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Messages - Kira Wa Nai

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Player counsel is a community initiative to create a team of people that actually play the game and are willing to help the developers balance it. It proposes changes to the game and conducts playtests of those on the DevApp. You can find us in the official GoIO discord.

With creation of the player counsel the community has gotten a great opportunity to improve the game.
It is, however, pretty chaotic, disorganized and, most importantly, doesn't have a slightest clue of what they are trying to build.
This results in inefficient testing, hurt feelings (my latest attempt to organize an internal test was met with "nobody cares mate so im not wasting my time on this") and general disillusionment in the whole thing.

Hence, I want the following questions answered by the developers:
  • How do you see Alliance and Skirmish? Are they separate games that can(and should) provide separate experiences? Can the numbers and mechanics differ between the two? Will you try to unify them or keep them separate?
  • How do you see the competitive play? Is it something rudimentary or is it the central pillar of the community?
  • Related to the previous question, which audience is the game balanced for? New players? Competitive players? Casuals?
  • Are new game mechanics planned? Is proposing a new mechanic valid feedback or will it be scraped as being too low ROI?
  • What is the general balance strategy? The current devapp tests are not enough for thoroughly testing things, so it's either greatly increasing the quality and quantity of those, or just stuffing things onto the live server and doing the balance later. This could be pretty important for the competitive community.

Right now everyone in the player counsel has their own opinion regarding any and every of these questions, so it would be nice to get a coherent vision that we all could follow.

General Discussion / Re: My (Long)Open Letter to Muse
« on: January 28, 2017, 11:28:16 am »
A couple of weeks ago I tried to give a Russian newbie some advice on how to become better and have fun in the game.
He called me a faggot and told me to fuck off. I tried to fuck off, but there were no other lobbies for me to go to, so I stomped him. A couple of level 45s joined mid-match and told me that I'm a bad CA because I stack matches and don't teach newbies.
This was the final straw, and after three years of the same treatment I uninstalled the game.

Teaching is fun and I do it with great joy. Most of the time, though, an honest and polite attempt to help is met with either total ignorance or "im only here 4 fun so go away))))))".

Being a teacher and moral authority without any tools to enforce your judgements is tiring and gets on your nerves rather quickly. Bundle this with being treated like shit by the ones that are supposed to understand how it feels, throw in the stale meta and lack of content and voila - you get inactive people.

CA/Mod system needs to be rethought completely. At least give them more tools to actually do something besides giving up.

Also lol@giving votekick to L45. Never saw them complain about somebody daring to play a metamydion? Never saw them go nuclear at someone who made an honest mistake? Do you really believe that people are not gonna abuse it beyond any reasonable limit and then some?

Feedback and Suggestions / Re: A cry for change
« on: January 18, 2017, 12:52:55 pm »
Do we have any other ideas?

A public Trello board would be nice to have.

Feedback and Suggestions / Re: HEY SCRUBS! I have a ship for you.
« on: January 18, 2017, 05:58:15 am »
Please implement the heavy mine launcher first.
I want to be able to use two small mines on the front and a heavy one on the back on this.
Also move the engines to the sides so I can put on some eurobeat like "Running in the 9-0s" and go drifting.

On a more serious note, I appreciate the effort and think that we need more posts like this, but don't think that this one in particular is a good idea.

Feedback and Suggestions / Re: A cry for change
« on: January 17, 2017, 06:46:03 pm »
In this thread, there was a post written by a very close friend and a long-time teammate of mine.
It went way too far in how much rage it contained and how far away from constructive discussion it took the thread.
I managed to get him to remove it.
I apologize for the fact that it even existed in the first place. I'm disappointed by myself for allowing it to crop up here.

I beg you all to keep your heads cold and be mature. Please. I beg you.

Feedback and Suggestions / Re: A cry for change
« on: January 17, 2017, 04:23:09 pm »
First of all, thanks a lot for your reply. Seeing that the dev team takes this matter seriously is a great relief for me.

However, I think that your replies don't address the main point regarding the balance process: it takes two to tango.

Right now, the community sends a lot of feedback and only gets back occasional changes. The decision making process that leads to those changes in completely opaque. The community therefore has to try and figure out how a black box works, and so far it doesn't seem to had succeeded.

The community needs to get some communication back. What lead to the modifications to the "Tank Spire" proposal?
I'm sure that there is certain logic behind them, but I can't figure it out by myself. Eric probably doesn't make those decisions on a whim and gut feeling - I'm sure that he knows better than doing that to a competitive game's balance. Please, give those reasons back to us. We want to know how our feedback is processed and how the balance decisions are made.

While I appreciate the job that the CM team does, my personal opinion is that it is not enough. The community needs to hear back from Eric - be it through his own forum posts or community managers.

P.S. Not entirely related to the thread's topic: in my opinion, Corsair would fit the role of "Tank Spire" pretty well. Hence we want a healthy and constructive discussion between the devs and the community on matters like this.

Feedback and Suggestions / Re: A cry for change
« on: January 17, 2017, 08:05:12 am »
Thanks for your feedback and opinions, everyone. I sincerely hope that this thread results in actions being taken to move the game in the right direction.

I understand a lot of rage and frustration expressed in this thread - I myself feel desperate and frustrated and believe that I should have written this post three years ago.

However, I have to ask everyone in this thread to keep the discussion relevant to the topic of player-developer relations, constructive, civil, and free of personal insults and witch hunts. This is the only way that we can accomplish anything here.

Feedback and Suggestions / A cry for change
« on: January 16, 2017, 04:48:11 pm »
Before I begin, I want to apologize if this post comes off as somewhat rude - I tried my best to make it polite and level headed, but the russian definition of “polite and level headed” differs a lot from the american one and I am not really good at producing texts that fit the latter.

This post is a compilation of opinions of Polaris Company members written after the latest Spire playtest.

Short summary:
We are dissatisfied with the development and balance process of Skirmish mode.
In our opinion, the game has a lot of potential which isn’t harnessed by the dev team due to either lack of experience or conscious decision to ignore it.
We would like to ask for at least a promise of post-Alliance-release change in said process.

And now to the actual post.

Old players might remember who Polaris Company is - an old russian clan that played competitive and had mostly been incative for the past two and a half years. We love this game and, despite it becoming pretty stale and boring for us, still come back occasionally. We also love the Spire, and the news of it being changed managed to get many of our members to reset their two-year long offline timers. Having participated in the two “Tank Spire” playtests, we have become desperate enough to overcome our dislike of community interaction and write this plea.

This post is about the Skirmish mode (deathmatch in particular), its development and balance process and its future.

Skirmish mode is a competitive, cooperative PVP game with very high skill ceiling.
It also has a very steep learning curve, forcing new players into interaction with the older ones.

Therefore, it needs a few vital components to exist - a community, a competitive scene and a player-developer feedback loop to keep the game interesting.

Due to either inexperience or excessive focus on Alliance, only the community part has been somewhat nurtured by the dev team. The competitive scene was largely powered by the efforts of a few community contributors with occasional blessing by Keyvias and the player-developer feedback loop is nonexistent.

The last part is, in our opinion, the biggest problem.
GoIO is hard to balance, it is hard to introduce new things into it and it’s hard to change whatever is already in the game. Balancing such a game requires a complete, coherent vision regarding the following questions:
  • How is the game meant to be played?
  • By whom is the game meant to be played?
  • How long of a future do we see for this game?

Such vision is necessary to produce coherent, sensible changes to game mechanics, balance and content. It needs to be constantly discussed, criticized, and iterated upon - all as transparently as possible, to give the target audience whatever it desires.

This hasn’t been happening for the past four years and it isn’t happening now.
In our opinion, if it doesn’t start very soon, the game will die shortly after the initial Alliance euphoria is over.

What is happening right now feels, frankly, like a complete neglect of the game by its developers.
Such a vision doesn't seem to exist at all.

The key figure here is the person responsible for game balance.
To produce changes that actually make sense to be introduced into the game, this person has to closely interract with both casual and competitive communities, collect their feedback, openly propose and discuss changes, conduct playtests and only then make any decisions.

Right now, exactly none of this is happening.

Instead, this is:

Please, don’t take this personally, I’m just trying to showcase how far from the optimal design process the game currently is.

The Spire playtest is another illustration of disconnect between the dev team and the community.

A group of players has been pushing for a playtest of “Tank Spire”, giving the dev team exact changes that they wanted to see.
Instead, the test server had something insane. The changes on it just didn’t make sense. They accomplished exactly nothing to fix whatever problem Spire has, they weren’t even a direct implementation of community’s proposal. They looked absurd to anyone who actually plays the game and knows the ship.
Its primary defense mechanism was taken away with nothing of use given in return. Its firepower was taken away with nothing of use given in return. Its maneuverability was taken away with nothing of use given in return. Why would anyone who actually plays the game do that?

And the person responsible for the game balance wasn’t present at the playtest to hear the dissatisfaction. Instead, community managers were. They are great people and we love them, but it’s not a CM’s job to do the game balance! They aren’t nearly good enough at intricacies of game mechanics to do a good job of translating player’s post-test ramblings into coherent feedback!

Said person has given up on reading forums too, so the only way to reach him is to PM him on the rare occasion when he is in game.

This shouldn’t be happening. Nothing will be accomplished this way. The feedback is distorted, the decision process is nontransparent, and there appears to be no actual vision of the game’s future.

The only thing used to do the balancing right now is numbers. Arc angles. Damage numbers. HP and armor points. Speeds.

Map design is not being used. It is as powerful of a balancing tool as the numbers are. Map changes can influence the meta tremendously, promoting or discouraging certain playstyles, making certain mechanics and ships more viable, and doing everything you want from a balance tool. Instead, the maps are almost exactly the same as they have been four years ago.

New content is not being used. Introducing a mechanic or a ship is an extremely powerful tool to do balance. Alliance has an enormous amount of content, sitting ready to be ported into Skirmish. It’s potential to affect gameplay is not harnessed. Since release, the following content had been added:
  • Spire
  • Mobula
  • Lumberjack
  • Hades
  • Mine Launcher
  • Minotaur
  • Canyon Ambush
  • Labyrinth
  • Refinery
  • Rangefinder

Most of these were added in the first year and a half of game’s existence.
For the past two and a half years, the game has had very little new content to shake up the meta.
Please, Muse, do something. You have a passionate community that refuses to let the game die and gives you almost a carte blanche for changes.

Please, discuss how you see the Skirmish mode’s future. How you want it to be played. Whom you want to play it.

Post it for community to discuss and criticize. Listen to this feedback and make changes to it to make it match the community’s desires closer. Make this as transparent as possible.

Redo the balance process. Create a much closer interaction between the community representatives and the balance team. Turn the Hand of Balance into the Head of Balance and let the community hear his thoughts and plans. Conduct proper playtests with balance team present to hear and discuss the feedback. Utilize the currently unused map design and content addition.

We understand that the team is currently very busy with Alliance. We aren’t asking for you to start running like you are on fire and to immediately implement the changes described here.

But please, at least give us a promise that you will do this after Alliance is released. We love this game and really don’t want to see it die before we are done having fun in it.

P.S. If it wasn't obvious, the expected outcome of this post is a reply from Eric. Come out and play, we won’t bite you!

Community Events / Re: the Flotsam Dynasty Campaign Registration
« on: August 24, 2013, 03:26:51 am »
Okay guys, bad news here. Polaris won't be able to participate, as I have to stay in hospital and two other guys are busy.
Good luck & have fun everyone!

Community Events / Re: the Flotsam Dynasty Campaign Registration
« on: August 17, 2013, 08:15:33 pm »
Team name: Polaris Company.
Logo: gotta be added later.
Contact person:
Skype - raging_geek
IGN - Raging Geek
Map/day: Northern Fjords, Saturday.

And so the Russians cometh!
Polaris is uniting with Fleet of Sodom for this tourney.

P&S Company

Ship 1: FisherEx, Geek the Great, nedsvart, Shaun
Ship 2: Ailen, JurgenTM, alixiz, zitruskiller
Ship 3: Sarugot, Qwait, Richard P, Al-Meali Kai-Kaus

Representative - Geek the Great

Possible replacements: Major Tom, Imago, urm.
Still no logo, maybe later.
Good luck and have fun everyone!

The Docks / Re: Clan ikaRUS ONLY RUSSIA!
« on: June 12, 2013, 04:13:16 pm »
Красавчик, может встретимся? Ты мне нравишься.

Community Events / Re: uncompetitive scrimmage day
« on: June 06, 2013, 11:01:13 am »
Polaris are in for 2PM Saturdays.

Community Events / Re: The Icarus Sky Tournament [INFO]
« on: May 24, 2013, 03:53:53 am »
A question that is really important for my team. If the game result is affected strongly by different bugs(as in Cogs semifinals ours ship got stuck in wall 2 times and so gave a big advantage to The Brood), may a team ask for rematch and will these requests be reviewed(replay analysis, discussions with teams captains)?

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