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Topic of the Month becomes the Community Involvement Initiative

By Electricotter - MEMBER OF THE ZENITH - June 07, 2013, 22:27:17

Greetings Pangaea!
We at the Zenith have some news for you concerning the Topic of the Month.
The initial purpose for enacting the TotM was threefold:

  • Give players a way to initiate a post in the Zenith section
  • Allow a place for players to show a range and ranking of concerns
  • Offer a monthly flow of feedback between the Devs and the community
This concept has been difficult for a number of reasons, some of which rest solely on the shoulders of the Zenith.
In fact some of the TotM threads are still awaiting a summary to be made.
Some are lacking in sufficient amounts of feedback.
Others have not been responded to from the Devs.

However there is one main point here that NEEDS to be made perfectly clear.

Without YOU, yes YOU, the individual reading this post, we are mute.
Without YOU, dear reader, we are powerless.

If you observe the trends in the TotM voting, you will see they have, for the most part, gone steadily downhill(aside from an upswing the past 2 months).
Therefore, we have decided to shift the TotM to the Community Involvement Initiative.

What does this mean?!?

It is actually so simple an Iop (Strength) can understand it.
We will post a voting thread as usual, only certain guidelines will be altered:
  • There is no longer a 30 day turnover. We lack the personnel for such an undertaking.
  • The chosen topic will require 40 votes. This means that YOU, yes YOU dear reader, will have to work together with your fellow community members, rally them behind a single cause, then deliver the goods once it is time for the thread to be made.
  • We are open to the idea of a class based discussion, however the required votes will be DOUBLED, making it 80.
We appreciate all of our dedicated posters on these forums. However it is very important that we get quantitative feedback as well as quality feedback.

If only 12 people vote to discuss the difficulty to organize a group for emote puzzles, we aren't really representing the concerns of our community as a whole.
This topic will be left open to your suggestions on the Community Involvement Initiative.

In the next month or two we will put up our first CII thread.
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40 votes seems impossible with the amount of people who actually use the forums...

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Giga-Biga-Bowser|2013-06-09 05:19:11
40 votes seems impossible with the amount of people who actually use the forums...

You're going to need 39 more"smile" before we talk about this.
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That sounds like a decent way to just focus on issues that a large portion of the community is interested in. However, it is important to recognize that this will effectively limit the Zenith feedback to feedback from people who have lots of social connections. So for example a member/leader of a big guild could easily ask the guild members to vote for an idea and get 40 votes, but a new player without a lot of friends is going to find it much harder.

The forums are already quite biased toward experienced / high level players, who are likely only going to post topics, and vote on issues that concern them, not issues that concern low level players. I think it should be made easier for low level players to get their feedback into the mix, and they should be encouraged to get their voice on the forums, instead of making it excessively difficult for them to get any feedback to the devs.

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I have thought about your point before Mishna and it basically works out like this:

Low level players don't tend to post in this section.

I have SPECIFICALLY asked or the opinion of low level players on a few Zenith threads, and they just don't post.

We currently have a few problems in terms of the forums:

  • People being rude or saying someones ideas/opinions are bad in a harsh way.
  • The same people using the forums and posting.
  • End game focus on most topics.
  • Lots of views, few posts.
It would be beneficial if these things would change.

There will always be lurkers, but I can guarantee that, in the Zenith section at least, everyone's opinion is taken seriously and this section is also safe from flames.
Admittedly they might be there for a short time, but I will personally see to it that rude, inflammatory, and derogatory remarks are taken down.

We value the opinion of EVERY level range.
Admittedly, some things are just more pertinent to certain level groups.
However this doesn't mean the opinion of every range isn't appreciated.

There are only 2 TotM threads that broke the 40 mark.
This is essential however.
From August to December not a single topic had 20 votes.

This obviously doesn't represent the player base.

This isn't just about communication with the Devs, it is also about getting the community more active.

If a guild member has their whole guild vote on something, that is fine with us.
But when it comes to the discussion, if it is just 4-5 people doing all the posting, guess what?
That doesn't represent the community and the topic will sit until be have qualitative and quantitative feedback.

That is what this is all about.

Now if only 3 people post and we have quality feedback, then sure it will be sent over.
However we NEED to be representing the community, which means diverse feedback.

LURKERS: you needn't post. Just give a vote with the red/green smiles.

If there is no opinion that matches yours...post.
This isn't about thread activity or views or responses so that we feel warm and fuzzy inside, it is to try and influence the direction of the game.

WE HAVE INFLUENCED THE DIRECTION OF THE GAME BEFORE.

This needs to be understood.

Lastly, disagreements are fine.
Just show respect and give your reasons.

When you post an opinion, just because someone disagrees, Zenith member or not, your opinion is factored in.
Also, we at the Zenith may disagree with an opinion...even if we agree with it.

We will post counters or questions for many reasons, most of which are unrelated to thinking the idea is 'bad'.
We will question 'good' ideas as well.

Discourse with the Devs is hard.
We speak different languages.

We wish to seek out all the data we can and to break an idea down as much as we can to understand it fully.
In this a way we can communicate through our translators without crowd sourcing every step of the way.

We have encountered this problem before.

We posted a Class review, got a response from Lichen with questions in response.

However we had to go back to the community to get further feedback, which cost time and resources which let the topic sit idle and move away from their focus, the community's focus, and ultimately our focus.

It is our job to question our community in order to understand as fully as we can, so we may understand as completely as we can.

One of the key reasons debate is being discouraged in the Zenith class threads is to help encourage people to post their feedback.

When a thread becomes a back and forth between a few players, this is normally when a thread shuts down.
It becomes insulated and people have a higher tenancy not to post.

I personally am happy to have a discussion via Ankabox or another section of the forums, simply link your topic of discussion in the relevant Zenith thread, or AM it to me or any other member of our team, this applies to more than just Class balance.

From this point on we will put in the OP if it is for final thoughts or an open topic to make this easier.
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The problem is that you are too small in number, plus you don't actively get onto the servers to get the word out that you exist and you want opinions. I won't fault the efforts of the few who are active, but there are too few of you right now. You used to go onto servers and have meetings, what happened to those? Solar doesn't even appear to have an active Zenith member anymore, judging by forum activity, so new people will never know to come here to your forum and say what is on their mind because they don't even know about you.

Even if there are only a couple of you it shouldn't be too hard to find a time that Izmar is free and do it once a month, or have a Moderator/Game Master/Izmar link some topics, or the Zenith sub forum on the server-wide channel a few times a week and encourage people to visit it. That alone would generate views "because a Mod showed it to me" and some of those people would probably reply to your topics or "like" posts.

As a whole the Zenith isn't hands-on enough in my opinion, you have to get out and get your feet dirty more often. Remind people you exist and want opinions. If you could convince Izmar to give the Zenith members something like a Mento Ring that would make you look more important to people, which is usually key to getting them to participtate in something, I think it would go a long way towards prodding people into using your forums and get you some forward momentum.

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It is true that we haven't done server meetings in some time, but we are working on some things behind the scenes.

One of our goals is to be more autonomous and not rely on Izmar/Mods/Gms/Ect.

Server meetings require moderation.

We also have TONS of work to do around every update which makes other things complicated.

We greatly respect Izmar and all the time/work she puts in.
If you guys only knew how many weekends she is doing stuff with us like meetings and whatnot...all on her free time.
That being said, we and the Mods are always on free time.

Our free time and her time don't always sink, having an ocean between us in many cases.

I know most of you know these things, but it is important to keep in mind.

In terms of Solar, one of the Zeniths most integral members(who does ZOUNDS of work, behind the scenes) is from Solar.

I personally have several accounts and I talk to people often about the forums and the Zenith ect. however we like to operate as individuals as well.

In some cases, once you are identified as that guy who can be an owl or someone linked to Ankama, you can't turn that off.

I was a member of the Mentor program which Kaoly championed a while ago.
There were many members.
A little spoiler for those of you who weren't a part:
Our first task was to pick our very own skin.
Cool right?

I had tried my best to organize this and motivate people, but in the end, we couldn't agree on anything, Kaoly left(unrelated to this project), and it all fell apart.
Very sad.

But I feel this Zenith project is, in a way, even more efficient.

I mean it is easy to say that we aren't getting dirty enough.
But you have no idea how busy some of us are with this project.

At the same time, we have how many active forum members?
If each of you brought over just 1 person, that suddenly doubles.

The very CORE of the Zenith project is NOT us, its members.
It is the community.

I agree with what you are saying more or less, but in many cases server meetings didn't really have an impact.
When they did it was temporary.

That being said, I personally am a vocal proponent of server meetings within the community, however they actually are resource intensive.

We do have things in the works however.
Our small staff puts certain restrictions on us, but we are doing rather well despite that.

All of the input we have received so far is appreciated and we look forward to getting more.

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So I have a question...in this specific thread are we only suggesting ideas to improve community involvement or can we suggest any topic that we think needs to be addressed in the game?

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No this thread is to inform of our conversion of the TotM.

Your feedback on this conversion is appreciated, though we can also discuss ways for the community to be more active.

We won't post the first voting thread until the Beta closes, as updates are VERY labor intensive.

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How about Ankama makes a 1.29 server international or make one for each community so they can balance the communities... It would also increase profits for Ankama because many more subscriptions plus it would increase community size with returning players and new ones.... With 2.0 and 1.29 together dofus could jump in ranking in mmorpg game websites and with both 1.29 and 2.0 it would bring much diversity to the game plus the originality.... Come on, no one can deny that it has lost originality but it is an evolving game.... Plus the Spanish community does not have as bad of a people with out dated computers and now are playing because they like 1.29 better than 2.0.... So point is my suggestion is to have 1.29 and 2.0 and have the best of both worlds for each community...

Dont even try to argue you can probaly find you argument here :Click here

And if you don't like 1.29 just keep playing 2.0 because 1.29 no longer need updating... And most game developers would focus on 2.0.....

Whoops just read the last post I am sorry! But umm let this be a advertisement for what is to come or set it invisible don't really care... I am new to the forums hehe

also how would I know that the topic of the month is available to be post on?

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like to see player statistics from 1.29 and 2.0. I doubt they've improved - seriously, 2.0 was a step backwards in my opinion and more and more people have quit the game we love.

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HolnessTheBest|2013-08-28 04:14:19
like to see player statistics from 1.29 and 2.0. I doubt they've improved - seriously, 2.0 was a step backwards in my opinion and more and more people have quit the game we love.
There were no dramatic changes between 1.29 and 2.0. There have been dramatic changes SINCE then, but 1.29 to 2.0 was merely a technical upgrade - a new client written in a more advanced language that was capable of more things. Aside from aesthetics, that's the only difference. Changes to gameplay didn't occur until later.

And even with all the changes since then, I'm sure that more people quit due to the Incursion in 2011 than due to any actual game updates. Going back go 1.29 won't change that, especially since, at the time, 1.29 was considered extremely unbalanced. It was not a "golden age" where the game was perfect and nobody ever complained, except in your own mind.

If you consider adding three classes, adding achievements, adding dozens of new quests, revamping PvP so it's completely voluntary (rather than being ambushed while you're doing something else), and adding real endgame content (so high-level players don't spend all of their time hanging around in Incarnam) to be "a step backwards", what would you consider a step forwards?

So let's have it. What would be your ideal version of "Dofus 3.0"? How would you revamp the game?
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Well put Schmendrick.

It should be noted that certain things will be off the table for discussion.

1.29, resource exchange for scrolls, 1.29 music, and things that generally move the game backwards.

We are about the forward progress of the game.

Your overall patience has been appreciated and as there is little talk of the CII itself here, the first CII post will be coming soon.

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Electricotter|2013-08-28 13:53:08
Well put Schmendrick.

It should be noted that certain things will be off the table for discussion.

1.29, resource exchange for scrolls, 1.29 music, and things that generally move the game backwards.

We are about the forward progress of the game.

Your overall patience has been appreciated and as there is little talk of the CII itself here, the first CII post will be coming soon.

A step backwards? Hasn't 2.0+ been a step backwards?

I think the game is actually better, but I think IF these new features had been in 1.29 - the game would of been even better. Statistically, it looks like 1.29 was the more popular game. I think when you change graphical features, that's when people see it as a different game, and 2.0 offered different graphics which I didn't prefer. That's why I've moved on.

It wasn't well put Schmendrick either - there's a server out there which is a 1.29 Dofus which is illegal and them servers get MAXED (we're talking a good 15k - yes 15,000!) every night - what does this tell you about 1.29? Of course, 4 years ago it was the golden age, Dofus seemed more active - now it's full of multi-loggers. There's even a thread on an illegal forum (which I won't post) of them posting how to recreate 1.29 - and that itself has over 1 million views.

I mean 'Zenith' is here to improve the game - to attract new players, we obviously see a need. First things first is to close the illegal Dofus's, but that's not going to happen I suppose.

I think there needs to be a graphical re-work to persuade old players to return, that's what Dofus needs. I mean, they can't even merge servers because of all the fuss it would cause, so it's more of a fact of attracting newer players - we've seen it's an issue though, Izmar posted a thread to try get people in game. I think it's pretty obvious what's going on. I wouldn't add more classes - Ankama are always fucking around with 'balancing' them, it would only cause more nerfs & more players quitting over it.
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[size=10]Slight disclaimer : I'm sorry for the wonky typing/format. I typed this out entirely on my phone T__T[/size]

HolnessTheBest|2013-08-29 20:21:13
Electricotter|2013-08-28 13:53:08
Well put Schmendrick.

It should be noted that certain things will be off the table for discussion.

1.29, resource exchange for scrolls, 1.29 music, and things that generally move the game backwards.

We are about the forward progress of the game.

Your overall patience has been appreciated and as there is little talk of the CII itself here, the first CII post will be coming soon.

A step backwards? Hasn't 2.0+ been a step backwards?

I think the game is actually better, but I think IF these new features had been in 1.29 - the game would of been even better. Statistically, it looks like 1.29 was the more popular game. I think when you change graphical features, that's when people see it as a different game, and 2.0 offered different graphics which I didn't prefer. That's why I've moved on.

It wasn't well put Schmendrick either - there's a server out there which is a 1.29 Dofus which is illegal and them servers get MAXED (we're talking a good 15k - yes 15,000!) every night - what does this tell you about 1.29? Of course, 4 years ago it was the golden age, Dofus seemed more active - now it's full of multi-loggers. There's even a thread on an illegal forum (which I won't post) of them posting how to recreate 1.29 - and that itself has over 1 million views.

I mean 'Zenith' is here to improve the game - to attract new players, we obviously see a need. First things first is to close the illegal Dofus's, but that's not going to happen I suppose.

I think there needs to be a graphical re-work to persuade old players to return, that's what Dofus needs. I mean, they can't even merge servers because of all the fuss it would cause, so it's more of a fact of attracting newer players - we've seen it's an issue though, Izmar posted a thread to try get people in game. I think it's pretty obvious what's going on. I wouldn't add more classes - Ankama are always fucking around with 'balancing' them, it would only cause more nerfs & more players quitting over it.
I guess I'll reply to each of the statements you made.

No, in terms of creation, content, and the overall progression of the game, Dofus 2.0 has not been a step backwards.
I think the game is actually better, but I think IF these new features had been in 1.29 - the game would of been even better. Statistically, it looks like 1.29 was the more popular game. I think when you change graphical features, that's when people see it as a different game, and 2.0 offered different graphics which I didn't prefer. That's why I've moved on.

The issue with this statement is that the main reason behind 2.0 being made was thanks to the limitations 1.2x put on game development. Many of these new features wouldn't have ever been able to be implemented with the coding of the old Dofus, thus 2.0 was made to support the new ideas the devs had for the game

there's a server out there which is a 1.29 Dofus which is illegal and them servers get MAXED (we're talking a good 15k - yes 15,000!) every night - what does this tell you about 1.29? Of course, 4 years ago it was the golden age, Dofus seemed more active - now it's full of multi-loggers. There's even a thread on an illegal forum (which I won't post) of them posting how to recreate 1.29 - and that itself has over 1 million views.
I'm like 90% sure what private server you're speaking about. Said private server might have a lot of people, but that's because it's people from all around the world on one server, which is unlike Dofus, where you have certain communities that are confined to one server. I'm sure if Ankama only ran one server, it would look the exact same way. Also, that post you're speaking of, I believe the 1,000,000 views is absolutely false. Unless you and I are thinking of different servers (Lets be real, how many functioning 1.29 private servers are there?) I don't see anything with 1,000,000 posts or more.

I mean 'Zenith' is here to improve the game - to attract new players, we obviously see a need. First things first is to close the illegal Dofus's, but that's not going to happen I suppose.

While I wish my primary job was to improve the game and attract new players. in the long run, our job is to take the ideas of the International community (You guys!) and deliver them straight to the developers. Though we try to improve the game, it just needs to be stated what the Zenith's actual job is.

I think there needs to be a graphical re-work to persuade old players to return, that's what Dofus needs. I mean, they can't even merge servers because of all the fuss it would cause, so it's more of a fact of attracting newer players - we've seen it's an issue though, Izmar posted a thread to try get people in game. I think it's pretty obvious what's going on. I wouldn't add more classes - Ankama are always fucking around with 'balancing' them, it would only cause more nerfs & more players quitting over it.
I think the last thing Dofus needs is another graphical rework to attract new (old?) players.
This is something I've talked about with older players who no longer play. It wasn't the graphics that termed them away from the game, it was the fact that everything was reliant on running a team of 8 by yourself. Though that might not hold true anymore, once you lose many of those older players for too long, they're gone. What Ankama needs is more marketing towards English marketplaces. Ankama still has something very special with Dofus. There aren't many Turn by turn MMOs on the market. If Ankama ever saw the need to market Dofus out towards a new audience, maybe then we will see the amount of growth that is equal to the amount you believe will be brought in by a graphical overhaul.
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