I was going to post this in one of the numerous staff complaint threads, but my posts as of late haven't been replied to so I figured I'd get more out of making a thread. This is the post:
I think staff needs to care less about player opinions, focus less on responding to negative reviews/opinions on forums, and focus more on utilizing suggestions from the players who have good input. Coming on forums and posting about how bad it makes you feel that players say what they say just weakens staff's image in my eyes. Years ago staff didn't give a fuck about forum raging, hate and getting flamed, they knew that what they were doing drove the zone and that's that. They didn't have to answer to anyone, let alone people who started playing like a month ago. Do parents apologize to their kids for grounding them when they've done wrong? Do bosses tell their employees that they're sorry they aren't getting their way and let them walk all over them? Nope. Grow a backbone and staff will, at the very least, appear more stable.
Also, maybe it would be a good idea to stop posting threads so hastily without consulting the other uppers on staff. Threads boldly stating "Continuum is Officially Going On Steam" when we haven't even applied to be Green-Lit yet, or threads saying "Tough Decisions" that talk about shutting the servers down (without even consulting the people who've put 15 years into this game) just bring ideas into the picture that didn't need to be there in the first place. I think some people who are running staff are too new to the game to know how it actually should be ran (I know this is a problem that is rooted in the veterans' lack of interest in being on staff, but still). I also think some might be too emotional/impulsive to hold themselves back when they're provoked, or when there is an acute issue at hand. You guys shouldn't look to the players for solutions, there needs to be innovation in staff itself. If staff at the moment isn't working together to think of new ideas that could be implemented, then they are not only not doing their job, but are not suitable to be staff. I know nothing about politics in this zone, but it seems to me that right now staff is in a position where they just don't know how to move forward, and this notion is bleeding through what I always saw as an invisible wall between staff and players. I used to know nothing about the drama and what went on in staff, now I feel like I know about every little thing going on as soon as it happens. If staff thinks the zone is going to shit, players can make that decision for themselves, they don't have to be told by staff that things are falling apart. That will only turn people away faster.
To be honest, I truly think that pub died once TWD became more popular and automated. The last time pub "mattered" to anyone was in like 2001 when Sweet Leaf and Relativity_17 were setting records and it (sort of) meant something to get 1,000,000 points. Now it is literally pointless, confusing, and probably drives players away rather than bringing them in. Nowadays, I imagine a new player enters pub, gets killed over and over in spawn (probably without even knowing about the basing aspect) and quits in 10 minutes. Or, he/she finds out about basing in pub, somehow learns to attach to a terr, and gets TK'd over and over by 40 javs on his team, and quits in 10 minutes.
I think staff is wasting time by tending to pub requests/improvements, when they should be focused on fine-tuning how to get pubbers involved in the competition that TW has to offer. After all these years, is it the pub players who still saturate the zone and keep it active? Or is it the competitive players? Be real, if every pubber (those who don't play TWD) decided to quit, it really wouldn't effect the zone the same way that every TWD player quitting would. TWD, and the players who have drowned 20,000+ hours into SS, are the people keeping it alive. There are maybe 30-80 'pure-pubbers' who keep pub alive daily, and at least 200 players (some inactive, but still) who keep TWD alive. TWD players are more committed, have definitely logged more hours, and are the most addicted in comparison to all other types of players to the game. Clearly, this is something to be considered, as it seems that lately I've only seen staff asking for the opinions of, and receiving input from newer players who aren't as invested in TW as the veterans of the game. Do you really think all the competitive players still check forums? I'd be surprised if more than 30% of the active competitive players know what's going on on forums, seriously.
This brings me to my next point: what is the point of pub in modern TW? I think staff needs to take a good look at what they currently have to work with, what they want to improve, and focus on just that. I think TW has a small pub population, and a below-average, but still substantial competitive population. In recent years, the integrity of TW leagues have fallen apart, competitive players are losing interest, and staff is worried about fucking protecting 4o's identity? Staff is worried about levi quantity in pub? Staff is worried about re-coding the lev ship-sets in pub? Do you really think this is the shit you should be focusing on? I don't mean to turn this into another staff-complaint thread, but let's get real: what is more important: a good TWL, or a good pub? If you think it's a good pub that is more important, you are part of the reason this zone is dying.
Don't make the same mistake Extreme Games did. EG was actually popular 2-3 years ago. Yeah, it was on its last days, but definitely more popular than it is now (it was probably around where TW is right now). Instead of tending to the competitive players, who preferred 8v8 matches and competitive games over and over, EG staff decided that pub was too important to let die. So instead of hosting pick-up (8v8 competitive) games over and over for the competitive players, they would host a match, and then when it ended and the players wanted more, they'd say "play in pub instead, can't let pub die." So what happened? Those competitive players would log off, because there is no motivation for older players to care about pub, and pub would "survive" (idk, with 20 players playing?) A year or two later, EG is basically dead. Pub is clearly not what is keeping TW alive and until staff realizes this and focuses more on the leagues and keeping old players interested, then this game will die faster than it ever has. Yeah, TW was steadily dying up until a year or two ago, but Staff neglecting to really take the reigns with leagues and make sure they run smoothly is precisely the reason you've seen a much more dramatic decline over the last year and a half in TW population.
Do you really think that it matters to a new player whether they enter TW and see pub, or a TWD match? To be completely honest, TWD looks better, the players are more passionate about it, the spectator chat is more interesting and engaged, and there's less laming (tk's, specials, this shit just ruins basing, period). Pub isn't "basing," as some pubbers believe it is. Pubbers only believe this because they have been shunned by, or don't understand the dynamics of TWD and the competitive aspects of this game.
A parallel: Major League sports showcase their best teams, their best players, and their best competition. They don't showcase the lower-tier/farm teams, they don't showcase intramural sports on television. They showcase the best aspects of their game, the best players, the best competition, because this is what inspires people to play. It was only once I saw warportal go 81-0 in a TWL match that I decided to start playing competitively and aspire to play leagues in terr. Pub was just a fun thing to do when I was bored, I got serious once I watched TWL.
As someone who started in 1999 as a pubber, I would hate to see such a great tradition end. Pub should not be killed, but it should absolutely be seen as less important by staff than improving leagues, integrated pubbers into the competition, and the competition itself.
As I've said previously, I think the best solution to this would be to merge every single aspect of the zone (pub, wbduel, base, javduel, elim, duel) into one arena to create "TW General." That way, players entering the game are exposed to every type of game that TW has to offer (except events and TWD, which would be held in other arenas). Also, why spread the 100 players online across 20 arenas, when you can showcase all the players currently logged on in in one arena? If I was a new player, I'd rather see one arena thriving with 100 players and multiple games going on simultaneously, than those 100 players apparently be dispersed throughout the zone in private arenas that I don't even know about. Do you think a 30 person pub game is appealing to a new player when they can jump on XBox and play Call of Duty with 40,000 people? It's 2013, showcase all the players in one arena, we don't have the population to be so spread out.
One last note, I also think new players should be auto-specced as they enter the zone, and only once they take a required 2-3 question quiz (administered by the pub bot, including questions like: "Where is the base located?" "What color is the flag when your team has control of it?" "What color are your teammates?" "What color are your enemies?") would they be able to enter to play. This will give them a chance to automatically spectate players, so they can see what is going on, and also allows them to earn their entry into the game, with some knowledge before they just get killed over and over and quit.
Sorry for the wall of post, if you're a tl;dr you're dumb because I'm positive some of this can help the zone. Staff, if you don't think of some new ways to work with what we have, expect this game to be completely dead, TWD/TWL AND pub, within 3 years.
Unless we get Green-Lit by Steam, then everything changes.