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#1 Jun 02 2010 at 6:44 PM Rating: Good
No, I'm not talking about the local swinger's club, but Square-Enix's PR/Community Manager(s).

Or in this case, the lack thereof.

Is it just me, or do we seem to have zero direct interaction with SE, as a community? I can think of once, maybe twice on the XI forums where an actual SE representative has gotten on there to post in what, 7 years now?

I realize this is a Japanese company, based in Japan etc etc... but where is the community connection? Does anyone even know of a Community Manager for NA Square-Enix? Are NA players not a MAJOR source of income for this company?

Elmer does an excellent job finding and translating info given to JP magazines from Square, and I'm not complaining one bit about the work he does. But why should any official info we are given, as a pretty major fansite community, come from 3rd party magazine translations? Why is there not a company representative talking to Game Informer or whatever other gaming mags we have in the states? Or ****, directly to Elmer or Pikko here at Alla?

Admins, do you guys have an actual contact over at Square NA? I've scoured the SE NA website, but can't seem to find any kind of contact or even a name.
#2 Jun 02 2010 at 6:47 PM Rating: Decent
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I think right now all that energy is being targeted at the growing alpha/beta community, we may see more widespread interaction once the game goes live.
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#3 Jun 02 2010 at 6:55 PM Rating: Good
LemmingKingXXX wrote:
I think right now all that energy is being targeted at the growing alpha/beta community, we may see more widespread interaction once the game goes live.


Not sure if you've played XI, but given their track record with that game, we wont be seeing much of anything from them. Like I mentioned above, you could probably count on one hand the amount of times we've heard from any official SE rep here. This is in the entire service history of XI.
#4 Jun 02 2010 at 7:07 PM Rating: Good
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I'm holding on to optimistic hope that this time around will be different, but yes I was there for many of the pitfalls and I too can only remember about 2-3 times where we were directly contacted by a community rep account (I don't think the account ever made it over 100 posts). At the moment, I can't expect anything from them as they are using the alpha/beta communities for player-base feedback and will probably focus most of their efforts on that growing group. I hope they are at least popping in for a look at the various fansites, but all I have is optimism, not faith based in past action.
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#5 Jun 02 2010 at 7:22 PM Rating: Good
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Honestly, its to be expected. SE has treated anyone not from Japan as a second class citizen for two decades. I'm not saying that to bash SE; I'm saying it because its true.

We get game releases 6 months later. We get linear games after the US fan base said they didn't want something as linear as FF12 was. ****, up until FF7 we were lucky to get a game localized for non-Japanese speaking people to play. The reason? SE assumed we were too dumb to get FF games.

And the constant mismanagement of FFXI is the show piece in all this. "Hey, SE, you've got a serious issue with RMT." Everything is working as intended. "Hey, SE, sky is being farmed by RMT 24/7. Isn't that against the rules?" Everything is working as intended. "Hey, SE, bots are ruining the economy!" Everything is working as intended. "Hey, SE, you want me to jump through hoops to GIVE you my money? Seriously?" Everything is working as intended.

In the end, SE doesn't want to act like a global company. They'd rather do things there way, and if the customers don't like it? **** 'em. What do they know?

Again, this isn't intended as a slam against SE. I'm just airing some unpleasant truths about how they treat their customers. They can fix this. There's time. They've even acknowledged that there were some issues in the past. A great first step... If its not just more empty promises.

I'm still cautiously optimistic about FFXIV. I'm very much hoping that SE has really learned something and is willing to show their customers that they can do things right this time. If not? Well, Star Wars comes out sometime early next year. DDO is still lots of fun. I propbably still won't have done everything in Red Dead Redemption. There's always a game of Star Craft 2 to be had. I've got options. If SE treats us the same way again, my subscription to FFXIV will be very short indeed.
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#6 Jun 02 2010 at 8:09 PM Rating: Decent
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i can understand what your trying to say here.

SE as any company try to maximize profit and revenue, some take the path of quality service to attract more customers, other take the path of cost reduction.

in the case of WoW they took the path of quality service, that lead to a huge community management relationship overtime of the game growth, to some extend they are happy of the amount of feedback they are getting to improve the game, but at the same time they pay for the negative side of this issue, if you read the WoW forums these days, they block/close allot of posts about competitors work.

SE takes the fail safe method, that says if you might fail, fail at low cost, they don't want to risk opening allot of channels for the community to criticize their work at language disadvantage that might risk bad communication or even opportunity loses.

we know that they have marketing team in NA and EU,but this team is small enough not to have a PR team that might not deliver the exact image SE want, at least not like the one they have in japan, in the end its all about cost and risk management.

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#7 Jun 02 2010 at 8:58 PM Rating: Good
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Quote:
SE as any company try to maximize profit and revenue, some take the path of quality service to attract more customers, other take the path of cost reduction.


The thing is, cost reduction almost always kills a company if they over do it. I understand if a company is trying to market Yet Another MMORPG in an already overcrowded market that they want to err on the conservative side. I get that. But this is Final Freaking Fantasy we're talking about here. It already has a massive fan base, both in Japan and worldwide. They can afford to be a bit less cautious.

But, even then, I don't think that's the point. I just want to be met halfway. If there's an issue, I'd like to hear SE say, "We understand that you think there is an issue. Here is what we plan to do about it (if anything) and why we plan to do it." I don't think that's too much to ask for.

I'm not expecting that they have their own forums with people who answer questions on a daily basis like WoW has. It'd be great if they did it, but I don't expect it. On the other hand, is it too much to ask for a statement every other month saying "Hey, here is where the game is at. And here's our vision for the next while. What do you think?"

And as much as SE has let me down in the past, I'm seeing improvement with FFXIV. "Hey, the battle speed is too slow." Se responds, "Ok, the battle speed is too slow. We're going to revamp the system and make it better." That's GREAT! Finally, we get some information on what's going on. We get to be -gasp- listened to! That's fantastic given SE's track record.

It needs to continue through beta and into the real thing, though. SE has said they're fixing a lot of the issues we had with FFXI. No pol, no first of the month fees, no exp camps, etc etc. SE has shown a LOT of promise here. Now they need to keep it going and expand on that.

I loved FFXI. I'm most likely going to love FFXIV. SE doesn't tend to make bad games (though, I'm just not a fan of FF13 *sigh*). My expectations for the game are pretty big, but SE always seems to surpass them with how games end up playing. Now, they just need the customer service to go with this awesome game.

Here's hoping. :)
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Also... Hunter 62, Rogue 52, Warrior 66, Warlock 43, Death Knight 70, Shaman Who Cares? ;)

FFXI -- Caia -- Retired/Deleted -- Blm 75, Alchemy 97
Pandimonium server - Rank 10 - Bastok

Zaela Rdm -- 35, Alchemy 45 -- Forced into retirement because I didn't have the right kind of credit card. Hope it was worth 18 bucks a month, SE.

#8 Jun 02 2010 at 9:07 PM Rating: Excellent
I agree Caia. And some feedback from SE is definitely not asking too much. That's why having a (present) community manager is so important. We had a great one in Dark Age of Camelot. She was always on the forums interacting with the playerbase.

TOR, a game that's not even out yet has their development team pop in every now and then on the forums. I just read a reply to a thread from their lead writer. I was blown away.

I like the progress I'm seeing as far as XIX is turning out, and I too hope that it continues. But I would really like for there to be an actual person that would pop in and interact with the fan sites. Someone who could really deliver straight to SE what members of the FF community are saying. Now, I'm not saying every little suggestion could or should be acted upon. But the interaction itself would be amazing.
#9 Jun 02 2010 at 9:30 PM Rating: Decent
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I agree as well even if they don't plan to add something suggested from the player base it would nice to be acknowledged and given a response as to why or actually give a concrete statement about something other than a laugh and the statement look forward to more information soon.
#10 Jun 02 2010 at 10:37 PM Rating: Good
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It doesn't have to cost anything to talk with the public. It takes 5 minutes out of the day of one of their current employees, doesn't even have to be a higher up employee - just one that speaks English. Heck, they could even just talk with Elmer and he'd relay to us if they'd rather not speak English.

They just don't care. As I've stated before on numerous occasions, SE doesn't consider itself a company full of programmers, writers and engineers but a company full of artists. Artists who aren't making a game, but modern art. You don't tell an artist how to paint, you appreciate whatever it is he wants to paint.

Edited, Jun 2nd 2010 10:40pm by Yogtheterrible
#11 Jun 02 2010 at 11:06 PM Rating: Good
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In part it's open vs. closed communication styles.
Elder Game can probably explain that better than I can.
http://www.eldergame.com/2009/11/two-kinds-of-developer-relations/

On a purely academic level closed communication style is not a bad thing.
But, oh dear lord, do us westerners have a tendency to hate it. It's no coincidence his example included an eastern company with closed communication style, and a western company with open communication style. There does tend to be a bit of a cultural bias to it. (Maybe it has something to do with eastern vs. western business in general? I'm not sure.)

At the end of the day, they can pursue whatever option they please. But they don't have room to complain when the western audiences give it a pass.





Edited, Jun 3rd 2010 1:49am by Zemzelette
#12 Jun 02 2010 at 11:41 PM Rating: Good
Those of you who have been around these forums for the last year know I have no love lost for SE, but I'm going to suggest for the sake of your own enjoyment that you set aside what SE has done in the past for the time being and take a look instead at what they are doing.

For starters, I posted an article a while back where Wada was discussing SE's global strategies and he point outed that up until about two years ago, their focus had been largely on the Japanese market. SE has been heavily criticized on the global market for the same things people are complaining about here ranging from poor communication to releasing games done in ways that don't appeal to players outside of Japan, and it has hurt them. North America and Europe are two major hotzones for gaming these days and if a game developer has ambitions to release products on the global stage, overlooking the preferences of those two areas is a mistake and Wada knows it.

As far as XIV goes, the only XIV community right now are the testers. The rest of us are the community in waiting. SE has no obligation to us. We're not giving them any money right now. We're not doing anything for them besides waiting. But if you look at the information coming out of the alpha, SE has already been more forthright and communicative with the alpha playerbase in the last two months than I have ever seen them do in the past. They're not waiting for the next alpha push to go live to address the concerns of the testers. They're telling us a lot more about what's going on behind the scenes than they ever did with XI, and they're taking the feedback they're receiving and making adjustments.

It's entirely possible that once the game goes live, they'll go back to the Wizard of Oz philosophy of MMO management. I suspect, however, that they're aware by now that the curtain has already been pulled back and if they go back to that style of handling things, it's only going to hurt them. And the nice thing about it is that come open beta, we'll all have an opportunity to encourage SE to preserve the level of communication we're seeing in the alpha. Whather it's through official XIV forums or urging them to plant an official liaison with premier sites to keep the playerbase informed (and keep the devs informed of what the playerbase is saying), the time to put the bug in their ear about it is now.

Of course, it goes without saying that you ought to be careful what you wish for. Four page flame fests full of people arguing that they're going to use third party applications whether SE likes it or not will not endear this community to SE. And for so long as the community supports those kinds of discussions by feeding the rebels green arrows, they don't deserve a liaison in place to field their concerns. The level of communication we're asking for is a two way street, and if we're fortunate enough to get that communication I would hope a certain amount of thought would be put into making sure it's not taken for granted.
#13 Jun 03 2010 at 12:05 AM Rating: Decent
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The One and Only Aurelius wrote:
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I'm pretty much with you on all that, though I do put a little more onus on SE to bridge the gap between west and east. It's not an ethical thing though, as I see it. I think there's a coming storm, and if SE doesn't get proactive and start reaching out to their NA market, they're going to lose it.

I'm not really speaking to SE's online games, but rather their console ones here. Despite their high sales, I think that the company has been gradually alienating their NA demographic. Their games have stubbornly stuck to Japanese cultural memes, which don't resonate with an NA audience. It wasn't as much of a problem back when their graphics were limited to sprites, but now aspects like bishonen characters or anime stereotypes are a lot easier to pin down in their games.

FFXIII really drove a lot of this home for me. I loved the games graphics, but as I played it, it became increasingly apparent that I could not identify with any of the game's characters, nor the particulars of its plot. I highly doubt I'll be buying FFXV, for those reasons. Things seem to be going in the wrong direction in all those regards, a trend I'd wager will be exacerbated with each release. My habit of buying each subsequent FF release without a second thought has ended. And I don't think that I'm alone in that feeling.

Now, that's not to say that there's anything inherently wrong about SE focusing on their Japanese audience, but I don't think that SE wants to intentionally limit itself to that market. If they truly want to be a global force, then they need to start acting the part. Get a larger international presence on their development team, y'know? Addressing our NA FFXIV communities would really help them in this regard. As I see it, it's as much to their benefit as it is to ours, and therefore, I don't believe that we need to "earn" their participation, as you alluded to, Aur.

I think in the coming years we're going to see SE lose a lot of steam to "western" MMO's (which are beginning to rival SE's products in terms of graphical prowess and storytelling ability) in the coming years.

It's a gut feeling, I'll admit. And I've been drinking a bit. So take it with a grain of salt.

EDIT: I just took a trip over to the general game discussion and found a thread on page 1 that illustrates my point a bit. I'll link it here as my exhibit B: http://ffxiv.zam.com/forum.html?forum=22&mid=126969932584678246&page=1

Edited, Jun 3rd 2010 2:08am by Eske

Edited, Jun 3rd 2010 2:16am by Eske
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#14 Jun 03 2010 at 12:17 AM Rating: Decent
Eske wrote:

Now, that's not to say that there's anything inherently wrong about SE focusing on their Japanese audience, but I don't think that SE wants to intentionally limit itself to that market. If they truly want to be a global force, then they need to start acting the part. Get a larger international presence on their development team, y'know? Addressing our NA FFXIV communities would really help them in this regard. As I see it, it's as much to their benefit as it is to ours, and therefore, I don't believe that we need to "earn" their participation, as you alluded to, Aur.


I'm not implying that we need to "earn" it so much as not abuse it if we get it.

Edited, Jun 2nd 2010 11:20pm by Aurelius
#15 Jun 03 2010 at 12:19 AM Rating: Good
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The One and Only Aurelius wrote:
Eske wrote:

Now, that's not to say that there's anything inherently wrong about SE focusing on their Japanese audience, but I don't think that SE wants to intentionally limit itself to that market. If they truly want to be a global force, then they need to start acting the part. Get a larger international presence on their development team, y'know? Addressing our NA FFXIV communities would really help them in this regard. As I see it, it's as much to their benefit as it is to ours, and therefore, I don't believe that we need to "earn" their participation, as you alluded to, Aur.


I'm not so much implying that we need to "earn" it so much as not abuse it if we get it.


I'll drink to that. Clearly I just wanted an excuse to get on my soapbox for a little while : )
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#16 Jun 03 2010 at 12:26 AM Rating: Decent
Very well said, Aur and Eske. Very good points made.

I tend to think that we're more of a community than you give us credit for, Aur. SE very much wants XIV to appeal to XI players. We've been the community since XIV was conceived.

Caia and Eske make good points with XIII. I felt very alienated with the way that game was designed.

On Aur's point about our forum hijinx, yeah, there are some (ok, lots) of threads in general that I'm sure Alla wouldn't exactly brag about to SE. In that regard, we would need a little more forum moderation than we have now. I'd just hope we don't lose what makes Alla a cool place to post... becoming more like the *shudders* TOR forums. As far as moderation goes. I actually received an "infraction" there for a "rude and uninviting" post.
#17 Jun 03 2010 at 12:27 AM Rating: Decent
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Well I'm certain they treat all as equals, after all we all could raise golden chocobo's in ff7 right???
#18 Jun 03 2010 at 12:43 AM Rating: Decent
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Actually, the issues I had with 13 were a bit different. The story and characters were fine. I didn't even mind the super linear plot. But, for the first time ever in an FF game, I hated the combat system. I'll give SE a pass on it though. For the most part, every other FF combat system has been good to fantastic.

Quote:
But, oh dear lord, do us westerners have a tendency to hate it. It's no coincidence his example included an eastern company with closed communication style, and a western company with open communication style. There does tend to be a bit of a cultural bias to it. (Maybe it has something to do with eastern vs. western business in general? I'm not sure.)

At the end of the day, they can pursue whatever option they please. But they don't have room to complain when the western audiences give it a pass.


That IS it. And, yeah, I get its a cultural thing in Japan. I'm not even passing judgement on how they do things there. I'm just saying that if they're going to be a world class MMO maker (as opposed to Japan-class), they need to be a bit more flexible. Meet us halfway.
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Also... Hunter 62, Rogue 52, Warrior 66, Warlock 43, Death Knight 70, Shaman Who Cares? ;)

FFXI -- Caia -- Retired/Deleted -- Blm 75, Alchemy 97
Pandimonium server - Rank 10 - Bastok

Zaela Rdm -- 35, Alchemy 45 -- Forced into retirement because I didn't have the right kind of credit card. Hope it was worth 18 bucks a month, SE.

#19 Jun 03 2010 at 12:53 AM Rating: Good
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Sorry, my sentance was confusing.
I meant "give it a pass" less in the vein of "letting square get away with it" and more like "ignoring the game completely". So we essentially agree. :p
#20 Jun 03 2010 at 1:00 AM Rating: Good
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Lol, no I got it. I was agreeing with you.
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WoW -- Zaia -- Dragonmaw -- Mage 80 BABY! Alchemy 450
Also... Hunter 62, Rogue 52, Warrior 66, Warlock 43, Death Knight 70, Shaman Who Cares? ;)

FFXI -- Caia -- Retired/Deleted -- Blm 75, Alchemy 97
Pandimonium server - Rank 10 - Bastok

Zaela Rdm -- 35, Alchemy 45 -- Forced into retirement because I didn't have the right kind of credit card. Hope it was worth 18 bucks a month, SE.

#21 Jun 03 2010 at 1:32 AM Rating: Decent
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The one thing that's bothering me is how slow/sloppy they're updating the NA version of www.finalfantasyxiv.com .
The JP is fast, even the EU versions are decently fast, but not the NA part. Everyone and his mom has the new info up on their site before www.na.finalfantasyxiv.com does.
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#22 Jun 03 2010 at 1:33 AM Rating: Decent
Osarion, Goblin in Disguise wrote:
On Aur's point about our forum hijinx, yeah, there are some (ok, lots) of threads in general that I'm sure Alla wouldn't exactly brag about to SE. In that regard, we would need a little more forum moderation than we have now. I'd just hope we don't lose what makes Alla a cool place to post... becoming more like the *shudders* TOR forums. As far as moderation goes. I actually received an "infraction" there for a "rude and uninviting" post.


Not to stir up ****, but we shouldn't need more admins here. Take a look at what the karma system is currently being used for. If people would start rating based on content instead of on who posts, we wouldn't need admins here to hide our dirty little secrets. You've been poking around here for as long as I have. You're the one who put together the compilation of press release and interview information. I actually PM'd an admin requesting that it be stickied but instead we ended up with a four page snivelfest about the NDA full of people who would happily bash SE for every minor transgression towards their customers while basically saying **** the NDA and **** our relationship with SE.

When XIV goes live, people will come here for information. Whether they stay or leave will depend on the community. If this community can set aside the closed mindedness and denial at some point between now and launch, we'll be in good shape for a fresh start with a new community that includes but is not exclusive to the XI community.
#23 Jun 03 2010 at 6:38 AM Rating: Excellent
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The One and Only Aurelius wrote:

As far as XIV goes, the only XIV community right now are the testers. The rest of us are the community in waiting. SE has no obligation to us. We're not giving them any money right now. We're not doing anything for them besides waiting. But if you look at the information coming out of the alpha, SE has already been more forthright and communicative with the alpha playerbase in the last two months than I have ever seen them do in the past. They're not waiting for the next alpha push to go live to address the concerns of the testers. They're telling us a lot more about what's going on behind the scenes than they ever did with XI, and they're taking the feedback they're receiving and making adjustments.


I disagree with this somewhat - a lot of us ARE giving them money right now, because we are XI players and we purchase their other games. Their target audience is their current audience, and at least for me, I feel that my loyalty to the brand since the 80's deserves a little more than a "they are too stupid to get anything but a tunnel on a blu ray disc". Give me a break - and pray that Bethesda isn't developing an Elder Scrolls MMO with that attitude.

It's insulting, and I don't think that it's asking too much for the *Square Enix Community*, whoever that is, to come in and drop some information. I thought that Alla had some sort of premiere\exclusive relationship with SE. I mean, SE still posts in the server message random things about Alla (Which they should probably change to Zam at some point if you are serious about the rebranding). It doesn't seem like Alla really gets anything exclusive, and so I don't think that this is where people will really come for information. Let's face it, *most* of the information comes from regular posters noticing something new on the SE website and making a thread to call everyone else's attention to it.

I'm with everyone else here in that I would like to see more coming out of SE, but I just don't see it happening in any meaningful way for oh, the past twenty years and I don't feel that they should just be *given a chance* because of some bleeding heart sally struthers idealism. When they start posting more than once every 6 months when a magazine runs an article giving them very bad press, then they will have *earned* that open mindedness from the community.
#24 Jun 03 2010 at 6:51 AM Rating: Default
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Quote:
Is it just me, or do we seem to have zero direct interaction with SE, as a community? I can think of once, maybe twice on the XI forums where an actual SE representative has gotten on there to post in what, 7 years now?


There is a simple reason for that: There's no need to post.

It is fluff.

Meaningless.

But still, that's what addicts eat to feed themselves.

Too bad SE knows that said addicts are very unlikely to do anything but whine over not getting their next dose.

Sorry Osarion, I think their Community Relations are fine enough (aside from minor tweaking here and there).


Edited, Jun 3rd 2010 12:52pm by Hyanmen
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#25 Jun 03 2010 at 7:45 AM Rating: Good
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I'm not really surprised that SE basically ignores the NA community.
Considering what the NA gaming community has become in the years since the release of XI I don't really blame them, NA gamers tend to be an embarrassment in the global sense. Sure being an rude E-peen D-bag works for us, but it doesn't fly quite so well in JP circles. I completely understand the Black Sheep status we enjoy.
#26 Jun 03 2010 at 9:22 AM Rating: Decent
Torrence wrote:
The One and Only Aurelius wrote:

As far as XIV goes, the only XIV community right now are the testers. The rest of us are the community in waiting. SE has no obligation to us. We're not giving them any money right now. We're not doing anything for them besides waiting. But if you look at the information coming out of the alpha, SE has already been more forthright and communicative with the alpha playerbase in the last two months than I have ever seen them do in the past. They're not waiting for the next alpha push to go live to address the concerns of the testers. They're telling us a lot more about what's going on behind the scenes than they ever did with XI, and they're taking the feedback they're receiving and making adjustments.


I disagree with this somewhat - a lot of us ARE giving them money right now, because we are XI players and we purchase their other games. Their target audience is their current audience, and at least for me, I feel that my loyalty to the brand since the 80's deserves a little more than a "they are too stupid to get anything but a tunnel on a blu ray disc". Give me a break - and pray that Bethesda isn't developing an Elder Scrolls MMO with that attitude.


I would say that as far as XIV goes, how much money you are (or have given) SE for previous offline titles and/or XI is largely moot. And from a consumer standpoint, if I'm unhappy with a particular company for the way they're running their business and I keep giving them money, I'm being rather silly. To read all the rant post about SE here and on the XI boards from people still playing XI, my only concern is that if SE is making people so truly misrable, why do they continue to play?

Quote:
It's insulting, and I don't think that it's asking too much for the *Square Enix Community*, whoever that is, to come in and drop some information. I thought that Alla had some sort of premiere\exclusive relationship with SE. I mean, SE still posts in the server message random things about Alla (Which they should probably change to Zam at some point if you are serious about the rebranding). It doesn't seem like Alla really gets anything exclusive, and so I don't think that this is where people will really come for information. Let's face it, *most* of the information comes from regular posters noticing something new on the SE website and making a thread to call everyone else's attention to it.


As I recall, the FFXI Feedback forum here was created specifically to provide a place where people could go with their concerns and suggestions and have them all nicely bundled for the XI liaison to find and review. And look what happened to it. The entire forum was stunk up with the quickness. And I would be the last person to say that should be justification for SE to abandon the idea of going there on a regular basis, but the community responsible for the stinky pile of doo-doo that was left in that forum took zero responsibility for it. I've never seen so many admin posts in a single sticky trying to explain to people how to behave. The community was given an opportunity and the community blew it. I was a member of the community at that time and I avoided that area like the plague because it was a waste of time.

Quote:
I'm with everyone else here in that I would like to see more coming out of SE, but I just don't see it happening in any meaningful way for oh, the past twenty years and I don't feel that they should just be *given a chance* because of some bleeding heart sally struthers idealism. When they start posting more than once every 6 months when a magazine runs an article giving them very bad press, then they will have *earned* that open mindedness from the community.


My question would be, what exactly is it that you want to hear from them? (With regards to XIV, that is.) We've been getting monthly updates from SE on the progress of XIV via Dengeki and Famitsu. Is it that SE isn't going out of their way to single us out for direct news? How much information is it that you think we should be getting? If I'm SE and I've got an opportunity to pass along news updates every month through a couple of popular publications and I know that the contents of those articles are being translated and spread out around the web, that would probably be enough for me. The information is getting out there and by passing it through a narrow venue that is then spread all over the place, I'm able to invest my time building the game instead of talking about it.

Let's not mistake our own eagerness for new information as a failure on SE's part. From my point of view, I'd almost say that less is more at this point considering that there are apparently so many people who have no real interest in what SE has to say unless it's to tell them what they want to hear. I've always had a hard time with that even though this thread has ironically helped to make it a lot more clear. Look back over the last year and all the drawn out flame fests that existed at least in some part due to peoples' general unwillingness to accept what SE has said at face value. With the exception of the no levels/no xp statement they made shortly after the game was announced, everything they've said that they wanted for the game is now in the game. And in fairness, the no levels/no xp concept, while interesting, raised a lot of questions in terms of how it could be implemented in an MMO without creating a lot of confusion.

There are only two things that we can do to improve the communication situation with SE relative to how it was with XI and how it could be here. One is to set aside the distrust and cynicism for the time being. It serves no purpose now. It offers no benefit. It does, however, stand to create a very significant amount of harm not only in terms of this site's relationship with SE but also in terms of the perception of the new players coming here after buying XIV completely oblivious to the history between SE and XI players. I would think those new faces deserve better than to be faced with a negative, bitter community the moment they walk in the virtual door, wouldn't you?

And the other thing we can do is raise our standards in terms of what constitues a quality post. I'm not talking censorship and I'm not talking about trying to squash posts that aren't directly related to gameplay mechanics or game news. I'm talking about when it becomes nearly impossible to have a reasonable discussion about what we know because it's usually only a matter of time before someone comes along and ***** up threads arguing in denial about what they think should happen because they refuse to take anything at face value or are unable to accept that XIV =/= XI 2.0. Too much information out now to be arguing in the face of what we've been told, but it still happens in almost every single thread here.

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#27 Jun 03 2010 at 9:57 AM Rating: Good
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I'm seeing some strange concepts here that quite frankly, I didn't expect from some of you. SE does have an obligation to it future customers if it ever plans on selling its product. I don't see why we should be expected to prove ourselves to SE when we will be the ones paying for their product. SE should be proving to us that they have changed and are willing to work with us, not the other way around. The fact that people are saying they plan on using 3rd party addons shows a distinct lack of trust that SE will make correct decisions in certain aspects of their game, and rightly so. SE has done some incredibly stupid things with FFXI and people are rightly concerned about FFXIV. You can't expect us to just forget all of that. Sure SE has said they plan on changing, more willing to work with other markets. Well, where have we seen that yet? As far as I can tell they are still exclusive with Japanese publications. The only way we get information is through translations of scans of Japanese magazines. Granted, they usually update the NA site with pertinent information a few days afterwards but nothing about their interviews is accessible there. If they really want to live up to their claim they're going to have to do Q&As with American and European publications/websites. Or do like other successful developers do nowadays and have representatives in the most popular fansites answering questions and relaying information - heck, even unsuccessful developers do that. The fact still remains that SE is disconnected with it's "potential community" and you can't expect a community to stick around when it's being ignored.

All that said, I'm still giving SE the benefit of the doubt. I'm not posting here much lately and I've frankly given up on good information but I still am interested in how the game turns out. I'm hoping SE learns from its mistakes, even though so far I haven't seen many signs of it.
#28 Jun 03 2010 at 10:29 AM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
All that said, I'm still giving SE the benefit of the doubt. I'm not posting here much lately and I've frankly given up on good information but I still am interested in how the game turns out. I'm hoping SE learns from its mistakes, even though so far I haven't seen many signs of it.


What mistakes do they have to learn from that they haven't already demonstrated in XI that they have?
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#29 Jun 03 2010 at 7:00 PM Rating: Decent
Yogtheterrible wrote:
I'm seeing some strange concepts here that quite frankly, I didn't expect from some of you. SE does have an obligation to it future customers if it ever plans on selling its product. I don't see why we should be expected to prove ourselves to SE when we will be the ones paying for their product. SE should be proving to us that they have changed and are willing to work with us, not the other way around. The fact that people are saying they plan on using 3rd party addons shows a distinct lack of trust that SE will make correct decisions in certain aspects of their game, and rightly so. SE has done some incredibly stupid things with FFXI and people are rightly concerned about FFXIV. You can't expect us to just forget all of that. Sure SE has said they plan on changing, more willing to work with other markets. Well, where have we seen that yet? As far as I can tell they are still exclusive with Japanese publications. The only way we get information is through translations of scans of Japanese magazines. Granted, they usually update the NA site with pertinent information a few days afterwards but nothing about their interviews is accessible there. If they really want to live up to their claim they're going to have to do Q&As with American and European publications/websites. Or do like other successful developers do nowadays and have representatives in the most popular fansites answering questions and relaying information - heck, even unsuccessful developers do that. The fact still remains that SE is disconnected with it's "potential community" and you can't expect a community to stick around when it's being ignored.


Can't say I agree with much of anything you said there. For starters, FFXIV will sell. It will sell several hundred thousand copies at least. Given the number of people on the XI boards here who curse and condemn SE at every opportunity yet continue to pay for the privilege of being treated so horrendously, I'd say most of the diatribe is just talk.

I'm not sure what decisions you think SE needs to make correctly in order to prevent people from having justification to use third party addons if SE doesn't support them. Given that we know XIV will run in windowed mode, that about shoots that argument all to ****. Bots? Maybe you're refering to bots? Like if SE did a better job of curtailing RMT and shutting down the OTHER people who are botting then the otherwise fine, upstanding citizens would no longer have an excuse to use their own bots? Interesting, because in that whole addon debacle not a single person mentioned that they'd wait and see what was going on with RMT before they considered third party applications. They just said that they were going to use them whether SE supported them or not. So unfortunately, your argument doesn't hold much weight.

And just what is it you think we'd learn about FFXIV that we don't already get out of Famtisu/Dengeki if SE were to do NA/EU magazine interviews? And who would interview them? ZAM? FFXIVCore? BG? Printed publications? Or is it that you just feel slighted that the Japanese game developer works through Japanese media knowing that it will be translated in short order for the rest of the world. Are you concerned about information, or do you just want SE to make you feel special? Help me out here. If it's about the information, again your argument has no weight. If it's about being made to feel important, okay. I guess. If it's important to you. Doesn't make SE wrong for not catering to you, though. The information is coming out and it's getting plastered across the global stage in pretty rapid fashion. They aren't in business to stroke your ego.

Those things that you're asking SE to do are being done with the alpha testers. So we can hope that they'll continue with that trend through the beta and then we wait and see how well that carry that over to the finished game.

I think you're being unrealistic. I think you're being unfair. And I think you're making yourself part of the problem where you refuse to look at how we might be able to do things differently in order to foster better relations with SE. If you won't even try to take some responsibility for the relationship, you've got no right asking anything from SE. Pay to play what they offer or don't. If you want more, own your part. If you won't do that...pay to play what they offer or don't.
#30 Jun 03 2010 at 10:14 PM Rating: Good
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Most of Aurelius' points are pretty spot on regarding SE's history and what people should "reasonably expect from them". I'd be surprised if anyone who believes he's mistaken has played FFXI for longer than 8-12 months. SE has always been closed-lipped about everything, ESPECIALLY stateside.

For what it's worth though:

The One and Only Aurelius wrote:
And just what is it you think we'd learn about FFXIV that we don't already get out of Famtisu/Dengeki if SE were to do NA/EU magazine interviews? And who would interview them? ZAM? FFXIVCore? BG? Printed publications? Or is it that you just feel slighted that the Japanese game developer works through Japanese media knowing that it will be translated in short order for the rest of the world. Are you concerned about information, or do you just want SE to make you feel special? Help me out here. If it's about the information, again your argument has no weight. If it's about being made to feel important, okay. I guess. If it's important to you. Doesn't make SE wrong for not catering to you, though. The information is coming out and it's getting plastered across the global stage in pretty rapid fashion. They aren't in business to stroke your ego.

Those things that you're asking SE to do are being done with the alpha testers. So we can hope that they'll continue with that trend through the beta and then we wait and see how well that carry that over to the finished game.


I think that's exactly the point of contention. The general "SE ignores us" complainer is complaining about just that. SE gives these long interviews, chock full of pictures and information and artwork and details about FFXI/XIV to Japanese magazines on a regular basis. Outside of Japan, you might get an interview once in a while; every so often Alla gets an exclusive interview with SE's reps, but 95% of their publicly released information about anything is released primarily to Japanese magazines and websites.

In my opinion, I don't think it's that they do it "knowing it will be translated in short order" so much as "whether or not any or all of it gets translated is irrelevant to them". It's not that they don't want people outside of the recipients of Dengeki/Famitsu/etc to know; it's just that whether or not others find out isn't really a concern to them.

And to be fair, a lot of Japanese game developers are like that. Most of their information is released to the Japanese public (which may or may not get translated), but it's not frequent that Japanese developers (not limited to just SE here) will conduct interviews with non JP media outlets (websites, magazines, etc). It's not a huge priority to them.

I think the "complaint" here is that western players "expect" that ALL companies (including non Western ones) should always be a part of their public community. Many western development companies (Bethesda, Bioware, Blizzard, to name a few) are pretty noteworthy for having informal community relations where the devs and PR reps talk with customers/players "like they're one of you" and the players of these games have come under the belief that "These companies do this, and I like it, so every company should do it or I won't like them", without taking into account that what one company does is not what another company does.

To be bluntly, it is primarily an American consumer's belief that the company exists to serve the customer; that "The customer is always right" and that if you don't like the way a company operates, your dollar spent with them gives you the right to tell them how they should operate.

Fact is, that's the opposite of true. If you don't like how a company operates, speak with your dollar by SPENDING IT ELSEWHERE. Yes, it's nice when a company listens to and works with the playerbase hand in hand. Yes, I wish SE would have people stop by Alla once every week or three to say "Hey, sup; still working on X, Y, Z. We got A and B fixed and patch should be out next Monday." I'd -LOVE- that, but I don't EXPECT it.

And that's the problem: People who expect something will not ever drop it until they get what they expect. And in most cases, they never will.
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#31 Jun 03 2010 at 10:30 PM Rating: Good
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Mikhalia wrote:
To be bluntly, it is primarily an American consumer's belief that the company exists to serve the customer; that "The customer is always right" and that if you don't like the way a company operates, your dollar spent with them gives you the right to tell them how they should operate.

Fact is, that's the opposite of true. If you don't like how a company operates, speak with your dollar by SPENDING IT ELSEWHERE. Yes, it's nice when a company listens to and works with the playerbase hand in hand. Yes, I wish SE would have people stop by Alla once every week or three to say "Hey, sup; still working on X, Y, Z. We got A and B fixed and patch should be out next Monday." I'd -LOVE- that, but I don't EXPECT it.


I can't speak for anyone but myself here, but I don't personally "expect" such actions from SE. More like I think that it's a savvy business move. Adopting new strategies to connect with your foreign markets is common sense to me. Plus, I like the globalizing effect such measures could have. They learn about us, we learn about them. But that initiative would have to come from SE.
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#32 Jun 03 2010 at 10:52 PM Rating: Decent
Mikhalia wrote:
I think that's exactly the point of contention. The general "SE ignores us" complainer is complaining about just that. SE gives these long interviews, chock full of pictures and information and artwork and details about FFXI/XIV to Japanese magazines on a regular basis. Outside of Japan, you might get an interview once in a while; every so often Alla gets an exclusive interview with SE's reps, but 95% of their publicly released information about anything is released primarily to Japanese magazines and websites.


I think that's where it comes around to giving them the benefit of the doubt. On one hand, we could assume that SE deals almost exclusively thorugh Japanese media because they don't care about the market outside Japan enough to arrange interviews elsewhere. On the other side of things, we could just as easily assume that interviewing with Japanese media with the understanding it will be translated all over the web suits SE purposes of releasing the information in a simple, streamlined form for them.
#33 Jun 03 2010 at 11:01 PM Rating: Excellent
Elmyrsun wrote:
I'm not really surprised that SE basically ignores the NA community.
Considering what the NA gaming community has become in the years since the release of XI I don't really blame them, NA gamers tend to be an embarrassment in the global sense. Sure being an rude E-peen D-bag works for us, but it doesn't fly quite so well in JP circles. I completely understand the Black Sheep status we enjoy.



I really can't agree with this statement. The E-peen D-bag morons are, I believe, not the absolute majority of NA gamers. I believe it's just that because these types of idiots draw so much attention to themselves, the image they present overshadows the rest of the gamers with any semblance of intelligence. ****, not even intelligence, manners.

This statement also doesn't really work because how much interaction do European gamers have with SE representatives? I'd be willing to be it's just as much as we NA folk do. A truly scant amount, that is to say.



Quote:
To be bluntly, it is primarily an American consumer's belief that the company exists to serve the customer; that "The customer is always right" and that if you don't like the way a company operates, your dollar spent with them gives you the right to tell them how they should operate.


Believe me, I work in retail management. I know this type more intimately than I ever care to think about. But, again, going with what I said above, I absolutely do not agree that these people (A-holes, if you will) make up the majority of consumers. I can say with (albeit anecdotal) experience that when you wrong your customers, more often than not they'll just disappear. Some will raise holy ****, sure, and those people tend to stick MUCH more in our minds, don't they?

At no point whatsoever was I saying that due to me being a SE customer, I am entitled. Let's make this perfectly clear. However, even Wada himself (as Aur pointed out) knows which way the wind is blowing. What I am asking (asking, not demanding) for is NOT unreasonable. If SE wants to truly become a global company, as Wada claims they do, they're going to need to learn that in the US, PR and community relationships are two very important things. Love it, hate it, that's just the way it is.

Edited, Jun 3rd 2010 10:03pm by Osarion
#34 Jun 03 2010 at 11:02 PM Rating: Good
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@Aurelius

MMmmmm. I haven't played XI since ToAU came out. Does that mean my ravings are legitimized? :D

You know, ZAM does house one of the few people in the community that's actually responsible for the bulk of those speedy translations. Howabout a little more love? :p

PR isn't really meant to be analyzed in such a purely functional way. Getting information around is not really the point of it. I'm all for being self aware enough to poke fun at the tangled mass of curtsies and asspats that corporate community relations really boils down to, but, outside of self deprecating humor? What's the point?



@ Mikhalia

I don't really know why westerners are so gung-ho for chattiness. I don't know whether that's 'right' or 'wrong' in an objective sense. But in the end, it doesn't really matter. As a business they only have the choice to conform, or don't.


Edited, Jun 4th 2010 1:11am by Zemzelette
#35 Jun 03 2010 at 11:18 PM Rating: Good
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Osarion, Goblin in Disguise wrote:
The E-peen D-bag morons are, I believe, not the absolute majority of NA gamers. I believe it's just that because these types of idiots draw so much attention to themselves, the image they present overshadows the rest of the gamers with any semblance of intelligence. ****, not even intelligence, manners.


100% agreed there. Polite, respectful players are the bulk of society, but the greater internet ******* theory lends itself to a very loud minority. And people are more apt to remember one bad experience over ten good ones, sadly, so the bad ones stick out more.

Osarion, Goblin in Disguise wrote:
Quote:
To be bluntly, it is primarily an American consumer's belief that the company exists to serve the customer; that "The customer is always right" and that if you don't like the way a company operates, your dollar spent with them gives you the right to tell them how they should operate.


Believe me, I work in retail management. I know this type more intimately than I ever care to think about. But, again, going with what I said above, I absolutely do not agree that these people (@#%^s, if you will) make up the majority of consumers. I can say with (albeit anecdotal) experience that when you wrong your customers, more often than not they'll just disappear. Some will raise holy ****, sure, and those people tend to stick MUCH more in our minds, don't they?


I can see where you might have misunderstood my questionable wording. When I said "It is primarily an American customer's belief", I did not mean "Most American customers believe" but rather "Most customers who believe this way tend to be Americans".

I agree that they are not the "majority of customers", much like the verbally abusive selfish ******* isn't the "majority of gamers"; it's just that the extremely vocal minority are the ones that people see and hear, not the polite silent majority.

I do see where my placement of adjective could have been misunderstood, however.

Osarion, Goblin in Disguise wrote:
At no point whatsoever was I saying that due to me being a SE customer, I am entitled. Let's make this perfectly clear. However, even Wada himself (as Aur pointed out) knows which way the wind is blowing. What I am asking (asking, not demanding) for is NOT unreasonable. If SE wants to truly become a global company, as Wada claims they do, they're going to need to learn that in the US, PR and community relationships are two very important things. Love it, hate it, that's just the way it is.


Japanese businesses typically function far differently than American ones. As a starters, American companies will meet with other companies to hash out business deals. One can expect high pressure sales pitches, heavy debate regarding finding a compromise, and ultimately these higher end meetings result in many decisions being made that day. Conversely, Japanese inter-company meetings are a long, drawn out process of "getting to know you" before business deals are typically started, and those deals tend to take a while to hash out over the course of weeks or months, as the Japanese tend to avoid declining offers; instead opting for something along the lines of "We will consider it" or "We will discuss if a deal can be made" instead of just flat out saying "no way in ****", because of a cultural aversion to the dishonor it would bring by doing so.

There are a lot of cultural differences that set countries apart; even something as mundane as food. In some countries, it is impolite to leave food on your plate (You're telling the host you disliked it). In others, it is considered impolite to finish your meal (You're telling the host you were not given enough to eat). In some countries it is considered that if you want additional food or drink, your host would not be offended were you to simply ask. In others, it would be an affront if you did not wait until your host offered it.

So many countries need to consider alternative cultural behavior and expectations if they want to be successful on a global scale; the problem is that many individual cultures have it ingrained in their mind that the way they are wont to be is the correct way and the way that others are wont is "improper". The difficult thing is getting a large company to accept alternative communication methods with alternative customer bases as equally acceptable, and not limit themselves to only the customer base they feel comfortable with.

It's a difficult task.
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#36 Jun 04 2010 at 1:47 AM Rating: Decent
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Caia wrote:
We get game releases 6 months later ...

One big positive is that this time, their online game will release at the same time for everyone.

XI started in May 02 for JP PS2, and then November 02 for JP PC. The game didn't reach NA on either platform until late 2003, and late 2004 for the PAL region.

When I learned XIV was going to go live for everyone simultaneously, I took it as a significant improvement over how they launched XI.
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#37 Jun 04 2010 at 4:38 AM Rating: Good
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Coyohma wrote:
When I learned XIV was going to go live for everyone simultaneously, I took it as a significant improvement over how they launched XI.


As did I. The fact that Alpha and Beta are truly international efforts is also a very good sign. Feedback will be considered from all regions, rather than just Japan, so the more subtle culteral differences will get their say. This may be for better or worse in the long run, but it is the right way to approach an international game.

I do however feel that more could and should be done to promote the game outside of Japan, in print media, online sites (including the official sites - the delay between regional site updates is often pretty poor), and at events. Not just because I like seeing and hearing how the game is progressing, but also to capture a bigger audience of players outside of Japan.

This has always been a critism of mine regarding XI, where almost nothing was done to promote the game in Europe (I can't speak for the US). In the entirety of my time playing, I only ever once saw any promotional presence by SE. They promoted the xbox release at an event I was at and were running a demo server and giving away tshirts and copies of the game. It was a great way to get visability of the game and to let people try it (and for us existing players to muck around on a server containing only 3 pimped out characters!), but one small event is hardly enough to promote such a big game.

I hope as the year progresses we'll see more and more material in the west, starting with E3. I'm getting pretty excited to see what they'll show. Hopefully I wont be dissapointed :P
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#38 Jun 04 2010 at 8:37 AM Rating: Default
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Quote:
This has always been a critism of mine regarding XI, where almost nothing was done to promote the game in Europe (I can't speak for the US). In the entirety of my time playing, I only ever once saw any promotional presence by SE. They promoted the xbox release at an event I was at and were running a demo server and giving away tshirts and copies of the game. It was a great way to get visability of the game and to let people try it (and for us existing players to muck around on a server containing only 3 pimped out characters!), but one small event is hardly enough to promote such a big game.


And still the playerbase kept growing steadily until the release of WoW.

They don't need to advertise the game, if it's good, players find it. It's not a single player game that gets majority of it's profits few weeks after release. It's a persistent online world that takes months/years to "clear" with servers that crash when you have 5 million players logging in on day 1.

Edited, Jun 4th 2010 2:38pm by Hyanmen
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#39 Jun 04 2010 at 8:56 AM Rating: Decent
Zemzelette wrote:
@Aurelius

MMmmmm. I haven't played XI since ToAU came out. Does that mean my ravings are legitimized? :D

You know, ZAM does house one of the few people in the community that's actually responsible for the bulk of those speedy translations. Howabout a little more love? :p

PR isn't really meant to be analyzed in such a purely functional way. Getting information around is not really the point of it. I'm all for being self aware enough to poke fun at the tangled mass of curtsies and asspats that corporate community relations really boils down to, but, outside of self deprecating humor? What's the point?


I would be happy to see Pikko or Elmer granted interview time with the dev team. I think the difference here is that I don't feel the need to see lest I label SE as falling short in any category of the pre-release shenanigans. Maybe it's easier for me to give credit to SE for the things they're doing right and withold judgement on the things I'm concerned about until I've seen evidence that they're blowing because I reminded myself early in the process (ie. a year ago) that if I was going to follow the developement of the game with an interest in playing it, my bias with regards to SE's competency in XI would have to be set aside.

If you take away the history and evaluate SE's actions with XIV strictly on their own, SE hasn't done anything wrong up to this point. They're making a gorgeous looking game with lots of innovative concepts and the flow of information could be an awful lot worse.


Edited, Jun 4th 2010 7:56am by Aurelius
#40 Jun 04 2010 at 10:08 AM Rating: Excellent
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Isn’t that just opinion, though? It’s admirable behavior, certainly. But how often does a corporation's reputation get wiped clean with every product?
#41 Jun 04 2010 at 12:26 PM Rating: Good
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Although I just scanned the second half of this thread I think there is one underlying thought that continued to arise.

We are becoming a world of instant information, where much of the information currently known is widely available/spread to all people freely. Social marketing/media is becoming very common because it further enhances this instant communication and interaction with your customers or potential customers. For anyone who has studied marketing you know the importance of good customer relations, so why SE chooses to not go this route does baffle me slightly. Although some of you are delusional in your thoughts that someone can do this job part time (especially for a company as big as SE), you are correct in thinking that it is the right move for them to go this route.

I will parallel this to another Japanese company that made this mistake and has taken a hit in profits due to the lack of communication with their customers. Toyota had the perfect opportunity to solidify their position as the worlds biggest automobile manufacturer...but instead of being up front and having great customer service they decided to sweep this problem under the rug at first by saying the peddles were being stuck on the carpet. Now although these aren't two examples that will be modeled exactly the same, I feel that it is very similar to the link posted earlier about the two types of MMO development. SE seems to sweep things under the rug and say everything is ok, we want them to man up and then take the necessary steps to start remedying the situation.

I am not saying SE is doing anything wrong at this time for XIV, I just feel they could be doing more to support the community that will help make them bigger. Whether or not they do it shouldn't affect the outcome of the game too much, but it will affect how many people will be playing the game.


Edited, Jun 4th 2010 2:29pm by burtonsnow
#42 Jun 04 2010 at 1:59 PM Rating: Good
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burtonsnow wrote:
We are becoming a world of instant information, where much of the information currently known is widely available/spread to all people freely. Social marketing/media is becoming very common because it further enhances this instant communication and interaction with your customers or potential customers. For anyone who has studied marketing you know the importance of good customer relations, so why SE chooses to not go this route does baffle me slightly. Although some of you are delusional in your thoughts that someone can do this job part time (especially for a company as big as SE), you are correct in thinking that it is the right move for them to go this route.

I will parallel this to another Japanese company that made this mistake and has taken a hit in profits due to the lack of communication with their customers. Toyota had the perfect opportunity to solidify their position as the worlds biggest automobile manufacturer...but instead of being up front and having great customer service they decided to sweep this problem under the rug at first by saying the peddles were being stuck on the carpet. Now although these aren't two examples that will be modeled exactly the same, I feel that it is very similar to the link posted earlier about the two types of MMO development. SE seems to sweep things under the rug and say everything is ok, we want them to man up and then take the necessary steps to start remedying the situation.


Most Japanese companies work similarly, as I touched on semi-briefly. The Japanese as a culture put massive amounts of emphasis on honor and respect. Saving face, and more importantly preventing the need to have to do so, is paramount. No one likes to look like an idiot, but the Japanese tend to take this to an extreme and can become embarrassed by things that most people would not. One FFXI related example has been cited that even Japanese players who CAN speak a good amount of English may STILL avoid NA parties because they fear the risk that they could slip up; say the wrong word, not conjugate a verb properly... and while most of us would just overlook it, many of them would be absolutely mortified by such a thing.

This applies to their companies too. Japanese companies are extremely low risk and closed-lipped because any information they provide or any risk they take has the potential, however minor, to end poorly, and that could potentially cause them to "lose face" as it were.

Fact is, most people are pretty forgiving. Normally, when a company misspeaks and comes out and says "oops, our bad", the players can cut them a break. FFXI has presented us with two problems though.

Due to translation errors, or perhaps brevity, SE has given us information in the past that turned out to be either wrong, or at least inaccurate. Consider things like the augments for example and what we expected, even the example picture they showed us, and then what we ended up with. The result of this was usually rampant community backlash and frustration at having expected something and receiving something else.

The first problem, and I even consider myself part of it because I know I was one of the complainers, was that the FFXI player community jumps in SE's **** whenever they ***** something up.

The second problem is that Japanese companies (such as SE) usually dislike risk taking due to the possibility of ******** up, and when they do take a risk and ***** up, the fact that we're jumping in their **** about it probably doesn't make them want to apologize; it just makes them less likely to take risks and let us know things in advance.

So in the end, it's still just issues of miscommunication and expectation.
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#43 Jun 04 2010 at 2:17 PM Rating: Excellent
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Mikhalia wrote:
Most Japanese companies work similarly, as I touched on semi-briefly. The Japanese as a culture put massive amounts of emphasis on honor and respect. Saving face, and more importantly preventing the need to have to do so, is paramount.



I understand your point completely, but the fact remains that this is the type of world we are heading into. Regardless of how bad Toyota (or S.E) wants to save the face of their operation, the information will surface and they will receive the repercussion of doing so. Just as in the toyota debacle, regardless of how much they tried to maintain the integrity of their image, the information surfaced and toyota got screwed. Probably worse than if they had said this was a known issue and started the recall immediately.


Once again it is neither wrong nor right, each company will handle it differently, but in my opinion to be successful in the near future transparency is going to be helpful to businesses.


*edit*
I would also like to comment on the armor information SE released for XI that happened to be wrong. Had SE realized that their information was wrong, a quick addendum stating that this portion will be different would have remedied the situation. Was it their pride that stopped them from posting that? Couldn't they have gone back to the community and apologized for the mistake? I'm not saying their apologize fixes the situation, but it gives them a chance to redeem themselves with their next decision. We are all waiting SE, will you redeem yourself?


Edited, Jun 4th 2010 5:33pm by burtonsnow
#44 Jun 04 2010 at 4:09 PM Rating: Decent
Zemzelette wrote:
Isn’t that just opinion, though? It’s admirable behavior, certainly. But how often does a corporation's reputation get wiped clean with every product?


I'm not saying to forget their past mistakes. I'm just trying to delineate between cynicism and objective scrutiny.
#45 Jun 04 2010 at 6:57 PM Rating: Excellent
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I'm not saying to forget their past mistakes. I'm just trying to delineate between cynicism and objective scrutiny.


Hmmmm.
I guess that's fair.
#46 Jun 04 2010 at 7:49 PM Rating: Decent
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Osarion, Goblin in Disguise wrote:
.

Is it just me, or do we seem to have zero direct interaction with SE, as a community? I can think of once, maybe twice on the XI forums where an actual SE representative has gotten on there to post in what, 7 years now?

Admins, do you guys have an actual contact over at Square NA? I've scoured the SE NA website, but can't seem to find any kind of contact or even a name.


Osar... we all can talk to a SE representative(kind of) in FFXI, we just have to do something stupid, and you get a chance to talk in the jail with the GM. :D


actually, perhaps if you remember the "special alpha/beta sign up" for Zam and the other site few months back, you should think that SE commmunicate with the site admins or owners, dont you think so?
or at least Zyuu @ ffxivcore does, since he gets "special beta keys" lol (ok old joke)
but they... yeah, there should be SE reps, they are just not posting or there might be just a few of them, checking the sites, but not posting, or... could be undercovers! could be me or you!
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#47 Jun 05 2010 at 9:39 AM Rating: Good
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Maybe all the members at SE are working so hard to finish FFXIV in time for a 2010 release that they can't be bothered with the peasants right now!! :)
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#48 Jun 05 2010 at 10:04 AM Rating: Good
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Mostaru wrote:

Osar... we all can talk to a SE representative(kind of) in FFXI, we just have to do something stupid, and you get a chance to talk in the jail with the GM. :D


I know this was a joke, but to be clear, the GM's are not actually members of SE, they are outsourced to SOE (so if you have a beef with Everquest...)
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#49 Jun 05 2010 at 10:18 AM Rating: Good
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I'd be happy if like after each update, someone came in with ideas they were looking to consider for the next one. From there, the players could choose which ones should get priority and then they run back to the devs with it. Next month, they take in feedback regarding the previous patch, what worked and what didn't, in hopes of tweaking it alongside adding the new things people wished for the month before. Third month we get our update, along with reasons why they did or didn't do something. Things like PS2 limitations won't fly here, or even stuff like budgets when possibly having a million subscribers at $15/mo is basically printing free money.

In turn, community events that actually involve the creativity of the players wouldn't be so bad. We could design equipment, quests, monsters, or maybe even music that could later be adopted into the game. Basically anything to make it seem like we're more than just suckers lining their pockets.
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#50 Jun 05 2010 at 12:03 PM Rating: Decent
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All you're asking for is Fluff, Seriha.

Or not, some of it would just suck too.

Nothing personal.
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#51 Jun 05 2010 at 12:53 PM Rating: Decent
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A lot of you are bizarre apologists, probably Japanophiles largely, and it's ridiculous. This company fails at communicating, at least with its consumers in the West. There is no excuse for it. I don't care how they operate in Japan, they are competing in a western market now and they need to meet our expectations. FFXIV should have the kind of buzz WoW had in early 2004 at this point, and they're nowhere near that. It just doesn't make sense, and strikes me as arrogant.

Now don't get me wrong, I fully intend to play upon release, but judging by other boards I frequent, FFXIV isn't even a top-five anticipated MMO right now. For such an enduring IP, that's just weird.
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