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Old 05-28-2014, 11:00 PM
Spikedude Spikedude is offline
Senator Amsel Zephlyn
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Warning: overly wordy Amsel post to follow.

From what I can remember, we've always joked about how Era management is constantly on the next bus. All managers tend to go through the same few "phases" of appreciation:
Honeymoon: "Oh, the old manager was such crap, I'm so glad we have someone new around."
Suck-up: "You're doing such a great job, and getting so much done, you're one of the best managers we've ever had! PS can I have a job as PR?"
Loss of thrill: "What has the manager even DONE recently?"
Decision time: "You were faced with a problem where 50% of the players wanted one thing and 50% of the players wanted the other, and you went with the group who wasn't ME?! Worst. Manager. Ever." (Really did something in the middle, so 100% of players think this).
After the hammer: "Oh I'm so glad we got a new manager, that last one was such crap."

Truth is, we will never find a manager that all of the players appreciate, because players have contradictory opinions of where the game should go. As I've said in other posts, most developers on Era have given up with ideas that try to please everyone; we're much more concerned with making sure everyone has at least one cool new piece of content released that they enjoy every so often. You might not be in to no-pk events, so you may have thought NPCDodge was stupid, so the next thing I came out with was GangPK (entirely PK based). Some might not like that because it's too closed off, so one of my next plans is a more traditional Gang "area" based off Benny/Dusk's ideas (IE kicking off gang challenges yourself). And all of the developers do this; Tim, for example, will work on a new Inventory one day (appealing to those who think Era needs a visual makeover), then work on the gang system the next (appealing to those who think Gangs need a functional makeover).

Despite having the fewest developers to choose from that Graal has ever had (and one of the smallest development teams that Era has ever had), we release new content on almost a weekly basis. And this is a game that you all play for free. I think it's great how much effort the staff has put into giving Erians new content to enjoy. We've had countless events, a few new quests, multiple holiday scenes, all of gun skins, the new inventory system, a whole bunch of random graphics/levels/sounds/ganis, etc etc all come out under Zao's management in the past six months. Personally, I think he's doing an awesome job. I honestly don't remember a time when work has gotten done this consistently and quickly (don't you remember the summer where era was down for like three months for a reset and the only new developments were cars and small biz's?).

As for the reason why Zao, Ice, and Blue (who I'd consider "management") might not release content at the rate they once did, it's because they're constantly fixing all the little things that most of you don't even know about. When cars broke, it was Ice and Blue fixing it up. When projects are running behind, Zao is on our butts immediately. Yet, despite this, they STILL have each found time to release some really cool things in the past six months (Zao released two of the most popular non-pk events, Blue released the christmas music player that pretty much everyone used, Ice always does a lot of the holiday scripts, etc).

And to the point of "nobody wants manager," that's not really true. While I've never asked him directly, I find it hard to believe that Zao would say he doesn't enjoy being manager. And plenty of us are ready to take over if Zao decides he's not into it anymore. The real problem is that Erians burn out every manager by treating them as though Era is supposed to be their full time, 40-hours per week job. Virtually all managers have also been players, and even if they are on for 40 hours in a week, they aren't going to be doing work that whole time. It's not a paid position, and it's crazy to expect something so much out of a volunteer.

(I don't usually do this, but) TL;DR: Zao is a great manager. When he gets sick of it, we have plenty of great candidates waiting to be the next manager. Era's outlook from an entertainment perspective is the best it has ever been. I think players need to stop looking for issues where there aren't any.
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