Competitive games and forums, is this a universal problem or what?

Discussion in 'PlanetSide 2 Gameplay Discussion' started by DonC, Jun 8, 2013.

  1. DonC

    Have you noticed that the most problematic forums are in competitive games or competitive features inside a game?

    I mean, ever since forums were open to people to partake on the suggestions for changes in the games they played, ever since... versus games have had their forums burn in flames.

    How would avoid this problem as a company?

    Would you lock everything and only take feedback from your best players?

    Would you take feedback from the players who play the most?

    Your most intelligent players?

    What makes anyone have the right to give an opinion without causing a massive effect that may result in the destruction the game?

    Open forums for just about everyone have already proven to do more harm than good, this is because people are not here to discuss, people want to be "right", the very few actually learn and change their opinions, most try to prove red is blue when in reality it looks like red, simply because of ego, vengeance, trolling and even pure dullness.

    How would you conduct a forum?

    Dictatorship? search filters?

    I would like to know the solution to something that will eventually mean your best titles down the drain.
    • Up x 1
  2. Jaes

    Ever noticed that most developers completely ignore forums until they get hard evidence to make changes from their integrated algorithms that track stats across all servers to see how to nerf/buff something and then they might take some community input in from their top players/clans/groups?

    That should answer your question.
  3. DonC

    Stat tracking is never accurate, it serves as an alarm, yes but there is no way for them to see why or how that is happening, they can have hundreds of filters and still they would not be able to tell the degree of human error, pro player group, stupidity, ignorance or anything else.

    Such was the case of libs, people parked AMS on open areas, libs farmed, why were they nerfed? because stats showed dots all over the place, I am pretty sure the people who farmed with impudence were few because they knew where and what to do, a few people started threads about it and it grew into a full blown scandal, this was a direct whining effect that caused the liberator to be terrible for people who were not dedicated gunners and pilots, in the end the people who knew how to play were nerfed into normal players and normal players were unable to play them.
    • Up x 1
  4. Duvenel

    The largest chunk of your problem is that you're talking about a forum, which by it's very nature is where people go to talk about things.

    The majority of players won't even bother to look here. Those that do are a minority and even more obscure are people like me, who lurk here everyday.

    I like going on forums, I find them interesting. I see a lot of people post about various different things.

    A forum about a competitive game like PS2 means that everyone is trying to have their voice heard all at once. Hence why you usually get people talking about things from their point of view and based on what they've experienced. I don't think I need to mention the bias that this usually creates in a lot of these threads.

    When most people post 'whine' threads or indeed any kind of thread, they usually do it without considering all the points that make up the thing they're talking about.

    In any given thread you'll usually have the OP make a statement or point, somewhere down the front page you'll have someone poke fun at that OP somewhere or other and a bit further along you'll have someone make some sort of counterpoint. After this comes all of the other people chiming in, 'I agree with OP'; 'I don't agree with OP' and 'I think something else'. This is pretty much your typical thread.

    There are some people that post thing that are just plain incorrect. Some things that are so blindingly biased that it makes me laugh. Some posts are just balls of hate, rage and garbage. Some posts just don't make sense because no one can understand what the OP said.

    Right at the beginning of release I made a thread about how SOE communicates with us or rather the lack of(You can dig it up via my profile history if you're so inclined). That thread eventually got deleted, but it did make me think. I sent a PM to the, then main Community Manager for the forums/PS2 RadarX. You can actually read the transcript in one of the other threads I made concerning communication from SOE if you'd like. But to summarise, SOE may not post an awful lot directly to us, but they certainly are listening.

    Now, after lurking here for about as much time, if not more than my IG play time. I've come to realise something.

    That maybe I was wrong about SOE and their forum communication, maybe they're doing it right afterall. Because you're right OP, forums for games like these are usually a big ball of rage, whine and trolls. So if this is the case, just who do you listen to on here.

    Personally, I think the answer is that you listen to everyone. This is an open forum, and everyone that posts on here wants their voice to be heard, and for their voice and opinions to matter. I read through all sorts of threads, and I can say that by doing so I've got a far more balanced view on things, if I might be so bold as to say so.

    By listening to everything and everyone, you can gain a wider perspective on every issue. You can truly understand your playerbase. You can understand what they like;dislike;hate;love; what they want to improve; what they want changed; what they want the same, but more importantly you more often than not get to find out why they think the way they do.

    Once you figure out why you can start to craft ways to change their views. Now not everyone has the same view or opinion, so if SOE makes one change then you'll get people complaining about these changes. So, obviously SOE can't please everybody, but I'm pretty sure they understand us as players, and if not they're certainly trying to(*).

    Ok, so not everyone is ever going to be happy all at once, and you know what I think. I think that's not SOE's fault at all, but us as players. I can tell you for a fact that SOE has a pretty sharp pulse on their community, they do honestly listen to what it is we have to say as players and I've seen it proven to me time and time again. They may implement the things we want as quick as we'd like them or in the way that we want them, but they're trying. We have more influence over the game we play than some of us might think.

    Over the past 6-7 months of playing this game there have been changes that I've liked,loved,disliked and downright hated. But throughout all of these changes and reading through the forums and what others have thought about the changes, there hasn't been a day that I haven't thought about the 'why' of it all. When people post, I always wonder what went into their minds to form their opinions. For the changes that I've hated, I always think to myself 'why' do I hate them, is it because I'm biased because of my faction, because of my skill level and ability or because of my ability to understand the changes or something else entirely. I find often that when others post, they probably don't consider these things enough, they just think about it solely from their perspective. I usually always try to atleast think over more than one perspective or viewpoint if not multiple ones. This usually leads me to thinking that, "hmm, maybe this isn't as bad as I think it is." So when SOE implement changes that I see lots of people hate on, I start to wonder if the fault lies with SOE or us players or maybe a bit of both.

    "What makes anyone have the right to give an opinion without causing a massive effect that may result in the destruction the game?"

    I think I've already answered this in part, but I'll answer it anyway. Without us, there would be no game, because SOE would have no reason to make one as there'd be no one who'd want to play it. So I guess that gives us some right to an opinion on the game, the other big thing is that SOE wants our opinions as input into how they create the game, and I think that this is a good thing. Games that are driven by the community in a positive way that ensures an entertaining and enjoyable time for the vast majority of it's players is where the games industry should be heading, a happy community is a paying community and I see no problems with that. Now this is where the crux of the problem lies, ultimately we as players shape the game, SOE may design for it to be played in one direction and we find a way to play it upside down.

    If SOE didn't listen to their community and just did whatever they liked to the game, then more often than not people just wouldn't play and that probably would end up in the destruction of the game. But they aren't doing that because they are listening to us, which is the problem. If the game ends up ruined it won't be because of SOE, atleast not entirely. If this game ends up flopping within a year, it will be because of us players and the way we decide what it is we think we want to play. The saying "Be careful what you wish for" comes to mind. If SOE listen to us and we feed them our opinions and thoughts which lead to the ruin of the game, then yes, SOE has some blame for listening to us. But then we'd complain that they're not listening to us. Some days you just can't win, can you?

    "Open forums for just about everyone have already proven to do more harm than good, this is because people are not here to discuss, people want to be "right", the very few actually learn and change their opinions, most try to prove red is blue when in reality it looks like red, simply because of ego, vengeance, trolling and even pure dullness."

    Yes, you're partly right. Open forums usually do mean that people don't always do an awful lot of discussing, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't happen. I think that by writing another of my wonderfully long posts you'll realise that. I've seen discussion happen on these very forums infact...

    If you manage to learn the trick of reading everything and understanding what it is people are really saying behind their words then you will learn a lot by lurking around here. I know that I have. But you're right OP, very few people come here and learn anything of value and even few are open minded enough to be able to have their opinions changed. Which I think is actually a real shame and is their loss, I actually truly wish that I could impart what I know about Forumsiding to people. I might not need all this cheese for my whine that way.

    "How would you conduct a forum?"

    This goes back to the beginning of my post, I think the way that SOE conduct themselves in this forum is probably the best way. I may not like the way they do things, but I certainly agree with it, or at least after having spent all this time here, I don't think I can disagree with it. The dev team and in-fact anyone that has anything to do with any development barely, if ever interacts with this forum past posting patch notes every 2 weeks or so. This coupled along with what might be deemed as heavy censorship by the Community Managers and the moderator team might seem like a bad way of doing things. But I'm going to disagree, when I first made my thread on how SOE communicates on their forums, it was probably one of my first ever threads on here and one of the longest posts I'd ever written. As I've mentioned it eventually got locked. I called SOE out on a lot of things that I didn't like and personally I felt that it didn't deserve locking, and maybe it's part of their policy to lock threads that talk about them like that. But after a while and some talk with RadarX I could see why they did it and my opinion changed slowly but surely(shock horror, someone admits they're wrong on the internet). The reason why? Because a lot of the points I'd made in that thread got addressed over the coming weeks and months after. So that's how I personally know that SOE listens to us and makes changes based on what we say.

    By listening to everything we say on here and using that input to make changes according to what we've said, I think that speaks louder than anything they could ever have to say to us on the forums. I realise that sometimes not saying anything at all can be the worst form of doing things, as people will just speculate and if enough people do that it usually turns into the 'truth'. If any of you were around during the December holiday period, the month after release, when the devs took 2-3 weeks off, then you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. If you think the forums are bad today, you should honestly use the forum search parameter to go back in time and look. The forums are so tame compared to then, that some days when I lurk the forums I'm actually bored at not having an entertaining rage/whine/nerf/buff thread to read through and laugh at.

    (*) - PN(Poster's Notes, yes, my posts can get so long that they require their own notes. Be glad I didn't make this a separate thread) I know that Luperza as our (current main?) Community Manager as part of her job will be to trawl through the forums, reddit, twitter, facebook, instagram(only a few days old), YouTube and whatever else. Gathering our opinions and thoughts, compiling it all and then sending all that to the dev team to use.

    Also I know that a lot of what I've written is from my perspective, but as ever when I post I do try to make what I say balanced(because I actually can't help but think about things from multiple perspectives, it's actually really annoying sometimes because I end up spending lots of time just thinking about things...) and informed and I'd like to say unbiased, but I'll leave that up to you to decide.

    Also, a final(ish) note. I'm just about to finish writing this post and I just noticed that it's 6AM, so my apologies for any spelling/grammar errors I've made, but I've just come off a 6 hour PS2 session before writing this, so cut me a little slack. Also many thanks to DonC for creating this thread and for providing such a good question for me to think about and provide an answer for. I thoroughly enjoyed answering it. Sometimes I see really good questions from the OP of a thread, but I won't answer because I think that someone else has already answered appropriately in a way that I agree with and think answered the question fully in a way that I can just leave the thread be, with a simple "I agree and a short point after". This wasn't one of those times,

    IMO, SOE are doing this the right way. Or should I say, they're ignoring the forums in the right way. All I can say to that Jaes is that, yes SOE certainly has plenty of data and numbers and stats from us, but like DonC says stats usually serve as an alarm and more often than not won't show the why and sometimes only the how.

    "Such was the case of libs, people parked AMS on open areas, libs farmed, why were they nerfed? because stats showed dots all over the place, I am pretty sure the people who farmed with impudence were few because they knew where and what to do, a few people started threads about it and it grew into a full blown scandal, this was a direct whining effect that caused the liberator to be terrible for people who were not dedicated gunners and pilots, in the end the people who knew how to play were nerfed into normal players and normal players were unable to play them."

    I sort of agree with you on this example, it depends on a few things, not entirely sure if you're saying libs only farmed AMS sundies in open areas, I'll assume you're not from the rest of the statement. But I agree with you when you say that it was only the minority that really knew how to farm without fear and I disagree with you when you say a few people started threads about this, and I agree with your final statement, you certainly don't see lib squads going on major bombing runs often anymore.
    Finally the last thing I have to say in this thread for a while. I know my notes probably make up half the post itself, deal with it. If you've made it this far then congratulations, you're one of the few people that have read through one of my stupidly long posts. As a reward here's a gif I made to celebrate my love for Forumside.
    [IMG]
    • Up x 10
  5. cfnz

    Spot on as far as I'm concerned.

    Now if you'll excuse me, I have the rest of the giant wall of text to finish reading ;). I'll edit this if I want to comment on anything else, unless it takes me more than 30min to finish reading it.
  6. Duvenel


    You should check out some of my threads if you like reading. Oh and congratulations if you made it to the end, I hope you liked the gif :)
  7. Macchus


    if they ran the forums anymore like a dictatorship then they already do , there wouldnt be any SOE forums ...
  8. bodmans

    best friggin wall of text ever, this should be mandatory for new forumsiders
  9. Czuuk

    Welcome to the intertubez. The forums have served as a meeting place for the most vile and wretched scum since long before the world wide web existed.

    Options? Close the forums or don't read them.
    • Up x 2
  10. Duvenel


    I'll take that as a compliment xD

    It's only in the light of day(well the afternoon and after some sleep), that I can see all the spelling and grammar errors and the words I missed out...

    I dunno, any Community Managers out there feel like making my post a sticky? :p

    Edit - One thing that does irk me about the PS2 forums is the 30 minute edit lockout timer ._.
  11. DrunkenDoughnuts


    That was very well thought out for that long of a message at 6AM. I agree with everything you've said. There are things I don't like about the game -- things that I think may be OP -- but I've never once made a post about them because, in the end, when compared to the game as a whole, things are pretty balanced (this excludes flying because I don't fly, so keep that in mind).

    There are definitely times when I'd like to see SOE post more here on the forums, but when you look through all of it, I can see why it's better that they remain hands off and listen. For information on upcoming things in the game, I follow Luperza on Facebook now. I wish I had done that a LONG time ago, as I would have had a wider view on the game. I also follow Higby, but in the couple weeks that I've followed him, the only thing he's posted on Facebook is about the police shooting someone's dog (thanks, Higby). However, I can honestly say that my view on the game has improved with time (shocking!).

    And I totally agree that if the game goes down the drain, we deserve some blame. I think SOE would still deserve a lot of it, though. Seems like there is a large part of the gaming population that's never even heard of Planetside still, and it's their job to reach them. I think releasing the game on PS4 will bring a lot more attention, though.

    TL;DR -- Agree with Duvenel's wall of text. The game isn't nearly as bad as some people think it is. SOE tries to keep the community open and listens instead of having a heavy hand.
  12. Duvenel


    I tend to be something of a night owl and it was probably because it was 6AM that I was thinking so much to begin with. I should probably come with a WoT(Wall of Text) warning or something.

    I think SOE and the dev team especially have a very hard job. With all of this chatter from us players, it can be very hard to decide what to do after listening to everyone. Mistakes will be made to be sure. I think that the game will really die when people just give up caring about the game and what happens to it. So to any Forumsiders out there, I just want to tell you that no matter what happens, if you have any desire to keep this game going for the long run then keep on caring about the game.

    We'll just have to see if we give up first or SOE does.

    Also I am excited to see PS2 come to the PS4(that's going to confuse some people). I really do think it'll help people to out more about the game and maybe we'll see more people playing.

    Lastly, maybe I should follow Luperza on Facebook too. I do like to keep up with the latest news.
  13. Zenanii

    Of course SOE listen to the community, they would be idiots not to. I'm sure there are many (non-game related) companies that would pay hard cash for this ammount of feedback for their products.
  14. Duvenel


    Yes, I'd imagine there are many who would and I know that SOE probably hire game testers for their patches as well. But the problem with all of this information is trying to sort through it all. You have my sympathies Luperza.
  15. KlyptoK

    You abandon your forums and go to reddit.
  16. IamDH

    Divide the forums into groups
    Weapon section (aka whine)
    Solutions (smart dudes)
    Suggestions (imaginative dudes)
    • Up x 1
  17. Skadi

    You know, besides the rare people in the weapons section who have good ideas, then the idiots from weapons sections who leak into the others suggestion HORRIBLE THINGS such as the entire solution to every issue in the game is to add the ps1 Stealth AMS... because my lib totally wouldn't see the suspicious amount of people suddenly appearing in a circular formation and start carpet bombing the central area *rolls eyes*
    • Up x 1
  18. IamDH

    Lol
    Well thats where the bans come in i guess
  19. IamDH

    I've read long posts but that one is humongous
    I read a random line in the middle and felt you were correct :)
  20. Phyr

    Every game forum I've been on was mostly whine about something. The forums I like best are the ones with the least amount of moderation.