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Advisory Council Formed, Devs Respond to Uproar

Posted by Michael Bitton on Apr 05, 2010  | Comments

Advisory Council Formed, Devs Respond to Uproar -

Late last week Cryptic Studios announced the formation of a Star Trek Online "Advisory Council" whose aim was to essentially widen the feedback net so that the team could hear from more voices in the Star Trek fan community that may not necessarily play Star Trek Online or even have an interest in it. Response to the announcement has been curiously, and overwhelmingly negative, however, stirring up a forum wildfire over the weekend.

GM_Destra has responded to the community's feedback, assuring players that the Advisory Council is not meant to overshadow players' feedback but will simply exist as a supplement to all the current tools and procesures Cryptic makes use of to gather feedback. This point was further emphasized in the following exhaustive Q&A that Destra posted further down in the thread. A short excerpt is available below:

Originally Posted by Askarr
Interesting - what's the aim here?

Ivan (Cryptic Marcom Manager): Well, the basic idea is: "We're not hearing all of our current audience nor are we hearing all of our target audience. How do we hear more?"

So, in addition to the forums, polls, surveys, calendars, engineering reports, dev posts, etc., we implemented this, "Advisory Council". Maybe the over one hundred thousand active players who never post hear might be more inclined to share their thoughts somewhere else -- anywhere else? Maybe Star Trek fans attached to other sites and clubs might find some value discussing their wishes in a place that is comfortable for them? Pretty straightforward idea: "Do more stuff for fans."

Originally Posted by morgoth2000 View Post
So why even have a council at all? All you need to do to get all the feedback you need is to read the forums!

Ivan: That's not really accurate. We have well over a hundred thousand players that never post on the forums. To be a responsible developer, we must approach these people and listen to their feedback, too. Polls, direct e-mails, newsletters, and the Advisory Council are some ways we can better tap this segment of our player base. Even if they ultimately don't work, we have to try.

The original announcement can be viewed here.

While Cryptic Studios has endured a number of blunders in the past, the reasoning behind this massive uproar escapes me, as it all appears to be quite benign. Was it all a misunderstanding or miscommunication?

Are you for or against this Advisory Council? Let us know in the comments below.

[Thanks Christopher8 for the tip!]

Michael Bitton / Michael Bitton / Michael began his career at the WarCry Network in 2005 as the site manager for several different WarCry fansite portals. In 2008, Michael worked for the startup magazine Massive Gamer as a columnist and online news editor. In June of 2009, Michael joined as the site's Community Manager. Follow him on Twitter @eMikeB
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