Tag Archives: community

The Dangers of Feedback Firestorms

Last week should have been an awesome week with prepurchase starting (and presumably, release getting closer), a metric ton of information about guild halls, and full details of exactly how big the patch that went live today is.

Instead, it turned into a nightmare of botched PR, hate and shaming on ArenaNet’s developers, and a viral level of outcry spreading from reddit to the same group that hosted the initial reveal of guild halls and prepurchase during E3 in less than a week. A literal firestorm of negative feedback.

And based on Monday’s post, the outcry worked. People are calmed down now, and most folks’ “fix list” has been accommodated.

But regardless of its effectiveness, it sets a dangerous, and ultimately unproductive precedent. I am going to show how first firestorms aren’t new to the Guild Wars 2 community, how these firestorms hurt everyone involved, and ways to keep a raging inferno from engulfing the studio.

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A Failure to Communicate: Saying Much and Telling Little

Note: This is the first exhaustive-style post I’ve had since January. It is not short (4800 words). A functional TL;DR, is present in the introduction, bolded statements throughout the post, and conclusion.

Communication is one of, if not the, most important facets of game development. Without it, developers are in the dark on what players want, and players aren’t sure who they should back with their money (either before or after release).

But communication is not simply talking. It requires understanding who is being communicated to, what needs to be said, and how it needs to be said. Failing any of these aspects often means the message is lost.

And based on the wild swings of opinion on both reddit and the forums (most easily seen by looking at discussions on both the expansion and the base game), communication isn’t really happening, especially at this critical time as the expansion seeks to reinvigorate the game.

Communication has not been an ArenaNet strong suit for quite some time. Rather than simply griping about the current policy, I am going to explore what it is and its full effects. And after framing that entire problem, I will provide a possible solution to put ArenaNet and the Guild Wars 2 community back in communication.

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Negative Incentive: Why Not to Make Masteries Expansion Exclusive

As I mentioned in my last post about the masteries dev blog, there are two things that I dislike about it as announced: tier increases and needless expansion exclusivity. This time around, I’m writing about the latter.

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