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.