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I listen, therefore I am

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And by “I” I don’t mean “I”, I mean Defiance. To survive I must adapt. I also mean that we incorporate feedback into our development process when I say listen. That feedback comes from many different sources and the challenge for the team here is processing it, prioritizing it, getting it into development and then released into the hands of the players.

This is different from direction. We have goals for Defiance, we have direction, and we have an identity for what Defiance is. These evolve over time, are implemented and then we gather feedback. Feedback can both affect direction and goals before we implement anything, or it is feedback on something that already exists in Defiance.

Does that mean we act on everything that we get through feedback? No. We process it and take it into consideration but it doesn’t mean it’s in line with what’s best for the game. (See also previous point on direction and identity.)So why discuss this now? I felt it relevant since we’re revising our development plans this week!

We gather feedback from a wealth of internal and external sources, the most obvious being;

Watching you. You should know by now we like to watch. Game logs, behavioral data, interaction with UI and game systems. We have a metric jekkton of these. This is incredibly valuable in establishing trends and patterns but in itself it’s not “the truth”.
Asking you. Email surveys, in-game surveys, focus tests. We do that so that we get structured as well as unstructured data straight from the horse’s mouth. We want to get public testing back so we get more feedback because we crave it.
Listening to you. No, we’re not in your chat channel. It would have to work properly first. But we do look at various forums, comments to articles and videos, snailmail and when you send us psychic readings from sheep intestines as the proof in the pudding.
Seeing your issues. When you submit tickets to customer support, we not only categorize it to see where many issues are that plague you, we look at qualitative data as well. Contrary to popular belief, all caps does not make things more legible nor increase the speed of which we can address your issues but we get the message, because we still read it and we understand the frustration. We play too. We lose items. We throw monitors out windows. We get it.

Some are also taken from external sources. Just this morning I read comments over at Massively and some were about my tongue-in cheek writing, frequency and how we don’t do anything. I totally understand that doing is more than saying, which is why we waited a while with the most recent blog, so that we could cover all the things we had done and were about to do. As to the style of writing and frequency, this is how I am and I’d rather we communicate more than less.

To give you an example of feedback gathered, here is material from the source of all truths, forums. We applied some of our fora whora techniques and find very strong signal around these. Some are even taken directly from your posts when processed so you might recognize your own words there.

Are these things all new? No. This is always a moment in time that we’re looking at. Have we thought about them before? Some we have, others we haven’t. Some are already ruled out, others are on the roadmap, and others are still under consideration. But that’s not the point. This example is what you were saying at that point in time. That’s the valuable information and relevant for today when we enter planning this week.

So this example list doesn’t mean that these are all getting implemented I’m afraid, it means we as a team do read through them though. We go through a list like this and take it into our roadmap planning this week, along with processing other data and feedback. We revisit our plans and adapt.

Player vs Player:
- More settings = Ability to limit weapons, powers, EGO Rating / Perks
- MORE MAPS! (Didn’t see this one coming)
- Better Loot that’s unique to PvP
- Vehicle based PvP
- Spectator Mode
- Private Matches (Clan vs. Clan)
- Tournament system

More PVE Content:
Group/raid instances requiring 4/8/16 players and a room temperature IQ with legitimate fights and unique loot tables.

Bulk Buy:
Buying multiple items from a vendor such as key codes.

Mark all equipped items (All Loadouts)
Mark weapons that are equipped in any load out within the inventory screen or Salvage matrix.

Scalable UI:
A way to scale the UI for both PC and Console.

Group Waypoints:
Group/Party waypoints and the ability for any group member to set them.

Auction House: (Player Economy)
Implement auction house

Player Storage:
Offer the ability outside of character inventory to store items.

Clan Storage:
Add some sort of clan wide storage/bank

Weapon Stats / Scaling on Common thru Legendary:
Tweaks to EGO scaling and weapon rarity scaling

EGO Rated PvP:
EGO-based PvP matchmaking system, ie 100-199, 200-299, 300-399, etc as well as open-ego PvP option that would have no criteria, would allow EGO/weapon scaling without unbalancing PvP

Group Size:
Group size cap raised and adjusted to match PvP team requirements (8 and 16 and higher for Shadow War)

Clan Queuing:
Clan queues for competitive maps (allow clans to queue 8 people from their clan to play true competitive play)

Improved Chat Options:
Permanent chat window (optional), as well as fix the chat window.

Open World Bosses:
Random world (shard) boss spawns

Incentivized Co-op:
Co-op loot tables or randomized loot upon completion

Searching for Group:
Pickup search system to go with 4/8 dungeons/instances if implemented, as well as option to go into them with a premade group of 4/8

Weapon Mods and Vehicle Mods Professions:
Weapon/Mod crafting (maybe even vehicle?)

Trade Options:
Ability to trade ark salvage

Loot Gratification:
Flashier weapons/armor variations

Open World PvP:
Specific zones that are “contested” or similar, in which have the option to become flagged for PvP against any players in that region who aren’t grouped with you or in your clan. Duels, w/ option to bet scrip/resources/items on duel (not required)

Arkfall Loot Tables:
Those who perform better should get better loot.

Bulk Buy/Sell:
Allow bulk selling/scrapping (select multiple items and then sell/scrap, rather than having to go through the command for each item)

Improved Clan Features:
- Option for clan leader/officers to set a ‘clan waypoint’
- Option for clans to purchase a base/hub that could be fast traveled to from the quick menu at any time. Could be bought with scrip and contain various vendors.
- Clan sigils/ outfits

Improved Phasing & Grouping:
Better phase management with friends and clan mates

Competitive Play:
Ranked ‘arena’ games (Match made 2v2, 3v3 etc. with tracked true skill matchmaking)

Dynamic Events:
World/shard-wide dynamic challenges that occur occasionally for clans/players; most experience gained by one player in x time (1 hour, 24 hours, so on) most Arkfalls completed, etc. with small rewards for winners

Now, all that being said, what should you take away from this blog? Nothing. We do however want something from you. We’d like to see comments on this blog that either show you agree with some of these items or mention others that should be there. I would also like you to use the voting option. See a good comment? Up-vote it!

Following this, we will give you insight into where we’re heading with Defiance and how our DLC strategy is.

Ave Arkhunter,

Oveur

Nathan Richardsson

Executive Producer Defiance