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It's not that Sapience was incorrect that bothered me. Everybody makes mistakes. He had been probably been playing on Bullroarer and reading Helm's Deep patch notes for a couple months, and it's easy

Heh. Amusing. Though I will say, I never considered Sapience/Rick Heaton "my" "community manager." He is a Turbine-paid employee whose job is to guide customer communications on a company interact

Ricky was especially angry about the comments in the Shield run tangent/multiplayer sub-discussion:  

Bendin, are you trying to say Rick Heaton is Turbine's Dark Knight, shouldering the load of public ridicule for the good of the company?  If so, at the end of the day, I still don't see how that helps Turbine create or keep more satisfied customers.

 

LOL @ "Turbine's Dark Knight". However, I don't believe Sapience is the CM LOTRO needs or deserves. ;) Heaton is more like the blowhard Captain Hammer from Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-long Blog...minus Nathan Fillion's great looks, of course. 

 

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:D all I'm saying is that unless WB actually intended to make the risk of significant investment(both involving game mechanics as well as requisite marketing) that may or may not generate a return, they avoided to some extent people calling them out over a core feature of the mmo genre outside of a single isolated thread.

 

Hypothetically say for example you made the call to stop re-investing in an existing product and divert resources some years ago to something else in this case for an extended time 18+ months minimum.  Letting it coast into the sunset. in light of this what if any statements you release about the product results backlash(housing update) and a loss of new and existing players.  What if complete silence equals a similar loss in player-base.  If your damned if you do, damned if you don't, why not toss a little blood in the water to incite a feeing frenzy on a relatively unimportant topic?  Even though you never had a chance of increasing the base, and more than likely would continue to loose players anyway, any side discussions stand an excellent chance of murking the the waters at worst, masking it at best.

 

It's only bad PR if you haven't already decided to cut losses and merely string those along a blind following or those wearing tin foil hats

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Treating people like that in the beta, and dividing the community, is far worse than any small thing he does on the forum like burying a thread, or tweeting something. The post kinds of sums up why he has been so bad for the game.

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Treating people like that in the beta, and dividing the community, is far worse than any small thing he does on the forum like burying a thread, or tweeting something. The post kinds of sums up why he has been so bad for the game.

 

At the same time, I don't find it to be a character flaw or malicious attitude the way many posters here seem to. It's simply a personality and manner of communication, and a good community team needs a variety of these to connect with different kinds of players.

 

The issue is that Sapience is the entire public face of the community team now. We don't have Patience's sharp wit, or Clover's ineffable joy, or Frelorn's goofy humor, or Celestrata's sincere empathy to balance things out. Together, I think they really did make a good team, and among them, they were usually able to call on the right personality and style of communication for each situation.

 

I think unless a team can exhibit this full array of personality, the community is bound to fracture. It's not Sapience's fault he's stuck dealing with all of us, when any one person can only be suited to dealing with maybe 20% of us.

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At the same time, I don't find it to be a character flaw or malicious attitude the way many posters here seem to. It's simply a personality and manner of communication, and a good community team needs a variety of these to connect with different kinds of players.

 

The issue is that Sapience is the entire public face of the community team now. We don't have Patience's sharp wit, or Clover's ineffable joy, or Frelorn's goofy humor, or Celestrata's sincere empathy to balance things out. Together, I think they really did make a good team, and among them, they were usually able to call on the right personality and style of communication for each situation.

 

I think unless a team can exhibit this full array of personality, the community is bound to fracture. It's not Sapience's fault he's stuck dealing with all of us, when any one person can only be suited to dealing with maybe 20% of us.

But if he was good at his job,or his personality wasnt flawed, he would recognise that problem and adapt his attitude to the situation, however he doesnt just take a look at the recent shield thread fiasco, he reverts to type every time. 

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But if he was good at his job,or his personality wasnt flawed, he would recognise that problem and adapt his attitude to the situation, however he doesnt just take a look at the recent shield thread fiasco, he reverts to type every time. 

 

I thought about this too, but if he adapted his style to every situation, we'd just call him fickle, moody, and inconsistent.

 

At least we know what we're going to get every time: sarcastic and paternalistic.

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sarcastic and paternalistic.

 

Those aren't the words I would use to describe Heaton's communication skills. Unprofessional and Dickish come more to mind. But that's okay, he has a job to do, and apparently he's doing it to Turbine's satisfaction. Which tells me a lot about Turbine's upper management team, actually.

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I don't "know" he is, however the simple fact that WB considers him a value adding asset is telling.  Usually when unwanted PR gaffs happen over an extended period of time the gaffer goes.

Actually it seems that it would be more trouble/costly to get rid of him. I'm totally drawing a blank here on a name, but there's a person who had been perma modded/banned by Sapience (for linking google caches to prove Sapience was lying was it?) but actually got put on the first player's council, presumably by someone higher up than Sapience. He came to find out that Sapience also put him on permanent moderation in the council's forums too, as well as forging a post deletion/infraction history for him. Apparently the boss knew about it, took the poster off moderation, Sapience put the poster back in moderation in direct conflict of his boss's wishes... and basically the poster got told by the boss something to the affect of it being too much trouble/costly to get rid of Sapience. At least this is what I recollect. I'd try to find the post if I could if I could remember the poster in question. :/

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At the same time, I don't find it to be a character flaw or malicious attitude the way many posters here seem to. It's simply a personality and manner of communication, and a good community team needs a variety of these to connect with different kinds of players.

 

The issue is that Sapience is the entire public face of the community team now. We don't have Patience's sharp wit, or Clover's ineffable joy, or Frelorn's goofy humor, or Celestrata's sincere empathy to balance things out. Together, I think they really did make a good team, and among them, they were usually able to call on the right personality and style of communication for each situation.

 

I think unless a team can exhibit this full array of personality, the community is bound to fracture. It's not Sapience's fault he's stuck dealing with all of us, when any one person can only be suited to dealing with maybe 20% of us.

 

I disagree with that. When you work in a customer service/relations role there are obvious unwritten rules of how you communicate with your company's customers. These are also often listed in your employee contract and role handbook.

 

Rule number one is that you are always polite to customers. You can never be sarcastic, offensive or lose your temper with a customer. If a customer points out that you are wrong about something, you apologise.

 

When you work in a customer relations/service role you can not be truly yourself - you play a role.  .

 

It is easy to be firm, yet polite with people  -  it's not rocket science. If you can't keep your cool and remain professional then you are in the wrong job. Most businesses dismiss staff who can't control themselves to be professional and appropriate to customers as, logically, it creates a bad image for the company and harms business. 

 

Turbine don't seem to care.

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Actually it seems that it would be more trouble/costly to get rid of him. I'm totally drawing a blank here on a name, but there's a person who had been perma modded/banned by Sapience (for linking google caches to prove Sapience was lying was it?) but actually got put on the first player's council, presumably by someone higher up than Sapience. He came to find out that Sapience also put him on permanent moderation in the council's forums too, as well as forging a post deletion/infraction history for him. Apparently the boss knew about it, took the poster off moderation, Sapience put the poster back in moderation in direct conflict of his boss's wishes... and basically the poster got told by the boss something to the affect of it being too much trouble/costly to get rid of Sapience. At least this is what I recollect. I'd try to find the post if I could if I could remember the poster in question. :/

 

Stavro Mueller?

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He's just representing his company's general ethos towards it's customers - which is to not treat them as such and to general ignore that fact as to who pays their salaries. Hence why we are treated as a "community" to be "managed" rather than as individuals with valid opinions.

 

Would be interesting to see how he would get in in a professional customer service environment.

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I thought about this too, but if he adapted his style to every situation, we'd just call him fickle, moody, and inconsistent.

 

At least we know what we're going to get every time: sarcastic and paternalistic.

 

And as CM, he sets a dysfunctional example for his legion of ass-kissers, leading to the toxic waste dump that is the OF today.

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And as CM, he sets a dysfunctional example for his legion of ass-kissers, leading to the toxic waste dump that is the OF today.

This is the main problem with today's O forum. 

It wasn't the CM that created the environment there today but a handful of posters.  I'm not sure he sets the example but he certainly lets their obvious troll posts go unpunished.  As predicted most couldn't wait minutes until they danced on the instance cluster grave.   Any forum that allows antic like those deployed by RKL and a few others (players that I seriously doubt even play) is not a properly policed forum. 

Then you got players who target threads to create derailment or flames.   "Oh look a thread about raids.  We need to get that closed immediately. "  Or  "Those blasted raiders/PVPers are asking for more content again.  I better give my 2 cents before they get it."  

 

That is the mentality that is left other than the very extreme fanboys whose mentality is mostly "I better invalidate that post before someone sees the flaws in the game and tell everyone how great the game is".  These folks aren't really doing anything wrong, other than promoting bad game development. 

 

But when you mix all that together, with the fact that the CM does nothing to police their activities, you have what the Lotro O board is today.  The most unfriendly forum I have ever been a part of.

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That fanboy behaviour only exists because they believe it's what Turbine and their CM want to hear and they have the character trait that turns them into shrill cheerleaders. No different to curtain twitching old people who grass up their neighbours for putting out two bags of rubbish instead of one - they want to curry favour with the authorities because it makes their own sad & pathetic lives feel all the more important.

 

Take away the CM's grace & favour and ask yourself whether Fuckingshit, MV, CDQ or any of the others from that group would be posting on the OF. They would either STFU or move to another game where they was a CM to throw them a bone and show them favour.

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At the same time, I don't find it to be a character flaw or malicious attitude the way many posters here seem to. It's simply a personality and manner of communication, and a good community team needs a variety of these to connect with different kinds of players.

 

The issue is that Sapience is the entire public face of the community team now. We don't have Patience's sharp wit, or Clover's ineffable joy, or Frelorn's goofy humor, or Celestrata's sincere empathy to balance things out. Together, I think they really did make a good team, and among them, they were usually able to call on the right personality and style of communication for each situation.

 

I think unless a team can exhibit this full array of personality, the community is bound to fracture. It's not Sapience's fault he's stuck dealing with all of us, when any one person can only be suited to dealing with maybe 20% of us.

Why did you have to ruin your point by including Celestrata with your idea of the forces of light?

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Why did you have to ruin your point by including Celestrata with your idea of the forces of light?

 

Oh I wasn't trying to divide them up into groups, just highlight what I remember as some of their strengths. When Celstrata had bad news for the entire community, she always seemed to deliver it with a touch of sympathy and humanity.

 

On the other hand, Clover's cheeriness sometimes rubbed me the wrong way. Looking back now, I miss her influence. But at the time, I sometimes actively avoided reading her posts, because I was in no mood to be happy that day. :)

 

We probably all relate to and remember these people in different ways, which I think is normal and a good thing.

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Why did you have to ruin your point by including Celestrata with your idea of the forces of light?

Maybe Fredelas has never actually had to deal with him? Celestrata is the very reason I was perma-banned... because I disagreed with the praise he was getting for doing fuck all.

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As far as character flaws go, I'd say Sap has a very hard time admitting he's wrong. Actually, I'm not sure I've ever seem him do it, but I don't read the censored forums much anymore.

 

I would not say his character is flawed, or that he has character flaws. That seems a bit extreme. It is too judgy - we are all screwed up on some level - or at least we all have our bad points.

 

To me, he just is not good at this job, and he is condescending. Also, bad at communication. I would criticize any of his actions - but don't see him as any better or worse than the rest of humanity. Being a jerk is not the worst thing in the world. Even ruining Lotro - or doing his part to wreck the game - is not really such a horrible act in the grand scheme of things.

 I'm totally drawing a blank here on a name, but there's a person who had been perma modded/banned by Sapience (for linking google caches to prove Sapience was lying was it?) but actually got put on the first player's council, presumably by someone higher up than Sapience.

Stavro.  I got the impression that yes, Sapience went against the other person's wishes and put him back on banned status. This was well into Stavro's term on the council, and I think Sapience did not like what he was saying on the PC private forums. 

 

But, yeah, it looks to me like Sapience has some close ties to top management at Turbine and basically has tenure - no matter how bad he is at his job or how much damage he does.

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That fanboy behaviour only exists because they believe it's what Turbine and their CM want to hear and they have the character trait that turns them into shrill cheerleaders. No different to curtain twitching old people who grass up their neighbours for putting out two bags of rubbish instead of one - they want to curry favour with the authorities because it makes their own sad & pathetic lives feel all the more important.

 

Take away the CM's grace & favour and ask yourself whether Fuckingshit, MV, CDQ or any of the others from that group would be posting on the OF. They would either STFU or move to another game where they was a CM to throw them a bone and show them favour.

 

They're made for each other. 

 

I wonder how common such fawning behavior is on other games' forums, or whether it's a unique attribute of Lotro OF. (Can't answer, having not frequented other game forums). Unfortunately, I think the Tolkien IP of this game is a contributing factor. The richer the lore, the more posturing "lore experts" come out of the woodwork for no other reason than to cultivate an online self-image of "authority" with their holier-than-thou condescension to opinions of fellow posters. Since existence of this game enables their online personas, they will blindly defend it to death no matter how lore-breaking some aspects of the game might be.

 

If this was any other game - a real MMO where gameplay and theorycrafting mattered more than lore fluff - these posturing self-important dweebs would be laughed off the forums, and no amount of ass-kissing would mask the embarrassment of not knowing how to play their classes/equip their toons while pretending to know it all.

 

But Lotro is not any other game, and instead we have more threads like:

https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthread.php?551412-Sapience-Killing-Me-Man!

 

Leg-humping blue-name "celebrities" is the new endgame, and chasing any celebrity sparkles that might rub off is the new "grind" (literally). 

 

Someone ought to break the news to these anti-grouper attention seekers that forum discussions are group content. You'd think they would be happily soloing the less-populated sub-forums where the immersion of their ramblings would be in no threat whatsoever from those pesky other posters reading and responding. 

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Readng this I am so glad I had limited interaction with Turbines forums, the efforts of Satine et al, on the old Codemasters Forum seem to be so much better by comparison. If someone was banned there it was for genuine trolling, and it was posible to criticise Codemasters without an equivlent to Ricky censoring the forums.

 

Slightly off topic, I am genuinly intriguied on another point, whats the in game reponse rate like to tickets now. Back in the day, under Codemasters i generally got mine answered in 15-30 mins, and recall GMS actually contacting me in game.

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They're made for each other. 

 

I wonder how common such fawning behavior is on other games' forums, or whether it's a unique attribute of Lotro OF. (Can't answer, having not frequented other game forums). Unfortunately, I think the Tolkien IP of this game is a contributing factor. The richer the lore, the more posturing "lore experts" come out of the woodwork for no other reason than to cultivate an online self-image of "authority" with their holier-than-thou condescension to opinions of fellow posters. Since existence of this game enables their online personas, they will blindly defend it to death no matter how lore-breaking some aspects of the game might be.

 

If this was any other game - a real MMO where gameplay and theorycrafting mattered more than lore fluff - these posturing self-important dweebs would be laughed off the forums, and no amount of ass-kissing would mask the embarrassment of not knowing how to play their classes/equip their toons while pretending to know it all.

 

But Lotro is not any other game, and instead we have more threads like:

https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthread.php?551412-Sapience-Killing-Me-Man!

 

Leg-humping blue-name "celebrities" is the new endgame, and chasing any celebrity sparkles that might rub off is the new "grind" (literally). 

 

Someone ought to break the news to these anti-grouper attention seekers that forum discussions are group content. You'd think they would be happily soloing the less-populated sub-forums where the immersion of their ramblings would be in no threat whatsoever from those pesky other posters reading and responding. 

 

Yep.

 

And what other game company uses a customer to transcribe Q & A sessions? Not very professional is it? It is their job to provide transcripts, not the customer.

 

Also if you as a customer love playing the game, why would you spend all that time listening/reading every Q & A session on each server and then transcribing it on the official forums? It doesn't make sense, unless it is for attention - like a brown noser at school. How many other people would be willing to do all that work unpaid for a multi-million dollar company?

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