Video Game Tuesday: Community Interaction Revisited

heavensward

Hi all I’m back with a topic that I’ve covered before, but it really needs to be said again since people seem to forget how important this is, for this week’s Video Game Tuesday! It’s Community Interaction Revisited!

What do I mean Community Interaction?: I mean how a developer and their players talk about the game, it’s problems and various things they’d like to see added. In games where things are expected to be changing regularly (I mean every couple of months at most), players want to know why things are being done. Almost nobody likes being hit out of the blue with a change that completely changes the way they play the game. So having proper interaction between developer and players is vital to keeping a game successful.

What’s a Good Interaction?: Take Final Fantasy XIV, it launched and was terrible. The game looked amazing, had great voicework, but it played terribly. So when they changed game directors to Naoki Yoshida, or Yoshi-P to fans, he started doing these regular updates that would address concerns and feedback and upcoming changes. He called them Live Letters from the Producer. He just did one last week, and every FFXIV player looks forward to these interactions greatly, with people staying up till 3AM Pacific Time to translate directly the announcements. It’s huge and it’s very successful. That isn’t to say people are always happy with all the changes, but they are all happy to know why these changes occur.  There was a Live Letter just this past weekend and it gave a general game plan and outline for the next few months. It also gave reasons why and announced many things. It was wonderful in that it doesn’t tell us everything, gotta leave some surprises for players to find, but it gave us a solid feeling of what we can expect in the future without going crazy speculating and getting hopes up.

What’s a Bad Interaction?: Pretty much any interaction from Bungie regarding their games is a good example. Destiny had great promise, but months before and after the launch Bungie’s interactions with their playerbase has been terrible. They don’t give concrete detailed reasons for changes almost ever, and it takes months for them to even talk about basic things. Take their update last week about Destiny’s April Update as an example. They gave us a few bullet points of information, showed some gameplay, and were mysterious and vague about almost everything. No solid information was really given about anything specific other than Light Level. Compare that to FFXIV’s Live Letter this weekend and the difference is incredibly outstanding.

So what can I, the player, do?: Get active on the community forums of your favorite game and ask for more proper interaction. Hell point them to this article if you want. Make suggestions, ask for proper explanations, but make your voice heard. Yoshi-P said he’d add region specific items from China and Korea if the western players wanted it badly enough. Guess what happened in the few hours after that? A single forum thread on the official forums was started asking them to do just that and showing people saying they wanted those items. My guess what will happen?: Give it a few months and they’ll be added, even if it takes a while and for these it really shouldn’t, they’ll be added. It’s a wonderful way for players and communities to interact and it actually works.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday!

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