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Something just hit me fully that I'd been thinking for a while but hadn't quite defined to myself yet. I don't like the apparent focus on this forum.
I do want to start this out by saying, I appreciate Paizo doing an open playtest at all, and reading this forum and the surveys and all. It's still really cool. And I appreciate the work you're all doing to keep things relatively positive and non-toxic. The fillable "other" options categories in more of the survey questions is helping a lot too, and I do like that.
But my mindset this week has been pretty much "I guess I have to post so I can say what I think before the end of the playtest window, and stop putting it off." It's not that I don't have time to write anything, my Recent Documents page is full of post drafts. After nearly every session, every evening set aside for character-building, every completed survey, I've been writing my opinions and experiences as articulately and constructively as I can. And then it all sits around in my computer, waiting for a time when I feel like looking for a relevant existing thread to post in per Vic's advice, reading through at least a few pages of it, posting something, and trying to respond to replies, without wanting to just faceplant and go to bed because whoa why are people arguing whether the Liberator code of conduct disallows stopping a mugger.
Because I love all you guys, and I know many sites would be a lot more toxic, but there's a lot of ambient frustration and opinions running high in here, and maybe sometimes I want a way to express more feedback than a 1-5 scale without presenting my opinions for public dissection. And I realized today, I am far from the shyest, most withdrawn person I know, so if I feel like this, how many other people haven't spoken up at all?
And yeah, I know it's how previous playtests have been done, it just feels a little different to me. If someone doesn't like how something else turns out, say, Mythic or vigilantes, they can just not play those, or even exclude those things from their games. There's going to be more content they'll like in a few months. Just get the next book instead. But with 2e, that's not really so much of an option to just wait for something else. So I think it's a little more important this time around.
But then I start thinking again, "it's just a way of making sure the people who are listened to are the ones who are really dedicated to the game." Except that doesn't seem right when I think about it better. I don't know if the idea was something like that or if that was just my own rationalization, but if that was the point, I don't really agree with it. That's the same sort of reasoning as "if you don't like happy hour at the club, you're not a good fit for this company." Comfort level with the community on a section of the official site is not a gauge of liking the game.
I don't really know if it's possible to do anything about it, let alone now. Maybe I should have posted this earlier. Maybe I should just start another thread or two focusing on just giving personal opinions and not discussing anyone else's, myself. But I just figured I'd toss the perspective out here. Because maybe there's other people who don't want to deal with the Trial by Internet Debate to prove their fanhood and say their two cents, who are more reticent than me to post, so in case anyone at Paizo has a cool idea for a solution, I think this could use it.
|Mark Seifter Designer|
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To some extent, the open response surveys represent a way to do this, anonymous free response comments away from the public scrutiny and the meta of the community. And while they represent an important group of players who we appreciate and respect, and we want their feedback for sure, the most dedicated players are not by any means the most common, and they often share values and opinions with other dedicated players (myself included) that the rest of the community might not.
Journey before destination!
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Kaladin_Stormblessed, I have put over a hundred comments in the Pathfinder Playtest subforum yet sometimes I feel reluctant to speak, too. In the the open response survey for In Pale Mountain's Shadow, I said that I would post a full write-up of the adventure under my Mathmuse name, but I have put off that write-up for weeks. Responding to other people's ideas focuses my thoughts, but writing from a cold start leaves me second-guessing my words.
I don't mind being proven wrong, and that thickens my skin against criticism. Bring on the battle of wits and may the best ideas win! But in most people, criticism cuts deep and the pain bleeds long. Alas, a forum post always looks like an invitation for criticism.
Thank you for speaking out for the quiet people.
I think I know where you are coming from there is certainly a lot that should be communicated, but actually doing so is not quite as easy.
Honestly, I like the survey approach, since that helps to get a clear picture and individual voices will not be lost quite as easily.
Unfortunately, on the forum, there are a lot of very motivated individuals(who in the nature of these things post a lot) and that makes it hard for individuals trying to make sure that their voice was heard.