Forums » Suggestions

RULES OF SUGGESTIONS - READ FIRST

Sep 17, 2021 incarnate link
Rule #1 - Suggestions access is a Privilege and not a Right.

This forum provides direct access to the game's developers, in a way that is still almost unique in the game industry, even after nearly two decades.

Reading and posting here can be very time-consuming for the developers, and the value of that time has to be measured against what other, beneficial things might be done for the game and player-base with the same application of time. Thus, these rules exist to maximize value derived from developer-time-spent, for the benefit of the game and community, as well as the sanity of the developers and administrators.

A degree of self-discipline is expected of participants on Suggestions. This includes reading, understanding and fully adhering to the following rules and specifications..
Sep 17, 2021 incarnate link
Rule #2 - Development direction is driven by the "Vision" of the Developers.

Vendetta Online has specific design goals, many of which predate it having any players at all. There is a "Vision" that drives the overall design of the game.

We're interested in feedback, and we do listen to the community. But this is not a democratic system, we do not make decisions by "popularity".

Your Suggestions may not be in keeping with our "Vision", and may be deemed to not be appropriate for our game, or not aligned with the developers' goals or preferences.

Features may be added if they're in-keeping with our goals for the game, and they may also happen to be popular ideas (and we do value knowing that an idea is popular). But, we will refuse anything that diverges from our particular goals, no matter how "popular" the idea may be.
Sep 17, 2021 incarnate link
Rule #3 - Be respectful of other players and play-styles with your Suggestions and feedback.

Be respectful of other individuals. Critique the Suggestion and not the Person. Don't be rude.

This is a "sandbox" MMO, people can play as traders, or pirates, or miners, or any number of other other potential options, and all be just as "legitimate" in their place in the VO Universe.
Sep 17, 2021 incarnate link
Rule #4 - "Suggestions" is about making the game better for Everyone, not just You.

This doesn't mean that all Suggestions must improve gameplay for all styles. But it does mean that any Suggestion should make the game, on balance, a better game "as a whole".

Keep the "Big Picture" of overall balance in mind. Traders should empathize with Pirates, and visa versa.

Any Suggestion that drastically upends existing gameplay balance should include significant justification. Balance is about relative tradeoff; don't trivially suggest content that "is the best at everything".
Sep 17, 2021 incarnate link
Rule #5 - Post Each Idea to a Unique Thread, Be Thorough in your Suggestion.

Post the positives, the downsides or risks, the trade-offs and ramifications, and why you think the idea improves the game as a whole. Consider the likely development burden, and factor that into your thought process.

Include potential acquisition barriers (item cost, is it a drop, is it manufactured, what are the level requirements, etc).

Do not post single-sentence Suggestions, like: "Add landing on planets!"

Similarly, don't post several different ideas to a single thread. Each idea deserves its own thread, otherwise the on-going discussion gets overly chaotic and confusing (people may not be specific which idea they're referencing, etc). Even if you have several ideas for items within a category, like several different weapons: post each weapon Suggestion in its own unique thread.
Sep 17, 2021 incarnate link
Rule #6 - Read the OP, Stay On Topic.

Any given discussion thread has a Topic, defined in the Original Post (OP) that began the thread. Try to stay reasonably close to the original and intended topic.

Without this, threads can quickly diverge into rambling discussions that provide little value. Focus is needed to stay on Topic.

If a particularly useful or relevant alternative Topic should arise, in the course of a discussion, then feel free to create a new thread around that Topic, and link to it in a post on the thread that inspired it.
Sep 17, 2021 incarnate link
Rule #7 - Search First, Bump Old Threads, or Post New ones with a Link.

Search the forum before posting a new thread.

If there are Suggestions of significant value, that have persistently been useful and well-defined ideas for years, which have not been implemented: then feel free to keep raising those ideas, every so often (but perhaps no more than once every few months).

Threads up to six months old can be "bumped" by a new post. And older threads can be directly linked from a new discussion of the same topic.

EXCEPTION: If the developer explicitly says "No" to a given Suggestion, then that should not be bumped or further advanced.

But, otherwise, lack of developer response is not an indicator of disinterest.
Sep 17, 2021 incarnate link
Rule #8 - Read what the Developers have to Say.

Incarnate's responses can be lengthy, but usually for a reason, to explain a nuanced point. Game design can have a lot of nuance, and communication can be challenging.

Do not "TL; DR" responses from the lead game designer, on the game-design forum. If you aren't willing to read the developer responses, don't post to Suggestions.

By the same token, if the Developer writes "Let's focus on X, stop posting Y", you should immediately adhere to that request. Threads on this forum can be fiercely debated, and some topics have "baggage" and player sensitivities around them, which we may be trying to avoid, or we may simply want to focus elsewhere.

Your participation here is contingent on listening to the Developers (Incarnate) and Administrators (Whistler). For any confusion, see Rule #1.
Sep 17, 2021 incarnate link
Rule #9 - Do not accuse the developers of "Bias".

No particular play style is favored above others, but rather there is an expected balance between them. For instance: "Risk should scale with Reward", whether one is a Trader, or a Miner, or a Pirate.

Balance always shifts over time, as new features are introduced. Some features take longer to add than others. But, measured over the life of the game, balance continually shifts back and forth, not to the permanent advantage of any single group.
Sep 17, 2021 incarnate link
Rule #10 - Expect Change and Uncertainty, Be Adaptive.

Vendetta Online never stops evolving. There are certain ideas that are pretty fundamental, like "no safe place" or "real-time combat"; these have underpinned design from the beginning. But, beyond this, the exact specifics of the game will always be changing.

The only certainty here is change. Don't post to Suggestions solely because of a recent game update, where you "Don't Like Change". Instead, first ask yourself if there is some way you could adapt to the new situation, or if the "Big Picture" of the change might be better for the Game As a Whole (see Rule #4).

Then, if a Suggestion is still merited, approach the issue from a position of what gameplay has been lost, and comparing against what has been gained, and raise the question of the value trade-off.

Do not simply rant about how you don't "like" the change. That isn't what this forum is for.

People who cannot rise above their personal likes and dislikes, and look at the "Big Picture" of the overall game, will not belong on this forum.
Sep 17, 2021 incarnate link
Rule #11 - Be Patient, Be Empathetic.

Remember, this is an Indie game, with a very small team, and one of the longest-running MMORPGs in history (public since May of 2002).

We have limited development resources, and a very large and complex cross-platform title, with a completely custom game-engine and server architecture. We are practically unique in the game industry, for the combination of our tiny team and extremely complex product.

We also have a lot of "external" forces to deal with (sudden new platform changes or requirements placed on us by Android, iOS, Windows or elsewhere), and these create more unforeseen time-sinks for development. Every year we're forced to make major re-writes around policy changes by platform and store owners. API updates, new restrictions, new requirements, etc.

This is in addition to our own bugs we have to regularly fix (which may not be player-visible), non-visible "technical" development that's needed, as well as administrative tools we have to develop to help us manage the game. Plus time spent managing the actual game and community itself (Support Tickets, responding on Suggestions, etc).

All of this, and other factors (developer health or family issues, ISP/provider/server migrations, etc) can result in the pace of development sometimes being slow. This is not intentional, but it is an un-avoidable reality.

Despite all our limitations, we have managed to push updates about once every week or two, for nearly two decades. Many of these patches included changes that were influenced by player feedback on this Suggestions forum.

So have some Patience, and some Empathy, and try to remember that you're here because you (apparently) like the game.
Sep 17, 2021 incarnate link
Rule #12 - Be Positive and Hopeful.

This is not a forum for bitterness, negativity, angst or self-righteous indignation.

It doesn't matter how long you've been playing, or how many times you've suggested an idea, or how long the developers have taken to implement something: You are expected to be Positive and Hopeful on Suggestions.

If you can't muster a Positive and Hopeful outlook, we would rather you didn't post anything at all. This is one of the more important aspects of the "self-discipline" requirement that is mentioned in Rule #1.

People who are abrasive, negative and embittered are often banned or muted from the forum. Bans and Mutes are administrative tools intended to "teach", and improve behaviour. Thread-mutes will only impact contributions to a single thread, and are a "light" way of saying we expect different behaviour from you, moving forward.

A user who has been fully removed from posting on Suggestions at all is a much more serious response (generally to several issues over a period of time). However, even in this case, if an individual learns their lesson, they may apply via Support Ticket to be reinstated (at the discretion of the administrative staff).