Bringing new content to the public test server in Neverwinter often is a double-edged sword. On the one hand players get a sneak peek at upcoming content and devs some sort of public beta test of the new features. On the other hand however, by the time a module hits preview, Cryptic has already moved on and is working on the next module. It means the devs have little time to actually follow up issues and the community often feels like their feedback is useless.
Community Manager Apologizes
This is no different with the current preview cycle of Module 15. Especially with the large-scale balance changes, the feedback threads fill up with comments and questions, most of them unanswered. It also doesn’t help that one of the main designers left the studio a few weeks ago. All of this has naturally led to confusion and anger, and Community Manager Julia addressed the issue in a post yesterday.
It’s a generic answer that pretty much means that little to no changes based on the current feedback will actually make it into the first live build. Before you rage too much by the way, this has been the case forever. As mentioned the devs only have so much time. So they simply save most feedback from the preview server for later use. It would certainly be better if the whole process was more interactive. It would do wonders for player motivation if ideas were discussed immediately for example. This has happened in the past by the way, but is not the norm. It’s a little bit unfortunate but a direct result of how Cryptic operates.
Process Should Be More Interactive
Players often struggle to realize that the turnaround time from feedback to actual implementation can be months. Even on a public test stage like the preview server. It’s also not ideal that the mods react to the mounting discontent with the only way they know: Deleting posts. Our ARC Undelete feature, which tracks deleted postings, filled with many new entries the last couple days, most of them from Official Feedback Threads.
Amazingly some of the posts contain valid feedback, which adds insult to injury for many players engaged in the threads. As one user put it:
Step 2 ignore it
Step 3 delete it
As you can see the situation escalated quickly. It’s even more hilarious since the devs and mods have to clean-up a mess they themselves created, as always. No well-meant post by the Community Manager is able to help here. Either the devs start to embrace the preview test phase and closely work together with the community, or these things are bound to happen every four months.
All you can really do at this point unfortunately is to continue providing feedback and hope that the devs will go through it at a later date. Because based on Julia’s post it doesn’t look like the devs will be able to do a full re-balancing / feedback pass before the live launch.
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