Friday, February 6, 2009

Hot Topics: Gameplay Senator

After months without having a SOE-annoited Gameplay Senator, nominations have finally gotten underway to fill this position.

The centralized location for this process can be found here. This thread contains links to the various nomination threads created by the candidates.

And the winner shall be...? Does it matter? Yes, to a degree it does. While SOE may not fully believe or utilize the Senator system, it does not mean that no good can come of it. I personally think that players who support the process and set-up have made some noted progress despite the "firewall"-type design.

SOE has gimped the senator system by preventing polls for gathering data. A potential senator must therefore rely upon reading posts and weeding out what is and is not gameplay related.

Personally, I would appreciate a gameplay senator who would...

  • Push for overhauls to the GCW,
  • Passes on the PvE for Artificial Intelligence
  • More tactics and strategy in combat
  • Less heroics and collections
  • Integrating crafters back into their proper role
  • Penalties for death
  • Optional credit sinks with a return on the "investment"
  • Less "free credit printing", and
  • An adherence to canon for EVERY feature going forward.
Any senator selected for the job needs to arrive without personal agendas and speak on behalf of the community.

He or she would be expected to frequently pen up the topics, open the discussion to ensure accuracy, present the topics via the official channels, then report back the responses.

I see no reason why a senator needs to create solutions for the current problems as they are not in the role of designer or developer, but rather a representative through which concerns and problems are aggregated in a meaningful and consistent way to be presented to SOE in an expected and timely manner.

And I also feel that senators should be given the right to create polls on the forums - even though that only collects a percentage of player data since not everyone partakes of the forum experience. Such a tool would at least give Senators the ability to get a sense of their shared community in a way that is not possible for any member of said community. (Otherwise, what's the point, really?)

Good luck to the potential candidates.

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