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-   World Supremacy (http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/forumdisplay.php?f=230)
-   -   Customer relations (http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/showthread.php?t=47120)

Mike_T March 5th, 2011 05:09 AM

Customer relations
 
I downloaded the WS demo when it first became available, and soon found that it was flawed. There were no instructions but they appeared later. Then the demo was patched but the game was still very flawed. How flawed, I don’t really know because I lost patience with it. I have since followed the discussions on this forum and it seems that hard core fans are still waiting for the game to be sorted out, or should I say, they would like to see it finished.

I decided to start this thread because I believe that Shrapnel need to seriously address the issue of customer relations, where this game is concerned. Despite a number of requests on this forum (and elsewhere for all I know), fans do not know what’s going on. What’s more, Shrapnel continues to advertise the game for sale – knowing that it doesn’t work properly! Imagine the producer of a car or a washing machine doing that.
Don’t get me wrong, I like Shrapnel as a company – Bronze is a brilliant game, and totally bug free as far as I’m concerned. However, out of respect to existing and potential purchasers of WS, I think Shrapnel should do what any other reputable company does when it launches a product that turns out to be flawed:
1. Apologise and tell the world what they are doing about it, and when the finished product is likely to be available.
2. If there is a serious problem – say so.
3. Don’t continue to offer WS for sale until the product works properly.

Keeping customers in the dark is bad for customer relations.
Offering a demo that is flawed is bad marketing.
Selling a game that you know is seriously unfinished is morally questionable and does nothing for a company’s reputation – come on Shrapnel, I’m on your side, but please deal with us openly.

spillblood March 5th, 2011 09:19 AM

Re: Customer relations
 
I absolutely agree. We're waiting since end of last year for a new update, and there's simply no information by Shrapnel or Malfador if it's still being worked on. They should tell us if we can expect a new update. If not, the game simply wasn't worth the money we paid for it. And you can't get a refund on it at Shrapnel, so it's even more annoying they don't do something. We simply want more game for the 29,95 Dollar we paid! This game isn't really finished. It looks good, but the gameplay simply is unbalanced, the AI is abysmal, there's not much variety and I could go on. So, please do something, Shrapnel and Malfador!
They should at least decrease the price for this game, it's absolutely not worth 29,95!

Skirmisher March 6th, 2011 02:13 PM

Re: Customer relations
 
Well said , here here.

Sharapnel should be ashamed of themselves for releasing this software and selling it.

ScottWAR March 7th, 2011 02:24 AM

Re: Customer relations
 
I tired to warn them this was going to happen. I sent an e-mail to shrapnel asking why the developer never seemed to answer any forum posts about the game, and mentioned how this was starting to lead to concern over the future of the game. I was informed that Shrapnel encourages the developers to NOT post in their forums.

I still say this is about the dumbest policies I have ever heard in my life. It If the developers does as Shrapnel wished it will AWAYS lead to the customers feeling ingnored. Which is ALWAYS a BAD thing for future sales of that game and any other game that developer releases.

Just as we see here,....people are already starting to doubt whether this was a good purchase,..and are starting to doubt if they will but another product from Malfador,....or even Shrapnel since they seem to not only support leaving your customers in the dark knowing nothing about the future of their purchased game,....but actually encourage it.

I can only say this has been a good example of why NOT to release a game too early, and how NOT to deal with your customers by ignoring them afer you have taken their money for what amounts to software that just doesnt work satisfactorily.

This game has gone from great potential and hope,....to concern and doubt.

spillblood March 7th, 2011 05:31 AM

Re: Customer relations
 
Yeah, I read about their policy not to let developers post in the forum before. In the case of World Supremacy it really hurts the game, I think. They should really inform us about current progress. Or otherwise they will lose customers.

S.R. Krol March 7th, 2011 10:36 PM

Re: Customer relations
 
The Camo Workshop guys actively post in their forums on a daily basis, Illwinter posts in the Dominions forums, Pat posts in the ProSIM forums, Alex in the Bronze forum...so I'm not sure where the idea that we don't want developers posting in their forums comes from. Now, during a beta period we do tell folks to hold off from posting, but that's to avoid possible confusion as a game changes. At the same time we cannot force anyone to post, either. Some developers are guys who like to get in the trenches, others aren't.

Malfador has released three patches since release containing a total of 29 changes/fixes. It should also be noted that there were several internal patches that the last two patches include. So it's not like Malfador released the game and washed their hands. And if anyone has experienced any of the Space Empires games you know that Malfador has always continued to support their games post-release. That said, I personally do not know when the next update shall be and so it's better to not remark on an estimate, as that will only cause woe.

Mike_T March 8th, 2011 04:28 AM

Re: Customer relations
 
Thanks, SRK.

I have never suggested that Malfador walked away from its products. That was not my point. My "complaint" was against Shrapnel, the publisher.

Do you represent Shrapnel on these boards? If so, can you (or someone else from the company) please answer the points made in my post at the start of this thread? Thanks.

spillblood March 8th, 2011 05:33 AM

Re: Customer relations
 
Thanks for entering the discussion, SRK. I think your post means Shrapnel hasn't given up the game. I hope we'll get another update soon. I'm willing to give the game another chance when it finally gets updated, but not in its current state. I understand that Malfador probably need time to fix the game at the moment and don't want to post in the forums.
But there's still the problem that Shrapnel simply released the game too early before it was properly finished. You should have given Malfador more time for beta testing. And you should point out the game isn't really finished yet on the product page, maybe lower the price and label it as a pre-release beta. TCP/IP Multiplayer doesn't work, the game is extremely unbalanced and it has bad AI. It really needs more updates to be more playable.
I think the only way to have fun with it in its current state is in hotseat multiplayer with the balance mod. But for single players, it simply isn't fun after you've played a few games and realized how bad it at the moment.

spillblood March 8th, 2011 06:46 AM

Re: Customer relations
 
With a better AI, better balance and maybe a bit more options to set parameters for map generation, this game could really rule, so I hope it will be fixed. UI, concept etc. are good, but it really needs a better AI, more balance and some other fixes.

ScottWAR March 8th, 2011 09:56 AM

Re: Customer relations
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by S.R. Krol (Post 772722)
...so I'm not sure where the idea that we don't want developers posting in their forums comes from.


Because in reply to a support ticket I was informed WORD FOR WORD that Shrapnel discourages developers from posting in the forums.

When everyone realized just how bad the AI was (and still is) some of us tried MP,...which of course didnt work (since everyone has gave up on the game until the AI is fixed we still dont know if the MP works).

It seems this game didnt get nearly enough time in beta testing.......and from a post I read about the beta of this game,....it seems the beta wasnt ran very well......MP never got tested at all before release.......how does that happen?


To be fair though it seems beta testing has became a marketing tool in most of the video gaming industry now instead of being used to actually get games ready for release,..........and everyone wonders why most games are relased half finished now..........................


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