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  • Communication

    SuavGlav has some valid concerns about communication and the response is to not respond and just close it? Wow, way to prove his point.
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  • #2
    CampusLifer Ty for responding in the other thread, i will reply here since this one is still open. I think we understand that forum work isnt the highest priority based on how many use it, but consider that a lot of the users convey info to their teammates from here. Info that is not found anywhere else. A lot more people benefit from the communication here than the # of active users.

    One point which was not addressed, and I think is a major point of frustration, is when you see admins are online and are responding and they respond to one thing and ignore a much more active thread. Ok maybe they only have time to respond to one thing, shouldnt the thing that 100 people are asking about take priority over the one that two people are asking about?

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    Comment


    • #3
      I'm not sure who closed the other thread or why they closed it but for what it's worth I wrote a response before I realized it was closed http://wardragons.pocketgems.com/for...nication-again


      --

      Hi.


      TL;DR: Finding and training people to communicate is a lot harder than it looks at first blush. It's a lot of work -- more than capacity of what can be done in a day. Our current team prioritizes processing helpshift tickets over responding to the latest forum thread. I think that's probably the right priority.


      A couple of things
      • I'm glad you like my posts. thanks
      • Grabbing random people off the street and asking them to do communication is not right (it's also kinda rude to imply that it is). The job is actually pretty hard. War Dragons is a very vast product with a lot to understand, with an active community full of different diverse requests and opinions, also under very active development with a very big team making active changes all the time. It takes a lot of skill, hard work and training to learn the product, keep abreast of everything going on and proper ways to respond to the community. I've been working on war dragons since 2012 and I don't feel qualified to give the answer to a good portion of the questions on this forum. People on this forum love to make fun of bad responses found in Helpshift --- it's because we're trying to grow the team of people responding to customers but it takes a long time to train, learn everything and give proper responses. Taking random people off the street is almost certain to fail -- you have to really want to learn a huge amount of things about the game/community/development in order to really get good at it. Most random people off the street won't do it. Since War Dragons has grown so much, there's now many many people working on improving the product. This means there's huge amount of changes happening all the time and lots of work to stay abreast of everything that's happening -- a huge portion of their job is staying on top of everything that's going on. I know I personally can't keep up with all the meetings and emails to know everything while also doing my normal job (securing the game). I know people like PGJared / Echo / EggToken / DragonPunch aren't going to stick up for themselves here so I will do it for them: They definitely work very hard and their jobs aren't easy. Please don't imply that random people off the street can do it.
      • Even assuming we have a ton more people working on responding to players, it's not totally clear that spending their time working on the forums is the right place to be putting those resources. Obviously both you & I like using the forums and enjoy using it as a communication channel, but realistically a very tiny percentage of our playerbase even reads the forums, let alone writes any posts on the forums. In contrast, we have a huge and ever growing pile of tickets in our helpshift support system (which is used by a much larger portion of our playerbase). Which one is higher value to respond to: The servicing the backlog of helpshift tickets from players saying they're locked out the game and don't know why -- or the latest post on the forums? As much as I personally enjoy reading/writing on these forums, I also recognize that I would prioritize improving the service of the helpshift tickets backlog. A lot of why you don't see PGJared/EggToken/DragonPunch responding to the latest forum thread is because they're focusing on improving our helpshift ticket processing. On this vein, our team has made huge progress improving out service on helpshift ticketing --- we've made big steps on response time and quality of response. This isn't easy -- you need to find and train a team of people to do it (see previous paragraph -- it's definitely not easy to build such a team). Even with that team in place, it actually takes a ton of work to respond to a ticket properly --- need to know enough about the product to know how what they're talking about, do a bunch of research to figure out how to fix their problem, and then work with the R&D team to execute the fix. Concrete example: If we had another fully trained person right now, I personally wouldn't prioritize putting them on this forum --- I'd personally prioritize them towards working on our helpshift tickets helping process people appealing bans, knowing enough about the system to give good reasons why they were banned, and knowing enough to say when a ban was inappropriate and knowing how to take the steps to unban and give proper restitution.
      • I don't want to make it sound like we don't care about this forum at all -- we do. A good portion of the R&D team reads the latest posts on the forum on a daily basis. We definitely take the temperature on the forum as one of our datapoints to measure for how we're doing. But putting in the work to respond properly is another matter --- addressed by the previous two points.
      Last edited by CampusLifer; 1 week ago.

      Comment


      • #4
        Yes my post above yours is in response to it.
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        Comment


        • #5
          I can't speak for everyone else, but:
          • Everyone on the R&D team has a lot to do --- more than can be fit into a 24h day. My own "day job" is in engineering (locking down security in the app). I enjoy reading the forums so I know what our players are thinking, but it's a lot of work to respond properly. I generally only respond to things where I already know the answer, but even then it is pretty time consuming (e.g., i've already spent over an hour responding to this thread and the referenced thread). I could spend my entire day responding to the forum and not respond to every thread and the app wouldn't get any more secure. While other employees do have a primary job function which involves communicating with players, like I mentioned in the previous post in the referenced thread, responding to the forum isn't necessarily the best top priority use of their time.
          • The app itself is large and the development effort is large. I frankly don't know the answer to every question. Trying to figure out the answer to each thing takes a bunch of time -- setting up meetings with the person working on it or doing research to find out. For example, I haven't personally worked on events / dragons / spells / rewards since 2014. I'm completely out of the loop and I don't know what's going on. When I try responding to those threads saying "i'm sorry i don't know the answer", I get a bunch of angry replies saying that I should go find out the answer. Trying to stay abreast of all the latest developments is a difficult, fulltime job and something I can't commit to. I really do think it's right for me to leave those threads unanswered, even though I've read them.
          • I personally don't want to give positive reinforcement to threads which I think are counter productive. Some players love to make threads which just say "here's a huge list of everything I think is wrong with the game. I'm angry about it. Everyone please reply to this thread about how angry you are as well." Threads with tons of emotional outburst and huge lists of problems aren't a productive way to talk about things and solve problems. I don't personally want to respond/encourage threads which try to get as many players as angry as possible demanding that PG write a mea culpa response. In some sense, while I read those threads and think about the issues they bring up, I actively avoid responding to this kind of "active thread" because I don't want to encourage it. If people want to have more targeted and productive discussions about specific issues, I'm much more willing to spend my time engaging with that.
          • I try to login to the forum, make sure I'm reading all the latest stuff going on, and respond to things I already know the answer to. But I can't commit to responding to everything, especially the super emotionally charged threads which require more skills to respond to. I'm sorry if that makes it frustrating that I'm answering a thread but not the one you want to see answered.

          Comment


          • ITIL
            ITIL commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks for doing what you can . Hypothetically speaking, what if a thread starts off intelligently about a specific issue but then gets invaded by angsty brats? Does that ruin its chances?

          • PGJared
            PGJared commented
            Editing a comment
            Yes, trolls can absolutely demolish your chances of seeing a thread get a response. In cases like that I'd suggest flagging the post and ignoring it. Going all-in and turning things into a flame war will just get the thread locked. If people carry on a constructive conversation despite trolls, we'll do our best to respond when we can. We are also going to be taking another pass at our moderation team and efforts once the new forum is live and hopefully we'll be able to do more to curtail some of the toxicity.

          • SuavGlav
            SuavGlav commented
            Editing a comment
            CampusLifer while I appreciate your efforts and your position, do you understand that 'we have too much on our plate to the point where we're not able to spend the time or resources to grow our team so we *can* handle what's on our plate' doesn't instill a lot of confidence-- or desire to spend-- in your customers?

        • #6
          TL;DR: Closing the original thread without explanation is insulting and only proves my point. If you don't want our feedback and suggestions please tell us and we'll stop trying and go play something else.

          So the staff person who closed a legitimate thread doesn't even have the stones to address it themselves?

          Seriously?! Point proven.

          Let me be clear:

          While I understand that the majority of the players do not frequent these forums, I would be shocked if the members here don't represent most or all of the teams across diamond and sapphire leagues. These include a large portion of your moderate-to-heavy spenders and almost all of your beta testers. They are the ones who care enough to run the numbers on things the devs don't catch, because the devs are trying to manage a lot and they aren't perfect. They are the ones who generate discussion and offer feedback because they want this game to be the best it can be. Are they always appropriate or constructive? No, but then again they're not perfect either. What they are is frustrated and frankly tired of saying the same things over and over again and feeling like their cares are falling on deaf ears.

          So ya know what? I think these members DO deserve more of the staff's attention.

          Also for clarification: I was not suggesting PG grab random people off the street. I suggest you go read the offending post again.
          Last edited by SuavGlav; 1 week ago.

          Comment


          • #7
            To provide clarity, I closed that thread. It read less like a desire to effectively communicate with the team towards a solution and more like an attack thread, which is a violation of our Code of Conduct. I personally am happy if people want to be critical of the game, the support team, myself, or anything else related to PG, but we've already seen a number of threads on this forum about toxicity and I'm not going to be as tolerant of rude and non-constructive posts as I used to be. Please find a way to communicate your concerns in a constructive manner.

            Following up on what CL said, they are correct. The forum is simply one of a number of communication methods, and has a fairly small impact compared to things like in-game messaging or responding to support inquiries. You are also seeing two members of the PG team responding to things in their personal time on the weekends. We are in the process of revamping our CRM as well as the forum, and hiring more staff. That will increase the responsiveness on the forum as well as alternate channels, but it's never going to be perfect and you're going to see us respond to Post A when you'd rather we respond to Post B. There are also posts that individuals on the support team just aren't qualified to respond to in a snap manner. Things like the foundational underpinnings of the game require time to craft a response, and often involve multiple meetings and many revisions of a response document before that response goes live.

            There are also a large number of posts on the forum that are simply duplicates of other posts that have had a response. If we read a thread that's asking about a thing we responded to in another thread we are very unlikely to respond to it as it isn't a great use of our time to say the same thing over and over again. If you make a thread and don't see a response, I would suggest doing a forum search to see if it's been responded to.

            Comment


            • SuavGlav
              SuavGlav commented
              Editing a comment
              I'm so sorry if you were offended by the way my post read, but it was far more constructive and vanilla than a lot of posts around here that go unchecked, let alone shut down cold without explanation.

              I'm glad to hear you're hiring more people to help you manage communication and alleviate our concerns therein! Please direct me to the thread where you informed those of us particularly concerned about the lack of communication from the staff about this great news!

              I understand there's a lot of duplicate threads running around these forums; I believe you could mitigate that by prioritizing the issues the members are prioritizing. As previously suggested, I'm sure a simple recognition by PG staff of the players' concerns-- that you're aware of it and working on it-- would suffice in 90% of these scenarios. You guys used to be able to make those statements without a committee, and the forums were less toxic. Interesting correlation... I'm familiar with the search function of these forums, but I'm not really motivated to search for and dredge up my post from three months ago on the same topic you didn't bother to respond to then, either.

            • Dakhunter
              Dakhunter commented
              Editing a comment
              uhmmm. I tagged a bunch of PG staffs on the post regarding problems for Android users with the new 3.40 update. And no one replies to us at all... So... What kind of communication is that PGJared
              I know some staffs might not be able to reply to some posts, but at least he/she can point to someone who could answer to those questions...
              Last edited by Dakhunter; 1 week ago.

            • PGJared
              PGJared commented
              Editing a comment
              We've mentioned we're hiring a number of times on the forum. ET has mentioned it a few times. I've directed players to our hiring page, and it's kind of on our company website under the hiring section.

              Think about quantity this way. You see 3 posts about an issue on the forum. Heck, maybe you see 10. I see 900 tickets about a different issue. I'm going to prioritize where I direct my efforts based on a comprehensive view of forum, social media, support requests, in-game chat, emails, and direct contacts. I'm not saying you have a myopic view, just that we're tied into pretty much every conversation that happens on our platform and we try to target actions based on that.

              There's also the difference in what people can do. Say on a given day I have free time, but all of our engineers are working on projects and bugfixes. I might then focus my time on things I can put together, like getting feedback on a feature or maybe correcting some messaging or improving something on the support end. The other stuff will get documented, but it has to happen when we have cycles available. If we have free time for designers, they'll be way more likely to work on new stuff or look at balance than they would be fixing a bug, since that's not really in their wheelhouse.

              We are also limited in that, for the size of our game, War Dragons has a tiny support team. We're working to fix that, but as CL mentioned the hiring and training process takes time. We're trying to optimize the support experience, and we've seen some huge gains in the last year in that regard, which means we don't just grab any student off the street looking for work course study credits.

          • #8
            As I mentioned in the original post, I personally find any post saying "just get random people off the street" an insult to my very hardworking & talented colleagues. If administration considers this a toxic / inappropriate way to give feedback, I definitely stand behind it.

            Comment


            • #9
              Originally posted by PGJared View Post
              We've mentioned we're hiring a number of times on the forum. ET has mentioned it a few times. I've directed players to our hiring page, and it's kind of on our company website under the hiring section.

              Think about quantity this way. You see 3 posts about an issue on the forum. Heck, maybe you see 10. I see 900 tickets about a different issue. I'm going to prioritize where I direct my efforts based on a comprehensive view of forum, social media, support requests, in-game chat, emails, and direct contacts. I'm not saying you have a myopic view, just that we're tied into pretty much every conversation that happens on our platform and we try to target actions based on that.

              There's also the difference in what people can do. Say on a given day I have free time, but all of our engineers are working on projects and bugfixes. I might then focus my time on things I can put together, like getting feedback on a feature or maybe correcting some messaging or improving something on the support end. The other stuff will get documented, but it has to happen when we have cycles available. If we have free time for designers, they'll be way more likely to work on new stuff or look at balance than they would be fixing a bug, since that's not really in their wheelhouse.

              We are also limited in that, for the size of our game, War Dragons has a tiny support team. We're working to fix that, but as CL mentioned the hiring and training process takes time. We're trying to optimize the support experience, and we've seen some huge gains in the last year in that regard, which means we don't just grab any student off the street looking for work course study credits.
              This is a sincere question. Is the reason the support team so small because it is hard the find qualified people or that there isn't yet adequate management support for more staff for forums? Is the support staff small for forums and ingame support combined?

              Comment


              • PGJared
                PGJared commented
                Editing a comment
                It's a combination of a difficulty in getting the right people as well as a few other factors I honestly can't get into. I'd love to go really granular into how the sausage gets made, but there are some things that have to be kept behind the scenes. That said we are still hiring folks and working to improve both the forum and the in-game support.

                (Yes, the folks who do forum stuff also do in-game support, but there are some folks who are in-game support specific. I honestly doubt we'll get to the point where we have forum-specific agents any time soon.)

            • #10
              If you know anyone who knows the war dragons product in & out and would like to work with us to make the product better & communicate better with our customers, we honestly would love to talk to them and get their help: https://pocketgems.com/careers/#job-list

              Comment


              • Lx460
                Lx460 commented
                Editing a comment
                I didn't see the "professional complainer" position. If something opens up and I can do it from home, let me know please.

            • #11
              I think you're still misunderstanding me...

              At no point did I state or imply that PG should pluck 'random people' off the street to do their jobs for them. What I did suggest, albeit a bit flippantly, is that PG has access to an untapped resource in that SF is innundated with tech-related students the way LA is innundated with aspiring actors. I have a couple of friends currently going to school in SF studying game dev. I'm sure they would jump at the chance to help you and your staff in areas like this for the opportunity to land some real-world work experience before they graduate.

              If that's not on your roadmap that's perfectly fine, but you don't get to twist my words and accuse me of saying things I'm not.

              Regarding my flippant tone: PGJared if you don't like it and you don't think it's constructive and feel like closing the thread, fine. Then it deserves the same explanation as any other thread you decide to close, because if you don't explain why (my guess is you really don't like being called Jar-bear) how am I supposed to know how to modify my behavior? It's pretty insulting to be shut down without explanation-- it's just as destructive to staff-player relations as a toxic post.

              Comment


              • #12
                Originally posted by CampusLifer View Post
                If you know anyone who knows the war dragons product in & out and would like to work with us to make the product better & communicate better with our customers, we honestly would love to talk to them and get their help: https://pocketgems.com/careers/#job-list
                Specifically https://boards.greenhouse.io/pocketg...3#.WYgU_IjyuUk

                Comment


                • TheRedDelilah
                  TheRedDelilah commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Now this just bums me out, honestly. I'd consider myself to know a hell of a lot about the game and the community, and I applied for that job in January of this year 😞

                • Owlrager
                  Owlrager commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Red is exactly the kind of person we need for this role, I would certainly be curious as to why this position is still open with people like her applying.

                • PGJared
                  PGJared commented
                  Editing a comment
                  This is a different job posting from the one in January. If I remember correctly (I'd have to go dig through some records), the previous posting was removed because we added Egg Token.

              • #13
                Originally posted by SuavGlav View Post
                I think you're still misunderstanding me...

                At no point did I state or imply that PG should pluck 'random people' off the street to do their jobs for them. What I did suggest, albeit a bit flippantly, is that PG has access to an untapped resource in that SF is innundated with tech-related students the way LA is innundated with aspiring actors. I have a couple of friends currently going to school in SF studying game dev. I'm sure they would jump at the chance to help you and your staff in areas like this for the opportunity to land some real-world work experience before they graduate.

                If that's not on your roadmap that's perfectly fine, but you don't get to twist my words and accuse me of saying things I'm not.

                Regarding my flippant tone: PGJared if you don't like it and you don't think it's constructive and feel like closing the thread, fine. Then it deserves the same explanation as any other thread you decide to close, because if you don't explain why (my guess is you really don't like being called Jar-bear) how am I supposed to know how to modify my behavior? It's pretty insulting to be shut down without explanation-- it's just as destructive to staff-player relations as a toxic post.
                "I'll bet you my entire paycheck you could literally walk out onto the street and find no less than six tech students who could use some work study course credits." Yes, you are specifically saying to grab random people here as long as they're tech students. Being a tech student does not qualify someone to work on the specific things that Dragons needs worked on, nor does it come with experience in communicating to the public.

                As for what I didn't like about the post, it was basically the entire tone of the post from the condescending language to the implication that anyone who doesn't operate the same way as CL is incompetent. If you want to have a constructive conversation, come at it from a constructive angle. Otherwise your posts will be closed or deleted. Going back to my statement earlier in this thread we are going to be taking a more firm stance against toxic behavior, including removing posts and potentially banning posters if they continue to violate the rules of conduct.

                Finally, this will likely be my last post in this thread as it's 12:30am my time and I should really get some sleep for work tomorrow. Please keep things constructive in this thread or it will be closed.

                Comment


                • laserlight
                  laserlight commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Where are the rules of conduct?

                • SuavGlav
                  SuavGlav commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Okay, 'tech student', 'comms student'... my mistake. Let's focus on semantics instead of the overall intent of the message, that's constructive...

                  I wasn't aware tone was lumped in with rampant cursing with regard to toxicity on the forums, thank you for *communicating* that to us. I'll do some yoga ahead of time and I'll be sure to lace my future posts with plenty of praise for PG. I'll just leave my concerns about the state of things around here out of it.
                  Last edited by SuavGlav; 1 week ago.

                • SuavGlav
                  SuavGlav commented
                  Editing a comment
                  duplicate
                  Last edited by SuavGlav; 1 week ago.

              • #14
                Originally posted by PGJared View Post
                Going back to my statement earlier in this thread we are going to be taking a more firm stance against toxic behavior, including removing posts and potentially banning posters if they continue to violate the rules of conduct.
                I'd advise being careful with this - allowing protest, which inevitably may not always be super constructive - is important if you want to maintain or build any kind of respect as a developer. Shutting it down doesn't remove any frustration or anger from the person with those feelings, instead it will manifest somewhere else, quite possibly on a site not under your control.

                When you consider that many posters here may have, over time, spent the equivalent of the cost of a small car on this game, and then see their 'investment' continually screwed up or nerfed in new and exciting ways, a bit of toxicity, as stated here many times, is the result.

                A lot could be pre-emptively avoided with a bit more thought about communication and decisions affecting core gameplay.

                Comment


                • #15
                  I think it's an easy out to not comment on high tension threads. The reason they are high tension is because they're the ones people really feel strongly about. Yes it's not always complimentary or even constructive, but threads like Tug of War - New System deserve a response. People get pissed when they see responses on low interest threads about innocuous things like the description of value pack bonus gifts, but not on the ones that are ruining the event for us and our teams.

                  I also don't buy the 'you guys are small in number so you do not represent the player base' line. That is an easy out too. I would wager that 90% of players are unhappy with the new system. The fact that a whole team's hard work and grinding for 5 hours can be wiped out by one whale or cheater in 10 minutes at the end of the round. The fact that there was inadequate compensation for those who had more than 1 Great Valor, and everyone who had their regular Valor stolen from them without compensation. The fact that unless you spend a ton, it's impossible to do well in this event now because the prizes weren't scaled accounting for the removal of the bonus metre and valors.

                  If I didn't have inner fire or energy for super attacks, I would get 131 points for hitting the top base on a team. That top base is between say level 350 and 517 depending on the team I am hitting. I have an almost expert Obsidian dragon so I can take those bases defended, but what about those who can't? They're going to have to go for the middle bases and get 110 points if they're lucky. There is no increase in points due to the lack of bonus metre. If I had no inner fire or energy packs, how on earth would I motivate myself to even bother with this event? I wouldn't find it enjoyable in any way as I would feel I am letting my team down with my shitty contribution and I'm fairly sure people don't play games to feel useless or stressed.

                  I had made a suggestion that the base scores were increased by even 25% to alleviate the loss of the metre and valor a little. I think that is constructive. Now I could go and write this in a ticket in game which it is stated above is the priority, but I would get a response saying thanks we have forwarded this to the team. And that is the last I would hear of it. OR I would be told 'take your suggestion to the forum and try and get some support for it'. But apparently the forum is inconsequential so what do we do? Just put and shut up I guess is the answer.

                  Comment


                  • Rakic
                    Rakic commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Bravo...Bravo 👏
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