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Notice Some Fizzytopian Feedback

Fizzy Bubbles ZA
Sep 18, 2005
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First off, TKF and I would like to once again thank you all for providing us with invaluable feedback! To keep things brief, we’ll list a series of comments, observations, and answers to various remarks and trends that we’ve gleaned from your responses. We hope to keep this as transparent as possible to make sure we’re all on the same page and so we can share our perspective with you all!

The Good and the Bad:
● Additions the community liked: As expected, most of you stated the addition of gyms & raids as well as the restructuring and addition of new zones as the most enjoyed changes of this year so far. Additionally, many of you enjoyed the addition of the gender-guaranteeing rule as well as the regional incenses being added to the Hatchery. It’s always been our number one goal to make sure we listen to the concerns of the community, and over the course of the past years FB has faced a scarcity of opportunities to train and roleplay with your Pokemon while waiting between zone updates, concerns over the previous zone structure being too restricting to updater freedom, and issues with wasting egg slots on failed attempts to build your team the perfect way you envision it. It is pleasing to see that such issues have been addressed in a manner that pleases the community.
● Things the community felt could have been implemented better: While things are overall very positive about FB’s growth over the past year, there are also a few things that you guys have pointed out that we could have done better. I’ll start by saying that even though TKF and I always have the game and the community’s best interests at heart, we are far from perfect. We appreciate your honesty in holding us accountable during the times we might miss the mark. Out of your responses, most of the feedback boiled down to how two additions were handled. I’ll address each of them separately so that you can see our rationale behind those decisions and hopefully gain some understanding of our perspective:
◦ First: The Gigantaband. TKF and I are going to come right out and agree that we rushed its development and should have consulted the community for feedback first. For that, we apologize. We identified an issue with the current way dynamax/gigantamax evolutions are structured, which is that you spend all of that time and effort saving up for a Wishing Piece only to never get a chance to actually enjoy the gigantamax factor that you have unlocked. As a result of our lengthy brainstorming, we came up with the item, modeling it after the way that Mega Stones and Z-Crystals work and were eager to surprise the community with the addition. While some of you have stated that you welcome the addition, others have voiced concerns about being left out of the creative process, which is absolutely correct. We will be sure to refrain from letting this important step of development from being omitted again.
◦ Secondly: While most of the community has been widely supportive of the addition of raid battles as a means to bring a collaborative effort for the community to take part in during the down times when people are unable to respond to zone updates, some have felt that they detract from zones as the main feature of FB and are a departure from FB’s core mechanic, which is subjectivity through roleplaying. The main thing I want to address in regards to ‘how it could have been implemented better’ is that ever since we first tested it out through an event in January, raids have been analyzed, tweaked, and improved with each passing month. I will apologize if the development seems turbulent at times, but I would just like to assure you that most, if not all, additions have come at the request of the community or have the interest of maintaining a fair and balanced gameplay at heart. As for discussing the core concept of why raids were added as a whole, I will address that in its own separate note below…

Gyms & Raids:
● As stated before, the primary reason why raids were implemented was because we wanted to provide the community with a way to pass the time when they are unable to participate in zone adventures, whether that being they don’t have the time to roleplay or are waiting for an updater to progress their adventure. The focus of raids was always meant to be as a side-piece to zone adventures, which will always remain the main focus of FB. Because of this, we wanted to both 1.) allow raids to be low-effort for both participants and Gym Leaders so that progress can be streamlined without getting bogged down and most importantly reducing the amount of burden on the Gym Leaders so that they are able to devote energy to other places in FB, such as updating zones and 2.) provide people additional roleplay opportunities to grow personalities for their Pokemon and increase their bond, as well as train them to become stronger so that they could feel like they are still engaged and progressing within the RPG and not lose interest when activity is slow elsewhere. We feel that raids are the perfect marriage between these two schools of thought without letting it feel like it’s just another shop.

● To address concerns that the hard number-based and objective mechanics of raids are a stark departure from the free-flowing subjective nature of roleplaying out one’s adventure: You are absolutely right for thinking so. However, I would like to reiterate that raids are not meant to be the primary focus of FB, and because of such, it drastically reduces the amount of work that a Gym Leader has to perform when updating essentially a battle of four, eight, or even more updatees every single month if they don’t have to analyze the tactical implications of dealing with so many Pokemon at the same time. If raid battles were to be conducted the same way zone updates are handled, I can guarantee that every single Gym Leader would be burned out after a month or two, and thus the entire system would crumble. Zones will always be the primary focus of FB, but you have to understand that not all updaters are able to provide content for their updatees more than once a week, sometimes longer. We feel strongly that keeping the entire community engaged has not only boosted activity for building their Pokemon teams but also created a domino effect that if people are active and involved, then they are more likely to assist with other facets of FB, namely updating zone adventures.

● Overall, on a scale of too easy vs too hard and too fast vs too slow, the majority of the community seems content that both categories are right in the middle. However, some people have specifically voiced concerns about raids being too slow or too difficult to which I would like to take a moment to address. For pacing, we feel that two days is sufficient time to come up with a strategy and post a reply, since roleplaying is not enforced. Because of this, boss health has been designed in a way that reflects the pacing of a raid being updated every other day to take the majority of the month to wear down. Sometimes raids conclude much faster than others either because of the type matchup and strategies the participants employ while others might be slowed down if participants routinely forget to respond or wait until the final minutes before the deadline. I think it would be unfair to shorten the allotted time any less than 48 hours, putting a burden on those who have busy lives outside of FB. As for the scale of difficulty of certain raids, I’d like to speak on the behalf of all Gym Leaders that we hold each other accountable to try and update raids as fairly as possible. Often times the raids that GLs choose have some sort of gimmick unique to that Pokemon which is a big draw to making it more fun to update. Because of that, we often set the boss up in a way that comes off as intimidating or challenging, but almost always unless by accident we don’t push the conditions in such a way that they are impossible for the raiders to overcome.

● When it comes the scale of raid rewards, the prices of the Watt Shop and the amount given per raid completion were all meticulously planned back when we had 4 mods. The rationale that we decided on was that because raids are a side function of FB, items gained from it were supposed to be more gradual if you were willing to put in the time to grind for it. Given the rate in which Watts are gained, the highest priced items such as Z-Crystals and Mega Stones take around 6 to 12 months to obtain, and that was by design. Some of you specifically expressed concerns over reward gained in raids vs the pacing of rewards gained in zones, and we agree that it’s important that rewards gained from raids remained more gradual. That is not to say we are unwilling to listen should the community as a whole wish for raid rewards to become more prominent, but until then, this is the rationale we feel serves the system best. As for concerns over the overabundance of berries being given out, we are looking into the issue and encourage you to contribute to various related discussions going on in the FB Development subforum on UPN.
Zone Adventures:
● We are very pleased to see the overall collective support to changes and additions to zones in FB over the past year. While it is sad to see Dialga’s Gate and Cloud Garden go, it’s also exciting to see fresh new ideas being generated. A big point of emphasis for the reason behind these changes is not only so that updatees have a wider range of options to choose from for zone adventures, but people who are willing to update have a greater variety of ideas to imagine when choosing to update someone. We feel like the growth of activity of updaters is greater than it’s been in the last two years, and that growth is what keeps FB healthy as an RPG. I will acknowledge that some of you expressed concerns over newer zones being too ‘specialized’ or ‘niche’, but that is part of the appeal of having a bevy of options to choose from for your zone adventures. Adventures would get boring and updaters could run out of ideas if all of the zones were generic and featured too many overlapping themes. We personally feel that it is better for the long-term health of the game if people who are playing have a wider variety of options in which they can pursue any type of adventure that they desire.

● As for the potential for more adventure options, about half of those who responded were in favor of increasing the zone adventure slots from 2 to 3 under the condition that it be earned by actively participating as an updater in FB. The other half of the responses were mostly split between undecided, against increasing the number of slots, or were unsure of how the increased workload might burden active updaters. Several of you pointed out that it should be unlocked by qualifying for Bi-Monthly Rewards. Overall I think this topic requires more discussion by the community as a whole, but I am very curious to hear exactly how many people who are not presently updating would be incentivized to start updating if this restriction were to be established. Overall feedback regarding the Bi-Monthly Rewards and the Staff Rewards were overwhelmingly positive so not much needs to be said there, but feel free to address concerns regarding either of these if you have them.

Final Thoughts:
● This community review has provided us with some invaluable insight to the opinions of what the community as a whole expects out of us going forward, and we greatly appreciate your honesty. TKF and I would also like to take a moment to be truthful and honest with our own feedback regarding the community as a whole and how everyone, us included, can do better to make FB a better place. The community is really what drives FB, and it’s no surprise that people want to make sure that their voices are heard, especially when it comes to implementing something that is of personal interest to each individual, or something that they are passionate about. However, one thing that I must be critical of the community about is that we all need to be much better at responding to discussions and providing feedback when it is requested, even if you have no personal stake in the matter at hand. Just like you guys expect us to hear and respond to your voices, we feel that this is a two-way street in which we need more of you to speak up when it comes time to shape FB’s future.

I’m not trying to be overly critical or anything like that, so I really hope that many of you reading this take it to heart when I say that it is detrimental to FB’s future if every time something is being developed, only the vocal minority’s voices are heard. Often times ideas come about when people have a personal, invested interest in making something happen. That’s not to just say people are mostly selfish; most of the time ideas that are brought up are done so with the community’s best interest at heart and are wonderful ideas. However, this is not always the case, because a lot of ideas don’t receive a wide variety of feedback, and so it winds up the same few voices who speak up and develop FB’s mechanics through their limited perspective. Even if there are 7-8 people who are all on-board with an idea, there could be 15-16 of you out there who are against it, but don’t care enough to speak up. As a result, discussion either slows down to a grinding halt due to the lack of different perspectives, or it ends up rushed into being something that might not cater to everyone in the community’s desires, resulting in revamps and changes later on when people finally voice their displeasure. If the people trying to develop a mechanic and wish to implement it swiftly often fall on deaf ears, that leads to frustration and the rushing of development, seeking to cut out the silent middle-men and push for rapid resolutions- like what ultimately happened with our mistake in not consulting the community about the Gigantaband.
● The last point we would like to address in this survey feedback has been made clear by a few of you. Several of you have asked for more transparency and wondered why we have not yet elected a third mod since Naru’s departure. While I would like to think that TKF and I have been very transparent as mods, probably more so than the vast majority of the ones in FB’s past, some of you feel that we could do better, and we couldn’t agree more. We were elected by the community to work for the community, so we would like to feel that we are approachable enough for anyone to reach out to at any given time and we can respond in turn with an honest answer. This has been a rough year from a mental perspective for everyone, not just the two of us, so we will push ourselves to be more receptive to the community. We just want people to understand that if someone asks us about an idea or a rule in FB and we give what seems like an impassive or curt response, it’s not because we’re trying to shut them down but rather we are trying to respond in a way in which cannot be misinterpreted or is inadvertently creating some kind of loophole or precedent that is unrelated to the present discussion. If there is ever something we say that the community as a whole disagrees with, we are always more than willing to re-assess the rules so that everyone is on the same page.

As for why TKF and I have not looked to hire a new mod yet, the honest answer is that we work really well together and are on the same wavelength about how FB should be run and our vision for its future. Despite people’s concerns that we are overworked, that couldn’t be farther from the truth as the two of us take a great joy in developing FB’s future and making the game as fair and balanced for all who play. That’s not to say that we don’t think there should be a third mod in FB’s future; it’s just that things have been flowing really well the last few months since Naru left us hanging and we don’t want to disrupt that. We think there are several members in the community who would make excellent candidates to work with should they be willing, but we also would like to give people time to prove themselves able to handle additional workload on top of their existing FB responsibilities without burning themselves out. Because of all of these factors, TKF and I have pushed to get our other leaders in the community more involved with development and other projects, so that the number of responsibilities and power fall less on the mods and more on those in the community who wish to step up to a bigger role, whether that be Zone Administrators, Gym Leaders, or Shop Owners.

Thank you for your time reading all of this; being able to answer your feedback and get everything off our chests has been extremely important to TKF and I. If you have any specific questions or concerns that we did not address, we highly encourage you to either reach out to us or present your ideas to the community.