Courtesy?

Frogboy you might appreciate this one...

By on August 22, 2009 1:47:42 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Butterchin

Join Date 08/2007
+23

How to get what you want in life: use courtesy. How *not* to get what you want in life: act like a spoiled brat.

I see so many "fix the damn" or "this is bullsh1t" or "this sucks" posts, that I find myself quite angry about it.  Not just because such posts are rude and childish, but mainly because the children writing them make the whole community look bad, and thus actually decrease the chances that needed improvements to Demigod will take place on our behalf.

I'm sorry to all the people who've worked hard on a much-maligned piece of software, only to be rewarded with idiotic attacks by semi-literate babies on the forums.  I hope that GPG and Stardock can look past the bad apples, and see that many of the players of Demigod do know how to ask politley for things, how to be patient and helpful, and how to maintain mature dialogs.

In spite of its imperfections, I love playing Demigod.  I play it almost nightly.  Therefore, it is my assertion that I *have* gotten what I paid for, and I am not owed any extra labor on the part of the developers.  I also recognize that Stardock went beyond the call of duty to rescue Demigod from near-disaster, and I can appreciate such dedication.

I would *like* to see improvements, I would *like* to see bugs fixed, and I would *love* to see more content.  Some of those things I would actually pay more money for.  But I do not demand them, nor will I make shrill, useless, or offensive posts about getting them.

For some who've read this far into my post without having to change your diaper, I'm probably preaching to the choir.  To others I ask, please have some courtesy when asking for work, or news, or anything from the makers of Demigod.  If you can't bring yourselves to do so for the right reason -- which is that it's the decent way to behave -- then do so for another reason:  you are more likely to get what you want by treating people with dignity and respect than by throwing tantrums.

*steps off of soapbox*

Apologies, I guess I just couldn't take it anymore...

 

 

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blackraxor
Ptarth
RonJeremey
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pacov
CallTheVoid
August 23, 2009 1:53:03 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

What SD can control is how they respond to such things.  This means being ready for the inevitable immature behavior, having thick skin, and not responding emotionally or foolishly to it.

I do not believe that alienating the rather large segment of the internet that will act like a jerk at times is a wise course of action for any company.  SD seems to be of the opinion that alienating such people is better than just not letting that kind of stuff get to you.  I disagree with this approach.

Stardock has been around for almost 20 years.  It has always taken the position that the best way to work with communities is to encourage "toxic users" to go elsewhere.

One can go all the way back to the Stardock news groups (which I believe are still up) and find people insisting that Stardock will go out of business because they don't act "professionally" to toxic users.

On WinCustomize.com, one of the most popular sites on the Internet, it has been standard policy for the past 8 years to ban toxic users outright with the occasional insistence that such a policy will lead to the company's demise. Same policy exists on Sins of a Solar Empire, Galactic Civilizations, and so forth.

The goal is to get griefers and toxic users to not be present. We (Stardock) never make any promise or imply that we will be "professional" (whatever that is) to griefers.  

Frogboy's instructions to my bosses who pass them down to me are:

1. Tell the truth.

2. Don't spin the truth.

3. Assume customers want the truth even if it's not what they want to hear.

4. People have paid us money for a product and their concerns should be treated seriously and a best effort should be made to address them.

5. People who have paid money for a product get that product, abusing us or other users is not part of that transaction and those users should be encouraged to move on or banned.

There are always interpretation issues on these items but I do know that there is very very little inclination inside of Stardock to put up with hateful users on our own forums.

We know Demigod is a good game. We also know that the game's fun experience when playing random strangers on the Internet is not always great. That is not something unique to Demigod.  We think users who think Demigod is a bad game should move on because updates that are in the works for Demigod are not designed to fundamentally change the game but instead of extend what is already there, fix bugs and exploits that get reported and generally polish the game.

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August 23, 2009 1:58:12 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

If this is the community the type of community that SD is used to dealing with (which I believe it is), then of course this is going to cause conflict. Going from a community of thoughtful polite responsible adults to a community that contains teenagers and young adults who do not believe they should adhere to social niceties... I'm sure you can see why SD gets so frustrated. Furthermore, I also reject the claim by Krazikarl saying that this community is mild, or perhaps I would suggest the claim be that this community is mild for a FPS community (which are typically about the level of /b over on 4chan).

Ptarth: You are exactly right.  

Visiting www.galciv2.com or sins of a solar empire or elemental are good examples of what Stardock is set up to deal with.

I can't say for certainty but I feel pretty safe in saying that nobody at Stardock or GPG want to hang out on the Demigod forums anymore because there are so many jerks here.

Here is a post on the Elemental forums for questions on Elemental:

http://forums.elementalgame.com/360204

Compare the behavior there to the flaming received in Pacov's well intentioned question thread.

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August 23, 2009 1:59:46 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Update: I found a google groups link to the old Stardock newsgroups that have been up since the 90s:

http://groups.google.com/groups/dir?lnk=srgmt&q=stardock

 

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August 23, 2009 2:20:06 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Istari,  I completely agree with above.  Had a question for you from the locked questions for brad thread:  For users will low bandwith/crap connection could they simply send one stream of data to the server and have the server then distibute that data?  I realize this is not ideal, but I was thinking the band with reduction would lower the requiremnets.  Any thoughts on this?

 

Do you know if GPG is using p2p or server for supreme commander 2?  Will enhancements from supcom2, help demigod?

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August 23, 2009 2:31:46 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Stardock has been around for almost 20 years. It has always taken the position that the best way to work with communities is to encourage "toxic users" to go elsewhere.

One can go all the way back to the Stardock news groups (which I believe are still up) and find people insisting that Stardock will go out of business because they don't act "professionally" to toxic users.

...

1) Dealing with toxic users by locking down entire threads that are 90% positive is (IMO) foolish and not at all desirable.  Your entire thought process is that a few toxic users shouldnt spoil things for the rest of the people.  But then you cause a few toxic users to spoil things BY YOUR OWN ACTIONS by locking down entire threads for the actions of a small minority.

To put it bluntly, the effect is the the exact opposite of what you want to accomplish.  You are enabling a few toxic users to ruin things for everybody else by shutting down threads that are overwhelmingly positive because of the actions of the few toxic people.  Most people can just ignore a few toxic people if they wish, but they cant ignore them if you enable them by reacting as you have.

2) As I have pointed out (and seems to be generally agreed upon) the community involved in a primarily singleplayer game is fundamentally different than the community involved in a primarily multiplayer game.  Therefore, justifying techniques used in a multiplayer game by pointing out that they worked in a single player community management is naive at best.

I dont know why the communities are different.  It probably has to do with the demographics (older, more mature people prefer single player?).  But regardless of the explanation, its just the way things are.  You dont interact the same way with 16 year olds and 60 year olds, so interacting the same way with a multiplayer community as a single player community is unwise (IMO).

Interacting with this community the same way you did with an OS/2 GUI community is an even worse idea IMO.  The people who are on wincustomize and the people who are here are just going to act in fundamentally different ways since they are quite different crowds.

Visiting www.galciv2.com or sins of a solar empire or elemental are good examples of what Stardock is set up to deal with.

Yes, two single player games.  If SD is unwilling or unable to deal with multiplayer communities, then it is probably not wise to get involved in many primarily multiplayer games in the future.  But I suspect that you guys have made this decision already given your past success in the single player market and how DG has gone.

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August 23, 2009 3:12:40 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

I dont know why the communities are different.

The demographic is part of it, of course.  Another large part is the nature of community requests.  In single-player games, concepts like 'balance' generally aren't much of an issue (not to mention connection problems and so forth) and the things people ask for tend to fall into the "wouldn't it be cool if..." category where nobody is likely to be put off should the devs respond.  In a competitive multiplayer game, most of the requests, especially on the balance side of things, are for things that are going to raise the bar for one group at another group's expense.  Because of that, the forums end up every bit as competitive as the game.

That said, I don't think SD is asking for too much, here.  Yes, it's easier for people to get riled in a setting like this but that doesn't lend any extra credibility or sympathy to most of the poorly written and directionless rants that we're buried in around here. 

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August 23, 2009 3:22:49 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Quoting Istari,

We know Demigod is a good game.

I agree here. It is a good game. But even the perfect game will have trollers and flamers. And it sometimes has NOTHING to do with the actual game. Some people get hammered on so much in real life that they need to flame SD so they can stroke their e-peen to feel good. Someone on this thread said that you should be held accountable for what you say regardless to the media and I agree with that.

I_killed_a_dwarf for example THINKS he is writing his posts in a polite manner but his "tone" always screams "fuck you SD/GPG". He has the impression that if he paid for the game then he is stardock's boss or something.

Look, the game isn't perfect, i'll give him that. He seems to be under the impression that being an ass "gets shit done" when it does not bring anything constructive to the game and makes the community worse. The basic rules of good posting are (as far as i have seen)

1. If you want to post something, the search key is your friend. Use it to find out if any posts cover your desired subject and post in them ONLY if you have something new to add.

2. Do not insult other members of the forum regardless of how big jerks they are. If politeness does not work just ignore them. Fueling the fire will guarantee a flame war and a locked thread.

3. Don't double post, edit is there for a reason (although this rule is not that important).

That's just off the top of my head. The community gets ruined buy just a few people that don't respect even one of those rules (ok, except the double posting crap). On the other side, locking pacov's thread was not a good approach. But then again, there were a lot of questions so pacov will have his hands full a while. When frogboy answers them, then we will just open a new thread and try to IGNORE trollers and flamers (remember, the thread got shut down because we started arguing with the whiners......IGNORE them, and everyone that posts something that has nothing to do with the thread, that is the way to stop a flame war before it even begins).

Look, i understand, you come home from work/scool or a nagging wife/girlfriend and want nothing more than to reduce some demis to puddles of blood and gore with a hammer slam. You try and start a game and shit happens. You get so angry that you want to explode. You think about starting a flame thread. STOP right there......go online or at a store, get porn, jerk off. I am serious. Spank the monkey, tug the trooper, peel the banna, tap the keg, whatever you want to call it. If you can't control your anger that's the way to go........or ram your head against the wall repeatedly. (lol would be a nice headline : "Porn industry saves Demigod online gaming community").

Also i would like to add that as far as i see, every single problem with the game HAS ALREADY BEEN ADDRESSED. Ping spikes, invalid game states, auto-matching etc already have their threads. If you have a legitimate new problem or have something new to add to an existing thread, by all means post it for it will make the community better. If you just want to vent, then find some other outlet.

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August 23, 2009 3:42:10 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

It's not hard to not be such an ass about anything. Period. The whole "it's the internet" crap is something I chuckle at because that excuse or whatever you want to classify it as is just ridiculous. Certainly the internet has it's share of idiots but is it really necessary to step down to that level and further fortify the "it's the internet" crap?

In any case I agree with Stardock's look on "toxic users" as it's completely understandable. They're not entitled to put up with a lot of the crap I've seen on this forum and rightfully so...shouldn't. If people talked to me the way some have on this forum, I'd tell them to get lost too. Respect goes a long way and just because someone doesn't answer immediately does not mean that it is not accounted for.

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August 23, 2009 3:42:48 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Istari,  I completely agree with above.  Had a question for you from the locked questions for brad thread:  For users will low bandwith/crap connection could they simply send one stream of data to the server and have the server then distibute that data?  I realize this is not ideal, but I was thinking the band with reduction would lower the requiremnets.  Any thoughts on this?

It's a good idea but it wouldn't work because the user still has to send out X bytes of data per second to the proxy server to then get streamed.

From Brad:

In RTS games, each player has to be synced together or else you end up with various non ideal behaviors.  

Different RTS games handle lag differently.  Sins of a Solar Empire, for example, is client server and expressly won't let users with poor connections even get started. Elemental's multiplayer will also be client server and people with low end connections won't be allowed to even get in without upgrading their connection. Anyone with less than 256 kilobit per second will get a message.

Other games, like Warcraft 3 and in turn Dota work by having commands queued up. A user presses a spell button and the command isn't acknowledged until it reaches the peers.  This has the effect of keeping the animation smooth for everyone (no stuttering) but people with poor connections basically can't play the game because their commands don't get through.

Demigod, like SupCom, Company of Heroes, and other games has each side visually in sync.

If we had to do it over again, Stardock would have recommended to GPG to have a bandwidth tester built in that would just reject users with low upload bandwidth.  This would take care of "ping spikes" (this is what causes them). Some people would be upset but those with good connections wouldn't have to suffer.

In the long-run, Demigod will likely get tools inherited from Elemental so that users with low end bandwidth simply won't be allowed to play on Demigod online.

As for "toxic" users. There's a drinking game at Stardock where everytime someone predicts Stardock will go out of business due to being "unprofessional" someone has to take a shot. Just kidding. But seriously, the problem with trolls on the net is that they may be loud but they are a minority and market forces always favor taking a harsh stand on the jerks.  

The problem with Demigod is that we allowed the forums to police themselves which started to give everyone who reads the forums the incorrect impression that Demigod suffers from grave problems when, in fact, it does not for most people which is sad for those who do have problems and we will do what we can to support people who have problems but every forum has people who has problems with any given piece of software. If you read the WindowBlinds forum, you'd think WindowBlinds was a buggy mess even as HP and Dell and AMD and nVidia preload it or license it to millions of users who are unaware they're using it.

 

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August 23, 2009 3:43:08 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting wraid,

Quoting Istari, reply 26
We know Demigod is a good game.
I agree here. It is a good game. But even the perfect game will have trollers and flamers. And it sometimes has NOTHING to do with the actual game. Some people get hammered on so much in real life that they need to flame SD so they can stroke their e-peen to feel good. Someone on this thread said that you should be held accountable for what you say regardless to the media and I agree with that.

I_killed_a_dwarf for example THINKS he is writing his posts in a polite manner but his "tone" always screams "fuck you SD/GPG". He has the impression that if he paid for the game then he is stardock's boss or something.

Look, the game isn't perfect, i'll give him that. He seems to be under the impression that being an ass "gets shit done" when it does not bring anything constructive to the game and makes the community worse. The basic rules of good posting are (as far as i have seen)

1. If you want to post something, the search key is your friend. Use it to find out if any posts cover your desired subject and post in them ONLY if you have something new to add.

2. Do not insult other members of the forum regardless of how big jerks they are. If politeness does not work just ignore them. Fueling the fire will guarantee a flame war and a locked thread.

3. Don't double post, edit is there for a reason (although this rule is not that important).

That's just off the top of my head. The community gets ruined buy just a few people that don't respect even one of those rules (ok, except the double posting crap). On the other side, locking pacov's thread was not a good approach. But then again, there were a lot of questions so pacov will have his hands full a while. When frogboy answers them, then we will just open a new thread and try to IGNORE trollers and flamers (remember, the thread got shut down because we started arguing with the whiners......IGNORE them, and everyone that posts something that has nothing to do with the thread, that is the way to stop a flame war before it even begins).

Look, i understand, you come home from work/scool or a nagging wife/girlfriend and want nothing more than to reduce some demis to puddles of blood and gore with a hammer slam. You try and start a game and shit happens. You get so angry that you want to explode. You think about starting a flame thread. STOP right there......go online or at a store, get porn, jerk off. I am serious. If you can't control your anger that's the way to go........or ram your head against the wall repeatedly. (lol would be a nice headline : "Porn industry saves Demigod online gaming community").

Also i would like to add that as far as i see, every single problem with the game HAS ALREADY BEEN ADDRESSED. Ping spikes, invalid game states, auto-matching etc already have their threads. If you have a legitimate new problem or have something new to add to an existing thread, by all means post it for it will make the community better. If you just want to vent, then find some other outlet.

 

Very inappropriate, but I approve.  Wank it, it'll make you feel better!!!

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August 23, 2009 3:50:50 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Also i would like to add that as far as i see, every single problem with the game HAS ALREADY BEEN ADDRESSED. Ping spikes, invalid game states, auto-matching etc already have their threads. If you have a legitimate new problem or have something new to add to an existing thread, by all means post it for it will make the community better. If you just want to vent, then find some other outlet.

We agree. Some problems are in the nature of Internet gaming.

Ping pikes are caused by one or more people in the game you are playing having a hicup in their Internet connection and data getting backed up. There is no easy solution to this other than to build tools that let people weed out players with weaker net connections but even that won't truly solve it. 

People can argue that Demigod should have lighter Internet requirements  because game x,y,z in 1999 was able play on 56k modems but Demigod doesn't claim to run on 56k modems, it says it requires broadband. 

Invalid game states are a recent on-line exploit that will have to be dealt with. They are being investigated. In reality, any on line game is going to have problems with random starngers doing bad things.  TF2 had engineers who blocked people in. Total Annihilation had com napping. Starcraft had all kinds of cheese early on.  It will be an ongoing battle.

Auto matching is one of those things that are easy to set up on paper. When the Pantheon was created, it was not anticipated that people would just quit as soon as they saw who they were playing. Any system that involves random strangers playing each other will have unintended consequences.  

In my opinion, most online problems boil down to man's inhumanity to man. 

And also in my opinion, the problems that Gas Powered Games should work on are problems that affect everyone such as anything that might cause the game to crash on someone. Anything that makes the game more fun for everyone.

I share the frustration of people who get stomped by premade teams or people who see their game ruined by someone exploiting some glitch. This is why Stardock needs to do more to help people of like spirit get together so they can play these games online for fun.  There will be info on this tomorrow actually.

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August 23, 2009 4:33:30 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Heh, right you are frogboy. Also, remember that the game community is not as bad as you think. See, the thing is, if people are pleased with the game, they don't write on forums, although i am fairly confident that you already know that. I didn't write either, untill i saw the opportunity to write some demigod ideas that i felt i needed to express. So there is actually a HUGE number of players that like the game as it is, but just don't participate in the forums.

Ah, by the way, if it's not too much trouble... Had a question in pacov's thread that was locked down.

- How often do you or anybody at SD take a look at the "ideeas section" and which ideea do you find interesting so far and would consider implementing?

I asked this because i already had a dg ideea that got a lot of pozitive feedback and there are other seriously awsome Demigod and Map ideeas (just look at Scottish Alien) and was wondering if you guys noticed some of them.

PS: I like your new frog avatar.

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August 23, 2009 4:52:11 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Quoting Frogboy,


There will be info on this tomorrow actually.

Great to hear.  Will these be impulse phase 4 stuff (related to the announcement tomorrow for elemental) or on gameplay either way, can't wait.

Have a couple questions fro you:

You notice any of the great mod ideas?  Some professional game designers are working on one with a scifi theme that looks great.  Any ETA on the SDK?

 

Any long term plans for an expansion that is stand alone that could get demigod a re-review and improve the numbers of players?

 

Hope to see you pop your head into some of the constructive posts more often.

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August 23, 2009 9:04:34 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Quoting Trigeminal,
You're right it does get shit done.  Complaining isn't necessarily the problem but rather the way it is done.

Sorry, we're lost in translation here. I've always considered complaining in the negative sense; informing someone that a problem exists and giving specific details is not complaining. This "gets shit done" just like constructive critism "gets shit done". Jumping the internet, roaming through a forum and making pointless, complaining posts achieves nothing.

Anyway, he's banned now so lets move on.

I believe if we have any more offical posts is this thread, Stardock are in real trouble of winning 'Teh Interwebz'.

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August 25, 2009 8:15:50 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Actually negative critique gets more attention (and more forum pages) than constructive critique

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August 25, 2009 9:23:48 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

It may get more attention but it gets fewer results.  The nastier the community is perceived to be, the fewer people who are willing to come in on their own time to go that extra mile for it.

GalCiv and Sins (to name two) keep getting updates partly because members of the team volunteer to work on it on top of their "day job" because they love the game and or the community.  

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August 26, 2009 12:57:58 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Maybe stardock is an exception to the rule. But every other company I have been in touch with does not take matters seriously if you dont ram your complaints down their throats.. with brutal force!

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August 26, 2009 2:11:04 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Quoting Istari,
It may get more attention but it gets fewer results.  The nastier the community is perceived to be, the fewer people who are willing to come in on their own time to go that extra mile for it.

GalCiv and Sins (to name two) keep getting updates partly because members of the team volunteer to work on it on top of their "day job" because they love the game and or the community.  

We're screwed.

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August 26, 2009 2:17:51 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Quoting Istari,
Here is a post on the Elemental forums for questions on Elemental:

http://forums.elementalgame.com/360204

Compare the behavior there to the flaming received in Pacov's well intentioned question thread.

Also, Elemental does not attract the same community as Demigod does. No one cares about Elemental on the same level as Demigod. I'm not saying they don't care equally, just the focus is elsewhere. Elemental is going to have 435346x better support than Demigod ever will. Elemental is not a competitve game. No one cares enough because of that so that kind of attittude will not leak on the forums. So what is something is way out of balance? Its not a multiplayer centric game. There's no competition. No one cares like they do here.

If Stardock doesn't want this, never publish or develop another competitive game again. Its ridiculous to expect every game to be a cookie cutter Stardockian community where everyone loves each other and if we're not then we're not going to get updates and cool stuff because we suck.

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August 27, 2009 12:45:55 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

I don't think they're saying bad communities won't get updates - Demigod's received a few updates already - they're just saying people will less inclined to take their personal time and pour it into the game when they're going to be met with insults and a complete lack of respect or appreciation regardless of what they do.

Seriously, 1.2 could be released tomorrow with both new Demigods, mod support, replays, voice chat, a complete suite of team features, improved and optimised network code, bug and glitch fixes across the board, balance improvements, improved audio engine, new favour items, perfect pathing and a whole new title screen. Within minutes there would be a post of what else they should have put in the patch, claiming their balance changes suck, the new Demigods will kill Demigod, how the game is still glitchy or buggy, everything about the game's team features pales in comparison to DotA, how SD and GPG don't care and drink their tears or some other WoW inspired bullshit as well as some personal attacks thrown in for good measure. Is it any wonder why Demigod isn't exactly on everyones priority list 24/7?

Why should they be forced to tolerate it? Why is acceptable for people to act like complete and utter fucktards? Because it's common? Because this is teh interwebz? Sorry, I don't accept that.

edit: Sorry, I just re-read that, and came across as a personal attack at Poly. I didn't mean to direct it squarly at you, it's a general rant.

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August 27, 2009 3:31:45 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

What ZehDon says is true. Just look at WoW, no matter how many balace fixes etc Blizzard does the community still thinks something is wrong or unbalanced. Or more should be added etc. We can't help it really, we are after all just humans. Well, most of us.

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