On Neverwinter, Endgame Players, and Who They Do Listen To

I’d like to take yesterday’s Reddit AMA as opportunity to write about a topic I’m interested in for quite a while now. Whenever the devs go and answer questions, you are going to see a lot of frustrated players, endgame mostly, that don’t feel like “their” topics were properly tackled. I’ve already mentioned in my piece about the most recent “State of the Game Stream” that they basically answered questions for an audience that wasn’t there. On Twitch everybody was yelling “dungeons” and “balancing” and they brought in an expert opinion about the Foundry.

Again, I absolutely support and appreciate the idea. The segment with David most definitely was the best of the whole show. But are you really surprised players took offense that such an “insignificant” topic got so much airtime? I think Julia even realized during the stream. At one point she apologized for topics “that might not be important to you but important to someone”.

The Ones That Give the Most Feedback Are Heard the Least

And that’s pretty much the dilemma I want to ponder about today. Why is there apparently such a massive discrepancy between topics the players want to talk about and topics the devs actually answer? Who do they, the devs, listen to? Being heard is mostly important to some folks in the endgame community. They invest a lot, be it money or time, and think they should be part of the process. Whether that’s actually true or not is a question for another day by the way. But it’s certainly interesting that it feels like the ones that give the most feedback are heard the least.

This creates an unfortunate situation where players that give feedback get increasingly frustrated. Let’s say you’re a hardcore player and theorycrafter. You play the game a ton and probably know at least one class fairly well. At some point you start dishing out your own ideas for changes or new concepts. And then nothing happens. You dish out your next one… nothing. You repeat the requests… still nothing. At worst you realize that they went the opposite way of what you suggested in the next mod, and the mod thereafter. That’s discouraging to say the least.

Turnaround Times Are a Mess

That being said, the turnaround times they have around here are a major part of the issue. Even if you feed them a suggestion that they actually like, your best bet is that it’ll get introduced in like a year. Because that’s the time it usually takes to append a task to their list and find the resources to pull it off. In a crowded market that most likely feature games that already have what you want, that’s not ideal. It nonetheless helps to realize that “on our radar” means a change is still months away.

However, it’s not like the devs eventually fill all requests of endgamers, it’s quite the opposite to be honest.

The Vocal Minority

Which brings us to a term that I truly, deeply dislike: the vocal minority. It’s something devs mostly use to trivialize a shitstorm. You basically say, well, there’s a lot of noise here, but you only see a very tiny amount of the game’s population posting their discontent. And the others, the satisfied majority, isn’t represented. There’s an emotional and a factual aspect as to why I take offense to that. First of all, you’re talking to the most dedicated players of your game. They care and give feedback, and you basically tell them that their voice does not count. That’s obviously not very kind.

But more than that, there’s an actual issue ignoring the vocal minority. Those are probably guild leaders, streamers, ingame personalities. They represent or influence a lot more players than only themselves. So by ignoring and frustrating them you risk that you lose other players in the process. A community of a guild that gets sold because its leader decided to quit might never recover. An ingame friend you lose might make you move on as well.

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Oh, and have you stopped by the Neverwinter Twitch channel lately? The amount of bitching and negativity there is staggering. Do you think new players that happen to go to Twitch to get a feel for the game will play it if every other streamer, and pretty much any bigger one, is like ‘dude, this game sucks balls, because the devs never listen’. And trust me, that’s not me calling out our streamers. It is simply what you get for ignoring your vocal minority.

The Truth Hurts

The other part of the truth might hurt even more though. As much as I dislike the term, endgame players in this game are in the minority. Which means that naturally, they will get fewer content than other groups. You might bang your head in the wake of the 100th campaign, but if that’s what 90% of the players want, what can you do? And by “want” I don’t mean actively vocalizing it, but playing the game, spending money. Trust me, if the game had the type of player base for five dungeons per mod, the devs would absolutely try to do it. It’s not that they don’t listen, they can’t. The market simply does not demand it.

That’s what makes being an endgame player (or PVP player, or Foundry author) in Neverwinter so frustrating. All opinions you read, listen and watch to probably completely match your own, because it’s endgame players like you that post, broadcast and stream them. That creates the illusion that “everyone” agrees with you, but the devs still “don’t listen”.

Difficult for Devs as Well

I by the way could also envision this to be a difficult task for the devs as well. The official forum, Twitch, and Youtube are their main sources of feedback one would assume. Yet the players that post there do not represent the majority of players of your game. How do you even put the comments you get into a context that makes sense? Anyway, this piece wasn’t meant to be about empathy for the devs, but empathy for the endgamers.

I don’t want to leave you guys without hope either, because there’s actually a simple solution to this problem. Instead of banging your head against a wall, bring more likeminded players in! Sell that the game already has great dungeons, and together you could demand even more. The game has great combat and PVP, but could use a few more bodies on the battlefield. And the game has a great UGC foundation in the Foundry, but what we need is more players to be able to build on that.

I get this is a difficult concept for some, selling something that could be instead of something that already is. But if you’re an endgame player, and care for the game as much as you claim, then this might be your only shot.


What’s your opinion on this topic? Do you agree the ones that post the most feedback are heard the least? And is it an unsolvable issue of being a member of the “vocal minority”? Share your thoughts on our social channels, in the comments below, or visit the corresponding thread on our message board!

Neverwinter UN:Blogged is always looking for writers to contribute to the blog. If you are an active player and search for a way to spread your opinions, analysis, diaries or reviews to more than 40,000 regular visitors, then don’t hesitate and get in touch with us on our contact page or message board! We are currently especially looking for console and PVP content, but that’s not exclusive. There is no frequency requirement, you post how often you want.

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j0Shi

j0Shi

j0Shi plays the Neverwinter MMORPG since the open BETA in 2013 and is a regular contributor to the blog and the whole UN:Project. Originally a Guardian Fighter, he has built up ALTs of all classes and plays on BIS/near-BIS level.

24 thoughts on “On Neverwinter, Endgame Players, and Who They Do Listen To

  • February 22, 2018 at 12:48 pm
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    Kinda Lost as to why you post so much for Kali Gold and almost act like she 🙂 is the voice of neverwinter . The person whines way to much and no clue where the ego comes from as i have ran my DC along with Kali and did not see anything that makes me think he knows or understands his class. Or maybe he just thinks he is more than what 2 DCs can perform and uses the wrong encounters because.
    I’m am still so very lost as to what neverwinter magazine is as he claims he was ranked the 5th best DC in the game from them . He has that posted on his twitch account . then the guild he belong to that is even more funny as they are not known for PVE at all and even back then for PvP they was mehh . They are more known for having very abusive trolls that talk way to much shit ( weep) and attempt to take advantage of its members and other players in game.

    Reply
  • February 22, 2018 at 1:28 pm
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    Interesting thoughts in this blog.

    But, really, Burlyfish? Kali Copper? She won’t even post her build for me, probably because she knows I have had an AC DC since the start of 2014 and was one of the first to have AA and Power Share up 100%. Kali Copper seems to think it was her who invented it, but it was actually my Mentor in-game, who showed the basics of the build to my DO in Trade of Blades. Sadly, she no longer plays.

    As much as Mini-Mi has been a troll, exploiter and abuser over the years, his videos do make me laugh!

    Reply
  • February 22, 2018 at 1:29 pm
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    Kali Rust Bucket, more like!

    LOL!

    Reply
  • February 22, 2018 at 3:26 pm
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    Interesting, but completely disagree.

    “The people that give the most feedback are heard the least”? Please.
    People like Sharpedge have an undue influence on a game that has lost nearly all semblance of direction or story. When people of that caliber mention a bug, it can even be immediately addressed as it was last year, seemingly jumping the development queue. At the same time people on that ring have their loyal hoarde of followers that parrot their views on reddit, the forums, and in game making the meta even in those times when testing doesn’t bear it out.

    “Endgame players are the minority so they will always get the least content”? What game are you playing?
    This game is ALL endgame all time, and its been getting worse with every mod. There is 0 point in doing any content in mod 12-12b other Than Tong. If you -really- feel like stretching for a goal you might thrown in a run at MSP or FBI for MW professions drops, but really why bother, those items can often be bought on the AH for less than the cost of making them. So really access to the basic materials is the sole benefit there.

    If you’re not a completionist there the rest of the content in this game is completely obsolete. Other than doing the grind for SH currency or grinding campaigns (which you can now buy your way out of) anything outside of Chult is a waste of time. (Yes any game is technically a time waster, however in this context it is meant as comparatively unprofitable within the game.)

    The sole profitable path in NW right now is to run Tong to farm drops for UES. You gather the best 2 sets of gear in the game while you’re there. All top end refinement and thus nearly the entirety of the economy is based on UES and tong runs. With the next mod this trend continues as it doubles down on the importance of Tong, and adds just a 10 man trial (i.e. dungeon design easy mode) and a mass of grind. The MW additions reported on here were even written up on this blog as throwing a bone to ‘the rich’ players, which are themselves a minority.

    If they truly wanted to play to the majority they would have been working on more fashion and (as you mentioned) dungeon designs, ignore PVP and not have near the number of class nerfs that take up so much of their development time. No they pretty clearly have what they feel is a business interest in continuing player churn as their primary means of income.

    Reply
    • February 22, 2018 at 3:41 pm
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      I can’t disagree with most of that, although you may under-estimate the value of boons.

      The points you make are largely why I am a confirmed Alt-aholic since Mod 7, never run with Legion anymore and am getting boons on my Alts up to Mod 9.

      Eventually, restrictions will be lifted like they were for needing black Ice resistance to get into Kessel’s in Mod 3 and rarity of UES will change. For most content, BtA Twisted is good enough and Legendary Teak, Wootz etc on a few of my characters are more than enough.

      But I have not pursued Uber-BIS since mod 6 made the entire contents of my bank worthless overnight and my best geared character got 1-shot by a Winter Wolf in IWD, the day after he finished his last piece of Corrupted Black Ice gear. He was still level 60, the wolves were level 73.

      Reply
  • February 22, 2018 at 4:36 pm
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    Oh the boons are great.. however as mentioned you can now just buy your way out of those through either campaign completion purchase or much reduced grind with the patronage tokens. Im all for grind reduction so I don’t mind those existing, thats not what Im saying. The point is that beyond that 2 weeks to a month & 1/2 that you look at older content for boons, there is no reason to go back. They’ve had 0 attempts at tie back in maybe the last ~5 mods.. They threw old content a TINY little bone with strongholds requiring area quests and back with the underdark campaign, dropping in extra HEs to old areas. ..and then, nothing.

    Its not restrictions and arbitrary time gates that are the problem here. Literally the entire system of the game is focused at 1 place right now, when that design choice was not necessary. There is actually a wide array of areas to choose from, different story lines to be added to, opportunities for upgraded content.

    Yea around mod 6 I used to regularly look around in sadness for many of the people around me. All those people who went from top of the pile to nothing special overnight. Thats a really harsh transition to make. ..and its one thats been done and redone several times to a lesser extent since. They manage to make transitions to new content into a tragedy for the masses when it should be cause for celebration. ..and it could be if wasn’t handled in such a heavy handed way.

    Reply
  • February 22, 2018 at 4:46 pm
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    All you need do to get his build is type !BUILD in his stream to get ‘HIS’ build… which is on YOUTUBE! Please get your facts straight before you start bashing…

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    • February 22, 2018 at 5:30 pm
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      Who’s build? Kali Rust Bucket’s? She sound like a bit of an arse, actually. Really exceptionally arrogant.

      Reply
  • February 22, 2018 at 10:58 pm
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    I allways thought Kali is a he…

    Reply
  • February 23, 2018 at 6:13 am
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    I have to agree with mystixa. Sharpedge and his coterie of groupies get 99’5 of the attention. The rest of us have been begging for months now asking for changes for class balance, changes to make the gulf between CN and FBI not so vast, changes to make the random epic queue not so much of the shitshow that it is, but the devs don’t listen to any of that, because Sharpedge & co. don’t pay attention to any of that. Do you think they are solo queuing for Random Epic Dungeons or partying up with random strangers struggling to even climb the hill in FBI? Of course not. They couldn’t give a fig about anyone who is beneath them. It is hilarious that Sharp & Co. get so much attention, seeing as how they use their own share of ‘undocumented features’ themselves.

    Reply
  • February 23, 2018 at 6:17 am
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    er, that should be “99 percent of the attention”.

    And want more evidence? Instead of fixing any of the above issues, what are the devs giving us? MOAR HARDER CONTENT, which is exactly what the Sharp crew wants. The devs evidently learned nothing from the fail that was Svardborg, where every DPS player who was not one of Sharp’s groupies had to beg to be added to any group at all trying to get their currency to upgrade their weapons, and ended up instead using their support characters to get most of their currency for all of their other characters. But the devs put a stop to that, now the currency is bind to character! So the Sharp-level 1%ers will go into the trial and roflstomp it and the rest of us won’t even bother because we learned the last time not to waste our time trying to beg and beg to get into a group.

    Reply
  • February 23, 2018 at 6:38 am
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    I agree with mystixa.
    BIS community should not complain at all: Latest content was tailored to its needs.

    Why the devs should listen to them?Some reasons why devs should avoid anything coming from end game community like a plague:

    Hypocricy.Yeah hypocricy is the word.Wonderfull people untill they feel their interests threatened: They will change instantly and use the most broken excuses ,in a vain attempt to try to defend the status of the gear/build/item/effect /meta ,that they use.
    So end game community does not have the moral high gound to suggest proposals for the good of the game:rathen to the good of their selves.

    Noobiness.Yeah I typed it right.50% of “end game” community are carried by their gear,not their knowledge.
    They think they know their class well,they do not in reality.

    Also the recent change ,expressed by a dev 2-3 mods back,that they do not intent to keep older content relevant,is a catastrophe.
    All these well designed zones,Cold Run,Lonelywood,all lie dormant now.
    Is so difficult to add new loot to the heroics there?But yeah ,let’s all do the biding of the “end game” community and stand in Chult all day.

    I main a CW (11,4k IL) ,a HR at 14,2k IL and a SW (10,8k IL).
    I stand with hours in PE hopping someone will take my toons to a dungeon,but no “LF 2 DCs ,1 DO ,1 AC DC,knowing keybinds”
    “LF OP for T9G”
    “LF GWF ”
    “LF GF”

    Reply
  • February 23, 2018 at 8:11 am
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    Butthurt jeff back at it again.

    Reply
  • February 23, 2018 at 8:18 am
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    Who was your mentor?

    Reply
    • February 23, 2018 at 12:31 pm
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      My AC DC Mentor? She was a pre-Mod 7 Dragonborn AC DC buff/debuffer who never healed and never critted, and got a ton of abuse from people who did not grasp the concept of the build for a very long time, even some people in her own guild.

      But she could buff her own Power to over 300k within seconds. Before SH Boons existed. My DO’s Power got buffed by a huge amount just by standing near her, and when she cast BoB and AA, it went through the roof. And when the loop with her companion started, it was crazy mad. It convinced me to resurrect my first character, but I also focused more on Recovery than just raw Power, so I could have AA up 100% without trying.

      But that all got nerfed.

      Several times.

      Two -and-a-half years or so later, I see Kali claiming it was she who invented AC Power Share, and then making videos claiming the community need people like her to look up to, to aspire to and to keep them grinding in the game. She even compares herself to people like Jo DiMaggio, Apollo 11 astronauts etc. I just cannot admire arrogance like that.

      I’d like to see the build, though, just for comparison.

      I did enjoy her “Ass Kissers! Kiss Assers! Ass Kissers! Kiss Assers!” video, though.

      Reply
  • February 24, 2018 at 9:55 am
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    There really are not many “non-end game” players in this game.” Your end game once you hit lvl 70, which does not take long. Accounts that are without a lvl 70 toon are inactive accounts from players who tried out the game once or twice and then moved on to another game and various bot and gold seller accounts with maybe the occasional newb thrown in here and there.

    Reply
  • February 24, 2018 at 10:02 am
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    I dont really think the devs listen to anyone. They clearly ignore just about every thread on the preview shard forums about bugs and other problems with new content and make no serious attempt to fix it before a mod goes live.

    Reply
  • February 24, 2018 at 10:18 am
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    99% of the community cant make their own parties ?
    You outnumber the best in slot players no?
    How you end up to beg?
    Have you ever created your own party?

    Reply
  • February 24, 2018 at 2:25 pm
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    I agree with you bob. They do changes to classes” just to seem that they do something”. They nerfed some dc buffs-cw multiproc enchant- and they didnt even adress very serious bugs. Everyday i learn some new bug or i discover on my own or i see through videos some.
    Ofcourse secret report otherwise ban from forums.

    Reply
  • February 24, 2018 at 2:29 pm
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    With what motivation to make a recovery build for example if is allowed to cancel an artifact permanent ! but no nerf classes.

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  • February 24, 2018 at 3:27 pm
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    It’s amusing to see Kali Gold featured up there after remembering how he whined about not getting superstar status awhile back, leaving Twitch, and then coming back to the trough again. Personally I don’t care for his streams where all he does is pat himself on the back. He should have stuck to his day job at the bank.

    And negativity? Please, it’s not all of the streamers. I’ve seen some that legit try to be positive about the game and get in there to have fun. The negativity is usually the fault of a few and they’re almost always on the PC side like a certain GWF (don’t sorry, Alsrandomkill isn’t playing Neverwinter anymore so you no longer need amusing stream titles like “I’m with stupid” and <— pointing to Al or whatever console player they don't like for the week). With enemies like those, who can be surprised at the negativity surrounding the channel. But negativity brings in views. As they say, there's no good news like bad news.

    The devs are always going to listen to their (secret) roadmap. And there is also the silent majority that still play the game away from Twitch or from posting guides who just do their thing — non regulars that fill in that random party spot or team up with friends from other guilds and keep a low profile because they just want to play.

    But given how the dev team sounds like it was largely gutted, the sad news is that I doubt we'll see sweeping changes in any tolerable timeframe. Most of the talent that knew anything about the innards of the game apparently left and the new blood has to be brought back up to speed which will take time. In the meantime, we get CTA events with prizes that haven't changed in years and channels flooded with Tong calls. Can it get better? It depends more on Cryptic than on a few end game players voicing their opinions. At the end of the day, unless the studio has the will, the strength, and the capability to do what it needs to do, we're going to have to put up with the present crop of representation that Cryptic's "solutions" have inadvertently created.

    Reply
  • February 25, 2018 at 12:31 am
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    Whines like a girl must be a girl

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  • February 25, 2018 at 12:44 am
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    So new players want new content LMAO. I fail to understand any logic in this . Is it that you guys want new level 30 content ? WTF the game needs to continue where it left off only problem is many mods have a time frame and if you are not built for end game when the mod launches then you are left out.

    Yet then we have the 9k / 12k ITl going right to chult never even herd of boons from well of the dragons or other maps FYI content for new players but then cries because they can not get into Tong.

    Reply
  • February 25, 2018 at 9:32 pm
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    Another issue with the vocal minority insult is that Cryptic has no way to know if the sentiments posted on their forums. twitch, here, and just about everywhere else differ from the sentiments held by players that dont post anywhere. Its not like there is some kind of regular polling of the player base for sentiments to draw from.

    Reply

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