Communication Is Key: A Message To The Devs
One thing I've noticed about the frustrations the community has with the devs, and I've felt this way too, comes from the overall lack of communication between the players and the devs. For instance, many players have brought up the issue of the sound in the game being bugged, yet I can't recall a single post where a dev has even acknowledged the issue. This gives the feeling that the devs are ignoring the players or are reluctant to aknowledge the problem because it isn't a priority.
Then there are suggestions like adding an additional objective for survivors or a new game mode and while those topics, from time-to-time, get acknowledged the information about them is vague at best. A recent example was a player brought up a concern about the difficulty leveling new killers with the new rank reset because they are permanently in purple and red ranks. A dev responded that there may be something in the works for that, but declined to give any further information. I'm not sure what the reasoning is for keeping something like this so secret. It's something the player's have been asking for and just knowing a rough timeline for something to be implemented or information on what type of new system the devs are working on would keep a lot of players interested and hopeful for the future.
The last major communication issue I see is "surprise" changes. The most recent examples being the Balanced Landing nerf, Freddy's add-ons nerf, and of course the Hex: Ruin nerf. Springing these changes on the player's without giving any indication that they were coming causes a lot of unwanted and unneeded frustration. It left the player's feeling like the devs were "x" sided and out of touch with their own game. Myself included. While I'm here I'm going to mention the last Designer Notes. The way they were written was a massive failure. They focused entirely on improving the game for survivors and gave no attention to improving the game for killers. No matter how you feel about the changes, it should be easy to see how a large portion of the playerbase felt as if they didn't matter. An easy fix would have been to acknowledge that toolboxes and other items/perks that speed up generator repair times are being looked at. A simple paragraph saying "We are aware gen speeds are a concern for killers. We are currently working towards adjustments for items and perks that speed up generator repairs. Once the changes to Hex: Ruin go live, we will be able to gather the necessary data to make the proper adjustments to the items in question. Killers, please feel free to share your thoughts with us about the adjustments you'd like to see at "insert feedback site." would have helped relieve a lot of the frustrations that were caused.
Here are a few changes I feel could greatly improve the communication between the players and the devs:
- Stop keeping information secret. Unless it's proprietary I have no idea why it's necessary to hide from the players upcoming changes to the game and what ideas are being considered. Just provide a rough timeline and give some information about what changes to game modes, killers, survivors, maps, etc you're considering, and invite suggestions from the players.
- Stop being vague. A lot of times you'll say "There may be an announcement about subject "x" soon. Just say you have an announcement next Tuesday or whenever the date is. Many times this information gets leaked anyway and the players wind up learning more about the game from external sources than from the devs themselves. To go along with this, when a leak happens acknowledge it and go ahead and release the information that day.
- Compile a list of the major concerns mentioned on the forum and social media sites for the week and address them at the end of the week. And again, don't be vague.
- Twice per month go onto different fog whisperers live streams and let them interview you via video chat. Let them ask questions from their community and address their concerns with the game. I think this will help the playerbase feel like you're paying attention and they'll know that you're listening to the problems they care about.
- Finally, engage more with people directly on the forum. Many posts about major issues come up and a dev will respond, but the response generally winds up being about something other than the OP. An example would be the main post is about something like the sound issues, you'll see that a dev responded so you go to see what they said about the sound issues, but when you find the response they were just telling someone that yes the devs do actually play their own game. I would like to see the devs pick out a couple of forum posts per day and really engage with the topic and the posters.
I really do think this would help. And if you need help I'm sure there are people that would love to volunteer or intern for experience (me) to help gather questions and concerns from the forums and other sources and compile them weekly, and even help with passing information back to the players.
Sorry for the long post and thank you for taking the time to read it. I'd like to see what suggestions other players have as well!