"Accountability is when the players vote with their credit card"

#1 Posted by demonbear (1934 posts) -

Mark Jacob said that here

He said a lot more but that's the bit that really intrigues me.

Mythic chose to let the community take care of an "official" forum and not support one, something Tabula Rasa also did. I'm quoting Jacobs :

“What is accountability?” Mark asked. “Is accountability the fact that you can get a community manager who has nothing to do with the game development (not saying Mythic but at a lot of companies the CM has nothing to do with the game other than being community managers)… to go on the forums and have abuse heaped on him? That’s not accountability. That’s like putting out a goat for the Tyrannosaurus in Jurassic Park. Accountability is when the players vote with their credit card. That’s accountability. If they players feel we aren’t doing our job, they should cancel. I’ve always said that. We are accountable that way.”

“In terms of reaching out to the community,” he continued, “nobody in this industry does it better than us. Not on the large scale. I can’t talk about the smaller games, but if you look at EverQuest and WoW and LotRO or any of those games, we spend more time reaching out to the community than any other development team. I’m on the boards, other people are on the boards and we will continue to be going forward. We are accountable that way, but we’re more accountable to the players by their use of their credit cards. If they don’t like the job we’re doing, they should cancel. That’s the best way to send any developer a message.”

He rounded out the answer by saying that, “If people think that accountability is just their need to vent their spleen at some community manager, that’s not accountability. That’s just people heaping abuse on somebody in order to feel better.”

So in short, he's saying official forums are just a place where people can bash a Community manager for no apparent reason and that an online community can be a T-Rex. And that we eat sheeps....

So what do you think? Should an online game come with its official forum all the time? Is is useful? Should the community be responsible for a forum and what happens on it?

For my part i don't know. I think i need to put a bit of time thinking about that. There IS a lot of whining on official boards, especially MMOs but its not ALL whining, right?

Your thoughts?
#2 Posted by Jayge_ (10270 posts) -

Having played Guild Wars for at least 2 and a half years, I think I can safely say that ArenaNet spends more time reaching out into the community than any other company in the MMO market.

So... feh. He's made of bullshit.

#3 Posted by Royale (185 posts) -

I think that an MMO not having "official" boards is perfectly fine, but if they are going to do it that way, they need to have someone updating people on a daily basis as to what the developers are doing, problems they are having, etc...  especially right at launch.  I like what they are doing with war herald, but it needs to be more consistent.  There needs to be developer notes, ideas, technical problems and their solutions ON THEIR FUCKING SITE.  They say they're on the boards... what boards?  How the hell am I suppsed to know?

The most frustrating thing for me when the game went live was a blue screen issue I was having.  I didn't know where to turn to for help.  I finally came accross warhammeralliance.com from a post in these (Giant Bomb) forums and was able to talk with people and eventually figured out the solution to my problem.

Now days, I don't have any problems with the game.  I love it.  the warhammeralliance forums are good enough for me now.  But I still think that without official forums, their communication needs to step it up.  Perhaps a community manager who blogs every day about whatever is going on with the game would be nice.  I would subscribe to that feed.

#4 Posted by demonbear (1934 posts) -

A blog is a good idea but you'd have to turn the comments off because it'd be forum whining all over again, just look at Major Nelson's or the Playstation blog. No matter the subject, there'S always gonna be at leaaaaast 50% of the comments about something related to some kid's console who broke or a game that won't come fast enough for their tastes....

And don't get me started on the WoW boards.... its a whinefest.

#5 Posted by breton (1448 posts) -

I think it is a way to escape accountability. Basically the only reason he doesn't support them is because CMs are going to be taking all the heat. And while it's kind of unfair for just a few people to endure the anger, I think it should happen. A CM is, in my mind, an official face of the company. You represent it, and if things are bad, then you should be able to listen. Telling people to quit because they don't like where a game is headed is just ridiculous. You could be telling someone who has supported and enjoyed your game for years to just fuck off. "We're going to develop it how we want to develop it, and our fans will come second."

If you're supporting an online community, I think direct communication is key - whether whining happens or not. But, this is also Mythic, who apparently didn't have an official forum for Dark Age.. soooo.. I dunno.

#6 Posted by Jigen (199 posts) -

That guy is completely wrong about accountability.  MMOs are MADE to not give people the choice of quitting.  They're made to be very addictive games that you invest a lot of time into so you don't feel like giving up all that 'work' you did.  Basically it'd be like a drug dealer saying "if they don't think the drugs are any good for them, why don't they quit?"  Obviously games can't be chemically addictive, but they are psychologically addictive.

#7 Edited by Branthog (5769 posts) -


#8 Posted by Icil (748 posts) -
Jayge said:
"Having played Guild Wars for at least 2 and a half years, I think I can safely say that ArenaNet spends more time reaching out into the community than any other company in the MMO market.

So... feh. He's made of bullshit."
I agree with that 100%. Updates to that game came almost weekly with new balance changes and bug fixes. ArenaNet was always ahead of the player base.

On a side note, I remember at two-years-ago Blizzcon when one of the developers said that they don't constantly patch WoW  because they don't want "shocks in the system". That's pretty fucking stupid logic. Guild Wars got it right, I regret quitting it. In fact, I can come back to Guild Wars whenever I want, because that game is fucking FREE to play.

Long story short, WoW's developers are dumb.

And on topic: pretty noble quote from Mark Jacob. Hopefully this means that EA Mythic is willing to revamp parts of the game if they turn sour, and that's a good thing.
#9 Posted by Oni (2265 posts) -

What garbage. How can you not have forums? Look at WoW's forums, how many different kinds of boards there are. Yes, there is a lot of bitching, but mostly from a vocal minority. It's also a place where people can meet up, discuss the game, etc etc. And it's not as simple as saying "well if they don't like it, they can stop paying." That's a non-sequitur. Just because a consumer could think of an improvement or two doesn't mean they have to be dissatisfied with the entire package.

It's just ludicrous. It's an online, SOCIAL game for god's sake, how can you not have forums? Mind-boggling.

#10 Posted by demonbear (1934 posts) -

A vocal minority? hahaha yeah right.

Positive posts on wow boards are a rare thing. Its ALWAYS about blizzard fix this, blizzard make that.

And not having a forum is really more of a way of saying " were putting our time on the game, the community can manage the forums by themselves " and i don't know if its a really good or bad thing.

But dont give me the " wow boards are awesome " please, thats bullshit.

#11 Posted by Patchinko (885 posts) -

WoW's forums are complete garbage. They're all whining and CMs ignoring any valid complaints or suggestions and people talking trash about how great they are when they have intellect and mp/5 gems on their mage and so forth.

Most of the things that Blizzard has changed as a result of the community have been suggestions made by specific individuals, often on their own websites and not on the WoW forums (think EJ's forums). A couple of things resulted from numerous lengthy posts on their own forums, such as fixing the BGs queue system, but the amount of effort it took the people in those threads was inordinate.

So yeah, I don't think a company needs to have its own forums at all.

#12 Posted by Vlademir (1083 posts) -

It's okay but I really wish they had an official board.

#13 Edited by Oni (2265 posts) -

I meant it's a vocal minority of the actual players. And even so, that's besides the point. Online, social game should have its own forum, end of.

I mean I know the forums are a cess pit, I don't post there, but they're there, and they cover about every topic you could want. They the boards are structured should be an example.

#14 Posted by Zirilius (1025 posts) -

I think its a great idea for them. The time and money it takes to invest in creating forums, paying moderators, and servers could go along way into other matters spent making the game. I agree they should have links to fan sites that they approve of on their site but other than that they have been doing a good job reaching out to the community.

And for those clamoring for "OMG THEY DON'T HAVE OFFICIAL FORUMSZZSSAZASS", I recommend going to the WoW or AoC forums and just see how hard filtering out the good information from the garbage is. At least at Warhammer Alliance or IGN Vault I can at least see what is a viable topic is and have intelligent discussions more than 50% of the time but you still get your crazy rabib fanboys there too. Which is the downside of a fansite but at least they are slightly better moderated

#15 Posted by JoelTGM (5784 posts) -

Mythic is smart not having an official forum.  They didn't have one for DAoC and they don't have one, and never will, for WAR.  All it becomes is a place for players to whine directly to the developers (or CM).  They still read WAR forums and post on them frequently, they are always keeping us updated and are very close with the WAR community, but without having an OFFICIAL forum there really isn't much whining at all, especially compared to say... the WoW forums.

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