Community management change has left me feeling blue

Hi fellow CMDRS

Something has been bugging me for a few months! Ed Lewis left Frontier a while back and I don't know if it is just me or does anyone else feel it's indicative of where Elite Dangerous was or is heading? Could just be a bit of paranoia because we're waiting a long time for the next big update but I just have this nagging feeling Ed's reason for leaving was mainly because of where he felt the game was going? Ed seemed to be a BIG fan and played the game as a one of us as well as being a Frontier employee. That said I know nothing about Paige and Will so maybe I am guilty of not giving them a far chance. I do find Frontier community communication a bit lacksure at times but then I understand the need to safe guard content and manage expectations, we don't want another Fleet Carrier scenario.

I'm a massive supporter of Frontier and David B because they are British but David Brabens vision for Elite and gaming has always been one that I have shared. I am guilty of not really following Paige and Will since Ed left so maybe I brought some of this on myself and need to start tuning in more but after 2000+ hours of Elite I'm taking a break. Just feels like 2019 has been a bit of a downer in terms of people leaving the game and the news that we have to wait a year for the next big milestone.

Help cheer this life time backing commander up!

Think I'm going to sink a few more hours in to Planet Coaster for the time being.
 
I think it was just career choice. Didnt he kinda slip into the position? There's lots of experience to be earned for him. Tho he did a good job and he was a good "face" for the ED project.
 
There was one thing that surprised me.

Edward was appointed director (I believe) in the period when Frontier moved into its new premises

Many good things for a man. I was surprised at his departure
 
Ed Lewis did a great job, BUT I'lll sure his leaving is not the main reason for state of Elite Dangerous and Frontier communication lately. I also doubt that Ed left because he was secretly disgruntled in any way either.

The problem I have with Frontier lately has more to do with the apparent over all team competence drain there has been on the Elite Dangerous team which has lead to the half done features of version 3.3 and the recent bugs and lack of testing.
 
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Ed Lewis is young (work wise) so a career move with higher responsibilities and possibly better pay is the right thing to do at his age. It's nothing to do with Elite: Dangerous or Frontier. The game and the company are not doomed.

Paige and Will are great people, they are different to Ed so don't try and compare them to Ed and give them a chance.
 
As far as I know from the chat we had with Ed on the final Hutton Orbital News before he left (when we weren't being all nostalgic and emotional saying goodbye to someone who had become a good friend), the move was purely career related.

The new opportunity, both in terms of the location and the responsibilities was his deciding factor. He still loves Elite, the community and his former employer and has, since leaving, met up with former colleagues at events like Twitchcon I believe (I remember seeing a picture on twitter).

The below is speculation and not based in any knowledge given directly, but with more senior roles at Frontier not vacant for him to step into, my view is that without actually having the Don bumped off, there was nowhere to go for the foreseeable future if he stayed.

He had a talent for streaming which we all miss, as a stage performer with the band and a 1 man bundle of enthusiasm and creativity, the community were always going to miss him (a feeling I believe that was reciprocated).

That said, he had learned his craft with this community over a long period and the Ed that left wasn't the same as the Ed that started back in the day!

Will, Sally and Paige are really great people and doing a grand job so far. It is hard with the game announcements for new stuff staying under wraps until next year and such a demanding and vocal community, but every day, every stream and every post they are refining their approach and from my point of view, keep up the good work and I look forward to seeing more from them.
 

Paige Harvey

Community Manager
Frontier
Hello Commanders!

There's a lot of lovely comments, and great points in this thread.

First off, I'll start with a sort-of introduction. I'm Paige! I'm a rather happy-go-lucky type when it comes to playing games, and I prefer to jump in, mess around and work towards a set of small goals than aim to do something lengthier. When it comes to Elite Dangerous, I fly small or medium ships, I love to scavenge goods I find out in the black and sell them for a profit, and I enjoy space journalism. I take lots of photos of Thargoids, Molluscs, pretty stars. I also run our livestream series, Stargazing Tours, where myself and a guest visit some of the sites of Elite Dangerous, discuss a little lore, discuss a little science, and sort of bask in the beauty of the game. The next Stargazing Tours episode is this Thursday with Paul Crowther, and we'll be visiting Generation Ships for some spooky stories!

Obviously, I'm not Will, but his playstyle differs to mine. He loves his medium ships and prefers to engineer his ships, soup them up with guardian modules and go exploring! He travelled on his own time with the DW2 crew, and recently made it to Beagle Point. He's currently out of the office I'm afraid, or I'd ask him more about his game :p

Both of us play in our own time, though we will admit, neither of us are MVP players of any game!

There's also Brett, who a lot of you know already from these forums!

Ed was an incredible Community Manager for Elite Dangerous, however in his goodbye thread, he explains that he found an opportunity and a new adventure to embark on. We still keep in touch fairly often, and he speaks of the Elite community fondly.

In regards to communications regarding the game, we do our utmost to keep the community up to date with all the latest goings on. We do understand that a lot of people are clamouring for more information regarding the next major update for the game, and we recently addressed those concerns and why we're currently not sharing information yet in this thread.
 
Ed did an excellent sales job on the ED community, he had everyone buying into him and his love of the game. Maybe they were real maybe not, it doesn't matter he had everyone believing and that was his job. His biscuit reviews typified his engaging approach. An excellent entertainer who's deal or no deal at lavecon will never be topped.

But lets not forget he was just doing his job. He was very good at it but it was just his job. Will is getting upto speed but he is not the entertainer that Ed was so it will feel different.

The King is dead, long live the King.

 
I think what I miss the most (and not Ed related) is the early sparkle of pictures of the week, 'ask me anything (just not that though)', and occasional behind the scenes clips. The dives are great and very interesting, but they are too random. Even if its a bit of concept art from the wall each week (and from the photos there is enough of it :D) it is something genuinely new to look at- the amount of talk around the Thargoid concept art was proof of that.

Saying that though, if David Braben posted a picture of his foot in an ED sock, it would melt ED Twitter instantly.
 
Indeed Ed was not a massive player or likely fan of ED he did show great passion for the community but not the game if you ever listen to his podcasts "crossing the streams" which are totally non fdev related he speaks of the community but nearly never of the game. Similar to Will / Paige he played Elite and did DW1 but not the worlds best player.

Community managers don't need to love the game like we do they need to want to engage with the community which I think our current team want to.

I think there's been a really rough patch post Ed where clearly Will wants to change the approach, he has got more and more let's play type streams running which Ed always talked about doing then just didn't, but they have ignored some really burning questions about bugs, updates or the future. I feel this has changed and they are getting better (except the updates bit).

We also get to see a lot more of the Lovely Paige and Sally showing they are starting to work more as a team than as the one man band that it sometimes felt like Ed was.

Fdev are definitely utterly terrible and useless at sharing info with the community it is their single worst trait and the leak shows that the world doesn't end when info gets out but whoever makes their info release decisions just hates both the community and community team!

There is a lot coming for Elite of that I'm sure and hopefully we are getting to a good place with the CM team, it feels like we're getting there. Someone just needs to go into Fdevs office and slap some people with a "stop being utterly ridiculous" stick!
 
we do our utmost to keep the community up to date with all the latest goings on.
There are an awful lot of outstanding issues that have not been addressed, many going back several years now. Personally I'm fed up with feeling like I have to chase things up to get any information at all, to have any confidence that spending any more money with your company is a good idea.

If you (as a company) are no longer willing to give out information on progress reports then offer to refund the advanced purchase money - the LEP value not redeemed.
 
The problem with the 'Community Management' is/are not the people but rather the 'tech' or modus operandi of the management dept. This may I expect be as a direct brief by other management at Frontier.

What we as the community get are infractions and a bit of waffle, when we should be getting infractions and a feeling of enthusiasm from our representatives.

Personally, I want to seeing post like "Well guys this week we got a sneak peek at xxx and boy let me tell you, we were impressed. As usual it's not in finals but what we saw is amazing. blah blah blah"

In all my years playing Elite and reading posts here I have yet to feel 'enthused' by any of the reps, and that I feel is the huge failing.
 
I've been gaming for a long time, but ED is the only game where I've actively gotten involved with the community. I don't even know if other games have "community managers". Thus my enjoyment of a game has nothing to do with whether a company posts videos of someone "paid to enjoy" the game or not. If anything, I'm more interested in videos from players like Obsidian Ant and analysis videos from companies like Digital Foundry.

It makes me wonder if perhaps we're all a bit spoiled here when it comes to Frontier's engagement with their community. The closest thing I've seen in comparison is Jeff from Blizzard releasing little snippets for Overwatch (which is a huge game in the eSports industry), but AFAIK other companies like Rockstar or EA don't have the close-knit community relationship between developer and players that Frontier does.
 
I've been gaming for a long time, but ED is the only game where I've actively gotten involved with the community. I don't even know if other games have "community managers". Thus my enjoyment of a game has nothing to do with whether a company posts videos of someone "paid to enjoy" the game or not. If anything, I'm more interested in videos from players like Obsidian Ant and analysis videos from companies like Digital Foundry.

It makes me wonder if perhaps we're all a bit spoiled here when it comes to Frontier's engagement with their community. The closest thing I've seen in comparison is Jeff from Blizzard releasing little snippets for Overwatch (which is a huge game in the eSports industry), but AFAIK other companies like Rockstar or EA don't have the close-knit community relationship between developer and players that Frontier does.
Spend around 5 minutes google digital extremes community managers thats the definition of spoiled by comparison here we are abused!
 
one thing I did notice was the way in which Ed mentioned on his last stream while sitting with other.
he mentioned is will be good.... but the way he said it was different.
it was like, he has had many discussions about it, and was convincing the others it will be in the end.

I suspect the gap is making it feel worse than it really is... I am sure it will be ok closer to the 2020 update.
once Will F etc can announce stuff, everything will be good.

ED was unique however, very funny and would always look like he was up to something.
 
Actually I don't think that FD are terrible at sharing info at all. They share what they can. But game info has to be carefully managed and I think that FD are actually quite good at it. This, of course, is not what the players want - they (we) want it all - and we want it right now! And I would also add that internal business strategy is none of our business and we shouldn't be so arrogant as to even comment on it.

What I think they were not so good at in the early days was ENGAGING with the community. But I really don't think we can say that that is true anymore. When Ed came on board all that changed and the new team are carrying on the tradition that Ed's boundless energy started. Sure it has a different feel but that is to be expected because the new team are different people.

But I don't believe for a moment that Ed actually enjoyed the game. Given the way he carried on when he had the opportunity to seriously learn - he behaved like a 10-year old. I actually stopped watching the streams because of this. But fine, not everybody enjoys every game, right?

I reckon Ed has made a good career move and I wish him well.
 
Ed must've accepted one hell of a gag order when he started working for Zenimax, his private presence on The Socials went to absolute zero. No more biscuit/quiz streams, and his personal Twitter account is just the occasional shilling.
 
Just to add (selfishly)- I look across at the shiny new Planet Zoo area and see the lemon fresh vibe I miss here. But thats a new game, while ED is starting to enter middle age, ear hair and all.

I'm not a community manger, so I don't know how it works from my I Know Better Internet Armchair™, but stuff like small interviews with key staff in written form, funny polls (which Powerplay character are you) from staff, pics of the week, deep dives, Q & A sessions (written or live) and so on. Please note although fun to look at, exploration shots from explorers are boring if they are the primary pic of the week all the time. I get wavy stars that look like giant Quality Street can be superfically fun, but its lightweight and well, dull.

The behind the scenes story of ED PDF Kicksatrter was great, why not iterate on that? Have posts on how each ship went from concept to reality, behind the scenes of FX / ED attended con... not everything has to be live, build up a bank of info and post it to keep the momentum going. It will never be enough (Too Much is Never Enough™ sums up us demanding gits) but it livens flat spots. The leaks (real, or not so real) have shown that enthusiasm is there if you have news or curios to act as a focus for it.
 
Actually I don't think that FD are terrible at sharing info at all. They share what they can. But game info has to be carefully managed and I think that FD are actually quite good at it. This, of course, is not what the players want - they (we) want it all - and we want it right now! And I would also add that internal business strategy is none of our business and we shouldn't be so arrogant as to even comment on it.

What I think they were not so good at in the early days was ENGAGING with the community. But I really don't think we can say that that is true anymore. When Ed came on board all that changed and the new team are carrying on the tradition that Ed's boundless energy started. Sure it has a different feel but that is to be expected because the new team are different people.

But I don't believe for a moment that Ed actually enjoyed the game. Given the way he carried on when he had the opportunity to seriously learn - he behaved like a 10-year old. I actually stopped watching the streams because of this. But fine, not everybody enjoys every game, right?

I reckon Ed has made a good career move and I wish him well.

Your point on Ed is spot on, I didn't for a minute think he enjoyed the game but likewise I think the same about Will.

I can see that Paige certainly has an interest in the game and actually has a decent grasp on the things she seems to enjoy (unusual discoveries and photography). Will very much reminds me of Ed in his "I'll get as good as I need to for work but then I'm done" approach. Which is fine it clearly isn't Will's style he's not a sci-fi fan (he doesn't know which Star wars was the first of the newest trilogy!).

Regarding information release I totally disagree. Digital Extremes does this better than Fdev, and from a business decision point of view well.... in 2018 frontier made 34 million in revenue in 2017 CIG made 44 million.

CIG only sells info on upcoming features whereas Fdev sell 3 full titles.

I absolutely don't want to get the CIG "look we managed to accurately develop the eyelid animations and blinking patterns of this house cat you can see if you could enter this building on a Thursday at 8PM" approach to development but the idea that sharing information or development plans is a bad business idea is just wrong.
 
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