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In general I find Steve's "My way or the highway attitude" rather bizarre for someone in a customer dependent business.

You find it "bizarre" only because you apparently can't figure out how we can be both customer unfriendly and yet be in business longer than just about any other wargame company ever to exist. That's because you refuse to understand that what you want is sometimes not what is in your own best interests. And I'm quite honest about that too. Or would you prefer this response from me:

"Dear Warrenpeace. Thank you for your recent inquiry about receiving beta code instead of waiting for the product to be properly tested and released. We value your opinion and I can assure you that it is under active consideration for some time in the future, but at the present time I regret to say that we are not in a position to accommodate this suggestion. Sincerely, Customer Support Representative"

I just wanted to respond to this part of Steve's response to make it crystal clear what a customer might expect as a response to my initial post. Remember, the one one-story building bug is a serious bug, so those of you who are not plagued with it must imagine what it would do to the game. ALso, If you look at the tech support thread, I did a lot of work in characterizing it initially.

If I was running BF I might respond this way.

"Dear Warren,

We are very sorry about the problems you are having with the one-story building bug. It was a difficult bug for us to track down (involving a bad compiler program), but we think we have it fixed now. The reason that the patch has not yet been released is that we are having some troubles with DRM and installing the patch. We think this will be cleared up shortly.

Given the issues you have had, I will be happy to refund your money if you want to inactivate the program. However, we really do think that the patch will fix it. Thank you for your patients and we appreciate your loyalty as a customer.

Sincerely

Battlefront"

Note that this would not have taken Steve any longer to compose, and had he written something like this, it would have cost him nothing and he would have maintained a loyal customer.

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All this ranting about a game! Some of you come across as if the problems are ruining your life. If so, then you really need a better life.

I have enjoyed all of the games I have bought from BF, and feel I have always got amazing value for the money. True, none are perfect, and there is a long list of items I would love to see fixed but, so what. Even with their faults I still find CM to be the best game of its type that I have owned.

Very well put! I share these opinions.

Thanks Cymru!

Bobo

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Pissed off LG customer ' Next time I am buying Sony TV!'

Pissed off BFC customer ' Next time I am buying a ......Oh shiiieett, there is nothing else!'

There is truth in this. However, of late I've been playing Crusader Kings 2 and really like it. Clearly a very different game, but really addicting once you figure out what is going on.

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Your answer to people not reading existing threads is ... more threads? I'm not clear on how that is supposed to work :confused:

Okay so there are three CMww2 sub-forums. During the tank rider discussion I believe there were at least five threads.

The initial CM:BN forum thread

The initial CM:FI forum thread.

The initial CM:RT forum thread. <- not sure why

The 2nd CM:BN forum thread.

and the 2nd CM:RT forum thread.

Now this is probably not an accurate memory of all the threads, but it is pretty close.

Steve answered the "why no tank riders" question in like the 5th page of the initial CM:BN thread.

So if you were not specifically following that single thread you would never see BFC's answer. This resulted in continuing discussion in every other thread and the creation of new threads as the old ones fell off the front page and went dormant.

So if BFC instead made an announcement thread or a sticky thread that stayed around for like 2-3 weeks saying "This is why no tank riders" the entire forum would have that information.

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"Dear Warren,

We are very sorry about the problems you are having with the one-story building bug. It was a difficult bug for us to track down (involving a bad compiler program), but we think we have it fixed now. The reason that the patch has not yet been released is that we are having some troubles with DRM and installing the patch. We think this will be cleared up shortly.

Given the issues you have had, I will be happy to refund your money if you want to inactivate the program. However, we really do think that the patch will fix it. Thank you for your patients and we appreciate your loyalty as a customer.

Sincerely

Battlefront"

You got the first sentence of that imagined response on page 1. You got the second sentence shortly after that. The only thing that hasn't been offered yet is a refund which I'm not sure I've ever been offered by any game company before. Besides, something tells me that it isn't a refund that you are after anyway because if it was you probablyl wouldn't be posting what you are posting. What you want is the bug to be fixed right now because you want a functional game and the fact that a fix hasn't been delivered to you yet is making you frustrated.

Just for some perspective though, there are plenty of bugs in the various Total War series of games that will never be fixed. Most game companies that I can remember would typically offer one patch or maybe two if you were lucky and if something wasn't fixed in the patch you could just go pound sand. Maybe things are different now, I don't know, but I think the fact that the programmer who was actively working on the bug that you identified responded to you in this thread directly should be seen as being sufficiently responsive to your needs. Perhaps you might take a moment to appreciate that level of responsiveness. The main thing is that the fix isn't in your hands NOW, but that doesn't mean the issue is being ignored and while I can certainly understand your frustration I think it would be fair for you to also appreciate how rare it is for you 'Joe Customer' to be actively interacting with the actual programmer on fixing a bug that you identified.

For those who dislike BFC's communications on the subject, you should be aware that warrenpeace has been interacting directly with the actual programmer almost since the bug was discovered. Sure, they aren't communicating on a daily basis, but warrenpeace shouldn't have been under any sort of impression that the bug was being ignored. He has known from the beginning that the issue was identified and he also knew that it was being worked on. The only thing he doesn't have is a fix yet. Not having the fix is certainly frustrating and a little venting is understandable but fixing bugs can be a nasty business as explained in this thread.

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ASL,

I'm not sure what you are reading, but I have never seen anything approaching apologetic language from BF. What I wrote is to try and show what I expect from good customer service/relations. If I go out to eat and they screw up the order, it is quite common for them to be quite apologetic and comp me some part of the bill. Some places will, some won't. Guess which ones I go back to?

Basically, BF has needlessly antagonized me as a customer. I just wanted to point out that it didn't need to happen.

Warren

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Okay so there are three CMww2 sub-forums. During the tank rider discussion I believe there were at least five threads.

The initial CM:BN forum thread

The initial CM:FI forum thread.

The initial CM:RT forum thread. <- not sure why

The 2nd CM:BN forum thread.

and the 2nd CM:RT forum thread.

Now this is probably not an accurate memory of all the threads, but it is pretty close.

Steve answered the "why no tank riders" question in like the 5th page of the initial CM:BN thread.

So if you were not specifically following that single thread you would never see BFC's answer. This resulted in continuing discussion in every other thread and the creation of new threads as the old ones fell off the front page and went dormant.

So if BFC instead made an announcement thread or a sticky thread that stayed around for like 2-3 weeks saying "This is why no tank riders" the entire forum would have that information.

I think you missed a subtler point in JonS message. Fair enough as he isn't usually subtle. :D

The fact that it was posted that many times is because a lot of folks don't read sh*t before complaining. Searching the forum which isn't particularly hard seems to be an effort most folks don't want to be bothered with. The point being, they'd likely still complain before reading the sticky. I had one thread where I posted verbatim Steve's response several times and even that didn't work. Your idea isn't a bad one, but don't think for a moment it would stop the post first, scan later practice.

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ASL,

I'm not sure what you are reading, but I have never seen anything approaching apologetic language from BF. What I wrote is to try and show what I expect from good customer service/relations. If I go out to eat and they screw up the order, it is quite common for them to be quite apologetic and comp me some part of the bill. Some places will, some won't. Guess which ones I go back to?

Basically, BF has needlessly antagonized me as a customer. I just wanted to point out that it didn't need to happen.

Warren

So you want an apology? Really all this for an apology? And the apology would be "sorry for taking so long to do something that takes a long time and not telling you it takes a long time and we are not yet done"?

Man the sense of entitlement there is just a bit deep. I think you should apologize for that. Now. And at length.

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The fact that it was posted that many times is because a lot of folks don't read sh*t before complaining. Searching the forum which isn't particularly hard seems to be an effort most folks don't want to be bothered with. The point being, they'd likely still complain before reading the sticky. I had one thread where I posted verbatim Steve's response several times and even that didn't work. Your idea isn't a bad one, but don't think for a moment it would stop the post first, scan later practice.

Searching through upwards of 5 threads with 100s of posts in three different locations is not something I am going to expect people to do.

Beyond that there are three sub-forums each with their own set of threads and people who only read that forum.

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Searching through upwards of 5 threads with 100s of posts in three different locations is not something I am going to expect people to do.

Beyond that there are three sub-forums each with their own set of threads and people who only read that forum.

You make it sound like they have to go delving into some ancient crypt and unravel hundreds of dusty scrolls like some Indiana jones movie. I know you have a much better idea of how search works. And where did you reach the conclusion that anyone reads only one forum? Does anyone here only read one forum? I could see some folks not reading CMSF forum (sad but true) beyond that I highly doubt it.

How the heck would you follow the peng thread then?

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Dear Hellas: Welcome to the forum and hope you are enjoying the game.

"Sensing strange attitudes" reminds me I must never fall into the trap of "Contempt Prior to Investigation"

From my years of playing CM and following it's forums I can personally assure you of two things:

1. BFC is entirely focused on constantly adding to and improving it's Wargame. Not

just producing the same old game in a new time or theater over and over. That keeps them more than just a little busy.

2. BFC reads and responds to forum posters. In fact it counts on forum members to help improve the game.

So your feed back is helpful if a tad redundant.

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This will be my last post on the topic.

I just want to express my amazement about the strange attitude torwards constructive criticism from customers.

Some seem not to understand that bad PR results in reduced revenue, while good PR results in higher revenue, at least it doesn't harm it.

And if higher revenue directly affects the expansion of a company and the speed of development of products it is also very good for customers.

Improved PR is a win-win situation.

That in today's reality of web 2.0 here it is even defended, that customers should search forums and subforums to find product and company related infos I find very, very strange to say the least. Could it be that some long term and very active customers are quite old and have no clue how fast the web is changing everything in the business world?

It is so completely off of any understanding of the speed of modern business, that it astounds me, that this attitude is not rejected - foremost - by the fans since the established not so good PR I am absolutely sure harms the company's economic success.

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Hellas, now Steve is soon going to tell you that the fact BFC has been around for over a decade an still exists today proves they know how to run their business better than their customers. Ha! I am fortune teller! :D.

I disagree with you on the generalized statement that BFCs PR-strategy is bad: battlefront.com is one of the few games company i ve ever met whose developers actively and regularly discuss issues with their customers at the forums. More often then not the devs of other game companys dont appear to care much about what is said on their forums. Like at some of the Matrix Games sub forums, for example, where communication between developers and customers usually happens by once-a-months statements about how is progress on the new patch going and that's it.

I agree with you though that a Twitter account would come at a quite low cost in terms of work hours and certainly wouldnt do any harm. I really liked ChrisND doing those small CMBS videos of the super-early-alpha, they noteably raised my interest in the game. But the question here is if it is worth it to invest time into a Twitter account.

But, talking about customers telling BFC how to tun their business, what really wonders me is that BFC appearently isnt using Google AdWords for advertising their products (or at least they arent showing their googles ads in my country). I am working at a small IT-Support business and we are having great success using Google, in other words we are really quite dependent on Google advertising because it is affecting our sales so significantly. Maybe you should have a look:

http://www.google.com/adwords/

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That in today's reality of web 2.0 here it is even defended, that customers should search forums and subforums to find product and company related infos I find very, very strange to say the least. Could it be that some long term and very active customers are quite old and have no clue how fast the web is changing everything in the business world?

It is so completely off of any understanding of the speed of modern business, that it astounds me, that this attitude is not rejected - foremost - by the fans since the established not so good PR I am absolutely sure harms the company's economic success.

Just wait till I get my teeth back in and my hair back on and I'll tell you a thing or two, now where did I put them?

Actually I work in IT and am not unfamiliar with the current state of things. One of the things I really dislike about how technology has affected people is this feeling that they have a right to know right now whatever it is they feel like knowing as if no one else's time matters. That sense of self entitlement used to be called in the good old days being spoiled f**king rotten and was frowned upon as exceedingly bad manners. Now it seems to be not just accepted, but expected. Personally I love BFs attitude. It is their product and their livelihood and they will deal with it in whatever manner they so choose that keeps it worth doing. Your alternative is what the guy in minecraft did, sold his business. At least one of the reasons is because the freakin pain in the ass user base made it no fun anymore.

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Just wait till I get my teeth back in and my hair back on and I'll tell you a thing or two, now where did I put them?

Actually I work in IT and am not unfamiliar with the current state of things. One of the things I really dislike about how technology has affected people is this feeling that they have a right to know right now whatever it is they feel like knowing as if no one else's time matters. That sense of self entitlement used to be called in the good old days being spoiled f**king rotten and was frowned upon as exceedingly bad manners. Now it seems to be not just accepted, but expected. Personally I love BFs attitude. It is their product and their livelihood and they will deal with it in whatever manner they so choose that keeps it worth doing. Your alternative is what the guy in minecraft did, sold his business. At least one of the reasons is because the freakin pain in the ass user base made it no fun anymore.

dmtbfo.gif

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Your alternative is what the guy in minecraft did, sold his business. At least one of the reasons is because the freakin pain in the ass user base made it no fun anymore.

Or maybe because he never really cared much for his own game in the first place. It was just a programming toy that suddenly struck gold. When players started asking for gameplay, he was out.

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Or maybe because he never really cared much for his own game in the first place. It was just a programming toy that suddenly struck gold. When players started asking for gameplay, he was out.

I did say one, not all or only. :D

But the point is still valid. When it became something he didn't want to do . . . .exit, stage left!!!

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The internets are full of other forums where people have just discovered the CM series by some fluke or other - and I mean forums where the residents are the natural customers for this type of game - but for some reason PR and/or Marketing is one area where BFC's approach is held to be above reproach. <Shrugs>.

We don't hold it "above reproach" ;) For sure we could do better, but we could also do worse. Worse, for example, with spending too much time/resources to gather up too few people. Back in the olden days of print media and then early online stuff we spent considerable money to get the word out about Battlefront and its products. Those venues have largely gone away and we've found the return on investment for (most) advertising is negative. So we just have to accept that there's some middle ground where people aren't going to know about us but we also aren't overextending ourselves.

As for communications... twitter doesn't help with the problem of people periodically checking in and not knowing/wanting to search through prior info. Which is why we don't bother with twitter... doesn't seem to offer us anything that our newsletters and Forum don't already give us.

One thing that would be fine with us is if a volunteer wanted to setup and host a FAQ of some sort. It would need a Human touch as you can't automate making useful FAQs. Meaning, if you incorporate too much info then people will need to search it. And that's a similar limitation to this Forum. Which, not surprisingly, is why we don't try to keep some sort of development FAQ going... it's a lot of work for someone.

Steve

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