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Good news everyone! It seems like Community Manager Nitocris (Julia) has dusted off the “Driftwood Tavern” stream format and plans to run it again regularly. The community stream used to be something that the old Perfect World Community Manager Strumslinger did with Nitocris. Strum obviously left the company a while ago and with him the community stream format died silently. But now that there’s apparently a little more time available, and the format is back! Yesterday Terramak visited the tavern, answered some questions, and entertained players on the preview server.
Good It’s Back
First of all it’s good that the format is back. The current plan is to do another stream around Halloween for the Masquerade of Liars event and one Heart of Fire maintenance stream. So if it stays sort of a bi-weekly thing it is very much appreciated. We’ve always said around here that YouTube and Twitch are platforms Perfect World and Cryptic Studios should embrace. That being said, there have been doubts about the structure and content of the format and I don’t think this stream was able to answer its critics.
Julia and Terramak tried to answer questions as best as possible, but the whole thing still felt way to random. Questions are always tricky because usually the devs are unable to answer many of them sufficiently, or at all. I can’t even say what’s the issue here, but way too often the stream seems to put its participants in a bad spot and make them look like they don’t know crap or don’t care enough. It’s definitely more of a structural than a knowledge issue to be honest.
Not the Right Content for Its Audience?
Related to that is the fact that the stuff the dev can answer is generally of not much interest. On the top of my head there’s little actual information I would like to relay to you guys. It’s basically Trickster Rogues, keep your head above water while they’ll continue to balance, and some updates to events that we already knew of. Masquerade of Liars will get a new challenge mode and the Winter Festival updates to Fishing. The rest of the time they were basically busy explaining that they’re sorry they can’t answer more questions, how hard it is to track and process bugs, and doing random stuff in the game.
I think it’s very much an issue by what they stream aims to be (a casual hangout on Twitch) and what its audience wants (a Q&A session). In my opinion you have to adjust to the platform and give its viewers more appropriate content. Like, if you’re doing random fun stuff, but all you get in chat is serious questions about design and content, maybe the “Driftwood Tavern” should turn into a full Q&A instead. You could pick topics for each episode, bring in devs, or at least properly prepare yourself. Otherwise it just leads to a wild mix of what the hell is this even good for?
Format Has Room to Grow
It’s however not fair to be overly bashy on the first episode they did for a while. The format has room to grow and I hope they are able to adjust a little bit. Given past experience and yesterday’s stream, there’s still some doubts whether the Driftwood Tavern is ever going to be able to fill a true purpose. I don’t think the stream should be a casual format, at least not for now. Twitch hosts the most dedicated players that have specific needs and questions. Serving them a hangout does not work and only leads to disappointment.
But like I said, any official presence on Twitch is undoubtedly a plus for the game. So let’s hope the tavern will stick around this time and grows into something the players can enjoy.
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