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Which game devs do you think really listen to their audience?

I think we all can agree SOE does not care or even really looks. At least that is how it looks to us.

But who does care and actively tries to see what they can do to accommodate the fans of mmo's, and of the mmo that they are working on.

I think it really is important that this attitude comes from the company heads. The teams that actually work on the game have very little they can do if they are not allowed to, either because of philosophy or time and budget constraints.

The testing philosophy is important! Are there any companies that really make time to test and listen to us as fans?

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Comments

  • TyrantasTyrantas Member UncommonPosts: 369

    Not mmorpg, but starcraft 2 devs does for sure.

  • astoriaastoria Member UncommonPosts: 1,677

    My best impressions are of the developers being responsive are

    Fallen Earth

    City of Heroes

    Rift

    I would also add that I think these developers have seemed to me to listen to the majority of players, not just the louder players in forums. There are many cases where they took actions that I personally disagreed with and put that feedback into forums etc., but I would have to admit there was a strong lobby for the changes that were made.

     

     

    "Never met a pack of humans that were any different. Look at the idiots that get elected every couple of years. You really consider those guys more mature than us? The only difference between us and them is, when they gank some noobs and take their stuff, the noobs actually die." - Madimorga

  • GdemamiGdemami Member EpicPosts: 12,342

    Not a rule of thumb but those with low subs...

  • ReklawReklaw Member UncommonPosts: 6,495

    Most indie-developers do as far I can tell.

    But then again the "Big Boy's" also listen, they might just listen to the majority, but they do listen, want proof see current MMORPG state image

  • WolfenprideWolfenpride Member, Newbie CommonPosts: 3,988

    Not really impressed with most MMO companies, but CD Projekt impressed me when they re-released Witcher 1 EE and DLC essentially for free to those who already bought the original. They actually went to improve and expand upon the game without charging they're customers.

    Though I didn't play the original version, Larian Studio's also heavily improved Divinty 2 Eco Draconis by revamping the graphics entirely, adding more content, fixing numerous bugs, and re-releasing the game as Dragon Knight Saga. Not sure if they let original owners of ED download/update to DKS free of charge though.

    I also like Piranha Bytes, mainly because they're one of the few still making open world-ish RPG's. Gothic 3 was a mess of a game, but from what I understand they helped support the community patches that came out later to help improve the game. Their next game Risen was much, much better.

    edit: Actually an MMO company I do have a lot of respect for would be Virtrium LLC. I think they've done a great job with Istaria, and I really like the Military Appreciation Program they have set up.

  • Wharg0ulWharg0ul Member Posts: 4,183

    Although SWTOR isn't actually out yet, I'd have to say Bioware.

    They have already made changes to the game in response to community feedback, and included features that they had not initially planned on.

    They are coming across as Devs who really care about their community, and about their product.

     

    Now, I also have to echo a poster above me who mentioned CD Project Red. Although they don't make MMORPGs, theor dedication to their customers is a model for game developers everywhere.

    Not only do we have their stunning customer service actions after the Witcher was released, but they have continued the trend with the Witcher 2.

    Shortly after discovering the horrid performance hits that their DRM was causing, they removed it entirely in the first game patch, so as to not cause their legitimate customers to be inconvenienced.

     

     “Our goal is to make our fans and customers happy and to reward them for buying our game and DRM schemes does not support our philosophy as they might create obstacles for users of legally bought copies. Our approach to countering piracy is to incorporate superior value in the legal version. This means it has to be superior in every respect: less troublesome to use and install, with full support, and with access to additional content and services. So, we felt keeping the DRM would mainly hurt our legitimate users. This is completely in line with what we said before the release of The Witcher 2. We felt DRM was necessary to prevent the game being pirated and leaked before release. This purpose has been served, so we are pleased to let our users enjoy the full freedom of game usage they deserve.”

     

    MAJOR KUDOS to CD Project Red for understanding the truth about DRM, and for making the right choice. Hopefully other developers take notice and see that this is how customers should be treated.

    image

  • CernanCernan Member UncommonPosts: 360

    I am going to go with:

    Global Agenda

    Rift

    I think GA devs have shown the perfect way to listen to their community.  They send out newsletters with polls and then actually made changes based on those polls.  What does the community want to see worked on first: pve missions, pvp missions, or raid content.  They listened.  Also look at how they kept the game free and then decided to take the Guild Wars approach to billing after listening to community feedback.  I don't know many other devs that have interacted as well as them.  If they did maybe games like APB or Auto Assault wouldn't have died as fast as they did.

    Rift has done a pretty good job so far.  Coin-lock, open dialogue about the hacking, server transfers....all result of them listening and trying help the community.    Why hasn't any other dev come up with IP coin-lock before.

    Fallen Earth - From what I remember, they also did a great job.

  • maskedweaselmaskedweasel Member EpicPosts: 11,861

    Yup,  Hi Rez is pretty good.  Icarus is by far the best I've seen as far as listening to their community.

     



  • AlotAlot Member Posts: 1,948

    I think ArenaNet seems to respect and listen to their future playerbase, at least the one that's currently present at GW2Guru. 

  • VenDyneVenDyne Member Posts: 51

    The Artix Entertainment guys seem Ok. They make flash MMORPGs so I guess they have a lot of room for suggestions. Anything goes for them I think. :D

    Sturgeon's Law: "90% of everything is crud."

  • Germaximus_SGermaximus_S Member UncommonPosts: 1,061

    Vindictus.

    And anything by Perfect World. They use it to manipulate cash shops but their games are incredible for free to plays.

    Jeremiah 8:21 I weep for the hurt of my people; I stand amazed, silent, dumb with grief.
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  • WarzodWarzod Member UncommonPosts: 485

    Originally posted by astoria

    listen to the majority of players, not just the louder players in forums. 

    This smacks a very important nail right on the head. Some game companies actually believe they are 'listening to their customers' when all they are really doing is taking orders from the very loud 2% on their forums. If developers want to truly get a feel for what their customers want they need to look at ways to develop better feedback tools so that those who stear clear of the clique-fest fanboi troll nightmare that is most MMO communities still feel they have a place to go to let their opinions be heard.

  • japojapo Member Posts: 306

    I wish none of them did.

     

    WoW is the most populated game and it's players are comfortable with it.  When new games are developed, they usually don't start with all the WoW EZmode garbage, but evolve into that because devs cave in to the whining future player base who are getting tired of WoW.

     

    Please devs...design the game YOU want to design.  Believe me when I say that people will play it.  Stop trying to be the next WoW and stop trying to compete with WoW.

    WoW is not your competition....every OTHER game is.

     

    So please stop doing what the players say they want you to do because all they want is a new version of WoW.

  • DisdenaDisdena Member UncommonPosts: 1,093

    Originally posted by japo

    I wish none of them did.

     

    WoW is the most populated game and it's players are comfortable with it.  When new games are developed, they usually don't start with all the WoW EZmode garbage, but evolve into that because devs cave in to the whining future player base who are getting tired of WoW.

     

    Please devs...design the game YOU want to design.  Believe me when I say that people will play it.  Stop trying to be the next WoW and stop trying to compete with WoW.

    WoW is not your competition....every OTHER game is.

     

    So please stop doing what the players say they want you to do because all they want is a new version of WoW.

    Amen!

    I was so saddened to have to leave FFXIV after they replaced the director with someone whose only skill is caving to popular player demands. One by one, all the unique things about the game—things that a lot of the playerbase took issue with, true—started disappearing to make way for WoW conventions.

    It was never a good game but it was at least a different game, which is a hell of a lot more than can be said for most of its competitors.

    image
  • kjempffkjempff Member RarePosts: 1,759

    I would argue that listening to players is good, but dancing to players wishes is bad.

    Players don't know what they want, or rather what they want is so complex that it is close to impossible to express.

    Such has many bad things in mmorpgs come, listening to players asking for something specific, while not understanding what they really want (Prime example is WoW).

    Make a thread about what players want, and you will get everything from very detailed simple things, to broad definitions of concepts and style.

     

    So, yes devs should listen to what is beeing said in a broader perspective, but only put in that which is good for their game.

    The other part is listening to complaints about something put into a game, where the hard part is parting the complaints about the specific feature from the complaints just using the specific feature as a way to get other points through. Here also come in an important thing that is evident in most cooperations - No one wants to admit a mistake. When you can't admit a mistake, you often make it worse by stubbernly clinging to your idea. Some are more progressive, and maybe not openly saying it was a mistake, but atleast not repeating it.

  • Ph33rlesPh33rles Member Posts: 12

    Well there's a big issue with basing changes off complaints. Honestly, if someone is happy with something do they go to the forums and gush about it? Typically not, they're in the game playing with whatever it is they enjoy.

    If someone dislikes something, they'll make 10 forum threads and if they're really dedicated start making alts to bump and cheer on their cause to give it legitimacy.

     

    Moreover, people want different things, and they'll go into a game expecting whatever it is they want. And what works for someone will not work for someone else. And there is a point where you have to nip it in the bud before you look like a ping pong ball fixing the thing you just screwed up only to screw something else up in the process.

  • BelightBelight Member Posts: 73

    I was impressed with Fallen Earth's Devs/Community Liasons.

  • CeridithCeridith Member UncommonPosts: 2,980

    Activision-Blizzard.

    The problem is that their target audience is Kotick, Morhaime, and the other money hungry stockholders.

  • GyrusGyrus Member UncommonPosts: 2,413

    Flying Lab Software (Pirates of the Burning Sea) did.

    They listened to the Fanbois on their forums heaps pre release.

    The the game went live... it was exactly what the Fanbois had wanted.

    And guess what?  The Fanbois couldn't hack it.  Yeah, despite all their 'hardcore 133t PvPer' talk they only liked it when it worked in their favor.  It was great fun while they were ganking the n00bies.  But when they had chased all the n00bies away they had to prey on each other... and that wasn't nearly so much fun.

    The vast majority of them had left the game they asked for within 3 months of release.

    Nothing says irony like spelling ideot wrong.

  • AIMonsterAIMonster Member UncommonPosts: 2,059

    Trion (Rift) is very good at listening to their audience.

    Most of the complaints in Beta were ironed out quickly and heavily requested features such as Appearance Tabs were implemented into the game.  They've been quick on fixing support issues too and generally on the ball with bug fixes.

  • Swollen_BeefSwollen_Beef Member UncommonPosts: 190

    It depends on what they are listening to.

     

    back in the early years of DAOC, the common cry was for a /hood command. Many cloaks had hoods which could not be removed. Took forever, but mythic did finally add the command in.

    Minor changes like that i say let the developer listen to all day long.

    But lets go to the /level command. Mythic once again gave the players what they asked for and the players murdered their own community by alienating a good chunk of the population for the first 20-30 levels. And this was before the massive WoW overhaul. So any newcomer had to nearly solo the first 20-30 levels. Im sure many would argue they would rather be waterboarded than solo 30 levels in daoc.

    But as a result of the soloing, the side effect was anti-social people as they had trained themsevles to work solo. Not with a group.

     

    developers need to look at what works, what will work, and what will break the game. And not blindly follow the customer's desires because the customer has money.

    the customer is NOT always right.

  • KyleranKyleran Member LegendaryPosts: 41,214

    I'm pretty pleased with CCP's interaction with the player community, including the Council of Stellar Mgmt (or whatever) and they regularly interact with and address player concerns on the EVE forums.

    No, its true, they don't give the players everything they want of course, and not everyone's happy, but overall I'd say the interaction is satisfactory.

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  • ZzadZzad Member UncommonPosts: 1,401

    The devs at RIFT are listening to their audience! most suggestions & complains are heard and solved fast.

    Trion is doing extremelly well on that!

  • A.SerenityA.Serenity Member Posts: 8

    I think Trion has done very well with Rift.

    I agree with CCP.

    I also think Square Enix is doing well now with FFXIV, considering a lot of the changes.  They seem to be listening to what the players want.

    image

  • BogeBoge Member Posts: 182


    Which game devs do you think really listen to their audience?

     

    The ones that don't make any money.  Ha ha ha!  I'm pretty sure Blizzard doesn't care anymore.  It seems like all the suggestions players give Blizzard, they find some excuse to not implement it into their game.  They've gotten so cocky that they KNOW what the gamer wants more than the gamer does.

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