Author Topic: A cry for change  (Read 62014 times)

Offline Kestril

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Re: A cry for change
« Reply #60 on: January 17, 2017, 01:31:28 pm »
Quote
-How often and what do you expect in a content update for skirmish?
Once a month for major but existing skirmish additions, whether it be porting an alliance gun, porting an alliance map, or re-balancing a ship for an entirely new role. If there are several minor changes or a rather elusive aspect of balancing, it's understandable for it not to make it in so long as the testing process is continued in good faith and communication is kept up between developers and community. An example of this sort of change would be reconfiguring the spire to tankspire or adding the heavy mine launcher to skirmish.

 A two-week timeframe is reasonable for re-balancing existing guns, tuning ammunition,  or tweaking ships to better perform their role,  Examples of this change would be tweaking the squid's maneuverability versus health, tweaking the mobula gun arcs, or changing the explosion radius of burst ammunition.

Adding a new ship to skirmish mode should be within two months of the initial testing of that new ship for skirmish. Assuming one test per week, that gives eight official testing sessions with tweaks in-between to balance the ship to be added for skirmish.

I think the above timeframes are reasonable to both the dev team and the community. I feel the clear deadlines and direct nature of the testing will encourage people to go into the dev app to try the changes. Right now with a sort of nebulous testing-to-implementation schedule, it's hard to go into the dev app as there is no idea when if ever the changes will be looked at or implemented.


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-How often and what do you expect for balance updates?
I expect community feedback to be attempted and tested in its entirety and not "spun" in a way that demonstrates the disconnect from the devs and community. As the OP and many others pointed out, the changes made in the dev app, while well-intentioned, made little sense.  If it doesn't work, fine, but it should be tested as the community suggests to find both the flaws and strengths in testing.  I expect (small) balance updates at least once a month, see the first part of the post for timeframes about the different sorts of balance changes.


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-If you could change one single thing tomorrow, what would that be?
I would create an update thread or newsletter that tracks the incoming balance changes, when they will occur, and the target deadline of when they will be implemented. I would to it in a format similar to a mini-newsletter. That way it gives a clear roadmap and sense of progress when it comes to testing balance changes, and players can see how their feedback helps the project along.

For example:
Title:[THIS MONTH'S TESTING: TANKSPIRE]

Goal: The goal is to implement the tankspire by [DATE]

Changes tested LAST WEEK
Armor: 900
Hull: 700
-Gun arcs widened to limit quadfecta
-Vertical acceleration increased

Feedback: Upon feedback, hull will be increased to make the spire more tanky. The gun arcs will be pushed back in to allow for a quadfecta again. The vertical acceleration changes were well-received, so that will stay.

Changes TO BE TESTED ON (DATE2)
Armor: 900
Hull: 1400
-Gun arcs narrowed to allow quadfecta.


This sort of thread should be updated the day after the testing results.

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- Will you be porting Alliance ships and guns into Skirmish and if not then what stops you form reusing your own content?
- Why did Eric left the forum and the game in the first place while he remains "the hand of balance"(and though he is still active outside of the game)?
^^^^

Moreso the second one, I can see the balance considerations with alliance ships. However, I'd love to see them make it in game in some form regardless.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2017, 01:43:37 pm by Kestril »

Offline Celine Dijon

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Re: A cry for change
« Reply #61 on: January 17, 2017, 02:13:47 pm »
Here Here!

We know Steam will murder the whole game if alliance deadlines aren't met. We, the players, simply need to be told: " we hear you, and are listening"

Offline The Mann

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Re: A cry for change
« Reply #62 on: January 17, 2017, 02:17:16 pm »
Quote
-How often and what do you expect in a content update for skirmish?
-How often and what do you expect for balance updates?
-If you could change one single thing tomorrow, what would that be?

I'd probably expect an update every quarter - Monthly and Bi-Monthly too short of a time span for any major developments.
I have a few ideas.

First and foremost, make the most of the nerds in the community! :D (No offence nerds)
  • Lots of players in the community dedicating time for dev all statistic collections on Ships, Ammo, weapons and so on!
  • Workshop: There are a tonne of user made decals, items and voice packs just waiting to be reviewed by you Muse.
  • Map Skyboxes: Changing the Skybox on maps to give them different times (Day / Night) would be an awesome addition to test. It would be simpler than making new maps and could create some interesting combat changes. (Adding more cloud at night for example will make visibility even harder allowing for more awesome ambushes)

If I could change a single thing, It would probably have to be More rewards. Giving players more for progression would be a neat way to increase interest. Getting rewards every 3 levels is good but new players want lots of cool things. An Idea would be to make a reward per level / achievement until level 20. Or perhaps a different method. Alternatively. Having 42 titles is not enough for me. Mann needs lots of titles.

Offline Byron Cavendish

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Re: A cry for change
« Reply #63 on: January 17, 2017, 02:20:38 pm »
Based off of similar sized indie studios and games, I would say at minimum a year (I mean, Damned is beating you out on content updates...Damned...), but to be seriously competitive every quarter, with cosmetics more frequently. And I think they should all be cash shop, like Depth.

Offline Keyvias

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Re: A cry for change
« Reply #64 on: January 17, 2017, 02:25:28 pm »
@Fisherex

Porting of guns and ships will require a lot of balancing, they are not all cut out, but some (like gas mortar are straight no's due to weapon type, being chased by tar clouds are unfun.) Weapons and ships will be vetted to be brought back on a case by case basis. Things like the tempest are currently highest on the list  for candidates. I can't speak to the timing though, but we would love to reuse the assets for skirmish since we've already put in the work.

Eric left the forum for a lot of reasons. The biggest of which is it's not an effective use of his time. There's a lot of conflicting opinions and he doesn't thrive on answering everyone. If he did, I wouldn't need a job. Often times for games the lead developer doesn't directly communicate with the community. All feedback does make its way to him, though I do my best to disregard things that would waste his time like all the add boarding emails or something we've already tried or discussed.

Offline Keyvias

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Re: A cry for change
« Reply #65 on: January 17, 2017, 02:28:24 pm »
@Byron,

Damned isn't making a second game's size worth of content at the same time. This is the reason I would say we rate pretty low for content.
As for quarterly content updates
Like one full gun every quarter or what size of content would be your expectation? I want to zero in on it so I can talk to the team and see, after we get through getting alliance out if we can make a new roadmap and what player expectations vs our reality is and how they can mesh.

Offline Shas'ui

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Re: A cry for change
« Reply #66 on: January 17, 2017, 02:32:31 pm »
-How often and what do you expect in a content update for skirmish?
Something new each month would be lovely, if a bit optimistic given the current timesink of alliance. The amount of content doesn't need to be huge; a new map isn't as game-changing as a new ship or weapon, but still helps keep the game feeling fresh and new, rather then flying in the same few places again and again. Another plus to doing it monthly: it gives you a great headline for the monthly newsletter!
   
-How often and what do you expect for balance updates?
Balance updates are, in my mind, something that is done as needed rather then on a set timeline. If everything is running smoothly, then no balance updates are needed. On the other hand, if something becomes an issue, or a recently enacted change goes bad, a fix is needed as soon as possible. For example, the recent map additions which had badly placed spawns: as soon as the issue is mentioned, an investigation should be started, and, within a reasonable timeframe, either take action to correct the issue, or explain why no action was taken.

-If you could change one single thing tomorrow, what would that be?
The way that the devapp tests are run: allow for more frequent changes, over the course of the test; rapid prototyping. If the numbers initially proposed are not working, the ability to have someone who can adjust to newly proposed numbers, such that multiple sets of numbers can be tested in succession, rather then spending the entire session on one set, even after a conclusion has been reached.



Offline BlackenedPies

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Re: A cry for change
« Reply #67 on: January 17, 2017, 03:57:09 pm »
@Keyvias

Players feel that feedback is ignored. For example, in the testing for 1.4.5, from my eyes the overwhelming feedback was that lochnagar and mobula were broken and that these changes wouldn't work. Testing continued for another two weeks on the exact same changes, with the same feedback. Players became disheartened and stopped sending emails because it felt pointless. When 1.4.5 was released it caused a unanimous negative response from the community. Many players quit as a direct result. How will this be addressed in the future?

Players would like a hand in balance, and ideally IMO a direct vote on what (spire, loch etc.) and how (hull, dmg etc.) things are changed. Right now it feels like we have little or no say in either. For example, many feel the recent squid nerf went too far and needs toned down a bit - maybe +100 hull or at least extra turning accel. That seems far more pressing than testing an imaginary spire which might take months to tone out, if at all. If these spire changes take priority, and if squid doesn't need tweaked, we want to know why
« Last Edit: January 17, 2017, 04:10:09 pm by BlackenedPies »

Offline Kira Wa Nai

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Re: A cry for change
« Reply #68 on: January 17, 2017, 04:23:09 pm »
@Keyvias
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.

Offline Keyvias

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Re: A cry for change
« Reply #69 on: January 17, 2017, 04:51:23 pm »
Tank-Spire was a player made suggestion for #Wildweek, where players got to send in numbers and things they wanted to try. Due to Eric taking an interesting in the numbers, the players numbers were then adjusted by Eric at the last moment and we didn't communicate that well.
This isn't a like serious suggestion where it'll be in the game next week, but we wanted to do as you said and listen to the community better, which one of the ways we did was opening up #wildweek.

We started with a trifecta squid, which failed (horribly balanced) but was super fun just to try.

Offline FisherEx

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Re: A cry for change
« Reply #70 on: January 17, 2017, 04:53:25 pm »
@Keyvias

So Eric is the lead developer... I thought it was Howard. Anyways, I feel that he was full of himself and his withdrawing from forum discussions looked like disrespect that leads to neglecting his own game's community interests. Skirmish was always the key part of the game which made me buy it and it kept me playing for almost 2000 hours. But we got bored, we waited for your announcements. Not much changed since the release, frankly speaking. But upcoming Adventure mode kept us hyped(though we were never sure what it will be and you guys never told us the truth behind the title). Adventure became the Alliance and open world multi-crew airship became generic zombie shooting PvE mode.

Double checking the kickstarter page for Adventure mode(me, nedsvart and Ataris backed it) makes some things clear (and now I find stretch goals illogical) but hype was high and we hoped for our(and Howard's) game of dreams, there were nobody around to return us back to earth, not even you. After some time things have started to become clear, there were posts about impossibility of open world, but I have to admit that it was always an imaginary thing that only existed in our excited brains. Then Eric bailed out with his precious time and we had an informational vacuum.

Yes, I feel that our feedback is ignored, it always was. We've seen potential in this game, this is why we are still here. We were always supportive (I bought the game at least twice with a lot of cosmetics as well just to support you), but now I feel like it was for nothing. Three years is a significant time for a team of developers to deliver a DLC(a whole games were made in less time).

So yeah, sorry for being salty and such, but I need to express my disillusionment. You have a unique game here, alone in the niche with with no competitors. I hope it will survive somehow and somebody will make something similar one day.

Offline Kestril

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Re: A cry for change
« Reply #71 on: January 17, 2017, 05:03:23 pm »
Tank-Spire was a player made suggestion for #Wildweek, where players got to send in numbers and things they wanted to try. Due to Eric taking an interesting in the numbers, the players numbers were then adjusted by Eric at the last moment and we didn't communicate that well.
This is the proof in the pudding. This is the disconnect. Right here. It's not the lack of communication or mixed-signals. It's the last-moment seemingly arbitrary changes to the feedback we've given for no apparent reason. That's it. That's the issue. Right there. That's the one note that has repeated over that we are pleaing about in this thread when it comes to the process Muse uses to make balance choices within the skirmish mode. I do not intend to witch-hunt Eric, but I do want to point out that the last-minute change seemed arbitrary and unnecessary. By making that change, the community felt ignored, unappriciated, and put-down. This is the thing, that feeling that we get when changes are made in that opaque box, is the thing muse must address going forward.

I mean, it felt like we showed up to the wrong movie or party. We came to test tankspire and got a splunker. Eric was wrong and that is fine. But it doesn't change the fact that we showed up to test one thing mentioned in the thread and got another thing to test instead. It felt like a bait-and-switch.

 
Quote
This isn't a like serious suggestion where it'll be in the game next week, but we wanted to do as you said and listen to the community better, which one of the ways we did was opening up #wildweek.


Then the error is in the execution, not the intent. That's understandable, but this is not a one-case scenario. The #tankspire test was the metaphorical last floating straw that played a hand in prompting this thread, as Pies mentioned:


Quote from: Blackened Pies
Players feel that feedback is ignored. For example, in the testing for 1.4.5, from my eyes the overwhelming feedback was that lochnagar and mobula were broken and that these changes wouldn't work. Testing continued for another two weeks on the exact same changes, with the same feedback. Players became disheartened and stopped sending emails because it felt pointless. When 1.4.5 was released it caused a unanimous negative response from the community. Many players quit as a direct result. How will this be addressed in the future?

All this has happened before and will happen again. How will you address this core issue Muse?

Anyways, said my piece and will leave before I get sent of to the salt mines in red sepulcher.

o7
« Last Edit: January 17, 2017, 05:19:16 pm by Kestril »

Offline Schwalbe

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Re: A cry for change
« Reply #72 on: January 17, 2017, 05:17:20 pm »
Due to Eric taking an interesting in the numbers, the players numbers were then adjusted by Eric at the last moment and we didn't communicate that well.
Did Keyvias just suggested that AWKM is laying a massive cock not only on the playerbase but also the team he works with?
Or is it a stretch.

No, seriously I'm not sure how to understand that statement - for me it sounded like Eric didn't think it was necessary to communicate with his own colleagues.
Which is pretty retarded.



« Last Edit: January 17, 2017, 05:38:34 pm by FisherEx »

Offline FisherEx

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Re: A cry for change
« Reply #73 on: January 17, 2017, 05:40:57 pm »
Raging Geek made me delete this, sorry.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2017, 06:30:38 pm by FisherEx »

Offline Byron Cavendish

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Re: A cry for change
« Reply #74 on: January 17, 2017, 06:06:19 pm »
How do8es one become lead game designer in a company with zero previous experience?