Noworries Addresses Lack of Feedback, Class Balance Approach

The devs are still in the process of trying to calm down the disgruntled players on the preview server that saw little to no response to their feedback in recent weeks. After Community Manager Julia, Systems Designer Noworries addressed the state of the feedback threads as well. In a lengthy post he additionally shared some information on their current approach to class balance.

Balance Between Getting the Work Done and Responding on the Forums

During the preview phase the devs ideally should have sufficient time to fine-tune the changes and interact with the community. Unfortunately, as Noworries pointed out, their resources are so tight that it’s essentially a trade-off. They can’t do both. He re-assured the community however that they read much more than they post, which was also a key point Julia made a week ago. There seems to be a lot going on behind the scenes that might not be too visible on the outside due to the lack of communication.

Undoubtedly that all sounds like a lot of excuses, and to a certain extent it is. But it is also laying out the reality of the situation. The important part is that we read a lot more than we post.

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One major hindrance that we already mentioned is overall workload and deadlines. Noworries stated that he currently isn’t exclusively working the preview server and M15. Instead they already have other stuff lined up that they need to get to as well. It’s annoying for players and devs alike, but just one of the symptoms of a heavily undermanned staff. The trade-off between getting work done and responding on the forums shouldn’t happen, but it is what it is and unlikely to change anyway.

Changes over Time

Noworries also commented on players taking offense at the nerf now, fix later approach. He claimed that it’s a direct result of player feedback. Cryptic feels like overarching tweaks and the long periods of time that go by without changes isn’t a concept the community likes. So they are going with an incremental approach for now, which of course can lead to issues in case you see nerfs first and beneficial changes only come at a later point.

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As the Systems Designer rightfully pointed out, someone is going to be unhappy anyway, but they feel the positive feedback still outweighs the negative. It’s certainly a tricky situation. Ideally the devs should work class balance permanently and constantly monitor trends, the meta, and issues. But Cryptic can’t afford to assign someone to that task, at least not without losing that staffer in other areas. That’s why balancing in Neverwinter is always a catch-up process that the studio only gets to every so often. As confirmed by Noworries, they aim to improve that in the future. In the meantime however they have to hope the players bear with them.


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14 thoughts on “Noworries Addresses Lack of Feedback, Class Balance Approach

  • Avatar
    October 22, 2018 at 9:48 am
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    What positive feedback? I’ve never seen anything in this game rolled out or changed and received initial positive feedback – ever! The cycle is always break/nerf/don’t communicate or care, players/costumers test in depth and provide very detailed constructive feedback. Dev’s go to “standard play book of excuses” – give a few crumbs back and promise to make positve more positive changes in the next MOD or two. How the fuck is this company not making money and how can the not hire more competent staff?

    Reply
  • Avatar
    October 22, 2018 at 11:42 am
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    Because Cryptic is just a small indie Dev and we should give them a break /s lmao. That almost hurt to write. No maybe they should have an intern or something who reads player feedback and presents it to the devs and then they can give them information to post on their behalf? Oh wait, isn’t that what the community managers job is supposed to be?

    Reply
  • Avatar
    October 22, 2018 at 1:34 pm
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    The answer is easy if we look at the industry. For all that millions of dollars are made here and there, costs are sky high and failures all too common. Darlings one day, bankrupt the next is also very common. This is a hard industry with very few consistent success stories. Running a lean organization is pretty much necessary.

    Specific to Neverwinter, the devs have long said they wanted to make changes to class balance, but had tons of old code impeding progress. They’ve been cleaning that up, clearly, so here come the long awaited changes. But, we are gamers and we love to complain. Sure, Cryptic made it extra hard on themselves by also introducing changes to Professions that very few people seem to want. Raise your hand if you wanted a new system to take up even more of your time and eat up your gold, and still not produce things you really need? Okay, the three of you that wanted that can put your hands down. The devs bit off more than they can chew. And, unfortunately with professions, this may be the system we are stuck with for several years.

    It’s a tough industry, and a tough time. Here’s hoping the community can stay positive, the Devs can work through the issues, and we can all keep having fun. Because, that’s theoretically what we are here for!

    Reply
  • Avatar
    October 22, 2018 at 2:45 pm
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    Cryptic always bite off more than they can chew. That is why they are craptic. It is also why being small is not the point. They create their own overwork and their own pressure by their own poor choices and high risk strategies. If they were just launching the Mod 15 quest line it would have been broadly welcomed. But they add in two major cans of worms. If they had avoided that there would have been the same low level grumbling about class balance and is it not time to do something about professions. But instead they try all three. It is beyond their capability to get right and the situation deteriorates sharply as they start to recognise how much of a problem they have created for themselves and pull people off communicating to fix some of the problems before go live. It was also a bad idea to do this off the back of Huntgate when tempers were already frayed in the player community and from the look of craptic’s crap responses tempers were already frayed their too. Bad decision after bad decision, it is almost as if they are pursuing a deliberate bad decision strategy.

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  • Avatar
    October 22, 2018 at 2:49 pm
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    In all industry a provider NEVER mistreat communication with clients or they are dead in a year or two.

    That’s why I’m wondering why letting real developpers (aka technical laborers) communicate with players?
    # Get a community manager to manage the mood, to avoid it get spoiled systematically.
    # Get a product owner (or two) to retrieve, analyze and synthetize the needs.
    # Then put the needs on dev’s desk to see what it cost to make given the current bus and legacy.
    # Then decide of what is done and it’s order.
    # Rinse repeat.

    So stop please discussing about how much “dev’s that …” or “dev’s this” when the real dev’s have no role nor responsibility in the messes their management have done (and still let them take the public blame).

    Software industry is like all industry: you don’t blame the farmers when your pizza taste bad, no?

    Reply
  • Avatar
    October 22, 2018 at 3:19 pm
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    But what drives these reckless strategies? The thing about teams is it is very easy for them to think they are like they have all the answers and the world outside has nothing to teach them. It is the job of management to force them to face outward and to factor in constraints. I see no sign of this. They only mention constraints when they have to start making excuses. They also have a very low opinion of their users where devs mistakes don’t matter because the users will just moan a bit and then welcome fixes for a small part of the mess. But Professions looks like another piece of their economy jigsaw where AD and Gold supply drops but so does the supply of goods. Professions nerfs a major supply line in Leadership. It also increases the time required to generate the remaining supply in the professions system. The devs have already said this is intended to cut supply. It looks to me like all these changes are about forcing people into the zen market to make up for gold and ad shortfalls in the games internal economy. They can implement a coherent strategy when their pockets are engaged.

    Reply
  • Avatar
    October 22, 2018 at 3:57 pm
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    How would he even be able to gauge negative feedback? Negative feedback is regularly purged from the forums, the Cryptic Mod’s pet discord server, etc.

    Reply
  • Avatar
    October 22, 2018 at 4:02 pm
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    LOL the only reason the positive feedback outweighs the negative feedback is because the mods constantly delete the negative feedback. There have been atleast 10 negative reactions to every 1 positive reaction on every individual preview thread, the mods just delete 3 pages at a time of them, what a joke.

    Reply
  • Avatar
    October 22, 2018 at 7:23 pm
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    Almost every individual classes thread is full of negative feedback looooool

    Reply
  • Avatar
    October 23, 2018 at 6:55 am
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    Agreed.
    I feel like internally, they are a complete mess.

    • You have Cryptic trying to make content and meet quarterly expectations.
    • There’s Perfect World as publisher/support ruling overhead and making decisions on things they either don’t understand, or couldn’t care less about.
    • Then there’s a community team stuck in the middle, (which as far as I can tell is only 2 people).

    At best, they have poor internal communication.
    At worst, upper management is completely incompetent.

    From a player’s perspective, it’s hard to get a clear message from Neverwinter on anything.

    Reply
  • Avatar
    October 26, 2018 at 3:03 am
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    “But Cryptic can’t afford to assign someone to that task, at least not without losing that staffer in other areas.”

    So basically they just admitted they are not capable of running this game properly

    Reply
  • Avatar
    October 26, 2018 at 10:56 am
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    Oh they have plenty of shills in almost every forum. Theres always the guys saying ‘this is great Im a cw and all I see is how this nerf will improve gameplay for everyone.’. Of course they listen to that guy out of 100 because it fits what they want to hear. They have very selective hearing.

    Reply
  • Avatar
    October 26, 2018 at 10:58 am
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    “other areas” ..like the nerf everything department. I’d be ok with that one going unstaffed.

    Reply

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