Player Council: Weekly Update

Phidippidies

Phrourach
The EN Council Members Are:
@Phidippidies (phidipp@gmail.com)
@The Smilodon Fatalis (thekittenfatalis@gmail.com)
@GothamSoldier (gothamsoldier5@gmail.com)
@Bearissimus (bearissimus@gmail.com)
@kuriants

You can reach us through pm, or through the emails listed.

We ask that if you have a reaction to anything that is posted here, you respond to it on the Player Council Discussion Thread. This way, the thread is kept clean and people can easily find the updated information. We'll try to have a weekly update of what is going on, or any other updates as needed.


 

Phidippidies

Phrourach
Today, both myself and TSF gained access to the internal forums, and the inner council Skype group. At the moment we're catching up on all of the ideas that members of other servers in inner council have proposed (and believe me there are a plethora...)

We've also created a new thread for proposals - you can post here if you have any concerns, ideas, or general comments about the game.

 
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Phidippidies

Phrourach
@Rachel.L beat me to it, but here is the official announcement concerning the first discussion with Inno.

Hello Community,

On November 3rd, a first Skype call has taken place with InnoGames employees. The following is the Player Council’s summary of the event:

During the first part, InnoGames was telling us how their company works, how they determine their goals.

Like how they make decisions and how their deadlines work.

Also about how they get their ideas for the game.

It was to present us the company to feel more comfortable and introduce themselves.

During the second part, we had an exchange about some subjects:

– Our role

– World Wonders and the end of each worlds

– The mobile app (what we might be able to change and what is not currently feasible)

InnoGames was happy to know that some of players in the council have a large experience.

That will help them to improve the game.

Grepolis is one of the oldest games from InnoGames and they want to maintain the players.

For the next meeting, the council was tasked to organize the suggestions by priority and give it to InnoGames

For the Inner Council, the following members have taken part in this event:

  • SkarletWitch (GR)
  • HBB-1 (NL)
  • H.S.K.46 (RO)
  • Miknel (former EN)
  • florian799 (FR).
On InnoGames side, these members of the Grepolis development team were present:

  • Thorsten Schankin (Product Management)
  • Bernard Graham (Game Design)
  • Stefanie Schaumburg (Lead Community Management).
 

DizzlJoe

Phrourach
This gives no informations. you might as well just have said nothing about that skype call if you don't say anything about it. Its the same as saying: "I met up with people". We as the players would like to know more about what is going on.
 

ticina

Phrourach
Uhm.. We talked and stuff.. It was good.. Game is going downwards, but we talked..

You need to chill with the events. There should be a space between halloween and christmas. Events that require units to participate sucks. I hope to never see pandora box again.
 

Phidippidies

Phrourach
Okay, so first off I'm going to be that obnoxious person, and refer back to post one:

"We ask that if you have a reaction to anything that is posted here, you respond to it on the Player Council Discussion Thread. This way, the thread is kept clean and people can easily find the updated information. We'll try to have a weekly update of what is going on, or any other updates as needed."


Second: I want to clarify a few things about the DevBlog CAB call update.
- This is the post that was approved of by Inno, and we don't have much space to share about what happened in the call outside of what is there. This post was also created in the interim of replacing the inner council members for EN, so we didn't have much say at the beginning of what went into the post - I rather anticipated someone would be upset with how vague it is, but I don't have much control outside of it.
People have asked us for updates, and we're going to give those updates, no matter how vague they are.
And aside from that, while it appears very vague, it's actually a pretty in-depth description of what actually happened to the extent of what we can share. Which brings us to point two.
- The information shared isn't giving no information because nothing happened, but because it is all we actually can share about what happened.
The call lasted a total of one hour and thirty minutes, since that was the allocated time the developers' had for the call. According to other people who were in that call, a significant portion of that time was spent introducing the developers and the game development process, as to make it easier for inner to find out how the idea process works and what we should be looking for with ideas. That information all falls under the 'confidential information' section that we're not supposed to share. The post is vague because most of the first call is stuff that fell under the NDA. After that there was an exchange of some of the main topics that inner found important - mainly, World Wonders and the Mobile App. From what I've been told from other inner members in the call, this section of the discussion was very brief, which is why there isn't much in-depth information about it.
Since that post has gone public many other servers have started discussions about world wonder revamp ideas - we have one you can find here, and as for mobile app ideas I've made a collection of the proposals that players have brought up concerning mobile apps
(many of which have already been proposed by other servers, but I'm listing them for priority sake)

Third: Things that are happening now.
- Inner has been setting up a few skype calls to talk to each other about the priority of ideas that we have. As with the ideas we've had with mobile app, I've been compiling ideas that players have posted on this board (as well as a few other relevant ideas from the ideas thread). The first call that we're having is set to be this weekend. If there's anything else y'all want to push forward, now would be a good time to do so. (Although I think this first call will be more about making the list smaller.)
- In response to ticina about the events, specifically pandora: the inner council has been gathering opinions from their respective servers about pandoras box (we've taken our information from the acropolis subject) and while I can't say this with complete confidence, I think it's safe to say that's going to be a topic that the developers will ask about on the next call.

And a note for confidence:
We've had a good amount of time now to talk to other inner council members and get a recap on what happened in the previous few months, particularly what happened in said developer's call. ...And I mention this in particular because before getting into inner and after recent events, I admit, I was a little bit.... underwhelmed by the first call. Although perhaps still more optimistic than most... After talking to others who were in the call and getting their opinions of what happened, they assured me that during the call the developers seemed really interested. They were excited that the players in the call had a good history of experience, they were listening very intently during the short period of time that ideas were shared, and that they cared for the players' opinions and ideas.

TLDR:
- The post is really vague because it's all we're allowed to share based on the NDA, and not that much discussion on ideas actually happened. It was mostly an introduction.
- Inner council is going to be having a talk soon about the ideas shared up to this point to prioritize them and thin out the list.
- Feedback about Pandoras Box is being collected from each server to share with Inno.
- According to others in the developers' skype call, the developers seemed to be very interested in the councils' opinions and excited to hear feedback.
 

DizzlJoe

Phrourach
See, even though there are no informations to share you can share the informations about this. It has a weird ring to it but that i what players are actually asking for. We want to be kept up to date about what is going on and how things are progressing. Even if there was just some random introduction and such there are still alot that can be said about it.
 

Phidippidies

Phrourach
Update: Week of 12/3/2017

Since the last weekly update...
- Gathered the most common feedback from the pandora's box thread to share with other inner council members.
- Held a short Skype call on 12/2 with other members of inner council.
Things that were brought forward during this call from the EN server: complaints made about world wonders, possible solutions to world wonders from other inner council members*, suggestions about the mobile app.

Moving Forward...
- The next inner council skype call is set (expected) to be held on 12/9.
- Inner is currently taking a vote on the priority of ideas that have been proposed by various servers, and hoping to thin out that list to include only the most important ideas.

*** I'd like to make it clear that the Skype calls mentioned here are INNER COUNCIL MEMBERS ONLY. NOT the CAB-developer calls referred to elsewhere. Anything developer-based will be shared on dev blog first.
**** I'd also like to clarify that items mentioned are stuff that EN is sending to inner council - this doesn't mean that other inner council members will agree with it, or that it will be sent to developers.

Note: *I'm not allowed to share ideas from other inner council members until I get official approval from them, and since these ideas were only talked about in the Skype call and not posted publicly elsewhere I don't have that permission yet.
 
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Phidippidies

Phrourach
WEEKLY UPDATE: WEEK OF 12/10/2017
Since the last update:
- A skype call between inner members was held yesterday, 12/9, to discuss the list of ideas and what we wish to talk about with Inno at the next developer’s call.
- Inner council took a vote on all items that were suggested from various servers, and ranked each item 1-5. Then an average of each item was taken – only averages above 4 will be moved forward into developers calls at this time. I’d like to make a disclaimer that just because a certain idea is not on this list, does not mean it won’t be sent to developers later, just that at this time it wasn’t a priority of all servers. We only have so much time in council, so we plan to emphasize the most important parts. See the list below.

WONDERS:
- ‘change’ the ending
- change what happens after the ending.

EVENTS:
- reconsider events using glory points.
- there are too many events.
- make events less repetitive
- decrease the effectiveness of gold.
- make events equally fair to small and big players.

MOBILE:
- live conquests.
- make admin availability the same
- make events consistent across browser and mobile

GAME FUNCTIONALITY:
- have a button that will fill all caves with a single click
- ability to publish all revolts in one click, and make it so reports can be published all at once.
- allow forum mods to mark multiple comments and delete them all at once.

Looking forward:
- We plan on getting feedback for / ideas developed of some of the main topics that were ranked >4 on the priority list. Namely, wonders and events.
- There is a forum for world ending ideas HERE
- There is a forum for world ending feedback HERE
- There is a forum for events feedback HERE
- The next inner council Skype call is expected to be held sometime between Christmas and New Years, giving us time to gather feedback/develop ideas for wonders and events individually.


Reminder: Please do not comment on this thread. direct questions/concerns/comments/political manifestos to the player council discussion thread.
 
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bertie1969

Hipparchus
i just want to pick up on a few points i started this game at the end of 2011 i think it was and they were saying thewn about changing the crappy ww era and 7 years on still the same thing all inno manage is to make the game alot worse been no real changes that have made the game any better

i never saw the point of having local council when it started and still dont see any use for it
 

Phidippidies

Phrourach
Hey all - thank you for your patience....
The summary of the DevBlog post is live - Here.
(They mentioned that the blog might be put under maintenance for a short period of time today and that I should wait to post it - I'm not sure if I've waited long enough where the blog has already been updated, so it's possible it might be down by the time you check it. However, I do have to leave and might not be back until later. I wanted to make sure the link was here today, though, since y'all have been waiting)

Either way, I've quoted it below for ease.

Dear community,

A second player council call has taken place on January 12, 2018. This is the summary of the call:

4 Inner Council members, EN (Phidippidies), FR (Florian799.), FR (Dark-Shadow53), and NL(HBB-1), as well as three InnoGames employees were on the call.


Agenda: Introduction, End Game Idea, Mobile App Development, Other Commentary.

End Game:
– Spoke about the specifics of a dominance-based end game idea to follow up on initial proposals and ideas from the first call.

General points of the idea:
– Alliances will have to control a certain ‘percent’ of the total worlds’ cities for a period of time in order to win.
– Wonders could become a setting to the world, on/off, and would be available to be built immediately if activated. The base requirements would remain the same.
– Alliances would get bonuses for completing wonders, and for obtaining certain levels of dominance.
– Crown rotation would not be possible – only one alliance may win.
– When one alliance holds dominance for a certain period of time, the alliance will become the winner, and the world will immediately start the closing countdown.
– When the numbers/analytics are done, the full idea will be shared with players via DevBlog prior to implementation, to get more feedback on it.

Developers expect to make a DevBlog post consisting of the full idea when the development possibilities have been fully confirmed.

Mobile App Development:
– The mobile app will never be equivalent to the browser in terms of events and premium functionality – there is simply too much information that wouldn’t fit into the mobile version. However, it’s possible that ‘slimmed down versions’ of these could be implemented into the app.
– The developers are aware of potential problems that are causing app alarm issues, and have been working on ways to fix said issues on their end. A support post will be made on DevBlog, Support or forums that will go into detail about what you yourself can do to ensure your phone is working properly. Outside of that, they are actively working on a fix for the attack horn sound.
– Live conquests in the app are definitely a possibility, and developers are preparing to work on implementing it.

Other:

Spoke briefly about casual worlds, and whether we’d like to see more of them.

At the moment, developers are focused on concepts for a new end game idea. This is a big project and a priority at this time. However, we’re also looking forward to the next two main topics we’d like to take up with developers after the new end game has been implemented:

Spam attacks: There are two sides to spamming: people who are annoyed by it, and people who use it to physically freeze someone’s computer.
At the moment, there are a lot of situations where spamming is used as a tactic. There are limited technical solutions to spamming – but there might be additional gameplay solutions that we can play with that would naturally limit the amount of spamming that there is.
The problem is, these gameplay solutions might impact the way the game is actually played, and the amount of spam that can be used for attacks.

Events: This project will take a longer time to change, and not a lot of changes are likely to happen within the next few months as concepts and analyses need to be finished first. Developers are looking into a new strategy to balance the frequency/impact of events: the possibility of making some of their existing events shorter, so that there is less total event time and more gameplay time.

For the Inner Council, the following members have taken part in this event:

  • HBB-1 (NL)
  • florian799 (FR)
  • Phidippidies (EN)
  • Dark-Shadow53 (FR substitute)
On InnoGames side, these members of the Grepolis development team were present:

  • Thorsten Schankin (Product Management)
  • Bernard Graham (Game Design)
  • Stefanie Schaumburg (Lead Community Management).
With all of that being said, we're looking to get some feedback on a number of things.
Discuss these topics over on this thread!

Specifically:

I'm going to reiterate really quickly... DON'T post here on THIS thread. I'll post these questions elsewhere as well, but thought it would be nice to have them and refer back to the prior points if needed.

Questions for players:
What are your initial reactions concerning the end game idea?

As mentioned before, not all premium features will be able to fit into the app. So, if you had to pick the most important premiums you would want to see in the app - what would they be?
(There is also a possibility for 'slimmer versions' of certain premiums in app...
for example - the attack planner is something that is likely is just too complicated to fit into the app.
However, sending notifications of attacks that were planned on browser to your phone MIGHT be a possibility.)

Would you like to see more casual worlds open/would you like older casual worlds be closed?

And, just a general discussion about spamming.
Here is a description of casual worlds from Kuri, in case you have any questions about what they are:
@Loves You in regards to the Mobile things you thought of, you can list them here if you'd like.

To my understanding of a casual world is a world like Hyperborea in which there is no form of conquering another player's city, but there is an option to colonize and attack other's without the risk of losing a city whereas Achilles and Bellerophon are hero worlds in which there was a set requirement to join them of something like 25k points and some other things, both of these worlds have a conquest type enabled. To the best of my understanding these worlds were made to create a more competitive world for big and serious alliances that existed back when the worlds were first created which is why there were requirements for joining said worlds.In regards to Hyperborea, to the best of my knowledge when Hyperborea came out many people thought it was a Paradise for Simmers but in fact if you work and have a family i would imagine that this sort of world would be an enjoyable experience and the world has been open for a long duration and maintained a player count over the closing quota, so if you have a busy schedule still having the ability to attack without the worry of losing your empire seems like an enjoyable time.
 
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Phidippidies

Phrourach
I know people said they would prefer if I gave them an update even if not much has happened that we can talk about...... So this post is mostly just that.

Most of what is going on right now is just forwarding opinions of the end game from servers to the developers - and the developers working with that information, figuring out what might need to be tweaked, etc. So as far as 'what is inner council doing?' - mostly just talks about the end game and our reactions to possible changes.

See this week's devblog @ Devblog.grepolis.com
"We have received some valuable input, both in regards to suggestions and valid concerns and our Game Designer Bernard is in the process of implementing some changes to the initial concept, which should alleviate some of the concerns in the near future. As soon as he is done with this new draft, he will present a revised version for a second round of comments."
Unfortunately at this time I don't have much more information than that....
Since the end game proposal came out, most of the discussion has been on that.
There are threads in the acropolis (and elsewhere, including devblog) to give responses to said ideas if you haven't already.

------

In addition to the information about the end game on the devblog, there is another thing that was asked for which hopefully will be showing up soon that was announced on devblog, for those of you who do not go on devblog to read updates:

"On top of that, we will potentially get to release a long awaited update for our mobile app that has also been requested by the Grepolis Player Council: More information about ongoing sieges on owned cities instead of a generic notification shown in a popup. Here’s a sneak peak:



This change will also enable us to look into ways to share this report with other players from the mobile app. No promises at this point, however. "
 
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Phidippidies

Phrourach
Find the Devblog post here:

(This posting includes the information which was shared during the last call, for those of you who were asking about that. They have asked us for a summary of our experience - and that should be coming out soon. And again, I've already said - y'all can approach me personally if you want a more in depth discussion if you're interested in running.)

Grepolis Player Council – Summary of the first term & outlook
Dear Community,

The first term of the Grepolis Player council is coming to an end. We would like to take some time to summarize our experience with the project so far and outline some of the changes we would like to propose for the project, after gathering feedback from the current members of the Player Council. In their final call summary, the Player Council members themselves will also get the chance to touch on their experience with the project, so stay tuned for their minutes from our last call to learn more!

Let’s start off with some data & facts around the project:

  • From October 2017 up until now we collaborated directly with a total of 24 members of the Inner Council.
  • Players from 13 different markets joined the Inner Council forums and came into contact with members of the Grepolis team (Game Design, Product Management, Lead Community Management and the Lead Development).
  • In the first month, we accounted for a total of 21 members participating actively. However, this number declined over the course of the project up until the point of having 7 active members left in the last month of the first term.
  • On the Inner Council forums, 27 discussion topics were created, yielding a total of 64 unique suggestions for the game and providing feedback on questions by the development team and current in-game events.
    Inner Council members created about 2/3 of all discussion topics and posts, with 1/3 of the comments and topics coming from Grepolis’ Game Design and Community Management members.
  • As special events, we hosted 3 Skype calls with 3-5 Inner Council members participating and the results of the call being shared on the DevBlog.
    The calls focused on the main discussion topics of the Player Council during the first term:
    • General player suggestions
    • New endgame
    • Mobile improvements
    • Game Performance
    • Casual worlds
  • Out of the 64 unique suggestions proposed by the Player Council. A number of those suggestions was ruled out due to technical limitations or for not fitting either our strategy or the game’s theme. However, ~14% are ready for implementation or have already been implemented at this point, ~23% have been scheduled for future implementation and ~25% require more research but are definitely worth looking into.
As you can see, the project was quite productive albeit being driven mainly by a small group of dedicated members sticking with us until the end of their term.
Especially after the bumpy start of the project during which we faced some opposition from the player base and confusion about the implications of the privacy policy, the discussions became more and more fruitful over the months, which is something we appreciate dearly and would like to thank all members for. Still, we also see some potential for future improvement, especially in regards to the retention of members, but also in the distribution of tasks and information.

These are some of the areas for improvement which we identified in cooperation with Inner Council:

  • Some players voiced concerns about candidates listed first in the election window getting more votes based on the visibility of their introduction rather than their ideas for the project.
    We will therefore shuffle the order of candidates listed in the election menu, creating a new order whenever it gets opened by any player.
  • Communication between Local Council and Inner Council members was hard to achieve due to restrictions imposed by the privacy policy.
    For the next term, we want to offer Local Council members the optional possibility to sign the privacy policy in order to view select restricted content shared by the Inner Council
  • High fluctuation and increasing amount of inactive members over time.
    On Inner Council level, we want to offer more frequent activity checks to nominate successors in case of members becoming inactive over the course of a month.
  • Long time to learn the processes within the project (i.e. approval for external communication).
    We would like to keep some experienced members on board. Therefore the Council Advisory Board will be reworked to offer experienced members of former terms the chance to act as advisors for new members and to remain in conact with InnoGames to secure ongoing feedback processes. Members of the Council Advisory Board will be selected by InnoGames on a per-term basis.
With all these changes in mind, we will soon inform all players about the upcoming elections for the second term of the Grepolis Player Council. Due to the the aforementioned changes and the required development work for some of them, we will not achieve a 100% seemless transition between the end of the term and the candidacy period, but will start the call for candidates as soon as everything is ready to be rolled out.

Please keep your eyes peeled to the forums to stay informed about all upcoming dates and deadlines for the second term of the Grepolis Player Council.
 
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