Shadow Echo

[Merged] Discussion about comprehensive patch notes/Discord/etc

Wyvyrias

Certain replies from the "The Crafting Update" patch note thread have been merged in here to let people continue the discussion without having to "censor" anything. Since this discussion was too much for patch note comments, I think this is the best solution. Excuse if replies that included questions about the patch notes, not related to this discussion, were merged in here as well. I can't micro manage every reply to split and edit it.

Your feedback is appreciated.

PS: I've created this thread, but due to chronological rules, the oldest reply will appear as #1. The "first" user in this thread is not it's creator.

Message added by Wyvyrias

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19 hours ago, Wyvyrias said:

And we're back to comparing

Big or Small, doesn't matter, how does a company get big, if it doesn't have rules when small?

 

19 hours ago, Wyvyrias said:

As said, that's blown out of proportions. Such giant companies have to be a lot more careful, as every tiny error can have giant effects, given the amount of people they're catering to.

Blown out of proportions..

How about the new laws on Memes? Just making fun of anyones computer game, can now land you in jail. As you're usually using their own images etc (bugs) against them.  Nothing is out of proportion now.

And yes, you might have been given permissions by devs assurances etc.  But the players haven't.

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@Wyvyrias I had to search the forums for the Astroneer “semi-official” Discord address (I’m thinking of joining just to see what’s there and how it’s managed;  maybe I’ll get the chance to talk with a Dev who knows but I won’t be a pest I’m an intelligent human being after all). Searching for the address wasn’t easy. Putting “Astroneer Discord” in the search function mostly yielded results related to this thread (“heavy sigh”). I had to skip ~5 pages to find the thread about the Discord itself. I did find the address.

There’s no Discord link anywhere on a forum page I can see. Perhaps it makes a difference which OS one uses, or browser. I access the forums using an iDevice (generally my iPad Air 2 running iOS with Safari) so idk if that could be the reason I’m not seeing it. Afaik the main “limitation” (no longer a true limitation tbh) with iOS is inability to run Flash content. I rarely drag my late 2013 rMPB over to the bed to use, but it still performs admirably whenever I come across something I can’t manage with an iOS device. My husband and I don’t have Windows computers anymore, last one being a Pentium 4 I believe lol! We have two iMacs, one older and a more recent model with a 5k monitor. Our son has a Win 10 laptop but it’s for gaming as well as school needs (aka we don’t use it). We’ve not run across any major issues with lacking a Windows PC at home. I don’t really face problems myself. My husband can use a Win PC at work should the need arise.

Back to Discord... at the bottom I see “Navigation Links” which list: SES Forum, SES Company Site, Astroneer (the Astroneer space link), and Astroneer on Steam. There’s an iconography footer which links to: Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, digg (does anyone use that anymore? lol), something I’ve never heard of called “delicious” but spelled with periods in between the letters, Reddit, stumbleupon (also never heard of), a mail link, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. That’s it. No discord icon or link there. I checked the top of the forum page, nothing there either. Given just how important it’s come to sound for the sake of communicating with the community as a whole, it’s astonishing how poorly the Discord is advertised (no doubt that’s played a major part in why I’ve never given it much thought).

After coming up short, I thought surely it would be listed or referenced somewhere in the Contents section, maybe under Announcements or perhaps Help & Support, so I checked those but still no luck. I couldn’t find it anywhere under any of the major subheadings for the website. All that searching and nothing. That’s well beyond what most people would do in terms of searching, I’m quite a patient person when to comes to seeking information. Most people quit if they don’t find what they’re looking for after 1-2 tries. It’s as if the Devs not only don’t give a crap about their own site, they don’t care whether people find this semi-official Discord either. Just saying.

On the other hand, I offer the link to this forum in the Xbox club I admin for. I do it often, usually several times a week, more when there’s an update (referring to Patch Notes, also in case members come across bugs or glitches they need to report). You’d be surprised how often they leave suggestions and recommendations for the owner and I, thinking we’re Devs. Some of the club “regulars” remain unconvinced I’m not associated somehow given my “encyclopedic” knowledge of the game and it’s history lol. One asked if I was their biggest fan. I said no, I’ve just played the game a lot, and for along time. I figure their biggest fans are likely their families. 

I’ve never mentioned the Discord in the club because as I didn’t know there wasn’t one, at least not an official one. How am I to know, how would anyone be expected to know much less decipher this complex mumbo jumbo known as the “unofficially official” Astroneer Discord? WTF is that supposed to mean? I doubt this is how most games, studios, etc handle things but I confess idk. As a club admin it’s my job to keep things tidy, relevant and help members (aka players) to the best of my ability. But it’s also my duty to keep them informed, and I do so to the best of my ability. It’s unreasonable to expect I’ll just somehow “know” or “heard about this Discord by random chance. If it were a big deal in the Xbox community, I’d have heard about it from club members. Idk who’s on there, maybe a lot of PC players use it, maybe some Xbox players too (ones who don’t know about, or bother using clubs) but having a Discord rep acting as a club liaison from the start would’ve been a step in the right direction had the Devs been wise about such things. 

When you’re a small studio, it’s critical you take advantage of every opportunity available to reach out to clusters of players, to get your game seen, your message out there. These (club members) people already own the game (for the most part anyway, a few have only played the demo), but they’re still an important audience. They want functional co-op by and large. That means they have good reason to convince their friends to buy the game as well! Up until now, they’ve seen SES ignore co-op (ok, to be fair the Devs have improved a few things where multiplayer is concerned, but overall I must agree. Xbox co-op remains a god-awful horrible mess, delaying dedicated servers until after launch or whatever TBD date is absolutely inexcusable, if that was the plan it would’ve been better to have delayed the introduction of multiplayer to begin with until it could be properly implemented). While the Road Map was launched with good intentions, it’s ended up showing just how poorly SES has been in managing time and deployment. “But it’s not a delivery calendar” then what is it? If it was meant to be some glorified list of plans organized into specific categories, that’s all it ever should been. No sense in associating the stuff with dates, quarters and the like, if people weren’t to have some expectations of delivery. That’s just ridiculous, SES backtracking to play CYA when the work wasn’t completed on time. People know BS when they hear it. Better to own up to the truth than try to cover it up. You still get unhappy people either way, but at least some will appreciate your honesty. No one appreciates BS.

As for the Discord, knowing about it, knowing where to find it, yeah I don’t buy the whole “it’s obvious, everyone can find it” argument. It’s also not obvious that’s where one must go in order to interact with the Devs. How would I have known that? In all my time on this forum (and I’ve been reasonably active, I do read other sections, and while I don’t go read all posts everyday I do check in from time to time) I’ve never seen mention of this, seen anything (until very recently) suggesting anyone (including myself) head over to this Discord to interact with the Devs, even seek info apparently mentioned there. Anyone who believes information about the Discord is obvious to the average forum member, that it’s linked in plain sight, is clearly mistaken. Nothing shows up when viewing forum pages in my browser (Safari), no links to Discord, no icon for Discord, nada. Maybe y’all should check into this seeing as you’re insinuating people aren’t paying attention or ignoring what constitutes an “open invitation” to the Discord. I guarantee there isn’t one (not in my view of the forums).

I went further just to be sure. Visiting the Astroneer Space Link, here’s what you’ll find. Up top there are links for the following: Twitter, FaceBook, Forums, Blog, Wiki, Newsfeed, Steam, and Xbox. Down below there are more links as follows: Merch, Twitter, FaceBook, Forums, Wiki, Mailing List, Steam, and Microsoft. No Discord link there either, not even a mention. Not that I’m surprised. I’m guessing this change hinted at, the conversion to an official Discord prior to or around the time of the game’s release, will see the addition of the link (accompanied by the official Discord iconography) everywhere I’ve mentioned but at the moment it doesn’t exist and is nowhere to be found for someone like myself who is curious about it. For those who don’t know of its existence, you’re basically SoL.

As @Blind Io mentioned, it’s hard to fathom the Devs would ignore Xbox clubs completely. I do realize they had an important presence on the Xbox coverage for E3 (I watched it but heard about it not from here, sadly, but from our club owner who may have heard about it from Twitter but not sure tbh; I don’t think he’s involved in the Discord either). We’re not the only Xbox One club that has interest in Astroneer (many list it I’m sure as one of their “supported games” which means they have players who play it or the club owner & admins like it, are interested in it, etc) we’re not the only one that lists Astroneer as the only game supported, but as far as I can tell (and excluding clubs using a language other than English, although it doesn’t alter the results) we’re far and away the largest Astroneer-focused club on Xbox One. With nearly 13k members (and I mentioned nowhere near all of those are active concurrently, most joined when the game entered Pre-Alpha and went dormant long ago although once the game finally launches who knows? I wouldn’t be surprised to see a significant resurgence among those who originally bought the game. Many players flock to clubs on Xbox to find people to play co-op multiplayer with. While they’re in the club they upload media (share game clips and screenshots) of their experiences with the game. They also ask questions about gameplay and make comments about their experiences.

Ignoring a sizable segment of the Xbox population does seem strange indeed, counterintuitive I’d argue (something we agree on). When the game enters full release, I’m expecting membership to explode. It may be a bit hectic, stressful even, but it’ll be exciting as well. I just hope the Devs have done their homework, and the game has been properly updated with performance in mind. The game has had too much added too fast, and with their refusal to remove one of the worst offenders in terms of performance (at least on console, in other words storms) the game has suffered immensely. We’ve also had no word on dedicated servers, something we were told was nearing completion months ago (we were even shown in a VLOG how it was basically up and running). Xbox players, for the most part, complain about two major things: the horrible state of multiplayer (on console you often live or die by the state of your multiplayer) and loss of saves between updates (which again is tied to something that was teased ages ago, and is now way past due). Each update brings a swell of new members, but they quickly tire of each update and what little new material it brings. The active member list shrinks quickly as they wait for something more meaningful. This time the update failed to bring in the numbers. No one is interested in re-learning a bunch of resources and mechanics Devs. You waited too late to deploy this, something I worried about long ago as did others. You had ambitious notions, but planned poorly for their implementation I’m afraid and that’s cost you at least on console it has. People may be buying, and maybe that’s all that matters to you right now, but if the club is an indicator (and I think it offers some indication, yes) people aren’t sticking around. If they don’t, they’re not going to recommend the game to family and friends. Now that’s something to be concerned about.

Based on what you’re saying (or hinting at lol @Wyvyrias) come December with game launch, the Discord will become official (word of law in no uncertain terms, meaning they can speak there officially about things to come etc) which won’t really matter with respect to the issue we’re discussing here. It still won’t resolve the issue being discussed here one bit.

@Wedge If you don’t want to follow the discussion, the don’t. It’s obvious you’re frustrated but apparently you don’t understand what the entire point of this conversation was to begin with. It wasn’t just about clarifying the role of the Discord. It was about many things tbh. I wrote the initial lengthy post, that’s true. Wyv took my post (some of which was related to the update) but rather than censor out those parts which I appreciate, he quoted the whole post here. So Wedge, the discussion that’s ongoing isn’t just about more comprehensive Patch Notes, it also isn’t just about clarifying there’s a Discord where the Devs interact with players, it’s about much more than that. You don’t have to follow this or any other thread if you don’t want to, but that doesn’t make the this thread useless not by a long shot, and I do take offense at you calling it that. You may not agree with Martin or anyone else’s view, that’s your prerogative of course, but calling it useless is rude. If you’ve nothing to contribute, it’s best not to say anything at all isn’t it? Just stop following the post and move on. Your posts come across like whiny players who say “game is trash, Devs refuse to fix stuff so I’m leaving” whereby other players will comment “fine don’t let the door hit you in the butt on the way out.” No one need know of your opinion or decision. You come across as someone incredibly arrogant and self-centered, and I don’t think that’s what you want in the end. Live and let live I say.

As to the discussion (and why it’s not solved) revolves around the Devs and their continued failure to use the standard for communication (their own website, in essence the forums) to interact with players (one they themselves chose form the very beginning). Aside from that, it’s also important the Devs realize this is the ONLY way to guarantee ALL players (including all potential future players who will buy the game at and following release) will have access to all info distributed in ONE easy to access location. Correct me if I’m wrong but everywhere else (including the places linked at the bottom) require additional memberships am I right? Here all one needs is an email address to register. Its easy if you use your Microsoft account to sign in, you’ll already have one if you play Astroneer on Xbox or if using Windows.

I have no beef with social media (well none outside of FaceBook and mobile gaming). Anyone who still thinks I’m against social media or anti-Discord should get that out of their heads right now. I’m not arguing the Devs shouldn’t use social media, far from it. I’m only arguing social media is NOT a replacement (and never should be thought as one) for the forums, for the site the Devs have created. This place should not die. It should continue to disseminate info from the Devs and provide support to new players and veterans alike. While it’s tough for a small studio to support interaction across a number of spaces, I’d argue this place should be a high priority for them. The reason there aren’t more players here to interact with them (and why many have flocked to places like the Discord) is a result of the Devs’ absolute failure to support interaction here, not the other way around.

I started playing mid-January 2017 and I joined the forums (as the game instructs one to do) about the same time. I found no such discussion with the Devs (there were streams which were excellent, sadly those didn’t last, plus chat was so hectic it was impossible to get a question in and have Adam see it, as he was the one doing the streams by any large although Wyv was trying to help iirc). People were spamming useless stuff, asking for guns in game, aliens to fight, stupid things (as if Astroneer would ever be some PvP game, it still can’t manage decent co-op gimme a break!) so I’m sure it was a mixture of fun and major stress doing those early streams. But as for interaction, that was about it as I recall. Shortly after that, VLOGs came along and that was it, that’s what we got as “communication and interaction” from the Devs. I understand from a certain perspective, they were easier in terms of keeping info safe (you could edit out any sensitive info from being leaked, show only what you wanted to show, make sure you demoed what you wanted to, and absolutely nothing more) whereas live streams are inherently chaotic and of course, live. No “putting the genie back in the bottle” in that format. As great as VLOGs have been, they’re not interactive media and over time it came to feel the Devs wanted to distance themselves from the community. That’s a bad thing leaving players with those feelings, bad indeed. Even worse when people like myself serve as a source of help and information (in other words, an ambassador for Astroneer more or less) to a significant group of players yet I’m not in touch with what’s going on, left out of the loop in terms of where the Devs are interacting with people. I shouldn’t need to hunt for such info. I’ve played games all my life. I grew up in the golden age of video gaming, started with Atari 2600 when I was 7. Didn’t have access to email until my husband and I were in med school, Internet when we were finishing up headed to residency.

Needless to say I’ve visited a lot of websites associated with games, official ones. Now Devs don’t always interact with players, especially AAA games. They don’t care what players think. These sites are still the primary means of commicating info including Patch Notes, filing bug reports, etc. They also support community forums as well. This hasn’t changed despite the meteoric rise in popularity of FaceBook, Twitter, and more. Studios and publishers alike post on Twitter of course, that doesn’t mean they replace use of their own forums. They know they can’t afford to alienate any players because that translates into lost income. They want you to know all about their game, who’s involved in it (to see the “face” of whatever game they’re currently making or publishing), what platforms it’s coming to or available on, what features it has, what media is saying about it, how to contact them, and then there are forums, always forums. These things are universal. For smaller titles and indie Devs the websites become even richer experiences. That’s where SES has generally failed (along with their lack of communication). Where’s the gallery of beautiful images from the current version of the game? Surely that wouldn’t be difficult to put together. Drag and drop some images so potential buyers can see what they’re purchasing. Maybe that’s somewhere else but it should be here too. Most imagery I’ve seen is highly outdated, nothing new for ages. Patch Notes have current stuff but a new players won’t know to head there especially if they’re on the fence of buying the game. When it releases people who don’t own it aren’t going to head to the Discord or Reddit to find out more, they’ll perform internet searches looking for an official site. That’s pure common sense!

What they need to find is a rich player community (here) but also one where the Devs show they care. What will they find instead? Threads like these. Hmm, makes one wonder a bit doesn’t it? Will they purge the site then? Or launch a new one? They won’t want bad publicity will they? But what about vets like me, like Martin, Vhorus and more? We’ve contributed much to the forums along with many others, have played thousands and thousands of hours between all us forum vets, and stand to aid newbs as much as anyone in the coming months. Having a fire sale on this forum would be an incredibly bad idea (or hiding away all former threads and posts, locking them for all eternity). I’ve wondered about that too, what will become of all this “pre-release” stuff. Not all of it reflects well on the Devs even though much of it is honest. I am critical about things that deserve critical review. I don’t think I’m unfair in my assessment. I admit I don’t know much of anything about game development or even business at large, but I have a strong sense of doing what’s right by your players (and to some extent, your customers as well). I believe the Devs mean well, they’re a bunch of bright folk with great imagination and creativity, and that’s why I’ve stuck with Astroneer (plus it’s a game I’ve enjoyed immensely and I know it has great potential as well). They’ve made some blunders though, they’re human after all, and it’s important they’re made aware of them (we’re here to offer feedback and suggestions after all). It’s impossible to know if that feedback is heard though, I’ve never seen evidence it has been. That is just one (albeit a significant one) example of this failure of communication.

It’s completely baffling (many agree) the Devs would choose to completely neglect their site (posting Patch Notes each update doesn’t count in terms of interaction, and iirc Wyv you’re the one that posts the VLOGs, Joe doesn’t even do that does he?). Furthermore, choosing to interact anywhere but here, on a community driven Discord no less, is quite appalling and sends a message about how they view a forum member and their worth. In other words, we don’t matter to them, our feedback doesn’t matter, we’re not worthy of their time and attention so they don’t choose to interact with us here. Maybe Discord is an easier place for interaction, I don’t doubt it is, but that’s too bad. If they’re going to interact they should put effort into coming here as well, some of the time. Not doing so makes them appear lazy and detached. It’s not about players refusing to use the Discord or any other place. It’s about Devs (or in this case, mods working doe them) demanding people bend over backwards to accommodate the Devs, to go to the place the Devs have arbitrarily chosen for interaction.

@Blind Io I understand your point as well, that they’ve chosen to interact with players on this Discord because (some) players are there. But that avoids looking at the crux of the issue. Why are the players there in the first place. I’m sure some of them are natural users of Discord. I’m sure some heard of the Discord from friends and other people, perhaps via Reddit, Twitter, etc. But I’m guessing some of them sought out a means to interact with the Devs (and information in general) because they found the experience here lacking. In other words, because the Devs failed them. Because the forums and the experience of “joining the discussion” that was promised them, was never met. The Devs caused this to happen is what I’m saying. The fact players are there makes sense. The Devs made sure it became a self-fulfilling prophecy. Idk what they’re aversion to forums is, I think the game exploded in popularity initially (well that’s known, they wrote about it even) and they were overwhelmed when it was only a handful of people. There simply wasn’t time to work on the game and communicate with players, not in a consistent manner, not the way they’d have liked. Adam may have enjoyed doing those early live streams (his creative ones were much better, less hectic, offered a more reasonable chance for someone to get a question in with a possibility of it being seen and answered but poor fellow, don’t think he got much accomplished in the stream I watched and participated in, I miss those experiences because you felt like you were really part of the community, part of this game, part of this process, and now all of that is missing, and that’s not only saddening it’s a huge shame) but I’m sure they were stressful experiences as well no matter how much fun he had doing them. Stress is an often misunderstood beast. There are many types of stress, not all of it “bad.” Our bodies still react negatively to stress no matter the cause. We all know bad stressors, under pressure from work etc, bad relationships, debt, things like that. What is good stress? Well changes in your life that are welcome count. Getting married, buying your first house, having a baby (assuming you wanted to), these are changes you wanted, but change your life in significant (often drastic) ways, and that causes stress. Creating a game is like that. It’s fun, it’s enjoyable, but it’s still work and it’s still incredibly stressful. It’s difficult observing the Devs, who are already working hard and under a lot of stress, make errors they likely aren’t aware of (stress clouds judgement) when you know they’re adding to their headaches down the line. What else can we do but continue to bring these issues up, hoping they’ll listen? Any concerned player who cares about the Devs and the direction the game takes would feel compelled to do so. It’s not beating a dead horse. It’s not about refusing to face facts or refusing to join Discord “where the info is at” it’s not about that at all. Anyone who thinks such things is completely missing the point (and likely will continue to miss it).

Now that I’ve finally found the Discord address I’ll try to make a point of joining. Then I can offer a suitable opinion on the experience. Im already a member of the Reddit sub. I don’t check in often tbh because I’ve never found much there that’s been personally helpful. I’ve played the game a very long time, so that’s not meant to be slight of any kind against the sub.I must say though I’ve never seen anything there from the Devs, only posts from fans and players with the notable exception of some stuff (mostly from Adam iirc) related to PAX West.

In conclusion, if the Devs are interacting with players on Discord and are doing so because that’s where the people “are at” it’s only because they’ve driven people to such places desperately in search of interaction, not because people don’t want interaction here. In the beginning, people would’ve responded here and looked for them here. Tbh players have always looked for them here. More accurate to say many players have simply grown tired of looking for the Devs here, have grown frustrated, and have given up. The Devs have failed them. It’s never been a lack of interest by the players. I’d be willing to bet most of the players who end up on the Discord and other places, interacting with the Devs, happened to be on Discord anyway rather than “sent there” from the forums. That or they read about or heard the info from someone else, a friend perhaps.

This remains a highly relevant discussion no matter if the Devs make the Discord official or whatever. They’ve not addressed the core issue, their lack of involvement on the forums, and most of us who’ve been active on the forums for a long time aren’t going to be satisfied until they come here and offer explanations for their actions. Wyv is an amazing admin, but it’s past time for the Devs to speak up for themselves on their forums, and not use mods as their spokesperson. This communication issue has been brought up time and time again. When more people get the game at launch, more will end up here. If Devs move towards only listing Reddit, Discord, and Twitter at the beginnning of the game and not the forums, that will be a HUGE mistake and will do their players and fans an incredible disservice. As mentioned, websites remain the gold standard. Nothing else compares. It’s fast and easy to access a website, to come here seeking info, to search, ask questions, get assistance, read the Patch Notes, and file bug reports. There’s just no replacing a website for a game or business (a game is a business as well).

Again sorry about the mistakes, I must leave for an appointment.

Edited by Wyvyrias
Fixed formatting (Dark Theme) ... RIP mentions tho

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The Discord is in the footer (it's broken on mobile) and also is pinned in General Discussion and linked in the FAQ (missing that one should be really difficult).
Searching for "Astroneer Discord" on Google also reveals a ton of results right away. The forum's own search function sadly is, to say it nicely, trash. Google does a way better job at it.
So unless the search function is all you use, you shouldn't be able to miss it. It's also pinned on the Steam forums and has been mentioned in all vlogs. Plus you can just type in "Astroneer" in the Discord join function, and you'd get there.

As for reddit, the devs do post there, but not as often. There's quite a few posts from them there, nothing recent tho, so there's no way you'd find anything that easily.

And the vlog cross-posting, well, Joe actually did post the last one (I was busy, thus too late). I don't think it's really necessary for him to do it tbh, there's YT after all. And it's linked here. I just cross-post them on reddit, Steam and the SES forums because why not. But I am a bad reference anyway, because I assume that everyone meets a certain average and is more than capable enough to find pinned topics or read through some official announcements. My time as moderator showed me that I always need to assume that they know absolutely nothing, though. Which is difficult, cause then you may make some people feel dumb, and of course you don't want that.
Awkward enough, I had people straight out tell me they're "not that smart".

To come back to that "devs appear detached from the community" thing...that's so subjective, I doubt we can even properly discuss that. I've seen people being absolutely amazed by how much the devs are involved with the community, and some being absolutely disappointed by their absence. There's so much contrast in the opinions, it merely is a matter of perception. Personally, I've seen more involved developers, but also developers that were even less involved or even not at all. Every team approaches those community matters at their own pace, and every user is used to different things as well. There's no good or bad here, there's just a bottom line of zero interaction that could be considered "bad".

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15 hours ago, Wyvyrias said:

And the vlog cross-posting, well, Joe actually did post the last one (I was busy, thus too late). I don't think it's really necessary for him to do it tbh, there's YT after all. And it's linked here.

Here's my problem with this statement: it is absolutely wrong. As the company's communications officer, manager, whatever the title is, that is his actual, literal job. He not only needs to, he is literally the person responsible for posting any public announcements regarding the company or the game through every single one of the company's communications channels, plus create press releases to send to different media outlets. At least that's what a good communications officer is supposed to do. If he would just posts a vlog on youtube without advertising it everywhere, and I were the company's general manager, I would consider hiring someone else who knows what they're doing. He is responsible for letting people know the company just posted game-related content and where to find it. The little youtube "bell" works only if people activate it, which is probably a minimal percentage of subscribers. Proactivity is needed, not reliance on one/two channels. If he only relies on one or two communication channels when he has several at his disposal, it's not going to make a bigger impact. If no one communicated that SES would be at PAX, would anyone not related to PAX or SES ever find out? I only knew about that because another forum user mentioned it here. Don't you think that would have been something worth sharing EVERYWHERE? You can make excuses and call it a slip up. I call it not doing their job...

15 hours ago, Wyvyrias said:

To come back to that "devs appear detached from the community" thing...that's so subjective, I doubt we can even properly discuss that. I've seen people being absolutely amazed by how much the devs are involved with the community, and some being absolutely disappointed by their absence. There's so much contrast in the opinions, it merely is a matter of perception. Personally, I've seen more involved developers, but also developers that were even less involved or even not at all. Every team approaches those community matters at their own pace, and every user is used to different things as well. There's no good or bad here, there's just a bottom line of zero interaction that could be considered "bad".

I'll explain it to you: they're involved in Discord, but absent from the forums. When was the last time you saw a dev involved in a conversation here other than to put out a fire, to then disappear once again?

I'll give you an example of involvement: the other day Warframe released a patch (like they always do), and a player noticed something, so he created a thread saying that some stats for the new warframe called Revenant got "stealth nerfed" after the patch. Not even 10 minutes after the thread was created (they also use Invision and I was reading the thread at the time, so I got the notification) the actual Community Manager herself, Rebecca Ford, replied on the thread saying that it was not intentional and that it was going to get fixed in the next hotfix (https://forums.warframe.com/topic/1008108-revenant-stealth-nerf-in-recent-hotfix/). That's what a real communications manager does. DE might be bigger now, but it wasn't always this way. Involvement, openness and participation have been their attitudes and philosophies since they started over 5 years ago, and look at them now.

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@vvhorus I couldn’t agree more! Someone who gets it! I’ve played Warframe as well, and this doesn’t have anything to do with comparing the game (in terms of magnitude as it exists currently, or the size of its staff) it’s about their dedication to their fans (players), to communication, and getting the info out there (as covering everything they change in updates, in basic terms everyone can understand). I’m not sure why we bother arguing about this over and over, the point has been made. SES has neglected their duty to interact with their players in their medium of choice, the gold standard of communication, the official website. I don’t have a particular problem with some of them choosing to go on some Discord (albeit a semi-official one, whatever) from time to time so long as that’s something they do on the side, above and beyond interacting with people here. But that’s not what they’re doing. The Devs are no where to be found on the forums. They’re not telling people “hey, you won’t find us here, you have to go elsewhere to interact with us, our bad” instead they have someone else giving people their messages for them (or worse yet, that individual simply takes it on themselves, in good faith I think, but stIll assumes that role to say that’s just how it is). We’re left to figure out the reasons ourselves. Not many good reasons can come to mind for it. Either the Devs just don’t care to let us know themselves or worse yet they just assume no one here cares to interact with them (which is obviously not the case). It’s insulting either way, and nothing a mod can say will change that.

The reason the Devs (as per Wyv) don’t find interaction here is because they never supported it. Not going further with this, no point in beating a dead horse. If they interacted here the people would follow. There avoidance of the forums has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. The fault lies with SES.

19 hours ago, Wyvyrias said:

The Discord is in the footer (it's broken on mobile) and also is pinned in General Discussion and linked in the FAQ (missing that one should be really difficult).
Searching for "Astroneer Discord" on Google also reveals a ton of results right away. The forum's own search function sadly is, to say it nicely, trash. Google does a way better job at it.
So unless the search function is all you use, you shouldn't be able to miss it. It's also pinned on the Steam forums and has been mentioned in all vlogs.

Like millions of other people, I use a smart device (iPhone or iPad) to access the Internet. Most people don’t use a computer (regardless of type, OS, etc) to do this regularly anymore. Maybe if they are at work, but a lot of workplaces (from what I’ve read) lock people out at least from some sites (I agree, people shouldn’t be wasting time on FaceBook and whatnot if they’re supposed to be at work, you know, working). So the fact this supposed link to Discord doesn’t work for mobile is quite telling. Doesn’t sound like it matters much (to SES) if people know about the Discord site. I don’t recall ever seeing the Discord link and like I said I visit these forums several times a week. I don’t pay much attention to pinned topics tbh, most aren’t of interest to me and studies have demonstrated we all adapt quickly to “blanking out” sections of websites we don’t wish to look at (most notably add sections). Not having the Discord link work for mobile is inexcusable. SES should get a better webmaster, or whoever deals with that sort of stuff. Kinda important I’d say especially if it’s going official.

As for performing a Google search, that doesn’t make any sense. Google yields more general results of all sorts of random crap, it’d be the last place I’d think of searching for info. This is the Astroneer official website, if I can easily find the info here god help me. If it were an official Discord I might have tried it idk.

I play on Xbox exclusively, I have no reason to check on Steam. I know you were just being thorough though, I appreciate it.

I watch all the VLOGs too. I usually stop the video and leave YT before the video ends completely (when it starts to fade) I’m not there to get links I’m there for the content. I have no idea about any bell notification and wouldn’t have a clue how that works on Xbox (which I have on a good part of my waking hours though with Astroneer being more of a frustration lately I’ve moved to playing Zelda BoTW for the most part, too much tedium in Crafting Update, ridiculous artificial gating early on which I’ve said before is always a terrible idea players will go to other planets in due time just let them don’t force it). 

I concur with @vvhorus there’s no coherent notification system for news, VLOGs, anything really when it comes to getting any heads up about stuff. I missed the last live stream. I have notifications for twitch but I don’t always hear them. I wish I had them pop up when I’m playing on Xbox but that’s probably more a Microsoft limitation than anything y’all could control. However, I would say it would be great even if it has to be a bit down the line if SES could develop an app to inform people about what they’re up to. It would be nice to include Patch Notes, recipes, resource info, planetary info, and the like. Apps don’t have to include a lot of fancy features. No need to put LFG and chat in there. Keep it simple, but a notification system would be nice to have. One thing I don’t like about the current update, I don’t see any way to know where to find things to craft an item without unlocking the item. I consider that poor design. How can I judge the merits of unlocking something when I have no idea (yet anyway) where I’ll be able to find the constituent materials? I’ve been burned by this already. It’s things like this that show the Devs, no matter how bright and creative, don’t play through their game at all. The play at it, to test it a bit, but they don’t play for fun.

@vvhorus and I know that’s another thing that makes Warframe special. Rebecca and (blanking on other lady’s name atm) the two communication leads, are diehard fans of the game as well. The core of the dev team does live steams regularly and they’re there too. I’ve seen Rebecca et al go off into play test rooms and try out new and upcoming expansion features and they have a blast! That sort of love for the game is infectious and spills over to the fan base. I don’t think I’ve ever seen evidence SES Devs play their own game, much less enjoy it. They enjoy making it, but I doubt any of them go home and play Astroneer for hours. And I seriously doubt any of them play on Xbox. I think that shows in how much Xbox performance suffers overall, and in some of their weirdness of the controls. They’ve made great strides of course in improving terraforming with the tool, but overall performance is still bad. You can’t play more than an hour or so without it crashing. We’re only a few months away from launch. This game should be stable enough to play however long you want without it crashing. That’s a stable product. I’d like to know when the game is going to meet that criteria? No one should be consistently forced out of their Astroneer game by it crashing. No one. That’s what always happens though (unless I quit before ~hour is up for other reasons, usually a storm).

 

 

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1 hour ago, Shadow Echo said:

@vvhorus and I know that’s another thing that makes Warframe special. Rebecca and (blanking on other lady’s name atm) the two communication leads, are diehard fans of the game as well.

Her name is Megan. Also, another community rep called Danielle does live streams at least once a week on consoles. Between those, Prime Time streams with Reb and Megan once a week, and the bi-weekly Dev Stream with the lead devs which lasts for a couple of hours at least, they do streaming at least 2-3 times a week. They're always in the eyes, ears and minds of their community.

1 hour ago, Shadow Echo said:

I don’t think I’ve ever seen evidence SES Devs play their own game, much less enjoy it. They enjoy making it, but I doubt any of them go home and play Astroneer for hours.

You bring up an excellent point. I have never seen a SES dev play the game (or even talk about the game in general) on a stream other than while doing a demo on a show. If they do streams, it would be news to me, and it should be more heavily advertised. That just shows their level of commitment. They seem to relegate showing off the game to third party video content creators, just like they do with unpaid volunteers to manage "their" Discord. That is probably the same reason why they give streamers early access to the latest updates a day or two before the rest of the playerbase, so they don't have to show off the patch themselves. Is this a pattern?

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Adam used to.  Used to give me great pleasure to watch him suffocate as he would pause, talk about something, realise he was running out of air and never make it back to the base.  Reilly also used to play with him.  Think I spelt that last name wrong.  Those were in the early days tho, before the death and office move.  Since they, I agree, only Joe the Snail.  And he doesn't really play as much as showcase.

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@Shadow Echo 
The Astroneer Discord is now officially official. Ses has finally had the time to take ownership of it and it has been verified.
Now that this has happened we might see some form of integration, who knows?

 

Edited by Bwainless

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Yes indeed, it is official! Yay? Congrats SES and the Astroneer Discord team xD

I have noticed, if you engage the (beta) Dark Theme for this forum (at least using iOS) it actually does show the Discord address. Interesting. No one put in white text did they? Hmm?

Only problem is, when I tried to write this up, it was slow as molasses. Couldn’t tolerate it. Had to switch back to the default light them. Very sad, I like dark themes they’re much easier on the eyes being up late at night so often *cries*

No one has kicked me out of the now official Discord place...yet ;) Nice place, everyone’s been quite nice, and since I’m new I’m trying my best to be nice and learn how things work and are organized. So if someone has thought about trying it out but has concerns about using a Discord place, I say go for it. Haven’t seen any Devs though, other than Joe pops in randomly but really hasn’t said much about the game that’s post-worthy, and basically the rules state “don’t ping the Devs” so seems we’ve not solved the communication issue really at all. The folk who (including ones here) who advocate the position of “sorry but the forums aren’t where the Devs are, you need to go to the Discord to interact with them” are promulgating a bit of a falsehood, as that’s not what really happens on the Discord from what I’ve both heard and seen (haven’t seen much tho). Not saying the Discord doesn’t have value. If SES didn’t think so, they never would’ve made it official.

Maybe they do “interact” there form time to time, but when they do, it’s only on their terms, and those terms are strictly defined. From what I read in the rules, and I also interpret based on what I have both been told and see others told, the Devs are treated like they’re  incredibly sacred, which not gonna lie it’s a bit weird O.o I don’t mean people talk about them like that, it’s just this attitude they’re too fragile to be bothered. Yeah, weird. We’ve been over this, so don’t want to roll on about it, but there is this thing called “turning off notifications” and such. Or just being invisible. Lots of ways to manage it I’m sure, rather than act like it’s a bit cultish lmao. We all have stuff we do, most of us consider our own time important. Why should the Devs be so different? I think the main issue with this is they shouldn’t be appearing on when they’re not really willing, able, and most importantly available to engage in the community (here, Discord, wherever). They want to be invisible they can still monitor the Discord and post a reply if relevant. People ping back, so what? Since when did that necessitate a reply? Seems a bit silly. Invisible, do not disturb, away, whatever the choices are, don’t recall, varies by platform anyway.

Now the Discord folk will come say I’m spreading lies, so before that happens I’ll say (1) I’m likely exaggerating a bit, and (2) I’m also new, only been there 2 days, I’ll reasily admit I can’t draw hard and fast conclusions. But the rules are indeed clear on no pinging, no way they can argue that one, that just doesn’t come across as a very open and welcoming system when this is supposed to be the place you go, the one place really, to interact with them. I don’t see how anyone could argue that, it’s not open to interpretation that’s how it is and you accept that as part of the rules. There simply is no direct interaction. It’s at their discretion, whenever they choose to make and appearance, to come and go.

When one does show up, it doesn’t sound like there’s much opportunity to interact either. Idk how long they usually hand around, but from what I’ve heard when a Dev shows up on the Discord to chat, it turns into a feeding frenzy. Good luck getting your question seen much less answered. That’s not really any different than trying to speak (chat) with them in a livestream, almost impossible. Anyway y’all get the idea, it’s not really what I’d call quality “interaction” if it’s even much interaction at all. Don’t know yet if they do any scheduled interaction, that’d be the way to go if I were to suggest something. Short but very frequent, and at as many variable times as they could support to afford as many an opportunity to interact with them as they could. Could be any of them, it’s cool to talk to different team members about what they do.

Again a lot of this feeding frenzy behavior is on them. We all know they are busy and have work to do, it’s not that. Really, it’s not. Sure there are some who don’t care, and I’ve seen some come here and post their ridiculous notions (we all probably have) that, just because they bought the game they have some right to speak with the Devs, have some say in how the game comes out. For real huh. Sure, we all have our ideas how we might like things to be, we have opinions about what sucks and what’s good, and we give feedback as is our duty. It’s still not our game to make. We only paid to play it, and atm we agreed that when purchased, it was unfinished (and might not ever be). I’m not sure at this point what they could or should do, because they brought so much upon themselves, this whole communication and interaction issue. I think they should do much more regular things as mentioned, frequent too. Things like livestreams and other many methods of reaching out, including much more integration here (you get so much of that on Discord, but ALL of that should be here as well. It’s shameful it isn’t tbh and again shows there’s so little interest at SES in doing so. It’s extremely disconcerting. Maybe they’re just, well, n00b about it idk. At this point I have no excuses for them. This is about the most barebones website to you can have nowadays. Even basic functions, editing a post, searching, etc are just so painful!

The Discord is a nice place, seems to be so far. Haven’t been there long, and of course I write too much there as well lol. At least they know it’s me and not some imposter!? So if anyone has held out on going there, I wouldn’t. They don’t go around muting and banning people. Haven’t seen that happen to anyone yet. Mostly people are just, you know, people. They chat. Show pics of Astro stuff. Talk about life things (in off-topic). Help others with playing Astro (like answer questions when someone is stuck). It’s a social place in general, just one that’s focused on Astroneer. Not much different tbh than places like Slack or BAND I’ve used for gaming purposes (because clans and such used them for communication and organization). But if you’re hoping to find the Devs there, hoping to catch them and ask questions, yeah it’s not really like that. And you’re certainly not allowed to direct a question to them (by way of pinging them to ask), if they’re not there atm, and they’re really not just hanging around like that. They might on occasion. Just saying that’s not what I’ve found (in my admittedly very short time there). Whenever they have some downtime (hehe if ever) it’s probably a bit more relaxed and some may hang out. Hope I’ll see that one day.

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