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How I want Egosoft to manage games (split from X4 wishlist thread. AP)
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dfm5000





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PostPosted: Fri, 6. Jan 17, 14:51    Post subject: How I want Egosoft to manage games (split from X4 wishlist thread. AP) Reply with quote Print

You guys never think out side of the bun with your wish list.

Your wish list should say the following, "let us into the Alpha"...

Best wish list ever.

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RAVEN.myst





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PostPosted: Fri, 6. Jan 17, 15:09    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Personally, I disagree, I don't think that's a good idea: I've been in various types of development (including software, but other non-IT related fields, too), and one of the WORST things is having the meddling of end-users too early in the development process. All it causes is distraction and confusion (and plenty of irritation!) In the early phases of a project, only the professionals ought to have access, only professional testers (who, admittedly, should be in sufficient supply) - the proletariat has no place at that stage, as all you get is a lot of noise that tries to pull the project in different, disparate directions. End result: chaos at worst, or significant delays and compromised quality at best (and perhaps injuries resulting from violence Razz )

Some simplistic examples: you don't want eventual tenants tramping around while you are laying the foundations of the building, telling you that they will want the stand-lamp over THERE, and so the walls should be built accordingly. Another context: if while I'm cooking, any of my dinner guests sets foot in the kitchen and starts back-seat driving, he or she is likely to get my very long chef's knife in the eye! Another example: imagine being a novelist and having someone read your manuscript as you're typing or writing it up, and telling you ways to change the story - were I in that situation [and as a writer, I can relate], that person is getting my fountain pen in the eye! Or, if I'm building a cabinet and someone starts interfering, they're getting a chisel in the eye! Or, if I'm busy cleaning and rebuilding a carburetor, and someone start poking around, they're getting a screwdriver in the eye! (I could go on...)

In short: I vote "NO" to allowing public back-seat driving (well, unless people WANT the next X game to be a disaster...)


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PostPosted: Fri, 6. Jan 17, 15:28    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

caleb wrote:
It would depend on how the game is done... You could have the same results with putting the modifiers on the weapons instead of the ship itself, and end up with a modded ship exactly identical to a basic ship with modded weapons.

So it's down to how they want to program the game. There is an advantage to adding modifiers on the ship, as it would allow ease of customization without having to create new weapons for it. For example, someone wants to add a capital ship that behaves like a super heavy bomber... They would need to also design new missile weapons for it, instead of just adding a missile damage/range modifiers for example...

I think in the end, the best solution would be to have both... Weapon modifiers, and ship modifiers. Total customization!!! Smile

Edit: For your last paragraph, you know you could get the same results with ship modifiers? Cap ships have +300% jump range modifier without the need to program in a new module Very Happy It's just how they want to do it, the end results would be the same...


Sure.. but there is a qualitative impact when doing this. For example, with ship modifiers you could simply make 1 ship and say 2now change its modifiers to suit you". So the Pride of Albion becomes your only ship and you get to modify it to superpower status.... nobody wants that.

so I think the X3 model, many different pre-defined ships (with some variation like Vanguard, Sentinel, Raider etc for variety) makes you make choices. Same with components - sure you can fit a jumpdrive to a big ship and it magically goes further, but that's nonsense. You should be fitting a big jumpdrive to a big ship, and its the JD that gives you the range. Otherwise, we're back in the jumpdrive+3 territory, which is too reminiscent of "simplified" Rebirth model.

When I buy something today, I don't buy "car" and then ask for the boot to be made bigger, I buy a certain car model with the boot capacity I want. Similarly, I can buy a replacement radio but its a fixed component that provides different features based on the radio component, not anything that changes according tot he car it gets fitted in. That makes more intuitive sense to make it more immersive, ie more like the reality we are used to.

Now I know we can model this using modifiers to basic hulls, but I think it loses something when you do that, it becomes more of a game mechanic and not a real-life analogy.

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PostPosted: Fri, 6. Jan 17, 15:43    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

RAVEN.myst wrote:

In short: I vote "NO" to allowing public back-seat driving


are we nearly there yet!?

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PostPosted: Fri, 6. Jan 17, 15:45    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

gbjbaanb wrote:
are we nearly there yet!?

LOL! I seriously doubt it Very Happy I suspect we'll need to be patient for quite some time, yet... (Don't MAKE EgoSoft turn this car around! Razz )


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PostPosted: Fri, 6. Jan 17, 15:47    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

my approach to this would be something like a "Tech Progress" - basically a set of numbers (one for each kind of Weapon, Shield, Engine, Hull etc) which constantly increases as Game Time passes* (at a varying rate for each number, to add variation). When a Ship is newly built the current Values are applied to it, and it will stay this way until sent to a Shipyard for Upgrades. Maybe also some hidden "special" shipyards which can Upgrade Ships above the current Tech Progress, but this is limited (no building, just upgrades, and extremely expensive compared to regular upgrading, so only worth for a few elite Ships, not the whole Fleet) and you have to re-locate this special Shipyards regulary because they change places.

Basically its the Multiplier idea, but these are only updated to the current values at a cost


*on extension the increment rate is based on Ressource Supply to Research Stations

PS and these multipliers are also extremely low.. it increases by maybe 1-5% per IG-Day, so the Ships will retain their value for a while, but not for eternity (at least not without regular upgrades)


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PostPosted: Fri, 6. Jan 17, 15:52    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

gbjbaanb wrote:
caleb wrote:
It would depend on how the game is done... You could have the same results with putting the modifiers on the weapons instead of the ship itself, and end up with a modded ship exactly identical to a basic ship with modded weapons.

So it's down to how they want to program the game. There is an advantage to adding modifiers on the ship, as it would allow ease of customization without having to create new weapons for it. For example, someone wants to add a capital ship that behaves like a super heavy bomber... They would need to also design new missile weapons for it, instead of just adding a missile damage/range modifiers for example...

I think in the end, the best solution would be to have both... Weapon modifiers, and ship modifiers. Total customization!!! Smile

Edit: For your last paragraph, you know you could get the same results with ship modifiers? Cap ships have +300% jump range modifier without the need to program in a new module Very Happy It's just how they want to do it, the end results would be the same...


Sure.. but there is a qualitative impact when doing this. For example, with ship modifiers you could simply make 1 ship and say 2now change its modifiers to suit you". So the Pride of Albion becomes your only ship and you get to modify it to superpower status.... nobody wants that.

so I think the X3 model, many different pre-defined ships (with some variation like Vanguard, Sentinel, Raider etc for variety) makes you make choices. Same with components - sure you can fit a jumpdrive to a big ship and it magically goes further, but that's nonsense. You should be fitting a big jumpdrive to a big ship, and its the JD that gives you the range. Otherwise, we're back in the jumpdrive+3 territory, which is too reminiscent of "simplified" Rebirth model.

When I buy something today, I don't buy "car" and then ask for the boot to be made bigger, I buy a certain car model with the boot capacity I want. Similarly, I can buy a replacement radio but its a fixed component that provides different features based on the radio component, not anything that changes according tot he car it gets fitted in. That makes more intuitive sense to make it more immersive, ie more like the reality we are used to.

Now I know we can model this using modifiers to basic hulls, but I think it loses something when you do that, it becomes more of a game mechanic and not a real-life analogy.


You do have a point, there would be more "flavour" to the game with a more varied arsenal. But that also comes with a large development overhead. If you want to have 1000 different weapons, you have to program 1000 different weapons. That's why I think we should have both. We should have the tons of weapons, but also modifiers on ships, to make them even more distinct.

I played X2 a lot, and remember the capital ships feeling just like big fighters because of this. The weapons behaved the same way on caps than on fighters. So it was kind of lackluster. X3 was a bit different, but also limited the weapons you could fit on each cap ship. So I think having both would give us more options as well.

And that can also reflect real life. A cannon on a tank, is pretty much an up-scaled handgun. Sure, it's called a cannon, but it's mechanically the same, just bigger. Having modifiers could bring more flavor to the game. If we had a bomber with +50% missile range, and +50% missile damage (because they have better launchers and guiding computers for example), it would also mean that a mosquito missile from a bomber is much more effective than a mosquito missile from an M5. And that would make sense. A bomber is a specialized missile weapons platform. I know we could also have a mosquito+ missile that the bomber can use that has the same effect, so it just comes down to programming, and resources that Egosoft has. Remember, their resources are limited (time, money, etc), so they won't be able to put everything they want in the game.

So in the end I think we should have both anyway. Lots of weapons, and also modifiers. Modifiers could also help modders a lot when creating new ship roles that have not even been thought up yet. It just adds more customization to the game, and that is a good thing.

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PostPosted: Fri, 6. Jan 17, 16:06    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Maybe I should remind everyone they disclosed X4 in the news, not Rebirth 2 nor EVE offline.


RAVEN.myst wrote:
In short: I vote "NO" to allowing public back-seat driving (well, unless people WANT the next X game to be a disaster...)

Yet Rebirth happened? No public back-seat driving and still a disaster. Explain!


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PostPosted: Fri, 6. Jan 17, 16:07    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

UniTrader wrote:
my approach to this would be something like a "Tech Progress" - basically a set of numbers (one for each kind of Weapon, Shield, Engine, Hull etc) which constantly increases as Game Time passes* (at a varying rate for each number, to add variation). When a Ship is newly built the current Values are applied to it, and it will stay this way until sent to a Shipyard for Upgrades. Maybe also some hidden "special" shipyards which can Upgrade Ships above the current Tech Progress, but this is limited (no building, just upgrades, and extremely expensive compared to regular upgrading, so only worth for a few elite Ships, not the whole Fleet) and you have to re-locate this special Shipyards regulary because they change places.

Basically its the Multiplier idea, but these are only updated to the current values at a cost


*on extension the increment rate is based on Ressource Supply to Research Stations

PS and these multipliers are also extremely low.. it increases by maybe 1-5% per IG-Day, so the Ships will retain their value for a while, but not for eternity (at least not without regular upgrades)


Adding research and tech levels? That is a nice idea. And would give another end game goal to the game as well. They could start cheap, and get exponentially more expensive quick, so you would need a big empire to get the later upgrades. Sounds really good.

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PostPosted: Fri, 6. Jan 17, 16:10    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

RAVEN.myst wrote:
Personally, I disagree, I don't think that's a good idea: I've been in various types of development (including software, but other non-IT related fields, too), and one of the WORST things is having the meddling of end-users too early in the development process. All it causes is distraction and confusion (and plenty of irritation!) In the early phases of a project, only the professionals ought to have access, only professional testers (who, admittedly, should be in sufficient supply) - the proletariat has no place at that stage, as all you get is a lot of noise that tries to pull the project in different, disparate directions. End result: chaos at worst, or significant delays and compromised quality at best (and perhaps injuries resulting from violence Razz )

Some simplistic examples: you don't want eventual tenants tramping around while you are laying the foundations of the building, telling you that they will want the stand-lamp over THERE, and so the walls should be built accordingly. Another context: if while I'm cooking, any of my dinner guests sets foot in the kitchen and starts back-seat driving, he or she is likely to get my very long chef's knife in the eye! Another example: imagine being a novelist and having someone read your manuscript as you're typing or writing it up, and telling you ways to change the story - were I in that situation [and as a writer, I can relate], that person is getting my fountain pen in the eye! Or, if I'm building a cabinet and someone starts interfering, they're getting a chisel in the eye! Or, if I'm busy cleaning and rebuilding a carburetor, and someone start poking around, they're getting a screwdriver in the eye! (I could go on...)

In short: I vote "NO" to allowing public back-seat driving (well, unless people WANT the next X game to be a disaster...)

Could you elaborate more on the subject? Maybe point out a few examples, make sure to include sticking pointy objects into peoples eyes. Very Happy

On a serious note, this should be made into a banner, with bold font and made pop up every time someone starts a post with "I wish the next game has...". Doesnt mean feedback should be ignore, just the notion of being entitled to define a projects course is baffling to me. next thing we have is people poking Jorge Miller and Martin Scorsese that they put their movies up in alpha so we can say how it should end. I mean nothing against people expressing their ideas/mind/suggestions, but when you start demanding stuff is where I start questioning your sanity.

MFG

Ketraar

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PostPosted: Fri, 6. Jan 17, 20:34    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Ketraar wrote:
RAVEN.myst wrote:
Personally, I disagree, I don't think that's a good idea: I've been in various types of development (including software, but other non-IT related fields, too), and one of the WORST things is having the meddling of end-users too early in the development process. All it causes is distraction and confusion (and plenty of irritation!) In the early phases of a project, only the professionals ought to have access, only professional testers (who, admittedly, should be in sufficient supply) - the proletariat has no place at that stage, as all you get is a lot of noise that tries to pull the project in different, disparate directions. End result: chaos at worst, or significant delays and compromised quality at best (and perhaps injuries resulting from violence Razz )

Some simplistic examples: you don't want eventual tenants tramping around while you are laying the foundations of the building, telling you that they will want the stand-lamp over THERE, and so the walls should be built accordingly. Another context: if while I'm cooking, any of my dinner guests sets foot in the kitchen and starts back-seat driving, he or she is likely to get my very long chef's knife in the eye! Another example: imagine being a novelist and having someone read your manuscript as you're typing or writing it up, and telling you ways to change the story - were I in that situation [and as a writer, I can relate], that person is getting my fountain pen in the eye! Or, if I'm building a cabinet and someone starts interfering, they're getting a chisel in the eye! Or, if I'm busy cleaning and rebuilding a carburetor, and someone start poking around, they're getting a screwdriver in the eye! (I could go on...)

In short: I vote "NO" to allowing public back-seat driving (well, unless people WANT the next X game to be a disaster...)

Could you elaborate more on the subject? Maybe point out a few examples, make sure to include sticking pointy objects into peoples eyes. Very Happy

On a serious note, this should be made into a banner, with bold font and made pop up every time someone starts a post with "I wish the next game has...". Doesnt mean feedback should be ignore, just the notion of being entitled to define a projects course is baffling to me. next thing we have is people poking Jorge Miller and Martin Scorsese that they put their movies up in alpha so we can say how it should end. I mean nothing against people expressing their ideas/mind/suggestions, but when you start demanding stuff is where I start questioning your sanity.

MFG

Ketraar


The problem here is extremes. No sane person expects to be allowed in on the engine building stage etc. The internet is filled with people crying for all sorts of things in games. That doesn't mean they will get them.

But to provide concrete examples of where gamers are allowed in on the design process of games you could check out Amplitude Studios and their GAMESTOGETHER initiative. From personal experience, they actively engage with their customers and I have been responsible for making changes to the game through colaboration both on the forums and in their voting process. Gamers actually designed a complete race for Endless Legend.

It is all just a matter of execution and knowing what your vision for the game is as a dev along with where you want player input. It's the not planning for player input that becomes the problem, not the input itself.


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PostPosted: Fri, 6. Jan 17, 21:45    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

OK serious mode on.

Designing a race is hardly comparable with "land on planets". Its not asking to have the Boron look green instead of blue, or that they are water creatures rather than flying pizzas (that would be awesome btw!). Best example of sensless wish usually thrown around is the "Dont really need multiplayer, co-op would do." Its the type of nonsensical suggestion that gets me personally fired up in rage (well not really, it just bugs me, but rage is more dramatic I guess Razz).

There is room for sensible suggestions, in fact there is a dedicated place for it, but if I could throw a baseless statistic (its common these days anyway), I'd say 99% of gamers have no clue what a sensible sugestion is, nor do they know what features they would like and how they should manifest in the context of a specific project. Most of the time, its something experienced in some other place/game, taken out of context (and concept) and put in a endless list of random suggestions that no one would be willing to read through if they have even just a part time job.

I know these days people have the urge to say THEIR truths and expect the world to conform to them. The notion that games, much like any other entertainment media, can be made DESPITE them seems to be ludicrous, but its not.

Early Access is probably the best compromise for any bigger and stronger project, but even that means it has to be in a state that wont frustrate the hell out of players. So it assumes many of the core concept not only have to be set, but they have to be mostly functional. This means less possibilities to "influence" features. Polishing is where player can contribute most and thats a good thing.

MFG

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PostPosted: Fri, 6. Jan 17, 21:54    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

EDIT: Wall-of-text warning! Wink

Graaf wrote:
RAVEN.myst wrote:
In short: I vote "NO" to allowing public back-seat driving (well, unless people WANT the next X game to be a disaster...)

Yet Rebirth happened? No public back-seat driving and still a disaster. Explain!

I don't claim that "disasters" can't happen regardless - not locking one's gun cabinet isn't going to totally prevent any chance of an accident (say, when cleaning that shotgun), it merely REDUCES the odds of something awful happening (such as a child deciding to clean that shotgun) - but there's no guarantee that the kid won't figure out a way into that safe, either. OK, forgive the messy (and GRIM!) analogy, but basically: people are fallible, and sometimes even despite precautions, mistakes are made - however, that doesn't mean we shouldn't create an environment that tries to minimise mistakes. (Let's also not forget that some of the most-suggested ideas, such as walking around in stations, turned into some of the most reviled end results...)

Also, people often talk about Rebirth being a "disaster" - but I really think that's an exaggeration, to put it politely. OK, the initial release was... ahem... "troubled" Very Happy And I won't pretend that its vision doesn't (arguably) miss the mark of what many fans want (hell, I'm one of those same fans! Smile ), but if nothing else, Rebirth itself has served as an excellent sounding board for "public opinion". It itself has already provided ample pre-development feedback and direction (loudly and repeatedly!) for the next thing - to assume that EgoSoft has gathered/learned nothing from all that would be untrusting at best, and downright insulting at worst, wouldn't you agree? Smile

So, a pretty good sense of what the customer base wants is already in place - for a while, proceedings need to carry on behind closed doors, without distractions. The developers need to focus on realising their (adjusted by popular desires) vision, not be distracted by having to herd cats, and being sidetracked by adjusting for user desires (which are fickle at best, let's not forget to consider), with A wanting it in blue, while B says blue would be wrong it needs to be faster, and C says both A and B are on drugs, it's not round and loud enough.

I'm not saying that the people who (let's face) will ultimately be buying or not buying a game shouldn't be heard, not in the least. However, "over-democratising" a project can easily lead to its derailment. There is a time and place for end-user involvement. I would say it's after a certain point (with initial desires etc having been heard and considered - NOT necessarily incorporated, I may come back to that, but basically see my sig Razz ), and only to a certain degree. Products often go through "alpha", "closed beta" and "open beta" testing - I think this model is suitable, and allowing people into the process TOO EARLY, that's a major pitfall. I'm not implying that people's ideas not be considered (behind closed doors, mostly) at all phases - and letting people in TOO LATE can be just as problematic - it's a fairly fine balance.

Ketraar wrote:
Doesnt mean feedback should be ignore, just the notion of being entitled to define a projects course is baffling to me.

Well said, and there's the keyword right there: "entitled". Give people too much officially sanctioned access, and their sense of entitlement tends to skyrocket, and that's where REAL trouble starts. (But I still think my little examples were more to the POINT(y-thing-in-the-eye) Razz )

@Slashman: I completely agree with you in that it's not about the input, but how it's managed. And that's my contention: when too many people are allowed to become too involved too early on, they become a drain on the project's time allocation. Everyone wants their Awethome Idea to be heard, deliberated, acknowledged, and ultimately incorporated, whereas many (dare I say, most) of those ideas tend to fall *rather* short of "awesome" (what a misuse of the word, in the first place!), but are now distracting programmers from important tasks.

So, what is needed (in my admittedly-not-so-humble opinion) is a structured approach (in addition to the already extant informal discussion fora, such as this very thread Smile ), and it need not be too transparent (just transparent enough.) What I might do in such a situation is set up a dedicated forum page for properly structured ideas to be submitted in a fairly rigid format (I'm usually against rigidity, in general, but a firmly defined format in this case would prove beneficial, I think.) I would have one representative overseeing this. Each time an idea is submitted, the person managing this thread adds it, in normalised format, to a listing in the first post. This first post has several category headings, new ones added as needed, and ideas are sorted into them. In this manner, every time a NEW idea is submitted, it is acknowledged by its addition to the official list, so the person suggesting it is reassured that it's not been overlooked. (Moderation would have to be uber-strict, to keep the thread STRICTLY on topic - what a ball-ache...!)

This could be a basic framework, but it's far from perfect. Where to draw the line? For example, if an idea is popular, shouldn't this be recognised, perhaps by adding counters to the various entries (which would require duplicates/multiples of specific ideas, or "+1" posts to be allowed)? But on the other hand, while this could be a useful metric, it could also be open to abuse; also, sometimes excellent but subtle ideas aren't readily recognised by the majority, and so might end up downplayed, while "allow uth to walk on planetth" (just an arbitrary example, folks) might end up getting lots of (perhaps misguided) support. Also, if you open the system to "upvotes", then surely it ought to also support "downvotes", in all fariness? And so structure would start to break down, and the thread would degenerate into a typical "wish list" debacle. Also, not all ideas are ultimately worthy of inclusion (though I would argue that all deserve to be *considered* before they are discarded) - does the management delete discarded ideas, or at least mark them as rejected? Leaving them up would be misleading, but "announcing" their rejection would likely invite argument and/or pleading and the like - again, potentially dragging time resources into a distracting and possibly irrelevant debate.

Maybe a simpler and less transparent, but time-tested and downright "retro" approach may be best: the good old "suggestion box", done via email or a Web-based form; once the suggestion has been received and read, the "suggestions coordinator" would then send the contributor a form letter (let's be realistic, here, after all) thanking for the suggestion.

The more I think about this the more I realise just how much of a drag factor the mollification of the masses is - in the last example above, wouldn't it be nice if, once the suggestion had made its way through deeper channels, the coordinator would then send the originator of the idea a mail with a rating, say out of 5, of the idea's chances of making it in in some way. It may also help ensure that no idea slips through the cracks. But can you imagine the extra work overhead this would entail? Not only would each idea have to be formally internally tracked (not necessarily a terrible idea), but often it isn't practical to deliberate such concepts in such a defined "committee" manner (it's hard to explain, but I think anyone who has been involved in enough programming projects intuitively understands what I'm driving [my pointy thing] at here.) Furthermore, it would then be necessary for (impractically definitive) feedback to be given to the "coordinator" to be passed back out to the idea's originator. "Unviable" seems like quite the understatement, here!

Anyhow, I've gone on plenty long enough (and then some!) once again... Oops
Good hunting, all! Smile
Raven out.


EDIT: Final thought: Respectfully, and without trying to be condescending or patronising, many who expect (or in some cases, demand) greater inclusion in all phases of the development process, simply don't understand some (often many) of the realities of a major software development project. To put it rather more simply and concisely (and, to be frank, BLUNTLY) than I have till now: unqualified people wandering around the "production floor" would simply get underfoot. Also... too many cooks spoil the broth.

OK, I've had way more than enough fun now - Raven OUT! Very Happy


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PostPosted: Fri, 6. Jan 17, 23:37    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

RAVEN.myst wrote:
So, what is needed (in my admittedly-not-so-humble opinion) is a structured approach (in addition to the already extant informal discussion fora, such as this very thread Smile ), and it need not be too transparent (just transparent enough.) What I might do in such a situation is set up a dedicated forum page for properly structured ideas to be submitted in a fairly rigid format (I'm usually against rigidity, in general, but a firmly defined format in this case would prove beneficial, I think.) I would have one representative overseeing this. Each time an idea is submitted, the person managing this thread adds it, in normalised format, to a listing in the first post. This first post has several category headings, new ones added as needed, and ideas are sorted into them. In this manner, every time a NEW idea is submitted, it is acknowledged by its addition to the official list, so the person suggesting it is reassured that it's not been overlooked. (Moderation would have to be uber-strict, to keep the thread STRICTLY on topic - what a ball-ache...!)


That is the L3 (level 3) ideas section of the forum, Ketraar was the main force behind it, and it does work exactly as you wrote it, had me friking out for a moment when I realised that you were not really talking about the L3 Ideas, but how you will go about it.

To see the L3 Ideas forum you need to check the box in your profile about participating in X-DevNet.


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RAVEN.myst





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PostPosted: Sat, 7. Jan 17, 01:00    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Thanks - I looked into it a couple of weeks ago, but I am rabid about privacy, so when I was asked for my address, I backed out at that point Razz (I don't currently have a postal-only address, so I would have had to provide my residential - I draw the line there, heheh)


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