After the Great Blackout of 2011, Andy is back. He was welcomed back into open arms of a patient community that had been waiting with baited breath.
Not so much.
On one hand, I feel bad for Andy. It appears that the higher ups really don’t give a rat’s ass about community. I mean, I think they did at one time. These days…not so much. There used to be an actual community team. They’d gather feedback, respond to posts, spread a passionate vibe all around. They’d frequent various boards including WHA and VN. It felt like a community.
Those days seem to be gone, though. The last time Andy posted on WAR’s VN was August of last year. Since July of last year, he’s only posted on WHA twice. Not everyone reads the OF, especially after the transition to the Bioware forums. The original OF were bad. These are abysmal. This isn’t a post about forums though. It’s a post about community. Forums are merely a subset.
On the other hand, I think the lashing out is deserved. Not at Andy personally, though. I don’t fault him for what he’s doing. He’s doing what he’s told. He works a shit-ton of extra hours. I’ve talked to him at 11pm quite a few times (which is midnight there) while he’s editing up patch notes, and various other stuff. I think the lashing out speaks more to Mythic’s ineptness at dealing with the community, not Andy’s. He only tells us what he can. For all you nimrods out there calling for his job, read this: If Andy is fired, he will be replaced by someone who is tasked with the same job description, the same handcuffs on what they can say, and the same lack of information to share. Calling for his job is pointless.
The biggest question is: Why is Mythic coming off so inept when it comes to community management? In a day and age where projecting your community image is key to retaining subscribers, how did they manage to drop the ball? You can blame it on the Shaman Mechanic Fiasco, you can blame it on lagging subscriptions. The source of it is mostly irrelevant, though. The effect is this: Your patient community, who has stuck with you through thick and thin is getting tired of waiting. They’re tired of getting lead around in the dark, not knowing where they’re going. They’re tired of promises to reveal info “when things are more set in stone” or “when they are ready.” There’s two methodologies in this game. Full Disclosure, and No Disclosure. The first didn’t work. You got bit. Naturally you picked the second. That isn’t working either. Patience is running out, people are moving to other games, and the players that are left are hopping off lower population servers to higher ones, just to keep playing the game. That screws other players who may not be willing to pay to make the leap, especially considering there’s no concrete future for this game. Paying an additional $20 to keep playing a game that has a future of “bug fixes and class balance” is a tough pill to swallow.
It would make sense to find a middle ground between No Disclosure and Full Disclosure. Right now….it isn’t working.