Tuesday, March 11, 2008

EQ2Flames vs SOE

There is so much I'd love to say about this issue right now, but most of it will have to wait.

The drama thats happening on eq2flames is ridiculous. Of course the entire argument is one-sided over there because none of the devs dare get in the middle of it.

LFG was simply removed from the Influencers program for lack of involvement and communication. SOE was in no way severing ties with the entire eq2flames community. But because of his public post of Grimwell's email, and declaring "FFA" on SOE, the dev information was posted, and now SOE has no choice but steer clear of eq2flames.

I'm very angry and upset over this whole thing because it hurts the entire community and may ultimately hurt EQ2. If you don't care for the game, you should move on and play something else, but to try to ruin a community for those that do love it is just wrong.

151 comments:

Lord Ebon said...

I love EQ2 but seriously the people that stir up so much drama need to go outside. I don't even know what the issue in particular is here (since I don't read eq2flames) but still, drama is unnecessary and only detracts from the fun of the game.

Sounds to me like someone got upset that they took his toy away. Also sounds like that person needs to grow up instead of trying to start drama wars against SOE.

I have to give you (and the rest of SOE) serious props -- I don't think I'd be able to handle all the crap you guys must take. Kudos to you for keeping your cool.

Anonymous said...

Snark ought to have confined his anger where it belonged - at the Community Team, and not at the Development Team.

Obviously the Community Team have mismanaged things poorly over the past year or so by changing the tone and usefulness of the forums, but they are separate people from the developers; it is very unfortunate the developers have been caught in the cross-fire when the community team members are the ones who should be.

Greg Spence said...

I understand where you're coming from, but I still hate to see this kind of anger focused on anyone. People rarely understand why certain decisions are made and don't take the time to find out before reacting.

Chase said...

Eq2flames can certainly be over the top at times. However, the SoE community relations team really dropped the ball on this one; the situation they instigated with this does nothing but make the company look bad and make the player base angry.

david.mcgraw said...

"People rarely understand why certain decisions are made and don't take the time to find out before reacting."

You hit it on the head there.

I barely know anything about this little skirmish, but I wish you all the best of luck.

Ed Lowrey said...

Sorry Greg, but Sony brought this on themselves due to the lack of communication with the players. The offical forums have become a total waste of time, so where are the masses going to go?

Greg Spence said...

I disagree that the official forums are a waste of time. People can express the same opinions on the official forums as they can on other sites. We just ask that they do it with respect for others and for themselves. It doesn't take personal insults and name calling to let us know that you are unhappy with something. Besides, the SOE staff spend more time reading and responding on the official forums than any others, so it stands to reason that the official forums are the best place to get your voice heard by a dev.

What it boils down to is this...

EQ2 is a game. You don't have to play it if you don't like it. No one is making you pay the subscription. Just because you disagree with something doesn't mean you have to make it personal.

I'm sorry, but I can't think of a reason to justify the posting of SOE employee's private information on public forums.

Anonymous said...

Pretty sure this will get deleted, but the anger is widespread and simply ignoring it or pretending it isnt there, doesnt make it go away. People are made for a reason and you need to look at what is going on with EQ2 INSIDE SOE. Its not flames fault..people are obviously upset about something specific. Things still not being fixed...developers being proven to give help to certain people.. ect ect. Its SOE's policies right now that are making people upset.

Anonymous said...

EQ2 Flames exists for only 4 reasons.

1) We live in a free country with free speech.

2) EQ2 official forums must not have been meeting the needs of the players (if they were there would be no reason to have another forum).

3) There is little to no easy way to obtain customer service from SOE. At least that's my experience playing EQ for ~9 years and EQ2 flames allows frustrated customers to vent.

4) SOE can’t turn it off (or they would).

EQ2 Flames exists for only 4 reasons.

1) We live in a free country with free speech.

2) EQ2 official forums must not have been meeting the needs of the players (if they were there would be no reason to have another forum).

3) There is little to no easy way to obtain customer service from SOE. At least that’s been my experience playing EQ for ~9 years and EQ2 flames allows frustrated customers to vent.

4) Sony can’t turn if off (or they would).

Instead of alienating the user base I would have said:

“We have found EQ2flames to be a valuable resource for gaining insight into our customers questions and concerns, although defamatory at times, and outside of our companies comfort zone to support, we feel there are real issues being discussed and have devoted resources to keeping track of both customer service and product issues discussed there.”

Greg Spence said...

SOE didn't alienate eq2flames. All they did was inform LFG that he's no longer part of the influencer's group. It was the eq2flames community that alienated SOE by making it personal and posting information about employees. More specifically, LFG allowed this to happen.

Anonymous said...

Glad I stumbled across this blog, because it's nice to hear a little from the other side. Every story has two sides, and that is something I think a lot of the folks over at EQ2Flames is forgetting. Or it just doesn't interest them...

While some of the complaints I saw over there appeared legit enough, the majority of the posters seem like nothing but a bunch of drama loving rumormongers to me.

The EQ2 community is far more than just the EQ2Flames-crowd. Yet they're acting as if they are the reason the game exist at all, and that this will surely be the death of EQ2? Hehe, good comedy guys... keep it coming!

It's just a game, you know. You either have fun playing it, or you don't play it. I'm sure the devs expect feedback, but there is a huge difference between constructive feedback and that uncivil witch-hunt type of activity that is going on at EQ2Flames right now.

To Greg: I can only second what lord ebon said. Kudos to you for enduring all this crap, I don't think I could have managed it. There are many of us who enjoy the game and think you guys are doing a great job with it. Keep up the good work, and don't let this get to you. :)

Anonymous said...

Eq2Flames doesn't represent the EQ2 community. In fact, if someone is rude and obnoxious in the chat channels chances are they are posters on EQ2Flames. They appear to work hard to perpetuate the stereotypical social dysfunctional view of gamers that many have. I certainly don't think the vast majority of EQ2'ers would even make a second visit when faced with the general juvenile mentality and unimaginative use of profanity etc. found there. The posting of personal information was a typical idiotic thing coming from them. They appear to have a vastly inflated sense of their own influence in EQ2. Mostly, the rest of us just snicker at their "uberness" behind their backs.

Anonymous said...

If you and SOE are so concerned with the "community" then why do you ignore and delete every plea for information, honest criticism or negative thread posted on the official forums. Even mundane posts letting SOE know we are unhappy with the way something is done gets us nothing but a slap in the face. Sounds to me like you are taking the same "if you don't like it quit and go elsewhere" attitude. It would be really nice if SOE actually showed a slight concern or even a minute interest in what its paying customers actually want.

You gonna delete this too?

Anonymous said...

Please Dev's and GM's retire all
togehter and lets hope that this will give EQ2 the fresh start which is needed.

Morality and integrity is something
which all of you have failed to show, if eaven half of the insults
are correct.

Anonymous said...

EQ2 Flames isn't owed anything in particular by SOE. I think most of the fuss they take things too far, esp. posting details of devs who've done nothing wrong.

But at the same time, the corruption in the EQ2 Dev team is pretty serious. SOE needs to deal with that pronto. A lot of players thrive on that bleeding edge competition, and now they know it's all been a sham. Furthermore, if a dev does such favours for his guildies, why not, say, his class? It's really not good.

Akely said...

I've just skimmed a bit of this debacle... And I must say that I'm confused about how strong people react... THat begruntled people will post stuff they should not (like names/handles/personal info) do on the Internet is CERTAIN. Thats how some people react when they feel trampled upon. As a link between the players and SOE Grim and the rest must know this. People WILL step out of line. Everybody knows that. Can't say I find it very appealing when people do so, but I know they will.

Greg: Your statement that "If you don't care for the game, you should move on and play something else, but to try to ruin a community for those that do love it is just wrong." is correct. With emphasis on "SHOULD". Some people will not, just as some people grief others in-game. Just /shrug and move on.

This is a storm in a glass of water. It is way way out of proportion, me thinks. But if something the guys at eq2flames DO have right (in my opinion) it is that the official forums does not cut it. Just look at the "Out of Memory" error thread in tech support...

But anyway... this is a situation I can't wait to blow over.

Anonymous said...

I totally disagree with outing the devs, except Zoltaroth in NPU. That was fair game, since NPU were obviously getting dev help.

"People rarely understand why certain decisions are made and don't take the time to find out before reacting."

If we dont understand, then it is the Community Manager's fault... it is his job to manage the community.

There is a reason everyone is at eq2flames and not on the official boards. And it is nothing to do with swearing, etc.

Phil said...

I read the eq2flames forums from time to time, but the tone and tenor of information posted on the site makes me want to retch. If some people at SOE did anything wrong, it was to provide these people with any personal information at all. Given the context of this cluster of a website, they probably should have known better.

Greg is absolutely correct, there is a constructive method to pointing out problems with a game. However, these people on that site have no concept of respectable discourse. (As a side note, I do not know the ages of the people who do this kind of thing, and I wish to avoid ad hominem attacks, but my gosh - the mentality is appalling).

Seriously, is civility a difficult concept to grasp?

Travis said...

The EQ2 flames situation is nothing more than a blast that’s been festering for some time. Posts get deleted on the official forums for "excessive negativity" I mean really, no cursing, no name calling.

The joke is that no one with an opinion is welcome on the official forums.

Lack of communication caused this problem. If you can answer me this one question. Why can you get multiple SoE responses to what’s for lunch but it’s almost impossible to get a dev response to anything else.

Having said that DOMINO (sp) provides excellent relevant responses. If the rest of the devs where even a QUARTER as good as domino was there would be no EQ2flames situation.

Finally NPU and Trak strats. SoE gave an uberguild DETAILED strategies on the boss mob in RoK. A guild I might add with SoE employees in it. How is this not exactly the same type of thing that happened in EVE Online? I can't believe SoE expects the flames people to act with restraint when they engage in actions that show that their level of integrity is lacking at best.

Phil said...

Unless he provides concrete examples regarding official forum responses, I have to disagree with Travis. I have seen many posts on the SOE forum where a specific issue was itemized and then responded to by an SOE employee within a short period of time. Note that response != fixed. I think that some people get miffed when an issue doesnt get fixed right away. If software engineering were a bit more precise I would agree, but its not unfortunately. Some issues are intractable and extremely difficult to correct given the complexity of the code base.

Given Travis' post on the guild insider information - I really dont see how this affects anyone's gameplay. Does your enjoyment of the game depend on what another guild is doing? If you think that developers shouldnt be allowed to play the game, even in off hours, I would strenuously disagree - if only on practical purposes of trying to dupe errors and verify functionality. If you think that playing and giving out strategies for scripted boss encounters is 'corrupt' I would disagree as well on the same principle - testing the system on the native environment is too critical a task for developers.

I think that some people are miffed that they arent the beneficiaries of the 'insider information.' But, if it isnt affecting the experience of any other player, I dont see why people are mad at all.

david.mcgraw said...

What a mess. I can guarantee that 99.9% of the people who play EQ2 still play it after this mess. Even those that post at EQ2Flames. If you like the game, you'll play. If you don't, then you'll go somewhere else.

The posting of development information, which was signed under an NDA, is just beyond stupid. It shows the childish mentalities and lack of respect that run around EQ2Flames.

There is a method to the madness, and reasoning, behind SOE's decision to drop EQ2Flames from the program. EQ2Flames needs to figure out what's wrong, fix it, or at least make an attempt to reach a solution that satisfies both parties.

Bottom line is... People will still be playing EQ2, and people will still visit EQ2Flames for information. But those staff members are screwed either way, most of which, probably had no say in what happened.

Anonymous said...

Actually Phil, it does take away from the game for the other honest guilds on that server. The Trak strat leak might be just the tip of the iceberg. They might have gotten help on avatars which is a huge unfair advantage. Who knows how deep this goes.

Phil said...

If people got strategies given to them by SOE I still dont understand how this affects anyone's gameplay in the least. From what I understand reading the trolls at eq2flames this happens on a PvE server so gear isnt the issue. The chance at being first for a raid boss - I assume this is the only defining problem. In that specific instance (that is, being first to down an epic) I empathize with the other guilds on that server. However, there is alot more to the game than being first.

A caveat - I am not on an uberguild so its a moot point for me of course. So I have no stake in that argument. I have a definite opinion of those who think that it rises to the level of 'corruption' when someone else gets a boss mob first in a video game.

Travis said...

I would love to provide you with some specifics on non-developer feedback however half of the problem is that many concerns are deleted for the aforementioned "excessive negativity". So I am not in possession of all the relevant information it would probably take to convince you.

If we assume for a moment that the ONLY corrupt thing the devs have done is give insider strats to an uberguild thats not even on my server I will tell you. World Wide firsts and discovery. When NPU kills track they get tracked on the SoE forums that So and So in NPU discovered x-item forever. Also there is the prestige associated with a worldwide or even a server first time kill which bring a number of secondary benefits not the least of which is the ease of which a top guild recruits new members and the main mechanic in which people determine who is a top guild is how soon they defeat content. We as well as NPU recruits cross server so not only am I competing with them for world wide firsts im also competing with them for quality players for my guild. All of that is just assuming that this is the ONLY transgression which I doubt.

I also find the love or get out attitude to be very distasteful. I haven’t left yet but I will eventually if things continue to travel along their current route. Eventually I left SWG and eventually I left Planetside (a game I absolutely LOVED when it was released).

There is no doubt that EQ2flames was created by an extreme wing of EQ2 players however since its inception it has pulled more and more moderate players to it. Here is an example of a player that was driven to Flames by SoE.

http://www.eq2flames.com/general-gameplay/22118-i-banned-eq2-official-forum-why.html

I still remember the first time I logged into original EQ with my wood elf ranger and saw kelithin, heard the music and was awestruck by this 3d world. Everquest has long been my favorite MMORPG franchise and yet I feel like SoE doesn’t give a crap about me. Mabye I’m wrong, but that’s my perception and our perception is our reality. Saying stuff like, it’s a game quit if you don’t like it, you might as well say, we don’t care what you want, go get bent.

Travis said...

To respond to you "corrupt" comment how about if I called it a lack of integrity if we want to split hairs over the phrase used.

Phil said...

I do agree about the world firsts issue that you raise. I still dont think that this is corruption or that it even shows a lack of integrity- maybe bad sportsmanship?

But after reading some of the nutcases over at eq2flames (I apologize for name-calling, I dont know how else to convey my disgust with that site) you would think that a combat revamp of SWG proportions were occurring. Maybe I am thinking that this is making a mountain out of a molehill, and its really not very important. Again, I am not in an uberguild, so take that statement with a grain of salt.

As for deleting posts because of negativity - I have seen some of these posts. Calling SOE retards and worse is a bit much. There is a civil way to get your point across, and I bet if the people posting had some sort of business communication experience, then the posts wouldnt be deleted.

Now, if you have examples of posts written in a civil manner that have been deleted, then thats another story altogether.

Greg Spence said...

I find the argument that the official forums are overly moderated to be pretty weak.

Threads are never deleted, they are moved into a private forum that only we can see. I have access to this forum and I've just looked at it. The only threads that have been removed lately were non-constructive posts that were either personal insults to people, or posting information that is still hearsay and cannot be proved.

You can easily find threads on the official forums were people have strongly expressed their feelings on an issue and it has not been removed.

As far as dev responses go, you have to understand how things work around here. Domino is the tradeskill developer, so she is 100% within her right to respond to any tradeskill issues. You don't see her responding to code bugs or class balance posts. I'd love to help by writing responses to class balance issues, but its not my area, so I can't do it.

Why can you get multiple SoE responses to what’s for lunch but it’s almost impossible to get a dev response to anything else.
Just look at the dev tracker to see our responses to other issues. Even though we are still working on fixes for the memory issues and Vista/8800 issues, we've been very active in those threads letting people know we're working on them. The 60-page thread you're talking about is specifically there to collect information from people who have experienced a crash, its not there to carry on a discussion about it.

I do think we can make improvements to how we handle class balance issues, but unfortunately again, I'm a coder and only have limited input into that area.

Travis said...

How would I get an example of a deleted post? The only way I could think of was to have someone make a post and then keep a copy and see if it gets deleted and even if that did happen there would be no way for you to know I posted it at all. I could have just said I posted it and it got deleted and lied about it.

Many of the people on EQ2 flames (myself included) are very passionate about our hobby. While the communication may not be the most eloquent that doesn’t mean the concerns and problems aren’t valid.

Greg Spence said...

While the communication may not be the most eloquent that doesn’t mean the concerns and problems aren’t valid.

/agree

No one ever said the concerns weren't valid. But when they are expressed in an insulting, disrespectful or condescending way, no one should be required to listen to them.

Travis said...

Greg, non-constructive is entirely subjective and while I’m sure if I also had access to the black hole post forum I would agree with you that many of the posts their where in fact non-constructive I’m sure I would disagree on others. I mean is the lunch post what you would consider constructive? Its just nonsense but it stays. The “excessive negativity” just seems to be some catch phrase used to blow away anything that doesn’t violate the forum rules but they want to get rid of anyways.

As far as overly-moderated is concerned. Its relative, I consider it overly moderated when I can post the trak strat and have it “moved” in literally less than 120 seconds, literally. If only SoE could take that focus and move it to answering petitions! We wouldn’t even be having this conversation.

Just to add because I know this is a sore subject when I posted the trak strat I removed all names and e-mail before doing so. It was removed for attempting to incite drama I believe which in that particular instance I wasn’t surprised or upset but MAN it was fast. It takes 24 hours to respond to missing chests and speed hackers in KC but the forum police are all over it.

Greg Spence said...

I mean is the lunch post what you would consider constructive? Its just nonsense but it stays.
Ok, now we're mincing words when I think you know what I meant. There is a non-gameplay forum where you can post any topic you want, but the forum rules still apply.

The “excessive negativity” just seems to be some catch phrase used to blow away anything that doesn’t violate the forum rules but they want to get rid of anyways.
Yes its a catch phrase because there are too many variables to effectively describe what would cross the line. As soon as we tried to make a specific list of things you shouldn't do on the forums, people would find a new one. So yes, we have to have a catch phrase. I think its reasonable as long as the moderators use reasonable judgment when enforcing it.

I consider it overly moderated when I can post the trak strat and have it “moved” in literally less than 120 seconds, literally. If only SoE could take that focus and move it to answering petitions!
Yes, and it would be nice if we could have that focus on solving world hunger, ending war and curing cancer, but lets not toss everything in the same bucket.

We have volunteer moderators that watch the forums throughout the day. When someone makes a new post, it moves the thread to the top of the recent list. So yes, its very easy to find a new post and take care of it if it violates rules. It takes a moderator all of about 15 seconds to handle a post.

You can't compare this to the petition system where petitions can take hours to resolve depending on the problem.

I wish I could fix bugs as fast as moving a bad post, then the game would have zero bugs. I understand where you're coming from, but try to be reasonable.

Phil said...

Travis, I apogolize if I am a little misinformed about the forum moderation issue. I havent seen a problem and it seems that they are fairly responsive. But that is my perception, and facts could be different. Within my guild and friends that I play with, I havent heard of any onerous moderation on the official forums.

If I go eq2flames however, that is another story. Unmoderated, that board is rife with compaints about even the smallest and most miniscule of pereceived problems (true or not) perpetuated by SOE. Its almost gotten to the point where its a badge of honor of who can create the most drama about how SOE screwed them over or screwed the game (with the most vile and repulsive language getting bonus points).

eq2flames is not a website, its a dumping ground for people who want to complain in the most vociferous manner possible about EQ2.

Mikul said...

I think this all came at a very hard time for the raid community in eq2. We've been stuck at a broken raid progression for a little over a month now. Myth's are all great and all, but the "bonus dps" was in turn reduced with resistance chances at the same time. What also has put a lot of backs up, is changes to encounters that have been live for a while, and killed by some servers, due to luck of spawns. Then they are changed over night without mention or word, via either notes or posts. Examples are Valor and Flame where changes were made, that are no code issues to fix a bugged encounter, but simply increasing % proc values on damage shields etc, just to make the encounter harder. Now you have an imbalanced community by X servers having equipment and Y not, so they have a benefit as time goes on. Also what alot of people have had a serious issue with, is the loot progression, when then entire of VP is basically useless equipment (sorry but it is** See below). But back to Avatar's, these are simply not Fun encounters at all, having your entire raid stifled and Stunned for durations, like having someone just click something over and over is not fun in slightest. The best of the best, kinda got over the Damage shields of OK and VS. We didn’t like them in the slightest, but we don’t play at this tier of the game in all honesty so we just do the old tactic, like more casual guilds killing EH at 80 etc. You just DPS through and ignore. But at the top tier this simply not at option. If you wish to have mechanic’s said things, revisit Kal (Nightblood, LavaStorm) from T5. The HO trigger was a beautiful idea for allowing everyone to do something, without it being painful.
Sorry this might seem like a rant and if you have read this far then Thankyou. I adore the game, played since Beta, but sometimes even I wish to quit. Hard when you have 400 days+ play time.
Now on the equipment of VP, I know the item dev is somewhat new to this and credit that they tried. But Raid drops should be raiders, correct? So why do we have Scout belts for tanking (skygazer). Why do we have a huge selection of weapons, when we have mythical’s. No one wants them (off hands for scouts are the exception).
Progression is a nightmare also, but again something that would take an age to explain. I honestly don’t believe a raid force built from the ground up from heroic and T1/2 loot could ever progress in VP. Master spells alone would take a year to accrue, never mind non-duplicated loot.
Now you know I’d love to be at FanFaire this year, coming from Europe is harder than normal for such an event. But I’ve been around since the early days of Mud’s (late 1980’s), and would love to be able to sit down and honestly talk through the simple errors in judgement for equipment etc.

Anonymous said...

I left eve-online after three years due to dev corruption and after two month's ingame was looking forward to staying around for sometime, now after these cases of dev corruption have been revealed it looks like i'm off to AoC

Phil said...

Okay, someone please enlighten me. What the heck is dev corruption in an MMO? The devs could literally do anything with the tools that they possess to any data element within the game. I mean seriously, do people not understand that the virtual world are simply lines of code and a variety of data structures housed on a network? The wringing of hands about a dev giving a strategy to a guild cannot rise to any sort of level of corruption in any definite manner whatsoever. Statements like that trivialize real corruption that does occur within our government or businesses that do need to be addressed.

Akely said...

Even though we are still working on fixes for the memory issues and Vista/8800 issues, we've been very active in those threads letting people know we're working on them. The 60-page thread you're talking about is specifically there to collect information from people who have experienced a crash, its not there to carry on a discussion about it.

We obviously have a very different view on what "very active" means. :) But there is no reason to argue over that. Opinions differ, that's all.

The argument that the thread is not there to discuss the issue but to collect data is valid. But looking at the thread is is pretty obvious that next to none realize that. I sure do/did not do that! Might I suggest pointing that out to community relations so they can communicate that message? Communication is the key and that official statement in the thread would at least change how I view the matter.

It is nice of you to be so active in this discussion, Greg. I appretiate it. A lot.

Anonymous said...

AS many times as the know-it-alls have bashed the developers at EQ2 I can't believe they continued to post at EQ2flames prior to this. Most of the time trying to read through the immature posts just trying to get some good data was more of a pain than what it was worth.

I'm kinda glad things have changed and eq2flames will not be the site to go to anymore. Its just too bad some like Snark had to make poor decisions in trying to slander the development team who has done nothing but tried to make this game enjoyable for everyone.

Travis said...

Phil you seem to only be trying to trivialize what is to us a very real concern. All of use who play expect the play to be fair. Giving strats to one guild and not another is not fair. I'm not going to sit here and split hairs with you over the definition of corruption.

Greg since you where outed I have come to realize you are/where playing in a raiding guild on the same server as I was and your guild is/was well known to me although I cannot recall you specificly. The reason I say this is because I know that some content (at least in tier 5) was server firsted by your guild. Does it not bother you that one of your fellow dev's is giving out preferential treatment to his guild? I honeslty don't think you ever did because your guild as long as I've known them have always held to high standards. At least from my perspective.

As far as the CS issue. Your right its not fair to throw petitons and board moderating in the same bucket however my main point to go back to my first post is that this explosion on flames didn't happen overnight. Mikul talked about it when he was talking about broken raid content. For example if you go back to KoS and the Vyemm/Alzid encounter. That encounter was bugged on release and through EoF Alzid would keep his buff and heal into infinity forever. This to my knowledge was never fixed. (Please don't go back and devote resources to it now its just and example :)). Most of the EQ2flames people are raiders and raiders SEEM to be hit hardest with broken content. (itemization and balance and all that other stuff aside). I myself during EoF put in over 50 bug reports and when it was released the majority of those bugs where still in game. I don't feel like we have been heard.

The trak strat is just a slap in the face. My guild is trying to beat VS right now and he still does one thing I don't understand that seems to instantly wipe our raid. If somebody just handed me a sheet that says, this is what he does when and why. I would have cleared it by now.

Phil said...

Travis, I apologize - my intention was never to 'trivialize' the game experience. Although I am not in a hard-core raiding guild, EQ2 is my main source of entertainment for me and my wife (and eldest son). TV- bah! So I understand - good points were made about world-wide firsts and recruiting.

I think we are disagreeing about the level of 'corruption'. Or our definitions of corruption at least. Anyways, game on! :)

Mikul said...

Just for those here that dont know some of the reasons why the email was sent, rather than talking through the encounters to test them (as is the normal process). You remember the small issue that was going on at the time of the RoK beta? ... a small fire in around the SD area. Meaning dev's couldn't be in the office. Meaning there only cause of action to make sure we got zones at release, was to get the guilds to test without there presence.

Mustang| said...

The sad part is that it's not necessarily your fault with what's happening. But you're caught in the crossfire.

The sadder part is how Grimwell and Gnorbin brought this whole situation onto themselves. If Grimwell is bad, Gnorbin is an abomination of a "community representative". I don't like to call for people's firings because I understand it's people's livelyhoods and families, etc, but the G-men need to be moved to a corner and reassigned the task of managing SOE's interests on the moon.

There needs to be a serious, widespread change in the way information is communicated to the Community Managers, which is then communicated to the public. The saddest part about this is that EQ2Flames knows this the best, but due to the "outings" such a solution will never be considered.

The situation is extremely saddening on both sides of the coin.

Greg Spence said...

I don't know the entire story around the strat issue other than it looks like the info was given during beta to a guild that was testing the content. In this respect you might say that any guild that gets into beta has an advantage over other guilds.

My guild is not as hardcore as most out there, but we're doing pretty well and I can tell you with 100% certainty that we have no advantage over other guilds because of my participation. In fact to the contrary I have logged in to help other guilds with stuck mobs and broken scripts in the past, but I have NEVER done this with my own guild. In fact until this issue hit flames, all except 1 or 2 people in my guild didn't know I was an SOE employee. Will this change things when people find out? I'm not sure. Certainly I don't want my guild getting a bad reputation or being accused of cheating when we aren't. I would leave the guild before I would risk their reputation, but in the end that would be a bad thing for me and the guild.

As a side note, its worth stating that the accounts we (the devs) play on have absolutely no access to do anything. We have normal player accounts like everyone else.

Travis said...

say yes, any guild that gets into beta has an advantage. The question is, how are guilds chosen to get into beta?

I have never even heard a rumor that your guild got any special help/treatment which is a testament to your ability to make the separation which I believe all developers should have.

I could be wrong but if I'm not mistaken the reason can't do much in game anymore is because they lost a good deal of their privileges to either do things from the account or log into the servers from home after the Drow/Curt Shilling/Spirits of the Lost fiasco.

Anonymous said...

"LFG was simply removed from the Influencers program for lack of involvement and communication."

You are possibly the only person on the planet who believes this, Greg. LFG has done a number of things which one can well see might have justified expulsion from the program. But lack of involvement? His site outed Devs leaking strats to some of the most promionent guilds in game. Pretty involved, I'd say. Lack of communication? Over 100,000 views of the main thread right now. He seems to be communicating rather more than SOE are doing right now.

I respect your courage in posting about this at all. But man up. LFG got kicked out for saying things SOE didn't like. There comes a line beyond which "spin" becomes "untruth" and Craig Dalrymple crossed it. The sooner SOE realises that telling it like it is is the best way forward the better.

Greg Spence said...

You are possibly the only person on the planet who believes this, Greg. LFG has done a number of things which one can well see might have justified expulsion from the program. But lack of involvement? His site outed Devs leaking strats to some of the most promionent guilds in game. Pretty involved, I'd say. Lack of communication? Over 100,000 views of the main thread right now. He seems to be communicating rather more than SOE are doing right now.

I respect your courage in posting about this at all. But man up. LFG got kicked out for saying things SOE didn't like. There comes a line beyond which "spin" becomes "untruth" and Craig Dalrymple crossed it. The sooner SOE realises that telling it like it is is the best way forward the better.


You sir, are misinformed. And I have little respect for someone that throws insults and then says 'man up' from behind a computer keyboard.

You have COMPLETELY missed the point probably because you do not have an open mind from reading too much eq2flames.

Please clear your head and read the following again. I'll spell it out a little better.

LFG was removed from the influencer's program because of his lack of communication and participation with the program itself, not because of some lack of communication with the public. Being in the program requires that you communicate with the SOE Community staff through specified channels to deliver the information you obtain through your websites, etc. He can communicate on his website all he wants, but if he doesn't participate in the influencer's channels what good is he to the community team?

My explanation really doesn't matter because you've already made up your mind and you believe what you want to.

Two phrases I'd be happy if I never heard again are "man up" and "slap in the face".

Travis said...

I could say a betrayal of trust or a kick in the nads but it all means the same thing.

Mustang| said...

I think you should take over the role of community relations, Greg, because you at least speak your mind and have an attitude of fairness about you, whether I agree with you or not.

Rothgar for community manager in '08!

Greg Spence said...

Rothgar for community manager in '08!

Haha, thank you, but no thank you. :)

Community Manager and Aeralik's job should come standard with a flak jacket!

Back to working on designated raid looters. Whoops, did I say that?

Travis said...

I agree what did Martin Luther King Jr Say I think it was "I have more respect for a man who lets me know where he stands, even if hes wrong, then one who comes up like an angel and is nothing but a devil.

Anonymous said...

Well done Rothgar/Greg

You just won a lot of respect from me for this post and comments...

I am an eq2flames reader/poster since Gnobrin chased us all away, but I also think that eq2flames made a grave mistake chasing the devs away.

Anonymous said...

"I find the argument that the official forums are overly moderated to be pretty weak."

Let me relay a quick story. I’ve been playing EQ from day one 3/16/99, back on Rallos Zek. My account login had a hyphen or underscore in the name, I don’t recall which now (i.e. xyz-xyz or xyz_xyz), but in EQ1 it worked fine. When EQ2 came out and I tried to use my account it would not accept my old login. I posted on the forums and called SOE. The answer was “you have to start a new account”! I asked if they would transfer my info over, pass along my “Rallos Zek” title, etc. The answer was an emphatic no, “you will have to buy a new account.”

I posted my problem and concerns on the EQ2 forms under the technical side, not a flame, seeking someone with some real knowledge who could help or champion my plight. Within an hour it was removed. I posed again, removed again.

To remove a thread on a technical forum from a customer truly seeking help was not only infuriating but an abuse of power. From that point forward I stopped posting on the ‘official forums’, stopped /bug, /petition, /report, etc. My trust was violated and SOE didn’t care. EQ to me became about the user community, not SOE, the Community Manger, the Customer Service folks, etc.

From that day to this, I haven’t seen anything that leads me to believe that the SOE customer service folks have changed or really give a hoot about the user’s concerns.

Greg Spence said...

I apologize for your bad experience. I'm sure nothing I can say will make you feel any better. SOE is a big company, and many times the final decision comes down to the individual person you're dealing with.

Its sort of like if you go to a fast food restaurant and you place an order with someone who was having a bad day. They may completely screw your order up and act like a real jerk. Most likely you'll never want to go back to that place again and I would understand why.

Just understand that not everyone has experiences like that, and you wouldn't probably have that same experience on a different day with another person.

I've been playing EQ for as long as yourself. I still have my Beta CD for EQ1. I've only been an SOE employee since 2006 and even before that I've seen customer service go well beyond their means to help someone. I've also seen people get blown off when I thought they could have been given more attention.

It's unfortunate that the horror stories are the ones that get publicized the most.

If you ever find yourself in a similar situation where you feel you aren't getting the service you deserve, shoot me an email and I'll see what I can do.

Anonymous said...

I think Greg you are missing what is really bothering the eq2 community, it was mentioned before but ive yet to see you address it or even acknowledge it. Im sure you were instructed not to comment on it. However what really bothered me is,
You mentioned

"EQ2 is a game. You don't have to play it if you don't like it. No one is making you pay the subscription. Just because you disagree with something doesn't mean you have to make it personal."

When people like myself are engaged in raid guilds, server first and ww first is a BIG DEAL. Really, the sense of achievement that happens with this, is a huge part of the game for us. When your told after 4 years of paying monthly bills for muiltiple accounts, in order to achieve this with your guild. When you read that Dev's are involved with or actually in only certain guilds, spoon feeding END GAME strats like TRAK. Not to mention, the fact that they may want to help their particular class that they play? Considering the nerfs done to some classes or the beefing up of some classes that happens rather frequently. That class part is speculation it cannot be proven like the trak stats, however it makes you think....it makes me feel angry. You want something done about it. If SoE ignores this, it will not be fair to the people who used their hard earned money on this game. They atleast owe us an explanation. This is just not good business practices.
From your comment dodging, im assuming you can't say anything about this. However, i respect you for actually addressing the issue in your own way. That is one thing i can respect. I don't mean to include you in that group of devs. But I don't think ill be satisfied untill justice prevails, and accounts are banned and or termination of guilty persons job.

Shoot me an email greg, if you wanna further explain this.
benpbartlett@hotmail.com

Ben
SOE CUSTOMER SINCE LAUNCH OF EQ1

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with the post above mine. It is well documented on my server as well that just so happened, that the toons certain developers are playing are enhanced. Developer's should NOT be allowed to play in these high end hardcore raiding guilds PERIOD. End of STORY. As a company, you should be looking for ways to not have the playerbase mistrust you. And it is in this department that SOE has failed massively. Myself personally, have had to question why I even play this game anymore based on recent changes both in game and out. The biggest reason is that SOE has failed to communicate properly their stance on anything quite frankly. From known bugs in game for years, class balancing, loot progression issues in ROK..ect

The biggest thing is while you might not want to believe it, eq2flames is a massive part of the eq2 community and right now they are pissed. Like it or not, it can cause ramifications.. even if you think it is insignificant to your subscription numbers.

Anonymous said...

if it is true that SOE Devs where involved on sharing information to guilds on "live" servers, and even take part on "live servers" world wide first kills, then not the eq2flames community or someone else is killing the community or the game it self. the devs are fully responsible for this.

a big shame for SOE cheating their own community for about years now?

all the eq2 players data is nothing worth anymore. the hole system is corrupt and you all at SOE give a shit at your community and all the guys out there who where actually playing fair and without these information.

as a player i feel completly cheated be SOE.

i will cancel my subscripton for sure. i should i pay money for corrupt devs?

fools....

Mustang| said...

Well, I seriously doubt Greg is going to sail his own coworkers down the river. That would not only be unprofessional but it would probably cost him his job. I'm quite surprised he even had comments enabled on this post :D

Anonymous said...

EQ2Flames is a cesspool, consisting to 90% of the absolute worst the Everquest community has to offer. However, they do have a point - some employees of SOE (certainly not all) have been up to stuff in-game that should never ever happen, and certainly, some employees of SOE should make an effort to communicate more. Basically, the customers would appreciate more transparency and at very least the illusion that someone is listening to their complaints.

Bonedead said...

Okay, I don't know everything that happened between EQ2 devs and LFG/influencers.

However, I do play SWG and get a taste of what SOE has to offer. Over there, you can find forum threads 30 pages deep with ideas supported by 100 people easily with maybe 5-10 naysayers who don't want the idea even though it doesn't affect them (read: trolls). The devs hardly post any kind of information and when they do post it is a simple Thank you or a small clarification for something in a thread with maybe 5 replies total.

IF LFG/influencers felt that the game wasn't being changed as the majority wanted, then I can understand where they are coming from. That game may be your (read: devs) baby/child, but your child grew up into a hottie/sports star and it's just not your baby anymore. If Michael Jordan didn't play in a championship game because his momma said he couldn't, I think a lot of people would be angry with his momma.

I don't know if this is the case for EQ2 and this instance, but I know that's how it is in SWG.

In my opinion, SOE is trying to do too many things at once, and they aren't listening to what their CUSTOMERS want.

Skree said...

Eq2Flames is where people sling personal insults and attacks, embodying everything they CANT be on the official EQ2 forums.

It really goes to show the quality and class of the Eq2flames people to not only pull but support a stunt like this.

So developers used raid guilds to test new content, so what.

No reason to start a war against SOE, just because 'your site didnt get the exclusive infoz about new raid content'.

EQ2flames people are generally rude, offensive and sites like that help propagate the kind of bad attitudes that Gamers are becoming more and more notorious for harboring.

Really un-classy and low of the so called 'fan-site'.

Greg Spence said...

From your comment dodging, im assuming you can't say anything about this.

Ben, I honestly don't think I'm dodging any comments. I just prefer to speak about the things I know about. As soon as a dev posts an opinion or makes an assumption, people start quoting it as fact, and the last thing I want to do is perpetuate rumors.

I know a lot of people are upset by the trak strat situation. I've known Zoltaroth for quite awhile, and he's a really good guy. I know that everyone wants to believe that because of that email that he's been spoon-feeding strats to every single mob in every zone forever, but that simply isn't the case. If it were, you would have heard about it a long time ago from disgruntled NPU members looking to get back at them.

This was an isolated incident that occurred during beta and I think everyone should put the pitchforks down. Even if Zoltaroth were not in the guild, I have no doubts NPU would have WW1st'd Trak by now because they are a very talented group of raiders.

As far as class-related things, I'm not familiar with that complaint/accusation. He plays an SK for god sakes, if that doesn't tell you something right there! :) You certainly can't accuse SK's of being overpowered and broken.

Anonymous said...

To the raiders saying SOE stole something from you by being in these raids.

WTF did they actually take from you other than fricken bragging rights? IF they took anything at all! That is one player in 24 on those raids, and everyone had to do a good job to beat those encounters.

You make no sense to normal players.

The loot is the same, the encounters are the same, and you still need 24 people to do them right?

These strats you talk about are freely developed and discussed in beta, why don't you get your guild in there and test things out like the supposed cheaters?

Back to my original point though. You act as if the devs are coming over to your house and stealing the candy from your mouth. Your guild has just as much of a chance at experiencing these raids and getting the loot as they do. You are only talking about who got to it first, and really who the F cares besides a few guilds? What does it matter in the big scheme of things? How is this supposed to be career ending for people? It's stupid.

Travis said...

There are many talented raiding guilds and I do doubt that NPU would have server firsted trak without the strat but now we will never know since it was handed to them on a silver platter.

Greg Spence said...

There are many talented raiding guilds and I do doubt that NPU would have server firsted trak without the strat but now we will never know since it was handed to them on a silver platter.

You're right there are lots of talented guilds out there. And if you're right about the strat being the reason why Trak was killed, then we should see a bunch of other guilds kill Trak now that the strat is out right?

Lets revisit this topic in a month and see how many others have killed him.

Darkan said...

I've been a long time reader of the devtracker of eq2flames. I really enjoyed that additional source of information from the devs, which often brought light to things you just couldn't find an answer to on the official forums.

IMHO the tracker showed the dedication of the devs posting there toward the eq2 community.

I'll be missing this channel of information.

I've never cared for the rest of eq2flames, because any lightly moderated forum like eq2flames is a pure cesspit.

But since the drama unfolded, I took the time to read the threats regarding the current events.

Basically it amounts to what would be great for a social pathologic case study - another proof that the relative anonymity of the interweb brings out the worst in man.

And I blame this on LFG. LFG has been looked up to by the eq2flames community for a long time and he must have been well aware what posting the mail from Grimwell and declaring SOE "ffa" would trigger on his boards. I don't care what the 'real' reasoning behind his removal from the influencers program was, as we will never know.

LFG decided to burn his bridges with SOE and he did so by USING his community. A terrible abuse of oppinion leadership imho.

But also SOE isn't free of blame, although not for the removal of LFG, but for some other things that occured as fallout of the drama.

The Trakanon strat e-mail looks pretty authentic to me. The description of the encounter makes sense to me, it does look like from an internal SOE document for internal testing and not like something somebody made up.

I'm pretty astounished that such a document gets into any players hand. I knew that guilds were invited to test raid conent in beta, but i wouldn't have thought any of those would get a complete "walkthrough" description of the encounter script. One would think that there are policies in place to keep such kind of information from the playerbase - simply because it spoils the content.

Of course, having this kind of information also puts NPU's successes into another perspective. Their archievements come down to proper execution, they skipped the part of figuring out the encounters. Although it's only bragging rights for 1ww, in a virtual community like eq2 these bragging rights matter to some and i can well understand why those feel hurt.

But in the end, I just hope the current events won't seperate the devs from the community. It would be a sad day to see blogs like Gregs closed down because of the fallout or devs stopping to communicate or - even worse - being a part of the eq2 community.

Greg Spence said...

Thanks for your comment Darken. I certainly agree that both sides have to carry some responsibility for the way things happened.

I just wanted to point out that the dev tracker on eq2flames is actually a feed from the official forums.

http://forums.station.sony.com/eq2/search/search.m?clean=1&sortBy=time&sortDir=DESC&group=Developer

Anonymous said...

My mistake, i was refering to the "eq2flames tracker".

Tim Rus said...

From Russia with love... Good afternoon dear, you know game EQ2 for me that that greater than game, your company having opened Russian of a server of game has shown people from Russia that such the presents games which are done by professionals and put in them a soul. Up to EQ in Russia there were no worthy alternatives of greater games in Russian, there were Russian games of bad quality in which an arbitrariness of developers which for money or for the sake of interests of the guilds gave the some to players certain game opportunities in the form of game subjects prospered. In your game for 1.5 years of existence of the Russian servers any the player did not reflect about it, at an official forum of Russian EQ never the similar theme has not risen... But this scandal certainly has caused many in a shock... It became insulting that there was that all everywhere equally, and that such huge company would seem, with such ingenious people creating this magnificent game did not become exception. You understand correctly, in Russia far from you interests plums what that game information on a server far from us, for another's guild a little, but the fact of such action, reputation to the SOYA disturbs has very strongly suffered, in opinion of all world community, and very much excites future EQ, I hope COE adequately will leave this bad situation and game will continue to develop on equal opportunities for all players. Timur Rossija server Harla Dar

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Phil said...

If I can make one final comment about eq2flames... I havent gone to the website in about a month, and decided to refresh my viewpoint a little today. My gosh, if anything, the website is even worse if that is possible. I was reading where developers were threatened with violence, called the most vile and base names, and other incidents that seriously was beyond even my jaded mentality. Any positive affect that comes from the website is oversome with the vile swill that emanates from almost every post. It is truly pathetic. For those who wish to defend the website, please re-read it with an uncritical viewpoint (not for the faint-hearted...)

drowningfish said...

This whole situation is unfortunate. However, at the same time, the information being released about some of the Dev activities (releasing internal strats, etc) is very disconcerting to me as a player of EQ2.

Rilke said...

It's quite simple - SOE should have test teams that test raid content. Letting top guilds into beta and feeding them strats so they can test an encounter in its entirety for technical problems (f.e. does effect 'A' still hit when close to location 'B') is utterly wrong. What we see here is a top guild being paid with an unfair advantage over other top guilds - paid for doing a job SOE employees should do.

This is corruption indeed, and if you doubt it, just look at the outcry in the hardcore community. If you're a casual player and don't see the point or don't understand what the fuzz is all about, then please understand that it DOES matter when you're in a situation like NPU, or any other guild striving for top achievement in the HC environment. It might seem silly for a casual player, but then you've just not been in that place in EQ2.

This incident was a severe breach of trust, and YES, this IS corruption, and adding to that the awful communication from SOE towards the community, just fuels people's bad opinions about SOE's intentions. I don't understand why SOE PR still hasn't learned to tell their customers what changes they're doing with each and every little patch and update. After all these years, it must be either arrogance or incompetence. What should happen RIGHT NOW is that somebody from SOE comes forward, saying "yes, we gave them the trak strat, we also gave them 2 more strats, but that's it. we apologize, and will test our product ourselves from now on."

And these final words from a programmer: developers != community managers != designers != support people. Before you blame people, try to get a sense of who does what job, fcs. SOE devs have the least part in any of this or other dramas.

Greg Spence said...

It's quite simple - SOE should have test teams that test raid content. Letting top guilds into beta and feeding them strats so they can test an encounter in its entirety for technical problems (f.e. does effect 'A' still hit when close to location 'B') is utterly wrong. What we see here is a top guild being paid with an unfair advantage over other top guilds - paid for doing a job SOE employees should do.

Sorry, I'm not trying to be rude, but this statement tells me that you don't understand the reasoning at all behind the beta testing of raids, so I'll explain it.

Having player-guilds come in to test raids is not to make sure "Effect A goes off at the right time" or "Effect B is avoidable if you click Widget X". We test all of that internally already. Sure, sometimes bugs still get through, but for the most part all of this stuff works fine.

The point of having guilds test a raid zone is to gauge difficulty so we know whether or not the mobs need to hit harder, have more hit points etc. The idea of having 24 internal employees test a raid for difficulty isn't practical. Employees that test raids once a year before an expansion will be nowhere near as skilled as players that raid 4-7 times per week.

Can you imagine what it would be like if raid difficulty were tuned so that 24 of our QA department had a chance at it? (Sorry QA department) But if this were the case, players would beat the content in 2 weeks. I'm sure we have some very good raiders in QA, but not 24 of them that happen to play the right combination of classes and have played long enough together to know how to work well as a raiding team.

I could certainly justify giving the beta guilds some strats to the mobs so they have a more realistic chance at beating the encounter. If they spend 3 weeks in beta not getting past the first mob, it does us no good. If the mob they are testing wipes them on the first AE, that doesn't really help us either.

Keep in mind that guilds on beta are at a severe disadvantage. Most of the time their gear isn't that great, their spells aren't as upgraded, and they haven't had much time to play with AA configurations. It seems very reasonable that they be given some information on how an encounter is supposed to work so that we can actually get down to testing the true difficulty. We want to see how

Greg Spence said...

... bah, dead keyboard batteries.

We want to see how much success a guild can have against an encounter so its not beaten in the first month of an expansion.

It's just not reasonable to test raid difficulty with internal employees, and throwing a guild into a zone like VP and saying "have at it" with no information wouldn't give us any information in the period of a few weeks with limited play time.

So, if anyone has a better idea, let me know and I'll take it to my supervisors.

Rilke said...

Hehe, I would never suggest to set your QA people in front of VP mobs. I know a slaughter when I see one. :D

No, my point is: look at the Trak email in its entirety. Its wording. It's full of things like "make sure effect bla doesnt hit when you did bla". That's technical for sure.

And even for the difficulty testing... why can SOE not have 24 testers who mainly raid and do instances? I am sure they can afford it. Or, another way, would be to support the community on test servers to such a degree that you'd have a handful of HC guilds there who receive a little funding, but to anybody it is clear that they've been helped.

And about the argument that guilds in beta don't have the time to progress in VP without strats: this can be helped by having test chambers... i.e. an empty VP with only Druushk in it. And another empty VP with only Nexona in it. Etc. And you could create gear profiles to simulate a guild that has progressed to that point in VP.

But that leads again to guilds in beta having an unfair advantage. This whole "testing by real players" is a conceptional problem, and I don't see a different solution other than people under contract and NDA test it.

PS: Kudos to you, Greg. I hope this blog doesn't result in any problems for you.

Darkan said...

I don't think that 'test chambers' are a practicable solution. By heavily modifying the zone down to only hold the encounter to be tested or by manually despawning all other mobs (aka 'the simple method'), you will probably break enough stuff like zone scripts that the side effects of those manipulations will make all test results dubious at best. From my point of view, the test enviroment should be as similar as possible to the live enviroment.

I understand why there is a need to provide the testing guilds with informations about the encounter to test. You can't spend weeks/months in beta to wait for people to figure out how an encounter works. But I would expect the informations given to the testing players more in the line of "Bring your manareg gear; mental resistance is important; whatch out for the magic AoE." Giving them instead a checklist on how to beat the encounter sure saves a lot of time testing, but it brings the question of the value of these results either.

What you get as a dev from this 'walkthrough testing' is if the encounter(-script) can be beaten in the way it was thought up. For simple scripts, this is probably fine, but for complex encounters like the said Trakanon battle, the chances that a normal raid without access to these informations will come to a full comprehension of all the effects and how they act together in the same way as the tester had from their 'walkthrough' are pretty low. But I dont't think that you get that much information about the real difficulty of the encounter besides basic stuff like 'I think we should lower that 25k autoattack a bit'...

Having an internal dedicated raid testing crew of 24 is not an option simply for the costs of it - 24 are probably more people than the core development team of eq2 has.

I wish I knew a 'good' solution for testing stuff like this, but then I'd probably wouldn't be sitting here typing this by myself ;)

Travis said...

You're right there are lots of talented guilds out there. And if you're right about the strat being the reason why Trak was killed, then we should see a bunch of other guilds kill Trak now that the strat is out right?

Lets revisit this topic in a month and see how many others have killed him.,


Considering we are talking about competition for WW/server firsts. Its not like 20 people have to kill him in a week now to invalidate my argument. Strike has dropped him and I have no doubt Disso will kill him once the lockout timer is expired.

As far as testing, if you really want live raiding guilds to test content like that they you just need.

A) Full disclosure: We gave so and so the info for mob X so they could test it.

B) Don't give them credit for the WW first or the WW first loot they get for X period of time and communicate to the guild in question that they wont get credit.

C) Have some Clear, Transparent way of picking and/or rotating guilds in and out of the testing.

Anonymous said...

Only fair way to approach this is to allow ALL the guilds to beta test and have access to the same information. Reward players that participate to encourage them to test. Devs gain by having more guilds to test and feedback. Players gain by feeling more involved.

Greg Spence said...

I'm not sure that we've ever turned down a guild for raid beta testing. I can't be 100% sure, but we've always had a hard time finding guilds that would agree to bringing all of their players over and spending "X" amount of time a week testing raids in beta.

Perhaps the solution is to make it more apparent that guilds are welcome to come to beta and test raid content. Then, if a guild doesn't take this opportunity its up to them. Would this be a fair solution?

More testing means finding more bugs and a more stable release. I don't think we'd have a problem opening beta to more guilds, but of course I'm not the final call on that.

Part of the problem though is finding people who will truly help test and provide good feedback. We don't want guilds who will just go in with the mindset of "we're gonna learn the encounters early just so we get a head start".

I hope everyone can at least see that this is a difficult problem with no perfect solution. At the moment I truly believe SOE is doing the best we can, but we are always willing to improve the process if we can find better ways.

Travis said...

Perhaps the solution is to make it more apparent that guilds are welcome to come to beta and test raid content. Then, if a guild doesn't take this opportunity its up to them. Would this be a fair solution?

I agree this would probably be an effective solution. I had no idea that its even ever be available. I'm gonna go ask my guild if they would be willing to spend a week on test to give feedback on raid encounters to make sure I'm not alone.

Anonymous said...

The invitations needs more visibility. I know my guild would love to help beta test if we know who to talk to, how to apply etc.
On the same subject of testing, what about class balancing? Can't SOE pick a player from each class, people who knows their class ins and outs, to give feedback about their class? I think it would be a gold mine of info .

Greg Spence said...

Can't SOE pick a player from each class, people who knows their class ins and outs, to give feedback about their class?

This is really what the class forums are for. We do read them, and we are aware of the complaints. Picking 1 person just really wouldn't work and most likely you'd have the entire class hating that person as soon as they suggest something that people didn't agree with. I've seen threads where its literally split 50/50 where players can't agree amongst themselves how something should be done. With this sort of thing happening, you can't expect one person to always make the right choice.

And that brings us to why class balance is such a big issue and one that warrants an entirely separate conversation. :)

Mustang| said...

One of the huge problems, and I see you've made a public post about this, is the test server just isn't a very good test server.

A test server should be used to test, not to foster a community that is close-knit because conditions/economy/etc of the server are so crappy.

/testcopy should be able to be used once a week to move your character over to Test so you can test content updates, bugs, etc without worrying about levelling someone else up, double xp or not. This way you don't even need buffbots.

Blizzard (as usual) does this very well I think, as they don't even have a public test server 100% of the time, they only open it when there's large GU-like updates coming. Unfortunately the expectation of an EQ2 test server has already been set so you probably will never be able to just shut down the current server.

Mikul said...


Can't SOE pick a player from each class, people who knows their class ins and outs, to give feedback about their class?

This is really what the class forums are for. We do read them, and we are aware of the complaints. Picking 1 person just really wouldn't work and most likely you'd have the entire class hating that person as soon as they suggest something that people didn't agree with. I've seen threads where its literally split 50/50 where players can't agree amongst themselves how something should be done. With this sort of thing happening, you can't expect one person to always make the right choice.

And that brings us to why class balance is such a big issue and one that warrants an entirely separate conversation. :)


On the subject of class heads etc. Its worked before, DaoC worked a player class champion when i played years ago. Someone who basically had edit rights to the class forum only and brought all the issues into an official post and basically then had a two-way communication with the relevant dev. You actually have a place to get these people together with FanFaire that most games didn't in the past. As its more an information gathering role, its simple to see if they are not doing there job and it doesn't actually have to be raider either, any person who plays that class ALOT will do and have passion for the class.

Ed Lowrey said...

Greg, thanks for responding so quickly. Will I could say the same for myself. I should have stated my one comment differently. "The offical forums are a waste of time for me." Thats probably how it should have read.

I have been active on the Coercer forums for a very, very long time. Not once in two and a half years has a Dev ever spoken to us there. We have had the occasional Community Relations person drop in and say they understand the problems that we have asked to be addressed, but we have not seen any results in the entire time. The Coercer of today is a fading shadow of what it used to be and is getting worse every update. And of course recently we have had several of our threads ended by a mod, and yes the language has gotten meaner and more hateful lately. When you seen your class that you have spent a lot of time on going into the toilet with no response, I'm not sure you can expect anything less.

I go to EQ2Flames now for the simple reason that under thier Coercer forums I find there is more detailed information (although maybe tainted with some foul language) then I can find on the offical forums. Why is this? I believe because the higher end players have abandoned the offical forums for EQ2flames.

I still "cruise" the offical forums and will occasionally post. But I find that I have nothing constructive to add there anymore and most of my posts are, well, on the negative side. This is 99.9% due to the non-existance of communications with my class.

So why do I still play EQ2? Well for now it is still the best online game going. But should another company finally get a good product going, I'd jump ship in a heartbeat.

Anonymous said...

As I sit here this morning and consider the last 4 years playing this game and the things I've read on eq2flames over the years... some things make me snicker but also a little sad all at the same time..

1. Folks complain up and down that content doesn't get tested enough with folks who "really know how to play"

...but then they bitch when hardcore guilds are asked to test encounters on beta

2. Folks complain that the devs don't understand the concerns and questions that "real players" have

....but then they bitch when they hear that devs are in high end guilds.

3. People don't think it's fair that NPU tested some of the content in beta (something that several hardcore guilds who have WW1st things have done since the very first beta, including this last one, Second Dawn anyone?)

...but then say "oh actually, we didn't know our guild could volunteer. Sign us up" when Greg mentions the possibility.

4. People are shocked, shocked I tell you! that the strat is explained to the beta testers during the playtest (which was going on during raging fires in SD btw)

...but they conveniently forget that most every encounter playtest on beta is done this way in order to focus folks quickly in on the things that need testing (I've seen this happen multiple times on "hey I need 24 random folks to come test this zone/encounter" free for all calls during official zone tests in every beta I've been in.)

5. People jump all over certain guilds for being "spoon fed"

...but conveniently forget that the hardcore raiding community is relatively small at this point, EVERYBODY has friends in other high end guilds and information is shared pretty freely from devs to players or players to players... (whether you want to believe this or not, I've seen it at play directly or indirectly in 8 different high end guilds over the last 4 years... everyone has a dev contact to at LEAST ask "hey is this broken? are we wasting our time" or "hey have you considered XYZ for such and such zone or item or encounter")

---

Information is power they say.
Context is even more power I'd say.

And the reality of the situation is folks are taking SOME information and SOME context and coming to what may appear to be logical conclusions at best and self-serving ranting at worst. However, they just don't have all the information. And they likely never will.

As important as people like to think they are as individuals or even as a collective group (eq2flames), it's simply not appropriate to run every decision made about a game/company/whatever by the paying customers. It's simply not appropriate or even possible to give all of the information and CONTEXT to completely explain these decisions in ways that every paying customer will understand or agree with. That's simply not how society is run, let alone a service serving 7+ million customers.

Just because someone hasn't responded directly to YOU doesn't mean they haven't heard you (or the issue you've raised).

Just because things aren't handled the way YOU would like, doesn't mean they aren't being handled in a way that serves the majority of the community.

Just because a bug/whatever hasn't been fixed as fast as YOU would like, doesn't mean it isn't on a producer's radar/priority list.

Just because your cousin who "does this stuff" could drop a fix in tomorrow that would "make it all better" doesn't mean that you have the first clue how the game is written or the process to get code live on servers.

Just because a coder or dev works on a certain aspect of the game doesn't mean they run the show and are allowed to set their own priorities regarding when they get to fix certain things.

Just because a coder or dev works on a certain aspect of the game doesn't mean they have ANY authority to comment on another aspect of the game.

Things simply aren't as black and white as everyone would like them to be and the simple fact is people work very hard at their jobs for the most part, especially in the gaming industry. Roasting devs (REAL PEOPLE!) atop the EQ2Flames fire was/is a huge case of solving the wrong problem.

John said...

Greg I think you are wrong about the official forums. For example, many posts, no matter how reasonable, have been deleted on the core issues in this instance.

There is no justification for in game information being shared by SoE employees with their in game guilds. Apart from anything else, world wide first kills = not only masses of kudos, but mythical itema.

Greg Spence said...

To the anonymous poster 2 above this comment:

Thanks for your post, I couldn't have said it better myself. Are you sure you don't work for SOE? :)

To John:

Your posts are most likely move because we've asked everyone to confine this conversation to a single thread rather than having 10 new threads pop up on it. We do this all the time on various subjects to try to keep the forums more readable. It helps when new people come to the forums and want to read about a topic. Its no fun if they have to read through 10 threads to get all the info.

If you want your voice to be heard on this matter I'd suggest responding to the thread thats already going instead of starting a new one.

Anonymous said...

Greg this has been one of the worst spin doctor attempts I have seen to date, for any subject, for any venue.

There has not been a single person before LFG removed for lack of activity on the Influencer's Program, multiple members of that program have gone missing for months on end without a single post and were allowed to stay in the program. So please, drop that as a reason, it is pathetically transparent.

As for your, and your yes men here, pure vitriol and rhetoric about the content of eq2flames answer me this:

Why before this falling out on the community relations side of SOE:EQ2 were you able to find more developer responses to game issues on eq2flames than on the official SOE eq2 forums?

The answer? Over moderation on the official forums. Lack of input or a drowning out of input from those that know the game best. Using the site that has the most resources available on the content and mechanics.

Before you argue the point that there wasn't in a smoke and mirrors bid to not answer the question, it is a widely known fact that this is the case. Your pleas of ignorance or outright refusal to acknowledge this does not change that fact.

I had spent a long time using the official boards, I had tried to get information about every topic for the classes I play. I received multiple warnings, multiple suspensions for posting hard data, screenshots of the graphs from parses, and finally banned on my primary account's user name for questioning why the issues were being ignored. Reason for every single one: Excessive negativity and trolling with a link to a part of the code of conduct that did not touch on anything I had posted.

Now as for how influential the eq2flames site is? 70,000 unique IPs in the past month, or if each IP was a single account, no multiple accounts on an IP, that is 45% roughly of the player base. Lets say that half of those IPs are from dynamic IPs and same user from multiple locations. 35,000 individuals. Thats roughly 20% of the total player base. Lets say that that number is even too high by half. You still are talking about 10% of the population of your game.

And that is assuming that every IP is only a single account. In other words this is not including the people with 2-5+ accounts that are on the same IP.

If including how many accounts each IP is actually subscribed to the number only climbs. Drastically.

And the SOE Community Management Staff is alienating this community.

No spiders, search engines, or bots are included in those IP numbers. ISPs like AOL can have what is actually multiple user accounts from differing locations listed under the same IP address so that the numbers are actually an underestimation. Not an overestimation.

Greg Spence said...

I read the official forums, so you're wasting time quoting me posts from the DDoS thread.

Anonymous said...

Ahh so disregarding the question that was a portion of that post that you didn't answer, you still won't respond to how bad of a move that the actions of the EQ2 Community Management staff really are and how your spin doctoring cannot provide enough of a smoke screen for anyone that is not part of your yes man corner.

Nor will you comment on the hypocrisy that was used to remove LFG from the Influencer's Program.

Nice to see your actions working for SOE carry over to how you post on your own blog. Consistency is a virtue I will definitely laud you on if any may call it into question.

Skree said...

(( Greg! I have an idea for you :) (unrelated to EQ2flames but I don't know how to PM you in the Blogger interface =(

(( it's in the eq2 forums right here:

http://forums.station.sony.com/eq2/posts/list.m?start=0&topic_id=411493�

Take care, have a good weekend!

Skree said...

(( and just ignore those rude people who post with 'anonymous', if they are so bold as to make such comments, you'd think they would at least put their name on it 8-)

Anonymous said...

Sorry, don't have a blogger ID or such and the Name/URL didn't work for me when I tried to use that option either time.

I was the last two anonymous.

pagansaint on eq2flames and SOE official boards.

But discounting something said because the source is unknown is very poor form. Ad hominem at its worst even.

Greg Spence said...

You accused me of spin doctoring and being pathetically transparent. You've obviously already made up your mind and nothing I can say will change that, so I chose to not waste my breathe on a response to your comment. You think you have all the answers, so why do you want more from me?

Benji said...

Can't SOE pick a player from each class, people who knows their class ins and outs, to give feedback about their class?

This is really what the class forums are for. We do read them, and we are aware of the complaints. Picking 1 person just really wouldn't work and most likely you'd have the entire class hating that person as soon as they suggest something that people didn't agree with. I've seen threads where its literally split 50/50 where players can't agree amongst themselves how something should be done. With this sort of thing happening, you can't expect one person to always make the right choice.

And that brings us to why class balance is such a big issue and one that warrants an entirely separate conversation. :)


To be honest, I don't see why you can't take a single player to collect feedback as a whole class by class as well as having the dev for that specific archtype/etc reading through on occasion as is done now- Why, exactly, is there an issue with say, voting for a knowledgeable, friendly, well-liked representative for each class?

A single player who is willing and able to collect the issues as seen by the playerbase, with perhaps the added ability to sticky posts in the class section(ONLY sticky) to keep the more.. 'hot' topics easily available to other players of the class and then be able to email/PM their respective developer? It's not like you would be the first class to do this, and hell- it'd be more useful than the waste the guide program happens to be :P



On another note- As far as the strat for Trakanon/ giving raiders strats so that they can actually test the mobs in beta...

I can see your point about needing them to actually be able to defeat the encounters- but giving them a COMPLETE blow by blow walkthrough is a bit over the top, no? A nudge and a wink, maybe, a hint to get past a tricky obstacle, but any REAL 4-7 day a week raid guild should be able to figure out the strat for any raid mob fairly quickly in a day or two, particularly if you give them roundabout info.

For instance, with Trak, the ONLY thing they should have been told was that the Chelsith stone was needed to activate the orb and how to claim one. NONE of the rest of it should have been handed to them. And yes, a lot of people still can't kill Trak yet, but that's not really the point, is it?

As for suggestions to make the beta raid system more palatable.. Perhaps you should try not inviting the TOP raid guilds? Even with the fact that you say you've had trouble getting raid guilds to come to beta test, you can't seriously mean that you plan the difficult of raid encounters on how well guilds like NPU, SD, etc can manage the content? I mean, unless your plan is for it to be relatively easy for them so that it's moderately difficult for the majority of guilds, at any rate.

Anonymous said...

What I would want is an answer, an honest reply without the propaganda that you posted as the blog entry these comments are towards.

I have only made my mind up as far as the inadequacies of the cover up provided by SOE up to this time. They have provided nothing other than simple condemnations for posting of information that is publicly available for anyone who wants to look.

Look at the email sent to LFG, look at the differing commentary, not just from what was sent to LF but from each other, from the Community Staff on the official forums. Look at the QA only information given to a live guild. Look at the past record of LFG doing exactly the opposite of what is being accused of him.

I'm sorry, the only one who has made up his mind totally on the situation is you. The one refusing to answer questions.

As you said, you've read the numbers. As an online technical professional you know the details of how those numbers work even if it isn't spelled out as I did previously.
As you and I both know, eq2flames is the most comprehensive and accurate site for information regarding information for eq2. One of the reasons the developers go there to post and get feedback, or atleast did before this fiasco started.

What do you think of the way your company is handling this situation, not the by the book SOE propaganda like what your blog entry was, but honestly?

~pagansaint

Greg Spence said...

First off, I always give honest opinions on my blog and I find your accusation that its propaganda to be insulting.

Since my answers are just propaganda and rhetoric, how about I ask the questions and you give me the answers. You obviously know much more about the situation than I could ever hope to.

What do you think SOE is trying to cover up? Do you also believe there are silent black helicopters hovering outside your window?

Please show me where my server, character name and guild were publicly posted previous to this fiasco.

Why would SOE remove LFG from the influencer's group if he was being a contributing member and helping to make the game better?

If eq2flames is the most comprehensive and accurate site on the net why would SOE want to distance itself from it?

If eq2flames is such a pillar of the eq2 community, why would its members retaliate by posting the dev's information, and why wouldn't LFG do something to stop it when he protected that information before?

What do I think about the Trakanon email? Unfortunately I don't know the whole story so I can only give you my opinions. I think bad judgment was used when providing information to a guild for beta testing. I think this situation will lead to tighter constraints in future beta tests.

Anonymous said...

Your honest opinion seems to be blindly loyal to your company or horribly informed of everything said on both sites. I would tend to lean just towards the latter in my personal opinion of the situation. But only just.

As for your questions:

Where other than a publicly listed site/page or you telling non SOE employees, IE someone in the general populace, your ingame character name and that you are a developer would that information be found?

The reasons given for LFG's removal was lack of contribution in a forum board where there are members who had been inactive, no logins even, for months on end and were not removed. Hypocritical on the part of the Community Staff wouldn't you say? The rub is that forum board is dead, a new topic once a week maybe, a few posts a day, topics on the graphical appearances of items and the such fluff being the norm, that is from a member of the program that runs a still fully endorsed fansite.

I don't know why SOE would want to distance itself from any site that has a large portion of its player base frequenting, that the developers for their product use more frequently than their official sponsored forums(which actually may be the reason in and of itself). Only the SOE Community Management staff would be able to answer that for you.

If you wanted information such as what developer played what character ingame they would not tell people in game they are developers. If you wanted information such as your email addresses not known maybe you would do better than having your first name initial and your last name followed by @soe.sony.com. If you wanted your ingame actions not known, again, don't tell people your ingame name and that you are a developer. Hell google alone found most the information. But you knew that, since as you said before you have read those threads.

Your, and your fellow developer's, indiscretions of letting it be known what the names of your ingame characters are is not the fault of anyone but yourself. There is no possible way for anyone to find and confirm that information other than being told. But once that cat is out of the bag all of your actions while under that name, or if a name is changed and the character can be tracked(like carbon copying instead of leveling like aeralik did), will be attributed to you and your actions fall under the player base's eye.

The reason the information wasn't posted on eq2flames previously was due to LFG keeping the site friendly to developer activity. And trust me, its hard to stay friendly to the staff of a company who takes your money and ignores your concerns.

I think its difficult to call releasing that information anything approaching normal beta testing. That is an exact play by play of exactly what is needed to be performed to kill the mob from internal SOE QA testing. The fact that this guild, considered at the time to be the number one world wide guild in ingame ability, left a changed but thought to be at the time killable avatar encounter to go to Trakanon the very afternoon Trakanon was toned down to be killable is just as pressing of a concern as the quality and type of information received during beta. That that information was only provided to one group of people and not every guild with access is disheartening and very reminiscent of the BoB/Dev scandal in Eve-Online.

~pagansaint

Anonymous said...

Everyone is sitting here blaming SOE for this, when it's all LFG's fault that this drama took place and is continuing to ensue.

He could have taken the drop from this program (and btw who FRICKEN cares?) like a man instead of being a cry baby on his site and posting the letter he was sent.

He could have refrained from fucking over Gallenite last year when he posted he was starting his own company well before he was ready to tell the EQ2 team.

He could have removed posts that were blatantly hostile towards developers both on a physical and mental level, yet he kept them up to generate hits/money for himself.

He could have participated more in the program he was invited to be a part of, yet instead he sent other people in his place to speak for him.

His website shits on the developers on a regular basis, but you want SOE to continue to post and participate with them. Why would they do that? Who wants to put up with that kind of grief?

You know what the guy is all about when you see him bragging about getting payyyyyyyyyyyyed for all the hits he generated this week. What a dick.

Anonymous said...

I have a few questions:

Did SoE actually warn LFG that he was not participating correctly in the Influencers group, or did they just boot him?

Why does eq2flames have 4 times the traffic of the official forums - are they meeting a need?

Why does a guild need a DETAILED walkthrough to test a hard encounter. Isn't it part of the test to see if it is possible for the guild to work things out for themselves?

Mustang| said...

"You know what the guy is all about when you see him bragging about getting payyyyyyyyyyyyed for all the hits he generated this week. What a dick."

I think you are missing the sarcasm.

Anonymous said...

To sit here and say the official forums arnt moderated way to much is a crock of crap imo.

Why is it 90% of the well spoken ppl, even others from fansites dont post on the official forums since Grimwell and Noobrin took over? Over moderation would be it.

Greg, u can say all u want, but your wrong, and just playin favortism towards your work.

Official forums are crap, period. Grimwell and Noobrin should be ashamed, and SoE should be ashamed on how they have handled this whole thing.

To Skree...
Hypocrit all the way. U post on Flames like its your haven then bad mouth it here to SoE? My god dude, fanboi much? /lame

Tickles_Tapeworm said...

One problem I have is people saying that EQ2Flames is posting "private" info...

I wouldn't exactly say this blog is shrouded in secrecy. And I can think of a great way for people to not know the names of your player characters... DONT FRIGGIN TELL ANYONE :P

It's not that fact that LFG was removed from the Influencer program. It's the reasons he was given as to why.

Anonymous said...

Devs need to show off there e-peen to it seems...

Good point dude, dont want ppl to know your a dev in game???

DONT TELL ANYONE. Wow so hard to figure that one out!!!

LFG said...

Greg, you said:

"LFG was simply removed from the Influencers program for lack of involvement and communication."

Your statement is in the form of a fact Sir. Facts what others at SOE have told you. These "facts" simply aren't true, and what you've done by repeating this pretextual, rationalized, and regurgitated excuse is no different than Grimwell accusing me of reporting untruthful, sensationalized information.

The truth is, you don't know why I reacted as I did except what others have told you at SOE HQ. There will be an Interview that should be published by another site on Tuesday that will shed more light on this. Hopefully then you will better understand my side of the story.

You further state in your comments here that:

"I'm sorry, but I can't think of a reason to justify the posting of SOE employee's private information on public forums."

In the case of the information posted on my site (by others, none of it was posted by me), all of that information was gleaned by EQ2 players from SOE employees who voluntarily disclosed that information to players, and from information that your employer makes public.

The reason that information was posted was so players could determine whether and to what extent your co-workers were corrupt and had released private, confidential information in violation of SOE policies to give their guildmates an unfair advantage over other players.

The leaked email on the Trakanon encounter, which could only have been leaked by a member of your dev staff to an EQ2 uber guild, highlights the fact that at least one or more of your co-workers have violated SOE policy and the very basis of ethics in gaming for personal their own personal gain, including to curry favor with their guildmates.

No "private" information was published on my site - no phone numbers, no addresses. The only information that has been posted is to tie devs into their player accounts, and to post public email addresses for SOE employees.

Your attempted rationalization of this entire matter is specious, and all you've done here is helped to establish that the Emporer is naked and you don't want to tell him that.

I sincerely had expected better from you Greg.

Illuminator said...

If eq2flames is such a pillar of the eq2 community, why would its members retaliate by posting the dev's information, and why wouldn't LFG do something to stop it when he protected that information before?

Talk to some people who have fought in wars at the front lines. They'll typically tell you that when push came to shove, they weren't fighting for their country so much as for each other.

Suppose you successfully rationalize the leaking of the Trak QA report. How then do you rationalize the next allegation, that Zoltaroth regularly revealed contested spawn times to his guild?

Greg Spence said...

To sit here and say the official forums arnt moderated way to much is a crock of crap imo.

Regardless of your opinion on the forum moderation, the official forums are what we (the devs) read and respond to. So if you want to be heard, that's where you should post your issues. As long as you post them with respect, they won't be moved and they will be read. You'd expect some professionalism out of me as an SOE employee, I don't think its too much for us to ask in return.

DONT TELL ANYONE. Wow so hard to figure that one out!!!
I've been playing EQ2 since the day it came out, and I've only been an employee for SOE since the end of 2006. There are many people in game that knew me before I came to work here. There have also been situations where I've tried my best to help someone when they've had problems, and it was inevitable that they know I was an SOE employee in order for me to help them. I don't just go around telling people I'm an SOE dev.

vcjester said...

I don't know if this was brought up or not yet, but the information Snark posted was already out there, he just put it together in an easy to read formant. (dev info)

As for over moderation of the official forums. I tend to agree with everyone there. What used to be fun and worth while to browse, has turned into something that is more a pain in the butt then anything. I've tried to post quality concerns in the past in a polite fashion to just have the thread locked in an hour or two. After getting frustrated enough times, (leading to the impression that if you don't post what SOE wants to hear, you will get spanked with the naughty stick) most people WILL move on to another forum if given a chance....eq2flames.

As for the immature nature of a lot of posts in eq2flames, hey... I'm of the personal opinion that we'd all get a lil immature at times if we didn't have a boss man looking over our shoulders. Eq2 Flames is a good way to release all the stuff we keep inside on a daily basis because the system forces us into a "politically correct" lifestyle.

As for the "coming down on the devs to hard" aspect of eq2 flames. Remember that a lot of people out there grew up in a workforce where you really aren't allowed to screw up or "make mistakes" that often before you are looking for another job. When the customers are used to this way of life, they tend to expect the same from others, especially when they are paying money for someone's services.

Once someone gets a bad vibe or has had a bad experience about something. Such as feeling like SOE doesn't care about our concerns it's not that easy to get people to feel otherwise.

If the Dev leaking strats that allowed X guild to kill X mob issue is true, I'm sure most of the reasonable players don't want to see said Dev outed from SOE but we DO want to know that he got a spanking and NOT giving us a "the issue has been dealt with" cookie cutter response that most long term players have seen multiple times in reply to our concerns.

I played a game once where you could see right on games home page a list of stuff done wrong that week and what happened to them.

Example: A player was found to be harrassing others in X area today.
Action taken: Player's account was deactivated for 3 days.

Anonymous said...

U may not go around tellin everyone who u are, but most ingame devs dont, they are more then happy to gloat, like Astaroth on Guk...

Also, the official forums, if u say no at all and that is it, expect a ban if u dont have some favortism from a mod, tbh.

U can not have a proper discussion if u do not allow someone to say some negative criticism, which they dont at all. U can try and argue this all u want, but its moot at best. Facts are, pretty much all outspoken ppl that use to post on the official forums are long gone, pls tell me why? Over moderation, and nothin but.

If u honestly believe they dont, wake up pls, cause your livin in a dream world.

LFG said...

Regarding your comment:

"Regardless of your opinion on the forum moderation, the official forums are what we (the devs) read and respond to. So if you want to be heard, that's where you should post your issues."

This is more evidence that SOE has decided to take back it's traffic from EQ2Flames by mandating that devs can no longer post there, and can only post on the official forums.

Thank you for strengthening my case that SOE made a business decision to use it's best efforts to destroy my website, for it's own personal gain.

Greg Spence said...

LFG:

If there is more information to the story than I am aware of, I'd be happy to hear it. I'm not the close-minded individual some would like me to be. If the facts are there that show SOE was wrong then I would be the first to admit it, I just haven't seen it.

I never said SOE was perfect and doesn't make mistakes. A lot of people just make the assumption that is my attitude because I work there. I could give you a huge list of things I think we need to improve, and if I were in the position to do so, I would. This is why I'm working hard on my own off hours to do things like collect community feedback in areas that I know could use some help. Maybe I can't get everything to change, but I can at least try.

In a perfect world I'd love to have mature, rational conversation with everyone so I can assimilate the information necessary to help make these changes. But I have to wade through insults to my integrity and professionalism which do nothing but discourage me from trying harder.

We can either be part of the solution, or part of the problem. I'm prefer to be part of the solution.

If employees have shown evidence of gross misconduct, it should be dealt with. No doubt you're aware of past firings when employees have used GM powers to give themselves advantages in the game. But before anything can be done, the truth must be found out and appropriate action should be taken.

I also find the argument that the dev information was already out there to be a terribly justification for painting it on a huge billboard and placing it for everyone to see. People know good and well the intent of that post was more than what you guys would lead people to believe. So continuing to hang on the idea of making the info publicly available as a service to your users is no worse than the spin you accuse SOE of using.

Personally, having a few people know that I was a dev was very helpful in getting bug reports straight to me, and helping me get information that aided in doing my job. You've shown me that apparently I chose to confide in some of the wrong people. The only thing this can do in the future is impede my progress and perhaps make me think twice about choosing to help someone.

Again, LFG, I may not know the entire situation around this event, I only know what I've been told. The same goes for the eq2flames community, yet it didn't take long for them to make up their minds and hang the people they thought were at fault.

Fault aside, I'd love nothing more than for this entire thing to die down so I could spend my weekend working on constructive changes for the game and not battling the fires. I still have 15 more pages of "what bugs you" user feedback to go though.

Greg Spence said...

Thank you for strengthening my case that SOE made a business decision to use it's best efforts to destroy my website, for it's own personal gain.

This is a great example of reading WAY too much into something I said to twist it into something you WANT it to say.

Eq2flames has always been a good resource for the EQ2 community and a great outlet for the hardcore community. I can't see why SOE would ever want that resource to go away.

Every website is not created equal and they don't all need to cater to the same group of players. I may not agree with everything that goes on at flames. I think the hate for SOE that is exhibited there just fuels the fire more and keeps people from giving us the proper chance to change things and make them better. I guarantee you if I posted a response on flames regarding an issue, half of the responses would be nothing but sarcasm and insults. Its almost become a game to see who can be the most insulting to SOE and the developers. Its not really the environment that makes me want to participate there.

I've chosen on my own to focus more of my time and attention on the official boards because its where I find I can be most productive.

vcjester said...

I whole heartedly agree that the info posted was done in a bad tempered mood. :P

I guess I'm not the type who'd use that info to flame anyone through /tells or anything, but I'm sure it resulted in a lot of malicious emails, /tells, etc.

Anonymous said...

How is information "private." if some of the information was found simply by /google.

/boggle

Mustang| said...

"I've chosen on my own to focus more of my time and attention on the official boards because its where I find I can be most productive."

The problem is many people that actually use the boards (the people that play the game) don't find it to be productive at all, and that's a direct result of the poor community relations team.

Greg Spence said...

How is information "private." if some of the information was found simply by /google.

I wish people would stop with this argument. I don't care in the least bit that my name, email and blog were posted. That information is in my signature on every forum post I make.

I only care about my play account information because I don't want my guild falsely accused of having advantages because I'm in it. Show me where you can Google THAT.

Erin said...

Greg,

First, while I agree that having all the developer information consolidated into one place can be a hassle you cannot expect that people would not find the information. Google is an amazing tool that allows you to find most anything. I, honestly, have been known to find said information about developers and community managers myself on the occasion. It really does not change much. If a person wants to the know the information they will find it whether it is in a thread on eq2flames or just out there in the ether that is the internet.

What I would really like to discuss with you here is your opinion of the moderation on the official forums, what happens when single comments from threads are deleted, and the professional of some developers on the official forums. I, in a thread on (I believe) the tradeskill forum, through the course of discussing the fact that chromatic essences were needed to create house items made a comment about a developer treading the fine line with being unprofessional. This was in response to a glaringly, overenthusiastic post about said developer. There was no flaming or insulting. What I said and the manner in which I stated it were professional and, while I cannot say completely courteous, were not rude or affluently trollish. It was an observation on the behavior this developer had been exhibiting for quite a while and which was only getting worse. I, also, was not the only person to notice it. It was mentioned by others in that thread and others. No one had put it into the terms I had, though. That post was deleted shortly after I posted it without comment to me why it was removed. So, at this juncture, I am curious as why it would have been removed and what happened to said comment? I would, also, like to know as developers are you held to a standard for your interactions with players on the forums? I understand that the developers are given a large amount of grief on the official forums and others but I would think being an employee of the company they would be expected to maintain a professional air with the customers at all times. I am in a position where I have to directly communicate with customers and if I were to broach subjects and respond to comments made by them in the manner this developer was I would be fired. So, please, I would like to know what standard you, as a developer, are held to in your interactions with the community; your customers.

Note: You are not the developer I am speaking about. I have never had a bad interaction with you and have not seen you respond on the official forums in anything less than a professional manner.

Anonymous said...

Where other than you letting it be known that character is being played by a developer and using the knowledge available to you as a developer while on that character, as you said you have done, can that information be found?

Did someone just make it up, or did you tell people?

If you told someone then why are you trying to blame everyone else?

Google was used for much of that information, but not all, some came from word of mouth from people who were told what you do and what your character's name is. As has been said repeatedly and obviously ignored.

~pagansaint

Anonymous said...

Greg,

You were the one, with others, complaining about posting "private." information. If you did not want to be questioned about that, then, perhaps you should re-think on what you comment on.

Furthermore, i do not think the entire community of eq2 players automatically assumes that any and all soe staff leaks information. However it is now known that Soe employee's are in the game,and even more so, some are leaking information. See that word...Yes, it is Some.

Not all.

Greg Spence said...

I must be really bad at communicating my thoughts because some of these responses just /boggle me.

Did someone just make it up, or did you tell people?

If you told someone then why are you trying to blame everyone else?


Did you read my comment? Yes, some people knew, for one various reason or another. It's not something I just went around telling people. And whenever I felt I needed to tell someone, I asked them to keep it in confidence. The only people that I blame are the ones that betrayed my confidence when giving the info to someone else, and Snark/LFG for posting it on the forums and leaving it there.

If you did not want to be questioned about that, then, perhaps you should re-think on what you comment on.
Who said I didn't want to be questioned about it? I think I've done pretty well trying to answer as many comments as I possibly can. If there's something I didn't comment on it's not because I didn't want to, or I'm trying to hide something. It's just not reasonable to think I can respond to every person's comment.

I'm trying to enjoy a nice day outside with my wife, grilling burgers and working in the yard. She's probably really tired of me checking my computer every 30 minutes.

Anonymous said...

This bit is total misinformation:

"The reasons given for LFG's removal was lack of contribution in a forum board where there are members who had been inactive, no logins even, for months on end and were not removed."

The forum in question is active, and never went dead, which LFG would know had he bothered to log into it.

Anonymous said...

So you're saying not only is LFG a liar but other people who are members of the Influencer's Program?

~pagansaint

Anonymous said...

Posting this as anon because i don't have blogger account. I'm Barra, level 80 monk on Runnyeye. I post on EQ2Flames as Barra and on the official forums as MadBarman. I have been playing EQ2 since launch.

The current SOE/eq2flames issue is not just a single problem that's just blown up over night. Maybe people are overreacting and maybe they are not.

There are a couple of things that need to be looked at. Gnorbrin and Grimwell have a bad reputation to a, not insignificant, part of the EQ2 community. EQ2Flames forums have more people reading them more often than the official forums. Someone at SOE needs to look at why these 2 things are happening.

Look at what's happened over the past few days. Developer posts on the official forums have increased and there has been a slight change to a standing rule on the SOE boards. If there is a need now to change a rule, why wasn't the rule changed before? Why the sudden increase in developer posts?

Yes EQ2Flames has more bad language, personal attacks and is very lightly moderated. Some people prefer this obvioulsy, some people go way over the top with it. Within all that though are posts that I have found more informative, useful than the official forums and above all allow a real discussion about both good and bad aspects of EQ2. Something that has not been possible on the official forums.

With regards to the alleged developer favourtism and handing out information. There are many things being stated as fact and people saying they can prove it. First, the email which has now been posted in many places. That does not look like something a guild should need to test an encounter, those look to me to be internal QA notes that should not be seen by anyone outside of SOE members of staff. If that amount of detailed notes are needed for a player guild to test content then they should forfeit the right to any bonus they may recieve from the world first kill. As far as the other allegations go, SOE need to announce publically and carry out an investigation. Even if nothing wrong has been done to be seen to be taking it as a valid and important concern would go a long way to restoring the faith of the players in the devloper, GM and customer service teams.

There is a post currently on the official forums I believe you started Greg, about how can you get more people to test content. It has been mentioned there and here as well. The test server needs to be a pure test server, with frequent wipes of character data and the ability to /testcopy on a regular basis. The idea of having test as it's own community does not provide a good test basis. You mentioned on teh official forums that you don't think this is a good idea because people would only test what they would be interested in, but surely thats the point? When you put a coercer change to test, coercers would go and test it, people with experience in the class who would be able to give you the best feedback. If a change to a guardian shield goes to test you would have guardians testing it. Above all if a change goes to test there needs to be responses from teh developer responsable for the change in a feedback thread dedicated to that one change. Most of all things need to be on test server for longer, too many changes have spent less than 2 weeks on test before being pushed live only to be changed at a later date because of bugs or balancing issues.

This brings me to the main point of my rambling. Communication. There needs to be more of it, patch notes need to be full and detailed as possible. There have been some recent changes to raid mobs that were not even mentioned in teh patch notes. Some days there is a patch and there is no notes what so ever. Also the words you use need to be looked at. It seems to be a favourite practise of SOE to state a change as a 'slight' adjustment. This adjustment then turns out to be more than slight. For example: The monk skill peel was changed from 90 second duration to 10 second with a 20 second after effect. That is not what I, or many people, would term as slight. Another example: There is a quest in Kunzar Jungle that gives a wind up pocket golem as a reward. This used to be a pet that would attack your target for 36 seconds witha reuse time of 9 minutes. It was overpowered because it was made to be level 81. The patch notes said it was adjusted 'slightly'. This slight change turned it into a cosmetic pet that follows you around and has no real use, again not what I would call a slight change.

Sorry for the long ramble, hope it all makes sense.

Barra

Anonymous said...

"So you're saying not only is LFG a liar but other people who are members of the Influencer's Program?

~pagansaint"

No, I'm saying the Influencer board is active, and any statement otherwise is misinformation.

Which is what I said.

Anonymous said...

"No, I'm saying the Influencer board is active, and any statement otherwise is misinformation."

Except the board is not active, at all. They see one maybe two new threads a week and only a few posts other than that.

Your saying that it is active is the misinformation, unless you are talking about in the last week of which I haven't spoken to any of my friends or contacts in that programs and which LFG has been removed from and hasn't had access since.

~pagansaint

QFE, hecksher01 (w/permission) & Vyorai said...

First, let me say that, unless I said someone's name specifically, I use the global "you" as in "the audience." There's no reason to take this personally, except perhaps to consider in yourself why you (see: 'the audience') see things a certain way..

--------

Quite a few posts up (we're on 120+ when I post this..) Anonymous said: "It's just a game, you know." And, Greg, you even said this yourself, in effect.

To all people who feel this way, I say this: As with all games in life or anything in general, there will be a certain percentage that really and truly enjoy it.. and feel passionately about it. Don't ridicule them for having a passion.

While you may not see the value in it, that doesn't mean there is no value there.

How many people care or understand the work of Einstein? That silly guy liked physics and mathematics so much he devoted his whole life to it. Just because you don't get why E = mc2, or how it effects your daily life, doesn't mean it's not a big deal to people who are passionate.

Plenty of people have said "it's just a game," and it very well is. That doesn't negate the fact that the goings on that are being discussed here do matter, whether or not they matter to you.

--------

To those who think eq2flames is nothing more than sensational filth: It most certainly does contain some sensational topics and those threads are certainly filled with vulgar language and all of the toilet humor that you can stand -- and apparently more than some people can stand. However, that's not all that is there. Just because the majority of threads you've looked at are sensational, drama filled ones doesn't mean that's all that is there to enjoy. As many people have stated (here and on the official forums), when you go to EQ2Flames looking for information on any of countlesss specific topics -- whether it be class discussion, mob discussion, in-game mechanics, group setups, raid setups, quests, or potential/current bugs and their status, etc -- you'll find it.

For those people who are mature enough not to engage in the foul-mouthed nature of this generation: I'm surprised you aren't mature enough -- or perhaps capable enough -- to find the solid, worthwhile posts in those same threads. Or maybe just too disinterested in trying.

---------

In short, this affects everyone who plays; it's just that the passionate, vocal people are kicking and screaming (sometimes at each other). Do you need to be spewing vulgarities about it? No; but whether or not someone else is doesn't invalidate their opinion.

Should you be concerned about it? I'd say yes, if this game is something you truly love to play. Otherwise you probably won't be playing the game long enough for any of these things to really impact your enjoyment of the game.


And, I hope everyone is still enjoying the game..

Vyorai said...

Oh, completely aside from that..

Greg, you had the audacity to say: "Of course the entire argument is one-sided over [at eq2flames] because none of the devs dare get in the middle of it."

So, I guess you missed the several posts by individuals backing SOE, NPU, Domino, etc etc? Are they devs? Probably not (although.. maybe), but that does not, in any way, mean that the chatter at flames is one-sided. If anything, the reason it's gone on for so long is because there's a conversation. According to you, the community of people who see SOE's side of the argument haven't even shown up for the fight -- except that they're right in the mix of it standing up for you and other developers, as well as Grimwell. Or is it just that only developers are capable of giving an alternative perspective to those loyal to LFG?

If you haven't had the chance to read the posts, I don't suggest you comment on their being entirely one-sided..

As someone who has had many a heated conversation, been bashed by both sides, I resent your blatant disregard.

But no, that's cool. /thumbsup

vcjester said...

Well, whether or not I agree with either side. I give Greg 2 thumbs up for even putting in his opinion on this.

Anyone with any experience with corporate america knows that he's putting his job on the line just for stating personal opinions rather then an "official statement" written by public relations or lawyers.

vcjester said...

P.S. to previous comment.

Shows Greg has a pair....

Greg Spence said...

Greg, you had the audacity to say: "Of course the entire argument is one-sided over [at eq2flames] because none of the devs dare get in the middle of it."

I resent your blatant disregard.


You're right, and I apologize. There are quite a few people speaking on behalf of SOE in that thread. My intent with that statement was not to suggest that the community didn't have some supporters but to point out that the "SOE" side of "EQ2Flames vs SOE" wasn't well represented in that thread.

Catpants McStabby said...

I'm trying to wrap my head around the whole "official forums" thing, and how it's NOT a wasteland. Every post on the boards even related to something "broken", "unintended", or overall "extremely unpopular" (3 seperate topics) are largely ignored, brushed over, or allowed to run 100 pages and then closed due to "excess negativity" a very large portion of the time. Trying to get a dev to comment on ANYTHING is almost impossible unless it's something "important" like decorating your house, what color warg you'd like to ride, or the typical "lawl, we misspelled something in the game update notes" posts that make the official forums a joke for the semi-serious player.

As an eq2flames poster, I've learned more about the game from the flames than I ever have from the official forums. I've actually gotten responses from other players weeks ahead of any dev (if at all) on issues that spawn 100 page threads. And yet, this lack of communication still goes on after practically begging for help.

Now, I completely understand your point of view because I can see who signs your check. I fail to see any way in the world how you can for any second remain objective over this, because I'm sure SOE reads your blog.

SOE shot themselves in the foot by allowing the most rabid and vocal part of their community to ... what, be blacklisted? Ignored? And as usual, no "official" word, or any form of communication to anyone.

14 people on my friends have quit over this, and 4 more in my guild. I'm on the fence until warhammer's out, and yet you're telling us how insipid we are getting angry over a video game. Devs cheated, how confusing is that? None of the "private" information given out was at any time, private. If it was so secret, why were devs telling people?

Anonymous said...

Greg Spence, are you a retard sir? Grimwell and Gnorbin CONSTANTLY lock threads/ban users for "excessive negativity". How can one be excessively postive about HORRIBLE game design such as the Veeshan's Peak loot? It should have never been implemented in the piss poor quality that is now...

Not to mention, the only way to try and get your account unbanned is to PM an admin on the site to contest the ban; yet, Gnorbin, SOE's biggest fucktard, bans you from even PM'ing...

The EQ2 Community Relations team sucks balls. It might help if Gnorbin actually played more than 15 hours of the game before he can judge whether an outcry about the game is justified or not.

Greg Spence said...

I'm deleting a comment by anonymous because my blog won't be a place to slander others. If you want to call all of us devs idiots, thats fine, but when you start naming names and making it personal, thats where it ends.

If your childish enough to make those statements, expect them to be deleted. And if you speak that way on the official forums, its no wonder you've been banned.

Grow up please.

Anonymous said...

Hi Greg,

Just wanted to let you know that the leaked spawn timers are 95% true. A close friend of mine of over a decade joined NPU and shortly thereafter quit the game in disgust due to the cheating (although I think he's playing again now seeing as he is an addict and all).

In his words, he felt let down that the past 5-6 years of raiding EQ and then EQ2 were a sham given the inside information and spawn timers handed to NPU. He had previously played under the assumption that it was actually a competition and was disappointed to find out otherwise.

Travis said...

Anyone who has ever been in a raiding guild has probably given somebody else their UN and PW for whatever reason. That probably means you didn't think that person was going to drain the guild bank or post your info on the internet.

Having said that some Devs in NPU deserved to be outed. The other devs are collateral damage.

Anonymous said...

Greg - after reading all of this, I felt the need to post on a couple of points.

1.) the SOE forum moderators are absolutely , unequivocally heavy handed. We SHOULD be able to post civil criticism. We should be able to say "hey this particualr change sucks - fix it" and expect a response other than the "parent scolding a ten yr old" tone that many of our volunteer mods get.

2.) Whats the criteria for choosing the mods anyway? It seems arbitrary and they never pick people who seem to last very long. When we get a new one they make a big splash editing a ton of posts then they vanish. The head mod needs to go. He is smug, condescending and treats the community poorly.

3.) The raid strat thing. Its BS. SOE has the ability to take internal ppl and test it. Or, barring that - then they should release strats after a certain amount of time and eliminate the whole "world first" program. You asked "who the F cares " if someone got a world first.. well obviosuly SOE does or it wouldnt be such a prominent part of EQ2players. Get rid of it, and a huge part of the issue goes away. I think there should be a 60 day or 90 day "tactics release" after new content is beaten or released.

4.) SOE's overall policy of "we arent going to tell you, its a secret, and you cant speak about it" - in regards to virtually everything is just silly. Many other companies are significantly more transparent. They even go so far as to say "hey heres our plan - we hope to have feature X implemented in the next 2 months". If they miss that date, they post an update. There level of DEV communication has decreased, particualrly in the past year. We are your community not an inconvienince.

5.) The above attitude was evident to a LOT of us who attended the seminars at Fan Faire. Too many smug comments dismissing legitimate community questions. This includes the SWG dev team too.


6.) Having said ALL of the above, I still would not be sad to see EQ2flames go. The community there, while often incredibly knowledgeable, is often juvenile and vulgar. SOE has , inadvertantly, driven them to success by posting there. As a regular player nothing frustrated me more that to find some important comment or bit of info posted at eq2flames or tentonhammer thats NOT given to the community at large on the official site.


Lastly, SOE needs to loosen up, get back the contributors and work to make its forums a LOT more informative and a LOT more open. The community relations team, and its leader post a lot less frequently these days.

Grimwell has made NINE posts this WEEK. Most of us do that from work before lunch in one day. Its simply not enough info, and too much contempt from the playerbase. That bred eq2flames.

Travis said...

EQ2 Flames owes a good deal of its success to the heavy handed moderation of the main boards.

Speakeasys don't exist without prohibition.

Anonymous said...

I don't play EQ, nor do I have an account here, I actually play PlanetSide (SOE Game). I ended up reading through alot of this due to boredom, and I have to say people are over-the-top, although I don't know fully well what happened, I still think the majority of these posters on 'EQ2Flames' need to stop acting the way they are, i.e over-dramatic..

I visited that forum earlier and if I was going to try out the game (which I was), that website would literally make me turn my nose to it with all the morons constantly flaming people.

Greg Spence said...

Not to mention, the only way to try and get your account unbanned is to PM an admin on the site to contest the ban; yet, Gnorbin bans you from even PM'ing...

For what its worth, I talked to Gnobrin to find out if this is true, and he said the process for requesting an unbanning was to /petition from within game and CS will contact him.

Mustang| said...

Putting aside the absolute idiocy of having to /petition to get your forum account unbanned..

maybe Gnoobrin should consider making a post with that information in it. Since most people just end up getting banned and then coming to EQ2F to say what an asshole he is (because once you are banned there's no method of contact through SOE).

That would be the proper way to, you know, communicate. I'll consider this a test of the level the "Community" team wants to "Communicate". Because I read almost every single dev post and have never seen this information before.

Greg Spence said...

Putting aside the absolute idiocy of having to /petition to get your forum account unbanned..

I hear your complaint loud and clear but I didn't hear a better suggestion. Would you rather be asked to call customer service instead of petition? PM is out, because someone might be banned for PM-related issues.

I've emailed Gnobrin to find out if there is some notice when you're banned letting you know to /petition if you contest it. There's really no need to post this information for everyone as long as its delivered properly to the people that need it.

Mustang| said...

"I hear your complaint loud and clear but I didn't hear a better suggestion."

Well the very first step should be to offer a clear path to appeal a ban or suspension. There should be a special form or way to contact an administrator *right on the page or message where it lists your ban*.

Leaving no recourse for any resolution even if it is "no, sorry" leads to the vitriol and hate we have now.

Erin said...

I hear your complaint loud and clear but I didn't hear a better suggestion. Would you rather be asked to call customer service instead of petition? PM is out, because someone might be banned for PM-related issues.

I've emailed Gnobrin to find out if there is some notice when you're banned letting you know to /petition if you contest it. There's really no need to post this information for everyone as long as its delivered properly to the people that need it.


This information, being that is policy, should be listed somewhere that it is apparent for everyone to see.

Derek Wildstar said...

I think the best bet would be to start examining the policy for why people are banned in the first place. Throw out vague terms like "exceesive negativity" Post the policy a little more clearly. And the problem is that you dont get consistency from person to person when you try to get unbanned. Instead of perma-bans make it a one yr suspension or something.

derek wildstar said...

Additionally - while you think its silly that we say the mods are heavy handed.

Ask yourself - could we have THIS discussion there? No, of course not.

Skree said...

(( Greg! I feel so bad, the Eq2flamers are invading your blog with rudeness and insults... *pouts*
(you have every right to delete half of these insulting posts!)

And to the anonymous person who said "i post on the eq2flames boards like it's my haven"..

Do you mean the 8 posts I made there since 2006?

(compared to 3000 posts on the official eq2 forums...)

(anyways, If you wish to speak with me personally you may contact me outside of Greg's blog. This isn't the place for disputes!)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Toldain said...

A couple of points. While it may be factual that LFG did not participate in some forum board, it is hardly credible that that is THE reason he was removed. He and his site were clearly under the skin of Aeralik, judging from the posting. And for good reason, it seems to me.

I find the posting of dev personal information to be way over the line.

I would have been happier with Aeralik if he had up and said so, and said that in consequence, we are severing ties with Eq2Flames. Instead, you get the typical corporate market-speak about "lack of communication".

For what it's worth, it would have also been better for SOE to respond officially to the Trak issue. For example, "NPU got that info because they were in beta, we routinely do this with guilds that do beta tests for it. The guild beta program is here, this is how you join."

I know of no such statement. So, this leads to speculation, was a dev helping his guild get a big advanatage? If so, bad on him, bad on the guild. If not, then his and NPU's reputation has been tarnished. An official, brass-tacks statement was needed. It was not forthcoming.

WW/Server firsts are important to people, not to everyone, but important. Even the slightest appearance of conflict of interest can be a big issue.

Toldain said...

One other thought. Eq2Flames is full of drama queens, bullies, and loudmouths. I'm none of those things, though I can ramble on for quite a time. And yet, I like reading the threads there. People there are angry, trollish, uncouth, and abusive. They are also helpful, wry, funny, and knowledgeable. Well, maybe not the same people, but still.

I like the rawness of it. I like smoking these dumb attitudes out in the open and laughing at them. I can understand somebody not liking them, but I do. What does that say about me?

Anonymous said...

Greg,

First off it is nice to see you respond.

The biggest issue I see here is the perceived lack of respect that is being given to the flames community.

We live in a world where perception is reality and our economy is primarily a service based economy today.

While it is unfortuante that there can be some vicious attacks on SOE employees at times at flames the logical question is why.

Early in your replies you mentioned the 8800/EQ2 issue. There were numerous threads that went on for an extended time without a reply from a red name. Rather recently is there an SOE employee replying. Even a reply that says yes there is an issue but we have no idea why at the moment is better than none.

I am currently not a raider. But it was apparent to me that the raiding crowd had brewing disastisfaction for quite some time. A powder keg of sorts. When there was developer response there even the haters responded with a thanks.

It seems to me I know enough to discuss some of the itemzation issues for isntance but have yet to step in a tier 8 raid zone. It is the lack of reponse that is frustrating.

Additionally, being called horrible names or being called incompetent by a small minority of the populace is an unfortuante side effect of the service industry. It happens to me from time to time. The important thing is good effective communication. However, seeing SOE employees react in a negative way only fueled the fire. What you see now, in my opinion, is years of frustration united by a sort of rallying cry.

Communication even if admitting yes there is an issue and we have no idea why but are looking into it will go a lot farther than no response.

As for outing the various SOE employees. In my opinion, they should have never said their affiliation. My in game friends don;t know if I drive a dumptruck or am a neurosurgeon. If I told them even in confidence I know that I take a chance of having that information become known. Human nature people like to gossip.

I am posting becuase I love playing the game but sense that this may be the beginning of the end and someone from SOE should make an official statement to calm the rhetoric, before the situation becomes catastrophic.

Greg Spence said...

Thanks for everyone's comments on this blog post. I really do respect everyone's opinion whether I agree with it or not. However, when it comes to personal insults, that's where I draw the line.

This is turning more into a forum thread than a blog post, so I'm going to disable future comments. And no, I haven't been asked to stop blogging about it. It's time for me to move on to other issues.

There are threads on both the official boards and eq2flames if you care to continue this discussion.

SOE

EQ2 Flames