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  1. #1

    A modest proposal to NG

    Everything I see (with my personal filter, admittedly) that's really unpleasant about these forums are as much about the state of the player base as the state of the game.

    Assuming NG isn't dying for cash right now, you could improve the player base immensely into the future by a couple of simple measures:

    Update http://www.xsyon.com/features to reflect (perhaps by colored bullets) what's in game, what's under development, and what's far into the future.

    GET RID OF THE ORDER NOW on every page. You are just reminding people with buyer's regret that they got snowed by unreasonable expectations

    If you are scrumming, tell us a summary. If you are not scrumming, still, tell us a reasonable progress report -- not a feature release report -- regularly. Right now the players you are going to retain are interested (a lot of us) in the process of the game's development not because we want to tear it apart, but because we want to justify paying for beta (which I know a lot of us are ok with).

    Speaking of paying for beta -- what a good thing it would be to say 'A Prelude is kind of like a Beta for people who are willing to put up with a rough game environment in order to be part of the formation of a new sandbox community, and to help shape the dream.' That does a nice bit of spinning the Prelude (which I think was meant to be that anyway, yes?) without having to go back and say, "But yeah, it's still in the third year of beta" or whatever.

    Talking less to users because you're scrambling to improve code to keep them happy is a false dichotomy. If you can't afford a community management staff that can keep up your social media and make forum communications really transparent, frequent, and friendly, you won't make it. Games are communities. They are not just programs. It's kind of like saying Facebook is a web based application. No. Insufficient.

    Update the launcher with real current data. Regular maintenance times? Put them on the background image, they won't change often. Server down? Put it on the xml immediately. Keep 3-4 entries for key announcements and recent downtimes, and a link to an archive. Keep the archive, even if it seems to make you look lame. It's transparent. It will make people coming in understand the state of the game and people who might ragequit and poison the web for you not come in until its "safe" for them.

    You are positioning this as a niche MMO in an already niche sandbox market. Right now you aren't positioning it as being that, because that niche means experimentation. You are not producing a AAA game atm, but your limited promotions seem to have brought people in who expect polish. Add marketing staff who understand the MMO market, and market on experimentation, participation, and edge.

    Improve your emergency response for the game crashes, change management, facilities, and so on. Create checklists that include forum and social media and launcher notices, and make that discipline no matter how much crap is hitting the fan.

    Take down the Dev Chat forum section on Quest of the Week that hasn't been answered since January because "Jooky is busy elsewhere."

    We should not be hearing more transparent communication from your new PM than from your CM staff.

    Respectfully,
    Shava/Ani

  2. 04-28-2011, 03:10 PM

  3. 04-28-2011, 03:12 PM

  4. 04-28-2011, 03:21 PM

  5. 04-28-2011, 03:39 PM

  6. 04-28-2011, 03:49 PM

  7. 04-28-2011, 03:49 PM

  8. 04-28-2011, 04:06 PM

  9. 04-28-2011, 08:55 PM

  10. 04-29-2011, 01:31 AM

  11. 04-29-2011, 03:01 AM

  12. 04-29-2011, 03:04 AM

  13. 04-29-2011, 03:33 AM

  14. 04-29-2011, 04:08 AM

  15. 04-29-2011, 04:15 AM

  16. 04-29-2011, 04:37 AM

  17. 04-29-2011, 04:39 AM

  18. 04-29-2011, 04:49 AM

  19. 04-29-2011, 05:58 AM

  20. 04-29-2011, 06:06 AM

  21. 04-29-2011, 06:11 AM

  22. 04-29-2011, 06:16 AM

  23. 04-29-2011, 06:39 AM

  24. 04-29-2011, 06:52 AM

  25. 04-29-2011, 07:04 AM

  26. 04-29-2011, 07:49 AM

  27. #2
    Hello everyone,

    First of all I am cleaning out the current responses to make my reply prominent and to set this thread on a constructive path.

    I welcome all feedback, both the good and the bad. I do take all of this in as it helps me focus on the next critical steps. Some of what is suggested here is already in the works or being considered. Some simply doesn't apply to a team of our size. We are a very small team with limited resources and there is only so much we can do.

    I apologize for the rough launch. We do our best to resolve issues as they arise and I'm proud of what we've accomplished in the past 6 weeks. A lot of gameplay improvements had to be placed on hold as we worked through bigger problems with lag, slow frame rate, loading times, crashes and exploits. I realize that these fixes and optimizations don't give you players the satisfaction that new and improved features will, but they were critical issues that needed to be dealt with so that we can move forward.

    Regarding game features: some were temporarily disabled to help us focus on fixing problems, some are being completely revised thanks to our new programmers and some will be replaced or modified to accommodate our plans to add farming, expansions and conflict into the game. That is the nature of the Prelude and Xsyon in general. We will do better to adjust the feature list to the current state of the game, what is changing and what is evolving.

    One thing that I want to make clear about the Prelude is that this is a period for evolving the game. Things will constantly change. Our goal is to provide the right tools and systems so that players can make things happen. The Prelude is intended as a process between players and developers. With the coming launcher update, players will be able to join us on the test server to check out our changes in progress.

    In this past month we've doubled the size of the team, but we are still very small. Our new members are just settling into their roles and there is intentional overlap between development and community management. Many changes to the website systems, communication plans and the structure of the team are in progress. At the same time, I have had to focus on our improved launcher, getting the new programmers acquainted with the code and preparing to spend the next few weeks in Russia where I will be meeting the new developers and setting up shop in the near future.

    Danathur and Dezgard were chosen for their experience and vision. I am confident they will do well in providing much needed interaction with the community.

    Let us know what is bothering you in a constructive manner and we can respond better to what is critical for both the game and the community. We all want the same thing here, so I appreciate all of your feedback and assistance in letting things happen and making things happen! Let's all make Xsyon a great game and community!

  28. #3
    one thing i think would be good is if you extend the games free time 1 more month. This allows you to get more done and get it ingame while also when billing does kick in you will retain alot of subs. As it stands now you can vividly see most of the preorders wont resub in may 1st or june 1st. This is just idea (an incentive) to give back to the players. I understand you need to make money to keep progress going. But this is just start in the rite direction. Btw Xyson you should consider hiring Ani. She is very constructive and helpful. Just dont chop no trees down around here. ( i still dont hear the last about the mountainside..lol ). But we are all in this for the long haul. Lease i know i am and the remaining active members in my tribe are. Your feature update post was motovation for me. (i love the arch n crafting bit of it). Also i cant wait to get on the test server to help ya out!.
    The Praetorian Guards

  29. #4
    Although I think a lot of Shava's posts have been great I think this one is far from the mark.

    I cannot understand how a game player can start to patronise a company and start trying to tell them what to do. It's one thing to make a few suggestions but this whole post reads like something a company director might say. Look how far NG have come with this product and ask yourself if you could achieve that. Please don't start giving them advice, it just seems ridiculous.

    As far as I'm concerned people should play the game or leave it. I agree that communication is important, but I have never felt that NG is any worse than they need to be, they're no worse than many companies that succesfully make money. I love building a community; I'll happily make suggestions about the game, but I'm not going to try and give advice to a small group of people who are already doing a decent job with their game.

  30. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Xsyon View Post
    Hello everyone,

    First of all I am cleaning out the current responses to make my reply prominent and to set this thread on a constructive path.

    I welcome all feedback, both the good and the bad. I do take all of this in as it helps me focus on the next critical steps. Some of what is suggested here is already in the works or being considered. Some simply doesn't apply to a team of our size. We are a very small team with limited resources and there is only so much we can do.

    I apologize for the rough launch. We do our best to resolve issues as they arise and I'm proud of what we've accomplished in the past 6 weeks. A lot of gameplay improvements had to be placed on hold as we worked through bigger problems with lag, slow frame rate, loading times, crashes and exploits. I realize that these fixes and optimizations don't give you players the satisfaction that new and improved features will, but they were critical issues that needed to be dealt with so that we can move forward.

    Regarding game features: some were temporarily disabled to help us focus on fixing problems, some are being completely revised thanks to our new programmers and some will be replaced or modified to accommodate our plans to add farming, expansions and conflict into the game. That is the nature of the Prelude and Xsyon in general. We will do better to adjust the feature list to the current state of the game, what is changing and what is evolving.

    One thing that I want to make clear about the Prelude is that this is a period for evolving the game. Things will constantly change. Our goal is to provide the right tools and systems so that players can make things happen. The Prelude is intended as a process between players and developers. With the coming launcher update, players will be able to join us on the test server to check out our changes in progress.

    In this past month we've doubled the size of the team, but we are still very small. Our new members are just settling into their roles and there is intentional overlap between development and community management. Many changes to the website systems, communication plans and the structure of the team are in progress. At the same time, I have had to focus on our improved launcher, getting the new programmers acquainted with the code and preparing to spend the next few weeks in Russia where I will be meeting the new developers and setting up shop in the near future.

    Danathur and Dezgard were chosen for their experience and vision. I am confident they will do well in providing much needed interaction with the community.

    Let us know what is bothering you in a constructive manner and we can respond better to what is critical for both the game and the community. We all want the same thing here, so I appreciate all of your feedback and assistance in letting things happen and making things happen! Let's all make Xsyon a great game and community!
    Jordi, we need more general communication. Dez can't even inform us if there is a patch until an hour or two before the servers go down. Seems like he should be kept better informed although granted I'm on the outside looking in. But your lead tester doesn't even know if there is a patch forget about whats in it.

    The subs are about to run out on players who didn't pre-order, are you considering increasing at least their "free" time another month? Forget about where the game will be in three months, do you feel the game is worth 15 bucks a months in it's current state?

    Some of the fustration from the community comes from things above and sheer lazyness. Why are you guys not spawning animals anymore? you bring the server down everyday why are you no longer spawning animals? is there a reason? Were we ever made aware of the reasons?

    Lack of communication from the guides, how many players know guides are allowed or are supposed to be helping with things like animals logs etc.... ? 3-5? the xyson community is having issues with online population but even the biggest naysayer would say thats a small % of your players base. PERHAPS THERE IS A COMMUNICATION BREAKDOWN.

    As usual, you come in and make a concise post. You humbly admit the faults openly, but so often by other people we are greeted with a cheeky soon. Or I dunno I'll ask jordi. Why does everyone have to ask jordi everything?

    You say the new devs are experienced and while dez has put up with far worse from the community and has always shown the utmost professionalism this new guy is green. He deserves some slack myself and others have been riding him since he posted but none the less it was not handled appropriately.

    How about the rooskies! can we get bio's on them since they are the ones in charge of the core game mechanics. Or at least the two that are in the most need of help.

  31. #6
    Here are the things that concern me. These things may seem odd to some here, but to me they add greatly to the tedium and need to be addressed.

    1. Scroll bars or a sort feature on all craft dialogs.

    I do not mind at all if it takes many multiple items to craft a finished product, but the slow plodding nature of the scroll down to the bottom just to craft one item is something that automatically turns off players wanting to be crafters.

    2. No way to carry water.

    Yes, it is true there are tons of streams and rivers, and you might think that it is enough, but any player thinks about theses type of things when they stack up on other issues they have to deal with just to play the game. Just add a leather water skin that can be crafted and this issue disappears completely.

    3. Zone crossing desync and invisible barriers.

    This is really a big issue for any explorer types wanting to find a new home or just head over to a homestead 2 rivers away to trade.

    I often have invisible barriers stop me from going one. And this is not even at a zone boundry, it can be smack dab in the middle of a zone. It looks to me like some sore of sector area not loading graphics... what is really odd though is I can play in windowed mode, start to jump and grab the window and shake it back and forth and often get it to keep moving forwar, but then It desyncs with the actual zone data and I can be in an area I know is barren of trees and will see all the trees there. I see the message that Im encrouching on tribal territory but see no totems or structures.

    If I stop and relog there I will sync up and see what is actually in the zone. This is not going to help players feel confident in the game engine nor will they be very happy when they run around, see no totems, THINK thye have found a nice spot and relogin the next day to find that there are NO trees, the junk pile has been terraformed over and there is a hostile tribe chasing them down.

    4. Lack of needing anything.

    This is a very fun game to me as is. However, it will not remain so if I have no need to do anything after I can build every structure. Economies run on the cycle of need/demand/supply. We have supply, some demand, but vertually no need.

    Junk piles are not the problem either. we need them to get things started. They should however dry up and stop supplying items as they would in reality.

    As time goes on hunger and thirst needs to affect our stats in a way that means something, but does not make the player spend all his time fishing or drinking. weapons rusting due to being left in the open would also help.

    I know you are working on some of this already, but as I see new players pop in, they leave almost as fast when they discover they cannot do what they started playing the game for.

    Please accept my humble thanks for a great game so far and my concerns for what could make it better for me and those that think like me.

  32. #7
    This game needs to go back into BETA where it should have never been taken out of.

    I'm sorry you rushed launch and basically screwed yourself over but you can get away with anything as long as the game is in BETA.

  33. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Xsyon View Post
    Hello everyone,

    First of all I am cleaning out the current responses to make my reply prominent and to set this thread on a constructive path.

    I welcome all feedback, both the good and the bad. I do take all of this in as it helps me focus on the next critical steps. Some of what is suggested here is already in the works or being considered. Some simply doesn't apply to a team of our size. We are a very small team with limited resources and there is only so much we can do.

    I apologize for the rough launch. We do our best to resolve issues as they arise and I'm proud of what we've accomplished in the past 6 weeks. A lot of gameplay improvements had to be placed on hold as we worked through bigger problems with lag, slow frame rate, loading times, crashes and exploits. I realize that these fixes and optimizations don't give you players the satisfaction that new and improved features will, but they were critical issues that needed to be dealt with so that we can move forward.

    Regarding game features: some were temporarily disabled to help us focus on fixing problems, some are being completely revised thanks to our new programmers and some will be replaced or modified to accommodate our plans to add farming, expansions and conflict into the game. That is the nature of the Prelude and Xsyon in general. We will do better to adjust the feature list to the current state of the game, what is changing and what is evolving.

    One thing that I want to make clear about the Prelude is that this is a period for evolving the game. Things will constantly change. Our goal is to provide the right tools and systems so that players can make things happen. The Prelude is intended as a process between players and developers. With the coming launcher update, players will be able to join us on the test server to check out our changes in progress.

    In this past month we've doubled the size of the team, but we are still very small. Our new members are just settling into their roles and there is intentional overlap between development and community management. Many changes to the website systems, communication plans and the structure of the team are in progress. At the same time, I have had to focus on our improved launcher, getting the new programmers acquainted with the code and preparing to spend the next few weeks in Russia where I will be meeting the new developers and setting up shop in the near future.

    Danathur and Dezgard were chosen for their experience and vision. I am confident they will do well in providing much needed interaction with the community.

    Let us know what is bothering you in a constructive manner and we can respond better to what is critical for both the game and the community. We all want the same thing here, so I appreciate all of your feedback and assistance in letting things happen and making things happen! Let's all make Xsyon a great game and community!
    hi jordi I like your reply. And I can sympathasize with you since you have such a small team. I think you guys are doing a good job. However, I think you really need to let people know on your website (esapecially in the features page) that those things arnt even in the game yet. It is misleading to customers to say that because they are paying money for the game expecting all those features to be in the game. I was one of those people and I figured that these things were in the game when they were not. I'm not mad, or anything, but I think it's bad buisness and it's misleading to your subscribers and thats why some people are angery. You should highlight which features are in the game and which ones are not. It would make things so much easier.

    Again you guys are doing a great job. I absolutely love the game.

    Cheers
    -trash
    It is always easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them and War is organized murder and torture against our brothers.
    -Alfred Adler

  34. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by oneyedwang View Post
    PERHAPS THERE IS A COMMUNICATION BREAKDOWN.
    Communicate, communicate, communicate, and then....DO IT SOME MORE.

    The server outage tonight with absolutely NO communication to the playerbase is a perfect example of how bad the breakdown is at this point...

    It took me 25 seconds to post this...this done by someone on the team anytime in the last two hours would have been epic...

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