Pathogen

DESIRE to know more INTENSIFIES!

60 posts in this topic

I wouldn't count on it.  They're obviously reading the boards, but instead of responding to PF concerns they just deleted the thread.

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Yeh deleting a thread was pretty low

Here, we'll all be told to play nice or they'll silence us too 

Really I need to see 3.0 before the KS to know if it's gonna work 

If Spartan release it and it's good and we all start being happy THEN kickstart so people can come see a better face it's good

Otherwise we're looking at a bad kickstarter

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On 13/07/2017 at 5:06 PM, Mathhammer said:

Lets be honest

Communication solves most issues. Customers will give you an amazing amount of forgiveness as long as you communicate with them.

 

Spartan needs to hire an intern at least whose job is to go around and get weekly status updates on the systems, and you can even preference items with day dreaming, working on, thought about etc, and the customers would be a lot happier.

That was a big part of what Spartan Beth used to do (before she left) - the fact that Spartan didn't make replacing her a major priority speaks volumes.

Pathogen and azrael like this

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3 hours ago, Presidente said:

Very disappointing that Spartan Beth was not replaced when she left, all the good will she built up with the online community is gone.

Its not somethinhe wadg you can bank for a rainy day:P

i always found beth to be a very kind, helpful person who would answer anything she could.........and would seek answers to questions/problems and actually post back to you.  indeed she was a trooper that is greatly missed.:(

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I mean, @Spartan Mike is putting up a valiant effort in filling that void, but there's only so much one dude can do, y'know? I mean, it's a tricky situation, right, because there are a lot of valid complaints being fielded but at the same time a lot of those valid complaints are being presented in a pretty extreme manner. The Planetfall forums are a bit heated right now, if you'll permit me to understate things, but he's still jumped in, and while he's had to draw some lines in the sand that a lot of people dislike (myself included, though I respect that there may well be a need to that wouldn't apply in more pleasant times, yeah?) he's at least in it at all, and I respect that greatly.

 

Likewise, I can see why people would avoid these threads like the plague- as a designer, you've gotta have a vision as to how the game is going to fit together, and sometimes you've got to employ that vision. In regards to That Other Game What Just Entered Its 8th Itteration, that's a huge rules departure and I say this particularly because there are some things I greatly dislike about it even though overall I like the new direction, the mixed responses have moved to the positive most places I see. It needed a chance. The majority of changes had a logic to them.

 

This very well could be what we see with FSA3.0; at the same time, though, we've had a supposedly open communication channel, right? And it was really good at first. Buuuut, it probably would have been better if, like, the guy with the rules-writing time commitment for two games weren't also in charge of communication, you know? Probably could have used a middleman, and that's where the loss of people like Beth hurts.

 

I mean, there's other stuff, too. I wish this could be like a Valve thing where okay, stuff gets delayed, stuff gets put on the backburner, stuff comes out of nowhere, but it's all amazing (though TF2 fans maybe have a right to disagree) so there's a decent amount of goodwill. If Spartan was consistent with quality, there'd be no doubt we'd be in a similar boat, but the misses have been as bad as the hits have been good.

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I really agree with Hive above.

 

Warning: long rambling ahead, proceed with caution!

 

I'm not quite sure that we're dealing with a trivial situation here. Providing criticism (however constructive and/or positively worded it may be) for the communications issues is the easier path. Finding solutions on the other hand is not (also quite futile, as none of us are in a position to make decisions for Spartan). Still as a thought experiment, we could have a crack at it.

Managing a community is not simple. As Spartan has (too) many game systems to support, but they are (probably) not generating that much of a revenue for it to be called a big company (this might be the most probable case, it explains the recent kickstarters, and the high portion of volunteer work it relies upon to stay afloat). It is just a bit too large for a single unpaid person, to manage all the rules and the community interactions in his free time. There are two paths Spartan has already tried:

 

1.) Dedicated community manager.

 

@Spartan Beth fulfilled this role, and she did an excellent job at being helpful, but she didn't play any of the games, didn't take part in the development, and I can risk it that she wasn't really "in the know" of the long term plans (if there are any :P ), so to fulfil her duties, she had to have a constant conversation with those responsible for the respective duties, getting delayed and/or partial information. Fortunately for her she has found a good opportunity, unfortunately for us she took it and sadly she wasn't replaced.

This system wasn't as successful, as it could have been, because Beth didn't have an authority on rules matters, didn't have info on release schedules, all that information had to be extracted from various other personnel.

 

2.) Take multiple volunteers for multiple the systems, and give them the duty to manage both the rules and the community for those (the current system).

 

Simple as it may sound, just not everyone is cut out to fulfill these completely different duties at the same time. This is why @Spartan Mike deserves so much respect. Not only did he have a say creating the new the dystopian rules/stats, he still managed to engage that side of the community, maintaining two sided discussions, reassuring, explaining, teasing. On top of that, he was the only Spartan staff member daring to make an appearance in the hornet's nest that is the PF forums nowadays. He sets a good example, that this can be done right, if the (unpaid volunteers) are dedicated enough, but, is that the norm?

If I was enthusiastic enough to manage the renewal/development of two game systems in my free time, managing 19(?) beta team's worth data input for two separate systems, providing feedback to their feedback etc. I know I wouldn't be able to be on the forums, trying to calmly reassure people while not giving away anything, as my hands are probably tied because of all the NDAs I have signed, and every time I want to share something, I have to get permission from @Spartan Neil, who is really passionate about everything his company does... but also he likes to personally handle everything, and he likes to have the final word in every single matter... This is what drove Spartan Alex away (than got him banned, exiled, and removed from every record). @Spartan Derek probably chose to fulfill only one half of this duty, and tries to do that better in the expense of engaging the community. We have seen how damaging it can be - at least on the short term. On the long term, we'll see if the new rules will make up for this.

Anyway. This system is also flawed, as it needs a specific type of person for it to work, who is willing to burn the candle on both ends... but as we know those candles have a tendency to last only half as long...

 

So what is 3.) ?

I think we all believe to have pieces to this puzzle, but I know I don't have a solution I believe can solve everything, so I'm asking you guys if you have any input (as this thread should be about Spartan being curious what do we really think right?).

 

-Should @Spartan Neil loosen his grip on his company? It would help, but ultimately it's his company, his investment (both capital and emotional), I doubt this will happen, even though probably overt centralization hurts Spartan as it's too spread out for this system to work. Still, I can completely understand his personal attachment for every piece of resin his company produces.

 

-Consistency in communication? When Spartan decides to be transparent, and reveals it's plans it tends to be very specific about those things (roadmaps with dates, plans that are being worked on), but there's rarely a follow-up with updates on how those plans are working out. Of course I'd like more communication with more updates, details and everything, but... would less information work? Omitting anything that is obviously wishful thinking? Would it make Spartan more like the Dreaded overseers of the Grimdark?

 

-We know Spartan is trying to gather hard data of the preferences of the playerbase with the surveys. would it be better if we knew if we are really the jaded minority? Would we believe if the surveys said we were (and are the surveys providing unskewed data)? Because if we are, we are shooting ourselves in the foot rambling about how bad Spartan is handling it's games, even though (I'm quite sure) we believe we are helping pointing out the problems (louder and louder as time passes by).

 

-I'm absolutely certain, if we have anything to sink our teeth into, we would do that, but we're not getting anything, because... well. I know, that when I have heard the changes about mines and cloaking, I was really bummed out (still am), hearing about SRS changes wasn't substantial enough for me to form an opinion about, but I was feeling really positive hearing about it, but without context and with everything being the subject of change, they mean nothing, and I may be worrying or being joyful for in vain, and I would provide a meaningless feedback. Maybe even loudly. Which is the better solution?

 

-... Anything I have left out?

 

On one hand I'd be happy if these questions would be answered by those with inside knowledge of the workings, but on the other hand I have a feeling we (the remnants of the community) would tear those answers apart like the information-hungry ghosts we are. Still... wouldn't it be better for both parties to weather the initial ****storm and ultimately establish a healthy relationship with the current followers?

 

TL;DR: Spartan is in a damned if you do, damned if you  don't situation. So why don't, if you could do? :) But how exactly would you do, if you were in their shoes?

Marden, alamo, Benchpresser and 2 others like this

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Mek, that was amazingly well put and you are right on the money on almost everything.

We all know SG has too many systems to support.  The issue now is they can't end any of the 3 main ones.  PF took the brunt of the "abandonment issues" because of a) SG's ADHD approach to game support and  b ) They released a DIRECT competitor to their Firestorm universe!

Should they have taken on Halo?  Hard to say- on the one hand it was and is a great opportunity for a small company and I think any company would have jumped at it.  On the other hand they bit off far more than they could chew, and they knew it.

So now they are in a damned position no matter what they do.  They can't back out of Halo- it would be business suicide.  (Nor should they, the Halo system is decent, in some ways better than Firestorm)  But their own world, Firestorm will always suffer as a result.  They also can't sunset Firestorm- it's one of their cornerstone games and it is too rich a universe not to utilize.
Spartan Mike deserves a insane amount of credit for what he is doing.  He not only juggles development of DW, but also took it upon himself to be the SG "voice" on the forums.  I think we can all agree that is the most thankless job in game development- it's the equivalent of a soldier running into no-mans-land yelling "HERE I AM!!!"  He also steps outside his box when he thinks he can help- example is him pestering Neil that the Corinthian Club has had less attention than PF and it's not right.
He tried to do the same with PF, knowing full well what he was in for being an "outsider" (IE not on the development team).  The issue is there are a couple ... ignorants who have already written the system off no matter what and are nothing more than mean-spirited trolls out to cause as much disruption as possible to make up for how they were "betrayed".  No- that is NOT all PF players, not even a small amount.  But on Forums the loudest most ignorant Trolls get the most attention.  Is it any wonder the Firestorm "voices" of SG- Josh and Linde (I think) don't speak up?  It's human nature, you aren't going to keep coming here to get punched in the face.

Honestly- admit even their timetable was unrealistic, and use the KS as a pure "relaunch" for Firestorm.  Make the KS for both Armada and PF and from then on, alternate monthly releases.  It doesn't matter if you release models, or scenarios, or even revisions or different "marks" of unit stats- but release something for each game every other month.  
Firestorm might even benefit from player-generated content more than SG's other systems.  Put together a quarterly PDF of player submissions of scenarios, backgrounds, stats etc.  Yes, they'd be optional but it would still keep the system living.  
No one is giving SG a free pass on their treatment of Firestorm, but the constant... flogging of them over it is doing more to kill it than even they did themselves. 

Skyhawk, Drastab, CorroPredo and 1 other like this

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Very good points both of you. I have been reading the Planetfall thread and Armada thread, talk about being raked over the coals. I cannot blame them for not wanting to say anything. I hope I haven't been contributing to the problem any, but I apologize if I have.

Something that I have noticed is that people have been posting less in the hobby and battle report sections lately. I don't know if that people have been busy lately or are avoiding the forum because of the attitude  that is prevailing in it. It is sad though because that was the part I enjoyed the most.

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