Topic-icon TERA: Oops! 2016 Producer Letter Follow-Up

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2 years 1 month ago #39907 by Kazara
Kazara created the topic: TERA: Oops! 2016 Producer Letter Follow-Up

TERA Community,

Wow, what a day! We really screwed up with yesterday’s producer letter. While we anticipated a negative reaction around Forsaken Isle (Hard Mode)’s release date, the backlash we’ve seen on the forums last night and today has been overwhelming. The letter failed to provide any context around the reasons for the delay of this build and that was a communication failure on our part. Worse than that, it failed to approach this sensitive issue in an appropriate tone and gave the impression that we are disconnected with the current community sentiment.

Going forward, this is something we really need to improve. This includes keeping the community more directly in the loop regarding what we’re working and when content is coming. It also means being less vague and generic, as we were in yesterday’s letter. I feel if we can do this better, at the very least you can gain a better understanding of how and why things are happening.

A lot of issues were raised in the fallout of yesterday’s letter, and while we’re going to strive to do better overall, it’s important to know that we are not going to solve all game and communication issues in one day. Instead, we are committed to improving this in a meaningful way over time. This is our goal going forward. With that said, I’d like to provide you some insight into our build publishing process and the reasons surrounding the delay of this specific dungeon and build.

Builds are structured by Bluehole and delivered to EME, at which point EME prepares the build for release. This includes localization, testing, verification of content and features, patch notes, and any promotion we prepare surrounding an update. As it pertains to the build containing FIHM, we anticipated a January release initially given our expectations around the build's contents and the release of the dungeon in other territories. Unfortunately, this is not how this build panned out.

In order to minimize the number of builds they’d need to prepare and to facilitate our internal development of the new in-game store, Bluehole delivered us a build containing the content from several different game versions (FIHM, Dreadspire 2, and the Island of Dawn max-level hunting zone). We raised concerns to Bluehole regarding this build, knowing the issues the community would have with its impact on gear progression and the delays it would cause. Unfortunately, Bluehole is currently undergoing an internal re-organization and was not able to support creation of an additional interim build. While it sucks that Bluehole’s re-org impacted our build schedule, the goal of the re-org is for teams to work more closely on their end which should ultimately benefit TERA’s overall global service.

So, that’s what happened and we should have been more forthcoming about the situation around the build, no matter how grim it was. Here’s what we’re going to do now. Given the community’s passionate response, we’re going to bring this up with Bluehole again. We have no shortage of ammunition. The community’s impassioned response illustrates why this build schedule is not a good idea. While timing is super tight and any change to the schedule is unlikely, we’re going to restart the conversation anyways. At the very least, it will help us to avoid a similar situation happening in the future. I will provide any updates in regard to this build as we receive them.

Yesterday’s producer letter also alluded to some fixes/changes we’ll be deploying over the next few weeks in response to some long-standing community issues. Our inability to address many of these issues has rightfully caused many forum-goers to lose faith that we will actually ever do anything about them and view our responses that we’re “looking into them” as empty promises. It was for this reason that I avoided the word “soon” in the letter. No more “soon”, only action. In the context of a producer letter though, and given the current community sentiment, I now realize that glossing over our plans to address these issues was a mistake. With that said, here are the immediate issues we’re hoping to tackle in the next few 2-3 weeks:

- Fashion Coupon and Federation Bill Store updates (targeting release on January 19)
- Channel increase in Northern Arun (a temporary solution for farming the “That Aint’ Right” quest, but ultimately a band-aid on a larger issue surrounding drops) (to be deployed on January 19)
- Etching materials drop rates (tentatively targeting January 26)
- We also received a hotfix in-house today that fixes a number of minor bugs that we are targeting for deploy on January 19 or 26

Beyond the above issues, I hope to chisel away at several other long-standing issues in the near future, including improving dungeon drops, awakening success rates, re-instituting Battleground power hours, and so on. Really, addressing these issues and responding to player feedback is an ongoing process that the TERA team here at EME needs to get better at. We have identified this shortcoming (the community has made it very clear) and we will resolve to do better in this regard in 2016.

Again, our goal going forward is to be more communicative overall and provide you greater transparency about what’s going on behind the scenes and the efforts we’re making to advocate for and address the community’s concerns. Part of that visibility will mean you’ll hear things that you’re not happy about or may not agree with, but hopefully you’ll at least know the reasoning behind it. It’s this reasoning that we failed to communicate yesterday. Improving our relationship with the community will take time. But through frequent and open communication, I feel we can get there. These are just words though, our resulting actions will be more important.

-- Matthew “Denommenator” Denomme
Senior Producer, En Masse Entertainment

And the Deep State whispered to Trump “You can’t withstand the storm,” to which Trump whispered back, “I am the storm.”

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