Thursday, October 1, 2009

Devs Pls Respond! - 7 Helpful Tips for Getting a Positive Forum Response

Since Champions Online is still a new game, there are very few resources out there to get information. I've made it very clear that I tend to read the forums. When I do, I stick with the Combat and Powers forum, because it has a lot of great information in the game and helps people think about things that haven't been done before.

But it is just as much win as it is whine. And the problem is that it becomes very difficult to discern the good from the bad, even for a Developer/Community Leader standpoint. It's got to the point that Goryus posted a thread about the uselessness of the forum, since Dev's don't respond.

Daeke got involved and put a stop to that and started doing a (not quite) automated response saying "I got it, stop yelling." So we know they're out there. Here are a few tricks in order to get Daeke (and the other CLs) to extract your posts from the noise floor.

1. Do a Search for your Topic
Someone may have already hit the nail on the head in another post that got buried 3 pages back. By responding to that post you not only bring it back to the front, but you add ammunition as another witness to what's happening.

2. Be Clear and Concise
If you have a true concern, write the statement clearly and be to the point. Talk about how a power is not working or overworked. Don't tell us how many games of BASH you won with that one skill, don't tell us how many people use it in duals, don't tell us how you are going to quit the game if we don't deal with it. If it's just the facts, it's easier for people to respond intelligently rather than them flaming you and telling you "Pics or it didn't happen."

3. If you Have a Suggested Fix, Wait to Post It.
This may seem counter intuitive, but this way others can see your bug and test it and report. If they don't see the same thing, maybe your travel power was on, maybe something was unequipped, etc. Better yet, if someone comes up with the same fix, then it's two independent people who came up with it. Much more power (even though you won't have credit should they use the fix). You want a better game, not a bigger f-peen (the F is for forum, you animals).

4. Avoid Immediate Bumping
Stuff gets lost when the forum updates faster than people TP out of holds in PvP. If it's been 10 minutes and no one has responded, give it a second. Wait at least an hour and say something intelligent like "I didn't see any other posts on this and it may have been lost in the noise. Has anyone seen this?" instead of "I GUESS I'M THE ONLY ONE THAT WANTS THIS SKILL FIXT LOL." Once people get used to searching, this should be less of a problem.

5. Avoid Ad Hominim Attacks
Trolls live under bridges, but there's nothing to do down there. They will inevitably rise up and visit your thread. Don't get smarmy, don't get angry, just ignore them. They are complete attention whores, so ignoring them is the best thing you can do. And if your original post was kind of smarmy, it's kind of justified for them to come back at you. Remember, it's the internet and odds are good the other guy lives in his parent's basement.

6. Compare Situations Intelligently
In this game, you need to use 'like' powers to give credence to scaling. Do not say Circle of Primal Dominion is fine because the rest of the set is trash, because everyone can cherry pick. Don't say Ego Blade Breach is better than Reaper's Caress because they're not in the same tier. Don't say Gauntlet Chainsaw is all around better than Beatdown because Gauntlet Chainsaw costs way more energy. Just keep everything in perspective.

7. Be Thankful
If your thread becomes a positive environment for people to post input on a power/power set, thank everyone for reading and contributing. It keeps trolls away and makes everyone involved feel better. You can bet that Daeke will be more likely to read your next post if he actually feels invigorated by your last thread that had 50+ responses, rather than wanting to turn the computer off and go outside to keep him from slamming his head into the keyboard.

If you stick with these 7 tips, you may see some positive actions taken to improve CO, and you'll avoid being one of those people who post "OMG I'M QUITTING EVERYONE CRY NOW."

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