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  Click here to go to the first Archeage Team post in this thread.   Thread: Community Relations

  1. #1

    Community Relations

    Hi,

    Wanted to spit ball some ideas with the community and Trion on how we could improve relations, or attempt to, between, the consumer, and the producer.

    Firstly some housekeeping, I freely admit I have made many posts attacking Trion lack of communication, or at least my own perception of this issue, or wider communities perception of it, but this post is not going to focus on negatives, so if you respond, please keep in my mind "what would I like from Trion in a non game play fashion"

    So here are some ideas.
    • Find one or two community representatives.
      Not sure how much of a desire there is for this, but I have seen it work in other communities where the wider community has a representative or two that can relay concerns or ask some questions. Have a "direct" method to contact members of the team/Muzzy. Not a cheerleader, nor a toxic attacker.
    • Engage in discussion points with community about what is asked/spoken with XL
      This is mentioned so often now "We will speak to XL". Is there a particular reason there shouldn't be a ongoing thread that discusses what was shared with XL at anytime, what requests where made. i.e. "Hey folks we reached out to XL to ask for X, Y Z and requested X be critical etc., waiting on responses etc"
    • Share your timetable
      Extension of above. "Waiting on patch, received patch, currently QA, anticipated PTS delivery X, anticipated translations Y, waiting up fix/updates etc etc."
    • Create a feature/outstanding bug list, maintain, update.
      Separate application, or a thread. Really a complete collection of all outstanding and open "requests/bugs/features". (I appreciate hard to manage in free form text forum), maybe identify current status, when requested, when followed up, some basic XL feedback etc.
    • Bring back a weekly stream.
      I know you guys are fed up with being beaten over the head, but keep it short, maybe talk about some of the things above, give us a rundown on whats cooking and shaking behind the scenes with the developer and outstanding requests. Doesnt have to be "content" specific, we just want to know there is a plan here

    Just some random wider thought on this, Muzzy touched on something towards the end of the last stream, it was obvious the team are tired of being attacked. I am not going to justify the communities reasons or feelings. I will say to this, if the community feels informed, feels like is engaged with the producer, and the producer is actively and openly feeding back, it would help.

    I do not approach these subjects to imply what Trion and the team are actively doing or not, because quite frankly, myself and the community are unsure, it comes across as vague and secretive. Not sure why, and I personally feel that Trion try to defend the DEV choices in such ways it implies they made the choices, so the community directs hostility to the wrong individuals, especially when compounded with these communication issues.

    Any other suggestions?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Meridian's Avatar
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    ANY communication and/or feedback would be better than what we have now. 'I don't know' may not be a great answer, but it's a hell of a lot better than silence.

  3. #3
    Also when we get patch on wednesday it will be cool to have information about it.. and not discover an event start 2 days after it's release.

    Are we in 2018 ?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by CitronxD View Post
    Also when we get patch on wednesday it will be cool to have information about it.. and not discover an event start 2 days after it's release.

    Are we in 2018 ?
    An event Did start that I had no info was coming. We got a guild event getting coins that can help get Hiram gear. Not a lot, but the possibility of a few pieces and a dog that gives loot drop bonus.

    Never heard about it until it was already started.

    It wasn't even mentioned in the last livestream.

  5.   Click here to go to the next Archeage Team post in this thread.   #5
    ArcheAge Community Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrandOralDisseminator View Post
    Hi,
    • Find one or two community representatives.
    • Engage in discussion points with community about what is asked/spoken with XL
    • Share your timetable
    • Create a feature/outstanding bug list, maintain, update.
    • Bring back a weekly stream.
    I don't have enough time to give this the full response that I might otherwise want to, but here's a quick overview of the topics from my standpoint.

    - Find one or two community representatives.
    We use the forums, reddit, discord, twitter, facebook, youtube, steam, and other platforms as a voice for all players. Everyone's voice should be heard, and documented so we can collect that feedback and deliver it to XL as well. There are some Trion Creators who have taken up the mantle of fielding questions from their communities too. We greatly appreciate those who are embedded so deeply in the community funneling questions and info back and forth.

    - Engage in discussion points with community about what is asked/spoken with XL
    As stated many times in the past, the forum threads, and other communications are delivered directly to XL, so your direct commentary is seen. We accompany it with an overview of the topic that ties many of those separate channel discussions together. This is why we urge players to keep topics on track and to deliver their best explanations of their feelings on the issue without bogging it down with insults and other toxic approaches to conversation.

    - Share your timetable
    This can often be very difficult. The news that we are 'waiting' is quite possibly the most accurate information we can give at that time.

    - Create a feature/outstanding bug list, maintain, update
    I've been trying to engage more in the Bug Report threads, letting players know that their issue is being tracked, or that we need more information. We've got internal documentation of a list of currently known issues, but I'm still trying to figure out the best way to make sure I'd be updated that it was addressed. We tried something this past couple weeks, but I'm not convinced it's clear enough to roll out a solid update thread to players. I agree with the need for this greatly, but want to make sure the process is scale-able and manageable for me to deliver accurate and timely information. The rough part of this is that some bugs may stay on that list for a long long time, regardless of pushing for a fix.

    - Bring back a weekly stream
    The reason we reduced the streaming schedule to 'only when there is a major announcement' is because the other streams took time and other resources, and didn't do enough to deliver what the players wanted - information. We will continue hosting those in the community who are interested in sharing their AA experiences and only have a stream when there are big news topics to discuss. Other discussions can be more helpfully tracked in the forums. I want to stream every day, but the content for those streams just isn't there. This was not a decision we came to lightly, but we're happy to use the time to support Trion Creators and other members of the community who are interested in streaming on twitch to show off their positive involvement in AA.


    In regards to your comment about being attacked - I think the truth of it is that we're the publisher and are being given the expectations of the developer by the community in many cases. This is an unfortunate misunderstanding that we often try to correct. There are certainly ways we (Trion) can improve our communication, and we're always looking into taking action on that, however, there are also times when we cannot communicate beyond what we have. It can come across secretive, but in reality, the communication may be stymied for the completely legitimate reasons we express.

    I always appreciate your even tone when communicating in the forums. I don't always have the time to give a full response, or even engage, but I do try to read and take in every post across all those platforms to glean the best representation of the community's commentary. I'm always looking to improve, even if there is too little time to do so.

    I have made myself as accessible as possible via dms as well. I try to respond to everyone. I feel that the perception that there isn't any communication is far off it's mark, or maybe it's ill defined by those that state that. Your post has highlighted some of the ways that communication is limited or weak, and that made it much easier to address the specifics of the concern.

    TheBlueMuzzy#1068 < Discord
    I've even opened up my PERSONAL discord to the AA community and watch good discussion happen in there daily. I don't expect it to be positive all the time, but I demand that it be productive. As it is my personal discord, i moderate it with an iron fist, and reserve the right to refuse access to any or all. I suggest that if you do join it, you join it with the intent of speaking to other even-keeled players, and not directly to me at all times. I read it, i moderate it as best i can, and I jump in to chat when i have some time.

    https://discord.gg/ua8J7Tp

  6. #6
    Senior Member sobin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muzzy View Post
    I don't have enough time to give this the full response that I might otherwise want to, but here's a quick overview of the topics from my standpoint.

    - Find one or two community representatives.
    We use the forums, reddit, discord, twitter, facebook, youtube, steam, and other platforms as a voice for all players. Everyone's voice should be heard, and documented so we can collect that feedback and deliver it to XL as well. There are some Trion Creators who have taken up the mantle of fielding questions from their communities too. We greatly appreciate those who are embedded so deeply in the community funneling questions and info back and forth.

    - Engage in discussion points with community about what is asked/spoken with XL
    As stated many times in the past, the forum threads, and other communications are delivered directly to XL, so your direct commentary is seen. We accompany it with an overview of the topic that ties many of those separate channel discussions together. This is why we urge players to keep topics on track and to deliver their best explanations of their feelings on the issue without bogging it down with insults and other toxic approaches to conversation.

    - Share your timetable
    This can often be very difficult. The news that we are 'waiting' is quite possibly the most accurate information we can give at that time.

    - Create a feature/outstanding bug list, maintain, update
    I've been trying to engage more in the Bug Report threads, letting players know that their issue is being tracked, or that we need more information. We've got internal documentation of a list of currently known issues, but I'm still trying to figure out the best way to make sure I'd be updated that it was addressed. We tried something this past couple weeks, but I'm not convinced it's clear enough to roll out a solid update thread to players. I agree with the need for this greatly, but want to make sure the process is scale-able and manageable for me to deliver accurate and timely information. The rough part of this is that some bugs may stay on that list for a long long time, regardless of pushing for a fix.

    - Bring back a weekly stream
    The reason we reduced the streaming schedule to 'only when there is a major announcement' is because the other streams took time and other resources, and didn't do enough to deliver what the players wanted - information. We will continue hosting those in the community who are interested in sharing their AA experiences and only have a stream when there are big news topics to discuss. Other discussions can be more helpfully tracked in the forums. I want to stream every day, but the content for those streams just isn't there. This was not a decision we came to lightly, but we're happy to use the time to support Trion Creators and other members of the community who are interested in streaming on twitch to show off their positive involvement in AA.


    In regards to your comment about being attacked - I think the truth of it is that we're the publisher and are being given the expectations of the developer by the community in many cases. This is an unfortunate misunderstanding that we often try to correct. There are certainly ways we (Trion) can improve our communication, and we're always looking into taking action on that, however, there are also times when we cannot communicate beyond what we have. It can come across secretive, but in reality, the communication may be stymied for the completely legitimate reasons we express.

    I always appreciate your even tone when communicating in the forums. I don't always have the time to give a full response, or even engage, but I do try to read and take in every post across all those platforms to glean the best representation of the community's commentary. I'm always looking to improve, even if there is too little time to do so.

    I have made myself as accessible as possible via dms as well. I try to respond to everyone. I feel that the perception that there isn't any communication is far off it's mark, or maybe it's ill defined by those that state that. Your post has highlighted some of the ways that communication is limited or weak, and that made it much easier to address the specifics of the concern.

    TheBlueMuzzy#1068 < Discord
    I've even opened up my PERSONAL discord to the AA community and watch good discussion happen in there daily. I don't expect it to be positive all the time, but I demand that it be productive. As it is my personal discord, i moderate it with an iron fist, and reserve the right to refuse access to any or all. I suggest that if you do join it, you join it with the intent of speaking to other even-keeled players, and not directly to me at all times. I read it, i moderate it as best i can, and I jump in to chat when i have some time.

    https://discord.gg/ua8J7Tp
    Can you explain what happens when you 'follow up with the team and XL' on topics? Do you leave a sticky note on someones computer monitor that gets blown away when a door is open? I see you say this a lot, but i'm not really sure what it means.

    Do you personally email XL every time a topic comes up on the forums that you leave that response for?
    Do you always hear back from XL about everything you bring up?
    Who is the 'Team'? Does this 'Team' include XL or is it just the folks at trion who have no impact on the game? (except quill & socke)

  7.   Click here to go to the next Archeage Team post in this thread.   #7
    ArcheAge Associate Producer Celestrata Bloodsong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sobin View Post
    Can you explain what happens when you 'follow up with the team and XL' on topics? Do you leave a sticky note on someones computer monitor that gets blown away when a door is open? I see you say this a lot, but i'm not really sure what it means.

    Do you personally email XL every time a topic comes up on the forums that you leave that response for?
    Do you always hear back from XL about everything you bring up?
    Who is the 'Team'? Does this 'Team' include XL or is it just the folks at trion who have no impact on the game? (except quill & socke)
    I know y'all don't see me that frequently anymore as most of my work is behind-the-scenes these days, but hi! I can explain all of this because this is pretty much my job anymore.

    And as much as I'd like to put a sticky note on someone's monitor, that would take a 14 hour trip to Korea. =P Would be a pretty expensive, time-consuming sticky note.

    So our communication with the guys over at XL takes a few forms, and sometimes that form depends on what's being discussed. For larger issues, like heavy critical issues that need to be fixed really quickly or major blocking bugs that impede progress, we'll actually use more than one of these methods.

    1. -- JIRA/Bug Tracking -- The first and most common way we communicate with one another is through a shared resource known as JIRA. Some of you more tech-savvy folks may know Atlassian's JIRA first hand, but this is the shared program we use to directly communicate with our counterparts at XL. Various members of the Trion team here, like our QA, Translation, Production, Marketing, and Community teams all have access to this program and can see what's being discussed. From the XL side, it's their Project Manager (my counterpart at XL who I'm in daily contact with) the NA/EU Content Lead, NA/EU Marketplace lead, and other key members of their staff. XL has two divisions -- one is the guys who exclusively work on our versions, and the other is the core ArcheAge team that works on all of the ArcheAge version across the world.

    New additions that are coming up in a specific version of the game, localization changes that are being made for our version, and bugs are all dropped into JIRA for mutual tracking. Updates are then popped back and forth between us (barring time for translation into English and Korean), as well as core game documentation. JIRAs are also marked with a priority number, so you can tell what really needs to be worked on versus what could take a bit longer. We have to make these distinctions because the team's time is limited, as all of our time is, and some things may need to be more important than others. (Adjusting a slight graphical glitch on a costume vs. fixing a broken quest.)

    An example of a common JIRA topic would be something like, "We're changing how Copper, Silver, and Gold chests drop items, here is an overview of the new functionality." Documents are then attached and we have a discussion there on if anything should be changed, if everything looks good, etc. These entries are very specific, and usually they are organized into a list of what's coming in a particular version. (For example, everything for the June update is listed together, everything for the July update is listed together, etc.)

    2. Team Emails -- The second common method of communication are emails. When a subject is broader than a very defined thing, or when we need to discuss some high-level matter or plan schedules, we use email. These emails are again translated into both English and Korean, and primarily bounce back and forth between myself and the XL Project Manager. The difference here is that these emails go to a broader audience than a JIRA. A JIRA is usually assigned to specific people while our emails are more general and can be read by the key members of both teams.

    An example of an email topic would be, "Let's discuss the development and publishing schedule for next month's update" or "here are the winners of the recent art contest."

    3. IM -- For those items that may need real-time communication or questions, there's always the good old reliable IM. Again, the XL Project Manager and I, as well as other core members of the XL and Trion teams, sit in a chat room with one another. Mostly these are used late at night (USA time) and early in the morning (Korean time) when both teams are awake. These are used for extremely critical situations (I.E. we noticed an error come up during an update) or when we just need to discuss something together quickly. We ping one another here pretty regularly too if something needs to be looked at, which can result in myself or Tinen or Merv being awake at like 10 AM - 1 AM our time while the XL team arrives at the office and can discuss things together, or when we're updating and the XL team stays late at their office to help support the update. (Btw, my wife hates the soft glow of the iPad at 1 AM and usually hits me with a pillow, lol.)

    4. Regular Meetings -- Finally, we do have regular meetings with our core ArcheAge guys from XL, and the core production team here from Trion. The frequency of these meetings via video conference depends on our update schedules or other business needs, but they usually have set agendas and allow us to discuss matters more quickly than an IM. But, these meetings are usually less critical than IMs are, as they're frequently about game discussions or other operational matters.

    So that's the general gist of how communication works between the Trion team and the core XL team. Now, to answer your questions.

    Do you personally email XL every time a topic comes up on the forums that you leave that response for?

    Yes, except replace "email" with "JIRA." If you see Muzzy pop a note on a thread, or a major issue comes up that players are talking about, you can bet it's been entered somewhere in JIRA. I'll give you a direct example -- we're discussing the core drop rates of Hiram Guardian gear and possibly improving them in JIRA right now. That may sound familiar.

    Do you always hear back from XL about everything you bring up?

    We absolutely try to, but there are times things fall through the cracks. Most emails always get a response, as well as IMs and Business Meetings, but there are times some JIRAs are put on a backlog because reproducing the exact bug isn't working, or the team may not have time right at that moment, or another reason. And, sometimes an entry is just missed because a larger, more important thing popped up that everyone needed to rush to resolve. We're all human, it happens.

    To help counter this, we do try to frequently look back through the system to see what hasn't been resolved yet, and see if there's any new progress on a specific issue, or see if we can re-open something or re-schedule it for a version.

    Who is the 'Team'?

    As noted above, it's the core Trion production team plus the core XL team that is devoted to our version that frequently sees the bulk of the discussions. But that doesn't mean discussions can't go beyond that. A good example is the Hiram Guardian Gear's release timetable. Our discussion of which month the gear should be release ended up including the core ArcheAge team (as they had to support it) as well as Jake Song himself (he wanted it released earlier for NA/EU versus the later timing they had used for Korea.) The result is that the release of that gear was moved up.

    Hope that answers some stuff for ya.
    Seraphina "Celestrata" Brennan
    Associate Producer, ArcheAge
    Scheherazade -- Future Nui Character

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  8. #8
    OP, I'm afraid that you are asking for the impossible.
    Everytime the community asked for better communication we got a "new" CM where he/she would communicate with us for a short while and after that we got met with radio silence.

    And again when the community brings this subject forward, we always got new promises that we will get more communication from Trion, a false promise that is never held in long term.
    ArcheAge player since Close Beta

  9. #9
    Senior Member Meridian's Avatar
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    Any chance of getting answers to some of the myriad of questions/concerns that have generated 30+ pages worth of comments?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muzzy View Post
    I don't have enough time to give this the full response that I might otherwise want to, but here's a quick overview of the topics from my standpoint.

    - Find one or two community representatives.
    We use the forums, reddit, discord, twitter, facebook, youtube, steam, and other platforms as a voice for all players. Everyone's voice should be heard, and documented so we can collect that feedback and deliver it to XL as well. There are some Trion Creators who have taken up the mantle of fielding questions from their communities too. We greatly appreciate those who are embedded so deeply in the community funneling questions and info back and forth.

    - Engage in discussion points with community about what is asked/spoken with XL
    As stated many times in the past, the forum threads, and other communications are delivered directly to XL, so your direct commentary is seen. We accompany it with an overview of the topic that ties many of those separate channel discussions together. This is why we urge players to keep topics on track and to deliver their best explanations of their feelings on the issue without bogging it down with insults and other toxic approaches to conversation.

    - Share your timetable
    This can often be very difficult. The news that we are 'waiting' is quite possibly the most accurate information we can give at that time.

    - Create a feature/outstanding bug list, maintain, update
    I've been trying to engage more in the Bug Report threads, letting players know that their issue is being tracked, or that we need more information. We've got internal documentation of a list of currently known issues, but I'm still trying to figure out the best way to make sure I'd be updated that it was addressed. We tried something this past couple weeks, but I'm not convinced it's clear enough to roll out a solid update thread to players. I agree with the need for this greatly, but want to make sure the process is scale-able and manageable for me to deliver accurate and timely information. The rough part of this is that some bugs may stay on that list for a long long time, regardless of pushing for a fix.

    - Bring back a weekly stream
    The reason we reduced the streaming schedule to 'only when there is a major announcement' is because the other streams took time and other resources, and didn't do enough to deliver what the players wanted - information. We will continue hosting those in the community who are interested in sharing their AA experiences and only have a stream when there are big news topics to discuss. Other discussions can be more helpfully tracked in the forums. I want to stream every day, but the content for those streams just isn't there. This was not a decision we came to lightly, but we're happy to use the time to support Trion Creators and other members of the community who are interested in streaming on twitch to show off their positive involvement in AA.


    In regards to your comment about being attacked - I think the truth of it is that we're the publisher and are being given the expectations of the developer by the community in many cases. This is an unfortunate misunderstanding that we often try to correct. There are certainly ways we (Trion) can improve our communication, and we're always looking into taking action on that, however, there are also times when we cannot communicate beyond what we have. It can come across secretive, but in reality, the communication may be stymied for the completely legitimate reasons we express.

    I always appreciate your even tone when communicating in the forums. I don't always have the time to give a full response, or even engage, but I do try to read and take in every post across all those platforms to glean the best representation of the community's commentary. I'm always looking to improve, even if there is too little time to do so.

    I have made myself as accessible as possible via dms as well. I try to respond to everyone. I feel that the perception that there isn't any communication is far off it's mark, or maybe it's ill defined by those that state that. Your post has highlighted some of the ways that communication is limited or weak, and that made it much easier to address the specifics of the concern.

    TheBlueMuzzy#1068 < Discord
    I've even opened up my PERSONAL discord to the AA community and watch good discussion happen in there daily. I don't expect it to be positive all the time, but I demand that it be productive. As it is my personal discord, i moderate it with an iron fist, and reserve the right to refuse access to any or all. I suggest that if you do join it, you join it with the intent of speaking to other even-keeled players, and not directly to me at all times. I read it, i moderate it as best i can, and I jump in to chat when i have some time.

    https://discord.gg/ua8J7Tp
    The term that comes to mind is "The operation was successful. The maharaja is dead.". You may be doing a great job, I personally see no reason to complain about it, but the patient isn't in a pretty shape.

    I very much dislike the following reasoning:

    "I think the truth of it is that we're the publisher and are being given the expectations of the developer by the community in many cases."

    This is true yet it doesn't matter, not to us. Look at this from our perspective. We feel like the updates we keep getting keep making no sense. We feel like the game is drifting towards a lee shore (to keep up with terms like even keeled). We keep voicing these concerns, on a broad "intelectual/cultural" spectrum. We see that you collect and forward it, its understandable if you dont have the answers right away. But ultimately the main issues dont get addressed or even acknowledged and than we see the next update making even less sense (ie.: trade system changes over time) adding salt to the wound.

    To us, you represent XL and represent us to XL. It doesn't look good if you wash your hands and step back. Taking ownership would be what people expect.

    There certainly are a few topics that keep coming up time to time again where the community would surely appreciate acknowledgement(do you/XL agree its a problem? why?) and the relevant steps you plan to take. Like the dwindling legacy populations, future merges, failures of catchup systems, lack of new content etc. A good portion of your audience understands your limitations but you can't expect "waiting", "we dont have that information", "forwarded to XL", "surely XL has their reasons" to make a good impact.

    The video with that korean guy was a small step in a great direction. It sad nothing really but hyped up quite a few people. Why didn't you capitalise on that and give us more of the same, but a wee bit more tangible?

    I hope this sounds constructive enough.

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