Once upon a time, I used to be very fond of the official games forums of my favorite MMOPRGs and I spent a lot of time posting, answering and participating in forum life. I enjoyed being a well known name and a prolific poster. But overtime my enjoyment turned into a bitter feeling, and I ended by avoiding forums entirely. Same thing with Reddit. The reason I quit was the constant bickering, toxicity, name calling and overall unhappy people’s proliferation. There is a saying that claims happy players are too busy playing the game to be posting their complaints!
It was stressing me out and putting my mood down. As someone who is taking care of my mental health, I did the wise move of not sticking around avoidable situations that are dragging my mood down.
At Stormhaven Studio, we want to foster a kind, welcoming, mature and benevolent community. Discord and our forums are the places where the community communicate, share feedback, organize events, promote content creation and get to know each other outside of the game.
Those places need to stay welcoming, pleasant, respectful to everyone.
So let’s have a little reminder of how to behave to create such a community.
NO to Naming and Shaming: kind people solve their problems privately, like gentlemen and ladies. If the issue is too heated, they refer to GMs, privately, to help solve the problem. There is no reason to wash dirty laundry in public. It’s not the problem of anyone other than the two parties involved and will not help fostering a nice, welcoming, respectful community, nor put anyone in a good mood.
Please refrain from public arguments - take them to DMs or GMs (I, Elloa, am our CM, but you can reach out to other devs as well).
NO to personal attack: Nothing justifies personally attacking another community member. We are all potential friends, equal, and deserving the same amount of respect and space to give our ideas, opinions, and feedback. Disagreeing with someone does not justify calling names and insults. First, it is disrespectful and unkind, but it is also a lie. Most of the time the person you are calling an idiot is actually not an idiot at all.
Please refrain from all personal attacks.
YES to “agree to disagree” and try to understand different point of views:
Everyone has their own perception of things. That perception depends on personal background, culture, habits and more. We all have a perception of the world that is heavily biased and twisted with our own characteristics. We are caught up in the illusions of our bias and need to accept it as such. Therefore, no one is in a good place to judge anyone else's perceptions.
Learn to share your opinion without trying to convince anyone else. You can not convince or change someone's mind with brute force, nor lengthy and aggressive argumentation. You will push the other in self defense mode and do exactly the opposite of what you are trying to do. Sharing is the way to go, if the other finds something interesting in what you have shared that may inspire them and make them reflect. That’s how we grow and evolve and have our minds expand.
Please share your opinion, and refrain from attacking others’ opinions. We want all ideas, feedback, and opinions no matter how long you’ve played Embers Adrift, MMOs in general, or etc… This helps us to be good game devs.
There are two kinds of feedback. Fighting over it is pointless
Objective feedback: you have numbers, data, examples, screenshots and share something that you have observed. There is no need to fight over objective feedback. Just compare data and discuss.
Example: It takes me 20 minutes to run from wolf den to Dryfoot zone line.
Subjective feedback: you share your experience, your feelings, your wishes. There is no reason to fight over someone else's experience, feelings, and wishes. You can not even disagree with it. It’s not your place. It is not your right. Share and compare, but do not judge, nor criticize.
Example: Running from one zone to another is boring.
Suggestions: if you have an idea of how to improve the game, we want to read about it. Exchange of ideas promote inspiration and creativity. That’s why it’s so important to refrain from making fun of those who have the courage to share their thoughts. If you think it’s not a good idea, feel free to respond to it, but gentleness is needed, to ensure more ideas to be shared in future.
Example: You should add fast travel to make grouping easier.
YES to exchange ideas
As said above, exchanging ideas is important. This is how we can inspire each other and grow as gamers, developers, and people. But, it needs to be done gently and with respect. That’s the most efficient way to inspire reflection in each other and allow each other to change their mind. That’s the reason why forums exist.
TIP: If you are feeling angry or frustrated - do not post anything. Do something else, calm down, change your mood. Once you are calm again (or better: in a good mood) come back to the issue and answer then.
We really need your honest feedback to make Embers Adrift the best game we possibly can. We need to know your experience, your feelings, your opinions while playing the game.
However, if you want that feedback to have any sort of impact, you need to do it with wisdom and respect. Pushing out your ideas onto others, arguing endlessly, bickering and calling out names will only have two possible results. It will push commenters into argumentative, defensive, or aggressive mode and others (including the devs) may end up writing it off as an angry post and not pay any attention to it. In the second case, you will push people away from the forums because they don’t want to argue, they will shy away from sharing their feelings and experience by fear of mockery and judgment. And as a result we will lose some precious feedback. This is what is currently happening. We have started to lose testers and feedback due to the increasing aggressive nature of feedback posts. For the first time, I’ve had to moderate, and move a thread out. It is time to stop and get back into a kinder, more respectful, disposition!
Thank you for reading my concerned message and for trying out those few tips!