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Trollers, Fenders and the Useless Abilities Could Get A Once or Twice Over


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So, looping back in to the sentiment of "Human beings are notoriously terrible AND great at communication; it all depends on who you ask, and how you ask," I find some elements of your reply oddly out of place with the sentiment I was expressing.  Maybe we can try to get to the root of them?

 

I wonder why you bring up "nefarious" here.  It seems to show up a lot in any discussion asking for improved lines of communication.  I don't assume malice on the parts of the Homecoming Team.  I find it strange that anyone could assume the assumption of malice in these cases.

 

There is, however, most certainly a hidden agenda.  As I've tried to explain in previous messages on this topic, I understand the decision to not reveal anything which would put the Homecoming Team in a position of liability.  There are some things, by the nature of the legality of the operation here, hidden.  However, I contend that there are also other things being hidden that do not (to the best of my knowledge) fall under that same legality constraint.  Evidenced by a number of posts made by Homecoming Team members throughout the years indicating that several elements of development are being withheld for reasons such as "not wanting to disappoint people" or "because some people get bent out of shape."  I believe both of those are flawed reasons and there are more productive and healthy ways to address them.

 

I recall messages to the effect in the early days of Homecoming where Team members self-identified as industry professionals.  New messages of that nature are less frequent, to the point of me accepting the possibility that I've gone and Mandala'd myself.  So, if Team members want to refute the belief that they have experience in the industry, I'll accept that my memory failed me.  But operating under the current assumption that those statements were made and they were true, then I'm going to hold those members of the Homecoming Team to a standard based on that.  I continue to acknowledge that they are volunteers and giving freely of themselves, but having industry experience (from my perspective) would also bring a level of social accountability in to the mix.  People who have worked professionally on games have a shared experience, and it concerns me when certain behaviours here bear similarities to harmful behaviours in the wider industry.  

And to attempt to nip this in the bud:  I am not saying that any of the Homecoming Team have any kind of obligation.  I'm expressing personal unease and frustration that (from my perspective) I am seeing patterns indicative of larger issues, and nothing yet provides evidence to the contrary.

 

And, on a more personal note @Glacier Peak, I find it particularly vexing that you have a habit of apparently attempting to undermine criticisms of Homecoming's methodology by simply reciting or linking posts about policy as if it's beyond reproach or criticism.  

May I suggest that when people express discontent on issues of authority, particularly those that you are fully aware the individual raising the issue is familiar with, that you reconsider relinking like that?  Particularly when you aren't even the authority being called upon to do better.  From my perspective, it comes across very dismissively.

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24 minutes ago, GraspingVileTerror said:

New messages of that nature are less frequent, to the point of me accepting the possibility that I've gone and Mandala'd myself.  So, if Team members want to refute the belief that they have experience in the industry, I'll accept that my memory failed me.

Bree, the editor-in-chief of Massively OP, recently said that she knows at least some of Homecoming's developers and that she knows they are people that do/did work as game developers.

 

I even started a thread about it awhile back. People freaked out because they thought that I was trying to out/dox the devs, which I wasn't trying to do. In that thread I even linked to the MOP article where Bree said this. The way people were acting I suspect that at least some of those accounts that attacked me are the devs' own personal accounts. And, needless to say, even though my thread violated none of the forum rules it got locked. Because the devs don't want people discussing this subject. They seem to forget that this information isn't a secret. The internet never forgets.

 

Screenshot my post and look for it next week. Even money it's gone.

Being constantly offended doesn't mean you're right, it just means you're too narcissistic to tolerate opinions different than your own.

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22 minutes ago, GraspingVileTerror said:

So, looping back in to the sentiment of "Human beings are notoriously terrible AND great at communication; it all depends on who you ask, and how you ask," I find some elements of your reply oddly out of place with the sentiment I was expressing.  Maybe we can try to get to the root of them?

Oddly out of place? I will not stand for such dishonor. My sentiment exists right where it needs to be, which is in response to your post @'ing me. And that should be enough for you.

 

22 minutes ago, GraspingVileTerror said:

I wonder why you bring up "nefarious" here.  It seems to show up a lot in any discussion asking for improved lines of communication.  I don't assume malice on the parts of the Homecoming Team.  I find it strange that anyone could assume the assumption of malice in these cases.

 

Full sentence: "There isn't a cavalcade of nefarious intent wrapped in a cloak of ambiguity," used to illustrate the themes of your post which indicated conspiracy and maligned actions.

 

22 minutes ago, GraspingVileTerror said:

There is, however, most certainly a hidden agenda.  As I've tried to explain in previous messages on this topic, I understand the decision to not reveal anything which would put the Homecoming Team in a position of liability.  There are some things, by the nature of the legality of the operation here, hidden.  However, I contend that there are also other things being hidden that do not (to the best of my knowledge) fall under that same legality constraint.  Evidenced by a number of posts made by Homecoming Team members throughout the years indicating that several elements of development are being withheld for reasons such as "not wanting to disappoint people" or "because some people get bent out of shape."  I believe both of those are flawed reasons and there are more productive and healthy ways to address them.

Nope, most actually no hidden agenda. And wow... how does one know of something that they don't know? A fallacy, you say? Provide the evidence if you wish to use it, otherwise the supposition is moot. Healthy ways to address paranoia? How about just agree that good hearted volunteers who enjoy the game and community are doing their best? I don't abide by those who denigrate the HC team for keeping this game and community online. 

 

22 minutes ago, GraspingVileTerror said:

I recall messages to the effect in the early days of Homecoming where Team members self-identified as industry professionals.  New messages of that nature are less frequent, to the point of me accepting the possibility that I've gone and Mandala'd myself.  So, if Team members want to refute the belief that they have experience in the industry, I'll accept that my memory failed me.  But operating under the current assumption that those statements were made and they were true, then I'm going to hold those members of the Homecoming Team to a standard based on that.  I continue to acknowledge that they are volunteers and giving freely of themselves, but having industry experience (from my perspective) would also bring a level of social accountability in to the mix.  People who have worked professionally on games have a shared experience, and it concerns me when certain behaviours here bear similarities to harmful behaviours in the wider industry.  

And to attempt to nip this in the bud:  I am not saying that any of the Homecoming Team have any kind of obligation.  I'm expressing personal unease and frustration that (from my perspective) I am seeing patterns indicative of larger issues, and nothing yet provides evidence to the contrary.

 

This has nothing to do with the current discussion of player archetypes being used or in future content designed for increased difficulty options. As I said before, it is veering far off topic altogether...

 

22 minutes ago, GraspingVileTerror said:

And, on a more personal note @Glacier Peak, I find it particularly vexing that you have a habit of apparently attempting to undermine criticisms of Homecoming's methodology by simply reciting or linking posts about policy as if it's beyond reproach or criticism.  

May I suggest that when people express discontent on issues of authority, particularly those that you are fully aware the individual raising the issue is familiar with, that you reconsider relinking like that?  Particularly when you aren't even the authority being called upon to do better.  From my perspective, it comes across very dismissively.

To your second point, you could follow your own advice. It is the internet, everyone has opinions. I can't tell you how or what to say, likewise you can't do the same to me or anyone else. How far off topic must this continue?

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The personal identities of the Devs are certainly something which I feel is deservedly appropriate to keep private.  Even without the looming spectre of litigation from NC or any number of other corporate bodies, the very real and sick danger of death threats and harassment can't be ignored.

I give the Homecoming Team 100% support on keeping their personal information safe.

 

It's a slightly different issue than their professional credentials, though.  

Even there, however, I'm fine with Homecoming being run by hobbyists.  I'd personally prefer they remain honest with themselves and the community on what they are, but even THEN . . . I've known professionals who are talentless hacks (*sheepishly raises own hand, then slaps it down*), and I've seen hobbyists who blow those professionals out of the water.

 

One thing that I would like addressed, however, is where the Homecoming LLC Code of Ethics (assuming they have one) stands on the systemic problems in the industry, and to what extent that informs their internal policy making.

 

Again . . . this isn't a demand.

It's the sort of thing that I believe would benefit everyone to have out in the open.

 

(and before anyone laughs at the idea of a Code of Ethics on an illegal game server:  Remember that morality, ethics, and law are not the same things.)

 

 

@Glacier Peak

I think there has been a communication break down.  I'll take another read of the thread with fresh eyes some time later, but I think maybe some grammar or prose has crossed some wires, and the meaning/intent of the words is being lost somewhere between us.

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3 hours ago, GraspingVileTerror said:

Again, I'm not trying to be a pessimist, but to @Glacier Peak's sentiment I'll say that -some- members of the Homecoming Team have provided evidence to "keep the faith," as it were.  As members of the Team have themselves pointed out, they're not a wholly united group.  I'll certainly wait to see what @Piecemeal and @Cobalt Arachne have on offer this time before passing judgement on it.  But I also won't stop myself from discussing past experiences which colour my expectations, no matter how much I try to repress those expectations from influencing my judgement.

We're each only human, after all (allusions to character roleplay and feelings of dysmorphia notwithstanding).

 

I'll share a page from @Bionic_Flea's book on this one, but I'll also continue to advocate for improvements and additions which I personally value, whether in terms of content or development methodology.

 

I do appreciate Piecemeal's approach to the examination of The Warriors and bringing the discussion out to the community in advance as a first step.  Again, like this difficulty scale thing, we'll have to see how it all shakes out.  I acknowledge there's probably a great deal of pressure and frustration that members of the Homecoming Team feel too.  But with things being played so close to the chest, it's not hard for me to see why people feel bitter and resentful.  

I stand by my belief that additional communication would be beneficial.  There just needs to be a stronger push within the entire community (which includes members of the Homecoming Team, past-present-and-future) to press for compassionate and thoughtful words, understanding, and patience.  And frankly, I don't see saccharine platitudes as the way to achieve that.  I think the path forward will involve difficult conversations where we're able to ask one another to do better, and harmful language is addressed with improvements made to prevent that harm in the future.

 

So, yeah.

Very personal and subjective ranty bits incoming.
And apologies in advance here to both Piecemeal and Cobalt Arachne, as I'm just using the messages here as a recent example, and not suggesting these are the only instance of this.  I get being personally excited about something you've worked on, something you're passionate about, and sharing it with thousands of other people.  I realize that from your perspectives this thing has been baking in the oven for ages now, and you wouldn't be showing it off unless you and the people close to you weren't confident that it was ready for that.

But I kind of feel like your messages are still carrying a certain level of overconfidence here.  And I believe that's a by-product of crafting this content in a bit of an echo chamber.  You cite inclusivity, but I certainly don't think we're there yet on official and publicly accessible communication channels.  I can scarcely imagine how much more narrow the point of views become when we shave away . . . what?  90% of the greater community?  95%?  How many folks are actually involved in the process?  How many of those voices are decidedly different from one another?

 

I do appreciate that you've both been more careful than some other folks had been in the past with the choice of language used in this thread, and I absolutely do not want what I'm trying to say here to push anyone further in to secrecy and exclusivity.  I don't want either of you (or any members of the Homecoming Team) to feel any less passionate about the work you're electing to do in your free time for what (I assume) you hope to be the benefit of thousands of people.  I also really like that you've discussed some of your goals.  

 

Just . . . can we spare portions of the replies that are hype-train non-answers, please?

I know.  I have a personal bias of animousity against the sorry state the wider games industry is in, and the part I played in getting there with marketing, so please take my words with as many grains of salt as you feel appropriate.

I just want us to move past that sort of thing and get the community on firmer foundations of communication all around.

 

And hey!  This is one of those two-way street things.

Feel free to let me know what you need from me to lay that foundation I'm looking for.

Please let the whole community know where we can improve in this effort too.

 

I'm responding to this post without reading any subsequent replies.

 

I'll give you as much transparency as I feel is safe and appropriate. You get whimsical answers because sometimes it is a costly mistake to commit to something that ends up completely not working and has to be tabled.

 

When I posted my first well thought out pitch for improving this game, I settled on trying to find a way to ameliorate the effects of Incarnates and their abilities WITHOUT nerfing destiny, lore, etc.

 

My suggestion settled on a system that would identify player progress and adapt the files that govern enemy spawns. It was, in my mind, brilliant and subtle; it adapted an existing substructure of gameplay omnipresent everywhere to create a reactive opt-in mechanic where player masochism and natural progression would adapt enemy loadouts.

 

It couldn't work as designed, due to limitations of other components in the mix. 

 

If I'd gone public with teasing out a massive system change that was going to revolutionize how the game reacted to your exploits, only to hit this wall months in and have to walk it back... I'd be devastated, and so would you. You'd lose faith, see us as overambitious, etc.

 

We hold some things close to our chest because things can go nipples skyward at a moment's notice. And when it does, it's often better to not miss what you never had, than to lament the one that got away. 

 

We're not a bonafide AAA dev company. We have to be very selective with our plans and promises, because our lead coder could get COVID, or I could suddenly find exhausting but gainful employment, or our chief 3D artist could be struck with the flu.

 

We get chatty when the train is about to roll into the station. We want you guys to be hyped and happy, that something's coming that we're proud of. It means the ideas survived and the journey is almost over. The new guy has completed his training, and the time for content is soon at hand. 

 

And until it's ready for open beta, all we get is the echo chamber. We know it, we see it. We fight it. I've told testers to run content with no IOs and no duplicated ATs on a team. We do a lot of work. And we don't want to fail on a promise or give away the farm.

 

Patience please. The whimsy is a coping mechanism for us too.

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"Science. Science, my friend, requires radical gambles and adventures in malpractice sometimes. Take solace in the fact that I tested the majority of these things on the dead, the re-dead, and the nearly departed before I went to live trials.

 

Honestly, most of my "specimens" were several iterations past being considered a human being with their original fingerprints, teeth, or IDs. So it was rather a lot like experimenting on moaning clay putty."

 


Got time to spare? Want to see Homecoming thrive? Consider volunteering as a Game Master! For science and community!

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Thank you for the reply, @Piecemeal.

 

There does seem to be a couple of disconnects, if I may.

 

"and so would you. You'd lose faith, see us as overambitious."

Should I assume this is meant as a "the majority of the community - you", or is it meant to personally address me?
In either case, I feel you're off the mark.

 

I can certainly respect that your personal experience would not be positive.  Even devastating, as you said.  Your feelings are your own, and it's appreciated that you've felt comfortable enough to share them publicly like this.

But the thinking that this over-ambition could be devastating for others isn't an appropriate estimation.  From my time in the industry, it is one of the most manipulative myths perpetuated by marketing, and it creates a harmful chilling effect to meaningful progress.  Even when the negative reaction is purposefully cultivated, the results are typically fiscal in nature.  Unless the future of Homecoming is so delicately poised on the whims of some NC exec's estimations of this venture's net worth, I think the overall health of Homecoming would recover with some time and supportive encouragement.

More than that:  Explicit and informative examinations of what is experimental has a positive knock-on effect in a collective environment.  Saying, in advance "this is what I'm going to experiment with.  Wish me luck, I'll need it" or better still "if anyone as any ideas for thinking outside the box on this, I'd like to hear it" brings hope and inspires community involvement.  Suddenly, if you become unwell or need to focus on responsibilities, there's an opportunity to keep momentum going.

We're all in this together.  With delegation and clear goal setting, we can improve resilience against project failure.

 

Happiness being contingent on hype is one of the nasty parts of the game industry.  It's something that has been developed and curated to prey upon the nature of the primary gamer demographic.  It's not a healthy or sustainable path forward.  We're witnessing the industry writhe through one of its roughest declines in history right now, and that's because the systems that were built to generate wealth were never meant to last.  They were never meant to serve developers or players.

We can't model the future of Homecoming on those systems if we want it to survive.

 

The fear of promises isn't something we're going to be able to overturn instantly, though.  I get that.  It'll be a bumpy road.  The industry has primed gamers to be, quite frankly, pretty shitty.  But this community loves to remind itself about how great it is, right?  Let's put rubber to the road on that!  Let's get the community working to improve itself, as good as it may already be.  There's always room for improvement, and striving toward that is a worthwhile pursuit.

 

I appreciate your acknowledgement of the echo chamber issue, and for taking the time to share your perspective here.

I'll admit that maybe I'm a dreamer; a hopeless optimist.  But I'll be damned if I don't try everything I'm capable of to encourage you, the Homecoming Team, and this whole community to strive toward making things better on every possible level.

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