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EverQuest Next Forum » General Discussion » Change management 101: Devs withholding big feature announcements to avoid overwhelming fans

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40 posts found
  Nadia

Tipster

Joined: 7/26/03
Posts: 11726

9/01/13 9:00:18 PM#21
Originally posted by winter

 Sounds like the standard empty PR and Marketing speech to me

it sounded the same to me - i still look forward to EQN tho

  Bidwood

Novice Member

Joined: 2/26/13
Posts: 555

 
OP  9/02/13 12:14:39 AM#22
Or maybe they're telling the truth and the stuff that comes next will make you just as upset as the movement, lack of trinity, horizontal progression, etc.
  Jester92

Novice Member

Joined: 2/10/07
Posts: 156

I keep duct tape on me at all times to repair my Hel when the time comes.

9/02/13 12:24:37 AM#23
I agree entirely with SOE, all telling everyone everything will do is cause overhype, trolls, fanboys, and other obnoxious things.  I however am liking everything I have seen so far about Everquest:Next aswell as Landmark.  In order for people to take things for what they are and not jump to conclusions, introducing one thing at a time allows podcasts, and streams, and etc. to focus on discussing one aspect of the game at a time and so far it really has sparked alot of in depth debates over just that, the topic at hand which generally is what ever they reveal each week! in anycase, looking forward to this game, and glad sony's management likes torturi... I mean knows how to handle hype.

J. B.

  Icewhite

Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6495

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

9/02/13 12:41:35 AM#24
Originally posted by Bidwood

I have a feeling most of the fans of the franchise will be extremely turned off by the final product.

Starting to look that way.

But...recall many times in the past ten years when that didn't happen? Cynical negativity is a rule, not an exception.

Oh boy wee great is the initial fan reaction, always.

Uh oh, this isn't exactly what I was dreaming of comes next.

And we know what happens to every new game after release. Particularly here, we have our honored traditions (villagers with torches marching on the castle) to uphold.

Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  TheCrow2k

Novice Member

Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 956

9/02/13 12:46:35 AM#25
Actually this is not good change management at all. They are in an environment now of poor trust & so a lack of communication leads to Timor, speculation and misinformation running rife. Precisely what a good change management team tries to avoid.
  donpopuki

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/06/12
Posts: 603

9/02/13 9:18:17 AM#26
Prior to SOE Live they made it sound like they had pretty much completed the game. I thought their strategy was to keep it in the "black box" for as long as possible and then have the big reveal with a beta shortly afterwards.

Everything about the lack of info screams to me they are less than 50% done. Don't get me wrong, I want to play the game they say they want to make.
  Gnostik

Novice Member

Joined: 8/11/12
Posts: 47

9/02/13 12:10:56 PM#27

I basically assume that

 

  • Some of the stuff that they're "not ready to talk about yet" is partially or even mostly worked out.
  • Most of the stuff that they're "not ready to talk about yet" isn't worked out yet.
  • Most of the stuff that they've announced isn't fully worked out yet, and is very subject to change between now and release.
I believe there are very few things that they have a firm decision on, yet aren't telling us about, even if the coy references often give the impression that it's worked out but under wraps.
  Metrobius

Novice Member

Joined: 6/16/05
Posts: 93

9/02/13 3:47:13 PM#28
I think crafting has to be in place now. Landmark is coming this winter, and its all about crafting, so I dont think that feature is still pending, or at the concept stage at this point.
  User Deleted
9/02/13 3:55:04 PM#29
Surprising new features like taking a screen shot which leaves a line drawing so that we can colour it in. Although we can just cut the Mr Frosty straight from the cereal packet. Crafting will be making plasticine models of the characters and badges.
  sh33pish

Novice Member

Joined: 1/03/07
Posts: 44

9/03/13 2:03:15 AM#30
Originally posted by Bidwood

"We've only announced about half of what's in these games. And the reason why we haven't announced everything is that the concepts are so different - we've been working on this for two years - it's not fair for us to just dump it on you and expect you to understand everything at once. So what we're doing is we're introducing you to a bunch of different concepts, so people can start wrapping their brains around it and seeing where it can go, and then we'll unveil all the other things as they go. So there's a lot more feature announcements for us to do.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79E6nR9j-_c#t=47

 

Interesting...  good change management on SOE's part. Just look at how people exploded over the art style, UI, horizontal progression, no trinity, and combat. This suggests they have figured out what they want to do and are deliberately withholding their thoughts. I don't blame them.

 

I wonder what other shockers are in store. The only major feature areas I remember them saying "we're not talking about that yet" about were crafting and PVP. How do you expect these areas to be different enough that they had to be announced later? Were there other areas?

Wait wait... I thought the "round table" polls and discussion was to help them shape these decisions.  If their minds are already made up, what the hell are we giving them our input for?  

  baphamet

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/05/06
Posts: 2660

110100100

9/03/13 2:48:52 AM#31


Originally posted by Suraknar

Originally posted by Bidwood "We've only announced about half of what's in these games. And the reason why we haven't announced everything is that the concepts are so different - we've been working on this for two years - it's not fair for us to just dump it on you and expect you to understand everything at once. So what we're doing is we're introducing you to a bunch of different concepts, so people can start wrapping their brains around it and seeing where it can go, and then we'll unveil all the other things as they go. So there's a lot more feature announcements for us to do. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79E6nR9j-_c#t=47  
I would rather qualify this as Marketing Brainwashing 101.

It is a Carrot on the stick approach...keeping your hopes up and keeping you interested and running. ;)


this is the real winner.

  Margulis

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/14/08
Posts: 1643

9/03/13 4:44:57 AM#32

Wow, this takes PR BS to a whole new level.  Sad thing is plenty of people will believe it too.  I'm sure they really are just doing us a favor by not dropping too much mindblowing information at once on us since we just couldn't handle it. /eyeroll 

 

 Check back with me in a few years SOE when you've decided what you want to do with your game and have actually developed something.   I'll be in the corner watching Black Desert videos or any number of other in development mmos that actually SHOW plenty of gameplay footage of what they have DEVELOPED - instead of just talking about their grand ideas, or not talking about them because its too much to handle (aka they have nothing to talk about)

  Mothanos

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/20/10
Posts: 1871

9/03/13 4:57:43 AM#33

EQN isnt ready by a long shot.
i expect this game to release early 2015 or late 2014 and thats being optimistic.

Nothing worse then trying to lie to their fans as if people buy these marketing crap.
What is shown so far dint hype the game, it put it into a negative spiral falling downwards.

Most people who like mmo's are old and bitter mmo vets hoping to score that long term rush they had in one of their favorite mmo's.
The way SOE is handling this is totaly wrong....

We can already see what kind of mmo this is becomming, and they better be honest about it or it will end up realy badly for SEO and the EQ franchise.

I am affraid we can already see a new SWTOR incomming.

  Utinni

Novice Member

Joined: 7/13/13
Posts: 358

9/03/13 5:02:35 AM#34
I find this hard to believe. They don't seem to even have character models done yet.
  SpottyGekko

Elite Member

Joined: 9/26/04
Posts: 3065

9/03/13 7:10:55 AM#35
Originally posted by Mothanos

EQN isnt ready by a long shot.
i expect this game to release early 2015 or late 2014 and thats being optimistic.

Nothing worse then trying to lie to their fans as if people buy these marketing crap.
What is shown so far dint hype the game, it put it into a negative spiral falling downwards.

Most people who like mmo's are old and bitter mmo vets hoping to score that long term rush they had in one of their favorite mmo's.
The way SOE is handling this is totaly wrong....

We can already see what kind of mmo this is becomming, and they better be honest about it or it will end up realy badly for SEO and the EQ franchise.

I am affraid we can already see a new SWTOR incomming.

It is physically impossible for "most people who like mmo's" to be "old and bitter mmo vets". UO had about 280K players at its peak, EQ and DAOC were around that number as well. Compared to the tens of millions of MMO players nowadays, the actual "old and bitter vets" most probably make up 5% of the total population (if that).

  User Deleted
9/03/13 9:57:28 PM#36

Granted, I don't hold out much hope on EQ:N being all that has been stated. I do, however, like the general mission statement. So I'm willing to just hold out and see what they present (really present).

This honestly goes one of two ways:

  • They plan on shaking up more "status quo" than has been announced, and are really shooting to make the MMORPG 2.0. It would be detrimental to announce huge amounts of radical 2.0 changes, because it would just drive off people from trying it - but, like many things, when they try it, people will say "how did we ever play feature X 1.0? God, that was archaic!"
  • This is all marketing CYA, done to generate hype, while they still don't have many things worked out properly (or have only left the RoundTable for things like dwarven beards, contested areas, item appearances - stuff where they already know the answer).
I can see valid points to #1. It's already shown with "OMG it is gw2 with no trinity, and will suck" reaction of the mindless mobs. No trinity automatically equals zerg. That's a rather bad assumption, with only one example being presented - GW2. Knee-jerk reaction and reactive response. I'd personally get tired of that too, as a dev.
 
I have experienced #2 through innumerable MMO releases. Pretty much every MMO after WOW has hyped itself beyond belief, and never delivered. I will, however, state in SoE's defense that the mainstay of MMOs they have released were not overhyped. SWG delivered awesome crafting, an essentially level-less system and player-created economy. EQ2 did not disappoint at all - it was just EQ2, not really anything beyond what was already done. WOW just overshadowed it - it's actually not even bad or anything. I can't say about Vanguard save that it was a buggy mess at launch, but I never had the urge to play it.
 
So, seeing those points of logic above, I'll just wait and see. Smed is one of "those guys" (marketing, hype type), but the dev team present has delivered in the past (and in fact, is one of the groups that HAS delivered in the past).
  Alders

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/28/10
Posts: 1753

I cannot fiddle but I can make a great state of a small city.

9/06/13 2:45:02 AM#37

I don't normally like to do this but, since i feel I've cracked their code, i figured what the hell.

 

EQNext Decoded

  Apraxis

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/28/05
Posts: 1509

9/06/13 12:45:21 PM#38
Originally posted by SpottyGekko
Originally posted by Mothanos

EQN isnt ready by a long shot.
i expect this game to release early 2015 or late 2014 and thats being optimistic.

Nothing worse then trying to lie to their fans as if people buy these marketing crap.
What is shown so far dint hype the game, it put it into a negative spiral falling downwards.

Most people who like mmo's are old and bitter mmo vets hoping to score that long term rush they had in one of their favorite mmo's.
The way SOE is handling this is totaly wrong....

We can already see what kind of mmo this is becomming, and they better be honest about it or it will end up realy badly for SEO and the EQ franchise.

I am affraid we can already see a new SWTOR incomming.

It is physically impossible for "most people who like mmo's" to be "old and bitter mmo vets". UO had about 280K players at its peak, EQ and DAOC were around that number as well. Compared to the tens of millions of MMO players nowadays, the actual "old and bitter vets" most probably make up 5% of the total population (if that).

Not even that alone.. some of those few bitter vets are even liking where EQN is going.

@topic:

That is PR and marketing. You have to slowly fish your potential audience.

1)

Look. All those infos we do now have, and even more all the amount of info available is only be recognised by a few hardcore mmo fans, and habit forum users. That is maybe 10% of the potential audience they want to have.

Most players don't read forums, and don't care about events like gamescom, pax or soelive. So they maybe only get the headline of an article of those events.

Now imagine you are SOE, and you want to bring a message to those players.. the headline reading players.

If you give out every single bit of your information, the headlines could be basicly everything. So they said not a lot, and focused to their 4 grails, because they wanted, that those 4 grails, or at least one of them would be in the headline of those articles to be catched from this part of players.

2)

So you slowly increase the numbers of players maybe interesting in your game, and hopefully at least sign your newsletter to get further informed. And you do this with selected Headline messages for different audiences.

Now you have to feed those players with regular newletters, to not forget the game.. usually monthly newsletters are a good middleground, for a steady news incoming, and not be considered as spam.

So you try to get every month a few headlines out, until you release.

3)

Projected Release date. You have to have monthly headlines worthy news until you release as we worked out.

When will be the projected release. What do we have to even hint at that date?

We do know that Beta application is open. We do know that Landmark will release this winter.

There are 2 conclusions out of that. EQN beta will not start before the release of Landmark, most probably the first beta invited for EQN will go out a few weeks after Landmark is released. And Landmark Beta invited will be before Landmark releases. Usually when you announce Beta, and open up Beta signups, you will invite somewhat after that your first beta applicants... maybe 2-4 month after beta announcement.

And Landmark + EQN Beta will be the beta test. Because a lot of subsystems are already tested, like server, or everything involved within Landmark, you do not have that much to test for EQN. Usually 6 month after Landmark EQN should be more or less ready.. maybe some more polishing and some more balancing.

That would be around summer 2014. But no game will release summer, if it can avoid it. So i guess a winter 2014/15 release.. most probably before christmas, and withit 2014. November would be a good bet.

Let assume those guesses are the actual projected release date.

So the marketing/PR apartment knows, that they have to fed us with Headline worthy new for 15 month. And if you know that, would you release all of your info at the first public announcement and presentation of EQN? Most probably not.

On the other side you could just look back to already released games, and look how they managed the information flow. Look at Wildstar, look at TESO, look at GW2. Does any single one of them released all information at the same time?

No.

But all that does not mean that they are ready.. because if they would be ready they would have invited us 6 month earlier into beta, announced the games 12 month earlier, and would release now.

  Sengi

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/01/09
Posts: 344

9/06/13 5:18:11 PM#39

The problem of this strategy that is, that telling us only half the story fuels all kinds of misunderstandings and doubts.

I think this is the case with the classes and the progression system. We don't have the full picture jet and that leaves it looking kind of strange.

 

The art style is nothing that is so advanced we would need to wrap our head around it. It's just mediocre. There is nothing new about this art style. We have seen it a thousand times, and therefore it spawns all kinds of bad connotations.

  TribeofOne

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/10/05
Posts: 978

9/07/13 3:16:27 PM#40

I wrote SoE a STRONGLY WORDED LETTER regarding open world pvp and how it would ruin EQN. It looks like they listened and are redesigning to suit me.

you're welcome

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