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Some helpful advise for Cryptic.

Here is some helpful advise for Cryptic. I am an expert in the field of sales and marketing with 25+ years under my belt. I'm watching Cryptic lose a majority of it's market through offering very broken product (mod 16) to it's current customer base. I see a few "loyal" folks saying that those who are unhappy should be ignored because they are going to be unhappy no matter what, and those that are happy don't yell as loud.

That is the most ridiculous bunch of forum gerrymandering I think I have ever heard.

The company that doesn't listen to the complaints of it's customer base is doomed to fail; especially since normally only a small percentage of dissatisfied customers ever actually complain - many dissatisfied customers will just leave, taking their money and loyalty to a competitor. Here are some amazing statistics that are tried and true when it comes to sales, customer service, and retaining a profitable customer base. Just read these stats below:


(from "15 Statistics That Should Change The Business World – But Haven't") This article was posted by Colin Shaw, a customer experience expert who is considered one of the UK's leading Management Consultants in 2019.

* A customer is 4 times more likely to defect to a competitor if the problem is service-related than price- or product-related – Bain & Company.

* For every customer complaint there are 26 other unhappy customers who have remained silent –Lee Resource.

* 96% of unhappy customers don’t complain, however 91% of those will simply leave and never come back – 1Financial Training services.

* A dissatisfied customer will tell between 9-15 people about their experience. Around 13% of dissatisfied customers tell more than 20 people. – White House Office of Consumer Affairs.

* Happy customers who get their issue resolved tell about 4-6 people about their experience. – White House Office of Consumer Affair.

* 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated – McKinsey.

* It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience – “Understanding Customers” by Ruby Newell-Legner.

* It costs 6–7 times more to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one – Bain & Company.

Here's some great examples of major products (and companies) who didn't listen to their customers and became noticeably less successful or failed altogether, from askwonder.com

1. Netflix:
In 2011, Netflix ignored what their customers were asking for and split its DVD and streaming businesses, effectively increasing the price of both by 40%. The result was that 800 000 subscribers cancelled their service and in a survey Netflix was rated as one of the 10 most hated companies in the US.

2. Kodak:
In 1992, Kodak Eastman's revenue was $20 billion, but as digital cameras gained popularity, they refused to respond and tried to protect their film and film processing business. As companies such as Sony and Fuji started selling more digital cameras, Kodak resisted the consumer demand for digital cameras and by 2010 they were only in sixth place in the digital camera market, In 2011, Kodak Eastman filed for bankruptcy, with their share price at 65c, dropping from $94 in 1997.

3. Firestone:
After Firestone started producing radial tyres in 1972, internal company documents found that the rubber came off the wire when the tire was in use. But when customers complained about it, Firestone blamed tire failure on substandard maintenance by the consumer in order to satisfy the high demand for radial tyres from General Motors, etc. Only after an investigation by the National Highway and Traffic Administration in 1980 found that Firestone was actually aware of the defective products, did they publicly admit the error. Their shares dropped to $6.25 in 1980 from a $33.25 high in 1969. In 1988 Firestone was bought out by Bridgestone.

4. Goldman Sachs:
Goldman Sachs have made headlines repeatedly over the past few years for exploiting the worldwide financial crisis. When the executive director in the firm’s London office resigned and published a opinion saying “The interests of the client continue to be sidelined in the way the firm operates and thinks about making money,” and quoting directors calling customers "Muppets," the company's revenue dropped in 2012 to its lowest level since 2005 and was forced to cut salaries by 14% and reduce its headcount.

5. Lululemon:
Between 2009 2012, Lululemon's stock increased in value over 1800% and the company was incredibly successful. But is 2013 customers began complaining about the sheerness of their yoga pants after switching to new suppliers. The company's response via its founder, Chip Wilson was to blame overweight women, saying: "They don’t work for some women’s bodies, it’s really about the rubbing through the thighs, how much pressure is there over a period of time, how much they use it.” This led to a drop in sales costing Lululemon $67 million and both Wilson and the CEO stepping down. With the entrance into the yoga pants market of Gap and Under Armour, Lululemon could never really recover from this and their share price dropped over 30% in 2013.

8. Coca Cola
In response to Pepsi's sweeter taste and increased market share, Coca Cola discontinued its original formula and launched "New Coke." But Coca Cola ignored the emotional connection to its brand and the fact that taste is actually not the deciding factor in purchasing a soft drink. Customers revolted against New Coke and refused to buy it, resulting in a return of the original formula to shelves later in the year

9. Target:
Target entered the Canadian market in 2013 and did not consider their Canadian customer base. They increased prices in Canada compared to the US, not realising that 70% of regular Target shoppers in Canada have also shopped in the company’s US stores. These customers not only have a perception of what Target is all about, they also complained that the shopping experience in Target Canada was not as great as their experience in the US. Brian Cornell, Target's CEO admitted in 2015 that " We delivered an experience that didn't meet our guests’ expectations," and closed its Canadian stores, resulting in $2.5 billion in losses for the company.

10. Blockbusters:
At its peak in 2009, Blockbuster had 5,000 stores worldwide. But by 2010 Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy and its assets were sold to Dish Network. When companies like Netflix and Redbox came along, they dismissed them as no threat and claimed that they were "too big too fail" As customers started leaving their stores, in stead of responding to that, they tried to increase the average customer basket size with sweets and trinkets, almost converting into a convenience store. Blockbusters had sufficient information to know that their customer behaviour was changing and they did not adapt to it, leading to their bankruptcy.

I realize that many companies want to think they have it all in hand, and they are giving the customer what they want. Unfortunately, many companies begin making decisions about what the board or designers internally want to give to the customer, rather than giving their client base what they are requesting.

This situation is obviously NOT a case of a few people complaining about a minor issue, otherwise there would not have been a formal apology letter written by the project lead, Thomas Foss. This situation is about a huge number of players making their voices known about the inability to continue using the product they love in the way that they were accustomed to. Imagine the company Nestle abandoning all of their cookies and sweets that they are known for, and starting to focus on only making pizza. Everyone would be up in arms about all the Nestle cookies and chocolate no longer being available. Then if Nestle CEO, Ulf Mark Schneider, wrote an apology letter to everyone saying We are sorry you no longer have the cookies and chocolate available, but we now have lots of great pizza! How ridiculous would that be?!

The most obvious thing to any outsider looking in at Cryptic is that they are making this very mistake. Minor changes were needed for Mod 16, but they overhauled the whole system. Scaling has removed any motivation to progress in the game. Rewards are gone. The player economy is almost gone. A reduction in unique character classes and powers make players feel weak instead of strong. And truly, the main thing that is sinking this game faster than the titanic is the broken, broken content.

I have written a lot lately on the forums. I have spouted anger, frustration, and in some moments sadness. Now I am trying to appeal to Cryptic's sense of business and customer service.

Please, Wizards of the Coast, Cryptic, Thomas Foss and all the developers, please make a u-turn. Take a step back to Mod 15. Incorporate your new content into the old system, which was still rewarding players for playing. It will take you less time to adjust one campaign (undermountain) than it will to fix 17 others and all the quests for the leveling areas.

If you continue just patching, you'll lose your shirt along with most of your customer base.

Thanks for listening.
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Comments

  • bobby4700bobby4700 Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 179 Arc User
    excellent post great read thank you for your time in doing it .
  • kinamara#3934 kinamara Member Posts: 108 Arc User
    Yeah, this sums it up well. All of which I learned while getting my finance degree. Successful companies are able to keep their pride/vanity in check, If there is and equal number or more complains rather than praise best to basically ignore the praise and try solving the complaints. Some companies have to many people that just love ego boost, these tend to have tunnel vision and only see the praise and the people that just make excuses saying stuff like no reason to be upset its better than nothing, the whiners just feel entitled. change is needed and change is good. Sure such and such is broken but this place works just play there until the other is fixed even. And many others, these are the ones i have seen used to counter on many complain post here.

    There are always exceptions of course. But this mod was a major obvious move that many failing games made over longer periods of time before eventually going away. Make the player experience harder in some way, Neverwinter decided to not only scale players everywhere but also max each stat point half as valuable at the same time, and on top of that eliminated 95% of buffs players had that their disposal. Take the sinks in currency such as seals that only allow you to carry a max that is easy to attain worse used to be 100 seals for 1k RAD now it is 300 seals for 1k RAD (and the seals of the mountain do not even have a sink period) Made some previous real money bought currency only companions all but worthless that used to be the best. Increased the game currency attainable for free to real cash bought currency exchange making the game currency less valuable at a far faster rate that normally happens. Did not put the actual items in the game that could be bought in places players already have a stockpile of currency (wep set and armor that supposedly should be in the trade bar store), but have a wep set (which is what is desirable by people) available for zen but the catch is it is only in the new pack, which cost around $200 worth of currency the most expensive pack I have ever seen them do. They are moves of a game company trying to milk players for more and more money. Now sometimes this works but Neverwinter had the bad luck ( trying to be nice since it was through a lack of actual internal testing and largely ignoring the problems of the customers that decided to work for the company for free to test the game brought up) and released all this in a Mod that completely broke large parts of the game. And most of what they have responded to of the feedback received is lip service, and nonsense. Especially in regards to progression. Saying players should be happy to keep progression their character because of LOMM, yeah in a game with several years worth of content players are supposed to be completely satisfied that if they spend tons of time progressing their character now that truly have basically a single dungeon to really enjoy that progress made (you could argue expeditions but those were laughably easy since day one by and large. So making your character stronger for those is not as satisfying as getting stronger and seeing a real challenge because easy for you since it is already quite easy. That may be enough for a few players but not for most that used to enjoy progression since if you keep everything the same on your character and go from lvl 70 to 71 now you are weaker than you were at 70 which is just punishing people plain and simple no matter what the dev team wants you to believe.

    They actually acknowledge the mess they made (the only real surprising thing to me from this whole mess) but then promised a big patch that fixes it but it actually made many things much worse but hey they put on a big sale hoping people will ignore their garbage fire and spend more money. If they really want more customers to pay more they should concentrate on giving us a game that is not broken rather than trying to determine how big of a discount people need to support a broken piece of garbage it has been tuned into.
  • matthattrmatthattr Member Posts: 84 Arc User
    I worked in the gaming industry in Vegas from 1991-2013. One of the hotels was a 11.5 yr stretch. Back in 2009 they had some similar research you quoted but a tad different. The research showed, in the hospitality/gaming industry, people that had a poor experience went home and told 9-12 people what a bad place and time they had. If they had a good time they went home and told 3-4 people, and recommended others to patronize the same place both within a yr time frame. Based on this, they figured the numbers and found out they could mount a $3.4M ad campaign and have the effectiveness of it lost and eroded within 1 yr. Effectively tossing $3.4M to the wind due to poor "word-of-mouth" effect.

    So what did they do with this research? The launched a "100% guarantee every time" program. The implementation was such: If a customer said they were dissatisfied they would refund their money back, for whatever transaction it was engaged in. Preferably in cash. (Gaming, cash...you figure what they hoped they would do..hit the tables).

    When employees stated some of their concerns and feed back, they had some patent answers prepared:
    1.What if someone exploits this and just keeps coming back to "do it all free" repeatedly? Answer: we figure 3-8% will engage in this and we will track them, after the third occurrence we will "dis-invite" them going forward (never explained that one).
    2.What about all the money that's going to be lost? Answer: we are willing to eat it to an extent as that $3.4M is a greater sum.
    3.How are you going to turn around their perception they had a bad time despite giving their money back? Answer: through our member rewards program we will give them more invites and asks/offers to win them back. Plus our team will win them over.
    4.Who will actually be fielding the complaints and making the refunds? Answer: You. Employees will be taking the complains and guiding them to management personnel for the refund. The customer will feel listened to by the team and will be won over.
    5.What about the complainant that is vocal, but dismisses a refund option? Answer: it will still be your duty to identify and guide management to engage with them to try and win them over. You reassuring them will win them over.
    6.Won't this actually be a new method to blame the employee for the customers dissatisfaction and subject them to discipline? Answer: Emphatic no! Heavens no, this is just a marketing took to garner more customers and retain the old, we don't want to punish you! We are a team, it's win-win not lose.
    7.Again we see at least 4 things that are becoming new job duties and opportunities for management to pass on the blame to lower level employees...have you taken this in to account? Answer: Yes! Again this isn't a blame game, it's marketing, we want the "team" to handle this and "win", you will never be punished! It's just about changing customer perceptions, it's not on you.

    You guys seem skeptical, trust us, we got this, we have considered everything..it's a good thing, we are a team and change is good.

    So what was the result? 11-17% abused it. Those that were aware of the program were actually MORE vocal in effort to get even more than what they had actually paid. Middle management (the ones paying back) got blamed in some instances because some outlets didn't garner enough complains and other outlets garnered to many complaints (after all their stats showed a room with X seats should get Y complaints within a week....if we were off their stats, something must be the middle managers fault..they must be not submitting complains or over inflating! Never accounted for more attentive employees making happier customers or less attentive greater unhappiness....after all, they had stats!) My hostess got blamed for not turning in enough complaints...we averaged 4 a week and they demanded 12. Our "team" worked effectively to make happier customers and we were at fault somehow...they had stats! And the crowning joy of all...it was used as a tool to punish and write up service employees (but we are a team..it's about marketing not about punishment!) Yeh, right.

    I worked the salad bar 2 days a week, I always seemed to have happy customers and no complaints, with one horrible days exception. I went on break, happy-go-lucky, on my return I was confronted by host accusing me with "I can't believe you would do that..shame on you! I'm reporting you to the chef" Umm hello, what am I being accused of? "You know what you did! I never thought you would do such a thing, I guess I misjudged you." Umm, let's pretend I don't know "what I did" and have you spell out what I'm being accused of, so I can at least give you a response. "You know what it is..you threw food at those women that was at that table over there, and then you used foul and racist comments." Whaaa?! Of course I wouldn't do that! Of course you are disbelieving! You have known me 4 yrs in person, I can't believe you would even think I would do such a thing, let alone accuse me! Were are they, let me go apologize, if they think I did something wrong, maybe there is some mistaken I.D., we need to get to the bottom of this! "They already left". Wait, right after I went on break? When have you ever seen me rude or abusive to anyone, customer or employee? When have you ever heard me say foul language or racist comments? And throw food? 4 tables away from my station...the 3 tables between might have seen something maybe, you think? This is wrong...I'm maligned here. "But they asked for their money back." Well there you go, that dumb 100% program is jamming me up, like it did Shotzi (bus girl) last week. "Well they gave me their phone number and address, they were serious." LOL..you mean the either fake address and number or the real, but don't care, what you're going to do, send someone to take back the money from them again address?

    Skip to chef in office: "what is this you abusing people thing here?" It's a lie chef, when have you ever known me to be that way? You know me 5 1/2 yrs, it's not in my makeup! "But there is this report here, I got to do something." I don't know how I can prove my innocence here, I can't disprove a negative. "Well I agree, I was shocked, it didn't seem like you, but I need to know what would drive such a claim by a customer? I mean that a pretty precise claim by them." Chef it's that 100% program, they can claim anything they want and get their money, they don't care about the aftermath of their claim, don't you see they waited until I was on break and knew I wouldn't be back before they got off? What do they care if I get blamed? They got theirs and are gone. And I mean really, food thrown over 3 tables to hit them and me yelling racist and vulgar things? Nobody in the whole room, other customers, employees anyone spoke up, nor saw this occur? Does that not tell you something? "Yes, I'm convinced, you didn't do this, it's ridiculous, it's that *blankity blank* 100% thing again, this is the 11th employee incident this week I've had to handle and only 1 was even remotely probable....consider yourself cleared, I'm sorry you felt maligned, mumble *blank* program is more trouble than it's worth, it's got to go."

    So all this ^? Yes OP, you are totally right and I endorse it. There is another customer many don't think of however, the employee. They are internal customers. They do their work, day in and day out and can get blamed when something goes sideways. It really stings when you did your honest best and when you see a potential problem, bring it to the attention of higher ups. When they brush off your concerns and tell you it will all be cool and then when it isn't, try to hang it on you. People say Dev did this, Devs did that. Devs are internal customers, they do their job, take their check and most do give a hoot, it's their work product, their "art". It's got to hurt to see things go wrong and be put through the ringer for it, when they were voicing their concerns and were told not to concern themselves with it. Players need to understand they are wage slaves, like the most of the rest of us, they don't come in your job and harangue you when they are dissatisfied, let's not them. It's the upper managements fault, they set deadlines that are unreasonable. They run to LIVE, work product that isn't ready for prime time. They are the ones that under prioritize fixes or refuse to acknowledge structural issues. Mr. Foss did what lot's of other CEO's and politicians do when they can't weasel out of the obvious, they finally offer a hollow semi-apology. "It's my fault, I take full blame except I sort of don't. (And by doing this hollow "my fault" I know I'm just offering words, there isn't a actual consequence going to happen to me, I mean it's not like ACTUAL amends or anything...it's not like I'm fired or disciplined..pfft it's just words, I can say words.....)
  • anna#2001 anna Member Posts: 3 Arc User
    Considering that many things are not playable: Demo, Tia, Adept en etc. extended the RAD-Doubleactions until most problems are solved.

    This strengthens the ecology and reduces frustration and the search for new games. The conversion ins Ad is limited to 100k anyway and dont hurt you so much, and would show that we players are still important to you.

    I hope all problems will be resolved soon, because I like NW.
    ___________________________________________________________________
    Simple marketing rules:
    1. I spend money when I find something good, have success and fun.
    2. If I have bought something and it is good, I will buy there again.
    3. If I have bought something and it is then devalued or is unusable, certainly I will never again buy in this shop. (e.g., Companions)
    4. If the business is not running well, you design a better shop with more enticing content. Do not take the customer already achieved success and makes the game difficult to suggest deffizite. -> where we would be again at point 1.
  • zerappuszerappus Member Posts: 138 Arc User
    @ OP, why only 4 posts in total if you're really into NW? Hard to believe the veracity of your intention with this internet cut-and-paste with no context within the game, especially when you didn't even point out what systemic problems they rightly fixed with Mod 16.

    The thing is players got used to 5 second to 10 second boss kills (with the litany of nutty multipliers). That would not have happened in any other MMOs. It would have been hotfixed within a day or at most a week.

    You got players soloing Epic dungeons and high level Heroic Encounters. You got players hitting 10-100+ million damage with practically no effort. Can you name other MMOs that allow this? They simply removed Godmode that shouldn't been allowed to happen in the first place.

    The developers' real shortcoming here is took them that long to fix this. Remember it took them two years to remedy the Bonding Runestone after so many warnings it was broken. And players such as myself have been warning them about the GWF bubble etc. Imo, the developers should be commended(!!!) for finally fixing the problems.

    As for the scaling, as i've mentioned before, it will fix itself. There is a fine balance with scaling, the need of players to gear up and for Cryptic to sell items for upgrade. Right now they are still tweaking the balance. Does anyone actually believe Cryptic will be content in not selling Coal Wards, Preservation Wards and ViP because having basic gear is no different than high end?

    As for I, my biggest gripe with Mod16 will always be Class Balance since my Archers get the short shrift once again and there's still no developer feedback even after over 2 months.

    It's only ok because business wise there's no difference between one class upgrading to another class upgrading. Ten Barbarians vs 0 Archer is no different than 5 Barbarbarians vs 5 Archers. So they focused 6 long weeks perfecting Barbarians with a lot of ex-GWF pool and 0 on Archers being underpowered for so long and lowly populated.

    Class balance aside, the developers were saviours for being bold enough to fix the systemic problem in-game. Because as it was, it is unsustainable.

    The new system they put forth is now sustainable. They actually saved NWO from crashing from so much systemic imbalance.

    But having said that, they shouldn't be done with tweaking scaling and class balance just yet. It's not optimal at all.

  • thefiresidecatthefiresidecat Member Posts: 4,486 Arc User

    Here is some helpful advise for Cryptic. I am an expert in the field of sales and marketing with 25+ years under my belt. I'm watching Cryptic lose a majority of it's market through offering very broken product (mod 16) to it's current customer base. I see a few "loyal" folks saying that those who are unhappy should be ignored because they are going to be unhappy no matter what, and those that are happy don't yell as loud.


    8. Coca Cola
    In response to Pepsi's sweeter taste and increased market share, Coca Cola discontinued its original formula and launched "New Coke." But Coca Cola ignored the emotional connection to its brand and the fact that taste is actually not the deciding factor in purchasing a soft drink. Customers revolted against New Coke and refused to buy it, resulting in a return of the original formula to shelves later in the year

    9
    Thanks for listening.



    on the coke comment. I was there for new coke. it isn't a matter of "it's not taste it's feels". not everyone LIKES that sweeter taste. it's gross and boring and one note. no one bought it because they didn't like it. Not because they are loyal the the brand name. people don't remain loyal if they don't like the product.

    still a valuable lesson to be learned from that though. doing what everyone else is doing leaves behind market share of those who like the other thing. you both dilute your market, in that you're now sharing that pool of people who like the sweeter taste rather than your own market of those who like the multi-noted sweet and sharp, and disinfranchise your original market who liked the original flavor and who will never like the purely sweet flavor and will move on to something else entirely that is neither pepsi or coke.
  • rikitakirikitaki Member Posts: 877 Arc User
    edited May 2019
    zerappus said:

    @ OP, why only 4 posts in total if you're really into NW?

    This is funny question, I will reverse it: Why to post anything at all on this forum if you want to address Cryptic? I did not notice anyone in power to use the plethora of information given here - over and over again - so why did he bothered with four whole posts?

    Anyway, we surely have a different opinion on many things, zerappus - like what is wrong with the MOD16. In my eyes once in a while the developers gave us a pile of bugs to lag through, calling it MOD. And you know, many of us went along, because we all saw something catchy in this game and may be even invested time or money to shape up our alter-egos, so it was hard to throw everything away.
    What is wrong with MOD16 is that in addition to the standard pile of bugs to lag through, it made it unbearable to even try to go on. Man, that would be some serious Stockholm Syndrome even to try to!
    I logged into full overflow bag, rendered unable to do any quests. Play-style I liked gone, investments gone - for example pets from the top of the ladder fell down to pointlessness. (it is funny to have an effect triggered on daily when your AP gain is practically disabled)
    What is wrong with MOD16... the feeling, that all the investment is gone, I would have to spend a lot of time even to be able to start to play again, then relearning everything to finally have a glimpse on a little bit of actualy bugged content.
    You see, if I pick any other game, I will get more of a new content in less effort and without the bitter feelings. Probably with less bugs and less lag... That is a serious issue if you want to maintain a loyal player base.

    The problem of MOD16 is it burdened the players more than many of us are able to bear. I have some memories from Neverwinter, but you know what is sad? That after I uninstalled it, just by watching those still desperately trying to give the game a chance, I remembered: "This is the most fun I had in centuries!"
    And it is hard to defend the game if you trully enjoy it AFTER it is uninstalled.

    And one more thing, just a fun fact. As I was searching for alternative, a couple of days ago Youtube showed me a video from Path of Exile where they counted damage in millions end-bosses per second…:D Yes, that is silly, and yes, a boss in one rotation was stupid as well, but the solution thrown on our heads? Have fun with that. (and that is surprisingly not just sarcastic - I seriously wish that players will have fun playing whatever they choose to play)
    Post edited by rikitaki on
  • thefiresidecatthefiresidecat Member Posts: 4,486 Arc User
    matthattr said:

    I worked in the gaming industry in Vegas from 1991-2013. One of the hotels was a 11.5 yr stretch. Back in 2009 they had some similar research you quoted but a tad different. The research showed, in the hospitality/gaming industry, people that had a poor experience went home and told 9-12 people what a bad place and time they had. If they had a good time they went home and told 3-4 people, and recommended others to patronize the same place both within a yr time frame. Based on this, they figured the numbers and found out they could mount a $3.4M ad campaign and have the effectiveness of it lost and eroded within 1 yr. Effectively tossing $3.4M to the wind due to poor "word-of-mouth" effect.

    So what did they do with this research? The launched a "100% guarantee every time" program. The implementation was such: If a customer said they were dissatisfied they would refund their money back, for whatever transaction it was engaged in. Preferably in cash. (Gaming, cash...you figure what they hoped they would do..hit the tables).

    When employees stated some of their concerns and feed back, they had some patent answers prepared:
    1.What if someone exploits this and just keeps coming back to "do it all free" repeatedly? Answer: we figure 3-8% will engage in this and we will track them, after the third occurrence we will "dis-invite" them going forward (never explained that one).
    2.What about all the money that's going to be lost? Answer: we are willing to eat it to an extent as that $3.4M is a greater sum.
    3.How are you going to turn around their perception they had a bad time despite giving their money back? Answer: through our member rewards program we will give them more invites and asks/offers to win them back. Plus our team will win them over.
    4.Who will actually be fielding the complaints and making the refunds? Answer: You. Employees will be taking the complains and guiding them to management personnel for the refund. The customer will feel listened to by the team and will be won over.
    5.What about the complainant that is vocal, but dismisses a refund option? Answer: it will still be your duty to identify and guide management to engage with them to try and win them over. You reassuring them will win them over.
    6.Won't this actually be a new method to blame the employee for the customers dissatisfaction and subject them to discipline? Answer: Emphatic no! Heavens no, this is just a marketing took to garner more customers and retain the old, we don't want to punish you! We are a team, it's win-win not lose.
    7.Again we see at least 4 things that are becoming new job duties and opportunities for management to pass on the blame to lower level employees...have you taken this in to account? Answer: Yes! Again this isn't a blame game, it's marketing, we want the "team" to handle this and "win", you will never be punished! It's just about changing customer perceptions, it's not on you.

    You guys seem skeptical, trust us, we got this, we have considered everything..it's a good thing, we are a team and change is good.

    So what was the result? 11-17% abused it. Those that were aware of the program were actually MORE vocal in effort to get even more than what they had actually paid. Middle management (the ones paying back) got blamed in some instances because some outlets didn't garner enough complains and other outlets garnered to many complaints (after all their stats showed a room with X seats should get Y complaints within a week....if we were off their stats, something must be the middle managers fault..they must be not submitting complains or over inflating! Never accounted for more attentive employees making happier customers or less attentive greater unhappiness....after all, they had stats!) My hostess got blamed for not turning in enough complaints...we averaged 4 a week and they demanded 12. Our "team" worked effectively to make happier customers and we were at fault somehow...they had stats! And the crowning joy of all...it was used as a tool to punish and write up service employees (but we are a team..it's about marketing not about punishment!) Yeh, right.

    I worked the salad bar 2 days a week, I always seemed to have happy customers and no complaints, with one horrible days exception. I went on break, happy-go-lucky, on my return I was confronted by host accusing me with "I can't believe you would do that..shame on you! I'm reporting you to the chef" Umm hello, what am I being accused of? "You know what you did! I never thought you would do such a thing, I guess I misjudged you." Umm, let's pretend I don't know "what I did" and have you spell out what I'm being accused of, so I can at least give you a response. "You know what it is..you threw food at those women that was at that table over there, and then you used foul and racist comments." Whaaa?! Of course I wouldn't do that! Of course you are disbelieving! You have known me 4 yrs in person, I can't believe you would even think I would do such a thing, let alone accuse me! Were are they, let me go apologize, if they think I did something wrong, maybe there is some mistaken I.D., we need to get to the bottom of this! "They already left". Wait, right after I went on break? When have you ever seen me rude or abusive to anyone, customer or employee? When have you ever heard me say foul language or racist comments? And throw food? 4 tables away from my station...the 3 tables between might have seen something maybe, you think? This is wrong...I'm maligned here. "But they asked for their money back." Well there you go, that dumb 100% program is jamming me up, like it did Shotzi (bus girl) last week. "Well they gave me their phone number and address, they were serious." LOL..you mean the either fake address and number or the real, but don't care, what you're going to do, send someone to take back the money from them again address?

    Skip to chef in office: "what is this you abusing people thing here?" It's a lie chef, when have you ever known me to be that way? You know me 5 1/2 yrs, it's not in my makeup! "But there is this report here, I got to do something." I don't know how I can prove my innocence here, I can't disprove a negative. "Well I agree, I was shocked, it didn't seem like you, but I need to know what would drive such a claim by a customer? I mean that a pretty precise claim by them." Chef it's that 100% program, they can claim anything they want and get their money, they don't care about the aftermath of their claim, don't you see they waited until I was on break and knew I wouldn't be back before they got off? What do they care if I get blamed? They got theirs and are gone. And I mean really, food thrown over 3 tables to hit them and me yelling racist and vulgar things? Nobody in the whole room, other customers, employees anyone spoke up, nor saw this occur? Does that not tell you something? "Yes, I'm convinced, you didn't do this, it's ridiculous, it's that *blankity blank* 100% thing again, this is the 11th employee incident this week I've had to handle and only 1 was even remotely probable....consider yourself cleared, I'm sorry you felt maligned, mumble *blank* program is more trouble than it's worth, it's got to go."

    So all this ^? Yes OP, you are totally right and I endorse it. There is another customer many don't think of however, the employee. They are internal customers. They do their work, day in and day out and can get blamed when something goes sideways. It really stings when you did your honest best and when you see a potential problem, bring it to the attention of higher ups. When they brush off your concerns and tell you it will all be cool and then when it isn't, try to hang it on you. People say Dev did this, Devs did that. Devs are internal customers, they do their job, take their check and most do give a hoot, it's their work product, their "art". It's got to hurt to see things go wrong and be put through the ringer for it, when they were voicing their concerns and were told not to concern themselves with it. Players need to understand they are wage slaves, like the most of the rest of us, they don't come in your job and harangue you when they are dissatisfied, let's not them. It's the upper managements fault, they set deadlines that are unreasonable. They run to LIVE, work product that isn't ready for prime time. They are the ones that under prioritize fixes or refuse to acknowledge structural issues. Mr. Foss did what lot's of other CEO's and politicians do when they can't weasel out of the obvious, they finally offer a hollow semi-apology. "It's my fault, I take full blame except I sort of don't. (And by doing this hollow "my fault" I know I'm just offering words, there isn't a actual consequence going to happen to me, I mean it's not like ACTUAL amends or anything...it's not like I'm fired or disciplined..pfft it's just words, I can say words.....)

    I don't think this is applicable to this company. I used to think it was something like this but from everything I have been told it's a very very small operation with a lot of authority riding on the devs we see. i am sure there are some marketing caps they need to hit.. and that's why the half hamstered apology... but I don't think it's a huge corporate game like the one you've outlined.
  • thefiresidecatthefiresidecat Member Posts: 4,486 Arc User
    krowsys said:

    Here is some helpful advise for Cryptic. I am an expert in the field of sales and marketing with 25+ years under my belt. I'm watching Cryptic lose a majority of it's market through offering very broken product (mod 16) to it's current customer base. I see a few "loyal" folks saying that those who are unhappy should be ignored because they are going to be unhappy no matter what, and those that are happy don't yell as loud.

    That is the most ridiculous bunch of forum gerrymandering I think I have ever heard
    ......

    If you continue just patching, you'll lose your shirt along with most of your customer base.

    Thanks for listening.

    Excellent research, The passion and time it took to write this is inspiring. You would be a great asset to any company. I would definitely hire you.

    But you must think outside the box and you will see exactly what is truly happening here.

    It's not good for us NWO fans. This game is prepping for sunset. a year maybe 2 if you're lucky.

    Marvel Heroes Omega shut down in a matter of weeks after announcing. That hurt more than this will.

    At least I know I will see you all in other MMO's, I may not know who you are, what is important is that we are all playing together in whatever games we play.

    Thanks for the memories.

    -Krow
    for a small staff if they can continue to meet their sales goals there is no reason to sunset the game. yeah the game is prepping to sunset as of right now because the game is basically unplayable so they'll not meet those goals going forward as is.... but if they get their hamsters in a row this game could theoretically have a lot of time left.
  • barkloud#8760 barkloud Member Posts: 38 Arc User
    zerappus said:

    @ OP, why only 4 posts in total if you're really into NW? Hard to believe the veracity of your intention with this internet cut-and-paste with no context within the game, especially when you didn't even point out what systemic problems they rightly fixed with Mod 16.

    The thing is players got used to 5 second to 10 second boss kills (with the litany of nutty multipliers). That would not have happened in any other MMOs. It would have been hotfixed within a day or at most a week.

    You got players soloing Epic dungeons and high level Heroic Encounters. You got players hitting 10-100+ million damage with practically no effort. Can you name other MMOs that allow this? They simply removed Godmode that shouldn't been allowed to happen in the first place.

    The developers' real shortcoming here is took them that long to fix this. Remember it took them two years to remedy the Bonding Runestone after so many warnings it was broken. And players such as myself have been warning them about the GWF bubble etc. Imo, the developers should be commended(!!!) for finally fixing the problems.

    As for the scaling, as i've mentioned before, it will fix itself. There is a fine balance with scaling, the need of players to gear up and for Cryptic to sell items for upgrade. Right now they are still tweaking the balance. Does anyone actually believe Cryptic will be content in not selling Coal Wards, Preservation Wards and ViP because having basic gear is no different than high end?

    As for I, my biggest gripe with Mod16 will always be Class Balance since my Archers get the short shrift once again and there's still no developer feedback even after over 2 months.

    It's only ok because business wise there's no difference between one class upgrading to another class upgrading. Ten Barbarians vs 0 Archer is no different than 5 Barbarbarians vs 5 Archers. So they focused 6 long weeks perfecting Barbarians with a lot of ex-GWF pool and 0 on Archers being underpowered for so long and lowly populated.

    Class balance aside, the developers were saviours for being bold enough to fix the systemic problem in-game. Because as it was, it is unsustainable.

    The new system they put forth is now sustainable. They actually saved NWO from crashing from so much systemic imbalance.

    But having said that, they shouldn't be done with tweaking scaling and class balance just yet. It's not optimal at all.

    You clearly have not tried leveling a char lately?

    If you have limited experience in game, you should not criticize others.
  • bigman99#8273 bigman99 Member Posts: 510 Arc User
    Nighttriumph, thank you for the post, excellent research, I hope people keep commenting so it always gets attention. Zerappus, I don't know if you are just a troll looking to provoke a reaction or genuinely believe you are right, but it matters not at all. The developers and management should never have released a product that had so many flaws ( ex. ph markers left in-game) as a finished product, then compounded it with "fixes" that ended up bugging other parts of the game (looking directly at you Demo) to the point they are unplayable and have to be removed from the game. They are a long way from being commended.
  • mordekai#1901 mordekai Member Posts: 1,598 Arc User
    I see both sides of the argument.

    The current state of Mod 16 is that it is a dog's breakfast. But that is not because they changed from the power creep meta-build monstrosity that was slowly strangling the game. It's because they changed it to a system that had not been fully tested.

    That is because the system that passed the closed beta, failed in preview and they had to quickly come up with another working variant based on the "Opposing Rolls" system that the underlying game engine had been rebuilt to accommodate. Playing catch up with all the bugs this caused is part of the reason the individual spot fixes are so many and taking so long to fix.

    But any notion that rolling back mod 16's campaign content into a pre mod 16 game system will fix things because "That's what the players want and you need to listen to your players or your company will fail" is HAMSTER stupid.

    Sorry... I only ran a consultancy for ten years, never went to Vegas, and never needed to advertise, so I guess I'm not an expert... but unless you know the financial status, number of employees, marketing budget, wages, how much of the merchandising and marketing is provided by the parent company PW (who may or may not use their rather extensive marketing arm to save some tax money by using in house facilities) or whether Cryptic target on overall house or project specific revenues, or what the design budget is and how it is split between content and system, and about a dozen other things, offering "advise" on how to run their business is not the sign of an expert of any sort.

    And YES, they DO need to listen, and fix things that are broken. But that does NOT mean rolling back to pre mod 16 game systems. Because if they go back to that they will only need to change it again as the power creep worsens, and new content dungeon lock outs continue for all but the very BiS who play characters that sit comfortably in the "Meta".
    And for some people staying with the new system will mean having to learn, (or wait till someone posts a blog telling them) how to play the game under the new changes. And by starting with lower caps and stats, (such as recovery rates and AP gain) it allows the freedom to increase them IF there is the capacity to do so rather than rely on nerf after nerf after nerf trying to balance every little thing. If it were not for the associated bugs and problems with scaling, most people would find the changes perfectly accepta... who am I kidding... loads of people would still HAMSTER and moan at anything that ""nerfs" them. Regardless of whether it helps prolong the longevity of the game or not.

    They need to fix Mod 16, and that begins with getting scaling right. The fixes we were told to expect this Thursday did not materialise, and @nitocris83 and @mimicking#6533 need to look at addressing THAT in the next live stream, before moving on to other matters.

    Devs, please... explain WHY we can cap the 50% Crit max in L80 content, but not L70 when running a L80 toon. The game system is built to CAP ratings... LET it... Scale HP, Power and Damage, but leave the ratings as they are. We can't go over the opposing roll caps. So just leave them alone. Especially if level suited characters can hit those caps because it is ridiculous for a (for example) L80 character to have a Crit of 43% while a Level 70 can hit 50% in a L70 zone.
    And if you are allowing the latest content (in this case Barovia) to remain unscaled there is clearly no technical reason for scaling at all. Right now the only conclusion that I can reach for down scaling anything is that it actually IS a punitive measure of some sort, and I simply can NOT figure out the WHY of it.

    So yes, again, they need to listen and they need to fix Mod 16, but just one more time... that does NOT involve rolling the Mod 16 campaign back into pre Mod 16 game systems.

    Because that was broken too.

    And for anyone whose response to that is, "Yeah, but it was broke in MY favour." I can't tell you how few HAMSTER I give for your selfish position.
  • nighttriumph#5952 nighttriumph Member Posts: 13 Arc User
    edited May 2019
    zerappus said:

    @ OP, why only 4 posts in total if you're really into NW? Hard to believe the veracity of your intention with this internet cut-and-paste with no context within the game, especially when you didn't even point out what systemic problems they rightly fixed with Mod 16.

    @zerappus: So being into NW requires more time on the forums? or more time playing the game? I don't really care if you believe the "veracity of my intention". Last I checked you have zero to do with the brokenness that is NW right now.

    However, that's not the point. The point of my original post was the roll-out of Mod 16 in it's current state was a bad marketing and customer care strategy that will lead to loss of profit and the loss of what was a clearly invested customer base. Just read some of the stories above in response to my post and you will see how many folks have gotten the short end of the stick through Cryptic's terrible management practices and the incomplete state of this mod roll-out (and previous roll-out's from how people have responded).

    Prior knowledge of what may have been fixed by Mod 16 is irrelevant to my point that so much of the game is broken, it's nearly unplayable and most certainly not fun to play currently due to said brokenness.

    I am surprised that you seem to be somewhat defending them, as by your own testimony, Cryptic has continued to leave your preferred character class unbalanced for quite a long time.
    Post edited by nighttriumph#5952 on
  • kralmoekralmoe Member Posts: 42 Arc User
    I am myself a sales and marketing manager in Holland and I completely agree with Nighttriumph that a company that doesn't listen to its customers will lose a lot of money or even go bankrupt. You could think that this is very obvious but experience has told me that it is not. Some companies think they can manipulate their customers as they wish and that's where they are wrong. Never treat consumers as idiots. Treat them as intelligent people if you want to succeed.

    Cryptic, you made this game and it was going well until now. Do not abandon that way. As Nighttriumph said do not try to become a pizza company if your name is Nestle.
    If you want to get out of this mess, swallow your pride, tell your customers you made a mistake, get back the game to Mod 15 and put a good team to work for the next Mod keeping in mind that the customer is always wright.

    Good Luck
  • kemnimtarkaskemnimtarkas Member Posts: 838 Arc User
    edited May 2019
    krowsys said:



    It's not good for us NWO fans. This game is prepping for sunset. a year maybe 2 if you're lucky.



    Thanks for the memories.

    -Krow

    While I really do hope you are wrong....I am not inclined to spend any more $$$ on NWO at the moment, as it has lost most of its entertainment value for me personally - the satisfying combination of combat animations and mechanics were what this game was known for, and that's all shot to hell.

    If the average player who spends $$$ on this game feels the same way - you're probably being overly optimistic. I think the devs have maybe 6 months to fix this. After that? It's a question of how long Cryptic is willing to fund a project whose budget is in the red.

  • ves#0608 ves Member Posts: 12 Arc User
    Be prepared for them to close this thread, they don't like it when folks talk about leaving, they prefer to play ostrich and make the threads go away.
  • aganwayaganway Member Posts: 269 Arc User
    kralmoe said:

    I am myself a sales and marketing manager in Holland and I completely agree with Nighttriumph that a company that doesn't listen to its customers will lose a lot of money or even go bankrupt. You could think that this is very obvious but experience has told me that it is not. Some companies think they can manipulate their customers as they wish and that's where they are wrong. Never treat consumers as idiots. Treat them as intelligent people if you want to succeed.

    Cryptic, you made this game and it was going well until now. Do not abandon that way. As Nighttriumph said do not try to become a pizza company if your name is Nestle.
    If you want to get out of this mess, swallow your pride, tell your customers you made a mistake, get back the game to Mod 15 and put a good team to work for the next Mod keeping in mind that the customer is always wright.

    Good Luck

    Referring to the comment which I have bolded, this really resonates with me. It's my experience that the devs have had an attitude of identifying something in how the game is played they do not like, then making (in my view unnecessary) changes designed to force players to play in a certain way to force results to match what they want on a micromanagement level. The first example I saw of this was when they removed Rhix from the game. Originally you had to go to Rhix in person and see him daily to pick up your daily AD quests, this system worked fine for years, but we were one day told that a few players were not remembering to go to him and pick up their quests, so they made it an automatic system and shelved Rhix entirely. I remember thinking at the time that we were all being penalized purely because a few people didn't know what they were doing, and a perfectly functional part of the game which worked fine was being changed only because some people were not using the game properly. Since then I have seen more of the same, where the devs have felt entitled to further and further funnel everyone into a narrower and narrower way of playing simply in order to deal with what they see as issues. It's a pattern. In my opinion the strongest aspect of Neverwinter was always that people had such a wide variety of ways in which to enjoy it and could tailor their experience accordingly which goes to this comment above about treating customers as intelligent people. They could tailor their build and playstyle and group role in a multitude of ways, they could focus on group play or do it entirely solo, they could pick and choose what the game was for them and how they spent their time in the virtual world, this seems to have vanished as both the devs and a small group of hardcore players who provide much of the feedback to them, have decided they know better than the players who play it, and they will tell you how to play, what to do and what your experience is going to be. It's this narrowing of the experience and forcing of players to conform via constant changes, using updates to force players like cattle through this or that gate, which is killing the game.
  • mordekai#1901 mordekai Member Posts: 1,598 Arc User
    kralmoe said:

    I am myself a sales and marketing manager in Holland and I completely agree with Nighttriumph that a company that doesn't listen to its customers will lose a lot of money or even go bankrupt. You could think that this is very obvious but experience has told me that it is not. Some companies think they can manipulate their customers as they wish and that's where they are wrong. Never treat consumers as idiots. Treat them as intelligent people if you want to succeed.

    Cryptic, you made this game and it was going well until now. Do not abandon that way. As Nighttriumph said do not try to become a pizza company if your name is Nestle.
    If you want to get out of this mess, swallow your pride, tell your customers you made a mistake, get back the game to Mod 15 and put a good team to work for the next Mod keeping in mind that the customer is always wright.

    Good Luck

    Can you explain why you think it should be rolled back?
    Do you disagree with their reasons for wanting to change from the old system that would have required regular down grading and resetting of the progression curves? If so why?
    Do you believe Lifesteal and Recovery were in a good place?
    Do you disagree with the reasons for getting rid of them?
  • kemnimtarkaskemnimtarkas Member Posts: 838 Arc User
    edited May 2019
    kralmoe said:



    Can you explain why you think it should be rolled back?
    Do you disagree with their reasons for wanting to change from the old system that would have required regular down grading and resetting of the progression curves? If so why?
    Do you believe Lifesteal and Recovery were in a good place?
    Do you disagree with the reasons for getting rid of them?

    This sounds like a writing prompt for a college essay (grab the table, here come the flashbacks).
This discussion has been closed.