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EDITORIAL: SE and FFXIV: A New Era of Communication?Follow

#1 Nov 23 2010 at 6:13 PM Rating: Excellent
Remember back in the days of Final Fantasy XI, when hearing from Square Enix was akin to having a divine vision? Well that hasn't been the case lately, with Square Enix eager to get in front of its playerbase to get people excited about Final Fantasy XIV. Is this just damage control, or has the development team (and those who work above them) finally seen the light?

Here's how I would reach out to players if I ran SE's communications staff.

Discuss the topic here. What would you do? And if FFXIV suddenly starts doing well, do you think the development team will disappear again?
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#2 Nov 23 2010 at 6:18 PM Rating: Excellent
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Provide fan sites with more question-and-answer opportunities.


This would be really nice, especially on a regular basis.
#3MclarenTAGPorsche, Posted: Nov 23 2010 at 6:23 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) This new era you speak of doesn't exist. Square only decided to move their asses because the game got a massive rate down from gamespot and others. Without gamespot 4.0, the game would be pretty much what it is now AND they wouldn't change a thing no matter how much players screamed. The gamespot grade made them realize they are not god, since sales itself showed nothing bad about this game (630k copies sold).
#4 Nov 23 2010 at 6:27 PM Rating: Good
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MclarenTAGPorsche wrote:
This new era you speak of doesn't exist. Square only decided to move their asses because the game got a massive rate down from gamespot and others. Without gamespot 4.0, the game would be pretty much what it is now AND they wouldn't change a thing no matter how much players screamed. The gamespot grade made them realize they are not god, since sales itself showed nothing bad about this game (630k copies sold).


Seems like you're just bitter because of FFXI (and who could blame you really) but the truth is SE has done a remarkable job, judged solely by their own standards, in communicating as of late. I for one, welcome our new communicative overlords!!!
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#5 Nov 23 2010 at 6:40 PM Rating: Excellent
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I don't think it really matters that much WHY they're doing it. I just want them to keep it up. If this is what it took to get them to wake up, so be it.
#6 Nov 23 2010 at 6:40 PM Rating: Good
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I'll have to do some searching... but didn't you post a editoral just like this in the FFXI a few years ago...?
#7 Nov 23 2010 at 7:48 PM Rating: Good
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If SE keeps their communication coming trough the lodestone, I'll be happy. I like the question and answer "Ask the Devs" write up because I can show my friend who doesn't play that often explanations of elements in game that he didn't know because of his lack of playing due to busy life.

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#8 Nov 23 2010 at 8:09 PM Rating: Decent
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You have good points, but I respectfully disagree on the regional community representatives point. (#5)

Reason being is that based from experience, these representatives will also become scapegoats (especially from a company whose fanbase expectations were high) and any flaming they get will be counterproductive.

As you said, there are already people who are reading fansites, and gathering community feedback. Any questions or clarifications that SE deem necessary to respond to will be acknowledged via the Loadestone topics. This way at least, they are not just responding to the community in that one or two fansites, but rather they are informing everyone who visit the Lodestone. I'm not saying that answering on a forum regarding one specific question is irrelevant; rather, the official Q&A Topic that they post in Lodestone will have more weight and broader reception.
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#9 Nov 23 2010 at 8:19 PM Rating: Good
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So far SE is trying their best to communicate. Yes, it is a great step up from the FFXI days, but it seems forced right now.

SE needs to keep the communication up, when times are good and bad; not just when they're bad.

#10 Nov 23 2010 at 8:55 PM Rating: Decent
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It's only natural that SE's communications with players seem forced;
it's not part of their corporate culture. If they are serious about
communicating with players, they'll have to hire someone if no one on
their team can grow into the role. Only time will tell.
#11 Nov 23 2010 at 10:02 PM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
Continue to update the playerbase on the development team's plans for the game.

I'm not sure whether Final Fantasy XIV would still have a good chance of surviving had Square Enix not come forward with its plans for the upcoming version updates. While many players were frustrated with the game regardless of the pending updates, other players took comfort in knowing that positive changes were on the way. Being forthright may have prevented those players from becoming overly frustrated with the game. Continuing to be forthright will help keep those players happy, solidifying a dependable playerbase as FFXIV moves forward.


This is the whole reason I am still playing (and enjoying) this game. All the bugs and awkward UIs in the game, I don't let bother me, because I know that if I just sit tight that SE will save the day (hopefully :P we will see if they keep to their word).
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#12 Nov 23 2010 at 10:45 PM Rating: Excellent
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I'll have to do some searching... but didn't you post a editoral just like this in the FFXI a few years ago...?


I think if you go back to FFXI, you'll find an overarching theme in my editorials starting with "SE's communication sucks" to "SE's communication is actually decent, and has potential to be even better." This wouldn't be the first time I've praised SE for stepping up its communication, but acknowledging improvement is a lot different than talking about where we are today. I feel like we've heard more from SE during the past two months than we had during the previous two years.
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#13 Nov 23 2010 at 11:39 PM Rating: Decent
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I think part of the difference between what we're seeing in XIV vs. what we saw in XI is that the games are in the hands of different people. Some people are still looking at Tanaka like he's in charge of XIV. He's not. He's taken on a higher position within the company (Senior Vice President of something or other). Komoto is the director of XIV. Take a look at the two of them in the photo Thayos posted in his editorial. Tanaka is old school. Komoto is a jovial looking younger fellow who seems as though he's being eased into his role.

Starting with Komoto's addresses to testers during the alpha/closed beta and continuing into open beta and finally retail release, it was obvious that his communication style is very different from Tanaka's. He's the first SE staffer I've ever seen who has apologized for a delay in his communication with the community when he was away at E3 and everyone was ******** up a storm about the state of the game during testing.

As far as community reps taking a more active role in community site forums, now is not the time. They'd burn out with the quickness. We've still got an awful lot of cynicism running rampant around here and even though ZAM has improved dramatically in the last month, it's still not the kind of place I would ask anyone to come and try to get any sort of message across directly. We still get people dismissing patch notes and the plans the developers announce as, "I'll believe it when I see it." Lodestone posts are adequate for communication right now. I don't think there's anything a community rep could offer by way of information that the devs haven't already talked about.

Maybe come March 2011 when the major patches have come out and people are either content with the game, not quite yet happy with the game but optimistic about where the devs are taking it, or just flat out uninterested (and gone) would be a good time for community reps to take a more active role in the forums. Other games have developers who actively participate in forum discussions and it's generally appreciated by the majority of the community even though they take an awful lot of grief. I think it was one of the LOTRO developers who actually posted a guide for community reps on how to retain their sanity and professionalism in the face of the blatant stupidity they're bound to encounter when they put themselves forward as a direct line to the players.
#14 Nov 23 2010 at 11:51 PM Rating: Good
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Aion has community managers for the NA community, as small as it may be. It's only 3 or 4 guys, but they regularly hold conversations with users on their forums, provide insights on gameplay, community events, upcoming patches, and most importantly, they pass on what's on the forums to the regional CEO.

SE would benefit a lot from the same.
#15 Nov 24 2010 at 9:19 AM Rating: Excellent
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Based on Thayos' last editorial, I predict SE to never say another word to us.

Thanks a lot. Smiley: lol
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#16 Nov 24 2010 at 9:51 AM Rating: Good
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As far as community reps taking a more active role in community site forums, now is not the time. They'd burn out with the quickness. We've still got an awful lot of cynicism running rampant around here and even though ZAM has improved dramatically in the last month, it's still not the kind of place I would ask anyone to come and try to get any sort of message across directly. We still get people dismissing patch notes and the plans the developers announce as, "I'll believe it when I see it." Lodestone posts are adequate for communication right now. I don't think there's anything a community rep could offer by way of information that the devs haven't already talked about.


I remember the community reps coming here years ago to talk about some issues.. BST & RNG nerfs iirc?

Needless to say they stopped posting pretty fast after starting those threads. It was hilariously stupid.
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#17 Nov 24 2010 at 10:18 AM Rating: Excellent
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I'd love to see some SE community reps start posting on public boards. I mean, they're currently talking TO us, which is a HUGE step, but to talk WITH us would be like... well... perfect.

Unfortunately, I think some of the "us" that they'd be talking with aren't exactly the warm, inviting type.
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#18 Nov 24 2010 at 10:24 AM Rating: Default
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Unfortunately, I think some of the "us" that they'd be talking with aren't exactly the warm, inviting type.


9 to 1 ratio, if the last attempts to start "communicating" were to be believed.

At least this is not an official forum.
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#19 Nov 24 2010 at 11:55 AM Rating: Decent
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They'll only keep this up until the terrible release blows over and they get their subscribers up. Then they will go back to telling us nothing.
#20 Nov 24 2010 at 12:18 PM Rating: Good
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Communication is good. It can't be one way tho, they need to listen, too.
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#21 Nov 24 2010 at 12:56 PM Rating: Decent
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They communicating now because their wallets are hurting badly. I sincerely doubt SE will continue their dev 'chattiness' once (if) the game gets past its financial woes.

Allow me to illustrate:


http://img217.imageshack.us/img217/9480/183589.jpg



Edited, Nov 24th 2010 1:59pm by Skyfaller
#22 Nov 24 2010 at 2:41 PM Rating: Good
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While I do like how SE has turned a corner and started talking to us, in almost meaningful and timely ways... I'm extremely scared with where they are going currently. Their new Facebook game, while an obviously simple cashgrab is joined with the almost weekly paid DLC for Front Mission Evolved. A game that, well dissapointed isn't the right word since it's technically a new franchise in an existing universe... but it isn't as good as I'd hoped. However, every week it seems they are offering new DLC. The first few were free, but now it's almost 5 bucks for 2 weapons systems... this week they stepped it up and added a new Multiplayer mode... I haven't been able to check the prices on the US steam, but in DLC alone right now (if I'd paid for it in my current local currency) it's caught up to the price I paid for the game.

So, like I said, I like where SE is going, forced or not, with XIV and the community. I am extremely worried where they are going as a company. Activision is NOT the company to follow as far as buisiness models go. Unfortunately other companies won't learn this until the community rebels against Activision as a whole, but the non-Activision companies will just be betting the farm on the model when that happens and I think we'll all be screwed...

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#23 Nov 24 2010 at 2:45 PM Rating: Good
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Hyanmen wrote:
I remember the community reps coming here years ago to talk about some issues.. BST & RNG nerfs iirc?

Needless to say they stopped posting pretty fast after starting those threads. It was hilariously stupid.


I also recall us as a NA majority community not giving them a reason to come talk to us any more as well. We have to remember there is a language AND culture barrier. When/if they come on sites like this and speak, we don't need to kiss their asses, however instead of talking out of our own we should provide constructive critisism. And sadly the majority of us don't. It's the western way to talk with our emotions, but we burn a **** ton of bridges doing so when we deal with foriegn entities.

*EDIT* Crap sorry I thought I merged these two posts, I failed :(

Edited, Nov 24th 2010 8:46pm by PerrinofSylph
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