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WildCard - Show more presence


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Unfortunately I think this won't lead anywhere, but hope dies last, so I'll just talk about my thoughts.

WildCard is a very young company, but the game you developed, the world you created filled a niche in the market and, without doubt, is a big success. As a player myself I can just say I love the idea, I love the gameplay, the sounds and the amazing ideas and graphics. I am sure there are more things like animations, UI and whatever else there might be - include them to the list :)

But... like all games, ARK has bugs and a ton of players, especially new ones, with a lot of questions, requests, ideas and artworks to show off.

Current state (how I personally view it): The forum mainly runs by the community, there are some chosen players - the volunteers - that make sure that people don't tear each other apart and stick to the rules.

Then there's the QA('s?) that rarely reply to threads, but recently was the first time I got the feeling that they indeed look at the bug-parts and forward some of the issue - but don't leave any comment about it, leaving the players alone and with the thoughts that nobody cares. That nobody has a solution, which I assume might sometimes be the case, especially when issues only appear on just one specific private server and might be caused by mods. I am surprised that one QA isn't mentioned 100 times with offtopic-spam and help-seeking players in a specific thread as soon as he/she leaves a reply.

Next we have the News, one very positive thing in my opinion, it's the only source you show players some of the cards in your hands, feeding them some information, pointing at general topics and sometimes addressing issues that people felt alone with. It's my favorite part of the website, I like being close to you, like hearing from you, it's the currently biggest bridge between community and company. But it's a one way street. At least it feels like one.

The community is enraged about a lot of topics, out of frustration they don't hold back with insults, but even if they try to reason - like I do now - the cry for help, the cry to be heard seems to fall on deaf ears... or closed eyes. Again, this is what it looks and feels like on this end of the river.

My biggest fear is that this won't change with ARK 2.

So, what now?

I can only assume your situation and that your capacities are quite limited and I can just make suggestions based on my experience as a volunteer at another game-company. To give a brief overview what the different volunteers did:

  • reproduce bugs (if possible) submitted in the forum and putting them detailed (step by step) into the internal bug-tracker
  • helping in the forum, forwarding requests, keeping lists (QoL-requests, Bugs,...) up to date
  • running the ticket-system (reports, bugs, complains,..)
  • QA-helpers testing new content and patches
  • GM-work

The key to keep this working was a Community Manager (not a volunteer, but an employee at the company) that was responsible for the volunteers. Each volunteer had to sign a contract to keep quiet about all internal information (and a lot of other rules of course), together with a copy of their identity card.

I am sure some of this stuff just doesn't fit here and the systems behind ARK might not be made for 'external' access - but you did a first step, you already have volunteers as moderators and I think that's a good base to work with, a base that could help to soothe the angry mob that rages in the forum. People that help others, people that just write "Hey I read your post and forwarded it" or something like that. Literally anything that shows players that someone cares instead of never getting a reply.

That's it. As I said, the game is great, but the huge gap between the community and WC is a giant issue in my opinion.

 

TLDR: players are left alone, frustration and anger is growing, if you can't afford the time of your employees to show more presence, look out for more volunteers to do the job, to form a voice between you (WC) and the community

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