@Fatshark_Hedge responding to your post here vice PM to ensure the message is clear and transparent. I understand you closed the thread due to the toxicity of some people’s replies but I got the impression the critical aspect of the feedback being provided may still have been misunderstood.
Thank you for the earnest apology and explanation. This is what people need more of in order to support team FS. That said, hardly anyone’s actually going to see that post and, while I can’t speak for everyone, I’ve actually never seen an apology for anything. That’s one of the major issues. If you guys have been apologizing and offering transparent explanations, it hasn’t been in a public enough or official enough way. Placing a clear and honest explanation in the Important Information section covering FS’ understanding of the state of affairs and how FS intends to remedy the situation would be extremely prudent at this juncture. The absence of such a thing is what is driving conscientious consumers away. I’ve heard it here and heard it in game chat countless times: FS is too secretive. If that’s not the case, FS needs to step up and tell its customers what’s actually going on.
Couple issues with this. First, you never actually came out and said that. People suggested it would be good customer service and you asked, I think rhetorically, how the ideas would work then said what FS’ considerations were for a few of the recommendations. People then levied criticism against the response and very logically pointed out inconsistencies/fallacies in FS’ thinking on the matter and those responses were never actually addressed in any real way except for the “it’s not the end of the world” incident, which is ultimately a meaningless sentiment a la “ah, so desu ka.” You can say that people are meme-i-fying that statement out of context but there’s no context in which that statement was ever appropriate from a customer service standpoint because it’s just a more eloquent way of saying, “cool story, bro.”
Second, that’s an over-generalization of the issue. It was explained a lot in the patch thread but the problem is that FS doesn’t seem to have much respect for the player’s time and, due to poor communication, rewarded people who didn’t play the game the way you initially designed it to the tune of the fact that, relative to the changes you implemented, the effort:reward ratio for normal play was functionally 0. This compounded with the failure to track important stats for the challenge feature, which I find impossible to believe wasn’t planned or in the works for quite a while given how long it took to address the green dust issue. More on that later.
All this combined means that everyone would have actually been much better off if they hadn’t bought your game when they did. If customers hadn’t supported you at first, their time would have been vastly more rewarded because the reward:effort ratio when we invested 1000s of hours was functionally nonexistent for all but the luckiest of players and all of those hours were plagued by fundamental design flaws (eg green dust, atrocious RNG) and game-breaking bugginess. While vertical progression games often, as a side effect, create a system where it becomes easier to progress if you don’t play for a month (but after that it gets to require more effort again), I have never, in over 30 years of gaming, seen a company create an incident like this where the customer would have been better rewarded if they’d withheld support. It’s unprecedentedly inadvisable. This is by-and-large the core issue that you still haven’t addressed: you sold us an unfinished game that’s actually more buggy and less playable than a ton of actual Early Access titles and then you created a situation where every single one of us would have been better off if we just hadn’t supported you until now. You need to understand this if you want to have effective customer service.
That’s why I said, “mirroring.” While not identical, the concept is there. I find it impossible to believe this wasn’t something that was planned from the beginning since everyone has always been extremely vocal about it and the VT1 contract board is the only thing that gave that game any meaningful reward sustainability.
While I realize you didn’t literally wipe any stats, the sentiment remains the same. The outcome is the same whether they were “wiped” or never tracked in the first place when they should have been. The only difference between the two is the justification/rationalization. I’m not going to armchair quarterback this beyond pointing out how big of a screw up it is. It’s something FS needs to get sorted out internally if they want to appreciate their customers and respect their time. This should have been dealt with in the planning phase. If Okri’s Challenges wasn’t part of the planning phase, it should have been. I do appreciate the honest apology but, as a consumer, I have to tell you that that doesn’t fix the feeling that FS didn’t have enough respect for my manhours to do more prudent planning. I apologize if that seems harsh but it’s the most to-the-point and honest feedback you can get.
We all appreciate hearing your honest take on things and we’d like to hear it more often. I appreciate you’re all working hard but I have to ask, why isn’t management hiring more people? If the game vastly oversold, which is a sentiment on here I’ve seen repeatedly, can you not fill sorely-needed positions to better ensure both development and customer service positions? It’s difficult to be too sympathetic when the marketing is as polished and prevalent as can be but we can’t even get a dev to post on the official forum in regards to a major outage (ie. the one last night). There should be people on the payroll directing and providing pre-emptive guidance to avoid all of the incidents I’ve pointed out herein. In 30+ years of gaming, this is the only game where I’ve had to go on the forums to be like, “ok… wtf is going on.”
It costs anywhere from 5-25x as much to get a new customer as it does to retain an existing customer. I’ve spent hundreds of dollars supporting FS. I’ve invested thousands of hours in the game and on the forums to try to help you make the game better, provide feedback, or to foster a lore and player friendly environment in direct support of the Warhammer IP. I do my best to encourage and help people in game, fostering a fun, friendly, non-toxic, and effective environment carrying/helping newer players instead of leaving lower-skilled groups in a huff or blaming failure on others, despite playing the game at a high enough skill-level and having enough knowledge/experience where that kind of behaviour isn’t irregular.
As previous, despite what anyone’s opinion of my blunt approach to feedback may be, I’m the model customer. It pains me to do this but because the game has failed to respect my time as a player and a person, combined with the still-buggy state of the game, what I perceive to be false-advertising, what I consider to be an insufficient and at times inappropriate dev response, and apparent failings in management/direction, I will not be socially or financially supporting your products. This will remain true until such a time as FS can demonstrate it’s actually learned from its mistakes, respects its customers’ time, and has the wherewithal to demonstrate a more appropriate level of customer appreciate. As much as I enjoy Vermintide, the aspects of it that I most enjoy are all tied to the Warhammer IP and not the game in and of itself. There are lots of other Warhammer products to support and a plethora of other developers, in a wide variety of titles (including titles outside the Warhammer universe) who have done more to earn, reward, and reinforce my patronage such that they’re more deserving of my time and money. I hope you can take action to change my mind but I’ve yet to see any actions or attitudes that make me suspect that’s likely. I will continue to play the game I payed for but will not be investing further at this time. The things that your customers are asking of you in every aspect of feedback are very much the bare minimum and continued failure to reach this low bar will continue to drive people away. I know from conversations with friends that I am not alone in these sentiments.
Closing thought: Is management actually aware of the criticisms/concerns of FS customers?