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Restrict Player Devs?
Yes, no more than 3 per team. 3%  3%  [ 2 ]
Yes, no more than 2 per team. 3%  3%  [ 2 ]
Yes, no more than 1 per team. 51%  51%  [ 30 ]
No, but we do need a solution. 12%  12%  [ 7 ]
No, let player devs do what they want. 31%  31%  [ 18 ]
Total votes : 59

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Post Re: Create Restrictions on # of Player Devs on 1 Team: Bias
I think it also profoundly imbalances team strengths when you have developers who get access to things such as:

1) Upcoming changes, allowing them to create setups first

2) Knowing of the existence of items while others do not. If a new item is added and it is obtained by killing a certain boss, then that team benefits heavily if that dev knows how to get that item for his or her team. Whereas a team with no devs will not have this advantage.

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I would like to think the line "excuse me but can I get a shitpost?" is fairly polite.


Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:47 pm
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Post Re: Create Restrictions on # of Player Devs on 1 Team: Bias
I have been very attentive to potential conflicts of interest since I took on a content development role on the team in 2013. At present, the game would simply not survive without the work of volunteer player-devs. This isn't a great situation to be in, but it's the only situation we CAN be in until such time that revenues pick up. For this reason, we have but one course of action: identify inevitable conflicts of interest and work transparently to minimize them. I don't claim that we have done an A+ job at this, but it is our aim to do so.

For this reason, much of the structural change I have undertaken (in collaboration with Jeff) has aimed to cut down on the incidence of rogue developers and player-dev spillover. When an emotionally charged event happens in the game, it's inevitable for player-devs to carry over some of that into their development role. However, that doesn't mean that those emotions get to translate directly into content revision without substantial oversight. We have a number of measures in place to prevent that from happening, and to revert the occasional revisions that do happen under those circumstances.

If there's interest, I would be happy to make a comprehensive post about roles of various player-devs and the workflow structure on the dev team. I'm quite proud of the progress we have made since the "wild west" days of Star Sonata development (I'm sure some of the old timers remember the likes of Julian and Jzoe). On the other hand, I fully appreciate the concern of the community and acknowledge that in an ideal world, we wouldn't have to rely on player-developers.

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Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:58 pm
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Post Re: Create Restrictions on # of Player Devs on 1 Team: Bias
anilv wrote:
At present, the game would simply not survive without the work of volunteer player-devs.

Then, let's split the difference and do the following:

- Do a callout for current players with game development experience.
- If a team has an overabundance of player developers, remove current player developers when their current projects are finished.
- Make the player development team have a much more even spread across all teams and levels.
- Everyone holds each other accountable.

I fail to believe that the vast majority of players capable of deving this game, and with the talent to do so, are on the one team, let alone the leadership of it.

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Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:33 pm
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Post Re: Create Restrictions on # of Player Devs on 1 Team: Bias
Masterful wrote:
1) Do a callout for current players with game development experience.
2) If a team has an overabundance of player developers, remove current player developers when their current projects are finished.
3) Make the player development team have a much more even spread across all teams and levels.
4) Everyone holds each other accountable.


Some of these things we can do or are already doing. Some of them are not workable.

1) We are always accepting applications to join the dev team. We have had a steady trickle of applications since as long as I can remember, and usually accept people on a provisional basis. You are welcome to apply although you do need to have something to offer beyond "make SS great again." Remember that the dev team is not just a bunch of independent actors in a tug of war. It is a business with a chain of command and an expectation of professionalism.

3) Is a corollary of #1. It starts with people applying to join the team, not with us somehow forcing members of the community to become devs.

4) We already do this and I have already said that I would be happy to post a comprehensive list of dev roles and how each reports to the others.

2) Is too much of an oversimplification to be workable. It presupposes that every member of the dev team has equal authority on endgame content. As an illustration, here's a rundown of people on the Traders roster who are active devs, and what exactly they do on the dev team at present.

enkelin (me): Content Team Manager. I run weekly meetings of all content devs and have a good deal of say as to which projects continue, although Jeff (who attends all meetings) makes the final call. I don't really create content on my own, although I consult on many projects. I report to Jeff.

DarkSteel: Volunteer Content Dev. Reports to enkelin and Jeff.

Markoz: Volunteer Content & Graphics Dev. Content creation is generally limited to speciality/novelty gear and zones to keep endgame players busy. Reports to enkelin and Jeff.

Ingendum: Volunteer Code Dev. Consults on content issues but doesn't create things himself. Works a bit on graphics and otherwise helps to code new features and track down bugs. Reports to Jeff.

Of the four people listed here, DarkSteel is the only one who has a consistent conflict of interest regarding PvP. The others (myself included) create no content that affects this aspect of the game. Every change DarkSteel has proposed relating to PvP has been vetted by the entire content team, not just by Jeff and myself. Even if Traders had ten more devs on the team who were all requesting changes to BvB, it would make zero difference in the final outcome. This is because the dev team has set up a concrete chain of command and Jeff is looped in on all important decisions.

For those of you who have played the game for years, you will know all too well that this has not always been the case in SS development history, and it has led to some pretty questionable circumstances. For this reason, I consider the establishment of this chain of command to be one of my most valuable contributions to the game.

So, what can you as a player do if you are unhappy with the game's direction? Put on your professional attitude and apply to join the team with some concrete ideas. Be prepared to justify your opinions, seek compromise, and expect to learn a great deal. Star Sonata has been built by volunteers for no other reason than a love for the game.

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Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:16 pm
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Post Re: Create Restrictions on # of Player Devs on 1 Team: Bias
I'll take one example of a recent situation that I feel could have been handled better: the perma drone nerf.

From what I understand there was a BvB between SRX and Traders, with SRX winning. Shortly after this a perma drone nerf was announced.

I'm not saying the nerf wasn't deserved. I'm not saying that the dev team did anything unwarranted by implementing the nerf. What I am saying is that announcing this by putting "Over 25 Permanent drone fixes...nerfs..." in patch notes doesn't do a very good job at assuring the player base that this wasn't a knee-jerk reaction to a BvB loss. I'm not sure other teams would have the luxury of such a speedy bug fix either.

As for looping in Jeff on decisions, the fact that someone who was shocked at the stats of a 6 year old ship has been looped in doesn't fill me with confidence. No offence Jeff.


Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:05 pm
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Post Re: Create Restrictions on # of Player Devs on 1 Team: Bias
anilv wrote:
Stuff

The problem is that this is the first time I, or anyone else, has ever heard of the majority of this. This hardly screams transparency. I think we've also established that Jeff has no idea what's going on with the game. It's somewhat disturbing that a player in a leadership position of an endgame team is in the position of content team manager and has, as you said, "a good deal of say as to which projects continue", and reports to someone who didn't know about the most common FC endgame slave which has been in the game for 6 years.

anilv wrote:
So, what can you as a player do if you are unhappy with the game's direction? Put on your professional attitude and apply to join the team with some concrete ideas. Be prepared to justify your opinions, seek compromise, and expect to learn a great deal. Star Sonata has been built by volunteers for no other reason than a love for the game.

Can you tell DarkSteel to have a professional attitude and not shitpost on an alt on threads that concern player devs? Fact of the matter is that 90% of players had no idea about the process of how to join the player development team when the shit went down about a year ago. In fact a lot still don't. It doesn't fill anyone with confidence that this was generally very secretive and somehow the player dev team at that time was mostly Traders players.

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Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:29 pm
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Post Re: Create Restrictions on # of Player Devs on 1 Team: Bias
The perma drone thing:

From what I could tell, teams as a whole did not use non-Industrial (Platform/Defender/Assault) drones after they were introduced. The few teams that did had ridiculous excess resources. No one messed with these teams, nor did they fight other titans. DM/TW, USA, EF, SP, Traders, in successive order. If you were Aidelon, you don't go on the offensive with SP and expect to win. You simply don't have the manpower, resources, or drive to win.

SRX, a mid level team fighting a war against Ada Souls .. and losing, and then getting attacked by an opportunist Traders, had to leverage as much power as they could against the attackers. Industrial drones take a week or so to build, and SRX needed extra support TODAY...not next week. Frontline galaxies may fall (and with them any Industrial drones being built) before said drones could be finished.

So they stumbled onto the unintended effect of Perma Drones receiving the 5x damage from a previous base change as well as the old 0.1 recoil cap, which they are supposed to have anyways. Obviously it was unintended, and reported, but at the same time if you have nuclear weapons and the Chinese are coming over the Rockies, do you go "That sounds overpowered so let's not blow all the invaders up with our nukes." or do you damn the torpedoes and turn the invading armies into a wasteland?

SRX thus used the overpowered drones as a fix was being made.


Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:36 pm
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Post Re: Create Restrictions on # of Player Devs on 1 Team: Bias
Sorry if I wasn't completely clear. My comment discussed the handling + communication of the situation. Not raising an issue with the change in content itself. I stand by those points.


Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:08 am
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Post Re: Create Restrictions on # of Player Devs on 1 Team: Bias
Masterful wrote:
I think we've also established that Jeff has no idea what's going on with the game.


anilv wrote:
Jeff was actually shocked to learn that its shield and energy bonuses were higher than pretty much any other capship.


sabre198 wrote:
was jeff shocked that every other slave was a piece of shit


ShawnMcCall wrote:
Honestly, this isn't due to the current power level of Mastos, it's mostly due to how the controlbot nerf was handled, thanks to Jeff not knowing anything about the game.


Whether Jeff really knows what he's doing or whether he doesn't, maybe that's up for debate. But the community has shown little confidence that he does.

So I have to somewhat agree with what Masterful said, albeit with my own addendum (highlighted in color):
Masterful wrote:
It's somewhat disturbing that a player in a leadership position of an endgame team that has at least 6 devs on it is in the position of content team manager and has, as you said, "a good deal of say as to which projects continue", and reports to someone who didn't know about the most common FC endgame slave which has been in the game for 6 years.


I'm more than willing to grant benefit of the doubt on your intentions, but I don't want to sit here and be playing a game where in the back of my mind I'll feel like there's a possibility I'm just part of a toy that someone else makes specifically for them to win

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I would like to think the line "excuse me but can I get a shitpost?" is fairly polite.


Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:35 am
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Post Re: Create Restrictions on # of Player Devs on 1 Team: Bias
this could be a meme.. Jeff was shocked when..

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Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:17 am
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Post Re: Create Restrictions on # of Player Devs on 1 Team: Bias
Jeff was shocked to learn people were multi-firing on snipers after 3 years of it being done.

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Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:24 am
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Post Re: Create Restrictions on # of Player Devs on 1 Team: Bias
I feel this is a witch hunt :|

If you truly want to know why I'm on Traders cause they have organisation, without a team becomes a huge chore for me personally. This is cause I end up managing a lot of aspects of a team making the game less fun for me. :(

Additionally cause its my nature once I join a team and work well with it, I never leave it. This is why I was with Death Mental throughout its lifetime and pretty much left the game soon as DM died.

In other news background images, enjoy!

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Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:32 am
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Post Re: Create Restrictions on # of Player Devs on 1 Team: Bias
anilv wrote:
So, what can you as a player do if you are unhappy with the game's direction? Put on your professional attitude and apply to join the team with some concrete ideas. Be prepared to justify your opinions, seek compromise, and expect to learn a great deal. Star Sonata has been built by volunteers for no other reason than a love for the game.


The problem with this theory is that i can think of at least two people who have TRIED to do that, and where flatly denied, despite being fully qualified technically. Solutions that only work when convenient are not meaningful solutions.

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Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:45 am
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Post Re: Create Restrictions on # of Player Devs on 1 Team: Bias
I applied to join the QA team in 2015 but never heard a response back after Jeff said he would bring it up in the next meeting.

cej1120con wrote:
Masterful wrote:
I think we've also established that Jeff has no idea what's going on with the game.


anilv wrote:
Jeff was actually shocked to learn that its shield and energy bonuses were higher than pretty much any other capship.


sabre198 wrote:
was jeff shocked that every other slave was a piece of shit


ShawnMcCall wrote:
Honestly, this isn't due to the current power level of Mastos, it's mostly due to how the controlbot nerf was handled, thanks to Jeff not knowing anything about the game.


Whether Jeff really knows what he's doing or whether he doesn't, maybe that's up for debate. But the community has shown little confidence that he does.

So I have to somewhat agree with what Masterful said, albeit with my own addendum (highlighted in color):
Masterful wrote:
It's somewhat disturbing that a player in a leadership position of an endgame team that has at least 6 devs on it is in the position of content team manager and has, as you said, "a good deal of say as to which projects continue", and reports to someone who didn't know about the most common FC endgame slave which has been in the game for 6 years.


I'm more than willing to grant benefit of the doubt on your intentions, but I don't want to sit here and be playing a game where in the back of my mind I'll feel like there's a possibility I'm just part of a toy that someone else makes specifically for them to win


And that's the problem, you want to trust the devs and give them the benefit of the doubt but there have been a few incidents recently and over the years which seriously damage the credibility of the developers as a whole. I think there have been too many incidents now where developers have broken the rules, done something to benefit their in game characters or found to have exploited or covered up exploits in the past e.g. Red and THRM.

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Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:15 am
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Post Re: Create Restrictions on # of Player Devs on 1 Team: Bias
I just want to state I'm not targeting anyone. I respect the devs and their work, but I also recognize that as any human, they are naturally going to have a bias.

They may have good intentions, but the decisions made can and most likely will have subconscious bias affecting them. I'm a scientist myself, and as such I recognize that my own biases in my work are inescapable.

I don't think it is healthy if too many devs have the same bias, such as being on the same team.

I might shitpost about the apparent results of these biases, but don't feel like I'm deliberately trying to target a particular group.

I would actually have a similar complaint if most of the dev team were FCs, or base-builders, or shm+sniper combos, or gunners. There is strength in diversity, diversity yields perspective.

Does Jeff have perspective?

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I would like to think the line "excuse me but can I get a shitpost?" is fairly polite.


Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:36 am
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