I think it is pretty clear that there is room for improvement in communication between the players and the devs. The devs frequently come to the forums to pitch ideas and give us a heads up on what is coming and try to get constructive feedback on them which i personally appreciate. Sadly the threads typically devolve and are filled with tears and rage along with some small gems of good ideas that frequently get buried.
I think one of the main reasons for that is the lack of the 'why' explanation that should accompany the ideas being pitched. Take, for a positive example, the change to power insulators and its interaction with science skills that can be observed in this thread: http://forums.startrekonline.com/sho...=265574&page=1 and then calmed mostly by this singular post http://forums.startrekonline.com/sho...83&postcount=5 .
That post implies that that the change was more of a 'bug fix' than an actual balance change and that the powers are being looked into and will be adjusted as needed.
Next up we have this wonderful thread where Gozer sticks his neck out to give us all a heads up about upcoming STF changes: http://forums.startrekonline.com/sho...d.php?t=266088
He simply states the changes that are being done without any explanation as to why or what the future may or may not hold because of those changes. I would assume the respawn change is an effort to make tanks/healers more desirable in the STFs and the ground change is more of an exploit fix. I would hope that he is planning on reevaluating the ground STF and its optional to see if it will need a further adjustment to keep it balanced.
If I had known the re-spawn timer adjustment was an effort to curb the suicide escort trend my feedback would simply be that my escort has no issues tanking anything to begin with aside from a bugged one shot and that all these changes will do is make bad PuG groups even worse to be in. But, perhaps that is the goal, to encourage teamwork and to push players who wish to do elites to join a fleet. Then I would respond that I play this game because of its casual nature, because I don't have to be in a hardcore Elite Raiding Fleet to partake in the top end game content. But I don't really know what the why truly is and cannot give constructive feedback on the issue.
Another company does these neat things called patch previews which are videos of the team sitting around talking about the upcoming changes, including the reasons, goals, and future plans, related to those changes. Now I don't expect you guys to post a ten page document about every little change that is made, but when big changes are made I think it would really help everyone if you guys could elaborate a bit on the goals of the change, on the reasons, the context if you will.
Bran Flakes has a back round in podcasts I believe, perhaps you guys should have a 'Cryptic Podcast' where he interviews people from the various teams once a week to talk about the big changes with the reasons and the details. I think it would go along way in fostering better communication, improve the quality of feedback, and reduce the vitriol a bit on the forums.
Laddy, don't ya think ya should be...rephrasing that?
At least the first paragraph. If balance and discussion is what you want then refrain from appearing to take a side. "devolve to tears and rage" Some will only read that far. Think you were being too fair to the Devs, attacking them. Attack you. Forget about anything else you say.
I could go on. As in go point by point. Wouldn't that be wonderful....
To me, this is a chain of events. Since before the game even went beta. I may not have played. I did however follow it along. I just didn't like what I was hearing. So I did voteing with my wallet. What really bothers me is. There are parts of the game that have improved since my 2010 visit. Some new content, changes to Doffs. Things I'd like to see continue. To reward. Why I am "still here". I can't though. Not with other parts that just are not right.
TLDR Rephrasing: Devs need to inform us as to why they are changing things if they want more constructive feedback and less rage. Also, devs are not hired for their PR skills, so the PR dude should be helping the PR stuff (ie collecting feedback). Podcast to do this would be sweet. Oh and the devs are all evil and hate us. Better?
*edit funny thought*
I just realized something amusing about this, the entire/main purpose of my original post, or the why, is to convince the devs to give us more information related to the changes they are making to the mechanics of the game. To that end I tried to be as diplomatic as I could towards them to avoid a knee jerk reaction, if they bother to read the thread, by not being hostile towards them and having them ignore it. I also tried to show a 'case in point' example of how even a little bit of detail goes along way. Am I personally happy with the current way things go, where we get a quick list of changes with no context and provide meaningless feedback since we have no idea what feedback they are looking for? Of course not! But attacking the devs in my post will do nothing to change that. The why, or the goal, is so very important when trying to understand any action taken.
I do agree that the devs don't post much about why they make changes but rest assured they are for a reason. If anyone wants to see where the devs posts all the have to do is use the 'Dev' tracker section of the forum. There are plenty of posts in there so they are not being silent by any means. It doesn't help though that a large number of the populace that are on the forums post flame baiting messages that I wouldn't bother responding too either. Something called 'manners' has been lost in the WWW due to anonymity. I notice nice and respectful posts tend to get responses, the others do not. If I was a dev of STO, why would I invite myself to be part of a flame war. I would suspect this is why most devs on here do not respond to anything....
I am a game dev myself and even though it is still in the alpha stage (as in no where near ready for live gameplay) I am already getting hate mail. STO is a lot further along but it is still in development whether the players realize it or not. They want balance but get extremely mad when something is nerfed for that balance (as in the recent field generator nerf). If the players want feedback then they need to start giving constructive feedback (and use manners when doing it) on why something is bad, not just because it will screw up the current upper-hand they have over other players.
Kreael, you are right, it would help if they explained more of why the are doing the changes but it goes both ways, the players also need to stop with the hate messages that turn the devs off from posting.
No doubt the...bitterness or hostility of many posters is a bit over the top but that is simply to be expected. Part of gathering feedback is sifting threw the noise. Bioware wasn't happy with the flaming they received about ME3, and even flamed back originally, but then someone noticed that the customer interaction was flawed, apologized, and they are currently attempting to fix the problem with future DLC. Any time you deal with customers you must be prepared and capable of dealing with the 'bad' ones so to speak, ask anyone who ever worked retail.
And it is also the chicken or the egg argument. We are informed of changes. We rage against the changes. The devs have difficulty interacting because we rage. We give worthless feedback because we lack direction. The feedback is ignored because it is completely off base. Its a vicious cycle that needs fixed.
Would be nice if the cycle would end but that will only happen if the players do that. I read dev post on a daily basis and have yet to run across a post by one of them that I would consider inflammatory. The players on the other hand, many do and some are pretty vicious. If anyone wants to see an example simply look at the Ferengi lock box thread, plenty in there...