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Posting on Forums Can be 'Scary' & 'Intimidating' for Developers According to Kaplan - Overwatch - M

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerMMORPG.COM Staff LegendaryPosts: 32,918
edited October 2017 in News & Features Discussion

imagePosting on Forums Can be 'Scary' & 'Intimidating' for Developers According to Kaplan - Overwatch - MMORPG.com

Overwatch News - According to Jeff Kaplan, posting on the Overwatch community forum can be scary and intimidating for developers. He alludes to members of his team who have been "personally attacked and intimidated" by players fans. While the OW team appreciates the enthusiasm, it can be a frightening experience for devs when they are constantly concerned about 'saying the wrong thing'. Game forums are not a "safe environment" for open communication due to harassment and out of context interpretation.

Read the full story here



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Comments

  • SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerMMORPG.COM Staff LegendaryPosts: 32,918
    edited October 2017
    He is 100% correct. While most of the community can "behave itself" and provide constructive criticism, there is that element that is simply toxic. Who can blame devs for not wanting to wade into the forum cesspool.
    ExcessionhupapostlarvalTorval


    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 


  • AlbatroesAlbatroes Member LegendaryPosts: 6,151
    edited October 2017

    SBFord said:

    He is 100% correct. While most of the community can "behave itself" and provide constructive criticism, there is that element that is simply toxic. Who can blame devs for not wanting to wade into the forum cesspool.



    Eh....I'll try and be nice about this. Its not that they are afraid of the community. The statement sounds like they are more afraid of losing their jobs or getting docked pay for getting into a war of words with trolls on the forum. Its easy enough to ignore people and just say in a statement that you will respond to "valid" statements. Plus Blizzard isn't really a small company. Statements should be screened before being posted to make sure that no one is going rogue, so to speak. But in the case I'm wrong, they just need thicker skin. Plain and simple. Besides, this statement kind of sounds stupid the more you think about it mainly because the forums in Blizzard games have always been notorious for being toxic long before OW was even thought of (well mainly WoW and that's more in regard to the community in general, not just the forums), so again...eh...
    Post edited by Albatroes on
    Gdemami
  • PopplePopple Member UncommonPosts: 236
    edited October 2017
    SBFord said:
    He is 100% correct. While most of the community can "behave itself" and provide constructive criticism, there is that element that is simply toxic. Who can blame devs for not wanting to wade into the forum cesspool.


    Why is this? There a reason why people do what they do..Maybe they(Players) had a EA game and the Devs took the money and ran and left the game unfinished...Few bad apples and it ruins the rest..

    Maybe the Devs pretended that they care but dont ,knowing they wont change anything in the game..

    I can write a wall of text as to why..But then who cares in this toxic world of ours? :expressionless:

    I retired retroactively..Haha

  • DMKanoDMKano Member LegendaryPosts: 20,358
    edited October 2017
    Most developers have zero desire to post in forums - just like most players dont post in forums.

    Forum posting remains a small minority for both players and devs.

    As far as devs being intimidated - its due to strict policy thats drilled into every game employee when speaking to the public - say something that is out of line and its your ass.

    Also forum posts are "forever" - and some stuff will haunt devs til their grave - remember Mark Jacobs "if we are not adding servers we are not doing well" comment before WAR launch? Yeah stuff like that.

    This is precisely why game companies have community reps, its their job to filter dev-talk to the general public according to policy.

    Now there are some companies that have regular live streams done by devs directly - these are awesome as eventhough they are trained on what to avoid, they still slip up and reveal blurbs they werent supposed to mention.

    Dev streams are awesome ;)
    ManWithNoTan
  • Sector13Sector13 Member UncommonPosts: 783
    It's pretty simple. Toxic posts get more attention then good or critique posts. Also, I've seen devs and website admins delete comments that aren't toxic when giving a game real criticism. Oh yeah, MMORPG.com is one of those sites with admins that do that ... so why give serious posts again?
    GdemamiKyleranBestinnaOG_Zorvan
  • Octagon7711Octagon7711 Member LegendaryPosts: 8,718
    Sometimes I read life threatening posts and just have to shake my head.  One man's funny joke is another man's felony threat. 
    SBFordKyleranTorval

    "We all do the best we can based on life experience, point of view, and our ability to believe in ourselves." - Naropa      "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are."  SR Covey

  • DMKanoDMKano Member LegendaryPosts: 20,358

    Sector13 said:

    It's pretty simple. Toxic posts get more attention then good or critique posts. Also, I've seen devs and website admins delete comments that aren't toxic when giving a game real criticism. Oh yeah, MMORPG.com is one of those sites with admins that do that ... so why give serious posts again?



    Because not everyones goal is simple attention seeking.

    There are people out there who have outgrown their inner toddlers desire for attention.

    Also I am yet to see non-ToS breaking posts get deleted... but hey its nice to make stuff up right?
    LiljnaKyleran
  • Panther2103Panther2103 Member EpicPosts: 5,068

    DMKano said:



    Sector13 said:


    It's pretty simple. Toxic posts get more attention then good or critique posts. Also, I've seen devs and website admins delete comments that aren't toxic when giving a game real criticism. Oh yeah, MMORPG.com is one of those sites with admins that do that ... so why give serious posts again?






    Because not everyones goal is simple attention seeking.



    There are people out there who have outgrown their inner toddlers desire for attention.



    Also I am yet to see non-ToS breaking posts get deleted... but hey its nice to make stuff up right?



    Yeah what exactly got deleted? I have had a couple posts removed due to me blatantly flaming someone but I have yet to see any actual criticism get censored here at least.
    Kyleran
  • AlbatroesAlbatroes Member LegendaryPosts: 6,151

    DMKano said:



    Sector13 said:


    It's pretty simple. Toxic posts get more attention then good or critique posts. Also, I've seen devs and website admins delete comments that aren't toxic when giving a game real criticism. Oh yeah, MMORPG.com is one of those sites with admins that do that ... so why give serious posts again?






    Because not everyones goal is simple attention seeking.



    There are people out there who have outgrown their inner toddlers desire for attention.



    Also I am yet to see non-ToS breaking posts get deleted... but hey its nice to make stuff up right?



    Well, forum ToS is usually very dependent on the company. Most forum rules for companies will state they have the right to remove any criticism that can influence the views of others about their staff and the company itself (SE's forum rules state this for theirs). So that means, even if its a "good" post or thread, if its viewed as negative to them (i.e. making a thread about a bug that's persisted for a while) they can and most likely will remove it because it may show that they are slow to address problems etc.
  • Panther2103Panther2103 Member EpicPosts: 5,068
    Asheram said:
    That is a bit different though. That was on Discord. That dude was way out of line. Even if you don't like Tyler1, he doesn't deserve people talking like that towards him. Hes known for being incredibly toxic and got banned on like 20 league accounts and is perma banned from streaming league, and I don't really get how this person at Riot even came to talking about that in Discord. Plus he could have covered himself up with the normal "I got hacked" response, but then he posted on the reddit thread about it and basically said "I can say whatever I want when I'm not at work" which solidified his fate. 
    SBFordTorval
  • SovrathSovrath Member LegendaryPosts: 26,394
    Albatroes said:

    SBFord said:

    He is 100% correct. While most of the community can "behave itself" and provide constructive criticism, there is that element that is simply toxic. Who can blame devs for not wanting to wade into the forum cesspool.



    Eh....I'll try and be nice about this. Its not that they are afraid of the community. The statement sounds like they are more afraid of losing their jobs or getting docked pay for getting into a war of words with trolls on the forum.
    While there might be that this statement pretty much spells it out:

    "He alludes to members of his team who have been "personally attacked and intimidated" by players fans. "

    So yes, developers do need to be careful about what they reveal (and I would say how to act. Why is that so hard? It really seems at times that the video game industry is populated by "kids") but there is a horrible segment of the player population that drags the hobby down.
    Torval



  • MazingerZMazingerZ Member UncommonPosts: 52

    Sector13 said:

    It's pretty simple. Toxic posts get more attention then good or critique posts. Also, I've seen devs and website admins delete comments that aren't toxic when giving a game real criticism. Oh yeah, MMORPG.com is one of those sites with admins that do that ... so why give serious posts again?



    Exactly this. Why create anything more than a low effort post if it's going to get nuked or edited by censorious mods?
  • KyleranKyleran Member LegendaryPosts: 32,766

    MazingerZ said:



    Sector13 said:


    It's pretty simple. Toxic posts get more attention then good or critique posts. Also, I've seen devs and website admins delete comments that aren't toxic when giving a game real criticism. Oh yeah, MMORPG.com is one of those sites with admins that do that ... so why give serious posts again?






    Exactly this. Why create anything more than a low effort post if it's going to get nuked or edited by censorious mods?



    Its been my experience posts which are so deleted are worthy of such actions
    Panther2103Torval

    "See normal people, I'm not one of them" | G-Easy & Big Sean

    "I need to finish" - Christian Wolff: The Accountant

    Just trying to live long enough to play a new, released MMORPG, playing POE at the moment.

    Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions. Pvbs 18:2, NIV

    Don't just play games, inhabit virtual worlds™

    "This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon






  • BruceYeeBruceYee Member RarePosts: 1,549
    They delete threads like crazy even if they don't break any forum rules. I have read several well written posts about how to improve game functions that were presented in a perfectly kosher way that were gone soon after I read it. This has happened on the OW, HS and HotS forums.

    Many of the threads that were deleted presented very good FREE ideas but my guess is they don't want their players getting any thoughts of how much better their games can be so they just delete delete delete.
    Gdemami
  • KyleranKyleran Member LegendaryPosts: 32,766
    BruceYee said:
    They delete threads like crazy even if they don't break any forum rules. I have read several well written posts about how to improve game functions that were presented in a perfectly kosher way that were gone soon after I read it. This has happened on the OW, HS and HotS forums.

    Many of the threads that were deleted presented very good FREE ideas but my guess is they don't want their players getting any thoughts of how much better their games can be so they just delete delete delete.
    Easy to say, but I'm not seeing any clear evidence.

    "See normal people, I'm not one of them" | G-Easy & Big Sean

    "I need to finish" - Christian Wolff: The Accountant

    Just trying to live long enough to play a new, released MMORPG, playing POE at the moment.

    Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions. Pvbs 18:2, NIV

    Don't just play games, inhabit virtual worlds™

    "This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon






  • ForgrimmForgrimm Member EpicPosts: 2,968
    BruceYee said:
    They delete threads like crazy even if they don't break any forum rules. I have read several well written posts about how to improve game functions that were presented in a perfectly kosher way that were gone soon after I read it. This has happened on the OW, HS and HotS forums.

    Many of the threads that were deleted presented very good FREE ideas but my guess is they don't want their players getting any thoughts of how much better their games can be so they just delete delete delete.
    Are you talking about these forums, or the Blizz forums for those respective games?
  • TheScavengerTheScavenger Member EpicPosts: 3,321
    I have experience recently with being harassed. I've seen it often on Blizzard forums too. They used to be really communicative with their community...but from my experience and what I saw on WoW forums. Say ANYTHING someone doesn't like, agree with or anything they perceive as against their beliefs and they'll harass the developer/person and troll them. They won't even try to have a discussion or anything, just straight up trolling and hating on the developer/gm that posts.

    Its no surprise the devs and GMs on WoW forums barely post on their own forums anymore. Anytime they posted anything, they got tons of hate from people who either were trolls or just didn't like their post because they didn't get what they wanted. 
    ManWithNoTan

    My Skyrim, Fallout 4, Starbound and WoW + other game mods at MODDB: 

    https://www.moddb.com/mods/skyrim-anime-overhaul



  • dave6660dave6660 Member UncommonPosts: 2,693
    edited October 2017
    Krighton said:
    [mod edit]
    Have you ever talked to the media or made public statements about the company you work for?

    In any company I've ever worked for, if I publicly told my clients / customers to "stop crying" then I would be typing my resume by the weekend.
    Post edited by Vaross on
    KyleranTorvalManWithNoTan

    “There are certain queer times and occasions in this strange mixed affair we call life when a man takes this whole universe for a vast practical joke, though the wit thereof he but dimly discerns, and more than suspects that the joke is at nobody's expense but his own.”
    -- Herman Melville

  • WizardryWizardry Member LegendaryPosts: 16,008
    Oh my lord,he is using the "feel sorry for me angle" does this guy have any ground to stand on with his own two feet?

    Truth is it is far easier to write what sounds good,send it into mmorg.com and have 100% biased articles all the time.Then wonder why someone like me jumps all over them,they are fake agenda articles,no purpose than to persuade the easy sell targets to buy their games.
    In other words Kaplan wants to exploit the lack of laws and create nothing more than a positive aura around Blizzard,NOT an accurate one just one Blizzard is allowed to paint of themselves.

    It took me a very long time to figure Blizzard out and not until i stuck around hearthstone and Diablo for many years did i find out what a crooked operation they are.

    Brad is the ONLY guy who took to the forums,he stick behind his product instead of hiding and sending in biased articles to websites to butter them up.I think i am not alone in respecting Brad for that.took a lot of heat but at least he showed up instead of counting his money in bank Vault.

    Never forget 3 mile Island and never trust a government official or company spokesman.

  • WizardryWizardry Member LegendaryPosts: 16,008
    Sorry my typing is usually bad but i am very sick so i noticed i even missed words,broken English ftw ..sigh.

    Never forget 3 mile Island and never trust a government official or company spokesman.

  • MaxBaconMaxBacon Member EpicPosts: 6,735
    Because gamers are per norm awful person, extremely entitled and will happily crucify a developer publicly if they hear something they don't like.

    It's more often seeing devs fleeing from discussing with their community, hence why the PR filter stands mid-way that will be the community management.
  • jaymesbondjaymesbond Member UncommonPosts: 34
    Kyleran said:
    BruceYee said:
    They delete threads like crazy even if they don't break any forum rules. I have read several well written posts about how to improve game functions that were presented in a perfectly kosher way that were gone soon after I read it. This has happened on the OW, HS and HotS forums.

    Many of the threads that were deleted presented very good FREE ideas but my guess is they don't want their players getting any thoughts of how much better their games can be so they just delete delete delete.
    Easy to say, but I'm not seeing any clear evidence.
    Obviously there's no evidence because it has been deleted.

    SBFord said:
    He is 100% correct. While most of the community can "behave itself" and provide constructive criticism, there is that element that is simply toxic. Who can blame devs for not wanting to wade into the forum cesspool.
    It's a real bad sign to use the actions of a small portion of the population as an excuse.  Look, if people act out of line or break the rules, that is what the moderators are for, don't use their actions as an excuse to not answer to criticisms.

    From the article, "Once we say we're working on something, we're not allowed to 'take it back'. It's set in stone."  What are we, as players, supposed to take from a statement like that?  Never take a game developer at their word?  Never hold them accountable to their own statements?  Their words and statements mean nothing?  Hey, when plans change, say plans have changed.  Something that game developers once thought was possible to implement turns out to not be so.  Just inform the players, don't go into a semantics battle by saying things like, "We never used the word 'promise.'"
    MadFrenchieGdemami
  • RhoklawRhoklaw Member EpicPosts: 6,275
    From my experience, you can't go wrong with honesty. So the question is, why be intimidated? Either you believe in your product or you don't. What some player decides to spew on your forums should really have zero impact. I actually find it amusing that any developer would say this.
    Gdemami

  • LackingMMOLackingMMO Member RarePosts: 405
    Too many people head hunting these days. No one can appreciate anything or allow anyone to appreciate anything. Everyone feels a need to poop in someone's cheerios. We are all guilty of it but there are those that go out of their way to continually do it. If a dev defends themselves then they are in the wrong for not acting professional. If they do nothing to feed the troll then they are viewed as hiding something for not saying something. 

    Personally attacked or what not is expecting today on the internet especially from the gaming community. You need a thick skin for internet interaction, the question is, who is at fault? The gamers who provoke this? Or the devs for becoming reclusive because of these idiots?

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