COMMUNITY - FORUMS - GENERAL DISCUSSION
A plea to sbs on communication
+10

@Caspian

Before I continue you need to understand what I’m about to say isn’t an attack but on observation from an objective 3rd party.

You are the head of the studio. The same studio that has the awesome idea for CoE and has given the player base this long list of innovative ideas that are to say the least brand new if not utterly outrageous for a MMO setting. So much so you’ve coined the phrase MEOW instead. Knowing your audience you have to understand players have a vested interest in their future world and future virtual lives. MMO players are like ants. We will organize ourselves into collectives and try to fill the jobs we expect to exist within the coming game whatever it may be.

In normal mmo terms it’s relatively easy. One game is just like everything that came before we’d know what to expect. But with CoE we have so many new ideas we have no idea how these systems interact or how to order our little communities. So when the head of the studio says something we latch onto it as gospel.

Now that said you and the rest of sbs have given out warnings about discord like you did again here. However you are the boss. When you speak it’s like the almighty to Moses. Every community I know has either a bot or individual who copies and pastes sbs comments from discord, website forums and interviews (QAs and the like) into their communal discord channels. Why do communities do this?

Money.

In a standard fare MMO the developer has a publisher footing the bill. Here we the players have given over 6 million in capital to fund CoE. So in addition to the normal MMO angst of trying to understand how things work and get our communities ready to hit the ground running on launch day folks have their wallets tied up in this as well. Right or wrong money is a strong motivator. So any shred of information no matter how “official” of said by the CEO it will be taken as fact.

Now we know discord isn’t official as said above but we have the soul chamber now. A place where adhoc QAs are held for those who have the time and luck to be idling in discord when you decide to hold one of these sessions. Because of this you have those who hear from the horses mouth and those who have to catchup in their community discord’s (hence the reason for bots and individuals coping the info as mentioned above) surely you can see how making an official channel in an unofficial medium can muddy the waters a bit.

Miscommunication is going to happen like the recent discussion over mayors and how to game the system when the ceo decides to drop in and just chat with folks. Don’t get me wrong that is an awesome thing to do but with the community so hungry for any scrap of info right before the most important milestone to date DSS you have to understand what you say can and will be analyzed, and dissected over and over.

So the problem from my ramblings above is this.

Communication.

How do we separate the informal chats that are not accurate as you don’t have notes and aren’t prepared to speak from those that are as accurate as can be given the development process?

In all honesty the only real solution is to have a public facing communications officer. Be it an actual hire or a community volunteer. Someone the community can follow and know when they post something regardless of media (discord or forums or whatnot) it is to be taken as concrete.

No one wants to lose the access and transparency you are trying to project but there has to be a better way to differentiate between official and unofficial.

This is my personal opinion and I’m sure I will get crucified for having it but honestly the problem keeps coming up with various folks giving out conflicting information (IP lock) and discord chats causing uproars there simply has to be a better way to communicate.

4/25/2019 2:41:27 PM #1
+0

No no I completely agree, this is a very good point.

SBS has been fairly good with staying interactive with the community unlike larger AAA companies, but there is a lack of clarity that causes issues. I would like to see more clarity as well, and some fine lines between discussion and concrete facts that we can be sure to see happen.


Drake County

4/25/2019 2:58:48 PM #2
+3

Sometimes less is more.

4/25/2019 3:28:44 PM #3
+7

Posted By Vucar at 09:58 AM - Thu Apr 25 2019

Sometimes less is more.

There is so much truth in that for it to be only four words..
I proposed something similar over a year ago while I was still a supermod:
While I wont go into detail I can say some improvements have been made such as the use of the soul chamber (which stopped being used for a while but has recently picked back up again) but it is very clear to me that an internal process is still needed. Information to/from the consumer base is still a mess IMO.

There are literally hundreds of people around here that would jump on the opportunity to complete the "game guide" that we thought would be a comprehensive list of core game mechanics etc.

Could that be our source of truth? Because right now we kind-of need one other than what is said at that moment.

4/25/2019 3:43:10 PM #4
+3

@Noslim

Exactly. While I was a Mod I saw the same issues. The beginning of the ambassador program at the time was seen as a way to make SERP and Sbs’s lives easier by having rabid community members who demonstrated a certain above average knowledge of the game, and were widely respected by the community disseminate information and keep it somewhat organized across all platforms.

Yet in practice it seems they are severely underutilized. In my opinion this is because they do not have a community leader to be the pipeline between sbs and the ambassadors.

The game guide the wiki and all static sources of information need to be kept up and as development changes things these changes need to be reflected in what information is published.

This lack of updates is what I think helps lead into the need the community has to dissect what is said on discord. The old QAs and dev journals have some data that is outdated and is no longer accurate. While they are “official” they are outdated and this leads people to dismiss them and stick with “unofficial” sources like discord. Which are the newest and latest sources available.

4/25/2019 3:52:45 PM #5
+0

Posted By Malais at

@Caspian

Before I continue you need to understand what I’m about to say isn’t an attack but on observation from an objective 3rd party.

You are the head of the studio. The same studio that has the awesome idea for CoE and has given the player base this long list of innovative ideas that are to say the least brand new if not utterly outrageous for a MMO setting. So much so you’ve coined the phrase MEOW instead. Knowing your audience you have to understand players have a vested interest in their future world and future virtual lives. MMO players are like ants. We will organize ourselves into collectives and try to fill the jobs we expect to exist within the coming game whatever it may be.

In normal mmo terms it’s relatively easy. One game is just like everything that came before we’d know what to expect. But with CoE we have so many new ideas we have no idea how these systems interact or how to order our little communities. So when the head of the studio says something we latch onto it as gospel.

Now that said you and the rest of sbs have given out warnings about discord like you did again here. However you are the boss. When you speak it’s like the almighty to Moses. Every community I know has either a bot or individual who copies and pastes sbs comments from discord, website forums and interviews (QAs and the like) into their communal discord channels. Why do communities do this?

Money.

In a standard fare MMO the developer has a publisher footing the bill. Here we the players have given over 6 million in capital to fund CoE. So in addition to the normal MMO angst of trying to understand how things work and get our communities ready to hit the ground running on launch day folks have their wallets tied up in this as well. Right or wrong money is a strong motivator. So any shred of information no matter how “official” of said by the CEO it will be taken as fact.

Now we know discord isn’t official as said above but we have the soul chamber now. A place where adhoc QAs are held for those who have the time and luck to be idling in discord when you decide to hold one of these sessions. Because of this you have those who hear from the horses mouth and those who have to catchup in their community discord’s (hence the reason for bots and individuals coping the info as mentioned above) surely you can see how making an official channel in an unofficial medium can muddy the waters a bit.

Miscommunication is going to happen like the recent discussion over mayors and how to game the system when the ceo decides to drop in and just chat with folks. Don’t get me wrong that is an awesome thing to do but with the community so hungry for any scrap of info right before the most important milestone to date DSS you have to understand what you say can and will be analyzed, and dissected over and over.

So the problem from my ramblings above is this.

Communication.

How do we separate the informal chats that are not accurate as you don’t have notes and aren’t prepared to speak from those that are as accurate as can be given the development process?

In all honesty the only real solution is to have a public facing communications officer. Be it an actual hire or a community volunteer. Someone the community can follow and know when they post something regardless of media (discord or forums or whatnot) it is to be taken as concrete.

No one wants to lose the access and transparency you are trying to project but there has to be a better way to differentiate between official and unofficial.

This is my personal opinion and I’m sure I will get crucified for having it but honestly the problem keeps coming up with various folks giving out conflicting information (IP lock) and discord chats causing uproars there simply has to be a better way to communicate.

I completely agree with you. There is a massive lack of information on the game mechanics. Also I noticed that there is a lot of misleading information regarding D&SS which is going to cause an outrage during the event. There should be a tutorial and explanation step by step. What you can and what you cannot do and also how it will work.

Currently there is a chaos with information regarding many things and it will cause a backlash if not sorted out properly.

We are all on the same train, as community invested over $6m we should get clarity on gameplay mechanics and fully (official)explanation how things will work during D&SS.

I think many people will agree with the original post, as it raises valid points.


EU - Server >Friend Code: 72983B

4/25/2019 5:00:33 PM #6
+1

As someone who updates the wiki from time to time, the info is all over the place like noslim says, and often confusing, outdated and contradicting.

It could benefit to have a forward facing community manager that has the authority to organize and present up to date information (and maybe delete/edit/archive outdated information).

For now, this doesn't have to be a paid role.


Count Wulfberht of Leîj'rez county, VII of the order of the IX.

Order of IX

4/25/2019 9:14:35 PM #7
+1

I disagree in part, as I feel Caspian wants to be a greater part of the discussion sometimes, but feels overly constrained by the fear that people will take his every utterance as gospel.

I agree that the seeming lack of up to date information makes this hunger for details so intense that we put too much pressure and faith on what he says at the moment. Let the guy brainstorm, fool around, or just speak off the cuff without chronicling his every word as gospel.

We are different from a "normal" MMO community of the past eras, in that this is crowdfunded. We believed in his (their) vision of the game so much we became financial backers. This does not elevate us to the level of owners, or investors, but it does show much more commitment to the vision than simple fan bois of the past.

Serp is a busy guy, and I think he does a great job. I would like to see SbS step up to hire an intern or two to transition some of his work load away, so that he can be promoted to the level of Community Liaison that this community really needs. We need someone like a press secretary that knows what is going on behind the curtain, yet is good about only revealing what has been approved on the customer side of the curtain. This allows for accurate, timely information to be shared, while heading off misleading or totally BS information that is leading the conversation the wrong direction. Because of this "need to know" what is behind the curtain, it can't be a volunteer. It needs to be a respected member of the SbS team, and Serp is definitely the right person for the job.

If Caspian had the ability to simply chat in Discord, where if details were needed he could say "Ask Serp", then the pressure would be off him enough he could be more present, open, and enjoy hanging out with us more often without being pinned under a microscope all the time.


4/25/2019 10:09:28 PM #8
+1

An interesting and well reasoned proposal to what has been an ongoing problem that will only continue to get worse as the game expands beyond its current state.

I hope it does get addressed.


We Are The Many... We Are The One... We Are THE WAERD !!!

4/25/2019 11:55:55 PM #9
+19

Busy with Domain & Settlement Selection, but I wanted to quickly post so you'd know I read the topic.

-Caspian


4/26/2019 1:52:07 AM #10
+0

Posted By Caspian at 09:55 AM - Fri Apr 26 2019

Busy with Domain & Settlement Selection, but I wanted to quickly post so you'd know I read the topic.

-Caspian

Awesome. Thanks Caspian for the quick acknowledgement. I am looking forward to hearing what you have to say about this topic.

I agree with the original post. I think it boils down to the decision to have those at the heart of the game development being the ones to release information. I find this admirable; however, as the game enters the year in which it is trying to launch*, I seriously doubt these people have the time to put together the amount of PR material that is required to inform the (very active) community and promote the game. It would be a superhuman amount of workload.

*Timelines can obviously change, I'm just using the most recent one I have found.


4/26/2019 1:53:17 AM #11
+2

As anyone that has seen me reply to this threads. I agree, I feel communication has been a huge problem for way too long. There is many different parts to it. Info is spread all over the place. Some DJs are outdated, others have changed different parts. While it's good the wiki is mostly up to date, with the few topics I have looked up, it's still missing heaps. Probably cause it's hard to find everything.

I see different people ask questions on discord about game mechanics. While I know some of the answers, I have no idea where the official source for it even is. Stuff should never be that confusing.

I got into a utterly pointless argument on discord last week. A few people were arguing that cause Caspian said some comment in passing on discord. They took it as 100% fact. No matter what was said back to them. Were so locked in their view and was just spreading their wrong info to everyone. So saying "discord isn't official", really means fuck all.

This is a topic where something has to give.. but of course in the past Caspian has said "everything is fine". So good good moment?


4/26/2019 3:40:37 AM #12
-1

Well, this seems the same crowd that bitches their is not enough information and then bitches when plans change from SBS having given out alot of information. SBS has done a really good job of being transparent maybe even a little too good of a job.

Honestly, not an attack on the OP but I wish Caspian would stop responding to these type of threads. I would like to know should Caspian disappoint the entire community so he can respond adequately to your thread and not release DSS on Monday.

Making sausage if you saw it would make you never want to eat sausage again. I think way too many people here are not prepared for the game making sausage process. It is messy with many curves and turns and restarts required.

OK hit me with negative buttons, but God I am tired of SBS being barraged with the monthly sky is falling shit from people that need to grow some patience if not just for their own sanity, take a six month break from following the development and then come back in that time.

4/26/2019 3:57:31 AM #13
+8

@Ortherion

Seriously mate you might want to read a bit closer before hitting reply next time.

No one is attacking sbs. No one is asking for more information nor is anyone upset that things change. In the thread I linked there was considerable confusion because as Caspian admitted he misspoke. Added with the misinformation due to internal confusion on IP locking prior to DSS which again sbs admitted was an internal miscommunication I don’t see it as “the Sky is falling” to point out this is a continuing problem.

To be honest we had a community lead for a couple of years. She has since lost the tag so not sure why and frankly isn’t my business. However as the forums grow and more people show up confusion is only going to get worse.

CoE isn’t a secret that should require people to dig, consult the stars and a Ouija board to determine the answers to basic questions. The wiki team, ambassadors and sbs themselves do a great job tossing out tidbits of info yet if you read Caspians words again in the linked post nothing on discord is official yet it continues to be quoted and brought to the forums which causes problems. Which causes Caspian to step in and explain/fix. Asking for someone else to take that off his plate seems like a no brainer. As others pointed out it wouldn’t even need be a paid position.

If you don’t see the issue then I’m happy for you. Most of the rest of discord and the forums have been caught up in a “discord information release” argument at least once.

4/26/2019 4:00:16 AM #14
+3

Posted By Ortherion at 9:40 PM - Thu Apr 25 2019

Well, this seems the same crowd that bitches their is not enough information and then bitches when plans change from SBS having given out alot of information. SBS has done a really good job of being transparent maybe even a little too good of a job.

Honestly, not an attack on the OP but I wish Caspian would stop responding to these type of threads. I would like to know should Caspian disappoint the entire community so he can respond adequately to your thread and not release DSS on Monday.

Making sausage if you saw it would make you never want to eat sausage again. I think way too many people here are not prepared for the game making sausage process. It is messy with many curves and turns and restarts required.

OK hit me with negative buttons, but God I am tired of SBS being barraged with the monthly sky is falling shit from people that need to grow some patience if not just for their own sanity, take a six month break from following the development and then come back in that time.

People are getting insanely excited... and overly nervous. I agree that SBS has been forthcoming with a little to much information sometimes but I think that is part of their personal excitement as well. People are taking the discord talks a little to much to heart. Let SBS has a little fun and just chat and let them have new thoughts without scrutiny.

This game has been pushed with a lot of hype and forum comments for soooo many years now. I agree that people need to let down but they are also allowed to have their opinions. His opinions were thought out and well written.

and... if you say to negative button you... i guess i have to, i'm just a follower in these kingdoms after all.. listen to the Duchys.


4/26/2019 4:04:33 AM #15
+20

This was a plea to us, although in a public forum. It's been read, though we don't have time to respond meaningfully at the moment.

However, further discussion on this seems a bit pointless, as debating whether or not I should continue to go into Discord, or whether I should fire someone on the team and hire a community manager is, frankly, not something we're looking for feedback on.

I'm locking the thread to prevent further spiraling.

Thanks!
Caspian