Larian Banner
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Joined: Oct 2020
Location: Savage North
enthusiast
OP Offline
enthusiast
Joined: Oct 2020
Location: Savage North
I just re-watched this GMTK video, which contains many words of wisdom.

There's a relevant warning about using player data carefully. This one is relevant, given how Larian used player data in their "Bless is boring" claim.

There's a passage about feedback as problems vs as solutions. That one is for us players. "Please change X" isn't as useful "Please change X, because X leads to Y which doesn't work/isn't fun/create a negative experience for me". Indeed, the devs may have other ways to remove Y.

But the most interesting is the 4th part, "Create a conversation between developers and players". Chis Avellone is quoted as saying "Once you explain why a certain feature is a certain way and make a very structure argument for it, we find that generally that level of frankness causes a lot of buy-in". It would be great if Larian could communicate more about what they aim to achieve in combat, and how their rules help achieve that (or will eventually help, when paired with other rules, and everything comes together).

And there's a point about insisting on wanting to make the game devs are aiming for (and the best version of that vision), rather than the "universally best" version of the game (which possibly can't be achieved, because what's better or more fun is subjective). I now think that Larian has stated clearly enough that they will focus on making the game they want to play, which is good. The only thing is that they haven't communicated what that vision looks like.


A couple of other considerations I want to add.

Like many, I have been asking for more frequent and better communication for a while. Why that ? I am not asking for more communication so as to make us feel good, special, listened to or anything. Rather, I think that more communication would be useful for the Early Access feedback gathering.

  • If they describe their vision and the associated elements that they will certainly not change, then we will get much less feedback and suggestions of removing it.
    For the sake of example, Larian could say "we want more and cheaper standard actions to give more options in the early game, so the revised action economy will stay". Then, instead of "please undo, this devalues classes X and Y", feedback can turn to "please carry out the chain of changes to rebalance classes to the end, and in particular rework classes X and Y in view of the revised actions".
  • If they announce that fixing X or adding feature Y is at the top of their to-do list (from before EA, or player feedback, it matters not) then we can stop requesting it. They don't have to give any precise date, or commit to change A being released before change B. Just say that it's being worked on and coming soon.
    Examples could include the camera, party controls, single-character movement, UI, etc.
  • If they announce that feature Z will come at the end, then we can stop requesting it.
    Difficulty options isn't a good example, as they've already mentioned that in the Early Access FAQ. But things like the XP curve or, perhaps, the availability of scrolls and magic items, is clearly late-stage fine tuning.
  • If they announce that system A or path B of the game is currently not even started yet, mere placeholder, or close to what they want to do, then we can tell them if that's a bad idea, if this is clearly a bug, or wait and see, as appropriate.
    For instance, assuming the evil path wasn't quite ready yet (which I'd rather want to assume), and they had said that they'd like people to try the evil path nevertheless, in order to get some early data, instead of sounding like it's exciting and players should try it even though most players don't normally play evil, then we could have known to wait and see, instead of saying how underwhelming it is, or doubting their writing skills.

Overall, a bit more communication means much less useless feedback and a better signal-to-noise ratio. Which I think is good for the people at Larian who have to process it. And incidentally for us as we can just playtest and feedback where it's useful, or do a playthrough using the things that are less buggy, depending on how we feel like playing today.


Hoping we'll be able to create great assumptions-free Custom Characters and be given great roleplay options.
Joined: Mar 2020
old hand
Offline
old hand
Joined: Mar 2020
Always appreciate the effort you put into you posts. Well said.

Quote
Like many, I have been asking for more frequent and better communication for a while. Why that ? I am not asking for more communication so as to make us feel good, special, listened to or anything. Rather, I think that more communication would be useful for the Early Access feedback gathering.

This also concerns me. I know they were looking for a PR manager recently and I'm not looking forward to professional, PR updates. One thing I do really like about Larian is the amateurish nature of their PR. Give me guy in armor not always keeping to the talking points over a polished, on point and corporate mouthpiece day.

Joined: Feb 2020
Location: Belgium
veteran
Online Content
veteran
Joined: Feb 2020
Location: Belgium
Their lack of communication leads us, EA tester, to endless discussions because we have no vision and no concrete elements to integrate to our suggestions and our feedbacks.

All discussions here, on reddit or on steam would be way more constructive if Larian explained us their vision, guided us, shared with us what is possible and what is not.

What is the goal of an EA if it's not talking with players ? Take the money and have free bug seekers ?

Last edited by Maximuuus; 16/02/21 11:19 PM.
Joined: Oct 2020
stranger
Offline
stranger
Joined: Oct 2020
I agree with the general utility of being more communicative. It's hard to really know what the aim of the developer is if they're mum between updates which makes it hard to critique, and without clear signposts on what content is being planned/worked on you end up with people being frustrated or feeling like their feedback is being ignored.

It's actually been something that has made my own experience of trying to "make sense" of the game pretty difficult. Without knowing what's considered complete or working as intended, what's being worked on, and a vague idea of what's in store how do you even begin to create a holistic view of the state of the game? It has the dual effect of potentially hiding certain problems and also amplifying others because it's unclear if they even recognize them as being so.

Last edited by Dan Quail; 16/02/21 11:21 PM.
Joined: Nov 2020
E
enthusiast
Online Content
enthusiast
E
Joined: Nov 2020
It's a tricky situation for Larian to balance in some respects. For example, what would the community response be if they said "we are happy with the party control/movement mechanics", given how it has basically been almost universally lambasted in these forums?

I would like to see more communication so that we don't have to waste time discussing things that they have no intention of amending.

And if they are hiring a PR manager then I'd have my suspicions that some of the feedback in these forums will not be considered for implementation because it sort of feels like a move to manage disappointment. I'd love to be wrong, however.

Joined: Oct 2020
Location: Savage North
enthusiast
OP Offline
enthusiast
Joined: Oct 2020
Location: Savage North
Originally Posted by Etruscan
It's a tricky situation for Larian to balance in some respects. For example, what would the community response be if they said "we are happy with the party control/movement mechanics", given how it has basically been almost universally lambasted in these forums?
I don't know. Of course, I hope that Larian is not happy with this particular example you took, but it might happen on something else. Similarly, it may be, at some point, that something isn't worth fixing/improving for them, even though they don't like how it is. Extra Credits had a whole video about it at some point. I think that in such cases, it would still be better for Larian to explain their position (be it liking a widely loathed system, or fixing not being a good business decision). My guess is that the community response will be negative anyway, if the widely-reported problem P persists, and no explanation is given, but it might be a bit less so if an explanation is provided.

Originally Posted by Dan Quail
It's actually been something that has made my own experience of trying to "make sense" of the game pretty difficult. Without knowing what's considered complete or working as intended, what's being worked on, and a vague idea of what's in store how do you even begin to create a holistic view of the state of the game? It has the dual effect of potentially hiding certain problems and also amplifying others because it's unclear if they even recognize them as being so.
Precisely. That's what many people are saying when posting feedback reports, big or small. Like, in the first place, shall I file this in the Feedback & Suggestion forum or in the Technical & Gameplay Problems forum ?

Originally Posted by Maximuuus
What is the goal of an EA if it's not talking with players ? Take the money and have free bug seekers ?
Well, one goal is money. David Walgrave was very open about it in the "Bless interview" (Wireframe). Then, they already collect of indirect player feedback through the data. They read direct player feedback too. Which includes bug reports. So there's definitely money and bugs. They're also taking the temperature, seeing how various things are received. But they could make the "reading player feedback" part a lot better for everyone.


Hoping we'll be able to create great assumptions-free Custom Characters and be given great roleplay options.

Link Copied to Clipboard
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5