Oct 232013
 

Day 6 of the great Reincarnation Rebellion dawns with battle lines drawn pretty much as they have been since Turbine’s attempted surrender late Monday evening.

On one side, Turbine continues to post their thoughts and philosophies while discussing possible adjustments to their design and the trade-offs those changes would require.

On the other side, there remain holdouts who are dissatisfied with (1) having to run Epic content to earn Heroic reincarnations or (2) believe Commendations of Valor should be easier to get and bind to account instead of bind to character or (3) do not believe it should be necessary to purchase any content to earn any reincarnation or (4) do not want Sagas to be a required part of the reincarnation cycle.

Which are good points by the way. There are other protester points too, too many to fit into a two-paragraph summary. More on that below.

A New Point Of View

Reader Ausdoerrt provided his version of the weekend’s rebellion in a press release format. It is interesting and well-written, but unfortunately when he tried to post it as a comment on this thread, I mistook it for a possible malware attempt and suppressed it. I’ve since gotten a copy directly from Ausdoerrt and am hosting it here on DDOGamer.

Here is Ausdoerrt’s press release:

Audoerrt’s press release


The first supporting image


The second supporting image

Good stuff in here, and now it is even Malwarebytes-certified safe for your viewing pleasure. Give it a read.

Turbine-Bashing

I find it odd that so many people are dead-set certain that this set of changes means Turbine is out to get them. Some of the comments on the forum threads, even my own forum thread, seem to be written from the belief that this is an insidious plot, with evil hidden agendas, designed to either

  • Pull money out of our wallets
  • Kill off Free To Play
  • Get everyone to stop playing DDO and move to LotRO
  • Some other tinfoil hat-based logic that I am not sufficiently conspiracy-minded to even follow

If the above seems harsh, I apologize, but come on people. Turbine is not filled with a bunch of harridans and villains that are out to get anyone. I’ve met many of these people and they are hard-working, generally likeable people trying to do good work and create a game we will enjoy playing.

Yes, for them it is just a job (although for some of them it is their dream job) while for us it is an avocation. No one at Turbine plays DDO for 25+ hours per week, no one has been grinding the endgame since MotU came out, no one has a completionist that they have been working for four years.

That does cause a mismatch in expectations and in point of view. Turbine really does need a player ombudsman. This is the fifth or sixth time I’ve had to mention that, maybe I need to write it up in greater detail rather than continuously referring to it offhand as if everyone will instantly know what I mean. But I digress.

I will get down-voted for having written this section but so be it. Most of the people who remain adamantly opposed to the changes have understandable reasons and points of view. I may not agree with them but I can understand them. Others seem to feel this is Us versus Them in a way that makes no sense at all. We are all on the same team, trying to enjoy and extend our favorite game. If there is a miscommunication or a mistake, it is only that, and all of us are equally capable of miss-stepping in our own lives and jobs.

Turbine is not evil. Let’s cut them a little slack.

On Victory

Having said all that, I cheerfully took my place on the bridge too. Partially because it was fun, partially because I thought I’d get some good screenshots (and I did!), but also because it needed to be done.

Therefore, I get a vote in what constitutes victory. Some readers will not agree, there was no Unconditional Surrender. But there could not be, it would not be possible for Turbine to give all of us what we want, we don’t all want the same things.

But here’s what we did get:

  • Recognition that heroic reincarnation should not require extended epic activities
  • Retention of the ability to buy Heroic Hearts with Epic Tokens, for now
  • An implied promise to hold off on removing Epic Tokens until there are Heroic ways to earn Valors. Implied, not stated, but still, remember they are Not Evil
  • Very significant reductions to the Valor numbers needed for all of the Reincarnations
  • Recognition that Free to Play players need to reincarnate too
  • A clear statement that epic sagas should be rewarding at least 3 Valors per quest, not .5 as was shown in the most commonly-quoted example from Lamannia
  • An ongoing discussion with developers about all of this

If you still don’t think we have their attention, if you continue to believe that you need to stand on the bridge in Wayfinder (and some are, I just checked), okay, have fun and more power to ya, but I have to ask: are you are following Glin and Vargouille on the Lamannia Dev Tracker?

You are not going to be able to earn Epic Hearts by running Time is Money for a few hours. If you are holding out for this, give up now, they’ve made it clear and they are not going to budge. You are going to have to run Epic quests to earn Epic reincarnations. I personally find that to be quite appropriate.

Airship viewing the Wayfinder Protest
Some great screenshots! This one will end up as a wallpaper

We already have Heroic reincarnation, meaning changes to that system feel like a take-back. But Epic reincarnation is all new; Turbine should feel free and even encouraged to build this reincarnation loop howsoever they think will be best for the game in the long run.

So we have engaged developers who are listening closely and modifying their Ivory Tower designs to better accommodate real-world concerns. We have our Epic Tokens back until we no longer need them. We have an all-new system that promises to provide long-term re-playability for much of our current Epic content and all of the new Epic content to come. We even have Glin putting in a twelve-hour workday on Monday just due to our efforts.

How is this not a Victory?

Okay, now bring on the down-votes

🙂 😀 🙂

  19 Responses to “The Last Reincarnation Rebellion Post I Will Write (Today)”

Comments (19)
  1. Thanks for posting the Ausdoerrt press release, and overall keeping a clear view of things.

    I fully agree with you that getting Turbine to step down from immediate change towards keeping what we have now until they convince us the new is better (both by making it better/ less painfull as by giving us time to get used to it and spend our amassed tokens) and intensively communicating and working to get on top of the uproar is a big victory.

    I really don’t know why Turbine keep bringing up some of these ideas, although in part I can’t help thinking that Glin and the developers have to let some of these things out there, so that the player outrage helps them convince the management a different approach (they did have Cordovan following the activity all weekend, recognizing early that something was brewing).

    Whatever the case, we have their attention, and get to express our feedback. I have seen many nice ideas, calculations of time, points, lvls needed and estimates of reasonable numbers.

    IMO it builds a stronger gaming community (just as it builds a stronger society in real life) when people are interacting like this, and that is another win.

  2. I read the first sentence, and the last sentence, I’ll read the rest tomorrow over lunch.

    Have an “up-vote”.

  3. I disagree on several of the points you claim we have gotten. I would not call this a victory, as that implies an end. It is not over, as it is still in a state that will have many of us abandoning DDO. I will keep fighting until it is either not in that state, even if it is not exactly how I want it, or until it is declared to be in the state that will go live, At that point and only at that point can victory or defeat be truly decided.

  4. I also don’t believe that the devs or Turbine are “evil”. Just wildly out of sync with the playerbase at times. However, I also don’t see this as a full victory. It is more of a: “okay,we pissed of the players, let’s make these changes gradually”. There were victories, may of which are highlighted, but still many problems, two of them are:

    Challenges: many people bought Challenges because it was the easiest way to farm for tokens. I have not seen one single post from Turbine stating that this was not WAI, that the drop rates were off, that this qould be changed in the future. The changes will kill this in the future and this a a very close example to a bait-and-switch scam, if not adressed BEFORE phasing out Tokens. Make challenges drop V-comms or something to address this. Don’t just nerf challenges, YET AGAIN.

    Forgotten Realms: I, and many other formum posters, find Eberron much more enjoyable than Forgotten Reals content. There is only 1 full eberron saga, GH. I should not have to be forced to play stuff I don’t like to get a heart of wood when I can get it now playing stuff I like, like DA, Phiarlan Chain etc…

    Sorry for the rant, it was a great post.

    • Heh yeah 100% agreed Eberron > than the Generic Realms , only reason I play the FR stuff is cause well its new.

      • I actually like FR(and Greyhawk even more) as such, but it just feels a bit off in DDO. Hard to say why, maybe I’m just too used to the “old DDO”. I’ve really enjoyed the most Eberron-esque packs like Restless Isles and House Cannith, and find them rather unique. It’s harder to achieve something like that in FR since everyone is doing it.

        • I’ve never really liked FR…I read the whole Drizz’t series and it was pretty cool but only because the author is amazing he is fantastic at bringing stuff to life through words I’ve been trying to hunt down some of his non-DnD books.

          The main issue I have with FR is the real heroes are NPCs their way too powerful in the realms…at least in Eberron the most powerful NPCs are lazy ass bankers (see the coin lords)

  5. I’m sick of the whole mess. The players are behaving like spoiled brats, Turbine like inept parents. It has killed the fun in the game for me. Hopefully it is resolved soon, but I will remind players they need to compromise too, expecting an unconditional surrender from Turbine is not going to work.

  6. My only complaint (related to the Hearts) was needing to run Epic content to get Heroic Hearts…they’ve rescinded that albeit temporarily (the temporarily worries me a bit but I still do trust Turbine) so needing to run Epic Sagas to get Epic/Iconic Hearts (both of which require Lvl 28) is totally fine with me (and my friends I play with are cool with it too…the sagas are actually a cool idea…it helps point out connected story lines and gives you an extra reward for doing them…they just need a way to track them better)

    My last point of contention is the fact that the comms will be BTC if they switching that to BTA I’d be 100% happy (NOT UNBOUND!!!)

    Anyways I CAN understand all the hate and conspiracy theories I don’t agree with it (despite occasionally committing these acts) but I understand…it’s when the devs don’t answer people start to get jittery I mean DDO has Devs who’s sole job is to monitor the forums (and other community related things) so you’d think communication would be more common… it really is frustrating when there’s something huge to people (ie. Eldritch Knight…well it’s a big deal to me :P) and the devs don’t respond for 2 weeks, than come back saying “We’ve listened to feedback so we’ve modified ability X for 30 to 35” ok that’s cool…but no one was actually talking about that ability and there’s still these massively glaring issues you didn’t mention…what about those. So yeah I can understand why people sometimes feel like the devs (or maybe WB?) are going to do w/e they feel like regardless of the players views.

    That all said whilst I haven’t had the chance to personally meet any of the devs IRL I have had several private conversations with Tolero, Cordovan and Feather of Sun and they are really cool people so I doubt they upset people on purpose I think there just some sort of disconnect. I really do agree some sort of player council that actually meets with the devs on a monthly basis (or w/e something hits Lammania schedule a meeting within a few days) on skype or google hangouts or some other LIVE meeting place (w/o having to fly people around the world :P) this council should rotate members so its not always the same people and make the application a lot less intimidating than the mournlands application…you don’t need any qualifications beyond I play DDO.

    I hope the devs remember were not the enemies either and the reason we react so strongly is because we love this game and we want to see it flourish but we don’t want to see it lose it’s uniqeness, its accessability or its roots in the process (I’m looking at you dice notation)

    Sidenote:I try to stick to the official thread since the devs are more likely to be watching those and frankly the 500 threads about the same thing is more than a little annoying (posting a second thread in the F2P section is fine if its not NDA’d but no more) and probably doesn’t help the devs keep track of things

    • Oh and this council, its meeting times (at least the date) and its members should NOT be secret the idea is that players bring their questions to the council (in an officialish thread for discussion do NOT pm the council members) and the council brings them to the devs and than brings the devs answers in a new officialish thread.

      Sidenote: I just read Ausdoerrt’s press release thing and that guy that got a temp-ban that’s not cool someone should go tell that GM off, talk about violating basic rights.

      • Hopefully (and as far as I know) that was an isolated occurence. The GM does have technical grounds to stand on, though it does come off as a bit hypocritical when trade and guild recruitment LFMs are rarely enforced quite so prudently.

        I’ve also advertised the issue in advice chat and didn’t have an issue. So who knows what really happened.

  7. Thank you for featuring my scribbles 🙂 In a way of thanks, here is a response to the rest of your post:

    On “holdouts who are dissatisfied” – as you say, these are valid points, and there are enough people presenting them in a constructive/level-headed manner, including yours truly. Hopefully the devs see them as such as well, and incorporate some or all of the suggestions. Feel free to read my TL;DR post over on the forums for my thoughts on Vargouille’s latest suggestions: https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthread.php/428583-Earning-Hearts-of-Wood-post-U20?p=5143933#post5143933

    On “Turbine-bashing” – this has always had a place on MMO forums. In comparison to others, our community is significantly more respectful. It’s understandably difficult for some to calm down a bit after the initial rage, though I do hope we can dissociate the “criers” from the rest of the protesters. There is more to the process than just them.

    On “tinfoil hat-based logic” – some people are naturally over-exaggerating (we’re on the Internet, after all :P), but many of the points being made have merit. OK, not to the point of “Turbine is evil”, but it’s clear that the disagreement is primarily about the balance in monetization between the two sides of the deal. And even though Turbine may not be out, for example, “to kill F2P”, they sometimes appear as such, which is also very important to consider. I think this is actually the point most of these players are trying to make (rather poorly) – the balance is off, this LOOKS like a cashgrab, we need to talk.

    On Victory – I somewhat agree now that you put it like that. I just want to point out that it really shouldn’t take so much effort from the players just to get the devs talking. And even now, they aren’t talking particularly actively. Ideally, this should be the level of communication in NON-CRISIS situations.

    On ombudsman – I just think the Turbine Community Managers either don’t have enough authority or could be doing a better job. Just think about the potential difference in response if they had a person over the weekend simply talking to the players, recording complaints, calming everyone down? I know Neverwinter’s been doing something like that, and I personally like this approach much better. The need of having someone from the player side is debatable. For one, it’s easy to become biased that way. Also, I don’t think devs need to give too much actual power to the players, in this sense. One would think that there should be simpler and better ways to establish decent communication between players and devs.

    Once again, thank you and good luck 🙂

  8. I do like your presentation here but disagree with your conclusion. The only thing that has been won is a delay and the possibility that Turbine is listening. The first TR discussion took place well ahead of being tested on Lam and sought players input. I had high hopes that Turbine had decided that its most important asset was it player base and had decided to include them in proposed changes. This issue with tokens and saga’s is similar except there was no inclusion of the player base. The only way we found out about was when it went live on Lam. This is a bad sign, typically shortly thereafter this goes live for everyone. Saga’s are a nice extra making them mandatory game play is just plain ********. Simply business facts if you have happy satisfied customers you have the opportunity to make more money in the long term otherwise you may make your money in the short customers be dammed.

  9. WE do not have Turbine’s attention. We never do. Media outlets have Turbine’s attention. Recall the infamous Mabar debacle and how nothing bugged until word got out to media websites about what’s going on? Turbine can and will ignore us. They will always fold, as soon as media scrutiny is involved. The problem is that media scrutiny is fleeting, so they can get away with vague promises of “soon” and “eventually” and even “implied promises for now”.

    Turbine isn’t evil, but that doesn’t make them good. Plenty of hard working folks can be perfectly amoral in their industry. I believe that was one of the points behind A Christmas Carol. It is also entirely possible to be a cool and froody guy to your face and then go do horrible things to the game you love behind closed doors. I hear Kevin Siembieda of Palladium Books has been doing that for twenty years now.

  10. In my blog post this afternoon, I suggested DDO get its own LOTRO style “player council”, the Coin Lords

  11. OK – I will freely admit I have not read ANY of the responses to this post (it’s too late in the day, for one, but there are other reasons I won’t go in to).

    I agree with you, Geoff – we achieved victory. My problem was/is NOT with the proposed revamp of reincarnation – I actually think what was laid-out for LR, HTR, ITR, and ER is a well-thought out and appropriate plan. What I DID have a problem with was the elimination of THoW from the 12, and the change of CoVs being BtC and not BtA. We got a consession on the one (12 tokens), and a discussion on the other (bind status). This is good news and a victory.

    Now, while I don’t particularly relish the idea of yet another pseudo-currency being added, my problem is NOT with CoVs themselves, but that they only drop as saga end-rewards AND that they are BtC. However, Turbine has clarified that they are planning on providing other means for the CoVs to drop. This is also good news – the implications being (eventually) you will not be required to take CoVs as saga end-rewards, but you will still have that option. Options are good.

    As far as bind status, Vargouille mentioned that they (Turbine) believe that if CoVs are BtA, that they would expect higher-level toons to farm them and then pass them down to other toons to use them and that somehow this would make it “faster” to get than if they were BtC. I dispute this – you can see my response in the fora (sorry, “forums”) thread, but here’s a summary:

    Since you cannot run more than one toon at a time on any given account, the total amount of game-play time required to acquire the necessary number of CoVs will be the same regardless of how many toons are farming. In other words, if it takes 200 hours of farming (for example – this is by no means the actual number of hours required), what does it matter if all 200-hours are done on one toon, or spread across 200 toons on the same account? It doesn’t. So their stated logic of being able to get CoVs “faster” if they were BtA does not hold up.

    {Hey, if somebody can prove me wrong on this, fine – but if you can only run one toon per account at a time, I don’t see how it could ever be “faster”.}

    And let’s not forget the problem with BtC storage space – or I suppose more correctly, lack thereof. Granted the new pseudo-currency will go into the ingredients bag, but so does (just about) every other psuedo-currency in the game. I can’t remember exactly who (I think it was one of the Quartermasters), but Turbine just fairly recently stated that it is “not technically possible” to add to personal bank space (i.e. BtC storage) at this time. So getting yet another item that is BtC is “bad” (IMO). Granted, there are some things that should be BtC – especially epic items – but pseudo-currencies should never be one.

    And you’re right – DDO should get some type of “player’s ombudsman”, or “player’s council”, or whatever you want to call it. This would be a good thing.

    …or at the very least, it couldn’t hurt.
    😉

What do you think?

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