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Milk, Bones, & Muscles - A Sincere Letter to the Devs

If I wanted to be misleading I would say 'profit’s and not ‘gross profits’.

You may have forgotten this thread - we had this argument last time…

Links to some financials are in there, including the gross profit numbers.

I didn’t link the post, as I was just pointing out the 34.2% increase in revenue.

At the time of the linked post, we got the usual slurs hurled etc about understanding gross profit and costs, but at @ post 157? I was able to show that GOW’s gross profit was more money than all of the total operating costs (all costs, loans, taxes, salaries etc) of all the Digital Bros games combined, including their own.

In other words, it couldn’t possibly be making a loss, even if it had 100% of all the operating costs of all the other companies, it would still be around .5million profit per year if it absorbed all the groups costs.

In reality, and logic should prevail, that those other companies had operating costs, so GOW would obviously be making more net profit. than the absolute minimum differential from the collective, in it’s own half yearly income.

So, now the game is doing 34.2% better than Sept 2019.

At post 122 of that thread, you screenshotted the numbers, GOW - 3,968. In the smallprint, it says all numbers are multiplied by thousands, so the revenue was 3,968,000 (Euros).

We are 34% up on that now (well one month’s figures show).

I do agree it’s good they are doing good, as a customer I’d prefer a few things being worked on, rather than the direction the devs wish to go, which is a different direction and something which is relatively moot if they ordain it so.

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There are things we can or can’t control. We have to admit to ourselves which is which and adjust our expectations accordingly, otherwise we’ll just keep spinning ourselves right into the ground.

I appreciate the mature, non-antagonistic posts here and clearly so did Salty evident in her generous response.

Focusing less on control and more on the influence that comes from a genuine desire & motivation to keep the game viable & fun seems most productive to me.

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@Saltypatra, thank you for the long detailed response, on your day off no less!

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Thank you for this reply. I was not aware that there were other social media for Gems of War feedback, other than unofficially. This does bring things into perspective. Hopefully others will see your reply and now have a better understanding/empathy/sympathy for what to expect.

Also, noticed a typo in my question. Instead of:

I meant to say: Is feedback at all useful during the streams?

Anyway, thank you again for taking your time. Hopefully, moving forward, we’ll have a better sense of what to expect. Although, and maybe this is me being a little selfish, it makes sense to me to consolidate forums as the main/only location for official feedback/bug reports. I’m not saying to close down communities or to favor one over another. More like streamlining the process so that it makes it easier for Devs and players to find things faster and reduce duplication.

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This response is more appreciated than you know. While, as you said, it’s not exactly what we were hoping for, this response is well-said, shows you care, and gives us feedback on a lot of solid questions. Thank you very much for taking personal time to write this out! I hope communications can be tweaked and worked on as time goes on, but I understand you have lots to do and many choices aren’t up to you.

@Bernice said it well:

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Great post. Thank you
I will make it simple, things needed to be fixed in a list.
Hopefully to make things more fun and enjoyable.

  • Re-make the Arena again but this time make it better and enjoyable (Troops Pool drafting) and have a valuable rewards instead of current rewards.
  • Re-make the treasure hunt to make it fun and enjoyable and rewarding.
  • Re-work the world event for better scoring system and not confusing.
  • Have a better and balanced calendar to have all events spaced evenly. Currently Tower of Doom is not happening enough.
  • Re-work the Campaign to complete tasks not in order. No need to unlock one task to do another one. Enhance the rewards to encourage players to participate and enjoy their rewards.
  • Make the Doom weapons scrolls craft-able to be able to upgrade them.
  • Mythic Troop should be worthy of their title. They should be strong and serve a purpose.
  • Enhance the communication between the Delves and the players.
  • Medals should be attached based on team set up, not universal. For each team you can select the needed medals for that particular team.

I would like to thank @Saltypatra for her trying to carry our comments to the game developers to make the game that we all enjoy and looking forward to enhance it even more with improvements.

Don’t know about anyone else, but I personally do not want to communicate with delves. :wink:

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Without doing into my usual screen-spanning detail about why I haven’t been overly positive here lately, suffice to say that is obviously the case? (And to think years ago I earned semi-regular abuse for my faith in things here …)

Anyhow. We seriously just need another QoL patch or five. Bullet points? I can do bullet points.

  • Game AI in new modes sucks and feels unfulfilling to play against (4.0 delves onward)
  • Medal everything sucks - UI, lag, not being on individual teams, hell the first iteration of graphics looked way better
  • Campaign UI is too atrocious to explain in a bullet point
  • Lots of new content lags when trying to reach it

Just, when I say it like that, it doesn’t really feel even slightly constructive.

DETAILS HERE

Game AI. It’s completely idiotic in any “new” mode from delves onward. Ignore those skulls that kill my last troop, sure. Etc. It just feels extremely unfulfilling to beat up on something that doesn’t know how to fight back. Stick the PVP AI in there, that’s fine.

Medals. Oh dear. The UI is awful, the game lags whenever I go anywhere near that, and obviously medals should be attached to individual teams.

Campaigns. Basically anything said about that so far, and: the quest bit of that lags as well. And it bears repeating that they should be able to be done out of sequence or at least start counting the subsequent ones after finishing one. And/or let us see the lot of them. More importantly, let the skip button actually skip the animation.

All I know is, I remember the last QoL patches we got were actually better received than most “content” patches in the last 18-24 months, and they had change logs about the size of this post (sans expansion!).

Most other topics I can think of would essentially just result in me being negative. Unfortunately.

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Most of us started that way, and eventually noticed the patterns: e.g. like how a sincere thread like this one pops up every now and then, and receives a response that basically says “we are really sorry, but things are the way they are” coated with ‘honest effort’ elements aimed at highlighting how hard the company is trying to please its customers despite challenging external factors/restrictions ( does anyone with a couple of years in the forums still believe that their hands are tied as much as they are claimed to be? :thinking: ), while continuing to ignore that which they wish to ignore (mentioned in this thread: Pet Gnomes in Arena situation still to be even acknowledged; or asking “how would you all suggest we go about doing this?” when an alternative communication method was also mentioned in this very thread).

Cyclical Trust-Eroding Patterns.
:blush: :vulcan_salute:

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To be clear, we won’t be hiring or using player representatives for communication, as the communication would be the same. They wouldn’t be able to say more than I can, and would mean information gets passed along more slowly, as there would be another point of contact before things are released to the community.

I will gladly hear out other suggestions, but cannot guarantee they will be done, or be doable.

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And not everyone wants to. Streams are largely designed to hype up new features. If they’d title a stream “We’re listening: Addressing players’ concerns” I might actually watch it, but part of my refusal to spend more money on this game until the direction becomes more player-friendly includes refusal to give stream views/ad views. I’m not going to reward bad behavior with money or attention.

Which will continue, as the increased pressure on milk production is actually yielding profit.

Because we (as players) have shown our willingness to continue giving this company money while being ignored. The company has no reason to listen to us because their primary objective is profit.

Yep. The amount of people tripping over themselves to buy “$10 Mythics” is just ensuring that QOL is permanently ignored. Make a juicy enough deal and people will buy it even if it goes against their own self-interest.

This guy gets it. We (the playerbase) have done nothing but reinforce we’ll continue to pump money into the game while being ignored. Why would a business slow down its profit train if it doesn’t need to?

Absolutely. Actions should have consequences.

Or, do you realize that the vast majority of milk comes from cows who were given no choice in being impregnated to begin with? Like all mammals, cows don’t give milk until they give birth…and then they’re kept perpetually pregnant, until the profit starts to decline, then they’re sold for meat and replaced with a new cow.

The game veterans who have been expressing displeasure (including myself) are the cows who are no longer profitable. The majority of us who were ever willing to give milk have already done so. We are tolerated in the same category as F2P players because we serve as “content” for the payers, but the business has no reason to spend its resources making us happy. They get nothing out of it.

The game would have fizzled into nothingness a long time ago if not for the community. Even I’ve said repeatedly that the only reason I’m still here is my guild family. I’m here for the people, not the game. They lost me as a customer a long time ago.

People should watch “Let’s go whaling: Tricks for monetising mobile game players with free-to-play” on youtube. These companies spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to get as much money as possible.

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Salty, you are driving me crazy. I’m lacking the skills required to wrap this up in good words so I’ll resort to being direct. Please apologize, I’m not trying to be rude.

First of all, get the part about being “attacked” and “harassed” out of your head. You are getting feedback, not everybody is able to formulate it well, especially if it’s negative. You are considered the professional in this, the very last thing you should do is taking anything personal. Besides, the English language is surprisingly ambiguous when it gets to “you”, most venting isn’t really aimed at someone specifically.

Second, I believe you don’t understand the rules of the communication game that is being played here. It’s perfectly okay if we don’t receive something we ask for, protocol requires a message to be delivered though. More detailed, “we ask for something, you say you put it forward, nothing comes of it” is a breach of protocol, the message for us is missing, and waiting month after month for it to not show up tends to make us unhappy. The expected procedure is “we ask for something, you say you put it forward, you tell us why it didn’t work out”. There’s two benefits here:

1.) We get a messenger to shoot. Or at least to chase back if the reason given feels like whatever we asked for got seriously mangled in translation. You can tell how good your reason is by the number of pitchforks showing after delivering it. If it looks like an awful lot, possibly with extra torches, you might want to get someone to question those reasons real fast.

2.) We get a message to distribute. That’s good for you, because the same things tend to be asked for over and over again. There’s usually someone of us around who will quote the reason for not having those things. If it’s a good enough one the story ends right there.

Third, there’s a whole community here you can offload work to, and it’s not just distributing messages as mentioned above. This really calls for a very elaborate example, aka wall of text. However, chances are good I’ve lost you on the way, so I’ll rather wait for some kind of “go on” indicator before spending time on hammering that in.

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HI NerdieBirdie, thanks for taking the time to pointing me in the right direction. I can wander off into the weeds given enough time spent on a post. Frankly, it happens more often than not if I write more than a couple paragraphs on a topic and then start to edit my own posts before actually posting them.

That’s a fair argument and I agree with you on this. I also would like to see significant new original content in the future as well, perhaps as a counterbalance against the monetization being implemented in game over the last year. I can see where a roadmap would helpful towards this goal. I also see that Salty has proposed the return of the dev Q&A streams when COVID restrictions relax further in Melbourne. Personal conjecture, but probably such roadmap content is better said by the head developers themselves instead of being routed through Salty to release to the forums (it also may very well be a matter of company policy to do so). Either way, I do look forward to the return of the dev Q&A streams.

Also, at the risk of running long with this post, on a recent stream Salty discussed that many of these changes going all the way back to the UI change, were the result of re-shifting the target audience of the game to younger generations and their expectations and perceptions of the game. To that extent, younger generations (millennials and Gen Z) expect such monetization mechanisms in the games they play (gacha/lootbox mechanics are rather common these days) and the game is adapting to their wants. The improving financial performance of the game may be at least partially the result of these monetization changes resonating well with the current target audience of the game.

Thanks for pointing me back to the previous thread on that topic.

I would agree that this topic does not need to be re-litigated and further derail this thread.

The discrepancies between our perspectives are likely immaterial and we both agree on the conclusion of our analyses. So, let’s leave it at that.

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Q&A streams would definitely be great to have back!

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@Fourdottwoone I am not speaking of how people treat me on the forums.

I want to be clear.

I get death threats and harassment across my personal social media accounts at times, and I consider this to be abuse and harassment.

Please do not get me wrong, I understand feedback, and incendiary feedback. What I am taking about is not that.

Also, I believe it is unreasonable to expect someone to not be affected by their job. Yes, you can expect them to do it anyway, but humans are fallible. It wouldn’t help for me to say, hey, it’s just a game, don’t be affected by the changes, which is the same sentiment as saying, hey, don’t be affected by the harassment you receive. Your comment doesn’t further the conversation, or help either myself or the players. Humans are all affected by what they experience, whether work, personal, or global. We are creatures designed to do so, to expect otherwise is flawed in the light of human nature.

Will I continue doing my job? Yes. WIll things in my life affect me? Also yes.

There is room for both of these things.

Now, I will be monitoring this thread but likely not be replying fruther. I have mentioned the same points a few times, and feel that there is not much else for me to contribute. I will continue reading.

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I haven’t complained much recently… and aren’t about to start.

But please use some of the monetization money to fix the official xbox club. It is bugged, hasn’t been updated in two years, and makes the game look like abandonware. If your Xbox new user numbers are down, or have been down for years this is probably why.

I can answer this one! I’ve tried to get access to the Xbox club since I started here, and have never been able to get in. Not for a lack of trying!

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To somewhat echo fourdottwoone, it’s been maddening to follow this thread and the latest streams and hear this constant refrain from Salty of “attack! abuse! danger!” Before her last clarification that she was referring more to off-forum threats and harassment, it was baffling to me why consistent bad-faith actors were allowed to continue basically throwing filth at the walls day in and day out with zero repercussions. There’s incendiary feedback and then there’s outright daily trolling.

Have forum regulars noticed how much less toxic the space is since a certain individual had a total meltdown and was banned a week or two ago? That is precisely what should’ve happened ages ago when they more than showed they weren’t interested in respectful discourse. This is your business Salty and crew. This is your property. Defend it as such: If an unruly customer started making a disturbance in your restaurant, you wouldn’t nor shouldn’t hide in the kitchen, you’d require them to leave, or get law enforcement involved if necessary.

(Side tangent on that last point: While absolutely no one should have to deal with death threats or profanity-laden vitriol from unhinged folks, I’m absolutely shocked that you use the same handle in your personal social media as you do your work capacity Salty. Like all I did was google ‘twitter saltypatra’ and boom, there’s your real name. Why in the world would you divest yourself of the protection of anonymity?)

This approach of extremely limited communication because less than 1% of the playerbase can’t act like civilized human beings disproportionately hurts the other 99% of us who just want to understand why things are the way they are and try to improve on that. I applaud NerdieBirdie for trying yet again to constructively change this situation because let’s face it, that approach has not been working for a significant portion of the most dedicated players for ages.

If the development pipeline is so stagnant that years-long requested minor fixes all the way to major additions to the game aren’t happening regularly, the very least that can happen is to be more forthright about it. Like when Salty said that addressing Doomed weapon affixes was nowhere on the radar, I furrowed my brow and was disappointed but at least it’s “settled” for the foreseeable future and I can adjust my expectations accordingly.

NB highlighted that the last substantive addition to the game was all the way back in 4.6, when Medals were added and Explore got redone to favorable reception. That was over a year ago. Since then there have been a few small appreciated tweaks like gnome tracker but nothing particularly meaty, and far far more purely monetized changes while the laundry list of requested fixes is ever present. Can Arena even be considered a substantive rework when all that really happened is that hero weapons were removed?

Personally, while it’s not ideal, I can make my peace with the game often feeling as though it’s halfway in maintenance mode. The core gameplay loop combined with the camaraderie of my guild plus the community at large is what keeps me and seemingly a not insignificant portion of longtime players invested and engaged. What drives me crazy and turns me off of wanting to stick around is when there’s dissonance between what’s going and why and the explanations given for it or, more often, total silence. See: the pet gnomes in arena situation, or even just recently, the contention that a developer q&a somehow needs to wait until after covid restrictions are eased when we’ve all just lived through a year of practically every organization transitioning to online only meetings. Please, if I’m missing something about why one is contingent on the other let me know, elsewise it just seems like an odd dodge.

TLDR: Your most loyal puppers have been subsisting on scraps for well over a year and are justifiably whining and growling. Please toss us some real meat soon and / or talk us up more before more and more of us eye that gap in the fence and decide to run for greener pastures.

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I played wow on a custom server, totally not legal, but this is not the point.
The “company” which run this server implemented a community vote based bug tracking system. If a bug report received many votes it got fixed sooner and more likely.

Just some super easy fix ideas to throw a bone to the players:

  • change the upgrade on doomed blade
  • change the upgrade on doomed club
  • change the upgrade on eoe
  • boost the rewards of treasure maps a little
  • make forge scrolls craftable
  • make the warden class a wargare and change its’ last trait

Very simple and easy fixes yet would mean very much to us.
A vote based system would show these at the top I think.

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