Why Glimmerheart was handled poorly in NA

Tknoviking Profile Options #1

12

4
Revered
Shrike Lvl.60
Mount Tyrannas (PVP)
High Elf Lancer
It's difficult to discuss a subject like this without sounding biased in either direction, so for the purposes of fostering actual discussion rather than circlejerking I'll refrain from mentioning which camp I belong to (and I hope the one person who knows keeps his damn mouth shut or I won't carry him in Torment any time soon!).
EME has done a phenomenal job the past few months maintaining a positive atmosphere in their communications, events, and overall presence as a publisher for TERA. Despite the torrent of negative feedback that is going to follow, no one will take away or diminish the great things this company has done for us. While us old geezers still hold the likes of Scapes as the golden standard for EME, Treeshark's team does a fantastic job making NA TERA as enjoyable as it could be given the circumstances.

Having said that, EME, you dun goofed.

The underlying principle for this giveaway was probably founded in good faith and well-meaning intentions. I don't honestly suspect EME was trying to send any other message than "we appreciate you" to the recipients of the gift. What they clearly did not consider the ramifications of was the message that was going to be sent to the rest of the community that was not part of the 1%. A truly awful choice of words especially following the Occupy debacle and considering "we are the 1%" and "we are the 99%" jokes are still pretty rampant on the internet. I'll touch more on this later.

The second faux pas was bringing up purchases. There is already enough contention in the community between players who trade play time or savvy for progression versus those who use supplementary financial income for the same thing. The implication you've created is that players who don't spend a lot of money on the game aren't as important to EME. This probably wasn't your intention, and while it stands to reason that companies typically do rely more on big spenders to stay in business, it's not socially acceptable to point that out in any way, shape, or form.

The third and arguably most massive point of contention for this giveaway was bringing up contributions to the community. It's easy for people to forget that contribution is often a term that is subjective to the circumstances of those who are contributing. I think it's fair to say that a lot of the players in the community all feel they have contributed to TERA's continued existence, and by extension EME's, in one way or another. This can run the gamut from social network advertising, purchasing EMP, running events, streaming, Let's Plays to simple things like just logging in every day to play. The most massive failure in communication occurred at this juncture in the giveaway, by bringing up contribution in this context EME has effectively told every single community member who did not receive Glimmerheart "you just didn't do enough for us."

We've wandered down a bit of a dark path with that last part, so let's take a step back and consider why that sounded as harsh as it did. Whether or not EME considers the oft-ignored but equally persistent casual streamers an important contribution is largely besides the point. The most important thing EME can do in this situation is just not say anything other than "we love everyone equally". The community figureheads of today will eventually become jaded and quit, just like the figureheads of yesterday did. Or they'll continue to lurk the forums and cause problems for the moderators. The people EME should be going out of their way to avoid alienating are the up and coming players who may be considering making significant contributions of their time and money to TERA's community. Without their support in the future, EME will quite literally be without jobs.

Like I've already mentioned, EME probably didn't intend for any part of this giveaway to come across as it did. While exclusive giveaways are, by nature and definition, "exclusive", there is a certain amount of tact required to handle the massive part of the community that is going to be excluded. I don't believe EME put enough thought into the original e-mail, or the kneejerk follow-up responses on social media and the forums once they realized they had maybe annoyed one or two people. Or 99% of the people.

This event started off in someone's mind as a great way to reward community members. The email and subsequent response from EME on the subject has forever tainted this giveaway as the day EME stuck out their nose at 99% of the community and said to them, "you didn't pay us enough, play enough, or contribute enough for us".. People aren't going to look at Glimmerheart mounts in the near future and say, "wow cool how did you get that?", they're going to stop and say "hey look there goes the 1% riding off on a solid gold mount."

Now that I've actually written that last line out, I can't help but wonder if someone at EME is trying to make a really sick joke. A solid gold mount for the 1% of TERA.

TL;DR: words
kamizuma Profile Options #2

2

-2
Hostile
Ushnotz Lvl.1
Mount Tyrannas (PVP)
Human Sorcerer
who cares it's just a painted wolf lol


Lunaus Profile Options #3

2

-2
Hostile
Erp.Killed.Ch Lvl.1
Tempest Reach (PVE)
Elin Berserker
kamizuma on 03/31/2014, 09:47 PM - view
who cares it's just a painted wolf lol


Then there's no point in you posting. This was just to show their personal view, saying something like that doesn't really do anything other than count as spam...
Aeline Profile Options #4

6

4
Revered
Bitsy.Buttons Lvl.60
Celestial Hills - Roleplay (PVE)
Elin Sorcerer
I do not believe, for one minute, that EME intended Glimmerheart to be taken in such a negative way. I am one of the '99%' that did not get him, but I do not feel the least bit put-out by this.

I understand that so many people wanted him, and I can see why they were so upset to be denied (been here since Beta, have Founders, Elite, buy EMP consistently, etc), and that is a bit frustrating, understandably, but what most people are upset with is not that they didn't get the mount, but with how the giveaway was worded. So many people are disappointed with feeling like the '99%' of us weren't good enough for the mount. You are correct in that.

I do think it could've been worded much better, and I do think that EME should've worded it better - but how can they know in advance that something done with the best of intentions will be ripped apart and analyzed by the entire '99%' that didn't get the mount? Granted, as with most things, they were probably expecting a bit of backlash (there are always unhappy people, no matter what they do), but this entire thing has gotten out of hand.

I think mistakes were made on both accounts. Lots of people worded things in an unexpectedly harsh way - but then again, those that didn't get what they wanted are blowing things out of proportion by nitpicking said words. If that makes sense.

I don't know. I keep reading the original thread, and our Tera community is highly upset - and I suppose, rightfully so - but are they upset over not getting the mount? Upset because of the poor wording choices? Or have we morphed into some sort of mob mentality?
Hachikuji Profile Options #5

2

4
Revered
Vesporax Lvl.1
Ascension Valley (PVE)
Elin Archer
Nice blog post, but it's just a mount.
Billion Profile Options #6

4

-1
Suspicious
Shakaiaki Lvl.1
Celestial Hills - Roleplay (PVE)
Elin Lancer
Aeline said it all. We really dont care about the mount. What Enmasse says in the email makes people disappointed. We have been spending both money and time on this game yet they make us feel like 99% of us is nothing to them.
kamizuma Profile Options #7

8

-2
Hostile
Ushnotz Lvl.1
Mount Tyrannas (PVP)
Human Sorcerer
Lunaus on 03/31/2014, 09:50 PM - view
Then there's no point in you posting. This was just to show their personal view, saying something like that doesn't really do anything other than count as spam...


No, this is a serious question. Who honestly cares? Let's break this down. You could say that you care but let's look at why. I see two reasons.

1. You are angry you didn't get free stuff
2. You are angry your contributions to TERA are not recognized

Alright let's talk about these. In regards to point 1, does it matter if other people get stuff? It's not like you were made any worse by not getting an UNTRADEABLE item (if it were tradeable it'd be a different story). In regards to point 2, so what? Are you going to stop doing what you do for the game just because you aren't recognized? I'm pretty sure nobody expected EME to do something like this so I'm pretty sure everyone that got one did whatever they did without trying to get compensation for it. I have no idea how they picked people but I'm sure they had good reason to pick the ones that they picked. I personally have bought over 3 million EMP during the past 8 months but am I mad I wasn't chosen? Not the slightest. In the end it's only people's ego that are hurt because everyone feels that they are "deserving" of everything. So again, I ask the question: who cares? And if you say you do then I want to know how you are playing this game because there's a 13 year old minimum age to keep childish people out.
Guehnwyvar Profile Options #8

1

-1
Suspicious
Pissingfish Lvl.60
Tempest Reach (PVE)
Human Lancer
Nothing should the 99% feel upset about. We're all special, in a certain way. :3
Fatwa Profile Options #9

2

-2
Hostile
Votes.Dont.Matter Lvl.60
Tempest Reach (PVE)
Popori Archer
Tknoviking on 03/31/2014, 09:44 PM - view
It's difficult to discuss a subject like this without sounding biased in either direction, so for the purposes of fostering actual discussion rather than circlejerking I'll refrain from mentioning which camp I belong to (and I hope the one person who knows keeps his damn mouth shut or I won't carry him in Torment any time soon!).
EME has done a phenomenal job the past few months maintaining a positive atmosphere in their communications, events, and overall presence as a publisher for TERA. Despite the torrent of negative feedback that is going to follow, no one will take away or diminish the great things this company has done for us. While us old geezers still hold the likes of Scapes as the golden standard for EME, Treeshark's team does a fantastic job making NA TERA as enjoyable as it could be given the circumstances.

Having said that, EME, you dun goofed.

The underlying principle for this giveaway was probably founded in good faith and well-meaning intentions. I don't honestly suspect EME was trying to send any other message than "we appreciate you" to the recipients of the gift. What they clearly did not consider the ramifications of was the message that was going to be sent to the rest of the community that was not part of the 1%. A truly awful choice of words especially following the Occupy debacle and considering "we are the 1%" and "we are the 99%" jokes are still pretty rampant on the internet. I'll touch more on this later.

The second faux pas was bringing up purchases. There is already enough contention in the community between players who trade play time or savvy for progression versus those who use supplementary financial income for the same thing. The implication you've created is that players who don't spend a lot of money on the game aren't as important to EME. This probably wasn't your intention, and while it stands to reason that companies typically do rely more on big spenders to stay in business, it's not socially acceptable to point that out in any way, shape, or form.

The third and arguably most massive point of contention for this giveaway was bringing up contributions to the community. It's easy for people to forget that contribution is often a term that is subjective to the circumstances of those who are contributing. I think it's fair to say that a lot of the players in the community all feel they have contributed to TERA's continued existence, and by extension EME's, in one way or another. This can run the gamut from social network advertising, purchasing EMP, running events, streaming, Let's Plays to simple things like just logging in every day to play. The most massive failure in communication occurred at this juncture in the giveaway, by bringing up contribution in this context EME has effectively told every single community member who did not receive Glimmerheart "you just didn't do enough for us."

We've wandered down a bit of a dark path with that last part, so let's take a step back and consider why that sounded as harsh as it did. Whether or not EME considers the oft-ignored but equally persistent casual streamers an important contribution is largely besides the point. The most important thing EME can do in this situation is just not say anything other than "we love everyone equally". The community figureheads of today will eventually become jaded and quit, just like the figureheads of yesterday did. Or they'll continue to lurk the forums and cause problems for the moderators. The people EME should be going out of their way to avoid alienating are the up and coming players who may be considering making significant contributions of their time and money to TERA's community. Without their support in the future, EME will quite literally be without jobs.

Like I've already mentioned, EME probably didn't intend for any part of this giveaway to come across as it did. While exclusive giveaways are, by nature and definition, "exclusive", there is a certain amount of tact required to handle the massive part of the community that is going to be excluded. I don't believe EME put enough thought into the original e-mail, or the kneejerk follow-up responses on social media and the forums once they realized they had maybe annoyed one or two people. Or 99% of the people.

This event started off in someone's mind as a great way to reward community members. The email and subsequent response from EME on the subject has forever tainted this giveaway as the day EME stuck out their nose at 99% of the community and said to them, "you didn't pay us enough, play enough, or contribute enough for us".. People aren't going to look at Glimmerheart mounts in the near future and say, "wow cool how did you get that?", they're going to stop and say "hey look there goes the 1% riding off on a solid gold mount."

Now that I've actually written that last line out, I can't help but wonder if someone at EME is trying to make a really sick joke. A solid gold mount for the 1% of TERA.

TL;DR: words


You've got some rose-colored glasses on there...

The old Community Team had their own flareups (Elin, PvP, Gameforge to name a few) that spawned months of rants, raging, declarations of mistrust, etc.

1. I think it could be universally agreed that while the facts were present, the delivery was not smooth.

2. The email very clearly states,
You have been handpicked based on several factors, which may include your play time, purchases, and contributions to the community.


That isn't stating that you need to spend money to be in consideration. That's saying it's one of the potential categories. EME cannot be held responsible, with the wording used, for players misinterpreting or jumbling up statements by paraphrasing. This is basic 'Telephone'

You brought up 'the old days', you know exactly why I was so adamant and rigid about the use of facts and quotes when involved in discussions. Meanings get twisted as people paraphase, to prevent that, you use the exact wording. Folks haven't been using exact wording in the megathread, and the quality of information has suffered. Folks are already commenting on statements that were not made.

3. "Just didn't do enough?", no. They're being told that their contributions may not have placed them in the top percentile, nothing more. They aren't saying that 99% of the contributions are meaningless.

If you gave rewards to every single player in TERA, you would be valuing both the people who make any sort of contribution, and those who actively work to undermine those contributions. One could immediately argue that it's 'not fair to those who contribute' and that it 'undervalues their contributions' to be lumped in with folks who do not contribute at all.
Serenade Profile Options #10

2

3
Trusted
Pearl Lvl.60
Tempest Reach (PVE)
Elin Priest
Just weighing in my opinions here. I wanted to put this event into perspective by comparing it with some of the other - and better received - events that EME had done in the past.

First is the RNG giveaway for Icetouch/Icegrip weapon boxes. There were only 300 accounts that obtained these, with the rest of us acknowledging that we would have to buy it from the cash shop. Despite the fact that many people didn't get free stuff for this event, almost no one complained - this was because the rules (100% random giveaway) was outlined very clearly and people understood very well what this meant. If I didn't get an icegrip box in this event, it's because of RNG - and we are okay with that.

Second is the giveaway during Valentines Day to the members that have contributed significantly on the forums. The event was leaked by someone and posted in General Discussion where we all had a chance to see it and comment on it. That event was received positively despite many people also not getting the mount. Why was that event positive? Because we can see that the person/people acknowledging that they had received the V-Day boxes were actual contributors to the forums. Most people are okay with not getting the gift in this case since we have correlated forum contribution -> gifts, which many thought was a nice thing for EME to do. That thread was relatively tame as a result.

Now, we have the gold wolf giveaways. The event was cited as being an "appreciation gift" for people that spent a lot of money on the cash shop (among other things), and if this was confirmed to be true by the community, I'm certain that many people would be okay with it. From a cursory glance in the original thread, however, I've noticed that the majority of the complainers cited examples of low level characters, not even reaching 38, that have spent absolutely no IRL money on the game receiving the gift over people who have subbed Elite for their entire lives and spent hundreds on the game. While one or two cited examples might be dismissable, there are just too many of these cases for some people to ignore.

And as paying customers, it really hurts for a company to imply that we are less valuable to the company than a non-paying account with a level 38 character max.

It would have been different if we could confirm that the mount was really given to people who, say, spent $100 in the last month. If you can release the criteria, the community could evaluate it and discover whether it's true or false, and if true, most people would not be as vocal about the event. The issue that people have is not with the gift itself, but with the stated criteria of "what constitutes a valued player". For the V-Day event, we can confirm that the people given the boxes (and chose to go public with it) were really helpful members of the community, which makes it a true appreciation event in our eyes. For the wolf event, we've received conflicting messages from not an insignificant number of people that the criteria for getting the wolf (and thus indirectly being called "more appreciated" members than we are) seems to be RNG. This is what annoys people - that level 38 accounts with 0 EMP spent are "more appreciated" than long time customers.

I'm guessing the event would be much better received if you either:

1) Reveal the criteria (I suspect that it's based on EMP spent / Account Date, which means that a half-month long account that spent $20 would be valued over a two-year old account that spent $500).
2) Reworded the letter to not imply that the recipients are "appreciated players" over longtime veterans and spenders
or
3) Made this an RNG event.

The event might go over with players a bit better if one of these were to happen. As is, a lot of players are interpreting the event as if a GM posted 'You guys are not appreciated. We don't care about you." and stickied it on the forums.

Either way, it would be dangerous to think of the complaints as players wanting free stuff. While there are people that are just pissed because they didn't get free items, most of the players in the other thread had genuine concerns that you can't dismiss with a handwave. I've always known EME to be a company very willing to listen to its customers, so I would take some of the complaints to heart so that you don't lose this reputation with your players. I don't have statistics, but I would venture that a not insignificant number of us are staying in the game because of positive experiences with EME.