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1 hour ago, Boeroer said:

I read that Josh is not writing here anymore because there used to be times when things got unreasonably ugly.

Since then the forums did change (as far as I can tell) and is much more friendly, but it seems that horse is out the barn.

My experience is from different fields of popular (and high) culture, two of them, so I cannot make any direct comparisons, but from my experience I would say that being in touch with the fans is generally not a good idea, as unfortunate as that is. First, there are too many people whose comments betray an unjustified sense of entitlement, and second, forums like these do have a very unfortunate tendency to veer towards the unreasonably ugly, as you say. Third, there is always the persistently obnoxious client whose arguments show that he doesn't understand what he is talking about, and he also doesn't understand that he doesn't understand (for an example of this, look at Blunderboss's recent outburst at me in this very thread). The combination of all this is likely to wear you down, especially if you also have a job to do -- people's wishes, desires and requests tend to be quite contradictory, which creates confusion and uncertainty if you get too deeply enmeshed in them.

I can't compare these forums to what they were, but I would agree that at the moment they are, for the most part, quite friendly and quite possibly wouldn't drive Obsidianites (nice one!) away, at least not immediately.

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If there are too many annoying fans one doesn't wish to ban, the middle point is to have a customer service style person read posts, report back and then make statements covering the most often brought up or interesting points without engaging further in ensuing discussions. That way you still communicate with the fans but don't get sucked into pointless arguments and time wasting bickering.

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Yeah, that's probably how it's often done, in fact. And with the middleman in there, I wouldn't call that "being in touch" with the fans anymore (in the sense that I meant in my first post on this page -- in there I was referring to direct back-and-forth). It's more like that you get to hear the best of what the fans (may) have to offer.

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I meant the devs post based on info given, but don't directly engage with responses, so they do still communicate. Obviously everyone would prefer direct engagement, but if they can't deal with the toxic types, it's better than not speaking to the audience at all.

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33 minutes ago, xzar_monty said:

Do you mean in the computer game industry or in general? In general, you are absolutely wrong, and even in the game industry, I doubt what you say, although there might be an element of truth in it.

I meant in the game industry. Can't comment on other sectors. None of the extremes is good - neither ignoring the community's feedback, nor following the community's feedback. As a developer, you just have to evaluate what you listen by the actual practical effects that it will have - nothing more, nothing less.

26 minutes ago, Slotharingia said:

If there are too many annoying fans one doesn't wish to ban, the middle point is to have a customer service style person read posts, report back and then make statements covering the most often brought up or interesting points without engaging further in ensuing discussions. That way you still communicate with the fans but don't get sucked into pointless arguments and time wasting bickering.

Well yes, you do have a job to do after all. You can always keep in touch with your fans via one or more community managers for example, as long as you care about what these managers have to say. Path of Exile's devs have achieved that balance and a phenomenally healthy community-dev relationship. Some of their developers communicate directly and they get feedback from reddit (which promotes popular opinions) and their community manager. They can't read *everything*, but participate enough, so that people know that someone is listening to them. 

Sometimes, they listen to the community's feedback, rethink the matter at hand, and may even take back the latest changes. However they are clever enough to know when to actually not listen to the community's feedback, because after all, a dev's perspective is different than that of a player. 

Edited by Bleak
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2 minutes ago, xzar_monty said:

In the same way that you can go chat up a busker but not Bruce Springsteen.

Yeah, a busker who is more successful than Bruce Springsteen.

How does their payment model (which is great for that particular genre) makes them "buskers"? You know that Pillars was also crowdfunded, right? 

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Of course I know. Grinding Gear Games is a gnat-sized entity providing freeware content; hence it is in its best interests to be available to the customer. Obsidian is a rather more sizable venture (currently owned by a true giant), which makes it more corporate and therefore almost infinitely less accessible.

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55 minutes ago, xzar_monty said:

Of course I know. Grinding Gear Games is a gnat-sized entity providing freeware content; hence it is in its best interests to be available to the customer. Obsidian is a rather more sizable venture (currently owned by a true giant), which makes it more corporate and therefore almost infinitely less accessible.

Yeah, of course you know. Gnat-sized? They started as a garage 4-man company in 2006 and look at them now:

https://www.owler.com/company/grindinggear

https://www.owler.com/company/obsidian

Tencent, also a true giant, has bought a large part of GGG for over 63m.

 

Let's look at their active fans on reddit:

https://www.reddit.com/r/pathofexile/

Now go to every reddit of all of Obsidian's products and add up the registered users. If you want to search more yourself, check GGG's forums as well. 

 

But forget about all that - GGG spent as much time communicating with the fans when they were a garage company, as they do now that they are a multi-million company. And the way you justify that Obsidian doesn't communicate is a perplexed and vague "more corporate and infinitely less accessible" statement - seriously? 

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I guess not everybody can shield themselves emotionally while communicating with fans. Probably Sawyer has just found a way that works for him and that's it. Further, it is unclear how valuable is to communicate with your fans, because you are not actually communicating with a representative sample of your fans. A developer like Obsidian is interested in selling games to hundreds of thousands, even millions of people and the huge majority of those people are silent.

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9 hours ago, Bleak said:

But forget about all that - GGG spent as much time communicating with the fans when they were a garage company, as they do now that they are a multi-million company. And the way you justify that Obsidian doesn't communicate is a perplexed and vague "more corporate and infinitely less accessible" statement - seriously? 

I am not justifying anything. I have no interest in justifying Obsidian. And there's no need to get upset, please.

My point concerned solely the difference between freeware and regular commercial ware and the differences inherent in these. Like, compare your chances of getting in touch with Linux programmers versus your chances of getting similar contact with either Apple of Windows software developers. It is in the culture of freeware to be accessible. This is my point.

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6 hours ago, wih said:

I guess not everybody can shield themselves emotionally while communicating with fans. Probably Sawyer has just found a way that works for him and that's it. Further, it is unclear how valuable is to communicate with your fans, because you are not actually communicating with a representative sample of your fans. A developer like Obsidian is interested in selling games to hundreds of thousands, even millions of people and the huge majority of those people are silent.

This is true BUT, the people who talk do actually often voice the opinions of the many. Most people also don't report bugs, for instance, yet companies rely on the few that do. This is why you have customer service people or community managers to sift out the valuable feedback from the trolling and toxic dross. Other than that, they really only have statistics to go on.

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1 hour ago, Slotharingia said:

This is true BUT, the people who talk do actually often voice the opinions of the many. Most people also don't report bugs, for instance, yet companies rely on the few that do.

There are two claims here, and while the second is definitely valid, I don't think we can actually say whether the first one is. It might be, but I'd wager we just don't know.

As an example: like we have discussed (and like Josh Sawyer has pointed out in his refreshingly straightforward musings about the failure of Deadfire), prior to the release of Deadfire it would have been impossible to predict, from the opinions voiced, that interest in the sequel to PoE was actually very low. In retrospect, we can come up with a plausible explanation, but then we almost always can, this is what humans do.

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7 hours ago, wih said:

I guess not everybody can shield themselves emotionally while communicating with fans. Probably Sawyer has just found a way that works for him and that's it. Further, it is unclear how valuable is to communicate with your fans, because you are not actually communicating with a representative sample of your fans. A developer like Obsidian is interested in selling games to hundreds of thousands, even millions of people and the huge majority of those people are silent.

True and if they can't, that can cause more harm than good. And it's also true that these forums may not be a perfectly representative sample (they still are a sample). You always need some kind of feedback though - but you can choose to get it only from the post-mortem methods, like statistics or sales.  

3 hours ago, xzar_monty said:

I am not justifying anything. I have no interest in justifying Obsidian. And there's no need to get upset, please.

My point concerned solely the difference between freeware and regular commercial ware and the differences inherent in these. Like, compare your chances of getting in touch with Linux programmers versus your chances of getting similar contact with either Apple of Windows software developers. It is in the culture of freeware to be accessible. This is my point.

Ok ok, not getting upset but this is me below, 

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για whaaat

Not applied in this situation man and frankly don't know where the thing you are talking about applies. Maybe you are talking about community driven projects. First of all, if anything, commercial products are more inclined to support their customers. As for Linux, it is open source and community driven, which is a different thing so let's not get into in. By all means and accounts Path is a commercial product and not open source, doesn't matter if it's free. Anyhow, we shouldn't expect less support/communication from paid products, but quite the opposite and we should appreciate, as consumers, the few companies with these consumer-friendly practices.

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1 hour ago, xzar_monty said:

There are two claims here, and while the second is definitely valid, I don't think we can actually say whether the first one is. It might be, but I'd wager we just don't know.

As an example: like we have discussed (and like Josh Sawyer has pointed out in his refreshingly straightforward musings about the failure of Deadfire), prior to the release of Deadfire it would have been impossible to predict, from the opinions voiced, that interest in the sequel to PoE was actually very low. In retrospect, we can come up with a plausible explanation, but then we almost always can, this is what humans do.

There are many things in games that get fixed due to some people complaining that most likely apply to many. Off the top of my head these would include, in the case of Deadfire, being able to skip the intro of the game and the improvements to ship combat. Customer service people, if they are good at their jobs, are generally competent in weeding out the good input from niche complaints. Of course, it's still conjecture, but I believe one can safely say that if a lot of people bring up a matter that makes sense, it does either reflect the general view or potentially makes a product more enjoyable (and individuals can come up with unique feedback that has the same effect). I have worked in customer service, so I'm also speaking from experience and not just making stuff up. 😄

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 9/24/2019 at 8:08 AM, Lorfean said:

Oh its definitely a matter of taste. I do not like the way the system feels. And it's not that it's too complicated for me, it just doesn't captivate me and putting builds together doesn't excite me the way it does in D&D 3.5 / Pathfinder.

Having a history with the latter is probably a factor, but it's not the deciding factor. And I should probably have been clearer re. my "packing a punch" comment -- I understand and agree that certain builds are very powerful, but I wasn't necessarily talking about builds, specifically, I was talking about how the combat feels on-screen. Animation plays into this, the way spells and abilities behave plays into this, etc, etc.

Same with the inspirations / afflictions system -- I understand it's not bad design, and yes, it's straightforward in the way it functions, indeed just like the attribute system (which I'm not a fan of either), but it's not fun to me. So yeah, convoluted was the wrong way to describe it, which makes me 2 for 2 on not explaining myself well but I guess that's what happens in rant-like posts. It's just frustrating. I really *want* to like Deadfire, but in the end I just don't. And if I ever beat it (and I'm close -- level 20, finished most of the base game content, finished Beast of Winter and I'm in Forgotten Sanctum now) it's because I really pushed myself to do so.

So, being proven wrong after feeling this way☝️ is a pretty great thing... A couple of weeks after these posts I picked up my playthrough of Deadfire (Veteran with Berath and Galawain challenges enabled) and went back to the drawing board, respeccing my character and most of the companions, redistributing gear, re-evaluating enchants, crafting a bunch of potions and scrolls, etc. etc. and played through the rest of Forgotten Sanctum. And I loved it. Then I played through Seeker, Slayer, Survivor -- of which I had 0 expectations -- and something clicked. The fights were challenging but fair, some taking many tries and shifts in tactics, but I was able to beat them.

Spoiler

I liked unlocking more encounters through the recovery of artifacts, and exploring the island following the tasks I was given by the titular aspects, I even found myself enjoying the story of the Island and how it tied into Galawain, and loved the short encounters with the opposing adventuring parties, knowing I'd have to fight them eventually....

Long story short -- the DLC's made me fall in love with Deadfire and, more importantly, respect, admire and truly enjoy its systems in their own right. By the time I finished the final parts of the main game and the story came to a close I found myself satisfied while at the same time wanting to start over  right away. With a better character, using a more thought out build, paying more informed attention to gear, enchants, etc.

So yeah, I was proven wrong and it's interesting and great. Interesting because I think I wanted Deadfire to be something it wasn't, and great because, once I let go of trying to put it in a box it didn't fit and just enjoyed it on its own terms, it became one of my all-time favorite CRPG's.

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Shadow Thief of the Obsidian Order

My Backloggery

 

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On 11/9/2019 at 8:27 AM, Boeroer said:

I read that Josh is not writing here anymore because there used to be times when things got unreasonably ugly.

Since then he seems to prefer forums/platforms that are not that easily accessed by badly brought up gamer mobs.

Besides Twitter... ;)

Since then the forums did change (as far as I can tell) and is much more friendly, but it seems that horse is out the barn.

 

just saw this, so sorry for long delay in response.

josh leaving had nothing to do with the boards getting friendlier. what made board friendlier is release of poe.

particular during the beta of poe, threads were often long and nasty. dozens o' issues had clear us v. them divides and when josh would jump into the fray to comment, predictable half of the community would be disappointed. this happened over and over and over again. 

deadfire community were/is a smaller and far more homogenized group than we had with poe. the folks enraged everytime they heard josh were advocating for a pivot away from bg2 were no longer posting at the obsidian boards once poe were released and it became apparent deadfire were gonna be even less like the game they wanted. josh leaving were incidental to friendliness o' deadfire fan feedback compared to poe development. yet another example o' obsidian making a causation v. correlation error? 

josh also let slip how he liked smaller and more limited sa boards with its registration requirements. less toxic. while his main claim were that he were allowing obsidian debates to unfold organic w/o the polarizing impact o' direct developer intrusion (ignoring fact we got a thread on this board dedicated to reposting every relevant josh post from sa and tumblr and twitter and wherever anyways,) were clear he were fatigued by toxicity o' obsidian board feedback, and he admitted as much while making seem like a secondary issue.

oh, and while is gauche to quote self, am too lazy to essential repeat self, so...

"our suggestion were too late, or too difficult to add... and the obsidian folks weren't bothering to read the obsidian board feedback anyway, which were made clear when josh noted how he were unaware 'til almost release o' deadfire the way in which might were affecting damage calculations in spite o' such being one o' the more common repeated concerns from the hardcore number crunchers routine posting in the deadfire feedback section o' obsidian's own freaking message board since almost firstest week o' the beta. reality o' pointlessness o' board feedback were utter mind blowing and complete disheartening... not that obsidian indifference annoyed us or anything o' the sort. not like am still bitter. nope."

wouldn't have minded obsidian developers posting here less if they had been at least been paying attention to the board beyond bug-hunt sections... and the it-just-won't-#$@%ing-die ydwin threads where the artists were defending their aesthetic decisions. the problem is if @Hieronymous Alloy did not post an obsidian board concern at somethingawful, then there were a good chance the obsidian developers would never hear the board concern.

am thinking the developers were admitted busy developing deadfire and far too enamoured o' their new telemetry toy to realize just what they were missing by avoiding their own boards. dunno. regardless, am thinking developers avoiding their own boards is a mistake on multiple levels and such avoidance had no impact on the relative civility o' the boards. 

HA! Good Fun!

 

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"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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what could have helped a lot more if there were some formalized "trusted" feedback people to help filter out the noise.

i could imagine as a random obs community manager, trying to find the signal out of the noise of all the feedback (especially when frequently the feedback can be objectively wrong and based on misunderstandings, non-actionable, or reliant on knowledge of how the game is coded) is very hard, and hard too for developers seeking to avoid toxicity.

it's not exactly a democratic system, but over time (between poe1 and deadfire) i had a pretty good track record of getting responses to bugs and getting the bugs i reported specifically fixed. i have to imagine that some combination of detailed reporting and helpful analysis/suggestions built up some incremental good-will with whomever was triaging stuff.

i have to imagine paying more explicit attention to people like MaxQuest or the modder-types could have helped pre-release and backer beta.

i don't know how this would actually work in practice, but it sounds like devs are essentially doing this anyway by relying more on SA or discord than the obs forums.

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1 minute ago, Gromnir said:

josh leaving had nothing to do with the boards getting friendlier. what made board friendlier is release of poe.

You misunderstood me. Maybe I didn't express myself well. I didn't mean that the forum got friendlier because Josh left. I didn't want to imply such causal connection. 

I only meant that

1. Josh left because the forum got nasty.

2. Then the forum got nicer (for reasons unknown to me) but

3. Josh wasn't coming back.

Sorry if I was unclear.

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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