Devs, enough is enough, Communicate!

One thing you need to also realise is that you posted this thread on a Sunday, a day in which not all of us are in the office as it isn’t standard office hours. Unfortunately, this means you are unlikely to get an official response until office hours resume on Monday. This isn’t always the case, as we do float around on weekends and evenings, but it is a good thing to consider.

I understand that there is frustration over less direct communication with the devs, but that was always going to be inevitable as Gems of War continued to grow as a game. Whenever I post on the forums I am relaying information from the rest of the team, which frees them up to continue working and fixing the issues we are all curretly experiencing.

The reality is, if we didn’t value our player base, there wouldn’t be any team presence on the forums at all. We do answer a huge amount of questions and acknowledge issues, which is the main purpose of our Known Issues threads which we keep updated. We are not always able to give an accurate timeline on when something will be fixed, as we don’t always know. Sometimes things are fixed much quicker than anticipated, and others take longer than we had planned for. This is the nature of game dev, and we do our best to keep you informed on what we are working on through these Known Issues threads. Everything that is listed there is either in the process of being investigated or fixed. Also, new issues do pop up that need to take precedence over others we were already looking into, which can further throw our fixing timeline out of whack.

@Pantenkind I’m sorry to hear that you are upset. We do our best to communicate with our playerbase as regularly as we can. The way in which we do this must evolve as we grow as a game, but there will always be a dev/team presence on these forums to hear your reports, feedback and thoughts.

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You still banging on about that @rojo :joy:

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Really? You change the title? I’m glad you’re more concerned about the devs image than actually talking to us. I realize you just wrote a long post that basically said nothing, but I want you guys to give us a little respect. Assume we are adults and tell us what’s in the pipeline. Acknowledge our issues and let us know they are being fixed. If the code is too hard then hire better help. It’s insulting that you changed the title instead of actually caring why this thread needs made in the first place.

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I have always treated everyone on these forums as adults, as has every member of our team. The title was changed as it was inflammatory.

I endeavoured to answer your questions in my reply as to why things have changed and what we will be doing moving forward. We are all hard at work trying to improve the game and fix any issues concerning it. The best place to track these is in our Known Issues thread, as I stated above. This is where we acknowledge issues and let you know they are being fixed.

In the pipeline is launching 3.0.5 fully on mobile, fixing Guild Wars, fixing bugs, and after the game is running more smoothly we will be working on crafting. We have acknowledged this schedule many times in the past, but I am happy to re-iterate it as need be. As well as doing all this, we are always working on new troops for release, upcoming kingdoms, and adding more playable languages.

We have always treated our community with respect and will continue to do so.

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No TLDR here… hard to summarize…

I kind of wanted to blurt out a cranky response to this post, but I DO understand it comes from a vaguely good place that cares about the game, so it deserves a proper answer. I DO want to give you all an honest answer from a dev’s point of view too. And it really comes down to two things:

1. Exactly what @Saltypatra said… TIME! - much as I (and Nimhain) would love to continue work in the community, Gems of War has been growing so much in 2017, the team here has been growing too, and it’s my job to try and keep that all in line from a dev & direction & team pov. And Nimhain’s job to keep it all in line from a design & live-operations pov. At this stage of growth, it’s a massive undertaking… and leaves us no time to drop by here… but that’s where @Saltypatra comes in - she’s here to make sure we communicate with you guys. She reports to us constantly, and we make sure she’s passing information back down the pipeline to you!

Do we wish we could return to the old days where we personally would always have a little time to chat? Sure! But things need to get done, and it takes so. much. darned. time!

2. There is a darker side to this answer. Both Nimhain and myself stepped back from the forums when we realised that it was impacting our work, not only due to time, but due to the amount of abuse & harrassment we would encounter on a daily basis. In all honesty, you get accustomed to a certain amount mud being thrown your way in a public-facing role… as far as I’m concerned, @Saltypatra is a saint for taking some of this stuff in her stride and keeping on moving… I’m not kidding when I say that a week wouldn’t very often go by when someone doesn’t threaten me, and it’s not good, but you put up with it.

HOWEVER, during the Guild Wars preview, I received over 15 Death Threats in 3 weeks, I had my personal information published online, I had some pretty bad experiences on linked-in and social media, and discourse, and even my email… and some of the descriptions of what would be done to me and exactly WHEN they would be done, and where, were disturbing. I’m not easily disturbed, but a part of my mind started wondering “what if there is a crazy person out there?”

At this point, I realised that, yes, this level of abuse WAS affecting my work. I can’t have that happen really… I’ve got a lot of stuff to get done… so it was time to take a step back.

Now I KNOW most of you here are good folk, who are probably a little horrified about what I just shared, but as always, I wanted to be totally honest with you. All I can say is that, I AM actually really sorry I can’t hang out more… the mostly fine folk are not the problem and I really enjoyed discussing things with you! But… EVEN IF I had time, the emotional toll of trying to discuss things as a game dev in a game forum, while being subject to all kinds of abuse, just affects the quailty of your work. That’s a sad reality of the internet… we make an awesome thing for sharing thoughts and ideas, and a small number of crazy people can wreck it for us.

The solution? Well, I’m not going anywhere… neither is the rest of the team. We’re all still fixing bugs, adding features, improving stuff, occasionally breaking a few things too (it’s the nature of the business after all - we’re all far from perfect).

And finally, @Clark, I just wanted to address your points one-by-one…
6 months ago this post would never have even been considered as the Devs were very active and communicated well both in game and in forums.
@Saltypatra is here helping folks out and writing dozens of posts every day! We’re pretty active!

Now, they are gone, obviously don’t care
I don’t think anyone seriously believes we don’t care… I know you’re saying that for effect. But honestly, if you saw the amount of effort & progress being made here in the studio, you wouldn’t ever question how much the team cares!

don’t fix bugs
Aww c’mon! We fixed DOZENS last week!
Although I grant you we’re pretty good at adding new ones some days. :stuck_out_tongue:
In all seriousness though, bugs get added to our tracker and ranked on severity… just because a bug somebody sees doesn’t get fixed, doesn’t mean we’re not fixing OTHER bugs. Be aware though, that some need client updates, and others are waiting on the codebase being all over into Unity

don’t ban cheaters
I banned over a dozen this weekend myself!
We DO ban them… but we don’t really comment on that. We also like to see some real solid proof of cheating before we do it.

don’t update on progress of bug fixes
We have a known issues thread for that, as it can be a lot of work to track every single thread - many of which are repeats of others - but we also try to jump in and help when appropriate… it’s probably something we could be better at, so we’ll certainly take that feedback from you!

Anyway - just realised how much I’ve written… so pressing REPLY!

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This is of course simply inexcusable. I hope the permanent banhammer was used on these people and that this was reported to the proper authorities (IIRC it’s not the first time that happened either (when we switched to the current guild task system I recall you saying something similar). :frowning:

So when are you going to fix the gemspawner mess? 'cause the “fix” you introduced last week has made things significantly worse instead of better… Right now you’re pushing numerous people away from the game with the constant extra turns the AI gets from gemspwaning, whereas the human player hardly gets them anymore.

I can’t really comment on this, because I’m not looking for cheaters myself, but others have posted on the forums that they’ve been reporting cheaters to your team for months with nothing happening… Pinging @Aelthwyn and @Fractalier here…

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SHI* I knew there were hot heads and I knew people really were up in arms, but Death Threats?!

That’s just wrong… that’s just so wrong.

Well that stopped me dead in my tracks.

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I think we deployed out about 5 or 6 updates to that last week, each one incrementally improving it.
Stats-wise, it looks to me very close to how the old system was… but we’ll be making a few more tweaks tomorrow I believe.

That’s not really the how it works… it functions equally for both sides, I’m very certain.

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I actually appreciate you taking time out and talking with us. This is incredibe and very rare as most devs in the numerous games I’ve played on mobile this is the most responsible and responsive dev team I’ve seen.

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As someone who has seen the shadier side of business, death threats are usually common practice from competitions. Your best official response is to report it to the police, and avoid being goaded into heated responses.

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I have never met anyone more level-headed and less heated than Sirrian.

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That’s good to read. I must admit I barely played the last 3 days out of simple frustration with this “fix”. But this last week it certainly seemed that gemspawners favoured the AI. I realize there may be recall bias here, but before the “fix” if there was a difference between AI and human extra turns after gemspawning, it wasn’t noticable, whereas after the “fix” it was almost impossible to get an extra turn with gemspawners (Kraken not getting an extra turn when spawning 9 blue gems with 20, 17 and 16 blue gems already on the board (that happened in a single match in GW for me yesterday), while the AI’s Gar’nok looped a dozen extra turns)…

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At least in the office :stuck_out_tongue:

The more graphic ones are all reported as part of our standard HR procedure… and we also have a policy of no-response in such cases, but except in a few situations like this one at Blizzard, the police are unable to do anything because the threats aren’t taken seriously (and honestly, we’re aware the ones we received are almost certainly all bogus… it’s more how disturbing they are that starts to wear you down).

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It helps to have a friend who is a police who can help look into the situations privately.
Of course, you’ll probably have to buy him a lot of steak and beers over the weekends afterward. :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m sure you could find someone who is capable and willing to help from forum community. How about it? Any Australian police or lawyers here volunteering to look into it?

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Yep - I totally get it! We realised there was something up about the same time the community did!
I think part of the issue at higher level play is that the way defense teams are constructed means they are REALLY good at taking advantage of this.

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Considering Sirrian is talking a lot this week we may see a Sirrian’s Lair post instead of Nimhain’s. And maybe finally be granted access to the elusive Sirrian’s Lair

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Yes we know about @Saltypatra being an interface between devs and players. But I assume @Saltypatra has no control on what she can say or not: could she for example give us some spoilers about the Crafting system without your approval?

The critizim here is not about who are giving the informations but the lack of informations. Example: gem spawners. In the middle of the week, I was totally lost between the gem spawners too strong, after too much nerfed, etc.: the only informations were coming from players… One new topic about gem spawner status would have been appreciated so that everyone could understand clearly what it was going on.

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@Beowulf don’t you mean Sirrian’s Tower? (Spoiler alert!)

@turintuor I can say the things. Promise. Also, if I’m an interface, don’t you think I’ve asked whether or not I can give spoilers? The answer is no. We are not ready to announce anything at this time. Let us fix our game before we start giving more sneak peeks.

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Respectfully, it’s nowhere near how the old system was. I’ve had to shift completely away from random gem generation in order to keep playing and enjoying the experience. I’m hopeful that the next set of tweaks makes an improvement.

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