Here is a copy of a message I sent to Jennifer a while back, I haven't had a response back so I thought I would post it here. I debated whether this is a suggestion or a question. I think it's a little of both, but more a question if this is possible or necessary.
I heard from Avid that you are the PR Director. I was hoping I could have a moment of your time to share an idea with you that I've been considering.
As of late it seems there are many players who feel a disconnect between the player base and the admins/developers. Not only in new features for the game, but in suggestions and the like too. As a result there is frustration on both sides, the players who feel their work and time is being lost and the admins who are busy working to try and make the game better. Communication is an obvious factor and with improvement will, I think, ease the tensions and make for a better environment in the Combine.
From the Credits I see that PR's primary duties consist of OOC/Real Life public relations and not in-game public relations. My suggestion is simple, have someone with access to the appropriate information help to act as liaison between the admins/developers and the player base. This would be their primary job, to communicate with the players and respond to questions and concerns the best they can. It wouldn't be very busy, and would require trust. I think that person would need to have dropped their character in game too. The admins/developers peruse the forums and respond when they can, but the attention is sometimes insufficient. The in game PR representative can help to respond or gather the player's concerns and present them in an organize fashion to those with the particular information, and then bring the results back to the players. Obviously some information will, and must, be limited and not released to the players before the appropriate time.
Anyways, I don't want to be too in depth. I'd like to see what you think of it at this point, if you like it I wouldn't mind discussing it more.
I believe Avid also takes care of that position you want someone to take over. If you have an immediate question, you can try on IRC or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. What more interaction player-admin do you want? With our two new admins, the admin staff is always available now, just send a DM or e-mail.
I think he wants admins constantly commenting on the suggestion forums and being more social?. I know I go in the suggestions to quiet the masses, but in general I think the admins are afraid to go in there. There have been so many bad suggestions recently as well as the dislike of admins refusal to change things that its better if most of us stay out of there altogether.
Ryan, dude if you read my message you would see that I have already spoken to Avid about this.
I do appreciate the availability of the admin team. To clarify, my particular concerns are pertaining to the suggestions as Jevon mentioned. However, other concerns of the players are about up and coming features.
In particular, for me at least, it would be nice if the admins would say something like "hey we're watching this idea and like it so far, keep at it but no promises" or "this idea probably won't be implemented right now or until other features become available." For instance, I put a lot of hard work into this idea:
I even took the effort to update the first post so it would be easy to check the progress and I kept the thread on track. As far as I can tell the idea was definitely supported by the players, most of all realistic/reasonable/canon and would be very easy to implement. It would also lay the foundation for later features of hiding and the like. By my estimate it was the basis of the kind of ideas that should get implemented.
It may be good a idea or it may be a not so good idea. But I don't know because none of the people that tell us those kinds of things took the time to. I'll be honest, I don't see the point in my making another suggestion because I don't want to end up wasting my time again. I'll spend all the time in the world on something as long as I know it is worthwhile, but I have to first know! lol
So, I'm just saying don't be afraid we (the players) do want to hear from you!
No, the players don't want to hear from the Admin. What the players want - including you, reading between the lines of your post - is that little stamp that says "Yes, great idea, we're going to do this at some point." When what they really say is "No," then the players whine and scream, and want an explanation as to why their brilliant idea isn't going to be implemented. And the people who can give that explanation don't have the time, or the energy, or frequently the patience, to explain to every single person why SWC does not need/want their suggested change at this time.
"May the Grace of Ara go with you, and His Vengeance be wrought upon your enemies."
No Hal, you're wrong. And don't think you know me or everyone so well. While that may be true for the majority of players it isn't always, and it certainly isn't in my case. If they said no move on, then why should I stay and whine about it? Please Hal, some of us are grown ass adults here.
As for Admin not having the time, hence my original idea and question: is it feasible for Admin to have someone work as an In-Game PR?
So instead of the Implementation Director having to explain things to Joe Noob, they have to explain it to some other guy, who then goes to explain it to Joe Noob? This helps... how?
If you are a "grown ass adult", I'm curious why you feel the need to come in here and whine about not getting a response to your suggestion (and also not getting a response to your e-mail about not getting a response), and why you're only prepared to put work into something if you're guaranteed in advance that it's going to be used?
And if "we (the players)" is not a generalisation intended to apply to the majority, then who exactly is it supposed to apply to?
Edit: I admit I'm speaking in broad generalisations, and - to a degree - judging you on past experience with others. But I have quite a bit of experience dealing with suggestions, players, Admin, coders, complaints, and threads like this. If I'm wrong, prove it. Words mean little.
Edited By: Hal Breden on Year 11 Day 97 13:12 ____________
"May the Grace of Ara go with you, and His Vengeance be wrought upon your enemies."
The admin/go between would still need to talk over the idea and spend time reviewing it, so it just becomes another layer of bureaucracy. So it really does not save time, it just adds more people to the endless stack.
THe major coders have a large plate for this year, and will not have much time to work on all the smaller modification, and it falls to the few minor coders. And if none of them want to implement the current suggestions, then there is not much that can be done AT THE MOMENT - perhaps in the future it can be added.
The suggestion forum is becoming flooded with people who want to see minor changes that really bring no benefits. Not to say this one, I actually thought it to be an interesting idea. So the coders and devs stay out of it.
First, Hal, I'm not whining. Unless of course you consider anyone sharing their thoughts about something whining...
Second, I think I'm fairly in my rights to be in this forum since I tried to inquire about this in a personal DM (no response, so I should forget about the whole thing?). Please, like that's a good way to go. And again, how is that whining?
A challenge: where did you see anywhere in my post about needing to know in advance whether an idea is worthwhile or not? I do see where the misunderstanding is though:
“In particular, for me at least, it would be nice if the admins would say something like "hey we're watching this idea and like it so far, keep at it but no promises" or "this idea probably won't be implemented right now or until other features become available."”
For the admin to reply means that I, or anyone, would already need to be working on an idea. Which is my true intent.
“"as long as I know it is worthwhile, but I have to first know! lol"”
All I meant here was that, to continue working I would like to know if it is worthwhile to continue my effort. Not that hard to figure out what I'm really talking about anyways Hal. I mean, how would they even approve in advance an idea?
It is a generalization of the players that have been asking questions about the up and coming features and suggestions. But you are using that generalization to say that all the players will whine about it. Some will some won't, but you would rather that those some suffer because "everyone" will whine?
Seriously Hal, you're taking my thoughts apart, twisting them and so far have jumped to wrong conclusions on all occasions.
You don't know if something is going to be possible (like the In-Game PR) unless you ask and get some sort of feedback (like the In-Game PR), otherwise you are left wondering if the Admins have even seen it or not
Don't want to second-guess Sim's thoughts, but along his idea would be to have someone who had the time to check the suggestion threads and at least indicate that the appropriate Asim had seen it and/or that it was not feasible so work on something else (and who had official Admin authority to do so)
That is a good point Tiali. There are many suggestions and some stupid ones at that, but why are people even suggesting when those who make the decisions/coding don't even notice them. Perhaps it might work better if Admin posted that they are looking to improve upon a certain feature of the game and ask the players to make suggestions then. Maybe focus all the players' creative energy into something the Admins are actually working on?
That is done on occasion, they usually stick them to the top or give them important names and link them off the sim news. When people focus their thoughts at least a few gems come out. Otherwise we get what the suggestion forum is now.
I replied to Sim and he alerted me to this dicsussion, so I decided to just copy and paste my answer to him:
sorry for the late reply, I am rather busy IRL at the moment and your proposal didn't seem to be urgent. At the same time, I consider this an important idea, so I wanted to think it through and take the time to answer.
Someone taking care of communication inside SWC is a good idea, something like that was on the list of things I discussed with Seele last year, but if he ever tried to implement it I wouldn't know about it, I guess it never left our to do list.
I am not sure, how much such a position could help to improve the admin-player-communication, as this is a rather complex matter. We discussed some ideas to improve the situation at the dev meeting: surveys that will give us more accurate ideas of what our players want, like and dislike are a part of it; we were also discussing how we can better handle suggestions. The position you suggest could be a good addition to that.
More than that I think that all PR efforts can benefit from such a position a lot. I am sure there are interesting stories from the Combine that we could put out to the net - if we just knew about them. The internal PR person you suggest could be extremely helpful for all PR effort, because he could collect some of these stories and communicate them to the external PR people.
So, yeah, I am very much interested into discussing this more.
I was also wondering, if you are interested into this position yourself or would like to suggest someone else for it.
As you can see, I share some of your sceptic views, wondering if such a position (and thus "another layer" between players and admins) is what would help us to better deal with suggestions. Actually I am rather looking for some other solution to this problem. At the same time I can see a lot of good possibly coming from someone who is able to collect information from all areas of the Combine and present them to admininstation (and the PR department) in a usefull manner. I am not sure it will work, but it may be worth a try.
If no admin/assistant deems the suggestion worth taking further, maybe they should mention that so that everyone knows where exactly it stands instead of filling up pages of bumps and "where's the admins?" questions and things of that sort.
Assumptions aren't a good way of communication either, since assumptions tend to be acutely different for everyone.