View Full Forums : Because we said so


Mannwin Woobie
08-08-2004, 12:06 PM
Scirocco mentioned this in reference to the top ten list, and my asking him to see if SoE could give us some explanations/reasonings behind their decisions:

SOE told us at the front end that we weren't going to get full explanations on these lists, though.

And that is exactly why we end up having discussion after discussion about WHY things are the way they are. And in the end, the most bitter of us just figure it's SoE either being lazy or trying to screw us.

When you are 5 years old, and you mother says "because I said so", it is sufficient. When you are an adult, it is not (usually....hehe).

Sorry, but I have a very analytical mind and enjoy a lot of the "class definitions" and workings of the game (and I am sure I am not alone). "Just because" doesn't cut it with me, especially since we are paying for it.

Juniper
08-08-2004, 02:42 PM
I'm frusturated too, but I know that if a clear and honest explanation were given to us on the forums, the reaction would be much worse than it already is.

Tiane
08-08-2004, 04:54 PM
Why do you assume that Juniper? If the honest explanation made sense, I'm pretty sure most people would understand. The problem comes when there's no real reason, or they are basing their explanation on outdated gameplay, "mathematical models" and ideal situations. And rightly so.

Arienne
08-08-2004, 06:07 PM
Why do you assume that Juniper? If the honest explanation made sense, I'm pretty sure most people would understand./agree.

"Math's hard" was about the DUMBEST thing I ever heard as a reason... but leave it to a SOE employee to use it. Sad thing is, I think he WAS being honest.

It's my belief that they simply CAN'T answer most of the questions because they have too many different fingers in the pot making wierd decisions that even THEY don't know the reasons for.

Anka
08-08-2004, 06:26 PM
Why do you assume that Juniper? If the honest explanation made sense, I'm pretty sure most people would understand.

At any one time, Sony probrably think at least one of the classes is overpowered. In fact it's hard to see a situation when they don't think at least one class is slightly overpowered. If they were to tell that class 'you're not getting any special upgrades because we see you as overpowered already' then I think it would test people's understanding nature.

Juniper
08-09-2004, 03:50 AM
I argue this because of the way anybody who feels passionate about the class they play reacts when they are told the truth, which is what you'd be getting with the 'honest answer'.

There are many people involved in the process of changing aspects of the game, few of which appear to even want to be informed about the matter.

We play the game (some of us play quite a bit). Most of the people making choices do not play the game to a great extent. We each have a different perspective on what needs to change to maintain order with all classes, not just the ones you play.

Behavioral patterns on most class boards suggest that there would not be a positive reaction to ANY explanation from Sony. I realize this statement is very 'YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!' but reading over most class forums for thirty seconds is enough to prove my point. Any answer is likely not the answer you were looking for, so why bother?

It's like asking two friends for advice. You're not asking your friends because you need guidance, you're asking because you want one of them to agree with the choice you have already made and help you rationalize it.

Players who are the most vocal are often the most bitter in regards to how their class has changed and been treated. An 'honest' answer isn't going to do anything to dissipate that level of resentment. It has nothing to do with mathematics. If anything, even if presented with a valid reason for making changes (or not changing things) people will insist that they are the victims of some far reaching conspiracy and continue to seek out dark rooms full of smoking men.

/shrug

Edit - some weird spelling errors.

Tiane
08-09-2004, 04:47 AM
I understand your point of view, but I have to disagree. And I think you touched on it when you said "reading over most class forums for thirty seconds is enough to prove my point." That, ultimately, only gives you a very shallow view of the player base, and that may indeed be all that Sony has. I guess it's easy to be scared of seemingly harsh and quick criticism (even if it's well deserved) when you dont understand the communities involved.

But I disagree because I, as do other veterans of the EQ world, have a much deeper understanding and feeling of our communities than any Sony Dev, PR manager or casual observer could have. I've been involved in the EQ druid and other communities for well over five years now, not to mention many close involvements with (although not lately) Sony and Verant before them. Truth be told I got along a lot better with the Verant team, I guess because they pretty much had a line and a Vision to adhere to, which gave them a sense of the direction things should be heading, instead of currently where it seems like the current generation of Sony devs just havent a clue whats going on or how to save their game. And it's not just me, all the mods here at TDG are very very old and experienced players, among other things, and we have the benefit of some other very wise and experienced people who come and share their views with us all on this board. And there are many many other forums where knowledgable and mature people are ready and willing to help. And I feel safe in saying, speaking for most of them, that we would all be better off with open and honest communication from Sony rather than the "Because we said so" thing they've got going on right now.

The point being, if one takes the time to get to know the EQ communities, and not just judge them on the immediate and often over the top reactions of some of the loudmouths, I think one would find the communities to be understanding. Not only that, but some straight talk goes a long way towards earning the respect and trust that Sony dearly needs right now. There are some people still there that seem to get this (Hi Khavok and Grumbuk and Zajeer!) but despite the summit, it really still seems like Brenlo, Absor, and the others havent taken the idea of straightforwardness and understanding to heart, instead clinging to their private members only special forums, and harshly moderated Sony forums.

It takes a lot of effort on their part, it takes a leap of faith and some trust in *us*, and it takes some patience to weather out the initial storm and shock they may encounter. But lets be honest, a lot of *us* have been around this thing a lot longer than many of them, so if there's one side that should be given the benefit of the doubt, I would like to think that we, the communities that have helped EQ succeed beyond VI's wildest dreams, have earned that faith.

Mannwin Woobie
08-09-2004, 06:58 AM
Well said, Tiane!

And, Juniper, I just want to reply to this:

It's like asking two friends for advice. You're not asking your friends because you need guidance, you're asking because you want one of them to agree with the choice you have already made and help you rationalize it.

Sorry, but that is not what I expect from my friends. They know me well enough that I expect honest advice. And believe me, I give it right back to them. Many times my friends get upset when they ask me for advice and I give it to them. I know what they wanted to hear, but I told them my honest opinion. When that happens, I just tell them "If you don't want my opinion, then don't ask for it". And in the long run, they appreciate it since they can count on me to be honest.

I think I am emotionally stable enough to handle the truth. I may get ticked off, I may even laugh at SoE ("Math is hard"...lol...give me a break), but to me, ignorance is not bliss.

Thicket Tundrabog
08-09-2004, 08:38 AM
I agree with Juniper. Face it folks, any explanation by SoE will be met with a swarm of yipping and yapping, cynicism and slamming. It doesn't matter what they are explaining... spells, AA, class balance... you name it. Sure, there'll be positive and constructive discussion, but it will be in the minority.

Some posters, including those in this thread, are thoughtful, knowledgeable folks. Don't take my comments personally --- they are not directed at individuals.

Message boards in general seem to attract a high percentage of nay-sayers -- probably a lot more than the general population. There's nothing wrong with this. It's just the nature of message boards. The nay-sayers are especially prominent when the 'icon', in this case SoE, gives explanations.

If I was SoE, I would do exactly what they are doing. Provide some information, but don't give out any details. It doesn't satisfy everyone, but EQ players are a diverse group and SoE is stuck with trying to find one single common denominator. The trick is to keep as many paying customers as possible. Considering the ongoing success of the game, and despite continuous prophesies of impending downfall, they have been doing quite well.

Thicket

Mannwin Woobie
08-09-2004, 01:53 PM
I agree with Juniper. Face it folks, any explanation by SoE will be met with a swarm of yipping and yapping, cynicism and slamming. It doesn't matter what they are explaining... spells, AA, class balance... you name it. Sure, there'll be positive and constructive discussion, but it will be in the minority.

Pessimist vs Optimist, I guess.

If you go through life afraid to do anything because somewhere someone is going to get upset or complain, you'll never get anything done.

Scirocco
08-09-2004, 02:02 PM
Actually, SOE is doing a bit of both, just like most people in RL. When you want an honest opinion or frank discussion, you go to a small subset of people that you know will provide both. Public boards typically don't fill that role.

moonwing
08-09-2004, 03:06 PM
Pessimist vs Optimist, I guess.



Make that Optimist vs. Realist

SoE has already made the score quite clear. SoE 2 Suckers 0.

Really no, I'm not bitter.

Firemynd
08-09-2004, 04:16 PM
Face it folks, any explanation by SoE will be met with a swarm of yipping and yapping, cynicism and slamming.

I don't think SOE has given us enough explanations for you to speculate on how the community would react.

Your assumption that such would be met with cynicism is based upon how people have reacted in the past to changes accompanied by little or no explanation. Honestly, as a developer I would *expect* for people to respond negatively when their play is disrupted or their individual progression made more difficult for no apparent reason and none forthcoming.

Perhaps if SOE had been open and honest all along, we would have seen that the game's class communities can indeed be understanding and reasonable. For example instead of saying "We think this is a good idea but we don't know when we'll get around to it," they feed us an excuse we know is bull**** about why they "can't" do it, or ignore the idea altogether.

Any hostility and resentment there may be among EQ's playerbase has been brought upon by SOE itself, by continually failing to keep lines of communication open to players -- who are, after all, SOE's customers.

~Firemynd

Juniper
08-09-2004, 06:05 PM
And I feel safe in saying, speaking for most of them, that we would all be better off with open and honest communication from Sony rather than the "Because we said so" thing they've got going on right now.

I agree with what you are saying, my only concern is that the potential backlash might do more harm than good. I am pro-Honest Answer. Really, I mean it. Perhaps if they would preface those Q/A threads with "Hey guys, we're going to tell you what's up, and only want constructive criticism." then it could work. Then we would know it was coming.

For the record, while I haven't been playing since beta, I've played my Druid off and on since 2001. She's not my main character any longer, and as a somewhat veteran player who has seen most of the content the game has to offer, I too seek an honest set of answers that would not immediately dissolve into a cross-class flame war.

For example, I would like to know what Druids began as under Verant and what SoE believes they are today. Officially. What parameters are they working with? Is there some Druid Continuum of abilities? I would LOVE to know, so that we can better tailor what we're asking for. I would kill to see this for all classes.

Hehe, I also wouldn't mind seeing them admit that they really don't know what to do about priest class balance issues.

Juniper

p.s. I'm a smidge afraid to 'come out' as it were, with my main character on this forum. But, that's a backlash issue too. Maybe I should take your advice. :ange:

Iilane SalAlur
08-09-2004, 10:24 PM
I remember reading somewhere about how SOE devs and management are miscommunicating with each other. It strikes me that their miscommunication with us, their customers, is an extension of the same problem the are having internally. miscommunicate.

Of course this is all pure speculation and conjecture on my part, but what I'ld like to point out is that a company's corporate culture isn't something that can be changed overnight. It is going to take SOE some time to change themselves and much longer for their customers to percieve that change.

SOE's situation today reminds me exactly of how Microsoft's Bill Gates announced years ago that Microsoft will commit to security and secure software as their number one objective. Even till today, IT managers and analysts are still rightly skeptical on Microsoft's security record.

What does that show? Actions speak louder than words. Which brings me to Cryptic, the makers of City of Heroes. Here is a company whose approach thus far has at least been much more open and honest as compared with SOE. Sure, if you read the titles on their official forums there are still negative threads. The interesting thing here is that if you read those threads rather than scanning the titles, you will find the first post negative with the majority of the replies defending Cryptic.

Juniper
08-10-2004, 03:42 AM
As I understand it, "The Vision" screwed over quite a few people too.

I like the idea of an open discussion far better than some chart in a room defining where the game is going.

Arienne
08-10-2004, 10:43 AM
As I understand it, "The Vision" screwed over quite a few people too.

I like the idea of an open discussion far better than some chart in a room defining where the game is going.Actually, "the vision" kept things nice and tight in EQ-land. The time of "the vision" was a time when players knew what their class was and what their purpose in the game was. If you notice, after Velious the game started to feel a bit disjointed and the push towards raiding in massive numbers came to be the mainstay of EQ. I wasn't a fan of "the vision" because it seemed that there was no room for growth in the direction many (most?) players wanted the game to go, but the LACK of "the vision" has shown that many changes past Velious have been made without giving consideration to how they fit into the game but rather how they fit into a marketing scheme.

It's like "the vision" was a straight smooth road with a mandatory 20MPH limit, but when we left Verant and hit the SOE road, it suddenly became unpaved and winding with a lot of unfinished bridges and a mandatory 65MPH.

As for communication, in retrospect the Verant team was very communicative even though most of their responses were along the lines of "wish all you want but it ain't gonna happen. We have our plan". You KNEW where they stood on an issue and also understood that they wouldn't vascillate on their statements. SOE appears to be the king of vascillation because they don't seem to have a plan. And it's hard to communicate when you don't know where you're going or understand where you came from.

Panamah
08-10-2004, 11:38 AM
The Vision was just another way of saying, "because we said so". They could turn down any player requests, like a soul binder for meleers and says it wasn't part of "The Vision". SoE would says, "because we say so". But really, they're synonymous.

The Vision itself worked for the release and a few expansions, but after that the world just was too big and had changed too much. I sometimes wondered if there really was "The Vision" or if someone was just pulling it out of their bung hole as an excuse not to make changes to the game that were needed.

Firemynd
08-10-2004, 01:36 PM
The Vision was just another way of saying, "because we said so".

I was about to same the same thing. hehe

However, I do believe there really was a 'vision' ... not so much in the form of a structured ruleset, but more as general guidelines which provided focus and boundaries for each class. Verant did not base their class decisions upon what they thought would be popular, but rather what fit within the scope of their preconceived boundaries.

The biggest difference between Verant and SOE has been in their willingness to see both grouping and soloing as legitimate options. SOE's team has enforced grouping so much that they've painted themselves into a design corner; you can't penalize players for soloing if you don't make them viable enough for groups. If you tell traditional solo-centric classes you want them to group, you have to give others a reason to invite them.

That isn't as easy as they might have thought, when there are 16 classes competing for 6 spots, and certain classes have maintained a legacy of being so much more desirable and 'group friendly' than others. They've discovered that player perception is a world more difficult to change than bits of code.

~Firemynd

Lotharun
08-10-2004, 02:20 PM
Well said, Firemynd

Kulothar
08-11-2004, 08:30 AM
agreed.. Well said.

weoden
08-14-2004, 02:53 PM
That isn't as easy as they might have thought, when there are 16 classes competing for 6 spots, and certain classes have maintained a legacy of being so much more desirable and 'group friendly' than others.

That point is why I never understood why groups were not expanded to 10. I understand a raid can get set up but you don't get the group bonsus. There there are the other issues of how easy should it be to keep a group healed and where do clerics fit in. I guess that is where the concern is in todays message board posts.