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Small Concerns About The Larger Community

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I've noticed a saddening trend of several of the original fansites and startups after the Kickstarter fading away pretty quickly. I think we can all come up with some of our friendly fansite's that are no longer around.

 

I guess my question to pose here to the "internal community" is what do you think is a contributing factor to this phenomena? 

 

Considering the game is targeting an early 2017 release (which is less then ~8-9 months depending on how "early" you figure), my thought is the game just isn't pushing out enough content for the fansites to have material to necessitate them. If you don't have patch notes or game content to discuss, its hard to generate your own content. The content that we have seen is mostly lore based, which doesn't particularly lend itself well to the types of discussions fansites tend to gravitate towards. 

 

Anyone have any other ideas? I'm curious. I want a vibrant fan community but it seems like an uphill battle lately. What else can they do to foster these types of sites?

 

To be clear; MMORPG.com is not a fansite; AngryCrows or TheDregs would be. Not limited to just websites either; both of the known Podcasts seems to have drifted off, and even the new ones are sparse and have low viewership.

 

Its also not for a lack of the Crowfall team encouraging them; I've seen lots of retweets and dev visits when some of those youtube streams were operational. 

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1.  The people running the fan sites are not dedicated enough... they will put in effort for a short while, but if they don't see immediate results they get discouraged.  Building fan sites is often a marathon, and with a game like crowfall, that is crowdfunded and indie in nature, it is going to be a marathon in all aspects, from the actual game development, to community development, to growing a fan site.  You aren't going to have a hit fan site right off the bat for a game that is still relatively small in community size. 

 

2.  Some of the fan sites are just doomed to fail anyway, I've recently heard of a fan site that was holding contests and not awarding certain winners.  This behavior is inexcusable and speaks to the wishy washy nature of the "fans" running the site.  True fans are the ones that stick around when things aren't going so well, the rest are fairweather fans. 

 

3.  If you want to create a fan site then immerse yourself in the community, understand who you are dealing with, and create content that that community wants.  Right now you aren't going to see real growth in any fan site, but you can start laying the ground work for one, and if you consistently provide content, and build it up, then when the game really gets rolling maybe you can have your foot in the door before a lot of other fan sites and get some people to mosey on over. 

 

You may want a vibrant fan community, but the game is in pre-alpha testing and has a relatively small community in general, you can't just will it to happen... the game probably won't have an active enough community to really grow a fan site well until beta. 


Skeggold, Skalmold, Skildir ro Klofnir

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The truth is, this happens with every community. Keep in mind that Crowfall has been in open development for over a year now and is still in alpha development. Now, I'm not saying that's a slow progression rate, I'm just saying that most people don't have the patience to follow a game for that long when they're not playing it. From ACE's standpoint, they're NAILING IT on progression because they've knocked out hundreds of bugs and game systems to get to this point. From a players perspective though, all we have so far is working-ish combat and a handful of archetypes in 2 very simple game modes.

 

This is simply the downside of letting players into your game world so early in development and why many companies don't go public within the first 1-2 years.

 

To compound the issue, it costs money and time to maintain a fan site and with the lack of generic game info there's just not enough content to warrant running a separate website.

 

Old websites will go down, new websites will replace them. The closer we get to game launch, the more information we will have and the more stable the community will become. 

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I think it's mostly because the huge drops of information coming from ACE happened more than a year ago (with some important updates like Crows & Vessels from time to time). We don't know much about Crafting, Thralls, artefacts and other stuff that could make players create guides. The guild features aren't on the website yet so the fansites about guild rosters and stuff like that aren't being created.

 

The podcasts and websites that were talking about the news worked for a while when there was a huge amount of new information.

 

With a relatively small active community like CF, it's difficult to sustain multiple fansites because even if it's advertised the traffic is still low, which means not many comments and interactions. We need to reach a critical mass of active supporters imo before all the external activities really pick up.

 

The number of backers and pledges keep rising (370 new registrations and $7,200 in pledge in the last 3 days), at some point when the game is more playable people will surely become more active and create more fansites. 

Edited by courant101

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For a niche game such as this likely it won't be until launch and after that we will see active fansites able to take off. Its possible once the game reaches the Beta phases fansites could be more viable as there should certainly be more to discuss as they game gets more fleshed out. With the very early development stage of Pre-Alpha and Alphas I just don't see fansites being able to really take hold until later.

 

It also takes the right kind of community members to run those sites as well. Not looking to rehash any drama but truth is one has to be dedicated to the game and not just so so and doing it for reasons that have to do with helping to build the community and not dividing it or doing it out of some rebellion. You pretty much have to know right now that this is the game you will be playing at launch and dedicate yourself to running the site. Going back to my first point I think thats a hard thing for anyone to do with a game that is not only niche but in a VERY early state of development.

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both of the known Podcasts seems to have drifted off, and even the new ones are sparse and have low viewership.

 

I've wanted to do a podcast (vodcast?) for a while but it takes a lot of effort which can all go to waste if you or the other people lose interest.

 

I'm hoping when we get combat nailed down and into the Throne War Module it will pick up


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I've wanted to do a podcast (vodcast?) for a while but it takes a lot of effort which can all go to waste if you or the other people lose interest.

 

I'm hoping when we get combat nailed down and into the Throne War Module it will pick up

 

Do it Ziz, I'd watch.  However, I think anyone entering into such an endeavor should do it for fun with zero expectations.


The Artist Formerly Known as Regulus

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I think the this long lull might be "the deep breath before the storm."  It was certainly quite foreseeable.  I'm somewhat disappointed by the low numbers, but not really surprised.  Once beta rolls around, I expect a pretty significant increase in traffic and fan created stuff.  At this point, what exactly is a fansite going to do that isn't being done more efficiently on the forums?  I do think one fansite would be sustainable, but nobody who is investing a lot of time in testing seems to also want to invest a lot of time in extra-curriculars.

Edited by mctan

Mic MWH, Member of Mithril Warhammers since 2003,


Hammers High! http://www.mithrilwarhammers.com

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Do it Ziz, I'd watch.  However, I think anyone entering into such an endeavor should do it for fun with zero expectations.

 

I've wanted to do a podcast (vodcast?) for a while but it takes a lot of effort which can all go to waste if you or the other people lose interest.

 

I'm hoping when we get combat nailed down and into the Throne War Module it will pick up

ESO has one called Tales of Tamriel on Stitcher. They publish all the time, and long podcasts too.

 

I think you should do it too. Have guests on and just shoot the poorly made socks about the game, interviews with guilds, interviews with devs (hopefully), interviews with contest winners, editorial commentary, constructive criticism, and some humor and recurring features / bits (like "bug of the week" or "other games we like."

 

Basically copy the format of every decent fantasy football podcast in the world, but talk about Crowfall instead.

 

edit: I think you'll be surprised. I don't think its as much work as you think to set up. Get a small group together who can walk and chew gum at the same time and do the podcast as a team. Flows better and has a division of labor. Control who gets on though, because it can't degenerate into nonconstructive or inconsiderate garbage or a platform to press an agenda. I honestly think we see less of the devs nowadays because several immature posters kept essentially calling them idiots constantly. That's not a constructive way to give feedback and it would be even worse in this type of media.

Edited by coolwaters

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It's a lot of work to get something going, and there is no way to tell if the greater community appreciates your efforts.  So really it has to be a labor of love first off.  If you are doing something for yourself, and then others enjoy the content, that much the better.

 

I can't say much else, because I am still trying to figure out what the community wants.  I will say that I do believe this community has the potential to be great, and non-toxic on the main forums.  Keep that up, and if the game is half way decent, then people will stay for a good social environment.

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ESO has one called Tales of Tamriel on Stitcher. They publish all the time, and long podcasts too.

 

I think you should do it too. Have guests on and just shoot the poorly made socks about the game, interviews with guilds, interviews with devs (hopefully), interviews with contest winners, editorial commentary, constructive criticism, and some humor and recurring features / bits (like "bug of the week" or "other games we like."

 

Basically copy the format of every decent fantasy football podcast in the world, but talk about Crowfall instead.

 

edit: I think you'll be surprised. I don't think its as much work as you think to set up. Get a small group together who can walk and chew gum at the same time and do the podcast as a team. Flows better and has a division of labor. Control who gets on though, because it can't degenerate into nonconstructive or inconsiderate garbage or a platform to press an agenda. I honestly think we see less of the devs nowadays because several immature posters kept essentially calling them idiots constantly. That's not a constructive way to give feedback and it would be even worse in this type of media.

 

I lead a podcast for CamelotUnchained which did 20 episodes and they continued on after I lost interest in the game. Its not technically hard. Its just finding a good group that gel really well, who can make every episode, and dont lose interest before launch. CF will be much easier since they do weekly updates and its going to launch in the next year :)


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Mh....I don't know how it is for other "not english speaking" fan groups, but at least the german community got it's very own community site rolling, including TS, guild list, guides.....and a rooted player base, which meets up for tests and fan projects.

Well, it's perhaps easier for us to create content, because, while ACE  translates their main news and stuff, most people seem to prefer commenting and discussing in a familiar environment. And some just don't speak english, so they won't ever know whats going on in the official forum - they're happy if someone gives them a little summery once in a while via TS or such.

Truth be told, we're a really small fan community....but in the last weeks more and more people joined. Think I have to agree: it's getting better, as more and more people now pick up the game :)

 

But I can see how it would be different for all english-speaking sites: they've got "nothing to say" thats not already here in the forums, I'd guess. I really do hope for more streamers/ podcasters at least - going to take a peek at your channel, Ziz ;D


Let me sing you a song / Of a world that just vanished / Of a story that ended to soon
Let me bring you a cup / Make a toast to the living / And a toast to the legends we share

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The fact that many of us still have ideas for building something in the community space just shows that's it's more of a timing issue rather than an interest one.

 

Larger communities have a larger pool to draw from both content creators AND an audience. Thus things spring up and are sustainable. Smaller niche communities need that something extra. But after several discussions with people "behind closed doors" community content will definitely come around again :)

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The only thing a community needs is content and positive vibes.

 

taking *positive vibes* first:

 

Happily the community is MUCH more positive than it was a year ago - mainly I think because a lot of forum unconstructive posters left when Arty stepped up with moderation. This place cleaned up lots and made it possible for decent discussions to happen.

The unconstructive posters then went to other community sites and ..guess what.. the rage was so great that those community sites died out.

 

Now we see the occasional salty tantrum about how this place is over moderated etc etc.. and thats why its so quiet -> often from those same salty sh'tposters who don't see the irony that certain types of behaviour just flat out kill online communities.

 

The second aspect is *content* and this is where I think Crowfall needs to step up a little: Fan sites are kind of like hothouse flowers and can only grow with the stuff they are fed on: For example I want to do the RP community stuff but we have a lot more questions than answers right now.

 

Same with trader hubs and crafter hubs: a lot of players want to build Eks and such that cater to those groups but until the info starts coming out about how to do it theres nothing to say.

 

All of that is of course secondary to how good the game actually plays - which is of course the dev focus right now. And testing is slow boring work that doesnt excite many people but is really taking the full view of the community right now.

 

So yeah..things are quiet. BUT its up to the community to generate its own buzz: We can do stuff like run competitions and continue to post and speculate and dream and argue :) And above all: Keep trhe pressure on the devs to build the game they promised. But nicely :P

 

 

TL; DR: This is a good communiuty where we can keep the positive vibes going without ppl going salty. Once the content comes its gonna be mental =)


www.CrowfallRP.com


Disclaimer: My RP with you might become a public story: https://soundcloud.com/shiv-mahon

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The only thing a community needs is content and positive vibes.

 

taking *positive vibes* first:

 

Happily the community is MUCH more positive than it was a year ago - mainly I think because a lot of forum unconstructive posters left when Arty stepped up with moderation. This place cleaned up lots and made it possible for decent discussions to happen.

The unconstructive posters then went to other community sites and ..guess what.. the rage was so great that those community sites died out.

 

Now we see the occasional salty tantrum about how this place is over moderated etc etc.. and thats why its so quiet -> often from those same salty sh'tposters who don't see the irony that certain types of behaviour just flat out kill online communities.

 

The second aspect is *content* and this is where I think Crowfall needs to step up a little: Fan sites are kind of like hothouse flowers and can only grow with the stuff they are fed on: For example I want to do the RP community stuff but we have a lot more questions than answers right now.

 

Same with trader hubs and crafter hubs: a lot of players want to build Eks and such that cater to those groups but until the info starts coming out about how to do it theres nothing to say.

 

All of that is of course secondary to how good the game actually plays - which is of course the dev focus right now. And testing is slow boring work that doesnt excite many people but is really taking the full view of the community right now.

 

So yeah..things are quiet. BUT its up to the community to generate its own buzz: We can do stuff like run competitions and continue to post and speculate and dream and argue :) And above all: Keep trhe pressure on the devs to build the game they promised. But nicely :P

 

 

TL; DR: This is a good communiuty where we can keep the positive vibes going without ppl going salty. Once the content comes its gonna be mental =)

 

the challenge there is how do you not get salty toward each other in a pvp-centric game geared toward everybody losing stuff in fights? that loss is a great thing for the overall economy of the game, my time in EVE has shown me that asset destruction can be a positive thing. but when people lose what was a big personal investment of their time and effort, i think a bit of salt comes with the turf. 

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I think you guys are applauding the "victory over trolls" a little too much and attributing victory where there isn't.

 

First of all, the single greatest loss off unconstructive posters actually came from the paywall being implemented. And those were people creating real threads that were click bait with actual suggestions and discussions we still see posted today. The difference is knowing where they came from. Back then, we knew that most of them came from goons.

 

Next, let's discuss moderation. Which is hilarious in itself because if we weren't in the "Great Hall", I would get warned for even talking about it. The forum rules actually had to be re-written from a few paragraphs to a few pages because ACE actually didn't want to see us all banned. Other than spam bots, only a handful of people are actually banned. I digress. Moderation here is passive. Someone posts something against the Rules of Conduct or something that gets you triggered. You click the report button. Back then, a bunch of moderators discussed whether or not it was against the Rules of Conduct. Pann had the final say and if you made Gordon mad, he had the final say.

 

This sounds effective, but the moderators were all players. And with players come vendettas. There have been warning points issued because of a vendetta and nothing else. I won't go into specific examples lest my entire post get removed. In the end, it was player leaks from player moderators proving misconduct that led to the eradication of player moderators.

 

So, this is taking out the trash right? Not exactly. With some of these leaks, we saw the players that were reporting other players constantly. For all the "towel popping" ACE wants to squash because other players don't want to see it, there were a lot of players reporting players simply because they didn't like what they had to say. Moderation at that point in time wasn't fair and it wasn't consistent. In all actuality, the players who thought they were being anti-troll actually became the troll themselves. They actually became more annoying to the moderation team than the people they were supposed to be there to moderate.

 

Now, back to the timeline. After the leaks and firing of player moderators, Pann and a group of unknowns took over moderation. But by this point, community interest had plummeted. There were days when Pann had the top number of posts with 4, making up 15% of the posts. Courant will tell ya when he comes back. Because Pang and other players like to pretend this never happened. But that's exactly what happened. This was the down time between Hunger Domes and the hype train was at a crawl.

 

During this time, there wasn't much of a use for moderators. When the interest died down, it was basically just me to report. I can show you a screenshot of my warning points, it was a quiet period then, too. In reality, there isn't enough moderation to be done currently because Pann can handle all of the reports by herself. Is it because "omgz the trolls are gone, we won because we crushed them with sunshine and good vibes!"? No. It's because when the herd thins, the predators thin as well. The same people who always argued with me are silent as well.

 

Am I saying the community is dead? Nah. But I don't think you can attribute the lack of unconstructive posters solely to ACE's good moderation.

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I think you guys are applauding the "victory over trolls" a little too much and attributing victory where there isn't.

 

I believe the level of applause is perfectly adequate. 

 

First of all, the single greatest loss off unconstructive posters actually came from the paywall being implemented. And those were people creating real threads that were click bait with actual suggestions and discussions we still see posted today. The difference is knowing where they came from. Back then, we knew that most of them came from goons.

 

I do not believe this to be the case as most of those people actually had pledge packages.  I think the loss of those kind of posters came with the fact that they were consistently being moderated if they broke the rules. 

 

Next, let's discuss moderation. Which is hilarious in itself because if we weren't in the "Great Hall", I would get warned for even talking about it. The forum rules actually had to be re-written from a few paragraphs to a few pages because ACE actually didn't want to see us all banned. Other than spam bots, only a handful of people are actually banned. I digress. Moderation here is passive. Someone posts something against the Rules of Conduct or something that gets you triggered. You click the report button. Back then, a bunch of moderators discussed whether or not it was against the Rules of Conduct. Pann had the final say and if you made Gordon mad, he had the final say.

 

 

This sounds effective, but the moderators were all players. And with players come vendettas. There have been warning points issued because of a vendetta and nothing else. I won't go into specific examples lest my entire post get removed. In the end, it was player leaks from player moderators proving misconduct that led to the eradication of player moderators.

 

 

So, this is taking out the trash right? Not exactly. With some of these leaks, we saw the players that were reporting other players constantly. For all the "towel popping" ACE wants to squash because other players don't want to see it, there were a lot of players reporting players simply because they didn't like what they had to say. Moderation at that point in time wasn't fair and it wasn't consistent. In all actuality, the players who thought they were being anti-troll actually became the troll themselves. They actually became more annoying to the moderation team than the people they were supposed to be there to moderate.

 

Now, back to the timeline. After the leaks and firing of player moderators, Pann and a group of unknowns took over moderation. But by this point, community interest had plummeted. There were days when Pann had the top number of posts with 4, making up 15% of the posts. Courant will tell ya when he comes back. Because Pang and other players like to pretend this never happened. But that's exactly what happened. This was the down time between Hunger Domes and the hype train was at a crawl.

 

I think any spikes in activity or inactivity are more based on what content they are releasing. 

 

During this time, there wasn't much of a use for moderators. When the interest died down, it was basically just me to report. I can show you a screenshot of my warning points, it was a quiet period then, too. In reality, there isn't enough moderation to be done currently because Pann can handle all of the reports by herself. Is it because "omgz the trolls are gone, we won because we crushed them with sunshine and good vibes!"? No. It's because when the herd thins, the predators thin as well. The same people who always argued with me are silent as well.

 

I disagree.  The general vibe of the forums now is very focused on the game and giving feedback for the game.  Signal to noise ratio is great. 

 

Am I saying the community is dead? Nah. But I don't think you can attribute the lack of unconstructive posters solely to ACE's good moderation.

 

I think 90% of it can be attributed to consistent moderation, and the other 10% can be attributed to the fact that game development is a long process and people that would detract from the vision to sate their own urge to post silly things are not likely invested in the vision enough to stick around during a whole development process anyway. 


Skeggold, Skalmold, Skildir ro Klofnir

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*stuff*

 

 

 

 

 

*Hugs Headlight* I think you need all the hugs you can get tbh.

 

We get that you HATE moderation: Your profile and your post history explain very clearly where you stand and how you feel. You sold your stuff and I feel youre kinda just hanging round to tell us all the reasons CF sucks or we suck or the world sucks?

 

Thats kind of.. sad. *hugs again.*

 

A lot of "old timers" do not like being moderated and controlled! we get it! - it really intrudes on their world view cos,. you know thats not how things *used to be* back in the good old days of.. I dunno SB and all that.

 

Noone here is saying Moderation is the magic bullet..but it was part of a conscious cleanup effort that also included restricting free account postings and new behaviour guidelines.

 

I think the biggest change was just that Artcraft made it very clear this place wasn't going to be the wild west and implemented REAL and ENFFORCED policies that resulted in players being BANNED. That shook things up.

 

For anyone *Not* interested in wild west type free-for-all forums It makes perfect business sense and plenty of players now feel its a better place to be.

 

 

When I first was interested in CF I visited these forums and...backed slowly out of the room -  I remember having a laugh with a few players on another gaming forum about the toxicity in the CF forums. 

My how times have changed. CF forums are a nice place to be now!

 

What grinds my gears is a lot of people equate "noise" to success... sure the forums are quieter and theres less going on - but a lot of what was going on was just plain BAD. Those dead community sites show what happens when you let rage and drama and noise go unchecked imho.

 

Its better here. Now as the content comes there will be more positivity and more focus on the good parts of the game.

 

 

 


www.CrowfallRP.com


Disclaimer: My RP with you might become a public story: https://soundcloud.com/shiv-mahon

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Overall they do a fantastic job here. The only criticism I've ever had is some inconsistent enforcement of the rules as written, largely caused by abuse of the report button by backers and an overworked moderation staff.

 

But in the big picture, ya, they do pretty good.

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