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General: Editorial: Forums & Feedback

DanaDana Halifax, NSPosts: 2,415Member

Staff Writer Neil Thompson discussed message boards, their problems and how game developers could better gather feedback from their communities.




The real problem comes when people give their opinion as feedback. "Clerics are overpowered" (hahahahaha), “The game is too hard” and "We want PvP" are all cries I have seen from time to time in one form or another. The problem is, once one person starts shouting nerf, everyone starts.

The devs will nerf that cleric eventually, then all the other things that are being called on to be nerfed leaving the game slightly different from what it was originally, and sometimes totally changing it. They have to, they're looking at the whole picture, while most of the time, fans are only privy to their smaller picture.

The way I see it only a very small proportion of a games players actually sign up and use the official forums. From experience I would suggest that most of these players have played in a number of different MMORPGs and probably been active members of their forum communities too, as I have seen many of the same people posting on forums for different games.

The whole editorial is available here.

Dana Massey
Formerly of MMORPG.com
Currently Lead Designer for Bit Trap Studios

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Comments

  • TymoraTymora Manorville, NYPosts: 1,312Member

    Although I see the point about "opinions as feedback being a problem", I disagree.  Of course, everyone has an opinion and they all have a right to be heard on forums.  However, not all opinion are about class being overpowered, or something like that.  There will be players with opinions about the game that may actually help a developer.  The point of the editorial is better made when it discussed opnion polls and what the masses of players/subscribers think.  Devs will get a pretty good picture if most subscribers sent them feedback, even if it was merely about how overpowered/underpowered their class may be.

    That's not saying that the voices of many should outweight the few (I am not a Star Trek fan, so don't get on my case).  I believe that there are some very objective players who post honest opinions to improve the game (not just their character).  It's hard for a dev to know who is being objective and who just wants some perks.

    Actively participating in Dev chats, constructive forums topics, etc. is a good way to get devs to know if you're there to help the game, or to help yourself (or to troll and make everyone miserable).  We play these games with many other people, we should also be helping to make them better by actively posting on the forums and giving our opinions and feedback. 

  • MotorheadMotorhead Phoenix, AZPosts: 1,193Member

    Nice article, good read.

    I agree, forums are supposed to be a place to discuss game mechanics.  Unfortunately, many have turned into nothing more than places for subscribers to post nonsense seemingly for the purpose of increasing that ever important post count.

    I have a subscription to CoH, and their forums have turned almost useless lately IMO.    I view post history of people with >10,000 posts, and can find no posts relating to the game.    I can't even bring myself to post there anymore.

    ----------------------------------------------
    image
    "Some days you just can't get rid of a bomb." -- Batman

  • KohenTraskKohenTrask Staff Writer Newcastle Upon TynePosts: 157Member
    Tymora...I agree with you, some forum users are constructive in their posts, what I was saying with this article is that there are better ways to garner feedback.

    I have been playing MMORPGs for over 10 years and have yet to receive a request from a developer for feedback.

    From what I see developers main tool for collecting this feedback is via forums.

    Now, if you read the general forums here on MMORPG.com (which I'm sure you do) you will have seen many posts about how all games are becoming simlar.  I put this partly down to developers reading forums to see what people want from a game.

    I have seen many people actively posting on the boards of numerous different games...and I'm sure you will agree that many posts are negative...after all, it is human nature that we voice our complaints but not our satisfaction.

    The point of the article is simply to state that there are better ways to get feedback than thoes used at present.

    I agree that forums are useful and I am all for free speech and peoples right to opinion, but forums do have their dangers which need to be alknowledged.




    Notice: The views expressed in this post are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the reviews of MMORPG.com or its management.

    Neil Thompson
    Staff Writer
    MMORPG.com

  • TymoraTymora Manorville, NYPosts: 1,312Member

    Wouldn't it be nice if a developer asked you for your feedback?  I wasn't sure if my post came across as being in opposition to your editorial, it is not what I meant.  I thought that what your wrote was accurate, I simply wanted to stress that there are good posts mixed in with all the crap.  It must be very difficult for a developer to find them.

    I thought that the part about polls and asking a wide range of game subscribers for their feedback was very positive.  I am surprised that more devs don't do this with their games.

    I have been reading these forums and I have noticed the many posts about how mmorpgs are becoming too similar.  I never would have thought it was because of devs taking feedback from various forums, but it does make sense.  I don't really agree that mmorpgs are becoming similar, in fact, I am finding some to be refreshingly different, but that is my opinion :)

  • ray12kray12k riverside, CAPosts: 447Member

    I think your wrong, You say people are posting their opinions but you fail to realize that these people are posting what allot of people in the gaming community are thinking. When I post a negative comment about a game im playing it’s a problem that my clan members and others on the gaming world see. Just most people rather not deal with the fan bois cutting their post down or the devs deleting and locking threads that might hurt their profits.


     

    The problem is that dev's don’t listen to their player base and only hear their fanboi posters, which ends up tearing the game apart. Most mmorpg's out today are made by big company's who offer no new ideas.


     

    MMOrpg's today suck people are subscribed to games to kill time and are waiting for the next good mmorpg. Blame the Developers not the players trying to improve the game.

  • KohenTraskKohenTrask Staff Writer Newcastle Upon TynePosts: 157Member
    lol...if anyone wants to oppose my article...go ahead..the whole point is to start a discussion after all.

    I have thick skin...I can take it...and I only cry sometimes...at night, when its dark and no-one is listening;-)


    Notice: The views expressed in this post are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the reviews of MMORPG.com or its management.

    Neil Thompson
    Staff Writer
    MMORPG.com

  • KohenTraskKohenTrask Staff Writer Newcastle Upon TynePosts: 157Member
    Ray12k...if you read the article again you will see that I am blaming the developers.
    Now, I wasn't distinguishing between fanbois and trolls, and you will notice that I did alknowledge that some feedback is good...but you must agree that the majority is not.
    As for the fact that you think you are posting what a lot of people think...perhaps you are...we will never truely know but I'm sure you also realise that for everyone who asks for a change there is someone who is happy with the way things are.
    Like I said, it's human nature to complain so we very rarely hear from the people who are happy with a game...they are too busy playing, but, once someone becomes unhappy what can they do but vent in the forums?

    Lastly, it's not upto the players to try and improve the game, that's the job of the developers, they do however need to get the opinions of their players as to how the game performs.  What I am saying is why should developers only seek the advice of people who are unhappy about a game which, as I have already mentioned, make up the majority of feedback...surely the people who are happy with the game should have a say too?


    Notice: The views expressed in this post are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the reviews of MMORPG.com or its management.

    Neil Thompson
    Staff Writer
    MMORPG.com

  • AmatheAmathe Miami, FLPosts: 1,658Member Uncommon

    There are a lot of problems with message board feedback, but it can still be useful to a company who has someone on staff to sort the wheat from the chaff (assuming they are skilled at doing that).

    For years I have been urging that there be polls at log in. That way no one can dismiss opinions as those of a mere "vocal minority." Every player in the game has an opportunity to give input (or not). It is very easy to put that in, and some games have done it. Those are the companies that really care about player opinion.

    EQ1, EQ2, SWG, SWTOR, GW, GW2 CoH, CoV, FFXI, WoW, CO, War,TSW and a slew of free trials and beta tests

  • tkobotkobo Dunellen, NJPosts: 465Member

    FIRST off you need to drop that " the people happy with the game are playing it, not wasting spending their time on the forums".

    Its an utter falsehood.

    It uses the fact that far too many people will be "happy" with whatever crap they get, no matter what shape its really in, becuase they are simply far too complacent, to support the falsehood that happy players dont post on forums.

    In short it greatly lowers the mark for what a "happy" player is.

    IF you really put any effort into looking, you WILL find that the people who want the game to be the "best it can be" will post even years after a game is dead in the water.

    As long as a player who feels the game should be more can go and post, he will, til he loses faith (and even a bit after that).

    NEXT you need to drop that whole "negative" label for posts.Its FAR too abused by any who wish to use it.Even the most "negative" post you can imagine  like --- "This game sucks !#$^%#%!$" has its helpful point.

    From it you can establish that THAT person is truly unhappy with the game(IF see this post from alot fo different people,you SHOULD be worried about your product).An intelligent person who really cares about the game itself will put aside his knee jerk emmotional response to said post and seek to engage the poster with a reasonable conversation.

    EXAMPLE:

    Random person poster : This game sucks *%*&%*&*&

    Intelligent game DEV: I can see you feel strongly disappointed in this game.Would you please help us out by expanding on, in what ways "This game sucks &&#$#$&$".

    The intelligent DEV or mod should politely push to get this poster to engage in the discusion he (the poster )started>While at some point the dev or mod may have to politely disagree and walk away,he owes it to those who paid for the game to make a reasonable effort to find any measureable flaw in the product.Of course fixing it after its found is important, but thats whoel nother issue in which devs fail badly nowadays.

    Now again, at some point after a REAL effort has been made by the DEV to get any gems this poster may produce,they would of course be free to walk away with an open issue/disagreement.

    Game DEVs , especially on MMOs come off as incredibly arrogant.The whole "vision" thing.They rarely ever can be seen to really care about the quality of the product.

    They need to remember that they do make and sell a PRODUCT. It will have flaws.They have a tremendous FREE think tank at their disposal.And nothing shows a DEV cares more about his product than slogging thru any unpleasentness that arrises to get whatever information that can from this think tank, and than using it to improve the product.

    Of course, once again they'ed have to get past this arrogant attitude /stance, and the accepted hero worship they sooooooooo embrace.And start to simply think of themselves as making a product some of their customers feel strongly enough about to give them FREE information for.

  • KohenTraskKohenTrask Staff Writer Newcastle Upon TynePosts: 157Member
    tkobo...I am not saying that all happy people are playing the game...but there is a very small percentage of players who actually sign up to forums...so I think it's also valid to assume that is is complacent to believe that every player feels the same as thoes that post.

    Also, maybe the negative label for posts is abused but it is that way for a reason and I personally think that I am right to make this point.  The majority of posts are negative...but I see what you mean...the developers could ask that person why they are upset.

    However, this isn't the point of the article, the point is that the devs listen to what is usually a pissed off minority...not the whole player base.  If a person starts a negative thread you can be sure it will gain support as people jump on the bandwagon...supporting ideas that aren't their own.  By emailing every player...or having a questionaire at log in people would be forced to act independently and true grievances with a game will be heard.

    Now we are going a little off-topic here but I agree that devs do sometimes come across as a little arrogant but to tell the truth, sometimes I don't blame them...not all times though.

    Many threads that are posted aren't done in a professional manner...in my opinion it's people venting, and this is fine, but once you get a few unhappy people venting at the same thing, but maybe not 'about' the same thing then this just develops bad feeling.

    Now, I have a question for you.  Say a game has one million subscribers but only five thousand sign up and use the forums and therefore only their voices are heard...is it fair that the devs only take these people into consideration when fixing/changing the game?  Should they assume that all the other players who aren't posting on the boards want exactly the same thing?

    Notice: The views expressed in this post are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the reviews of MMORPG.com or its management.

    Neil Thompson
    Staff Writer
    MMORPG.com

  • tkobotkobo Dunellen, NJPosts: 465Member

    Im sorry, ive played MMOs for over 10 years now.I started with The Realm and Merdian.

    I have yet to see any solid evidence that the DEVS listen to anyone who is NOT part of their special little circle.

    Whether its the big name guilds ,the market team,the DEVs themselves ,or their buddies(ALL of which are in those special little circles)ive seen NO evidence that they actually listen to the forum posters AT All if they arent a member of this closed self centered group.

    Its why all the MMOs are making the same mistakes over and over.Its why at one time 300k subscribers was considered "good performance",when the market had a HUGE potential beyond that.

    The Devs thought they knew what would sell. -They didnt.

    The devs thought they could just cater to guilds and it would maximize sales.- It didnt

    The Devs thought we will waste money on marketing teams, do what they suggest, and the game will reach its potential sales.They did, the game didnt.

    The devs thought "WE (the devs) know best".-They didnt.

    The simple fact is the DEVS dont listen to the forums.The same great ideas have been floated on the same forums for over a decade and we STILL dont see them in a game.

    Ive said it before, the MMO's biggest flaws are the people making the product/decisions about the product .They simply dont have a simple clue, dont listen when theyre given said clue, and stumble on secure in the hero worship they foster while turning out the same repackaged dreck each time.

    So im sorry but your "point" of the devs are listening to a vocal minority from the forums doesnt stand true.

    They are simply listening to themselves( and thier hand picked little circles) over and over again.

    To say the forums have zero effect on the games or the devs would probably be technically incorrect.

    But im just not willing to split hairs fine enough to spend the next decade typing out the decimal point followed by zeros and finally ending in a one that would probably be the technically correct number.

    As for your question.I almsot forgot to directly answer it.

    The DEVS should listen too and engage EVERY voice that raises itself.They should truly examine whats said and spend the time and effort seeing for themselves if its correct.

    Doesnt matter if those voices are comprised of 1% or 100% of their customers.They shoudl use whatever percentage of voices are directed at them/ their product to make conclusions.

    As its stands now they dont.they listen to the same bad information theyve listened to for 10+ years.The information comes from their owns voices and the hand picked little circle of yes men.

  • CymdaiCymdai Raleigh, NCPosts: 1,083Member

    Here's my 2 cents on feedback and MMORPG's these days.

    As others have mentioned, not all users browse the official forums, and as such, they are not heard at all. Other valid points were made, including the fact that only those who are active and participative are heard, and even they are ignored sometimes. Usually these people are in the big-name guilds, or people who play 10+ hours a day, and spend several hours a day on forums as well.

    I don't believe that forums are ineffective, just the way they are used by companies. Allow me to explain.

    As sad as it is to say, some people need to be ignored. However, even a fool possesses some bits of wisdom. The same guy who might be screaming "omg NeRf TeH ClErIcS!!!" may be useless on that matter, but they might be able to contribute some productive ideas on another matter. Let's say that the aforementioned n00b is a Warrior. He might be able to offer some suggestions that would improve a Warrior's chances against a Cleric in PvP. Thus, instead of having to just nerf the Cleric, you could merely enhance the Warrior's playing field a bit.

    The point I probably failed to make in the above example is that the only true way to determine the best course of action for your game is to actively participate and interact with your community. What better way to learn players' behaviors, attitudes, and playing styles than to actively immerse yourself with them? By conversing with your players, talk to them, all of them, play with them, get to know and understand them. Forums are fine and dandy, but in my experience, all forums will tend to acquire "Board Icons", or people who generally dominate thoughts, fads, and the spread of discussion and ideas on a board. These are typically the people that I feel devs DO listen to, but unfortunately, they're not always right.

    I think devs would be able to get a lot more out of forums if they actively engaged in conversation with their customers. Sorry, asking a poll once every 2 months about whether or not I liked that last patch isn't immersing yourself.

    By immersing yourself with your fellow gamers and players, you'll get a broadened perspective on the direction of the game, the community which you're serving, and how to improve the game. Plus, maybe if devs spent time talking with their customers, smaller bugs wouldn't go overlooked for massive periods of time due to their own indifference.

    Another thing immersion on forums could provide is a more generalized focus and insight on the game. Instead of listening to the guys who raid 5 times a week, have 3 characters, and the "uber" guild, remember that guy who's in a pretty good guild, who raids once in awhile, and hasn't even hit the level cap. Your customer base has many different players and player types, and they all have different wants and needs. Ignoring the many in order to serve the few is not the correct course of action. Try to incorporate improvements that benefit or enhance everyone's gaming experiences. That's a particular gripe I had with WoW. I'm glad there's tons of new raid content, but that doesn't really improve gameplay for my level 26 Priest alt a whole lot, now does it? And yes, flying mounts sound great, but what does that really do for the level 43 Warrior? Not a damn thing. Devs need to remember there's more to games than the end-game; there's a damn big gap in between the start and the finish, and it always seems to me that the body of the game is the one that's the most neglected.

    A final point I'd like to make about forums regards the seemingly obvious. Everyone has an agenda when they post an idea or suggestion. Devs need to consider the reasons and benefits behind everyone's advice. For example, people who yell "Nerf Priest, pump Shaman" might just want the Shaman to compete more effectively in PvP...or they might just want Priests to suck worse, so that they can dominate them in terms of PvP, usefulness in raids, and exp situations. No one offers advice without a personal motive, and I think a lot of the time, these motives are overlooked for the obvious "Great idea", without considering the implications of an idea. For example, a dominant end-game guild might ask for a new Super-Boss-Monster thing. Sure, it's a new challenge for players. However, it's also another oppurtunity for a guild to expand their reputation and dominance, as they can be the first/guild with the ablility to kill that monster, thus, drawing in more reputation, loot, and players to their guild. Does that make sense?

    Anyway, I hope this provided some insight. In a nutshell, forums would be more effective if Devs immersed themselves with their playerbases, and realized that there's no such thing as an "innocent" suggestion. Build your game for all players, not the just beginning or the end. Lastly, learn how your players think, play, act, and interact, and you'll be able to build a much higher quality product.

    Waiting for something fresh to arrive on the MMO scene...

  • TillerTiller Portland, ORPosts: 4,921Member

    Look at SOE, They nerfed SWG in to oblivion. They listened to the worst player feedback and applied it to their game. Now the game is populated with only the 12yr olds who came up with the ideas and they can't get any good feedback to fix the game again. LOL @ SOE.

    image
    SWG pre-cu vet, elder Jedi, elder BH -Bloodfin

  • KohenTraskKohenTrask Staff Writer Newcastle Upon TynePosts: 157Member
    tkobo...if devs listen to that 1%...or however many it is...but definitely a minority then they risk ruining the game for others.
    I have been ion games where this has happened...a vocal minority cry for changes that some of us do not want, but, because we do not visit the forums we don't know this debate is going on.
    Think of what brought Trammel to UO...is was people complaining of being pk'd...how many people do you know who though UO was a better game post Trammel?...not many I bet.

    The truth is, as pointed out many times previously, developers should be looking at a wide range of feedback...I agree with you, they should listen to everything that they are given...but they need to balance this out by asking the rest of their players whether this is waht they want too.

    As Cymdai points out...most forum posters have an agenda and this needs to be understood before devs can make an informed decision...a decision that can only be gained once they have polled a majority.

    However, MMORPGs are not democracies.  We don't own the games, we only pay to play them, and therefore developers often do have a vision.

    If devs always listened to their players then all games would be the same...however, we all want different things from the games we play and no one game can satisfy all our wants...horses for courses is what I say. Devs have the right to ignore our feedback if it doesn't fit in with their 'vision', and thank god they often do.


    Notice: The views expressed in this post are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the reviews of MMORPG.com or its management.

    Neil Thompson
    Staff Writer
    MMORPG.com

  • ZekaZeka BellerivePosts: 22Member

    I agree with Neil that forums arent representative of the general player base, and in both directions, ie some happy so dont bother to use play time for forum reading and posting, and as some so unhappy can't be bothered and unsubscribe.

    Brief surveys on log in page would be a far more reliable means by which to gather feedback that is representative, and the forums could be a source of issues of concern that the devs then survey in addition to those they elect to survey themselves.

    I also agree with posters who say devs tend to listen only to the chosen few, and even when effort is made to be objective by running focus groups, these tend to be populated with longer term players, and usually the more vocal among them - not a representative sample, and it needs to be for the devs to get a true picture of customer satisfaction.

    Zeka

  • Joshua69Joshua69 Greenfield, WIPosts: 953Member

    I've been playing MMO's for about 6 years and never did i really go and post on the Forums until i got into Archlord Beta(i did a few times on WoW). it was nice, alot of people changed my opinion as mine changed theres. but i think, comparing to other MMO forums. People just, forgot the main focus of forums, to give GOOD realized feedback, opinions and ingame content stuff. but, overtime everything changes. I think people use the forums more for COMPLAINING rather than actuall feedback. I love love love LOVE the idea of the monthly feedback thing. when the feedback is sent it should be sent in sections, those who have played 1-3 months, 4-6 etc. that way you could not focus on the 1-3 as they prolly wont have the best opinion as much as complaining, but people who would have been playing 4-6 may have more detailed feedback about an actuall imbalance. I totally agree with this article. especially the part where "staff writer" said that, people who post on forums want to get into the community :) but, that to has been lost I think.

    Example: When I first started posting on Archlord Beta forms, it was nice, a new thread every 5 hours. I could keep track of people and what not. When beta keys were a week away....it was horrible, people spammed threads and complained and i couldnt keep track of anything anymore. I see it as, people wanted to play the game and didint care about the community, just playing and complaining about what they've heard about it.



  • DrakonusDrakonus Los Gatos, CAPosts: 135Member

    I've seen games inwhich the dev's listen to some of the feedback and most of the time it works out well.  If it's implemented correctly, especially if the game is in a perpetual state of being polished [which in my opinion should be the case of the MMO genre], can allow the game to flourish.  If they don't game will die on the vine, so to speak.  If they could, in addition to the feedback forums, implement some type of random sampling from their subsciber base it may help eliminate some of the white noise of the detractors [those that never offer anything costructive to the conversation, instead they just complain].       

    image

  • DarkeOneDarkeOne Pemberton, NJPosts: 36Member


    Originally posted by tkobo

    FIRST off you need to drop that " the people happy with the game are playing it, not wasting spending their time on the forums".
    Its an utter falsehood.
    It uses the fact that far too many people will be "happy" with whatever crap they get, no matter what shape its really in, becuase they are simply far too complacent, to support the falsehood that happy players dont post on forums.
    In short it greatly lowers the mark for what a "happy" player is.
    IF you really put any effort into looking, you WILL find that the people who want the game to be the "best it can be" will post even years after a game is dead in the water.
    As long as a player who feels the game should be more can go and post, he will, til he loses faith (and even a bit after that).
    NEXT you need to drop that whole "negative" label for posts.Its FAR too abused by any who wish to use it.Even the most "negative" post you can imagine  like --- "This game sucks !#$^%#%!$" has its helpful point.
    From it you can establish that THAT person is truly unhappy with the game(IF see this post from alot fo different people,you SHOULD be worried about your product).An intelligent person who really cares about the game itself will put aside his knee jerk emmotional response to said post and seek to engage the poster with a reasonable conversation.
    EXAMPLE:
    Random person poster : This game sucks *%*&%*&*&
    Intelligent game DEV: I can see you feel strongly disappointed in this game.Would you please help us out by expanding on, in what ways "This game sucks &&#$#$&$".
    Sorry friend, but I think your tack on the value of posts like 'this game sucks'  is 'an utter falsehood'

    There are constructive ways for people to make their complaints heard and when someone goes out and says 'this game sucks' isn't trying to be constructive. It goes beyond venting. It's meant as an attack. This kind of poster isn't looking for a dialogue to fix his problems or has the foresight and couresty to respect others worksand  opinions. And you think an intelligent dev should spend on what little time he/she has on what this guy has to say? I wouldn't be surprised if they ignored it right off after seeing the first three words.


    The problem with forums is that many people use them to attack others and ram their opinion down their throats. They stand out from the rest because they want to (see poster in red text above). Basic human nature here...someone goes off on long winded rant...people avoid and ignore. That inlcudes everyone reading the post, dev's included.

    So do devs ignore what's going in forums. I think so, especially if most of the forum is filled with crap about how 'this sucks' or 'that sucks Im quiting.'  But I also think they do read and listen what people have to say if it's put across well. If that wasn't the case. MMO games today would be just as flawed as the very first ones that came out. Dev's also care about what they're making so of course they're going to listen to feedback. Sometimes they listen too much or to the wrong thing and games come out the worse for it. Sometimes it works for the players too.

    Bottom line here is that its a matter of respect and attitude for another person. Not just to devs, but every poster and reader out there. Respect is too rare in forums and if something gets ignored, can you blame them?


    D

  • buckeyefogbuckeyefog Friendswood, TXPosts: 9Member

    I wish tkobo was wrong but he isn't.

    The comical part is that the rest of corporate America spends billions of dollars just to enjoy the privilege of receiving honest, and sometimes very harsh impolite feedback.  As an example, I was called yesterday by a service that my car dealer employs to check on my recent experience with their body shop.

    MMO's get this same feedback without having to even work at it and don't seem to have a clue how to make use of it.  And maybe because it is free and unsolicited they don't have the corporate buyin to use it that a paid opinion gathering effort would have.

    In the last days of AC2 the developers made a post revealing some internal banter about forums that was very consistent with tkobo's read on the developers.  One chiding another for even reading and replying in forums since it was just feeding a crying baby bird that would never be satisfied.  If anyone still has that saved off or a link to it, it would be a good add to this discussion.

    Its always struck me that MMO companies are 30-50 years behind the times in customer relations.  One of the next big leaps will be when an MMO company finally starts operating more in line with the times and uses that advantage to crush the competition.  I don't think even WoW has come close to fully tapping this market.

    Buck



  • AmatheAmathe Miami, FLPosts: 1,658Member Uncommon

    I hear a lot about vocal minorities and suggestions that players who do not post are satisfied with how things are.

    Let me ask you this. Suppose you are driving to work and there is a big pothole in the road. Do you take the time to look up who in your city is responsible for potholes, and write them a letter? Maybe, but probably not. So does this mean you LIKE the pothole? Does this mean that other people who don't take the time to complain like the pothole?

    Behind every dissatisfied poster are a lot of other less assertive (but also dissatisfied) posters or people who just don't want to invest their time in complaining. And of course, behind that poster are also some people who don't agree. What are the percentages? Who knows. That takes a scientifically valid poll. But it isn't accurate when someone claims that well, only x number of people are complaining so everyone else likes it the way it is.

    EQ1, EQ2, SWG, SWTOR, GW, GW2 CoH, CoV, FFXI, WoW, CO, War,TSW and a slew of free trials and beta tests

  • KohenTraskKohenTrask Staff Writer Newcastle Upon TynePosts: 157Member
    Buckeyefrog...I disagree...if someone is unhappy with a service they have recieved then they do complain...much like forum posters do...the people who manufacturers/service suppliers/mmo developers don't hear from are the people who are happy with the way things are.

    Amathe...I never claimed that all people who don't post on forums are happy...but like you say...they possibley aren't happy either.

    As for your example I think it is unfair...a pothole is something no-one likes...there is no middle ground with it...it's like a game that crashes constantly...no-one would be happy with that.

    However, imagine on your drive to work one day you notice a sex shop has opened up.  Some people would complain, some people wouldn't bne bothered in the slightest and some would welcome it but you can gurantee that the only people who would complain would be the people who were unhappy.

    Sorry for the crass example.


    Notice: The views expressed in this post are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the reviews of MMORPG.com or its management.

    Neil Thompson
    Staff Writer
    MMORPG.com

  • AmatheAmathe Miami, FLPosts: 1,658Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by KohenTrask

    Amathe...I never claimed that all people who don't post on forums are happy...but like you say...they possibley aren't happy either.

    As for your example I think it is unfair...a pothole is something no-one likes...there is no middle ground with it...it's like a game that crashes constantly...no-one would be happy with that.

    However, imagine on your drive to work one day you notice a sex shop has opened up.  Some people would complain, some people wouldn't bne bothered in the slightest and some would welcome it but you can gurantee that the only people who would complain would be the people who were unhappy.

    Sorry for the crass example.


    First let me apologize. I did not mean to imply that you had taken the position that everyone who doesn't post is happy. I was merely pointing out that it's a position you see a lot in debates over the merits of forum complaints; i.e., the argument that the folks who don't post are somehow contented players.

    As with all analogies, they never quite fit and are susceptible to counter analogies. But I think my overall point is still valid, which is that anytime you have a problem that affects a large number of people, only a fraction of those people will take the time to try and solve the problem. There is a diffusion of responsibility amongst anonymous groups and many people either don't want to invest their time trying to solve a problem or they rely on other people to solve it.

    So, for example, let's take your sex shop analogy. There is a sex shop that has moved into my neighborhood. I don't have anything against sex shops per se, but I don't like having one that close to my home because it could lower my property value. What am I doing about it? I am doing nothing, because I don't feel like getting into an argument with or about sex shops.  Now, someone could say that the handful of people who do care enough to raise cain about the sex shop are just some isolated whiners who speak for no one. But that's not so. They speak for me and a lot of my neighbors. I, and many other of my neighbors, am relying on them to chase the sex shop away and hopefully they will.

    So, when you see someone on a message board complaining about some aspect of gameplay, they aren't alone. There will be others who feel that way too that remain silent. How many others? That's what the Devs need to try and find out. They need to look for and spot posting trends, and then drill down to see how many people are really bothered by something (or not). I have suggested the way to do that is with polls at log in. There are other ways, but my overall point is that forum complaints should be taken somewhat seriously and at least be modestly investigated.

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  • KohenTraskKohenTrask Staff Writer Newcastle Upon TynePosts: 157Member
    I see...then I agree with you, devs do need to find out how many people are unhappy, but, just as importantly they should also find out how many people are happy...and this is part of the point I was making, happy people seldom post on forums about what they are happy about.

    To get true feedback the devs need to work both ways.




    Notice: The views expressed in this post are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the reviews of MMORPG.com or its management.

    Neil Thompson
    Staff Writer
    MMORPG.com

  • DarkeOneDarkeOne Pemberton, NJPosts: 36Member
    Maybe they let the subscribing dollar do the talking?



    D

  • TillerTiller Portland, ORPosts: 4,921Member

    image
    SWG pre-cu vet, elder Jedi, elder BH -Bloodfin

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