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Strider399

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An open letter to ANY of the Three Rings employees Reply to this Post
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The way I see it, summer has come and gone and three rings has failed to do much of anything to revive this game. The yearly ebb and flow of summer players has passed, and we're certainly soon to be back to activity levels prior to summer starting.

We were given hope by Cleaver 6 months ago that change was on the way; A slight hope that over the summer this game would turn around see a new age of players. I have not seen any significant advertising on any of the major flash-game websites. I have not seen an influx of new players.

We were teased back in May that there might be new island openings on every ocean, but have heard nothing more in nearly four months. We have yet to hear anything more of this.

There has not been any major game-changing releases made in over a year. Here's the shortlist of anything other then new furniture, clothing, trinkets, or basically anything stupid that has been added since August 24th of last year:
  • Ship Salvaging
  • Rogue Marks
  • Changes to BK expeditions
  • Viking Invasions

Literally everything else (in my personal opinion) is just fluff to make it look like there's semi-regular updates. When I log in the puzzle pirates and see there's been an update, I rush to the wiki to see what was added - 95% of the time I end up saying "God damnit, more stupid trophies/furniture/clothing/LE ships".

Here's what I'm getting to: What are your plans for the game? Be honest with us. I'm asking as a paying customer; Should I keep investing in this game? My free time is limited these days by work and school. Is there any hope that I'll be able to get back to doing the things I enjoyed doing, such as leading big-ship voyages with only a couple hours of free time available? Do you actually have any serious plans for new content to be released anytime in the next couple months? Are we still getting island openings? Are you still doing an advertising push? Why has the communication been so poor lately? Did Hermes get fired? Why are you no longer asking for our opinions on new content?

All I'm asking is that you communicate with your customers better. We want to know where this game is headed. Is it too hard to ask that a developer (or even Cleaver himself) make a weekly or monthly announcement about changes to the game? About plans that are being made for the game? Asking for our opinions on potential new ideas? Give us anything at all to show that there's more then just one artist and one developer working on this game to give it a feeble pulse.
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[Aug 30, 2011 11:38:31 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
penduhl

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Just my opinion, OOO is going to kill the game of Puzzle Pirates and stick to Steam Knights which will die in 2 months.
[Aug 30, 2011 11:45:02 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
nicolas_hop

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Not to mention that there hasn't been an Ice Release in Mid-June, July and August. Is this normal?
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[Aug 30, 2011 11:54:58 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Aenor

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Do you really expect them to admit publicly that they've decided not to invest significant development in any new meaningful content in Puzzle Pirates, and just milk as much revenue as they can from existing customers as they can until it dies?

That would just kill the thing quicker.
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Mat on the Meridian Ocean

Thank you to everyone who loves Blacksmithing!
[Aug 30, 2011 12:53:45 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Shawe

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I completely agree, OP's completely right and these posts make me sad.
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by Shawe at Aug 30, 2011 1:47:37 PM]
[Aug 30, 2011 1:46:21 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://yppedia.puzzlepirates.com/Shawe [Link]  Go to top 
Alfwyn

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Re: An open letter to ANY of the Three Rings employees Reply to this Post
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Did Hermes get fired?

Hermes got shanghaied (see Ocean Master on YPPedia). I think he is known as Quicksilver (Hermes = Mercury = Quicksilver) at Spiral Knights now.
[Aug 30, 2011 4:03:58 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Alec1000



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Hey look a new update! Wait, nevermind, just a handful of fixes for minor, trivial things.
[Aug 30, 2011 4:45:18 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Donsmythe

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Do you really expect them to admit publicly that they've decided not to invest significant development in any new meaningful content in Puzzle Pirates, and just milk as much revenue as they can from existing customers as they can until it dies?

That would just kill the thing quicker.


Conversely, frequent communication to the contrary might allow them to milk it longer than otherwise. It all depends on what they say when they communicate, were they to bother doing so at all.

Of course, our most recent "communication" from OOO is a release today which fixes four bugs, all of which have to do with how we pay OOO money, and none of which fix gameplay problems we've been griping about for years now (such as the "still getting tokens in my puzzle after we leave a SMH venue plus a booched duty report at the next league even though I was consistently sparkly ever since we left" bug, as one of many, many possible examples). And these four fixes look like things that could have been fixed with one day's worth of developer effort.

It's pretty easy to say that, absent other communication to the contrary, OOO is making it rather clear that indeed they are no longer investing developer resources into YPP and that they intend to just milk the last bit of money they can get out of it before shutting it down.

Heck, of the four "big" new things mentioned in the OP, two of them are (in my opinion) just cash grabs: Ship Salvaging and Rogue Marks. The RMs is an obvious one; the salvaging is a bit more subtle, but there are a few ways it can be considered a cash grab (especially on dub oceans).

(Fact is, the release of the first LE ship almost two years ago had me suspecting that they'd reached that point already, especially with the Midas GF that came shortly after. Since then it's just becoming increasingly more clear that although it was a pessimistic guess, I was probably right.)
[Aug 30, 2011 5:03:23 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://don.yacktman.org/blog/    yackd [Link]  Go to top 
Alec1000



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OOO has grown into a habit of getting making a good, creative game. Then they get the idea to make some stupid cliche game and flat out abandone the original game. Happened with B!H, will happen here eventually. It's already the beginning of the end.
[Aug 30, 2011 5:33:53 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Krivol

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Re: An open letter to ANY of the Three Rings employees Reply to this Post
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I agree!
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Krivol

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[Aug 30, 2011 7:19:44 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
penduhl

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Re: An open letter to ANY of the Three Rings employees Reply to this Post
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More of a serious note on my part.
(Yes I changed colors because I thought it was cool)




First things first is that OOO is a working company. In every game that OOO owns, Puzzle Pirates is so far the only one that is in the green. Obviously YPP only makes cash from dubs. If you didn't notice, pretty they took one of their key money sources off of shelves in Target (the Dub Card). When I actually saw this I was kind of confused since it made no sense to take something that they were making profit with off of market.

Next I have to say its obvious OOO doesn't get a damn about Puzzle Pirates when they get SK a deal with Steam even if OOO has more people on it than SK.


Yes I just repeated what half of Forums has already said.

Now what I'm clue less on is why no openings. Its obvious its not going to happen, kids are going to school, I'm personally going to University. And it isn't Summer anymore. They aren't building anything and unless its this week, nothing will happen.

And finally, I e-mailed and petition'd Puzzle Pirates several times. I found it funny that I got this same excuses that were broken down to this:

"Sorry we don't know what the hell we're doing and we're drawing out this game so we can make money and avoid lawsuits"

/e slow claps. OOO you got us right were you want us. Why don't you drop the bomb shell and shut down the idea of openings when its obvious it won't happen.
[Aug 30, 2011 7:42:44 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
bronzebeard

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It's a shame that more of the older players didn't open their traps about all these problems back when any changes could have made a difference.
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Peglegpaul
Now on Obsidian!
[Aug 31, 2011 3:28:33 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Armitron23

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Re: An open letter to ANY of the Three Rings employees Reply to this Post
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It's a shame that more of the older players didn't open their traps about all these problems back when any changes could have made a difference.



Yea Pauly, way to go. you ruined the game!
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Yankeejr of Cerulean Ocean
[Aug 31, 2011 8:31:56 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Aethera21

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I have to say if I were OOO I would have stealthed that update. It just looks so "well it's been a month, so here's our monthly update, with whatever bugs the devs could fix in a day". Better that we just see the update script run and know it's one of the background changes than see an announcement, run to it, and all get disappointed.

I don't expect a company to disclose everything to their customers. Truly I don't. No company can work that way. And of course, everyone is assuming that OOO knows exactly how things are going to go when they make an announcement. I won't disagree with the frustration over the island openings, which seems like something that isn't that hard to do, but I'm not surprised or angry that we've seen no noticable followthrough on the marketing. I imagine Cleaver meant what he said, but that doesn't mean things don't change month to month. It would be silly of the company to hide marketing efforts if they are actually happening, after giving us the anticipation. So my conclusion is that they haven't managed it, due to cash flow or other internal issues. We can hardly expect them to come over to the forums and say "hey guys, we're struggling to pay our bills over here" or more likely "our contract with Sega is really draining our resources but there's nothing we can do". What might be nice is "hey guys, we're still here, we know you're frustrated, and we're sorry that we haven't gotten done all that we've said we'd do". The fact that no one's said that seem to indicate they perhaps have given up on YPP. Or they really, really need a new public face - someone to give us news or indicate that someone is paying attention.

Communication is one of the biggest problems companies have, it seems. Mine is terrible at it - both internally and externally, and it's one of the biggest complaints I hear from people no matter where they work. OOO seems to try with the external communication, but whatever attempt they make seems to fade away after a bit. (Hypnos' conferences, Hermes' threads, the blogs, etc) Not sure what they can do about it.
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Aethera of Cobalt Cerulean
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[Aug 31, 2011 8:43:50 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Alec1000



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Obviously the problem all lies in Spiral Knights.

Sega has a reputation for being a distant Japanese company which rides off of milking Sonic to death but wants to get involved in the western PC market. They're doing the same thing to the Total War strategy franchise.

Sega, I think, wanted to get involved in the MMO market which is dominated by games such as World of Warcraft. With EA and Activision dominating the main developers for MMO's, Sega went for one of the best independent MMO developers, OOO, who know their stuff. Sega probably funded OOO to develope SK since obviously OOO was doing Y!PP fine alone. This also meant to appease Sega, they had to shift most, if not all, of their resources to SK. At the price of Y!PP. As long as Sega is involved in this venture, then Y!PP will be ignored.
[Aug 31, 2011 10:22:38 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
CaptManta

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I have to jump on the bandwagon here.

Last year I subscribed 2 separate accounts for 1 year, and as my renewal date is approaching (October), I'm debating whether I should even renew 1 account.

Since late March I've been enjoying Spiral Knights. I like it because it's a matter of entering a gate, and your adventure begins. For me, this is a better use of my time than sitting on a ship for 30-60+ minutes waiting for it to load.

While I have a lot more personal goals to attain in Spiral Knights, the word on the street is, the present format can't last. I know my husband is pretty much done with it. I tell myself they will continue to add "fresh" new content, keeping my interest peaked.

I continue to log in to Puzzle Pirates periodically, but the declining population makes playing almost impossible (speaking of Cobalt here, I don't visit other oceans very often).

Having invested 7 years in the game, I've seen a lot of changes implemented. Some very, very exciting, some - well - quite disappointing.

I think I'll always scratch my head why in-game mail (or, "Message in a Bottle") was never introduced. A huge undertaking, I'm sure, but I think the reward might have been stronger communication between pirates. This could have led to easier event planning and maintaining social bonds. As it is, I see people using ventrilo/forum mail/hotmail/email in a desperate attempt to stay in touch, and make plans.

If it comes down to advertising, it's an absolute "must", expensive as it may be. I frequent many game-related websites and rarely see a Puzzle Pirates or Spiral Knights ad.

I have, however, been known to click on other company's ads...
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Manta
Jade Scorpions
Cobalt
[Aug 31, 2011 10:36:04 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    somanta@gmail.com [Link]  Go to top 
Chiptharip

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I'm guessing the marketing promise mentioned was the development to get Puzzle Pirates on Steam. (Check out Announcements). Talk about a bandaid over an amputation; new players will not be retained unless core gameplay issues are addressed.
[Aug 31, 2011 10:41:55 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Alec1000



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I'm guessing the marketing promise mentioned was the development to get Puzzle Pirates on Steam. (Check out Announcements). Talk about a bandaid over an amputation; new players will not be retained unless core gameplay issues are addressed.

Irony is ironic.

People have been clamoring for Puzzle Pirates on Steam, now people are angry it isn't.

I hope this'll boost advertising, more people will come and OOO will again focus attention again on the Y!PP. I'm just being optimistic here, though.

Though I do guess you're right.
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by Alec1000 at Aug 31, 2011 10:52:58 AM]
[Aug 31, 2011 10:52:02 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Aethera21

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And of course, Steam. I think this has to be what Cleaver was referring to.

Whether it'll help I don't know, but it's an accomplishment getting it up there. Nicely done OOO. I'm going to think a little positive here.

But still some "we're still working on it" posts wouldn't have been out of line!
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Aethera of Cobalt Cerulean
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[Aug 31, 2011 11:03:35 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Hermes
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Did Hermes get fired?

Not fired or shanghaied, just omnipresent. As the official company Hermes, I do Hermes stuff for all of our games. :D
 
I have to say if I were OOO I would have stealthed that update. It just looks so "well it's been a month, so here's our monthly update, with whatever bugs the devs could fix in a day". Better that we just see the update script run and know it's one of the background changes than see an announcement, run to it, and all get disappointed.

As already pointed out here, there was actually a lot of stuff in that patch. :)

That said, I will endeavor to address you folks' concerns more specifically in the coming days.
[Aug 31, 2011 11:11:25 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://www.puzzlepirates.com [Link]  Go to top 
false_dmitri

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Can you change your forum title to Official Company Hermes? I would find it oddly fulfilling.
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On hiatus. :(
[Aug 31, 2011 11:14:26 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Shawe

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Being up on steam helps, but that's all it does. This opens up an interface with serious gamers that YPP has never had before - but OOO you need to get it together and focus on content and community. PS - it doesn't take ten days to judge trinkets.
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Shawe - Greed is good.
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[Aug 31, 2011 11:23:27 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://yppedia.puzzlepirates.com/Shawe [Link]  Go to top 
Alec1000



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Did Hermes get fired?

Not fired or shanghaied, just omnipresent. As the official company Hermes, I do Hermes stuff for all of our games. :D
 
I have to say if I were OOO I would have stealthed that update. It just looks so "well it's been a month, so here's our monthly update, with whatever bugs the devs could fix in a day". Better that we just see the update script run and know it's one of the background changes than see an announcement, run to it, and all get disappointed.

As already pointed out here, there was actually a lot of stuff in that patch. :)

That said, I will endeavor to address you folks' concerns more specifically in the coming days.

Horray! OOO does care! Thanks Hermes!
[Aug 31, 2011 11:24:44 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
abacadafa

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I think I'll always scratch my head why in-game mail (or, "Message in a Bottle") was never introduced. A huge undertaking, I'm sure, but I think the reward might have been stronger communication between pirates.


If it ever was a huge undertaking, it shouldn't be now. They've written a mail system for Spiral Knights. Porting and adjusting the UI would not be trivial, but it shouldn't be huge, either.

 
As already pointed out here, there was actually a lot of stuff in that patch. :)


Skelly charms aren't exactly new. The idea of turning greenies to skeletons is a bit odd, but at least the pillaging trophies make the Steam newbies a useful commodity for trophy hunters. Once that novelty wears off (1,000 sea battles is rather grindy, btw.)...yeah, I'm going with the previous poster's "banadage on an amputation" description.
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Shawe

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Omnipresent??? More like Quasi-present. Don't yank our chain guy.
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Shawe - Greed is good.
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[Aug 31, 2011 11:35:13 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://yppedia.puzzlepirates.com/Shawe [Link]  Go to top 
anchovygirl

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I think I'll always scratch my head why in-game mail (or, "Message in a Bottle") was never introduced. A huge undertaking, I'm sure, but I think the reward might have been stronger communication between pirates.


If it ever was a huge undertaking, it shouldn't be now. They've written a mail system for Spiral Knights. Porting and adjusting the UI would not be trivial, but it shouldn't be huge, either.
I think (well, hope) they'll have it implemented at some point since as you pointed out, it's on Spiral Knights. Being able to buy in-game currency without having to leave your client was in SK originally and then later put into PP, so I don't see why they can't do the same with leaving offline messages. Although, one brings revenue to OOO and the other doesn't, so that's why I hope rather than think that they'll put it in.
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Anchovia
[Aug 31, 2011 12:05:37 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Aethera21

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Well your steam announcement hadn't happened when I said that :D

It's nice that you're promising to address our concerns Hermes - it really is. I think you may be in for some "about time" comments but still, it means you're listening. It would be helpful to OOO, I think, if you mentioned that now and then.

This game is very small...our community is mostly non-new players now, and a lot of us have been around a long time. And so, it feels to many of us like a family, and familarity has increased our expectations. Perhaps that's why some of us are so hard on OOO - I know I don't nag other game companies. It's like, we know Dad has to work, but he doesn't seem to have time to help us with our homework anymore, and we wonder if he's pretending everything is fine when really the business isn't doing well and that's why he's too busy to talk to us at dinner.

Ridiculous analogy? You bet. People having an emotional connection and expectation of a business that provides them with a service? Not so ridiculous :)
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Aethera of Cobalt Cerulean
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[Aug 31, 2011 1:00:21 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
hallaluah320

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Don't bash on Three Rings
This game gave me 2 $1000 comps.
I love Three Rings.
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Greenday
[Aug 31, 2011 1:57:28 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
tanonev

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Well your steam announcement hadn't happened when I said that :D

It's nice that you're promising to address our concerns Hermes - it really is. I think you may be in for some "about time" comments but still, it means you're listening. It would be helpful to OOO, I think, if you mentioned that now and then.

This game is very small...our community is mostly non-new players now, and a lot of us have been around a long time. And so, it feels to many of us like a family, and familarity has increased our expectations. Perhaps that's why some of us are so hard on OOO - I know I don't nag other game companies. It's like, we know Dad has to work, but he doesn't seem to have time to help us with our homework anymore, and we wonder if he's pretending everything is fine when really the business isn't doing well and that's why he's too busy to talk to us at dinner.

Ridiculous analogy? You bet. People having an emotional connection and expectation of a business that provides them with a service? Not so ridiculous :)


Put another way, we nag because we like the game, not because we dislike it. If we didn't like what we saw, we would have simply left; I've certainly done that for plenty of other games. All of us who remain and nag have good memories of what the game was, or hopes of what the game will be, or both.

Unfortunately, memories and hopes can't sustain us indefinitely. At some point we have to accept that the game we thought we signed up for is not the game we are currently playing. In my case, I signed up for a game that offered an amazing level of community integration in the development of its core gameplay, embodied most clearly in the ambitious Grand Crafting Puzzle Project, though also present in the numerous dialogues opened in the Game Design forum. Over the years, though, it has become clear that these gestures have averaged somewhere south of half-empty. Dialogues have closed with no apparent end result, podcasts omitted all the questions I most wanted to hear answered, and the once-Grand Crafting Puzzle Project lies unfinished, gathering dust. It's possible that I was projecting expectations onto the game that were never intended. But regardless of blame, it's clear that the game I wanted and the game I have are very much not the same thing. And at this point, it's probably time for me to stop nagging and simply give up. And so, I will not be logging in again until the Grand Crafting Puzzle Project is complete: the furnishing puzzle is chosen, and all remaining industry puzzles are implemented. I'd love to one day revisit the game, but in the (likely) event that this does not happen, fair winds to all.
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Tanonev on all oceans; currently exploring Meridian.
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Re: An open letter to ANY of the Three Rings employees Reply to this Post
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Steam is awesome. I currently have a frig pillage on HUNTER with 60 on board. But that is a very temporary fix to a huge problem. I want to know what 000 has in store for this game as well, because right now it sure as hell just seems like they are milking every cent out of us they can before the game completely dies.
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-Dwizzles
Captain of Skeletons
King of Illuminatti
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