A Proposal for Community Relations between ED & The Community - ED Forums
 


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Old 07-11-2018, 10:16 PM   #1
AspenGrey
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Default A Proposal for Community Relations between ED & The Community

As a Public Affairs/Public Relations specialist for my RL work, I’ve been watching the recent threads over concerns about DCS MP with interest, and what follows is how I would handle a situation like this. As a little back story, people have been raising significant concerns over the current quality of how the DCS MP works. The current thread is located in the Multiplayer forum.

In order to handle this in an effective manner, ED should have someone (the community manager?) engage with the server owners and act as a go-between between server owners/community leaders (important streamers, squadron leaders, etc.) and the development team to help to identify what issues ACTUALLY exist, and how to fix them. ED is likely already looking at these issues, but by engaging with the community, it makes people feel valued and included which significantly calms community emotions.

To help calm down the current firestorm which has blown up both on this forum and on every DCS Discord I'm a part of, ED should quickly acknowledge community concerns and announce a date for when they will make a concerted effort to ENGAGE with the community about these concerns.
For example; “Hello community! We have heard your concerns about DCS MP, and we take them seriously. On ## Day we will be reaching out to the following people to get their feedback on the current DCS MP experience.”

Right there you've stopped 90% of people bitching, because they feel valued and included and like their concerns are taken seriously. This costs ED almost NOTHING to implement- it’s literally just emails being exchanged with maybe 20-30 people who are identified as being either major server owners/operators or who are highly engaged with the community. I could draft that list up in about 30 minutes.

Once you have reached out to these people, have the community manager) take the concerns of these server owners/important people and put them in front of the Dev team. This allows the dev team to analyze these concerns. The dev team can then say, ‘hey, we want to investigate this, please get us THIS data’ which could be mission files, server hardware lists, logs, etc. Boom, the Dev team can get the data they need.


During this process, there may be cases where it really is all on the server owner's end, whether that's shit hardware or bad scripting. I’m sure that would be the case in a few examples. The Community Manager can then report that back to the server owners and it can get fixed on that end. However, if problems are identified it could also REALLY help the dev team to identify what those issues are without them spending a ton of their own time trying to hunt down the bugs.

As long as this isn't all thrown under an NDA, streamers (remember those ‘important community members’) will throw this information out into the community for ED and people will feel like something is being done and that it will likely be effective. They're also more likely to trust people that they've been watching on YouTube for years and who they feel they have a personal relation with. That stops people from blowing up a firestorm and a really bad, Star Citizen-esque kickback towards ED.

With all of this, we’ve effectively: A- handled the current community blowback. B- identified a solution that works with the community instead of against it. C- Gained a valuable insight into how DCS MP servers are being ran, implemented, and scripted.

The current actions of the community, including significant lashing-out seen in the forums and on various discords are 100% being exacerbated by the community managers’ responses. It is ineffective public relations and will have no result other than angering people and making them less likely to engage with the company in the future.

As a note: If this is the incorrect forum for this discussion, please let me know, but since it has to deal with the community and the DCS 2.5 MP system, I felt that this general DCS 2.5 forum was the best place to post it. Please do not use my post as an excuse to attack members of the development or community team- just because I wouldn't handle something in a particular way doesn't mean that it isn't a valid way to handle it.

Note 2- The topic has moved to forum and site issues. While I feel that this has more to deal with a development of DCS 2.5, that's fair enough since I don't know where else you'd put it besides the DCS 2.5 forum or here.

Last edited by AspenGrey; 07-11-2018 at 10:19 PM.
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Old 07-11-2018, 11:17 PM   #2
zhukov032186
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They do have people acting as go betweens. They do not appear magically to respond to every 'concern' thread, especially for stuff that has already been acknowledged in the past.

Every two weeks somebody, often new guys but not always, starts a drama thread about some random topic like he's the first person to ever have the thought. Every four weeks somebody creates a thread where they offer their experience as a call center operator/customer service/sales rep/aeronautics engineer and that if only ED would listen to their novel ideas on management that nobody ever anywhere has heard before, it would magically print gazillions of dollars/solve all problems/increase fps/*insert*

These conversations occur with clockwork regularity. They have happened 9000 times in the past... they will happen 9000 times in the future.

As for multiplayer, they make a minute portion of the community, the opposite of a 'firestorm', unless you consider the same 15-20 people arguing about the same thing for the 9 millionth time a firestorm. That's not dismissing their valid requests/complaints etc, but it is nothing new, and a 20+ year old company doesn't need armchair marketing advice @@


-edit
Also many of the problems people have in DCS multiplayer are self inflicted. Just like in Arma, because they CAN have 50+ people and 1000+ AI and dozens of usually poorly written scripts, they do. And then half the time they put it on a sub-par server. I played with an Arma clan that was like that, on their server I got 25fps, on mine I got 90+.

Server owners/mission designers are notorious for a 'everything and the kitchen sink' approach, which is sloppy design, and then act surprised it craps out on them. This ain't Battlefield or War Thunder, and it's not designed as a 'persistent living world'. You make a tailored mission for a squadron of 10-15 people, you aren't likely to have a problem. You want to create an over engineered monstrosity for several dozen people all doing completely different stuff AND run it on a toaster? You got a problem.

There's the scope of the game, then there's what people are trying to do. When those two don't line up it doesn't work. I'm just kidding, when those two don't work you're supposed to froth at the mouth and mash on your keyboard until quantum computing becomes viable.
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Old 07-11-2018, 11:28 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zhukov032186 View Post
They do have people acting as go betweens. They do not appear magically to respond to every 'concern' thread, especially for stuff that has already been acknowledged in the past.

Every two weeks somebody, often new guys but not always, starts a drama thread about some random topic like he's the first person to ever have the thought. Every four weeks somebody creates a thread where they offer their experience as a call center operator/customer service/sales rep/aeronautics engineer and that if only ED would listen to their novel ideas on management that nobody ever anywhere has heard before, it would magically print gazillions of dollars/solve all problems/increase fps/*insert*

These conversations occur with clockwork regularity. They have happened 9000 times in the past... they will happen 9000 times in the future.

As for multiplayer, they make a minute portion of the community, the opposite of a 'firestorm', unless you consider the same 15-20 people arguing about the same thing for the 9 millionth time a firestorm. That's not dismissing their valid requests/complaints etc, but it is nothing new, and a 20+ year old company doesn't need armchair marketing advice @@
just so

Quote:
Originally Posted by zhukov032186 View Post
a 20+ year old company doesn't need armchair marketing advice @@
especially this

Quote:
Originally Posted by AspenGrey View Post
As a little back story, people have been raising significant concerns over the current quality of how the DCS MP works. The current thread is located in the Multiplayer forum.
im a regular mp player so i know the landscape, but here you've told me no backstory at all

-who are these people?
-what are their motivations?
-how significant are these issues?
...etc.

offering answers to an obfuscated problem is at the end of the day a form of deception.
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hahaha hey look at me i surely know more about aviation and coding than actual industry professionals hired for their competency because i have read jalopnik and wikipedia i bet theyve never even heard of google LOL

Last edited by probad; 07-11-2018 at 11:53 PM.
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Old 07-11-2018, 11:38 PM   #4
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For myself, having someone representing ED asking us what problems we see and then saying what they’re doing about is very very important.

In fact, I stopped playing another well-known flight sim just because the owner was a silent as a statue, except to occasionally berate the community.

Just my thoughts, thx
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Old 07-11-2018, 11:49 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by VZ_342 View Post
In fact, I stopped playing another well-known flight sim just because the owner was a silent as a statue, except to occasionally berate the community.
so what is it you're looking for?

a flight sim
or
personal attention

this is a rhetorical question not aimed at you personally, but i think this is the sort of question that people ought to be asking to themselves.
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hahaha hey look at me i surely know more about aviation and coding than actual industry professionals hired for their competency because i have read jalopnik and wikipedia i bet theyve never even heard of google LOL

Last edited by probad; 07-11-2018 at 11:58 PM.
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Old 07-12-2018, 12:44 AM   #6
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Hi my name is NineLine, I bug ED about stuff all the time, a lot of if not most from you guys... go ahead, ask them.
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Old 07-12-2018, 12:46 AM   #7
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I'll do my best to address some of the points you brought up!

So, this was originally crafted as a reply to the following thread: https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=215654
This post was removed from that thread as off topic- fair enough. I was encouraged to repost it as its own thread by some members in the community.

There have been some significant moderator actions on that thread, and the discussion has spilled over significantly to various DCS Discords and Subreddits off-site. (As in, every discord I'm a part of can't seem to talk about anything else today.)

As a public relations professional (Not marketing- not my area!), this situation piqued my interest as an excellent case scenario for training, and I decided to write up my own opinion on how something like this could, potentially, be handled.

There are lots of correct answers, but I tried to pick one that I felt would be both effective at calming community concerns expressed in that thread and elsewhere, and which would result in real results and potentially ease development burdens.

The moderators who act as go-betweens did significantly respond to the thread in question and (at first) in a manner that I feel didn't help the community's perception. I'm not looking to analyze blow-by-blow any actions taken by the moderator team as that's considered against the forum rules, but I don't think that the initial actions taken were helpful.

One of the points I brought up above is that being able to work with server owners in a controlled and organized fashion would allow developers to identify how exactly the server is being used. The popular server owners know what make a good server- they may or may not know how to most effectively employ the DCS program to create that efficiently & with good performance. Being able to identify the difference between 'the server owner is at fault' and 'the code is at fault' in a reliable manner, rather than the devs having to do all the work themselves, or rely on bug reports from busy server owners which may not include good, detailed information, would probably help them do their job better. That's the main gist of this thread.

Again, all of this was a sort of thought experiment on how I personally would handle a similar situation, and it was written in such a way to be directly relevant to the current thread that's developed over 20 pages in about 2 hours and a lot of community involvement off-forum.

The commentary about whether there's actually a problem, whether it lies more with the server owners & mission developers or with the codebase, and commentary on the specific argument going on between some members of the community and ED is probably better taken to the original thread- there have been a lot of good posts there although there have also been some less-than-useful posts. It seems to be a lot more under control than it was when I first drafted this up, with some good and useful information coming from the community manager.
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Old 07-12-2018, 12:47 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NineLine View Post
Hi my name is NineLine, I bug ED about stuff all the time, a lot of if not most from you guys... go ahead, ask them.
Your work is appreciated!
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Old 07-12-2018, 01:43 AM   #9
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It's almost like it's business as usual O.O
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Old 07-12-2018, 04:15 PM   #10
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zhukov032186, probad; you two are the most amazingly helpful saints I've ever seen. Odin blesses you for your thoughtfulness.

Nineline, it sounds like your doing this work as community manager pro bono, if that's so than you've been cheated.
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