With Courtney Woods recently moving on to her dream job as a writer, a spot is now vacant on the Community Team. The vacancy is currently being advertised here. I thought this would be a good opportunity to go over SWTOR’s communication and what they should be doing to improve (again). Yes I’ve talked about most of what I’ll be saying in my SWTOR’s Lack of Communication Skills post a while back. But it is worth repeating and SWTOR need reminding.
So what is Bioware looking for in their new Assistant Community Coordinator and what does the community want to see?
What does Bioware want?
Bioware wants someone who will follow the corporate line. Someone who will run the errands and be the messenger boy/girl. I guess the responsibilities are fair enough, but they’re mostly internal and not publicly visible. The community likes to actively see visible work being done on the game and we certainly do not see this very often with SWTOR.
They also want someone with excellent communication and writing skills which is absolutely vital of course. Maybe they would stuff up less with communication if this was the case. Either way it sounds somewhat involved and hopefully whoever gets the job is up for the task.
What should the new Community Coordinator (and the rest of the Team) be doing?
The most important thing is interaction with the community over a variety of platforms. We were just starting to get good communication from the community team, before Courtney left, in the form of a weekly email and she was also very responsive to inquires from members of the community. Hopefully they will be able to start this back up again soon.
It would be great to see more interactivity on Reddit, Twitter and in Twitch/Hitbox Streams from the Community Managers or even the SWTOR Devs themselves. Hypothetically, if I was on the Community Team, I would be willing to hang out and talk on various Streams in my off work hours (say a couple of nights a week) and take any questions/feedback to the Devs.
They should also acknowledgement of the work and talent of members of the community. Whether this be by highlighting it on the SWTOR Website or sharing it on social media (like WildStar does).
Finally, they need to stop being so fucking secretive. Loosen up for fucks sake. Let the Devs talk to and interact with the players if they want to whether it be in game or on social media. Trust them not to give away info. There is a time and place for secrecy, but EA/Bioware tow the secrecy line way too much.
I understand the Community Team aren’t miracle workers and that they can’t do everything we possibly want 24/7. But taking steps in this direction and going back to how they were communicating before Courtney left, would certainly put things back on the right track.
What Qualities should the new Community Coordinator have?
Whoever gets hired needs to be a current, active part of the SWTOR community who understands where and how people interact with the game (on social media, streams etc.). They need to be aware of (and know) the majority of content creators, what they do and what their issues and concerns are. They should also be a fairly experienced player of the game. The community likes to, and needs to know that the developers and community team actually do play their own game regularly and are somewhat competent at it.
They need to not be afraid to speak their mind. Someone, who will not be another EA lap dog who follows the corporate line. Make them aware of how stupid some of their decisions have been in the past, give them examples of poor decision making, how it impacted the community and advise them on how to better communicate. Teach them about their player base from the wider community, not just the forums. Give them a slap in the face (okay I’m joking). Just get them out of the tunnel they’ve dug themselves and out into the light so that we can see them and get to know them better, Devs included.
Finally, reassure them that many of us in the community love the game and see it’s potential. We just want some more acknowledgement and to know that our voices are being heard. Especially content creators who do a better job of hyping the game then the SWTOR marketing team. Teach them to appreciate and trust their fans, to be more open and they will reap the benefits.
What qualities would you like to see in the new Community Coordinator and from the rest of the Community Team? Did you like the temporary increase in communication we saw and will we see it again?by