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Sincere Suggestions

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I bought this game at release and fell in love with it. The first month to month and a half were really good. Any patching was fairly well done and the only complaint many had at that time was that they would have appreciated more warning ahead of time that a new patch was going to be dropped and when so they could be off the servers and logged out in time. That was the single biggest complaint that I noticed then.

Shortly after things started to take a turn. All of the sudden, or so it seemed, every patch seemed to break far more than it fixed. The communities cries for communication seemed to be answered as an official forum was created. But still there was no warning given for patches or even for the roll backs that the said patches made a necessity. 

Even with the official forum in full swing the communication was lackluster at best mostly consisting of obvious excuses from a community manager that seemed to be completely out of the loop. It honestly felt like he knew no more than we did. When devs did answer the community after a particularly bad drop if was similar to things like we're sorry, we knew there were problems in the patch but we had hoped to have a fix by now. 

Then there is the problem of the support crew being cut in half with not a word to the community, many of whom were waiting to hear progress on their support tickets. Then there was the officail website being broken for days on end with no way at all to even log in. 

So, here is my suggestions. First, I want to say that it would break my heart to see this game completely implode on itself. Before anything else is done, though, a new approach to communication with the community has to be established. Many changes were made to the existing world with the release of the DLC. There should have been an official statement ahead of time, say 3 days to a week ahead, so that players could prepare to weather the transition to the new changes. This could have been done and would not have spoiled the DLC in anyway as it only effected the existing characters on the original map. There is simply no good reason for this to not have been done. I daresay an official apology for this faux pas is in order.

Start a new policy of advance notification on any and all patches that will cause sweeping changes to any core mechanic in the game such as structure HP or character or tame stats. Please understand that this is not to place more work on you unduly. We play the game to give feedback and while I am very sure you have plenty of work already, please take into consideration that a considerable amount of time and effort is also put into the game on our part and we are only asking for warning enough to prepare so that we can playtest the game to the best of our ability which is made much harder to do when things like that broadside us out of the blue.

Please look into why the official forum so that the past does not repeat itself. Not only from the technical aspect but from the aspect of overall communication. Make sure the website is functioning correctly, but just as important, if not more so, make sure that your community managers know what is going on. Keep them well informed and give them the ability to communicate with us about situations that arise in an open and knowledgable way. It isn't fair to your community nor is it fair to those you have tasked with being your representation to the community. 

From now on, I know this is easier to say than to do, if you know that something isn't working correctly, or that it will probably not work correctly, do not release it. Peolpe get over a release being late far easier than having hours and hours or work or mats just destroyed. That may seem strange but if you are honest and come out and say that we have things in the patch that we are having problems with and it will be late, people will be far more likely to forgive as long as you don't wait to tell them unttil after a million posts have been created about why is it late. Just tell us if there are problems that need to be worked out. It takes some of the pressure off of you and shows us that you respect us as customers. If something does get through and you need to roll back, take the same approach and post official notices on all forums to give people warning as well.

I am well aware that this has been brought up several times in the past. It feels like those past suggestions were undervalued by you and I am reaching out to try to hopefully give it one more try to have it sink in that with just these few things you can actually bring the hard feelings brewing in this community to an end. These things alone wont solve all the games problems but they will make the experience of your community better and in doing so it will make your job easier with less hate flying at you and more people in game and helping find problems that would be hard for you to find on your own. We want to work with you but we need a community environment that is open and communicative from both sides to do that.

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