How should Intrepid communicate with us?

This is something I've been thinking about ever since the WoW exp potion bug incident that saw a ton of people suspended for various amounts of time. What strikes me about this whole situation is not that the bug existed (this is a common occurrence) but that Blizzard never said anything about it before handing out punishments. From what I've been able to find out, Blizzard knew about the bug because plenty of people submitted bug reports and tweets to Blizzard about it, asking if it is intended or not.

Blizzard never responded to any of this. All the did was silently fix the bug and then hand out punishments seemingly at random. Now I'm not here to rag on Blizzard (it's far too easy to do), but ask you guys how you would want Intrepid to communicate with the players about issues like this.

In my opinion, when something like this happens the devs should communicate with the players as soon as possible, even if it's just to say something like "we are aware of this bug happening, and we are attempting to fix it. We consider this an exploit and will punish anyone who abuses it."

That way the players know where they stand. The question though is how should this message be communicated? Via social media like Twitter? A lot of players don't use Twitter. I believe this kind of thing should be done in-game. Let's say when you log on you get a popup with messages from the devs, or even an in-game mail about it. That way players know what is going on and are less likely to unknowingly exploit a bug.


  • noaaninoaani Member
    First and foremost, to me, everything a developer says in an official capacity should be maintained on that games official forums, using a staff member account. This gives players one place they can refer to should they need to for any reason.

    Something like an easily exploitable bug though, that needs a little bit more.

    I personally see two scenarios. There are bugs where the developer can easily track who is making use of it, and bugs where it is much harder to track.

    If a bug is easier to track - and crucially, if the developer has an amount of trust in it's player base - the best way to deal with a situation akin to the above is to tell players that there is a bug, it is being fixed soon, and that anyone found to be abusing it will have actions taken against their account.

    Have a log in notification system in place that is only used for actual important notifications (so that people don't just automatically click through it), and then no player has any excuse at all to exploit it.

    I would also maintain a public list of accounts (perhaps just the main character on each account) that has action taken on them for exploiting a bug - it would act as somewhat of a deterrent.

    If the developer then only takes action on accounts that abuse the bug after this notice was sent out, then every player on the server knows that the owner of the account is a moron - an even worse punishment than the action taken on the account imo.

    The second scenario I can see are bugs that the developer can't track specifically. To me, it is safer to push out a patch for this before notifying players. If you can't track who is and isn't using a bug after you specifically tell people action will be taken on your account of you do exploit said bug, then all it takes is a handful of people to exploit it, realize that nothing happened to them, and suddenly with the next bug, their whole guild will be exploiting it as soon as the notification goes live. This would lead to the developer having a reputation of being slack in terms of punishing exploiters - if you tell the games player base that you will punish people for X action, you had better punish everyone that takes X action.

    Even if the developer doesn't notify the player base of a specific bug, I still see scope to ban the most egregious exploiters. Rather than acting in silence as most developers do though, I'd like to see Intrepid actually communicate with players as to who is banned, and also why they were banned.

    If Intrepid say "there was a bug, we patched it, this players account got permanently banned because they went from having 500 gold on average to having 10,000,000 over night", then I think the whole player base would be on their side. Even if they can't track the usage of the specific bug, they will be able to see the results of they are abused enough.

    If they just ban this player without saying anything, then this player is able to act all innocent and claim that Intrepid are just banning accounts at random - leading to them again losing credibility. If they ban the player and then tell the rest of the population why, then they gain credibility in terms of dealing with exploiters and such.
  • leonerdoleonerdo Member, Settler
    A lot of players don't use Twitter. I believe this kind of thing should be done in-game. Let's say when you log on you get a popup with messages from the devs, or even an in-game mail about it. That way players know what is going on and are less likely to unknowingly exploit a bug.

    That about sums it up. If your question is limited to major exploits, then I think you've answered it yourself.

    So I'm going to answer the broader question in the title. I think the devs should make an effort to communicate in (or at least gather feedback from) all the places that players gather to talk about the game. These forums, Reddit, the official Discord, Twitter, in-game mail/news sections, Twitch, blog posts. Those are all good places for different kinds of communication.

    Forums tend to have smaller communities and more long-form posts. Reddit is great for getting a quick summary of what the larger community thinks (because upvotes/echo chamber). The Discord is good for real-time feedback/discussions. Twitter is mostly just good for announcements. In-game mail/pop-ups are good for urgent announcements or warnings. In-game news sections are good for reaching players who don't use social media. In-game surveys (with minor compensation for players' time) are important for gathering a representative sample of feedback for statistical analysis. Blogs are good for well-produced/edited information dumps. And of course Twitch is good for freestyle information dumps.

    The more places they communicate, the better it is for the players, but the more time-demanding it is for the devs. I'd be happy if they managed to keep up with two thirds of that list. I think they're doing a pretty good job so far, especially considering how early in development they are. It would be nice if they spent as much time on these forums as they did on Discord though.
  • AmistAmist Member, Braver of Worlds
    I would prefer for the communication to remain on Intrepids official websites like the forums and their main site. Ideally, the information should be spread on all platforms the devs are communicating on, including social media like Twitter, Instagram, Reddit and the likes thereof.
  • AtamaAtama Member, Braver of Worlds
    The best way to communicate is in-game.

    You don’t know if your players are checking the forums, Twitter, Facebook, Discord, etc.

    But if they’re playing, they’re in the game. That’s the only way to know they see it.

    (If they then ignore it, it’s their own fault.)
  • KarthosKarthos Member, Braver of Worlds
    edited June 2019
    The medium of delivery is irrelevant, just be consistent on its location.

    Ultimately, a company just needs to pick whatever method they are going to use and stick with it. If that be a website, Discord, Twitter, or a combination, they need to drop news consistently on that medium.

    Too many companies will try to cover them all, Facebook, Twitter, Discord, and inevitably miss one, or just not use one which people want them too. This leads some players to miss the news, or not know where to look. But, if news is always in the same place, it's always accessable and easily disseminated.

    Put news on the same spot, where players know where to find it. It really doesn't matter what platform it is. Just be consistent.
  • noaaninoaani Member
    edited June 2019
    Karthos wrote: »
    The medium of delivery is irrelevant, just be consistent on its location.
    In general I'd agree with this statement, but in terms of the specifics of the OP, I disagree.

    Most players that I know look at the forums of the game they play once a week at the most - when they are updating the client after the maintenance patch.

    If there is a bug, it would likely be introduced during one such patch.

    Now, if there is a bug discovered 36 hours after the patch is released, many players would have already logged in, downloaded the patch, jumped to the forums for a few minutes and then gone about their play session as usual. These people won't be back on the forum (or anywhere else) until the next patch.

    If there is a "thing" in the game now that could see action taken on their account should they do it, there is no real way of expecting them to know of this if it is only posted to that one location - I mean, people won't be expected to look at it every single day.

    However, I would personally consider such a piece of information to be crucial.

    All the general communication - decoration or image contests, discussions about development, player polls etc, that stuff should all be put in one central - platform agnostic - location.

    However, something that a player needs to know now so they don't accidentally do something that could see their account banned... that needs a bit more urgency in it's delivery imo.

    Such a thing warrants an in game (or during log in) notification.
  • WololoWololo Member, Leader of Men
    Website... thats the most logical place right ? If its also posted on any social media platform then that should be more for advertisement imo.
  • Wandering MistWandering Mist Member, Founder
    @noaani and @karthos I agree somewhat with both of you. Karthos is right that there needs to be consistency in how the devs communicate, which is something I fear a lot of game companies fail to do right now. That said I think the official website is the best method for communicating non-urgent things, simply because the website will always be there, whereas social media links like Twitter or Facebook might not be around for long.

    For urgent communication like major bugs or server issues I agree with Noaani that in-game communication is best. In this aspect, an in-game mail would be my method of choice, since I've played mmorpgs that did server communications through log-in messages or in the chat channels, and often they would be missed or forgotten about. Having an in-game mail that cannot be deleted gives players something to refer back to later on without interrupting their play session.
  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds
    edited June 2019
    I visit forums for discussions. I'd prefer to have devs participate more in forum discussions.

    For news - I prefer getting notifications on my phone from Discord or Twitter.

    If the issue is something like the devs want to notify us of an exploit that could result in a ban - that should be sent as a Discord notification - and there probably should also be an in-game notification/reminder.

    I would expect there to also be a reminder in patch notes on the forums, but... I don't think I would be really using the forums for that kind of messaging from the devs.
  • TheCouchNerdTheCouchNerd Member, Braver of Worlds
    Best way would be the launcher, in-game and the official website. The first two should notify most if not all players if there's something very important. The latter should be enough for game updates but they can always link to those using the launcher. Like patch notes, etc.
  • UkyyUkyy Member
    edited June 2019
    One word : more. Having like a day to day journal with what happends at the time and not what is planning to happends. We need facts not promises ;)
  • KarthosKarthos Member, Braver of Worlds
    edited June 2019
    Ukyy wrote: »
    One word : more. Having like a day to day journal with what happends at the time and not what is planning to happends. We need facts not promises ;)

    God no.

    You've never worked a job that required you to keep constant updates have you?

    It sucks ass. You waste time preparing your reports, you get other people meddling in half finished stuff and people have a harder time seeing the bigger picture. Plus you constantly have to justify every move you make. It's a highly inefficient way to have to work.

    I'd rather IS spend that time working on the game. There's just no reason to watch every single step

    I love ice cream, but I don't need to see the cow milked, the sugar processed and watching it be mixed.

    Just tell me when its done and give me a spoon.

  • JoselineJoseline Member
    edited June 2019
    Would be neat if we would get something like a Ig PM if there are any gamebreaking bugs that players should avoid
    Even if you dont care about whats happening about the game, you should know if theres something off that should be avoided and the easiest way to do so would be via Ig PM. Of course that requires that PMs arent spammed at you

    As for general dev updates and what exactly is planned for the game: They should just stay as they are
    I dont need (and honestly dont want) to know every little detail about their work. If they keep up the streams and dev diaries even after game launch Im statisfied. Just to have a general idea where interpred is heading and what theyre expecting from their game and community
  • In game mailt that directs palyer to relevant wesite would be ideal in my opinion. Or pop u message or message at the loading screen. There could be like different spaces at the loadign screen for different things.
    Like class changes, general quality of life issues. Or just use the lobby like runescape does.
  • In morse code.
  • KarthosKarthos Member, Braver of Worlds
    edited June 2019
    Damokles wrote: »
    In morse code.

    .._. .._ _._. _._
  • Karthos wrote: »
    Damokles wrote: »
    In morse code.

    .._. .._ _._. _._

    --- .... / --. --- -.. / .--. .-.. . .- ... . / -. --- --. .-- / .. / .- -- / .. -. -. --- -.-. . -.-
  • grisugrisu Member
    Can't be bothered to check if it was said, so here it is (again).

    If there is a bug in game, that can be unintentionally/intentionally exploited, you do the following as a developer.
    Person starts the game.
    Persons logs into the game.
    Person loads into the game world.
    Person is greated by a message.

    "Hello there (General Kenobi)
    Recently a bug emerged doing this and this, we are aware of it, please do not use it to gain advantages.

    Thank you for understanding, we will have it fixed soon."

    I can be a life fulfilling dream. Grisu
    I can be a life devouring nightmare. Zekece#1819
  • AzryilAzryil Member, Leader of Men
    All that does is tell everyone that the bug exists and how to exploit it....this would result in more people trying to exploit the bug.
  • Wandering MistWandering Mist Member, Founder
    @arzosah Perhaps, but then again if players knew that anyone who abused the bug would 100% get punished, they would be less likely to try. Part of the problem Blizzard has is how inconsistent they are when it comes to punishing abuse. Sometimes they hand out punishments, sometimes they don't. What this means for the players is that on top of not knowing for sure what is a bug and what isn't, they don't know whether Blizzard will react to it or not.

    It's not just about the initial warning, but the follow-through that is important. If you say that you will punish players for abusing a bug, then you need to make sure that anyone who tries is punished.
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