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General: Wood: Community Shouldn't Mean Marketing

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  • SnarlingWolfSnarlingWolf Thereiam, ARPosts: 2,697Member
    Originally posted by Jairoe03


     

    Originally posted by SnarlingWolf

    I realize I take an unpopular stance when, on a forum of the die-hard MMO fans who want to have a say in every aspect of every MMO ever, I say players shouldn't feel owed an MMO. But to make a quick, undefended, hollow reason as to why doesn't really do the conversation justice.

     

    It's not only an unpopular stance, its practically unjustifiable and despite listed experience, it definitely isn't reflected. Whether a game is an MMORPG or a non-MMORPG (even single-player game), the company creates games FOR players. Not for themselves or they wouldn't bother publishing them, it's for other people. Even Non-MMORPG games come out with balance patches and bug fixes to make the games more enjoyable. It just so happens that an MMORPG has more longevity than a regular video game.

    No one ever said we were owed an MMO, but for the sake of customer satisfaction, companies are bound to listening to their customers to keep the game fun for everyone. Hardcore or not, we are still a portion of the player population and I don't think that many of the forum posters are as hardcore as you think we are, we are just the minority that like to express an opinion.

    If you firmly believe that developers shouldn't have to listen to their customer or worry about the satisfaction of their community, then why are YOU even posting on these forums in the first place? There would be no point for places like this if companies never had to cater to players' thoughts, opinions and beliefs. If our opinions never mattered, I believe there would be a lot more people less inclined to even bother expressing an opinion.



     

    How does my thoughts on what developers should listen to determine whether or not I should post on these forums? These are non game company forums, meaning no devs. So the two are 100% unrelated, something you seem to miss on most information.

     

    Companies produce games for MONEY, players give them money. That does not directly mean they make the game for the players, they do it as a business to make money. They have metrics that show what keeps players paying longer, makes them more likely to buy in the first place, and what extra items they'll pay for on top of their subscriptions. They use those numbers, not the few players the are vocal on their forums, to determine the path the game takes.

     

    One thing no one has admitted to realizing in all the arguing of my posts is the fact that the TRUTH is that a very small percentage of the players post on official forums. And those same players tend to fall in the same player category. That "community" doesn't come close to representing what the ACTUAL players want in their game and want changed.

     

    So sure a company will do changes that will piss off those die hard hardcore fans, and every forum in the world will light up with those die hards making sure the world knows how much said company screwed up. But the company goes on making money just fine because their change was for the majority player base, not the minority.

     

    MMO communities don't even work for that very reason. You only get a tiny group of players that all represent 1 or 2 types of gamers, not the majority who play the game. So yes on a board like this which is mostly those same players they are determined there should be a major community  with the company holding discussions with them. But you fail to realize the companies don't get much useful information out of those communities because it is not an effective information gathering tool.

     

    But go on thinking that your hardcore get into every aspect of the game and tell the developers what to do mentality is what all the players feel. When in reality it's what a tiny minority of the players feel, not the majority.

  • mlambert890mlambert890 NY, NYPosts: 135Member
    Originally posted by UnsungToo


    LOL... I'm sorry i don't mean to laugh.
    I think what companies need is the vision of a dying poor gamer. People don't  want to and most can't pay for subscriptions.
    Sure there's still lot's of people who will, but overall that's what's killing most MMO's.
    Overall it's a good article for office use. Yes, players shouldn't really be dealing with the business end of the game, just the fun parts and the people that portray that.



     

    Everyone wants everything for free.  Thats human nature.  People want to be paid for their own work, and don't want to pay others for theirs.

     

    That said... So the solution is F2P MMOs.  Anyone claiming the reason for folks being so demanding of MMO devs is their "sub fee" should admit that F2P forums should be all happy and peaceful, right?

     

    Well go to any F2P forum.  The complainers are every bit as vocal and insistent as any P2P MMO.  So this argument is specious.  It has nothing to do with sub fees.  An MMO could *pay you* to play the freakin game and the forums would be filled with complainers.

     

    I think the reason is that, more than any other genre, the MMO genre attracts people who are trying to solve some other problem, fill some other void, with the game.  A lot of people are trying to use these games as some sort of escapism or therapy and, when they inevitably fall short they take it really really personally.

  • Jairoe03Jairoe03 Winthrop Harbor, ILPosts: 732Member


    Originally posted by SnarlingWolf
    How does my thoughts on what developers should listen to determine whether or not I should post on these forums? These are non game company forums, meaning no devs. So the two are 100% unrelated, something you seem to miss on most information.
     
    Companies produce games for MONEY, players give them money. That does not directly mean they make the game for the players, they do it as a business to make money. They have metrics that show what keeps players paying longer, makes them more likely to buy in the first place, and what extra items they'll pay for on top of their subscriptions. They use those numbers, not the few players the are vocal on their forums, to determine the path the game takes.
     
    One thing no one has admitted to realizing in all the arguing of my posts is the fact that the TRUTH is that a very small percentage of the players post on official forums. And those same players tend to fall in the same player category. That "community" doesn't come close to representing what the ACTUAL players want in their game and want changed.
     
    So sure a company will do changes that will piss off those die hard hardcore fans, and every forum in the world will light up with those die hards making sure the world knows how much said company screwed up. But the company goes on making money just fine because their change was for the majority player base, not the minority.
     
    MMO communities don't even work for that very reason. You only get a tiny group of players that all represent 1 or 2 types of gamers, not the majority who play the game. So yes on a board like this which is mostly those same players they are determined there should be a major community  with the company holding discussions with them. But you fail to realize the companies don't get much useful information out of those communities because it is not an effective information gathering tool.
     
    But go on thinking that your hardcore get into every aspect of the game and tell the developers what to do mentality is what all the players feel. When in reality it's what a tiny minority of the players feel, not the majority.

    I don't think anyone is arguing against the fact that forum posters are the majority of the gaming population. However, forums can be related to developers, why do you think companies have created their own forums on their own websites in the first place? Oh because they want us to share our thoughts and opinions on a game to help them make it better or maybe they just like it when we spin our wheels on their own website? I don't know, could possibly be that you're completely overstating everything being said in this thread and that wouldn't be a surprise to me since your original post was based off unproven extremes anyway.

    Yes, it is no surprise that companies do these things for money, but the whole time I been arguing the fact is that the best way for companies to make money is by listening and building trust with their player population. Customer satisfaction and money do correlate hence why its very important especially for a long term relationship like an MMORPG for developers to cater to the player base, which community managers tend to facilitate I believe via forums.

    And guess what, players get listened to more often than you think. So next time, rather than focus on one point in a post and then reiterate the same argument in your last 5-6 posts, actually read what's being said and make a counter point to why developers shouldn't cater to players because again, "dev's not having to cater to players" sounds absolutely ridiculous especially when community is more crucial in MMO's than non-MMO games for the longevity of their products and company as a whole (yes, that ultimately leads to money).

    PS where exactly is your proof behind your "truths" for these so called facts you keep iterating. Forum posters aren't a 1 size fit all, we are more diverse than you think. Please try to not use any overstatements and exaggerations of whats being said or even words that I haven't clearly stated (aka trying to tell dev's what they should do in every aspect of the game because that definitely wasn't suggested).

  • wildchyldwildchyld San Francisco Bay Area, CAPosts: 35Member

    I disagree. Community Managers need to be part of marketing. In fact, more often then not the problem you'll see in free to play games is that they DON'T work for marketing, they work for the product manager who is mainly concerned with in game microtransaction sales. That's why you're seeing so many facebook and twitter accounts that are nothing but lists of items for sale. The problem isn't them being a part of marketing. In the mmo realm, the cash shop & the community managers are reporting to the same person, a product manager whose job is to bring more moohla in on an ongoing basis. That isn't actually the marketing department at all.

    The problem isn't who community managers report to, It's that they're being conceptualized improperly. A community manager essentially should be working for the players. They should be the voice of the people in the forums, in the game and even out here in mmorpg.com land. Companies often miss this point (no matter who they report to ultimately.)

  • BEMotormouthBEMotormouth Bedford, TXPosts: 18Member
    Originally posted by Amathe


    CMs have a hard job.
    The players ask questions and more often than not, the CM isn't given the answers or even the authority to provide the answer if they do know. Once and if they do answer anything, from that point forward if they don't answer all the questions then players get mad.
    If the CM admits that there is anything wrong with the game or deserving of criticism, then it's not simply the CM's opinion. It's that the company admits whatever it is being talked about sucks, and the next thing you see is that CM so and so has left for other opportunities and to spend more time with their family - we wish them the best.
    They have to take continuous abuse, and if they lose their cool even once or twice CM so and so has left for other opportunities and to spend more time with their family - we wish them the best.

     
    If they say what character they play or what server they are on, then they are part of a conspiracy to assist their guild, class or faction. If they don't say then it's that they don't play the game and why is someone who doesn't play a CM?
    CMs are in a unique zone that can found directly between Rock and Hard Place.

     

    That's pretty much it in a nutshell.  The wire a CM has to tread is razor thin.  And the problem with that is it makes the CM come across as wishy-washy or "spewing the company line". Some days, you just cannot win. The players distrust you, and the devs run away from you, lol.

    Mind you, I love my job. But there are moments when my self control gets tested harder than Oprah at an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet..

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