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Farewell to the greatest Dev

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21 minutes ago, Fearil said:

I'm really curious to know wth is going on at the GM level that causes one of the most active devs to wash their hands of the game entirely.

 

Don't go Sindusk!

 

the game needs to flush out 90% of its current (staff lol) volunteers and get real staff if it ever wants to be successful

unfortunately those in power don't want that to happen for obvious reasons

 

this message will self-destruct once one of said (staff) sees it

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I may not have agreed with every change, but the attention and amount of feature and bug fixes that came from Sindusk in short time was incredible and will forever impact Wurm.

 

The times I've spoken to you were enjoyable as it was nice to see a dev show so much care for the game and want to hear what I have to say.  Sad to see you leave

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I decided to resign from the Wurm Online development team. This was not due to any specific event, but instead a much longer sequence of events and general disagreement with deep-rooted policies in place for the Wurm Online team. I joined the team to make progressive changes for the game, and fix long standing issues with existing systems. The priest rework was a major accomplishment in that regard, overhauling a major system of the game into a much healthier state. However, I truly feel that the most significant issues with the game cannot be fixed through code. The common theme between everything that caused my resignation can be traced to one aspect: Communication.

 

The first part would be development communication to the players. Certain features and development goals are kept secret with poor reason. Major changes can be implemented with players reading about them during the patch notes while the server is down. Without going into detail, Tower Chaining was one such feature that was nearly mishandled in this regard. This type of secrecy in the development leads to anxiety for players.

 

What is the future fate of Epic? Should players continue playing there? If they place a new deed on Elevation, is there a possibility of the map being reset shortly after? How much heads up will be given?

 

All these questions stem from the fact that there is no official statement for plans on the future of Epic. Everything is being done behind closed doors and leads the community to speculate. The players don’t know if there’s a plan for Epic at all. Making sure that content is complete before announcing it is one thing. Leaving the community in a state of anxiety without giving them something to look forward to is a whole different beast.

 

There doesn’t need to be a set date, there doesn’t need to be a specific timeline. If something gets delayed, there was a reason. State the reason and trust the community to support it. Everyone in this community just wants the game to get better, but get kept at arm’s length due to fear of having them bark up a storm when something doesn’t get done. If you communicate clearly, and speak to your players like you’re having a conversation with a human instead of calming an angry consumer, you’ll see a much better response.

 

The second part is an extension of the first, which is constraints imposed on staff when it comes to communicating with players. It was very recent that I received a discord PM regarding someone wondering who they should contact in order to report someone. I asked in the general staff channel if there was anyone around who could help this player. It got resolved, but not without it being made clear that type of communication to players is frowned upon. The expectation, being a developer and not someone who handles moderation, was to not respond to the inquiry at all.

 

This is just a recent example, but this dates all the way back to when I first started. My communications with players seemed to have gone under incredible scrutiny. I remember instances where I was urged not to join specific chat channels or discord servers. I remember getting an absolutely insane amount of flak for appearing on stream without proper notification ahead of time. I remember reporting an issue and being told I shouldn’t even be bringing it up because it’s not part of being a developer. I remember having an exploit reported directly to me, bringing it up in the development chat, and then being chastised for having handled the bug report directly instead of redirecting them to the forums. These events all added up seemed to have painted me as hostile in the team. Like I was somehow breaking the natural order of things or overruling someone else’s duty.

 

If someone comes to me with an issue, I shouldn’t have to judge whether I should attempt to resolve it or not. I shouldn’t be expected to ignore the message entirely and give the player no direction. Players have no interest in jumping through hoops to get something done “correctly” - it should just get done. These artificial restrictions, whatever purpose they serve, do nothing but harm the players in the long run and make players reporting issues excessively difficult.

 

The final part is communication about GM actions to the general public, and even the players who are subject to the actions. This has nothing to do with GM rulings themselves. Instead, my primary point of complaint here is the communication to the players and general public when rulings are made. The lack of communication allows the players on the other end of the ruling to spin the narrative to paint corruption and bias into the decisions, even if they are not present.

 

This dates all the way back to when Propheteer was banned and there was only the single statement made about it. From the GM team, there was no general statement as to why one of the most prominent players in the game was banned. Instead, it was handled behind closed doors and Propheteer was able to release his own statements to the player base, spinning the narrative to suit his perspective. If a clear, informative statement was made saying “Propheteer has been banned for this reason and this is the evidence we have against him” the whole situation would have gone much smoother.

 

This translates to all decisions. When a PvP ban or raid ban is announced, it’s just announced then lifted some time later. Updates on the progress and expected timeframe would help settle the minds of players. Updates similar to “The bug has been found and fixed, and will be patched in the next update. When the update is live, we will ensure the bug has been fixed and lift the ban.” You can even provide non-committal ballparks for when that is. “We expect the update to go live later this week.” If it doesn’t happen, again, like stated before: You have a reason, just state your reason and trust the community to back it.

 

Finally, this should extend to investigation process. Both sides should be heard during a dispute. Too many times have I heard of a player being punished without anyone listening to their perspective of events. Truth can’t be known until both sides are heard, and you can figure out the actual events that happened. For some reason, the players being accused are considered hostile and are never contacted to hear their side of events. GM’s should serve as mediators between players, not executioners of justice for those who do something suspicious.

 

With all of that said, these aren’t the only reasons. Certain events that I’m not at liberty to discuss were also part of my decision. I truly respect the current development team and feel they have the best interests of the game in mind. However, improving the communication and winning your community back to supporting your efforts should be of paramount importance.

 

I wish the best of luck to the future of the game, and hope players enjoy the content I’ve worked on. It’s been a great experience and it pains me to leave, but I feel that the work I do was being consistently tainted by policies and decisions outside my control.

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16 minutes ago, Sindusk said:

<snip>

I can't tell you how much I agree with what you just posted here. In my 2+ years of playing the game, I can't tell you how many times I have tried to bring up an issue to the staff, only to have been ignored, chastised or simply warned to stop. the common practice is to shove things under the rug and let players deal with the problems themselves. My account is banned at the moment, and there is absolutely nothing I can do about it, as there is no proper channel to appeal the ban.

 

I belive the community as a whole deserves to be treated differently. Guys, we are not your enemies, we are your customers. Both staff and players have something in common: We all love this game and would like to continue playing it. But you guys make it darn difficult by throwing us away like an old rag no one cares about. Part of your job as a service provider is to explain to me why you took my money and did not provide me the service I paid for. But more than that we are -your- community, and you should be there for us when we come across a problem only you can solve.

 

As for you Sindusk, I think this game will never be the same. You gave us a taste of what good development feels like and we got addicted to it. I can only pray those who stayed behind learn from your actions and we will continue to see great things.

 

Peace, my friend.

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3 minutes ago, Angelklaine said:

My account is banned at the moment, and there is absolutely nothing I can do about it, as there is no proper channel to appeal the ban.

 

Email gamemods@wurmonline.com.

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2 minutes ago, Ostentatio said:

 

Email gamemods@wurmonline.com.

Yes, I have tried that in the past. Never have had a reply before. I guess here I go again.

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1 minute ago, Angelklaine said:

Yes, I have tried that in the past. Never have had a reply before. I guess here I go again.

 

Sorry, didn't know you had already tried. I couldn't say why you haven't gotten a response, though.

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Just now, Ostentatio said:

 

Sorry, didn't know you had already tried. I couldn't say why you haven't gotten a response, though.

I am going to try again for this time, but in the past I have mailed that email address for a different issue. It doesn't matter tho. That's in the past :)

 

And soon this one will be too. 

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33 minutes ago, Sindusk said:

words

I hope this is a wake up call for the staff... you're probably the most impactful dev Wurm has had in the past 2 years...

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Truly appreciate the work you put in while on the team, as does everyone else - and it is sad to see you leave because of these reasons. The internal policies we have in place are there due to experience over the many years of Wurm and not wanting to repeat mistakes we've made in the past, so while your opinions on how things should be are well-intentioned some of them do go against what we've directly experienced in the past. In the end it is still disappointing to see you leave, and we wish you luck in future projects.

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2 minutes ago, Budda said:

Truly appreciate the work you put in while on the team, as does everyone else - and it is sad to see you leave because of these reasons. The internal policies we have in place are there due to experience over the many years of Wurm and not wanting to repeat mistakes we've made in the past, so while your opinions on how things should be are well-intentioned some of them do go against what we've directly experienced in the past. In the end it is still disappointing to see you leave, and we wish you luck in future projects.

 

might wanna revisit those policies eh

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47 minutes ago, Sindusk said:

Certain features and development goals are kept secret with poor reason. Major changes can be implemented with players reading about them during the patch notes while the server is down. Without going into detail, Tower Chaining was one such feature that was nearly mishandled in this regard. This type of secrecy in the development leads to anxiety for players.

 

47 minutes ago, Sindusk said:

The second part is an extension of the first, which is constraints imposed on staff when it comes to communicating with players. It was very recent that I received a discord PM regarding someone wondering who they should contact in order to report someone. I asked in the general staff channel if there was anyone around who could help this player. It got resolved, but not without it being made clear that type of communication to players is frowned upon. The expectation, being a developer and not someone who handles moderation, was to not respond to the inquiry at all.

 

Biggest issues I have with this game right here.

 

Sorry to see you leaving Sindusk, we might not always see eye to eye on certain game mechanics but you were always very cordial and respectful. You also did more for this game in the past 5 years than others have done before you.  Good luck in future endeavors you're very talented you could probably make your own game! I hope you do something fantastic.

 

Good luck.

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5 minutes ago, Budda said:

Truly appreciate the work you put in while on the team, as does everyone else - and it is sad to see you leave because of these reasons. The internal policies we have in place are there due to experience over the many years of Wurm and not wanting to repeat mistakes we've made in the past, so while your opinions on how things should be are well-intentioned some of them do go against what we've directly experienced in the past. In the end it is still disappointing to see you leave, and we wish you luck in future projects.

Not to cause any trouble or anything, but if your policy is to not talk to players, I believe your team has gone down the wrong path to address the issues you've encountered. 

 

Players are your most important resource. Without players there is no game. Remember that. Talking to your player base should be your #1 priority. The fact you dont see that saddens me greatly.

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1 minute ago, Angelklaine said:

Not to cause any trouble or anything, but if your policy is to not talk to players, I believe your team has gone down the wrong path to address the issues you've encountered. 

 

We as staff are also held to a high level of scrutiny by players, who we speak to in private reflects on us greatly, which is why we have a fairly open policy of transparency in our developmental decisions, bugs are reported on the forums, suggestions are suggested on the forums. I'm sure many of you remember claims of whispers to devs and friends being the proponent of big changes in the game. 

 

More transparency could be used, and will continue to be a priority for myself and both the dev and GM teams. 

 

I firmly believe in open discussion, it's why I talk with you and others in this thread all the time, and it's why we have Discord and these forums, don't think that we don't encourage that, just the private pm suggestions. 

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Just now, Angelklaine said:

Not to cause any trouble or anything, but if your policy is to not talk to players, I believe your team has gone down the wrong path to address the issues you've encountered. 

 

Players are your most important resource. Without players there is no game. Remember that. Talking to your player base should be your #1 priority. The fact you dont see that saddens me greatly.

 

The policy is specifically to do with pvp players talking to developers in back channel PMs or messages. There has been a long history of accusations of one kingdom or another having the ear of a dev and getting their requests implemented into the game because it benefits them over another kingdom. These accusations still happen to this day. Limiting those communications stop that sort of thing from happening. The forums exist for a reason, the suggestions forum and bug forum exist for a reason. If everything is discussed openly in these sections then the accusations of bias towards one kingdom or another are baseless.

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1 minute ago, Retrograde said:

We as staff are also held to a high level of scrutiny by players, who we speak to in private reflects on us greatly, which is why we have a fairly open policy of transparency, bugs are reported on the forums, suggestions are suggested on the forums. I'm sure many of you remember claims of whispers to devs and friends being the proponent of big changes in the game. 

 

I firmly believe in open discussion, it's why I talk with you and others in this thread all the time, and it's why we have Discord and these forums, don't think that we don't encourage that, just the private pm suggestions. 

There is a difference between talking openly to your players and choosing when to talk openly to your players. Despite having tons of developers and staff here responding in the forums, there's not a single person I can address my current concern to. I mean, I PM'd you personally and I am still awaiting my response.  How is that talking to your player base?

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1 minute ago, Budda said:

 

The policy is specifically to do with pvp players talking to developers in back channel PMs or messages. There has been a long history of accusations of one kingdom or another having the ear of a dev and getting their requests implemented into the game because it benefits them over another kingdom. These accusations still happen to this day. Limiting those communications stop that sort of thing from happening. The forums exist for a reason, the suggestions forum and bug forum exist for a reason. If everything is discussed openly in these sections then the accusations of bias towards one kingdom or another are baseless.

Thanks for your clarification. I didn't think this is what you meant.

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Just now, Retrograde said:

We as staff are also held to a high level of scrutiny by players, who we speak to in private reflects on us greatly, which is why we have a fairly open policy of transparency, bugs are reported on the forums, suggestions are suggested on the forums. I'm sure many of you remember claims of whispers to devs and friends being the proponent of big changes in the game. 

 

I firmly believe in open discussion, it's why I talk with you and others in this thread all the time, and it's why we have Discord and these forums, don't think that we don't encourage that, just the private pm suggestions. 

Yeah that's fine and all. But it's like you have to watch what you say or someone will get their feelings hurt. And get a permaban for apparently being a toxic player especially on discord. At least it's what I've seen in the past couple of weeks/months. 

 

1 minute ago, Budda said:

 

The policy is specifically to do with pvp players talking to developers in back channel PMs or messages. There has been a long history of accusations of one kingdom or another having the ear of a dev and getting their requests implemented into the game because it benefits them over another kingdom. These accusations still happen to this day. Limiting those communications stop that sort of thing from happening. The forums exist for a reason, the suggestions forum and bug forum exist for a reason. If everything is discussed openly in these sections then the accusations of bias towards one kingdom or another are baseless.

Okay cool I get that, but whats also stopping the dev's from simply saying take your idea to the suggestion forum? Instead you just have the dev's ignore people rather than communicate the most basic, simple, and sometimes important things.

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1 minute ago, Carmichael said:

Okay cool I get that, but whats also stopping the dev's from simply saying take your idea to the suggestion forum? Instead you just have the dev's ignore people rather than communicate the most basic, simple, and sometimes important things.

 

That is exactly the intended response that devs should be giving.

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3 minutes ago, Carmichael said:

Yeah that's fine and all. But it's like you have to watch what you say or someone will get their feelings hurt. And get a permaban for apparently being a toxic player especially on discord.

 

Speaking for the moderation I've done on the Discord server, I try to always give specific reasons to players why a moderation action is being taken against them; certainly something more specific than "hurting someone's feelings". A permaban on the Discord server is rarely, if ever, handed out without escalation from mutes, warnings, and temporary bans. So, if someone is banned from the Discord, there's sure to be a pretty good and particular reason for it, and if they aren't sure what that reason is, they can certainly ask.

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3 minutes ago, Ostentatio said:

 

Speaking for the moderation I've done on the Discord server, I try to always give specific reasons to players why a moderation action is being taken against them; certainly something more specific than "hurting someone's feelings". A permaban on the Discord server is rarely, if ever, handed out without escalation from mutes, warnings, and temporary bans. So, if someone is banned from the Discord, there's sure to be a pretty good and particular reason for it, and if they aren't sure what that reason is, they can certainly ask.

I probably should've added the forums as well. It's a completely separate entity. Just because someone may be toxic on the forums doesn't mean they deserve an ingame permaban right off the bat. There are simple steps that a moderator should take in order to ban someone. Like I don't wanna tell a moderator how to do their job, but it ends up hurting the game in the long-run. I've seen on multiple occasions people getting banned off the forums and ingame permanently from all sides of the PvP world. It's crappy in the end either way. Then again opinions are like ######s, everyone has one.

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11 minutes ago, Budda said:

 

The policy is specifically to do with pvp players talking to developers in back channel PMs or messages. There has been a long history of accusations of one kingdom or another having the ear of a dev and getting their requests implemented into the game because it benefits them over another kingdom. These accusations still happen to this day. Limiting those communications stop that sort of thing from happening. The forums exist for a reason, the suggestions forum and bug forum exist for a reason. If everything is discussed openly in these sections then the accusations of bias towards one kingdom or another are baseless.



take a page out of the books of blizzard and Bethesda and ea

DONT limit communication with players
Accusations like that will happen at all times its part of us humans limiting communication won't do anything but further strengthen it

The above listed companies tried the "we must keep information limited" approach and the player base has lost a lot of respect for them heck a lot of people now dont play their games and they lost a lot of stock
Now with wurm there have been many many years of backroom dealings with gms and devs and all kinds of stuff left and right sometimes resulting in a gm getting kicked out but in the end of the day it is still best to share info publicly

if a bug is found eg a bug that allowed you to spawn dragons on a server and it is reported post up the bug(after a short investigation to see if its an actual bug or not) that was found and with a clear warning of anyone who does it getting a perma ban
If something like the recent bug was found that resulted in a raid ban ask everyone involved what their take on it is gather as much information and then take your information that you gathered and from everyone else and come up with a clear ruling and post that up

Not to long ago a gm has said "this was supposed to be fixed" on a bug that was found to still work and a player almost got banned for it but little did he know the bug was an actual thing already and had been around and abused and supposedly fixed before
If there is a clear stance of "we find bug we investigate figure out how bug works then post up info about the bug(Not how to do it) and make the player base aware of said bug and that anyone found abusing it is perma banned" it will go a long way to making people gain more trust into the staff team(this is something a lot of games actually do and it always works in their favor)

That is just my 2 cents on this as communication is key lack there of just spreads fear confusion and anger treat your player base with care and love and they will do the same to you dont do it and well just look at fallout 76 as a good example of a playerbase going after a company for the company screwing up communication and missleading and withholding vital information from its userbase

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19 minutes ago, Budda said:

 

The policy is specifically to do with pvp players talking to developers in back channel PMs or messages. There has been a long history of accusations of one kingdom or another having the ear of a dev and getting their requests implemented into the game because it benefits them over another kingdom. These accusations still happen to this day. Limiting those communications stop that sort of thing from happening. The forums exist for a reason, the suggestions forum and bug forum exist for a reason. If everything is discussed openly in these sections then the accusations of bias towards one kingdom or another are baseless.

 

Until you completely remove staff from playing on PvP servers the bias or perceived bias will remain.  

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Just now, madnezz said:

 

Until you completely remove staff from playing on PvP servers the bias or perceived bias will remain.  

You shouldn't have to force a staff member to not play their preferred playstyle. Player opinionated biased will remain until the end of time. It's literally something you have to just deal with.

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