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Good article, it applies to many who post here.

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > General Discussion
Good article, it applies to many who post here.

Lazzrd's Avatar


Lazzrd
07.12.2019 , 06:36 AM | #1
https://www.vg247.com/2019/07/12/gam...istening-fans/

Once in a while maybe step back and really think of the amount of work and effort it take to make this game run and add new content. Now I don't always agree with all the decisions made but I love this game and there is not another like it that offers so much for a one month sub.

ZionHalcyon's Avatar


ZionHalcyon
07.12.2019 , 10:44 AM | #2
Quote: Originally Posted by Lazzrd View Post
https://www.vg247.com/2019/07/12/gam...istening-fans/

Once in a while maybe step back and really think of the amount of work and effort it take to make this game run and add new content. Now I don't always agree with all the decisions made but I love this game and there is not another like it that offers so much for a one month sub.
It's not really a good article.

The author flits around some good points, but then dives back in to the cardnal sin of game development:

"If a game doesn't succeed, its those damn players' faults for not liking what we are giving them!"

This hubris, which saturates that article, is how bad games get made.

Good games always start with this premise:

"If I were making a game, what kind of game do the majority of people who are a fan of that genre want to play?"

Bad games always start with this premise:

"If I were making a game, what kind of game do I (the developer) want to play?"


On rare occasion, you will have a developer who is representitive of the players and a game can succeed that way. But the players are your paying base. To ostracize them is just a stupid business decision. To blame them is business suicide.

There is one point the author made that is valid:

You can't make everyone happy. No matter what, you will run into headwinds, and if you listen to all of it, it will mess you up or paralyze you. That was what killed SWG.

HOWEVER

You can't go the other way either, and just say "fine then, I will develop a game solely for myself". That is what led to KotFE and KotET and drew a mass exodus of people upset that bioware just pissed all over their characters' individual stories (yes, I know about the initial success of KoTFE - it speaks to players giving it a chance initially. What then happened is months long forum ranting and players leaving over what bioware did to the characters - developers chose short term gain for long term pain).


Those who are good at making good games have a good "filter". In other words, they can filter through players cries or requests, and figure out whats reasonable, or even look at the root cause behind the players complaints and come up with a potential solution to that rather than some of the off the wall suggestions players make. At times, they DO listen to the players if they feel a complaint is valid, or they find the majority people currently playing the game play in a style different to what they expect - good developers will adjust to the PLAYER BASE in this case, rather than demanding the players conform, so long as it doesn't break balance in the game.

The key in all things though, is remember, this is a business. So the job is to make as many players as happy as possible for as long as possible.

Being a good mmo developer means being part psychologist and figuring out what your players want.

Being a bad one means insulating yourself, and then blaming the players for not understanding your "genius" like a bloated avant garde narcissist.

Rolodome's Avatar


Rolodome
07.12.2019 , 02:44 PM | #3
Agreed, ZionHalcyon. This article is mostly nonsense. The author cherrypicks examples of some of the most obnoxious of player behavior, ignores all of the calm and reasoned feedback that players give - the hours upon hours of devotion that some communities put into supporting a game with volunteer work that nobody is paying them a dime to do - and then uses those cherrypicked examples to draw an absurd conclusion:
Quote:
it makes me worry whether this environment of fan feedback development is holding back triple-A game development from reaching its true potential.
Like... seriously? It couldn't be the financial politics of game development holding AAA back? It couldn't be mismanagement? It couldn't be undercompensated, overworked, and burned out workers? It's the players holding it back?
The author even claims:
Quote:
video games are a complex chimera of publisher goals, developer goals, and the realities of working with an ever-shifting vision. It’s like moulding a jar from clay on a rollercoaster. Games are a broken mess right up until launch – when the rollercoaster finally comes to a halt and the clay stops flopping around like one of those car dealership balloons – and developers are usually aware of the major issues they launch with.
Yet it's the players that are holding things back? It couldn't be that you just described an extremely messy industry and development process, Mr. Author? Come on.

I'm pretty tired of the narrative that paying customers are to blame for the failures of a business.

That said, there is a sliver of truth in what the author writes. There is some toxicity in video games that goes too far. But this is not only in customers; there are development studios that have cultural problems as well (I think of some of the stuff that came out about Riot's work culture or Rockstar). And some of the toxicity in video games customers is just an extension of toxicity that happens on the internet in general. It's also not most people.

Furthermore, I think any ire from customers in video games needs to be taken in the context in which it often exists nowadays. Video games rushed out and stuffed up to the hilt with microtransactions. Video games that regularly update and change things because "live service," which is always going to provoke volatile emotions when it's a piece of creative work. The author makes a comparison to TV/film. Most TV/film doesn't have a practice of changing things after release. Literally the only instance of that happening I can think of is George Lucas making some tweaks to the OT on his own artistic whims (which were very controversial) and instances of things like a "director's cut," where a slightly different edited version is sold in some capacity. Nothing remotely close to the ongoing changes that people who play video games have to deal with in "live service" games.

It's a well-known concept that people tend to struggle with change and video games have adopted a practice of changing things on a regular basis, as part of the business model. Any toxicity has to be understood in that context or we aren't being fair to the people who get frustrated at the direction video games go in (which, if we're being real, is probably just about everybody at one time or another, developers included - just a question of degrees).
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MikeCobalt's Avatar


MikeCobalt
07.12.2019 , 03:36 PM | #4
This article reminded me of the Term "Company Centric" right off. Disney and EA are both killing themselves thinking they control, even set what fans like or would pay for with Disastrous results.

https://www.raphkoster.com/2013/10/1...ing-criticism/

One example from this article is I build 3D Objects for different venues and whether its a Medieval Castle, Spaceship (that actually does have an interior) or office building I have tendencies to make the rooms, doorways and corridors too small, realistically sized. Its just that the players, owners say "their camera's *^%$", "Cant see%$#@", "the angles *^%$#", and so on so I remind myself *Continually... otherwise I would build these my own instinctualy too small; the end result after hearing that is a "Better Product" for all. Stories, game mechanics and other facets are different but noting player (Customer) feedback in any facet is good.

ZionHalcyon's Avatar


ZionHalcyon
07.12.2019 , 03:49 PM | #5
Quote: Originally Posted by MikeCobalt View Post
This article reminded me of the Term "Company Centric" right off. Disney and EA are both killing themselves thinking they control, even set what fans like or would pay for with Disastrous results.

https://www.raphkoster.com/2013/10/1...ing-criticism/
Quote:
People who tell you you’re awesome are useless. No, dangerous.
They are worse than useless because you want to believe them. They will defend you against critiques that are valid. They will seduce you into believing you are done learning, or into thinking that your work is better than it actually is. Especially watch out for the ones who tell you that nobody understands your genius.
Honestly, this is going to sound horrible, but self-doubt is one of your most powerful tools for craftsmanship. None of the designers you admire feel self-confident about their work in that way. None of them think that they are awesome. They all suffer from impostor complexes the size of the Titanic.
I am not saying that you need to lack confidence in yourself. (Heck, you’ll never put anything out if that’s the case! You need to have the arrogance to assume anyone will care in the first place). I am saying that nobody is ever done learning, and people who tell you you have arrived will give you a sense of complacency. You should never be complacent about your art.
This part reminds me of the people who are left who praise KotFE, even though it resulted in one of the largest exoduses from the game eventually since people were pissed that after having lost their class story now lost their companions AND any connection to their original story. They remind me of Nero fiddling as rome was burning.

robertthebard's Avatar


robertthebard
07.12.2019 , 04:09 PM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by ZionHalcyon View Post
This part reminds me of the people who are left who praise KotFE, even though it resulted in one of the largest exoduses from the game eventually since people were pissed that after having lost their class story now lost their companions AND any connection to their original story. They remind me of Nero fiddling as rome was burning.
Yes, because people aren't allowed to like content that others don't like, unless those others are on "my side"? KotFE, and by extension ET had their problems, not the least of which was indeed their "pacing" on returning comps, noting that as of now they're still not all back through the story, however, some of the content was actually interesting, and entertaining. Some of it, not so much. I can, however, say the same for the Vanilla game, and then there's Makeb… I do love "eventually" though. So if someone quits tomorrow, it's pretty easy to say "they quit solely because of KotFE", right?

Some of the best games out there started out as "I'd love to see this as a game, I think I'll make it". I wonder, how many dev meetings were had during the development of Baldur's Gate, or Diablo, going "Our player base is going to love this"? Hmm, I wonder how long they fussed over that point making Mass Effect 1, or DA Origins? Games that were totally based on "I'd like to play this, so let's make it". I guess they were total flops, eh? I know I never got any surveys from BW concerning Baldur's Gate, how about you?

Crap games get made when they follow exactly what their community is going on about too, due to the lack of that filter that was mentioned earlier. Because I've seen some real doozies when it comes to what is going to make a game popular or not. My favorite example is from Aion, in the Beta forums, where it was "it's going to fail if you don't make it more like WoW" on Tuesday, and on Thursday it's "it's going to fail if you make it too much like WoW". I watched 45 minutes of a 1.5 hour long critique video on ME Andromeda, before the creator finally listed his biggest complaint: "Mass Effect is Shepard's story". If he'd said that in the first 5 minutes, I could have saved myself 40 minutes before disliking and closing the vid. It for sure had issues, but seriously, if you're going to hate on it because it's not Shepard, at least do that first, so that people looking for legit criticism can go somewhere else.
Quote: Originally Posted by Transcendent View Post
Also, just a small point. Why should anyone who plays this game exclusively for any particular type of content, have to run a different type of content just to earn gear? What is that attitude all about?

OlBuzzard's Avatar


OlBuzzard
07.12.2019 , 04:21 PM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by ZionHalcyon View Post
This part reminds me of the people who are left who praise KotFE, even though it resulted in one of the largest exoduses from the game eventually since people were pissed that after having lost their class story now lost their companions AND any connection to their original story. They remind me of Nero fiddling as rome was burning.
no...

This is your opinion. That's all that needs to be said !

AND ...IMO... your opinion is not worth $.01 more than mine ... or any of those who really have enjoyed the game INCLUDING KotFE / ET. (Nor is my opinion above yours either ).

No brag ... just fact ! (like it or not)

The real issues lay else where ... and from what I've seen 6.0 just might be a good change in the mechanics that are needed: particularly in PvP and possibly in new gear system. Granted that remains to be seen. BUT.. IMO before we start piling up the wood to burn the heretics ... perhaps we should see what happens first.

Edit: I have also noticed the usage of terms and language to describe those who disagree with you or other "developers" that tends to belittle or make allegations that are considerable less than polite in order to prove your point. I suppose this is your attempt at some form of " reductio ad absurdum " in order to further reinforce your point as being what must be seen as the only real answer.

IMO... that sort of belittlement of others is not in your favor either. (but that's just me)
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Jdast's Avatar


Jdast
07.12.2019 , 04:29 PM | #8
Quite possibly the dumbest article I have ever read on this subject. I may suffer from "recency bias" because I just read it, but I bet over time I will rank it in the top 3 dumbest articles on this subject I have ever read.

The easiest way to refute the ENTIRE premise of the article is simple: account for variation and allow developers to separate trolls from legitimate critiques (aka -- doing their job).

There are games that have been lauded and had heaps of praise bestowed on them (e.g. Witcher 3) for a simple reason -- the game is good.

The author's underlying premise is that people are opposed to change (i.e. his Henry Ford quote). Wrong. He brings up the example of ME Andomeda and says it was brought down by GiFs. Wrong. I don't think it is unreasonable for people to ask for graphics to be on par or better with each new iteration of a game.

He then has the nerve to suggest that Anthem suffered because of the backlash in ME Andromeda and pushed BW to make a game that was good on graphics only. He somehow conflates graphics with the complete disaster of gameplay that hobbled Anthem's launch -- and plagues it to this day. The game is fundamentally flawed. I find it difficult to believe that the push for graphics led BW to neglect gameplay.

I don't think it's too much to ask for the graphics of a game in 2019 to be better than those released in 2015. I don't think it's too much to ask gameplay to not be stultifying like it is in Anthem. When EVERY review says basically the same thing -- there is a problem.

But I return to my original point: There will always be trolls and naysayers, but the author's premise that we jump on bandwagons and can't decide for ourselves objectively -- and communicate that point -- is utter rubbish.

Terrible article. Good game developers can separate the wheat from the chaff. More broadly, if they are so weak that they allow memes to influence their decisions they should not be in this industry.

Dasty

P.S. Oh double snap and a 'round the world twist!' I just reread what I wrote and was so impressed I'm starting my martinis early here on the West Coast of the USA.

TrixxieTriss's Avatar


TrixxieTriss
07.12.2019 , 07:14 PM | #9
So far I have agreed with just about everyone’s assessment of this article except the OPs.

All of you have hit on why things have turned pear shaped in this game and the article comes across as someone justifying their own arrogance.

OlBuzzard's Avatar


OlBuzzard
07.12.2019 , 08:12 PM | #10
Quote: Originally Posted by TrixxieTriss View Post
So far I have agreed with just about everyone’s assessment of this article except the OPs.

All of you have hit on why things have turned pear shaped in this game and the article comes across as someone justifying their own arrogance.
I would agree on the following:
1. Game mechanics (not so much the story line. I'll touch on that later). BUT... IMO items such as PvP which has totally tanked (from what I understand) ... This is a primary example of one of the things that has hurt the game. (more on PvP vs PvE in just a second.

2. The entire currency system to get the latest gear. I'm guessing all of the grinding to disintegrate tons of stuff to get disassembled stuff .. get something else to finally get a single gear item is considered a part of the current currency system.

3. Hiding stuff in PvP for PvE players and visa versa hasn't helped much either.

4. New PvE / related PvP content drought ..

5. Other game mechanics that are similar to these and frankly would take a wall of text to plow through. (And I really don't think that those who are in the know really need to be reminded of everything... frankly. )

6. The story lines : IMO .. this is subjective as much as anything. There is no need to beat a dead horse over this subject. IMO.. the biggest thing I see was the long drought over new material. IMO ... that hurt as well.

Now then: 6.0

IMO... a LOT of people are watching for this one. Make no mistake about it there are employees at BW who are just as concerned about this next release being a success as we are. BW really needs this to work !

IMO ... it looks like from where we are right now several issues are being addressed. I'm hoping that we hear some good solid announcements regarding PvP zones OR possibly new ideas in PvP that will help heal that part of the game. It is needed ... bad !

And yes I agree ... the article is not the best in the whole world either. Not something I would have published. IMO it sounded more like someone letting off a little steam at players than anything else ! And IMO ... it's really not that well researched or written.
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