Devs will not entertain ideas that are not discussed on the forum.
That has been the case for years and will continue being the case. Why is that? There are so many channels in which players can provide feedback, why will devs ONLY listen to what's on the forum? It's simple: organization and transparency. It is impossible to collect, organize, and assess ideas on every possible channel that is possible for a dev to be reached. It is impossible to be transparent in the decision making process of a dev when making a change.
Let's talk about discord first. The first problem of discord being a place to accept ideas is it has no index or place of reference to revisit a conversation. If an idea is brought up on discord and discussed, it's mixed in with many other discussions. If any dev wants to be caught up on the latest topic, they would need to first know that it had existed and then scroll through to find that specific topic. This is an extremely inefficient way to assess whether a change should happen or not. This problem blows out even greater when other discords pop up and ideas get discussed. If we accept ideas from one discord, why wouldn't we accept from others? You could say that "Only accept from the official BK discord". You'd forget that this discord server was not actually the official server until recently when it was built up and handed over by the 525 clan. It's not like devs created this server for the purpose of managing the community. Instead, what happened is that we saw the community that 525 built here and embrace it. Players thought this was THE place to go for BK mod, rather than correct them we took the server in. This means though there are other dedicated discord channels for BK mod and players can easily mistaken those as places to express their opinions on the mod. In fact, the worst of servers was literally titled "BK Mod Feedback Server". The greatest irony was that devs were BANNED from that server... How the hell are we supposed to collect feedback on the alleged feedback server if we are banned...? You might say "people are stupid to believe that". But if you think from the perspective of newer players, they wouldn't know what's true or false until time. First impressions are always impactful impressions and it's easy to become indoctrinated when your initial gateway of information lies to you. So to keep it simple, the rule is NO discord server would act as a channel for feedback. The forum is an indexed and moderated log of all conversations. It is sectioned out and has search capabilities that let all of us go back in time if needed to revisit conversations. The threads can be moved around to categorize topics to keep discussions focused and constructive.
The definition of forum is literally "a place, meeting, or medium where ideas and views on a particular issue can be exchanged." The definition of discord is "lack of agreement or harmony". Which one sounds better as a place to make decisions?
A second important part of managing changes is transparency. It needs to be a two way exchange. Players need to be able to talk to devs openly and truthfully, devs need to be able to talk open and truthfully to players. We just talked about how the forum keeps things organized. Good organization also means better transparency. If you want to know WHY a dev made a decision, you can read the patch notes and flip back on topics to read the original discussion. Everyone sees everyone's messages, there are no private steam chats or channels where good information was brought up. But, it would have only been exchanged between those two people. On the forum, everyone can see what was said AND say what they want to say. We have a way of getting ALL opinions in one place. We eliminate the need for a dev to hear the opinions of two opposing view players on separate channels and relay arguments back and forth... I might not have a personal opinion or position on a specific topic, it doesn't mean it shouldn't be discussed. If two players have opinions on them and they tell me, in order for me to arrive at the best decision I need to ensure both sides fully hash out the details of why something would work or not work, to talk about what would make things work. In so many situations I have personally acted as a middle man between arguments on a topic... It's ridiculous that I went back and forth between people saying "okay but what about xyz...?" and then run to the other side and say "okay what about xyz to abc...?" Everyone should see what was said just respond directly.
There's so much more I can say about this, but these are no doubt the biggest reasons why the forum is honestly the only viable tool right now to manage all the opinions of players. It's not like other methods weren't tried, they just were not efficient enough. Don't forget the devs have other lives outside of BK. Unless you can pay me the salary (and the other devs that salary) that I make right now to dedicate myself to BK, I'm going to be as efficient as I can with the little time I have which means being extremely specific on how feedback is managed.
Talk about CoH1 or BKMOD1 in general.
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