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An Open Letter to the En Masse Staff

Hi my name is Meow.For.Me and im here writing on behalf of most of the larger guilds on Mount Tyrannas. I am the GM of Comfy and have been playing the game actively for quite awhile now.

The last few days of backlash from the community stems from more than just the catalyst that was Saturday night. For me, members of my guild, and I’m sure many of the community; our recent interactions with En Masse and the direction they seem to be taking recently is disheartening. My guild is not alone in these feelings and recently I reached out to some of the other guild masters from other large guilds on the server Mount Tyrannas to see if they shared my concerns and what they thought could be done to push the situation back in the right direction if at all possible. We came together in agreement on ideas and practices we feel are important to the longevity of this game and community. We are well aware of the limitations the En Masse staff faces when it comes to what they are capable of changing in the game and we will do our best to stay within those confines for both our suggestions and concerns. If possible we would like more clarity from the En Masse staff about what is and isn’t within their power to control going forward but we understand from a business side of things that transparency especially with your consumers isn’t always in your best interest.


En Masse we are all well aware you receive a lot of feedback on the forums but as I’m sure you and everyone is aware most of the feedback comes from those who find themselves on the extreme sides of the issues. Whether it be balancing, patch dates, events, event timings, or payed transactions; those who are the most vocal are usually not in the majority. Most of your players understand both sides of most of the issues, or at least try to, and we feel it's time those players had more of a voice especially with everything polarizing that has happened recently.

A Majority of this Message is going to be directed towards the En Masse staff but if you the individual agree or wish to add anything we are more than happy to hear your feedback. If you wish your guild to be added to these discussions or be added as a guild that agrees with what is said just contact us here, in game, or in the comments.

Dragon Mounts:

I think the first issue that has to be address is the newly released dragon mounts. These mounts are not found in KTera and the passive they give and the way they have been implemented into the game recently has given many people a reason to worry. Originally we were told that the free versions of these mounts would be implemented using a token system at the same time the real money “rng” box versions would be. In implementation however this failed and the token system as of today is still not released. This leads us to assume one of two options has occurred. Either the token system was not fully thought through and the inclusion of it into the game isn't working as intended or at all. Or the token system was delayed for financial reasons. This is maybe where we might disagree with the average player but we completely understand you are running a business and we fully support any steps you take to make that business successful (barring decisions that negatively affect gameplay) because the longevity of this game is directly tied to the financial success of the game. I am honestly surprised you didn’t announce from the start that the token system would come weeks after the payed boxes. Myself and most of the other guild masters would have completely supported that decision and would have understood why it was made. We are at the end of a content patch and any real advantage gained from the dragons passive at the moment is negligible for that reason. There is no race to learn or finish content first and with the removal of the crusades system the advantage these dragons represent is minimal at the current time. Farming FINM a bit faster is negligible. The issue arises as we get closer and closer to the next content patch however. These dragons do represent an advantage in game and having them hidden behind a paywall is unhealthy for the state of the game for extended periods of time. We believe the token system needs to be released in time for people to farm the dragons before the first day of the next content patch. The closer we get to that imaginary deadline the more pay to win these dragons actually become.

Beyond the implementation, most of the criticism for these dragons is the passive itself. We are in agreement that the passive is not something we want to see in this game and especially we do not want to see more of heading forward. A majority of your active player base this late into the game's lifespan are more serious players. These are players who want to compare themselves to other players in a way that's meaningful. Rng proc chances on items takes away from that ability to compare. I fear in the future high dps/score runs will in part come down to when this passive activates for you and your party members. Even the same extremely skilled party can already have a huge delta of variance between runs (whether from which skills benefitted the most from your crit chance or boss animations) and each added rng element makes the frustration and variance greater and greater. The fact this passive isn’t found in KTera makes this all the more worrisome. I will tell you now that a majority of your player base will get these dragons not because they want the passive but because they feel they have to get them to compete. We wouldn’t mind if the passive was turned into something you could control and activate on command (in a way that functioned much like brooches currently do) but if changes to these dragons isnt possible we do beg of you no more of these types of abilities or items going forward. It takes away from the competitiveness of the game and makes those who want to compete have to grind much harder for that “perfect” run.

Civil Unrest: Velika

Most of the community is focused on the disaster that was last Saturday night. The lack of communication at the time and severe lack of communication in the following days. We feel that's more directed at communication between En Masse and the community than the event itself. Our concerns lay within the event itself. The biggest of which is the time in which it is held, for multiple reasons. We are curious what went into deciding the time for this event. It seems to be almost too late for Eastern players, right in the middle of dinner for West Coast players, and completely excluding for European players. We know you are aware of the fact that most of the european player base plays on NA for w.e reason (i.e server population or developer) but you can't explicitly cater to them because by doing so you would be actively hurting gameforge. That being said we don’t feel it's fair to not acknowledge the fact that they are a large part of the community and as such should be given small consideration. We feel a 2, 3 , 4 , or 5 pst starting time for this two hour event would be less excluding for more of the player base and also in line with Conflict and event times in the past. We feel this event only flourishes with high active numbers of participants and a large variation of guilds and players represented and should be your goal to get as many possible players online at the time of the event. The fact it is on Saturday wasn’t worrying at first but after the debacle of last weekend it because clear to us that not having a Moderation/GM team working during a server wide event like this leaves open all kind of possibilities of mishaps. There needs to be some sorta of En Masse presence on during these events. If that is not possible to achieve on a weekend then the possibility of losing players by moving it to a weekday is worth it in exchange for event stability.

Guild Quest: Rally Quest

With the most recent patch guild quests have been introduced to the game. We think the implementation so far has been above expectation(minus the whole Comfy not having SSHM quests for the first week ; . ; ) and it seems to have sparked some life back into the player base. Players are enjoying the variety and supposed purpose added to the runs they are doing each day. There is just one major issue we have with the guild quests; the rally quest. The way in which the quest is received, how often the quest is available, the waiting time after the quest is accepted, how the rewards are distributed, and how hard it is for smaller guilds to participate at all. The rally quest being worth the value of five large guild quests combined makes the difference in guild experience between the guilds abusing this quest and those who aren't extremely noticeable. Within 5 minutes of understanding how it was first come first serve and random spawn time on the quest it became extremely clear to almost all of us that this would get scripted. Sure enough by the 3rd day the quests began to be accepted within milliseconds of being posted. Although we definitely don't condone the scripting, we also know that even if you stop or ban 1 person there will be 20 more and over time it will just become a race of who has the best bot. The issue at the end of the day isn’t the scripting but rather the fact it is so easily exploitable. The once a day availability makes it all that much more frustrating since by this point everyone knows they won't get the quest and outside of Manifest/Amaterasu/Comfy no other guild really gets a top 3 damage score for the secondary drops. Over time this will push a whole majority of the server away from what we think is an extremely fun idea. We think the big key to fixing the rally quest relies on allowing multiple guilds to accept the quest every day. This can be done in what we think are 3 distinct ways(That we think are within your power to change):

1) Keep the same quest process but once the first guild gets the quest they only have 30 mins to an hour to spawn the BAM. Once this process has started allow any guild with a free guild quest spot to also accept the rally quest if they want. The rules for all the rally quest becomes do damage to the BAM. This allows both small guilds and large guilds to all interact and we believe this would bring a lot more guilds to the event, which when it comes to pvp type events like these should make it more fun. The top three rewards work the same.

2) Have the rally bams spawn naturally in all the different spots. You can accept the quest whenever you guild wants to and to get credit you have to touch the bam before it dies. The first person to touch the bam gets the secondary rewards. We think this would make the quest much more active and support constant roaming pvp for the pvp guilds and BAM hunting for the smaller guilds in a way they can compete. Like other guild quests this can only be completed once a day even if multiple spawn everyday.

3) (If you can’t do either of the above) Change the cooldown on the quest spawn so that the rally event happens a few times a day and make sure the guild that accepts it only has 30 mins to an hour to spawn the bam. Also a bonus secondary reward to the person who last hits the BAM might equalize the difference between large and small guilds when it comes to secondary rewards.
Don’t get us wrong. We really enjoy the thought behind the rally quest and how it brings the PVP and PVE communities together and we hope to see more events like it in the future, hopefully with less exploitable features.

PvP Battlegrounds:

With the introduction of battlegrounds being added to guild quests we are seeing a lot of guilds that normally don't pvp wandering into fraywind canyon. As such the queues for fraywind canyon have been extremely responsive during most of the day which makes it extremely viable to choose fraywind as your guild quest as either a pvp or pve guild. When it comes to Corsairs Stronghold on the other hand the queues are completely dead. We think adding a power hour for each of the pvp queues everyday would spur guilds to take those pvp quests during that hour and know that they would get queues to actually pop. With that said the other pvp queues including Champion Skyring should be added to available guild quests. If En Masse isn’t willing to implement permanent power hours we are willing to make a “power hour” of our own. Where our guilds would agree to accept Corsairs at a certain time everyday and queue, this would hopefully greatly improve the queue times and allow us to both enjoy Corsairs again and get the guild quest done.


Events:

With the current patch running dry on content events become one of the best ways to get players to log back into the game. Although the last few events have definitely been successful on that front, they also seem to be at the cost of economic stability. The most obvious recent example is the most recent mongo event. This event was an economic disaster. It completely bottomed out the major material markets and the only reason those markets didn’t crash completely is because players realized that it was better to just save all their mats in the hope the markets would stabilize months from now. At the rates at the time of the event, we were making millions of gold in mats everyday. To put it in perspective just how screwy that event was; We were making more MWA in an hour than we would have made in 10 dreadspire uppers runs and that's just the mwa not counting all the feedstock, spellbind, and dyads. When a majority of your games population farms at those rates for a few days the outcome is easily predictable. As fun as it seemed on the surface it quickly dawned on us the damage that had been done. For those who couldn't make the event they suddenly found themselves months behind in farming in just the course of a weekend.

We feel events should be rewarding but we feel the rewards should stay away from materials that don’t rotate out of the economy (Like Alkahest, Spellbind, and feedstock). We would prefer things that are applicable to both pvp players and pve players. So vm mats are prefered less than stuff like Colluva ore that is used in both pve and pvp crafting. What we think our players would want most of all is costume pieces outside of recolored crowns. We think adding rng boxes that give bind on pickup non dyeable costumes suitable for your race as an event reward would both not affect the market in a noticeable way while also feeling super rewarding to the player base both new and veteran alike.

As to the events themselves we are extremely worried about the timing of certain events. Case in point was the double drop event right around the end of the Flying Piggy crusade event. That late into the patch a double drop event is more likely to burn out your active players than to bring back inactive players to start playing again. This coupled with that crusade event saw large number of our guilds losing a huge percentage of our player base to other games to take a well needed break from Tera. Double drop events should be limited to the early weeks of a new patch or maybe the very last weekend before a new content patch hits. Events towards the end of a content patch should be more whimsical than content based. Stuff like hide and seek, mongos, or even something lore related would be fairly well received. An event we think would be enjoyable for most of the player base would be a variation on the mongo event. We think the big boss mongos you sometimes spawned were a lot of fun. The biggest issue was the limited time frame and how zergy they became. We think if you made them spawn with the same rate as a rare mongo and have them spawn everywhere constantly would be a lot of fun. It would still allow the pvp guilds to zerg like they enjoy while still allowing pve guilds to spread out and find boss mongos and attempt to burn them before pvp guilds show up. Or just switch mongos with old bosses if that's possible. The nostalgia would be palpable.


Communication:

A lot of these thoughts have been on the table for a long time but we didn’t feel it was important enough to really bring up. It took the disaster that was last weekend for us to come together and realize how much overlap we had in our concerns and what we wanted to see in the game. The biggest of which was our concern with the lack of communication between the En Masse staff and the player base. For most of the player base we aren’t looking for excuses to why an event or feature doesn’t work the way it is supposed to. We would rather hear you don't know why things aren't working and you are testing to figure out what went wrong than hear nothing or a bait and switch response. There needs to be a healthier interaction between staff and the average player so that when mistakes happen it doesn’t take days to weeks for verbal resolution. A lot of the above suggestions are readily clear to the average player but at the same time completely understandable to overlook from an outside point of view. We understand you as staff members will not put the same time into playing the game(or experience it in the same way) but allow those who do to help you help us. We believe there needs to be a better way for players to discuss their concerns to En Masse staff rather than just spamming the forums hoping reasonable suggestions don’t get lost between spam and troll posts. I think we as the community would love to talk to an En Masse member about all the new changes so that we are more clear about the direction you are looking to take the game in and you can better understand our concerns and what we the customer would like to see.

Thank You for your time in reading this giant wall of text.

Signed~


Comfy - Meow
Amaterasu - Pomchi
Manifest - General
Touch Fluffy Tail - Tutturu
Solunar- Funus
Dear Summer- Saabi
Treehouse - Turkey
Exiled Legends - Dream
Space Soldiers -Trinion
Devotion - Zay
Take it Easy - Redolin
Crimson Rose - Constiplated
Purify - S.R.T
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Comments

  • What happened to the player council?
  • RedRamiiRedRamii ✭✭
    edited October 2016
    Player council was made.

    I don't think they've gotten past that step yet.

    Also, several good points in this wall of text, cheers on taking the time to do what the rest of us [filtered] about but wouldn't take the time to write. Great job ^^
  • I just so happen to agree with all of this except for changing unrest time.
    As it stands right now for myself and several other of my east coast friends we're able to take part.
    Before for us to ever take part in alliance conflict we would have to take a day off of work just to partake.
    Starts at 10pm for us, which isn't too late for a saturday night but is late enough where everything else in the day is done. We're all off of work, Have gotten home, and usually eat dinner during it for the lull periods.

    And 7pm for west coast, it's not hard to take an early dinner or jump in 10-15min later.(Most people I know anyways are done with dinner about that time or just finishing so it works for us and my guild on FF).


    PVP Battlegrounds..I terribly miss power hours.
    Used to love that alot.
  • You bring up a lot of good points in this thread.
    I'll bring it up to Spacecats, and hopefully we can provide some clarity on the majority them.

    Hit him up with the idea of bringing back the ''Week in review'' threads that Harmonia would post.

    Simply posting what you're working with is a massive improvement of what you are currently doing
  • wonder if anything said in this thread is actually going to be done/implemented in the game lol
  • ratedXratedX ✭✭✭
    I usually work Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday until 10pm EST weekdays, 11:30 on weekends.
    My schedule really interferes with just about everything TERA has to offer when it comes to in-game events lol.
    It is what it is. But i do agree with most said in this post :+1:
  • The Dragon Mount tokens will be just like the inner wear tokens. You can in theory get the BiS inner wear through in game effort, but after years in game most still haven't and never will. Inner wear is still P2W and the Dragon Mounts will be the same. Making them cash shop only just makes it plainly obvious and gets everyone riled up.
  • I think making the dragon mount passives into a skill like brooch sounds like a really great idea. I doubt this would be implemented though. Sounds like something BHS would have to work on.
  • EME, I really hope you guys follow through and actually implement something with all this. There are still quite a lot of people playing TERA and as you can see from the wall of text, people are still extremely passionate to this game.

    There have been countless times on the new and old forums where you guys say "Yeah, we'll look into it" or "Yeah, we'll do something about it". I sincerely hope you guys aren't all talk this time around and actually do something about it to remedy the situation because it's not out of your bounds - we've seen you guys force/change things before with the exception of changing Velika Unrest times.

    Unlike most community suggestions, THIS is something EME can do. As a company, as a publisher, we as a community are counting on you. With the exception of "BHS restrictions" on the dragon mounts, the rest of this isn't something you can go turn tail and blame BHS afterwards.

    However at the end of the day, the decisions are ultimately up to you, EME. Whether you agree or disagree with our thoughts, just please be more transparent.
  • ToiToi ✭✭
    ??? I don't recall signing this
    I agree with most of this except for the civil unrest time, the time as of right now is fine as some people on the west coast and east coast have work earlier in the day.
  • I'd like to point out that the effects of mongo on economy aren't entirely negative. Even people who did not participate could enjoy much cheaper prices of enchanting materials which makes +15 weapons much more accessible to newer players and with the upcoming 30 -man content we need to have more geared players to make it easier to assemble raids, especially in lower pop servers. On the other hand, it makes farming for gold harder for new players after event if feeds and alks dont give profit, limiting their main income to colluva ores, pvp nodes etc. So in general, I think that events like this can be good, but en masse should plan out the rewards and their effect on economy very carefully and not overdo it (we certainly dont need another mongo event on a scale like this for a long time).

    Also you kinda contradict yourself when you say that we need to have events that give smth like vm mats and then you say that we dont need double drop events, because thats exactly what double drop events do... I personally would like to see a pvp tourney organized by eme :3

    Coming from a very casual guild I can say that we agree with everything else that you said tho. (maybe don't mind the dragon passive too much, but I wouldn't want to see tera becoming filled with more hidden passives like that)
  • GK3KAGTL9X wrote: »

    Also you kinda contradict yourself when you say that we need to have events that give smth like vm mats and then you say that we dont need double drop events, because thats exactly what double drop events do... I personally would like to see a pvp tourney organized by eme :3

    The wording might be confusing but if you reread, we would rather not have vm mats and rather have something that is beneficial for both pve and pvp player alike
  • Why did you put Tooi and my name on it if we never read anything? This is libel.
  • MeowForMeMeowForMe ✭✭
    edited October 2016
    Toi wrote: »
    ??? I don't recall signing this
    I agree with most of this except for the civil unrest time, the time as of right now is fine as some people on the west coast and east coast have work earlier in the day.

    Someone put your name down in the signature list in the discord we setup. Idk why. I did talk to you last week though i believe and you said you would be willing to sign this but didn't want to participate in writing it. So i didn't think twice of seeing your signature show up. I adjusted the signatures np. If you wanted added back instead of having the "poor" excuse for a signature that we have now. Let me know
    Cuatal wrote: »
    Why did you put Tooi and my name on it if we never read anything? This is libel.

    Sue me
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