Relic upgrades to honesty 2.0.
Staff departures and personnel issues are responsible for COH’s lengthy beta patch process and the company’s overall lack of responsiveness for the last three months, according to a Relic official. In a remarkably honest, matter-of-fact audio interview
with GR.org, “Thunder
” — Relic’s community manager — reveals that the departure of key COH programmers slowed the patching process and admitted that his myriad responsibilities have limited Relic’s overall responsiveness to its fanbase. Thunder also revealed numerous tidbits about COH: Tales of Valor
which I’ll sum up below.
GR.org shoutcasters Yoink and Bawx gingerly but persistently eased the explanations out of Thunder, who sounds like an honest, simple guy answering questions with a minimum of PR spin. Why has the beta taken so long? Well, key COH staffers left Relic while others were reassigned to other projects — specifically Dawn of War II and COH: ToV. When key staffers leave, their replacements need time to get backup to speed. “There was definitely some attrition on our end,” Thunder admits,.
What apparently doesn’t help is the massive workload Relic’s lone community manager must handle. By his own admission, Thunder is responsible for:
– Reviewing and responding to all drophacking allegations for COH
– Reading the forums at RelicNews, GR.org and PlanetCOH daily to answer questions and take notes on the state of the community
– Respond to general user feedback and emails
– Rinse and repeat for ALL OTHER RELIC GAMES
The last item probably is responsible for tripling the guy’s responsibilities. I still don’t think that fully justifies the lack of communication (just say you’re busy, that’s better than nothing), but Thunder deserves some slack for the fact that he’s relatively new.
Other intriguing facts about how Relic works and its future plans for COH:
– Thunder sits in the same room as the staffers responsible for balancing COH, and communicates usually by yelling in their general direction (i.e. not via emails)
– Thunder is a “middle man” who communicates player feedback to the programmers without injecting his own opinions
– Relic has no special plans to push for COH’s entre into professional gaming organizations like World Cyber Games (WCG)
– Relic is aware of the state of the community and is looking to start wrapping things up
– Beta patch 2.506 will be the final patch that will ship to retail
And now, the promised tidbits on COH: ToV:
– Direct fire mode is a mode allowing you to manually control a vehicle, specifically when it fires, what it fires at and how it moves
– Direct fire mode will NOT EVER be useable against another player (i.e. solo only)
– Confirmed: the Tiger Ace Campaign is ToV-only material
– Confirmed: there will be new multiplayer modes (see previous coverage), though Thunder can’t explain exactly what they are