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An issue of concern: Developer and Player relationships

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I would like to start a thread to discuss the relationship between the Developers and Schaffa/Nvidia, and why the lack of transparency is problematic for the rest of the community.

In the german forum, there was a post about the Devs going to Schaffa/Nvidia’s TeamSpeak to talk to players there about Patch 19.1 and WCS. Someone accused Schaffa of this and a Schaffa player admitted it happened and then got defensive. He gave a long, winding response on why this is completely okay and nothing bad took place. Link is here: https://forums.ea.com/de/commandandconquer/discussion/759/wcs-2019-regelset

Even if the discussion was innocent, I am really appalled that the Devs have such a cozy relationship with the same team that has won every single WCS. No other alliance has that kind of access or influence. It is just like they are friends… and that shouldn’t be tolerated in a game where people spend money.

Replies

  • I also noticed that thread and was concerned. I know that many Nvidia/Schaffa players were good friends with rhiordd, the Head Developer before he moved on to manage another game. Not a surprise the relationship with the new developers continued.

    It’s my understanding that the 19.1 patch is a direct result of this relationship as it was this group of players that was beaten by an alliance using the alt exploit. It seems this group of players has contributed their input to many of the game changes over the years. As a result, the game has been systematically tailored to fit this group’s play style.

    Furthermore, over the years, Developers have shared with them the mathematics and code behind countless aspects of the game. This information is used to benefit them in addition to allowing them to develop new exploits that are later patched.

    For me, this is unethical behavior from all parties involved that undermines the game and creates a conflict of interest that should never be allowed in a game where people spend money.
  • Salmoranes
    74 posts Member
    edited March 2019
    ?????
  • steven_t_81
    1 posts New member
    This explains a lot. When the FA worlds first started, Schaffa (wasn’t called that yet but it was led by the same guys) was the first team to “discover” that if you put your cash bases in a zero-wave zone, your main bases will get attacked more by the Forgotten. That meant they got more crystal if their base survived. This strategy to get extra crystal helped them grow bigger fast and win several servers before other alliances caught on. It caused a lot of outrage in the old forum at that time.



    On WCS 2017, they figured out before anyone else that if you jump deep into the Forgotten and lose your bubble, you can relocate to a new sector and continue to have the bubble for another 24 hours, even if moving beyond the level 20 area. At the time there were accusations a moderator had told them this.



    So somehow the same team that wins WCS every year keeps finding new exploits and tricks before anyone else, and now we find out that the developers and community managers have been going to their TeamSpeak all this time. I agree it’s sketchy as hell and unethical
  • On WCS 2017, they figured out before anyone else that if you jump deep into the Forgotten and lose your bubble, you can relocate to a new sector and continue to have the bubble for another 24 hours, even if moving beyond the level 20 area. At the time there were accusations a moderator had told them this.

    beside all the correct concerns here, but isn't every sector jump giving you a bubble 24h? dont see the issue in that.

  • Theon1k
    2 posts New member
    Hmm this is considered tampering in every aspect of real and digital life. Even if the developers and the players claim its just a friendly chat and that there is nothing wrong with it, there are things shared that the community doesn't have a clue about. Any suggestions given can manipulate the gameplay towards a certain style that benefits certain players. Its not an open forum where everyone can give their opinion and the developers can decide. Its a private conversation with the players of one particular alliance.
    And thats wrong no matter how you look at it.
  • EE_Elephterion
    1816 posts Envision Developer
    I have already responded to the user who originally raised this point in the german forum, and explained the situation but I can do that here as well.

    We have been invited by Schaffa/nVidia (or however their current iteration is named) to their Teamspeak because they wanted to give us some feedback directly on the recent changes of the loot distribution, substitution changes and other changes we recently made public available on the PTE and patched with 19.1. That was on February 27th.

    We consider their feedback just like we do with that of everybody else in the community, whether they send this to us ingame, or on the forum, open or via direct message.

    As far as the WCS is concerned, they where given no more information then the rest of the community and at the same time - with the publishing of the official announcement. When they asked when we would make the WCS announcement, I said "today or tomorrow" (and we did so the following day).
    That is all that happened, I'm sorry if the "announcement of an announcement" is causing any confusion.

    I hope this clears up this misunderstanding. I consider this topic done but will leave it open for the time being, unless this thread goes off the rails that is.
    Envision Entertainment Community Liaison
  • Well,
    You can explain it several times but that makes it not better .... it can't be that the referee aka developer / mod joins a small private group to talk about the game and its mechanics. No matter what the topics were it is just not the correct way.
    You can tell us whatever you talked about ... no-one can prove.
    The correct way to do something like this is that you (EA or envision or the mods) open a TS session where everyone can join and listen or talk about the things. Those TS sessions have to be official and announced. Everything else is not right and leads to what we have now.

    Sure the players which were with you in the TS took the chance, everyone would have done it ... They did nothing wrong. The failure is on your side only, to join a small group of customer. Don't forget that's a game where ppl spend money and sometime they win money too (wcs) ...

    Even if you only get feedback you have to use an official channel to do so. Else the opinion of a small group will affect possible changes in the game.
  • EE_Elephterion
    1816 posts Envision Developer
    Salmoranes wrote: »
    Well,
    You can explain it several times but that makes it not better .... it can't be that the referee aka developer / mod joins a small private group to talk about the game and its mechanics. No matter what the topics were it is just not the correct way.
    You can tell us whatever you talked about ... no-one can prove.
    The correct way to do something like this is that you (EA or envision or the mods) open a TS session where everyone can join and listen or talk about the things. Those TS sessions have to be official and announced. Everything else is not right and leads to what we have now.

    Sure the players which were with you in the TS took the chance, everyone would have done it ... They did nothing wrong. The failure is on your side only, to join a small group of customer. Don't forget that's a game where ppl spend money and sometime they win money too (wcs) ...

    Even if you only get feedback you have to use an official channel to do so. Else the opinion of a small group will affect possible changes in the game.

    I appreciate your feedback, but by that standard i'd also have to close my DMs here and ingame and disclose any report players make to me in private.
    Envision Entertainment Community Liaison
  • I think the situation (and it IS a situation, despite attempts to downplay it) is made worse because of things that have happened in the game before.

    Wcs 2015 (not 2017) is one example. @reinemachfrau the issue was that there was an exploit or glitch caused by a new patch that had been put in right before the wcs server, that only nvidia seemed to know about beforehand. I don't remember all the details but I think before the patch, you would still lose your bubble if you moved beyond a certain point. When players saw nvidia guys jumping deeper and keeping their bubbles, the **** hit the fan.

    It sucks the old forum got deleted and a lot of the information on what happened and the outcry that followed was lost. I had to go dig through old messages to remember. But it shows how accusations of nvidia's insider knowledge has been following them for years. And now we find out the developers have been visiting their teamspeak.

    Any other alliances that have had a developer personally visit your teamspeak and ask you and your friends your opinion on X, Y, Z, please raise your hand.
  • I have already responded to the user who originally raised this point in the german forum, and explained the situation but I can do that here as well.

    Where can I see the mentioned response from you? I can't find it. I only see a response from player Nuubal to player Wittrock about this topic.

    And about your private channels: I really think a developer should not have private channels to receive things ... Everything should be official .... but that only my opinion and sure it can be wrong.

  • gamerdruid
    4271 posts Moderator
    When he talks about private, he means official locations. He is not American and he's not running for President. Everything is official, as far as I know. (and before you accuse me of being involved, I'm not. I wasn't aware of the contacts, nor would I have been able to participate as I don't speak German.)
    I am not an employee of EA/Envision. The views expressed are my own!
  • nuubal
    40 posts Member
    edited March 2019
    > @Klobuchar said:
    > I think the situation (and it IS a situation, despite attempts to downplay it) is made worse because of things that have happened in the game before.
    >
    > Wcs 2015 (not 2017) is one example. @reinemachfrau the issue was that there was an exploit or glitch caused by a new patch that had been put in right before the wcs server, that only nvidia seemed to know about beforehand. I don't remember all the details but I think before the patch, you would still lose your bubble if you moved beyond a certain point. When players saw nvidia guys jumping deeper and keeping their bubbles, the **** hit the fan.
    >

    Yes, there was bug with the presign process. EVERYONE who presigned on the WCS didnt loose its bubble even by moving deep in the bases. All other players without the presign, did loose it.
    Could you please tell me how we should have known that the developers build a BUG in the system, that they even didnt know about? And yes we were the first who realized it, because our members were the fastest players on this server. And we also were the first who reported that bug to the developers. And yes we were the first who saw the usage of this, but everyone had the oportunity to do it. Definitly no advantage for nVidia here...

    There was never even a single information which gave anyone any advantage.


    Do you really think that we ever got any advantage of how to play this by getting information of people (no offense here) who dont have an expert knowledge of this game? Definitly not. The game is not that complicated. Everyone can learn it. Some invest of time and help from others, everyone can play in top rank and be a valuable player in the team. But lot of people are not interested in. And that is the same with the direct contact to Envision. Only a few people are interested in. Just see the activity in this forum. Near nothing.


    Do you know the word "market investigation". In this game you say that it is very bad that they want feedback from the customer? And how they decide to do it is their decision. By the way, there is the option to write them in PRIVATE here, possible every second of the day. Wasnt never a problem. But (i dont know why) a discussion via TS is a problem and a discussion via a private message not. Cant understand that.

    Had anybody of you ever invited them to your Teamspeak? Guess not.


    Some years ago the player trueadm started a skype or slack group to gather lot of information of the community. Everyone was able to join, also lot of people did join. What happened with the group? trueadm quitted the game a while ago, so I think the group died, because noone was interested in. (I guess) It takes time and efford to build sth like that and even more to operate it.
  • Ehh.. problem is, that game is FUNNY and involves money ;) and i like it :blush:

    About ingame info
    Have to say, that i never played wcs for serious, as there were no 3 alliances to stand nvidia team (which is defo great), but on wcs2 i started no notice, that does dudes knew a bit more, than others, specially about bubble thing. And i saw, that player's got pissed a bit, as petition was signed for like 500 members, but server was NOT restarted - not cool in my eyes

    About communication
    I would say, we also have to say something straight to EA dev's team;) so welcome in our skype (no spam or blame, just questions and suggestions :p ) too haha. So you will have to jump into each big family ts.. will be borring LOL. >:)

    WCS
    Nvidia is cool, as also others, which ALMOUST beat nvidia on the last server, sadly we do not have nerves from steel ;) but we are GOING to correct that next time..

    For now, as i am not sure, that someone has more info, than others.. i skip next wcs..
  • > @nuubal said:
    > Yes, there was bug with the presign process. EVERYONE who presigned on the WCS didnt loose its bubble even by moving deep in the bases. All other players without the presign, did loose it.

    Oh yeah, it was the presign bug lol. Knew it had something to do with a game glitch. Except at the time, there wasn't a notification in-game that you were about to lose your bubble if you moved to X spot. So it wasn't that nvidia was that much faster, it was that all the other alliances hung back reasonably assuming they would lose their bubble if they jumped too far while nvidia plunged ahead without hesitation.

    But maybe it was all innocent. Maybe nvidia did discover it on accident and alerted the developers right away. If they did, the information for sure wasn't made available to everyone else until much later after other alliances lost bubbles scrambling to figure out what was going on. There was even a petition to restart wcs in the old forum that never went anywhere for some reason.

    ...you are probably right that no one else ever thought to invite a developer into their teamspeak to discuss changes to the game... somehow this doesn't make it sound any better lol.

    I am also curious just how regularly the developers visit you guys to have a nice chat? @EE_Elephterion made it sound like it was a one-time thing but your reply leads me to think it's more than that...
  • nuubal
    40 posts Member
    Klobuchar wrote: »
    > @nuubal said:
    I am also curious just how regularly the developers visit you guys to have a nice chat? @EE_Elephterion made it sound like it was a one-time thing but your reply leads me to think it's more than that...

    I think after 6-7 years of playing this game, I would say it was the fourth time. The first time they visted us was after destroying the first WCS fortress.
  • EE_Elephterion
    1816 posts Envision Developer
    Salmoranes wrote: »
    Where can I see the mentioned response from you? I can't find it. I only see a response from player Nuubal to player Wittrock about this topic.

    And about your private channels: I really think a developer should not have private channels to receive things ... Everything should be official .... but that only my opinion and sure it can be wrong.
    Yes, that is correct, the user @wittrock999 contactemy in privat via DM and i tried to clarify what happened. If you want you can contact him and let him explain the situation from his point of view, I don't mind.
    Klobuchar wrote: »
    I am also curious just how regularly the developers visit you guys to have a nice chat? @EE_Elephterion made it sound like it was a one-time thing but your reply leads me to think it's more than that...

    There was another time where we had a talk with them when working on the post combat lockdown exploit. If there where any other personal chats they happened before my time with the developer.

    At any rate i'd like to know what possible advantages you think the alliance is supposed to have gained from any of this?
    Envision Entertainment Community Liaison
  • EE_Elephterion, there's a nice fix to this problem you should consider... why not host a community session on a platform of your choice (TeamSpeak, Skype, etc) and invite everyone to come and give feedback and chat about the game.
  • EE_Elephterion
    1816 posts Envision Developer
    edited March 2019
    EE_Elephterion, there's a nice fix to this problem you should consider... why not host a community session on a platform of your choice (TeamSpeak, Skype, etc) and invite everyone to come and give feedback and chat about the game.

    … you mean an open forum for the players? Like the one we already use here to exchange ideas, in this forum?
    I don't think the medium should make such an difference, whether written or spoken.
    Anybody is free to approach us with feedback.

    I'll admit that in this case it was simply more convenient for @enigm and me to get on a voice chat since we share the same native language. Personally I do actually prefer writing however.
    Envision Entertainment Community Liaison
  • EE_Elephterion, there's a nice fix to this problem you should consider... why not host a community session on a platform of your choice (TeamSpeak, Skype, etc) and invite everyone to come and give feedback and chat about the game.

    … you mean an open forum for the players? Like the one we already use here to exchange ideas, in this forum?
    I don't think the medium should make such an difference, whether written or spoken.
    Anybody is free to approach us with feedback.

    I'll admit that in this case it was simply more convenient for @enigm and me to get on a voice chat since we share the same native language. Personally I do actually prefer writing however.

    Except you guys rarely post here, so this thread is the exception to the norm of interacting with a dev.

    I'm concerned to also read your admission to working closely with nVida on the attack locking bug. How about you work just as closely with the rest of us in defeating the auto-sim?

    Why does one alliance get so much access to the developers that the developers cater the game to them... but the rest of us don't get that level of access. It's not right.
  • nuubal
    40 posts Member
    I'm concerned to also read your admission to working closely with nVida on the attack locking bug. How about you work just as closely with the rest of us in defeating the auto-sim?


    Sorry that wasnt nVidia...

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