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Communication between the Staff and the Players

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2/25/2020 12:40:56   

A few years ago, AE prided itself with great communication with their player base. Frequent forum posts on future plans, swift info subs, voting on new storylines or rewards.

It is now 2020 and this has all changed. Many people have gathered in Discord to interact with players, on the official AE channel and other channels. Forum visits must have dried up and died out. Which is understandable, because Discord is a much faster channel to communicate. There are always people to answer your questions, compare equipment, discuss stories, etc.

The forums, though, are the perfect place to share information. Weekly releases, future plans, new content, GBI - it is good to have a centralised place where these can be found easily. However, this function is not used at all now, as shown in below examples:

- Weekly releases are announced on the forums by players who receive those mails, instead of by regular forum staff. No big deal, but there is a forum post announcing a Devourer Saga rework. Where did this come from? Did Hollow say this somewhere, was this teased on Discord? I could not find it.

- Info-subs are inconsistently updated. Some items have not received a post after over a year, some are posted instantly, and others are posted anywhere in between. Often these are posted on Discord and while these posts get pinned, I find they get lost in the chaos of a chat. It is easier to find information about new items on google to be redirected to the actual info subs or using the search function on the forums to get the desired information than to find bits and pieces in large chat rooms. If the information is actually shared with the playerbase.

- HP-cost items are being updated. There are some info-subs stating that Blood Blades & Bloodzerker Blades' HP-costs were updated to a new standard, but no one had seen this coming. In the past we would have had a post about these updates in the Design Notes or maybe on the general discussion forums, or even GBI. Now, just the info subs of other items and the knowledge that HP costs of other items would be updated eventually. Which was this week evidently, surprisingly.

- Word has it that IMRy is reworking the status system. This was said by The Hollow in one of the forum posts in the general discussion section. Okay, but what will happen? Will the formulae be rewritten to be made easier for future items, or will these changes actually make a difference for the player? Will things be nerfed, buffed, will things be made stackable? It is one big mystery and nobody actually knows what staff is actually planning to do.

- DEX/stat rework: it has been months since we last heard anything about this. The cap increase to 250 in an attribute made certain builds less effective than others. Or at least made it harder to distribute the available points and get the most out of them. That is fine, but had some glaring issues which would be worked on. There is a GBI, but the last post by Kaelin dates back to the 18th of April '19. Is there progress? Does Kaelin still work for AE? Is someone else working on this? Why are other balance projects such as (potentially) the above prioritised?

All in all, it is frustrating to not know which direction this game is taking. It would be great if our Staff could keep us updated frequently and openly for all players to read. I have no clue how often information is shared through PMs on forums or on Discord, but I believe that sharing information with individuals is not the right way to be more open with the player base. Everyone appreciates information from a direct source.

Hopefully we can have more informative posts from staff on these forums for everyone to read and for everyone to share, reflect on and discuss - be it on the forums or on Discord.
AQ  Post #: 1
2/25/2020 13:41:32   
Lord Noonien Soong

the links were in the forum post but here on that Devourer update
AQ DF AQW  Post #: 2
2/25/2020 14:07:08   

I think the problem is info is posted separately in different places rather than in one easy place to find.

The devourer update was posted on twitter and the HP cost blood blade update was posted somewhere else.

You can find the HP cost blood blade update posted in " RE: Golden Giftbox Cross-Game Extravaganza". Page 2.

< Message edited by J9408 -- 2/25/2020 14:16:22 >
Post #: 3
2/25/2020 16:01:19   


It would be great if our Staff could keep us updated frequently and openly for all players to read.

I agree.
For example, I didn't saw any posts that hp cost changes will affect anything accept Blood blades and suddenly my guest starts to use 3 times more hp...
Post #: 4
2/25/2020 18:04:41   

I completely agree.
To answer some of your examples:

1) I don't see a problem with players posting the newsletter instead of the staff. The staff still "tag" the post and use that thread/post to comment relevant stuff (when it'll release for example).
2) I agree so much on the infosub example that I have started to post the infosubs from Discord on this forum (check the infosubs threads). I try to post every new item that is posted on Discord so people can find the info here.
If you know some items that don't have info on the forums yet, please let me know and I will try to find the info and post it here (in infosubs).
3) I'm guessing (and hoping) that they will say something official about the HP cost update when they are done.
4) IMR is working on a new status system, yes. I believe they wanted to make Burn of different elements stack. They are most likely going to change other things too.
AQ  Post #: 5
2/25/2020 18:41:22   

Thanks all for the informative posts answering some of example concerns, but it is not the reason I created this topic. I want our staff to understand it would be better to communicate with us more openly and publicly.
As it stands, info subs are dropped in busy chatrooms and GBI and item issues etc. are discussed in PMs. However, wouldn't it be beautiful if we got more staff-written posts on their vision and plans?
AQ  Post #: 6
2/25/2020 20:48:29   
Spiritual Guardian

I will just say that I recently PM The Hollow, Kamui, and afterlifex about the lack of info subs exposure, but didn't get a reply from neither of them this time. With that said though, the community isn't exactly safe from criticism either. Many of them wants us to use, not just Discord, but to give our phone numbers to access certain key news/info subs that they will never post here for some reason. This has been going on for years and the people I'm talking about are those who has excessive amount of hours to give each day, but can't spend a minute to copy and paste those details to help out the staff.

Case in point, the third part of the Frostgale Set equipment had their info subs out for days when plenty of others could had posted them here in that time frame. Thankfully, joac1144 decided to post them (along with many others), since there is no telling how long it would had taken those info subs to reach the forums. Which makes you wonder, just how many of these info subs got lost on Discord or some other social site out there over the years?

To reel this thread back though, yes, it would be much appreciated if the staff started communicating to us here a lot more instead of Discord, even if these forums are extremely outdated.
Post #: 7
2/26/2020 16:05:33   


As I am neither qualified to resolve mechanical concerns, nor able to disclose the progress of balance development milestones, my reply will only partially address the raised points - Please don't feel ignored, as I absolutely empathize with the entirety of the post.

That being said, there are a few points that I would like to address. While communication has radically changed over the years, what is presented as a new development is a product of a reduced volume of messages over time and the emergence of new channels of communication that divide this reduced flow.

Different means of communication are advantageous for different purposes, with that of the forums being permanence and ease of reference while Discord offers a quicker, more direct line of communication. Part of the cause for a majority of the volume of information/communication being on Discord is the fact that it is where questions are most frequently raised, and consequently where we respond most frequently. And on top of the initial reply's correction about the Devourer Saga rework, I would like to point out that players generally being able to post information before we reiterate it on the forums is not a new development, having been the case since well over a few years ago.

We can certainly do better by the forum, and for my own part I have endeavored to do just that with several in-character posts during multiple sagas, as well as the introduction of the Narrative Design Notes. Often I get right to writing lore or the next quest after finishing each prior one, and find that I have been beaten to the write-up in Info Submission by the time I take my head out of the evil plots. That much can be tightened as well. There is a lot of excitement to come in 2020.
Post #: 8
2/26/2020 20:43:52   

I think both are equally important, and I agree that we can also help the staff, so if the info submissions are posted elsewhere, we could also take an active part in posting them. We know the staff are not that many and I don't see why we can't also post them ourselves ocationally. I do think it is important for the staff to post the info submissions of items about a week (max) after release, or even some on the monday after the release. I think it's especially important with z token items or package items that are limited time, so people know what to buy and what it does, beside its RPG description in game, of course. I don't think it's bad at all that the staff are more active on discord, as theres a huge player base there and forums are kinda old school but not everyone is on discord or wants to be, so if staff could , lets say if they post it on discord, then the monday coming up post it on forums when they post the release. I have also mentioned that the release newsletter is usually posted on twitter first rather than the homepage which I also do think is a little disconnected , as again not everyone is on twitter. Would be cool if both could be updated at the same time, or just homepage rather than twitter if both isn't possible.

That's my 2 cents on it, tldr; i think we should also take part in posting the info submissions as staff are few, but also they should max post them on the forums a week after or such

Ps: I would also like to say how extremly fast Kamui is at posting the info submissions on release date in the discords, I don't like things to be too negative and that is a thing I am REALLY happy about how extremly effective Kamui is.

< Message edited by Thor -- 2/26/2020 20:49:02 >
AQ AQW  Post #: 9
2/26/2020 21:17:04   
  Digital X

Beep Beep! ArchKnight AQ / ED

Having a centralised location for Newsletters and release information is key, and needs to be in an area where everyone can see it regardless of whether or not they use social media. Perhaps for the Newsletter front a sticky could be created in AQ GD, and the Staff/Players would be able to post and update with the most recent Newsletter. That way everyone can see it and look back at past releases. As threads get old they move out of thread list, but with stickying the Newsletter, everyone can see the information and it won't dissapear.

< Message edited by Digital X -- 2/28/2020 19:22:06 >
AQ DF MQ AQW Epic  Post #: 10
2/28/2020 6:27:18   

That sounds really good, Dixital. I also think itís super important for the info submissions to be posted when the release is live, or during monday at the very latest
AQ AQW  Post #: 11
2/28/2020 19:23:15   
  Digital X

Beep Beep! ArchKnight AQ / ED

Indeed, Info Submissions are crucial. If you've been hanging off buying a piece of equipment and there is no information to seen, or you do not use a certain social media you're out of luck.
AQ DF MQ AQW Epic  Post #: 12
3/14/2020 17:44:48   
Lord Markov

Just wanted to make a note of thanks that the staff has been stepping up their info subs game lately. This is very definitely noticed and appreciated!

This is a good trend and I will definitely be grateful to see it continue.
AQ  Post #: 13
3/22/2020 7:54:03   

This is not a topic for posting what is missing, but I write this just to show the lack of communication:
- No one knows where the Doom Knight faces are;
- One of the newer packages is supposed to be updated but this keeps being delayed;
- The Memorial Shop is not here yet. The latest memorial item is in the LTS;
- Lots of bugs with the rewritten statuses.

We don't expect quick fixes, we don't expect everything to be perfect or on time. What we do appreciate is for staff to say they are too busy right now, working on next week's release, figuring out what is bugged, or something occurred in real life.

We get it, we completely understand if something gets in the way. That's life. However, with so many things only half done (without indication why), the game feels very chaotic.
AQ  Post #: 14
3/22/2020 17:20:50   

The monsters info submissions page hasn't been updated in a while..
AQ DF  Post #: 15
3/22/2020 22:40:04   


To take on that list regardless:

- The Doom Knight faces being missing was an error that was fixed earlier today. It has been a sufficiently disruptive time that it honestly slipped my attention to keep an eye on release threads as I usually do to pass any immediate issues along.
- The Paragon Fiend rider was updated as well, with the info subs also being up already.
- The memorial shop is still an upcoming feature.
- The status system update is still ongoing, with bugs being an unfortunately expected consequence. As with the prior items, this isn't a case of radio silence. Bugs are ideally tracked through tickets, and when some slip past both our attention and the standard report system, they are fixed as they are caught. Late notice is unfortunately likely with something this involved, but I'm poking Imry about specific bugs as I type this.

Given how disruptive this weekend has been for me, I can only imagine the wrench it must have thrown at the rest of the team ó And for the same reasons, I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy.
Post #: 16
3/23/2020 18:06:57   

Thanks Cray. And to your credit I read you were going to pass along the message regarding the faces to the right people!

I realise I'm positioning myself into some kind of role of an old sour man, or atleast I feel that way. I just want the best for everyone. No, I haven't asked anyone, I'm just projecting my personal feelings.

One thing you mentioned is that bug reports are severely lacking. I am glad this was brought up, as it reminds me that communication goes both ways. We have the obligation to help AQ and our staff improve. It's also on us to share our information with staff.
AQ  Post #: 17
4/4/2020 16:14:55   
Spiritual Guardian

I will say that the communication (for the most part) has improved recently with info subs getting posted very regularly, staff fixing bugs and posting them here, while also showing us what they have planned for 2020 with the design notes. Even so, there is still room for improvements.

As mentioned before, some packages still don't have ballyhoo shops, bugs in Blarney 2006 and attacking clans (Paxia Defense upon completion) where a loading screen appears that doesn't leave forcing you to refresh, and horrible PM service though the current flaw system is surely the cause for some of it.

Of course, there are many more, but the DDOS attacks on staff isn't going make them fix these issues any faster.

@Cray: I sent a PM to your inbox.
Post #: 18
4/7/2020 13:56:41   

Someone is communicating equipment suggestions through this site: https://adventurequestwiki.fandom.com/wiki/AdventureQuestWiki_Wiki
AQ AQW  Post #: 19
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