Devs, enough is enough, Communicate!

@Delinquent
You see, the work of a community manager is not that easy. In the life of a programmer, every statement you make and let public - can be used, misused and all over again.

They can’t afford to say anything specific unless they are 95% sure it’s going to happen and it is already in a state that won’t break the game.
If a statement that is probable, but not sure, gets out - the community literally starts assaulting developers for standing behind their words.
That not only doesn’t help the cause as it adds stress to their work (=lower quality), but it also derails the behavior of their playerbase - making the game less enjoyable.

I understand there are plenty of reasons to be dissatisfied - but the job of a Community Manager is not one. I can acknowledge the work @Saltypatra is doing, with Ozzball joining the club lately.
Their job is to accumulate the problem and roots of dissatisfaction and forward them towards developers, who are obviously flooded lately. So if anything, Go tell your employers to hire more of them, Salty!

Thank you for working overtime and stuff.

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I think @Saltypatra is speaking about the posts about Console RNG (which is the one that we get on PC/Mobile… sadly).

This kind of posts: AI getting too many drops on console, still? - #21 by Saltypatra

There is another one where @Saltypatra said that they found that there was something unintentional and so on, AI were less AI in terms of Casade… which was fixed when adding Unity: Who flipped the "F*** You" switch? - #22 by Saltypatra (take ages to find it… :stuck_out_tongue: ).

Because this is how it is working everywhere.

PS4 players had to wait for Microsoft’s approval and then even tho we had our patch approved earlier we were getting it later. So now the process will lengthen for PC and mobile crowd too.

It’s the same with Hearthstone where the nerfing and updating process takes longer because approval process for Apple and Google is much longer.

Like I said, the policy makes no sense. In a game that supports competitive play between Console and PC, sure, you need them to be in lock-step so the playing field is fair. In Gems of War, Console and PC are completely separate competitive environments, so that argument is toothless.

“Because this is how things are elsewhere” is not, in and of itself, a good excuse. We’re talking about a few fixes for some common issues that impact golden-path game scenarios.

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@turintuor: Those are from June/July, before the update.

@peterix: I don’t envy @Saltypatra’s job, that’s for sure. But if they’re at the point where they’re submitting it to console then that means whatever they’re doing is locked in. That also meant it already went through QA. And that’s after they worked to address the issue.

There are four clear points where they could’ve said something:

  1. When players first reported the problem they could’ve simply acknowledged it and said they’ll look into it.
  2. When they identified the problem and began working on a fix.
  3. When they fixed the problem and the build entered final QA.
  4. When the build entered review.

But they said nothing at any of these points in time. We’re now approaching release and they still haven’t clearly articulated anything they’re doing, apart from the Impervious fix.

That leaves two options: They ignored us, or they listened and are actually fixing stuff but for some bewildering reason they haven’t said anything. Neither are good options. One is infuriating while the other is moronic.

Based on @Lyya’s comments – and for some reason she seems to know slightly more details about what’s going on than Salty – they removed surges on 4-matches in the beta build. So clearly they’ve heard and done something. Which is why it’s so bizarre they would never say anything.

What could possibly be the justification for allowing people to rage endlessly for weeks if you’re actually aware of their concerns and working to fix them?

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Since this communication is quite broad, I’ll take the opportunity and address their “Known Issues” thread.

This is a place where a great deal of what’s happening is being mentioned. And I mean, a lot. That is a place where they acknowledge the issues. That’s the place they use - since it’s humanly impossible to keep a perfect track of all threads and all mentions and pins and discussions. By 1-2 people.

Most of the discussed is already there. At least what I can tell.
When the 4-match surges are concerned … I dunno. Was there a reason to mention it? People have been complaining about “huge mana float” when it was involved and devs said they’ll keep an eye on it and probably address it if needed (as they always say).
… And so they do.

Nobody complained when PC version couldn’t surge, and now we’re just getting back to the very same spot. (if even).
Why make it look like a problem? It’s a change. Nothing more but a change. It’s not toxic. It’s not horrible. It’s just a change.

And what is the justification?
… Well - it’s not really their problem when people do not check the thread created for that purpose, neither is it a good idea to mention every change they are trying on Beta servers. Why? I already mentioned it’s not a good strategy to say something you’re not sure you can finish in time.

But this is how it has always been. There is no cross-play between Xbone and PS4 yet we always had to wait for Microsoft approval. I do not know the reasons and I am not saying if it’s good or bad just that how it has always been and that it’s more than likely not going to change.

Unity came to PC 2 months before it went to mobile/console. If it’s okay to drop nerfs on PC first, I think PC should get fixes without having to wait for mobile/console too.

(Unity is when SkullFall and the AI “luck tweaks” started, so yes, I’m calling it a nerf. The advice freely circulated for those 2 months was “do your GW on mobile, it’s better” because the AI didn’t cheat.)

I want to like your post, because I agree with:

Unfortunately I disagree with the latter half. I don’t believe the AI cheats. I think the changes in gameplay that came about since the adoption of the Console client have been on the whole worse for the game (landslide victories on both sides) and have resulted in the wrong kind of difficulty-through-RNG, but that the playing field is still as even as always.

But you’re spot on in the quoted paragraph. They released an entire client for PC that wasn’t 100% in line with Mobile in the same ecosystem. But now we have to wait for Console cert just to fix a few bugs? If that’s the case – and @Saltypatra hasn’t denied it – those priorities need to be reevaluated immediately.

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I want to like your post, because I agree with:

But I am not sure about the latter part. I have nothing against PC/mobile getting the updates earlier but wasn’t the point of bringing all platforms up to speed that all platforms get everything at the same time? And if Devs start releasing patches/updates faster for PC it will just give more fodder to console players that for years have been complaining about being second rate citizens to Pc/mobile crowd.

That’s just mechanics at that point. The fixes are ready but can’t go to Console because of the cert time. I think that message would resonate just fine. “Major releases and patches will be released on the same date; bug fixes will be deployed to each platform as quickly as possible.” Do you think a PS player would feel disenfranchised upon hearing that?

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Are you annoyed that you have to wait?

I am annoyed that people have to wait, yes, but more than that, I’m annoyed by the lack of transparency.

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Just to start with, as @peterix said, please use the Known issues Thread! That is what it is there for! A lot of devs frequently jump on there to talk about where we are on certain bugs and fixes. It is the single best place to get information regarding anything of this nature. (After posting this, I’m going to go and pin it.) Also as Peterix mentioned, we do get into a huge amount of heat if we specify a date (or even a rough date) and something happens that means we can’t deliver. The community backlash is swift and overwhelming. This is why you will very rarely see us committing to something concretely, even if it might be a fix for a bad bug. These fixes can take longer than anticipated, or affect other parts of the game, so we have to be careful.

I’m hoping to write up the patch notes for the 3.1.5 update as early as possible next week so the community is aware of the fixes and small tweaks that will be released. As you know, we typically don’t release the patch notes until the day of the patch, but I’ll see if I can release them a little earlier.

@Pantenkind, I make our team aware of all echoed feedback. A lot of the issues you have raised (especially convcerning the RNG) is still being investigated. Until we have come to a course of action, there is nothing that can be said. Then, when we do decide on a way forward, there will always be fallout from some part of our playerbase. So yes, I have made the team aware, and no, there is nothing to be said publicly at this time while we are looking into the perceived issues. I am also aware that this isn’t what you want to hear, but it is the only answer available at this point in time.

The team is aware of the perceived issues with Wisp. We have done a lot of internal testing since the feedback was aired on the forum, and I have spoken to this feedback in the past. However, we are looking into this again now, and until we have decided on a course of action, won’t be commenting on it further. (Aside from sharing some of the teams that we use to fight Wisp.) There will always be a meta, and we do our best to introduce new troops and balance others to offer some variety.

@Lyya, In regards to the release, where possible we would like to be able to release things on PC/Mobile and console spontaneously. This is not always possible, but it is where we have been heading with the game over the past year (especially with the move to Unity on PC/Mobile.) In this case, it just so happens that the PC/Mobile build should be ready at the same time the approval process for console is finished. This wasn’t a deliberate decision to hold back an update that was ready, this time things just turned out this way.

If there is a change in interal policy concerning update releases I will let everyone know.

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Will 3.1.5 contain the guild wars changes that only count the top 27 instead of 30 and add the other quality of life items like your defense team contributing to your guild wars score?

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I won’t be announcing anything further over the weekend. I will have the patch notes released as soon as I am able.

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Sounds good. Enjoy your weekend!

Thank you for taking time out of YOUR weekend to address these concerns. I appreciate it!
:hugs:

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I agree. Thank you, @Saltypatra.

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Yes and what? They are talking about the console AI/RNG which the same that we have now on PC/Mobile after the update. So it’s relevant.

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