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Regarding SE's communicationFollow

#1 Jan 19 2011 at 8:59 PM Rating: Excellent
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I hope this finds a few ears, especially those who have been so loyal and are getting frustrated by SE's lack of communication.

First of all, I would like to point out that we have just witnessed a near complete change of leadership for the FF14 dev team. I am not sure how many people have ever been a prt of this, but to properly change your leadership without destroying the organization, it SHOULD take time. They SHOULD focus on their inner workings, their organizational processes, BEFORE even looking at the game and attempting to make decisions about it.

It is clear to me the the old leadership team had some serious strengths in creating a main engine, graphics and motion capture. The game is beaufiful, the animation and movement is top notch. However, it is clear to everybody, I assume, that it seems that was all they were good at. I would venture a guess that the original main man, the one who organized teams, assigned them tasks and set priorities...sucked at it. Plain and simple. So SE decided to change the top of the pyramid.

So in comes the new guy(s), who look around at how the teams communicated, organized themselves, set priorities and planned for the furture, and guess what he finds? It is stunningly inefficient and sloppy. Perhaps a few of the team members are so burnt out and tired of a chaotic environment, they have become a liability, possibly not even caring about the work they do (very typical in a poorly run organization that lacks leadership). So new guy(s) set out to rearrange the whole structure of the company.

This takes time, and honestly, I am impressed that they aren't making huge promises and making rash decisions. The ONLY thing that will save this game is a patient, prolonged, well-thought out approach to each system. But how could they possibly do that until they reorganize their teams and prcedures?

I liken it to a new coach taking over a football team that has been 4-12 or worse for 5 years. You come in, examine the structures, the training, the meeting/communications, the personnel, and you make changes where necessary. Only then can you begin to work on creating the final product, the football team that will come to camp, train and play their games. The structure will then serve to enhance that training, that game playing.

Doing it backward would be like trying to build the top 20 floors of a skyscraper before you have built those below it.

Finally, if they were to update too frequently, it would probaby look like this:

Day 1: "We've decided to redo the classes where we will completely overhaul them, they will be strong in identity, but they won't be as flexible with other classes' skills."

Day 3: "Actually, the new guy we just put into the position of class re-development had a great idea that might work, maybe we'll keep the classes as they are, but change the skills significantly."

Day 7: "Holy crap, what a mess. We decided that new guy in charge of classes was a clown, and we've decided to go back to a complete revamp of classes, but this time we're going to do one at a time over the next year."

Day 8: "We've reconsidered, and actually, we're going to spend 6 months revamping them all, and release them at once."

Day 25: "Ok, the class revamp is going great, I think we can get it done 90 days from now!"

Day 57: "Whoa, actually, major hitches, this class system sucks works than the previous one, back to the drawing board. Pretend I never said anything about the 90 days, let's go back to the revamping one at a time."


Day 360: "We're sorry to announce, we're closing the serviers down, we just don't have any more players left. The ZAM forums have been on fire with people saying we have our heads up our ***** and don't know what we're doing. We're firing everyone and shutting down. Guess we should have made a plan before trying to implement change.


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#2 Jan 19 2011 at 9:07 PM Rating: Excellent
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You know - even if they are just doing that sort of internal stuff - it is important not to go down a black hole of communication.

I work for an organization that has had some shake-ups lately - and I can tell you we haven't just been hiding in a closet, refusing to talk to the media. We've been proactive - describing what our plan is and the timelines we are on to reach those goals.

If the dev team expects people to stick around - they had better figure out what they CAN tell us - and get right on it.
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When it comes to sitting around not doing anything for long periods of time, only being active for short windows, and marginal changes and sidegrades I'd say FFXI players were the perfect choice for politicians.


#3 Jan 19 2011 at 9:14 PM Rating: Excellent
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Olorinus the Vile wrote:
You know - even if they are just doing that sort of internal stuff - it is important not to go down a black hole of communication.

I work for an organization that has had some shake-ups lately - and I can tell you we haven't just been hiding in a closet, refusing to talk to the media. We've been proactive - describing what our plan is and the timelines we are on to reach those goals.

If the dev team expects people to stick around - they had better figure out what they CAN tell us - and get right on it.


I do agree with you, even though my post may not fully reflect it. But I think it will come, soon, even. Tough road to hoe, though, because if they communicate that they don't have full plans yet, but have the following ideas...then people complain about worthless communicatio, and demand action instead.

But yeah, if you hide in the closet, then we feel abandoned. Tough spot for the new guy, no doubt.
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#4 Jan 19 2011 at 9:49 PM Rating: Good
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Keep in mind this interview was done before the survey period even ended. Quite a few days have already gone by and I wouldn't be surprised if they give us some new information in the next week or two. Maybe even something a bit more solid. Wishful thinking perhaps. I'm not playing much now, but my time logged in does feel more . . productive now. I really feel like this will be a game I can stick with for years to come if they deliver this time.

/cheer off
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#5 Jan 19 2011 at 10:18 PM Rating: Good
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They are in the process of gaining back player trust. It's in their best interest to be pretty open at this point. We're approaching the 3 week mark from when their poll started, I think an update at least of their findings is pretty fair.
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#6 Jan 19 2011 at 10:26 PM Rating: Good
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435 posts
Olorinus the Vile wrote:
You know - even if they are just doing that sort of internal stuff - it is important not to go down a black hole of communication.


This.

Also, the biggest problem this game faces is that it has been launched when it should still be in development.
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#7 Jan 20 2011 at 12:22 AM Rating: Good
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6,898 posts
Mhantra wrote:

Day 1: "We've decided to redo the classes where we will completely overhaul them, they will be strong in identity, but they won't be as flexible with other classes' skills."

Day 3: "Actually, the new guy we just put into the position of class re-development had a great idea that might work, maybe we'll keep the classes as they are, but change the skills significantly."

Day 7: "Holy crap, what a mess. We decided that new guy in charge of classes was a clown, and we've decided to go back to a complete revamp of classes, but this time we're going to do one at a time over the next year."

Day 8: "We've reconsidered, and actually, we're going to spend 6 months revamping them all, and release them at once."

Day 25: "Ok, the class revamp is going great, I think we can get it done 90 days from now!"

Day 57: "Whoa, actually, major hitches, this class system sucks works than the previous one, back to the drawing board. Pretend I never said anything about the 90 days, let's go back to the revamping one at a time."


Day 360: "We're sorry to announce, we're closing the serviers down, we just don't have any more players left. The ZAM forums have been on fire with people saying we have our heads up our ***** and don't know what we're doing. We're firing everyone and shutting down. Guess we should have made a plan before trying to implement change.


Although I agree with your point about putting a plan in place before making brash announcements, explaining to us what they are doing would be extremely helpful. Even if it's a simple "We are currently developing a new plan for X. We should have a concrete idea on what to do with it by Y." Or "The next month we will be working on redesigning Z in the following ways: 1, 2, 3". I think we all agree that they shouldn't just go into this whole thing willy-nilly, but it is now closing in on a MONTH since we have really heard anything on the direction of the game, or anything really of any value. Yes we got the Player's Poll, but it has now been a week since that closed without single word about. Not even a "We have finished tabulating the results and are now deciding upon a course of action" or "You can expect us to have some decisions by X".

SE needs to be held more accountable for what they are doing RIGHT NOW. They need to let us know the direction they are taking, and they need to do it before what remains of their loyal playerbase gets bored and leaves. I know I'm not alone in saying that my patience is starting to wear thin, and while I don't need to see an update from them every day, what they are doing now seems more like ignoring the issue as long as they possibly can and to me, that just flat out stinks.
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