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Fear of a slow death of a community


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Hi, all you weird people who like me still visit the forum for some reason.

I've come to share my first negative experience with the project and hope to bring more attention to what I believe matters most.

Now we all are here for the game and its community (can't have one without the other for long). The game is almost the same as when we fell in love with it so many years ago. The community changed over the years since the establishment of this project until now - for the better in most cases, I'd say. There is still positivity everywhere I look and support has seemingly never been stronger, now that we can play to our hearts content. But is playing all I expected from this project? Not really.

The game is (essentially) the same, you can tell me all about the changes to BFP, quests, balances... I think I know all of those. But the community, in my opinion, is at a standstill. Not because the hype is dead, that is not the case. But there is nothing official happening. We have a few amazing streamers and content creators and honestly praise be onto them, they keep this project fresh for me. Things are happening BY the community FOR the community, while the staff team hires more people to work on the game. Why is that not a good thing? More maps, more stable development, a clearer image of what the game can be - all those are great, but are all for nothing if the life of the game is stale with no official events, tournaments or something to look forward to by the staff.

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I brought this idea up in Discord without much reply, so I took it then privately to @Ladadoos, who ignored the content of the message because of the way it was worded - a rather shallow behavior. I admit, I lost my temper in how I addressed this, but I will not apologize because I firmly believe that map designers, discord moderators, and more developers are not necessary until the word gets out there to both existing and hopefully new players. We can have the best game, but with only ~1000 active players it won't be long until those numbers start to fall and sooner or later the hype dies with it. What we should be doing, in my opinion, is supporting the community, its content creators, the games public image, rather than the inner workings. I believe noone here can complain about the job done until now - impecable! The game works, we can play, trade, talk, strategize, get better, grind. But that won't last forever, unless the community has something more to look forward to - again, tournaments, events, official livestreams, contests of all kinds. I love this game and the community that grew over the years and don't want it to die just because the staff is busy growing itself and the game mechanics when the player numbers are what essentially matters long term.

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So yea, to be blunt and completely honest, in the last few weeks, I couldn't care less about rebalancing cards or hiring new staff and in my opinion @Toggy has done more for the game this year than any other actual staff member. Watching his tournaments and seeing the people root for their favorite deck, player, and generally enjoying the vibes is what I always looked forward to! I am so grateful we get to play the game, and I want it to stay a great place to go to, but not if it's at the cost of the people that came along with it.

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If you disagree with me, please, let me know. Maybe I am missing a big picture, some future amazing prospects and plans that elude me, but for now I stand firmly by my beliefs that if nothing changes, soon this game will be just that - another game, nothing special. And that would be the worst thing to happen after all this work.

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I totaly understand where your feelings come from, and the silence of the last few months have left their scars. But the fact the dev team is now hiring people to adress those very same issues is a good thing, and the only thing they can do right now. Yes, it would have been better if it happened earlier, but nothing that can be done about that.

You say you couldnt care less about balancing, but most of the PvP scene was dead because people were waiting for those balance changes. The fact the team opened up positions like Community Ambassador and Event Manager are precicely to tackle the issues you mentioned. Sadly, it will take some time for them to get filled, but after that we should definitly see improvements in the very things you mentioned. 

I guess what I am trying to say is: try to be patient a little bit longer, it looks like good things are about to come :) 

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i see i see i cant realy speak on pvp since im primarly play pve alldo even ther there would be events or addons needed. bf didnt chage the missions are the same the starteqys are the same its the same. 

but what would happen if campain maps have with the help of a event diffrent unis as enemy like Passage to darknes suddenly is vs lost souls or a nightmare shard is vs bandit? 

would add new tactics and ways to beat it.

in pvp/pve what if the orbs are rainbow colored so that the orbcount is still t1-t4 but ever orb supports every color or only the start orb does so. player could enjoy playing diffrent strageys/decks 

an expansion of Missions would also lead to the new fres expirience. or a combined mode of pve and pvp where for example (Empire) both teams have to do pve and instead of help each other accros the map its makeing it harder for the opposing team, until reaching the end of the map where they then can teleport to the other mappart and beat the hell out of them.

for me pvp aint much interesting since its mostly over in t1 or t2 and no building bases deff and other stuff kile a fortress fight. but wy not such a thing map team 1 in the north west, team 2 in the south east, npc enemys in the other corners and the nps fight themself in the middle but will also attack both teams so that its a total war with a lot pve tactics.

 

what might help a bit is something that makes it easy and simply to stream the game via discord (discord doesnt see it as a game and dont offers the steaming option and a easyer installation and starting of it may olso improof a bit on the gamerbase) cause star for me means doubble click the icon on the desktop, giving permission to run the programm (administrator suggestion due to trojan or else between the programms) then klick play on the 1 screen, login on the secont and then im finaly in the game. 

would love iff it would be doubbleclick and then the game direct starts and only if its the first time a popup over the entrance to choos a ingame name/password and then being linked to the ip so aslong its the same ip i dont have to loggin again 

but also a adding it to a platform like steam could improof the playerbase

 

@anonyme0273 i agree that something has to be done to keep and rise the playerbase as non pvp i can only make suggestions to expand the content which can also only be a event content. but also for pve it need new content battleforge was online for 4 years now 12 years after release and 1-2 years after beta something that expands the contenen even if only for a limited time would be nice. corona will be beaten probably in 2022 and less peoples will stay at home and also in summer peoples wanna enjoy the outdoors more. bigger comunity add more fun less boring waiting. 

for me pure pvp may never be a thing in BF but pvpve may where both gametypes are nessesary in order to win.

Edited by Asraiel
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5 hours ago, Majora - MidnaMistfire said:

The fact the team opened up positions like Community Ambassador and Event Manager are precicely to tackle the issues you mentioned

Yes, and I it's the first step in an important direction. But there already are established platforms that were managed decently before release. Twitter and Facebook for updates, YouTube for important announcements - all of those are now barren wastelands just chilling and waiting. Right now the only active platform is Discord, this Forum has been dead for a while. What I see is just wasted potential all around to have great community outreach. If the staff do nothing, why should the community? There were Steam groups, Skype groups, Facebook groups, all dead now despite the game being actually alive! It's the opposite of how things should be.

5 hours ago, Majora - MidnaMistfire said:

try to be patient a little bit longer, it looks like good things are about to come :) 

I appreciate your patience. What I think is the difference between waiting before the release and now, is that back then there were regular updates by development showing progress on actual tangible features. Right now, there seems to be complete silence on all sides - the community doesn't know if there is progress being made, and the only way is to ask. If right now all development ceased and all staff left their positions overnight, it would take days for the change to really be noticeable - that's, in my opinion, horrible. The lack of transparency compared to what once was is disappointing at best.

5 hours ago, Asraiel said:

an expansion of Missions would also lead to the new fres expirience.

 

5 hours ago, Asraiel said:

pvpve may where both gametypes are nessesary in order to win.

These and so many more suggestions seem to be completely ignored. Whether good or bad, the least anyone can do is a generic "we will take this into consideration", which aparently is too much to ask. As a casual viewer of the Discord server it seems to me that the main discussion between staff and players is just generic questions that were asked a hundred times before. No real input being taken, so unless you commit all in to become a staff member how can you expect your voice to be heard? If that's not the case, and everything is read, thought about, discussed - where is the proof? Where is the discussion?

I only see silence. I see recruitment, and that may very well help sooner or later, but as I said, time is running short, every passing day someone gets bored of grinding, and since there seems to be no prospect of change, they might just leave and never come back. What a shame for such a great game to risk it all like this.

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See, I would understand your post 110% if you posted it last week, but with the changes now coming up, and the communication that came with these changes, im curious what you expect the devs today right now. 

You said you appreciated my patience, but to be honest I felt the exact same as you did last week. But for me, the post and new open positions that happened in between, gave me returned faith in the project. Can you explain to me why this is not the case for you? 

I know you are frustrated, after a dead game gets resurrected, you dont want to see it die again. But we should give those new positions the benefit of the doubt, or they stand no chance in returning the faith. 

 

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I really don't know what some expect. That new content and events just spontaneously materialize?

This post in particular seems to be mostly about events but so many other people endlessly repeat "NEW CONTENT WHERE?". You can't just shovel shit into the game, it has to meet a quality standard. Otherwise everyone will just come to take a look, realize it's cobbled together crap and leave to never return. Developing that stuff takes time, it takes effort and above all it takes people. This being a volunteer project, it's obviously going to struggle in all of those aspects. Especially since it was such a niche title to begin with.

You gotta manage your expectations. To me being able to play the game is the acceptable baseline. Everything above that is a bonus. And that's despite me being someone who would love to see TONS of changes and additions to the game. But resources are few. I think it would be nice and helpful to have a regular update on something but I know how it is. You don't always find it in you. Especially if there is no incentive like a job would mandate. At the same time you can't just take whoever to help out because then you run into the problem of poor internal communication, coordination and simply too many cooks. And, again, because this is a volunteer project, people can have a way lower threshold to tolerate frustration. Because why put up with it, there is nothing tangible in it for you. So there are falling outs, people become inactive, people leave.

As for the community, novelty and hype wear off. This is just the current state of the entire video game industry. It's all just a giant ball of hyped sheep flocking from one big thing to the next, with the minority sticking around in most cases. People are quick to write things off because the market is so over saturated and there is always the next thing to go to or the established mainstream thing to return to.

 

Basically, this is a full time gig running on volunteer and all the problems that come with that. There is always room for more and some small things wouldn't take too much while helping out big time (like just small, official updates so the thing seems alive) but it's always someones freetime that has to be sacrificed for it.

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First, even if somebody doesnt plan on contributing manpower to the game (besides signing up for patreon maybe), I think its okay to critique because constructive feedback is something any good team needs badly. We love the game and we care about it, and we are really, really thankful what has been achieved. But please dont bash people who give those feedback in a caring way to the devs/admins.

That being said I kind of agree that its not in the best interest of the game if card balance gets on the forefront of development. Main focus in my opinion should be to get the word out that the game exists, is free to play and super awesome. Card balance may be important to those heavily invested in PvP, but what the leadership should want is to get a healthy PvP (!) playerbase of mediocre skilled players into the game. And for those players the game is well balanced enough.

Same goes for events, it wouldnt hurt to invest just a few hours to get a monthly community challenge going. Those must not be huge all-day events like Toggy is doing, you can make them simple, funny, and low maintenance on the admin side. We even have content creators who would be SUPER-happy if the devs contacted them to host an official event. What I am thinking about is something super-low-key like "Post a replay on the forum, fastest rPVE 1 time wins <something nice>. Funniest entry wins <something funny>. Every participant gets a free booster." I mean I dont know if you agree this would be a fun idea (other people might have better ones), but we can all agree even this half-baked idea I came up with just while writing this would be almost zero work and there would be a serious hype inside the community. And since its basically no work on the players end, almost everybody would particpate.

To come out of the closet, about a month ago I even suggested to host such a event around the "Tips of the Day" on the loading screen, as long as the devs agreed to review the suggestions and agree to put some of them into the game. That would be something from the community and for the community - to see your or your friends words on the loading screen would be a huge thing. And speaking of manpower, I suggested exactly this because I understood that the dev team was in a bad place at that time, but I though we are speaking of one forum post (takes 20 minutes maximum), one jury session (1 hour maximum), and one winner(s) annoucement (another 20 minutes) - so something that can really be done in no time. I contacted the Staff Mail, but there was no interest - so I shrugged it off.

To be honest I would be still happy with card balance being the main priority, as long as getting the word out that the game is released, hosting some events and doing community related stuff is not _zero priority_. But that has been the case in the last 2 months, and its not benefitting anyone.

PS: Speaking of Toggy, it really broke my heart seeing him apologizing that the boosters for the Skylord Open havent been sent out already. Hopefully this ist still constructive feedback, but in my opinion one of the Devs should have stepped up and apoligized, not Toggy who had all the work and now might get sub-conciously a bad reputation for not keeping promises. Thats a shame really.

 

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6 hours ago, Majora - MidnaMistfire said:

Can you explain to me why this is not the case for you? 

I brought this up publicly after my private messages were ignored. This has been going on for over a week for me with little to no official reaction, and I explicitly said I am not letting this issue go, because I believe in it strongly. Plus, until there actually is someone (be it one specific person or a group of staff) helping manage the community, spreading the word and helping the game live on, this needs to be a topic. As of yet, none of those are happenning.

4 hours ago, Cocofang said:

It's all just a giant ball of hyped sheep flocking from one big thing to the next, with the minority sticking around in most cases

I don't disagree, and in the long term I believe this argument supports my case - less people stick and those who do, won't stay forever. So a healthy influx of new players is a MUST for both decent gameplay (queue times, matchmaking), economy (as I posted many many times before), and most importantly playerbase, to keep the servers at least a little busy. But if there are no attempts to bring in new players, then there is no future, at least not long term. We may enjoy a few more months of this, but dammit you need both new players, out of which at least a small percentage sticks around for a while AND some way of keeping long term players entertained and invested, and I don't believe new maps or card rebalancing is that. So yea, I dont' disagree with what you said at all.

2 hours ago, Kapo said:

Same goes for events, it wouldnt hurt to invest just a few hours to get a monthly community challenge going.

Yup. My point exactly. If someone really cared and thought of this as being a worthy way to spend the time, which I can't stress enough that I think it absolutely is, with some effort and a decisive image in mind, it doesn't seem difficult. If it is, I understand, but then I'd appreciate some kind of transparency of what is happening. As of now, we have the game - and while it may be more than we ever hoped for in the last years and I will forever be grateful to everyone bringing it back, the current teams job should be keeping it alive, not just reshaping it, long term plan be damned.

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Of course growing the community would be wonderful. I think when there were like 1000 people online it was really great. To bring more people in once again the team needs to put in a lot of work to make it enticing. Sadly that's under all those restrictions and issues. But if I had to choose between quick content and many people on the team that work all over the place OR a more compact team that takes its time but then delivers good patches and updates, I'd definitely take the latter. It's one of those things where it's about trust again. The project has to show people that it is something put together with care and it's worth their time. After all it is competing with said oversaturated market.

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@Cocofang „To bring more people in once again the team needs to put in a lot of work to make it enticing.„

I disagree. My argument is that the game is already enticing to new players, especially for casuals there is months of content there already. One priority should be to get the word out it is back.

Look at the activity on Skylord Reborn Facebook. I see regular updates up until release - and then everything falls silent. The game is released, and then we dont tell people? I dont get it. The works, from the perspective of a new player it is more-or-less bug free (the map being/getting so slow is the only real issue) and awesome. I agree its an oversaturated market, but there are a multitude of gamers out there compared to 2010. Let them know there is a free CCG-RTS that doesnt compare to any other game and a part of that market will flow in.

Edited by Kapo
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Funny how when I was against the reset, everyone and his mom would tell me it's absolute necessity for battleforge growth, and that MANY players are waiting for the reset. Where are those players now? waiting for another reset?

Edited by DieToPlay
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On 4/7/2021 at 7:38 AM, Kapo said:

I see regular updates up until release - and then everything falls silent.

Exactly. Transparency is close to zero, updates too, we only get brought the news of things that are now confirmed to change - no different from shitty huge games like League of Legends and any other.

5 hours ago, Asraiel said:

This srceenshot is from the 8. April made at 9:20 am CEST

To be completely fair it is morning of a workday/schoolday, can't really expect that many players there ^^ I don't want to bash player numbers at all costs, but it still should be a priority over game development since the game is out and working well.

 

If you look at this thread as a whole, you will notice zero reactions from any staff, which saddens me more. There is opinions from people who have been here from the beginning, being either completely ignored or not read at all. How are we supposed to get our word out if noone listens? Wait for a community ambassador to do the talking on our behalf? Yea no. I admit, I got used to the system where most developers and staff were active daily in the chatbox to answer random questions over and over, with which some members of the community then helped. Now I don't really see a valid way of getting touch with someone without either going through SR mail, which is private and kinda dehumanizes the communication further, or publicly like this, which is essentially just shouting in the wind. What a pitty.

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@anonyme0273 morning thats correct in CEST timezone buit what is with the other time zones?

image.png.d22392e57acbdc51f3baad419041dc9f.png

tells me the game could need some more players from Australia & Asia the majority is Europa followed by America

during prime time in eu these's not much problem wuth the active playerbase alldo i could be more for shure

Edited by Asraiel
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3 hours ago, anonyme0273 said:

If you look at this thread as a whole, you will notice zero reactions from any staff, which saddens me more. There is opinions from people who have been here from the beginning, being either completely ignored or not read at all. How are we supposed to get our word out if noone listens? Wait for a community ambassador to do the talking on our behalf? Yea no. I admit, I got used to the system where most developers and staff were active daily in the chatbox to answer random questions over and over, with which some members of the community then helped. Now I don't really see a valid way of getting touch with someone without either going through SR mail, which is private and kinda dehumanizes the communication further, or publicly like this, which is essentially just shouting in the wind. What a pitty.

Numerous times before it was said that just because there is not an official staff reply in a topic or suggestion, it does not necessarily mean we are not taking it into consideration or discussion behind the curtains. Demanding replies and/or personal attention does not speed up the process at all. Having in mind the lengths and extents this thread has went to, it is obvious it needs proper look at and preparation of a reply, because a lot of points have been touched.

Also, why are we being compared to big game studios at all? Totally different history, totally different circumstances, totally different "organization".

What I say might be irrelevant as I'm inactive by much lately, but the general feeling of complete underappreciation from some members of the community has never went away, and the continuous and complete lack of understanding for the staff's non-SR related (potentially real-life) activities is, to me, unfathomable. Even now, when there are lots of things in planning, lots of things in progress, lots of new people coming on board, Lada and Zyna giving their best in managing and organizing everything, developing the server, recruiting, attending colleges and finishing their degrees...

Whatever we say, whatever we do, it is never enough, never was and never will be.

9 hours ago, Asraiel said:

unknown.png This srceenshot is from the 8. April made at 9:20 am CEST. there aint many players considering the game has one server for the intire world

 

Meaning there were 13 players in that map's chat channel, there are around 27-ish chat channels for other maps as well, as far as I know.

Relevant data can be found on https://stats.skylords.eu

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56 minutes ago, fiki574 said:

continuous and complete lack of understanding for the staff's non-SR related (potentially real-life) activities is, to me, unfathomable.

 

56 minutes ago, fiki574 said:

Whatever we say, whatever we do, it is never enough, never was and never will be.

Up until recently I was of the completely different stance. For years I stood by the side of staff and before the launch only few times did I have any negative feedback. But the last few months things seem completely different. At no fault of yours, one of the things I miss most in retrospect were the weekly updates on development. Since development of bringing the game back to the state it was is pretty much done, there is only changes and additions. Whether that's good or bad is irrelevant, but except 'done deal, here are the changes', there is close to zero transparency on those. Bringing the game back was an amazing feat that I will never be thankful for enough, but the future of this game should, UNLIKE the big companies I mentioned, in my opinion be more open and community driven. All I want is more communication and connection between the official and unofficial sides of the project and focus on the playerbase rather than changing the game. The development of this project is untouchable for me and likely always will be. But what good is a game if noone plays it and noone knows about it? That's my point, not pissing on the hard work of staff over the years. I hope I clarified my position.

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14 hours ago, anonyme0273 said:

 

Up until recently I was of the completely different stance. For years I stood by the side of staff and before the launch only few times did I have any negative feedback. But the last few months things seem completely different. At no fault of yours, one of the things I miss most in retrospect were the weekly updates on development. Since development of bringing the game back to the state it was is pretty much done, there is only changes and additions. Whether that's good or bad is irrelevant, but except 'done deal, here are the changes', there is close to zero transparency on those. Bringing the game back was an amazing feat that I will never be thankful for enough, but the future of this game should, UNLIKE the big companies I mentioned, in my opinion be more open and community driven. All I want is more communication and connection between the official and unofficial sides of the project and focus on the playerbase rather than changing the game. The development of this project is untouchable for me and likely always will be. But what good is a game if noone plays it and noone knows about it? That's my point, not pissing on the hard work of staff over the years. I hope I clarified my position.

I agree with what you said, and think more transparency is needed. On the other hand, there are so many views of how the game should look like in the future that it slows down the process by a lot, and there is nothing to do with it.

Better safe than sorry.

Edited by DieToPlay
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I speak for no one, but the way I see it is that upper staff has too many different things to deal with at once. They handle staff recruitment, game designing, project planning, community management, client modifications and pretty much everything else while also giving directions to those working under them.

With the way things are, the game will die out in a year or two, the same way it did in the past, if no significant updates are rolled out, and I am not talking about new quests or achievements, those are, in the grand scheme of things, very insignificant. One of the fuels of this project is nostalgia, and it will eventually run out.

I am not saying upper management is failing at regulating the game, not at all; I am very much appreciative of their work, but I think they should specialize and expand a little bit more in their ranks in order to fill the vacancies, and allow for each of the upper staff members to focus on a project at a time, not handle everything. I applied for just that, specialized administration, but in the end it felt like our visions differed. 

Projects/New mechanics should be tailored toward acquiring new players, not making an update for the sake of having one. Nowadays, a multiplayer game can have like 5 different crafting systems, with player cosmetics, event passes, monthly themes and so many other things. Compared to BattleForge as a game... we have what, card upgrading? 

What I am saying is, I feel like it should be emphasized what the SR team actually is. Are they a team that is hosting the BattleForge game as it is with minor changes? Or are they aiming to become an entirely new (and separate) entity than the old game? Keep in mind that I am aware of the limitations facing the team, and every point I mentioned, I feel there is a fix to. It only requires modifications to the ranks of upper management to allow for a more versatile team overall, instead of overloading the current two administrators, and that begins with having groups, each consisting of an administrator and a few developers, working to finish a specific project that is separate from what the rest of the team is doing. There is a reason specialization is vital in workplaces, since it increases accountability and speed of work.

That said, I still highly appreciate and know how hard they are working. I am merely providing what I find to be constructive criticism from my own point of view. 

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On 4/6/2021 at 3:09 AM, anonyme0273 said:

I brought this idea up in Discord without much reply, so I took it then privately to @Ladadoos, who ignored the content of the message because of the way it was worded - a rather shallow behavior. I admit, I lost my temper in how I addressed this, but I will not apologize because I firmly believe that map designers, discord moderators, and more developers are not necessary until the word gets out there to both existing and hopefully new players.

It all started out with you publicly complaining about the issue of the lack of tournaments. In that discussion you were already showing a somewhat passive aggressive attitude towards @Ladadoos. A few days later, you approached him via his DMs in a rather aggressive way. He told you that he's not ignoring the issue, but not interested in a personal discussion with you, due to your attitude. Normally we wouldn't mind discussing something like this, as long as there's respect and common courtesy. In fact, I discuss topics like this with @Toggy quite often. It is rare that we decide to ignore someone. So to conclude, it was not the choice of words, but your general attitude you have shown both in public and in private.
He also obviously did not ignore the content of your message, because even before you DMed him we already decided to address these issues. We wanted to make a general project status update, and we wanted to add the positions for the community ambassador and the event organizer role.

On 4/6/2021 at 3:09 AM, anonyme0273 said:

So yea, to be blunt and completely honest, in the last few weeks, I couldn't care less about rebalancing cards or hiring new staff and in my opinion @Toggy has done more for the game this year than any other actual staff member.

We literally put thousands of hours into this project in the last year. Obviously @Toggy is one of the most engaged community members, but you're seriously underestimating how much work goes into this project. A lot of the work we do is generally not suitable for announcements to the public. Especially back in January, we had to spend a huge amount of time on the project just helping out new people with technical support and moderation issues. There was so much moderation work, that pretty much everyone had to help with that.

On 4/6/2021 at 2:11 PM, anonyme0273 said:

But there already are established platforms that were managed decently before release. Twitter and Facebook for updates, YouTube for important announcements - all of those are now barren wastelands just chilling and waiting. Right now the only active platform is Discord, this Forum has been dead for a while. What I see is just wasted potential all around to have great community outreach. If the staff do nothing, why should the community? There were Steam groups, Skype groups, Facebook groups, all dead now despite the game being actually alive! It's the opposite of how things should be.

The platforms Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube were in fact not decently managed before release, but also definitely not ignored. In the period from the end of 2018 to early 2020 there were no posts on these platforms. However, starting in August 2020 Ladadoos and I started with helping managing these platforms aswell. Obviously, given our roles in this project, and the fact that we have personal lives, this could not be kept up, especially given that our previously very active server developer Kubik left the team. Looking at the unofficial steam or skype groups for example, they mostly already died down on their own 2-3 years ago. I was able to find barely any posts, even after we announced the release. So these issues did not suddenly start after release.
Also, you really seem somewhat conflicted here. On one hand you say "If the staff do nothing, why should the community?", but on the other one you say "[...] but the future of this game should, UNLIKE the big companies I mentioned, in my opinion be more open and community driven". We believe this project is a community effort, not just a staff effort.

On 4/6/2021 at 2:11 PM, anonyme0273 said:

I appreciate your patience. What I think is the difference between waiting before the release and now, is that back then there were regular updates by development showing progress on actual tangible features. Right now, there seems to be complete silence on all sides - the community doesn't know if there is progress being made, and the only way is to ask.

We post updates when we make progress in development. However, in the last two months there was simply just not a lot of progress. Which is mostly due to the fact, that both Ladadoos and I heavily neglected our studies for the sake of this project in the year before. At the moment, we are the only server and client developers. Expecting constant updates at the pace they were released in the last year is completely unrealistic, especially given the fact that we're unpaid and doing this in our free time. Feel free to read this announcement aswell, we also touch upon the topic of unsustainable progress there.

 

On 4/6/2021 at 2:11 PM, anonyme0273 said:

These and so many more suggestions seem to be completely ignored. Whether good or bad, the least anyone can do is a generic "we will take this into consideration", which aparently is too much to ask. As a casual viewer of the Discord server it seems to me that the main discussion between staff and players is just generic questions that were asked a hundred times before. No real input being taken, so unless you commit all in to become a staff member how can you expect your voice to be heard? If that's not the case, and everything is read, thought about, discussed - where is the proof? Where is the discussion?

There are so many little things staff could do all the time. Give responses to all posts, ask for clarification on bug reports, remind people to send their logs, offer to help people with technical issues, participate in feature discussions, and the list goes on. The issue here is simply that all of these little things, some of which are in fact not little, together do in fact take a lot of time.

On 4/6/2021 at 6:38 PM, Kapo said:

What I am thinking about is something super-low-key like "Post a replay on the forum, fastest rPVE 1 time wins <something nice>. Funniest entry wins <something funny>. Every participant gets a free booster." I mean I dont know if you agree this would be a fun idea (other people might have better ones), but we can all agree even this half-baked idea I came up with just while writing this would be almost zero work and there would be a serious hype inside the community.

This is just a another example of things, which might seem like they don't take a lot of time, but they in fact do. Who looks at all the replays? Who decides what's the funniest entry? Who hands out all the boosters? Who organizes the challenge? Who manages the challenge? And even then, people do have quality standards, and they don't want to waste their time with half-baked challenges. It's also generally not good for our image if we just try to pump out content with no real thought behind it. Generally we would like to go for quality over quantity, although we're aware that currently there are no challenges or tournaments. Staff members had been working on both a challenge, and a tournament in fact. They simply couldn't find the time to continue with these plans, hence why we're looking for more volunteers. As you can see from @Toggy and others, staff involvement is not a must for challenges or tournaments.

On 4/6/2021 at 9:09 PM, anonyme0273 said:

If someone really cared and thought of this as being a worthy way to spend the time, which I can't stress enough that I think it absolutely is, with some effort and a decisive image in mind, it doesn't seem difficult.

Obviously we care, and we try our best. And the best we can do right now is to get more volunteers on board, who can help us solve the exact issues you're bringing forward. It's disappointing that you imply that staff doesn't "really care" about tournaments, challenges and growing the community after more than 5 years of hard work.

On 4/6/2021 at 2:53 PM, Majora - MidnaMistfire said:

See, I would understand your post 110% if you posted it last week, but with the changes now coming up, and the communication that came with these changes, im curious what you expect the devs today right now. 

I really think we're doing the best we can in the current situation, and I'm honestly not sure what you expect us to do differently, given the circumstances. @anonyme0273 in this post you only mention all the issues, and how you don't care that we're hiring new staff to attempt to solve them. Given the current circumstances, what do you expect us to do differently now?

3 hours ago, Sykole said:

I speak for no one, but the way I see it is that upper staff has too many different things to deal with at once. They handle staff recruitment, game designing, project planning, community management, client modifications and pretty much everything else while also giving directions to those working under them.

With the way things are, the game will die out in a year or two, the same way it did in the past, if no significant updates are rolled out, and I am not talking about new quests or achievements, those are, in the grand scheme of things, very insignificant. One of the fuels of this project is nostalgia, and it will eventually run out.

I am not saying upper management is failing at regulating the game, not at all; I am very much appreciative of their work, but I think they should specialize and expand a little bit more in their ranks in order to fill the vacancies, and allow for each of the upper staff members to focus on a project at a time, not handle everything. I applied for just that, specialized administration, but in the end it felt like our visions differed. 

You mentioned that Ladadoos and I participate in a lot of topics. We believe though, that there is a difference between particpating, and actively contributing. Here's how we participate in all things you mentioned:

  • Staff recruitment: yes, we handle that alongside the respective lead roles.
  • Client modification: yes, we handle that completely, we're the only client and server developers at the moment.
  • Community management: I would argue we're not doing the job of a community manager, but feel free to correct me. The most we do in that regard are maybe official statements.
  • Project planning: there are examples of multiple different projects which work independently from Ladadoos and I:
    • There is the Skylords Reborn Descriptions group, managed by @Mynoduesp. They are working on revamping all of the ingame descriptions. Our participation in this so far has been mostly limited to a meeting, where we discussed their proposals.
    • There is a group working on additional rPvE factions. It started with @CrazyCockerell, and since then @Emmaerzeh has been looking over that project.
    • There is the balancing team, which is managed by @ImaginaryNumb3r and will work autonomously. At the moment I'm still training the balancing developers a bit, until they can work on their own.
  • Game design: we just give feedback on proposals (independently worked on by dedicated designers) in regards to technical limitations, and as server and client developers we implement finished proposals.

Cloud you clarify what you mean with "pretty much everything else"? I hope it's clear that we have a team of more than 20 people who are putting their time into this project. They handle moderation, balancing, design, map creation, technical support, etc. Obviously we do a lot, which is to be expected as both an admin and developer, but to claim we do everything is absurd. You could even say that there are already multiple "project administrators" in the project who are overlooking a general process:

  • @ImaginaryNumb3r is the lead in game and faction design.
  • @Emmaerzeh is the lead in map making, and organizing the map making effort.
  • @RadicalX is in charge of the PvP expert group for balancing. In the future @WindHunter could be in charge of a similar process for PvE.
3 hours ago, Sykole said:

Keep in mind that I am aware of the limitations facing the team, and every point I mentioned, I feel there is a fix to. It only requires modifications to the ranks of upper management to allow for a more versatile team overall, instead of overloading the current two administrators, and that begins with having groups, each consisting of an administrator and a few developers, working to finish a specific project that is separate from what the rest of the team is doing.

It really does not seem like you are aware of the limitations we are facing. Our current biggest limitation in this regard is the lack of active developers.

  • Currently we have freund17, and Maze, who are working on a (for now internal) web interface/admin tool for Skylords Reborn. They are organizing themselves and the features they work on are currently determined by the moderators, who are in need of a moderation tool.
  • We have Chibiterasu and Razeroc, who are part of the balancing team.
  • There is fiki574. He's not as active as he once was, but he's maintaining our public APIs. He also listens to feedback from the community there.
  • We have Aviat0r, who is also not too active at the moment, who has been working on a new updater tool.
  • There is also empty, who's currently inactive.

So unless you want to manage Ladadoos and me, there's unfortunately not a lot developers to manage right now, hence why we are looking for new developers rather than such a position right now. If with "developers" you mean people who are not in staff, you are generally welcome to organize these kinds of special projects without staff involvement. We're generally happy to assist you if we believe you are working on something which can help out the project. For example, Maze made this useful tool before he was added into staff:


We hope that we could answer all your questions. If everything goes well, all of these things will be less of an issue in the future. We plan to add the positions we are currently lacking to the staff team in the upcoming weeks.

Best regards,
Ladadoos and Zyna ~

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38 minutes ago, Zyna said:

Cloud you clarify what you mean with "pretty much everything else"? I hope it's clear that we have a team of more than 20 people who are putting their time into this project. They handle moderation, balancing, design, map creation, technical support, etc. Obviously we do a lot, which is to be expected as both an admin and developer, but to claim we do everything is absurd. You could even say that there are already multiple "project administrators" in the project who are overlooking a general process:

First I would like to clarify that I am not attacking you or the staff members. I know you guys are putting in hard work and long hours, I am not denying any of your progress whatsoever. I am merely talking from my point of view and experience about what I think could be lacking. In addition, I am not trying to act superior or judge your ways. Sorry if it's coming off as harsh or rude.

Back to the topic at hand though, my point revolves around the following: Even though the project administrators/managers you listed are essential to any game, and I am not denying their work, I personally don't see them as what this game needs at the moment. Sure, map making is important and all, but how many players will that attract? How about faction designing? In my opinion, they should be lower on the priority list, and things like new content should be given more attention. 

And that brings us to the second point; You said I am not quite aware of your limitations, and although I admit I know less than I would like, I got a general idea from you guys on the call, and was following the development from the very beginning closely, even with Blank on Skype, so I know the limitations in terms of how much you can edit the game, as well as the lack of developers, you made it awfully clear to me hahaha. I am just referring to plausible things, such as making the website more BattleForge-like, increasing community engagement like anonyme suggested, and so forth.

Yet again, none of us is in a position to judge. We all appreciate your work and just having the game there is awesome; we just wish to help. Which is why I will say it again, I think that things like "faction designing" which is already limited due to implementation issues, should be pushed down a little and be more focused on newer content like the great concept of quests/achievements. One more map or one more card will not make much of an impact the same way a new concept would. 

Much love.

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1 hour ago, Sykole said:

Which is why I will say it again, I think that things like "faction designing" which is already limited due to implementation issues, should be pushed down a little and be more focused on newer content like the great concept of quests/achievements. One more map or one more card will not make much of an impact the same way a new concept would.

It's not as simple as just prioritizing game design over faction design. Those are two different departments. The balancing developers could not simply just start working on implementing new concepts. They are neither client nor server developers. As balance developers, they "only" work with our internal balancing tool. For the game design process, we need game designers, client developers and server developers (and also potentially more web developers in the future). So far we managed to add one new game designer, @Eirias, and soon we could add one new client developer, who is currently working on their first assignment. We have a couple of open server developer applications, which are still being reviewed.
You could argue the faction designers could also help with game design. However, they specifically volunteered for faction design because of their experience and interests.

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2 hours ago, Zyna said:

A few days later, you approached him via his DMs in a rather aggressive way.

I will not be publishing any private messages, I respect their privacy. I too was disappointed to having to attempt to continue this discussion in private, since both my public queries went without an answer. As I stated every time, I don't wish for this issue to die and over time I will, as anyone, lose my temper. Though to be frank, I doubt I was disrespectful considering the way the issue was handled from the other side too. We both escalated the issue but my attempts to continue the conversation went without as much as reading the message. Here, I will quote my part of the message as I think it is important

'But you not being interested in answering reasonable community questions shows your disconnection from it, and that matters'. I believe that phrasing or attitude should not matter in a professional environment. Me acting profesional or not should not reflect on the response. I am not staff, but I am a long time member of this community and project. I did my best to help wherever I could for years and all I wanted was an answer. I truly believe a generic 'We are working on it, hence the recruitment of an event organizer' would've shut me up for good, but alas, I got nothing, which is not what I deserve. So yes, from that point on I purposefully kept the tone a tad aggressive, though in great moderation.

2 hours ago, Zyna said:

We literally put thousands of hours into this project in the last year.

I should have phrased the quote you mention better. Short term card balances, moderation and all staff action are reasonable, but long term it will all be for nothing if the focus doesn't quickly shift on getting more players active from both registered members and people who never heard of the game. The (from an outsider view) complete lack of this is what made me begin this whole discussion. No matter the work that goes into this, once the player numbers go low, it will be all the harder to get them up. The hype from the launch won't last forever and it should be capitalized on in the sense of using the current lifeblood of this community to grow said community. If new people come and see lively discussions, short ingame queue times and active games, the chances of them sticking around are so much higher than if they come to a half dead discord and noone ingame. Existing players won't stick around forever either, if the only thing to do is grind around aimlessly. The way I brought those points up should not matter if they are valid.

2 hours ago, Zyna said:

The platforms Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube were in fact not decently managed before release, but also definitely not ignored. In the period from the end of 2018 to early 2020 there were no posts on these platforms. However, starting in August 2020 Ladadoos and I started with helping managing these platforms aswell.

I did overestimate their usefulness, granted. But the potential to use them has not been used in the slightest, while they are probably the best tools for new player outreach. The release, so long anticipated and worked on by so many people, went almost completely unnoticed by most, because there was one or two posts at best and then silence. Seems like a missed opportunity, but what's done is done. The fact all these accounts are STILL silent is just saddening, when so much could be talked about there - the temporary booster sale, Toggy and his tournaments, new staff hiring, patches, updates...

2 hours ago, Zyna said:

Which is mostly due to the fact, that both Ladadoos and I heavily neglected our studies for the sake of this project in the year before.

In all my years here I always stood by the people volunteering to work on this project and their real lives taking priority. Even now I haven't even thought of telling anyone to focus solely on this, that would be absurd. But with so many people on staff you two don't really need to do everything (as you then mention further in your posts, you don't, but even before a community ambassador is chosen, anyone else could have taken part in community outreach).

 

On 4/6/2021 at 5:09 AM, anonyme0273 said:

 

image.thumb.png.b9392ed27a16a3abf7dc787219be5de9.png

 

 

2 hours ago, Zyna said:

Given the current circumstances, what do you expect us to do differently now?

This was an official post on what to expect from SR and thus I came to take it seriously. Nowhere around was it said the first thing that will be done is card changes, map additions etc. So yes, sadly I take this as of yet for a broken promise. The old BattleForge died because noone cared for the game. You clearly do, but I just think that you are looking the wrong direction. Instead of looking inwards on the game aspects, I suggested looking outwards on bringing in more people.

 

I appreciate your response, I'd hate to be interpreted wrong. Never did I intend to insult the work done on the project, rather I think the current focus is just wrong. I will apologize for being aggressive if talked to, and to talk to is all I originally wanted. I was denied the opportunity based not on WHAT i was saying, but HOW I did so. That to me seems shallow and unprofessional. I will always want whats best for the game, and I will speak my mind if I think I have something to add.

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23 minutes ago, Zyna said:

It's not as simple as just prioritizing game design over faction design. Those are two different departments. The balancing developers could not simply just start working on implementing new concepts. They are neither client nor server developers. As balance developers, they "only" work with our internal balancing tool. For the game design process, we need game designers, client developers and server developers (and also potentially more web developers in the future). So far we managed to add one new game designer, @Eirias, and soon we could add one new client developer, who is currently working on their first assignment. We have a couple of open server developer applications, which are still being reviewed.
You could argue the faction designers could also help with game design. However, they specifically volunteered for faction design because of their experience and interests.

Yeah, I get you. I was just saying that projects administration can also be applied to newer departments, like Events, Mini-games, etc.

Either way, I had an opinion and I said it. Whether or how it can be utilized, I will trust your judgement on that. Keep up the good work. Cheers 

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