Mar 252013

Do we want a DDO player council?

I stumbled across this announcement regarding Lord of the Rings Online: “LotRO Player Council”. I don’t stalk LotRO sites for news, really I am not sure how I came across it, but I did, and being the curious person that I am, I had a look.

It seems that Turbine is recruiting players to serve as a dedicated focus group and alpha tester base. One would assume that these players would have an impact on the game that is more sizable than an “ordinary” player, and there are people who I imagine would really like that.

They are limiting the size of the council to around 50, and applicants must apply (explaining the use of the word “applicants”) and pass a review. Basically Turbine gets to put whomever they wish on the council. Which I suppose is the only way it could work, if they ended up with a bunch of knee-jerk carbon-copy DOOOOOOOOOOM-sayers they are not going to get very valuable feedback.

There will be an even smaller council (called, cleverly enough, the “Small Council”), that will provide feedback on the overall player council process. Again, fair enough, letting players have a voice in the way that players have a voice seems very appropriate.

interestingly, the “Small Council” will be summoned to Turbine, at Turbine’s expense, annually, to provide feedback in person.

You can read the announcement here. I urge you to do so, it is fairly dense with information, I may have missed important nuances. There is also an entire page of FAQ towards the bottom of the announcement.

I find the whole thing quite interesting. Especially the free trip to Turbine, although one hopes it will not be in the winter. Boston in the winter is not really the ideal location for a reward trip.

But seeing as this site is DDOGamer, not LOTROGamer, two questions are immediately brought to the fore:

  1. Shouldn’t DDO have a player council too?
  2. If there was one, would I want to be on it?

To me, the answer to question one is a no-brainer: of course we want a DDO player council! How could this be bad? Actual players providing direct feedback to Turbine, in a format that is designed to provide emphasis on that feedback.

Of course Turbine could ignore or minimize the feedback but then, why would they be doing this? They can ignore and minimize us already, they don’t need a special program to do so.

The idea that five or six players a year could earn a reward trip to Turbine sounds like an excellent way to positively reinforce the types of behavior that add value to the game (as opposed to the DOOOOOOOM-saying behavior that adds little value to anything).

So yes, a DDO Player Council please! Pretty please!

As far as question #2, I am not so sure. I’ve never applied to play on the Mournlands alpha test server, I am not a competent or eager tester. Some of the player council duties sound similar.

I may not even be eligible: “Members of the press or those acting in a journalistic/editorial capacity are not eligible to participate on the council”.

While I do not fool myself into believing that this blog is in anyway related to “the press” or “journalism”, I do act up and editorialize all the time, and that may exclude me.

If the only way to apply for the council was to stop writing DDOGamer I would have to pass. Even at the cost of a possible free trip to Turbine; although that would pain me to the core, it sounds like a terribly fun trip.

You could apply though. And if you have the (questionable?) good taste and (sketchy?) judgement to be reading this, I already know you would be an excellent representative of our DDO-playing populace.

So please, when you get the chance to apply – assuming we do get that chance – please apply! And when you are appointed, council the hell out of them. Council them like crazy!

Because if you don’t the DOOOOOOOM-sayers will. And no one wants that.

🙂 😀 🙂

  9 Responses to “LotRO is getting a Player Council. Do we want one too?”

Comments (9)
  1. Question 1: A resounding YES, of course.

    Question 2: Hmmm. On a lot of levels, no, I wouldn’t want to be on either the large or small council at first blush. But as I’m sitting here thinking about it – heck YEAH. I’d like to have my voice heard, and KNOW that it was heard, even if whatever I was endorsing/suggesting/criticizing wasn’t implemented (or WAS implemented, as the case may be). One of the most frustrating things for me is wondering whether my posts and bug reports and such are seen by anyone who might actually have the power to act on them.

    But yeah. No Boston in the winter. Unless the Bruins are hosting the Flyers and I get free tickets. LOL

  2. If I ever got on a player council, I’d probably be “Gnomes, gnomes, GNOMES!!” all the time. Blatant gnome agenda, that’s me!

  3. 1) Yes. Ye gods, yes.
    2) No. I’d be horrible at that. And I’m only like 90 minutes from Boston (and north of it, so “Boston in winter” might actually be vacationy *g*) (And believe me… Boston in summer isn’t much better. Or spring. Or fall. Although I suppose if you’re not driving around, dealing with the construction and changing routes in spring/summer/fall wouldn’t be too bad. But Boston in summer is still kinda miserable.)

  4. Hmmm…
    1) Sure – why not?
    2) While I might actually enjoy something like this, I’m afraid real-life, actual work would not permit it.

    There are, of course, some people that I would like to see NOT get on the consuil, but then, we all hve thoses, lists, right?

  5. 1: yes. It does need one.

    2: I’d love to be on it. I’ve had a few downs with the game and things I’d like changed. So being somewhere where they’d (hopefully) listen would be great.

    The biggest issue that I see though, is there are a lot of posts on the forum where people who do stuff on lamania and do but reports and such are constantly complaining about how no matter how many posts or reports get made on certain issues, turbine doesn’t seem to listen. In the end, a player council could end up a complete joke and waste of time. Reason: if they won’t listen to players who do lamania testing, who’s to say they’d listen to a ‘player council’?

    My only other problem would be the whole travel to Boston thing. I don’t fly. At all. And I have no intention of meeting turbine staff in person. Ever.

  6. 1. It wouldn’t hurt.
    2. I’d love to be on it. For the simple reason is I like the game and want it to be the best it can be. Now, I don’t think for one second that Turbine ignores our comments, suggestions and criticism, however it would help the devs at Turbine to get a less “filtered” version of what players want. We all know that forums have their resident trolls, haters and fanbois, who are all quite vocal, while the average players pays no mind at all. People like Cordovan and Tolero must have to wade through a ton of junk, just to get a few snippets of suggestions to the devs.

    Or people like Glin, Fernando and Eladrin could all just post more, give us insight as to how they are developing the game, why they make the choices they have and generally defend what they have put in. I think most DDO players would be happy with that.

  7. 1. As long as this council doesn’t turn into politics then yes.
    2. I’m not even in the States. Of course, I wouldn’t refuse if they pay for my tickets there.

    But this -> “Because if you don’t the DOOOOOOOM-sayers will. And no one wants that.” Is something I agree with, those doom sayers are such a pain… and even some of the most respected forum celebrities have cried Doom at least once… so I really hope they apply good filters before selecting these council members.

  8. 1 – Yes
    2 – In theory, I think it’d be interesting & fun… but in practice, testing is annoying & would detract from my time playing the “actual” game with friends, living in the UK would probably have conflicts with times etc. (will be interesting to see how they handle this, will they keep it US peeps only or have international members considering its a worldwide game) & as i work in a company that has links with marketing & analysis I’d likely be ineligible due to potential perceived conflicts of interest.

  9. Why answer question one now, when DDO players can sit back, let LOTRO be the guinea pigs, and answer once it’s clear whether the process works? 🙂

    The two games do have somewhat different context. In LOTRO we have seen a variety of unpopular business model decisions that have been reversed or rolled back after customer outcry. I get that you don’t want the group to be excessively negative – somehow I doubt there is any danger of that, because Turbine’s PR people will hear from WB if this generates negative publicity. Even so, there is a balance to be struck if you want to get useful feedback to help avoid these types of episodes.

    Perhaps the “small council” approach is the crucial part, in that by having it be selected at the end of the council term, it allows people to make an honest evaluation of how their fellows performed and whether they have since grown disillusioned with the game. Or perhaps it’s going to be a mess of a social experiment – a virtual reality show in which 50 strangers compete and politick amongst themselves in the hopes of securing one of six prizes. (Eve’s CSM is sort of like this, but in Eve that sort of metagame is sort of the point.) Guess time will tell?

What do you think?

%d bloggers like this: