As many of you, I too have noticed the lack of communication and overall laid-back attitude towards a game that’s supposed to be live service, so here’s how i imagine a weekly staff meeting goes at Fatshark HQ. Full disclosure, i haven’t played Helldivers 1 or 2 or Rogue Trader, this post is just poking fun at Fatshark’s practices.
10:00 AM, Fatshark Offices, somewhere in Sweden.
Darktide Project Manager (PM): Alright, good morning everyone, looks like everyone’s finally here.
Everyone: Good morning!
PM: So i just got back from the meeting with support and they tell me while we were gone for our glorious vacation, there were absolutely 0 problems with our servers! Let’s get a round of applause for our support team!
Everyone: Whooooo, let’s gooo!
PM: I will talk to higher management, we can probably get them 3 additional vacation days next year as a reward.
Right, let’s start with the dev team. What’s the status of our next major expansion, i remember the target was to release one new map and 2 new weapons for each class?
Dev Team: Yes, we’ve had a couple of issues with the map, we haven’t quite figured out where to place the resources so that the players wouldn’t be able to reach them. QA team has been helping a lot and our goal is an average of 60% resources collected, but right now it’s at staggering 80%.
QA: Yeah, it’s a struggle right now.
Dev Team: Gary here wants to add another elevator, the idea being making this map stand out with the total amount of 6. New weapons are ready, but the balance team says they are way too overpowered, for example, it looks like the new meltagun can kill a dreg shooter in 10 shots.
PM: I like the elevator idea! Let’s do that. I don’t know what that last part means though, let’s ask the balance team?
Balance Team: Yes, our target right now is 4 body shots, but we’ll probably stop at 7 until the next balance pass. We are trying to not let them have too much fun still, right?
PM: Yes, i have asked our partners at Tencent and they say when people have fun they don’t think about distracting themselves with buying new skins. Oh, by the way, the uh… what was it… maximum collected resource amount increase is still in the pipeline for next year?
Dev team: With all the issues we’re currently having, it definitely looks like next year, maybe later.
PM: Alright, well, we’ll revisit this next time. I think we should probably postpone it further. Community management team, what do our beautiful players say?
Community managers (CMs): The current major complaint is the lack of communication - since our next major expansion is not ready yet, we can’t announce anything.
PM: sigh Have we communicated to them that our work-life balance comes first and their fun second? Actually, nevermind, just keep them on their toes with “we have something exciting coming” and our trademark “we’ll have more information next week”. Anything else?
CMs: Well, other criticism have been that resource acquisition is not fast enough, the inability to change character’s sex, voice or skin color…
PM: Pff. Ridiculous. This is clearly taking it too far.
CMs: …there’s been requests for more social features, reports of missing sound cues for specials…
PM: Wait, really? QA, does this actually happen?
QA: We have narrowed this issue down to players not killing enemies fast enough. So it looks like a skill issue, sir.
PM: Okay, sounds plausible. Sorry, CMs, please continue.
CMs: There’s only a few more. Lack of offline solo mode, not enough variety in weekly quests, weekly currency being not useful enough, lack of ways to earn premium currency, story bits being released on our youtube channel instead of ingame, crashes to desktop, low-level players being able to play auric missions… what else, uh, player count dwindling, cash shop skins not looking appealing to players and lack of weapon customization.
PM: * under the breath * goddamn nerds… every week pretty much the same complaints, and most of them are ridiculous. This is Warhammer 40k goddamn it, not Call of Duty! Games Workshop is breathing down our necks just waiting for us to implement something like new scopes and handles, so that they can say - what the hell are you doing with OUR franchise and pull the plug!
Can we try and make it clear to the playerbase? Maybe something like “there are no plans like that yet, but we’ll keep you posted”?
CMs: um, okay, we’ll prepare a statement. Would a random discord reply be appropriate?
PM: That would be great, thank you! If that’s all…
CMs: There’s actually one more thing, sir.
CMs: Our fellow countrymen at Arrowhead Game Studios released their new game, Helldivers 2 and players are saying it has all the things we’ve just listed fixed.
PM: First of all, fixed? These aren’t even problems with our game, but with the players! Second, isn’t their game based on an original IP? About something stupid like total war and Super Earth?
CMs: Apparently so, yes.
PM: But that’s completely different, than what we have! We have one of the longest standing, critically acclaimed IP in history about unending war and humanity fighting against aliens, spanning across both tabletop and computer games as well as books and other media! Am i being unreasonable here?
Everyone: No, no… completely different.
PM: Exactly! So with that, let’s see when we’re gonna be able to release our next major expansion and go from there. Who knows, maybe we’ll even have time to throw them a bone and make a hotfix after. Dev team, please keep community managers in the loop.
Dev team: Will do.
PM: Great! I have a meeting with finances, i am pretty sure last quarter’s profits have been juicy!
That collaboration with Owlcat’s Rogue Trader is paying off! We need more ideas like that. Maybe more creative recolors? Get workin’, people!
See you all next week.
CMs: sigh maybe next week…