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Tazermarks

Save Our Community

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I'm very saddened to say this, but this community's vibe is going downhill from my perspective. There is a lot of turbulence between the people that "can't wait" to play, and the people who can currently play/developers. This community should embrace all of their members, not just the one's with their same perspective. If a person wants to take a poll (Which they should have set up right), then by all means, let them set up a poll. There is no reason he should get a bad reputation, and repetitive haggling about how it's not ready... a simple yes or no as his initial post would have been fair. He meant no harm, and he now has a bad reputation just for setting up a post.

I've been watching this project for a long time, and the hostility has grown between those who support the devs (including the devs/mods) and the more impatient ones. We need to come together as a community, and start building each other up, no matter our different views, rather than tearing each other down. The broken record of "the game will be released" isn't working. Lets get back to our roots with this project and come together for a common goal of getting the skylords back up and running, but lets do it while enjoying each other's presence, no matter our perspectives.

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The poll thread you're indirectly referring to here has been closed as the replies to that very thread went downhill in means of becoming just another memery.  Treat others how you yourself want to be treated. Being disrespectful and blatantly calling us out won't result in us patting your back. There isn't a message I wrote that got understood correctly, I always turn out to be aggressive or hostile towards someone when in reality it's quite the opposite. I'm sorry you're getting the impression of hostility towards and inside our community, but the reality is a bit different, at least from my point of view. Also, there are many "wise" people who are oh-so-familiar with everything, from community interaction to game development. Then you have those that come , (again, from my point of view) only to provoke. Having two of the mentioned types combined results in a bit frustration, at least with me. Hence I stopped responding actively to pretty much 95% of the similar messages, posts or threads and left others to deal with cause my inter-human contacts tend not to go well and, as said previously, get misunderstood.

If you think that we're benefiting from having the beta closed and not opened, you're dead wrong. We, staff, want this out as much as you do, if not more.

 

EDIT: I'm saying this in general, not directly to you Tazermarks, just to make sure we bypass another misunderstanding.

Edited by fiki574

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Let's get real for a second (throwing out the politically polite hat for a minute)

@fiki574 The thread that I referred to is just the NEWEST thread that was closed due to this same situation happening. I know exactly why it was shut down, but the mods should have not let it get to that point. The bullshit about every time someone says something that isn't in favor of the mods/devs, they get HUGE backlash by the very active members of this community, even if it's not derogatory in any way, and that is completely unacceptable. The "actives" should have left that post alone or played by the rules of that post and let the people that wanted to participate respond. That's the start of what went downhill in this particular instance. The mods and devs need to take accountability when things aren't going happy-go-lucky. They are the "leaders" of community and they really need to step up and say... "you know what this is our fault". As a leader that is the golden rule. "When things go right, it's your teams fault, when things go wrong... its yours"

Next, and I see you are currently trying, is try to read your messages a few times from different people's eyes. I have pretty thick skin, so what you type doesn't get ever bother me, but I do misinterpret your messages quite often. Like the above example, I thought it was toward me until the very end. Also, I know we're from a lot of different parts of the world, but from my perspective, it's very rude to say things like "First of all" "Second of all". Reading it usually is interpreted in a negative way. Use less verbal pauses in your text, as there is less possibility for misinterpretation.

@all others reading this post, c'mon everyone, lets get our act together! enough with the bullshit, enough with the negativity ESPECIALLY TOWARD ONE ANOTHER. Read Fiki's text above! Disregard the first of all second of all words, and it has GREAT meaning. If you make a post, the last thing you want is someone bashing it. Treat each other like we want to be treated. Lets come together and talk cards, strategy, forge things again.

(Politically polite hat back on)

fiki574, Eyedea and Metagross31 like this

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@Tazermarks Unfortunately, we cannot influence on who votes on what and why, it's actually free will not orcestrated by us in any means. There is a difference in criticizing us and blatantly bashing, but i will not get into that much now. Also, I as lead dev and we as team apologized and took responsibility for all fails in the past so I really don't know what else is expected to be done or said in order not to get called out every other day.

I have removed "first of all" and similar sayings from previous post, now that you mentioned it it sounded bit rude. 

Tazermarks likes this

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I understand the voting thing, and I have seen your posts about apologizing for the over-ambitious dates that were set. (Very commendable) I was mainly talking about the community aspect (moderators). We need to make it clear that negativity never breeds positivity. I pretty much browse the forum everyday, minding my own business, looking around at what's going on, and I see all these people whining about how the game isn't out, and I kind of find it humorous that at least once a day when I pop on I see someone asking about the beta, when it clearly states that it's in closed beta. But the main thing is... I keep my negative comments to myself, and move on. I don't feel the need to say something negative, and every once in a while (when someone hasn't beat me to it) I refer them to the top of the chat page where they can see what they need to. Our other actives need to take note that negative comments are poison to our community, so I can't sit around and watch "our" community keep poisoning ourselves.

Please if you're active, don't think I'm talking about you specifically, (I literally have no one particular person in mind) I'm just saying to all of them out there, be cautious of how we treat our other members. Let our mods take care of the negative ones, and let's boost up those who are having trouble staying on the HYPE train.

fiki574 likes this

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I support an open minded community, and open minds do not think alike, especially with over 20k people. The few dozens/hundreds that are active in my opinion are the patient ones, those that visit rarely tend to be disappointed as they don't see the progress go as the active part does. Of course, testers and staff - people with access to the game - are a different branch and I believe most of them, at least from my perspective, want to persuade the random visitors that there is a lot going on and not to lose hope. 

The poll that was opened and closed... well, I personally wouldn't close it because of a few random offtopic responses as there was still place for more answers from more people and perhaps some of the random visitors after reading the well formulated reasons why the game isn't out yet would be like "yea, perhaps they aren't lazy in there", but as I partly contributed to the topics closure with a response to a random thing, I am not the one to talk - though I said my opinion to begin with.

I agree with you both, but as an old timer on the forum - everyone should understand that certain things are just out of the question and are not going to happen. Even if a hundred or a thousand people voted "release the game in its current state", I believe the priorities of the devs are to make the server work close to flawlessly and it's not going to change. Same goes for repeated questions and demands, it gets tiring after a month or two, let alone literal years. People who aren't investing their time into this project should not be denied a say, but can't expect to have any real leverage on the decisions of staff. The long time supporters versus the impatient ones, as you called it, is just natural since the impatient ones won't be doing their own research and yet demand answers to FAQ questions all the time and long time supporters are tired of that, thus becoming impatient with the impatient ones. After years of answering the same questions over and over, you can't blame anyone for not being welcoming and cheery around people who genuinely can't be active and yet want to be a part of the community. There is no easy way to distinguish between members who are just lazy and those who are curious and want to know more. 

Seeing as you joined early after the project began, you perhaps remember that before Tech Alpha started, the community was much more united, mostly because we have all been around for relatively short time and noone had access, we were all equal and just wanted to play the game. Over time it grew to the point where newcomers were being informed by active members, then by a bot responding to frequent keywords. All that is left now is the header text above chat, since most active members are partaking in testing and don't visit the Forum much, or can't be bothered to answer anymore (my case, I'll admit I am just lazy and tired to do repetitive stuff for so long) while new people keep pouring in and random visitors from the past stumble back here just to find out there are people playing while they are not. Unfortunately, there is no real way to fix this. Noone can make me be patient except me, noone can force anyone who stumbles by to read the entirety of the FAQ or even the header. I would be glad if the community was at its 2015/16 state, but that's unrealistic. Perhaps the best we can hope for is the game coming out and everyone being hyped and wanting to cooperate. I will make no further comments about the moderation teams decision/s as that's currently not related and not fitting the point I am trying to make.

My ramble went a bit random at times for quite too long, but hopefully the message got through - shit ain't perfect, but we all can do our best and it's not anyone's fault, its the natural way of things the way go. 

HomieGoHome, fiki574, Treim and 2 others like this

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Yes, I definitely remember the 15-16 era, and miss it a lot. I agree we're not going to be like that again, and I appreciate the time you spent writing the above response. As my first post said, I'm just saddened by the recent events of ... well the poll post, but then there were others like the post where the guy was asking about letting everyone just have access to the forge only. He got bashed pretty hard too, and I just think it's unnecessary, especially when they mean no harm, they are just trying to get their fill. I worry that if nothing is said about it, we'll continue to divide, and I want nothing more than for the community to come back together. I completely agree that there will always be those that are fighting against that, and that's when the mods need to step in and take care of business.

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First of all this is only my opinion so don´t take it to serious, except you would like to :D

Second of all @fiki574 i always liked your posts the most because i felt like you were the only one who spoke your mind and the truth not just trying to be all kind. Maybe some of them interpret it as rude ,but i think they chose so maybe because being offended is the new thing. Only because you are a dev doesn´t mean you aren´t human anymore or you have to comfort them all the time.

Third of all @Tazermarks maybe the poll thread went a bit overboard but most of the messages were polite and informative. I think the creator of the thread deserved the negative reputation because he hasn´t thaught this through and the result was this impolite poll (Impolite because you could interpret that he tried to tell the devs how to make their job and making bad mood to try to force them to do something they don´t want). No one offended him by disliking his post they just showed him that they don´t like what he did and they were not trying to insult him. 

All in all i think the community has changed because of he huge amount of members but the core is still the same (My account isn´t to old but i am watching the project from the beginning). And getting rude sometimes is understandable. It is a free project given to us as a gift of good will no one has to pay, the staff is nice, active and responds to the community there is nothing more to wish for, but there are still people complaining and feeling treated unfair. This is the point where i can´t remain silent and need to call all of them princesses and ungratefull kids.

Sorry if i insult anyone by this post.

BurningWorld likes this

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The state of the community is very unhealthy. 

The staff is unprofessional and has lacking mastery of English, which really doesn't set a good example. They do this stuff in their free time, but it still looks bad.

Second there is a group of people who are upset with the failed hype train and do nothing but shit on the developers or ask for the game now now now!

Then third there is a group who will vehemently defend the game + devs and will dogpile anyone from the second group.

None of this is healthy. Where is the actual discussion about the game or the server? Most suggestions get shut down as 'already discussed / not up for discussion', and any comment good or bad about the game or the server's development will just get you lumped in with either the second or third group. So all that is left is some inappropriate off-topic spam and memes. Sure, it will probably get better once the server is actually done. But that is no excuse to leave the community in a state like this, and it might well have a negative impact on how big this community can become later.

To fix this, the team should at least get an editor with good English skills to help proofread developer statements. This is to fix spelling and style mistakes and alert them about probable problematic wordings that might be vague, overhyped or might come across as passive-aggressive. (For example, the last announcement post consists of 8 sentences and has at least 13 spelling, grammar and style mistakes. It's just bad.) Secondly, the moderation approach should probably be changed to better cull out both the hateful people AND the zealous defenders. Together this could hopefully bring the community back to being about the game instead of some stupid 'us vs them'-like thing.

Tazermarks likes this

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I'm sorry, but what level of professionality do you expect from 20-25 y. o. students? I also think my English is understandable, but grammar mistakes do happen. We actually proof read dev updates several times before posting, but are these really the reasons to be called out for? 

I'm opened to any and all discussions regarding game, servers and possibly planned features, only if someone made such a thread where the topic could be discussed normally. 

Developer updates I post every Monday are, in my opinion, detailed. You get an overview on what was fixed, what needs fixing and several other insightful stuff.

As for the other unhealthy stuff that was mentioned, I agree. 

Edited by fiki574

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It's almost like some people expect the devs to be Community Managers, and I have to break it to them: They aren't.

They're devs. If they want a moderator to wipe things clean for them, they can do that, but once things get to that point, devs have a tendency to stop listening to any other opinions, and often become insular. The gaming community as a whole has become quite vitriolic over the years, but that's just a side-effect of gaming becoming mainstream, and particularly competitive gaming allowing such angry behavior to fester.

Overall, I think that while things around here could definitely be handled better, there is only so much you can expect when the same people who are developing the game are also trying to deal with a community. At least they talk to us. They could be insular and our only information could come from Fiki's weekly update.

People definitely need to chill out though. Things have been getting a tad ridiculous.

 

Edit: Oh right, and as for the "LEARN 2 SPEAK ENGLISH!" crap: People can stop that. That's just bloody rude. Be happy they can talk to us at all without requiring google translate (which can have hilarious results, but still.)

As for professionalism: What exactly is professional about a bunch of volunteers (particularly students) trying to revive a game for free?
I've actually been surprised at how they've been trying to keep everything handled. It all could have been a lot worse.

Edited by Tyroki
fiki574 and BurningWorld like this

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I used to visit this (and the previous) site alot before. Now? Not so much. Here's why:

1. I do agree that the devs (while appreciating their hard work) have that aura of amateurism around them. They are over-ambitious, they set release dates they cant possibly keep and while I fully understand that this project comes AFTER their real life obligations I really don't think they should communicate things like 'We're getting very close to a release/We're just about there/Hang in there guys, almost there' towards their community - it just makes them look stupid and leave people frustrated.

2. The devplatform is an admirable addition, but completely useless. The casual gamer doesn't want to read bugfixes and patch notes every time they come see what's up. I really don't mean to be rude but I personally couldn't care less that a solution was found to a problem that wasn't a problem to me in the first place since I cannot access the game yet. I'm sure the couple dozen or whatever lucky people are happy about them though.

3. The site is extremely polarized with trolls on one side and white knights on the other. Both groups are obnoxious and their toxic presence makes me want to not visit the site too often.

 

Just my 2 cents

Edited by Demiron

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1. I'll ask again - what level of professionality do you expect from bunch of students? This is our first bigger project, for all of us. Mistakes did, do and will happen in forms that you've described until we learn a lesson and consequently stop doing the same sooner or later.

2. Useless to you, but gives an insight on what has been going on and the amount of work that's put into the development. Would it be better not to post anything? Would it be better for us to go silent and not try to talk with you as community or showcase anything at all? Just like you called it useless, you could've said we just make up those changelogs and nothing is really going on regarding development. And trust me, there is more than dozen of people that gladly read it.

3. I agree with this part

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#3 was what I really intended to address with this post. Over the years, I've come to really care about this project (Even though I'm not a moderator/dev or *cough cough*even a tester) as if it were my own. It sucks to see something you care about go downhill.

I personally think the log is a good idea. It's there if you want to see it, but there's nothing telling you that you have to go look at it. For those who are interested (Me sometimes, but others I really don't care) it's a really nice perk to see that continual progress is being achieved. That's really important to more people than you think.

As far as professionalism from the devs... I don't feel that is as big of an issue as people are making it out to be. I think the mods are a much bigger issue. The mods are here to moderate the community, therefore should be 100% professional, and I feel they seem to migrate toward the "White Knights'" side when there are issues within the community.

@fiki574Hang in there and keep your head high. From the initial push out of the finish date... I have a lot of respect for you to come out and say... "It's our fault, we screwed up". Especially for your age, that shows me that you not only care about this project, but you are trying to do the right thing.

fiki574 likes this

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So I am a guy who was just lurking into this site for years, decided to create an account january this year after I heard the set date for the release and this is pretty much my first comment on this forum. Also its my first peek into this forum.

I think it kind of was a mistake to set a release date, it's probably the major reason for any impatience since people got ready to play this game again but I don't blame the devs, my friend told me they had to port something and then to fix some stuff again, but people who can't deal with it and insult the admins for it are plain stupid tbh. Seen a lot of unjustified hate and accusations especially in the YouTube comments from people not knowing what's going on.

But still there are some things that bother me, I get it - You don't want to make any promises anymore on when the open beta will be released, but the changelogs only give insight for the people that are closed beta testers, so I as an outsider don't know how it has any use for me. The progress bars were a good idea and yea they removed it for an understandable reason but maybe they should make a list about what things still need to be done, represent those in bars again and continually add new things to inform that people what actually needs to be done until the open beta is released. I know it sounds like it has no other purpose than what the bars did before but yet I want to have some progress visualized, as I said, I would be glad if they added new things that need to be done to that list, so we can actually comprehend what's going on.

Edited by Eyedea
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28 minutes ago, Eyedea said:

The progress bars were a good idea and yea they removed it for an understandable reason but maybe they should make a list about what things still need to be done, represent those in bars again and continually add new things to inform that people what actually needs to be done until the open beta is released. I know it sounds like it has no other purpose than what the bars did before but yet I want to have some progress visualized, as I said, I would be glad if they added new things that need to be done to that list, so we can actually comprehend what's going on. 

Well said, I may reintroduce the bars from next week to have visualization as we're nearing the stuff that needs completion.

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4 hours ago, fiki574 said:

1. I'll ask again - what level of professionality do you expect from bunch of students? This is our first bigger project, for all of us. Mistakes did, do and will happen in forms that you've described until we learn a lesson and consequently stop doing the same sooner or later.

2. Useless to you, but gives an insight on what has been going on and the amount of work that's put into the development. Would it be better not to post anything? Would it be better for us to go silent and not try to talk with you as community or showcase anything at all? Just like you called it useless, you could've said we just make up those changelogs and nothing is really going on regarding development. And trust me, there is more than dozen of people that gladly read it.

3. I agree with this part

I don't have anything against hobbyist developers, in fact I do think it's an admirable thing you're doing there, just try to communicate clearer and try to refrain from using very, very suggestive comments about how the project is nearing a state where everyone can access the game; I've been following this project since the beginning and frankly, I've seen more broken promises here than in a teenage drama show.

Re-introducing the progress bar is a great idea; to be honest, apart from knowing there's probably a lot going on behind the curtains I don't have the slightest clue about how close or far we are from a properly functioning game. This may be due to my own damn ignorance or simply bad communication. The progress bar at least gave us the illusion that we were heading towards something that is going to be working one day - eventually.

Lastly, I don't want to come down as an ungrateful brat. Despite my comments here I really think this whole project is something cool and will ultimately end up in us getting to enjoy our favourite game again - thanks to you.

Amen

fiki574 likes this

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Oh, my. Months later I come back to see how everything is going and find a freshly created topic proving my post back from april right. Or at least it's still an ongoing problem, unsurprisingly.

Quote

But honestly, I am getting more worried about the general atmosphere and by the fact that some devs themselves can't keep their hype in check. What's with the

Quote

For those still doubting us, calling this biggest Internet scam and similiar names - you will be proven wrong very soon! The derailed hype train will be back on track in no time!

in the update? Can you be more polarizing? I understand that there is passion behind the project but it just goes off the far end. People take this whole thing way too personal. And inflammatory swipes like this aren't helping anyone. Neither do I think the heartfelt apologies are having the intended effect. I would mainly just aim for a lower profile, keep it interactive and transparent but don't go overboard either way.

What kind of community do you want to foster? I see it steering towards "Us VS Them". Just a hostile environment with angry mobs that attack anyone that dares voice doubts. Do not get your ego involved. Technical issues can be resolves easier than a broken community. And let's not forget that a BIG focus should be on a welcoming and friendly community as it will most likely be relatively small and needs every active member it can get.

On a related note, the up- and down-vote system does not help it either. It discourages voicing controversial statements because of the possible retribution of red pixels and encourages just preaching with the choir creating an echo-chamber and generally a more volatile environment for discussion. Especially since it is not anonymous. It also just brands people that may have had one post that others didn't like among other neutral ones to the point where creating a new account is easier than trying to get positive standing again.

Again, at this point I am less worried about the state of the game than the state of the community from top to bottom and where it could be headed.

Especially the part about the voting system. Maybe it's time to revisit that. There isn't anything good coming from people throwing up and downvotes around. It just snowballs both ways, if you have a lot of +, you will get more + more easily. If you have -, you will be branded and gather more - more easily. And it is discouraging if one of your first posts gets downvoted and your account is suddenly perceived as in bad standing. And as I said it is very hard climbing back out of a deficit, might as well make a new account or leave altogether.

A voting system like that does not make for a very welcoming community. It only reinforces crowd and mob mentality. If you really want one then I would suggest these adjustments: Make it anonymous in any case. Nobody needs to know who agreed or disagreed with them by default. And make it so nobody can get lower than 0 points, even if he gathered mostly negative votes. You could make it so negative votes are only counted invisibly in the background. Or just make them not count at all. Which would lead to an inflation of positive points but then again, who the hell cares? But it could also lead to people with no or little points not being taken seriously. Or just get rid of the counter that keeps track of the overall standing so that people can still react to individual posts but that's as far as it goes.

Personally, I think the best approach would be making it anonymous and getting rid of the overall vote-counter so accounts don't get publicly branded. I don't see this voting system helping anyone right now. If it can't be easily adjusted then maybe just ditch it. It's not like negative votes get rid of people that actually only want to insult. This has to be handled by moderators with notices like "You are free to voice your opinions, even if they are not favorable towards us or this project. You are free to criticize and present why you are unhappy or frustrated. But within reason. Personal insults and attempting to foster hostility are not helping. Stay polite. We realize this is a polarizing situation for a lot of people but name-calling or trying to stir things up with an angry mob of sorts (both ways) is not something we want to see and repeated offenses will result in a ban." Of course people that support this whole thing but go too far and try to drive out anyone who is critical have to be handled the exact same way. This is a forum FOR the project, not AGAINST it, sure. But those that are hostile towards any form of open dissatisfaction are just as much part of the problem.

 

Also, don't forget that the people complaining and venting their frustration are probably just people that were once hyped but are now disappointed. That's what hype-culture does to people. It is polarizing and lets people lash out in extremes both ways.

Demiron likes this

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On August 24, 2018 at 9:20 PM, fiki574 said:

I'm sorry, but what level of professionality do you expect from 20-25 y. o. students? I also think my English is understandable, but grammar mistakes do happen. We actually proof read dev updates several times before posting, but are these really the reasons to be called out for? 

I'm opened to any and all discussions regarding game, servers and possibly planned features, only if someone made such a thread where the topic could be discussed normally. 

Developer updates I post every Monday are, in my opinion, detailed. You get an overview on what was fixed, what needs fixing and several other insightful stuff.

As for the other unhealthy stuff that was mentioned, I agree. 

I didn't specifically mean to target you or the developer posts. The developer posts are fine, they are for the most part just changelogs after all.

They are not the part of dev communication that repeatedly overhypes things with vague promises of some kind of announcement some time in the future (tm). And they are also not the posts that seem to take any slight or criticism as an attack. 

It doesn't have to be mega serious coorporate professional. But at least the communication can be free of spelling mistakes, and it can be written in a neutral tone. Not snarky, not overhyped, not inflammatory, not apologetic to a useless degree, but just neutral. (25 years old, not 15!)

Again, I'm not specifically targeting you here.

But you're in a team, and the attitude presented by the team reflects on the community. Kind of like lead by example. (Although it will never be perfectly nice be cause it's still the internet :) )

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