believe a single word that is coming out of your mouths.

Sorry this is harsh but your company has broken my heart and cause just about every single person I was playing with to leave. They have left due to problems at launch, suspending/locking people of accounts (remember that problem from launch a lot of people left over that one and never came back) Or how about these server transfers, I like medium pop non crowded servers.. you have all but taken any possibly of that happening.. I mean who wants to wait to be able to log into a server. F2P has destroyed more games than it has saved. and you company has NO IDEA how to implement it. In fact your trying to hire people to the Dev team to make that happen because what no one over knows how to make that happen???? Your company lays offs whole teams leaves promised content half finished and seems to have given up even marketing the game.... hence not going celebration VI or pax. so what are you all just going to skip all the rest of the Cons for the year. Your acting like politicians...

so no more promises just follow through...
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Kubernetic's Avatar


Kubernetic
08.29.2012 , 07:03 PM | #105
Quote: Originally Posted by iamthehoyden View Post
On release dates, I really don't expect a solid date three months in advance. However, a "we're working on this and, if all goes well, we'll have this out this year" would be good. As it gets closer to the date when they'll be releasing it, I would hope that they could provide more specifics. What I'm more interested in is verification of what's coming.

I'm glad you got some communication on a project that is important to you. Please understand that what you got here is what is wanted on a number of other projects. The people who want SGRAs - this is what they want. A lot of us who want more communication really aren't unreasonable. Frustrated? Yes, but we're not ridiculous. What you mentioned here: that the project "hasn't been squashed by recent reorganizations and turnover" is the type of clarification we're looking for. That's really not that much to ask for.
So then in comparison, what your main question to the devs should be is as follows:

"Can we get a clarification if the SGRA project is still moving forward in light of the other reorganization changes and F2P transition?"

And that's about all you should be hoping for. Anything beyond that is where you cross over the line from being a customer and presuming you're an insider and deserving of more detailed information, in my opinion.

But good luck. As you said, I had a relatively simple question, and got a relatively simple answer.

I suggest if you pose a relatively simple question, without demanding release dates, or "general time frames", or "more in-depth details", you will probably receive the same...
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iamthehoyden's Avatar


iamthehoyden
08.29.2012 , 07:17 PM | #106
Quote: Originally Posted by Kubernetic View Post
So then in comparison, what your main question to the devs should be is as follows:

"Can we get a clarification if the SGRA project is still moving forward in light of the other reorganization changes and F2P transition?"

And that's about all you should be hoping for. Anything beyond that is where you cross over the line from being a customer and presuming you're an insider and deserving of more detailed information, in my opinion.

But good luck. As you said, I had a relatively simple question, and got a relatively simple answer.

I suggest if you pose a relatively simple question, without demanding release dates, or "general time frames", or "more in-depth details", you will probably receive the same...
LMAO! I wish that were true, oh I so do. SGRA was just an example, a rather glaring one, but while I would LOVE for your advice of posing a relatively simple question to actually bear fruit, go ahead and take a look at the SGRA thread in the Story and Lore section. Look at how long they've been looking for an answer to EXACTLY that question, how many times they've asked for that little crumb of response. I wish things were that straightforward, but answers to simple questions like that have been glaringly missing.

And as far as a presumption of being an "insider" because I ask for more details on occasion, well, if I don't ask how will I get answers? I just don't understand the attitude of "how dare you ask them questions?!" Come on, they're not gods. They're the employees of a video game company. Sure, they're not going to answer all my questions, but if they expect people to give them money for future playtime, they'd better let those people know what product they're buying.
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LordArtemis's Avatar


LordArtemis
08.29.2012 , 07:23 PM | #107
Quote: Originally Posted by JovethGonzalez View Post
While we appreciate all kinds of constructive feedback, as Allison pointed out, the forums are only one small measure of communication. Do keep in mind that while some days it seems that there isn't any forum activity from us, we're busy hopping around, taking a look at the SWTOR subreddit, Twitter, Facebook, and responding to PMs.

Consider that our fanbase is large and spread across various social media sites, and you can see that we strive to make sure that they are covered, no matter where our fans are.

We're also working on some new community blogs that we'll be posting in the upcoming week or so, in addition to our standard weekly blogs that we already put up.

Finally, while this team is highly visible, a lot of what we do is internal: responding to developer requests for feedback, moderating the forums, writing patch notes, working with localization, sending various documents & ideas for approvals, working with marketing, maintaining relationships with fan sites & guilds, attending game development meetings, escalating issues, following up on bugs, and much, much more.

In short, measuring the number of gold posts every day is not the best indicator of our overall activity. You're welcome to continue to do so, but know that every day we are working with our developers to respond to your questions here on the forums, which results in about 5-10 developer responses even during a light news week.

If anything, measure against what we had before we started our increase in communication on August 8th. I guarantee that you will see a difference.

Stay tuned for the new blogs, which we'll be debuting starting tomorrow.

As always, thanks for taking an interest in this. Constructive feedback is always welcome and we'll definitely adjust our strategies when there is a need .
I have been openly critical of this game and continue to be. I make no excuses for this, as I wish for this title to succeed. I will say, however, that I do not feel, at least in the short time that I have been active here that it appears there is a lack of communication. Communication seems to have, in fact, improved since my lurking days (was in beta, lurked after that until now) and I think getting rid of the Q and A was the best choice you could have made.

I felt it was not a wise choice when implemented. It is a positive move, IMO, for it to be gone and direct communication to take it's place.

LogicalPremise's Avatar


LogicalPremise
08.29.2012 , 08:02 PM | #108
Ah, poor Mr. Gonzalez. Whatever they're paying you , it isn't enough.

Quote: Originally Posted by JovethGonzalez View Post
While we appreciate all kinds of constructive feedback, as Allison pointed out, the forums are only one small measure of communication. Do keep in mind that while some days it seems that there isn't any forum activity from us, we're busy hopping around, taking a look at the SWTOR subreddit, Twitter, Facebook, and responding to PMs.

Consider that our fanbase is large and spread across various social media sites, and you can see that we strive to make sure that they are covered, no matter where our fans are.
It's not the weight of the communication so much as the depth. I do appreciate what you are trying to convey -- no single channel can carry everything, and since a good deal of work-items are going to remain internal until decisions have been made and assets placed, posting something definitive on them is hard to accomplish. Sometimes the best you can do is fire off a half dozen quick replies and wait for an update from the coders.

But even so, there is a large amount of concern that while, yes, there has been more "frequent" communication, the actual content of said messages are lacking and too laden with hedges and , frankly, double-talk. Stephen Reid was more direct with his posts, which would be very blunt and transparent in what he had to say. Posts like this one make it easier to deal with what is being said than posts where nothing is communicated of value.

So, what are the take aways?

1) Every communication has to have a meaningful point : every reply that comes out that "we're looking into it and do not have a time line for it" is good but lacks potatoes to the meat.

Bad: "We do not currently have a ETA for this item , but rest assured, we are aware of player interest and are continuing to work on it".

Good: "We do not currently have a ETA for this item. Right now, the major obstacles to implementing this feature are making various subsystems work together. That requires us to take a look at other related systems to make sure we don't break anything, so it won't be in the next week or two, and we'll try to update you as we make progress on the item".

2) Softball questions and posts make you look like you are using fluff as communication : I think the idea behind the community round up is great, I really do, but it's not meaningful communication with big issues. You can easily go through the forum in suggestions and general discussion and figure out what the hot topics are, and address them , however minimally. There are people who would be patient if we even thought Bioware was aware of certain issues. I once made a thread about posts in the suggestions forum with well over 800 replies with absolutely no posts by anyone at Bioware except the poor CS guy clearing out the spam. That never bodes well for any communication model because people tune it out.

3) Deal very directly with past promises that haven't been kept: this is a big issue, right here. Lots of people have brought this up, and lots of people decided it wasn't worth keeping a sub if they couldn't be sure the game would actually improve in six months, because one thing would be said and then nothing would happen on it, and every post about it would be ignored.

Again, I know your position is hardly one where you can storm up to the developers and say "look, man, we're getting eaten alive out here, I need DETAILS". I appreciate that some aspects of what is being worked on can't be discussed for a number of reasons, be it legal, marketing, PR, or some other department nixing that, or worry about delays and being held accountable for changes beyond your control , or what have you. I think anyone mature understands that.

But when we are told something and it never materializes, it makes one .. more hesitant .. to place any faith in future pronouncements. A number of issues (guild ships, SGRA, more customization options, dual spec, etc) have been put forth and , quite sadly, pretty much ignored, despite people making constructive, calm suggestions.

I think the guy over at TORWars said it best:

Quote:
I know the corporate terror that comes with not using doublespeak or not making it seem like everything is hunky-dory, but the fact is that gamers aren’t stupid and while some of theories you see kicking around the forums are pure paranoia, most adults using a modicum of common sense can figure out that SWTOR likely wasn’t supposed to be heading for F2P in November and laying off group after group of staffers wasn’t really in the original plans. As far as I’m concerned, a bit of judicious truth-telling might actually do BioWare a favor, just like the more active presence of its Devs and Community Managers on the forums has done in recent weeks. While parent company EA might pull their best Jack Nicholson and scream about how we “can’t handle the truth”, I give gamers and BioWare fans more credit than that.
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RazielHex's Avatar


RazielHex
08.29.2012 , 09:21 PM | #109
Quote: Originally Posted by Tatile View Post
Ok, you have a point, this isn't entirely about numbers, it's about substance. As much as I'd like to see us hitting the high 20's with developer responses, it would all be for naught if those responses are merely just more of the same "Soon™" we've been receiving.
Situation A:

Player asks a question. Development does not have the answer.

Circumstance 1:

CommunityManager answers: "We don't have an answer right now. We'll get back to you."

Forum Response: "Typical BioFail. They're just brushing us off!" / "They're lying just so we'll shut up." / "Soon (tm)"

Circumstance 2:

Because they have no answer, the CommunityManager simply does not respond.

Forum Response: "The Devs are ignoring us!" / "Typical BioFail. Worst Community Service ever!" / "Why did you answer THAT arbitrary thread but not THIS arbitrary thread!?"

Ultimate Result: Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Recommended Action: Destroy all forums.

TheCoffeeFiend's Avatar


TheCoffeeFiend
08.29.2012 , 10:03 PM | #110
Quote: Originally Posted by JovethGonzalez View Post
Do keep in mind that while some days it seems that there isn't any forum activity from us, we're busy hopping around, taking a look at the SWTOR subreddit, Twitter, Facebook, and responding to PMs.
Consider that our fanbase is large and spread across various social media sites, and you can see that we strive to make sure that they are covered, no matter where our fans are.
Then, perhaps, you should start to publish any announcements on those various media simultaneously as professional providers usually do. Furthermore, you might consider refraining from such nonsense as starting a poll that solely concerns and affects active subscribers on facebook to have an entirely different community decide what in-game gimmick those active subscribers are going to get.
Quote: Originally Posted by JovethGonzalez View Post
We're also working on some new community blogs that we'll be posting in the upcoming week or so, in addition to our standard weekly blogs that we already put up.
The current blogs are merely summaries of what happened over the course of the week. Will the new blogs contain any new or more detaillied information?
Quote: Originally Posted by JovethGonzalez View Post

Finally, while this team is highly visible, a lot of what we do is internal: responding to developer requests for feedback, moderating the forums, writing patch notes, working with localization, sending various documents & ideas for approvals, working with marketing, maintaining relationships with fan sites & guilds, attending game development meetings, escalating issues, following up on bugs, and much, much more.
We already know you are overworked. Comes with the bright idea of reducing the customer-relations staff. Something to congratulate your suits for, but don't forget to remove any paperclips from the memo.
Quote: Originally Posted by JovethGonzalez View Post
In short, measuring the number of gold posts every day is not the best indicator of our overall activity. You're welcome to continue to do so, but know that every day we are working with our developers to respond to your questions here on the forums, which results in about 5-10 developer responses even during a light news week.
I agree. The mere number does not indicate anything. Anyone could post ten times the number of posts each day without adding anything useful. However, old, redundant and vague news will remain old, redundant and vague news even if you put a developer's name to it.
It should be pointed out that this is not a problem that originates with the community team, nor even the devs. The lack of customary frequent updates containing actual bits of new information meant to indicate both concern and progress on various topics most probably is the result of actual uncertainty and thus, mismanagement.
Quote: Originally Posted by JovethGonzalez View Post
If anything, measure against what we had before we started our increase in communication on August 8th. I guarantee that you will see a difference.
As you yourself pointed out above, quantity does not indicate quality.
Quote: Originally Posted by JovethGonzalez View Post
Stay tuned for the new blogs, which we'll be debuting starting tomorrow.
Which, I hope, will contain elaborate details not mentioned previously. For your sake, honestly.
Quote: Originally Posted by JovethGonzalez View Post
As always, thanks for taking an interest in this. Constructive feedback is always welcome and we'll definitely adjust our strategies when there is a need .
There is a need. Redundancy is going to knock you over you even quicker than silence.
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We don't doubt, we don't take reflection."
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