CCP Greyscales guide to good posting

CCP Greyscale guide to good posting

A short while ago CCP Greyscale replied to a post of the forums which was complaining about the way in which he replied to a specific post pulling it out as a good post whilst ignoring many other posts of a similar quality. The complainant rightly asked why that specific individuals post deserved a reply whilst others did not, troll or not CCP Greyscale came back with a detailed and extremely inciteful response.

If you’re looking for a reply from a developer on the forums CCP Greyscales guide to good posting is  probably the place to start. To summarise here is what CCP Greyscale looks for in a good forum post:

  • Suggest a solution - Too many players come with problems but with no idea how to resolve them blanket statements like ‘Titans are OP’ help no one whereas proposing a viable solution instantly makes your post stand out amoungst the crowd.
  • Take time to write properly – Another simple one but a dev is much more likely to read a post that is concise, well written and easy to understand than one which is fragmented, long and angry. To put it simply if you want attention make it easy!
  • Provide justification - There’s no point providing a solution alone without providing the rationale behind it, don’t presume your reader knows why you’re thinking what you’re thinking. This also helps a developer to save time investigating viability of your idea.
  • Point out your own flaws – Every idea has limitations, being transparent about these helps show that you’ve carefully considered the ideas weaknesses. Being as neutral and objective as possible is a great way to set yourself apart.
  • Frame your ideas – Put your idea in perspective of how different types of players will react, this is very much in line with the way developers expect to see user stories start ‘As a X, I want Y so that Z’, or to put this in perspective ‘As an inventor, I want more runs per T2 item invention job and longer copy times so that I don’t have to log in 6 times a day to install invention jobs.’
  • Consider new players - Often this is ignored and players look to advance their own position. Take the previous example longer invention times could harm new industry players as larger groups could more easily dominate T2 module and ammo manufacturing making it difficult for new players to get started with T2 industry.
  • Give away your data – Don’t make the poor developer do all the math you did all over again, share your data and make it easy for them to get to even consider linking it from Google docs.
  • Consider other changes - With every change its important to consider the impact of other changes that are happening alongside it. An example of this would be the new job installation costs from work teams would price new players out of low end T2 invention if the length and volume outputted was vastly increased. Smaller batches still need to be possible and profitable to let new players get into industry.
  • Write down your thought process - If you’ve gone through a long process of considering and balancing your decision write it down and share it as it displays the level of understanding of EVEs game design principles that you have.
  • Don’t just say what’s broken – If you’re discussing improvements to a feature then don’t just list its current faults also list the things that are fine as is. This helps bring a sense of scale to the final scope of the changes. If everything must change for your idea to work then its much less likely to get implemented.
  • Conclude things concisely – Briefly conclude and wrap up your post including any other suggestions and make sure that a skim reader can’t miss the key points of your post.

These points are really just a starting list but are a great set of points to help your forum post get attention. At the core of all of these things really are three things that really matter when making a forum post:

  1. Make it easy – Devs are lazy too make their life easy in everything from reading your post to reproducing your problem or analyzing your changes.
  2. Show your understanding – Explain and justify everything if you can prove that you’re not just another forum troll you’re much more likely to get attention. CCP have been burnt by 100 page long threadnoughts many a time as such it’s no surprise that some devs are scared of the forums potential to become a massive time sink.
  3. Be honest - CCP aren’t here the need to serve our needs as individuals they’re here to serve the needs of the community as a whole. If you want something changing be honest about how it affects you and how it could affect other too. Self serving posts are often quickly dismissed due to their bias.

Overall it’s great to see a developer step up and say what the want to see and why in future it would be great to see more of this. The EVE Online community is a very passionate one and sometimes discussions can become very heated, ultimately it’s in the best interest of both the players and CCP to learn better how to better work together to make New Eden a better place. A forum post like this by CCP Greyscale is exactly that one small step in the right direction to better communication between players and developers in EVE Online.