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DarthSpuds's Avatar


DarthSpuds
06.21.2017 , 03:24 PM | #51
Quote: Originally Posted by Alssaran View Post
I don't blame Eric, but something must have gone horribly wrong during the early 4.X and 5.0 development cycle.
I don't blame Eric either.

My point was that if Eric's job is as described and we still got 5.0 then there is a serious problem with that feedback process. I can't recall even 3 positive bits of feedback about 5.0 in the run in to it being released - the very best the feedback got was "well, let's wait and see". And there is no way that is positive feedback - if your corporate strategy is to consider "let's wait and see" as positive feedback then you are in serious trouble.

Where was the "positive" feedback that led them to release 5.0 as it was?

If we look at the whole range of feedback on 5.0 and Bioware still felt confident enough to release it as it was then there is either a MASSIVE problem with which feedback sources they assign most weighting to, or there is a MASSIVE problem with Bioware's ability to analyse the feedback as a whole.

If improvements to the game - from the players' PoV - are to be made then we ALL need to understand how and why that processed failed.

And this new open and communicative era doesn't do that.
It seeks to fix a symptom, rather than to address a cause.

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HKtheindomitable's Avatar


HKtheindomitable
06.21.2017 , 03:45 PM | #52
Quote: Originally Posted by DarthSpuds View Post
I don't blame Eric either.

My point was that if Eric's job is as described and we still got 5.0 then there is a serious problem with that feedback process. I can't recall even 3 positive bits of feedback about 5.0 in the run in to it being released - the very best the feedback got was "well, let's wait and see". And there is no way that is positive feedback - if your corporate strategy is to consider "let's wait and see" as positive feedback then you are in serious trouble.

Where was the "positive" feedback that led them to release 5.0 as it was?

If we look at the whole range of feedback on 5.0 and Bioware still felt confident enough to release it as it was then there is either a MASSIVE problem with which feedback sources they assign most weighting to, or there is a MASSIVE problem with Bioware's ability to analyse the feedback as a whole.

If improvements to the game - from the players' PoV - are to be made then we ALL need to understand how and why that processed failed.

And this new open and communicative era doesn't do that.
It seeks to fix a symptom, rather than to address a cause.

All The Best
As someone mentioned earlier, they didn't take the feedback seriously enough. But they then admitted they were wrong about releasing 5.0 in the state it was and have since changed they way they do things. The feedback method and sources weren't the problem.
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casirabit's Avatar


casirabit
06.21.2017 , 03:48 PM | #53
Quote: Originally Posted by Alssaran View Post
T
I don't blame Eric, but something must have gone horribly wrong during the early 4.X and 5.0 development cycle.
It also could be people did what Eric said, I don't like it without explaining. I saw some of the posts and while there were a few that explained it, a lot just rant and rave without giving reasons.
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mike_carton's Avatar


mike_carton
06.21.2017 , 03:54 PM | #54
Thank you for making this important topic a discussion thread. Eric's post is interesting and I look forward to the other insiders' posts as well.

I'd like for Eric's role to not just be a litmus test but an advocate inside the development organization for the playerbase. If the "leadership meetings" that are mentioned are anything like what I know of from other contexts, Eric's participation is a great opportunity to bend some influential ears.

Given the nature of the relationship with the Influencers, I'm not sure how representative their feedback would be of any segment of the players (other than the segment called Influencers); the feedback these Influencers receive from their audiences is likely to have more probative value. If third-party content is going to be monitored, then it should be of people who have no relationship at all with BWA.

Messaging is a fruitful exercise when the target audience is shareholders or general public. When it comes to customers, the product or service, its quality, and the experience of using it will always trump any message. Example: "Thrill of the Hunt."

As has been pointed out, communication, transparency and feedback-gathering are important but represent only the beginning. I cannot throw a forum post at an Ops boss, "Dev Team Transparency" is not a Combat Proficiency. The real value of communication, transparency and feedback lies in the corrective actions they trigger. It has been accurately pointed out that the active forum participants are a minority of the players. However, a large amount of the feedback being provided on the forums these days is equally beneficial to all players - even the silent majority. Example: The suggestion to buff all DPS Disciplines into a narrow performance band will benefit all players. On the flip side, it is the decision to broadly lower the DPS band through nerfing many Disciplines that'll hurt the silent majority without any input from them.

As for the feedback mechanism:

  • What are the various kinds of information that will be provided? We know about Roadmap, Upcoming Bug Fixes and Wednesday Discussion threads. Anything else?

  • Will the feedback period on a topic be announced up front? (And/or) Will the end of feedback period on a topic be announced?

  • What would an ideal feedback post be like from your point of view? In terms of structure, content, approach or tone.

  • How far ahead of time will each of these be provided?

    • The Roadmap should have enough lead time for it to be practical to incorporate feedback. If a change coming in next month is first mentioned in a Roadmap, most feedback would be useless as the change is probably already being tested. For this reason, Roadmap should include different categories: items coming in 3 months (at great detail,) items coming in 6 months (broadly described,) items coming in 1 year or more (high-level description.)

    • Bug Fix details probably don't need to be posted much in advance.

    • Discussion threads should really be posted before any (re)design of a major gameplay element; it should be possible to fundamentally alter the proposed design through feedback.

  • What kinds of feedback will be actually considered internally for incorporation? Be as brutally honest as possible.

    • Will a redesign of long-term roadmap item be considered based on feedback?

    • Do only suggestions of minor tweaks stand a chance of being considered?

    • How about feedback on combat experience?

    • Any plans around feedback about story elements? (There are obvious spoiler considerations for upcoming story.)

    • Will PTS and feedback from its use be part of the process? (Can of worms: Open PTS or invite-only? Who gets invited?)

    • If something you're doing is hopelessly wrong for the game and the players, what will it take to convince you of it?

  • Will the feedback received on a topic that is actually being considered or discussed internally be posted as a summary? This might lead to more headaches. Just asking.

  • Will there be a closeout post/thread identifying what feedback, if any, has been accepted for incorporation into the game?

I appreciate and value the increased communication and transparency. They come with risks and headaches for you that I hope will not discourage you from continuing this good trend.
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Decidion's Avatar


Decidion
06.21.2017 , 03:54 PM | #55
Quote: Originally Posted by EricMusco View Post
Hey folks,

As mentioned above, Keith, Charles, and I will make posts in this thread about how we manage/use player feedback in our roles. This is a pretty extensive topic so these posts may be a bit long! I’ll kick this party off.

Let’s start by talking ....... I will let Keith and Charles talk more about what impact it has on development.

-eric
I really don't buy it. When you announce pending/suggested changes and the player base adamantly opposes it, like when you first announced RNG command crates, and then STILL go through with it, either you are failing miserably in your job or the dev team really doesn't care and are going to do what they want regardless.

And then to top it all off, when good, viable solutions are presented, such as Community Contributor Kid Lee's suggested fix, you still ignore it and continue down your merrily chosen path.

There are only two times in recent years I have seen anyone publicly outside the BioWare team influence have any sort of impact....the reversal of the Companion nerf and reversal of the Heroic Mission payouts, BOTH after a huge uprising on the part of the players.

HKtheindomitable's Avatar


HKtheindomitable
06.21.2017 , 03:56 PM | #56
Quote: Originally Posted by casirabit View Post
It also could be people did what Eric said, I don't like it without explaining. I saw some of the posts and while there were a few that explained it, a lot just rant and rave without giving reasons.
You are exactly right. In fact, most of those threads have posts from the Eric and various players stating that constructive feedback is needed, and said posts explaining what that means. There really is no excuse for so many to have not given details explaining why they didn't like something. The lack of detail and the posts being just rage posts made it difficult to take most of them seriously and see them as more than an angry child not getting their way.
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LadyAdmiral's Avatar


LadyAdmiral
06.21.2017 , 04:13 PM | #57
Quote:
Seems these influencers hold a good degree of sway. Not saying that as a bad thing, but it could provide some very limited feedback given how much it is weighted - my point being, those hardcore enough to put up a stream, a blog, etc likely skew mostly towards endgame if I had to guess, be that PvP or Operations. Only reason I say that is because from a personality profile standpoint, the people who are playing just to enjoy the story are less likely to be someone who is dedicated enough to start up something like that.

That doesn't mean those influencers hate story - nothing is black and white - but it is more likely they don't hold story in the same regard as others, as leveling for them is about spacebarring content to get to endgame as quick as possible to engage in how they choose to enjoy the game.
Much like the general playerbase we come from all walks of life and all types of interests. I've noticed that most of the podcasters actually skew towards more casual play - Chill from Ootinicast only streams story on his many many characters, Bad Feelings often makes fun of themselves for being newbs to the game, and one of the podcasts is literally called "Passionately Casual" lol. Here's all the podcasts: https://www.reddit.com/r/swtor/wiki/podcasts

I've noticed bloggers actually tend to skew even MORE towards story, though I don't believe any of them are in the influencer program. You can check out some blogs here: https://www.reddit.com/r/swtor/wiki/external_links

There isn't currently anyone who ONLY streams except for two people I believe, the rest of us make youtube videos. Of everyone they're the ones who skew most towards endgame content. I think you're wrong about spacebarring though - I think at least at one point in our "careers" each of us has made a video of us doing a story playthrough

You're correct though, there are no influencers who focus 100% on story. Because if we played entirely solo, we wouldn't be the kinds of people who make stuff and put it out into the world Bioware doesn't usually look for feedback about the story as much though, I've noticed, so I wouldn't worry about that too much. WE give feedback about the things we love specifically, we don't tend to bash the things we don't.

And as for saying we're spacebarrers... I'm a little hurt! If you want to come join an influencer who loves story you're welcome to join me, I'm playing the entire story as a F2P player and hosting secondary videos about my roleplay/story/character history called "The Wonder of SWTOR" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-1I...rYbOR4E6WFgdyo
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Andryah's Avatar


Andryah
06.21.2017 , 04:27 PM | #58
Quote: Originally Posted by mike_carton View Post

I'd like for Eric's role to not just be a litmus test but an advocate inside the development organization for the playerbase. If the "leadership meetings" that are mentioned are anything like what I know of from other contexts, Eric's participation is a great opportunity to bend some influential ears.
As someone who has been the business owner for large customer facing web properties..... I get your point, but I disagree with your assessment. I've walked in Erics shoes on this, though at a higher ownership level.

There is really no difference between the term Eric used and the one you used. Being the customer litmus test in a business meeting IS very much an advocacy role... and not the only role Eric would be playing either on behalf of players.

People need to understand that Eric being there as the feedback and sanity checking point representing the broader player based does NOT automatically mean everything he says can and will just be accepted and incorporated. He will be heard, and as Community Manager he will be the go to person to get the pulse of something in the player context. But other factors are also at play in any such meetings.
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LordTurin's Avatar


LordTurin
06.21.2017 , 04:29 PM | #59
Quote: Originally Posted by mike_carton View Post
[COLOR="Teal"]Given the nature of the relationship with the Influencers, I'm not sure how representative their feedback would be of any segment of the players (other than the segment called Influencers); the feedback these Influencers receive from their audiences is likely to have more probative value. If third-party content is going to be monitored, then it should be of people who have no relationship at all with BWA.
Quote: Originally Posted by mike_carton View Post
[COLOR="Teal"]
As has been pointed out, communication, transparency and feedback-gathering are important but represent only the beginning. I cannot throw a forum post at an Ops boss, "Dev Team Transparency" is not a Combat Proficiency. The real value of communication, transparency and feedback lies in the corrective actions they trigger. It has been accurately pointed out that the active forum participants are a minority of the players. However, a large amount of the feedback being provided on the forums these days is equally beneficial to all players - even the silent majority. Example: The suggestion to buff all DPS Disciplines into a narrow performance band will benefit all players. On the flip side, it is the decision to broadly lower the DPS band through nerfing many Disciplines that'll hurt the silent majority without any input from them.
You do realize there is a little bit of hypocrisy here right? You have no idea what the influencers say (by all accounts, they seem to have universally disliked 5.0 RNG as an example, but their feedback under the previous producer was ignored), but you are claiming that forum poster feedback is beneficial to all players whereas influencers are apparently not? The segment of the population called forum posters is representative in exactly the same way as the feedback of influencers by your definition, that of forum posters. This is why they get feedback from a lot of different places, and not just rely on one spot (which in your opinion should be forum posters I guess?)
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Andryah's Avatar


Andryah
06.21.2017 , 04:42 PM | #60
Quote: Originally Posted by HKtheindomitable View Post
You are exactly right. In fact, most of those threads have posts from the Eric and various players stating that constructive feedback is needed, and said posts explaining what that means. There really is no excuse for so many to have not given details explaining why they didn't like something. The lack of detail and the posts being just rage posts made it difficult to take most of them seriously and see them as more than an angry child not getting their way.
Yeah.. I really do not understand why players do not grasp the mechanics of "good feedback" and make use of it. it makes for much better chances of them getting their wants/needs heard. I guess maybe many are conditioned by social media mechanics of the present day to complain early, complain often, demand satisfaction immediately, and rally a revolt over every perceived slight.

Basic success model in feedback when you have what you feel is an objective point and want it to be considered objectively ---> is to actually present it objectively and absent passion, drama, and hyperbole.

The fundamentals of good feedback are simple, and important:

1) state the problem objectively, providing facts rather then opinion.

2) explain accurately and objectively why it IS a problem. Again.. facts, not feelings or opinion.

3) offer clear and concise feedback as to suggestions to resolve the problem. And it is always best to offer multiple suggestions to a given problem as that encourages better results. This follows the important fundamental business rule in companies ----> If you present a problem, also present options to be considered to address the problem.

4) if asked for clarifications.... GIVE THEM, with the same objectivity and use of facts.

5) listen to the other side of the discussion. Why? Because one persons bright idea is another persons nightmare, and constructive and open two way discussion actually moves things, whereas resorting to tantrums and attacks just shuts people down from even listening.

6) Be OK with whatever outcome results.... because you do not know or have all the facts considered for a product or service that touches hundreds of thousands of customers. Sometimes your suggested solutions to a stated problem will not be embraced.. not out of any lack of care or concern, but because for something like an MMO the game is not designed for you personally, but for the masses.

instead.. many people wait until something pisses them off.. and then they come and slather the forum with over the top ranting (which helps nobody, including the person complaining), rather then waiting to calm down and then come and present meaningful feedback and engage in meaningful dialog and discussion.
Current use of smartphones and computers have already become such a part of who we are to which he sees them as an extension of everyday life that makes us “cyborgs. Further, AI is a serious potential risk to the future of humanity.
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