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  Click here to go to the first Rift Team post in this thread.   Thread: A Call for More Collaboration Between Developers and Raiders

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    Nov 2014

    Default A Call for More Collaboration Between Developers and Raiders

    The purpose of this post is to establish and facilitate discussion on the need for more collaboration between developers and raiders. There have been some posts that have slightly touched upon some of the subjects within this post, but there is no live thread for this topic as of now. As a disclaimer, I have done my best to remove all opinions and adhere to all guidelines, in order for this thread to generate constructive improvement for raiding in Rift.

    I’m Kerada, one of the main raiders in an oceanic raiding guild. Lucky for me, I'm a casual that ditches raid night to go out a bit too often (given we only raid 2 nights a week anyway), and was not a part of the 10 involved in the first kill of one of the new raid bosses. I came back in time to watch the last 1-2 hours of progression, so I got to see everything from the sidelines as it happened. I am going to write a lengthy recollection of a recent event to give some transparency as to what happened (from their point of view), in order to facilitate discussion on some blurred lines that can be clarified through more collaboration between developers and raiders:

    The “establish”:
    There were people in the raid that are extremely helpful and do their best to help out the community. Despite what I have heard, the vast majority of the people in the raid at that time have literally done no harm or have had any first time offenses. In fact, several of them are positive acting members of the community:

    one of our Mage DPSers/Tanks – He streams and always willing to help the community with any questions. Just check the stream chat log or in game mage questions.

    one of our Warrior DPSers/Healers – Despite his vocal stand point, he continues to post guides, answer warrior questions, and test (even though his feedback is always ignored) warrior changes.

    one of our Warrior Tanks – Someone that constantly test and provides first contact feedback for the widely used Choco’s cooldown addon.

    one of our Mage support/DPSers – This guy keeps to himself and never turns down an opportunity to do some “community service” raids to help fresh 65 get their achievements.

    I could keep going on with all 9 people in the raid, except this post is not about praising them, let’s keep it to the facts. That was the second night of our raid team ever seeing that boss and our raid team never tested on the PTS. The reason why we do not test is simply because we don’t have the man power or literal capable time zone to field a testing group. We would ideally like to go in and ensure that the raids are as ready as possible before release (while also getting some benefit of knowing general strategies for each boss before a raid releases ), but our schedule does not allow for it (heck, apparently I can’t even show up for 2 nights a week during progression! ). We were simply trying to build a strategy for a boss we had no knowledge of. The only knowledge we knew was: you can use a CC ability on one of the monsters, which we were told was supposed to be fixed in the next patch. When the next patch cycle came along, this strategy was still viable so we assumed it was indeed the intended strategy to use CC on the add, and built the strategy around that.

    We were also told there was a safe spot from the waves and for the first couple pulls. The raid team in there was initially focusing on other tactics, but eventually incorporated this strategy into every pull, as it seemed intended (based on similar mechanics on previous bosses in other raids, and other guilds’ kills of this boss in particular). A few hours in to progression, trying to get used to the timings of the mechanics and trying to maximize DPS, they somewhat come up with a pretty good working strategy. The next part was to figure out how to deal with the adds and positioning the boss in the safe spot to avoid invisible waves.

    On one of our healing mage’s stream around 2:23-2:26, you can see them testing if the boss is moveable. One of the members says “cut the stream” because it was an inside joke/meme with the oceanic raiding guild members. We probably say this at least a couple times on each new boss, because every time we encounter a new boss, we literally have absolutely no reference as to what the strategy is and what is actually intended or not. Confirming the boss gets rooted every pull (no extraordinary tactic was done, the boss seemed to do it on its own), and as a progression guild who never saw the boss, they built the strategy around it. After taking some time to consider the objectives of the mechanics and the order that they showed up in, they assumed it was intended, even though it seemed a bit cheesy at first (as is the safe spot). Having the boss root itself every time and the auto attack be the AoE, you can assume three things:

    1) The tank is supposed to be out of the boss range.
    2) The tank has the ability to taunt and kite the ads around (maybe CC was never intended for the adds)
    3) The tank has the ability to pick up the shroom buff to see waves.

    From there they realized that the strategy was quite strong, and proceeded to kill the boss. Since they did not kill the green add and used the intended CC strategy; you have to “cancelbuff some ability” to avoid the add from 1 shotting you and healing the boss. Seeing that the other 2 guilds did this strategy, they assumed it was intended, they believed they were in the safe. Despite the cheese, they did contact a dev about the strategy in order to cover their bases.

    The boss enraged on them because the mages are bad players and died to one of the mechanics. When any boss enrages in any tier of raiding (especially a new tier – gotta get that shiny loot!), you do two things: 1. have the tank(s) start kiting (aka running away), while 2. the DPS try to pump in as much damage in before the boss kills them. This is exactly what they did. The tank ran out of melee range, and the DPS continued on, eventually leading to the kill (over the enrage timer). Killing bosses well over the enrage timer is no new thing. In fact, it is a common tactic used in the miniboss right before this boss (tank runs away while everyone DPSes, a lot of kills over enrage timer). Everyone has those types of kills, especially ones with tight enrage timers (and especially when the raid team has a terrible DPS & Healing composition ).

    The “facilitate”:
    With these things established, it’s time to move on to the actual discussion portion. The players and developers are on the same team. Ideally, we would have a scenario where the development team & players have the highest combined mutual happiness.

    One of the devs has posted on another topic saying that the current raiding tier that guilds are progressing on is more sensitive for the development team (a bit more of a magnifying glass on it, per se). This, indeed, goes both ways. We mainly focus on the newly released raids, and care very deeply about our limited time on them. My raiding team only has 2 nights a raid to week (Friday and Saturday nights), and we are still able to (somewhat) compete with the other top raiding teams that currently play this game. It’s a lot harder for us to cut 50% (if we run into a problem on a Saturday) or 100% (if we run into a problem on a Friday) of our entire raid week to wait for developers to respond to each one of our questions. Even unluckier for us, Friday/Saturday nights are the times that the developers are least likely to be checking the chat mediums that have been provided to us. We realize that developers are people with families, other hobbies, and TV shows to catch up on. Because of our extremely limited resources in time and personnel, we would like to cram as much time as we can on the content, which often leads to hastened (and sometimes fatally incorrect) decision making.

    The collaboration between the developers and the raiders should ideally start and end on the Public Test Shard (PTS). Obviously, it’s unreasonable for us to expect raids to be released bug-free. Some of these new bosses have shown some insightful and well-designed mechanics, which raises the chance for bugs to appear as complexity is added. And this is what we all want! However, it is (arguably) not unreasonable for raiders to expect the raids to be released without severe, easily-abusable bugs. These are the kind of bugs that should ideally never make it to the live shards. I realize that the developers need to utilize their time in an efficient way, so the line between these two scenarios (#1: bug free vs. #2: has severe, easily-abusable bugs) has to be drawn somewhere.

    Based on recent PTS testing and subsequent release of raid content, I think that most raiders would agree that we would like this line to be moved significantly more towards scenario #1. If the developers and raiders are able to collaborate more on where this line is drawn, we will be able to protect both the integrity of the game and the players themselves. When strange things are encountered on the live shards, it is equally the responsibility for both the development company and the players alike to ensure: 1. The intentions are clarified, 2. Any unintentional interactions that may have slipped onto live are resolved in a reasonable amount of time, and 3. The players are following along with the intentions.

    As I said before, we’re all in it together. I think we can do a little bit better of a job on working together to ensure that we have the highest combined mutual happiness between us. Any suggestions on how we can do this would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you,

  2.   This is the last Rift Team post in this thread.   #2
    Rift Team Ocho's Avatar
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    Mar 2014


    I'm saying this with all respect, and please understand that, but discussing this topic is done on the forums. People have opinions, and we value that. But there are things that no one outside of Trion and those involved will ever know. Whether it's peoples' CS history, the exact text of certain posts, or the specific exploit and how it was done, there are very good reasons for all of these not to be discussed. This isn't because we don't value transparency (it's very important to us), it's because all these topics will cause damage to the community and to RIFT.

    We recognize that folks who take negative action are also frequently engaging in positive action as well, but we have to have some limits as to what we can tolerate. People can make appeals; if we find there is merit in the appeal actions can be taken. That's the path moving forward. It's between them and us. Now we know it impacts a number of you, and that sucks for everyone involved. It would be nice if we could take appropriate action against those who we find cheating in our game and there be no collateral damage, but that's not the world we live in. This is never anything we want to happen, and we avoid it as much as we responsibly can.

    Edit: If folks want to voice their opinions, while it can't be discussed on the forums my inbox and email are always open. Send it to me, I will probably not be able to respond for the same reasons as above, but it is important for us to hear it.
    Last edited by Ocho; 06-04-2016 at 10:52 AM.

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